(Newspapers of Ohio)

Painesville, Geauga County

Painesville Telegraph
1822-1830 Articles

P.T. article index  |  1822-30  |  1831  |  1832-33  |  1834-35  |  1836-44  |  1845-99

Sep 18 '22   |   Oct 16 '22   |   Nov 06 '22   |   Dec 04 '22   |   Mar 12 '23
Mar 26 '23   |   May 21 '23   |   Jun 03 '24   |   Jun 08 '27   |   c. 1827?
Jul 06 '27   |   Jan 11 '28   |   Mar 27 '29   |   Apr 03 '29   |   Sep 22 '29
Nov 03 '29   |   Nov 16 '30   |   Nov 30 '30   |   Dec 07 '30   |   Dec 14 '30

Works of Eber Dudley Howe   |   Early Ohio  |  Crary's Pioneer & Personal Reminiscences
Articles Index  |  Painesville Republican  |  Geauga Gazette & Chardon Spectator


Vol. I.                                      Painesville, Ohio,  Sept. 18, 1822.                                    No. 10.


We are requested to state that ADAMSON BENTLEY, of Warren, will be a candidate to represent this district in the next Congress.

Note: Sidney Rigdon married Phoebe Brooks on June 12, 1820, and thus became the brother-in-law of Adamson Bentley (who had married to Phoebe's older sister Mary in 1811).


Vol. I.                                      Painesville, Ohio,  Oct. 16, 1822.                                    No. 14.

Statement of votes in Geauga County, taken at the late election.

...Congress, Samuel W. Phelps 444;  Eli Baldwin 232;  Elisha Whittlesey 74;  Nehemiah King 73;  Simeon Perkins 1...

Ashtabula County.

... For Congress, King 461;   Whittlesey 407;   Baldwin 105;   Bentley 35;   Phelps 10...

Note: The 18th United States Congress met in Washington, DC between March 4, 1823 and March 3, 1825. Elisha Whittlesey was elected from the 13th Congressional District of Ohio, to the House of Representatives. Neither Nehemiah King nor Adamson Bentley (both of whom were tangentially connected to the Spalding-Rigdon authorship of the Book of Mormon) were successful in their bids to become Representatives for Ohio.


Vol. I.                                      Painesville, Ohio,  Nov. 6, 1822.                                    No. 17.


At Kirtland, by Nathaniel Wheeler, Esq., Mr. Newal K. Whitney, to Miss Ann Smith, all of the above place.

At Mentor, Mr. Hall Durand to Miss Lydia Ingersoll, both of Mentor.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. I.                                      Painesville, Ohio,  Dec. 4, 1822.                                    No. 21.


In Kirtland, by the Reverend J. Badger, Mr. N. K. Whitney to Miss E. A. Smith.

Note: This news report is apparently a correction of the similar item in the Nov. 6th issue. Elizabeth Ann Smith (1800-1882) was married to Newel Kimball Whitney on October 20, 1822 at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. She became a member of Sidney's Rigdon's "Reformed Baptist" congregation c. 1827 and was baptized a Mormon, at Kirtland, in November 1830. According to her autobiography she and her husband were "married by the Presbyterian minister of that place [Kirtland], the Rev. J. Badger." Rev. Joseph Badger (1757-1846) moved to Kirtland in 1822, where he was the first settled minister. Badger's sister-in-law (Lucy Crary) was a member of the Crary family who settled Ashtabula and Geauga counties.


Vol. I.                                Painesville, Ohio,  Wed., March 12, 1823.                              No. 35.

On March 4, Varnum J. Card and Jonathan Lapham, Chagrin, and James H. Paine, Painesville, became attorneys.

Note 1: Mr. Card was later the law partner of James A. Briggs , the attorney for D. P. Hurlbut at Painesville in Jan. of 1834, when Hurlbut was taken to court by Joseph Smith, Jr. Card's father was the local physician and was in attendance with Joseph Smith III was born at Kirtland (see S. F. Whitney statement of Mar. 6, 1885).

