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National  Intelligencer.
Vol. X.                           Washington: Monday, July 9, 1810.                           No. 1328.


(Translated for the National Intelligencer.)
From the Journal de L'Empire.

Public opinion, so often unjust towards cotemporary writers, has pronounced upon the Travels of Baron Humboldt in a manner so honorable and so nearly unanimous, that it has almost become useless to repeat the eulogies which the publication of each new book (or number) obliges us to bestow on this great work. The public no longer demands of us what we think but what we know of it; their only anxiety is to know whether a new part of this superb manument of science has been finished and delivered to the greedy eyes of those whom their good fortune has enabled to enjoy it. The Historic Narrative and the Pictoresque Atlas have been long expected with an impatience proportioned to the interest which these parts inspired in all classes of readers; but the editors, on their part, imposed a wise deliberation on the typography and engraving of the one part of the work, which, in order to speak by the senses to the imagination, requires the minutest care and most correct execution. It is now some weeks since the first book of the Pictoresque Atlas was published, under the title of Views of the Cordilleras and of the monuments of the people of America; by Alexander de Humboldt.

The monuments of Ancient nations interest us in two ways; those of highly polished nations delight the eye by their elegant or majestic forms; those of savage people are like mute testimonials of events which are lost in the night of ages; they afford an inexhaustible fund of matter to the reflection of the philosopher who seeks for the origin of nations. The enormous pyramids of Egypt, the sculptured rocks of Persia, the Runic stones of Scandinavia, the Celtic tombs, the idols of Tartary, and every thing which preserves the traces of past generations, alike interests the learned who endeavor to retrace history to its source. It is in this point of view that we must reflect on the singular monuments of the Mexicans and Peruvians, monuments almost unknown out of America, with which Mr. Humboldt is about to make us acquainted by a very curious series of prints. The bust of an Asteque of Mexican priestess will strike the most indiscriminating eye, by the resemblance which its headdress (coiffure) presents to the calantica of the heads of Isis, of Sphynx, of Antinous and of different Egyptian statues; a string of pearls, unknown in Egyptian monuments, proves the communication which the Mexicans had with California, where this rich marine production is found. The pyramid which is found at Cholula, in Mexico, recalls to the recollection those of Feyoum in Egypt. There are other traits of resemblance between the Mexicans and the inhabitants of the Banks of the Nile. Nevertheless M. de Humboldt is far from making this resemblance the subject of a bold hypothesis; on the contrary he is eager as frankly to point out the dissimilitudes between the people of these two regions. The Mexican year, for example, which at first sight appears to be the same with that of the Egyptians, differs essentially in its duration, which, according to M. de Laplace, is exactly that of the Arabic year, fixed by the astronomers of the Calif Almamoun.

The engraving of the pyramid of Cholula is accompanied by a very interesting notice upon the teocallis or religious edifices of the Mexicans, the resemblance of which of which to the Temple of Jupiter Belus at Babylon is very striking. We regret that we are not able to enter into the details which even a very concise notice of this manument would require. We regret still more not to be able to give an idea of the sculpture of Oaxaca nor of the monument of Xochicalco. These two pieces attest the talents of the Mexicans, and seem to prove that if these people, instead of having been subjugated and oppressed, had had peaceful intercourse with Europe, they would have made rapid progress in the fine arts. The patience and address with which they worked the hardest stones proves that they have wanted nothing but examples of a refined taste to produce master pieces of art.

One knows not, however, how to deny that the conquest of America produced real advantages to humanity in abolishing so many horrible superstitions, accompanied by human sacrifices and atrocities which the pen refuses to depict. This is a point the discussion of which we leave to M. de Labouliniere, who proposes to publish a work entitled "On the Spirit of Conquests and their Influence upon Civilization."

The paper which the ancient Mexicans made with fibres of the aloes-agave, served them for designing hieroglyphic figures, which with them were a substitute for writing. The first conquerors found an enormous quantity of this sort of manuscript. An Italian, M. Boturini, undertook, eighty years ago, to collect these treasures which Spanish ignorance knew not how to appreciate; but the researches of this traveller not having obtained, like those of Mr. Humboldt, the protection of the government, his collections, taken from him, were buried in the archives of the viceroyalty of Mexico, where they are in a great degree become the prey of damps and destructive insects and animals. We find in the Atlas of M. de Humboldt two hieroglyphic pictures of this kind, the one representing a genealogy and the other a process. In both of these designs, tongues placed at the sides of a personage, signify that he is living and powerful; in the print of the process, the tongues are very unequally divided; the native has but one, with which he dare scarcely defend his cause, whilst the strangers with the long beard are fortified each with three organs of speech, inasmuch as, in the quality of descendants of a conquering people, they speak in a loud voice and with boldness....

We shall terminate this notice by observing that amongst the views some will be found which were designed in Mexico and engraved at Paris; and there are some, the design of which having been made at Rome, have been executed by the engravers of Berlin and Stutgard. This fraternal union of artists of different nations corresponds perfectly with that philosophy, elevated above all personal and local interest, which characterises the mind and soul of the enlightened author.

Note 1: In the 1814 English translation of von Humboldt's Researches, Vol, II, on page 254, the author says: "According to the accounts received from Mexico, since the publication of the first plate of this work, this remarkable sculpture was not found at Oaxaca, as I mistakenly asserted (vol. xiii, p. 126-134), but farther to the south, near Guatimala, the ancient Quauhtemallan. This circumstance tends still farther to remove the doubts that might be entertained respecting the origin of so strange a monument. Besides, the ancient inhabitants of Guatimala were a highly cultivated people, as is proved by the ruins of a great city, situate in a place which the Spaniards call el Palenque." Had von Humboldt originally correctly identified Palenque as the source of the mysterious Maya sculpture, explorations of that ruined city might have followed. As it was, the author provided only this brief description, on page 158: "In the environs of Mitla are the remains of a great pyramid, and some other buildings very much resembling those which we have just described. More to the south, near Guatimala, in a plain called El Palenque, the ruins of a whole, town are evidences of the taste of the Tolteck and Azteck race for the ornaments of architecture. We are absolutely ignorant of the antiquity of these edifices, but it is scarcely probable, that it goes back farther than the thirteenth or fourteenth century of our era."

Note 2: It is uncertain whether English-speaking readers of von Humboldt became familiar with his reporting on god-like ancient American law-givers, such as Bochica and Quetzalcoatl, before his Researches was published in London, in 1814. Probably there were other English excerpts and summaries published, contemporaneous with the July 9, 1810 National Intelligencer report. Solomon Spalding obviously modled his "Baska" (or "Lobaska," in his Roman story) character upon Bochica and Quetzalcoatl. Whether Spalding relied entirely upon earlier sources (such as Acosta and Calvigero), or whether he had an early exposure to von Humboldt's writings on the subject, remains undetermined. If Spalding did consult von Humboldt for story ideas, that borrowing must have occured before the would-be author's death in 1816. Since Spalding moved from Ohio to Pennsylvania late in 1812, the seeming non-availability of von Humboldt's Researches in English at that early date, appears to argue against the extant copy of his Roman story manuscript having been penned in Ohio.

Note 3: See also this paper's issue for Nov. 2, 1810.


National  Intelligencer.
Vol. ?                           Washington: Friday, November 2, 1810.                           No. ?


From the Edinburgh Review.

Tableau Physique des Regions Equatorales, &c. Par Alexandre de Humboldt, 4to. Paris, 1807, et seqq.

No name stands higher than that of Humboldt, among the lovers of geographical and physical science. In exploring the tropical regions of the new world, this accomplished traveller has displayed a resolution and perseverance that have never been surpassed by any former adventurer. Very few individuals, indeed, were better qualified than M. de Humboldt, for executing that arduous undertaking. Zealous, active, vigorous; imbued with liberal knowledge; skilled in general physicks, and particularly attached to chymistry, and its kindred branches; possessing ample means of indulging his taste, while thirsting after discoveries, and fired with emulation and the generous passion of fame -- he has directed his inquiries into every department of nature and of society. The mass of curious information which he procured in those distant travels, and the superb collections which he was enabled to make relative to different objects of science, far exceed any thing that has heretofore been achieved by the exertions of an individual. Much interesting light is thus cast on the history of our species; the limits of accurate geography are extended; and the stores of botany, zoology, and mineralogy are enriched with immense additions. These invaluable acquisitions, classed under distinct heads, are to be brought out successively, in a style of execution, unrivalled for elegance and splendour. But the impatience of the public outruns the tardy pace of the printer and engraver. Some portions, indeed, of the composition have, at intervals, appeared; but they are still unfinished and disjointed; nor is the narrative of the voyage, which will occupy five quarto volumes, even yet begun. Three years have been already spent in publishing what is now before us; and perhaps as many more will elapse before the whole shall be completed. In this stage of its progress, therefore, we trust that we shall gratify the curiosity of our readers, by sketching out a picture of the general results. We shall afterwards have occasion to consider the details, and to subject the facts and observations to a critical examination.

M. de Humboldt is a Prussian gentleman of good estate, who has devoted his time and his fortune to the pursuits of a liberal curiosity. Prompted by such motives, at the age of twenty-one, he began to travel over Europe; and in the space of six years he traversed Germany, and visited Poland, France, Switzerland, part of England, Italy, Hungary, and Spain. Returning to Paris in 1798, he was invited by the directors of the national museum, to accompany captain Baudin in a voyage round the world. M. Bonpland, of Rochelle, an excellent naturalist, and bred at the museum, was named his associate in the expedition. But,unfortunately,the whole scheme was abandoned, in consequence of the renewal of hostilities with Austria.

Disappointed in this plan, Humboldt resumed the project which he had entertained for several years back, of visiting, as a philosopher, the countries of the east. In that view, he was anxious to join the celebrated expedition which had sailed to Egypt; whence he thought he could proceed into Arabia, and, crossing the Persian Gulph, land on the English settlements on the shores of India. But the situation of France, after the battle of the Nile, was becoming every day more critical. The Barbary powers now waged war against her, and the navigation of the Mediterranean was rendered extremely hazardous for any of her vessels. Humboldt waited two months at Marseilles, in the prospect of obtaining a passage on board a Swedish frigate, which was expected to convey the consul Skioldebrand to Algiers. His patience, however, was at length exhausted; and he proceeded to Spain, hoping to find there a safe and ready communication with the coast of Barbary. At the same time, he carried with him a considerable collection of philosophical and astronomical instruments, which he had purchased in England and France.

But a brighter prospect opened. -- After residing some months at Madrid, Humboldt was, in the most liberal and flattering terms, permitted by the court of Spain to visit her colonies in the New World. He immediately invited from Paris his friend Bonpland, whose profound skill in botany and zoology was equalled only by his indefatigable zeal; and, without a moment's delay, these eager travellers, in June, 1799, embarked at Corunna in, a Spanish ship; and having touched at the Canary Isles, where they climbed up to view the crater of the peake Teyde, they pursued their prosperous voyage,and arrived in the month of July at the port of Cumana, in South America....

In March 1801, he hired a small vessel, with which he sailed from Batabano for Carthagena; but, owing to continued calms and adverse currents, the voyage arrived uncommonly tedious, and he arrived too late in the season for crossing the isthmus of Panama, and reaching Guyaquil or Lima, where he had expected to meet with the French circumnavigator. This scheme was therefore abandoned; and Humboldt being very desirous of becoming acquainted with Mutis, a celebrated American naturalist, and of examining his superb collection, resolved to proceed to his residence in the interiour of the country. Our travellers plunged into the woods of Turbago, and tracing up the banks of the fine river Magdalena, reached the village of Honda; and, pursuing their journey through tall forests of oak, metastoma and cinchona, they arrived at Santa Fe de. Bogota, the capital of the viceroyalty of New Granada, situate on a beautiful plain at an elevation of 8,700 English feet above the level of the sea. Every thing here was calculated to gratify the taste, and transport the imagination. The mines of Mariquita, St. Ana and Tipaquira, lay in the neighbourhood; the natural bridge of Scononza, composed of three fragments of rock, disrupted by an earthquake, formed a striking object; and the tremendous cataract of the Tequendama, which falls from a height of 600 feet, presented one of the grandest spectacles in nature.

In September 1801, though the rainy season was not yet over, Humboldt and Bonpland began their journey to Quito. They crossed the Andes of Quindiu, a chain of mountains partly covered with snow... our travellers arrived, in 1802, at the celebrated city of Quito.

Humboldt could at length repose from his fatigues, and enjoy the pleasures of hospitality and refinement, surrounded by the grandest productions of nature. He remained about eight months in the kingdom of Quito, making different excursions to the neighbouring volcanos, and the loftiest summits of the Andes....

It was now resolved to attempt a still more arduous journey. Humboldt, Bonpland, and Carlos Montutar, son of the Marquis of Salvaalegre, a youth, whose ardent love of science had led him to accompany them since their first arrival at Quito, set out, near midsummmer...Humboldt and his companions sailed as far as the cataracts of Tomeperda; and then shaping their course to the southeast, over the Cordillere, by the famous silver mines of Chata, they reached the town of Caxamarca, in the midst of a plain which yields prodigious crops of barley though at an elevation of 9,370 feet. After some descent on the western slope of the Andes, they descried with delight the great Pacifick Ocean; and, skirting along its naked and sterile shores, the temperature of the air, in the month of October, being only 70, and that of the water 61 degrees, they reached Lima, the Capital of the viceroyalty of Peru.

In that city, Humboldt rested some months, highly pleased with the spirit and intelligence of its inhabitants. At the port of Callao, he had the fortune to observe the emersion of the transit of Mercury over the disk of the sun. From Lima, our travellers went by sea to Guyaquil, and thence they were carried in a frigate, after a very quick passage, to Acapulco, in the kingdom of New Spain. They found the inhabitants sickly and wretched, under a climate remarkably sultry and noxious; but different reasons induced them to spend a twelvemonth in that government. In April 1803, they made an excursion from Acapulco to Tasco, the seat of the noted mines, in a region clothed with oaks and pines, and tree-ferns, and yielding, at the height of 6,000 feet, abundant crops of wheat and barley. A short journey now brought them to the wealthy and famous city of Mexico, built on the site of the ancient Tenochtitlan, between the lakes of Texcuco and Xochimilco, which have considerably decreased since the Spaniards drained the adjoining country, and opened the canal of Huehuetoca. It is encircled with alleys of trees, and with Indian villages; and, at no great distance, are seen two volcanick mountains crowned with eternal snow. Mexico, standing 7,475 feet above the level of the sea, enjoys a mild climate, its mean temperature being only sixty-two and a half degrees of Fahrenheit's scale.

Our travellers visited the mines of Moran and Oyamel, where the ancient Mexicans quarried the obsidian, for the manufacture of stone knives and hatchets. Pursuing their journey, they saw the Puente de la Madre de Dios, or the Well of the Virgin, a cavern in the limestone rock from which issues the river Capula They next proceeded by Quiretaro and Salamanca, over fertile plains, to the city of Guanaxua. to, celebrated for the richest silver mines in the world.... Returning to Mexico... The toils of Humboldt and his companions were now drawing to a close. In the months of January and February, 1804, they made excursions to the Nevada, or snowy height, of Iztaccihinatl, whose summit is 15,710 feet above the sea; to the Puebla de los Angeles, the capital of an intendancy; to Cholula, a city at the foot of the famous ancient pyramid, and thence to the Llano de Tctimfia; from which plain, the entire elevation of the crater of Popocatepetl, or the Smoky Mountain, was ascertained to be 17,735 feet; and, lastly, to the square top of the mountain behind Perote, at the height of 13,425 feet. They halted at the city of Xalappa, in a charming climate, and a situation romantically beautiful; near which rises, at the height of 17,390 feet above the level of the sea, the snowy peak of Orizaba, called, in the Mexican language, the Star Mountain, from the distant appearance of its flame. Thence they proceeded to Vera Cruz, and embarked for Havanhah. Having made their arrangements, they sailed, in the month of July, to Philadelphia; and after a stay of some months in the United States, they finally recrossed the Atlantick, and arrived safe in France, after an absence of six years animated by glowing prospects, but full of anxiety, fatigue and danger.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                               Washington: Saturday, August 26, 1820.                               No. ?



Messrs. Editors:
      In the notes to correspondents, contained in your Gazette, No. 23, you have, in a very polite and flattering manner, assigned me a task which I feel I am but ill qualified to perform; namely, "to show the editors of the National Intelligencer that there is not so much absurdity in repeating the anecdotes of the Quarterly Review, on the subject of the divining rod," which appeared in your Gazette, No. 21, but not ciuntenanced by any editorial remarks, "as I imagined."

Until I read this note I had never given the subject a serious consideration; nor have I, as yet, ever seen an experiment of the kind tried by any adept in this pretended science of divination. I would not, however, be so dogmatical as to pronounce every one a fool or a dupe who should, from what he has seen, or heard from credible evidence, be disposed to believe in the possibility, at least, of this mysterious art. For, after all, what greater mystery or incredibility is there in the phenomena of the divining-rod, than there is in those of magnetism, electricity, or chemistry? For instance, that pieces of cold metal, immersed in a cold fluid, should, in a few seconds, produce a degree of heat superior to that which could be produced by any other human art. Indeed, in all these cases we have no other human art. Indeed, in all these cases we have no other foundation for our belief than mere matters of fact. These facts, it is true, may be generalized, and the hypotheses may be framed, on which most or all of the phenomenon may be explained; but further the human intellect cannot go. There is, it must be confessed, this peculiarity in experiments with the divining-rod, that they cannot be repeated by any one at pleasure; for it is not pretended that they will succeed, except in the hands of a person endued with a particular faculty, which but few possess, and which cannot be communicated; and hence a deception may not be so readily detected.

