James Jesse Strang

1813-1856. Mormon* leader. Born of Baptist parents in Scipio, New York, he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1836. He became interested in Mormonism through his wife's brother-in-law, Moses Smith, and was converted through Joseph and Hyrum Smith in 1844. When the former was killed, Strang claimed to be his successor, eventually forming the Mormon sect known by his name in St. James, Big Beaver Island, Lake Michigan, where he was crowned “king” in 1850. He was twice elected to the state legislature. He announced a revelation proclaiming plural marriage a divine institution (1850), himself taking four wives. He made many enemies and was finally assassinated.