Note 2: Frederic G. Mather, in his "Early Days of Mormonism," (in Lippincott's Magazine, Aug. 1880) relates this recollection: "Judge John Barr, ex-sheriff of Cuyahoga county... [said] 'In 1830 I was deputy sheriff, and... determined to go to Mayfield... up the Chagrin River, and hear Cowdery and Rigdon on the revelations of Mormonism. Varnem J. Card, the lawyer, and myself started early Sunday morning... Services in the church were opened by Cowdery... He was followed by Rigdon, a famous Baptist preacher... [who] seemed fully aroused. He said he had not been satisfied in his religious yearnings until now. At night he had often been unable to sleep, walking and praying for more light and comfort in his religion. While in the midst of this agony he heard of the revelation of Joe Smith, which Brother Cowdery had explained: under this his soul suddenly found peace. It filled all his aspirations. At the close of a long harangue... he inquired whether any one desired to come forward and be immersed... The place selected for immersion was a clear pool in the river above the bridge... where Mr. Card and myself stationed ourselves... Rigdon went into the pool -- which at the deepest was about four feet... Standing in the water, Rigdon gave one of his most powerful exhortations. The assembly became greatly affected. As he proceeded he called for the converts to step forward. They came through the crowd in rapid succession to the number of thirty, and were immersed, with no intermission of the discourse on the part of Rigdon. Mr. Card was apparently the most stoical of men -- of a clear, unexcitable temperament, with unorthodox and vague religious ideas. He afterward became prosecuting attorney for Cuyahoga county. While the exciting scene was transpiring below us in the valley and in the pool, the faces of the crowd expressing the most intense emotion, Mr. Card suddenly seized my arm and said, 'Take me away!' Taking his arm, I saw that his face was so pale that he seemed to be about to faint. His frame trembled as we walked away and mounted our horses. We rode a mile toward Willoughby before a word was said. Rising the hill out of the valley, he seemed to recover, and said, 'Mr. Barr, if you had not been there I certainly should have gone into the water.' He said the impulse was irresistible." cf. Reuben P. Harmon's statement of Dec. 16, 1884: "I resided in Kirtland when the Mormons first arrived. I was personally acquainted with Rigdon and heard him say after baptizing thirteen in the river on father's farm, 'Come, here is water enough to wash away all your sins,'..."


Vol. I.                                Painesville, Ohio,  Wed., Mar. 26, 1823.                              No. 37.

The brick courthouse at Erie burned last Saturday night. All the records of the county were destroyed.

Note: The courthouse for Erie Co., Pennsylvania was doubly unfortunate. It suffered the effects of a lesser fire in the early 1840s. The result is that practically all the early public documentation on the settlers of that county nolonger exists -- this includes papers for some of Solomon Spalding's land dealings there, along with the various papers relating to several of his neighbors and associates.


Vol. I.                                Painesville, Ohio,  Wed., May 14, 1823.                              No. 42.

A List of Lands in Geauga County, Ohio, delinquent for taxes
for the years 1821 & 1822...

... Bentley, Adamson   R[ange] 8, T[ownship] 11, Tr[act] 4: 196 acres...

Note: Adamson Bentley's 196 acres were located in Painesville Township. He was a non-resident land owner.


Vol. I.                                Painesville, Ohio,  Wed., May 21, 1823.                              No. 43.

A manuscript written in an undertermined language was discovered in Detroit. Four pages were sent to Gen. Macomb in Washington. He sent them to Georgetown College. The manuscript was in Irish and was a treatise on doctrines in the Catholic Church.

Note: See the Mar. 7, 1823 issue of the Detroit Gazette for further details on this remarkable story.


Vol. II.                                Painesville, Ohio,  Thurs., June 3, 1824.                              No. 47.

in Geauga County, Ohio, delinquent
for taxes for the year 1823...

Antisdale, Roger W.   R[ange] 8, T[wp] 6, Tr. 2: Sec. 3, lot 8  176 acres...

Antisdale, Roger W.   R[ange] 8, T[wp] 6, Tr. 2: Sec. 3, lot 3 East  67 acres...

Harrington, Arnold   R[ange] 8, T[wp] 6, Tr. 2: Sec. 2, lot 5  62 acres...

Note: Roger W. Antisdale's 243 acres and Arnold Harrington's 62 acres were located in Auburn Township. Both were resident land owners who lived near Sidney Rigdon in 1826-27, and both were former residents of Farmington township, Ontario County, New York, who had lived very near the homestead occupied by the Joseph Smith, Sr. family, c. 1822.


Vol. V.                                Painesville, Ohio,  June 8, 1827.                              No. ?

At a recent meeting of the Medical Society of the 20th District, Drs. Philo Tilden, Nahum Howard, Dennis Cooley, and Samuel L. Fenton were admitted members... Censors: Anson Hotchkiss, Storm Rosa, Evert Denton...

