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Articles Index  |  True Latter Day Saints' Herald  |  Painesville Telegraph


ns. Vol. VI.                         Ravenna, Ohio,  Wednesday,  February 15, 1860.                         No. 47.

(Communicated  for  the Portage County Democrat.)

From  the  Unpublished History of the Western Reserve.


H I R A M,

Is Town 5, in Range 7. The original proprietors of the township were Col. David [sic - Daniel] Tilden, Daniel Grees, Joseph Metcalf, Levi Case, John Fitch and Joseph Burnham, of Lebanon, Windham County, Connecticut; and William Perkins, of Ashford, in the same County. They were all Freemasons, and while at the Lodge, one evening, Col. Tilden proposed to call their township 'Hiram,' in commemoration of the King of Tyre, which was unanimously agreed to....

In June, 1813, Benjamin Hinckley arrived in town, from Willington, Tolland County, Connecticut, and settled on lot 39, known as the Hinckley farm. He came with a yoke of oxen and a span of horses, and was forty days on the road. When he arrived at Burton, he put his wagon and goods on to a boat, to be rowed down to the Rapids, while he came down the bank with his team. He taught the first school in the township, commencing on the 13th of December, 1813, and closing on the 22d of February, 1814.

The school house stood half a mile south of the Center, on the west half of lot 33, near the north-east corner. There were nineteen scholars -- two Hutchesons, three Johnsons, six Youngs, two Hughes, two Hinckleys, two Dysons, one Hampton, and one Judson. Eight of the scholars only are now living -- Orrin Hutcheson, James Young, Betsy Young, (now wife of Abner Harris) Susan H. Hinckley, (now wife of Ariel Proctor) and John Dyson, living in Hiram; Ann Hinckley, (now wife of Moses Bundy, of Farmington,) and John Young, of Newberry, Geauga County....

He was a Surveyor, and for five years before his death was Justice of the Peace. He set out a row of maple trees, half a mile in length, beside the road next to his farm, which will be a lasting monument of his good taste. He died May 3rd, 1835, at the age of 53.

In 1819 the first military company was organized by the election of Simonds Rider, Captain, Orrin Hutcheson, Lieutenant, Silas Raymond, Ensign, John Tilden, Orderly Sergeant. Previous to this it would appear there was not much military pride in Hiram, except among the Reddings, as Hiel Tinker, Eli Case, Orin J. Messenger, and Benoni Messenger were drafted in time of the war -- but all found they had business in another direction, and did not answer at roll call.

In 1831 Hiram became voted as the chosen locality of the Mormons. Joe Smith had found the golden plates in Palmyra, New York -- translated them into the Book of Mormon -- made his exodus to Kirtland, Ohio, where he had driven one of his stakes, and made many converts. Among the converts were Rev. Ezra Booth and John Johnson, of Hiram. Johnson was a substantial farmer, living on the road from 'Atwater's tavern' to Garrettsville. This offered better prospects of a good living than Kirtland -- and Smith, Rigdon, Cowday [sic], Harris, Whittemore, and other leading Mormons, pulled up their stakes and moved to Hiram. Smith and family took up their abode with Johnson; Rigdon in a log cabin opposite, and others in the vicinity. Here they had a revelation that the Temple was to be located, and the site was pointed out on a hill near the 'Hinckley farm.' Proselytes were flocking in fast, and among them were many Campbellites or Disciples. -- This soon raised opposition, which ripened into open war. Some one bored an auger hole into a log of the house in which Rigdon lived, and filling it with powder, tried to blow it up. -- At length the people resolved to clear the town of them, and raised a company to mob them. One of the Disciples called on John Tilden to help tar and feather the Mormons, who cooly told him there were some Campbellites that deserved it as well as the Mormons, and if he would help him tar and feather them, he would help tar and feather the Mormons. They excused him, but the others went, took Smith and Rigdon out of bed, and covered them with a coat of tar and feathers. The most unfortunate part of it was, that two of Smith's children were in bed with him, sick with the measles. In the affray they took cold and died. The Mormons at once abandoned the idea of making Hiram 'a stake' -- left the town, and returned to back to Kirtland. Their success since that time, until they can defy the whole force of the United States, and have become a nation themselves, is an additional evidence to prove that persecution is not the weapon with which to combat error....

Note 1: Lucius Verus Bierce (1801-1876) was the writer of the above excerpt. The entire article is available here. This item is cited by Richard S. Van Wagoner, on page 115 of his 1994 Sidney Rigdon biography. The article is also tabulated among other similar documents preserved in the Archives of Hiram College. The source of Bierce's information on the plot to blow up Elder Rigdon's home, plans of a Mormon temple at Hiram, and the refusal of John Tilden to participate in the 1832 tar and feathering of Smith and Rigdon very likely came from the Tilden family of Hiram, Ohio. Bierce, who was a prominent Ohio Freemason may have derived his Mormon-specific information from fellow lodge members, who at that period were generally separated from Campbellites such as the Symonds Ryder family of Hiram -- (see notes attached to "A Hill of Zion" in the Sept. 10, 1877 issue of the New York Herald).

Note 2: The Rigdon family moved into the former residence of the John Johnson family, in Hiram Township, Portage Co., Ohio in the fall of 1831 and remained there through March 28th of the following year. It is possible that local residents first attempted to apply pressure on Rigdon, to force him out of Hiram. When those efforts proved ineffective, both he and Joseph Smith were tarred and feathered on the night of March 24th. Smith, at the time, was housed in the John Johnson family's frame house on what is now Pioneer Trail Road, a little distance southwest of Hiram Center. The cabin occupied by the Rigdons was across the road, south of the Johnson house. The 1877 New York Herald article confirms part of the excerpt given above, saying: "At length the people [of Portage County] determined not to let the indignity which they had suffered [from the LDS leaders] go unpunished. Boring holes into Rigdon's cabin they attempted to blow it up by placing in powder to be exploded by the application of a slow match. Failing in this a large mob of people from the adjoining towns came in one night and joining with the Hiramites proceeded to the houses of Smith and Rigdon, and dragging them out from their beds into an open field proceeded to tar and feather feather them. On the next day there was to be a meeting at the house of Smith, at which both the prophet and Rigdon were to speak, but neither of them appeared. The power of the Church had been entirely broken, and within a week Smith and Rigdon departed for Kirtland."

Note 3: For more information on the 1832 assault upon Smith and Rigdon at Hiram, see various items transcribed in association with Rev. B. A. Hinsdale's 1876 booklet, A History of Disciples at Hiram, as well as the on-line series "Sidney Rigdon's Hiram Period." Three related articles in old Ohio newspapers are the 1854 "Beginning of Mormonism," the 1859 Mormon Times," and the 1874 "Early Settlement of Hiram."

Note 4: The Woodstock Universalist Watchman of Aug. 13, 1831 printed this relevant report: "Several people went from here [Hiram] out of curiosity to see them [Smith & Rigdon]; they were deluded by the prophet Jo, and became dupes to one of the greatest impositions ever practiced among mankind. Finally Jo Smith, and several inferior prophets came to Hiram and Nelson, where they have succeeded in making proselytes to the amount of one hundred, among which are the two Priests & Booth -- Carnot Mason, Rider and all the Pitkin family from Hartford Vermont. John Johnson, and all his family from Pomfret Vt. Charles Raymond, Aruna & John Tilden, S. R. Parker, T. Brace, all the Hewlits, ten or fifteen in number, P. Alleyn & family, and all the fools in this Country."



Vol. XXVI.                         Cleveland, Ohio, Sat.,  March 24, 1860.                         No. 71.


One of the Judges of the Territory of Utah is the Hon. John Cradlebaugh of Circleville. He was sent out by Mr. Buvhanan at the time Gov. Cumming went out. The Governor turned Mormon, opposed the Judges in their efforts to ferret out Mormon crimes, and the Judiciary were powerless. The Administration sides with Governor Cumming.

Judge Cradlebaugh lately delivered a lecture at Circleville upon Mormonism. We make an extract:


The little education the children get consists in preparing them for the reception of polygamy. So at variance is that practice with all the instincts of humanity that it has to be pressed upon the people with great assiduity as a part of their religious duty. To prepare the women for the reception of the revolting practice it is necessary to brutalize them by destroying their modesty. The sentiment of loved is ridiculed, cavalier gallantry and attentions are laughed at; the emblematic devices of lovers and the winning kindness that with us they dote on are hooted at in Utah. The lesson they are taught, and that is inculcated above all others, is "increase and multiply," in order that Zion may be filled. The young people are familiarized to indecent exposures of all kinds; the Mormons call their wives their cattle; they choose them pretty much as they choose their cattle; and that great pibk of delicacy, Heber C. Kimball, the next in prominence, as also the next in sin, to Young, calls his women his cows.

A man is not considered a good Mormon that does not uphold polygamy by precept and example, and he is a suspected Mormon that does not practice it. The higher the man is in the church the more wives he has. Brigham Young and Heber Kimball are supposed to have each between fifty and a hundred. The reverend Mormon bishops, apostles, and the presidents of stakes have as many as they desire, and it is a common thing to see these hoary-headed old Turks surrounded by a troop of robust young wives. The common people take as many as they can support, and it is not uncommon to see a house with but two rooms inhabited by a man, his half-dozen of wives, and a proportionate number of children, like rabbits in a warren, and resembling very much the happy family that we read of -- the prairie dog, the owl, and the rabbit. Incest is common. Sometimes the same man has a daughter and her mother for wives at once; some have as wives their own nieces, and Aaron Johnson, of Springville, one of the most influential men in his parts, has in his harem of twelve women no less than five of his brothers' daughters. One Watts, a Scotchman, who is one of the church reporters, is married to his own half-sister. On her arriving in the country he applied for permission to marry her, but Brigham at first refused and settled the matter by taking her into his own harem; but in a few weeks he relented, the seal was broken, and he gave her to Watts.

The ill-assorted children -- the offspring of one father and many mothers -- run about like so many wild animals. The first thing they do, after learning vulgarity, is to wear a leather belt with a butcher-knife stuck in it; and the next is to steal from the Gentiles; then to ride animals; and as soon as they can, "by hook or by crook," get a horse, a pair of jingling Mexican spurs and a revolver, they are then Mormon cavaliers, and are fit to steal, rob, and murder emigrants. The women and girls are coarse, masculine and uneducated, and are mostly drafted from the lowest stages of society. It is but seldom you meet handsome or attractive women among them.


The missionaries, when sent on missions, if successful, are commanded to bring their proselytes with them to Zion. They are generally taken in large trains, and the arrival of one of these emigrant trains is hailed as a great event. Apparently all business in Zion is closed, and for the next few days large crowds may be seen hanging about the encampment. If some evil sinner from the Gentile world should notice the fact that the saints are not democratic in their attentions, and they hang in large squads about certain camps, and if such a vile sinner was to inquire into the reason of this, he would surely learn that those camps thus favored by the countenance of these pious saints were the camps of widows with young and marriageable daughters. Women that are young and pretty are greedily caught up by the apostles and dignitaries to swell their harems, while the old and ugly are left to care for themselves, or sometimes the prophet forces them on a reluctant husband, that he may avail himself of their labor.

The missionaries are especially charged not to select from the converts until they are brought and put into the fold. Henber Kimball, in delivering a lecture upon that subject to a lot of missionaries about to leave, uses language which I will read:

"I say," he remarks, "to those who are elected to go on missions, go [as] if you never return, and commit what you have into the hands of the Lord -- your wives, children, brethren and property. Let truth and righteousness be your motto. Don't go into the world for anything but to preach the gospel and build up the kingdom of God and gather sheep into the fold. -- You are sent out as shepherds to gather the sheep together, and remember that they are not your sheep -- they belong to him that sends you. Then don't make selection of any before they are put into the fold. You understand what that means."

Note: The above John Cradlebaugh essay was published in John W. Barber's 1861 book, Our Whole Country, in his 1865 book, The Loyal West, and in its 1867 successor, All the Western States and Territories. There is also considerable textual overlap with parts of Cradlebaugh's 1863 address, Utah and the Mormons.



Vol. XXVI.                         Cleveland, Ohio, Saturday,  April 14, 1860.                         No. 89.

The Reformed Mormon Church -- The Saints Looking Back to
Their First Zion -- Description of the "Temple of the Lord"

We noticed a few days since the fact that a son of "Joe Smith, the notorious Mormon Prophet," had been formally installed at Amboy, Lee County, Illinois, as "Prophet, Seer, and Revelator in Zion," of the Reformed Mormon Church.The new association, of which young Smith is now the head, comprises all those believers in Mormonism who hold the doctrines taught in the infancy of the church, and who repudiate polygamy and most of the other doctrines and practices at present characterizing the Mormons of Utah. The movement once more turns attention to Kirtland, Lake Co., in this State, the site of the original "Land of Zion," and where the "Temple of the Lord"still exists.

It will be remembered that in 1824, Joe Smith "discovered gold plates" in a sandbank near Palmyram N. Y., which he pretended were covered with unreadable inscriptions. Joe had a "prophet stone," by placing which in his hat and keeping his face close to the brim he was enabled to decypher the words, and repeated them to one Martin Harris, who thereupon committed them to paper and thus made the "Book of Mormon." In 1830 a society was formed in the neighborhood, but shortly, in obedience to a "vision," the members, under the lead of Smith, removed to Kirtland, Ohio, which had been designated as the "Land of Zion." The disciples of Mormonism by this time became numerous, and land speculations of an extravagant character were carried on in the neighborhood.

As speedily as possible, the Mormons, or members of the "Church of Christ," commenced building a temple, which they had been instructed by visions to erect. The work was pushed forward rapidly until completion, and in the autumn of 1834, the "Temple of the Lord of Latter Day Saints" was finished, and solemnly dedicated. Some months previous to this event there had been dissensions in the Church, and on the 1st of May, 1834, the members met and voted to change the name of the society from the "Church of Christ" to that of the "Latter Day Saints." A few members opposed this change and protested earnestly against it, affirming that the Book of Mormon strictly enjoins the use of the name "Church of Christ." and none other.

The next step in the history of the Mormon Church in Kirtland was the assumption of the temporal as well as the spiritual power by the "Prophet" Smith. This he was enabled to do through the complicated machinery of Priests, Deacons, Heads of Seventies, and holders of the several offices with which the Mormons system abounded/ These offices were so shrewdly arranged that self interest dictated the consent of their incumbants to the ambitious designs of the "Prophet." As the latter felt his power increasing he continued introducing new doctrines and practices until, in 1836, the doctrine of Polygamy was broached by one Sidney Rigdon, a pettifogging lawyer, who had become connected with the Society. The doctrine was on the eve of receiving the sanction of the Church, when it was swept away for the time by the earnest arguments and fierce denunciations of Elder Rich, one of those who had protested against the Society changing its name. It is said that in spite of the condemnation then put upon it by the Church, both Smith and Rigdon practiced Polygamy in a quiet way.

The land speculations in which the Mormons indulged, in time brought about the usual results in law suits and ill-feeling. They had purchased lands of the original settlers at enormous prices, paying large amounts and giving notes on short time, secured by mortgages for the balance. As a matter of course, these notes were not met at maturity, and the religious feelings of the Mormons were frequently disturbed by such worldly reminders as dunning letters and legal writs. Quarrels sprang up, and in one instance it is alleged that murder was attempted. The "Prophet" being pressed for money by a creditor, Grandison Newell -- who yet lives in Lake county -- hired a "saint" or "avenging angel," as he would now be called, to kill Newell. The "saint," who was named Marvin [sic - Marvel] C. Davis, went to the house of Newell, and three times "drew a bead"on the latter with a loaded rifle, but did not fire. He reported to the Church that the "Lord held the trigger and pulled down the rifle." The result of the intended murder was that Smith and Rigdon were placed under heavy bonds to keep the peace, and that such a hostile feeling grew up between the Mormons of Kirtland and the people of the surrounding country that the "Prophet"and his disciples removed in 1839 [sic -1838] to Illinois.

When this removal took place, a few of the faithful, mostly those who had opposed tye later innovations in doctrine, stood by their posts and refused to leave the Zion which had been assigned them by visions. To their hands therefore was committed the care of the Temple. Of these about a dozen people are left, who remain under the spiritual care of Elder Rich, before mentioned. They have remained faithful to the doctrines of the Church as at first taught, loathe and abhor the corrupt practices and doctrines of the Salt Lake Mormons, and await in patience the regeneration of the Church and its return to the promised Zion. Of this ultimate return to Kirtland they have not the slightest doubt. It has been revealed to them, and cannot, therefore, be doubted.

Kirtland, the "Land of Zion," is a small village very prettily located a few miles south-west of Painesville. the village lies on a bluff, oberlooking a branch of the Chagrin river. It is surrounded by a rolling country, fertile in soil, and attractive in appearance. the village itself is of modest pretensions, being somewhat smaller than when under Mormon rule. The principal object that meets the eye from a distance is the Mormon Temple, which, in comparison with the other buildings, presents a very imposing appearance. This structure is built of stone, in the most substantial manner, and contains two lofty stories besides a large attic, and a deep cellar the whole length of the building. the roof is high, and is surmounted with a cupola, from which a fine view, extending to the lake, can be had.

On entering the church the remarkable dissimilarity between this and all other places of religious worship is at once manifest. At the east and west ends of the room four tiers of peculiarly shaped desks rise over each other, like steps. The body of the room is divided by pews, each capable of holding eight persons (without crinoline). These pews are firmly nailed to the floor, and are furnished with moveable benches for seats. When in proper order, large canvas curtains, hung on rods, depended from the ceiling, so that they could be made to completely divide the body of the church into four parts, and also isolate each single tier of seats at the east and west ends. During certain parts of the services, therefore, four detachments of "high privates" could be lectured simultaneously on different subjects by their teachers, whilst each squad of officers in the desks could perform their peculiar rites without interfering with each other. As soon as open services were to be resumed the cutains could be drawn aside and the whole area of the church again be visible.

The shape of the tiers of desks is peculiar. Each tier holds three persons. The lowest tier is a straight front, whilst that of each of the others is divided into three semicircular parts. At the east end the front of the lower desk is lettered three times P.D.A. (President Deacons' Association). The duties of those holding this office were to assist the higher officers in benevolent works. The desks of the next tier above are lettered P.T.A. (President Teachers' Associasion). The duties of this officer were to search for the poor and needy. The next tier is lettered P.A.P. (President Aaronic Priesthood). Their duties were to travel and teach. The highest tier is lettered B.P.A. (Bishops Priesthood Aaronic). Their duties were to protect the poor and govern the supplies furnished them.

The desks of the west end are similar in shape to those on the east. The first is lettered P.E.M., being seats for the three President [sic - Presiding?] Elders of Melchisidec. The second is lettered M.H.P., for the Melchisidec High Priests. It was from this desk that all regular sermons were delivered. The third desk is lettered P.M.H., meaning the President of the Melchisidec High Priests. Joe Smith used to occupy the middle seat, with Sidney Rigdon at his left and Dr. Williams at his right. It is to this office that young Joe Smith has been elevated. The fourth and upper desk is lettered M.P.C., and they were occupied by the Presidents Melchisidec Council, whose duty it was to receive evidence and make final decision in all differences between members of the church. From their decision there was no appeal. The desks were painted white, ornamented with raised letters of gilded wood. The letters have been stolen but their reaces are yet visible.

The room above is the same size as that below, and is fitted up in a precisely similar manner. The attic has been divided into five large rooms, which has been since used by the people of Kirtland as school rooms. There are numerous peculiarities in the construction of this building which we cannot now afford space to describe. The building has been suffered to go to decay. The windows are broken, the canvas screens gone, the elaborate mouldings and ornamental letters carried off by visitors, and traces of the defacing knives of "relic hunters" are everywhere visible. The few remaining Mormons in Kirtland assemble once a week within its solemn walls, to listen to the teachings of Elder Rich. At times a concert, a lecture, or a town meeting is held there, but "the glory of the temple has departed."

Such is the "Land of Zion" and such the "Temple of the Lord," where the seed of the faithful were to [congregate] to the glory of God and the confusion of the Gentiles. At length it seems that the prayers and wishes of the little remnant are to be fulfilled, and the dilapidated Temple once more to be filled with the glory of the Church. Whilst visiting the village a few weeks since we learned that Mr. Harris, -- one of the old Mormons of that village, who claims to have seen the "plates of gold," to have held converse with angels, and to have seen the Saviour attired in a clean shirt and straight bodied coat, -- had received a message from the Lord to again assemble in Kirtland and build up the City of Zion. We then learned that young Joe Smith was looked to as the Prophet that was to lead the renewed Church to power and glory. From the subsequent installation of that man to the office designated, the natural inference is that the rest of the programme is also to be carried out, and that the star of Kirtland is once more in the ascendant.

Note 1: The "Elder Rich" mentioned by the writer was the early Mormon Seventy, Leonard Rich (1800-1868), whose remains lie in the Kirtland cemetery, alongside his first wife Keziah (1805-1853). Rich was born in Connecticut, but eventually moved to Warsaw twp., Genesee Co., New York, where the 1830 census records that he was living near Peter Rich (age 60-70 and perhaps Leonard's father). Leonard was evidently baptized a Mormon in New York in 1831 or 1832. By 1834 he was in Kirtland and departed from there as a member of the 1834 "Zion's Camp" expedition to Missouri. Rich was one of the subscribers to Warren Parrish's Feb. 5, 1838 letter of denunciation against Joseph Smith. After a brief association with Sidney Rigdon's Pittsburgh group, late in 1845 Rich joined with S. B. Stoddard, Hiram Kellogg, James Bump, and others to form the Kirtland "Church of Christ." Most of these Mormons associated with J. J. Strang the following year: Rich went from that group into David Whitmer's "Church of Christ," and from there (with Zadock Brooks) into another, small organization, in opposition to Joseph Smith III and the 1860 "Reorganization."

Note 2: In August of 1860 the RLDS elders, James Blakeslee and William W. Blair met with the little Kirtland congregation, composed of Zadock Brooks, Russell Huntley, James Twist, Martin Harris, Leonard Rich and others, but (except for Twist and Huntley) did not secure their allegiance to the RLDS Church. Leonard Rich didn't live to see the Kirtland Temple pass into the ownership of the Reorganization (in 1873), a development he would surely have deplored.

Note 3: See also the Ohio Statesman of April 18th, 1860 and the Plain Dealer of May 17, 1859, May 18, 1859, June 20, 1859, June 13, 1860 and Aug. 31, 1860 for related news reports.



Vol. ?                              Cincinnati, Ohio, Monday,  April 16, 1860.                              No. ?


Caution. -- A False Report of the Amboy
Conference of Latter Day Saints.

Batavia, Ill., April 13, '60.      
Eds. Com.: -- A gentleman made his appearance in the Amboy Mormon Conference and stated to me and others that he was a reporter of your paper. It appears, however, that he was a reporter of the Gazette, for I have found a false report of the Conference in a Chicago paper, which is credited to the Cin. Gazette. When I return I intend to furnish a true and faithful report. The Gazette report of the speech of Joseph Smith is false, and grossly misrepresents him, and every word which the report contains concerning the character of Joseph, his mother, and the saints of the New Organization, is entirely false and slanderous.   ISAAC SHEEN.

P. S. -- To-morrow I expect to send the Amboy Times with the address corrected and approved by J. Smith. The reporter of the Gazette came afterwards and got a part of the address from the Editor of the Times. The report in the Gazette of the ordinations and proceedings is full of errors. I. S.

The Anti-Young Mormons -- Election of Jo. Smith, Jr., as Prophet -- Re-establishment of the Kirtland "Stake."

When the Mormon Church left Kirtland, in Lake county, for Nauvoo, Iliinois, there were some members who refused to follow. They repudiated the double-wife doctrine and said they would stay in Kirtland, faithful Mormons in all other respects. When the "stake" at Nauvoo was broken up there were some there who also repudiated the doctrine of a multiplicity of wives and who refused to follow the Church across the Plains to St. Lake.

These Mormons have remained true to their original creed to this day, scouting the wife doctrine of Brigham Young and his followers. Recently they have been holding meetings at Kirtland, at Nauvoo, in. Pittsburgh and in Jefferson, Missouri, and have determined to establish the "stake" at Kirtland, in the county of Lake, Ohio, where not many years since three thousaad Mormons congregated and erected a magnificent Temple. This Temple is to be refitted in gorgeous style, Jo. Smith, Jr., a son of the Prophet Jo., upon whose wonderful revelations Mormonism was established, has been elected Prophet. He is said to be quite as wonderful a prophet as his father was. The stake at Kirtland will be in full blast in a few weeks. Smith is there already. He is said to be a young man of decided ability -- cool, well educated, and of very gentlemanly deportment.

Kirtland, O., it will be remembered, was where the Mormon church was first established. It was intended to build a great city there but the wife doctrine, and the licentiousness and drunkenness of the priests, frustrated the design, and Kirtland has ever since been a lonely place. The re-establishment of Mormonism there on an extensive scale has created great excitement, and woke up the rural districts for forty miles around.

Note: See also Elder Sheen's 1859 letter to the Commercial.


The   Daily   Ohio   Statesman.
Vol. VI.                               Columbus, Wednesday, April 18, 1860.                              No. 274.

Mormons in Ohio --
The Kirtland Temple to be Revived.


It is well known that shortly after Joe Smith discovered the "gold plates" near Palmyra, N. Y., and organized the now extensive and powerful sect known as the Mormons, he and his followers removed to Kirtland, Lake Co., Ohio, which had been designated as the "Land of Zion," and erected a "Temple of the Latter day Saints," which was completed and dedicated in the autumn of 1834. Here it was that the "Prophet" Smith assumed temporal as well as spiritual power, and as he felt his power increasing he continued introducing new doctrines and practices, until 1836 the doctrine of Polygamy was breached by one Sydney Rigdon, a pettyfogging lawyer, who had become connected with the Society. This was violently opposed by numerous members of the Society, headed by one Elder Rich. The church refused to sanction Polygamy, but, it is said, both Smith and Rigdon practiced it in a quiet way. The land speculations of the Mormons in that vicinity resulted in numerous law suits and quarrels, and these, together with an attempted murder by the Mormons of one Grandison Newell, still a resident of Lake county, created such a hostile feeling between the Mormons and the people of the surrounding country that the "Prophet" Smith and the disciples removed in 1839 to Illinois.

A few of the faithful, including Elder Rich, who had opposed the later innovations in doctrine, refused to leave "Zion," and to their hands, therefore, was committed the care of the Temple. Of these about a dozen people are left, who remain under the spiritual care of Elder Rich, before mentioned. They have remained faithful to the doctrines of the Church as at first taught, loathe and abhor the corrupt practices and doctrines of the Salt Lake Mormons, and await in patience the regeneration of the Church and its return to the promised Zion. Of this ultimate return to Kirtland they have not the slightest doubt. It has been revealed to them, and cannot, therefore, be doubted.

A short time since, a son of the Prophet Joe Smith, was formally installed at Amboy, Lee Co., Illinois, as "Prophet, Seer, and Revelator in Zion," of the Reformed Mormon Church. -- The Mormons of Illinois claim that they have received a message from the Lord to again assemble in Kirtland and build up the city of Zion, and young Joe Smith is looked to as the Prophet who is to lead the renewed church to power and glory --  Cleveland Leader.

Note: In July of 1860 Rich opposed the designation of Joseph Smith III as President of RLDS Church, and organized his own church of seven people in Kirtland.


The  Athens  Messenger,

Vol. XVII.                              Athens, Ohio, Friday,  April 20, 1860.                              No. 15.

A  New  Prophet.

Young Joe Smith, son of the late Mormon prophet, has concluded to take the place of his father in the Mormon Church. A conference was held at Amboy, Ill., a few days since and a new organization was started. The preachers on the occasion denounced the apostasy of the Church in Utah, and the evils promulgated by Brigham Young and his satellites. Polygamy was especially adverted to as the great evil, and as presenting evidence of the falling away of the Saints. Joe offered himself to the Conference, as the prophet of the new organization on the 6th inst., and was accepted; after which the Church was given over into his hands. Twelve apostles were appointed and ordained to be members of the Council of the Church. Whether the new organization of the Latter Day Saints will take measures to depose Brigham Young and his "false prophets" and "fallen saints" time will determine. -- Journal.

Notes: (forthcoming)


The  Athens  Messenger,

Vol. XVII.                              Athens, Ohio, Friday,  May 4, 1860.                              No. 17.

One  of  the  Twins  Strangled.

The House of Representatives has decided to abolish polygamy in Utah by a vote of 194 to 60. It has thus set the example not only of legislating in the territories, but of legislating in regard to a domestic institution. Douglas's doctrine, that the people of the territories should be free to establish whatever special relations may please them, is by this vote hit directly in the forehead. -- Popular sovereignty becomes nonsense, and the supremacy of Congress is establishced beyond a doubt.

More important than this, the vote breaks the taboo with which the existence of slavery in the Territories has lately been invested in Congressional opinion. What is there to recommend slavery to exemption from interference, which can not be urged with equal force in behalf of polygamy? Both are ancient institutions having prevailed in nearly every age and nation, from the days of Noah to the days of Brigham Young, and from the plains of Iran to the plains of Salt Lake. Both are sanctioned by the practices of the patriarchs, who are nowhere directly rebuked in the Old Testament for their indulgences in either wives or slaves. The same reasoning by which Mr. Hunter proves that slavery is the true and humane condition of society may be adduced to show that polygamy is the normal condition of the family. -- It is therefore just as wrong for Congress to step into Brigham Young's styes, and say that he shall not entertain more than one wife, as it would be for Congress to enter the cabins of the slaveholder, and say that he shall not buy and sell men.

When the Republican Convention of 1856 pronounced slavery and polygamy "twin' relics of barbarism," it spoke the truth; for they have had their origin in the same circumstances, are equally repugnant to the moral law, and alike to their social influences. No objection can be urged against polygamy which is not valid against slavery, and as institutions they deserve to share the same fate. Mr. Nelson, of Tennessee, argues that slaves are held by a right of property, while the marrying of more than one wife is a criminal act; but where polygamy obtains, wives are also regarded as a species of property, while the act is no more criminal in one case than in the other. Moreover, it is not true that under the laws of nature, or the laws of nations, the right of property in slaves is recognized. It is an exceptional "right" altogether, which can only be established by positive municipal regulation, or an immemorial usage, equivalent to law. But polygamy is establishd in Utah with the same sanctions, and the title of the Latter-Day Saints to their wives is just as legitimate as the title of our of our latter-day sinners to their men. -- N. Y. Post.

Notes: (forthcoming)


The   Coshocton  County  Democrat.
Vol. XVI.                               Coshocton, Wednesday, May 23, 1860.                              No. 34.

MORMON WIVES. -- Brother Kimball, in one of his famous Mormon sermons, served the following timely notice on a number of missionaries who were about starting out on a proselyting tour:

"Brethren, I want you to understand that it is not to be as it has been heretofore. The brother missionaries have been in the habit of picking out the prettist women for themselves before they got here, and bringing on the ugliest for us; hereafter you have to bring them all here before taking any of them, and let us all have a fair shake."

The old reprobate then had at least a dozen women whom he called wives.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. XVI.                                 Cleveland, Wednesday, June 13, 1860.                                 No. 140.

(For the Plain Dealer.)

The  Mormons.

MR. EDITOR: Having occasion to pass through your beautiful city and country a few days since, I called al Kirtland to see the Temple that was erected a few years since by thst truly singular people, generally called Mormons, and then by them deserted when they removed to Missouri. While there I found an organization of believers in the Book of Mormon, that are advocating principles differet (so far as my knowledge extends) from those entertained by any branch of this people noticed by the public papers. Hence I took pains to elicit from them what I could concerning their religious views, their relation to the institution in Utah, or with the Latter Day Saints now headed by Joseph Smith, Jr. as the successor of his father. And I here forward to you for your valuable paper, some of the statements by them made to me on this subject.

In this organization I met with Elder Martin Harris, Leonard Rich, of Kirtland, and also with a delegation from Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin, where they say there are a number of branches to this organization, entertaining the same views with those in Kirtland.

They say they have nothing to do with the institution in Utah, and claim that polygamy and all its kindred institutions are a base apostacy from the teachings of the Book of Mormon. They actually read to me from that book, that the polygamy of David and Solomon was an abomination in the sight of the Lord, and that He commanded them that there should not any man among them have but one wife, and that concubines he shou1d have none. Hence they claim that Brigham and his followers are a base set of apostates.

It will be remembered that Martin Harris was the man who furnished the necessary means to print the first edition of the Book of Mormon, and was one of the six that constituted in 1830 the first organization of this peculiar people. Those now at Kirtlllnd and their associates, say,that they are entirely disconnected from all organization of Latter Day Saints, assigning the following as their reason, to wit That in the first organization the Bible and the Book of Mormon was their guide, and that the name of this church was the Church of Christ; and that the highest office in it was that of Elder. But that in June 1831 through the influence of ambitious men, that came among them, they so far changed their organization as to introduce the office of High Priests and also the Aaronick priesthood, and further that in 1833 they published a code of laws, to which the members were requircd to yield obedience, called the "Book of Commandments;" and that in 1835 they revised and enlarged said laws and published them in a work called the "Book of Doctrine and Covenants,"which book with sundry additions, made from time to time, is the principal standard of all Latter Day Saints. They also state that at a council held in Kirtland on May 3d, 1835, the name of the Clurch was changed to the Church of the Latter Day Saints, which they called a heinous crime in the sight of God, and then proceeded to read from the Book of Mormon a very strong condemnation upon upon any people, if they take upon themselves any name except the name of Christ. They say that just as soon as the name of the Church was changed, Joseph Smith started with his warrior band for Missouri, to fight their enemies; and that disaster and confusiOn have attended all their movements from that time until the present, in fulfillment of the curse pronounced upon them im the book; provided they should make the foregoing changes in their organization.

They say that this system of change that commenced in 1831, was bronght on by ambitious men multiplying offices and officers on a rising scale, until after various remodelings, they finally placed Joseph Smith at the head of their institutions, with an absolute dictatorial power that enabled him in his days, and his successors after him, to lead their followers as they pleased. Hence they claim that the scenes in Missouri, Nauvoo and Salt Lake are in no way chargable to the Church of Christ organized in 1830, but all belong to the church of Latter Day Saints, organized in 1834, and variously remodeled since.

They claim that two years ago this prescnt month, in Kirtland, and soon after in Illinois, some of their present number were commanded by revelation to organize the Church of Christ, and take the Blble and Book of Mormon for their guide; and that since they have effected this organization numbers have been added to them, both from those that formerly believed the Book of Mormon and others, who through their efforts have become believers in the book.

While I was in Kirtland they removed the name of Latter Day Saints from the Temple, and said that they should put the name of Christ in its stead. They were also circularing a subscription far and near to raise means to repair the Temple, which building, I assure you, has been most shamefully defaced by many out of the vast multitudes that curiosity has led to visit it.

Both the members in Kirtlnnd and tbe delegates from the west expressed firm confidence that they should succeed in repairing the Temple, and building up a strong Church in the world, which, they say, will be as renowned for purity and holiness as the Latter Day Saints, commonly called Mormons, are for vice and immorality.

Your correspondent was somewhat surprised to find that most of the people With whom he conversed, in and about Kirtland, expressed a desire that the Mormons should return -- provided that they will live and preach as the majority did when they first came there, in 1830. Time will tell what new wonders this people will bring to pass.

Yours, &c., Z.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. XXVI.                         Cleveland, Ohio, Wednesday,  June 20, 1860.                         No. 146.

Another  Letter  from  "Quails."

Nauvoo, Illinois.    
Sunday Eve., June 3d, 1860.    
As we prophesied that we might in our yesterday's letter -- written and mailed in Keokuk -- we concluded, on the approach of evening, to turn our steps towards the deserted but famed city of Nauvoo. Taking the cars of the Keokuk, Mount Pleasant & Muscatine Railroad, we proceeded up the river twelve miles to Montrose, a small town on the western bank of the Mississippi, in Iowa, which town -- as a Sucker in our party expressed it -- "wasn't celebrated for being very live or very dead, but only for being opposite Nauvoo."

Taking our carpet sack in hand, we approached a man having a blossoming countenance, and asked if he could direct us to the best hotel.

"I reckon!" was the reply.

"Well, where is it?"

"Do you want some one to tote your traps?"

"No, we want the hotel!"

"Well, you kin go down that way by the levee, or you kin cut across that lot o' weeds and come out on the corner jist above the Post Office, and then cut across and --"

"Hold on!" we exclaimed; "we can find the place quicker without any direction;" and following the crowd, consisting of a hump-backed boy and a yellow dog, we in due time found the hotel. On asking the good lady of the house if we could have supper, she replied:

"I reckon."

"How long first?" we inquired.

"Well, I allow you'll have to wait quite a smart chance of a bit, 'cause I ain't milked yet!"

Apologizing for our seeming haste, and blushing up to the top of our ears at the woman's innocent but novel way of expressing herself, we bided our time, and had a bowl of as good bread and milk as ever cheered the palate of a weary traveler.

Nauvoo, from Montrose, presents a grand view, as it overlooks the island in the river and being nearly two miles distant, hides from the eye of the traveler in Montrose its many marks of decay. The city stands in an elbow of the Mississippi, and for about three-quarters of a mile from the river the land is dead level some fifteen feet above high water mark, -- the soil of a rich black loam over six feet in depth, and being evidently an alluvial deposit of ages long past. Back from this bend the land gradually but quickly rises to a height of over one hundred feet, and on the top of the highest point stand the magnificent ruins of the Nauvoo Temple. The town is laid out at right angles, in wide streets, and with four acres of land in each block. It was originally intended that each resident should have one acre of land for his own family use -- there thus being four residents to each block, but as the city in its prosperous day became crowded, many of these estates were divided and sold for house lots, with only fifty and sixty feet front. There are at present but three thousand people in Nauvoo -- the majority of these being German and French. The city at one time numbered nearly fifteen thousand. Many of the houses that were formerly the residences of men of wealth, influence and position, are now empty and are rapidly going to decay. Gardens in which fifteen years ago were cultivated the best and rarest vegetables, are now overrun with weeds and filth. Barns that were formerly built for the best stock in the Union, are now wailing with their creaking doors and clattering clapboards, their lost position, and are only the homes of innumerable rats and swallows. The Masonic Hall, built of brick, looks like a deserted horse-barn in its last stages of decay, and although the old Lodge Room is used occasionally by a German musical society for its meetings, it is sadly out of repair, and is only used because no other place can be obtained.

Some twenty rods in a south-easterly course from the Masonic Temple, are the remains of what evidently was formerly a house and store united. It is built of brick, having a back and side wing, with a handsome porch in front, and was no doubt fifteen years ago one of the leading institutions of the place. The old sign -- VARIETY STORE -- is yet upon the building, and above this sign was formerly painted in lively colors some large animal like a tiger, lion or leopard, but Old Time has so worked upon the paint that it is now difficult to tell what the painter intended to represent, although his own name in small black letters, tells us in the lower corner that the work was executed by MARTIN. We shall make a sketch of this house and a number of others before leaving Nauvoo -- for the benefit of future historical painters. The town was originally called Commerce, but on being purchased by the Mormons in 1838, it was baptized Nauvoo. It is so situated that without the aid of the Mormons -- or some such extensive society, united in its efforts -- it can never be anything more than a languishing village.

Its advantages are all summed up in the fact that it has an abundance of the best quality building stone, and its soil is almost unequaled. Its disadvantages are -- the channel of the Mississippi is on the opposite side of the river -- some two miles distant -- and the town standing on the inside of a nine mile elbow of the river, has water on the south, on the west, and on the north, so that all of the vast rich country back of the shoulders of this bend must naturally become tributary to other and nearer towns on the river.

The town has no water powers -- although with great expense, by a plan which no man but Joseph Smith, or some person with such gigantic notions, would ever think of putting into operation, a deep canal might be cut across this bend, and thus tap the Mississippi two miles above, and a power could thus be manufactured which would only be secondary to that of St. Anthony. This plan was suggested by Smith, and if he had lived to the present time in undisturbed possession of this place -- the lowlands would no doubt have now been studded with manufacturers. Smith was murdered in 1844.

The Nauvoo Temple was quarried within two miles of where the ruins now stand, was commenced in May 1841, and was burned October 8th, 1848. The stone is of a peculiar quality and presents an appearance strongly resembling second class Italian marble, being nearly white with occasional streaks of blue and gray. It is composed of hard slate mixed with pebbly sandstone, and numerous shell petrifactions. The Temple stood upon the ground 84 feet front, by 120 feet deep, and was 80 feet to the eaves -- The fire -- which was the wotk of an incendiary -- together with the severe storms peculiar to this section -- have made sad havoc with the noble old structure, and there now only remains standing the front wall -- facing west -- and about twenty feet of each of the side walls -- extending to the back wall of the vestibule. This will no doubt soon tumble, as it is already badly cracked, and perceptibly leans to the east. -- There are six columns in the front wall, about sixty-five feet in height, each column having a carved representation of the old moon at the base, and the bright blazing sun at the top. The style or architecture is unlike anything either in this country or in Europe, and reflects credit on the taste and conception of the architect and builder.

Having now given a history of Nauvoo and its appearance, we will give a report of our debut in this famous place, and our reception. -- We crossed over in a row-boat from Montrose this Sunday morning at nine o'clock, and proceeded at once with a carpet sack in hand to the Mansion House, kept in excellent style by Lewis C. Bidamon, the husband of the late widow of the renowned Joseph Smith. On making ourself known -- not by signs, grips, winks and profanity -- as visitors often attempt to do here -- we were hospitably received, and were soon introduced to the late Mrs. Smith and her three sons -- Joseph, Jr., Alexander and David. It is by the choice of the Mormons in Illinois and Ohio, and many of the best of those in Salt Lake City, that the shoulders of Joseph, Jr., shall wear the mantle of the famous Prophet.

Joseph, Jr., stands five feet eight and a half inches in height, walks with a firm upright step, weighs 165 pounds, is dark complexion, has black hair, dark hazle eyes, a long oblong head, prominent but straight nose, thin face, though not thin in flesh, as the lines from his temples to the edges of his projecting lower jaw are straight and expressive of shrewdness, intellect, self-reliance and an unwavering firmness. We had not been in conversation with this gentleman five minutes before we were firmly impressed with the fact that like Louis Napoleon whom we met in Paris in 1856 he had been greatly umderrated by newspaper writers.Like Louis Napoleon, Mr. Smith feels that he has got to sustain the name of the hero that has gone before him, that he has a destiny to fulfil, and like Louis Napoleon -- unless we err in our judgement -- he will yet astonish the world by his natural energy and self-reliance. Both he and his mother are uncompromising foes to polygamy, and claim that if they ever re-unite the Mormons in their name, that they will only claim the rights and liberties granted to other religious denominations. Mr. Smith was born on the 6th of November, 1832, and will, therefore, be but 28 years of age this coming fall. He lives in a neat little one story dwelling opposite the Mansion House, has three acres of land, facing the river for his garden, has an accomplished wife and one child, a daughter three years of age, and enjoys the confidence and esteem of the citizens generally to such an extent that he was elected Justice of the Peace without opposition. When in connection with this fact it becomes known that the citizens are all opposed to Mormonism, and that there are but two avowed Mormons in Nauvoo, it must be admitted that the compliment is one of no ordinary value or meaning.

Mrs. Bidamon -- nee Smith, is a woman of perhaps sixty years of age, straight as an Indian, has bright piercing eyes, a fluent tongue, and displays that native vigor and energy which, when found in a mother, invariably produce children who make their mark.

Mrs. Smith stated that of the people who went to Utah there were but two classes fools and knaves. Those of the first class, were humbugged into the belief that a reformation would be commenced by the self-constituted leaders who were rotten in morals, reputation and inclination; while those of the latter lived only for their base, wicked passions, and went to Utah with the firm resolve of indulging in those passions regardless of christianity, morality or decency.

Alexander Smith is about eighteen years of age, and somewhat resembles Joseph, Jr., but has not the dignity or force of character of his brother, although we think he will make a smart man.

David Smith is fourteen years old, has a classic but pensive countenance, and is by inclination an artist. In architectural and fancy drawing he would bear no bad comparison to many of our professors.

This letter is already too long, but we cannot close it without one word about masonry. It has been stated that all Mormons were masons. This is untrue. A few of the Mormons were members of eastern lodges. They instituted a Lodge in Nauvoo, and as they commenced work in violation of the laws of the Grand Lodge, their charter was at once withdrawn, and they afterwards introduced a new ritual, interspersed with Mormon obligations, so that the Mormon Secret Society (called Masonic) was as unlike masonry as the monthly meetings of a New York fire company are unlike a Cape Cod Camp Meeting. No person who was a member of one society could work his way into a lodge of the other.

We have just returned from a visit to the Temple in company with Joseph Smith, Jr., and have also strolled about and seen the lions of the town, and will now close this letter.   QUAILS.

Note: Frederick H. Piercy's 1855 book, Route From Liverpool to Great Salt Lake Valley, gives an illustrated glimpse of the Smiths at Nauvoo, a few years prior to that provided by the Herald's correspondent.



Vol. XXVI.                         Cleveland, Ohio, Saturday,  June 23, 1860.                         No. 149.

Another  Letter  from  "Quails."

Fort Madison, Iowa, June 4, 1860.    
After closing our Nauvoo letter, with sketch book in hand we commenced our trip through the Mormon city to make drawings of such places as interested us. Walking slowly we were overtaken by a company that had just crossed the river from a large passenger steamer at the levee on the Iowa side. Thinking we might perhaps make some rich notes by being an outsider, we replied in expressive signs with our fingers, eyebrows and lips (to questions propounded) that we were deaf and dumb, and could understand only the language of the pencil. In this way the communication was kept up for a few minutes, when one of the company, from Missouri, exclaimed:

"I allow he is the deaf and dumb Indian kept by Joe Smith, Jr., to take care of his wives!"...

"Joe Smith haint got no wives!" said one of the party.

"Yes he has! he's got a pile of 'em!"...

"What's that big building?" inquired a wrinkled old maid of forty, of a boy who was passing.

"That's Masonic Hall," replied the lad, turning a corner and whistling "Jordan is a hard road to travel."

"Well, aint that too bad?" said the old maid, contemplating the old hall with feelings of awe and wonderment. "I spose many a goat had been rid in that buildin!"

"Lots of 'em, I'll warrant!" said a man in spectacles.

"Was the Mormons all masons?" enquired the young Miss.

"Every dog-on one of em!" exclaimed the Missourian. "Every dog-on one of 'em, and there couldn'y nobody join the Mormons that didn't join the masons; and if, when they joined the masons, they didn't say yes to every dog-on question 'twas asked 'em, they had red hot irons run clear through 'em!"

The young maiden leaned languishingly against the vest pattern of the Missouri orator, looked up into his eyes with a wilting expression, and breathed "Oh dear!," while we made some additional dog-on minutes and continued to listen.

..."Come, whoora!" exclaimed the Missourian, "let's every dog-on one of us go down to see Joe Smith, Jr."

"O no!" whispered the maiden; "I'm afraid!"

"'Twon't do any good if we do go!" said the old maid... "I heard a lot of Boston editors, and Thurlow Weed of New York, say last Wednesday that they come clean out from Chicago ro see Joe, and then he wouldn't see 'em!"

"Yes, that's so!" remarked the man in specs, "they say he don't receive anybody but traveling Mormons!"

We thought of Deak's remark the week before, that we looked like a traveling Mormon, and we only concealed a laugh by walking hastily away in the direction of the Temple.

We now close the description of our Nauvoo, visit, and of the large amount of information that we gained thereby, with the remark that although Joe Smith, Jr., and his mother, are the only avowed defenders of Mormonism -- in Nauvoo -- as taught in the Book of Mormon -- viz: free from polygamy -- still when Joseph, Jr., shall sound the trumpet, as he assuredly will ere long, for the true believers to come together and again be united, some of the leading families in the southern part of Illinois -- who are now the least suspected -- will rally with enthusiasm around Joseph's standard.

Since our visit to Nauvoo, we have learned the names of all the leading Mormons from the infancy of the society, and among these we find some of the highest integrity and spotless reputations; people, in short, who for reasons no doubt satisfactory to themselves, have for years kept aloof from the society -- waiting, perhaps for the trumpet of Joseph, Jr....   QUAILS

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol XLIV.                          Warren, Ohio, Wednesday, July 4, 1860.                           No. 47.


A correspondent of the Burlington (Iowa) Hawkeye writes from Council Bluffs:

The great Mormon Conference, which met here June 1st adjourned last Sunday, to meet in De Kalb County, Ill. next October. Young Joe did not make his appearance, for the reason, we suppose, that he is not well enough posted in the tomfooleries of the faith to make a respectable prophet. A report was in circulation Sunday morning that a large number of believers were to be baptized in the Elk, above town, in the afternoon, and we were planning to turn out in mass and see the ceremony, but the report was a hoax. Not a solitary baptism crowned the labors of the devoted apostles, and the throng of backsliders and incipient Saints scattered away over the slope, no better off I fear, than when they come together, but with glorious prospects of "a good time coming" looming up before them like an Iowa forest in mirage. Brother Gurly and brother Briggs had preached themselves hoarse, and thrown off balderdash enough to last the faithful several months no doubt, and to awake a keen sense of the ridiculous among the Gentiles. These apostles read the Bible and the Book of Mormon, and "mix things" in proportions to suit themselves, and a more senseless arrangement of fragmentary ideas and indiscriminate butchery of the Queen's English it would be hard to find. Some of my readers will laugh when they learn that Calvin Beebe and James Orton, of this city, have been duty appointed to look after the Saints during the absence of the apostles.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. XVI.                                 Cleveland, Friday, August 31, 1860.                                 No. 207.

The  Temple  at  Kirtland.

The few Mormons at Kirtland under the lead of Elder Rich are repairing the Temple -- putting on a new roof, painting the outside, &c. The Temple is three stories high, built of stone and cost $20,000. The Mormons who want to restore it to its pristine spendor are those who refused to follow Jo. Smith to Nauvoo, and who scout at the wife theory of the Mormons in Utah.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Elyria  Independent  Democrat.

Vol. IX.                         Elyria, Ohio, Wednesday  September 5, 1860.                         No. 7.

New Mormon Excitement.

The report that Joe Smith Jr., had summoned the faithful to return to Nauvoo, has raised a great excitement among the people of Hancock County. The people are called upon to hold meetings through the county, and to take immediate and decided measures to counteract the Mormon movement, and the excitement among the people in that region is represented as increasing daily, the public peace being threatened, and another Mormon War, like that of several years ago in the same locality, being almost certain, if the proposed movement of young Joe Smith is carried out.

Note: The above news item relates to Joseph Smith III. His gathering of Saints to Hancock County was so small as to be practically unnoticeable -- and subsequently the RLDS altogether abandoned the literal gathering of Israel upon the American continent as an article of faith. This change in religious policy had earlier been advocated by William Smith: for the Reorganized LDS of the 1860s, it proved to be a successful and peaceful innovation.



Vol. ?                              Cincinnati, Ohio,  July 15?, 1861.                              No. ?

From  Utah.

Brigham Young is a greater tyrant than Nicholas of Russia. I am satisfied that his downfall is at hand, for the division has already commenced. In Weber county, near Ogden City, there is a new prophet arisen by the name of Joseph Morris. He has written many books, and says there is a revelation of God against this people. He says that the judgments of God are to come upon this people, Brigham and the authorities of this church, within the year 1861, and that God is going to destroy the wicked leaders of this people. The people around him, almost all, believe in him as a true prophet of God. He lives about 80 miles from this place * * * I am of the opinion that he is the man to bring forth that bloody conflict which the prophet Joseph foresaw, for the Brighamites are already threatening him and his followers with extermination. I believe all the branches of the church where he lives have joined him * * * There is much rumor about the troops leaving Utah. They expect to be ordered to leave every day. Letters came here by the Pony Express, May 29th, that an order was issued in Washington, May 21st, to call the troops into the States from this place, and ever since the Quartermaster has been making preparations to start when the order comes, but it has not arrived. There are thousands of poor people here who wish for the troops to remain until they can obtain teams to take them away, and if the troops leave they will not know what to do. There are many, yes, very many poor families who wish they were out of Utah. No man who knows how poor people suffer in this Territory, but those who experience it... [text of a Morrisite revelation follows]

Note 1: The exact date of the above communication from RLDS Elder Isaac Sheen to the Cincinnati Commercial remains undetermined. The text is taken from a fragment of the original, and from a reprint, published in the July 17, 1861 issue of the Chicago Tribune, which begins with this editorial preface: "The Cincinnati Commercial contains a letter written by Isaac Sheen, from Fort Crittenden (formerly Camp Floyd), Utah, under date of June 18th, from which we learn that the indications and preparations for civil war in Utah are very marked..."

Note 2: See also Elder Sheen's earlier letter, published in the Saturday Evening Post, and another, in the Cincinnatti Comercial, just prior to the formal founding of the RLDS Church.


The  Marysville  Tribune.

Vol. XII.                          Marysville, Ohio, Wednesday,  August 14, 1861.                          No. 49.

The Mormons and the War.

The Mormons are neutral in the war, but profess loyalty to the Union. At the celebration of the 4th of July at Salt Lake City, one of the leading speakers declared:

We do not wish to parade our loyalty, nor render fulsom adulation to men or empty institutions, but the Constitution of the United States has ever been respected and honored by us. We consider it one of the best national instruments ever formed. Nay, further, Joseph Smith, in his day, said it was given by inspiration of God.

We have ever stood by it, and we expect when the fanaticism of false blantant friends shall have torn it shred from shred, to stand by the shattered ruins and uphold the broken, deserted remnants of our country's institutions in all their primitive and pristine purity.

Note: The above excerpt was taken from the 1861 LDS declaration announced by Apostle John Taylor. He also stated: "It may now be proper to inquire what part shall we take in the present difficulties.... Shall we join the North to fight against the South? No! Shall we join the South against the North? As emphatically, No! Why? They have both, as before shown, brought it upon themselves, and we have had no hand in the matter. Whigs, Democrats, Americans, and Republicans have all in turn endeavored to stain their hands in innocent blood, and whatever others may do, we cannot conscientiously help to tear down the fabric we are sworn to uphold. We know no North, no South..."



Vol. XXX.                         Cincinnati, Ohio, Thursday,  June 26, 1862.                         No. 204.



Phin. Homan, the correspondent of the New York Herald, lately drowned near Hilton Head, and well known in Detroit, was at one time a printer, working at Palmyra, and one of the few engaged in printing the first Mormon Bible from the manuscript furnished by Jo Smith. From his connection with the publication, and his intimacy with the Prophet and Harris, the moneyed man of the enterprise, bringing to bear the large amount of shrewdness and intelligence of which he was possessed, he had an inside view of the first start of Mormonism, such as probably no other man ever enjoyed. He ever maintained that the Bible was a work of Smith's own creation, and gave him credit for a good deal more sagacity, and so far as he was concerned, honesty than the outside world was ever disposed to accord to the ill-fated Prophet.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. ?                         Cincinnati, Ohio, Thursday,  March 24, 1864.                         No. ?


The Ancient City of the Saints and its Modern Remains --
Vine Culture in Nauvoo -- The Mormon Temple -- The Widows
of Joe Smith and Joe Smith, Jr.

(see original article in the Carthage Republican)

Note: See also the Cincinnati Gazette of March 3, 1870.



Vol. ?                         Cincinnati, Ohio, Thursday,  December 22, 1864.                         No. ?

The  Mormons  and  their  Position.

There are indications that serious trouble may yet grow out of the condition of affairs among the Mormons in Utah. It will be remembered that a law of Congress, approved July 1, 1862, forbids and punishes polygamy by a fine of $500 and imprisonment for five years. Recent letters represent that the Mormon leaders, and as many of their followers as are able, are in rebellion against this law. The same statute forbids any religious or charitable corporation to hold real estate in value above $50,000. The whole church is in deadly rebellion against this law. Of course no Federal officer, military or civil, can hold friendly relations with them while they thus continue in open defiance of his Government, without being guilty of complicity with traitors; but so far from regarding himself a criminal, Brigham Young carries himself with the utmost haughtiness, insisting that the Federal commander in Utah shall recognise him as his superior. The position and pretensions of the Mormon leader thus bring them in direct antagonism with the United States, and one party or the other must submit. General Connor, the present commander of the Federal forces, in that region, maintains that the only possible peaceable solution of the difficulty will be found in encouraging and protecting by force, the free utterance of thought and opinion among the people, which will weaken their spirtual despotism by a multiplicity of sects, and take from the leaders their political supremacy, and in opening the rich mines in the neighboring mountains, and thus out-numbering them at the polls by a mining population. Meanwhile, as we learn from a letter in the Chicago Tribune, the increase of the Mormons by emigration goes steadily forward. Trains numbering as many as 5,000 people, have recently crossed the wide desert which divides them from. the States. When once there, they are as effectually walled in as if in prison, and read nothing and hear nothing but from Mormon sources. They are set back in the scale of civilization more than a century, and their preachers give them little besides a gospel of work. In Utah, which claims a population of 100,000 people, with a metropolis (Salt Lake) containing some 20,000 people, there is not a single book-store, and scarcely a book is ever sold, while newspaper literature, except such as the Mormon organ supplies, is equally meager.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXVII.                 Columbus, Ohio, Saturday, March 4, 1865.                 No. 197.

Mormon and Mormonism in
Hancock County, Ill.

We learn from the Carthage Republican that rumors are current that five or six hundred Mormon families are expected to arrive in the vicinity of Nauvoo during the coming spring and summer. It is alleged that they are wholly adherents to the young Jo. Smith, now residing at Nauvoo. There are already in that county some three or four hundred persons who adhere to the Mormon doctrine, most of them reside near Nauvoo and attend the preaching of the young prophet. Their meetings are held a two story brick building near the river, which was formerly known as the Lord's store house. Thus far the Republican has heard no complaints of these people whatever. What may transpire upon the coming of the large body expected, time will determine.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                         Cincinnati, Ohio, Monday,  November 13, 1865.                         No. ?


Sketches of Sermons by Brigham Young, Heber Kimball,
George A. Smith, Bishops Hardy and Raleigh, and Elder Byrd.

Intense Hostility to the Government.

The Mormons Drilling and Procuring Arms and Ammunition.

They Declare They Will Fight for Polygamy.

How Federal Offices Are Filled and the Internal Revenue Collected.


(Correspondence New York Tribune.)

Sunday, October 8, 1865.      
I have spent seventeen days here for the purpose of studying the anomalous condition of affairs in Utah.


Last June, in Brigham's long conference with the Colfax party, he professed a desire that the conversation should be entirely frank on both sides. He assured us that polygamy was not an original, vital feature of their faith, but a later revelation, and to most, a privilege, not an obligation. And without distinctly saying so, he left the clear impression upon the minds of all of us that the Mormons saw it must succumb to contact with advancing settlement and civilization, and would ere long find some excuse to abandon it. I do not say that he willfully deceived us; but he certainly gave us this idea. James M. Ashley, of Ohio, Chairman of the House Committee on Territories, here a few days later, had two interviews with Brigham, and if the San Francisco papers report him faithfully, he left with the same belief J. Ross Browne, the well-known tourist, and author who was here still later, formed the same opinion.

In this faith, I endeavored to write of the people and leaders with the utmost kindness; to say nothing of their disloyalty in the past; nothing of the grave crimes alleged to have been committed in the name of the church; nothing of the revolting details of polygamy, which all the Gentiles poured into my ears. If they were willing to abandon the one illegal and obnoxious feature of their social life, which they call a part of their religion, it seemed wise not to reopen any old issues, or hold them to strict accountability for any thing done while they were smarting under supposed religious persecution.

But Brigham simply deluded us. Within a few hours after the interview with Mr. Colfax and his friends, he solemnized three polygamous marriages. One of the bridegrooms was Mr. John Myers, keeper of Myers' Stage Station, at Bear Lake. The other parties will be named if the statement is authoritatively denied. The public tone of all the leaders has radically changed. They preach that Polygamy is their religion, that they will adhere to it, living or dying, even by force of arms, if necessary; that the people and Government of the United States are their bitterest enemies, and desire to destroy them, but must be resisted to the death, if they adopt violent measures. I have heard sermons here so disloyal that they brought the blood to my cheeks; but first let me quote from two which I did not hear:


At Toole City, Sunday, August 28, several of the leaders addressed a congregation. Portions of their remarks are thus reported by James W. Gibson, a soldier in the United States service. He is ready to make affidavit to the literal accuracy of the report; and Colonel Milo George, of 1st Nevada Volunteers, commandant of this post, vouches fully for his veracity. George A. Smith is one of the Twelve Apostles -- the highest authorities of the Church after Brigham and Heber Kimball. Among other things he said: "The Lincoln Administration did not want peace with the South, but wanted to destroy and devastate all the good Southern people. In order to do so, the party in power had laid aside the Constitution entirely, and were the main ones who rebelled, and the South was right. The Northern army burned and destroyed every thing in the South, and abused, by force, all their women. They would be here some day to treat the fair women of Utah in like manner, and all, both old and young, should have plenty of arms. When they approached, God would fight the battles, and the Saints would be victorious! He said our Government was not at peace; and he damned it, and hoped to see the day when it would sink to hell. Nothing in the shape of a free Government could ever stand on North "American soil that was opposed to Mormonism and polygamy!"


