READINGS  IN  EARLY  MORMON  HISTORY
(Newspapers of New England)


Misc. New England Newspapers
1845-1879 Articles


Joseph Smith, Jr. Birthplace, Windsor Co. Vermont  (1905 photograph)



1800-1829   |   1830-1839   |   1840-1844   |   1845-1879   |   1880-1920



1845
MNews Jan 20 '45  |  BInv Jan 29 '45  |  BInv Feb 12 '45  |  DAE Mar 24 '45  |  MSpy May 07 '45  |  BPat Jun 13 '45
DET Jul 02 '45  |  DAE Jul 09 '45  |  BCW Jul 17 '45  |  NLNews Jul 21 '45  |  JoM Jul 30 '45  |  BCW Jul 31 '45
UWat Aug 02 '45  |  UWat Aug 09 '45  |  UWat Aug 16 '45  |  VtChr Oct 01 '45  |  UWat Oct 18 '45  |  VtChr Oct 22 '45
UWat Oct 25 '45  |  BPat Nov 11 '45  |  BGaz Nov 15 '45  |  VtChr Nov 19 '45  |  BDA Dec 17 '45  |  UWat Dec 20 '45
1846-1849
UWat Jan 03 '46  |  TFC Jan 08 '46  |  UWat Jan 31 '46  |  BAtl Mar 05 '46  |  BCltv Mar 07 '46  |  BInv Mar 26 '46
BBee May 04 '46  |  UWat May 09 '46  |  VtChr May 13 '46  |  UWat May 16 '46  |  SpRp Jun 13 '46  |  BBee Jun 20 '46
SpRp Jun 27 '46  |  SpRp Jul 04 '46  |  UWat Jul 04 '46  |  SpirM Jul 15 '46  |  BBee Jul 25 '46  |  BBee Aug 03 '46
BBee Sep 05 '46  |  BInv Sep 16 '46  |  BBee Sep 18 '46  |  WMr Sep 25 '46  |  GFre Oct 23 '46  |  BDA Jun 28 '47
PAdv Oct 06 '47  |  DET Jul 18 '49  |  NHP Nov 01 '49
1850-1859
BCltv Aug 24 '50  |  BRec Oct 03 '50  |  BRec Oct 10 '50  |  BJour Jul 17 '51  |  BDA Nov 26 '51  |  BGaz Jan 30 '52
WMr Feb 26 '52  |  OBrn Aug 14 '52  |  NHP Sep 15 '52  |  DLM Jun 04 '53  |  BRec Feb 08 '55  |  BDT May 23 '56
LDC Nov 10 '56  |  BInv Apr 01 '57  |  BInv Jun 24 '57  |  SpRp Jul 11 '57  |  BWS Aug 06 '57  |  BRec Dec 03 '57
BWS Dec 04 '57  |  BWS Dec 18 '57  |  VPat Jan 22 '58  |  VPat Jan 29 '58  |  SpRp Jun 12 '58  |  LDC Apr 09 '59
BDA Nov 17 '59
1860-1869
BInv Jan 26 '60  |  BDA Mar 22 '60  |  BDA Mar 23 '60  |  BTrn Aug 08 '65  |  SpRp Jan 02 '69  |  BJour Oct 13 '69
1870-1879
BTrn Oct 02 '70  |  BInv Jan 04 '71  |  CChrn Jul 27 '72  |  NStar Mar 27 '74  |  BEJ Jul 25 '76  |  LDC Jul 27 '76
SpRp Aug 31 '77  |  SpRp Sep 01 '77  |  CtPal Sep 03 '77  |  TFC Oct 09 '77  |  BCong Oct 24 '77  |  BDA Jun 11 '79


Old Newspaper Articles Index  |  Maine Newspapers

 

MORNING  NEWS.

Vol. I.                     New London, Conn., Monday, January 20, 1845.                     No. 62.



==> The St. Louis Reveille says that Sister Emma. (Widow of Joe Smith,) recently gave birth to a fine boy. The Mormons now have farther capital to work miracles with.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 



Vol. XIV.                   Boston, Mass., Wednesday, January 29, 1845.                   No. 39.



                                    For the Investigator.
MORMONISM -- PARLEY P. PRATT, &c.

MR. EDITOR, -- In endeavoring to fulfil my promise in furnishing a little portable laughing-gas for the columns of the Investigator, I have met more difficulties than I at first anticipated; not from the want of material, but having too much of it. I am bewildered, like Francis the waiter, in Shakspeare's tragedy of Henry the Fourth, or to use a Portlander's similitude, "like a cow between many hay-stacks" -- at a loss which to begin at.

However, the most conspicuous personage in the field at present is, (to use the Reverend gentleman's own words,) "I, Parley P. Pratt, being duly appointed by the first Presidency of the whole Church, to the official Presidency of the churches in the Eastern States!" By this very astounding Proclamation, published in the "Prophet" of the 4th inst., you may guess I have to deal with the "Goliath of Mormonism," and in point of fact, one of the very few scientific men that the church can boast of. I have nothing to say to him personally but as a gentleman; it is the doctrine he advocates that I war with; and in endeavoring to paint the "light and shade" of Mormonism, I must set out in "basso relievo," the grent pillars of that conspicuous edifice, and he is one of them.

I said in my communication, published in the Investigator of January 15, that "Mormonism out-humbugs humbug," an assertion which requires proof: therefore, "if strong circumstantial evidence, which leads directly to the door of truth, will satisfy, you shall have it" -- and more than that, if obtaining money under false pretences, be swindling, I call the leaders swindlers. If preaching one thing and practising the opposite in substance, be hypocrisy, then are they hypocrites; and if teaching and promulgating the sacred mysteries of "spiritual wife" doctrine, be "whoredom" -- to use the very expressive word of Elder Leach -- (who was "cut off" for opposing that doctrine) then are they libertines.

To prove my first assertion, of "swindling," I need only refer to Parley P. Pratt's proclamation, before mentioned, which says -- "Great Apostles of the Gentiles, falsely so called, Great Lions of Mormonism, Big Guns, etc., etc., will no longer run from church to church, from city to city, from State to State, contrary to the Council of the Twelve, teaching false doctrine, professing powers which they do not hold, sealing people to eternal life, (a la spiritual,) which they themselves do not possess, and SWINDLING the saints out of MONEY which ought, to be given to the modest, unassuming and faithful laborers who are laboring among them." Here, Mr. Editor, is a "cut direct" at Elder Adams, known (by his roaring) as the Lion of Mormonism, and one of the favorites of the late Prophet Smith, rest his ashes! -- known also as the "Great Apostle to the Gentiles." Here, Sir, is one "head" accusing the other "head" plainly of "swindling" "sealing up," &c., &c. Yet, in the aforesaid proclamation, the Rev. President Pratt condemns in Elder Adams what he and his brothers, the Twelve, openly call for; for it is apparent to the meanest understanding, that it is the spirit of covetousness which speaks; they are jealous of Elder Adams's success at the same game, and want to turn it into their own coffers. For proof, read the following extract from the proclamation in question: -- "And for this purpose, and for the support of the Priesthood, the Lord has given a law of tything; making it the duty of each member to pay one-tenth of all his property and earnings, and after that, one-tenth of his income. This law always was, is now, and always will be, a standing law in connection with the Melchizedeck Priesthood, to be observed by every member of the kingdom forever. It is the portion which belongs to the Lord for the service of the temple and sanctuary and priesthood, and is as much binding and as necessary to salvation as baptism or any other law of the Kingdom of God." Again -- "No persons need expect to receive their endowment in this world, or their exaltation in the next, short of a strict and full observance of this law." Here, Sir, is a fac simile of the Rev. gentleman's inspired writings, which say --
"Money I want, money I crave,
If ye don't give me money,
I'll sweep ye all to the grave."
Listen to the inspired exclamation of Saint President Parley P. Pratt: -- "Brethren! awake to your duties on this all-important subject, and bring ALL your tythings into the storehouse, and praise the Lord therewith; and see if he will not pour you out a blessing, that there will not be room enough to receive it." What humbuggery this is! I marvel much if that Reverend gentleman does not "blush to think of such monstrous devices." If this is not obtaining money under false pretences, "then I am no two-legged creature." Fie upon such a God that would require the honest earnings of the laborer to support a set of hypocritical, ignorant, lazy loafers, or build "a mouldering dome" at the expense of the toil and sweat of honest, deluded ignorance, to be a source of wealth to hypocrites.
"Wretches, that, send their lust to heaven,
And make a pander of their God."
What man, I ask, possessed of one grain of common sense, that will not pronounce their book of "Doctrines and Covenants" a compound of the most barefaced impositions? Herein is a revelation for every purpose. Herein has Joseph Smith and his " Twelve" made their "Christ" a mere pander; they have made Christ say what they wanted him to say. He is made the tool of the leaders -- not their God. Read the following, from the book of "Doctrines and Covenants," and then judge: --
"SECTION XLIX. -- Revelation to Joseph Smith, Jr., Oliver Cowdrey, and John Whitmer, Given July, 1830.

"I, Behold, I say unto you, that you shall let your time be devoted to the studying of the Scriptures, and to preaching, and to confirming the Church at Colesville; and to performing your labors on the land, such as is required, until after you shall go to the West to hold the next Conference; and then it shall be made known to you what ye shall do. And all things shall be done with common consent in the Church, by much prayer and faith, for all things ye shall receive by faith. Amen!"
How like the words of a Supreme Being, is the following "revelation" to Mrs. Emma Smith, telling her she is a "Lady elect," and giving her a "caution" "not to murmur at the things which she has not seen, for they are withheld from the world, which is wisdom in me for time to come." The things here referred to are some of the "spiritual mysteries," which I will dispose of anon. But think what a reverence the divinely inspired "Twelve" must have for the word of their God, for the "Elect Lady," and for their Prophet -- he being scarcely two months' dead when the Council sat on his "better half," cut her off from the church, and confiscated her property to their own uses! This is what I call Divine Inspiration! this is comforting and protecting the widow and the orphan! These are the men whom God holds communion with, and has given the "sealing power " to, and also the keys of the Kingdom!

I shall now leave the subject, Mr. Editor, for your comments. I expect a torrent of abuse from them -- but I care not, I have proofs they little dream of -- "Elegant Extracts" from the churchbooks. By the by, there is a "revelation " given also to pay the printer, which would be acceptable to the editoral department generally. I only pray that a certain presiding Elder, not a thousand miles from New Bedford, would receive a "revelation " to pay your obedient servant what he earned by the sweat of his brow.

I fear, Sir, I have intruded on your time, space, and good nature. In my next, I shall be more brief and to the point. Yet I am not done with Mr. Pratt and the other "bright particular stars" that shine along the Mormon firmament, not forgetting the mirth-provoking lesser lights. So, in the words of Pollonius, at present "I humbly take my leave," remaining your obedient servant,
H. ROWE.        
Portland, Jan. 20, 1845.

(We take this opportunity to state, that any Mormon wishing to offer a reply to the above article, will be cheerfully allowed the use of our columns. -- ED.)



Notes: (forthcoming)


 



Vol. XIV.                     Boston, Mass., Wednesday, February 12, 1845.                     No. 41.



                                    For the Investigator.
MORMONISM --
THE "SPIRITUAL WIFE" DOCTRINE, &c.

Mr. Editor, -- I return you my sincere thanks for your liberality in offering the use of your columns to any Mormon wishing to reply to any of my communications. In writing against the Mormons, I feel no ill will towards any of them; neither do I fear their abuse. Let them honorably defend their doctrines; prove, also, of I have made any charges unsustainded by evidence; if I have, I will "own up." It is my firm, honest belief, that Mormonism is calculated to uphold the worst vices of our frail nature, and as such, is an incubus on society. My object us, to show it in its true colors; and in striving to do so, I shall strictly adhere to what I know to be true, and what can be sustained by a hundred witnesses.

The "spiritual wife" doctrine I will explain, as taught me by Elder W____e, as taught by Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Elder Adams, William Smith, and the rest of the quorum, &c., &c. It is as follows: -- Joseph had a revelation from God that there were a number of spirits to be born into the world, before their exaltation in the next; that Christ would not come until all these spirits received or entered their "tabernacle of clay;" that these spirits were hovering around the world, and at the door of bad houses, watching a chance of getting into their tabernacles; that God had provided an honorable way for them to come forth -- that was, by the "Elders of Israel" sealing up virtuous women, and as there was no provision made for woman in the Scriptures, their only chance of heaven was to be "sealed up" to some Elder for time and eternity, and be a star in his crown forever; that those who were the cause of bringing forth these spirits would receive a reward -- the ratio of which reward should be the greater or less according to the number they were the means of bringing forth.

This, Mr. Editor, is the substance of the "Mysteries of the Kingdom," in as few words as I can use to explain it. That it is calculated, with a little sophistry, to delude the "faithful" weak-minded, is self-evident. They reason thus: -- "That God is no such being as the Scriptures would seem to represent, and the sectarian would believe; that woman was made for man, and those seeming jealousies of the Almighty, represented in the Bible, were for the blinding of the Gentiles, that they might not indulge their propensities which God gave them, without his express permission. Thus, if a child steals an apple, (for which he has a good appetite,) he sins: but if the father gives him the apple, there is no sin in eating it." The members of the "spiritual" brotherhood and sisterhood are bound to keep it secret from the world and those of "little faith;" and if found out, to defend each other to the last. They are at liberty to use the grossest slander and falsehood to terrify into silence those who dare oppose them. They all solemnly disavow it in public; but the proof is now so palpable and self-evident, that they must father it. I, as one, can solemnly prove before any court of justice, that the doctrine was taught me; and as for its being most scandalously and unblushingly practised in Boston, Lowell, New York, Philadelphia, and its outrageous doings in the "Holy City" of Nauvoo, I shall prove by unimpeachable witnesses. I challenge them to disprove it, if they can; and shall bring such a torrent of proof as will be a "caution," to the Euclediuns of "this day and generation."

Is this a doctrine to be countenanced by men whom human nature has left, with one spark of honesty or common sense? Forbid it, Nature's God! Whilst I have an arm to raise, a voice to speak, or a pen to write, I will not see my fellow beings swindled, deluded, brow-beat, slandered, abused, by villains under the mask of religion. How truly and beautifully are such men described by the poet Moore: --
"Just God, oh! what must be thy look,
When such a wretch before thee stands,
Unblushing with thy Sacred Book,
Turning the leaves with blood-stained hands,
And wresling from its page sublime,
His creed of lust and hate and crime?
E'en as those bees of Trebizond, --
Which from the sunn'iest flowers that glad
With their pure smile the gardens round,
Draw venom forth that drives men mad."
Why, let me ask, has Parley P. Pratt charged Elder Adams, in public print, of swindling the saints, teaching false doctrines, "sealing" people up" to eternal life? ("spiritually,") &c., &c. -- Let the "saints" answer that. Why did Joseph give Elder Adams the "sealing power," even to preaching the "spiritual wife" doctrine publicly? Why did Elder Adams read his "commission" from Joseph, in Suffolk Hall, Boston, giving him power and "keys" above" the Twelve?" Answer that, and let Elder Adams answer for himself -- no quibbling. Why did not the "first Presidency" call Elder Adams to trial and cut him off, as they have hundreds of others in like circumstances? Is not there" something more than natural in this, if philosophy could find it out"? Yet, with all this evidence before their eyes, the saints (bless the mark!) will still uphold this "ignis fatuus." Oh! SHAME, where is thy blush?" Well amI truly has it been said, that "Faith, fanatic faith, once wedded fast to some dear falsehood, hugs it to the last."

"The holy hypocrite is the most destructive serpent that can assail the happiness of the human family, under the mantle of Church power he can work a greater mischief than all the villainy that parades society at large. Like the mole, he winds his way unseen even to virtue's fair citadel; and while you (having charity) think all secure, lays your fair fabric in ruins; but you are nothing the wiser the victim is held under bonds; fear of the world's exposure, and remorse of conscience, is half-stifled in the promise of a greater reward, by the FALSE TEACHIGS of these unsanctioned caitiffs in the sight of God, than her true and faithful or betrothed husband could give her. -- "Women! as you value your fair fame, your peace of mind, and every thing that is dear to you, turn with horror and disgust from the outlines of a religion and the teachings of men whose actions insuIt your ears and understanding. Shun it and them as you would a draught of poison distilled from the deadly night-shade or black-hemlock. -- Ay, more; for one would surely kill you, whilst the other would make you drag out a miserable, despised existence, worse to the feeling heart than a thousand deaths."

And ye men, who boast of the likeness and nature of your God, prove ye are not "dolts and fools by ignorance made drunk;" prove, that "God has extended the saints' understanding;" that ye can "see as ye are seen, and know as ye are known." Do consult the common sense that nature has given you, and turn with a blush from the things ye are -- jackals to lions of iniquity. -- Do this, and I will feel more than rewarded if I can but save one fellow being from the fangs of these detestable serpents of bigotry and intolerance.
Respectfully yours,                    
HENRY ROWE.          
Portland, Feb. 3, 1845.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


Daily  American  Eagle.

Vol. I.                           Boston, Mass., Monday, March 24, 1845.                           No. 96.



WILLIAM SMITH ARRESTED FOR LIBEL. -- The brother of Hiram Smith and Joseph Smith (deceased) was arrested in Philadelphia on a charge of publishing a libel on Benjamin Winchester of N.Y.


Note: See Stephen J. Fleming's 2004 paper, "Discord in the City of Brotherly Love" in Mormon Historical Studies for further details. This news was reprinted in the Bennington Vermont Gazette of April 1, 1845, which said: "William Smith, brother of the celebrated Hoe Smith, the Mormon Prophet, has been arrested and put under bail in Philadelphis at the suit of Benjamin Winchester for a libel alleged to have been published by Smith in a paper in New York called the Prophet."


 


The Massachusetts  Spy.

Vol. 74.                     Worcester, Mass., Wednesday, May 7, 1845.                     No. 19.



THE  MORMON  TROUBLES.

Correspondence of the New York Tribune.

Nauvoo, Illinois, April 16, 1845.          
The difficulties between the Mormons and Anti-Mormons, which have been so rife for a year past, still continue. Mormonism, instead of exploding here, as it was supposed it would, upon the death of the Prophet, Joe Smith, has continued as flourishing as ever. Joe's place has been supplied by "The 'Twelve Apostles," who now rule the destinies of this band of ignorant, lawless and unprincipled fanatics with the sway of despotism. The Temple is still progressing, and the outside will probably be completed this season. When completed, it will be a beautiful edifice, far surpassing anything in the State. It is one hundred and twenty feet long and eighty-eight feet wide, and is sixty feet from the basement to the eaves. They are now building a wall eight feet wide and fourteen feet high all around it, enclosing six acres. What the object of this wall is, I am not aware but the Anti-Mormons see in it a great Mormon fortification,. One thing is certain -- the Mormons are fast increasing in power and strength, and they talk openly of defending themselves against everything that does not suit their notion. Every house has arms in it, and there is scarcely a man in the city who does not carry arms on his person. 'They permit no process of law to be executed upon the inhabitants of the Holy City unless it suits the sovereign majesty of the Saints. No man is permitted to express any opinion here derogatory to the character and standing of the People. If he does so, he is immediately driven out of the city by a Mormon mob. There have been several instances of this kind lately.

The trial of the persons indicted for the murder of the Smiths last summer comes on at Carthage in this County in four weeks from Monday next. It will be a time of tremendous excitement. -- Some six or seven of the most respectable citizens of the County are indicted for the murder of the Smiths, and among the number are Hon. Jacob C. Davis, State Senator; Thomas C. Sharpe, Esq., Editor of the Warsaw Signal; W. N. Grover, Esq., counsellor at Law, and Col. Williams. All these gentlemen have strong friends who are determined they shall have fair play -- several military companies from the Anti-Mormon portions of this County and from the adjoining Counties will reconnoiter at the County seat in Court week. The "Nauvoo Legion" will probably be on hand also. If the appearance of the Mormon Legion would not put old Jack Falstaff's ragged regiment to the blush, I am mistaken.

One of Mr. Polk's nominees, a Jack-Mormon by the name of Backenstos, who resides at Carthage, is in trouble. The Mormons sent him to the Legislature last winter where he made himself busy in abusing the old citizens of the County, and when he returned from Springfield a week or two ago, the citizens of Carthage went en masse to his house and gave him notice to leave the town in a certain time. Before the time expired, he received notice of his appointment by the President to some lucrative office in the Lead Mines, and, by begging hard, the citizens, on account of his family, concluded to let him stay a week or two longer to settle up his business. They did not extend this act of grace to him, however, without pelting his house with rocks.

What will be the end of all these troubles no man can foretell, but I am apprehensive that there will be a terrible collision one of these days The Mormons and Antis can never live in peace any more -- the hatred existing between them is deep, deadly and inveterate. One party must leave; and if the old citizens of the county are driven from their homes and their firesides by Mormon persecution, a feeling of indignation will be aroused among the people of Illinois that will not be quelled, until the last vestige of Mormonism is driven from Illinois, as it was from Missouri.      Yours, &c.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


BARRE  PATRIOT.

Vol. I.                               Barre, Mass., Friday, June 13, 1845.                               No. 47.



THE MORMON TRIALS. -- On the 21st ult., the trial of persons charged with the murder of Hiram and Joe Smith, commenced at Carthage, Illinois. The prisoners, J. C. Davis, late an lllinois Senator, T. C. Sharp, editor of the Warsaw Signal, Mark Aldrich, Wm. N. Grover, and Col. Levi Williams, compained by affidavit of the partial manner in which the jurors had been selected, and prayed the Court that Elisors be appointed to select a jury, was nor entirely empanelled at the last accounts. A correspondent of the St. Louis Republican says:

Every thing thus far has been entirely quiet and peaceable, yet there is a deep and intense anxiety felt, which pervades all classes -- the characters of the accused, the nature of the charge against them, and the peculiar state of the relations existing between the Mormons and anti-Mormons, all conspire to make the present trials of deep interest to the old citizens of this county. Everybody almost attending Court comes armed to the teeth, and frequently muskets and rifles will be seen taken out of wagons with as much deliberation as if they were attending a militia muster instend of attending a court of justice. This is a bad state of things, but extraordinary cases demand extraordinary remedies.

The Mormons are said to have expressed a determination to take revenge, in case the defendants should not be convicted, but it is hoped that more discreet counsels will prevail.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 



Daily Evening Transcript.

Vol. XVI.                         Boston, Mass., Wednesday, July 2, 1845.                         No. 4581.



Bill Smith, brother of Jo and Hyrum, (murdered) has succeeded to take the office of Patriarch of the Mormons, and is so acknowledged by the Nauvoo Neighbor. Bill is the last of the family.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


Daily  American  Eagle.

Vol. I.                           Boston, Mass., Wednesday, July 9, 1845.                           No. ?



The two Hodges have been found guilty of murder in Iowa, after a hard trial, and were sentenced to be hung on the 15th of July. The jury 'were only a few minutes in making up their verdict. Another brother was suspected of being concerned in the murder and robbery, and was about to be arrested; but was found wounded and nearly dead in Nauvoo. He stated that he had been killed by his best friends, and it was supposed that he was murdered to prevent him from being used as a witness against other persons connected with the transaction. A fourth brother is confined in jail in Nauvoo on a charge of larcency. This is a specimen of the scale of morality among Mormons.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


Berkshire County Whig.

Vol. V.                       Pittsfield, Mass., Thursday,  July 17, 1845.                       No. 228.




William Smith, brother of the renowned Joe has assumed the mantle of the murdered Mormon. The editor of the Nauvoo Journal [sic - Neighbor] says: 'William is the last of the family, and truly inherits the blood and spirit of his father's house, as well as the priesthood and patriarch office from his father and brother legally and by hereditary descent.'


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


MORNING  NEWS.

Vol. I.                       New London, Conn., Monday,  July 21, 1845.                       No. 214.



NAUVOO. -- William Backenstoss, late Sheriff of Hancock, has been ordered to leave the holy city. He is accused of being the correspondent of the Warsaw Signal. Patriarch Bill Smith of Nauvoo, brother of the Prophet, whose wife died about four weeks since, was again married on last Sunday week -- having been a widower about 18 days. His bride is about 16 years of age and he is 35. The split between the Nauvoo Saints is growing wider. Bill Smith heads one party, the 12 disciples the other -- Cincinnati Gaz. of Friday.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


THE  AMERICAN
Journal  of  Music

AND  MUSICAL  VISITOR.


Vol. IV.                         Boston, Mass., Wednesday, July 30, 1845.                         No. 13.



The Warsaw Signal contains numerous statements of violence in or about Nauvoo. Wm. Backenstos, late sheriff of Hancock, has been ordered to leave the holy city. He is accused of being the correspondent of the Warsaw Signal. Patriarch Bill Smith, of Nauvoo, brother of the prophet, whose wife died about four weeks since, was again married on last Sunday week having been a widower about eighteen days. His bride is about sixteen years of age, and he is thirty-five. The split among the Nauvoo saints is growing wider. Bill Smith heads one party, the twelve disciples the other.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


Berkshire County Whig.

Vol. V.                         Pittsfield, Mass., Thursday, July 31, 1845.                         No. 230.



The split among the Nauvoo saints is growing wider. William Smith, brother of the prophet, heads one division, the twelve disciples the other.



It is rumored that the cabinet at Washington is following suit with Nauvoo -- that is, the President -- the slavocracy -- want to get up a war spirit against England on the Oregon humbug, that they may have it ready for use if wanted for Texas and Mexico. A revenue tariff too, is said to be an object of first importance with the slavocracy.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


UNIVERSALIST  WATCHMAN
AND CHRISTIAN REPOSITORY.


Vol. XVII.                       Montpelier, Vt., Saturday, August 2, 1845.                       No. 3.



NAUVOO. -- The Warsaw Signal contains numerous statements of violence in or about Nauvoo. Wm. Backenstos, late Sheriff of Hancock has been ordered to leave the holy city. He is accused of being the correspondent of the Warsaw Signal. Patriarch Bill Smith, of Nauvoo, brother of the prophet, whose wife died about four weeks since, was again married on the last Sunday week -- having been widower about eighteen days. His bride is about 16 years of age and he is 35. The split among the Nauvoo saints is growing wider. Bill Smith heads one party, the twelve disciples the other.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


UNIVERSALIST  WATCHMAN
AND CHRISTIAN REPOSITORY.


Vol. XVII.                         Montpelier, Vt., Saturday, August 9, 1845.                       No. 4.



Sketch  of  the  Life  of  Joe  Smith
THE  MORMON  PROPHET.

The death of a prophet in any country would be considered an epoch in its history, but the death of a prophet in this country, and the 19th century, is a matter of as much surprise, as that we should have had a special prophet at all in a country where every man is free to predict and to prophesy whatever he pleases. The world for centuries has been annoyed by fanatics of every class, and of every grade, and all their mischiefs and delusions have been presented under the mask of religion. Powerful Monarchies have promptly disposed of political fanatics, -- they soon found themselves in a prison or in a hospital; but in matters of faith, in colleges, -- sectarianism and prophesies, the strong arm of the law is seldom lifted against them, and in this country, where all are free to follow any faith, and where new sects and new doctrines always find followers and disciples, no one interferes to check delusion. The violent death of Joe Smith, the Mormon Prophet, under all the circumstances of the case, cannot avoid making a serious impression upon the many thousands of his deluded followers, where they at present reside, and such was his power and popularity, that we look with some interest, to learn the effect which his death will produce, among those who conscientiously believe in his great mission.

Joe Smith according to his own statement, was born in the town of Sharon, Vermont, on the 23d of December, 1805, so that at the time of his death, he must have nearly entered his fortieth year. His parents, when he was ten years of age, emigrated to Palmyra, N.Y., where he resided until he was twenty-one years old. In a recent [Dec. 1834] letter to O. Cowdery, who intended to write the life of the prophet Joe, as he was familiarly called, -- he says: -- "During this time, as is common to most, or all youths, I fell into many vices and follies; but as my accusers are, and have been forward to accuse me of being guilty of gross and outragious violations of the peace and good order of the community, I take the occasion to remark, that, though, as I have said above, 'as is common to most, or all youths, I fell into many vices and follies,' I have not, neither can it be sustained, in truth, been guilty of wronging or injuring any man or society of men; and those imperfections to which I alude, and for which I have often had occasion to lament, were a light, and too often, vain mind, exhibiting a foolish and trifling conversation. This being all, and the worst, that my accusers can substantiate against my moral character, I wish to add, that it is not without a deep feeling of regret that I am thus called upon to answer to my own conscience, to fulfil a duty I owe to myself, as well as to the cause of truth, in making this public confession of my former uncircumspect walk, and unchaste conversation: and more particularly, as I often acted in violation of those holy precepts which I knew came from God."

As this is the latest confession and admission of the Prophet, it acquires some interest in connection with his subsequent life and miserable death. Joe Smith being probably the son of poor parents, of quick natural powers and sagacity, but of limited education, must have been thrown upon his own resources for means of existence at an early period: for we find him pretending to have discovered the Book of Mormon in Ontario county in 1827. General Bennett, an influential Mormon, published a work in 1842, in which he exposed the iniquities of Joe Smith, in connection with Mormonism, and making every allowance for personal enmity, the narrative bears upon its face the marks of authenticity. From an affidavit of Peter Ingersoll in 1833, we learn that he lived in the neighborhood of Joe Smith, sen., from 1822 to 1830, and represents that the general employment of the family was digging for money. Joe had found a miraculous stone, which he averred by looking into, he could discover hidden treasures. William Stafford, one of their neighbors, states under oath.
"When they found that the people of this vicinity would no longer put any faith in their schemes for digging money, they then pretended to find a Gold Bible, of which they said, the book of Mormon was only an introduction. This latter book was at length fitted for the press. No means were taken by any individual to suppress its publication; No one apprehended any danger from a book, originating with individuals who had neither influence, honesty or honor. The two Josephs and Hiram, promised to show me the plates after the book of Mormon was translated. But afterward they pretended to have received an express commandment, forbidding them to show the plates. Respecting the manner of receiving and translating the book of Mormon, their statements were always discordant. The elder Joseph would say that he had seen the plates, and that he knew them to be gold; at other times he would say that they looked like gold; and other times he would say he had not seen the plates at all."
Parley Chase, a respectable citizen of Manchester, says:
"I was acquainted with the family of Joseph Smith, sen., both before and since they became Mormons, and feel free to state that not one of the male members of the Smith family were entitled to any credit, whatsoever. They were lazy, intemperate and worthless men, very much addicted to lying. In this they freqently boasted of their skill. Digging for money was their principal employment. In regard to their Gold Bible speculation, they scarcely ever told two stories alike. The Mormon Bible is said to be a revelation from God, through Joseph Smith jr., [his] Prophet, and this same Joseph Smith jr., to my knowledge, bore the reputation among his neighbors of being a liar."
With such a character, and such a family, and such pursuits, Joe Smith began his great schemes of trickery and delusion in Mormonism; -- the book itself is a mass of absurdities, written in imitation of the style of the Bible, in which Joe was proclaimed a prophet and priest of the Most High, and thus he drew around him a vast body of uneducated enthusiasts, who journeyed west to commence their operations on a grand scale. The history of Mormonism since its establishment in the Western States, the building of the city of Nauvoo, the increase of the deluded followers of Joe Smith, his conflicts with the authorities of the States of Missouri and Illinois, -- his indomitable spirit of intrigue and mischief, his loose morals, violence, and chicanery, are known to the people of this country, and have been the subject of newspaper discussion for the last seven years. It may create surprise that in these enlightened times, there should be any delusion in matters of religious faith; that men should be found willing and desirous of paying adoration to any person, and considering him as the elect and chosen of the Lord, and following his directions with blind obedience; but fanaticism seems to flourish amidst the lights of education and science. We have melancholy proofs of it in men living amongst us, and enjoying the confidence and esteem of the people. It is the weakness of the heart and head united. True it is a harmless fanaticism, which does not, as of old, sustain itself by the faggot and the stake, and is therefore allowed to take its course. Most of the poor Mormons who have followed Joe Smith, were weak in mind and destitute of education -- he bound them to him by oaths and ceremonies, and when their faith was unshaken in his being the prophet and anointed of the Lord, he gave loose to the operation of his vile principles; seduced his female followers, and robbed them of their property, and it is supposed caused to be secretly murdered those who had sagacity to penetrate his designs. It is impossible fully to describe the wrongs, personal and political, which may be perpetuated under the cloak of religion; history is filled with instances, and no calamity can fall upon a people greater than submitting to the influence of knaves and hypocrites, who approach you under a santimonious garb. Whenever Joe Smith encountered a determined man, who would not submit to his impostures, he appealed to the masses, who groaned out in spirit and distress, "touch not the anointed of the Lord; harm him not." It is very evident that Joe Smith contemplated, whenever he had sufficient force, to conquer several of the Western States, and erect there a Mormon Empire; and he organized his Nauvoo legion, amounting to several thousand men, with this object. He was a source of constant inquietude to the State of Missouri. and was continually under arrest for some crime or other. Gen. Clark commanding the Missouri troops, on one occasion made the following report to the Governor: --
General Clark to the Governor.  
"Head Quarters of the Militia  
employed against the Mormons,  
Richmond, Nov., 1838.  
To his Excellency L. W. Boggs: -- Sir --
       *        *        *        *        *        *
"I find, by inquiry, that with all the enormities we have heard charged against these people, (the Mormons) many of which charges we looked upon as the offspring of prejudice on the part of our citizens, the truth has not yet been told!!! There is no crime, from treason down to the most petty larceny, but these people, or a majority of them, have been guilty of, -- all, too, under the counsel of Joseph Smith, jr., the Prophet! They have committed treason, murder, arson, burglary, robbery and larceny, and perjury!!! -- They have societies formed under the most [binding] covenants in form, and the most horrid oaths, to circumvent the laws, and put them at defiance, & to plunder, and burn, and divide the spoils for the use of the church. This is what they call the Danite Society.

