(Newspapers of Pennsylvania)

Philadelphia Quaker Publications
1800-1879 Articles

William Penn's Treaty with the Indians  (from an old lithograph)

Other Phila. Papers:  1800-29   |   1830-39   |   1830-39   |   1860-99

TF Feb 29 '40   |   TF Jul 25 '40   |   TF Dec 05 '40   |   TF Sep 25 '41
TF Dec 18 '41   |   FWI Oct 04 '45   |   FWI Jul 04 '46   |   FWI Sep 12 '46
FWI Oct 17 '46   |   FWI Nov 21 '46   |   TF Sep 02 '48   |   FWI Feb 24 '49

Articles Index   |   misc Penn. papers   |   Adams Co. papers


Vol. XIII.                              Philadelphia, February 29, 1840.                             No. 22.

Ancient City of Palenque in Mexico.

A late number of the Richmond Compiler contains an article under the above heading, in the introduction to which it is stated, that the editor of that paper sent a letter last autumn to a young citizen of Richmond, then in the city of Mexico, for the purpose of leiciting information respecting the result of an expedition to Palenque by Waldeck, a German, with the view of exploring the remarkable ruins of that supposed ancient city...

(under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XIII.                              Philadelphia, July 25, 1840.                             No. 43.

From the Alexandria Gazette.


To the Editor.

Since the Mormons were expelled from the state of Missouri they have purchased the town of Commerce, a situation of surpassing beauty, at the head of the lower rapids, on the Illinois shore of the upper Mississippi river....

(view original source for this article)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XIV.                              Philadelphia, December 5, 1840.                             No. 10.


The Mormons. -- This sect had a semi-annual conference at Nauvoo, Hancock county, Illinois, on the 3d of October. The large number of 5000 was present, including elders and preachers. About one hundred were baptized. "The church," says a correspondent of the Peoria Register, "seems to be in a much more prosperous condition than at any former time. Several families have arrived from England, belonging to the church. The sect has been very industrious in building houses and raising provisions."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XIV.                              Philadelphia, September 25, 1841.                             No. 52.


Mormonism. -- This new-fangled swindle will, we hope, now receive its death blow in this neighbourhood. We have just seen the wife of a ssmall farmer who sailed with her husband and six children last February from Liverpool. They, and about 100 others, landed at New Orleans, went several hundred miles up the country, past St. Louis, and arrived safe at the "promised land," the New Jerusalem, on the 1st of May last. A three weeks' residence was sufficient to let them into the secret, and they arrived safe back in the old country a fortnight ago. They had frequent communications while on the banks of the Mississippi with the renowned prophet, Joe Smith, and his brother impostors, who took every means in their power to get hold of our informant's money, by offering to sell them large plots of land, take them into partnerhsip, &c., but the Gloucestershire yeoman was proof against their wiles, and used his little capital in bringing his family back again. What most staggered the faith of the party was, that this great prophet, Mr. Joseph Smith, could not show them the "plates of gold," on which it was pretended the "Book of Mormon" was written. Joey evaded the question by saying that the angel merely showed them to him, and after he had taken a fair copy, took them back again! -- Cheltenham Journal.

Note: Essentially the same text as above was reprinted in the Illinois Warsaw Signal's issue of Sept. 29, 1841, from the St. Louis Pennant.


Vol. XV.                              Philadelphia, December 18, 1841.                             No. 12.

From the Christian Advocate and Journal.


The Book of Mormon, vulgarly called the Golden Bible, was "gotten up" in 1827 et sequenter, and published in 1830.

Who then dreamed that a sect, owing its origin to the same, would previous to 1842 extend itself to nearly every city and state in this Union; would number thousands in England, boast of a missionary on his way to Palestine, and of teachers emigrated to the Easy Indies, and to South Australasia!

