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Vol. V.                              Rochester, NY, March 13, 1832.                             No. 6.


The Mormon Delusion. -- By information from the West, some are falling off as well as others uniting with Joe Smith, the impostor from Palmyra. One who has recently left them, by the name of Ezra Booth of Portage county, Ohio, is publishing in the Ohio Star an expose of their diabolical pretensions and impositions. They pretend an ability, as in ancient times, to speak with tongues.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. VI.                                   Rochester, April 7, 1832.                                  No. 1655.


In Bennington, on the 25th ult. by the Rev. William Throop, Doct. Solomon Spalding to Miss Arvilla Ann Harris, both of Bennington.

Note 1: The "Doct. Solomon Spalding" mentioned above, as being married at Bennington twp., Genesee (now Wyoming) County, New York, was the author of the unpublished religious novel, "Romance of Celes." The manuscript of that "celestial story" is now on file in the Library of Congress and is cataloged under the name of the better known Solomon Spalding of Ashford (1761-1816). The latter Solomon was a cousin, one generation removed, from Dr. Solomon Spalding (1797-1862), later of of Lorain Co., Ohio, who married Arvilla Ann Harris in 1832.

Note 2: Dr. Spalding's "Romance of Celes" (written in the hand of Arvilla Ann, before their 1832 marriage) is largely based upon the plurality of worlds notion championed by the Rev. Thomas Dick during the 1830s. The "Romance of Celes" may have been based upon an earlier literary work by Dr. Spalding's cousin, Solomon Spalding of Ashford. The story contains numerous thematic and phraseology parallels to both the Oberlin Spaldingg manuscript and the Book of Mormon.

Note 3: It may be more than a coincidence that Dr. Spalding, while he lived in western New York, was a member of the same Masonic lodge as was Oliver Cowdery's friend and subsequent business partner, (Edwin) Alanson Cooley. Another member of the "Olive Branch" lodge of Freemasons living in the Batavia-LeRoy-Attica area was William Morgan, the famous "anti-Masonic martyr." Oliver Cowdery reportedly once served as a scribe for Morgan (who is said to have written a fictional history of ancient America in the time of the Welsh explorer-prince, Madoc). William Morgan's wife, in 1838, became the first or second plural wife of Joseph Smith, Jr. See notes appended to articles in the Dec. 30, 1837 issue of the Niagara Democrat, for more on the Spalding-Cooley-Cowdery connection.

Note 4: The Dec. 13, 1899 issue of the RLDS Saints' Herald, contains these interesting remarks: "Rev. Samuel D. Green wrote an article entitled, "Joseph Smith the Mormon. (see Christian Cynosure, December 20, 1877.) When letters were written to him correcting his false statements, he replied: "Smith borrowed Spalding's manuscript, Spalding sent for it, Smith refused to give it back. Smith told Spalding, and I heard him, that he had made a Mormon Bible of it. I saw Mr. Spalding as late as 1827, and I have a letter from William Jenkins, that he saw Spalding in 1829."... Spalding died in 1816, yet one of the reverend gentlemen talked with him in 1827, the other in 1829.... Surely it is a Spalding romance." This information became the basis for a lengthier set of comments on the subject, offered by RLDS Elder J. S. Roth, in the June 25, 1908 issue of the Independence, Mo. Zion's Ensign. The 1877 Samuel D. Green assertions that most bothered the RLDS writers were: "There was living in Bethany, a Rev. M. Spaulding. * * * He had written some chronicles on the ruins of Central America and some Bible truths mixed up together. Some early history of the character of the inhabitants, connected with bigamy, etc. Joe Smith and Cochrane got some knowledge and borrowed it, and from the help of Spaulding's manuscript they made the Mormon Bible... After Mr. Spaulding died, his wife came east to Munson, Massachusetts, while I lived there, to visit her friends or relatives, Dr. McKingsbury's family, my near neighbor." The "Mr. Spalding," who "as late as 1827" was living near Batavia, New York (in either Bethany or Bennington twp.) was obviously Dr. Solomon Spalding (1797-1862), a cousin of the Spalding who wrote the Oberlin manuscript, etc., (see notes accompanying the Zion's Ensign article of Mar. 24, 1894 which constituted the very first RLDS report on the matter). The "Dr. McKingsbury" recalled by Mr. Green was Dr. Oliver McKinstry, who lived in Monson, Massachusetts, not far from Mr. Green, in later years. Dr. McKinstry's wife was the foster daughter of Solomon Spalding (1761-1816) and, thus, a shirt-tail relative of the Dr. Solomon Spalding (1797-1862) who resided near Batavia when Samuel D. Green was there (during the infamous William Morgan affair).


Vol. V.                              Rochester, NY, April 10, 1832.                             No. 10.


Death of a Mormon preacher. -- Died, in Pomfret, Vt. on Saturday, 7th inst. Joseph H. Brackenbury, a 'Mormon Preacher.' He recently emigrated from Ohio, in company with one or two individuals of the same society. They preached, exhorted, and with great zeal and apparent humility, attempted to propagate their doctrines. Two or three embraced their sentiments so far as to be baptized -- one a Free Will Baptist, and the other a Presbyterian. In confirmation of their doctrine and divine mission, they professed to have power to heal the sick and raise the dead. It is credibly reported, that they attempted twice without effect, to heal a Miss Nancy Johnson, made a cripple by falling from a horse. She was not healed, for lack of faith; but started for Ohio with the Mormons, to obtain more. The company of Brackenbury attempted also to heal him, and since his decease, to raise him from the dead.

Note: This notice is from a late Jan. 1832 issue of the Fredonia Censor. The report should read: "in Pomfret, N. Y." rather than "in Pomfret, Vt."


Volume II.                                 Rochester, April 14, 1832.                                   No. 8.

Mormonism is said to have taken deep root in the Baptist church, in the town of Mendon, in this county. A number were re-dipped on Sunday last. The preacher said that he should never die, but be translated, after the manner of Enoch, and that in eighteen months Mormonism would be the prevailing religion; and, that in five years the wicked were to be swept from the face of the earth. When we see the degradation to which weak human nature has been reduced of late, we cannot wonder at such fanatical extravagance.

Note 1: This article was paraphrased in the Apr. 18, 1832 issue of the Palmyra Wayne Sentinel, but with no mention that it originated from the pen of journalistic rival Abner Cole. While living in Palmyra in 1829-30, Cole used to Wayne Sentinel press to run off his own paper, the Reflector.

Note 2: The story of the 1832 Mormon conversions at Mendon centers primarily upon the activities and experiences of Phinehas (or, Phineas) H. Young (1799-1879) and his near relatives. On Sept. 28, 1818, at Auburn, Cayuga, NY, Phinehas married Clarissa Hamilton (1799-1834). Phinehas was apparently a journeyman printer who successively moved his family to Onondaga Co., Steuben Co., and Tompkins Co., before joining the Methodist Reformed Church in 1824. He soon became a preacher for that group and moved again, first to Canandaigua, Ontario, NY, and then, two years later, to Mendon, Monroe Co. Phinehas and Clarissa's residence at Canadaigua was during the interesting episode of the trials of the abductors of William Morgan, the rise of Anti-Masonry, and the burning of the Royal Arch Chapter in that town. Whether Phinehas was a printer for the pro-Masonic or anti-Masonic press in Canadaigua history does not record, but he apparently also served "Reformed Methodist preacher" in the area, perhaps in company with his brother-in-law, the Rev. John P. Greene. In 1828 Phinehas moved to Mendon, where his father, John Young, Sr. had relocated his family, along with those of two sons-in-law (John P. Greene and Joel Sanford) a few years previously.

Note 3: Heber C. Kimball moved to Mendon, Monroe Co., NY in 1823, where he joined the Masons and married Vilate Murray. As early as Sept. 1827 he was acquainted with John P. Greene, the traveling Methodist preacher. Probably by 1828, at the latest, Heber was a friend of the extended Young family. In mid-April, 1830, Samuel H. Smith, brother of Joseph Smith, came across Phinehas Young, who was dining at the Tomlinson Inn in Mendon township. Young accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon from Samuel and doubtless showed the volume to his brother-in-law, the Rev. John Portineus Greene (1793-1844). Greene married Rhoda Young (sister of Phinehas and Brigham Young) on Feb. 11, 1813. The couple at first lived in Cayuga Co., NY, spent the first half of the 1820s in Watertown, Jefferson Co., then went back to Cayuga Co. for a while, moved west to Conesus, in Livingston Co., and finally ended up in Mendon, Monroe Co., at the end of the 1820s. John was a preacher for the Reformed Methodists (and briefly for Methodist Protestant Church when that group was founded in Nov. 1830). John's reason for moving his family to Mendon evidently hinged on the fact that his wife's father and brothers were then living in that place. Even before John P. Greene moved to Mendon, Brigham Young (1801-1877) relocated his family there (apparently at the end of 1828). There he built a shop and a mill, and did various kinds of finish work in building construction.

