Joseph Smith, John C. Bennett, and the Extradition Attempt, 1842


church history, Joseph Smith, extradition


As a careful study of Joseph Smith’s journal shows, the months between December 1841 and March 1843 were busy ones for the Prophet. While much of his time was spent on ecclesiastical affairs, numerous other issues demanded his attention as well. This paper provides a brief overview of the Prophet’s activities during this fifteen-month period, followed by more detailed discussions of two issues that dominated Joseph’s life during this time. These were, first, John C. Bennett’s estrangement from the Church; and second, Joseph’s and his friends’ efforts to keep him out of the hands of the Missourians after he was charged with being accessory to the May 1842 assassination attempt on former Missouri governor Lilburn W. Boggs. This paper draws heavily on research conducted under the auspices of the Joseph Smith Papers Project, and we want to thank our colleagues—particularly Dean C. Jessee, Richard L. Anderson, David Grue, and Kay Darowski and her team of researchers—for all their help in bringing together much of the information presented here.

Original Publication Citation

Andrew H. Hedges and Alex D. Smith, “Joseph Smith, John C. Bennett, and the Extradition Attempt, 1842,” Richard Neitzel Holzapfel and Kent P. Jackson, ed., Joseph Smith: The Prophet and Seer (Provo: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2010), 437-465.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer




Religious Education


Church History and Doctrine

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor