A Dictionary of the Book of Mormon/King-men

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KING-MEN. The name given by the Nephites to those who, in the days of the republic, desired to re-establish the monarchy. The first royalist outbreak was led by one Amlici, in the fifth year of the commonwealth, and cost much blood and sorrow; Amalickiah was another prominent leader of those who wished to overturn the government, but being defeated by Moroni, he fled to the Lamanites, and by treason and murder worked himself on to the throne of that people. His followers who remained within the borders of the Nephites were compelled to enter into a covenant to support the republic, or "the cause of freedom," or be put to death. But few refused to make this covenant. (B. C. 73.) When the elder Pahoran died (B. C. 68), great contentions arose between the king-men and the "free-men." The former thought this an opportune time to re-establish the royal power. They desired the new chief judge, Pahoran, the younger, to amend the laws, so that this end might be accomplished. Pahoran declined, considering he had no authority to so change the national constitution. At the demand of the royalists, the question was put to the popular vote, or "to the voice of the people." The majority voted in favor of the continuance of the existing form of government. The king-men, greatly angered at the result, broke out in open rebellion.

At this critical juncture, Amalickiah invaded the Nephite territory. The monarchists refused to assist in the defense of the fatherland. At his own request, full power was given to Moroni, the Nephite commander-in-chief, to deal with them. He was made, for the time being, military dictator; he occupied a position nearly analagous to the Pendragon of the ancient Britons. Moroni attacked the malcontents in their cities and forts, slew about 4,000 of them, and cast into prison those who would not take up arms in defense of their country. This outbreak, which was led by those claiming to be of noble birth, resulted disastrously for the Nephites; for while Moroni was engaged in putting it down, the Lamanites made rapid advances northward, capturing many cities on their route. (B. C. 67.) Four years later, another royalist uprising took place. As usual, it commenced at the capital, and for a time was quite successful. Pahoran was driven from the judgment seat and fled to the land of Gideon, while a man named Pachus was made king. He opened a treasonable correspondence with the Lamanites, in which he made a treaty with them, and agreed to hold the city of Zarahemla in their mutual interest, which he supposed would so weaken the Nephites as to enable the Lamanites to conquer the remainder of the land. This being accomplished, he would be made king of the Nephites. The success of the royalist cause was of short duration. Moroni and Pahoran united their forces, and being joined by thousands of volunteers, they attacked the city of Zarahemla and defeated the revolutionists. In this battle Pachus was slain, and his followers, who were captured, were speedily tried for treason, as were also the king-men of the previous abortive revolt, who, for about five years, had been lying in prison awaiting trial. Those of both periods, who would not take up arms in defense of their country, but would fight against it, were executed according to law. (B. C. 62.)

In later years, the Gadianton robbers, when it suited their purposes to obtain power and plunder, declared in favor of a kingly form of government, but they had to satisfy themselves by electing to or otherwise placing on the judgment seat men of their own order, which amounted to much the same thing, as it placed the reins of government in their hands. In A. C. 30, the final attempt to restore the monarchy was made. As usual, petty place-men, and those claiming to be of higher birth, were the instigators and leaders of this disastrous uprising. The chief spirit of the revolution was a demagogue named Jacob. He was the one they chose for king. The outbreak resulted in the assassination of the last chief judge, Lachoneus the younger, and the breaking up of the nation. A kingdom was not established, but the people separated into numerous tribes, each with its independent ruler or chief. Disorganization, degradation and partial anarchy followed, crime and sin abounded, and bloody and wide-extended wars would doubtless have followed, had not the greater portion of the more wicked been slain in the convulsions that attended the crucifixion of the Redeemer. King Jacob, finding his plots had miscarried, hurried his followers to the far north, where they built a city, called Jacobugath. During its short existence it became a head centre of depravity and cruel licentiousness, and was destroyed with its sister cities in the general upheaval at Christ's death.