Note 4: In June of 1830, Elder Samuel H. Smith returned to Mendon and loaned a second copy of the Book of Mormon to Rhoda and John P. Greene. Phineas lent his copy to his father, then to his sister Fanny, who gave it to Brigham Young. John's copy also circulated among relatives and friends of the Young family, including Brigham. In August 1830, Phinehas Young and his brother went to Ontario, Canada, to preach for the Reformed Methodists. Along the way they visited with a former member of their order, Solomon Chamberlain, who was then living in Lyons twp., Wayne Co., NY. Solomon was a former Reformed Methodist who became a Mormon during April 1830. Solomon Chamberlain accompanied the Youngs to a Reformed Methodist meeting at Manlius Center, Onondaga Co., NY where the party met up with Brigham Young. While most of the Methodists rejected Chamerlain's Mormon religion, he managed to catch the interest of Brigham Young.

In 1831 Mormon Elder Alpheus Gifford and his missionary companions came through the Mendon area, further arousing the interest of the Greenes, Youngs and Kimballs to the possibility of Mormon conversion. According to Vilate's Autobiography, "Five elders of the Church of Latter-day Saints came to the town of Victor, which was five miles from Mendon, and stopped at the house of Phineas Young, the brother of Brigham. Their names were Eleazer Miller, Elial Strong, Alpheus Gifford, Enos Curtis and Daniel Bowen. Hearing of these men, curiosity prompted Mr. Kimball to go and see them. Then for the first time he heard the fullness of the everlasting gospel and was convinced of its truth. Brigham Young was with him." Elder Alpheus Gifford and Elder Miller returned again to the Mendon area at the beginning of April 1832. They had some initial success among the Baptists, the ranks of whom Vilate Murray Kimball 1806-1867) and her husband Heber C. Kimball had joined the year before. According to one account, Brigham was baptized on Sunday, April 15th, 1832, by Eleazer Miller, and the Kimballs were baptized by Elder Alpheus Gifford the next day. However, Brigham's own private journal places the baptism on April 9th. Assuming this date is the correct one, the Liberal Advocate report is the first (implicit) mention in the public press of Brigham Young joining the Mormons.

Note 5: Exactly who the Baptist converts, mentioned by the Liberal Advocate were, remains a mystery. Certainly they must have been friends of Heber C. and Vilate Kimball. Joel Sanford and his wife Louiza Young Sanford, as well as William B. Stilson and his wife Susannah Young Stilson, were Mendon Mormons, but previously Methodists, not Baptists. The same can be said for Israel Barlow, his mother, his brother and sisters. Other early Mendon Mormons include: Nathan Tomlinson and his wife (proprietors of the Tomlinson Inn); Ira Bond and his wife Charlotte W. Bond (baptized Mormons in 1833); John Morton and his wife Betsey; Isaac Flummerfeli and his wife; and Rufus Parks. Perhaps one or more of these people were among the converts from the Baptists, spoken of by the Liberal Advocate.



Vol. VI.                                 Rochester, April 20, 1832.                                No. 1666.


Mr. Phelps, who formerly edited the Ontario Phenix, and who about a year since became the follower of Jo. Smith, the author of the Book of Mormon, or Golden Bible, and left Canandiagua to unite with the infatuated few who had gone to the "promised land" in the West, has issued proposals for publishing at Independence, Missouri, a monthly work to be called The Evening and the Morning Star, and to be devoted to the promulgation of Mormon revelations as they shall be made from time to time, through the above named prophet. The following is an extract from the Prospectus of this new work:

The Book of Mormon, having already gone to the world, being the fullness of the gospel to the Gentiles according to the promises of the old, we know that the blessing of Joseph is near at hand. For his glory, the firstling of his bullock, and his horns, the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together from the ends of the earth, to the place of the name of the Lord of hosts, the mount Zion: For in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations; wherefore it is now made known and published to the world, by the authority of the beloved Savior, that the gathering of the house of Israel hath commenced upon the land of Zion; and that the church which is called the church of Christ, is an Ensign to all nations, that the children of God are returning from their long dispersion, to possess the land of their inheritance, and reign with Christ a thousand years while Satan is bound....

The Evening and the morning Star, besides the secret of the Lord, which is now with them that fear him, and the everlasting gospel, which must go to all nations, before the Holy One shall stand upon the Mount of Olivet, and upon the mighty ocean, even the great deep, and upon the Islands of the sea, and upon the land of Zion, to destroy the wicked with the brightness of his coming -- will also contain whatever of truth or information that can benefit the children of God temporally as well as spiritually in these last days, whether in prose or poetry, without interfering with politics, broils, or the gainsayings of the world. While some may say this paper is opposed to all combinations under whatever plausible character, others will know, that it is for an eternal union whose maker and supporter is God. Thus all may be as they are, inasmuch as they that plough iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same -- but Wisdom is justified of her children.

Two of the "Mormonites" lately gave a lecture at Batavia, explanatory of the history and principles of their sect. Two others of the infatuated clan (Jo Smith and Rigdon) are said to have been tarred and feathered in one of the Western states.

Note 1: The above quotation from Elder W. W. Phelps' Feb. 22, 1832 "Prospectus" is an edited and shortened version of the document he sent out to potential subscribers. The same, shortened quote appeared in this publication's weekly sister paper, the Rochester Republican, on April 24th. A few other newspapers published the entire text.

Note 2: Part of the concluding news report was derived from a brief article in the Apr. 17, 1832 issue of the Batavia Republican Advocate. Its editor there notes that "Two Mormonites, last Saturday evening, attempted to give a history of their sect " in the village of Batavia. Elder Orson Hyde's 1832 missionary journal, in his entry for April 14th, say that he and his companion, Elder Samuel H. Smith, "Went up to Batavia 40 miles... Preached at the Court House in Batavia to a large congregation..."


Vol. XVI.                              Rochester, N.Y., Tues., April 24, 1832.                             No. 17.


Mr. Phelps, who formerly edited the Ontario Phenix, and who about a year since became the follower of J. Smith, the author of the Book of Mormon, or Golden Bible, and left Canadaigua to unite with the infatuated few who had gone to the "promised land" in the West, has issued proposals for publishing at Independence, Missouri, a monthly work to be called The Evening and the Morning Star, and to be devoted to the promulgation of Mormon revelations as they shall be made from time to time, through the above named prophet. The following is an extract from the Prospectus of this new work.

(view original text for this Prospectus

Two of the "Mormonites" lately gave a lecture at Batavia, explanatory of the history and principles of their sect. Two others of the infatuated clan (Jo Smith and Rigdon) are said to have been tarred and feathered in one of the Western states.

Note: The two Mormon missionaries traveling through Batavia were Elder Orson Hyde and Elder Samuel H. Smith. See David C. Miller's Republican Advocate of Apr. 17, 1832 for more details.


Volume II.                                 Rochester, April 28, 1832.                                 No. 10.

From the Observer and Telegraph.


Several verbal statements agree in establishing the following facts.

That on Saturday night, March 24, a number of persons, some say 25 or 30, disguised with coloured faces, entered the rooms of Hiram, where the two Mormonite leaders Jo Smith and Rigdon, were sleeping, and took them together with the pillows on which they slept, carried them a short distance and after besmearing their bodies with tar, applied the contents of the pillows to the same.

Now Mr. Editor, I call this a base transaction, an unlawful act, a work of darkness, a diabolical trick. But bad as it is, proves one important truth which every wise man knew before, that is, that Satan hath more power than the pretended prophets of Mormon. It is said that they (Smith and Rigdon) had declared, in anticipation of such an event, that it could not be done -- that God would not suffer it; that those who should attempt it, would be miraculously smitten on the spot, and many such like things, which the event proves to be false.


We publish in this day's paper, a short account of an outrage committed on the bodies of these two "modern reformers," from an Ohio journal, with the remarks of the Editor.

Jo Smith it will be recollected, formerly resided in the neighborhood of Palmyra, in Wayne co. N. Y. He was a son of Jos. Smith, senior, who was a father of a numerous family, noted for little else save their stupidity, ignorance and a belief in the existence of hidden treasures.

Rigdon was a disciple of the celebrated Campbell, who had a theological dispute with Robert Owen, at Cincinnati, some years since. It is said that he formerly belonged to an association of Baptists, in the state of Ohio. For some years past he has been attempting to establish "free community societies" in various places. He appears to possess more native talent than the whole of the heterogeneous rabble, (which is overspreading the country,) put together.

Whether the leaders of these fanatics are knaves or fools, or "half way between both," it matters not. They have assumed the garb of sanctity, and our constitution guarantees [sic] to them the "liberty of conscience;" and we know of no good reason for disfranchising them, or putting them or their followers out of the protection of the law.

Our maxim is, that "error can never be dangerous while TRUTH is left free to combat it;" and that although ignorance may for a season bedim the eyes of the multitude, and cause them to follow "every wind of doctrine," yet the sum of "useful knowledge" will ere long arise in his splendor, and scatter the mist and darkness that now overshadow so large a portion of our land.

Note 1: The lead article appeared in a late March 1832 issue of the Hudson Observer. It was reprinted or summarized by various regional newspapers, including the Apr. 10th issue of the Warren News-Letter, as well as the Newark Gazette, the Ohio Argus, etc.

