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Vol. III.                     Watertown, Wisconsin, Wednesday, January 9, 1850.                   No. 30.

From Washington.

Washington, Dec. 31.          
...SENATE. -- A message in writing was received from the President. Numerous memorials and petitions were presented, and among them one from citizens of Kentucky claiming In be the legitimate successors of the Mormon prophet objecting to the establishment of the government of Deseret, and charging the people of the Salt Lake with treasonable designs. They having taken secret oaths to avenge the death of Joe Smith upon the nation, and to pursue that design until the end of time.

Mr. Underwood, in connection with the memorial read an extract from a statement in the St. Louis Republican, which stated that the citizens of Deseret were lawlessly trying citizens of Missouri on charge of aiding in the expulsion of the Mormons from Missouri. That they were exacting duties on goods and luggage of California emigrants passing thro' their city. Mr. Underwood thought the statement gave coloring to the memorial.

Mr. Douglas said he had seen the statement and interrogated Babbett the representative from Deseret, who explained by saying that the citizens of Salt Lake having formed a government found it necessary to estabkish means of revenue and imposed a duty upon all goods brought into the city, whether by Mormons or not. But no duty was exacted upon goods going to California.

The memorial was referred to the committee on territories.

Note: This same report was also published in the Waukesha Democrat of Jan. 8, 1850.



Vol. IV.                         Fond du Lac, Wisc., Friday, February 15, 1850.                       No. 20.

From the Washington Republic.

The readers of this paper have doubtless noticed, in the congressional proceedings, the presentation in the Senate of a memorial of Wm. Smith and Isaac Sheen, claiming to be the legitimate presidents of the church of Latter Day Saints, and twelve other individuals of that church, charging the members of that community, now settled in the valley of the Salt Lake, with having taken an oath to avenge, on the people and Government of this country, the murder of Joseph Smith, and with a determination now to carry that oath into effect; and further accusing them of grossly immoral conduct, by adopting the doctrine of poligamy, &c.

Now, in relation to this matter, it is not improbable that these charges are exagerated and untrue, and such as could not stand the test of calm judicial investigation. We have no sympathies or regards for this Mormon people; but, judging from what we have formerly heard and latterly known of them, we deem these accusations to be entirely absurd and impossible.

In the first place, if we remember aright, this Wm. Smith, the first petitioner, is a brother of the celebrated Joseph Smith, who originally presided over the Mormons. At the time of Joseph's death, he presented himself to the Mormons, claiming to be the legitimate successor of his deceased brother; but the Mormon people refused to recognize him in that capacity. But, as we have been informed, inasmuch as he was a brother of one who was highly cherished among them, they consented to afford him protection and sustenance for a time; but his conduct at length becoming, as they allege, more and more dissolute, he was expelled from the pale of their church. Smith's hierarchical asperations, his subsequent expulsion from the Mormon church, sufficiently explain his present hostility in that community.

It will be recollected, when the Mormons were on their way to the far west, fleeing from the persecutions which they had suffered in Illinois and Missouri, overtures were made to them by the United States officers, under instructions from our government, inviting them to join in the hostilities which were going to be waged against the Mexican republic. Would this have been the case had they sworn to avenge their wrongs against the government and people of the United States? We find them now knocking at our doors for admission into our Union, at a time when another populous and less remote community are in no hurry for such a consummation. Does this look like settled hostility to the United States? We think not.

The objections urged against this people on the score of their grasping for territory, and their immoral practices, we are inclined to believe, are of an equally fragile tenure. With Texas and California claiming an area much larger than they have actually occupied, it is not surprising that Deseret should do the same. We believe after all, that the people of Deseret will be willing to take such boundaries as congress may choose to assign to them. Can the same be said of other states which have applied for admission or been received into the Union? As to the polygamy charged against this people, we consider it almost too absurd to merit notice. That a people, the principal portion of whom have been born and brought up in the United States, and the next largest portion in England -- a people stimulated by religion or fanaticism, whichever you please -- should be addicted to such a demoralizing doctrine or practice, we consider utterly beyond the possibility of belief; and if anything would strengthen this conviction, it is the constitution under which they ask admission as a state, than which we have not seen one more lucid or better arranged in any of the states of this Union.

The Washington Globe fully endorses the above remarks, and adds:

"The following is from the Mormon creed, and inculcates, we think, the purest principles of morality, and we might say also, of religion:

"The Latter Day Saints, after immersion, lay on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, according to the ancient pattern. They are then considered saints, or members of the church of Christ, in full fellowship and communion. They are then taught to observe all things which are required or commanded by Christ and his apostles -- such as meeting together often to sing, to pray, to exhort, to testify, to prophesy, to speak with tongues, to interpret, to relate their visions, revelations, &c., and in short, to edify and perfect each other, by a free exercise of all the gifts of God, as set in order among the ancinet churches. We also teach them to walk in all the ordinances of God, blameless, such as the partaking of bread and wine, in remembrance of his broken body and shed blood, on the first day of the week; and also to send for the elders of the church when any of them are sick, that they may pray for them, and lay their hands on them in the name of Jesus, or anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord, that they be healed according to the scriptures. We also teach them to abstain from all immorality -- such as injustice, pride, vanity, dishonesty, evil speaking, falsehood, hatred, envy, avarice, intemperance, adultery, fornication, lasciviousness, &c., and to practice all virtues -- such as love to God and good will to man, brotherly kindness, temperance, industry, &c. He that has two coats, let him impart to him that has none, and he that has food let him do likewise; but he that will [not] work, neither shall he eat. In short, we teach them to do all the good in their power -- to visit the widow and the fatherless in their affliction, and to keep themselves unspotted from the world"

Note: It seems unlikely that the above text was entirely the product of a non-Mormon Washington editor's pen. The overly sympathetic writer know far too much about the "dissolute" William Smith's activities, to have not been heavily coached in his writing about that former LDS leader, etc.



Vol. IV.                         Green Bay, Wisconsin, February 21, 1850.                       No. 26.


POLYGAMY AT THE SALT LAKE. -- The New Orleans Delta publishes a letter from the Salt lake, the capital of the Mormons of Deseret, in which the writer conforms the statement previously made, that, under the Mormon marital law, a man may have as many wives as he can support. He says:

"The successor to Joe Smith is a man by the name of Brigham Young, about forty-five years old, a pretty cute fellow, a Yankee would say. he has the largest number of wives of any in the sttlement -- only twenty-six! This is not a large number, considering he had to take all the wives of Joe Smith, that could not get other husbands. Some that have come under my observation have had eleven, five, three, two, one. These are facts, beyond cavil; and the only tie that binds these people together is bigamy."

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. IV.                 Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, Wednesday, April 3, 1850.               No. 23.


A CASE FOR THE LAWYERS. -- An Ingenious casuist in the Providence Journal wishes to be informed, supposing it to be true, as charged, that Brigham Young, of Deseret, the Mormon leader, has twenty-six wives, whether the establitsment of this new and peculiar institution of polygamy or Brighamy in Deseret, would entitle Brigham to remove to Massachusetts or Rhode Island with his twenty-six wives? The Journal thinks it is certain that, according to the Calhoun doctrine, he would at least have the right to carry them into any territorial government.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Green Bay  [  -  ]  Advocate.

Vol. IV.                     Green Bay, Wisconsin, Thursday, April 11, 1850.                   No. 33.

THE SALT LAKE MORMONS. -- In Senate, March 14th, Mr. Underwood presented a petition of the Mormon Church of Latter Dav Saints, together with the twelve apostles. Mr. Underwood said: --

"They present very grievious complaints against their brethren of Deseret and charge that the Mormons about Council Bluffs, who have possession of that region of the district, and control the post-office, obstruct the free circulation of information through their papers, by which they are prevented from enlightening that sect, and spreading useful information among them. They wish the interposition of Congress, and particularly the Post-Office Department, and that free information may be circulated among their brethren. (The petition was sent to the Secretary's desk.) It is a petition from Isaac Sheen, who represents himself as a first counsellor to the prophet, Wm. Smith, and president of the Aaronic priesthood of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, together with two apostles and some twelve high-priests, urging very grave complaints against their brother Mormons, whom they designate as the Salt Lake Mormon banditti. These people set forth that Council Bluffs is principally settled by Salt Lake Mormons, who are governed in political as well as spiritual affairs by the secret lodge of fifty men, that also rules the Salt Lake territory, and by Brigham Young, their governor, president, prophet, seer, revelator, and inquisitorial chief. They assert that these people obstruct the receipt of the religious newspaper called the "Melchisedek and Aaronic Herald," and letters to their friends and relations in that quarter, and implore the protection of Congress from the tyranny, injustice, and political intrigues of the Salt Lake banditti, and insist that the treasonable acts and designs of the Salt Lake combination are sufficient, not only to show the impropriety of admitting Deseret into the Union, but also to convince government that no Salt Lake Mormon should be allowed to hold any office, either at Salt Lake valley or Council Bluffs. They charge them also with having commenced a warfare against the liberty of speech and of the press, and against the religious rights of American citizens who do not acknowledge their supremacy.

The memorial was referred to the Committee on the Post Office and Post Roads.

Note 1: The petition above paraphrased has apparently not survived. Unlike the previous petition from the Smithite church at Covington, its full text has not survived. See the Mar. 22, 1850 issue of the Gettysburg Star and Banner for a typical reprint of the summary, as it appeared in the popular press of that time.

Note 2: The "petition from Isaac Sheen" mentioned above was an entirely separate document from the memorial William Smith and Isaac Sheen previously presented to Congress and to the President of the United States. This second petition, requesting that no Mormon hold the position of Post-Master at Council Bluffs, etc., was sent to Washington, D. C. at about the same time as the Smith-Sheen document, but the second petition was submitted under Sheen's name alone, and mentioned William Smith only in passing. Here is how H. H. Bancroft described the situation in his 1889 book: On Dec. 31st, Joseph R. Underwood of Kentucky presented a memorial from William Smith and Isaac Sheen -- the former a brother of the prophet -- representing themselves to be the legitimate presidents of the church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints, and from twelve members of that church... The memorial was referred to the committee on territories. Cong. Globe, 1849-50, xxi. 92. A second memorial from the same parties was presented to Mr. Underwood on March 14, 1850, preferring grievous complaints against the people of Deseret, and stating that the Mormons around Council Bluffs controlled the post-office in that district and obstructed the free circulation of newspapers. It was referred to the committee on post-offices and post-roads. Ibid., 524."

Note 3: As an anti-slavery editor, Isaac Sheen evidently developed a special interest in the problem of non-delivery of the federal mails by parties who disagreed with the purpose of certain publications sent out though the postal system. Sheen himself had served as a mail-carrier (or "papers-carrier") and understood the serious consequences of anyone's tampering with the post. Beyond that, Sheen was probably able to gather first-hand accounts of postal irregularities in western Iowa from his brother-in-law, the Hon. Almon W. Babbitt, who was then in the process of establishing a newspaper at Council Bluffs. The Council Bluffs Frontier Guardian of June 13, 1851 mentions this newspaper, The Bugle, in these words: "Our readers will recollect that this is the paper he [Babbitt] brought to Kanesville, to start in opposition to us [Orson Hyde and Whig-affliated Mormons]..."


Vol. X.                             Kenosha, Wisconsin, Friday, June 7, 1850.                           No. 50.

Beaver Island, Lake Michigan.          
Woman in breeches -- Saturday turned into the Sabbath.

This is Saturday, and, to the Mormons, Sabbath. I have just listened to two long discourses, one from the Prophet, the other from G. J. Adams. -- He is a regular terror, speaks long and loud concerning this God-forsaken generation; maintains that there is no redempiion for this black hearted Government from the sink of iniquity in to which it has fallen, short of entire destruction, and boldly declares the quicker the better. He is the second officer in the Mormon church, being counsellor to the Prophet.

The Prophet speaks in a more mild, yet firm and decided manner -- shows more talent, perception and shrewdness. He has a high and extraordinary prominent forehead; is a close debator, and shows himself a good Prophet.

What capped the climax is the new style of dress which ladies here are bringing into vogue. I saw large numbers of lady saints dressed in -- what inquires the Yankee. Why, in breeches I believe, buttoned up the side. This, however, I did not ascertain to a nicely, for they have not yet entirely discarded dresses, but wear them coming just below the knee. They looked quite comical, as I saw any quantity of them seated in church to-day. I can hardly say however, that they looked bad. -- Corr. Det. Trib.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. V.                           Milaukee, Wisconsin, Monday, July 1, 1850.                         No. 370.

MODEST PETITION. -- A petition has leeo presented in Congress signed by James Strang, George J. Adams, and William Marks, known as prominent among the Church of Latter Day Saints, asking "in behalf of the servants of the Living God, the fellow seivants of the martyred Saints, thf consent of Congress that they may settle upon, and forever occupy, all the uninhabited lands of the Islands in Lake Michigan.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VI.                     Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Wednesday, July 3, 1850.                   No. 30.