Note: This is an interesting bit of documention indicating that Dr. Nahum Howard and Dr. Storm Rosa were at least slightly acquainted. Dr. Howard would later provide testimony supporting the Solomon Spalding authorship claims for the Book of Mormon. Dr. Rosa wouls later provide information on Sidney Rigdon possibly being involved in the coming forth of that same book. Dr. Rosa's brother, Esak, is said to have served as the ghost editor for E. D. Howe's 1834 book, Mormonism Unvailed.


Vol. V.                                Painesville, Ohio,  July 6, 1827.                              No. ?

MARRIED -- On [3d] instant by Elder Sidney Rigdon, Mr. James Gray, of Pittsburgh to Miss Mary Kerr, at Mentor, Ohio.

Note 1: The text in the paper appears to read "31 instant," but there is no 31st of June -- Geauga Co. court records show that this marriage date was July 3rd. Sidney Rigdon, therefore, can said to have been present at Mentor during the first week of July, 1827. Whether or not Rigdon was necessarily present in Geauga Co. at the time of the recording (July 12th) remains uncertain.

Note 2: This same issue of the Telegraph also reports on the recent July 4th celebrations in Geauga Co. Sidney Rigdon reportedly attended the festivities held that day in Mentor township. Sidney had, however, not picked up a letter waiting for him in the Mentor Post Office, "as of July 1, 1827," indicating that he may have been out of town during the final days of June.


Vol. V.                                      Painesville, Ohio,  1827?                                    No. ?

Transcriber's Introduction: In his Nov. 16, 1830 "Golden Bible" article in the Painesville Telegraph, editor Eber D. Howe laconically mentioned that about "two or three years since, an account was given in the papers, of a book purporting to contain new revelations from Heaven, having been dug out of the ground, in Manchester in Ontario County, N. Y..." Although Howe did not specifically say that he had printed such a notice in an issue of the Telegraph back in 1827-28, his mention of the divine "book" being "dug out of the ground" hints at the possibility that Howe reprinted the notice from a western NY newspaper.

No such news item has yet been located among the Telegraph articles of 1827 or 1828. It is unlikely that the notice, if printed in Howe's newspaper, appeared as a stand alone article. Such an interesting, self contained report would have no doubt been uncovered long ago by inquiring researchers of Mormon history. More likely, Howe's recollection of "a book" "dug out of the ground" came in his once having read some bit of news within the context of an article or published letter which did not bear a headline like "Golden Bible Discovered." Finding a sentence or two mentioning this "book," within all the newspaper articles available to Eber D. Howe between 1827 and 1829 would be a daunting task indeed.

It is also possible that Howe saw the mention of this "book" in a non-extant issue of a local newspaper like the Geauga Gazette, and never bothered to reprint the item in his own Painesville Telegraph. That such an article did appear in a paper published somewhere between Palmyra and Cleveland prior to 1829 seems a strong likelihood. Writing in 1880, the Rev. Abner Jackson, of Canton, Ohio, said:
The first account of the Book of Mormon that I saw, was a notice in my father's newspaper, stating that Joseph Smith, Jr., professed having dreamed that an angel had appeared to him and told him to go and search in a place he named in Palmyra, N. Y., and he would find a gold-leaf Bible. Smith was incredulous and did not go until the second or third time he dreamed the same dream. Then he said he went and, to his surprise, he found the golden Bible, according to his dreams. But it was written in a language so ancient that none could be found able either to read it or tell in what language it was written. Sometime after another statement appeared, that an angel had consented to read and interpret it to Joseph Smith, and he should report it to a third person, who should write it in plain English, so that all might read the new Bible and understand its import. Some time after, in 1830, the book was published at Palmyra, N. Y....(Abner Jackson. "Abner Jackson's Statement," The Daily Evening Reporter, Washington, PA, Jan. 7, 1881).
Rev. Jackson's statement indicates that some news of the "Golden Bible" discovery was published prior to the 1829 Palmyra Freemen article reprinted by E. D. Howe in the Telegraph of Sep. 22, 1829 That article states that Smith had already a mean by whereby he could "interpret the characters" of the divine book. Jackson's recollection was of reading an early news report (in Erie county, Pennsylvania, not far from Kirtland, Ohio), saying that "none could be found able either to read it or tell in what language it was written..." Such an article, or brief mention within the body of some otherwise unrelated article, may have been printed as early as 1827, prior to Smith's relating to people that he had a to "interpret the characters."