The following sentences are from the "sermon" of Brigham Young: "Our Constitution has been violated and misused; the whole nation and the whole world had been arrayed against the Latter Day Saints; our Government had tampered with the Mormons when it had no right to; he had told the Government often that he was willing to be tried here by the law for any accusation brought against him, and nothing could be done with him. The Mormons had the law in their own hands and would do as they pleased."

The Congregation -- "Amen!"

Brigham -- "If they undertook to try him in a Gentile court he would see the Government in hell first, and was ready to fight the Government the rub. He had his soldiers, and rifles, and pistols, and ammunition, and plenty of it, and cannon, too, and would use them. He was 'on it!' The Governor of this Territory was useless, and could do nothing. He (Brigham) was the real Governor of this people, and by the powers of the Most High he would be Governor of this Territory forever and ever. If the Gentiles did not like this they could leave and go to hell. Nine-tenths of the people of the Territory were Southern sympathizers; the North was wrong, and this people sympathized with the South."


On Sunday, September 24, there were regular church services at the Bowery in this city, where the summer worship is conducted, and the congregation ranges from 3,000 to 6,000. Brigham was absent on a Southern tour, and Heber Kimball presided. I did not attend the morning services, but five gentlemen from New York who were present assured me that Heber's remarks were intensely disloyal. Among other excuses for his bitterness, he said to his hearers: "Colfax told us that they had wiped out one National cancer, and were now about to remove the other; that wo should not be permitted to stay here more than three years longer." This was a deliberate, unmitigated falsehood; Mr. Colfax never said any thing of the kind, but such statements serve to embitter the people, who receive as Gospel truth whatever their leaders tell them. In the afternoon I found the Bowery densely crowded. Upon the platform sat Heber" (wearing his hat, which he seldom lays aside) and several other church leaders. The preaching, as it invariably is, was extemporaneous. Heber called up speaker after speaker, and all responded without hesitancy or preparation. I believe it is their theory that the Spirit of God inspires them. The method has made all the prominent "brethren" fluent speakers, and developed their capacity for thinking on their legs. Whenever Heber thought one had talked long enough, he checked him whenever he thought one venturing on dangerous ground, he cautioned him. When Brigham presides, he often checks Heber.


Nearly all Mormons of capacity are sent, sooner or later, to some foreign country, to preach the Gospel, of the Latter-Day Saints. The first speaker this afternoon was Elder J. W. Byrd, with bald forehead long, flowing hair, and long beard which swept his breast. He appeared in sable broadcloth and black kid gloves. He had just came back from a mission of three years and a half. "He was glad to return to their mountain home. He had tried to do his duty faithfully, and had led some into the kingdom though he found about nine-tenths of the people infidels, disbelievers in the bible. It was not pleasant preaching abroad in the open air, where he was liable at any moment to have a buckshot thrown at his head; but God had kept all the promises He made to him at the outset. At first every one asked him about the great American war, which had now ended, or rather, ceased for a time. He told them all that it would last while he stayed abroad. On the very day before he left England they received news that "an assassin or somebody had killed President Lincoln; and on the day before that, intelligence of Lee's surrender. The war had ceased only for a time. Thirty years ago Brother Joseph Smith predicted that war would begin in South Carolina and spread throughout the world as a punishment for its wickedness. All over Europe now the most stupend-i-ous preparations ever witnessed were being made for war."


Bishop L. W. Hardy, a native of Massachusetts, who is the husband of four wives, was next called upon. Tall, closely shaven, with thin face, heaven-ward nose, and straight brown hair, he also appeared in black. His brief exhortation was made with some clearness and force. As all the leaders do, he dwelt much upon the wonderful growth and prosperity of the Mormons, as evidence that they are specially protected by the Almighty. He said: "Brother Byrd has alluded to their persecutions; he might have had a brick-bat thrown at him. Suppose he had; he would have been no worse on't than Christ was, when he was persecuted. It would not have hurt him any more than it hurt Stephen, when he was stoned to death. God would carry them through. The longer he lived the more he narveled at what God had done for them; the prospect looked brighter and brighter; religion seemed bitter and better."


The next speaker was Bishop A. H. Raleigh, in a suit of brown linen, a medium-sized, smooth-faced man, evidently popular with the congregation. He said: "I see I have got myself into a scrape. [Laughter.] You don'tknow what I am going to say. I don't. But if I keep on speaking I shall probably say something. I usually do. I am helping in every possible way to build up the Kingdom of God. That's the job I have on hand -- to work in the domestic affairs of God's Kingdom. We can't all be teachers and prophets; but we can all serve Him by doing our duty, wherever it lies.

"I was born in this country. So was my father. He fought in the revolution for its liberties, and to build up the Constitution and its laws. I am in favor of the Constitution; but it has been departed from. We will bring the country back to it. I have never feared the result in the little brushes we have had with Uncle Sam, or rather he with us. I knew we (should come out all right. We mean to have our rights. Let them talk about this 'twin relic.' If they attempt to deprive us of our rights, we have the tools and know how to use them. [Murmurs of approbation.]

"We left the East because there our enemies had the power. But the time is coming when we shall ask no odds of them. We don't ask any now -- here. Let them come to overpower us if they want to. We will show them when they get here -- or, rather, a little before they get here. Only don't let us go to bring them; let us stay here and mind our own business.

"A little while ago I met a Government Colonel at a blacksmith's shop. He asked me, 'where do you get your iron?' I replied, 'Uncle Sam was good enough to send it out in the Camp Lloyd Expedition. * And no doubt he will do it again by the time this is gone.' Yes, the very force sent out here to overthrow us brought us iron, wagons, mules, and the money to buy them. So it will continue to be. If we are wise and keep our plates turned up, the porridge will run into them. "True, we are a territory. They pretend to rule us. They send out Governors for us. As long as they suit us, we keep them; when they don't, they soon get a ticket of leave. We shall discomfit our enemies. We shall see our Church -- the Kingdom of God -- spread over the whole land. I expect to live to see that. Our children will see it spread over the whole earth. That is my prophesy. It is God's truth. May God bless us all."

Congregation --"Amen."

* True. That expedition, from the abandoned wagons and arms it left behind, supplied tlie Mormons with iron and guns, in addition to enriching them by the money paid tor wheat aud other supplies. Financially, it was a Godsend to them; and its result greatly increased the power and prestige of their leaders among the masses.


Mr. David O'Calder was next called up, and made a brief, Christian address, upon the practical duties of life. He was followed by Heber himself -- who was formed in a coarser mold than Brigham, and with far less caution. Once he said to a Gentile in this city: "I always pray for my enemies. I pray that they may go to Hell across lots!" He is a large man, with oily, sensual face, and a bald head, which he protects by wearing his hat on nearly all occasions. To-day he arose without it. His "sermon" was a remarkable jumble; one-third Adminidab Sleek, and one-third John C. Calhoun (in disloyalty, not ability), one-third circus-clown. The following report somewhat softens its ruggedness and coarseness. He said:

"Anybody who feels sleepy had better wake up. [Laughter], I mean, make himself comfortable. I am a little jovial; it is my way; my fathers were. But, bless you! a man may be jovial and yet be good. And I tell the truth, and everybody who hears me knows it. Do you think God will associate with anybody who lies?" There were several strangers here this morning; some from Missouri, and some from Illinois; some from the North, and some from the South. They thought what I said was foolishness. They think what the brethern have said this afternoon is foolishness. But so it always is. The things of God must be foolishness to those out of the kingdom.

"(Putting on his hat). We believe the Bible. (To the Gentiles present). You don't. We believe this Book of Mormon. It was written on plates, and its place of burial revealed to Joseph Smith by the Angel Moroni, the only angel who has appeared on this continent, and of which the Indian tribes are relics. "Our kingdom is true. God revealed it to me thirty-three years ago. We were instructed to teach to this generation only repentance, remission of sins, laying on of hands and baptism, Not sprinkling -- there is no such word as sprinkle in the Bible; but immersion -- to be buried in the liquid, as John was buried. How could he be buried if he was only sprinkled. The burial is typical of death, and the coming out typical of the resurrection.

"We believe what Christ taught, the commandments he gave. He said: 'Thou shalt not interfere with thy neighbor's wife, nor his daughter, his house, nor his man servant nor his maid servant.' Christ said this, but our enemies don't believe it. That was the trouble between the North and the South. The Abolitionists of the North stole [our] niggers and caused it all. The nigger was well off and happy. How do you know this, brother Heber? Why, God bless your soul, I used to live in the South, and I know. Now they have set the nigger free, and a beautiful thing they have done for him, haven't they?

"I am what you might call a son of the veterans. My father bled in the revolution for our liberties. I, his son, have been five times robbed and driven out by Gentile persecutors, I and my brothers, Charles and Samuel. They threaten to come here and destroy us. Let them come. I am the boy that will resist them.

"I first went abroad to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom to the nations of the earth. There are 50,000 or 75,000 people in this valley, to whom I have preached it in other lands. That's the reason you are here. We had been driven out from Kirtland (O). Joseph Smith said 'Go,' and I went. I preached God's truth. Any man who is not willing to be saved as I have been, will be damned.

"I baptized by the authority of Jesus Christ. I first baptized two sick women. They had to be carried in beds from the carriages to the water. The doctors had given them up. But when I baptized them, both recovered, from that hour. One was brother George Watt's mother; the other was sister Wormsley. Many were healed by touching the hem of my garments. I did not know it, but they was.

"Property? Why, as I told you this morning, I have got property enough. I didn't steal it. I worked for it. I am a working feller. If you don't believe it, come up to my house and see; come and help me a little, I will start the sweat on you. I will raise the dander on your jacket. Come and grind wheat with me I am a miller. I am a blacksmith -- learned the trade of my father. Come up and I will show you. I am a potter. I learned that trade. You don't believe it? Then come up and see if I don't mold you into something. [Laughter.] And as for chopping, I can chop with any one of you. I have chopped cord-wood all day, day after day, with Joseph Smith, Samuel Smith, John Smith and James Smith, and it was just nip and tuck between us. And I am as good a carpenter as there is in this Territory.

"Many strangers come through here now. They are a great deal more plenty than they used to be They are disgusted with the corruption and oppression of the United States. (To the Gentile hearers:) Ain't that so? Some, who settle here, want to steal our wives and daughters. Before they came, we were at peace. We never had a lawsuit till the Judges came. And as for the stinking lawyers -- why a lawyer is the damndest thing in the world! He is even worse than a priest. Officials are sent among us. All of them but two or three are hostile, and Want to destroy us. Does it make much difference? Let's see; have we a Governor now, or is there one coming?

A Voice -- "There is one coming."

"HEBER -- Well, he is just like the Governor we have -- no worse -- no better. All the Governor has to do is to pay the Legislature and administer justice. Are the Governors our masters? No, sir; not for me; they are our servants. We have our Apostolic Government. Brigham Young is our lender, our President, our Governor. I am Lieutenant Governor Ain't I a terrible feller? Why, it has taken the hair all off my head. [Laughter.] At least it would, if I hadn't lost it before. I lost it in my hardships while going out to preach the kingdom of God, without purse or scrip.

"(To the Gentiles.) Oh, don't be scart at me! Come up to my house and see me. I will give you some peaches, and make you happy. I have two sons abroad preaching the Kingdom of God. Brother Byrd says they are good boys. It makes me proud to hear it. I want the time to come when I can send out fifty of my sons to preach, all at one lick. Come up and see me. I will give you some peaches. I will give some apples. I would give you some meat it I had it, but I am about out. I don't hate you because you are strangers. May God bless all good men and women; that is my blessing. May God bless the strangers."

Congregation -- Amen.

And so ended the Sunday "religious" services. I am assured that they are fair specimens of the Mormon preaching, though less hostile to the Government than the average. Though it was not stated in so many words, the plain, direct, only inference from the language was that if any possible attempt should be made to render the Anti-Polygamy law operative they would resist it by force of arms.


According to statements published in the Mormon papers, and the concurrent testimony of all Gentiles whether in civil life or connected with the army, the Mormons are perfecting their military organization which extends throughout the Territory, drilling the people, and of late, with peculiar earnestness and zeal, obtaining all the arms and ammunition thev can purchase from discharged soldiers, miners and others.


By the act of Congress of 1862, polygamy is a crime, punishable with imprisonment not to exceed five years, and a fine of $500 or less. But the act is utterly inoperative. Judges Titus, Drake and McCurdy, who represent the United States Government, and form the District and Supreme Courts, though sworn to enforce the laws, are powerless. The selection of jurors is in the hands of Mormon officials. The one-man power is supreme. Brigham young is the Church and the Territory. Of course, the masses here, as everywhere else, are sincere: but they yield absolute and unquestioning obedience to the mandates of the Church. They have no free schools. They read no newspapers, except those of their own faith.

The Church of Rome, in its palmiest days, never expected and received more perfect allegiance from its followers than is rendered to Brigham. No Mormon jury could be impaneled which would convict of polygamy -- indeed, of any thing -- contrary to the mandate of Brigham. Hence the law is not only a dead letter, but a scoff and a by-word. The Mormons profess to believe it unconstitutional. But if they were sincere in that belief, their remedy would be very easy. The Government officials have offered to agree upon a case, and furnished every facility for taking it up to the Supreme Court of the United States. If Brigham is loyal, as he claims, let him concur in this -- test the law, and abide by the result. There is no escaping this issue.


The original design was to station 2,500 troops for the coming winter, and the supplies for them are already stored, at Camp Douglas, three miles from this city. But, within the last few days, notice has been given to the commandant that only 1,000 soldiers will winter here, and the Commissary has received orders to sell the surplus supplies. They have cost a million of dollars, and the officers assure me that their sale will involve a loss of from twenty to fifty per cent, upon their cost. Of course, there are Major Generals and editors who will demonstrate beyond all question, that this withholding of troops when more needed than ever before, and this sacrifice of from a quarter to a half million dollars of Government property, is a fresh proof of the inscrutable wisdom and grand organizing powers of Edwin M. Stanton.

But here is a graver fact. The Governor appoints, and keeps in most important and responsible positions of civil trust and honor, men who openly and systematically violate the laws. The following officers, appointed by the National Government, are all Polygamists:

T. B. H. Stenhouse, Postmaster of Salt Lake City.

J. C. Little, Assessor of the Internal Revenue for the Territory.

Robert T. Burton, Collector of Internal Revenue for the Territory.

Hosea Stout, United States District Attorney for the Territory.

Many of their deputies, and a large number of the one hundred postmasters throughout Utah.

Some of these officers have only two wives; some have eight. The Salt Lake Postmaster is, practically, Postmaster General for the Territory. The present incumbent has held the position for five years, and has taken an additional wife since the act of 1862 was passed. So have many of the others.

I know nothing to indicate that the Post-office is not honestly and faithfully conducted; that is not the question. An efficient and experienced agent of the Post-office Department, Mr. Albert G. Lawrence, is now looking into its affairs through several of these Territories, and will report at Washington the general condition of postal affairs.


Brigham claims for Utah a population of 100,000; it can not be less than 60,000. The Territory has been settled eighteen years, and much property accumulated. Yet the Internal Revenue for this year is assessed at less than 540,000, and, of course, that will be reduced in collecting. Colorado has much less wealth than Utah. After being settled but six years, with a population of about 20,000, last year she paid $100,000 of Internal Revenue. This year, Montana, which has less than 12,000 people, and has been settled oniy two or three years, pays over 580,000.

It is alleged that the policy of extreme conciliation, which induced the appointment of Polygamists to these responsible positions, originated with Mr. Seward. I know nothing of the truth of the statement, but all who think the policy wise should study the above figures. Moreover, it causes wholesale perjury. Every one of these officials has taken the oath to support the Constitution and laws of the United States.


If there is any truth in the old maxim of the lawyers, that for every legal wrong there is a legal remedy, this is the place to demonstrate it. The very existence of a constitutional law presupposes some method of enforcing it. For the condition of things here, these three Congressional remedies are suggested among' the Gentiles:

I. Authorizing a change of venue from one territory to another; but this would remove the case further from the vicinage than the Constitution contemplates. Beside, the venue may be changed to protect the defendant, even to protect the Government.

II. Abrogating the territorial organization of Utah, and dividing her area between Montana, Nevada, Arizona and Colorado. But the people of this valley are homogeneous in pursuits, interests and character, and the present division of Territories is natural and convenient.

III. Vesting the impanneling of jurors in the Governor and two or four of the other Federal officers. At present, all jurors in a Polygamy case would be Mormons; then they would all be Gentiles. Each is bitterly hostile to the other. Would such a mode be "jury-trial" in its original and proper sense?


Some explain the military preparations on the theory of possible Indian troubles, and the determination of the Saints to watch the savages.
"The river Rhine is well known,
Doth wash the City of Cologne;
But tell me, nymphs, what power divine,
Shall henceforth wash the river Rhine!"

The Mormons were already aufficiently armed and organized to annihilate all the Indians upon the Continent; hence the theory has not the least plausibility.

Some Gentiles firmly believe that Brigham is determined to provoke real, earnest war with the Government. He could do this without the least difficulty, so far as his people are concerned. If he so ordered them, they would fight a world in arms, with perfect faith that God would give them victory. But Brigham is quite too sagacious to desire actual war.

His power, always so imperious, is becoming a little weakened. Contact with the world has already relaxed, in many instances, the hitherto iron bonds of the Church. Families persist in taking Gentiles to board, despite all the thunders of the Bowery. In one case, a most reputable lady persists in doing this, though a Mormon preacher, Bishop Woolley, in one of their Sunday meetings, publicly denounced her by name, with the most offensive epithet that can be applied to a woman.

Daughters of the Saints often show a preference for Gentiles, and associate with young men of "the world" notwithstanding expostulations and threats of bishops and elders. Some Morman wives, disgusted at polygamy, leave their husbands, to seek and find the protection of Camp Douglas. And several wealthy men have already apostatized from the church. Moreover, the influence of Gentile literature is irresistible. In the Bowery, a few Sundays ago, Heber complained that his wives and daughters would read the Atlantic Monthly and Harper's Monthly, and hide them from him when he attempted to take them away! At the Territorial Conference, last Friday, he urged very earnestly that they must all render to Brigham implicit allegiance, and obey unquestionably his every mandate.

In short the bonds give signs, few but unmistakable that they are slowly loosening, and that unless something is done, the One-man Power must ultimately succumb. I think it is chiefly as a remedy for this that Brigham is industriously giving the impression ofpersecution, to produce an outside pressure, and compact his people. He knows, too, the despotism of military machinery, and is perfecting it as another means of holding his followers well in hand.

I am fully persuaded that he desires a show of collision; a little bloodshed. If some hot-headed officer of the Government could be irritated into the use of force, and kill half a dozen Mormons, it would strengthen Brigham immeasurably, and do more to enthuse his present followers, and procure new converts, all over the World, than years of patient labor. The Church would live and thrive for half a century on a little martyrdom like this. After careful observation and reflection, this is, to me, the only plausible theory of Brigham's conduct.


Therefore, the leading Federal officers in Utah need the utmost wisdom and judgment, the rarest blending of moderation and firmness, the most spotless private lives, and thorough knowledge of human nature. It is absolutely necessary, and yet very difficult, to, make the people understand that the Government has no hostility to. them; that it appreciates their frugality and productive industry; that it would, by no means, drive them from the comfortable homes they have wrested from the desert, unless they are mad enough to resist its legitimate authority; that it would protect them in every one of their rights as American citizens; that it makes no sort of war against their religion, recognizing their right to be Mormons, as readily as it would their right to be Presbyterians or Unitarians; that it only wars against their practice, in disooeying a law, whose constitutionality their leaders dare not test, and one which only prohibits what the whole civilized world has punished as a crime, for many generations.

The new Governor, Charles Durkee, of Wisconsin, has just arrived, and assumed the duties of his office. He affords a gratifying contrast to the broken-down politicians, without talents, dignity or character, sometimes sent here in years past. His creditable antecedents, throughout a long public life, give reason to believe that he will fill this most difficult position faithfully and wisely, if properly supported by the Government.


I have written thus at length because the subject is one of grave importance, and ought to be minutely understood. If the condition of things in Utah was thoroughly comprehended by every household in the land, it would produce an overwhelming public sentiment which would force Congress and the administration into new and effective measures. Indeed it would excite so much indignation that we should be very likely to act with undue harshness and severity, without wise consideration for the sincerity and honest intentions of those misguided masses, and even may of their nominal leaders. Let us recapitulate:

I. Brigham and his associates are living in open, defiant violation of the laws of the United States.

II. They are teaching to their followers intense hostility to our Government and people, and the necessity and duty of resisting by force of arms any attempt to make the law operative.

III. They are drilling and arming the entire people into a compact and efficient military organization.

IV. The Government places and keeps in important Federal offices men who flagrantly violate the law and systematically perjure themselves in taking the oath of office. Not only does the public interest suffer financially, not only are the ends of justice frustrated, but our highest law-making authority has solemnly enacted that polygamy is a crime, and the Government makes itself an accessory to that crime.


Some action by Congress and the President is imperatively demanded. Two courses are open. If Utah is let alone, great natural laws -- travel, commerce, and the influx of a mining population -- will slowly but surely destroy polygamy. Within five years at furthest, practically the power of the church will be shattered. If we are willing to act upon the great truth that "the world is governed too much" and let the evil correct itself by the inevitable pressure of time, the remedy will prove effectual. But in that event let the law be repealed. It is not seemly or right that it should stand on the statute book, only to be despised and broken.

On the contrary, if it is determined to enforce it, the necessary amendments should be made with great caution and deliberation and at the very least 5,000 troops should be stationed permanently at Camp Douglas.

One course or the other should be adopted. We have had something too much of this. It is time to stop this open, flagrant, contemptuous defiance of the National authority.   A. D. R.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                         Cincinnati, Ohio, Thursday,  December 28, 1865.                         No. ?

The  Mormons.
(From the Tribune.)

Brigham Young is said to be about sending Mormon missionaries to Turkey, Syria, and Egypt; a trouble which he need not take, considering that polygamy is far, from being as common in the East as generally supposed. The great majority of Mohammedans have only one wife, and none but great pashas or nabobs are able to keep extensive harems. The Mormons, however, seem determined to out-Turk the Turks, and Brigham Young is reported to have 185 wives, Silas Roeder 129, Jeremiah Stern 111, Job Billisen, 93, Julius Hoffman, 92, Habacuc Oroatzy 81, and Gideon Ruffian 84. These gentlemen, we suppose, are the notabilities of Salt Lake, particularly the last named. Brigham's oldest wife is not over forty-nine, and his youngest not above fourteen, while he is the survivor of no fewer than twenty-eight spouses. Silas Roeder, the next in authority among the Saints, as might be supposed, is so apt to forget the names of his wives that he has to call them by numbers. The masses in the Mormon country have only one wife, and the average does not exceed two or three apiece. Brigham Young is the reputed father of 245 children, of whom thirty-two are dead. The surviving balance of 213 consists of eighty-five boys and 128 girls. Silas Roeder is thrice and Jeremiah Stern nine times Brigham's brother-in-law, these worthies having respectively married three and nine sisters of their chief's wives. The preponderating nationality among the male inhabitants is that of Sweden, and the Danes come next. The Scotch, noted for their metaphysical propensities, surviving all the whisky of the land of Burns, outnumber the Norwegians. Next to them are the Swiss, Germans and Americans. As for the French, there are only two in all the vast Mormon domains, and there are not more than three Italians, and only one Spaniard, an isolated representative of Don Quixote, in Salt Lake. As far as the female population is concerned, it is noteworthy that there is not a single French-woman, while there are eight Italians and two Spanish women, and even one representative of classic Greece. A French lady would be looked upon as the most precious of acquisitions, and other Latin females are also in great demand in proportion to their greater scarcity. The majority of the women come from the United States, Scandinavia. Switzerland, Germany and Mexico. Not a few of the. settlers have been tailors, shoemakers, &c., in the old country. The Mormon agents with a keen appreciation of the influence of occupation on the mind, ransack the tailor and cobbler shops of Scandinavia and Scotland with peculiar zest, the singular posture and meditative opportunities of tailors, and to some extent also of cobblers, during the exercise of their craft, being deemed by these agents as especially productive of a susceptibility for visionary reflections.

Note: Silas Roeder ("the next in authority among the Saints") was an obvious journalistic fabrication -- as were the other Utah super-polygamists cited in this fanciful report.

The  Cleveland   Daily   Plain   Dealer.

Vol. XXII.                                 Cleveland, Tuesday, May 22, 1866.                                 No. 112.

The  Widow  of  Joe  Smith,  the  Mormon

(From the Rochester Union.

A paragraph has been circulating for some time past, and lately appeared in one or more of the city papers, which represented the widow of Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, as residing at Nauvoo, Illinois, "stubbornly taciturn, and a devout believer in the Mormon faith." We have testimony that we regard as wholly reliable to show that this statement does her gross injustice, and it doubtless is a malicious invention. Mr. Thomas Calvert, of this city, in the employ of the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railway Company, gives us a written report of a visit he made to Mrs. Smith -- that was on the 23d and 24th of February last. He states that she is married and possessed of large property. She keeps a good hotel at Nauvoo Landing, on the Mississippi; is a kind, amiable lady, and is not a believer in Mormonism at all. She talks freely with all, and is the reverse of what the newspaper paragraph makes her. She has two sons with her, while Joseph, the eldest, is absent. The hotel of Mrs. Smith is the only good one in Nauvoo. She owns extensive vineyards said to be valued at $1,000 per acre. She is enterprising and is respected by her neighbors.

Mr. C. feels that he can best repay the attention he received at the hands of Mrs. S. by correcting the statement in circulation to her prejudice. He had occasion to walk a long distance in winter to reach Nauvoo and went to the hotel of Mrs. S. with feet nearly frozen. She took a kindly interest in the traveler and ministered to his necessities. It is very clear from the statement of Mr. Calvert that Mrs. Smith is an amiable woman.

Note: Mr. Calvert seems to have confused Emma's rejection of Brighamite Mormonism, with her more positive views on the religion of the Latter Day Saints (then presided over by her son Joseph Smith III).



Vol. XXXI.                         Cincinnati, Ohio, Friday,  November 27, 1867.                         No. 324.

(From the New York World, 27th)

M O R M O N I S M.

Its  Origin  and  Progress.



An authentic history of the "Origin, Rise and Progress of Mormonism, with a Biography of its Founders and History of its Church, including Personal Reminiscences and Historical Collections hitherto unwritten," has been prepared by Pomeroy Tucker, of Palmyra, New York, and published by D. Appleton & Co. The statements and revelations made by the author are vouched for as substantially true by gentlemen -- such as Thurlow Weed -- who were conversant with the early circumstances, and by others who have been in a position to watch the later development of this remarkable sect. The book itself bears internal evidence of careful and conscientious writing, and is the most interesting expose of a stupendous imposture that has yet been made.

Joseph Smith, jun., the first Mormon prophet and putative founder of Mormonism and the Church of the Latter Day Saints, is introduced as the fourth of a shiftless family of nine children, all living with their parents at Palmyra, New York, in the summer of 1816...

In the summer of 1827, being then twenty-two years of age, he began to receive frequent visits from a "mysterious stranger," who afterward turned out to be one Sidney Rigdon, "a literary genius." These interviews were jealously private. Soon afterward Smith "had a vision,"...

Here comes in for application and reflection the coincidence of Sidney Rigdon's long-continued incognito sojournments at the money-digger's residence during the Mormon incubation. Who can doubt that he and Smith had become confederates in a grand scheme of cupidity and imposture? They had surreptitiously possessed themselves of a fabulous composition peculiarly adapted to their design. Secrecy and falsehood were necessary to the success of such a scheme, and to these, it is self-evident, they were mutually sworn.... No doubt the Spaulding manuscript was altered by Rigdon and Smith to suit the case in hand, and meet rising exigencies. Indeed, it is apparent from the marked changes in style of composition occurring in numbers of instances, that emendations and additions were made by some other than the original writer's hand....

In further illustration of the strange superstitions characterizing these pioneer disciples of Mormonism, and to complete the chain of facts going to make up this truthful history, it is proper to add one other important incident, which has never appeared in any accepted record of the saints. Enthusiastic members of the brotherhood -- perhaps, it should be said the more visionary of the believers -- had plied the "spirit of prophecy" in foretelling the advent of a miraculous birth in association with an unmarried daughter of Joseph Smith, sen. This predicted event was to astonish the gentile world as a second advent of triune humanity. Harris was exceedingly happy in the belief of a forthcoming prophet or Messiah under the Mormon dispensation, and spoke unreservedly of an "immaculate conception in our day and generation."

The ample shrewdness of the prophet had probably been called in requisition to allay some unfavorable surmises on the part of his observing disciple, who was a frequenter at the family mansion, and it is apparent that the theory invented was readily adopted by Harris. Rigdon had been an occasional sojourner at Smith's for a year or more, though the reader may fail to perceive what this circumstance had to do with the case. The upshot of the story is, that soon after the family started for Ohio, the miracle eventuated somewhere on the route, in the birth of a lifeless female child! The accident was readily set down to the account of Divine intervention to avenge some act of Mormon disobedience, and Harris was thus easily reconciled.

Rigdon, who appeared as the first Mormon preacher in Palmyra, joined in the pilgrimage, and identified himself with the Mormon Church.

This is a sketch, as given by Mr. Tucker, of the origin of Mormonism. The book proceeds with the history of the sect, from the settlement in Kirtland, Ohio, to the present time.

Note: For Tucker's earlier accounts of early Mormonism, see the Wayne Democratic Press of June 2, 1858 and June 9, 1858. For more on the 1830-31 Mormon "immaculate conception," see the Painesville Geauga Gazette of May 17, 1831.


Vol. III.                           Cincinnati, Ohio, Saturday, ???, 1868.                           No. ?




We commence herewith a herewith a series of historical essays on the Mormons and Mormonism, impelled thereto by three considerations: (1) A new generation has come upon the stage since the rise of this delusion, a generation almost wholly ignorant of its early history; (2) recently published works throw a new light on the history and condition of this people; and (3) the fact that the Mormon question is assuming a grave moral and political importance in the United States.

At the opening of this strange story we are introduced to four men, without any one of whom there would have been, humanly speaking, no Mormon church. These are Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Solomon Spalding, and Martin Harris.

Joseph Smith -- the fourth child in a family of nine -- came with his father's family into Palmyra, N. Y., near Rochester, in the year 1816. The future Prophet was then eleven years old, having been born in Sharon, Vermont, Dec. 13th, 1805. Probably no family ever left Vermont who could be better spared. They were ignorant and poor, and not only that, but irreligious, vicious, indolent, and of questionable honesty. They continued to reside in or near Palmyra until 1830. There are plenty of witnesses, who knew them well, still living, to testify to their total worthlessness. Young Joseph was the laziest of the lazy, and the most worthless of the worthless. Mr. Pomeroy Tucker -- who has recently written a valuable history of the Mormon fanaticism, and who knew the young scapegrace when there were strong chances of his dying in the poorhouse or the jail -- thus draws his portrait:
"From the age of twelve to twenty years he is distinctly remembered as a dull-eyed, flaxen-haired, prevaricating boy, -- noted only for his indolent and vagabond character. He nevertheless evidenced the rapid development of a thinking, plodding, evil -brewing mental composition -- largely given to inventions of low cunning, schemes of mischief and deception, and false and mysterious pretensions. In his moral phrenology, the professor might have marked the organ of secretiveness as very large, and that of conscientiousness 'omitted.' He was, however, proverbially good natured, very rarely if ever indulged in any combative spirit towards any one, whatever might be the provocation, and yet was never known to laugh. Albeit, he seemed to be the pride of his indulgent father, who has been heard to boast of him as the 'genus of the family.'"
Mr. Tucker, it is worth remarking, corrected the proof-sheets of the first edition of the "Golden Bible." Similar testimony is given by others; this must be accepted, then, as Smith's mental and moral status in the year 1825.

Sidney Rigdon, the owner of all the brains in the firm of which he was the junior member, was born in Alleghany Co., Penn., in 1793. He is said to have been a man of very considerable ability and attainment. He was a Baptist clergyman at the time Mr. Campbell sounded the call of reformation, but soon joined the few persons who had already committed themselves to the new movemeat. In that early day, Rigdon, as a preacher, in the popular estimation ranked next to Walter Scott, who stood second only to Mr. Campbell. Pittsburgh was for some years his home. That he was really the inspiring genius of Monnonism is proved by the fact recently stated in these columns, viz.: that before the Mormon doctrines were blown before the world, he attempted to indoctrinate the Christian Brotherhood with them. For aught we have been able to learn, Rigdon, previous to his apostacy, was a man of good character, though he never succeeded in winning Mr. Campbell's fullest confidence.

Solomon Spalding died eleven years before Smith's vision, and yet, in one sense, he had more to do in establishing Mormonism than any other man. This is his strange history:

Solomon Spalding was born in Connecticut, in 1701, was graduated at Dartmouth College -- was ordained as a minister, which profession he actually followed for three or four years. Afterwards he was a merchant in the State of N. Y., and in 1809 he removed to Conneaut, Ohio. He had a taste for literature, and wrote several novels, so worthless that no publisher could be induced to undertake their publication. During his residence in Ohio, he wrote a romance to account for the peopling of America. He undertook to trace the Indians back to the Ten Tribes, according to an old theory now exploded. In 1812, Spalding removed to Pittsburg, where, in the following year, he announced in the newspapers this romance, as soon to appear from the press. He entitled it, "Manuscript Found," and stated that it would contain a translation of the "Book of Mormon." The volume was also to contain an account of the finding of this "manuscript" in a cave in Ohio. The book never (in that form) appeared, though it was some time in the hands of a Pittsburg printer. Sidney Rigdon was an attache of the office where the romance was left, and was known to have made a copy of it. The original was in existence until after the "Golden Bible" was published in 1830. Soon after all traces of it are lost.

Spalding, like other small writers, had a weakness for reading his compositions to his friends. This weakness he indulged in the case of the "Manuscript Found." To this weakness we are indebted for an important link in the chain of evidence that goes to fasten the authorship of the "Golden Bible" where it belongs. A large number of those to whom the romancer had read his story immediately identified that document as his innocent Indian romance.

Martin Harris was in middle life when Smith had his "vision." He was a plain, simple-hearted farmer, living in the prophet's neighbourhood, and the owner of a considerable property. He is thus described by Mr. Tucker:
"He was one of the earliest, if not in truth the only real believer. He was a religious monomaniac, reading the Scriptures intently, and could probably repeat from memory nearly every text in the Bible, from beginning to end, giving the chapter and verse in each case."
He is said to have been a very "covetous, money-loving man, but an honest and benevolent one." He was the only "solid man" in the embryo Church, and paid the whole expense of printing the first edition of the "Golden Bible." Mr. Tucker gives it as his opinion that without the aid of Martin Harris it would have remained an "unpublished romance."

In 1819, Joseph Smith and his two elder sons, in digging a well, threw out a stone of peculiar colour and shape. Young Joe, who was frequently a looker-on while his father and brothers handled the shovel and the pick-axe, carried off this stone, grieving the hearts of the proprietor's young children, who claimed it for their own. He soon claimed that, by the aid of this stone, he could see wonderful things. He set up for a fortune-teller, and pretended to discover property that had been lost or stolen. At length he began to discover immense sums of money -- gold and silver -- buried in the earth. These absurd pretensions, strongly insisted on, at length began to make some impression on the credulity of a few ignorant and superstitious persons living in the vicinity. In the Spring of 1820, Smith persuaded a number of these to go with him at the dead hour of night to dig for hidden treasure. Silence was the condition of success. After two hours digging -- the young magician indicating with a wand the spot where the spade was to be put into the ground -- just as the treasure hox was to be laid bare, one of the party spoke! The spell was broken. This kind of folly continued, at frequent internals, from 1820 to 1827, so firmly did Smith hold his power over the untutored natures of which he had gained the mastery! Numerous traces of these diggings are still discoverable, widely scattered over Palmyra and the adjacent towns. But it always happened that some one would baffle the seer by speaking just at the decisive moment!

If Smith's motives are asked for, none stronger than these can be assigned. He gratified, in a small way, his lust for power and notoriety; he fed his love of the mysterious; and -- not the slightest consideration! -- he contrived in this way to get from his dupes some supplies for the sustenance of the family.

The fame of these diggings extended far and near. They were extensively published in the newspapers. Mr. Tucker supposes they made a deeper impression on the minds of the fanatical, because of certain "spiritual demonstrations" -- of what kind he does not tell us -- then taking place in different parts of the country. However this may be, in the summer of 1827, a mysterious stranger suddenly turned up at old Smith's, to the no small wonder of the neighbours. He made frequent visits -- always holding private interviews with the money-digger. When Sydney Rigdon came, in 1830, to Palmyra, as the first "regular preacher" of Mormonism, he was at once recognized as the "mysterious stranger," whose visits to Smith, three years before, had been so inexplicable.


Immediately after Rigdon's visits to Smith, in 1827, the latter had a remarkable vision. While engaged in prayer, alone in the wilderness, an "angel of the Lord" appeared to him, assuring him of the forgiveness of his sins. This gratifying assurance was accompanied by the statement that all the religious denominations had gone astray -- that none of them were recognized by God as his church; also, by the promise that the true doctrine should be revealed to him at some time in the future. Following this communication was another, made by another angel; the substance of this was, that Smith was to be the medium of a new revelation, -- that the American Indians were a remnant of the Ten Tribes, who, after coming to this country, had had their prophets and inspired writers, -- that certain of their writings were still deposited in a certain place made known to him, -- and that he, if he remained faithful, should be the chosen prophet to translate these writings to the world.

In the fall of the same year, Smith had another vision. He was commanded to go at a certain time to a certain spot in the forest and take from the earth a metallic book, in which was a record, in mystic letters, of the lost tribes of Israel, which book no mortal besides himself might see and live. This book it was his mission, as the chosen servant of God, to translate into the languages of the nations. This revelation was trumpeted abroad by the Smith family, but no impression was made by it, save upon those who had been engaged with the seer in his money-digging.

Smith was not disobedient to the heavenly vision. At the appointed time, armed with a spade and a napkin, -- the one to be used in exhuming the book, and the other in covering it -- he repaired to the solitudes of the forest. After an absence of three hours he returned, bearing the sacred treasure wrapped, up in a napkin, securely hid from the gaze of those whose instant death it would have caused had their eyes rested on it, though it were only for a moment! The Prophet told a dismal story of his besetment by ten thousand devils, gathered in flame and smoke, as he dug out the long-lost records of the long-lost Israelites. The spot whence the volume was taken is now known as "Mormon Hill," and is in the town of Manchester, N. Y. This volume, thus secured, was the "Golden Bible," -- alias, the "Book of Mormon," -- the revelation and the pledge of a new Gospel dispensation.

Along with the book was found an enormous pair of spectacles -- stones in place of lense, set in silver bows, named Urim and Thummim. These were to be worn by the Prophet while making his translation! The story of this marvelous book, so marvelously discovered, went abroad, but so bad was Smith's reputation for veracity that no one (save the few he had so long fooled) believed him. Subsequently there came a remission of the death penalty; mortals might see the book and live. Accordingly, it was exhibited to eleven witnesses of Smith's choosing, but, unfortunately, the reputation of these witnesses was little better than his own. These all testified that Smith had exhibited to them a book, written in strange characters on what appeared to be plates of gold. Of these witnesses, Harris was the only man of any character for honesty and veracity; how Smith contrived to impose upon him was never known.

But before the death penalty was removed, translations of parts of the golden book began to appear; Smith had put on his spectacles! As he could not write legibly, the translations were dictated to one Cowdery, a broken-down schoolmaster, who committed them to writing. For Cowdery's sake -- the threat of death being then in force -- Smith kindly took the precaution to hang a blanket between himself and his amanuensis as they sat at their work in the family mansion of the elder Smith. In due time the translation was completed. But Smith, like other prophets, was without honor "in his own country;" he could not raise the money to "pay the printer." The translation was put into the hands of Harris, who carried it to New York and snowed it to several learned men, such as Dr. Mitchell and Prof. Anthon. On his return home, Harris gave the manuscripts to his wife, a Quakeress and a woman of sense -- apparently for safe keeping -- and she burned them! This she was induced to do because she saw her husband becomingmore and more fanatical, and she foresaw the ruin of his fortune if he assumed the expense of printing the manuscripts, as he avowed his purpose to do. She did not disclose the burning for some years; Smith and Harris knew the manuscripts were gone; what had become of them they did not know, but surmised that Mrs. H. had given them to some evil-minded person to be used to damage the Mormon cause. Husband and wife were from this time alienated.

Great consternation now pervaded the Mormon camp. The translation was lost; how could it be restored? The cause of their consternation must have been this: it was not in the power of the plotters to make another copy precisely like the lost one; and they feared a comparison -- supposing the former copy to be still in existence. Had they known the facts, they would have had no cause of apprehension, however different the new copy might be from the old one. Smith explained the delay, by saying he had incurred the Lord's displeasure for his imprudence in showing the manuscripts, and that an injunction was laid on his making another translation.

Six months passed. The "mysterious stranger" was again seen at Smith's. Smith was frequently from home, and it was surmised (by the evil-minded!) that he had gone to return the stranger's visits. Finally, a new translation was announced as ready for the press. Harris' fanaticism and cupidity were appealed to; he was made to believe that he would further the cause of religion, and that he would make handsomely by his investment, if he guaranteed the cost of printing. Thus appealed to, he screwed his courage to the sticking point and became responsible for the cost of printing the first edition of the "Golden Bible." This edition was issued in 1830 -- was of five thousand copies, and cost three thousand dollars. Harris' expectations were most cruelly disappointed. The book did not sell, and he sacrificed his farm to pay the debt. And here we may as well dismiss him. His after life was miserable in the extreme. He and Smith quarreled. The Prophet, in the days of his power, was so ungrateful that he posted Harris after this fashion:
"There are negroes who wear white skins as well as black ones -- Grames [sic] Parish and others who acted as lackeys, such as Martin Harris; but they are so far beneath contempt, that a notice of them would be too great a sacrifice for a gentleman to make."
From the foregoing narrative, in which historic truth and Mormon fable are blended in about equal proportion, it is easy to deduce a consistent account of the "Book of Mormon." As we have seen, Rigdon had made a copy of Spalding's "Manuscript Found,"while an attache of the printing house in Pittsburg. This romance suggested to him the idea of founding a new Church -- or at least a new sect -- and furnished the basis of the Mormon faith. Evidence of this is seen in the fact that he attempted to indoctrinate the Disciples with his new fangled notions. Then the newspapers brought to his attention the moneydigging exploits of Smith; he saw his opportunity. Accordingly he visited Smith, in 1827, in the guise of the "mysterious stranger." All we know of Smith compels us to the conclusion that with all his magical incantations he had never conceived the idea of founding a Church. His was a mind that groveled in smaller things; the conception was Rigdon's alone. Rigdon thought it better to to use the money-digger as a tool -- and for a good reason -- than to assert the prophetic office for himself. Accordingly, he "made him acquainted with the manuscript, and laid before him his plan. Together they arranged the "visions." Rigdon returned to his home, leaving Smith to take the initiatory steps. Smith was provided with a copy of Spalding's romance, (considerably changed by Rigdon to suit emergencies,) which he read behind the blanket to Cowdery, who wrote the "copy" for the press.

Before dismissing this part of the subject, it is worth remarking that Smith (then twenty-two years old) frequently told his young associates that his story of the visions was all a sham! -- so little steadfastness of purpose had he! To one he confessed that "the whole affair was a hoax, that he had no such (metallic) book, that he did not believe there was such a book in existence;" but he added, more forcibly than eloquently,

"As I have got the ____ fools fixed, I shall carry out the fun!"

In the light of these facts it is not difficult to account for the rise of Mormonism, not difficult to distinguish the forces that contributed to its establishment. Smith began his magical incantations, fortune-telling, etc., to feed his taste for the mysterious and to gain some slender means of subsistence; and he had low cunning enough to succeed in gaining the mastery over a few exceedingly low, coarse natures. Rigdon was ambitious of founding a Church; and Spalding's Indian romance and Smith' magic gave him at once a base of operations and a working force. Harris was anxious to further the interests of religion, and not less anxious to make money; the Mormon movement gave him, as he thought, an opportunity to gain both these ends. Spalding's literary ambition led him, innocently, to supply the revelation. All these forces conspired to sweep into the movement enough of the fanatical and the credulous to form the organization. When we come to speak of the growth and consolidation of the Mormon Church we shall have to recognize some other forces; but those that ensured the first success of the movement were four: the cunning of Smith, the ambition of Rigdon, the fanaticism of Harris, the folly of Spalding. Assuredly we would not expect a movement thus inaugurated to be beneficent in its results!


The testimony given to prove that the "Book of Mormon" and the "Manuscript Found" were substantially one and the same document, is too strong to be questioned. We cannot present it in detail. The historic portions are the same. Both are in style a clumsy imitation of the English version of the Old Testament. Both are in the form of Indian legends, seeking to trace the ancestry of the American Indians back to the Israelites. The only considerable differences are these: Numerous passages from the New Testament are incorporated in the Mormon Bible; these were not found in Spalding's romance. There were also frequent references to local religious questions and controversies in the former that were not in the latter, questions and controversies that were attracting much attention about the time of Smith's vision.

We shall now seek to give an analysis of the "Golden Bible." Here our information is taken wholly at second hand. In the following summary of tlie historical books, we follow an early authority of the Mormon Church.

After the dispersion of Babel, one tribe, under the especial direction and guidance of God, came across the sea to America. This tribe founded a colony which flourished for fifteen hundred years. Finally, they became corrupt and were totally destroyed, for their wickedness, 600 B.C. This colony had a famous prophet named Ether, who lived in the days of their degeneracy. Ether lived to see the last remnant of his people swept away; he then wrote their history and deposited it, under the divine direction, in a place where it was found by a second colony. His work finished, the prophet died. His history is found among the sacred Mormon writings bearing his own name.

The second colony was of Israelitish origin. It left Jerusalem about 600 B.C., and reached America just in time to fill the void left by the extinction of the people whose history Ether had written. They increased in numbers and in power, and finally divided into two sections, -- Nephites, named after their founder, Nephi, a nation famed for their enlightenment and civilization, and the Lamanites, named after their founder, Laman, a nation noted for their barbarism. The Indians are the descendants of the Lamanites.

The Nephites were highly favored of the Lord. They had visions and angelic visitations; besides, the gift of prophecy was handed down from age to age. But more than all these, Christ made them a visit after his resurrection, and communicated to them the Gospel. The Nephites continued in this happy condition of grace until the fourth century of our era; then they fell from their high estate and were destroyed by their savage neighbours, the Lamanites.

The Nephites had a famous prophet named Mormon. He wrote their annals, containing the prophecies extant among them, and the doctrines communicated by Christ. In addition to this, he gave the history of his own time, -- a part of which was the annihilation of his people; for Mormon, like Ether, was spared of God to do this work. He committed to his son, Maroni, the task of concealing the metallic plates on which these annals were written, and then laid him down to die. Maroni, to keep these sacred records from falling into the impious hands of the Lamanites, buried them in the Hill of Camorah, afterwards Mormon Hill. This was in 420 A.D. There the treasure rested in security until it was exhumed by Smith, acting under the divine direction, in 1827 -- a period of fourteen hundred years!

That a story, intrinsically so improbable as this, and confuted by the amplest evidence besides, should become the historical basis of a new religious faith, counting its adherents by the ten thousand, certainly argues, that while this age may have sloughed off some of the delusions of the past, it is the victim of others not less monstrous and absurd.

But the Mormon theology deserves some attention. Spalding's "Manuscript" was wholly historical; the doctrines of the "Golden Bible" are of Rigdon's supplying. This fact will explain some of their features as we proceed.

First of all, then, the Bible and the Book of Mormon are regarded as possessing equal authority; both are necessary to a full understanding of God's will and purposes; the one is the complement of the other.

In the second place, the Mormons accept the doctrines of the Trinity, believing in "God, the Eternal Father, and in his Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost."

Furthermore, they believe that all mankind, by the transgression in the garden, were consigned to eternal banishment from the presence of God, their bodies to endless sleep in the dust, and their spirits to endless misery under the power of Satan: and that, in this awful state, they were utterly lost and powerless to save themselves.

But they also hold that through the atonement of Jesus Christ all mankind are to be redeemed, both in body and in spirit, from the curse to which they were consigned by the primal transgression; and that this universal salvation is without any conditions on man's part whatsoever. But this universal redemption goes no further; it removes from man only the consequences of Adam's sin.

They still further hold that all mankind, as they grow up from their infant state and come to years of understanding, are capable of knowing good and evil -- that there is a law given against doing evil; and that man by breaking this law, becomes the victim of a second banishment from the presence of God, both in body and in spirit. Only those, however, are held to be guilty of this sin who have a knowledge of the law. But men may escape the consequences of this second banishment. Christ who atoned in his death for the original sin, at the same time atoned for the sins of individuals. Men can avail themselves of this atonement only by complying with certain conditions. Of these there are four:

1. They must believe in God, in the death of his Son to atone for the sins of the world, and in his resurrection, ascension, etc.

3. They must repent; that is, they must come humbly before God, confess their sins with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and cease from all their evil deeds.

3. They must be immersed in water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for the remission of their sins.

4. They must receive the laying on of hands, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the gift of the Holy Ghost; and this ordinance is to be administered by one duly called and authorized by Christ.

This is the dogmatic basis of Mormonism. The moral basis is borrowed from the Scriptures. It is worth remarking that the "Book of Mormon" strongly condemns Free-masonry and Polygamy. It was not long, however, before the leading Mormons became Masons, and the Prophet borrowed therefrom the leading ideas embodied in the institution of his model priesthood. Nor did many years pass before polygamy -- so strongly denounced in the book of faith and doctrine -- became the badge by which the Mormons were best known throughout the world.


Immediately after the publication of the "Book of Mormon" the Prophet proceeded to organize the Mormon Church. This ceremony took place in the dwelling of his father, in the month of June, 1830. The organization was called "The Church of Latter-Day Saints," and Joseph Smith, Sr., was installed as its "Patriarch and President." An effort at proselyting was made. Rigdon now appeared on the stage, not as the "mysterious stranger," but as a Mormon preacher. He preached once in the Hall of the Palmyra Young Men's Association, and frequently in the adjacent towns. A few converts were made, but the whole effort was, decidedly, a failure. Mormonism, as was evident even to Rigdon and Smith, could not succeed in the land of its nativity. The ugly plant had to be transplanted to other soil.

The reason is sufficiently obvious. The people of Palmyra, and vicinity, had known Smith and family for years; they had known the bent of his nature, and the character of his associates; they had seen from his conversation and demeanour that he could not be charged with a heavenly message; and although unable to trace the Mormon Bible to its source, they could not fail to see through the imposture. The whole movement excited only ridicule and contempt; and above these it is not easy for a good cause to rise, even when backed by sober and honest men. Nothing, probably, was more confidently expected by those familiar with all these facts, when the Mormon Church was taken up bodily and carried to the West, than that this was the last they should ever hear of Mormonism!

The Mormon hegira (it was a literal one in the case of the "Patriarch and President," who had to flee to avoid his creditors) took place in the autumn of 1830. It ended not until the Mormons reached Kirtland. Lake, Co., Ohio. Here the tabernacle in its journey to the West, rested for the space of four years; here Mormonism gave its first promise of success; the Church was consolidated, the two priesthoods organized, and thorough equipment made for that persistent appeal to ignorance and fanaticism, folly and vice, which has resulted in the vast ingathering of all these elements into the Mormon fold.

Kirtland did not become the home of the primitive Mormons, and the centre of their proselyting efforts, by accident. In 1820, Sidney Rigdon came to reside in Mentor, the adjoining town. He was then a Baptist minister, and he preached for a small Baptist Church in that town. He continued to reside there until 1830, when he went to Kirtland with his Mormon brethren. But, in the meantime, he had left the Baptists and allied himself with the Disciples. In a private letter now before us, an esteemed brother and friend, residing in Mentor, gives the estimate he formed of Rigdon during these four years --
"Mr. Rigdon was a man of impassioned eloquence, as a public speaker, with a wonderful memory, a brilliant but unchastened imagination, excessively indolent, with but little education, wholly undisciplined in all the powers of his mind, averse to study or reflection, was often brilliant but never profound. * * * He was without discipline, morally as well as mentally -- a man of ungoverned temper, subject to terrific bursts of passion. But his brilliant success won him hosts of friends, and blinded their eyes to the terrible defects of his character."
Mentor was thus Rigdon's home at ther time of his first visits to Smith, in 1827, and he seems to have employed the time that elapsed before the transferring of the Mormon standard to Kirtland in preparing those subject to his influence for the new revelation. Then there was a large and flourishing Church of Disciples in Kirtland, and its membership is said to have become "extremely fanatical" under his preaching. Rigdon knew his power over this Church, and he it was who led the New York Mormons to Kirtland. The event proved the correctness of his opinions; for while few from the Mentor Church followed him into the Mormon camp, fully one-half of the Kirtland membership were induced to do so.

We have been careful to state these facts thus minutely, because they will be of value as a small contribution to history. The brotherhood of Disciples was much maligned on account of Rigdon's defection. The religious (and irreligious) public was told that this was the tendency of their religion. But this charge soon fell to the ground, and those who had made it -- through ignorance or malice, as the case may be, -- took up other weapons.

The Mormon leaders now entered on a career of success which certainly astonished their opponents. The work of proselyting was pressed with ardor, and attended by the most astonishing results. Mormon "Apostles" and "Elders" perambulated the whole of Northern Ohio, with a zeal and an energy worthy of a better cause. The ignorant, the fanatical, the superstitious, were swept into the fold by hundreds. Many more, of intelligence and stability of character, were temporarily confounded. As the result of this thorough beating up, converts poured into Kirtland in a constant stream, bringing with them whatever they had of talent, of zeal, of industry, of this world's goods. And all these multiplied sources of power were in the hands of a coarse, ignorant, wicked man!

Smith now began some grander experiments on the credulity of his followers. In February, 1831, there came a "revelation" that the disciples should "immediately build a house for the prophet, in which he might live and translate!" This command was cheerfully complied with. Then there came another "revelation," to the effect that "my chosen Joseph shall not labor for a living!" -- a revelation certainly in harmony with the "chosen Joseph's" desires! To these were added certain doctrinal "revelations," in all of which the continued ascendancy of Smith was carefully provided for. In the meantime, Mormonism assumed the consistency of a theology, and the Church took on the form which it has since substantially maintained.

But this was not the measure of Mormon enterprise. A magnificent temple for the accommodation of the Saints was built at a cost of 50,000 dollars. Smith embarked in the banking business, started some manufacturing interests, and talked boastfully of the future. But, after all, Ohio did not prove a congenial home for the Mormon's plant. There came an exemplification of the old-time proverb, -- "like priest, like people." Some of the Saints became addicted to the criminal and immoral practices that had characterized their Prophet. Smith's business enterprises -- including his bank -- failed, and many of the Gentiles suffered by the failure. The tendencies of the movement were now clearly discerned; society recovered from its astonishment, and public opinion laid seige to the Mormon stronghold. The leaders were not slow to discern the signs of the times; and, whether they had intended to make Kirtland a temporary or a permanent home, they began again to look to the West. Some of the Saints were sent to prospect. In due time, these reported in favor of Independence, Missouri. Then came a "revelation" commanding a general migration to that place. This was in 1834; by the following year, the Mormon tabernacle was deposited beyond the Mississippi. A small remnant was left in Kirtland. These have maintained a society and sustained the Mormon worship until the present time. They have made proselytes enough to keep their number good; but what relations they sustain to the Mormons at Salt Lake we do not know, other than this: they reject. we understand, the doctrine of polygamy.

A work of no small value, to be entitled "Mormonism in Ohio," might be now written, by one competent to the task. The explanations of mighty movements are to be sought in small beginnings; and there are men still living who can supply from memory many facts and anecdotes -- that have never found their way into books -- which throw much light on the early history of, this, in some respects, the most stupendous delusion that this country has produced.

Heretofore we have taken pains to be somewhat detailed in our statement of facts; henceforth we can look only at general features.


At the time when the Mormons pitched their tents in Independence, Mo., a man of broad vision, acquainted with their history, with human nature, and with the state of American society, would have conceded their temporary success. We have not been able to find statistics showing their numbers and resources at different periods, but at the period in question both must have been condsiderable. A strong current had thus set in towards them, -- a current that brought constant accessions, and that could not, at once, be stopped. Still no man, although familiar with all this, could have dreamed of what is now a familiar tale.

The world beholds a religious community one hundred thousand strong, speaking the tongues of Babel, holding some of the dogmas of Christendom, but still having a distinctive faith, cherishing one of the worst sins of the worst nations and ages, but still presenting conclusive evidence of internal strength -- a community living in a valley of the mountains, separated from the world on every side, until but yesterday, by a thousand miles of mountain range, of wilderness, and of waste, and entirely subordinate to one central mind and will! And then, besides this centre of influence and power, this people have outlying missions and churches, in most of the leading States of Europe, in Hindostan, China, Siam, Ceylon, South America, Australia, and the West Indies. Their book of faith is read in the English, French, German, Italian, Danish, Welsh, and Polynesian languages. They have newspapers in New York, in Liverpool, in London, in Paris, in Geneva, in Copenhagen, in Australia, in San Francisco, and in Great Salt Lake City. These missionary undertakings are on a grand scale.

Assuredly this is a stupendous, success, to be achieved by an ignorant, vicious man, of no pretensions to character or respectability. The causes of this immense success are of two kinds -- general and special. By the general causes we mean those that spring out of the constitution of the mind and of general social states, -- those that go so far towards accounting for delusions in all ages and countries. Here ignorance, ambition, superstition, etc., play their part. By the special we mean those that are local, -- that grow out of the political and intellectual, moral and religious, conditions of American society. These special causes are of most interest, and we shall discuss them briefly.

It is a fact worth reflecting on, that the two greatest delusions of these last years have hail an American origin -- Mormonism and Spiritualism. Both of these have gained a place and made a name in Europe, but not until they were backed by the prestige of an American success.

Such facts as these conspire with a study of our society to show that it is peculiarly easy for similar delusions to gain a footing among us. We shall attempt no exhaustive analysis, hut the following facts are clearly recognizable:

1. In America, religion is free. Not only is there no State Churches, but, what is sometimes a matter of much greater moment, we have few traditions, -- and those of no great age -- that weigh upon us and crush out new manifestations of the religious principle. As a rule, no man is questioned, in public or social life, as to his religion; as a rule, it is not asked of an aspirant for place whether he be a religious man, or, if so, to what Church he belongs. This fact has struck some thoughtful foreigners with astonishment. In England, especially, a statesman's future is never to be considered apart from religious connections.

2. In America, society is in a plastic form. All the elements that are poured into the seething cauldron are reduced to a liquid or semi-liquid state. Religious opinions, like other opinions, universally, are less a matter of choice, and more a matter of accident, than is commonly supposed. They are often inherited -- often thrust upon the passive recipient by the dominating force of public opinion. But with us neither of these facts is of as general an application as in the Old World. It is easy to write in water; it costs no effort to make an impression in the soft clay. The writing in water is instantly effaced; the impression made in the clay does not last, unless, indeed, it be subjected to a hardening process, -- as was the case with the mud in which those gigantic birds left their tracts as they started up and down the valley of the Connecticut, millions of years before man was created. But to write on a hard surface requires a sharp instrument, though it need not be a diamond; to shake the old -- to move the society that is rigid with traditions and conventionalism -- requires power, though it need not be the Truth of God. Hence, religious delusions germinate and live through the blade period with us; when they attain to vegetable consistency and hardness, they thrive even when transplanted to the less productive soil of Europe.

3. Owing to these American traits, it was comparatively easy for the Apostles of Mormonism to impress the public mind; to preserve the impressions made, was a matter of more difficulty. It is hard, indeed impossible, to believe that the converts could have been held fast in their allegiance to the Church, if they had been left as individuals or congregations in the several communities where they were converted. In that way their triumph would have been frittered away -- dissolved by the very forces that won them. But by herding their followers together in communities by themselves, effectually removed from the general political, social, and religious influences of the country, the Mormon leaders have contrived to harden the matrix in which the impressions were made, and thus preserved them. Mormon communism, it is true, has been, in part, necessitated by coercion; but their is good reason to conclude that it has been also the consequence of a well-settled policy.

But no view of the question is complete that excludes the essential character of Mormonism itself, though this has less to do with its success than is commonly thought.

Polygamy is rather the consequence of Mormon success than its cause. But this may be freely said: As a religion, it is essentially sensuous, materialistic; and is admirably calculated to fascinate those who, by nature, take low views of religion. Mormonism, in its maturity at Great Salt Lake City, is thoroughly secularized; it is a religion of meats and drinks. There is no reason to suppose that if a "Saint" is thrifty, and pays his tithes, there is any inquisition made into his theology. This secular aspect of Mormonism is of especial importance, when we come to consider the missionary work in Europe. There the temporalities are never lost sight of; their attention is directed to a worldly paradise, abounding in bread and meat, and clothing, rather than to a heavenly, abounding in spiritual delights.

