LUCINDA MORGAN HARRIS
Lucinda Harris, and
her husband George, joined the “Church of the Latter Day Saints”
during the fall of 1834. The missionary, Orson Pratt, records in
his journal: “At Terre haute I preached a few times, and baptized George
W. Harris and his wife...”. The following year, George and Lucinda
moved to Missouri, to gather in “Zion” with the rest of the Saints.
In early 1838, amidst
growing dissent and legal problems, Joseph Smith fled Kirtland, Ohio for
Far West, Missouri. A leader in Far West, George Harris met Joseph
and Emma upon their arrival. Joseph wrote: “We were immediately
received under the hospitable roof of George W. Harris who treated us with
all kindness possible. here we refreshed ourselves with much satisfaction
after our long and tedious journey.”. The Smiths lived in the
Harris home for two months before moving into a home of their own.
The date of the marriage
between Joseph and Lucinda is uncertain. Sarah Pratt, a friend of
Lucinda’s (and wife of Apostle Orson Pratt), indicated that the wedding
occurred sometime during Joseph’s stay in Missouri. After marrying
Joseph, Lucinda continued to live with George. This was typical of
Joseph’s other polyandrous unions. It is uncertain if Lucinda’s first
husband, George, was aware of the marriage.
Unrest in Missouri
forced Joseph Smith to flee to Illinois. From Nauvoo, Joseph wrote
to Lucinda and George, that he had selected a lot for them, “just across
the street from my own”. Shortly thereafter, Lucinda and George
moved from Far West to Nauvoo.
As “Acting Associate
Justice” in Nauvoo, George presided over the city council meeting on
June 10, 1844 when the claims of the dissenting newspaper, the “Nauvoo
Expositor” were discussed. The minutes of the meeting record:
“Alderman Harris spoke from the chair, and expressed his feelings that
the press ought to be demolished.”. The city council passed a
resolution that directed the destruction of the press. Joseph Smith
was soon arrested for abetting this destruction and was later killed in
Carthage on June 27th.
Joseph’s body was returned
to Nauvoo. B.W. Richmond, a visiting journalist, unaware of Joseph
and Lucinda’s relationship, wrote, “[Mrs. Harris was] standing at the
head of Joseph Smith’s body, her face covered, and her whole frame convulsed
Lucinda later divorced
George Harris and according to one biographer, “Mrs. Harris afterward
joined the (Catholic) Sisters of Charity, and at the breaking out of the
civil war, was acting in that capacity in the hospitals at Memphis Tennessee...”.