(Newspapers of Michigan)

Misc. Michigan Newspapers
1820-1849 Articles

Great Beaver Island, before the arrival of Strang & Mormons

1820-49   |   1850-99

DGaz Nov 10 '20   |   DGaz Mar 07 '23   |   DGaz Mar 14 '23   |   DGaz May 16 '23
DGaz Nov 14 '26   |   MSent Jan 18 '34   |   MSent Jan 25 '34   |   MSent Mar 01 '34
MSent Mar 15 '34   |   MSent May 03 '34   |   MSent May 24 '34   |   MSent Jun 14 '34
MSent Jul 19 '34   |   MSent Aug 02 '34   |   MSent Nov 08 '34   |   MSent May 09 '35
MTms Aug 18 '36   |   MTms Sep 01 '36   |   MTms Feb 02 '37   |   MTms Feb 16 '37
MTms Mar 02 '37   |   MTms Mar 16 '37   |   MArg Jul 10 '44   |   MArg Jul 17 '44
MArg Jul 24 '44   |   DFP Oct 25 '44   |   DFP Feb 25 '45

Articles Index   |   J. J. Strang's Northern Islander


Vol. III.                    Detroit, Michigan Territory, November 10, 1820.                    No. ?


[Pontiac Road - Saginaw Turnpike] -- The six miles of this important road which Major S. Mack contracted to complete, and the progress of which our citizens have watched with so much interest, are now finished, and we are happy to say, in a manner highly to the reputation of the contractor and the satisfaction of the public. Considerable more than one-half of the road made by Mr. Mack is formed of very large logs laid close together, across the road, on which are piled small timber, brush, clay and sand, making a dry, and at the same time durable highway.

The principal objects encountered in making the road were the immense number of large and small trees with which the country immediately in the rear of this place abounds.

It is, we believe, admitted on all hands, that Major Mack has completed the most difficult part of the road between this place and Pontiac...

We will not insult the good sense of the inhabitants of this city and of Oakland County by saying that they do not seem, from the little that has been done on the... road... to understand how much of their time and interest is involved in its speedy completion, but it will not be improper to say that the exertion already made to accomplish the object has not been proportioned to its palpable importance.

A. Edwards advertises a large stock of merchandise, among which is 200 barrels of whiskey and 50 barrels of port; also boots and shoes of his own manufacture.

Note 1: The above mentioned road was the first proper connection between Detroit and Pontiac, the initial length of which is now Woodward Avenue, and the site of the LDS Detroit Temple. The partnership of Mack and Conant constructed the road for the U. S. Government at a cost of $6000. Evidently tolls were charged to those who used the road in its earliest days, since it was at first called the "Mack & Conant turnpike."

Note 2: The on-line "Early Chicago Encyclopedia" provides the following biographical information: "Mack, Stephen, Jr. (1799-1850) born in Poultney, VT; early white settler in the Rock River valley c. 1822, with a strong Chicago connection; son of Col. Stephen Mack, Sr., of Detroit, partner of the trading firm [of] Conant & Mack; lived at Bird`s Grove and later at Rockton, worked as Indian trader for the American Fur Company and for his own account, shipping his merchandise through Chicago... enlisted in the Black Hawk War, serving in Captain Brown`s company... Conant & Mack: Detroit firm which established a trading house on the south branch of the Chicago River in 1816, headed by John Crafts... The firm also built roads, and under Sec. of War John C. Calhoun was awarded a government contract to cut a road through the forest at Detroit and lay it with corduroy; the firm was paid $1,000 per mile." Various sources document the birth of Stephen Andrew Mack, Jr., on Feb. 2, 1798, at either Gilsum, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire or at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. He died on Apr. 10, 1850 in Macktown, Pecatonic Co., Illinois, just weeks after his name and stated place of birth (Vermont - no town given) were recorded in the 1850 Federal Census. The reason that Stephen, Jr.'s birth was located in New Hampshire by some writers is easily discovered -- all of his older siblings were born in Cheshire Co., New Hampshire, as was his first younger sister (Harriet, in 1800). His other, younger brothers and sisters were born in Orange Co., Vermont, where his parents had relocated about the end of 1800. Thus, Stephen's Vermont birth may have been something of a family anomaly -- perhaps accounted for by his mother then being away from home, on a visit with her husband's cousins (the Cowdery family of the Poultney-Woodstock area of central Vermont). However, LDS historian Richard L. Anderson postulates that Stephen moved to Orange Co., Vermont before 1799, (the year when his father, Solomon Mack, also relocated to that place).

Note 3: The mercantile firm of Emerson, Mack & Conant was established in Detroit, near the close of the War of 1812, by Thomas Emerson, Stephen A. Mack, Sr., and Shubael Conant. The latter two gentlemen engaged in construction of the first road between Detroit and Pontiac, though the actual oversight of that project seems to have been entrusted to their sons, Stephen A. Mack, Jr. and J. Edwin Conant. A mention of Stephen A. Mack, Sr.'s "merchandising" is included in this quote from Inez S. Davis' The Story of the Church, ch. 11: From the very beginning, Mother Lucy Smith had most earnestly desired the opening of a [Mormon] mission in Michigan, for it was here where her second brother, Stephen Mack, had gone before the War of 1812 and made a fortune for himself. Since Stephen was one of the eldest of the family and Lucy the youngest, she hardly knew him, but still he was the pride of the family. She had heard all her life of his success "merchandising" in Michigan... True, her brother had died [Nov. 11, 1826] without hearing the gospel, but there was a duty Lucy felt she owed to his widow, Temperance Mack, and the rest of his family. Therefore [in 1831], two pairs of missionaries were to go by way of Detroit and Pontiac, and Lucy was to accompany them on a visit to her sister-in-law. These four were Lyman Wight, John Corrill, John Murdock, and Hyrum Smith.