A thoughtful writer, in MacMillian's Magazine, some months ago, thus set forth the inducements that prevail with the converts to Mormonism that come from Europe: --
"The apostles of the faith as it is in Brigham Young go forth to Welsh peasants, and English laborers, and Norwegian cottiers, and to the poor of the country where the migratory passion has begun to work, and promise them, not only salvation in the world to come, but land in this. A friend of mine, not long ago, was engaged in trying to obtain emigrants amongst the agricultural classes, for a distant English colony. He found plenty of persons willing to go, but their reluctance to embark alone upon a long journey proved an almost insuperable obstacle to his success as a recruiter for the colony. Let anybody imagine what it must be to ordinary laborers, who have never known anything of the world beyond the limits of their parish, to set forth without friends or acquaintances to seek their fortunes in a strange land where they know nobody. They would like well enough to go, but they are afraid to go. Now this feeling -- which is, I believe, a very general one amidst the emigrant class -- is made to do service to Mormonism. Converts to the new creed have emigration made easy to them: the whole responsibility of the journey is taken off their hands. They are escorted on their road by men they know; amongst their fellow converts they have friends, or at any rate acquaintances, already provided for them; and they believe when they reach the far-away land, which seems to them so utterly beyond their mental vision, they will find homes and employment prepared beforehand. I do not attribute the success of Mormonism solely, or even mainly, to its connection with a well organized system of emigration; but I do believe that any sect which offered the same or similar inducements would find no want of proselytes."
The establishment of Mormonism cannot, of course, be attributed to its connection with a well-organized system of emigration, for it was established before the first apostle of the faith crossed the sea. But the success of its proselyting work in Europe seems to us almost wholly attributable to the fact that its apostles hold out the promise of homes and of plenty in the wilderness of the West; and therefore the present strength of Mormonism is to be accounted for, in large measure, in that way. The extent to which their missionary work has been carried, and the success attending it, is seen in the fact that no less than fifty nationalities are represented among the Saints in Utah.

Note 1: The date of this article series remains undetermined. Its reprint was serialized as five installments in the The British Harbinger, beginning with its April 1, 1868 issue.

Note 2: The comments regarding Sidney Rigdon from an "esteemed brother and friend" (Elder Matthew S. Clapp), quoted in Part IV, were evidently written especially for publication in the Christian Standard, and are not known to have been reproduced elsewhere.


Vol. XXIV.                           Defiance, Ohio, Saturday, April 18, 1868.                           No. 36.

A History of the Organization and Progress of the
Latter Day Saints' Church -- The Mormon Split.

From the Chicago Journal.

There being many newspaper items afloat purporting to set forth the present condition of the Mormon Church, the various secessions, offshoots and outgrowths of the same, together with some of the tenets or dogmas of faith to which they severally hold, I thought with your permission, through the medium of the Journal to make some statements which may serve in a measure to correct the ideas which must inevitably have been gathered from the items lately and extensively published. The organization of the church was effected April 6, 1830. At this organization here were six persons, comprising nearly the whole number then in the faith. From this organization in its subsequent spread, has come every party, faction, and organization bearing the commonly received appellation of "Mormon." Propagation of [tenets] began by the laboring of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, who [boldly] advocated the new theories of religion, preaching from the common version of the Bible, and presenting with it, as of divine origin, the Book of Mormon, which is purported to be a history of the early settlers of the country, who came at different periods of time from the far East, one party coming over soon after the dispersion upon the plains of Shinar, and two others from Jerusalem about 600 years before Christ. These ultimately fell into unbelief, creating war among themselves, eventuating in extinction. This history was kept as a national archive, according to their custom. on plates of brass, which plates were confided from generation to generation to persons properly chosen, whose duty it was to inscribe the common history of their people upon them. These plates were so handed down to one [Moroni] the last surviving prophet, who seeing the utter extinction of his people, records the fact and hides the plates, confident of their being found and published abroad among a people who should inhabit this land. The preaching of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery was followed by that of others, who united with them from time to time, until quite a large number of communicants were added to the faith, when a gathering was effected at Kirtland, Ohio. From this place the work of proselyting went on. The building of a temple was completed about the year 1835 [sic - 1836?], at the same time that a settlement was being made in Missouri.

In 1837. owing partly to bad financial operations, partly to defection in the church, and partly to strong intolerant persecutions. the colony at Kirtland was broken up. The settlement already begun in Jackson county, Mo., was, owing to the increase in number, exercising considerable political power. Whether used wisely or unwisely (it matters not now), this power existing gave rise to jealousy. This [resulted] in mutual acts of an offensive [or] defensive character, which resulted in bringing down upon the church, then from 10,000 to 15,000 strong in the State of Missouri, the strong arm of force. The leaders were arrested and cast into jail, from which they were released or escaped, after various terms of confinement, and the whole body of people with scarcely an exception, were driven from the State in the beginning of the winter of 1838. The persecution to which they had been subjected had made many friends for them in the young State of Illinois, and, crossing the Mississippi, they settled to and fro, until a town site was chosen at Commerce, Hancock county, Ill., just at the head of the lower or Des Moines rapids. Here the city of Nauvoo was laid out and became the centre of the church organization. From 1839 to June 26, 1844, the church continued to proselyte with marvelous success. The church had increased from a membership of six to nearly 150,000. Twice had the strong arm of violence driven them from their homes. Twice had they sought new locations. All the time had they kept up their ministerial labors, and the doctrines which they believed were being taught in very many of the countries of the earth.

In June, 1844, Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith, his brother, were killed by a mob while being held in jail awaiting trial for some offence charged against them. There was at that time in the city of Nauvoo and county of Hancock, a large population adhering to the faith, which rapidly increased in the fall of 1845 just prior to the last acts of violence which drove them from the State. It was estimated at 25,000. Subsequent to the death of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, Brigham Young became the leader of the part of the church which sought to escape from the region where so much had been endured by them; and under his leadership complaints waxed stronger and stronger, until in the summer and fall of 1846 mob violence was again triumphant, and the State of Illinois was forcibly rid of the Saints. What the history of those in Utah has been, I have no personal knowledge. I have [-------] that much has been said and written of them which is not true, while the truth must be bad enough.

Joseph Smith, when he died in 1844, was in the thirty-ninth year of his age, and at his death left a family consisting of one wife, the daughter of Isaac Hale of Harmony, Pa., to whom he was married against the wishes of her [family], [not] much of a crime now, whatever it might have been then, and five children: four boys and a girl. The girl was the daughter of one Joseph Murdock and his wife, who died in Kirtland, Ohio, and is the natural sister of one John Murdock of Salt Lake City, Utah. She was adopted by Joseph and Emma Smith, at the death of her parents [sic - mother?], and has always been one of the family. She is now the wife of Mr. John J. Middleton, a gentleman of worth in the employment of the Pilot Knob Iron Company, of St. Louis, Mo. The boys were Joseph (the writer of this article), Frederick, Alexander and David. There are three left, Frederick dying in September, 1846. Emma Smith, the mother of these boys, left Nauvoo, in common with many others; and, instead of following the fortunes of Brigham Young, went up the Mississippi on the "Uncle Toby," then commanded by Captain Grimes, of Fulton City, now the terminus of the Dixon Air-line Railroad, and in the spring of 1847 she returned to Nauvoo, where, in December, 1847, she was married to Major Lewis Crum Bidamone, and where she still resides.

The writer was born in Kirtland Ohio, November 6, 1832 -- was taken with the family from there to Missouri, thence to Nauvoo, Ill., thence to Fulton, Ill., and back to Nauvoo, where he resided without intermission till January, 1866, when he became a resident of the town of Plano, Kendall Co., Ill. I am aware, Mr. Editor, that these items of family history have only local significance, but I deemed it necessary to relate them. In 1846 and 1847, when Brigham Young and those who followed his leadership were making their way westward, a large number refused to go, and scattered into various regions of the country. This division did not occur in the separation of an organized body of disaffected men, but took place by the dropping out of individuals and families by twos, threes and dozens, and has continued up to the present time. Different individuals attempted from time to time to organize and hold these dispersed people in one body, having in view as claimed by them, a reclaiming of those gone into apostacy (meaning those who led into polygamy) and the gathering together of those remaining in the faith to which they had originally given heed. One after another of these organizations failed, the reasons for which it is not necessary to state. Suffice it to say that in 1852 none existed bearing even a fair semblance to the tenets and practice of the original body.

In 1852 a movement was begun in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois, among the fragmentary remnants of these several organizations, together with many who had never held affinity with either, but who were anxious for the organization upon the original basis, which movement resulted in the assembling together at Amboy, Lee County, Ill., in April, 1860, of a large number of these scattered people for the purpose of effecting a permanent organization. The writer then became identified with the movement, and the organization was sufficiently effected to warrant the holding of annual and semi-annual conferences, and the transacting of such business as is called for by the exigencies of the promulgation of doctrinal tenets and the proselyting to the faith.

One of the first and chief objects of this reorganization of the elements of the original church was, and has been, the reclaiming of those who have plunged into error and vice, and the recalling of those who, supposing that there was no other way, followed the lead of ambitious and [unscrupulous ?] men, who flourished for a time and then failed. Another object, from the prosecution of which there has been no cessation, has been, and now is, an open. fearless, hostile and unyielding opposition to the doctrines of polygamy and others of like demoralizing tendencies, held and taught by Brigham Young and his adherents. The cause assigned for the opposition is this: The testimonials of all concur in freeing Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith from the accusation of being the originators and promulgators of that doctrine, and, further that there is no sort of foundation for believing those evil doctrines to have been a part of the doctrines of the original church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.   JOSEPH SMITH.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Published by Hapgood & Pease -- Warren, Trumbull County, Ohio.

Vol. ?                              Warren, Ohio, Wednesday, May 27, 1868.                               No. ?


The Painesville Telegraph says:

A few days since, we visited the Mormon Temple, in Kirtland, which we found to be in a much better state of preservation than we had anticipated. This huge and once elegant structure, so famous in the history of Mormonism, is now the pro perty of a wealthy Mormon residing in Chicago, having, as we learn, been sold, with the land on which it stands, at sheriffs sale, for the mere nominal price of $150. Some $1,500 has been expended in repairs; so that the building, although despoiled of its original elegance, still presents a very creditable appearance, and may be made to endure, a monument of mistaken zeal of its founders, for many years to come. The houses once owned and occupied by Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon respectively, are still standing in the neighborhood, as are also some other buildings, whose associations are more or less memorable. But few of the faithful, however, remain, the most prominent being the venerable Martin Harris.

Note: See also the Cincinnati Daily Express of June 19th.


Cincinnati  Daily  Express.

Vol. ?                                 Cincinnati, Ohio, Friday,  June 19, 1868.                                 No. ?

(From the Painesville Ohio Telegraph)
The  Old  Mormon  Temple  in  Kirtland.

The Old Mormon Temple at Kirtland, Ohio, so famous in the history of Mormonism, is now the property of a wealthy Mormon residing in Chicago, and was sold, with the land on which it stands, at Sheriff's sale, for the nominal price of $150. Fifteen hundred dollars has been expended in repairs so that the building, although despoiled of its original elegance, may be made to endure, a monument of mistaken zeal of its founders, for many years to come. The houses once owned and occcupied by Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon are still standing in the neighborhood, as are, also, some other buildings, whose associations are more or less memorable.

But few of the faithful, however, remain, the most prominent being the venerable Martin Harris.

The temple is situated on the summit of Kirtland Hill, is built of cut stone, and is one of the largest edifices in the State. In its construction, several hundred of the deluded followers of Joe Smith labored for many months, and they had just completed and held one or two meetings within its walls when the prophets and their tribe marched from Kirtland town never to return.

At the foot of the hill lies the beautiful valley through which runs Willoughby River, known as Kirtland Flats. Kirtland consists of two villages, one on the hill near the temple, and the other on the flats. The temple is two and a half miles from Willoughby.

Note: The Cleveland Plain Dealer also reprinted this Painesville item, on the same day, and the Cincinnati Daily Gazette on June 12th featured an edited version.


The  Geauga  Democrat.

Vol. XIX.                         Chardon, Ohio,  December 9, 1868.                         No. 50.

(For the Geauga Democrat.)
Early  History  of  Auburn

A sketch of the early history of the town of Auburn, in the County of Geauca, and State of Ohio, Written by Wm. Crafts, giving a sketch of his journey here from the State of New York, his purchase, his return home in October, 1815; also of his journey and arrival here, with his family, the following spring, of the year 1816; also something of his pioneer life after arriving here, which is as follows:

I, Wm. Crafts, started on foot, with my pack on my back, from the town of Gorham, county of Ontario and State of New York, on Tuesday, the first dav of August, 1815, for the New Connecticut Western Reserve, in the State of Ohio, for the purpose of buying a piece of wild land to clear up and make me a home. Traveled west to Buffalo. There I saw some of the effects of the war of 1812, the enemy having burnt the place. Some of the chimneys of the houses yet remained standing, and Buffalo looked small and rather desolate; so I passed on, more or less on the beach of Lake Erie, for 25 miles; then, done with the Lake, came on to Erie, Penn.; next came to the town of Conneaut, Ashtabula County, Ohio; from there came to Esq. Jesse Ladd's in the town of Madison, then Geauga County, now Lake. Mr. Ladd then kept tavern. I found him and his famlly to be very good, kind people, and, I being rather unwell, put up with him. Was there, on and off, for about two weeks. Went as far west as Chagrin. now Willouhby; came back and looked up land in Madison; did not get suited; wild land was held, off of the Ridge Road in Madison, at about four dollars per acre, and, as I had not much to buy with, I made up my mind to go south; consequently, as Mr. Ladd was going to Painesville, ten miles, he carried me there with him. Then I took the road for Chardon, our noble County Seat. Found, I think, not more than two or three houses on the way, after I left the old Warren road. Arrived in Chardon about four o'clock in the afternoon. The dwelling houses and Court House were all composed of logs at that time. Not a framed house there. Norman Canfield was digging a well where the tavern is now kept, south of the Court House, and I think he kept there at that time. Captain Edward Paine and others were there, standing about the well, and I inquired how far it was to the next house south, on the newly cut out State Road. They said it was six miles to Judge Stone's; that I could travel the new road through Munson on foot, or ride through on horseback, but teams did not pass. Accordingly, I left, and pursued my journey, and reached Judge Stone's a little after sundown, and glad was I for it seemed a long ways for me to travel without passing a house, and so near night that I did not know but that I should have to stay in the woods. I stayed with Mr. Stone over night; found him to be a really friendly, intelligent man, as he always has been ever since.

The next morning I left, and pursued my journey south. The first house I came to was Samuel Barker's; the next was Lemuel Punderson's grist mill and mill house for the miller to live in, that tended the mill: the next was Lemuel Punderson's dwelling house; the next was Joshua M. Burnett's; the next was Mr. Coe's, near a certain brook. He was a cloth-dresser; had done a small business there, but did not follow it. The next was Benager Bradley's, on the south side of said brook. He was a turner, chair and wheel-maker. The next was Bildad Bradley's. He had sold out to Joshua M. Burnett, and had gone about 20 or 30 rods south of the south line of Newbury, and had built on the then new State Road in the then new township No. 6, in the eighth range of townships, now Auburn, and was the first settler in town.

Now we will date September the first, 1815. The next was the body of a house raised by Mr. John Jackson, which stood a little south of where Gilbert Richards now lives, and on the same side of the road. He (Jackson) and Zadock Reuwee had been in and bought, and had gone back to Massachusetts for their families, and were going to move on that same fall. The next house on the road was Priest Jones', beyond Mantua Corners. There was no building on the corners at that time. So it appears that, in traveling from Chardon to Mr. Jones', in Mantua, Portage County, a distance of 18 or 19 miles, I found but 8 houses on the road, including Judge Stone's, and the distance from Bradley's to Jones' was nearly eight miles without a house.

Now as I am through this description of this long streak of travel, and so few houses,and the distance between them, I must go back and pursue my journey, in order to obtain the object of my pursuit, which was to buy land, and, as I traveled along through this new town, by where Jackson had raised his house, as above stated, I found myself in an extensive windfall, in which grew a solid mass of blackberry briers, very high, and so thick that it seemed as though a wild animal could not get through them, and they hung very full of berries, so that it was fine picking, but I did not like to buy in the windfall, so I went on about one-third of the way across the town, and came into timbered land, traveled across the next or middle third of the town in going south, and liked the land all the way first rate. The nice little streams of livina water, the excellent and great amount of rail and saw timber, the handsome face and laying of the land, all combined, pleased me very much. The last third of the town I liked tolerably well, but not so well as the middle on all accounts. So I passed on the Mantua Corners, took the center road, and went east to Captain Bosworth's and put up for night. I made inquiry of the Captain who owned this land I had passed through in this new town back in Geauga County, and whether it was for sale, and he directed me to go see Judge Amzl Atwater, of Mantua, for information; and, accordingly, I did the next morning. He directed me back to Lemuel Punderson, in Newbury; thought he could tell me all about it, and perhaps had the acrency of it. So I returned back; found such to be the fact. Mr. Punderson had the agency of selling this very land that I liked so well. He went and showed me the land, showed me the bounds. This tract extended from north to south, across the center or middle third of the town, and was nearly two miles in length and one mile in width, containing 1,176 acres of land according to the original survey, and belonged to William Ely, of the city of Hartford, in the State of Connecticut, and the State Road ran through it length-wise; consequently, it could be divided with east and west lines across the tract, and make several good farms, which would be situated upon both sides of the road, and the price was two dollars and a half per acre to take a part, or two and a quarter to take the whole tract; and, as I hardly knew where the best selection could be made on the tract for a farm, I concluded to take the whole tract, knowing at the same time I was not able to pay for it, but wishing to secure it, in hopes I could get some acquaintance or relative to come with me from the State of New York, settle on it, and form a neighborhood. So I bargained for it, made a small payment, passed writings, and, returning on foot the same way I came, got home the first of October. I was twenty-six years old the twenty-first day of December following, 1815. -- I was seventy-eight the twenty-first day of December.

My next business was to make ready to move to Ohio with my family the following winter, and, in order to do this, it became necessary for me to marry my second wife, and I did marry the Widow Hayes on the 9th day of January, 1816; she being nearly 4 years younger than I was, and had had the misfortune to lose her companion, as I also had mine. We were left, each of us, with a little son, a little over three years old, and with only 21 days difference in their ages. This done, it was a great step towards getting ready for the journey. I could not get any one to agree to come here and buy the land and make a settlement, as I wished, but my brother-in-law, Mr. Amaziah Keyes, of Palmyra, Ontario County, was favorable to coming, but had not sold but let his son Joseph come with me to help me, a youngster of about 17 or 18 years old, and he agreed to come out the June following, and see how he liked, and John Crafts, another nephew of mine, about the same age, came with us. I calculated to come by sledding. but, as it was a cold, frozen winter and but very little snow, I could not; waited for snow until the 16 th day of February, 1816; then started with an ox team and wagon, and drove a cow with us. The ground being frozen, we drove on well until we got nearly to Buffalo, when it began to rain and thaw. Got this side of Buffalo, and, having nowhere else to drive, we drove on to the ice, the water on the ice being nearly to the cattle's knees. It looked dangerous, but other people drove there, and we drove there until night, when we drove off the ice and put up at Barker's tavern, eight miles this side of Buffalo. The weather changed that night, and it was very cold. The next morning, we took the ice road again, with no water in the way, and drove on cheerfully. I was driving the team myself, noticed the track was beat in a circular form on my left; looked straight forward, and could see where they turned out: it appeared to be glare ice to drive straight ahead. Not being used to the lake, and drivincg on the ice and my team being well shod, I thought I would drive straight ahead, and not make this turn, and, as I was driving along rather carelessly, the first I knew the ice was cracking all around the wheels of my wagon. I looked forward, and, to my great astonishment, there was a terrible air-hole, and the water was roiling and boiling like a pot. I hawed on to the beaten track very suddenly, and, through the mercy of God, we escaped being drowned in the lake. We drove on till night, put up at Cash's tavern, 25 miles this side of Buffalo. We had now done driving on the lake. The weather changed again, so that the next morning it was thawing, raining and snowing, so that we remained there till after noon: then I yoked up my team, and drove on in company with some movers who were going into Pennsylvania. We drove through what was called the four mile woods, and came to Cattaraugus Creek. It was thawing all the while, but the ice and frost bore us up through the roads. The water ran swiftly down the creek on the lee. There were men at work cutting out the ice in the scow or boat, to ferry people across. We asked them if we could cross safely on the ice. They said we could if we drove in a certain direction, one team at a time. We drove in the water up to the cattle's knees, but crossed safely. It was night, and we all put up at Brownell's tavern on the other side of the creek. The next morning was very clear and warm. -- Brownell observed I had the advantage of those other teams, for I had wheels and they had runners. We left those teams there, and saw no more of them; pursued our journey till we came to Erie, Pennsylvania. Had a freezing and thawing, breaking up time, all the way from the time we left the creek above mentioned, till we came to the end of our journey. Could not travel more than ten or fifteen miles a day.

We left Erie, and came on to Conneaut, Ashtabula County, Ohio; from there to Madison, Geauga County; there we put at my old fiiend Ladd's; from there to Painesville, ten miles; from there to John Murray's, four miles. There we put up for the niaht, there being no tavern, but we fell in good hands. I left my family and team there at Murray's, and came on to Mr. Punderson's, in Newbury, to hire a team and man to go and put on forward of mine, and help me through the woods to the end of my journey. I hired a man by the name of Burke. He took his team and went out with me; got there in the afternoon. I was desirous to go on, and we put on our teams, and started; had left the old Warren road, got about two miles into the woods towards Chardon, and I discovered something out of order about the wagon; stopped the team, and behold, the tire being thin, it was broken on the hind wheel, and the felloe knocked off. It was evening. The moon shone very bright, but we could not go any farther. Therefore we had to return back to the last house we had left, which was two miles through the woods in the evening, so we turned our team and cow forward. Burke took one of the little boys and I the other. The older boys having come out with me were at Punderson's. My wife took as much bed clothing as she could well carry, for they had not much bedding at the house where we were going. So back we went, stayed there over night, went next moming to my wagon, took off my broken wheel, and carried it to Murray, requesting him to get repaired, borrowed one of him, and put it on to the waaon. It suited well, and we started; got to Chardon that day, and put up for night. The next morning we started, drove through Burton and part of Newbury, and finally to Mr. John Jackson's, in our noble new town, now called Auburn, this being the end of our journey, until we could build a house to go into, and, on Tuesday, the 12th of March, 1816, the next day, we looked out a house spot, and rested a little from our journey, which wanted only four days of a month to perform, in the very worst kind of traveling. The day following, which was Thursday, we commenced cutting our house timber, and the next Thursday, a week, we moved into it, and there we remained, without upper floor, door or table, till we had four acres chopped, cleared off and planted, on the east side of the road about the house, and five acres chopped on the west side of the road for wheat, which took till July. Then, while the brush was drying, I took my team, went to Burton, bought one hundred feet of lumber, made a table and door, put up shelves against the house, hewed chestnut plank for the lower and upper floors, and began to feel at home. Our nearest neighbors south were John Harrnon, Reed & Messenger, in Mantua, which was three miles. They had moved in since I was in, the fall before. Our nearest neighbors north were two miles, to Mr. Jackson's, the place where we stopped. Those were our neighbors the first season, except some men who kept house without their wives.

Our two little boys, that we brought in with us, grew up to manhood years ago, and are still living. Daniel M. Crafts, my son, was 55 years old the 15th day of September or October, 1867; lives in Troy, about a mile east of me. Chester G. Hayes is my wife's son. He was 55 years old the 4th day of October, 1867; is proprietor of the hotel at Auburn Corners; about one-third of a mile west of me. We have had six children since we moved into this town, three sons and three daughters, whose names are as follows: Jeremiah Crafts was born on the 28th day of October, 1816, he being the first child born in this town. Edward Crafts and Hosea Crafts are the boy's names. Almira, Harriet, and Eveline are the girls' names. Harriet we buried many years ago. Edward is on the old farm, and the others not far off, with the exception of Almira. She is gone to the State of Illinois. Thus it appears we have lived here more than a half century, have reared up a family, gone through all the hardships and privations incident to the settling of a new country, and, through the blessing of our Heavenly Father, we still live and are able to take care of ourselves.

Now I have finished what I have to write respecting my own history, for the present, but shall allude to it agaln occasionally, as I proceed with the progress of the settlement of the town. When I moved into town, Bildad Bradley had taken down his house and moved it on to the next lot west, because he could not hold the land on the road. There he lived to the great age of 85 years, and died about two years ago, his wife having died some years previous. John Jackson & Zadock Reuwee moved in town with their families, and Rensselaer Granger, a young man, came in with Mr. Jackson as his hired man. Jackson built a frame barn in the fall of 1816, this being the first frame in town. These three families settled in the north part of the town, I think on what was called the Mills Tract. Wm. Crafts' family was the fourth, and settled on the Ely Tract, as before stated. Perhaps it will be well for me to note some of the tracts of land in this town. as I shall have occasion to allude to them in reference to the settlers. And, first, the south third of the town with lines running from east to west across the town, was called the Atwater Tract, the owner living [in the] East, which was not for sale for many years after the town commenced settling. The middle third was owned by different individuals, as follows: Commencing with Solomon Cowles' Tract of 1,177 acres, bounded on the east line of the town; next the Ely Tract of 1,176 acres; next the Kirtland Tract of 2,400 acres. On this tract is the center of the town. Next the Root Tract of 1,000 acres; next the Miller Tract of 1,000 acres, extending to the west line of town. The north third was owned by Judce Mills and others. I cannot tell who they all were. And now a little concerning myself. -- As I was not successful in gettincy men to come from the East, and, taking this Ely Tract with me, as I wished, after I had been in town awhile, I made a proposition to Mr. Punderson to rescind the bargain we made the fall before, on the following terms: First that I would reserve 200 acres on the south end of the tract for Mr. Keyes, as he had sent his son in with me; next, I would take for myself 400 acres, the north line of which is 32 rods, north of the center of the east and west center road, now runninc, through the town of Auburn, this road not being laid out, it brought the four corners on my farm, which is now called Auburn Corners. Punderson having agreed to the above proposition, we took up our first agreement and made a new one. Shortly after this, Mr. David Smith and Mr. Morgan Orton came in from the State of Connecticut, and bought of Punderson the remainder of the Ely Tract. Smith, I think, bought 100 acres on the north-east corner, on the east side of the road. Orton's lay in an L, that opposite D. Smith's on the west side of the road, and that joining Wm. Crafts' on both sides of the road. About the same time Ethan Brewer came in from Massachusetts. and bought west on the Root Tract, near where May's Mill now stands. With no laid out road, only a foot-path which led to Aurora, the above named all commenced laboring and planting for the purpose of raising provision in this town, in the spring, of 1816. Nothing had been raised before. Orton was not married. Smith and Reuwee kept bachelors' hall at this time, but I think in October, the same fall of 1816, they bought on their wives from the East: then we began to think we had neighbors. Benjamin Woods came in from Palmyra, New York, I think in the month of November, 1816, and moved in Ellhu Mott. He settled in Newbury. Mr. Woods came down to our town with Punderson, looked west on the Root Tract, but wanted to buy on the road, as there was no other road in town. I told him I thought Morton Orton would sell, and went with him to Orton. They soon made a bargain, and Woods returned home to Palmyra, but came back here late the same fall, and brought four men with him, whose names are as follows: Charles Hinkley, Amasa Turner, Philip Ingler and James Benjamin. These men all came to look for land. Mr. Woods, although considerably advanced in years, was very ambitious. He cut, split, hewed and raised a log house in a short time, and then returned. On the 19th of February, '17. Mr. Woods, Charles Hinkley, and Amasa Turner all arrived here with their families, with ox teams, by sledding. Mr. Woods soon put his house in order and moved in. Hinkley and Turner bought north on the Mills Tract, built their houses and moved in. The fore part of the month of March following, (in '17,) Amaziah Keyes and John Cutler came in with their families. Keyes bought and built his house on the south end of the Ely Tract, which I reserved for him. Cutler bought west, at the center of the Kirtland Tract, built and settled there: had a hired man by the name of David Walker, who afterwards married and settled in Newbury. These five families, I think, were all that settled in town in the spring of 1817.

The two towns of Auburn and Bainbridge being set together to organize and do town business, as a town, on the first Monday of April, 1817, we rallied all the forces we could n both towns, and met at Ethan Brewer's in Auburn. We organized. Enos Kingslely, of Bainbridge, acted as Clerkm and we elected Ethan Brewer, of Auburn, Justice of the Peace, he being the first Justice in town. The names of some of the electors from Bainbridge are as follows: Two brothers by the name of Smith. George and Robert, David McConoughey and son Porter, Gamaliel Kent and sons, Mr. Henry and sons, and some more, but I cannot recollect their names. I will now proceed with the settlement. Geo. W. Antisdale came on from Farmington, Ontario County, New York, in June, 1817. and bought on the Kirtland Tract, as did also Pardon Wilber, and Joseph Bartholomew bought on the Root Tract. Benjamin Woods went East, and moved on Lewis Finley and John Bosworth. In the fall of the same year, (1817,) Bosworth settled on the south-west corner of Woods' land, on the Ely Tract. He was a professor of religion and member of the Baptist Church an exhorter, and frequently carried on meetings when there was no minister present. His son Luther soon married. and settled east of the State road, and towards the northeast corner of the town. Lewis Finley settled north-west, I think on the Mills Tract. Pardon Wilber and Bartholemew moved in late in the fall of the same year, (1817,) with their families, built houses on the land they bought, as above stated, and moved in. George W. Antisdale, Roger W. Antisdale, his brother, Arnold Harrington and Abraham Gilmore all moved in with their families in February, 1818. The Antisdales settled on the Kirtland Tract. Harrington and Gilmore settled, I think, on the south part of the Root Tract. George W. Antisdale was a man somewhat in years, and had a large famlly, his oldest son being nearly of age, and had a hired man. He commenced business, but was taken sick and died within two years after coming in. His wife married again, lost her second husband, and is still living in the town of Troy, an old lady of 85 years of acre. Elliot Crafts and Jeremiah White came in the spring of 1818, from Ontario, N. Y., bought, built, returned back, and moved in with their families in the fall of the same year. About this time, Austin Richards moved in from Massachusetts, with his family, bought and settled in the north part of the town, on the Mills Tract. A little previously to this time, (1818,) Daniel Wheelock, Lorin Snow and John Morey, all young men, came in from Massachusetts, and afterwards married and settled in this town. Rensselaer Granger, Jackson's hired man, as before stated, also married and settled in this town, raised a family, buried his wife, sold his farm, and has gone to Michigan, and married again. Luther Bosworth, who married and settled in this town, as before stated, also buried his wife, married again, and has moved to Michigan.

Philip Ingler, I liked to forgot, moved in about this time, (1818,) with his family, and settled at the center of the town. He could procure wild meat in the woods, for he was a great hunter. He afterwards moved to Auburn Corners, where he lost his life in the. following manner: He was a man that sometimes drank a little too much, perhaps, for his own good. Whether that was the case with him at this time, we don't know. He was in Mantua, as Amasa Turner's who lived there at that time, and kept tavern; started for home near night, Got into Auburn woods, on the Atwater Tract, and somehow got out of the way of travel on the turnpike road, with his knees in the ditch, and his elbows on the bank. There he was, with a black coat on, his back towards the road, asleep, and his little dog about him. David Eggleston was coming home from Mantua that evening. I think it was in October. It was a comfortable evening, and the moon shone bright. He got along to where Mr. Ingler lay, with his back rounded up towards the road, and his dog guarding him and growling. Eggleston took him to be a bear, went back to Turner's, got a young man by the name of Robinson to load his rifle with two balls, and come with him to kill this supposed bear. They came alone up, found Mr. Ingler quietly asleep in the same position he was when Eggleston left him, and, without further reflection, consideration or deliberation, Robinson drew up, pulled, and his gun snapped; overhauled, pulled actain, and his gun went off, the two balls entering the back of Mr. Ingler. He rolled over, and exclaimed, "O God!" and expired. The above statement I suppose to be correct. I was not there myself, and did not see it, but had it from others, and suppose it is true. I helped lay out Mr. Ingler myself, found the two balls entered his back about midway, near the backbone. One came out above or below the collar bone, I do not remember which. The other we did not find. Thus died Mr. Ingler, in a lamentable way, to the sorrow and grief of his wife, friends and neighbors.

(Concluded next week.)

Notes: (forthcoming)


The  Geauga  Democrat.

Vol. XIX.                         Chardon, Ohio,  December 16, 1868.                         No. 51.

(For the Geauga Democrat.)
Early  History  of  Auburn

About this time, ('18 or '19,) Ephraim Wright came in from Farmington, Ontario County, N. Y., and bought out John Cutler at the Center, who moved away West; moved back into Newbury, lost his wife, married acyain, settled, and lived there till he died, a few years ago. Wright moved in with his family about the time, as above stated; lived there at the Center, till about the year 1835, and sold out to Captain Gilbert Hinkley, brother to Charles Hinkley, and father to Charles D. Hinkley and Jerome Hinkley, both now living in Auburn. Captain Hinkley moved into Auburn with his family, which was quite numerous, lived there till 1844, and died. His wife is still living with her son Charles, an old lady of about 80 years of age. Wright moved to Michigan, bought, and lived there until a few years ago. He lost his wife, married again, and still lives there; has reached the great age of nearly or quite 80 years. He was a wonderfully smart man with an axe. Jonathan P. Bartholomew, I think, came in from the State of New York, in the year 1819. He was a young man, and a blacksmith by trade. He bought a small place, I think on the Root Tract; went back, married and moved in. He worked in his shop and on his place. As he was an early settler, and the first blacksmith in town, and the inhabitants were very few and scattering, he had not constant employment in his shop. His intention was, as soon as convenient, to buy land enough for a farm, so as to make farming his principal business for a livelihood; accordingly, when the Atwater Tract came for sale, he sold where he was, and bought a lot of a hundred acres; moved on to it, cleared all that was necessary, built a large two story house, frame barn, and all other necessary buildings; worked very hard on his farm and in his shop; raised a large family. Three of his sons, I think, were in the army during the late war. He was taken sick and died about the close of the war. One of his sons lives on the farm with his mother, the widow; two others live in this town, and the rest have gone West. Roswell Rice was also a blacksmith by trade, and son-in-law to Amaziah Keyes. He moved into town in June, 1819; bouaht four acres on one of the corners now called Auburn Corners; built a house and shop, worked there a few years, sold and moved to Mantua, as that was as old settled town, and a better place for his business. He worked at his trade, and remained there a considerable number of years, till his father and mother Keyes died; then he bought out the heirs of the estate, and moved back to Auburn; settled on the old farm, gave up working at his trade, and carried on dairying till he died, the 11th day of February, 1861. His wife also died the 31st of December, 1863.

Henry Canfield moved in, I think, with his family, in the fall of the year 1820; built and moved on to the land he had previously bought, and which I think is situated on the south-east corner of the Root Tract, and through which runs a creek called Bridge Creek, and on which was a mill-seat. Mr. Canfield's intention was to build a saw-mill on his land when he bought, which he did, and got it running, I think, late in the fall of the year 1822. This was the first mill in town. We were all very thankful to have a saw-mill, for we needed one very much. Mr. Canfield was a good carpenter, and a very industrious man. He built a frame house and barn, made improvements, and run his mill for several years, and then sold to his brother, William Canfield, who lived in the State of New York; but, some time during the time above stated, he met with a very bad accident. He was at a log raising, went to step over a log, had got his left foot over and his right foot up, so that the toe of his boot was nearly or quite at the center of the log. At that instant, another log rolled against his heel, and jammed his foot up endwise, and injured his ankle. This hurt was of such a nature that it could not be cured. His foot never came in good shape again. He had a shoe or boot made and shaped on purpose for it, and used to walk with a cane. Notwithstanding this misfortune, some of his boys becoming men-grown to help him, and he being ambitious, he bought a mill-seat at the Cuyahooa Rapids, in the town of Hiram, Portage County, built a dam across the river and a saw-mill, and was doing business successfully, when he was charged with flowing the marsh lands up the river, and a suit was commenced against him. He stood the test, and came off conqueror, but, as he was alone to fight so many, and as there was so much prejudice acainst him on account of his mill-dam being there, he sold and moved on to the State Road in Mantua. He lived there a number of years, and at length moved back into Auburn, and settled on the Atwater Tract. His house was burned 10 or 12 years ago, but he built again, and lives there to this day. His foot, ankle and leg growing more and more affected, and more and more painful, until the injury terminated in a running sore, and affected the whole limb to his knee, his sufferings were so great that it seemed as though he could not live under them. At length he sent to Cleveland for a surgeon, who, on examination, concluded to amputate it, with this view, that, if he died under the operation, death would be preferable to so much suffering, and he might possibly live; and he took it off above the knee, dressed it, and it was a long time setting well; but, at last, it has healed up sound, and the old gentleman, who has reached almost 80 years of age, is out of pain and patient under his misfortune. His wife, an old lady, died the 16th of last December, aced 80 years. Thus I have given you a faint description of the sufferings of this unfortunate man, which afflicted him, I think, for more than thirty years.

Elijah Canfield, next brother younger to the above mentioned Canfield, came into town, when or soon after he bought 50 acres of land near where the mill was built; went on to it, and lives on it to this day. He had only one child, Wm. Canfield, who bought the mill property of his brother Henry, as above stated; sold to a man by the name of Jude May, and May turned the water out of its natural course through a ditch, which he cut through the bank on the west side of the creek, and erected a saw-mill and grist-mill, which are in running order to this day.

Samuel Moore, of Mantua, was married to Betsey Keyes, by Ethan Brewer, Esq., at the bride's father's, in Auburn, about the 25th of November, 1817, they being the first couple married in town. Morgan Orton, who sold his farm to Benjamin Woods, as above stated, bought again west, on the Kirtland Tract, on the center road. The said Orton was married to Rebecca Moore, by the Rev. Elder Humphrey of Burton, at William Craft's in Auburn, in the winter of '19. This, I think, was the second marriage in town. Mr. Orton was a very industrious, hard-laboring man. After marriage, he moved on to his new farm of more than two hundred acres, made a good clearing, sold part of his farm to his brother-in-law, Harris, helped Harris build a saw-mill on a branch of Bridge Creek, above mentioned, which was on his farm; built a frame barn, was getting along well, but sold again, and moved back on the Ely Tract on the State Road, it being part of that which David Smith bought in the spring of 1816; built a frame house and bam, had a good orchard, and all well improved, sold again about ten or twelve years ago, and moved West to Iowa, bought land there, built a frame house, was improving and getting along well, when he was taken sick and died, about two vears ago. Thus I have written a little of the history of this hard-laboring man, who perhaps bought and sold too often for his own good.

John Crafts and Joseph Keyes, who came with me, when I moved here, soon married and settled in this town. John married East, in New York, brought his wife here, settled on a small farm of fifty acres on the Kirtland Tract, labored there a few years, and was taken sick and died. He was the first adult person buried in town. Willis Woods and Joseph Keyes married sisters by the name of Colvin, in this town. Keyes lived here many years, but not lives in the town of Burton; moved there 8 or 10 years ago; has grown old, but he and his wife are still able to take care of themselves. Willis Woods, oldest son of Benjamin Woods, was well settled on the State Road, on part of the land which his father bought of Morgan Orton, on the Ely Tract; cleared up his farm, set out a good orchard, built a frame house and barn, sold out many years ago, for about $14. per acre, moved to the State of Michicran, bought wild land, and was chopping in the woods when killed by accident by the fall of a tree. Thus ended the life of this unfortunate man, in consequence of the imprudent course he took, as we think, in movina away; but some say men's bounds are set, and they cannot pass them.

As Ethan Brewer was the first Justice of the Peace in town, I will now proceed to notice some of the others, as they were elected. John Jackson was next elected after Brewer. He held the office one or two terms; was taken sick and died. David Smith was our first Postmaster. He was elected Justice of the Peace is succession to Jackson, but, being an old man, did not like the office, and resigned. Pardon Wilbur, I think, was next elected. He held the office a term or two, and the next elected was Charles Hinkley. He also held the office one or two terms, and I think the next in was George Wilbur, son of Pardon Wilbur. He did not hold the office, I think, more than one term. The next was Austin Richards. He was re-elected, served many years, and gave good satisfaction. The next was David Smith, Jr., son of David Smith, above mentioned. He also served many years, generally well approved.

I will now proceed to say something about the schools in town. We have built five school-houses in school-district No. 2, on and near Auburn Corners, three of which were log and two frame houses. The first was built on the road north of the Corners, in the fall of 1818, and school kept in it the followina winter, ('19,) by Charles Hodkins. This was the first school kept in town. The next was a split and hewed log house, built on the south-east corner, where Mayhew's store now stands. This house was burned. How it took fire we do not know. The next was a log house by the edge of the woods west of the Corners. This house was built there for the accommodation of the people at the Center. The district being divided a few years after, those people built them a frame house at the Center, and we also built us a frame house on the center road, about one-third of a mile east of the Corners. These four houses were built voluntarily and by subscription. The school-house now in use, west of the Corners, was built by a tax, the law making it necessary. All this time, there were other districts formed and school-houses built all over town, as the people required.

I will now say something in regard to the ministerial labors, and by whom performed, in the early history of this town. For the first two or three years, we had not much preaching, only occasionally a missionary passing through world give us a discourse, till about '20 or 21. Elder Plympton, then a young man of great energy, held meetings frequently at the center of the town. There was a great stir amone, the people. Some professed to have their sins remitted, and be made happy in the Lord. He was a Methodist minister. About this time, there was a Baptist minister by the name of Abbott, who preached to the people, and I think established a church of the close communion Baptist order. There were also other Baptist and Methodist ministers preaching occasionally in log school-houses and in private houses, wherever the people could best be convened. Soon after this time, a Methodist minister moved his family into town, by the name of William Brown. He labored faithfully. There was a great revival. The people, many of them, became converted, and he established a church. This Methodist church built a meeting house at the center of the town. Shortly after this, there was a church organized and established in town, called the Disciple Church. They also built a meeting house at the center of the town. In about the year 1835 or 1836, there was a Free-will Baptist Church organized and established in town. They also built a little west of Auburn Corners. The Methodist and Baptist churches, beina, somewhat diminished, they both held meetings at the Baptist house, each one every other week, alternately. Thus I have given a short sketch of the rise, progress and declension of professed Christian churches in this town, from their early settlement to the present time.

I will now record something of the fatal effects of the burning of houses. On or near the last of November, 1817, Zadock Reuwee's house was burned. Mr. Reuwee was not at home. Mrs. Reuwee left her house, and her child of about two years old asleep, all safe, as she supposed, and went north, perhaps half or three-fourths of a mile, to a neighbor's house, of an errand; stayed but a few minutes. On her return home, she, to her astonishment, discovered her house was on fire. She made all possible speed, reached the scene, and some others got there about the same time, but, alas; they were too late. Neither house nor child could be saved. The bones of this child were buried at the center of the town. Elder Seward, of Aurora, performed the funeral services. This was the first funeral in town. A few years after, another scene of a like kind occurred. Cornelius Bowerman built a house in the north-east part of the town, where it was all new; had chopped and heaped brush all about as was usual in those days. When it became dry, in the spring of the year, he went out to burn brush. Mrs. Bowerman, to be very careful, went out to watch the house outside, that it should not take fire, and all her family were out except her youngest child, about a year old, which was in the house asleep, and it appears the fire blew under the house, and set it afire on the inside. They discovered the smoke, or something was not right, ran and opened the door, and the flames burst out. The child could not be saved, but perished in the flames, to the sorrow and grief of parents and friends. Walter McLouth, a man of a family, and somewhat in years, lived on the center road, west of the center of Auburn; was in bed on the 9th of April, 1843. His house took fire in the night, and he and two children, one of his own and another that lived with him, all perished in the flames. His wife and three children were saved. A man by the name of Johnson lived west of the State Road, of the Atwater Tract. About the year 1846 or 1847, he had a house burned with two children in it. The particulars I cannot tell. There was also a man by the name of King, who lived on the State Road, on the Atwater Tract, who, about the year '50, had a house burned with two children in it. About the year 1840, Erastus Eggleston had a little boy, who fell off the high log the kettles hung against into a kettle of boiling sap, and was scalded to death.

Now, as I have finished this short history of the first settlement of the town of Auburn, I will notice some of the deaths of the first settlers. Bildad Bradley and his wife died, as before mentioned. The exact time of their deaths is not given. John Jackson died January 13th 1824. His wife died August 3rd, 1861. Zadock Reuwee died August 25th, 1842. His wife is still living. William Crafts and his wife and the widow Reuwee are the only three now living of the heads of the first four families that settled in town. Charles Hinkley died on the 25th of March, 1842. His wife died on the 31st of July, 1866. Amaziah Keyes died on the 10th of February, 1824. His wife died Nov. 12th, 1840. Roswell Rice died on the 11th of February, 1861. His wife died on the 31st of December, 1863. Pardon Wilbur sold here in Auburn, and moved to Chardon, and died there many years ago; I cannot give the date. His wife is still living. Austin Richards also sold and moved to Chardon, and died there on the 14th of January, 1867, aged 77 years. His wife is still living. David Smith died Nov. 19th 1852, aged 89 years. His wife died Nov. 22d, 1854, alged 82 years. Benj. Woods died Feb. 27th 1853, aged 83 years. His wife died January 28th, 1834, aged 62 years. William Crafts mother, an old lady, when she came into town, died December 17th, 1832, aged nearly 88 years. Mrs. Everett was also an old lady when she came into town, and drew a pension. She died November 6th, 1861, aged 94 years, 8 months, and 24 days. Oliver Snow died on the 5th of August, 1841, aged 93 years. His wife died on the 24th of December, 1836, aged 85 years. Moses Maynard died on the 16th of October, 1865, aged 98 years and three months. His wife is still living being now 90 years old. Ethan Brewer sold here, as we understand, and moved to Wisconsin.

AUBURN, Feb. 1868.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                         Cincinnati, Ohio, Tuesday,  February 23, 1869.                         No. ?


Correspondence Cincinnati Commercial.

The  Mormon  Question.

Salt Lake City, U. T., January 29, 1869. Just four weeks, to-day, have elapsed since my last communication, but the events of that period have not been such as to admit of cool philosophizing on the "Mormon question;" in fact, that "question" threatened for a time to become a little more personal to myself than was at all pleasant. On the afternoon of the 7th instant, I was seated in my sanctum, busily preparing mental aliment for the readers of the Daily Reporter, when an official-looking personage entered and read a subpoena for "J. H. B[eadle], Editor Reporter" to appear before the grand jury "to-morrow morning at 9 o'clock, there to give evidence." Great was the wonderment among my friends and the Gentile public generally, as to what this new move meant, and I confess I was at first a little nervous myself. True, I was only summoned "to give evidence" but there was no telling what new scheme against the Gentile paper this might be the beginning of, and it would be exceedingly easy for a Mormon grand jury to ask me questions as to my sources of information, which I would not be at liberty to answer, and might consequently find myself "committed for contempt" and engaged in "playing checkers with my nose" from which there would be no remedy but by habeas corpus from the United States Courts.

It is my fixed opinion, as formerly stated, that these Probate or County Courts have no right to criminal jurisdiction, no right to a grand jury, and, consequently, no more right to call or question me than has Tom Brown, the blacksmith. Nevertheless, not to appear contumacious, I attended, and in due time was ushered before a Mormon grand jury. I have always had a horror of grand juries since the time, ten years ago, when I was forced to help a friend to a $20 fine for "giving liquor to minors" and the particular features of this case were not calculated to reassure me. The "head center" produced and read in excellent style, one of my locals, in which mention was made of a dead man having been found, out on the "bench" near the penitentiary buildings, and asked me if I had any personal knowledge of the matter. This being answered in the negative, a few similar questions followed, and he finally asked what I meant by the phrases "Brighamite civilization" and "the power that rules here by deeds of darkness and blood." I saw by the general pricking up of ears, that the real object of my being called was to find out what was the prevailing Gentile sentiment, and so, in the course of an hour's conversation, I set forth various facts within my knowledge, going to show that there was a feverish state of the public mind, and a general impression that trouble of some sort was impending. The matter took a very informal turn, and resulted in a pretty free interchange of sentiment, by which I learned the fact, important to me, that the Mormons are apprehensive that any hostile act on their part would probably lead to an outbreak and serious consequences. This has been my own opinion for some time, but if the Mormon authorities can see the true state of the case, the danger will be greatly lessened. But the trouble with them is they have held absolute power so long that rather than give it up they will use violence. One thing is certain, there is a "feverish state of the public mind" and the death of one prominent Gentile at their hands would precipitate a civil war. Meanwhile everything seems to go on quietly, and no violence is just nbw attempted or threatened. But a series of petty persecutions is kept up some of which are annoying and others ludicrous. Some two weeks ago, Rev. Henry Foote, tho Episcopal Minister here, in riding to church, allowed his horse to go at a gentle canter down Main street. He had readied the church and donned his vestments for service, when he was surprised by the entrance of a policeman, who forthwith read a warrant for his arrest, for "fast riding on Sunday." He was lot off with a light fine; still this is a specimen of the present state of warfare.

A worse thing however is a sort of general order for all Mormon girls doing housework for Gentiles to leave them at once. This creates as much dissatisfaction with the girls as with the Gentiles, as the former consider the houses of the latter generally as the best places. Many of these women are second wives of Saints, and several cases of real hardship have come to my notice. In two of them policemen visited the house and made the girls believe they had writs to take them away. Once out of the house and surrounded by their Mormon friends there was no getting back. In one case the policemen and husband forced their way into the house while the Gentile family were at church, after the young wife had refused a dozen times to go with them, and partly by threats and partly by persuasion, took her away. In all these petty annoyances they manage, to keep within the law; still much bad blood and bitterness of feeling is thereby engendered. But on the 13th a now sensation was provided by a telegram from Washington to the effect that Congressman Ashley had introduced a bill for the division of Utah among the neighboring Territories. All the bile in the Mormon community was stirred at once, and the two morning papers, the Telegraph and Deseret News, came out with furious articles denouncing Mr. Ashley in the most unmeasured terms, and stignatizing the whole movement as another act of "cowardly persecution." Bear in mind that it is a cardinal principle of faith with the Mormons that every politician who makes any move unfriendly to them is cursed from the hour and a blight is upon all his plans.

They proudly point to Henry Clay, Stephen A. Douglas and Frank P. Blair, as statesmen who declined rapidly from the day they refused to befriend the Mormons. Like all fanatics, they think that they and their acts are the pivot upon which all things temporal turn, and in the future history of America theirs will be the central line of interest, to which all else is subsidiary. There is in Mormon history, a very curious correspondence between Joseph Smith, on behalf of the Mormons, and Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun. Smith first wrote to these gentlemen in the opening of the campaign of 1844, making the inquiry: "What would be their rule of action toward the Latter-day-Saints, in case they were chosen to the high office" &c. Both of them wrote very guarded replies, in which they expressed generally the opinion that "these people, like all other religious sects, were entitled to the protection guaranteed by the Constitution and laws." After waiting a few months, Smith wrote each of them a long letter, a farrago of filthy nonsense, black-guardism and attempted learning, which is both amusing and disgusting. I have read, and heard it read among the Saints, many times, and they universally regard it as the highest possible exposition of governmental knowledge" and a powerful rebuke of corrupt politicians.

They regard Andrew Johnson as the "noblest American since Washington's day" "a godlike statesman, a true gentleman and Christian." Knowing that Andrew was not, just now, the most popular man in the States, I was curious to find tho reason of this excessive veneration, and found it to be, as expressed by one of their preachers, that "Johnson had not sent here a furious, sectarian Governor, a man who would try to eat them up, but had sent Governor Durkee, a mild-mannered man, who did not interfere with the people." This act alone, they think, will entitle him to the highest niche in the temple of fame. So Andrew may congratulate himself that the Saints are his friends. Fortunately for their peace of mind, there was no one to dispute witn them about the division of the Territory. The Gentiles here are unanimously opposed to it for many reasons. One is that they consider it a virtual backing down on the part of the Government, a cowardly move, an attempt to shirk a responsibility which justly belongs to the nation, and to throw the filthy carcass of Mormonism to the Territories to be settled with by them. My private opinion is that it would be advisable to give the upper portion of the Territory, through which the railroad runs, to Wyoming, and thus avoid the irritating causes of difference which are even now springing up between the Mormon Territorial authorities and the new railroad towns.

Two of these towns, to-wit, Promontory City, situated at the north end of the lake, and Wasatch, on the run of the Great Basin, eighty-five miles from here, have virtually declared their independence, chosen city officers, and given notice that they will heed no Mormon laws, regard no Mormon officer, and fight, if necessary, "on that line."

Echo City, a new railroad town, at the mouth of Echo Canon, fifty-five miles from this city, was without any government whatever for several weeks. At length a Mormon policeman of this city was commissioned as Justice of the Peace and sent to Echo, with half a dozen policemen, to take charge of affairs. He ran the city on a fair basis for a short time, arrested and fined several gamblers, and forced the dancing women to leave town. At length a slight disturbance occurred; the roughs overawed his police, and things fell into their original chaotic condition. The citizens at length drew up a charter, and a few days ago presented a petition to the Territorial Legislature, now in session, to grant them the charter. The Legislature referred the petition, which will be the last of it, and the Echo citizens now declare their intention to "run the town on the charter any how." I think the Mormons will finally control Echo, but I apprehend more trouble at Wasatch. This town, the present passenger terminus of the Union Pacific Railroad, has sprung up like magic on the very summit of the Utah Mountains, 7,000 feet above sea level, and just at the head of Echo Canon. It has already a resident population of a thousand; and two or three thousand laborers at work on the rock-cut and tunnel, within a few miles. All the business men and saloon-keepers have refused to pay territorial license, or obey the process of any territorial oourt. They have a city government in successful operation, with Mayor and Council complete. The Marshal, Mr. Thomas Smith, told me when I was there some days ago, to "give full notice in this city that no Mormon officer need come there to exercise any authority whatever; that they would fight the whole Territory if necessary, and he could turn out fifteen hundred men at half a day's notice." So far this challenge has not been accepted; but if the Mormons attempt to govern Wasatch there will probably be a fight. Between the Mormons and the railroad roughs, the Gentiles of this city have nothing to choose; so we shall remain "invariably neutral" unless the Mormons force us into the matter, in which case we will have no choice but to join with the roughs. From these and other facts, I think it will be well to give the "railroad strip" to Wyoming, but such is not the opinion of other Gentiles.

I think I am in a position to know that opinion thoroughly, and the expressions which come to me on every side may be summed up thus: Give us firm Government officers, who will not hesitate to accept a responsibility when it comes, who will act with vigor and decision, backed by one or two regiments of soldiers to protect Gentiles in all their rights, and sustain the United States Courts in their action, and all else we will soon settle ourselves. For Governor, we want a man who will declare his right to oommand the territorial militia, and exercise it, instead of walking in the ranks behind Brigham Young, as has been done on several disgraceful occasions. We want a man of military firmness, who knows his rights and is not to be wheedled by Mormon flattery, frightened by their threats or trapped by their allurements. And a man, too, who understands the question and its necessities, and is not too old or too weak to act on that knowledge -- who is, at the same time, sufficiently popular to unite the Gentile sentiment, and well known by the Mormons. Permit me to say there is one man, and probably but one, who will fill this demand, and be universally acceptable to the Gentiles. That man is General P. E. Connor, and I believe there are not six Gentiles in this Territory but would prefer him for Governor to all others. I have received advices from every part of the Territory, and have talked with hundreds of people, and so far have not heard a dissenting voice.

General Connor is a native of Ireland, and now a resident of Stockton, California, though he spends nearly half his time here, where he has some property, particularly a steamer on Salt Lake. He commanded the California volunteers here from 1862 to 1865, a trying period, and won universal commendation. He was commissioned General by President Lincoln for a great victory gained over the Bannuck Indians. As Governor, with fifteen hundred soldiers, he would be able to preserve order through all the troublous times that are pretty certain to come next spring and summer. At any rate, we Gentiles would rather risk him than any other man we know of. The time has come when the Mormon question can no longer be evaded. The clashing elements are fast pouring into this valley. The new railroad town, to be laid out near Ogden, will undoubtedly be the great city of the basin, and will for some time be the favored resort of all the roughs in the country. They will steal from the Gentiles and lay it to the Mormons, and vice versa. Nine-tenths of the Mormons are so bigoted and fanatical that they persist in considering all the Gentiles alike, and regard the crime of one as the crime of all. Hundreds of Gentiles are no more reasonable in regard to the Mormons, and fail to see any distinction between the guilty few and the innocent, but deluded, many; and without a powerful corrective it takes no prophet to see that the scenes of Missouri and Illinois will be re-enacted. A firm hand and a clear head are needed to repress disorder and do justice to all parties. Give us these and no division of Utah will be necessary; with Gentile settlement, with social and moral forces, we will settle every thing else.   BEADLE.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                         Cincinnati, Ohio, Saturday,  April 24, 1869.                         No. ?

The  Milk  in  a  Mormon  Coconunt.

Toward the end of the Fortieth Congress a bill was introduced into the House for a division of the Territory of Utah among the adjoining States and Territories. It being reported by telegraph as a proposition of Mr. Ashley, of Nevada, and its object being set forth as the restriction of the growth of polygamy, by taking away the unoccupied parts of Brigham Young's domains, and so stopping the latter's "empire-founding" project, it was discussed on its merits in many quarters. But, when the telegraphic error was corrected, and we were told that the originator of this bill was Mr. Ashley, of Ohio, the tone of comment wonderfully changed. It was taken for granted that there was a cat under the Mormon meal, and the question was, what "cat?" A correspondent of the Times, in this public perplexity as to "what Ashley was after" made this suggestion: "The real, though disguised, intent" he said, "is to secure the early admission of Montana as a State of the Union, and a couple of seats in the Senate of the United States to eager aspirants -- and herein lies the motive of this remarkable proposition." --   New York Times.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                         Cincinnati, Ohio, Thursday,  April 29, 1869.                         No. ?


Correspondence Cincinnati Commercial.

The Mormon  Despotism.

Salt Lake City, April 14, 1869.      
After all that has been said and written on the "Mormon question" some people in the East are still asking: Why can not the residents reform matters? If there is dissatisfaction or opposition to the hierarchy, can it not make itself felt in the elections? To such inquirers let me commend the following sections of "an act regulating elections" approved January, 1853:

"Sec. 5. Every voter shall supply himself with a ballot bearing the names of the persons he wishes to fill the various offices, and present it neatly folded to the judge of elections, who shall number it "and deposit it m tho ballot-box. The clerk shall then write the name of the voter, and opposite to it the number of his vote.

"Sec. 6. At the close of the election the judge shall seal up the ballot-box, and transmit it, with the poll list, to the County Clerk."

Isn't that a beautiful method of "protecting the purity and freedom of the ballot?" See how artistically they abolish the free ballot while they retain the vote. "Thus" says an apologist, "they retain the privilege (?) of voting while they avoid the evils of universal suffrage; subjecting, as it always should be, the ignorant many to the supervision of the intelligent few."

Under this system, Brigham Young's emissary can go into any precinct in the Territory and find out just how any man has voted ad any election for the last fifteen years! And with this ignorant people, alive to spiritual terrors and knowing too well what temporal trouble may be brought upon them, it is plain that the opposition must be in a majority before it can venture to make itself known. The opposition can not make a start to consolidate.

And yet these solemn, funny fellows in Congress, go on talking and acting as if we had a republican government and a free ballot in Utah; and lately one bigger empiric than common wants to add to the joke and heighten the humor of the burlesque, by giving this privilege (?) of the ballot to women. And he thinks such action would tend to destroy polygamy. It is impossible to convey to any one, not a resident of Utah, any idea of the utter absurdity of such a proposition. Consider that at least five-sixths of these women are from countries where tho ballot is unknown, that one-third of them can not speak, nor half of them read, the English language; that they belong, originally, to those foreign classes where the wife is to the husband "a little dearer than his dog" "a little nobler than his horse" and that, superadded to this is the powerful sanction of a religion whereof the prime principle is that the wife must, in every word and act, be obedient to the husband, and the futility of the Julian-Pomeroy bill will faintly appear. To one who has lived here, and knows what "voting" means in Utah, the idea is so ridiculous that nothing but my intense respect (?) for Congress keeps me from ha-ha-ing right out. Practically, one man in each settlement might just as well do all the voting. The Church puts her ticket in the field, and the bishop directs the people to vote it, and they do it.

On one memorable occasion, it is said, a sort of spiritual rebellion occurred in the Utah Lake District, where many American converts reside, and the opposition candidate to the Legislature was elected. On reaching this city the successful candidate was simply "counseled" to resign, did so quietly, and the regular nominee was declared entitled to the seat. Two years ago the Jews, Gentiles, apostates and recusant Mormons of the Thirteenth Ward in this city, found they had a majority, as nearly all of these classes in the city lived in that ward. They elected Bishop Woolley, a good Mormon, however, for Councilman, against the regular nominee. The Bishop was at once cited before Brigham, promptly resigned according to "counsel" and the other candidate was admitted to the seat.

When the celebrated and somewhat amusing Hooper-McGroarty race for Congress took place, hundreds who would have voted for a decent Gentile nominee, but regarded McGroarty as either a fool or a knave, did not vote at all; consequently that gentleman received less than two hundred votes, while as the Mormons did their best -- Hooper received some 14,000! It is still a standing joke here to repeat portions of McGroarty's speech, prepared to be delivered before Congress; he employed a lawyer to write it for him, and while committing it to memory he could never talk ten minutes with a friend without running into his speech, assuming an oratorical manner and the plural number, as if addressing Congress!

