Arthur B. Deming's
Naked Truths About Mormonism II
(Berkeley, California: A. B. Deming Society)
Page 1 Intro. Anderson Dowen McKinstry McKee
Page 2 McKee's statement cont'd. McKee's obituary
Page 3 Howe Hurlbut Stephenson Rigdon McKinstry
Page 4 Deming Cowdery Brass murder Eaton Hurst
[ pg. 1 col. 1 ]
In 1884 Deming served as one of the moderators in the Edmund L. Kelley-Clark Braden debates on Mormonism, held in Kirtland, Ohio. During those debates Deming did some historical research to help out Rev. Braden and thus began a life-long quest to find the "true origin" of Mormonism. He continued his investigations and statement soliciting long after parting company with Rev. Braden and he had the good fortune to be one of the very first persons in the USA to learn of the discovery of a Solomon Spaulding manuscript among the papers of Lewis L. Rice in Honolulu in 1884. The anti-Mormon researcher intensified his investigations into the Spalding authorship claims for the Book of Mormon and throughout the mid to late 1880s was working on writing a book, variously titled "Death Blow to Mormonism" and "Naked Truths About Mormonism." Although that book was never completed and published, Deming was able to make use of a portion of his collected research materials in two issues of a newspaper, also called Naked Truths About Mormonism. This current "centennial memorial edition" is a continuation of his publication after a lapse of over one hundred years.
Deming's newspaper was issued as a monthly production from a private press in Oakland, CA. It began with a promising January, 1888 issue but quickly fell on hard times as the editor experienced growing difficulties in soliciting enough new material and enough paying subscribers to make the venture a viable one. Skipping over the intended issues for February and March, due to publication delays, Deming tried one last time to turn his paper into a profitable business with the secend and final issue of April 1888. With his finances rapidly failing, the anti-Mormon crusader abandoned his intended printing of a third number and retired from the publishing business before the end of that year. It appears that what few of his papers which did find a market were sold in northern California and on the trains of the Central Pacific railroad. When the managers of that line stopped carrying Deming's newspaper it died almost immediately.
Just before the turn of the century Deming apparently moved to New York City, a place where he had intermittently resided in earlier years when he worked as a traveling salesman.
[ pg. 1 col. 2: Introduction continued ]
Deming's ultimate fate remains unknown. He corresponded with an Ohioan named A. C. Williams in his later years and several of his letters to that friend are on file in the Williams papers in the Library of the Western Reserve Historical Society. Deming felt that for many years the Mormon leaders in Salt Lake City had been sending out secret agents to steal his writings and collected statements on the history of Mormonism. His preoccupation with these thoughts apparently reached the point where it became a paranoid delusion near the end of his life. It is entirely possible that A. B. Deming died as an obscure inmate in some New York asylum in the first decade of the 20th century.
A BOOK ON A. B. DEMING.
A concise collection of Deming's published and unpublished articles, letters, the statements he collected, etc. would certainly be a useful resource to all of those interested in Mormon history. Currently copies of Deming's newspaper are remarkably difficult to locate and consult. The two issues are on file at the Bancroft Library here in the Bay Area -- other copies may be found in two or three Utah libraries and at the Chicago Historical Society. The Utah Historical Society in Salt Lake City has a microfilm containing copies of some Deming materials which are preserved at the Chicago Historical Society, but the film does not have his newspapers nor his letters to A. C. Williams (originals in the Western Reserve Historical Society).
ANOTHER D. P. HURLBUT?
[ pg. 1 col. 3 ]
JOHN. C. DOWEN'S STATEMENT.
STATEMENT OF J. C. DOWEN.
