Joseph Smith Gets Tarred and Feathered
March 24, 1832 - Joseph Smith, the charismatic founder of Mormonism was tarred and feathered on this day.
Smith claimed he was visited by God and Jesus when he was 15, and they told him not to join any religions. 3 years later an angel named Moroni came to see him. The angel described some golden plates that were engraved with a history of God's true religion in America. According to Smith, he later found these mysterious tablets buried in Palmyra, New York.
By looking through some magical peep stones, Smith translated the cryptic writing on the plates. They revealed many surprises, like the revelation that the Native Americans were the direct descendants off the ancient Hebrews, sent to spread the word of God.
In 1830 Smith would use the golden plates and his own prophetic visions to write the Book of Mormon, which would serve as the cornerstone for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Smith was the First Elder of this new religion and it quickly attracted both a devoted following and its share of detractors.
On the night of March 24th, 1832 a drunken mob stormed the farmhouse where Joseph Smith was sleeping. He was pulled out of bed, stripped, beaten and ultimately tarred and feathered. A doctor had been brought along to castrate Smith, but he refused at the last minute.
What instigated the assault isn't exactly clear, but the castration factor lends credence to the claim that it was motivated due to Smith's relationship with Nancy Marinda Johnson, a 16-year-old girl who lived in the farmhouse.
Smith would eventually recover from the ordeal and about ten years later Nancy Marinda Johnson would become his tenth wife. Smith became Mayor of Nauvoo, Illinois and ran for President of the United States. But controversy always plagued him, and in 1844 at age 38 he was killed by another mob in Carthage, Illinois.