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History of Porter Rockwell, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia. (Links Added)
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Orrin Porter Rockwell was a frontiersman, Utah pioneer and plainsman, and reputed Mormon "*Destroying Angel." This controversial and colorful figure was characterized in newspapers and journals of his day as a notorious gunman and religious zealot. He was born in Belcher, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, in 1813 and was one of the early converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

As a settler in Jackson County, Missouri, in the mid-1830s, he was caught up in the so-called Mormon War of 1838, in which Missourians acting under an "extermination order" issued by Governor Lilburn W. Boggs drove the Mormons from the state. It was during this turbulent period that Rockwell became identified with the "Danites," a band of Mormon stalwarts who organized for the defense of fellow church members against their antagonists. In 1842 Rockwell was accused of the attempted assassination of Boggs, the man who had ordered the expulsion of the Mormons four years earlier. Boggs survived the shooting, and after months in Missouri jails Rockwell was freed when no indictment was brought against him. It was on his return to Nauvoo, Illinois, where the church had relocated, that Rockwell became the subject of an astonishing prophecy by Mormon leader Joseph Smith on Christmas day of 1843. Smith said that as long as Rockwell remained loyal and true to his faith, he need fear no enemy: "Cut not thy hair and no bullet or blade can harm thee!"


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