MORMON SETTLEMENT. -- Schr. John C. Spencer left our port last evening, for Beaver Island, with seventy passengers and nearly a full cargo for the Mormon Colony at that place. Among their freight is a good printing press and the materials for a weekly paper, which we understand will make its appearance about the first of July, at that place.

Mr. Strang, the leader of the Mormons, (or, as they call themselves, "Latter Day Saints") has charge of this company, and we learn from him that the colony there already numbers about 1000 persons and is rapidly increasing. They have built a small schooner, the "Maid of the Mist," for trade between the several Islands, and have now possessed themselves of the Spencer, for the purpose of trade at various ports on the Lake. The extensive fisheries among the Islands, and the facilities for trade generally, justify these movements, and with the emigration now tending that way, will doubtless give them constant employ.

We learn also that the "Saints" expect to make an extensive farming settlement in the interior of Big Beaver Island, which they represent to be of superior quality for agricultural purposes. This Island is 7 miles in width by 13 in length, and contains in ita interior six small lakes, giving uncommon beauty and interest to its scenery.

The "Saints," with their characteristic love of Temples, are putting up a wooden building 60 by 100 feet, for a place of worship, where they expect to have a great conference the first week in July. -- Racine Com. Advertiser.

NEWS FROM DESERET. -- The General Assembly of Deseret has been in session at different times, and created Weber, Great Salt Lake, Ulah, Yoab and Tuille counties -- established Courts, created Sheriffs, Constables, Justices of the peace, a State Marshal and Attorney -- and instituted a regular system of jurisprudence. They have also established a State University at Great Salt Lake City, and appropriated for its benefits $5000 a year for twenty yeas, to be paid out of the public trreasury.

"On account of the severe weather, little has been done on the public buildings since last fall. The foundation of the public store house and store are laid, and the aqueducts, from the warm spring to the public baths, are rapidly progressing, and they will be ready for use in a short time.

"Captain Stansbury, with his Topographical Engineers, are surveying Great Salt Lake, and the adjacent county, for the purpose of mapping, which, when completed, will unquestionably be very interesting to our friends abroad, for by it they will better understand our relative locations." -- St. Louis Paper.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                     Watertown, Wisconsin, Wednesday, August 28, 1850.                   No. 11.

THE MORMON COLONY, BEAVER ISLAND. -- We have conversed with a gentleman who has just returned from a visit to Beaver island, at the head of Lake Michigan, upon which the Mormon colony is located, headed by their prophet, Jas. Strang. They number about six hundred, and have a farm on the island, which is cultivated by them. They have also engaged to a limited extent in taking white fish and trout, which constitute their chief means of subsistence.

The temple 100 by 60 feet is in progress at their settlement, one sixth of the labor of the colony being required upon it weekly. -- At present this labor is diverted to the building of a printing office, the press and materials for a weekly paper being on the ground. Semi-occasionally the portion of the temple which is finished is used as a theater! Mr. G. J. Adams, one of the leaders, acting as manager, and we are informed the "Lady of Lyons" has had a worse "Claude," and an inferior "Pauline" upon Boston boards. This room is also used for a ball room, where the faithful chase the giddy hours, and also as a place of worship Sundays.

Strang is at present deeply engaged in decyphering the plates found by him as indicated by a vision, back of Kenosha, sometime since. They are of copper and are engraved with cabalislic characters, supposed to relate to the interests of the "church of the latter day," by his followers. He is described as a hard working, industrious man, but most of those upon the island are indolent and averse to labor.   Chicago Jour.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. I.                     Watertown, Wisconsin, Monday, October 28, 1850.                   No. 34.

Beaver  Island  and  the  Mormons.

The Beaver Islands, situated at the foot of Lake Michigan, is the present location of the "Peace party" Mormons, (or as they love to call themselves, Latter Day Saints,) under the administration of James J. Strang, whom they claim to be "Joseph Smith's lawful successor in the prophetical office."

Mormonism, whether true or false, has gone forward in gigantic strides, being aided by the help of persecuting priests and bigoted people, who always aid in building up any delusion which the cranium of man can invent.

It has brought into its folds many thousands of thinking people from the various sects of the day, who seem from their appearance and energy, to be people of understanding and enterprise, who really believe their religion to be true, however unpopular, and are showing by their works the faith which they profess to have. -- Of all the gathering places the Mormons have had, Beaver Island is the best. It possesses the best natural harbor on the lakes, where all kinds of vessels here lie in perfect safety during the severest storms. It is very commodious and beautiful. There are some five or six hundred of the church already gathered there, have set good stores and one nice steam saw-mill on the Island. The interior of the Beaver is a good farming country, well timbered with pine, hemlock, mountain ash, beech, birch, spruce and maple, and a great variety of other kinds of woodland. There are three of the most beautiful crystal lakes ever beheld by man. They are building a Tabernacle one hundred by sixty-five feet, in which they expect to receive their penticostal endowments, which their prophet promises them, that God will give them when it is finished. The people seem to be very industrious, active, and enterprising.

Their prophet, Strang, is a masterpiece of intellectuality; a thorough going man, of good information. He was once the postmaster of Ellicottville, and editor of the Randolph Herald, of this State -- was a regular lawyer, of considerable eminence, before his appointment to be the Mormon prophet. Since which time he has had nothing to do with either law or politics. He devotes his whole time for the good of the people whom he is president over. He and his people seem to be very much devoted to their cause and say that they will make Beaver Island a second "Eden" for beauty and privileges. His people each, are presented with from 40 to 160 acres of land, as an everlasting inheritance to them and their children forever.

The Mormons are regular Free Soilers but not politically so, for they sav they never have been protected in their rights in Missouri or Illinois as citizens, and therefore they will have nothing to do with politics, but "will be subject to the laws that be," and be governed by them, but will not help to make them, and thus bring upon them another persecution.

Beaver Islands are blest with the most extensive inland fishery there is in the United States. White-fish and Mackinaw trout are taken in abundance -- The Mormons own two good sail vessels and can do a good business in the lumber trade. All kinds of work are carried on upon the Beaver which is done elsewhere on this Western Lake ports. -- Propellers and sail crafts are continually going and coming into their port. The first class of large steamers do not stop there regularly. Garden Island, six miles square, is one of the richest and most beautiful Islands on the face of the earth. The Big Beaver is six by fourteen miles in extent. There are several more beautiful, well timbered islands which surround the Big Beaver; each about six miles square. The people have sent to Congress a petition for a grant of these islands, and it is hoped that the government will give it to them that they may live by themselves and enjoy their fanaticism and delusion, if it is such, without molestation from any one. -- Commercial Times.

Note: See the Watertown Chronicle of  Dec. 4, 1850 for a somewhat less rosy depiction of Strang and his island colony.


Vol. IV.                     Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Wednesday, November 6, 1850.                   No. 24.

Mormonism  at  the  Salt Lake.

The doctrine of Spiritual Wives -- The
City of the Salt Lake -- Beautifully laid out
-- Irrigation of its soil -- Splendid wheat --
The population of tht Valley -- Abundance of
gold currency -- Priest's share of the crops --
The title to the land -- The flocks worthy of
the children of Israel in the land of Goshen.

A California emigrant, who writes in the St. Louis Intelligencer, in the course of his overland journey, sojourns some days among the Mormons of the Salt Lake. Though evidently imbued with prejudices, he is a keen observer, and writes readily and agreeably of the truly wonderful improvements which the Mormons have built upon their Isle -- if we may so speak of their isolation -- in the Desert. For indomitable industry, the "Latter-Day Saints" will hold a marked place in the world's history. When they were driven from Illinois, starvation seemed inevitable, but three years have elapsed, and they are already as prosperous a community as there is in the whole Union. Such are the fruits of unwearied industry:

"Since I have known Mormonism, its progress has been from bad to worse, and now, as a religious sect, their standard of morals is sunk below the 'Five Points' in the city of New York, though more order and regularity is certainly found in Mormondom than about the 'Points.' In the States, the spiritual wife doctrine was denied by many of the sect, though admitted by some. -- Now, polygamy is practiced and openly avowed to be by divine command; even ladies, who have been raised in the States in the first circles, and received moral and religious educations, said to me they considered it all right and in accordance with God's will. Bishop Kimball is said to have between thirty and forty wives. Others have various numbers -- some more, some less; a man can have as many as he can support. Their preaching is now nothing but strong and bitter denunciations against other people, more particularly the people and government of the United States. No moral principles are urged, explained or inculcated from their stands; they say themselves that they preach no longer, they only exchange thoughts and ideas with one another -- On the 4th of July, one of the most treasonable speeches (if it could be so called) was made in their public building, that we ever listened to. -- They are greatly incensed against the United States -- 1st, because Congress would not repay them for the damage done their property in Missouri and Illinois, by the mobs which drove them out of those States; 2d, because Deseret has not been given a Territorial or State government; and 3d, probably because no more notice is taken of them now, by the press of the country, than though they were one of the far-off Indian tribes.

The City of the Great Salt Lake is beautifully laid out within a short distance of the western slope of the mountain forming the eastern end of the valley. It contains eleven or twelve thousand inhabitants, who are mostly engaged in agriculture, though a portion of their time is devoted to mechanical pursuits when understood. The streets of the city intersect each other at right angles, and each block is half a mile square, with an alley from East to West and Norm and South. Each block is called a ward, and has a bishop to preside over its government, whose duties are to act as magistrates, tax collectors and preachers, as well as street commissioners. The city and all the farming lands are irrigated by streams of beautiful water, which flow from the adjacent mountains. These streams have been with great labor and perseverence led in every direction. In the city they flow on each side of the different streets, and their waters are led upon the inhabitant's gardens at regular periods, so likewise upon the extensive fields of grain lying to the South of the city. There is a field thirty miles long by six and ten wide, a portion of which is cultivated by any who desire. This field was moving with wheat, barely and oats, nearly ready for the sickle when we were at the lake, and a finer field of wheat never grew in any country; the berry was large, full and plump, and of a superior whiteness. We were convinced that no country in the world could produce better crops of wheat than this valley, or arger amount to the acre. The system of irrigation prevents anything like rust or smut striking the crop, to blast the expectation of the farmer. The productiveness of the soil will always secure him an abundant crop.

Mormon Population. -- Within the valley, and including three other settlements of this people in the vicinity, there cannot be far from 30,000 inhabitants. Forty miles south they have a village, and another 110 miles farther South, among the Utah Indians -- I suppose -- where fine forests of all kinds of timber abound, while little or none for mechanical purpose, excepting pine, grows in the vicinity of the valley. The character of this people has changed but little since their exodus from the States. The leaders and all appear to be more "free and easy" and the great body as perseveringly industrious and obedient to the higher powers as ever. Money is very plenty among them -- principally gold much of which came from the California mines. The religious character of the whole body has degenerated into mere amusement frivolity, &c., not even the semblance of true piety is kept up.

In the vicinity of the city is a warm spring which has been brought into the city, and public baths erected. The water is highly medicinal. Each citizen has a building lot appropriated to his use, but is not the absolute owner, as he cannot dispose of it to a Gentile without the consent of the church; neither can a Mormon move away or take a journey without the consentof the church. Each member is allowed to take up and cultivate as much land as he pleases, but he can only sell such improvements as he may make upon the land. One-tenth of the produce of the land, or the accumulation of each individual, as well as one-tenth of his time, belongs to the church, and is rigorously exacted. The houses are mostly one story high, though some of them are neat little cottages. -- They have nearly completed a spacious Court House two stories high, 40 feet square. The first story is built of freestone and the second of sunburnt brick; houses built of these brick are very warm in winter and cool in summer, and appear well adapted to the climate. They are about to erect a temple and other public buildings. Eber Kimball's house is a large two story stone building, some 50 feet by 25 ft., yet it is not large enough to contain one half of his numerous wives. The prosperity of this people is truly astonishing. They have flocks and herds and most of the good things of earth in abundance. We saw about 3,000 of the finest, fattest cattle on an island in the Salt Lake, that we ever put eye upon. In the morning you may see lads driving hundreds of cows from the bounds of the city to the herded within two or three miles and then driven back at night. The regulations of the valley in regard to stock are, that it shall be fenced while the gardens and fields are left with a slight protection in the way of a fence. Brigham Young is the Alpha and Omega of the sect; his word is law. He is emphatically the thinking, breathing organ of this whole people; and yet he is an ordinary minded man, without the "hard horse" sense of Joe Smith or many of those who surrounded him; his quiet, good-natured disposition -- in short, his amiableness of character has, and will keep him, the leader of the Latter Day Saints.

This valley is capable of sustaining a population of 150,000, it is from 30 to 50 miles wide, and from 160 to 180 miles long; nearly the whole valley is fit for cultivation if irrigation be resorted to. Hemmed in on all sides by mountains, upon whose tops lies perpetual snow, one would suppose that the climate is much colder than it really is in both summer and winter. Prices range high in the valley; coffee 60 cents per lb; sugar do; beans 50 cts. per pint; flour 50 cts. per pound; beef 12 1/2 cts; butter 37 1/2; milk 25 c per quart; bacon 50 cents per pound.

