Porter Rockwell © wood engraving (ed. 40) image: 7 x 5 in. $100.00 (go to "Hi There" for purchase information)
Orrin Porter Rockwell, AKA "Destroying Angel", was a gunfighter and bodyguard for Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormons. Joseph Smith told Rockwell that if he remained loyal and faithful and he didn't cut his hair or beard "...no bullet or blade can harm thee." Rockwell took that prophecy at face value and avoided barbers. He was accused of the attempted assassination of Lilburn Boggs. governor of Missouri, who had issued an order to "exterminate" the Mormons. After Joseph Smith was assassinated and the Mormons moved west, Rockwell's reputation as the "Destroying Angel" grew. The Mormons had fled west under the leadership of Brigham Young, to settle in Utah where Porter became the territory's earliest lawman who shot first and asked questions later. There are various versions of how Porter Rockwell died in 1878. Whether his boots were on or off and whether he was sober or drunk... no bullet or blade ended the life of Porter Rockwell.

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