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Index  |  Telescope  |  Herald  |  Spectator  |  M. M. Noah's papers  |  Misc. NYC papers


Vol. I.                               New York City,  December 12, 1829.                               No. 7.

For the Working Man's Advocate.

NO.  V.
The aim of Antimasons and the Working Man are Similar.


                                                        5th of 12th mo., 1829.

I think that thou and the antifreemasons will perceive that the caption of this letter is true, and that the objects of mechanics and antifreemasons harminize.

Both these modern parties, which already shake the political heavens and earths of the Adamsites and Jacksoniyes, have perceived that their rights, privileges, properties, liberties, and even lives, are jeopardized, menaced and injured; and are in imminent danger of being destroyed. Both are opposed to aristocracy, priestcraft, monopoly, partiality, selfishness, and exclusive charity.

Antifreemasons were roused to action by the kidnappers and murderers of captain Wm. Morgan, supported by freemasonry and their lodges; some of which, even in this city, assisted the principal assassin (Chipperfield, alias Wood) to fly to Europe. The mechanics and laboring men have been roused to action by the report of the committee of fifty, and the light of enlightened philanthropists.

Antifreemasons perceived that our civil liberties were assaulted, and in danger of being wholly destroyed, by a powerful, secret, extensive, numerous, and organized politico-ecclesiastical institution, which nobody suspected, and which already swayed the commonwealth. The mechanics and laboring men, have also perceived that the political caucuses of an aristocracy, the St. Tammany men, were absorbing and destroying the equal and popular rights and privileges of the people; and that associations of sectarians were for twenty years or less increasing, and of late declaring by their actions, the propriety of mixing church and state affairs together; and some have declared the necessity of a Christian party in politics, which is a most anti-Christian expression and intention.

Antifreemasons have found that kingcraft, titled monarchy, and royality, the worshipful and most wortshipful sir knights, kings, princes and sovereigns, were in the encampments of freemasons. The mechanics and working men have convinced themselves, that the fifty degrees of freemasonry, formed by ambitious men, at the secret summit of the institution since our revolution, are not the only dangerous things in the United States. For chartered monopolies of various kinds, and especially banks, and other monied institutions of interest, trust, and speculation, were continually and annually enobling and aggrandizing the opulent, idle and luxurious, while they equally degraded and impoverished the laborious, poor, and needy, whose industry is the wealth of the nation. For all we have proceeds from industry.

Anitfreemasons saw priestcraft in the chapters, priests, deacons, and high priests of freemasonry. But the laboring men find, that more imminent danger is to be apprehended from the priests of orthodoxy, who are at the head of a numerous national [-----] and other institutions, momopolizing the printing of all the Bibles, raising vast and dangerous funds; and, who evidently aim to unite church and state by the marriage contract of Dr. Ely's "Christian party in politics;" and who will compel all to worship what they shall enjoin on us. And if they shall succeed, then they will legislate in matters of faith and worship, a thing which the greatest legislator of any age, (Wm. Penn,) declared "ought never to be done, nor suffered, nor submitted ro." Should the priests succeed in this, all our liberties will be infringed or destroyed, and slavery, ignorance, superstition, bigotry, and civil persecution will be revived, as in the dark ages of papal hierarchy, oppression, and bloodshed.

Antifreemasons have perceived and exposed selfish ambition, partiality, and injustice of a secret sect, combining civil and religious matters together. And the working classes of the commonwealth, found wealth was far from being common, that it was selfishly accumulated by the arts, institutions, laws, and powers of aristocracy, civil, religious, and infidel in its nature; and they have and will farther expose them.

Antifreemasons oppose the monopolization of offices and profit, power and influence, by the secret contrivances, impious oaths, awful obligations, and unjust partiality of the freemasons. And the working people oppose the monopolization of offices of profit, trust, and power, through the oaths of Tammany lodges and caucuses; and who knows how far freemasonry is inculpated in all the oppressions now so sinsibly endured by the honest and needy laborers.

Such being the state of things, why should not the Spartan band of antifreemasons, and the honest and industrious antiaristocrats coalesce into one combined ticket, which will be at once democratic, federal, and republican? For light and information, justice and equality, virtue and liberty, are objects which both parties have in view.

The wealth of all nations are the produce of mental and manual labor or industry. This is a proposition that cannot be controverted. Hence, it is evident, that if the constitution and system of civil laws of society were just and righteous, the industrious only would become the accumulators of wealth, power, and respectability. But the reverse of this being true, it must be evident the constitution, or system of civil society, is unrighteous and unjust; and the radical defects, inequality, and injsutice of our laws and customs, should be radically rectified.

I do, therefore, desire and recommend to thee and our antifreemasons, whose number of members to the legislature, report says, have doubled in this state, to interest themselves in promoting these laudable views of the laboring classes of the nation, who will, ere long, be enabled to reciprocate these services, and cause antifreemasonry to triumph over the national vampire of freemasonry, which has been growing and fattening on the blood it has sucked from a sleeping republic; but which is now awakening from her slumbers, which the fanning wings of the vampyre have tended to increase. With much respect and esteem,

Note: See also Dr. Blatchly's letter, regarding Oliver Cowdery, the Book of Mormon, etc., in the Feb. 20, 1830 issue of the New York Telescope.


Vol. I.                               New York City,  December 19, 1829.                               No. 8.

For the Working Man's Advocate.


It was a very sapient sentiment that Jesus, the carpenter, a working man and mechanic, whose kingdom was not of this world, made to some subtle and ensnaring politicians and bigots, who asked him whether it was lawful to give tribute unto Caesar. He said to them, "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's;" in other words, render unto the civil power the civil duties and things that belong unto it, and unto the divine power, the divine duties that belong to it; thus evincing the impropriety of uniting human and divine dominion together, and the necessity of their being perfectly separated. The unnatural, illegitimate, and monstrous junction of church and state, begets gigantic minsters of wickedness and iniquity.

The sabbath mail concern is again exciting the first day sabbatarians, from the Mexican gulf to the lakes on Canada, and from the Atlantic ocean to the western woods. Another winter's campaign is opened, and another great engagement will occur at teh capital of our country.

Lst winter the sabbatarians did not complain that their rights were infringed by the mail law; but now they do complain that their rights are invaded in a grievous respect; even that their rights of conscience are grievously assailed.

A petition in the Vermont Chronicle has the following expressions: "Your memorialists respectfully represent, that those laws of the United States, which require postmasters and others to engage in secular labor on the Christian sabbath, are a grievance which ought to be removed."

Here the first day of the week, (which by the presbytarian catechism, is falsely called the Christian sabbath,) is represented as being violated most greviously. Pagans called this first day of the week sun-day, (die solis,) and some who pretend to be Christians, call this day the Lord's day, though every day is alike the Lord's day. The Jewish, Mahometan, and other sabbaths, are external; but the Christian dispensation and sabbath is not external, but internal; and I defy all hirling priests and ministers to prove the contrary.

The first grievance stated, is -- "Persons employed about the mail are deprived of that weekly season of rest and moral instruction, which congress have always and justly thought it good for themselves, and all other officers of the government, to enjoy." Here they have properly kept Christianity and religion out of view, just as they should do.

The second grievance, however, introduces it as indispensible, and says -- "These laws, &c., cause the Christian sabbath to be utterly disregarded by many, who will not be safe members of the community without its moral influence." Here the moral influence of the Christian, not of the civil sabbath, is represented as indispensible to the safety of the community. Consequently, religious matters are indispensible to the safety of the civil government; and the church must govern state, or ruination is our fate.

A third grievance is -- that these laws "require the citizens, &c., to violate those laws concerning the sabbath which the states have found it necessary to enact, for the preservation of the public morals." As the writer of this petition appears to be sensible of the impropriety of the civil government intriguing in religious matters, why did he not rather declare that the state laws should say nothing about any religious sabbath? Let us hear all.

4. The next grievance is -- that these laws "prohibit the free exercise of religion, on penalty of exclusion from offices of profit and trust in an important department of government."

5. "They exclude a large portion of our most trustworthy citizens from offices, where the most perfect integrity is especially requisite."

6. "There is reason to fear that other encroachments will follow," &ct.

7. "These laws involve us in the guilt of requiring our fellow men to do what we believe to be a violation of the law of God."

"For these and other considerations we request (not that any law may be passed to enforce the observance of the sabbath, for this, we believe, transcends the constitutional power of the congress, &c.) but that so much of the post office laws, as requires any person to engage in secular labor on the Christian sabbath, may be repealed," &c.

Observe; it is confessed that any law passed to enforce the observance of teh sabbath, transcends the constitutional power of congress. Here they coincide with Johnson's report, which says -- "The spirit of the constitution regards the general government in no other light than that of a civil institution, wholly destitute of religious authority." Hence a law made by the United States, or any individual state, to enforce a religious observance of a Christian, Jewish, or other sabbath, would be unconstitutional, because not civil, but religious. For government is a civil, and not a religious institution.

Though this is granted by these petitioners, and though religious and mighty efforts were made last year to close the post offices and stop the mail, yet now other puissant and civil efforts are making still to accomplish their objects. The subject was religiously tested last winter; and it must be civily tested this winter. But how can it succeed when tried by the test of civil, literary, moral and political policy and expedidency? For, if teaching schools of literature on the sabbath is a virtue, how can it be reputed a vicious thing to receive and peruse letters, papers, pamphlets, &c., got only at certain hours, not interfering with the first day meetings? Works of necessity or mercy are to be done on the sabbath. For Jesus Christ gave the example.

But the petitioners (as observed in the second grievance) represent that the Christian sabbath and civil concerns must be combined so inseparably, that any one who disesteems what is called the Christian sabbath, (a phrase not in the Bible,) must inevitably be immoral, dangerous, and unworthy of trust, and wholly unsuitable to be in the post offices, in the mail business, or anywhere else! (See the third, fourth, and fifth grievances.)

What a grievous evil it is, that our religious, avarcious, and aspirant party in politics cannot elevate church on the back of the beast of state and stateliness, to bear all her crimes and do all her pleasure, as in the days of popish delusion and darkness, when crusades, persecutions, and massacres fertilized Europe and Syria.

