190 years ago today - Mar 24, 1832

Joseph is sitting up late with his 11-month-old adopted son, who has the measles, when about a dozen men break into the house, drag the Prophet from the house, strip his clothes from him, and begin to pour hot tar all over his body. At this time he sees others of the mob pulling Sidney Rigdon from his house. Because Sidney is unconscious, Joseph supposes that he is dead and begins to plead for his own life. The mobbers break a vial of nitric acid against his mouth, trying to poison him. In the process they break a tooth, causing him to have a slight whistle for life. One man says, ''That's the way the Holy Ghost falls on folks!" and jumps on Joseph, ripping off his remaining clothes and scratching his fingers into Joseph's skin. Joseph pulls the tar away from his mouth so he can breathe. Two men rush out of the house to help Joseph and, each assuming that the other is from the mob, start attacking each other. In this fight, the collar bone of John Johnson, Sr., is broken.When the mob finally flees, Joseph tries to return to the house; when Emma sees him she thinks the tar is blood and faints. Joseph spends the night with his friends, who pull and rip off the pieces of tar and skin. Simonds Ryder, the Johnson sons, and Ezra Booth are thought to have led the mob.

[Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]

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