Note 4: Lucy Mack Smith's probable input in the 1831 calling of her son Hyrum as a Mormon missionary to Detroit and Pontaic, Michigan is made especially relevant in light of the fact that her nephew there, Stephen A. Mack, Jr., had graduated from Dartmouth College's Moor Preparatory School (Moor Charity Academy) in 1816 and soon after moved to Michigan to join his father in business. Among young Stephen's schoolmates at the Moor Academy was his cousin Hyrum Smith -- Lucy Mack Smith says, in ch. 15 of her 1853 book: "We moved... to the town of Lebanon, New Hampshire. Here we settled ourselves down... in order to obtain more of this world's goods with the view of assisting our children... We established our second son Hyrum in an academy at Hanover; and the rest, that were of sufficient age, we were sending to a common school that was quite convenient." Hyrum apparently attended the academy in 1812-14 and Stephen Mack, Jr. in 1813-16. The two cousins lived in the same neighborhood (perhaps in the same house) and obviously became well acquainted during their youth. For more on this subject, see Richard K. Behrens' 2005 MHA paper, "A Review of Hyrum Smith's Experiences in Moor's School at Dartmouth College."

Note 5: The "A. Edwards" who was also selling retail goods in Detroit in 1820 was Abraham (or "Abram") Edwards. For more on Mr. Edwards, see the notes accompanying the article in the Gazette for Mar. 7, 1823.


Vol. VI.                    Detroit, Michigan Territory, Friday, March 7, 1823.                    No. 294.

A Singular Discovery. -- Last week a manuscript volume, of between 3 and 4 hundred pages, was discovered by Col. Edwards, of this town, under one of his buildings. The book is in a tolerable state of preservation, and is one of the finest specimens of Penmanship that we have ever seen, It has travelled the round of the literary circle of this place for the last four or five days, and it still remains a mystery! The characters in which it is written are unknown; they are neither Hebrew, Greek, nor Saxon, and the only parts of it hitherto intelligible, are a few Latin quotations. It is now deposited in this office, and those who are curious in these matters are invited to examine it.

Note 1: The essentials of this news report, along with subsequent developments, were noticed and reprinted in various U. S. newspapers. See, for example, the Ontario Repository of Apr. 15, 1823 and the Pittsburgh Mercury of May 20, 1823 as well as the Poultney Gazette of Apr. 16, 1823. The first of these papers was published in the area where the Joseph Smith, Sr. family was then living; the second paper was published in the city where Rev. Sidney Rigdon was then residing and the third paper was published in the county where Oliver Cowdery resided (though he apparently had moved to western New York about a year earlier).

Note 2: Col. Abraham Edwards of Detroit was reportedly an occasioanl partner in local politics and business with a fellow Detroit merchant, "Major" Stephen A. Mack, Sr., the brother of Lucy Mack Smith and uncle of her son, Joseph Smith, Jr. It is highly likely that Stephen Mack had at least some connection with this purported discovery of a buried ancient manuscript. According to a recent article by William L. Moore, the two men had cooperated in business ventures reaching back to their earlier years in New England. The manuscript publicized in Detroit in 1823 was reportedly written in an unknown language containing strange characters. According to the Gazette of May 16th, transcript of part of the unreadable manuscript was sent to Dr. Samuel L. Mitchill, the famous professor in New York City. It may be highly significant that Major Mack's nephew (Joseph Smith, Jr.) was also involved in the recovery of a buried, ancient, and unreadable manuscript, a transcript of the characters from which was delivered to the same Dr. Michill in New York City. For further details, including the origin of the manuscript's strange script, see Richard B. Stout's 2001-2 article in the Utah Evangel.


Vol. VI.                   Detroit, Michigan Territory, Friday, March 14, 1823.                   No. 295.

The Manuscript -- The singular volume recently discovered by Col. Edwards, has been compared with more than thirty different alphabets, ancient and modern, and although the characters in which it is written bear a slight affinity to several of them, it is very clear that they belong to neither. -- They bear more resemblance to the Phoenician Alphabet than any other with which they have been compared, though a number of the letters differ but little from the Saxon. There is no doubt, from the Latin sentences interspersed through it, that it is a religious work and it is probably the production of some learned theologian of the seventeenth century, written in a peculiar cipher.

Note: A graphic of the March 14. 1823 Detroit Gazette article is provided below.


Vol. VI.                    Detroit, Michigan Territory, Friday, May 16, 1823.                    No. 304.

The Manuscript -- A leaf of the Book which has for several weeks past puzzled the heads of the literati of this city, has been sent to Dr.Mitchell, of New York, and by the following letter from that learnedgentleman, and the extract from another which follows, it will appear that his researches to ascertain the language and character of the manuscript, were as unsuccessful as those which were made in this city.

For the extract which follows Dr. Mitchell's letter, as well as for the letter itself, we are indebted to the politeness of Col. A. Edwards, on whose premises the Book was found.

                                        "NEW YORK, April 16, 1823.
"Dear Sir.-- I received your letter and manuscript a few days ago, through the war department.

"I have compared the writing with the old black letter; with the engrossing character of a deed of feoffment, in my possession; with specimens of the French palaeography, in Pluche's Spectacle de la Nature; and with the types of various languages in the collection of the American Bible Society, in this city. In these researches I was aided by James Smith and John Nitchle, Esquires.

"When we were almost on the point of despair, a large bible, printed about 300 years ago, was produced, and we were enabled to form some idea of the abbreviations and contractions, in that text, which threw light upon the MS. of Detroit.

"We afterwards compared it with a very curious MS. bible, in the possession of Mr. Paff. This latin edition, though most skilfully written, is very difficult to be read, on account of the omission of many letters and even syllables, and by the introduction of arbitrary marks. Yet, it is reported that the learned Dr. Collin, of Philadelphia, understood the manner of the performance better than any other person. Some of the pages contained marginal notes, so exactly like the signs and symbols in your unknown book, that both myself and Mr. Smith were struck with the similitude.

"I am therefore of opinion, from the water marks; from the punctuation; from the words I can ascertain; and from the resemblance your MS. bears to the Paff MS. bible in latin; that the language is latin; that the character is of that scholastic or monastic form not unfrequent about three centuries ago; that its age is perhaps a little anterior to the invention of printing, possibly subsequent; that it was carried to Detroit by one of the learned Jesuits, who when Canada was colonized, embarked in the missionary service among the aborigines; and that a good decypherer might soon learn to read it. It would be a gratification to receive the whole of this curious performance, and preserve it in my collection of written documents.

"Be kind enough to accept the assurance of my high and sincere respect.

                                        "SAMUEL L. MITCHELL.
"To A. Edwards, Esq. Detroit."

