Porter Rockwell: The Man Who Shot Frank Worrell (Part 2)

10m ·

Porter Rockwell: The Man Who Shot Frank Worrell (Part 2)

This episode concludes the story of "The Man Who Shot Frank Worrell."

On September 16th, 1844, Frank Worrell was a man on a mission.  Flanked by a group of friends, Worrell  galloped out of Carthage, Illinois on the main road to Nauvoo.   Worrell had enough of the Jack Mormon Backenstos (the term meant a person friendly towards the Mormons though not a Mormon himself).  Worrell believed that, if they were ever going to drive the Mormon people from Illinois, Backenstos had to die.  

Worrell's mission?  Chase down the sheriff and shoot him dead before he could reach the safety Nauvoo.  

On this episode, we discuss the increase of mob violence against non-Mormons who the Anti-Mormons (such as Worrell) viewed as too closely aligned with the Mormon cause.  This began with the assault on Sheriff Minor Deming, who ultimately shot and killed his attacker, Samuel Marshall, on the steps of the Carthage Courthouse.  Deming resigned as sheriff pending his trial, and Jacob Backenstos won election as the Sheriff of Hancock County.  But Backenstos would find himself riding for his life to escape a possee, led by Frank Worrell.  As luck would have it, this 2-mile chase led them both to a small group of Mormon refugees, under the escort of Porter Rockwell.    

To learn more about the information in this episode, please check out Dallin H. Oaks & Marvin S. Hill, Carthage Conspiracy: The Trial of the Accused Assassins of Joseph Smith (1979).   

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