"Under this horrid system, many of the citizens of Davies county, who went to that frontier poor, and who, by their industry and economy, had acquired a good living, have been robbed of every article of property they have, their homes burnt before their eyes, and they and their wives and children driven out of the [county], without any kind of shelter! In one instance, I have [been] informed that a family was ordered off, and their houses burnt in their sight, and a woman driven out while it was snowing, with a child only four days old; in another case, I was informed a family was driven away and the woman was compelled to ask protection in a few miles, where she was delivered of a child a short time after she was thus treated! These, sir, are some of the offenses of these people.

       *        *        *        *        *        *

"I am, sir, your obedient dervant,  
John B. Clark,  
Major-General Comminding."  

(Concluded next week.)



Note: This two-part article was compiled from several sources, including one much shorter account, published by the Illustrated London News on August 31, 1844. The lengthier version was reproduced by various contemporary American journals -- in some cases, the text being illustrated with cuts of the Nauvoo Temple, etc.


 


UNIVERSALIST  WATCHMAN
AND CHRISTIAN REPOSITORY.


Vol. XVII.                     Montpelier, Vt., Saturday, August 16, 1845.                     No. 5.



Sketch  of  the  Life  of  Joe  Smith
THE  MORMON  PROPHET.
(Concluded.)

The immediate cause of Joe Smith's recent difficulties was the destruction of a press in Nauvoo, to which he was opposed; but he found like Charles the 19th that putting down the liberty of the press was the greatest calamity which could have befallen him. He was compelled to take refuge for safety in the jail, guarded by a body of troops which had been placed there by the Governor of Illinois to protect him; but a band of men, no doubt a party, which considered him a dangerous man to the public safety, broke into the prison and murdered him and his brother. It was a base act under any circumstances, but one that in the course of time must have been expected; he was a man without a redeeming quality, a knave, a hypocrite, and destitute of religion or virtue. It is an old saying, "de mortuis nil nisi Bonum,: -- "of the dead speak nothing but good." The principle it conveys is unsound. It is the fear of what men may say after death, which sometimes makes men careful in life. We have no right, morally, to speak in favor of a man after death, when we could not do so during this life, and it is the exposure of bad men's lives, which operates as a caution to the living. Gen. Bennett, in the work alluded to gives the following description of Nauvoo: --
"Nauvoo, the [Holy] City of the Mormons and present capital of their empire, is situated in the northwestern part of Illinois, on the east bank of the Mississippi, in latitude N. 40, 35, and longitude W. 14, 23. It is bounded on the north, south, and west by the river, which there forms a large curve, and is nearly two miles wide. Eastward of the city is a beautiful undulating prairie. It is distant ten miles from Fort. Madison, in Iowa; is fifty-five miles above Quincy, Ill., and more than two hundred from St. Louis.

Before the Mormons gathered there, the place was named Commerce, and was but a small and obscure village of some twenty houses. So rapidly, however, have they accumulated, that there are now, within three years of their first settlement, upwards of seven thousand inhabitants in the city, and three thousand more, of the SAints, in its immediate vicinity.

The surface of the ground upon which Nauvoo is built is very uneven, though there are no great elevations. A few feet below the soil is a vast bed of limestone, from which excellent building material can be quarried, to almost any extent. A number of tumuli, or ancient mounds, are found within the limits of the city, proving it to have been a place of some importance with the extinct inhabitants of this continent.

The space comprised within the city limits is about four miles in its greatest length, and three in its greatest breadth; but is very irregular in its outline, and does not cover so much ground as the above measurement would seem to indicate.

The city is regularly laid out -- the streets crossing each other at right angles, and generally of considerable length, and of convenient width. The majority of the houses are as yet merely whitewashed log cabins, but lately quite a number of frame and brick houses have been erected.

The chief edifices of Nauvoo are the Temple and a hotel, called the Nauvoo House, but neither of them is yet finished. The latter is of brick, upon a stone foundation, and presents a front of one hundred and twenty feet each, by forty feet deep, and is to be three stories high, exclusive of the basement; and, though intended chiefly for the reception and entertainment of strangers and travellers, contains, or rather, when completed is to contain, a splendid suite of apartments, for the particular accommodation of the Prophet, Joe Smith, and his heirs and descendants forever!

The privilege of this accommodation he pretends was granted to him by the Lord, in a special revelation, on account of his services to the church. It is most extraordinary that the Americans, imbued with democratic sentiments and with such an utter aversion to hereditary privileges of any kind, could for a moment be blinded to the selfishness of the scoundrel, who thus coolly provided for himself and his latest posterity, a palace and a maintenance. We may, however, safely predict that his Imperial Majesty will not continue long in the enjoyment of his [palace], and that if he escapes the fate of Haman, it will only be to wander, like Cain, a vagabond on the face of the earth.

The Mormon Temple is a splendid structure of stone, quarried within the bounds of the city. Its breadth is eighty feet, making the breadth of the whole structure one hundred and fifty feet, and its length one hundred and twenty, besides an outer court of thirty feet, making the length of the whole structure one hundred and fifty feet.

In the basement of the temple is the baptisma font, constructed in imitation of the famous brazen sea of Solomon. It is upborne by twelve oxen, handsomely carved ed and overlaid with gold. Upon the surface of it, in pannels, are represented various scenes, handsomely painted.

The font is used for baptisms of various kinds, viz: baptism for the healing of the sick -- baptism for admission into the church -- baptism for the remission of sins -- and lastly, which is the most singular of all, baptism for the dead. By this latter rite, living persons, selected as the representatives of persons deceased, are baptised for them, and thus the dead are released from the penalty of their sins! This baptism was performed, I recollect, for General Washington, among many others.
It is known that Joe had established a Sisterhood of Saints for the vilest purposes. A Miss Brotherton makes an affidavit that Joe wished to marry one of his confederate allies by the name of Young, already a married man; and locked her up with Young to talk over the proposition. The young lady, in spite of the holy appeal, had strong doubts of the correctness of marrying a man who had a wife already; but Young, to remove her scruples, introduced the Prophet to back his suit, which the lady describes as follows: --
"'Well,' said Young, 'sister Martha would be willing if she knew if was lawful and right before God.'

'Well, Martha,' said Joseph, 'it is lawful and right before God -- I know it is. Look here, sis -- don't you believe in me?'

I did not answer.

'Well Martha,' said Joseph, 'just go ahead, and do as Brigham wants you to -- he is the best man in the world except me.'

'O!' said Brigham, 'then you are as good.'

'Yes,' said Joseph.

'Well,' said Young, 'we believe Joseph to be a prophet. I have known him near eight years, and always found him the same.'

'Yes,' said Joseph, 'and I know that this is lawful and right before God, and if there is any sin in it, I will answer for it before God; and I have the keys of the kingdom, and whatever I bind on earth is bound in heaven, and whatever I loose on earth is loosed in heaven; and if you will accept of Brigham, you shall [be blessed -- God shall bless you, and my blessing shall rest upon you, and if you will be led by him, you will do well; for I know Brigham will] take care of you, and if he don't do his duty to you, come to me and I will make him; and if you do not like it in a month or two, come to me, and I will make you free again; and if he turns you off, I will take you on.'"
We have nothing to say against the religion of the Mormond -- it may contain many good principles, many absurdities -- that is left with the consciences of its followers and professors; there may be also many worthy citizens who follow that faith; but it is certain that under such a leader as Joe Smith, an upright, honest faith could not be sustained; and, regretting sincerely the unlawfulness which deprived him of life, we do not hesitate saying that his followers, his friends, and his [country], have nothing to regret in his death.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 



Vol. XX.                     Windsor, Vt., Wednesday, October 1, 1845.                     No. 40.



From the St. Louis Republican, Sept. 16.

MORE TROUBLE WITH THE MORMONS. Our correspondent at Warsaw sent us by the La Clede, which arrived this morning, the following account of serious outbreaks between the Mormons and their opponents in Hancock county:

Warsaw, 11th Sept., 1845 -- 10 o'clock, A. M.         
Messrs. Editors: on Tuesday morning last, (9th inst.) and attack was made upon a school-house in Rocky Run Precinct, by some persons unknown, but supposed to be Mormons, in which there was at the time of the attack a convention of Anti-Mormons, or old settlers of the country. The door and windows of the house were completely riddled by the shots fired by the assailants. The attacking party approached under cover of the woods and bushes, fired one round and fled. No person was injured, but many were, I presume, much frightened and this sudden and unexpected attack. The old settlers in that section of country armed themselves for defence, and if they are backed by their friends in other parts of the country, blood will flow. By a messenger, just in, who came to purchase lead, powder, flints &c., I learn that four buildings were burned down last night, and one man shot, and very badly wounded, but not mortally. Yesterday thirteen wagons loaded with furniture, were seen wending their way to the City of Refuge, (Nauvoo.)


Note: A companion article in this same paper tells of the problems of the Saints at Morley Settlement and Hancock Settlement, makes mention of ElderDaniel Tyler, etc.


 


UNIVERSALIST  WATCHMAN
AND CHRISTIAN REPOSITORY.


Vol. XVII.                       Montpelier, Vt., Saturday, October 18, 1845.                       No. 14.



THE MORMONS. -- Mr. Worrell, who was in command of the guards at Carthage when the Smiths were murdered, has been killed by the Mormons, and a letter from Warsaw, dated Sept. 17th expresses the opinion that a battle must ensue in a few days, and before the state authority can interfer with any adequate force.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 



Vol. XX.                     Windsor, Vt., Wednesday, October 22, 1845.                    No. 43.



THE MORMON CIVIL WAR. The latest accounts give no further details of the destruction of property and life in the Mormon war. Up to the 26th ult. Sheriff Backenstos remained at Carthage, fortified in the court-house and surrounded by armed men. The St. Louis Republican of the 29th says: --

We received his fifth proclamation, dated Carthage, on the 25th. It is very long and not very important. He says that "there seems to be a continuance of peace throughout Hancock county. There has been no burning of houses, or other property, since a part of my force pursued the mob and fired upon them." He says that there are many complaints made to him by Mormons and anti-Mormons, about the stealing of cattle, &c., and that he has used every means to find out the truth of these reports; that the Mormons who were burnt out have been employed in removing their household furniture, other mobeables, and grain, to Nauvoo, and after they had done this, they proceeded to gather their cattle and drive them from the infected district, but could not find them, and that two hundred head are thus missing. Some fifty head of cattle, he says, are reported to him to have been stolen near Warsaw and Carthage. He is incredulous about the Mormons committing these depredations. The Governor's first proclamation, issued on the 21st, is pronounced a "forgery or fraud." He says --

"I pronounce it a base fraud. I hope no armed men will come into Hancock county, under such circumstances. I shall regard them in the character of a mob, and shall treat them accordingly. I am personally acquainted with Major Baker and Captain Merriman, and I am warranted in saying that they...


Note: The source of this incomplete text has yet to be discovered among extant files of the Missouri Republican of September, 1845. The context of Governor Ford's Sept. 21, 1845 proclamation is recorded in his 1854 book, History of Illinois.


 


UNIVERSALIST  WATCHMAN
AND CHRISTIAN REPOSITORY.


Vol. XVII.                       Montpelier, Vt., Saturday, October 25, 1845.                     No. 15.



The Mormons, in reply to a communication from the citizens of Quincy, Ill., declare their intention to emigrate to remote parts next Spring, provided they can obtain necessary means by selling or renting their property, and providing they are allowed to make preparation unmolested by a repetition of those incendiary outrages of which they have recently been the victims. -- Mail.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


BARRE  PATRIOT.

Vol. II.                           Barre, Mass., Tuesday, November 11, 1845.                           No. 17.



MORMONISM. -- William Smith, the Mormon Patriarch, has addressed a long letter to his brethren, in which he dissuades them from listening to the counsel of Brigham Young and his associates at Nauvoo. The Patriarch expresses the opinion that Young and those acting with him have been privy to all the crimes which have been perpetrated at Nauvoo and that their object in collecting at that place this Winter all of the Mormons in the United States, for the purpose of moving to California in the Spring, is merely to enrich themselves and perpetuate their power. When the Mormons gather at Nauvoo they will be required to surrender all their property into the hands of the Twelve, and, if their expedition to California should prove dangerous, the Twelve will desert their followers; if, however, they should reach their destined home West of the Rocky Mountains, the power of the leaders through their secret organizations, will be made despotic, and be exercised for the benefit of the few to the degradation and ruin of their followers.

The Patriarch's plan is for most of the Mormons to abandon Nauvoo and to cease to settle together in distinct communities and large bodies, He farther urges that they should renounce the immoral doctrines and practice recently introduced into the Mormon church by Brigham Young, conduct themselves as well as all other religious sects do in this country, and trust to the same means of propagating their views. In that way he thinks farther evils may be avoided, and the honest saved from the destruction which awaits them if they attempt to follow the Twelve to California.

According to his statements, Brigham Young and his ten associates should be held responsible for the outrages which have been committed in Nauvoo for the last six months. The Mormons in Nauvoo are kept in ignorance of the secret acts of the Twelve and their agents, and should not be made to suffer for the offences of a few.

We know not what influence the Patriarch may have with the Mormons, but we suppose he will deter a portion, and perhaps the more honest and sensible portion, from going to California. The removal of the Twelve and their adherents may obviate all farther difficulties, as the scattering of the others throughout the country in small parties will put an and to the evils which have been complained of. How this matter may end we know not. There may be more trouble ahead.


Note: The above article was copied from the St. Louis Missouri Reporter of Oct. 25th, where it served to introduce William Smith's "Faithful Warning to the Latter Day Saints." A slightly abbreviated version of the "Warning" was copied into the Sangamo Journal of Nov. 6, 1845. It was the publication of such highly critical messages which resulted in William's LDS excommunication that same month. A notice published in the Nauvoo Times and Seasons of Nov. 1st said: "Elder William Smith having been cut off from the Quorum of the Twelve for apostacy, on the Sunday following, several letters and a pamphlet having been read, showing he had turned away from the truth; on motion, it was unanimously resolved by the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that the said William Smith be cut off from said church, and left in the hands of God... (Nauvoo, Oct. 12th, 1845.)"


 


Barre  Gazette.

Vol. XII.                           Barre, Mass., Saturday, November 15, 1845.                           No. 27.



Flight of the Mormon Prophet from Nauvoo. William Smith of the patriarch's family, has fled from Nauvoo. The St. Louis papers publish his "faithful warning to the Latter Day Saints" against the unrighteousness of the elders who have usurped the patriarchal chair, of which he is the only legal occupant. He counsels peace, love to all men, and a restoration of confidence between the Mormons and their neighbors; opposes emigration to Oregon, and promises further exposures of the unrighteousness of the wicked."


Notes: (forthcoming)


 



Vol. XX.                 Windsor, Vt., Wednesday, November 19, 1845.                   No. 47.



The Mormons.

The Mormons have doubtless suffered gross wrong at times; but they have also themselves been very gross wrong-doers. The history of the troubles that they have occasioned is full of instruction and warning. The power of religious imposture -- the perversion and blinding of the moral sense by fanaticism -- the danger of putting into office men who are so strongly partisan as to be influenced in the discharge of official duty by a regard for the votes of law-breakers -- the necessity of an energetic and equal administration of law, so as to make it a reliable protection to life and property and a terror to all evil-doers alike -- are subjects that are urged most impressively upon the public attention by the events alluded to. We collect here a few facts by way of illustration.

In the first place we ask attention to the following extracts of a letter from the seat of war, published in the New York Observer. We have the more confidence in the writer s statements, because they are so fully confirmed from other sources. Writing from Hancock Co., Ill., Sept. 29, he says: --

"The present rupture began in a precinct called Greenplain, in the south part of the county. It was a beautiful district, with an enterprising and flourishing population of about 80 or 90 men. About the settlement was an extent of unoccupied land. Upon this the Mormons came and settled, most of them with the rights of squatters. Year after year they poured in till they were three times as numerous as the citizens. All other immigration has avoided Hancock as a district infected with the plague. We were a quiet people, no bolts or locks secured our stables or our houses. But no sooner had the Mormons come, than cattle and horses and hogs began strangely to disappear, and every description, of moveable property was I unsafe. The value of real estate was greatly depreciated. Resort for redress was had to the law with little success for the amount taken at one time was generally small. But where the amount was larger, the arrangements for concealment were so complete that property was rarely recovered: the whole settlement was found to be a mutual insurance company of thieves, and this band of a thousand souls was but a branch of the great association at Nauvoo.

"Once, in the life time of Smith, they pushed their business so hard, that Joe sent them word to stop stealing, as the citizens began to be excited. The order was obeyed; but after the death of Joe it recommenced and was carried on most unmercifully. But the stolen property was sometimes found. To meet this emergency, they had gathered in such numbers as to place the administration of the law in the hands of their chief men. Every week their numbers were increasing, and with their numbers their insolence. -- They were in the habit of swearing for each other like the members of other piratical associations. No men are so attached to "law and order" as the Mormons. Take an example, to show the meaning of law and order, as they understand it. A horse was stolen and traced to the Holy City by the owner, and found in the possession of the thief. But he proved by a Mormon oath, before a Mormon magistrate, that he had bought the horse, and it was decided that the horse belonged to the thief. The owner was then arrested for an alleged infraction of the law in the attempt to recover his horse, -- convicted, -- robbed by the judge, of the horse he rode, and of his watch, to pay his fine. Such are the men who have invaded this unhappy county. But the thriving settlement of Greenplains had suffered perhaps worse than any others, having a heavy settlement in its vicinity on the South and the general rendezvous, Nauvoo, on the North. Every night something was taken: They had lost to the value of thousands. The Mormons had destroyed the value of their farms. They could sell for nothing. No decent immigrant would come among the Mormons. To seek protection from the law was worse than vain. It added injury to injury. Application had been made to the Governor, from whom they received an insulting reply, but no aid. Gov. Ford is a devoted party man, and the Mormons cast some thousands of votes, and those votes are always sold by the head of the church to the highest bidder. In this extremity, the citizens of Greenplains met -- some sixty of them -- to consult. The law in the hand of a society of freebooters was the instrument of heavy oppression, but no relief. To crown the whole, the Mormons fired upon the house where they had met to consult. This fixed their purpose. They would drive the Mormons from the vicinity. They gave notice to the Mormons that they must leave. They were allowed full time to remove all their moveable effects, and when the shanty was clear, the torch was applied."

"The only object of the burning was to put an end to the war which had been so long waged upon their property. There was no hope but in driving them out, -- but they did not retaliate for the numerous losses they had sustained. They took no spoils, but they recovered some stolen goods."

"'But they should have waited in the hope of redress by legal means.' How long? Four or five years they had waited. They had every thing to fear from the law but nothing to hope. Our highest executive and judicial officers have been bound by their log-rolling obligations with the Mormon chiefs, who dispose of all the Mormon votes, as Bishop Hughes does of the Romish vote of your city. Here is the true secret of our whole difficulty and the strength of the Mormons. I grieve to say it; but without knowing this fact you can know nothing of our affairs."

"You will not give my name to the public, for it would seriously expose the life of any man in this county to have it known that he was the author of the above. Irvine Hodges, brother of the two Mormon murderers lately executed in Iowa, having had the imprudence to threaten some disclosures respecting the twelve at Nauvoo, was at once assassinated. Men here are very careful what they write. The Mormon spies and Danites are every where."

After these burnings, as has been already stated, an agreement was entered into with the Mormons, according to which they were to leave the country in the Spring. In the meantime, however, they seem bent on doing all the destruction and mischief in their power. -- The following extracts are from different sources: --

More Mormon Difficulties. A gentleman from the Upper Mississippi informs us, that a few days ago the Sheriff of Rock Island came to Nauvoo with a writ for one of the Reddings, charged to have been concerned in the murder of Col. Davenport. After Redding had been arrested and was about going on board a boat for Rock Island, a body of Mormons collected round the Sheriff for the purpose of rescuing the prisoner, and in the attempt Redding received a shot in the leg, and the Sheriff a wound from a pistol shot. The prisoner escaped. -- St. Louis Republican.

ROCK ISLAND, Ill., Oct. 23, 1845.          

There has been a special term of the Rock Island County Circuit Court in session here this week for the purpose of trying men concerned in the murder of Col. Davenport on the 4th of July last. William H. Redin, and his father, George Grant Redin, were put on trial on Tuesday last as accessories in the murder but the jury after being out three days were unable to agree. They stood eleven to one for conviction. Old Redin was a Mormon, and kept what is called a "station house," [i. e. a harbor for robbers, thieves, cut-throats and murderers,] on "Devil's Creek," nearly opposite Nauvoo, on the Iowa side of the Mississippi. It was at his infernal den on Devil Creek that the murder was planned -- from there they started out on the enterprise, and there returned and divided the spoils.

John Baxter, another of the murderers, was put upon trial, and the Jury last night, after an absence of half an hour, brought in a verdict of Guilty. That makes four who have been convicted. There are three more in jail awaiting their trials at the next term of the Court.

When the whole history of this murder and robbery shall be written, and its connection with the Mormon Church developed, the world will be astonished. -- N. Y. Tribune.

St. Louis, Nov. 1.          

Reding was rescued and is now secured in Nauvoo; the officers were stoned, and otherwise injured. We now learn from the Quincy Whig and other sources, that the Mormons in Nauvoo have actually defied the power of the state, and declared that no more arrests shall be made in Nauvoo. On Saturday last, the Whig says:

Col. Warren, Judge Purple and Mr. Brayman, attorney for the state, visited Nauvoo. Near the environs of the city, they saw assembled a force of about 200 armed Mormons; this being contrary to the order of Gen. Hardin, in relation to armed men assembling in the county, Col. Warren felt it his duty as an officer, to inquire into the matter. For that purpose he invited Brigham Young and others of the leading authorities to a conference. He informed them that the armed men on the prairie was contrary to orders, and wanted to know what it meant. To this Young gave an unsatisfactory reply: he said, however, that it was their intention to submit to no further arrests, and ridiculed the court, the Judge, the attorney of the state, who were present, and in substance, defied the power of the state.

After him, Elder Taylor, another of the Twelve, got up, and abused the Governor, State officers, &c. Brigham Young again got up, and said he was not very good at an apology -- but that they must not mind what Elder Taylor said -- that he was always making trouble, &c. -- offered to treat -- and called in two gallons of wine. But Col. Warren refused to drink with them; he got up and told them in a plain talk what he thought of their conduct, and that, as an officer, he should do his duty and carry out the law.

While this was going on, a deputy of the U. S. marshal arrived with a detachment of the Quincy Rifles; with a writ for Brigham Young, charged with counterfeiting the coin of the United States. This becoming known in the city, the excitement was tremendous -- the Mormons assembled in large crowds -- and a disposition was manifested by them to resist all attempts to arrest any person in Nauvoo. After a consultation with the officer, by Judge Purple and others, it was deemed advisable to postpone the execution of the writ at the time, for the personal safety of all concerned.

Col. W., with the force under his command, was to have marched into Nauvoo on Tuesday last, for the purpose of executing the writs against Reding, Brigham Young and others, but we are not advised of the result of this attempt to enforce the law. It is said that Col. W. is in possession of certain information that a bogus manufactory is now, and was, before the death of the Smiths, in operation at Nauvoo; and the twelve, or some of them, are interested in it.

The Circuit Court of Hancock county adjourned on Monday last. The trial of Backenstos, for the murder of Worrell, did not take place. Before the time of trial, Backenstos applied for a change of venue, alleging that the Judge, Purple, was prejudiced against him. The application was granted, and the case removed to Peoria County. -- Republican.



Flight of the Mormon Prophet from Nauvoo. William Smith, of the patriarch's family, has fled from Nauvoo. The St. Louis papers publish his "faithful warning to the Latter Day Saints," against the unrighteousness of the elders who have usurped the patriarchal chair, of which he is the only legal occupant. He counsels peace, love to all men, and a restoration of confidence between the Mormons and their neighbors; opposes emigration to Oregon, and promises further exposures of the unrighteousness of the "wicked elders." He is now in St. Louis, under the protection of some friends. His address is dated 25 October.


Note: The final item in the series presented above, was also published as "Flight of the Prophet" in the Amherst, NH, Farmers' Cabinet of Nov. 20, 1845. That version adds the information that William Smith's address in the St. Louis papers was "dated 15th Oct."



 


The Boston Daily Atlas.
Vol. XIV.                     Boston, Mass., Wednesday, December 17, 1845.                     No. 144.



The Albany Evening Journal, after publishing the letter from Mrs. Emma Smith, wife of the late "Prophet Jo Smith," indulges in the following remarks:

Mormonism and Millerism have, like [a] hundred delusions, had their day. While such mental diseases rage, all remedies are unavailing. But in passing away, they leave a moral which assists in bracing up and steadying Society, for a season, against "thick coming" hallucinations.

"Joe Smith," previous to his becoming a Prophet, was a "Loafer." He resided near the village of Palmyra, spent most of his time in bar-rooms, and seemed only anxious to live along "from hand to mouth," without work. He was then remarkable for nothing in particular, but indolence, and scheming on a small scale. In 1824 or '5, he went a vagabonding off into Western Pennsylvania, where, nobody knows how, he got possession of the manuscript of a half-deranged Clergyman, with which he returned to Palmyra, where he pretended that he was directed in a dream to a particular spot in the woods, to possess himself of an oracular "slate," or, as he called it, a "Golden Bible." -- From this inspired "slate," which he used to place in his hat, he read to the "gaping few" new and strange revelations: and finally, he produced the "Book of Mormon," as the creed and faith of a People of whom he was designed by Providence to be the Prophet and Ruler. The "Book of Mormon" is a copy of the manuscript which Smith obtained near Pittsburg.

A wealthy Farmer, by the name of Harris, was his first believing convert. Harris mortgaged his Farm to raise the money required for the temporal support of the Prophet, and printing of the "Book of Mormon." The Prophet and his Convert (Smith and Harris) came to Rochester and offered us the honor of being their Printer. (We were in like manner, a year afterwards, asked to print "Morgan's Revelations of Free-Masonry.") But as we were only in the newspaper line, we contented ourselves with reading a chapter of what seemed such wretched and incoherent stupidity, that we wondered how "Joe" had contrived to make the first fool with it. But he went on, making not only fools, but knaves, in America and Europe, for more than twenty years, and until his career was abruptly cut short by men who became themselves violators of the laws they were called to vindicate.


Notes: (forthcoming)



 


UNIVERSALIST  WATCHMAN
AND CHRISTIAN REPOSITORY.


Vol. XVII.                     Montpelier, Vt., Saturday, December 20, 1845.                     No. 23.



NAUVOO. -- The census just taken makes the population of Nauvoo proper to consist of 11,067 souls; without the limits it is supposed there is a third more. About fifteen thousand individuals, it appears from this, are to be banished from Illinois because the Governor is too disregardful of his duty to protect them in their rights. The court sitting at Carthage, we see, has commenced the trial of some of the persons engaged in the recent outbreak. Five of the persons charged with the destruction of the press at Nauvoo have been acquitted. Their plea was -- Instruction from the city council. In the case of Backenstos (the sheriff) a jury was procured, and the trial was expected immediately.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


UNIVERSALIST  WATCHMAN
AND CHRISTIAN REPOSITORY.


Vol. XVII.                     Montpelier, Vt., Saturday, January 3, 1846.                       No. 25.



A Letter from Joe Smith's Widow.

The New York Sun publishes and vouches for the authority of the following letter from the wife of the Mormon impostor...

(see original article from NYC paper)



Notes: (forthcoming)


 


THE   FARMERS' CABINET.

Vol. 44.                       Amherst, N. H., Thursday, January 8, 1846.                       No. 291.



Springfield, Ill., Dec. 17, 1845.    
The Grand Jury of the U. S. District Court, insession here, have for the past week been investigating the state of affairs at Nauvoo. The result is, the have found twleve indictments (mostly against the head men of the Mormon Church,) for counterfeiting the coin of the United States. Among the number indicted are Brigham Young, President of "The Twelve," and Orson Pratt, a prominent leader.

I learn that the developments are most startling. It appears that counterfeiting has been the principal part of the business there for some years, and that it has been carried on by the heads of the Church. The amount of counterfeited has been immense, and the execution has neen so nice, as in most cases to prevent its being detected. The prophet Joe Smith, used to work at the business with his own hands.

Other disclosures were made in relation to robberies and murders, which have never before been made public, but will be in due time.

Although these indictments have been found, yet no arrest will be made for reasons which will duly appear, and whether creditable or not to our Executive, the public will judge. -- Correspondence of the Tribune.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


UNIVERSALIST  WATCHMAN
AND CHRISTIAN REPOSITORY.


Vol. XVII.                     Montpelier, Vt., Saturday, January 31, 1846.                       No. 29.



THE PURCHASE OF NAUVOO. -- The Warsaw Signal says: Two Catholic Priests passed through this place on Monday last, on their way to Nauvoo. Their object was to ascertain the particular nature and amount of property which the Mormons wish to dispose of to their Church and on what terms it can be bought.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


The Boston Daily Atlas.
Vol. XIV.                               Boston, Thursday, March 5, 1846.                              No. 211.



ANOTHER CHAPTER IN MORMONISM. -- The Cincinnati Commercial furnishessome new and curious information of the affairs of Mormondom. It appears that on Friday week, M. Searls, a messenger from the new Mormon prophet, James J. Strang, at Voree, Wisconsin, arrived in Cincinnati, and on Sunday both branches of the Mormons at Cincinnati, the Rigdonites and the Twelveites, disbanded, and all but three individuals acknowledged the power and glory of the new prophet. The messenger brought the news that Emma Smith, wife of Joseph, and her son, Joseph the second, acknowledged Strang as the Lord's anointed. One of the Smiths came from Voree, a few days since to Nauvoo, and proclaimed Strang the head of the Church in the Temple, at that place, without molestation. The Saints are flocking to Voree in great numbers; it is to be the gathering place of all this strange people, except the Twelve and their adherents, now on their way to California, over the Rocky Mountains, or to some other country. The Commercial adds --

"James J. Strang is a lawyer of considerable emmence in the West. We believe he is the person who came out of Missouri with the Mormons, at the time of their disturbances, planned the temple at Nauvoo, and wrote the bulletins of Joe the prophet. He will, doubtless, establish the Mormon dominion at Voree, and, by his intelligence and spirit of enterprise, regenerate this people, casting off the corrupt Twelve and all their followers.