From the best data in my possession I can say there are now not less than 2,500 bona fide Gentile voters in Utah. By the Autumn elections wo will probably have over 4,000, which will be concentrated almost entirely in Box Elder, Weber and Morgan Counties, through which the railroad passes. It is quite possible our vote will be much larger than I have stated, for the disaffected Mormons are already beginning to gather about the Gentile settlements, and their number is larger than is generally supposed. The Gentile residents of this city, of all ages and sexes, number about eight hundred, Certainly not more than a thousand, of whom a little more than half are voters.

I make up this census from several sources; the subscription list of the Daily Reporter, the roll of membership of the Gentile Church (Episcopal), the roll of the Hebrew Benevolent Society, including every Jew in the city, and the membership of the Masonic and Odd Fellows Lodges, besides being personally acquainted with almost, every one of them. Beside these there are, one day with another, a thousand more transients In the city, consisting of visitors, railroad men temporarily out of employment, teamsters, miners, and travelers, stopping from one day to six weeks.

The legal Mormon vote of the Territory I think very near 9,000, certainly not more, probably much less. During the Hooper-McGroarty contest it is notorious that thousands of illegal votes were polled -- many voting who had come in that summer's immigration, while in the distant southern settlements the Bishops even took lists of a hundred names to tho polls and had them checked off, many of these persons having been absent for years on foreign missions, others in California, and some dead. In this city I am acquainted with several boys of sixteen years, who voted, considering it merely a good joke.

The evils of this system of voting are numerous, but one is particularly to be noted, the number and variety of ofiices hold by the same man. In the town of Fillmore, the old capital, one man holds the offices of County Clerk and Recorder, Town Clerk and Justice of the Peace, Assessor and Collector of Internal Revenue, and ex officio overseer of the poor. Besides all this he is a bishop in the church and an officer in the Nauvoo Legion. In this city, one Captain Robert I. Burton is Collector of Internal Revenue for the Territory, Sheriff of Salt Lake County, Assessor and Collector of State and county taxes, and a General in the Nauvoo Legion, besides being a prominent elder in the church, the husband of three wives, and one of the chiefs of the secret police.

This is the Burton who led the Brighamite army to capture the Morrisites, and, according to his own account, shot three of those people after their surrender. He is in manner and appearance,
"The mildest mannered man
That ever scuttled ship or cut a throat."

But if there is truth in one-fourth of the private memoirs of apostates, he is a most blood-thirsty bigot. All these civil officers are at the same time leading dignitaries in the Mormon Church, chosen solely because they are such; they consider their civil offices far inferior, and, in fact, subordinate to their ecclesiastical dignities, and knowing little or no law, they are guided by ecclesiastical policy and "counsel."

Travel where you will through the outer settlements, and you never hear the people speak of the Probate Judges as Judges; it is always "the Bishop decided so and so." With them, he is acting always in his character as Bishop, never as Judge. Nor need we be surprised at this; it is the natural conflict under such a system between the theocratic, the spiritual, and the popular, the democratic and laical. The American idea is that power is derived from the people, is merely delegated to the officer, and rests upon the just consent of the governed. The Mormon idea is exactly the reverse; power and authority come from above, and operate downward through all the grades; the official is responsible not to those below him -- to them he is the voice of God; but to those above him -- from them he derives his authority, and to them he must render an account.

In the words of a Mormon polemic, "It is not consistent that the people of God should organize or be subject to man-made governments. If it were so, they could never be perfected. There can be but one perfect government -- that organized by God; a government by apostles, prophets, priests, teachers, and evangelists; the order of the original church, of all churches acknowledged by God." I am thus minute in my statements, because so many people in the East have an idea that polygamy is the only great evil of Mormonism. There are a dozen evils we feel more than that; in fact, polygamy in itself is but a slight annoyance to the Gentile residents of Utah.

Mormonism was an unmitigated evil before they had polygamy; the priests ruled the ignorant people with spiritual terrors, and that made them dangerous neighbors and troublesome citizens. Probably some of these other evils grow out of polygamy, but that of itself troubles us very little. It is that the Territory is ruled by a church, that civil and legal measures are carried by ecclesiastical policy rather than law, that we are subjected to all the annoyances of petty tyranny, that in our business and social life we are constantly subjected to the espionage of church spies, that we are hampered in business by church hostility and the imposition of excessive taxes, that our friends and fellow-countrymen have been secretly murdered and the church prevents our obtaining justice; in short we are exposed to the tyranny of an unopposed majority, and that majority controlled by a small and compact hierarchy, working out its Star-chamber decrees by secret and, to the people, irresponsible agents.

It is this that grinds the feelings of American citizens; not polygamy, though that is a great moral evil. The Mormon people as a mass are naturally disposed to deal justly, but, unfortunately, the people are ciphers, and it seems to be the policy of their leaders to keep them in a constant state of irritation and hostile feeling to all outsiders, and to the Government of the United States. Ail those who imagine there is the faintest trace of loyalty or decent patriotism about Brigham Young should have heard his closing speech at the April Conference, last Thursday. With many other Gentiles, I sat and listened to a harangue, which would have startled the Committee on Territories if they had heard it. Remember that it was delivered to an audience who accept his every word as equal to the Gospel, embracing at least five thousand females, and you will appreciate this extract:

"Who does the Government send here for officers? The d__dest scalawags that could be raked out of hell! There was old Judge Drake, the d__d old scoundrel, that said he 'loved to damn the Mormons;' he'd 'get up at midnight and walk ten miles over thistles to damn them,' and he'd 'damn any man that wouldn't damn them;' and I say, G_d d__n him, and God will damn him, and all such scalawags as they send here. And these men are the representatives of Congress! And of the President! Who goes into the White House now-adays? A drunkard and a gambler! And the Vice President is the same; and you may hunt clear through both houses of Congress, and if you can find any men that are not liars, thieves, whoremongers, adulterers, gamblers and drunkards, I tell you they are mighty scarce, for no other kind can get in there. They will deny their own children; and I say, G_d d__n such men, and God will damn them. Yes; and he'll damn the nation that permits them. Now, if these d___d Gentiles give us any more trouble we'll drive them right out of the. Territory. We won't have such scalawags among us, and we ask no odds of the Government."

An apology is due for presenting such stuff, and yet the country should know the feelings which animate the leaders here. Let it be understood that Americanism, as we understand it, is a foreign element to Mormonism. The last move of the Administration was in the right direction; removing Captain Burton, and appointing in his place, as Revenue Collector, Mr. O. J. Holdster, a loyal man and honest gentleman, who will reform the revenue service here, which is now in a condition disgraceful to the Government. Much more remains to be done in the appointment of an efficient Governor, the revision and correction of the voting system, the restoration of United States Courts to their true dignity, and other measures for the protection of all who differ from the hierarchy.

Under this better system we would soon build up a liberal party here, and in time bring at least the northern portion of Utah under a republican government. I have thus endeavored briefly to portray the political situation in Utah, and have been careful to state only such facts as can be verified by abundant evidence. The evil is great, but not without remedy if fully understood by Congress; the redeeming forces are quietly at work; let them be seconded by the Government.

With this letter closes my series of sketches from Salt Lake City, and for some time at least my connection with the readers of the Commercial. To-morrow I leave for the new railroad town at the north end of the Lake, ending a seven months' residence in the "City of the Saints."

I came among the Mormons with but few ideas of them, and mv first impressions of them were in the highest degree favorable. My first friends here were all Mormons, for in a Mormon train I crossed four hundred miles of the Plains, in the humble character of a "mulewhacker" -- a teamster for pay. Those persons are still my friends; they have often extended me courtesies, for which I am grateful; I have eaten their salt, and warmed at their fires." But not all their kindness or personal friendship could blind me to the monstrous defects of their social system, or the odious features of a church tyrany. During my work here, whether as editor of the only Gentile paper in Utah or as correspondent, it has been my constant aim to
"Nothing extenuate,
Nor set down aught in malice."

I have constantly endeavored to distinguish between the virtues of the people and the crimes of their rulers, being as to the former,
"To their faults a little blind,
To their virtues very kind."

As for the Hierarchy, if my feelings soon changed toward them, it was from the best of evidence. That evidence has constantly accumulated, until language fails me to describe my utter detestation of their system. That the people are frugal, industrious and honest, will avail but little while they are fanatically devoted to such a power. If these desultory sketches have assisted any to a better understanding of the "Mormon question;" if they have contributed in any degree to make the duty of Government and people more plain, or to lead to more earnest inquiry on this painfully interesting problem; it they have roused the sympathies of American women for their unhappy sisters crushed beneath the double weight of religious fanaticism and man's debasing lust, or have called the notice of the press to the true wants of Utah, they have accomplished the dearest wish of their author.  BEADLE.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                            Cincinnati, Ohio, Monday,  May 10, 1869.                            No. ?


Correspondence Cincinnati Commercial.

The Last Railroad Line -- How the Saints are Gulled --
Gambling Houses and Their Cappers -- Brigham City --
Feeling of the Mormons for the Gentiles -- How a Gentile Can
Dispose of Himself -- The Mormon Church -- Track Laying, &c.


Corinne Station, May 1, 1869.      
The land around this town is very fertile, although perfectly wild and unbroken; save here and there a log house, with dirt roof, and plastering and "pointing" indicates habitation, there is but one or two small farms in the vicinity. The town is built of tents, has a quasi-corporation, a floating population of fifteen hundred or two thousand souls, and claims to be the place for business, as it is the most accessible point on the road for Montana and Idaho, which is all very true. It was laid out on the western side of Bear River, by the railroad company, and lots sold amounting to $35,000. There appears to have been some misunderstanding on the part of the officers of the road, as the town is on one side of the river and the side tracks on the other, and at least two miles apart. Persons taking freight to Corinne have to haul it, at a cost of six dollars for a two-horse team per load, from the side tracks over to the town. A great many are growing very indignant toward the company, having paid a high price for lots, a high price for freight ($1,180 a car from Omaha,) have suffered delays, disappointments, &c., and now have to be at nearly $100 extra expense to get goods across the river.

The General Superintendent told the people they should have a side track at the town. "A small spur has been put in, and there the work stopped; for what reason I do not know, except that the Central Pacific has bought this road west of Ogden, and the officers of this company will get off with excuses for delay until the roads connect; then the transfer is to be consummated, and this railroad will avoid the expense of constructing a yard, building depot, or freight-houses, and leave the settlers to make such arrangements with the Central Pacific as they can; and as that company did not sell the lots or make any promises, it is very probable that Corinne will decline very suddenly.

Yet business is good here; there is quite a large travel through to White Pine and the Northern mines; graders, too, are coming in from work, are paid off and spending their hard-earned cash very liberally. There are a good many large gambling-houses in town, and all appear to be doing a "driving trade." Three-card monte and the ten-dice game is kept up day and night. Each table has its "cappers" around, elbowing through crowds, or watching the street. If they run aoross a man that has "a few stamps" they approach, shake cordially, and call him by some name. If it happens to be the right name, Mr. Capper styles himself lucky to meet an old friend; if not the right name, a few cautious interrogations places the approacher on easier grounds, and by comparing notes, they conclude they have met before.

"Well, come up and have a drink." This will freshen the memory.

"What are you doing now?" queries the capper. "Nothing" is the response. They grow confidential, and in sauntering around espy a new game; new, especially to the capper. He must try his luck at it, it is a new game; and by a few successful throws he draws his unsuspecting victim into the game. Finally a big stake is necessary, and the capper has only about ten dollars, and can't help but win; number two must put up the balance, and they will divide the profits. Directly the money is put up. He stakes all he has with him, and the unlucky card at monte is sure to turn; or the wrong dice show themselves; and the poor dupe stands, counting them over and over, wondering how luck could change so suddenly.

The gamblers enjoy a great deal of sport when they draw a Mormon into their game, and they generally manage to gull the poor "saint" out of every thing he has. There is no law here to protect a person against these gambling-houses, and very frequently when persuasive powers fail, thoy do not fear to resort to threats and even open violence to rob their victim. They have a controlling power in the police force, and, if arrested, they do not fear justice being executed against them.

Brigham City lies in full view some seven miles away. The town is built on a bench in the mouth of a canyon, sheltered with mountains on three sides, but open to the south, and from its elevated position giving a splendid view of the lake and its numerous mountain islands.

The houses are not built compact, but a sufficient space is reserved for a garden and orchard around each house. The creek affords a supply of water which is carried along each side of every street, and really enhances the beauty of the town very much.

There are very few Gentiles living here. The Mormon settlers number about two thousand. They have a church, a school-house, and a theater where Mormon actors play twice a week.

Nearly every settler has a little farm adjacent to the town, and a fence extending around the community, not fenced in separately, as we do in the States, but one fence protects the whole, and a furrow or ditch defines the limits of each one separately. Water is easily conveyed from the creek over the ground for irrigation.

The Mormons are very jealous of the Gentiles; do not associate with them or deal with them when it can be avoided. And, above all, let me advise any Gentile coming to this country, not to form acquaintances with the softer sex, for this will excite all the ire that can be fomented in the protecting powers, and, some very fine morning, Mr. Gentile will wake up and find himself missing.

A great many Gentiles have disappeared very mysteriously around Salt Lake City, and, in several cases, open violence has been done in the streets in broad daylight. As a matter of course, all this is sanctioned by the heads of the Church, who exercise an absolute control over the people, both in matters of church and state. The church has six Presidents, of which Brigham Young is the chief; the lesser Presidents have districts over which they preside, collect tithes, and occasionally preach. Their sermons generally consist of a series of bitter invectivos against all who do not belong to the church. If any brother or sister is suspected of associating with Gentiles, they are reprimanded and forbidden doing so any more.

A formal election is held yearly, for the officers of church, and no one durst nominate a new man save Brigham himself. And as no one but the officers convene for that purpose, they continue in office until death causes a vacancy. Brigham generally concentrates all his eloquence for these occasions, and the sermon (as he calls it) delivered at the last conference, held about a month since, is filled with the lowest, most obscene and abusive language ever delivered to a congregation, swearing outright, calling loudly on the Almighty to damn the Gentiles, and assuring his good people that He would damn them; and as the mass of the Mormons are the poorest and most ignorant class of people from Europe, brought out at the expense of the church, from a country where the severest labor scarce afforded a miserable existence, to this country, where each and every head of a family can have at least one hundred and sixty acres, at no greater cost than cultivating a portion of the ground, (they are uneducated and have no records beyond traditions,) over this class of people the Head Center exercises the most absolute control; no monarch in the world wields a more absolute sway.

Polygamy is one of the principal features of the church. Every member is entitled to three, four, or even a dozen wives. Brigham Young has twenty-eight to whom he is married in this world, and sealed to full double that number for the eternal world. They hold (or rather he tells them) that marriage is ordained in heaven -- not only this, but polygamy is permitted. These marriages are made binding through the prophet (Brigham); this is "sealing." The party that dies first must wait for the second party above. And what is very singular, a man's wife here may be sealed to another man for eternity! The marriage here does not control their sealing for above. They have very singular laws by which they are controlled in this church, and their main strength lies in ignorance. All laws have been given in the form of revelations.

The track is laid twenty-two miles west of here. Nearly all the grading has been done, and the two roads will connect in about ten days; in fact, it could be done in two days if the grading was completed.

The Union Pacific lacks about eight miles while the Central Pacific lacks but about two miles. Three days ago the Central Pacific laid ten miles of track in one day, working about one hundred and fifty wagons distributing ties, twenty-eight iron cars and forty horses to supply the track-layers with iron (the iron being run ahead as far as possible with the engines, then unloaded and taken to the front on horse-cars,) and a force of nearly four hundred whites and at least six hundred Chinamen. The Messrs. Casements have laid seven miles on this road with less than half that force, and in less time. They regret very much that the roads are so near together that they can not beat the big day's work on the Central Pacific, but say they will lay two miles of track in less time than ever done before, and I predict they will do it.

There is a tank at the end of the track supplied with good, fresh water, and this is the last good water found along the road west for two hundred miles. The supply in that distance is hauled on the cars. Even the little creeks are very strong with salt. There are no habitations in that distance.

I visited the Central Pacific two or three days ago, with the intention of going through to California. I had letters to carry me over the road, but when I got to the first siding on the Central Pacific, I found no one that knew when the cars left for the west, and in fact could hear nothing but the noisy Chinamen. There was an American acting as agent, who treated me in such an unsocial manner, scarcely answering at all when questions were asked, and could tell nothing, save that I would have to ride to Elcho (two hundred miles) on flat cars, that I abandoned my visit, got on one of Wells, Fargo & Co.'s coaches, and returned to Corinne. But I think I was amply repaid for my trouble by having such a splendid view of the lake.

I could see just as far as the eye could reach, over the blue water, into the smoky distance. The lake oontains a great many islands, some very large -- mountains on some of them covered with snow, which looked doubly pure, looming up out of the dark water. One island stands very prominent. This, I was told, is Church. Island and is near Salt Lake City. Here the stock collected in the way of tithes is kept; also an erring Saint is once in a while sent to this island, and left for a season to enjoy a little self-communion, and after reasoning with himself a while, is taken to the bosom of the Church again.  VAN.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. XXXIII.                       Cincinnati, Ohio, Wednesday,  August 4, 1869.                       No. 214.


Extraordinary Encounter Between a Son
of Joe Smith and Brigham Young.

(Correspondence of the True Latter Day Saints Herald. )

SALT LAKE CITY, July 18.          
I have had many trials in my short life, of my powers of control over my passionate temper; but never in my short life did I have need of strength more than I did yesterday.

David gave you an account of our trip and arrival. We met many who were anxious to see us and hear us, and asked us if we were going to speak in the Tabernacle. We of course did not know, but were desirous of so doing; and to leave no stone unturned in our favor, David, myself, John Smith, Samuel Smith, George A. Smith, and John Henry Smith, (George A.'s son,) called on President Young yesterday morning, and I plainly stated our mission, and asked for the use of the Tabernacle to speak to this people.

My statement that we differed from them in principles and points of doctrine, called forth some questions, all of which I endeavored to answer in calmness, with respect and courtesy to all present. President Young then favored us with an account of how the marriage ceremony became inserted in the Book of Covenants, directly in opposition to all father could say on the matter. I told him we did not come to argue the matter there; that our reasons for differing were many -- and among them, the fact that the principle he was endeavoring to sustain was contrary to all the former revelations of God, and that, in this view of the matter, we could not accept the testimony of any man or set of men that came in opposition to God's holy words in the Book of Covenants and Book of Mormon.

Brigham then took me to task about what I had said in the garden three years ago, and denied that the Twelve ever did anything to embarrass mother in any way; but, to the contrary, that they had done everything in their power to help her in her time of trouble. I, of course, differed with him, and told him so; and then he called mother 'a liar, yes, the damnedest liar that lives,' said that she tried to poison father, that she stole Uncle Hyrum's portrait and large ring.

He also said many other things, too numerous to mention. I cannot write all that was said. George Q. Cannon, John Taylor, Joseph F. Smith, Daniel Wells, Joseph Young, Phineas Young, Brigham Young, Jun., and several others, besides those who went with us, were present at the interview. At the close, Young shook hands with us, and wished us God's blessing in all righteous and good works, positively refusing to let us have the use of the Tabernacle.

He said we had not the spirit of our father; but we possessed the spirit of our mother -- that we had not God enough to make us a name, or to bring upon us any persecution. We told him that as to the persecution, we were thankful we had none seriously; as to the name, time, that was said to prove all things, would prove whether this were so or not.

After our interview, we returned to John's, and I vented my anger in biting my food and swallowing it; but was nervous all the rest of the day, perhaps from indigestion, as it did not set well on my stomach.

Note: The Enquirer printed only part of Smith's communication. He also went on to say: "Yesterday we went to see, and made the acquaintance of, the Governor of Utah; reported our mission to him, and desired the territorial authorities to take cognizance of our presence. We had a very pleasant visit with Governor Durkee. -- After this visit we made the acquaintance of the Walker Brothers, thought to be the richest firm in the city, who treated us with great kindness and promised to secure a hall for us. We also had quite a long conversation with Mr. Stenhouse. -- And now let me say, in leaving the presence of Mr. Young, I took the responsibility of asking him or any of his elders to call on you in their tours eastward, and guaranteed they would have extended to them the courtesy of the meetinghouse, by asking for it, and I gave a special request for Brigham Young, from you, to call and preach in our meetinghouse..."


Vol. XXXV.                         Cleveland, Ohio, Thursday,  August 5, 1869.                         No. 188.


Extraordinary Encounter between a Son of
Joe Smith and Brigham Young.


Salt Lake City, July 18.      
I have had many trials in my short life of my powers of control over my passionate temper; but never in my short life did I have need of strength more than I did yesterday.

David gave you an account of our trip and arrival. We met many who were anxious to see us, and hear us; and asked us if we were going to speak in the tabernacle. We of course did not know, but were desirous of so doing; and to leave no stone unturned in our favor, David, myself, John Smith, Samuel Smith, George A. Smith, and John Henry Smith, (George A.'s son,) called on President Young yesterday morning, and I plainly stated our mission, and asked for the use of the tabernacle to speak to this people.

My statement, that we differed from them in principles and points of doctrine, called forth some questions, all of which I endeavored to answer in calmness, with respect and courtesy to all present. President Young then favored us with an account of how the marriage ceremony became inserted in the Book of Covenants, directly in opposition to all father could say on the matter. I told him we did not come to argue the matter there; that our reasons for differing were many -- and among them, the fact that the principle he was endeavoring to sustain was contrary to all the former revelations of God; and that, in this view of the matter, we could not accept the testimony of any man or set of men that came in opposition to God's holy words in the Book of Covenants and Book of Mormon.

Brigham then took me to task about what I had said in the garden three years ago, and denied that the Twelve ever did anything to embarrass mother in any way; but, to the contrary, that they had done everything in their power to help her in her time of trouble. I, of course, differed with him, and told him so; and then he called mother "a liar -- yes, the damnedest liar that lived:" said that she tried to poison father, that she stole Uncle Hyrum's portrait and large ring.

He also said many other things, too numerous to mention. I cannot write all that was said. George Q. Cannon, John Taylor, Joseph F. Smith, Daniel Wells, Joseph Young, Phineas Young, Brigham Young, Jun., and several others, besides those who went with us, were present at the interview. At the close, Young shook hands with us, and wished us God's blessing in all righteous and good works, positively refusing to let us have the use of the Tabernacle.

He said we had not the spirit of our father; but we possessed the spirit of our mother -- that we had not God enough to make us a name, or to bring [upon] us any persecution. We told him that as to the persecution, we were thankful we had none seriously; as to the name -- time, that was said to prove all things would prove whether this were so or not.

After our interview, we returned to John's, and I vented my anger in biting my food and swallowing it; but was nervous all the rest of the day, perhaps from indigestion, as it did not set well on my stomach. -- Salt Lake Herald.

Note: The remainder of Joseph Smith III's letter (not published in the above reprint) can be read in the RLDS History of the Church, Vol. 3, p. 532.


Vol. XXXV.                       Cleveland, Ohio, Wednesday,  August 11, 1869.                       No. 193.

The Mormon Schism -- Brigham Young
and the Sons of Joseph Smith Face to Face.

The Salt Lake correspondent of the Chicago Tribune says:

Speaking of the Mormon prophet, Joseph, I am minded to tell you something of his sons, David and Joseph [sic - Alexander?], who came here a week or two since, who preach twice a week in Independence Hall (belonging to the Gentiles), and who seem in a fair way to make a successful schism in Brigham's Church. David is the boy upon whom his father let fall his mantle while he was yet unborn, and it is a curious fact that his father was shot before David was born. They have been preaching and baptising two or three weeks, in Provo, and a few days ago Brigham went down there, to try and counteract what they had done. He is said to have required that they be rebaptised upon pain of eternal damnation, and to have denounced the boys and their mother with his habitual vigor. When they came here they called on Brigham and asked the use of the Tabernacle, or other place of Mormon worship, wherein to address the people. This was absolutely refused them, and Brigham so far forgot himself as to tell them their mother Emma was a liar and a thief, upon which they denounced him for saying in his own house what he dare not on the street -- for insulting them grossly while they were under his roof as guests.

I heard Joseph preach yesterday afternoon to as large an audience as could get in the hall and within hearing outside. He maintained that the Christian church as organized by the Apostles, contained prophets, apostles, evangelists, ministers, teachers, gifts, graces, &c., to this end among others, "that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine, and by the slight and cunning craft of men whereby they lie in wait to deceive." After the falling away of the primitive Christian church, said he, there was no true Christian church on the earth until the year 1830, when the angel flew through the midst of Heaven and proclaimed the everlasting Gospel, and the Prophet Joseph organized, on the pattern of record in the New Testament, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." He read from the Testament a list of crimes, among them fornication and adultery, that whoso should commit is debarred from the kingdom of God, which we are taught to pray should come on earth as it is in Heaven, and said that whatever teaching or wind of doctrine tended to open the door for the comission of these crimes was, of course, false and corrupt. Nowhere, said he, in the teachings of Christ and his apostles, can authority be found for what are taught among the people to-day as doctrines of salvation and exaltation. The principles of righteousness need no privacy -- need not the cover of secrecy. He proved from the Book of Mormon, the Book of Covenants (purporting to be Mormon revelation and doctrine), the Times and Seasons, the Church paper before the hegira from Nauvoo, and other records of the Mormon Church up to the death of his father, that polygamy was solemnly and pointedly denounced as a crime in the name of God. He explained the true intent of the institution of tithing, saying it was intended to humble, not aggrandize the rich, and to uphold and assist, not to oppress and grind the faces of the poor. (Applause.) It was directed that the rich should deliver their surplus into the hands of the Bishops, for the use of the Church and the support of the poor, and that subsequently their interest, not their living, should be annually tithed.

During the discourse he was interrupted by a sturdy Brighamite in the congregation, and for a few moments there were cries of "Put him out!" and other portents of a row, but the speaker calmed them, and before dismissal announced on behalf of his impertinent interlocutor that he, who is a cousin, by name of Joseph F. Smith, would reply to him in the evening at the Fourteenth Ward Assembly room.

The house was crowded to suffocation, and Brigham was present, something quite unusual for him, and opened and closed the speaking. Joseph F. said, in substance, that when Joseph Smith, the conferences and all the authority of the Mormon Church were excommunicating apostles for preaching spiritual wifery, and were everywhere publicly and solemnly repudiating it as a heresy and abomination, the revelation enjoining it had already been given, the Church had received it absolutely, and Joseph Smith and others were living it, but they dared not for their lives proclaim it. And that was why they did not.

This would seem to a disinterested person about as bad as the other horn of the dilemma, since it is a confession on their part of faltering, unfaithfulness to their trust, which was to live and preach the truth, injustice to those cut off, disobedience to God and his prophet and by his prophet, cowardice, dishonesty before the world, flat falsehood. Is this the kind of stuff of which the peculiar people of God are made?

After Smith concluded Brigham passed his opinion on "the boys." He said he was sorry for them from his soul, and hoped God would yet open their eyes and bring them to the light as it is in the true Church.
"They cannot," said he, "undo the work of their father which is before us, among us and of us. I myself saw Emma, Joseph's first wife, give two girls, sisters (naming them), to Joseph as wives, and they were sealed to him, nice girls, too, as ever lived, I expect. I 'sealed' twenty to thirty women to him myself. Many of the sisters now living know that he believed in, taught and practiced polygamy, and their affidavits to that fact will be left on record. Emma has told the boys some things, but others she has been very careful not to, as they themselves acknowledged to me when asked. You, sisters, the elderly ones, know of her conduct through all up to her husband's death. I do not like to mention it; there is no need of it. Had she come here, with us, and stood by us and our Church, we would have licked the dust from her feet, we so loved the family. She was a woman of many noble qualities; she was kind to the poor, but death on the Book of Mormon and all our other revelations. She lived and died a Methodist, and never believed for a moment in the divine mission of Joseph. It is Emmaism the boys are preaching, not Josephism, not even young Josephism. What will it amount to? Nothing. They can do no more harm to us than the vultures which gather to the battlefield to the soldiers. They can clean up only the carrion lying about, and the sooner this is done the better. They can no more convert a true Latter Day Saint, than they can put this house in their pocket and carry it home. All we have to do is to go right on and build up the Kingdom of God. I have detained you long enough. God bless you. Amen."
All this shows that "the seed of Joseph" has thrown a bomb plump into Brigham's seraglio, or corral. At least Joseph failed of his copy. For the other prophet of sensuality, Mahomet, made his first convict (I mean convict) of his wife, and, according to Brigham, Joseph couldn't convict his wife that he was a prophet. Emma lived too near home: knew him too well.

It is against the young man that Joseph Smith practiced polygamy if he didn't preach it. There are too many elderly women living who knew him, in the scriptural sense, for it to be worth while to deny it. The Mormons tell of a gushing elderly lady laying her hand on Prince David's shoulder, last Sunday, in the presence of several and saying, "God bless you, my dear boy, I've slept with your father many a time!" If this is true, it is a trifling illustration, both of the veneration in which the Prophet is held and the brutalizing influence of Mormonism. By the way, another: A friend of mine rents a part of a Mormon house house, the rest of it being occupied by a polygamist and his three women. The other day he rushed in, and throwing himself down in a chair, sang out, "Mary, bring me some water and wash my feet; Jane, black my boots; Susan, put a clean collar on me and brush my hair, I want to go out." A buggy stood waiting in the street, and he wanted to go riding. On being remonstrated with about it, he said, "What's the use of having women about unless you use them?" A fact.

But conformity to religion was never secured, except by the wheel, the rack, the flames, the torture, the inquisition and death; and it is inevitable that when a sect becomes numerous, schism will enter, unless some such terrible means as of old can be resorted to, to prevent it. Men will differ. The probability is that the sons of Joseph will build up an anti-polygamous church in Utah, if they are not killed or forcibly driven away, either of which would be foolish, even for Brigham. He must, in the natural course of events, soon be gathered to his fathers, and if David could then fully suceed him and bring the Brighamites back to their true fold without violence, Brigham would not only not have lived in vain, but might well be canonized as the patron Mormon Saint. For he will, in effect, have saved the Church from destruction and made it respectable from its numbers. I believe that many here, now devoted to Brigham, look for such a consummation as this. There is no use in talking of permanently engrafting polygamy on a European race. It cannot be done. Show the women a possible escape from it and they will avail themselves of it as soon as they dare, and as soon as they are convinced that they can without incurring damnation in consequence. And it is easy to convince people of anything in accordance with their wishes. The prestige of David and Joseph, as sons of the Prophet and martyr Joseph, will enable them to reclaim their Church if any human agency can do it. They may adopt Bear River Valley, in the vicinity of Corinne and the railroad, as a nucleous of organization. It offers a fine chance, since a town, beautiful as this, may be made there, filling the entire valley, ten miles wide by forty long. The young men are uncommonly able for Mormon Elders, and they are devoted, sincere and fearless. Protect their persons, if they need it, and they will solve the Mormon problem.

Tithing and "co-operation" are opening many eyes. I believe it is a fact that the co-operative stores charge 20 per cent more for goods than the Gentile stores. It will be impossible long to whip the most fanatical devotees of any religion into something that robs them of their hard earnings. Though they have a good crop this year, it is not going to bring one-third what it did last, on account of railroad construction. The railroad missing the city has made it dull, and hard times are sure to add to the discontent already prevalent. If, in this state of affairs, the sons of the Prophet Joseph can have access to the people, for the purpose of denouncing polygamy and tithing, and co-operation, and whatever is anti-Christian in Brighamism, it will tell. And if they are forcibly denied such access, it will only make things worse. I believe a crisis to be approaching in the history of the Mormons, and I say, "Let it come," for "of such is life."

Note 1: See the Chicago Tribune of August 5, 1869. The Corinne Utah Reporter evidently published an "extract from a private letter written from Salt Lake on the 2d" which read very much like the one in the Tribune -- see the San Francisco Bulletin of Aug. 17, 1869.

Note 2: Brigham's statement about the "two girls, sisters," being married to Smith with his wife's willing consent, appears to have been partly contradicted by Emily Dow Partridge: "Joseph and his wife Emma offered us a home in their family, and they treated us with great kindness. We had been there about a year when the principle of plural marriage was made known to us, and I was married to Joseph Smith on the 4th of March 1843, Elder Heber C. Kimball performing the ceremony. My sister Eliza was also married to Joseph a few days later. This was done without the knowledge of Emma Smith. Two months afterward she consented to give her husband two wives, providing he would give her the privilege of choosing them. She accordingly chose my sister Eliza and myself, and to save family trouble Brother Joseph thought it best to have another ceremony performed. Accordingly on the 11th of May, 1843, we were sealed to Joseph Smith a second time, in Emma's presence... From that very hour, however, Emma was our bitter enemy. We remained in the family several months after this, but things went from bad to worse until we were obligated to leave the house and find another home." -- Historical Record VI 1887 (p. 240)


Vol. 83.                               Cincinnati, Wednesday, August 18, 1869.                               No. 39.


The Row Progressing

The Corinne (Utah) Reporter, has further accounts of the difficulty in the Mormon camp. A meeting was held in Salt Lake City on August the 8th. We give a portion of the account of the meeting:

Brother Coray then gave way for the regular speaker, Joseph F. Smith. He is my favorite among the preachers; but I never remember having him so excited and nervous as he was on this occasion, and well he might be, for the case was one to try the son of Hyrum Smith, the nephew of Joseph, and the cousin of young David. He had a heavy task to perform. Be it remembered that the date of this pretended revelation in favor of Polygamy is as early as July 12, 1843, but that it was never published until September, 1852; that in February, 1844, Joseph and Hyrum Smith published a card in the Times and Seasons, at Nauvoo, denying that they ever received any such revelation; that in April, 1844, Hyrum Smith made an address to the elders starting on a mission, in which he emphatically denied the doctrine and forbade their preaching it; that about the same time he wrote a letter to the mission in Lapeer county, Michigan, again denying that such was a doctrine of the Church, and that all these things were published in the Church paper, and are not denied by the Brighamites; and it will be plain that if the latter prove polygamy did then exist, they only prove Joseph and Hyrum to be most inveterate liars. These denials have been made much of by the sons of Joseph, and in view of these facts, in presence of a large and excited audience, Joseph F. stood up to prove his own father a liar! And I must add that he succeeded in doing it. He began by announcing that many would run after the young Smiths simply because they were the sons of Joseph, who would treat with contempt any other person who preached the same doctrine. In view of this fact, it has been determined to hold a series of meetings in this and other words, to answer the statements of David Hyrum, and before they were through the Brighamites purposed to present testimony to convince any honorable man who heard it and damn any one who rejected it.

He stated that he had in his possession, and would present the affidavits of twelve women, now living, that they were the spiritual wives of Joseph Smith, and so continued to the time of his death; that he had the evidence of hundreds of men who had been taught the doctrine of Joseph and Hyrum, and that he knew to a certainty that his father, Hyrum Smith, had two other women while his mother was still alive. This seemed proof enough, but Joseph F. was powerfully wrought up, as well as the audience, and he went on at, some length in an interesting account of affairs at Nauvoo: "I cannot," said he, "help the position this places my father and Joseph in as to their denials. I only know these facts. But everybody knows the people were then not prepared for these things, and it was necessary to be cautious. They were in the midst of their enemies, and in a State where this doctrine would have sent them to the penitentiary. The brethren were not free as they are here; the Devil was raging about Nauvoo, and there were the traitors on every hand; yes, right in their councils, the right-hand man of the Prophet, one Marks, was a traitor of the blackest dye. And when Joseph and Hyrum left Nauvoo, intending to come to the Rocky Mountains and pick out a refuge for the people, as hundreds of persons now in this city know their intention was, that man Marks and Emma Smith joined in writing them a letter, in which they called them cowards, unfaithful shepherds, who had left the sheep in danger and fled. And when Joseph read that letter his great heart was overcome, and he said, 'If that is all my best friends care for my life, then I don't care for it;' and he and Hyrum came back and gave themselves up, and were taken to Carthage and murdered. And the blame rests upon that woman, their mother, Emma Smith. This is hard, but I want these men to know that if they came here to raise their party we will give them facts, and some of these facts will cut; and it they don't want them told, let them go away and keep their mouths shut. And I say in plain fact, that the blood of Joseph and Hyrum is upon the souls of Marks and Emma Smith, and there it will remain until burned out by the fires of hell!"

By this time the excitement of the audience was intense, and the suppressed breathing of the audience showed how deeply they were wrought upon by this recital. He continued his recital of facts in a very effective manner, and succeeded in making the occasion one of great interest to me from its historical value. No people talk so earnestly of [the] "one true Church" as the Mormons, and no people are so divided in so short a time. The original Mormon Church has, from time to time, split into twenty-four sects, of which about half a dozen survive. When they left Nauvoo, about 20,000 followed "the Twelve," and afterwards united under Brigham; Sidney Rigdon led a large party of the most wealthy to Amity [sic - Antrim?], Pennsylvania, where he still resides, while his church has vanished; Strang took a still larger body to Wisconsin; White led a colony to Texas; the Cutlerites went somewhere else, while those who went with Sam Brannan to San Francisco mostly apostatized or went crazy, the only alternative left.

The interest awakened by this late movement here is wonderful: the mass of the Mormons are fully impressed with the idea that they are on the eve of a great change; and many of them begin to have visions and dreams presaging something grandly mysterious, though they hardly know as yet what it is. It has been a settled point in the Mormon creed for years that there must be a great split in the Church before the final gathering, and the impression is general here that this is the "big split."

After all the rubbish is cleared away, the road will be open for the faithful to go back to Jackson County, Mo., where all the Saints will gather, with the property of the Gentiles who have been destroyed; the surviving Gentiles will be servants and their wives concubines to the faithful, while the latter will be bully boys and their goose will hang high in New Jerusalem. And can the human mind be made to believe such stuff! If you doubt it, come and talk with a few of these lop-eared Welsh and Danes, who are already rejoicing in anticipation of the day when such as we shall black their boots, and our most refined ladies shall be subjected to their lascivious passions. This is Mormonism as a religion, when stripped of a few flowers of poesy thrown over it by Parley P. Pratt and others.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. XXXIII.                         Cincinnati, Ohio, Saturday,  November 27, 1869.                         No. 330.


Interesting Interviews with Mormon Wives and Maidens --
Joseph Smith a Polygamist -- How he and his Chief Elders
Kept Extra Wives on the Sly -- Cosy Chat with some Young
Daughters of Brigham Young, &c., &c.

(Correspondence of the New York World. )

Salt Lake City, November 10, 1869.      
While seated at the front window of my friend's residence, observing, in company with her, the passers-by, two ladies attracted my attention... "Those two women are mother and daughter, and the wives of one husband."...


..."Mrs. Benson," I said, "there is some dispute, I believe, between the followers of young Joseph Smith and those of Brigham Young, as to whether polygamy was practiced at Nauvoo or not. As you were a resident of that city, perhaps you can inform me how that is."

"Polygamy was certainly practiced in Nauvoo, as I well know, for my own sister Adelaide was sealed to Mr. Benson by the Prophet Joseph. Other women were sealed to Brother Kimball, and to Hiram Smith, Joseph Smith's brother. Sister Vilate Kimball, myself, and two or three others were the only ones to whom the secret of its practice was at first communicated, and it was indeed a terrible secret for us. We were, what I term, the first wives in polygamy, for we were the very first whose husbands obeyed the Celestial law, and it was doubly hard for us to bear until we became accustomed to it. The matter had to be kept a profound secret, except from a few who could be trusted. Even Hiram, the prophet's brother, could not at first be safely informed of its existence. I recollect of an instance occurring in which Brother Kimball was concerned, which serves to illustrate how careful we had to be. Brother Kimball's second wife, in order to avoid suspicion, boarded at our house, and he came late in the evening, or early in the morning, to see her. While he was in the house, I kept watch upon the road, to see that no one should approach unexpectedly, and surprise him. One morning I saw a man approaching, and hastily warned Brother Kimball, who made his eseape by a rear window into a cornfield, where he would have remained until the man had gone, had he not turned out to be the Prophet Joseph. We called Brother Kimball in, and had a good laugh at him about it. We were often obliged to take our husband's second and third wives into our houses, passing them off as sisters or acquaintances who were visiting us. You may be sure that it cost us many a heartache and many a pang of sorrow, but we believed that God had spoken through his prophet, and we, as his dutiful servants, were bound to obey."


"Do you then really believe that God would command his people to do that which would make them miserable and unhappy here, to say nothing of hereafter?"

"The saints of God must pass through trials and tribulations to prepare them for a happy future, and I presume that polygamy is one of those trials by which the Lord has designed to try us, and which will eventually result in good to the whole human race."

"As far as your own personal experience is concerned, did you become easily reconciled to your husband's taking other wives?"

"No, I did not; I suffered terribly. My auguish was at times almost too great to be borne, and I could only regard his taking other wives calmly and without suffering when I had learned to look upon him without love and affection, and as I would regard a total stranger."...

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 84.                                 Cincinnati, Thursday, March 3, 1870.                                 No. 53.

C O R R E S P O N D E N C E.


Special Correspondence of the Cincinnati Gazette

Keokuk, Iowa, February 22.      


I have just returned from a visit to the original center of Mormonism, Nauvoo, in Hancock county, Illinois. Since the proposition to remove the National Capital to this place was made, it has suddenly grown to be a place of some importance to those who would locate the headquarters of the Government upon the Mississippi river, and its location and attractions, as well as its traditions may be of some interest to the general reader. The city, for it still preserves its corporate character, is located on the east side of the Mississippi river, twelve miles above Keokuk, and thirty-two miles below Burlington. To reach Nauvoo the traveler leaves the train on the Burlington & Quincy Railroad at Montrose, a little station opposite the old town, and at the head of the lower rapids of the Mississippi. The river is a mile and a half in width at this point, but very shallow except at the highest stages of water.

I crossed the river in the "regular ferry boat," a tolerable skiff, and on landing inquired the way to the residence of Major Bycum [sic], the husband of the "martyred" Mormon Prophet's widow. Getting the proper direction, I followed down the bank of the river for a short distance, and then turned up a broad street or road which leads into the town. On the way up to Main street, I passed quite a number of unfinished brick buildings, which I afterwards learned had been started in 1843. The old walls are in a remarkable state of preservation. Reaching Main street, I turned to the right, and passing down it one square, came to the "Bauvoo Mansion House," the old residence of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and the present residence of his widow, Mrs. Bycum. I stopped before entering and made a survey of the exterior of the building. The house is a frame, two stories high, with five or six additions added on the rear end and north side, which give the whole the air of an old German mansion, filled with all sorts of little corners, dark attics and sharp angles on the outside. The front is relieved by a narrow portico, which covers the main hall or entrance. Near by, on the corner of the block, stands a post from which is suspended the old sign, "Mansion House of Nauvoo."

Entering the "office," a small room on the left side of the hall, I saw Major L. C. Bycum, the present head of the concern, seated at a small table with three young boys playing a game of "seven up." I explained the object of my visit, and asked the Major to show me around. He expressed a willingness to do so, but complained of a severe attack of rheumatism, which disappeared at once upon my asking him if he had heard of the proposition to move the Capital to his city. He was ready in a few minutes, and we sallied forth to inspect the city.

Nauvoo was laid out in 1838-39, the land having been deeded to Mrs. Smith, and by her to Joseph Smith, in trust for the church. The lots contained one acre each, making four acres to the block. At the time of the evacuation of the city by the Mormons, it contained about four thousand houses, not more than five hundred of which are left. Passing up Main street, we came in front of the house occupied by Brigham Young. The house is built of brick, is two stories high, and wears a very dilapidated look, never having been painted. It contains seven small rooms, and even for Nauvoo is quite an ordinary building. Young was only an elder in the church then, and an adventurer among the Mormons. On the opposite side of the street stands the house in which Brigham's brother lived, when here. It is a neat building, with a square roof surmounted by an observatory. These two buildings and the "reception house" are the only ones of note left standing on the level plain which extends from the hill or bluff to the river.


is the best point on the hill from which to see the whole city, and take in, at a glance, all the magnificent beauty of the landscape. The Mississippi river makes a semi-circular curve to the west, and the city, six miles square, covers all the ground within this half circle. Near the center of the city, on the highest point of the bluff, stood the temple of the "Latter Day Saints." Standing upon this point, the eye takes in at a single sweep the entire plat of the city, following down the gently sloping hill to the river on three three sides, and eastward for several miles across the plain. To the southward the view of the river is uninterrupted for eight miles, and for more than half that distance to the northward. I cann not describe the natural beauty of the landscape, nor do I think any description could do the subject full justice. The slopes of the hill, which were once covered with residences and business houses, are now covered with vineyards, with here and there an old ruin or a residence.


is among the things of the past, not a single stone of the building being left to mark the place where it stood. It was inclosed by a stone wall eight feet in height, a portion of which is still remaining, but as the public have use for these stones they will be carted away. The building is said to have been a magnificent structure, one hundred and twenty-seven feet long, eighty-six feet wide and sixty feet high to the top of the cornice. The spire was one-hundred and sixty feet high, and surmounted by a beautiful gilt globe, above which was erected a gilt angel. The temple was burned by incendiaries on the night of the 18th of October, 1848, nearly four years after the Mormons had left Nauvoo. The vandals were never discovered until a few years ago, when a dying woman revealed their names, and stated that they were employed by the citizens of Warsaw, a town in Hancock county, to burn the building. After the burning the walls were taken down, and several large stone buildings erected out of them. The cost of the temple was one million dollars, but it was not quite completed when Smith was killed, in June 1844, though the corner stone was laid on the 6th of April, 1841.


which was the depository of the arms of the "Nauvoo Legion," is still standing, being used as a private residence by Mr. Baum, an extensive wine grower. This building stands near the site of the temple, is built of white stone, and is three stories high. Near it is the old powder magazine, which Mr. Baum has converted into a wine cellar. Near the arsenal I was shown the place where Boggs, the Missourian, was killed [sic!], the little circumstance which led to the arrest and subsequent death of the Prophet. The Mormon side of the story is that Smith was drilling the Legion, and, during some of the exercises with their arms, one was accidently discharged, and Boggs was no more. The cry was raised throughout the adjoining counties that Smith had ordered him to be shot, and upon this rumor the Latter Day Prophet was arrested and lodged in jail in Carthage, where he was murdered by a mob.

After the Mormons webt away, the houses and property were occupied by squatters, who subsequently purchased it from Mrs. Bycum (Mrs. Smith), the original sale by Smith having been declared void by the courts.

Joseph Smith, Jr., who would probably have fallen heir to the city, is now residing at Plano, a beautiful little town on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad.


Nauvoo is unequaled by any locality in the West. The beautiful white granite with which the Mormon temple was built was quarried within two miles of the temple site, and there is enough left to build a dozen cities. The vast coal field of Illinois begin at Nauvoo, while the river will furnish all the wood and lumber that will ever be required. The old brick walls, which are still standing, give ample evidence of the character of the brick which can be made from the soil.


Leaving Nauvoo, and returning to the west side of the river, I took a passing glance at the ship canal, which is now being constructed around the Des Moines rapids. The rapids extend from the mouth of the Des Moines river down to Keokuk, a distance of about eleven miles. During the low water season they render the river almost impassable, and entirely so for large boats... About fifteen hundred men are now at work on this canal, and the contractor hopes to finish the whole before the cold weather sets in next winter. When completed, the largest boats can pass up to Rock Island in any season of the year when the river is not frozen over.   J. H. W.

Note: The newspaper correspondent who submitted the above report appears to have been entirely ignorant of Mormon history. For more on the harebrained scheme to move Washington D.C. to Nauvoo, see O. B. Clark's "The Bid of the West for the National Capital," in Volume III of the Proceedings of the Mississippi Valley Historical Association (1911). See also the Cincinnati Commercial of March 24, 1864.



Vol. IX.                         Urbana, Ohio, Wednesday, April 6, 1870.                         No. 3.

Life in Utah. -- The National Publishing Company have in press, a work written by J. H. BeadIe, Editor of the Salt Lake Reporter. From the advance sheets which we have received, we judge that it will be a very interesting addition to every family library. Being an expose of the secret rites and ceremonies of the "Latter-Day Saints," with a full and authentic history of the Mormon sect from its origin to the present time. We make the following extract, in relation to the origin of this sect:

In their origin, the Mormons may be said to have been an offshoot from the Campbellites; Sidney Rigdon, the author of their early doctrines, having originally left the Baptists to join the former sect, from which he again seceded and founded a sect in Ohio, locally known as "Disciples." Of this band a portion went crazy as Millenarians, another part became Perfectionists, and the remainder followed Rigdon when he joined his fortunes with those of Joe Smith, and assisted in founding Kirtland, Ohio. Under the early teachings of Brigham Young, they adopted the Methodist order of services. Their missionaries, when abroad, at present, first preach principles very similiar to those of the Campbellites; and what the Mormons call "the first principles of the gospel" are mainly those of that sect. But it is the smallest part of Mormon theology which has its origin in any recognized Christian system; and by the successive additions of Rigdon, Joe Smith, and Brigham Young, the laborious philosophical speculations of Orson Pratt, and the wild poetical dreams of his brother Parley P. Pratt, it may well be said there is scarcely a known system of religion, ancient or modern, but has contributed some shred of doctrine to Mormonism.

Agents wanted in every county.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. XXXIV.                         Cincinnati, Ohio, Tuesday,  April 19, 1870.                         No. 109.


Reminiscences of Mormon History -- Joseph Smith's
Licentiousness Illustrated.

(Correspondence of the Chicago Tribune. )

The so-called revelation commanding polygamy was procured in Nauvoo to justify Joseph Smith's licentious habits to the people, Brigham Young may not know it, and Orson Pratt may have forgotten it, but Mrs. Orson Pratt the First has not. There are many people still living who know her story. Let me tell it as briefly as possible, premising that it may be relied on, whatever the Mormons have to say against her.

Joseph Smith deliberately attempted to seduce her while her husband was abroad, preaching, but could not and did not succeed. It was more than a year prior to the polygamy "revelation," and he said nothing to her of spiritual wifery, of sealing or sexual resurrection, of patriarchial or celestial marriage, or of any marriage. He told her it would be no worse for her to have half a dozen husbands than it was for the ancient patriarchs to have a half dozen wives each; that God had placed us on earth to be happy, and any thing we might do to to that end without making others unhappy, there was no harm in it; that, in short, if she said nothing about it to her husband, so as to make trouble, it would be no sin.

When Orson came home, Mrs. Pratt told him of Joseph's base proposals, and the wronged husband made for Joseph at once. Joseph took him into a little room in the top of his store, locked the door, and asked him what he wanted. Orson demanded of him why he took liberties with other men's wives; he would not like to have them [taken] with his. Joseph replied that he knew very well what he meant; he did not deny it; but "dare to breathe it aloud," said he, "and I will blast your character, and that of your wife, depend upon it. I have the power and I will do it." This neither satisfying nor cowing Orson, Joseph called a public meeting and before hundreds accused Mrs. Pratt of having been too intimate with one J. C. Bennett, formerly a crony of his, whome he had raised to the Mayoralty of Nauvoo, and made Lieutenant General of the Nauvoo Legion. Orson charged back on Joseph at this meeting the attempted seduction of his wife, but the people sided with Joseph, and Orson, afraid for his life, and not caring much for it either, went into the woods to pray, wandered round, and finally strayed off down to the river, where he was found next [light] by his brother, completely worn out. Meanwhile Mrs. Pratt walked the street with her baby, in front of her house, all night, believing that Joseph had Orson killed. Towards morning she sent for him, and demanded her husband. He came with a mob of police and loafers, and accused her of having killed him herself, and concealed him about the house, so that she could run off with Bennett. He pretended to read a letter, dropped by Orson, saying that he believed her guilty as he (Joseph) charged: and when she accused him of having basely attempted her virtue he called her a liar, and other foul names. This manly persecution of a woman went on all day, at intervals. "What misery!" said Mrs. Pratt to her auditor, a friend of her own sex. "We had just started, Orson and I; we were youn, and so happy! And that foul aspersion on my honor, made in public by a man whom the people worshiped, and the belief through a night and day that my husband had been murdered, isn't one ten-thousandth part what I have suffered through my connection with Mormonism." Orson kept talking, and Brigham Young, the President of the Twelve Apostles, called them together and had him dropped from that quorum to which he belonged. Then it was that Joseph, probably from motives of policy, sent for Orson and made up with him. He confessed that he alone had been wrong; that Mrs. Pratt was pure, that except when immediately under Divine influence he was more liable to err than others because he had more light and was more liable to temptation; and, finally, that one woman or twenty, or men either, had better be sacrificed than he (Joseph), because the cause and the "Kingdom" were bound up in his character and reputation.

Orson lived with Joseph several years before he married; had embraced Mormonism with all the strength of an enthusiastic nature, and seems to have found it easier to forgive his chief upon frank confession, and to attribute the sin to the weakness of the man, in no way affecting his mission as prophet and seer, than to give up his faith and throw aside the influence of the man altogether. Meanwhile, Joseph had sent one of his paramours to tell Mrs. Pratt if she wouldn't publish it to outsiders, he would save her in the eternal world, which proffer of salvation she politely declined. This woman, who lived near the landing, and was a common river pristitute, offered to conceal Mr. and Mrs. Pratt in her apartments, and let them witness one of Joseph's visits to her. But Orson wouldn't do it. After such proofs of faith, it does not seem so strange that Orson should say, as he did at the mass meeting the other day, "that what God commanded him to do, he would do, death or no death."

Mrs. Pratt married, and joined the Mormons about 1835, although since this notable occurrence she has had nothing but detestation for them. Her children have kept her with them, and to bring them up free from the taint of Mormonism has been her life's work.

Orson never took much care of his wives, especially the first one. If he somrtimes received $200 for attending a legislative session, or something of the kind, the younger wives might get part of it, the first never would. There are scores upon scores of cast-off first wives in the country. Any woman who has children, particularly boys, that can support her, gets very little from her husband. No words can describe the brutalizing effect of polygamy in a man. Orson was for years opposed to it in his heart, even after he had long preached it, and practised it, hated it as bad as she did, but of late he has seemed lost to all feeling. It used to be the talk that the first wife would be a sort of queen over the family, through whom the husband's grace would be dispensed to the rest. But latterly, equality in the family has been the cry. Five years ago Orson said he didn't care any more for Mrs. Pratt, nor for any of his wives, than he did for any healthy woman that walked the streets. This she regarded as brutality, but she supposed he looked upon it as the perfection of the true patriarchal feeling. It is what they will come to, no matter how fine of feeling they may be at first.

Note: Parts of the above account were obviously paraphrased from John C. Bennett's 1842 book; but other parts must have originated with a confident of Sarah Pratt's -- probably one who lived near her in Utah. See also the article sub-titled "Orson Pratt's Harem" in the New York Herald of May 18, 1877, as well as W. R. Wyl's 1886 Mormon Portraits, pp. 60-63.



Vol. XXVI.                                 Cleveland, Saturday, August 6, 1870.                                 No. 185.


Little Mountain, August 6.    
Editors Plain Dealer: -- ... Five miles to the south looms up the Mormon Temple at Kirtland, the first substantial edifice, I believe, ever built in this country by these peculiar people. The Temple is kept in most excellent repair by the Society in whose control it yet remains, and I am informed by the seedy old Saint who has it in charge, that his brother Saints believe the day not far distant when they will again gather within its walls as they did in the days past. many residents of the village have lively and painful recollections of the two shining lights of Mormonism, Brigham Young and Joe Smith, whose memories are not held in the most profound respect, and whose absence at Salt Lake is not regretted. Visits to the Temple from this place are of frequent occurence, and from these visits the Saints derive a thrifty income. No charge is made for seeing the building, which is cheerfully shown to the applicant, and the uses of its curiously constructed interior fully explained, after which you are conducted to a small ante-room, and requested to sign your names in a book kept for that purpose. You are then shown some books and pamphlets relating to the history of the church. These, of course, are for sale, and without being asked, you soon find yourself the purchaser of a lot of trash at fearfully high war prices, when you thank the gray haired old Saint for his kindness, and retire in good order.

The drive between the Mountain and Kirtland is a beautiful one, as are, in fact, all the drives in the surrounding country; and these are of themselves a source of great pleasure to the sojourner here.   G.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 85.                                 Cincinnati, Monday, September 5, 1870.                                 No. 57.


The Des Moines (Iowa) Register has had a call from Martin Harris, who was on his way from Ohio to Salt Lake City, to spend the remainder of his days with "the chosen people." Mr. Harris is now in his 88th year, though still quite vigorous and sprightly, and he is Mormon, soul and body. He, as he claims; and as Mormons claim together with two others, Oliver Cowdry, deceased, and David Whitmore, now an apostate, living in Missouri, were the divinely appointed witnesses to the Book of Mormon. The old gentleman evidently loves to relate the incidents with which he was personally connected, and he does it with wonderful enthusiasm. In September, 1828, as the story goes, Joseph Smith, directed by an angel proceeded to a spot about four miles from Palmyra., N. Y., and upon the point of a hill, extending northward, dug up a very solid Stone chest, within which were the tablets of gold inscribed with characters which no man could read. Joseph Smith was the first man to handle the tables, and Martin Harris, one of the appointed witnesses, the second, Mr. Harris describes the plates as being thin leaves of gold, measuring seven by eight inches, and weighing altogether from forty to sixty pounds. There was also found in the chest the urim and thummim, by means of which the writing upon the plates was translated, but not until after the most learned men had exhausted their knowledge of letters in the vain effort to dicipher the characters. Soon after the finding of these plates of gold, Mr. Harris sold his farm, of which he owned a large one, and consecrated himself to the new religion, to which he has adhered tenaciously throughout a long life, and still adheres to its tenets, and advocates its genuineness with all the earnestness of an enthusiast. He believed in the visitations of angels in bodily form, for he has seen and conversed with them, as he thinks and is satisfied.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. ?                         Cincinnati, Ohio, Wednesday,  September 14, 1870.                         No. ?


One of the Men Who Saw the Angel
Giving Joe Smith the Book of Mormon.

(see original article in Deseret News

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. V.                     Cincinnati, Ohio, Saturday, October 1, 1870.                     No. ?



A Funeral Sermon Preached in Hiram, Ohio, Aug. 3d, 1870.


And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. Gen. xv: 15.

Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age, like as a shock of corn cometh in, in his season. Job v: 20.

Nothing has occurred in the history of this community for many years so fertile in suggestion, as the event which has called us together.

In the first place, an old man has passed to his reward; and in all societies, whether civil or savage, this is an event of peculiar interest. He is an unnatural man who will not stand reverently before an old man's bier, or who will not with tender hand aid in carrying him to his burial. Here lies one who has attained to the age of nearly eighty years -- who was but three years younger than the American Government. Not many men are left to us whose recollections go back to the closing years of the great life of Washington -- to the time when Adams, Jefferson, and Hamilton were in the fullness of their strength; not many who read in the newspapers the history of the wars of the French Revolution; not many are the lives that have spanned the eventful period reaching from the time when the first Napoleon was an unknown subaltern in the French army, to the time when the third Napoleon is marshaling his troops for the great struggle with Germany.

In the second place, the man whom we bury to-day was an object of interest in himself. He was no ordinary man; his was no tame or common life. What he was in himself, the relation in which he so long stood to this community and especially to this church, make the present an occasion of unusual interest and solemnity.

We have not assembled to-day to lament and weep. Lamentation and tears do not suit this occasion. This man's work was done -- his life was fully rounded up -- no fitter time for his departure could have been chosen. As men of character, power and large experience leave this world for the better abode, those who gather to pay the last honor to their remains, to sympathize with those who are more especially bereaved, should study the lessons that lie along the pathway of their lives. Hence on the present occasion my remarks will depart somewhat widely from the usual type of funeral sermon; I shall present the leading facts in the life of the deceased, and offer such reflections as they naturally suggest.


SYMONDS RYDER was born in Hartford, Windsor Co., Vermont, on the 20th of November, 1792. He was of Puritan stock, being a lineal descendant of a Ryder who came over in the Mayflower. His father, who had moved from Cape Cod to Vermont, was a man of considerable influence and property, but falling into some evil practices, he lost his fortune and social position. The decay of his father's fortune threw young Symonds wholly upon his own resources. At the age of fifteen he entered the service of Elijah Mason, the father of Carnot and John Mason, long citizens of this town; the father, also, of Mrs. Charles Raymond and Mrs. Zeb Rudolph, who are present with us to-day. So soon as he had attained his majority, having served Mason six years, Ryder started for the West. His entire property consisted of the clothes he wore, the horse he rode, and a little money in pocket -- all together amounting to one hundred and thirty-three dollars. It is worth remarking that he passed through the village of Buffalo on the 28th of December, 1813, the evening before it was burned by the British. [added to 1877 reprint: "The next day the fleeing population overtook him, while yet in sight of their burning homes. He arrived in Hiram, January 6, 1814."] What directed his footsteps to Hiram, I have not learned; probably it was the fact that other settlers from the same section of Vermont were here before him. At all events, he found himself here in the middle of the winter of 1813-14. He purchased some land, and set to work to create a home in the forest. After clearing a part of the land, and either building or making preparations to build a house, in the winter of 1814-15, he returned to Vermont.

