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TCl Sep 10 '11  |  MMg Apr '25  |  GLum Dec 10 '29
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NYAm May 02 '39  |  Sun May 14 '39  |  Sun Jun 05 '39  |  T&CI Jun 27 '39  |  NYrk Aug 17 '39
Tat Aug 27 '39  |  NYAm Sep 11 '39  |  T&CI Sep 16 '39  |  NYrk Sep 21 '39  |  NYrk Oct 05 '39
NEra Nov 25 '39  |  NEra Dec 02? '39  |  NYrk Dec 21 '39


New York Observer articles have been moved to a new file

Index  |  Herald  |  Spec./Com. Adv.  |  Telescope  |  NRA papers  |  Maj. Noah's papers

 

THE  COLUMBIAN.
Vol II.                             New York City, September 10, 1811.                             No. 578.

 

District of New-York, ss.
L.S.  Be it remembered, that on the sixteenth day of July, in the thirty sixth year of the independence of the United States of America, ABEL M. SARJENT of the said district, hath deposited in this office the title of a book, the rights whereof he claims as proprietor, in the words and figures following, to wit:

"The New Hymn Book, for the use of the Free Church, by A. M. Sarjent. As well the singers as the players on instruments shall be there. Psalm lxxxvii. 7. Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Psalm cl. 4, 5, 6. The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice. [Psalm] cxvii. 1."

In conformity to the act of congress, entitled "An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the time therein mentioned." And also to an act, entitled "An act, supplementary to an act, entitled an act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts and books to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints."
            CHARLES CLINTON,
Clerk of the District of New-York.
_______
Sold at E. RILEY's music and bookstore, No. 17 Chatham-street, and by the several ministers of the Halcyon church on the waters of the Ohio.
  Aug. 15


Note: This advertisement for Rev. Abel M. Sargent's newly published hymn book ran in The Columbian in the second half of August and all of September. See the "Halcyon Inspiration" episode of the on-line Spalding Saga for more information on Abel Morgan Sargent, Sr.


 


The  Methodist  Magazine.
No. 4.                             New York City, April, 1825.                             Vol. VIII.


REVIVAL OF RELIGION ON ONTARIO DISTRICT.

Letter from the Rev. George Lane, dated Wilkesbarre, January 25, 1825.

With inexpressible gratitude to the great Head of the church, I amd enabled to inform you that the work of the Lord is prospering gloriously on Ontario district. The firts quarterly meeting after conference was held on Lyons circuit, town of Sodus, September 4th and 5th. Many attended, and much of the divine presence was realized. The next week commenced our camp-meeting, in Ulysses, Seneca circuit. In this place deep rooted prejuduces agains campmeetings had for some time existed, and it was with some difficulty that leave of the quarterly meeting was obtained to hold one...

September 18th and 19th [1824] our quarterly meeting for Catherine circuit was held at Hector... From Catherine I went to Ontario cicuit, where the Lord had already begun a gracious work in Palmyra. This is a pleasant village, situate on the great western canal, about twenty-two miles east of Rochester, and is now in a flourishing condition. In this place the work commenced in the spring, and progressed moderately until the time of the quarterly meeting, which was held on the 25th and 26th of September. About this time it appeared to break out afresh. Monday evening, after the quarterly meeting, there were four converted, and on the following evening, at a prayer meeting at Dr. Chase's, there were seven. Among these was a young woman by the name of Lucy Stoddard... she appeared, like Enoch, to walk with God; "scarcely a cloud did arise to darken her sky, or hide, for a moment, her Lord from her eye." In about one week after her conversion she was married to Mr. Hiram Wilcox... The same week she was married she was attacked by a bilious remittant fever, which terminated in a typhus fever... From Saturday night to the time of her dissolution, which took place on MOnday following, she seemed wholly swallowed up in God. Though extremely weak, she was almost incessantly employed in exhortations, prayer, and praise...

FRom this place I proceeded around the district, and I think I may say in truth, that God was with us at all our quarterly meetings...

... it pleased God, the week following, to pour out his Spirit on the people of this neighbourhood, in a remarkable manner. The vivifying flame was simultaneously felt throughout the society. Convictions deep and aweful arrested the sinner, and conversions, in many instances luminous as the sun, succeeded. In two weeks time I again visited the place, when upward of thirty professed to have experienced religion, and the work, at that time, appeared in a most promising condition. On other parts of the circuit also, the preachers were greatly encouraged. December 11th and 12th our quarterly meeting for Ontario circuit was held in Ontario. It was attended with showers of blessings, and we have reason to believe that much good work was done, Here I found that the work, which had for some time been going on in Palmyra, had broken out from the village like a mighty flame, and was spreading in every direction. When I left the place, December 22d [1824], there had, in the village and its vicinity, upward of one hundred and fifty joined the [Methodist] socuety, besides a number that had joined other churches, and many that joined no church.

December 18th and 19th we held our quarterly meeting for Geneva and Canandaigua circuit, in the village of Geneva... December 25 and 26, quarterly meeting for Crooked lake circuit was held at Bellona....

Nor are the local preachers idle spectators of what is going on; but on the contrary, many of them are very active and useful. Indeed, the official members generally appear to be animated with a growing zeal for the prosperity of Zion; and in many instances private members also manifest the deepest concern for their fellow creatures, and labour indefatigably to turn them from darkness to light, and are often successful. May this gracious work continue to prosper until the whole land is filled with the knowledge and love of God; to whose name shall be all the glory. Amen and Amen.

P. S. Having just received a letter from the Rev. J. B. Alverson, I cannot deny myself the pleasure of subjoining an extract. He writes from

                        Canandaigua, January 13, 1825.
Dear Brother, -- With pleasure I employ a moment to give you information of the progress of the work of God on your distruct. In Geneva the work has increased considerably since you were there; likewise in Rushville. In each place several have joined the society. On Ontario circuit, brother Smith informs me, the prospects are very promising. Two hundred have been added since conference. On Lyons the Lord continues to visit the people in great mercy. At Clyde the prospect is great, -- several have recently experienced religion at Lyons village village. Eight have lately professed a determination to seek the Lord, in the Vicinity of Newark; four of whom have obtained evidence of pardon. A sherman's the work is gradually increasing and extending. At Sulphur springs the work goes on as powerfully as ever; seven were converted last sabbath evening. On Monday evening an attempt was made to carry the war into the enemy's territory, by holding a watch night in Vienna. Mourners from the Springs, crowded the altar of mercy, and three found peace that evening, and one the next morning. Sixty-one habe experienced religion since this revival commenced, and forty-one have joined the society. The current has taken a proper direction, flows on without obstruction, and astonishes all who behold it.
              Yours, very affectionately,
                                                J. B. ALVERSON.

Note 1: As an aid in orienting the reader's attention to the various place names provided by the above correspondents to the Methodist Magazine, an early area map of western New York is available on-line -- Vienna was located at the unnamed circle, 7 miles south of Newark, in the upper right corner of Ontario County. In his 1851 article, "Origin of the Mormon Imposture," Palmyra resident Orsmaus Turner wrote of the young Joseph Smith, Jr.: "Joseph had a little ambition, and some very laudable aspirations... 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." It is quite possible that the "camp meeting" the Smith youth attended was the same "watch night" held in Vienna in early January 1825, that the Methodist Rev. J. B. Alverson makes mention of. However, since Orsamus Turner had left Palmyra prior to 1825, it is equally possible that he was recalling a Methodist camp-meeting in the general area of Palmyra, as early as 1820. See the Palmyra Register of June 28, 1820 for mention of one such metting.

Note 2: For similar reports on the 1824-25 religious revival which was centered in Palmyra, see the letter of Rev. Solomon Goodale, published in the American Baptist Magazine of
April, 1825 and the quotation from a Feb. 1825 issue of the Rochester Religious Advocate, as reprinted in the Mar. 2, 1825 issue of the Palmyra Wayne Sentinel.


 


GOSPEL  LUMINARY.
PUBLISHED UNDER THE PATRONAGE OF THE G. C. CONFERENCE. -- D. MILLARD & S. CLOUGH, EDITORS.

ns. Vol. II. No. 49.                  New-York, Thursday, December 10, 1829.                  Whole. No. 73.


                                  For the Gospel Luminary.

THE  NEW  BIBLE,

Written on plates of Gold or Brass.

This is said to be written in Egyptian, and an inspired translation of this wonderful record, by Joseph Smith, who styles himself the author, is now in the press, to be ready for subscribers the commencing part of next year: --

Copies of the title page, and other means, have been taken to sell next year this wonderful translation. Wishing success to the affair, if it could be substantiated by indisputable evidences and witnesses, I wrote to those concerned in, and witnesses to the facts and circumstances; and requested them to educe and publish to the world the clearest and strongest evidences possible. For Deists, Atheists, and Infidels to Christianity on one hand; and sectarianism, phariseism, bigotry and Orthodoxy on the other, would attack, oppose and examine the witnesses and testimonies with the utmost severity; and rightly would they do so. For why, should the world be duped, gulled, or imposed on. Those, who take such means to make and sell their books to a wondering community, ought to afford incontrovertible truths.

But what is the answer to so rational a solicitation? You shall have it readers in their own words, after they had been digesting it for many weeks: -- and judge ye, if it is satisfactory.

"Palmyra, Wayne, co., N. Y., Nov. 9th, 1829.

Sir; -- You wrote to Mr. Harris, some time since, respecting the book of Mormon, of which he was concerned in the publication." --


"Your first inquiry was, whether it was proper to say, that Joseph Smith Jr., was the author? If I rightly understand the meaning of the word author, it is, the first beginner, or mover of any thing, or a writer. Now Joseph Smith Jr., certainly was the writer of the work, called the book of Mormon, which was written in ancient Egyptian characters, -- which was a dead record to us until translated. And he, by a gift from God, has translated it into our language. Certainly he was the writer of it, and could be no less than the author."

I was sorry they could not perceive, how improper it was, that the translator, should assume authorship of the Egyptian book of Mormon; written it seems, by the real author in hieroglyphics. Hooker explains, (says Dr. Samuel Johnston,) author to be the first beginner or mover of any thing. But Joseph Smith is not the first beginner, or mover of the book of Mormon; or he is. And if he is, he must be an impostor. But if he is not: then he is not the author, or first beginner; but the translator, or last copyist, or translator of a golden leaved book, written ages ago, in Egyptian symbolical pictures, or hieroglyphics. Dryden explains Author, to be the efficient, that produces any thing: the first writer of any thing. Was J. Smith Junr., the first writer of the book of Mormon? If he was not, why does he call himself the author? as though the book of Mormon was a fiction of his own invention? We may as well say, that the copyists of the scriptures of truth, were the authors of the writings of Moses, the prophets and apostles, as to say (if Joseph Smith Junr., speaks truly,) that Joseph is the author of Mormon [sic], written ages ago, on golden plates or leaves.

The letter continues to say, -- "This record which gives an account of the first inhabitants of this continent, is engraved on plates, which have the appearance of gold; and they are of very curious workmanship."

What a pity it is the golden leaves of about 30 lbs., (as I have heard,) cannot be examined and attested by more than three or four persons? But say they --

"The reason stated in a prophecy written before the coming of Christ in the flesh, why the record should not be shown to all the world, {i. e. only to three or four, it seems} at the time of its coming forth to the children of men is that the book should be sealed, the power of God."

The two witnesses, the two candle sticks, or olive branches are (I believe,) revelation and reason: or divine and rational truth. Are we to be unjustly deprived of rational testimony in this case, by preventing men and women of virtue and veracity, from seeing and attesting to these plates of brass or gold? Yes, they answer, "that the book may be sealed by the power of God." A book which is written by the power of God is sealed, to all those, who have not this power, even while they read, hear, or posess the writing.  "For the things of God, knoweth no man but the spirit of God."  Spiritual things being always sealed or hidden from those, who have not spiritual discernment; the gospel being always hid to them, who are lost; -- or are in a wicked state; why then should plates written in hieroglyphics, (which they incorrectly call Egyptian characters) be kept out of sight? who could interpret them, when seen?  Or if they could, -- could they, unless in Godís spirit, understand them without special revelation to unseal them? It appears, therefore, a very unreasonable thing to deprive mankind of good, sufficient and incontrovertible testimony, of evidence that shall silence bigoted pharisees, sectarian heretics, sneering and sapient infidels, Jews, Mahommedans or pagans. Such an ancient, curious, and most precious golden relic of primitive ages, I should judge, would be estimable beyond conception, and would be preserved, with the greatest care by good or wise beholders, from any violence or rudeness; But they say --

"The prophecy also states there shall also be a revelation sealed in the book, which will reveal all things from the foundation of the world to the end thereof." And because of the iniquity of the world, at the time of its coming forth; it shall be hid from the eyes of the world; that the eyes of none shall behold it, (save it be that three witnesses shall behold it by the power of God) besides him, to whom the book should be delivered. And none other should see it, only a few, -- if it should be wisdom in God."

These I understand are the three, that were favored with a sight of it by the angel from heaven, in a clear day, and in an open field. By this it would seem, that the book came from heaven. The letter farther says: --

"And after that which was not sealed, was translated, the book should again be hid-up, unto the Lord, that it might not be destroyed; and come forth again, in the own due time of him, who knows all things {coming} unto the children of men."

"You also wished Mr. Harris to inform you respecting his seeing this book, whether there could not possibly have been some juggling at the bottom of it. A few words on that point may suffice. --

"It was a clear, open beautiful day, far from any inhabitants, in a remote field, at the time we saw the record, of which it has been spoken, brought and laid before us, by an angel, arrayed in glorious light,
{who} ascend {descended I suppose} out of the midst of heaven."

"Now if this is human juggling -- judge ye."

Yours with much esteem,
OLIVER H. P. COWDERY.
"P. S. I write this at the request of Messrs. Harris, and others. The edition of this work now printing will not possibly be finished before the first of next February 1830.

I am thankful for their esteem, and replying, and from their saying "Judge ye" -- I presume they expected I and my friends should read and judge. And I think the public ought to judge too; on so important a matter as a new bible; as wondrous as the Koran of Mahomet, and requiring the most incontrovertible facts, circumstances and proofs. The above statement[s] appear to me to be far from being of this character.
CORNELIUS C. BLATCHLY.      


Note 1: The above transcript was taken from digitized microfilm of the New York City Gospel Luminary, available in Series 2 of the American Antiquarian Society's Historical Periodicals Collection (view an enhanced graphic of this excerpt from the Luminary's Dec. 10th issue). -- Erin Jennings (who first announced the Luminary article) has also provided a typescript for reference at the Juvenile Instructor site. For additional information on this title, see notes attached to the Gospel Luminary (1st series, West Bloomfield) of Feb. 1825. See also the article "Mormonites," which appeared in the Gospel Luminary of May, 1833.