Mormon Apostle Orson Hyde recalls that (shortly before he became a Campbellite preacher) he first heard of the "Golden Bible" in the newspapers -- well prior to 1829, and while living only a few miles from Eber D. Howe's printing office:
[In Kirtland] in 1827, business being rather slack in the store, I went to work for the same parties, making pot and pearl ashes... About this time some vague reports came in the newspapers that a "golden bible" had been dug out of a rock in the state of New York... Nothing more was heard of it for a long time in that section (Orson Hyde, "History of Orson Hyde," The Latter-Day Saints' Millennial Star, XXVI:47, Nov. 19, 1864, p. 743.).
Hyde's account of "Golden Bible" reports circulating in the northern Ohio newspapers in the late 1820s is strengthened by the recollection of Eliza R. Snow, his near neighbor. Snow says that "In the autumn of 1829" she had already "heard of Joseph Smith as a Prophet to whom the Lord was speaking from the heavens; and that a Sacred Record containing a history of the origin of the aborigines of America, was unearthed..." Snow's mention of the "autumn of 1829" account may refer to her having read the Painesville Telegraph article of Sep. 22, 1829 -- however, she had a poem published in an Ohio newspaper, telling of a "shining seraph," unfolding "secret pages" of new divine revelation, seven months prior to the appearance of that Telegraph news item. Later printings of the same poem (telling of "long-sealed pages" of revelation) tied its subject matter unmistakably to the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. So, it seems that both Orson Hyde and Eliza R. Snow, living in close proximity to Eber D. Howe in the late 1820s, both shared Howe's experience of hearing about the "Gold Bible," well before the fall of 1829.

Should an earlier newspaper source on the coming forth of the Book of Mormon eventually be located, a copy of the text will be inserted on this web-page.


Vol. ?                                 Painesville, Ohio,  Jan. 11, 1828.                              No. ?

A meeting of the Grand River Bible Society; Auxiliary to the Connecticut Western Reserve Bible Society, was held on the 8th inst., in the village of Painesville...

Resolved, that the... Rev Mr. Burbank, N. K. Whitney, and Deacon Holbrook [be the committee] for Kirtland...

Note: The list of attendees of this bible society meeting includes the name of "Elder Sidney Rigdon," indicating that Rigdon was present in Geauga Co. during the second week of January 1828.


Vol. ?                                 Painesville, Ohio,  March 27, 1829.                               No. ?

Mr. John R. St. John is the new owner of the Cleveland Herald -- replacing Willes

Note: For an interesting comment by editor John R. St. John, regarding a certain "Oliver Cowdry," see the Nov. 25, 1830 issue of the Cleveland Herald.


Vol. ?                                 Painesville, Ohio,  April 3, 1829.                               No. ?

"How many spirits born to bless,
Have sunk beneath that worthless name."

We present to our readers this week, extracts from one of the unpublished degrees of masonry. In this degree the whole story of masonry is told. It is a solemn, sad and sickening tale. We can now see the primary object of an institution, which has claimed to be the quintessence of morality -- the handmaid of religion, and even the immaculate fountain, from whence.

"Rising floods of knowledge roll,
And pour and pour upon the soul.."

We can now discover, as the powerful arm of public opinion "lifts the veil that shades them o'er," the reckless monster armed with a thousand darts, dipped in the venom of destruction, ready to enter the vitals of freedom, and pierce the bosom of religion!. Yes, the object of masoney is to destroy the Christian religion, notwithstanding she has claimed to be its hand-maid -- take her own words --

"Behold, my dear brethren, what you must fight against and destroy, before you can come to the knowledge of the true good and sovereign happiness! -- behold this monster which you must conquer -- a serpent which we detest as an idol which is adorned by the idiot and vulgar under the name of RELIGION!!!"

This is the cap stone of iniquity -- the climax of abomination and wickedness. John the Revelator "saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his head the blasphemy." Masonry may be likened unto this horned beast. He fought against the saints, masonry against religion.

In the disclosures of this degree, it is conclusively proved, that the murder of Morgan was in struct conformity with the principles of masonry, from the following sentence -- "and if so indiscreet as to divulge their obligation, we are bound to cause their death, and take vengeance on the treason, by the destruction of the traitor!" We think all honest and good men who have advocated the purity of masonic principles, will, on reading this degree, pause and reflect. Yea more, we think they will speedily abandon and forsake, forever, an institution whose precepts teach its members to violate the laws of the land -- and raise an impious hand against the laws of Heaven. -- And as they respect themselves, and regard the cause of religion and the harmony of society -- raise their voice against the demon -- and leave him to sicken in the stench of his own pollusion. -- Ontario Phoenix.

