At the Carthage
Jail on June 27, 1844, a mob murdered the Prophet Joseph
Smith and his brother Hyrum, who thus sealed their
testimonies of Jesus Christ with their blood.
earlier, the Prophet and others voluntarily went to
Carthage, the county seat located about 20 miles southeast
of Nauvoo, to answer charges of civil disturbance.
Joseph and Hyrum were held in Carthage Jail pending
trial and were guaranteed protection from mob violence
by the governor of Illinois.
John Taylor, and Willard Richards were in the jailer's
upstairs bedroom when a mob stormed the jail shortly after
five o'clock. The Prophet and his brother were shot
and killed, John Taylor was seriously wounded, and
Willard Richards escaped unharmed. The mob fled, and
the martyrs' bodies were taken back to Nauvoo the next day.
The jail was used
for about 25 years and then became a private residence.
The Church purchased the building and property in 1903. To
commemorate the sesquicentennial of the Martyrdom in
1994, the jail was restored to its appearance at the
time of Joseph and Hyrum's death.
Learn more about the events that occurred at Carthage Jail.
Read an article about the Martyrdom at Carthage Jail.
Learn more about other sacred sites of the Restoration.
Learn about additional church history sites in Illinois.