LDS Church Site of Week – RICHMOND, Missouri

Posted by on Jan 16, 2011 in Site of the Week - LDS Church History Tour | 0 comments


A most important place in Mormon Missouri history.  Here, after their arrest at Far West, Joseph Smith and others were put on trial under Judge Austin King, who was no better than a mobster himself.  The lawyer who defended Joseph was one of the truly great men in American history, Alexander Doniphan, whose statue is prominent in the town square.  This same Doniphan, in an effort to stop the persecution of the Mormons, succeeded as a member of the Missouri legislature in having two counties created just for the Mormons.  I.e. Caldwell (Far West area) and Davies (Adam-ondi-Aham).  As a brigadier general in the Missouri Militia, he prevented the execution by firing squad of Joseph and Hyrum at Far West by refusing to carry out that order from the commanding general.  He also represented Joseph Smith as his lawyer while he was in the Liberty Jail.

After their arrest at Far West, Joseph Smith and others were taken to Independence and put on display in a most humiliating manner.  This was before being tried or convicted of anything.  They were then taken to Richmond and incarcerated while awaiting trial with a number of others arrested at the same time. This lead to the rebuking of the guards incident recorded by Parley P. Pratt in his autobiography and presented in Richmond as a part of our Missouri tour.

The Richmond Old Mormon Cemetery has several important graves: Oliver Cowdery, Peter Whitmer Sr.; Mary Whitmer (only woman to see the plates), Jacob Whitmer (one of the eight witnesses).

Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer came here to live after they apostatized from the church.  Oliver practiced law in Richmond and is buried in the old Mormon Cemetery.  David Whitmer is buried in the large city cemetery on Highway 10.

For more Missouri Sites – See our Missouri/Nauvoo/Winter Quarter Tour Page

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