175 years ago today - Dec 13, 1843

In Missouri, Orrin Porter Rockwell has been in prison for over nine months, never having had a trial. Recently, however, his mother visited him and gave him $100, with which he could afford to hire Mr. Doniphan as counsel. Within two weeks Doniphan got him into court. There being no evidence that could convict Rockwell on the charge of shooting Boggs, he was charged with breaking the Independence jail. In spite of the fact that the Missouri law states that in order to break a jail, "a man must break a lock, a door, or a wall" (and all Porter had done was to walk out when the door was open), Judge King nevertheless orders that Porter has broken jail. He is sentenced to five minutes in the county jail. He is kept there five hours while the Missouri lawmen try to bring another charge against him. Failing to do so, they finally free him at 8 P.M. on Dec. 13, 1843. Doniphan warns him not to walk in daylight or on any known road. Rockwell, having only ragged clothes and shoes,walks three or four days toward Illinois. His feet become so raw that at times he pays people 50 cents or 75 cents to carry him on their backs for several miles. After riding on horseback or walking the 150 miles, he finds a small boat in which he can cross the Mississippi to Nauvoo.

[Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]

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