The petition speaks of the sattatarians of the first day of the week, as the "most trustworthy citizens," and as persons who are prohibited from the free exercise of religion. This is stated to be an encroachment on religious liberty. Are not other men trustworthy, and as trustworthy as the first day sabbatarians? Are Jews untrustworthy of confidence? Are seventh day baptists less worthy than presbyterians? Are quakers, who esteem every day to be alike the Lord's, not trustworthy? If the first day is made the Christian sabbath, are not Jews and seventh day sabbatarians as much imposed upon as presbyterians would be, if congress made the seventh day the sabbath? How would presbyterians, &c., approve of the mails being closed on the seventh day of each week? Are not seventh day sabbatarians now equally prohibited from the free exercise of religion, by post offices, &c. doing their business on seventh days? Have they to dread other encroachments on their religious liberty &c. &c. Why do you not do that to them, which you petition should be done for you? Your actions, therefore, seem to involve you indeed in the guilt of requiring your fellow men to do, perhaps, what they have as good a right to believe to be a violation of the law of God. (See sixth grievance.)

Thus the tables are turned against themselves. Yet every one is good, who bears good fruit; and every one is evil, whose works are evil. Let all mind this.

What is the grand object of this new petition? It is to repeal all that obligates any secular attention to the mails, &c., on the civil sabbath? Why so? Because, of some sects it is their religious sabbath. Oh! shame! Shall some sects be thus allowed to oppose others whose sabbath is another day? Or shall our civil sabbath for civil beenfits be prohibited, or prevented from doing good on the sabbath day of the land? What phariseeism, bigotry, and folly, to repress necessary benefits and works of mercy!

Col. Johnson. -- This hon. gentleman is again elected to congress. Strenuous efforts have been made all over the country, to injure his character, and prevent his holding a seat again within the walls of the Capitol. This was undoubtedly done, because the orthodox are afraid of his influence, for they unquestionably intend to make a desperate effort to stop the Sunday mails, during the ensuing winter. His services, however, were duly appreciated by his constituents, and their approbation of his past course is now made manifest . -- Priestcraft Exposed.

Note 1: See also Dr. Blatchly's letter, regarding Oliver Cowdery, the Book of Mormon, etc., in the Feb. 20, 1830 issue of the New York Telescope.

Note 2: The Lockport, New York Priestcraft Exposed was printed by E. Alanson Cooley, later the business partner of Oliver Cowdery, in their publication of the Walworth Democrat in Wisconson.


Vol. II.                               New York City,  December 11, 1830.                               No. 17.

From the Painesville (Ohio) Gazette.

Delusion. -- About a couple of weeks since, three men, calling themselves Oliver Cowdry, David Whitmer and Martin Harris, appeared in our village, laden with a new revelation, which they claim to be [a] codicil to the New Testament. They preached in the evening in the Methodist Chapel, and from certain indications, conceiving they might do more good otherwheres, departed for Kirtland, where is a "common stock family," under the charge of Elder Rigdon, a Campbellite leader of some notoriety. These men claim to act under a "commission written by the finger of God;" they are very enthusiastic, tolerably resolute -- but from what we can learn, need that steadfast, determined resolution, and popular talent, which are necessary to ensure any considerable degree of success in a new project.

The account which they give is substantially as follows: -- At a recent period an angel appeared to a poor, ignorant man, residing in or near Palmyra, in Ontario county, in the state of New York, directed him to open the earth at a place designated, where he would find the new revelation engraved on plates of metal. In obedience to the celestial messenger, Smith repaired to the spot, and on opening the ground discovered an oblong stone box tightly closed with cement. He opened the sacred depository and found enclosed a bundle of plates resembling gold, carefully united at one edge with three silver wires, so that they opened like a book. The plates were about 7 inches long and six broad, and the whole pile was about 6 inches deep, each plate about the thickness of tin. They were engraved in a character unintelligible to the learned men of the United States, to many of whom it is said they have been presented. The angel afterwards appeared to the three individuals, and showed them the plates. To Smith was given to translate the characters which he was enabled to do by looking through two semi-transparent stones, but as he was ignorant of the art of writing, Cowdry and the others wrote as Smith interpreted. They say that part of the plates escaped from them in a supernatural manner, and are to be again revealed when the events of time shall require them.

The three individuals above named, have subscribed their names to an article in the book, in which they solemnly declare, that they saw the angel, and that he assured them that the book was a divine revelation. They say it was written by the prophets of God, during the period embracing the time for six hundred years before and several hundred years after the Christian era. It predicts, we understand, almost all events which have come to pass, such as the American Revolution, &c.

These men are believed by their followers to be prophets. And they say that the world is soon to come to and end -- within fifteen years at the longest.

By the world coming to an end, they only mean, that the incorrigible will be cut off by a variety of means, leaving only the true believers. They have now gone west, for a country they know not where, west of the Mississippi, where they say is a Holy Spot, and there they are to establish a New Jerusalem, into which will be gathered all the natives, who they say are descendants of Manasseh. They are led by the spirit, and will know the ground when they place their feet on it.

Immediately on their arrival here, Elder Rigdon embraced the new doctrine and was baptised for the third -- once as a regular Baptist -- once as a Campbellite, and now as a disciple of the new revelation. He says he has hitherto, ignorantly preached heresy. His flock, we understand, have principally followed their shepherd, and some for the third time, have gone down into the water. We are told that the number baptised into the new order, is rising of one hundred.

Note: The above piece is copied from a late November, 1830 issue of the Painesville Geauga Gazette, and reproduces the Ohio editor's confusion of Parley P. Pratt with "Martin Harris." See the Dec. 11, 1839 issue of the New York Telescope for an almost identical reprint. The only significant difference between the Advocate's text, and that found in some other papers, is in the second to the last line, where it reads "for the third time."


Vol. II.                               New York City,  January 8, 1831.                               No. 21.

From the Painesville (Ohio) Gazette.

Credulity. -- The Canandaigua Messenger states that on Thursday evening last, a preacher, who firmly believes in the divine origin of the book of Mormon or Golden Bible, appeared in that place and delivered a discourse in the Town House to an assembly of two or three hundred people. In the course of his remarks, he explicitly avowed his firm belief that the book of Mormon is a revelation from God; that he believed the golden plates on which it is said to have been inscribed in mysterious characters, had been discovered and deciphered by a very ignorant man, through the aid of divine assistance; and that he considered it as of equal authenticity with the Old and New Testament. -- Phil. Inq.

Note: The issue of the Philadelphia Inquirer from which the above report was copied has not yet been located, but it probably appeared about January 5th. The date of the Canandaigua Ontario Messenger has been determined to have been Dec. 29, 1830. This report places at least one of Sidney Rigdon's addresses on the Book of Mormon, in Canandaigua, on Dec. 23, 1830. Possibly Rigdon also gave an earlier lecture there, a day or two before the one reported in the newspaper.


Vol. II.                               New York City,  February 19, 1831.                               No. 27.


Fanaticism. -- We noticed, some time since, the progress of a new religious order in the western part of Ohio. It would seem that good materials are found in that district for such a work. The Painesville (Ohio) Gazette contains the following additional particulars:

The Golden Bible, or the Book of Mormon. -- The believers in the sacred authenticity of this miserable production, are known by the name of "Mormonites," and their book is commonly called "The Book of Mormon." It is asserted by them that their number in this vicinity is four hundred. In a conversation a few days since with a gentleman of Kirtland, well informed, and every way concerned to give us the truth, we are assured that their numbers in the [family] in that town were two hundred souls. We doubt not then that their whole number in this county and Cayahoga are at least four hundred.

They have recently received an additional revelation from the prolific prophet, Smith, which is generally understood to say that Kirtland is within the precincts of the holy land; but by others is said to mean only, that in that town will be a great gathering of mighty multitudes, preparatory to their westward general migration. They are, therefore, admonished to sell no more of their possessions, but rather purchase, lest there shall not be room for the faithful. The admonition, however, arrived too late, as they have but fifty acres left, and the land-holders refuse to sell to them.

They profess to receive sensible demonstrations of the Deity. -- A few days since, a young man gave information to some of his brethren that he was about to receive a message from heaven. They repaired to the spot designated, and there, as they solemnly assert, a letter descended from the skies and fell into the hands of the young man. The purport was to strengthen his faith and inform him that he would soon be called to the ministry. They declare their solemn belief that this letter was written in heaven by the finger of God. -- The style of writing was the round Italian, and the letters of gold. The favored youth immediately attempted to copy the communication, but as fast as he wrote, the letters of the original disappeared until it entirely vanished. It is alledged that some of them have received white stones promised in the 2d chapter of the Revelations. Such of them as have "the spirit" will declare that they see a white stone moving about the upper part of the room, and will jump and spring for it, until one more fortunate than the others catches it, but he alone can see it. Others however profess to hear it roll across the floor. These two stories, and others of a similar character, are told by them with solemn asseverations of their truth.

Among them is a man of color, a chief man, who is sometimes seized with strange vagaries and odd conceits. The other day he is said to have jumped twenty five feet down a wash bank into a tree top without injury. He sometimes fancies he can fly.

In Chardon, one man has torn away all the partitions of the lower part of a good two story house. Here a large number live together. The food consisting of meat and vegetables, it is said, are placed on the table in a large pan, which is the whole table furniture. From this every inmate takes a piece of meat and potatoe in his hand and devours them as he walks about the room. -- As to matters of apparel, and indeed other things, where any one wants what he has not, he takes it any where in the family where he can find it unoccupied. All things are common.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                               New York City,  February 26, 1831.                               No. 28.


Saturday Mails. -- The petitions to Congress on the subject of Sunday mails are beginning to have a very natural effect. In the house of representatives, on Monday, besides several of these petitions, one was laid before the house by Mr. Fondley, from certain Jews in Ohio, praying that the mails should not be permitted to be carried on SATURDAY, which they stated was their Sabbath. It was referred to the same committee as the memorials respecting the transportation of the Sunday mails. One would think that the mere fact of the latter application should be sufficient to satisfy the Sunday mail petitioners of the utter absurdity of their attempts. But no -- equal rights are out of the question with them -- the mails must be be stopped on their Sabbath, and if so, of course the Sabbath of the Jews, who happen not to be quite so sumerous, must be violated! or, the mails must be stopped both on Saturday and Sunday, and then, perhaps, the Mormonites in Ohio, will take it into their heads that some other day is the Sabbath, and so we should go till we could have no mails at all...

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                               New York City,  April 2, 1831.                               No. 33.


Progress of Mormonism. -- The editor of the Painesville (Ohio) Gazette says: -- Martin Harris, one of the original prophets, arrived in the village last Saturday, on his way to the "Holy Land." He says he has seen Jesus Christ, and that "he is the handsomest man he ever did see." He has also seen the Devil, whom he describes to be a very sleek haired fellow, with four feet, and a head like a Jackass.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                               New York City,  May 14, 1831.                               No. 39.


