Sidney Rigdon


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(1793–1876), Mormon leader, whose rewriting of a religious novel is sometimes said to have been the basis of the Book of Mormon (1830). After he and Joseph Smith had become involved in a financial scheme in Ohio, they fled to Missouri (1838), where they barely escaped execution for armed clashes in favor of Mormonism. At the Mormon settlement at Nauvoo, Ill., Smith and Rigdon split, partly because Rigdon did not accept the doctrine of polygamy; when Brigham Young succeeded Smith, Rigdon was excommunicated (1844) and at Pittsburgh founded (1845) his own Church of Christ.

From The Oxford Companion to American Literature in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.

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