(Newspapers of Pennsylvania)

Philadelphia Newspapers
1840-1845 Articles

(Adapted from an old lithograph -- LDS branch organized on Lombard St., Dec. 23, 1839)

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Articles Index   |   misc PA papers   |   Adams Co. papers   |   PA Quaker papers


Vol. XX.                            Philadelphia, Saturday, January 4, 1840.                            No. 2,880.

The Mormons have purchased a tract of land in Illinois at the head of the Des Moines rapids of the Mississippi. They have laid out a town called Nauvoo. A deputation, consisting of Joe Smith and two others are now at Washington, for the purpose of petitioning Congress for relief on account of their losses in Missouri. Persecution appears to have had the usual effect of strengthening their belief in the creed submitted to them by their prophet, and has also added largely to their numbers -- many influential families in the adjoining counties having joined this new denomination.

Note: The Public Ledger published a shorter version of this report, also on Jan. 4th.


Vol. XX.                           Philadelphia, Saturday, February 1, 1840.                           No. 2,892.

JANUARY 28, 1840.

(Reported for the Baltimore American.)

Mr. Merrick proposed a memorial from the Bank of Metropolis, asking for an extension of its charter.

Mr. Young, of Illinois, presented a memorial from certain Mormons, (Smith, Rigdon, and Hicks) praying the intervention of Congress to preserve them in their rights as citizens of the United States. The petition sets forth that the Mormons have been harshly dealt with by the State of Missouri, and that it would be unsafe for them to return to Missouri to obtain legally a redress of grievances.

Mr. Young moved the reference of this memorial to the Judiciary Committee. He remarked that he knew nothing of the petition. It made strong charges against the State of Missouri.

He further said that the Mormons bring three hundred receipts for land bought of the land agents in Missouri. They say that they cannot return, for the Governor of Missouri has forbidden it. They say further that they have petitioned the Legislature of Missiouri for a redress of grievances; and further yet, that no regard has been paid to these allegations. Mr. Young said that the conduct of Missouri was reprehensible.

Mr. Linn, of Missonri, was not willing to hear the character of his State traduced. He knew nothing of the facts, except that violence was complained of by both parties. The Missouri people complained that the causes originated with the Mormons They alleged that the Mormons spoke of their determination to hold the territory -- that they considered it as the New Jerusalem, &c.

Mr. Linn further contended that the State of Missouri should not be arraigned at the bar of the Senate. If the memorial was to go to the Committee on the Judiciary, he should move that the committee have leave to send for persons and papers.

Mr. Norvell, of Michigan, suggested that Congress had no power over the matter.

Mr. Linn was of the same opinion; and said that he should move to lay the subject on the table, unless some other member would make the motion,

Mr, Norvell made the motion for Mr. Linn.

Mr. Young called for the reading of the memorial, which sets forth the grievances of the Mormons. It was read, recounting the abuses of the authorities of Missouri towards the Mormon sect. The memorial was very long, and occupied the time of the Senate for more than an hour. The reading being finished, the memorial was temporarily laid on the table....

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. I.                             Philadelphia, Saturday, March 14, 1840.                             No. 303.


Montrose, I. T., Upper Mississippi,            
February 13th, 1840.            
In my letter of Dec. 4th, I was in error in stating that Oliver Granger was a brother of F. Granger, of the state of New York. I was so informed by one of his Mormon brothers -- but have since learnt from him personally, that he is only a distant relative. The Mormons having been driven out from the land of "Zion" in Missouri, have placed a "Stake of Zion" at Commerce, Ill., opposite this place, and have commenced building their city there. -- Already a large number of houses have been erected, and they propose to erect one thousand next season, together with a temple. No doubt large numbers from all parts of the United states will settle at the above named point in the early Spring. I venture to say that Jo Smith exerts a more absolute influence over a greater number of minds than any other individual in America; many, too, cultivated and intelligent minds, but laboring under a dangerous delusion. Smith has indeed (with the help of his Elders and Council and others better taught than himself,) matured an ingenious system by which to govern the church. His system is not all founded in error but has so much truth drawn from the doctrines of the Bible, incorporarated with it, that it is calculated to deceive the unstable. They are certainly a most zealous people; they send out their preachers into all parts of the United States, and even to Europe. Twelve Elders went from this neighborhood last summer to preach the Mormon faith to the "Gentiles" in Europe. Three of the number were from this place. They embarked at New York. -- Corres. of Jour. Com.

Note 1: The above letter was sent from Montrose by David Wells Kilbourne (1803-1876). In a previous letter to the New York Journal of Commerce, Mr. Wells had said: "The Mormons, who were driven by mobs from Missouri, and who are now settled in this neighborhood, have some fears that the Missourians, from their movements, have designs against them. We have a large Mormon population here, on each side of the River. She that was Mrs. Morgan, widow of the murdered Morgan, of Free mason memory, is settled here, and is now Mrs. Harris, and a good Mormon. Oliver Granger, a brother of Francis Granger of your state, resides here, and is a leader in the Mormon Church." The editor replied: "A gentleman well acquainted with the Granger family of Canandaigua, says our correspondent on the Upper Mississippi is mistaken in saying that Oliver Granger, a Mormon in that neighborhood, is brother of Francis Granger." -- See The Mercury and Weekly Journal of Commerce, of Jan. 2 and Mar. 12, 1840.

Note 2: The North American of July 22, 1840 also reprinted an interesting Kilbourne letter, sent from Montrose, in the first part of July.


Vol. I.                                   Philadelphia, Friday, May 1, 1840.                                   No. 343.


It is known that these people, since their dispersion in Missouri, have collected in great numbers in and around Commerce, in this state, on the Mississippi river. The name of Commerce, as we have heretofore stated, they have changed to Nauvoo, from the Hebrew or Egyptian, though of the signification of the term we are ignorant. They hold two great conferences every year, -- in the spring and fall, and that appointed for the present spring took place last week, commencing on the 6th and ending on the 9th inst. We learn that between 2000 and 3000 persons were present, and that considerable accessions were made to the church from the surrounding neighborhood. -- Our informant states that the number was 74, all received by baptism, and that at the same time thirty of the ablest men were ordained to preach the gospel.

The preachers present were Joseph and Hiram Smith, John Page, Orson Hyde and two others. Messrs. Page and Hyde, with ten others, (probably chosen elsewhere,) were commissioned to go to the Holy Land to preach the gospel to the Jews. They are to meet in Quincy next Sabbath, and from there take their departure for Palestine.

About 300 houses have been put up in Nauvoo since last October. Some of these are neat frame buildings, but the greater portion are log cabins designed for temporary habitations merely. The ground assigned to each is generally one acre, though to some there are five acres.

The increase of population by immigration is very great. Our informant states that several families arrive every day. A gentleman living on the road from Quincy to Nauvoo assured him that on some days at least 15 families passed his house, all bound to the latter place. -- Peoria Register.

Note: As things turned out, only Orson Hyde and John E. Page departed on the 1840 mission to Palestine. Apostle Page never made it past the eastern seaboard, and thus ended up in Pennsylvania for an extended stay. Page's 1840-1843 activities and communications were documented in the newspapers of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and other towns in the east.


Vol. XVIII.                           Philadelphia, Saturday, May 9, 1840.                             No. 7.


This sect have in ten years increased from six individuals to nearly twenty thousand. In Hancock, McDonough, and Adams counties, Ill., they have increased rapidly since last fall, several influencial families having joined them. They have purchased a tract of land on the Mississippi, at the head of the Des Moines Rapids, comprising about 20,000 acres. They have commenced the publication of a paper, called The Times and Seasons. They call the town Nauvoo. They denominate their church, the Church of Christ of Latter-day Saints. Their twelve apostles have recently gone on a mission to England.

They appear to have mingled much evangelical truth with their daring imposture and extravagant delusion. It is by this amount of truth that many are deluded to join them. Their error does not consist so much in the doctrines they teach, for these are taken from the Bible: but in their audacious claim that their book is a revelation from God. Of this they give no proof. They work no miracles; they make no prophecies. They afford none of the evidences which we have required of men bringing revelations from God. Yet many are deluded, and become full believers, without evidence. How important is thorough instruction in the churches, especially in seasons of awakening! -- N. Y. Evangelist.

The following from an exchange paper is a statement of some of their peculiar notions:

They immerse, on a personal profession, for the remission of sins. They believe literally that the saints are to inhabit the earth. That the New Jerusalem is to be an earthly abode, and to be located in this western world. They adopted the system of having all things in common like the primitive disciples and modern Shakers. In addition to Joe Smith, their founder and prophet, they have twelve apostles.

The book of Mormon is a bungling and stupid production, purporting to be a continuation of the Old Testament, by one Nephi, the last of a family of Jews, who, after the captivity, by some means, reached this continent. It was found, as alleged by Joe Smith, engraved on golden plates, in Western New York, and by him, through an assumed miraculous power, deciphered and transcribed. It contains some trite, moral maxims, but the phraseology in which they are embodied frequently violates every principle and rule of grammar.

We have no hesitation in saying that the whole system is errobeous -- carrying falsehood and imposture on its face, and exhibiting a want of skill, of uniformity, of harmony with the gospel, which ought to lead any rational mind to treat it with deserved contempt. There is no redeeming feature in the whole scheme; nothing to commend it to a thinking mind. Yet this miserable, this foolish imposition has secured to itself many devoted adherents, and appears to be on the increase: -- a deplorable proof of the awful state to which the fall of Adam has reduced the human race. Continually seeking out new inventions to regain the forfeited favour of their Creator, and slighting the only name and way whereby they can be saved.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                                   Philadelphia, Monday, May 11, 1840.                                   No. 351.

The Peoria, Ill. Register states that in obedience to an edict from Joseph Smith, the Mormons will hereafter vote en masse against the administration of Mr. Van Buren.

However favorable to the Whig cause Smith's edict may be in its immediate result, an accession of strength secured by such means is hardly a matter of rejoicing. If men are thus to vote en masse at the dictation of an individual, we may have Whig triumphs, but we shall not have liberty.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVIII.                           Philadelphia, Saturday,  May 23, 1840.                             No. 9.

Mormons. -- It appears by recent acounts, that the Mormons are making converts in Illinois; and that they have purchased twenty thousand acres of land, and laid out a city, which they call Nauvoo. They have also commenced the publication of a paper, called "The Times and Seasons." A Mr. John Corrall, recently a member of the Legislature of Missouri, has published a book, giving an account of his conversion to Mormonism, and his reasons for leaving them. It is singular that this imposture, after having so many times been publicly exposed, should still gain proselytes, but shows however, what an exuberant soil the human mind is, in its depraved state, for the growth of error and delusion. Nothing can be too absurd, if connected with enthusiasm and apparent piety, to be received by the mind that is a stranger to the truth as it is in Jesus. Mormonism, however, is rendered much more specious and dangerous, from having retained a considerable portion of evangelical truth. This, mixed with the idea of divine impulses and new revelations, together with some extravagant notions about coming events, is sufficient to carry them to any extreme of enthusiasm. And it is probably the effects of enthusiastic excitement, rather than the conviction of the understanding, that leads so many to embrace it. Christians should be established with grace, and not be running after every "Lo here!" and "Lo there!" and if they give way to the propensity to learn every new thing that comes along, it is not at all surprising, that the Lord should leave them to fall into grievous error, and continue in it, till they are sufficiently humbled to be satisfied with the "sincere milk of the word."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                                 Philadelphia, Saturday, May 30, 1840.                                 No. 368.

THE MORMONS. -- A correspondent of the Journal of Commerce gives the following accounts of this much abused and ill-treated people. We refer of course to the cruel persecution in Missouri -- a persecution which should have been expiated by the severest penalties. The Mormons are only one of the many wild and visionary sects which have sprung up in our country, and we have no doubt, if left to themselves, will in a short space of time dwindle down to a small and insignificant society:

On the 6th of April their semi-annual conference commenced, when the saints far and near came together, and were gratified in heholding their leader and "Prophet" and in receiving from his own lips public censure, abuse, and curses, as well as instruction and blessings. -- The former are received by his devoted followers with as much submission as the latter.

At these meetings delinquents are tried, and all the temporal as well as the spiritual affairs of the church are attended to. During the three days occupied by this conference, upwards of eighty individuals were baptized.

These conferences are held in a grove, and present very much ihe appearance of a Methodist Camp Meeting, with their tents, &c. &c. The "Prophet" held forth at different times during the conference, and in all his discourses gave the "Saints" instruction in politics, as well as in the doctrine of his religious creed. It is well known that since the "Prophet's" visit to Washington, the whole church has turned a complete somerset in politics, as they are new all bitterly opposed to the Administration.

Smith says Van Buren will lose one hundred thousand votes by the course he has pursued towards him and his associates. I have no doubt myself, but they hold the balance of power in Illinois.

In one of the "Prophet's" spiritual discourses which I have alluded to, he said when he was in Washington, notice was given that a learned and eloquent Priest from New York City had arrived, and would preach at a certain time and place named. At the time appointed he attended, and found a crowded house, but obtained a very conspicuous seat. He soon discovered Mr. Van Buren, occupying a far more conspicuous one.

He said the preacher made a long and labored argument to prove that knowledge was not essential to piety. The President, he said, listened with great attention and wept excessively; he elevated his bead, so that every person in the house could see the tears roll down his cheeks. He said, it was just as easy for the President to weep as to smile! On this occasion he wept to make the people believe that he was very pious, but he believed he was the greatest hypocrite in the land.

He said Van Buren was no more a Democrat in principle than -- (here he turned to his elders who were seated on the stand, and inquired what he should say: the answer was, "Your Dog.") Yes, said he, my dog is a better democrat. He said he believed in being honest in politics as well as in religion!! He would now leave the President, and would neither curse him nor bless him, but would just as soon curse him as bless him!! He would blow the ram's horn around Jericho until their rights as American citizens were respected.

Note 1: The above article first appeared in the New York Journal of Commerce on Friday, May 27, 1840. For a contemporary report from Nauvoo, see the Quincy Whig of May 30, 1840.

Note 2: The Galena Democrat of June 12, 1840 printed this account: "The semi-annual conference of this sect of fanatics was recently held at Commerce... the Prophet Smith delivered a violent phillipic against President Van Buren, and said that his course towards him (Smith) and his proselytes should lose him 100,000 votes. In ten minutes after his sermon, Smith was gloriously drunk."


Vol. XX.                               Philadelphia, Thursday, July 16, 1840.                               No. 2,961.

Upon our fourth page is a very interesting account of the Mormons, given by a correspondent of the Alexandria Gazette. Any fears of the continued increase or influence of these infatuated people we think ill-founded. Christianity has at all times had silly sects upon its skirts, which soon quit their hold if unnoticed. Johannah Southcote had quite as formidable a train at one time as Joe Smith now has. Many men and women, grave in years of experience, were happy in the blessed assurance that she was destined to give birth to a Messiah. The whole sect has dissolved, and no vestige of the congregation remains. So, too, Mathias the Prophet had cajoled many respectable persons and was in a fair way of establishing wider faith in his mission, when his villany, paramount to his cunning, brought him into a court of justice and dissolved his scheme of deception. It is melancholy to know that well meaning and even well informed people can become the dupes of Southcotes, Mathiases and Joe Smiths; but the evil can hardly fail to work its own cure. Had the latter scamp been let alone when he commenced his game of imposture, it would have fallen long ago by its own weight. But opposition and injury clothed him with the attributes of a martyr and hence his greater success. There is now but one mode to circumscribe the growth of the Mormons -- to let them alone.

(From the Alexandria Gazette.)


   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. The name of the place they recently changed to Nauvoo, the Hebrew term for Fair or Beautiful. Around this place, as their centre, they are daily gathering from almost every quarter; and several hundred new houses, erected within the last few months, attest to the passing traveller the energy, industry, and self-denial with which the community is imbued. They have also obtained possession of extensive lands on the opposite side of the river, in that charming portion of Iowa Territory, known as the 'Half Breed Reservation;' and there, upon the rolling and fertile prairies, they are rapidly selecting their homes and opening their farms. As the traveller now passes through those natural parks and fields of flowers, which the hand of the Creator seems to have originally planted there for the inspection of his own eye, he beholds their cabins dotted down in the most enchanting perspective, either on the borders of the timber, or beside the springs and streams of living water, which are interspersed on every hand.

Nor are they unmindful of their interests abroad, while they are thus accomplishing so much at home. No sect, with equal means, has probably ever suffered and achieved more in so short a time. Their elders have not only been commissioned and sent forth to every part of our own country, but they have left their families and friends behind them, and gone to Europe, and even to the Holy Land, to reveal the wonders of the "new and everlasting covenant," and to preach "the dispensation of the fulness of times." They doubt not but that they shall be endued, when necessary, with power from on high to proclaim to all the nations of the earth, in their own tongues, the wonderful works of God.

The signal success which every where attends their exertions, proves how well their religious system is adapted to give expression to the various forms of enthusiasm that pervade the religious sentiment of the day. Retaining many truths which are held in common by different denominations of Christians and covering their own absurdities with imposing forms and lofty pretensions, their system opens a winning asylum for all the disaffected or dissatisfied of other persuasions, and much that is congenial to almost every shade of erratic or radical religious character. As an illustration of this, it is stated, in the last number of their own journal, called "Times and seasons," that, on a single occasion in England, one of their elders lately baptized, among others, no less than thirteen preachers of one denomination of Christians.

The name of Mormon they disclaim, and affirm that it was given to them by their enemies. They call themselves "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints," and number among their chief ecclesiastical dignitaries, a prophet, patriarch, and a train of high priests, bishops, and elders. They are understood to disallow the truth and validity of other churches, and to believe that their own ecclesiastical constitution entitles them to expect the [full] enjoyment of all the gifts and blessings of the church in ancient times. They teach that all who are baptized by immersion, under proper authority, are legally entitled to the remission of their sins, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. Among other religious exercises, they meet together to testify, to prophecy, to speak with tongues to interpret, and to relate their visions and revelations, and in short, to exercise all the gifts of God, as set in order among the ancient churches. They believe that the restoration of Israel to Palestine; the rebuilding of Jerusalem; and the second advent of the Messiah, are near at hand; and the dreadful calamities which have recently befallen some of the cities of our land, are set down upon their records as prophetic signs of the second coming of the Son of Man in the clouds of heaven to open their millennial era.

As to the "Book of Mormon," while they place implicit confidence in its truth, they deny that it is a new Bible, to exclude the old but a historical and religious record, written in ancient times, by a branch of the house of Israel that peopled America, from whom the Indians descended. The metallic plates, on which these records was engraved, lay deposited for many centuries in the earth, until at length, they were [at length] discovered and translated by Joseph Smith, Jr., and found, not only to corroborate and confirm the truth of holy writ, but also to open the events of Ancient America, as far back at least as the flood. They believe that this book pours the light of noonday upon the history of a nation, whose mounds, and cities, and fortifications, still repose, in grand but melancholy ruins, upon the bosom of the western prairies; and the reason that it is not more generally received is the same that operated to prevent the reception of the Gospel, in the early ages of Christianity.

It was a beautiful morning towards the close of April last, when the writer of the foregoing sketch, accompanied by, a friend, crossed the Mississippi river, from Montrose, to pay a visit to the prophet. As we approached his house, we saw him ride up and alight from his beautiful horse, and, handing the bridle to one of his followers in attendance, he waited in front of his gate to receive us. A number of principal men of the place soon collected around, apparently anxious to hear the words which fell from his lips. His bearing towards them was like one who had authority; and the deference which they paid him convinced us that his dominion was deeply seated in the empire of their consciences. To our minds, profound knowledge of human nature had evidently taught him that, of all principles, the most omnipotent is the religious principle; and to govern men of certain classes, it is only necessary to control their religious sentiment.

After he had shown us the fine grounds around his dwelling, he conducted us, at our request, to an upper room, where he drew aside the curtains of a case, and showed us several Egyptian Mummies, which we were told that the church had purchased, at his suggestion, some time before, for a large sum of money.

The embalmed body that stands near the centre of the case, said he, is one of the Pharaohs, who sat on the throne of Egypt; and the female figure by its side was probably one of his daughters.

It may have been the Princess Thermutis, I replied, the same that rescued Moses from the waters of the Nile.

It is not improbable, answered the Prophet; but my time has not yet allowed fully to examine and decide that point. Do you understand the Hebrew language, said he, raising his hand to the top of the case, and taking down a small Hebrew Grammar of Rabbi Seixas.

That language has not altogether escaped my attention, was the reply.

He then walked to a secretary, on the opposite side of the room, and drew out several frames, covered with glass, under which were numerous fragments of Egyptian papyrus, on which, as usual, a great variety of hieroglyphical characters had been imprinted.

These ancient records, said he, throw great light on the subject of Christianity. They have been unrolled and preserved with great labor and care. My time has been hitherto too much taken up to translate the whole of them, but I will show you how I interpret certain parts. There, said he, pointing to a particular character, that is the signature of the patriarch Abraham.

It is indeed a most interesting autograph, I replied, and doubtless the only one extant. -- What an ornament it would be to have these ancient manuscripts handsomely set, in appropriate frames, and hung up around the walls of the temple which you are about to erect at this place.

Yes, replied the Prophet, and the translation hung up with them.

Thinking this a proper time to propose a few inquiries relative to some of his peculiar tenets, I observed that it was commonly reported of him, that he believed in the personal reign of the Messiah upon earth, during the millennial era.

I believe in no such thing, was his reply. -- At the opening of that period, I believe that Christ will descend; but will immediately return again to heaven. Some of our elders, he continued, before I have found time to instruct them better, have unadvisedly propagated some such opinions; but I tell my people that it is absurd to suppose that Christ "will jump out of the frying pan into the fire." He is in a good place now, and it is not to be supposed that he will exchange it for a worse one.

Not a little shocked by the emblem employed by the Prophet, we descended from his chambers, and the conversation turned upon his recent visit to Washington, and his talk with the President of the United States. He gave us distinctly to understand that his political views had undergone an entire change; and his description of the reception given him at the executive mansion was any thing but flattering to the distinguished individual who presides over its hospitalities.

Before he had heard the story of our wrongs, said the indignant Prophet, Mr. Van Buren gave us to understand that he could do nothing for the redress of our grievances, lest it should interfere with his political prospects in Missouri. He is not as fit said he, as my dog, for the chair of state; for my dog will make an effort to protect his abused and insulted master, while the present chief magistrate will not so much as lift his finger to relieve an oppressed and persecuted community of freemen, whose glory it has been that they were citizens of the United States.

You hold in your hands, I observed, a larger amount of political power, and your society must exert a tremendous influence, for weal or woe, in the coming elections.

Yes, said he, I know it; and our influence, as far as it goes, we intend to use. There are probably not far short of an hundred thousand souls in our society, and the votes to which we are entitled throughout the union must doubtless be extensively lost to Mr. Van Buren.

Not being disposed in any way to intermeddle in party politics, I made no definite reply; but, immediately taking leave we returned to Montrose, abundantly satisfied that the Society over which he presides has assumed a moral and political importance which is but very imperfectly understood. Associated on the religious principle, under a prophet and leader whose mysterious and awful claims to divine inspiration make his voice to believers like the voice of God; trained to sacrifice their individuality; to utter one cry; and to think and act in crowds; with minds that seem to have been struck from the sphere of reason on one subject, and left to wander, like lost stars, amid the dark mazes and winding ways of religious error, these remarkable sectaries must necessarily hold in their hands a fearful balance of political power. In the midst of contending parties, a single hand might turn their influences, with tremendous effect, to which ever side presented the most potent attractions; and should they ever become disposed to exert their influence for evil, which may Heaven prevent, they would surround our institutions with an element of danger more to be dreaded than an armed and hundred eyed police.

Note 1: The Illinois Quincy Whig reprinted an edited version of this Alexandria Gazette article in its issue of Oct. 10, 1840. See also the New York Sun of July 28, 1840 for a similar reprint.

Note 2: The writer of the above letter to the Alexandria Gazette was David Wells Kilbourne (1803-1876), the founder of Montrose, Iowa. Kilbourne was the "Mr. K___" mentioned by Rev. Henry Caswell in his 1842 journal "of a tour" in the vicinity of Nauvoo (see "The Mormon Population of Montrose and Nauvoo," in the Jan. 15, 1844 Boston Daily Evening Transcript). On page 29 of his 1842 The City of the Mormons, Caswall mentions "Mr. K. my hospitable entertainer" at Montrose, adding: "Mr. K. stated, that previously to the arrival of the Mormons, his only neighbours were the Indians." This description fits Mr. Kilbourne exactly, and he was probably the person who first informed Caswall about Joseph Smith's Egyptian mummies (and may have even accompanied Caswall on his 1842 Nauvoo visit).


Vol. II.                             Philadelphia, Wednesday, July 22, 1840.                             No. 413.


View the original article in the Alexandria Gazette.

Notes: See the National Gazette of July 16.


Vol. XVIII.                     Philadelphia, Saturday,  August  1, 1840.                       No. 9.

O. I.

SENECA, July 22, 1840.      

Dear Brethren, -- Although nearly five weeks have elapsed since I left Philadelphia, I have not till the present time had an opportunity of redeeming my promise of sending you some sketches for the Recorder...

Note: This article (not fully reproduced here due to lack of relevant content) marks the first installment of Rev. John A. Clark's serialized 1840 travel narrative. The writer-editor took a journey through the northern U. S. A. and sent a number of reports back to the Philadelphia Episcopal Recorder for publication. Rev. Clark's letters published in the Recorder on Aug. 8, Aug. 15 and Aug. 22 contain no relevant content. His fifth letter (published on Aug. 29) closes with the promise: "I must not forget to mention, that in the immediate vicinity of Palmyra, is the hill from which they profess to have dug the Mormon golden Bible. -- I have some facts to communicate in relation to this singular imposture, which I must reserve till my next..." Beginning with Clark's sixth letter (published on Sep. 5, 1840) he began to provide unique information relating to the origin and development of Mormonism.


Vol. II.                                 Philadelphia, Saturday, August 1, 1840.                                 No. 422.

GROSS OUTRAGE. -- The following from the Quincy Whig, is a detailed statement of the outrage perpetrated by some Missourians on the persons of a few Mormons, residents of Illinois. The increase of the sect may in a great part be attributed to the inhuman and unpunished barbarities perpetrated upon them in Missouri.

We readily give place below to the proceedings of a public meeting held at Nauvoo, Hancock county. They but briefly allude to the inhuman outrage lately perpetrated by certain persons of Missouri, upon four citizens of the Mormon persuasion, living in Hancock county, in this State. The gentleman, -- a Mr. Miller, late of this county, -- who brought down the proceedings of the meeting, detailed some of the circumstances of the outrage. It seems, or rather, the citizens of Tully, Missouri, allege, that there has been considerable property, such as salt, iron, &c. stolen from that place within the last two weeks -- the Missourians charged the Mormons with the thefts, -- practicing upon their suspicions, several persons of Tully, crossed over the river in the vicinity of the Mormon settlements, below Nauvoo -- after watching the bottom, sure enough, sundry of the missing articles were found concealed among the underwood. It further appears, from the statement of our informant, that two or three Mormons were in the bottom hunting horses, while this Missouri party were on the hunt for the goods, and coming upon them, as it were, by accident, three of the Mormon horse hunters, together with a very respectable old gentleman, whose gray hairs should have protected him from insult, were charged with secreting the goods, made captive, and contrary to their will, forced across the river, and confined in Tully. Here, with their victims in their power, the Missourians proceeded to inflict a severe punishment upon them. One was immediately stripped, a halter placed around his neck, and attached to a limb above his head, and so tightly drawn that to prevent choking to death, he was obliged to stand on the tip of his toes; in this situation, with his arms fastened around the tree, to that his bare back was fully exposed, the tormentors swore they would take his life unless he would confess. In vain he urged his innocence, that he had nothing to confess, that he had never committed any theft, &c.; they still plied their whips until his back was so dreadfully lacerated, that to save his life, he agreed to confess any thing they would desire. He was taken down from the tree, with scarcely any life in him, and actually confessed whatever his tormentors wished! This was necessary, to give a coloring of justice to the inhuman outrage. Two other of the Mormons were tortured in the same manner, and a similar confession extorted from them. The old gentleman we spoke of above, one of the four abducted, behaved with such resolution, and pointed out to them so clearly their injustice and inhumanity, that after stripping, and fastening him to the tree, and taunting him with epithets of the foulest character, they took him down and finally set him at liberty. One of the victims by some means, succeeded, all cut in pieces as he was to make his escape -- he reached the river closely pursued by his persecutors, where, finding a canoe, he made all haste for this shore; upon arriving at which, he staggered out of the boat and fell exhausted on the beach, seemingly resolved to die, if die he must, upon a soil where the laws were respected. Two other of the victims, by our latest intelligence, were still in the hands of the people of Tully, if death, of which there is some probability, has not put an end to their sufferings.

Mr. Miller, who brought down the proceedings of the meeting, had also sundry important papers, such as a petition, affidavits, &c. detailing a history of the outrages, and communicating the names of several citizens of Tully, who were engaged in the transaction; all of which has been laid before Gov. Carlin. The Governor, with commendable spirit, we learn, has taken hold of the matter, and avows his intention of investigating all the circumstances connected with these outrages -- and to protect the Mormons from future outrage and aggression, to the utmost of his authority. It is also the intention of the Governor, we understand, as soon as the necessary papers can be made out, to demand the authors of the outrage from the Executive of Missouri. Every good citizen, of whatever party or denomination, will sustain the Governor, in vindicating the laws of our State, which have, in this transaction, been shamefully violated.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXIII.                            Philadelphia, Friday, August 7, 1840.                           No. 33.

A number of citizens of Quincy... publish a statement, in which they accuse the Mormons of a number of depredations, and say that Smith, the "Holy Prophet." in presence of some of the citizens, justified the plunderers in their nefarious proceedings, and would continue them till they had recompensed themselves for their Missouri difficulties to the amount of $3,000,000.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                                Philadelphia, Monday, August 10, 1840.                                No. 429.

THE OTHER SIDE. -- A number of citizens of Quincy, Missouri [sic], published a statement, in which they accuse the Mormons of a number of depredations, and say that Smith, the "Holy Prophet," in presence of some of the citizens, justified the plunderers in their nefarious proceedings, and would continue them till they had recompensed themselves for their Missouri difficulties to the amount of $3,000,000.

Note: The source of this report is not given; it appeared in several eastern papers during the month of August, without attribution. The Warsaw Western World of Sept. 16, 1840 published these remarks: "Joseph Smith, Jr.... spoke of the number of their people that had been murdered, of others that had been confined in prison, and, after a mock trial, condemned to be shot, and of the innumerable outrages and indignities of every species which had been heaped upon them from time to time -- and which were finally consummated by the expulsion of 15,000 Mormons from the State of Missouri, and by plundering and depriving them of their property to the amount of $3,000,000. And when they had appealed for a redress of these grievances, a deaf ear was turned to their cries. But, added Mr. Smith, we shall never cease in our endeavors to regain our lost rights, nor stay our hands till fully compensated for the robberies committed upon us...."


Vol. II.                                Philadelphia, Friday, August 28, 1840.                                No. 445.

MORMONISM. -- Caldwell county, Mo., from which the Mormons were driven a year or two ago, gave, in 1838, two Whig votes, and 337 Van Buren. Now, 74 Whig and 134 V. B.

Hancock County, Illinois, to which they fled, gave in 1838 a Whig majority of 197; now, 371. This majority is almost entirely made up of Mormon votes. A letter in the Peoria Register says they polled 350, all Whig.

So with their changes of position they have changed their politics. -- Journal of Commerce.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXIII.                        Philadelphia, Wednesday, September 2, 1840.                       No. 55.


The Cincinnati Chronicle states that a party of thirty persons of the Mormon sect, reached that city last week, from England, on their way to the head quarters of the Mormons at Nauvoo, Illinois. In this country, there are about 2800 at Nauvoo, Ill., and about 2000 in Lee county, in Iowa, on the opposite said of the Mississippi. They have churches in Quincy, Springfield, Jacksonville, and various other parts of Illinois.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVIII.                     Philadelphia, Saturday,  September 5, 1840.                       No. 24.

O. VI.

FAIRFIELD, August 24th, 1840.      
Dear Brethren, -- In my last I promised to give you some account of the rise and origin of the Mormon delusion; and remarked that in the town of Manchester, near the village of Palmyra, might still be seen an excavation in the side of a hill, from whence, according to the assertion of the Mormon prophet, the metallic plates, sometimes called THE GOLDEN BIBLE, were disinterred. A writer in the New York Evening Express, who has been recently traveling in the West, remarks that "the Mormons have assumed a moral and political importance which is but very imperfectly understood." He then proceeds to add in relation to them that, "associated on the religious principle, under a prophet and leader, whose mysterious and awful claims to divine inspiration make his voice to believers like the voice of God; trained to sacrifice their individuality; to utter one cry; to think and act in crowds; with minds that seem to have been struck front the sphere of reason on one subject; and left to wander like lost stars, amid the dark mazes and winding ways of religious error; these remarkable sectaries must necessarily hold in their hands a fearful balance of political power. In the midst of contending parties, a single hand might turn their influence, with tremendous effect, to which ever side presented the most potent attraction, and should they ever become disposed to exert their influence for evil, which may Heaven prevent, they would surround our institutions with an element of danger, more to be dreaded than an armed and hundred-eyed police." It is not, however, in reference to their political, but to their religious influence that we entertain a degree of apprehension. This sect has been organized only about ten years, and yet they profess to number, in their society, one hundred thousand souls. This undoubtedly is an exaggeration, but it has been stated from a source upon which reliance can be placed, that there are probably not less than sixty thousand persons now professing the Mormon faith. It is said also that they are putting forth the most indefatigable efforts by itinerant missionaries, both in this country and in Europe, to make proselytes to their creed. These facts show the importance of spreading upon the columns of our religious journals from time to time statements that tend to unveil the trickery and artifice by which this system of imposture was got up and continues to be perpetuated.

There are two or three reasons why the Mormon delusion has spread so rapidly, and which will probably continue to give it more or less currency.

One cause is, that it fully and cordially admits the truth of the sacred Scriptures. Did it discard all previous revelation, -- pour contempt upon the Saviour of the world, and set up an independent claim for a revelation wholly new, it would have gained comparatively few adherents. But recognizing the truth and credibility of the sacred Scriptures, and retaining as it does, many doctrines which are held in common by different denominations of Christians, and conveying its own absurdities with imposing forms and lofty pretensions, it opens a winning asylum for all the disaffected and dissatisfied of other persuasions, and contains much that is congenial to almost every shade of radicalism, or erratic religious character.

Another cause which has contributed to the rapid spread of this imposture, is, that it appeals strongly to the love of the marvellous, -- to that thirst and anxiety, so rife with a certain class of mind, to know more than God would have us know, -- to find some discovery that will carry us farther than revelation, -- to get some one to come back from the grave, and tell us what is in eternity, -- to see with our own eyes a miracle, and obtain some new glimpse of the invisible world. There is certainly existing in a certain order of men, in every part of the world, and in every period of time, a strong propensity of this sort. What but this propensity would have given such potent and almost irresistible influence to Joan d' Arc, who, from an ostler maid in an obscure country inn in France, by claiming heavenly inspirations, and pretending to see visions, and to hear divine voices calling her to re-establish the throne of France, and to expel the foreign invaders, rose to such surprising eminence and power, as to be the very pivot upon which the destinies of the whole nation turned! -- as to be invested with the military conduct of the French army, -- directing and raising sieges, -- inspiring the troops with invincible courage, and spreading disaster and defeat through all the ranks of the British army, so that the Duke of Bedford, after all the previous success and triumph of the English arms at Verneuil and Orleans, and with all his tact and ability, could scarcely keep any footing in France? What but this deep-rooted propensity could have prepared men to have received the dreams, and reveries, and pretended revelation for Emanuel Swedenborg, or of Ann Lee; or to have yielded up their reason to a belief in the clairvoyance of animal magnetism? And not to multiply instances abroad, what but such a propensity as the one to which we have now referred, attracted the New Jerusalemites around Jemima Wilkinson, and gave her so much power over a large community of men and women? What but this, opened the way for the monstrous claims set up by the execrable Mathias, who drew after him, as by the power of enchantment, and subjected to his dictum, whole families, -- persons of education and refinement, and among the number, several men of intelligence, respectability and fortune? It is to this same principle, this anxious desire to look deeper into the hidden mysteries of the invisible world, than any mortal has hitherto been privileged to do, that the originators of this "cunningly devised fable" of Mormonism have appealed. While they admit to the truth and credibility of the sacred Scriptures, they profess to have obtained an additional revelation, by which new illumination is shed over every page of the sacred word, -- all controversies settled, and the obscurity that hitherto hung over many religious subjects dispelled. They profess to bring to light a historical and religious record, written in ancient times, by a branch of the house of Israel that peopled America, from whom the Indians are descended. This record, which engraven upon metallic plates, lay deposited in the earth for many centuries, not only corroborates and confirms the truth of holy writ, but also opens the events of Ancient America, as far back at least as the flood. They pretend that this record "pours the light of noon-day upon the history of a nation whose mounds and cities, and fortifications, still repose in grand but melancholy ruins, upon the bosom of the western prairies." The Mormons not only claim this new revelation, but profess to have still among them the gift of prophecy and miracles. They contend that miracles and revelations from heaven, are as necessary now, and as important to the salvation of the present generation, as they were in any former period, and that they alone possess this privilege of immediate and constant intercourse with heaven.

But that which has given vastly the greatest strength to Mormonism is the violent persecution which its disciples have suffered in the west, and especially in Missouri. Nothing can be more impolitic, or unjust, or farther removed from the spirit of the gospel, than to oppress and persecute any set of men on account of their religious tenets; and certainly nothing can give them more strength or rapid growth than such a procedure.

The Mormons first located themselves, as a body, in Kirtland, Grange [sic] Co., Ohio. Some difference arose among their leaders on account of certain banking operations which they attempted, and they separated, and a portion of them went to Independence, Jackson Co., Mo. The people in the neighbourhood of that location became unfriendly to them, and drove them away by force, subjecting them to great sufferings and loss of property. They were at last entirely and forcibly expelled from the state of Missouri. They afterwards purchased the town of Commerce, said to be a situation of surpassing beauty, at the head of the lower rapids on the Illinois shore of the Mississippi River. The writer to whom I have already referred, and who has revisited these western Mormons this present summer, remarks: -- "The name of the place where they now reside, they have recently changed to Nauvoo, the Hebrew term for fair or beautiful. Around this place, as their centre, they are daily gathering from almost every quarter; and several hundred new houses, erected within the last few months, attest to the passing traveller the energy, industry, and self-denial with which the community is imbued. They have also obtained possession of extensive lands on the opposite side of the river, in that charming portion of Iowa Territory, known as the 'Half Breed Reservation;' and there upon the rolling and fertile prairies they are rapidly selecting their homes and opening their farms. As the traveller now passes through those natural parks and fields of flowers, which the hand of the Creator seems to have originally planted there for the inspection of his own eye, he beholds their cabins dotted down in the most enchanting perspective, either on the borders of the timber, or beside the springs and streams of living water, which are interspersed on every hand."

