175 years ago today - Jul 30, 1844

Samuel H. Smith dies from what is reported as "bilious fever," but which his daughter and brother later described as poisoning by Hosea Stout, ordered by Willard Richards. Stout had given "white powder" medicine to Samuel daily until his death. Later Council of Fifty member and physician John M. Bernhisel tells William Smith that anti-Mormons had somehow poisoned his brother.

On news of his death, bishop George Miller and Alexander Badlam try to persuade Willard Richards, John Taylor, and George A. Smith to allow the Council of Fifty to organize a First Presidency. Before his death Joseph Smith had named his brother Samuel as his successor in case Joseph and Hyrum were suddenly taken. Apostle William Smith is now the only survivor of Joseph Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith's five sons.

[On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com, based on Michael Quinn's Mormon Hierarchy vols 1 & 2]

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