LDS Followers of Strang




Let's evaluate in more detail.


Every single living Book of Mormon witness besides Oliver Cowdery accepted Strang’s prophetic claim of being Joseph’s true successor and joined him and his church. Additionally, every single member of Joseph Smith’s family except for Hyrum’s widow also endorsed, joined, and sustained James Strang as “Prophet, Seer, and Revelator.”

What does this say about the credibility of the Book of Mormon witnesses if they were so easily duped by James Strang and his claims of being a prophet called of God to bring forth new scripture from ancient plates only to later turn out to be a fraud?

CES Letter, Page 99


This claim is an exaggeration that originated with Strang. The historical record shows the Book of Mormon witnesses and Smiths had little interest in Strang.

The notion that James Strang was able to penetrate the inner circle of Joseph Smith's closest associates is an exaggeration that finds its origins in the accounts provided by Strang himself. According to Bill Sheppard, a renowned biographer of Strang, "Strang wasn't able to really crack the inner circle." See 10:00 397: "The Other Mormons" - Intro to James Strang (Part 1 of 6 William Shepard)

Among the three Book of Mormon witnesses, Oliver Cowdery openly condemned Strang, labeling him as a "wicked man." Martin Harris, while initially showing some interest in Strang, quickly lost his faith and abandoned the cause within a mere few months. David Whitmer, residing at a considerable distance of 800 miles from Strang, displayed no inclination to join his movement. Similarly,  only three of the of the original eight Book of Mormon witnesses were alive. They were all relatives of David Whitmer and demonstrated no tangibly desire to align themselves with Strang.

Of the Smith family members, it was William Smith who exhibited a legitimate interest in Strang. However, his fervor was short-lived, as he found himself excommunicated within a year. Emma Smith, despite Strang's personal visit to her teenage son Joseph Smith III, adamantly refused to associate herself with Strang's cause. It is worth noting that none of the three witnesses, eight witnesses, or Smiths chose to relocated in Strang's prominent gathering places in Voree, Wisonsin, or Beaver Island, Michigan.

More broadly, the death of Joseph Smith understandably left some of the members wondering what to do next. Those who chose not to align with Brigham Young and travel west in 1846 had to find other ways to recapture the magic they had felt while Jospeh was alive. Strang, with his charismatic appeal, became just another fleeting fascination as they searched from one movement to another seeking to find the same enchantment they had once known.


LDS Followers of Strang



Never Strang

Three Witnesses

Oliver Cowdery colorized

Never followed Strang. Rebaptized into the LDS church in 1848. Prior to that he lived in Tiffin Ohio as a practicing lawyer. Oliver Cowdery wrote a letter to William McClellin and said "Strang is a wicked man.” Ensign of Liberty of the Church of Christ, April 1847


Strang's 1846 Newspaper is Only Evidence of Interest

Three Witnesses

David Whitmer Older

David never publicly shared his thoughts on Strang, nor did he follow Strang's advice to move to Voree, Wisconsin or Beaver Island. The only information about David's beliefs comes from James Strang, who who claimed that David and other Whitmer family had received his newspaper in 1846 and were excited about his claims. Any excitement Whitmer had about Strang evaporated within months.

By the end of 1846, William McClellin was actively trying to persuade David to become the successor to Joseph Smith as the prophet. McClellin wrote a letter to Whitmer in December, 1846 (which can be found in McClellan's Ensign of Liberty, Aug. 1849. p. 99).  By January 25, 1847, Strang's newspaper had listed David as one of the "pseudos," or anti-Strang group, with the statement that, "The pseudos at Kirtland have proclaimed David Whitmer as their prophet" (Zion's Reveille Strangite Newspaper, January 25, 1847)

More details about Whitmer's life can be found at:

David Whitmer: A Witness to the Devine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, 1952 BYU Master's Thesis.


Followed Strang for 6 Months

Three Witnesses

Martin Harris Younger Artistic

Photo is artistic AI representation of Martin Harris at a younger age. Based upon his older aged photo.

In the August of 1846, Martin started following Strang, but became disillusioned with Strang by December of the same year. During October 1846, Martin embarked on a mission to England on behalf of Strang. However, within four weeks, "Martin publicly denied being sent by Strang, or being in any way, connected with him." Millennial Star 8 (15 Nov. 1846): 12 Rather than testify of Strang, Martin chose to spend the remainder of his time in England sharing his testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.