Note 2: Editor Abner Cole (formerly the editor of the Palmyra Reflector) supplies in the second article some of the same negative allegations made against the Mormon Smith family in the public press during the previous year -- and which would again be solicited and compiled in great detail by D. P. Hurlbut during the coming year. Cole's comments regarding the Rev. Sidney Rigdon are more reserved. Unlike his journalistic contemporary, James G. Bennett, Cole does not accuse Rigdon (or "Rangdon") with secretly cooperating with the Smiths prior to the publication of the Book of Mormon. Cole does, however, credit Rigdon with "For some years past" trying to establish "free community societies" in various places." Rigdon appears to have begun his "attempts" in this direction during his 1823 pastorate in Pittsburgh, though his known "free community societies" were established only at Kirtland, Chardon, and Mayfield, all on the Western Reserve in Ohio. Cole's vague description of Rigdon's efforts may allow for some similar "attempts" on his part in western New York -- perhaps among the former followers of the "Public Universal Friend" (Jemima Wilkinson, 1752-1819) in and around Penn Yan, NY, during the mid-1820s.


Volume III.                         Rochester, July 28, 1832.                           No. 4.


It is an old maxim, "if it be of God it will stand," but if upheld by the Devil it must fall. Whither [sic] the sect of Mormonites, are from the one source of the other, we shall not undertake to determine, but one thing is certain, that no imposture, since the days of Julius Caesar, has been more successful.

A more stupid, ignorant vagabond can seldom be found, than Jo Smith jr. and all his first converts, (Martin Harris excepted,) were like their prophet, "idle, lazy and illiterate." The whole farce grew out of a "money digging" operation, and will in all human probability swallow up many of the puny sects of the day. They appear to meet with the greatest success among the Baptist, and other "Fresh Water" Christians.

The main body of these fanatics now reside in the "far west;" they have already a bible of their own, together with a printing press for the propagation of their tenets, under the guardianship of the quondam editor of the Ontario Phoenix, who publishes a paper under the imposing head, of the "Morning and Evening Star." These new fangled religionists, who already amount to thousands, adopt one principle, which they have borrowed from the dominant zealots of the day; that is; they denounce all, who do not join them and swallow all their crude and undijested [sic] dogmas, which they are far from understanding themselves.

Although the heart of the philanthropist may be grieved at the degradation of weak human nature; yet he cannot be surprised, when he considers all the impediments thrown in the way of acquiring useful knowledge which is said by many of our Orthordox [sic] people, to be evil in the sight of the Deity; but these selfish men will discover when [too] late, that the very means, by which they endeavor to prop their already tottering fabrick, will prove their overthrow; the immence sums of money they have already amassed, can never sustain them.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Volume III.                         Rochester, September 15, 1832.                           Series 1. No. 8.


It is stated in the Boston Christian Register, that two Mormonite preachers have recently visited that city, and made about 15 converts to their strange doctrines, who had been baptised and joined the Mormon church. Some of them are said to be respectable persons. All contemplate 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 thither for [safety]," in Jackson county Missouri. Two females who have gone, had acquired by industry, one 1500, and the other 800 dollars, which they have given up to go into the general stock. The others possesses between 3 or $4,000 which they are going to put into the general fund, and which they can never draw out again. "Thus (says the Register) are people swindled out of their property, and drawn from their comfortable homes, by ignorant fanatics." One of the preachers has been at Lynn, where four or five persons have embraced Mormonism and been immersed. The preachers intend visiting the cities and principal towns in New England. --  N. Bedford Mercury.

Note: This was one of the early Mormon news stories that made the national papers. Niles' Weekly Register of Sept. 8, 1832 summarized the report from the Boston Christian Register, as did several other big eastern papers. The "two preachers" who were spreading Mormonism in Boston were elders Orson Hyde and Samuel H. Smith, who first arrived in Boston on June 22, 1832. At the beginning of the missionary tour, in Conneaut in January, they opened the literary can of worms that became the Solomon Spalding claims for the authorship of the Book of Mormon. Towards the end of their proselytizing efforts they visited the Saco Valley of Maine and converted a number of former followers of the polygamist Jacob Cochran.


Volume III.                         Rochester, October 13, 1832.                           Series 1. No. 12.

"The spirit of the times." informs us that MORMONISM has broken out in the town of Linn, Mass. (among the Shoemakers we suppose) and has carried off many persons.

Note 1 (by Rich Troll): "Lynn, Massachusetts, was the center of the women's shoe trade..." writes David Ware in The Industrial Worker. A Mormon preacher there in 1832 would find a factory system slowly starting to emerge. Mr. Ware offers an overview; "In 1830 nearly all the shoemakers of Lynn had owned their homes with some land about them. Even those who rented had usually large gardens where they were able to raise sufficient vegetables for their winter supply. Almost every family kept a pig and many had their own cow. Discipline in the little shop was slack. When an apprentice left his work at night, 'he might be expected back in the morning, but there were no special grounds for the expectation. He might drop in the next morning or the next week."

Note 2 (DRB): This report probably originated in a Boston newspaper. The Mormon missionaries causing the "break out" of Mormonism were elders Orson Hyde and Samuel H. Smith. The report was also published in the Sept. 10th issue of the Montpelier Vermont State Journal.


Volume III.                         Rochester, December 8, 1832.                           Series 1. No. 16.

Mr. Editor: -- When I was a child and pleased with childish things, I was not a little delighted with the story of Aladin and his Wonderful Lamp, as recorded in the Arabian Nights Entertainments. These stories, though extravagent [sic] are amusing, and much may be learned form them, of the customs, manners, and opinions of the people of whom they treat. In the New York Observer of the 27th October 1832, an observer of the times gives us a long article on the subject of the Mellenium, which has not even novelty to recommend it, nor any other quality, unless it be as a substitute for Opium. Its dullness might lull us to sleep and save the necessity of other narcotics. The subject is exhausted Sabatai Sevi, Jemima Wilkinson, the elect lady, Joe Smith and many others have been stupid on this subject before an observer of the times meddled with it.
                Your's, &c.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Volume III.                         Rochester, January 12, 1833.                           Series 2. No. 2.


It must be quite amusing to a laughing philosopher, to observe with what pomposity and arrogance, we boast of the "march of intellect," in this Paradise of the West, and hear young " springs of nobility," with faces as smoothe [sic] as vellum parchment, and something of the same color, gravely inform their companions in folly and ignorance, how long it has been " since they have finished their studies."

The mere learning to read, write and enumerate figures; which is pretty much all we acquire at school, simply fits us for a more laborious course of investigation, and mental improvement and our studies can never be said to be completed, so long as there is any thing to learn, which will never cease to be the case, so long as weak human nature is subject to its present infirmaties,[sic] and our lives are limited, to the short period of three score and ten.

It is humiliating to think that we are approximating, those ages of darkness and ignorance, when the priest, prophet and witch held the minds and bodies of mankind, in the most abject slavery; -- when the imaginations of the ignorant, were peopled with supernatural beings, & while the angels of light & darkness, waged bloody and exterminating war with each other, for the purpose of gaining supremacy.

In proof of our assertions, we shall mention the ridiculous farce of the mormonites; -- an imposition that had its origin in "money digging," fortune telling, and an acquaintance with, and a belief in "[familiar] spirits," & without detailing many other equally ridiculous and absurd impostures that have had their origin in times of excitement among us, we shall briefly remark, that in addition to the many villainous schemes pursued in our own pious and enlightened village, for the purpose of gulling the simple, and filching money from the pockets of the ignorant and credulous; -- two or more regular Juggling shops are established, where fools are made to tell their own fortunes, at the moderate price of two shillings each. Would not more of our well dressed females, who wear white feathers, [and] are continually dancing attendance upon some of our magistrates, in charge of a Constable, save themselves a great deal of trouble, and live more respectable, by setting up the profitable trade of fortune telling.

Note (by Rich Troll): The 2nd definition of familiar in Noah Webster's An American Dictionary of the English Language (1828) is given as a noun: "A demon or evil spirit supposed to attend at a call. But in a general way we say, a familiar spirit." (emphasis in original) This term was associated with necromancy and had mostly negative connotations. It is significant to observe Abner Cole reinforces his connection of familiar spirits with Mormonism, with the first example being in "The Book Of Pukei," as found in the June 12th 1830 edition of The Reflector. Juggling, in this outmoded form, meant to manipulate or practice deceit in order to achieve a desired end. For more information on both familiar spirits and juggling, see D. Michael Quinn's Early Mormonism & The Magic World View. Less than two decades later, Rochester popularized spiritual communication when the Fox sisters opened a parlor in which paying guests could question the deceased. In doing this, the Fox sisters ushered in the age of Spiritualism.



N.S. No. 19.                       Rochester, Sat., February 2, 1833.                       Vol. VII, No. 6.


Mormonism. We have received a communication on this subject, from Mr. J. Smith, Jr., who we suppose, is a principal leader of the sect that embraces Mormonism. It is written throughout with much good feeling and intensity.

