James Strang
Latter Day Saint Leader
James Strang
James Jesse Strang was an American religious leader, politician and self-proclaimed monarch who founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite), a faction of the Latter Day Saint movement.
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James Strang's personal information overview.
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Island language - it exists - Bowen Island Undercurrent
Google News - over 5 years
Leading off are the August 14 honorees: Elisha Barker, James Strang and Emma Jane Reynolds, followed by the August 15 birthdays of Arthur Wolfe and Nairn Knipe. Next come the August 16 birthdays of Jennifer McGowan, Hazel Willings, Danielle Dempsey,
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Cead mile Michigan - Irish Times
Google News - over 5 years
James Strang became an early follower of the Mormon founder, Joseph Smith, as the new religious movement shifted west in its search for freedom. Strang was put in charge of a Wisconsin settlement by Smith, who was murdered in 1844
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Stories from Chronicles past - Ladysmith Chronicle
Google News - over 5 years
James Strang, Thomas Strang, William Reid, R. Wilson, David Irvine, A. McLachlan, Wm. Bauld and P. Mckenzie — all of Ladysmith — passed the Provincial Examination for Proficiency in Coal Mining which qualifies them to become coal mine officials
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The 'king' from Hanover - Evening Observer
Google News - over 5 years
Strang was born Jesse James Strang (he reversed his first two names when he was 19) to Clement and Abigail Strang in the Town of Scipio in Cayuga County on March 21, 1813. He had an older brother David and a younger sister Myraette
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Men's T&F: Lazas wins USA Junior title, sets record - Today's THV
Google News - over 5 years
Former Razorback James Strang took to the track for the finals of the 10000 meters in the final event late Thursday night. He crossed the finish line in a time of 28:49.28, good for an eighth-place result. Tyson Gay was scheduled to compete Friday in
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Men's T&F: Razorbacks open competition at USAs - Today's THV
Google News - over 5 years
James Strang, former distance runner for Arkansas, is scheduled to compete later Thursday night in the finals of the 10000 meters. Competition at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships continue Friday morning. Follow the action that will be
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Men's T&F: USA Championships next for track Hogs - Today's THV
Google News - over 5 years
James Strang will take on the field in the 10000 meters and Nkosinza Balumbu and Jeremy Scott will compete in the triple jump and pole vault, respectively. The 2011 USA Track and Field Championships begin Thursday. Follow the action that will be
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The story behind James Strang and his sect - Deseret News
Google News - over 5 years
Though little remembered today, James Jesse Strang campaigned seriously to lead the LDS Church after Joseph Smith's 1844 assassination. When the general membership rejected the obscure new convert's claim that a secret
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2011 Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational Accepted Entries - LetsRun.com
Google News - almost 6 years
... Sheehan Hansons-Broo 66 Daisuke Shimizu Kanebo 67 Michael Skinner Asics 68 scott smith adidas/McMil 69 Alexander Soderberg Iona 70 Chris Solinsky Nike/Kimbia 71 Ben St Lawrence Melbourne Tr 72 James Strang Unattached 73 Bouabdellah Tahri Unattached
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A Kingdom Of Wildlife In a Great Lake
NYTimes - over 28 years
LEAD: IT is a forest island, rising like a green castle from the blue lake, its beaches the color of sunshine. The evergreen woods, sand dunes, inland lakes and wetlands are rich in small wildflowers and fruit - buttercups and blackberries, pink bean peas and waterlilies, tiny woodland orchids, blueberries, primroses, strawberries and creeping
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of James Strang
    FORTIES
  • 1856
    Age 42
    Building an organization that eventually rivaled Young's in Utah, Strang gained nearly 12,000 adherents prior to his murder in 1856, which brought down his kingdom and all but extinguished his sect.