As Martin lost is faith in Strang, the Kirtland Ohio High Council withdrew fellowship from Strang in December. One can find a more detailed account of Martin's involvement with Strang in Martin Harris: The Kirtland Years, 1831-1870, p. 19-25.



Of the original eight witnesses, only three were alive when Strang gained notoriety in 1846. The following had already passed:


The three remaining witnesses were all part of the Whitmer family and lived in close proximity to each other by away from the central body of the church. In 1846 they received a copy of Strang's Voree Herald, which sparked their curiosity about the prospects of a new prophet. However, any excitement they did have waned within a few month and the Whitmers lost interest in Strang and his teachings.

It's worth noting that none of the Whitmer family members ventured beyond Missouri to join Strang in Voree, Wisconsin, or later in Beaver Island, Michigan. By 1847 the Whitmer's chose to align themselves with David Whitmer, their brother, who held a position of leadership in William McClellin's newly formed church. 

Interestingly, the only evidence we have of the Whitmer family's interest in Strang comes from Strang himself and a crossed-out journal entry by John Whitmer. Below is an excerpt from Strang's newspaper:

Early in 1846 the tract reprint of the first number of the Voree Herald, containing the evidence of my calling and authority, strayed into upper Missouri. Immediately I received a letter from Hiram Page, one of the witnesses of the Book of Mormon, and a neighbor-and-friend to the Whitmers’, informing me that he had received that tract arid read it with joy and gladness, and went on to tell at length of reading it to the two Whitmers’ who lived near him, and that they rejoiced with exceeding joy that God had raised up ONE to STAND in PLACE of Joseph, and was so much overjoyed that they could not rest till they had gone and communicated the glad news to their brother who lived at some distance. He goes on to say that all the witnesses of the Book of Mormon living in that region received the news with gladness, and finally that they held a council in which David and John Whitmer and this Hiram Page were the principal actors."

Gospel Herald, January 20, 1848, James Strang


Strang's 1846 Newspaper is Only Evidence of Interest

Eight Witnesses

Hiram married Catherine Whitmer in 1825 and remained close to the Whitmer family during his life. As mentioned above, the only piece of evidence that Hiram Page supported Strang comes from Strang himself. Whatever support or interest Hiram did have was short lived. By 1848 Hiram was supporting his brother-in-law David Whitmer as a member of William McClellin's church. He died in Missouri in 1852.

Hiram Page Biography, Joseph Smith Papers


Strang's 1846 Newspaper is Only Evidence of Interest

Eight Witnesses

As mentioned above, the only piece of evidence that Hiram Page supported Strang might from Strang himself. Jacob isn't mentioned by name by Strang and he never left Missouri to follow Strang to Wisconsin or Michigan. He died in 1856.

Richard L. Anderson provided this insight into the later part of Jacob's life:

Jacob Whitmer settled in Richmond, Missouri, and he faced life in 1838 with few assets and a family of seven. His struggle in this period was later outlined on the basis of information from his remarkably successful lawyer-son. From 1840 to 1843 Jacob was virtually an invalid and unable to work, at the end of which period "his limited means were well nigh exhausted." A shoemaker by trade, he worked from 1843 to 1845 to buy a small acreage and erect a shoe shop on it. In the next decade he evidently followed the pattern of many early tradesmen by farming during the summer and working his shop during the winter. At his death in 1856, his industry had resulted in ownership of 113 acres.  But alienated from his Mormon associates for eighteen years and preoccupied with material survival, Jacob Whitmer had never waned in his conviction regarding the plates. In 1888 his second son told Andrew Jenson, "My father, Jacob Whitmer, was always faithful and true to his testimony to the Book of Mormon, and confirmed it on his death bed."

Investigating the Book of Mormon Witnesses

Jacob Whitmer Biography, Joseph Smith Papers


Crossed out Journal + Strang's 1846 Newspaper is Only Evidence of Interest

Eight Witnesses

Of the eight witnesses, John Whitmer is the only one we have compelling evidence regarding his intrigue with Strang in 1846. Notably, he penned his thoughts on Strang in his personal journal, an entry that he later deemed necessary to cross out. Much like his fellow Whitmers, John never ventured beyond the borders of Missouri, preferring to align himself with his brother, David Whitmer, who they designated as Joseph Smith's successor in 1847. John continued to lead an unassuming life as a humble farmer in the plains of Far West, Missouri until his eventual passing in 1878.