Little did "Joseph Smith, jr., author and proprietor" of said book, imagine such events, and yet such have taken place! Gladly would he while engaged in "peeping," sometimes into an old hat, and at others into the spectacles, "called Urim and Thummim," through which he was enabled to read "the plates," and dictate to Oliver Cowdery, his amanuensis -- gladly, no doubt, would he then have swapped his whole interest in the concern for a fifty acre farm in Michigan.

But now, O tempora, O mores! the ease with which he can produce a revelation, calling for a house worth one hundred thousand dollars, in which a suite of rooms is to be entailed on him and his heirs for ever, is only equalled by the obsequiousness with which the "latter day saints," from far and near, proceed forthwith to bring together their gold and their silver, their iron, their timber, and their daily labour, to erect it for him! There has been almost a criminal indifference among the intelligent people of this country to the real character of this sect which has sprung up in their midst, and to the means by which the same is propagated. Thousands of our fellow-citizens, under the influence of Mormon infatuation, have abandoned the places of their nativity, and their quiet homes, nominally to seek a land of promise; but really to put themselves under the control of a few adventurers, whose only care for religion is that it may serve as a cloak to their desire for self-aggrandizement. Others are still following in the same course, and rushing to the general rally now being made in behalf of the Nauvoo House and the temple.

While, on the one hand, these people have been subject to a blind and wicked persecution, which has secured to them deserved sympathy; on the other, few have made themselves familiar with the actual and peculiar position which they claim to occupy in the religious world. Now, inasmuch as no error can be successfully controverted without first being fully understood, it is easy to perceive how Mormonism has flourished under a misdirected opposition, and had made capital out of much that was designed to impede its progress. It is high time that the Christian community should awake out of sleep, and understand this subject in its proper bearing upon the present and eternal destinies of men. While the many have contented themselves with supposing that nothing could come out of so silly an imposture, tares have been thickly sown among the wheat. The leaven of corruption has begun to work far and wide, and who can tell how many souls will be contaminated, or how many years shall pass away ere it will be thoroughly purged out?

In order to exhibit correctly as possible the actual prevalence of the sect, I have thrown together the following statements made in various letters and reports, published within the last two years in their official paper, the Times and Seasons. All who have been immersed by one of the sect are denominated saints. With the single exception of Nauvoo, whose population is given, saints ony are supposed to be enumerated in the places hereafter mentioned.

This exhibit only purports to be an approximation to the facts in the case. There may have been many removals or additions since these numbers were given in, and many places may not have been heard from. Nevertheless, it will be sufficiently accurate to answer two ends: -- 1. It will show that Smith's claim to have 50,000 followers, made in hearing of the writer a year ago, is vastly beyond the bounds of truth. 2. It will prove the actual extent of the delusion to be greater than most persons imagine, and be sufficient to awaken the liveliest concern lest its spread be still wider, and more pernicious.

Mormons in the United States.
Nauvoo, Ill.
Walnut Grove
Zarahemla, Iowa
M'Hany co., Tenn.
Mill Creek
Switzerland co., Ia.
Lapier co., Mich
Kingston, U. C.
Lincoln, Vt.
S. Fox Island, Me.
. New York city
New Rochelle
Oneida co., N. Y.
Monmouth co., N. J.
Armstrong co., Pa.
Chester co., Pa.

Various other places are mentioned in which considerable progress is said to have been made, for example, in the following states: -- Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, South Carolina, Louisiana, Kentucky, Illinois, and Ohio; but numbers not having been definitely reported, they are not enumerated here.

In Great Britain.
Walnut Grove
Ipswitch & Woolwich
Isle of Man
. Staffordshire
Froom's Hill &c.

The above mentiond places do not include all the transatlantic Mormons, since at their geenral conference held at Manchester in 1840 twenty-six brnaches or churches were reported as containing 3,616 members, and 402 officers, making in all 4,018. To these may be added about 1,000 who have landed in the United States at various times.

The aggregate furnished by the above statement is as follows: --

  6,900   Mormons in the United States, including emigrants
  4,018   Great Britain
10,918   Total

Making a liberal addition for those in the United States not reported, we shall arrive at TWELVE THOUSAND, as about the actual number of Mormons at the present time.