Extract from the letter of a gentleman residing at Washington, D. C. to A. Edwards, Esq.

"Doctor Mitchell has not discovered, it appears, the subject or the character in which it (the Detroit manuscript) is written; but a fac simile was taken of it, and shown to the Professors of the Georgetown College, in this district, and they immediately understood the whole affair. The character is Irish, and the subject is the reasons for withholding the cup from the laity in the Catholic Church, and giving them only the bread, in administering the Eucharist."

It may be proper here to say, that the difficulty which the learned doctor encountered, in his endeavors to decypher the Irish manuscript, does not at all derogate his reputation as a scholar; for it cannot be supposed, that in the many studies in which he has been engaged, he ever before met anything like it. We have been informed that two of the Professors of the Georgetown College are Irish gentlemen -- this would account for the readiness with which the "whole affair" was understood at that institution. Our thanks are due, however, to the gentlemen who have terminated a curiosity which was becoming more and more painful.

Since the above was in type, we have received the Washington Republican of the 23d of April, which contains the following letter from Dr. Grace, one of the Professors of Georgetown College, to Maj. Roberdeau, of the Engineer Department:--

                                       Georgetown College, April 10, 1823.
SIR -- I send you the manuscript, which you left me to examine, and which, with a few exceptions, is written in Irish, truly classical. There are some faults in the orthography, which, together with some strange abbreviations, made it somewhat difficult to unravel. Page 179 begins thus:--

"The fourteenth chapter, in which are given ten reasons, why the Catholic church does not administer the cup to the laity."

The same page contains four of these reasons, and a part of the fifth.-- The remainder of the manuscript, viz: pages 175, 176 and 178, contains quite a different subject-- It is all on penance and confession. I should wish to see a perfect copy of this Hibernian manuscript, and a translation of the whole can be had at any time, from
   Your humble and devoted servant,
                                     WM. GRACE.

Note: The text of the relevant article from the Apr 23, 1823 issue of the Washington Republican, should be consulted, in order to better explain the context of the Mitchill and Grace letters.


Vol. VIIII.                       Detroit, Michigan Territory, Tuesday, November 14, 1826.                       No. ?

  Col. Stephen Mack, a soldier of the Revolution, an enterprising and industrious citizen, and a kind and provident father, departed this life last Saturday morning at Pontiac, in the seventy-second year of his age. Col. M. has for nearly twenty years resided in this territory, and has been distinguished from the mass of his fellow-citizens for his enterprise and the great utility of his views. It is owing to his exertions more than to any other man's, that the first settlers of Oakland County were so soon accommodated with mills and other useful works. His sacrifices and his exertions in promoting the best interests of the new county, which he had been so eminently useful in settling and organizing, endeared him to his fellow-citizens, and confiding in his excellent judgment in all matters connected with the welfare of a young community, they elected him to the first legislative council of the territory. His advanced age constantly warned him that he had but a short time to remain with us; yet he stayed not his labors, and death found him striving to accomplish objects of the most useful and permanent kind. The loss of such a man is truly that of the public -- and many are those who share the grief of the numerous family which he has left.

Note: The Saturday prior to the publication of the above obituary was November 11th -- which fate agrees with other sources as being the day of the demise of Stephen A. Mack, Sr., the brother of Lucy Mack Smith and the uncle of Joseph Smith, Jr. Although the notice calls him "Colonel," he was more frequently referred to as "Major Mack."



Vol. IX.                          Monroe, Saturday, Jan. 18, 1834.                          No. 1.

The Mormons and Anti-Mormons. -- We are happy to learn, from the Missouri Republican, of 22d. ult., that the disgraceful broils, in Jackson county, in that State, between the Mormons and citizens, is at an end, and that peace has been restored. The Mormons have determined to oppose no farther resistance to the dominant party, and were leaving the country with the intention of forming another community elsewhere. It is said they have determined to prosecute the citizens engaged in the hostilities against them, for the depredations on their property, and it is to be hoped their lawless persecutors may be made to feel the heaviest penalties of the laws, both in their persons and fortunes. The former accounts of the number of killed of the two parties appear to have been considerably exaggerated. Later authentic advices put down the number at six -- 2 citizens and 4 Mormons -- and several wounded.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. IX.                          Monroe, Saturday, Jan. 25, 1834.                          No. 2.

The Wayne Sentinel states that the mysteries of Mormonism are about to be developed to the world. Doct. P. Hurlbut, of Kirkland, Ohio, who has given the matter a thorough investigation, intends publishing a history of this new faith. The Wayne Sentinel says, -- "The original manuscript of the Book of Mormon was written some thirty years since, by a respectable clergyman, now deceased. It was designed to be published as a romance, but the author died soon after it was written; and hence the plan failed. The pretended religious character of the work has been superadded by some more modern hand -- believed to be the notorious Rigdon. These particulars have been derived by Dr. Hurlbert from the widow of the author of the original manuscript."

Note: The editor of the Michigan Sentinel here quotes from the "press release" D. Philastus Hurlbut provided to the Wayne Sentinel for publication in its issue of Dec. 20, 1833. The Monroe, Michigan editor maintained a continuing interest in Hurlbut's attempt to demonstrate the "true" origin of the Book of Mormon. See also the Michigan Sentinel issues for May 3, 1834 and for May 24, 1834.



Vol. IX.                          Monroe, Saturday, Mar. 1, 1834.                          No. 7.


An executive letter directed to several leading men of the Mormon persuasion, directs them to appeal to the courts of law, which are bound to render them satisfaction for late outrageous assaults upon their rights and liberties as peaceable citizens. The governor says "in the event that the laws cannot be executed, and that is officially made known to me, my duty will require me to take such steps as will enforce a faithful execution of them."
                         Danville Ill. Enquirer.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. IX.                          Monroe, Saturday, March 15, 1834.                          No. 9.

From the American Manufacturer.


A few days since a friend presented us with the far-famed Book of Mormon, and as many of our readers have not yet seen it, we thought it would not be uninteresting to extract the matter on the title page; which explains the ground on which it claims divine origin. The work itself forms a medium octavo, of nearly six hundred pages, and the language throughout is an imitation of the Old and New Testament. Although Joseph Smiths signs himself AUTHOR and proprietor of the work, a man who a few years since lived in this city, and was known to many of our citizens under the apprllation of Elder Rigdon, is suspected of being the author. Be this however, as it may, the following affords a curious specumen of the means that may be successfuly used to gull the credulous and the superstitous.