With our own views of truth, we do not feel that it would be consistent with our duty, or for the benefit of our readers to enter into a discussion on this subject, nor have we room for the whole letter. Still we think our readers may be gratified in learning something of the author's views, and therefore present them with the following extract, not holding ourselves responsible for its sentiments.

The Book of Mormon is a record of the forefathers of our western tribes of Indians; having been found through the ministration of an holy Angel, and translated into our own language by the gift and power of God, after having been hid up in the earth for the last fourteen hundred years, containing the word of God which was delivered unto them. By it we learn that our western tribes of Indians are descendants from that Joseph which was sold into Egypt, and that the land of America is a promised land unto them, and unto it all the tribes of Israel will come with as many of the gentiles as shall comply with the requisitions of the new covenant. But the tribe of Judah will return to old Jerusalem. The city of Zion spoken of by David, in the 102 psalm, will be built upon the land of America, and the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to it, with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads, and there they will be delivered from the overflowing scourge that shall pass through the land. But Juda shall obtain deliverance at Jerusalem, see Joel 2:32; Isaiah 26: 20, 21; Jeremiah 31: 11, Psalms, 50:5; Ezekiel 34: 11, 12, 13. These are testimonies that the Good Shepherd will put forth his own sheep, and lead them out from all nations where they have been scattered in a cloudy and dark day, to Zion and to Jerusalem, besides many more testimonies which might be brought. And now I am prepared to say by the authority of Jesus Christ, that not many years shall pass away before the United States shall present such a scene of blood-shed as has not a parallel in the history of our nation. Pestilence, hail, famine, and earthquake, will sweep the wicked of this generation from off the face of this Land, to open and prepare the way for the return of the lost tribes of Israel from the north country. The people of the land [sic - Lord?], those who have complied with the requisition of the new covenant, have already commenced gathering together to Zion, which is in the state of Missourie. Therefore, I declare unto you the warning which the Lord has commanded me to declare unto this generation, remembering that the eyes of my Maker are upon me, and that to him I am accountable for every word I say, wishing nothing worse to my fellow men than their eternal salvation. Therefore, fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come. Repent ye, repent ye, and embrace the everlasting covenant, and flee to Zion, before the overflowing scourge overtake you. For there are those now living upon the earth whose eyes shall not be closed in death, until they see all these things, which I have spoken, fulfilled. Remember these things, call upon the Lord while he is near, and seek him while he may be found, is the exhortation of your unworthy Servant.     JOSEPH SMITH, Jr.

Note: The American Revivalist, and Rochester Observer only published the last two paragraph of Smith's original letter. See the Nov. 15, 1844 issue of the Times and Seasons for the full text of Smith's Jan., 4th, 1833 letter to "N. E. Seaton Esq." The editor's name should have read "N. O. Saxton."



Devoted  to  the  Improvement  and  Happiness  of  Mankind.
Vol. I.                                  Rochester, New York, March, 1833.                                 No. 11.


To Elder Joshua V. Himes,
Pastor of the Christian church in Boston, Mass.

[initial paragraph not transcribed]


The people called Mormons, arose some four or five years since, in Manchester, about fifteen miles from my residence, through the instrumentality of a young man by the name of Joseph Smith. -- Smith's father, I am informed, had for many years been associated with a company of money-diggers in that neighbourhood, and the son was frequently taken with them on those nocturnal excursions. As it was thought the young man had a peculiar art of ascertaining where money was deposited, he served as a sort of prophet or seer for the company. This business, we understand, was pursued for many years; and this was the school in which the young founder of the Mormons was educated. But as they did not find so much money as their neighbours who dug with the plow by the light of the sun, the project was abandoned, and the company sunk in disgrace and poverty. In 1827, young Joseph had become nearly twenty years of age; and though his father was discouraged in the enterprise, and the company broken up, yet the young man was not discomfited, but put all his wits together -- looked into the hat again upon the stone of enchantment; and being aided by several visions and dreams, at length beholds the sacred plates of gold deposited in a stone box, where they had rested undisturbed for many thousands of years....

Note 1: Although printed in Rochester, this periodical was edited in nearby Mendon, by the noted frontier evangelist, Rev. Joseph Badger. Later in 1833 it was merged with David Millard's West Bloomfield paper, the Gospel Luminary, and later issues were published at Union Mills, New York.

Note 2: On page 67 of their 2005 book, The Spalding Enigma, writers Art Vanick et al. report: "In 1802 the first religious services were held in [Aron] Wright's cabin, with the Rev. Joseph Badger, a well-known pioneer preacher and later friend of Solomon Spalding, officiating." While Badger may have crossed paths with Solomon Spalding and some of the "Conneaut witnesses" to Spalding's fiction writings, it is presumptive to identify Rev. Badger as having been one of Spalding's "friends." If the famous preacher had any knowledge of Spalding's interests and writings paralleling the Book of Mormon narrative, he probably would have published word of that alleged literary connection himself.

Note 3: Rev. Badger was evidently personally acquainted with Joshua V. Himes, and it is possible that Himes contacted Badger for firsthand information of the (then) little known sect. It is also possible that Badger noticed Himes' 1832 letter on the Mormons, and subsequently volunteered the "Mormonite" information published by the Palladium.


Vol. VI.                              Rochester, NY, March 12, 1833.                             No. 11.


(From the Ohio Atlas of Elyria, Ohio)


Notes: (forthcoming)


Volume III.                         Rochester, March 19, 1833.                           Series 2. No. 6.

From Henrietta.                       

The heretic translated from plates lately found.


Now it came to pass in the fourth year of the reign of Andrew, that there was a mighty stir among the people which sojourn in the land that lieth south from the great City of Mud, and the land of Brickkilns.[sic] And the Henrietites said one to another, the spirit of the Lord is at work among the people.

And they assembled themselves together at the seat of Joseph the Judge. And there was a great multitude, and when they crowded hard one against another, James the mighty arose and said:

Oh! Ye men of Henrietta, and all ye on whom my voice shall fall. Know ye that God is good to all his creatures and people, and he will save you if ye will believe in endless hell. For the promises is to us, and to our children, (for we are the elect) and to all whom God shall give a special call, but ye must be born again and believe in endless hell fire and brimstone, or ye can not be saved.

And many like things spake he unto them in his exhortation. And when he had made an end of speaking, Bob the meek arose. Now this Bob the meek, was a grave man of tall stature, thin visage, lengthy body, long legs, thin lips, and of great meekness. The same was he, who afore time sold his oxen to the widow, and was known by his bravery in the war of the Camphor battle; and he spake unto them in this wise:

It is of the mere mercy of God, that I am out of an endless hell, for I am continually doing things that I ought not; but I feel more concerned for my neighbors souls, than for our brethren, for we are the Lord's peculiar people, and we have Christ's righteousness imputed to us, and our sins imputed to him, by which we have the atonement. But we christians feel the danger you sinners are in of hell fire and brimstone, for God will damn you to eternity unless ye repent speedily and believe in endless hell; hell and damnation before it is everlastingly too late, for God out of Christ is a consuming fire.

And when Bob had sat him down there was great silence for half a minute, and Arthur the campite spake to this effect:

There is such a thing as an endless hell, I know it to be a fact; God showed it to me, when I was under conviction, and it will do no good for God's enemies to say there is not, for there is a doleful hell.

And he sat himself down, and looked very grum[sic] on account of the unbelief of his neighbors; and there was an awful pause. Then Philip the doctor stood up, and spake to this effect:

Neighbors and friends! The Lord is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works, he is not a God of infinite cruelty, but of Goodness, mercy, truth and justice. I will not believe in your hell fire system. If you would know your duty, visit the widow and the fatherless, (but not to cheat or afflict) alleviate the miseries of human life, deal justly, love mercy, walk humbly, and keep yourselves unspotted from the world; I can see no consolation in your hell fire system; I cannot love a God of wrath and malevolence.

Then Simon the Deacon said there is a hell, and WE christians are sure you will go there; and the people were dissmissed and each went to his own tent. And it came to pass that the people reasoned among themselves, saying; who is this James the mighty, and Bob the meek, that they should sit in judgment upon their neighbors, who are as honest as themselves? Let us send to the city of mud, for Bob the Shoemaker, and hear his opinion upon this matter.

And it came to pass that there was a day of thanksgiving, and [Bob] the Shoemaker was there, and there was prayer and thanksgiving. Then Bob stood up and said; The Lord has done great things for us, whereof we are glad; and he preached that the people should love God with all their hearts, and their neighbors as themselves.

And it came to pass that the friends of the hell fire plan, waxed hot in wrath, and the people were mightily stirred up and they assembled themselves together as the day drew to a close, at the seat of Joseph the Judge. And James the mighty arose, and spake in exhortation, the number of thirteen times, for he was an eloquent man, and he said,

Flee from the wrath to come; why, my friends there are few to be saved; only just think of the ten virgins; only one half saved!!

And he sat down and looked [grum], because all the people would'nt believe; for some of them were in favor of the doctrine of reconciliation, and others believed with James, and Bob the meek, in the hell fire plan, and there was a great diversity of sentiment among the people.