Their increase within the last three years is certainly surprising. They claim that it is unparalleled.

AS might be supposed, they have not been indifferent to the power of the press as an auxiliary to their efforts.

Besides the Times and Seasons published at Nauvoo, they have, or have had a paper, called the Gosepl Reflector, at Philadelphia. One of their elders is in Manchester, England, publishing another periodical entitled the Millennial Star. The Book of Mormon has been republished in England, together with a hymn book, and several pamphlets, setting forth their dogmas. A book has also been prepared to operated in their behalf in Germany. A third and stereotype edition of the Book of Mormon has been published in this country. There is said to be a great demand for their books in all directions. The morbid curiosity of many procures for them hearers in almost every place. According to the accounts the elders give of themselves, they have more calls for preaching than they can possibly fill.

One of them intimates, that if they were each divided into twenty parts, and each part capable of doing full duty, they could not more than meet the demands made of them.

My next will contain some extracts to show the mode and extent of their operations in England. L. H. R.     November 25, 1841.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                              Philadelphia, October 4, 1845.                             No. 27.


The Mormon War. -- The St. Louis Republican of the 19th ult. contains further particulars of the outbreak in the Mormon country. Franklin A. Worrel, an estimable citizen, in no way connected with the disturbances, was assassinated on the 16th by a party of Marmons. This outrage has aroused public indignation against the Mormons to a high pitch, and the Warsaw Signal says, "revenge, revenge, is now the word," and that "blood will and must flow if necessary to rid the country of the authors of our troubles." It appears that the Mormons will be driven from Adams and Hancock counties. Some fifty or sixty houses have been burnt, and the work is still going on. The military have been called out.

Later. -- The latest intelligence from the Mormon district in Illinois, affords a prospect of an amicable adjustment of the unfortuante disturbances which have recently been renewed between the Mormons and the Anti-Mormons. The editor of the St. Louis Republican, writing from Warsaw, under date of the 17th ult., says.

"The Twelve Elders, of principal men of the Mormons, have addressed a proposition to the Anties, which was received this evening, and which, I trust, may put a final end to this war. The Twelve propose that they will leave Nauvoo, and the country, next spring, provided hostilities are suspended, and the vexatious suits which they charge the Anties to have instituted against them, are withdrawn, and they are allowed peaceably to dispose of their property, and prepare for their removal. They have appointed a committee of five, to correspond with a committee of an equal number on the part of the old settlers. This proposition is well received by many of the citizens of Warsaw, and if they do not reject it because of the language in which it is addressed to them, (they thinking it disrespectful,) it will most likely lead to a settlement, and to the removal of the Mormons from among them."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                              Philadelphia, July 4, 1846.                             No. 14.


The Hancock Eagle gives the following description of the Temple:

We have made two different visits to this great monument of human industry; and although our attention has been drawn to every apartment in it, yet such is the vast extent of this immense edifice, and the complexity of its architectural designs, that our observations have been necessarily very superficial.

It stands in a most prominent position, on the the bluff which overlooks the lower town and river; and such is the elevation of its spire, that it is distinctly visible from a distance of twenty or thirty miles in various directions.

Viewed from the bank of the river, its whole appearance is grand and imposing. The material of which it is chiefly built is white limestone, which has been worked and faced down to a perfect surface.

Its dimensions, as far as we can recollect, are as follows:

Length 120 feet; width 88 feet; height to comb of roof 77 feet; from the ground to the top of spire 170 feet.

The upper windows of the steeple serve as an observatory, from which a maginifent view of the surrounding country may be had. The Mississippi is seen winding its serpentine form along the wooded valley to the north and south -- the hills of Iowa rise in bold relief to the westward, and lose themselves in the blue distance; while the prairies, fields, gardens and private buildings lie spread out like a map below.

The walls of the temple are of massive stone, and at least two feet thick. On either side, and at the end, are rows of graceful pilasters, crowned with elaborately carved caps, upon the external surface of which is exhibited, in the face of the "man in the moon," and two hands grasping trumpets. Each pulaster rests upon inverted crescents, and are at least fifty feet long. -- They are thirty in number, and the united cost of them is estimated at about $100,000.

The structure is lighted by four rows of windows; two of which are quadrilateral, and two circular. These with the other novel architectural embellishments, give the whole pile an original and not unpleasant aspect.

All the entrances are from the west, and the immense doorways are gained by a flight of stone steps. the interior contains a basement (in the centre of which stands the celebrated baptismal font;) two great halls which extend nearly the entire length and breadth of the building; and a third hall, underneath the roof, with small apartments on either side.

The baptismal font is a most extraordinary work, and will stand a monument of Mormon extravagance and grotesqueness of taste. It is an immense stone reservoir, resting upon the backs of twelve oxen, also out of stone, and as 'large as life.' The effect of a first view of these rigid animals, standing in such a singular position, and wearing such mysterious countenances, is somewhat startling, but a feeling of superstition soon gives way to curiosity, and the beholder is lost in wonder at the magnitude of the design, and extraordinary amount of labor that must have been expended in the erection of the work.

The hall on the first floor was intended as the regular meeting-place of the congregation, and when freed of the rubbish and surplus timber that now encumbers it, will have a beautiful and imposing effect. The architectural decorations are chaste and rich; and the two grand pulpits at the east and west ends, gives to the whole an appearance of Oriental magnificence.

The attic (as it may be called) is lighted from the roof, and was designed for a large school-room.

Leaving the body of the building, you ascend to the bell room of the steeple, thence to the clock room, and last to the observatory.

The immense structure is a chef d'oeuvre of architecture, and will rank in grandeur with the largest and most costly edifices of modern times.

The entire cost of its erection is estimated at between 700 and $800,000. The Temple will be nearly completed and in readiness for dedication by the first of May.

After it shall have been consecrated, it will be abandoned as a place of religious worship by the sect that erected it, and either sold or rented for a college.

It has been examined by the agent[s] of two or three different institutions; and from what we can learn, is likely to be transferred to the Methodists, by them to be used for literary and religious purposes.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                          Philadelphia, November 17, 1846.                         No. 24.


The Anti-Mormon disturbances in Hancock county, Illinois, are daily increasing, and as large forces are collecting of the opposing parties, a serious collision is anticipated. A letter from a reliable source in Warsaw, dated 27th ult. and published in the St. Louis Republican of the 2d inst. says:

"Active preparations are again making by the anti-Mormons to enter Nauvoo, and they say that they are now in earnest -- and indeed the preparations look much like it. About 500 men are encamped at Carthage, and by the 31st they expect such additions to this force as will enable them to enter Nauvoo at all hazards, and execute process against a large number of persons who are charged with crimes committed in the northern part of the country during the last disturbance, and to so whatever else with the Mormons that the necessity of the case may require. The anti-Mormons have six pieces of cannon, and have received powder and ball to put them in actual use. I am told by those who pretend to know, that the anti-Mormons are going to make this the final struggle, and if they fail, to leave the country. They are receiving large additions to their numbers from the country."

Every thing indicates a bad state of affairs, and no sort of law, unless the troops ordered out by Gov. Ford are strong enough to enforce order, it will be a long time before that luxury can be enjoyed in Nauvoo. -- N. American.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                          Philadelphia, October 17, 1846.                           No. 29.

Correspondence of the Friends' Weekly Intelligencer.