"We have before us the first number of the Voree Herald, W. T., near Burlington, containing a letter from Joseph Smith, written before his murder, and dated Nauvoo, June 18th, 1844, which bears the postmark Nauvoo and Chicago, as it passed on to the said prophet at Voree -- fully recognizing the claims of Strang to succeed him. It distinctly says that Almighty God spoke to him to write, and to order him to form a gathering, and to call it Voree, and that all his people should gather there.

"Strang now announces himself as the prophet of the Most High, and ready to act as His mouthpiece. He gives the Saints a revelation in the said paper, which was communicated to him by an angel of the Lord! Of course every body will believe what the angel of the Lord shall see fit to communicate.

"We presume that William Smith, who has been lecturing here, will join with the new prophet, and Voree will become a second Nauvoo, in all except the wickedness of that place. They declare themselves determined to behave with more respect for the laws of the country."


Note 1: This news item was obviously written as a "teaser" for the possibility of the Nauvoo Smith family joining Strang's ranks. It was composed by John C. Bennett and first appeared in the Feb. 24, 1846 issue of the Cincinnati Daily Commercial.

Note 2: Although the above reprint is more complete than the excerpt Strang chose to publish in his own newspaper, it leaves out the final lines of the original news report: "indeed it would seem that those who left the corrupt Twelve and spiritual wife business, as well as the practising of other enormities did it out of principle. However, we must await and see what this new move will amount to. If the Mormons in establishing Voree fully discard all their offensive acts which have heretofore caused them to be outcast and killed, they can get along, but if Strang be not wise and pure, and use judgment in his new position, he will fix himself in a terrible fix, before long. Let him be wise and not take revelations from bad angels, and he may succeed."



 



Vol. 8.                             Boston, Saturday, March 7, 1846.                             No. 10.



The  Mormons.

We gather from several articles in the Warsaw Signal and other quarters, that a portion, if not the whole of the Mormons, intend soon to commence their pilgrimage for California From ten to twelve hundred have already crossed the river from Nauvoo, and are encamped on Sugar Creek, Iowa, seven miles distant. Among them were the Twelve, the High Council, all the principal men in the Church, and about one hundred females. -- They were several days and nights in getting across the river. It is said to be the plan of the leaders to send this company forward as a pioneer corps. They are to proceed about five hundred miles Westward, where they are to halt, build a village, and put in a Spring crop. They are to remain there until those who follow in the Spring reach them -- when another pioneer company will start for a point five hundred miles still farther West, where they will stop, build a village and put in a Fall crop. The company remaining behind will in the Spring, move on to this second station and in this manner they hope to accomplish the long journey which is in contemplation. Many of them who now go as pioneers are to return as soon as their crop is in, for their families.

It is said in the Signal that the Twelve crossed the river on Sunday night, apparently apprehensive of some visitation from officers who might interfere with their departure. They left behind them, as agents for the sale of the remaining property, A. Babbitt, Fulmer and Haywood, formerly of Quincy.

Major Warren, who has been in command of the Illinois militia stationed during the winter in Hancock county, has issued an address to the citizens of that county. In this address he says: --

"That he has learned with much regret, that a body of men, some twelve in number have assumed the authority of notifying a number of families to make preparation to leave the county by the first of May next, on pain of being burnt out; and this, too, as they said, upon the authority of Gov. Ford. Looking forward, as I now do, to the consummation in good faith of the compromise effected last fall by Gen. Hardin, Majors Douglass McDougall and myself, and believing as I do that it is the duty of all good citizens and lovers of good order to abide by that compromise, and to avoid all cases of excitement, I feel it my duty to declare, that all persons engaged in notifying at this time to leave are violators of the peace, amenable to the law of the land, and that they ought to be punished to the utmost extent of the law. The declaration that they were authorized to give such notice by Gov. Ford is false and slanderous. And I hereby pledge myself, and the force under my command, to move at a moment's warning, to put down all violence and breaches of the peace, and to assist in the execution of all proper legal process, let it come from what party it may, either Morman or anti-Morman; and farther, advise all good citizens, (if aggressions are made upon their person or property, when there is no chance to procure the assistance of the volunteers,) to defend their persons and property with powder and lead."

The Signal also condemns any attempt to interfere with the compromise between the two parties in that county. (St. Louis Rep. 13th.)


Notes: (forthcoming)


 



Vol. XIV.                           Boston, Mass., Thursday, March 26, 1846.                          No. 47.



                      FOR THE INVESTIGATOR.
MORMONISM -- MIRACLES --
GIFT OF TONGUES, &c., &c.

MR. EDITOR, -- Having waited with the patience of an of an Infidel for some of the "Elders of Israel" to offer a reply to my former communications, I feel disappointed at not being ranked among the "murderers of the Saints and Prophets," as the Autocrat of the Mormons (ycleped "I, Parley P. Pratt ") terms the "Mormon Come-outers." The "saints," (God bless them!) in the fulness of the Gospel meekness and humility, after being smitten on one cheek, have turned the other, -- well, here's at it -- always keeping in view the critic's motto --

       "Nothing extenuate, or set down aught in malice."

The cap-stone of Mormon delusion is its Miracles. Nothing binds the ignorant in adamantine chains. but their miracles. Thousands would discard that open and palpable humbugism, were it not that their uneducated, unscientific, ignorant minds can neither comprehend, explain, nor account for a common effect from a commn cause, I do not deny that there exists what they call "the gift of healing," but I deny, in toto its being miraculous, or any thing more than a common effect from a cornmon cause: how far my reasoning will go to prove it, "'tis for others to say." The only cure they can boast of is relieving pain by the laying on of hands. I have "marked them well," and can prove they have failed in eight instances out of ten. Now for the cause and effect:

Suppose one of the Sister "Saints, strong in the faith, feels very ill with a bad heart-ache, in pain in the limbs; -- she sends for two or three of the "Elders of Israel," "mighty instruments in the hands of the God of Abraham, Isaac:, and Jacob;" -- they arrive in the fulness of the Spirit, a terror to the Gentiles and evil-doers; they lay their hands on the head of the Sster, and WILL, and pray fervently, that "the God of Israel may open his bowels of compassion according to his promise, and remove the pain from their dear sister, even as he did on the Saints of old, when the morning stars sang together, and the sons of God shouted for joy," &c. After the operation, the sister thinks she feels better, and finally feels quite well. This miracle is blown to the four winds, -- the Sister and Brothers get up, and testify to these astounding fucts, and "KNOW" the work is true, and nothing but the "work of God." Tear off the veil that covers this ignis fatuus what is it? Mesmerism, common Animal Magnetism. Here is a person strong in the faith, and implicitly believes they will cure her. Here are two or three men, powerful magnetizers. Why powerful? because, they have that which constitutes a powerful magnetizer -- faith, hope, determination; -- they put themselves in contact or communication with a good subject -- the operation is effectual -- they WILL the pain from the subject. I have done so myself, fifty times, without throwing the patient into the magnetic sleep -- and have removed the most obstinate pain and head-ache by throwing the patient into the mesmeric state, and strongly willing the pain from the part afrected. This I can prove by twenty witnesses in Boston and this city, (Portland.) Are there not flesh proofs of the truth of this assertion every day in public print? I have known "Father Matthew," that "Great Apostle of Temperance," to cure numbers of the poor, ignorant, Irish peasantry in a similar manner. They firmly believed that if he laid his hands on them, they would be cured. He made no pretensions to the power, and told them so: yet so strong was their faith; (proving the all-powerful influence of electric will over the body,) that after he laid hands on them, and said a few "pater nosters," they felt perfectly well. This, Mr. Editor, I was an eye-witness to, on the honor of an Infidel. Here is proof, stronger than Holy Writ, of Miracles, ergo, Mormonism. Let Parley P. Pratt, (to use a Putlander's phrase,) "put that in his pipe and smoke it;" let that Reverend write the Theology of Miracles, as he has of "Mormonism," and take the above caption as his text, perhaps it would "extend the saints' understanding," and unfold the "Mysteries of the Kingdom!"

As to the "Gift of Tongues," it is too outrageously absurd either for reason or ridicule to attack. As thus: they are assembled a a "testimony meeting;" some brainless dolt is wishing for the "gift" -- they work their imagination up to the highest pitch of excitement, then get up and mutter over some kind of gibberish, more like the chattering of a monkey, baboon, or ourang-outang, than the language of a human being. "'Tis pitiful, 'tis wondrous pitiful," that the speaker seldom knows what he says till some of the "old ones" get the "interpretation of tongues" and explain what Brother Pumpkin-skull has said! Neither the interpreter nor the speaker could conjugate the verb "to be," or utter four sentences in the English language correctly, or spell the most comlmon words; and as to penmanship, I know not twenty that can write a legible, good hand. Elder Adams and the "old cockerels" can crow, and translate their own crowing. Of all the absurdities of Mormonism, the "Gift of Tongues" is the most outrageous. It would shatter the lungs and midriff of any humorist to witness it. I would recommend it as an infallible remedy for the "blues."

Sir, (to use a Mormon phrase,) "I have gone beyond the bounds of time and space," and beg you will extend your pardon to a brother in the "good work," for having thus intruded on your patience and good nature. "Even so, Amen!"
Yours, &c., &c.,                              
HENRY ROWE.          
Portland, March 17, 1845.



                      FOR THE INVESTIGATOR.
ORIGIN  BACHELER.

Mr. Editor. -- I should regret to be thought meddlesome, by what I may here offer; but as I know of no other way to say a word to Mr. Bacheler, except through your columns, he being an entire stranger to me, and the thought that I wish to offer being in my opinion an important one, and expressly meant for his benefit, I hope that the liberty I take will not be construed invidiously, for towards that gentleman I entertain none but the most friendly feelings. Indeed, the fact that he is willing to discuss with an Infidel, in an Infidel paper, has led me to respect him as a man; for people of his belief are notorious for their bigotry and unwillingness to discuss the truth of the Bible, and when I find an exception, I cannot but regard it with pleasure. Mr. Bacheler is such an exception, and I respect him for his liberality and independence. His course is highly creditible to himself, and a scorching rebuke upon the exclusiveness of Christians generally....
[remainder of text missing]

Notes: (forthcoming)


 



Vol. IX.                           Boston, Mass., Monday, May 4, 1846.                           No. ?



THE MORMONS. -- More Trouble Anticipated. -- Governor Ford, of Illinois, has authorized the troops at Hancock to be disbanded on the 1st of May. The Hancock Eagle says, according to this proclamation, after that day, the Governor will refuse to protect the Mormons against their enemies. The consequence will be a bloody struggle between those Mormons who have been unable to leave Hancock county and their persecutors. The Eagle says five thousand Mormons have already left that county, and others are hastening to leave as fast as possible. They have paid extravagant prices for wagons, &c., and those remaining only ask for sufficient time to make the necessary arrangements for their departure. Some are too poor, and others are too infirm to get away; and if they are to be given over to an indiscriminate destruction before they can raise the means of moving westward, it is expected that many who have already left will return determined to fight and die, if necessary, with their brethren and kinsman.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


UNIVERSALIST  WATCHMAN
AND CHRISTIAN REPOSITORY.


Vol. XVII.                       Montpelier, Vt., Saturday, May 9, 1846.                       No. 43.



The Nauvoo Eagle of April 17 was much astonished by a letter from Major Warren, announcing that Gov. Ford had determined to disband the troops on the 1st of May, when the time stipulated for the removal of the Mormons is understood to expire.

"Should a rigid enforcement of the governor's construction of the Mormon stipulation be carried into effect, the most that can come of it will be either an indiscriminate slaughter of women and children, or the infliction of a burthen upon other countries in the shape of paupers. On the contrary, if the Mormons are permitted to retreat peaceably, with all the despatch they can possibly make, we shall, in due time, be rid of their presence, and save our character for leniency and humanity."


Notes: (forthcoming)


 



Vol. XXI.                           Windsor, Vt., Wednesday, May 13, 1846.                           No. 19.



THE MORMONS. Major Warren, who has been in command of the State troops, to keep order in Hancock county, has made public his determination to disband the troops on the first of May, in pursuance of orders from the State Executive -- that being the day on which the term stipulated for the removal of the Mormons will expire. The Nauvoo Eagle states that about 5,000 Mormons have already left, some for Wisconsin, some for other States, some with the camp of Israel. There are many who, it is represented, are unable to get away for want of means, but will go if sufficient time is given to make the necessary arrangement.

Raising the Wind. Sidney Rigdon and his twelve elders, all seceding Mormons, having purchased a tract of land in Cumberland Valley, Pa., within a few weeks, issued "a proclamation from the Lord," calling on all true believers to settle on the consecrated lands, which they would sell in farms on reasonable terms. A bad imitation of Joe Smith and the late authorities at Nauvoo.

The Mormon publications have been discontinued. The archives and trappings of the church are on the way to California. The church has ceased to exist; the "twelve" have gone, and with them the spirit of Mormonism.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


UNIVERSALIST  WATCHMAN
AND CHRISTIAN REPOSITORY.


Vol. XVII.                       Montpelier, Vt., Saturday, May 16, 1846.                      No. 44.



In Nauvoo, Apr. 24, tranquility was restored; the Mormons had recommenced preparations for removal; strangers were flocking into the city, and property changing hands.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


Vol. 32.                       Springfield, Mass., Saturday, June 13, 1846.                         No. 24.



From the Nauvoo Eagle, May 22

MORMON AFFAIRS, &c. -- A large majority of the mormons have already left the State, and those who still remain are husbanding their resources and working hard in order to procure an outfit. Most of the farmers have either disposed of their property or left it in the hands of agents. The city is half deserted, the bulk of improved property having been sold and the houses vacated. Hundreds of families are preparing to occupy the former homes of the Mormons, as soon as it becomes apparent that mobs have been suppressed and order predominates over anarchy. We know of many who are but waiting for the restoration of tranquility to move in; and under the better auspices which now begin to shed their influence upon the place, it cannot be doubted that Nauvoo will command a large population and enjoy a permanent prosperity.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 



Vol. IX.                           Boston, Mass., Saturday, June 20, 1846.                           No. 47.



NAUVOO. -- The Warsaw Signal says that a great number of robberies have been committed in Nauvoo within a week previous. The annoyance has become so great as to determine the citizens to organize under the general incorporation law of the State, and establish a municipal police for their own protection.

The number of Mormons now leaving, according to the weekly report made to Maj. Warren, is not so great as in previous weeks; but this is accounted for by the fact that most of the Mormons residing out of the city have left, and the number in Nauvoo had been greatly diminished. The report states an average of thirteen wagons per day at Fort Madison, and twenty-five at Nauvoo -- making 266 teams. A considerable number have left in steamboats; and the entire emigration is stated at 800 souls. The committee counted 617 wagons in the city nearly ready to start. Teams are much wanted, and oxen can readily be sold. -- St. Louis Republican, June 8.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 



Vol. 32.                       Springfield, Mass., Saturday, June 27, 1846.                         No. 26.



THE  MORMON  WAR  RENEWED.

The Western mail received at Baltimore on tuesday night, brought information of disturbances in Nauvoo. It appears that the regulars (or Anti-Mormons) have determined that every Mormon shall leave that place, and measures have been adopted to drive off such as are not disposed to go.

The editor of the Hancock Eagle, at Nauvoo, has suspended his paper. It is said to be the intention of the assailants to destroy the Temple.

The St. Louis papers of the 15th inst. (the latest dates) state there had been no outbreak on the 12th inst. The alarm, however, continued, and a steamboat which left Nauvoo on the 13th, heard the report of five or six cannon in the direction of the city, soon after her departure.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 



Vol. 32.                       Springfield, Mass., Saturday, July 4, 1846.                         No. 27.



==> The threatened renewal of hostilities against the Mormons at Nauvoo, has subsided without coming to an open fight. The anti-Mormons who gathered around that place to the number of several hundred, in a menacing attitude, have become frightened at their own valor, and retreated without carrying into execution their purposes. "The war is now over and peace is again restored," says the St. Louis Reveille of the 19th.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


UNIVERSALIST  WATCHMAN
AND CHRISTIAN REPOSITORY.


Vol. XVII.                         Montpelier, Vt., Saturday, July 4, 1846.                         No. 51.



LATER FROM NAUVOO. -- Baltimore, Thursday Night. -- The Western mail brings us two days' later intelligence from Nauvoo. The officers of the steamboat Monona arrived at St. Louis on the 17th and reported having passed Nauvoo on the 15th, up to which time there had been no acts of violence committed. Nearly 400 men were stationed in Nauvoo, awaiting the anticipated attack under arms. The new citizens (who are not Mormons) have united to repel the lawless invaders of their homes.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


THE
SPIRITUAL MAGAZINE


Vol. I.                         Putney, Vermont, Wednesday, July 15, 1846.                         No. 5.



==> SECEDING MORMONS. -- We learn from several correspondents that a body of Mormons who have seceded from the adherents of Jo. Smith, with Sidney Rigdon at their head, have lately settled at Greencastle, Pa. Though they refuse to bear the name of Mormons, and call themselves 'the Church of Christ of the latter-day saints,' yet we are told they preach the same doctrines that others called Mormons do. They regard Rigdon as a prophet, and as the visible head of their church. one of our correspondents writes that they have purchased a large farm on Conecocheague Creek, about two miles from the village of Greencastle; that they are about to put up some kind of factory there; and report says they have contracted for the building of 40 houses. They have brought a printing press with them, and publish a paper, as we understand, monthly. They are making furious war on Perfectionism, and are laboring especially to disprove our doctrine of the Second Coming. They have even challenged a public discussion with Perfectionists.

Bro. Daniel Long, who writes us from Virginia, says that whenever the Lord opens the way for him, he is ready to go up and meet them.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 



Vol. IX.                           Boston, Mass., Saturday, July 25, 1846.                           No. 103.



THE MORMON CALIFORNIA EXPEDITION. -- The advance company of the Mormons was at Council Bluffs on the 26th ult. the twelve had a train of 1000 wagons with them, and were encamped on the East bank of the Missouri river, in the vicinity of the Bluff. The whole number of teams attached to the Mormon expedition, is about three thousand seven hundred, and it is estimated that each team will average at least three persons, and perhaps four. -- The whole number of souls now on the road may be set down in round numbers at twelve thousand. -- From two to three thousand have disappeared from Nauvoo in various directions. Many have left for Council Bluffs by way of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers -- others have dispersed to parts unknown; and almost eight hundred or less still remain in Illinois. This comprises the entire Mormon population that once flourished in Hancock County. In their palmy days they probably numbered between fifteen and sixteen thousand souls, most of whom are now scattered upon the prairies, bound for the Pacific Slope of the American Continent. The health of the travelling Mormons is good, considering the exposure to which they have been subjected. They are carrying on a small trade in provisions with the settlers in the country, with whom they mingle on the most friendly terms....


Notes: (forthcoming)


 



Vol. IX.                         Boston, Mass., Monday, August 3, 1846.                         No. ?



NAUVOO AND THE MORMONS. -- A messenger from the Mormon camp brings information that Col. Kearney has mustered into the service of the United States five hundred Mormons, who are probably ere this on their march to Santa Fe. -- The accounts from Nauvoo are of a distressing nature. The villains are now destroying property in all directions. The prisoners taken by the new citizens, on account of the alleged riot of Saturday last, seventeen in number, are still in custody. -- Each party holds prisoners as hostages; the Anties have only five; each demand an exchange.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


BOSTON  WEEKLY  BEE.
Vol. ?                                 Boston, Saturday, September 5, 1846.                                 No. ?



NEWS FROM NAUVOO. -- The Hancock Eagle of the 14th inst., states that another armed mob had collected for the destruction of that city; they were under the leaders who are already pretty notorious, Williams, McHaley and Brattle. The editor of the Eagle states that "the object of the mob is to plunder and destroy the city of Nauvoo, if they can get into the city under any pretence; and that they avowedly intend murdering several obnoxious new citizens, after the plan this same gang got the Smiths into their possession." In return the citizens of Nauvoo held a meeting, appointed a judiciary committee of seven, composed exclusively of members of the bar, who are to prosecute all offenders engaged in lynching and kidnapping; and also a military committee, whose duty is to superintend the arrangements making to defend the city. From all we can gather from the expression of feeling on both sides, we fear that serious troubles will yet arise, and much blood be shed before quiet can be restored.

FROM NAUVOO. -- The "Saints" at the last advices, were represented to be sleeping with arms in their hands, ready to make a deadly resistance at a moment's warning; and the antis were preparing to march upon their acknowledged enemies. So we may expect to hear of another bloody massacre of these deluded people in a day or two, as the anties appear bent upon driving them beyond the borders of the Mississippi, at all hazards.

FROM NAUVOO. -- We learn that, a tremendous excitement had again broken out -- and the citizens were called to arms to quell the disturbance. The constable of the county has issued his proclamation for the citizens to assemble on the 24th proximo, well armed, and bringing with them provisions, to enable him to enter Nauvoo and arrest certain offenders concealed in that city, and execute search warrants for stolen property. He gives as his reason for calling out the "posse comitatus" that his life would be endangered were he to enter Nauvoo without protection. -- St. Louis New Era, 20th.

FROM COUNCIL BLUFFS AND FORT LEAVENWORTH. -- We learn from the officers of the steamer Balloon, which arrived on Saturday, that another large body of Mormons, estimated at from four to six thousand in number, had arrived at Council Bluffs, and were encamped there and in that vicinity. A part of them were to proceed to Bellview, but the most of them expected to pass the winter at the Bluffs and the Indian purchase, on the opposite side of the river, where they have extensive tracts under cultivation. They say that they have sufficient provisions to last them for fifteen months, but will have to provide clothing and other articles necessary to their comfort during their journey, before they leave the settlements. The Balloon, on her return, was at Fort Leavenworth on the 18th. Col. Price, with his regiment, and Lieut. Willock, and his extra battalion, had left the fort the day before, leaving two companies which were to set out on the evening of the 18th. -- St. Louis Republican, 24th ult.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 



Vol. XVI.                       Boston, Mass., Wednesday, September 16, 1846.                      No. 19.



THE BOOK OF MORMON AND THE BIBLE.

In Barber's history of New England, we have about two pages (379 and '80) on the Mormons. Speaking of the Mormon Bible, after giving a brief history of Smith, he says: --
"The Book is mostly a blind mass or words, interwoven with Scriptural language and quotations, without much of a leading plan or design. It is one of the weakest productions ever attempted to be palmed off as a Divine revelation. It is in fact just such a Book as might be expected from a person of Smith's abilities and turn of mind."
Now let us put down just what in substance he advocates as a proof of his assertion, and afterwards take the same amount on the side of Jesus and the New Testament, bearing in mind that each superstition is to be regarded in their infancy, and see which assumes the most dignified and commanding form....

Joseph Smith was born in Royalton, (Vermont,) of humble parents. He made his religion his business and life. In 1830, he sent forth a mission of three to the Indians, "the Lamanites." In 1833, the number of Mormons amounted to 1200. They were banished [to] Missouri; settled in Illinois, and located a city, Nauvoo; erected a temple, and established fully a civil and religious system of government; gave prophetic communications and instructions; foretold the finishing [of] the temple, his own death, and the scattering [of] his people. It is now 1846. The temple is finished; he has been put to death; his people scattered, and they are by land and water seeking the farthest west as the Canaan of their present hopes. They teach that they are the latter day saints, the now only true worshippers of God and of his Christ; have all gifts and graces, and are destined to convert and redeem the world.

... Instead of underrating the ability of Joseph Smith with superstitionists of the day, we conceive him to have been a man of vast comprehension, secretiveness, and sagacity, and of strongly concentrative energy. What was his plan? Why, as a new Prophet, with a new revelation of higher pretensions, to cover all other claims to supremacy, and in the end immortalize his name on earth! He effaced, as far as his instrumentality is concerned, his object. He produced his Old and New Testament, his Book of Mormon, and his Book of Covenants; surrounded himself by fifteen thousand devoted followers; had the unqualified reputation of a Prophet with his people; swept a space of time and territory from the building of Babel to the perfection of all things, and from nations, tribes, tongues, and kingdoms, over the far spread wanderers of the wilderness; had missionaries in all parts of the Christian world, even to the isles of the Pacific!

Who but a man of energy and talent could have done all this? He was put to death. His people have been scattered. The story of his life, sufferings, and death, is just beginning to be told. Every Mormon child has the spirit of a martyrr to the cause. It listens to the circumstances of his death. His deeds are praised, his virtues eulogized, and it will not be fifty years before the divine "supplanting Artificer" will receive divine honors, and in time be regarded as is now Jesus Christ among the great mass of Christians...


Notes: (forthcoming)


 



Vol. IX.                               Boston, Mass., September 18, 1846.                               No. ?



By Magnetic Telegraph. -- Reported for the N. Y. Herald.

The Mormon War -- Another Battle at Nauvoo --
One of the Mormon leaders killed --
Several wounded in both sides.

By accounts received at Baltimore Monday evening, we learn that the excitement in the Mormon region was becoming more intense, and that the Anti-Mormons were flocking towards Nauvoo from both sides of the Mississippi, in great numbers, with the determination of totally expelling or exterminating the followers of the deceased prophet, Joe Smith.

Another battle had taken place at the City of the Temple, in which the Mormons were again victorious, and compelled their opponents to retreat.

The Mormons erected breastworks, which they mounted with six pieces of cannon.

The anties, (doubtless satisified with their disgrace for the time being,) only threw two shots into the camp of their enemies, after which they entreated for a parley.

The nauvooites refused to comply with the solicitation of the anties, and returned for answer that they were "done talking."

Upon this the action began with great desperation on both sides -- but the firing of artillery soon ceased, and the weapons were changed to muskets.

Anderson, the determined leader of the Mormons, and his son, were both shot, and fell fighting desperately in defence of the city. Two other Nauvooites were also killed, and a great many were wounded.

Six of the anties are reported to have been seriously wounded -- one of them, Capt. Smith, it is thought, mortally.

It was anticipated that anotehr battle would commence hourly. The hostility of the anties having become more inveterate than ever.

The Mormons, at Nauvoo, were much distressed, both from sickness and from the great scarcity of provisions. Their ammunition was likewose scarce. Judging fromall of which, it is not supposed that they would be able to withstand a regular charge from a force of one-third their own number of well-drilled men.

The fighting appears to be principally carried on by the mist reckless and unprincipled men of both parties -- without regard to either the tactics of war or the rules of christianity, and our readers need not be surprised to hear of still more blood-thirsty proceedings in that region by the next mail.



THE MORMON WAR. -- The St. Louis Republican contains a long correspondence, in relation to affairs between the Mormons and the Anti-Mormons.

Carthage, Sept. 8, 1846.     
On my arrival here, I was agreeably disappointed to find that the anticipated battle between the Mormons and Anti-Mormons had not yet taken place.

When I left Quincy yesterday morning, it was confidently reported, by a gentleman direct from Warsaw, that the battle would come off that day, but upon my arrival here, I found there was no probability of a conflict for some days to come. There are in the Anti-Mormon camp about one thousand men, eight hundred of whom are supplied with arms and equipments. They have five pieces of artillery -- six pounders, The Mormons have, as near as can be ascertained, five hundred men, with a sufficiency of small arms, and it is said they have three pieces of cannin which had been buried near the Temple, and which were resurrected for this occasion. The story is not credited, and it is not supposed they have any cannon.

A council of war was held, last evening by the officers of the Anti-Mormon forces, and their deliberations resulted in a determination to call upon Gen. Stevens of the _____ brigade Illinois militia, for more men. Accordingly, General Stevens issued orders to his subordinates, and despatched messengers with them, with instructions to rendezvous at the Anti-Mormon camp by Thursday next. So there will be no fight until the latter part of this week, and perhaps not until the first of next, if then. I am inclined to think, this will be another bloodless war.

A compromise in relation to the Mormons leaving Nauvoo has been made and broken by the anti-Mormon party, and the whole affair remains as before. Col. Singleton and Col. Chittenden, of the anti-Mormons, have resigned, because of the breaking of the terms with the Mormons, which is all the anti-Mormons could ask.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


Vermont [  ] Mercury.
Vol. ?                         Woodstock, Vermont, Friday, September 25, 1846.                         No. ?



BATTLE  AT  NAUVOO.

By the St. Louis Republican of the 14th inst. we learn that a battle took place on the 11th, between the Mormons and anti-Mormons, near Nauvoo. The latter, who were encamped within three miles of this city, took up their line of march on that day. On ascertaining their movements the Mormons in the city mustered between three and five hundred men, and went forth to meet them. About one mile east of the Temple the parties fired upon each other for hours, but the distance was so great between them that the fire produced no great effect. Each party then drew off, apparently by common consent, and returned to its original position. The Mormons had one man killed, and two badly wounded. The anti-Mormons, numbering about eight hundred men, lost from eight to fifteen killed. Great excitement prevailed in all the region about Nauvoo, and it was supposed the battle would be renewed that evening or the next morning. -- Mail.

P. S. Late reports, received in Boston and New York on the morning of the 24th, says that the battle was resumed as anticipated on the following morning. The fire was kept up for about three hours by both sides, when the anti-Mormons retreated, with several of their number killed, the precise number not stated. The Mormons had three killed, and there were several wounded upon both sides.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


GRANITE  FREEMAN.

Vol. I.                               Concord, N. H., October 23, 1846.                               No. 5.


 

==> NEWS FROM NAUVOO. -- By the last advices from Nauvoo, we learn that the Temple had not yet been sold. The Anties having every thing now their own way, of course will act accordingly. The Mormons in the vicinity are represented as being in a most pitable condition.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


BOSTON  DAILY  ADVERTISER.

Vol. LXIX.                               Boston, Mass., Monday June 28, 1847.                               No. 152.



SYNOPSIS OF THE
WESTERN EXPEDITION, 1846-7.


(From the New Orleans Picayune.)

The first and main branch of the Western expedition, commanded by Colonel, now Brigadier General S. W. Kearny, commenced its march by detachments of the 22d of June, 1846. This expedition was fitted out at Fort Leavenworth, and consisted entirely of volunteers from the State of Missouri, excepting about 300 of the 1st Dragoons. The whole command numbered 3300 effective, well-armed men, cavalry, except two companies of infantry employed as flankers to the artillery in difficult passes, and 500 Mormons destined for California...


Notes: (forthcoming)


 



THE  PEOPLE'S  ADVOCATE,
AND NEW-LONDON COUNTY REPUBLICAN.


Vol. VIII.                           New-London, Ct., Wednesday, October 6, 1847.                           No. 8.


 

William Smith, who succeeded to the saintship of his brother Joe, and assumed the title of "Patriarch" among the Mormons, when that dignity became vacant by the murder of the original incumbent, has been suspended from the patriarchal functions, during his trial on a charge of gross immorality. It would be a choice spectacle to look upon a man after he had been deposed from office for a breach of Mormon morality!



Elder G. J. Adams, the "great tragedian" and "Tom Flynn" as he was called when merely a small comedian, but who must be spoken more reverently of since he "preaches," [is] announced in the Boston papers to preach at Suffolk Hall, on the subject of "Temperance, Righteousness and Judgment to come."


Note 1: The New London editor did not take the trouble of informing his readers that his source for the William Smith news item was "Prophet" J. J. Strang's Zion's Reveille. Then again, most people of that era probably did not comprehend the difference between Brighamite Mormons and Strangite Mormons. A correspendent of the Trenton State Gazette later attempted to clarify the circumstances of William's Oct. 1845 excommunication by saying: "Bill (William) Smith the brother of the Prophet... was expelled [from] the Church, by the authorities at Nauvoo, for vicious habits; because the Mormons believe in virtue and chastity."