Now there was an old man in the assembly, whose name was Daniel, otherwise called the heretic; in as much as he had been cast out of the church for holding diverse strange doctrines. And he said fear God and work righteousness, and ye shall be accepted of him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is within, and not outward, a Heaven in the skies will do you no good, and a hell outwardly will do you no hurt, my business is in this world. God has been my friend for three-score years, and I will trust in him until I see some proof that he is my enemy; I would therefore advise the brethren, to visit the widow and the fatherless in their afflictions; but not to afflict them as is the custom of some.

Now when he sat down James the Mighty arose, and threatened the sinners with hell fire, and the civil Law. Bob prayed and the people departed.

Now will ye read the 2nd chapter of this book if it be translated: how they waxed hot in wrath one towards another; how they trimmed the horns and embraced the doctrine of Devils, which is Universalism; how Joshua the high and potent, explained the law; how they advised to marry; and further how they threatened Philip the Doctor, and Daniel the Heretic.
                                                             V. X.

Note 1: (by Rich Troll) This is a parody of the people and activities at a protracted meeting (or revival) in the town of Henrietta, N. Y. Though written in a style similar to The Book of Mormon, it is uncertain how much Mormon content there is, other than in the headline: "translated from plates lately found."

Note 2: Bob "The Meek" is Chandler Maltby, Sr. of Henrietta, N. Y. The "Andrew" mentioned at the start is President Andrew Jackson. The "great City of Mud" is Rochester, NY, the town from which Abner Cole was then issuing his newspaper.


Volume III.                         Rochester, April 9, 1833.                           Series 2. No. 8.

From North Henrietta.                             


From the Book of Sampson.
Taken ** from the golden plates found
under a rock.

Attempt to unite the two tribes, Bark and Bob, Into one,
by a league of matrimony.

Behold, it came to pass in the fifth year of the reign of good king Andrew. and the second month thereof; and of the fourth year of the reign of the "glorious excitement" with which we are "especially favored;" even in the heat thereof, when spiritual, heavenly and divine things was the only topic, to the exclusion of things earthly, temporal. "sensual and devlish;" behold, a rare thing did happen in the camp, even in the tent of "Bob the meek;" and there straightway began to be a "mighty stir" in the camp and among all them that sojourned in the coasts round about: & the matter was concerning the union of the "two tribes"Ņand the spirit of the Lord, and the spirit of gratification, led them on -- avec grand force!

And behold, Chand, (the witty,) was the name of Bob the meek[']s (Son,) and Lyd, (the intelligent,) the name of the daughter of Bark, the doctor and pedler[sic] of news. And they both were exceedingly fair and comely to look upon, inasmuch as their fame was in all the coasts round about; but more especially that of the former. And as he had waxed exceedingly wise in all spiritual things, had even been fed upon the "fat of the land," and grown to a most majestic stature, nothing was wanting, save a "help meet" or "a rib" of good old Adam, to make him completely happy both in body and mind, & bring great strength into the synagogue of Bob; for the tribes would then become one tribe, and all would come up to the "help of the Lord against the mighty," and all be co-workers together, and help roll on the mighty wheel of proselytism, besides divers[e] other advantages both spiritual and temporal.

Now it came to pass, that Bob, the meek, who was the chief counsellor in the camp, began to lay the matter to his heart, and carry the case before the Lord. Now it came to pass, that after making diligent enquiry in public and secret, he became satisfied that the "hand of the Lord" was in it, and would bless them, and their seed, and the church, and all in the land round about. And he straightway arose, opened his mouth, lifted up his voice to its highest key, and began to speechify on this wise:

"O Chand, the first-born of the days of my youthful blood -- my first and best -- Listen thou unto the voice of wisdom. and give ear unto my words, for they are not only able to make thee "wise unto salvation," but wise unto matrimony."

And straightway Chand began to hold up his head, and prick up his ears, and exhibiting an exceeding long phiz mi-hog-o-ny, thrust his right hand into his hair, and his left somewhere else, and drew exceedingly near off -- for Bob was a powerful man in mind and voice.

"It behoveth thee, my son, to take unto thyself one of the daughters of Bark the doctor, and heal this breach in Zion, and for thy own immediate comfort. Thou art, indeed, worthy to be more highly exalted! Verily thou art exceedingly tall and comely of stature, and far more well favored in countenance than all the sparks and gallants round about: and thou art favored from the "sole of thy foot to the crown of thy head;" thy wisdom, knowledge, and sagacity is known in all the coasts round about. Thy powers of mind are strong as a horses, and thy voice as shrill and loud as 'seven pealed thunders,' or the `noise of many waters;' and for all this thou art indebted to me! Thou art one "exceedingly lovely, and the chiefest among ten thousand times ten thousand;" and with all these good graces thou canst not fail to deport thyself to advantage in thy suit with the beautiful and accomplished angel of my choice! thou art beloved by all the daughters in the land, and only lacketh courage to press thy suit. Thou hast always been "trained up in the way thou shouldest go," and I have spared no pains upon thy mind, but especially thy body or back! and I have always endeavored to beat into thee parental allegiance, with birch, beech, and foot; and beat out of thee all worldly wisdom, to make room for that of heavenly and divine, with which thou art so highly favored; and as I have lived in one continual, long, and unterrupted [sic] "honey-moon" with my partner, "go, thou, and do likewise."

And it came to pass, as he made an end of speechifying, Chand's countenance began to dilate itself into a most cheerful aspect, and one long grin sat astride his rosy lips, and shed a most divine expression of satisfaction from ear to ear, from chin to forehead: and a most amorous pit-a-pat commenced its career at his heart. So taking out his tobacco box, and taking a very modest handful therefrom, he very composedly stows it into one side of his capacious mouth, seizes his hat, and with an almost audible "thank you, dad," goes forth to Bark, the doctor, and, calling humbly at the door, obtains admittance.

Now it becometh us not to say concerning all things pertaining to his fortune with the comely daughter of Bark, the doctor; nevertheless it came to pass at the end of one month, he began to muster confidence, and, at the end of 6 weeks, or thereabouts, after summoning up his whole stock of confidence, besides some borrowed for the occasion from even "Bob the meek," he made one dash-all effort and popped the all-important question.

Now, as I said before, it behoveth us not to say concerning many things concerning how they did adjust business in secret; how they did look upon one another, & could not speak for admiration! How they did dream of LOVE and LOVE'S DARTS! and Cupids and Venuses; of honey, molasses, & sugar, (maple sugar;) of "wine on the lees" and fat things; honey-moons and candy-suns, &c. Again, concerning divers rides, &c. Now this daughter was for a long time "halting between two opinions," as one of another tribe likewise did think much concerning her; and she being exceedingly tender of heart, did not wish him to commit suicide on her account; and she, like a true daughter of benevolence, did gain his consent concerning the matter.

Now it came to pass that the time of the celebration of the nuptials drew nigh and there was a great confusion. and a mighty uproar in the camp where the thing should be done. And Chand, lifted up his voice and said, "it shall indeed be done in the synagogue, and before the people, that they may see with their own eyes, and hear with their own ears, and all be satisfied that the thing is done."

And she lifted up her voice and said, "That such a thing should not be done in Israel, but that it should be done at the house of Mine, the priest," for that was according to the "good old rule."

Now Bark, the doctor, had long been listening to this, and he now gathers himself together, arises, lifts up his voice in wrath, and declares unto the astonished couple that the "good old way" was to be married at the house of the bride; that he had "wine on the lees highly refined," and "fat things in abundance," and he meant to have the marriage feast at his house, or, says he in a voice of thunder, thou shalt be indeed disinherited, and the two tribes will still continue to be two tribes.

But, alas! it came to pass that they would not give heed unto the voice of wisdom, and they straightway declared they cared not a "fiddle-stick's end" about the union of the two tribes, and that it was the union of themselves, and themselves only; and straightway they gathered themselves together and called for a pioneer to lead the way, and left the tent of Bark the doctor, without casting a "longing, lingering look behind."

Now it came to pass that the whole camp was immediately in an uproar. Bark stamped his foot, pouted out his lips, and -- **!! Bob hem'd and talked loudly; Black turned almost white, and some turned towards Brown! and a more blank looking company never was seen. Now it came to pass that when nothing would keep them in the right spirit, & refrain them from doing the unbidden deed, they all departed and straightway arrived at the house of Mine, the priest. The ceremony was performed; the knot was tied with all the gravity in the world; not a word was heard from the parties, though many motions made known best the reason to themselves. The disinherited pair now bent their course to the church.

And it came to pass at the end of service they hastened unto the house of "Bob the meek," and dared not even look towards Barks, for fear of being consumed by his mighty wrath. And behold, they durst not venture to go forth unto the tent of Bark the doctor, and the tribes are yet two; the divisions of Zion are not adjusted. And behold they both declare they themselves have become one tribe, whereas now there are three: that the more tribes the better; that "sugar and molasses, love and liberty" is their motto; and it shall come to pass that they shall soon leave the land. O beware, reader, of this example!

And it came to pass that about this time the historian lay down his pen. and, for the present drew to a close.
                                                       Q. X.