The other portion that remain in Ohio, have erected a stone temple in Kirtland, of splendid appearance and singular construction. The first floor is a place of worship, with four pulpits at each end; each pulpit calculated to hold three persons. These pulpits rise behind and above one another, and are designed for different grades of ministers according to their rank in office. These are the two principal settlements of these people, although there are small societies of them found in almost every part of the United States. In some instances not only members but ministers of orthodox churches have been led to leave their own churches, and identify themselves with the Mormons.

It is time that I should acquaint you with some facts that came to my personal knowledge full thirteen years ago, connected with the rise of this imposture.

It was early in the autumn of 1827 that Martin Harris called at my house in Palmyra, one morning about sun-rise. His whole appearance indicted more than usual excitement, and he had scarcely passed the threshold of my dwelling, before he inquired whether he could see me alone, remarking that he had a matter to communicate that he wished to be strictly confidential. Previous to this, I had but very slight acquaintance with Mr. Harris. He had occasionally attended divine service in our church. I had heard him spoken of as a farmer in comfortable circumstances, residing in the country a short distance from the village, and distinguished by certain peculiarities of character. He had been, if I mistake not, at one period, a member of the Methodist Church, and subsequently had identified himself with the Universalists. At this time, however, in his religious views he seemed to be floating upon the sea of uncertainty. He had evidently quite an extensive knowledge of the Scriptures, and possessed a manifest disputatious turn of mind. As I subsequently learned, Mr. Harris had always been a firm believer in dreams, and visions, and supernatural appearances, such as apparitions and ghosts, and therefore was a fit subject for such men as Smith and his colleagues to operate upon. On the occasion just referred to, I invited him to accompany me to my study, where, after having closed the door, he began to draw a package out of his pocket with great and manifest caution. Suddenly, however, he stopped, and wished to know if there was any possibility of our being interrupted or overheard? When answered in the negative, he proceeded to remark, that he reposed great confidence in me as a minister of Jesus Christ, and that what he had now to communicate he wished me to regard as strictly confidential. He said he verily believed that an important epoch had arrived -- that a great flood of light was about to burst upon the world, and that the scene of divine manifestation was to be immediately around us. In explanation of what he meant, he then proceeded to remark that a GOLDEN BIBLE had recently been dug from the earth, where it had been deposited for thousands of years, and that this would be found to contain such disclosures as would settle all religious controversies and speedily bring on the glorious millennium. That this mysterious book, which no human eye of the present generation has yet seen, was in the possession of Joseph Smith, Jr., ordinarily known in the neighbourhood under the more familiar designation of Jo Smith; that there had been a revelation made to him by which he had discovered this sacred deposit, and two transparent stones, through which, as a sort of spectacles, he could read the Bible, although the box or ark that contained it, had not yet been opened; and that by looking through those mysterious stones, he had transcribed from one of the leaves of this book, the characters which Harris had so carefully wrapped in the package which he was drawing from his pocket. The whole thing appeared to me so ludicrous and puerile, that I could not refrain from telling Mr. Harris, that I believed it a mere hoax got up to practice upon his credulity, or an artifice to extort from him money; for I had already, in the course of the conversation, learned that he had advanced some twenty-five dollars to Jo Smith as a sort of premium for sharing with him in the glories and profits of this new revelation. For at this time, his mind seemed to be quite as intent upon the pecuniary advantage that would arise from the possession of the plates of solid gold of which this book was composed, as upon the spiritual light it would diffuse over the world. My intimations to him, in reference to the possible imposition that was being practiced upon him, however, were indignantly repelled. He then went on to relate the particulars in regard to the discovery and possession of this marvellous book. As far as I can now recollect, the following was an outline of the narrative which he then communicated to me, and subsequently to scores of people in the village, from some of whom in my late visit to Palmyra, I have been able to recall several particulars that had quite glided from my memory.

Before I proceed to Martin's narrative, however, I would remark in passing, that Jo Smith, who has since been the chief prophet of the Mormons, and was one of the most prominent ostensible actors in the first scenes of this drama, belonged to a very shiftless family near Palmyra. They lived a sort of vagrant life, and were principally known as money-diggers. Jo from a boy appeared dull and utterly destitute of genius; but his father claimed for him a sort of second sight, a power to look into the depths of the earth, and discover where its precious treasures were hid. Consequently long before the idea of a GOLDEN BIBLE entered their minds, in their excursions for money-digging, which I believe usually occurred in the night, that they might conceal from others the knowledge of the place where they struck upon treasures; Jo used to be usually their guide, putting into a hat a peculiar stone he had through which he looked to decide where they should begin to dig.

According to Martin Harris, it was after one of these night excursions, that Jo, while he lay upon his bed, had a remarkable dream. An angel of God seemed to approach him, clad in celestial splendor. This divine messenger assured him that he, Joseph Smith, was chosen of the Lord to be a prophet of the Most High God, and to bring to light hidden things, that would prove of unspeakable benefit to the world. He then disclosed to him the existence of this golden Bible, and the place where it was deposited -- but at the same time told him that he must follow implicitly the divine direction, or he would draw down upon him the wrath of heaven. This book, which was contained in a chest, or ark, and which consisted of metallic plates covered with characters embossed in gold, he must not presume to look into, under three years. He must first go on a journey into Pennsylvania -- and there among the mountains, he would meet with a very lovely woman, belonging to a highly respectable and pious family, whom he was to take for his wife. As proof that he was sent on this mission by Jehovah, as soon as he saw this designated person, he would be smitten with her beauty, and though he was a stranger to her, and she was far above him in the walks of life, she would at once be willing to marry him and go with him to the ends of the earth. After their marriage he was to return to his former home, and remain quietly there until the birth of his first child. When this child had completed his second year, he might then proceed to the hill beneath which the mysterious chest was deposited, and draw it thence, and publish the truths it contained to the world. Smith awoke from his dream, and according to Harris, started off towards Pennsylvania, not knowing to what point he should go. But the Lord directed him, and gained him favour in the eyes of just such a person as was described to him. He was married and had returned. His first child had been born and was now about six months old. But Jo had not been altogether obedient to the heavenly vision. After his marriage and return from Pennsylvania, he became so awfully impressed with the high destiny that awaited him, that he communicated the secret to his father and family. The money-digging propensity of the old man operated so powerfully, that he insisted upon it that they should go and see if the chest was there -- not with any view to remove it till the appointed time, but merely to satisfy themselves. Accordingly they went forth in the stillness of night with their spades and mattocks to the spot where slumbered this sacred deposit. They had proceeded but a little while in the work of excavation, before the mysterious chest appeared; but lo! instantly it moved and glided along out of their sight. Directed, however, by the clairvoyance of Jo, they again penetrated to the spot where it stood and succeeded in gaining a partial view of its dimensions. But while they were pressing forward to gaze at it, the thunder of the Almighty shook the spot and made the earth to tremble -- a sheet of vivid lightning swept along over the side of the hill, and burnt terribly around the spot where the excavation was going on, and again with a rumbling noise the chest moved off out of their sight. They were all terrified, and fled towards their home. Jo took his course silently along by himself. On his way homeward, being alone, in the woods, the angel of the Lord met him clad in terror and wrath. He spoke in a voice of thunder, and forked lightning shot through the trees and ran along the ground. The terror of the divine messenger's appearance instantly struck Smith to the earth, and he felt his whole frame convulsed with agony, as though he was stamped upon by the iron hoofs of death himself. In language most terrific did the angel upbraid him for his disobedience, and then disappeared. Smith went home trembling and full of terror. Soon, however, his mind became more composed. Another divine communication was made to him, authorizing him to go alone by himself and bring the chest and deposit it secretly under the hearth of his dwelling, but by no means to attempt to look into it. The reason assigned by the angel for this removal, was that some report in relation to the place where this sacred book was deposited had gone forth, and there was danger of its being disturbed. According to Harris, Smith now scrupulously followed the divine directions. He was already in possession of the two transparent stones laid up with the GOLDEN BIBLE, by looking through which he was enabled to read the golden letters on the plates in the box. How he obtained these spectacles without opening the chest, Harris could not tell. But still he had them; and by means of them he could read all the book contained. The book itself was not to be disclosed until Smith's child had reached a certain age. Then it might be published to the world. In the interim, Smith was to prepare the way for the conversion of the world to a new system of faith, by transcribing the characters from the plates and giving translations of the same. This was the substance of Martin Harris' communication to me upon our first interview. He then carefully unfolded a slip of paper, which contained three or four lines of characters, as unlike letters or hieroglyphics of any sort, as well could be produced were one to shut up his eyes and play off the most antic movements with his pen upon paper. The only thing that bore the slightest resemblance to the letter of any language that I had ever seen, was two uprights marked joined by a horizontal line, that might have been taken for the Hebrew character |-|. My ignorance of the characters in which the pretended ancient record was written, was to Martin Harris new proof that Smith's whole account of the divine revelation made to him was entirely to be relied on.

One thing is here to be noticed, that the statements of the originators of this imposture varied, and were modified from time to time according as their plans became more matured. At first it was a gold Bible -- then golden plates engraved -- then metallic plates stereotyped or embossed with golden letters. At one time Harris was to be enriched by the solid gold of these plates, at another they were to be religiously kept to convince the world of the truth of the revelation -- and, then these plates could not be seen by any but three witnesses whom the Lord should choose. How easy it would be, were there any such plates in existence, to produce them, and to show that Mormonism is not a "cunningly devised fable." How far Harris was duped by this imposture, or how far he entered into it as a matter of speculation, I am unable to say. Several gentlemen in Palmyra, who saw and conversed with him frequently, think he was labouring under a sort of monomania, and that he thoroughly believed all that Jo Smith chose to tell him on this subject. He was so much in earnest on the subject, that he immediately started off with some of the manuscripts that Smith furnished him on a journey to New York and Washington to consult some learned men to ascertain the nature of the language in which this record was engraven. After his return, he came to see me again, and told me that among others he had consulted Professor Anthon, of Columbia College, who thought the characters in which the book was written very remarkable, but he could not decide exactly what language they belonged to. Martin had now become a perfect believer. He said he had no more doubt of Smith's divine commission, than of the divine commission of the apostles. The very fact that Smith was an obscure and illiterate man, showed that he must be acting under divine impulses. "God had chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and the weak things to confound the mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised -- yea, and things that are not to bring to nought things that are -- that no flesh should glory in his presence." That he was willing to "take of the spoiling of his goods" to sustain Smith in carrying on this work of the Lord; and that he was determined that the book should be published, though it consumed all his worldly substance. It was in vain I endeavoured to expostulate. I was an unbeliever, and could not see afar off. As for him, he must follow the light which the Lord had given him. Whether at this time Smith had those colleagues that certainly afterwards moved unseen the wheels of this machinery, I am unable to say. Even after Cowdery and Rigdon were bending the whole force of their minds to the carrying out of this imposture, Jo Smith continued to be the ostensible prominent actor in the drama. The way that Smith made his transcripts and translations for Harris was the following: Although in the same room, a thick curtain or blanket was suspended between them, and Smith concealed behind the blanket, pretended to look through his spectacles, or transparent stones, and would then write down or repeat what he saw, which, when repeated aloud, was written down by Harris, who sat on the other side of the suspended blanket. Harris was told that it would arouse the most terrible divine displeasure, if he should attempt to draw near the sacred chest, or look at Smith while engaged in the work of decyphering the mysterious characters. This was Harris's own account of the matter to me. What other measures they afterwards took to transcribe or translate from these metallic plates, I cannot say, as I very soon after this removed to another field of labour where I heard no more of this matter till I learned the BOOK OF MORMON was about being published. It was not till after the discovery of the manuscript of Spaulding, of which I shall subsequently give some account, that the actors in this imposture thought of calling the pretended revelation the BOOK OF MORMON. This book, which professed to be a translation of the golden Bible brought to light by Joseph Smith was published in 1830 -- to accomplish which Martin Harris actually mortgaged his farm.

In addition to the facts with which I myself was conversant in 1827 and 1828, connected with the rise of Mormonism, I have been able to lay hold of one or two valuable documents, and obtain several items of intelligence, by which I shall be enabled to continue this sketch of the rise and origin of this singular imposture. To my mind there never was a grosser piece of deception undertaken to be practiced than this. But I [find I] shall be obligated to postpone till another [number] the full development which I wish to make before finishing this sketch. You will probably hear from me in relation to this matter next week.
              Yours, &c.                     J. A. C.

Note: Beginning with this, his fifth letter back to the Episcopal Recorder, editor-correspondent Rev. John A. Clark (himself once a resident of Palmyra) reported upon the scenes and events relating to the rise of Mormonism in western New York. The text of this letter was slightly modified to become Chap. XXII of his 1842 book, Gleanings by the Way. The Mormons of Nauvoo (or at least that portion of them who read Gentile newspapers) were treated to a epitome of Rev. Clark's recollections, as reprinted in the July 14, 1841 issue of the Warsaw Signal.


Vol. XVIII.                     Philadelphia, Saturday,  September 12, 1840.                       No. 25.


FAIRFIELD, August 31, 1840.      

Dear Brethren, -- According to the intimation given in my last, I proceed to furnish you with some farther facts in relation to the origin and history of Mormonism. In developing the history of this imposture, and showing the several steps by which it has won its way to the regard, and gained the confidence of thousands, it becomes necessary to account of what is denominated THE BOOK OF MORMON -- a volume containing 588 duodecimo pages, consisting of fifteen different books, purporting to be written at different times, and by different authors, whose names they respectively bear. The period of time which these historical records profess to cover, is about a thousand years -- commencing with the time of Zedekiah, king of Judah, and terminating with the year of our Lord 420. Should not your patience and that of our readers be quite exhausted by the present long article, I may in another number give you a sort of analysis of this volume.

This volume, as I have already intimated, has exerted a most important influence in giving some plausibility to the claims set up by the originators of the Mormon imposture. I am quite confident there never would have been any permanent converts to Mormonism, had not this volume been ushered into existence. The story of the GOLDEN BIBLE, like a thousand pervious and no less marvellous tales told by Jo Smith, would have long since sunk into oblivion but for the publication of this book. The origin of this volume -- how it came into being -- is a grave question. The general impression is that neither Jo Smith nor Martin Harris had intelligence or literary qualification adequate to the production of a work of this sort. Who then was its author? The Mormons say that it is a revelation from God. They claim for it a divine character. They say that the successive narratives spread upon the pages of this volume, are the identical records engraven upon the metallic plates to which we have already referred, and which, like the leaves of a book, were deposited in a box and hid in the earth: that the writing on these plates was in "the Reformed Egyptian language;" that Joseph Smith was directed by an angel to the spot where this sacred deposit lay; and subsequently inspired to interpret the writing, by putting two smooth flat stones, which he found in the box, into a hat, and then putting his face therein. * [See Religious Creeds and Statistics, page 130.]   This is the claim set up for the BOOK OF MORMON, and which has seduced many unstable souls.

Had the originator of this fabulous history, called the BOOK OF MORMON, kept entirely behind the scenes up to the present period, and had there been no clue by which the authorship of this figment of the imagination could be traced, it would still have been abundantly evident to every intelligent person, that it was the product of some shrewd and designing mind, who calculated to find his advantage in gulling the credulous and superstitious. The people of Palmyra, at the commencement of the printing of this book, only laughed at the ridiculousness of the thing, and wondered at the credulity of Harris. As the publication progressed, and the contents of the book began to be known, the conviction became general that there was an actor behind the scene, moving the machinery, of far higher intellectual qualifications than Smith or Harris. Suspicion in some degree rested upon a man by the name of Cowdery, who had formerly been a school teacher, if I mistake not, and was now known to be in some way connected with Smith in preparing this volume for the press.

I will here insert a document which I have in my hands, and which may tend to throw some light upon the origin and authorship of the Book of Mormon, which I found in a little work, entitled "RELIGIOUS CREEDS AND STATISTICS." The author gives a brief sketch of Mormonism, and among other things inserts a letter or statement written by Isaac Hale, the father-in-law of Jo Smith, giving some account of his first acquaintance with Smith. I had, previously to meeting with this letter, felt anxious to obtain some facts in relation to Smith's marriage, in order to ascertain how these facts would agree with the statements made by him to Martin Harris, which I noticed in my last letter. While at Palmyra, I met with a respectable clergyman of the Episcopal Church, who had formerly belonged to the Methodist connection, that was acquainted with Mr. Hale. He represented him as a distinguished hunter, living near the Great Bend in Pennsylvania. He was professedly a religious man and a very zealous member of the Methodist Church. The letter to which I have referred, is accompanied with a statement, declaring that Mr. Hale resides in Harmony, Penn.: appended to the letter also is Mr. Hale's affirmation or affidavit of the truth of the statement there made, taken before Charles Dimon, Justice of the Peace; and there is also subjoined the certificate of William Thompson and Davis Dimock, Associate Judges of the Court of Common Pleas in the County of Susquehanna, declaring that "they have for many years been personally acquainted with Isaac Hale of Harmony Township, who has attested the foregoing statement, or letter, and that he is a man of excellent moral character, and of undoubted veracity."

The letter or statement above referred to, is as follows:

"I first became acquainted with Joseph Smith, Jr. in Nov. 1825. He was at that time in the employ of a set of men who were called "money diggers;" and his occupation was that of seeing, or pretending to see, by means of a stone placed in his hat, and his hat closed over his face. In this way he pretended to discover minerals and hidden treasure. His appearance at this time, was that of a careless young man, not very well educated, and very saucy and insolent to his father. Smith, and his father, with several other "money-diggers," boarded at my house while they were employed in digging for a mine that they supposed had been opened and worked by the Spaniards, many years since. Young Smith gave the "money-diggers" great encouragement at first, but when they had arrived in digging to near the place where he had stated an immense treasure would be found, he said the enchantment was so powerful that he could not see. They then became discouraged, and soon after dispersed.

After these occurrences, young Smith made several visits at my house, and at length asked my consent to marry my daughter Emma. This I refused, and gave my reasons for so doing; some of which were, that he was a stranger, and followed a business that I could not approve. He then left the place. Not long after this, he returned; and while I was absent from home, carried off my daughter into the state of New York, where they were married without my approbation or consent. After they had arrived at Palmyra N. Y., Emma wrote to me, inquiring whether she could have her property, consisting of clothing, &c. I replied that her property was safe, and at her disposal. In a short time they returned, bringing with them a Peter Ingersol, and subsequently came to the conclusion that they would move out, and reside upon a place near my residence.

Smith stated to me, that he had given up what he called "glass-looking," and that he expected to work hard for a living, and was willing to do so. Soon after this, I was informed they had brought a wonderful book of plates down with them. I was shown a box, in which it is said they were contained, which had, to all appearances, been used as a glass box, of the common window glass. I was allowed to feel the weight of the box, and they gave me to understand, that the book of plates was then in the box; into which, however, I was not allowed to look. I inquired of Joseph Smith, Jr., who was to be the first that would be allowed to see the book of plates? He said it was a young child.

After this, I became dissatisfied, and informed him, that if there was any thing in my house of that description, which I could not be allowed to see, he must take it away; if he did not, I was determined to see it. After that, the plates were said to be hid in the woods.

About this time, Martin Harris made his appearance upon the stage; and Smith began to interpret the characters or hieroglyphics, which he said were engraven upon the plates, while Harris wrote down the interpretation. It was said that Harris wrote down one hundred and sixteen pages, and lost them. Soon after this happened, Martin Harris informed me that he must have a greater witness, and said that he had talked with Joseph about it; Joseph informed him that he could not or durst not show him the plates, but that he (Joseph,) would go into the woods where the book of plates was, and that after he came back, Harris should follow his track in the snow, and find the book, and examine it for himself. Harris informed me afterwards, that he followed Smith's directions, and could not find the plates, and was still dissatisfied.

The next day after this happened, I went to the house where Joseph Smith Jr., lived, and where he and Harris were engaged in their translation of the book. Each of them had a written piece of paper which they were comparing, and some of the words were -- "My servant seeketh a greater witness, but no greater witness can be given to him." There was also something said about "three that were to see the thing;" meaning, I supposed, the book of plates; and that "if the three did not go exactly according to orders, the thing would be taken from them." I inquired whose words they were, and was informed by Joseph or Emma, (I rather think it was the former,) that they were the words of Jesus Christ. I told them, that I considered the whole of it a delusion, and advised them to abandon it. The manner in which he pretended to read and interpret, was the same as when he looked for the money-diggers, with the stone in his hat, and his hat over his face, while the book of plates was at the same time hid in the woods!

After this, Martin Harris went away, and Oliver Cowdery came and wrote for Smith, while he interpreted, as above described. This is the same Oliver Cowdery whose name may be found in the book of Mormon. Cowdery continued a scribe for Smith until the book of Mormon was completed, as I supposed and understood.

Joseph Smith, Jr. resided near me for some time after this, and I had a good opportunity of becoming acquainted with him, and somewhat acquainted with his associates; and I conscientiously believe, from the facts I have detailed, and from many other circumstances, which I do not deem it necessary to relate, that the whole "Book of Mormon" (so called,) is a silly fabrication of falsehood and wickedness, got up for speculation, and with a design to dupe the credulous and unwary, and in order that its fabricators may live upon the spoils of those who swallowed the deception.
                                                      ISAAC HALE."

I shall have occasion hereafter to refer to the loss of the one hundred and sixteen pages spoken of by Harris, and to the manner in which they were lost; as this fact will not only tend to illustrate Harris' character, but to throw some farther light upon the sinuous track which was pursued to palm off the BOOK OF MORMON as a divine revelation. Whether Smith and Cowdery were acting alone at the time referred to by Mr. Hale, or were then deriving their illumination from Rigdon, I have no means of determining. It is highly probable, however, that they then had access to a copy of the manuscript written by Mr. Spaulding, of which we shall soon speak, and this copy was undoubtedly obtained through the agency of Rigdon. The true authorship of what constitutes the basis of the BOOK OF MORMON, unquestionably belongs to Mr. Spaulding. I do not, however, believe that the Book of Mormon is an exact copy of Mr. Spaulding's "Historical Romance," as Mrs. Davison very properly denominates it. No intelligent or well educated man would have been guilty of so many anachronisms and gross grammatical errors as characterise every part of the Book of Mormon. While Mr. Spaulding's Historical Romance is unquestionably the ground-work of this volume, the christianized character of the work -- the hortatory clauses about salvation through the blood of Christ -- and the adaption of the whole to meet the peculiar views of Martin Harris, and to tally with the pretended discovery of Jo Smith, are evidently parts of the work added to Mr. Spaulding's manuscript. In farther corroboration of this idea, I will just advert to two facts. First, in this record, some portions of which were professedly written 600 years before the appearance of our Saviour, the various dramatis Personae seem as familiar with the events of the New Testament and all the doctrines of the gospel, as any preacher of the present day. Now no intelligent and well educated man would be guilty of such a solecism as that put into the mouth of a Jew who lived four hundred years before the birth of Christ, a flippant discourse about things as though they were then familiarly known, when they did not occur till some five hundred years afterwards. Hence I infer that these parts were added to the original document of Mr. Spaulding by Jo Smith, Cowdery, Rigdon, or some of the fraternity. Another reason, leading me to the opinion that considerable alterations were made in the document referred to, stands in connection with the fact to which I have already adverted -- the loss of the one hundred and sixteen pages, which were never replaced. These pages were lost in the following way. Harris brought home the manuscript pages and locked them up in his house thinking them quite safe. But his wife, who was not then, nor ever afterwards became a convert to Mormonism, took the opportunity, when he was out, to seize the manuscript and put it into the hands of one of her neighbors for safer keeping. When the manuscript was discovered to be missing, suspicion immediately fastened upon Mrs. Harris; she, however, refused to give any information in relation to the matter, but simply replied: "If this be a divine communication, the same being who revealed it to you can easily replace it." Mrs. H. believed the whole thing to be a gross deception, and she had formed a plan to expose the deception in the following manner. Taking it for granted that they would attempt to reproduce the part she had concealed, and that they could not possibly do it verbatim, she intended to keep the manuscript until the book was published, and then put these one hundred and sixteen pages into the hands of some one who would publish them, and show how they varied from those published in the Book of Mormon. But she had to deal with persons standing behind the scene, and moving the machinery that were too wiley thus to be caught. Harris was indignant at his wife beyond measure -- he raved most violently, and it is said actually beat Mrs. H. with a rod -- but she remained firm, and would not give up the manuscript. The authors of this imposture did not dare to attempt to re-produce this part of the work; but Jo Smith immediately had a revelation about it which is inserted in the preface of the Book of Mormon as follows: "As many false reports have been circulated respecting the following work, and also many unlawful measures taken by the 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 stolen and kept from me, notwithstanding my utmost exertions to recover it again: and being commanded of the Lord that I should not 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 design 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 my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil."

This was the expedient to which they resorted in order to avoid replacing the lost pages. Had those pages, however, been translated verbatim from Mr. Spaulding's manuscript, they would have undoubtedly have re-produced them, and urged the fact of their being able to do so as a still further proof of their divine inspiration. But on the supposition that there was considerable new matter mingled up with Mr. Spaulding's sketches, it would be impossible for them to produce the one hundred and sixteen pages just as they were before, and they would therefore naturally devise some expedient to relieve themselves from the necessity of re-producing those pages. In all probability Cowdery, and Smith, and Rigdon, had all more or less to do in combining these additional parts with Mr. Spaulding's work.

The origin of this work of Mr. Spaulding, to which I refer, and which unquestionably forms the entire ground-work of the BOOK OF MORMON', is thus described by Mrs. Davidson, formerly the wife of Mr. Spaulding. This statement of Mrs. Davidson was published some time last winter in the Boston Recorder, to the editors of which it was sent by the Rev. John Storms, [sic] the Congregational minister in Hollistown, accompanied with a certificate from two highly respectable clergymen, the Rev. Mr. Austin and the Rev. A. Ely, D.D., residing in Monson, Mass., the present place of residence of Mrs. Davidson. -- stating that Mrs. Davidson, the narrator of the following history, was formerly the wife of Rev. Solomon Spaulding, and that since his decease she had been married to a second husband by the name of Davidson, and that she was a woman of irreproachable character, and a humble Christian, and that her testimony was worthy of implicit confidence.

"As the 'BOOK OF MORMON' or 'GOLDEN BIBLE' has excited much attention, and has been put by a certain new sect in the place of the Sacred Scriptures, I deem it a duty which I owe to the public, to state what I know touching its origin. That its claims to a divine origin are wholly unfounded, needs no proof to a mind unperverted by the grossest delusions. That any sane person should rank it higher than any other merely human composition, is a matter of the greatest astonishment; yet it is received as divine by some who dwell in enlightened New England, and even by those who have sustained the character of devoted Christians. Learning recently that Mormonism had found its way into a church in Massachusetts, and has impregnated some with its gross delusions, so that excommunication has been necessary, I am determined to delay no longer doing what I can to strip the mask from this monster of sin, and to lay open this pit of abominations.

"Rev. Solomon Spaulding, to whom I was united in marriage in early life, was a graduate of Dartmouth College, and was distinguished for a lively imagination, and a great fondness for history. At the time of our marriage, he resided in Cherry Valley, N. Y. From this place we removed to New Salem, Ashtabula county, Ohio; sometimes called Conneaut, as it is situated on Conneaut creek. Shortly after our removal to this place his health sunk, and he was laid aside from active labors. In the town of New Salem there are numerous mounds and forts, supposed by many to be the dilapidated dwellings and fortifications of a race now extinct. These ancient relics arrest the attention of the new settlers and become objects of research for the curious. Numerous implements were found, and other articles evincing great skill in the arts. Mr. Spaulding being an educated man and passionately fond of history, took a lively interest in these developments of antiquity; and in order to beguile the hours of retirement, and furnish employment for his lively imagination, he conceived the idea of giving a historical sketch of this long lost race. Their extreme antiquity of course would lead him to write in the most ancient style, and as the Old Testament is the most ancient book in the world, he imitated its style as nearly as possible. His sole object in writing this historical romance was to amuse himself and his neighbours. This was about the year 1812. Hull's surrender at Detroit occurred near the same time, and I recollect the date well from that circumstance. As he progressed in his narrative the neighbours would come in from time to time to hear portions read, and a great interest in the work was excited among them. It claimed to have been written by one of the lost nation, and to have been recovered from the earth, and assumed the title of "Manuscript Found." The neighbours would often enquire how Mr. Spaulding progressed in deciphering "the manuscript," and when he had a sufficient portion prepared he would inform them, and they would assemble to hear it read. He was enabled, from his acquaintance with the classics and ancient history, to introduce many singular names, which were particularly noticed by the people, and could be easily recognized by them. Mr. Solomon Spaulding had a brother, Mr. John Spaulding, residing in the place at the time, who was perfectly familiar with the work, and repeatedly heard the whole of it read.

From New Salem we removed to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Here Mr. Spaulding found friend and an acquaintance, in the person of Mr. Patterson, an editor of a newspaper. He exhibited his manuscript to Mr. Patterson, who was very much pleased with it, and borrowed it for perusal. He retained it for a long time, and informed Mr. Spaulding that if he would make out a title page and preface, he would publish it, and it might be a source of profit. This Mr. Spaulding refused to do, for reasons which I cannot now state. Sidney Rigdon, who has figured so largely in the history of the Mormons, was at that time connected with the printing office of Mr. Patterson, as is well known in that region, and as Rigdon himself has frequently stated. Here he had ample opportunity to become acquainted with Mr. Spaulding's manuscript, and copy it if he chose. It was a matter of notoriety and interest to all connected with the printing establishment. At length the manuscript was returned to its author, and soon after we removed to Amity, Washington county, Pa., where Mr. Spaulding deceased in 1816. The manuscript then fell into my hands and was carefully preserved. It has frequently been examined by my daughter, Mrs. McKenstry, of Monson, Mass., with whom I now reside, and by other friends. After the "Book of Mormon" came out, a copy of it was taken to New Salem, the place of Mr. Spaulding's former residence, and the very place where the "Manuscript Found" was written. A woman preacher appointed a meeting there, and in the meeting read and repeated copious extracts from the "Book of Mormon. The historical part was immediately recognized by all the older inhabitants, as the identical work of Mr. Spaulding, in which they had been so deeply interested years before. Mr. John Spaulding was present, who is an eminently pious man, and recognized perfectly the work of his brother. He was amazed and afflicted that it should have been perverted to so wicked a purpose. His grief found vent in a flood of tears, and he arose on the spot, and expressed in the meeting his sorrow and regret that the writings of his sainted brother should be used for a purpose so vile and shocking. The excitement in New Salem became so great that the inhabitants had a meeting, and deputed Dr. Philastus Hurlburt, one of their number, to repair to this place, and to obtain from me the original manuscript of Mr. Spaulding, for the purpose of comparing it with the Mormon Bible, to satisfy their own minds, and to prevent their friends from embracing an error so delusive. This was in the year 1834. Dr. Hurlburt brought with him an introduction, and request for the manuscript, which was signed by Messrs. Henry Lake, Aaron Wright, and others, with all whom I was acquainted, as they were my neighbours when I resided at New Salem. I am sure that nothing would grieve my husband more, were he living, than the use which has been made of his work. The air of antiquity which was thrown about the composition, doubtless suggested the idea of converting it to the purposes of delusion. Thus, an historical romance, with the addition of a few pious expressions and extracts from the sacred Scriptures, has been construed into a new Bible, and palmed off upon a company of poor deluded fanatics as divine. I have given the previous brief narration, that this work of deep deception and wickedness may be searched to the foundation, and the author exposed to the contempt and execration he so justly deserves.   MATILDA  DAVIDSON."

The whole mystery of the origin of this book seems to be cleared up by this statement, and I have seen no attempt made to gainsay or deny its truth. The farther, however, Martin Harris went into this delusion, the more he seemed to become infatuated. He had already embarked a large portion of his property in bringing out the publication of the book of Mormon, and though many things had occurred that we should think would have convinced any rational man that he had been made the subject of a deep laid scheme of deception, he still seems to have shut his eyes, and gone on in the dark. As I have already mentioned, at first, Martin Harris was assured that the golden plates on which the record was engraven, would be his, and that it would be perfectly lawful to subject them to public inspection, -- but as the managers of this imposture proceeded they found it necessary to advance with more caution, lest they should put into the hands of others the very elements which would contribute to their own utter explosion. Hence it was revealed to Jo Smith, that he would be authorized to show them only to three individuals who should assist in bringing forward this work. This was a lure to secure the continued co-operation of Harris. To convince Harris that he would be highly privileged, it was foretold in the book of Ether, written by Moroni (see Book of Mormon, page 548) that he that should find the plates should have the privilege of showing them to three persons. The passage referred to it as follows, "Behold, ye may be privileged that ye may shew the plates unto those who shall assist to bring forth this work; and unto three shall they be shewn by the power of God; wherefore, they shall know of a surety that these things are true. And in the mouth of three witnesses shall these things be established; and the testimony of three, and this work, in the which shall be shewn forth the power of God, and also his word, of which the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost beareth record; and all this shall stand as a testimony against the world, at the last day."

In order to satisfy Harris, and those whom they hoped to delude, it became necessary that three witnesses should see the plates. And accordingly we find appended to the book of Mormon the following certificate, headed with this caption: --


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


To know how much this testimony is worth I will state one fact. A gentleman in Palmyra, bred to the law, a professor of religion, and of undoubted veracity, told me that on one occasion, he appealed to Harris and asked him directly, -- "Did you see those plates?" Harris replied, he did. "Did you see the plates, and the engravings on them with your bodily eyes?" Harris replied. "Yes, I saw them with my eyes. -- they were shown unto me by the power of God and not of man." "But did you see them with your natural, -- your bodily eyes, just as you see this pencil-case in my hand? Now say no or yes to this." Harris replied, -- "Why I did not see them as I do that pencil-case, yet I saw them with the eye of faith; I saw them just as distinctly as I see any thing around me, -- though at the time they were covered over with a cloth."

This was the way that Harris saw the plates, Cowdery, another of the witnesses, was one of the prime actors in getting up this "cunningly devised fable." Whether Whitmer, the third witness, was a deceiver, or one of the deceived, I am unable to say, but he and four of his brothers were among the earliest avowed converts to Mormonism. And as he was thus privileged because he assisted to bring forth the work, there can be but little doubt that he bore the same relation to it that Cowdery did. The declaration in the testimony "that an angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates, and the engravings thereon," show but too well what sort of juglery to blind people's eyes, this certificate is. They seem themselves not to have been satisfied with the testimony; and therefore, although it was expressly revealed that only three should see the plates, and that it should be established by the witness of three, (see Book of Mormon, page 548,) yet they immediately subjoin the testimony of eight additional witnesses in the following words:

"Be it known unto all nations, kindreds and tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come: that Joseph Smith, Jr., the author and proprietor of this work has shewn unto us the plates of which hath been spoken, which have the appearance of gold; and as many of the leaves as the said Smith has translated, we did handle with our hands; and we also saw the engravings thereon, all of which has the appearance of ancient work, and of curious workmanship. And thus we bear record, with words of soberness, that the said Smith has shown unto us, for we have seen and hefted, and know of a surety, that the said Smith has got the plates of which we have spoken. And we give our names unto the world, to witness unto the world that which we have seen: and we lie not, God bearing witness of it."

This is signed by Hiram Page, Jo Smith's father, -- two of his brothers, and four of the Whitmers, brothers of the Whitmer, who was one of the three witnesses. They were all persons deeply interested in the success of this imposture, and expecting to make their fortunes by it. As I have before taken occasion to remark, Harris was ready to be duped by any thing which these jugglers were disposed to tell him. He seemed to think at length that he himself was inspired, and that revelations from heaven were made to him in reference to the most minute affairs in life. After the BOOK OF MORMON was published it was revealed to him that he should sell it for $1.50 per copy. But as it did not sell very briskly at that price, he declared that another revelation was made to him from heaven, and that he was ordered to sell the book for $1 per copy. No matter where he went, he saw visions and supernatural appearances all around him. He told a gentleman in Palmyra, after one of his excursions to Pennsylvania, while the translation of the Book of Mormon was going on, that on the way he met the Lord Jesus Christ, who walked along by the side of him in the shape of a deer for two or three miles, talking with him as familiarly as one man talks with another. With a knowledge of the facts that have now been stated, the existence of the Book of Mormon can well be accounted for, and also the success of this imposture. There are a few facts farther I have to communicate, which I shall be obliged to reserve till the next number.
J. A. C.      

Note: The text of this letter by Rev. Clark was slightly modified to become Chap. XXIV of his 1842 book, Gleanings by the Way. There is no equivalent in the Episcopal Recorder series of letters for Chap. XXV in Clark's 1842 compilation. That chapter contains two very important letters relating to the Solomon Spalding authorship claims for the Book of Mormon. One of these was written by Rev. John Storrs and the other by D. R. Austin. Both of these letters are dated June 28, 1841. A search of subsequently dated issues of the Episcopal Recorder has failed to turn up any original printing of this correspondence in that publication.


Vol. XVIII.                     Philadelphia, Saturday,  September 26, 1840.                       No. 27.


Dear Brethren, -- According to the intimation given in the last No. of these Gleanings by the Way, I proceed to finish the sketch which has already occupied the two preceeding numbers in relation to the Mormons. Perhaps before relating a few additional facts that I have in my possession in reference to the rise and progress of this singular delusion, our readers will be gratified to have a brief outline of the contents of that mysterious volume whose origin and history we have already given, and which, as we have seen, has exerted no small influence in imparting a degree of plausibility to the claims set up by this sect, and in gaining for them among the superstitious and the credulous, hosts of converts. I have before me a copy of the Book of Mormon, which I have read through in order to furnish the following analysis. Since reading this volume of nearly six hundred pages, I am more than ever convinced that there were several hands employed in its preparation. There are certainly striking marks of genius and literary skill displayed in the management of the main story -- while in some of the details and hortatory parts there are no less unequivocal marks of bungling and botch work.

