Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Orrin Porter Rockwell - "The Destroying Angel"

Orrin "Porter" Rockwell born in Belchertown, MA., was Joseph Smith's (Founder of Mormons) personal body-guard and gun-bearer. He went by the name "Porter," was referred to as the "Destroying Angel," and died a wealthy man in Salt Lake City, Utah.

After Joseph Smith was killed by a vigilante mob in Carthage, Ill., "Porter" then became Brigham Young's protector, and personally lead the Mormon contingent across the plains to Great Salt Lake Valley in 1847.

As a boy, he eagerly listened to the conversations between his parents and the parents of the prophet Joseph Smith. He used to beg his mother to allow him to sit up and keep the pine torch burning so that he could hear the message. He picked berries by the moonlight and gathered wood so he could sell them to obtain money to give to the Prophet to help print "The Book of Mormon".

Orrin was received into the Mormon Church on Apr 6, 1830. (Info from the book "Orrin Porter Rockwell - Man of God, Son of Thunder" 1966) He was a scout, pioneer, rancher, and deputy Marshall. Orin never practiced polygamy, although a Mormon. He died 9 Jun 1878, of natural causes, in Salt Lake City. (There is a book titled "Porter Rockwell", which is available at Walden's Book Store. (1992). It details the life of Mormon Porter Rockwell's exploits!) .

He fathered 19 children by his 3 wives.

Census of Weber County, UT., 1850 lists Porter Rockwell, trader, age 36 (born NY) living alone. Census of 1870, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake Co., UT., Porter Rockwell, farmer, age 50, born MA, 8 in household, real estate wealth $8000, personal wealth $5000.

By Lyle Rockwell. Lyle is a Director of the Rockwell Family Foundation and lives in Athens, PA. He can be reached by email at

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