John Cook Bennett

August 3, 1804–August 5, 1867

1 Born at Fairhaven, Bristol County, Massachusetts; son of Abigail Cook and John Bennett. Moved to Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, 1840. Baptized, September 1840, at Nauvoo. Helped draft Nauvoo Charter, 1840; served as quartermaster general in the Illinois militia, 1840–1842; elected major general and inspector general of the Nauvoo Legion, February 1841. Served as assistant president in the First Presidency, mayor of Nauvoo, chancellor of the University of Nauvoo, and master in chancery of Hancock County, 1841–1842. Excommunicated for adultery, May 11, 1842. Publicly accused Joseph Smith of adultery and the attempted murder of former Missouri governor Lilburn W. Boggs; urged Missouri and Illinois officials to renew charges of treason against Joseph Smith, which resulted in Joseph Smith’s arrest in June 1843. Briefly associated with George M. Hinkle’s movement, The Church of Jesus Christ, the Bride, the Lamb’s Wife, at Moscow, Muscatine County, Iowa Territory, 1843; with Sidney Rigdon, at Nauvoo, 1844; and with James J. Strang’s Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, at Voree, Racine County, Wisconsin, as general-in-chief, 1846. Excommunicated from the Strangite movement, 1847. Died at Polk City, Polk County, Iowa. (See Document 1.2, 1.5, 1.6, 1.10, first mentioned here)


  1. [1] See The Joseph Smith Papers, “People of the Time,” database, People of the Time (, accessed Apr. 2014), John Cook Bennett. “Family Tree,” database, FamilySearch (, accessed Dec. 29, 2015, John Cook Bennett KWJR-TQL .