    More Details Hide Details In contrast to Joseph Smith, who used the eminently republican title of "President of the Church," Strang taught that the chief prophetic office embodied an overtly royal attribute, by which its occupant was to be not only the spiritual leader of his people, but their temporal king as well. He offered a sophisticated set of teachings that differed in many significant aspects from any other version of Mormonism, including that preached by Smith. To bolster his claims, Strang published translations of two purportedly long-lost works: the Voree Record, deciphered from three metal plates reportedly unearthed in response to a vision; and the Book of the Law of the Lord, supposedly transcribed from the Plates of Laban mentioned in the Book of Mormon. These are accepted as scripture by his followers, but not by any other Latter Day Saint church. Although his long-term doctrinal influence on the Latter Day Saint movement was minimal, several early members of Strang's organization helped to establish the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which became (and remains) the second-largest Mormon sect. While most of Strang's followers eventually disavowed him, a small but devout remnant continues to carry on his teachings and organization today.
    The so-called "King of Beaver Island" was taken to Voree, where he lived for three weeks, dying on July 9, 1856 at the age of 43.
    More Details Hide Details After refusing to deliver Bedford and Wentworth to the local sheriff, McBlair transported them to Mackinac Island, where they were given a mock trial, fined $1.25, released, and then feted by the locals. None of the plotters was ever punished for his crimes. While Strang lingered on his deathbed in Voree, his Michigan enemies determined to extinguish his Beaver Island kingdom. On July 5, 1856, on what Michigan historian Byron M. Cutcheon later called "the most disgraceful day in Michigan history," a drunken mob of "gentiles" from Mackinac and elsewhere descended upon the island and forcibly evicted every Strangite from it. Strang's subjects on the island—numbering approximately 2,600 persons—were herded onto hastily commandeered steamers, most after being robbed of their money and other personal possessions, and unceremoniously dumped onto docks along the shores of Lake Michigan. A few moved back to Voree, while the rest scattered across the country.
    On Monday, June 16, 1856, Strang was waylaid around 7:00 PM on the dock at the harbor of St. James, chief city of Beaver Island, by Wentworth and Bedford, who shot him in the back.
    More Details Hide Details All of this was carried out in full view of several officers and men of the, a US Naval vessel docked in the harbor. Not one person on board the ship made any effort to warn or to aid the intended victim. Strang was hit three times: one bullet grazed his head, another lodged in his cheek and a third in his spine, paralyzing him from the waist down. One of the assassins then savagely pistol-whipped the victim before running aboard the nearby vessel with his companion, where both claimed sanctuary. Some accused Captain McBlair of the Michigan of complicity in, or at least foreknowledge of, the assassination plot, though no hard evidence of this was ever forthcoming.
    Greatly expanded and republished in 1856, this book served as the constitution for Strang's spiritual kingdom on Beaver Island, and is still accepted as scripture by Strangites.
    More Details Hide Details One distinctive feature (besides its overtly monarchial tone) is its restoration of a "missing" commandment to the Decalogue: "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Strang insisted that versions of the Decalogue found in Bibles used by other churches—including other Latter Day Saint churches—contain only nine commandments, not ten. Strang received several other revelations, which while never formally added to his church's Doctrine and Covenants, are nevertheless accepted as scripture by his followers. These concerned, among other things, Baptism for the Dead, the building of a temple in Voree, the standing of Sidney Rigdon, and an invitation for Joseph Smith III, eldest son of Joseph Smith, to take a position as Counselor in Strang's First Presidency. "Young Joseph" never accepted this calling and refused to have anything to do with Strang's organization. Strang also authored The Diamond, an attack on the claims of Sidney Rigdon and Brigham Young, and The Prophetic Controversy, ostensibly for Mrs. Martha Coray, co-author with Lucy Mack Smith of The History of Joseph Smith by His Mother. Coray, a partisan of Brigham Young's, had challenged "the vain usurper" to provide convincing evidence of his claims, and Strang attempted to oblige in this open letter addressed to her. Coray's reaction to Strang's missive has not been preserved.