Within a few days past I have laid my hands on two or three authors who have treated on this subject, and related a number of facts which fell under their own observation.

In Dobson's edition of the Encyclopedia, under the article Bletonism, an account is given of a certain Mr. Bleton, who was said to possess the above faculty. He was employed by the French government to assist Mr. Thouvenel, a Frenchman of some consequence, and a philosopher, in sundry mineralogical researches, and succeeded to his perfect conviction, as well as to that of many credible witnesses, that the virtues of the divining-rod, in his hands, were no deception. He discovered the situation and course of certain subterraneous springs of water, the knowledge of which had long been lost. He discovered subterraneous mines of metals and other minerals -- could distinguish white from tellow metals, and also iron from all others, by the action of his rod. M. Thouvenel candidly acknowledges that, in some instances, he failed, though this was very seldom; and of these failures he afterwards discovered what he conceived to be the cause. He has, it seems, published two memoirs on the subject, but these I have not seen.

In the Dictionnaire des Merveilles de la Nature, par A.J.S.D., professor de physique, published in Paris, 1802, under the article Baguette divinatore, we have an account of a woman endued with this extraordinary faculty; though she made no istentatious profession of her art -- never practised it for reward, nor from any other motive than merely to satisfy the curiosity of her friends. She could readily discover where gold or silver was concealed in a closet, or under any cover, except that of tin, which, it seems, entirely prevented the motion of her rod.

In Belidor's Architecture Hydraulique, tom. 2, p. 341, &c., the author gives an account of a certain James Aimar, who made, or pretended to make, sundry surprising, and some extravagant discoveries, by means of his divining-rod. But, the author having no faith in the virtues of this rod, and conceiving that he had, in one instance, detected its fallacy, considers the whole as an imposture.

In these authors, many others are referred to who have written on the subject, but whose works I have had no opportunity, nor, indeed, have I much inclination to consult.

Upon the whole, I am not disposed either to affirm, or absolutely to deny, the reality of the effects ascribed to the divining rod. For, indeed, we ought not, I presume, to pronounce any thing to be absolutely impossible, in the action of matter on matter, that does not assert or imply a contradiction of some of the established and well known laws of nature.     R. P.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                               Washington: Tuesday, August 29, 1820.                               No. ?


Gentlemen: In this day of light and reason, I should as soon expect to hear that my fellow-citizens believed in the power of raising ghosts and hobgoblins, as that they believed in Bletonism, or the power of divining where water and various metals were to be found, by marching over the ground with little forked rods. I was once present when one of these forked-stick conjurors was playing his pranks before the people. I laughed, and the conjuror put into my hands one of his rods. It was a hazle forked-rod each fork about 10 or 12 inches long. The backs of my hands were turned downwards, and a fork of the stick put into each, so that the centre stood up. If, in marching along, the centre turned downwards, it would be an indicator of my standing over a subterranean current or body of water. I marched about; presently down went the centre of the rod. The conjuror bade me go on; the centre rose again. He bade me return; down went the rod again at the same place. He watched my hands attentively, and saw no movement. Sir, said he, you, who knew it not, possess a power which is not given to one in a million. Be not offended, said I, with my observation: You are a great knave, for you have deceived all these people; but I am a still greater knave, for I have deceived you. I then shewed that, by a gentle pressure of my fingers, my hands receding a little at the same time, I made the stick point downwards, and, by opening my fingers gently, but invisibly, and bringing my hands a little closer, the stick rose again. It is all a trick! A friend of mine, who was sinking a well, and fiund water, covered it over, bound up the eyes of one of these forked-stick conjurors, and led him over the well. The rod never moved, and, after passing, he unbound the eyes of the conjuror, and shewed him where he had passed, without any indication of water. The witnesses roared with laughter, and believed no more in such juggling.     W. T.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                               Washington: Tuesday, July 24, 1821.                               No. ?


The public attention has lately been called to the subject of the Divining Rod. Facts have been stated which ought not to be wholly disregarded, and which, if substantiated, would go far to establish its virtues. Here are presented other facts, which persuade me it is a delusion -- a delusion so well confirmed to be laughed away and worthy of the pains necessary to destroy it.

Having read and heard many strange things on this subject, I was till lately inclined to credit it. Some of the best men, of long experience, and of acknowledged understanding, believe the rod will work in their own hands. Its being unaccountable they would not authorize me to contradict it; and, with a view of informing myself on this mysterious subject, I entered upon an investigation,

In February last, I was at the plantation of a respectable farmer in the interior of this state, of whose numerous family, one, a boy ten or twelve years old, could trace the course of water underground. I had never witnessed a performance of this sort, and was delighted with an opportunity of gratifying my curiosity, and of establishing, as I verily expected to do, the reputation of the Divining Rod. All the family and neighborhood believed in the sincerity of the lad. He is uncommonly diffident; and shy and retiring in his manners, as the veriest child.

We took a peach rod, and went first to a brook. He stood sometimes barefoot in the stream, and sometimes on stones placed to raise him out of the water. At first, he thought the rod was affected by the water, but afterwards doubted it; and, after a long and careful experiment, he declared, without a doubt, "that the rod was uneffected when held over running water above ground."

Next we crossed through the meadow, the lad, with great care, traced the course of two veins of water, from five to eight rods apart, and nearly parallel to each other. I followed close after, and tore off the turf with a sharp pointed [iron and] urged him to be very correct, as I wished to blind him, and see if he could tell when he crossed the lines I marked.

I blinded him carefully, took him with my thumb and finger by the elbow of his coat, and, after a short turn, led him over the line. He pointed to it with the utmost precision. This happened as I then expected, and gave me great satisfaction. But, to put the matter beyond doubt, I led him to the other line. This he missed a few feet only. I repeatedly led him over both lines; and the rod turned down many times oftener than he crossed them, without once hotting them again. Every time the point turned down, I asked him if he was sure the vein run there? He always answered, yes; and I immediately tore the turg from the spot, that the whole result might appear at one view. Thus it was made manifest, contrary to our first expectations, that the lad had mistaken his powers; for the meadow was checked in every part, without regard to lines or order. After trying whether the forked stick would work in his hands, if held straight, and ascertaining that it would not, I left him.

My next experiment was with a plain farmer, of acknowledged integrity, who has a high reputation in his vicinity for finding water; but who will never exercise hos power, except to oblige a neighbour, and always without fee or reward. I told him of my former experiments, obtained leave to bring him a forked stick, with which he walked over a stream on a log. The rod turned rapidly down. "Does it draw?" "O, yes." He walked back again, when the rod was sluggish in its motions. "Does it draw?" "Yes." I repeated that the lad had given a different account of it. He crossed on the log eight or ten times apparently for his own satisfaction -- his conclusion was made carefully, in his own time, and was this: "That the rod would work a little over the stream, but not near as much as when the water is underground." I next asked him to hold the rod straight in his hands and walk the log. This he did repeatedly, as though for his own satisfaction, and uniformly declared that he could feel no more draft than the natural weight of the stick. I was pretty well satisfied, and as he was much my elder in life, and a stranger, I dared ask no further trial.

When I had the first experiment with the lad, I took the forked rod doubtingly in my hands, and knowing but I might be one of the favorite few in whose hands it would work; however it remained motionless, and I tried it no more, until I observed in what a spirited manner the elderly gentleman held it. When he had finished, as we stood by the creek, I thoughtlessly imitated him. How was I surprised to see the point, without the smallest intention on my part, turn gradually down! My eyes were opened. It was manifest that the turning of the point was not produced by water, but by the prongs of the rod.

The lapse of a moment discovered to me the cause of this motion -- but in that moment my mind discovered motives for charity towards water-finders, which will not soon be forgotten. Why should not a plain man be astonished to see and feel a rod turn in his hands without any apparent cause? Common opinion declares that this effect is produced by water under ground;

[Then] in the excitement of a moment the honest man concludes that it is really so, and believes it [all] his days. On the first discovery of the Leyden jar, the philosophers of Europe were in astonishment at its wonderful effects. Electrical sparks, that a child will now receive without hesitation, were represented as staying their breath, filling them with intense pain, and giving them a shock from which it required days to recover them.

Now to the argument. -- It is contrary to reason that a rod should be affected by water in the hands of one man more than in the hands of another. It is still more unreasonable, that it should be affected by water when the prongs are smartly bent, and is not in the least affected when straight, though in the same man's hands.

It is unnatural that water above ground should affect the rod less than when it is several feet under the ground: And it is certainly absurd, that the effect of the water on the rod should be in exact proportion to the depth of the vein below the earth's surface. Yet the only three water-finders with whom I have made experiments, and all others I can hear of, agree in these unnatural opinions: All tell the depth of the veins, by measuring from the spot where it points directly down; and this in feet and inches, is the depth you must dig to find water, for] they tell by holding the rod over the vein by the end of one fork between thumb and finger. Directly the rods begin to spring, and as many times as it springs up, so many feet deep the well is required to be. -- This is tolerable witchcraft, but extremely unnatural. If the vein be sixty feet deep, it will affect the rod at the distance of sixty feet from the top of the well! or will spring the rod sixty times! And if the well be only five feet deep, the rod remains unaffected till within five feet of the well! or springs only five times! So far as I can learn, there is no exception among water-finders to the use of one of these rules.

"Though we may be mistaken in our rules for ascertaining the depth of the water, yet it is a fact, that the rod turns in our hands, though we try to hold it fast, and oftentimes has wrung the bark off."I grant it. It has often done so in my hands, and will do so in the hands of every one, if they hold it as the water-finder does, smartly bent. The whole mystery is in the bended prongs. "The application of force produces motion: If the forces act in opposite directions, the point or body will only move in consequence of their difference. If the forces act in oblique directions, this point or body moves according to the right line in which the force is impressed." These are well known laws of motion. Their application follows. Force is obtained by the elasticity of the bended prongs: this would be equal and opposite, and produce no motion in the point if the forks grew and the prongs were bent with mathematical precision. But as that never can be the case, the forces applied to the head of the fork by the bended prongs can never be precisely opposite, and will produce more or less motion as they are removed from opposite directions, and as a smarter bend is made on one prong than the other; that is, force is obtained by the bend of the prongs, and the very manner of holding the rod gives a direction to that force.

Now, it is evident why the rod is found to work best in moist hands; why peach, gazle, spice bush, &c. are preferred to locust, oak, and pine. The first have a smooth bark and long forks -- why the rod will work when the prongs are bent, but remain motionless when they are held straight in the hands, &c. &c.

Experience also proves the truth of this explanation. I have tried more than twenty different individuals, who who never saw a search for water. Several of the first, I put the rod into their hands, asking them to manage it their own way. It always remained motionless. On my telling them how to hold it, the rod never failed to move, and sometimes so apparently without cause, that they believed themselves to possess the power of finding water. This gave me the hint, and, lately, in repeated instances, I have begun by talking gravely of the divining rod; informed them that accident had taught me that it would work in my hands, and perhaps it would in theirs; have then cut a forked twig, have marked where the vein of water runs, and put it into their hands with directions how to hold it. I have had five cases of this kind, and four of them succeeded perfectly in proving to them that they could find water under ground; and have, in more than one instance, observed disappointment when undeceived.
        Marietta, (Ohio) June 20, 1821.

Note: The identity of this Marietta correspondent remains unknown. Writing in 1821, he was a contemporary of "The Old Rodsman," (a.k.a. Stephen Davis) who arrived in Marietta c. 1819. At the very least, this article confirms the operations of rodsmen in southern Ohio early in the 19th century. An article printed in the Middlebury, Vermont, National Standard of Nov. 6, 1816 reported: "The Divining or Magic Rod for finding water, is known to be an instrument frequently used, by the settlers in Kentucky and the state of Ohio..."


Vol. ?                               Washington: Friday, June 28, 1822.                               No. ?


The following imposing article announces the revival of the School of Bleton. We give it to our readers as one of many proofs that empiricism is of no age, and has no respect to persons. Here we find "a gentleman of high respectability, well versed in chemistry and natural philosophy," professing himself an adept in the exploded art and mystery of Bletonism. An age of intermediate improvement in science has not been sufficient to eradicate the superstition which imputed magic virtues to broom-sticks and hazel switches. We shall mark the progress of the public experiments which are doubtless about to be made by this "pupil of the celebrated Accum," and announce the result:


Bletonism. -- There are certain subjects, lying in the middle region between well established philosophy and superstition, about which even men of science and intelligence may differ widely in opinion, without subjecting themselves either to the charge of scepticism or a weak credulity. Among these disputed points, no one holds a more conspicuous place, or has occasioned more controversy, than the science or superstition called Bletonism, or the art of discovering subterranean and occult substances, by means of certain personal peculiarities and the use of the divining rod. The term and the doctrine are derived from a French philosopher, of the name of Bleton, who pretended to have made the discovery, which is religiously believed by thousands of persons noth in Europe and America.

We have lately had the pleasure of conversing several times with one of these disciples of Bleton, who as firmly believes in the doctrine, as he does in his own existence, and who positively declares that he possesses the faculty of discovering water beneath the surface of the ground by the aid of a rod. He has this morning called, and handed us the following statement, which we doubt not will be interesting to our readers:
"I am aware that the peculiar physical property which I am about to describe, will be doubtedby many who are eminent for scientific talent, and will be the object of ridicule with others, who do not possess sufficient knowledge to investigate this, or any other physical fact.

The learned world has been always governed more by imagination and fashion than by judgment. And we have seen the most splendid theories, the united effort of the talent of ages, mouldering into their original nothingness, before the decomposing quality of a few simple facts.

Shall I then shrink from a public avowal of a peculiar property, merely because it may be doubted by the wise and ridiculed by the ignorant? Or, rather should not this stimulate me to attempt to establish its existence? I know that I possess the property, and every trial hitherto [---] has proved that in me it does exist.

The property referred to is that of finding springs of water running under the surface of the earth at any depth, by means of a stick called a divining rod. It is nearly five years since I found the rod would work in my hands; during which time I have tried it both in America and England, and never in any instance where the experiment has been tested by digging, has it failed of discovering a good spring of water, and often at an inconsiderable depth, in very elevated situations.

The operation is performed with any green forked stick, cut from a bush or tree; then grasping the ends of the stick with both hands, and walking over the ground on which the experiment is intended to be made. When the operator passes over a spot under which a spring is running, the upper end of the rod where the sticks join, will have a tendency to press downwards, as strong as the pressure when the spring is near the surface, or at a greater depth if copious and rapid, that should he attempt to prevent the rod from falling, one or both of the legs will break off just above where it is held; and sometimes it will be forced from the hands, and fly off three or four yards from the person holding it. The power with which the rod is attracted, appears to be as the depth multiplied by the quantity of water, and the velocity of the stream.

On passing a wooden bridge over a river, or rivulet, the rod is not attracted; but it is on passing over a stone bridge that is covered with earth, and the attraction is greater as the arch is smaller.

The attraction ceases when the hands are covered with gloves, nor will it operate when walking on an insulated board; an experiment I did by first finding a spring, and then putting down a number of glass bottles, on which I placed the board -- when, on repeating the expirament over the same place, I found the attraction had entirely ceased.

I have lately returned from England, where I resided nearly two years; during that time upwards of one thousand persons tried the rod, and it worked with only two of them -- a gentleman who resides at Bristol, and a Doctor Phillips, in the vicinity of Oxford. With the former it operated powerfully; with the latter so weak as scarcely to be perceived. I am acquainted with a lady who has it much stronger than Doctor P. and much weaker than myself. It would appear, therefore, that this property is possessed by only one person in five hundred, and in different degrees by those to whom it belongs.

Having given all the facts I am acquainted with, I shall beg leave to call the attention of the learned to the subject, and to solicit their aid in discovering the cause of this extraordinary phenomenon."
Although we have always been wholly incredulous on the subject of this mysterious art, yet it is but fair to state, that the author of the above remarks is a gentleman of high respectability, well versed in chemistry and natural philosophy, having been a pupil of the celebrated Accum. His general information is extensive, and his views on other subjects enlightened and liberal. He has no possible motive for deceiving the public, never expecting to derive either profit or fame from the art which he claims to possess. To test his pretensions to skill in this occult science, an experiment will be made in a few days, in the presence of competent witnesses, the result of which [we hope] to give for the satisfaction of our readers.

Notes (forthcoming)


Vol. 19.                           Washington: Wednesday, July 6, 1831.                           No. 5715.


The Lockport, (Niagara co. N. Y.) Balance of the 31st ult., giving a history of what it terms the "Golden Bible Imposition," speaks of it as follows:

"It has no parallel in folly and stupidity from the days of Johanna Southcote, to those of Jemima Wilkinson. In its character, or practical operations, it has no redeeming feature. It is with regret, however, that we are obliged to add, that it has not proved unsuccessful. There are now, probably, 1000 disciples of the Mormon creed! 'Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon.' Their prophet, Jo. has selected a spot in the State of Ohio, which he calls the promised land! It is in and about the town of Kirtland, Geauga county. Thither the deluded followers of the false prophet are repairing. It is but a few days since, that an entire boat load of them passed this village, principally from the counties of Ontario and Wayne. Such as have property, convert it to a common stock, and thus create an inducement which is not overlooked by the idle and vicious. Families, in some instances, have been divided; and in others, mothers have been obliged to follow their deluded husbands, or adopt the disagreeable alternative of parting with them and their children."