Note 2: Cornelius Blatchly probably wrote to Martin Harris, et al. in Palmyra, in October of 1829, after he had read Jonathan A. Hadley's Aug. 11th report in the Palmyra Freeman. In Blatchly's NY Telescope article of Feb. 20, 1830 he said that his letter had been addressed "to Joseph Smith, Jun. Martin Harris, and David Whitmore." Blatchly evidently received some information back from the Palmyra area, independent of Cowdery's Nov. 9, 1829 reply, informing him that "The whole of the plates are said to weigh about thirty pounds," etc. Unfortunately Oliver Cowdery's 1829 letter to Dr. Blatchly was lost or discarded, after only one printing in a very obscure periodical: The Investigator of Dec. 11, 1829. Exactly which "Investigator" this might have been, remains unclear. Possibly it was "Hank's New York Investigator" (exact title uncertain) which was in circulation during 1829-30. Missing this unverified printing, the modern student's next best access to a preservation of Cowdery's reply is found Rev. David Millard's Gospel Luminary. A reconstructed text for the preserved portions of Oliver's Nov. 9, 1829 letter has been prepared and placed on-line by H. Michael Marquardt. Possibly Oliver's letter also included the line: "For the things of God, knoweth no man but the spirit of God." Also, perhaps an ellipsis should be inserted between Oliver's subsequent words: "...foundation of the world to the end thereof" and his next set of words in any attempted reconstruction: ["]And because of the iniquity of the world..." It remains uncertain how much of the latter phraseology might be Mr. Blatchly's editor's paraphrase -- because of a presumed (but missing) initial quotation mark.

Note 3: The "golden leaved book" --- An article in the LDS Young Woman's Journal for Dec., 1900, entitled "The Book of Mormon -- Lesson VI," says: "The hill Cumorah is in Manchester township, Ontario county, New York State, near Palmyra. Around its sloping sides was fought the fiercest battle known to man; at its close, the Nephite nation had perished from the earth. On the west side of the hill, near the summit, was a stone box with a rounded or convex lid, the whole skillfully cemented together. Within were four small stone pillars, on which rested a golden-leaved book..."


 


NEW-YORK  EVENING  POST.
No. 8956.                             Thursday, April 28, 1831.                             No. 40 William St.


From the Philadelphia Gazette, April 27.

The Mormonites, -- Some unworthy and spotted members, according to the western papers, have crept in like grievous wolves among these silly sheep, in the new fold of Mormon, at Painesville, Ohio. The predominance of their preposterous tenets has already made considerable additions to the society. Their location is pleasant -- they have "all things in common" -- and it is not surprising that these inducements should bring together a community of vagrants, lovers of idleness, and haters of "the bitter dropping sweat and sweltry pain" of manual labor.

"Thither continual pilgrims crowded still
From all the roads of earth that pass thereby;
For, as they chanced to breathe on neighboring hill,
The freshness of the valley smote their eye,
And drew them ever and anon more nigh"

Recently, among the accessions to their numbers, they received a few individuals, who were not only poor in spirit, but in dress; and some men, to the shame-facedness of the sex be it spoken, who entered into the Mormonite communion nearly sans inespressibles, did, with malice aforethought, appropriate a considerable amount of coporeal drapery, and straightaway, like wolves in sheep's clothing, made off, leaving their places desolate and void, with the exception of the cast off garments which remained behind. If the precepts of the new golden Bible which the Mormonites have found do not possess more influence than these specimens of conduct would lead us to believe, we think the sect had better dissolve their encampments, melt up the yellow plates into bars, and sell them the first opportunity.


Note 1: This was one of the first articles on the Mormons published in a major New York City paper. The Mar. 31, 1830 issue of Mordecai M. Noah's Morning Courier and N. Y. Enquirer may have printed the city's first such notice of the new religious group. Probably news report in the July 16, 1831 issue of Niles Register (a leading national paper of the day) also saw some reprints in the NYC papers: if so, those issues have yet to be indentified. By early 1832 the newspaper readers were familiar enough with the "Mormonites" that New York City editors nolonger had to explain who they were, as a preface to offering news and comments on the rising sect.

Note 2: See the Apr. 19, 1831 issue of the Geauga Gazette and the Apr. 26, 1831 issue of the Painesville Telegraph for some background information on this incident among the Ohio Mormons.


 


THE  FREE  ENQUIRER.
Vol. III.                             New York City,  Sat.,  September 3, 1831.                             No. 45.


MORMON  BIBLE.

The following extract of a letter which I have just received from my brother William, will probably interest our readers. It is dated on the Canal, near Syracuse. The whale is said to have a remarkably small gullet, compared to his size. The same remark will certainly not apply to the spiritual esophagus of our believing race.

Apropos of whales, I call to mind a good story, and very applicable in such cases as the present: Some one was remarking in company, how impossible it was that an animal with a throat of dimensions so slender as that of the whale should swallow a man at all; and thereupon took occasion to insinuate his doubts whether Jonah did literally take up his three days lodging in the interior of a dwelling the entrance to which was so strait. An old lady, who had hitherto sat silent, now raised her spectacles. "Hout, man," said she, (the scene was in Scotland,) "what for could na the whale swallow Jonah? Do na ye see thousands swallowing baith Jonah and the whale every day?"

But to the promised extract:   R. D. O.

"I have met with the famous 'Book of Mormon,' on board this canal boat; I believe I shall try and get a copy of it at Palmyra if I can, as I suppose you will be well pleased to see it. It is a curious production, about the size of Owen and Campbellís discussion, say nearly 600 pages quarto. It is written in the style of the Bible, and seems to be intended to corroborate the doctrines of the Old and New Testaments. It contains the history of Lehi and his descendants, a man who dates his genealogy from Pharoahís Joseph. He is described as living in the days of Gedikiah, [sic] King of Judah; but being warned of God of the subsequent destruction of Jerusalem, he goes into a wilderness on the boarders of the Red Sea, he and his wife and children, in order to avoid this destruction. Two of his children rebel against him at various times, and his wife sometimes, because of the hardships they encountered, and their disbelief in the threatened destruction of Jerusalem. However, one of his sons, Nephi, sees a number of visions in corroboration of his fatherís story, and finally persuades Ishmael, a man who has just as many daughters and sons as Lehigh [sic] has sons and daughters, (who, of course, thus all get wives and husbands and a numerous offspring,) to believe his story, and to go with him into the wilderness. He also gets possession of certain brass plates, which contain his genealogy back to Joseph; and the Book of Mormon is part of an abridged record of the proceedings of Lehiís descendants, whose leaders continued to write their history on brass plates. The plates from which Smith, the author translates his book are said to be in his possession. Ten persons say they have seen them and hefted them, three declare that an angel of God appeared to them and showed them to them, and told them that God had given Smith power to be able to read them, understand them, and translate them. The names of those persons are signed to the certificates in the book.

"The story I cannot very well understand, as the book is long and tedious. However, it is something like this: They take shipping to some unknown country, (I suppose this country,) then two of Lehiís sons leave him and become a great nation, called Lawanites, from one of his sons. The other children remain with him and his son Nephi become very numerous and are called Nephites. The Nephites are governed sometimes by kings, and then by judges, as the Bible Jews. The story consists principally of the wars of the Nephites and Lawanites, (very bloody ones of course,) who finally, as was threatened for their disobedience, both utterly extirpate each other, after five or six days of hard fighting of men, women and children. All are finally slain but the two leaders, who fight till one kills the other and falls dead at his side.

"It also contains many prophecies concerning Christ, which are of course fulfilled; for instance: during the night following his birth, although the sun goes down, it remains perfectly light until he rises again next morning. And when Christ is crucified darkness pervades the earth for three days. Of course the Nephites, although they see these miracles, know nothing as to what these signs mean, (for Christ was crucified at Jerusalem,) except that their prophets tell them it shows Christís birth and death. But soon after his ascension into Heaven, he appears to the whole people of the Nephites, coming down from heaven from a cloud, and returning in like manner every evening. He visits them several days in this manner, chooses out twelve apostles, who receive wonderful gifts, institutes the sacrament of the Lordís supper, preaches to them doctrines similar to the Bible doctrines, performs many miracles, healing the sick, raising the dead, and so on.

"In short, it is, in many respects, so similar to the Bible and such a parody on it, that a Christian might well write at the end of it, as some one wrote on the copy I saw: 'This work seems throughout a burlesque on the Bible. Was it not got up by F. Wright and her party to show what ridiculous things people can be made to believe, and upon how little authority? The grammar and style seem to be good. as if written by one who understood composition, * and the arrangement of sentences seems to be in exact accordance with the Bible.'

"It is divided into books, viz. Nephi, Jacob, Jarom, Omni, Mosiah, Alaca, Helaware, Nephi, Mormon, Ether, Marone, (all names of kings who kept the records,) and these books into chapters. I believe it is called the Book of Mormon because Mormon abridged it from the stories of the others. Smith says he found the plates in Manchester, Ontario co. N. Y. and, by the command and grace of God, translated and published them. I will write more about it, if I find the book, on further perusal, worthy of further notice. or if I can find out any thing more regarding the Mormonites themselves. One man writes on the copy I have read:
'He whoíd believe the plates of brass
'Of Mr. Smith must be an ass.'
W. O."            
_______
* The style and subject and the mode of treating it are very much so.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


THE  FREE  ENQUIRER.
Vol. III.                             New York City,  Sat.,  September 10, 1831.                             No. 46.


COMMUNICATIONS.
_______________

(My brother, Wm. Owens, not anticipating the publication of the extract which I gave to our readers last week, has sent me, for our paper, a more detailed account of the strange superstition now springing up in this country. I publish it entire, though it contains a few repetitions of what our readers already know, as having been given in the previous extract.)

A COMPARISON

BETWEEN THE BOOK OF MORMON AND THE SCRIPTURES OF
THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS,
OR THE GOLDEN BIBLE vs. THE HOLY BIBLE.

After a pretty careful perusal of the Book of Mormon, or the Golden Bible, as it is usually termed, I am of opinion that, setting aside the historical proofs of authenticity, the Golden Bible will bear a very good comparison with the Holy Bible. I find nothing in the former inconsistent with the doctrines or opposed to a belief in the latter; on the contrary, the one seems to corroborate the other; and I can discover no good reason why the generality of Christians should scoff, as I have generally found them do, and hoot at the idea of believing in such a monstrously absurd book, unless it be that they consider the endeavor to pass off a new bible, very similar to their own, as a divine book, as likely to induce many persons, who cannot swallow the miracles and pretensions of the Golden Bible, to question the veracity of the historians who relate similar miracles and put forth similar doctrines, in the Holy Bible, which they have been accustomed to venerate as a divine production. This view of the subject may be correct; for Christians can hardly read the book of Mormon without remarking a striking similarity to their own scriptures, and the believers in the Old and New Testaments cannot consistently deny the possibility of a single circumstance related in the Mormonite scriptures. However, for my own part, I should consider satisfactory proofs of the genuineness of the divine origin of the Holy Bible, so consistent are they with, and corroborative of, each other.

The Holy Bible professes to be a history of the peopling of the old continent -- the Golden Bible of the new continent. The one contains the record of the Jews, a chosen people of God, in the old world, together with numberless miracles performed by their holy men, and numerous prophecies concerning the coming of Christ; the other records the history of the Nephites, a chosen people of God, in the new world, whose hold men likewise performed numerous miracles and prophecy concerning Christ. The Jews have their Moses, their Aaron, their Joshua, their promised land, their kings, their judges, their seers, and the Jewish Christians their 12 Apostles. The Nephites have their Lehi, their Nephi, their Moroni, their promised land, their kings, their judges, their prophets, their seers, and the Nephite Christians their 12 Apostles. Moses and Aaron led the Jews out of Egyptian bondage into their promised land. Lehi and Nephi led the Nephites out of Jerusalem, through fear of Babylonian bondage, into their promised land. Joshua fights the battles of the Jews -- Moroni of the Nephites. The Jews have their Philistines -- the Nephites their Lawanites, to slay them when rebellious against their God, whose great power and loving kindness both nations seem to have been singularly apt to forget. The book of the law, a priest professed to find, after it had been lost for several centuries, in the temple at Jerusalem, in Palestine. The book of Mormon, a layman professed to discover, secreted near Manchester, Ontario co. State of New York, U. S. A. The Jewish scriptures profess to prophecy regarding the utter dispersion of the Jews, which accordingly takes place. The Nephite scriptures proclaim the utter destruction of the Nephites, which likewise occurs as prophecied. Jesus Christ appears after his resurrection to many of his Jewish disciples and fills them with the Holy Ghost, which enables them to work miracles. He also heals the sick, raises the dead, institutes the Lordís Supper, and orders those who believe in him to be baptized with water. So says the Holy Bible. The Golden Bible informs us that Jesus Christ appeared to the Nephites, after his ascension, caused the Holy Ghost to descend on many of them, who thereby were enabled to perform miracles. He also heals their sick, raises the dead, and institutes the sacraments of Baptism and the Lordís Supper. He preaches also to the Nephites, during several days, doctrines exactly similar to those recorded in the New Testament, and is finally caught up to Heaven in a cloud. A vision, during a journey, converts St. Paul, a Jew, from a zealous unbeliever in Christ, into an equally zealous Christian teacher. Alwa [sic - Alma?], a Nephite, is converted in like manner, and becomes, like Paul, a renowned Christian preacher. The miracles, too, recorded in both Bibles are precisely of the same character: The dead are raised, the sick healed, prison doors are opened, the Lord fights for his people in battle, unbelievers are struck dumb; at the death of Christ darkness pervades the land, together with earthquakes, lightning, &c. We have also wars without end, visions and prophecies. God also shows himself to one or two persons, and a few others are translated to Heaven, without dying. In these and many other respects, the two bibles present a great resemblance; but in some points the Nephites are much less barbarous than the Jews. Amongst them we have no Midianitish massacres, or wholesale butcheries of entire nations, in order to possess their lands. The Nephites take possession of an uninhabited country and people it; they never take up arms, except in their own defence, and some of them even suffer death, rather than defend themselves at all.

The doctrinal parts of both bibles are so similar that I am not able to point out any material difference between them, except that the Nephite Christians had no hired priest among them, for all their religious teachers labored with their hands. The historical part of the Golden Bible is shortly as follows.