Note 2: A writer for the Philadelphia Daily Evening Bulletin, in an article published on Aug. 20, 1867, had this to say about William Smith's old friend, Elder Adams: "George J. Adams, the founder and 'High Priest' of the 'New Church of the Messiah'... is a notorious individual, who was some years ago familiar to the public as an adventurer, a charlatan and a scamp. He is none other than the once well-known 'Mormon Elder Adams,' who at one time made himself disgracefully conspicuous in and about the town of Boston... In one of his peculiar moods, when his "receptivity" was ready for almost anything new, Adams 'received' the doctrine of Mormonism, and forthwith became a red-hot convert, and in a marvelously short time he was a regularly ordained Mormon preacher, authorized to travel throughout the land, preaching the new Gospel of Mormon according to Joe Smith, and proselyting whomsoever he might. He was successful as a Mormon preacher, and soon became known as 'Adams, the Mormon Elder.'"


 


Daily Evening Transcript.

Vol. XX.                               Boston, Wednesday, July 18, 1849.                               No. 5825.


 

Rev. William Smith, brother of the celebrated Jo Smith, the founder of the Mormon persuasion, has established a church in Covington, Ky, of that sect. A newspaper devoted to their interest is published in the same place.


Note 1: The Transcript no doubt picked up this news item from the columns of William Smith's Melchisedek & Aaronic Herald, which began publication at Covington on Feb. 1, 1849, under the management of the abolitionist and former Nauvoo resident, Isaac Sheen. Although Isaac Sheen was the ostensible editor, publisher and proprietor of the Covington Herald, the paper's true director was "President" William Smith, and it is unlikely that Sheen published anything in the paper's columns which did not either originate with Smith or at least meet with his approval. Having ceased fellowship with J. J. Strang, and having issued published pronouncements on his own behalf, during the summer of 1847, William must have been delighted to convert Elder Sheen and his printing press to the fledging Smithite cause. William Smith's official residence was in Lee Co., Illinois -- if that constant traveler can be said to have lived anywhere in particular. Therefore, President Smith projected his media voice from a distance of hundreds of miles away from his Kentucky center of administration.

Note 2: Isaac Sheen evidently came to the conclusion in 1847 that the Mormons should be led by a member of the Smith family, and so (in November of 1848 or before) he opened up a correspondence with William Smith. The two anti-Brighamites combined William's organization and membership with Isaac's printing press, family and finances early in 1849. In April of 1849, William convened his spring church conference at Covington, and evidently tarried in the Cincinatti area through October, when a second Smithite conference was held in the same place. James J. Strang's Gospel Herald of July 5, 1849 published a passing reference to the "old Mormons" remaining in Cincinatti "and in Covington," Kentucky, but no longer claimed any Strangite presence there -- probably due to the effects of the anti-Strang rhetoric pouring out of William Smith's newspaper. The Cincinatti Commercial of Oct. 16, 1849 publishd an article mentioning William Smith, but gave no indication of a branch of his church having been established in the Cincinatti region. In fact, the same paper, two months before, had reported: "We further learn that the Mormons in California are many of them in favor of Wm. Smith, and that he intends to make his head-quarters there next year."

Note 3: Now and then, during the late 1840s, William's activities were noted in the Brighamite church publications. For example, Orson Hyde's Frontier Guardian published on Nov. 14, 1849, that William never would labor but was ever idle, lazy and quarrelsome. Hyde only indirectly acknowledged that William Smith had a newspaper of his own, in paraphrasing some of William's remarks from the March 1848 Covington Herald. For more on William Smith during this period see comments appended to the short article published by the Baltimore Sun on Oct. 20, 1849.


 


NEW-HAMPSHIRE PATRIOT & STATE GAZETTE.

Vol. ?                                Concord, N. H., Thursday, November 1, 1849.                                No. ?



The  State  of  Deseret.

The Mormons are destined to be a great and flourishing people. They have borne unmurmeringly the persecutions of their opponents. They have retired from the populous towns and settled communities of the older States, and in the extreme north-west, where for unwritten centuries, has rolled the Oregon, and heard no sound save its own dashings, they have sought and found a home. From every part of the civilized world, wherever their strange faith has found a devotee, the tide of Mormon emigration is setting towards their mountain Commonwealth. Many thousands already congregate in this rural State. A vast city has been foumded in the lovely valleys of the Great Basin, and peace and plenty have bounteously blessed their perseverence and courage. Situated as their settlement is, on the line of march between the western States, and the valleys of Upper California and Lower Oregon, it will be the beginning of a new tier of confederacies, and in due time a flourishing and populous part of the Union. Wisely and skilfully have they chosen their refuge and their asylum. The Great Basin, in which they have founded their dwelling place, is five hundred miles in diameter every way, between four and five thousand feet above the level of the sea, shut in all round by mountains, with its own system of lakes and rivers, and having no connection whatever with the sea. Partly arid, and sparsely inhabited, the general character of the great Basin is that of desert, but with great exceptions, there being many parts of it fit for the residence of a civilized people. Of these productive parts, as we learn from Fremont, the Mormons have established themselves in the largest and the best.

This peculiar people have settled themselves upon the strait between the great Salt and the Utah Lakes, and will find sufficient arable land for a large settlement. Their territory is about three hundred miles in extent, with wood and water and abundant grass. The river immediately adjoining their location is about thirty-five miles long. The Utah lake, also in their neighborhood, is remarkable for the numerous and bold streams which it receives, rushing down from the mountains, all fresh water. The lake and its affluents afford large trout and other fish in great abundance.... The progress of their settlement is already great. On the first of April of the present year, (1849,) they had 3,000 acres in wheat, seven saw and grist mills, seven hundred houses in a fortified enclosure of sixty acres, stock, and other accompaniments of a flourishing settlement. * * *

Such is the country which the Mormons now occupy; a country destined to exercise great influence upon the future destinies of the farthest West. -- Pennsylvanian.

The number of this singular people who have taken up their abode in this wilderness -- a wilderness which their enterprise and industry will soon cause to blossom like the rose -- is represented to be about 20,000. They have already made preparations for coming into the Union as a State, having held a convention, adopted a Constitution, appointed a Delegate to represent them in Congress, and made arrangements to apply to Congress at its next session for admission. They have christened their country "The State of Deseret." -- Somebody says the word deseret means a bee, the type of industry and frugality. We hope their country will be admitted into the Union as soon as they show themselves to possess the proper qualifications and elements of a sovereign State.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 



Vol. 8.                             Boston, Mass., Saturday, August 24, 1850.                             No. 10.


 

The Mormon Colony, Beaver Island. -- We have conversed with a gentleman who has just returned feom a visit to Beaver Island, at the head of Lake Michigan, upon which the Mormon Colony is located, headed by their prophet James Strang. They number about siz hundred and have a farm on the island, which is cultivated by them. They have also engaged to a limited extent in taking white fish and trout, which constitute their chief means of subsistence. the Temple, 100 by 60 feet, is in progress at their settlement; one-sixth of the labor of the colony being required upon it weekly. At present, this labor is diverted to the building of a printing office, the press and materials for a weekly paper being on the ground. Semi-occasionally, the portion of the Temple which is finished is used as a theatre, Mr. G. J. Adams, one of the leaders, acting as manager. This room is also used as a ball room, where the faithful chase the giddy hours, and also as a place of worship on Sundays. Strang is at present deeply engaged in deciphering the plates found by him, as indicated by a vision, back of Kenosha, some time since. They are of copper, and are engraved with cabalistic characters, supposed to relate the interests of the "church of the latter day," by his followers. He is decribed as a hard-working, industrious man, but most of those on the island are indolent and adverse to labor. (Chicago Ill. Journal, Aug. 3)


Notes: (forthcoming)


  


THE  PURITAN  RECORDER.

Vol. XXXV.                       Boston, Mass., Thursday, October 03, 1850.                       No. 40.



                          FOR THE PURITAN RECORDER.

A  Half  Century  Visit.

The following interesting article has been necessarily deferred for two weeks, during which time it has been on hand.

Two Sabbaths since, the venerable Dr. Nott of Schenectady, now verging on eighty years of age, Spent a Sabbath with this people and preached to them both parts of the day. Fifty-five years ago he was their stated preacher -- just after the settlement and congregation had begun to rally again from the desolations occasioned by the tomahak and fire-brand of the Indians. To those times that tried men's souls, and to the great changes wrought by death since he left this place for other fields, he alluded in very touching strains. He could discover but two or three in the congregation, whom he had known in those youthful days of his career. The others, a large multitude, were resting in their graves until the Resurrection.

At a public meeting during the succeeding week, the same venerable faither in the ministry and church, gave some interesting reminiscences of the time when he first came into this section of country....

He finally closed, by referring again, in a pensive strain, to the many sleepers in the church-yard, calling some of them by name, whom he had known and often publicly addressed in former years.   Yours &c., J. G. H.
Cherry Valley, N. Y., Sept. 12, 1850.                



                          FOR THE PURITAN RECORDER.

The  Mormon  Bible.

Messrs. Editors: -- At a late public meeting in this town, (Cherry Valley,) Judge Campbell of the New York Courts, stated it as a curious fact, that Rev. Solomon Spaulding, one of the earliest preceptors of the Academy here, was the actual composer of most of what is known as the Mormon Bible. He wrote it during a period of delicate health, to beguile some of his weary hours, and also with a design to offer it for publication as a romance. Doct. Robert Campbell, late of this place, and foster father of the first Mrs. Grant, of the Nestorian Mission, calling some years since upon Mr. Spaulding, had the manuscript of this notable book to be shown to him, and was also informed by Mr. Spaulding that he had hopes of reaping some pecuniary advantage from it for himself and family. Mr. Spaulding has been some years deceased, though it is believed that his wife is still living somewhere in the United States. How it passed from the possession of his family into the hands of Joe Smith it is probable that Mrs. S. could tell. Indeed, I think that some account of its transfer, taken from her own lips, has been published. But the fact of the authorship of this book by Mr. Spaulding, and that he designed it as a mere romance, is clearly one of those things that should be made historical, and not be suffered to die.   H.


Note: The article on Solomon Spalding was partly reprinted in the Christian Inquirer and New York Organ on Oct. 19, 1850. Those reports were, in turn, picked up by the New York Tribune on Nov. 19, 1850. The initial Tribune reprint was responded to by an anonymous correspondent in that paper's issue for Dec. 6, 1850. See also the LDS Frontier Guardian of Feb. 7, 1851 for Orson Hyde's editorial juxtaposition of the two articles. The Puritan-Recorder of Oct. 10 carried some follow-up correspondence from Ohio attorney James A. Briggs relating to the Spalding article.

Note 2: The Campbell family were early settlers of Cherry Valley, Otsego Co., NY. -- Dr. William Campbell operated a drug and hardware store in the village in the early 1800s and Solomon Spalding's name occurs in the druggist's account book as a customer, even after the Spalding family had moved to Richfield, several miles away. Also, Dr. Robert Campbell was a contemporary of Solomon Spalding during their residence in that place, c. 1795-1800. The 1820 and 1830 U. S. Census reports both show a Robert M. Campbell living in Cherry Valley, Otsego Co., NY. -- The "Mrs. Grant" mentioned in the article was Judith S. Lathrop "Campbell" Grant, wife of Dr. Asahel Grant, who taught at the Nestorians Mission in Oroomiah, Persia. She is called by William W. Campbell the "adopted daughter of Dr. William Campbell, of Cherry Valley" ("Centennial Address, Delivered at Cherry Valley, Otsego County, N.Y., July 4th, 1840.") Her Memoir was published by the same William W. Campbell in 1844. -- The possible relationship of the Otsego Co. Campbells to the Rev. Dr. John P. Campbell, author of the 1816 article "The Aborigines of the Western Country," remains unknown.

Note 3: In his 1878 book, The History of Otsego County, 1740-1878, Duane Hamilton Hurd says: "In 1796 the names of fifty-four others are entered as "members of the first Presbyterian congregation." Among these is that of Rev. Solomon SPAULDING, a man whose literary labors subsequently became an instrument in supporting the most scandalous imposture our county has produced. We read in Scripture of... lost Tribes of Israel. On this he wrote a romance, detailing an imaginary history, and identifying them with the aborigines of this continent... a handsome building was erected for an academy... Mr. SPAULDING to have taught in this institution, and doubtless he occasionally preached in the church..." Hurd does not say that Spalding wrote his "romance" in Cherry Valley, however.

Note 4: A reprint in the Milwaukee Democrat added this additional paragraph: "We have heard the following account given of what Mrs. Spaulding was unable to supply. S. took the MS., to a publishing house in Cincinnati [sic] to be printed. The house afterwards failed, and this, among other old stock, was sold at auction. It was not made use of for some years, but lay in the garret of another office. While Joe Smith was rambling over the garret, long before the inspitation came upon him, he came upon the MS. He bought it of the owner, for a pittance, and preserved it, till he found use for it in propogating his religious follies." -- This article's conjecture about Spalding's unpublished writings being "sold at auction" following the failure of "a publishing house" was echoed by William H. Whitsitt, nearly four decades later: "Sidney [Rigdon] had the period from the 28th of January to the last day of December 1822 in which to cultivate the kind regards of Lambdin, before the commercial crash of the first of January 1823 befell the firm of R. Patterson & Lambdin. This disaster would [have been] a favorable occasion to take an inventory and to cleanse the printing office of the soiled accumulations of many years. Among the jetsam and flotsam of such a wreck it is not unlikely was found Solomon Spaulding's copy of the Book of Mormon... if the contents of the printing office were sold under the hammer, Sidney might have purchased the manuscript Book of Mormon for a song. There is no kind of necessity to suppose that anything improper was connected with the transaction..."

Note 5: The Milwaukee Democrat's idea of how Spalding's writings could have ended up in the possession of Joseph Smith, is similar to Captain Gunnison's, on page 95 of his book on the Mormons: "When the Book of Mormon appeared, and its almost identity with the Manuscript was discovered... enquiry was made for the whereabouts of that paper. It had mysteriously disappeared, and the "Manuscript Found " has ever since been the Manuscript lost. The trunk was hunted up and searched... How the Manuscript could have been taken out, and when, remains a mystery... it seems fair to conclude, that the Manuscript Found escaped from its prison and perched upon some farmer's shelf; or fell direct, by accident or design, into the hands of Joseph Smith, and opportunely met the mind that could mould it into a religious fiction."



  


THE  PURITAN  RECORDER.

Vol. XXXV.                       Boston, Mass., Thursday, October 10, 1850.                       No. 41.



THE MORMON BIBLE.

TO THE EDITORS OF THE PURITAN RECORDER.
                         

Your paper of the 3d inst., contained an article from a correspondent relative to the Mormon Bible.

The Rev. Solomon Spalding, removed from Massachusetts [sic - New York?] to Ashtabula County, Ohio: He located, I think, at Conneaut. He was the author of a historical romance, written, in a peculiar style, somewhat after the manner of the Chronicles. He went to Pittsburgh, Pa., to contract for the publication of his work, and left his manuscript in the possession of a publisher. While there, it was seen by the Rev. Sidney Rigdon, then a Baptist minister, afterwards one of the leaders of the Mormons, a man of a good deal of native mind, and a popular and effective speaker. Rigdon unquestionably copied Spalding's manuscript, and having made the acquaintance of the late Mormon, prophet, Joe Smith, who was a man of much cunning, they got up the Mormon Bible. -- They used many of the names in Spalding's romance; but they changed entirely Spalding's work. Many years ago, I saw a part of the original manuscript of Mr. Spalding and I presume that now it is in the possession of Mr. E. D. Howe of Painesville, Lake Co., Ohio, who some years since published a full and complete history of Mormonism.

The widow of Mr. Spalding, a few years since, was living in Monson, Mass.

If your correspondent will obtain from Mr. Howe, a copy of his work, he will find that Mr. H. has made the romance of Mr. Spalding a historical fact, and he has not suffered the origin of Mormonism to die. It is an interesting work got up with great labor and research, and shows up Mormonism in all its beauty.
          Yours truly,                 J. A. B.


Note: The above communication was evidently the first published letter from James Alfred Briggs (1811-1889) in which he made the specific claim of having seen some portion of "the original manuscript of Mr. Spalding." Which manuscript that was, Briggs does not say in this 1850 communication. In 1886 Briggs claimed to have once seen both the "lost" Spalding story and the one then being published by the RLDS Church. In an 1834 letter to Alexander H. Wells, (then the editor of the Massachusetts Berkshire Advocate and later the editor of the Hudson River Chronicle) Mr. Briggs made no mention of having actually inspected any of Spalding's unpublished writings. In that 1834 letter to the Advocate Briggs may have held back some sensitive information, however, having already agreed with his associates to reserve such details for initial exposure in the Painesville Telegraph, at the end of January, 1834.


 


Vol. XVI.                             Boston, Thursday, July 17, 1851.                             No. 11.



Origin of the Mormon Imposture.

The Rochester American publishes the following from a forthcoming work by Mr. Turner, entitled "History of Philip and Gorham's Purchase. " -- Though not entirely new, it is succinct, and communicates some facts, coming within the author's personal knowledge.

"As we are now at the home of the Smith family -- in sight of 'Mormon Hill' -- a brief pioneer history will be looked for, of the strange, and singularly successful religious sect -- the Mormons; and brief it must be, merely starting it in its career, and leaving it to their especial historian to trace them to Kirtland, Nauvoo, Beaver Island, and Utah, or the Salt Lake.

Joseph Smith, the father of the prophet Joseph Smith, Jun., was from the Merrimack river, N. H. He first settled in or near Palmyra village, but as early as 1819 was the occupant of some new land on Stafford street, in the town of Manchester, near the line of Palmyra. * 'Mormon Hill' is near the plank road about half-way between the villages of Palmyra and Manchester. The elder Smith had been a Universalist, and subsequently a Methodist; was a good deal of a smatterer in scriptural knowledge, but the seed of revelation was sown on weak ground; he was a great babbler, credulous, not especially industrious, a money-digger, prone to the marvellous; and, withal, a little given to difficulties with neighbors, and petty law-suits. Not a very propitious account of the father of a prophet -- the founder of a state; but there was a 'woman in the case.'

Mrs. Smith was a woman of strong, uncultivated intellect; artful and cunning; imbued with an ill-regulated religious enthusiasm. The incipient hints, the first givings out that a prophet was to spring from her humble household, came from her; and when matters were maturing for denouement, she gave out that such and such ones -- always fixing upon those who had both money and credulity -- were to be instruments in some great work of new revelation. The old man was rather her faithful co-worker, or executive exponent. -- Their son, Alvah, was originally intended or designated, by fireside consultations and solemn and mysterious out-door hints, as the forthcoming prophet. The mother and the father said he was the chosen one; but Alvah, however spiritual he may have been, had a carnal appetite; ate too many green turnips, sickened and died. Thus the world lost a prophet, and Mormonism a leader; the designs, impiously and wickedly attributed to Providence, were defeated; and all in consequence of a surfeit of raw turnips. Who will talk of the cackling geese of Rome, or any other small and innocent causes of mighty events after this? The mantle of the prophet which Mrs. and Mr. Joseph Smith and one Oliver Cowdery had wove themselves -- every thread of it -- fell upon their next eldest son, Joseph Smith, Jr.

And a most unpromising recipient of such a trust was this same Joseph Smith, Jr., afterwards 'Jo Smith.' He was lounging, idle, (not to say vicious,) and possessed of less than ordinary intellect. The author's own recollections of him are distinct. He used to come into the village of Palmyra, with little jags of wood, from his backwoods home; sometimes patronizing a village grocery too freely; sometimes finding an odd job to do about the store of Seymour Scovell; and once a week he would stroll into the office of the old Palmyra Register for his father's paper. How impious in us young "dare devils"† to once and awhile blacken the face of the then meddling, inquisitive lounger -- but afterwards prophet -- with the old-fashioned balls, when he used to put himself in the way of the working of the old-fashioned Ramage press! The editor of the Cultivator at Albany -- esteemed as he may justly consider himself for his subsequent enterprise and usefulness -- may think of it with contrition and repentance, that he once helped thus to disfigure the face of a prophet, and, remotely, the founder of a state.

But Joseph had a little ambition, and some very laudable aspirations; the mother's intellect occasionally shone out in him feebly, especially when he used to help us to solve some portentous questions of moral or political ethics, in our juvenile debating club, which we moved down to the old red school-house on Durfee street, to get rid of the annoyance of critics that used to drop in upon us in the village; and, subsequently, after catching a spark of Methodism in the camp-meeting, away down in the woods, on the Vienna road, he was a very passable exhorter in evening meetings.

Legends of hidden treasure had long designated Mormon Hill as a repository. Old Joseph had dug there, and young Joseph had not only heard his father and mother relate the marvellous tales of buried wealth, but had accompanied his father in the midnight delvings, and incantations of the spirits that guarded it.

If a buried revelation was to be exhumed, how natural was it that the Smith family, with their credulity, and their assumed presentiment, that a prophet was to come from their household, should be connected with it; and that Mormon Hill was the place where it would be found.

It is believed by those who were best acquainted with the Smith family, and most conversant with all the Gold Bible movements, that there is no foundation for the statement that their original manuscript was written by a Mr. Spaulding, of Ohio. A supplement to the Gold Bible, 'The Book of Commandments,' in all probability was written by Rigdon, and he may have been aided by Spaulding's manuscripts; but the book itself is without doubt a production of the Smith family, aided by Oliver Cowdery, who was school teacher on Stafford street, an intimate of the Smith family, and identified with the whole matter. The production, as all will conclude who have read it, or ever. given it a cursory review, is not that of an educated man or woman. The bungling attempt to counterfeit the style of the Scriptures; the intermixture of modern phraseology; the ignorance of chronology and geography; its utter crudeness and baldness, as a whole, stamp its character, and clearly exhibit its vulgar origin. It is a strange medley of scripture, romance, and bad composition.

The primitive design of Mrs. Smith, her husband, Jo and Cowdery, was money making; blended with which perhaps was a desire for notoriety, to be obtained by a cheat and fraud. The idea of being the founders of a new sect was an after-thought in which they were aided by others.

The projectors of the humbug being destitute of means for carrying out their plans, a victim was selected to obviate that difficulty. Martin Harris was a farmer of Palmyra, the owner of a good farm, and an honest, worthy citizen; but especially given to religious enthusiasm, new creeds, the more extravagant the better; a monomaniac, in fact. Joseph Smith, upon whom the mantle of prophecy had fallen after the sad fate of Alvah, began to make demonstrations. He informed Harris of the great discovery, and that it had been revealed to him that he (Harris) was a chosen instrument to aid in the great work of surprising the world with a new revelation. They had hit upon the right man. He mortgaged his fine farm to pay for printing the book, assumed a grave, mysterious, and unearthly deportment, and made here and there among his acquaintances solemn annunciations of the great event that was transpiring. His version of the discovery, as communicated to him by the prophet Joseph himself, is well remembered by several respectable citizens of Palmyra, to whom he made early disclosures. It was in substance as follows:

The prophet Joseph was directed by an angel where to find, by excavation, at the place afterwards called Mormon Hill, the gold plates; and was compelled by an angel, much against his will, to be the interpreter of the sacred record they contained, and publish it to the world. That the plates contained a record of the ancient inhabitants of this country, 'engraved by Mormon the son of Nephi.' That on the top of the box containing the plates, 'a pair of large spectacles were found, the stones or glass set in which were opaque to all but the prophet,' -- that 'these belonged to Mormon, the engraver of the plates, arid without them the plates could not be read.' Harris assumed that himself and Cowdery were the chosen amanuenses, and that the prophet Joseph, curtained from the world and them with his spectacles, read from the gold plates what they committed to paper.

Harris exhibited to an informant of the author the manuscript title-page. On it was drawn, rudely and bunglingly, concentric circles, between, above, and below, which were characters with little resemblance to letters, apparently a miserable imitation of hieroglyphics, the writer may somewhere have seen. To guard against profane curiosity, the prophet has given out that no one but himself, not even his chosen co-operators, must be permitted to see them, on pain of instant death. Harris had never seen the plates, but the glowing account of their massive richness excited other than spiritual hopes, and he, upon one occasion, got a village silversmith to help him estimate their value, taking as a basis the prophet's account of their dimensions. It was a blending of the spiritual and utilitarian that threw a shadow of doubt upon Martin's sincerity. This, and some anticipations he indulged in as to the profits that would arise from the sale of the Gold Bible, made it then, as it is now, a mooted question whether he was altogether a dupe.

The wife of Harris was a rank infidel and heretic, touching the whole thing, and decidedly opposed to her husband's participation in it. With sacrilegious hands she seized over a hundred of the manuscript pages of the new revelation, and burned or secreted them. It was aranged by Smith and family, Cowdery and Harris, not to transcribe these again, but to let so much of the new revelation drop out, as the 'evil spirit would get up a story that the second translation did not agree with the first.' A very ingenious method, surely, of guarding against the possibility that Mrs. Harris had preserved the manuscript with which they might be confronted, should they attempt an imitation of their own miserable patchwork.

The prophet did not get his lesson well upon the start, or the household of the impostors were in fault. After he had told his story, in his absence, the rest of the family made a new version of it to one of their neighbors. They showed him such a pebble as may any day be picked up on the shore of Lake Ontario -- the common hornblende -- carefully wrapped in cotton and kept in a mysterious box. They said it was by looking at this stone, in a hat, the light excluded, that Joseph discovered the plates. This, it will be observed, differs materially from Joseph's story of the angel. It was the same stone the Smiths had used in money-digging, and in some pretended discoveries of stolen property.

Long before the Gold Bible demonstration, the Smith family had, with some sinister object in view, whispered another fraud in the ears of the credulous. They pretended that, in digging for money at Mormon Hill, they came across a chest, three by two feet in size, covered with a dark-colored stone. In the centre of the stone was a white spot about the size of a sixpence. Enlarging, the spot increased to the size of a twenty-four pound shot, and then exploded with a terrible noise. The chest vanished and all was utter darkness.

It may be safely presumed that in no other instance have prophets and the chosen and designated of angels, been quite as calculating and worldly as were those of Stafford street, Mormon Hill, and Palmyra. The only business contract -- veritable instrument in writing, that was ever executed by spiritual agents, has been preserved, and should be among the archives of the new State of Utah. It is signed by the prophet Joseph himself, and witnessed by Oliver Cowdery, and secures to Martin Harris one-half of the proceeds of the sale of the Gold Bible until he was fully reimbursed in the sum of $2,500, the cost of printing.

The after-thought which has been alluded to -- the enlarging of original intentions -- was at the suggestion of S. Rigdon, of Ohio, who made his appearance and blended himself with the poorly devised scheme of imposture, about the time the book was issued from the press. He unworthily bore the title of a Baptist elder, but had by some previous freak, if the author is rightly informed, forfeited his standing with that respectable religious denomination. Designing, ambitious and dishonest, under the semblance of sanctity and assumed spirituality, he was just the man for the use of the Smith household and their half-dupe and half-designing abettors; and they were just the fit instruments he desired. He became at once the Hamlet, or more appropriately perhaps, the Mawworm of the play.

Under the auspices of Rigdon, a new sect, the Mormons, was projected. Prophecies fell thick and fast from the lips of Joseph; old Mrs. Smith assumed all the airs of a mother of a prophet; that particular family of Smiths were singled out and became exalted above all their legion of namesakes. The bald, clumsy cheat found here and there an enthusiast, a monomaniac or a knave, in and around its primitive locality, to help it upon its start; and soon, like another scheme of imposture, (that had a little of dignity and plausibility in it,) it had its Hegira, or flight, to Kirtland, then to Nauvoo; then to a short resting-place in Missouri -- and then on and over the Rocky mountains to Utah or the Salt Lake. Banks, printing-offices, temples, cities, and finally a state, have arisen under its auspices. Converts have multiplied to tens of thousands. In several of the countries of Europe there are preachers and organized sects of Mormons; believers in the divine mission of Joseph Smith & Co.

And here the subject must be dismissed. If it has been treated lightly -- with seeming levity -- it is because it will admit of no other treatment. There is no dignity about the whole thing; nothing to entitle it to mild treatment. It deserves none of the charity extended to ordinary religious fanaticism, for knavery and fraud have been with it incipiently and progressively. It has not the poor merit of ingenuity. Its success is a slur upon the age. Fanaticism promoted it at first; then ill-advised persecution; then the designs of demagogues who wished to command the suffrage of its followers; until finally an American Congress has abetted the fraud and imposition by its acts, and we are to have a State of our proud Union -- in this boasted era of light and knowledge -- the very name of which will sanction and dignify the fraud and falsehood of Mormon Hill, the gold plates and the spurious revelation. This much, at least, might have been omitted out of decent respect to the moral and religious sense of the people of the old States.

__________
* Here the author remembers to have first seen the family, in the Winter of '19, and '20, in a rude log house, with but a small spot of underbrush around it.

To soften the use of such an expression the reader should be reminded that apprentices in printing offices have since the days of Faust and Gottenburgh, been thus called, and sometimes it was not inappropriate.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


BOSTON  DAILY  ADVERTISER.

Vol. ?                               Boston, Mass., Wednesday November 26, 1851.                               No. ?



THE MORMONS. -- The following extract from a letter "from a judicial officer of the government, at Great Salt Lake," dated Sept. 20, gives an authentic exposition of the state of things at the seat of the Mormon government, confirmatory of accounts already published.

I shall leave for the States on the 1st October; and most gladly will I go, for I am sick and tired of this place -- of the fanaticism of the people, followed by their violence of feeling towards the Gentiles, as they style all persons not belonging to their church. -- I have had a feeling and personal proof of their fanatical intolerance within the last few days. I will give you a cursory view of the circumstances and the scene.

As soon after my arrival here as my illness would permit, I heard from Judge B. and Mr. Secretary H. accounts of the intolerant sentiments of the community towards government officers and the government itself, which filled me with surprise. I learned that not only were the officers sent here treated with coolness and disrespect, but that the Government of the United States, on all public occasions, whether festive or religious, was denounced in the most disrespectful terms, and often with invectives of great bitterness. I will mention a few instances. The 24th July is the anniversary of the arrival of the Mormons in this valley. It was on that day of this year that they assembled to commemorate that interesting event. The orator of the day, on that occasion, spoke bitterly of the course of the United States towards the church of " Latter Day Saints," in taking a battalion of their men from them for the war with Mexico, while on the banks of the Missouri river, in their flight from the mob at Nauvoo. He said the Government of the United States had devised the most wanton, cruel, and dastardly means for the accomplishment of their ruin, overthrow, and utter extermination.

His Excellency Governor Young, on the same occasion, denounced, in the most sacrilegious terms, the memory of the illustrious and lamented general and President of the United States, who has lately gone to the grave, and over whose tomb a nation's tears have scarcely ceased to flow. He exclaimed, "Zachary Taylor is dead and gone to hell, and I am glad of it!" and his sentiments were echoed by a loud amen from all parts of the assembly. Then, rising in the excess of his passion to his tiptoes, he vociferated, " I prophesy, in the name of Jesus Christ, by the power of the priesthood that is upon me, that any other President of the United States, who shall lift his finger against this people, will die an untimely death and go to hell." This kind of feeling I found pervading the whole community, in some individuals more marked than in others.

You may remember that I was authorized by the managers of the Washington National Monument Society to say to the people of the Territory of Utah, that they would be pleased to receive from them a block of marble or other stone, to be deposited in the monument "as an offering at the shrine of patriotism." I accordingly called on Governor Young, and apprized him of the trust committed to my hands, and expressed a desire to address the people upon the subject when assembled in their greatest number. He replied that on the following Monday the very best opportunity would be presented. Monday came, and I found myself at their Bowery, in the midst of at least three thousand people. I was respectfully and honorably introduced by "His Excellency" to the vast assemblage. I made a speech, though so feeble that I could scarcely stand, and staggered in my debility several times on the platform.

