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Part 2 - Porter Rockwell: Legends of the Old West

Part 2 of 6 in a series on Orrin Porter Rockwell I wrote for Legends of the Old West.

In episode 2, "Destroying Angel," we delve into the tumultuous period during the rise of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and the controversial figure Orrin Porter Rockwell. Several years after their forced departure from Jackson County, Missouri, Rockwell, along with other members of the Latter-Day Saints, formed a covert society aimed at executing the will of Joseph Smith and defending the church against internal and external threats. They are known as the "Sons of Dan." Porter Rockwell, fiercely loyal to Smith, believes he is divinely mandated to ensure the destruction of Missouri Governor Lilburn Boggs following a prophecy. This belief sets him on a path that cements his infamous legacy.

Tensions escalate between the Missouri settlers and the growing Mormon community, largely due to religious and political differences. The Mormons' opposition to slavery poses a threat to the local slaveholding populace, leading to violent confrontations. The tension eventually erupts in chaotic skirmishes, the issuance of an "Extermination Order" by Governor Boggs, and the subsequent dire consequences for the Mormons. Amidst mounting violence, Rockwell's actions, driven by deep-seated belief and allegiance, illustrate the complex interplay of faith, loyalty, and extremism during a pivotal era in American religious history.

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