Two Jewish families, warned of God, leave Jerusalem to avoid the Babylonian captivity, and, instructed by God, build a tight ship and are driven they know not whither; (to America.) They become a great nation, called Nephites, from a famous leader and prophet. Two of his brothers and their families withdraw from Nephiteís people and form another nation called Lawanites, who become savages, having no law to guide them. These are our American Indians. They are described as being dark (the Lord having set a mark upon them) with shaven heads, except a small tuft of hair, and naked except round the loins, and barbarous, fierce and savage. They are continually at war with the Nephites, and are beaten, whenever the Nephites follow the commands of God; finally, however, the Nephites become very wicked and the Lawanites kill the whole of them, about 200,000, in a desperate battle. One man alone escapes who writes the conclusion of their history on a plate of brass, and hides it by Godís command, together with a number of plates which contain the whole history of the Nephites, written at each period, by their leader for the time being, and by him handed to his successor in office, to be preserved and continued by him until his death, to be by him handed to his successor, and so on. These plates, Smith the publisher of the Golden Bible professes to have discovered and translated by the help of God. Eleven witnesses, three of whom profess to have been taught the truth of the book by an angel from heaven, and profess to have seen the plates. The style is very Biblical, and the grammar good, with few exceptions. Smith is said to be illiterate. The believers in the book of Morman amount already to about 1600. They have been living near Fairport, Ohio, but are going to Missouri so soon as they can get land there to settle on. A man who resides near them, told me he knew many of them, and that they were generally very peaceful, inoffensive men and of good character. Their preachers appear to have drawn great crowds to hear them preach.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


THE  CHURCHMAN.
Vol. I.                                 N. Y. C., Feb. 4, 1832.                                 No. 46.



By a correspondent the Salem Gazette.

THE  MORMONITES,

                                                  Marietta, (Ohio) Nov. 16, 1831.

You are sensible how celebrated has become western New-York, and the adjacent counties of Ohio, for their sects -- their parties -- their fanaticism -- religious, political, and anti-masonic. Their conceits are wild to the very furthest bonds of imagination. Wild in invention, and singularly successful in carrying into effect their solemn fooleries. You have heard of the Mormonites, newspapers having given detailed accounts of these fanatics; but perhaps their origin is not so well-known. Mormonism is the fruit of religious excitement in this quarter, combined with roguery, ingenuity, and ignorance; frequently operating successfully on those who ought to know better.

The inventors of this species of fanaticism are very simple personages, and were unknown until thus brought into notice. They are old and young Joe Smith, one Harris, a farmer, -- all of New York; and one Rigdon, a sort of preacher, from Ohio, with several other infatuated, cunning hypocrites. Old Joe was once a pedlar, and possessed all that cunning and shrewdness and small intrigue, characteristic of that description of persons. He had a smooth tongue, was a ready story-teller, full of anecdotes he had picked up in his peregrinations, and had been more fortunate in picking up materials for his tongue, than for supplying his purse. He at one time set up the manufacture of gingerbread, but on the fall of that article, failed in business. Young Joe was an idle, strolling, worthless fellow, although he afterwards flourished so largely in the Mormon religion. He was, however, the son of a Yankee pedlar, and brought up to live by his wits. Harris, whom I have mentioned, was considered as a substantial farmer near Palmyra, of a wild imagination, full of passages of Scripture, had heard and seen much of the extravagance of the day produced by modern revival meetings, and believed fully in the wonders and miracles wrought on these occasions.

The Smiths had conceived the idea of getting rich by some short cut' the usual expedient of digging for hidden treasures was hit upon, Having heard many wonderful stories of men getting rich by digging and stumbling upon chests of money, on the shores of New-England, the fellow succeeded by his oratorical powers, in exciting the imaginations of a few auditors, and made them so anxious to possess themselves of these hidden treasures, that at it they went, with shovel and spade, excavating the ground in many places between Canadaigua Lake and Palmyra. These excavations are still to be seen in many places. They continued their labors until, at length, one of the party, tired of laborious and unsuccessful search, spoke of a person in Ohio, near Painesville, on Lake Erie, who had a wonderful facility in finding the spots where money was hid, and how he could dream of the very spots where it was to be found. "Can we get that man here," asked the infatuated Smiths. "Why." replied the other, "I guess as we might, by going after him; and if I had a little change to pay the expenses, I would go myself." Away they went, some to his farm, and some to merchandise, to gain his money to pay the expense of bringing the money-dreamer from Ohio. The desired object was at length accomplished, and Rigdon, the famous Ohio man, made his appearance. He had been a preacher of various religions, and a teacher of almost all kinds of morals. He was experienced in all sorts of camp-meetings, prayer-meetings, and anxious-meetings, and revival or four days' meetings. -- He knew every turn of the human mind relative to these matters. He had considerable talent, and great plausibility. He partly united with the money-diggers in making an excavation in what has since been called the "Golden Bible Hill."

These were times, and these are a people admirably suited to the promulgation of a new Bible, and a new religion... In such times, and such circumstances, was bred the Mormon religion.

In this age of wonders, the cunning ex-preacher from Ohio, suggested to the money-diggers to turn their digging concern into a religious plot. It was therefore, given out that a vision had appeared to Joe Smith, that there was deposited in the hill I have mentioned, an iron chest containing golden plates, on which was engraved the "Book of Mormon." These engravings were said to be in unknown characters to all but the inspired translator, and were deposited there by a wandering tribe of the children of Israel, before the Christian era. It was now given out that young Joe Smith was the chosen one of God to reveal this ministry to the world -- to be the second Messiah, to reveal to the world this word of life, and to reform it anew. So Joe, from being an idle, lounging fellow, became a grave, parson-like man, with a respectable looking sort of a black coat, and with the salvation of the whole world upon his shoulders. Old Joe, the ex-parson, and several others, were the converts to the new faith, which they asserted was foretold in the Bible. But Harris was undoubtedly a true convert, and the first man who gave credit to the whole story. He was the Ali of the New-York Mahomet. Rigdon, the preacher, knew well how to work upon the credulity of a people already excited to religious enthusiasm. His aspect was grave and contemplative, and he could quote abundance of Scripture to prove his assertions. This ex-parson is no doubt the author of the book. It is full of strange narratives, in the style of the Scriptures, and appears to evince some ingenuity.

A fac simile of the characters on the golden plates, was carried to Dr. Mitchell, by Harris. The Dr. gave some learned observations on them, but wiser heads than he were employed in the translation. Harris raised money on a mortgage on his farm, and got the translation printed at Palmyra. The book came out to the world, and the diggers soon found they had not dug in vain, for by its precepts, money could be raised in a twinkling from the new converts, who were daily flocking to the new standard. Another revelation now came upon them. The prophets were directed to lead the way to the promised land -- a place near Painesville, Ohio, and subsequently to some place on the Mississippi river, where they have adopted some of the worldly views of the Shakers, having formed a sort of community system. The roads in Trumbull county were at times crowded with these deluded wretches, with their wagons and effects, on their way to the promised land.

The infatuation of these people is astonishing beyond measure. Husbands tearing themselves from their wives, and such of their families as refuse to go; and wives deserting their husbands, to join the infatuated clan. A respectable physician of Trumbull county, who informed me of the latter proceedings, also informed me of several instances where the sick have died, refusing medical aid, persisting in the belief that faith in the Mormon religion would save their lives. That he had actually been called in cases of the last extremity, where their faith had finally failed them.


Note: The above article apparently first appeared in the Massachusetts Salem Gazette and was from there copied into an early January issue of the Philadelphia U. S. Gazette. The account given here generally paraphrases James G. Bennett's two-part, on-the-scene report, published in the Morning Courier & New York Enquirer of Aug. 31, and Sept. 1, 1831. The Marrieta, Ohio "correspondent" has corrected a few erroneous items from Bennett's articles -- such as replacing the name "Henry Rangdon" with the proper spelling of "one Rigdon." The Ohio writer also adds a few items of local news from Trumbull (Geauga??) Co., Ohio respecting the Mormons.


 


GENIUS  OF  TEMPERANCE.
PHILANTHROPIST  AND  PEOPLE'S  ADVOCATE.

Vol. II.                           New-York, Wednesday, May 23, 1832.                           No. ?

 

Outrage. -- On the night of the 24th ult. twenty-five or thirty persons in disguise, entered the apartments of Smith & Rigdon, leaders of Mormonism in Cayuga [sic, Geauga?] county, Ohio, carried them from their beds and tarred and feathered them -- Newark (Ohio) Gazette.

Note 1: This is the only known account of the assault upon Smith and Rigdon to be published in the New York City papers. The Newark Gazette report evidently appeared in an early April issue of that paper. Its notice of the event was also picked up and reprinted by various newspapers, including the Ohio Argus of June 8, 1832.

Note 2: The assault upon Smith and Rigdon occurred on March 24, 1832 and was reported in the Apr. 5th issue of the Hudson Observer and Telegraph. The Newark Gazette report was probably derived from the lengthier article printed by the Observer and Telegraph.


 


BADGER'S  WEEKLY  MESSENGER.
Vol. II.                                 New York City,  July 4, 1832.                                 No. ?


 

MORMONISM IS SAID TO HAVE TAKEN DEEP ROOT IN THE BAPTIST CHURCH IN MENDON, MISS. -- a number were redipped a few days ago. The preacher said he would never die, but be translated after the manner of Enoch, and in eighteen months MORMONISM WOULD BE THE PREVAILING RELIGION; and that in five years the wicked would be swept from the face of the earth.


Note 1: The above article is reprinted from the Apr. 14, 1832 issue of the Rochester Liberal Advocate. The place in which these LDS baptisms took place (including that of Brigham Young) should read "Mendon, New York," rather than "Mendon, Mississippi."

Note 2: The final line of the original Abner Cole report in the Liberal Advocate reads: "When we see the degradation to which weak human nature has been reduced of late, we cannot wonder at such fanatical extravagance."


 



Vol. III.                               New York City, September ?, 1832.                               No. ?


 

[title and first paragraphs are missing]


                                                Bradford county, Pa. August, 1832.
Sir. -- The prayer of my heart to God is, that you may believe the scriptures of the old and new Testament, if you do not believe what I write. But I now tell you what has taken place since I arrived here. On the 30th of July, there was an appointment for preaching, at 4 o'clock P. M. by a Methodist. We went to the place but he did not attend; and we occupied the time by prayer and exhortation. The company were Methodists, and a class of people called Mormonites. After the meeting was over, notice was given that there would be a meeting in the evening at my brother's house. Some of the Mormonites, together with others, collected, and the meeting commenced and went on the same as your meetings do, until about 10 o'clock, when I should say, by what I saw and felt, of a truth the Lord was present with us. The spirit seemed to rest and clothe upon a Mrs. Conkling, and I thought, and think yet, that I heard a few words of a language that I could not understand. You must know that my mind was on the look out. And not long after, perhaps forty-five minutes, she broke forth in prayer to God, in a language that I could not understand, and continued two or three minutes, and then in our language, she gave an interpretation of what she had said. Then she broke out again, in the same language and was more lengthy than the first time. This last prayer or exhortation she did not interpret. I am credibly informed that they have these gifts and all the gifts of the gospel. I trust that I shall see and hear more yet; when I do I will write. I leave all to God whether you believe or disbelieve.


More recently their emissaries have showed themselves in Boston, where the delusion has [seized] several respectable citizens, some of whom were considered worthy members of different churches. The Rev. J. V. Himes makes the following statement.

However strange to relate, about fifteen persons, in this city [Boston] have been led away by these false doctrines, have been baptised and joined the Mormon church. And some of these persons have set out for "the promised land, the place of refuge for the house of Israel, and for all the Gentile world, who will take warning and flee thither for safety." Two individuals who have gone, are defenceless females. They had acquired by their hard industry $2300, one of them having $800, the other $1500, which they have given up to go into the general stock. One of these females was in a consumption, and her friends thought she would not live to reach her destined place. Her afflicted sister told me, that if she had been buried here, before she had been led away by these errors, and had left satisfactory evidence that she was prepared to die, her grief would have been far less than it is now. The remaining persons who were baptised and joined the church, and contemplate going to the West, possess between $3000 and $4000, which they also are going to put with the general fund, and which they can never draw out again, should they get sick of Mormonism and wish to return home to their friends.

Thus are our friends swindled out of their property and drawn from their comfortable homes to endure the perils of a journey of about two thousand miles, by these ignorant fanatics; and when arrived at their earthly paradise, to become the miserable dupes of these temporal and spiritual lords.


Note: The title and the full content of the above article remain unknown. The text is taken from a reprint that appeared in the Oct. 10, 1832 issue of the Boston Recorder. Throughout the 1830s and the early 1840s the New York Evangelist is known to have published numerous articles on the Mormons and their religion. However, the newspaper is today a very obscure and rare title. None of its articles (apart from a few excerpts published in other papers) are yet available for transcription and viewing as web e-texts..


 


NEW-YORK  EVENING  POST.
No. 9374.                             Saturday, September, 1832.                             No. 40 William St.


 

Mormonism -- The Boston Traveller sats: -- 'Two Mormonite preachers have recently visited this city, and made about 15 converts to their strange doctrines, who have been baptised and joined to the Mormon church. It is stated in one of the papers that these persons contemplated going to the west, and some have already started for "the promised land, the place of refuge for the house of Israel and for the Gentile world who will flee hither for safety," in Jackson county Missouri. Two females who have gone, had acquired by industry, one 1500, and the other 800 dollars, which they had given up to go into the general stock. The others possess between 3000 and 4000 dollars, which they are going to put into the general fund, and which they can never draw out again. "Thus are the people swindled of their property, and drawn from their comfortable homes, by ignorant fanatics." '


Note: See also the Sept. 8, 1832 issue of Niles' Weekly Register. The two Mormon missionaries then operating in New England were Elders Orson Hyde and Samuel H. Smith. Among their converts in Boston was Augusta Adams Cobb, a future plural wife of Brigham Young.


 


THE

GOSPEL  LUMINARY.
ns. Vol. VI. No. 8.                             New-York City, May, 1833.                             Whole. No. ?


Mormonites.

"Among the wonders of the present day, you may record the following. Many of the people called Mormons have arrived at this place, and it is said more are on the way. The condition of those who are here, must be very unpleasant, and their sufferings are, in no small degree, from the want of comfortable houses, and something on which to subsist. Their settlement extends to the west line of Missouri State, two miles and a half from this place; they manifest a disposition to, and no doubt soon would go among the Indians, were they permitted; which by the way is not the case. They call this place the Mount Zion, or New Jerusalem, so often spoken of in Scripture; -- though it is not more elevated than the common face of the country, nor yet is there in it any thing strange or peculiarly prepossessing in its favour, more than any other portion of the west.

Here, they tell us, will be gathered the Gentiles from the East, and the Jews (the Indians) from the West, to their temple, which shall subsequently be built on the very spot now selected by them, to which they say, their God will come in person, destroying all who shall be so daringly wicked, as to reject their gospel; when Christ comes, which at most will not be more than fifteen years, he will bring all the apostles, and old saints, and will reign with them here a thousand years; during this reign, the rest of the dead, shall not live (that is, all who are not Mormons,) for this is the first resurrection. To support the idea of their Christ suddenly coming to their temple, to purify and refine them, they read Malachi, 3d chap. to the 6th verse inclusive, with other Scriptures found in Zephaniah, Zechariah, and elsewhere, all of which refer to the coming of Christ.

They have a revelation of their own, which, they affirm, was given to the people of this continent, (the Indians,) on plates, and deposited in the earth, and kept concealed in the earth of the Lord, till the fulfilment of its time, which has now been accomplished: and to prove that Joseph Smith is that wonderful prophet, to whom these marvellous plates and their profound mysteries should be revealed, they recite the 29th chapter of Isaiah, saying that the prophet Smith is that unlearned man, to whom the book was given to read, and he said I cannot, for I am not learned! But this difficulty was soon removed by the spirit which came upon him, and blest him with the gift of tongues. The book then was clearly opened to his understanding, and he translated it to one of the witnesses, who wrote it in our lauguage. Thus according to the 37th chapter of Ezekiel, say they, the sticks there spoken of, (the Mormon book and our Bible,) are become one in the hand of the prophet Smith; or shall, when our Bible shall be rightly translated by him, under the outpouring of his holy spirit, and its directions. Every person who tells them, that he wishes to forsake sin, is without further ceremony, taken by the Elder, and baptized for the remission of his sins; he is now told that he shall soon receive the spirit; this being accomplished, the Elder lays his hands on him, and imparts to him his holy spirit, which they say they then feel immediately, and know that it is the truth. The Elder now sings to the new converts, consecrating songs of their own diction, (composing,) and to them he reads prophecies about giving their possession to the Lordís store, which if they fail to do, they forfeit the fellowship of the fraternity, nor will they long be considered worthy members with them. When their property is thus laid at the bishopís feet, he places it in the store, and they lose sight of it for ever; their storekeeper will not trust them for a single dollar, though he willingly gives credit to others.

If the brotherhood is once taken, and any should choose to leave them, he must go out empty, however much he had deposited in the treasury. Much is said among them about the Holy Ghost being given, by the laying on of the Elderís hand, about prophecying, healing the sick, and the interpretation of tongues; all this however they carefully avoid, saying that these things can only be done, when they are in the spirit, which perhaps but seldom happens in this land of pilgrims; since no miracles have been done here at any time by them, though greatly needed, and they have been abundantly pressed to it. They eat, they drink, are sick, and die, as all others do. When they are sick, unfortunately, they have not faith to be healed. Of the dying they say, their work is done, they must go; they also say, it is self-evident that disease is the natural effect of unbelief. If this be true, I am sure their faith cannot be as large as a mustard seed, for none are more liable to sickness, and all contagions, than themselves, the cholera not excepted, even among their preachers. Perhaps when their Christ comes, and brings their old Apostles and Saints, some of them may profess more power of faith than these, that are already here; if this should not be so, I shall finally despair of seeing miracles done by them. ____."


Note: This late 1832 Rev. Benton Pixley letter first appeared in the Baptist Weekley Journal. From there it was reprinted in the Boston Christian Register of Apr. 6, 1833 and various other contemporary periodicals. For an earlier (and more important) article on the Mormons, see the Luminary of Dec. 10, 1829.


 


BADGER'S  WEEKLY  MESSENGER.
AND  YOUNG  MEN'S  ADVOCATE.

Vol. III.                                 New York City,  Aug. 21, 1833.                                 No. ?



MORMONISM.

Correspondence of the Journal of Commerce.

A day or two since, either I or the gentleman whose hospitality I am sharing, was honored with a call from a "preacher of Mormon." I had forgotten to mention him among the products of the six miles in diameter; nevertheless he was born and brought up in this township. I knew him many years ago, and I believe I must say that he possessed about a common share of intelligence, though remarkable for being "set in his way." This man, ten or fifteen years since, removed to Ohio, where he purchased a farm, that is, 200 or 300 acres of forest, and soon brought it under subjection. I will not detail the process by which he became a convert to Mormonsim -- suffice it to say that he is now apparently was settled in his belief as any man I ever saw. Indeed he makes no bones of declaring, that he "knows" he is right, and that all who differ from him are wrong. He can perform miracles, and quotes a number of instances in which sick persons have been suddenly restored to health under his instrumentality. I offered to go with him to some sick person in the neighborhood, and told him if he would cure the individual, I would publish a certificate in the Journal of Commerce, with my name, stating that I had been a witness of the miracle. He however said that a cure could not be performed without "faith" on the part of the patient, and that faith was not every where to be found. So he declined going. He informed me that the "first resurrection" would take place in this generation, and that simultaneously with this would be the ushering in of the Millennium. When I expressed some doubts as to the accuracy of his predictions, (for he professes to be a prophet as well as a miracle worker,) he appealed to the extraordinary"signs" which had recently been witnessed, and remarked that he himself had seen within a few days past, the sun rise with the appearance of blood, and that a pillar of smoke had been seen by an old lady in Ohio, proceeding from no assignable cause. The old lady, it seems, on beholding this great sight, was determined to ascertain the certainty of its existence, and proceeded to the spot over which it was suspended, when, mirabile dictu! it had vanished into thin air. Our Mormonite friend appeared more grieved than angry at the incredulity of his hearers, and told us that the time was at hand when we should rue the day that we slighted his message. -- He said that he had nevertheless a wrok to perform in Plainfield, and wherever he went, he must clear his skirts of the blood of souls, and then, if they would perish, they must not lay their destruction at his charge. He informed us that whatever good people there were in the world, (and the number was lamentably small,) would soon come over to Mormonism, while all the rest would be swept away by some dire calamity. He stated that there were 400 or 500 preachers of Mormonism abraod in the land, which I presume, must comprehend a good part of the whole number of members. After all, I am not sure but the sect is increasing, and will increase still more; for what absurdity is too ridiculous to be dignified with the name of religion, or being dignified, to find abettors and admirers! In passing through Williamsburgh, adjoining Northampton, a large two story house was pointed out to me in the north part of the town, occupied by 15 Mormonites, who gained their livelihood by masking baskets, and as report had it, by such means as their necessities required.


Note: Mr. Badger's name was perhaps dropped from the masthead before this issue appeared -- the paper went through several name changes during this period.


 


THE  FREE  ENQUIRER.
Vol. V.                             New York City,  October 5, 1833.                             No. 50.


MORMONITES.

The Cambridge (Ohio) Times says -- "A small band of Mormonites passed through that place a few days since, on their way to the "New Jerusalem" -- located somewhere in the state of Missouri. While here they encamped on the bank of Wills creek, in the rear of the town."

The idle, foolish whams [sic - whims?] of this sect excite, and very properly so, we suppose, the ridicule of the people generally. The only question is, do they, the Mormonites, believe their own doctrines. They make sacrifices to follow its requirements, they leave homes and kindred, and many of them wealth. These things denote sincerity, and plead in their behalf. Man has ever been; and perhaps ever will be, the sport of some delusion.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 



Vol. ?                               New York City, Dec. ?, 1833.                               No. ?



(all issues of the Observer have been moved to a new location)







 


THE  FREE  ENQUIRER.
3ds Vol. I.                             New York City,  January 5, 1834.                             No. 11.


                                 For the Free Enquirer.
THE  MORMONS.

It is a happy circumstance of modern times, that the general conduct of Christians displays little consistency with their principles. Were this not the case, and were they as zealous and as little restrained by infidel" laws as were their ancient fathers, like scenes of devastation and bloodshed as those of the Dark Ages would now be daily presented to our eyes; and the fact that those laws of Scripture which point out the conduct of the Christian to his fellow man cannot, in an age of light like this be adhered to, is a sufficient ground for pronouncing Christianity both false and dangerous.

I do not wish to be understood to assert that Christians are superior to their principles, as laid down in the Bible, but that, if in appearance they are so, the chief ones among them, -- the priests and lesser dignitaries of the churches, are at heart what they so loudly and repeatedly condemn -- persecutors.

In every country at the present day, although the fire and faggots are thrown aside, rather from necessity than choice, yet all the milder means are in full operation, with untiring ardour, and regardless of decency and truth. The various sects maintain a constant warfare against each other, and the press is shamefully defamed for the promulgation of the most odious principles, and the success of the basest measures. With pen, press, pulpit, they give vent to their prosecuting spirit, and doubtless secretly regret that their hands cannot act as well as their pens and tongues.

We perceive, that so far as the laws enable them to adhere to their principles they do so; but of late they seem to set both law and justice openly at defiance.

Some time ago we had accounts of the Mormonites being persecuted at the West, by other Christians, we perceive that the persecutions instead of relaxing, have continued, and assumed a more outrageous character than before. Blood has been shed -- houses and lands subjected to all the dreadful calamaties of fire and sword -- innocent and defenceless women and children driven from their beds at the dead hour of night, and their houses levelled to the ground with fire, and their fathers and husbands whipped to death before their eyes; -- and all for what? because of their opinions -- because they would not fashion their creed after that of their more powerful and better neighbors. Is it possible, Mr. Editor, that such an event could recur in the 19th century in the most prosperous and happy country on the globe? After this Christians must cease to talk of the salutary effects of their religion. They cannot persist in saying that actors of principles which, if embraced with zeal, lead men to shed human blood, are not dangerous. The more zeal shown for a good cause, the more brilliant its merits appear; but the more zealous the Christian, the more destructive his measure -- the more consistent his conduct with his principles. No man is a true Christian who does not persecute; and this fact should stimulate every true lover of liberty, peace, and happiness, to make every exertion in his power, mildly, to root all religion out of our land.

The following letter of Mr. Hude is from the St. Louis (Missouri) Republican of the 12th Nov. It is lengthy, but I hope that will not deter you from giving it a place in your paper; it should be read with attention by all.

CIVIL WAR IN JACKSON COUNTY.

(see original article from Missouri newspaper)




                                 From the American Manufacturer.
THE  MORMONS  IN  MISSOURI.

A short time since, we stated, that a conflict had taken place, between the Mormons of Jackson county, Missouri, and a body of other citizens. -- That account represented the people of Jackson county, who were opposed to the Mormons, as the aggressors, and maintained the right of the Mormons, to settle where they might please, and to claim equal protection with other citizens, from the laws of the country. We spoke without much reflection on the subject, and now believe ourselves to have been in error. The creed and practical doctrines of the Mormons are not well enough known to the body of our citizens; and certainly at the time of writing, we were not fully acquainted with them, to judge between the combatants. But we have since learned that the doctrines of the new sect, are so intolerant, that if they obtain an ascendancy in numbers in any place, they will in the fulfilment of their religion, persecute all around them. They claim, by virtue of their religion, a right to every thing around, including the lands, goods and chattles of their neighbors. The people of Jackson county were told by these fanatics that "the fat of the land was the Lord's" and they, (the Mormons) were the Lord's children, and of course should possess the country. They were about to make their words good, it appears, for hordes of credulous and ignorant converts were flocking to their standard in Jackson county, and it was evident this county was to be the head quarters of Mormonism. -- What could the people of the county do? Should they sit with their arms, and see a Joe Smith, an elder Rigdon, and other infamous leading Mormon impostors, (for that these men are impostors there can be no doubt,) dispossess them of their property, or what would be the same, rule the destinies of Jackson county, by the force of numerical members, which it was evident these impostors would soon obtain, or should they, indignant at the vile brand that were flocking into the very heart of the county, with the intent of possessing it entirely, drive these rascally leaders off by force of arms? For our own part, we are as much for religious toleration as any reasonable person can be, but here is a case where religious fanaticism warred with the common principles of toleration so wisely upheld by our government: -- Self preservation, at last, forced the citizens of Jackson county to rise against these intolerant fools and bigots, and if excesses were committed, we find ample pallative for them, in those outrageous doctrines of the Mormonites, which relate to the possession of property.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


THE  FREE  ENQUIRER.
3ds Vol. I.                             New York City,  January 12, 1834.                             No. 12.


THE  MORMONITES.

There is no religion, or rather form of religion; no creed or system of politics, that will not find its advocates. A friend from the upper part of Oxford County, informs us, that one Mormon preacher from Ohio, and another from New Hampshire, reinforced by a pair of preachers from Saco, have been making a great stir some where about Lake Umbagog. Nearly the whole of a Freewill Baptist Church, nymbering thirty persons with their pastor, have gone over to the Mormonites, and avowed their faith in the book of Mormon. -- They have all been re-baptized in the waters of the lake. In Andover, the preachers have had some trouble with the citizens, and were rather unceremoniously dismissed. -- Port. Adv.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


THE  FREE  ENQUIRER.
3ds Vol. I.                             New York City,  March 30, 1834.                             No. 23.

 

The Mormonites lately ejected from Jackson County, Missouri, accuse a Clergyman of having headed the mob, which some time ago disturbed and broke up their settlement. It is said he carried a gun on his shoulder. The Clergyman alluded to is the celebrated Isaac McKoy, whose iniquity was recently exposed in a pamphlet published by T. S. Amith, entitled "Missionary Abominations Unmasked!"


Notes: (forthcoming)


 



Vol. XIV.                             New York City, May 21, 1834.                           No. 4779.

 

The Mormonites in Motion. -- According to a late number of the Painesville Telegraph, General Joe Smith, the leader of the Mormonites, has, accompanied by about five hundred of his followers, set out for the purpose of reconquering the "Holy Land," lately taken from them by the infidels of Missouri. -- Joe, it seems, has been stirring up his proselytes for some time, stating that it was the command of God that they should buckle on the armour of their faith, and enrol under the banners of Mormonism; that their church was in danger; and that they must, if necessary, die the death of martyrdom. Accordingly, the deluded fanatics obeyed his summons; a great rise took place in the market for warlike implements, as each had provided himself with an abundant supply of pistols, dirks, swords, &c. The sword of Smith himself, it is said, is more than four feet long. The prophet professes the expectation of sharing the fate of a martyr at the coming contest. We trust that the good people of Missouri will take care of these fanatics, and see that they do not violate the laws with impunity. -- (Phil. Inquirer.)


Note: The exact date of the quoted Philadelphia Inquirer article remains undetermined. It summarizes a report in the May 9, 1834 issue of the Painesville Telegraph, and it was perhaps first printed in a mid-May issue of the Rochester Daily Democrat. For more on the progress of Smith's "Zion's Camp" military expedition, see the May 30, 1834 issue of the Wayne Sentinel and subsequent issues. The New York Spectator also followed this story, with a series of articles, beginning with a paraphrase of the "Mormonites in Motion" report, which the Spectator published on May 19, 1834.


