Nauvoo Illinois is full of history. While walking around the streets of Nauvoo you can feel the importance of this historic location, but the stories of what occurred can be a little harder to find. Just across the street from the Mansion House was a platform where the prophet Joseph Smith gave his last public discourse.
Joseph Smith had been commissioned a lieutenant general by the governor of Illinois, Thomas Ford. He was the head of the Nauvoo Legion, a state authorized militia. The Nauvoo Legion was created to defend the Nauvoo and the areas around Nauvoo because of increasing persecutions. The Nauvoo Legion was placed under martial law on June 18, 1844, and it was then that the prophet Joseph Smith gave his last public discourse before her was killed at Carthage Jail.
Location of the Improvised Platform:
On the South East corner of Main and Water Street, directly opposite of the south end of the Nauvoo Mansion house was an improvised platform on the "Frame of a Building."
Joseph Smith was in full uniform when he addressed the Nauvoo Legion for the last time.
A man, by the name of Edward Stevenson, was there when Joseph Smith gave his last discourse he recorded this: "Joseph spoke with great power, so much so that many tears were shed by the multitude who were assembled around that memorable frame building. His speech occupied about one and one-fourth hours."
What Happened in Nauvoo during the attack at Carthage Jail
Joseph Smith was killed only days after this public discourse on top of this improvised platform. The day of the prophet Joseph Smith's death, June 27, 1844, the governor of Illinois came to Nauvoo and spoke from that same platform. The governor Thomas Ford came to Nauvoo with 50 troops. AT 5:00 pm on the day of the prophets death, the governor ascended the platform and addressed the citizens of Nauvoo. The governor insulted the Saints and attempted to make a military display. At the same hour the governor was addressing the Saints the mob attacked Carthage jail and killed the prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum.
More Nauvoo Illinois Sites
References: "Sacred Places" by LaMar C. Barrett General Editor and Keith W. Perkins Donald Q Cannon. p. 137-138