The Balance states that the founder of the Mormonites is Jo. Smith, an ignorant and nearly unlettered man living near the village of Palmyra, Wayne co.; the second, an itinerant pamphlet pedlar and occasionally a journeyman printer, named Oliver Cowdery; the third, Martin Harris, a respectable farmer at Palmyra. The latter, as will be seen in the following paragraph, has recently departed for the land of promise.

Mormon Emigration. -- Several families, numbering about fifty souls, took up their line of march from this town last week for the "promised land," among whom is Martin Harris, one of the original believers in the "Book of Mormon." Mr. Harris was among the early settlers of this town, and has ever borne the character of an honorable and upright man, and an obliging and benevolent neighbor. He had secured to himself by honest industry a respectable fortune, and he has left a large circle of acquaintances and friends to pity his delusion. -- Palmyra Sentinel.

Note: The above two-part article was condensed from one report published in the Lockport Balance and another in the Wayne Sentinel. It was reprinted in the July 16, 1831 issue of the Ohio Guernsey Times.


Vol. ?                           Washington: Saturday, April 13, 1833.                           No. ?


MORMONISM. -- We perceive by a letter from Independence, Missouri, to the Editor of the Cincinnati Journal, that difficulties have already begun in the Mormon community, at Mount Zion, in that quarter; one of the members having sued the Bishop, in a court of justice, for fifty dollars, which has been sent by plaintiff to said Bishop from Ohio, "to purchase an inheritance for himself and the saints of God in Zion in these last days." This was certainly a most impious act, but "nevertheless and notwithstanding," the jury found for the plaintiff; it appearing that though the good bishop had indeed appropriated the money "to the purchase of an inheritance," yet he had, unthoughtedly no doubt, procured the deed to be drawn in his own name, to his heirs, &c., and no one else in Zion nor out of it. The writer states that on this decision several other members are ready to make similar demands on the good bishop. Wonder if this is one of the bishop's miracles? It appears by another letter from the same gentleman, (Mr. Pixley, a Baptist clergyman,) that since their settlement at Mount Zion -- or Jerusalem, as they sometimes term it -- four or five hundred of these deluded wretches, including men, women, and children, have arrived there. Several others are said to be preparing to start there, from Cincinnati, in the course of a few weeks. -- Ohio Courant.

Note: The letter referred to in the above report was one of several written to editors of newspapers by the Rev. Benton Pixley of Missouri. The text of the Pixley letter to the Cincinnati Journal has not yet been located.


Vol. ?                           Washington: Saturday, June 22, 1833.                           No. ?

One of the Mormonites has become dissatisfied with his new faith and brethren, and has denounced them all in a Westfield, (N. Y.) paper, in the words following:

"And now I testify to you, before God and these witnesses, that I never had any impressions or exercises different from other times, since I joined the Mormons; that the tongues spoken by me are of my own invention, and that, as far as my knowledge extends, the whole is a farce; and may my fate be like that of Ananias and Sapphira if I do not speak the truth honestly before God!"

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                           Washington: Wednesday, August 21, 1833.                           No. ?


... Some very extraordinary proceedings have recently taken place in Jackson county, in this state, against the sect of fanatics called Mormons. These proceedings may find some justification in the necessity of the case, but they are wholly at war with the genius of our institutions, and as subversive of good order as the conduct of the fanatics themselves. Perhaps, however, it was the only method which could have been effectually put in practice to get this odious description of population out of the way. Banished as they are from that frontier, it may well be asked to what place will they now remove; and will they enjoy any better security in the new abode which they may select? But to the proceedings:

A meeting of the citizens of Jackson county, to the number of four or five hundred, was held at Independence on the 20th of July. Their avowed object was to take measures to rid themselves of the Mormonites. Col. Richard Simpson was called to the chair, and Jonas H. Flournoy and Samuel D. Lucas appointed secretaries. A committee was then appointed to report an address to the public, in relation to the object of the meeting. After having retired for some time, they sumitted an address, which was unaninously adopted; and in which the conduct and views of the obnoxious sect are exposed. They represent that the Mormonites number some 1,200 souls in that county, and that each successive spring and autumn pours forth its swarms among them, with a gradual falling off in the character of those who compose them, until they have now nearly reached the low condition of the black population. That the citizens have been daily told that they are to be cut off, and their lands appropriated to the Mormons for inheritances; but they are not fully agreed among themselves as to the manner in which this shall be accomplished, whether by the destroying angel, the judgement of God, or the arm of power. The comittee express their fears that, should this population continue to increase, they will soon have all the offices of the county in their hands; and that the lives and property of other citizens would be insecure, under the administration of men who are so ignorant and superstitious as to believe that they have been the subjects of miraculous and supernatural cures; hold converse with God and his angels and possess and exercise the gift of divination, and of unknown tongues; and, are withal, so poor as to be unable to procure bread and meat. The committee say that one of the means resorted to by them, in order to drive us to emigrate, is an indirect invitation to the free brethren of color in Illinois, to come like the rest to the land of Zion. True, the Mormons say this was not intended to invite but to prevent emigration; but this weak attempt to quiet our apprehensions is but a poor compliment to our understanding." The invitation alluded to, contained all the necessary directions and cautions to enable the free blacks, on their arrival there, to claim and exercise their right of citizenship. Finally, the committee say --

Of their pretended revelations from heaven -- their personal intercourse with God and his angels -- the maladies they pretend to heal by the laying on of hands -- and the contemptible gibberish with which they habitually profane the Sabbath, and which they dignify with the appelation of unknown tongues, we have nothing to say. Vengeance belongs to God alone. But as to the other matters set forth in this paper, we feel called on by every consideration of self-preservation, good society, public morals, and the fair prospects, that if not blasted in the germ, await this young and beautiful country, at once to declare, and we do most solemnly declare.

1. That no Mormon in future move and shall settle in this county.

2. That those now here, who shall give a definite pledge of their intention within a reasonable time to remove out of the county, shall be allowed to remain unmolested until they have sufficient time to sell their property and close their business without any material sacrifice.

3. That the editor of the 'Star' be required forthwith to close his office, and discontinue the business of printing in this county; and as to all other stores and shops belonging to the sect, their owners must in every case strictly comply with the terms of the second article of this declaration, and upon failure, prompt and efficient measures will be taken to close the same.

4. That the Mormon leaders here, are required to use their influence in preventing any further emigration of their distant brethren to this county, and to counsel and advise their brethren here to comply with the above requisitions.

5. That those who fail to comply with these requisitions, be referred to those of their brethren who have the gifts of divination, and unknown tongues, to inform them of the lot that awaits them.

Which address being read and considered, was unanimously adopted. And thereupon it was resolved that a committe of twelve be appointed forthwith to wait on the Mormon leaders, and see that the foregoing requisitions are strictly complied with by them; and upon their refusal that said committee do, as the organ of this county, inform that it is our unwavering purpose and fixed determination, after the fullest consideration of all the consequences and responsibilities under which we act, to use such means as shall ensure their full and complete adoption, and that said committee, so far as may be within their power report to this present meeting. And the following gentlemen were named as said committee: Robert Johnson, James Campbell, col, Moses Wilson, Joel F. Chiles, hon. Richard Fristoe, Abner F. Staples, Garr Johnson, Lewis Franklin, Russel Hicks, esq., col. S. D. Lucas, Thomas Wilson, and James M. Hunter, to whom was added col. R. Simpson, Chairman.

And after and adjournment of two hours, the meeting again convened, and the committee of twelve reported that they had called on Mr. Phelps, the editor of the "Star," Edward Partridge, the bishop of the sect, and Mr. Gilbert, the keeper of the Lord's store house, and some others, and that they declined giving any direct answer to the requisitions made of them, and wished an unreasonable time for consultation, not only with their brethren here, but in Ohio.

Whereupon it was unanimously resolved by the meeting that the "Star" printing office should be razed to the ground, the type and press secured. Which resolution was, with the utmost order, and the least noise or disturbance possible, forthwith, carried into execution, as also some other steps of a similar tendency; but no blood was spilled nor any blows inflicted. The meeting then adjourned till the 23d instant, to meet again to know further concerning the determination of the Mormons.

The citizens again convened on the 23d day of July, 1833, which was composed of gentlemen from all parts of the county, and much more unanimousely attended than the meeting on the 20th instant.

The meeting was organized by the chairman taking his seat, when the following gentlemen were appointed a committee, to wit:

Henry Chiles, esq., Dr. N. K. Olmstead, H. L. Brazile, esq., Zachariah Waller, Samuel Weston esq., Wm. L. Irwin, Leonides Oldham, S. C. Owens esq., George Simpson, captain Benjamin Majors, James C. Sadler, col. Willian Bowers, Henry Younger, Russel Hicks esq., Aaron Overton, John Harris, and Harmon Gregg, to wait upon the Mormon [leaders], who had intimated a wish to have conference with said committee. After an adjournment of two hours, the meeting again convened, when the committee reported, to the meeting that they had waited on most of the Mormon leaders, consisting of the bishop, Mr. Partridge, Mr. Phelps, editor of the Star, Mr. Gilbert, the keeper of the Lord's store house, and Messrs. Carrol, Whitmer, and Moseley, elders of the church, and that the said committee had entered into an amicible agreement with them, which they had reduced to writing, which they submitted; and that the committee have assured Mr. Phelps that whenever he was ready to move, that the amount of all his losses should be paid to him by the citizens. The written agreement is as follows:

"Memorandum of agreement between the undersigned of the Mormon society in Jackson county Missouri, and a committee appointed by a public meeting of the citizens of said county, made the 23d day of July, 1833.

"It is understood that the undersigned, members of the society, do give their solemn pledges each for himself, as follows, to wit:

"That Oliver Cowdery, W. W. Phelps, William McClealand, Edward Partridge, Lyman Wight, Simeon Carter, Peter and [John] Whitmer, and Harvey Whitlock, shall remove with their families out of this county, on or before the first day of January next; and that they, as well as the two hereinafter named, use all their influence to induce all the brethren now here to remove as soon as possible -- one half, say, by the first of January next, and all by the first day of April next. To advise and try all means in their power to stop any more of their sect from moving to this county; and as to those now on the road, they will use their influence to prevent their settling permanently in the county, but that they shall only make arrangements for temporary shelter, till a new location is agreed on for the society. John Carrol and Algernon Gilbert are allowed to remain as general agents to wind up the business of the society, so long as necessity shall require; and said Gilbert may sell out his merchandise now on hand, but is to make no new importations.

"The 'Star' is not again to be published, nor a press set up by any of the society in this county.

"If the said Edward Partridge and W. W. Phelps move their families by the first day of January, as aforesaid, that they themselves will be allowed to go and come in order to transact and wind up their business.

"The committee pledge themselves to use all their influence to prevent any violence being used so as long as a compliance with the foregoing terms is observed by the parties concerned; to which agreement is subscribed the names of the above named committee, as also those of the Mormon brethren named in the report as having been present."

The report of the committee was unanimously adopted by the meeting and it was then adjourned.   Missouri Republican.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                           Washington: Wednesday, October 30, 1833.                           No. ?

The reign of Mormonites has succeeded to that of Joanna Southcoteism and Jemima Wilkinism. There is no ism, either in religion or politics, however offensive to common sense, or degrading to human nature, that will not find its followers. The annexed paragraph, from the Bangor Courier, furnishes a melancholy proof of this truth:

The Mormonites have had regular preaching for some weeks past in the upper part of Saco, Maine, during which time many acquisitions have been made to their church. Some of the most respectable citizens have embraced their faith, and are active in exerting their influence to extend and advance, as they say, "the greatest light that has ever dawned upon the mysteries of an awful eternity." -- Bangor Courier.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                           Washington: Saturday, November 30, 1833.                           No. ?


ST. LOUIS, (Mo.) Nov. 15.         

The Mormons and the Anti-Mormons. -- Our intelligence from the West by the mails is not so late as that brought by the steam-boat Charleston. The Fayette Monitor corroborates the statement of Mr. Hyde, in relation to the violent proceedings of the Anti-Mormons, so far as the accounts of that paper extend. Houses and property were destroyed, and the Elders of the Church severely whipped by the mob, under cover of the night. It is impossible to forsee what is to be the result of this singular and outrageous violation of the laws. We fear that the party opposed to the Mormons will think themselves placed so far beyind the pale of the law as to continue utterly regardless of it, and eventually, by the power of numbers, be enabled to cut off the offending sect. The loss of their relatives and partizans will stimulate them to these acts, and fearful acts of bloodshed may have already been witnessed. As yet, our intelligence is not very accurate, or full, in regard to the measures taken by the officers of the county to surpass the rebellion as it may properly be called. The entire county is probably arrayed on one side or on the other; and in this state of things the power if the sheriff, and other officers, to suppress the riot, is perfectly futile. It is reported besides, that the Judge of the circuit, who attempted to interfer to stop the proceedings, as well as some of the officers, were captured by the mob, and placed in durance, either in jail, or in charge of some of their number, for a good many hours; and the Lieutenant Governor, who resides in that county, was driven from it. In this state of things, we apprehend the proper course would have been for the authorities to have represented the case to the Executive, for his interposition; but we have not learned whether they have done so. The facts are, nevertheless, notorious; and the Governor should, without delay, if he has not already done it, act upon them. He is bound to see that the laws are executed against all offenders. The power of the county not being available in this case, for almost all are concerned in the insurrection -- the Governor should issue his Proclamation, calling out the Militia of the neighboring counties, to enforce the laws, and to quell the riot. He should give the requisite orders to the officers for that purpose; and do it with all alacrity. It is very evident, that unless some effective measures are adopted by him in this emergency, the lives of many valuable citizens will be sacrificed, and the State suffer an irretrievable injury. A rancorous deadly hostility, has long existed between the parties, and unless the firmness and prudence of the Governor should be equal to the crisis, and the offending party be severely punished, we must expect to hear of the continual recurrence of such disgraceful proceedings.

We have nothing to do with the original causes of the quarrel. There may be many worthless and intolerable members of the obnoxious sect; but the laws are equal to the punishment of all those who are guilty of violating them. It does not appear that they were appealed to at all prior to this contest. The Mormons are as much protected in their religion, their property, and persons, as any other denomination or class of men. We think that they acted perfectly right in offering the resistance which they did, and thus far they have the sympathy of this part of the community.


Since our paper has been put to press we have been informed by a gentleman direct from Jackson county, that the citizens of that place have commenced a civil war against the Mormons; which appears from our information, to have been a very serious conflict. The number of lives lost, it is said, on the part of the citizens, were between fifteen and twenty, and several on thw part of the Mormons -- number not stated. They also set fire to a number of the Mormons' dwellings. Further particulars we have not time to notice. In our next we will probably be able to give some further facts.

Note: The above article was reprinted from the St. Louis Missouri Republican of Nov. 15, 1833. Articles from the late Nov. issues of that paper were widely reproduced in the last weeks of 1833 as containing the major news reports on the "Mormon difficulties" in western Missouri.


Vol. ?                           Washington: Saturday, December 7, 1833.                           No. ?

The War against the Mormonites. -- We are glad to learn from the following, received by the last evening's Mail, that the affrays between the Mormonites and other inhabitants of the western part of Missouri have not been as sanguinary as at first represented, and are supposed to be now at an end.


Disturbances in Jackson County. -- We are glad to receive more pacific accounts from the county of Jackson, in which such disgraceful broils have recently taken place. We understand that the Mormonites have determined not to oppose any further armed resistance to the wishes of the dominent party, and that they were rapidly leaving the county and their homes, with intention of forming another community elsewhere. They are determined however, it is said, to prosecute the citizens engaged in hostilities towards them, and for the depredations committed upon their property; and, in this event, those who have disregarded all law may be made to feel its heaviest penalties, both in their persons and fortunes. The Mormonites have undoubtedly adopted the best course which was left to them; and all alarm has subsided in that county.

All our accounts, we are happy to say, concur in one thing, that the original statement as to the number killed, was much exaggerated. The most authentic and latest accounts which has reached us, puts down the number at six -- two of the citizens, and four of the Mormonites -- and a good many wounded. This statement was brought by the Steamboat Dove, from Independence, the seat of justice of Jackson coounty. Many reports prevailed even in that quarter as to the extent of the loss of life; and the first rumors may have well gained circulation without any sinister motives in those who gave credence & publicity to them.

We are informed, that an authentic statement of all the occurrences which have disgraced that county, may be shortly expected. It was to be made out by some very respectable gentlemen of the county -- who have, from beginning to end, taken no part in the contest -- and in whose veracity every confidence may be placed. Such a statement is due to the people of Missouri, whose reputation must suffer in the eyes of all good men; and may remove much of the odium which at present attaches to one of the parties engaged in this disreputable contest.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                           Washington: Tuesday, December 24, 1833.                           No. ?

THE MORMON WAR. -- A letter from the Rev. B. Pixley, to the editor of the New York Observer, relative to the civil war in Missouri, between the inhabitants and the Mormons, gives a somewhat different version of the affair, from that published some time ago, in this paper, on the authority of Orson Hyde, one of the Elders. From Mr. P.'s account, it appears that the sect proclaimed that the spot they had selected was the Zion spoken of in Scripture -- that the present inhabitants would be driven off -- and that they, the Mormons, should inhabit the country. This arrogant pretence, coupled with an invitation to all the free negroes to come and join them, aroused a spirit of opposition, and induced the citizens, last summer, to pull down their printing office. They were proceeding to other extremities, when expostulation ensued, and a treaty was made in which it was agreed that the Mormons should move away before another summer, and in consideration thereof the other party were to make good the loss sustained by destroying their printing office.