An account written by the hand of Mormon upon plates taken from the plates of Nephi.

Wherefore it is an abridgment of the Record of the People of Nephi; and also of the Lamanites; written to the Lamanites, which are a remnant of the House of Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile; written by way the commandment, and also by the spirit of Prophesy and Revelation. Written, and sealed up and hid up unto the Lord that they might not be destroyed; to come forth by the gift and power of God, unto the interpretation thereof; sealed by the hand of Moroni, and hid up unto the Lord, to come forth in due time by the way of Gentile; the interpretation thereof by the gift of God: an abridgement taken from the book of Ether.

Also, which is a Record of the People of Jared, which were scattered at the time, the Lord confounded the language of the people when they were a building a tower to get to Heaven: which is to shew unto the remnant of the House of Israel how great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off for ever: and also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting Himself unto all nations, and now if there be fault, [if] it be the mistake of men; wherefore condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the Judgement seat of Christ.   By Joseph Smith, Jr. Author and proprietor."

The plates from which it is stated Joseph Smith made the translation, were as he informs the public, found in the township of Manchester, Ontario co. New York, and when the translation was completed, vanished: according to the depositions of twelve witnesses, up into Heaven.

The Evening and Morning Star devoted to the dissemination of the principles of the Mormon religion, has been resuscitated at Kirtland, Geauga Co., and is now published by D. Williams & Co., and edited by O. Cowdery. It is conducted we should think, with considerable ability. It is published monthly at $1 per annum.
                       Ohio Atlas.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. IX.                          Monroe, Saturday, May 3, 1834.                          No. 16.

The Mormon Book. -- We notice by an Ohio paper, that a committee has been appointed at a public meeting held in Geauga County, for the purpose of ascertaining the original of the Book of Mormon, and to examine the valifity of Joseph Smith's claims to the character of a prophet. The committee reported that they are about preparing for publication, a work which will prove the "Book of Mormons." to be a work of fiction and imagination, and written more than twenty years ago, in Salem, Ashtabula county, Ohio, by Solomon Spalding, Esq. and that their researches will divest Joseph Smith, not only of all claims to the character of a prophet, but also to the character of an honest man. Thus, it would appear, that Jo. is about to be exposed in his speculations among the Yankees of Ohio. The decendants of old Connecticut "out there in Ohio," know too much about the "old platform" to be converts to Mormonism.

Note: The editor of the Monroe Michigan Sentinel here follows up on his reprint article of Jan. 25th, tracking the continuing activities of D. P. Hurlbut in Ohio. The reference he provides is from the Painesville Telegraph of Jan. 31, 1834. One sentence from that article not copied in the Michigan paper says: "The result of this enquiry so far as it has proceeded has been partially laid before the public in this vicinity by Mr. Hurlbut." Since the Michigan Sentinel reprinted information from three different new reports concerning D. P. Hurlbut, it is possible that someone in Monroe was then in contact with Hurlbut and was receiving the news directly from him. D. P. Hurlbut was known to have moved to the general area of Monroe when he left Geauga Co., Ohio, following the murder of Garrett Brass at Mentor on Nov. 25, 1837. The next news report on D. P. Hurlbut carried by the Michigan Sentinel appeared in its issue for May 24, 1834.



Vol. IX.                          Monroe, Saturday, May 24, 1834.                          No. 18.

Mormon Trial. -- Great interest was excited in the public mind, in this country, in relation to the complaint of Joseph Smith, Jn., the great prophet, and originator of Mormonism, against Doctor P. Hurlburt, the exposer of the Mormon mystery. The complaint was made, before a justice of the peace, to bind Hurlburt to keep the peace toward the prophet. The justice ordered Hurlburt to enter into bonds to keep the peace, and to appear before the court of common pleas. On Tuesday last, the case was heard before the court. The court-house was filled almost to suffocation, with an eager and curious crowd of spectators to hear the Mormon trial, as it was called. A great number of witnesses attended, and were examined, chiefly members of the Mormon society, among whom was the renowned prophet himself. It appeared that Hurlburt had been a disciple of Mormonism, and was ordained an elder by Joe himself, but for misconduct, as the Mormon witnesses alleged, was excommunicated. After this, he discovered that Joe was a false prophet, and the Book of Mormon a cheat; began lecturing against it, and examining and collecting proof that the story of the book of Mormon was taken from a manuscript romance, written by one Spalding, who formerly lived at Conneaut, and who died before publication. Many witnesses testified to threats of revenge from Hurlburt. [One witness, who testified to the threats of Hurlburt], on cross-examination being asked the reason why she had not communicated these threats to Smith, answered that she did not believe Hurlburt, or any other human being, had the power to hurt the prophet; but Joe himself appears to have placed little reliance upon his divine invulnerability; for he testified that he became afraid of bodily injury from the defendant. The court finally ordered Hurlburt to find security in the sum of two hundred dollars, to keep the peace for the period of six months.   Geauga Gaz.

Note: This is the last of three known articles the Michigan Sentinel printed in connection with D. Philastus Hurlbut's 1833-34 attempts to show that Solomon Spalding wrote a portion of the Book of Mormon. The reference for the "Geauga Gaz." is actually to the Apr. 12, 1834 issue of the Chardon Spectator and Geauga Gazette.



Vol. IX.                          Monroe, Saturday, June 14, 1834.                          No. 21.

The Mormons. -- A party of this deluded sect, passed through this village, a few days ago, on their way to Indiana. They were from Erie county Pennsylvania, and numbered about 200; they had about 20 two-horse wagons in company, which presented quite an imposing appearance. Each man carried a good rifle. We noticed but very few women in the company. -- Bucyrus Journal.

Note: The historical event here reported was the passage southward of one company of Joseph Smith's 1834 "Zion's Camp" military expedition against the Gentiles of Jackson County, Missouri. The editor of the Michigan Sentinel was perhaps unaware that a second company of the same expedition, under the leadership of Elder Hyrum Smith, had already departed from Michigan, on its way to join forces with Joseph's Smith's soldiers.