Note: The full letter in the St. Louis newspaper also says that the Mormons have formed a treaty "offensive and defensive" with the Utah Indians; and further, that many of these Indians have been baptised in the Mormon faith.


Wisconsin  [    ]  Express.

Vol. X.                     Madison, Wisconsin, Thursday, November 7, 1850.                   No. 52.

AFFECTATION. -- We of the democratic party believe, or affect to believe, that our principles propose the best if not the only means by which the great end of equal rights and free government can be made certain and permanent. -- Madison Democrat.

Yes, and so did the famous Jo Smith believe, or affect to believe in the new revelations which he put forth in his Mormon Bible, and the mock sincerity with which he and a few kindred hypocrites affected to prove and substantiate its authenticity as a revelation and advocated the doctrines it inculcated, drew around them immense crowds of blind idolaters, whose lack of reason and common sense was amply repaid by the brazen self assurance, noise and clamor with which they crazed other fools and won them over to be followers of this prince of humbugs. So with the "latter day saints" in politics. They have arrogated to themselves a high-sounding title and "affect" to believe that it carries with it a political salvation. Democracy! democracy! The glorious democracy is heralded forth through the land by the blind adherents of these "political Mormons," without for a moment stopping to ask themselves, What is democracy? What are its true doctrines and principles and who of the different parties really advocate and seek to carry out the democratic principals in the national sense of the term? When they do this, locofocoism will be known but to be shunned and despised.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Green Bay  [  -  ]  Advocate.

Vol. V.                     Green Bay, Wisconsin, Thursday, November 14, 1850.                   No. 12.

MORMON EMIGRATION AND ARRIVALS. -- The ship North Atlantic sailed from Liverpool on the morning of the 4th of September, carrying three hundred and fifty-seven souls of the Latter-Day Saints, under the presidency of Elder David Sudworth. Their destination is the Great Salt Luke Valley, via New Orleans, St. Louis, and Council Bluffs. The ship James Pennel will sail on the 2d inst. with a full complement of Saints bound for the same destination. Elder Robert Campbell, from the Great Salt Lake City, arrived in the steamship Cambria, Sept. 2d, bringing news from that distant region up to the 20th of April. Several other Elders from the Great Salt Lake City arrived in Liverpool on the 14th ult. Their names are an follows: Appleton Harmon, Claudius V. Spencer, Wm. Burton, John O. Angus, Isaac C. Haight, Jesse W. Crosby, and James Works. -- MilIenial Star.

Author of the Mormon Bible. -- The New England Puritan states that at a public meeting held lately in Cherry Valley, Judge Campbell said:

Rev. Solomon Spaulding, one of the earliest preceptors of the Academy of Cherry Valley, was the actual composer of most of what is known as the Mormon Bible. He wrote it during a period of delicate health to beguile some of his weary hours, and also with a design to offer it for publication as a romance. Dr. Robert Campbell, late of Cherry Valley, and foster father of the first Mrs. Grant, of the Nestorian mission, calling some years since upon Mr. Spaulding, had the manuscript of this notable book to be shown to him, and was also informed by Mr. Spaulding that he had hopes of reaping some pecuniary advantage from it for himself and family. Mr. Spaulding has been dead for some years, though it is believed that his wife is still living in the United States. How it passed from the possession of his family into the hands of Joe Smith, Mrs. S. could tell.

THE MORMONS ON BEAVER ISLAND. -- A correspondent of the Cleveland PIain Dealer, writing from Mackinac, says that a row has taken place among the Mormons on Beaver Island. He gives the following particulars:

"I Iearned that a great row had taken place, and that Adams the prophet's or King's adviser, had to flee for his life. Adams had a warrant issued and James J. Strang, the prophet, was arrested. Adams says he can't help going to state prison, and such wickedness shall not be carried on any longer. Several have to guard their dwellings with muskets, for fear the prophet will come on them in the night and slay them, as he threatened to do so in the church about two weeks ago. -- "Any one," he said, "who dares disobey my law, shall leave the inland without a boat, or be a head shorter if he stays."

Strang, he says, has been making altogether too free with the property of others. He adds that the "prophet" was brought to Mackinac under arrest on the 27th, and tried and sentenced to 6 months imprisonment in the County Jail.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XI.                     Kenosha, Wisconsin, Friday, November 15, 1850.                   No. 21.

THE MORMONS AT BEAVER ISLAND. -- A Muss. -- Beaver Island, as our readers are aware, is an island in the Western part of Lake Michigan, settled by the "Latter day Saints," under the spiritual, temporal and physical government of Prophet Strang, formerly of Voree, in this State, and Adams, another worthy of the same class, only not quite so much so. Strang's ideas of family obligations, and of the rights of property being quite peculiar, and as he generally carried out his views, as he had opportonitr, some of the brethren became dissatisfied with him, and made choice of Adams, to lead on the revolt. Thereupon, Strang had himself proclaimed "King of the whole earth." Some of the more democratic of the brethren, however, applied to the proper U. S. authorities and the King and prophet was arrested, consigned to the jug in Mackinaw, on complaint for bigamy, theft, treason and other choice crimes. Indictments were found against him and he gave bail to appear.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                     Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Wednesday, November 20, 1850.                   No. 56.

AN INTERVIEW WITH ONE OF THE SAINTS. -- We yesterday had an interesting interview with one of the Saints, fresh from Beaver Island, by the name of R. F. Mills, from whom we gathered many particulars respecting the condition and prospects of this peculiar people. Mr. Strang has been imprisoned four times, but has each time got clear, on some technical informality. When asked if the authorities did not collude with Strang, for the sake of getting the Mormon vote, he said, he guessed there was some wire-pulling. The District Attorney made strenuous efforts to clear him, and the Saints voted the Democratic ticket. Strung has two wives, -- his first, about his own age, say 35, -- his last, married last summer, 17 years old. The Prophet had an eye to the beautiful and sensible, in choosing her.

Mr. Mills lived a year with a Mr. Cheeseman, who had three wives -- one old, and two young ones; all have separate beds -- the younger have one child each, the oldest has four or five. Mr. Cheeseman has had two more wives, but one bolted, and the other poisoned herself.

Mr. Mills says, it is generally supposed that families composed of a plurality of wives live peaceably and happily, but that it causes bickerings, heart-burnings, and continual strife. He says there is a division of sentiment among them in regard to the practice, the women advocating it as strongly as the men; that a year ago they were about equally divided in regard to it, but that the tide of public sentiment is setting strong against it, and that this change of sentiment against polygamy, is owing to discussion, and the practical developements of the system. He thinks it might be defended from the old Testament, but that strict morality forbids it -- that it makes men, tyrants, and women, brutes, and that very few of the saints practice it.

They number about 400, are generally poor, but most of them industrious. Their tabernacle progresses slowly. Adams, who, for ambitious purposes of his own, got Strang proclaimed king the 5th of last July, has fled to Mackinaw, where he is now conducting a theatre. Strang's authority is now undisputed in that region, and every thing indicates the continuance of his reign.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. V.                 Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, Wednesday, November 27, 1850.               No. 4.


The Mormons at Beaver Island. -- Some squabbling has been going on in this nest of fanatics during the last few weeks. Strang, the prophet, caused himself to be ordained king of the whole earth, to which proceeding his coadjutor Adams took serious exceptions, and finally caused the arrest of Strang, on the charges of treason, bigamy and trespass. Adams succeeded in getting him into prison in Mackinac. He is now at large however on bail. The Disciples are in a state of fermentation. -- Wisconsin.

Note: This same notice also appeared in the Janesville Gazette of Nov. 14, 1850.


Green Bay  [  -  ]  Advocate.

Vol. V.                     Green Bay, Wisconsin, Thursday, November 28, 1850.                   No. 14.

St. Louis, Nov. 13.            
From Mormon Land. -- Capt. Stansbury, of the topographical engineers, and party, arrived last evening on their return from an exploring expedition to the Great Salt Lake. -- They were upwards of twelve months making surveys, &c., and return in good health. They speak highly of the Mormons, who aided them all in their power. It is estimated that 12,000 wagons will have reached Salt Lake this season from the States.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                     Watertown, Wisconsin, Wednesday, December 4, 1850.                   No. 181.

A  Prairie  Incident.

At a place called Yellow Creek, about half way between Salt Lake and the junction of the Oregon and Calforma roads, we were the unwilling witnesses of an Indian massacre. On the evening previous, we had crossed the creek, and encamped about a mile and a half beyond. Near the Creek some Snake Indians, thirteen in all, had erected their wig-wams. Before dark I had endeavored, but in vain, to trade with the chief for a pony, but 'no swap' was the word though. All the while some one of the party kept exhibiting the good qualities and speed of the different animals. The young squaws excelled their lords in horsemanship, or horsewomanship. One young creature assumed every attitude of the best circus rider. She would pick her whip from the ground under full speed; check her pony in his mad career as if he had been shot; wheel him at full speed by an inclination of her body, throw the lasso successully at whatever object she pleased. She rode like a man, yet,
"An antelope,
in the suspended impulses of its lightness,
"Were less ethereally light."
She was an Indian beauty, too, and somewhat a coquette in the bargain. She would arch her own and he horse's neck at any praise bestowed on either beauty or horsemanship, and laugh most heartily at our attempts to make ourselves understood. She was all life and buoyancy -- but, alas! she was a cold corpse ere the morning sun shone upon the valley in which she had been so active and happy. Just as the day was breaking, we heard the ominous war whoop, and immediately followed the sharp crack of the rifle. We aroused ourselves from our slumbers and hastened toward the scene of action. A horrid sight met our view. There laid the dead forms of those who had Iived and breathed the evening before: nearly all had two or three bullets in their bodies.

Our heroine of the night previous had not escaped. She lay outside of her wig-wam, a bleeding corpse. No respect had been paid to her jet black locks; the scalping knife had passed around them, and they now doubtless grace the girdle of some Utah. Twelve Snakes lay dead upon the ground, nine of whom had been scalped, two old Indians and a boy having escaped the knife; one squaw had escaped by flight. The perpetrators of this horrid scene were about fifty Utah Indians whom we saw near the camp of an emigrant party about a mile from the scene of action. With horror and disgust we turned from the sight and pursued our way.
                    Corr. St. Louis Intelligencer.

The Mormons on Beaver Island have got into a precious row among themselves, and their prophet got himself into the Mackinac jail. This leader of the Beaver Mormons is a fellow by the name of Strang. He was once a poor pettifogging lawyer in Cattaraugus county, in the western part of New York; and for a time editor of the Randolph Herald, a poor bantling that died before its eyes had fairly opened upon the great world in which it was to have played an important a part. He never was postmaster at Ellicotville, as we have seen stated by a correspondent of some eastern paper who came as near the truth in that assertion, as he did in the rest of his account of the miserable impostor, whom he makes a sort of Miltonic-satanic hero. Strang never was half witted, never occupied a passable standing at the bar, never was half-way honest, and ran away from the east to get rid of hie debts, and joined the Mormons to better his fortunes. He succeeded in creating a division of the sect at Nauvoo, seceded with his followers and established the spiritual kingdom of Voree. Upon the final dispersion and exodus of the community after the death of Jo Smith, instead of going forth with his brethern to the deserts of the west he gathered about him two or three hundred of his followers, and squatted upon Beaver island in Lake Michigan.

Lately, he proclaimed himself to be crowned king of the island and the whole earth, which act of treason the republicans of his flock did not relish, and he was therefore delivered over to the authorities of Michigan and lodged in durance. He always was a precious scamp, and we fear he will die one.
Sheboygan Mercury.            

Note: The Sheboygan Mercury report on J. J. Strang was published in its issue for Nov. 16th.


Vol. VII.                     Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Wednesday, December 11, 1850.                   No. 1.

From our Correspondent at Beaver Island.

The Mormons -- Scarcity of Food -- Determined to Leave --
"Bread from Heaven" -- the Ohio ashore -- the A. B. Patchin.

December 1, 1850.        
Mr. Editor -- A great country this -- for every thing except money, and no use for that. One of the darkest periods that I ever witnessed in this or any other country, for the appearance of a scarcity of provisions has just passed.

Your readers are, most of them, probably aware that we are, for near five months of the year, cut off from all resources from land, and that we do not raise sufficient for the support of the inhabitants, but depend on sending to Chicago and other places; in the fall, for our winter's supply. Owing to the great emigration of Mormons to this place -- most of them destitute of means -- there was some uneasiness among the Saints about their winter's stock of provisions. But the Prophet gave them the strongest assurance that there would be an abundance, and that they need have no misgivings whatever. The mass of the faithful, with the most unconcerned security, relied upon the word of their great file-leader. But, during the last week, a great panic seized many of the faithful, and they made all possible exertions to leave, navigation being about to close. But just then the propeller Monticello came popping in, with a good supply of provisions for the Island; so, quiet now reigns in Warsaw -- and they can sing, "Rejoice ye faithful, for the Lord is on our side yet."