Instead, however of making any preparations for departure, the Mormons proceeded to arm themselves, barricaded portions of their settlement, and threatened to kill any one who should molest them. This provoked a renewal of hostilities, and the consequences have been that in the skirmishes that have taken place, three of the Mormons have been killed, and about twenty of the inhabitants

At the last encounter the citizens proved too powerful for the Mormonites, and would have destroyed them but for the interposition of the civil authorities. Great exasperation continued to prevail, and no immediate means of composing the difficulties were as yet perceptible.

Still later accounts represent that a cessation of hostilities had taken place between the Mormonites and the inhabitants of Jackson county, in consequence of which the former were rapidly leaving their country and their homes, with the intention of forming another community elsewhere. The extent of loss of lives is said to have been exaggerated -- and it is now confidently affirmed that only four of the Mormons and two of their opponents have been killed.

Note: The above article was reprinted from the New York Spectator of Dec. 19, 1833. Rev. Pixley's letter was written at Independence on Nov. 7, 1833 but not printed in the New York Observer until about the first of December. Pixley's letter was publicized by its reproduction in the Boston Christian Watchman of Dec. 13, 1833.


Vol. ?                           Washington: Saturday, May 31, 1834.                           No. ?

RICHMOND, (WAYNE CO., INDIANA,) May 24.           

Mormonites On Monday morning last, a caravan of about two hundred Mormonites, with a long train of wagons, passed through this place, on their way to the "far west." There were but few women among them, and the men were generally, if not all, supplied with firearms. A stout, hardy set of looking fellows they were too, and many of them quite intelligent. From their equipments, it has been suspected that they intend joining and defending their brethren in Jackson county, Missouri. They professed to be in search of new lands, whereon to form a settlement, either in Illinois or farther west. We understand they were from the States of Vermont, New York, and Pennsylvania, and had assembled at some point on their route hither. --   Palladium.

Note: The report of Joseph Smith's "Zion's Camp" came from the Richmond Indiana Palladium.


Vol. 22.                           Washington: Wednesday, July 2, 1834.                           No. 6675.


We learn by the following article, and others in other papers corroborating it, that violence and bloodshed may be expected in Missouri between those fanatics the Mormonites and those, almost equally fanatic, who seek to put down their superstitions and delusions by force of arms:

LIBERTY, (Mo.) June 11.        

THE MORMONS. -- Our friends at a distance may feel desirous to hear something respecting the "Mormons, so called," and knowing that the larger portion of them are in this county, may look to us to give them the wanted information.

We have heretofore been almost silent on this subject, hoping that the difficulties which occurred in Jackson co., between the citizens and the Mormons, would be soon settled in an amicable way, at least without the shedding of blood; and, in fact, we have felt very little interest in the matter, farther than it affected the general good of the country. But as this thing has arrived at a crisis which is really appealing to the feelings of good men, we feel it a duty to inform our readers of the movements of this people, at the same time we do not wish to be understood as trying to exasperate the minds of the people against this deluded and unfortunate sect.

For the last six or eight weeks, the Mormons have been actively engaged in making preparations to return to Jackson county, "the land of promise," by providing themselves with implements of war, such as guns, pistols, swords, &c. &c. They expect a reinforcement from the State of Ohio, and we are informed that small parties are arriving almost every day. So soon as they all arrive, they intend to call upon the Governor to reinstate them upon their lands in Jackson, and then, if molested, they are determined to protect themselves, sword in hand. We are told they will be able to muster 700 strong.

A gentleman from Jackson informs us that the citizens of that county are no less engaged in making preparation for their reception. On Monday last they held a meeting, for the purpose of electing officers, and Samuel C. Owens, a gentleman known to many citizens of the state, was unanimously elected commander-in-chief of all their forces. Our informant states that they have received a letter from the Governor, advising them to effect a compromise, if possible by purchasing the land of the Mormons, and paying them for injuries which they have sustained. For this purpose ten persons were appointed, invested with full power to settle the whole matter, and will meet the Mormons in this place, on Monday next, for that purpose. Should the Mormons refuse to accede to an honorable and fair adjustment of these difficulties, the Governor will not restore any to that county, but such as hold lands. The following gentlemen compose the above named Committee: Thomas Stayton, sen., Samuel Erwin, Smallwood V. Noland, Smallwood Noland, Robert Rickman, James Campbell, Richard Fristoe, Thomas Jeffries, and John Davis.

We have our fears as to the final issue of this matter, but hope for the best.
  -- Liberty (Mo.) Enquirer.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 22.                           Washington: Friday, July 4, 1834.                           No. ?


JACKSONVILLE, (Ill.) June 7.        
"This looks rebellion." -- A large company of emigrants, consisting of about two hundred and fifty men and four women, encamped near the Mauvaiseterre, about one mile from this town, on Saturday evening last. A number of our citizens visited their encampment on the Sabbath. They had preaching and other religious services, conducted by men of theor own party. Many conjectures were afloat in regard to the object and future plans of these individuals. From all that could be gathered, it was ascertained that the bulk of them came from the western part of New York, and that they were on their way to the "Far West." Curiosity was the more excited on account of the backwardness displayed by every individual in the company, to communicate their inention in coming to this country, &c.

As they passed through the town on Monday morning, we had an opportunity of conversing with some of them, but their laconic, ill-mannerly and unsatisfactory answers made it an unthankful task, and rendered us incapable of throwing any additional light on the subject. We fall in with the opinion of many of our citizens that they belong to that deluded class of individuals who have adopted the book of Mormon for their guide, and are now on their way to Jackson county, Missouri, to render whatever servives may be required by their brethren in that quarter, and to resist any attempt that may be made to thwart them in the design of making that section of country their "New Jerusalem." We are strengthened in this opinion by some hints thrown out in the last Missouri Republican, which we copy, and from several other circumstances, which it is not necessary at this time to tell, There is a report that two other similar parties, on different routes, have crossed the Illinois river. -- Patriot.

Note: The report of Joseph Smith's "Zion's Camp" apparently came from the Jacksonville Illinois Patriot. The Patriot published an early and important article on western Mormonism in its number for Sept. 16, 1831.


Vol. 22.                          Washington: Wednesday, July 9, 1834.                           No. 6680.


Current information from Missouri confirms the apprehensions entertained of the breaking out of a furious Civil War between the Mormons and the residents of Jackson county, in the State of Missouri. The Fayette Monitor, of the 21st, says "By our next number we anticipate something (on the Mormon controversy) in an authentic form. The people may look for the worst."

The Missouri Enquirer (printed at Liberty) of the 18th June says, that on the Monday preceding, a Committee on the part of the citizens of Jackson county, and one in behalf of the Mormon people, met at Liberty, to take into consideration the subject of compromising the difficulties which occurred in Jackson county last Autumn. No compromise was effected, however, notwithstanding the exertions of the people of Clay county, (in which Liberty is situated,) a committee of whom were appointed to act as mediators. On the contrary, the excitement among the People was such, that the conference was, in consequence of it, obliged to be adjourned. The proposition made by the People of Jackson county to the Mormons, who were driven out of the county last Autumn, and are about to re-enter it with additional numbers, in arms, is, to buy all the lands and improvements of the Mormons, at a valuation by disinterested arbitrators, to which valuation one hundred per cent. shall be added, to be paid within thirty days thereafter; the Mormons thereupon to leave the county, and not hereafter to attempt to enter it, individually, or collectively. Or, the citizens of Jackson county to sell their lands to the Mormons on exactly reciprocal terms. To neither of these propositions were the committee of the Mormons authorized to assent, nor does there appear any probability that either of them will be assented to. The Enquirer, after narrating these facts, gives utterance to the following melancholy foreboding: "It is a lamentable fact, that the matter is about to involve the whole upper country in civil war and bloodshed. We cannot (if a compromise is not agreed to before Saturday next) tell how long it will be before we shall have the painful task of recording the awful realities of an exterminating war." The citizens of Jackson, it appears, though inferior in numbers to the Mormons, are resolved to dispute over every inch of ground and the Chairman of their Committee declared, at the Meeting in the Cout House of Clay county, appealing to heaven for the truth of his assertion, that "they would dispute every inch of ground, burn every blade of grass, and suffer their bones to bleach on their hills, rather than the Mormons should return to Jackson county."

The following account of a fatal accident, which occurred on the evening after the conference, evidently refers the disaster to the enmity existing between these exasperated parties:


INDEPENDENCE, Mo., June 17th, 1834.       

Messrs. Kelley & Davis: Having understood that you have received intelligence of the sinking of the ferry boat at Everett's ferry, on the Missouri, last evening, together with a statement of the sufferings of those who happened to be on board, we, a part of those who escaped, have thought proper, for the correct information of yourselves and others, to give a statement of the facts as they actually occurred.

Eight of the citizens of this county, a majority of whom was a part of the committee that waited on the Mormons, in your town, on yesterday, embarked on board of the boat at about nine o'clock, it being perfectly clear, and the moon shining as bright as we ever saw it. Upon our embarking, the boat appeared to be in as good order as we ever saw it -- the false floor was tight and good. After our having left the shore some two hundred yards, in an instant, as it were, the boat was filled with water. We are confident the boat struck nothing. Our impressions at the time were, and still are, that something had been done to the boat to sink her, as it was known that the committee from this county would cross at that point last night. The names of the persons lost are -- James Campbell, William Everett, David Linch, Jefferson Cary, and a Mr. Bradbury -- the two last were the ferrymen.

Those escaping -- Smallwood Noland, Richard Fristoe, Smallwood V. Noland, Samuel C. Owens, Thomas Harrington, and a Mr. Frost -- the last being the third ferryman. Those who escaped, we assure you, suffered much.
Respectfully, your obedient servants,

Samuel C. Owens, S. V. Nolland, Thomas Harrington.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 22.                           Washington: Wednesday, July 16, 1834.                           No. ?

We have been looking out for some days past for news of bloodshed between the Mormons and their opponents in Jackson county, in Missouri. The subjoined is the first report of it, and being through a private channel, may not be very accurate. We shall hear more fully, no doubt, either to-day or to-morrow.


A Mormon Battle. -- A letter received, by a gentleman in this neighborhood, direct from Missouri, stating that a body of well armed Mormons, lead on by their great prophet, Joe Smith, lately attempted to cross the river into Jackson county. A party of the citizens of Jackson county opposed their crossing, and a battle ensued, in which, Joe Smith was wounded in the leg, and the Mormons obliged to retreat: that Joe Smith's limb was amputated, but he died three days after the operation.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 22.                           Washington: Wednesday, July 23, 1834.                           No. 6692.


The Report which reached us some time ago, in the shape of a private letter published in an Ohio paper, of a battle between the Mormons and the inhabitants of Jackson county, in Missouri, turns out to be untrue. How near they have been to a Battle, and a very bloody one, will appear from the following information (which, as to the facts, may be relied upon) copied from a Kentucky paper:


The following extracts of letters, from a young gentleman of Missouri, to his father, in Mason county, have been politely furnished us for publication. They contain the latest and most authentic intelligence from the seat of the Mormon operations:

"LEXINGTON, Mo., June 20, 1834.       

"In a former letter I wrote at some length about the Mormons, and promised to write again on the subject. They have just received a large reinforcement from the East, which makes their numbers amount to 800 or 1000 men all well armed, with guns, tomahawks, knives, and from two to four barces of pistols [etc.] They went through the county on the North of the river, yesterday. We understand that the people of that county intended to stop them, and for the purposes of assisting them, we raised about forty men, but could not overtake them, (the Mormons,) as they raised a dog trot, and kept it up most of the day.

" Next Monday is supposed to be the day they intend crossing the river, to take Jackson county. The whole county is in an uproar. Volunteers are preparing to go to the scene of action. Should they cross the river, there will be a battle, and probably much blood shed. Among others, I shall start on Saturday next, at eight o'clock."

"Lexington, June 28.       

"From my last letter, you may possibly be expecting to hear of a severe battle between the Mormons and Jacksonians -- but you will not. We went up yo Jackson county, armed with guns, knives, &c., in full expectation of meeting an enemy determined [for] victory or death. Nothing less could have been anticipated, for Smith, their prophet, had promised to raise all of them that should be slain in fighting the Lord's battles.

"You may recollect that, some months ago, the people of Jackson drove all the Mormons out of the county, on account, as they alleged, of improper conduct, such as stirring up a seditious feeling in the slaves and Indians, steeling hogs, cattle, &c., and, worst of all, threatening to take possession of the whole of this upper country, either (according to Smith's revelation) by purchase or by blood. Some of them had even predicted that Independence, the county seat of Jackson, would flow with blood -- the men should be slain, and the women become their slaves. In Jackson, they took refuge in the adjoining counties, principally in Clay county, where they remained in peace and inaction. Some time in May, there was a great bustle among them -- selling off their little patches of corn for guns, buying gun-locks, power and lead, manufacturing pistols and swords, and collecting themselves into a body in Clay county, from which place they threatened to cross over and attack their old neighbors, to recover the New Jerusalem from the infidels.

"About the same time, letters were written from the State of Ohio, informing the people of Jackson of the party that were starting from that place to join the brethren in Missouri. At first we thought it was all a hoax, not believing it possible that so many knaves and fools could be mustered in that State, nor could we believe it, until they had actually arrived. The arrival of such a body of armed troops, whose object was to butcher a portion of our citizens, aroused the whole county against them.

"The Jackson people offered them twice the valuation of all their possessions, which was refused. They had collected in Clay county, and built a number of boats, to cross their forces over. Last Monday was, no doubt, the time they intended to cross, and would most probably have done so, had it not been for the numbers who went from this county to oppose them. Jackson county could raise about 900 men, and 400 went from Lafayette; about 300 more would have marched in a day or two, if they had been required. I know we had neither law nor gospel on our side, but self-preservation urged us to pursue that course, for we knew that our county would be the next to suffer from their presence. If they had crossed the river, I very much question if one would have been left to tell the tale. No quarter would have been given. We could have killed most of them before they got across the river.

"Smith now tells them, (the Mormons,) that it does not matter about building the temple yet -- that they may wait 80 or 100 years longer. Meanwhile, they will locate somewhere else. I am told there are a goodly number about to leave the country."

The following papers, which we find in the Fayette Monitor of July 8, will be acceptable to all such as desire to understand more particularly the nature of this Western feud:

From the Missouri Enquirer.

Being a citizen of Clay county, and knowing that there is considerable excitement among the people thereof: and also knowing that different reports are arriving almost hourly, and being requested by the Hon. J. F. Ryland to meet the Mormons under arms, and obtain from the leaders thereof the correctness of the various reports in circulation, the true intent and meaning of their present movements, and their views generally regarding the difficulties existing between them and the citizens of Jackson county; I did, in company with the other gentlemen, call upon the said leaders of the Mormons at their camp, in Clay county -- and now give to the people of Clay co. their written statement, containing the substance of what passed between us.



Being called upon by the above named gentlemen, at our camp, in Clay county, to ascertain from the leaders of our men, our intentions, views, and designs, in approaching this county in the manner that we have; we therefore, the more cheerfully comply with their request, because we are called upon by gentlemen of good feelings, and who are disposed for peace and on amicable adjustment of the difficulties existing between us and the people of Jackson county. The reports of our intentions are various, and have gone abroad in a light calculated to arouse the feelings of almost every man. For instance, one report is, that we intend crossing the Missouri River on saturday next, and falling upon women and children, & slaying them; another is, that our men were employed to perform this expedition, being taken from manufacturing establishments in the East that had closed business; also, that we carried a flag, bearing PEACE on one side and war or blood on the other; and various others too numerous to mention. All of which, a plain declaration of our intentions, from under our own hands, will show are not correct. In the first place, it is not our intention to commit hostilities against any man or body of men. It is not our intention to injure any man's person or property, except in defending ourselves. Our flag has been exhibited to the above gentlemen, who will be able to describe it. Our men were not taken from any manufacturing establishment. It is our intention to go back upon our lands in Jackson, by order of the Executive of the State, if possible. We have brought our arms with us for the purpose of self defense, as it is well known to almost every man of the State that we have every reason to put ourselves in an attitude of defence, considering the abuse we have suffered in Jackson County. We are anxious for a settlement of the difficulties existing between us, upon honorable and constitutional principles. We are willing for 12 disinterested men, six to be chosen by each party, and these men shall say what the possessions of those men are worth who cannot live with us in the county; and they shall have their money in one year; and none of the Mormons shall enter that county to reside until the money is paid. The damages that we have sustained in consequence of being driven away, shall also be left to the above twelve men. Or they may all live in the county, if they choose, and we will never molest them if they will let us alone and permit us to enjoy our rights. We want to live in peace with all men, and equal rights is all we ask. We wish to become permanent citizens of this State, and wish to bear our proportion in support of the Government, and to be protected by its laws. If the above proposals are complied with, we are willing to give security on our part; and we shall want the same of the people of Jackson county for the performance of this agreement. We do not wish to settle down in a body, except where we can purchase the lands with money: for to take possession by conquest or the shedding of blood, is entirely foreign to our feelings. The shedding of blood we shall not be guilty of, until all just and honorable means among men prove insufficient to restore peace. Amen
Joseph Smith, Jr.
F. G. Williams,
Lyman Wight,
Roger Orton,
Orson Hyde,
John S. Carter.
John Lincoln,
C. R. Morehead,
John Scorce,
James H. Long,
James Collins.
Clay County, June 21, 1834.


