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Vol VI.                              Livingston, Wednesday, June 17, 1829.                               No. 285.


Bank of Monroe The subscription books for the capital stock of the Bank of Monroe, were closed last evening, and it gives us pleasure to inform the public that an excess of stock was subscribed. This object, so important for the interests of the village of Rochester, and the western country generally, has been accomplished without any assistance whatever from the eastern or southern parts of this state. The capital has been taken up by men of wealth, who are desirous of putting the bank into operation as soon as the forms of law can be complied with. -- Rochester Daily Adv.

Note: Why subscribers and investors in northwestern New York were so interested in the establishment of a bank in Michigan Territory remains something of a mystery. In 1837 a major investor from Buffalo was instrumental in selling the failing financial institution to Joseph Smith, Jr. -- the details of the latter transaction are also murky and largely unknown.



Vol IX.                      Livingston, Wednesday, December 30, 1829.                       No. 39.


Anti-masonic Religion. -- The most disgusting and loathsome feature in the characters of the canting and hypocritical leaders of Anti-Masonry, is the serpent-like stealth with which they impiously attempt to wind their cause into the Religious feelings of the community. Fearing that the returning sense of an enlightened public may strip them of the "brief authority" which they now possess, unless aided by a more powerful auxiliary blear eyed prejudice, their every effort and sole aim contemplates an union between Political Anti-Masonry and Religion! Not content with making it the test of patriotism and the touch-stone of public office, they would constitute the prescription of Masons a cardinal requisite of piety. Scarcely a renunciation of Masonry is at present made, that does not commence a sort of exordium "To the friends and lovers of Truth and Religion;" meaning, we presume, Solomon Southwick, Thurlow Weed, John Hascal, David C. Miller, and a host of equally pious worthies who believe that death is the eternal sleep of the soul.

Note: William Perkins, Esq., editor of the Painesville Geauga Gazette, called Mormonism the "antiMasonic religion" in 1831, because he thought the members of that new sect were "all" anti-Masons. Eber D. Howe corrects his neighbor journalist in the Mar. 22, 1831 issue of the Painesville Telegraph, saying: "zealous masons and several 'republican jacks,' have beset Jo Smith for more light... the Mormon bible was printed and sent forth to the world, from a masonic printing office, under a masonic, or some other injunction of secrecy. You may also discover a very striking resemblance between masonry and mormonism." While some notable early Mormons, like William W. Phelps, were publicized anti-Masons, others, like Hyrum Smith, Heber C. Kimball, Oliver Cowdery, etc., were faithful members of the craft. Probably early Mormonism, in its unwritten tenets, viewed Freemasonry as an ancient, once pristine, but later corrupted, "priesthood" establishment. Such a precept among the Mormon leaders, would have allowed for their accepting both practicing Masons and anti-Masons, with a view of eventually restoring a "purified" version of the system (as they later attempted to do at Nauvoo).



Vol 1.                            Danville, Thursday, April 27, 1830.                             No. 2.


The Book of Mormon, or the Golden Bible. -- A work has recently been published in the eastern part of the State of New-York, entitled the Book of Mormon or the Golden Bible. The author is Joseph Smith, Jr. The work contains about 600 pages, and is divided into the books of Mormon, of Ether and Helaman. The Rochester Daily Advertiser contains the preface, and two letters, signed by eleven individuals, setting forth the excellence of the work and the existence of the original "plates" of gold, on which the contents of the volume were engraved, in a language which the translator was taught by inspiration. It seems that one book, that of Lehi, was translated and stolen -- the translator was commanded never again to translate the same over. We subjoin, with some hesitancy, one of the certificates, which smacks pretty strongly of what would once have been called blasphemy.   U. S. Gazette.

The testimony of Three Witnesses.

