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Sampson Avard
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Birth: Oct. 23, 1800, Guernsey
Death: Apr. 15, 1869
Madison County
Illinois, USA

"Leader of the Danites"

His birthdate is also listed as 1803. A native of the Isle of Guernsey, St. Peter's Parish (England) and a Campbellite preacher and well educated surgeon.

He emigrated to the US in 1835 and was baptized into the LDS Church by Orson Pratt in October of the same year. During the Far West period he was the leader of a retaliatory group that came to be known as the Danites.

He became a witness against Church leaders, implicating them in the institution of the Danites for which he was subsequently excommunicated. Avard's testimony allowed Judge King to confine the LDS First Presidency and others in the Richmond and Liberty Jails to await trial.

While in jail Joseph Smith wrote, "We have learned... since we have been prisoners, that many false and pernicious things, which were calculated to lead the Saints far astray and to do great injury, have been taught by Dr. Avard as coming from the Presidency, and we have reason to fear that many other designing and corrupt characters like himself, having been teaching many things which the Presidency never knew were being taught in the Church by anybody until after they were made prisoners. Had they known of such things they would have spurned them and their authors as they would the gates of hell. Thus we find that there have been frauds and secret abominations and evil works of darkness going on, leading the minds of the weak and unwary into confusion and distraction, and all the time palming it off upon the Presidency, while the Presidency were ignorant as well as innocent of those things."

Avard later became a practicing physician in Edwardsville, Madison County, Illinois.
Created by: Carl W. McBrayer
Record added: Aug 08, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 9287727


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