We have had a tremendous blow here. -- The propellor Ohio broke away from the wharf and was driven ashore, where she now lies, in about three feet of water. She is unloading, and has given up the idea of getting away this fall. So we shall have a propeller to winter with us. She is loaded with wheat.

The steamboat Lexington has been here some two weeks, endeavoring to get off the A. D. Patchin. They have got a steam engine on board of her, (a young locofoco) which pumps 15 tons of water per minute -- They have got her pumped out and affloat, and if the wind had held up two days longer, she would have been towed into the harbor. She will probably be here to-morrow. The expense has been heavy -- some $200 per day. The Patchin lies some 14 or 15 miles from here.

In great haste -- boat just about to leave -- guess at what you can't read.
R. F. MILLS.          

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                         Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Friday, June 13, 1851.                       No. 46.

==> James J. Strang, Chief of the Beaver Island Mormons, is now lying in Detroit Jail, on indictments for obstructing U. S. Mails, and despoiling U. S. Land.

==> The Book of Mormon is to be exhibited at the World's Fair in the English, French and Danish languages. It has been translated and printed by Mormon missionaries in those countries.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. I.                       Hudson, St. Croix Co., Wisconsin, June 22, 1854.                     No. 46.

Defence of Poligamy.

A lady in Utah, wife of a Mormon leader, writes to her sister a long letter, published in the newspapers, defending polygamy by the example of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the holy men mentioned in the Bible. The argument is as ingenious as many others drawn from the same source, and would be conclusive enough for any Turk, whose harem contained not less than two hundred wives. The letter [is] a curiosity, as exhibiting the social relations of the polygamist. The lady says her husband has seven other wives, which is a moderate number for a leader of the faith, as Rigdon [sic - Brigham?], the [high priest] of Mormonism, we believe, has thirty-six.

The children of these eight wives number twenty-five. The husband she says is a good and virtuous husband, and all these mothers and children are endeared to her by kindred ties -- by mutual affection -- by acquaintance and association; and the mothers in particular by mutual and long continued exercises of toil, patience, long suffering and sisterly kindness. The husband of whose affection she is entitled to just one eighth is a particular teacher of morals and religion; a prompter of general education; and at present occupies an honorable seat in the Legislative Councils of the Territory.

She concludes her remarkable letter with the hope that enlightened legislation in every State will be so modified, and the customs and consciences of individuals will be so altered, that [a] Utah gentlemen, with more than the Christian number of wives, may be able to travel in any part of the United States with his harem and children, and enjoy as much consideration and honor as he does at home or in the same manner as the patriarch Jacob would have been respected, had he, with his wives and children, paid a visit to his kindred. We have heard much of the 'good time coming;' probably it is the period the lady refers to.

Note: The above item was reprinted from the Philadelphia Ledger. Copies of the mentioned Belinda Marden Pratt letter can be found in various mid-1850s publications, under the heading: "Defence of Polygamy, by a Lady of Utah, in a Letter to Her Sister in New Hampshire."


Vol. II.                       Madison, Wisconsin, Saturday, November 10, 1855.                     No. 23.

Joe Smith's Miracles.

Some years ago, a number of orthodox clergymen were ascending the Ohio river on one of the fine boats navigating this stream, and among the passengers was Elder Hyde, of Mormon faith. Of coarse the passengers were treated to several sermons, and on Sunday two discourses were, delivered by two of the most talented of the clergy. Some of the gentlemen on board the boat expressed a wish to learn something of the views of that peculiar people to whom Elder Hyde had attacked himself, and a respectable number joined the request, the Elder consented to preach them a sermon. Every person on board the boat, including that portion of the crew who could leave their stations, were assembled in the cabin, and the curiosity of all was highly excited. The Elder took his station, read a chapter from the Bible, selected a verse as a text, and gave them a regular, old fashioned sermon, differing in none of the essentials from those which preceedod it. However after tea an incident led to the discussion of Mormonism, and the clergymen were expressing their surprise that people could be led astray by such ridiculous nonsense. An Illinoisan, a sober faced man, not before joining in the conversation, here remarked that "the miracles worked by the prophet Smith, were of a character to satisfy the mind of any one of the correctness of the Mormon faith." --

"What miracles?" spoke up several at once, "we never heard of them." "They are numerous enough," said the sober looking friend, "and were generally wrought among the poorer classes, and tended to their worldly advancement. While the prophet lived in Illinois, before his enemies combined against him, he went about preaching the faith and doing good to the members of his flock, and as it was considered a high honor to receive a visit from the prophet, he was a welcome visitor where ever he went. One morning as he was wending his way to a humble log cabin, he was decried by the little son of the widow who occupied it, who ran to inform his mother of the august person approaching. She dropped the web of linen just cut from the loom, which she was in the act of measuring, and ran out to welcome the prophet. She expressed herself highly gratified by the visit, and had his horse fed and got him his breakfast. After a while the prophet rose to depart, and wished to force upon the poor woman some recompence for the trouble he had given her, which she would not listen to. He then blessed her, and said the Lord would keep her till noon at whatever she first went alter he departed. The prophet then left, and the widow, without reflecting on his words, went to measuring her linen web; but there was no end to it. She measured and measured, and her little son tramped down, until her cabin was filled with several thousand yards of linen, and still it held out until the hour of high noon fulfilled the prophet's miracle."

"Don't believe a word of it." "Gammon," said another; but our friend stuck to the truth of his story, and continued: 'Of course the widow's good fortune was the talk of the neighborhood, and all the miracles of the prophet, from beginning to end, were carefully enumerated. All the weavers of the country were anxious for a visit from the great and good man. One old lady, more avaricious than godly, wove about half a yard of linen and left it in her loom, and awaited a visit from the prophet. After a while her heart was gladdened and her patience rewarded by seeing him approach, with the first rays of the morning sun, the looked-for friend of the poor. He was bound on a longer journey than usual, and had made a very early start. The old lady had his horse fed from the oats belonging to the Methodist preacher, and got the traveler the best breakfast her larder afforded. "When the wants of the man were supplied, the prophet arose and as was his custom, urged the old lady to take pay for his breakfast. No, indeed, she could not think of taking pay from the prophet; so he blessed her also, and said God would prosper and continue her at whatever work she went at, and so departed on his journey. The woman was elated with joy, and hurried to her loom to cut her short web, and measure from it quantities of linen sufficient for years to come. -- In her great hurry she stumbled over an unfortunate urchin that stood in the way, and in her wrath she fell to whipping it; and the Lord prospered her and she continued her whipping till noon."

Our sober-faced friend never smiled, for he seemed to believe every word he was relating; and the clergymen present, after casting side glances at each other, went to bed for the night.

Notes: (forthcoming)


NS Vol. I.                           Janesville, Wisconsin, June 2, 1857.                         No. 73.

Mormon Child Stealing Case --
Elder Parley Pratt Shot.

The Van Buren (Ark.) Intelligencer of the 15th, contains the following account of one of the most remarkable instances of desertion, infatuation and crime, terminating in the death of the party most guilty, that we have ever met with:

TRAGICAL. -- It is with regret that we have to chronicle the homicide, committed in our vicinity on Wednesday last, by Mr. Hector H. McLean, late of San Francisco, California, upon the person of a Mormon preacher. More than all we do deplore the melancholy affair that led to its commission. The deceased, whose name was Parley Parker Pratt, was a man of note among the Mormons, and judging from his diary and his letter to Mrs. McLean, he was a man of more than ordinary intelligence and ability. He had been a preacher and missionary of the Mormons at San Francisco, California, where he made the acquaintance of Mrs. McLean, whom he induced to embrace the Mormon faith.

She was at that time living with her husband, Hector H. McLean: they were happy and prosperous until she made the acquaintance of Pratt, and embraced the Mormon faith. She is the mother of three children by McLean, two boys and a girl, and seems to be an intelligent and interesting lady: converses fluently, and with more grace and ease than most ladies. About two years ago, and soon after she became a convert to Mormonism, she made an attempt to abduct two of her children to Utah, but was detected and prevented by her brother, who was then in California, and residing with his brother-in-law, Mr. McLean. She soon after, however, found means to elope with said Pratt to Salt Lake, where it is said that she became his seventh wife.

After the elopement of Mrs. McLean, her parents, who reside near New Orleans, wrote to Mr. McLean, in California, to send the children to them. He did so. Several months after this Mr. McLean received news that his wife had been to her father's in New Orleans, and eloped with the two youngest children. He immediately left San Francisco, for New Orleans, and, on arriving at the house of his father-in-law, he learned from that Mrs. McLean had been there, and, after an ineffectual effort to convert her father and mother to Mormonism, she pretended to abandon it herself, and so far obtained the confidence of her parents as to induce them to intrust her [missing text: in the City of New Orleans] with the children; but they soon found she had betrayed their confidence, and eloped with the children.

They then wrote to McLean, in San Francisco, who, upon the receipt of their letter, went to New Orleans, and learning from them the above facts in relation to the affair, immediately started in pursuit of his children. He went to New York and then to St. Louis. While in St. Louis he learned that the woman and children were in Houston, Texas. On his arrival in Houston he found that his wife had left some time before his arrival to join a large party of Mormons en route for Utah. He then returned to New Orleans, and from there to Fort Gibson, in the Cherokee Nation with the expectation of intercepting his wife and children at that point.

On arriving at Fort Gibson, and while there, he found letters in the post-office to his wife from Pratt, some of which were mailed at St. Louis, and others at Flint post-office, Cherokee Nation. We are unable to give the contents of these letters with particularity, but they contained the fact that McLean was on the look-out for her and the children, and that they were betrayed by the apostates and gentiles, and advising her to be cautious in her movements, and not to let herself be known, only to a few of the saints and elders. McLean then, upon affidavit made by himself, obtained a writ from the United States [missing text: Commissioner at this place for their arrest, and succeeded in getting them arrested by the United States] Marshal. They were brought to this place for trial, and after an examination before the commissioner, were discharged.

Pratt, as soon as released, mounted his horse and left the city. McLean soon after obtained a horse and started in pursuit, and overtook Pratt about eight miles from the city, and shot him. Pratt died in about two hours after receiving the wound.

This is a plain narrative of the facts as we heard them from the most reliable resources, which we give to our readers without comment, as we feel that we are unable to do so with justice to all parties. But deeply do we sympathize with McLean in the unfortunate condition in which Mormon villainy and fanaticism has placed him.

Note: The above reprint omits several additional paragraphs of text published at the end of the original article.



Vol. ?                           Milaukee, Wisconsin, Friday, June 5, 1857.                         No. ?

Mormonism -- An Account of it by a
Brother of the "Prophet," Joe Smith.

WILLIAM SMITH, brother of Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon sect of fanatics, writes to the N. Y. Tribune, from Warren, Pa., a letter in which he confirms in full the statements made in relation to the intentions of those crazy people, under Brigham Young, to throw off entirely their allegiance to the U. S.

He reminds the readers of that paper of a petition "drawn up by himself and signed by many of the citizens of the State of Illinois, and sent to Washington at the time when Utah was recognized as a Territory, in which petition were set forth clearly and plainly the facts in regard to the treasonable designs of the Mormons against the United States Government; also the fact that these Mormons proposed establishing the doctrine of Polygamy, all of which statements the leading Mormons positively and peremptorily denied."

He says, further:

I will here remark also, that all the plans for this Mormon treason against the Government were laid in councils at Nauvoo, previous to the expulsion of the Saints from the State of Illinois -- an expulsion caused by the wicked doings of the corrupt Danite leaders, including robberies and murders. While the Mormons were yet at Nauvoo, Brigham Young took the incipient steps toward the organization of the Danite banditti, by administering to such Mormons as he could influence an oath that, from that time forward, they would be the persistent enemies of the United States Government, and the Gentiles generally. Since their removal from Illinois, they have added the Danite and other treasonable oaths and covenants, binding still stronger and stronger the confederacy of traitors in their new and far-off Land of Zion, in the Valley of the Mountains.

I have no doubt whatever of the truth of the charges against the Mormon people of having committed the most wanton and cruel murders in the disguise of Indians; and if the spirits of their victims now sleeping in their graves at Nauvoo could but speak to the world they would reveal tales of cruelty and horror which would make the people stand aghast and cause these murderous, guilty, Mormon rebels to quake with fear, and possibly to recoil at the contemplation of their own wickedness.

I have good reason for believing that my brother Samuel H. Smith, died of poison at Nauvoo, administered by order of Brigham Young and Willard Richards, only a few weeks subsequent to the unlawful murder of my other brothers, Joseph and Hiram Smith, while incarcerated in Carthage jail. Several other persons who were presumed to stand between Brigham Young and the accomplishment of his ambitions and wicked designs mysteriously disappeared from Nauvoo about the same time, and have never since been heard from.

