Thursday, February 28, 2013

Orrin Porter Rockwell

Fishing For Pukes- Graphite, digital by Greg Newbold
Orrin Porter Rockwell was among the most colorful characters in early Mormon history. Rockwell never fit the mold of other straight laced church goers right down to his beard and hair. He never cut it after LDS prophet Joseph Smith delivered a Samson-like exhortation that if he did not cut it, "neither bullet nor blade" would take his life. Later he did donate his hair to make a wig for a woman who had lost her hair to typhoid fever. He also gained the nickname "The Destroying Angel" as well as a reputation for being quick on the trigger after being acquitted of attempted murder. This illustration depicts a time when Porter was held in a Missouri prison for nine months without being charged. To amuse himself and the children outside the cell window, he would dangle some of his food, which consisted of barely edible lumps of cornbread called "corn dodgers", out the window. When asked what he was doing, he told the children he was "fishing for pukes" which was the unflattering nickname many from Illinois bestowed on Missourians at the time. This entertained the youngsters who would bring him more food since the state was not legally responsible to feed it's prisoners (go figure). Rockwell became a lawman in the Utah territory and he was either loved or hated depending upon which side of the law you happened to fall. This is another illustration for an BYU magazine article.

More on Porter Rockwell in this book

No comments: