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1846-1899 Articles

The Brooklyn -- 1846 Mormon Emigrant Ship

1829-1845   |   1846-1899

Obs Apr 08 '52  |  Obs Jul 22 '52  |  Obs Feb 05 '85

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Vol. ?                                 New York City, April 8, 1852.                                 No. ?


(under construction)

Note: Fragments of the article tell of the sect in Springfield, Illinois, of their speaking in tongues and their partial emigration to Santa Fe.


Vol. ?                                 New York City, July 22, 1852.                                 No. ?


... Kanesville... population is largely Mormon... Mormons are quite numerous,amounting to several thousand, and are under the government of Orson Hyde... The spiritual wife system is in full vogue... Everything that they can secure of the property of the Gentiles, either by cheating or stealing is regarded as lawful prey... Some sympathy has been felt for this deluded sect since they have been persecuted in Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri...

Note: The full text for this report will be posted after a proper copy of the article is located.


New-York, Thur., Feb. 5, 1885.                               Volume ? No. ? Whole No. ?



The theory of the origin of the Book of Mormon in the traditional manuscript of Solomon Spaulding will probably have to be relinquished. That manuscript is doubtless now in the possession of Mr. L. L. Rice, of Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands, formerly an anti-slavery editor in Ohio, and for many years state printer of Columbus. During a recent visit to Honolulu, I suggested to Mr. Rice that he might have valuable anti-slavery documents in his possession which he would be willing to contribute to the rich collection already in the Oberlin College Library. In pursuance of this suggestion, Mr. Rice began looking over his old pamphlets and papers, and at length came upon an old, worn and faded manuscript of about 175 pages, small quarto, purporting to be a history of the migration and conflicts of the ancient Indian tribes which occupied the territory now belonging to the States of New York, Ohio and Kentucky. On the last page of this manuscript is a certificate and signature giving the names of several persons known to the signer, who have assured him that to their personal knowledge the manuscript was the writing of Solomon Spaulding. Mr. Rice has no recollection how or when this manuscript came into his possession. It was enveloped in a coarse piece of wrapping paper, and endorsed in Mr. Rice's handwriting, "A manuscript story."

There seems no reason to doubt that this is the long lost story. Mr. Rice, myself and others compared it with the Book of Mormon, and could detect no resemblance between the two, in general or detail. There seems to be no name nor incident common to the two. The solemn style of the Book of Mormon, in imitation of the English scriptures, does not appear in the manuscript. The only resemblance is in the fact that both profess to set forth the history of the lost tribes. Some other explanation of the origin of the Book of Mormon must be found, if any explanation is required.


Note 1: This notice was first published in the Jan. 1885 issue of a journal published by Oberlin College, called Bibliotheca Sacra. The appearance of Dr. Fairchild's statement in the Observer gave it nation-wide distribution and, by the end of February, the notice had been reprinted in many local and regional papers.

Note 2: Dr. Fairchild made several subsequent statements regarding the possible relationship of the writings of Solomon Spalding to the text found in the Book of Mormon. By the end of the 1890s his stance on the matter has evolved to one of cautious indifference and he no longer offered any personal opinion as to whether or not one of Spalding's manuscripts might have served as the basis for the Mormon book. See, for example, his 1900 statement, as published by A. T. Schroeder. His constant opinion was that the Spalding manuscript he discovered in Honolulu in 1884 did not form such a literary basis. Fairchild, however, was in no position to offer an authoritative opinion on just how many different manuscript stories Spalding may have written or what might have happened to them after Spalding's death.

Note 3: The opinion of Fairchild's friend, Lewis L. Rice, also evolved over time, as Rice was able to study the matter more carefully. Rice's final statement on the controversy was published in 1886.

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