I came to Kirtland, Ohio, from Oneida Co., N.Y., in June 1832. I bought the Allen Farm one mile south of the Mormon Temple, in Kirtland, July 6, 1832. In 1833, and again in 1836, I was elected Justice of the Peace on the Democratic ticket. I have been a full-blooded Democrat and Temperance man all my life. I was steward of the Methodist Church, some said I was boss, and all hands. I refused three-fourths of the demands for warrants. I tried over two hundred cases. I frequently held court at my house, but generally at Johnson's Brick Tavern at the flats. Bissel, one of Ohio's ablest lawyers, who lived at Painesville, was always counsel for the Mormons in important cases. He had 52 cases before me. Bissel said Squire Russell, who proceeded me, by noticing drunken fights had made over one thousand dollars cost to the town. He told me if two men fought over a bottle of whiskey, and one man killed the other, not to notice it, and he would see me through. There was a distillery opposite the Temple, and I never saw so much drunkenness elsewhere. I threatened to complain to the State authorities. While quarreling, a Mormon woman drew a butcher knife through Mrs. Ellis's, a Methodist woman's hand. Joe Smith took sides, and Jacob Bump, with Martin Harris, came to the trial. I told Jo, Martin told me a certain day that he found the plates of the Book of Mormon; Martin said I lied. I told him he must not say that again in my house. He said God never made a man who could harm him. I took him by the shoulder and pulled him to the floor on his hands and feet, and walked him to the door. I took him by the collar and seat of the breeches and threw him out and kicked him. Jo said he was sorry I did not hear him through. Martin was very kind to me ever after. I got the name of the Fighting Justice.
[ pg. 1 col. 4: Dowen continued ]
I heard Dr. P. Hurlbut, who had been a Mormon preacher, preach a good sermon, and then deliver his first lecture in the Methodist Church in Kirtland, Ohio, on the origin of the Book of Mormon. He said he had been in New York and Pennsylvania and had obtained a copy of Spaulding's Manuscript Found. He read selection[s] from it, then the same from the Book of Mormon. He said the historical part of it was the same as Spaulding's Manuscript Found. He read numerous affidavits from parties in N.Y. and Penn. showing the disreputable character of the Mormon Smith Family.
[ pg. 1 col. 5: Dowen continued, etc. ]
The Mormons warned Justice of the Peace, Hanson, out of town. He had much property and did not leave. Rigdon never came to my house. He knew I never believed in his doctrine. Mr. Wetherbee, a Mormon whose farm joined mine, told me the Mormons drank a barrel of liquor at the endowment or dedication of the Temple at communion. I always ask[ed] questions so as to obtain information I desired from the Mormons. The Mormons were not permitted to marry couples. They often had me perform the legal marriage ceremony and afterward Joe Smith would, as he claimed, marry them according to the gospel. I married a number of Mormons near the flats and narrated the history of our First Parents, and alluded to taking Adam's rib to form Woman. There were many young women present, including Polly Johnson, who thought they would ascertain if Man had the full number of ribs. They took John Johnson, a Willoughby school teacher, no relation to Polly, threw him on the floor. He fought and kicked. They held him, unbuttoned his shirt bosom and counted his ribs. They said men had the right number. Many other things equally ridiculous were frequently done by Mormons at weddings. I was present when the corner stone of the Mormon Temple was laid. They put the trinkets in the south east corner, near the road. Grandison Newell hated me. He was too fast in egging P. P. Pratt. The majority of the Mormons were Democrats. Joe Smith['s] attempts to walk on the water and raise a dead child occurred a short time previous to my arrival in Kirtland. If I should tell you all that was said to me about the conduct of the Mormons, in and about Kirtland, it would make a book much larger than you want. Some cases were so offensive I would not disgrace my docket with them, and did not try them after issuing warrants for arrest. I believe I know more of the history of Mormonism in Kirtland than any man living.Mr. Dowen died February 2nd, 1885, in the eighty-ninth year of his age.
WASHINGTON -- Nov. th /86The last statement of Solomon Spaulding's daughter with her signature.
A. B. DEMING
[ pg. 1 col. 6 ]
1753 Rhode Island Avenue.
[ pg. 1 col. 7:McKee continued ]
This occasioned very serious consideration and consultations with my mother, my brother, his partner -- Mr. Peebles -- and other friends of the family, as to my assuming the responsibility. At first we all agreed that the risk and responsibility was too great to be assumed by one so young. At length, however, I was advised to accept the position, and, towards the end of October selected from the stock on hand, and goods purchased from other houses, making a very complete assortment for a country store; amounting in value to some $5000 or $6000.
p. 2. V. II. N. 1.] LAUGH AS YOU NEVER LAUGHED BEFORE!. [Dec. 1988.