Vol. IX.                          Monroe, Saturday, July 19, 1834.                          No. 26.


There is like to be trouble among the Mormons in Missouri. They are returning to Jackson county from different parts of the country well provided with implements of War. A large number are from this state, and many from this immediate vicinity. It is said they can muster 700 at least, well armed. It is expected they will apply to the Governor, to reinstate them on their lands, and then if molested they are determined to resist sword in hand. The Governor has sent a letter to the citizens advising them to effect a compromise if possible, by purchasing the lands of the Mormons and paying them for their injuries. And should they refuse to accede to this, the Governor will not restore any to the county except such as hold lands. The Mormons express a fixed determination, to protect themselves in their supposed rights, and we fear that much blood will yet be shed. The excitement is great among the people of Jackson county.
                       Ohio Atlas.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. IX.                          Monroe, Saturday, Aug. 2, 1834.                          No. 28.

THE MORMONS. -- The Chardon Spectator says, that a letter has been received by a gentleman in that neighborhood from Missouri, stating that a body of Mormons well armed, headed by Joe Smith, in attempting to cross a river, were met by a portion of the citizens of Jackson co. and a battle ensued. Joe Smith was wounded in the leg -- the Mormons were driven back. Smith had his leg amputated, and died in three days after. Other accounts state that the proposition made by the citizens of Jackson county to buy the lands of the Mormons on fair terms, or to sell theirs to the Mormons, has been rejected by the latter. The citizens are determined to dispute every inch of ground. The Chairman of the Committee appointed to wait upon the Mormons, declared at a meeting in the Court House, with an appeal to Heaven for the truth of his assertion, that "they would dispute every inch of ground, burn every blade of grass, and suffer their homes to bleach on the hills, rather than the Mormons should return to Jackson county."

THE MORMON WAR. -- The latest intelligence is, that 17 persons attached to the crusading army of Gen. Joe Smith, had died of the Cholera, and that the whole division was on the retreat back to this country. -- Among those who had died, was the "Keeper of the Lord's Store House," Mr. A. S. Gilbert, formerly a merchant.

SUSPENSION OF HOSTILITIES. -- By an article in the last Republican we learn that the Mormons have declined a personal combat with the citizens of Jackson county, for the possession of the disputed territory, which they call the Holy Land, and left for time to determine -- they still maintain that that portion of the country is the true Zion, and that it may not be established for one hundred years to come. They have taken time enough for the accomplishment of their designs, if time is the only requisite. -- St. Louis Times, July 5.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. IX.                          Monroe, Saturday, Nov. 8, 1834.                          No. 42.

THE MORMONS. -- One Gladden Bishop, a Mormonite preacher, in an account of this frantic sect, says it commenced in Manchester, Ontario county, N. Y., April 1830, with only six member; and now numbers 20,000 and 800 preachers, with two printing offices, two stores, and a large stone edifice, for a house of worship. These facts, if true, which we doubt, are a sad commentary on the conservative power of human reason against the inroads of one of the most audacious impostures that ever disgraced the annals of mankind.

The path that leads to fortune too often passes through the narrow defiles of meanness, which a man of exalted genius cannot stoop to tread.

Emigrants are flocking into our State, Caravans from Kentucky, Ohio, and Virginia, are constantly passing through this town, on their way to the rich country north and west of us. Sangamo is also rapidly increasing her population. The emigrants appear to be of the best description -- possessed of substance, intelligence, and enterprise. They are welcome to the advantages which our State offers them -- and thousands of others would be welcome. Illinois will sustain a population of several millions. Its inhabitants now number 230,000. --  Sangamo Journal.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. X.                          Monroe, Saturday, May 9, 1835.                          No. 16.

MORMONISM, strange as it may appear, has found votaries even in New England and in three or four neighboring towns they have regular exercises. The society in South Hadley is partially Perfectionists and partially Mormon, exhortations, dancing and all sorts of strange delusions and vagaries of the brain and contirtions of the body being practised. This is the land of liberty, and we sometimes are disposed to think that the wildest extravagances and grossest absurdities spontaneously come up under its broad banner. No other country on earth can boast of such varied forms of religious sects and such palpable departures from the primitive simplicity and purity of the Gospel, as this country. We would not forge chains nor bind fetters around any human mind, but we would gladly see public sentiment frown upon those mental hallucinations which disgrace christian lands, and shun communion with those preposterous forms of worship, which are merely mockeries of religion.

Notes: (forthcoming)


In which are Published  The Laws of  The United States  and of The State of Michigan.

By E. G. Morton & Co.                 Monroe, Thurs., Aug. 18, 1836.                 Vol. 1. No. 4.


Is in full and successful operation, the groundless newspaper fabrication to the contrary notwithstanding.

Note: The precarious financial condition of the Bank of Monroe was a topic of concerned reporting and commentary in numerous newspapers between 1836 and 1838. See the Sept. 13, 1836 and Sept. 14, 1836 issues of the New York Herald for some examples.


In which are Published  The Laws of  The United States  and of The State of Michigan.

By E. G. Morton & Co.                 Monroe, Thurs., Sep. 1, 1836.                 Vol. 1. No. 6.

BANK  OF  MONROE. -- In justice to this sound and highly respectable institution, whose operations are characteristized by the most impartial, judicious and honorable administration of its present officers and directors, we are induced to give the statements contained in our last number, another insertion, as the means of making its true character and condition more generally known, and of exposing the utterly false and malacious attempts recently made to impair its reputation and usefulness. And to what has been already published for these purposes, we have now the satisfaction of adding the testimony of several of the most worthy and respectable citizens of this place, spontaneously offered in vindication of an institution so deservedly entitled to the confidence and support of the business community, and of the people at large.

Note 1: The notice referred to in this article was apparently published in the pages of the Monroe Times on Aug. 25 and Sep. 1, 1836. Presumably this notice read something like the one carried in the paper on Aug. 18th. A similar notice of reassurance regarding the reported stability of the bank was published in the Monroe Times on Feb. 2, 1837. The Painesville Republican of Mar. 23, 1837 notes that the Monroe editor had "repeatedly spoken in favor of the bank..."