 


THE  [ -- ]  SUN.
Vol. ?                                       New York City,  May 19, 1834.                                       No. ?

 

The Mormon War in Missouri is about to be renewed. A fanatical leader, styled General Joe Smith has sent forth, in the form of a circular, his pretended revelations from on high, requiring the aid of the faithful to "expel the infidels from the Holy Land." About 500 are said to be on the move, and they are armed with dirks, swords, pistols, guns, and other hostile weapons. The prophet, it is said, has a sword more than four feet long, and professes an expectation of sharing the fate of a martyr in the coming contest.

We really hope there will be found enough good sense on the part of the people, and of official firmness on the part of the state authorities, to prevent the shedding of blood. Greatly as we deplore the delusion under which these madcaps labor, it is not more absurd, nor half so dangerous as that which is fostered within the bosom of our own community by men who profess to think that in excitng a servile war and sundering the bands of political union they are, like the persecutors of old, "doing God's service."


Note: The above article was evidently paraphrased from a mid-May issue of the Rochester Daily Democrat, which summarized a report from the May 9, 1834 issue of the Painesville Telegraph, subsequently reprinted in the May 30, 1834 issue of the Wayne Sentinel.


 


SUNDAY  MORNING  NEWS.

Vol. I.                                   New York City, Aug. 16, 1835.                                 No. 14.


 

CLEVELAND,  July 31 -- Another Humbug. -- We are credibly informed that the Mormons have purchased of Mr. Chandler, three of the mummies which he recently exhibited in this village; and that the prophet Joe has asserted, by examining the papyrus through his spectacles, that they are the bodies of Joseph, (the son of Abraham,) and king Abimelech and his daughter. With this shallow and contemptible story, Williams has commenced travelling about the country, and will, no doubt, gull multitudes into a belief of its truth. Surely one half of the world are fools. --


Note: Apparently the "Williams" mentioned in the above report was the leading Mormon, F. G. Williams. The Morning News copied this article from the Cleveland Whig of July 31, 1835.


 



Vol. VI.                               New York City, April 9, 1836.                               No. 15.



For the New-York Evangelist.

                                    Elyra, Loraine Co., Ohio, April 1, 1836.

Bro. Leavitt -- I have often wondered that so little is said or known of the Mormons, who are now making progress in this country. There certainly has not a more extraordinary religious sect sprung up since the time of Mahomet. They are generally thought too contemptible even to be noticed. But I think this is a mistake. There are some striking features of resemblance between this imposture and that of Mahomet. Both admit the common Bible, but profess to have received a new revelation that entirely supercedes the old. Both owe their origin to a person in the lowest ranks of life, almost totally illiterate, with scraps of religion, and superstition, and mysticism about him, whom his followers regard as a Prophet of God that has direct intercourse with the Deity. Both prophets profess to receive from time to time direct revelations from Heaven, by which they are governed, and govern their followers.

The Kirtland imposture has collected a considerable number of followers, not less, they say, than twenty thousand. I have just made a visit to the settlement at Kirtland, where about one thousand are located. There they have erected, and nearly completed, a huge stone temple at an expense of forty thousand dollars. Its dimensions are sixty by eighty feet, and fifty feet high. It is of no earthly order of architecture, but the Prophet says is exactly according to the pattern showed him, though it is by no means equal to that in splendor from the want of means. It appears to be of two stories, having two rows of gothic windows running round it, besides windows projecting from the roof for the attic story. The first floor is the place of worship, and is completed in a very showy style, with four rows of pulpits at each end, having three pulpits in a row. These 12 pulpits rise behind and above one another, and are designed, the uppermost row, as they say, for the bishop and his counsellors; the second for the priest and his counsellors; the third for the teachers, and the fourth, or lowest, for the deacons. Each end is provided in the same manner. The body of the house is occupied with slips, but the seats in them are moveable, so that the audience can sit facing either end of the room. -- Over the division between each of the rows of pulpits hangs a painted canvass, rolled up to the ceiling, and to be let down at pleasure, so as to conceal the dignitaries behind from the audience. Similar curtains, or as they are called, "veils," are disposed of over the room, so that it can at any time be divided into four apartments, to carry on the objects of the imposture. Every thing about the temple is evidently designed to strike the senses and attract curiosity, and at the dedication, which is to take place next Sabbath, most astonishing "glories" are promised and expected by the faithful. The second floor, and the attic loft are designed for a seminary, literary and theological! which is expected to have the manual labor system attached to it. The Mormons appear to be very eager to acquire education. Men. women and children lately attended school, and they are now employing Mr. Seixas, the Hebrew teacher, to instruct them in Hebrew; and about seventy men in middle life, from twenty to forty years of age, are most eagerly engaged in the study. -- They pursue their studies alone until twelve o'clock at night, and attend to nothing else. Of course many make rapid progress. I noticed some fine looking and intelligent men among them. Some in dress and deportment have all the appearance of gentlemen, yet the majority are exceedingly ignorant. They all profess a great deal of piety. And in this respect they equal the Mahometans themselves. They abound in prayers and other acts of devotion. Many of them are converts from the Baptist and Methodist sects, but none, or next to none from the Presbyterian church; and aside from the delusion of Mormonism, they have the appearance of being devout Christians. They are by no means, as a class, men of weak minds. Perhaps most fanatics and visionaries have intellects peculiarly though perversely active.

They all have revelations continually, though the prophet alone is authorized to commit them to writing, for fear, undoubtedly, of discrepancies. Besides the Mormon Bible, they already have a Book of Revelations. Every impulse is an immediate revelation, and they answer all difficulties and objections by asserting that they know that they have the truth, for it comes directly from heaven, and the objector is a poor blinded creature in the way to destruction.

There is one difference which ought to be mentioned between the revelation of Joseph Smith Jr. and that of Mohammed. The latter had at least, the merit of a flowing and beautiful style. But there never was a more bald, senseless, drivelling collection of trash, put together in the form of a book than the book of Mormon and the Supplementary Revelations. It is really astonishing, and it is humiliating to think that any human beings who have read the Bible can be so far deluded as to believe such a wretched farrago to be a divine revelation.

In proportion to the strength of their faith they have the power of working miracles, healing the sick, &c., of which they relate numberless instances, though no body attests them besides themselves. They have the gift of tongues, which is merely the capacity to scream in an unintelligible gibberish when they are highly excited. The more intelligent place but little reliance upon either miracles or prophecy, for the purpose of convincing unbelievers, as they have so often attempted both without success; but rely chiefly on their own internal experiences. What they know, of course they know, and there is an end of the matter.

That most of them sincerely believe in their mummeries cannot be denied. Some probably have attached themselves from other motives. Many are doubtless pious though deluded men. They furnish evidence of being for the most part men of perverted intellect disordered, unfurnished minds, with no sound principles of religion, inclined to the mystical and dreamy, and ready to seize upon any thing, no matter how crazy or absurd, that will gratify their restless, crazy piety, and bolster up their exorbitant, spiritual pride. Such men always exist in every community, and are always the fit subjects for fanaticism and delusion. They call themselves "latter day saints," and profess to be the only true church, to have the only gospel order, consisting of apostles, elders, bishops, &c. &c., which several orders of the Christian hierarchy have been distinctly brought to light in the Book of Mormon. They believe that there is no true church without apostles, prophets, miracles, tongues, &c. as they existed in the apostles' days, and to which they lay very positive claims. They lay great stress upon the promise, "these signs shall follow those that believe, &c.

The inquiry instinctively arises, are they really so blinded as would seem, or are they a set of impostors? With respect to the great mass, I have before said; that I believe they are no hypocrites, but genuine fanatics, completely blinded and deluded. But of the leaders I do not believe this is true.

I had the honor of making some acquaintance with the illustrious prophet, Jo Smith, and his coadjutor, Rigdon, and the other inferior satellites. Smith is apparently about thirty-five years of age, and is evidently a singular being. He is very plausible and polite in his manners, has an eye that glistens like a serpent's, and is perpetually flying about to find some object on which to rest. His lips are firmly compressed, and he wears an eternal smile of self-complacency on his features, and has all the air of one who is conscious of having communion with invisible spirits, whether good or bad you are at a loss to determine. He has been a money-digger and necromancer from his youth, and his father before him. His character is undoubtedly about an equal compound of impostor and fanatic, and combines all the features of the knave and the dupe.

Rigdon is altogether another sort of man. He has been a Campbellite preacher, of considerable talents and eloquence. He is a large, fat, jolly fellow, who knows how to turn his talents to the best account, and manifestly has not a particle of faith in the imposture, but practices it for purposes which he knows best. He was evidently, as I talked with him, ashamed of the silly fooleries that he was propagating, and took the earliest opportunity to make an excuse and leave the company. What an account such men will have to render to God in the day of retribution!

The rise and progress of this extraordinary delusion shows religious teachers the importance of having sound instruction along with high excitement, that men may have some other evidence on which their faith rests than the impulses of their own unstable minds. And the fact that scarcely a convert has been made from Presbyterian ranks, (a fact which the fanatics ascribe to their pride) is certainly highly creditable to that denomination.
                                                          JAMES H. EELLS.


Note 1: A rather similar letter, describing the Kirtland Mormons six months later, was published in the July 4, 1837 issue of the Daily National Intelligencer. In that report, Smith is described as having a "countenance destitute of all expression," while Rigdon's "countenance beamed with intellect" and his preaching was "mild, artful, insinuating." The second observer says: "The whole appearance of things indicated to my mind that Rigdon is the man who pulls the wires of the whole machine behind the screen of Joe Smith's inspiration." Mr. Eells' description of Rigdon, as a Mormon leader who "manifestly has not a particle of faith in the imposture," was echoed by William H. Leffingwell, who also visited Kirtland prior to the temple's dedication. Recalling that visit, nearly 50 years later, Leffingwell says: "I went to Kirtland in a buggy accompanied by a young lawyer, to see Joe Smith and the Mormon leaders. We drove up in front of a large tent and Sidney Rigdon came out. I told him that I corrected the Mormon Bible when it was Spalding's manuscript. I assured him I gave it the proper construction and what grammar it had. He smiled and said that was all right, but requested me to say nothing about it."

Note 2: For two other descriptions of writers' encounters with Smith during the Kirtland era, see the April 5, 1834 issue of the Evangelical Magazine and pp. 149-159 of Nancy Towle's 1832 book, Vicissitudes Illustrated.


 



Vol. ?                             New York City,  August 9, 1836.                             No. ?

 

Mormons. -- They are accused of keeping in contact with the Indian tribes on the frontier and declaring, even from the pulpit, that the Indians are part of God's chosen people and are destined to inherit the land in common with themselves...


Note: Exact wording uncertain -- New York American article text taken from a partial transcription, of what appears to be a condensed version of an article from the Liberty, Missouri Far West of June 30, 1836


 



Vol. VII.                               New York City, Dec. 17, 1836.                               No. 51.


 

MORMONISM IN OHIO. -- Extract of a letter to the publisher of the Hampshire Republican, dated

                                            Munson. Ohio, Nov. 14, 1836.
Last week I passed through Kirtland, and I was astonished to see that a city had sprung up since I was there last March. I should think there were between 100 and 200 houses (perhaps more) new building, most of them are small and plain, but some of them are elegant. Who can tell what the end of Mormonism will be? They have paid $100 per acre for farms about one mile south the centre of Kirtland. Near the Temple they ask $5 per square foot for the use of the land per annum. Most of the farms between the center of Kirtland and the center of Chester, they own; they also own a large store in Chester, and do business under the firm of Rigdon, Smith, & Co.; they trade on a large scale, and make market for everything that can be raised about here; wheat 12s, corn 6s, butter 1s 6d, a 2s. (i. e. 25 cents.) Their village will undoubtedly be incorporated as a city next winter. -- They have procured plates from New York, for issuing bank notes, payable 30 days after demanded.


Note: This news item was reprinted, in various forms, in a number of contemporary papers, such as the Lisbon, Ohio Aurora of Jan. 19, 1837 and the Springfield, Illinois Sangamo Journal of Feb. 25, 1837.


 



By H. Greeley & Co.                         Office 127 Nassau Street.                    $4.00 Per Annum.

Vol. II. No. 21.                   New York City, February 11, 1837.                   Whole No. 47.


 

Not Slow. -- There dwell at a little village in Geauga Co., Ohio, called Kirtland, a fraternity of believers in the faith styled Mormonism, under the sway of a certain Joe Smith, who we believe was intimately concerned in the discovery of the Golden Bible or Book of Mormon. Quite naturally, they are staunch glorifiers of a 'specie currency' and its adjucts, and violent enemies of Bank iniquities and corruptions. Some people might thence imagine that they would be averse to sharing the 'spoils' of the odious and fraudulent system -- but such would take a very narrow view of the subject. Our Mormonites were of the modern school of humbuggers, and having shouted themselves hoarse in the execration of Banks, quietly established a snug little concern of their own (without benefit of clergy,) and christened it -- we should say Mormonized it -- "the KIRTLAND antiBANKing association." With this they went ahead issuing notes until a few days since, when, finding they had $40,000 of their bills out, they pulled up -- regularly stopped payment. Joe Smith aforesaid offers to pay in real estate! -- very probably village lots in some unfathomable swamp, at $500 or $1,000 apiece. We recommend the 'fortunate holders' to stick to their notes in preferance: those, if good for nothing, cannot be taxed or assessed. As to the prophet Smith aforesaid, he may as well have the gold plates on which was revealed his Mormon Bible coined into eagles for the redemption of his notes, lest a Grand Jury, to say nothing of a Lynching Committee, should happen to get hold of him.


Notes: (forthcoming)



 



By H. Greeley & Co.                         Office 127 Nassau Street.                    $4.00 Per Annum.

Vol. III. No. 16.                   New York City, July 8, 1837.                   Whole No. 68.


 

Mormons. -- Those crazy fanatics have their grand tabernacle at a place they call Kirtland, five miles from the shore of Lake Erie, and twenty miles from Cleveland; and count no less than 4,000 persons under their leader, Joe Smith. They have been lately joined by a shrewd literary person named Sydney Rigdon, formerly a preacher of the doctrine of Campbellism. He is the Grand Vizier to Smith; and under their decision a banking house has been established, of which Smith is President and Rigdon Cashier. They have several mills in their property. The houses are small, including the Prophet Joe's. The temple is a beautiful building of rough stone, three stories high, and 70 to 75 feet square. Each of the two principal apartments holds 1,200 persons. The joists of the interior are supported by six fluted columns. Each apartment contains six pulpits, arranged gradatim, three at one end of the 'Aaronic Priesthood,' and three at the other end of the 'Priesthood of Melchisedek.' The slips are so constructed that the audience can face either pulpit, as may be required. In the highest seat of the 'Aaronic Priesthood,' sits the reverend father of the Prophet; the next below is occupied by 'Joe,' and his prime minister Rigdon. The attic story is occupied as school rooms, five in number, where the various branches of English, Latin, Greek and Gebrew languages are taught to a large number of students. The actual cost of the temple is not known, but it is estimated to have cost not less than $60,000.