    Gentlemen: Having understood that a communication from the Mormons, addressed to the people of Clay County, a copy of which was also forwarded to us, dated 21st inst. has been left, with you for publication, we have thought proper to give said communication a passing notice, especially as it bears the signatures of Joseph Smith, jr., F. G. Williams, Lyman Wight, Roger Orton, Orson Hyde, and John S. Carter. We are unable to say with precision, who of the Mormons hold land in Jackson county, by any earthly title; but, so far as we can obtain any information from the Register's office at Lexington, so far as the sales of Seminary lands, of the 16th sections Township Schools lands, inform us, and so far as the Recorder's office furnishes any information of lands transferred by deeds recorded, neither of the above gentlemen Mormons own any land in Jackson county; although, throughout their whole communication, they hold out the idea, that their only wish and desire is to return to their lands in Jackson. From the above, it would seem that if those who signed the communication above alluded to, have titles to any lands in Jackson county, they are titles unknown to the laws of the State, and of a character not known to the common conveyances. Why men, who do not, so far as we can learn, own any lands in Jackson, should promulgate to the world that they have been expelled from them, appears to us to be inexplicable; unless, indeed, it is done with a view to deceive. Why men, living in the State of Ohio, should there raise an armed force, and march the distance of 6 or 800 miles, under the pretence of taking possession of their lands in Jackson, when, in fact, they have no earthly title to any, that would be to us also inexplicable, had we not the best possible reasons to know and believe their true intent and purpose. Joseph Smith, jr., whose name is first to the paper of which we speak, we confidently believe, does not, neither did he ever, own a foot of land in Jackson co. Said Smith, two years or more ago, was in Jackson co. some two or three weeks; since which time, he has not been, or at least known publicly to have been, in Jackson co. F. G. Williams, the second signer, we are informed, on competent authority, has never been a resident of Jackson co. But, if here at all, his stay was short, (our informant was, if not yet, a Mormon.) Lyman Wight had been for some time a resident of this county, but had no title to any land, as we believe, from the facts above stated. Roger Orton is unknown to any of the citizens of the county, as far as we have been able to make inquiry, and is unknown to some of the Mormon faith. Orson Hyde is known, and of famous memory to most of the people of this county, not by any personal acquaintance, for, as we are informed, he had been but a short time here; but, by his communications, which appeared in the St. Louis Republican last November, (with what truth we will not here discuss.) John S. Carter is unknown to any person in this county, so far as we can learn.

Thus it would seem, that the signers of the above paper, or a majority of them, have no interest whatever in this county, any further than the Mormon church is concerned; and yet, they avow to the citizens of Clay, that their sole object in arming and marching to this county was, and is, to take possession of their lands, when in fact they have no lands to take possession of; that the abuse they received here last Fall is sufficient to warrant them in coming armed. What abuse, we ask, did the Prophet Jo. Smith, jr., receive in this county last Fall, and he not in the State? None indeed to his person. Again, they say that they never intended to get possession of Zion, (that is Jackson,) by the shedding of blood! But, in Revelation No. 51, given in Kirtland, Ohio, August, 1831, near three years since, which we find in a Book of Revelations, printed by the Mormons, we discover the following in the 13th verse, to wit: "Wherefore, the land of Zion shall be obtained but by PURCHASE or by BLOOD, otherwise there is none inheritance for you." Thus it would seem, that either the Revelation is false, or the statement made by Joseph Smith and others to the people of Clay county is false. And we cannot but conclude, that the statement was got up for the sole purpose of allaying public excitement against them, & without much regard to their real object in coming here. The fact is, that an armed force coming from another State, many, and indeed most of whom have never, as we are informed and believe, been here before, produces the strongest conviction to our minds, that the Mormons do not intend to rely upon the arm of the civil law for protection, and redress of grievances; but that, under the pretence of getting back their lands in Jackson county, a pretence which, applied to 19 out of 20 of them, is false, they intend to redress of themselves their real as well as imaginary wrongs. We have already offered them two prices for their lands; they will not sell -- neither will they buy ours on the same terms. All this pertinacity and infatuation of theirs, show that they are determined, at all hazards, and regardless of all consequences, to shake and convulse not only Jackson, but the surrounding counties, to their very centre, and to imbrue the whole upper Missouri in blood and carnage. We will here observe, in conclusion, that our proposition to the Mormons to sell their lands to us on the same terms on which we offer ours to them, must be regarded as a proof of our desire to do them justice, and thus put a final termination to the controversy.

SAM'L  C.  OWENS,        

Chairman of Jackson county Committee.
Independence, (Mo.) June 23, 1834.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                           Washington: Thursday, July 31, 1834.                           No. ?

St. Louis, Missouri, July 15.       

Cholera. -- We learn from the last Missouri Enquirer, printed at Liberty, Clay county, that Cholera exists to an alarming degree among the Mormons who recently emigrated to that country, and that it had spread to those who previously resided there. In three or four days after it appeared, eighteen cases happened, thirteen of which were fatal; and little hope was entertained of the recovery of any of the others. The disease, it is said, was confined to the Mormons.

The pestilence has appeared at Rushville, Pekin and Dillon's settlement near Pekin. At Rushville, previous to the 8th inst, the following persons had died -- William McCreery, (State Senator) C. V. Putman, Ruel Redfield and child, Mrs. Wethers, James Hagerty, Hugh McCreery, sen., and his wife, Robert Gay, and two children, named Smith. At Pekin, there had been nine deaths, up to last Wednesday. At Dillon's settlement, eight cases and four deaths -- Thomas Dillon, P. M., and his wife and niece, and Mr. Hymer.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                           Washington: Saturday, August 2, 1834.                           No. ?

Richmond, Wayne Co., Indiana, July 26.       

Mormons.-- A number of the Mormons whose passage westward through this place we noted in May last, have returned this week, and look indeed like the remnant of a scattered army. They say they are returning to the east for their families, some to settle business, &c. They were not communicative, but they speak of a battle having taken place between some of their people and the citizens of Jackson county, Missouri. They say the Governor ordered them to give up their arms, and make quite a contrast to their outward bound appearance.

Note: The report of Joseph Smith's "Zion's Camp" in retreat evidently came from the Richmond Indiana Palladium.


Vol. ?                           Washington: Mondayday, August 4, 1834.                           No. ?

Richmond, Fayette, (Mo.) July 17.       

In Clay county the Mormon people have suffered severely from Cholera, 23 of their number having died -- those who have escaped have fled in every direction. GILBERT. who is second in command, and said to be the most intelligent man among them is dead; and Jo Smith, the Prophet, has passed Chariton on his return to Ohio. Two citizens of Clay county have also perished, and although the Liberty paper, in print, denies the existence of Cholera, yet there words are written upon the margin of the one last received" "Cholera plenty here," -- Monitor.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                           Washington: Wednesday, August 6, 1834.                           No. ?

St. Louis, July 25.       

The health of St. Louis, notwithstanding the extreme heat of the weather, is unusually good. The cholera was entirely disappeared.

The pestilence yet prevails at Chariton, among the Mormons, at Liberty, and perhaps other places on the Missouri. Gilbert, a leader of the Mormons, died from an attack of it, and Jo Smith, the Prophet, was on his way to Ohio, at the last account.

Some other deaths have occured at Rushville, Pekin, Dillon's Settlement, and at Pleasant Grove, six miles above Peoria. -- Republican.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                           Washington: Thursday, August 20, 1835.                           No. ?



St. Johnsbury, Vt., July 20, 1835.       

I left the White Mountains on the 17th, for Montreal, via Stanstead, L. C. Bethlehem, and Littleton. The first mentioned is 11 miles distant from Dennison's Hotel, and is a small uninteresting town. Littleton is a pleasant and flourishing village, located on the east bank of the Connecticut, five miles from Bethlehem. Tourists to the White Mountains usually pass through this place. Leaving Littleton, we crossed the Connecticut to Waterford, a small agricultural town, five miles from Littleton. From there we came to this place, where we have stopped a short time, for the purpose of attending a Mormon meeting now being held here. The Mormon Society here is probably more numerous than in any other village in New England; between thirty and forty persons are included in the church. An old barn standing by the road-side has been fitted up as a temporary place of assemblage, and on entering it, we found quite a numerous audience collected, the majority of which were females. On the scaffold of the barn were seated the twelve Mormon Apostles, so called by believers from Ohio. They looked fresh from the back woods. A brother of Joe Smith, the chief prophet, composed one of the number. We had been seated but a short time before the service commenced. After singing two or three hymns, one of the Apostles arose and commenced murdering the King's English, in an address on the abuse of gifts. He said that God in his mercy has vouchsafed "to the church of the latter-day saints," i. e. the Mormons, certain peculiar gifts -- and among these were "the gift of tongues," and "the gift of healing." It was concerning the abuse of these two gifts especially, that he wished to address the audience at the present time; inasmuch as that through the abuse of them by the saints, great harm had resulted to the church. For instance, "if a saint had the gift of tongues come upon him," he would at once speak out, without regarding the time or place; sometimes half a dozen saints would be moved by the gift at one time, and all would speak out together. This, said the Apostle, is wrong; it creates confusion, and affords the ungodly an opportunity to taunt the church with speaking "unmeaning gibberish." No saint, he continued, however strongly moved by the gift of tongues, should speak out unless the occasion warranted it, and not even then, if an interpreter were not present. After having lectured the church sufficiently on the abuse of the gift of tongues, the Apostle proceeded to speak concerning the gift of healing, which he said had been abused by the church to as great an extent as the first mentioned gift -- even some of the Apostles were deserving of reprehension for their abuse of this gift. They had attempted to exercise it on "adulterous people" -- on persons devoid of faith, and therefore had failed -- thus bringing disgrace upon themselves, and subjecting the whole church to the derision of the unrighteous. The saints, he continued, should be cautious how they exercised this gift; if they were applied to by any one, they should first inquire if he were full of faith, and firmly believed the latter-day saints competent to do all which they professed. If he were a believer, it was proper to attempt a cure; but if he were an unbeliever, the saints should never attempt to heal him, as a want of faith on the part of the applicant, unfitted him for the reception of the gift. In conclusion, the Apostle observed, that he hoped the saints would take heed how they abused the two gifts concerning which he had spoken. In travelling through Ohio and Missouri, he had found the abuse of these two gifts prevalent, to a degree which threatened the prosperity of the church, and it was necessary that the saints should be warned of their danger. The Apostle occupied about half an hour in the delivery of his homily. At times we thought that he was about being moved by the gift of tongues, as his discourse, from the looseness of its construction, bordered so closely on "unmeaning gibberish," that were much puzzled to comprehend the meaning. The above, however, is the substance of it.

After this Apostle had taken his seat, a second arose who spoke more intelligibly. For the benefit of those of the audience who were unacquainted with the Mormon faith, he entered into an exposition of it, and then attempted to defend the system. Without going into detail, we give below a brief outline of his remarks. He said the latter-day saints believed the bible to be a divine revelation, and that so far as its precepts extended, it was sufficient and worthy of all observance. But the old revelations were not suited to the present condition of mankind. The state of society had altered -- manners and customs had changed -- mankind had become more enlightened, and had new wants. To meet the wants engendered by a more civilized state of society, said the speaker, fresh revelations were needed, and these in mercy to man had been graciously supplied. In doing this, continued the speaker, the ALMIGHTY had but granted us the same which he had bestowed on mankind in former ages. Every successive generation, said he, from the creation of the world to the time of Christ, has had its prophet, its revelator, to make revelations suited to the time of mankind at those periods. He would urge this fact as an argument against those who said that the old revelations were sufficient, and that it was contrary to the design of PROVIDENCE to give new revelations for the instruction of the people. The speaker then proceeded to read from the Book of Mormon various passages, the purport of all which was, that the ALMIGHTY had set apart a tract of country in the "western bounds of Missouru" for the inheritance of the latter day saints; that it was to be called "the New Jerusalem" -- that although it belonged to the saints by right, yet they were to obtain the lands from the unbelievers by purchase, in order that they might rest in quiet. Here, said he, that latter day saints are to be gathered from all quarters, and they are commanded to dispose of their flocks and herds, purchase land, and take up their abode in the New Jerusalem. These revelations, said the speaker, were made in the year 1831, "and I am a witness that they were made."

It is evidently the intention of the twelve Mormon Apostles to prevail upon the members of the church in this place to dispose of their property, and proceed with them to the West, and from the profound respect with which their nonsense was listened to, I have no doubt but that they will prevail upon many of the believers to pursue this course. We were both amused and disgusted in listening to their absurdities. It was really humiliating to observe the fallibility of human reason displayed in the almost crouching reverence with which their discourse was received by the believing portion of the audience. We had not thought it possible to find in one small town in New England, the boasted land of intelligence, so large a number of persons who could be led astray by doctrines which at the first glance appear so very absurd and ridiculous; but it has been truly remarked that no system of religious faith, however absurd or ridiculous, can be devised, which will not find some staunch believers and supporters among men. Among the audience we noticed several aged men. One of them told us that he had come 150 miles from Maine for the purpose of attending this meeting.

Note: According to the RLDS History of the Church, (Vol. 1, pp. 569-570): "The Twelve met in conference, agreeably to previous appointment, at Saint Johnsbury, Vermont... Six of the council adressed the conference on principles of faith and action."


Vol. ?                           Washington: Friday, August 21, 1835.                           No. ?

Pittsburg, Aug. 13.      

Antiquarian Discovery. -- Three mummies, purchased by the Mormons, upon being examined by Joe Smith, the prophet, have been discovered to be no less than the bodies of Joseph, the son of Jacob, and King Abimelech and his daughter. With these wonderful curiousities, those vagrants intend travelling about the country to astonish the wondering multitude by a sight of those well determined personages.

This surely is an age of humbugging. There have been a number of ages of the world -- the leaden, iron, silver, gold, and brass, and we know not how many more, but the present excels all for its gullibility. The credulity of man is monstrous. He is prepared to believe the most absurd deceptions that the mind can conceive, if they but be presented to him under a religious garb. Was there ever any thing more preposterous than the stories of the Mormons -- unless, indeed, we except the pretensions of the notorious Matthias? Yet there are many men, who in some respects appear like well informed persons, that are prepared to sacrifice business, property and reputation, in witness of their confidence in the golden bible doctrines. -- Chronicle.

Note: The issue of the Pittsburgh Chronical carrying this article has yet to be located. Presumably the editor of that paper received the report directly from a correspondent in northern Ohio. Few reports of this period actually provide the antique names designated for each of the Chandler mummies. If the Mormons were then claiming to possess the body of the Patriarch Joseph, that might help explain Joseph Smith's intention to translate and publish the "Book of Joseph," said to have been recovered from within the wrappings of one of the mummies.


Vol. ?                           Washington: Tuesday, November 10, 1835.                           No. ?

CHARDON, (Ohio,) Oct. 30.        

SIDNEY RIGDON, notorious as one of the Mormon leaders, was indicted for solemnizing marriages without license, and tried at the present term of the Court of Common Pleas of this county. The performance of the marriage ceremony by Rigdon having been proven, on the part of the prosecution, Rigdon produced a license of the Court, which had been granted to him several years ago, as a Minister of the Gospel of that sect usually called Campbellites, but who call themselves Disciples, to continue so long as he remained a minister in regular standing in that denomination. The prosecution then undertook to prove by proof that he had abandoned that church, and joined the Mormons, and held principles inconsistent with his former faith. It appeared that the society of Disciples kept written minutes of their proceedings, and no church record of his dismissal being offered, the Court rejected the testimony, and a nolle prosequi was entered. -- Gazette.

Note: This report originated in the Oct. 30, 1835 issue of the Chardon, Ohio Spectator. It was apparently also reprinted in the Cleveland Gazette.


Vol. ?                           Washington: Friday, May 20, 1836.                           No. ?


THE MORMONS. -- A gentleman living in Lorain county, Ohio, writes that a more extraordinary sect has not sprung up since the days of Mahomet. In the town of Kirtland they have erected a stone temple at an expense of $40,000. It is sixty by eighty feet broad; and fifty feet high. It has two rows of Gothic windows. The floor is the place of worship, with four rows of pulpits at each end, having three pulpits in a row. These twelve pulpits rise behind and above one another, and are designed, the uppermost row for the bishop and his counsellor[s], the second for the priest and his counsellors, the third for the teachers, and the fourth or lowest for the deacons. Over the division between each of the rows of pulpits, is a painted canvas, rolled up to the ceiling, and to be let down at pleasure, so as to conceal the dignitaries from the audience. The area can be divided into four apartments so as to carry on the objects of imposture. The second and attic stories are for a theological and literary seminary, which is expected to have the manual labor system attached to it. The Mormons are very eager to acquire an education, pursue their Hebrew till 12 o'clock at night, and attend nothing else. They pretend to have remarkable revelations, work miracles, heal the sick, &c. &c.

Note: This appears to be an original article, written for the Intelligencer.


Vol. ?                           Washington: Tuesday, July 4, 1837.                           No. ?

From the Miami of the Lake, (of Perrysburg, Ohio.)

Although I presume, Mr. Editor, that your readers have seen much, and heard much, concerning the Mormon sect, yet I am led to conclude that something more may not be destitute of interest. With their particular notions of religion, and their doctrine of Joe Smith's inspiration, I have nothing to do, nor yet am I, by any means, disposed to raise the finger of scorn, and ridicule a people because they have chosen to exercise the privilege of American citizens, secured to them by the American Constitution -- that of adopting theological [dogma] which differ from some systems more popular, though perhaps little less irrational and absurd. But inasmuch as they have at different times occupied some space in the public eye, and have been spoken for and against with all those false colorings, and perhaps falsehoods, that characterize every thing transacted under the influence of religious excitement and party zeal. we may now venture to address candid consideration without incurring the imputation of either malevolence or favoritism.