Note 2: With the approach of Michigan statehood (finalized on Jan. 26, 1837) and the prospect of new banking laws on the legislative horizon, the charter and assests of the Bank of Monroe may have looked attractive to certain prospective buyers. The Cleveland Daily Gazette of Jan. 30th, had this to say: "Reports injurious to this [Bank of Monroe] institution are again in circulation. We are informed that Mr. J. V. Ayer, of Buffalo, and other gentlemen, have made arrangements for the purchase of its entire stock and charter. The stock is to be enlarged, in accordance with the charter, to $500,000. Bills of the bank are received at the Commercial Bank of Lake Erie, and also at the Bank of Cleveland." The Daily Gazette's optimism was short-lived, however. A couple of days after the institution's "entire stock" was "enlarged," on Feb. 10, 1837, the Cleveland paper was again expressing its doubts about the institution's stability, predicting "a run" would be made on that bank.

Note 3: As it worked out, the Presidency of the Mormon Church was among the prospective buyers for this failing bank. On about Feb. 3rd Joseph and Hyrum Smith (apparently in company with Oliver Cowdery) left Kirtland for Monroe, Michigan. In leaving town at this time, Smith no doubt managed to avoid being served with an arrest writ issued on Feb. 2, 1837, thus buying himself some time before having to appear in court to face illegal banking charges. It is possible that Joseph Smith thought that by purchasing a controlling interest in the chartered Bank of Monroe he could avoid conviction on the illegal banking charges -- or, at least continue the Mormons' banking operations under the auspices of the Monroe firm. By Feb. 10th the two Smith brothers and Cowdey were in Monroe, ready to purchase the lion's share of the faltering Bank of Monroe.


In which are Published  The Laws of  The United States  and of The State of Michigan.

By E. G. Morton & Co.                 Monroe, Thurs., Feb. 2, 1837.                 Vol. 1. No. 28.


BANK  OF MONROE. -- It is a matter of deep regret that the base and wholly unfounded reports against the character and condition of this institution are still kept afloat. They are sheer slanders, propagated by unworthy competition, or ignoble malice; and are daily and uniformly exposed and contradicted by the practical fact, that the bank ever has, and still does, punctually and readily redeem its bills; and its business operations all prove its positive soundness and responsibility. More hereafter.

Note 1: The exact date of this clipping is uncertain; it may have been taken from the Monroe Times of Jan. 26, 1837. The notice was reprinted without a date citation in the Painesville Republican of Feb. 9. 1837 and in the Cleveland Daily Advertiser of Feb. 6, 1837.

Note 2: It is not unlikely that the editor of the Monroe Times was either a major stockholder in the bank, or was closely connected to one of more such important stockholders. If this were the case, it makes sense that he would continue to uphold the purported integrity of the Bank of Monroe in the columns of his newspaper, while at the same time Mr. George B. Harleston was attempting to unload his controling share of the bank's capital stock upon the leaders of the Mormon Church.


In which are Published  The Laws of  The United States  and of The State of Michigan.

By E. G. Morton & Co.                 Monroe, Thurs., Feb. 16, 1837.                 Vol. 1. No. 30.


MONROE  BANK. -- We regret that the propagation of a new error should render any further remarks in relation to this Institution necessary, but such is the fact. The Cleveland Daily Gazette of the 13th inst. remarking upon the condition of this bank, among other things says -- "When a run is made upon it, they avail themselves of a provision of the charter, giving sixty days to redeem." This is incorrect, for though true it is that the charter contains such a provision, it is also true that the Bank has never availed itself of that provision, and has never refused or declined to redeem its bills on demand.


With much satisfaction we announce to the public that the stock of this institution, having changed hands, is about to be increased to $500,000.

Mr. Harleston, having sold his entire interest in the Bank, is succeeded, in his capacity of Cashier, by B. J. Hathaway, Esq., a gentleman possessing the character and accomplishments which render him peculiarly qualified for the station so ably and acceptably filled by so worthy a predecessor.

At a meeting of the Stockholders and Board of Directors of the Bank of Monroe, held at their Banking House, this day, George B. Harleston, Esq., resigned his situation of Cashier and Director in the Institution, and O. Cowdery, Esq., was appointed a Director and Vice President by the Board for the remainder of the year, and Bailey J. Hathaway, Esq., was appointed Cashier.

By order of the Board:

        B. J. HATHAWAY, Cashier.
Monroe, Feb. 10, 1837.

BANK OF MONROE. -- At a meeting of the Stockholders and Directors of this institution held in their Banking House on the 10th inst. it was ordered that the following instalments upon the capital stock of the institution should be paid, viz:

Five dollars per share on the 18th day of April next.
Five dollars per share on the 19th       "
Five dollars per share on the 20th       "
Five dollars per share on the 21st       "
Five dollars per share on the 22nd      "

Payment to be made at their Banking House in the village of Monroe between the hours of 10 and 12 A. M. or 2 and 4 P. M. of each day. By order of the board     B. J. HATHAWAY, Cashier.
Feb. 16, 1837.

Note 1: These two articles were reprinted in the Painesville Republican of Feb. 23, 1837. See the notes accompanying those reprints for more information on how these events in Monroe were related to other financial efforts by the Mormons in the Kirtland area.

Note 2: It is almost certain that Joseph and Hyrum Smith attended this Bank of Monroe Stockholders and Board of Directors meeting, along with Oliver Cowdery, the bank's new Vice President. Apparently a certain Mr. H. Smith (Hyrum Smith?) was sustained as the bank's President during the course of this meeting. What role was played by Mr. "J. V. Ayer, of Buffalo" is not known, but he may have represented Mormon interests as a figurehead major share-holder of the institution -- perhaps he was also its interim President prior to Feb. 10th. Immediately following the Mormon buy-out of the bank, George B. Harleston ran for office as the Mayor of Monroe and won the election. By the time the bank failed, a few weeks later, Harleston's hands were clean of the entire operation. It is likely that the Mormons bought his controlling interest in the bank with Kirtland Safety Society banknotes, or with a promise to pay him in such notes within a short time. The Kirtland Safety Society's second attempt to gain a bank charter for their Kirtland operation was placed before the Ohio Legislature in Columbus on the very same day the new "Stockholders and Board of Directors" met in Monroe. The Safety Society's request for a charter was again denied and its banknotes became practically worthless overnight.