I have since learned that Mr. Spaulding was considered the most learned man in Ashtabula County, Ohio, and that he was both a versatile and a prolific writer. In Amity I know he was a moral man, a strict observer of the Sabbath, and an attendant upon public worship; and I had no cause to doubt his being a true believer. As an evidence of my confidence in his integrity, I invariably left the store in his charge when I was absent a day or two from the village at Washington or elsewhere. On my return he gave me a detailed account of his transactions, but, with the exception of a few presents made by me to his wife or daughter, would take nothing in the way of remuneration for his services.
[ pg. 2 col. 2: McKee continued ]
Hearing that there was a publishing house in Pittsburg he made preparations for removing to that city. To effect this he sold his furniture and some of his books, and, further assisted by his brother, made the journey, arriving she thought, early in 1812. She also recollected that he wrote for her own amusement and instruction, a story called: "Frogs of Wyndham," which she retained for some years, but afterwards lost. She reminded me of many incidents that occurred at Amity and afterwards, which had escaped my memory. For the first year or two after arriving at Amity her father seemed to be benefitted in health, but in the last year of his life was occasionally very ill and confined to the house. He was fond of reading and writing; was a strict observer of the Sabbath; was intimate with Dr. Dodd -- our minister -- and had frequent conversation[s] with him on religious subjects. Both were well acquainted with the Greek language of the New Testament as spoken in the days when our Saviour was on earth. She also remembered Mr. Joseph Miller who lived near the village, as a frequent visitor, who attended her father in his last illness and was with him at his death; very kindly superintending his funeral and afterwards assisted her mother in settling up the business preparatory to their return[ing] to Western New York.
[ pg. 2 col. 3: McKee continued ]
and immediately determined, if possible, to get possession of the document so found, lest its publication might expose their theory. To effect this they employed the talented money-loving and unscrupulous D.P. Hurlbut to go to Monson, Mass., to obtain, if possible, the document referred to. He made the journey and by subtlety and lying obtained an order from Mrs. D. on her brother -- Mr. Sabine -- for it, promising that it should be returned to her in a short time. This promise was never fulfilled. Returning to Conneaut, he obtained a certificate from several gentlemen that it was in the handwriting of Mr. Spaulding, delivered it to the Mormons, got his pay -- some $400 or $500 -- and went his way. What eventually became of this manuscript is not known, but it was probably destroyed. So the whole matter remains to a great extent a mystery yet unsolved.
[ pg. 2 col. 4: McKee continued]
At the close I was driven in the carriage by J. F. Miller to the residence of his father -- my old friend, Joseph Miller -- on the road to Amity. I found Mr. Miller to be in remarkably good health for a man in his 88th year (some eight or nine years my senior), and spent the evening and most of the next day in pleasant conversation about our intercourse and occurrences at Amity 64 years before. He had read the Book of Mormon carefully and was convinced that it was founded substantially upon the work written by Mr. Spaulding in Ohio. He was a particular friend of Mr. Spaulding, who died in October 1816 -- a month or two after I had left the village. He told me that he attended Mr. S. in his last illness in company with Dr. Dodd -- the pastor of the church; superintended his funeral, and afterwards settled up his business, He said that Mr. S. suffered greatly at times by reason of the rupture, but appeared submissive, and peacefully passed away;that he thought him a sincere Christian and his death a great loss to the community.
[ pg. 2 col. 5: McKee continued ]
I am told, report that at least nine-tenths of the people [of ------------ read] [the] statements of the gentlemen above named and held, with them, that the whole Mormon theory was a cunningly devised scheme of Satan, the Father of Lies, to delude and ruin the many, and afford a sort of refuge for the more enlightened few, who were ambitious to acquire wealth or notoriety, as the public advocates of the new theory of religious belief.
[ pg. 2 col. 6: McKee continued ]
After their settlement in Utah, having greatly increased in numbers, they supposed they had gained their final destination, and looked for the fulfillment of this prediction at an early day.The original of Redick McKee's letter is preserved in the A. B. Deming papers at the Chicago Historical Society Library. McKee died in West Virginia eight months after he wrote the lengthy letter to Deming. Robert Patterson, Jr. printed a notice of McKee's death in the Presbyterian Banner of Sept. 22, 1886. That obituary is reproduced in the next column of this issue.
