Porter Rockwell: A Biography

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9780961602406: Porter Rockwell: A Biography

Read the true story of Brigham Young’s bodyguard – a man history (and Hollywood) has completely overlooked – the only man to kill more outlaws than Wyatt Earp, Doc Holladay, Tom Horn, and Batt masterson . . . combined. A man who believed from a blessing he received from Joseph Smith that if he never cut his hair he could never die in a fight. Assassins ambushed him, but no one could kill him, as confirmed by the Deseret News in 1918, stating he had passed through dangers "unscathed, as numerous as those recorded in the most lurid fiction" after it had interviewed numerous settlers who had known him. Gunfighters traveled hundreds of miles to "get him" – none succeeded. Outlaws actually sang compfire ballads about him. Latter-day Saints are proud to view him as a folk hero. Reading this book allows us to see what a real hero is. Famed British journalist Jules Remy wrote in 1861, "He is the stuff from which heroes are wrought. It is he who is ever at hand where there is a sacrifice to be made which can be of advantage to the oppressed." Richard Lloyd Dewey quotes hundreds of original sources – journals, letters, and court records – some from sources never before tapped – and weaves them all together in fascinating form. In the process he clarifies the controversies, dispels the shadows, and melts away the myriads of anti-Mormon myths. Journalistic, fast-flowing writing sweeps you through explosive early Mormon history with charm and style. He reports little known events and unravels a bizarre yet faith-promoting tale. The Deseret News of 1986 reports, "The writing is slick and the pace is fast. Dewey has done his homework." It’s a story told with breadth and feeling . . . the most intriguing, ACCURATE account yet of Orrin Porter Rockwell. Also the most comprehensive, by far. As the definitive work on him, this fascinating, epic biography is as exciting to read as a first-rate novel. Beautifully illustrated by western artist Clark Kelley Price.

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From the Inside Flap:

Orrin Porter Rockwell served as U.S. Deputy Marshal, Indian fighter, guerrilla, and bodyguard to Brigham Young. In his earlier Missouri days he suffered months of dungeon-style imprisonment at the hands of anti-Mormon persecutors but, unlike many Mormons, Rockwell fought back and earned the nickname, "The Avenging Angel". In the west he purportedly killed more men than Wyatt Earp, Doc Holladay, Batt Masterson, and Tom Horn combined. He also held a supernatural mystique to outlaws. He claimed Joseph Smith commanded if he would not cut his hair, he could not die in a fight. Thus, he became known as the latter-day Samson of the West, where outlaws actually gathered about campfires and sang ballads about him.

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