Note: By this time both the editor of the Painesville Telegraph (Eber D. Howe) and the editor of the Ontario Phoenix (William W. Phelps) were dedicated anti-Masons. See Phelps' letter to Howe, dated Jan. 15, 1831.


Vol. 1. No. 15, 2nd Series          Painesville, Ohio, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 1829.            Whole No. 367.

"Golden Bible." -- The Palmyra Freeman says, the greatest piece of superstition that has ever come within our knowledge, now occupies the attention of a few individuals of this quarter. It is generally known and spoken of as the "Golden Bible." Its proselytes give the following account of it:  In the fall of 1827, a person by the name of Joseph Smith of Manchester, Ontario county, reported that he had been visited in a dream by the spirit of the Almighty, and informed that in a certain hill in that town, was deposited this Golden Bible, containing an ancient record of a divine nature and origin. After having been thrice thus visited, as he states he proceeded to the spot and after having penetrating "mother earth a short distance, the Bible was found together with a huge pair of spectacles! He had directed, however, not to let any mortal being examine them, under no less penalty than instant death! They were therefore nicely wrapped up and excluded from the vulgar gaze of poor wicked mortals!" It was said that the leaves of the bible were plates of gold about 8 inches long, 6 wide and one eighth of an inch thick, on which were engraved characters or hieroglyphicks; by placing the spectacles in a hat, and looking into it, Smith could (he said so at least) interpret the characters. An account of this discovery was soon circulated. The subject was almost invariably treated as it should have been with contempt. A few however believed the "Golden" story, among whom was Martin Harris, an honest and industrious farmer of the town of Paltry. So blindly enthusiastic was Harris, that he took some of the characters interpreted by Smith, and went in search of some one, besides the interpreter, who was learned enough to English them; but to all whom he applied (among the number was Professor Mitchell, of New York,) happened not to be possessed of sufficient knowledge to give satisfaction! Harris returned, and set Smith to work at interpreting the Bible. He has at length performed the task, and the work is soon to be put to press in Palmyra. Its language and doctrines are said to be far superior to the book of life!

Note 1: Eber D. Howe took on Madison Kelley as a partner in June of 1829. The June 26th masthead ran the addition "Geauga Free Press," which lasted for several months, until Kelley left the business.

Note 2: The Sept. 22, 1829 issue of the Painesville Telegraph has been generally overlooked by the historians of Mormonism. For example, the biographer of Sidney Rigdon, in his 1994 book omits reference to this issue's "Golden Bible" article entirely, saying instead that "complete back files" for Howe's paper "do not exist," and then skips forward in time to cite the Mormonism article in the Nov. 16, 1830 issue. The author's alleged oversight of the Sept. 22, 1829 article appears suspicious in light of the fact that the entire run of the early Painesville Telegraph has long been available on microfilm on the shelves of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City -- a repository in which this particular biographer reportedly conducted a significant amount of his original research. Interestingly enough, the Sept. 22, 1829 "Golden Bible" article is also missing from the otherwise fairly complete "Articles on Mormonism and Mormon Leaders Appearing in the Painesville (Ohio) Telegraph," a compilation made by Milton V. Backman, Jr. and Larry Salsbury during the 1970s, and since then available at the BYU Lee Library. It seems that certain Mormon researchers have consciously left mention of this particular news item out of their historical reporting -- thus allowing them to assert that Sidney Rigdon never heard of Smith's "Golden Bible" until a copy was presented to him by Oliver Cowdery and Parley P. Pratt on Oct. 27, 1830. However, as Rigdon biographer admits, two of Rigdon's religious students, Eliza R. Snow and Orson Hyde, both admitted to knowing of the Book of Mormon at an early date. No doubt these two young "restorationists" read about Smith in their local newspaper in 1829, just as Rev. Sidney Rigdon must have.

Note 3: Eber D. Howe's reprint is a slightly abbreviated one. For a more complete reproduction of Jonathan A. Hadley's Palmyra Freeman article of Aug. 11, 1829, see the Aug. 27, 1829 issue of the Niagara Courier.


Vol. I. No. 21, 2nd Series          Painesville, Ohio, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 1829.            Whole No. 373.

George Wilber, of Auburn, and Orrin Henry, of Bainbridge, were appointed Geauga Co. School Inspectors last week.