I spoke for two hours, during which time I was favored with the unwavering attentions of my audience. Having made some remarks in reference to the judiciary, I presented the subject of the National Monument, and incidently thereto (as the Mormons supposed) I expressed my opinions in a full, free, unreserved, yet respectful and dignified manner, in regard to the defection of the people here from the Government of the United States. I endeavored to show the injustice of their feelings towards the Government, and alluded boldly and feelingly to the sacrilegious remarks of Governor Young towards the memory of the lamented Taylor. I defended, as well as my feeble powers would allow, the name and character of the departed hero, from the unjust aspersions cast upon them, and remarked that, in the latter part of the assailant's bitter exclamation that he "was glad that Gen. Taylor burns in hell" he did not exhibit a Christian spirit, and that if the author did not early repent of the cruel declaration, he would perform that task with keen remorse upon his dying pillow. I then alluded to my nativity; to my citizenship; to my love of country; to my duty to defend my country from unjust aspersions wherever I met them; and trusted that when I failed to defend her, my tongue, then employed in her advocacy and praise, might cling to the roof of my mouth, and that my arm, ever ready to be raised in her defence, might fall palsied at my side. I then told the audience if they could not offer a block of marble in a feeling of full fellowship with the people of the United States, as brethren and fellow-citizens, they had better not offer it at all, but leave it unquarried in the bosom of its native mountain. At the close of my speech the governor arose and denounced me and the Government in the most brutal and unmeasured terms.

The ferment created by his remarks was truly fearful. It seemed as if the people (I mean a large portion of them) were ready to spring upon me like hyenas and destroy me. The governor, while speaking, said that some persons might get their hair pulled or their throats cut on that occasion. His manner was boisterous, passionate, infuriated in the extreme; and if he had not been afraid of final vengeance, he would have pointed his finger at me, and I should in an instant have been a dead man. Ever since then the community has been in a state of intense excitement, and murmurs of personal violence and assassination towards me have been freely uttered by the lower order of the populace. How it will end I do not know. I have just learned that I have been denounced, together with the Government and officers, in the Bowery again to-day, by Governor Young. I hope I shall get off safely. God only knows. I am in the power of a desperate and murderous set. I however feel no great fear. So much for defending my country.

I expect all the officers of the Territory, at least Chief Justice B., Secretary Harris, and Captain Day, Indian agent, will return with me, to return here no more.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 



BARRE  GAZETTE.

Vol. XVIII.                           Barre, Mass., Friday, January 30, 1852.                           No. 30.



MORMONISM EXPOSED -- BY AN EX-MORMON. -- To the Editor of the Boston Transcript -- The late high handed and treasonable proceedings of the Mormons in the territory of Utah, as shown by the official reports of the United States' officers returned therefrom, however strange and startling they may appear to the uninitiated, form no new development to those who have had an opportunity of scrutinizing and observing them, and their doctrines and practices, and designs; but are in perfect keeping with the character of the sect, openly avowed by them to most of their members for some ten years or more.

The writer of this having been one of their number, and having been personally acquainted with Brigham Young and his associates, called by them the twelve Apostles, and having had frequent conversations with them in respect to their policy in relation to the government of this country, is perhaps better qualified than many to submit a few hints thereon.

First, then, a word in regard to their great leading doctrine: they believe and teach that the aborigines of this continent are descendants of a branch of the house of Israel, through the seed of Joseph, the patriarch, and consequently those remarkable blessings pronounced upon Joseph and his two sons, by Jacob, his father, also by Moses, will be fulfilled upon the heads of the Mormon Church, and on this continent. Hence all those terrible denunciations and destructions predicted of in the Prophets, against the oppressors of Ephraim and Manassah (the Indians) are to be fulfilled upon the devoted heads of the American people, the Mormons being the instruments!

The Book of Mormon, (misnamed the Mormon Bible,) which Joseph Smith claimed to have found miraculously, in the shape of metallic plates, inscribed upon in an unknown or lost language, but translatsd by him through inspiration, is the sacred and political history of this branch of Israel, the predecessors of the American Indians. The organization of the Mormon church is the beginning of this work, of returning political powers to the Indians ostensibly, but in reality to the Mormon church.

In regard to the government and laws of this country, they are ready at any and all times to set them at defiance, except when they may deem it politic to do otherwise.

In addition to their religious idea of vengeance on this government, they have sworn vengeance against the States of Missouri and Illinois, from which they have been driven, and against the U. S. Government for not siding with them against those States.

The Salt Lake movement was got up for the avowed purpose of placing themselves without the pale of this Government, (they, with all their prophets, little dreaming it was so soon to be a part of the Government,) that they could the better manage their treasonable designs, and at that time the Mormons petitioned Queen Victoria for aid for the Mormon emigrants from Great Britain, urging in that petition the importance of her Majesty's Government counteracting the rapid emigration from the United States to California!! That petition can be seen by examining the files of the Mormon paper printed in England at that time, called the Millenial Star.

In regard to Polygamy, it has been preached among them for years; and, if it were necessary, I could give you cases of the separation of husbands and wives, the breaking up of families, the demoralization of young women by some of these twelve apostles, in this city and vicinity, that would almost chill the heart's blood.

They teach and avow openly that marriages performed out of that church are null and void, and can be broken at the pleasure of either or both parties! There is no particular order or system about it. The heads of the church manage to secure to themselves the most desirable of the females that join the church; and, when tired of them, give them over to the laymen of the church, and not before.

I know of one instance of a family from this city, where the mother and two daughters (mere children) were used as wives by one of these Apostles, Heber Kimball; he at the same time living with his lawful wife! I know of another case, in which P. P. Pratt, another of these 12, took the young wife of Mr. [Hum] of this city, unbeknown to him, and they have lived as husband and wife since. But your space will not permit me to begin to enumerate instances of that kind that have come to my personal knowledge. Instead of polygamy, it should be termed licentiousness run mad. Any and all of these charges I stand ready to substantiate by their own documents, and by unimpeachable witnesses.  JOHN HARDY.


Note: In this letter John Hardy fails to mention his conflicts with Apostle William Smith, over the secret spiritual-wife doctrine and related matters. See his 1844 pamphlet for the details.


 


The  Woodstock  Mercury.
Vol. XV.                         Woodstock, Vermont, Thursday, Feb. 26, 1852.                         No. 50.



Mormonism  Exposed  by  an  Ex-Mormon.

The late high-minded and treasonable proceedings of the Mormons in the territory of Utah, as shown by the official report of the United States officers returned therefrom, however strange and startling they may appear to the uninitiated, form no new development to those who have had an opportunity of scrutinizing and observing them, and their doctrines and practices and designs, but are in perfect keeping with the character of the sect, openly avowed by them to most of their members for some ten years or more.

The writer of this, having been one of their number, and having been personally acquainted with Brigham Young and his associates called by them the twelve apostles and having had frequent conversations with them in respect to their policy in relation to the Government of this country, is perhaps better qualified than many to submit a few hints thereon.

First, then, a word in regard to their great leading doctrine. They believe and teach that the aborigines of this continent are descendants of a branch of the house of Israel, through the seed of Joseph, the Patriarch; and consequently those remarkable blessings pronounced upon Joseph and his two sons, by Jacob his father, also by Moses, will be fulfilled upon the head of the Mormon church, and on this continent. Hence all those terrible denunciations and destructions predicted of in the Prophets against the oppressors of Ephraim and Manassah (the Indians) are to be fulfilled upon the devoted heads of the American people, the Mormons being the instruments.

The Book of Mormon -- misnamed the Mormon bible -- which Joseph Smith claimed to have found miraculously, in the shape of metallic plates inscribed upon in an unknown or lost language, but translated by him through inspiration, is the sacred and political history of this branch of Israel, the predecessors of the American Indians. The organization of the Mormon Church is the beginning of this work of returning political power to the Indians ostensibly, but in reality to the Mormon Church. In regard to the government and laws of this country, they are ready at any and all times to set them at defiance, except when they may deem it politic to do otherwise. In addition to their religious idea of vengeance on this Government, they have sworn vengeance against the States of Missouri and Illinois, from which they have been driven, and against the United States Government for not aiding with them against those States.

The Salt Lake movement was got up for the avowed purpose of placing themselves without the pale of this Government, (they, with all their prophets, little dreaming that it was so soon to be part of that government,) that they could the better manage their treasonable designs; and at that time the Mormons petitioned Queen Victoria for her aid for the Mormon emigrants from Great Britain, urging in that petition the importance of her Majesty's government counteracting the rapid emigration from the United States to California! That petetion can be seen by examining the files of the Mormon paper printed in England at that time, called the Millennial Star.

In regard to polygamy, it has been preached among them for years; and, if it were necessary, I could give you cases of the separation of husbands and wives, and breaking up of families, the demoralization of young women by some of those twelve apostles, in this city and vicinity, that would almost chill the heart's blood.

They teach and avow openly that marriages performed out of that church are null and void, and can be broken at the pleasure of either or both parties! There is no particular order or system about it. The heads of the church manage to secure to themselves the most desirable of the females that join the church; and when tired of them give them over to the laymen of the church, and not before.

I know of one instance of a family from this city, where the mother and two daughters (mere children) were used as wives of one of these apostles, Heber Kimball, he at the same time living with his lawful wife! I know of another case, in which P. P. Pratt, another of these twelve, took the young wife of Mr. Hum, of this city, unbeknown to him, and they have lived as husband and wife since. But your space will not permit to begin to enumerate instances of that kind that have come to my personal knowledge. Instead of polygamy, it should be termed licentiousness run mad. Any and all of these charges I stand ready to sunstantiate by their own documents, and by unimpeachable witnesses.   JOHN HARDY.


Note: The above letter first appeared in the Boston Transcript.


 


OLIVE {   } BRANCH.

Vol. ?                                Boston, Saturday, August 14, 1852.                                No. ?



Mormons Impurities.

That polygamy and kindred vices are corrupting the heart of Mormon society at the new territory of Utah, cannot be longer doubted. The news is forced upon us from a hundred sources. Added to this social corruption, there is little doubt but that the Mormons contemplate declaring, or in some way making themselves independent of the Federal government.

It is high time the United States laws against such things, as are mentioned in the following extract, were rigidly enforced; the longer it is delayed, the more incurable becomes the purient social evil: --

UTAH. A correspondent of the Sacramento Union, in a letter dated Rocky Point, Humboldt River, May 28th, gives the following acciunt of the polygamists of Utah: --

"Polygamy prevails there to an extent equal to many of the tales of Eastern romance. Governor Young has a seraglio of about thirty women, and another named Kimball has about that number. The "twelve apostles" among them have from half a dozen, to a dozen females each; and all of the principal ones among them are vying in the same object. It was not originally a part of their system, but has sprung up within the last few years -- their expulsion from Nauvoo. This practice has been established at the Lake by a most dreadful system of force and espionage, and in a manner that would astonish you, if all the tales connected therewith could reach the light. Many of the earliest of the sect are leaving, because of these disgusting proceedings, whenever they dare to do so; but until lately Governor Young forbade any to leave the Valley except with his consent; and the present season he has denounced with spiritual vengeance all who should depart without his knowledge. If he had not done so, more than half the population would have left this spring."


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


NEW-HAMPSHIRE PATRIOT & STATE GAZETTE.

Vol. ?                                Concord, Wednesday, September 15, 1852.                                No. ?



The  Mormons.

Lieutenant J. W. Gunnison, of the Topographical Engineers, who was employed upon the survey of Utah, and acquired by his residence among and near the Mormons, a full knowledge of their history, creed, character, institutions and habits, has embodied the results of his inquiries in a small volume, recently issued from the press of Lippincott and Grambo of Philadelphia. From this valuable little work we select a few passages: --

POLYGAMY.

The revelation of Joseph, on the subject of polygamy has probably never been printed, or publicly circulated. When he declared to the council the revelation, it was made known that he, like the saints of old -- David, Solomon, and Jacob, and those he thought faithful -- should be privileged to have as many wives as they could manage to take care of, to raise up a holy household for the service of the Lord. Immediately rumors were spread that the wives of many of the people were re-married to the Ieaders and high-priests, and subject to them, which they declared to be a slander; and maintain that the relation existing among them is a pure and holy one, and that their doctrine is, that every man shall have one wife, and every woman only one husband as is laid down in the Book of Covenants by revelation. Yet they affirm that this allows to the man a plurality, as the phrase is peculiarly worded; -- the only applying to the female alone. * * *

Again, they teach that the use and foundation of matrimony is to raise up a peculiar, holy people for the Kingdom of God the Son, that at the Millennium they may be resurrected to reign with him, and the glory of the man will be in proportion to the size of his household of children, wives, and servants, -- but that those eligible to the priesthood have only a right to marry at all. It is to be a pure and holy state; and religious motives or a sense of duty, should alone guide; and that for sensual gratifications it is an abomination.

Infidelity and licentiousness are held up for abhorrence; and when the "plurality" law shall be promulgated, they will be punished by the decapitation of the offender and the severest chastity inculcated upon one sex, and rigid continence on the other during the gestation and nursing of children. Thus the time of weaning will again become a feast of joy, next to the celebration of the nuptial rite, and patriarchal times return.

Quoting the Scripture that "the man is not without the woman, nor the woman without the man," they affirm that it is the duty of every man to marry at least once, and that a woman cannot enter into the heavenly kingdoms without a husband to introduce her as belonging to himself.

And it has been said that some women, distrusting the title of their spouses to enter at all, have been desirous to take hold of the skirt of an apostle or high-priest with superior credentials; how far correct we are not sufficiently informed to state positively, and can only speak of such rumors as existing, and beg pardon for mentioning the scandal.

The addition of wives, after the first, to a man's family, is called a "sealing to him."...


Notes: (forthcoming)


 

DODGE'S
LITERARY  MUSEUM.

Vol. VI.                             Boston, Saturday, June 4, 1853.                             No. 28.


 

==> William Smith, brother of the Mormon prophet Joe, has some peculiar notions about spiritual wife-ism. He is now before the Circuit Court of Illinois, sitting in Lee County, on a charge of having more wives than the law allows. One of the members of the church has made affidavit that she had been induced to believe that it was necessary for her salvation that she should become his spiritual wife; the result of which was just the same as usually accompanies cases where no spiritualism is claimed. Smith has himself now pending, in the same court, an application for a divorce, on the ground that his wife, while at Nauvoo, was initiated into the mysteries of, and as he says, 'took seven degrees' in spiritual wifery. So that it seems, according to the ideas of the doctrines of that particular branch of the church militant, what is sauce for the goose is not 'sauce for the gander.'"


Note: The lower half of this 1853 news item is missing.


 


THE  PURITAN  RECORDER.

Vol. XL.                                 Boston, Thursday, February 8, 1855.                                 No. 6.



FOR  THE  PURITAN  RECORDER.

T H E   M O R M O N S.

The plot in this strange drama is thickening, and no one can foretell the catastrophe, whether it ends in a civil war, and their arrogant pretentions be put down by force, or whether all the arts of diplomacy be put in requisition, and peace somehow be maintained. We hope the former, rather than that any compromise should be made with so detestable and destructive a doctrine and practice as polygamy. If the Government say that it owes care and protection to all sections of the country and all classes of people, then it owes to the Mormons the coercion of power for their own existence. No community can long survive committing commonly, such atrocities of lust as are perpetrated there. How long could Sodom have stood, if the Lord had not made a short work of it, and burnt them with fire and brimstone from heaven? They would have perished by receiving the due reward of their deeds in their own bodies, and by mutual violence inflicted on themselves, This must be the end of the Mormons, continuing such as they are, and therefore the Government ought to coerce them.

Their blasphemy of God and the Holy Ghost and our Lord Jesus Christ is, or ought to be, insufferable. If recent reports be true, their highest authorities proclaim that Jesus Christ authorized and sanctioned polygamy by his own example of having many wives. This doctrine of polygamy was not proclaimed among them at first. Not until they were established at Nauvoo, was it revealed. When revelations become so easy, justifying the most abominable crimes against God and man, the Government should say distinctly to them, "Take care what revelations you have made to you." The proper place for such a community, is an inaccessible island in the great ocean where they might be a sort of self constituted penal colony. If they will try a Heaven daring experiment, let it be where they can draw fewer ignorant and deluded victims into the vortex of their destruction.

The ways of Divine Providence in permitting such a delusion in this age and country, are truly mysterious, and furnish ground of humiliation in respect to the world's progress.

First, in view of the origin and character of the founder. Joe Smith was born near the dividing line of Sharon and Tunbridge, in Vermont, about the year 1800, of poor, illiterate, and not very reputable family. His father peddled buckets and wooden ware, and repudiated his debts. Joe, had the smallest advantages of education. Two winters he went to school in Royalton, at a school house two miles above the village on the bank of White River. Soon after entering that school, he committed some offence which his fellow pupils took up, and for which they condemned him to run the gauntlet on the ice of White River -- the whole school being paraded and each giving him a blow. This fact the writer has from a gentleman who was "one of the boys." Smith's greenness, and ugliness, and dullness, had made him the butt of the school. His portrait as given by Ferris in his "Utah and the Mormons," is every way repulsive. The lower features indicate cunning, and that is all. The forehead retreats so much as to indicate approximation to idiocy, though his successful cunning sufficiently refutes such an influence.

From such a man, without a single recommendation or redeeming quality, this strange sect has risen, numbering, probably by this time, a hundred thousand souls, of whom half are now in Utah. Let any one contemplate the history of Smith from Palmyra to Nauvoo, where he died as a fool dieth, in the year 1844, and he cannot fail to conclude that the world cannot furnish another instance of such brazen faced impudence and successful practice on the gullibility of human nature.

Again, the history of the "Book of Mormon," -- Smith's Bible, -- is among the mysteries of Divine Providence. Rev. Solomon Spalding was born in Ashford, Ct., 1761; was a short time a soldier in the Revolutionary War; studied law with Judge Zephaniah Swift, of Windham, Ct.; then, experiencing a change in his religious views, entered Dartmouth College and graduated in 1785, in the class with Father Sawyer, of Maine. He preached for several years, but from ill health declined several invitations to settle as a pastor, and retired from the ministry. In 1795, he married, and removed with his brother, Josiah Spalding, to Cherry Valley, N.Y., and engaged in mercantile business. For a time he taught the Academy there. They bought a quantity of land in Ohio, and Solomon re moved to Conneaught, (New Salem,) Ashtabula Co., to look after it. While there, about 1812, one of the ancient mounds in that town was explored, and bones and relics of an ancient people found in it. An imaginative young man of the neighborhood, who had become highly interested in the excavation, dreamed that among other things, he discovered in the mound a manuscript, giving a complete history of the extinct race, the particulars of which he related. This suggested to Mr. Spalding, the idea of writing a novel, which he did, and entitled it "Manuscript Found." In it he traced the fortunes of a colony of the ten lost Tribes from the old world to the new, until their extinction by the savages who came later.

Soon after this, Mr. Spalding went to Pittsburgh, and while there, a printer, (Patterson,) borrowed this manuscript, supposed to be at the suggestion of Sidney Rigdon, who then worked in the office and knew of its existence. The author would not consent to its publication though importuned, and while it was in the possession of Patterson it was doubtless clandestinely copied by Rigdon; for the manuscript was returned, and after Mr. Spalding's death in 1816, his wife, having removed to the State of New York, had it in her possession, subsequent to the publication of the Mormon Bible. Mrs. Spalding, his brother, and others to whom parts, or the whole of the manuscript had been read, testify to the close resemblance between it and the "Book of Mormon." The principle variations consisted in additions at the close. There is no evidence that Mr. Spalding ever designed to publish the book, but wrote it only as a literary recreation. No blemish rests on his character, and doubtless he was innocent of any complicity with Smith and his followers, as Adam, the common father of them all. And yet this book is now translated into many languages, and printed in immense quantities, and circulated over large parts of this deluded world. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! A mound explored, a dream excited, a novel written, the manuscript stolen and printed, the temple at Nauvoo erected, an exodus through a wilderness, a Territory settled with fifty thousand, -- things from the bottomless pit!


Note 1: The brief biographical sketch of Solomon Spalding, included in the above article, was provided by Solomon's brother, Josiah Spalding. Some of its wording matches that found in a letter that Josiah wrote on Jan. 6, 1855. Presumably the 1855 letter was addressed to George T. Chapman for inclusion in his Sketches of Alumni of Dartmouth College, however the release of that book was delayed until 1867, when Solomon Spalding's entry, among the other Dartmouth graduates' biographical sketches, was finally published.

Note 2: The Boston Recorder did not print the name of the person who contributed "The Mormons" article to its columns, but it appears likely that Chapman himself was the writer. No originals of Josiah Spalding's correspondence with Chapman have survived, but it is reasonable to assume that more than a single letter passed between the two men. In fact, Josiah's Jan. 6, 1855 text begins with the words: "I received your letter of the 21st of December requesting me to give you a sketch of my brother Solomon's life..." Josiah's recollections of his late brother are largely supported by independent sources and his charge, related in the above article, -- that Solomon's manuscript story "traced the fortunes of a colony of the ten lost Tribes from the old world to the new" -- should be taken seriously, as primary evidence supplied by a close associate, at an early date. This detail serves to supplement Josiah's mention, in his Jan. 6th letter: "my brother['s]... novel is the history contained in the manuscript found. The author of it he brings from the Old World, but from what nation I do not recollect; I think not a Jew..." Clearly Josiah initially described what he called "the first start" (an early draft) of Solomon's fictional story, but also realized that the final version bore "a striking resemblance" to "the Mormon bible." While it cannot be stated that Josiah knew all the details of the "colony of the ten lost Tribes" development of his brother's writings, neither can it be argued that he was totally unaware of any such evolution of the American colonization narrative, beyond the "Roman story" preserved in the Oberlin Spalding manuscript.

Note 3: The Boston Recorder created for itself something of a legacy, involving the professed connection between Solomon Spalding and the Book of Mormon. See its issues of 1839, Oct. 3, 1850 and Oct. 10, 1850.


 


BOSTON  DAILY  TIMES.

Vol. ?                                 Boston, Mass., Friday, May 23, 1856.                                 No. ?



Those Four Hundred Mormons. --The Cleveland papers notice the arrival there of the four hundred Mormons who recently arrived from England on the ship Enoch Train, which, it will be remembered, was followed to sea from Liverpool by a distracted father, who succeeded in carrying back on a steam tug a portion of his family. Two daughters who remained with the Mormons are among this party, and are noticed by the Clevelander as beautiful girls. The party was closely watched, one of the faithful being constantly stationed outside each car, to prevent their communication with the worldly-minded.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 



Lowell Daily Citizen & News.

Vol. VI.                         Lowell, Mass., Monday, November 10, 1856.                         No. 166.



William Smith, brother of the Mormon prophet, writes to the Erie Dispatch declaring that his brother is not responsible for polygamy as practised in Utah, but that Brigham Young and his "administration" are. He, however, defends polygamy on patriarchal and scriptural grounds, although he believes the excess to which it has run will result in infamy and ruin.


Note 1: The Erie City Dispatch was a weekly paper published in Erie, Pennsylvania. No issues from 1856 have yet been located for transcription.

Note 2: William Smith visited the Great Lakes region in the fall of 1855, when he attempted to form a new organization of the Mormon church, in cooperation with Martin Harris. At about this time William married Eliza Elsie Sanborn Brain, a widow from Cattaraugus Co., New York (see notes appended to an article in the Apr. 30, 1855 issue of the Painesville Telegraph). The 1860 Federal census for Erie Co., Pennsylvania shows the couple living in Venango township, near the border with Chautauqua Co., New York. The Cleveland Plain Dealer of May 17, 1859 reported: "A year ago last Fall William Smith, a brother of the Prophet Joe, came from Pennsylvania to Kirtland and another attempt was made to galvanize the "dead body" of Mormonism there. Smith put on so many airs there was no living with him, and he was requested to go away. He did so, renounced Mormonism, and is now scouring the rural districts of Pennsylvania with a one-horse panorama of Palestine." William's nephew, Joseph Smith III, recalled in his later years that his Uncle William had once preached for the Baptists in New York or Pennsylvania. Although "Rev." William Smith is not otherwise known to have exhibited a traveling "panorama of Palestine," it is likely that the public display was a small scale imitation of John Banvard's Holy land panorama, featured in his New York City museum during the 1850s. William probably resided in either Erie county or neighboring Warren county, Pennsylvania at the time.

Note 3: It sounds as though William's semi-defense of polygamy, as expressed in his letter to the Erie City Dispatch, was a return to the sentiments he voiced in his Nauvoo sermon of Aug. 17, 1845. A renewed interest in theological justifications for polygamy might help explain William's reported desire to join the Brighamites during this period. The "Office Journal" kept by Brigham Young in Salt Lake City includes an entry for May 14, 1860 in which reference is made to a letter Brigham had recently received from William -- a letter saying that he had been re-baptized a Mormon and wished to come to Utah. Agreement with the LDS tenet concerning the Divine origin of polygamy would have been one of the religious requirements, if he really did attempt to rejoin the Utah Mormons in 1860.


 



Vol. XXVI.                         Boston, Mass., Wednesday, April 1, 1857.                         No. 49.



                                              For the Boston Investigator.
Criminality of  Mormonism.

Mr. Editor: -- You did well in publishing the Mormon's reply to my article. His tirade is so "big in charity," so purely sectarian, and so every way characteristic of the Mormon delusion, that its publication must, I think, do good...

(under construction)





Notes: (forthcoming)


 



Vol. ?                             Boston, Mass., Wednesday, June 24, 1857.                            No. ?



                                              For the Boston Investigator.
Mormon  Treason.

Mr. Editor: -- It seems to me that all Liberals, all Infidels, all of every class in the community who are opposed to fanaticism, must join with me, in the exposure of Mormonism; an exposure, bear in mind, provoked and called for by a defiant challenge, published in the columns of this paper.

I now ask attention to the following quotations from the Mormon "Scriptures": --
"Nevertheless thine enemy is in thine hand, and if thou rewardest him according to his works, thou art justified; and if he has sought thy life, and thy life is endangered by him, thine enemy is in thine hand and thou art justified." -- (Doc. and Cov. p. 218.)
"Benjamin Slade, (Mormon,) witness for the State, produced, sworn, and examined, saith: -- I was in a meeting in a school house in Far West, when * * * Mr. Rigdon made a speech, and a formal vote, or covenant, was adopted, that, if any man attempted to leave the country, any one of the company then present, was to kill him, and say nothing about it, and throw him into the brush. When this was put [to vote] I heard no one vote against it! Rigdon then called for the negative, and said he wanted to see if any one dared to vote against it! * * * I heard Mr. Rigdon say, that --> Yesterday a man had slipt his wind, and was thrown into the brush; and said he, the MAN THAT LISPS IT SHALL DIE."...

"A law-abiding people!" And I could fill every column in the Investigator with other testimonies, given by Mormons and others under oath, proving that the Mormons, as a people, have resisted the laws of the land; they have assassinated citizens, and committed theft and burglary; and, moreover, their creed teaches them not only to threaten with eternal damnation all who reject Mormonism, but to UTTERLY DESTROY all who are in the way of their success as a sect. For more evidence of what is here affirmed, see the following works: --
1. Mormonism Unveiled. By E. D. Howe, Painesville, Ohio. 1834.

2. The Congressional Document No. 189, above referred to. 1841.

3. Mormonism in All Ages By Prof. J. B. Turner, New York. 1842.

4. A Brief History of the Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints. By John Corill. 1839.

5. Mormonism and the Mormons. By D. P. Kidder. New York. 1842.

Mr. B. Snow complains that people are not generally in possession of their book of "Doctrines and Covenants," while he ignores the quotation I made from it, showing that its authors never meant that it should be circulated, generally, among those not Mormons. That book declares that we must not be permitted to "know their works." (Page 132.)

Thus, Mr. Editor, I might go on, and fill columns of your paper with affidavits made by unimpeachable witnesses, showing that Mormonism is criminal, per se; it is essentially hostile and destructive to all forms of civil government which stand in its way. But I have given evidence enough to make out my case. If, however, any Mormon ignorant of the history of Mormonism, should undertake to invalidate my position, then I shall have more to say on this subject. No paper in the land would be willing to publish one thousandth part of the evidence which could be adduced on this side of the question. And, in all I have thus far written, I have felt a constant embarrassment in selecting from the immense mass at my command, such portions only as might do the most justice to the matter I had taken in hand.

In another article I propose to show up Mormonism in respect to its "spiritual wifery," or polygamy.
LAROY SUNDERLAND.          
Boston, May 16, 1857.


Note: Several words appear to have been dropped from Rev. Sunderland's original communication -- probably due to typesetting errors.


 


Vol. ?                             Springfield, Mass., Saturday, July 11, 1857.                               No. ?



A  Sketch  of  Brigham  Young.

Correspondence of the Chicago Tribune.

Brigham Young rules supreme. His power is undisputed and unquestioned. He collects all the money he chooses, seizes all the land that he fancies, and takes all the women that please his eye. He commands, and his trembling followers obey. The Mormons being for the most part an illiterate and uneducated set, they are wont to regard Brigham as a superior being who has power to accomplish anything he desires, and who will fearfully avenge any infringement on his power, or any questioning of his authority. Brigham claims to be worth $250,000, and holds himself out as a pattern and example for "his flock." (Severe irony, this, by the gods!) He has at present but forty-three wives, quite a large number having been by him cast off of late, in consequence of a slight dissatisfaction which began to develop itself.

I saw a pen-and-ink sketch of the Governor which was said to be a perfect likeness. It is a hard and heartless countenance -- the animal predominating, and nothing to indicate mental superiority or intellectual cultivation. Brigham is a very illiterate man, and nothing more than a wild and rough fanatic or knave, having an indomitable will and an energy that knows no such word as fail. He is continually preaching the most violent harrangues against our Government and our institutions, and exhorting the people to stand up for Mormon rights and Mormon institutions at all and every hazard. He says they have the moral right to demand protection and a "letting alone" from our government; but if they cannot secure this, they have the physical power to protect themselves and beat back all Gentiles who are not among the anointed of the Lord.

It is not all infrequent to have young girls, not more than twelve years of age, sealed to "the saints," and fourteen is a common age. Could there be anything more horrible than this? Education is totally neglected, and there is scarcely a school in the valley. It will be remembered that Congress passed an appropriation recently of $25,000 for a seminary at Deseret. Brigham took the money, chuckled at the trick, clapped it into his pocket, laughed at the innocence of onr Washington representative, and that was the last of the Deseret seminary.

The Danites, or "Destroying Angels," are a fearful organization, who do not scruple to take life if they are commanded by Young. They are bound together by solemn oaths and pledges, and acknowledge no authority higher than the governor. There are not a hundred "Gentiles" in Utah, and the Mormons are fast compelling them to leave. They assert that they will not allow a Gentile to reside in their midst.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


BURLINGTON WEEKLY SENTINEL.

Vol. 57                                 Burlington, Vermont, Aug. 6, 1857.                                 No. 32.



BRIGHAM YOUNG A NEW YORKER. -- Both Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball are New Yorkers. Brigham lived near the line dividing Ontario and Monroe counties, in the town of Victor, at the time he became a Mormon. He had always manifested a proclivity to religious fanaticism, or rather he was a lazy rapscallion, good for nothing except to howl at a camp meeting. He lived in a log shanty, with a dilapidated, patient, suffering wife, surrounded by a host of tow headed children. Occasionally he made up a lot of axe helves and traded them off for sugar and tea; in other fits of industry he would do a day's work in the hay-field for a neighbor, hoe the potatoes in his own little patch, or pound clothes for his wife on a washing day. But his special mission was to go camp meetings and revivals, where he managed to get his daily bread out of the more wealthy brethren, in consideration of the unction with which he shouted "ga-lo-rah!" On such occasions Brigham took no thought of the morrow, but cheerfully putting on his old wool hat, would leave his family without flour in the barrel or wood at the door, and telling his wife that the "Lord would provide," he would put off for a week's absence.

Poor Mrs. Brigham managed by borrowing from her neighbors with the small hope of paying, chopped the wood herself, with an old sun-bonnet -- Navarino style -- went to the spring for water, thoroughly convinced that her lot was not of the easiest, and that her husband was, to use a western expression, an "ornary cuss;" in which sentiment all who knew him joined. People were getting very tired of Brigham when Mormonism turned up. He was just the man for the religion and the religion seemed expressly adapted to him. He became an exhorter, held neighborhood meetings, ranted and howled his doctrines into the minds of others as weak as himself, and finally went West, with the rest of them, where he has developed his powers until the poor, miserable rustic loafer is Governor of a Territory and the chief prophet of a great religious sect. He has just the mixture of shrewdness and folly which is required for success in fanaticism or quackery. A wiser man could not hold his place. A man must be half fool and half knave to be a successful quack.