MORMONITES. -- Many of our readers, we suspect, are scarcely aware that a new religion has sprung up in the west, which numbers many hundreds among its professors, and, as far as we can learn from the papers, is on the increase. FRom the serious and earnest manner in which some of the papers speak of the new religionists, we are almost inclined to think that their editors are really alarmed for the safety of their own faith. Ridiculous as is the idea that the founders of this new religion discovered their Bible inscribed on sheets of gold, which vanished as soon as it was translated, it is not more ridiculous than the stories of the origin of some other books which are now reverenced as holy by large portions of this earth's inhabitants; nor more ridiculous than the idea of a Christian editor, in a Christian country, solemnly writing articles to prove the inauthenticity of the "Golden Bible."

The following is the latest notice we have seen of the Mormonites. One would imagine from its tone, that the editor was trembling in his shoes when he wrote it. It is from the Painesville (Ohio) Gazette:

"Last Thursday evening, for the first time, we heard a rigmarole called a Mormon sermon. It was delivered by a "teacher" of the name of Pratt, who has returned from the far west. His object was, of course, to establish the divine origin of the book, by showing that he had as good evidence for it as we have for our scriptures. To make out the comparison, he made a lean and jejune attempt to weaken the evidence of the revealed religion, and insisted that they all depended on human testimony, and of no better authority than that by which the Mormon bible is attempted to be established. In short, were it not that he professed to 'come in the name of the Lord,' we should have considered his discourse a miserable effort to promulgate infidelity."

By the "far west" mentioned above, we suppose the land of promise is intended, the new country whither the Mormons are journeying.

The Buffalo Patriot of the 30th inst, says -- "The ice still continues to blockade our harbor."

Note: Elder Parley P. Pratt evidently returned to the Kirtland area (the scene of his earlier preaching with Oliver Cowdery and the other "Missionaries to the Lamanites"), from Jackson Co., Missouri, about the end of April, 1831. The issue of the Geauga Gazette containing the above mention of Pratt must, then have been its number for May 3, 1831 -- which dates Pratt's Ohio sermon to Thursday, April 28, 1831. It is unlikely that the Gazette's next regular issue (the one for May 10th) could have reached New York City, have been read by the editor, and text marked for typesetting, as early as May 14th. Notice that the news from ice-bound Buffalo (much closer to New York City than distant Painesville) was two weeks old.


Vol. II.                               New York City,  June 4, 1831.                               No. 42.


PROGRESS OF MORMONISM. -- The following articles are from the Painesville (Ohio) Gazette. From these articles it appears that the new religionists are making no small progress, and that something is already thought of getting up a "miraculous conception." Now the poor Mormonites are most unmercifully dealt with in the papers, and the term fanatics is one of the mildest applied to them; but let them go on increasing in the ratio of their increase of late, and these terms will get into disuse with respect to them -- their new doctrine will be dignified by the name of religion, and we shall ere long, perhaps, find some of their most pious leaders proposing a "Mormonite party in politics." Does not Dr. Ely apprehend a dangerous rival in the person of Jo Smith?

Infatuation. -- Almost every week brings new reports of the fatal infatuation of the Mormonites. It will be recollected that when they made their appearance here, they declared themselves immortal. Death, however, has paid them no respect, other than by frequent visits. In defiance of repeated instances of mortality they still profess the power of healing, refuse to call medical assistance, and many fall the miserable victims of their faith. The latest reports are, that a few days, since the wife of a Mr. Mardock [sic - Murdock?], daughter of Judge Clapp, of Mentor, and a believer in Mormonism, died among them in child bed for want of professional assistance. The wife of the prophet Smith hardly escaped the same fate; she was in labor three days, during which time they tried their spells in vain, at last they called an accoucheur, and she was delivered of the dead bodies of two fine boys. The mother barely survived.

Fresh Arrival. -- Within the last week there have arrived from the State of N. Y., some by the lake and others by land, at least 200 Mormonites. They brought with them their household furniture entire, bag and baggage, and roots, and herbs and plants ready for the soil. They passed on to the "holy land," and we understand are scattered about in the common stock families. We are told that the wife of the prophet Harris refused to be a Mormonite, and he has left her among "the Gentiles." She it was who purloined several pages of the first revelation, and which by the direction of the Angel have never been supplied. Another fellow had left his wife and children, and openly declared they never should live with him until they embrace the new faith.

Every breeze wafts to us some new rumour from this prolific source of fantasies, some of which prove true and some false. Fame now whispers in sly and obscure hints, something about a miraculous conception, from which we conclude the Mormon public mind is being prepared for the nativity of some wonderful personage.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                               New York City,  June 11, 1831.                               No. 43.


LATEST FROM THE MORMONITES. -- We must soon cease to wonder at the progress of every false religion that has preceeded Mormonism, if the accounts we receive of the progress of the Mormonites are to be relied on. We would, however, caution the reader against placing implicit reliance on these accounts, as, it will be recollected, they are all one one side, and it may readily be supposed that they are not viewed with a very impartial eye by those on whose ranks they are so greatly encroaching. It is probable that the zeal of the new religionists is such that they "likes to be parsecuted," as Mawworm says, but nevertheless we who are distant from the scene of their operations must endeavor to keep cool and do them justice. The following, the lastest intelligence respecting these interesting pilgrims which has come to hand, is from the Western Courier of May 26, published at Ravenna, Portage County, Ohio:

"We understand that a new arrival of Mormonites has taken place -- some two hundred men, women and children having lately landed in Geauga county, their holy land, from New York. It is said, they are an active, intelligent and enterprising sect of people. -- They have commenced a new settlement, in the Township of Thompson, near the line of Ashtabula County, thus extending the holy land farther east than the limits originally fixed. They have full faith in the Mormon doctrine, having, as they say, worked a miracle in clearing a passage through the ice at Buffalo, by which they sailed several days sooner than other vessels.

"In June they are all to meet, and hold a kind of Jubilee in this new 'land of promise,' where they are to work diverse miracles -- among others that of raising the dead. It is said there are soon to be several miraculous births among them, and the number, it is expected, will materially increas after the general meeting.

"Strange as it may appear, it is an unquestionable fact, that this singular sect have, within three or four weeks, made many proselytes in this county. The number of believers in the faith, in three or four of our Northern Townships, is said to exceed one hundred -- among whom are many intelligent and respectable individuals. -- The prospect of obtaining still greater numbers in this county, is daily increasing."

THE MORMONITES. -- The Lockport (Niagara co.) Balance, of the 31st ult. after giving a history of what it terms the "Gold Bible Imposition," speaks as follows:

"It has no parallel in folly and stupidity, from the days of Johanna Southcote, to those of Jemima Wilkeson [sic]. In its character, or practical operations, it has no redeeming feature. It is with regret, however, that we are obliged to add, that it has not proved unsuccessful. There are now, probably, 1000 disciples of the Mormon creed!. 'Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon.' Their prophet Jo. has selected a spot in the State of Ohio, which he calls the promised land. It is in and about the town of Kirtland, Geauga county. Thither the deluded followers of the false prophet are repairing. It is but a few days since, that an entire boat load of them passed this village, principally from the counties of Ontario and Wayne. Such as have property, convert it to a common stock, and thus create an inducement which is not overlooked by the idle and vicious. Families, in some instances, have been divided; and in others, mothers have been obliged to follow their deluded husbands, or adopt the disagreeable alternative, of parting with them and their children."

The Balance states that the founder of Mormonism is Jo Smith, an ignornat and nearly unlettered man living near the village of Palmyra, Wayne co.; the second, an itinerant pamphlet pedlar, and occasionally a journeyman printer, named Oliver Cowdry; the third, Martin Harris, a respectable farmer of Palmyra. The latter, as will be seen by the following paragraph, has recently departed for the land of promise.

Mormon Emigration. -- Several families, numbering about fifty souls, took up their line of march from this town last week for the "promised land," among whom is Martin Harris, one of the original believers in the "Book of Mormon." Mr. Harris was among the early settlers of this town, and has ever borne the character of an honorable and upright man, and an obliging and benevolent neighbor. He had secured to himself by honest industry a respectable fortune -- and he has left a large circle of acquaintances and friends to pity his delusion. -- Palmyra Sentinel.

Note: The concluding pair of reports on the Mormons were first juxtaposed in the Working Man's Advocate, and from there reprinted in the June 21, 1831 issue of the Daily Albany Argus and numerous other papers. The first article was taken from the May 31, 1831 issue of the Lockport Balance. See also the July 16, 1831 issue for the Washington, D. C. National Intelligencer for another reprint of the same two articles.


Vol. II.                               New York City,  July 2, 1831.                               No. 46.


THE MORMONITES. -- The Painesville (Ohio) Gazette gives the following interesting particulars respecting the new religionists of the west, in addition to those we have already published:

They profess to receive sensible demonstrations of the presence of the Deity. A few days since, a young man gave information to some of his brethren that he was about to receive a message from heaven. They repaired to the spot designated, and there, as they solemnly assert, a letter descended from the skies and fell into the hands of the young man. The purport was to strengthen his faith and inform him that he would soon be called to the ministry. They declare their solemn belief that this letter was written by the finger of God. The style of writing was the round Italian, and the letters of gold. The favored youth immediately attempted to copy the communication, but as fast as he wrote, the letters of the original disappeared until it entirely vanished.

It is alledged that some of them have received white stones, promised in the second chapter of the Revelations. Such of them as have "the spirit" will declare that they see a white stone moving about the upper part of the room, and will jump and spring for it, until one more fortunate than the others [catches] it, but he alone can see it. -- Others, however, profess to hear it roll across the floor. These two stories, and others of a similar character, are told by them with solemn asservations of their truth.

Among them is a man of color, a chief man, who is sometimes seized with strange vagaries and odd conceits. The other day he is said to have jumped twenty-five feet down a wash bank into a tree top without injury. He sometimes fancies he can fly.

In Chardon, one man has torn away all the partitions of the lower part of a good two story dwelling house. Here a large number live together. The food, consisting of meat and vegetables, it is said, is placed on the table in a large pan, which is the whole table furniture. From this every inmate takes a piece of meat and potato in his hand, and devours them as he walks about the room. As to matters of apparel, and indeed other things, where any one wants what he has not, he takes it any where in the family where he can find it unoccupied. All things are common.