Be it known to all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come, that we, through the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which contain this record, which is a record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites, his brethren, and also of the people of Jared, who came from the tower, of which hath been spoken: and we also know that they have been translated by the gift and power of God, for his voice hath declared it unto us; wherefore we know of a surety that the work is true. And we also testify that we have seen the engravings which are upon the plates; and they have been shown unto us by the power of God, and not of man. And we declare with words of soberness that an Angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates, and the engravings thereon; and we know that it is by the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that we beheld and bear record that these things are true; and it is marvelous in our eyes. Nevertheless, the voice of the Lord commanded us that we should bear record of it; -- wherefore to be obedient unto the commandments of God, we bear testimony of these things. And we know that if we are faithful in Christ, we shall rid our garments of the blood of all men, and be found spotless before the judgment seat of Christ, and shall dwell with him eternally in the heavens. And the honor be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, which is one God.   Amen.
David Whitmer,
Oliver Cowdery,
Martin Harris.

The other certificate declares that the plates said to have been found in Manchester, Ontario county, N. Y. had the appearance of gold, and bore the marks of ancient and curious workmanship.

Note: The appearance of this report, in a mid-April issue of the Philadelphia United States Gazette, shows that news of Mormonism had spread as far as the eastern coast, by the time the LDS Church was formally organized in April of 1830. Oddly enough, the Dansville editor appears to have missed the Apr. 2, 1830 Daily Advertiser article and to have come across news of the new (and locally born) "ism" only in the columns of a distant, big city newspaper.


Vol 19.                       Batavia, Tues., Aug. 6, 1830.                       Whole No. 965.


By the following card, handed us for publication, it will be seen that Cayuga has set an example to her sister counties, in contributing a fund for the benefit of Mrs. Morgan and her children. Example is better than precept. We are informed by a gentleman from Auburn, that the county of Cayuga will probably increase the contribution to one hundred dollars. We hope the other counties will not be out done in this matter:


Mrs. Morgan gratefully acknowledges the receipt of forty-six dollars, from Deacon John Oliphant, which was generously contributed for her benefit by the inhabitants of Cayuga county, at Auburn, on the 5th inst.
        Batavia, July 31st 1830.

Note: According to a notice printed in the Seneca Farmer and Waterloo Advertiser, "Joseph Smith" was among the members of a committee of ten anti-Masons who solicited contributions for the financial relief of the widow, Lucinda Morgan, at this time. It is not likely, however, that this particular "Joseph Smith" was either Joseph Smith, Sr. or Joseph Smith, Jr. of Mormon fame.


Spirit of the Times & People's Press

NS. Vol 1.                            Batavia, Tuesday, Nov. 30, 1830.                             No. 11.


MARRIED. -- In this village on Tuesday evening last, by the Hon. Simeon Cumings, a Judge of Genesee County Courts, George Washington Harris, Esq. to Mrs. Lucinda Morgan, wife of Capt. Wm. Morgan.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol 1.                            Danville, Thursday, Dec. 21, 1830.                             No. 36.


The New Bible. -- Some year or two since the credulous were amused with the tale that, guided by inspiration, some one had found many golden plates buried in the earth near Palmyra, Wayne county, in this state, upon which were revealed, in an unknown tongue, (an odd sort of revelation, one would think) the whole duty of man. -- The finder and a comrade were enabled; by supernatural agency to translate; since the book has been printed and travelling preachers have gone forth with it, to enlighten the world. Some of these have rested for a season in the vicinity of Painesville, Ohio, where a preacher of another faith was converted to the new, and a band of followers, amounting to more than one hundred, added to his train. --  Buf. Jour.

Note: This same Buffalo Journal report was reprinted in the Brockport Free Press of Dec. 29, 1830. The original Journal article (apparently derived from news carried to New York in a Painesville newspaper) has not survived.



Vol 1.                            Danville, Thursday, Dec. 28, 1830.                             No. 37.

From the Painesville (Ohio) Telegraph.