Heber C. Kimball was a man of more respectability. He was born a fanatic, and if he were not a Mormon would be something else just like it. In his church -- he was a Baptist originally -- he was one of those pestilent fellows who want resolutions passed at church meetings withholding fellowship from somebody else, and insist on having a political codicil added to the Bible. We believe he had some property. He has much more talent than Brigham Young, but is inferior to him in the elements of quackery. He has very respectable relatives now living in the part of Monroe county from which he started. -- Buffalo Com. Adv.


Note: For a contemporary account of Brigham Young's baptism into Mormonism, see the Apr. 14, 1832 issue of the Rochester Liberal Advocate.


 


THE  PURITAN  RECORDER.

Vol. XLII.                                 Boston, Thursday, December 3, 1857.                                 No. 49.



FROM  CALIFORNIA.

The Steamship Northern Light arrived at New York on the 29th ult., with sixteen days later intelligence from California...

The  Massacre.

The most important item of news by this steamer, is the display, before the public, of a large amount of evidence, going to show that the party of 118 emigrants, massacred in the southern part of Utah, while on their way to California, (news of which occurrence was sent by the last mail,) were murdered by Mormons. Mr. George Powers, arrived a few days since at Los Angeles, from Salt Lake and reports having heard many Mormons threaten to kill Gentiles passing through their country. He met a party of Mormons and Indians going towards a Mormon settlement, from the scene of the massacre, and they had, in their possession, bundles of clothing and other articles, apparently the spoils of the murdered; and the whole appeared to be on very friendly terms with one another, and all in high spirits.

Mr. Powers also states, that in San Bernardino, he heard Capt. Hunt, a man of authority among the Mormons, say he was "glad of the massacre, and believed the hand of the Lord was in it, whether done by redskins or whites."



(From the Journal of Commerce.)

THE  UTAH  REBELLION.

Brigham Young's letter to Colonel Johnson, and his proclamation to the citizens of Utah, alreadt published, remove all doubt as to the intention of the Mormon leader to resist the authority of the Federal Government by force. "By virtue of his authority," as Governor and Superindendent of Indian Affairs for Utah, he peremptorily commands the officer at the head of the United States troops, sent by order of the President, to enforce the law and protect the United States officials in entering on the duties of their respective offices, to retire from the Territory; or, if they cannot do so, he permits him to remain in a certain prescribed locality, provided he "deposits his arms and ammunition" with a Mr. Lewis Robinson, who, it appears, occupies the post of Quarter-Master General under Brigham, and provided also, he agrees to "leave in the spring, as soon as the condition of the road permits."

If there were wanting any further proof of this audacious rebel's wicked purpose, his proclamation abundantly supplies it. It is evident that Brigham has made extensive preparations to carry out his purpose, and that he is resolved to use them, and hold possession of a portion of the United States Territory, in defiance of the Federal authority, against which he places himself in an attitude of defiance. It is absurd to suppose that he considers himself authorized to take this ground by virtue of any law, or by the long-expired power delegated to him by the National Executive.

He knows that he states a deliberate falsehood when he tells the citizens of Utah, that the United States Government wishes to enslave and bring them into subjection to an unlawful military despotism; and he also knows that were he and they to obey the Constitutional law, they would be in no danger of usurpation, tyranny or oppression, in any one of their legal rights as citizens of the Republic. The position which he has taken cannot be otherwise considered than one of open revolt, and he must and undoubtedly will, be punished with proper severity for the great crimes of which he is already guilty. It may be that the lateness of the season will prevent the Administration from taking any active steps immediately to crush the rebellion, and vindicate the outraged supremacy of the Federal power; but so soon as the spring opens, such a force will be ready to enter Utah as will teach Brigham Young and the rebellious horde who obey his orders, that the arm of the United States is long enough to reach, and strong enough to strike them, however far distant they may be, or however impregnable they may regard their position.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


BURLINGTON WEEKLY SENTINEL.

Vol. 57                             Burlington, Vermont, Friday, Dec. 4, 1857.                             No. 49.



Mormon Fanaticism. -- ...President Filmore's plan, viz., appointing Young Governor, would have been excellent, if Young had been a demagogue, and not a fanatic. But he was the latter, and therefore peace is impossible with him, except on his own terms. Lying and falsehood are sanctified in the eyes of a fanatic, if they aid his purpose. In virtue of being a fanatic, he dispises all law except what his fanatical idea sanctions. No treaty will bind him; no morality will guide him. And when organized into a community, it is for the very purpose of keeping distinct from and living in opposition to all other communities. What can be done? The organization must be annihilated, at all hazards. The nuisance is too horrible to be tolerated....


Note: Incomplete text -- additional article contents will be posted here when they become available.


 


BURLINGTON WEEKLY SENTINEL.

Vol. 57                             Burlington, Friday, Vermont, Dec. 18, 1857.                             No. 51.



The Policy of Our Government Towards the Mormons. -- ... Hitherto Young's policy has been to profess obedience to the laws of the United States, and whilst the Government had no official notice of any overt act of rebellion against its authority, its policy has not only been right, wise and prudent, but masterly and energetic. It has not only planned, but carried into execution a peaceful policy which deserves the hearty commendation of the whole United States. And now that the arch fanatic Young has struck the blow which makes him an outlaw and a traitor, we have no doubt that the same prudence, energy and determination will characterize Buchanan's future Mormon policy. Under that policy we confidently expect to see the utter annihilation of that terrible fanaticism which has so long been a curse to our nation....


Note: Incomplete text -- additional article contents will be posted here when they become available.


 


Vermont Patriot & State Gazette

Vol. ?                           Montpelier, Vermont, Friday, January 22, 1858.                           No. ?



MORMON SPY. --... the celebrated Jim Lane.. is now, and has been for some months, in collusion with the Mormons. The exact character of the information is not known, but trie impression is that an express between Brigham Young aud Lane has been intercepted on the plains by the United States forces. It is probable that this matter will be called to the attention of Congress.



INDIANS FOR THE MORMON WAR. -- ... an Indian trader who arrived at Jefferson City on the 18th, and who reports meeting on the 23d of December between 600 and 700 Cheyenne and Camanche Indians returning from Salt Lake to their villages on the Black Walnut Hills, about eighty miles south-east of Fort Laramie, They are accompanied by about twenty Mormon leaders. It was their intention to remain in the camp erected there until Spring, and then employ themselves under Mormon influence in harassing and cutting off the supply trains sent to the relief of Col. Johnston. The Indians had been led to believe that the Mor-mons had 80,000 fighting men well equipped for ser-vice. They also spoke of numerous fortifications and a large number of Indian allies, and declared that the Mormons have no idea of running away from Utah.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


Vermont Patriot & State Gazette

Vol. ?                         Montpelier, Vermont, Friday, January 29, 1858.                         No. ?



MORMONS IN KANSAS. -- ...The mail which left the States on the 1st of February, arrived here on the evening of the 21st instant. We were much surprised to find that Congress had not, up to the last dates, taken any decisive action in regard to Utah affairs. It is strange that a momen-tous difficulty, the importance of which cannot be overestimated, in which prompt, energetic action is required, is allowed to pass almost unnoticed by our Legislators. We are not surprised to hear that it has been discovered that [Jim] Lane and his "Danite" band in Kansas Territory, are combined with the Mormons. It is said in the papers that Eldridge, the Financial Agent of the Emigrant Aid Society in Kansas, is a Mormon. It is a fact that Horace Eldridge, one of the Mormon leaders, and a Bishop in the Church, went to St. Louis last Spring as the financial agent of the Mormon Church, and purchased goods there for the Church, which were sent out last Summer. He is rather a tall, slim man, with wiry, black hair and beard, and sharp gray eyes; he has, we are informed, a daughter in the States. Eldridge, a week, before starting from Utah, although he had already several wives, married two young girls at Provo City...



UTAH ARMY. -- ...This place (Fort Bridger) is admirably located: timber abundant close by for fuel and building; grass can be out within two hundred yards of the garrison; water at the door; and it commands every road leading into the country. The Mormons burned the buildings of this place and Fort Supply; at the latter piled up their grain and set fire to it; left their potatoes, turnips, in the ground. The walls of Fort Bridger are standing; they were built for defence last fall; six feet through at base, one and a-half at top, sixteen feet high, and one hundred by one hundred and ten on one part, one hundred by seventy-five on another. They tried to fire the grass, but snow fell and extinguished it. Our snow was our salvation. When the grass was burned the flames scorched the trees sixty feet high. Had the command advanced sooner than it did the animals would have starved, and the army could not have found or reached a place of shelter. Our grass is eaten up for three miles around us; but we have animals on Smith's Fork (three miles off), and there is grass enough there for the whole band; but no shelter and insufficient wood. This valley is warm, wooded and watered, and welcomed us. Our legs are untied, or fast setting so; and when spring comes a more devastating swarm of grasshoppers will never have swept that valley of Salt lake than will this may be, if our progress is molested. This people design our starvation, our destruction; and there is no device man can resort to which they will not practise -- from assassination, murder, fire and flood. The robbers and assassins will scatter and form bands of guerillas, and no party, no train, no band of cattle, will pass to the valley if they can murder, burn, or run off. The Mormons have great fear of mounted men; and had not Col. Johnston brought up the two companies of the second from Laramie, from the negligence of the guards and watchfulness of the Mormons, we would now be without meat, and struggling by hand to get here. Had the second dragoons been sent at the time directed -- telegraphed -- not an animal would have been lost by theft. The army could not, however, have entered the valley without leaving its supplies behind. The Mormons are a set of cowards, like all assassins and bullies; and I fear their leaders, and those who have no claims in the valley, will run away, requiring their deluded followers to ‘destroy their property, lost it might benefit us. The leaders rely on such vacillating conduct as was pursued by Congress in the Kansas question. I hope out national legislature will declare the territory in rebellion, and call upon all governors and commanding officers to arrest and keep in custody all persons leaving the territory, and especially the leaders, unless accompanied by a safeguard or passport.



CAMPAIGN IN UTAH. -- General Scott has nearly completed the arrange ments for the spring and summer campaign against the Mormons. He is soon to be dispatched by the war department to the Pacific coast, for the purpose of organizing a force to operate against the Mormons from that quarter.



MORMON WAR. -- [... News from the troops - Mormons prepared to resist, Echo Canyon fortified and occupied by Mormon Rangers...]


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


Vol. ?                          Springfield, Mass., Saturday, June 12, 1858.                            No. ?



The  Peaceful  News  from  Utah.

Brigham Young and his followers have tempered their valor with discretion, and the president is doubtless correct in announcing to Congress and the country that the Mormon war is over. What the Mormons propose to do -- whether they will retain any degree their hold on Salt Lake City and the other settlements in the territory -- or, deserting all, concentrate elsewhereoutside our present limits; and whether, or not, we are fully and forever rid of them, are all points of public interest. They receive little or no elucidation either in the president's message or Gov. Cumming's dispatches. The governor seems to have been greatly impressed with the ovations in his honor from the Saints, and his dispatches are occupied more with details of these, than with an intelligent statement of the terms of the capitulation of the Mormons, and their and his own future purposes. We gather from the dispatches, in addition to what has been already published, that the people themselves seemed cordially to approve of their leader's course and recognize Gov. Cumming with all the honors and respect due to his authority. Complaints were made that the Indian Agent, Mr. Hart, in that region had incited some of the Indian tribes to acts of hostility against the Mormons, and Gov. Cumming promises to investigate and redress these. He gave notice that people in Salt Lake City, who deemed themselves aggrieved by the government of Brigham Young, or illegally restrained of their liberty among the Mormons, should receive protection from him; and in response 56 men, 33 women and 71 children came forward, and evinced a disposition to be separated from the Mormons and become citizens of the United States. They were mostly English people, some of the late emigrants to Salt Lake.

Gov. Cumming says his visit to the Tabernacle will never be forgotten. There were between three and four thousand persons assembled for the purpose of public worship, and there was a most profound silence when he appeared. Brigham Young introduced him by name as governor of Utah, and he (Cumming) addressed them for half an hour, telling them his purpose to uphold the constitution and the laws, and that he would expect their obedience to all lawful authority, at the same time assuring them of his determination to administer equal and exact justice, etc. He was listened to respectfully. He invited responses to his speech and several spoke, referring in excited tones to the murder of Joseph Smith, to the service rendered by the Mormon battallion in the Mexican war, and recapitulating long chapters of their wrongs. The tumult fearfully increased as they progressed, but an appeal from Young restored calmness. Several afterwards expressed regret for their behavior.

Governor Cumming describes the exodus of the Mormons, saying the people, including the inhabitants of Salt Lake, in the northern part of the territory, are leaving. The roads everywhere are filled with wagons loaded with provisions and household furniture. Wimen and children often without shoes or hats, are driving their flocks they know not where, seeming not only content, but cheerful. It is the will of the Lord, they say, and they rejoice to change the comforts of home for the trails of the wilderness. Their ultimate destination was not fixed on. Going south seemed to be sufficient to designate the place; but from private remarks of Young in the Tabernacle, Gov. Cumming thinks they are going to Sonora. Young, Kimball, and most of the influential men had left their commodious houses to swell the ranks of the emigrants.

The masses everywhere announced to Gov. Cumming that the torch will be applied to every house, indiscriminately throughout the country, as soon as the troops attempt to cross the mountains, and that, although their people are scattered they would take every means to rally them. Gov Cumming says that some of the Mormons are yet in arms, and speaks of the mischief they are capable of rendering as guerillas.

Gov. Cumming would leave for the South on the 3d of May. He says that he will restrain all the proceedings of the military for the present, and until he shall receive additional instructions from the president.


Note: The article appeared in the daily edition of the Republican, and probably also in the weekly edition.


 


Lowell  Daily  Citizen and News.

Vol. VIII.                           Lowell, Mass., Saturday, April 9, 1859.                           No. 903.



More Knavery -- At the last session of Congress Senator Johnson of Arkansas smuggled into some bill as appropriation of $10,000 for removing from Utah to Arkansas several children of emigrants who had been slain by Indians on the route. Before this grant was passed, arangements had been privately made for removing them at an expense of about $600, but Johnson's Democratic backers at home wanted a job and so the treasury had to "suffer some." Commisioners have been appointed to expend this appropriation and they have already pocketed $2200 as an outfit for the journey. Thus to help the disunion negro democracy of Arkansas pay their electioneering expense the whole nation is taxed $10,000 for the performance of a $600 job that humane persons are willing to do for nothing.


Note: See also the Daily National Intelligencer for March 10, 1858.


 


BOSTON  DAILY  ADVERTISER.

Vol. 94.                     Boston, Mass., Thursday, November 17, 1859.                     No. 119.



From  Utah.

(From the New York Journal of Commerce.)

WASHINGTON, Saturday, Nov. 12.    
More attention than usual is now directed to affairs in Utah. Several of the government officers, civil and judicial, of that Territory are now here, or on their way here. Judge Cradlebaugh is soon to arrive here. These officers left Utah without leave of absence, and for the purpose of resigning their posts, or effecting, through their representations, some policy of the government, as they say, in regard to the factious and unmanageable Mormons. They represent that the authority of the federal government and its officers is annihilated, and the Territory is subject only to the authority of Brigham Young, and his agents. It is impossiblr to preserve order or protect life and property in the Territory. Murder and robbery are common, and the perpetrators cannot be brought to justice. The country is not safe for travelers. Few of the emigrants passing on that rpute escape from the Mormon banditti, who are organized under the name of Danites, and have become formidable from numbers, and desperation, and immunity from punishment. The aemy is represented as useless and inactive, because of the stringent instructions to General Johnston, the commanding officer. He cannot interfere for the protection of persons and property at the instance of the judicial authorities.

The numbers of the Mormons are not much increased by immigration. The late troubles between them and the federal government have checked immigration to a considerable degree. The Mormon population is said not to exceed fifty-five thousand. The order of Danites is said to be in some measure independent of the Mormon hierarchy, and "Gentiles" are admitted into it. Young men from the States who are led to that region by any adventures, though not designing to become Mormons, find ready resource from starvation by the Danites, a band that subsists by plunder....

The presence of the army is a great boon to them. It gives them a ready market for all that they can supply in products and industry. The army consists of nearly three thousand men. The Mormons are now so independent and so comfortably situated, that they appear to have relinquished the idea which they formerly entertained, of abandoning the country, and seeking a home beyond the limits of the United States.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


Berkshire  County  Eagle.

Vol. XXXI.                     Pittsfield, Mass., Thursday, January 26, 1860.                     No. 37.



HOW TO CIRCUMVENT THE MORMONS. -- Judge Cradlebaugh, who is on his way home from Utah, by way of California, had a plan for getting the upper hands of the Mormons, which he will lay before the administration. He will urge the extention of the preemption laws over the territory, so as to secure a large Gentile emigration at once, sufficient within a year to out-vote the Mormons. A Gentile Legislature would take from Young the power of marriage and divorce, and secure the supremacy of law. The gentile population in the territory is already large, and five or six thousand more voters would be sufficient to carry Judge Cradlebaugh's plan into effect. It is believed that the Mormons will retire into Mexico, or some island in the Pacific Ocean, as soon as their supremacy in Utah is broken. They are now engaged in a movement of importance, the object of which they keep to themselves. By orders from Young all the Mormon settlements are organizing military companies, which are supplied with arms and ammunition from Salt Lake City. It is now believed that they intend to renew the war with the United States, but the more general supposition os that they forsee that they must eventually leave Utah, and are preparing to take possession of some of northern Mexico. The annual message of Governor Cumming to the Mormon Legislature, treats the Mormon outrages in a very mild and gingerly manner, to the great disgust of the Gentiles.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


BOSTON  DAILY  ADVERTISER.

Vol. ?                              Boston, Mass., Tuesday, March 22, 1860.                              No. ?



THE UTAH TROUBLE. -- The New York Tribune prints a long letter addressed to the President by Judges Cradlebaugh and Sinclair, late of Utah Territory. It has been known for some time that there was a difference between the executive and the judicial officers of the United States in that territory, Governor Cummings being on excellent terms with the Mormons and sympathising with them, while the judges, as well as the military, have found reason for regarding most of the Mormons as little better than rebels, and many of them no better than murderers and robbers. An attempt made last year by the Federal judges to press on the trial of offenders with what was deemed undue rigor, led to an open collision between the Governor and the Judges. An appeal was made to the authorities at Washington, and the Attorney-General sided with the Governor, rebuking the Judges in a published letter. Judges Cradlebaugh and Sinclair resigned their positions and replied to the Attorney-General in a joint letter. That letter is now published, being dated July 16, 1859. It is dignified and respectful in language, but tells a story which reflects no credit upon our government, which is content to let this disgrace remain without an effort for reform.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


BOSTON  DAILY  ADVERTISER.

Vol. ?                           Boston, Mass., Wednesday, March 23, 1860.                           No. ?



CONFLICT OF AUTHORITIES IN UTAH. -- Just at this moment when Congress is proposing to annihilate the fiction of popular sovereignty in Utah, by prohibiting polygamy in that territory, it is worth while to keep in mind the attitude which the executive preserves among the Mormons. What sort of foundation has the alleged pacification of Utah laid for the execution of the federal laws, what power is there, disposed and able to carry out those laws?...

The old quarrel between the executive and jusicial officers of the territory, brought to mind once more by the letter from Judges Cradlebaugh and Sinclair, to which we referred to yesterday, illustrates precisely the kind of management by which it has been sought to keep the surface of affairs smooth in Utah. Certain Mormon prisoners being held for trial at a place where there is no jail, the marshal being absent and there being reason to apprehend a rescue, the judge asked for assistance from the military authorities, which was promptly granted, the general in command agreeing with the judge that this step was absolutely necessary. The Governor comes down to the spot, makes inquiries of the accused parties, and is naturally enough satisfied that the judge has done wrong. The difference is a very simple one, and its grounds are quite easily comprehended, -- easily enough indeed to save the authorities at Washington from any apparent necessity for going astray in the matter.

It is absolutely certain that the judge took the only course which offered any hope of executing the law, and that the Governor's course in this as in other matters was intended as an abandonment of all efforts for its enforcement. With a sense of justice, however, like that which in another city, a few days ago, inflicted upon a party accused of robbery and assault a three months' sentence, while the prosecutor had been detained as witness for eight months, the Attorney-General proceeded to censure the judges and applaud the Governor....

...This method of governing a territory is very easy and very cheap; it leaves a surplus of military force, which can be drawn off to the Mexican frontier or elsewhere, without danger of weakening those authorities who do not pretend to have any strength. But precisely what it leads to we shall see, in case the law against polygamy is passed, and Mr. Buchanan's successor undertakes to enforce it, -- there need be no fear that in Mr. Buchanan's time this law or any other will be suffered to disturb the contented rebels of Utah.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 



Boston  Evening  Transcript.

Vol. XXXVII.                   Boston, Mass., Tuesday, August 8, 1865.                   No. 10,827.



THE MORMON "NEW ORGANIZATION." Joseph Smith, of Nauvoo, son of the founder of Mormonism, publishes in the Council Bluffs (Iowa) Nonpareil, a long letter defending the Mormon New Organization against the charge of believing in polygamy. Smith quotes from the "Book of Covenants" of his church, showing that it teaches and requires that the husband shall have but one wife, and he challenges a public discussion of the subject, to be held in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Of the "Old Organization" -- that a Salt Lake -- he says it does not and cannot defend the doctrine of polygamy, by evidence from the Book of Mormon and Book of Doctrine and Covenants.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


Vol. XLVI.                   Springfield, Mass., Saturday, January 2, 1869.                     No. 1.



RELIGIOUS  INTELLIGENCE.

...President Smith of the Mormon church lately ptreached a sermon at Salt Lake City, in which he denied a current report as to the origin of the Book of Mormon. He said: "It has been claimed that a Presbyterian minister, named Solomon Spaulding, wrote the Book of Mormon; but the very language and style of the book are abundant evidence that it never was written by a learned man, and that it never was written by a man who designed to make a romance or novel. It is very well known to hundreds and thousands that this statement in relation to Solomon Spaulding is entirely false, and that no such man ever had any acquaintance with Joseph Smith. It is also known to hundreds that the Book of Mormon was written by Oliver Cowdery, word for word as dictated by Joseph Smith, and that the original copy of that work was in Cowdery's handwriting. * * *

"I bear testimony that these things are true, and that God did inspire His servant Joseph Smith and the elders of Israel to lay the foundation of the only true church upon the face of the earth, and did inspire His servant Brigham Young to lead forth the Saints to build up Zion in the chambers of the mountains in these last days -- and this is the path to celestial glory. 'Oh, but,' says one, 'are you going to send everybody who does not believe in Mormonism to that burning lake you were talking about?' No, we are not; we expect that God will deal with every man according to his works, whether good or evil; but we testify that no man can ever attain to the fullness of the blessings of celestial glory without obeying the ordinances which God has revealed to the Latter-day Saints."


Note: The "President" above mentioned was Counselor George A. Smith, who delivered his discourse in Salt Lake City on Nov. 16, 1863. The Republican editor appears to have been more than a little tardy in getting this report into his paper's columns.


 


Boston  Daily  Journal.

Vol. XXXVI.                 Boston, Mass., Wednesday, October 13, 1869.                 No. 12,233.



Parker Fraternity Lectures.
______

Anna Dickinson on "Whited Sepulchres;
or, Salt Lake City."
______

(REPORTED FOR THE JOURNAL.)

The twelfth annual series of the Fraternity Lectures commenced at Music Hall last evening by a lecture by Miss Anna Dickinson on the subject of her recent visit to Salt Lake City. The building was crowded in all parts. Previous to the address Mr. Eugene Thaver performed a choice selection of music on the Great Organ. Afterward one of the managers of the course came forward and made a brief introductory speech, in which he alluded to the success that had attended the efforts of a few earnest men, eleven years ago, who asked the favor of the public for a platform on which men and women might make themselves heard without any questions of what church they belonged to or in what college they graduated.

Miss Dickinson commenced her address by quoting the old proverb of "See Rome and die." The new adage should read, "See Salt Lake City and live -- live to work." She was aware that there was a growing sentiment in America against work; it was a growing feeling that men should learn from nature and not exert themselves. She had noticed in California that on the prairies there was an immense variety of wild oats and other kinds of crops and herbage that had been there time out of knowledge, and would probably continue time without thought. There were places on that Pacific land, that reached over the length and breadth of it, that had never been cultivated, but which were so beautiful as almost to call out the remark of Charles the Emperor, that "Florence was too pleasant to be looked upon, only on holy days." Beautiful as the place was, however, it needed to be cultivated.

As she travelled to and fro the streets of the new Sodom (Salt Lake City), and looked into people's faces and considered their existence, and looked at the evil in their midst, and thought of its continuance and the utter absolute carelessness of the people to this thing and about it, and saw how the evil was going on day by day; seeing this, she could not help recognizing the measure of damnation that was being filled up against all people that did not exert themselves in the matter; she stood still and lifted up the voice of her soul and asked to die. But then she would like to live, knowing that there was a work to be done for the elevation of humanity.

It was at the close of a beautiful June day that she first looked upon the city of the saints -- a vast level stretch of plain; an inland sea of sapphire, reflecting a sapphire sky; range after range of mountains glowing through a marvelously clear air, whilst over all ranged the diamond bridge of the eternal wall of snow. In the midst of such a scene rose this whited sepulchre, fair unto the eye, pleasant to the contemplation of the traveler, but whose inhabitants were in the depths of hell. Wide, clean streets, miracles of cleanliness to the Eastern eye, with a stream flowing down the principal avenue, and little branch rivulets flowing through the gutters, so that one might drink the nectar of the gods from his front door. Each hut standing on its own patch of ground, literally surrounded and swamped by a mass of greenery, with flowers and shrubs loaded with their productions. Cleanliness, order, quiet -- too quiet, in fact, as a stagnant pool was quieter than the flowing brook, but it could not be said to be purer -- order perfect, quiet absolute; for the man who ruled Utah and Salt Lake had brains -- brains sufficient, if they pleased, to govern this country or any other. Nowhere was there more absolute despotism, a more complete illustration of the power of a hierarchy than in the person of Brigham Young. When that man died -- and God hasten the day -- the bottom virtually dropped out of the tub. Heaven hasten the day! she said, although there would be a vast amount of inconceivably dirty water spilled over the world. The man's power was absolute: he was head of the church and head of the State; he was absolute in authority -- religious, civil, military. The territory was districted, and the city was districted, and over each of these districts was one of Young's intelligent tools, who was a bishop, a civil magistrate, and a judge of elections at the same time. Utah was not a Territory of the Republic, it was a kingdom of Mormonism; it was not a part of the United States, it was a domain of Brigham Young. The elections there were by ballot, but yet they had the worst features of our open vote, for the system was so under the espionage of these men who presided over districts that each man's vote was known to the authorities, and the voter was accordingly immediately recognized as a faithful follower, a devout brother of the church, to be rewarded and trusted; or he was a renegade, and was hunted down. Every disaffection that grew to open revolt in Utah was speedily done away with by assassination. Regular military organization, each man trained to arms, hatred to the government of the country, were inculcated in a system preached, once a month at least, in which a long list of their grievances against the United States were recounted; a system in which the people were told that the United States had no legal authority over them, and yet enjoining absolute subjugation to their own President, who had a revelation direct from heaven, which he announced the next Sabbath morning, when the wisdom of government or anything relating to his property was called into question. And he was always obeyed, even to the giving one-fifth of their subsistence -- for the benefit of tke church, of course -- although Young went to Salt Lake a poor man, and was now the third depositor in the Bank of England. The strangest part of it was that there was not a man in authority in the Territory who was not an American -- American brains monopolized the houses, the lands, the profits, the emoluments, and the wives.

There was a very common mistake in regard to Utah, and that was that the women far outnumbered the men. Such was not the case; there were really more men than women. A great many had but one wife; the majority had no wives at all. The Bishops of the church, the Apostles, the Elders, and the Governors of Districts, have the money whereby they could support wives, and the young girls there, knowing that they would have an unhappy time if they married a poor man, looked after the comforts as much as possible. The theory of polygamy was universally adopted, believed, and supported by their lips and by their hearts, but it was not universally put into practice for the simple reason that there was not women enough to carry it out. Order, cleanliness, quiet, peace, on the one side; on the other no schools -- the speaker begged pardon, there were schools, buildings that would accommodate 100 to 300 pupils -- but they were private family schools, one owned by Brigham Young, and that was filled with his offspring, and others belonging to the prominent men there, all crowded, but still belonging to one family. No free schools, no general system of education, no libraries, no reading-rooms, no morality in the streets or in the theatre. The last named institution, like everything else of any value, was Brigham's own property. There was no happiness. The people wore a stolid, heavy countenance, and their laughter was without mirth. She had gone into the places they called homes, or at least where they lived, and found that as one wife after another came into the room they dropped a little curtsey and fell into a chair, and behaved not as wives, but as tolerated servitors in the presence of a chief. She had seen the children there, and as she heard of five out of six dying, and looked at the puny, sunken, stunted animals that remained, she could not help crying in bitterness to God that they too might be in their graves. She had looked into the houses and saw half a dozen rooms and half a dozen wives; in the theatre, where one man would be attended by a score of women, all of them his wives; where the half circle would be crowded with young girls, the daughters of one man, but the daughters of forty-three different living women. She heard stories bandied about the streets that Brigham Young would admire girls and afterwards discover they were his own daughters, and about Brigham's son Joseph, who excused himself from the society of United States officers on the ground that he wanted to go and make love to one of his mothers.

She had met gentlemen, not illiterate creatures, but men of honor and respectability, and trusted and lifted into the high places of the land by the consent of the people about them, who, in talking of Utah, made remarks which were particularly [unpleasant] for a woman, who loved her own sex, to hear. They thought Salt Lake a capital place, separations were easy, and divorces could be had almost for the asking. How would these men like their own wives, when off on a summer vacation, to speak and act as they, their lords, did? One circumstance that happened to her was amusing. The night she arrived in the city a serenade was given to some one in the hotel -- it was not meant for her -- and after a while some one cried for "Miss Dickinson." A dispute took place as to whether it was "Miss" or "Mister" -- for these people were in the same difficulty respecting what are termed strong-minded people as the Americans were, and so the problem was solved by some one shouting "Bring it out." On Sunday she went to their Tabernacle, and saw there sitting in the high places, well met, well received, John Todd; heard him preach a sermon wherein he apostrophized all these people as "fellow sinners and brethren!" She heard him tell a story wherein it was stated that, differences of creed notwithstanding, all good people were sure of eternal salvation. He did not say Mormons by word, but if not by implication then what was the story worth? and why was it told? and why in the presence of those people did he say that there was nothing necessary to their salvation but faith in Christ? Who were the men before him? There was Bishop Johnson, whose wives included four sisters and two nieces, and George D. Watt, a church reporter, married to, among others, his own half-sister, and Bolton, having a mother and daughter among his wives, and a host of men who count their twenty and more wives. These were the men with whom this man claimed kinship and brotherhood. John Todd, minister and divine, with such filth about him, did not cry out, "Oh God, where are thy lightnings" but looked at the case in all its loathsome bearings, and passed by it. The affairs in Salt Lake City were very much like the condition of affairs in every other city, with the exception that vices were not tolerated in one place whilst they were in the other. Brazen faced things went openly on the streets in Utah that elsewhere wore a mask -- that were covered up in some way; the underlying theory of saint and gentile, of Mormon and Christian, in regard to woman kind, was very much the same in both places -- that a woman belonged to a man, body and soul, and was to serve him till God released her, but the men were not so bound to their wives. The theory was that women were to help men, to derive their existence, so to speak, from them, but not to perfect themselves, not to make themselves strong and then to give them what aid she could. A woman was a mother to his children, not her own. Her business was to be a wife and mother, and not a woman. That theory was as rife in the highly cultivated city of Boston as it was among the God-forsaken heathen in the desert plains of Salt Lake. John Todd's theory, a theory not only found in John Todd's mouth, but in the mouths of millions of people in America, was that the only duty of woman was that of motherhood -- not at all a matter in a spiritual or mental sense, but physically.