He charges Brigham Young, with Elders Pratt, Snow, KImball, Hyde, with being the founders of the secret Danite banditti, or "destroying angels" as they are called by the Mormons. In regard to the designs of these Mormons to rob and plunder the California emigrants, and to commit certain depredations upon the General Government -- to hoax, fool, and to gull money out of them under various pretences, he testifies that he has heard Mormons boast and talk of these designs in Nauvoo, previous to their leaving for the Salt Lake Valley, and has also often heard Mormons talk openly of their designs in robbing the Gentiles and of putting to death dissenting Mormons.

He gives a copy of the charge given to those in the "sixth degree" of this murderous secret association, as follows:

Mormon, though you have eaten of the bread of life, you are still liable not only to the natural but to an eternal death. But such can only befall you through faithlessness to your oath of initiation, for otherwise you are superior to all mortal sin. BETRAY THAT OATH and you hang for all time and burn for all eternity, for in such case no power can shield you from the vengeance of the brotherhood and the punishment of hell! But honor it to the end and no crime which you can commit can deprive you of an everlasting reward in heaven. Look on those skeletons -- they are the bones of faithless Mormons. Behold those captives in that burning lake -- they are their tortured souls, and assuredly such shall be your reward if such shall be your provocation. But be faithful and fear not! Be true to Mormonism and no species of falsehood can effect you. Against a Mormon you must never fight; against a Mormon you must never swear. Your words must comfort them -- your money must succor them. As judges you must deliver them -- as jurors, acquit them * * * You must exalt them into all offices which they covet; you must abandon clan, kin and country for their sake; and in fine, you must make Mormonism and everything that effects its interests the great aim and object of your life. And now go forth upon your mission and be this your motto: An oath I have given
Let me honor it well;
For to keep it is heaven,
And to break it is hell.
As to himself, Mr. Smith says:

In conclusion, permit me to say that I am not a Mormon. The treachery, corruption and murderous practices of the leaders of the Mormon Church long since disgusted me with a doctrine which produces such results, and as a matter of course I left the heaven-defying traitors, as every honest man should do, and leave the guilty wretches to suffer the fate which they so richly merit, and which is certain, sooner or later to overtake them. * * * In presenting to Congress my remonstrance to these views I greatly endangered my life.

I escaped the penalty of the Danite law, which is death; but the Mormons robbed me of all my property -- confiscated everything I possessed, including a library of valuable books; also, valuable manuscripts and records of Church history prepared for the press. One of these manuscripts Orson Pratt, a leading Danite, published in England, which has since been extensively circulated in Europe and various parts of the United States.

The writer subscribes himself "William Smith, brother of Joseph Smith, the murdered patriarch and prophet of the Mormon Church."

Notes: (forthcoming)


NS Vol. I.                           Janesville, Wisconsin, June 13, 1857.                         No. 84.

The Story of a Fanatical and Erring Woman

From the Van Buren (Ark.) Intelligencer.

                                                                 Van Buren, May 18, 1857.
MR. EDITOR: -- Having read the editorial in your paper headed "Tragical," and finding several important points in the account incorrect, I beg to be heard by this community, and the world, being yet a living witness for both the living and the dead...

In November, 1851, I embraced the "Mormon" faith, and in January, 1855, my children were, on account of my faith, sent from San Francisco to New Orleans, and this without my having the slightest information of it until they were far upon the sea...

In behalf of the dead, I have to testify, that whatever existed between us was of my own seeking. When he kept house with his wife, Elizabeth, in San Francisco, I often sought his society, and if any censure me, let them censure me for the strongest impulses of my nature, which have ever prompted me to seek light and truth...

I also confess that, when a company of Saints were preparing to leave California with P. P. Pratt, I greatly desired to be one of the number, and went so far as to ask my Father in heaven to provide a way...

I would appeal to every man and woman of refined sensibility to know whether a virtuous woman and faithful mother is so humble a thing that she should come again to the bosom of a man who had by violence thrust her from him, and exposed her to insult and injury in the streets of a wicked city. Whoever takes the affirmative differs from the writer of this.
                                               E. J. McComb, once E. J. McLean.

Note: See the original article in the Arkansas paper, for the full text of Mrs. McLean's letter.


Vol. IV.                       Madison, Wisconsin, Saturday, October 31, 1857.                     No. ?

More Mormon Disclosures.

(Correspondence of the San Francisco Herald.)

Los Angeles, Sept., 1857.       
Among the most important items I have to communicate at this writing is touching the kingdom of sin at Salt Lake. The facts which are developed seem too incredible for belief, but since learning them from the mouth of one who was six years ago a Saint and President of Mormon City, Sodom, where they yet believe him to beone of the faithful, I have also learned from Col. J. G_____, father-in-law of Gen. V. E. Howard, that my information is corroborated by the mouths of several other witnesses, who believe in its truth.

My informant -- with whom I became accidentally acquainted through a business introduction,and whom I shall for prudential reasons designate as Mr. B_____ receives his letters by private hand, no letters being entrusted by the Mormons to the United States mail. He tells me that he knows the object of their leaders, of whom Brigham Young is the supreme power -- that it is to conquer the world and bring every nation under their dominion, physically and morally, which will be the accomplishment of a millenium and peace universal. But the means of this accomplishment are startling.

Every spring and fall, says my informant, a company of seventy are ordered and sent, out to different parts of the globe. These seventies, of which sixty have already gone forth as missionaries -- making in all thus far forty-two hundred -- are known as "Destroying Angels," and they go into all the world without "purse or scrip," and are directed to seek such employment as will best enable them to facilitate the great work of their religion. A great number are engaged in the fields of China, and especially in the manufacture of tea; into which, during their labors, they incorporate an insidious but fatal poison. Others are engaged in the same godlike (?) work, in the manufacture of liquor and tobacco; which articles, together with some others, are guarded against by the faithful, who receive what is called by Brigham, the "word of wisdom," and of course abstain from the use of the interdicted articles .

These poisons are of various kinds. Some are so slow that long periods elapse before they take effect, while at the same time their fatality may be precipitated by the admixture of other poisons.

One poison within the knowledge and possession of Brigham posseses qualities that remain inert in the human system for years before its fatal consequences are developed.

This may seem to partake largely of humbug in the opinion of scientific and medical men, and its possibility maybe hooted. Brigham indeed may be complimented upon his skill in some great tea and whiskey or tobacco speculation; or in the working out of the great problem of the temperance reformation. Indeed he says the public will not believe such a story because of its improbability; that he don't care whether they believe it or not; that he don't care if three-fourths of his people at Salt Lake should leave him -- one-fourth is sufficient to consummate his work whenever he chooses to put his power in operation; and that the United States will be the first to feeI, and most severely, its effects.

Mr. B. tells me also that Uncle Sam's troops will be received with open arms and with the greatest hospitality and kindness by the Mormons at Salt Lake; but not one of them will ever get away from there. Brigham intends to captivate them each with a homestead six feet by two in his romantic valley.

Six years ago Mr. A. entered the suburbs of that heathen metropolis, and the day before the arrival there of his company he met twelve missionaries, some of whom were his personal acquaintances from the Atlantic States, and from, them he learned the mission of the "Destroying Angels" and the "Danites."

Immediately upon entering the city, which was about 10 o'clock In the evening -- Brigham Young came out to the street, in his night dress, wearing a broad-brimmed black hat, to observe the company newly arrived. There was at this moment a man named Hyel Savage, from Kentucky or Missouri, walking up and down the street, cursing and smiting his fists together, saying that only six weeks ago he had come to this place with a young wife and two children, and,now that d___d Brigham Young had made her one of his strumpets; that he was going to leave the cursed place for California. Brigham peering out from under his hat, observed him, and hailing him, said: -- "Thus saith the Lord, before the sun shall rise and set, three times, thou shaIt be lying under the sod." Mr. B. hearing this prophecy, thought he wonld watch for its fnlfilment, when, sure enough, on the very next day, the young man, Savage, was dead and buried. His body in every part was swollen to its fullest extent. Mr. B; looked upon the corpse and drew his own inference. The "Danites" are a body of minute-men, who are at all times in readiness, at an instant's notice, to fulfil to the letter the prophecies of Brigham.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. V.                       Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin, Thurs., November 12, 1857.                     No. 51.

Later from Utah.

Late advices from Utah, says that a large force of Mormon militia under Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball, were preparing for a six weeks' campaign in the mountains to the eastward, and thus to stop, if possible, the passage of the United States troops. Although the positive distination was a secret known only to the leaders of the church, yet it was generally supposed that at the pass in the mountains near Bear rover cut-off, or at Steeple Rocks, the stand would be made by the Salt Lake forces, with an almost certainty of 'wiping out' the entire force sent against them. We pray that an encounter may take place, and the troops get worsted, in order that a just feeling of indignation may be aroused against the hordes of licentious traitors and murderers, who claim Brigham Young as their prophet; we trust he will soon meet the fate of Joe Smith, only instead of dying by a bullet, a rope will finish his existence and rid the earth of a scoundrel of the deepest dye.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VI.                     Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin, Thurs., February 18, 1858.                   No. 13.

Joe  Smith's  Family  in  Nauvoo.

A correspondent of the Missouri Republican writes that last summer he was at Nauvoo and convered with Mr. Bitoman, who is married to Joe Smith's widow. He says:

I sat at the table with the family, consisting of Mr. Bitoman and wife, and three sons of Joe Smith, the eldest about 22 or 23, the second about 20, the third a lad of some 12 or 13 years. From Mr. Bitoman I learned that not one of the family believed in Mormonism, and that his wife -- formerly Mrs. Smith -- had always been opposed to them, as well as the boys. I was told that Joe Smith prophesied some two years before the young lad was born, that a son was to be born to him, at or about a certain time; that at the time stated his wife did give birth to a son. At that time he also stated that his son's name would be David (not Joe), and that is the name of the lad, for I heard him answer to it. Joe also said that his mantle of greatness and prophecy would fall upon this son and lineal heir, David, who, he stated, would be as wise and powerful as David of old. The fact of the birth of this child, followed according to Joe's prophecy, strengthened the belief that had already so strong a hold upon his followers. Mrs. Bitoman is a masculine, intelligent-looking lady, of 45 or 47 years. -- She is a native of New York.

She has a splendid farm some four miles from Nanvoo, which is managed by her two eldest sous, while David goes to school. About the two eldest there is nothing remarkable to be seen. They are intelligent men, of large size, but have nothing in their appearance betokening them to be prophets, or "sons of a prophet." To their mother they are said to be very much attached and very kind. -- David is an uncommonly intelligent lad, of massive forehead and bright, expressive eyes, His step-father intimated that he cares as little about Mormons and Mormonism as one that has never heard the names, notwithstanding that thousands of the followers of his father believe him to be a great high priest, a prophet and seer (in embryo) &c. He knows that they worship his name equal to that of Jesus Christ; and yet, I am told, the lad is too intelligent to allow it to make any impression upon him. Probably the fact of all of the family being unbelievers in it is the cause.

The following incident I learned from a gentleman residing at Nauvoo. That when Joe was killed in jail, some fifteen miles from his home, his wife took possession of his body, and, to prevent the rabble from getting it, they raised the floor of the dining room, and digging a grave, buried his remians there, where they still remain. The story, whether true or not, is generally believed in Nauvoo.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VII.                     Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin, Thurs., October 13, 1859.                   No. 46.


BEAUTIFUL! FEATURES ON MORMON POLYGAMY -- A Camp Floyd correspondent of the Boston Traveller, says that polygamy stalks abroad in [full view] of Judges of the U. S. Courts and the army. The young women of the territory are daily being married to grey-headed old men, that have already six, ten and twelve wives each, and a score or two of children. Your correspondent a short time since dined with a Mormon family in the vicinity of Springville, where there were seventeen children under the age of four years, the family consisted of ten wives, three of the number were sisters and nieces of the husband, a fourth niece, only thirteen years of age, openly boasted that she shortly was going to marry the same old blue beard.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VIII.                   Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin, Thurs., December 22, 1859.                 No. 4.


L. E. Johnson, the landlord of the Prairie Hotel, was accidently drowned night before last. He was in a sleigh with others, when it went through an air-hole in the ice of the Mississippi.

Note: Lyman E. Johnson was a member of the 1834 "Zion's Camp" paramilitary expedition to Missouri. He was also one of the first Mormon "Twelve Apostles." In 1837 or early 1838 he separated from the LDS Church and remained out of fellowship with that group until his untimely death on Dec. 20, 1859. See also the Courier of March 8, 1860.


Vol. VIII.                     Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin, Thurs., March 8, 1860.                   No. 14.


Found the body of E. L. [sic] Johnson the late proprietor of the Prairie Hotel, who was drowned by breaking through the ice last winter, has been recovered."

Note: Mark L. Staker adds: "He [former Apostle Lyman E. Johnson] was buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in Prairie du Chien with a Masonic emblem at the top of the headstone. The stone reads: 'Drowned in the Mississippi River Dec. 20 1859, Aged 46 Years.'"