Smith, from the account of a late visit, published in the Miami of the Lake newspaper, is represented as a placid looking knave, with passionless features, and perfectly composed in the midst of the heterogeneous multitude who have become the victimized dupes of his imposture. Rigdon is described as the reverse, with a face full of fire, a tenor voice, and of eloquent speech. The subject of his sermon was the pressure -- his discourse mild and persuasive. Rigdon is the wire-puller or screen of Joe's inspirations. The followers are, many of them, upright men, and tolerant towards other sects.


Notes: (forthcoming)



 



Vol. XIX.                              New York City, July 13, 1837.                            No. 5847.

 

MORMONIA. -- We notice in a journal called The Miami of the Lake, a letter, containing some particulars respecting the Mormonites, which are not destitute of interest. The facts stated in the extract below it is presumed may be relied on. The writer appears to consider the subject with candor, and with a wish to present the character and conduct of these singular enthusiasts without false coloring, and with a desire to avoid the imputation of malevolence or favoritism.

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

Residing temporarily but a few miles from Kirtland, and hearing of these things, I felt not a little desire to visit the "Mormon Town." I accordingly determined to visit the place, and set my feet in the precincts of the "Holy City." A gentleman kindly offered me a seat in his carriage, and we drove to the "promised land." It was a beautiful Sunday morning, and although we reached the temple at an early hour, yet we found it filled with worshippers, "after the order of" Joe Smith. The region around is exceedingly broken and hilly, though by no means unproductive. They own the land to the extent of about two miles square, well furnished with mills and other water privileges. Their houses are small, and all wooden, the house of the prophet being quite small. The temple is a splendid ediface, covering, if I mistake not, sixty-eight feet by seventy-six, three stories high, including the attic, built of rough stone, handsomely stuccoed., which gives it a very rich appearance. The interior forms two apartments for meetings, similar in size and arrangement, each apartment being large enough to accomodate 1,2000 persons. The joists are supported by six fluted columns. Each of these apartments is capable of being subdivided into four separate divisions, by canvass curtains let down by winlasses from th ceiling. Each apartment contains six pulpits, arranged gradtim, three at each end, for the "Aaronic priesthood," and at the other end for the "priesthood of Melchisedec." The slips are so constructed that the audience can face either pulpit as may be required. In the highest seat in the "Aaronic priesthood" sits the reverend father of the prophet; the next below is occupied by "Joe," and his prime minister, Rigdon. The attic story is occupied as school rooms, five in number, where the various branches of English, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew languages are taught to a large number of students. The actual cost of the temple is not known, but it is estimated to have cost not less than $60,000. Smith and Rigdon were both present, having just returned from a journey of some weeks. Smith's intellectual appearance is altogether in medias res, his countenance exhibiting a blank expression (if the term be admissible in reference to a countenance destitute of all expression,) and the only thing indicating a sense of superiority is his perfect composure and ease of manner before the gaze of the assembled multitude, for the audience was rather a multitude than a congregation. But, on the contrary, Rigdon's countenance beamed with intellect, his eye dark and lustrous, his voice a fine tenor, his manner and diction vigorous, flowing, and not inelegant, and his head withal, in the eye of a phrenologist, would have been pronounced "good." He harangued the assembly, and the aim of his address was to reconcile his people to the endurance of their present embarrassments, in which they are involved by the pressure of the times, the failure of their bank, &c. His harangue was mild, artful, insinuating, and, as far as I could judge, had the desired effect. The whole appearance of things indicated to my mind that Rigdon is the man who pulls the wires of the whole machine behind the screen of Joe Smith's inspiration. Many industrious, intelligent, and worthy citizens are the followers of Joe Smith, and it is but justice to say that they have manifested a liberality of sentiment and a spirit of Christian charity which should put their enemies to the blush, and which many of their bitterest persecutors would do well to imitate. Yet, in my estimation, Sidney Rigdon can better translate the tables of Mormon for the ears of that people than can the prophet Joe himself. But truly, in this thing, Smith has signalized himself, and Mormonism become a matter of history. And the sum of my reflections on the subject, when returning from the "Town of Mormon," was, that a madman or a fool hath ever set the world agog.
June, 1837.
A VISITOR.

Note: A more complete version of the above item was published in the July 4, 1837 issue of the Daily National Intelligencer.


 



By H. Greeley & Co.                         Office 127 Nassau Street.                    $4.00 Per Annum.

Vol. III. No. 23.                   New York City, August 26, 1837.                   Whole No. ?


 

More Counterfeits. -- The Fredonia Censor, of August 16, contains the following:

Besides several arrests that have recently taken place elsewhere, we have a case in our own vicinity to record. Eben'r Webber was arrested near Silver Creek on Saturday last, and brought to this village for examination, on a charge of passing counterfeit money. He passed a $10 bill of the U. S. bank which was proved to be counterfeit. He also had a quantity of Mormon bills from the mint at Kirtland, Ohio, some in sheets unsigned, and some signed ready for distribution. He was held to bail for his appearance at court. There are, no doubt, others engaged in this business in this county, and it is believed that he could have brought considerable iniquity to light had he been disposed; as it is he probably will go clear.


Notes: (forthcoming)



 



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Vol. IV. No. 3.                   New York City, October 7, 1837.                   Whole No. ?


 

"A Voice of Warning, &c." -- We have been favored with an early copy of an 18mo. volume of 216 pages, entitled "A Voice of Warning and Instruction to all People; containing a Declaration of the Faith and Doctrine of the Church of the Latter-Day Saints, commonly called Mormons; by P. P. Pratt, Minister of the Gospel." Not having time this week to fulfil our promise to the author of reading some portion of his work, we have quoted the title entire, and shall perform as agreed at our earliest lesiure. The author did not seem able to inform us on two points on which we asked for light, viz. when the "KIRTLAND antiBANKing association" will redeem its notes, and -- but never mind the other. We are not in the vein now to become an easy convert to any thing. Having swallowed Animal Magnetism only last week, we want time to digest that before bolting Mormonism.   (W. Sandford, 29 Ann St.)


Notes: (forthcoming)



 



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Vol. IV. No. 4.                   New York City, October 14, 1837.                   Whole No. ?



AMERICAN  ANTIQUITIES.

(under construction)




Notes: (forthcoming)



 



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Vol. IV. No. 13.                   New York City, December 16, 1837.                   Whole No. 91.



AMERICAN  ANTIQUITIES.

(under construction)




Notes: (forthcoming)



 



By H. Greeley & Co.                         Office 127 Nassau Street.                    $4.00 Per Annum.

Vol. V. No. 18.                   New York City, July 21, 1838.                   Whole No. ?


 

The Ypsilanti Republican, a new and fair Whig sheet, reaches us from Ypsilanti, Michigan. It is published by J. W. Wallace, formerly of this city -- an industrious and worthy young man, as we happen to know. We see an opposing paper announced -- 'The Sun' by Franklin Cowdrey. Has Franklin given up Mormonism as a business?


Note: It appears that the editor of the New Yorker confused the pioneer printer and editor, B. Franklin Cowdery, with his notorious cousin, Oliver. Although Oliver Cowdery spent part of 1837 in southern Michigan, operating the Bank of Monroe, he did not edit nor publish a newspaper at that time. On pages 253-54 of Cowdery, et al., Who Really Wrote the Book of Mormon, the authors provide this information: "Franklin, who had moved to [Constantine] Michigan in 1836... contracted 'such a perpetual shaking from the ague that he left the editorship... and shipped back with family by wagon to Ypsilanti, after a miserable lingering at death's door for two years.' ("Forty Years a Typo," Genesee Olio, 249)." It appears, then, that B. FRanklin Cowdery edited the Constantine Republican in 1836-37; then moved briefly to Ypsilanti, where he was unsuccessful in starting up a paper called The Sun; and then moved to Ohio, where he printed the Oberlin Evangelist between 1839 and 1842. Oliver Cowdery is not known to have been involved in any of these ventures -- nor is Franklin known to have then engaged in the "business" of "Mormonism."



 


THE TIMES & COMMERCIAL INTELLIGENCER.
Vol. ?                         New York City, July 30, 1838.                         No. ?


 

The Mormons. -- It is stated in the Canton (Ohio,) Repository, that the people, to the number of about 500, with It is stated in the Canton (Ohio,) Repository, that the people, to the number of about 500, with 57 wagons, filled with furniture, cattle, &c. have left Geauga county, on their way to the "promised land" in Missouri. They pitch their tent in the open field at night, after the manner of the ancient Israelites.

They probably pay their travelling expenses with Kirtland money. Tom Benton's State is the hot bed of political humbug; and the Mormons are going to try its capabilities to sustain their exploded imposture. -- Buffalo Com. Adv.


Notes: (forthcoming)



 



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Vol. V. No. 24.                   New York City, Sept. 1, 1838.                   Whole No. 128.


 

MISSOURI. -- The new or Western Counties of Missouri come in very strong for Mr. Benton and the Administration, ensuring the return of Mr. B. to the Senate, and re-electing the Administration Congressmen by some thousands. The aquatters are unanimous for Mr. B. on account of his advocacy of Pre-emption, Graduation, and other kindred projects. Some of the new Counties have gone for him with scarcely a dissenting vote, and with an unexpected heavy poll. Caldwell, the Mormon County, gives 351 Adm., to 2 Whig votes. Jo Smith, the Prophet, announced a special revelation that all the Latter-Day Saints should vote after that fashion. The Mormons were always zealous 'hard-money' men in profession, even while issuing their swindling "KIRTLAND antiBANKing Association" notes, which they never meant to redeem. We suspect, however, they had an additional motive on this occasion, which was to get on the strong side and make friends in anticipation of some Lynch operations against them.

Our returns below are not as full as they should be. They will be completed hereafter.

... Caldwell: Whig: Wilson 2, Allen 2; Adm.: Harrison 351, Miller 351...



The Mormons again making War. -- The St. Louis, Missouri, Gazette of the 17th, contains the following under date of Buffalo City, Missouri, August 11th.

"A disturbance has broken out in Caldwell county, between the Mormons and other citizens. I have not heard what was the commencement, but it is stated here that Smith is going round with a company of from 100 to 150 armed men, headed by Lyman White [sic], for the purpose of getting those persons who do not belong to their Church to sign a paper primising not to molest them. I am told that they compel those to sign who are not willing. A deputation has left Richmond to request Smith and White to surrender to the civil authority. If they do not do so, it is the intention of the militia of this county to go and bring them in. So say persons that attended at Richmond. More of it by the next mail."


Note: See the Sept. 6, 1838 issue of the Missouri Argus for a more complete version of the first report above.



 



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Vol. VI. No. 1.                   New York City, Sept. 22, 1838.                   Whole No. 131.

 

The Mormons. -- We copy the following from the Missourian of the 12th inst., from which statement it would seem that much excitement still exists in the Counties adjoining the settlement of the Mormons:

"Last Thursday morning, about 250 Mormons, armed and equipped complete, came into Daviess county and surrounded a Mr. Adam Black's, an acting Justice of the Peace in Davies, and by threatening his life forced him to subscribe a paper by which his liberty, as a freeman, is gone. The like affair has been forced from Mr. Enoch Riggs, and they have threatened instant death to all who may oppose their steps of treason. Immediately after the above affair their forces were augmented to the number of from 300 to 400 men, all well armed, headed by Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon and Lyman Wright [sic]. They have literally overrun a considerable portion of this county, destroying the crops of grain that may be in their way.

"The lives of many of the most prominent men of Davies County are threatened. Several men have been sent to Clay, Ray, Jackson and Lafayette Counties, and it is seriously believed that the Mormons have taken and killed them. The men who have been sent are William Bowman, Col. William Pennington, Maj. Etherton, Wilson McKinney and Theodore Pennington. This morning we received a call from citizens to march to Millport. We have arranged about two hundred men in Livingston and we call unto you for aid.

"The Mormons are said to have lately gone to Far West; and it is the prevailing opinion here that there they are fortifying for a seige.

"The above does not comprise any thing like the whole length to which the Mormons have gone. They have, in addition, threatened to take Jackson County, and every thing does indicate a battle; and if we do not get aid very shortly our county is ruined."


Note: See the Sept. 6, 1838 issue of the Missouri Argus for a more complete version of this report.



 



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Vol. VI. No. 2.                   New York City, Sept. 29, 1838.                   Whole No. 132.

 

A small society of Mormonites has lately assembled several times in Brooklyn. Even in this age of light, many might say "we believe because it is impossible."


Notes: (forthcoming)



  



By H. Greeley & Co.                         Office 127 Nassau Street.                    $4.00 Per Annum.

Vol. VI. No. 3.                   New York City, Oct. 6, 1838.                   Whole No. 133.


 

The Mormons. -- The Mormons have established a town in Missouri which they call the 'Far West,' and appear to be resolved to give serious trouble to the people of the surrounding country. It was reported at St. Louis that they had fortified their towns, and were determined to hold out against all invaders. They are said to be about one thousand strong and well armed. The people in the neighboring counties were very much alarmed, and are daily expecting an attack. By the following from the Missouri Jeffersonian of the 14th ult., it appears the Governor of the State has thought it necessary to call out the militia:

"We are authorized to state, that in consequence of the recent indications of Indian difficulties on the frontiers of this State and the recent civil disturbances in the counties of Davies and Caldwell, the Governor has ordered three thousand mounted men to be raised and held in readiness to meet either contingency. The people of the frontier counties may safely calculate on being protected, as well from enemies within, as from those without our borders. and that the supremacy of the law will be maintained."


Notes: (forthcoming)



 



By H. Greeley & Co.                         Office 127 Nassau Street.                     $4.00 Per Annum.

Vol. VI. No. 4.                   New York City, Oct. 13, 1838.                   Whole No. 134.