The Book of Mormon. -- Those who are the friends and advocates of this wonderful book, state that Mr. Oliver Cowdry has his commission directly from the God of Heaven, and that he has credentials, written and signed by the hand of Jesus Christ, with whom he has personally conversed, and as such, said Cowdry claims that he and his associates are the only persons on earth who are qualified to administer in his name. By this authority, they proclaim to the world, that all who do not believe their testimony, and be baptized by them for the remission of sins, and come under the imposition of their hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, and stand in readiness to go to some unknown region, where God will provide a place of refuge for his people, called the "New Jerusalem," must be forever miserable, let their life have been what it may. -- If these things are true, God has certainly changed his order of commission. When Jesus sent his disciples to preach, he gave them power against all unclean spirits, to cast them out, to heal all manner of diseases, and to raise the dead. But these newly commissioned disciples have totally failed thus far in their attempts to heal, and as far as can be ascertained, their prophecies have also failed. Jesus Christ has forewarned us not to believe them: "There shall arise false Christs and false Prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch if it were possible they shall deceive the very elect behold -- I have told you before, we give too much credit to these men." Let us follow the example of the church at Ephesus: "Thou hast tried them which say they are Apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars." We ought to believe God, though it should prove all men to be liars.
                    A Lover of Truth.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Spirit of the Times & People's Press

NS. Vol 1.                            Batavia, Tuesday, Dec. 28, 1830.                             No. 15.


The question settled. -- Anti-masonry is no more -- it has since the election received a vital blow -- it is dead. Mrs. Lucinda Morgan, [is] married. This celebrated woman, who like Niobe, was all tears and affection -- whose hand was ever held forth to receive contributions from the sympathetic anti-masons -- who vowed eternal widowhood -- pains and penance, is married, and married -- "tell it not in Gath" -- to a Mason!


In Batavia on Tuesday last, by the Hon. Simeon Cumings, Mr. George W. Harris, to Mrs. Lucinda Morgan, widow of the late Capt. William Morgan.

The whole Anti-Masonic party is not alone the sufferer from this treacherous defection of one of their prominent lions, [or] lionesses of the west, but we have some reason to apprehend that a sighing swain has been cruelly treated in this business. Our friend Frank Granger, who is in single wretchedness, it is whispered had an eye upon the widow Morgan, and it was recommended by Thurlow Weed and his cabinet, as an admirable stroke of policy to perpetuate the existence of Antimasonry by perpetuating matrimony with the afflicted widow; but it is also circulated at the Canandaigua tea tables that Mrs. Capt. Bill Morgan, finding that Frank was not Governor, for more than three days fairly "gave him the bag to hold," or in other words jilted him. We had heard of many political somersets in our time, but this is the cleanest we ever read of -- a whole party of more than 100,000 voters utterly prostrated and left struggling on their backs by the defection, secession, abduction and abandonment of a single woman....

Note 1: Francis Granger (1792-1868), was the son of Gideon Granger, the one-time real estate partner of Solomon Spalding on the Western Reserve in Ohio. Francis "Frank" Granger was the National Republicans' unsuccessful candidate for Lieutenant Governor of New York in 1828 and their unsuccessful candidate for Governor in 1830-32. He was also a close friend of the political Anti-Mason, Thurlow Weed; a delegate to the Anti-Masonic National Convention at Philadelphia in September, 1830; and the unsuccessful Whig (Anti-Masonic in some states) candidate for Vice President in 1836. There is no reason to suppose that Francis Granger and Lucinda Morgan were ever personal friends, let alone romantically involved. The whole story of her having "jilted him" and married a faithful "Mason" was a fabrication of New York's pro-Masonic press.

Note 2: This ploy of the pro-Masonic press did not go unnoticed by the anti-Masonic editors, from the flagship of the Albany Evening Journal, down to auxiliary vessels like the Ithaca Chronicle (see the latter paper's rebuttal of Dec. 22, 1830.


Vol 19.                       Batavia, Fri., Dec. 31, 1830.                       Whole No. 986.