Note: Both George Wilber and Orrin Henry were tangentially connected to the Spalding-Rigdon authorship of the Book of Mormon. George Wilber taught school in Bainbridge, near Sidney Rigdon's residence, during the winter of 1825-26; while Orrin Henry's wife-to-be (Dencey Adeline Thompson) was, at the same time, the nursemaid of Rigdon's children. Both sources agree as to the fact that Sidney Rigdon was laboring over unusual religious writings during the years 1826-27. Wilber reportedly later stated that Sidney Rigdon first met Joseph Smith in southwestern Geauga Co., Ohio during the same time period. A near neighbor of the Wilber family in Auburn at the time was Ephraim Wright, a former resident of Farmington, New York, who served as a witness to Wilber legal papers and who also originally provided the Auburn lot occupied by Gadius "Gad" Stafford (an early follower of Joseph Smith, Jr. from Manchester, New York). The Henry, Wright, Stafford, and Wilber families all were near neighbors in Bainbridge/Auburn and all lived within walking distance of Sidney Rigdon's cabin during 1826-27.


N.S. Vol II.                               Painesville, Tues.,  Nov. 16, 1830.                              No. 22.

The Golden Bible. -- Some two or three years since, an account was given in the papers, of a book purporting to contain new revelations from Heaven, having been dug out of the ground, in Manchester in Ontario County, N. Y. The book, it seems, has made its appearance in this vicinity. -- It contains about 500 octavo pages, which is said to be translated from Egyptian Hieroglyphics, on metal plates, by one Smith, who was enabled to read the characters by instruction from Angels. About two weeks since some persons came along here with the book, one of whom pretends to have seen Angels, and assisted in translating the plates. He proclaims destruction upon the world within a few years, -- holds forth that the ordinances of the gospel, have not been regularly administered since the days of the Apostles, till the said Smith and himself commenced the work -- and many other marvellous things too numerous to mention. In the neighboring township of Kirtland, we understand that twenty or thirty have been immersed into the new order of things; many of whom had been previously baptised. -- The name of the person here, who pretends to have a divine mission, and to have seen and conversed with Angels, is Cowdray. We understand that he is bound for the regions beyond the Mississippi, where he contemplates founding a "City of Refuge" for his followers, and converting the Indians, under his prophetic authority.

Note 1: According to the Oct. 16, 1830 issue of the Ashtabula Journal, Sidney Rigdon was in Ashtabula Co., Ohio on Friday, Oct. 22, 1830, less than a week before the "Four Missionaries to the Lamanites" reportedly arrived at Rigdon's Mentor home on Oct. 28th. Even if Rigdon had missed or forgotten the Sept. 22, 1829 notice, in the local newspaper, regarding the "Golden Bible," he must have had opportunities to peruse more recent issues of the Ohio papers, and very likely had seen news reports describing Joseph Smith's new "revelation." Such reports had recently appeared in the Lorain Gazette, the Republican Advocate and the Cincinnati Advertiser, to name just a few sources. Even if Rigdon managed to avoid reading all the news items relating to the birth of Mormonism, as he traveled along the southern shore of Lake Erie he was on the "information highway" of that day -- the main artery which carried the news from New York to the Western Reserve of Ohio and the lands beyond. The closer Rigdon traveled in the direction of New York, the more likely he would have been to have encountered religiously curious people who had heard of the "Golden Bible," and even of the task recently entrusted to Oliver Cowdery and other early converts, to carry the new "revelation" all through the country.

Note 2: The four Mormon "missionaries to the Lamanites" left Manchester, New York on Sunday Oct. 17, 1830 (or perhaps on the following day, at the latest). Since they carried with them a heavy load of "Gold Bibles" they probably made use of the Erie Canal on the initial leg of their journey, just as Oliver Cowdery had previously used a canal boat to carry a load of the new books to Seneca Co. The missionaries could easily have been in Buffalo by Tuesday the 18th and at the Seneca Indian reservation, at Cattaraugus Creek, by Wednesday the 19th. From there, to Ashtabula village, Ohio, the road distance is a little over 100 miles. Walking at a rate of about 25 miles per day (assuming they "hitched" no rides) the four missionaries might have arrived in Ashtabula village before dark on Saturday the 23rd. Painesville Editor William Perkins reported in his Geauga Gazette that the Mormonite missionaries arrived "in our village, laden with a new revelation, which they claim to be a codicil to the New Testament. They preached in the Methodist Chapel, and from certain indications, conceiving the might do more good otherwheres, departed for Kirtland, where is a common stock family, under the charge of Elder Rigdon, a Campbellite leader of some notoriety." Henry Harrison Clapp, an eye-witness, said in 1879, that "The four Mormons came to Mr. Rigdon's Wednesday evening (I think). Then Thursday morning he came to my father's with the wonderous announcement [of the Mormonite revelation]... Some of the Mormon emissaries went to Kirtland, two or three miles distant that day (Thursday) and directly baptized the 'common stock family' at Morely's who were members of Rigdon's church."