This was a theory entirely approved of by the Mormons. Stripped of all sentiment, of all glamour, of all delicate words and exquisite sentences, such was the real state of affairs in Utah. It was being stated that women were in favor of the system of polygamy. They were. So were the women of Turkey and Persia in favor of their system of selling females from the shambles. So were the women of this land in favor of being considered the weaker and irresponsible portion of mankind. She had got into conversation with the first wife of a Mormon, who had been legally married in England, and who then loved the man of her choice dearly, and could bear that no one should come between them, but who now was so callous, so stolid looking, that she apparently did not care how many wives her husband had, or if she cared at all about the matter, it was that the more he had the better she would be pleased, and she had drawn this woman into conversation and painted to her, her happy English home, and asked her if she had any idea of her husband ever taking to himself another wife if she would have married him. Then she saw the real woman; her heart-strings had been touched and she wept bitterly. Women bore the system; they did not love it.

Speaking of the Mormon women led Miss Dickinson to speak in a lengthy manner of American women. She did not see why woman should be borne down, by trammels of custom and antiquity as she was. She (the speaker) wanted to see women as well educated as men, who claimed that privilege because they were going to some profession. Had men ever any duties to perform that could compare with those of women? Did not woman form the character of the human race, and for such work as that she required, if anything, finer tools and more skilful hands than man? The absurdities of custom! She had seen men enjoy themselves among the Sierra Nevadas on horseback; she had seen that they could leap on the horse's back, and could move freely in the saddle, riding fearlessly by the side of great precipices, but she had seen that not one of these things could a woman do. It would be decidedly improper for her to vault into a saddle. She must wait for assistance, and then, must be pulled and pushed about in a horrible manner, and then afterwards must have help in going down or up a hill, when gentlemen were of course very ready to assist, and smiled and looked pleased, but at the same time voted them nuisances and bores. And then women could not go into dangerous places because she was so seated on a horse. Miss Dickinson had tried both ways. In just the same way did men and women go riding through the world. Man was allowed every liberty, but this was not the case with woman. She wanted to see nobler types of womanhood and manhood; such types are George William Curtis on the one side and Elizabeth Barrett Browning on the other. The women were not satisfied with their present condition, and their dissatisfaction did not arise from any woman's rights conventions, or anything of the kind, but it was the march of the age. The time was coming rapidly; the boats had entered the stream, and in them were such women as Miss Anthony, Mrs. Stanton, and others, who led the van, and the banks were surrounded by men who laughed and jeered, just as they had long ago laughed to scorn Phillips and Garrison. But their scorn would be shortly turned to praise, as was always the case at the success of anything. She counseled woman to be sure of her own self respect, and since God had made her a little lower than the angels and crowned her with glory and honor, let them see to it, as God himself commands, that no man take their crown.


Note: The Dickinson "Whited Sepulchres" lecture given at Boston's Music Hall on October 12, 1869 was an oral reform essay (and, to many contemporary listeners, a unique entertainment experience) developed from her initial delivery of a very similar speech, presented in San Francisco's Piatt Hall on Sept. 6, 1869. A summary of that original communication was published in the San Francisco Chronicle of Sept. 7, 1869. Miss Dickinson traveled the country delivering the "Whited Sepulchres" lecture, improving upon it from time to time (for example, she soon corrected her opening sentence, replacing "Rome" with "Naples") and tailoring the message to her allotted time in front of different kinds of audiences. Beginning in the early part of 1870, she dropped the horse riding commentary at the lecture's termination, and crafted an inspirational, sermon-like "Woman's Rights Movement" ending in its place. See also the Brooklyn Daily Eagle of Nov. 20, 1869 and the St. Louis Daily Missouri Democrat of March 5, 1870 for other summaries of her ever-evolving lecture.

Note 3: Miss Dickinson never gave her lecture in Salt Lake City, nor in any other setting where her auditors were predominently LDS. Despite its continued advertisement as an anti-Mormon discourse, the Salt Lake City portion of her presentation was not its main point nor the focus of her liberationist rhetoric. She passed over opportunities to provide details on the incest of Springfield's Bishop Aaron Johnson, and she mentioned secret abortions (Saintly or otherwise) in only a single, cloaked sentence. She was well aware of the Stowe-Byron "incest scandal" then sweeping through the press of the English-speaking world, and could have easily capitalized upon Mormon parallels with that particular degradition of womanhood. However, Dickinson left extended commentary on the salacious aspects of her Salt Lake City experience to the less circumspect editorializing of the Corinne Daily Reporter, and instead directed her feminist indignation towards the ubiquitous non-Mormon leaders who were then implicitly supporting Mormon family notions and explicitly promoting their own versions of female subordination.



 



Boston  Evening  Transcript.

Vol. ?                         Boston, Massachusetts, Sunday, October 2, 1870.                         No. ?



BIRTHPLACE  AND  EARLY  RESIDENCE  OF
JOSEPH  SMITH,  JR.

To the Editor of the Transcript: The different authors who have given biographical notices of the above noted individual disagree in relation to the place of his nativity. Coolidge and Mansfield, in their "History of New England," say that Joe Smith, the founder of Mormonism, was born and spent his youthful days in Sharon. Mr. Tucker, in his "History of the Rise and Progress of Mormonism,' says, that "Joseph Smith, Jr., was born in Sharon, Windsor County, Vermont, Dec. 13, 1805. He was the son of Joseph Smith, Sr., who removed from Royalton, Vermont, to Palmyra, N. Y., in the summer of 1816." Mr. Drake says that Joseph Smith, Jr., was born in Sharon. Other notices say that Joe was born in Royalton. I am a native of Royalton, Vt., and resided in that town for a long period. A short time since I had an interview with John L. Bowman, who was formerly a constable and collector of taxes in Royalton. I inquired in relation to the farm and house of Joseph Smith, Sr., and he answered that it was his opinion that the house lot and the buildings of Mr. Smith were in Royalton, near Sharon line, and the farm partly in Sharon. Not feeling quite satisfied, I wrote to the Hon. Daniel Woodard, formerly a judge of the Windsor County Court, and received the following information;

"I have recently been upon the ground where Joe Smith first saw the light, The house was upon the top of the high ridge of land between Royalton and Sharon, and the buildings were located in Royalton. It is a beautiful place in summer, and is secluded from disturbance by the outside world. Joe's mother was the daughter of Solomon Mack, an infirm man, who used to ride about the country on horseback, using a woman's saddle, or what was termed a side-saddle. Joseph Smith, Sr., was at times engaged in hunting for Captain Kidd's buried treasure, and he also became implicated with one Jack Downing in counterfeiting money, but turned State's evidence and escaped the penalty. The Smith family moved from the old farm farther into Royalton, about one-half or three-fourths of a mile from my father's, and was living there while our house was building, and Joe came to the raising. I think it was in 1812, and Joe was then about eight years of age."

Joseph Smith, Sr., once more made a removal in Royalton to the Metcalf neighborhood, resided there a few years, and then with all his family, including the prophets, departed for New York. I well recollect Mr. Mack, of whom Judge Woodard speaks, and his business on horseback was selling an autobiography of himself. I think it is now settled that Joe Smith was born in Royalton, and resided there until the family all removed out of the State.
VERMONTER IN CAMBRIDGE.        


Note 1: This communication was written by Prof. Truman H. Safford (1836-1901), a noted astronomer who was then employed at Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Safford subsequently composed similar accounts for the Cambridge Chronicle (1872) and the Boston Ladies' Repository (1873). Since Solomon Mack died in 1820 (16 years before Safford's birth), the Transcript correspondent's recollection of "Mr. Mack" was obviously gained second-hand, from old Windsor County residents. See also this article's reprint in the Nov. 1870 issue of The Historical Magazine.

Note 2: Professor Safford was born in the same Vermont county as was Joseph Smith, Jr. The Smith cabin strattled the line between Sharon and Royalton townships. When Royalton's notable historical figures are mentioned in books and articles, the two men generally share about the same measure of consideration. Safford was born a generation too late to have personally encountered the Joseph Smith, Sr. family in New England, so his reporting on that topic consists only of hearsay information. For more details on the Smith family in Windsor County, Vermont, see the NYC Mormon of July 12, 1856, the Danville North Star of March 27, 1874, the Syracuse Sunday Herald of April 9, 1916 and Richard L. Anderson's 1971 book, Joseph Smith's New England Heritage.

Note 3: The purported counterfeiting operation of "Jack Downing," in early 19th century Windsor County, Vermont remains unsubstantiated. John L. Brooke, in his 1994 book, The Refiner's Fire, cites an 1807 judgment against "George Downer of Sharon," who had been passing bogus banknotes in that place. Downer stated that his conviction was based upon "the uncorroborated testimony of one who was an acknowledged accomplice;" a claim which appears to correspond to the 1870 recollection, of Joseph Smith, Sr. having been "implicated" in the counterfeiting crime, and having escaped punishment when he "turned State's evidence." See also Judge Joel K. Noble's Mar. 8, 1842 letter to Jonathan B. Turner, where Noble says: "Jo. Smith Senior Lived in Vermont -- connected with a band of counterfeiters..."


 



Vol. XL.                     Boston, Mass., Wednesday, January 4, 1871.                     No. 36.



                                    For the Boston Investigator.
A Letter from B. F. Underwood.

Strawberry Point, (Iowa,) Dec. 20, 1870.    
Mr. Editor: -- I have just finished a series of lectures at Elkader, (Iowa). I commenced the course on Monday evening, and gave the last lecture on the afternoon of the Sunday following. These discourses were given in the Universalist Church, the directors of which, with commendable liberality, granted its use...

Among the gentlemen who called on me while I was at Elkader, was Mr. William Smith, a brother of Joseph Smith, the Founder and Prophet of the Mormon religion. He is a gentleman under sixty years of age, a well-informed man, and a citizen highly esteemed for his integrity. Before the Mormon settlement was broken up at Nauvoo, he was one of the twelve apostles of the Mormon Church. From twenty-five to thirty years ago he was President of the Eastern branch of the Mormon Church, and he preached the Gospel "according to the Prophet Joseph" in most of the Eastern and Middle States. He was preaching to a Mormon congregation assembled in a hall on the Bowery, New York city, when news came of the murder of his brothers Joseph and Hiram. In 1843, he states he preached a sermon in the Melodeon, in Boston. He says that the Presidency of the entire church after the death of Joseph belonged to him, during the minority of Joseph Smith, Jr. [sic]; but that Brigham Young determined to secure the position and fearing him as a rival, resolved on putting him out of the way by violence. He says that his assassination was agreed upon in a Mormon Council, held in Nauvoo, of which Young was the leading member. He was informed of the intentions of his false brethren by two friends who preferred violating the oath of secrecy which they had taken to being a party to the crime upon which the Council had determined. He fled from the city in great haste. The property which he had left behind was seized and confiscated by the Mormon Church. A published statement of these facts appeared at the time in a Galena (Ill.) paper, over his own signature, and was generally copied by other papers throughout the country.

Although Mr. Smith brings heavy accusations against the Mormons that accepted the leadership of Young, and says that the religion which prevails in Utah, including its polygamous doctrines and practices, is a perversion or corruption of the system founded by his brother, yet he is a firm believer that Joseph Smith was a prophet raised up by God; and that the Mormon Bible is a genuine, authentic revelation from Heaven. He defends his brother's character and claims with much ability. His account of Joseph's early career is very interesting. He intends to lecture some this winter. A number who have heard him lecture, informed me that he is a very good public speaker. Of his sincerity and honesty no one entertains a doubt.

Elkader is some fifty miles Northwest of Dubuque, and has about twelve hundred inhabitants. I rode forty miles by stage to get there.

I am now lecturing at this place. I shall finish a course in lectures here to-night. I have spoken in the Universalist Church and to a crowded house every evening.

To-morrow night I start again for Pike Co., to meet Prof. Braden in discussion. The weather is intensely cold.
        Respectfully,         B. F. UNDERWOOD.


Note 1: Benjamin F. Underwood (1839-1914) was a noted lecturer and champion of "liberal" views, including the separation of church and state, the rights of atheists, etc. For many years he was a primary contributor to the Boston Free Religious Index. It is doubtful that he felt much sympathy for William B. Smith, even if he was unaware of William's saintly promiscuity, coupled with periodic renunciations and professions of Mormonism.

Note 2: By 1871 William was well on his way into the embrace of the Reorganized LDS Church. See his communications in Saints' Herald: June 1, 1868, Jan. 1, 1869, and Feb. 15, 1872.


 


The Cambridge Chronicle.

Vol. ?                             Cambridge, Mass., Tuesday, July 27, 1872.                             No. ?



Written for the Cambridge Chronicle.

JOSEPH  SMITH,  JR.;
OR,  THE  CREDULITY  EXHIBITED  BY  PEOPLE
IN  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY.

_________

BY T. H. SAFFORD.

The annals of the world do not present a more marked and extraordinary case of unblushing effrontery, of impudence and boldness, than was exhibited by that notorious imposter, Joseph Smith, Jr., in introducing a new religion, where there was not the slightest portion of extract or tincture of common sense in either the foundation or base, for the superstructure which he successfully raised.

The vagabond habits, low cunning and duplicity of the man, the wickedness and absurdity of his pretentions to sanctity, and his claim of being the favored individual whom the Mighty Maker of the World had selected as an organ to make a supplementary revelation to mankind, should have been sufficient to convince the people who were induced to make profession of faith and join him, that they were becoming the dupes of an untutored and artful rogue, and that his pretended religion was based in hypocrisy, falsehood and delusion, and that his schemes were visionary and fanatical from the foundation.

But such was not the result. At the present time the converts to his doctrines are estimated as high as one million of people, who are said to believe in this false faith, and give credence to Smith's pretensions, and those of his successor, Brigham Young. Missionary stations and printing presses advocating Mormon doctrines, are scattered over the world; the Mormon Bible has been translated into a large number of different languages, and is now read and believed by thousands of converts, Smith's death did not by any means put a stop to or diminish the delusion, but his church was greatly augmented in numbers after that event, and England, even enlightened England, sends large numbers of her people to join the Mormon ranks under the control of its present High Priest.

A full account of this stupendous imposture would make a distinguished page in the annals of the age. In 1816 the father and mother of Joseph Smith, Jr., with a large family of children, including the prophet, removed from the northeasterly portion of Royalton, Vermont, to Palmyra, New York, but finally settled in the neighboring town of Manchester. They were an uneducated and thriftless family, from the lowest grade of society, and report said that their removal neither improved their morals nor advanced their pecuniary interests. Joseph Smith, Jr. was born in the town of Sharon, adjoining the easterly portion of Royalton, and to this last town the father and family subsequently removed. Royalton is my native town, and in justness to the reputation of the place, I will say that the removal was fortunate for Smith, as Royalton would not at that time have been a suitable place in which to play off the amount of minor fooleries, deception and chicanery, which was necessary to set up his business and gain a imputation as a fortune teller and prophet.

At the village of Royalton there was, in addition to fifteen district schools, a flourishing academy, where numerous young men, who have since become distinguished, were fitting for college; such as Salmon P. Chase, the poet Eastman and others. And there resided for a long term of years, Hon. Jacob Collamer, late Post-Master General of the United States, with a mind as clear as the rock water that supplies the village, and one of the acutest logical reasoners in the United States, and also very fond of exercising his wit and indulging in humor. There also resided Joseph Torrey, the eloquent divine and learned German scholar, and in addition, Wyman Spooner, publisher of the Vermont Advocate, with an intellect as keen as a briar. The celebrated Dr. Nathaniel Sprague was also there. These men would have given Joseph Smith, Jr., with his wonderful glass, his Golden Bible, his Urim and Thummim, or mammoth spectacles, no credit for pretended revelations, but he would have been met with a storm of ridicule, derision and merriment, that must have discouraged him in his wicked attempts at deception. After the Smiths removed to New York, Joseph, Jr. became fond of reading marvellous story books, and took some interest in religious works, and occasionally quoted texts of Scripture.

In 1819, while Joseph Smith, Sen. was engaged in digging a well, he found a stone of a peculiar shape, which was taken by his son and put to a practical use, and by the aid of this wonderful helper to the eye, he was enabled, as he said, to discover lost property, hidden treasures, etc. A number of dupes, as fond of marvels as himself, collected around him and engaged in digging for hidden treasure, and Smith was enabled to say, in the words of an old song, that
"[For] He who doubts that Robert Kidd
Sailed up this brook with shipping;
And 'neath the soil hath money hid,
Deserves a hearty whipping." *
But no money was found with the eye glass, as the excavation meetings were generally disturbed, when the chests that contained the treasure moved off and were seen no more.

An angel of the Lord now appeared to Joseph, according to his own account, and announced to him that he was to be a prophet, and instructed him in relation to the exact locality of a book consisting of metallic plates, on which were engraved characters in different languages, and this book Smith was instructed to translate with the help of a pair of mammoth spectacles found with the book.

The golden book was probably an import from Mexico, and the translation did not take place but was a pretense. The Mormon Bible, a large portion of it, was extracted from a novel written by Solomon Spaulding, whose manuscript was probably procured through the instrumentality of Smith's colleagues, Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, Parley P. Pratt, and others. Joe Smith was now pretending to be engaged in translating the book, and after once losing his manuscript, and having it rejected by respectable publishers, he found a dupe named Harris who furnished the money, and the book, was printed, and the Mormon Church was organized by the appointment of Joseph Smith, Sen. as Patriarch and President.

Sidney Rigdon was the first clergyman. Brigham Young was converted and joined them. For a season there were two branches of the church. Kirtland, Ohio, was the residence of Joseph Smith, where the saints had, according to his direction, built him a house, and where he had established a wild-cat bank which soon failed, when the Smith branch removed to Independence, Missouri, and joined their brethren at that locality.

A quarrel arose among the leaders, the people of Missouri became enraged, and determined to expel the Mormons from the State. They resisted; the militia was called out, and Joseph and Hiram Smith were imprisoned. The difficulty was settled by an agreement with the leaders, who engaged to leave the State. Nauvoo, Illinois, was the town next chosen for settlement, and here the Lord, according to the prophet, directed that a temple should be built, and a house for his servant Joseph.

The Nauvoo legion was organized, and Smith was made mayor of the city. He subsequently introduced spiritual wifeism and polygamy, and by a system of tithing and levies the artful rogue became a rich man. But trouble again occurred. Smith resisted the militia of the State, but made a compromise with Governor Ford, and was finally with his brother Hiram killed by a mob in the jail, to which they had been sent by the Governor to protect them from the violence of the enraged multitude.


Note 1: See notes appended to the Boston Evening Transcript article of Oct. 2, 1870 and the Boston Ladies Repository of Nov. 1873 for more information regarding T. H. Safford, his ties to Royalton, Vermont, and his interest in the residence of the Joseph Smith, Sr. family in that place. A secondary account, containing essentially the same information, can be found in the Danville North Star of March 27, 1874.

Note 2: * "To the Cheshire Money Diggers," by Philo Pindus, The New Hampshire Sentinel, Dec. 23, 1820.


 


The  North  Star.

Vol. 68.                             Danville, Vermont, Friday, March 27, 1874.                             No. 13.



Joseph Smith, Jr., the Mormon Prophet.

A correspondent of the Green Mountain Freeman says: --

Joseph Smith, Jr., was born in a small house located in Royalton, Vt., adjoining the Tunbridge [sic - Sharon?] line on the 23d of December, 1805. His father, Joseph Smith, Sen., removed from this farm house to the Woodard neighborhood when Joe was about seven years of age, and Judge Woodard, now a resident of South Royalton, remembers seeing him there at the raising of his (Woodard's) father's house. Joseph Smith, Sen., subsequently removed to the Metcalf neighborhood, also in Royalton, and remained there until the summer of 1816, when with his wife and nine children, including the prophet, he went to Palmyra, N. Y., opened a cake and beer shop, for traffic on public days; at other times he was employed in hunting springs of water by the aid of witch hazel twigs, digging wells, making baskets, birch brooms, maple sugar, peddling, hunting, fishing, trapping and drinking whiskey, and when under its influence, counterfeiting and digging for Captain Kidd's money.

It was at Royalton, however, and not at Palmyra, that he was accused of crime. Joe had the name among the neighbors of being the laziest and most shiftless of the family. He was fond of reading sensational story books, like the adventures of Captain Kidd and other similar publications. He also seemed to take an interest in reading the Bible, quoted texts from the Prophecies, went to revival meetings, and once joined the probationary class of the Methodist church in Palmyra [sic].

Joseph Smith, Sen., and family removed from Palmyra to Manchester, and took squatter's possession of a small piece of land on which there was a small house. The family remained here for a number of years.

In 1819, while Joseph Smith, Sen., and his two sons, both older than the prophet Joe, were digging a well they found a stone having the appearance of a quartz mineral and was shaped like a child's foot. Joe was banging around on the premises and took possession of this curiosity. He had now found a magic stone, and by its aid pretended that he would make wonderful discoveries; by its use he could discover stolen property, hidden treasures, but it was a much more efficient agent when darkened or shaded in his hat.

Searching for and digging out money was now Joe's regular profession, assisted by the father, who was proud of his son, and claimed that he was the genus of the family, as he spelled and pronounced the word. Joe pursued this business for a number of years, raising money from all the dupes around Manchester that he could induce to join him; the Smith family generally assisted the son and brother in making excavations.

Money digging, however, proved unremunerative, and Joe had a vision and he learned that all the different systems of religion were false; and he learned also at this time that the true one was to be revealed to him. He was ordered to excavate and take from the earth a metallic book. With this book of Mormon he pretended to find a hude pair of spectacles, which he denominated his Urim and Thummim. This book Joe was ordered to translate, which he professed to do with the aid of the spectacles.

The book was finally published, and consisted of plagiarisms from the Bible, and a novel written by Solomon Spalding, a graduate of Dartmouth College.

Since that period the name of Joseph Smith has become well known in all parts of the world and the new system of religion founded by him, has made many converts in America, and in all parts of Europe.


Note 1: The unidentified "correspondent of the Green Mountain Freeman" must have been a careful reader of Pomeroy Tucker's 1867 book and the Historical Magazine's 1870 issues, since much of his communication was evidently copied from those sources.

Note 2: Montpelier, Vermont (where the Daily Green Mountain Freeman was published) is located considerably closer to the Royalton-Sharon area, than is Danville. So it is likely that the "correspondent" personally knew something about the Smith family's former residence in the area. On the other hand, it is unlikely that the writer was T. H. Safford, who composed the Historical Magazine's article, and its precursor, published in the Boston Transcript of
Oct. 2, 1870. Safford was aware that Joseph Smith, Sr.'s old home had been located on the Royalton-Sharon border, and not on the Royalton-Tunbridge line. Also, the Freeman article does not specify Royalton as having been the site where "Joseph Smith, Sr., was at times engaged in hunting for Captain Kidd's buried treasure," and it is doubtful that Safford would have penned this less specific account (leaving out the elder Smith's alleged connection with "Jack Downing," etc.)


 


Boston Evening Journal.

Vol. XLIII.                         Boston, Mass., Tuesday, July 25, 1876.                         No. 14,356.



DEATH OF A NOTORIOUS AND
AGED MORMON.

The Pittsburgh (Penn.) Telegraph says that the Book of Mormon was first printed [sic] in that city and that its author, Solomon Spalding, a half-crazy preacher; and Sidney Rigdon at the time resided there:

"Rigdon, who died within a few days in Friendship, Allegany Co., N. Y., was born in St. Clair Township, Pa., Feb. 19, 1793. The manuscript of the Book of Mormon was set up in a printing office in Pittsburg in 1812, with which young Rigdon was connected. Soon after getting possession of a copy of Spalding's manuscript he left the printing office and became a preacher of doctrines peculiar to himself and very similar to those afterward incorporated into the Book of Mormon. He gained a small number of converts to his views, when about 1829 he became associated with Joseph Smith.

It is asserted that through Rigdon's agency Smith became possessed of a copy of Spalding's manuscript. Smith and Rigdon then set about to establish a Church having at first vague and confused ideas as to its nature and design, but with the Book of Mormon as their text and authority, they began to preach this new gospel; and Smith's family and a few of his associates, together with some of Rigdon's followers, were soon numerous enough to constitute the Mormon Church, as it was styled by the people around them, or the Latter Day Saints, as they presently began to call themselves. The Church was organized in Manchester, New York, in 1830.

The following year the believers were led by Smith and Rigdon to Kirtland, Ohio, which was to be the seat of the New Jerusalem. Here converts were rapidly made, and Smith and Rigdon established a mill and store, and set up a bank without a charter, of which Smith appointed himself President and made Rigdon cashier. The neighboring country was flooded with notes of a very doubtful value, and in consequence of this and other business transactions, in which Smith and Rigdon were accused of fraudulent dealing, a mob, on the night of March 22, 1832, dragged the two prophets from their beds and tarred and feathered them. About a year afterward a government for the Church was instituted, consisting of three Presidents, Smith, Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams, who together were styled the First Presidency, a revelation from the Lord having declared that the sins of Rigdon and Williams were forgiven, and that 'they were henceforth to be accounted as equal with Smith in holding the keys of His kingdom.'

In January, 1838, the bank at Kirtland having failed, Smith and Rigdon, to avoid arrest for fraud fled in the night, pursued by their creditors, and took refuge in Missouri. The Mormons soon became involved in quarrels with the Missourians, and toward the close of 1838 the conflict assumed the character and proportions of civil war. The Militia of the State was called out, and Rigdon and Smith were charged with treason, murder, and felony. Rigdon was released on a habeas corpus. Shirtly after this Rigdon and Smith established themselves in Illinois and built the City of Nauvoo.

After the death of Joe Smith, Sidney Rigdon aspired to succeed him as head of the Church, but Brigham Young was chosen First President, and Rigdon being contumacious, was cut off from the faithful, cursed, and solemnly delivered to the devil 'to be duffeted in the flesh for a thousand years.' Having thus been turned out of the fold, Mr. Rigdon returned to Pittsburg and tried to establish a church. Not succeeding, he moved to the Genesee Valley, New York, and has there remained up to the time of his death, a period of about thirty years. After abandoning his religious ventures, he devoted himself to the study of geology and supported himself in a great measure by lecturing upon that subject. He was in the eighty-fourth year of his age, and is said to have been highly respected by his neighbors during the declining years of his life."


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


Lowell Daily Citizen.

Vol. XXVI.                         Lowell, Mass., Thursday, July 27, 1876.                         No. 6290.



The  Early  Days  of  Mormonism.

The death of Sidney Rigdon, one of the founders of Mormonism, recalls the early days of that wonderfully successful imposture. Rigdon was born in St. Clair Township, Pa., 1793, and was employed in the Pittsburgh printing office [sic] in which the manuscript which afterwards formed the basis of the Book of Mormon was set up. After possessing himself of a copy of this manuscript he left the printing office and became a preacher of the doctrines afterwards promulgated as Mormonism. He gained small numbers of converts, and in 1829 became associated with Joseph Smith, who first obtained the scheme of his new faith by gaining possession of Spalding's manuscript through Rigdon. The Mormon Church, or, as the preferred to style the,selves, the Latter Day Saints, was first regularly organized by Smith and Rigdon at Manchester, N.Y., in 1830. The removal to Kirtland, Ohio, followed, where a year or two later the two prophets were tarred and feathered by a mob, not so much on account of their unorthodox opinions as because they had started a bank without a charter and flooded the country with notes of a doubtful value. Rigdon was a member of the church government, consisting of three presidents, the others being Smith and Frederick G. Williams. In 1838, they took refuge in Missiuri, but were speedily driven thence by the hostility of the people, and shortly afterwards established themselves in Nauvoo. After the tragedy which resulted in the death of Smith, Rigdon aspired to succeed him as head of the church, but was defeated by Brigham Young. Rigdon proving contumacious was cut off from the church and duly delivered over to Satan. He returned to Pittsburg, where he attempted to establish a church, but not succeeding, removed to Genesee Valley, where he has kived a comparatively uneventful life for the past thirty years, supported by lecturing on geology. He was in his eighty-fourth year, and is stated to have been highly respected by his neighbors.


Note: The above report is full of historical errors. Rigdon did not work in a printing office; he and Smith were not tarred and feathered due to any banking activities; and there is no proof that Rigdon was in New York State in April of 1830 when the "Church of Christ" was formally organized, (although a glance at the text of his Spring 1844 Conference talk might easily convey that impression).





Vol. ?                       Springfield, Mass., Friday, August 31, 1877.                         No. ?



The  Origin  of  Mormonism.

Remarkable local testimony has been discovered by The Republican sustaining the charge that the religion of Joe Smith and Brigham Young had its origin in a romance written by Rev. Solomon Spaulding of Ohio of half a century or more ago. the story is furnished by Mr. J. A. McKinstry of Longmeadow, a son of the late Dr. McKinstry of Monson, and grandson of Rev. Mr. Spaulding. Mr. McKinstry is employed in the Main street store of Newsdealer Brace. Rev. Mr. Spaulding's widow, who afterward became Mrs. Davison, came east from Ohio to live with her daughter at Monson many years ago, bringing the manuscript of his romance with her. She died some 23 years ago, but before her death a plausible young man from Boston came to Monson to see and get the Spaulding writing. It was a time of considerable excitement concerning the Mormons, and he claimed to represent some Christian people who wanted to expose Mormonism. He therefore begged the loan of the manuscript for publication. Much against the wishes of Mrs. Dr. McKinstry, Mrs. Davison consented to let her husband's unpublished romance go. Nothing was ever heard from it again, and the family have always considered that the bland young gentleman was an agent of Brigham Young's to destroy the convicting evidence that Joe Smith's Mormon Bible was of earthly origin.

The story of how Rev. Mr. Spaulding came to prepare his romance, which Mr. McKinstry remembers as a child to have seen, is fresh and interesting. He was out of the active ministry in Ohio -- the name of the place Mr. McKinstry does not recollect, but it was near Palmyra, we believe -- running a small iron foundry, and being a man of literary tastes, employed his leisure moments in weaving a romance. It was a time when the work of the mound-builders was creating wild interest, the implements of cookery and war being unearthed showing the existence of a forgotten race. This furnished the inspiration for the chronicles of the story-writer. He entitled his production "Manuscript Found," the idea being that the romance woven by the ex-preacher was dug up out of one of the mounds in the region. It was a history of ancient America, not all written at once, but as leisure spells and the fancy fell to him Mr. Spaulding would add to it. His writing was no secret in the neighborhood. In that then frontier region, with few opportunities for literary enjoyment, Rev. Mr. Spaulding was prevailed upon to read his production to his neighbors as it progressed. It was written in Bible phraseology, and made as quaintly olden as possible, so as to carry out the conceit of its alleged mound origin. Among the attentive listeners at these readings were Joe Smith and Sidney Rigdon, the same who founded Mormonism. Not only did Smith hear the manuscript read, but on one occasion, as Mrs. Davison frequently testified before her death, he borrowed it for a week or so, giving as a reason that he wanted to read it to his family, who had been unable to attend on Mr. Spaulding's readings. Not long afterward it will be remembered, Smith claimed that an angel had revealed to him the existence of a buried history of aboriginal America, the plates of which it is alleged were dug up, and the book of Mormon made as a translation of their inscriptions. the widow of Mr. Spaulding and her daughter, Mrs. Dr. McKinstry of Monson, compared the Smith Bible with the parson's romance, and they were essentially the same. The similarity was so overwhelming as to leave no doubt that Smith copied in full Rev. Mr. Spaulding's writing, and made out of it bodily his divine "revelation."