  • 1855
    Age 41
    He was reelected in 1855, and did much to organize the upper portion of Michigan's lower peninsula into counties and townships.
    More Details Hide Details Strang ardently fought the illegal practice of trading liquor to local Native American tribes. This made him many enemies among those non-Strangite residents of Beaver and nearby Mackinac Island who profited mightily from this illicit trade. James Strang made foes among his own people, too. One of these, Thomas Bedford, had been flogged for adultery on Strang's orders, and felt considerable resentment toward the "king." Another, Dr. H.D. McCulloch, had been excommunicated for drunkenness and other alleged misdeeds, after previously enjoying Strang's favor and several high offices in local government. These conspired against Strang with Alexander Wentworth and Dr. J. Atkyn, who had allegedly endeavored (unsuccessfully) to blackmail the Strangites into paying his numerous bad debts. A decree that female Strangites must wear "bloomers" only added fuel to the fire. Pistols were procured, and the four conspirators began several days of target practice while finalizing the details of their murderous plan.
    Strang's last wife was eighteen-year-old Phoebe Wright, cousin to Sarah, whom he wed on October 27, 1855, less than one year before his murder.
    More Details Hide Details Sarah Wright described Strang as "a very mild-spoken, kind man to his family, although his word was law." She wrote that while each wife had her own bedroom, they shared meals and devotional time together with Strang and that life in their household was "as pleasant as possible." On the other hand, Strang and Phoebe Wright's daughter, Eugenia, wrote in 1936 that after only eight months of marriage, her mother had "begun to feel dissatisfied with polygamy, though she loved him Strang devotedly all her life." Like Joseph Smith, James Strang reported numerous visions, unearthed and translated allegedly ancient metal plates using what he said was the Biblical Urim and Thummim, and claimed to have restored long-lost spiritual knowledge to humankind. Like Smith, he presented witnesses to authenticate the records he claimed to have received. Unlike Smith, however, Strang offered his plates to the public for examination. The non-Mormon Christopher Sholes - inventor of the typewriter and editor of a local newspaper - perused Strang's "Voree Plates", a minuscule brass chronicle Strang said he had been led to by a vision in 1845. Sholes offered no opinion on Strang's find, but described the would-be prophet as "honest and earnest" and opined that his followers ranked "among the most honest and intelligent men in the neighborhood." Strang published his translation of these plates as the "Voree Record," purporting to be the last testament of one "Rajah Manchou of Vorito," who had lived in the area centuries earlier and wished to leave a brief statement for posterity.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1853
    Age 39
    The Detroit Advertiser, on February 10, 1853, wrote of Strang: "Mr. Strang’s course as a member of the present Legislature, has disarmed much of the prejudices which have previously surrounded him.
    More Details Hide Details Whatever may be said or thought of the peculiar sect of which he is the local head, I take pleasure in stating that throughout this session he has conducted himself with the degree of decorum and propriety which have been equaled by his industry, sagacity, good temper, apparent regard for the true interests of the people, and the obligations of his official oath."
    In the 1853 legislative session, Strang introduced ten bills, five of which passed.
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    Strang's successful trial defense brought him considerable favorable press, which he leveraged to run for, and win, a seat in the Michigan state legislature as a Democrat in 1853.
    More Details Hide Details Facing a determined effort to deny him this seat due to the hostility of his enemies, he was permitted to address the legislature in his defense, after which the Michigan House of Representatives voted twice (first unanimously, then a second time by a 49–11 margin) to allow "King Strang" to join them.
    Competition for business and jobs added to tensions on the island, as did the increasing Strangite monopoly on local government, made sure after Beaver and adjacent islands were attached first to Emmet County in 1853, then later organized into their own insular county of Manitou in 1855.
