Our large group arrived in Carthage in shifts, and all afternoon we took turns watching the film and touring the jail. This is a sobering sacred place where hard things happened.
Here are my bus notes for this field trip:
Here’s what’s inside the jail, starting with the jailor’s quarters.
The jail rooms, downstairs and upstairs:
The room where Joseph and Hyrum Smith were murdered:
This is the place of the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith on June 27, 1844. The Bushmans bore testimony of the Prophet Joseph and remembered their experiences long after.
“I have seen Brother Joseph and talked with him and I have herd him preach
and I Beleive him to be a prophet for his enemeis has pursued him very much
he has walked through the midst of them the could not hurt him for God is
his stay and gide.” Martin Bushman’s letter, Pickel Collection 18 Dec 1842.
“At Nauvoo my parents labored hard to make their children comfortable. It
was there that I saw the Prophet Joseph Smith and sat upon his lap and saw
his parents mourn because of his death, though young, seemed to realize the
awful deed.” Martin Benjamin wrote to Annie Lois Bushman Miller (1925,
John Bushman said that after the martyrdom, the Saints “were all in mourning
and like sheep without a shepherd.” John Bushman, Life and Labors, p. 8.
Martin Benjamin, John, and Elias Albert Bushman stopped in Nauvoo in 1902 on
their way to visit family in Pennsylvania. John records this experience at Carthage:
“Went to jail at Carthage, paid 10c, saw bullet hole, sad thoughts passed their
brain.” John Bushman Diaries, 1902, from Typescript Vol 2 1890-1923.