Mormonism on the Wing. -- After all the good followers of Jo Smith from York state had got fairly settled down in this vicinity, which Rigdon had declared to be their "eternal inheritance," Jo must needs invent another "command from God." At a meeting of the tribe on the 3d instant the fact was made known to them that 28 elders must be selected and ordained, to start immediately, for Missouri. Jo accordingly asked the Lord in the assembly whom he should select, and the Lord named them over to him, as he made them believe. The ceremony of endowing them with miraculous gifts, or supernatural power, was then performed, and they were commanded to take up a line of march; preaching their gospel, (Jo's bible) raising the dead, healing the sick, casting out devils, &c. This squad comprises Jo himself, Rigdon, Martin Harris, Gilbert, Morley, Murdock, Partridge, and all the other leading and influential men among them. The flock are to be left to shirk for themselves the best way they can. It is said they are about to commence an establishment some 500 miles up the Missouri, where they contemplate building the New Jerusalem, and they have expressed doubts whether few if any of them will ever return to this "land of promise;" but in due time a command will be sent for the remainder of their deluded and infatuated followers to move -- we opine however, that very few will obey the summons. The chosen few are to be off during the present week, going by pairs in different routes, all on foot, except Jo, Rigdon, and Harris, the contrivers and commanders of the expedition. -- Painesville (Ohio) Telegraph.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                               New York City,  July 9, 1831.                               No. 47.

(From the Painesville (Ohio) Gazette.)  

The Mormonites. -- This infatuated people are again in motion. -- In their own cant phrase, "they are going to inherit the promise of God to Abraham and his seed." Their destination is some indefinite spot on the Missouri river, they say about 1500 miles distant. -- About 80 of them have recently been ordained, and some have gone, others are about going, two and two, part by the western rivers, and part by land, to their distant retreat, far away from the cheering voice of civilized man. Those who have disposed of their property go now, and such as have property, are making market for it so eagerly as often to disregard pecuniary interests, and all are to follow with all convenient dispatch. They still persist in their power to work miracles. They say they have often seen them done -- the sick are healed -- the lame walk -- devils are cast out -- and these assertions are made by men heretofore considered rational, and men of truth.

Man is a strange animal -- and the lesson before us ought to teach us humility for ourselves and forbearance towards the opinions of others: for though we are still of opinion that the leaders of this faction are as gross impostors as was Jemima Wilkinson, yet we have no doubt the great body of their followers are sincere and honest.

According to the Warren (Pa.) Union of the 21st June, business had then, for ten days past, been almost entirely suspended in that village, on account of "anxiety on the subject of religion." The editor had not been able to publish his paper on the 14th, and the shops had frequently been all closed.

Has Mormonism extended itself into Pennsylvania, or have the Warrenites got up some new ISM? Surely it cannot be on account of the old stand-by, which is built upon a rock, that such wonderful "anxiety" is evinced.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                               New York City,  August 20, 1831.                               No. 1.


Conversion to Mormonism. -- The Oneida Register says that W. W. Phelps, late editor of the Ontario Phoenix, an anti-masonic paper, has embraced the Mormon faith, and has been ordained as an elder, and has been commissioned to preach.

Note 1: The Ithaca Journal of Aug. 24, 1831 reprinted the same report, and included a second sentence: "Phelps is much more consistent than many other anti-masonick editors: he has chosen a religion which corresponds admirably with his politicks.

Note 2: According to the Saints Without Halos 1831 chronology, the newly converted W. W. Phelps traveled to Kirtland and was there baptized a Mormon on June 16, 1831


Vol. III.                               New York City,  October 15, 1831.                               No. 9.

(From the Illinois Patriot, Sept. 16)


(view original article)


Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                               New York City,  December 3, 1831.                               No. 16.


Mormonism. -- An extract of a letter from a person converted to Mormonism, but who is said to have been formerly a respectable citizen of Boston, is published in one of the papers of that city. It is dated Canandaigua, Jan. 9th, 1831, and says --

"We live in this place, and have ever since the 8th of October. My mind and time have mostly been taken up in the labor of the new covenant, and I cannot say much which would be interesting either to you or to me, unless I write upon this interesting subject. You must suppose I have had a good opportunity of witnessing much of the proceedings of those who believe in the book of Mormon. The book causes great excitement in these parts, and many lie and foam out their shame, and some believe and become meek and lowly in this religion.

There are about one hundred souls who have humbled themselves and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and desired baptism at the hand of Joseph Smith, or some other elder, -- for you must know that there are, in this church, elders, priests, teachers and deacons, each ordained according to the gift and calling of God. Upon Him, many have been ordained, and some preach. Four of these only have gone to the Samanites [sic - Lamanites?] (or Indians) to preach the gospel unto them. They passed through Ohio, and preached, and three hundred have come forth. Many, on coming, brought all their possessions and gave to the church. One of the first was an old miser, who set the example by throwing in all his property -- eight hundred acres of land under good cultivation. Thus we see, that when the people become right this will follow, as in the Apostles' days.

There are about four hundred souls, and yet no one has aught he calls his own. This we have not preached; but it is the natural consequence of embracing the Apostolic doctrine which we have done; for He has visited his people, by the ministration of angels, and by raising up a new seer and revelator, that He may communicate unto us such things as are necessary for our preservation and instruction.

You recollect we were talking of the hill which contained all the sacred engravings; we thought it must be far South. But we were both mistaken; for since I saw you, I have seen the spot, and been all over the hill. The time is short, and this generation will not pass before there will be great and marvellous things take place to the confounding of all false, vain, and pernicious doctrines, and to the bringing to nought the wisdom of the world; for Israel shall be saved with an everlasting salvation, and the day is soon at hand when [missing text- "when the wicked shall be cut off and"] the meek shall inherit the earth, and the Lord God will return to the people a pure language; this is the first language, and it is still preserved on the plates of Jared, and will be the last language that will be."

Note 1: Inquiry into the back files of the Boston Courier has yet to uncover the original for the above reprinted article.There is no explicit indication as to whether the writer is male or female, but possibly a female -- for there is no mention of an ordination or churchly duties. The writer has lived at Canandaigua since "the 8th of October last," -- evidently since Oct. 8, 1830. Possibly the writer was baptized a Mormon in or near Canandaigua, in late 1830 or early 1831. The writer thus probably knew W. W. Phelps and other Mormon converts living in southern Ontario county, but for some unstated reason has not moved with the New York Saints to Ohio and Missouri.

Note 2: The writer speaks of a time when there was an implicit policy of having new converts donate their worldly possessions to the church -- although the writer points out this was not then an emphatic commandment.

Note 3: The writer says that the "first language" is to be restored -- apparently in the coming millennium. This language is evidently the "pure Adamic tongue" sometimes used by Brigham Young and other early Mormons, when they spoke in "tongues" -- a language in which "Zion" is "Zomas," etc. The "plates of Jared" may refer to the part of the Nephite record which remained untranslated when the Book of Mormon was published; or, perhaps the writer merely confuses the authorship of the "plates of Nephi" with the work of Jared (or the brother of Jared).


Vol. III.                               New York City,  February 11, 1832.                               No. 26.


Count Leon and Mr. Rapp. -- These high personages have in a short time come to sword points. It appears that the Count has drafted a new Constitution, in which he grants the privilege of marrying to all the members of the Society who sign it and abandon Mr. Rapp. In consequence of which, 100 young men immediately signed the Count's constitution, and were on Tuesday last marched through the streets of Economy, with an officer belonging to the Count at their head. How things will terminate, time will determine. In a few weeks we expect to be able to give a complete history of the revolution -- thus putting down one monarch to elevate another, we fear more oppressive. -- Beaver Republican.

Note 1: See the March 3rd issue of this paper for a follow-up article. George Rapp's Harmony Society members built their first communal town on Conoquenessing Creek, Butler County, Pennsylvania (20 miles north of Pittsburgh), between 1804 and 1815. In the latter year the community there was disestablished and the property offered for sale to local buyers in mid-June, 1814 (see sales ads placed by George Rapp in the Pittsburgh Mercury between June 15 and Aug. 10).

Note 2: Sidney Rigdon was 22 years of age and living 30 miles south of Harmony when Rapp's followers abandoned the community. Two years later, while studying for the Baptist ministry, Rigdon temporarily resided in North Sewickley, just 5 miles west of the old Harmony townsite. Rigdon almost certainly heard many stories about Rapp's Harmonists and he probably encountered a few former members of the society in person. In 1824, before Rigdon left the Pittsburgh area for good, some members of Rapp's communal group began moving back to the Harmony area, and in the following months established a second Pennsylvania colony (called Economy) near the abandoned site of Harmony. The Rev. Sidney Rigdon was almost certainly fascinated with Rapp's communal group (as he was with the communal Shakers, whom he visited with in Ohio) and he probably developed communal religious ideas of his own from what he learned of the "Harmonists" and "Economists."

Note 3: For more information on the probable effect of George Rapp's ideas upon Sidney Rigdon and the early Latter Day Saints, see Karl J. Arndt, "The Harmonists and the Mormons," in The American-German Review, X:5 (June 1944) pp. 6-9 and James H. Kennedy's Early Days of Mormonism, (NYC: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1888) p. 68, n. 1.


Vol. III.                               New York City,  March 3, 1832.                               No. 29.

(From the American Manufacturer.)


These peopel have on several occasions been the subject of remark abd censure from many intelligent persons, who had opportunities of witnessing the principles upon which they lived and acted as a society. It mayu seem strange to some, but it is nevertheless true, that under the outward semblance of liberty and equality, they have even suffered the most abject bondage and debasement that could be inflicted. And stranger still is it, that, surrounded by a happy people, enjoying the blessings of liberty to the full extent, that they could be duped into a surveilance [sic - subservience?] to two men, (we might say one,) assuming the power, and exercising the tyrannies of a petty and absolute monarch. Yet this is undeniably the fact. A glance at the progress of this society will probably enable the reader to understand its true character in a satisfactory degree. -- About twenty-seven years ago, the Rapps, and a number of poor honest Germans, came to this country, and purchased a tract of land in Butler county, twenty-five miles from Pittsburgh; on which by very hard labor, and under great privations, from poverty, they have erected a town, now known as Old Harmony. This, when in a prosperous and beautiful condition, the sold, and the whole body moved to Indiana, where they again purchased unimproved domains, and again thereon, by the same kind of industry and privations, did the socirty, under the superintendence of the Rapps, build up another beautiful town; which, in the course of ten years after their location, they sold to that celebrated philanthropist, Mr. Robert Owen. Again, and for the third time, were these poor people removed, when they were about to enjoy what their industry had created. This removal brought them within eighteen miles of our city [Pittsburgh], where they purchased a tract of land along the Ohio river, and by means of almost unparalleled labor, converted, in the space of about three years, what might appropriately be termed a swampy wilderness, into a beautiful and highly cultivated domain, and built thereon a third town, known as Economy, superior in elegance and value to either of the preceding. We will here remark, that their first property in Butler county was purchased in the name of the entire Society -- the second property, in Indiana, in Rapp's name, for the use of the society; and the third and last, near Pittsburgh, in the name of Rapp alone. This we give upon what we deem good authority. We leave these simple facts to the reader's own reeflection, without swelling on the gradual concentration of power in the head of this society. Such facts could not be obscured from any reader's perception.