    More Details Hide Details As a result of his coronation, together with lurid tales spread by George Adams (who had been excommunicated by Strang a few months after the ceremony), Strang was accused of treason, counterfeiting, trespass on government land, and theft, among other crimes. He was brought to trial in Detroit, Michigan, after President Millard Fillmore ordered US District Attorney George Bates to investigate the rumors about Strang and his colony.
  • 1852
    Age 38
    Strang's third wife was thirty-one-year-old Betsy McNutt, whom he married on January 19, 1852; his fourth was nineteen-year-old Sarah Adelia Wright, married on July 15, 1855.
    More Details Hide Details Ironically, decades after Strang's death, Sarah would divorce her second husband, one Dr. Wing, due to his interest in polygamy.
  • 1851
    Age 37
    They were separated in May 1851, though they remained legally married until Strang's death.
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  • 1850
    Age 36
    On July 4, 1850, a drunken mob of fishermen vowed to kill the "Mormons" or drive them out, only to be awed into submission when Strang fired a cannon (which he had secretly acquired) at them.
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    Strang was accordingly crowned in 1850 by his counselor and Prime Minister, an actor named George J. Adams.
    More Details Hide Details About 300 people witnessed his coronation, for which he wore a bright red flannel robe topped by a white collar with black speckles. His tin crown was described in one account as "a shiny metal ring with a cluster of glass stars in the front." Strang also sported a breastplate and carried a wooden scepter. He "reigned" for six years, and the date of his coronation, July 8, is still mandated as one of the two most important dates in the Strangite church year (the other being April 6, the anniversary of the founding of Joseph Smith's church). Strang never claimed to be the king of Beaver Island itself, nor of any other geographical entity. Rather, he claimed to be king over his church, which he saw as the true "Kingdom of God" prophesied in Scripture and destined to spread over all the earth. Nor did Strang ever say that his "kingdom" supplanted United States sovereignty over Beaver Island. However, since his sect was the main religious body on the isle, claiming the allegiance of most of its inhabitants, Strang often asserted authority even over non-Strangites on Beaver—which ultimately caused him and his followers a great deal of grief. Furthermore, he and many of his disciples were accused of forcibly appropriating property and revenue on the island, which made him few friends among the non-Mormon "gentiles."
  • 1849
    Age 35
    His second wife, married on July 13, 1849, was nineteen-year-old Elvira Eliza Field (who disguised herself at first as "Charlie J. Douglas," Strang's purported nephew, before revealing her true identity in 1850).
    More Details Hide Details
    Many defections, however, were due to Strang's seemingly abrupt "about-face" on the turbulent subject of polygamy. Vehemently opposed to the practice at first, Strang reversed course in 1849 to become one of its strongest advocates, marrying five wives (including his original spouse, Mary) and fathering fourteen children.
    More Details Hide Details Since many of his early disciples viewed him as a monogamous counterweight to Brigham Young's polygamous version of Mormonism, Strang's decision to embrace plural marriage proved costly to him and his organization. Strang defended his new tenet by claiming that, far from enslaving or demeaning women, polygamy would liberate and "elevate" them by allowing them to choose the best possible mate based upon any factors deemed important to them—even if that mate were already married to someone else. Rather than being forced to wed "corrupt and degraded sires" due to the scarcity of more suitable men, a woman could marry the man she saw as the most compatible to herself, the best candidate to father her children and give her the finest possible life, no matter how many other wives he might have.
  • 1847
    Age 33
    Martin Harris had broken with Strang by January 1847, after a failed mission to England.
    More Details Hide Details Hiram Page and the Whitmers also left around this time.
    Eventually Bennett's profligate ways caught up with him, as in Nauvoo, and Strang expelled him in 1847.
    More Details Hide Details His "order" fell by the wayside and has no role in Strangism today, though it did lead to conflict between Strang and some of his associates. About 12,000 Latter Day Saints ultimately accepted Strang's claims. However, not all of these followed him to Beaver Island in Lake Michigan, where church headquarters was moved in 1848. Most of his initial adherents, including all of those listed above (with the exception of George Miller, who remained loyal to Strang until death), would leave Strang's church before his demise. John E. Page departed in July 1849, accusing Strang of dictatorial tendencies and concurring with Bennett's furtive "Illuminati" order.