As I have already stated, this volume consists of fifteen separate books, which profess to have been written at different periods and by different authors, whose names they respectively bear: all these authors, however, belonged to the same people, and were successively raised up by Jehovah, and by him inspired to carry on the progress of the narrative, and deposit the record when made upon metallic plates in the same ark of testimony which contained the plates handed down by their predecessors. The first book in the volume is called the Book of Nephi: it contains seven distinct chapters, and opens with an account of Lehi, the father of Nephi. Nephi, the writer of this first book, appears to be the grand hero of this epic. His father, Lehi, resided in Jerusalem -- was a devout man, and one that feared God. His mother's name was Sariah -- and the names of his three brothers were Laman, Lemuel, and Sam. The narrative commences with the first year of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah. During this year the prophets of the most high God came and uttered such fearful predictions in relation to the destruction of Jerusalem, that Lehi became greatly alarmed for the city and for his people. He was so impressed with the messages which the Hebrew seers proclaimed, that he was led to go and pray with great fervency before the Lord. While in this solemn act of prayer, there came down a pillar of fire and rested upon a rock before him, blazing forth in awful majesty, and speaking to him out of the flames. Awed and terrified by this divine manifestation, he went home and cast himself upon his bed overwhelmed with anxious thoughts and fearful forebodings. While he lay there thus meditating upon what he had seen, he was suddenly carried away in a vision, and saw the heavens opened, and God sitting upon his throne, "surrounded by numberless concourses of angels." "And it came to pass," I here use the language of Nephi, (page 6.) "that he saw one descending out of the midst of heaven. And he beheld that his lustre was above that of the sun at noon-day; and he also saw twelve others following him, and their brightness did exceed that of the stars in the firmament; and they came down and went forth upon the face of the earth; and the first came and stood before my father, and gave unto him a book, and bade him that he should read. And it came to pass that as he read, he was filled with the Spirit of the Lord, and he read, saying, Wo, wo unto Jerusalem! for I have seen thine abominations; yea and many things did my father read concerning Jerusalem -- that it should be destroyed, and the inhabitants thereof, many should perish by the sword, and many should be carried away captive into Babylon." Lehi, after this vision, became himself a prophet, and predicted the overthrow of the Holy City; on account of which he was persecuted by the Jews. While they were plotting to destroy him, he had another vision, by which he was instructed to take his family and depart into the wilderness. He immediately obeyed, leaving his house and land and gold and silver and precious things behind. In his journeyings he came near the shore of the Red Sea, and at length pitched his tent in a valley beside a river of water. His two eldest sons were quite unbelieving, and thought it absurd that their father should leave all his comforts behind, and come to dwell in a tent in the wilderness. But Nephi who was the third son, was piously disposed, and being led to seek the face of the Lord in prayer, had a revelation from God -- that he should be led to a land of promise, and become a teacher and ruler over his brethren.

After this, Lehi also had another vision, in which he was commanded to send Nephi and his brethren back to Jerusalem to obtain "the record of the Jews, and also a genealogy of his forefathers, engraven upon plates of brass." This was a mission attended with great danger, and replete with sundry adventures of a marvellous character. After the three brethren had reached Jerusalem, they cast lots to decide which should go to Laban, who seems to have been the keeper of these sacred deposits, and ask for the records. That lot fell upon Laman. He was received very roughly by Laban, and had to flee from his presence for his life, without attaining the object of his wishes. The two elder brothers now determined to abandon the object of their mission and go back to their father; but Nephi, full of faith, wished still to persevere, and therefore proposed that they should go to their former residence and collect together the gold and silver and precious things belonging to their father, and endeavour to make an impression upon Laban's mind by the offer of all these, if he would give them "the plates of brass." Laban was pleased with the exhibition of their treasures, and determined to slay them, in order to possess their wealth. They fled, however, into the wilderness, and hid themselves in the cavity of a rock. The two elder brothers now became utterly indignant with Nephi, and smote him with a rod, because he had led them into such an adventure. An angel of God, however, appeared, and rebuked them -- enjoining it upon them to go up to Jerusalem again, and not to give over the enterprise upon which they had embarked -- assuring them that the Lord would deliver Laban into their hands. Notwithstanding this divine reproof, the two elder brothers felt rather sorely towards Nephi, and went up again towards Jerusalem quite reluctantly. When they reached the walls of the city, they positively refused to go any farther. Nephi, however, offered to go again to the house of Laban. He proposed that they should hide without the walls, and wait till his return. It was night; and Nephi stole carefully into the city, directing his steps towards the house of Laban. As he drew near his residence, however, he found a man stretched out on the ground, drunk with wine. Upon examination, he found it was Laban himself. He was armed with a sword, the hilt of which was "of pure gold, and the workmanship exceeding fine." Nephi drew the sword from its scabbard, and as he held it up, he felt constrained by the Spirit to kill Laban. He had to struggle some time with the natural tenderness of his feelings, but his desire to obey God prevailed, and he therefore "took Laban by the hair of the head, and smote off his head with his own sword." He then stript off the garments of Laban, and put them on himself, and girded himself with his armour, and "went forth towards the treasury of Laban," and as he went, "he saw the servant of Laban that had the keys of the treasury. This servant mistook Nephi, who tried to imitate the voice of Laban, for his own master, and readily took out "the engravings which were upon the plates of brass" and carried them without the walls. When the servant discovered the mistake, he was very much frightened -- but at length was prevailed upon to accompany these adventurers into the wilderness: therefore having obtained the object of their wishes, they returned to the tent of their father.

Lehi now examined, at his leisure, the records engraven upon the plates of brass, and found that they contained the five books of Moses, "and also a record of the Jews from the beginning even down to the commencement of the reign of Zedekiah, and also many prophecies spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah." He also found a genealogy of his fathers, from which he learned that he was a descendant of Joseph.

Here I cannot but remark that it is astonishing that he had not found out before this to what tribe he belonged; and it is not a little remarkable that as the sons of Joseph, Ephraim, and Manassah, were appointed to represent two tribes, in the place of Joseph and Levi, he had not told us from which of these descendants he sprang. We were all along at a loss to know what sort of officer Laban was, but here we are told at this stage of the narrative: "Thus my father Lehi did discover the genealogy of his fathers. And Laban also was a descendant of Joseph, wherefore he and his fathers kept the records." This seems to us quite a non sequitur.

But to proceed. Upon obtaining these plates of brass, Lehi began to be "filled with the spirit, and to prophecy concerning his seed; that these plates of brass should go forth unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, which were of his seed. Wherefore, he said that these plates of brass should never perish; neither should they be dimmed any more by time."

Soon after this Nephi [sic] had a very wonderful vision, which he told to his two sons, by way of warning the two elder, Laman and Lemuel, of whom he had great fears -- as they were disposed to be unbelieving and rebellious. This vision presented an allegorical representation. Lehi declared that he saw a man dressed in a white robe, who came and stood before him and then bade him follow him. He did so. The white robed guide led him through a long, dark, and dreary waste. After travelling on for many hours in darkness he began to pray unto the Lord; and the Lord then led him into a large, spacious field, in the midst of which he saw "a tree whose fruit was desirable to make one happy." He partook of this fruit, which was intensely white, "exceeding all the whiteness he had ever seen." As soon as he had partaken of the fruit, "his soul was filled with exceeding great joy." This led him to wish that his family should come and partake of the same, While looking around to see if he could discover his family, he beheld a river of water, which ran along near the tree of whose fruit he had been partaking. At a short distance he beheld the head of this stream, and near it his wife and two younger sons, and they stood as if they knew not whither they should go: and he called out unto them with a loud voice to approach the tree and partake the fruit thereof, and they came. And then his anxieties were awake for his two elder sons, whom at length he discovered in the distance, near the head of the stream, but he could not induce them to come to him or approach the tree. And then he beheld a rod of iron extending along the bank of the river, leading to the tree by which he stood: and also "a straight and narrow path, which came along by the rod of iron to the tree. And it also led by the head of the fountain, unto a large and spacious field, as if it had been a world, and he saw numberless concourses of people: many of whom were pressing forwards, that they might obtain the path which led unto the tree by which he stood." As soon as those who were advancing entered this narrow path they encountered "an exceeding great mist of darkness," so that many lost their way, while others caught hold of the end of the rod of iron, and pressed forward through the mist, clinging to the rod, and following it until they came into the light amid which the tree stood, and partook of its fruit. The persons who thus approached the tree, after they had partaken of the fruit, looked around and some of them seemed ashamed. "Lehi also cast his eyes round about, and beheld on the other side of the river of water, a great and spacious building: and it stood as it were in the air: and it was filled with people both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceeding fine; and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those which had come at, and were partaking of the fruit." This was what caused some who had come to the tree to be filled with shame, and to fall away. He saw continual multitudes pressing forward towards the tree, and others towards the great, and spacious building. With all his persuasion Lehi could not induce his two eldest sons to come and partake of the fruit of the tree, therefore he had great fears in relation to them.

After relating this vision, Lehi began to prophecy in relation to the Saviour, and told very distinctly what is related in the New Testament about him. Nephi, however, became very anxious to see the tree of which his father had told, and at length he was gratified. The same vision was repeated to him, and he obtained also from the spirit of the Lord the interpretation thereof. The spirit commanded him to look. He did so, and first he beheld Jerusalem -- then Nazareth -- and "in the city of Nazareth, a virgin exceeding fair and white." And then he saw the heavens open, and an angel came down, and stood before him, and said, "the virgin which thou seest, is the mother of God, after the manner of the flesh." She was carried away in the spirit, and after a while she returned bearing a child in her arms, and the angel said to him, "Behold the Lamb of God, yea even the eternal Father! Knowest thou the meaning of the tree which thy father saw? And I answered him, saying: Yea, it is the love of God." Afterwards he looked and saw the son of God going forth among the children of men. He then saw in succession all the miracles of Christ -- all the events of his life -- the scenes that followed his crucifixion -- and the whole history of the Christian Church up to the present time -- beyond which the deponent Nephi sayeth not.

The tree was the love of God in Christ -- the rod of iron leading to it was the word of God -- the mist and darkness, that blinded the eyes of those to the tree, were the temptations of the devil -- the large and spacious building was the pride and vain imaginations of the children of men.

After this protracted vision, Nephi returned to the tent of his father, and found his brethren disputing about the allegorical sense of the vision of their father Lehi. He of course was now prepared to enlighten them. They asked him "what meaneth the river of water which our father saw?" and he replied, "The water was filthiness. So much was my father's mind swallowed up in other things, that he beheld not the filthiness of the water, and I said unto them, that it was an awful gulf which separateth the wicked from the tree of life, and also from the saints of God -- a representation of hell."

I have neglected to mention that previous to Lehi's vision, Nephi and his brethren were commissioned to go up to Jerusalem the second time, to persuade Ishmael and his five daughters to join his father in the wilderness. The fifth chapter opens with a tender scene, in which Nephi and his brethren are married to the daughters of Ishmael. Immediately after, Lehi received a command to strike his tent and journey on into the wilderness. And when he arose the next morning and went forth to the tent door, "in his great astonishment he beheld upon the ground a round ball of curious workmanship, and it was of fine brass. And within the ball were two spindles; and the one pointed the way whither we should go into the wilderness." They travelled on "for the space of four days nearly in a south east direction." Various trials occurred in their journey. The elder brothers uniformly murmured, and Nephi was uniformly submissive. When in extremity the brass ball was their guide, pointing out the way, and exhibiting, inscribed on its sides, the various intelligence they needed visible at proper times. Ishmael died in the wilderness, where they sojourned for the space of eight years. At length they pitched their tents by the sea shore. Here Nephi was called to ascend a high mountain. There the Lord met him, and commanded him to construct a ship to carry his people across the waters to the promised land. He commenced the construction of this ship in the face of much opposition, and of many difficulties, being quite ignorant of the art of ship building, and his brethren at the same time ridiculing and opposing him. But the Lord helped him, so that ultimately his brethren not only desisted from their opposition, but united in assisting him to complete it; and then they embarked with all their stock of seeds, animals, and provisions. During the voyage Nephi's elder brothers began again to be rebellious. They bound him with cords, and treated him with great cruelty. They, however, soon encountered a terrible gale, and were driven back from their course. The brazen ball which had miraculously guided them through the wilderness, and which was now a compass to steer by, ceased to work, and they were in the most awful peril. For a long time their fate seemed suspended, and their destiny doubtful; but the power of God at length softened the hearts of Laman and Lemuel, who released Nephi from his confinement, and then again every thing went on smoothly and they soon reached the land of promise, which of course was America, where "they found beasts of every kind in the forest, both the cow, and the ox, and the ass, and the horse, and the goat, and the wild goat, and all manner of wild animals for the use of men." And "all manner of ore, both of gold and silver, and copper." Nephi by the command of the Lord made metallic plates soon after his arrival in America of this ore, on which he recorded their peregrinations, adventures, and all the prophecies which God gave him concerning the future destinies of his people and the human race. These plates were to be kept for the instruction of the people of the land, and for other purposes known to the Lord.

The second book of Nephi consists of fifteen chapters. It opens with an account of Lehi's death, who, previous to his decease, calls all his children around him and their descendants, and reminds them of God's goodness in having brought them to the promised land, and gives each a patriarchal blessing, uttering sundry predictions in reference to their future destinies. After the death of Lehi, Laman and Lemuel undertook to destroy Nephi, who thereupon fled into the wilderness, taking along with him his own family, his brother Sam, and his younger brothers, Jacob and Joseph, who were born after his father went out from Jerusalem and their families. He also took along with him the plates of brass, and the ball that guided them in their former wanderings in the wilderness by the Red Sea, and was their compass to steer by across the ocean. Being thus separated they became the heads of separate tribes. The Nephites soon grew into a numerous people, and built a temple "like unto Solomon's." They, like their father Nephite, [sic] for many generations were good Christians, hundreds of years before Christ was born, practising baptism and other Christian usages. Nephi here accounts for the color of the aborigines. It was the curse of God upon the descendants of his elder brothers on account of their disobedience. "Wherefore as they were white, and exceeding fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people, therefore the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them." A curse was also pronounced upon intermarriages with them. Nephi also declares that on account of the curse of God upon them "they did become an idle people, full of mischief and subtlety, and did seek in the wilderness for beasts of prey."

In this book is also introduced "the words of Jacob, the brother of Nephi, which he spake unto the people of Nephi." He predicts the coming of Christ, and the return of the Jews from dispersion upon embracing the gospel. Nephi then takes up the subject, and transcribes several chapters from Isaiah by way of corroboration. This is followed by a long harangue, setting forth all the peculiar theology of the New Testament. He then predicts the appearance of a great prophet, and a marvellous book which he shall bring to light. The book of course is the golden Bible, and the prophet Jo Smith. "Wherefore," continues he, "at that day when the book shall be delivered unto the man of whom I have spoken, the book shall be hid from the eyes of the world, that the eyes of none shall behold it, save it be that three witnesses shall behold it, by the power of God, besides him to whom the book shall be delivered: and they shall testify to the truth of the book, and the things therein." This would seem to be directly in the teeth of what actually happened, for as we have seen in a former number there were eight other witnesses besides the three, who declared that they saw these mysterious plates. To elude this difficulty a saving clause is thrown into this chapter to this effect. "And there is none other which shall view it, save it be a few, according to the will of God, to bear testimony of his word unto the children of men." The reason is also here assigned why the plates are not spread before the learned -- it is to teach them humility! An unlearned man is chosen to transcribe the hieroglyphics, or words of the book, that the learned may read them. The learned refuse to read the hieroglyphics, unless they can see the plates whence they are taken. This God will not permit. He has no need of learned men. He is able to do his own work. He will therefore make use of the unlearned to bring these hidden things to light. The prophet, though an unlearned man, will be competent through the power of God, not only to transcribe but to translate the book

Nephi discards altogether the idea that our present revelation is complete, or that our sacred books contain the whole cannon of Scripture. He predicts that the Book of Mormon will meet with opposition, -- that many of the Gentiles would say upon its appearance, -- "A Bible, a Bible, we have got a Bible, and there cannot he any more Bible. Thou fool, that shall say, a Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews? Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God have created all men, and that I remember they which are upon the Isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea even upon all the nations of the earth? Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together, the testimony of the two nations shall run together also. And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday to-day and forever, and that I speak forth my words according to my own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word, ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another: for my work is not yet finished, neither shall it be until the end of man; neither from that time henceforth and forever. Wherefore because ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye to suppose that I have not caused more to he written; for I command all men both in the east and in the west, and in the north and in the south, and in the Islands of the sea, that they shall write those words I speak unto them. Behold I shall speak unto the Jews and they shall write it, -- unto the Nephites, and they shall write it, -- unto the other tribes of the house of Israel which I have led away, and they shall write it; and unto all the nations of the earth and they shall write it. And the Jews shall have the words of the Nephites, and the Nephites the words of the Jews. And the Nephites and the Jews shall have the words of the lost tribes of Israel, &c." This we consider one of the most pernicious features of this HISTORICAL ROMANCE, -- that it claims for itself an entire equality in point of divine authority with the sacred cannon. It is not only calculated to deceive and delude the credulous, and marvel loving, but to strengthen the cause of infidelity.

The only remaining thing worthy of note in this second Book of Nephi, is the prediction of the ultimate conversion of the Indians, who are a part of the lost tribes of Israel, or descendants of Nephi, to Christianity, through the influence of Mormonism, and that soon after this event they would change their colour, and become "a white and delightsome people." The period occupied by the events related in the Book of Nephi, is fifty five years.

The next book in course is the Book of Jacob, one of the younger brothers of Nephi; which contains five chapters. This book gives an account of the ordaining of Jacob by Nephi, to be priest over the people, and the particulars of Nephi's death. It also relates the circumstance of Jacob's confounding a man who rose up among them and sought to overthrow the doctrine of Christ; and contains a specimen of Jacob's preaching. One of the arguments by which he endeavoured to reclaim the Nephites from certain prevailing sins, was that if they did not repent, the curse of God would light upon them and they would become as dark coloured as the Lamanites. Sundry efforts were made by the benevolent Nephites "to reclaim and restore the Lamanites to the knowledge of the truth." But it was all to no purpose. They continued to delight in wars and bloodshed, and cherished an eternal hatred against their brethren. To ward off their incursions, the people of Nephi had to fortify and protect their land with a strong military force.

Jacob, who had brought up his son Enos "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord," when he saw his own decease approaching, gave him the plates and left him successor in office over the people of Nephi.

The Book of Enos is short, as is also the two following books of Jarom and Omni, containing little except an account of the transmission of the plates from one generation to another till the time of king Benjamin, about 320 years after the flight of Lehi from Jerusalem. During the latter part of this period, many wars took place between the people of Nephi and the Lamanites; so that Mosiah, then king, was warned to emigrate into a new region, or district of the wilderness -- into a land called Zarahemla. After reaching there they discovered that the people of Zarahemla were also Jews who came from Jerusalem at the time that Zedekiah, king of Judah, was carried away captive into Babylon, and that they were also brought by the hand of the Lord across the great waters. The Lamanites at this period are described as "a wild, ferocious, and blood-thirsty people, wandering about in the wilderness with a short skin girded about their loins, and their heads shaven, and their skill was in the bow and the scimitar and the axe. And many of them did eat nothing save it was raw meat."

But I must stop. I had hoped to have completed in the present. No, this analysis, and also what I had further to offer in relation to the Mormons. I must, however, defer what remains till next week.
                        Yours,                     J. A. C.

Note: The text of this letter was slightly modified to become Chap. XXVI of John A. Clark's 1842 book, Gleanings by the Way.


Vol. II.                            Philadelphia, Saturday, September 26, 1840.                            No. 470.

THE MORMONS. -- The Quincy (Ill.) Whig states that the Governor of Illinois has agreed to give up to the authorities of Missouri, Joseph Smith, Jr., and Sydney Rigdon, the Mormon leaders, on the condition that the Governor of Missouri would give up the authors of the Tully outrages.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                            Philadelphia, Tuesday, September 29, 1840.                            No. 472.

THE MORMONS. -- The Quincy Whig states that Gov. Boggs has agreed to comply with the requisition of Gov. Carlin, of Illinois, for the delivery of persons concerned in outrages upon certain Mormon citizens of Illinois, at Tully. And that in like manner, Gov. Boggs has demanded, and Gov. Carlin has agreed to deliver up, Joseph Smith, Jr. and Sidney Rigdon, as runaway criminals from Missouri.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                         Philadelphia, Wednesday, September 30, 1840.                         No. 473.

THE MORMONS. -- The officer sent to seize the kidnappers of the Mormons, found them engaged at a game of quoits, on an island in the Mississippi, beyond his jurisdiction. So Smith and Sidney Rigdon are not yet taken.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVIII.                         Philadelphia, Saturday,  October 3, 1840.                          No. 28.

O. IX.

Dear Brethren, -- The question has been frequently asked, why the sect whose history we have been attempting to sketch, are called Mormons? The answer to this question will be readily suggested to any one who has patience to wade through Mr. Spaulding's historical Romance. From the account that we have already given of the Book of Mormon we are led to see the mode by which it is pretended that the records of one generation of the Nephites were transmitted to another, and how the history of each preceding age was preserved. These records were engraven upon plates, and the plates, handed down from one prophet to another, or from one king to another, or from one judge to another -- the Lord always having raised up some one to receive these plates, when the person in whose hands they had been previously placed was about to die. Mormon, who lived about four hundred years after the coming of Christ, while yet a child received a command in relation to these sacred deposits. The metallic plates which contained the record of all the generations of his fathers, from the flight of Lehi from Jerusalem to his own time, ultimately came into his hands. From these plates he made an abridged record, which, taken together, in connection with the record of his own times, constitutes the Book of Mormon. Thus we see why the book bears this title. For Mormon was a sort of Ezra, who compiled the entire sacred canon contained in this volume. He lived at a very eventful period, when almost all his people had fallen into a fearful apostacy, and he lived to see them all destroyed, except twenty-four persons. Himself and these sole survivors of his race were afterwards cut off with a single exception. His son, Moroni, one of the survivors, lived to tell the mournful tale, and deposit the plates under the hill where Jo Smith found them. Mormon took his name from the place where the first American church was founded, of which we shall hear directly. and where the first candidates for admission into the church were baptized, some two hundred years before the commencement of the Christian era. He was very distinguished in his way, and quite worthy to be the founder of this new sect, who have brought to light his records, and rescued from oblivion such a bundle of marvels, as no one ever heard the like before.

I am sorry to say I must ask you to follow me through a labyrinth of history, if I carry out the plan of furnishing an analysis of the Book of Mormon.

We have already traced the history of the Lamanites and Nephites down to the period of King Benjamin, between three and four hundred years from the period of Lehi's flight from Jerusalem. The father of Benjamin was Mosiah, who was warned of the Lord to migrate to Zarahemla with all his people, that he and they might not be destroyed by the Lamanites. Zarahemla was subsequently the scene of much that is interesting in this history. It now became the dwelling place of the Nephites. Benjamin was the king of the land. He was a sort of David. He not only fought nobly, but took great pains to establish true religion among the people. He assembled them together, and addressed to them powerful exhortations, preaching to them "repentance and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ." The people were so much affected that they fell to the earth -- were converted, and became firm believers in Christ. Benjamin then thoroughly instructed them in the doctrines of Christianity, and finally died about four hundred and seventy six years after Lehi's flight. His son, Mosiah, reigned in his stead, who was no less eminent in kingly power and righteousness than his father. All these facts are given us in what is termed the Book of Mosiah, which contains thirteen chapters.

In the fifth chapter we have quite an episode introduced. As we have before noticed, the Nephites had left their first residence and gone to dwell in the land of Zarahemla. Some of their number, however, desired to go back to the land where they formerly dwelt. The first party that went out for this purpose were unsuccessful, having had much dissension among themselves. The second attempt, made under a leader by the name of Zeniff, resulted in their making a settlement in that land, and building a city called Lehi-Nephi. No intercourse, however, having been kept up by this colony with their parent country, the result of their enterprise remained unknown in Zarahemla. In the reign of Mosiah, however, a number of individuals determined to go out on an exploring excursion, and to ascertain what had been the fate of their brethren, who had thus gone up to the land of Nephi. The leader of this exploring party was Ammon, a man that afterwards became famous among the Nephites. The party travelled a long way through the wilderness. I suppose the wilderness, as the term is used in the book of Mormon in reference to America, means woods or forest. At length they approached the land of Shilom and Nephi. They had not proceeded far before an armed band fell upon them, and having taking them prisoners, bound them and brought them before the king of the land. His name was Limhi, and, as it appeared in the sequel, he was a descendant of Zeniff. As soon as Limhi learned Ammon's origin and the errand on which he came, he released him and his company from their bonds, treated them with great hospitality, and invoked his and his country's aid to assist them in extricating themselves from the oppressive power of the Lamanites. Limhi also assembled his people together, and announced to them the character of these visitors. He then brought out the records of his people, and exhibited them to Ammon and his company. Ammon read the engravings upon the plates, which in substance were as follows: -- Zeniff, the founder of this people, after leaving Zarahemla, travelled a long way through the wilderness, where he encountered various trials, and at length came to the land of Lehi-Nephi and Shilom. They found this country in possession of the Lamanites. From the king of Laman, however, he obtained by treaty the privilege of occupying this land. The Lamanites, the old enemies of his nation, allowed his people to go on and build cities, and make improvements for many years, and then rose up and sought to bring them under their dominion, that they might bear the relation of serfs or vassals to them. This attempt was rigorously resisted by Zeniff and the colony he had established. During the whole life of Zeniff, who now became their king, the Lamanites were invariably repulsed, and driven off. After his death the kingdom was conferred upon his son Noah, who proved to be a very bad and depraved man. Iniquity soon began to abound every where in the land, and vice to stalk shamelessly abroad with brazen front. Just at this time the Lord raised up among them a prophet by the name of Abinadi. He was very valiant for the truth. He reproved the people for their sins, and denounced the judgments of God openly against them. This fearless denunciation on the part of the prophet awakened the displeasure of the people, who determined and sought to slay the man of God. But Abinadi fled and escaped out of their hands. After about two years, however, he returned in disguise, so that they did not know that it was Abinadi. But as he continued to reprove them, and denounce heaven's wrath against them they determined to kill him. He however was not at all intimidated, but enforced his bold reproofs by repeating to them each one of the commands contained in the decalogue. This exasperated them the more, and they sought to destroy him at once; but he defied their efforts, declaring to them they could have no power over him till he had finished his message. Accordingly he went on, and preached unto them the coming of Christ, exhibiting the whole plan of salvation as laid down in the gospel. His preaching seemed to make some impression upon the mind of the king, but the priests of the land, who were wicked and who derided the idea of the coming of Christ -- succeeded in getting him put to death. He was accordingly led forth and burned at the stake.

Among those who were present, and heard Abinadi testify in reference to the coming and power of Christ, was a young man by the name of Alma, whose heart was touched by the words of the prophet. Though Abinadi perished in the flames, his spirit lived in Alma, who now became not only a firm believer, but a prophet of the doctrines which Abinadi taught. He, of course, became obnoxious both to the king and priests of Lehi-Nephi. He, however, persevered in preaching, though he was obliged to do it in a private way. His preaching was attended with great effect. And now it was, that those who believed on him resorted to a place called MORMON for baptism. The record thus states the matter. "As many as did believe him, did go forth to a place which was called Mormon, having received its name from the king, being in the borders of the land having been infested, by times, or at seasons, by wild beasts. Now there was in Mormon a fountain of pure water, and Alma resorted thither, there being near the water a thicket of small trees, where he did hide himself in the day-time, from the searches of the king." Here the people came secretly to hear him. And Alma instructed them in the doctrines of Christ, and baptized them by immersion in the waters of Mormon. About two hundred and four souls were thus baptized. The record having recounted these facts, proceeds to say, "This was done in Mormon; yea, by the waters of Mormon; yea, the place of Mormon, the waters of Mormon, how beautiful are they to the eyes of them who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer; yea how blessed are they, for they shall sing to his praise for ever." It was from this place, and these waters, that the individual took his name, from whom the sect of the Mormons derives their appellation.

Alma and his operations at Mormon, however, soon became known, and created a great sensation. He and his followers were denounced as rebels, and a military force was sent to cut them off. They had now increased to nearly five hundred souls. Apprised of the designs of King Noah, they immediately fled into the wilderness.

The Lord did not allow the wickedness of the people of Lehi-Nephi to go unpunished. The Lamanites soon came upon them, and reduced them to a state of vassalage. They were still allowed, however, to keep up the shadow of a government, and Limhi succeeded Noah in the kingdom. They were not only made tributary to the Lamanites, but repeated efforts were made on the part of the Lamanites to cut them off, and this led them to be always in a warlike posture. They were also exposed to assaults continually from a banditti that at times came up from the wilderness, and fell upon them. When Ammon and his party were seized by the armed forces of Limhi they were supposed to be one of these marauding bands. This explains the cause of the treatment which they at first received.

Limhi, having thus explained matters to Ammon, proceeded to tell him that a short time before, a small party, having been sent out by him to search for the land of Zarahemla, missed the object of their search, but stumbled upon a country, filled with the ruins of ancient buildings, the remains of decayed and rust-cankered armour, and the bones of men and beasts. Here, also, were found the records of this extinct race, "engraven upon plates of ore." These plates, which were twenty-four in number, and of pure gold, they brought away with them, but the writing was in a language which neither Limhi nor any of his people understood. They applied therefore, to Ammon to see if he could translate it, but he could not. Ammon, however, told them that he knew one who could interpret these engravings, "even the king of the people which is in the land of Zarahemla." He remarked, "he hath wherewith he can look and translate all records that are of ancient date, and it is a gift from God. And the things are called interpreters; and no man can look in them except he be commanded, lest he should look for that he had not ought, and he should perish." I suppose these must have been the spectacles handed down with the plates through which Joseph Smith looked to read and translate the book of Mormon. Ammon, in his discourse to Limhi, greatly magnified the office of such a looker: "whosoever is commanded to look in them, the same is called seer. A seer is a revelator, and a prophet also. A seer can know of things which has past, and also of things which is to come: and a gift which is greater can no man have." The preceding quotation will give an idea of the grammatical correctness and style of this book.

Limhi of course was very happy at the idea of having the historic facts veiled under these mysterious characters, constituting the written language of an extinct race, brought to light. In this he was gratified, as we shall subsequently see.

But the great matter, which just at this time weighed most upon Limhi's mind, was, how he could extricate himself from the iron meshes of the net which the Lamanites had cast over his people. Ammon, however, devised an expedient, by which the whole people could flee secretly from Lehi-Nephi. They watched the opportunity and took their flight and found a secure asylum in Zarahemla, where they were received by Mosiah with joy, who also received their records, and the record which they had found in the country of the extinct people before noticed. Here this episode should end. But appended to this is a sub-episode in relation to the people, which were driven into the wilderness by the people of king Noah. The followers of Alma, who were organized into a church at Mormon, and fled for their lives, travelled eight days through the dense forests, till at length they came to a very beautiful and pleasant country. Here they pitched their tents, and began to till the ground and erect buildings. They offered to make Alma their king, but he declined the honour, and dissuaded them from the idea of having a kingly government. He was already the founder of their Church, and filled among them the office of high priest. No irregularities were allowed in ecclesiastical discipline, as we are expressly informed that "none received authority to preach, or to teach except it were by him from God. Therefore he consecrated all their priests and all their teachers." The deep secluded glen which they inhabited was at length discovered by the roving tribes of the Lamanites, who immediately subjected them to a bondage that was peculiarly oppressive. They soon contrived, however, to escape from their hands, and fled to the land of Zarahemla, which was now becoming a refuge for the oppressed. They were there kindly received by Mosiah, shortly after the arrival of Limhi and his people. Thus ends this episode.

All the people of Nephi were now assembled together, and also the people of Limhi and Alma, and in their hearing Mosiah read the records both of Zeniff and of Alma; and the Nephites were filled with amazement and joy. Alma was called out to address the mighty concourse of these gathered tribes. King Limhi and all his people at once became converts to the doctrines of Alma, and desired baptism. And we are told: -- "That Alma did go forth into the water, and did baptize them; yea, he did baptize them after the manner he did his brethren in the waters of Mormon; yea, and as many as he did baptize, did belong to the church of God; and this because of their belief on the words of Alma. And it came to pass that king Mosiah granted unto Alma that he might establish churches throughout all the land of Zarahemla; and gave him power to ordain priests and teachers over every church. Now this was done because there was so many people that they could not all be governed by one teacher; neither could they all hear the word of God in one assembly; therefore they did assemble themselves together in different bodies, being called churches, every church having their priests and their teachers, and every priest preaching the word according as it was delivered to him by the mouth of Alma; and thus, notwithstanding their being many churches they were all one church; yea, even THE CHURCH OF GOD!!" The people had generally, especially those who had lived in the land of king Benjamin, become very pious Christians. But many of the children, who were now growing up to man's estate, being still unregenerate, were full of unbelief; and some of them became awfully depraved. Among the number were the sons of the king, and also a son of Alma, who bore the name of his father. They were not only profligate in their lives, but bitter and scoffing infidels. While this young Alma, like Saul of Tarsus was laying waste the church of God, an angel of God appeared to him by the way, and descending in a cloud spoke to him in a voice of thunder which caused the earth to shake upon which they stood. He instantly fell to the earth, being struck dumb and entirely senseless. He continued in this state for two days and two nights, and then rose up a perfectly changed and converted man, and became a most zealous preacher of righteousness. Four of the sons of Mosiah were also converted, and became preachers. These sons of the king were so zealous, that they embraced the idea of going on a mission to see if they could not convert the Lamanites. The plan having been approved by their father, they set off. We shall in due time hear what was the result of their efforts. But years passed away without any intelligence being received of them. Their father was growing old, and he had no one on whom to confer the kingdom. He therefore committed the records of his people for transmission to young Alma, who had now become so pious. He did not do this however, till he had translated the records of the extinct nation found by the people of Limhi, engraven upon twenty-four plates of gold.

These records form what is called the book of Ether, in the Book of Mormon, which is placed by Mormon nearly at the end of this volume. The substance of this record is as follows: The people who inhabited these regions, were descendants of Jared and his brother, who were among those that were engaged in building the tower of Babel. When Jared and his brother saw that God was confounding the language of all the builders, they cried unto him that he would have compassion on them and not confound their language. He did so. They also besought him to show them into what part of the earth he would have them go. He gave them a satisfactory response, guided them a long way through the wilderness, and instructed them to build barges to cross the sea. These were made air tight. A breathing hole was made in the top. To dissipate the darkness, they were instructed to obtain sixteen molten stones, which were touched by the finger of God, and thus these molten stones became in the dark barges like so many stars to enlighten the passengers. They embarked in these barges and were miraculously conducted over mountain waves to the promised land -- which was America. Here they became mighty nations -- built cities -- cultivated the arts -- and finally on account of their wickedness became exterminated by dreadful wars between themselves.

The following description is the account given of Mosiah's mode of translating these records: "He translated them by the means of those two stones which was fastened into two rims of a bow. Now these things was prepared from the beginning, and was handed down from generation to generation for the purpose of interpreting languages; and they have been kept and preserved by the hand of the Lord; and whosoever has these things is called seer." The same spectacles, as we have seen, came down as an heir loom to Jo Smith.

We have now reached the five hundred and ninth year after the flight of Lehi. Here the book of Mosiah ends giving an account of the termination of the reign of the kings, and the commencement of a sort of republican government, or what is called the reign of the judges. This change was brought about because none of the sons of Mosiah would accept the kingdom. Alma was made the first chief judge. The book of Alma, here follows, which contains twenty-nine chapters, and occupies nearly two hundred pages of the Book of Mormon. It is principally filled with details of the events that happened under the reign of the early judges of the wars and contentions among the people, of the efforts of Alma and others to establish the church, and an account of a war between the Nephites and the Lamanites. One of the first cases brought before Alma after he sat upon the judgment-seat, was that of Nehor, a very large man, and noted for his great strength. He preached strange doctrine to the people, declaring "that every priest and teacher had ought to become popular; and they ought not to labour with their own hands, but that they had ought to be supported by the people." This was one of his heresies. The other was the doctrine of the universalists, "he testified unto the people that all mankind should be saved at the last day and that they need not fear nor tremble, but that they might lift up their heads and rejoice; for the Lord had created all men, and had also redeemed all men; and in the end all men should have eternal life." Gideon opposed him, and thereupon Nehor became wroth and slew him. He was accordingly brought before the judgment-seat and doomed to die. After about five years Amilici, a cunning, shrewd man, of similar sentiments with Nehor, rose up, and tried to lead away the people. He at length was so successful that, he proposed himself as the king of the nation. The question whether he should be king, was decided by popular vote, and he was defeated. His adherents however still clave to him, and anointed him king, and immediately hereupon there commenced a civil war. The insurgents were defeated in battle, and fled to the Lamanites, who now came in like an inundation upon Zarahemla. But the people of Zarahemla cried unto the Lord, and went forth in his strength and utterly defeated them. The grotesque appearance of the Lamanites at this time is thus described. "The heads of the Lamanites were shorn; and they were naked, save it were a skin, which was girded about their loins, and also their armor, which was girded about them, and their bows and their armour, and their stones, and their slings. And the skins of the Lamanites were dark, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgression, and their rebellion against their brethren."

A season of universal prosperity to the church followed this expulsion of the Lamanites, three hundred and fifty persons having been baptized by Alma during the seventh year of the reign of the judge. At the end of the eighth year there was a sensible decline in spiritual things. So alarming was the state of things, that Alma, who had hitherto held the office of chief judge and high priest, laid down altogether the ermine, and took up the crosier, devoting himself wholly to the business of preaching, with a view to revive and establish the churches. We have sundry specimens of his sermons, which show that he was a perfect Boanerges, a real son of thunder, with which few modern preachers, however versed in the doctrines of Christianity, or skilled in the tactics of Arminian theology, would venture to compete. Great effects attended his preaching generally in the various cities he visited, but when he reached the city of Ammonihah he could make no impression upon the minds of the people. He therefore gave them up in despair; but as he was departing an angel of God met him and told him to go back, and make another effort. He did so, and Amulek, a young man of some distinction, was converted, who laboured with him in the ministry. But the lawyers opposed them, and tried to stir up the people against them. Alma, however, waxed mighty in spirit, and confounded, and perfectly silenced Zeezrom, the most distinguished of the lawyers. Zeezrom himself was ultimately converted, and suffered much persecution for his faith. Alma and Amulek were imprisoned, abused and every way insulted, but their prison doors were broken open, and they delivered in the sight of all the people. Among the most prominent topics of Alma's preaching was the speedy coming of Christ. He declared he would appear in this land -- in America after his resurrection. Before dismissing the subject of Alma and his preaching, who is one of the most distinguished characters in the book, I cannot refrain from transcribing a passage from his address to the people of Ammonihah. "And now, my beloved brethren, for ye are my brethren, and ye had ought to be beloved, and ye had ought to bring forth works which is mete for repentance, seeing that your hearts have been grossly hardened against the word of God, and seeing that ye are a lost and a fallen people."