Vol. VIII.                     Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin, Thurs., April 12, 1860.                   No. 20.


The number of Mormons in Utah is put down at 38,000. Of these 4,672 men have 26,500 wives...

The widow of Morgan, of anti-masonic notoriety, died recently near Memphis, Tenn. She had married the second time...

Note: Lucinda Morgan Harris Smith lived in Memphis Tennessee during her final years. She reportedly joined the Catholic Sisters of Charity and for a time worked in Memphis' Leah Asylum. According to Todd Compton's 2001 In Sacred Loneliness, Lucinda (b. 1801) became the plural wife of Joseph Smith, jr., at Far West in February or March of 1838. Compton does not give the date of her death, but some reports say that she passed away in 1856, in Memphis, Tennessee, at the home of her daughter, Lucinda Wesley Smith, wife of David Bates Smith.


The Argus & Democrat.
Vol. ?                         Madison, Wisconsin, Friday, June 22, 1860.                       No. ?

The Mormon Conference at Council Bluffs.

A correspondent of the Burlington Hawk-eye, writing from Council Bluffs, under date of June 2d, says:

"The Mormon Conference commenced here yesterday, and the followers of Joe Smith are having a big time. The old Mormons are gathered in from a wide region of country around, some of them corning forty miles. Messrs. Marks, Briggs and Gurley are the chief apostles, and do most of the preaching. The Conference is held in a glen, which some of my readers will recognize by the name of "Hang Hollow," a murderer having been lynched there in the days of the early California emigration. The preachers appear to be sincere in their belief, but they are illiterate, narrow minded men, and if Joe wants to convert the Gentiles about here he must send over some bigger guns. The few faithful adherents of Brigham who still sojourn in this region are down on the new movement, and declare with solemn emphasis that ''these people have renounced the true gospel." This is natural enough, as the leaders of the Young Joe movement denounced Brigham and polygamy in measured terms. Some of the Brighamites are preparing to leave the country for Salt Lake, thinking, doubtless, that the land is not wide enough to hold two such sects. It is a question not fully decided among ourselves whether young Joe is in town or not. If he is, his followers keep their own counsel intending perhaps to startle us with a glimpse of the elephant to-morrow.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VIII.                     Janesville, Wisconsin, Monday, November 14, 1864.                   No. 220.

ANTI-POLYGAMOUS MORMONS IN CALIFORNIA. -- There is in California a colony of Mormons who rejected polygamy. They have just held a meeting in San Francisco under the title of the "Conference of the reorganized church of latter-day saints." The San Francisco Bulletin says that their numbers in California and Nevada are as follows: Members, 357 ; elders, 48; priests, 11; teachers, 2; children blessed during the year, 100; baptisms 36; cut off, 1. Their highest membership is in San Bernardino -- 168, Petaluma, and Sacramento branches next -- 35 and 33.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XX.                           Janesville, Wisconsin, June 8, 1865.                         No. 42.


A Letter from Joseph Smith, leader of the Mormon Opposition
to Brigham Young, Defining his Creed, Etc.

(view original article from Chicago paper)


Notes: (forthcoming)


Badger State Banner
Vol. ?                               Black River Falls, Wisconson, February 10, 1869.                             No. ?

Early  History.

James O'Neill's arrival on Black River
Jacob Spaulding Alone in his Glory and Compelled to Hunt for a Living --
The Woods Attempt a Flank Movement on "Uncle Jacob," and are Outmaneuvered -- Curtis and Nichols -- Robert Douglas Commences Farming in Melrose, and Thomas Douglas Erects a Mill at North Bend -- An Abundance of Game -- Origin of "Squaw Creek" -- General Spaulding
Defeats an Army of Mormon Saints.
...Shortly after that the Woods concluded between themselves that Spaulding was one too many [partners], and ejected him ???, and by seeing that there was a too heavy force force against him to contend successfully against, wended his way down to Prairie du Chien, where he prepared legal process and returned with the Sheriff, who placed him again in possession as joint tenant. Crawford County, at that date, embraces about all of the Northwestern portion of the State....

During that year [1841], delegation of Mormons came up the river from Nauvoo, Ill, in order to get material for their Temple, and purchased the half interest of Jonathan Nichols that he had jointly owned with Horatio Curtis-- Late that fall, Hudson Nichols, son of Jonathan, came up to the Falls and informed Spaulding that the Sunday before the Mormon Elder had revealed to his brethren that that winter they should log off Spaulding's claim; (on the Eastside of the river and below the present site of Campbell's ???) that the wilderness was the Lord's, and that no Gentile claim would be respected by the Saints-- Spaulding at once resolved that the genuineness of the revelation should be thoroughly tested if the threatened attempt was made. He had not long to wait, for, within a week, the Mormon logging crew were on their way up to the claim, and Spaulding having made up his mind to butt against the revelation and any titles with the Saints, and get together about twenty of his men, well armed with ??? weapons, started after them, the distance being about eight miles. Halting his men before he reached the Mormon camp, he went ahead to see what the prospect was and found the Saints had been at work like beavers, having fallen about 300 trees.

Finding the Elder, Spaulding inquired of him whether he was not aware that he was trespassing on his claim. The Elder remarked that it didn't make any difference whether he was or not; that he should cut timber wherever he could find it; the he had located his camp, and intended to log there that winter, at all events.

Spaulding being slightly provoked at the tone adopted by the follower of the Great Joseph, intimated that “[I'd] be damned that if he should cut another tree on the claim,” and yelling for his men, they were on the spot instantly, completely surprising the crew of lumbering Saints, “Now,” says Spaulding to the Elder, “I'll give you ten minutes to get out of this, and if not off in that time, there may [not?] be more Saints in Heaven, but I know there will be fewer on earth!” The Elder finding himself at Spaulding's mercy, commenced crying, and averred that such treatment was worse than that of the Missourians; but within the ten minutes ??? their gear were gathered up, then ??? loaded on and they headed downstream, groaning (?) in very bitter ??? of spirit and doubting even if the Lord reigned that high up Black river.
(To be Continued)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Badger State Banner
Vol. ?                               Black River Falls, Wisconson, February 13, 1869.                             No. ?

Early  History.

The Mormons Swear Vengeance on the Gentiles
Mr. Spaulding applies to U. S. forces at Fort Crawford for assistance in case of an attack from the Mormons -- A Transfer of "Falls" Property -- Paul Knight -- Death of Joe Smith -- Spaulding makes a Purchase of the Mormons -- "Uncle John" Lewis.
... As soon as the chief Mormon at Nichols' heard of the facts connected with the retreat of the Saints from Spaulding's Claim, he vowed that the Gentiles should leave the river, and at once sent a messenger post haste to Nauvoo, for sixty men and one hundred muskets.

Spaulding, hearing of the proceeding, and anticipating that he and his men, with what others might join them, would be hardly strong enough to prevent the Mormon threat from being carried into execution with the additional strength the expected reinforcements would give them, hastened down to Fort Crawford, at Prairie du Chien, laid the case before the officer in command, and concluded by asking him if he would render assistance in the event of trouble with the Mormons.

The Commander instantly replied, that should they attempt hostilities, he would, with his command, sweep them from the river without fail.

Jonathan Nichols was at the Prairie at the time in company with Spaulding, and heard the officer make the promise of assistance, and on his return home, informed the Saints that, if they were at all particular about a lengthy stay on earth, they had better let the Gentiles alone, at the same time informing them of what he had heard the commander of the United States troops promise Spaulding, at Fort Crawford.

This cooled off the martial ardor of the Mormons to such an extent that when their reinforcements arrived, which was a short time after, the guns were carefully laid aside, while the new men were set at work lumbering instead of slaughtering Gentiles; and from that time on, during their stay on the river, the Mormons “Roared you as gently as any sucking dove,” made no more threats of using force to accomplish their ends, but were in all respects peaceable and well disposed citizens.

In the spring of 1843, Spaulding sold out to them the Falls property for about $20,000, payable mostly in lumber. It consisted at that time of the little mill first built on Town Creek, the large mill first described, which was complete except the running gear on one side, the cabin first built, a small frame boarding house located about where A. Wehinger's store now stands, and one other log cabin that Hiram Yateman occupied when he returned to the Falls, which stood on the corner of what is now the northside corner of Main and Water street, a blacksmith shop, standing on at or near the present site of Hope's jewelry shop, with the claim before mentioned.

Spaulding received some money, besides the one-half interest of the Mormons in the Nichols mill in payment, while the balance of the purchase money was to be paid in lumber as above stated. The new occupants of the Falls property, were, in their way, very devout in all the outward observances of their peculiar religion, had preaching regularly as the Sabbath came, at which every Saint was present, as a matter of course, that lived anywhere near it, and among their congregations were frequently to be seen outsiders, whose curiosity prompted their presence at the Mormon tabernacle.

Old Paul Knight, the millwright, who subsequently became well known to everybody living on Black River, had that summer, in his wanderings up and down the earth, struck the river, and the prospect of business in his line seeming good, he stayed; one pleasant Sabbath morning while pretty strongly under spirituous influences, he found his way into the Mormon sanctuary where Elder Lyman White [Wight] was vigorously dispensing the word to the Faithful and unraveling Mormon mysteries in a manner that soon gained the undivided attention of our friend Paul, who, in his then somewhat mellow condition, was very impressible and open to conviction.-- The Elder, in the course of his remarks, made use of the following language: “That [I] would rather go to Hell willingly than be forced into Heaven.” The originality of the remark struck Paul at once so forcibly that he burst out, “You would, would you?” The moment the Elder recovered from his astonishment at the unseemly interruption, he replied that “[I] most certainly should.” “Bully for you, by G-d,” shouted Paul, who, rising with an effort, and making one step forward, fell sprawling amid the assembled multitude, completely overcome with his emotions, a frightful example of the effect of new and strange theological ideas, suddenly developed in men of Paul's sensitive nature and impulsive temperament. Such incidents may sound rough, and even vulgar, to the more refined taste of these latter days; but as a veracious historian of times when rough men were common I cannot well omit detailing one now and then, beside, the recital of the above will at once bring out Old Paul in review before the mind's eye of his old acquaintances on the river, and there are many such who will remember him with all his eccentricities, virtues and failings, and I will so leave the question of propriety to future commentators upon this history, (if any there should be,) to criticize or modify, praise or blame the course adopted herein, as may seem to them best.

On the 7th [27th] day of June, 1844, Joseph Smith, the founder and expounder of Mormonism, was killed by mob at Carthage, Illinois. Spaulding at that time was at Warsaw, eighteen miles from there, and within a day or two after started up home, and was the first to inform the Mormons at the Falls of the death of their great Prophet.

They were thunderstruck at the news; were loud in the expression of utter disbelief of the fact of his death, claiming that he could not be killed by any bullet run by mortal hands, but conviction of the truth of the report eventually fastened upon their minds, and they at once dropped all business, the mills were stopped, laborers called in, and preparations at once made for leaving the river, determined to return to Nauvoo and aid their brethren in avenging the death of their leader. Spaulding soon made arrangements with them for taking back the Falls property, They rafted up all the loose timber, tore down and rafted the boards from various shanties they had erected during their occupancy, and in a few days had bidden good by [sic] to Black River as an organized community. Arriving at La Crosse prairie, they sold, for a mere pittance, their lumber to Miller & Merrick, who were then just ready to commence their Indian trading operations at that point, and that lumber was used in constructing the first buildings on the site of the present flourishing city of La Crosse....

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. XXX.                             Milwaukee, Wisconson, Tuesday, January 7, 1873.                           No. 6.

Death of the Man Who Copied
the Mormon Bible.

(From the Philadelphia Telegraph.)

