Gideon Hayden Carter

Question: Gideon Hayden Carter is mentioned in D&C 75:34. What battle did Gideon give his life in and what was it all about?

Answer: Gideon Hayden Carter was born in 1798 in Rutland County, Vermont. Gideon was baptized 25 October 1831 by Joseph Smith at Orange, Ohio, and ordained priest by Oliver Cowdery on the same day. Gideon had married Hilda Burwell, and they had six children.

Gideon served several short missions in Ohio in 1831 before being ordained an elder and being commanded by revelation to labor in the ministry with Sylvester Smith. On 5 April 1832 Gideon and Sylvester began their mission to the East. They traveled through northeastern Pennsylvania, New York, and then Vermont. Gideon returned to Kirtland 24 August 1832. In 1834, Gideon’s wife, Hilda died, and Gideon married Charlotte Woods.

Kirtland Ohio Temple 3.jpg

In Kirtland Gideon helped lay the cornerstones of the temple and was mentioned in the Prophet’s writings on 6 December 1835 as having preached “a splendid discourse.” He became a member of the Kirtland Safety Society and served for a season on the Kirtland high council. As troubles escalated in Kirtland in 1838, Gideon moved to Far West, Missouri.

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During the evening of 24 October 1838, news reached Far West of depredations committed against the Saints by mobocrats, including the imprisonment of two or possibly three men. Captain David W. Patten, Parley P. Pratt, Charles C. Rich, and many others, including Gideon, resolved to rescue the imprisoned Saints.

Early in the morning of 25 October 1838, when Captain Patten and is men neared Crooked River and saw the enemy, orders were given to charge, and “the two parties engaged in a hand to hand fight.” Gideon Carter lost his life during this battle, and Patrick O’Banion, their non-Mormon guide, and David Patten were mortally wounded.

Far West Burial Ground

Far West Burial Ground

Parley P. Pratt saw Gideon in his last moments: “I turned to Gideon Carter, who was lying on his face, and saw him die.” The next day his body was taken back to Far West for burial. David Tyler said that Gideon Carter had “sealed his testimony with his blood.” Gideon was just forty years of age.

Source: Who's Who in the Doctrine & Covenants by Susan Easton Black; FamilySearch.org