We have next an episode, giving an account of the missionary adventures of the sons of Mosiah, in their attempts to evangelize the Lamanites. These four sons most unexpectedly made their appearance in the land of Zarahemla after an absence of fourteen years. After they first reached the land of the Lamanites, they were seized and made slaves in the service of several Princes that reigned there. Ammon, whose adventures are related with the most minuteness, was a perfect Guy of Warwick. He could encounter and overcome by his single arm, hundreds of men, all trying at the same time to overpower him. He gave a specimen of his prowess in this way, in protecting the king's flock, which he was leading to water, against the efforts of a band of hostile shepherds who tried to scatter and disperse the flock. The fame thereof came to the king. He was called into his presence. This opened the way for him to preach the Gospel to him. While he was speaking the power of the Holy Spirit was displayed in such a way that the king fell to the ground, and his wife and servants. They were, of course, all converted. Ammon now became a great man, and though he encountered much opposition, and many trials, he and his brethren succeeded in converting all the Kings and Queens, and most of the people of the Lamanites. They seem, generally, previous to their conversion, to have had, what in modern times is called the power. They were most generally struck down under the word, and after remaining insensible awhile, they rose up and began to shout praises to the Most High, being perfectly transformed. These converted people were called Anti-Nephi-Lehies. Soon the more fierce tribes of the Lamanites who still remained unconverted, made war upon these; and as they seem with their new views to have adopted the doctrine of non-resistance, they were in danger of being exterminated. Hence by the suggestion of the four missionaries, they determined to emigrate to Zarahemla. They had already reached the border of the land, and when the king's sons met Alma, their principal errand was to ask permission for this people to dwell in the land of the Nephites. This request was of course granted.

Alma gave very long lectures or charges to his sons, and especially to Helaman, to whom he committed all the sacred plates, the interpreters, and the director which guided Lehi through the wilderness. To him he also uttered this prediction, "Behold I perceive that this very people, the Nephites, according to the spirit which is in me, in four hundred years from the time that Jesus Christ shall manifest unto them, shall dwindle in unbelief; yea, and then shall they see wars, and pestilences, yea, famines and blood-shed, even until the people of Nephi shall become extinct."

Alma, after uttering this prophecy, disappeared in the same mysterious way that Moses did, and no man knoweth his grave unto this day. At this period all who believed in Christ took upon them the name Christians. Various wars now raged between the Lamanites and Nephites. The people of Nephi erected many forts and high mounds to secure themselves from the invasion of their enemies.

The Book of Helaman, which consists of five chapters, opens with the fortieth year of the reign of the Judges. It details sad accounts of dissensions and war, and strange alternations of prosperity and adversity to the church. A man by the name of Nephi, who was now chief judge, imitated Alma, and laying down his civil office, became a great preacher and prophet, performing miracles and mighty wonders. He went even to the Lamanites, and was so successful in converting them, that he arrested the tide of war and restored peace to the land. The earth shook, the heavens were opened, and angels came down at his voice. After Nephi, rose up Samuel, a Lamanite, who predicted that Christ would come in five years, and that on the day he was born, though the sun would go down as usual, there would be no night -- it would continue as light as day. This was to be the sign. Another sign to attend his death, which was to take place in the thirty-fourth year after his birth, was three whole days of darkness, in which there were to be thunderings and lightnings, and earthquakes, and the rending of rocks and cleaving of hills. According to the testimony in the next book, at the end of five years, the sign of his birth occurred, two days succeeding each other without any intervening night. The Nephites, therefore, knew that Christ had come. They accordingly reckoned their time from this period, regarding it as the commencement of a new era. The Lamanites that were converted now became white as the Nephites. At the end of thirty-three years, the signs that were foretold would accompany the death of Christ appeared. There was a great tempest, and terrible thunder; the earth shook, as though about to divide asunder. Vivid lightning ran along on the ground, cities were overturned and buried in the midst of the sea -- a terrible darkness came over the land for three days -- and a great mourning and howling and weeping among the people. The voice of Christ was heard, amid the awful tempest, denouncing woes upon sinners, and offering grace and salvation to all who would repent and believe. After this Christ made his personal appearance on the earth, coming down from heaven with great glory. There were several occasions on which he appeared, at which times he delivered to the assembled thousands all the instruction, and performed nearly all the miracles recorded in the New Testament, and then he was again taken up out of their sight. He ordained twelve apostles and gave them singular gifts. He instituted baptism and the Lord's supper, blessed the children and healed the sick, but I am obliged to pass over all the details of these as this article is already so long. Now all were baptized in the name of the Trinity. All the Nephites, and nearly all the Lamanites, became converted. For about fifty years the earth was almost a perfect paradise. But then the love of many began to wax cold, and iniquity to abound. Terrible wars ensued. The Nephites apostatized more and more from the faith, till at the end of four hundred years after Christ they became entirely destroyed, and Mormon, as we have said, was one of the last of his race, who committed the records of this people to his son, Moroni, who deposited them in the hill, where Joseph Smith found them. This is an outline of this historical romance, which the deluded Mormons now regard as a revelation from God. In this brief sketch we have been obliged to omit many things that attracted our attention; but I suppose that our readers are exceedingly glad we have reached the end, as the writer of this sketch.certainly is, although a few words about the Mormons may follow next week.
                            Yours,                     J. A. C.

Note: The text of this letter was subsequently slightly modified, to become Chap. XXVII of Clark's 1842 book, Gleanings by the Way.


Vol. XVIII.                     Philadelphia, Saturday,  October 10, 1840.                       No. 29.

O. X.

Dear Brethren, -- Although I have occupied your attention so long with the history of the origin and rise of Mormonism, I have a few words more to add before closing the subject. Several facts which have come to my knowledge, since commencing these sketches, lead me to apprehend, that the developments we have been attempting to make are not ill-timed. Is there any one who would have formed so low an estimate of the Christian intelligence of this land, as to have concluded a priori that a deception so barefaced, and, withal, so ridiculous, as the pretended disinterment of the Mormon Bible from one of the hills of Western New York, and this -- set on foot by an illiterate vagrant hanging on the skirts of society, and of exceedingly doubtful moral character, and backed by the pecuniary means of a man of the most credulous and superstitious cast of character, whose sanity of mind was greatly questioned by all his acquaintance, should have gained in a period of ten years such dominion over human belief, as to be received as the undoubted truth of God by more than sixty thousand persons? We are surprised to hear of the success of this imposture in the Great Valley of the West, although there is material there for almost every erratic conception of the human mind to act upon. But what shall we say of the success of Mormonism in the Atlantic states, -- gathering its converts from orthodox and evangelical churches? Will it not fill intelligent Christians with surprise to learn that the Mormons are establishing themselves not only in many parts of New England, but that they are spreading through Pennsylvania, and that they already have two churches formed in Philadelphia, and that a portion of the members of these churches, have been regular communicants in the Methodist and Presbyterian Churches? Such, however, is the fact. And we shall not he greatly surprised, if this mystery of iniquity" continues to work, and that those who have dared to "add to the words" of God's finished revelation, shall receive the threatened curse. We shall not be surprised if "God shall send upon such, strong delusion, that they should believe a lie," and that they "wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived."

One thing however is distinctly to be noted in the history of this imposture. There are no Mormons in Manchester, or Palmyra, the place where the Book of Mormon was pretended to be found. You might as well go down into the Crater of Vesuvius and attempt to build an ice house amid its molten and boiling lava, as to convince any inhabitant in either of these towns, that Jo Smith's pretensions are not the most gross and egregious falsehood. It was indeed a wise stroke of policy, for those who got up this imposture, and who calculated to make their fortune by it, to emigrate to a place where they were wholly unknown. As soon as they had arranged their apparatus for deceiving weak, and unstable souls -- as soon as the Book of Mormon was printed and their plans formed, the actors in this scene went off en masse to a part of the country where their former character and standing were unknown, and where their claim to divine inspiration could be set up with a little more show of plausibility than it could have been any where in the state of New York. Mormonism had to grow a, number of years in a western soil, and there acquire a sort of rank and luxuriant growth, before it could be transplanted with any success to a point near its birth-place. And even now it keeps very much in the background its grand peculiarities. The Mormon preachers, I am told, in this region, generally dwell upon the common topics of' Christianity, rather than upon the peculiarities of their system. The object of this is manifest. They wish to strengthen themselves by a large accession of converts, before they stand on the peculiarities of their system. But all Christians should beware of their devices. Their whole system is built upon imposture. They believe Joseph Smith to be a prophet of God, when there is not a man in our Penitentiary, that might not with just as much plausibility lay claim to that character. They believe the Book of Mormon to be a divine revelation, when it can be proved, that the whole ground-work of it was written by Mr. Spalding as a Religious and Historical Romance. They believe that they have the power among them to work miracles, when even "Satan with all" his "power and signs and lying wonders, and with all his deceivableness, has not been able to sustain their claim to in a single instance.

Martin Harris, after he went to Kirtland, Ohio, where, as we have seen, the first Mormon settlement was formed, used occasionally to return to Palmyra. As one of the three witnesses, he claimed divine inspiration, and is, I believe, to the present day regarded by the Mormons, as one of the greatest and best among "the latter-day saints." In these visits to the place of his former residence he not only endeavoured to proselyte his old acquaintances to his new faith, but used sometimes to edify them with very solemn prophecies of future events. I was informed by Judge S---- of Palmyra, that he came to his office so much and uttered his prophecies so frequently that he at length told him, that he would not consent to his uttering his predictions any more orally, but that he must write them down and subscribe his name to them, or else seek some other place for the exercise of his prophetic gift. Harris instantly wrote down two predictions, attaching his signature to each.

The one was a declaration that Palmyra would be destroyed, and left utterly without inhabitants, before the year 1836. The other prediction was that before 1838 the Mormon faith would so extensively prevail, that it would modify our national government, and there would at that period be nolonger any occupant of the presidential chair of the United States. To these predictions he subjoined the declaration that if they were not literally fulfiled, any one might have full permission to cut off his head and roll it around the streets as a foot-ball. Bear in mind that this was one of the pretended chosen witnesses of God, to testify to the truth of the Book of Mormon. I need not say that both these prophecies in their entire failure of fulfilment, convicted him of falsehood, and show how little is the value of his testimony.

Another fact worthy of note in this connection is, that as Harris, Smith, Rigdon, &c., all expected to make their fortune out of this scheme, when the banking mania began first to prevail in our country, they caught the contagion, and embarked in a banking business. In the end it liked to have proved a ruinous operation to them all. Ultimately this speculation severed Harris from Smith and Rigdon, who went farther west, and commenced operations in Missouri. Harris, in one of his late visits to Palmyra, remarked to a friend of mine, that Jo Smith had now become a complete wretch, and that he had no confidence either in him or Rigdon. Recollect that this is the testimony of one of the three chosen witnesses by which the truth of the Book of Mormon is to be established.

One fact more. You recollect that it was mentioned in a former No. of these sketches, that Martin Harris' wife could not be induced to come over to the Mormon faith. He consequently abandoned her, visiting her only once or twice a year. She at length declined in health, and was evidently sinking down to the grave. A gentleman of undoubted veracity in Palmyra told me that a few days before her death, Harris returned, and on one occasion while sitting in the room with her, appeared to be very much occupied in writing. She inquired what he was writing? He replied that he was writing a letter to a female to whom he was going to be married when she was dead! And according to his words he was married to her in a very few weeks after his wife's death. What are we to think of Mormonism, when we remember that a man of such feelings and such morality was one of the chosen witnesses to attest its truth.

I have already said, that the Mormons in this region cautiously keep out of sight the peculiarities of their system, and principally dwell upon the common topics of Christian faith and practice. One proof of this is, the very few copies of the Book of Mormon, that are found among them. I am told that among all the members or the two Churches established in Philadelphia, there are not more than twenty copies of the Book of Mormon. This book I suppose is only for the initiated -- for those whose faith is well established.

Another fact in proof of the foregoing position is the effort they use to drop the name of Mormons, and to assume the more taking one of "Latter day Saints" -- and when called upon to state their creed, instead of declaring boldly that Joseph Smith is the prophet of God, and that the Book of Mormon is his word, they rather dwell upon those points of faith which all Christians hold in common.

In illustration of this last remark, I will here insert a written statement given by Joseph Young, of Kirtland, Ohio, an elder of the Mormon Church, while on a visit to Boston to establish his faith in that city.

"The principal articles of the Latter-day Saints, vulgarly called Mormons, are

1. A belief in one true and living God, the creator of the heavens and the earth, and in his Son Jesus Christ, who came into this world 1800 years since, at Jerusalem; was slain, rose from the dead, ascended on high, and now sits on the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens; that through the atonement thus wrought out, all men may come to God and find acceptance; all of which they believe is revealed in the holy Scriptures.

2. That God requires all men, wherever his gospel is proclaimed, or his law known, to repent of all sins, forsake evil, and follow righteousness; that his word also requires men to be baptized, as well as to repent; and that the direct way pointed out by the Scriptures for baptism, is immersion. After which, the individual has the promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit; that this divine communication is absolutely promised unto all men, upon whom "the Lord our God shall call," if they are obedient unto his commandments. This gift of the Holy Spirit, was anciently bestowed by the laying on the apostle's hands: so this church believes that those who have authority to administer in the ordinances of the gospel, have this right and authority, through prayer; and without this authority, and this gift, the church is not now what it anciently was; consequently, cannot be recognized as the true Church of Christ.

3. That God will, in the last days, gather the literal descendants of Jacob to the lands, anciently possessed by their fathers; that he will lead them as at the first, and build them as at the beginning. That he will cause his arm to be made bare in their behalf; his glory to attend them by night and by day. That this is necessary to the fulfilment of his word, when his knowledge is to cover the earth as the waters cover the seas. And that, as men anciently saw visions, dreamed dreams, held communion with angels, and converse with the heavens, so it will be in the last days to prepare the way for all nations, languages and tongues, to serve him in truth.

4. That the time will come when the Lord Jesus will descend from heaven, accompanied with ten thousand of his saints; that a mighty angel will lay hold on the dragon, bind him, cast him into the pit, where he will be kept from deceiving the nations for a thousand years; during which time, one continued round of peace will pervade every heart. And,

5. They believe in the resurrection of the body: that all men will stand in the presence of God and be judged according to the deeds, or works, done in this life; that the righteous will enter into eternal rest, in the presence of God, but the wicked be cast off, to receive a just recompense of reward; and that, to ensure eternal life, a strict obedience to all the commandments of God must be observed, to the end."

You see there is not even a remote allusion to what constitutes the gist of their whole system. But I will here leave the subject for the present.
                            Yours, &c.                           J. A. C.

Note: The text of this, Clark's last "Gleanings" sketch was slightly modified to become Chap. XXXIII of Rev. Clark's 1842 book, Gleanings by the Way. In addition to this concluding installment from the 1841 Episcopal Recorder series of letters, Rev. Clark assembled five more articles (chapters 28-32 in his book) on the Mormons. None of the material from the several extra chapters in that book is known to have been published in the pages of the Recorder.


Vol. XX.                            Philadelphia, Tuesday, November 3, 1840.                           No. 3,008.

Mormon  Conference.

This people held a conference at Nauvoo, on Saturday last, which continued three days. It is estimated that there was not far from three thousand persons in attendance. A gentleman who was present, speaks in the highest terms of the appearance of the immense assemblage, and the good order which prevailed. The mild and humane laws of our State, and the tolerating and liberal principles which abound among our people, are having their just and proper effect upon this people. Their society is not only increasing in numbers, but individually their condition is greatly improved, surrounded as they are by the gifts of an overruling power. We learn that they are expecting a large accession to their numbers in a short time, from England -- one of their preachers, a Mr. Turley, having met with distinguished success in that country. -- Quincy (Ill.) Whig.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXIII.                        Philadelphia, Saturday, November 14, 1840.                       No. 118.

Five thousand Mormons recently assembled in Hancock county, Illinois.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                            Philadelphia, Wednesday, December 2, 1840.                            No. 527.

THE MORMONS. -- This singular sect are determined not to be driven from the face of the earth. The recent terrible persecutions they have suffered at the lawless hands of the people of Missouri, seem to have stimulated their exertions. They have recently purchased the steamboat Desmoines, formerly owned by the United States, and have put it in complete order, changing the name to that of their new city -- Nauvoo. The boat will run from St. Louis to Nauvoo, Galena and Dubuque. The Mormon population at Nauvoo, is estimated at 3000, and 600 persons of the same sect are said to be now on their way from England. -- Buffalo Commercial.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XX.                            Philadelphia, Saturday, December 5, 1840.                           No. 3,022.

Mormons  arrived  from  England.

The packet ship North America, which arrived at N. York last week, brought in her steerage 200 passengers, the whole of whom are "Latter Day Saints," or Mormons, bound for the Mormon settlement at Quincy. The Liverpool Chronicle states that upward of 2,000 are in treaty to embark early next spring for the same locality. A great portion of those who sailed in the North America, are members of the abstinence society, and are from Leicestershire and Herefordshire.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXIII.                        Philadelphia, Wednesday, December 9, 1840.                       No. 139.

We have also before us the message of the Governor of Missouri. It is a long-winded affair, and occupies no less than six columns of a large newspaper. A large portion of it is occupied with a review of the difficulties between Missouri and the Territory of Iowa...

The difficulties with the Mormons have entirely subsided, with the exception of some slight interruptions on the northeast border. -- The governor complains much of the tales circulated by that body relative to the conduct of the citizens of Missouri, and thinks that the state owes it to its own reputation to let the truths of the matter be known, and he therefore recommends the publication of the official testimony on the subject.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                            Philadelphia, Saturday, January 9, 1841.                            No. 559.

Correspondence of the North American.


Quincy, Ill., December 22, 1840.            
Messrs. Editors: -- Having but partially re-deemed my pledge to furnish you with some sketches of men and manners in "Sucker" land, I will continue the series with a brief sketch of that "singular" people, as the newspapers call them, the Mormons. The history of their mishaps in Missouri, and of the savage zeal with which they were pursued by the Missourians, is familiar to all your readers. That they were persecuted much and cruelly, admits of no cavil; but that they were a wretched, thieving race, a curse to the community in which they were then placed, as they are to the neighborhood in which they now locate themselves, is equally true. Their first settlement, in fleeing from the Missourians, was made here. Strangers, half starved, half naked, they perished in great numbers from disease during the year succeeding their landing. As a body they migrated from this neighborhood to a point on the river some 60 miles above in Hancock county, which they call Nauvoo. In that place and within a circuit of 5 miles round, they now number about 5000 inhabitants. Some of them are scattered through this county (Adams), but the great majority seek for a resting place in Hancock.

It is truly a resting place, for a more idle, wretched, worthless race, it would be difficult to find collected any where. There may be a few exceptions, like black swans, to this general remark, but in the main it holds good. Nor can it be supposed to be otherwise, when you find none but the most ignorant, illiterate, depraved, idle and knavish of the community joining them. Their character as I have given it to you, is that which is universally given to them by the inhabitants of this country. No faith is placed in their promises or professions, and whenever a band of them settles down in a neighborhood, the old inhabitants are anxious at once to sell out and be off. At Nauvoo they have organized several companies of troops which are commanded by that prince of knaves, Joe Smith, the Prophet. Since Governor Carlin has consented to exchange him for the Missourians who lynched some of "the brethren" some time since, he goes constantly heavily armed, and avows his determination not to be taken. The Missourians do the same, and the people of a portion of that State would massacre any one attempting to arrest one of their citizens for punishing a Mormon, such is their invincible antipathy to them; and the feeling is mutual.

Joe is a most arrant knave and cuts some queer pranks at times for the benefit of his besotted followers. Some months since he exhibited himself in the streets of Nauvoo in a state of crazy intoxication. The next morning some of the leading men called on him to remonstrate with him on the impropriety of a prophet so demeaning himself. Joe replied that he had seen a disposition on the part of some of them to do the same thing, and that he had done as he did the day before for the purpose of trying their faith and seeing whether they would also follow his example. Such is a slight sketch of this "misguided and persecuted" people; -- short, but long enough I trust to let your readers see that they are probably quite as sinning as sinned against.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                                Philadelphia, Friday, February 19, 1841.                               No. ?

A MORMON DISTURBANCE. -- The Mormons, or as they prefer calling themselves, the "Latter Day Saints," have for a few weeks past disturbed the quiet of the peace-loving borough of Frankford, with their attempts to make converts. Several we understand, have been already so far imposed upon by their representations as to sell out and put their funds into the common stock. On Wednesday evening last, their third lecture was delivered to a very crowded house. After the delivery of which, it was distinctly announced by the Mormons themselves, of whom there were several present, that any person disposed to make any remarks, was at liberty to do so.

Availing himself of this permission, or rather invitation, Mr. E. G. Lee, a gentleman of Frankfort, and who is attached to no religious sect or denomination, addressed the audience. He stated that it was not his intention to enter into a discussion of the merits of the system they were endeavoring to impose on the community, but simply to call attention of the audience to the character of the men themselves, and to prove, as he conclusively should, that whatever merits their system might possess, that they are not the men to promulgate. Mr. Lee then produced a ten dollar note, purporting to be issued by the Kirtland Safety Society Bank. Ohio, which note was signed by Joseph Smith, Jr. the author and head of the system of Mormonism; and by S. Rigdon, his associate, and likewise one of the chiefs.

Mr. L. was prepared to show the swindling character of this transaction, transcending in atrocity the offence for which Dr. Dyott is now suffering the penalty of the law, because the Mormon notes had no basis whatever, and never were worth a farthing. While the gentleman was thus engaged in detailing the character of their leader, he was interrupted by the Mormon preacher, who insisted that he should not proceed, and declared that his whole statement was a falsehood. He went on to assert his knowledge of the transaction -- that he was himself at Kirtland at the time -- that the notes were issued by Smith, because he was in debt, and that they were regularly redeemed until the counterfeits came in so freely that they were obliged to suspend. He farther declared, the note produced and exhibited to the meeting, was a counterfeit, and this, too, before he had been within ten feet of it. The audience were desirous of hearing the speaker out, but the Mormon insisted with great vehemence and anger that he should not go on, thus furnishing the clearest evidence of the guilt which was charged upon them. For he was solicited to allow Mr. Lee to get through with his statement, and then he could reply, and have every opportunity of showing the falsehood of the charges alleged against them. This course did not suit them, and by their violence and clamor the meeting was broken up in disorder.

The gentlemen who has furnished us with the foregoing particulars, assures us that he has submitted the note to Messrs. Underwood, Bald and Spencer, the respectable firm by whom the plate was engraved, who unhesitatingly pronounced it genuine, thus proving the falsehood of the vender of Mormonism in this particular. We are farther assured that even the plate itself never has been paid for -- that as to redeeming the notes, a few were paid at the banking establishment in Ohio, in the outset, merely sufficient to establish some sort of character for them at home, and until their agents could reach the Eastern States, where they were immediately put into circulation. Upwards of two hundred thousand dollars of this worthless trash has been passed off upon the community, and by the same men who are now engaged in passing off their religious imposture, which has for its great object the same result. viz: to fleece the miserable dupes who may be induced to convert their property into cash to be placed in a common fund, under the control of such characters as we have exhibited above.

Note: A shorter version of this report was published in the Germantown Telegraph and reprinted in the Mar. 31, 1841 issue of the Painesville Telegraph. See also E. G. Lee's 1841 pamphlet The Mormons, or Knavery Exposed and Elder Benjamin Winchester's reply in the Feb. 23rd issue of the Philadelphia Daily Chronicle.


Vol. IX.                            Philadelphia, Tuesday, February 23, 1841.                            No. ?

(Written for the Daily Chronicle.)

==> MESSERS. EDITORS. -- I have just had the perusal of a piece in your paper of this morning, headed "Mormon Disturbance," which took place at Frankford, and justice to an injured, quiet, and inoffensive community demands an immediate answer to the same. * * * * * The subject that audience was addressed with, was the second coming of Christ, and the establishment of his kingdom on earth. The invitation that was given, was not to invite any person to make remarks about Bank notes or shinplasters; but to any that should have any remarks to make upon the subject already presented. (1.) Mr. Lee arose, and commenced belching forth his foul insinuations, (2.) and invective applications, and ranked us with the very dregs of vulgarity. He then read his ten dollar note. As the object of the meeting was not to discuss matters of the kind, (3.) I invited him to desist, that the meeting might be dismissed in peace (4.)

As for the bank note, I will here take the liberty to state that in 1837, at the time of the suspension, our people were engaged building a meeting house, and in order to forward the work of building they issued a quantity of shinplasters, handsomely engraved by Messrs. Underwood, Bald & Spencer (5.) Part of them were signed by Messrs. Rigdon and Smith, who were engaged in the above work. The genuine had the word Anti prefixed to Banking Company) not engraved on the plate, but inserted (in the office) before signed and put in circulation. (6.) One Mr. W. Parish who was employed as clerk at the time, assisted by a Mr. Boyd, availed themselves of an opportunity, and stole several thousand of the real plate, and forged the named of Messrs. Rigdon and Smith, and issued them without prefixing the word Anti. Some was put into the hands of men who went West, and purchased droves of horses. Others came East, and purchased goods. At length it came pouring in upon the firm like a flood, but on examination of their books, they found that they had redeemed all the genuine. Of course they suspended. These are facts that can be well authenticated if necessary.

Admitting, for the sake of argument, that Messrs. Smith and Rigdon were not able to pay their debts, does it necessarily follow that they are the most dejected and dishonest of all men. (8). Moses slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand, and fled from Egypt to escape the penalty of the law, David feigned himself crazy by letting the spittle run down his beard; but this does not prove that they were false prophets, or that God did not approbate them on any occasion. (9.) Indeed every virtue and moral of our society is narrowed down to almost nothing, but on the other hand every thing is magnified to an astonishing rate. The columns of newspapers have been open and free to any thing that would excite prejudice against us, but closed to any thing on the part of the defensive.
                              B. WINCHESTER.
Friday, February 19.

Note: The above text is actually an abridgment of Elder Winchester's letter, taken from extracts published by E. G. Lee in 1841. The full text of the Winchester piece will be posted here, once a proper copy is located.


Vol. XIX.                     Philadelphia, Saturday,  March 27, 1841.                       No. 1.

From the Baptist Advocate.


Mr. Editor, -- A rare public document of a most interesting character having fallen into my hands, I propose to furnish you several communications in reference to it, and likewise in relation to the people to which it relates.

The Mormons have been generally regarded as a harmless sect of deluded fanatics, unworthy of any particular notice; and the common impression seems to be, that they have been wronged and persecuted by the state of Missouri. For my own part, having had occasion to become better acquainted with their principles and history than many others, I have for a long time been endeavoring, as opportunity offered, to open the eyes of the community to their character, and to show that mischief lurks beneath this cover of apparent insignificance, and that there are two sides to the story of the Mormon war in Missouri.

Near the close of the recent session of Congress, a pamphlet was printed by order of the United States Senate, for the use of the members of Congress, entitled a "Document showing the testimony given before the judge of the fifth judicial circuit of the state of Missouri, at the court-house in Richmond, in a criminal court of inquiry, begun November 12th, 1838." A list of fifty-three individuals is given, as being charged with the crimes of high treason against the state, murder, burglary, arson, robbery and larceny. Among the number are Joseph Smith, jr., Hiram Smith, Sidney Rigdon and Parley P. Pratt. A copy of this document I succeeded in obtaining, after considerable difficulty, it not having been printed for general distribution.

The first witness produced on behalf of the state was Dr. Sampson Avard, who had been a special teacher among the Mormons. He testifies that a band at first denominated the Daughters of Zion, but afterwards the Danite band, was formed by the members of the Mormon church, the original object of which was, to drive from the county of Caldwell all who dissented from the Mormon church. Joseph Smith, jr., blessed them, and prophesied over them, declaring that they should be the means, in the hands of God, of bringing forth the millennial kingdom. The covenant taken by this band was as follows, (holding up the right hand:) "In the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, I do solemnly obligate myself ever to conceal, and never to reveal the secret purposes of this society called the Daughters of Zion. Should I ever do the same, I hold my life as the forfeiture." This band felt themselves as much bound to obey Joseph Smith, jr., and his two counsellors, Hiram Smith and Sidney Rigdon, as to obey the supreme God. Joseph Smith, jr., in a public address, told them that they should stand by each other, right or wrong. He declared on another occasion, that all who did not take up arms in defence of the Mormons of Daviess, should be considered as tories, and should take their exit from the county. In reference to taking the property of others, in their expeditions to Daviess county, he told them that the children of God did not go to war at their own expense. He said it was high time they should be up, as the saints of the most high God, and protect themselves, and take the kingdom. On some occasions, he said that one should chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight; that he considered the United States rotten; that the Mormon church was the little stone spoken of by the prophet Daniel; and that the dissenters first, and the state next, was part of the image that should be destroyed by the little stone. In an address to the forces at Far West, about the time that Gen. Lucas appeared in that quarter with the militia, Smith told them, that for every one they lacked in number of those that came out against them, the Lord would send angels, who would fight for them, and that they should be victorious.

This witness (Dr. Avard) received orders from Smith and his counsellors to destroy the paper containing the constitution of the Danite Society, inasmuch as if it should be discovered, it would be considered treasonable. This order he did not obey, but kept the paper in his possession; and after he was made prisoner by General Clark, he delivered it up to him. The Mormon preachers and apostles were directed to instruct their followers to come up to the state called Far West and to possess the kingdom, and that the Lord would give it to them.

A paper was draughted by Sidney Rigdon against the dissenters from Mormonism, and signed by eighty-four Mormons. It was addressed to Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, William W. Phelps and Lyman E. Johnson. Of these, Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer were two of the three witnesses that testified to the truth of the Book of Mormon. This will therefore serve to show how much credit is to be attached to their testimony. These eighty-four Mormons, in the letter, say to the dissenters, (Cowdery, Whitmer, &c.,) that they had violated their promise, and disregarded their covenant; that Oliver Cowdery had been taken by a state warrant for stealing and the stolen property was found in the house of William W. Phelps, Oliver Cowdery having stolen and conveyed it; that these dissenters had endeavored to destroy the characters of Smith and Rigdon by every artifice they could invent, not even excepting the basest lying; that they had disturbed the Mormon meetings of worship; that Cowdery and Whitmer had united with a gang of counterfeiters, thieves, liars and blacklegs of the deepest dye, to deceive, cheat and defraud the Mormons out of their property, by every art and stratagem which wickedness could invent, stealing not excepted; that they had attempted to raise mobs against the Mormons; that Cowdery attempted to pass notes on which he had received pay; that Cowdery, Whitmer and others, were guilty of perjury, cheating, selling bogus money, (base coin,) and even stones and sand for bogus! that they had opened, read and destroyed letters in the post-office; and that they were engaged with a gang of counterfeiters, coiners, and blacjlegs.

There, Mr. Editor, is the character of two of the three witnesses who testified that they had seen the plates of the book of Mormon; that God's voice declared to them that they had been translated by his gift and power; that an angel of God laid the plates and engravings before their eyes; and that the voice of the Lord commanded them that they should bear record of it. This is the character of two of the three witnesses, according to the testimony of eighty-four Mormons, and not opposers of Mormonism. To how much credit these two witnesses are entitled, you can judge for yourself. In the course of my communications on this subject, I shall exhibit the character of the other witness, (Martin Harris,) and likewise of the Prophet Smith himself.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XIX.                     Philadelphia, Saturday,  Apr. 10, 1841.                       No. 3.


In pursuance of my plan, I will proceed with the evidences produced on behalf of the State of Missouri, in reference to the late Mormon war.

Nehemiah Odell, Sen., testifies that he was in the battle between Captain Bogart and the Mormons on the 25th of October, 1838, and says Parley P. Pratt commanded part of the Mormon forces on that occasion. (Pratt is one of the twelve Mormon apostles, and has figured somewhat in this city and its vicinity.) The officer who gave the command to the Mormons expressed himself about to this amount: "In the name of Lazarus, God and the Lamb, fire, Danites."

Captain Bogard testifies that near day-break, he saw the Mormon forces forming; a few guns were fired out of the brush by the Mormons; and that the Mormons had got within thirty steps of his forces when the fight commenced. Thus it appears that the Mormons were the assailants.

Wyatt Cravens, one of Captain Bogart's men, who was made prisoner by the Mormons, testifies, that after he was made prisoner, the Mormons pretended to release him, and that when he undertook to return to his home, he was waylaid, shot at, and wounded, but finally made his escape.

John Corrill testifies, that it was inculcated among the Danite band, that it was the duty of the members to help a brother Danite out of a difficulty, right or wrong, (thus confirming the testimony of Dr. Avard.) At one of the meetings of the board, or in some public meeting, Smith said, that if the people came on them to molest them, they would establish their religion by the sword and that he would become to this generation a second Mahomet. Smith and Rigdon said. they would suffer vexatious lawsuits no longer, and that they would resist even an officer in the discharge of his duty. Smith said he had been before courts some twenty odd times; that they had never found any thing against him, and that made him of age, and he would submit to it no longer. Rigdon made use of words very much to the same effect. The teachings of the Danite band led them to prohibit the talkings of any persons against the Presidency, (Smith, Rigdon, &c.,) insomuch that it was dangerous for any one to set up opposition to any thing that might be set on foot; and the witness, (Corrill,) had actually become afraid to speak his mind. Those who declined to take part in the Mormon revellion, were doomed to have their possessions confiscated for the benefit of the rest. And Rigdon said that those who were unwilling to go into the war ought to be put on their horses with guns and bayonets, and forced into the front of the war. No persons were suffered to leave the county at that juncture. Lyman Wright, one of the Mormon leaders, addressed a body of Mormon troops and said that the earth was the Lord's and the fulness thereof, and the cattle upon a thousand hills; and that if the Lord was hungry, he would not tell it; and that the saints of the Lord had the same privilege or rights. After that, perhaps the next day, witness saw four or five cattle pass along, and asked what cattle they were, and was answered, that they were a drove of buffalo; others observed, they were cattle a Methodist priest had consecrated. No doubt they were some of the "thousand hills" cattle ro which the Mormon "Saints" had so much "right."

James C. Owens testifies, that in the morning of the day that the militia arrived at Far West, he heard Joseph Smith, Jun., in a speech to the Mormon troops, say, that he did not care any thing about the coming of the troops, nor about the laws.

Owens, in reference to the language used by Joseph Smith, Jr., which here follows in this communication, is too full of ribaldry and downright profanity to be inserted upon our columns.

John Cleminson, clerk of Caldwell Circuit Court, testifies, that he attended two or three Danite meetings, and it was there taught, as a part of the duty of the band, that they should support the Presidency in all their designs, right or wrong; that whatever they said was to be obeyed, and whoever opposed the presidency, in what they said, or desired done, should be expelled from the county, or have their lives taken. The three composing the Presidency were at one of those meetings. The teacher and active agent of the society was Dr. Avard, (the first witness noticed in my last communication,) and his instructions were approved by the Presidency. Dr. Avard further taught, as a part of their obligation, that if any one betrayed the secret designs of the Danite society, he should be killed and laid aside, and nothing be said about it. When process was filed against Smith and others, in witness' office, as clerk of Caldwell Circuit Court, for trespass, Smith told him not to issue a writ; that he did not intend to submit to it; that he would not suffer it to be issued, &c., insomuch that witness, knowing the regulation of the Danite band, felt himself intimidated and in danger, in case he should issue it. When the Mormon expedition first went to Daviess, witness understood the object to be, to drive out the mob; but it turned out that there was no mob there. And then the real object was revealed; which was, to drive out all the citizens of Daviess, and get posssession of their property. It was frequently observed among the Mormon troops, that the time had com when the riches of the Gentiles should be consecrated to the Saints. It was a generally prevailing understanding among them, "that they would oppose either militia or mob, should they come out against them; for they considered them all mob at heart."

Reed Peck testifies, that he attended a Danite meeting. The only speaker was Dr. Avard, who said that they were all to be governed by the Presidency, and do whatever they required, and uphold them; that they were not to judge for themselves whether it was right or wrong; that God had raised up a prophet who would judge for them; that it was proper they should stand by one another in all cases -- for example, if they found one of the Danites in a difficulty, they should rescue him, if they had to do with his adversary as Moses did with the Egyptian, namely, to put him in the sand; that it made no difference whether the Danite was to blame or not; they would pack to Far West, and there be taken care of. Avard on one occasion said, that the Danites were to consecrate their surplus property and to come in by tens to do so; and if they lied about it, Peter, he said, killed Annanias and Sapphira, and that would be an ecample for them. A sample of this new translation of the Mormons, (I suppose.) On the day before the last expedition to Daviess, Smith said in reference to stealing, that in a general way, he did not approve of it; but that on one occasion, our Saviour and his disciples stole corn in passing through the cornfields, for the reason that they could not otherwise procure any thing to eat. He said, the Mormon forces had had to go out to Daviess so often, that the people there ought to bear the expense. Those who had scruples with regard to theft and plunder in this way, Smith and Rigdon, in their public addresses, stigmatized as -- "O don't men." Those who hung back and were unwilling to engage in these marauding expeditions, they denounced as traitors; and in reference to them, as witness understood, Mr. Rigdon even proposed that blood should first begin to flow in the streets of Far West; though this proposal did not take. The proposition was then made, and unanimously carried, that those who thus hung back should be pitched upon their horses, and be made to go and be placed in the front of the army. When the troops arrived at Diahmon, they were divided into companies of twenty, forty, fifty, &c., as they might happen to be called for. These companies went out in various directions on plundering expeditions. Witness saw one of the companies amounting to about fifty, on its return. It was called a Fur Company. Some had one thing, some another. -- one had a feather bed, another had some spun yarn. (This Mormon fur was someting like their translation of the Bible.) This pllunder they were to take to the bishop's store, and deposit it; and if they failed to do so, it would be considered stealing. As the property was brought in, there was a general shout of harrah, and waving of hats, by those in the camp. Witness went down with a flag, to meet the militia under General Doniphan, who had arrived in the vicinity of Far West. Their number amounted to about 1300. On his return to town, he told Smith the number. When some other one inquired the number, Smith answered that Mr. Phelps said there were about 250; and George Robinson whispered to witness not to tell the men the number of the militia, as it would frighten them, or damp their courage. Some time previous yo the difficulties in Daviess, witness heard Smith say, in a public address, that he did not intend to regard the laws of Missouri, nor care any thing about them, as they were made by lawyers and blacklegs. Dr. Avard said, in reference to dissenters: "I will tell you how I will do them: when I meet one * * * * the Presidency I can * * * them as well as he; and if he wants to drink, I can get a bowl of brandy, and get him half drunk; and taking him by the arm, lead him into the woods or brush, and be into his guts in a minute, and put him under the sod." Mr. Rigdon in a sermon, said he would assist in erecting a gallows on the square, and hang all the dissenters. Smith was present, and followed Rigdon. He spoke of the fate of Judas, and said that Peter had hung him, (more Mormon translating;) and that he approved of Mr. Rigdon's sermon and called it a good one.

So much, Mr. Editor, for the present letter. What a poor, persecuted body of Saints these Mormons have been. But I have not done with them yet.   yours,   PRIMITIVUS.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XIX.                     Philadelphia, Saturday,  Apr. 17, 1841.                       No. 4.

Correspondence of the Baptist Advocate.


Mr. Editor, -- I now proceed to furnish my evidences in relation to the Mormon war in Missouri.