Note 1: (by Rich Troll) A tongue-in-cheek account of the marriage of Chandler Maltby, Jr. to Lydia C. Barker on Friday, March 29, 1833. It is written in a mock style of The Book Of Mormon, but , other than the "golden plates" plates mentioned in the title, it is unknown if there is any specific Mormon content. However, it should be noted that Maltby family history has Chandler distantly related to Joseph Smith, Jr. through Emma Hale.

Note 2: Chand = Chandler Maltby, Jr.; Lyd = Lydia C. Barker; Bob "The Meek" = Chandler Maltby, Sr. of Henrietta, N. Y., who was a farmer; Bark "The Doctor" = Most probably Isaiah G. Barker; Mine "The Priest" = Harley Miner? On the other hand, if "Mine" is a play on words, then he may be Q. X., the author himself; Good King Andrew = President Andrew Jackson.


Volume III.                         Rochester, May 11, 1833.                           Series 2. No. 10.


We are informed that this new-fangled zealot has closed his labors in this devoted village, and we are inclined to think that his mission which has cost our good people much time as well as money, if not a total, at least a partial failure. It will not be denied that the novelty of the scene not unfrequently drew a crowd to the 2d Church as the gift of unknown tongues often fills Mr. Irvin's meeting house at Regent's square in London, to overflowing. On the whole we are inclined to think the number of these patent made converts, of the masculine gender are extremely limited, & some of them begin to doubt exceedingly. Burchard, as he appears in the pulpit, is somewhat turned of 40 years, although his dress, raven locks, and close shorn chin, may give him the advantage of himself in point of years. It is hard to discover what his real tenets are, as his preaching, if preaching it can be called, savors more of "story telling" than any thing else, while his text, if he takes one, is seldom brought to view. We should think that he in[c]ulcates the doctrine of "free will" in the strongest terms, and makes dreadful breaches in the old established platforms. His enunciations is too rapid, and may be considered bad ; while his manner is dictatorial in the extreme. He will probably go down to fame with Anne Lee, Jemima Wilkinson, Joe Smith, Jun., &c. &c.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. XVII.                                 Rochester, May 14, 1833.                                No. 20.

Mormonism and the Small Pox.

There having been several cases of small-pox in the village of Jamestown, Chautauqua county, a committee of citizens was appointed to take measures to prevent its spreading. In their report the committee state that their efforts to prevent the spread of the disease have been hindered by a sect calling themselves Mormonites, who profess to believe that the disorder will not attack them, neither would they spread it, although they might come in contact with others not protected, even if the [smell] or matter covered them. Notwithstanding their belief, one of the Mormons had been seized with the disease, and it was feared that this sect would be the means of scattering the infection through the country.

Note 1: This news report was first published first in the Rochester Daily Advertiser, in the middle of May, 1833. It was subsequently reprinted in Vol. 1:10 (pg. 72) of the New York City monthly Family Magazine and in the New York Observer of June 1, 1833. New York papers of this period were meticulously publishing reports on outbreaks of the 1833-34 cholera epidemic, but they say practically nothing about there being any small pox epidemic in western new York. Probably the 1833 outbreak at Jamestown, whatever the disease may have been, was not full-blown small pox.

Note 2: According to Dr. Gilbert W. Hazeltine, at the time of this "small pox" infestation the "peculiar people" did not allow the ministrations of physicians, "depending instead upon the power and efficiency of prayer to cure all diseases..." The Mormons gathered at West Jamestown apparently made their distaste for doctors and public health workers manifestly known to the local authorities. Hazeltine says: "Then commenced the Jamestown Mormon war. They not only were determined that the physicians should not visit the patients, but they would allow no white flags or signs, warning citizens of the pestilence within the houses... The last of the Mormons left Jamestown in the spring of 1834..." (see his 1887 book The Early History of the Town of Ellicott, Chautauqua County, N. Y. pp. 343ff.) See also: John D. Downs (ed), History of Chautauqua County New York and its People Vol. I (NYC: American Historical Society, 1921, pp. 58-59).

Note 3: Amateur historian and writer Dale W Adams says that in 1832-34 "there was a substantial group of Mormons located in Westfield..." (in Chautauqua County, NY, about twenty miles northwest of Jamestown) and that it was in Jamestown itself "where a group of Mormons congregated in 1833 and 1834." (Adams, "Judge Not: The Saga of D. P. Hurlbut," p. 4). Adams also notes that "Hurlbut may have fled from smallpox," an outbreak of which he believes hit Jamestown about the beginning of 1833. However, Mormon converts appear to have continued to gather to Jamestown while the contagion was still in effect; those Saints presumably did not fear the disease because they felt they possessed latter day spiritual gifts in defense of its grave effects. It seems more likely that Hurlbut was purposefully sent to Kirtland by his LDS superiors at Jamestown. He had experience as a Protestant minister and perhaps leaders like Sidney Rigdon felt Hurlbut's talents might be put to better use in the Mormon center place than in the New York hinterland.


Vol. VI.                              Rochester, NY, May 21, 1833.                             No. 21.

      From the New Bedford Gazette.

Money Digging. -- A few days since, three young men on the south side of Martha's Vinyard, were engaged in laboring in a field which was once an orchard. -- two of them ploughing, and the other picking up stone at a distance. As the plough passed over a certain part of the land, the ploughshare started up two or three pieces of silver coin, which was hastily snatched up by the holder and put in his pocket. His companion, observing him stop and pick up something, and when the plough went over the spot again, seeing him repeat the movement, he desired to change situations with him. This was done and he too reaped his crop; when each finding that the other was master of the secret, they proposed a manoeavre to get rid of the third person, so that they could divide the spoil without his coming in for a share. They therefore declared it best to leave off work that forenoon, as it was nearly twelve o'clock -- which was readily acquiessed in. What they obstained no one can exactly state -- but it is believed not far from two or three thousand dollars, which had been originally buried in a bag (ascertained by pieces of the cloth adhering to some of the coin) were excavated. This was divided between the two; leaving the man in the field with them, (who was no less a personage than our good friend Jones, well known as the author of Haverhill) to attest the truth of the old adage --

"He who by the plough would thrive,
Must either hold himself or drive."

Note: This same article was reprinted by the Albion Orleans American on May 29, 1833.


Vol. VI.                              Rochester, NY, June 18, 1833.                             No. 25.


The Pioneer, (printed at Rock Spring, Ill.) under date of April 26th, contains a long account of that modern sect of fanatics, the Mormonites. Making due allowance for the Editor of the Pioneer, for it is evident that he is an alarmist, there is no doubt that Mormonism is rapidly spreading in certain districts. He states that there are now between 2 and 300 Mormon preachers in the field; that so far as they preach from our bible, their doctrine is sound; that they maintain with great force the truth of their new bible, (the book of Mormon,) they rail against missionaries, and preachers of the gospel who work for pay; and positively affirm that the present generation will not pass away, before all the human family who do not obey God will be destroyed, and Mount Zion in America, (on the western borders of Missouri,) and Jerusalem in Palestine, are gathering together. -- The government of the new ecclesiastical combination, is thoroughly despotic. It assumes to control property, personal service and the mind. Several thousands in Missouri, and Illinois, have already adopted the Mormon creed. In Jackson county, Missouri, there are one thousand. -- Cincinnati Chron.

Note 1: Dr. John M. Peck's Rock Spring Pioneer later became the Louisville Western Pioneer and Baptist Standard-Bearer. The issue of April 26, 1833 is not extant, but a series of articles Peck ran on the Mormons that same year may be partly preserved in reprints in the Cincinnati papers.

Note 2: Dr. This Cincinnati Chronicle was also picked up and reprinted by the editor of the Albion, N. Y. Orleans American on Aug. 7, 1833.


Volume III.                         Rochester, July 3, 1833.                           Series 2. No. 13.


Digging Money. -- A number of laborers, believers in Kidd's money, at work in a field, accidentally discovered upon the top of a large stone, an inscription in ancient characters, which, on decipheration, read as follows :

                  "Take me up, and I'll tell you more."

Eager for the money, and entertaining no doubt of their being close upon it, they immediately set about raising the stone. After digging and toiling several hours they finally succeeded, and with some difficulty read on the bottom:

                  "Lay me down as I was before."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Volume III.                         Rochester, July 25, 1833.                           Series 2. No. 14.


We learn from Kirkland [sic] (Ohio) that Jo Smith, the pseudo prophet and ostensible prime mover of the Gold Bible heresy, is now in that town, with many of his worthy compeers, and the community or society is said to be increasing.

We are further informed that Jo and his levites, notwithstanding their vagabond habits, are living on the "fat of the land," and in point of ease and comfort. (having made some converts who possess the ready) they are not far behind the Sandwich Island Missionaries. This site, it would seem, is finally selected, as the "promised land."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Volume III.                         Rochester, September 3, 1833.                           Series 2 No. 16.


Few people acquainted with Jo Smith or his family, could ever have supposed that such an idle, illiterate vagabond, would have made so much 'noise in the world,' or brought so much misery upon a set of men and women as ignorant as himself. This, however, may be considered a good lesson for many of our modern fanatics, although they may sail under different colors.