 

The Mormons. -- The latest accounts from the Mormon neighborhood in Missouri directly assert that alll the trouble is occasioned by the 'world's people' about them, who covet the fine lands on which they have settled, or wish to frighten or drive them from the country before they have taken up any more in the fertile country surrounding their settlement. Of course, this interferes with the trade of the Preemptioners, who are determined to eject them, eitehr by their own force, or by stirring up the State against them, asserting that they are leagued with the Indians, &c. &c. The Columbia (missouri) Patriot distinctly asserts that such are the true causes of all the trouble. A committee of the citizens of Chariton county have been among the Mormons, to investigate the truth of the accusations against them, and they declare them wholly unfounded. Jo. Smith and Rigdon have given bonds of $1,000 each to keep the peace. They have further sworn to the following certificate:

"We hereby certify that we have learned that a Mr. Nathan Marsh has certified that the people some times called Mormons have ingratiated themselves with the Indians, for the purpose of getting the Indians to commit depredations upon the people of this State, which certificate of Marsh (as represented to us) is utterly false. We have never had any communication with the Indians on any subject; and we, and all the Mormon church, as we believe, entertain the same feelings and fears towards the Indians that are entertained by other citizens of this State, We are friendly to the Constitution and laws of this State and of the United States, and wish to see them enforced.
JOSEPH SMITH, Jr.       
SIDNEY RIGDON.       

Notes: (forthcoming)



 



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Vol. VI. No. 6.                   New York City, Oct. 27, 1838.                   Whole No. 136.

 

Mormon Difficulties -- We did suppose that this war, alike disgraceful to all parties concerned, was at an end; but the present prospects are otherwise. We learn by a gentleman who came passenger in the steamboat Kansas, on Saturday, that when at Mormon town, above the mouth of the Grand river, he saw about two hundred mormons armed and prepared for conflict. About eighty wagons, containing a number of families had just arrived at the village. The passenger states that some of the citizens of the adjoining country had given notice to the Mormons to leave the country and that if they did not go by Saturday, the would be driven off. The Mormons had refused to go, and were expecting every day an attack from their opponents, whom they represented as about equally strong with themselves. It, however, was the opinion of our informant that both parties dreaded a conflict, and he thought it most likely that nothing serious would grow out of the excitement.   St. Louis Republican.


Notes: (forthcoming)



 



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Vol. VI. No. 7.                   New York City, Nov. 3, 1838.                   Whole No. 137.


 

Mormon Difficulties -- By the following letter from the St. Louis Republican, it appears that all trouble with the Mormons is at present at an end:

                                               "Glasgow, Oct. 12, 1838.

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


Notes: (forthcoming)



 



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Vol. VI. No. 9.                   New York, Saturday, Nov. 17, 1838.                   Whole No. 139.


 

The Mormons. -- The St. Louis Republican of Monday [sic] the 20th ult. has the following important rumor:

"There is a report in the city, said to be on the authority of a letter, that the Mormons had burnt the Court House, clerk's office, Post Office, and two stores in the county seat of Daviess county, and that the war between them and the citizens had actually commenced. There is some probability in the report, as we were informed that an effort was making to expel them from the country."

The same paper says: -- "There is said to be a gathering if the belligerents against the Mormons in Daviess county, of near two hundred. It is hoped that the approach of winter will allay the avenging spirit of the persecutors of this deluded people."


Later. -- We copy the following from the St. Louis Bulletin of October 31.

"By the steamer Astoria, we have a confirmation of the report of the burning of Daviess Court House, Post Office, and a store by the Mormons. -- It is stated that the Governor has ordered out 4,000 militia; and we understand that volunteer companies are rapidly being organized to march to the scene of action. The Mormons are said to receive daily accessions to their numbers, by emigrants from Canada."


Notes: (forthcoming)



 



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Vol. VI. No. 10.                   New York, Saturday, Nov. 24, 1838.                   Whole No. 140.


 

The Mormon War Ended. -- The St. Louis papers of the 18th inst., state that the Mormon War had ended, by the surrender of the leaders of the Mormons. On the 28th ult. about three thousand men, commanded by Gen. Atchison, of Clay County, made their appearance, before the town of Far West. the county seat of Caldwell county, where the Mormons were entrenched. Upon their approach the Mormons hoisted a white flag, which was shot down by Capt. Bogard, but was immediately replaced. Gen. Atchison then sent in a message, with a view to learn their wishes and intentions, when six of the leaders avowed their willingness to surrender, in the expectation that the Mormons should be unharmed. The surrender was accepted; and the individuals put under guard. Their names are Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, George Hinkle, Lyman Wright, Parley P. Pratt, and Mr. Knight. The Mormons assembled at Far West, comprized 700 men under arms. Of this number, a small body of 150, retreated and pursued their way to the Northern frontier.

On the day after, the order of Gov. Boggs, directing the expulsion or extermination of the Mormons, was received by Gen. Atchison, disgusted with such a command, he immediately resigned his office and retired. Subsequent to this, it is reported that a number of the Mormons were set upon and murdered.

From the accounts which now are received, it appears to us that the poor deluded Mormons are 'more sinned against than sinning' in the matter of this war, and that their great error was in settling down on some of the richest lands of the State, and that in the defence of their rights to them, against the avarice of others, they were forced to take up arms.   [Express.



LATER STILL -- AND CONTRADICTORY.

The Mormons. -- The St. Louis (Mo.) Bulletin of the 9th inst. says: There are various rumors afloat concerning the surrender of the Mormons, and we are afraid that the disturbances have not terminated so amicably as was reported. We have conversed with a gentleman who arrived yesterday afternoon from Jefferson city, on board the St. Peters, and he states that, an express arrived there on Wednesday night, bringing intelligence that a party of Mormons, who had fortified themselves in a house, were attacked by the volunteers under the command of Gen. Lucas, and thirty-two of them killed. Seven of the volunteers were wounded and one killed. It is further stated that the Governor had issued orders to Gen. Clark to retain as many of the volunteer companies as was necessary, to keep the Mormon prisoners till the meeting of the Legislature.


Note: Lengthier versions of the first article (originally from the St. Louis Evening Gazette) were published in the Quincy Whig and in the Sangamo Journal. The final sentences of the first article were apparently added by a liberal St. Louis editor, quoting a resident from western Missouri; these words were variously paraphrased in a number of different 1838 news reports; see, for example the Oct. 19, 1838 issue of the Illinois State Journal.



 



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Vol. VI. No. 11.                   New York City, Dec. 1, 1838.                   Whole No. 141.


 

Further from the Mormons. -- The account of a bloody butchery of thirty-two Mormons, on Splawn's Creek, is fully confirmed. Two children were killed, we presumed by accident. Considerable plunder -- such as beds, hats, &c., were taken from the slaughtered. Not one of the assailants was killed or hurt.

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

At Far West, after the surrender, a Mormon had his brains dashed out, by a man who accused the Mormons of burning his house in Davies. -- St. Louis Gaz. 10th inst.

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


Note: The above article, with the appended editorial comments, was taken by Horace Greeley from the Nov. 17, 1838 issue of the Springfield, Illinois Sangamo Journal.



 



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Vol. VI. No. 13.                   New York City, Dec. 15, 1838.                   Whole No. 143.


 

The Mormon War is probably over for the present. Joe Smith and his followers have surrendered, and Joe is to be tried, but for what crime does not clearly appear. The Missourians require that they shall leave the State next year, but will allow them to remain until they shall harvest the sowing of the last fall.

The report published week before last, that a body of the Mormons had been attacked, and upward of thirty of them killed, has been confirmed. It was a bloody outrage. The Mormons fortified themselves in a house, where they were attacked.
Poughkeepsie Telegraph.


Notes: (forthcoming)



 



Vol. X.                               New York City, Feb. 16, 1839.                               No. ?



(under construction)

 


Note: This issue contained an article on the Solomon Spalding claims for Book of Mormon authorship, accompanied by excerpts from the eight witness statements published in the last chapter of Eber D. Howe's 1834 book.


 



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Vol. VI. No. 26.                   New York, March 16, 1839.                   Whole No. 156.


 

The Mormons. -- The following is an extract from a letter dated Liberty, Feb. 9, 1839:

"There has been much excitement here within a few days past. Several young men from Far West arrived here late one night and asked permission to see the prisoners, which was granted. They seized the jailor and endeavored to let the Mormon prisoners escape; but an alarm was given and they were all taken into custody, and are to be tried tomorrow."

The young men alluded to in the preceding extract, we presume are Mormons, as the inhabitants in and about Far West are all of that denomination, with a very few exceptions. The letter is from a source that may be relied upon. -- Jefferson Enquirer.


Note: This same Jefferson Enquirer report was also reprinted in the Feb. 25, 1839 issue of the St. Louis Missouri Republican.



 



Vol. ?                             New York City, April 25, 1839.                             No. 1768.


 

The Mormons. -- A correspondent of the Journal of Commerce, writing from Western Missouri, states that that interesting people, the Mormons, have nearly all left Illinois [sic], and that state is likely to be relieved of the whole of them this spring. They are almost giving away the lands they had purchased and the improvements they had put upon them. There was an attempt made a short time since by six of the tribe to rescue their leader, Joe Smith. They failed, however, and five of the number are now in prison. Sydney Rigdon has been bailed in the sum of $1000, and both he and his bail have left the state. It is said that all the Mormons upon whose testimony the leaders were committed, have gone away. If so, Joe is pretty safe, after all, from every thing but mob law.


Note: The above news is both stale and garbled. Other NYC papers better reported the recent Mormon expulsion from Missouri.



 



Vol. ?                             New York City, May 2, 1839.                             No. 1774.


 

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

(see original article for remainder of text)

Mormonism Unveiled. -- On our first page, to-day will be found an amusing development of the origin, of what is called the Mormon Bible, and the sect of Joe Smith and his followers. The circumstances which immediately led to the publication of these disclosures, were, the introduction of Mormonism into a church in Massachusetts, and the consequent expulsion of some of its members. Of the character of Mrs. Davidson, the authoress of this exposure, we have received the highest testimonials from residents of this city, in addition to those which accompany the development.


Note: Unfortunately, The Sun provides no details on the nature and the authors of "the highest testimonials" for Solomon Spalding's widow's (Mrs. Davidson or Davison). It appears that these recommendations came from New York City acquaintances of the elderly lady.



 



Vol. ?                             New York City,  May 23, 1839.                             No. ?

 

THE MORMON BIBLE. -- has puzzled many to account for, being production of a cultivated mind, written in 1812 for amusement as a historical romance of the lost race, the remains of whose numerous mounds and forts are found on the banks of the Ohio. The author was Rev. Solomon Spaulding a graduate of Dartmouth who resided at New Salem Ohio, andon the appearance of a Mormon clergyman, friends of the deceased Spaulding recollected passages which he had read to them while composing it. On enquiry, the original manuscript was found among his papers. It also appeared that at one time, he had some thoughts in relation to printing the work, and that it remained at a printing office for a long time. Sidney Rigdon, who has figured so largely in the history of the Mormons, was at that time employed at that office, and it was no doubt copied by him.


Note: The exact text of the above item is uncertain -- the transcription is taken from an incomplete clipping. A very similar report was publised in the St. Louis Missouri Republican of May 13, 1839 and in numerous other papers.


 



Vol. ?                             New York City, May 14, 1839.                             No. 1784.


 

Behemoth: A Legend of the Mound-builders. -- In one volume, pp. 192. New York: J. & H. G. Langley. Boston: Weeks, Jordan & Co.

Who may be the author of this work, we are unable to ascertain. It appears to be rather a curious production, or at any rate a very original one, as to the time and place of the scene. This is laid in the western part of this country, at a period when it was inhabited by the race of beings that are supposed to have held possession of that region prior to the Indians, and coeval with the mighty animal, whatever it was, whose gigantic bones have been dug from the earth at different times. The story is, of course, purely imaginary.


Note: A partial transcript of Cornelius Mathews' interesting story of the first Americans and their struggle with a demonic ancient elephant may be found on-line at the "Oliver's Bookshelf" site. Mathews' book is said to have helped inspire Herman Melville's great story, Moby Dick.



 



Vol. ?                                 New York City, May 18, 1839.                                 No. ?



Origin of the Book of Mormon
or "Golden Bible."



For the original article see the Apr. 19, 1839 issue of the Boston Recorder.

(all issues of the Observer have been moved to a new location)







 



Vol. ?                             New York City, June 5, 1839.                             No. 1803.


 

The Mormons. -- Yesterday we received a letter dated Port Madison, Iowa, May 10, which says -- "The Mormons are congregating in great numbers in the half-breed tract, situated in our county. About 500 are already here."   Louisville Journal.


Notes: (forthcoming)



 


THE TIMES & COMMERCIAL INTELLIGENCER.
Vol. ?                             New York City, June 27, 1839.                             No. 1784.


 

MORE MORMON TROUBLES. -- The St. Louis Evening Gazette contains the following: -- "It seems that there are in Illinois, scattered bands of Mormons, some of which come into contact with their neighbors and occasion much difficulty. We have heard, from the neighborhood of Shelby county, that about a week since a difference having arisen between the Mormons and the old residents, the former applied to the Governor for aid. The Governor ordered out several companies, who went to the scene of difficulty, but discovering that they were likely to be over-matched, returned without effecting their object.


Notes: (forthcoming)



 



By H. Greeley & Co.                         Office 127 Nassau Street.                     $4.00 Per Annum.

Vol. VII. No. 22.                   New York, August 17, 1839.                   Whole No. ?


 

Mormonism. -- Some disciples of [Joseph] Smith have established themselves in the neighborhood of New Egypt and other places in Monmouth co. A number of the disciples appeared there some six months ago, and have succeeded in making converts of several persons of some standing and influence; and, strange as the story seems, their numbers are increasing.


Note: The above report was evidently copied from the Trenton New Jersey State Gazette.



 


EVENING * TATTLER.
Vol. ?                                 N. Y. C., August 27, 1839.                                 No. 44.


 

THE MORMONS: -- have gained quite a foothold in Jersey. They intend to hold, this week, a meeting in the woods on the Monmouth road, near Horner's town. They go by the name of the "Latter day saints."


Notes: (forthcoming)


 



Vol. ?                             New York City,  September 11, 1839.                             No. ?

 

THE MORMON EXTERMINATION. -- Some months ago we copied from a Cincinnati paper a notice of the proceedings of a public meeting in that city, convened to listen to the recital, by one of their own number, of the wrongs inflicted upon the Mormons, and to aid in relieving the sufferings of those who, in defiance alike of law and humanity, had been expelled from their homes and property in the State of Missouri. The same individual, Mr. J. P. Greene, who told the story of these wrongs to the people of Ohio, is now in this city, and he proposes, at a public meeting to be held on Monday evening next, at the National Hall in Canal street, to lay before the citizens of New York a plain recital of the grievious oppresions and persecutions which his people have endured, and to ask their contributions to the relief of the women and children, who, without fault or crime, have been turned houseless and homeless upon the world.