Now let it be understood, that we commend the industry that has always distinguished the honest Germans, called Economites, but we wish to oppose most strenuously the prostitution of the fruits of their labor. They have toiled physically, almsot without intermission, for nearly thirty years, while their intellect has remained barren and waste. They all are citizens of a republic, and have had neither time nor means to know the simplest maxims of its government. To labor like slaves forms the great end of their existence. To eat of such food as will scarcely fit them for labor -- and at night, to sleep enough to partially recover them from the fatigues of the day, comprise the remaining part of their lives. These facts cannot be denied. Recollect we speak of the great bulk of the society; granting, of course, a few exceptions in the persons of some submanagers. The substance of a statement taken down on paper, from the mouth of a good simple Economite, who visited us during the past week, will afford an illustration of their manner of living.

"I have lived" said he, "with the Society all my life till four weeks since, and am now 27 years of age, and during that time I never was allowed a pound of coffee altogether, and no tea. Most of the time we had Indian mush and grease for breakfast, and Indian mush and milk for supper. We never were allowed any fresh meat, nor any of the common little luxuries of life. Our whole time was taken up in working and sleeping, and eating such victuals as the above. Even the enjoyment of social intercourse between the males and femals was forbidden, and it was made criminal in the sight of Mr. Rapp, to presume to love, or contract marriage between the sexes, in any case. Married men were, and are still, laid under an injunction to have no sexual intercourse with their lawful wives; and when such obligation is violated, as is frequently the case, they render themselves liable to certain kinds of punishment. I married," said he, "a few weeks since, against Mr. Rapp's approbation, and in consequence, I was expelled from the Society. I had been with them 27 years, and worked hard, and Mr. Rapp gave me and my wife, in the name of the Society, when I left them, one hundred dollars; not because they owed me any thing, for they did not acknowledge that, but merely as charity."

When asked if Rapp did not preach to the Society pretty regularly, he said 'Yes, and he spoke often about the Millennium which was to happen shortly. He used to tell them, [of the one] whom he called the King of Kings, and that the Economites were the chosen people of God. The Society had latterly begun to doubt the truth of much that he said. Some of the most intelligent and influential had openly opposed him. A good deal of disputing had lately taken place, and they would probably very soon be dissolved.

This, as we said before, is the substance of a part of his conversation, and in our opinion, developes the nature of that society better than a mere elegant description. We might here add, that he stated positively, that in some instances of an election, men whom he named, were appointed to go the evening previous to every house in the town, and to give to each individual entitled to a vote, a ticket rolled up, telling him at the time to go at a certain hour, and to put it into the election window. Many of the persons who thus received their tickets, could not read English, (in which the tickets were printed,) and most of them knew nothing about the mean in whose favor they voted, some did not even know their names.

Does such a description need comment? Need the writer say, after the above simple statement, that as republicans jealous of the dignity of our character, as well as the interests of our common country, we ought to set our faces against the impositions that are practised on the simplicity of these poor Germans? We blame not the untutored Economists; -- They do not see or know the degradation; but we direct our remarks against those among them who know better.

But, we are pleased to say, we hear that certain measures are in progress, that will bring to light incidents connected with the leaders of this society, the Messrs. Rapps, that will give a better understanding than heretofore, of their real character. A few spirited men among them have been aroused to a duty of justice, and are examining and censoring some singular acts of these strange spiritual and temporal guides, the Messrs. Rapps.

WE might here mention that Count de Leon, a talented philanthropist, who intended to locate himself in the west, visited Economy, and expressed his sentiments of the degradation of the society rather too freely to suit the interests of the Rapps, with whom, in consequence, an altercation took place. On last Sunday we are informed, about 150 persons met the younger Rapp in the church, and told him most emphatically of the treatment they had heretofore received, and what they were now determined to have, and concluded by a proper and severe threat towards the Rapps.

Counsel have been employed, during the past week, by both sides. This is bringing their affairs to a crisis, and we now look for justice.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                               New York City,  June 23, 1832.                               No. 45.


A "Mormonite" newspaper has been established at Independence, Missouri, by W. W. Phelps, called "The Evening and Morning Star." In a postscript the editor says -- "From this press may be expected, as soon as wisdom directs, many sacred records which have slept for ages."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                               New York City,  Sat., Aug. 18, 1832.                               No. 1.


Mormonism. -- On Thursday evening last, our citizens were invited to attend a meeting in the Town Hall, to hear one of the believers in the Book of Mormon relate the remarkable events which brought this new sect into existence. The Hall was filled at early candle light, with a highly respectable audience, as might have been anticipated from the novelty of the occasion. The speaker commenced in the usual manner of conducting religious meetings -- with prayer -- after which he proceeded to inform his audience, that a very important revelation had recently been made by an angel from Heaven, found inscribed on metalic plates -- and which related to the history of the lost tribe[s] of the house of Israel and that the time had now arrived for the gathering of the true believers to Mount Zion, the city of the saint's solemnity, which is located, agreeably to this revelation, in some part of the State of Missouri. -- Lynn (Mass.) Record.

An Impostor. -- A man made his appearance lately at Port Gibson, (Miss.) and attempted to preach, declaring himself to be the brother of Jesus Christ, and deputed directly from God to "preach the gospel of salvation to the kingdoms of this world." He announced the speedy approach of the Millennium, his own importance when that epoch should arrive, and denounced in violent terms the course pursued by the clergy generally. The consequence he assumed, the drollness of his manners, excited the visible faculties of his audience, and his reprimands proving unavilaing to silence them, he discontinued his discourse, "shook the dust from his sandals," and departed, leaving his malediction on the citizens for their want of faith in the doctrine he had attempted to inculcate.

Note: The above report evidently came from the Lynn Record of Friday, Aug. 17, 1832. The Thursday evening meeting therein described probably occurred on Aug. 16th. Mormon Elder Orson Hyde wrote in the journal he kept during his 1832 missionary tour with Samuel H Smith:   "June 25: Arrived at Boston on Friday the 22nd, June... four came forward [for baptism]...   June 26: baptized four persons...   June 29: two ladies confessed their faith in the work, and a Miss and Mrs Cobb...   July 2: talked with a man names [Henry] Cobb... I cried against his spirit and told him that 'it was of the Devil...' July 3: two came forward for baptism. July 16: baptized one in the evening... left the city after baptizing one more July 29: baptism at 2 o'clock July 30: baptized three young ladies... Aug 3: baptized his wife and another lady   Aug. 13: Visited a number of the Sisters... explained the Vision to them...   Aug. 14: Left Boston and came to Lynn...   Aug. 26: baptized two persons...   Aug. 29: H. Harriman, his wife and Mrs. Holmes were baptized...   Sep. 2: Four persons came forward for baptism...   Sep. 12: Exhorted. prayed, and baptized one...   Oct. 2: called upon Mr. Coolbrith, whose daughter I baptized in Boston..."


Vol. IV.                               New York City,  September 15, 1832.                               No. 5.

(From the Rochester Liberal Advocate.)


Under this head we would class all such as dabble in spiritual matters, whether gentle or simple -- learned or ignorant -- regulars or itinerants; whether they have failed in what is vulgarly termed a learned profession (the law, for instance,) for the want of stock, or whether they have deserted the veracious vocation of patching the soles of old shoes, for mending the souls of mortals equally ignorant with themselves, but possessing less cunning and intrigue.

FRom the earliest ages of the world impostors have abounded and the ignorant vulgar have always been made the dupes and slaves of the designing few... Nothing is more plain than that the clerical orders now, as formerly, are striving for power; the accumulation of money (the sinews of war) is the prime object, they hold out the "olive branch" as a symbol of peace to all zealous of different creeds; the amalgamate with any sect that can assist them in their unhallowed views; but let those who lend their obsequious aid to men who pursue their aim with reckless perseverance, learn, that no sooner shall the sceptre be held with a somewhat firmer grasp, when the church (orthodox) is once united with state; then they will suffer the same fate with other heretics.

The Mormonites. -- On Wednesday last, eight or ten wagons passed through this place conveying from ninety to one hundred of these deluded creatures, with their plunder, to the place they style the "promised land," which is in Jackson County, in this state. -- Missouri Courier.

Note 1: The Missouri Courier began publication at Palmyra, Marion Co., Missouri in the spring of 1832. It was later moved to Hannibal, Missouri.

Note 2: The "eight or ten wagons" full of Mormons, that passed through Palmyra (roughly opposite Quincy, Illinois) in August or September 1832, were parhaps a party of saints led by David Whitmer. He moved his family west, from Seneca Co., New York during the summer of 1832, arriving in "Zion" on or before Oct. 5, 1832.


Vol. IV.                               New York City,  November 17, 1832.                               No. 14.


Another Robert Mathais. -- The Hillsborough (Ohio) Gazette says:

A Mormon preacher at Marietta has published a pamphlet, in which he asserts that he is "the great comet which has come to burn up the world," -- that he is "a brother to the emperor of China," &c. He recommends something which he calls his "Elements of Astrology" to the people, and says they have been revised by 72 of the most learned men in the United States -- that he intends to have them stereotyped, the plates desposited in every city on earth in a pyramid, on which is to be kept burning an eternal fire with a priest and priestess in continual worship. He signs himself "Edward Postlewayt Page, Emperor of the world."

Such superlatively transendant foolishness propagated at this enlightened day, is sufficient to draw a blush over the cheeks of those who boast of our national character.

Note: Edward Postlewayt Page (c. 1782-1857) was an eccentric resident of Marietta, Ohio. He was known there as the "High Priest of Nature." There is no evidence that he ever joined the Latter Day Saints, however.


Vol. IV.                               New York City,  December 22, 1832.                               No. 19.

(From the Ohio Atlas)


(view original article)

THE MORMONITES. -- We have been some time without information from these "new lights," these followers of the most recent superstition. In another column of our paper today will be found a little food for curiosity on this subject.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                               New York City,  January 5, 1833.                               No. 21.