We want our mystic brethren to have the full benefit of Mrs. Morgan's defection in marrying a Freemason! We therefore admit that Capt. Harris is not only a mason, but one who was "expelled for the enormous depravity of his masonic conduct!" The following appeared in the Batavia Tmes, a masonic paper, about three weeks before Capt. Morgan was kidnapped: --

=> At a regular communication of Batavia Lodge, No. 433, held Aug. 15, 1826, GEORGE W. HARRIS was expelled by a unanimous vote of said lodge, for the enormous depravity of his masonick conduct. Lodges and Brethren throughout the United States are particularly notified that they may govern themselves accordingly. By order of the Lodge.           R. MARTIN.
    Secrtetary of Batavia Lodge No. 433.

The "enormity" for which Capt. Harris was expelled, consisted in apprizing his friend, Captain Morgan, that the Batavia Lodge was making arrangements to destroy him. -- Alb. Eve. Jour.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol 1.                            Danville, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 1831.                             No. 38.


Book of Mormon. -- Most of our readers, we presume, have heard of this pretended revelation, made to a certain few in and about Palmyra, revealing the fundamentals of a new religion. A ridiculous story was told about its discovery, golden plates were found in a stone box, a Mr. Somebody who could neither read nor write, was found able to translate them, and somebody else, equally ignorant, to transcribe them, and a worthy, honest but credulous farmer was found willing to be ruined by defraying the expense of publishing the Book of Mormon, as was to be expected, fell dead-born from the press. Here it was supposed the matter would rest, without causing even a sneer at the expense of the revelators. This however seems not to be the case. The disciples of Mormon have recently appeared in Ohio, and are propagating their new light with extraordinary rapidity, going to the credulous, and laying the foundations broad and wide for a "New Jerusalem" about to be built; and now it seems the oracle has commenced its responses nearer home. Surely it was not rightly said that "in that hour the Heathen oracles became dumb for ever." On Thursday of last week one of these seers of Mormon appeared in Canandaigua, delivered a discourse, and avowed his full belief that the book was a revelation from God, and of equal authenticity with the Old and New Testament. What number of hearers he had we are not informed, but for the honor of intelligent man, we hope and trust his followers are and will be "few and far between." This matter must be the ne plus ultra of fanaticism and delusion. If men will go beyond this in belief, verily there can be no end to their credulity. -- Rochester Republican.

Note 1: The Mormon preacher at Canandaigua, Ontario Co., NY was almost certainly the Rev. Sidney Rigdon, newly arrived from Mentor, Ohio, on a visit to Palmyra, Fayette, Colesville, and stopping points in between. At about this same time (Jan. 1, 1831), the Wayne Sentinel speaks of "Rigdon dipt in many waters," who "Preaches Gold Bible to the loafers." This shows that Rigdon was preaching from the Book of Mormon in or near Palmyra by the last days of the year 1830. The Rochester Gem of the 25th tells that, "In Canandaigua... there is a book of Mormon preacher, who is attempting to push his way forward, in spite of all opposition."

Note 2: The Jan. 5, 1831 issue of the Fredonia Censor reprints a report from the Canandaigua Ontario Messenger of Wednesday, Dec. 29, 1830, saying that "a preacher" of the "Golden Bible" had "delivered a lecture" in that town, on "Thursday evening last." This places at least one of Sidney Rigdon's addresses on the Book of Mormon, in Canandaigua, on Dec. 23, 1830. Possibly Rigdon gave an earlier lecture there a day or two before this one, since the news of his preaching there must haven taken awhile to before it reached the editors of the Gem and Republican in Rochester. That Rigdon was then in southern Ontario Co. is further demonstrated by the fact that he missed picking up one letter addressed to him and received by the Manchester P. O. before Dec. 31st -- see the letter list published in the Ontario Phoenix of Jan. 19, 1831.


No. 5.                                 Le Roy, Thursday, February 3, 1831.                                 Vol. VI.