Author Richard L. Anderson John's later years below:

John Whitmer stayed in Missouri and farmed land on the site of the deserted city of Far West and its temple lot. His material success is measured by his estate inventory at death, listing ownership of 625 acres, much livestock and farm equipment, to which must be added the fine two-story house that still stands. The evaluation of his community on his forty years of residence in Caldwell County is shown by the local obituary that alluded to the Mormon expulsion: "Mr. Whitmer remained at Far West and has since been a highly respected and law abiding citizen."

Investigating the Book of Mormon Witnesses

John Whitmer Biography, Joseph Smith Papers


Outside of William Smith, the Smith's gave little to no indication they followed Strang. None ever relocated to Voree. Bill Sheppard, a Strangite disciple and James Strang biographer was skeptical how much sway Strang had over the Smiths. He said, "William pushed the issue in attempt to land a prominent role in the Strangite church. William Smith would publish articles saying the whole Smith family had joined James Strang. I wonder historically if James was stretching the truth on that."

Bill Sheppard, Strang disciple and Biographer. LDS Gospel Tangents Interview See 10:00 mark

Williiam Smith's Biographer, Kyle Walker sees William's letter in the Strangite newspaper claiming the Smiths support as "suspect."

"While it would appear that Mother Smith, the Salisburys, and the Millikins were all supporting Strang from this source, Katharine later denied ever having signed any statement in support of Strang, making the documents William had printed in Strang’s newspaper suspect. William very likely felt that he had the support of the remaining Smith family without having to consult them for their signatures."Looking After the First Family of Mormonism: LDS Church Leaders' Support of the Smiths after the Murders of Joseph and Hyrum, The John Whitmer Historical Association Journal
Vol. 32, No. 1 (Spring/Summer 2012), pp. 17-32



Never Strang

Joseph's Wife

In spite of Strang's personal visit and letter, Emma had no interest in following Strang. She remained unaffiliated with any religious faith until her son, Joseph Smith III, assumed leadership of the RLD church in 1856. For further insights into this matter, one can explore Emma's biographer Linda K. Knewell gave a lecture in 2010. Emma's Legacy: Life After Joseph: 2010 Sterling M. McMurrin Lecture

In December 1846, William Smith penned a letter to Strang, in which he explicitly stated that Emma, "neither would she give her name in testimony of your appointment." William warned that any attempts to pressure the Smith's would only "drive them further from the church."

Smith, William, fl. 1846-1847. 27b. William Smith autograph letter signed, Knoxville, Illinois, to James Jesse Strang. Box 1 | Folder 32. 1846 December 25.

Contrary to William's letter, at least two Strangite newspapers claimed the Smith family to supported their cause. The accounts are problematic in that they directly contradict William Smith's December 1846 letter and Strangite newspapers have been shown to exaggerate their success when it came to their missionary achievements. Historian Robin Jensen addresses this further in his master's thesis on Strangite Missionary work: Gleaning the Harvest: Strangite Missionary Work, 1846-1850

This Strangite can be found in the March 1846 edition of the Strangite Voree Herald:

"The messenger brings the news that Emma Smith, wife of Joseph, and her son, Joseph the Second, acknowledge Strang as the Lord's anointed. One of the Smiths came from Voree, a few days since to Nauvoo, and proclaimed Strang the head of the Church in the Temple, at that place, without molestation."

The second Strangite claim can be found in the July 20, 1847 of their newspaper Zion's Reveille. Strangite missionaries Uriel Nickerson and John Shippy, reportedly visited with Emma Nauvoo in June 1847 and found Emma & Lucy committed to the Strangite cause. The account can be read below:

"We visited the Prophet Joseph's Mother, found her recovering in health and firm in the gospel, living in her own house with her children at Nauvoo. Many reports have gone abroad that she was going west, but she told us she had no thought of going. We visited Emma Smith (the Prophet's widow) and found her firm in the faith; that her husband wrote or dictated the writing of the letter of James J. Strang's appointment to the Prophetic office, and has not changed her mind. She believes in the Bible, the Book of Mormon and the Book of Doctrine and Covenants and the established claims of Joseph, and also of James J. Strang to be beyond successful contradiction. All who investigate these matters thoroughly must admit them to be true."