Mr. Greene is deputed by his Society, and his personal respectability is vouched for by such men as the Governor of Illinois, Mr. Young, one of the United States' Senators from the same State, and other marked individuals of the neighborhood, (Quincy, Illinois,) where the Mormons have found a place of refuge. He, moreover, brings private letters, which fully entitle him to all confidence.

We have called this persecution, "the Mormon extermination" -- for such, in fact, is its character. Gov. Boggs, in his order to the commanding officer of the Militia, by whom these people were expelled, using this language: "The Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated, or driven from the State, if necessary, for the public good." ...


Notes: (forthcoming)


 


THE TIMES & COMMERCIAL INTELLIGENCER.
Vol. ?                         New York City, September 16, 1839.                         No. ?



MORMON  MEETING.

[missing text] ... a meeting will be held at National Hall this evening, on behalf of the Mormons of Missouri. Mr. J. P. Green, of Quincy, Illinos, an authorized representative of the Mormons, who, we are informed, comes highly recommended by the Governor of that State, will give a full exposition of the wrongs and sufferings of these fanatical, but, as we believe, inoffesive and persecuted men. A pamphlet, written by Mr. Green, explanatory of the circumstances under which the Mormons were driven forth from Missouri, has been laid on the table.


Note: See the Sept. 21, 1839 issue of the New Yorker, for a report on Elder Green's 1839 public meeting at the National Hall in New York City.



 



By H. Greeley & Co.                         Office No. 1 Ann Street.                     $4.00 Per Annum.

Vol. VIII. No. 1.                   New York, Sat., September 21, 1839.                   Whole No. 183.


 

The Mormons. -- Mr. J. P. Green, on behalf of the Mormon refugees from Missouri, addressed a large assemblage of our citizens at National Hall on Monday evening, detailing the series of horrible outrages and wanton butcheries by which the Mormons were massacred and driven from their lands in Western Missouri, by the piratical squatters of that region. The relation of that horrible tragedy was often interrupted by the tears and sobs of the auditory. At the conclusion, remarks were made by Joseph Blunt, Hiram Ketchum, W. L. Stone, and others -- Charles King having been called to the Chair -- and resolutions expressive of profound sympathy for the oppressed, and indigination against their ruthless assassins and murderers were adopted. A Committee was then appointed to solicit contributions for their relief.

It is a burning disgrace to civilization and humanity that the outrages of which the poor Mormons were the victims were committed, but a far deeper disgrace that those enormities have not to this day been made the subject of any jusicial investigation. The Grand Juries and Prosecuting Attorneys of the Counties adjacent to the scenes of horror are grossly calpable; but what shall we say of the Governor who officially countenanced the murder of the People whom he was bound to protect? Missouri, until this blood is washed from her garments, is a disgrace to the Union.


Note: Elder John P. Green was a close relative of Brigham Young. He spent much of 1839 in the East, soliciting assistance for the Mormon refugees from Missouri and for the Mormon cause in general.



 



By H. Greeley & Co.                         Office No. 1 Ann Street. St.                     Four Dollars Per Annum.

Vol. VIII. No. 3.                   New York, Saturday, Oct. 5, 1839.                   Whole No. 185.


 

The Mormons. -- Gov. Boggs of Missouri is said to have demanded the leaders of the Mormon refugees of the Governors of Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin, as fugitives from justice! -- Will this monster dare offer again as a candidate for office, even in Missouri?


Notes: (forthcoming)



 



Richard A. Locke                          New-York, November 25, 1839.                      Vol. VI. No. ?



Origin of the Book of Mormon
or "Golden Bible."



(for original article see the Apr. 19, 1839  Boston Recorder)

 

Notes: (forthcoming)



 



Richard A. Locke                          New-York, Decmber 2?, 1839.                      Vol. VI. No. ?



THE  MORMONITES.

To the Editor of the New Era:

Sir: In your paper of the 25th inst. there is an article copied from the Boston Recorder, Headed "Mormon Bible," and signed "Matilda Davidson," which, justice to our society and to the public requires me to answer and I trust that a sense of justice will induce you sir, to give your readers both sides of the question.

I am one of the society who believe the "Book of Mormon," and as such I am assailed in the statement professing to come from Matilda Davidson.

In the first place there is no such book in existence as the "Mormon Bible." The Mormons, as they are vulgarly called, believe in the same Bible that all Cristendom professes to believe in, viz: the common version of the Old and New Testament. The Book of Mormon is not entitled a Bible, except by those who misrepresent it. It is entitled the "Book of Mormon."

The religious sect alluded to in your paper, are there accused of knavery and superstition. Now we are not sensible of being guilty of knavery, and we do not know wherein we are superstitious, but very much desire to know, in order that we may reform. If some good minister or editor will condescend to particulars, and point out our superstitions we will take it as a great kindness, for we are the declared enemies to knavery and superstition.

If a firm belief in the Gospel of a crusified and risen Redeemer, as manifested to all nations, and as recorded in their sacred books, amount to superstition, than we are superstitious. If preaching that system to others and calling them to repentance, is superstition, then we are superstitious. If refusing to fellowship the modern systems of sectarianism which are contrary to the pure doctrines of the Bible, be superstition, then we are superstitious, for we hereby declare our withdrawal from all the mysticism, priestcraft and superstitions, and from all the creeds, doctrines, commandments, traditions and precepts of men, as far as they are contrary to the ancient faith and doctrine of the Saints; and we hereby bear our testimony against them.

We do not believe that God ever instituted more than one religious system under the same dispensation, therefore we do not admit that two different sects can possibly be right. -- The churches of Jesus Christ, in any age or country, must be all built upon the same faith, the same baptism, the same Lord, the same holy spirit, which would guide them in all truth, and consequently from all error and superstition. The Book of Mormon has never been placed by us in the place of the sacred scriptures, but, as before said, the sacred scriptures stand in their own place, and the Book of Mormon abundantly corroborates and bears testimony of the truth of the bible. -- Indeed there is no society, within our knowledge, whose members adhere more closely to the Bible than ours. -- For proof of this we appeal to the multitudes who attend our religious meetings in this city and in all other places.

The piece in your paper states that "Sidney Rigdon was connected in the printing office of Mr. Patterson," (in Pittsburg) and that "this is a fact well known in that region, and as Rigdon himself has frequently stated. Here he had ample opportunity to become acquainted with Mr. Spaulding's manuscript (Romance) and to copy it if he chose." This statement is utterly and entirely false. Mr. Rigdon was never connected with the said printing establishment, either directly, or indirectly, and we defy the world to bring proof of any such connection. Now the person or persons who fabricated that falsehood would do well to repent, and become persons of truth and veracity before they express such acute sensibility concerning the religious pretensions of others. The statement that Mr. Rigdon is one of the founders of the said religious sect is also incorrect.

The sect was founded in the state of New York while Mr. Rigdon resided in Ohio, several hundred miles distant. Mr. Rigdon embraced the doctrine through my instrumentality. I first presented the Book of Mormon to him. I stood upon the bank of the stream while he was baptized, and assisted to officiate in his ordination, and I myself was unacquainted with the system until some months after its organization, which was on the sixth of April, 1830, and I embraced it in September following.

The piece further states that "a woman preacher appointed a meeting at New Salem, Ohio, and in the meeting read and repeated copious extracts from the Book of Mormon." Now it is a fact well known, that we have not had a female preacher in our connection, for we do not believe in a female priesthood. It further says that the excitement in New Salem became so great that the inhabitants had a meeting and deputed Doctor Philastus Hurlburt, one of their members, to repair to Spaulding's widow, and obtain from her the original manuscript of the romance, &c. But the statement does not say whether he obtained the manuscript, but still leaves the impression that he did, and that it was compared with the Book of Mormon. Now whoever will read the work got up by said Hurlburt entitled "Mormonism Unveiled," will find that he there states that the said manuscript of Spaulding's romance was lost and could no where be found. But the widow is here made to say that it is carefully preserved. Here seems to be some knavery or crooked work; and no wonder, for this said Hurlburt is one of the most notorious rascals in the western country. He was first cut off from our society for an attempt at seduction and crime, and secondly he was laid under bonds in Geauga county, Ohio, for threatening to murder Joseph Smith, Jr., after which he laid a deep design of the Spaulding romance imposition, in which he has been backed by evil and designing men in different parts of the country, and sometimes by those who do not wish to do wrong, but who are ignorant on the subject. Now what but falsehood could be expected from such a person? -- Now if there is such a manuscript in existence, let it come forward at once, and not be kept in the dark. Again, if the public will be patient, they will doubtless find that the piece signed "Matilda Davidson" (Spaulding's widow) is a base fabrication by Priest Storrs of Holliston, Mass., in order to save his craft, after losing the deacon of his church, and several of its most pious and intelligent members, who left his society to embrace what they considered to be truth. At any rate, a judge of literary productions, who can swallow that piece of writing as the production of a woman in private life, can be made to believe that the Book of Mormon is a romance. For the one is as much like a romance as the other is like a woman's composition.

The production, signed Matilda Davidson, is evidently the work of a man accustomed to public address, and the Book of Mormon I know to be true, and the Spaulding story, as far as the origin of the Book of Mormon is connected with it, I know to be false.

I now leave the subject with a candid public, with a sincere desire, that those who have been deluded with such vain and foolish lies, may be undeceived.

Editors, who have given publicity to the Spaulding story, will do an act of justice by giving publicity to the foregoing.

                        P. P. PRATT
    N. Y. Nov. 27, 1839.



Note 1: The New Era was a short-lived newspaper, established to promote the political ambitions of Martin Van Buren. Copies are rare and difficult to find. The text provided above was taken from a reprint in the January 1840 issue of the Times and Seasons. It is supposed to be substantially accurate, but is not accompanied by and editorial remarks from the New Era.

Note 2: B. H. Roberts cites this Parley P. Pratt letter as having been published in the New Era, "impression of November 25, 1839" ("The Origin of the Book of Mormon, Part 2," American Historical Magazine, Nov. 1908, p. 570, n. 81). However, since the letter itself is dated "Nov. 27, 1839," the text could not have appeared in the New Era two days prior to Pratt's having written it. Assuming that the letter was inded published in the New Era, it probably appeared during the first week of December.

Note 3: Apostle Pratt makes productive use of a missprint, (or perhaps inadvertant textual error) in the 1839 statement given by Solomon Spalding's widow -- Pratt says: "Mr. Rigdon was never connected with the said printing establishment, either directly, or indirectly, and we defy the world to bring proof of any such connection." The genesis of this error (which gave Pratt fodder for his rebuttal) is actually a literary conflation of two sentences somehow derived from E. D. Howe's 1834 Mormonism Unvailed: "While they [the Spaldings] lived in Pittsburgh, she [the widow] thinks it [her husband's manuscript] was once taken to the printing office of Patterson & Lambdin." -- and -- "We have been credibly informed that he [Sidney Rigdon] was on terms of intimacy with Lambdin, being seen frequently in his shop. Rigdon resided in Pittsburgh about three years, and during the whole of that time, as he has since frequently asserted, abandoned preaching and all other employment, for the purpose of studying the bible." Thus, second-hand testimony linking Sidney Rigdon to the printer J. Harrison Lambdin, of Pittsburgh, was muddled into a seeming allegation, saying that Rigdon was once somehow connected with a printing business operated by Robert Patterson, Sr., of that same city. The 1839 publication of this misworded allegation also gave Sidney Rigdon something to protest against and to deny in righteous indignation -- which of course he quickly did -- (see the Whig of June 8, 1839).

Note 4: In 1821-25, when Sidney Rigdon actually lived within the bounds of Pittsburgh, one of his more important religious associates was his fellow Campbellite comrade-in-arms, Elder Walter Scott. In 1839 Scott wrote: "That Rigdon was ever connected with the printing office of Mr. Patterson or that this gentleman ever possessed a printing office in Pittsburgh, is unknown to me, although I lived there, and also know Mr. Patterson very well, who is a bookseller. But Rigdon was a Baptist minister in Pittsburgh, and I knew him to be perfectly known to Mr. Robert Patterson. Why is not Mr. Patterson's testimony adduced in this case [of the widow's testimony]? He is now in Pittsburgh, and can doubtless throw light upon this part of the narrative." While Robert Patterson, Sr. evidently never himself owned nor operated a "print shop," he did frequently employ the services of his cousin, the Pittsburgh printer, Silas Engles. Engles' printing office was located adjacent to Patterson's publishing office (in his book shop), and so the distinction between the efforts of Patterson the publisher and Engles the printer was always a bit hazy. From 1818-23 Patterson employed the printing press of his ward and employee, J. Harrison Lambdin, to publish his books and pamphlets. Since Lambdin was associated with Patterson (as his legal ward), the distinction between the publishing work of Patterson & Lambdin and the printing work Butler & Lambdin (same Lambdin in both firms) was again rather hazy. Still, Sidney Rigdon could truthfully reply that he was not employed by (nor connected with) Patterson's business operations. In 1841 when Robert Patterson, Sr. was finally asked directly about Sidney Rigdon, he reportedly stated that "Sidney Rigdon was not connected with the office for several years afterwards [that is, after the death of Solomon Spalding in 1816]." In other words, after the break-up of the Patterson-Lambdin publishing business, in 1823, Rigdon evidently had a connection with Lambdin's portion of the remaining business ("the office," as Patterson calls it), but Rigdon did not have a connection with Robert Patterson's portion of the remaining business (which Rigdon rightly identifies as "an agency, in the book and stationery business"). The fact that Rigdon was never a printer himself, nor ever employed by either of the Patterson brothers (Robert & Joseph) of Pittsburgh, does not diminish the evidence showing that he had connections with both of Robert Patterson's printers, (Silas Engles and J. Harrison Lambdin). As an apprentice tanner, and later as a journeyman tanner (or leather currier), living first very near Pittsburgh and then within the city itself, Sidney Rigdon no doubt frequently supplied leather book-bindings to the Patterson brothers' bindary, to the printer Silas Engles, and to Sidney's friend, J. Harrison Lambdin.


 



By H. Greeley & Co.                         Office No. 1 Ann Street. Street.                     Four Dollars Per Annum.

Vol. VIII. No. ?                   New York, Saturday, Dec. 21, 1839.                   Whole No. ?

 

The Mormons have purchased a tract of 20,000 acres at the head of the Des Moines rapids of the Mississippi, on both sides of the river, including the town of Commerce. -- The name is changed to Nauvoo, from the Hebrew. The whole purchase money amounts to $70,000, a large portion of it on long payments.



Joseph Smith, Jr., Sidney Rigdon, and Judge Higbee have started for Washington to petition Congress for relief growing out of the Missouri Persecutions.   American.


Notes: (forthcoming)



 
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