Redick McKee, Esq., well known to many of the older readers of the BANNER, died at Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, on Monday evening, Sept. 13th, in the 86th year of his age. His death was sudden and unexpected. A private letter from him, of Sept. 9th, was received at the BANNER office Sept. 11th, relating to work which he had then in contemplation. Mr. McKee was born Dec. 7, 1800, at McKeesport, Alleghany County, Pa., of which town his father was the proprietor and founder. In early life he was in such delicate health that he was not expected to reach maturity, and for the same reason his school education was limited to about four months. His mother, however, well fulfilled at home the office of a teacher. A few years of life on the farm of an uncle so far invigorated his health that in his 12th year he entered the employment of Messrs. Hugh and James Jelley, who conducted an extensive mercantile business in Pittsburgh. So rapidly did he develop a faculty for business that two years afterwards and whilst in his 14th year, he was entrusted by his employeers with the management of a branch store which they established at Amity, Washington Co., Pa., with a stock of assorted goods amounting to $5,000 or $6,000. Here he remained nearly two years, during the whole of which time he boarded with Rev. Solomon Spaulding, whose name has been so often mentioned in connection with the authorship of "The Book of Mormon."
Mc Kee continued his interest in the Spalding claims and in a letter written to Robert Patterson, Jr. (dated Washington, D. C., April 15, 1879) he said: "There can be no doubt that the Book of Mormon was founded on and largely copied from the vigorous romance of Solomon Spaulding.... Mr. Spaulding told me that he had submitted the work to Mr. Patterson for publication, but for some reason it was not printed, and afterwards returned to him. I also understood he was then occasionally re-writing, correcting, and he thought improving some passages descriptive of his supposed battles. In this connection he spoke of the man Rigdon as an employee in the printing or book-binding establishment of Patterson & Lambdin, in Pittsburgh; but about him I made no special inquiries."
McKee's reminiscences were printed by Robert Patterson, Jr. in his 1882 Who Wrote the Book of Mormon? and excerpts from his recollections there were subsequently cited by Clark Braden (1884), who referred to him as "Ruddick McKee; by Hubert H. Bancroft (1889); William H. Whitsitt (1891); Theodore Schroeder (1901); William A. Linn (1902); B. H. Roberts (1908); Howard Davis, et. al (1977); J. &. S. Tanner (1977); and by Lester E. Bush (1977). Of the above writers on Howard A. Davis appears to have been aware of McKee's 1886 letter to Arthur B. Deming. Davis quotes from the letter on pp. 79-85 in his book on the Spalding claims.
Dec. 1988.] LAUGH AS YOU NEVER LAUGHED BEFORE!. [V. II. N. 1. p. 3.
EBER D. HOWE: 1885
I began to live on the 9th day of June 1798 in Clifton Park near where Burgoyne surrendered in Saratoga Co. NY. I was the fifth of six children. At six I found myself in Ovid, N. Y. In May 1814 I enlisted in Col. Swifts Regiment headqua[r]ters at Batavia. July 4th we started for Buffalo. My father who was a Physician was detailed for Hospital duty and had charge of 50 wounded British prisoners many of whom were injured when the Magazine at Fort Erie exploded. I assisted father in the Hospital. By act of Congress passed Feb 14 1871 I received a pension of $8.00 per month. I had read the life of Ben Franklin and decided to become a printer and apprenticed myself to the Gazett Office in Buffalo. I later worked in several towns including Freedonia NY & Erie Pa. Mr. Willes of the Erie Gazett and myself established the Herald in Cleveland O., Oct 19th 1819. I put my knowledge of the business against his press and printing materials, which were valued at $250. We commenced without a single subscriber and advance payment was unknown. We soon had 300 subscribers. I delivered my papers on horseback from Cleveland to Painesville thirty mile distant. Cleveland contained about 400 population then. At the end of two years I sold my interest in the Herald to my partner and started the Painesville Telegraph July 16th 1822 with five advertisements and about 150 subscribers. I continued its publication until early in Jan 1835 when I sold it to my brother for $600, and have since been engaged in partnership with my son-in-law Mr. Rogers in Wollen Manufactures and Merchantdizeing.
[ pg. 3 col. 2: Howe continued ]
[I thought every body would buy my book at one dollar a copy.*]*Two lines erased before signature.
MRS. D. P. HURLBUT.