  • 1844
    Age 30
    To bolster his claim Strang produced a "Letter of Appointment" allegedly from Smith, carrying a Nauvoo postmark and dated June 18, 1844, just nine days before Smith's murder.
    More Details Hide Details He furthermore testified that an angel ordained him as Joseph Smith's successor at the time Smith died. Smith and Strang were some 225 miles (362 km) apart at the time, and Strang offered witnesses to affirm that he had made his announcement before news of Smith's demise was publicly available. Strang's letter is held today by Yale University. Although the postmark is legitimate, some modern analysts have asserted that Joseph Smith's signature on the third page is a forgery. One former Strangite claimed that Strang's law partner conspired with Strang to fabricate his Letter of Appointment and the Voree Plates, though no proof of this was ever produced. Strang's letter convinced several eminent Mormons of his claims, including Book of Mormon witnesses John and David Whitmer, Martin Harris and Hiram Page. In addition Apostles John E. Page, William E. M'Lellin, and William Smith, together with Nauvoo Stake President William Marks, and Bishop George Miller, accepted Strang at first. A newspaper affiliated with Strang, the Voree Herald, claimed that Joseph Smith's mother, Lucy Mack Smith, and three of his sisters accepted Strang's claims, although this is disputed. The newspaper alleges that Lucy Smith wrote to one Reuben Hedlock: "I am satisfied that Joseph appointed J.J. Strang. It is verily so." According to Joseph Smith's brother William, all of his family (except for Hyrum and Samuel Smith's widows), initially endorsed Strang.
    He quickly found favor with Joseph Smith, though they had known each other only a short time, and was baptized personally by him on February 25, 1844.
    More Details Hide Details On March 3 of that year he was ordained an Elder by Joseph's brother Hyrum and sent forthwith at Smith's request to Wisconsin, to establish a Mormon stake at Voree. Shortly after Strang's departure, Joseph Smith was murdered by an anti-Mormon mob in Carthage, Illinois. Following Smith's demise, several men claimed the right to lead the Latter Day Saints. The most significant of these were Brigham Young, president of Smith's Twelve Apostles; Sidney Rigdon, the sole surviving member of Smith's First Presidency; and James Strang. A power struggle ensued, and Young eventually led the bulk of Smith's followers to Utah while Rigdon led a smaller group to Pennsylvania. As a newcomer to the faith Strang did not possess the name recognition enjoyed by his rivals, so his prospects of assuming Smith's prophetic mantle appeared shaky at first. But this did not dissuade him. Though the Quorum of Twelve quickly published a notice in the Times and Seasons of Strang's excommunication, Strang insisted that he had never received a legitimate trial. He equally asserted that the Twelve had no right to sit in judgment on him, as he was the lawful President of the church.
    Strang, who once described himself as a "cool philosopher" and a freethinker, became a Baptist minister but left in February 1844 to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
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    A major contender for leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints during the 1844 succession crisis, Strang vied with Brigham Young and Sidney Rigdon for control of the organization in Nauvoo, Illinois before his rejection there subsequently led him to start his own sect.
    More Details Hide Details While serving as Prophet, Seer and Revelator of his church, Strang reigned for six years as the crowned "king" of an ecclesiastical monarchy that he established on Beaver Island in the US state of Michigan.
    In 1844 he founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite), a faction of the Latter Day Saint movement that he claimed to be the sole legitimate continuation of the Church of Christ founded by Joseph Smith fourteen years before.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1836
    Age 22
    Strang's first wife was Mary Perce, whom he married on November 20, 1836, when she was eighteen and he was twenty-three.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1813
    Born
    Born in 1813.
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