Pro Strang (18 Months)

Joseph's Brother

In October 1845, Brigham Young and the twelve apostles excommunicated William Smith. By March 1846, William had latched onto Strang's new movement, hoping to obtain a position of leadership within it. He aimed to strengthen his standing in the new faith by asserting that all of the Smith family members we followers of Strang. However, he fell out of favor with Strang and was excommunicated by him in October 1847. 

William possessed a challenging personality characterized by volatility, temperamental behavior, and insecurity. Despite their efforts, Brigham Young and the twelve tried to work with William until it became untenable. Reflecting on the situation, Apostle George A. Smith later remarked, “The Saints could have carried William upon their shoulders; they could have carried him in their arms, and have done anything for him, if he would have laid aside his follies and wickedness, and would have done right.”

Financial Support of the Smith Family After the Murders of Joseph & Hyrum, Sept. 20, 2020

In the biography "William B. Smith: In the Shadow of a Prophet ," author Kyle Walker provide a detailed portrayal of William's character as well as his motives for following Strang:

His fragile self-image and inability to acknowledge his mistakes prevented him from considering an alternative view. He became an opportunist, desperately searching for an exalted station among any faction of Mormonism that would support his own self-importance. These characteristics, combined with his personal ambition, led him to take the course of promoting what he perceived as the rights of the Smith family. His subsequent history reveals that William had been imbued with a sense of specialness about being a Smith. After he perceived the diminishing of his own role in the Church, he began to believe that he or his nephew should lead the Church, an ambition that Emma Smith did not welcome or encourage . . . Evidence that William was indeed pumping up his own authority by using the Smith name came when William linked his ambition to James J. Strang during 1846-47. He temporarily shelved the idea of a Smith’s right to the presidency as long as Strang elevated William within his movement . . . His correspondence revealed his ambition: that Strang acknowledge that he had been wronged by the Twelve, ordain him to his own Council of the Twelve Apostles, and sustain him as the “Presiding Patriarch over the Church.” In one letter, William urged Strang to formally declare him the presiding patriarch, an office that also entitled him to be a member of the First Presidency—much like the position his brother Hyrum had held before his death.

Journal of Mormon History November 2014, William B. Smith and "The Josephites."P. 79-81

Emma Smith's biographer Linda Knewell described William's relationship with Strang as follows:

"Strang baited William Smith by offering him a coveted position as patriarch if William brought with him his mother, with the mummies and papyrus, together with the bodies of Joseph and Hyrum"

Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, p. 232

William Smith's Biographer Kyle Smith further summarized Strang and Smith's falling out as follows:

William expressed his support of Strang’s leadership frequently from March 1846 through the spring of 1847 but, in reality, spent only a few weeks total at Strang’s headquarters in Voree, Wisconsin. . . Strang was more than eager to have William’s support, especially since William promised to also deliver his mother, three sisters, and the Egyptian mummies to Voree. Those plans never materialized, but Strang obligingly appointed William as an apostle, as “CHIEF PATRIARCH” presiding over “the whole church,” . . . the relationship unraveled quickly when William was accused of “gross immorality” (likely polygamy) during his short stay at Voree in 1846. At the April 1847 Strangite conference at Voree, William’s reputation had deteriorated to such an extent that the Strangite congregation refused to sustain him as an apostle, though allowing him to continue in his office as patriarch. After failing to negotiate a compromise that would retain William’s loyalty, and by extension that of the Smith family, Strang reluctantly broke ties with William and excommunicated him for “adultery” in October 1847."

Journal of Mormon History November 2014, William B. Smith and "The Josephites." P. 80-82


Possibly Strang (Few Months)

Joseph's Mother

Lucy was 70 years old and received most of her care from family when Strang came into the picture. She had a relationship with Brigham Young that appears to have deteriorated as her son William Smith pushed for more and more payouts from Brigham Young. An excellent analysis of this dynamic can be found in this article Financial Support of the Smith Family After the Murders of Joseph & Hyrum.  She did appear to attend some Strang meetings. We do know that she and none of the Smiths to Strang to Voree, WI or Beaver Island MI. Additionally, all of the Smiths were uninterested in Strang by the time William was excommunicated in 1847.

On one hand, Lucy spoke favorable to Brigham Young and the saints at the October 8, 1845 conference.  She was also willing to follow Brigham Young in and the saints “if the rest of my children go.” Lucy never did make it west as, "Feeble and crippled by arthritis, the matriarch of the Smith family was dependent on Emma and Katherine, Sophronia, and Lucy. She had participated in the endowment ceremonies with Sophronia and her second husband.” Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith p. 236.