My husband Doctor Philastus Hurlbut was born Feb 3d 1809 in Chittenden Co Vt near Lake Champlain. His parents named him Doctor because he was the seventh son. When a young man he attended school in Penn Yan, NY. Later he lectured about the country on various Subjects and at last became a Mormon and went to Kirtland. Prophet Jo Smith told him he sh[o]uld receive the gift of speaking in unknown tongues. He was told he must dash in and make any unknown sound he could and it would be the unknown tongue. He became disgusted with the fraud and left them. He was a Mormon but a few months. He was employed by leading citizens of Mentor and Geauga Co. to investigate the character of the Mormon Smith Family and the Origin of the Book of Mormon. He went to Palmyra NY by stage and at Conneaut learned about Solomon Spaulding and his Manuscript Found. Squire Aaron Wright told him some men read to him from the Book of Mormon and he told them to close the book and he would repeat page after page as he had heard Spaulding read it to him. The men were greatly su[r]prised. Wright said the Historical part of the Book of Mormon was taken from Spauldings Manuscript Found. He learned from him and Henry Lake Spauldings partner that Spaulding had taken his Manuscript Found to Pittsburgh Pa to have it printed. Mr. Patterson a son of the printer Spaulding left his Manuscript with called and took a statement from Mr. Hurlbut about five years ago. I heard him say at that time that Sidney Rigdon was a relative of his and was frequently in their office when the Manuscript Found was there. Mr. H. lectured on Mormonism while collecting evidence against them in NY and Ohio. In the spring of 1834 he sold E D Howe editor of the Painesville Telegraph his Manuscripts and in the fall received 500 copies of the Book in payment from Howe. By Mistake he let Howe have his list of subscribers and he supplied them with books before he sent Mr. H. his 500. He traveled and sold them hard[ly] paying his expences and sold the ballance at auction in Buffalo in the spring of 1835. We were married at my fathers Wheeler Woodbury at Kingsville Ashtabula Co., April 27th 1834 and in June we settled in Elk Creek Township Erie Co., Pa and made improvements one year and found our title to the land was not good. We moved to Mentor O. and left there in the fall and moved to Bedford [St.?] Lawrence [Co?] Mich. Mr H became a United Bretheren Minister and lived in various places in Northern Ohio for twelve years and finaly settled in Gibsonburg in 1852 where we have since resided. He died June 19th 1883.
MORE ON HURLBUT.
[ pg. 3 col. 3 ]
J. E. STEPHENSON
My father was a Baptist minister, and in 1823, was by Dr. Crane's church and the Bethel Church of New York City, sent to the Connecticut Western Reserve as a Home Missionary; he spent that year in Northeastern Ohio. In the spring of 1824, he returned for his family, and in August of that year settled them in Mentor, the township adjoining Kirtland on the south. While at Mentor, Sydney Rigdon visited the place under the guise of a Baptist clergyman and preached to the church there. He soon publicly advocated the doctrines that Alexander Campbell had then recently put forth and took nearly the entire church with him. In the fall of 1829 my father removed his family to Chester, the township adjoining Kirtland on the south, and in 1834, then being at the age of 15 years, I went to live with Mr. Austin Turner, a merchant at the center of that town, on the main road leading to Kirtland Flats, it being the year in which the Mormons' Temple was completed. Mr. Turner was extensively engaged in business: selling goods, farming upon an extensive scale, running an ashery and much of the time while I was with him, which was about nine years, he conducted a shoe shop. In his various businesses he employed a large number of men of the Mormon faith. During their palmy days we had extensive dealings with that people. We had done almost exclusively a barter and a credit business, which induced frequent visits to Kirtland. I was there on the average as often as once a week up to the time of their departure to Missouri, engaged in collecting, much of which was by suits before the magistrates in which I generally took a hand.
[ pg. 3 col. 4: Stephenson continued ]
Assured by her coolness he advanced into the room leaving the door way clear. She suddenly sprang over the foot-board, darted through the door and was out of his reach in an instant, exclaiming as she went, "The Lord will be disappointed this time." She reported the occurence at once to her father, who waited upon the prophet and informed him if he ever again attempted to repeat his deception on a daughter of his, he would shoot him as he would a dog. This affair was much discussed at the time and was thought by many to have been one of the causes of the disaffection that afterward existed betweeen the two great Mormon leaders. I think the public were of the opinion that Rigdon never adopted the views of Smith on the spiritual wife question.Mr. Stephenson's character is above reproach and he is one of the leading lawyers of Geauga County; is the leading man in the Baptist Church at Chardon.
