Sunday, October 12, 2014

Joseph Smith Jr the Kirtland Bully?

While in Kirtland, Joseph Smith Jr sued Doctor Philastus Hurlbut for publicly threatening to kill Joseph Smith Jr; cf. (Grua 2014, pp.141-154; Madsen 2014, p.228). However, at the same time, Joseph Smith Jr was arrayed before the court for assault and battery of his brother-in-law Calvin Stoddard (Madsen 2014, p.228) and for publicly threatening to kill Grandison Newell (Madsen 2014, p.229). What was going on?

The context of the trial with Calvin Stoddard is related in a summary of the evidence presented in the Painesville Telegraph, to which Joseph Smith Jr had written about the matter. Stoddard and Smith Jr got into a physical fight over some problem with a piece of property, and the witnesses made it out more like self-defense than assault and battery, as Stoddard had claimed. Of course, the witnesses were a brother of Joseph Smith Jr, William; his mother; and a disciple, Burgesse, that the Painesville Telegraph considered "faithful".

More serious is the matter of Grandison Newell, because it was basically the same claim that Joseph Smith Jr had just sustained against Doctor Philastus Hurlbut.

Bibliographic Record

  • JS, Letter, Kirtland, OH, to editor of the Painesville TelegraphPainesville, OH;Painesville Telegraph, 26 June 1835, p. 3.
  • Gordon A. Madsen, Jeffrey Walker, John W. Welch (ed), Sustaining the law: Joseph Smith's Legal Encounters, Provo, UT (2014).
    • David W. Grua, Winning against Hurlbut's Assault in 1834, pp.141-154.
    • Gordon A. Madsen, Tabulating the Impact of Litigation on the Kirtland Economy, pp.227-246.

No comments:

Post a Comment