The circumstances related concerning the discovery of the Book of Mormon, its translation by the inspired "Joe Smith," and their subsequent emigration to Missouri are familiar to all. But in consequence of the "mobocracy" of that region, the revelation making an assignment of that country, for the location of the "New Jerusalem," was postponed for "further consideration," and another spot designated as one of the "Stakes of Zion," which should be extended so as finally to embrace "the promised land." This place, appointed by revelation, is situated in Geauga county, Ohio, about five miles from the shore of Lake Erie, and twenty-two miles from Cleaveland. This they call Kirtland. Here they were congregated under the authority and immediate supervision of their "great high priest," Joe Smith. They were soon informed through the revealing agency of the "prophet Joe," that a "temple" was necessary, as a prelude to all further improvement; and they were likewise informed that it should be constructed of brick. But, mirabile dictu, when they attempted to burn the brick, the earth they employed for the purpose was found to be totally unfit -- a circumstance that had not been looked into when the decree and revelation were made, which were consequently revoked, an order for stone materials substituted therefore, they having "any quantity of that article on hand." From a small beginning, they had now vastly increased in numbers and prosperity, having at present about four thousand members, so that a banking institution was declared necessary for the accommodation of their domestic commerce. Previously to this, however, they had received quite an accession to its strength and popularity in the person of S. Rigdon, once a preacher of the doctrine of Campbell, and a man of no ordinary talent and literary attainment, possessed of a shrewd and sagacious mind and business capacities, united with indefatigable perseverance and ardor in his undertakings; qualities of which the renowned prophet, his leader, seems almost entirely destitute. He soon became the favorite of, and grand vizier to, Smith; and, under their decision, a banking-house was established, for the good faith of which all the "Saints" were pledged, and Smith and Rigdon appointed president and cashier. Notes were issued to the amount of some one hundred thousand or one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Hard times came on much of it soon returned, and the bank failed.

Residing temporarily but a few miles from Kirtland, and hearing of these things, I felt not a little desire to visit the "Mormon Town." I accordingly determined to visit the place, and set my feet in the precincts of the "Holy City." A gentleman kindly offered me a seat in his carriage, and we drove to the "promised land." It was a beautiful Sunday morning, and although we reached the temple at an early hour, yet we found it filled with worshippers, "after the order of" Joe Smith. The region around is exceedingly broken and hilly, though by no means unproductive. They own the land to the extent of about two miles square, well furnished with mills and other water privileges. Their houses are small, and all wooden, the house of the prophet being quite small. The temple is a splendid edifice, covering, if I mistake not, sixty-eight feet by seventy-six, three stories high, including the attic, built of rough stone, handsomely stuccoed., which gives it a very rich appearance. The interior forms two apartments for meetings, similar in size and arrangement, each apartment being large enough to accommodate 1,2000 persons. The joists are supported by six fluted columns. Each of these apartments is capable of being subdivided into four separate divisions, by canvass curtains let down by windlasses from the ceiling. Each apartment contains six pulpits, arranged gradtim, three at each end, for the "Aaronic priesthood," and at the other end for the "priesthood of Melchisedec." The slips are so constructed that the audience can face either pulpit as may be required. In the highest seat in the "Aaronic priesthood" sits the reverend father of the prophet; the next below is occupied by "Joe," and his prime minister, Rigdon. The attic story is occupied as school rooms, five in number, where the various branches of English, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew languages are taught to a large number of students. The actual cost of the temple is not known, but it is estimated to have cost not less than $60,000. Smith and Rigdon were both present, having just returned from a journey of some weeks. Smith's intellectual appearance is altogether in medias res, his countenance exhibiting a blank expression (if the term be admissible in reference to a countenance destitute of all expression,) and the only thing indicating a sense of superiority is his perfect composure and ease of manner before the gaze of the assembled multitude, for the audience was rather a multitude than a congregation. But, on the contrary, Rigdon's countenance beamed with intellect, his eye dark and lustrous, his voice a fine tenor, his manner and diction vigorous, flowing, and not inelegant, and his head withal, in the eye of a phrenologist, would have been pronounced "good." He harangued the assembly, and the aim of his address was to reconcile his people to the endurance of their present embarrassments, in which they are involved by the pressure of the times, the failure of their bank, &c. His harangue was mild, artful, insinuating, and, as far as I could judge, had the desired effect. The whole appearance of things indicated to my mind that Rigdon is the man who pulls the wires of the whole machine behind the screen of Joe Smith's inspiration. Many industrious, intelligent, and worthy citizens are the followers of Joe Smith, and it is but justice to say that they have manifested a liberality of sentiment and a spirit of Christian charity which should put their enemies to the blush, and which many of their bitterest persecutors would do well to imitate. Yet, in my estimation, Sidney Rigdon can better translate the tables of Mormon for the ears of that people than can the prophet Joe himself. But truly, in this thing, Smith has signalized himself, and Mormonism become a matter of history. And the sum of my reflections on the subject, when returning from the "Town of Mormon," was, that a madman or a fool hath ever set the world agog.

JUNE, 1837.

Note 1: The timing of this "Vistor's" encounter with Smith and Rigdon at Kirtland may help explain Smith's "blank" attitude and Rigdon's demonstration of exuberance. On June 9, 1837, Joseph Smith, Jr. was brought to trial in the county Court House at Chardon, on charges of having formed a conspiracy to murder local Gentile, Grandison Newell. Smith had been in hiding from the Law since mid-April, and that may explain the correspondent's mention of his having been away from Kirtland for "some weeks." Rigdon, who was not on trial at that time, offered a less than fully helpful court-room testimony in behalf of his ecclesiastical superior. In fact, Smith was at the nadir of his career as leader of the Kirtland Mormons that month, even though the serious legal charges against him were finally dismissed for lack of evidence.

Note 2: During a June 15th meeting in the Temple, Elder Warren Parrish and others had openly denounced Smith's leadership of the Church. A week later, Apostle Parley P. Pratt candidly charged Smith with "great sins." Most likely the unnamed "Visitor" attended services in the Kirtland Temple on Sunday, June 25th, when Smith had just begun to recover from a "serious illness" that had kept him bed-ridden for several days, and had just begun to rescue his then precarious position as President of the Church. Given the circumstances of the times, it is little wonder that Joseph Smith, Jr. remained "blank," that Sunday, or that Sidney Rigdon was compelled to up the slack for the battered LDS First Presidency by preaching a "mild" yet rousing sermon to a barely reconciled congregation of Saints.


Vol. ?                           Washington: Friday, February 9, 1838.                           No. ?

TROUBLE AMONG THE MORMONS. -- The Cleveland Gazette of the 25th ult. says; "We learn from a source to be relied on, that the Mormon Society at Kirtland is breaking up. Smith and Rigdon, after prophesying the destruction of the town, left with their families in the night, and others of the faithful are following. The 'Reformers' are in possession of the Temple, and have excluded the Smith and Rigdon party. An exposure of the proceedings of the Society is in course of preparation by one Parish, the former confidential Secretary of the prophet Smith.

Note: The original article in the Gazette adds: "He [W. Parrish] has the records, &c. in his possession." The anticipated public exposure of the Mormon records never came -- leading Joseph Smith to maliciously malign Parrish's failed efforts in the columns of the Mormons' Elders' Journal.


Vol. ?                           Washington: Tuesday, September 4, 1838.                           No. ?

                                              New York, Sept. 2.

....Fanny Wright begins her electioneering campaign Sunday evening, the weather now having become cool. As Joe Smith, the Mormon, operates in Caldwell County (Mo.) among the Mormons, so Fanny Wright operates here among the Infidels, etc...

....the Van Buren party in N.Y. making every posible efort to enlist the Abolitionists against Mr. Clay... Mr. Van Buren's friends are certainly magicians, if he is not, for they have great success in conjuring up, not only Mormons and Infidels to their aid, but the two wings of extreme opinions on the subject of slavery...

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                           Washington: Thursday, October 4, 1838.                           No. ?

THE MORMONS. -- A desperate battle was anticipated between the Mormons and the inhabitants of Howard and Daviess counties, Missouri. The St. Louis papers received this morning state that the People of Saline, Lafayette, Ray, and Clay, had, in addition to Daviess and Livingston, sent out volunteers. Camden, in Ray, was deserted of all its able bodied men. The Mormons had fortified their town -- Far West -- and were 1,500 strong. They are well disciplined, and will fight well, as Jo Smith tells them if they are beaten they need not expect a resting place this side of Heaven. Some fears were entertained as to the result of the expected engagement. -- Balt. Tran.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                           Washington: Saturday, October 6, 1838.                           No. ?


From the St. Louis Republican

WE have nothing later from Davis county than the 14th. At that time the militia from Clay, Saline, Jackson and some other counties were collecting in Daviess and Carroll, but no decisive steps had been taken on either side. We copy below an article from the Western Star, (published at Liberty, in Clay county,) of the 14th, which shows the origin and progress of the difficulty. We have heard a number of verbal reports, but nothing that can be relied on, so wer prefer waiting for more positive intelligence. The remarks of the Star are as follows:

We desire in the statement we are about to make to give a true narrative of the causes which have produced the difficulty between the Mormons and the citizens of Daviess county, as well as to give all that has occurred respecting the movements of both parties since the first difficulty took place.

At teh election in Daviess county a citizen objected to a Mormon voting, which brought about angry words. The Mormon was strucj with a club, and, in return, used the same weapon himself, and, before the affair terminated, several on both sides were engaged, and knives freely used. No person was killed, but some cut and bruised.

The excitement did not terminate with the fight. -- Shortly afterwards, Joe Smith, Lyman Wight, and other Mormon leaders, collected a large force in Caldwell, and went into Daviess county to protect the Mormons residing there. They went armed and equipped for war, but they say their intentions were peace; and, if what we hear be true respecting the paper which they presented to Adam Black, a justice of the peace, for his signature, a very different face has been placed upon the transaction to what B. has sworn to. The paper Smith presenetd to Black was to the effect that inasmuch as it was snticipated that difficulties would grow out of the fight at the election, between the Mormons and the citizens of Daviess, he (Black) as a justice of the peace pledged himself that he would take lawful notice of any unlawful proceedings of either party -- Smith representing to Black that if he would sign such a paper, he would show it to his own people, and to others, and that it would have an effect to prevent difficulties.

We understand that the facts illicited at the trial of Smith and Wight (who gave themselves up, and were heard before the judge of our circuit court last week) completely stamped the certificate of Black, Comstock, and others with falsehood. After the trialof Smith and Wight, it was believed that difficulties had ceased, but not so. The people of Daviess county had sent letters and messengers to other counties in order to raise men to drive all the Mormons out of Daviess, and many from other counties had gone to their aid. The Mormons seeing this, made preparations also. When, seeing the crisis at which things were arriving, the Judge of our Circuit, Hon. Austin A. King, directed General D. R. Atchison to raise 1000 men in his Division, and forthwith march them into Daviess, to keep the peace, and prevent bloodshed.

Two hundred men from Clay, under the command of Brig. Gen. Doniphen, Major Lightburne, and Capt's Moss, Whittington, and Price, marched out on yesterday and the day before.

We are not apprehensive that any thing serious will take place, though both parties have become much excited. Both sides are to blame, but our opinion is that the Mormons are the aggressors. Until the 4th July, we heard of no threat being made against them, in any quarters. The people had all become reconciled to let them remain where they are, and indeed were disposed to lend them a helping hand. But one Sidney Rigdon, in order to show himself off as a great man, collected them all together in the town of Far West, on the 4th July, and there delivered a speech containing the essence of, if not treason itself. This speech was not only published in the newspapers, but handbills were struck for distribution in Caldwell and Daviess counties. We have not the speech now before us, but we recollect amongst other threats, that the author said: "We will not suffer any vexatious law-suits with our people, nor will we suffer any person to come into our streets and abuse them." Now, if this is not a manifestation of a disposition to prevent the force of law, we do not know what is. -- It is also true, that when the Mormons left this county, they agreed to settle in, and confine themselves to a district of country, which has since been formed into the county of Caldwell; but they have violated that agreement, and are spreading over Daviess, Clinton, Livingston and Carroll. Such a number had settled in Daviess, that the old inhabitants were apprehensive they would be governed soon, by the Revelations of the great Prophet, Joe Smith, and hence their anxiety to rid themselves of such an incubus.

So many reports are in circulation relative to battles fought, and men on both sides being killed and captured, that it is hard to get at the truth. We are certain, however, that up to yesterday, no person had been killed. Three men from Ray county were captured by the Mormons, and some 50 guns taken. The men are in confinement, (or rather, are guarded and kept,) in the town of Far West; and it is said the people of Daviess have captured one Mormon.

Gen. Doniphan, in some remarks made to the company which went out from this county said, that the men and arms captured by the Mormons would be demanded, as also the Mormon captive in Daviess. Should the Mormons refuse to give up the men and arms, the worst consequences must follow.

We hope and believe they will not be so blinded as to refuse; but if they should, we can tell them, that "war to the knife" will be waged against them, and they will no longer be suffered to remain in the State. We rely greatly upon the standing and influence of Generals Atchison and Doniphan, as well as the other gentlemen who have gone out, to bring this matter to a peaceable termination.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                           Washington: Tuesday, October 9, 1838.                           No. ?

Jefferson, (Mo.) Sept. 20.            

THE MORMONS. -- Information has been received, by express, from Judge KING, who presides in the circuit where the difficulty exists, that an insurrection is now actually on foot in the counties of Caldwell and Daviess. The same information has just been received from General ATCHISON, who is now at Richmond with 250 men, and intends proceeding immediately to the scene of difficulty. General A. has ordered out 400 more men from his division. In consequence of this information, the Governor has, by express, ordered Generals GRANT, of Boone, to have 300 men, CLARK, of Howard, to have 500 men, LUCAS, of Jackson, 400 men, and CROWHER, of Cooper, 400 men organized, and to march immediately to the scene of difficulty, to suppress the insurrection and restore order to the community. General ATCHISON states that the men now under arms in Daviess and Caldwell are not less than 2,000, the greater part of whom are Mormons, and the balance civilians.

The Governor has also ordered out the Boonville Guards, to be in readiness to join him at Boonville on Saturday or Sunday next, and march with him to the scene of operation. The Governor, Adjutant General, and two Aids leave this morning.

Major General BOLTON will also repair to the scene of action, with some two hundred volunteers from this county, in two or three days.

The only object of the Commander-in-Chief seems to be to prevent the shedding of blood, and restore order to the community.

The citizens in that quarter may now rest assured that the strong arm of the law will be enforced, and themselves protected in their rights.

The Mormons of Missouri, of whose lawless proceedings we spoke some days since, are, it is said, about to be reinforced by parties of the same sect from the British provinces. It is no wonder that the people of Missouri are heartily sick of such fanatical associates, and doubtless our neighbors, the Canadians are well pleased at getting rid of them.

Note: Part of the above article is paraphrased from the Sept. 25, 1838 issue of the St. Louis Missouri Republican.


Vol. ?                           Washington: Saturday, October 13, 1838.                           No. ?

THE MORMONS. -- By the following extract from the St. Louis Bulletin, we perceive that the Mormon troubles are ended, at least for the present.

MORMON TROUBLES ENDED. -- A gentleman who arrived yesterday direct from Columbia informs us that on Tuesday last all the volunteer companies were disbanded by the Governor, and had returned to their respective homes. Peace and quietness reigned amongst the Mormons, and the general impression in that section of the country through which our informant travelled was that the Mormons had been greatly slandered -- "more sinned against than sinning."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                           Washington: Monday, October 22, 1838.                           No. ?

St. Louis, October 8.           

We learn by a passenger in the steamboat Kansas, which arrived on Saturday, that when at the Mormon town above the mouth of Grand River, he saw about 200 of the Mormons armed and prepared for the conflict." It seems that the citizens of an adjoining county had given notice to the Mormons to leave the country, or they would be driven off. The Mormons refused to go and "buckled on their armor for the conflict. Mo. Republican.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                           Washington: Wednesday, October 24, 1838.                           No. ?


The following intelligence is quite alarming. The letter which we give below was received yesterday by the Saint Peters, which left Glasgow about daylight on Monday morning, the 7th instant. The letter was written about the hour of the boat's leaving/ The writer is one of the most respectable citizens of the upper country; his statements may be relied upon.

In addition to the above, we understand that a messenger, bearing despatches to his Excellency Governor Boggs, arrived in the city yesterday. What the contents of the despatches were, or what order his Excellency has taken, we have not learned. We believe that this intestine war will not be settled without a fight, and the quicker they have it, the better for the peace and quiet of the country. If the Governor thinks proper to order troops out again, we suggest that he give the call to the St. Louis Greys. Equipped and drilled as they are, they would be more effective than twice their number of raw militia, besides it would save calling out so many Major Generals, &c.

GLASGOW, Oct. 7th, 1838.       