On the other-hand, Lucy's close associates and caretakers didn't support Brigham Young. Emma was indignant with how she felt Brigham Young handled of the Smith estate after Joseph's death. Additionally, her son William started following Strang in the spring of 1846 and sought to bring Lucy with him.

According to Strang's June 1846 Voree Herald, Lucy reportedly expressed her displeasure with Brigham Young and support for Strang. "The Twelve (Brighamites) have abused my son William, and trampled upon my children; and have also treated me with contempt. The Lord's hand is in this to save the church; now mark it, these men are not right. God has not sent them to lead this kingdom; I am satisfied that Joseph appointed J. J. Strang." The letter is signed by her daughters Katherine and Lucy and their husbands. However, the letter is questionable because Katherine later said it was a forgery.

On 19 May 1846 Wilford Woodruff reported attending a gathering in Nauvoo which included, “Mother Smith & others together. They were some of them Advocating the cause of Strang. Some unplesant feelings were manifest upon the subject.” Lucy's Book, p. 789

By January of 1847 it was rumored that Lucy was following Strang to which Brigham said, “At the last report she was a Strangite, but we think she will not be [for] long.” He then wrote amiably, “it would rejoice our hearts if Mother Smith [were] was with us so that we could minister to her necessities.” Financial Support of the Smith Family After the Murders of Joseph & Hyrum

Any interest Lucy might have had in Strang was shortlived. "Lucy Smith never followed her son to Voree; instead she settled into the small Joseph B. Noble house that the trustees of the church had finally deeded to her." Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, p. 233

Ultimately, Lucy spent the last years of her life being cared for by family. Here's a description:

April 11, 1846. George A. Smith recorded two days later, “The trustees gave mother Smith a deed of conveyance of a house and lot, in the city of Nauvoo, built and occupied by Joseph B. Noble, valued at twelve hundred dollars, which she took possession of.” . . . 

Lucy was content in finally having a home of her own, and lived at the residence throughout the summer and early fall of 1846, before fleeing the city to avoid the Battle of Nauvoo in the fall of that year. When she returned in the Spring of 1847, she went ahead and deeded both her home and an additional lot that had been deeded to her by trustees to the Millikins, according to the initial arrangement. Her daughter Lucy and her husband continued to care for the aged matriarch during her final years, as they lived together in the Noble home until 1849, before moving to Webster (formerly called Ramus) . . . In 1852, the Millikins sold the Noble home at Nauvoo, and decided to migrate eastward to McDonough County, Illinois . . . Mother Smith, desiring to be closer to her deceased loved ones, moved in with Emma and Lewis Bidamon that same year. The couple, along with the assistance of granddaughter Mary Bailey Smith, affectionately cared for Lucy during the final four years of her life.

Financial Support of the Smith Family After the Murders of Joseph & Hyrum, Sept. 20, 2020


Never Strang

Joseph's Sister

William Smith lists Katherine as one of Strang's supporters in the July 1846 Voree Herald . Katherine later said "the whole thing was a forgery" and "she nor her people ever signed a paper in support of Strang." This denial by Katherine can be found in a letter written by her daughter in 1898, which can be found in the RLDS archives (scan here). You can refer to the letter in the 1899 edition of the RLDS Saints Herald, p. 261.

Katharine, who was Joseph's younger sister, would have turned 33 in 1846. During the 1840s, Katherine and her family faced financial difficulties and had to move several times in order to make ends meet. Their circumstances were even more dire by the spring of 1845, leaving them in a a state of destitution. In an effort to provide for the family, Jenkins, Katherine's husband. made a decision to take them to Nauvoo. Once there, he left Katherine and children behind, returning to St. Louis in search of more stable employment. He sent back money to support the Smith family. Katherine found solace in being reunited with her mother, two sisters, and their families, as they all resided together in the William Marks home. More details can be found at Katharine Smith Salisbury: Sister to the Prophet, p. 16

It is possible that Jenkins, Katharine's husband, briefly expressed support for Strang, as we was close to William Smith and his name is listed as a supporter in William's suspect letter. Additionally, both Katherine and Jenkins did not join Mother Smith, Katharine’s sister Sophronia and her husband, and the widows of Hyrum, Samuel, and Don Carlos in receiving their endowments in Nauvoo in 1845-46. Their names noticeably absent from temple records, likely because of their opposition to Brigham Young following their experiences the previous fall. Katharine Smith Salisbury: Sister to the Prophet, Mormon Historical Studies, Fall 2002



Likely Never Strang

Joseph's Sister

Sophronia, like Katherine, was listed by her brother William Smith as a supporter of Strang in the July 1846 Voree Herald. It's not clear that Sophronia signed this because her sister Katherine later said the whole thing "forgery" that the family didn't approve of.