Note 3: Although Mr. Howe, in the above Telegraph article, does not say exactly when it was that "some persons" came to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio, with the latter day revelation, his telling of the story brings the Mormonites to his village on about Monday Oct. 25, 1830. After obtaining permission to preach at the "Methodist Chapel" on the following day, advertising the meeting, and preaching their message, the Mormonites departed for Rigdon's home in nearby Mentor. According to Henry H. Clapp, the four arrived at Mentor in the evening on Wednesday the 27th. Evidently two of the missionary company (Whitmer and Peterson) soon departed for the Morley farm at Kirtland, leaving Oliver Cowdery and Parley P. Pratt to proselytize the Rigdon family and their neighbors. By Friday the 29th Cowdery and Pratt had accomplished this crucial task and that same day the two missionaries joined their two fellows at Kirtland. Upon their arrival at Kirtland Cowdery and Pratt baptized 17 of Rev. Rigdon's congregation -- a momentous act which seemingly did not arouse Rev. Rigdon's indignation, even though he himself did not consent to be baptized a Mormonite until a week later.

Note 4: If Rigdon preached in Ashtabula on the evening of the 22nd, stayed for the night, and then returned to the Painesville-Mentor area by the evening of the 23rd (in time to prepare for his Sunday services, held there on the 24th), he returned to Geauga Co. only about 48 hours prior to the arrival of the four missionaries in that same county. Thus Rev. Rigdon traveled the same route, going in the same direction (west), as was shortly thereafter taken by the four latter day missionaries. This is most a intriguing coincidence -- if indeed it is a coincidence. The timing of these nearly simultaneous traves allows for the possibility that Sidney Rigdon secretly met and consulted with one or more of Joseph Smith's missionaries, on or about Oct. 23, 1830, in Ashtabula Co., just prior to their arrival in neighboring Geauga Co.


N.S. Vol II.                               Painesville, Tues.,  Nov. 30, 1830.                              No. 24.

The Book of Mormon. -- It being the business of an Editor to collect and lay before his readers whatever seems to agitate the public mind, we took occasion two weeks ago to notice a pretended new revelation from God, which had recently visited this vicinity. To record the thousand tales which are in circulation respecting the book and its propagators, would be an endless task, and probably lead to the promulgation of a hundred times more than was founded in truth. In this way, we perceive that the Gazette last week, shot wide of the mark in many important particulars. There are rising of 100 in this and an adjoining county who have embraced the ideas and assertions of Joseph Smith, jr., many of them respectable for intelligence and piety. If the book of Mormon, as it is called, with the presentations of its apostles, is a fabrication, it is one of the most infamous and blasphemous character; and we must confess, after having an opportunity to canvass some of its claims to a true revelation from God, we have not been able to discover testimony which ought to elicit faith in any prudent or intelligent mind. It may, perhaps, be useless to condemn the thing by positive and absolute assertions -- time will discover in it either something of vast importance to man, or a deep laid plan to deceive many.

The four persons who were here have proceeded on their mission to the Indians, (or Lamanites as they term them), in the "far west," where they say a Prophet is to be raised up, whom the tribes will believe.

As but few have had an opportunity of seeing the book, we extract the following from the title page.


An account written by the hand of Mormon, upon plates taken from the plates of Nephi.

Wherefore it is an abridgment of the Record of the people of Nephi; and also of the Lamanites; written to the Lamanites, which are a remnant of the house of Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile; written by way of commandment, and also by the spirit of Prophecy and Revelation. Written, and sealed up, and hid up unto the Lord, that they might not be destroyed; to come forth by the gift and power of God, unto the interpretation thereof; sealed by the hand of Moroni, and hid up unto the Lord, to come forth in due time by the way of Gentile; the interpretation thereof by the gift of God; an abridgement taken from the Book of Ether.

Also, which is a record of the People of Jared, which were scattered at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people when they were building a tower to get to Heaven; which is to shew unto the remnant of the House of Israel how great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever; -- and also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations. And now if there be fault, it be the mistake of men; wherefore condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgement seat of Christ.

Author and Proprietor.