Note 3: Oliver Cowdery, the new "Vice President" of the Bank of Monroe, was probably no stranger to Bailey J. Hathaway, its new "Cashier." This Mr. Hathaway was a nephew both of Mrs. Lemuel Durfee and of Mrs. Joseph Comstock, long-time residents of Palmyra, New York. J. V. Ayer was perhaps a relative of Caleb Ayers, an early Mormon.

Note 4: Once the faltering bank's stock was enlarged to $500,000 Joseph Smith applied to the bank officers for a large cash loan. It is probable that he was paid this loan in fresh banknotes from the institutions coffers -- bills redeamable for specie at at least two banks in nearby Cleveland. Leaving Oliver Cowdery behind in Monroe to sign stacks of new banknotes, Joseph and Hyrum Smith returned to Kirtland, no doubt stopping over in Cleveland along their way, and there attempting to redeem a large quantity of Bank of Monroe notes for gold and siver. Joseph apparently also attempted to use a portion of his newly acquired stock in the Monroe institution as collateral in negotiatiating a loan from the Bank of Lake Erie at Cleveland. It is not known how successful the Smith brothers were in their dealings in Cleveland. The Cleveland Daily Gazette of Feb. 15, 1837 said that "the Monroe bank does not owe and particular favors to the banks in this city..."

Note 5: By about Feb. 17th or 18th the Smiths were back home in Kirtland, where, according to Warren Parrish, Joseph predicted that the Kirtland Safety Society "should swallow up all other Banks (the Bank of Monroe excepted,)..."


In which are Published  The Laws of  The United States  and of The State of Michigan.

By E. G. Morton & Co.                 Monroe, Thurs., March 2, 1837.                 Vol. 1. No. 32.

              BANK OF MONROE (Mich.) }
                            24th Feb. 1837,    }

B. J. Hathaway, Esq. Cashier, &c.

Dear Sir: Several reasons render it desirable that my connexion with the Bank of Monroe should be dissolved. Please, therefore, consider this as the resignation of my situation of President of this institution, and one of its directors.

With much respect, I remain        
my dear sir,    
        your ob't servant.
                            H. SMITH.


A meeting of the directors of this institution is requested to be held at the Banking house in this village on Saturday next, at 4 o'clock P. M.
                        B. J. HATHAWAY, Cashier.
Monroe, March 2, 1837.

Note 1: The above letter of resignation is supposed to have been written by "Capt. Smith, late of the army, and superintendent of the lake works." This description of the Bank of Monroe President was published in the Cleveland Daily Advertiser of Feb. 13, 1837. There is, however, a problem in that paper's description of "Capt. Smith," in that his presidency of the bank is cast in the past tense -- "while President of the Monroe Bank." It is altogether probable that the new Mormon owners of the bank placed Hyrum Smith at the head of its organization, playing upon the fact that he bore the same surname as "Capt. Smith, late of the army, etc." If that Captain Smith also had a name beginning with the initial "H," the deception upon the public would have been nigh perfect. There is a strong possibility then, that the "H. Smith" who wrote the Mar, 2, 1837 letter was in fact Hyrum Smith, the Second Counselor in the LDS First Presidency.

Note 2: Hyrum Smith, within a week after his arrival back at Kirtland from attending the Feb. 19, 1837 Bank of Monroe meeting in Michigan. A logical reason for his resignation is that, like Mr. Harleston before them, the Smith brothers wished to sever their legal connections and responsibilities with the Monroe insitution before it became a complete failure. It is probable that the financial activities of the Smith brothers in Cleveland a few days before had sealed the bank's doom, although this allegation cannot be known for a fact.

Note 3: In his issue of Feb. 24, 1837 the editor of the Painesville Telegraph cast aspersion upon the new owners and managers of the Bank of Monroe, by saying: "O. Cowdery, Secretary in the Gold Bible imposition, was chosen a Director and Vice President of the Bank. The public themselves may judge from this fact, as to the permanency of the institution. Is not the Bank controlled by men who are in the habit of borrowing ten dollars for every dollar they have to lend?" In its issue of Mar. 31, 1837 the Painesville Telegraph printed a letter saying: "I perceive by the papers that the Monroe Mormon Bank closed its doors against all demands for specie, after having for its presiding officer about three weeks the wonderful and noted Oliver Cowdery, one of the fathers and translators of the Golden Bible. A sworn statement of the said shaving mill is published in the papers, by which it appears, that it has bills in circulation to the amount of $122, 585 -- and specie on hand, $1, 2008.59...." It was, no doubt, in anticipation of forthcoming reactions such as this one, that "H. Smith" exercised the prudence of resigning as President of "the said shaving mill."


In which are Published  The Laws of  The United States  and of The State of Michigan.

By E. G. Morton & Co.                 Monroe, Thurs., March 16, 1837.                 Vol. 1. No. 34.

Statement of the condition of the BANK OF
MONROE, March 10th, 1837.

To bills discounted
  bills protested
  bills in suit
  Real estate
  Bank furniture, Plates &c.
  Am't due from other institutions,
  "   of funds in New York
  "   of funds in Buffalo
  "   due from sundry individuals
$52, 219.19
Cash on hand.
In specie,
Notes and checks of other
By capital stock paid in,
  Notes in circulation,
  Certificates of Deposites,
  Am't due to other institutions,
  Am't due to individual depositors,
  Profit and loss,
$191, 330.76
49, 075.55
122, 565.00
2, 457.45
5, 482.74
11, 544.79
191, 330.76

O. COWDERY, Vice President.
B. J. HATHAWAY, Cashier.           

  County of Monroe.         }

On this fourteenth day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-seven, personally came before the undersigned, a Notary Public within and for the County and State aforesaid, Oliver Cowdery and Bailey J. Hathaway, and made solemn affirmation that the above statement by them subscribed is true, to the best of their knowledge and belief.
      CARLOS COLTON, Notary Public.

For the Times.        


Mr. Editor: -- The Bank of Monroe has, at last, availed itself of a provision in its charter and suspended payment for sixty days. It is known, that there has been a constant pressure, for several months, on this Institution, urged on by false reports, and cunning shavers. Much excitement prevailing, it is only necessary to caution the holders of the bills not to throw them away, but be assured the Bank will not go down!   ONE WHO KNOWS.