Additionally, she and her husband  William McCleary both supported Brigham Young. They both received their endowments in the Nauvoo temple just before many saints headed west. They had built wagons in Nauvoo in preparation for Latter-day Saint exodus in 1846 but apparently remained behind and William died that same year.

In 1846-1847 “Sophronia, with her daughter, Maria, went to live in a small mining town about 40 miles east of Nauvoo. In this town of Colchester a few of the Saints had located, leaving their homes in Quincy for better labor prospects.” Sophronia lived there until her death in 1876 The Three Sister's of the Prophet Joseph Smith (RLDS Saints Herald 1954) p. 11 

Biographical Details: Joseph Smith Papers


Likely Never Strang

Joseph's Sister

Lucy's name is one of the two Smith sisters listed as supporting Strang in the The May 11, 1846 edition Voree Herald. As stated above, the other sister Katharine Smith denied every signing it and some authors speculate that William might have signed it without their will.

Joseph’s youngest sister and would have been 25 in 1846.  “The Millikins spent much of their early married life caring for their aged mother, Lucy Mack Smith, and the latter expressed her appreciation for the tender care exhibited by this couple in her history.” Katharine Smith Salisbury and Lucy Smith Millikin's Attitudes Toward Succession, the Reorganized Church, and Their Smith Relationship

This aside there is no other indication Lucy and family followed Strang. They never moved to Voree Wisconsin or Beaver Island. Instead, at some point in 1846, Lucy and husband moved to Knox County Illinois and then to Colchester in 1850. Initially, Katharine’s sister Lucy and her family lived in the same area of Fountain Green. However wanting to distance themselves from the persecution in Hancock County and finding better economic prospects, Lucy and Arthur Millikin moved to Colchester, Illinois.

Katharine Smith Salisbury: Sister to the Prophet, Mormon Historical Studies, Fall 2002, p. 19-20

Lucy Millikin Biography, Joseph Smith Papers



Never Strang

Joseph's Son

Strang also tried to enlist 14-year-old Joseph Smith III in the cause but made no progress. Joseph Smith III related the following encounter he had with Strang in the winter of 1846-47:

An incident occurred while we were living at Fulton City, that ought to be noticed. One night while in attendance at a young folks' party, at the hotel of a Mr. Johnson, I was requested to meet two gentlemen, just arrived. Upon being shown into their presence they proved to be Elder Wm. Marks and James J. Strang. After a moment's chat we separated, promising to meet again. They preached a night or two after at the house of a Mr. Baker, from which meeting I was excused owing to a severe earache. They visited the house and chatted with mother, but held no further communication with me. It has been alleged by some that Mr. Strang at this visit, ordained me, and that he so reported 'on his return to his home. If this was done by him at all, it was done when I was unconscious, and unknown to Bro. Marks, and to all the inmates of mother's house. I feel therefore, perfectly safe in saying that he did not. I mention this, because some, even at this late day suppose that the right by which I am an elder in the Church is by virtue of that ordination."

Tullidge, E. W. (1878). Life of Joseph the prophet. New York: Tullidge & Crandall. p. 754

Joseph related the story again here with a additional details:

during the winter which ensued, Elder William Marks received a visit from James J. Strang of Beaver Island celebrity. It is claimed by the followers of Mr. Strang that at this visit of his to Elder Marks he had ordained me viceroy, he himself havjng been chosen king at Beaver Island, Michigan. I t was said that this ordination took place at night, when I was asleep, but I was sure then, as I am now, that no human being could have entered my room and have laid hands upon me without receiving immediate attention from that dog, so vigilant was he. I saw Elder Strang at the house of Elder Marks, but did not go to the evening meeting for the reason that I had a violent attack of earache, and I kept my room.

Smith, Joseph, III. “What Do I Remember of Nauvoo?” Journal of History 3, no. 2 (Apr. 1910): p. 343

Further details can be found on p. 53 of Joseph Smith Pragmatic Prophet.