The following is the PREFACE to the book:

To the Reader. -- As many false reports have been circulated respecting the following work, and also many unlawful measures taken by evil designing persons to destroy me, and also the work, I would inform you that I translated, by the gift and power of God, and caused to be written, one hundred and sixteen pages, the which I took from the Book of Lehi, which was an account abridged from the plates of Lehi, by the hand of Mormon; which said account, some person or persons have stole and kept from me, notwithstanding my utmost exertions to recover it again -- and being commanded of the Lord that I should translate the same over again, for Satan had put it into their hearts to tempt the Lord their God, by altering the words, that they did read contrary from that which I translated and caused to be written; and If I should bring forth the same words again, or in other words, if I should translate the same over again, they would publish that which they had stolen, and Satan would stir up the hearts of this generation, that they might not receive this work: but, behold, the Lord said unto me, I will not suffer that Satan shall accomplish his evil designs in this thing, -- Therefore, thou shalt translate from the plates of Nephi, until ye come to that which ye have translated, which ye have retained; and behold ye shall publish it as the record of Nephi; and thus I will confound those who have altered my words. I will not suffer that they shall destroy my work; yea, I will shew unto them that wisdom is greater than the cunning of the Devil. -- Wherefore, to be obedient unto the commandments of God, I have, through his grace and mercy, accomplished that which he hath commanded me respecting this thing. I would also inform you that the plates of which hath been spoken, were found in the township of Manchester, Ontario county, New-York.     THE AUTHOR.

The book closes with the certificate of 11 persons, who have seen the plates and many other marvelous things; among whom are the father and other relatives of the author.

Notes: (forthcoming)


N.S. Vol II.                               Painesville, Tues.,  Dec. 7, 1830.                              No. 25.

                [For the Telegraph.


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

A lover of Truth.    

Notes: (forthcoming)


N.S. Vol II.                               Painesville, Tues.,  Dec. 14, 1830.                              No. 26.

We copy the following from the Milan (Huron County) Free Press, promising at the same time, if the statements therein contained should prove erroneous, to publish it freely. We know the sensitiveness of a great number of individuals in this section, on everything that may be said touching the new Bible and its propagators, many of whom view it as a sin against the Holy Ghost to say aught against Joseph Smith or his apostles.

By publishing the following, you will, I presume, serve the cause of morality and religion.


Four men are traveling westward, who say they are commanded by their Heavenly Father, to go and collect the scattered tribes of Israel, which they say a new Gospel or Prophecy informs them are the different tribes of Indians.

The new Gospel they say was found in Ontario co., N.Y. and was discovered by an Angel of light, appearing in a dream to a man by the name of Smith, who, as directed, went to a certain place and dug from the earth a stone box, containing plates of gold, on which this gospel was engraved in characters unknown. The said Smith, though a man so illiterate that he cannot write, was, by divine inspiration, enabled to give the true interpretation, and the man who wrote from the mouth of Smith, is one of the four mentioned above.

One of the four, by the name of Parley P. Pratt, has been a resident of the township of Russia, Lorain co., Ohio, for three or four years last past, until August last, when he was authorized to preach by the sect called Rigdonites, in this vicinity. The next day after receiving this eldership, he ran away from a constable, and numerous creditors, and made his way to Canaan, Columbia county, N.Y. Not being able to gain any proselytes (one young brother of his excepted), he lays his course up the Erie canal as far as Palmyra, where he finds this new Bible, and the men that are with him. It was rumored that said Pratt was expected through this place, and an officer was kept ready to arrest him for debt. He was accordingly arrested, tried, and judgment rendered against him: and at the same time an execution served on him for cost, on suits tried before he fled to the east. Said Pratt in July last, sold property belonging to one of his neighbors to the amount of several dollars. This neighbor hearing he was in this place came to see him while he was under the officer's care, and requested a settlement. He, Pratt, refused to do anything about it, "unless his Heavenly Father directed him," -- (these were his words.) After waiting a suitable time, he was told if he did not settle the business, he would be taken with a State warrant. He still refused and a warrant was issued; but before it could be given to the officer, he had, by falsifying his word, escaped from the Constable and fled to the woods, and is now at large, to deceive and lead silly women & more silly men astray.

The writer of this had some conversation with Pratt, respecting his belief. He said distinctly, that he had seen visible effects of the descending of the Holy Ghost, upon persons whom he had baptized. I enquired in what he had seen these effects; he replied "in the same way we read of in the Gospel." He said he knew, for his Heavenly Father had told him, that when they got among the scattered tribes, there would be as great miracles wrought, as there was at the day of Pentecost.

This and much more equally absurd, was advanced by these deluded mortals, and can and will, if required, be attested by at least twelve substantial witnesses.   Amherst, Lorain county, Ohio, Nov. 26, 1830.

Notes: (forthcoming)

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