Ruins of an Ancient City. -- Lieutenant Col. Galindo, Governor of Peten, in Central America, has discovered the ruins of an ancient city, called Palenque, which extends for more than twenty miles along the summit of the ridge which separates the country of the wild Maya Indians (including the district of Peten) from the state of Chiapas. These, in the words of the discoverer, 'must anciently have embraced the city and its suburbs. The principal buildings are erected on the most prominent heights, and to several of them, if not all, stairs were constructed. From the hollow beneath the steps, as well as the vestiges which time has left, are wholly of stone and plaster.' The stones of which all the edifices are built, are about eighteen inches long, nine broad, and two thick, cemented by mortar, and gradually inclining when they form a roof, but always placed horizontally; the outside eaves are supported by large stones, which project about two feet. (These are precisely similar, from the description, to the stone-roofed chapels, three or four in number, at Caskel, Glendalough, St. Doologh's near Dublin, and we believe one other, still existing in Ireland.) Thew wood-work has all disappeared; the windows are many, subject to no particular arrangement, being merely small circular and square perforations. Human figures, in alto relievo, are frequent on small pillars; the filagree work, imitating boughs and feathers, is perceptible in places. Some of the sculptured ornaments look very much like Corinthian foliage of the ancient artictects. The ruins are buried in a thick forest, and the adjacent country, for leagues, contains remains of the ancient labors of the people -- bridges, reservoirs, monumental inscriptions, &c. The natives say these edifices were built by the devil.

Note 1: The above report, while interesting in its several details, is incorrect where it states that the ruins near Palenque were only discovered in the early 1830s. They were known to local religious leaders at a very early day, and were excavated and described as early as 1787 by Antonio Del Rio. The illustrated account of his expedition to Palenque was first published in English in 1822. Colonel Juan Galindo, the English-born Governor of Peten, Guatemala, and a member of the British Geographic Society, visited Palenque and sketched the nearby ruins in 1831. His findings were published in various European scholarly journals, but only reached the American popular press in 1833. The publicity resulting from Galindo's report stirred interest in America to the point that, in 1834 the New York City Family Magazine published an illustrated series of articles, which reprinted Del Rio's account, along with an explanatory article originally read before the New-York Lyceum of Natural History, on Sept. 23, 1833, by Samuel Ackerly.

Note 2: News of the prehistoric Mayan ruins at Palenque came to the United States far too late to have influenced the fictional writings of Solomon Spalding (who died in 1816). The 1822 English translation of Del Rio's expedition to the ruined city was, however, available to readers in England and America, many years before the Book of Mormon was first put through the press. While it is unlikely that average citizens in a place like Palmyra, New York would have ever seen the 1822 British booklet, references to its contents were generally made available to the American public, in popular sources like John Yates' 1824-26 two-volume edition of The History of New-York.


Vol. IV.                               New York City,  January 26, 1833.                               No. 24.


To the Editor of "Le Courrier des Etats Unis."

                                                            Vera Cruz, Nov. 1, 1832.
Sir, -- I think to give pleasure to the friends of science in communicating to them a letter which I have just received from Mons. J. F. Valdeck, who at this moment is exploring the ruins of Pelenque. M. Valdeck has been occupied for five or six years in searching, designing, and explaining the Mexican antiquities; and he possesses precious materials; but knowing that the work which he contemplates upon these interesting remains would be incomplete if it did not contain the facts which an honest exploration of Pelenque would furnish, he proposed to many persons of Mexico to form a society for the advancement of the knowledge of antiquities in the country; it is at the expense and under the auspices of this society that he set out last spring to repair to the south of Mexico, where is found the Palmyra of the Mexican forests. Eight days ago he wrote me: "I have been here eight days, and I have not yet waked from my astonishment; the ruins that I came to study cover a space of from twelve to fifteen leagues upon the declivity of a chain of mountains which are along the river Michol; there are buildings of all dimensions, which do not resemble those I have seen in Mexico; here rudely sketched, there beautifully finished, and every where grand and astomishing: I am persuaded that Pelenque was built by persons advanced in civilization, in an epoch approaching the heroic times of Greece; and that it is from here that Quetzal Coatl (the white and bearded man,) set out, who was the first law-giver to the Mexicans. I have perceived some inscriptions which appear to me not to be hieroglyphics, as those of the ancient fultaces. I am going to commence the work, and the abundant harvest of facts and designs which I hope to accumulate, will pay me for the fatigues and dangers which I have encountered."   P. D.

Note: Jean Frederic Maxmilien, "Comte de Waldeck," was employed by H. Berthoud of London to prepare the various lithographic plates included in Berthoud's 1822 English translation of Antonio Del Rio's account of his explorations at Palenque. Mr. Waldeck, having a desire to see Central American artwork with his own eyes, accepted a job as a mining engineer in Michoacan, Mexico, but soon moved from there to Mexico City, where he drew objects in the National Museum for publication by the government. In about 1827 Waldeck decided to move to Chiapas and spend the next several years documenting the art and architecture of the Palenque ruins. However, he did not permanently relocate there until 1832, after Colonel Juan Galindo visited Palenque and sketched its ruins. In April of 1831, Waldeck finally received the commendation of the Mexican Vice President in his proposal to document the Palenque ruins. After waiting a year for the funding, he arrived at Palenque in May 1832 and began his work. He took up residence atop the "Temple of the Cross" at the site and devoted his next two years to various excavations and to completing his studies at the ruins. Late in 1833 Waldeck returned to Europe and continued work on his heavily illustrated Voyage archaeologique et pittoresque dans la Yucatan, which he finally had published, in France in 1838. See also the article on Palenque published in the Jan. 5th issue of the Working Man's Advocate.


Vol. IV.                               New York City,  April 20, 1833.                               No. 36.


MORMONISM. -- The citizens of this place, for the past two weeks, have had an opportunity of hearing this new religion fully explained. Curiosity attracted many respectable congregations to hear them, and the majority were willing to give them a chance to prove their faith; but we have not heard that they brought conviction to the mind of a single individual. The only effect their preaching has had is, a tendency to confirm the sceptical, after hearing such glaring absurdities attempted to be proven by the Bible -- Missouri Repub.

Note: The above report evidently came from an early April issue of the St. Louis Missouri Republication and is probably the first editorial notice of Mormon preaching in that city.


Vol. IV.                               New York City,  May 4, 1833.                               No. 38.


MORMONISM. -- A letter, written by a Baptist Clergyman, from Independence, Missouri, to the Editor of the Cincinnati Journal, states that difficulties have already began in the Mormon community, at Mount Zion, in that quarter; one of the members having sued the Bishop, in a court of justice, for fifty dollars, which had been sent by plaintiff to said Bishop, from Ohio, to purchase an inheritance for himself and the saints in Zion in the latter days. The jury found for the plaintiff; it appearing that the Bishop had indeed appropriated the money to the purchase of an inheritance, yet he had procured the deed to be drawn in his own name, to his heirs, &c. The writer states that on this decision several other members were ready to make similar demands on the Bishop.

COUNT LEON, alias BERNARD MULLER. -- An account was recently translated from a German paper, for the Pittsburgh Manufacturer, stating that the individual styling himself Count Leon is no other than the celebrated German adventurer, Bernard Muller. It also gives a statement of Bernard's origin, and details a number of his adventures, proving him an impostor, fanatic and cheat....

Note: The above report regarding the Rev. Pixley's March 4, 1833 letter to the Cincinnati Journal, appears to be a paraphrase of a news item published in the Apr. 27, 1833 issue of the Zanesville Ohio Republican.


Vol. IV.                               New York City,  May 18, 1833.                               No. 40.

(From the New Bedford Gazette, May 7.)

MONEY DIGGING. -- We have often heard of various attempts to discover the places in which the notorious Kidd and his associates concealed their ill gotten treasure, but never yet learned that success attended in a solitary instance the research. The seekers of the precious ore in the regions of the Cherokees are sometimes so fortunate as to light upon the valuable mineral; but the poor searcher for the will-o'-the-whisp of the rover of the seas can wander around, digging "her a little and there a little," with no better luck than attends the seeker for the philosopher's stone or the principle of perpetual motion.

But if the excursions of those who seek are unattended with success, there are others who appear born with a silver spoon between their teeth... who, like the fabled Midas, turn every thing with which they come in contact to gold. No matter how egregious are the speculations in which they engage, they are sure to reap a plentiful harvest; and let it rain or shine, blow high or low, cold or warm, they are always the gainers by it....

A few days since, three young men, on the South side of the Island of Martha's Vineyard, were engaged in laboring in a filed which was once an orchard -- two of them ploughing, and the other picking up stones 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 were hastily snatched up by the holder, and put in his pocket. His companion observed him stoop 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 obtained 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: The same reprint, minus the editorial introduction, was also carried by the Albion Orleans American (the successor to B. Franklin Cowdery's Newport Patriot and Timothy C. Strong's Orleans Advocate) in its issue for May 29, 1833.


Vol. IV.                               New York City,  June 8, 1833.                               No. 43.


THE UNKNOWN TONGUES. -- A gentleman somewhat skilled in the "dead langauges," recently called on an illiterate Mormon linguist for the purpose of hearing some specimens of his ancinet tongues; but after listening to his senseless jargon in the dialect of the tribe of Joseph for sometime, the gentleman confessed the tongues to be not only unknown, but purely original. The orator then admitted that he was not afraid of being confounded, as he could not understand what he had been speaking himself. He had not the gift of interpretation. Neither had the gentleman. The mystery was delightful. -- Ohio Atlas.

JOHANNA SOUTHCOTT. -- Early on Monday morning a procession of Johannaites took place at Wakefield, in honor of the moving of the ark of the Lord, as they called it. The prophet Wroe, (of Ashton notoriety,) accompanied by about 50 men and eoman, the latter all dressed in white, preceeded by a dray, music and banners, making occasional pauses, and singing. When they reached Garden street, the place of their ministration, the ark was opened, and a good supply of apples, oranges, &c. came forth. About twelve o'clock the service of teh day commenced by dancing, which was kept up briskly by the aid of a plentiful supply of ale. -- Leeds Intelligencer.

Note: The article on Mormonite "unknown tongues" apparently was printed in the Elyria Ohio Atlas, about May 25, 1833.


Vol. V.                               New York City,  December 6, 1833.                               No. 17.

(From the St. Louis (Missouri) Republican, Nov 12.)


(see original article in the Missouri paper)


Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. V.                               New York City,  December 14, 1833.                               No. 18.


MORMONS. -- Companies of Mormons continue to pass through this State for "Mount Zion." One would suppose that the late events at Zion would cool the zeal of the new converts. But it is not so. It is given out that one of the prophets, some two years since, foretold the destruction of Zion, and the fulfilment of his prediction is regarded as conclusive evidence of the Divine Character of the new religion. One of the Mormons on being required to point out another prophecy and its fulfilment, stated that about one year ago a Mormon prophet visited Cincinnati, and foretold the destruction of that city; and he had lately seen a person direct from Cincinnati, who informed him that the cholera and small pox had carried off nearly all the inhabitants of that city!! --   Sangamo Journal.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. V.                               New York City,  March 15, 1834.                               No. 31.


