The Morrisite War : Insurrection By a Self-Styled Prophet
As early as 1857 Joseph Morris claimed he received revelations from Christ. His numerous revelations, prophetic sermons, and charismatic effect caused him and his followers to be excommunicated. In 1861 Morris established a new church and settlement to the north of Salt Lake City and prepared for the imminent second advent of Christ. His followers were generally Mormon converts from Europe who became increasingly militant and well-disciplined. Morris prepared to assume Brigham Young's mantle and to depose all dissident elements. When his porphecies were not fulfilled, the disillusioned left and the hard core became more fanatical. In early 1862 three dissidents who attempted to leave with their property were jailed. The Morrisite War bagan when a territorial writ of habeas corpus was burned and a militia posse moved in, killing Morris and a few others. The Morristies were brought to trial and their case complicated Mormon-Gentile problems. Splinter successor groups flourished briefly, but failed. Court litigation continued until 1879.