George M. Hinkle, one of the Mormon commanders in that war, testifies that there was much mysterious conversation in the camp about goods and that Parley P. Pratt said, they were much cheaper than they were in New York. There was much such conversation, also, about plundering and house-burning; so much so, that witness had his own notions about it; and on one occasion, he spoke to Smith, and told him that this course of burning houses and plundering, by the Mormon troops, would ruin the Mormons. Smith roughly told him to keep still, and that he would not suffer him to say any thing about it; that this was the only way to gain their liberty and their point. Witness saw a great deal of plunder brought into camp. Smith gave out that he should fight any forces that might come against him, whether militia or mob; and if they pushed him too tight, he would march through the capital of the State, (Jefferson City.) Witness has heard Smith say, that he believed Mahomet was a good man; that the Koran was not a true thing, but that the world belied Mahomet, as that had belied him; and that Mahomet was a true prophet. The teachings of the Church were, that the time had come when the Mormon kingdom was to be set up by forcible means, when the riches of the Gentiles were to be consecrated to the true Israel; and that this plunder of property by the Mormons, was a fulfilment of that prophecy. The preachers were directed to instruct their converts to come up to Zion, meaning that upper part of Missouri. Smith, in a speech to the Mormon troops, said, that the troops which were gathered through the country were only a mob; that he had tried to please them long enough; that he had tried to keep the law long enough; but as to keeping the law of Missouri any longer, he did not intend to try to do so.

Witness mentioned the great difficulties the course they were pursuing would be likely to get them into; to which some of them replied, that as the citizens had all fled, there would be none to prove it by but themselves, and they could swear as they pleased in the matter -- could swear each other clear, if it should be necessary. Lyman Wright, one of the leaders, said, that the sword had been drawn, and it should not be sheathed until he marched to De Witt, in Carrol county, into Jackson county, and into many other places in the State; swearing, at the same time, that he was able to accomplish it. At the same time Smith and witness wewre under guard at Far West, Smith having understood that witness was about turning State's evidence, proposed that they should stick together, and not testify against each other. But witness told him that he should testify to the truth, fall on whomsoever it might.

Thomas M. Odel testifies, that he heard some Mormon troops say, that they defied any force that could come against them, and that they intended to make it a war of extermination.

Burr Riggs testifies, that Smith said, that the sword was now unsheathed, and should not again be sheathed until he could go through the United States, and live in any county he pleased, peaceably. Witness heard him say this on several occasions. Rigdon said, that the last man had run away from Far West that was agoing ro; that the next man who started should be pursued, and brought back, dead or alive; that one man had slipped his wind yesterday, and had been thrown aside into the brush for the buzzards to pick, and the first man who lisped it should die.

Jesse Kelly testifies, that Alexander McRay, captain of a company of Mormons, stated, that they intended, after they got possession of Daviess, to take Livingston, and after that, to keep on till they took possession of the whole State. Addison Price testifies to the same effect.

Samuel Kimble, who resided near Far West, testifies, that his life was repeatedly threatened, if he did not go to Far West, and take up arms. He finally went, and was enrolled, and forbidden to leave the town. He heard Smith say, in an address to the troops, that the whole State was a mob, and that the Governor was nothing but a mob; and if he came upon him, he would make war upon him. Smith cursed the State. He observed, that the people might think he was swearing, but that the Lord would not take notice of it.

John Whitmer testifies, that Smith said, that if an officer attempted to serve a process on him, he should die; that any person who spoke or acted against the Presidency of the Church, should leave the country or die. Rigdon expressed himself to the same effect.

William W. Phelps testifies, that Rigdon, in a public meeting, said they meant to resist the law, and if a sheriff came after them with writs, they would kill him; and if any body opposed them, they would take off their heads. Smith followed, approving of what Rigdon had said. They both said, they intended to have the words of the Presidency as good and undisputed as the words of God. Rigdon on another occasion administered several covenants to forty or fifty Mormons. The first was, that if any man attempted to move out of the country, or pack his things for that purpose, any one of these covenanters, seeing it, should, without saying any thing to any person, kill him, and haul him aside into the brush; and that all the burial he should have, should be in a turkey buzzard's guts, so nothing should be left of him but his bones. The next covenant was, that if any person from the surrounding country came into their town, walking around -- no odds who he might be -- any one of that meeting should kill him, and throw him aside into the brush. The third covenant was, "Conceal all these things." These covenants were taken with uplifted hands. Witness testifies to many other things, to which other witnesses that have been adduced give their testimony. He had an excellebt opportunity to know all about the concern, as he was one of the leading men among them.

As opportunity was given by the court to the defendants (Mormons) to be examined, without oath, which they declined. The court then examined several witnesses on the part of the defendants -- Three of these witnesses were inmates of Lyman Wright's house, who was one of the leaders in the Mormon rebellion. Another was Nancy Rigdon, daughter of Sidney Rigdon himself. Another was a servant in Smith's family; and there were only two additional witnesses, making but seven in all. Allowing their testimony all to be true, (a pretty liberal allowance,) it amounted to nothing towards rebuilding what was proved on the part of the State, and was scarcely of any consequence at all.

There were a number of other witnesses in behalf of the State, whose names I have not mentioned at all. They all go to confirm the other witnesses, and to show beyonf all dispute, that the ringleaders of Mormonism, and many of their followers, are a gang of murderers, assassins, robbers, rebels, and outlaws, that ought to be swept from the face of the earth, as much as ever the Old Man of the Mountain, and his sect of Assassins deserved to be. No community on earth would suffer them to dwell in their midst, under the circumstances that existed in Missouri. It is in that State that they have located their Zion, which according to their own writings, as contained in a work called their "Doctrine and Covenants," they are to obtain "by purchase or by blood." All their proselytes, in this country, and in every part of the world, are directed to set their faces "Zion-ward," and to go up to Missouri. Expelled from that State at present, they have fixed their head quarters at a place which they have named Nauvoo, in that vicinity. And now they are going on, and making their proselytes, not only in this country, but in England. Proselytes from the latter country have already begun to arrive here. Thus are they rapidly increasing, and concentrating at the West. And then again, their eritings teach, that the Indians are to embrace Mormonism, and are to be among the Gentiles like a lion -- are to lift up their hand against our citizens, and cut them off, and re-possess the land -- and all who do not embrace Mormonism are to be cut off.

Put all these things together, and then, taking into consideration what they have already dared do "in the green tree;" and may we not well ask, what they will not do in "the dry?" If, three or four years ago, they dared rebel against a State, what will they not do a few years hence, when they become ten times as strong, and perhaps delude the Indians into the support of their scheme? It seems to me that any one, with the least particle of reflection, must perceive, that unless the career of these outlaws is speedily checked, they will involve the West in a ferocious and exterminating war.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                            Philadelphia, Wednesday, June 23, 1841.                           No. ?


THE MORMONS. -- A letter from Nauvoo, states that Joe Smith, the leader of the Mormons, has been arrested by the authority of the Governor of Illinois -- that the Mormons had taken possession of a large tract of land without authority, and that the strongest excitement prevailed against them in the immediate neighbourhood, and fearful apprehensions were entertained lest a sanguinary struggle should take place. The commissioner sent by the Governor to survey the lands had been seized by the Mormons, and both parties laboured under much excitement.

The Buffalo Advertiser of Saturday last, says "a train of wagons, ten in number, and filled with Dunkars, Mormons, or some similar infatuated creatures, passed our office this morning on their way to Nauvoo, or some other newly discovered paradise. They did not take shipping, but intend to travel the whole distance, some eight hundred miles, in their vehicles.

Note: This report came from the Buffalo Commercial Advertiser. For follow-up information on the same group of traveling pioneers, see the June 23, 1841 issue of the Fredonia Censor.


Vol. XI.                             Philadelphia, Saturday, July 10, 1841.                             No. ?

Without note or comment, we append the following paragraph from a letter to the Boston Traveler:

Cruel Murder. -- Martin Harris, one of the earliest supporters of the Mormons, and the only wealthy man among them in their origin, has been murdered. He spent all he was worth in supporting the delusion under which he labored, furnishing all the funds for the publication of the Mormon Bible.

He abandoned the Mormons not long since, and delivered some lectures in opposition to their doctrines, and two or three weeks ago was found dead, having been shot through the head with a pistol.

Note 1: This issue of the Courier contained a lengthy article on the Mormons: once a copy has been located, the transcript will be posted here.

Note 2: The Boston Traveller took its news item from a June issue of the New York Journal of Commerce, adding some embellishment of its own to the story. As things turned out, the Journal of Commerce's 1841 reports of Martin Harris' death in Illinois were "greatly exaggerated." The man died decades later, near Logan, Utah.


Vol. IX.                              Philadelphia, Tuesday, August ?, 1841.                              No. ?

Anti-Mormon Slanders Refuted.

To the Editors of the Ledger:

Gentlemen: -- The following remarks were written under an irresistible impulse occasioned by reading a catalogue of charges, of a criminal nature, preferred against the Mormons, by the Editors of the Saturday Courier, in their paper of the 10 of July. The conductors of that journal having declined publishing it, under an impression that their characters as true chroniclers of events would become somewhat tarnished, you will please give it an insertion in your valuable paper, and in doing so aid the cause of truth, which is the only object the writer has in view.

To the Editors of the Sat. Courier: -- Gentlemen: To expect an Editor to publish in his paper any thing calculated to detract from his merit as a man of truth, or to lessen him in the estimation of his readers, is, I am persuaded, "reckoning without our host." Other Editors are not disposed to publish in their journals long essays having a tendency to reflect upon or expose the misrepresentations of their co-temporaries, without levying a heavy tax upon the purse of the writer-hence we find so much rancor and ill feeling in the columns of papers calculated to wound the sensibilities not only of individuals, but of whole societies, pass without notice or refutation,

These remarks have been elicited from reading nearly two columns of matter published in the Saturday Courier, of Saturday, the 10th of July, in condemnation of a religious sect of people called "Mormons, or Latter Day Saints." Now, sirs, the writer wishes to be distinctly understood that he is not a Mormon, nor indeed ever will be; to the contrary, he would, if he were able, PERSUADE some of that sect, with whom he is bound by the strongest ties of consanguinity, to renounce the doctrine and cleave to that of their fathers.

But let me recur to the curses and anathemas so unmercifully bestowed upon the poor unoffending Mormons, in the article referred to in the Courier.

Indeed, I find it no easy matter to express, in suitable language, my utter detestation and abhorrence of the sentiments you have advanced, believing as I do, that the doctrine you have urged upon the people to adopt towards the Mormons, of EXTERMINATION, is the most illiberal, unjust, unchristian-like in its character, and dangerous in its tendency, that ever emanated from the American Press. You must certainly have been amply charged when you were writing the closing part of the article, charging the Mormons with murdering Martin Harris, with the same spirit which caused the enraged Jews to gnash their teeth upon the Prophet Stephen, after he had admonished them and warned them of the consequences which would result to them from the evil course they were pursuing.

I would respectfully ask you, sirs, to point me out in the Constitution of the United States, or in that of the State of Pennsylvania, a single clause that warrants any individual to judge his fellow in matters of religion, much less take the life of a fellow creature, because he may think it right for him to give an interpretation of the sacred text different from those who received their diplomas, to instruct others in the mysteries of God, at Yale, Princeton, or Carlisle, and who make religion a matter of merchandise.

Being well aware that your labors would be in vain, were you to search for authority to wage your war upon the Mormons, except you practice upon the the plan of the white savages of Missouri, in this massacre of the unoffending Mormons, "declare upon your own hook" -- a plan, by-the-by, if you do not exactly recommend in your strictures, you do not certainly condemn.

The 1st Article of the Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, adopted 4th of March, 1789, declares "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridge the freedom of speech, or of the press." Now is there a feature or principle in the whole of that sacred instrument more highly prized than that which is intended to secure to us the liberty to worship the Creator according to the dictates of our own consciences? There are but few, I apprehend, to be found among us who are willing to deny this doctrine.

Again, Article 9th, Section 3d. of the Constitution of Pennsylvania, the following language may be edifying to the Editors of the Courier: "All men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience; no man can, of right, be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of worship; no human authority can in any case whatever control or interfere with the rights of conscience, and no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious establishments of mode of worship"-those are the privileges vouchsafed to the American people by the framers of their Constitution. Now a few extracts from the Saturday Courier will show how far its Editors breathe the spirit of religious liberty, and how far its Editors breathe the spirit of religious liberty, and how far the salutary provisions of the Constitution accord with their sentiments. In a kind of preface or biography of the founders of that religion the reader is prepared for the marvellous; not one palliating circumstance or charitable motive is ascribed to their acts. You say that, "under pretence of raising money for building a Temple and for other purposes, gangs of itinerant vagabond (Mormons) were sent prowling over the country to beg ALMS and to STEAL, mostly under some sanctimonious pretence -- though we (the Editors of the Courier) have ourselves not the slightest doubt whatever that most if not all the ringleaders STEAL upon every occasion that offers with as much RECKLESSNESS as would any CONVICT in our State prison. We (the Editors of the Saturday Courier) state unequivocally our firm belief that this is their true character, because none other than precisely such men would ever be willing to unite in a piece of VILLAINY like Mormonism." Now your caldron of venom must have been heaped and running over when you penned the above wholesale calumny.

There are not less, from the best data that the writer can collect, than 10,000 of our fellow citizens members of the same great political family, subject to the same laws and government, connected with us by ties of blood, denounced as THIEVES AND ROBBERS; and all those persons too, from the most wealthy and respectable citizens, to the poorest among us, professing to be followers of the meek and lowly Jesus. And where is the evidence to justify such sweeping denunciations? -- Yours is indeed the evidence of things not seen. For, after stigmatizing the sect by every epithet that Billingsgate vocabulary furnishes, you conclude by saying that you unequivocally and firmly believe that this is their true character, because none other than precisely such men would ever be willing to unite in a piece of villainy like Mormonism." And has it come to this, that men and women hitherto of spotless fame, and unblemished reputation, may be stigmatized as Villains, Thieves and Robbers, by the Editor of a Newspaper on his simple belief of their guilt, without a jot or tittle of testimony to sustain the charge? There are some of the Mormon Sect in the vicinity of this city that will not passively submit to be coupled with Thieves and Robbers, or the writer much mistakes their character.

I will merely notice the letter from your correspondent of Ohio, who you say, "so truly describes the Mormons," to show how malignant and false are his accusations. The writer of that letter says that the "leaders and all the heads of the Church have a great desire for riches-that they scoured the Branches of the East for money, and that they resorted to the most culpable and criminal means to obtain it; now, instead of this being the case, abundant evidence is at hand to prove that the leaders of the church are as poor as Lazarus-the clothing upon their backs is in many instances procured by subscription, and that they have frequently been seen in our streets wandering about, without a place to lay their heads, culpably indifferent to the accumulation of wealth, and are especially so, to the perishable honors of this world-preferring rather the things that pertain to the Kingdom than the mammon of this world, which Theologians esteem of paramount importance.

I deem it unnecessary to notice further the base slanders of your Ohio letter writer, whose every word (however inconsistent with truth in relation to the circumstances he pretends to detail) the Editors of the Courier swallow as a precious morsel, and vomit forth again, charged with increased venom.

I have not time nor inclination to notice the remarks of a Mr. Lee, said to reside somewhere in the neighborhood of Frankford, made at a Mormon meeting held in that place; indeed I would not notice him at all, were it not for the manner you are pleased to introduce that GENTLEMAN. You say that he was very plain and much to the purpose, that he came directly to the point -- what point? For, as Lee says he would not attempt to expose the Mormon imposture (refute the Mormon doctrine) or combat the creed. You say that though his remarks "WERE harsh in his terms, they appear fitting to the occasion, and contain facts not generally known as they should be." I perfectly agree with you that he was very plain and harsh in his terms, but that he came directly to the point and that his remarks were fitting to the occasion, I utterly deny. We are led to the conclusion that Lee went to the meeting to hear what would be said in favor of the tenets of Mormonism, and when requested, with others, to refute, if he could, what he had heard from the preacher, he commences a tirade of abuse, only equaled by your own published account of the Leaders of the Mormons before referred to. In his simile, Mr. Lee has shown himself an apt scholar, at least so says the Courier, and who shall gainsay such high authority? His comparing the Minister who had just ceased speaking to a "pliant cat's paw" must have produced a ludicrous scene, highly interesting to Mr. Lee's accomplices. The manner, too, with which he interlarded his speech with the word Liar, Imposters, Swindlers, Villains, Hypocrites, &c., is an evidence of a great lack of wit and very weak intellect, to say nothing of common courtesy, a characteristic of a true gentleman.

The Editors of the Courier call this coming to the point, and fitting to the occasion, and whether it be so or not I will leave others to judge. But how the Courier could ever charge Lee with using "harsh terms," is truly surprising, when they themselves had but a few moments before charged the Mormons with being Thieves and Robbers.

I have done with Mr. Lee, and will just notice one or two other charges brought against the Mormons in the same paper, and which cannot be shuffled on to the shoulders of a letter writer from Ohio, or that of a Mr. Lee, but will stick to the backs of the Editors of the Courier as doth the bark of the tree of which it forms as component part.

It is needless for me to say that I allude to your justification of the cold blooded butchery of upwards of nineteen men, women and children, (Mormons) by the inhabitants of Missouri, without color of law. But the sentence throughout exhibits such a thirsting after the blood of that people, by the editors of the Courier, that I must copy it entire. It reads -- "Of their treatment in Missouri we know nothing, except that they no doubt well deserved the punishment meted out to them:" and in the next sentence which follows, you class them with murderers and pirates.

Now one thing is certain, that up to the time, yea, the very moment of the massacre, the editors of the Courier, nor no man living, can point to one single act of the Mormons deserving of censure, much less of the horrible punishment they received. But it is necessary for me to recur back to the declaration of the Courier, that "of their treatment in Missouri we know nothing." Yes, this is your language: and when I first read it, shame and indignation filled by breast, to think that an editor in these United States, conducting one of the most popular journals of the day, a paper that I have esteemed above all others, and as an evidence of it have been a subscriber from its birth to the present day, and have otherwise aided to increase the subscription list, should be guilty of such a palpable dereliction from truth. It may be safely asserted, that there is not an intelligent man of mature age in the United States or in Great Britain, who has not heard of the massacre of the Mormons in Missouri; yet you, gentlemen, a long time conductors of a public journal, whose circulation is co-extensive with the United States, and who are in the weekly receipt of papers from all parts of the country, yet of the treatment they received, these you say "you know nothing.'"

But alas for you, the fact is self-evident to every man, that you do know, and did know at the time you penned the article, all the circumstances connected with that tragedy, and your declaring that "they deserved the punishment meted out to them," is in plain English saying, that they deserved the punishment of death without trial, in the most barbarous manner because they chose to worship God, Jehovah, or because they would not worship him according to some of the various approved fashions of the world.-These are your sentiments published to the world

Leaving the murdered men out of the question, nineteen of whom were coolly and deliberately shot in a Smith's shop, through the apertures between the logs, the circumstance of the murder of the poor boy Sardius Smith scarcely nine years of age, and consequently incapable of any moral turpitude, who was shot with a ball out of a rifle in the hands of a villain by the name of Glaze, of Carroll county, should have excited your pity, as you cannot believe that poor Sardius "merited the punishment meted out to him."

Indeed it has never been pretended that the boy was guilty of any offence; he with the men had sought refuge in the Blacksmith's shop, and through fear had crawled under the bellows, where he remained till the massacre was over, when he was discovered by a Mr. Glaze, who presented his rifle near the boy's head, and literally blowed off the upper part of it. Glaze, the murderer, afterwards publicly boasted of the heroic deed all over the country; and at this late day we find the editors of the respectable journals commending the act, and declaring that hey merited the punishment meted out to them without assigning any cause whatever for the bloody deed.

I cannot close these remarks without noticing another plain and palpable misrepresentation of facts, to be found in the closing paragraph of the Courier.

It reads thus --

"Without note or comment, we append the following paragraph from a letter to the Boston Traveler"

"Cruel Murder. -- Martin Harris, one of the earliest supporters of the Mormons, and the only wealthy man among them in their origin, has been murdered. He spent all he was worth in supporting the delusion under which he labored, furnishing all the funds for the publication of the Mormon Bible.

"He abandoned the Mormons not long since, and delivered some lectures in opposition to their doctrines, and two or three weeks ago was found dead, having been shot through the head with a pistol."

Now what an unlucky circumstance it was that Martin Harris would not stay murdered! The cup containing the very quintessence of all that is lovely is placed to the lips of the Boston Traveller, the Saturday Courier and Spirit of the Times, and snatched away again ere they have drank half of its contents. The murder of Martin Harris! -- Why nothing could have happened so opportunely, and a standing article that was to overthrow Mormonism, is knocked into pi by the stubbornness of that bad man.

The Courier, in which this letter from the Boston Traveller is published, was issued from the press on the 10th day of July, and the reported murder of Martin Harris was officially contradicted by numerous persons who had seen and conversed with that gentleman two weeks, at least, before the 10th of July, and no person in the country was better informed of the fact of the existence in the flesh of Martin Harris, than the editors of the Courier at the very time they published the account of his murder without comment.

Alas! to what base uses are the faculties which God hath given to man sometimes employed!

Were the people to examine for themselves the writings of the enemies of Mormonism with that care and circumspection that other subjects receive, (some, too, of far less importance) they would soon discover who it is that mocks them and practises gross and wicked impositions.

The persecution of the people, called "Mormons," commenced by the mob in Missouri. Their remote habitations were sacked and burned, and the inhabitants were either butchered or taken captive and confined in dungeons -- their property was confiscated to the cupidity of lawless ruffians, and, what was most remarkable, the press throughout the country commended the act, and legislators and grave senators in Congress echoed the war cry of extermination: it appeared that Mercy had left her seat and fled to brutish breasts, and men had lost their reason.

The same spirit of persecution has been fanned and kept alive by hired priests of certain sects, and supported and encouraged by a portion of the public press professing a religion in unison with the clergy. These facts should operate as a warning to other religious denominations, comparatively few in numbers, to look well to the rights bequeathed to them by the framers of the constitution.

To a portion of our brethren, even now, the sacred rights guaranteed to every American citizen have become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. J. L.

Note 1: This letter may have actually been published in early September. The text is taken from its reprint in the Nauvoo Times & Seasons of Oct. 1, 1841.

Note 2: The "Mr. Lee" referred to in the above letter was E. G. Lee, the author of the 1841 pamphlet, The Mormons. For an earlier letter, written in the same vein, see the correspondence of Elder Benjamin Winchester in the Feb. 23, 1841 issue of the Ledger.


The Spirit of [ ] the Times.

Vol. ?                                   Philadelphia,   September 2?, 1841.                                   No. ?

Bordentown, New Jersey.      
September 3, 1841.      
[a correspondent, telling of attending a Mormon meeting, says"] "[I] was curious to see what kind of creatures they [the Mormons] were... from what I could pick up respecting the doctrines of these people, they do not believe in endless damnation; they hold baptism by immersion essential ... Infant baptism is rejected as unnecessary, because young children are incapable of knowing the heinousness of sin, and therefore need no repentance... The Mormons inculcate temperance and appear to act up to the principle. They pretend to work miracles, healing the sick, &c., by the laying on of hands of the elders. These notions are certainly novel and perhaps may be a key to the remarkable success which Mormonism has met with in New Jersey. Certain it is that the disciples of Jo Smith are multiplying in a wonderful manner. We were informed that some fifteen or twenty families, including among them some very respectable, wealthy, and intelligent farmers, have joined the Mormons within a short time past. The Mormons, by their craft, have seduced members from the sheepfold of Methodism and other sects, and it is no wonder these religious denominations are anxious to prevent this state of things and get up camp meetings, and protracted meetings to dispel the delusion of Mormonism. ... Ariel.

Note: The full text and exact date of this article remain undetermined -- it may have appeared in the Times of Sept. 1st.


Vol. ?                                   Philadelphia,   January 2?, 1842.                                   No. ?

Recently, a schism took place in the society, a part declaring themselves in favor of an Elder named Page, who found favor with them during the absence of Mr. Winchester, and the rest, by far the greater number, still adhering to the latter. That portion of the society adhering to the pastoral care of Mr. Winchester, have in consequence of the difficulty, leased a room in the Assembly buildings, corner of Tenth and Chestnut streets, and are fixing it up for public worship.

First, George J. Adams attacked Benjamin Winchester in an eastern Mormon periodical. Winchester must have responded to Adamís attack, as Adams later sued Winchester for slander. Soon, William Smith began attacking Winchester in the press. Smith accused Winchester of being a party to the conspirators who plotted Joseph Smithís death in Nauvoo. Winchester sued Smith for slander

Note: The full text and exact date of this article remain undetermined -- it may have appeared in the Times of Jan. 1st. The text is taken from a reprint in the as cited in the Jan. 4th Delaware State Journal.


ns Vol. XXII.                               Philadelphia, Sat., September 10, 1842.                              No. 1102


==> The Mormons are beginning to desert Joe Smith, having grown tired of his knavery. About forty of these deluded people reached St. Louis not long since. They were from the Mormon settlement.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XIII.                             Philadelphia,  Monday, January 16, 1843.                             No. 258.

INSPIRATION. -- A young man, named Brewster, a member of the Mormon Church has recently published what he calls one of the lost books of the Bible, which was revealed by inspiration. The 'Nauvoo Times,' however, declares upon 'authority,' that Joe Smith is the only person permitted to be inspired, and therefore pronounces the book a humbug, in which verdict the public will no doubt agree.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XIII.                             Philadelphia,  Tuesday, January 31, 1843.                             No. 270.

THE MORMON CHARTER. -- The bill for the repeal of the Mormon Charter came up on third reading, on the 12th inst., in the Illinois Legislature, but was so warmly opposed by the member from Nauvoo, Mr. Smith, brother of the prophet, that the bill was laid on the table by a vote of 60 to 13.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                             Philadelphia,  Friday, April 7, 1843.                             No. ?

NAUVOO. -- The Legislature of Illinois has not repealed the charter of Nauvoo, nor the law organizing the Mormon Legion. Both, it is true, passed one branch of the Legislature, but they never passed the other.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XV.                             Philadelphia,  Wednesday, May 17, 1843.                             No. 46.

DISCOVERY OF THE MATERIALS FOR ANOTHER MORMON BOOK. -- When one wonder ceases, another takes its place, by which means the mind of the community is kept in a state of healthy agitation. The Quincy (Ill.) Whig furnishes the material for another mysterious humbug, which was unfolded in a dream to the mind of a younf man named Wiley, residing in Kinderhook, in that part of the country. He dreamed, it seems, three nights in succession, that a treasure was concealed in a mound in the vicinity, and on this mysterious intimation, numerically confirmed, he went to digging. The faith of the young man must have given out before he reached the sought for treasure, for some of his friends, according to the account, completed the job, and in a bed of limestone, came plump upon six brass plates, filled with hieroglyphics, among which are rude representations of human hands [sic -heads?] on one of the plates, the largest in the middle. From this head proceeds marks or rays, resembling those which usually surround the head of the Saviour, in the pictorial representations of his person. There are also figures of two trees with branches, one under each of the two small heads, both leaning a little to the right. One of the plates, has on it the figure of a large head by itself, with a ==> pointing directly to it. In the place where the plates were deposited, were also found human bones,in the last stage of decomposition. On each side of this mound in which this discovery was made, was a mound, on one of which is a tree growing that measures two feet and a half in diameter, near the ground, showing the great antiquity of the mounds, and, of course, all that is buried within them. The plates were exhibited in Quincy, and are now in Nauvoo, subject to the inspection of the Mormon Prophet. The Whig, after expressing the great anxiety of the people to know what the hieroglyphics mean, says, perhaps, after all, the thing is but another Mormon humbug. Shouldn't wonder if it was a humbug of some kind.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XV.                             Philadelphia,  Monday, July 3, 1843.                             No. 86.

ARREST OF JOE SMITH, THE MORMON PROPHET. -- Joe Smith, it appears, has been arrested in Illinois, near Dixon, by the Sheriff of Jackson county, Missouri, charged with treason against the State. Joe had been on a visit to some of his relations, and advantage was taken of that circumstance to arrest him. What disposition would be made of him was not yet known. He says he is willing to be tried in Illinois, but not in Missouri

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XV.                             Philadelphia,  Monday, July 10, 1843.                             No. 91.

Mormonism.-- The editor of the Burlington (Iowa,) Advertiser says that on the 21st ult. he paid a flying visit to the city of Nauvoo. He says -- "It is situate at one of the most beautiful points on the river, and is improving with a rapidity truly astonishing. Many of the houses are built in fine style, evincing wealth as well as taste. The city is daily receiving accessions to its population from the Eastern States and from Europe -- and it is estimated that it already numbers from 15,000 to 17,000 inhabitants. The Temple, which is destined to be the most magnificent structure in the West, is progressing rapidly, and will probably be completed in the course of the present and succeeding summer. Its style of architecture is entirely original -- unlike any thing in the world, or the history of the world -- but it is at the same time chaste and elegant. It is said to be the conception of the Prophet, Gen. Smith. It is being built by voluntary labor of the members of the church, who devote a certain number of days in the year to the work. If the labor and materials were estimated at cash prices, it is supposed that the building would cost something like a million dollars.

Joe Smith. -- The St. Louis Republican of the 23d ult. says: --
      We learn that Joe Smith was lately indicted in some of the upper counties in this State, for treason and murder, growing out of the Mormon war. Immediately thereafter a writ was issued and a messenger despatched to Springfield, Illinois, with a requisition from the Governor of Missouri on the Governor of Illinois for the arrest and delivery of Smith. It was intended to keep the whole proceedings a secret, to secure Joe's arrest; but in some way or another the Mormons at Springfield got wind of what was going on, and despatched a messenger to Smith at Nauvoo. We are told that Smith has left for parts unknown; or at least keeps himself so concealed that he cannot be arrested. It is reported that Rockwell, who is in jail at Independence for the attempted assassination of Gov. Boggs, has signified a willingness to turn State's evidence and reveal the whole plot and actors. If this be true, it probably furnishes an additional motive for Smith to keep out of the clutches of the law...

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XV.                             Philadelphia,  Tuesday, July 11, 1843.                             No. 92.

ARREST OF JOE SMITH. -- The St.Louis Standard of the 30th ult. confirms the story of Smith's arrest. It says "the steamer Osprey, arrived last evening, reports that Joe Smith, the Mormon Prophet, had been arrested at Ottawa, on the Illinois river, on a requisition made by the Governor of this State. A large number of armed men left Nauvoo for Ottawa, by land, and 115 men started in the steamer Maid of Iowa, for the same place. By the steamer Rapids, arrived to-day, we learn that great excitement prevailed among the Mormons in regard to the capture of their leader."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXIX.                             Philadelphia,  Tuesday, July 11, 1843.                             No. 8.

Joe Smith, the Mormon Prophet.

Further advices from St. Louis confirm the arrest of Joe Smith, the Mormon Prophet, so-called. He was arrested at Ottawa [sic - Dixon?], on the Illinois river, on the requisition of the Governor of Missouri. The steamboat "Rapids," which arrived at St. Louis on the 30th reported that great excitement existed in the Mormon region in regard to the capture of the impostor. There were many rumors in circulation, and it seemed to be a very difficult matter to arrive at the truth in regard to them. There is no doubt that armed men had left Nauvoo for the place of the Prophet's confinement. When about thirty miles above the Mouth of the Illinois, the "Rapids" met the "Maid of Iowa," on her return from the Illinois, but her officers did not hail her, and know nothing of the result of the investigation. Smith was to be taken before Judge Caton, on a habeas corpus.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XV.                             Philadelphia,  Wednesday, July 19, 1843.                             No. 99.

NAUVOO. -- A gentleman who left the Mormon city of Nauvoo a few days since, informs the editor of the Cincinnati Chronicle that of the 15,000 persons who make up the population of Nauvoo, about one-third are of various religious denominations. The arrest of their leader, Joe Smith, has caused great excitement, and he confirms the previous statement that two parties of armed Mormons had left the city for the rescue of Smith, while on his way to Springfield, Illinois. He adds that all the gunpowder at Nauvoo had been made into ball cartridges, and even women had been actively engaged in casting balls, and making cartridges. The intelligence since is that Smith was rescued.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XV.                               Philadelphia,  Thursday, July 20, 1843.                               No. 100.

AUTHENTIC ACCOUNT OF THE ARREST AND LIBERATION OF SMITH, THE MORMON CHIEF. -- It has been mentioned in several paragraphs that Smith, the Mormon Chief, had been arrested; that his arrest had caused great commotion at Nauvoo, the inhabitants of which had armed themselves and gone and rescued their leader from the hands of the Missouri agent. The Springfield (Ill.) State Register of the 7th, gives a full account of the transaction, which is wholly correct.

Joe Smith. -- More of the Late Arrest. -- Our city was visited this week by the agent of Missouri and his counsel, and also by Mr. Walker, counsel of Joseph Smith. An application has been made to Gov. Ford for a military force to retake Smith, which, we learn, is now under consideration. We proceed to give the facts, as we have learned them, of the proceedings under the arrest thus far:

James [sic - Joseph] Reynolds, the agent of Missouri, after leaving this place, with a writ, proceeded to Nauvoo, to arrest Smith. On his arrival he ascertained that Smith was at Dixon, in Lee Co. Reynolds, in company with a constable of Hancock, proceeded to Lee, and arrested Smith at Palestine Grove, near Dixon. Cyrus Walker (the Whig candidate for Congress) was at Grand de Tour, only six miles off, and was immediately retained by Smith. Under the management of Walker as his lawyer, Smith sued out a capias against Reynolds and the constable for damages in arresting him, and they were immediately arrested by the Sheriff of Lee county.

Smith, Reynolds, and the constable, all obtained writs of habeas corpus, and proceeded towards Quincy for the purpose of having a trial before Judge Young; Smith being in the custody of Reynolds, and Reynolds and the constable being in the custody of the Sheriff of Lee county.

They all proceeded towards Quincy together, Smith being attended by his counsel, Cyrus Walker, who broke all his appointments in the district, where he was to have addressed the people; and Reynolds was attended by his counsel, Mr. Mason, of Dixon.

The whole party made some stop at Nauvoo, where the Missouri agent says he was forced to go against his will. Smith and Walker then sued out a writ of habeas corpus from the Municipal Court of Nauvoo. The case of Smith, was brought before that court, which, after hearing a very able speech from Mr. Walker three hours long, and very loud in favor of Smith, that Court discharged him from imprisonment. Thus the matter now stands. The Executive of Illinois has so far performed the duty required by the constitution and laws, and he will doubtless persevere in that course without deviation.

Note: See the Ledger of July 24th for a follow-up article.


Vol. XV.                               Philadelphia,  Monday, July 24, 1843.                               No. 103.

JOE SMITH. -- The sheriff of Jackson county, Missouri, has published a long letter, explaining the manner in which he arrested this distinguished personage, and the troubles he subsequently encountered until Smith was discharged by the Municipal Court of Nauvoo, before which he managed to be taken on a writ of habeas corpus. An application has been made to the Governor of Illinois to cause Smith to be re-taken, which was held under consideration at the last accounts.

A SPECIAL EDICT TO THE PHILADELPHIA MORMONS is published in the last Nauvoo Times and Seasons. They are "instructed and counselled" "to remove, without delay, and locate themselves in the city of Nauvoo, where God has a work for them to accomplish." The edict is published by order of the "Quorum of Twelve."

Note: See also the Illinois State Register of July 7, 1843, and the Warsaw Message of July 15, 1843.


Vol. XV.                                 Philadelphia,  Friday, July 28, 1843.                                 No. 107.

JOE SMITH. -- The Illinois State Register asserts that the agent of Missouri has applied to Governor Ford for an armed force, to aid him in arresting Joe again, but that the Governor has not decided whether to grant this request or not.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XV.                              Philadelphia, Tuesday, August 15, 1843.                              No. 122.

THE CITY OF NAUVOO. -- The following sketch of Nauvoo we find in an exchange paper:

We spent a Sunday with the Mormons, at their city of Nauvoo, and attended their service in the grove, both morning and evening. The Great Prophet of these "Latter Day Saints," Joe Smith, addressed the meeting in the morning for about two hours, much of which related to his late arrest and release under a habeas corpus, as an accessary, we believe, in the attempt on the life of ex-Governor Boggs. He then, for the first time in his life, as he said, and as for our especial information, ran his parallel of the Mormon faith with other denominations of Christians, and, to hear the conclusion, you could not say but they were good orthodox Baptists, but in some of their forms they run close into Catholicism. He is a bad speaker, and appears to be very imperfectly educated. In the afternoon service, his "Vice gerent," Mr. Sidney Rigdon, addressed the numerous multitude. He took no text, but proceeded at once, in a historical discourse, commencing with the early Prophets, and brought us eloquently down to the reign of Charlemagne, and to the Latter Day Saints. He described the different kingdoms that have passed from the earth, corresponding to the image of gold and silver, brass, iron and clay, revealed to the King of Babylon by the Prophet Daniel, which was broken to pieces by "a stone cut without hands, and became a great mountain that filled the whole earth." We could not follow him in all his conclusions, as he spoke so rapid, but inferred that the fulfilment of this prophecy was intended to apply to the Mormons, who are to fill the whole earth. After the discourse was concluded, the Choir sang a hymn with much sweetness, accompanied by instrumental music; the ceremonies were then concluded by a solemn prayer from one of the Saints; at the end of which, he notified the congregation that he had lost a valuable sorrel horse, about sixteen hands high, and requested to be informed if any person present should discover him!

The evening was then closed by a Public Baptism, in the Mississippi, of one or two hundred, and some of the Disciples were immersed perhaps twenty times, first for themselves and then for some deceased relative or friend. After leaving the water, they take seats on the shore, and are confirmed by another set of priests in waiting; this is repeated as often as they are immersed.

The city of Nauvoo contains twelve to fifteen thousand inhabitants, all Mormons we believe, and new converts are fast flocking to their standard. They have many missionaries travelling throughout the country and in Europe, and they are now fitting out one for Russia. We believe they have no community of interest, as some suppose, but each man works for his own living; they are compelled to work one day out of ten, however, on the Temple, which will be a magnificent building when finished. Their dwellings are generally small frames, thrown up in a few days. The people are industrious and sober -- no spirituous liquors are allowed in the city, or persons to be out after 9 o'clock at night. We recieved much kindness from Smith and others, and the day was very agreeably spent.

Note: The events here reported were probably those of July 9, 1843 -- see LDS History of the Church 5:498-501


Vol. XV.                            Philadelphia,  Monday, September 4, 1843.                            No. 139.

MORMON OUTRAGE. -- The Jacksonville Illinoian of the 19th August, says: -- A gentleman of this town, who has returned from a visit to Carthage, states that "considerable excitement exists in Hancock county on account of a gross outrage commited by Joe Smith, upon the Collector of that county.

It seems that Joe had taken offence at the Collector on account of the manner in which he had discharged his duty, in reference to some of the prophet's lots in Nauvoo; and, during a recent visit of the Collector to that city, he was attacked and cruelly beaten by Joe, in presence of several hundred of his faithful. The Collector had been quite ill for several weeks, and was scarcely able to travel at the time the outrage was perpetrated. From the statement of our informant, we shall not be surprised to hear of Joe's sudden disappearance shortly. -- St. Louis Democrat.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XV.                           Philadelphia,  Monday, September 18, 1843.                           No. 151.