MORMONISM: -- A young gentleman by the name of Whitmer, arrived here last week from Manchester, N. Y., the seat of wonders, with a new batch of revelations from God, as he pretended, which have just been communicated to Joseph Smith. As far as we have been able to learn their contents, they are a more particular description of the creation of the world, and a history of Adam and his family, and other sketches of the antedeluvian world, which Moses neglected to record. But the more important part of the mission was to inform the brethren that the boundaries of the promised land, or the New Jerusalem, had just been made known to Smith from God -- the township of Kirtland, a few miles west of this, is the eastern line, and the Pacific Ocean the western line; if the north and south lines have been described, we have not learned them. Orders were also brought to the brethren to sell no more land, but rather buy more. Joseph Smith and all his cources [sic] are to be on anon to take possession of the promised land. -- Painesville Telegraph.

Note: Although the Le Roy Gazette was published only 50 miles west of Palmyra, 1830 news of the publication of the Book of Mormon appears to have escaped the attention of its editor. The above is the first known reference to Mormonism in the columns of the Gazette. The report is copied from another anti-Masonic paper, the Jan. 18, 1831 issue of Eber D. Howe's Painesville Telegraph.



Vol 1.                            Danville, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 1831.                             No. 44.


                    Painesville, Ohio, Feb. 1.

The Golden Bible, or 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 families 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 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 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 [asservations] of their truth.

Among them is a man of color, a chief man, who is sometimes seized with strange vagaries and odd conceit. 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 hands 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.

Note: This article first appeared in the Feb. 1, 1831 issue of the Painesville Geauga Gazette. The same article was reprinted in the Feb. 16th issue of the Geneseo, NY Livingston Journal.


No. 11.                                  Le Roy, Thursday, March 17, 1831.                                 Vol. VI.

{From the Painesville (Ohio) Gazette.}

DELUSION. -- About two 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 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. The men claim to act under a "commission written by the finger of God" -- they are very enthusiastic, and tolerably resolute -- but from what we can learn need that steadfast determined resolution and popular talent which are necessary to endure 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 Wayne 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 closed [tightly] 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 7 inches long and 6 broad, [the] whole pile was about 6 inches deep, [with] plate about the thickness of tin. [They] were engraved in a character unintelligible to the learned men of the United States, many of whom it is said to have been presented. The angel afterwards appeared [to] the three individuals, and showed them [the] plates. To Smith it was given to transcibe the characters, which he was enabled [to] by looking through two semi-transparent stones, but as he was ignorant of the [way?], Cowdry and 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 individuals above named, have subscribed their names to an article in the book, in which they solemnly declare that they saw [an] angel and that he assured them that the book was a divine revelation. They say it was written by the people of God during the periods embracing the time for 600 years before and several [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 -- they say that the world is soon to come to an end -- within 15 years at 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 they say will be gathered all the [natives] who they say are descendants of Manesseh. -- They say they are led by the spirit and will know the ground when they place their feet on it.

Immediately after their arrival here Elder Rigdon embraced the new doctrine and was baptised for the third time -- 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, principally followed their shepherd, and some for the 3d time, have gone down into the water. We are told that the number baptised in the new order, is rising of a hundred.

Note: The above text is evidently a slightly edited reproduction of an article first published by William Perkins in his Nov. 1830 issue of the Painesville, Ohio Geauga Gazette. The Dec. 4, 1830 issue of theWooster, Ohio Republican Advocate paraphrased part of the Geauga Gazette report, perhaps retaining a few details not carried over into the reprint in the Le Roy Gazette.



Vol II.                            Danville, Tuesday, May 10, 1831.                             No. 6.


Mormonism. -- A number of "Golden Bible" pilgrims, numbering about one hundred men, women and children, recently passed through the village of Ithaca, on their way to the "land of promise" in Ohio.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol II.                            Danville, Tuesday, May 17, 1831.                             No. 7.


