Sunday, October 14, 2018

Defended the Prophet in Court and Died on the Trail West

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Which man would defend the prophet in court, join the Church, and then die on the trail to the Salt Lake Valley in 1848?
a.                  David Atchison
b.                  Alexander Doniphan
c.                   Oliver Cowdery
d.                  John Reed
Yesterday’s answer:
B   A girl
Violence on the Mormon Trail:   Fighting with fists and knives and threatened fights with guns also occurred. In 1852, two men competing for the attention of a beautiful seventeen-year-old girl exchanged words that enraged one of them. “Mathews was of a fiery temper and threatened the life of Curtis if he did not recall his words and exposed a dagger which said he would take the life of Curtis as soon as opportunity offered.” While the initial dispute was settled without violence, additional discussion of the incident involved at least twenty-five men and another fight between Curtis and a man who threatened to hit him with a crutch. When it appeared that the fight would soon involve the entire company, “a man of resolute courage and good sense—seeing the course things were taking—jumped upon a wagon tongue and in a short and eloquent speech in which he told them how foolish they were acting and warned they were in an Indian country—that union was necessary for self-protection. All parties slunk off to their wagons.” Later, there was some discussion suggesting that Mathews, the man who threatened to kill Curtis with a knife, should be given a death penalty, but a company council review of the entire event ruled that no punishment should be forthcoming. The company arrived without further incident in Salt Lake City on October 3, 1852.
Violence and Disruptive Behavior on the Difficult Trail to Utah, 1847-1868, David L. Clark (BYU Studies, Vol. 53, Number 4, 2014), 93-94.

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