ANTI-MORMON CONVENTION.-- The dispute between the States of Illinois and Missouri, as to the delivery of Joe Smith to the authority of the latter, is not yet settled. Gov. Ford has refused to call out the militia, at the request of the Governor of Missouri, to assist in taking Smith. He alleges that the laws have already been properly enforced, and Joe legally discharged. We observe in a Western paper, a call for the meeting of a convention, to be held at Carthage, in Illinois, to take "defensive measures against the Mormons." The Missourians, it is stated, twenty thousand in number, stand ready to cooperate with the Illinoians. Should they, in their "defensive" measures, proceed to aggressive acts. Gov. Ford will no doubt extend full protection to the Mormons. A paper states that his boundless popularity in the State over which he presides will secure any requisition he may make upon the militia of Illinois unhesitating obedience.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XV.                          Philadelphia,  Saturday, September 23, 1843.                          No. 156.

THE MORMONS AND ANTI-MORMONS. -- The St. Louis Era contains a notice of the Anti-Mormon Convention held at Carthage. They declared, if Governor Ford would not surrender Joe Smith to the requisition of the Governor of Missouri -- which he has refused to do from political considerations -- that they would call in aid from other counties and other States, to assist them in delivering him up. As rumors were prevalent that a number of the citizens had had their lives threatened by the Mormons, the meeting resolved to avenge any blood that might be shed. They agreed not to obey the mandates of the Mormon officers of the county, who have been put in power by the Mormons, the whole county treasury being now at their disposal. There is considerable excitement, but the facts above stated show that it is more political than anything else. The Mormons, at the late election in that State, voted, in a body, the democratic ticket.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXIX.                       Philadelphia, Saturday, September 23, 1843.                       No. 72.

An Anti-Mormon Movement --
A Prospect of Trouble.

A meeting of the Anti-Mormon delegates from Hancock and surrounding counties, was recently held at Carthage. According to the Burlington Hawk Eye, the resolutions adopted, were of the strongest kind.

"They declared, if Gov. Ford would not surrender Jo Smith on the requisition of the Governor of Missouri -- which he has refused to do from political considerations -- that they would call in aid from other counties and other States, to assist them in delivering him up. As rumors were prevalent that a number of the citizens had their lives threatened by the Mormons, the meeting resolved to avenge any blood that might be so shed. They agreed not to obey the mandates of the Mormon officers of the county, who have been put in power by the Mormons; the whole county treasury being now at their disposal. There is considerable excitement -- the crisis seems to be rapidly approaching -- and we greatly fear the consequences. All may be remedied, if the Mormons as a religious body, will but eschew politics and amalgamate with our citizens -- but we fear it is too late to do even that."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVI.                             Philadelphia,  Saturday, October 7, 1843.                             No. 12.

DEPARTURE OF MORMONS FOR NAUVOO. -- About thirty citizens of Pittsburg, who have joined the Mormon church (Latter Day Saints,) left on Tuesday last for Nauvoo, on the steamer West Point, with what worldly goods they possessed.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVI.                             Philadelphia,  Thursday, November 9, 1843.                             No. 40.

THE PROPHET IN A NEW CHARACTER. -- Joe Smith, the Mormon leader, has opened a Hotel at Nauvoo. The following odd resolutions, among others, were passed at the opening, on the 3d ult.

Resolved, Gen. Joseph Smith, whether we view him as a Prophet at the head of the Church, a General at the head of the Legion, a Mayor at the head of the City Council, or as a Landlord at the head of his table, has few equals and no superior.

Resolved, Nauvoo, the great Emporium of the west, the centre of all centres, a city of three years' growth, a population of 18,000 souls, (!) congregated from the four quarters of the globe, (!!) embracing all the intelligence (!!!) of all of nations, (!!!!) with industry, frugality, economy, virtue, and brotherly love, unsurpassed in any age of the world, a suitable home for the saints (!!!!!)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVI.                           Philadelphia,  Thursday, December 7, 1843.                           No. 64.

FROM NAUVOO. -- Nauvoo is getting to be a great place, and the doings of the "Saints of the Latter Days," who constitute a little republic among themselves, are becoming quite as interesting as those of foreign governments and principalities. Prophet Joe possesses more power than many of the crowned heads of Europe, for, while their subjects are always kicking against authority, his people are ready to obey all his recommendations, and carry out cheerfully his plans.

We see by a late number of the "Times and Seasons," that the question who shall be President is being agitated in that community, as one of no small importance to them. The editor does not commit himself in favor of either of the prominent candidates, Van Buren, Clay, Calhoon, Buchanan, Cass or Scott, but he thinks the subject is one which is well worthy the attention of the brethren at home and abroad. The State of Missouri has turned a deaf ear to their petition for redress -- Congress has done the same thing, referring them to Missouri, and now they think it time to fix upon a man for President who will be most likely to redress their grievances. The Editor says -- "We not only give our own votes, but use our influence to obtain others, and if the voice of suffering innocence will not sufficiently arouse the rulers of our nation to investigate our case, perhaps a vote of from fifty to one hundred thousand may rouse them from their lethargy." Here is a new element in the political fiend, which the manoeuvering politicians who are looking for success, will have to keep their eyes upon. Joe himself may possibly become a candidate, and outstrip them all.

The following items of intelligence we find in the same paper:

Several companies of emigrants have lately arrived in this place by steamboats, all apparently in good health and spirits.

Elder Erastus Snow arrived with a company from Massachusetts, on Monday last.

The Twelve who have lately been on a mission to the east, have all returned, and enjoy good health.

A number of emigrants from England are expected soon.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVI.                             Philadelphia,  Thursday, January 11, 1844.                             No. ?

THE MORMONS AT NAUVOO have in public meeting denounced the State of Missouri for its charges against Joe Smith, and their city authorities have denounced imprisonment for life against any person who shall come within the corporate limits with a legal process for the arrest of Joe Smith, for any offence committed by him in Missouri during the Mormon difficulties. The Prophet has also declared that he considers it his duty, as Lieutenant General of the Nauvoo Legion and Militia of Illinois, ro enforce said ordinance. "Said ordinance" will stand with very little force against a requisition from the Governor.

Note: In his 1854 book, History of Illinois, Governor Ford wrote: "The Mormons became more arrogant and overbearing. In the winter of 1843-'4, the common council passed some further ordinances to protect their leaders from arrest, on demand from Missouri. They enacted that no writ issued from any other place than Nauvoo, for the arrest of any person in it, should be executed in the city, without an approval endorsed thereon by the mayor; that if any public officer, by virtue of any foreign writ, should attempt to make an arrest in the city, without such approval of his process, he should be subject to imprisonment for life, and that the governor of the State should not have the power of pardoning the offender without the consent of the mayor. When these ordinances were published, they created general astonishment. Many people began to be believe in good earnest that the Mormons were about to set up a separate government for themselves in defiance of the laws of the State."


Vol. XVI.                             Philadelphia,  Tuesday, January 30, 1844.                             No. 109.

MORE MORMON DIFFICULTIES. -- We learn that there was quite an excitement at Carthage yesterday, in consequence of the arrest of a citizen of that place, by a posse of Mormons from Nauvoo, on a charge of bastardy. The citizens declare that the individual shall not be taken to Nauvoo for trial -- and were under arms in his defence. We do not hear that any fighting was done. The excitement ran high, and may yet result in bloodshed. -- Warsaw (Ill.) Messenger.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVI.                             Philadelphia,  Monday, February 12, 1844.                             No. ?

(Correspondence of the Public Ledger.)

Pennsylvania  Legislature.

Harrisburg, Feb. 12, 1844.            
SENATE. -- About fifty petitions were presented on the subject of the proposed law to divide the city into districts, and a number of others on the usual subjects.

A curious kind of memorial was read, (taking up at least half an hour,) from Sidney Riglow [sic], one of the people called Mormons, or Latter-day Saints, a native of Pennsylvania, describing, at great length, the manner in which they have been persecuted by the people of Missouri, and asking that our representatives in Congress may be instructed to use their influence to procure for them some redress, and protection for the future. Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVI.                             Philadelphia,  Tuesday, February 27, 1844.                             No. ?

THE MORMONS. -- The Western papers speak as though a difficulty with the Mormons was apprehended. The St. Louis New Era says that there is a most bitter state of public feeling in part of Illinois against the Mormons. Meetings have been held at Carthage and other places, for the purpose of organizing opposition to the encroachments and usurpations of Joe Smith, the despotism of the Nauvoo corporation, and the hostilities of the Mormon legion. The same state of public feeling appears now to exist in Illinois that formerly existed in Jackson county, and in the Grand river country, in Misspuri. They talk openly of the extermination of the Mormons as the only means of securing their own safety.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVI.                             Philadelphia,  Thursday, March 7, 1844.                             No. 141.

THE MORMONS. -- The Western papers still give out mutterings of war against the Mormons. A large meeting was recently held at Carthage, Illinois, growing out of numerous difficulties, of late occurrence, between the citizens of Carthage and their neighbors of Nauvoo, at which resolutions were passed, seemingly denunciatory of the Mormons and their leader, Smith. The Warsaw Message, in the vicinity of these troubles, does not wish to disguise the fact that a total extinction of said people is contemplated; that the thousands of defenceless women and children, aged and infirm, congregated at Nauvoo are to be driven away.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVI.                             Philadelphia,  Friday, March 15, 1844.                             No. 148.

ANOTHER CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT. -- The Nauvoo Times and Seasons, says that on mature deliberation, the Mormons do not intend to cast their votes for Van Buren or Clay, but for General Joseph Smith. Joe despises the machinery of national conventions, and comes out plump on his own hook. The determination of his followers to support him will probably change the face of things in that State.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVI.                             Philadelphia,  Monday, March 18, 1844.                             No. 150.

JOE SMITH, the Mormon leader, is in favor of a National Bank. He says -- "The country will be full of money and confidence, when a National Bank of twenty millions, and a State Bank in every State, with a million or more, give a tone (an odor of nationality) to money matters, and make a circulating medium as valuable in the purses of the whole community as in the coffers of a speculating banker or broker." As Joe is a candidate for the Presidency, this avowal of attachment to an "obsolete idea" will materially hurt his prospects. It is frank, however, for a man to come out with his principles before the election -- it shows he does not wish to deceive the people.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVI.                             Philadelphia,  Wednesday, March 20, 1844.                             No. 152.

AN EXPONDER OF THE CONSTITUTION. -- Daniel Webster has been called the great expounder of the Constitution, but Joseph Smith, General and prophet at Nauvoo, intends to dispute his title to that appellation. The General has recently indulged the public with an exposition of his views in regard to a "great regulator," in which he differs from Daniel, and believes that such an institution is not only not an "obsolete idea," but is highly essential to the prosperity of the country. He has since published his views of the power and policy of the government of the United States, in which he declares himself to be in favor of the abolition of slavery, by paying the owners of the slaves out of the public treasury; would abolish all penitentiaries, pay soldiers who had deserted their wages, and tell them not to come back again; believes it the duty of lawyers to repent and turn preachers, as it is desirable to have an enlightened clergy, and is in favor of the annexation of Texas, Mexico and Canada, when they ask it, and of occupying Oregon when the red man consents to the measure. This may be looked upon as the prophet's declaration of princuples previous to entering the Presidential course, and, unlike many politicians, he desires to spread them before the public eye. It is evident that he intends to establish himself upon the largest liberty principle.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVII.                             Philadelphia,  Saturday, April 27, 1844.                             No. 29.

NAUVOO. -- Sunday, 7th inst., was a great day with the Mormons. From fifteen to twenty-five thousand persons were present at the temple on this occasion. Sidney Rigdon, who has been for a time suspended from his ministerial functions, was orator of the day.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVII.                             Philadelphia,  Tuesday, May 14, 1844.                             No. 43.

DISSENSIONS AMONG THE MORMONS AT NAUVOO. -- The St. Louis Republican gives a long account of some occurrences which, it is said, took place at Nauvoo, on the 26th ult. Smith, who is Mayor of the city, ordered his police to arrest a man by the name of Spencer, for an assault on his brother, in his own house -- the residence of his mother also: the accused refused to become [a] prisoner, alleging it was illegal to arrest without a writ from the Mayor. Several persons sided with Spencer. Smith went to aid the constable, when a young man named Foster, took out a pistol, and said he would shoot the Prophet. Smith seized the pistol, and amid many threats the traversers were brought before the court, where they were fined, Spencer for assaulting his brother, a cripple, $100, and said Spencer, Dr. Foster, and his brother, young Foster, each $100, for resisting the city authorities. Appeals were taken in all the suits. The case is, at present, undergoing a second trial before a Squire. The person who gives the Republican this information says Joe Smith has a number of enemies, and his influence is beginning to decline, but thinks his doctrine is on the increase. There are about fifty masons and stone cutters engaged about the temple. It will be the most extraordinary building on the American continent. They have a regular theatre, got up by the Mormons themselves.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVII.                             Philadelphia,  Friday, May 17, 1844.                             No. 46.

MORMON POLITICIANS. -- The Mormons recently held a meeting at Gen. Smith's store, in Nauvoo, to consult upon measures for the furtherance of their designs in the next Presidential election. Several gentlemen addressed the meeting on their grievances, their rights, numbers and political influence. The official proceedings say: "From the statements presented, we have no reason to doubt but that we can bring, independent of any other party, from two to five hundred thousand votes into the field. Several gentlemen were nominated to attend the Baltimore Convention, to make overtures to that body."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVII.                             Philadelphia,  Monday, May 27, 1844.                             No. ?

==> a correspondent of a St. Louis paper says of Joe Smith the Mormon -- "He was dressed entirely in black, with no ornament, and with an ordinary plaided chinz cravat tied in a clumsy knot around his throat, [containing] a shirt and [seemingly] very stiff collar close to his cheeks. What an extraordinary mode of wearing his [--men---]!"

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVII.                             Philadelphia,  Friday, May 31, 1844.                             No. ?

SCHISM AMONG THE MORMONS. -- The last Warsaw Signal states that a rupture has taken place among the Mormons -- a respectable number of the most intelligent members of that body having seceded under the guidance of William Law, and set up for themselves. It does not appear that the religious views of the seceders have undergone any material change. They profess to believe that Joseph Smith was once a true prophet, but contend that he is now fallen from grace, and no longer worthy to remain at the head of the Church. The above intelligence, in its most essential features, is confirmed by information through other sources.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVII.                             Philadelphia,  Thursday, June 6, 1844.                             No. ?

JOE SMITH, NAUVOO AND THE MORMONS. -- A correspondent of the St. Louis Republican gives quite an interesting account of the Mormons, their city, and their leader. Joe and his religion, he states, have been the subject of gross and unfounded misrepresentations. A story was recently put in circulation that Joe and his wife had quarrelled &c. This story, like a hundred others of a similar character, is not only false, but without a shadow of foundation. So long as these people are misrepresented or persecuted, so long will they grow and flourish, so long as they have a pressure from without to resist, they will be united as one man. Of the city the writer says --

(view original article in Missouri paper)

NEW PAPER IN NAUVOO. -- The Warsaw (Ill.) Signal, whose editor is very warm on the subject of Momonism, announces that a new paper is to be started in Nauvoo, by opponents of Joe Smith, to be called the "Nauvoo Expositor." The prospectus sets forth that the paper is to have nothing to do with religion of any kind, and goes in for the repeal of the charter of Nauvoo city and against all political revelations and unconstitutional ordinances.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVII.                             Philadelphia,  Thursday, June 13, 1844.                             No. 69.

A MASS MEETING OF MORMONS, or those friendly to the election of Joseph Smith, the Prophet, was held in New York, on Tuesday evening. There were about sixty persons present. Two brothers, by the name of Pratt, both originally from New York, but more recently from Missouri, made speeches, strongly denunciatory of Mr. Van Buren, Mr. Clay, the principal characters of the nation, and of Missouri, all of whom were called murderers and robbers, and in comparison with whom Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, was alone worthy of being entrusted with the government of the country. Twelve delegates were appointed to a convention to be held at Utica, on the 23d of next August.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XIV.                             Philadelphia,  Saturday, June 15, 1844.                             No. 14.


The Warsaw (Illinois) Signal announces that a new paper is to be started in Nauvoo, by the opponents of Joe Smith, to be called the "Nauvoo Expositor." -- It is believed that the world may now look for some rich disclosures. The disaffected declare they will never again follow in the wake of "The Prophet" -- that he is a vile imposter, and they ase determined to serve him up. Meantime, it appears that Joe Smith has started a theatre at Nauvoo, for the purpose of enabling him to raise the wind and pay off some of his most pressing debts. Several of the Elders were among the performers, at the opening of the theatre, and they are advertised to continue to enact parts for the amusement of the people and to assist Joe out of his troubles. The Prophet attends the theatre in state; and appears to be particularly pleased with the acting of his associates. The truth is, no doubt, that the head of the city of Nauvoo finds it necessary to be getting up all kinds of devices, to divert the attention of his followers, from the extraordinary imposture to which they have thus far submitted.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XIV.                             Philadelphia,  Saturday, July 6, 1844.                             No. 17.


The intelligence from Warsaw, Carthage, and the adjacent towns, indicates the greatest excitement. The people were arming to proceed against the Mormons, when called upon.

Joe Smith has proclaimed Martial Law at Nauvoo. The Mormon Legion was under arms, and an edict had been issued, preventing any one from leaving the city under a severe penalty.

(From the Warsaw Signal, Extra, June 18.)

Our town for the last week has been in a constant state of excitement. Business has been almost entirely suspended; and every able bodied man is under arms, and almost constantly in drill. Never did we see exhibited a more determined spirit. An injured and insulted community, suffering under their long borne giievances, are determined, by an appeal to arms, as a last resort, to redress wrongs that have become insupportable.

In Carthage and Green Plains the citizens are all in arms, and as far as we can hear, throughout the country, every man is ready for the conflict. We have assurances that our neighbours in Missouri and Iowa will aid us. In Clark county, Missouri, we understand that many are holding themselves in readiness to march so soon as wanted. From Bushville we have just learned by express that 300 men have enlisted for the struggle. M'Donough county is all alive and ready for the word of command. From Keosaqua, Iowa, we have just received intelligence, by a resident of that place, that the citizens are in arms in our behalf, and only wait our call. From Keokuk and the river towns, we learn that all are arming. Gen. Stapp, of this Brigade, is requested to call out the Militia, and hold themselves in readiness. Joe is evidently much alarmed, but he has gone too far to back out. He must toe the mark or run. Compromise is out of the question.


It has been stated to our readers, that a new paper, started at Nauvoo by the seceders of Mormonism, had been stopped by Smith's associates, who went, by his orders, and demolished the printing office of the establishment. The Expositor was conducted by several of Joe Smith's former companions and counsellors, who know him well: and, in one number of their Expositor, they make the following charges against "The Prophet:"

It is a fact too well known to be disputed or denied, that Joe did employ Rockwell and others to shoot ex-Gov. Boggs, of Missouri, and by J. H. Jackson's statement, tried to hire him to go to Missouri and rescue Rockwell, and perpetrate the same diabolical deed, if he had an opportunity. Dr. R. D. Foster has made affidavit, also, which is now on file, that he offered him $300 to pay his expenses in going to Missouri and to shoot Boggs, stating "It was the will of God and must be done" and he would reward him handsomely.

It is a lamentable fact that he has ensnared scores of credulous and superstitious females (both married and single) under pretence of Divine authority, thereby involving families and individuals in disgrace and infamy. It is a fact, generally known, that he has been prominently engaged in the manufacture of bogus money and counterfeiting.

It is a fact, he now stands indicted before the Hancock circuit court, for perjury, and licentiousness of the worst character.

It is a fact, that he has used his office and the as- sumed posver of the City Charter, in protecting and shielding fugitives from justice, charged with high misdemeanors.

It is a fact, that he lives upon the spoils of his dupes in splendor, while thousands are in a state of starvation. And last, though not least, it is a fact, that he has capped the climax of his outrages by authorizing the destruction of a public press. Not satisfied with personal injury, he resorts to open contempt and violation of one of the most sacred features of American institutions -- the Liberty of the Press.

We repeat it, history affords no parallel to the iniquities and enormities of this tyrant, who, dressed in a little biief authority, perpetrates deeds at which Heaven weeps, and human nature falls back in utter dismay.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVII.                           Philadelphia,  Tuesday, July 9, 1844.                           No. 90.

FURTHER FROM THE MORMON COUNTRY. -- The St. Louis Gazette of the 28th confirms the intelligence of the death of Prophet Smith and his brother. We copy the following letter.

Steamer Boreas, June 27, 11:30 P.M.          
Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet, is dead! He was making laudable efforts to avoid or escape from certain unbidden guests, and to this end precipitated himself from a window in the second story of the Carthage jail. During the few seconds of his descent, and immediately thereafter, he received as many as 15 wounds, many of which were mortal. Yesterday, the 26th, Governor Ford having prevailed upon Joseph Smith, and several other principal Mormons, to resign themselves into the hands of the officers of justice at Carthage to be tried by due process of law, five, and I believe only five, viz: Joseph and Hiram Smith, a Doctor Richards, and two others, were incarcerated in the Hancock County jail, and guarded by the Governorís troops until this morning, when Governor Ford discharged the troops, except 60 already stationed at Nauvoo, and a further reserve of 60, who, to-day, accompanied him to Nauvoo, to detect and annihilate the bogus factory, leaving the prisoners in the safe and efficient keeping of seven men of the Carthage Grays. Shortly after disbanding the McDonaugh troops, and the Governorís departure for Nauvoo, a large body of militia, say 200, resolved to wait on the prisoners in their room. Here was the beginning of trouble.

The faithful Grays could not consistently admit visitors to prisoners accused of treason and other felonies. The militia took efficient means to convince the guard of their impotence, and the opposing forces joined issue. The door was forced, and Joe shot the foremost, named Wills, through the wrist. A general melee ensued, in which pistols spoke eloquently and forcibly. Five of the militia were wounded, though slightly. Joe Smith, endeavoring to escape, precipitated himself from the window, receiving while between heaven and earth some half dozen shots, and five thereafter. Hiram, I am told, and three others were killed within the prison. This tragedy was enacted between the hours of four and five this afternoon, and I heard the announcement of the courier to Warsaw at eight. The men immediately fell in, shouldered arms, right faced, and made diverse defensive preparations; whilst the women, with children in arms, throng the levee to cross by moonlight to Missouri, to await the return of the Boreas from Koekuck to Quincy, that they may not be endangered should the desperate Danites attempt to revenge the loss of their defunct head. All is confusion, and Warsaw appears as if besieged.

The Louisville Journal of the 3d inst. says.

"We have seen a gentleman who was in Nauvoo on Friday, and who informs us that all was then quiet there, the prominent Mormons exhorting their followers to offer no insult or molestation to any one, and in no case to offer violence except in strict self-defence. The deepest grief and affliction pervaded the city. There appeared to be no danger of the burning of Warsaw or Carthage."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVII.                           Philadelphia,  Friday, July 12, 1844.                           No. ?


I desire to make a brief but true statement of the recent disgraceful affair at Carthage, in regard to the Smiths, so far as circumstances have come to my knowledge. The Smiths, Joseph and Hyrum, have been assassinated in Jail, by whom it is not known, but will be ascertained. I pledged myself for their safety, and upon the assurance of that pledge, they surrendered as prisoners. The Mormons surrendered the public arms in their possession, and the Nauvoo Legion submitted to the command of Capt. Singleton, of Brown county, deputed for that purpose by me. All these things were required to satisfy the old citizens of Hancock that the Mormons were peaceably disposed; and to allay jealousy and excitement in their minds. It appears however that the compliance of the Mormons with every requisition made upon them failed of that purpose. The pledge of security to the Smiths, was not given upon my individual responsibility. Before I gave it, I obtained a pledge of honor by a unanimous vote from the officers and men under my command, to sustain me in performing it. If the assassination of the Smiths was committed by any portion of these, they have added treachery to murder, and have done all they could to disgrace the state, and sully public honor.     (Signed)
                                                   THOMAS FORD,
                                               Governor and Commander in Chief.
State of Illinois, July 12, 1844.

Notes: (forthcoming)


The United States Gazette.

Vol. ?                           Philadelphia,  Saturday, July 13, 1844.                           No. 94.

(under construction)

...We have expressed our opinion that the two Smiths, Joe and Hyrum, were not killed in an attempt to escape from jail, or from an effort at rescue, and we now find that we were correct in our surmise. The following letter from Governor Ford of Illinois shows that the massacre of them was a thorough going cold-blooded murder. They had surrendered themselves to the authorities, and were awaiting a trial by jury. The claim is made by the enemies of the Saints, that it was in an attempt to take from jail the prisoners by their friends that they were shot by the guard. This statement was not believed by the Editor of the United States Gazette. As stated by them and the report of Governor Ford, which we shall present, confirms the Editors that they were right in their opinion as above stated. The very fact as admitted by all that have heretofore said anything about the killing of these men in their publications here stated that they came to their death at the hands of a mob from 150 to 250 strong, painted black, red, and yellow, is strong evidence that it was premeditated by the mob who had disfigured themselves. There was no need to paint themselves if they had wished to help the guard to keep the prisoners from escaping. It was claimed that the prisoners had been supplied with weapons...

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVII.                           Philadelphia, Monday, July 15, 1844.                           No. 95.

THE MORMONS. -- By the Osprey, which arrived yesterday, we have received "extras" from the office of the Nauvoo Neighbor, from which we take such extracts as are of essential interest for our readers. From Mr. M. C. Field, we learn that the utmost excitement continues to prevail in Warsaw and Carthage, the general sentiment [there] being, that either the Mormons or themselves must leave the country. At Nauvoo, on the contrary, peace is earnestly desired and hoped for. Our colleague and Mr. Chambers have met with an accident, their escape from which has been most providential. During the night their carriage was overturned through the ignorance of their driver, and broken to pieces down a declevity on the side of the road. Messrs. F. and C. were not seriously injured however and have gone on to Quincy, their object being to have a personal interview with Governor Ford. We return to the Nauvoo "Extra:"

"It now began to be rumored by several men, whose names will be forthcoming in time, that there was nothing against these men, the law could not reach them, but powder and ball would! The Governor was made acquainted with these facts, but on the morning of the 27th, he disbanded the McDonough Troops, and sent them home; took Capt. Dunn's company of cavalry and proceeded to Nauvoo, leaving these two men and three or four friends, to be guarded by eight men at the jail; and a company in town of 60 men, 80 o 100 rods from the jail, as a corps in reserve.

About six o'clock in the afternoon the guard was surprised by an armed mob of from 150 to 250, painted red and black and yellow, which surrounded the jail, forced in -- poured a shower of bullets into the room where these unfortunate men were held, in "durance vile," to answer to the laws of Illinois, under the solemn pledge of the faith of the State, by Governor Ford, that they should be protected, but the mob ruled!! They fell as martyrs amid this tornado of lead, each receiving four bullets! John Taylor was wounded by four bullets in his limbs, but not seriously. Thus perishes the hope of law; thus vanishes the plighted faith of the State; thus the blood of innocence stains the constituted authorities of the United States, and thus have two among the most noble martyrs since the slaughter of Abel, sealed the truth of their divine mission, by being shot, by a mob for their religion. &c. &c. &c.

The reception of the bodies at Nauvoo is thus described:

The Legion in Nauvoo was called out at 10 A. M. and addressed by Judge Phelps, Colonel Buckmaster of Alton, the Governor's Aid, and others, and all excitement and fury allayed, and preparations were made to receive the bodies of the noble martyrs. About 3 o'clock, they were met by a great assemblage of people, east of the Temple on Mulholland street, under the direction of the city Marshal, followed by Samuel H. Smith, the brother of the deceased, Dr. Richards and Mr. Hamilton, of Carthage. The waggons were guarded by eight men. The procession that followed in Nauvoo, was the city Council, the Lieut. Generals. Staff, the Major General and staff, the Brigadier and staff, commanders and officers of the Legion, and citizens generally, which numbered several thousands, amid the most solemn lamentations and wailings that ever ascended into the ears of the Lord of Hosts to be avenged of our enemies!

When the procession arrived, the bodies were both taken into the "Nauvoo Mansion." The scene at the Mansion cannot be described; the audience addressed by Dr. Richards, Judge Phelps, Wood and Reid, Esqs. of Iowa and Col. Markham. It was a vast assemblage of some eight or ten thousand persons, and with one united voice resolved to trust to the law for a remedy of such a high handed assassination, and when that failed, to call upon God to avenge us of our wrongs! Oh widows and orphans! Oh Americans weep, for the glory of freedom has departed!

The following is the conclusion of Mr. H. T. Reid's statement. He was one of the counsel to the Saints, and pronounces the different [excitements], circumstances, &c., preceding the [----------] to have been [highly -------].

A guard of only eight men were stationed at the jail, whilst the rest of the Greys were in camp at a quarter of a mile's distance, and whilst his excellency was haranguing the peaceable citizens of Nauvoo, and asking them to give up all their own arms, the assassins were murdering the prisoners in jail, whom the Governor had pledged himself and the State to protect.   H. T. REID.
St. Louis Reveille

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVII.                           Philadelphia, Wednesday, July 17, 1844.                           No. ?

from the St. Louis Review

...Having visited Nauvoo and its vicinity in person for the purpose of getting at the true state of affairs among the Mormons and their neighbors, we are enabled to give the latest as well as the most correct intelligence. Nauvoo reposes in a state of quietude and tranquility most remarkable. During some thirty hours that have passed in the holy city, we heard but one solitary intemperate expression, and the man who uttered it, was instantly checked, and made silent by more prudent spirits around him.

The above speaks well for a people that had been robbed of husbands, fathers, prophets, and patriarch, shot down in cold blood by a wicked mob, after they had complied with all that had been requested of them...

Note: The exact text for the above news report remains uncertain. This on-line article will be updated when more information becomes available.


Vol. XVII.                           Philadelphia, Thursday, July 18, 1844.                           No. 98.

THE MORMONS. -- Persecution never yet did any good and never will. All the best instincts of mankind rise up against it and with a force exactly proportionate to civilization. Gamaliel spoke the wisdom of ages in telling the inquisitors of his time that, if Christianity were false, it would die spontaneously, and that if true, mankind could not crush it, and therefore that wisdom would let it alone, and persecution, whether it were right or wrong, would make it stronger. All history proves that Gamaliel was right, and astonished are we to find professing Christians, who cannot be ignorant of the New Testament, daily neglecting his advice.

The truth and soundness of this advice has been fully exhibited in the case of the Mormons. They have been slandered and assaulted, and harassed and hunted, till, from a few deluded followers of an artful impostor, they have become a powerful community. Had they been left alone they would probably have died [out] long since. Hunted out of Ohio, they settled in Missouri, and chased out of Missouri with fire and sword, they have founded a great city in Illinois. If hunted out of that, they will go elsewhere and found a State. Persecution will procure friends for any folly, and the number will be in proportion to the magnitude of the tax upon their credulity. Mahomet converted whole nations, even from Christianity, by addressing them with the incredible. He could have converted many more by addressing them with the absurd.

The history of Mormonism is curious, as evincing the intelligence and impudence of its founder. He knew that a portion of mankind are always in pursuit of wonders in religion and would most [readily] believe the most incredible. He resolved to found a sect by treating mankind as fools, and succeeded wonderfully! He was a native of Tunbridge, in Orange county, in Vermont, and with no other education [than] that of the Common Schools of the State, he supplied deficiencies of learning by cunning, shrewdness, tact, and knowledge of the weak portions of human character. Besides these qualities, he was gifted with boldness, perseverance, and indomitable energy. A clergyman of Ohio, to occupy some hours of leisure, wrote a species of Scriptural romance, in the style of the Bible, representing the wanderings and adventures of a portion of the Jews, and if we remember correctly, of the ten tribes after the fall of the kingdom of Israel. He thought of publishing it, but abandoned this intention under doubts about the consistency of his work with the respect due to the Scriptures. In dying, he requested his wife to destroy it. But as this was not done, either through design or neglect, it fell into the hands of Smith, who found it in a desk which he had purchased among the effects of the deceased author. Smith, a bold and original schemer, saw the uses to which he could apply it, and at once pretended that it was a revelation from Heaven, engraved upon some brass plates, which he found in a cave, that common hall of impostors for discovering revelations. He transcribed it from plates, and wrote and procured the writing of additional books, and offered the whole as a continuation of the Bible, specially revealed to himself, for the purpose of collecting the true saints, the elect, into one community. He called them Latter Day Saints, though we know not in what they are different from the followers of numerous false prophets who have appeared at different times in former days. These books were sustained by special revelation, the common trick of religious impostors, from Mahomet downwards, through Ann Lee, Johanna Southcote, Mathias and all of them; and, therefore whenever Smith wished to gain a point, and to screw up his followers to the necessary degree of fanaticism, he had a special revelation and uttered his will as a decisive command, signified through his own saintship.

Men of sense might say that such absurd and impudent imposture could not thrive, unless under the stimulant of opposition, which is enough to foster anything; and, therefore, that Mormonism, if let alone, would be forgotten and then die. But the world contains two sets of fools, those who believe incredible lies, and those who quarrel with them for such belief; and one set is quite as much impelled by dishonest motives as the other. The people of Missouri, who made war upon the Mormons, were probably impelled by this same spirit of quarrelling with absurdities, and also probably by envy of their property. The same fate has attended them in Illinois, and riot and murder on both sides are the result. Now let the laws be enforced and the guilty punished. The religious part of the quarrel is not worth attention, till rights are trampled upon under religious pretences. Then it is high time for the law to assert its supremacy over all religions and every thing else, and to keep all sects strictly within the pale of their legal rights and duties. Mr. Jefferson spoke everlasting wisdom in saying that his neighbor's belief in one God or twenty neither picked his pocket nor broke his leg, and that error of opinion might be safely [defeated] where reason was left free to combat it.

GOV. FORD AND THE WARSAW COMMITTEE. -- We make a few extracts from the correspondence between the Warsaw Committee and Gov. Ford. It appears in the Quincy Herald of the 6th inst.

"When the laws fail to establish our rights, unless enforced as they recently have been, at the mouth of a cannon, we have no course left but to cast ourselves, boldly and fearlessly, upon our reserved rights, and there stand until we are satisfied that the highest authority of the State will [officially] sustain us in them.

"Should there be a certainty that this can never be done, we are willing to leave a land for which we have sacrificed much, and would cheerfully sacrifice more, and seek a home where we may once more breathe as free men. So we assure you, calmly, cooly and deliberately, that there can be no comprimise between the two parties. It is out of the question, they are greatly our superior in numbers, and we cannot collude in their faith. They must leave or we must leave, and there are now but two questions to solve. Which party shall leave, and in what manner? We believe that matter can be settled through the influence and advice of your Excellency." &c.

Gov. Ford, in reply, is down upon them, and heavy; appearing to think that their communication, both in tone and manner, is rather cool, notwithstanding their warmth of temper. Speaking of the murder of the Smiths, he says:

"What aggravates the transaction, as a matter of personal to myself, is that you betrayed my honor as well as your own, and that of the State; and you selected a time to commit the deed when you believed I was in Nauvoo, in the power of the Mormons, and would probably be murdered by them by way of retaliation." &c.

"Your own conduct has placed me in a painfully suspicious attitude; and I have no hopes that I could now have a more persuasive influence with the Mormons, than I had with the perpetrators of the horrid deed which I sought to prevent. Under these circumstances, I cannot ask the Mormons to confide in me.

"If you mean to request me to exercise a forcible influence to expel them from the State; I answer you as I have uniformly done, that the law is my guide; and that I know of no law authorizing their expulsion." &c.

"You had better not make too loud a call upon your fellow citizens; you may want their aid for defence, and may yet be glad to receive aid for defence, rather than aggression. I know the apprehensions which you entertain of Mormon violence," &c. &c.

Finally, he tells them that he is informed of a design, on their part to attack Nauvoo, and intimates that he doesn't think it would particularly [conduce] to their health to do so. -- St. Louis Missourian.

Elder Adams it is also said, is on his way from Nauvoo, to consult with the Mormon Elders of the Eastern States, as to the propriety of reorganizing the Church.

JOE SMITH'S SUCCESSOR. -- A new Prophet, it is whispered, has been selected -- a Dr. Richards, formerly of Berkshire County, in Massachusetts. He is said to be a man of considerable talent, with a good deal of shrewdness and tact. The announcement will be made in a few days.

Note 1: More often than not, the Ledger editors of the 1840s took the side of the Mormons, rarely bothering to report details of the effects of the latter day practice of "gathering" upon their non-Mormon neighbors. The term "hunted out of Ohio" can only possibly be applicable in the sense that ex-Mormons made it difficult for Joseph Smith and his supporters to remain in full control of Kirtland. The topmost LDS leaders fled of their own accord, in order to escape the long arm of the law, and not the hunting muskets of Buckeye Gentiles. The notion that the Missourians and Hancock county Gentiles persecuted the Mormons due to disagreements over theoretical absurdities (and due to envy), ignores the practical effects of an ever-increasing LDS "gathering" upon any finite tract of land, already inhabited by non-Mormons.

Note 2: The Ledger's copy-writer's retelling Solomon Spalding's activities and intentions is most fanciful. There is no reason to think that Spalding inserted a great deal of overt Christianity into his fictional writings -- and even less reason to think that he was worried about the ideas expressed in his writings conflicting with scripture. The Ledger writer almost certainly invented the tale of Spalding instructing his wife "to destroy" his fiction at the end of his life.


Vol. XVII.                               Philadelphia,  Friday, July 19, 1844.                               No. 99.

NAUVOO MATTERS. -- A correspondent of the Republican, writing from Quincy on the [5th] inst, says nothing new had transpired touching the Mormon dificulties. He says "upon the return of the committee to Warsaw, informing the citizens of Hancock that no assistance whatever could be extended by Gov. Ford, to aid them in expelling the Mormons from that county; the citizens resolved to cease all hostile [activites] and to abandon the county as fast as they could remove therefrom." In [noticing] the Governor's letter, he thinks it "unnecessarily harsh and severe," and adds "its tendency, I fear, will be to exasperate the citizens, and renew the excitement among them, instead of alleviating it and restoring confidence to the community. Gov. Ford, without doubt, feels deeply aggravated at the course pursued by those who put the two Smiths out of existence, still, he could have vindicated his course without adopting the language he has, in condemning those whom he charges with treachery towards him." We do not believe the public will think so. A grosser act of treachery than the murder of the Smiths was never committed and involving, as it did, the Governor in its guilt, could he have been expected to speak otherwise than he did on the subject?