The death of Sidney Rigdon, one of associates in the establishment of Mormonism, is announced. He was born in St. Clair township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, February 19, 1793. "The Book of Mormon," which Smith pretends to have discovered through a Divine revelation, was claimed immediately after its publication as the work of Rev. Solomon Spalding, written by him during a residence in Ohio in 1810-11-12. Mr. Spalding's widow, in a statement published in Boston in 1839, declared that in 1812 the manuscript was placed in a printing office in Pittsburgh with which Sidney Rigdon was connected. Rigdon, she charged, copied the manuscript, and the fact of his having made such a copy was known to many persons in the office. Subsequently the original manuscript was returned to Mr. Spalding, who died in 1816, leaving it in the possession of his widow, by whom it was preserved until after the publication of "The Book of Mormon," when she sent it to Conneaut, where it was publicly compared with Joe Smith's pretended revelation. Soon after getting possession of his copy, Rigdon quitted the printing office and began preaching certain new doctrines peculiar to himself, and very similar to those afterward incorporated in "The Book of Mormon." He did not make much progress, however, until 1829, when he became acquainted with Joe Smith. It is asserted that Smith obtained a copy of Spalding's manuscript through Rigdon's agency, and that he read it from behind the blanket to his amanuensis, Oliver Cowdery, making such additions and alterations as suited the purposes of Rigdon and himself. Immediately after the publication of "The Book of Mormon," the fraud was detected, and the true nature of the work made known by Mr. Spalding's widow and many of his relatives and friends. In spite of this disclosure, however, Smith and Rigdon had the impudence to stick to the story of the revelation, and succeeded in getting converts to the new religion. At first they had rather hazy ideas as to the nature and design of the church they were about to establish, and were rather inclined to teach that the millennium was close at hand; that the Indians were to be speedily converted; and that America was to be the final gathering place of the Saints, who were to assemble at New Zion or New Jerusalem, somewhere in the interior of the continent. They soon managed to surround themselves with enough converts to constitute the Mormon Church, which was first regularly organized at Manchester, N. Y., April 6, 1830. Smith, directed by a revelation, led the whole body of believers to Kirtland, Ohio, in January, 1831. Here converts were rapidly made, and a wider field being necessary, Smith and Rigdon went out in search of a suitable locality upon which to establish themselves. They fixed upon Independence, Jackson county, Mo., and Smith dedicated a site for a new temple. Rigdon continued to act with Smith, and to follow all the fortunes and misfortunes of the Mormon Church until the death of the prophet, when he aspired to be his successor. Upon Brigham Young, however, descended the mantle of Joe Smith, and Rigdon becoming contumacious, was cut off from the communion of the faithful, was cursed, and was solemnly delivered over to the devil, "to be buffeted in the flesh for a thousand years." This ended Rigdon's connection with Mormonism; and after being driven out of the church which he did so much to found, he fell out of public notice and was heard of no more.

Note: This article is mainly an encyclopedia excerpt -- Rigdon was not yet dead when it was published.


Milwaukee Daily Sentinel.
Vol. ?                             Milwaukee, Wisconson, Monday, May 17, 1875.                           No. 117.

The  Mantle  of  Brigham  Young.

Sidney Rigdon reigned for a brief period after Jo Smith's death, when he was suspended by Brigham Young, then fourth in power, and finally expelled from the church and "delivered over to the buffetings of Satan." Rigdon now lives at his old home, in Alleghany county New York. Rigdon was the inventor of the Mormon scheme, and, by right, the mantle of his co-conspirator should have fallen on him. Cowdery, who transcribed the tablets, was also expelled for being too ambitious, and retired in virtuous indignation to his former home, near Kirtland. William Smith, the only surviving brother of Joseph, made an effort to assume the Mormon toga, and his religious head was cut off. Joseph Smith, the oldest of four legitimate sons of the prophet, claimed to succeed his father as head of the church, and he met the same fate. Young Joseph was, at last accounts, living near Nauvoo, with his mother, and still claims his inheritance. He is not a polygamist and denies the genuineness of that "revelation" to his father. In view of Brigham Young's exterme age, 74, and failing health, his successor to the presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is looked forward to with much interest -- several factions claiming the same by divine inheritance, and in this probable contention, let us hope that the fabric of the "Mormon Empire," based on fraud and superstition, and founded by scheming impostors, may crumble to atoms and thus be the means of its own downfall.

Note: The above article is an excerpt from a longer report published in a May 1875 issue of the Chicago Times.


Wisconson State Register.
Vol. ?                               Portage, Wisconson, Saturday, April 21, 1877.                             No. 8.


By One Who Saw Them at Nauvoo.


(From the Grant County Herald.)

The execution of Bishop John D. Lee in Utah for the Mountain Meadow Massacre of twenty years ago has again revived in the public mind the past history of the strange sect known as Latter Day Saints. The writer of this reminiscence was in Nauvoo in July, 1844, a few days after Joe Smith and his brother hiram had been shot by a disguised mob at the county jail at Warsaw. Nauvoo was at the head of the lower rapids. In those days it will be remembered that it sometimes required a day or two or more for a steamboat to ascend those rapids. The freight would be transferred on two keel boats, lashed to each side of the steamer, a long rope and an anchor would be thrown out, say 100 yards above the boat, the capstan would turn and groan, the puff of steam, and the desperate and fitful revolutions of the paddle wheels, the occasional bumping and thumping on the rocks, all showed the difficulty and peril of the navigation. It was like that of the old Argonauts. The struggling boat would seem to agonize and perspire. The passengers sympathized with the noble vessel , exerting herself like a Pennsylvania draft horse that would prefer to die rather than not move its load. The writer had an opportunity while the brave boat was holding on to anchor rope and gaining foot by foot, to spend a day or two in Nauvoo.

When you reached the Mormon community, you could not have found a people more unlike your own in opinions, social customs and religion, had you been suddenly dropped down in Ashantee or Timbuctoo. The population of the place was about 15,000, only second to Chicago in numbers. Many of the buildings were of brick or stone, and equal at that time in general appearance to any in the state. They were mostly new. The environs, however, were filled with rude cabins, mud and sod huts, and inhabited by families taken from the lowest ranks of old country laborers, the children half clad, uncombed and filthy. There were a great many marred and unnatural countenances. The recent death of the prophet seemed to have stunned the entire population. The people generally passed you with head declining, but you would observe them turn up their eyes with a malicious scowl. If you have ever noticed a swarm of bees after it has been robbed, and their queen destroyed, and all industry abandoned, the insects on wing uncertain where to go, or what to do, or whom to obey, you will have a pretty correct idea of the condition of the Mormon population at this time.

Mr. Marks, a Mormon very liberal in his views, and well disposed toward the gentile world, kept a fine hotel in the city, in fare and accomodation equal to any in Illinois. We learned that the prophet often boarded at this hotel while living, and a wife and two of his children were still there. Smith was described as a fine looking personage, with ruddy complexion and red [sic - auburn?] hair, and such he appeared to be in a full length portrait, if I remember right, hung up in one of the halls of the hotel. The Mormons were a military order from their first organization. Even the midst of their calamity, they kept up military drill. Companies of boys with fife and drum performed military evolutions in the streets and public squares with great tactical skill. War was part, if not the principal part, of their early and adult education. Their architecture -- that is, of their public buildings -- followed no modern model. I remember the long, rather low, brick edifice, known as the hall of the twelve apostles. The "all seeing eye" was strongly and powerfully portrayed above the portal, and I can not forget the imposing glance of that eye, which seemed to follow me wherever I turned; but the temple, if it had been completed, would have been one of the seven wonders of the world. It was situated on a fine eminence commanding a view far above and below the city, of the "Father of Waters," and there were acres of squared stone, designed for its walls, scattered over the surface of the consecrated hill. But the workmen, except some few faithful believers, had deserted their task; their hammers were there, and chisels, sometimes an old garment, but it was evident that the growth of the great building had met a temporary, if not final check. Near the temple wall I saw the since celebrated Brigham Young. -- He then appeared to be a person of distinction among the Mormons; he had a book under his arm, and was earnestly gesticulating to some brethren, about what I did not hear.

One of the architects of the temple explained to me its meaning. It was a huge hieroglyph to symbolize the universe. Its lower story represented the earth, land and water. Some of the interior symbols were not unlike those of Solomon. There was an immense laver or basin, I don't remember how many feet in diameter, or what depth. It was a formidable vessel, to be filled with water, representing the sea, and to serve as a baptismal font, for the Mormons came largely from the Baptist denomination. -- This sea rested on the backs of eight oxen, a yoke heading toward each of the cardinal points. These beasts, in bronze or some other material, looked solemn and grave and intelligent, as if they felt the sanctity of the place. You could gaze at them a long time, till they became animated, and the great cistern on their backs was shaken, and the water was agitated. Or was it the same angel that troubled the waters in Jerusalem centuries ago, that came here to impart healing virtues to this consecrated fluid? -- The good Mormon so believed. Some feet above the ground floor there was a range of elegant limestone blocks going round the entire building, on which was scupltured the moon in its crescent form -- the sculpture was perfect -- and here the planetary system was represented. Still above the girdle of moons, there was a second girdle of limestone blocks, on each of which was sculptured a sun, a round, full human face, and rays darting from it in all directions. Some of these suns were in their proper place on the building, others were lying on the ground. As the wind passed the half open mouth of these figures, a melodious sound would break forth, swell, languish and die. The spirit of the prophet extemporized this music. Above this range of suns, had the temple been completed, there would have been the fixed stars.

Some of the passengers visited the venerable saint, the mother of Joseph. She lived in a small brick dwelling; the guile and fraud of her countenance was too glaring to be mistaken. The old lady was noth too ignorant and too childish to disguise her roguery. She had some relics that Joseph had found with the plate[s] on which Mormon wrote his history. She had some very ancient scraps of papyrus written over with counterfeited hieroglyphics. She would exhibit these revelations on payment of twenty-five cents each. So she did, but when her history called King Pharaoh Mr. Pharaoh, and recited that he had four sons, Jim, Jack, Ellick and Jo Pharaoh, and one daughter, Miss Cumanus Pharaoh, whose foot she exhibited to us, we began to grow incredulous. It was a small mummy foot, very beautiful -- one of the boys said it would jump from the table, dead as it was. When the old lady was looking over her spectacles, he picked it up and put it in his coat pocket. There he had his paper of tobacco and several clay pipes. He was a jovial soul, and when we got on board, he boasted of his exploit. He and the rest of us went to smoking at his expense, as usual. But the odor of the Virginia leaf was peculiar. -- We investigated and found that Mis Cumanus Pharaoh's mummy foot was broken into fragments, pulverized and mixed with our friend's tobacco. Well, there was some hawking and spitting and thorough expectoration. Oh what queen's daughter of old Egypt ever dreamed of being cremated and her ashes smoked in white clay pipes on the Missidssippi! On close examination of the powdered remains it appeared that the miraculous art of old mother Smith could make mummies' feet about as easily as she could make doughnuts.

But before we embarked on the boat, perhaps about midnight, we attended a large gathering of excited saints near an old stone building at the upper limit of the town. There was a female prophet "under the power." She appeared in convulsions and her eyes rolled; round and round she whirled, but whenever she stopped her gyrations her face was turned westward. She related the prodigy she had seen the night after Joseph was shot. She saw him on a white horse, large and grand, and galloping in different directions across the heavens. -- He drew his sword and pointed it threateningly toward Illinois. Next she saw him and his brother leading the Mormon armies westward with their wagons, horses, cattle, women and children. Oh, it was a grand sight! Many of the deceased saints whom she recognized mingled with the host that rolled far off westward.

The Mormons borrowed their creed and institutions from the Old Testament rather than the New. They were God's chosen people. The heathen around were Canaanite, Hittite and Philistines, who were to be extirpated whenever the saints were strong enough to destroy them. Jo Smith was not a William Penn or John Wesley or Martin Luther. His kingdom was of this world; he coveted its wealth, pleasure, power. He was nearer like Mahomet than any other historical character, and like him he offered the alternative of conversion or death. The Theocracy was from the first pugnacious and military, and could they carry out their theory the only safety for the world would be to turn Mormon en masse. When the preacher could not convert, the Destroying Angels must annihilate. Perhaps no fanaticism ever appeared so diabilical as when the saints called on the Lord to aid them in the work of death, where the Danites, the merciful butchers, were sending men, women and children to heaven by washing out their sins in their own blood. No such pretext for murder was ever invented before; the fierce and cruel fanatics regarded it as a pious duty. In the martyr's crown worn by Bishop John D. Lee will be the souls of his victims whose bones repose in the Mountain Meadow.
OLD TIMES.      

Notes: (forthcoming)


Milwaukee Daily Sentinel.
Vol. ?                       Milwaukee, Wisconson, Saturday, September 1, 1877.                     No. 208.


It is a marvel beyond comprehension that in the light that shines upon the world in this nineteenth century, a sect should have been founded and attained the proportions of the Mormon church upon so flagrant a fraud as that concocted by Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon. Smith's story was that an angel had placed in his hands a number of gold plates upon which was written a record of the ancient inhabitants of America, and at the same time gave him a pair of miraculous spectacles with the aid of which he was able to read the hieroglyphics inscribed on the plates, and that he read them off to Oliver Cowdery, who wrote them down.

This is Smith's account of the origin of the Book of Mormon. It was at first certified to by Oliver Cowdery and two others. All three of them, however, before they died, confessed that their testimony in corroboration of Smith's story was false. The fact is now fully attested that the Mormon Bible was written by one Solomon Spalding, a retired clergyman, and was a romance written in the style of the bible and founded upon a theory then much mooted that the American Indians were descended from the lost tribes of Israel. Spalding sent his manuscript to a printing office in Pittsburg where Sidney Rigdon was employed. Rigdon copied it, and he and Smith jointly conceived and carried out the idea of making it the bible of a new sect. Spalding died before Smith published the Book of Mormon; but his widow remembered it fully, as did a number of persons to whom the author had read it.