The character of the minister's romance was such, and his elaboration of it so thorough, as to strike the fancy of Smith, who was given to the mysterious. His family had been noted for divination, treasure-seeking, etc., and so Joe found Mr. Spaulding's work just in his line. That the results of his appropriation of it have been so stupendous was always a great cross to Mr. Spaulding's good widow, Mrs. Davison. She mourned that, even innocently, her husband should have been the means of foisting upon the world so great an evil. This was the real reason of her willingness to allow the manuscript to be taken to Boston for publication. It is to be regretted that her family have not better preserved Mrs. Davison's recollections of her husband's writing, now forever lost to the world. Enough has been handed down, however, to establish beyond doubt the truth of the claim that here was a source of Joe Smith's "inspiration." Mrs. Davison's story has long been familiar to leading men of Monson, and so impressed was the late Rev. Dr. Ely with it that he prepared a considerable account of it years ago.


Note 1: The interviewed person in this article was Dr. John Alexander McKinstry (1831-1900), the son of Matilda Spalding McKinstry. Dr. McKinstry had only recently moved back to his boyhood Hampden county when the Springfield Republican stopped by his office in Longmeadow to conduct an interview. Very little is said about John's new medical practice -- almost the entire article is taken up with his recollections about his mother's family, the writings of Solomon Spalding, etc.

Note 2: This article was subsequently reprinted in the New York Sun of Sept. 2, 1877 as "How Mormonism was Invented." The Sun mistakenly called John A. McKinstry "a son of the Rev. Mr. Spaulding." The McKinstry interview was also reproduced in the Syracuse Journal of Sept. 3, 1877, and was featured in many other papers. The article's frequent mentions of "Rev. Mr. Spaulding" fosters the impression that Solomon Spalding was a retired Christian minister during his later years. This is a mistaken identification of a man who was only briefly licensed as an evangelist in his youth. There is no reason to believe that Spalding professed Christian religious tenets at the time of his residence in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Nevertheless, critics such as the RLDS Apostle Thomas W. Smith seized upon this ministerial misidentification, in order to discredit claims that Spalding wrote parts of the Book of Mormon. See T.W. Smith's arguments in the June 15, 1879 Saints' Herald and the Jan. 27, 1882 Cincinnati Gazette.

Note 3: The substance of the interview with the son of Spalding's adopted daughter, Matilda, was published while Matilda McKinstry was still alive and when John was about 50 years old. The article writer gives the impression that some Solomon Spalding's writings were taken from his widow in Massachusetts sometime not too long before her death in 1844, by a Mormon "agent" visiting her from Boston and acting for President of the Twelve Apostles, Brigham Young. The "plausible young man from Boston" who "claimed to represent some Christian people" was Elder Jesse Haven, exactly the Mormon "agent" that the widow eventually suspected him to be. Elder Haven (a first cousin of Brigham Young), may indeed have left the McKinstry home in 1839 with samples of Spalding's writings, but it seems doubtful that the "bland young gentleman" took any thing substantial away with him. The reporter's suggestion that Spalding's widow, near the end of her life, insisted that Joseph Smith, Jr. had once borrowed a Spalding manuscript from her appears to be an entirely mistaken notion -- though the aged widow might have said such a thing to her family prior to her death.

Note 4: The Republican reporter's story is obviously a confused conflation of John A. McKinstry's memories concerning the 1833 visit of ex-Mormon Elder D. P. Hurlbut and the late 1839 visit of Jesse Haven. Although Brigham Young was Elder Haven's ultimate ecclesiastical superior in the New York and New England region at the time, it is more likely that the freshly-minted LDS missionary visited Spalding's widow on orders from Parley P. Pratt (then in New York City). It is quite possible that young Elder Haven did not identify himself as being a Mormon and, instead, merely stated that he represented "some Christian people" who wished to learn more about the Spalding authorship claims for the Book of Mormon. -- The Springfield Republican reporter evidently garbled various bits of information taken from John A. McKinstry. The writer's suggestion that Spalding's widow insisted near the end of her life that Joseph Smith, Jr. had once borrowed a Spalding manuscript from her appears to be entirely mistaken -- though the former Mrs. Spalding might have said almost anything to her family in the final months of her presumed old-age senility. John was too young at the time of Hurlbut's 1833 visit to have remembered the event well. He may have been present during the 1839 Elder Haven interview, but he does not speak of that event as an eye-witness. -- The Rev. Dr. Ely's "considerable account" of the Solomon Spalding family's experiences was evidently never published. What became of his writings on this subject remains unknown.

Note 5: The fact that John A. McKinstry was better informed upon past events in the Spalding family (than the above article appears to indicate, at least) can be demonstrated by a reading of John's Sept. 2, 1879 letter to James T. Cobb of Salt Lake City. Reproduced below is the report of yet another interview with John A. McKinstry. This subsequent newspaper article was probably clipped from an early August 1889 issue of the Springfield Republican (unattributed clipping in the Dale R. Broadhurst Papers, Marriott Library, Salt Lake City).

July 28, 1889
Longmeadow, Mass.

Copy of Conversation with Dr. McKinstry

by
Charles R. Bliss

This afternoon I had a conversation with Dr. J. A. McKinstry of Longmeadow, Massachusetts. He is the grandson of Rev. Solomon Spaulding, the reputed author of the Mormon Bible. He told me he had heard frequent conversations of his mother and of her mother -- Mrs. Spaulding -- concerning the manuscript from which the Mormon Bible is believed to have been produced. His declaration is as follows: viz., that they had frequently told him that they had compared the manuscript in question with the Mormon Bible, and found them to be in all essential respects one in the same. The grandmother said that she used to hear the manuscript read by Mr. Spaulding, and that the words "Nephi," "Lehi," "Mormon" and many others were invented by him; that the history in its main body was found by her, on reading the Mormon Bible, to be identical with the manuscript. She was much disturbed to find that a manuscript written by her husband was so used. It was impossible for his mother, on comparing the [Mormon] Bible and the manuscript, to reach any other conclusion than that the Bible was taken from the manuscript.  

His mother affirmed that her father, on reading this manuscript from time to time to his neighbors, was advised by them to have it published; and he carried it to a printer in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with that purpose in view. One of the employees in that office was Sidney Rigdon, Smith's companion and follower. After some time Mrs. Spaulding obtained the manuscript again; and it was put, with other fragmentary manuscripts, in a trunk belonging to the family.  Some years after the Mormon Bible appeared the widow of Solomon Spaulding -- Dr. McKinstry's grandmother -- was called upon by a man named Hurlbut, with recommendations by responsible persons saying that he was employed by a man who was preparing an expose of Mormonism to collect facts for him, and asked her to give him an order to take the manuscript for the purpose of examination. The lady, wishing to do all she could to repair the evil of the manuscript, gave him the order; and he obtained possession of not only that manuscript but of others in the trunk.

The manuscript was never again seen by its [owners.]






Vol. ?                     Springfield, Mass., Saturday, September 1, 1877.                       No. ?



The  Origin  of  Mormonism.

THE MAN WHO GOT REV. SPAULDING'S ROMANCE, which was the real foundation of the Mormon Bible, away from his widow at Monson some 40 years ago, as described in the Republican yesterday, called himself Dr. Hurlbut. Requesting the manuscript for publication in the interest of certain Christian people, he brought with him letters, afterward found to have been forged, from the gentlemen associated with Mr. Spaulding in his antiquarian research in Ohio, and from other correspondents. The "doctor" was short and stout, of rather muddy complexion, and evidently coarse and illiterate. After obtaining the book, which he promised to return as soon as possible, he owned up that he was not a doctor, but a seventh son, which he appeared to think just as good. The manuscript was never returned, and nothing was heard from it, except a brief note stating it was entirely dissimilar from the Mormon Bible. It was afterward reported that Hurlbut got $500 for obtaining the book, and procured a western farm with it, where he afterward lived. Mrs. Dr. McKinstry of Monson was young when she saw the manuscript, and of course has no very definite knowledge of it, but recognizes the similarity of the Mormon gospel to it, and says both books had two names in common, "Nephite" and "Lamanite." The family have always, of course, regretted that they parted with the manuscript, but, under the circumstances, could hardly avoid it. Mr. Spaulding was evidently a man of remarkable literary power, although he never wrote for publication, and was also fond of antiquarian research. He was located at New Salem on Conneaut creek, near Lake Erie, when he wrote his romance, and was the first to broach the theory that the mound-builders of the West were one of the lost tribes of Israel. It was accounted rank heresy at the time, and he consequently never made it public, reserving it for discussion among his chosen friends.


Note: The above letter must have been written by a resident of Springfield or of the surrounding region, in order to have been received and published by the Republican only one day after the appearance of the paper's Aug. 31st article regarding Solomon Spalding, etc. The writer may well have been Dr. John A. McKinstry, (although some other family member or Spalding/McKinstry family associate could have composed it). The contents overlap, to some extent, the June 28, 1841 letter written by Rev. David R. Austin (1807-1879), who was living at South Norwalk, Connecticut between 1851 and 1879. In an article published in the Apr. 11, 1879 issue of the Salt Lake Tribune, Rev. Austin is mentioned as having recently received "a paper from Pittsburgh, Pa, containing the account I gave... April 1st - 1839... I send you the paper..." This indicates that Austin remained interested in the Spalding authorship claims, as well as his 1839 role in obtaining a statement from that writer's widow, late in his life. South Norwalk is located nearly a hundred miles south of Springfield, and if Rev. Austin was there on Aug. 31, 1877, he would not have had sufficient time to compose and transmit the Sept. 1st Republican news item. So, even if some of Austin's recollections are contained in that letter, they most likely reached the Republican editor via the hand of John A. McKinstry.


 


NEW HAVEN  DAILY PALLADIUM

Vol. ?                         New Haven, Conn., Monday, September 3, 1877.                         No. ?



The Origin of Mormonism.
(Springfield Republican.)

Remarkable local testimony has been discovered by the Republican sustaining the charge that the religion of Joe Smith and Brigham Young had its origin in a romance written by Rev. Solomon Spaulding of Ohio of half a century or more ago. the story is furnished by Mr. J. A. McKinstry of Longmeadow, a son of the late Dr. McKinstry of Monson, and grandson of Rev. Mr. Spaulding. Mr. McKinstry is employed in the Main street store of Newsdealer Brace. Rev. Mr. Spaulding's widow, who afterward became Mrs. Davison, came east from Ohio to live with her daughter at Monson many years ago, bringing the manuscript of his romance with her. She died some twenty-five years ago, but before her death a plausible young man from Boston came to Monson to see and get the Spaulding writing. It was a time of considerable excitement concerning the Mormons, and he claimed to represent some Christian people who wanted to expose Mormonism, He therefore begged the loan of the manuscript for publication. Much against the wishes of Mrs. Dr. McKinstry, Mrs. Davison consented to let her husband's unpublished romance go. Nothing was ever heard from it again, and the family have always considered that the bland young gentleman was an agent of Brigham Young's to destroy the convicting evidence that Joe Smith's Mormon Bible was of earthly origin.

The story of how Rev. Mr. Spaulding came to prepare his romance, which Mr. McKinstry remembers as a child to have seen, is fresh and interesting. He was out of the active ministry in Ohio -- the name of the place Mr. McKinstry does not recollect, but it was near Palmyra, we believe -- running a small iron foundry, and being a man of literary tastes, employed his leisure moments in weaving a romance. It was a time when the work of the mound-builders was creating wild interest, the implements of cookery and war being unearthed showing the existence of a forgotten race. This furnished the inspiration for the chronicles of the story-writer. He entitled his production "Manuscript Found," the idea being that the romance woven by the ex-preacher was dug up out of one of the mounds in the region. It was a history of ancient America, not all written at once, but as leisure spells and the fancy fell to him Mr. Spaulding would add to it. His writing was no secret in the neighborhood. In that then frontier region, with few opportunities for literary enjoyment. Rev. Mr. Spaulding was prevailed upon to read his production to his neighbors as it progressed. It was written in Bible phraseology, and made as quaintly olden as possible, so as to carry out the conceit of its alleged mound origin. Among the attentive listeners at these readings were Joe Smith and Sidney Rigdon, the same who founded Mormonism. Not only did Smith hear the manuscript read, but on one occasion, as Mrs. Davison frequently testified before her death, he borrowed it for a week or so, giving as a reason that he wanted to read it to his family, who had been unable to attend on Mr. Spaulding's readings. Not long afterward it will be remembered, Smith claimed that an angel had revealed to him the existence of a buried history of aboriginal America, the plates of which it is alleged were dug up, and the book of Mormon made as a translation of their inscriptions. the widow of Mr. Spaulding and her daughter, Mrs. Dr. McKinstry of Monson, compared the Smith Bible with the parson's romance, and they were essentially the same. The similarity was so overwhelming as to leave no doubt that Smith copied in full Rev. Mr. Spaulding's writing, and made out of it bodily his divine "revelation."

The character of the minister's romance was such, and his elaboration of it so thorough, as to strike the fancy of Smith, who was given to the mysterious. His family had been noted for divination, treasure-seeking, etc., and so Joe found Mr. Spaulding's work just in his line. That the results of his appropriation of it have been so stupendous was always a great cross to Mr. Spaulding's good widow, Mrs. Davison. She mourned that, even innocently, her husband should have been the means of foisting upon the world so great an evil. This was the real reason of her willingness to allow the manuscript to be taken to Boston for publication. It is to be regretted that her family have not better preserved Mrs. Davison's recollections of her husband's writing, now forever lost to the world. Enough has been handed down, however, to establish beyond doubt the truth of the claim that here was a source of Joe Smith's "inspiration." Mrs. Davison's story has long been familiar to leading men of Monson, and so impressed was the late Rev. Dr. Ely with it that he prepared a considerable account of it years ago.


Note: See Springfield Republican of Aug. 31, 1877 (above)


 


THE   FARMERS' CABINET.

Vol. 76.                     Amherst, N. H., Tuesday,  October 9, 1877.                     No. 14.



THE MORMON BIBLE. -- The Book of Mormon, or Mormon Bible, was claimed by its author Joseph Smith, to have been a copy of writing which he found on some shells [sic] which he dug from the earth in New York. It is, however, generally believed to have been a plagarism on a historical novel published [sic] by Solomon Spaulding, a native of Connecticut, and a graduate of Dartmouth College. He wrote a romance to account for the peopling of America, deriving the origin of the Indians from the old Hebrews, and Smith and his partner Rigdon, having possession of the book, rewrote and changed it, making it into a Bible upon which their sect is founded. Polygamy was the result of "special dispensation" in 1852.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


THE  CONGREGATIONALIST.

Vol. XXIX.                            Boston, Wednesday, October 24, 1877.                             No. 43.



THE  BOOK  OF  MORMON.
______

BY REV. TYRON EDWARDS, DD., PHILADELPHIA.
______

The death of the late Brigham Young suggests that the real origin of the Mormon imposture ought to be kept fresh in the memory of the people, and especially that the rising generation should know the utter want of foundation for its false and absurd claims.

The Mormon claim is, that the 'Book of Mormon,' or rather the golden plates from which they say it was copied, were found in 1827...The real fact is, that the Book of Mormon was in substance written by Rev. Solomon Spaulding, who was a graduate of Dartmouth college and a Presbyterian minister, once settled in Cherry Valley, New York, and afterwards living in New Salem, Ohio. He was broken down in health and out of the active ministry, some say in business, but others that he was melancholy, and shattered in mind and thought, though not violently insane. Being a man of literary tastes and vivid imagination, and becoming greatly interested, as so many were, in the newly discovered mounds and fortifications then exciting such wide-spread attention throughout the West, he amused himself by writing a fictitious history of the early settlement of America, so as to cover the times of the mounf-builders and of the nations or races that had long before preceded them and passed away. His work was a sort of religious romance, written in the style of the Bible. It contained several different books, showing how this continent was originally settled by a colony from the dispersed peoples of Babel, who dwelt in America till about sixteen hundred years before Christ, when they were destroyed for their great wickedness; that afterward a second colony, descendants from the tribe of Joseph, came from Jerusalem to this country, about six hundred years before the time of our Saviour; that this last people was afterwards divided into two nations, one of which, the Lamanites, were, for their sinfulness, condemned to have dark skins, and were the ancestirs of our Indians; and that the other nation, the Nephites, were highly favored of God, enjoyed the visits of angels, had the gifts of prophecy, were blessed with a persinal visit by Christ after his resurrection, and continued to prosper till the third or fourth century, when, yielding to temptation and falling from their high estate, they were left of God to be destroyed by the Lamanites.

Mr. Spaulding entitled his book, "The Manuscript Found," as if it had been found in one of the mounds of that region. Beginning in 1809, and writing at intervals as he did, he often read parts of the work to his neighbors, and among the listeners was Joseph Smith, who not only attended the readings, but borrowed the manuscript, as he said, to read to his family at home. In 1812 the completed manuscript was placed in the hands of a printer in Pittsburg, Pa., by the name of Patterson, with a view to its publication. While the printing was delayed, Mr. Spaulding left Pittsburg, for Washington county, Pa., where he died in 1816. While the manuscript was in the hands of Patterson, Sidney Rigdon was working for him as a journeyman printer, and being a versatile character, to whom no trade came amiss, and withal fond of religious discussion, it is supposed that he, having copied the manuscript, with Smith concocted the idea of the new religion. Smith afterward removed to Palmyra, N.Y., where he was noted for both cunning and shiftlessness; and while there he brought out the "Book of Mormon." Mrs. Spaulding and her daughter, Mrs. McKinstry, who is still living in Longmeadow, Mass., carefully compared the "Book" after it was published with the manuscript of Mr. Spaulding which they then had, and found the two so essentially the same, as to leave no doubt whatever that the former was copied from the latter, though with some alterations and additions, and that thus the "Book of Mormon" was made up.

For several years Mrs. Spaulding kept this manuscript of her husband's romance. But before her death, which took place about twenty-five years ago, a plausible young man came, as he said, from Boston, to Monson, Mass., where she was then living with her daughter, and asked the loan of the manuscript, saying that he represented some Christian people who wished to expose the stories of the Mormon leaders. Against the decided wishes of her daughter, Mrs. Spaulding allowed the manuscript to be taken; and that was the last ever seen of it. And the family have always since believed that the young man was an agent of Brigham Young's, sent to obtain and destroy this convincing evidence that Joe Smith's "Book of Mormon" was of very earthly origin, and that his story of the golden plates was an unmitigated and palpable falsehood.

It ought in conclusion to be added that the "Book of Mormon" and the "Mormon Bible" are two entirely different works. The "Book of Mormon" consists of sixteen different books, in one hundred and fourteen chapters, making a closely printed octavo volume of three hundred and eighty pages. The "Mormon Bible," however, is almost exactly the same as our ordinary English version of the Bible, except that the Song of Solomon is omitted, and there are some variations and additions chiefly to the book of Genesis. Neither of these books inculcate the abominable doctrines and practices of the Mormons, most of which were brought in by what their leaders have claimed were special revelations to themselves.


Note: A highly garbled and essentially useless attempt at re-telling the Spalding-Rigdon authorship claims for the Book of Mormon. It is highly unlikely that Joseph Smith, Sr. (1771-1840) would have been "among the listeners" when Solomon Spalding read from his manuscript writings. Assuming that Spalding did indeed write fictional stories and "read parts" of them "to his neighbors" in Otsego co., New York, between 1795 and 1809, Joseph Smith, Sr. was then living in Vermont and is not known to have been any where near Spalding's residences in Cherry Valley and Richfield. When Spalding moved to Ohio in 1809, Smith was still living in Vermont; likewise for the period between 1812 and 1816 when Spalding lived in or near Pittsburgh. In fact, the only time that Solomon Spalding is known to have been any where near the Smith family, in time and space, was when he attended Dartmouth College, at Hanover, New Hampshire, between 1783 and 1785. The possibility of Joseph Smith, Jr. (1805-1844) being one of Spalding's auditors during such a public reading is, of course, practically zero.


 


BOSTON  DAILY  ADVERTISER.

Vol. 133.                     Boston, Mass., Wednesday, June 11, 1879.                     No. 139.



"ST. JOHN'S ROD."
_____

THE  COUNTERFEITER  WINGATE  AND  THE
GENESIS  OF  MORMONISM.

______

Facts Hitherto Unpublished.

I have long intended to give to the public some well-attested facts in regard to the origin of Mormonism, antedating its usually recognized beginnings, but have hitherto neglected it. These facts exist in a thoroughly reliable form, and came into my possession directly from an eye and ear witness, -- a man of superior intelligence, caution and discrimination. My uncle, the Rev. Laban Clark, D. D., founder of the Wesleyan University, in whose family it was my privilege to spend nearly four years, entered the Methodist ministry in the autumn of 1800, and for a number of years traveled large circuits in Vermont. Mr. Clark was a very acute observer, of superior practical judgment, and possessed a very accurate memory. The following statement has been compiled from data several times repeated to me in personal conversations, and from a manuscript sketch prepared by him about twenty years before his death, and is believed by those who knew Mr. Clark well to be worthy of the fullest confidence.

In the year 1801 Mr. Clark traveled in the western part of Vermont, visiting the settlements from Bennington county to the Missisquoi Bay, and even the adjoining settlements in Lower Canada. In the latter part of the Autumn, while in St. Albans, he heard of a man from Rutland who had passed through that section, relating marvelous accounts of wonderful things accomplished near Rutland by persons who had found "St. John's rod." Several families in St. Albans were much excited by the story. Dr. Clark pacified the people, and advised them to pay no attention to such marvels. About the first of November he attended a quarterly meeting in Salisbury, Vt., where, to his surprise, the story of "the rods" met him in a new form. A number of men had obtained rods by which they claimed to be able to find roots and herbs curing all diseases. Several persons were in attendance at this quarterly meeting who had been to "the rod men" and obtained syrups, salves, etc. Mr. Clark was very incredulous, and treated the story as a hoax. Some time in December he visited Poultney, Vt., where he found quite a stir among the people, from a report that two young women had been following the rods, during a cold night, when the ground was covered with snow, with no other garments than were usually worn in the house, and that they had passed over rocks and ledges difficult for men to pass in the day time. Mr. Clark felt no interest in the excitement, thinking the stories "the exaggerations of some silly, sick-brained persons." The next evening his appointment was at Mr. D___'s, in Middletown, Vt. After closing the meeting he learned that Mr. D___'s daughter was one of the young women who had been led by "the rods" through the snow, etc.; that Mr. D___ was a strong believer in the efficacy of "the rods," and that they would work in his hands.

When the people retired Mr. Clark inquired into the strange affair. Mr. D___ seemed willing to communicate. He seriously believed that the rods possessed a mysterious power; that marvelous things could be accomplished by them; that, according to Isaiah, God would cause his people, in the latter-days, "to pass under the rod," when the latter-day glory should be ushered in; that this was soon to take place; that their rods were the seals with which the 144,000 were to be sealed by the servants of God; that the lost tribes of Israel were to be gathered by them from their scattered condition, and that vast numbers of the present inhabitants of this country were Israelites, but had lost their pedigree, and knew not that they were of the house of Jacob. By these rods they would be designated and brought into the New Jerusalem, soon to be built in this country. At this stage of the conversation Mr. Clark asked to be permitted to see Mr. D___'s rod. After a short absence he returned with it, and lifting it up, said: "If Mr. Clark is a Jew let the rod point toward him." It moved and twisted in his hands and pointed toward Mr. Clark. "Well," said Mr. Clark, "If I am a Jew, I should like to know what tribe I belong to. Ask if I am of the tribe of Naphtali." He did so, but the rod would not move. Mr. Clark then said: "Try Zebulon." He did so, but it moved not. Mr. Clark said: "On the whole, I think that I belong to the tribe of Joseph." He put the question and the rod directly came down with apparent force. "I thought so," said Mr. Clark, "for my father's name was Joseph." Mr. Clark then understood the mystery of the working of the rod, -- that it moved "as the imagination of the mind affected the nervous action." After hearing all that Mr. D___ had to say, Mr. Clark believed the whole affair a delusion, but thought Mr. D___ an honest, sincere man, who would soon see the folly of his movements.

In four weeks Mr. Clark visited this place again, where he was to preach in the evening. About the middle of the afternoon Mr. D___ came to the house where Mr. Clark was stopping. His appearance being very dejected and melancholy, Mr. Clark inquired after his family, and what could be the matter. With a heavy sigh he replied: "Oh, the judgments of God are abroad in the earth!" "But what do you mean?" said Mr. Clark. Mr. D___ replied: "We have appointed tomorrow as a day of fasting and prayer, and want you to be with us." Mr. Clark answered: "I dare not; I am afraid of you. I do not know what you have connected with it." The next morning, finding some gentlemen of character and standing going to the meeting, Mr. Clark concluded to go. Reaching the place about noon, he found Mr. [Wood?], an aged New Light minister, had been lecturing in the forenoon on the prophecies, and was to preach again in the afternoon. He spoke from Rev. xv 4, dwelling chiefly on the words, "Thy judgments are made manifest." He was excited, incoherent and indefinite. Mr. Clark consented to preach in the evening. While at Mr. D___'s house, for tea, Mr. Clark noticed unusual movements, and, on leaving the house, saw a paper on the door with these words: "Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us;" but made no inquiries about it. He preached a practical discourse that evening, to a large audience, telling them that he had no new revelation to bring. As soon as his sermon was closed, there were strange movements in the outer room. Several men commenced to work with rods, and to run to and fro. Mr. Clark out on his overcoat and prepared to go to Mr. D___'s for the night, but was persuaded to remain with the people. Very soon they were all ordered out of the house, and they took up a line of march, some crying, some sighing, and others saying, "I never expected to see such things." They were conducted to an old house that had been fitted up as a schoolhouse. A fire had been made, and all entered with much confusion. Some were alarmed, and none more so than the old minister. At his request Mr. Clark called the people to order, prayed with them, and recommended religious conversion. But the "rod-men" said that their rods had given them to understand that there would be an earthquake that night. This was what had agitated the minds of the people. They spent the whole night in that place, Mr. Clark quieting the people, and directing their minds to healthful themes until the morning dawned.

Returned to Mr. D___'s, Mr. Clark noticed that their crockery had been placed in the middle of the floor, to prevent its being broken by the earthquake. Soon two of the leading "rod-men" came in, and said they had found out their mistake -- that the fasting indicated by the rods was not in view of an earthquake, but was the fast to be regularly observed on the fourteenth day of the first month until the Jews go into the New Jerusalem, and the Latter Day glory shall be ushered in. Mr. Clark heard their story with a silent reserve, concluding that the last error was worse than the first; but that [it] would enable them to keep up the delusion and carry out some plan of mischief. He began to suspect that there was some person out of sight, who was the leading spirit of their operations, and that the others were victims of duplicity.

Owing to a change in the plan of the circuit, it was eight weeks before Mr. Clark visited Mr. D.___'s again. In March he found only a small attendance at his meeting, and at its close the people quietly retired, none of the family even making an allusion to the former affairs. But Mr. Clark's suspicions were fully aroused that his friend D___ was liable to be made the victim of some villainous attempt upon his credulity, and he resolved if possible to deliver him from the snare. Taking him aside, Mr. Clark asked him how they were succeeding with their rods. With much animation he answered: "We are doing wonders. The rods have power over all enchantments. There are large quantities of silver and gold concealed in the earth, much of which is under enchantment, which the rods can remove, so that it can be easily obtained." He further said that "the rods, in the hands of certain individuals, had power to move silver and gold invisibly in the earth, and that they were collecting it into a common field, where they would be able to get it in any quantity that should be wanted." He went on to say that "the glorious day was fast approaching in which great work would be performed; that the Latter Day saints were about to be gathered; that they would build a holy city, the New Jerusalem, somewhere in this country, and, they would have gold enough to pave the streets." Mr. Clark asked if the gold and silver were in coin or in its native state. He said it was "both one and the other." Mr. Clark then inquired if they had any man who understood the art of refining gold. He answered: "Yes, we have a man who is well skilled in the art, but he keeps himself secreted in the woods." Mr. Clark asked if he knew his name. He replied, "Yes, his name is Wingate."

Mr. Clark then became satisfied that Wingate was the moving agent in the whole affair, and discovered at once the nature and design of the operations. He knew of Wingate's movements in the northern part of the State, and after a little reflection, concluded to open the eyes of Mr. D___. Addressing him seriously, he said: --

"I fear there is counterfeiting going on, and that you will be drawn into it and will be ruined in character and property."

He started with a shudder. Mr. Clark then said: --

"I think I can tell you how you can detect it in season to escape, if you are watchful. If my fears are well founded, they will call on you and others for a sum of money, and they will want it in specie."

Mr. D___ replied, "They have done it already."

"And did you furnish it?" inquired Mr. Clark.

Mr. D___ replied evasively.

Mr. Clark then addressed him sincerely, warning him to put away his rod and quit those people or he would be a ruined man. He stood and looked like one confounded. Mr. Clark took leave of Mr. D___ for another four weeks' tour around his circuit, but with many anxious thoughts for the welfare of that family.

The name of Wingate convinced Mr. Clark that the whole affair of the rods, and the scheme of building up the New Jerusalem, was gotten up for the purpose of aiding a set of counterfeiters; for a few years before a man of that name was detected in the act of milling counterfeit dollars by two young men of his acquaintance, in the town of Bradford, Vt. The implements and the coin he was making were taken and held by the town authorities, but Wingate escaped into New Hampshire. Further inquiries satisfied him that it was the same man who was deceiving the people in the vicinity of Poultney and Middletown. On his next visit to Mr. D___'s, Mr. Clark had the pleasure of knowing that he had rescued his friend from the delusion and the snare of the counterfeiters.

These are the simple facts of what Mr. Clark saw and heard, as carefully detailed by him. Soon after, Wingate and his adherents were detected in their counterfeiting operations. Wingate was arrested and put into the Rutland jail, and the gang was dispersed.

About 1827 or 1828, Mr. Clark heard the story of Joe Smith's finding his "golden Bible," while hunting for minerals with his rod. It at once brought to his mind Wingate's rods, but without suspicion of any connection between the two parties. Mr. Clark says: "I viewed it as a specimen of the same kind of imposition and knavery; but the scene of Smith's operations being at a distance from that of Wingate's, I paid little attention to it. When the Mormons commenced building in Ohio, and sent out men to preach the doctrine of the Latter Day Saints, and that they were about to build a temple where the saints were to be gathered, I could not resist the conviction that there must be some connection between their movements and what I had known about thirty years before in Vermont. In 1838 I visited Ohio, where I met Mr. Ezra Booth, who had been acquainted with Joe Smith and had travelled with him until convinced of his knavery and blasphemous pretensions. From him I learned the striking similarity of Smith's methods and those of the "rod-men" in Vermont. Subsequently I saw in the papers a notice of the death of Smith's mother, stating that she had formerly resided in Rutland county, Vt., and I also learned from the Rev. Tobias Spicer, who had resided in Poultney, that Sidney Rigdon, Smith's high priest and revelator, was from Rutland county, and must have been acquainted with Wingate's doctrine of the Latter Day Saints, the gathering of the lost tribes of Israel, his method of obtaining gold, etc. Having to my satisfaction ascertained that the Smiths and Rigdon families were from the neighborhood where I had witnessed Wingate's imposition, I have no doubt that the seeds of Mormonism were sown by that notorious counterfeiter. Rigdon was in Pittsburgh about 1823-4, where he professed to be studying this new Bible for three years, but was in fact studying Spaldin's 'found manuscript,' and translating Smith's 'Golden Bible.'"

Such is the clear and unvarnished account of the remote beginnings of that monstrous system of Mormon imposture, as related by the Rev. Dr. Laban Clark. Believing that it will contribute something toward a fuller exhibit of the history of Mormonism and its essence, I herewith commit it to the public.     Daniel Dorchester.

Natick, Mass., June 7, 1879.


Note: Daniel Dorchester's "Wood Scrape" information was mostly derived from Barnes Frisbie's 1867 booklet, The History of Middletown, (or from its partial 1877 reprint in Vol. III of A. M. Hemenway's Vermont Historical Gazetteer) and thus added nothing new to the historical record. The probable connection of the Wood family's religion with Mormon origins has been explored by several writers, without any conclusive proof offered. See also the Vermont American for May 28, 1828.



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