Here it is proper to notice the relation which he now stood to his father's family. This consisted of father and mother and seven children -- three sons and four daughters. As he was the eldest of the children, the headship of the family virtually devolved upon him. This responsibility developed his powers, and prepared him in advance for the heavy work of his future home. Gathering the family about him, he started a second time for the West; now to plant his father and mother, brothers and sisters, in the new home which he had partially prepared for them. Here, in due time, the Ryder family found themselves in Hiram, surrounded by the wilderness, surrounded too, by old acquaintances; for Hiram was a Vermont colony.

In his efforts to restore the fortunes of his family, he was supported by his younger brother, Jason, long a deacon of the church. When their new home was finally planted, knowing that the hearts of the parents go out to the younger children, Symonds said to Jason, "You take the house, one half of the land, and take care of the old people. I will commence anew for myself. This proposition was cheerfully acceded to, and the elder brother a second time gave himself to planting a home in the wilderness. In 1818, he married Mehetabel Loomis, who struggled up the rugged steeps of life side by side with him for more than fifty years; who survives her husband, and is here to-day to weep over his bier.

Beyond this point I can not trace father Ryder's history in detail. His labors were those incident to a new and growing country; his responsibilities those that belong to a first generation of citizens. He grew up with the community -- he enjoyed its confidence; and, although adverse to the arts of the mere politicians, he served his fellow-citizens in public capacities when they called for his services. In his contract with Mason, he had stipulated that he should receive three months' schooling each winter. By assiduous application, he prosecuted his studies further and more thoroughly than was then usual in the common schools of Vermont. Accordingly, in the early history of Hiram, he was, perhaps, the best educated man in the township, and was, of course, well fitted for the public duties which his townsmen called him to discharge.


His early teachings and impressions of religion were of the severe puritanical sort which prevailed in New England during the last century. His nature was susceptible to religious ideas, and he recognized the necessity of religion as a conservative influence on society. Before he became a Christian, he expressed his desires to see some church kept up in the town. He disagreed with the prevailing denomination, and was rather inclined to Universalism. In tracing his religious history, it is necessary, first of all, to understand the state of the Reformation when he became a Christian.

In the first quarter of this century the Baptists had formed associations of churches in many parts of the West for mutual help and the spread of the Gospel. There was one called the "Redstone Association," having its center in Pittsburg, and including many churches of Pennsylvania and Virginia. To this the two Campbells belonged. Another, organized in 1820, called the "Mahoning Baptist Association," consisted, at first, of ten, but subsequently, of about twenty Baptist Churches in Northeastern Ohio. About this time the Campbells took their first decisive steps in the way of reform. In 1824, Alexander Campbell, with thorty other members of the Brush Run Church, which belonged to the "Redstone, Association," took letters of dismissal and formed a new church at Wellsburg, Va. This was the second church of the Reformation, and it joined itself to the Mahoning Association, in which some progress had been made in the dissemination of the new views. In 1830 this Association was formally dissolved, and immediately the yearly meeting of Disciples took its place.

One of the oldest churches of the Mahoning Association was the Church of Bethesda, in Nelson, Portage Co., founded in 1808. The reformed views effected a lodgment among the members of this church early in 1824, and after a series of struggles to reconcile differences of opinion on the question of creeds, and on some points of doctrine, seventeen members were excommunicated for heresy. The heretics represented the largest share of the intelligence and piety of the Bethesda Church; moreover, but eight votes were cast for the exscinding resolution. They were citizens of Nelson, Hiram, and Mantua; and being devoted to the Bible and the religion of the New Testament, they met successively for worship on Lord's days in these townships. In those meetings they studied the Word, and strengthened each other by prayer and exhortation. There was at first no man among them of sufficient age and experience in public speaking to warrant his election to the office of Elder or Overseer. But Darwin Atwater, John Rudolph and his two sons, John and Zeb, (and we have reason for gratulation that the first one and last two are with us to-day), were leading members. The little band continued to meet and increase in numbers, though without any regular and formal organization. They were occasionally visited by evangelists and preachers, who had adopted the advanced views of Campbell and Scott, whose preaching, together with the reading of the Christian Baptist, kept them informed of the progress of the new movement.

At several meetings of the Mahoning Association, Alexander Campbell and his father, the venerable Thomas Campbell, were present. In 1827, Walter Scott was appointed by the Association as an evangelist, and during the ensuing year he added more than a thousand to the church, and greatly extended and strengthened the Reformation. One of the fruits of his labors was the addition to the list of reform preachers of Marcus Bosworth, of Trumbull Co. In June, 1828, Bosworth preached in Hiram. Symonds Ryder heard the sermon, and at its conclusion, called Zeb Rudolph aside, and asked his opinion of the views submitted. The subject was briefly talked over, and they agreed to meet on the following Saturday to consider the matter further. It is worth remarking, however, that at this interview he expressed himself as being better satisfied with this presentation of the Gospel than with any other that he had heard. This is not the place to discuss the merits of the "Plan of Salvation" as it was conceived and presented by Walter Scott and his co-laborers in 1827, considered as a contribution to theology, or as an attempt to restore primitive Christianity. Suffice it to say, it presented something tangible to the hearer, and appealed powerfully to the objective mind.

On the Saturday appointed, it so happened that Thomas Campbell was to preach in Mantua, and on his way to the meeting Rudolph called on his friend Ryder, early in the morning. He found him with the New Testament in his hand, studying the theme of Bosworth's discourse. On the following day Ryder went to hear Mr. Campbell, who preached in the barn of Jotham Atwater. The venerable preacher read the two first chapters of Genesis and the last chapter of Revelations -- chapters which give the history of the creation of man, and an account of the New Jerusalem. He then remarked -- holding the intervening portion of the Bible between his thin hands -- that had it not been for sin there would have been no need for any other revelation than the three chapters he had read; all the rest was to unfold the scheme of redemption. He said that in his earlier years he had often wished he had lived in the days of the Jews, that he might offer his sacrifice at the altar, and know by the direct assurance of God that his offering was accepted. Then, quoting from the sixth of Jeremiah, the words: "Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls," he proceeded to unfold the law of Pardon as taught in the Gospel, and concluded with an invitation to sinners to obey. Before the first line of the hymn was sung through, Symonds Ryder went forward to confess his Master, and the same day was baptized in the Cuyahoga River by Reuben Ferguson, of Windham.

The accession to the cause of a man of Symonds Ryder's age, influence, and force of character was the signal for a more systematic organization; and before one year had elapsed, the hitherto floating band of worshipers was divided into two churches. One of these was the Mantua church at Mantua; the other the Hiram-Nelson, at Hiram. Of the Hiram church, brother Ryder was chosen and ordained the first overseer. This church continued to maintain its joint character till 1835, when the Nelson element withdrew and formed a separate organization at Garrettsville. So far as I have been able to ascertain, the Mantua and Hiram-Nelson churches were the first which were established in this part of the Western Reserve distinctly and avowedly on the basis of the Bible alone.

From the moment Bro. Ryder obeyed the Gospel, he expressed himself satisfied with the views taught by the Disciples on all points save one. He read in the New Testament of the gift of the Holy Spirit; and, in his mind, it was in some way associated with the laying on of hands, and with some special spiritual illumination. The words, "These signs shall follow them that believe," seemed to him not yet to have been comprehended or realized. For years, this mystery of the Word was the subject of frequent thought and conversation. I have been careful to state this fact, because it furnishes the key to a remarkable episode in his life.

In the latter part of 1830, the founders of Mormonism began to effect a lodgment in Northern Ohio. Sidney Rigdon, a preacher among the Disciples, of great eloquence and power, had joined them, and commenced preaching their doctrine. Whatever we may say of the moral character of the author of Mormonism, it can not be denied that Joseph Smith was a man of remarkable power -- over others. Added to the stupendous claim of supernatural power, conferred by the direct gift of God, he exercised an almost magnetic power -- an irresistible fascination -- over those with whom he came in contact. Ezra Booth, of Nelson, a Methodist preacher of much more than ordinary culture, and with strong natural abilities, in company with his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, and some other citizens of this place, visited Smith at his home in Kirtland, in 1831. Mrs. Johnson had been afflicted for some time with a lame arm, and was not at the time of the visit able to lift her hand to her head. The party visited Smith partly out of curiosity, and partly to see for themselves what there might be in the new doctrine. During the interview, the conversation turned on the subject of supernatural gifts, such as were conferred in the days of the apostles. Some one said, "Here is Mrs. Johnson with a lame arm; has God given any power to men now on the earth to cure her?" A few moments later, when the conversation had turned in another direction, Smith rose, and walking across the room, taking Mrs. Johnson by the hand, said in the most solemn and impressive manner: "Woman, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I command thee to be whole," and immediately left the room.

The company were awe-stricken at the infinite presumption of the man, and the calm assurance with which he spoke. The sudden mental and moral shock -- I know not how better to explain the well attested fact -- electrified the rheumatic arm -- Mrs. Johnson at once lifted it up with ease, and on her return home the next day she was able to do her washing without difficulty or pain.

In addition to this striking occurrence the Mormon Bible professed to be a continuation of the revelations which God had made to the Jews and their descendants. Two questions of great historic interest, which appealed strongly to the imagination of all students of sacred and profane history, it professedly solved. It gave a history of the lost tribes of Israel; and it accounted for the red men of the new world -- the mound-builders of Mexico, and of the great valley of the Mississippi. The revelations made to these wandering Israelites, it was claimed, had been preserved for the saints of the latter day, who should inhabit the new wilderness of the West, and upon whom God would pour out his Spirit in fullness and power. Ezra Booth became a convert and an elder, May, 1831. Coming to Hiram in the same month, he attended church, and at the conclusion of Elder Ryder's sermon, sought and obtained permission to make an address, in which he stated in the strong, clear language of impassioned enthusiasm, the ground of his new faith, and the inspiring hopes which it gave him. A deep impression was made upon the minds of many who heard him. Elder Ryder was himself staggered; and "lest haply he should be found even to fight against God," he sat in silence, neither approving nor disapproving. Determined, however, to know the truth and follow it wherever it might lead, he made a journey to Kirtland, and heard for himself. On his return, he seemed for a short time to have rejected the claims of Mormonism; but in the month of June, he read in a newspaper an account of the destruction of Pekin, in China, and he remembered that six weeks before, a young Mormon girl had predicted the destruction of that city. Shortly after this, he openly professed his adhesion to the Mormon faith; but he and Ezra Booth, who were most intimate friends, promised that they would faithfully aid each other in discerning the truth or the falsity of the new doctrine.

Booth was soon commissioned to go to Missouri to explore the new land of promise, and lay the foundations of the new Zion. Ryder was informed, that by special revelation he had been appointed and commissioned an elder of the Mormon church. His commission came, and he found his name misspelled! Was the Holy Spirit so fallible as to fail even in orthography? Beginning with this challenge, his strong, incisive mind and honest heart were brought to the task of re-examining the ground on which he stood. His friend Booth had been passing through a similar experience, on his pilgrimage to Missouri, and, when they met about the 1st of September, 1831, the first question which sprang from the lips of each was -- "How is your faith?" and the first look into each other's faces, gave answer that the spell of enchantment was broken, and the delusion was ended. They turned from the dreams they had followed for a few months, and found more than ever before, that the religion of the New Testament was "the shadow of a great rock in a weary land." A large number of the citizens of Hiram had given in their adhesion to the doctrines of Smith and Rigdon, but the efforts of Ryder and Booth went far to stay the tide and lead back those who had been swept away on its current.

It may seem strange that a man of father Ryder's strong mind and honest heart, could even temporarily have fallen into the Mormon delusion. Let us not fail to remember, however, that Mormonism in Northern Ohio, in 1831, was a very different thing from Mormonism in Utah, in 1870. It then gave no sign of the moral abomination which is now its most prominent characteristic. Besides, it was a formative period in religious history: new ideas were fermenting in the minds of men; and, considering the facts before stated, it is not inexplicable that so strong a nature should have given way to the fanaticism. It is greatly to his credit that he so soon discovered its true character, and had the honesty to say to the community that he had been deluded. He did not, like so many others who found that their faith had been trifled with, renounce religion. He immediately returned to the church, but in contrition and meekness. His conduct showed plainly that he felt he had in some degree forfeited the confidence of the brethren. Had he been repelled as an apostate, his heart might have broken, or he might have drifted off into godlessness. But the brethren treated him kindly -- he regained confidence, took his old place in the church, and labored for its welfare with increased energy. Counting from the date of his election as overseer, for a full third of a century he was the strong tower of the church -- its defender, teacher, preacher, and, till 1852, its only elder. In addition to his work in Hiram, he labored extensively in other fields. He was well known to most of the churches in northeastern Ohio.


Here the facts are less striking, and they must be passed over in silence. They are familiar to many of you. You remember the giving way of his constitution -- his retirement from public duty -- his confinement at home -- his terrible suffering from disease -- his happy faith -- his triumphant and blessed death.

Here I should speak more particularly of father Ryder's relations to the church, especially with reference to one point. As he was an influential citizen at the time of his conversion, he was justly regarded as an important acquisition to the cause. He took from the beginning, the leading position. The brethren were few in number, and poor in goods. He served the church, as was his duty, with little or no reward. The more the church grew, the more it seemed to need him. He was first the eldest brother, then the father, finally the patriarch. What followed was natural: he did too much for the church; the church did too little for themselves. Their sense of satisfied dependence, together with his thrifty maxims, led to illiberal contributions for the support of the Gospel, and to inefficient business management. A mistake was made, into which almost all the old churches fell: no suitable provision was made for a new and different age. The church failed to discern the signs of the times. He, too, failed to discern them; or discerning them, gave no warning; or, the warning being given, it was not heeded. At all events, the church was not educated up to the wants of the coming time, and its force is weakened, and its usefulness impaired to this hour.


I pass on to present a hastily prepared analysis of his character. I shall seek to speak of him as he was. This is the only course he would approve if he could be consulted; for he was of the Cromwellian class, whose motto is, "Paint me as I am."

First of all, his physical constitution.

His large frame, powerful muscular organization, and great power of endurance, furnished the physical basis of his long and laborious life. If this were, as is sometimes falsely charged, an age of physical degeneracy, it were the more worth remarking that Father Ryder never could have done his work as a citizen and a Christian without his great vital power. The picture of him that I shall carry through life is the one which he stamped upon my mind when he was about sixty years of age. I was then a young student, and he alternated with the Principal of the school in the preaching. I remember him as he stood in this pulpit -- rather in the pulpit in the midst of whose ashes this pulpit was reared -- hale of body and vigorous of mind, scourging popular errors and follies, and exhorting to righteousness, temperance, and preparation for the judgment to come. It seemed that nature had stored up in his strong body force enough to supply the vital mechanism for a century. He lived, indeed, to a good old age. Nevertheless, I find myself asking, why did he not attain to the age of one hundred years? Two facts are a sufficient answer to the question. He was one of the most laborious men of that generation which bore off upon its broad shoulders, as Sampson did the gates of Gaza, the heavy forest which covered this land -- the generation that made possible that home in which we live to-day -- the generation which performed the most wonderful work of the kind that history has witnessed; for in no age, and in no country, has the face of nature been so suddenly transformed as in the Northern States of the American Union. He was also identified with a religious work, somewhat akin to the other, and no whit less laborious. To this he gave his time, his energy, and, no doubt several years of natural expectancy of life. If the pioneers gave us the homes in which we dwell, no less did these pioneers of religious reform give us the churches in which we worship.

In the second place, his mental characteristics.

Father Ryder's mind, also, was organized on a large plan. He lacked only the discipline of study and the culture of the schools, to fit him for prominence in any community where the fortunes of life might have called him. I say he lacked only these; for his logical cast of mind, great common sense, and simplicity of character would have fortified him against the warpings and effeminacy which the schools sometimes engender. I have mentioned his logical cast of mind. Every thing was brought to the test of reason and common sense. His own life was ruled by his judgment, not by his sentiments or emotions. Besides, his mind was eminently honest and practical. He followed the convictions of his reason; he brought things to the test of utility.

All these intellectual traits showed themselves in his preaching; fact and induction always furnished the staple of his discourse. Religion, with him, was a thing of conviction; something that rooted itself in the understanding. It was not an effervescence of sentiment, or a tumult of passion. Hence he had no confidence in sensational religion, or in sensational preaching. He feared the influence on the Church, of high religious excitement. "Let us have no excitement here!" he cried, almost in the tone of command, when in a great congregation that throbbed with religious feeling, one of his sons came to confess Christ. "Let us have no excitement here," and the tension of his own frame, and the tears that coursed down his cheeks, showed how deeply he was himself moved. If he allowed the logical faculty to reign too absolutely in the realm of religion -- as was no doubt true -- it must be remembered that this was a natural result of his own mental constitution, and of his early religious training. The practical character of his mind was also seen in his preaching. In his preaching he was in the habit of dealing with a class of themes that receive too little attention in the pulpit. He brought religion into the store, the shop, the field, the granary, and the kitchen. He thought it had something to do with the manufacture of wagons, the weighing of sugar, the measuring of grain, the cording of wood. Industry, economy, honest dealing, the obligation to pay debts when due -- those old-fashioned virtues formed the theme of constant discourse. A very competent judge has expressed the opinion that the marked honesty and thrift of the citizens of Hiram are largely due to his teachings and example: Here again, in his later years, he no doubt committed some excesses. His mind revolted at the exhibition of what he thought the extravagance, wastefulness, indolence, and recklessness of the new generation, and his honest nature poured itself out in warning and rebuke. No doubt he exaggerated the vices of the new time; but much of his admonition was called for, and the remainder can be pardoned when we remember that it is a rare occurrence for one to see and understand two generations.

His preaching was always plain in style and sometimes almost sparse. His illustrations were not drawn from the fields of elegant literature; with these he was not acquainted; nor would they have answered his purpose. He chose those that he used from the world with which he was acquainted. If they sometimes offended good taste -- as they often did -- they commonly answered his purpose. If his speech was sometimes harsh and rude. it was the expression of an honest heart. Brethren and citizens, I can pardon something to an honest man. Such a man, if he be in earnest, will inevitably make some false strokes. But God needs him. nevertheless. An invaluable member of any community or of any church, is the man who will tell the stern, unadorned truth. There are plenty of men who deal out the cordial of compliment -- who spread thick the butter of flattery -- who use the salve of conventional hypocrisy -- plenty who will prophesy unto the people "smooth things." But when you find a man who will tell you the unvarnished truth, cherish him as you would the apple of your eye, though his words are sometimes harsh and his rebukes uncalled for. Elijah of Gilead, the Tishbite prophet, with his sheepskin mantle, long black hair floating in the wind, and his unwelcome words, was thought very uncultured and impolite by the soft-spoken Samaritan courtiers, but how much better for them -- especially how much better for Ahab and Jezebel, if he had been heeded rather than the oily-mouthed prophets of Baal!

In the third place, his moral and religious character.

The basis of his moral character was integrity. So far as known to me, no man has ever charged him with a deflection from the strict line of right. He never had a lawsuit in his life; dying, he leaves no enemy. This was largely owing to the fact that he always so regulated his life that he could be straightforward and honest. He never allowed the situation to become his master. He was so careful in making contracts; so wary of promising when it was questionable whether he could perform; so prompt in meeting his engagements, that it was always easy for him to be upright and honest. He understood thoroughly that it is possible for a man to commit himself to a logic of events that is sure to embarrass and perhaps destroy him. A fact will illustrate this characteristic: For several years he was the Treasurer of the College. For a man in his circumstances at that time, this was a very considerable responsibility. He carried the institution money in one end of a wallet, his own in the other. He never used the College-funds in his own business; never changed a large bill in one end for smaller ones of equal value in the other. Most men will smile at this refinement of scrupulousness; but let me say to all -- especially to the young men present -- this sort of men never become unknown debtors to the money-drawers of their employers, or defaulters to the public treasury.

To sum up in a few words, Symonds Ryder had character. He did not drift on the current; he set currents in motion. He did not rest on the sentiment of the community; he formed sentiment for the community. He was not the creature of circumstances; he made them bow to him. As a citizen and a Christian, he had root in himself. Of course he had a will; a man of his stamp always has; without it, character is impossible. His will may have run into excess; no doubt it did; but it was the inevitable play of a powerful and indispensable faculty. A man who was never firm even to obstinacy, never plain even to severity, never truthful even to unkindness, could not have done his work.


There is one lesson still to be gleaned. So long a life has a sermon in itself. The duty of living for old age.

From the census tables of this and other countries we can calculate the chances of human life. In 1860 there were in the United States about ninety thousand persons who had attained to the age of eighty years -- or thirty-three to ten thousand. The statistics of other nations exhibit a similar ratio. To adopt the imagery employed by Addison in the "Vision of Mirtza," of every ten thousand persons who start to cross the bridge which spans the swiftly swelling stream of time, only thirty-three pass so many arches as to make four score years.

But history teaches us that the average of human life is lengthening. Nor are we left in doubt as to the reason: fevers are becoming less frequent and less murderous, plagues do not desolate cities as in the middle ages; men wear better clothing, live in better houses; eat better food: in a word, they live more as God intended they should live. In the Bible an abundance of old men is made an evidence of peace and prosperity -- a sign of God's presence with his people. "There shall yet old men dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age." This language points to contentment, peace, and godliness. 'Behold the days... come that there shall not be an old man in thine house forever." This points to scenes of violence, bloodshed, and sin, intransigence, lust, ungoverned passion consumes the oil that should fill the [---- ---], industry, temperance, godliness is the flame. "The fear of the Lord prolongeth days; but the years of the wicked shall be shortened." "For as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall enjoy the work of their hands." Accordingly, "Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come." Hence the relative number of old men in any community is a good measure of that community's physical, mental and moral health.

"The hoary head is the crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness." This is a description of the old age of the father whom to-day we commit to his rest. We do not weep or shed unnecessary tears; we rejoice that he lived so long, and lived so well. His usefulness was past. The age was calling for a different type of men, when increasing infirmities compelled him to retire from the field. We judge him by his generation -- not by ours. He has gone to his fathers in peace; he is buried in a good old age. He has come to his grave in full age, like a shock of corn cometh in his season. God grant that we may do our work as well as he did his; then we may go to our graves in equal peace.

Note 1: An abbreviated version of the above biographical sketch of Symonds Ryder was reprinted in A. S. Hayden's History of the Disciples in the Western Reserve, pp. 245-59.



Vol. ?                         Cincinnati, Ohio, Sunday,  October 24, 1870.                         No. ?


Early History of the Great Imposture -- Sidney Rigdon -- the First Mormon
Meetings -- Jo Smith at Kirtland -- The Wonderful Stone -- The Negro Mormon --
Mysterious Disappearance of the Darsy Mormon -- the First Mormon Temple --
The Fraud of the Mormon Bible -- Solomon Spaulding's Romance Stolen by the
Mormons and Converted into a Bible -- Exodus of the Mormons from Kirtland.

(Correspondence of the Washington Star.)

PAINESVILLE, O., October 13, 1870.    
This town, of about four thousand inhabitants, is the county seat of Lake County, with only eight towns, and is twenty-nine miles east of Cleveland, on the line of the Cleveland, Painesville and Ashtabula Railroad. It is an old town, was settled prior to 1800, and takes its name from one of its pioneer settlers, General Edward Paine.... It is the county


Who have become numerous enough now to form a State, first commenced to preach, as a sect, their peculiar doctrines. Some account of them will be interesting. Sidney Rigdon, a very eloquent, captivating speaker a little prior to 1830 made his appearance among the wealthy farms of Mentor township and commenced to preach as a Baptist minister. He drew largely, and soon organized a church. In the course of events, however, Parson Rigdon became a Campbellite disciple, or, as the denomination now call themselves, a Christian. But, notwithstanding this change of base, affairs with Rigdon and his flock went on most agreeably; the parson keeping his hearers reminded that the signs of the times presaged some wonderful event, but precisely or approximately what, the preacher did not seem to know any more than his people. Thus much for the first transactions of Rigdon in the county.

In the fall of 1830 probably, Parley P. Pratt, Oliver Cowdery, David [sic] Whitmer and Mr. Peterson came to Kirtland, in this county, and commenced to preach Mormonism. The first meetings were held at "Kirtland Flats," and finally they were held in what was called the Larned school house, on the road from Kirtland to Chardon. These four men were were the John the Baptist of the prophet Joseph Smith, who came to Kirtland, I think, the following spring of 1831. Meantime, (during the winter of '30-'31,) Rigdon went down to visit


At Manchester, near Palmyra, New York. Joe commenced his operations there with a wonderful stone with which he could discover deposits of money and forsee events and he had a number of credulous creatures constantly digging for money by night, but who never got possessed of any treasure. Rigdon returned to his Mentor flock, having found the marvelous event which he had been foreshadowing for some time in the vaguest manner possible -- it was nothing less nor more than a new prophet, a new revelation, indeed a new dispensation. To carry his church with the wealth of its members over to Mormonism was Rigdon's next essay but in this, with a few exceptions, he failed, but he became the Great High Priest of the embryo sect. Joe himself came on to Kirtland, the New Jerusalem, in the spring of 1831. Speedily the hills, valleys and the creeks of Kirtland assumed scriptural names; and the work of proselyting for the new church began in earnest. They had a darky when they first began, who used to have the old time religious "power" and performed many "monkey shines." Some times he would start out of the meeting and run with all speed away into the street across lots and perch himself on a big stone or stump, and begin to preach in modern king's English. The Mormons soon saw that such kind of aid would not serve them and some of them started, I believe, with him down the Ohio, and the darky disappeared so mysteriously that the opinion exists among the Gentiles of Lake County that he went to glory with the most effective wishes of his Mormon companions.

The Mormon membership grew rapidly, for the weak minded and the scheming were alike drawn into their fold. To the first class the Book of Mormon was a wonderful revelation, and there was a kind of common fellowship and social equality among the Mormon people that suited the common people, and Mormonism waxed wonderfully. The common sense and honest Gentiles, as the outside world were called by the Mormons, could not but regard the whole Mormon creed and organization as a wicked deception, as a cheat, and they dirided both; and sometimes they were a conspicuous in manifesting their contempt for them in the Mormon meetings, even going so far as to disturb them. These acts the Mormon leaders denominated persecutions. Such is the character or credulity, such the superstition of a portion of humanity that the grossest representations and the strangest anomalies, caricatures of religion, and frauds on the same may be made to grow and prosper by opposition, and thus Mormonism grew and has ever grown.

Early in the starting of Mormonism, the duty of making the property of individuals the property of all, or of the leaders, was inculcated; indeed, compliance with this injunction was so forced by threats of exculsion in as many cases as it was practicable to do it.


As the membership increased, land in and adjacent to the New Jerusalem rose in price, and soon it was bought or bargained for at enormous prices. Then came next the necessity, in the Mormon view of the case, for money and the "Kirtland Safety Fund Bank" was the creation of that necessity. The whole country round about, as far as practicable, was flooded with it. [And then] legal measures found the way into the interior of this institution, and its [strong] boxes had silver enough only to cover the bars of lead in said boxes. The bank [busted].


In the course of events a temple became a need also. Contributions were made for that object, voluntary and forced, and one was built of stone, [has a] steeple, and the walls outside are plastered, and the plastering is as firm, apparently, as the walls that it covers. There are only two stories in the edifice. Twenty-four pulpits have been set within, twelve to the Aaronic and twelve to the Melchisedec priesthood, and on the front of each pulpit are appropriate gilt letters. Rolled up against the ceiling in both stories are curtains that can be used to separate each audience room into sundry apartments. Outside, high up in front on the edifice, is a large square panel, in which was an inscription in gilt letters reading thus: "House of the Lord, built by the Church of the Latter Day Saints, 1834." I believe that this inscription was somewhat abridged by some of the Mormons who remained behind, or returned after the grand exodus of the Mormon people, leaving out, I think, the words " Church of the." In regard to the


Eber D. Howe, the founder of the Painesville Telegraph, nearly fifty years ago, and Dr. Storm Rosa, in their book entitled "Mormonism Unvailed," show conclusively that it is the altered writings of Solomon Spalding, called "The Manuscript Found" -- a work of fiction. This manuscript was placed in the possession of some printers in Pittsburg by Spalding, but was not printed by them in Spalding's life time. They show, also, that Rigdon was in Pittsburg before he came to Mentor to preach Campbellism, and that he was about the printing office where the manuscript was left by Spalding, for some time. The manuscript disappeared from the printing office, with no explanation to Spalding's friends by the proprietors of the office. It is supposed, therefore, that the changes in the manuscript were made by Rigdon, and that when he was preaching of some wonderful event to come, to his Mentor people, he was foreshadowing the Mormon fraud, planned principally by himself. Martin Harris claims to have paid for printing the Bible. Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery, and David Whitmer claim to have been witnesses of the delivery of the plates containing the Mormon Bible to the prophet, for this is what they say: "We declare with words of soverness, that an angel of God came down from heaven, and brought and laid before our eyes that we beheld and saw the plates and the engraving thereon."

Harris, whom I know personally, is a simple-minded, unsophistical, garrulous old man. He talks with remarkable readiness upon certain portions of the Scripture, and the Mormon interpretations thereof, for he has practiced it a lifetime. This fall he was taken from Kirtland by one of the elders to Salt Lake City.

The leaders of the Mormons when in Kirtland were unmitigated rascals, but the common people were honest and well disposed, but a sadly deluded people.


In 1837. The leaders were subjected to so many legal prosecutions that the place became unendurable to them. The most prominent adversary that they had was Grandison Newell, then of Mentor, an honest, straightforward man, who had an utter detestation for all delusions, secular and eccesiastical, (the Mormons had conspired against his life) and he followed Joe with a purpose and an activity that knew no cessation, and legal prosecutions followed, one after another, until the prophet was forced to bring out a new revelation, and the faithful started on the tiresome journey to Jackson County, Missouri, for another New Jerusalem.

The Temple is now owned by a Mormon named Huntly, living in Wisconsin. It has been "desecrated" as a temple by being used for school purposes, but stands as a monument of human folly and religious fanaticism.   L. S. A.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. LV.                    Warren, Ohio, Wednesday, December 21, 1870.                     No. 21.

Written for the Chronicle.

Pioneer Life in Trumble County.

Historical Reminiscences of Hartford.



In 1813, the Rev. Harvey Coe was installed as pastor of the church, at the residence of Dr. Wilcox, in Vernon, the school house, the usual place of holding meetings, not being large enough to accommodate those in attendance....


was built in 1819 and 20, by Northrop and Stanford, for thirteen hundred and ten dollars, materials being furnished, one-third to be paid in grain, cattle and labor, and the balance in money. Daniel Bushnell, Titus Brocway, Richard Hayes, Andrew Bushnell and Seymour A. Moses, were the building committee. It stands on the "Green;" the main part of the building is square, with two rows of windows on the sides, and in its original form, had a high pulpit, a gallery on three sides, was fitted up with pews; had a tall spire and weather vane, after old Connecticut style. It was probably the first church built in the county. It was built by the Congregationalists, assisted by the people of the township, with the understanding that it might be used for all town purposes, and be free to all denominations when not in use by them.


A Baptist clergyman at that time, afterwards one of the lights of the Mormon church, preached for several months in the township, sustained by those residents who were inclined to the tenets of that church...

Note: Hartford township lies immediately north of Brookfield (Rigdon's residence of record in the 1820 census), along the western Pennsylvania border. In 1819-1820 Elder Sidney Rigdon evidently ranged all along that border, preaching in towns east of Warren, Ohio and towns like Sharon, which is located just across the border in Pennsylvania. In 1821 Rigdon moved to Hartford -- his first child, Athalia Rigdon, was born there on Aug. 11, 1821. Oliver Cowdery's brother, Erastus Cowdery, lived on a farm two townships south of Rigdon during this period -- it appears likely that the two men became acquainted in 1819 or 1820.



Vol. LIII.                     Cincinnati, Tuesday, September 26, 1871.                     No. 12,014


Brigham Young returned to Salt Lake City on Friday. The Mormons deny indignantly that he has sought to evade the process of the Court or Grand Jury. They say he will obey the summons as a witness or submit even to a warrant of arrest, but will not yield to imprisonment.

A rich tin mine has been discovered in Utah. while this is a most valuable discovery, in view of the immense amount of tin used in various ways, and its consequent scarcity, it is also valuable as an additional menas, by attracting hardy Gentiles to Utah, of undermining the polygamous despotism of Brigham Young.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 40.                           Cambridge, Ohio, Thursday, January 4, 1872.                           No. 33.


A Grand Descriptive Parade of Brigham Young's
Twenty-nine Earthly Spouses.

(From the New York Herald.)

SALT LAKE, Nov. 23, 1871.      
Now that the whole country is anxiously waiting the trial of Brigham Young for lascivious cohabitation with sixteen different women, in violation of the statute of Utah, the readers of the Herald may be curious to hear something about these women...

(under construction)

WIFE  NO.  20.

Mrs. Augusta Cobb is wife No. 20. This woman once lived in Boston, where she had a comfortable home and interesting family. Sixteen or seventeen years ago she was converted to Mormonism and came to Salt Lake, bringing with her a nice little daughter Charlotta. She soon entered the harem as one of Young's plural wives. Charlotta is now a young lady, and is said to be "the belle of Salt Lake," and is bitterly opposed to polygamy. Mrs. Cobb's son, James Cobb, after graduating at college in the East, came West for the purpose of reclaiming his mother and sister from Mormonism, but under the influence of his mother he himself became a convert to the Mormon faith. Mrs. Cobb is a large, fine looking woman; has dark hair, grey eyes, and a clear bright complexion. She is very stylish in her appearance, dresses excellently, and is dignified in her manner. If you did not know she was a Mormon, she is just the woman you would think it impossible to convert to the doctrines of Mormonism. This proud, imperious woman lives in a little cottage near the Lion House, and is supported by Young, who, it is said, seldom visits her...

(under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. XXXVIII.                         Cleveland, Ohio, Friday,  February 16, 1872.                         No. 41.

Reminiscences  of  Joseph  Smith.

"Gris," who is scattering his "Injun meal" around the State of New York, writes from Palmyra to the Cincinnati Times thusly:

Palmyra will be ever distinguished in history -- more so than her ancient namesake though she had a thousand Zenobias -- as having been the spot where originated both Mormonism and Spiritualism. Jo. Smith was raised here, as were the Fox girls. There are plenty of people in Palmyra who remember the visionary, lazy and shiftless Jo. Smith, who was constantly hunting up imaginary gold mines and shirking genuine work. He could dig for buried treasures, but hated to dig for an honest living.

Many anecdotes are related of him. Here is one I heard last night: When a young man he was employed by one Durfey to assist in haying. In Durfey's pantry stood two bottles quite similar in appearance, one containing whisky, (an article quite common in those days, but now entirely out of the market, benzine taking its place,) and the other a medicine known as "No. 6."

There are some of your readers who remember "No. 6." It was a fiery, peppery compound that no family in New York State was without thirty years ago, and if it had no other merit it was certainly warming. I remember being dosed with it when I was a boy, and the smart it caused me inside, and I sometimes think that is what makes me smart now.

Jo Smith had a palate for good whisky, although he would prefer that it wouldn't cost him anything. He knew of the whiskey bottle in the pantry, and resolved to have a smack at it, for Durfey kept it rather close. So one night, after the house was in repose, Jo stole out of bed and creeping softly down-stairs, from his room in the loft, sought the pantry. Shirtly after, the family was aroused by the tremendous rattling of the bucket down the well, which stood near the house, attended by a fearful coughing and spitting on the part of some one in the vicinity. It was one of the old fashioned wells you don't see on exhibition at the fairs and can't buy at the family supply stores any more. They ain't peddled around the country, nor put up as prizes in gift lotteries. This well worked with a windlass and a chain, and when the iron-bound, moss-covered bucket was allowed to go down on the run, as sailors say, bumping against the curbing, it made it very lively for the windlass, and this was the racket that woke up the Durfey family. Out of bed they all sprang at once, and ran to the well, where they found the founder of Mormonism in his shirt tail, working the windlass with might and main, hauling up the bucket.

"Why, Jo! what's the matter?" cried old man Durfey, as he recognized his hired man.

With a quick shake of the head, as much as to say, "Don't speak to the man at the wheel," and caughing furiously, Jo seized the dripping bucket as it reached the top of the curb, and resting it on the edge applied his eager mouth to the rim and drank, and drank, and drank, the cooling liquid fairly hissing as it went down his burning throat. Durfry declared to his dying day Jo never let up so long as there was a drop in the bucket, and he believed he would have drunk the well dry if they hadn't restrained him. All there was about it, Jo had mistaken the "No. 6" for the whiskey.

Four miles from Palmyra is Bible Hill or Gommorrah [sic], where Smith professed to have found the stone tablets from which he translated the Mormon Bible. He was a long time securing a printer for his Bible, as he had no money, and it takes money to print even Bibles. He made a jiurney to Rochester, and endeavored to get Thurlow Weed, then publishing a paper there, to print it, but without success. Jo might have been a tobacco chewer, for what I know, but in that case he couldn't use the Weed.

It was only by making a proselyte of one Martin Harris, a smple-minded young farmer, who lived a mile north of Palmyra, and whom he induced to mortgage his farm, that he was enabled to raise the necessary funds in order to get his Bible to press in time for the early trains. Harris was much influenced by one Calvin Stoddard, Stoddard held off for some little time, but was won through a trick played upon him one night by a couple of boys, just for the fun of the thing. It is just such trifling events that produce momentous events. Had it not been for the mad freak of those two boys, out on a lark, Smith might not have got his Bible out, Mormonism would have been unheard of, polygamy unknown (thereby depriving a number of very excellent and worthy women of a husband), and the world ignorant of a Brigham Young. There would have been no Salt Lake City, no "Artemus Ward Among the Mormons," no Anna Dickinson among the "Whited Sepulchres," no sending troops and their consequent supplies to Utah, no hafalutin in Congress about the "twin relic of barbarism," and no opportunity or occasion for this letter.

One of those boys who succeeded in manufacturing so much American history on a night's frolic, was afterward Governor Harding, of Utah, singular enough; and his comrade now was Tucker, who wouldn't have been out at the unseemly hour, probably, had it not been for the family propensity for being too late to get his evening meal.

Knowing that Calvin Stoddard was being urged by Jo. Smith to embark with him in the Bible business, it occurred to the boys to play a trick on Calvin. Accordingly they went to Stoddard's house at a late hour of the night, and one of them gave a mysterious rap on his bedroom window.

"Who's there?" cried Stoddard, in a voice of evident alarm.

"I am a spirit sent by the Lord," replied a supernatural voice, "to command you, Calvin Stoddard, to gird up your loins, go forth and preach the new revelation found by my prophet, Joseph Smith, to all the world!"

The next day, bright and early, Calvin was out preaching in the streets of Palmyra. When Martin Harris was induced to mortgage his farm, the money was obtained, and in 1831, I believe, the first Mormon Bible was printed. E. B. Grandin, publisher of the Wayne Sentinel, was the printer. The first edition was 3,000 copies. The building still stands where the printing was done, and it is pointed out to the curious stranger. What is known as the Mormon farm -- the one Martin Harris disposed of to raise the money -- is frequently visited by people. It is at present owned by a Mr. Chapman, a very clever gentleman, whom I have met here. It was originally sold, under the mortgage, to Thomas Lakey, father of Carl Lakey, one of the editors of the Palmyra Courier.

Martin Harris is still alive, and nearly ninety years old. He was ruined by his speculation in Bibles. He went with Jo Smith to Ohio, and remained there until recently, when he removed to Utah, where he now lives. He visited Palmyra about two years ago, old and poor.

Jo Smith played on the credulity of Calvin Stoddard frequently to keep the Smith family supplied with meat. He occupied a cave in Bible Hill, where he pretended to translate the tablets and offer up sacrifices. When the family was out of meat, Smith would signify to Stoddard that a particularly fine lamb or sheep, already dressed, would be required at the cave that day, to be sacrificed to the Lord, and the simple Calvin would bring it, not seeing the absurdity of making a sacrifice of dressed meat.

Note 1: Compare the above "No. 6 medicine" story to a similar version, related in Thomas L. Cook's 1930 Palmyra and Vicinity, page 219. This account was previously narrated by Cook in a 1928 issue of the Palmyra Wayne County Journal.

Note 2: For more on the man-made "cave" in Miner's Hill, see the Rochester Times-Union of April 25, 1974.



Vol. XXXVIII.                         Cleveland, Ohio, Monday,  September 9, 1872.                         No. 217


Sauntering about in the southern portions of our town, it has been my fortune frequently to meet with the old residents who came here when an ax and a strong arm were the most useful implements and their only fortune. 'Tis their delight to tell us of bear hunts and all that, but the most interesting of their themes, to us, is Mormonism. They point us to the house where Joe Smith lived one winter; where they held their meetings; the two Mormon graves out on the hill. Then, two, they tell us of their going to Smith's house one night and giving him a nice coat and feathers -- and how high the excitement ran. When they became thus enthusiastic telling their tales of earlier days, we almost wish that we, too, had lived to see and know the deeds of which we hear so much, but doubtless the young of forty years hence will feel the same desires to realize the scenes we now behold, and we know that each age must be satisfied with its own experience... N.
HIRAM, Sept. 6.

Note: Possibly the "two Mormon graves out on the hill" mentioned by the correspondent, were those of two young members of the Mormon John Johnson family. Explorations conductd on the old Johnson farm indicate the presence of two childrens' graves near the edge of the east property line.



Vol. 34.                           New Philadelphia, Ohio, January 3, 1873.                           No. 4.


The Founder of the Campbellites and the Author
of the "Book of Mormon."

The Albany Evening Times of December 21st, contains an interesting summary of the life and labor of a Pittsburgher 'eccentric' Sidney Rigdon, who, it appears is dying at Friendship, Allegheny county, New York. The Times says:

This man, although attracting, at the present time, but little public attention, has had an eventful public career. He was really the founder of what is known as the Campbellite Christian faith, He was urging the non-sectarian idea of Christianity when Campbell first sought to give it a place in the world as an organized church. Mr. Rigdon finally lost faith in the religion of his adoption, abandoned the pulpit, devoted himself to journalism and the study of geology. In the latter he was he was astonishingly proficient. While thus engaged the pretended revelations of Joe Smith attracted the public attention. They were not long in finding a defender in Sidney Rigdon, and the "Golden Bible," or the book of Mormon, we have no doubt, is the product of his mind and pen. He became an active Mormon and went with Smith to Kirtland, Ohio, and thence to Nauvoo, Illinois, where he ranked in the church only second to Smith. When the polygamy: revelation came, Rigdon promptly declined to accept it as part of his faith and left the Mormon city for his old home at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

For many years past he has resided at Friendship, Allegheny county in this state, with his children, who are settled there. He is a man far advanced in years, And one who, in his relations with the world, has, probably, no enemy. With all his erratic changes and adventures in connection with religious matters, he has been a profound thinker, a ready and graceful writer, and a man of enlarged and varied information. It was difficult to suggest a subject of any importance, with which he was not remarkably familiar, and which he could not make himself extremely interesting in discussing.

What his religious faith has been during the late years of his, we do not think his most intimate friends have any means of knowing. His lips have been a sealed book upon that subject. That Joe Smith could never have succeeded in organizing the Mormon church, or giving to the world the Book of Mormon without the aid of Sidney Rigdon we do not believe. It was his clear and comprehensive mind that brought that form out of chaos, whether for good or evil is for the future to determine. In all his private relations we believe his life has been singularly blamless, and unexceptionable.

Notes: (see next article, below)


Vol. 90.                                 Cincinnati, Monday, January 6, 1873.                                 No. 5.


Personal  Recollection  of  One  of  the  Founders  of  Mormonism.

In anticipation of the death of Sydney Rigdon, which has since occurred, the Dubuque Times publishes the following reminiscences of his career:

Sydney Rigdon, for so many of these later years entirely lost to public view, was born in Alleghany county, Pa., Feb, 19, 1793; consequently is now a few weeks less than eighty years old. When a boy he learned the printer's trade, and at the age of nineteen we find him in a printing office at Pittsburg. Solomon Spaulding (born at Ashford, Ct., 1761, a graduate of Dartmouth college, a minister for four years, a merchant at Cherry Valley, N. Y., for some time, removing thence to Conneaut, O., in 1809, to Pittsburg in 1812, to Amity, Pa., in 1814, and dying there in 1816), among a number of novels possessing so little merit that he could find no publisher for them, in 1810, 1811 and 1812 wrote a romance pretending to show that the Indians of America were the descendants of the "Lost Tribes" of Israel -- which was placed in the printing office where young Rigdon was working, and which, years afterward, came out -- certain religious doctrines being interpolated here and there -- as the Mormon Bible. The portion of Rigdon's life which is identical with Mormonism we touch lightly, as it is not our purpose to repeat what can be found elsewhere. Suffice it to say, Rigdon helped Jo Smith organize the first Mormon church, at Manchester, N. Y., April 6th, 1830; led the little body of believers to Kirtland, O., in 1831; the two were mobbed, tarred and feathered on the night of March 22, 1832; received Brigham Young as a convert late the same year; started a bank. Smith President, Rigdon Cashier, which broke in January, 1838, and the twain fled to Missouri; after much wrangling and finally civil war, settled at Nauvoo, Ill., April 6, 1841, and laid the corner stone of the Mormon temple there; July 12, 1843, the revelation of polygamy came; this, Rigdon declares he never accepted; but a riot with citizens resulted, June, 1844, in which Jo. Smith was shot dead; Rigdon aspired to become head of the church, but Young was selected; Rigdon rebelled, was cut off from communion with the faithful, and formally "delivered to the devil to be buffeted in the flesh for a thousand years." He accordingly returned to Pittsburg, and finally drifted to Friendship, Allegany County, N. Y., where the writer hereof found him about 1848. His daughter married Mr, Hatch, the first principal of the then newly erected Friendship Academy. In the debating school connected with that academy, the writer was the youngest member; and Rigdon, when present, which was not infrequently the case, was usually invited to take part. He was remarkably proficient in the sciences for that date -- especially astronomy and geology. His arguments were always unique, bizarre, startling. Something that everyone would have sworn could have no possible connection with the subject under consideration, would be, first anyone knew, brought into the field of argument with a rebound that demolished all opponents. Doubtless there was much sophistry there; but that lyceum didn't contain the reasoner who could expose it. He was at least as familiar with the Bible as any man we ever met. The ordinary, unsuspicious, half fledged, and therefore supercilious theologians in that vicinity used sometimes to thoughtlessly, on first acquaintance, "catch up" some careless remark of the rough, unshaven countryman, and "pitch into" his positions. Then he would let drop onto their bewildered heads texts enough to amount to five or ten and twenty chapters of Scripture, as the case might seem to demand, compel or betray them into positions they never thought of taking before, and then saunter off to his home by "the creek" with the most innocent air, as if utterly unconscious that he had left his assailant inextricably entangled and standing on his head. What his own religious views were, no one was ever shrewd enough to elicit from him. We have heard him argue everything, from Catholicism, via the strictest Calvinism, to the loosest Mormonism. He was gentlemanly, though sometimes scathingly sarcastic, temperate, not profane nor obscene; kind, so far as came convenient, with his character for honesty and morality untarnished. It seems to us that with a little intenser and differently directed ambition, a higher and more positive purpose, and a feeling that it was worth the while to carry out that purpose. Sydney Rigdon might have been one of the great men of the century. But with a half majestic and half careless calmness not to be ruffled by anything that this world or any other, could give or take away, he has lived a long, eventful and useless life.

Note: Sidney Rigdon did not die in 1873; so this entire article is temporally out of joint. There is no evidence availabe to indicate that "When a boy he learned the printer's trade, and at the age of nineteen we find him in a printing office at Pittsburg." This statement appears to be pure fantasy. Whatever connections Sidney Rigdon may have had with Pittsburgh business establishments, it was not in the guise of a nineteen-year-old journeyman printer.


The  Massillon  Independent.
Vol. X.                               Massillon, Ohio,  January 29, 1873.                               No. 30.


The death of Sidney Rigdon, one of Joe Smith's associates in the establishment of Mormonism, is announced. He was born in St. Clair township, Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, February 19, 1793. "The Book of Mormon," which Joe Smith pretends to have discovered through a Divine revelation, was claimed immediately after its publication as a work of Rev. Solomon Spalding, written by him during a residence in Ohio in 1810-11-12. Mr. Spalding's widow, in a statement published in Boston in 1839, declared that in 1812 the manuscript was placed in a printing office in Pittsburgh with which Sidney Rigdon was connected. Rigdon, she charged, copied the manuscript, and the fact of his having made such a copy was known to many persons in the office. Subsequently the original manuscript was returned to Mr. Spaulding, who died in 1816, leaving it in the possession of his widow, by whom it was preserved until after the publication of "The Book of Mormon," when she sent it to Conneaut, where it was publicly compared with Joe Smith's pretended revelation. Soon after getting possession of his copy, Rigdon quitted the printing office and began preaching certain new doctrines peculiar to himself, and very similar to those afterward incorporated in "The Book of Mormon." He did not make much progress, however, until 1829, when he became acquainted with Joe Smith. It is asserted that Smith obtained a copy of Spalding's manuscript through Rigdon's agency, and that he read it from behind the blanket to his amanuensis, Oliver Cowdery, making such additions and alterations as suited the purposes of Rigdon and himself. Immediately after the publication of The Book of Mormon, the fraud was detected, and the true nature of the work made known by Mr. Spalding's widow and many of his relatives and friends. In spite of this disclosure, however, Smith and Rigdon had the impudence to stick to the story of the revelation, and succeeded in getting converts to the new religion. At first they had rather hazy ideas as to the nature and design of the church they were about to establish, and were rather inclined to teach that the millennium was close at hand; that the Indians were to be speedily converted; and that America was to be the final gathering place of the Saints, who were to assemble at New Zion or New Jerusalem, somewhere in the interior of the continent. They soon managed to surround themselves with enough converts to constitute the Mormon Church, which was first regularly organized at Manchester, N. Y., April 6, 1830. Smith, directed by a revelation, led the whole body of believers to Kirtland, Ohio, in January, 1831. Here converts were rapidly made, and a wider field being necessary, Smith and Rigdon went out in search of a suitable locality upon which to establish themselves. They fixed upon Independence, Jackson, Mo., and Smith dedicated a site for a new temple. Rigdon continued to act with Smith, and to follow all the fortunes and misfortunes of the Mormon Church until the death of the prophet, when he aspired to be his successor. Upon Brigham Young, however, descended the mantle of Joe Smith and Rigdon becoming contumacious, was cut off from the communion of the faithful, was cursed, and was solemnly delivered over to the devil, "to be buffeted in the flesh for a thousand years." This ended Rigdon's connection with Mormonism; and after being thus driven out of the church which he did so much to found, he fell out of public notice and was heard of no more.

Note: This is an encyclopedia excerpt -- see also the Defiance Democrat of Feb. 15th, for this same mistaken report of Rigdon's early demise.



Vol. XXIX.                           Defiance, Ohio, Saturday, February 15, 1873.                           No. 28.

Death of Sidney Rigdon.

The death of Sidney Rigdon, one of Joseph Smith's associates in the establishment of Mormonism is announced. He was born in St. Clair township, Alleghany county, Pennsylvania, February 19, 1793. "The Book of Mormon" which Smith pretends to have discovered through a divine revelation, was claimed immediately after its publication as the work of Rev. Solomon Spalding, written by him during a residence in Ohio in 1810-11-12. Mr. Spalding's widow, in a statement published in Boston in 1839, declared that in 1812 the manuscript was placed in a printing office in Pittsburgh with which Sidney Rigdon was connected. Rigdon, she charged, copied the manuscript, and the fact of his having made such a copy was known to many persons in the office. Subsequently the original manuscript was returned to Mr. Spaulding, who died in 1816, leaving it in the possession of his widow, by whom it was preserved until after the publication of "The Book of Mormon," when she sent it to Conneaut, where it was publicly compared with Joe Smith's pretended revelation. Soon after getting possession of his copy, Rigdon quitted the printing office and began to preach certain new doctrines peculiar to himself, and very similar to those afterward incorporated in "The Book of Mormon." He did not make much progress, however, until 1829, when he became acquainted with Joe Smith. It is asserted that Smith obtained a copy of Spaulding's manuscript through Rigdon's agency, and that he read it from behind the blanket to his amanuensis, Oliver Cowdery, making such additions and alterations as suited the purpose of Rigdon and himself. Immediately after the publication of "The Book of Mormon," the fraud was detected, and the true nature of the work made known by Mr. Spaulding's widow and many of his relatives and friends. In spite of this disclosure, however, Smith and Rigdon had the impudence to stick to the story of the revelation, and succeeded in getting converts to the new religion. At first they had rather hazy ideas as to the nature and design of the Church they were about to establish, and were rather inclined to teach that the millennium was close at hand; that the Indians were to be speedily converted; and that America was to be the final gathering place of the Saints, who were to assemble at New Zion or New Jerusalem, somewhere in the interior of the continent. They soon managed to surround themselves with enough converts to constitute the Mormon Church, which was first regularly organized at Manchester, N. Y., April 6, 1830. Smith, directed by a revelation, led the whole body of believers to Kirtland, Ohio, in January, 1831. Here converts were rapidly made, and a wider field being necessary, Smith and Rigdon went out in search of a suitable locality upon which to establish themselves. They fixed upon Independence, Jackson county, Mo., and Smith dedicated a site for a new temple. Rigdon continued to act with Smith, and to follow all the fortunes and misfortunes of the Mormon Church until the death of the prophet, when he aspired to be his successor. Upon Brigham Young, however, descended the mantle of Joe Smith and Rigdon becoming contumacious, was cut off from the communion of the faithful, was cursed, and was solemnly delivered over to the devil, "to be buffeted in the flesh for a thousand years." Thus ended Rigdon's connection with Mormonism; and after being thus driven out of the Church which he did so much to found, he fell out of public notice and was heard of no more.

Note 1: It must have created a strange feeling in the old man, when Sidney Rigdon heard reports of his own death in the first weeks of 1873. Besides the article reprinted in the Defiance Democrat, other, similar notices and obituaries appeared throughout the American press. One notable example was the Rigdon death notice published in the columns of the RLDS Saints' Herald of Jan. 15, 1873 which was prefaced by the editorial warning: "We cannot vouch for the truth of the statement that Mr. Rigdon is dead." The New York Herald of Dec. 26, 1872 presented a somewhat more reliable report regarding the aged Mormon: "Sidney Rigdon, the reputed author of Joe Smith's Mormon Bible, has been stricken with paralysis at his home in Alleghany county, N. Y."

Note 2: President Rigdon lingered on for another three and a half years following his stroke of November, 1872, before passing on to his great (?) reward. It is a telling fact that little was recalled by the 1870's of his many contributions to Mormonism -- other than that he had been accused of stealing the basis for the Book of Mormon, from the writings of Solomon Spalding.


James Reed & Son Pub.                       Independent in all things.                             $2 in Advance.

Vol. XXIV.                     Ashtabula, Ohio, Saturday, February 22, 1873.                     No. 8.

                               For the Telegraph.


Mr. Editor:
I was reading quite lately in the papers the oft repeated story of the origin of the Book of Mormon. I have long believed that it was substantially true. It is said it was written by one Solomon Spalding a disabled or retired Congregational minister, as a sort of romance founded on the evidence afforded that our country had once been inhabited by a race of people more civilized, and distinct, from the Indian tribes found on its discovery by Columbus. It being a popular theory about that time, these were the lost tribes of Israel, and the probable Mound Builders.

This manuscript, it is said, either before or after Mr. Spalding's death, was taken to a printing office at Pittsburg, where Sydney Rigdon got hold of it and with Joseph Smith and others, published it as found in a miraculous manner in Palmyra, New York. This Mr. Spalding, it is said, lived at an early day at Conneaut, and had a forge or trip hammer in the valley on the creek. This was confirmed to the present writer some years ago by the late Col. Robert Harper, of Harpersfield. He said, when a young man, he spent some time at Conneaut, and well remembered Mr. Spalding and his wife. He spoke of him as somewhat singular, living in a long, low, shanty-like building of boards. In one end was his forge, while in the other he lived with his wife, and kept a kind of grocery store. He said, in common with other young men, he often spent his evenings there. He distinctly remembered one night -- they had been playing cards for amusement; when about to leave he needed something to wrap up his cards, when Mrs. Spalding brought to him a leaf of some manuscript. Upon making some remark about the propriety of his using it, she remarked it was only a piece of the Doctor's novel. This led him to ask if her husband was writing a novel; when she said yes; upon the first inhabitants who lived upon this continent. And upon examination he found this to be the character of the scrap of the manuscript she had given him. All this in connection with what has been published before, and the fact of such remarkable remains in the neighborhood of Conneaut, leads to the probable conclusion that Solomon Spalding wrote the Book of Mormon in substance at least, & probably while living at Conneaut.

I have written in the hope that there were persons still living at Conneaut, or in the vicinity, that knew Mr. Spalding; who can confirm the above, and more than this, can affirm they knew Mr. Spalding to be the author of the book, such as it is.

If there are any such persons, I think it would be promotive of the truth to publish it; at least it would serve to preserve and establish a historical fact. Therefore I am prompted to ask that all such communications shall appear in your columns, or in the Conneaut paper, from which no doubt you would cheerfully copy. Hoping that both the editor of the TELEGRAPH and Conneaut Reporter will feel an interest in the matter, I am yours truly,
                  H. HOLLIS.
  Greencastle, Indiana.

Note: This article in the Telegraph was followed up two weeks later with some recollections of "Dr. Daniel M. Spencer, a resident of Kingsville."


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Vol. XXIV.                     Ashtabula, Ohio, Saturday, March 8, 1873.                     No. 10.

The Book of Mormon.

A correspondent of the Ashtabula Telegraph, writing from Greencastle, Indiana says in support of the belief that one Solomon Spalding who once lived in Conneaut was the author of the Book of Mormon, that the late Col. Robert Harper, when a young man was frequently at the said Spalding's, in Conneaut; that Harper told him (the correspondent) that he, Harper, had seen a page of manuscript, admitted by Spalding's wife to have been written by him, remarking farther that her husband was engaged upon a novel, the subject of which was the first inhabitants of this continent, &c. The correspondent seeks farther information upon this subject.

Not long after the appearance of the Book of Mormon, Dr. Daniel M. Spencer, a resident of Kingsville, in a conversation of our hearing, and at our father's house, in this town, said that he was well acquainted with Spalding when he lived in Conneaut; had been at his house often and had read manuscripts written by Spalding; that the matter contained in said manuscripts was touching the lost tribes of Israel, their wanderings and final settlement on this continent; that he saw and read the pages of Spalding's fanciful writings at different times and read much of them. He declared that not only the subject matter of Spalding's novel was incorporated in the Book of Mormon, but much of it was a literal transcript, to the best of his knowledge, after reading the contents of both. His declarations were made when Mormonism first made its monstrous pretensions when the public mind was stirred upon the subject and they made a very formidable impression upon our mind. Dr. Spencer had a decided taste for antiquarian research and speculation, and those who knew him will not wonder that he was interested in Spalding's vagaries about the "lost tribes," Mound Builders &c. -- As the correspondent suggests, some of the older citizens of Conneaut must have some knowledge upon this subject not yet made public.

Note: Two such "older citizens," implicitly solicited above, did eventually come forth with their recollections, published in the newspapers a few years later. See the 1885 account provided by William H. Leffingwell, and the less convincing 1901 reminiscence of Mrs. Diadama Chittenden. Jasper Jesse Moss, a Disciples of Christ Elder, also provided some similar details in 1878-80.



Vol. XXIX.                                 Cleveland, Saturday, March 22, 1873.                                 No. 69.


The Painesville Advertiser says that a few days ago, the old Mormon temple in Kirtland, near Painesville, was sold to Joe Smith, the leader of the anti-polygamy Mormons. The sale of the old building has made considerable excitement in Kirtland, as it is generally supposed that the branch of the Mormon people who are now settled in Illinois mean to return to their early settlement. There has been much of late to assure one in the expectation, and we think we can safely predict that the walls of the curious old temple will soon echo the words of Mormon priests, and that the quiet people of Kirtland will again have a topic of universal interest, not only to themselves, but to the world at large. Joe Smith, who purchased the temple, is the son of one of the leading Mormons, Joe Smith, the prophet, or the author of the pretended revelation.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXXIII.                                 Cincinnati, Friday, April 11, 1873.                                 No. 221.

The  Abdication  of  Brigham  Young.

When, forty-three years ago, Joseph Smith began to preach a new doctrine to the people of western new York, he predicted that the millennium was near at hand, and that the final gathering of the Saints would be somewhere in the interior of the continent, in the city of New Zion or the New Jerusalem. Directed, as he pretended, by revelation, in the spring of 1831 he led the whole body of believers to Kirtland, Ohio, where a temple was built and a community formed. The Divine finger had pointed the prophet to this spot as that on which the city of the New Jerusalem was to be founded and the redeemed assembled.

Either Smith had misinterpreted the revelation, or the revealer did not know his own mind, for a few years later, in 1838 or 1839, a bank which Smith had established at kirtland failed, and the prophet and his partner in business, Sidney Rigdon, fled, hotly pursued by creditors, to Missouri, where some of the Mormons had settled, and where those who had remained at Kirtland for the most part speedily followed. this was, however, out of the frying-pan into the fire. The Missouri Mormons had already become involved in quarrels with their neighbors; a civil war was imminent, and was only suppressed after the militia of the State had been called out, and Smith and Rigdon arrested.