9th month, 1846.      
Our course from Nauvoo was to Bloomington, and being in a private carriage, and stopping frequently at the houses of farmers to water the horses, we often sat awhile, and conversed with the families, which gave us an opportunity of gathering many little items of intelligence which were interesting, and enabled us to form a better idea of the true state of the country. We found much prejudice existing against the Mormons as a body, yet the sympathies of many were enlisted by their sufferings; and indeed, to travel as we did, amidst their now desolate farms, and see in almost every house nearly all the panes of glass broken, and in some all demolished, and the sashes broken in pieces, the doors taken off their hinges, the chimneys torn down, and in some places even the boards of the floors dragged from their resting places, and the country for miles looking as if a pestilence had suddenly carried off all its inhabitants; this was enough to awaken the saddest feelings of our natures, and, as we rode along, our moralizings were colored by the melancholy gloom which had settled on the otherwise beautiful face of the country.

Our driver was a timid man, and knowing the lawless state of the neighborhood, he feared, as we came from the doomed city, that if we met any of the roving bands we might become captives, (or at least himself, and the carriage and horses) and therefore tried to avoid the towns which laid directly in our way, by taking other roads across the prairie; in doing which he lost the nearest path, and we rode many unnecessary miles amidst the deserted farms of the Mormons, without seeing a living creature, of whom we could make inquiries. Frequently we turned to take, as we supposed, the last look at the Temple, but a rising mound brought it again and again in view, and each returning prospect gave us renewed feelings of interest.

I will pass over two weeks spent in Illinois, to say a few words more of the Mormons. On our voyage on the lakes Michigan and Huron, there were several of the "Saints" in company. They appeared to be pleasant, genteel people, but, perhaps from the want of that sympathy which baptizes one individual into the spirit of another, we could not perceive any greater degree of holiness among them, than in some of the rest of the company. Yet we had one of their twelve apostles in our midst, no less a personage than Wm. Smith, the brother of the Prophet, who now holds the office of Patriarch, and is the only remaining male of the family. We had considerable conversation with him. He is not an educated man, but appears to be full of faith and zeal for the cause, and to every objection to Mormonism, he quoted numberless passages of scripture to confound the unbeliever. It is true, we were generally at a loss to see the application of the texts as they understood them, but we had the prejudices of many years to contend with, and our eyes had not been anointed with the eye salve of Joseph's kingdom; so we sat in stupid incredulity, wondering that the simple truths of the gospel could be so perverted. He conversed freely on their difficulties, and the new doctrines propagated by the ten apostles who had gone West, and entirely condemned their immoralities, and appeared to consider them arch deceivers, who had led a misguided multitude to adopt views and practices inconsistent with morality, and the outrage of all religion. John E. Page and himself are the remnant of the apostles who truly (as they think) hold to the original faith. They believe that Joseph appointed James J. Strang as his successor in the prophetic office, and Strang produced a letter written by Joseph a short time before his death, bestowing upon him the succession; but the other ten apostles, and the California party, refused to acknowledge the authenticity of the letter, and even dared to hint, that Strang (who was a lawyer, and a shrewd fellow) had written it himself. But all the Smith family have full faith in his mission and authority to be the head of the church; accordingly, at Voree the Saints are gathering together, and expect that city will rival Nauvoo.

I have now in my possession, a letter from William Smith, another from his mother, and a third, signed by her two married daughters and their husbands, acknowledging their full belief in Strang's appointment by Joseph, to be the president of the church; also, a declaration of the Voree church, to receive, acknowledge, and uphold him as prophet, seer, revelator and translator. -- These documents were presented to us by Lucy Smith, the mother of the deceased prophet.

But still there were some incredulous ones, even at Voree, who could not give full belief to the Strang hierarchy, and therefore it was necessary to get up faith by various revelations and visions, and among them was one in which Strang said, he was informed that there were plates buried for him too; so taking several of the gifted ones with him, he pointed out to them a certain tree, which had been shown to him in a vision, under which was deposited the buried treasure. While they were digging he staid some distance from them, that he might not be accused of deception; and there, enclapsed by the roots, as if the little radicles had grown around them, they found several small plates, apparently of copper, covered with cyphers, unintelligible to all but the new prophet. A Mormon elder, who was with us on the Lakes, gave us the narrative, and told us he was the one to whom the plates were given when they were taken from their hidden depository, and that he was the first one who examind them. Upon our inquiring whether it was not probable that Strang had placed them there, he seemed to think from their situation it was utterly impossible; and when we queried as to his belief in it being a heavenly appointment, he replied, 'I do not only believe, but I know it, for I have had revelations myself confirming it.' Of course, we could no longer appear to doubt with such evidence before us!