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

"Thither pilgrims crowded still
From all the roads of earth that pass thereby:
For as they chanced to breath on neighboring hill,
The freshness of the valley smote their eye,
And drew them ever and anon more nigh."
Recently, among the accessions to their numbers, they received a few individuals, who were not only poor in spirit, but in dress; and some men, to the shame-facedness of the sex be it spoken, who entered into the Mormonite communion nearly sans inexpressibles, did, with malice aforethought, appropriate a considerable amount of corporeal drapery, and straightway, like wolves in sheep's clothing, made off, leaving their places desolate and void, with the exception of the cast off garments which remained behind. If the precepts of the new golden Bible which the Mormonites have found do not possess more influence than these specimens of conduct would lead us to believe, we think the sect had better dissolve their encampments, melt up the yellow plates into bars, and sell them the first opportunity. -- Phil. Gaz.

Note: This article first appeared in the Apr. 27, 1831 edition of the Philadelphia U. S. Gazette. It was reprinted in a number of papers, including the New York Evening Post of Apr. 28, 1831. The contents appear to have been derived from the Painesville Telegraph and Geauga Gazette.


Vol VIII.                            Livingston, Wednesday, May 25, 1831.                             No. ?


Mormonism. -- The Painesville (Ohio) Telegraph contains an account of the death of one of the fanatical followers of the new religion of Mormonism. His name was Doty; he believed firmly in the divinity of Smith, the leader of the sect, who had promised him that he should live one thousand years. So satisfied was Doty with the prophecy, that he would not permit a physician to visit him. When the approach of death, however, could be no longer unknown, he saw the fallacy of his hope, and sent for a medical man, but it was too late; he died regretting his errors. The Mormonites in the neighborhood fled from the house where the body lay, but Smith, like the false prophet of Khorassan, soon gathered them around him, by the assurance that the young man's death was caused by his having fallen from the faith!!!

Notes: (forthcoming)


No. 25.                                Le Roy, Thursday, June 23, 1831.                                  Vol. VI.

CAMPBELLISM. -- We perceive by the papers (says the Bunkerhill Aurora) that Alexander Campbell, the man who a year or teo since, held a long discussion, on the subject of the Christian religion with Mr. Owen at Cincinnati, has lately started a new religion, in the west, and has gained a possession of a new Baptist church in Cincinnati. He publishes his creed in a paper devoted to the sect, and among the articles are the following:

1. There has been no preaching of the gospel since the days of the apostles.

2. The people have been preached to from texts of scripture until they have been literally preached out of their senses.

3. All the public preaching now recessary is to undo what has already been done.

4. That John Calvin preached as pure Deism, as was ever taught by Voltaire or Thomas Paine; and that this Deism is taught in all the colleges in Christendom.

5. That all the faith that men can have in Christ is historical.

6. That the words "little children" in the New Testament, are to be understood literally.

7. [That] faith is only a historical belief of facts stated in the Bible.

8. That baptism, or immersion,actually washes away sin, and is regeneration.

9. That Baptism or Immersion, is made the first act of a Christian's life, or rather the regenerating act itself.

And by some other articles this immersion is made the sole ground of the forgiveness of sins and things required in the New Testament as necessary to salvation!

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol VIII.                              Livingston, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 1831.                               No. ?

From the Burlington Sentinel.


Mr. John Stewart, of Bakersfield, put an end to his existence, May 19th by hanging himself on a tree. The cause of this dreadful deed was the following:

About two years ago, a man by the name of Davidson came into this vicinity, pretending to be endowed with the Holy Spirit, and to be inspired of God to prophesy of things to come. He is a disciple, he tells us, of Dilks, who has figured in the State of Ohio for three or four years past. Davidson pretends that Dilks has Almighty power, and is God himself. He has gained quite a number of proselytes in the towns of Bakersfield, Fairfax and Fairfield. He wears his hair long, and pretends a great deal of piety. He preaches that Jesus Christ is a woman & quite inferior to Dilks -- that the millennium will take place in 1832. -- Philadelphia is the place designated where Dilks is to assemble his followers, and then the rest of mankind are to be swept from the face of the earth, and Dilks and his followers are to inherit their possessions.