The Mormons, in the meantime, had crossed the Mississippi into Illinois by thousands, and were presently joined by Rigdon, released on habeas corpus, and Smith, who broke jail. They settled in Carthage [sic - Hancock] County, where a large tract of land had been given them, and laid the foundation of the city of Nauvoo. Smith pretended to have had a new revelation commanding him to pitch his tent there. Nauvoo grew rapidly, and Smith, by a shrewd sale of lots, realized a fortune of more than a million dollars. By revelation, also, he was commanded to assemble the Saints there from all quarters of the world, build a temple, and construct a hotel for the Smith family, [where] they were to "have place from generation to generation, for ever and ever."

But Smith was again disappointed. The Saints, profiting by their experience in Missouri, had not set themselves in opposition to the civil law; but they had introduced the practice of polygamy, and Smith and the Elders of the Church became so eager for "spiritual wives" that a row was raised about it. Smith was publicly denounced by several women, through a newspaper which the husbands of one or two outraged women had established in Nauvoo. Smith and his followers attacked the office, destroyed the presses and material, and razed the building. A warrant was issued for Smith, which he refused to obey, and the constable who attempted to serve it was driven out of the city. The militia were called out, and the Mormons armed themselves. Finally the Smiths (Joseph and Hyrum) surrendered and were lodged in the Carthage jail. Soon after a mob attacked it, overpowered the guard, and shot both Smiths. This was in 1844...

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. XXXIX.                         Cleveland, Ohio, Thursday,  December 4, 1873.                         No. 289.


"The Portrait; a Romance of the Cuyahoga,"
by Hon. A. G. Riddle.

At last we have the advance sheets of Mr. Riddle's second Northern Ohio novel, and are able to speak understandingly of its character and merits.

"The Portrait" is a great improvement on "Bart Ridgeley," good as that work was. Mr Riddle says the first book "pretty much wrote itself." He has evidently taken care with the second. As a story it is better managed; there is a well defined plot, proceeding natirally to its denouement, and although a hint here and there furnishes the reader with a guide, the mystery suggested in the first chapter is not fully cleared up until near the end...

The time of the story covers the period between 1830 and 1845, and the scene is mainly laid in Mantua township of Portage county, with changes to Kirtland, Warren, Canfield, and intermediate points....

One noticeable feature of the book is the familiarity with rural life, the keen love of nature, and the ability of picturing country scenery in a few happily chosen sentences everywhere manifest... [the characters] we suspect to be actual portraits, and our Mantua readers can tell if our surmise is correct. There can be no mistake about "Squire Lyman, of Ravenna;" the "lawyer by the name of Carter, at Canton or Massilon," with whom the young hero studied law; or the "Mr. Andrews of Cleveland," whose speech at the trial of Jo Smith at Chardon for attempting to murder Newell made such an impression; or the Darwin Atwater of Mantua, through whose sermons the boy "heroically kept awake"...

[Joseph Smith, the Mormon] "Prophet," as he appeared to his dupes and as he was known to confidants, is shown. Brigham Young appears on the scene, the following being a picture of the present head of the Mormon Church as he first became known to the Mormon community:
In June, among others, there arrived from the East a young man by the name of Young, son of a farmer, with a fair English education, -- a young man of fine person, genial, handsome face, and pleasing manners and address. He soon manifested an unusually shrewd managing mind, with a great capacity to win confidence, and grow upon men. He had a natural aptitude for affairs, and things on his hands instinctively went right; obstacles disappeared in his presence, and order and method waited upon his footsteps. He contented himself with modestly doing what came to hand, unconscious of his own powers, perhaps, and was educated by circumstances and opportunity, which always attend the lives of the naturally shrewd. Not long was the modest young brother Brigham among the saints, as they meekly styled themselves, before he attracted the notice of the Prophet, who was quick to discern the qualities of men, and who was not slow to avail himself of the executive talents of the young convert. Brigham was no zealot or fanatic, and he was quick to see the needs of the new situation. Nor was he unfruitful in expedients. Under his hand a much-needed police was organized, a commissariat, established, shops opened, and employment found for the idle. The domain was laid off into building lots, with regular streets and alleys, and the relations of the new community put on a more decent footing with their curious neighbors. * * *

Brigham soon developed a talent for speaking -- somewhat rare among the followers of the Prophet -- was called, and ordained an elder, and coming rapidly forward, was finally set apart for missionary service. He early strengthened himself by a judicious marriage with a young woman of a good family, a resident of Kirtland, and outside of the church of the saints.
Jo Smith himself is thus pictured, as he appeared at a meeting in Mantua:
The prophet was then about twenty-five years of age, and nearly six feet in height; rather loosely but powerfully built, with a perceptible stoop in his shoulders. The face was longish, not badly featured, marked with blue eyes, fair blond complexion, and very light yellowish flaxen hair. His head was not ignoble, and carried with some dignity; and on the whole, his person, air, and manner should have been noticeable in a gathering of average men. He was attired in a neat fitting suit of blue, over which he wore an ample cloak of blue broadcloth, which he threw back, exposing his neck and bosom, -- all with a simple and natural manner.
A fit match to the description of the Mormon meeting at Mantua addressed by Jo Smith and Sidney Rigdon, is the striking picture of a camp-meeting of the Disciples, held in the Aurora woods, with the grand figure of Alexander Campbell towering up in the midst, and thrilling and swaying the vast assemblage with his fervid and impassioned eloquence. Another companion picture is that of the Giddings anti-slavery meeting near Warren. in 1845....

Note: For longer excerpts from this novel, see "Sidney Rigdon in Works of Fiction." Another A.G. Riddle portrayal of Mormon Kirtland was published in the Syracuse Daily Courier of Apr. 14, 1887.



Vol. XL.                         Cleveland, Ohio, Wednesday,  June 10, 1874.                         No. 138.






The quiet beautiful town of Hiram, with its grand sloping hills, green valleys and sparkling waters, was surveyed into lots by one named Bissel, from Connecticut, about the year 1800. The plan of the survey was to divide it into fifty lots as nearly equal as possible, five East and West, and ten north and South. He commenced his work by running the lines North and South, and put down his stakes at ten equal distances across the township, but when he came to run his East and West lines, he could not hit his stakes. In some places he varied his lines to the stakes, and in others he moved his stakes to the line. His compass being much out of order, many of the lines were very crooked, especially those running East and West, varying in some places four or five rods from a straight line. This, with the loss of some of his field notes, prevented him from giving an accurate report to his employers. To remedy this difficulty he made a plat with all the lines of equal length, and again reported to his employers, (but one of them being a surveyor, in looking over his report saw that every line was so exact, said that no one in a survey of a township could make every line meet.) But they rejected his report and refused to pay him for his services. Bissel made another survey with what field notes he had, and also from what he could remember of the old survey, and finally made a report that they accepted, although the work was very imperfectly done. The privilege of naming the town was given to Colonel Daniel Tilden, who was one of the proprietors, and also a Royal Arch Free Mason. He called the town Hiram, after Hiram Abiff, King of Tyre. This name was given in an early day, at a spring on the south side of the road, a few rods west of the center, now owned by Thuel Norton. A small crowd of settlers gathered there, and after partaking quite freely of whisky, loud talk ensued, as also some display of pugilistic skill -- a thing very common in those early times. After the naming of the town the party separated. Before it received its present name it was called No. Five, as being in the seventh range of townships in the Connecticut Western Reserve.

It appears from all the circumstances that Hiram was more the hunting grounds of the Indians than their homes. There were a few who lived at the Rapids until the Spring of 1812, when they all left, and, it has been generally supposed, joined the British. Some of the whites who were taken at Hull's surrender and carried to Malden in Upper Canada, state that they saw and knew many of their old neighbors (the Indians) whom they before had often fed when hungry and warmed when cold. In the Spring of 1815, after the war of 1812 was over, four or five Indians returned to their old home at the Rapids, but soon strangely disappeared, and since then no Indians have been seen in Hiram.

The first white man that made any improvements in Hiram was Abraham Honey, who came from Connecticut in the Spring of 1799. He chopped and cleared a few acres of land, and built a cabin in the northeast part of lot No. 32, near a beautiful spring. The second settlement was made by John Fleming, who commenced in the year [1802], on the south corner of lot number 33, just south of where Clark Norton now lives. He cleared a tract of land and raise[d] the first crop, which consisted of corn and potatoes. 1803 was a memorable year for Hiram. The indications were fair for its settlement. Large preparations were being made in Connecticut for immigrating to the New Continent as they called it, and Hiram with its hills and dales completely filled with delight the minds of the Yankees. Among these were Elijah Mason and his two sons, Mason Tilden and Elisha Hutchinson. They started early in the spring for the Reserve to make arrangements preparatory to moving, and hired one by the name of Owen, and his wife to do their cooking and washing. So Mrs. Owen was the first white woman that lived in Hiram. All of their provisions were brought from Warren through the unsettled forest. The population of the township in the winter of 1803 numbered some seven.

In the fall of 1804 Richard Reddin, a man whom Mr. Mason had hired to harvest his wheat, was bitten by a rattlesnake. He immediately sent to the Rapids for an Indian who lived there, to come and cure the bite. He came with his squaw who carried the "bruised medicine," (as it was called,) and applied it to the wound with a favorable result. Being asked the next morning what he thought of his patient, his reply was "Me cure him." It was found afterwards that his "bruised medicine" was indigo weed, and this was used in Hiram for the bite of the rattlesnake ever afterwards. Hiram now reposed for several years mostly in its wilderness state, her tranquility rarely disturbed except now and then by the fall of the coon or bee tree, or the report of the hunter's rifle. The Reddins, as they were called, built their log cabin near a spring where Nelson Raymond now lives. It was soon found that the rattlesnakes were very plentiful in the spring of the year. Accordingly a search was made in every direction for their den. At last it was found in a rocky ledge, about fifty rods from their cabin, nearly opposite from Erastus Young now lives. In the fall of the year the snakes in great numbers repaired to this den for winter quarters. On examination it was found that although they could not get at them to destroy them, they could easily stop them in. This was accordingly done. Yearly, at a proper time, they would run in a pole to see how their prisoners were prospering. Furious rattling was the reply up [to] the fifth year, when it was rather faint, and the sixth year all noise entirely ceased. This did not destroy all of the rattlesnakes. Large dens were found in several different places; hundreds were destroyed yearly. The rattlesnakes have long since disappeared, and no trace of them is left.

Hiram in 1804 had an abundance of game; there were any number of bears, deer and turkeys, and strong inducements were offered the hunter to follow the chase, rather than to clear and cultivate his land. In the spring of 1805, Jacob and Samuel West, two brothers from Pennsylvania, started for what they called the Indian country, to look for land. They came to Hiram and commenced clearing the farm that Erastus Young now owns. In September, 1806, Abraham Dyson, from Pennsylvania, settled in the eastern part. He was the first blacksmith that settled in Hiram. All of the settlers thus far from Pennsylvania came here poor, yet they were honest and honorable citizens. From this time onward the Yankee element prevailed in the settlement of Hiram. The population in 1809 was about twenty. Simeon Babcock and his wife came from Connecticut with a two horse team, in the summer of 1809, and settled near a beautiful spring where Horace Munn now lives. Parley Hughes, Ephraim Hatch [Hacket?], and their families, came from Vermont in the fall of 1810 with their ox teams and settled in Hiram. The population was about thirty.

In 1811 Orrin Pitken and wife came from Vermont to Hiram. Also George Young and family, consisting of his wife and five children; James Young and family, and Seth Cole and family. George and James Young settled in the northern part, and Cole commenced clearing in the southern part of the town. James Young was a tailor, and Cole a cooper by trade. At this time there was a tailor, a blacksmith, and a cooper in the township, but they could not obtain steady employment as tradesmen; and a large portion of their time was devoted to working their lands. The population now was slowly on the increase. In the fall of 1811 it numbered fifty-eight. 1812 was a great fruit year in the line of hickory nuts and chestnuts. Babcock being quite fond of climbing, would climb the trees and shake the nuts off, for his wife to pick up. About this time Babcock employed Jas. Young to cut a coat for him. His wife having made the garment, upon trying it on, he was obliged to hold his arms over his head. Babcock was greatly disappointed, for new coats were very scarce in Hiram at the this time. He went to Young to see what was the matter. Young very gravely examined the coat, and then told him that his wife had made the coat so it would be convenient to climb trees in, that when the chestnut season was over if she would rip out the sleeves and sew them the other side up it would come round all right. Babcock went away a happier and wiser man. In the fall of 1812 Thomas Young came from Connecticut to Hiram.

The population of 1812 was the same as 1811. 1812 was the year when war began; and when Hull surrendered there was great excitement in Hiram.

Several of the inhabitants hid their farming tools in the woods, and turned their stock into fields containing their grain, and were for leaving the country, when orders came for all the Militia to muster at Ravenna; but no danger appearing they were dismissed, the Indian whoop which they heard proved to be only the howling of wolves.

The population in the fall of 1813 numbered sixty-four. On the 6th of January, 1814, Symonds Ryder came to Hiram on horseback from Hartford, Vermont, and bought one hundred and fifteen acres of land of Jas. Young, preparatory to the moving of his family, which came the following year. Being short of funds, he boarded with Orin Pitkin, and gave him two days work out of each week for his board, and worked the remaining four days for himself. One day, in looking about his land to see what he had bought, he saw the rattle weeds shaking directly before him, and advancing, behind to his dismay a huge bear with three cubs. The cubs immediately ran up a tree, but the bear arose on her hind feet and gave an inquiring snuff. Ryder immediately retreated, and such was the celerity of his movements that he lost his balance and fell among the rattle weeds. But not stopping to resume his former position he scrambled away in hot haste. On looking back he saw Bruin occupying the same perpendicular position. He immediately summoned the neighbors and began a search for the bear and cubs. The cubs were still in the tree and were soon brought down. Being fat they were distributed among the neighbors. No trace of the bear however could be found. It is said that the deer were so tame at this time that as the men were at work they would come and eat the leaves of the trees that they were chopping, and after eating their fill, quietly move away. In the fall of 1814 the population numbered sixty-five. In 1815 it was seventy. In 1816 it could not number more than thirteen permanent settlements and about eighty in population. The average price for land was about three dollars per acre, although some could be bought for two. In 1817 the population increased more rapidly, numbering at its close one hundred and twenty.

The first public improvements that were made were the clearing of roads. In 1827 the Legislature appointed commissioners to lay out what was then called a turnpike from Warren to Aurora, now known as the "State rode." Other roads in the township were laid out and opened as they were needed.The citizens of Hiram have been quite enterprising in the line of good roads. The first public building, a log school house, was erected in the fall of 1816. It was built about half a mile south of the center on what was then called the "Poplar Ridge." The township made but one district. But in 1818 the district was divided into two, the "South Road" district and the Center district. Each built a log school-house. These were used for meetings of various kinds, and answered all the purposes of public buildings.

The first school in Hiram was taught by Benjamin Hinckley, in the "Poplar Ridge" district. It commenced Dec. 13th, 1813; ended Feb. 22d, 1814, having continued ten weeks. The scholars were twenty in number, and the wages paid were twelve dollars per month. Common schools have continued regular in the township at proper seasons from that time to the present. The first religious meetings were held in 1812, at the house of George Young. But the first regular Lord's day meetings were conducted by the Methodists in the summer of 1818, at the "Popular Ridge" school-house. In 1820 Mr. Bigelow, a Universalist, preached one-fourth of the time, or twelve Sundays. No arrangement was made relative to compensation for his labor, but when his time expired he demanded five dollars a Sunday. This taught the Hiramites a lesson which was not soon forgotten. The above circumstance, together with Bigelow's meddling disposition in the affairs of others, was a death blow to Universalism in Hiram.

The first store was opened by John D. Hazen near Garrettsville.

The first saw mill was built in 1808 at the Rapid, by Punderson.

The first blacksmith shop was opened in 1806 by Abraham Dyson.

The first cooper shop was opened by Seth Cole in 1812.

The first tailor shop was opened by James Young in 1812.

The first tanner and shoemaker was Elisha Taylor, who commenced in 1818. Before the opening of these shops the settlers got their work done in Mantua or Nelson, or else did it themselves as best they could.

The first post office was opened at the Center of Hiram in 1816. Thomas Young, the first postmaster, held his office from the time of appointment to the day of his death, a period of 36 years.

The Western Reserve Chronicle published at Warren was the only paper that circulated at an early day in Hiram.

I have only designed to give a cursory sketch of the pioneer days of Hiram. A proper regard for the length of this article prevents me from presenting a detailed account of the vast improvements and changes that have taken place within the last half century. The steady growth of the village, the founding of the Eclectic Institute (now Hiram College); the conspicuous parts played by the religious elements, Spiritualism and Mormonism and other facts of interest are within the memory of most of the citizens now living.

Note 1: Susan Easton Black ascribes the author's historical monographs to as early a period as 1846. Charles H. Ryder (1853-1883) was the grandson of Symonds Ryder of Hiram. His writings on Hiram, Portage Co., etc. (preserved at Hiram College and at the Portage Co. Historical Society) are typically mis-dated. The manuscript for his "Early Settlement of Hiram" appears to have been Charles' revamping of an 1864 compilation of his grandfather's, edited by Charles as a hoperful submission to L.H. Everts' 1874 Combination Atlas Map of Portage County, Ohio. Some biographical pieces written by Charles' father, Hartwell Ryder, were accepted for publication in that volume. In 1950 Mary B. Treudley characterized the manuscript as recording "the settlement of Hiram as Symonds and Hartwell Ryder remembered it." Treudley reproduces lengthy excerpts from Charles' history. One segment of this 1864/1874 compilation saw publication during the life of Symonds Ryder, in the form of an 1868 "letter" presented with his name subscribed, in A. S. Hayden's 1875 volume.

Note 2: See also Charles' 1877 article, "A Hill of Zion," which parallels the text of his father's five-page manuscript in the Archives of Hiram College, entitled "Short History of the Foundation of the Mormon Church, Based on Personal Memories and Facts Collected by Hartwell Ryder..." (one version of which is on file in box 247 of the H. Michael Marquardt Papers, at the University of Utah's Marriott Library). For a similar manuscript history in the Hiram College Archives, see James Abram Garfield's 1934, 38-page document, "An Episode in the Thirties," preserved in the (Mildred Bennett Memorial Collection, box 3-c1, fd. 3).

Note 3: The 1874 published version of Charles H. Ryder's history, presented above, has also been transcribed to include the page numbers and some short excerpts from his rough draft manuscript. The Cleveland Plain Dealer of Nov. 22, 1854 and the Cleveland Daily Herald of May 17, 1859 also published interesting reports on early Mormon activities at Hiram.


Vol. XXXV.                                 Cincinnati, Thursday, October 8, 1874.                                 No. 26.


(Correspondence of the Cincinnati Commercial.)

Expected Death of Brigham Young -- Who
Will Succeed Him? -- Possible Changes.

Salt lake City, October 2, 1874.    
For several days the city has been agitated by reports of the dangerous illness of Brogham Young,and this morning the impression is general among Saints and Gentiles that the old man is on his death bed....

This noted adventurer is now seventy three years old, having been born June 1, 1801, in Windham County, Vermont... Brigham was converted to Mormonism by Samuel H. Smith, brother of Joeph,and baptized soon after by Eleazer Miller, "gathering" at once to Kirtland. When the elders were "sent forth by two and two to preach," he soon earned the title of "hard working Brigham Young." The ecclesiatical policy of the Church was then in the formative state. There was only the First Presidency, consisting of the Prophet and brother Hyrum, with Sidney Rigdon -- all under that were simply elders. Apostles were ordered just as they happened to be needed. But after the flight into Clay County, Missouri, Joseph Smith reorganized the entire quorum, amking the oldest apostle President of the Twelve. The first four stood thus, Orson Hyde, Thomas B. Marsh, David Patton, Brigham Young. Then came the was of 1838. Patton, whose "Danite" name was "Captain Fearnotm" was killed at the battle of Crooked Creek, Hyde and Marsh apostatized and revealed the "Danite" organization and Brigham Young, who owns himself a coward, fled to Quincy, Illinois. When they reorganized at Nauvoo the next year Brigham became President of the Twelve by seniority. Orson Hyde came back in sackcloth and ashes, and was sent on a mission to Palestine as a penance. He was then restored to the quorum, but to take rank below Brigham....

The death of the two Smiths in Carthage jail again brought Brigham to the front. But one member of the Forst Presidency was alive -- Sidney Rigdon, and he naturally expected to cicceed. But he overdid the thing completely; dreams and visions followed each other so rapidly that the Saints were bewildered. Not only, he claimed, had the mantle of the dead prophet fallen on him, but the latter had appeared coursing the air on a great white horse to lead the Saints to victory; under Rigdon's Presidency he would convert the whole world, and the Lord would destroy all Americans who resisted the truth, he would lead the Saints to Palestine and rebuild Jerusalem in a glory that Solomon never knew, then return and set up the "new Zion" in America, "stopping in England by the way to pull the nose of little Vic," (meaning the Queen). He would have done better to omit that threat, as a third or more of the Saints were Britons, and Mormonism had not quite eradicated the sentiments which every decent man feels toward the Queen. Brigham gave Rigdon rope, and he hanged himself. The former cited him before the General Council and after a few flaming speeches he was "cut off" and delivered to Satan. All who had voted for him were then cut off, and it was decided that for the present the government should remain in the Twelve Apostles....   BEADLE.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. 50.                     Cincinnati, Ohio, Tuesday,  December 29, 1874.                     No. 14,816.


Interesting Incidents Connected with the
Preparation of Joe Smith's Bible.


As Related by an Old Cincinnatian.

A reporter of the Times, when a boy, was an attentive listener to his mother's Bible stories about the patriarchs. He always wanted to see a patriarch, or see some person who had seen one, and no words can tell his vexation on learning that the day had gone by, that Daniel and his lions were all dead; and that even old John Robinson, who had been in the lion business for nearly two score years and ten, could give no satisfactory information in regard to old lions or patriarchs. This desire, which hungered so in boyhood, has not altogether left him, and on learning something of the Mohammed of Palmyra, he felt a desire to find Joe Smith, or some person who had acquired the grandeur of his acquaintance.

The other day our reporter learned the whereabouts of one, who knew all about Joe's vagabondish boyhood, his first Mormon trickery, handled the Golden Bible before it was printed, slept with Cowdery, the witness, joked old Harris, another witness, and in after years bearded the Utah Lion in his den. It was only a little jaunt from the city of a half hour or less to the old gentleman's home, so last Saturday thither went the Times representative for a Sunday's cosy interview about Joe, the Saint, and his doings within the lines of modern Palmyra more than 44 years ago. When he reached his destination and received a comfortably assuring welcome from the host, reportorial interest amounted to a very respectful and reverential admiration!

Here was before him a competent witness, and he was determined to make good use of the opportunity. His call was expected, and after an exchange of morning civilities, he was made to feel at home, and taking the proffered chair by a cosy fire, began at once to enjoy the satisfying of those desires to which he has alluded.

The reporter will give in his own language, except when otherwise denoted by proper marks, the account of an early Mormon seance, which his informant attended in the summer of 1829. It may be in place here, to say that the old gentleman from whom the facts were obtained, is now at the age of sixty-five, hale and hearty, in the enjoyment of that vigorous mental health, which manifests itself in conversation by sharp perception, accurate observation, unclouded memory and almost infallible judgment. More serious conversation had for a moment given place to a "joke," which both laughed over -- and which is thought too good to be lost, as it affords an opportunity of touching some things which have not yet found their way into the sacred history of the Saints. Grandin, the printer, having failed to keep Martin Harris from mortgaging his farm to print such a hoax as the Mormon manuscript, had commenced the work, under protest, and a few sheets were being struck, from day to day, under the personal supervision of Joe Smith, Harris, Cowdery, and perhaps another.

According to "Divine command," the manuscript was to be brought to the printer "at the rising of the sun and taken away at the going down thereof," and, on the evening referred to, the parties named took the sheets from the printer, rolled up their manuscript, and started for Joe's residence, a mile or so out of Palmyra. A young man, who appeared to take some interest in the matter, was invited to go along and hear "the Faith now being delivered to the Saints." In speaking to this young man, Editor Pomeroy Tucker called him "Steve," from which we may infer that his Christian name was Stephen ____, well, never mind the last name. Let this suffice, "Steve" was the editor's particular friend; he was about twenty, was recently from Cincinnati, where he had been fitted up in a suit of Platt Evans' best, wore a cane, topped out with a fancy "Ottar" hat, and sported a magnificent frilled shirt. Pretty good looking to begin with, Steve had only to cover the affections of his ardent bosom with that ruffled dickey and be what he was, "an irresistible dash." The party left Grandin's office, and started down the lane leading to the log cabins where the Prophet resided.

"Joe" was about twenty-two; long, lank, limber, fair complexion, light hair, his face rather cadaverous, and pitted like a pig-skin. He was dressed indifferently -- poor hat, torn pants, and unpresentable shirt. With the manuscript in hand, "he streaked ahead," said Steve, "like a gangle-heeled, hemlock Yankee."

Harris had on a good suit of clothes, and "fell in line" behind "the Lord's chosen, Joseph." Harris was the only pioneer Mormon who had any money, and Joe loved him ardently, till his money was gone, when he went back on him. His name appears on the title page of the Mormon Bible, as one of the three witnesses.

After Harris came Cowdery, the old pedagogue, Joe's scribe, a strong support to the cause. He was a first-class Mormon, one of the three witnesses, and died in the faith -- drunk.

True, he was turned out of the church in Missouri, for lying, counterfeiting and saying naughty things about the Lord's Anointed -- "Joe," but these are mere peccadilloes in Mormon character now, and are not given as bearing this way or that. Old man Smith, Joe's father, came next, darrying a huge jug -- of vinegar.

The Smiths were fond of vinegar; and that it might be carefully toted, he was put in charge. Steve had no taste for vinegar, but kept close to the old man only to enjoy the "guggle" of the vinegar, which produced a music in his emotions that was altogether indescribable. "This was," says Steve, "a party for a painter, and one of the most excruciating of all the ludicrous affairs of my life."

A prophet in lead, a jug of vinegar in the middle, and a wag Chesterfield at the rear, smothering almost with laughter suppressed behind a flaring shirt frill that required a tip-toe effort to spit over! On reaching the cabin, supper, consisting of raspberries, brown bread and milk, was served up by Joe's big sisters. Steve, who didn't propose to make observations on feminine graces, even when a live prophet was on hand, noticed that "they were barefooted" and that those bare feet were anything but "daintily small."

The girls being well acquainted with the saint business, including the manufacture of Bibles, paid little attention to anything other than supper, one of them being particular to see that Steve had the "new pewter spoon." The other sister was the one, as appears from Pomeroy Tucker's story, upon whom Harris wasted considerable "adoration," in a religious way, believing as Tucker says, that she was to be the Mary of the coming Dispensation, who, in the matter of an immaculate conception, should astonish the Gentiles of Palmyra; but, unfortunately, for Harris, the child proved to be a female, which quite collapsed Harris, for a while, and gave rise to wicked scoffings among the unregenerated of the neighborhood. After supper all turned to the satisfying of those cravings concerned in spiritual cupboards.

Those who afterwards knew Joseph at the Nauvoo Mansion will bear witness that he was not more susceptable to the charms of a pretty woman than to the sight of a biscuit or the flavor of a fried clam.

Joe knew that the best way to touch a man's heart is by way of his stomach, hence the supper is a preparatory. Joe took a back seat; Cowdery took his place at the table, whereupon was placed a tallow candle. Harris, whose emotions were hung on quick triggers, took a reverential attitude, and got a good ready to let off, "Oh Lord, oh, oh -- oh, blessed Nephi, etc." Joe was seemingly wrapped up in the devotional mysteries, occasionally contributing to Cowdery's reading a foot note critical or explanatory. The rest were seated around at pleasure, old Mrs. Smith taking a seat on a three-legged stool, near the stove. Taking out her pipe she proceeded to light the same and puff the house full of smoke, adding a mystic halo to the rhetorical choloroform of Cowdery's reading.

At the periods, she would balance her tongue in the middle, and gabble away about revelations, saints, dreams, &c. -- the veriest compound of nonsense and superstition, her appearance and deportment recalling Scott's Meg Merrilies, and entitling her to first artistic honors in the coming role of "Granny the Witch."

The reading was continued till 11 o'clock, when all turned in -- to bed. As Steve was a possible convert, he was entitled to some consideration, and was put to bed with Cowdery, who, of all the rest had the cleanest shirt on. In a few moments all were soundly asleep, except Steve, whose risibles had been so played upon by the serio-ludicrous of the evening, that sleep went from him.

This thing of lying awake at nights is a waste fo time. So thought the Smith fleas, and they determined to cultivate the acquaintance of the man who had the "frilled shirt on." A jumper made the circuit of all the beds, giving the squeak that the fresh man was "where the snore came from." Cowdery's inspirations from the effulgence of the Divine page were mostly convertible into "snore," hence his acquired reputation of Jack Mormon, when not engaged in reading or snoring.

Five or ten thousand fleas came over at once to inquire for Steve; every one that lit on Cowdery sloped on the first snore; as the snoring continued the fleas kept on coming. Steve tried to wake Cowdery by putting his elbows into his rib spaces, but Cowdery couldn't be waked; and as for the fleas, he cared not a whit -- his soul was away hob-nobbing with Nephi, Lemuel and Sam.

As to the fleas, the frisky ones started a cotillion under Steve's bosom ruffles; others, intent on business, divided up into twelves, seventies and quorums, while the rapscallions organized a Danite Band. Blood was the watch-word; and, till daylight, the merciless marauders pursued their bloody recreations. Cowdery slep the sleep of a saint, and, as Steve says, "snored a sepulchral blast, which sounded through the house like the wheeze of whooping-cough or a wood-pecker's requiem on a hollow beech!"

Morning came, but what words can tell the feelings of that distressed Gentile on beholding that shirt frill. Hereon the fleas had assembled previous to saying good-bye; their weapons were yet dripping with blood, and every time they grounded arms, each one made a red spot on that shirt bosom, and the stragglers coming up late, fatigued with overwork on the extremities, straggled on after the retreating column, scrawling with bedraggled legs a farewell complimentary, in characters that bore a wonderful resemblance to Joseph's "learning of the Jews in the language of the reformed Egyptian."

At breakfast, Mrs. Smith opened the conversation with a dream; and, for half an hour, it would have required a lightning stenographer to take down the superstitious gabbling that slid from her tongue like water from a duck's back.

Turning to Steve she, at last, said: "Did you not dream last night?"

"Yes," said Steve, "but it don't come to me just now."

For the benefit of Harris, Steve's dream was related after the meal was concluded.

The parties are here dismissed, on their way to Palmyra, with more manuscript for Grandin's printers. Fact and fiction are easily separated, and the facts herein set forth are supported by the testimony of competent living witnesses.

Note 1: See the April 23, 1911 issue of the Indianapolis Sunday Star for the content of Gov. Harding's made-up dream. Much of this story was also was also published in Thomas Gregg's 1890 book, The Prophet of Palmyra. The 1890 version is significantly longer and more detailed, but covers the same time period and the same major events. It does not, however, relate the details of Harding's fabricated "dream."

Note 2: The Smith "girl" who was supposed "to be the Mary of the coming Dispensation," was evidently Catherine (or Katherine) Smith. Her premarital pregnancy would not occur until several months after Harding's visit. Some early accounts name the Rev. Sidney Rigdon of Mentor, Ohio as being the hopeful (?) father. See notes appended to an article in the May 17, 1831 issue of the Painesville, Ohio Geauga Gazette for more details on the Joseph Smith, Sr. household reportedly functioning as "a perfect brothel."

Note 3: Governor Harding's description of Joseph Smith, Jr., appears to indicate that the young man had once been the victim of small pox, or some other disfiguring disease. Smith's 1844 death mask, however, shows no evidence that he suffered from severe facial scarring.

Note 4: Since Governor Harding makes no mention of sampling the contents of "the old man's" jug, it appears that he took Father Smith's word, that the sloshing liquid was only "vinegar." In that day and age, grocers who filled jugs with vinegar were the same as those who dispensed hard cider into that sort of receptacle.



Vol. XXXI.                         Cleveland, Tuesday, June 1, 1875.                              No. 129.

A Sunday In the Country -- Mentor --
Kirtland -- The Mecca of the Mormons.


To avoid, for once in many years, the monotonous inanities of a desolate and dreary Sunday incident to the life of the undomesticated Clevelander, I made on Saturday a pilgrimage to the richest and loveliest farming town in Northern Ohio. Taking the Lake Shore train East about half past four In the afternoon, without any very definite idea of where I should go, or where I should get off, I gave the go-by to such well-known and pleasant stations as Glenville, Colamer, Euclid and Willoughby, and might have gone on to the old Giddings District had not the genial conductor, about three miles this side of Painesville, opened the door and shouted "Helsley!" at which every brakeman on the train echoed the same Shilboleth, and indicated to me, by a very significant Iook and gesture, that it was his intention to let me off, which he did at a cosy little station bearing the name of a well-known citizen of Cleveland and one ot the most well-to-do and horny-handed farmers in the peaceful and beautiful town of Mentor. Finding myself standing on a platform without any political planks in it, being built by the joint labors of the gentleman whose name the station bears and his neighbors, having no hand book to instruct me which was the best hotel, I sought shelter at the hospitable home of the sturdy farmer whose name was, as I supposed, the only one I knew in the town which I had then entered for the first time in my life. I found the latch string on the outside and the master of a substantial brick mansion, embowered among stately pines, sycamores and locusts, and the lord of a hundred and twenty-five acres unsurpassed for quality of soil and unmatched for the beauty of its undulations, clear streams, scattered trees of elm, butternut and walnut, extensive orchards and a twenty acre park of primeval forest trees -- welcomed us with the spirit of a Rhoderick Dhu.
"Come all ye down and with us share
A soldier's couch and a soldier's fare."
Upwards of fifty acres of the Helsley farm is covered with wheat, rye, oats, corn and potatoes, all remarkably advanced and flourishing for the season. Two span of horses, a large flock of sheep with lambs, and a herd of sixteen choice bred heifers, together with "Bismark" the bull, Prince of New Jersey, constitute the elements from which the enterprising proprietor is destined to win fame and fortune as the breeder of "noble bloods."

Other Cleveland gentlemen have spied out the beauty of the homes and the fatness of the Mentor farms. G. F. Lewis, George H. Kidney and others have lately purchased very rich looking places. While all the highways, byways, and cross streets in the wonderful farming town seem to show equally fine farms and tasteful homes, yet the main avenue through the town, from east to west, more especially reminds one of a continuation of our own Euclid avenue. This avenue is a sort of continuous village, and the historical interest of the town concentrated along the old turnpIke along which our New England fathers traveled, and by which they settled when from fifty to seventy years ago they came to "The 'Hio."

Before De Witt Clinton and the Erie canal, before canvas was spread to the breeze above Niagara, before Fulton's invention enlivened the waters of Lake Erie with floating palaces and the harbors of the lakes were allve with screw propellers and sidewheel steamers, the yellow coach of four and six sped along this old highway, and the crack of the coachman's whip and the blast from his bugle awakened more echoes and more women and children to enthusiasm and delight, than the scream of the whistle and the thunderous roll of the fiery giant that today plunges along the railway a few rods distant from the ancient thoroughfare.

Here the old veterans lived that voted for Adams and Jefferson and Madison, heard the thunder of Perry's guns, and rejoiced in the results of the War of 1812. Boys born on this fine old street found graves at Monterey, Vera Cruz and Chapultepec in 1846, and scores of them lie in unrecognized but honored graves from the Beautiful river to the sea, slain to save their country.

Here too In 1835, the zealous and fiery Grandison Newell organized his platoon of kindred spirits, and upon the threshold of a Christian church stoned Orson [sic] Pratt, the disciple of the prophet of Mormon and priest of the church of Latter Day Saints, of Kirtland. Here Joseph, whose surname was Smith, and Hiram, his brother, were wont to be seen, and the scrip and shinplasters, wild-cat and red-dog -- the greenbacks of the First Holy National Bank of Mormon -- were wont to circulate, under misgivings and protests, till the fulness of time, when all mismanaged banks, sacred and profane alike, must burst.

We spoke with at least two elderly gentlemen who were present, and, perhaps who held the garments of those who stoned the prophets of Mormon with second hand eggs. But ideas, faith -- wise or foollsh -- will not down at stone or eggs. Pharaoh's charlot lies in the Red Sea, The dens of the wild beasts are choked up and the arches of the colliseum have crumbled, but the church still Uvea. The platoon of Mentor egg sharpshooters are mostly in their graves, but the Mormons are a nation unto themselves, and successfully defy the government and laws of the United States.

Being only four miles from the first temple of the Latter Day Saints, I could not forego the convenient opportunity to visit the Kirtland temple. So about four o'clock Sunday the handsome bays were harnessed and in half an hour we had glided over the smooth hill roads to one of the most romantic villages I have ever seen in Ohio. If I do not accept the philosophy or cherish the faith of the Latter Day Saints, I certainly admire the good taste in the selection of the site of their great temple. The building itself is very large but by no means handsome. It seems to be an architectural cross between an old Connecticut Presbyterian meeting house and a Rhode Island cotton factory. It stands upon a high bluff on the west bank of a branch of the Chagrin river, facing the rising sun. It overlooks other lessor mounts and deep valleys, like those around Jerusalem. The principal one, lylng to the east, is as delightful as the vale of Avoca, where the bright waters meet. It is the valley of Jehosaphat to the modern temple builders, and the beautiful stream that meanders through its fine meadows is to this valley what the sweet gliding Kidron is in the legends of the dark-eyed and scattered children of Judah.

The shades of a lovely evening were approaching, the "lowing herd were winding o'er the lea" and drowsy tinklings luIIed the distant fold, and we took our departure from this serene and quiet place.

The good people of Kirtland, whose hearts are cheered and gladdened by a dearer and more ancient faith should, nevertheless, cherish this old temple as a landmark in the processions of the generations. Preserve it. Utilize it as a town house, and three thousand years hence when the English language shall be laid beside the Latin, Greek and Sanscrit as dead, learned professors and enthusiastic students will come to the ruins of the temple of Mormon to try to divine something of the old faith and to decipher and translate the legend and inscription upon the tablet above its portals.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXVIII.                         Cleveland, Friday, July 23, 1875.                              No. 172.


Incidents of the Early Days in Kirtland.

It was my privilege, recently, to have an interview with the venerable Obed W. Call, of Painsville. Mr. Call was one of the earliest settlers of Kirtland and although he has reached the advanced age of four score years his memory is still fresh in regard to his early manhood. I will try to recall some of the interesting things he told me.

Mr. Call insists that upon his arrival in town he was the richest man in the vicinity. He had two cents! These he lent many times to place upon dead peoples' eyes, so scarce was anything in the shape of specie.

The best coat made the teacher; and, accordingly, Mr. C. had a very good one upon his back on his arrival, they insisted upon his teaching. He accordingly undertook the school, to be paid at the rate of sixteen bushels of wheat per month. There had been one teacher in town before him, a man by the name of Jones.

Wheat was the circulating medium at that time; not only used for paying teachers, but for every other purpose for which money is brought into requisition. The price was never stated in money even. It was simply three pecks of wheat, or one and a half bushels of corn in the ear; equals a day's work. The day's work or the corn either might be considered the money. Whisky and black salts would bring money by taking them, at a little later period, to Pittsburgh. This was often done. The journey to and from market in this case occupied two or three weeks.

Rattlesnakes were very numerous here as elsewhere, at that time, and several persons were bitten. Finally a work of extermination was waged against them and over thirty-two were killed in one day.

One year a very remarkable pest came upon the husbandman. It was nothing other than an innumerable multitude of squirrels. They seemed likely to devour everything. They were seen upon every fence, in every tree, and, as with everything else, so with them. Numbers made them audacious so that they were by no means respecters of persons, times, or places. The people, fearing their crops would be entirely destroyed, turned out in force, on a day appointed, and proceeded to slaughter their oppressors. In the small district where Mr. C. resided, over seven hundred were killed and the crops spared.

The bounty, paid by the county at this time for wolf skins was twelve dollars. A considerable sum when we recollect that scarcely anything else would bring money at all. One of Mr. C.'s neighbors, becoming exasperated by the frequent visits of the wolves to his sheep fold, decided one night after he had been called up to drIve them away, that he would start immediately, and not come home until he had destroyed the cause of his trouble. He was certain there were at least three that were troubling him and he determined, if possible, to get them all. So he called up his wife and told her to fry him a supply of doughnuts and with these and his wife he proceeded, at about three o'clock, A. M., in pursuit of the marauders. He followed them for several days having passed in a semi-circle out beyond where Cleveland now is, and coming back by the south he at length obtained a shot which stopped one of the three. The next day he shot a second, but the third escaped him. The reward for the ears made the undertaking a paying venture, not mentioning the convenience and profit of having his fold free from robbers at night.

Mr. C. had a brother living in Kirtland at this time who was a famous wrestler. So remarkable were his feats of skill and strength that his fame reached Vermont. From that distant State came a man on purpose to match his skill against that of Mr. Call. He had inquired his way along until he supposed he must be nearly to the place where the object of his desires lived. Seeing a man at work in a corn field, near the road, he stopped, and, waiting till the man came up to the fence, inquired where Mr. Call lived. The man in the corn field, who was no other than Mr. C. himself, asked what was wanted. The other then related how he had come all the way from Vermont to test his skill and strength in wrestling. Mr. Call told him that the man he was in search of was no very formidable antagonist and that there was one peculiar "lock" which, if mastered, he would have no difficulty in being successful in the struggle. "I will show you this "lock," said Mr. C.; "if you will get over the fence, for I have often seen it used." The Vermonter, mistrusting nothing, very willingly climbed the fence. They grappled and the next half minute saw him, not only upon his back, but lying upon the other side on the fence. Mr. C. immediately resumed his work and the other concluded to go on farther west and look for a suitable place to settle in.

Some years after Mr. Call's arrival in Ohio a tragedy occurred in Kirtland, which, although it stamped itself upon the memory of all the people of that time, and has been transmitted, in an oral tradition to their children, has never been, so far as I can learn, written out. It was, briefly, as follows.

Isaac Russell, whose wife was sick, sent his little daughter Sally, about twelve years old, to the house of a neighbor, a Mr. Gore, to obtain some herbs to be used as medicine. The journey lay through a piece of woods; but the little girl was well acquainted with the route and hastened on her way. She arrived at Gore's all right, did her errand, and started to return. It had now become nearly dark and her girlish fears were somewhat aroused, but as a peddler's wagon had just gone along the wood, she hastened on to overtake it, and passed in its company into the forest. As the dusk passed into evening and the evening into night and their girl did not return, the people at home from feeling provoked and perplexed at her tardiness began to he exceedingly alarmed. Mr. Russell, at length, decided to leave his sick wife and go over to Gore's to ascertain the cause of his daughter's protracted absence. The alarm of the father can better be imagined than described when he ascertained that Sally had started for home before dark. He thought of his child lost in the woods and his apprehensions conjured up all manner of terrible situations into which she might be driven by the wild beasts that infested the woods at night, Still many difficulties were suggested to all these solutions. Sally was well acquainted with the route It was a well defined road, too, and the night was not a remarkably dark one. But certain it was she was neither at home nor at Gore's and he had just passed over the direct path between the two points and had not found her. She must, therefore, have deviated, in some way, upon her return. Mr. Gore and others of the neighbors volunteered to search with the father; and the remainder of the night was thus spent. The next day, the alarm having spread a large and well organized search was instituted. It was agreed that, when the object of their search was found, guns should be fired, but under no other consideration. It was well into the afternoon of the succeeding day before the signal gun was heard. Mr. Call was only a short distance off when it was fired and was upon the spot in less than five minutes. She was found dead, lying beside a large tree that had been thrown down, partially covered with Ieaves, with the indications of strangulation by human hands plainly visible in the black marks around her neck. It was otherwise evident that a terrible crime had been committed upon her person which the perpetrator had attempted to cover by committing a greater one. The [soulful] anguish of the father and the sick mother when the full truth of the case was conveyed to their senses can never even be imagined. We must ourselves pass through a calamity nearly so terrible in order to be brought to a standpoint where we can at all appreciate it. Of course a strong suspicion immediately fastened upon the peddler Barnes, in whose company she was last seen. He was arrested and tried, but, although everyone acquainted with the circumstances was convinced that he was guilty, through a legal technicality, on account of the want of direct evidence, he escaped paying the penalty of the crime. He only lived a few years longer, however, and in his last moments confessed his guilt, saying it had so weighed upon his soul as to cause his death.

Mr. Call has a vivid remembrance of the rise of Mormondom, and related very many interesting things in regard to this great delusion. When they first arrived in 1832, they appeared very "meek and lowly in spirit," but as their numbers increased, and, their temple and other buildings approached completion, they began to assume a more audacious bearing. They carried out the idea that they were destined to possess the whole land, that they were in short the chosen people of God and had a "divine right" to this portion of Northern Ohio; just as the Israelites had to Canaan. As their resources and influence increased and they found it necessary, or convenient to obtain more land, they carried out their plans by making it exceedingly uncomfortable for the Gentiles to live in their midst. They held it was no sin to steal from the Gentiles for that which was taken passed from the hands of the infidels into the treasury of the Lord. Thus people who were not disposed to fall in with their belief were usually glad to sell their lands for what their oppressors were willing to pay. Mr. Call was in the midst of the Mormon settlement; and as his farm pleased him he did not propose to be coerced into selling it or giving it away. He plainly told them that if he found them stealing from him or had suspicion of the same he should make it exceedingly uncomfortable for them, and, as is frequently the case in similar instances, pluck was much better than submission. They soon came to let him alone, not however, until they were satisfied they could not convert him. They endeavored to install their doctrines by preaching to, him at his own fireside. But invariably, so soon as the subject was broached, the exponents were shown the door and very effective arguments administered to convince them that it was best to leave the premises. When they departed in 1837 Mr. C. still had his farm, never having left it.

It has often been deemed a great wonder that anything so manifestly an imposture as Mormonism is upon its very face to the candid, careful observer, could have ever found so many and so trusting adherents as it did, in so short a time after it was first promulgated. In order to at all understand the wonderful power which it had over those people, and how it obtained this power it is necessary to bear in mind some things that are usually overlooked now, but which were very manifest at that time.

Concerning Sidney Rigdon and his relation to the great delusion[s] that have always existed among different classes of people, [there are] very divergent opinions. Some consider him the real founder of the sect; and a book has been written, and was published in 1840 at Painesville, in which it was attempted to prove that Rigdon obtained the principal part of the Mormon bible from a curious manuscript that had been written years before by a man by the name of Solomon Spalding, and placed in the hands of a Pittsburg firm for publication. This firm failed before the manuscript was brought out and Rigdon was known to have had access to their papers and was supposed thus to have obtained the manuscript, which he altered to his own notion, and intrusted to Joseph Smith to be brought to light in the pseudo·marvelous manner so well known to the public. Rigdon then lay back, according to this theory, until the fullness of time had come when he pretended to be converted to the new doctrine.

Others suppose that he was deluded, like the common herd that professed the belief, and cite his final renunciation and disgust with it all as a proof of their opinion. Which of these opinions is true makes but very little difference with what I am about to say. I have only been careful to mention them as interesting bits of history, and at the same time to prepare the way to say that whatever were Rigdon's relations to Mormonism, certain it is that he was the great power that filled up their ranks at starting. He, in many instances, brought over whole communities to the new belief. Some idea of the power he had can be formed from the following incident, which is only one of many similar ones:

It is quite well known that Rigdon was, before his conversion to Mormonism, a very powerful preacher of the denomination, then just becoming known in Northern Ohio, called Disciples of Christ, or Christians. At that time the preachers of this faith were very argumentative and combative in their preaching, believing that they had, discovered new truths in the Word of God. Rigdon was one of the most remarkable of them all in this particular. His sermons bristled with arguments. A short time before his identification with the Ohio Mormons, he came from his home in Mentor on a preaching tour out through Geauga county. At several places he delivered a series of discourses at each place, concluding with a powerful sermon founded upon the words of Paul: "If any man or an angel from heaven preach any other doctrine than that which I have preached unto you let him be accursed." When news came that he had joined himself to this new sect the effect was tremendous. Among others the church at Hampden sent for copies of the new Bible and were promised an early visit from Rigdon for the purpose of expounding the same. But the people [seemed] to be shrewd enough to decipher the fraud and sent a messenger to meet the preacher already on the way and to inform him that his presence was not wanted. When these facts are understood, much of the mystery hovering about the early days of Mormonism is dispelled.

N. B. I shall be glad to hear from any of the old settlers or others who either have additions or corrections to make to what has been written. I take the utmost pains to arrive at the truth in each case, but as a necessity must sometimes fail in the first endeavor. Those who will take the trouble to address me at North Bloomfield, Ohio, will receive my grateful acknowledgements.
                        GEORGE A. ROBERTSON.

Note: Obed Warren Call (1793-1877) moved to Kirtland in 1819-20, from Massachusetts. The 1830 Geauga County census list shows Obed living near Peter French, Lyman Wight and Newel K. Whitney at Kirtland.



Vol. 52.                   Cincinnati, Ohio, Wednesday,  August 17, 1875.                  No. 15,013.

The  Latter-Day  Saints.

To the Editor of the Cincinnati Times:

By your kindness, I wish to put in an obituary notice where it may do the most good -- in the way of those people in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, who are giving credence to the Latter-Day Saint preachers. These missionaries of the Palmyra Gospel glorify Joseph Smith and denounce Brigham Young, indulging the vain hope that a good character may be established for the former by tearing down the latter. Charity is a virtue and liberality in matters of opinion a thing to be commended; but these virtues are not to be allowed at the cost of principle, and, for one, I am not disposed to put off the millennium a thousand years to accommodate a troop of Mormon priests, who substitute the Mormon Bible for the New Testament, and subsist upon the credulous by feeding them on the husks of Palmyra, Kirtland fictions, and the smoke of Nauvoo martyrdom.

The attack on Utah polygamy is a diversion, to prevent people from learning the real character of Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism; and as the day has gone by for Heaven's revelations to be given through men of bad character, I wish to direct the attention of seekers after religion to the men who got up this Mormon fraud. Jos. Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, and Parley P. Pratt, are the originators of this imposition; these were the teachers of Brigham Young, the bosom friends of all the liars, thieves, counterfeiters, adulterers and murderers, who could be accommodated in the synagogue of libertines. Rigdon, the best of the party, was chased away from Nauvoo by Brigham, and the Apostles said amen to it. He had been jailed in Missouri, tarred and feathered in Ohio, and finally "handed over to the buffetings of the devil!"

Rigdon's exposure, in 1844, proved that the church to which he ministered was full of the most graceless scamps the light of Heaven ever shone upon. Cowdery charged Smith with adultery, and Rigdon supporters admitted Joseph's untimely death to have been caused by his own badness. In turn, Smith charged what couldn't be denied, that Cowdery was hale-fellow with liars, thieves and black-legs of the deepest dye; and Parley P. Pratt, author of the "Voice of Warning," after marrying six women was killed for abducting the seventh! This a a pretty quartette of impositions; but these are the stars in the firmament of original Mormonism! Think of Revelations from Heaven coming through such men!

But I do not wish to write up the infamous biographies of those men; a man can scarcely tell what he has learned about them without ruining his own reputation: I only desire to inform the people, who are listening to Mormon preachers, that the case is made out against the quartette of scamps alluded to, and as to the Mormon Bible, that chloroformed compound of Spaulding, Nephi, Robinson Crusoe, Abraham, Isaac and Shakespeare, it has been thoroughly demolished by Elders Hyde and Stenhouse.

If persons desire to be informed as to the wickedness and folly of early Mormonism, they may find a sufficiency in the following works: Brown, Ford, (Histories of Illinois), Turner, Hall, Beadle, Tucker, Smith, Hyde, Rigdon, Stenhouse, and Mackey. Most of these books are scarce and some of them costly, but they contain facts and logic that settle Joseph Smith in "his own place," and they ought to be hunted up and read in every community that is likely to be afflicted with Mormon preachers.

As something additional to the foregoing (as concerns the "Spiritual Wife Doctrine," which the Illinois Mormons are denying), the obituary notice of Emeline Free Young is here given. The notice from the _"Woman's Exponent"_ was sent to me by one who could, if she had the opportunity, strengthen Emeline Free Young's statements as to the origin of "celestial marriage." I hope the Illinois Mormons will spread the appended obituary before their readers.   THOS. M. DILL.


"Enshrined with sweet, sad, tender thought
The dear departed lingers still
In memory; and there is nought
Her absent place can ever fill.

"It becomes our painful duty to record the death of a beloved friend, Mrs. Emeline F. Young, wife of President Brigham Young. This estimable lady departed this life after a lingering and painful illness (having been for many years previous an invalid) Saturday morning, July 17th, 1875. She was the mother of ten children, all now living, except one. To them, and to all her relatives and friends, to whom she was more than ordinarily endeared by many attractive graces and beauty of character and mind, we extend our heartfelt sympathies; and more especially to the younger children, whose tender years still require the ever ready and watchful care and solicitude of a mother. May the good angels watch over them every hour, and preserve them in purity, and may the memory of their mother be ever fresh in their youthful hearts, and her wise and judicious counsels never be forgotten. During her illness, she repeatedly exhorted her children to listen to the instruction and counsel of their father, and never, under any circumstance or upon any consideration, disobey him. She also strictly enjoined upon them all, never to speak against the principle of Celestial Marriage, which she had obeyed in her youth, for she knew it to be of God, and bore a solemn testimony to them of its purity and truth.

"Emeline was born at Fayettesville, St. Clair County, Illinois, April 28, 1826. Her parents embraced the Gospel when she was a little child, and she was reared in an atmosphere of Gospel light. She was baptized at an early age, and with her parents emigrated to Far West, Missouri, when the Saints gathered to that place, and shared in the persecutions which were heaped upon the Saints at that time: her parents were driven out without shelter, compelled to abandon their home and leave the State. They crossed the river and settled in Belleville, Illinois, from which place they went to Nauvoo to the general gathering of the Saints. There she became acquainted with the then new revelation upon Celestial Marriage; and at a time when a stigma was cast upon all who stepped forward to aid in bringing forth this holy order of matrimony, when they were condemned and esteemed as outcasts, even among the Saints of latter-days, she was one to lay all she held dear upon the altar of her faith, and in the innocence of her heart, sacrifice all worldly considerations, to secure for herself an everlasting exaltation, in the same purity of feeling and earnestness to do the will of God, with which she went down into the waters of baptism. She believed as other chaste and virtuous women did, that it was ordained of God, for the eventual restoration of true purity and elevation of character. When the saints were driven from Nauvoo in the dead of winter, she, with those who then made their exit, crossed the Mississippi River on the ice, to face a barren wilderness at that inclement season of the year. During the sojourn of the Saints at Winter Quarters, in the absence of her husband with the pioneers, her eldest child was born. She came to this valley in 1848, and, in common with others, endured the difficulties incident to settle in a new and uncultivated country. In the year 1872 she visited her relatives in the East, among whom were two elder brothers. She often alluded to the visit during her illness with the most complete satisfaction. She lived and died true to her religion and the principles she had so sincerely espoused, and her memory will live forever in the hearts of those who loved her."

Note 1: Thomas M. Dill (1838-1915) was a minor political figure in Hamilton County, Ohio and seems to have been something of an amateur historian. He began his career as a school teacher and was eventually was elected mayor of Lockland. It is possible that he or somebody he knew was in some way related to Emeline Free Young, but no such family ties have yet been discovered.

Note 2: It appears that Mr. Dill's identification of Rigdon, Pratt, Cowdery and Smith, as "the men who got up" Mormonism was merely his personal deduction and that Dill had no special insight into Mormon origins.



Vol. XXXV.                         Cincinnati, Ohio, Monday  August 30, 1875.                         No. 851.

Death of One of the Authors of
the Mormon Bible.

Martin Harris, of the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints," has just departed life, at Clarkson, Utah, at the advanced age of ninty two years. Mr. Harris first appeared in print in the year 1830, at which time, in company with Oliver Coudery and David Whitmer, he subscribed to the solemn affirmation which appears on the title-page of the Mormon Bible.

Joseph Smith, the Palmyra impostor, having noticed Harris' relish for religious wonders, and his capacity for receiving and retaining all the bosh that folly and knavery could furnish, took it into his head to use Harris in the matter of getting up a new religion. Harris had seen the devil in a dug-way near Palmyra, and his contact with that distinguished personage had so improved his swallowing apparatus that Joe Smith's angels, revelations, golden Bible, sword of Laban, &c., went down in a single gulp. He had been something of a Friend, then a Wesleyan, then a Baptist, afterward a Presbyterian, and, if not halted by the Mormon fraud, he would, in all probability, have gone the round through all existing sectaries. Having advanced fifty dollars and accepted the position of a scribe to Joseph, he found himself fully committed to the "fullness of the Gospel," and earnestly proclaimed whatever foolishness or blasphemy Joe might put into him. Mrs. Harris, knowing her husband's credulity and Smith's trickery, did all she could to stop the expenditure of money, but Smith not only plied Harris with "revelations," but explained the certainty of making a speck out of the publication of the manuscripts. An edition of five thousand would cost, say, $3,000. Joseph had a revelation that the books would sell for $1.25 each, and he went on to assure his victim that there was a chance to clear $3,250. Mrs. Harris objected. Harris explained the gain to be derived from the investment; she railed at his folly, and, getting hold of the manuscript, burned "the more history part" of Lehi. Harris quarreled with and beat her; they separated, and Smith got his Golden Bible printed at the expense of Harris. Any other knave than Joe Smith would have been backed out by the burning of Lehi by Mrs. Harris, but, as Joe told Ingersoll, "he had the fools into it, and he proposed to put it through." So with promises of advancement to Harris, he had a "revelation" that his father (old man Smith) should help sell the Bibles. But the old man was arrested with a basket full of Bibles, and to pay costs he had "to cut" on the Lord's price ($1.25) and sell the lot for eighty cents apiece! This interfered with "prior revelations" given in favor of Harris, and troubles increasing, Smith, Harris, Coudery, and the Whitmers cleared out for Kirtland, Ohio. Here the "Twelve Apostles" were appointed -- Harris being left out; but as he still had some money, a little honesty, and increased capacity for credulous business, Smith smoothed him with new promises and daily revelations. In 1833, the Mormons in Jackson County, Missouri, having excited the wrath of the Jacksonians by their immoralities and fanatical insolence, were ordered out of the State. On learning this, Joe Smith, Harris, and perhaps two hundred others started for Missouri to "redeme Zion." On the way they ran into the cholera; and, notwithstanding Harris was saved, in articulo mortis, by Divine interposition, twenty of the Saints turned their toes to the lilies, in spite of Joseph's "laying on of hands." In Missouri Bishop Partridge succeeded in getting old Harris to advance twelve hundred dollars more to purchase land, on which to establish Zion -- Zion never to be removed! Too many birds of a feather having got together, Joseph found his hands full in trying to settle the difficulties which beset the church without and within. Many of the Saints were whipped, jailed, and shot for bad conduct, and some of the chiefest among the Apostles turned against the Prophet. Coudery and Whitmer, two of the witnesses, were "cut off" for lying, theiving, counterfeiting, &c., and the brethren mooted it openly that Joseph was bad -- real bad. Some of the sisters said so, and Coudery believed it. Coudery with Whitmer were turned over to Satan. Poor Harris, who had helped Joseph to get up the Mormon business, lost three thousand dollars in the Bible investment, and had recently lent the Lord twelve hundred dollars to fix the foundations of Zion, did not escape the troubles which excessive piety had brought upon the brethren. In company with Parish, who had been charged with swindling, Harris was kicked out of the camp of Israel. His earnestness and ignorance had served Joseph to their fullest extent, his money was gone, and he was named among the "negroes with white skins," and the Prophet posted him publicly as a "lackey," one "so far beneath contempt that to notice him would be a sacrifice too great for a gentleman like himself (Smith) to make!"

Packing his valise, he cut sticks for Kirtland, where he lived until 1870, when he went to Utah and ended a miserable life, raving in his last delirium over the Book of Mormon -- witnesses, facts, and fictions of the most deplorable fraud recorded in history. Never was credulity or avarice more useful in a bad way. or knavery more successful than in the lives of Joe Smith and Martin Harris.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. 33.                         Cincinnati, Ohio, Sunday,  November 7, 1875.                         No. 311.

Ann Eliza  vs.  Brigham.

Mrs. Ann Eliza Young, familiarly spoken of as Ann Eliza, ex-consort of Brigham Young, will lecture tomorrow night in Thoms' Hall, under the direction of the Boston Lecture Bureau. As Mrs. Young's divorce and alimony case before the Utah courts has long been a matter of legal vexation, and is now put to the consideration of the Cabinet solons, a brief notice to the aforesaid may not be inappropriate.

As is well known the Mormon fraud was originally projected by Joe Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris, and two or three others, near Palmyra, in Western New York. At first gotten up as a money-making scheme, it was soon turned to account as a religious dispensation by Sidney Rigdon and Parley P. Pratt, two of the most unprincipled adventurers that ever lived upon the credulity of mankind. Rigdon and Pratt invited Smith, Cowdery & Co. to come over to Kirtland, Ohio, where an opportunity to fleece the unsuspecting had already been improved by these two, Messrs. Rigdon and Pratt.