Strang has been decyphering the plates at his leisure, and as he still retains them, the unbeliever may receive full satisfaction by looking at them. They are not as large as Joseph's plates, being only about two inches wide, and two and a half long. Joseph's plates (they say) were of bright gold, but Strang's are of dark, dim looking copper; and those who are opposed to Strang bring forward a passage of scripture, the words of which I do not recollect, but the signification is, that 'the things of God shall never be dimmed,' to show the falsity of his pretensions. After Joseph's death, there was an attempt to prove that Sidney Rigdon had been appointed by the prophet as his successor, and a sealed revelation was produced, said to have been written by Joseph some months before; but the ten apostles, believing they would each like a share of the government, have not been willing to acknowledge the authenticity of either the Rigdon or Strang revelations. This, with some other differences, has produced a schism, which has spread throughout the whole Mormon body.

Rigdon, gaining but few adherents, has resigned his claim, and acknowledged that of Strang; while the opposing party refer to a revelation in their Book of Covenants, which says, "that if Joseph transgresses, he shall not have power, except to appoint another," and as in the letter and revelation which Strang produced, his councillor, gathering place, &c., are mentioned, and as Joseph did transgress, they consider the whole affair null and void. They have also doubts on another subject: Joseph, they consider, held they Keys of the Kingdom in this world and of the world to come, and that he received them from Peter, James and John -- and as there was no regular transferring of them to Strang, he cannot hold them, and therefore cannot be the true successor. Each party have a place of meeting for worship in Philadelphia, but the congregations are small.

William Smith, in addition to his apostolic and patriarchal character, is a rhymer. I have several of his poems in my possession, -- two verses of one of his efforts in that line, may not be inappropriate here.

God did his servant, Joseph, call
To make his mercy known to all,
His last day purposes reveal,
And all the tribes of Israel seal;
But wicked men, in bloody strife
Have sought, and taken his sweet life,
But now his place is filled, you see,
By James J. Strang of fair Voree.

The angels too have bless'd the place
With messages of Truth, and Grace,
Sent forth from shining worlds above
To show God's Wisdom, Pow'r, and Love;
This Truth springs out from under ground
To testify to all around
That James, a Prophet's called to be,
And lead God's church, in fair Voree.
The city of Voree, which received its name from Joseph, in his letter of appointment to Strang, is on White river, on the borders of Racine and Walworth counties, Wisconsin, twenty-six miles west of lake Michigan. It is described as a beautiful place, having immense hydraulic power, an inexhaustible quarry of stone, a soil not to be surpassed, and supplied with plenty of timber. The city lots sell at $50 per lot, and conditions are inserted in all the deeds, that no liquor shops shall ever be opened upon them. -- These Mormons have learned some wisdom by their past misfortunes, and have discovered that morality must go with the profession of religion to be successful in their operations; therefore, they now proclaim temperance, and the most strict morality as their mottoes.

Religious delusions, in all ages, have influenced the feelings of the strong man, as well as the weaker one -- and it has been an instructive lesson to be with these people, and observe how their minds cling with the greatest tenacity to many things, which appeared to us to be the most ridiculous absurdities. Blessed, indeed, is that faith that looks not outwardly for signs and miracles, but depends on the monitions and pointings of the Divine light in the soul of every seeking individual, who, turning inward from the plans and theologies taught in the schools of men, meets, in the "silence of all flesh," the true Teacher, the "Great I AM," whose voice, though still speaking in the awful tones of thunder, from pole to pole, is yet "the still small voice" heard in the soul, coming, as formerly to the prophet in the cave, only after the storm and the whirlwind have passed by.