Every liberal minded man will eschew every thing like persecution. In the first place, a man's opinions, right or wrong, are his own; and besides all this, persecution and intolerance have in every age of the world done more to increase heresy than all the efforts of knaves and fools. There appears to be a sort of negative principle in human nature, when united with ignorance and religious phrenzy, which can abide no restraint.

Smith, with a number of his worthy compeers, is snugly located near Pain's Ville, in the state of Ohio, where he enjoys the fruits of his labors; while a motly mass of ragged scape goats, with Cowdry, Phelps, &c. at their head, to the number of 12 or 1500, had located themselves in Jackson County, some hundreds of miles above St. Louis, where they were managing 'their own affairs in their own way.' and might be said to be in the full tide of successful experiment, and to surpass even Burchard or Finney in the trade of making proselytes.

The manners and conduct of these zealots, gave umbrage to their fellow citizens; who held a public meeting, and denounced the followers of poor Jo as a pestilential sect, and threatened to exterminate the whole clan in case they should refuse to retire peaceably and leave their possessions. After some consultation, (not having faith enough to fight,) the Mormons have agreed to evacuate the country.

Few people are better acquainted with the rise and progress of Mormonism than ourselves; and were it not that our Divines tell us, that the Deity has chosen the weak and foolish things of this world to confound the wise and mighty, we should consider the whole fraternity no better than a tribe of wandering Arabs. yet they have their RIGHTS. They may be composed of a group of knaves and fools, and in all human probability the latter outnumber the former. but be that as it may, the people of Jackson County have set a lawless example of intolerance, and deserve the execrations of all friends to civil and religious liberty. If we live under a government of LAWS -- let them govern.

Note: As editor Abner Cole no doubt rightly says, "Few people are better acquainted with the rise and progress of Mormonism than ourselves." It is also a credit to his "liberal" views that he condemns the "lawless example of intolerance" on the part of the Missourians in their illegal expulsion of the Mormons from Jackson County. Cole says nothing about the statement gathering activities of D. P. Hurlbut in western New York. Either Hurlbut had not yet reached the Rochester area by this date (the most likely probability) or Cole was unaware of his efforts a few miles away in Palmyra. Cole would have been a prime witness for D. P. Hurlbut's evidence gathering on the Mormon Smith family, but perhaps Hurlbut never made it to Rochester to solicit statements from people there. See mentions of Hurlbut's activities in the Palmyra area, as published in the Dec. 6 and Dec. 20 issues of the Wayne Sentinel.


Volume III.                         Rochester, Nov. 1, 1833.                           Series 3. No. 1.

FRIEND OBADIAH -- It seems by the New York Observer, that our friend W. W. Phelps, late editor of the Ontario Phoenix, printed at Canandaigua of Anti-masonic memory, has lately become a public nuisance in Jackson County Missouri, in so much that the good people have deemed it necessary to embargo his types and press so that he may not issue any more Stars.

I would ask if there was not a little Mormonism in his boast of a majority of 2257 in favor of Anti-masonry in Ontario County? It would seem that the good people of Missouri know better how to estimate his talents and integrity. A more blasphemous and ridiculous production has seldom disgraced the art of printing than his "star in the west," unless it be indeed the Ontario Phoenix. That such a production should mislead the people of Ontario is truly astonishing. We read of a French Dentist persuading the people, that they had the toothache or would have it very soon, unless they availed themselves of his talents. After the career of W. W. Phelps in Ontario, we can hardly be surprised, should these wise people be persuaded that they had the toothache.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. VII.                                 Rochester, Nov. 14, 1833.                                No. 2105.


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 somewhere about Lake Umbagog. Nearly the whole of the Freewill Baptist Church, numbering thirty persons, with their pastor, have gone over to the Mormonites, and avowed their faith in the book of Mormon. -- The 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. -- Portland Advertiser.

Note: The Nov. 13, 1833. issue of the Elyria Ohio Atlas carried this same report. See G. T. Ridlon's 1895 history of Maine's Saco Valley for more on LDS missionizing in that state during the early 1830s.


Volume III.                         Rochester, Nov. 16, 1833.                           Series 3. No. 2.


The early Peruvians displayed a much more liberal spirit, in their art of conveying their ideas by pictures and rude imitations, than many other nations of old, whose cabalistic signs served only to confound and perplex the many, and exalt the power of the gifted few. The learned in all ages have pursued, as far as they are able, the plan of the ancient Egyptian priests, involving science in mystery and obscuring their written language with numerous emblematical characters understood by none but themselves. One, uninitiated,[sic] might as well attempt to read Chinese, with its alphabet of a thousand and one letters, as to penetrate into the meaning of some works on mathematics and chemistry. So fond in fact are people of this species of freemasonry, that even our every day records and bills of accounts must have characters thrust into them, resembling or conveying as little as possible, the ideas they are designed to represent. We like the notion of a country sub-sheriff, (who, no doubt, found it rather difficult to convey his meaning even in the ordinary characters of our language,) advertising for sale, among other articles, a + cut (cross cut) saw. This reminds us of the anecdote of a man, who presented his bill of charges for payment, all the hieroglyphical items of which were admitted, except one. "That" said he to the purchaser, "is a cheese, fourteen shillings."

"A cheese!" replied the other, "I never bought a cheese from you. There is some mistake."

"Well, what did you buy? It was something round."

The other reflected a moment, and then said he believed he had bought a grindstone.

"Ah! my hoky!" rejoined the man, slapping his thighs, "that's it; I made the round mark, (o) but forgot to put the hole in the middle."

Note: This article helps demonstrate how people in the early 19th century perceived Egyptian hieroglyphics as containing occult knowledge. The "caractors" of Joseph Smith, Jr. were supposed by his contemporaries to be a type of "Reformed Egyptian" hieroglyphics.


Volume III.                         Rochester, Nov. 27, 1833.                           Series 3. No. 3.


A correspondent informs us that Smith and Rigdon are again in trouble and that the authorities of Geauga Co. (Ohio) were about to proceed against them for swindling, and that they had fled to Canada, fugitives from justice, where they intend to commence the conversion of his Majesty's liege subjects. They will probably commence with the Wesleyan Methodists, as being from their tenets the most suitable to begin with.

But why should these impostors be the exclusive objects of persecution. when our houses are daily besieged by scores of begging mendicants, who not only rob us of our cash, but wheedle our wives and daughters out of their keepsakes and trinkets for the ostensible purpose of filling the "Lord's treasury." The Mormonites have their pretended Lord's treasury, and why in the name of common justice, have they not as good a right to gull the ignorant as other sectarians.

Chapter xxxvii.

1 Now in the days when the god Bacchus slept, there appeared unto him a vision; and there arose out of the earth a great smoke as it were the smoke of a great furnace.
2 And there arose out of the earth a tall Weed; and the smoke was unto him a sweet smelling savor, and he said, Let us sacrifice and offer incense; and he called it according to his own name, (Political Anti.)
3 Then the great men of Works and their chief counsellors round about New Jerusalem, cried aloud, Great is the Weed of the race of the Ishmaelites.
4 Then there rose up a man of the tribe of Andrew and of the race of our fathers; and said, The smoke was the smell of a pole cat, let us touch not the beast lest we be defiled.
5 Then the Ishmaelites being offended, resolved to be revenged on the whole nation of our fathers.
6 Now for the rest of the acts, you will find them recorded in John C.'s book of chronicles.

Chapter xxxviii.

1 Now in the days of Timothy, a Child, who was an Ishmaelite and surnamed Saul, there arose a great murmuring among the people, for the Ishmaelites would have Saul to rule over them.
2 Now Saul, of the race of the Ishmaelites, being high-minded after a long reign, saith, What need have we of gilded charriots? [sic] the people pay tribute to us, let us turn our charriots into gold, for the people do honor me.
3 And it came to pass that the people complained and said, We cannot have this Saul to reign over us, our burdens are too great, he causes us to pay tithes, and he seeketh to pervert the minds of the people, and to corrupt the undefiled of our daughters and to teach them unlawful games.
4 And the judges and counsellors of the people consulted together, and said, This Saul is not meet to reign over us, and if we consent, his blood will be upon us; but let us have little David who is of the race of our fathers and whom all the followers of Saul Haight, let us have him to rule over us.
5 And when the people heard this, they cried out and said, Amen, our counsellors have done wisely; David, whome [sic] they Haight, will deliver us and we will trust in him.
6 Now there was war between the people of David and the Ishmaelites; but the Ishmaelites were weakened because of their bad rulers, and the house of David, against which they bore much Haight, was strengthened thereby.
7 And it came to pass that on the fourth day of the tenth month, the people assembled together in great multitudes to see if the Ishmaelite or he whome they Haight should be their ruler.
8 Moreover there came amongst the people from the tribe of the Ishmaelites all their mighty men and men of valor and their officers of justice and counsellors, and said, Who is this little David whome we Haight, that dares to array himself against us? Is there any among us will dare to fight our battles?
9 And there came forth Haman of their race, a valiant man, surnamed William; a propounder of the laws and one that escheweth evil, and said that he had fought battles with Kings and never was conquered; he would fight their battles: Who is he that will not bow down and worship me when I enter the gates of the temple?
10 And he said, Get a gallows be built, and let him be hanged thereon, who refuses to obey my commands and the commands of my people. And the rulers answered, So be it.
11 Then Alexander the Great and William the expounder of laws, and all the chief counsellors, assembled at A House and consulted what should be done with so rebellious a people.
12 Then the people of our fathers assembled together in great multitudes, even to the covering of the face of the city, and said, Let us make war with the Ishmaelites and deliver ourselves from bondage, for we have been sorely oppressed; let us deliver the man they Haight from the jaws of the enemy.
13 And the people warred with the Ishmaelites, from the morning even to the going down of the sun; and on the sixth day of the tenth month, the battle was ended.
14 And the leaders of the Ishmaelites being weary, could not number the slain until the seventh day of the month; and the number amounted to three score and ten thousand; and great was the fall of the Ishmaelites.
15 But the people of our fathers, on the going down of the sun on the day the battle was ended, said, Let us sing a new song; so they rejoiced and cried aloud, because they were delivered from their enemies.