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

Note 1: In Rev. McCoy's telling of the story, he only accompanied the angry Missourians in order to insure that their hostile intentions towards their Mormon neighbors would not be carried out to the extreme -- and so that he could help warn the saints of the seriousness of the situation in Jackson County. The Mormon leaders, on the other hand, suspected that McCoy was an instigator of the hostilities.

Note 2: The above item also appeared in the National Reform Association's daily paper, The Man, on Mar. 1, 1834.


Vol. V.                               New York City,  April 5, 1834.                               No. 34.


St. Louis, March 10. -- The Mormon Difficulties. -- A late number of the Enquirer a paper just started at Liberty, Mo. -- contains a Military order from Gov. Dunklin to the Captain of the "Liberty Blues," commanding him to hold himself and his men in "readiness to assist the civil authorities in apprehending and bringing to trial the personsoffending against the Laws, in November last, in Jackson County, in conflicts between the Mormons and a portion of the other citizens of that county." He is commanded to attend the Court in that county, during the trial of the causes, and execute such orders as may be given to him by the Judge or Circuit Attorney. Under these orders, and at the request of Judge Ryland, who stated that a number of Mormons wished to testify before the Grand Jury, Capt. Atchison marched his company into Independence, on the day appointed for holding Court, having a number of Mormons under his protection. After a stay of about three hours it was concluded by Judge Ryland, the Circuit Attorney, and Attorney General Wells, that "it was entirely unnecessary to investigate the subject on the part of the State, as the jury were equally concerned in the outrages committed." and it was therefore "not likely that any bills would be found." The Captain was therefore directed to return to Liberty and to discharge his men. "To see a civil Court," the Governor says, "surrounded by a military force, is well calculated to awaken the sensibilities of any community," and the Governor charges his subordinate officer to perform his duties in the mildest manner possible. It is certainly a new thing in this country, to see the Military called in to protect the civil authorities in the exercise of their just powers; and goes far to prove how far we have relaxed in virtue and a regard for the Laws which ought to govern us. Every patriot must hope that the occasion may seldom arise when it shall be necessary to surround a judicial tribunal with such guards. It is a pernicious example, but rendered, perhaps, necessary in the present case, by the extraordinary circumstances attending the conflict. -- Republican.

Note: The above item also appeared in the National Reform Association's daily paper, The Man, on Mar. 27, 1834.


THE  / \  MAN.
Vol. II.                               New York City,  June 5, 1834.                               No. 17.


RICHMOND, (Wayne Co. Indiana.) May 24. Mormonites. -- On Monday morning last, a caravan of about two hundred Mormonites, with a long train of wagons, passed through this place, on their way to the "far west." There were but few women among them, and the men were generally, if not all, supplied with fire arms. A stout, hardy set of looking fellows they were too, and many of them quite intelligent. From their equipment, it has been suspected that they intend joining and defending their brethren in Jackson county, Missouri. They professed to be in search of new lands, whereon to form a settlement, either in Illinois or farther west. We understand they were from the States of Vermont, New York, and Pennsylvania, and had assembled at some point on their route hither. Palladium.

Note: The above item probably also appeared in the June 7, 1834 issue of the National Reform Association's weekly paper, the Working Man's Advocate; however a copy of that number has not been located for transcription.


THE  / \  MAN.
Vol. II.                               New York City,  June 21, 1834.                               No. 17.

(From the St. Louis Republican of June 2.

Difficulties are again anticipated between the Mormons and the citizens of Jackson county. A letter from Independence, under date of 31st May, says -- "The people here are in fearful expectation of a return of the Mormons to their homes. They have heard that a reinforcement is coming from Ohio, and that as soon as the Santa Fe Company of Traders leave, the Mormons will re-cross the river from their temporary residence in Clay county -- in which event, much blood will be shed. It is not to be wondered at, that they have chosen this as the 'Promised Land,' for it is decidedly the richest in the State. A merchant of Independence has, we understand, given orders for a piece of artillery to be sent to him immediately, to be used in defence of his property. The Mormonites are now on their way from Ohio."

Note: The above item probably also appeared in the June 28, 1834 issue of the National Reform Association's weekly paper, the Working Man's Advocate; however a copy of that number has not been located for transcription.


THE  / \  MAN.
Vol. II.                               New York City,  July 11, 1834.                               No. 47.


THE MORMON WAR. -- We learn by the following article and others in other papers corroborating it, that violence and bloodshed may be expected in Missouri between those fanatics the Mormonites and those, almost equally fanatic, who seek to put down their superstitions and delusions by force of arms:

Liberty, (Mo.) June 11. -- The Mormons. -- Our friends at a distance may feel desirous to hear something respecting the "Mormons, so called," and knowing that the larger portion of them are in this county, may look to us to give them the wanted information.

We have heretofore been almost silent on this subject, hoping that the difficulties which occurred in Jackson county, between the citizens and the Mormons, would be soon settled in an amicable way, at least without the shedding of blood; and, in fact, we have felt very little interest in the matter, further than it affected the general good of the country. But as this thing has arrived at a crisis which is really appealing to the feelings of good men, we feel it a duty to inform our readers of the movements of this people, at the same time we do not wish to be understood as trying to exasperate the minds of the people against this deluded & unfortunate sect.

For the last six or eight weeks, the Mormons have been actively engaged in making preparations to return to Jackson county, "the land of promise," by providing themselves with implements of war, such as guns, pistols, swords, &c. &c. They expect a reinforcement from the State of Ohio, and we are informed that small parties are arriving almost every day. So soon as they all arrive, they intend to call upon the Governor to reinstate them upon their lands in Jackson, and then, if molested, they are determined to protect themselves, sword in hand. We are told they will be able to muster 700 strong.

A gentleman from Jackson informs us that the citizens of that county are no less engaged in making preparation for their reception. On Monday last they held a meeting, for the purpose of electing officers, and Samuel C. Owens, a gentleman known to many citizens of the state, was unanimously elected commander-in-chief of all their forces. Our informant states that they have received a letter from the Governor, advising them to effect a compromise, if possible by purchasing the land of the Mormons, and paying them for injuries which they have sustained. For this purpose ten persons were appointed, invested with full power to settle the whole matter, and will meet the Mormons in this place, on Monday next, for that purpose. Should the Mormons refuse to accede to an honorable and fair adjustment of these difficulties, the Governor will not restore any to that county, but such as hold lands. The following gentlemen compose the above named Committee: Thomas Stayton, sen., Samuel Erwin, Smallwood V. Noland, Smallwood Noland, Robert Rickman, James Campbell, Richard Fristoe, Thomas Jeffries, and John Davis.

We have our fears as to the final issue of this matter, but hope for the best.

JACKSONVILLE, (Ill.) June 7. -- A large company of emigrants, consisting of about two hundred and fifty men and four women, encamped near the Mauvaiseterre -- about one mile from this town -- on Saturday evening last. A number of our citizens visited their encampment on the Sabbath. They had preaching and other religious services, conducted by men of theor own party. Many conjectures were afloat in regard to the object and future plans of these individuals. From all that could be gathered, it was ascertained that the bulk of them came from the western part of New-York, and that they were on their way to the "Far West." Curiosity was the more excited on account of the backwardness displayed by every individual in the company, in communicating their inention in coming to this country, &c.

Note 1: The first portion of the above set of articles originated in the Liberty Missouri Enquirer of June 18, 1834. Most eastern papers received this news via a reprint in the St. Louis Missouri Republican of June 30, 1834. The second article was excerpted from a lengthier report that appeared in the Jacksonville Illinois Patriot of June 7, 1834.

Note 2: The above item probably also appeared in the July 12, 1834 issue of the National Reform Association's weekly paper, the Working Man's Advocate; however a copy of that number has not been located for transcription.


THE  / \  MAN.
Vol. II.                               New York City,  July 26, 1834.                               No. 60.


The Maysville (Ky.) Eagle contains the following information concerning the Mormonites, which, it will be understood, is from one of their oponents, as have been all the late accounts respecting these modern superstitionists; yet, even from these accounts, it appears evident that the Mormonites have been unjustly expelled from their lands, in consequence of an apprehension (real or affected) that they (the Mormons) contemplated some encroachment upon the rights of their Christian brethren. We presume that if the story of the Mormons were heard, it would appear that so far they are the injured party. The rapid increase of these fanatics is astonishing; though, unfortunately, not without precedent in the history of the world.

The following extracts of letters from a young gentleman of Missouri to his father, in Mason county, have been politely furnished us for publication. They contain the latest and most authentic intelligence from the seat of the Mormon operations:

LEXINGTON, Mo., June 20, 1834.       

In a former letter I wrote at some length about the Mormons, and promised to write again on the subject. They have just received a large reinforcement from the East, which makes their numbers amount to 800 or 1000 men -- all well armed, with guns, tomahawks, knives, and from two to four barces of pistols each. They went through the county on the North of the river, yesterday. We understand that the people of that county intended to stop them, and for the purposes of assisting them, we raised about forty men, but could not overtake them, (the Mormons,) as they raised a dog trot, and kept it up most of the day.

Next Monday is supposed to be the day they intend crossing the river, to take Jackson county. The whole county is in an uproar. Volunteers are preparing to go to the scene of action. Should they cross the river, there will be a battle, and probably much blood shed. Among others, I shall start on Saturday next, at eight o'clock.

Lexington, June 28.       

From my last letter, you may possibly be expecting to hear of a severe battle between the Mormons and Jacksonians -- but you will not. We went up yo Jackson county, armed with guns, knives, &c., in full expectation of meeting an enemy determined [for] victory or death. Nothing less could have been anticipated, for Smith, their prophet, had promised to raise all of them that should be slain in fighting the Lord's battles.

You may recollect that, some months ago, the people of Jackson drove all the Mormons out of the county, on account, as they alleged, of improper conduct, such as stirring up a seditious feeling in the slaves and Indians, steeling hogs, cattle, &c., and, worst of all, threatening to take possession of the whole of this upper country, either (according to Smith's revelation) by purchase or by blood. Some of them had even predicted that Independence, the county seat of Jackson, would flow with blood -- the men should be slain, and the women become their slaves. In Jackson, they took refuge in the adjoining counties, principally in Clay county, where they remained in peace and inaction. Some time in May, there was a great bustle among them -- selling off their little patches of corn for guns, buying gun-locks, power and lead, manufacturing pistols and swords, and collecting themselves into a body in Clay county, from which place they threatened to cross over and attack their old neighbors, to recover the New Jerusalem from the infidels.