I have been pleased to observe the dependence of these people, on some occasions, upon Divine inspiration. At one of their meetings which I attended, the preacher spoke for a little while and then, stopping in the midst of his address, remarked, that he felt confused, -- that he believed that preaching to be beneficial, either to the speaker or hearers, must be inspired, -- that the Divine truths must flow as from vessel to vessel, and that the feelings of the audience would be brought to acknowledge, that the words were indeed the record of the movings of the Spirit upon the mind of the speaker, if he were properly qualified;" but that he must confess he was not then in that state, and feared that any communication he might make would be without a good influence upon his congregation. Requesting then the prayers if those present for an accession to his faith and strength, he resumed his seat. It was an interesting occasion, and the feelings were still more excited by one of the elders rising and placing his hand affectionately upon the sunken head of the preacher, expressed his unity with his conduct, and his increased belief in his ministerial gift, as he had thus been able to discern between the promptings of his own mind, or acquired knowledge, and the influence of that Spirit that leadeth into all truth.

I have had considerable conversation with a married couple, who told me that they had been Presbyterians, and had been married eleven years when they went to Nauvoo, and that while there, they had been sealed together. To my query as to the meaning of the sealing, they replied, That the ministers of other societies being only ordained of men, had not received the power to perform such ceremonies, and they considered they had been living an unholy life together until the marriage was sanctified by the anointed priesthood at Nauvoo, where they had been sealed together, not only for time, but for eternity. That man was not a perfect being in himself, neither could a woman be, but that the union of the two formed the perfect creature, and in that state of being sealed together could they alone be fitted for eternity.

They have another singular idea, founded on the passage, "In my Father's house there are many mansions." These mansions they interpret to be kingdoms, and that every man is glorified in his kingdom by the number of his family; that as Abraham and Jacob were honored by the number and greatness of their posterity, so must they be by theirs, and also by the number of relatives and friends they can bring into the Mormon heaven; therefore, they are baptized for the dead of their families, who were not Mormons, supposing thereby they can bring them into their kingdoms, and their glory be increased by the number of souls added unto them.

The Book of Mormon, which is Joseph's translation of the history recorded upon the golden plates, is considered by the believers to account satisfactorily for all the discoveries that have been made in America of the remains of an ancient people, more civilized than our present race of Indians. They believe that the earthquake, which occurred at the period of the crucifixion upon Mount Calvary, extended to America, and that many large cities in this country were buried deeply at that time; and the scientific, the curious, and the faithless, are referred to the Book of Mormon for the solution of all doubts upon the subject. It was amidst the horrors of that frightful convulsion of nature (according to the record) that Jesus appeared to the remnant of the saved of the Western world, and testified to them of his life and death at Jerusalem, and established the Christian church among them.

Probably some of our friends may think I have made too long a digression from the narrative of our journey, in saying so much of the Mormons; but I have found, from the inquiries of many, that an interest was awakened for these people, and a desire to know more of their history, and as we had access to sources of information which they had not, they wished to hear more of them than merely the little that could be told in the description of our visit to Nauvoo -- and my Mormon acquaintances may be surprised at my incredulity when they have presented me with so many evidences of what they consider the truth; but could I accept in full faith their versions of the scriptures, and receive, as they do, the history of the rise and progress of their society, I should inevitably have to become -- what I cannot be -- a Mormon.

Note 1: One of the most interesting disclosures made by this correspondent in his Sept., 1846 letter to the Philadelphia Friends' Weekly Intelligencer, is that Lucy Mack Smith, the mother of Joseph, Hyrum and William Smith, had instrusted that same correspondent with three letters from members of the Smith family, "acknowledging their full belief in Strang's appointment by Joseph, to be the president of the church." The writer does not say whether these letters were originals or copies, nor whether they were supplied for his own personal use, for publication, or for forwarding to some third party. Evidently these three letters were not directed to recipients at Voree, or else they would have been left in the possession of William Smith or some other Mormon traveler. For more on Mother Smith's Strangite loyalty see notes appended to an article in the Wisconsin Racine Advocate of Sept. 16, 1846.