This Davidson has got about thirty disciples in the east part of Fairfield & in the west part of Bakersfield. They meet together every Sabbath and carry on in a manner most shocking to human feelings. They roll naked on the floor, both men and women. and commit other sins too revolting to be mentioned. But this is but a faint picture of their shameful conduct. Modesty forbids that I should utter the whole. A few days since they pretended to crucify a woman and put her in a box and began to pray over her in order to raise her from the dead; but being wearied with lying shut up in a close box, she finally came forth with her own accord before they intended.

They have a woman among them by the name of Thompson, who pretends now, that she is Jesus Christ, and baptises Davidson's followers. She sprinkles [them, in the first place, with flour.] The rest of the ceremony I will omit, for modesty's sake. She performs her baptism, however, in the name of the holy trinity. A man who once represented the town of Fairfax in our general assembly, I understood, was baptised by this woman at the house of a man by the name of Gardner, in Fairfield: Gardener's house is the place of their resort.

The man who hanged himself was threatened by Mrs. Thompson that unless he immediately obeyed her commands he should be sent forthwith to hell-fire! -- She had made him swear by the living God, on his knees, that he would be true to the prophet Davidson and his people, and do whatever he was required to do by him or herself. She then required of him things too horrid and indecent to be named. The poor, simple man, went to his home and put a period to his life.

It is thought by many judicious persons that Randall, of Franklin, who murdered his family a short time since, was deluded into that atrocious act by believing Davidson's doctrine. He was one of his disciples, in part, at least.

There is another man among them that is beginning to be crazy. I believe the whole of it is the work of the evil one, and that Davidson goes about and preaches only for the sake of doing all the harm he can to religion.

Immediately after Stewart hanged himself, several men agreed to tar and feather Davidson. One of the men, with several lads went to Gardner's with their apparatus for tarring, and found Davidson delivering a lecture. They waited a while for others to help them. But no one came; the man entered the room and dragged out Davidson, and the boys applied the tar. The others undertook to rescue Davidson, but shared the same fate. The tar was faithfully applied to their pates, in turn. A man from Colchester, fled to the chamber, but was pursued to his retreat, and was spared by being very penitent, and proclaiming that he would not be seen in Fairfield again.

I have just been conversing with a gentleman of undoubted veracity, who informs me that he has been present & saw with his own eyes a man get down and kiss the floor at the command of Mrs. Thompson; and says that this is but a faint picture, that I have given above, of the base conduct of Davidson and his followers.
      Fairfield, June 3, 1831.

Notes: (forthcoming)


The Genesee Republican, &
Herald  of  Reform.

Vol ?                            LeRoy, September 14, 1831.                             No. ?

(this article's title is missing)

About this time a very considerable religious excitement came over New York in the shape of a revival. It was also about the same period, that a powerful and concerted effort was made by a class of religionists, to stop the mails on Sunday to give a sectarian character to Temperance and other societies--to keep up the Pioneer lines of stages and canal boats, and to organize generally a religious party, that would act altogether in every public and private concern of life. The greatest efforts were making by the ambition, tact, skill and influence of certain of the clergy, and other lay persons, to regulate and control the public mind -- to check all its natural and buoyant impulses -- to repress effectually freedom of opinion--and to turn the tide of public sentiment entirely in favor of blending religious and worldly concerns together. Western New York has for years, had a most powerful and ambitious religious party of zealots, and their dupes. They have endeavored ever since the first settlement of Rochester, to organize a religious hierachy, which would regulate the pursuits, the pleasures, and the very thoughts of social life. This organization was kept up by banding churches and congregations together--by instituting laws similar to those of excommunication -- by a species of espionage, as powerful and as terrible as that of a Spanish Inquisition. Every occupation in life -- every custom of the people -- very feeling and every thought, from the running of a stage or of a lady's tongue up to the legislation of the state, or of Congress, was to be regularly marked and numbered like so many boxes of contraband or lawful merchandise, by these self-created religious censorships and divines. Rochester is, and was the great headquarters of the religious empire. The late Mr. Bissell, one of the most original and talented men in matters of business, was equally so in religious enthusiasm, and all measures calculated to spread it among the people.--The singular character of the people of western New York--their originality, activity, and proneness to excitement furnished admirable materials for enthusiasts in religion or roguery to work upon. Pure religion -- the religion of the heart and conduct -- the religion that makes men better and wiser -- that makes woman more amiable and benevolent--that purifies the soul -- that represses ambition -- that seeks the private oratory and not the highway to pour forth its aspirations: such a religion was not that of the party of which I speak. Theirs is the religion of the pomp and circumstance of glorious controversy -- the artificial religion of tracts. Magdalen Reports, lines of stages -- the religion of collecting money from those who should first pay their debts -- of sending out missionaries to spend it, and of letting the poor and ignorant at home starve and die. Such mistaken principles and erroneous views must when attempted to be carried into effect, breed strange results. Men's minds in this age will not submit to the control of hypocrisy or superstition or clerical ambition. They may be shackled for a day through their wives and daughters -- for a month -- a year, but it cannot be lasting; when the first die or the last get husbands, independence will be asserted.