Although the proof is not direct, yet Mr. Tucker, who printed the first Mormon Bible, has produced a sufficency of evidence to show that Rigdon was the originator of the imposition, and Smith, Cowdery, Harris and Pratt, the accomplices to bring the play upon the boards. Public sentiment and the affidavits of near one hundred citizens of Palmyra and Manchester raised the temperature above living conditions for Smith & Company in this State, in the year 1830. Kirtland is in Lake county, and one may search in vain to find a more amusing, long-drawn imposture than the pioneer Mormon knaves practiced upon the people of that town and neighborhood. The real story of Miss Ann Eliza begins at this place (Kirtland), as it was here that her parents met and married. The father (Webb) had been converted in New York, and coming to Ohio fell in with a charming young school-teacher, sixteen years of age, who, under the pious declamation of Brigham Young, experienced a change of heart, became a Mormon, married Mr. Webb, and ultimately became the mother of Ann Eliza. While at Kirtland, Joseph Smith, the Lord's Anointed, had a revelation, which commanded him not to work -- which suited the Prophet amazingly, and he closed on every thing that smacked of labor. He also had a revelation instructing the people to build him a house, and the good Saints built him a house. To accomodate the brethren, just to accomodate them, Joseph and Sidney started a mill, from the funnels of which they took the flour, leaving the chaff to those less dainty than themselves. They also started a church store, in conducting which some misunderstandings occurred that led to the application of tar and feathers to these two worthies. After diverse purifications, they induced the brethren to "cast in" their currency, with which they started a bank, Rigdon being the President, and Joseph the Prophet, Cashier. The bank-notes were beautifully engraved, countersigned by Sidney Rigdon and Joseph Smith, and backed by assurance from Heaven; they went right out, and the good things of the earth, houses, lands, cassimeres and silks, biscuits and honey, came right in -- to Joseph and Sidney. All at once, Jones of Pittsburg, came in with a carpet-sack full of Kirtland bills; whereupon Sidney and Joseph informed Jones that their banking was conducted on Divine principles; they put out their notes and took in whatever they could lay their hands on -- just to accomodate the people. As to Pittsburg notions of exchange and redemption, they knew little, and cared less, and, with a glance at Jones' satchel, informed him that "they didn't redeem!" Immediately thereafter the Bank of Kirtland collapsed; and Joseph and Sidney were, for awhile, necessarily absent. Previously they had let the contract for a "Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," which Temple, the first of Mormon edifices, was duly completed, and is still standing. The building was dedicated with appropriate ceremonies, in which divers wonders, miracles, tongues and gifts of the spirit were indulged particularly the latter. Several of the Apostles got drunk, according to their own account, which, instead of raising them to a higher plane, only led to the exasperation of all the Gentiles and to the apostasy of many of the better sort of the brethren and sisters, Time would fail in giving even a short account of Kirtland Mormonism, its kanvery, foolery and wickedness; apostasy set in. Gentile persecution increased, and, with Joseph in the lead, the Saints cleared out for Independence, Missouri, the Mormon Zion -- "Zion never to be removed" according to one of the Prophet's revelations. Here, as in fact it has been everywhere else, their pious fantastics did not commend the Saints to their neighbors, and, after being invited out of the State, the people of Jackson and other counties put them out. The Lord's geography as to Zion having proved inaccurate, a revised revelation pointed to Nauvoo, Illinois, where the Mormon faithful, among whom were the parents of Ann Eliza "gathered," as the phrase is in the sacred records. In this city Ann Eliza Webb, our own Ann Eliza, was born on the 13th of September, 1844. Previous to this time their pious peculiarities had brought the Saints into many troubles.

Dr. McLellen and Mrs. Smith became accidently cognizant of sundry amorous derelictions on the part of the Prophet. Cowdery told the naughty story and was turned out of the Church on the charge of "lying, counterfeiting, and talking about Joseph;" Rigdon got mad because some brother didn't treat Nancy just right; Brigham Young got into trouble with Martha Brotherton; Joseph, the Prophet, wanted to kiss Mrs. Pratt, which raised a rumpus in the camp of Israel; then Miss Law told what she knew, the Apostles began to; some of the sisters began to cry, in that general melee Joseph and Hyrum Smith were killed June the 27th, 1844. Sidney Rigdon claimed the Prophet's place, but Brigham, being a better looking man, having less principle and more pluck, handed Sidney over to the buffeting of the devil, took the Church reins into his own hands, and led the Saints to Utah.

Under such circumstances, in such company, was Ann Eliza born. Persons who are inclined to speak unkindly of Mrs. Young would, perhaps, do the better part by considering these facts. Born of polygamous parents, and shut out from every opportunity to learn the deplorable condition in which she was compelled to live, are a part of the excusing facts to stay unkind judgment as to this woman, and as to those who would cast the first stone, it might be a profitable exercise to compare their own advancement, made in the light of Christian civilization with the acknowledged moral excellence of Mrs. Ann Eliza Young, as evidence by word and action since escaping from Utah's degradation. Shut out from the world by impassable mountains and deserts; knowing no better life; sacrificed by father and mother and brother in a marriage with a man she did not love, she lived only to learn the reality of all a woman's sufferings. But the little light afforded by Gentile rule came; and, first perceptions of right awakened, her soul revolted at the unhallowed practices of those around her, and on the first opportunity she fled to tell the "Story of a Ruined Life;" to devote herself to the emancipation of the enslaved women of Utah, and combat the most monsterous delusion of this or any other age. Mrs. Young is good looking, a pleasant speaker, and her missionary efforts will no doubt commend her to the good wishes of our community.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                     Cleveland, Monday, February 28, 1876.                           No. ?



Mormonism in Northern Ohio -- The Real
Author of the Book of Mormon

Special Correspondence of the Leader.

Since the publication, in these sketches, of an interview with the venerable Obed W. Call of Painesville, in which were set forth many facts in regard to the early history of Mormonism, the writer has received many letters of inquiry, etc., showing that there is great interest felt by the public in regard to any thing touching that great delusion. It is thought proper, therefore, to publish this week some evidence documentary and otherwise, which goes to show very conclusively the true origin of the book of Mormon, and which shows, moreover, that the origin was very different from that generally supposed. Some of our older readers will, perhaps, find but little new here but our younger ones will read with interest and profit.

Mr. E. D. Howe published in 1840 most of the evidence upon which this sketch is based.

Now, as Spalding's book can nowhere be found after having been taken to the establishment of Patterson & Lambdin, and nothing can be heard of it in its normal form after this time, we are led to the irresistible conclusion that the firm, having meanwhile failed in business, Lambdin recourse to the old manuscripts in his possession for the purpose of raising a little money. He considered Rigdon a proper man to edit the book, and by altering and embellishing he thought it might be brought out with profit. Rigdon's three years study of the Bible would seem to be fully short enough time to garble it and transfer it as he did into the Mormon book. But the work of editing had only fairly begun when Lambdin died and left Rigdon the sole proprietor. Then it was,doubtless, that the thought occurred to the latter of bringing it out in a miraculous manner. In this Rigdon showed great wisdom, for, in no other way could the book have been published without great sacrifice to the publisher. As soon as the matter of miraculous publication was conceived, Rigdon's mind naturally turned to the youthful Smith, whose fame had already reached to a considerable distance. To Smith, therefore, he went with his book, compiled from the "Manuscript Found" and the Bible, and gave it into the prophet's hands to be kept till the fullness of time should come and then announced to the world.

Rigdon now returned to his flock in Mentor and continued to prepare their minds for the reception of any new doctrine that might come along. As soon as the book was printed -- which was done by Smith by borrowing money from a rich farmer in his neighborhood -- Cowdry, another later partner in the speculation, made his appearance suddenly at Rigdon's house. Rigdon very quickly converted and repaired to the house of the Smiths, more than 300 miles away, where he was immediately appointed an elder, a high priest and a scribe to the prophet, and received a vision that his residence in Ohio was the "promised land," Then followed the immediate removal of the entire Smith family to this promised land. Here the Mormon movement, so well known to history, was really inaugurated.

All the conclusions we have deduced are strengthened by a knowledge of Rigdon's character. He was, in the first place, exceedingly jealous, and thought that his abilities were not fully enough appreciated in the Disciple movement. He was, however, very ambitious and desirous of place. He could gratify both these characteristics, by starting a new movement. But here again he was unfortunate in gaining the seat of chief honor, and after a few years left the church of the "Latter Day Saints" and returned to his old hime in Pennsylvania, where he spent the last days of his life as a confirmed atheist. He was accustomed to say at this period that if he could have ten years more of vigorous life he could overturn all religion.   G. A. R.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XI.                     Cincinnati, Ohio, Saturday, March 25, 1876.                     No. ?

Rumpus  in  the  Camp  of  Israel.

(under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XI.                     Cincinnati, Ohio, Saturday, May 6, 1876.                     No. 19.


ISAAC ERRETT -- Dear Sir: In the STANDARD of March 25th is quite a lengthy article headed "Rumpus in the Camp of Israel," in which the writer (whoever he is) makes many statements void of truth...

(under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XI.                     Cincinnati, Ohio, Saturday, May 27, 1876.                     No. 21.


In reply to a correspondent who desires to be informed as to the history of the Mormons, we give the following references, to direct inquirers along the line of authors whose works are most frequently referred to us. Books will be mentioned in order of the dates of publication; those marked * are rare or scarce. The names of those from whom the principal Mormon works may be obtained will also be given.

1830. -- * "First edition of the Mormon Bible, Joseph Smith, Author and Proprietor, Grandin, Palmyra, New York. This first edition is the one on which Smith and Harris thought to make $3,250.

Some time before its publication, Mrs. Harris destroyed one hundred and sixteen pages of the manuscript! Smith's explanation of the missing pages was given in the preface; but the explanation was worse than the loss of Nephi, and now that preface is omitted in the editions of Brigham Young and the Josephite Bible venders at Plano, Ill.

1831. -- * In the Evangelical Inquirer (bound with Scott's Evangelists). the letter of Thos. Campbell to Sidney Rigdon. Mr. Rigdon joined the Mormon Church in 1830 (before he had read the Smith Bible through), and at once defied the world! Thos. Campbell sent a communication to the Dayton [sic, Painesville?] Telegraph -- and a copy to Rigdon, per Messrs. Moor and Goddell. Rigdon tore up Campbell's letter and declined all public discussion! (Letter and propositions in Howe.)

1831. -- Millennial Harbinger, in which Alexander Campbell gives a ten page notice of Smith and the Mormon Bible, exposing to the satisfaction of every Biblical scholar and all common sense readers, the shallowness of the imposture, its falsities, contradictions, absurdities and wickedness. Campbell's refutation may be replied to but can not answered; it subverts the very foundations of Mormonism, and shows that Smith and his associates were the most impudent of knavish atheists. (Mil. Harbingers at this office.)

1834. -- * Howe's "Mormonism Unvailed." Very scarce -- only to be found in private libraries or occasionally at Woodward's, 78 Nassau St., N. Y. This book is ably written. It contains particular accounts of the Smiths while residents of New York; the affidavits of the people of Palmyra and Manchester against Smith and his confederates; their advent into Ohio; Kirtland Mormonism; the doings of Rigdon, Cowdery and Harris; the letter of Thos. Campbell, and a series of letters from Ezra Booth (reprinted from the Ohio Star.)

1839. -- * Pamphlet by John Corrill. This can only be obtained from Woodward, or the pamphlet antiquarians. Corrill was a good writer; he gives an explicit account of his conversion in 1830; experiences as an elder; his discovery of the fraud -- and his apostasy from the Mormon faith in 1839.

This pamphlet corroborates largely the expose of Howe; and convincingly shows up the aims and ends of Smith and Rigdon -- money PLACE, POWER!

1842. -- * Mormonism in All Ages by Prof. Turner, of Illinois College. This is a historical, scriptural and philosophical expose of Mormonism; and contains a startling biographical chapter on the Mormon leaders. This book contains, also, square yards of undeniable facts, and the extracts are from the publications of Smith himself. Turner had a copy of Smith's "Book of Commandments," which the Church suppressed. Throughout the work there is a "flow and force" that kills Mormons and Mormonism; and although scarce, it is worth hunting up and reading in every community afflicted with Mormon preachers. It may be had from second-hand book dealers in the principal cities, or of Woodward, 78 Nassau.

1842-44. -- "Peter Cartwright's Autobiography," to be had in any Methodist community, or from the booksellers generally. This contains an interesting interview between Cartwright and Smith; and gives in unvarnished terms the Prophet's characteristics, knavery, profanity, lewdness and general badness,

1844. -- Brown's "History of Illinois." High-handed proceedings of the Nauvoo Mormons; killing of Smith, etc. To be had from booksellers, St. Louis, Chicago.

1844. -- * Ford's "Hist. of Illinois," This is scarce and valuable. It contains Gov. Ford's official relations with the Mormons; shows up their disregard for law, and their frequent attempts to make a bad theocracy override the sovereignty and laws of the State and general government; it gives the details of Smith's assassination at Carthage, and establishes the fact that the Mormons were not driven from Illinois "for righteousness' sake!"

1844. -- * Rigdon's "Messenger and Advocate" (bound pamphlets). Scarce. This is seldom to be found. It is Rigdon's last, wild effort to beat Brigham Young and establish himself as Pope of the Mormons! It contains substantial proof against Smith as a polygamist; and gives almost positive proof that Rigdon, instead of being a convert to Mormonism, was himself a confederate of Smith in planning the scheme and writing the Mormon Bible!

1846-54. -- * Pamphlets, by Van Duzen and wife, disclosing the lewd mysteries given by Smith, in 1841-42-43, and performed by Young and Apostles in the Temple at Nauvoo, 1845-5. (To be had possibly from Woodward, 78 Nassau.)

1850. -- "Mackey's Work" (London). A valuable work and well done. This shows the Mormon Sermon as delivered in England; the working of miracles, "casting three hundred and eighteen devils out of one woman!" Also, Smith's political papers; his nomination for the Presidency; together with Kane's Essay, and the well authenticated narratives of travelers through the Nauvoo Camp. (Robt. Clarke & Co., Cin.).

1852. -- Lieut. Gunnison, U. S. A., A valuable work, now republished at Philadelphia. This contains incontrovertible arguments against Smith and the Nauvoo apostles as polygamists and law breakers. It is said Gunnison lost his life for writing this book.

1852-3. -- "Mormons at home," by Mrs. B. G. Ferris, wife of the Secretary of Utah. This woman went to Utah before polygamy was proclaimed; she knew nothing of the Mormons before entering Salt Lake Valley, but discovered, in less than six months, that whatever may be charged as to Mormon lewdness, apostolic duplicity, deplorable degradation and general badness, is but a mild expression of bad facts. (To be had from booksellers).

1856. -- "Hall's Pamphlet," on Mormon counterfeiting, infanticide, polygamy and things worse. For writing this pamphlet, Hall's life was threatened; he expressed a fear that Mormon emissaries would accomplish their purpose, and left Cincinnati for Washington City -- to give information to the authorities as to the designs of Mormon leaders. He has never been heard of since; inquiry fails to elicit any information concerning him!"

1857. -- "Fifteen Years Among the Mormons," by Ettie Coray Smith; republished by Belknap. This exposes the polygamy of Smith at Nauvoo; Young's complicity in several Utah murders, and the heart-rending details of Mountain Meadows Massacre, (concerning which, Gunter's Bill, now before Congress). Good book, to be had from dealers generally.

1857. -- "Mormonism, Leaders and Designs," by Elder John Hyde. The author was converted in England, went as Missionary to France; thence to Salt Lake by the way of Nauvoo. Finding himself wickedly deceived, he left and published his experiences.

The book is, by Mormon confession, more than an expose of bad character. It commences on Smith's "learning of the Jews in the language of the Egyptians," and shows that the Book of Mormon is not a translation from golden plates, or any thing else; but a rehash of the Spaulding novel, supplemented by bad plagiarisms from the New Testament, in which even the errors of King James; translation are incorporated!: (To be had from Woodward, New York).

1867-68-70. -- "The Prophet and Harem," by Mrs. Judge Waite; "Utah and the Mormons," by J. H. Beadle; "Origin of Mormonism," by Pomeroy Tucker; "Rocky Mountain Saints," by Elder Stenhouse. These works may be obtained from Perry & Morton, Vine street, Cincinnati, O. Mrs. Waite's "Prophet and Harem" gives a political history of Utah, together with the good, bad and indifferent particulars of the "Young" family. It is a good book, correct and reliable.

The work by Beadle, (Commercial's correspondent) is voluminous on all points from Palmyra to Salt Lake City, and may be relied on as particularly exact. The large work, by Stenhouse, contains all that is necessary for any one to know about Mormonism.

It contains Smith's broadest draw upon human credulity, a translation of the Book of Abraham, with parallel columns by Remy and Brenchley of Paris.

Tucker's "Origin of Mormonism" is the best in print. The author was editorially connected with Grandin, who printed the first edition of the Mormon Bible, in 1830; he was well acquainted with the Smiths, Cowdery and Harris; he accumulated the evidence that Rigdon was the "mysterious stranger" who aided Smith, 1828-9-30, in getting up the imposture; and his statements, upon personal observation, are corroborated by the best citizens of Palmyra and Manchester.

1875. -- "My Life in Bondage," by Ann Eliza Young. This book is now being read throughout the nation, and, as thirty thousand copies were sold in four months, it is likely that the authoress will, in history, hold her place with reference to Mormonism and its overthrow, as Mrs. Stowe and "Uncle Tom's Cabin" to American slavery. The parents of Ann Eliza (as she is called), Mr. and Mrs. Chauncey Webb, embraced Mormonism at Kirtland, Ohio, in the beginning; they suffered through the Missouri persecutions and went overland in the exodus of 1847. Ann Eliza was born in Nauvoo; her parents were sincere in their acceptance of "celestial marriage," and are, today, witnesses to the earnest labors of their child, who by voice and pen is doing so much to dispel the delusion which blighted their lives!

Tucker's book shows the beginning of Mormonism; Mrs. Young's late work shows its maturity, and we are glad to say, promises its speedy destruction!

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. V.                               Chardon, Ohio,  July 19, 1876.                               No. 20.

America Discovered by the Welsh.

There is a curious interest in the various evidences brought forward in behalf of the discovery of America before Columbus, and the present volume furnishes interesting food for thought in its industrious presentation of the claims of the Welsh, whose connection with this continent is placed as early as 1170. In his introduction, the author, Rev. Benjamin F. Bowen, tells a story which illustrates the confusion of ideas in regard to the early settlers of this country. A clergyman learning that Mr. Sabin, the antiquarian, would give a large price for an Indian Bible, brought him a Welsh one, which, in his ignorance, he supposed to be the real thing. It appears that the two languages bear a marked resemblance to each other. The origin of the Welsh is traced to the banks of the Euphrates and Tigris, and the evidence of their occupancy of various parts of the earth is set forth. Being a migratory race, dwelling in the British Islands in the time of Homer, and with strong seafaring propensities, their voyaging to America with the facilities afforded by the ocean currents is regarded as not unreasonable. The voyages of Prince Madoc are then recounted with other evidence illustrating his claims to the discovery. Narratives by the Rev. Morgan Jones and the Rev. Charles Beatty, who traveled in this country in the middle of the last century, are given to show that some tribes of Indians spoke Welsh. The western mounds are then traced to the Welsh, whose migrations to that region are dwelt upon; the dispersion of these Welsh Indians is narrated, and the names connected with them are cited in support of the author's theory. The experiences of various prominent persons are brought forward in this behalf; the Welsh blood and characteristics being traced among various tribes and peoples on this continent, while claims of the Welsh in connection with the revolution and as associated with eminent public characters of the latter days, are set forth. The book will be read with interest by persons desirous of ubvestigating the subject, whatever may be their conclusion as to the strength of the evidence contained in it. -- St. Azziz.

Note: The book mentioned above was Rev. B. F. Bowen's 1876 America Discovered by the Welsh, (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippencott & Co.)


Cincinnati  Daily  Gazette.
Vol. 99.                                 Cincinnati, Wednesday, July 19, 1876.                                 No. ?

Death  of  Joe  Smith's  Successor.

From the Pittsburgh Gazette.

On Friday last there died at Friendship, Allegheny County, N. Y., Sidney Rigdon, in the eighty-fourth year of his age. He was a person who had a peculiar history, and one not without interest to Pittsburgers. He was born near Piney Fork, this county, and reached maturity near the place of his birth. When about twenty-five years old he entered the ministry in the Baptist Church, and was for some time pastor at the First Baptist Church, corner of Third and Grant streets. Becoming dissatisfied with the faith, he, with Alexander Campbell and a Mr. Church of this city formed the "Campbellite" or "Christian" Church, which at one time had a considerable number of adherents in this section of the country. Some time after he went to Ohio and organized a congregation according to the new faith. While there he met Elder Parley Pratt, of the Mormon Church, in debate, and becoming worsted, joined the Mormons, and took his congregation with him. They went to Courtland [sic - Kirtland?], Ohio, where a Mormon congregation was organized. Then they were forced to go to Western Missouri, and, finally, by persecutions, were driven to Nauvoo. There Mr. Rigdon stayed until within six or seven months of Joe Smith's death, when, becoming dissatisfied with polygamy, he returned to Pittsburg. Hearing of Smith's death, and that he was appointed his successor, Mr. Rigdon returned to Nauvoo. On the day appointed for choosing Smith's successor, Mr. Rigdon told the congregation that if he was elected he would not only prohibit polygamy, but expel every one who practiced it. He then asked the audience if they desired to have him for President that each man hold up his right hand. Not a hand was raised. Brigham Young then told the audience that he was Smith's successor, and if elected he would carry out his ideas. He was unanimously elected. Mr. Rigdon again returned to Pittsburg, and tried to establish a church. Not succeeding, he moved to the Genesee Valley, N. Y., and has there remained up to the time of his death, a period of about thirty years. After abandoning his religious ventures, he devoted himself to the study of geology, and supported himself, in a great measure, by lecturing upon that science. He is said to have been much respected in his community as a law-abiding, conscientious citizen.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XI.                     Cincinnati, Ohio, Saturday, July 29, 1876.                     No. 31.


This somewhat notorious man died recently, at Friendship, Allegany county, N. Y., in the eighty-fourth year of his age. He was a native of Western Pennsylvania; entered the ministry of the Baptist church when a young man, and, in Pittsburgh, gained considerable reputation as a pulpit orator. Leaving the Baptists, he came among the Disciples when they were a feeble folk, and was for a time the associate of Alexander Campbell and Walter Scott. Mr. Campbell, however, never fully gave him his confidence, but looked upon him as a man of restless ambition who sought to conceal his motives under an affected zeal for reformation. Mr. C. several times told us that he never would feel that Mr. Rigdon was frank and candid with him, as a co-worker ought to be. We had it, long ago, from the oldest members of the church in Pittsburgh, that Rigdon, while with them, did his best to convert them to communism and to the doctrines that miracles and new revelations ought to be found in the church. It is thus evident that, at that time, he was concocting the Mormon scheme, and this, in connection with what was afterwards ascertained of the existence of Mr. Spalding's manuscript in a Pittsburgh printing office where Rigdon could have access to it, early satisfied us that he had much to do in the creation of the Mormon imposture. In Ohio, he was somewhat known among our churches, but his success in leading away the disciples when he went over publicly to Mormonism, was not what he anticipated. He afterwards figured largely among the Mormons at Kirtland, O., in Missouri, and at Nauvoo, Ill. Failing to obtain the leadership after the death of Joseph Smith, he next attempted, we believe, the organization of a separate church; but failing in this, went into retirement, spending the rest of his days mostly in the Genesee valley, N. Y. From his neighbors we have several times learned that he was a quiet citizen, much esteemed for his social virtues, and altogether reticent concerning his Mormon adventures. It is said he devoted himself mainly to the study of Geology and to lecturing on that science. Whether he has left anything behind him, revealing to the inside history of Mormonism; we do not know; but presume from his persistent reticence during life, that he has carried his secret knowledge with him to the grave. He was wrecked through an insane ambition. Let all self-seekers take notice.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. 34.                         Cincinnati, Ohio, Sunday,  July 30, 1876.                         No. 212.

Death  of  Sidney  Rigdon,  the  Founder  of  Mormonism.

This notable religionist, once the champion of the Faith as delivered to the Saints by Palmyra Joseph, died at the residence of his son-in-law, Earl Wingate, July 14th, in the eighty-fourth year of his age, and was buried in the village grave-yard, Friendship, Allegany County, New York. The funeral ceremonies were conducted by the Masonic Order, Allegany Lodge, Master Wm. H. King, assisted by Don McClure, Rev. H. M. Rigley, and others.

SIDNEY RIGDON was born in the year 1793 near the city of Pittsburg. He was fond of books and book-men, and at an early age showed his predilections for religious studies and an ambition in the direction of pulpit oratory. Controlled by this ambition he applied himself to Scripture study, never failing to improve his opportunities to accept invitations which would give him the chance to achieve a reputation as a speaker. In 1819 he visited Ohio, where, by a Presbytery consisting of Revs. Clark, West, Bentley and Otis, he was ordained as a preacher of the Gospel. Soon after, in 1822-3, Mr. Rigdon became pastor of a Baptist Church in Pittsburg, from which, in a few months, he was removed on account of his advocating certain principles held to be incompatible with membership in that denomination. About this time Alexander Campbell was attracting public notice by his endeavors to annihilate sectarianism and return to the plan and procedure of the Apostolic age. Campbell was a reformer. Rigdon wished to be regarded as such, and, making the acquaintance of Campbell, struck hands with him in the plea for the original Gospel, and went to Ohio, where, in company with Walter Scott, and others of like faith, he labored earnestly under the direction of the Mahoning Association. Here Mr. Rigdon's ambition discovered itself -- he wished to be a leader; his delight was in oratory, and he longed for the time and place when admiring multitudes should confess to his overpowering grandeur, shout high acclaim to the music of his rhetoric, and dying, confess their soul's salvation in the name of Sidney Rigdon. For reasons not given in the records of the Western Reserve Associations, Walter Scott received an appointment which could not but displease the ambitious, oratorical Rigdon. In 1827-8 he appears as the preacher for a congregation in Lake County, where, in his return to Apostolic Christianity, we find him advocating the ecstasies of religious supernaturalism, spiritual gifts, miracles and the necessity of daily revelations from on high! Under the preceptorship of Mr. Rigdon, at this place, Mentor, Parley P. Pratt comes partially into public notice. Pratt was, in later years, the husband of six women at one time, and through some unfortunacy, was killed for seducing the seventh, Eleanor McLean.

It may also be remarked, in this connection, that the standard Mormon books, "Doctrine and Covenants" and "[Warning] Voice," were written by Rigdon and Pratt. Between the years 1827 and '30 it is asserted by Tucker and others that Rigdon was the "mysterious stranger" occasionally seen at the residence of Joe Smith, who was during those years, giving out that he had discovered a golden Bible, which in due time, would be given to the world. Be this, however, as it may, when the Joe Smith Bible came out, in 1830, at Palmyra, Parley Pratt was at once upon the ground, accepted a copy, shook hands with Smith, and embraced the everlasting Gospel! Pratt's quick conversion to such an evident imposture, his hurrying back to Mentor, the instantaneous conversion of Rigdon, his visit to the Smiths, his sermon at Palmyra, his determined advocacy of a religion and a book which he could not possibly have examined, are sufficient items of proof to establish the previous connection of himself and Pratt in the Joe Smith imposture. It is certain that the first third of the Mormon Bible is a rehash of the SPAULDING Story concerning the aborigines of America; it is equally certain that the Spaulding manuscript was within Rigdon's reach between the years 1812-19; also that the same was in picking up distance of Smith between the years of 1819-26! When the Mormon Bible came out in 1830, its contents were recognized by Wright, Miller, Spaulding, and others; the original manuscript was at once inquired after -- the trunks searched, when lo! the Spaulding Story was gone! The names, incidents, and thread of the Spaulding Story are found in the first part of the Mormon Bible! We do not say that Rigdon wrote the Mormon Bible, nor that Pratt did it -- nor Joe Smith; we only suggest -- and go on. In Ohio, Smith and Rigdon built a Mormon Temple, swindled the people, were tarred and feathered, and chased away -- to Independence [sic - Far West?], Missouri. Here Mr. Rigdon immortalized himself as an incendiary, political religionist; he was jailed, whipped -- chased out into Illinois. Here, at Nauvoo, he disagreed with Smith concerning the delicacies of Polygamy, but became eminently known as a social philosopher, attorney, theologian, and Fourth of July orator! In 1844 Smith was killed for indulging in the woman business: Rigdon was next in order, according to a revelation he had received from the Lord, but Brigham Young, being in high favor with the women, handed Rigdon over to the devil -- in a Church Bull -- took charge of the Nauvoo theocracy and made the exodus overland to Utah. Rigdon, left in disgrace, returned to Pittsburg; thence, in 1847, to Friendship, New York, where he resided until his death. For thirty years he has said nothing on the subject of his former faith and Mormon adventures. Time and again the interested historian and persistent reporter have tried to interview him with reference to the manufacture of the Mormon Bible, but nothing was ever obtained to satisfy the hungry seeker after curious knowledge. Mr. Rigdon had no library, kept no diary, left no manuscripts. For thirty years he kept his lips together, and now the hush of the grave has closed forever upon the secrets of his inner life. The relatives of Mr. Rigdon are all reputable, beloved members of their respective communities; and, forgetting momentarily the early years of his strange life, we cheerfully record that Sidney Rigdon lived his last years as a law-abiding, reputable citizen, and will be kindly remembered by the many to whom he had endeared himself by his cheery friendship and social virtues.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XI.                     Cincinnati, Ohio, Saturday, Aug. 5, 1876.                     No. 32.


We gave last week a brief notice of the death of Sidney Rigdon. His connection with Mormonism was such that it is of historical importance to preserve a record of his life and character, and we are able to give, from trustworthy sources, a fuller statement of the main facts in his career than will probably appear in any other paper, and such as will furnish desired information to the public.

Sidney Rigdon, the establisher of Mormonism, is dead -- laid away in the quiet of his last sleep, in the village graveyard, at Friendship, Alleghany county, New York. Mr. Rigdon was born in Pennsylvania, 1793, and died July 14th, in the eighty-fourth year of his age . The death of this man is an item of interest in Mormon history. To his exertions the Latter-day Saints may rightly attribute the establishment of their church, and at his grave the anxious inquirer may cease to inquire concerning the strange secrecies of his life and stranger mysteries which envelop the origin of the Mormon Bible.

Until his twenty-sixth year, Sidney Rigdon lived in and around the city of Pittsburg, and later about the year 1822, he had charge of the Baptist church in that city. In 1824 a union was effected between this body and the church to which Walter Scott ministered -- a portion of the former, however, dissenting and forming a separate Baptist church.

He thus became identified with the Reformation as plead for by Alexander Campbell, and in 1827 he appears in northeastern Ohio as co-laborer with Walter Scott. At this time he was favorably known for his scriptural learning, his advocacy of church reforms, the fluency and force of his pulpit oratory, and for an ambition which, at times, so uncontrollably possessed him as to put the man beside himself. Among the religious notions which he sought to propagate among the Disciples, may be mentioned the following: first Communism; and second, Miracles and Gifts of the Spirit; and third, New Revelations. These were, a few years later, the salients of all the Mormon sermons. They were obnoxious to the Disciples and were cautiously introduced. In association with Alexander Campbell, and Walter Scott, he for a time indulged his ambition in being ranked as third man in the Reformation. In the year 1827, however, Walter Scott received an appointment from the Mahoning Association, which for the time seemed to bar the way to the gratification of Mr. Rigdon's ambition, and he left, nothing much being heard of him beyond the village of Mentor, and a few other points on the Reserve until the year 1830, when he appeared as the front speaker and ablest defender of Joseph Smith and Mormonism. The Book of Mormon was printed by Grandin, at Palmyra, in 1830; and certainly before Rigdon had time to read it or examine into its authenticity, he appeared in the Hall of the Young Men's Association, Palmyra, where he preached a strong sermon from Nephi, ch. iv. This effort was not well received; but he remained in the neighborhood a short time, and, assisted by Smith and Cowdery, baptized a few converts. Returning to Mentor, near Kirtland, Ohio, Mr. Rigdon and Parley P. Pratt commenced the advocacy of the new religion with such seeming earnestness that many were at once converted; the Smiths came over from Palmyra, and a church was established; many persons of means were induced to cast in their all for the upbuilding of the Lord's cause and the advance of the Millennium. Smith had no plot nor plan; Rigdon furnished the brains, Pratt the eloquence, and Harris the money, to carry important measures through. For a while things went on swimmingly, Smith and Rigdon had frequent revelations; there was a babbling of divers tongues; the community was inundated with religious fanaticism.

The imposture well under way, Smith and Rigdon gave a bread-and-butter phase to their proceedings. Revelations were always ready to purpose, and a mill was built -- a church mill.

Joseph and Sidney fattened on the choicest grindings, the people taking the bran; property sites were marked, Joseph and Sidney taking generally the corner lots. Soon the pious priests were tarred and feathered for bad conduct. They also started a bank, put out stacks of bills, lined their pockets, became full-handed and impudent. When Jones came in with a carpet-bag full of Kirtland bills, Rigdon cooly informed him that they didn't redeem! Finding themselves duped and swindled, many of the best members apostatized and applied to the courts for redress. This put the prophet-bankers upon the wing -- Smith and Rigdon escaping between two days with a sheriff's posse at their heels! Emboldened by their success, they went to the most audacious lengths in Missouri; Smith became defiant, and Rigdon indulged in the most inflammatory speech-making. In his well known "Salt Sermon," he not only advised casting out, but treading under foot, all who should dissent from the plans of Joseph and himself; and in one of his orations, delivered on the Fourth of July, he defiantly proclaimed a war of extermination against that people who should deny their Mormon rights or meddle with their concerns!

Much of the trouble in Missouri was caused by Rigdon's flow of fight and fury; and after being opposed, whipped, jailed, and threatened with extermination, the Saints were chased from the State into Illinois -- where they built Nauvoo. After quieting his nerves and recovering somewhat from the scourgings inflicted by the Missouri mobs, Rigdon penned his famous Memorial to the Pennsylvania Assembly, asking that honorable body to take some action in behalf of the exiled saints.

Relief could scarcely be expected on such a presentation; the writer certainly had little ground for expectation; but it was what the irate apostle wanted -- a good opportunity to display his drastic grammar, and put permently before the people a tirade upon the unregenerate Missourians.

At Nauvoo, Rigdon was postmaster, lawyer, philosopher and saint! A visitor there in 1843 thus describes him:

"Sidney Rigdon, one of the Counselors, prophet seer and revelator, is forty-two years of age, five feet nine inches high, weighs one hundred and sixty five pounds (before his avoirdupois was reduced by Missouri persecutions his weight was two hundred and twelve pounds). He is a mighty man in Israel, of varied learning, and extensive and laborious research. There is no divine in the West more deeply learned in biblical literature and the world's history than he. His oratory is fervidly eloquent, his language chaste, and his reasoning conclusive. Any city would be proud of such a man. By his proclamation thousands have heard the glad tidings and obeyed the word of God; but he is now in the 'sere and yellow leaf,' and his silvery locks fast ripening for the grave."

On laying the corner stone of the Nauvoo Temple, Rigdon was orator of the day; and before an immense concourse of people he delivered the great speech of his life -- a masterly performance in all the force and accomplishments of natural and acquired oratory. As before remarked, Rigdon's abilities were of the versatile sort; and soon after the dedication of the Temple site, we find him in the municipal court of Nauvoo, leading counsel for the defendant, Joe Smith, who was arrested by Higbee on the charge of slander -- in which all the parties appeared to more or less disadvantage in the roles of liars, defamers, seducers and adulterers.

This and other trials uncovered a swamp of immoralities in the Nauvoo Church; and, whatever the versatile abilities of Rigdon, it plainly appeared that as prophet, seer, revelator and orator, he had not been very successful in the inculcation and establishment of sound morality.

The charges made by one writer (Mayhew), that Rigdon was an advocate of spiritual wifeism, are undoubtedly false. It can only be said that he may have been non-committal, and that Smith presumed beyond legitimate presumption when he attempted the seduction of one of Rigdon's relatives. It is known that a coldness ensued between Smith and his chief counselor because of this affair.

When Smith was killed (1844) Rigdon put in at once for the vacant place, he being the next eligible person according to rank and revelation. Others aspired to Smith's place -- among whom [was] Brigham Young. This designing man made good use of his recent successes, and put prominently forward before the Assembly the coldness between Joseph and Sidney. He charged the great Counselor with designing a split in the church, waning in faith, and declared his revelations to be from the devil -- and never from God!

Young was successful in his attack on Rigdon; the latter's friends were intimidated, and, with less than a hundred adherents he could only rant and rave in prophetic folly, assert a new revelation in support of his claims, and threaten to tell, if his demands were not agreed to. This threat to tell it all only threw him into lower contempt. Brigham Young openly jeered, informing the Assembly that if Sidney Rigdon ever attempted an expose, he would cut his own head off at the first stroke!"

Brigham knew exactly what he was saying. He knew that Rigdon could expose only by exposing himself as the original designer of the imposture, or as a private power behind Smith in the inculcation of communism and polygamy! On motion, Rigdon was excommunicated -- "handed over to the buffetings of Satan for a thousand years;" and the people said, Amen!

In worst disgrace the fallen Counselor left Nauvoo for Pittsburg, where he published for awhile the Messenger and Advocate -- and through his sub writers, Savary, Pry, Gregg, [Beal] and others, attempted to blast the Nauvoo theocracy and raise himself to the head of the Mormon Church. He was signally unsuccessful, and in 1846-7, he moved to Friendship, Allegany Co., New York, where he resided until his death.

For thirty years he has been reticent, refusing to discourse at all upon his Mormon adventures.

He was approached by the messengers of Young and Plano Joseph, but he refused to converse or answer any communication which in any way would bring him into public notice in connection with the Mormon Church of to-day. It was his daily custom to visit the Post Office, get the daily papers, read and converse upon the chief topics of the day. He was a genial companion, a good citizen, and respected by all who knew him. He often engaged in a friendly dispute with the local ministers, and always came out first best on New Testament doctrinal matters.

Patriarchal in appearance, and kindly in address, he was often approached by citizens and strangers, with a view of obtaining something of the unworded mysteries of his life; but citizen or stranger and persistent reporter, all alike failed in eliciting any information as to his knowledge of the Mormon imposture, the motives of his early life, or the religious faith, fears and hopes of his declining years. Once or twice he spoke excitedly, in terms of scorn, of those who attributed to him the manufacture of the Mormon Bible; but beyond this, nothing. His library was small; he left no manuscripts, and refused persistently to have a picture of himself taken. It can only be said that he was a compound of ability, versatility, honesty, duplicity and mystery.

The Masonic fraternity conducted the services over his lifeless body, and a kind of community followed Rigdon and his untold secrets to the quiet of an unmarked grave.

Note: The above obituary was written by Standard Editor, Isaac Errett (who came from the Pittsburgh congregation expelled by Rigdon in 1823), with input from Disciple sources familiar with the church at Mentor and with Sidney Rigdon's last days at Friendship. For more Rigdon obituaries see the western New York papers for July, 1876 as well as the July 18th issue of the Pittsburgh Telegraph.


Vol. 29.                     Cleveland, Monday, August 7, 1876.                           No. 186.

Sidney  Rigdon.

The death of Sidney Rigdon, the real founder of Mormonism, which took place at Friendhip, Allegheny county, New York, on the 14th of July, was duly noticed in these columns. A few months ago an article appeared in the LEADER giving all that is known concerning the relation of this singular man to the production of the Book of Mormon. The Christian Standard of Cincinatti furnishes some very interesting additional facts in regard to Mr. Rigdon's life.

It is not necessary that the older people of Northern Ohio should be told that Sidney Rigdon was in early life a Baptist preacher. eeling that he was not advanced as rapidly as he desired in this sect, he left ot and joined the Disciples, then a comparatively young body of Christians. He was for several years a co-laborer of Alexander Campbell and Walter Scott. He was possessed of fervid eloquence, and his advocacy of church reforms produced a marked effect. But some of his peculiar doctrines, such as Communism, his belief in Miracles, Gifts of the Spirit and New Revelations met with disfavor, and he suddenly disappeared from Mentor, Lake county, where he had been living, and was not again heard of till he returned with his new gospel of Mormon. One of the strongest points which go to show that Rigdon was the real author of the Book of Mormon is that within a very few days after the Book was first issued at Palmyra, New York, he appeared in that town and preached a discourse from Nephi, ch. iv. The new doctrine was not well received in New York, but the undiscouraged apostles came to Mentor and Kirtland where Rigdon was well known, and there they were more successful in attracting converts.

All the peculiarities that marked Rigdon's belief during his career among the Disciples now appeared in his Mormon discourses. Communism was fervently preached, and so far as possible put into practice. A mill was built and a town laid out, but Smith and Rigdon always managed to get the best grist that was ground in the mill, and to retain the best lots in the town. Next they issued large quantities of bank notes, similar to Governor Tilden's Lake Superior shinplasters. But when these worthless bills began to come in by the carpet-bag full, they did not attempt to redeem. The prophet bankers were prosecuted for this swindle, and were obliged to leave Kirtland in the night.

The next we hear of them was in Missouri, where they indulged in all manner of audacious proceedings. Joe Smith was defiant; Rigdon preached inflammatory sermons. At length they were attacked by the indignant inhabitants, and, after having been whipped, jailed and threatened with entire annihilation if they did not leave the State, they suddenly came to the conclusion that Missouri was not the promised land, and again emigrated, this time coming to Illinois, where they built the town of Nauvoo. It was about this time that Rigdon penned his famous emmorial to the Pennsylvania Legislature, asking it to take some action in behalf of the exiled saints.

In the Nauvoo community Rigdon was postmaster, lawyer, general philosopher and saint! On the occasion of laying the corner stone of the temple, Rigdon was the orator of the day. This effort was the masterpiece of his life. Soon came the trial of Joe Smith on the charge of slander against one Higbee. Rigdon appeared for the defendant. During this trial and several others that followed in quick succession, the whole Mormon camp was shown to be a nest of liars, defamers, seducers and adulterers. It is said, however, that Rigdon never was a believer in the doctrine of spiritual wifehood, and that it was the occasion of the seduction of a relative of his by Joseph Smith that caused a coldness to spring up between the two men.

On Smith's death, Rigdon with his usual ambition, aspired to the leadership. He was entitled to it both by seniority in office and revelation, but Brigham Young waged a successful fight against him by bringing the charge of waning faith, and insisting that there was a breach between Rigdon and Smith. Rigdon here lost his good sense and began to rant and rave, saying that he would expose the imposture if not placed at the head of the Church. Brigham openly dared him to do this, informing the Assembly that if Rigdon ever attempted an expose he would cut his own head off at the first stroke,

In this defiance Young was, doubtless, secure. He well knew that his rival had been, if not the original designer of Mormonism, at least the power behind Smith, furnishing the directing brain and moral support. On motion, Rigdon was excommunicated, and thus disgraced among the people he had gathered together. He returned to Pittsburgh and for several years published a paper, in which he attempted to draw away disciples from the Nauvoo theocracy and establish his own claims to the head of the church. In this he was eminently unsuccessful, and in disgust with the world and its affairs, he quietly retired, in 1846 [sic - 1848?], to Friendship, where he resided until his death.

From that time he was uniformly reticent, and refused even to sit for a picture. He has been a good citizen and neighbor and was much respected by the community. He daily visited the postoffice, read the papers, kept a close watch upon the affairs of the town, and occasionally got into discussions with the neighboring ministers upon Biblical topics. At times he has been heard to boast that he could have a new lease of life he would in a few years overturn all religions. He was a marked example of what personal ambition, unrestrained by any broad humanitarian motives, may do for the possessor. At his grave the last hope of ever solving the mystery that has hung about the origin of Mormonism perishes from the earth forever.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 29.                     Cleveland, Saturday, September 9, 1876.                           No. 212.


...The Christian Standard (Cincinnati) continues its account of the life of Sidney Rigdon, one of the projectors of the Mormon imposture. In 1822 Rigdon had charge of a Baptist church in Pittsburgh, but subsequently became an associate of Alexander Campbell, the founder of the Church of the Disciples. The Book of Mormon was first published through Rigdon's agency, in 1830. In building up this great system of fraud, according to the Standard, "Smith had no plot nor plan; Rigdon furnished the brains, Pratt the eloquence, and Harris the money." After the prophet's death, Young and Rigdon both competed for the succession to his place; the latter was defeated and retired from the Church in disgust. Of his later life, the Standard says: "Patriarchal in appearance and kindly in address, he was often approached by citizens and strangers with a view of obtaining something of the unworded mysteries of life; but citizen, stranger and persistent reporter, all alike failed in eliciting any information as to his knowledge of the Mormon imposture, the motives of his early life, or the religious faith, fears and hopes of his declining years."

Notes/; (forthcoming)


Vol. XXIX.                   Cleveland, Ohio, Friday, September 15, 1876.                   No. 217.


To the Editor of the Leader:

Sidney Rigdon.

An article in the Leader some time since, giving an account of the death of Sidney Rigdon, gives several interesting circumstances in reference to the rise of the Mormons and leaves the impression that Rigdon was the author of the Mormon Bible, as it is called. Joseph Smith claims to have found the plates from which it was translated in a hill in the town of Palmyra, Wayne county, New York, September 22d, 1827. Soon after a church was formed and the Book of Mormon printed. Some years after the Book had been printed, Parley P. Pratt of Lorain county, Ohio, a member of an anti-sectarian organization, whose place of worship was Mentor, whose minister was Sidney Rigdon, stopped off a canal-boat at Palmyra, New York, and became a convert to the Mormon faith. Pratt brought Rigdon to the Mormons; Rigdon also became a convert, and both Rigdon and Pratt became leaders; but neither could have been the author of the Book of Mormon, for it was published at least three years before they knew of it. (See Tucker's Origin and Progress of Mormonism, page 39.) G. F. L.

Note 1: The letter reproduced above was written by Gleason Fillmore Lewis, Sr. (1820-1903) a Cleveland broker and speculator whose fortunes fluxuated considerably throughout his long residence in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. In 1842 Lewis married Caroline S. Ensign (1818-1879) of Kelloggsville, who grew up living in close proximity to families familiar with the 1832-34 formulation of the Solomon Spalding authorship claims for the Book of Mormon. After purchasing a farm in Mentor, Ohio in 1875 Mr. Lewis became interested in local accounts linking Elder Rigdon to Book of Mormon origins. Based upon his wife's opinions, the eccentric Lewis took it upon himself to defend the late Sidney Rigdon's reputation. In 1887 he wrote: "My wife was born within eight miles of Conneaut, well acquainted with Aaron Wright and all the witnesses to the Solomon Spaulding manucript story. To her and to the Hon. E. B. Woodbury, who knew all the parties, it seemed incredible that anyone could be misled by it.... in the fall of 1830... Rigdon had not yet seen Joe Smith, much less planned the Book of Mormon, which had been already printed and was brought to Rigdon..."

Note 2: Tucker on page 39 of his book merely says that Pratt heard of "the new religion, after the Book of Mormon was printed" -- Since the book was first offered for sale early in 1830 and Pratt was baptized a Mormon late in 1830, the separation of those two events was not "Some years after the Book had been printed..." G. F. Lewis was simply wrong in his attempts at re-constructing Sidney Rigdon's early chronology and its interface with the various activities of Parley P. Pratt during the year 1830.



Vol. ?                           Cleveland, Ohio, Friday, September 15, 1876.                           No. ?


...Mr. Beadle, our readers will be interested to know, is the Columbus correspondent of the Gazette, who writes over the signature of "Hanson." We quote:


"When I say that the non-Mormon population, which did not exceed 1000 in 1869, now numbers at least 15,000, and that four-fifths of these are men, the reader will doubtless feel curious as to the effect on Mormonism. The first effect, of course, was a furious effervescence -- a social phenomenon similar to the chemical action when acids rouse a dormant alkali. The Saints (which is the modest self-designation of the Mormons) were the most conservative people in the world, the new comers the most restless and innovating; the Saints complete devotees of a theocracy, the Gentiles furiously democratic; the former perfectly willing to have all their voting done by a priesthood, the latter determined on organizing political parties and discussing public questions as in the communities from which they came. Of course there was trouble. The Mormon church officials appoint all the Territorial officers, and then have the people elect them by a unanimous vote. Every ballot is marked and numbered, and if, as rarely happens, any Saint votes against the Church ticket, he (or she!) is promptly disciplined. A gentleman who was present and saw it, states that John D. Lee, the butcher of Mountain Meadows, stood at the polls in his town and cast 350 votes -- for himself and each of his eighteen wives, for his thirty sons and their wives, for his daughters and their husbands, and for all the neighbors who sent their ballots along by him. The Gentiles paid more than half the taxes, but had no voice in the government. The Saints had absolute control of all the courts and juries, and laughed at those who talked of punishing Lee and his fellow assassins. The first fight of the Gentiles was against the Mormon Probate Courts. In this they were victorious before the Supreme Court of the United States, and now only the United States District Courts have general jurisdiction. But the Saints still have a majority of the jury; so the Mountain Meadow assassins can be brought to a trial, but can not be convicted. Meanwhile free speech and a free press were established. Eight years ago we were hedged in at every point. There was literally no safety or liberty for a non-Mormon here, except in silence and submission. Z. Snow, Esq., attorney for the church, gave notice, in his speech before the United States Court, that if the Mormon Probate Court were not allowed criminal jurisdiction, "streams of blood would flow in the streets of this city." Brigham Young, I have repeatedly heard curse every official here, announce that they could only stay by sufferance, and had no legal rights here whatever. The change cost the blood of some good men. Eight years ago we published our little daily paper in the upper story of a stone building, with a hatchway ready to be thrown open at any moment to cut off a mob; and when the editor went out at night he took the middle of the street, and kept his hand on his revolver. Now there is not a valley in Utah so remote but a man may speak, write or print what he pleases, and they dare not touch him. The first Gentile who married a Mormon's "plural" wife was shot dead on Main street. Now such a marriage is as safe in Utah as it would be in Ohio. The first Gentile who ventured to contest a case with the city was brutally murdered by a band of the "secret police." Now such a case can be tried on its merits with perfect safety.

A Liberal party has been organized, and cast 5,000 votes in 1874; it controls one county and half a dozen towns, and if Congress could only be persuaded to guarantee us a free ballot, would soon have a healthful minority in the Legislature. Three things the Liberals intend to have, and will keep up the fight till they get them: a free ballot, free trade, and a system of accountability among public officials. But, aside from these, there is an irreconcilable difference between theocracy and republicanism; and no matter how able the officials the President sends to Utah, the trouble will continue all the same till the question as to which is to be paramount is settled. I know many of the young Mormons are delighted, with the change; the old ones resist it most stubbornly, and with a great deal of ingenuity. Congress ought to give the Territory an amended jury law and a free ballot, then the minority would hold its own and increase.

As to polygamy, I am sure it is on the decline. Indeed, there has been no subsequent period in Mormon history when there were so many polygamous marriages as from in 1853 to 1857. The young people are disgusted with it. One phase of the subject is especially repulsive -- the mixtures of blood relationship. Some cases within my knowledge have given rise to consanguinous puzzles that will bother the Master in Chancery, if the estates ever get into court."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                 Columbus, Ohio, Tuesday, September 26, 1876.                 No. ?

The Scene of the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

Beaver (Utah) Cor. Chicago Int.-Ocean, Sept.19.

Nineteen years ago an emigrant train of one hundred and thirtyseven persons, while on their way to California, were massacred in this territory at a place called Mountain Meadows, and, beyond a doubt, it was done by the Mormons, at the instigation of their prophet, Brigham Young. John D. Lee, an adopted son of Brigham, figured most conspicuously in the awful tragedy.

Feeling that to intelligently conduct the prosecution it was necessary to visit the scene of the butchery, Sumner Howard esq., United States District Attorney for Zion, determined to do so. Accompanied by Marshal Nelson, Official Court Reporter A. S. Patterson, your correspondent, and a Mormon guide, he set out for that place on the morning of the 7th instant.

At the scene of the massacre we came across numbers of human bones. A rib as white as snow, a shoulder blade half buried in the sand, and other fragments of human frames, scattered for a mile, lay bleaching in the sun. The old camp grounds where the emigrants corralled their wagons was a level strip of meadow terminating in a bluff-like manner, and commanding a view of half a mile down the canon, and in turn commanded from tha hills on every other side. There it was determined the train had to stop for a week or ten days to allow their teams to recruit on the rich grass which grew in abundance on the hills and in the meadows. The Indians and Mormons attacked them furiously; and, notwithstanding they barricaded by throwing up sod breastworks under their wagons, quite a number of their men were picked off by arrows and bullets. For several days they held their murderers at bay, but finally, by the treachery of John D. Lee, they were decoyed out, and the whole company, men, women and children, excepting seventeen babes, were slaughtered. Their effects, even the clothing in which they were shot down, were carried off and appropriated by the Mormon priesthood and the Indians.

In 1859 a detachment of Colonel Johnston's command of United States soldiers from Camp Floyd did the Christian service of gathering together all they could find of the bones of these victims and burying them in two graves. One of these graves was made within the limits of the little corral where the Arkansans had so gallantly defended their wives and children against the foe, and where several of their number had been shot before the treachery of Lee brought death and ruin on them all. Above their sacred dust the soldiers erected a rude monument of granite boulders and a wooden, cross to their memory. Brigham spat upon the cross, and the Mormons demolished the monument. It is now simply a heap of stones, three feet wide and a rod long, running east and west, and is all, save the blight which has come upon the spot, that marks their hallowed resting-place. In 1862 a cloud-burst cut the meadows into gullies, one of which, twenty feet deep, turned from its course and missed this grave. Thus, it seems, Providence spared the rude monument and mouldering bones, but the Mormons did not.

The other grave was half a mile north of the monument at the fork of the road which led back to the main route, but at the present time it is lost. The spring is almost dry; what there is of it is oozing out in the bottom of the gulley which just misses the monument; the meadow where the train stood is now a shifting sand hill; the barricade thrown up is blown away; it is barren of vegetation, recognizable only by the heap of boulders once serving to designate a common grave. A few feet west of it there are three rocks lying in a line, and at one end an oaken stick stands in the ground, evidently marking the grave of one who fell before the train surrendered. Our party picked up a few bits of chinaware, a nail from the wooden cross, an ounce slug, a navy bullet, a few flint and moss-agate arrow heads, and fragments of human remains. These mark the scene of the siege, and the bleaching bones strewn among the sage-brush for a mile above show that the butchery was not confined to a single spot.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 29.                     Cleveland, Saturday, October 21, 1876.                           No. ?


Another Opinion in Regard to the Origin
of the Book of Mormon.

To The Editor of the Leader:
      Some days since I noticed in the LEADER an article concerning the authorship of the Mormon Bible. I had supposed that there was no question as to who was the writer of the book. A lawyer by the name of Cowdey -- O. W. or J. W., I do not remember which -- was supposed to have written the book and put it in shape. The subject matter was probably dictated by Joe Smith himself, assisted by others. Cowdry practiced law in Tiffin, Seneca county, Ohio, from about 1842 to 1847. He left Tiffin quite suddenly and afterwards settled in Iowa or Wisconsin. While he lived at Tiffin he was noted for one peculiarity -- a nervous fear and anxiety, constantly looking around and behind him, especially when walking in the streets at night. He was a man of fair literary attainments, was an apostate from the Mormon faith, and very reticent concerning his former connexion with that sect. After he left Tiffin I heard a rumor that he had mysteriously disappeared from his home in Iowa or Wisconsin. I do not know whether or not there was any truth in the rumor.     H.

Note 1: A year later, in the Cleveland Plain Dealer of Sept. 1, 1877, the paper's editor confirmed some of the allegations given in the above report, saying: "Cowdery was the most intelligent of all the men connected with the Mormon imposture, and it is now generally believed was the real author of the Mormon Bible.... While a resident of Seneca county he was very secluded and retiring in his habits, and it was then said that he was fearful of the 'Avenging Angels' of the Mormons, as they threatened his life for deserting them. It was alleged while residing in Tiffin, with his family, that he never would go on the streets after dark and changed his place of sleeping from one room to another every night."

Note 2: Another early resident of Tiffin, General Reub Williams, recalled Oliver Cowdery's presence in the town, but did not mention enough details to supplement the local lore regarding Cowdery's fear of the Danites, etc. See Williams' recollections, as published in the Warsaw Northern Indianian of  Dec. 28, 1878. See also the article "Some Ohio People," in the Plain Dealer of  Feb. 29, 1896.


Vol. 30.                     Cleveland, Monday, February 12, 1877.                           No. 37.


Their Troubles In this Vale of Tears --
Crickets and Other Bugs Till They
Can't Rest -- The Sort of Citizen that the
Average Mormon Is.

Special Correspondence of the LEADER.

February 1, 1877.    

Elder Orson Pratt, the Historian of the Mormon Church, gave me to-day some very interesting statements concerning the Latter Day Saints. It appears that their greatest afflictions have been caused by crickets, grasshoppers and Gentiles. The crickets -- large as a man's thumb -- came down from the mountains and destroyed some of their crops, and left many of their people destitute. Again in 1863, the grasshopper, like the Chinaman, individually harmless but collectively a scourge, destroyed the crops of the Saints and Gentiles alike in nearly the whole territory. Still later came the ungodly Gentile with his mining tools and unsaintly ways familiarly culling the great prophet and leader, Old Brig., inquiring with mock solicitude after his mother-in-law, and in a thousand ways pushing the iron into the Society soul. All social and political questions resolve themselves into Mormon and anti-Mormon, and are often fought out in a Jesuitical and unscrupulous manner. The fertile soil of these valleys has enabled the Saints to prosper, but the rich ores in the mountains will be their ruin as a Church.

If the mining interests had been developed ten years earlier, the Mormon question would have been settled before this. So far as I have observed, the average Mormon is industrious and stupid, with a blind faith in his leaders, giving one-tenth of his earnings without a murmur to the Church. A majority of them appear to be foreigners, and are scattered in settlements in nearly every part of Utah. Eider Pratt informed me that they number about one hundred and fifty thousand, and have been anxiously waiting for the constitutional privileges of a State, an advantage that the Mormons would have turned to good account for their interest had Utah been made a State ten years ago. There are two buildings, perhaps three, in Salt Lake of peculiar interest to the visitor:

First -- the Tabernacle, like an immense oblong wooden bowl bottom up, on great pillars or abutments. It is 230 feet long by 130 feet wide, and will comfortably seat 12,000 people. No Brooklyn disaster can befall an audience of Latter Day Saints, for the numerous doors between the stone piers will let thirteen thousand people out of the building in less than two minutes.

The second building of interest to the gaping Gentile is the Palace of Amelia, built for Brigham's favorite wife. It is nearly completed, and is not surpassed in elegance by any house on Euclid avenue. The third building of interest is Brigham's home -- a long house with its porches and cozy nooks -- suggestive of comfort and happiness.

With awe-struck wonder the Puritanic traveler will gaze at that paternal roof, with its vast combinations of wifely and natural interests, its overwhelming mother-in-law exigencies and possibilities. Mr. Babbates' calculating and difference engine is nowhere in figures to that house with its nineteen wives and seventy children, with their heterogeneous emotions.


Notes: (forthcoming)


Belmont  Chronicle.
ns. Vol. XVII.                 St. Clairsville, Ohio, Thursday, March 29, 1877.                 No. 11.

Origin of the Mormon Bible.
Sunday Afternoon for April

After twenty years of delay and about eighteen years of immunity from prosecution, John D. Lee, on Friday, was shot to death for active participation in the Mountain Meadows massacre in Utah. It was a singular part of the history of the case that he should meet his death on the ground where the horrible deed was committed: Mountain Meadows, the scene of the massacre in 1857, in a long narrow vale lying just west of what is known as the "rim of the basin," or the natural water-shed between the Salt Lake valley and the Colorado river. Here, about four hundred mites south from Salt Lite City a train of emigrants from Missouri were surrounded and murdered by a party consisting principally of Indians and Mormons disguised as Indians, so it is alleged, in revenge, as has been asserted, for the death of the prophet, Joe Smith. The Mormons however, have always held that those emigrants poisoned some Indians near Corn creek, and that the Utes only retaliated. But Lee's confession fixes the hideous crime upon the Mormon Church, which could more easily defend polygamy than shoulder the Mountain Meadows massacre.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XIII.                                 Newark, Ohio, Friday, April 20, 1877.                                 No. 16.

Joe  Smith’s  Bible.

(Troy Times, March 31.)

