180 years ago today - Jan 4, 1843

Joseph stands trial in Springfield, accused of being an accessory to the shooting of ex-Governor Boggs. Judge Pope comes in the courtroom accompanied by several ladies. (Some say that this was the judge's joke about the rumors of polygamy.) Mr. Butterfield, Joseph's attorney, jokingly announces, "It is a momentous occasion in my life to appear before the Pope, in defense of a prophet of God, in the presence of all these angels." The case boils down to whether or not Joseph can be taken from Illinois to Missouri to be tried for a crime that, if committed, was committed in Illinois. The judge rules that it is illegal, and Joseph is freed.

[Donna Hill, Joseph Smith: The First Mormon 321-22; Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]

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