This glaring imposition is the sole foundation of the Mormon Church. Smith and Rigdon found texts in the book from which to preach the doctrine of a millennium, and soon gathered a few believers around them. If it had not been repeatedly shown in the history of the world that men can be found to embrace any delusion that takes the form of religion, it would be inconceivable that this sect should have grown and flourished. Perhaps a philosophical inquiry into this growth would find one of the causes to be the persecution that the so-called Saints have suffered, first in Ohio, then in Missouri, then in Illinois, and lastly in Utah. It is a very old proverb that "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church," and the Mormon Church has its martyr in the person of its founder, Joseph Smith, who was murdered by a mob at Nauvoo, Ill., in 1844.

But the more practical question is, what will be the future of Mormonism? We have before us a letter written by a very intelligent correspondent from Salt Lake City a short time before Brigham Young's death, in which he says that it is morally certain that John W. Young will be the next president of the Mormon Church. John W. is the youngest of Brigham's three sons. The eldest, Joseph, drank himself to death, the second, Brigham, Jr., is without capacity for anything except spending money. John W. has been his father's trusted lieutenant for years, and has had charge of the construction of the railroads that have been built in Utah. He is essentially a man of affairs, and it is safe to say that he doesn't care ten cents for the Mormon Church in its spiritual character. Doubtless he will take the presidency if he is chosen to it, and make a thrifty, business-like leader...

Intimately connected with the subject of Mormonism is that of polygamy. The attention of the general Government is now turned to this problem, and it is probable that some means will be found for solving it. It is quite certain that this country can not sit idly by and permit polygamy to be practiced as it has been in Utah for the past thirty years. At the same time there are difficulties attending the practical treatment of the survivor of the "twin relics of barbarism" that a Republican platform denounced twenty years ago. It is possible that these difficulties may be solved by legislation condoning past offenses and instituting stringent provisions for the punishment of any one who shall thereafter contract polygamous marriage.

At all events, the conclusion is a tolerably safe one, that the death of Brigham Young ensures the virtual extinction of Mormonism as a religious faith and its monstrous outgrowth, polygamy.

Note: This article reproduces two falsehoods typically published in the popular press of the time: (1) That the Book of Mormon witnesses later denied their testimony -- which cannot be substantiated in the cases of Martin Harris and David Whitmer, and which seems doubtful also for Oliver Cowdery. (2) That Sidney Rigdon was once employed in a Pittsburgh "printing office" -- for which there is no evidence.


The Baraboo Republic.
Vol. ?                               Baraboo, Wisconson, September 12, 1877.                             No. ?

The Book of Mormon.

It is a marvel beyond comprehension that in the light that shines upon the world in this nineteenth century, a sect should have been founded and attained the proportions of the Mormon church upon so flagrant a fraud as that concocted by Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon. Smith's story was that an angel had placed in his hands a number of gold plates upon which was written a record of the ancient inhabitants of America, and at the same time gave him a pair of miraculous spectacles with the aid of which he was able to read the hieroglyphics inscribed on the plates, and that he read them off to Oliver Cowdery, who wrote them down. This is Smith's account of the origin of the Book of Mormon. It was at first certified to by Oliver Cowdery and two others. All three of them, however, before they died, confessed that their testimony in corroboration of Smith's story was false. The fact is now fully attested that the Mormon Bible was written by one Solomon Spalding, a retired clergyman, and was a romance written in the style of the bible and founded upon a theory then much mooted that the American Indians were descended from the lost tribes of Israel. Spalding sent his manuscript to a printing office in Pittsburg where Sidney Rigdon was employed. Rigdon copied it, and he and Smith jointly conceived and carried out the idea of making it the bible of a new sect. Spalding died before Smith published the Book of Mormon; but his widow remembered it fully, as did a number of persons to whom the author had read it.

Notes: (forthcoming)


The Freeborn County Standard.
Vol. ?                               Albert Lea, Minn., April 22, 1880.                             No. 17


The Doctrine of their Bible Reviewed by a Gentile

(From the Salt Lake Tribune.)

It is a cardinal point in Mormon, as in other theologies, that without repentance there is no remission of sin. In the Book of Mormon, the argument is that if mercy were allowed to rob justice, and to pardon the sinner without repentance. "God would cease to be God." This doctrine is plainly stated in the Book of Mormon, page 322.

"According to justice, the plan of redemption could not be brought about, only on condition of repentance of men in this probationary state, yea, this preparatory state; for except it were for these conditions, mercy could not take effect except it should destroy the work of justice. Now the work of justice could not be destroyed; if so God would cease to be God."

We are further taught in the Revelation on Celestial Marriage:

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man marry a wife according to my word, and they are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, according to mine appointment, and he or she shall counsel any sin or transgression of the new and everlasting covenant whatever, and all manner of blasphemies, and if they commit no murder, wherein they shed innocent blood, yet they shall come forth in the first resurrection, and enter into their exaltation; but they shall be destroyed in the flesh and shall be delivered unto the buffetings of Satan unto the day of redemption, saith the Lord God."

In the Book of Mormon, page 177, we read:

"But behold, and fear and tremble before God; for ye ought to tremble; for the Lord redeemeth none such that rebel against him, and die in their sins; these are they that have no part in the first resurrection. Therefore had yet not ought to tremble! For salvation cometh to none such; yea, neither can the Lord redeem such; for he cannot deny himself; for he cannot deny justice when it has its claim."

In the Revelation on Celestial Marriage we find this further doctrine:

"If a man marry a wife by my word; which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood * * * * if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder, whereby to shed innocent blood, * * * they shall pass by the angels, and the Gods which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fullness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever. Then shall they be Gods, because they have no end, therefore they shall be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be Gods, because they have all power and the angels are subject unto them. Verily, verily I say unto you, except ye abide my law, ye cannot attain to this glory. This is eternal lives [sic], to know the only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom He hath sent. I am he. Receive ye therefore my law."."

The old serpent shows his brazen crest in that word, "wise." Jesus taught us, "This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou has seen." But according to this Latter-day dispensation, "eternal lives" is endless propagation.

Without ever having repented of their sins, then, "if a man marries a wife according to my word, and they are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise," if the commit any sin whatever -- murder excepted, "whereby they shed innocent blood" -- they may come first in the resurrection and enter into their exaltation. With their sins unremitted they can enter into their exaltation (according to the teaching of the so-called revelation on celestial marriage) if they have only been "sealed up to this glory" by "him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of the priesthood."

If Mormonism should ever decide to abandon the practice of pluralizing it would still hold, in the sealing prerogative of its priesthood, a more than Roman Catholic claim and power of exclusiveness in controlling the marital relations of its devotees. This is shown in some utterances of Joseph Smith in March [1844], and printed in the Deseret News June 10-17, 1857, as follows:

"I will make every doctrine plain that I present, and it shall stand upon a firm basis, and I am at the defiance of the world, for I will take shelter under the broad cover of the wings of the work in which I am engaged. It matters not to me if all hell boils over; I regard it only as I would the crackling of the thorns under a pot. * * * what you seal on earth, by the keys of Elijah, is sealed in heaven; and this is the power of Elijah. * * * The spirit, power, and calling of Elijah is, that ye have power to hold the key of the revelations, ordinances, oracles, powers and endowments of the fulness of the Melchizedek Priesthood and of the kingdom of God on the earth; and to receive, obtain, and perform all the ordinances belonging to the kingdom of God * * * Again, the doctrine or sealing power of Elijah is as follows: If you have power to seal on earth and in heaven, then we should be crafty; the first thing you do, go and seal on earth your sons and daughters to yourself, and yourself unto your fathers in eternal glory, and go ahead, and not go back, but use a little craftiness, and seal all you can; and when you get to heaven tell your Father that what you [sealed] on earth should be [sealed] in heaven, according to his promise. I will walk through the gate of heaven and claim what I seal, and those that follow me and my counsel. The Lord once told me that what I asked for I should have, etc."

At the April conference, 1844 (about ten weeks before he was killed,) the prophet Joseph gave utterance to the following blasphemy (Deseret News, July 15, 1857):

"God made Aaron to be a mouth piece for the children of Israel, and He'll make me be God to you in His stead, and the Elders to be mouth for me; if you don't like it, you must lump it."

The sealing idea (irrespective of pluralizing), could not have originated from Joseph Smith, but with Rigdon. Of course polygamy was its natural fruit. A careful reading of the so-called revelation of Celestial Marriage shows the two heads and hands, and the two ideas -- the celestial and the patriarchal, which later may be interpreted the carnal and polygamic. We may be sure that Rigdon would never have bestowed upon his prophet the sole keys of this tremendous sealing power; and Smith's claiming them, was undoubtedly the rock of offense upon which the pair split.

Upon comparison it is seen that the promises offered in the so-called revelation on Celestial Marriage are couched in similar terms and evidently come from the same source as the promise of the serpent to our first parents in the garden:

"And the serpent said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die, for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then shall your eyes be opened, and ye shall be as God, knowing good from evil."

In a second and greater fall, it would be strange, indeed, if the devil should not reveal himself, but in a way so subtle and plausible and cunning as to deceive even the very elect.

Note: The above article appears to have been written by James T. Cobb, the well-known anti-Mormon columnist who supplied numerous items for the Salt Lake Tribune during 1879 and 1880. The "Mormon Marriage" article attracted unusual interest among readers at a distance. Besides being reprinted by the Minnesota Standard, the article also appeared in the April 23, 1880 issue of the North Dakota Bismarck Tribune and in other papers.


The Freeborn County Standard.
Vol. XXVII.                               Albert Lea, Minn., October 8, 1884.                             No. 41.


A True History of Joe Smith's Remarkable
Piece of Jugglery.

From the St. Louis Spectator.

How many people know anything about the origin of the Mormon religion, or rather, of the Book of Mormon, which is its authority? I knew precious little about it until this week, when I accidently fell in with Mr. Clark Braden, who has recently given the subject a most searching investigation. His story shows of what stuff a religion may be made. The Mormons number probably 300,000. They are divided into many sects, but the principal are the polygamous Brighamites in Utah and the non-polygamous Josephites scattered in various places. The story may be given in a few words. The Book of Mormon was written by an old broken down Presbyterian clergyman named Solomon Spaulding. Spaulding was born in Connecticut in 1761. He graduated at Dartmouth college, and settled as minister for a Congregational church. He made a [bad] failure at preaching, and went into business with his brother in New York state, did not succeed, and started up an iron foundry in a town in northern Ohio. He soon failed in that venture and became very much discouraged. His wife supported the family by taking boarders, and he spent his time writing, though what did not then appear. He afterwards rewrote the entire book, adding a third part. This is the origin of the manuscript.

Now, what became of it? Spaulding made arrangements to have it printed in Pittsburg. After a part of it had been set up, the whole manuscript was stolen by a tanner named Sidney Rigdon, who was in the habit of loafing around the printing-office. Rigdon kept it concealed for some years, until he fell in with Joseph Smith, who evolved the plan of producing it. Smith belonged to a not over reputable family living near Palmyra, N. Y. They lived in a house and supported themselves by hunting and fishing and other means suspected to be more questionable. Joseph one day found a remarkabe clear crystal, shaped much like a child's foot, and he declared it was a "peep-stone," in which he could read the future and discover stolen goods, strayed cattle, etc., and on several occasions was so successful in predicting the locality of goods and cattle that he soon came to have considerable reputation. He then extended his field of operations by divining where treasure was buried and under his directions a great many diggings were made, unsuccessfully however. These diggings extended over a large area, some 50 miles or more, around Palmyra, and some of them may be seen now. He fell in with Sidney Rigdon, who told him of the manuscript. Smith soon devised a scheme for producing it under proper surroundings. The alleged book of copper [sic] plates was found under divine guidance, on which characters of reformed Egyptian were graven. The book was accompanied by a pair of spectacles of wondrous power, which enabled Smith to translate the remarkable characters. This he did from behind a screen, while an amanuensis took down his words. The book of Mormon was printed in 1830, at Palmyra, N. Y., a farmer, Martin Harris, putting up the cash to pay the printer. Thus Solomon Spaulding's manuscript found its way into print with such additions and alterations as Smith chose to make for his own benefit.

A book will soon be published by the Christian publishing company giving all the investigations of Mr. Braden and the complete chain of evidence establishing the authenticity of his story. A manuscript of the Book of Mormon is still in existence in the possession of Mr. [Whitmer] of Richmond, Mo., and the compositor who set up most of the book at Palmyra, 50 years ago, is still living, J. H. Gilbert. Mr. Braden is now trying to arrange that Mr. Gilbert shall see this manuscript to say whether it is the copy from which the book was originally set up.

Note: Since the Rev. Clark Braden went to no little trouble in his investigations to uncover the origin of the Book of Mormon, this newspaper report is more accuate than most of the period. For example, it says that Sidney Rigdon was "a tanner" in the Pittsburgh area "who was in the habit of loafing around the printing-office." This description of the young Rigdon is more accurate than the widespread rumor, supposedly indentifyimg him as a journeyman printer, employed to work in that same printing office. Also, the detail claiming Solomon Spalding's wife "supported the family by taking boarders" is probably true; at least the couple did operate such a small scale hotel business at Amity, Pennsylvania, during the last months of his life.

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