Under date of the 6th instant, the same writer says: "Up to this writing, so far as information has been received by the Governor, every thing remains quiet, both at Nauvoo and Warsaw. Dr. Foster, one of the seceders, reached here last evening, and exhibited [much] apprehension for his safety. He called on the Governor, and stated that while on his way down from Burlington, while the boat laid at Nauvoo, about thirty Mormons came on her in search of him, threatening vengeance against him, and declaring they would take his life, and that to escape their rage he was forced to conceal himself." He subsequently adds: "I learn that the statement of Dr. Foster, as to the Mormons threatening to kill him if they could find him has been confirmed by another passenger on board the boat, whom Ford well knows. Should any attempt of this kind be made, nothing will prevent a bloody and exterminating war. * * *

"Much speculation is abroad as to who will be the successor of the impostor Joe. It is asserted, by those who profess to know, that his oldest son, a youth about twelve years of age, is to be the new ruler, and that a 'revelation' to that effect was left behind by the departed prophet. From what I can gather from the Governor, he by no means feels sanguine, that the difficulties between the citizens and the Mormons are settled. On the contrary, he apprehends another outbreak among them. He is fully prepared for such an emergency, and will, in the event of a renewal of hostilities, march with a force that will soon subject the assailing party."   St. Louis Trans., 10th inst.

Note: The full text for the above news report remains uncertain. The excerpts came from the St. Louis Transcript of July 10, 1844, and a contenporary issue of the Missouri Republican, -- which have not yet been located for transcription.


Alexanderís Express Messenger.

Vol. ?                               Philadelphia,  Wednesday, July 24, 1844.                              No. ?

Correct Likeness of the Celebrated Mormon Prophet, Joe Smith.

This notorious individual has occupied for a time a conspicuous place in the excitements of the day -- his career having been run, and an end put to his future holy proceedings on earth, a great curiosity is manifested to gather some knowledge of the character and appearance of the Man prophet. The likeness which we give is copied from one drawn by a young and promising artist, more than a year ago -- and it is pronounced by several Mormons, who have seen it, a very correct outline of the original. The following is an extract of the letter enclosing it, written from Illinois at the time: --

The letter says:

"Enclosed is a sketch of the famous prophet Joe Smith. It is called a good likeness. My Mormon friends in particular, (who ought to be judges,) pronounc it so, and call on me for copies to send their friends. Singular head for an inspired prophet; not much of the high, intellectual forehead, and "eye in fine frenzy rolling," &c. I took this sketch when he was last here on bail, previous to that trial of which you must have heard the particulars. He was sitting in the lobby of the Senate chamber, leaning over the rail, with his black cane to his mouth, and holding a levee with the honorable Senators, who seemed to pay more attention to him than to their business. At first glance there is nothing striking in his countenance. He is quite a large man, light complexion, hair and eye-brows very light; eyes prominent and blue, a remarkably long nose; and forehead and chin retreating; dresses neatly, but not peculiarly, excepting his high shirt collar and most prodigious white cravat, but on the whole, one would take him to be some stout honest miller, or mechanic retired from business, and would think it most likely that his name was Smith; but when engaged in conversation, (I fancied it, perhaps) his countenance changes very much, becoming very animated, and his bright keen eye shines out with much greater promise of that talent and knowledge of human nature, which he must possess, to be the absolute master of so many thousands of his fellow creatures. Smith, himself, contrasted very favorably in appearance with a body guard of his followers, who always kept about him; all large men, like himself, but with faces in which Mormon was written most legibly; stern, gloomy fanatics, evidently ready at the least beck of their leader to sacrifice life, although it should be their own."

JOE SMITH, THE MORMON. -- The following letter, from a gentleman well known to us and many of our readers, will no doubt prove interesting. From the position of the writer, the facts stated may be relied on with confidence:

Correspondence of the Messenger.

Carthage, (Illinois) June 31st, 1844.          
Messrs. Editors: -- Since I last saw you in the city of Penn, you have been scourged with riots, which resulted in the shedding of blood. We, also, in the county of Hancock, have been for the last three weeks, and still are, in a state of civil war. About two months ago, a number of seceders from the Mormon church, the Laws, the Fosters, the Ivinses, the Higbees, bought a press, and established a paper to defend themselves against the slanders of Joe Smith, and to expose his enormous crimes and iniquities, for the purpose of checking his abuses of civil and political power through the medium of the press. They solicited me to become the editor, to which I consented. We issued one number of the paper, called the Nauvoo Expositor, which excited the wrath of Joe Smith and a number of his followers to such an extent, that they raised a mob and destroyed the printing press and fixtures. Warrants were issued against all concerned for a riot, when they resisted the process, and refused to come to Carthage, where the writ was returnable; where upon the officer called out the power of the county to enforce the law. Application was made to the Governor, who came to this place and called out a large force of the militia of the State to aid in enforcing the laws. Joe Smith organized his army, declared martial law in the holy city, and stood in battle array for some days; but at length got frightened, and surrendered himself, with a number of others, for trial. A hearing was had, and the prisoners bound over to Court for trial. In the meantime, writs were issued against Joseph Smith, and Hiram, his brother, for treason against the State, and before a hearing could be had, they were lodged in jail for safe keeping.

On Thursday last, the Governor, thinking the difficulties were nearly terminated, disbanded nearly all the troops, and he, with a small escort went down to the city of Nauvoo to address the people there. During his absence a mob came out of the timber, rushed upon the jail, disarmed and overpowered the guard, forced the doors, and murdered the Prophet and his brother Hiram, and made their escape. The Carthage people became alarmed, fearing that the Mormons would sally out to wreak vengeance upon them for the murder of their Prophet, evacuated the town, and fled pell mell over the country. Nothing, however, of a serious nature has occurred since the dead bodies have been taken to their friends, and all, so far as we can judge from appearances, indicates quietness and peace. The Mormons have lost their Prophet and Patriarch, and are struck with consternation. Some believed that powder and ball could not kill the Prophet, and now marvel at the extraordinary event -- the people generally deprecate the manner in which it was done, but are still satisfied that they are removed from this world, such was the abiding hatred and prejudice of the people against them, on account of their high-handed and lawless measures, which they were every day carrying into effect. The credit of the State must necessarily suffer; the Governor, no doubt, will be censured by some, but, knowing his course through the whole affair, his endeavors to allay excitement and enforce the laws, no demerit can justly attach itself to him. He has ordered a large body of militia to be in readiness at a moment's warning, to suppress any outbreak by either party. We hope for peace, but know not the sequel.   Yours, &c.

Note 1: The first article says that the sketch was made "a little more than a year since," in the Illinois Senate chamber, while Smith was "on bail," during the course of his January 1843 trial at Springfield. Another version of the introduction, mentions that the sketch had been sent to Boston -- probably for expert engraving. The artist was evidently Mr. Benjamin West of Springfield. The Illinois State Historical Library possesses what may be a subsequent rendition of the same drawing, donated by West's grandson nearly 100 years after it was created. Mr. West says in his letter that he occasionally makes "copies" of his original sketch and there is no way of knowing now where the original may be. One such copy was reversed, embellished, and offered as an engraving in Benjamin G. Ferris' 1854 book, Utah and the Mormons.

Note 2: The description West gives of Smith, at the beginning of 1844, reads much like another portrayal of the prophet's physique, published in the New York Herald of Jan. 18, 1843: "The prophet is a large, portly, and fine looking man, six feet without shoes, looks about forty of forty-two, and weighs 220 pounds, eyes light blue, approaching to grey, light brown hair, peaked nose, large head... dressed in box coat, black, blue dress coat and pants, black silk velvet vest, white cravat, a large gold ring on the finger next to the little one of his left hand, black cane, and wears a continual smile."


Vol. XVII.                           Philadelphia,  Monday, July 29, 1844.                           No. 107.

SMITH'S SUCCESSOR. -- Elder Hardy, President of the Boston Branch of the Mormons, states that no successor will be appointed. Joe had twelve apostles, upon whom devolved his powers and duties. Samuel W. Smith, the oldest living Mormon Smith, Joe's brother, will assume Hiram's office of Patriarch in the church.

MORMONS IN HAMPDEN CO., MASS. -- We notice a published call for a special conference of the "Latter Day Saints," to be holden in the Town Hall, in Westfield, on the 27th and 28th of this month, "at which time the Twelve Apostles may be expected to deliver addresses touching the religious and political destinies of our country and the world." -- Springfield (Mass.) Gaz.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVII.                           Philadelphia, Tuesday,  July 30, 1844.                           No. 108.

The Mormons and their Neighbors.

(see the N. Y. Tribune for article)

ELDER ADAMS, the Mormon, on Thursday evening, entertained a crowded congregation of Bostonians in the Hall of the Suffolk Hotel, with a singular discourse, which was meant for an eulogy on General Joe Smith. After disposing of his eulogy, the Elder went into a history of the settlement of the Mormons at Nauvoo, the circumstances of their government, and the facts connected with the death of the Prophet. He said, very truly, that the city charter of Nauvoo, containing extraordinary powers, which they never ought to have had, was forced upon them by the Legislature of Illinois, in order to secure their votes for the dominant party. The State arms, too, with which they had been furnished, had given them a great deal of trouble, and he wished the politicians had kept their infernal old muskets and other charters to themselves. He (Elder Adams) was in England at the time, and when he heard what had been done for Nauvoo, with extraordinary, and no doubt prophetic foresight, he remarked to a friend that it was all a "snare of the devil."

Note: For more on "Elder Adams," see the Philadelphia Daily Evening Bulletin of Aug. 20, 1867.


Vol. XVII.                          Philadelphia, Wednes., July 31, 1844.                           No. 109.

MORMON MATTERS. -- The Warsaw Signal comes to us overflowing with Mormon matters. A desperate effort to exculpate the murderers of the Prophet and his brother is made. Desperate indeed!

A strict military organization and discipline of the citizens of Warsaw is kept up.

Weapons are said to have been found in the Prophet's cell after his death. Quite probable weapons enough had been carried there by his assassins to accomplish their diabolical deed, and it was easy for some to be left behind -- easier than to explain how a prisoner in close confinement should have retained weapons. -- St. Louis Gazette.

Note: The St. Louis Gazette article adds these lines: "The prisoners were not placed in the cells; they were permitted to occupy a room above, so if there were weapons in the cell, they would not have been of any value to the prisoners had they wanted them, for the cell was not on the same floor as they were."


Vol. XVII.                           Philadelphia,  Friday, August 2, 1844.                           No. 111.

THE MORMON WAR. -- The senior editor of this paper, Mr. Taylor, at the horrible assassination of Joseph and Hyrum Smith in Carthage jail, on the afternoon of the 27th day of June, received three wounds in his left thigh and knee, and one in his left wrist; besides which, a fifth ball spent its force against his watch, in his left vest pocket. This ball, but for the timely interference of this valuable watch, must have caused instant death, as it would have passed directly into his lungs. This watch, though dreadfully shattered, is a friend that points to the very moment, when he stood between life and death, the hands pointing to "5 o'clock, 16 minutes and 26 seconds." Late in the evening of Friday last, we received the following reply from Gov. Ford to the 'Warsaw Committee of Safety.' There could no satisfaction arise to us by publishing the Warsaw communication, and we therefore omit it. We are pleased with the course the Governor takes, and the responsibility he assumes to execute justice according to law. Should he carry his plans through as 'strictly legal,' as he has purposed and promised in this document, his present friends, and those he wins by doing right, may long value the man for his impartiality and correctness. -- Nauvoo (Mormon) Neighbor, July 12.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVII.                           Philadelphia,  Monday, August 5, 1844.                           No. 113.

A SKETCH OF NAUVOO AND ITS PEOPLE. -- An intelligent correspondent of the New York Journal of Commerce, writing from the West, has the following sketch of Nauvoo, the celebrated Mormon town: --

"Leaving Quincy, we passed Keokuck in the night, as also the rapids; the later town being at the foot of them. Early next morning, we reached Nauvoo, the celebrated Mormon town, near the head of the rapids on the Illinois side, two hundred and twelve miles above St. Louis. It is beautifully situated on elevated and rolling ground; part having been a high Prairie, and part timbered land. The site for a town is remarkably well chosen, and is said to contain about 20,000 inhabitants; which, from appearances, I should be led to doubt. They purchased a whole township of land, of six miles square, over which they have extended their corporation jurisdiction. The place is built over an extensive surface up and down the river, in a most straggling and irregular manner, with here and there a good looking house, and the stone temple on a rising hill in a half built state. The mass of 'the Latter Day Saints' seem miserably poor, but industrious. They export little or nothing from their own, but seem to consume, in some way, nearly all they produce. As I remarked before, their greatest evil is their gross ignorance, which has made them dupes of a few designing knaves. The feeling of th common class of Western people towards them is more that of supreme contempt than anything else, on account of their ignorance and superstition. Occasionally a few thievish and bad stragglers fall in among them, for the purpose of stealing and committing depredations under the Mormon cloak. The people who live near, charge all these things upon the whole body of Mormons. Hence their habitual contempt has too often been warmed into feelings of hate and even revenge.

"I went ashore at Nauvoo, and conversed with several of the Mormons. I asked them if Gov. Ford had offered a reward for the apprehension of the murderers of Joseph and Hiram Smith? They said, no; 'that he was too afraid to do so.' I asked them if they knew who the murderers were? They replied 'yes; that they could point out every man to the Governor, if he was disposed to have them arrested. They knew perfectly well who they were.' I asked who they expected would succeed Joseph Smith as chief prophet of the Mormons? They replied in the most simple manner, 'that they expected him to be called by the Lord. It was not the Mormons who made or appointed a prophet or leader, but the Lord, who would send them one, if one came at all.'"

Note: See also New York Journal of Commerce reports from late July, 1844.


Vol. XVII.                           Philadelphia,  Wed., August 7, 1844.                           No. 115.

THE MORMONS. -- The latest dates from Nauvoo represent that good order still reigns at that place. The work on the Temple was continued as previous to the violent death of the Prophet, and no change of note had taken place in the government of the city or church. The Cleveland Herald says: --

"We learn from a source likely to be well informed that the reports in regard to a probable successor to Smith are unfounded, and that the contingency of his death had been provided for by the appointment of the Twelve Elders, on whom the management of the Church of the Latter Day Saints now devolves. The Elders are men of tried faith, and experience, and it is to be anticipated that the interests of the sect will be well cared for, under their administration. Notwithstanding the pretensions of Mormonism and the high-handed acts of Smith and his Council under the extraordinary city charter granted by the Democratic Legislature of Illinois to secure Mormon votes, the brutal murder of the prophet Smith and his brother by a mob has elicited a general feeling of indignation; and instead of dispersing his people or depressing their zeal, we are told by intelligent Mormons that the Illinois outrages have given firmer faith and increased activity to the Latter Day Saints. The proposed Presidential contest by the Mormons has been abandoned."

GONE BACK TO MORMONISM. -- It is said that Foster, the former editor of the Nauvoo Expositor, (the paper that originated the late excitement against the Prophet,) since the death of Joe Smith, declares that he believes Joe to have been a Prophet, and that the Mormon religion, as taught by him, is the only true religion. Foster has property in Nauvoo, which he is prevented from using while out of the fold.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVII.                           Philadelphia, Wed.,  August 14, 1844.                          No. ?


I am continually informed of your preparations and threats to renew the war, and exterminate the Mormons. One might suppose that you ought to rest satisfied with what you have already done. The Mormon leaders if they resisted the law, have submitted to its authority. They have surrendered the public arms; and appeared to be ready to do any thing required, to make atonement for whatever wrong may have been done. Since the assassination of their two principal leaders, under circumstances well calculated to inflame their passions, and drive them to excesses for the purposes of revenge, they have been entirely peaceful and submissive; and have patiently awaited the slow operation of the laws to redress the wrongs of which they complained. There has been no retaliation; no revenge; and for anything I can ascertain, there will be none. Those of your people, who are charged with being the most hostile to them, have lived, if they knew it, in perfect security from illegal violence. I am anxious for a pacification of your difficulties. You cannot drive out or exterminate the Mormons. Such an effort would be madness, and would not be permitted by the people of the State. You cannot be sustained in it either by force or law. You are blinding yourselves to your weakness, and keeping an agitation which must fail of the purpose intended, and recoil with terrible energy upon your heads. I exhort you to reconsider your infatuated resolutions. Try your Mormon neighbors again, and if you cannot dwell together in amity, you may at least refrain from injuring each other. From the moderation of the Mormons, under what they conceive to be the deepest injury, you might well hope that if they ever entertained designs inconsistent with your liberty and happiness, that those designs have been abandoned. They are also interested in preserving the peace. It is not natural to suppose that they, any more than yourselves, wish to live in continual alarm. They hope for quiet, and will be peaceful and submissive in order to enjoy it. But you are continually driving them to desperation by an insane course of threatening and hostility, and depriving yourselves of peace by the same means used to disquiet them.

If I have said any thing severe in this address, I pray you attribute it to my deep conviction that your course is improper and unwarrantable. Such is the opinion of the people at large in the State, and all over the country. From being right in the first instance, you have put yourselves in the wrong, and there are none to sustain you. As men of sense, you are bound to see, if you will open your eyes, you cannot effect your purposes. -- Nevertheless you are still training and drilling, and keeping together, and threatening a renewal of the war. -- I have said to you often that you cannot succeed; by this time you ought to see it for yourselves. -- What can your small force do against two thousand armed men, entrenched in a city, and defending themselves, their wives and children -- Besides, if you are the aggressors, I am determined that all the power of the State shall be used to prevent your success. I can never agree that a set of infatuated and infuriated men shall barbarously attack a peaceful people, who have submitted to all the demands of the law; and when they had full power to do so, refrained from inflicting vengeance upon their enemies. -- You may count on my most determined opposition -- upon the opposition of the law and upon that of every peaceful law-abiding citizen of the country. This is not spoken in anger. God knows, I would do you no injury unless compelled to do so to sustain the laws. But mob violence must be put down. It is threatening the country with anarchy and ruin. It is menacing our fair form of government, and destroying the confidence of the patriot in the institution[s] of his country.

I have been informed that the Mormons about Lima and Macedonia, have been warned to leave the settlements. -- They have a right to remain and enjoy their property. As long as they are good citizens, they shall not be molested, and the sooner those misguided persons withdraw their warning and retrace their steps, the better it will be for them.
                                           THOMAS FORD.
July 25, 1844.

Note: The full content and exact text for the above news report remains uncertain. This on-line article will be updated when more information becomes available.


Vol. XVII.                           Philadelphia,  Tuesday, August 20, 1844.                           No. 126.

EXCITEMENT AMONG THE MORMONS. -- "Joe Smith risen from the dead." A Mormon has arrived in St. Louis, who reports that Joe Smith has risen from the dead, and has been seen at Carthage and in Nauvoo, mounted on a white horse, and with a drawn sword in his hand. He says that as Joe is thus restored to life, every thing will go on prosperously with the Mormons.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVII.                           Philadelphia,  Saturday, August 24, 1844.                           No. 130.

FROM NAUVOO. -- Since Governor Ford's decided course against the outlaws who killed Smith and his brother, and threatened to exterminate the Mormon settlement at Nauvoo, there has been something of a calm, disturbed only occasionally by the mutterings of vengeance from those who have been the aggressors rather than the injured. Whether the Mormons will remain at Nauvoo or go further West, seems yet undetermined. The Mormons generally believe Joe has arisen from the dead -- all things with them are quiet, and they are willing to remain so, provided the people let them alone. Emma, the wife of the fallen prophet, says her people will, as soon as arrangements can be made, emigrate to Oregon, but wish to be protected in the rights of their property, and the murderers of the prophet given up to the civil authorities to be dealt with according to the law. Old Mrs. Smith, the prophet's mother, very aged, has much influence with the people; says she has seen Joe and conversed with him. The Mormons, it is said, generally believe it, though it is difficult to imagine how any but the most ignorant and blinded dupes can be found to credit such absurdity.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVII.                           Philadelphia,  Monday, August 26, 1844.                           No. 131.

MORMON AFFAIRS. -- It appears that the reports of the reappearance of Joe Smith and the appointment of his son as prophet are all false, and originated in a desire to injure the Mormons abroad. Sidney Rigdon had returned to Nauvoo from Pittsburg, and preached to the people on the 4th inst. In consequence of the death of Samuel Smith, Joe's brother, since the murder of the prophet, Sidney Rigdon will be chosen patriarch.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVII.                           Philadelphia,  Thursday, September 5, 1844.                           No. 140.

NEWS FROM NAUVOO. -- Daniel Spenser has been elected Mayor of Nauvoo, pro tem. Geo. Miller and ____ Whitney have been elected Trustees of the Church property, and under their management the Temple is progressing rapidly. Samuel H. Smith, brother of the Prophet, died at Nauvoo about two weeks since. William is now the only surviving brother. Sidney Rigdon, who claimed the leadership of the church, on the ground of his being the only survivor of the first Presidency, and also, on the ground of his having been named by the Prophet, at one time, as his successor, has had his claims rejected by the twelve, who have decided not to have one man for leader, but that the church shall be governed by them collectively. The twelve seem to have no notion of letting one man have all the authority in his own hands, especially as they now hold it themselves.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVII.                           Philadelphia,  Thursday, September 12, 1844.                           No. 146.

GOV. FORD AND THE MORMONS. -- Riot and disorder pervade the land. The Quincy (Ill.) Gazette says, that it is reported upon good authority that Gov. Ford recently wrote the Mormon leaders from Nashville, where he was attending the DEmocratic Convention, that it would be highly impolitic to move in the matter of arresting the men who took the lives of the Smiths, for this reason, that if he called out the militia for the purpose, there would be great reason to fear that they would rush on Nauvoo and cut off the Mormons, as the proper feeling in the State is strongly against them.

ROW AMONG THE "SAINTS." -- The Warsaw Signal says, that one day, week before last, Bishop Geo. Miller, who is Trustee in trust for the Church of Latter Day Saints, got into a quarrel with Elder Lyman Wight, which from words arose to blows. The result was, that the Bishop got a severe drubbing. A man by the name of Woodworth [sic. Weeks?], architect of the Temple, fell aboard of Wight, after the latter had done with Miller, and gave him, in turn, a satisfactory dressing.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVII.                           Philadelphia,  Friday, September 20, 1844.                           No. 153.

THE MORMONS appear to be sticking new "stakes" since the death of the prophet. Some 90 families, containing about 200 persons, have removed to the St. Crous river, under the charge of Mr. White [sic], a leading Mormon. They have settled at a place called the Pinery. At a meeting of Mormons, in the Bear Creek settlement, week before last, they resolved to quit the country. Sidney Rigdon is said to have left for Pittsburg -- and it is added that a large number of the English will soon follow him. Dissensions are said to exist among the Mormon leaders. Mrs. Smith, the widow of Joseph Smith, is accused of withholding the transfer of property belonging to the Church, held in Joe Smith's name. There was a rumor that she had purchased property at Hampton, were Law and the seceders reside.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVII.                           Philadelphia,  Monday, September 23, 1844.                           No. 155.

A VISION AT NAUVOO. -- Though Joe Smith is dead, the gift of prophecy remains with some of his followers, who seem to exercise it as Joe did, for their own advantage. Sidney Rigdon has had a quarrel with the twelve, and they have cut him off from the church. He threatens to come out with an exposition, and professes to have had a vision, in which it was shown him all that would transpire to the winding up scene. He says he has received the keys of David, spoken of in the third chapter of the Revelations, which shutteth and no man openeth, and openeth and no man shutteth. It has been shown to him that the temple will not be finished, and in less than four years there will be blood-shed; about this time the saints will fight the first great battle at Chambersburg, in Pennsylvania; the second in Harrisburg; third, at Philadelphia; fourth, at Baltimore; fifth, at Washington; sixth, at Richmond; seventh, at New York; eighth at Boston; ninth on the Hudson; tenth and last on this continent, at Monmouth, New Jersey, in which they will defeat the forces of Queen Victoria; take the shipping that brought over her army, and pass over in divisions to England, France and Spain, and finally complete the conquest of the world, and fight the battles of Gog and Magog, at Jerusalem, when the Saviour will appear, which will be in about eleven years from this time. Sidney says the keys he holds are above those held by Joseph. He has ordained several prophets, who are not to leave Nauvoo at present, but that a sign will be given them when to leave, so that they may assemble and take command of the army. If they have so grand a warlike job to perform, they had better begin soon. It will take some time to carry out this design of universal conquest.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVIII.                         Philadelphia,  Thursday, September 26, 1844.                        No. 2.

INFAMOUS. -- The people of Illinois are accused of a design to starve out the Mormons, and compel them to leave their city; provisions on their way thither are intercepted, and those having them ill treated. The farners are fearful of their lives being taken they proceed in the direction of Nauvoo with provisions. Within a few days previous to the 14th instant, numerous Mormons have visited St. Louis to provide the necessaries of life. Such persecution of a people, for a difference of religion, is infamously wicked.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVIII.                         Philadelphia,  Mon., September 30, 1844.                        No. 5.

MORMON AFFAIRS. -- Orson Hyde, one of the Mormon leaders, has written a letter denying all the material statements made in the recent letter of Sidney Rigdon. He charges that Rigdon was expelled from the Mormon church for offences entirely different from those alleged in his letter.

Note 1: Just prior to the publication of Rigdon's letter, Elder Orson Hyde wrote the following to the Twelve at Nauvoo: "St. Louis, Sept. 12, 1844.   Dear Brethren, We arrived here yesterday all well. Elder Rigdon said that he never felt happier, but his happiness appeared to me like the blaze from shavings lively and brilliant, but of short duration. I do not think he intends to publish so much as he talked of. "He said here to Bro. Small that to tell the truth, it is not necessary to build the temple" for said he, "if the temple is built the Twelve have no power to administer the endowment." He said to Bro. Small, that Emma came to him on the morning of his leaving and told him that it was her intention to go with him and that the new translation and other important and sacred things, she should deliver up to him. Clapp, a merchant on Main Street came down with us. He appeared to side with Elder Rigdon. He seemed to me to be a snake in the grass. There is no dependence to be placed in him in my opinion. The brethren here appeared all warm for the Twelve. I sent on an appointment by Elder Hollister to Cincinatti for Sunday Week. Next Sunday I preach here. It was a very swift boat on which Elder Hollister went out on, this morning; but Elder Rigdon did not go out on it for the berths were all engaged. He has gone to a very slow boat that will go out this evening or tomorrow. I sent on letters to Pittsburg by Elder Hollister. I preached in town last evening and a very good feeling prevailed. I sent down to the boat and invited Elder Rigdon to attend but he did not leave the boat, was sick with the dioarhea and vomited most of the night, so he told me. I shall leave no stone unturned in doing my duty. May God protect you from the mobs and writs. A man on the 'Osprey' wrote to the Governor in your behalf. I instructed him what to say and he said it. But keep this to yourself. The "Osprey" broke her shaft. This delayed our journey about six hours. All is right at Quincy. They are for the temple, the Twelve and for God. They are all right so far as I can hear from all quarters. I shall write to the 'Prophet,' N. Y. soon. Elder Rigdon told Bro. Small that he had organized the "School of the Prophets" in Nauvoo and left them to carry on the work there and he was going to Pittsburg to carry on the work there. Bro. Small is all right. Elder Rigdon's excommunication from the Church was all over town when we arrived here. The news went by the birds perhaps. However many here were expecting that that would be the result with him. There is [----] tithing here that I shall gather on my return. Closing in haste (more soon)     O. Hyde." (Journal History of the Church, Thursday, Sept. 12, 1844.)

Note 2: In another letter to the Twelve, Orson Hyde reportedly said: " a friend... I indulged the hope that he [i, e., Sidney Rigdon] would see the error into which he had fallen, and erelong retrace his steps... 'be careful how you put pen to paper in this time of your excitement... wait a few months and then see how you will feel'..." [but Rigdon replied that] "his course was marked out before him and that he should pursue it... that he never felt happier. [However, according to Hyde, the man's] "happiness appeared to me like the blaze from shavings -- lively and brilliant, but of short duration..." This quotation is taken from Richard Van Wagoner's 1994 Sidney Rigdon A Portrait of Religious Excess, p. 359. Mr. Van Wagoner cites as the original source, Orson Hyde's Sep. 12, 1844, letter to "Dear Brethren," [i. e., Brigham Young and the Council of 12 Apostles] in the Brigham Young Collection, Box 39, folder 18, at the LDS Church Archives. However, only the final clause is from that source. Van Wagoner prefaces his Sep. 12th quotation with some uncited words actually taken from Hyde's Sep. 17 letter to the St. Louis People's Organ

Note 3: In a subsequent letter (original also in Brigham Young Collection, Box 39, folder 18) Orson Hyde wrote to Brigham Young from St. Louis on Sept. 16th, saying that Rigdon claimed in St. Louis to be "in possession of facts and power [sufficient] to have hurled Joseph from his station long ago." It is doubtful that Rigdon was speaking merely of Mormon secrets regarding polygamy, the Council of Fifty, or recent political intrigues in Illinois. His reference to "long ago" appears to place the "facts" he claimed to possess against Smith among the early days of the Church. Perhaps Rigdon was making a subtle reference to long-held secrets concerning Book of Mormon authorship. On Nov. 16, 1844 the Mormon paper in New York City, The Prophet, reported that Rigdon had denied Mormonism while he was in St. Louis: "while in Missouri, he... pronounced Mormonism to be a delusion."

Note 4: The "Bro. Small" mentioned by Apostle Hyde was
Elder William Small, then the St. Louis Branch President and later an apostle in Rigdon's Pittsburgh church. According to his statements in Rigdon's Pittsburgh Messenger & Advocate, Elder Small conveyed some of Rigdon's words directly to Hyde at this time, only later breaking his last ties with the Twelve in order join Rigdon's group. Elder Small was the first convert of the Philadelphia branch and briefly functioned as the a senior Mormon Elder at Pittsburgh, under Apostle John E. Page. The merchant "Clapp," who accompanied Rigdon to Pittsburgh may have served as a middleman in bringing St. Louis merchant James Jefferies into Rigdon's company while the excommunicated Mormon leader was in the city. Forty years later Jefferies would claim in the pages of the Baltimore Observer that Rigdon had betrayed to him certain Mormon secrets concerning the Solomon Spalding authorship of the Book of Mormon.

Note 5: On page 324 of his 1994 book, Van Wagoner accuses Apostle Orson Hyde of being the Twelve's "de facto agent of disinformation" and of taking "particular pleasure in attacking Rigdon's reputation." According to Van Wagoner, much of the top LDS leaders' portrayal of Rigdon's last years within the Church consisted of highly distorted or downright falsified "disinformation." This pattern of portraying known falsehood as unmitigated truth, in the case of Elder Sidney Rigdon, was apparently merely part of a larger effort by those same leaders to hide the practice of Mormon polygamy and to discredit Rigdon's early exposure of that secret religious practice at Nauvoo.


Vol. XVIII.                            Philadelphia,  Tues., October 1, 1844.                            No. 6.

TRIAL OF SIDNEY RIGDON, AT NAUVOO. -- We have already noticed the fact that Sidney Rigdon had been cut off from fellowship with the Church of Latter Day Saints. The following are the singular proceedings in the case, as reported by the Nauvoo Neighbor.

Trial of Elder Rigdon. -- On Sunday, the 8th instant, Elder Sidney Rigdon was tried for unchristian-like conduct. Fellowship had been previously withdrawn from him by the quorum of the Twelve, and he notified to attend and make his defence on the above day. The oldest bishop of the church, at the head of twelve high priests, according to the doctrine and covenants of said church, acted as the tribunal, while the other quorums in order, and between six and seven thousand members, with the Twelve presiding, patiently investigated the matter for five or six hours. Elder Rigdon and his party held a private meeting in the morning, and sent word to the stand that he should not attend the trial or pay any attention to it.

After the meeting was opened by singing and prayer, Elder Young proceeded to lay the specifications against Elder Rigdon before the church both verbally and written, which plainly exposed a secret plan to divide the church, by false prophecy and false pretences; blessing the church and people while on the stand before them, but secretly cursing the authorities, and the present course of the church, and many other matters derogatory to men of God. Elder Hyde followed as testimony, and fully substantiated the charges, and made some very excellent remarks, quoting the trial of the two women for the child before King Solomon, wherein Rigdon said divide the child; but the "Twelve," like the true mother, exclaimed don't divide the child -- let it live.

He was followed by Elder P. P. Pratt as testimony, confirmatory of the same facts, and adding some new items. He was very pointed and plain giving a detailed account of Elder Rigdon's course since he came from Pittsburg and before, having known him before he was a Mormon. Elder Amasa Lyman supported the previous witnesses and gave some new items, and closed by saying that Sidney Rigdon has prophesied falsely in Kirtland, in 1832, lost his license, and was suspended three months.

Elder Phelps made a few remarks, and read a revelation concerning Sidney Rigdon, given in 1833, in which it seems he was "to bow down under the yoke like unto an ass that croucheth under his burthen, but would yet rejoice on account of him that putteth forth his hand and lifteth him up out of deep mire," &c.

Elder Kimball continued the testimony, setting his face against Sidney Rigdon's iniquity and false revelations declaring them on a par with Gladden Bishop's, adding that Joseph Smith shook him off last fall, but through the mercy of brother Hyrum, the saints agreed to try him a spell longer.

Elder Young again proceeded and summed up the testimony and refered the matter to the council.

Elder Marks rose and said he felt it his duty to speak in favor of Elder Rigdon; he was patiently listened to some time, but he produced nothing to prove him clear of the charges or show his innocence.

Elder Young replied with great force and spirit.

Elder Taylor (the editor of this paper) laid the matter open in a masterly manner, and was listened to with great attention. After a few remarks from some others, Bishop Whitney, in a very candid manner, gave his decision that Elder Sidney Rigdon be cut off from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, and the twelve high priests sanctioned the decision by an unanimous vote. The congregation also (excepting some few whom Sidney had ordained to be prophets, priests, and kings among the Gentiles,) sanctioned these proceedings by a unanimous vote.

Fellowship was then withdrawn from his followers, especially Samuel James, Jared Carter, Samuel Bennett, Leonard Soby, George Morey, Joseph H. Newton, and John A. Forgeous, were cut off from the church.

Elder Marks was called upon for his views, &c., and he said he was willing to go by the decision of the church.

Note: The prominent role played by Bishop N. K. Whitney, along with elders Pratt and Hyde, in these proceedings indicates the sentiment among the Mormon leaders -- that Rigdon's apostasy had begun long before his reaction to the tragic events of 1844. All three men were faithful early Rigdonites, prior to their becoming Mormons. If men such as these early associates of his could truthfully testify to Sidney Rigdon's religious perfidy, then Rigdon must have demonstrated substantial moral flaws throughout his ten year career as the second highest leader of the LDS Church. This sobering thought does little to reinforce certain LDS claims, alleging that Rigdon was fully honest and sincere in his 1830 profession of a wonderful spiritual experience, leading to conversion and baptism into the Mormon movement -- let alone to his claim that of knowing nothing of Joseph Smith, the "golden plates," or the "Mormonites," prior to that 1830 conversion.


Vol. XVIII.                            Philadelphia,  Fri., October 11, 1844.                            No. 15.

LATEST FROM NAUVOO. -- The St. Louis Democrat gives a notice of the movements of Gov. Ford's army. "BY the Monina, which arrived this morning, we have the latest intelligence from Gov. Ford's army. Gov. Ford, with the principal portion of his forces, was encamped on the outskirts of Nauvoo. The Quincy Volunteers had arrived. Every effort was made to ascertain the Governor's next movement, but without success. Some of the compabies had been at Nauvoo two or three days. All was quiet at Warsaw. Sharp, Williams, and a portion of Joe Smith's guard at Carthage, had taken up their quarters at Churchville, on the Missouri side of the river.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVIII.                           Philadelphia,  Wed., October 16, 1844.                          No. 19.

THE WARSAW WAR. -- The recent expedition of Gov. Ford against the Anti-Mormons has accomplished its object and the troops have been withdrawn. On the approach of the Governor's forces, several citizens of Warsaw went over the Mississippi to Churchville, Missouri, where they entrenched themselves in an encampment, as they were apprehensive that warrants were out for several of them, in suspicion of having participated in the Carthage murder.

The Governor despatched a messenger with a flag of truce, offering a compromise. The conditions were, that if Mr. Sharp, an editor from Warsaw, and a Col. Williams would surrender, they should be protected, not sent to Nauvoo, or tried in Hancock county; and that Jackson, for whom there was a warrant, might remain where he was, inasmuch as he was too ill to be removed. These conditions were accepted on the part of the belligerents. They therefore recrossed the river, and voluntarily surrendered; which concluded the armistice, and ended the war for the present. The Governor had in the mean time secured all the State arms in and about Warsaw, and the army was disbanded. These arrests and trials were thought essential by the Executive, to atone in some measure for the betrayal of the plighted faith of the State in the massacre of the two Smiths at Carthage.

MRS. JOE SMITH. -- Grand Desogn of the Prophet. -- A correspondent at Alton, after stating that the recent murder of Joe Smith had been followed by a dispersion of his adherents, gives the following interesting items: --

"Mrs. Joe Smith, it is said, has lost all confidence (if she ever had any) in the Mormon faith. She will soon retire to some secure situation, undoubtedly the richest lady in the West. Joe had been amassing money for several years, for the purpose of eventually going to Jerusalem, intending to issue a proclamation calling in the Jews, over whom he was to be head till the return of Christ upon the earth, which event, he believed, would take place 45 years from 1844. With reference to this expedition, he was crowned 'King of Israel' in 1844, by the Council of Fifty, denominated the 'Ancient of days.' The fifty were all sworn to secrecy. I had the fact from one who had assisted at the coronation -- divulged since Joe's death. This was the prophet's grand design; and had it been generally known, would, perhaps have saved our State from the disgrace and infamy of perpetrating so foul a murder." This fact affords a key to certain movements of the prophet, which are otherwise wholly inexplicable. -- New Bedford Bulletin.

Note 1: A similar reprint of the New Bedford Bulletin report may be read in the Portland, Maine Christian Mirror of Oct. 24, 1844. This is rare and unusual early exposure of the LDS secret Council of Fifty at Nauvoo and of their corronation of Joseph Smith, Jr., not only 'King of Israel' but also king of the entire planet. For the official LDS reaction, see the Nauvoo Neighbor of Jan. 1, 1845, whose editor implicitly admitted to Governor Ford's allegation, that Joseph Smith had been "crowned and anointed king." Since Ford did not state the full title of "King of Israel," the Neighbor editor took no pains to supply the whole truth of the matter -- instead, he made some vague comparisons of Joseph and Hyrum to Jesus Christ and resorted to an indefinite reliance upon "the precepts of religion according to the bible," in order to obscure the issue entirely.

Note 2: The assertion regarding Smith's plan to eventually travel in person to Jerusalem seems suspect -- see a similar report in the Putney Perfectionist of Nov. 2, 1844.


Vol. XVIII.                           Philadelphia,  Fri., October 18, 1844.                          No. 21.