According to an item which is taking the rounds of the press one of the rarest books printed in the nineteenth century is the first edition of the "Book of Mormon," published at Palmyra, N. Y., in 1830, and it is stated that the historian Macaulay tried in vain for years to procure a copy of it. The Buffalo Historical Society possesses a copy of the so-called Mormon Bible, presented to it several years ago by one of our citizens, and we presume it would not be very difficult to procure another in the town where it was printed. The first Mormon prophet resided in or near Palmyra, and pretended that he transcribed the Book of Mormon from inscriptions on metal plates which he found on a hill near the village, as revealed to him in a vision. But poor "Joe Smith," as he was then called, was regarded as a careless, lazy, dissolute fellow, and it was a long time before he could persuade anybody to take enough stock in his "new departure" to pay for printing the book. At last, however, the work was undertaken, more to "fill up time" in the slack business of a country printing office than with any expectation that the proprietor would realize a fair profit on the job. The printer who did all the press work on the book, we believe, is still living at Palmyra, and he undoubtedly preserved a specimen of his handiwork, according to the custom of those days. A note of inquiry addressed to the postmaster at Palmyram N. Y., would probably result in putting the writer in communication with a person who could supply an authentic copy of the very first sheets of the original "Book of Mormon."

(Buffalo Commercial.)

The Mormon Bible was printed at the office of the Wayne Sentinel, Palmyra, by Egbert Grandin, at that time the temporary publisher of the paper named. Pomeroy Tucker, however, was the owner of the establishment, which was conducted under his active supervision. Both Mr. Grandin and Mr. Tucker are dead. The proof sheets of the original Mormon Bible were read by Mr. Tucker. There are few copies of this first edition now extant. A copy preserved by Mr. Tucker is now in possession of his son, H.O.R. Tucker, of the Troy Times. Its mechanical execution is excellent. The publication was not undertaken to "fill up time in the slack business of a country printing office," but the job was paid for at a fair profit; a deluded follower of Joe Smith, (Martin Harris, of Macedon, Wayne county,) mortgaging his farm to raise the means for that purpose. The venerable Major John Gilbert, still living at Palmyra, did the press work. We very much doubt whether copies of the first edition of the "Book of Mormon" could now be obtained at Palmyra or elsewhere. The only authentic account of the origin and progress of Mormonism is contained in a volume published by Appleton & Co. some ten years ago, of which the late Pomeroy Tucker was the author. It presents in detail the facts, incidents and personages connected with the rise of this stupendous imposture, the author himself residing in the same town with Joe Smith, and knowing all about his proceedings and methods of deception.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXX.                       Cleveland, Ohio, Friday, July 13, 1877.                             No. ?


Springfield, Ill., July 12. -- Captain John Tobin, formerly a resident of California, later of St. Louis and still later of Springfield, will be one of District Attorney Howard's principal witnesses to prove Brigham Young's personal connection with the massacre of the Gentiles. His name is mentioned in Lee's confession.

He tells a long story, which is, in substance, that having gained the confidence of Brigham Young by aiding Mormon emigrants, he was appointed instructor of the territorial militia, which position he resigned because the squads of cavalry were used as avengers. Subsequently he undertook to guide a party of three strong anti-Mormons to California, but the party was overtaken by a band of mounted Mormons, led by Brigham Young, Jr. and were compelled to stop under the pretense that they were going to California to misrepresent Mormonism. They finally proceeded, but were continually dogged by the Mormons, who at length fired upon them as they were encamping at night.

The party were left for dead, and the Mormons taking their horses rode away. About two days after the United States mail wagon and a party on their way to San Bernadino, took them up, but two [of their number] died soon after. Tobin had a shot in the right eye, which nearly made him blind. He claims to have important documentary evidence of plottings against the government and the Gentiles on the part of Brigham Young.

Note 1: See the Illinois State Journal of July 12th, the New York Tribune and New York Times of July 13th, as well as the Times of July 15th and June 11th.

Note 2: On pages 75-76 of his 2012 book Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows, historian Will Bagley presents the following: "In February 1857 apostate John Tobin, a would-be paramour of Brigham Young's daughter Alice, barely survived an ambush in Santa Clara Canyon. Garland Hurt implicated Brigham Young, Jr., in the attack, but Isaac Haight blamed it on 'Mapaches,' although Apaches were seldom seen north of the Colorado River. The next month Gardner 'Duff' Potter, brother of the Mormon guide killed in the Gunnison massacre, lured three apostates into a bloody ambush in Springville. Potter was caught in the crossfire that also killed William and Beeson Parrish. Orrin Parrish escaped to press charges later, but no indictments were filed in the Parrish-Potter murders. --- About the 3d of February last, two gentlemen, John Peltro and John Tobin, reached the Indian farm, on Spanish Fork, in company with several other persons, en route for California. Mr. Tobin had recently apostatized from the church, and was leaving behind a young wife. They had not left the farm till two other persons (Brigham Young, jr., son of his excellency, and a young man named Taylor) overtook them, and all remained over night at my house, and all saddled their horses to leave at the same time the next morning. Mr. Peltro and his party, however, started first, but in a familiar tone asked Young and Taylor if they were going the same road. I heard Young say, in a low voice, 'We will overtake you soon enough.' --- Soon after these parties left it was a common talk among the people that the Indians were very hostile on the southern road, and, as if to forestall the facts, it was remarked, before Mr. Peltro and his party had time to reach the southern settlements, that they had all been killed by the Indians. --- On the seventh day of March, it was reported by the mail carrier that they had been attacked some time in the latter part of February, on the Rio Santa Clara, by a band of the Piede Indians, who fired upon them in the night while asleep, and robbed them of their property. Tobin was severely wounded in the face, a ball entering his cheek and passing out under his ear on the opposite side. Two others of the party were also wounded, but not so seriously. It is also re ported by the mail party, that their blankets were literally covered with navy-sized pistol balls, and the Utah Indians are bold in asserting that the Piedes had nothing to do with it; and this opinion is also entertained by many white persons in the valley who dare not speak out...."


Cincinnati  Daily  Gazette.
Vol. 100.                                 Cincinnati, Tuesday, July 17, 1877.                                 No. 14.



Croquet and Finance -- The Persistent Delusion of Cheap Money --
The Struggle in Ohio With the Heresy...

Special Correspondence to the Cincinnati Gazette.

Mentor, Lake Co., O. July 13.    
Mentor is a town in the New England sense only -- that is, a political division of thickly settled country, with here and there enough houses in a group to make a small hamlet. Having been directed here to find General Garfield's home, I started around the depot confidently looking for a city of some thousands, and found myself confronted by space. On the other side was a hotel, around it grain fields, and further along a few houses. Being informed that the General lived two miles out on the Ridge road, I walked off through as pretty a rural region as can be found in a level country....

To me this is a region of great historic incident, and I only regret that I can not steal a week from politics to dig up some local reminiscences. It seems like familiar ground. Many a time and oft in the "experience meetings" in Utah I have heard old Mormons tell of their trials here -- known in their history as the "third general persecution" -- and more than one old Mormon lady has described to me the beauty of her early home on the Reserve. Two miles from here Sidney Rigdon founded his little society, composed of dissenters from the "Disciples," and in due time led the whole society bodily into Mormonism. Here the Church was first regularly organized with about a hundred members, and a little way up the road stands the only temple the "Saints" ever completed, now owned by the "Josephites," and considerately shown to visitors at fifteen cents a head. Near by are the ruins of the old house in which Joe Smith and three elders received the revelation regarding a community of goods; not far off the house where Joe lived when he was mobbed and tarred and feathered, and in an adjacent cabin "Father Whitmer wrestled all night with the Devil," and finally threw him in a fair stand up ("under holds"). Here the parents of Ann Eliza Young were united in marriage by Joe Smith himself; and here the "Kirtland Safety Society Bank" was organized "by the command of God, and under the laws of Ohio." I have in my possession a pretentiously executed bill which says that the above bank "will pay bearer one dollar," the illusive promise being signed by "Jos Smith, President,"and "Sidney Rigdon, Cashier." Along the road from Mentor and Kirtland lived the worst anti-Mormons in the district, and the saints once put it to vote in their assembly whether they should not burn every house along the way. The proposition was defeated by two majority, and not to change the subject suddenly, some two miles on the way, and a mile and a half from Kirtland, I found the farm house, which is now the residence of Gen. Garfield....   HANSON

Note 1: Unfortunately Mr. Hanson neglected to supply the journalistic linkage between General Garfield and his residence in the old Warren Corning home, where some of the early 1830s anti-Mormon meetings were held. It was here that D. P. Hurlbut reportedly exhibited both the "Roman story" of Solomon Spalding and the "Manuscript Found," written by the same author.

Note 2: Hanson makes it sound as though Joseph Smith was living in Kirtland at the time of his 1832 tar and feathering. In fact, he was then living several miles away, in Hiram, in adjacent Portage County.


Vol. ?                           Cleveland, Ohio, Friday, August 31, 1877.                           No. ?

Brigham  Young.

On the 29th of August, the great head of the Mormon Church passed from the stage of life, on which he had so long played a wonderful part. Born at Whitingham, Vermont, in 1801, he joined the Mormon Church in 1832, coming to Kirtland, Ohio, for that purpose. While Joseph Smith remaind at Kirtland engaged in the work of "making money" by swindling the people through the agency of a store a mill, and a wild-cat bank, Young became one of the twelve apostles, and went about the Eastern Staes making converts. Through all the vicissitudes of the Church in Missouri and Illinois, he adhered to its wavering fortunes, biding his time. When Joseph and Hyrum Smith were killed by the Missouri mob at Carthage, Illinois, Young was chosen first President, to the disappointment of Sidney Rigdon, who had long been the prophet's accomplice, and who expected the succession.

Rigdon had been from the beginning associated with Joseph Smith in all his doings. He had furnished a great part of the "Book of Mormon," had been the cashier of Smith's bogus bank, and shared with him the tar and feathers bewstowed by the swindled people of Kirtland [sic - Hiram?], as well as subsequent imprisonments and punishments. But Young punished his contumacy by excommunicating and cursing him, and solemnly delivered him to the devil, "to be buffeted for a thousand years." The Mormon Church saw that it had fallen into the hands of its master, and the obedience it then yielded has been unhesitatingly given through all its subsequent career.

Driven from place to place within the States, Young, with characteristic boldness, sent out pioneers to find a home for his followers in the wilderness, and soon followed them himself, arriving at Salt Lake Valley, Utah, July 24, 1847. Here he was joined by the main body of the Church in the summer of 1848...

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. 33.                                 Cleveland, Saturday, September 1, 1877.                                 No. 208.

We publish to-day a recent sermon delivered by Brigham Young, in which he refers to an incident in the life of Oliver Cowdery, who he says went with Joe Smith to the "hill Cumorac," [sic] "when it opened and they walked into a cave, in which there was a large and spacious room," where they found the "sword of Laban" unsheathed, and on it was written these words: "This sword will never be sheathed again until the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our God and Christ." This man Cowdery was the most intelligent of all the men connected with the Mormon imposture, and it is now generally believed was the real author of the Mormon Bible. After the Nauvoo affair he left the Mormons and came back to Ohio. He located at Tiffin and practiced law there for several years, when he removed to Wisconsin. Subsequently we heard that he rejoined the Mormons and we do not know whether he is alive or dead, While a resident of Seneca county he was very secluded and retiring in his habits, and it was then said that he was fearful of the "Avenging Angels" of the Mormons, as they threatened his life for deserting them. It was alleged while residing in Tiffin, with his family, that he never would go on the streets after dark and changed his place of sleeping from one room to another every night. He was very moody and it was asserted he deeply regretted his connection with the Mormon Church, and confidentially said he possessed too many of the secrets of the Mormon leaders to make his life safe. He was considered a good lawyer, but had no gift for public speaking. We have not observed his name mentioned for many years, in the papers until we noticed it in this report of of Young's Conference discussions at Farmington.

There was nothing unusual or dramatic in the death of the Mormon prophet. "Such," says a dispatch to the New York Herald, was his weakness that nothing, not even the least incident, rendered the death bed of Brigham Young noteworthy. During eighteen hours previous to his death he was unconscious except at intervals of perhaps a minute in length, and then he answered questions which were asked without making any voluntary inquiry. On Tuesday evening and during most of the day the Lion House was approached by scores of visitors, but some of Brigham Young's own wives were prevented from seeing him. Many of his younger children were not aware of his approaching death and all except a few of the younger members of his family were denied admission to his bedside. If he gave utterance or made any last request it has been carefully concealed, He is said to have died quietly after a long period of silence and quiet breathing. One ghastly feature of Mormonism is illustrated by the fact that some of Brigham's wives, relegated to hovels and unable yesterday to view the remains of their departed suzerain, were hanging around the doors of the Lion House. Crape was placed on the doors of the Lion House and the Bee Hive at four o'clock and the cooperative stores and all mercantile establishments owned by Mormons in the city were closed at once. There has been no general demonstration of regret. Indeed, there is a noticeable lack of excitement.

Note 1: The relevant passage in the 1877 Brigham Young discourse was: "Oliver Cowdery went with the Prophet Joseph when he deposited these plates. Joseph did not translate all of the plates; there was a portion of them sealed, which you can learn from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. When Joseph got the plates, the angel instructed him to carry them back to the hill Cumorah, which he did. Oliver says that when Joseph and Oliver went there, the hill opened, and they walked into a cave, in which there was a large and spacious room. He says he did not think, at the time, whether they had the light of the sun or artificial light; but that it was just as light as day. They laid the plates on a table; it was a large table that stood in the room. Under this table there was a pile of plates as much as two feet high, and there were altogether in this room more plates than probably many wagon loads; they were piled up in the corners and along the walls. The first time they went there the sword of Laban hung upon the wall; but when they went again it had been taken down and laid upon the table across the gold plates; it was unsheathed, and on it was written these words: "This sword will never be sheathed again until the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our God and his Christ." I tell you this as coming not only from Oliver Cowdery, but others who were familiar with it, and who understood it just as well as we understand coming to this meeting... Carlos Smith was a young man of as much veracity as any young man we had, and he was a witness to these things. Samuel Smith saw some things, Hyrum saw a good many things, but Joseph was the leader."

Note 2: For more on Oliver Cowdery's post-Missouri period, see the Cleveland Plain Dealer of Oct. 21, 1876, the Warsaw Northern Indianian of Dec. 28, 1878 and the Cleveland Plain Dealer of Feb. 29, 1896.



Vol. XXXVII.               Cincinnati, Ohio, Wednesday  Sept. 5, 1877.               No. 357.

The Springfield Republican publishes some facts concerning the origin of the Mormon Bible that are interesting but not new. There never was any doubt that it was a modification of the MS. story written by the Rev. Solomon Spaulding, in Bible phraseology, and purporting to be an account of the lost tribes of Israel, some fo which settled in America. Spaulding, we believe, was a Presbyterian minister, and settled over a congregation in Ashtabula County. The story was written for his own amusement and the entertainment of his neighbors. Whether Joe Smith or Sidney Rigdon copied it we do not know, but the revision and adaptation of it to the uses which it was finally put were the work of Rigdon, who was intellectually and by education much the superior of Smith. Rigdon took the MS. to Pittsburg where it was printed. There are people yet living in Ashtabula, we presume, who are familiar with the circumstances attending the origin of the Book of Mormon, and who listened to the reading of its original by the author himself.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XI.                           Elyria, Ohio, Thurs., September 6, 1877.                           No. 50.

Brigham  Young.

Brigham Young, who died on the 29th ult. of inflammation of the bowels, was born in Vermont, June 1, 1801. His father was a small farmer, and Brigham enjoyed very few advantages in the way of education. While yet quite a biy he was apprenticed and learned the trade of a painter and glazier. During his early youth he developed strong religious proclivities and united with the Baptist Church, and it is even said occasionally preached about the country as he traveled working at his trade.

In 1832 he was ordained an Elder of the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints," having been converted to the Mormon faith a short time previously, and began his peculiar and celebrated career as a preacher in the Mormon settlement at Kirtland, Ohio. Since that time he has been closely indentified with the rise, spread, and interior history of this religion, being for most of the time practically the "Church" itself.

The church had already been started as an organization in Manchester, N. Y., and in 1831 reemoved, with all its members, to Kirtland, Ohio, under the leadership of Joseph Smith. At the period of Young's ascension, the government of the church consisted of a Presidency, of which Smith, Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams were the incumbants. His telents and shrewdness speedily made him prominent, and in February, 1835, a further step in the organization was made by the institution of twelve apostles, and he was ordained one of the twelve and sent forth with the other apostles. His field of labor was the Eastern States, and he was signally successful in making converts.

In 1836 a large and costly temple, which had been for three years in process of building, was consecrated at Kirtland, and 1837 Orson Hyde and Heber C. Kimball were sent as missionaries to England. In 1838, the bank at Kirtland having failed, Smith and Rigdon fled to Missouri in the night, hotly pursued by their creditors.

The Prophets were soon surrounded by the faithful in Missouri, and the colony throve of a while notwithstanding the enmity of the Missourians. This broke out at last in a fiece contest, and the Saints to the number of 15,000 took refuge in Illinois. The town of Nauvoo was started under a charter from the Legislature of Illinois. When the revelation of celestial marriage became public, a great deal of indignation was felt even in Nauvoo, and serious disturbances took place, the result of which was that Smith and his brother Hyrum were thrown into prison at Carthage, Ill., where they were murdered by a mob June 27, 1844.

Smith's death caused great agitation and confusion among his followers, but the Council of the twelve apostles unanimously elected Brigham Young, and from that day to the day of his death the history of Brigham Young and the history of Mormonism are one.

In 1845 the Legislature of Illinois revoked the charter of Nauvoo, and the Saints determined to emigrate beyond the Rocky Mountains. In February, 1846, the first emigrants cross the ice-bound Mississippi, stopped a while in Iowa, and then marched under strict discipline across the great wilderness. BRigham Young arrived in the Salt Lake Valley July 24, 1847, and the main body of the Mormons in the fall of 1848.

Salt Lake City was soon founded, an emigration fund established, and settlers poured in from all over the world. In 1850 the Government admitted the new Territory under the name of Utah, and commissioned Brigham Young as Governor and Indian Agent. District Judges were also appointed by the Federal authority, but these were regarded with great dislike by the President of the church and the Saints generally, and were finally driven out of the country in 1851.

Brigham Young was now suspended from his office of Governor and Col. Steptoe appointed in his stead. He arrived in Utah in 1854, but found it prudent to withdraw from the country. The Mormon President said boldly at this time; "I am and will be Governor, and no power can hinder me until the Lord Almighty says" 'Brigham, you need not be Governor any longer.'" During the ensuing year collisions between the church and Federal officials became so frequent that the whole of the latter were forced to leave the Territory. A new Governor, Alfred Cummings, was appointed in 1857, as also a new Superintendent of Indian Affairs; beisdes a force of 2,500 was sent under Gen. Harney to enforce obedience to the national laws. Brigham Young attacked the supply trains anmd forced the expedition to winter at some distance from Salt Lake. Early next year negotiations were had, and the Mormons submitted to teh Federal authority.

A nominal regard for the supreme authority of the General Government has been maintained ever since the time alluded to, but there was and is but one law or authority recognized by the Mormons, and that is the church, through its hierarchy.

Brigham Young was assisted in the Presidency by Daniel C. Wells and Heber C. Kimball, with twelve apostles and two bodies of the priesthood, but, while the doctrines of the church give some authority, as a matter of fact everything and everybody over the length and breadth of the great Territory of Utah has bowed to the iron will of Brigham Young.

There are many dark and bloody pages in the history of the Mormon occupation of Utah, the most terrible and notorious of the list being the Mountain Meadow massacre, for which John D. Lee suffered death but a little while ago. The general history of that deed is so fresh in the minds of the people that it is unnecessary to speak of the details beyond the implication of Brigham Young in the crime. It is more than probable that had Brigham lived, the onus of that massacre would have been fixed upon him legally, even as he has borne it morally for many years. Evidence in the hands of the authorities is said to fix upon him beyond peradventure the instigation of the whole fiendish job, and there has been a growing determination on the part of the Government lately to bring him to justice.

Yest despite all that is charged against him there is a side to the late prophet's character which demands some attention. He found the greater part of the country occupied by his people as a wilderness, without rain, without verdure. He introduced a comprehensive system of irrigation, which has changed that wilderness, for the most part, to a garden. The public works of his capital are creditable, and the natural prosperity of the Mormons as a community is not only wonderful in itself, but still more wonderful in that it is so much due to this one man's perseverence, ability and unconquerable will.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                           Marysville, Ohio, Tuesday,  December 25, 1877.                           No. 29.

The  Founder  of  Mormonism.

The recent Baptist Minister's Conference of New York, investigated the Mormon Bible, and the Rev. Dr. P. B. Spear, of Madison University, told stories about the boyhood of Joe Smith. He was personally acquainted with the twelve apostles of Joe Smith. The entire gang of apostles had been expelled from Christian churches. On general training days in Palmyra, N. Y., Joe Smith's father sold cakes and cider to the crowd. Joe was a white-headed, tall gawky, who never said a thing as anyone else would. The old man was a fortune-teller, in a rough way. He used the palm and lines in the hand to read character. From him Joe acquired the fortune-telling habit. When a mere boy Joe got hold of a stone that one of the neighbor's children had found. It was shaped like a small child's foot and had veins running through it. Putting this stone into his hat and thrusting his face into the hat so as to exclude all light, Joe declared that he saw visions. The price Joe usually received for his exercise of the gift of second sight was ten or fifteen cents. Joe learned to read without a teacher, and was delighted with the history of Mohammedanism.

As to the finding by Joe Smith of the golden plates, with inscriptions, a Mr. Kingman, who was on the Grand Jury in a case in Wayne County, in which all the facts concerning the pretended finding of the plates were brought out, told the speaker a strange story. Joe Smith had told him that he (Joe) had begun the story of the golden plates as a "sell" on his (Joe's) mother. Joe wore a long tow gown, that was loose and reached to his feet. Sometimes he wore tow pantaloons under the gown and sometimes he didn't. Oftener he didn't. It was the mother's habit to say to Joe on his return from an expedition, "Well, anything been found?" One day Joe said that he put a lot of sand into his gown, and concealed it by holding the edge of the gown over it. In answer to the usual query, he said that he had found a golden Bible. The mother wanted to see it. "No, it will kill you to look upon it," Joe rejoined. The mother was credulous -- and so were the neighbors. Thus the story arose, and Joe was too shrewd to contradict the story.

The Rev. Dr. Eddy read an essay on the Mormon Bible. He held one up, saying that there are only six or eight in existence, the thing having been suppressed. For a similar one six hundred dollars was recently paid. It contained a positive prohibition of polygamy. Years ago, while the book was owned by a friend, Benj. Fordyce, in Scipio, N.Y., the Mormons repeatedly sent messengers to buy it. To get rid of them, the friend had given the book to the essayist. The only one who had joined the Mormons from his early home, Marion, Wayne County, N. Y., was a widow of doubtful reputation, who was a member of the Baptist Church.

Note 1: Rev. Philetus B. Spear was born in Palmyra in 1811 and would have been a teenager at the time Joseph Smith, Sr. and Joseph Smith, Jr. were active in that area. Another of Spear's accounts regarding the Smiths was published in the Newark, NY Marion Enterprise of Sept. 28, 1923: "Joe Smith was born in Sharon, Vermont, in [1805], coming to New York State at an early age. --- His father was a fortune-teller, and had a poor reputation among the townsmen. Joe was an ungainly looking lad, clothing poor, with associates of the lower class. He had for a library a copy of the 'Arabian Nights,' stories of Captain Kidd, and a few novels. --- Though of a coarse wit and of some influence, he gave no promise in his youth of the power exercised in his later years. --- The attention of the people was first called to him by the claims made that Joe could find anything lost or hidden. Once in a while he would succeed in telling where a thing was to be found, and, forgetting his many failures, the one success was loudly proclaimed. --- This prepared the public to believe him when he claimed to know where Captain Kidd had hidden money in Palmyra. A company was organized to dig in a certain hill specified by 'Joe.' This company was solemnly told that a spell was upon the treasure. --- No one could find it unless digging in the night. When they came near the devil would frighten them away. They must never mind him but dig on, or he would drag the treasure down deeper. ---The men worked hard and long but saw no signs of gold, when Mr. Ellsworth, growing convinced of his folly, determined to play a joke upon his comrades. Going to the hill before the others, he scattered a train of powder around. About midnight, when the men were thinking of the signs that might come any moment, Ellsworth dropped his pipe on the powder. As it flashed, he shouted: 'The Devil is coming! The Devil is coming!' when one and all ran for dear life. Thus ended the work by Company No. 1. --- But another company was organized, Smith himself being the leader of this. The entrance to their mine was firmly locked during the day, and guarded at night when they were at work. As no treasure was found, the village began to lose faith. The company kept on when it began to be whispered that they were counterfeiting money, expecting to pass it as the found treasure. It was while digging with this second company that Smith claimed to find the Gold Bible.

His mother had great faith in him, and every time he returned from the hill she would say: 'Well, Joe, what have you found?' Growing tired of answering that nothing had been seen, he put sand into his coat pocket, and when that time she asked the same question, with an air of great mystery, he exclaimed that he had found a Gold Bible. He could not show it to her, as no human eyes but his, could look upon it, without being struck dead. --- Going to his room the sand was formed in a box, and kept sacred by him. His mother whispered the story to others, and, to Joe's utmost surprise, the people believed it. Seeing how they were affected he determined to make the most of the matter. --- He solemnly told Martin Harris that God had chosen him (Harris) to furnish means for the publication of the Bible, and prevailed upon him to accept the work. Harris' wife had no faith in Smith, and she, seeing their property rapidly diminishing, demanded a sight of the Bible. Smith said no one could see it. She persisted, and he finally, by main force, kept her from opening the box. --- The rest is known. Smith found Sidney Rigdon, the [currier], who gave him the manuscript of a novel written by Solomon Spaulding, entitled 'Manuscript Found.' Smith altered this same title and gave it to the world as the translation of his 'Gold Bible.'"

Note 2: For another eye-witness account relating to the young Joseph Smith, Jr. and Islam, see the comments reported from Dr. John Stafford in 1884.


Vol. ?                               Elyria, Ohio,  Thursday, February 14, 1878.                               No. ?


Why Women are Allowed to Vote in Utah.


In commenting upon the singular spectacle of two women suffragists defending polygamy in Utah, aimply because the Mormons allow their wives to vote, the correspondent of the Cincinnati Gazette says:

"Now the facts about this Utah voting are just these: When Brigham and his allies organized their theocracy in 1847, in the Salt Lake Valley, they decided that no political parties should be allowed in their community; every voter should vote the church ticket, or leave. When the Territory of Utah was organized, in 1850, the Mormon Church selected all the officials and directed the people to vote for them ea masse, which they did. In fact, Dr. J. M. Bernheisel started for Washington, at Brigham's command, long before the election, and Brigham had the people vote for him, and then forwarded his credentials. This system worked beautifully while Utah contained none but devout Mormons; but in 1852-3 a few gentiles located there, and to take time by the forelock. the "Twelve Apostles" and other Mormon priests who constitute the Territorial Legislature, passed a law that every ballot should be numbered, the number entered in a book, and the voter's name written opposite his number! The poll books are on record, the ballots are strung and preserved; so a Mormon Bishop can learn in a few minutes how any one of his flock has voted since 1853. A vote for other than the Church ticket is treated as rebellion; the rebel is excommunicated, the faithful are not allowed to trade with or employ him, and as far the Church can do it he is made an outcast.

This kept down the rebellious Saints until 1869, by which time the silver mines had attracted some 20,000 Gentiles to Utah. These organized a Liberal party, converted a few Mormons to their way of thinking, and ran a separate ticket. At once there was a howl of rage. The Mormon Legislature took a new reef in the election law, put Tooele county, which contained the most Gentiles, into a new district, and punished all the malcontents as far as possible. But the Gentiles persevered, and the Mormon Church leaders took a new turn. In 1870 they bestowed, the suffrage on 11, 000 Mormon women.

This was a neat trick. It doubled their vote, while it did not increase that of the Gentiles ten per cent. For, of the 20,000 Gentiles in Utah, at least three-fourths are men, and the Gentile ladies, as a rule, refuse to vote, while Mormon women dare not disobey the command of the Church. The Liberal party of Utah at the last three elections has advocated a free school system, the enactment of a marriage law and a reform in the divorce system; but not one Mormon woman has voted for these things. We have then in an American Territory this frightful anomaly; the more a man has violated the law the more votes (i. e., wives) he has. Eleven thousand women and yet the statute books contain marriage act and no dower law. "President" John Taylor marches his four wives to the polls and casts five votes against a free school system. John D. Lee, when alive, voted eleven wives against the establishment of criminal courts, and Apostle Cannon, now representing the Territory in Congress, votes four wives to his opponent's one! And this is the sort of thing the advocates of woman suffrage are asked to defend. And that no feature of indecency might be lacking, a poor, demented creature in pantaloons comes to the rescue of the polygamous saints, and insists that women are happily situated.

If the Mormon women had a free ballot the case would be different. But it is notorious that they have not. The system of marked and numbered ballots invariably betrays all who vote other than the Church ticket. And that a delegation of non-Mormons for a free ballot, such as we enjoy in Ohio, we have this disgusting performance in Washington. Fortunately, it is not a political question. Democrats and Republicans alike believe in the sacredness of the ballot. For seven years the Gentiles of Utah have petitioned in vain for this plain grant of justice. It is an inscrutable mystery that justice should have been so long denied them. If the advocates of woman's rights know what is best for their cause they will cut loose from this Mormon abomination, and urge Congress to give Utah a free ballot, and such a judicial system as will check polygamy, and stop the persecution of dissenting Mormons.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                           Cleveland, Ohio, Tuesday, July 18, 1878.                           No. ?


The Mormons and Their Church....


remarkable in faith, heroism, privations and persecutions, is written in the lives of two men, Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, both born in Vermont.... The first church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was organized in 1830 in Seneca couty, Nedw York. Missionaries began zealously to preach the new faith. Indians were to be converted; the millennium to come, and the New Jerusalem to be built in the heart of America.

Converts multiplied, whom Smith led to Kirtland, Ohio, where a temple was built and a savings bank organized. Smith, the "revelator," was tarred and feathered by a company of Evangelical Christians. His bank suddenly suspended, and with a few followers, he fled west, at night on horseback, hotly pursued by his creditors. Revelation fixed Independence, Jackson county, Missouri, as the site of the New Jerusalem.

Brigham Young preached with success in New England. Hyde and Kimball visited England, and in the commercial, and especially mining cities and towns, made thiusands of converts, many of whom began to flock to Missouri. Then the frightened border ruffians


the Mormon Bishops, confiscated their printing presses, and drove some 15,000 Saints out of the State into Illinois, where, on the Mississippi River, the refugees built almost in a day the city of Nauvoo, "the beautiful," and a mignificent marble temple costing a million dollars. the Nauvoo Legion was organized with Joseph Smith as Lieutenant-General. This Legion exists to-day in Utah, 13,000 strong.

Enraged justice procured the imprisonment of Joseph Smith and Hyrum, his brother, at Carthage. the prison was broken into by a large masked mob, and the Smiths brutally shot.


was thirty-nine years of age when he died. He was a medium of extraordinary power, and though deluded in his divine calling, acted in the sincerest good faith, as indicated by his firmness under tremendous persecutions. His calling was strongly confirmed by his early converts, Rigdon, Cowdery, the Pratts and Young. In Brigham Young, Smith recognized the gift of tongues and his successor. The martyred Joseph Smith became the seed of Mormon greatness.


of parts of nearly every religious creed under the sun. Nothing has made it more odious than polygamy, coupled, as it early was, with slavery -- both "twin relics of barbarism." The Book of Mormon is doubtless a copy, with interpolations by Smith, of a historical novel, partly religious, written by Solomon Spaulding, a graduate of Dartmouth College and an ex-clergyman of Connecticut. When Smith's book was published, Spaulding's surviving wife and his friends immediately recognized the novel, the manuscript having been rejected and kept by a printer in Pittsburgh. Witnesses relied upon have all renounced its genuineness... C. E. BOLTON.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Cincinatti  Daily  Gazette.
Vol. ?                           Cincinnati, Ohio, Monday, September 23, 1878.                           No. ?

Finding  the  Original  of
the  Book  of  Mormon.

From the Indianapolis Journal.

About ten days ago Elders Orson Pratt and J. F. Smith of the Mormon Church arrived in the town of Richmond, Mo., and sought out the residence of one David Whitmer, who is said to be the only living witness of the translation of the Book of Mormon, and the custodian of the original manuscript as taken down by Oliver Cowdery. The object of the elders' visit was to secure the manuscript for deposit in the archives of the Mormon Church, but Whitmer declined to surrender it. It has been in his custody nearly fifty years, and he declared his intention of holding it until the proper time arrives for its surrender to those entitled to receive it. The Richmond Conservator says that while refusing to surrender the manuscript he willingly produced and exhibted it to his visitors. They unhesitatingly pronounced it the original copy of the Book of Mormon, Elder Pratt being familiar with the handwriting of Oliver Cowdry, the writer. They offered Whitmer any price he might ask for the volume, but, finding him resolute, left him with the request that he continue to take good care of it, so that the Church might receive it at the proper time. The Conservator states that "the book is in a splendid state of preservation, the ink as bright as if wrilten yesterday, and it is inscribed on large paper, unruled, in a small hand, clearly written close to the edges, top and bottom, making over 500 pages."

Note: See also the Richmond Conservator of Sept. 13, 1878 and Sept. 27, 1878.


Cleveland   Daily  [   ]  Plain   Dealer.
Vol. 34.                                 Cleveland, Wednesday, October 23, 1878.                                 No. 252.

The  Original  Book  of  Mormon.

From the Richmond, [Mo.], Conservator.

Elders Orson Pratt and J. F. Smith, two high dignitaries in the Mormon Church, arrived in Richmond, on Saturday inquired for David Whitmer, "the only living witness of the translation of the Book of Mormon, and the custodian of the original manuscript as taken down by Oliver Cowdry." The visitors were directed to Mr. Whitmer's residence, and on meeting him, announced the object of their visit, which was to secure the manuscript for keeping in the archives of the church at Salt Lake City. Mr. Whitmer declined to give up the book on any terms. He has had it for nearly half a century, and regarded himself as the proper custodian of it. He intended to hold it until the proper time shall arrive for its surrender to those entitled to receive it, while he will give it up. While refusing to give up the volume, he readily brought it forth and exhibited it to his visitors. They promptly pronounced it the original copy of the Book of Mormon. Elder Pratt being familiar with the handwriting of Oliver Cowdry, the writer. They offered Whitmer any price he might ask for the volume, but finding him resolute, left him after a pleasant visit of one hour with the request that he continue to take good care of it, so that the church might receive it at the proper time. The book is in a splendid state of preservation; the ink as bright as if written yesterday, and it is inscribed on large paper, unruled, in a small hand, clearly written close to the edges, top and bottom, making over 500 pages. It is the original Book of Mormon taken down from the lips of the Prophet.

Note: See also the Richmond Conservator of Sept. 13, 1878 and Sept. 27, 1878.


The  Belmont  Chronicle.
ns. Vol. XIX.                     St. Clairsville, Ohio, Thursday, April 3, 1879.                     No. 12.

Origin of the Mormon Bible.
Sunday Afternoon for April

The real author of this book of Mormon was Rev. Solomon Spaulding, a graduate of Dartmouth College in 1785. His health failing he engaged in business, and in 1809 was living at Conneaut, O., where there are numerous Indian mounds. He then wrote a romance, setting forth the not new theory that the North American Indians were representatives of the lost tribes of Israel. Mr. Spaulding took advantage of his surroundings and connected his story with the relics which were found in the mounds. In a fictitious introduction to his novel which he entitled "The Manuscript Found," he speaks of the book as one of the exhumed relics of a past age, he makes use of the Scripture style of expression. He tells of the departure from Palestine of a Jewish father, Lehi, and his four sons, Laman, Samuel, Lemuel and Nephi, of the various journeys and of their voyage to this Western Continent. Dissension and division are frequent. The decendants of the brothers develop into hostile tribes. Then came quarrels and wars and finally a decisive battle, and in short the substance of all that is found in the "Golden Bible" of Joseph Smith. Indeed the Book of Mormon seems to be only a modified but mutilated edition of Rev. Mr. Spaulding's "Manuscript Found." There is abundant internal evidence that the later is a reproduction of the earlier work. Spaulding used to read the chapters of his story to his neighbors, who were deeply interested in its progress and were greatly entertained by the ingenuity of the author. He worked upon it three years or until 1812, when he moved to Pittsburg, Pa. There he put his manuscript into the hands of a printer by the name of Patterson. He expected to publish the book and it was announced in the papers in 1813 as forthcoming. It never was published, however, probably because Spaulding had not the money to pay the bills. Spaulding died in 1816. The original copy was returned to his widow who kept it until the Book of Mormon was published, and then she produced it in proof of the assertion that Joseph's pretended revelation was a fraud. In the Boston Journal of May 18, 1838, she told the story of the Manucript. The evidence is complete that Smith discovered only what he and some associate had hidden in a box of their own making in a hole of their own digging. Smith came into possession of a copy of the work of Spaulding made by Sidney Rigdon, a workman in Patterson's printing ortice. Rigdon confessed the fact afterward when he was cut off from the Mormon Church by Brigham Young. The three witnesses also quarreled with Joseph and Rigdon and confessed to having sworn falsely. Rigdon on leaving the work of printer became a preacher of peculiar doctrines. Smith had quite a large following in certain views peculiarly his, and these two religious Ishmaelites coming togetner set to work to give the world a new Bible. Smith, adding what was suited to his purpose, dictated Spaulding's story to Oliver Cowdrey from behind a screen and the work was done, and palmed off upon a company of poor deluded fanatics as divine."

The new prophet seems to have had but vague notions of what doctrines the new church should hold. Rigdon held to some doctrines which Smith did not. But they both agreed on the question of the Second Advent, then exciting their section of country. They made that doctrine prominent in their Bible. The idea was "the end is at hand, the Indians are to be speedily converted; America is the final gathering place of the saints, who were to assemble as near the center of the continent as possible." This was a doctrine and this they preached and this chiefly at first. It may be said in brief that the religious teachings of the Book of Mormon relates to very modern questions. The dicussion in 1830 and thereabouts seem to furnish the new leaders with themes. Millinarianism is the main question. Infant Baptism, however, quite an ancient institution, is denounced and wonderful to relate polygamy, a much more ancient and for this country a very modern institution, is emphatically and repeatedly condemned. Polygamy as a duty was proclaimed by a revelation much later in the prophet's life,

Notes: (forthcoming)


Cincinatti  Daily  Gazette.
Vol. 103.                         Cincinnati, Ohio, Saturday, June 21, 1879.                         No. 147.

A  New  Origin  for  Mormonism

The origin of Mormonism has generally been traced to Solomon Spalulding's biblical romance, which purported to throw light on the first settlement of the American continent, and to its use as a "revelation" by Sidney Rigdon, who found the work at Pittsburg. A correspondent of the Boston Advertiser, Mr. Daniel Dorchester, of Natick, Mass., thinks that the germs of the delusion date further back. He says that his uncle, the late Laban Clark, D.D., of Middletown, Ct., while traveling as a Methodist itinerant in Rutland County, Vt., in 1801, found a current belief that certain persons in that vicinity were doing wondrous things with a divining or St. John's rod, as it was called. Women had been enabled by its influence to walk with ease in the night over ledges almost impassable even by day. Gold deposits had been discovered by their use, and it was expected that, according to Isaiah, God would cause his people, in the latter days, "to pass under the rod," when the latter day glory should be ushered in; that this was soon to take place; that their rods were the seals with which the 144,000 were to be sealed by the servants of God; that the lost tribes of Israel were to be gathered by them from their scattered condition, and that vast numbers of the present inhabitants of this country were Israelites, but had lost their pedigree, and knew not that they were of the house of Jacob. By these rods they would be designated and brought into the New Jerusalem, soon to be built in this country.

By experiment Mr. Clark became convinced that the rods used by those who believed in them were moved about by the unconscious nervous force of the holder. He afterwards found reason for thinking that a gang of counterfeiters headed by a man named Wingate had promulgated the rod theory to cover up its own manufactures in the woods and as a means of extorting money from dupes. Wingate's plots were cut short by his arrest. Nearly thirty years later, Mr. Clark heard that Joe Smith had found his golden Bible while hunting for minerals with his rod. Some time after, when in Ohio, he met with a Mr. Booth, formerly a Mormon, and learned from him the striking similarities btween the rod manipulations of Smith and Wingate. This supposition was strengthened by the fact that Smith's mother and the "revelator" Sidney Rigdon [sic - Oliver Cowdery?] were both from Rutland County, the scene of Wingate's imposture. The connection certainly appears probable, since the delusion of which Dr. Clark learned in Vermont was for a time quite wide-spread.

Note: The above item was reprinted in the weekly Gazette of June 25th: the Dorchester letter it cites was published in the Boston Daily Advertiser of June 11, 1879. For a reprint of Dirchester's letter, see the Christian Standard of July 26th.


Vol. XIV.                     Cincinnati, Ohio, Saturday, July 26, 1879.                     No. ?


The Counterfeiter Wingate and Genesis of Mormonism
Facts Hitherto Unpublished.

I have long intended to give to the publications some well attested facts in regard to the origin of Mormonism, antedating its usually recognized beginnings, but have hitherto neglected it. These facts exist in a thoroughly reliable form, and came into my possession directly from an eye and ear witness -- a man of superior intelligence, caution and discrimination. My uncle, the Rev. Laban Clark, D. D., founder of the Wesleyan University, in whose family it was my privilege to spend nearly four years, entered the Methodist ministry in the autumn of 1800, and for a number of years traveled large circuits in Vermont. Mr. Clark was a very acute observer, of superior practical judgment, and possessed a very accurate memory. The following statement has been compiled from data several times repeated to me in personal conversations, and from a manuscript sketch prepared by him about twenty years before his death, and is believed by those who knew Mr. Clark well to be worthy of the fullest confidence.

In the year 1801 Mr. Clark traveled in the western part of Vermont, visiting the settlements from Bennington county to the Missisquoi Bay, and even the adjoining settlements in Lower Canada. In the latter part of the Autumn, while in St. Albans, he heard of a man from Rutland who had passed through that section relating marvelous accounts of wonderful things accomplished near Rutland by persons who had found "St. John's Rod." Several families in St. Albans were much excited by the story. Dr. Clark pacified the people, and advised them to pay no attention to such marvels. About the first of November he attended a quarterly meeting in Salisbury, Vt., where, to his surprise, the story of "the rods" met him in a new form. A number of men had obtained rods by which they claimed to be able to find roots and herbs curing all diseases. Several persons were in attendance at this quarterly meeting who had been to "the rod men" and obtained syrups, salves, etc. Mr. Clark was very incredulous and treated the story as a hoax. Sometime in December he visited Poultney, Vt., where he found quite a stir among the people, from a report that two young women had been following the rods during a cold night, when the ground was covered with snow, with no other garments than were usually worn in the house, and that they had passed over rocks and ledges difficult for men to pass in the day-time. The next evening his appointment was at Mr. D.'s, in Middletown, Vt. After closing the meeting he learned that Mr. D.'s daughter was one of the young women who had been led by "the rods" through the snow, etc., that Mr. D. was a strong believer in the efficacy of "the rods," and that they would work in his hands.

When the people retired Mr. Clark inquired into the strange affair. Mr. D. seemed willing to communicate. He seriously believed that the rods possessed a mysterious power; that marvelous things could be accomplished by them; that, according to Isaiah, God would cause his people, in the latter days, "to pass under the rod," when the latter day glory should be ushered in; that this was soon to take place; that their rods were the seals with which the 144,000 were to be sealed by the servants of God; that the lost tribes of Israel were to be gathered by them from their scattered condition, and that vast numbers of the present inhabitants of this country were Israelites, but had lost their pedigree, and knew not that they were of the house of Jacob. By these rods they would be designated and brought into the New Jerusalem, soon to be built in this country. At this stage of the conversation Mr. Clark asked to be permitted to see Mr. D.'s rod. After a short absence he returned with it, and lifting it up, said: "If Mr. Clark is a Jew let the rod point toward him." It moved and twisted in his hands and pointed toward Mr. Clark.

"Well," said Mr. Clark, "If I am a Jew, I should like to know what tribe I belong to. Ask if I am of the tribe of Naphtali." He did so, but the rod would not move. Mr. Clark then said: "Try Zebulon." He did so, but it moved not. Mr. Clark said: "On the whole, I think that I belong to the tribe of Joseph." He put the question and the rod directly came down with apparent force. "I thought so," said Mr. Clark, "for my father's name was Joseph." Mr. Clark then understood the mystery of the working of the rod -- that it moved "as the imagination of the mind affected the nervous action." After hearing all that Mr. D. had to say, Mr. Clark believed the whole affair a delusion.

In four weeks Mr. Clark visited this place again, where he was to preach in the evening. About the middle of the afternoon Mr. D. came to the house where Mr. Clark was stopping. His appearance being very dejected and melancholy, Mr. Clark inquired after his family, and what could be the matter. With a heavy sigh he replied: "Oh, the judgments of God are abroad in the earth!" "What do you mean?" said Mr. Clark. Mr. D. replied: "We have appointed to-morrow as a day of fasting and prayer, and want you to be with us." Mr. Clark answered: "I dare not; I am afraid of you. I do not know what you have connected with it." The next morning, finding some gentlemen of character and standing going to the meeting, Mr. Clark concluded to go. Reaching the place about noon, he found Mr. W., an aged New Light minister, had been lecturing in the forenoon on the prophecies, and was to preach again in the afternoon. He spoke from Rev. xv 4, dwelling chiefly on the words, "Thy judgments are made manifest." He was excited, incoherent and indefinite. Mr. Clark consented to preach in the evening. While at Mr. D.'s house, for tea, Mr. Clark noticed unusual movements, and, on leaving the house, saw a paper on the door with these words: -- "Christ our passover was sacrificed for us;" but made no inquiries about it. He preached a practical discourse that evening, to a large audience, telling them that he had no new revelation to bring. As soon as his sermon was closed there were strange movements in the outer room. Several men commenced to work with rods, and to run to and fro. Mr. Clark out on his overcoat and prepared to go to Mr. D.'s for the night, but was persuaded to remain with the people. Very soon they were all ordered out of the house, and they took up a line of march, some crying, some sighing, and others saying, "I never expected to see such things." They were conducted to an old house that had been fitted up as a school-house. A fire had been made, and all entered with much confusion. Some were alarmed, and none more so than the old minister. At his request Mr. Clark called the people to order, prayed with them, and recommended religious conversion. But the "rod-men" said that their rods had given them to understand that there would be an earthquake that night. This was what had agitated the minds of the people. They spent the whole night in that place, Mr. Clark quieting the people and directing their minds to healthful themes until the morning dawned.

Returned to Mr. D.'s, Mr. Clark noticed that their crockery had been placed in the middle of the floor, to prevent its being broken by the earthquake. Soon two of the leading "rod-men" came in, and said they had found out their mistake -- that the fasting indicated by the rods was not in view of an earthquake, but was the fast to be regularly observed on the fourteenth day of the first month until the Jews go into the New Jerusalem, and the Latter Day glory shall be ushered in. Mr. Clark heard their story with a silent reserve, concluding that the last error was worse than the first; but that [it] would enable them to keep up the delusion and carry out some plan of mischief. He began to suspect that there was some person out of sight who was the leading spirit of their operations, and that the others were victims of duplicity.

Owing to a change in the plan of the circuit, it was eight weeks before Mr. Clark visited Mr. D.'s again. In March he found only a small attendance at his meeting, and at its close the people quietly retired, none of the family even making an allusion to the former affairs. But Mr. Clark's suspicions were fully aroused that his friend D. was liable to be made the victim of some villainous attempt upon his credulity, and he resolved if possible to deliver him from the snare. Taking him aside, Mr. Clark asked him how they were succeeding with their rods. With much animation, he answered: "We are doing wonders. The rods have power over all enchantments. There are large quantities of silver and gold concealed in the earth. much of which is under enchantment, which the rods can remove, so that it can be easily obtained." He further said that "the rods, in the hands of certain individuals, had power to move silver and gold invisibly in the earth, and that they were collecting it into a common field, where they would be able to get it in any quantity that should be wanted." He went on to say that "the glorious day was fast approaching in which great work would be performed; that the Latter Day saints were about to be gathered; that they would build a holy city, the New Jerusalem, somewhere in this country, and, they would have gold enough to pave the streets." Mr. Clark asked if the gold and silver were in coin or in its native state. He said it was "both one and the other." Mr. Clark then inquired if they had any man who understood the art of refining gold. He answered: "Yes, we have a man who is well skilled in the art, but he keeps himself secreted in the woods." Mr. Clark asked if he knew his name. He replied, "Yes, his name is Wingate."

Mr. Clark then became satisfied that Wingate was the moving agent in the whole affair, and discovered at once the nature and design of the operations. He knew of Wingate's movements in the northern part of the State, and after a little reflection, concluded to open the eyes of Mr. D. Addressing him seriously, he said:

"I fear there is counterfeiting going on, and that you will be drawn into it, and will be ruined in character and property."

He started with a shudder. Mr. Clark then said:

"I think I can tell you how you can detect it in season to escape, if you are watchful. If my fears are well founded they will call on you and others for a sum of money, and they will want it in specie."

Mr. D. replied, "They have done it already."

"And did you furnish it?" inquired Mr. Clark.

Mr. D. replied evasively.

Mr. Clark then addressed him secretly, warning him to put away his rod and quit those people or he would be a ruined man. Mr. Clark took leave of Mr. D. for another four weeks' tour around his circuit, but with many anxious thoughts for the welfare of that family.

The name of Wingate convinced Mr. Clark that the whole affair of the rods, and the scheme of building up the New Jerusalem, was gotten up for the purpose of aiding a set of counterfeiters; for a few years before a man of that name was detected in the act of making counterfeit dollars by two young men of his acquaintance in the town of Bradford, Vt. The implements and the coin he was making were taken and held by the town authorities, but Wingate escaped into New Hampshire. Further inquiries satisfied him that it was the same man who was deceiving the people in the vicinity of Poultney and Middletown. On his next visit to Mr. D.'s, Mr. Clark had the pleasure of knowing that he had rescued his friend from the delusion and the snare of the counterfeiters.

These are the simple facts of what Mr. Clark saw and heard, as carefully detailed by him. Soon after Wingate and his adherents were detected in their counterfeiting operations, Wingate was arrested and put into the Rutland jail, and the gang was dispersed.

About 1827 or 1828 Mr. Clark heard the story of Joe Smith's finding the "Golden Bible," while hunting for minerals with his rod. It at once brought to his mind Wingate's rods, but without suspicion of any connection between the two parties. Mr. Clark says:

"I viewed it as a specimen of the same kind of imposition and knavery, but the scene of Smith's operations being at a distance from that of Wingate's, I paid little attention to it. When the Mormons commenced building in Ohio, and sent out men to preach the doctrine of the Latter Day Saints, and that they were about to build a temple where the saints were to be gathered, I could not resist the conviction that there must be some connection between their movements and what I had known about thirty years before in Vermont. In 1838 I visited Ohio, where I met Mr. Ezra Booth, who had been acquainted with Joe Smith and had traveled with him until convinced of his knavery and blasphemous pretensions. From him I learned the striking similarity of Smith's methods and those of the 'rod-men' in Vermont. Subsequently I saw in the papers a notice of the death of Smith's mother, stating that she had formerly resided in Rutland county, Vt., and I also learned from the Rev. Tobias Spicer, who had resided in Poultney, that Sidney Rigdon, Smith's high-priest and revelator, was from Rutland county, and must have been acquainted with Wingate's doctrine of the Latter Day Saints, the gathering of the lost tribes of Israel, his method of obtaining gold, etc. Having, to my satisfaction, ascertained that the Smiths and Rigdon families were from the neighborhood where I had witnessed Wingate's imposition, I have no doubt that the seeds of Mormonism were sown by that notorious counterfeiter. Rigdon was in Pittsburgh about 1823-4, where he professed to be studying this new Bible for three years, but was in fact studying Spaldin's 'found manuscript,' and translating Smith's 'Golden Bible.'"

Such is the clear and unvarnished account of the remote beginnings of that monstrous system of Mormon imposture, as related by the Rev. Dr. Laban Clark. Believing that it will contribute something toward a fuller exhibit of the history of Mormonism and its essence, I herewith commit it to the public. -- Rev. Daniel Dorchester, in Boston Advertiser.

Note 1: The Rev. Daniel Dorchester III (1827?-1907?) and the Rev. Laban Clark (1778-1868) are both listed as Methodist ministers in Nathan Bangs' 1841 History of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Vol. III (1816-1828) In bk. 5, chp. 9, of that volume Rev. Bangs lists Clark as a preacher in the New York Conference and Dorchester as a preacher in the New England Conference of the Church -- later Pastor at Natick, MA (apparently the same Rev. Daniel Dorchester who served as US Superintendent of Indian Schools in 1889-4). Rev. Dorchester's account in the Boston Advertiser was reported and reprinted in several other 1879 newspapers besides the Christian Standard. The Aug. 15, 1879 issue of the Saints' Herald reprinted a summary of Dorchester's account, taken from the Chicago Alliance of June 21, 1879, along with a rebuttal (published a few days later in the same paper) written by RLDS Elder T. E. Stafford. Stafford argues: "neither Mr. Dorchester nor the Rev. Mr. Clark is aware of what constitutes Mormonism... [which] never knew anything about St. John's rod." Evidently Stafford was unaware of the Book of Commandments section in which the Lord confirms Oliver Cowdery's gift of working with just such a divining rod -- a skill he and/or his father probably acquired while living in Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont.

Note 2: See the May 28, 1828 issue of the Vermont American for more information on the rodsmen and strange events centered upon Middletown at the turn of the century. The account given there does not mention the "Wingate" (Paine Wingate?) spoken of by Rev. Clark, but instead calls the hidden director of the divining rod believers "Mugwump." Barnes Frisbie first associated the name of Mr. Wingate with proto-Mormonism in his 1867 book, History of Middletown, Vermont. Because Frisbie mixes his own information on a man called "Winchell" with information from derived from Rev. Laban Clark (he was also Daniel Dorchester's uncle) about a man named "Wingate," Historian Michael Quinn later accepted Frisbie's notion that Wingate was the same person as Winchell. The names of both men have also been confused with "Walters the Magician," an alleged associate of the Joseph Smith, Sr. family during the Smiths' money-digging days. According to John L. Brooke, author of The Refiner's Fire, these three men (Justus Winchell, Paine/Payne Wingate, and Luman Walters) were actually three different individuals.

Note 3: That accumulations of buried precious metals moved about underground was a common belief in New England and New York prior to 1830. Several reports in newspapers from this era speak of buried treasures moving about under the earth, and thus eluding seizure by treasure hunters. In some of these reports the buried gold and silver was said to have slipped about, under the ground, having been propelled by supernatural means -- apparently by guardian spirits, the powers of divining rods, etc. Joseph Smith, Sr. reportedly believed in such "slippery treasures." See also the following excerpts from the Book of Mormon: "And these Gadianton robbers, who were among the Lamanites, did infest the land, insomuch that the inhabitants thereof began to hide up their treasures in the earth; and they became slippery, because the Lord had cursed the land, that they could not hold them, nor retain them again" (Mormon 1:18, LDS) "And behold, the time cometh that he curseth your riches, that they become slippery, that ye cannot hold them... Yea, in that day ye shall say: O that we had remembered the Lord our God in the day that he gave us our riches, and then they would not have become slippery that we should lose them; for behold, our riches are gone from us... Yea, we have hid up our treasures and they have slipped away from us, because of the curse of the land... for behold the land is cursed, and all things are become slippery, and we cannot hold them." (Heleman 13:31-36, LDS)


Cincinatti  Daily  Gazette.
Vol. 103.                                 Cincinnati, Saturday, August 16, 1879.                                 No. ?


The Divining Rod -- How it Works in Some Hands --
Searching far Kidd's Money -- The Spaulding Document.


It is a strange idea, that to which allusion is made in an editorial of the Gazette of June 25, entitled "A New Origin for Mormonism." Joseph Smith might have found the golden plates from which the "book" was translated -- as Dousterswivel, in Sir Walter Scott's Antiquary, found water -- by the use of the divining rod; but, if such was the fact, it was because Joseph know beforehand where to try for the plates, as Dousterswivel knew where to try for the water.

The divining rod is an implement of unknown antiquity. It is probably older than any traces remain of its employment; and there are at this day persons of some pretensions to science who are, from what they consider evidence of their own senses, firm believers in its efficiency. If -- as Mr. Herbert Spencer affirms in the introduction to his course of philosophy -- there is in every error an element of truth, there must be some foundation for this belief; and the question wherein lies this foundation is one not altogether destitute of interest.

The divining rod is most frequently used for the discovery of water; and there is no denying, that, in many instances, water has been found in the places where it seemed to indicate its existance. But as search is seldom made for water, by the use of the diving rod, except in localities where there are other reasons for suspecting its presence, the instances of apparent success through its instrumentality must, until the contrary is shown, be set down as coincidences.

The characteristic circumstance in the phenomena of the divining rod would seem to be the fact that it "works" in some hands and does not work in others. That, in the hands of some, the index of the implement does appear, to the holder, to be drawn forcibly from its perpendicular, while in those of others, under precisely the same circumstances, no such tendency is perceptible, is not without withholding all faith in human veracity -- to be denied. Now if there were really a mutual attraction between the divining rod and some exterior substance or element, this difference would not occur; at least there is no known warrant for its occurence. From wherein, then, does it arise?

Modern science seems to afford the answer. Between the muscles of voluntary and the muscles of involuntary motion the distinction is not absolute. Under the influence of particular physical conditions, the former, in persons In whom the imagination predominates, exert forces of which the indIvidual is altogether unaware. From special states of mind, of which the party may be entirely unconscious, there results special muscular activities and inactivities; the latter often taking the form of decrepitudes which, originating in no physical infirmity, baffle the efforts of the most experienced for their removal.

The person in whose hands tbe divining rod "works," while doing his utmost, with his conscious will and one set at muscles, to keep the staff of the instrument in an upright position, is resisted by a more potent automatic volition of which he is unconscious, which has, under its command, another set of muscles, by which the strength of the first is subdued and overome. The final cause, it may be, of this capacity for a duplicate and antagonistic manifestation exists in the fact that there are two brains, each capable, under special conditions, of acting independently of the other, while there can be consciousness of the operations of only one of them at a time.

Ordinarily there is little art in the construction of a divining rod; any green branch that divides equally being employed. But for special purposes there are special recipes, savoring of the relics of magical ideas and practices. I remember one that was constructed for the express purpose of searching for "Kidd's money," on the islands of East River, near the city of New York, in which inquest several persons whom I knew were engaged. An old sailor, who was supposed to have been a pirate, had died in the poorhouse, leaving behind him a parcel of marks, called by courtesy, a map, which another old sailor, who had not been a pirate, had studied out until he thought he could identify the island and give, on the spot, the bearings of the place where the treasure was deposited. A traditional rule the latter had for the construction of the mystical implement which was to assist in the discovery. This was a fork of witch hazel, which, in its natural position, divided north and south, so that the sun passed over the point of intersection, and which had been cut at sqme particular lunar aspect or planetary conjunction. The stock was about a hand's breadth in length and an inch in thickness, and the branches each about an inch long and half an inch in diameter; fastened to each of which was a thin slip of whalebone ahout eighteen inches in length. The stock had been boted and charged -- as I was informed -- with a variety of ingredients, among which, I remember, loadstone, "hellstone" (probably sulphur) and quicksilver,

The individuals who were to make use of this formidable talisman left the village between two days, partly to avoid the ridicule of the skeptical, and partly to escape the frowns of the pious, who looked upon such enterprises as dealing with the evil one; also, between two weeks -- that being regarded as the most auspicious moment for beginning the adventure. It may be satisfactory to the curiosity of some to add that, so far as heard from, the only dividend declared was of the expenses of the expedition.

From whatever quarter the Book of Mormon may have come, no person of much critical acuteness will attach any credit to the Solomon Spaulding theory of its origin. No scholar -- and Spalding is represented a man of considerable erudition -- writing a romance of the "ten lost tribes," would have written it in that manner. The notion that the American Indians were descendants of the Israelitish clans which seceded from the House of David under Jeroboam was, at the date of the appearance of the Book of Mormon, very prevalent in the United States; and many books and pamphlets were written, newspaper articles primed, and sermons preached, to give credibility to the idea of such relationship. Any one of these may have served as a hint, if hints were necessary, for the undertaking. Smith's announcement of the discovery of the golden plates and the crystal spectacles was as early as 1823, whereas his acquaintance with Rigdon, who is supposed to have copied the Spaulding romance, did not commence until 1829; so that the revelation was, to say the least, projected before Smith could have had any knowledge of the production from which its substance has been putatively derived. That, to some extent, in the way of names, he may have made use of the Spaulding manuscript, is not improbable: but the Book of Mormon bears, palpably, the evidence that it was produced for the purpose for which it is used, and by those who had such purpose distinctly in view in its production. In short, the end of its creation was not literary, as was the case with the Spaulding Chronicle, but dogmatic and practical. And, however amenable it may be to the rules of literary criticism, there is no denying the skill and knowledge of human nature with which it was adapted to the service for which it was employed. Besides this, although the Spaulding document was sent to a committee at Conneaut for the express purpose of being compared with the book, the silence that ensued, and the mysterious disappearance of the manuscript, are tolerably strong evidence that the expected identity was not demonstrated by the comparison.

Notes: (forthcoming)

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