About the same time, letters were written from the State of Ohio, informing the people of Jackson of the party that were starting from that place to join the brethren in Missouri. At first we thought it was all a hoax, not believing it possible that so many knaves and fools could be mustered in that State, nor could we believe it, until they had actually arrived. The arrival of such a body of armed troops, whose object was to butcher a portion of our citizens, aroused the whole county against them.

The Jackson people offered them twice the valuation of all their possessions, which was refused. They had collected in Clay county, and built a number of boats, to cross their forces over. Last Monday was, no doubt, the time they intended to cross, and would most probably have done so, had it not been for the numbers who went from this county to oppose them. Jackson county could raise about 900 men, and 400 went from Lafayette; about 300 more would have marched in a day or two, if they had been required. I know we had neither law nor gospel on our side, but self-preservation urged us to pursue that course, for we knew that our county would be the next to suffer from their presence. If they had crossed the river, I very much question if one would have been left to tell the tale. No quarter would have been given. We could have killed most of them before they got across the river.

Smith now tells them, (the Mormons,) that it does not matter about building the temple yet -- that they may wait 80 or 100 years longer. Meanwhile, they will locate somewhere else. I am told there are a goodly number about to leave the country.

Note 2: The above item probably also appeared in a late July, 1834 issue of the National Reform Association's weekly paper, the Working Man's Advocate; however no copy has yet been located for transcription.


Vol. VI.                               New York City,  August 23, 1834.                               No. 2.


A GANG OF COUNTERFEITERS. -- A number of persons implicated in the emission of spurious money, have lately been arrested in Gallatin, Missouri. The editor of the Intelligencer of that place, furnishes a confession of two of the gang, by which it appears that many others are implicated. Some of these, says the editor, are men of property, stamding sufficiently high in popular estimation to be elected to high and responsible offices. The only punishment inflicted upon the parties, was an order to quit the country. This was right. These men had been counterfeiting spurious money, the rags of the Banks, and there was no reason why the counterfeiters of spurious money should be subjected to a severe punishment while the manufacturers of it are suffered to go at large.

Note 1: The Advocate's tongue-in-cheek remarks regarding banknotes merely reflect the extreme hard currency tenets of its managers and many of its readers. Had the Missourians been caught coining bogus silver or gold money, they would have certainly drawn upon themselves the righteous wrath of these Jacksonian "honest mechanics and farmers" in distant New York.

Note 2: In 1834 Gallatin was yet a hamlet in northern Ray Co., Missouri. Daviess and Caldwell counties were created in December, 1836 from northern Ray, with Gallatin and Far West as their respective county seats.


Vol. VI.                               New York City,  October 4, 1834.                               No. 8.


The examination of this pretended prophet took place yesterday, and concluded in a short time. He strenuously denied the truth of Mr. Folger's allegations, that the money he obtained from that gentleman was got under false pretences, or that he was ever actuated in his conduct towards him by unjustifiable motives. He stated that he was born in the town of Cambridge, Washington Co., in this State, that he is 42 years old, and that his real name is Matthias. On being asked where his residence was, and what was his occupation, he replied:

I am a traveller, and my legal residence is Zion Hill, Westchester county; I am a Jewish teacher and priest of the Most High, saying and doing all that I do under oath, by virtue of my having subscribed to all the covenants that God hath made with man from the beginning up to this time. I am chief and high priest of the Jews of the order of Melchesedeck, being the last chosen of the twelve Apostles, and the first in the resurrection...

INCREASE OF MORMONITES. -- One Gladden Bishop, a Mormonite preacher, in an account of that sect, says it commenced at Manchester, Ontario Co., in 1830, with only 6 members; and now numbers 20,000 and 800 preachers, with 2 printing offices, 2 stores, and a large stone edifice for a house of public worship.

Note 1: This same paper includes a lengthy account entitled, "A Chapter in the History of Robert Matthews, Otherwise called Matthias the Prophet, Otherwise Matthias the Impostor." Following a brief imprisonment in New York, Matthias was released and subsequently traveled about the country during 1835. He stopped at Kirtland, Ohio to visit with Joseph Smith, Jr. on Nov. 9th of that year. Word of this strange meeting of self-proclaimed prophets got back to New York City, where the New York Herald reported: "Matthias has not joined the Mormons. If they have pretty women among them no doubt he will."

Note 2: Francis Gladden Bishop (1809-1878) joined the Mormons in 1832 at Olean, New York and in 1833 served briefly as the President of the LDS branch at Westfield, New York. Elder Bishop was disfellowshiped in 1835 for "teaching false doctrine," but repented and was reinstated in his office. Durng the Nauvoo period Bishop again went into apostasy and formed his own non-polygamous splinter group. The Gladdenites organized themselves in Iowa, relocated to what is now Platte County, Nebraska, and eventually tried to gain a foothold in Utah in 1852-54, but they were easily ejected by Brigham Young's loyalists. Elder Bishop's "account of the fanatic sect" was also given notice in the Nov. 8, 1834 issue of the Monroe Michigan Sentinel, The New York City Times, and other papers of the period.


Vol. VII.                               New York City,  September 26, 1835.                               No. 7.


THE TOMATO. -- Dr. Bennett, the Professor of Midwifery, and the Diseases of Women and Children, Hygeine and Acclimatement, in the Medical College of Lake Erie, which is the Medical Department of the Willoughby University of Lake Erie, at Chagrin, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, in his public introductory lecture recently devlivered in that flourishing institution, made the following statement relative to the Satanum Lycopersicum, or as it is commonly called, Tomato, Love Apple, Jerusalem Apple, &c.... [a catalog of touted medicinal benefits follows]

Now if these positions be true, it is of the utmost importance that the public should be made acquainted with the facts, and it is with this view that I now make this communication for the press. -- Alb. Eve. Jour.

Note 1: The modern reader can only guess that Dr. John C. Bennett's seeming identification of the common tomato -- Solanum lycopersicum -- with Satanum Lycopersicum was perhaps merely a typesetter's error. In Bennett's day the "pomme d'amour" or "liebesapfel" was still rumored to be a powerful aphrodisiac. The garden tomato was such a rarity in some parts of the country, that writers of that period sometimes confused it with the mandrake plant (popularly called "Satan's apple" and believed to aid conception and fertility in nonorgasmic females). Perhaps Dr. Bennett (the gynocological pretender and abortionist), found "satanic" use for such "aphrodisiacs," in his professional practice, as conducted in Ohio and later at Nauvoo, Illinois.

Note 2: For more on Bennett's pro-tomato campaign, see the Ohio Painesville Telegraph of Nov. 21 and Dec. 5, 1834, the Albany Evening Journal of Aug. 14, 1835, and the Nauvoo Times and Seasons of Jan. 1, 1841.


Vol. VII.                               New York City,  October 31, 1835.                               No. 11.


MORMONS. -- A correspondent of the "Miami of the Lake" gives a short description of the Temple of Mormon, or, as it is called, the "Temple of the Lord," in Kirtland, (eleven miles south east of Painesville,) Geauga county. It is a stone ediface, 58 feet 8 inches by 78 feet 8 inches, two full stories high, with dormer windows in the roof, which give it a singular appearance. For the size and peculiar construction of the "Temple," and the addition of the extra eight inches each way, the leaders of this infatuated people give no other reason, but, as they tell their followers, that the Lord gave his direction. The house is rather an expensive one, the writer adds, built by the labor of the poor people, who, in their delusion, follow Joe Smith and Rigdon.

Note: For a similar, later article from the Perrysburg Miami of the Lake, see its reprint in the Daily National Intelligencer of  July 4, 1837.


NS Vol. I.                               New York City,  April 27, 1844.                               No. 5.


MORE MORMONS. -- The steamboat Maid of Iowa brought up from New Orleans, on Wednesday evening, 216 English emigrants, all Mormons, bound for Nauvoo. She had been a long time on the passage, during which time three children were born.

Notes: (forthcoming)


NS Vol. I.                               New York City,  May 4, 1844.                               No. 6.


MORMONS. -- From 15 to 25,000 Mormons were present at their great anniversary at the temple at Nauvoo, on the 6th instant. Sidney Rigdon was the orator of the day.

Eight families, comprising about forty Mormons, arrived in Albany, by the Eastern train, on Friday. They are bound for Nauvoo.

Notes: (forthcoming)


NS Vol. I.                               New York City,  May 18, 1844.                               No. 8.


"GENERAL SMITH'S VIEWS OF THE POWER AND POLICY OF THE UNITED STATES." -- A pamphlet of this title has been handed to us, which we have read with much pleasure. The Mormon Prophet has there put forth many excellent ideas worthy of the perusal of a free people. It is a plain philosophical discourse, entirely free from cant, and full of the very best advice. General Smith appears to be neither a whig nor a democrat; but he is evidently in favour of the largest liberty, discountenances that mob spirit which is so prevalent in our country, and recommends unity, charity, and universal toleration. The address is well written, and the quotations from American Statesmen are excellent and appropriate, and made without reference to party. He advises legislators to "study the convenience of the People more than the comfort of the Cabinet." He praises Jefferson and Jackson, but seems disposed to sneer at Van Buren and Tyler, whom he calls a "pseudo Democratic Whig President." He recommends the re-annexation of Texas, under certain circumstances. He says -- "When a neighboring realm petitioned to join the Union of the sons of liberty, my voice would be, come, yea, come Texas; come Mexico; come Canada, and come all the world -- let us be brethren; let us be one great family, and let there be universal peace." Surely, none can complain of a want of liberality in these sentiments!

His opinions n the subject of Abolition are worthy of attention. He goes for a liv=beral and generous policy, and advises Government to use its surplus revenue for the purchase of the freedom of the slaves. He thinks the slaveholders would agree to this, and that no other measure of emancipation is just. -- Boston Investigator.

(Gen. Smith's plan of taking surplus revenue to purchase the freedom of the salves would never do. Before the Working Men of the North can pay taxes to free the Southern slaves, they must emancipate themselves from the dominion of land-Lords. Of the two classes of slaves, the black, who is robbed of his body but has the land, and the white, who is robbed of his land but has his body, the black has rather the best of the bargain at present, because he is sure of some support in sickness and old age, which the white is not.)

Notes: (forthcoming)


NS Vol. I.                               New York City,  February 8, 1845.                               No. 46.


Blow to Mormonism. -- The Legislature of Illinois has unconditionally repealed the Mormon charters by a large vote: 76 to 36.

Notes: (forthcoming)

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