MORMONS IN SCOTLAND. -- Mormonism has made considerable progress in Scotland. At a meeting of the faithful in Glasgow last month some 500 were present, all in mourning, for the prophet, Joe Smith. The Scotch Mormon Conference embraces thirteen churches.

THE MOTHER OF JOE SMITH . -- A man is more indebted, it is said, to his mother than to his father, and whenever an individual arises to distinction, it becomes an interesting question to know who and what his mother was. An exchange paper furnishes us with the following account of the mother of Joe Smith.

Mrs. Joseph Smith, senior, mother of Joe, was born in Montague, Mass., is 63 years old, and her maiden name was Lucy Mack. Her father kept, for several years, the tavern in Montague, known afterwards as the "Gunn Tavern," and afterwards kept public house in Keene, N. H.

Note 1: The above excerpt was taken from a much longer article, published in the Oct. 14, 1844 issue of the Springfield Daily Evening Republican. See also a full reprint in the Nauvoo Neighbor of Nov. 13, 1844 and another excerpt the Wellsborough Tioga Eagle of Oct. 30, 1844.

Note 2: Luck Mack Smith's parents moved to Montague, Franklin Co., Massachusetts, in 1779, when she was about four years old. Gunn's Tavern was established in about 1726, south of town near the intersection of Sunderland Road and N. Leverett Road. The previous tavern-keeeper, before the Solomon Mack family arrived, appears to have been Eliphalet Allis. Lucy's sister Lovisa died in a Montague tavern -- see Mack's 1811 Narrative, page 44 and Anderson's Lucy's Book, page 245, note 31.


Vol. XVIII.                           Philadelphia,  Fri., October 25, 1844.                          No. 27.


The Illinois State Register of the 11th inst. contains some startling developments and assertions of the Anti-Mormon party in that State. If true, they show the necessity of the prompt and vigorous measures which Governor Ford recently resorted to, and for which the Anti-Mormon papers foully abused him. The following is the paragraph allued to in the Register:

We learn that the most satisfactory proof can be produced whenever it should become necessary, of the Anti-Mormon party of Hancock to raise a civil war there, and subvert the course of justice by intimidating, overawing, and dictating to the Circuit Court there, or driving it out of the country.

When that party heard of the approach of the troops, the leaders assembled at Warsaw, and agreed to put off their wolf hunt until the 1st of November; and it was the boast of some of them, that they would keep the Governor trotting over to Hancock once a month, to put down their traitorous proceedings.

It is not true that the accused voluntarily surrendered upon being informed that they should not bo required to go to Nauvoo. They well understood, when they fled to Missouri, that they were required to go to Quincy. And they came in rather than to be harassed by a proclamation for reward, and to avoid the prejudice which their running away was calculated to produce against them.

We understand, upon good authority that it will be proved on their trials, that a part of their plan in killing the Smiths was to have the Governor murdered in Nauvoo by the Mormons; they supposing that the Governor had some hand in the business. This expected murder of the Governor, the assassins anticipated would raise a great multitude against the Mormons, and would lead to their expulsion. A plan more devilish, treacherous, cowardly and malignant, could not have been concocted.

Notwithstanding this plan to have the Governor murdered, these same treacherous scoundrels, about the middle of August last, procured George T. M. Davis, Mayor of Alton, to write the Governor a letter, informing him distinctly, that if he encouraged prosecutions against the assassins, they intended to implicate him as a particeps criminis. This information we got from the Governor himself. We further learn from him that he offered himself to submit to the law, if any person had any accusation to make. He told the people of Hancock that he would take no advantage of the force he had with him; nor would he run away to Missouri to avoid the inquiry.

Note: See the Sangamo Journal of Oct. 24, 1844 for an opposing view: the Register was still generally supporting the Mormons during this period in Illinois political history.


The Spirit of [ ] the Times.

Vol. ?                               Philadelphia,  Friday, November 1, 1844.                               No. ?

Mormonism -- Spiritual Wives. -- George J. Adams, a leading Mormon of the Joe Smith School, has brought an action of slander, in the District Court of this city, against Benjamin Winchester, who is also a leading and conspicuous Mormon lecturer, and who regards the spiritual wife system, as he alleges Adams inculcates and practices, contrary to the laws of God and the country, and destructive of peace and harmony in the church and good will towards men. This cause will be one of much interest, and produce much excitement among the Mormons; at the same time that it will expose to the world the base practice of a certain class of this sect. Adams has employed as his counsel, David Paul Brown, Esq., Winchester has employed Col. Robert M. Lee.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVIII.                           Philadelphia,  Fri., November 15, 1844.                          No. 45.

MORMON DIFFICULTIES. -- The late grand jury of Hancock county, Illinois, assembled at Carthage, found indictments, for the murder of Joseph and Hiram Smith, against Sharp, Williams and ten others, making in all twelve indictments.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVIII.                           Philadelphia,  Monday, December 23, 1844.                          No. ?

MORMON MISSIONARIES. -- Two of the "Twelve" who constitute the head of the Mormon church since the death of the Smiths, are on their way to visit some of the eastern branches of the church, where Rigdon or seceding doctrines are said to be getting too strong a hold.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVIII.                           Philadelphia,  Saturday, December 28, 1844.                          No. ?

THE MORMON CHARTER. -- A bill has been introduced into the Illinois House of Representatives, repealing unconditionally the whole of the Mormon charters, and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary by a vote of 108 yeas to 4 nays, two of the four voting in the negative were Mormon representatives. The Springfield correspondent of the St. Louis Republican expresses the opinion that the charters will be repealed.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVIII.                           Philadelphia,  Tuesday, December 31, 1844.                          No. ?

Gen. Deming, the Sheriff of Hancock, in his recent official visit to Warsaw, had his horse shaven and shorn of its mane and tail during the night of his visit.

The Nauvoo Times and Seasons gives official notice that Elder Parley P. Pratt has been appointed by the Council of Twelve to go to the city of New York, to take charge of the press in that city, to regulate and counsel the emigrants that may come that way from Europe, and to take the Presidency of all the Eastern Mormon churches.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVIII.                           Philadelphia,  Wednesday, January 8, 1845.                          No. 90.

MORMON AFFAIRS. -- The Governor of Illinois has sent a special message to the Legislature relative to the recent "Mormon Difficulties." It is a long document, and gives a complete history of the occurrence which led to the death of Joe Smith. The Governor takes ground against the repeal of the charter of the city of Nauvoo, but is in favor of modifications. Notwithstanding this, it is suposed that the charter will be repealed -- the bill to that effect having unanimously passed the Senate on the 19th ult.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVIII.                           Philadelphia,  Friday, January 10, 1845.                          No. 92.


The Mormon authorities recently issued a writ for the arrest of the Hon. J. C. Davis, a member of the Hancock Circuit Court, charging him and nine others with the murder of Joe and Hiram Smith. A Mr. Deming, the Mormon sheriff of Hancock county, served the writ upon Mr. Davis at Springfield, on the 24th ult. He endeavored to get Mr. Davis to give bail, but the latter refused. He was willing to be taken to Carthage, but not to the city of Mormons. Deming then told him to consider himself under arrest. Thereupon the Illinois Senate appointed a committee of three to inquire into the circumstances of the case and make a report. The committee, consisting of three lawyers of high character, required the parties to appear before them, and, after a full examination, reported to the Senate. The Senate unanimously adopted an order that Deming, the sheriff, must release Davis from imprisonment. Deming, on receiving the order, at first told Davis that he was discharged; then he concluded to detain him and consider longer of the matter, but at length he discharged him.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVIII.                             Philadelphia,  Tues., January 23, 1845.                             No. 103.

JOE SMITH. -- An account of the death of the Mormon Prophet has lately been published by a man named Daniels, who gives this remarkable account: "When the life of the Prophet was being taken, taken, a light so strong, so bright, blazed between him and the corpse, that he and the four men who shot him were struck with terror and consternation. Their muskets fell from their hands, and they stood like marble, not having the power to move a single limb. This light was something like a flash of lightning, and was so much brighter than the day that, after it had passed, it left a slight darkness like twilight."

Note: This report is supposed to be an excerpt from page 32 of William M. Daniels' 1844 booklet, A Correct Account of the Murder of Generals Joseph and Hyrum Smith, at Carthage. Page 15 of the 1845 edition (published by John Taylor), provides this version: "The ruffian... raised the knife and was in the attitude of striking, when a light, so sudden and powerful, burst from the heavens upon the bloody scene, (passing its vivid chain between Joseph and his murderers,) that they were struck with terrified awe and filled with consternation. This light, in its appearance and potency, baffles all powers of description." This essentially the same Daniels' story as Taylor published in his Nauvoo Neighbor on May 14, 1845. No copies of the 1844 edition appear to now be extant.


Vol. XVII.                             Philadelphia,  Tues., February 11, 1845.                             No. 119.

ONE HUNDRED MORMONS SHOT. -- The Western Illinois and Iowa papers, of the 14th January, bring reports that a party of Mormons who recently left Nauvoo for the purpose of settling in the "Pinery," (high up the Mississippi river,) have all been murdered! Having got into a dispute with a French trading establishment, about the price of some provisions, which they thought exorbitant, they unceremoniously helped themselves to whatever they wanted, which so exasperated the Frenchmen, that they called in the aid of the Indians, and massacred 100 of the Mormon party, amounting in all to 300 or 400. The Green Bay Republican gives the same report.

MORMONISM. -- Elder Sidney Rigdon, who until lately attached to the Mormon Church, is publishing a magazine at Pittsburgh, exposing what he calls the corruption and licentiousness among that sect and their encouragement of polygamy or the spiritual wife system. Mr. Rigdon says: --
"Among the churches we visited was a great deal of excitement; many of the principle members had either withdrawn from the church or had been cut off, and of this number were the presiding elders of the church of Philadelphia, New York, Boston, New Egypt, N. J. and Woodstown, N. J. On inquiring into the cause of the difficulties, in every instance, it was the spiritual wife system which had caused the separation, and exclusion. The course pursued by the advocates of this system, which were the traveling elders, were, that as soon as a man became dissatisfied with the teachings of these believers in polygamy, and was bold enough to express his dissatisfaction, calling it incestuous and adulterous, he or she was immediately arraigned before the church and charged with disobedience to the authorities; and with slandering the heads of the Church; an awful appeal was made to the members of the Church, at the time of the trial, and every one who dare vote in favor of the person charged, was threatened with immediate expulsion from the church by these tyrants, and thus intimidated, and compelled to obey the mandate of their masters. A notable instance of this was related to me while in Boston, old elder Nickerson, a man who was highly esteemed in Boston, and the father of the church there; when this system, of a plurality of wives, first made its appearance there, rose up against it, as every man of virtue would, and was so deeply affected with it, that he wept over the corruption that was creeping into the church, and declared his intention and determination, to lift his voice against it; this was no sooner known, than he was besieged by two of the so-called authorities, and threatened with exclusion, if he dare give testimony against those whom he had declared he knew were guilty of great improprieties, such as called for the interference of every virtuous man; and the old gentleman was so intimidated by their threats, he shrunk from his duty, and instead of discharging it, with a manly boldness, actually lifted his hand in favor of those whose conduct he had previously deprecated in the strongest terms. Every effort of this kind was made, that the most corrupt could invent, to conceal this system, without their having knowledge of it, till they were informed by some runner sent for the purpose, that at such a meeting they had been cut off from the Church.

Every one who was known to be opposed to this system, if he or she could not be won over; or made to succumb by threats, were excluded, and their characters assailed in a most outrageous manner in order to destroy their influence, that their testimony might not be believed. By such extraordinary means did the advocates of this system attempt to sustain themselves; but it was all in vain, for concealment was no longer possible, the truth has been made manifest, as Paul said it should, so that the world now knows, that every person, male or female, who adheres to these leaders, do it because they are in favor of the system of a plurality of wives, and for this cause they are found numbered with them. Ignorance can no longer be plead.

A state of things of the above character, must of necessity, produce a confusion and excitement, in a greater or less degree; and such we found through the whole of our journey.

After we left this city, we made no stop until we reached Philadelphia; there we found a separation had taken place in the church, caused as above; a church was organized, to which we delivered a short course of lectures and then proceeded to New York, found the same causes had produced the same effects there; we delivered a course of lectures there, and formed a church, and then proceeded to Boston, and there formed another church. From thence we returned by way of New York, and passed into New Jersey, and formed two churches; returned to Philadelphia and lectured again to the church there, and from thence came home."

Note: For those early monogamous Mormons, who believed that polygamy was an invention of Brigham Young, the disclosures of Sidney Rigdon on the subject must have been troublesome. He did not immediately link that secret doctrine to Joseph and Hyrum Smith -- but eventually Rigdon's assertions regarding the practice converged with his published condemnation of Joseph as a fallen prophet. It was obvious, even to the staunchest "Reorganite," of the 1850s, that Rigdon had been speaking about a Nauvoo doctrine condoned by the Smiths, and not about an innovation Brigham Young introduced in Utah.


Vol. XVIII.                             Philadelphia,  Tuesday, February 25, 1845.                             No. ?

MORE TROUBLE AT NAUVOO. -- The St. Louis New Era of the 14th inst. mentions some more excitement, arising out of the arrest at Nauvoo of the constable of Hancock county, who is now held in custody by the authorities of that place. A writ was issued for him -- the Legion was paraded, and his jailors have expressed their determination to hold on to him at all hazards. The news of his arrest created quite a stir among the people of Warsaw. He is charged with being concerned in the murder of the Smiths.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVIII.                             Philadelphia,  Wed., March 26, 1845.                             No. 156.

THE MORMONS. -- A Western paper gives the following account of the Mormons:

"Although the Legislature of the State of Illinois has repealed the city charter of Nauvoo, yet they are proceeding to execute its provisions just as if it had not been repealed, and express their determination to disregard and set at defiance the law of the State. Our last accounts make it quite probable that further serious difficulties will occur in Hancock county, in the immediate vicinity of the Mormon settlements; at least considerable apprehension exists among the inhabitants, arising from certain overt acts within a few days past by the men who seek to lead this sect. Anindividual named Elliott, was arrested lately as one concerned in the murder of the Smiths, but he escaped from custody. It is supposed that Elliott is innocent, and that the Mormon who swore against him committed perjury. This Mormon was arrested, but his brethren rescued him from the hands of the sheriff and set him at liberty. Another Mormon was taken on a requisition from the Governor of Iowa. He, too, was rescued. These cases have created bad feelings, as might be expected."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                             Philadelphia,  Tuesday, April 8, 1845.                             No. ?

THE MORMONS. -- The Warsaw Signal states that most of the friends of Rigdon, who still remain in Nauvoo, have been despoiled of their property, and live in constant fear of their lives. One of these, Elder Marks, a man of wealth, fled from that city last week in the night.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XIX.                             Philadelphia,  Tues., May 13, 1845.                             No. 43.

FANATICISM. -- As the extremes of fanaticism are laughed at even by those who are disposed to practise it in a milder form, we know of no better mode of preventing its growth than by an exposition of the worst character it can assume. Mormonism seems to embody about as much undiluted fanaticism as any sect ever had, be it ancient or modern, pagan of Christian. As a specimen of the latest spitit and action of this humbug, we take the following. It is a note of the proceedings of the Mormons at Pittsburg, under the guidance of Elder Sidney Rigdon, who seceded from the main body of converts at Nauvoo. The statement is strictly authentic, being taken from a Mormon paper published at Pittsburg.

"Conference met persuant to adjournment, and was called to order by Austin Cowles. The first presidency of the high quorum entered and took their seats. President Rigdon arose and read hymn on page 104. 'Arise, arise, with joy survey,' which was sung by the Conference. After which, President Rigdon said -- Since the commencement of this Conference, I have had one unceasing desire, deep and intense, that was, to have the matter forever put at rest, whether God would accept our work. The spirit whispered to me this morning, to set apart some brethren, and consecrate them to God, in a room in my house, which I did; (which was the reason I was not with you this morning,) and after the washing and anointing, and the Patriarchial seal, as the Lord has directed me, we kneeled, and in solemn prayer we asked God to accept the work we had done. During the time of prayer, there appeared over our heads, in the room, a ray of light, forming a hollow square, inside of which stood a company of heavenly messengers, each with a banner in his hand, with their eyes looking downward upon us, their countenances expressive of the deep interest they felt in what was then passing on the earth; there also appeared heavenly messengers on horseback, with crowns upon their heads, and plumes floating in the air, dressed in glorious attire, until, like Elisha, we cried in our hearts, 'the chariots of Israel, and the horsemen thereof.' Even my little son of four [sic - fourteen?] years of age saw the vision, and gazed with great astonishment, saying, that he thought his imagination was running away with him; after which we arose and lifted our hands to heaven in holy convocation to God; at which time, it was shown an angel in heaven, registering the acceptance of our work, and the decree of the Great God, that the kingdom is ours, and we shall prevail; my anxieties, therefore, in relation to our work in organizing the kingdom, and the acceptance of that organization, by our heavenly Father, is now forever at rest.

Elder Wm. E. McLellin then arose and bore testimony to the manifestations of the power of God in the heavenly vision. He then gave the substance of a revelation given in the morning relative to the opening ceremony of the consecration; after which he kneeled and dedicated the conference by prayer. He then arose, and said, brethren, I wish to say some things to you which will benefit you on the present occasion. He set forth in a clear manner, the principles which constitute the fullness of human happiness, giving much important instruction in relation to it.

President Rigdon then proceeded to ordain Hiram Falk and Curtis Hodges to the office of High Priests; after which several bottles of oil were presented and consecrated to the Lord."

A NEW SPECIES OF LYNCHING. -- The Mormons have introduced a new species of lynch law, less barbarous than the hanging and shooting process prevailing in some parts of the extreme West, and not quite so disgusting as tarring and feathering. When they wish to drive an obnoxious person from among them, they whistle, and whittle him out. Finding that the natural way of whistling by puckering the lips was rather tiresome and not sufficiently annoying, they have procured tin whistles for the purpose of serenading all who happen to be so unfortunate as to have given offence to the holy brotherhood. On a recent occasion they surrounded one Green, and compelled him, with all kinds of whistling, whittling and yelling, to leave the place.

Note: For some local comments on the above report, see the Pittsburgh Gazette of May 7, 1845.


Vol. XIX.                             Philadelphia,  Tuesday, May 27, 1845.                             No. 55.

THE MORMONS. -- According to a paragraph in the Springfield (Ill.) Journal, of the 15th instant, the Mormons in different parts of the West are generally moving to their city of Nauvoo, carrying with them all the arms they can obtain. New mischuefs are supposed to be brewing.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XIX.                             Philadelphia,  Tuesday, June 10, 1845.                             No. 67.

MORMONS IN THE PACIFIC. -- The last Nauvoo Neighbor says, "Elder Pratt, our Missionary at Tooboui, one of the Society group, has forwarded several letters to this city, under date of Sept. 17, 1844. Although not latest dates from that quarter, yet they contain much interesting matter, which will hereafter appear in its place. The Mission flourishes beyond our most sanguine expectations."

Note 1: At Nauvoo, Elder Addison Pratt inormed Joseph Smith that he had been a whaler and had visited the Hawaiian islands. He told Smith that he believed the natives would be interested in the Book of Mormon, and soon after was called with three other missionaries to go on a Latter-day Saint mission to the Pacific. Pratt ended up in the Society Islands, a place that he returned to three different times.

Note 2: Addison Pratt's wife Louisa shared a family connection with the infamous Mormon apostate, D. P. Hurlbut. See entries in the "Journal of Louisa Barnes Pratt," information on Anna Barnes Harmon, and notes regarding Huldah Barnes Kimball.


The United States Gazette.

Vol. 63.                           Philadelphia,  Wednesday, July 9, 1845.                           No. 15,436.

TROUBLE IN THE HOLY CITY. -- It is rumored that Bill Smith is making trouble for the Twelve, at Nauvoo, and will either compel them to surrender their power and submit to him, or he will throw himself in open rebellion. In consequence of the sickness and death of his wife, Smith has been comparatively quiet since his arrival in the city; but there have been many points in which he has disagreed with the heads of the church, which has led to coldness if not hostility. When Smith was on his way to the city, he openly declared that the Twelve should reinstate Elder Brannan, the Editor of the New York Prophet, who had been recently disfellowshipped, and said that if they were not willing he would compel them. By the last Neighbor, we perceive that he has succeeded, for Brigham Young has issued a circular announcing the fact that Brannan is restored; but it is done with evident reluctance. It is gossiped about that Smith will, in a decent time, marry Emma, widow of his brother, the Prophet. She is known to be hostile to the Twelve and will lend her influence for their overthrow. If this union is effected, we shall look for a complete revolution in the Holy City during the course of the summer. We do not know that such a change would, at all, alleviate the condition of the old settlers, but Bill Smith has some virtues which will render him less objectionable than the present rulers. He is generous, liberal and candid. -- Warsaw Signal, June 11.

Note: The Gazette left out part of the Signal editor's final sentence: "...but at the same time, one of the most licentious men in the nation."


The United States Gazette.

Vol. 63.                           Philadelphia,  Thursday, July 24, 1845.                           No. 15,449.


Wm. Backenstos, late Sheriff of Hancock County, has got into trouble with the Saints, and has been invited to leave Nauvoo. Brigham Young is said to have charged him, upon the stand, a few Sundays ago, with endeavoring to make a speculation out of the Church; with having endeavored to induce Emma Smith, widow of the prophet, to leave the city and expose the Saints; with being a correspondent of the Warsaw Signal; and with seducing Mormon women. Young mentioned no names, but it was distinctly understood that he was speaking of Wm. Backenstos, and said of the person "he guessed he'd leave before a week passed." Backenstos refuses to leave.

Wm. Smith was married a few days since, his wife having been dead eighteen days

The murder of Hodges at Nauvoo, is still involved in mystery. It is said that Hodges disclosed the author of the deed, which has been kept a secret.

The Signal says this crime has been charged by the Young party upon the [William] Smithites, and these last lay it at the door of the Youngites. The murder is unquestionably connected with some ruffianly combination in Nauvoo -- who were apprehensive that Hodges would make disclosures which might not result so comfortably to them.

We stated in a postscript last week, that the case of the State vs. certain persons charged with the murder of Hyrum Smith, was dismissed, at the late special court in Hancock. This was done on the ground that no one appeared to prosecute the case.

A late Nauvoo Neighbor contains a long article, designed to prove that the office of Patriarch, which Smith assumed, as being the sole survivor of his family, is of no account after all; that there are hundreds, perhaps thousands in the church who have equal power to give the patriarchal blessing. It is evident from the whole article, that its design is to strip Smith of all power and influence. The belief seemed to exist, that although Smith has a strong hold upon the affections and confidence of the Mornons and could, if he chose, bring about a new order of things in the Church, -- he will submit to the tyranny exercised over him, and take the place among the Mormons which shall be assigned to him by Brigham Young. -- Springfield (Ill.) Jour.

Note: It was not unreasonable for Sheriff J. B. Backenstos to advise Emma Hale Smith to leave Nauvoo -- the place was becoming unsafe and she eventually followed that advice. William (John Wilhelm) Backenstos, brother of J. B. Backenstos, married Clara Marilla Wasson (1823-1905) on Oct. 3, 1843 at Nauvoo, with Joseph Smith, Jr. officiating. Clara was the daughter of Benjamin Wasson (or Wassen) and Elizabeth Hale, the sister of Emma Hale Smith. Clara was evidently a member of the Church at Nauvoo. Her brother, Lorenzo D. Wasson (1818-1857) was also a member. All of these persons, with the exception of J. B. Backenstos, were very likely connected with William Smith's splinter group, in Lee Co., Illinois, during the early 1850s. John B. Wasson, a cousin of Clara and Lorenzo was baptized a member of the RLDS Church, in San Francisco, in 1884.


The United States Gazette.

Vol. 63.                           Philadelphia,  Wednesday, September 24, 1845.                           No. ?


This monster work in the far West is progressing and excites the wonder of all who look at it. Is it intended as a place of worship? It is said not. The people are to assemble without to worship; the saints alone are to enter within the "holy of holies." The Warsaw Signal insists upon it that the Temple has another object. It says: "The Temple, in reality, however, is designed, in our opinion, for fortification. It has regular port holes, in the shape of round windows, in the second story, and is in every respect well situated for a fortification. The wall enclosing five or six acres around the building, is about four feet thick, which can be intended for no other purpose than defence. The idea of its being intended merely as the foundation of an ornamental railing, as pretended by the Saints, is preposterous."

Notes: (forthcoming)


The  Pennsylvanian.

Vol. XXVI.                           Philadelphia,  Wednesday, October 1, 1845.                           No. ?


From the Quincy Morning Courier of the 18th inst. we clip the following: About three o'clock on Wednesday, a mob of about fifteen men, who were engaged in burning the house of Mr. Lovelace, on Bear Creek, three miles from Nolton's settlement, were ordered to surrender by Sheriff Backenstos; they refused to comply, and immediately made off. The Sheriff ordered his posse to fire on them, and it is reported that two men were killed and two wounded by the discharge. The St. Louis New Era has the following: We learn that, on Tuesday, two anti-Mormon companies, commanded by Williams and Miller, were encamped about eight miles from Warsaw, and had determined to visit that town next day. In consequence, however, of the determined action of Sheriff Backenstos, they had crossed to the other side of the river. The work of destruction had ceased--temporarily at least.

Note: The above text is a partly paraphrased transcript. The full text will be posted when it becomes available.


The North American

Vol. 7.                             Philadelphia,  Friday, October 3, 1845.                             No. 2028.

Correspondence of the St. Louis Republican,

(see original article from Missouri paper)

Note: The Philadelphia The United States Gazette carried the same letter reprint on Oct. 3rd.


The United States Gazette.

Vol. 63.                       Philadelphia,  Friday, October 3, 1845.                       No. 15,510.

Correspondence of the Saint Louis Republican.


Warsaw, Saturday Evening, }          
9 o'clock Sept. 20, 1845. }          
According to promise, I hasten to lay before you all that has transpired since you left Hancock, last evening. You will recollect that at the time the Sheriff, with his "Mormon possee," had encamped some twelve miles from this place, and sent an express for those who had been engaged in the late disturbances to surrender themselves, together with the State arms. That proposition, of course, was rejected, and the Sheriff was left to take his own course. After despatching his messengers to Warsaw, he started for Carthage, with some 300 men, where they arrived about sun set, and ordered supper at one of the hotels, on the credit of the County, which they at length succeeded in getting. This, probably, is the strongest evidence which you have had that the credit of Hancock was sufficiently good to buy even one man's supper. However, they succeeded in arresting two men, and put them under guard. But some others, of whom they were more particularly in pursuit, succeeded in getting out of the way. The two persons arrested, I understand, have had nothing to do with the destruction of property, for which they are seeking redress. That, however, I am inclined to think, matters very little with the Sheriff and his posse, from some remarks which were made in this town to-day. From Carthage, they marched to this place, in two detached parties, coming in by different routes. One of the parties, numbering about 350, on horse back and in wagons, arrived about five o'clock this evening, headed by the Sheriff. They came to a halt for a short time, but did not dismount, with the exception of the Sheriff. He made some enquiries for certain individuals who have rendered themselves somewhat obnoxious to the Mormons, and for some State arms, belonging to the Warsaw Rifle Company. But being told that they were all at Fort Refuge, across the river, orders were given to march, which was obeyed, to the very great satisfaction of what few women and children there are left in town. For never did a party who have been on a three-years' "cruise to the Mountains," look more like savages, than did this "law and order" party of Saints. Orders were given to march back towards the prairie until they came to water, and there encamp. After this party had been gone about an hour, another party of horsemen, of about 130, rode into town, headed by one of the Brethren and E. A. Bedell, (who, you will recollect, was recently very politely "invited to leave town.") This party drove to the river, watered their horses and left town immediately, to join their comrades in camp. Thus has ended another day in Mormon war. No. 7.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XX.                             Philadelphia,  Saturday, October 18, 1845.                             No. 22.

THE MORMON WAR -- A COMPROMISE. -- The St. Louis papers contain a correspondence between Gen. J. J. Hardin, Commanding General and others, with Brigham Young, on behalf of the Mormon Council, in reference to the late disturbances in Hancock county. The letter of Mr. Young announces the disgraceful fact that the laws of Illinois have been insufficient to protect a large body of the citizens of the State, entertaining peculiar religious opinions, against the prejudices and persecutions of another portion of its citizens, who, by force of arms and the most barbarous conduct, have forced the former to leave their homes and wander to some other quarter of the world in seach of the quiet and protection hitherto denied them. The letter says, the Mormons have resolved to leave Nauvoo in the spring, and have already commenced preparations to that effect. One thousand families, including the Twelve, the High Council, the Trustees and general authorities of the church are fully determined to remove in the spring, in dependent of the contingency of selling their property; and that this company will comprise from five to six thousand souls. The church as a body also desires to move with them, if sales can be effected to raise the necessary means. They have several hundred farms and over two thousand houses that they wish to sell; their church and other public buildings, for which they cannot find purchasers, they will rent out. They say though they may not find purchasers for their property, they will not sacrifice or give it away, or suffer it illegally to be wrested from them. The letter concludes:

"That if all these testimonies are not sufficient to satisfy any people that we are in earnest, we will soon give them a sign that cannot be mistaken; we will leave them!"

The letter of General Hardin announces to Mr. Young that the self-appointed convention, which has assembled contrary to the laws to dictate terms to a portion of the citizens which were illegal and in violation of their just rights, had acquiesced in the above arrangement, so far as to agree to withhold all further violence, and suffer them to depart in peace in the spring. Gen. H. also states that he will leave some competent legal officer with a sufficient armed force at Nauvoo to prevent their being molested until they carry out their design. What are we to think of officers of the law thus tampering with a mob, and helping them to effect their illegal purpose? And what are we to think of the Governor of Illinois permitting such an arrangement to be made directly under his nose, without asserting the authority and power of the law to protect all the citizens in the State from wanton aggression? He is bound, by his oath of office, to see the laws faithfully executed, and each citizen protected in his rights, but here he allows nearly twenty thousand persons to be banished from the State without a trial, without having committed any offence, as it appears, except to worship their Creator in a different manner from the majority, a right guarantied by the constitution.

Notes: (forthcoming)


The United States Gazette.

Vol. 63.                       Philadelphia,  Wednesday, October 29, 1845.                       No. 15,532.


DESTINATION OF THE MORMONS. -- "Nootka or Vancouver Island. on the Northwest coast of North America, is to be the final destination and home of the Mormon people. -- This island is about 300 miles long, and from 75 to 100 in width. It is separated from the main land by a long, narrow strait, and lies between the 47th or 48th and 51st or 52nd degrees of north latitude, extending along the coast in a northwest direction. The boundary line between the American and the British possessions will probably pass across the island. The English, we believe, have one or two trading posts on the island, but for the most part it is inhabited by Indians, of not a warlike disposition. It is a long journey, but can be accomplished. If the Mormons do emigrate to that distant land, they will be out of the reach of harm from white men, and may enjoy their peculiar notions in quiet, until the devil breeds his own discords and confusions among them."

Note: Another reprint, in the Oregon Spectator, included these final words: "We understand from the same authority that companies are rapidly organizing at Nauvoo, for an early start in the spring. The church authorities and leading men will go out in a very large company, and without doubt the remainder will follow."


Vol. XX.                             Philadelphia,  Thursday, October 30, 1845.                             No. 32.

MORMONDOM. -- We learn from the Quincy Whig that Mr. Backenstos, the Sheriff of Hancock county, who was arrested at Nauvoo by General Hardin, and taken to Quincy, charged with the murder of Worrell and McBratney, was examined before Judge Purple, and held to bail for his appearance at the Hancock Circuit Court in the sum of three thousand dollars. William Smith, the "patriarch" has issued a proclamation counselling the Mormons to remain where they are, and not to accompany Brigham Young to Oregon. He denounces the contemplated removal to the Pacific as a scheme which will benefit Young and his associates, but ruin those who follow them. He pretends to fear assassination and has left Nauvoo. The policy of the "patriarch" is to rest Mormonism on a foundation similar to that of Christian denominations, having the saints scattered throughout the country, and living with the rest of the community on terms of equality, instead of settling in large bodies, as at Nauvoo. The Smith family, with the mother of the prophet, will not go with Young to California. That expedition is considered as designed solely to perpetuate the power of Young.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XX.                             Philadelphia,  Wednesday, November 5, 1845.                             No. 37.

NAUVOO. -- The census just taken makes the population of Nauvoo proper to consist of 11,067 souls -- without the limits it is supposed there is a third more. About fifteen thousand individuals, it appears from this, are to be banished from Illinois because the Governor is too weak or too disregardful of his duty to protect them in their rights. The Court sitting at Carthage, we see, has commenced the trial of some of the persons engaged in the recent outbreak. Five of the persons charged with the destruction of the press at Nauvoo have been acquitted. Their plea was -- Instruction from the City Council. In the case of Backenstos (the sheriff) a jury was procured, and the trial was expected immediately.

Notes: (forthcoming)


The  Pennsylvanian.

Vol. ?                           Philadelphia,  Monday, November 10, 1845.                           No. ?

MORE MORMON DIFFICULTIES. -- Sheriff of Rock Islands came to Nauvoo with a writ for one of the Reddings charge in the murder of Col. Davenport, a body of Mormons collected around the Sheriff attempting the rescue of Redding... Redding was wounded and the Sheriff was shot with a pistol and the prisoner escaped, other writs are to be served in Nauvoo, Mormon opposition expected, some of the writs are against the Council of Twelve, Mormons are said to have defied that State and have said no more arrests will be made in Nauvoo... Colonel Warren was to have marched into Nauvoo to execute writs against Redding, Brigham Young and others... Warren has information that a bogus manufactury is now, and was before the death of the Smiths, in operation at Nauvoo and that the Twelve or some of them are interested in it... The trial of Backenstos for the murder of Worrell has been moved to Peoria County...

Note: The above text is a partly paraphrased transcript. The full text will be posted when it becomes available.


The  Pennsylvanian.

Vol. ?                           Philadelphia,  Tuesday, November 11, 1845.                           No. ?

MORMONISM. -- Mr. Wm. Smith, brother of martyred Joe, lectured in the hall of the Mechanic's Institute in St. Louis on the existing abuses in the Mormon Church... His style is of that peculiarly effective sing-song and nasal character which distinguished the primitive reformers. We have room but for the following extract:
Ses I to Brigham Young, ses I, 'How is it a-going to be about the young Joseph, who should, in right, be the head of the church, as his father and family have stood the brunt [of] the storm?' Ses he, ses Brigham Young, 'If we go to preachin' young Joseph now, these enemies on our borders will shoot the young prophet as they did his father;' and so they set the head of the church aside, and ever since it ain't bin gettin' along at all!
Note: The above text is a partly paraphrased transcript. The full text will be posted when it becomes available.


The  Pennsylvanian.

Vol. ?                           Philadelphia,  Thursday, November 13, 1845.                           No. ?

FROM NAUVOO. -- A small military force in Hancock County was dispatched to Nauvoo under Capt. Morgan to apprehend Redding, who escaped the Sheriff of Rock Island. Col. Warren has gone to Springfield to speak to the Governor about the Mormons saying that no more arrests should be made in that city;

Note: The above text is a partly paraphrased transcript. The full text will be posted when it becomes available.


The United States Gazette.

Vol. 63.                       Philadelphia,  Wednesday, November 19, 1845.                       No. 15,550.


Major Warren, in command of the Illinois militia in Hancock County, made a visit last week to Nauvoo, for the purpose of aiding in the arrest of Jack Redding. It was not until after the friends of the Council of Twelve were assured that no writs were in his possession afainst them, that Brigham Young and his coadjutors could be found. Maj. Warren told them that he had a writ for Redding and he intended to take him at the peril of his life -- that they should not harbor murderers and thieves, but should give up such criminals, or he would hold them responsible. They replied that Redding had gone to Michigan; but that they would willingly, in all cases in future, submit to authority, and deliver up all murderers and rogues that took shelter in their city.

There have been some sales of Mormon property, and negotiations are pending for other places, but in general high prices are demanded. The Warsaw Signal says:

"Several persons, from a distance, have visited this county to purchase Mormon property. We hear that a company from St. Clair is about to purchase largely. We hope they will succeed in settling the terms with the Saints.

"Persons from abroad who have a superabundance of stock and a little cash, to lay out in real property, cannot do better than invest it in Mormon lands. Hancock is one of the best counties in the State and in every way desirable for a residence, so soon as the Saints are gone."

At a special election in Lee county, Iowa, on the 1st inst., Gen. Brown and Col. Patterson, candidates for the Legislature on the Anti-Mormon ticket, were elected easily. -- St. Louis Republican.

Note: Essentially the same article also appeared in the Public Ledger of Nov. 20th.


Vol. XX.                             Philadelphia,  Tuesday, December 2, 1845.                             No. 60.

MORMON AFFAIRS. --The Warsaw Signal of the 20th ult. is devoted to matters relating to the Mormons. A daring robbery is charged to have been committed, some days previous, at the house of B. C. Bride, nineteen miles east of Warsaw. Three persons entered it, took possession of a large trunk, containing clothing and twenty dollars in money, and the papers of Mr. Bride. They entered the house about 2 o'clock at night -- were discovered fis they were leaving -- followed towards the Mormon settlement on Bear Creek, where the trunk and papers were found, minus the cash and clothing. The thieves escaped.

Several other thefts are noticed.

The circumstances of a foul murder, committed about ten miles southeast of Warsaw, on the person of a Mormon named Durfee, are also stated. About 11 o'clock on Saturday last, a stack of straw, near the house of a man named Samuel Hancock, was set on fire. The inmates of the house, among whom was the deceased, ran out to extinguish the flames, when they were fired upon by some person or persons in the vicinity of the stack, and Durfee was instantly killed. Major Warren is said to have arrested three persons on suspicion, but the nature of the evidence against them is not stated. Durfee, it is said by the Signal, was not a prominent Mormon, nor particularly odious to the anti-Mormons. The Mormons say that there were twelve guns fired -- another story is, that six were discharged, and that two were snapped at Sol. Hancock. The Signal, while intimating that there was some mystery about the, reasons for the murder, denounces it, and seeks to relieve the anti-Mormons from the odium of it. A meeting of citizens of Warsaw took place on Monday evening for the purpose of expressing their disapprobation of this and other recent acts of violence, and this was done by resolutions then passed. They pledge themselves to aid in bringing the guilty persons to punishment, and tendered their services to Major Warren for this purpose.

On the night of the 12th, some persons went to the house of a Mormon named Rice, who was suspected of having murdered a man named Daubenoeyer -- of which we gave an account at the time -- took him out and set fire to the premises. Everything was consumed. This act is also denounced.

The Mormons have disposed of nearly all the lands to which they have any title in the south part of Hancock county. This is the case in the vicinity of Fountain Green. Around La Harpe but few sales have been made, and this is the case in the neighborhood of Nauvoo. They are said to ask unreasonably high prices for it -- but of this both sides may be permitted to judge.

Notes: (forthcoming)

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