This general impulse given to religious fanaticism by a set of men in Western New York, has been productive among other strange results of the infatuation of Mormonism. This piece of roguery, folly and frenzy (for it partakes of all) is the genuine fruit of the same seeds which produced the Sunday Mail movement--the Pioneer line of stages -- the Magdalen Reports &c. &c. It is religion run into madness by zealots and hypocrites.

It was during this state of public feeling in which the money diggers of Ontario county, by the suggestions of the Ex-Preacher from Ohio, thought of turning their digging concern into a religious plot, and thereby have a better chance of working upon the credulity and ignorance of their associates and the neighborhood. Money and a good living might be got in this way. It was given out that visions had appeared to Joe Smith -- that a set of golden plates on which was engraved the "Book of Mormon," enclosed in an iron chest, was deposited somewhere in the hill I have mentioned. People laughed at the first intimation of the story, but the Smiths and Rangdon persisted in its truth. They began also to talk very seriously, to quote scripture, to read the bible, to be contemplative, and to assume that grave studied character, which so easily imposes on ignorant and superstitious people. Hints were given out that young Joe Smith was the chosen one of God to reveal this new mystery to the world; and Joe from being an idle young fellow, lounging about the villages, jumped up into a very grave parsonlike man, who felt he had on his shoulders the salvation of the world, besides a respectable looking sort of a blackcoat. Old Joe, the ex-preacher, and several others, were the believers of the new faith, which they admitted was an improvement in christianity, foretold word for word in the bible. They treated their own invention with the utmost religious respect. By the special interposition of God, the golden plates, on which was engraved the Book of Mormon, and other works, had been buried for ages in the hill by a wandering tribe of the children of Israel, who had found their way to western New York, before the birth of christianity itself. Joe Smith is discovered to be the second Messiah who was to reveal this word to the world and to reform it anew.

In relation to the finding of the plates and the taking the engraving, a number of ridiculous stories are told. -- Some unsanctified fellow looked out the other side of the hill. They had to follow it with humility and found it embedded beneath a beautiful grove of maples. Smith's wife, who had a little of the curiosity of her sex, peeped into the large chest in which he kept the engravings taken from the golden plates, and straightway one half the new Bible vanished, and has not been recovered to this day. Such were the effects of the unbelievers on the sacred treasure. There is no doubt but the ex-parson from Ohio is the author of the book which was recently printed and published in Palmyra and passes for the new Bible. It is full of strange narratives -- in the style of the scriptures, and bearing on its face the marks of some ingenuity, and familiar acquaintance with the Bible.

  *  *  *  *  *

Such is a brief view of the rise and progress of the Mormon Religion one of the strangest pieces of fanaticism to which the ill-advised and the worst regulated ambition and folly of certain portions of the clergy in Western New York ever gave birth. What a lesson it ought to teach us!

Note: See Major M. M. Noah's New York Courier of Sept. 1, 1831 for the original appearance of this article.



Vol II.                            Danville, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 1831.                             No. 15.


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 30 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 men, 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 -- Painesville Gazette.

Notes: (forthcoming)

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