A SERMON BY S. RIGDON.
To the Editor of the Pittsburgh Telegraph: --
[ pg. 3 col. 5: Rigdon continued ]
Joe, when he awoke, was so forcibly impressed with the heavenly vision that he started off directly for a mattock and shovel, and went to work at the place. After getting down about waist deep Joe came to a nice square stone box. The four sides and bottom were each eighteen inches square. The top was wider, projecting an inch or so over the sides, so as to throw off water. In the center was a large iron ring into which a man could comfortably put his hand. After clearing out all the earth from around it, Joe laid hold of the ring to pull it out and get it up; but there was no moving it. Joe tugged and tugged and tugged (his exact words) but move it wouldn't. When he raised himself up out of the hole and threw himself down upon his face to wonder over its stubbornness, the fact came to his remembrance that the angel told him that he was to take up the box when he was exactly twenty-one years of age, and [that] day he was only twenty.*"Rural" was identified as being John T. Murdock. See the following section for information added to Rev. Patterson's copy of this article c. summer 1881.
[ pg. 3 col. 6 ]
PATTERSON-COBB LETTER: 1881
* This accords with my conjecture, that Sid & Joe first met in the winter of 1825-6, someplace.
Conversation with Dr. McKinstry.
July 29, 1889
[ pg. 3 col. 7 ]
A. B. DEMING LETTERS.
Dec. 13 /84.
p. 4. V. II. N. 1.] LAUGH AS YOU NEVER LAUGHED BEFORE!. [Dec. 1988.
DEMING LETTERS, Continued
In July 1884 I took a statement which E. D. Howe signed in which he described the Rice Manuscript as Manuscript Story Conneaut Creek and said he supposed that it was burned in some of the fires at Painesville. Do the Mormons expect to deceive the public by changing the title and omitting Conneaut Creek? Please read James A. Briggs letter in the N. Y. Tribune, Jan. 31, 1886. He was Hurlbut's lawyer. If you prefer to send the Spaulding paper exp., do so and I will pay charges both ways. Sincerely.
One of our correspondents in the informal "Deming Society" relays the following highly interesting bit of information. We were previously unaware that "First Elder" Cowdery was both a coppersmith and a printer's helper in his youth.
THE FOOLS' GOLD BIBLE.
Visitors to Palmyra, N.Y. are advised to seek out the site of the old Sherman Carriage Co. at what is now the corner of Prospect and Main in downtown Palmyra. The Carriage building burned down in 1868 but its blacksmith shop remained standing until after the turn of the century. The original Sherman wagon shop and its smithy were built in the 1820s by Rhodes Sherman, Sr. Sherman's son Alson was a contemporary of Joseph Smith, Jr. and Oliver Cowdery and it seems that he was privy to some details about various secret activities carried on by those two in his father's shop in about 1828. Oliver Cowdery was then a part-time coppermith who possessed considerable skill in preparing copper engraving plates for the old-fashoned hand printing presses of that period.
[ pg. 4 col. 2: Cowdery continued ]
He had most recently found some employment in this line of work and related tasks in Canadaigua, but, following the untimely death of his employer, young Cowdery lodged first with his brother and then with his cousins (the Joe Smith family of Manchester) and there became a sometime participant in the infamous "Gold Bible Company."
MURDER OF MR. BRASS.
In Deming's NTaM issue of April 1888 he provides a statement on the suspected murder of Garrit Brass of Mentor. Here are some more statements on the same subject which have hitherto remained unpublished, gathering dust in the Chicago Historical Society. The documents are typed copies of original statements reportedly lost by Deming in Chicago.
ESTHER BRASS SCOTT.
I was born in Chester, Mass., Aug. 11th, 1808. I came to Mentor, Lake Co., Ohio, with my parents, they starting on the day war was declared in 1812. My father, Garrit Bras, about 1830 or 32, separated from my mother, and lived by himself alone on the farm, divided by him between his sons, they looking after his wants, as he preferred to live in a house by himself, one was erected for him within a few rods of the one occupied by my brother and his family.