Gentlemen, -- As one of a Committee of six from the counties of Howard and Charlton, appointed to visit the county of Carroll, where the disturbance exists between the Mormons and the citizens, and to examine into the causes, and to endeavor to effect a reconciliation between the parties, I have thought proper to communicate to you the facts as they exist. The Mormons reside at a town, six miles above the mouth of Grand River, called DeWitt. For the last week some citizens of Carroll, and others from Saline and Chariton counties, to the number of about two hundred persons, have been assembled within one mile of DeWitt, all well armed, and have one piece of artillery, threatening every day to attack the Mormons in DeWitt; in fact, on the 4th there was an attack made and many guns fired from both sides, but only one man wounded of the mob party, as they are called. We were there on yesterday, and endeavored to bring about a reconciliation between the parties; the citizens proposed that if the Mormons would leave the county and not return again, they would pay them back the amount their property cost, with ten per cent interest thereon, and return them the amount of their expenses in coming in and going out of the county. The Mormons replied that ever since they have been a people they have been driven from place to place, and they had determined they should be driven no more, and they had determined, every one of them, to die on the ground. There are about 100 families of Mormons who are there, and are now encamped with their wagons in town, having just arrived; what number of men they have we could not ascertain, but presume they have considerable assistance from their principal town -- Far West, in Caldwell county, about 60 or 70 miles distant; in fact within the last 24 hours their numbers have increased so much that the mob have declined an attack until reinforced from other counties. A messenger has just arrived, who left there at daylight this morning, and reports that the guards were fired on by the Mormons about 1 o'clock last night, and continued until the time he left; but no one had been shot of the mob. Some 20 or 30 from our county have volunteered their assistance. The commanders of the mob are Dr. Austin (Gen.) and Col. Jones. The Mormons are commanded by Hinkle. I don't think I ever saw more resolute and determined men than the Mormons. It was our unanimous opinion that if some force sufficient to suppress them does not interpose immediately, there will be great slaughter, and many valuable lives lost -- some of our first citizens have engaged in it. Our country is under great excitement in consequence of it, and there is no telling where it will end.
                         Your obedient servant,
                                             WM. F. DUNNICA.

Note: See the Oct. 11, 1838 issue of the Missouri Republican for the originals of the above reports.


Vol. ?                           Washington: Tuesday, October 30, 1838.                           No. ?

St. Louis, October 13.         

FURTHER FROM THE MORMONS. -- We learn by the Pirate, which arrived at noon to-day, that, on Tuesday night, the anti-Mormons were still in force near Dewitt. The Pirate lay at Greenville. seven miles above DeWitt, on Tuesday night. At that time, information had come that the anti-Mormons had given their opponents notice that they must take up their line of march next morning, at 8 o'clock. This the Mormons refused to do. It was reported, also, that the anti-Mormons had sent word to the Mormons that if they would collect their women and children in one house, that house should not be fired on. As the Prate passed down on Wednesday morning by Dewitt, a flag was seen flying over one of the largest houses there. From all appearances, there is reason to believe that a conflict took place on Wednesday. -- Mo. Republican.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                           Washington: Wednesday, October 31, 1838.                           No. ?

St. Louis, October 18.         

Late yesterday we recived from our esteemed friend in Glasgow the following letter in relation to these difficulties, which, for the present, seem to have ended bloodless, The writer will please accept our thanks, for his attention to our wishes. At some suitable occassion we hereafter may express our opinion of the lawless messures which have been pursued by the citizens to the Mormons: at present, we have no time for comment.

Glasgow, Oct. 12, 1838.     

DEAR SIR: I informed you a few days ago of the then existing difference between the citizens of Carroll and the Mormons residing at Dewitt; I now have the pleasure of informing you, that on yesterday, I witnessed the departure of every Mormon in Carroll county for Far West, in Caldwell County. -- The matter at last was settled amicably, and the Mormons yielded to the proposition from the citizens, that is, that they should be paid for their property and such damages as should be assessed by two men, chosen by each side, from the counties of Howard and Chariton; and upon the arrival of the committee on the ground, both parties took up the line of march and moved off. The citizens of Carroll pledged themselves to assist any county who assisted them, when called on for a similar purpose. There was a company of militia stationed near the place to preserve the peace, of about 100 men, who after peace was made, declared that they would not let the Mormons pass to Far West -- they said there was no room for them in Caldwell county. We have not heard whether they were intercepted on their way, but presume not, for the Mormons were double their number. However, I am inclined to believe that the adjoining counties to Caldwell, will never be contented until they leave the State. Had the Mormons refused to sell on the day the last proposition was made to them, it would have been a serious matter for both parties, for there was but little difference in their forces, and the citizens had come to a determination to make, if possible, a successful attack on the day the compromise was effected. -- Mo. Republican.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                           Washington: Wednesday, November 14, 1838.                           No. ?


An arrival at St. Louis, from above, confirms the reports which were previously current, of the burning of Daviess court-house, post office, and a store by the Mormons. It is stated that the Governor had ordered out 4,000 militia; and that volunteer companies were rapidly being organized to march to the scene of action. The Mormons are said to be daily receiving accessions to their numbers by emigrants from Canada.

SNOWDEN'S, Oct. 25, 1838.       

Col. Jones: Sir. -- News has just reached us here that the Mormons have attacked and cut to pieces Capt. Bogard's company of 50 men, except three or four who have escaped. They say the Mormon force is 300 or 400. Richmond is threatened to-night. If you can spare, I wish you to detail two or three companies of troops, and repair to Richmond with all speed.

Yours in haste.
          GEO. WOODWARD.
                    Aid to General Parks.

CARROLTON, Oct. 25, 1838.       

Gentlemen. -- News of an appalling nature has just reached us. Capt. Bogard, who was ordered with his company to guard the frontier of Ray county, was attacked and cut to pieces by immense numbers. The were overpowered by 300 or 400 Mormons, while they were guarding their own families. But five minutes ago, three reports of a cannon were heard in the direction of Richmond. Firing has been heard in various directions, and there is no doubt but that these infatuated villains have attacked Richmond.

The news of their burning and pillage has already reached you. They have indubitably captured the cannon, and taken many prisoners -- probably killed many. Daviess county is a scene of desolation. Ray is probably so ere this time; and their next movement will be at this place. It is already threatened.

Be up and doing. Bring all the men you can, and let us check them in their course of destruction and devastation. They are moving on with great strides to the climax of anarchy, civil war, and desolation. Wolf and Baker will explain all. I have just received orders, by express, from Gen. Brig. Parks, to raise 150 mounted men. Fifty have volunteered, and the remainder I will obtain in a day or two.

Stir the people up in Howard and Chariton. Send all the braves you can with Wolf, and we can meet and check them in their mad career.
                      Yours in haste,
                          WM. CLAUDE JONES.

The St. Louis Republican of the 1st instant, after publishing the foregoing accounts, adds: "We have conversed with a gentleman who says that he had held a conversation, in person, with Joe Smith, a few days ago, and that Smith stated that his people were prepared to die in defence of what they thought to be their rights; that, although the Governor might raise and send against them the power of the State, yet he, and all the men he could bring, would not drive them from their present homes."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                           Washington: Friday, November 16, 1838.                           No. ?


We have fresh accounts of the Missouri Mormon war, that present a disastrous state of affairs. It would seem that the attempt of a large body of Mormons to settle far west in Missouri, in the counties of Davies and Livingston, has been resisted by the previous settlers of the vicinity, and the contest has come to the battle field.

In the week commencing October 14, the Mormons burned the town of Millport, and many houses in its vicinity. They had organized into a band of three or four hundred, and proclaimed their determination to maintain their position by force. On the morning of October 25, they attacked a force of fifty men, under Captain BRYANT [sic], sent to quell them. This company they dispersed, killing, wounding, and capturing the greater number. There were strong reports that they intended to burn Lexington that night. Lexington is a considerable town.

The facts appear to be, that the Mormons have become an organized banditti that burn, and rob, and shed blood where they are opposed. The language held towards them is to this effect:

"They (a public force) must make haste and put a stop to the devastation which is menaced by these infuriated fanatics. And they must go prepared, and with the full determination to exterminate or expel them from the State en masse. Nothing but this can give tranquillity to the public mind, and re-establish the supremacy of the law. There need be no further dallying with the question any where. The Mormons must leave the State, or we will, one and all. And to this complexion it must come at last."
We are too far in from the scenes of action to venture an opinion. Wherever the fault rests, the condition of the parties is most deplorable.   Cin. Gazette.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                           Washington: Saturday, November 17, 1838.                           No. ?



Our community is again thrown into commotion in consequence of recent intelligence received from that portion of our State inhabited by the Mormons. It is only few weeks since we announced that the Mormon troubles were at an end, and we fondly hoped that peace and quietness would be preserved between the good citizens of Missouri and that infatuated community called Mormons. In these fond hopes, however, we have experienced a sad disappointment. The fanatical spirit which has been infused into these misguided people by a few artful and designing leaders has so perverted their reason as to destroy in their bosoms that sense of moral propriety which influences men in civilized society to act correctly, and like all men governed and guided by fanaticism they have recently given loose to their evil passions and prejudices, set at naught the laws of the land and the rules which regulate society, and put in terror the people of a whole county by acts of outrage heretofore unknown in any section of our country professing to be governed by laws. The several letters from the region near the scene of their outrages, which will be found in our paper to-day, exhibit a spirit of recklessness and disregard of law and humanity on the part of these people which could not have been anticipated. We have endeavored for some time past to collect the main facts connected with this unpleasant and unfortunate business from its commencement, and have not been able, but partially, to succeed. The information we give to-day will present a tolerably clear view of the matter as it now stands, but, of the rise and progress of it from its commencement, we are in some degree in the dark. Much has been said for and against the Mormons, some expressing the opinion that they have been more sinned against than sinning, that the citizens were more to blame than the Mormons; but recent events satisfy us that the peaceable citizens cannot live in harmony with them as neighbors, and that they must and will be driven out of the State before there can be any peace and quietness in that region where they are at present settled.

From all we can learn of the religious sentiments of the Mormons, it appears that they are deluded into a belief that they are a chosen people selected by Heaven for the especial purpose of establishing and building up what they call the New Jerusalem or Celestial City; that they are favorites of Heaven, who, in process of time, are to prevail over and subjugate all the kingdoms of the earth; that their religion will be universally adopted to the entire subversion of all other systems; in short, that they are the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, and that all other people must yield to their universal dominion; that their establishment in Missouri is the beginning, the mere nucleus around which thousands are to flock; and from that the universal Mormon empire is to spread over every part of the world, conquering and to conquer, until all rule, dominion, and power are brought under their government.

Now, if these be the sentiments of the Mormons, and there is a design on the part of their leaders to carry them out, they cannot be regarded in any other light than a dangerous people, entertaining principles and sentiments subversive of all government, and at variance with our free institutions.

With the great ignorance prevailing among the mass of Mormons, the art and cunning practised on their credulity by their leaders, the fanatical spirit which their religious sentiments have a tendency to produce on ignorant minds, render them, under the guidance of skillful commanders, the most dangerous and formidable set of disorganizers that ever set up the standard of revolt in any country; and no time should be lost in taking effectual measures to defeat their nefarious schemes. It is stated that they now number in Missouri 2,000; that they have 800 effective men under arms, with artillery and other munitions of war, and among them are several skilful artillery officers from Canada; that their number has been increased, the present year, 600 or 800, by emigration from Canada and elsewhere. With their present numbers, and the acquisitions adding to it continually, with the disposition for mischief manifested in the late outrages committed in Daviess county, it would appear that they are fit instruments in the hands of their leaders for the perpetration of any act of desperation, no matter how enormous. How they are to be disposed of, or what the issue of the present contest with them will be, cannot be foreseen; the militia from several counties are now on their march to the scene of action, and others are preparing to march; several expresses have passed Boonville on their way to Jefferson City within the last week; the Governor has issued orders for raising troops. Captain Childs, with about 50 men, left here on last Monday, and the rest of the troops from this county will march to-day. It is stated that Gen. Clark, of Fayette, has ordered out 1,000 men from his division, and in a few days there will probably be 3,000 or 4,000 men under march to quell the Mormons. It is greatly to be feared that the men who have been so much harassed by the repeated calls on them, and forced to leave their homes and business a second time, will be so exasperated with the Mormons as to forget that circumspection which should govern soldiers, and which is so important and necessary in a matter like the present. A heavy responsibility will rest on the commanding officers, whose duty it will be to prevent, by all proper means, any outrages on the part of the citizen soldiers, or any departure from the rules of civilized warfare, towards a people whose conduct, it is true, does not entitle them to much favor. Still we hope never to hear of the reputation of our militia, the safeguard of our liberties, being tarnished by any act not sanctioned by the rules of civilized warfare, or repugnant to the dictates of humanity.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                           Washington: Monday, November 19, 1838.                           No. ?



Just as our paper was ready for the press yesterday, we received the following letter from Mr. Ryland. To those abroad who do not know Mr. R. we can say that he is the judge of the Circuit Court. The picture which he gives of the prevailing excitement may be relied upon as strictly accurate. We are glad to find that the account of Capt. Bogard's defeat is not as bad as was represented in former accounts. The letter is post marked the 30th, up to which time, we presume, nothing of importance had occurred.

October 29, 1838.          

To the Editors of the Missouri Republican:
    Gentlemen: I write you from the town of Richmond, in Ray county, in order to give you some information relative to the unprecedented excitement now existing in the upper Missouri, against this most deluded, wretched, and misguided people, the Mormons.

This band of fanatics commenced, on the 18th instant, to burn and ravage the plantations, houses, &c. of the people of Daviess county. They have laid waste the whole county, turning store-houses, farm-houses; destroyed the property of the citizens, driving off the hogs and cattle of the inhabitants of that county, taking the plunder to the Mormon held -- Far West -- leaving the county of Daviess one wide, extended ruin. To-day, I saw and conversed with Major {Corin?], the senator-elect from Ray, Caldwell, and Daviess, and he informed me that the people of Daviess were literally ruined. Bands of the Mormons would go out, followed by wagons, and would take live stock and property, sweeping every thing before them, and haul the spoils into Far West. They (the Mormons) have burnt the town of Gallatin, the county seat of Daviess. On last Wednesday night, a body of some hundred and fifty or two hundred Mormons attacked a small body of the militia of Ray county, some fifteen miles north of Richmond, under Capt. Bogard, some two or three of Bogard's men were killed, and several wounded. Some four or five Mormons were killed, and many wounded. The Ray men retreated. The alarm has spread through the whole upper counties, and the militia have been called out forthwith.

Last night I was in the camp of the militia from Lafayette, Jackson, and Ray. There was about the number of seven hundred men, and, as the people were flooding in from all quarters, I suppose this morning the number exceeded eight hundred. Majors General Atchison and Lucas, and Brigadiers General Graham and [Holson?] were present. The encampment was about one and a half miles from Richmond, on the road leading to Far West.

This morning, at eight o'clock, the army moved off for that point, and will to-night encamp in a short distance of Far West. Brigadier General Donophan, with some three hundred men, was to encamp last night near Bogard's battle-ground. Col. Cornelius Gilliam, with the forces from Clinton county, some three hundred strong, or maybe more, was encamped near Far West, say about eight miles off.

From the exasperated feeling manifested plainly by the forces last night, I apprehended the most serious consequences. Every body is excited; the public mind is resolutely bent on putting it beyond the power of the Mormons to again disturb the peace of the citizens, and more especially their plunderings and burnings. It was rumored that [the Mormons...] on last Tuesday night, and the women and children, all fled across the river to Lexington. I saw on the bank of the river, in the night, a large number of women and children, without a shelter or food, who had fled, early on Thursday morning, to Lafayette county for safety. It was after sunset on Thursday before I heard of the alarm of the women of Ray, and I immediately hastened to Lexington, and then to the river, to offer shelter, protection, and food to those suffering people. No man, without seeing the objects, can properly estimate my feelings on that night.

You may expect to hear, in three or four days, more news of the most fatal character.

I am your most obedient servant,
                JOHN F. RYLAND.

Note: The Hon. John F. Ryland was, during the early 1830s, a Judge of the Fifth Circuit of Missouri. The Jackson County Mormons had dealings with him as early as 1833-34. Between 1837 and 1844 he served the as the presiding judge of the Henry Co., Missouri Judicial Circuit. Ryland later served on the Missouri State Supreme Court, where he was one of the Justices who heard the Dred Scott case before it was appealed to the U. S. Supreme Court.



MORMONS. -- The steamboat Dart came in late yesterday evening from Fort Leavenworth. We are indebted to the officers for a copy of the manifest, upon which is the following memorandum. This is all the additional information we have:

"The anti-Mormon party had collected 2,500 men in Ray county, and were awaiting the arrival of from 1,500 to 2,000 more from Howard, Chariton, Boon, and Audrian counties, (who are on their way,) after which it was expected a general battle would be fought.


THE MORMONS. -- We have seen and conversed with several persons from the scene of difficulty, but such is the excitement prevailing, and the difference of views entertained, that we find it wholly impossible to arrive at any satisfactory conclusion concerning the origin or objects of this contest; and probably there is as much truth in the simple statement, that both parties are in fault, as any other that at this time could be made. Of this fact we are well satisfied; as any other that at this time could be made. Of this fact we are well satisfied; the alarm has created much individual suffering on the part of the citizens, and, if the disturbance continues, as the Mormons are disposed, which now seems to be the prevailing expectation, there will be suffering to a very great extent. There is no question but the destruction of property in Daviess county has been great, and the loss of crops and stock will deprive many of their expected winter's subsistence. The Mormon emigration has been large this fall, the [amount] raised by them small. It is believed that, from what they have gathered from the adjoining country, they now might subsist, if suffered to remain where they are until spring, but this will not be tolerated. We confidently look for consequences of the most fearful character from this cause.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                           Washington: Wednesday, November 21, 1838.                           No. ?