Note 2: William Smith appears have been particularly wont to speak with traveling strangers regarding Latter Day Saint doctrines and viewpoints; see also his conversation with Rev. James Murdock, as paraphrased in the Peoria Register of Sept. 3, 1841


Vol. III.                          Philadelphia, November 21, 1846.                           No. 34.


Extract from a private letter to the Editor of The Tribune, dated
_____, Illinois, Nov. 5, 1846.
"Governor Ford is now at Nauvoo. That city and county is suffering under the effects of the lawless movements which have been carried on there for the last few years. I was there two days after the mob entered the city, and a more desolate looking palce was never seen. Out of probably 2500 houses not more than 40 or 50 seemed to be occupied.

"The mob has a guard there of over 100 men, under a committee of public safety, before whom every person they disliked was summoned, and sentenced to leave the county, not to return under pain of death. They drove off many of the most respectable, and wealthy, and prudent men of the State at the point of the bayonet. They pillages houses at pleasure, and insulted women and children without hesitation, under the pretence of being "law and order men." For many miles around the city in every direction nearly every farm house was abandoned, the fences were thrown down, and the crops at the mercy of cattle and hogs, and "law and order" men. They were still at their work of driving off the men they disliked (calling them Jack Mormons) when Governor Ford raised his forces and started for Nauvoo. On his approach they retired to their houses. If he had the sagacity and nerve to arrest and bring them to justice, a few examples would deter the rest, -- but that will never be done. Such scenes were never heard of in a civilized country."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXI.                              Philadelphia, September 2, 1848.                             No. 50.


The following parapgraphs are taken from one of the city papers:

"... From the Adventure, published at St. Joseph, we learn, that a party of ten men arrived in that village, last Friday, direct from Oregon, having performed the journey in eighty-seven days... This party brings information from the Salt Lake, that the Mormons in that settlement number about fifteen hundred. They have several thousand acres in cultivation, in wheat, corn, &c., seven thousand acres of which are under fence. They met the emigrants that left this point in May last, in the neighborhood of the Sweet Water, all getting along very well." -- St. Louis Reveille, 3d. ult.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. V.                          Philadelphia, February 24, 1849.                           No. 48.


The Mormon settlements in California, near the Great Salt Lake, are thus described by Mr. E. P. Whipple, a leading Mormon, who lately arrived at Pittsburg, overland from that region:

The valley, in which the Mormon settlements are, is about fifty miles long, and forty broad, and is surrounded on three sides by high mountains, and on the north side by the lake. From various gorges in the mountains, numerous fresh water streams pour their waters into the Jordan, affording fine water power. No timber grows in the valley, but an abundance is supplied by the valleys of the streams in the mountains. It consists of fir, pine, hemlock, and sugar maple.

In this delightful valley, about 1000 miles from the Missouri on the east, and 700 from the gold diggings on the Sacramento, on the west -- the Rocky Mountains being a barrier on one side, and the Great Basin, and the Californian or Sierra Nevada range on the other -- About 7000 persons, of all ages, and both sexes, are now collected in the valley. They commenced arriving in the valley in July, 1847, and last season they raised a fine crop of wheat, corn and other productions, sufficient for their own consumption and those of their faith who are yearly coming in. After next harvest they will have provisions to dispose of. They have two grist-mills and four saw-mills in operation, and have laid out several villages, and a town on an elevated plat, which overlooks the whole valley and lake. They are building substantial houses and surrounding themselves with many comforts. They expect a large emigration this season from their brethren in the neighborhood of Council Bluffs, where there are some thousands congregated.

The Mormons have established ferries over the only rivers which are not fordable on account of high waters -- the Platte and Green rivers -- so that no hindrance to emigrants from that cause, need now be feared. No gold has yet been found in the neighborhood of Salt Lake, or anywhere east of the Sierra Nevada, as far as Mr. Whipple is informed.

Notes: (forthcoming)

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