[ pg. 4 col. 3: Brass murder continued ]
I was born in Lee, Mass., Feb. 5th 1812, and was brought by my parents to Mentor in 1816, where I have ever since resided. Doctor P. Hurlbut sometimes worked for me cutting.and splitting rails during the year [1836 ?]. He took dinner at my house and I became quite wall acquainted with him.
MRS. J. D. BARBER
Mr. Bras's Feather bed was supposed to have been stolen as no evidence of burnt feathers was found. My cousin missed two pillows after Hurlbut moved.
Hurlbut ordered a meal out west where he called, a woman inquired where he was from. He replied Geauga Co,, Ohio; the lady asked him if he was acquainted in Mentor and if he knew of Mr. Bras being burned in his house. Hurlbut inquired if she was acquainted there, [s]he repllied "Mr. Bras was my father." Hurlbut became very uneasy and left before he finished his meal, which caused her to think something was wrong about him, and she wrote to her friends in Mentor of the occurrance. There was much comment among the people of Mentor about Hurlbut's thefts, and the facts of his leaving in the night when Mr. Bras was murdered, robbed and burned.
Gen. Bras lived in a small log house on the Kirland road, and his cabin was close to the south line of Gen. Garfield's farm. Our farm joins Garfield's on the west. Bras was ugly and quarrelled with his wife when intoxicated, so they separated and he lived alone.
He was intemperate and always kept a barrel of cider in his house when any was obtainable. His children carried him his food several times a week.
The school house was near by, and I, with other children, was at his house every few days. Sometimes he was pleasant and at other times he was cross and waold swear at us.
I have many times seen D. P. Hurlbut at Bras's house. Geo. M, Dickey, who bought John Bras's farm on which Gen. L. Bras's cabin stood, and Samuel Hodges our neighbor(s); in conversation with father, I have several times heard discuss[ed] the probable reason why Hurlbut spent so much time at Gen, Bras's. They advanced various reasons, and said he might be trying to make a Morman of him. Mr. Bras was known to have money, and he received his pension a few days before his cabin was burned. I have heard Mrs. J. D. Barber's statement read and believe it is true, as did our neighbors at the time. I went to school to Mrs. Esther Scott, his daughter.
[ pg. 4 col. 4: Brass murder continued ]
1947 MORGAN-BRODIE LETTER.
ORIGIN OF MORMONISM.
Mrs. Smith's mind was made up that one of her sons should be a prophet. The weak father agreed with her that Joseph was the genius of their nine children. So it was established that Joseph should be the prophet...
[ pg. 4 col. 5: Eaton continued ]
Rigdon was versatile in his gifts, had a taste for theological and scientific discussion, was shrew, wily, deep, and withal utterly unprincipled. Soon after his appearance on the stage, Mormonism begins to assume a "local habitation and a name." Now the angel talks more definitely to Smith, tells him all his sins are pardoned, that none of the sects are accepted of God as his church, but that he shall establish one to the Almighty will own; that the North American Indians are a remnant of the Israelites; that hidden beneath the ground are their inspired writings; that these are to be entrusted to him, and to him only...
A BRIEF MORMON HISTORY
Rigdon's thought seems to have been to make these supposed revelations the medium of the founding of a Church which would completely embody his ideals. Rigdon was, in his way, a brilliant and audacious man, and he succeeded in his work beyond his expectations.
[ pg. 4 col. 7: Hurst continued ]
With a select band of pioneers he threaded a wild of eleven hundred miles, and on July 24th, 1847 (the Great Day of the Mormons), he arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. This was to be the Mormon centre. Here the toilsome pilgrimage was to end. The next year four thousand Mormons were marched with military precision across the great plains and mountains, and as if by magic Salt Lake City arose. Here Brigham Young reigned a virtual king until his death, August 29th, 1877. The Mormons received constant recruits by the missionary labors of their wily representatives in England, Sweden, and Norway. Their heavy emigration fund, and the glowing descriptions of the El Dorado of the West, with the religious zeal of the missionaries and their constant appeal to the Bible, made an impression upon the poorer classes in the old countries, and won many converts. The Germans and Swiss were less susceptible, and no hearing could be obtained in Roman Catholic countries. In addition to Utah, large colonies were settled in Wyoming, Idaho, and the surrounding states and territories....