The steamboat Pirate arrived at our port last evening from the Missouri. We learn from her passengers that the war with the Mormons, about which so much anxiety has existed, has been brought to a termination, by the surrender of the whole Mormon force to the troops under the command of Major General Clark near Far West. No resistance was offered by them, and Jo. Smith, Rigdon, White, and three or four others of the leaders were detained by the commander of the forces, to await such proceedings as may hereafter be instituted against them. It is reported, but we think it will turn out to be as erroneous as the statements about Capt. Bogard's engagement and defeat, that some seventeen or twenty of the Mormons were killed after they had surrendered themselves prisoners, and that other acts of violence were committed. A few days must bring authentic information upon the subject, and also of the disposition which is to be made of the Mormon leaders. It is also stated that General Atchison, of Clay, had resigned his command, because of some disaffection which he felt towards the Governor's orders.




MORMON TROUBLES ENDED AGAIN. -- By the steamboat Pirate, which arrived yesterday afternoon from Westport, Missouri, we have the gratifying intelligence of the bloodless termination of these disturbances. The Mormons, seeing such a large body of men assembling together, all highly excited, and considering "discretion the better part of valor," surrendered themselves to General Atchison without even firing a gun. Jo. Smith, the prophet, and two or three more of the ringleaders, are to be taken to Jefferson City, and the rest (about 700) are to be marched without the bounds of the State. A number of the volunteer companies were disbanded, and had returned to their respective homes.




MORMONS. -- There are various rumors afloat concerning the surrender of the Mormons, and we are afraid that the disturbances have not terminated so amicably as was reported. We have conversed with a gentleman who arrived yesterday afternoon from Jefferson city, on board the St. Peter's, and he states that an express arrived there on Wednesday night, bringing intelligence that a party of Mormons, who had fortified themselves in a house, were attacked by the volunteers under the command of Gen. Lucas, and thirty-two of them were killed -- seven of the volunteers were wounded, and one killed. It is further stated that the Governor had issued orders to Gen. Clark to retain as many of the volunteer companies as was necessary to keep the Mormons prisoners until the meeting of the Legislature.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                           Washington: Saturday, November 24, 1838.                           No. ?


FURTHER FROM THE MORMONS. -- The account of a bloody butchery of thirty-two Mormons, on Splawns Creek, is fully confirmed. Two children were killed, we presume, by accident. Considerable plunder -- such as beds, hats, &c. were taken from the slaughtered. -- Not one of the assailants was killed or hurt.

About the time of the surrender, several Mormon houses were burnt in Chariton; and one Mormon who refused to leave killed.

At Far West, after the surrender, a Mormon had his brains dashed out by a man who accused the Mormons of burning his house in Daviess.
We copy the above paragraph from the Gazette of Saturday evening. We are sorry to say, that our own information corroborates the details. For the honor of the State, we could have wished, that such savage informities had not attended a controversy in itself disgraceful enough. We understand, that the company engaged in the attack at Splawn's Creek, was not attached to any division of the army, but was fighting on its own hook. The men were principally from Chariton county and amongst the number was at least one member of the Legislature. The enemy had approached within eighty yards of the Mormons before they were apprized of their approach. The Mormons had their families with them, and to preserve their lives, the men separated from them and took refuge in a blacksmith's shop. Here they were murdered! It is said that the Mormons had arms, but it is a little singular that they should have used them so ineffectually as not to have touched one of the assailants. The latter, in some instances, placed their guns brtween the logs of the house and deliberately fired on the victims within, -- These reports are founded upon statements of persons engaged in the attack; and bad as they are, are not likely to be overcharged. Will the actors in the tragedy be suffered, by the courts of that district, to go unpunished?

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                           Washington: Wednesday, November 28, 1838.                           No. ?


ST. LOUIS, Nov. 17.            

THE MORMON WAR. -- The Western mail yesterday brought us some additional particulars in regard to the disturbances in Caldwell county. The Far West, published at Liberty, states that General Clarke still remained at the town of Far West, having under his command 1,300 men, who were employed in guarding the captured Mormons. The General had despatched an order to Gen. Lucas, commanding him to return Jo and Hiram Smith, Rigdon, Wight, Robinson and Hunt, for trial in Richmond, Ray County. Gen. Lucas was on his way to Jackson county, and refused to obey his orders. A great many of the Mormons had made their escape from Caldwell county, leaving their families.

The Far West also says:

"Just as our paper was going to press, we received a communication from General Lucas, giving the stipulations of the treaty made by him and the Mormons. It will be recollected that we stated that Gen. Atchison and his staff returned home, having considered himself virtually ordered from the field by Governor Boggs; who assigned the command to Gen. Clarke of Howard county. Gen. Lucas was in command of the troops previous to and at the time of the surrender of the Mormons. The matter was entirely settled before the arrival of General Clarke. What motive could have operated on Gov. Boggs for excluding Gen. Atchison from any command, we do not pretend to know, but this we do know, that he has done himself very little credit, by so illiberal a procedure.

General Lucas states that the officers and men under his command conducted themselves in a manner that will ever recommend them to his highest approbation. We are sorry our space and time will not permit us to make any further remarks. The following are the stipulations between the parties: 1st. To give up their leaders to be tried and punished.
2d. To make an appropriation of the peoperty of all who had taken up arms, for the payment of the debt, and as indemnity for damages done by them.
3rd. That the Mormons should all leave the State and be protected out by the militia; but to remain under protection, until further orders from the Commander-in-Chief.
4th. To give up all arms of every discription, to be receipted for.
For the purpose of arranging every thing in a proper and legal way, General Lucas left Colonel Williams, aid-de-camp to the Commander-in-Chief, Colonel Burch, and Major A. Ries of Ray county, to attend to drawing, writing &c. with a company of men to execute all orders consistent with the stipulations.

Judge Cameron of Clay county, William Collins of Jackson, George Woodward of Ray, John Carroll and W. W. Phelps, of Far West, were appointed by General Lucas and Colonel Hinkle, the commander of the Mormons, to attend to the adjusting of all claims, &c."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                           Washington: Tuesday, April 30, 1839.                           No. ?

THE MORMONS, -- The Peoria (Illinois) Register says:
"Great numbers of this unfortunate sect, men, women, and children, are encamped near Quincy, Illinois, in a state of destitution of the necessaries of life. The sufferings they endured in Missouri are heart-rending. A public meeting has been held in Quincy to devise means for their relief. The audience was deeply affected at the relation given by the Mormons, and effective measures were adopted for their relief."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                           Washington: Friday, May 3, 1839.                           No. ?


The Boston Recorder of last week contains the following singular development or the origin and history of the Mormon Bible. It accounts most satisfactorily for the existence of the book, a fact which heretofore it has been difficult to explain. It was difficult to imagine how a work containing so many indications of being the production of a cultivated mind should be connected with a knavery so impudent and a superstition so gross as that which must have characterized the founders of this pretended religious sect. The present narrative, which, independently of the attestations annexed, appears to be by no means improbable, was procured from the writer by the Rev. Mr. Stow [sic], of Holliston, who remarks that he has "had occasion to come in contact with Mormonism in its grossest forms." It was communicated by him for publication in the Recorder. -- Boston Daily Advertiser.

Note: This article was widely reprinted in the USA during 1839 after its initial appearance in the Boston Recorder issue of Apr. 19. The introduction came from the Boston Daily Advertiser and was affixed by that paper's Editor as a preface to Mrs. Davison's statement -- in place of Rev. John Storr's original introduction, as published by the Boston Recorder. Thus Storr's important comments were dropped in most of the newspaper reprints, and his name was mistakenly given as "Stow." These and other textual irregularities caused some readers to dismiss the statement as a fraudulent misappropriation of Mrs. Davison's name and supposed personal memories. However, these issues notwithstanding, the content of the original statement from the Boston Recorder, along with the appended sentiments expressed by the Editor of the Boston Daily Advertiser, stand upon their own merit as valuable historical information.


As this book has excited much attention and has been put by a certain new sect, in the place of the sacred Scriptures, I deem it a duty which I owe to the public, to state what I know touching its origin. That its claims to a divine origin are wholly unfounded, needs no proof to a mind unperverted by the grossest delusions. That any sane person should rank it higher than any other merely human composition, is a matter of the greatest astonishment; yet it is received as divine by some who dwell in enlightened New England, and even by those who have sustained the character of devoted Christians. Learning recently, that Mormonism had found its way into a church in Massachusetts, and has impregnated some of its members with its gross delusions, so that excommunication has become necessary, I am determined to delay no longer doing what I can to strip the mask from this monster of sin, and to lay open this pit of abominations.

Rev. Solomon Spaulding, to whom I was united in marriage in early life, was a graduate of Dartmouth College, and was distinguished for a lively imagination and a great fondness for history. At the time of our marriage, he resided in Cherry Valley, N.Y. From this place we removed to New Salem, Ashtabula county, Ohio; sometimes called Conneaut, as it is situated upon Conneaut Creek. Shortly after our removal to this place, his health sunk, and he was laid aside from active labors. In the town of New Salem, there are numerous mounds and forts, supposed by many to be the dilapidated dwellings and fortifications of a race now extinct. These ancient relics arrest the attention of the new settlers, and become objects of research for the curious. Numerous implements were found and other articles evincing great skill in the arts. Mr. Spaulding being an educated man and passionately fond of history, took a lively interest in these developments of antiquity; and in order to beguile the hours of retirement and furnish employment for his lively imagination, he conceived the idea of giving an historical sketch of this long lost race. Their extreme antiquity of course would lead him to write in the most ancient style, and as the Old Testament is the most ancient book in the world, he imitated its style as nearly as possible. His sole object in writing this historical romance was to amuse himself and his neighbors. This was about the year 1812. Hull's surrender at Detroit, occurred near the same time, and I recollect the date well from that circumstance. As he progressed in his narrative, the neighbors would come in from time to time to hear portions read, and a great interest in the work was excited among them. It claimed to have been written by one of the lost nation, and to have been recovered from the earth, and, assumed the title of "Manuscript Found." The neighbors would often inquire how Mr. S. progressed in deciphering "the manuscript," and when he had sufficient portion prepared he would inform them, and they would assemble to hear it read. He was enabled from his acquaintance with the classics and ancient history, to introduce many singular names, which were particularly noticed by the people and could be easily recognized by them. Mr. Solomon Spaulding had a brother, Mr. John Spaulding residing in the place at the time, who was perfectly familiar with this work and repeatedly heard the whole of it read.

From New Salem we removed to Pittsburgh, Pa. Here Mr. Spaulding found an acquaintance and friend, in the person of Mr. Patterson, an editor of a newspaper. He exhibited his manuscript to Mr. P. who was very much pleased with it, and borrowed it for perusal. He retained it a long time and informed Mr. S. that if he would make out a title page and preface, he would publish it and it might be a source of profit. This Mr. S. refused to do for reasons which I cannot now state. -- Sidney Rigdon,* who has figured so largely in the history of the Mormons, was at this time connected with the printing office of Mr. Patterson, as is well known in that region, and as Rigdon himself has frequently stated. Here he had ample opportunity to become acquainted with Mr. Spaulding's manuscript and to copy it if he chose. It was a matter of notoriety and interest to all who were connected with the printing establishment. At length the manuscript was returned to its author, and soon after we removed to Amity, Washington county, Pa., where Mr. S. deceased in 1816. The manuscript then fell into my hands and was carefully preserved. It has frequently been examined by my daughter, Mrs. McKenstry, of Monson, Mass., with whom I now reside, and by other friends. -- After the "Book of Mormon" came out, a copy of it was taken to New Salem, the place of Mr. Spaulding's former residence and the very place where the "Manuscript Found" was written. A woman preacher appointed a meeting there, and in the meeting read and repeated copious extracts from the "Book of Mormon." The historical part was immediately recognized by all the older inhabitants, as the identical work of Mr. S., in which they had been so deeply interested years before. Mr. John Spaulding was present, who is an emently pious man, and recognized perfectly the work of his brother. He was amazed and afflicted, that it should have been perverted to so wicked a purpose. His grief found vent in a flood of tears, and he arose on the spot, and expressed to the meeting his deep sorrow and regret, that the writings of his sainted brother should be used for a purpose so vile and shocking. The excitement in New Salem became so great, that the inhabitants had a meeting and deputed Dr. Philastus Hurlbut, one of their number to repair to this place and to obtain from me the original manuscript of Mr. Spaulding, for the purpose of comparing it with the Mormon Bible, to satisfy their own minds, and to prevent their friends from embracing an error so delusive. This was in the year 1834. Dr. Hurlbut brought with him an introduction and request for the manuscript, signed by Messrs. Henry Lake, Aaron Wright and others, with all whom I was acquainted, as they were my neighbors when I resided in New Salem.

I am sure that nothing would grieve my husband more, were he living, than the use which has been made of his work. The air of antiquity which was thrown about the composition, doubtless suggested the idea of converting it to the purposes of delusion. Thus an historical romance, with the addition of a few pious expressions and extracts from the sacred Scriptures, has been construed into a new Bible and palmed off upon a company of poor deluded fanatics, as divine. I have given the previous brief narration, that this work of deep deception and wickedness may be searched to the foundation, and its author exposed to the contempt and execration he so justly deserves.

MATILDA DAVISON.              

Rev. Solomon Spaulding was the first husband of the narrator of the above history. Since his decease, she has been married to a second husband by the name of Davison. She is now residing in this place; is a woman of irreproachable character and an humble Christian, and her testimony is worthy of implicit confidence.

A. ELY, D. D. Pastor Cong. Church, in Monson.
D. R. AUSTIN, Principal of Monson Academy.
MONSON, MASS. April 1st, 1839.
_____________BR> * One of the leaders and founders of the sect.       J. S.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                           Washington: Friday, May 31, 1839.                           No. ?


We have from time to time seen various and contradictory accounts of the conflicts between the MORMONS and other portions of the population of Missouri. in which other and worse cruelties than nere shedding of blood are known to have been prepetrated, and perhaps on both sides. During the late session of the Legislature of Missouri, testimony was taken on the subject, and some debates took place, of which enough was reported in the newspapers to satisfy us that the Mormons, though not guiltless of all offence against pyblic peace and private rights, were not "more sinned against than sinning." The people of this sect are now transferring themselves in considerable numbers into the State of Illinois. In reference to this fact we find the subjoined article in the Peoria Register of May 18.

We unwillingly give currency to any publication which is calculated ro detract from the reputation of a considerable portion of the population of the population of any State. But, at the same time, the truth ought to be told -- the wound ought to be probed -- that Public Opinion, the only remedy for such popular disorders as the war between the Mormons and the authorities and people of Missouri, may receive a proper direction. We must add, moreover, that the Editor of the "Peoria Register" is personally known to us, and that we should place yndoubting confidence in any statement which he would make from his own knowledge.


THE MORMONS. -- Our reader will have seen, by accounts we have published from time to time, that numbers of this much-wronged, deeply-injured people have sought Illinois as an asylum from the worse than savage barbarities of the Missourians. We hope their reception here will be such as American citizens owe to property pillaged and destroyed, and the survivors compelled to flee by the light of their own burning dwellings.

A dark and bloody page has been recorded in the annals of Missouri, which her citizens, ages hence, will look upon with shame and horror; and the perpetrators of these atrocities, if not divested of all the attributes of men, will be haunted to their dying day by remorse more terrible than the tearing of the vulture at the heart of the fabled Prometheus.

The Mormons were, from all accounts, an orderly, industrious class of citizens -- had large possessions and valuable improvements. Some difficulties existed between them and their neighbors, who made their obnoxious faith a pretext for the gratification of their cupidity and their fiendish passions at the same time. No one can believe the Mormons to have been entirely blameless; and doubtless there was just ground for strong prejudices against them. But from the very first they have been "more sinned against than sinning." We hold no fellowship with their absurd doctrines, and believe Mormonism as arrand an imposture as ever was palmed upon the credulity of men; yet this furnished no excuse for the commission of violence against them, much less the diabolical deeds of which their persecutors have been guilty.

The press should speak out upon this subject in tones of thunder, and hold up the perpetrators of these atrocities to the execration of all good men. This is but another act in the black tragedies which have been carried on for years -- but the climax of guilt to which they have all tended -- by a set of reckless ruffians, who set all law at defiance, and make their own malignant passions the arbiters of justice. This contempt for the constituted authorities of the land is getting alarmingly common, and where these things will end no one can tell, but every thinking person must fear. Each new exhibition of the mob spirit is more aggravated than that which preceded it; almost every State in the Union has been disgraced by turbulent and lawless scenes; but Missouri, though not "alone in her shame," has attained a "bad eminence" of crime which time will "point his slow, unmoving finger at,"

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                           Washington: Thursday, September 26, 1839.                           No. ?



The Missouri papers say that Gov. Boggs is about to demand of the Governors of Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin, to which States they have fled, the persons of the Mormon leaders. A hard fate appears to attend these deluded people. After having been robbed and plundered, and many of them murdered in Missouri, for no other reason than that their oppressors might obtain possession of their improvements, those who could escape fled into the neighboring States and Territories for the preservation of their lives; and they are now to be demanded by the Missouri authorities, and tried for alleged offences against her dignity! The difnity of a mob! of a band of robbers and murderers! for those who were concerned in the Mormon riots deserve no milder name. They should be delivered up to the hands of justice, instead of the defenceless victims of their stupidity and oppression.

Notes: (forthcoming)

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