Joseph Smith (1805 – 1844) was the founder of Mormonism. In 1827, in my home town -- Palmyra, New York (no, I am not Mormon) Smith began to gather followers after announcing that the angel Moroni had shown him a set of golden plates Jesus' visit to the indigenous peoples North America. In 1830, Smith published the Book of Mormon. Smith was driven out of Palmyra (some said he was a horse thief, though that was just the voice of prejudice). After heading west, Smith and his followers settled in Nauvoo, Illinois. After being accused of practicing polygamy, Smith attempted to supress the newspaper that had made the accusations. He was assassinated by a mob of non-Mormons.