BILLS OF THE BANK OF MONROE. -- The subscriber will receive Bills of the Bank of Monroe in payment for any debts due to him; and will also dispose of any Goods or Real Estate he has, and receive the bills of the above Bank in payment at par.

JEFF S. BOND.      

Monroe, March 14, 1837.
Also the Bills of the Kirtland Safety Society Bank received as above.

Note 1: With the insertion of his "One Who Knows" letter, Mr. Bond's currency redemption notice, and his institution's financial statement in the local newspaper, Oliver Cowdery notified the world that the books of the Bank of Monroe were in balance, at $191, 330.75 debit and $191, 330.75 credit. He also effectively thus notified the world that the bank had closed its doors for two months -- and implicity admitted that the bank was broke, having only $1, 206.59 in coin and $31, 163.00 in hard currency -- and even this latter amount may have been comprised largely of worthless Kirtland Safety Society banknotes.

Note 2: It may have been that the One Who Knows" letter was sent to the Monroe Times with the more important intention that its reassuring message would circulate among concerned parties in northern Ohio. The Painesville Republican (whose editor was then a political ally of the Kirtland Mormons) reprinted the letter in its issue of Mar. 23, 1837 Obviously, there was no way the bank could collect and liquidate enough assests within 60 days to redeem even a tiny percentage of the $122, 565.00 worth of paper money it by then had in circulation. Probably a goodly share of this sum was held by those Cleveland banks that had been unwise enough to redeem large quantities of Bank of Monroe notes recently tendered by persons such as Joseph and Hyrum Smith. It is supposed that Oliver Cowdery at about this time handed in his resignation to the Board of Directors and slipped quietly out of town. He returned to Kirtland, where he was elected a Justice of the Peace, on the Democratic ticket, that May. Mr. Bond (assuming there ever was such a person) may have been left behind in Monroe with his pockets full of worthless bank paper.



Vol. II.                 Ann Arbor, Wed., July 10, 1844.                 No. 24.


MORMONS. -- There is certainly trouble among the Mormons. Rumors of bloodshed are afloat. The following from Chicago, which came to the Detroit P. O. as an endorsement of the way bill we give as containing the latest and most definite intelligence.

                                                  Chicago, July 4, 1844.
Sir -- Jo. Smith has been arrested and put in jail at Carthage -- his people attempted to rescue -- the sentinel was shot and four were wounded it is supposed mortally -- at this, vengeance was taken by shooting Jo. Smith and his brother Hiram and his secretary Richards. It is feared (rumor) that Carthage and Warsaw are burnt by the mormons. The women and children have been removed from those places.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. II.                 Ann Arbor, Wed., July 17, 1844.                 No. 25.

                       From the Quincy Herald.


(view original article from Illinois)


Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. II.                 Ann Arbor, Wed., July 24, 1844.                 No. 27.


JOE SMITH'S SUCCESSOR. -- A new Prophet, it is whispered, has been selected -- a Dr. Richards, formerly of Berkshire Co., in Massachusetts. He is said to be a man of considerable talent, with a good deal of shrewdness and tact. The announcement will be made in a few days.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. VIII.                 Detroit, October 25, 1844.                 No. ?


==> The schooner John Marshall is a complete wreck, near Mexico Bay, east of Oswego. She had 50 Mormons on board from St. Lawrence county, all of whom were saved.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. VIII.                       Detroit, Tues., Feb. 25, 1845.                       No. 229.


MORMONISM -- SHOCKING DISCLOSURES. -- Elder Rigdon's magazine for January, published at Pittsburgh, gives some disclosures of corruption and licentiousness among the Mormons, in New York, New Jersey, &c. It appears that the degrading polygamy founded by Joe Smith, and established at Nauvoo a short time before his death, has been encouraged and sustained by people of intelligence. Rigdon gives the following account of a recent visit to the Mormon Churches, and of his own efforts to arrest the corruption that was rapidly spreading among the deluded followers. He says: Among the churches we visited, there was a great deal of excitement; many of the principle members had either withdrawn from the church or had been cut off, and of this number were the presiding elders of the church of Philadelphia, New York, Boston, New Egypt, N. J. and Woodstown, N. J. On inquiring into the cause of the difficulties, in every instance, it was the spiritual wife system which had caused the separation, and exclusion. The course pursued by the advocates of this system, which were the traveling elders, were, that as soon as a man became dissatisfied with the teachings of these believers in polygamy, & was bold enough to express his dissatisfaction, calling it incestuous and adulterous, he or she was immediately arraigned before the church and charged with disobedience to the authorities; and with slandering the heads of the church, at the time of the trial, and every one who dare vote in favor of the person charged, was threatened with immediate expulsion from the church by these tyrants, and thus intimidated, and compelled to obey the mandate of their masters.

A notable instance of this was related to me while in Boston. Older Elder Nickerson, a man who was highly esteemed in Boston, and the father of the church there; when this system, of a plurality of wives, first made its appearance there, rose up against it, as every man of virtue would, and was so deeply affected with it, that he wept over the corruption that was creeping into the church, and declared his intention and determination, to lift his voice against it; this was no sooner known, than he was besieged by two of the so-called authorities, and threatened with exclusion, if he dare give testimony against those whom he had declared he knew were guilty of great improprieties, such as called for the interference of every virtuous man; and the old gentleman was so intimidated by their threats, he shrunk from his duty, and instead of discharging it, with a manly boldness, actually lifted his hand in favor of those whose conduct he had previously deprecated in the strongest terms. Every effort of this kind was made, that the most corrupt could invent, to conceal this system, without their having knowledge of it, till they were informed by some runner sent for the purpose, that at such a meeting they had been cut off from the church.

Every person who was known to be opposed to this system, if he or she could not be won over; or made to succumb by threats, were excluded, and their characters assailed in a most outrageous manner in order to destroy their influence, that their testimony might not be believed.

Note: Sidney Rigdon's Pittsburgh Messenger and Advocate furnished some interesting reading in 1845. See the verious excerpts published in the Pittsburgh Gazette, beginning with the number for May 5, 1845. The above Messenger and Advocate excerpt was also reprinted, in a lenghtier version, in the Feb. 19, 1845 issue of Thomas Sharp's Warsaw Signal.

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