Chapter xxxix.

1 Now on the eighth day after the battle, the Ishmaelites made a great lamentation and cried out and said, Our cause has fallen, Our cause has fallen, and our people are slain; their blood is on our garments;
2 For we have done wickedly, we have been led astray by wicked and cunning men; we will return unto our fathers, and will no longer follow after them.
3 And there was a certain man, an officer in the Hall of the Ishmaelites, who had led them up to battle; when he heard of their fall, he rent his garments even to the turning of the same, and washed his hands, and said, I am clear of this thing.
4 And in those days there arose out of Ethiopia a prophet, proclaiming that he would not follow after the Ishmaelites, for he had foretold that they would be slain.
5 Now a certain man that dwelt east of this New Jerusalem. one who was fond of power and who commanded many men, sayeth to the Ishmaelites, Let me enter into your councils and let my great deeds be recorded amongst those of the nation.
6 But the people answered, Nay, not so; but we will give you power over the dead, but not of the living. And they made him an officer to judge of him that hungeth himself.
7 And it came to pass that he murmured against the Ishamaelites, and asked them, saying, Have I not toiled hard amongst you, and for your good have I not been into the Hall of Learning?
8 Have I not brought forth beardless youths to fight for you? was not those Halls of Learning built for our purpose? and do we not make the people pay us tribute? and now, behold, I am to be turned aside.
9 And the Ishmaelites said, Nay. but we have no power; our enemies have overpowered us.

Note: (by Rich Troll) The "Book of Chronicles" is lampoon of politics in Rochester written in the style of The Book of Mormon, but with no specific Mormon content. Chapter xxxvii is about Thurlow Weed, Anti-Masonry, and possibly temperance (due the god of wine, Bacchus, mentioned as being asleep). Chapters xxxviii and xxxix revolve around the 1833 election for New York state representative, won by Fletcher Mathews Haight who was not Anti-Masonic


Vol. VI.                              Rochester, NY, December 3, 1833.                             No. 49.


Mormon Civil War! -- Last evening's Journal of Commerce brings news from Jackson county, Missouri. The mob assembled on the 31st Oct. and committed further depredations upon the Mormons. The next night another attack was made. The Mormons were prepared to defend themselves, and some of the mob were killed or badly wounded. -- Several other attacks were made in the course of the two following days, at each of which members of the mob were killed, and two or three of the Mormons had fallen in defending their families and property from the assailants.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Volume III.                         Rochester, Dec. 9, 1833.                           Series 3. No. 4.

Trouble in Missouri -- The New York Commercial of Friday, contains a letter from Mr. Hyde, a Mormonite, giving an account of several conflicts, in which blood was shed, between a body of Mormons, living at the town of Independence, Missouri, and some of the inhabitants, by whom they were attacked. He states that on the 31st October last, some forty or fifty men came and demolished twelve dwelling houses of the Mormonites. The inmates were obliged to escape to the woods. On the 1st of November, they were attacked again. and broke open the doors and windows of all the dwellings in the town belonging to the Mormonites. -- The next day the Mormonites gathered their property together, to be better prepared for defence, and at night they were attacked and fired upon with guns and returned the fire, and shot one of the assailants. A day or two afterwards the people collected together to the number of three hundred. well armed, and made another assault. The Mormonites were prepared, and poured back a deadly fire upon them. Three of the assailants were killed, and a number mortally wounded. This writer then left the place; after he had descended the river, (Blue) and landing to receive freight, a man rode up and stated that there had been another battle, and about twenty of the assailants killed. The cannonading was distinctly heard from the boat. This is indeed extraordinary. These men are fanatics, it is true -- ;but harmless ones. This account is almost incredible, but seems to have been generally believed. Who could credit it that a people, only from a difference in creed and worship, would in this country be hunted down like wild beasts?
                                                  Utica Sentinel.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Family  Journal.

Vol. I.                                   Rochester, Saturday, December 14, 1833.                                  No. 20.


Mormonites. -- Orsan Hyde, in a letter to the editor of the St. Louis Republican, says that on Thursday night, October 31, some forty or fifty of the citizens of Jackson county, assembled about eight miles from Independence the seat of the Mormonites, and demolished twelve of the dwelling houses. On the night of the 1st of November, they entered the store of Gilbert & Whitney and scattered their goods through the streets -- demolished Mr. Gilbert's dwelling house, and broke the doors and the windows of all the dwellings belonging to the Mormonites in the town of Independence.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Family  Journal.

Vol. I.                                   Rochester, Saturday, December 21, 1833.                                  No. 21.


The Mormonites. -- The St. Louis Republican of the 22n ult. states that more pacific accounts have been received from the county of Jackson. The Mormonites have determined to oppose no further resistance to the dominant party, and are leaving the county and their homes, with the intention of forming another community elsewhere. The original statement as to the number of killed, is said to have been exaggerated. The most authentic accounts state the number of six; two of the citizens and four of the Mormonites; and that a considerable number were wounded.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. VIII.                                   Rochester, Dec. 22, 1833.                                  No. 2119.


The Mormon mystery developed. -- Doct. P. Hurlbert, of Kirtland, Ohio, who has been engaged for some time in different parts of this state, but chiefly in this neighborhood, on behalf of his fellow-townsmen, in the pursuit of facts and information concerning the origin and design of the Book of Mormon, which, to the surprise of all in this region who know the character of the leaders in the bungling imposition, seems to have gained multitudes of believers in various parts of the country, requests us to say, that he has succeeded in accomplishing the object of his mission, and that an authentic history of the whole affair will shortly be given to the public. The original manuscript of the Book was written some thirty years since, by a respectable clergyman, now deceased, whose name we are not permitted to give. It was designed to be published as a romance, but the author died soon after it was written; and hence the plan failed. The pretended religious character of the work has been superadded by some more modern hand -- believed to be the notorious Rigdon. These particulars have been derived by Dr. Hurlbert from the widow of the author of the original manuscript. -- Palmyra Sentinel.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VI.                              Rochester, NY, December 24, 1833.                             No. 52.


The Mormon mystery developed. -- Doct. P. Hurlbert, of Kirtland, Ohio, who has been engaged for some time in different parts of this state, but chiefly in this neighborhood, on behalf of his fellow townsmen, in the pursuit of facts and information concerning the origin and design of the Book of Mormon, which, to the surprise of all in this region who know the character of the leaders in the bungling imposition, seems already to have gained multitudes of believers in various parts of the country, requests us to say, that he has succeeded in accomplishing the object of his mission, and that an authentic history of the whole affair will shortly be given to the public. The original manuscript of the Book was written some thirty years since, by a respectable clergyman, now deceased, whose name we are not permitted to give. It was designed to be published as a romance, but the author died soon after it was written; and hence the plan failed. The pretended religious character of the work has been superadded by some more modern hand -- believed to be the notorious Rigdon. These particulars have been derived by Dr. Hurlbert from the widow of the author of the original manuscript. -- Palmyra Sentinel.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Family  Journal.

Vol. I.                                   Rochester, Saturday, December 28, 1833.                                  No. 22.


Grand Island, comprising about 18,000 acres in the Niagara River, and which was the proposed site of the renowned Jewish city whither the dispersed were summoned a few years since by Major Noah, has been recently purchased by some capitalists in Boston. Their intention is to clear it of its extensive forests of white oak ship timber for exportation, a project greatly facilitated by the easy access to it from the Erie Canal and the approach by water from Buffalo.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Volume III.                         Rochester, Dec. 30, 1833.                           Series 3. No. 6.

"Behold how these christians love one
another"     N. Y. Observer.

FRIEND OBADIAH, -- In the New York Observer of Dec. 7th. we have a comment on the above extract, in a letter from Orson Hyde, dated St. Louis, Nov. 9th, 1833, giving an account of a civil war between the Mormonites and their brother christians, in which it appears that some twenty or twenty five men have been killed in battle, and the sound of cannon heard at a distance, in proof the peaceable disposition and forbearing spirit of christianity -- comments are needless.   Yours, &c.

Notes: (forthcoming)

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