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Articles Index   |   Philadelphia Newspapers   |   Adams County Newspapers


Vol. XX.                               Erie, Pa., Friday, January 25, 1850.                               No. 37.

THE MORMON DELEGATE. -- The editor of the Cleveland Herald gives from personal acquaintance the following account of Mr. Babbitt, the Mormon delegate to Congress from Deseret:

"We were boys together. Naturally bright, intelligent, and active, when approaching manhood he entered the Mormon excitement, at the time Kirtland was the Promised Land, and Rigdon the popular advocate of the divine mission of the Prophet Smith. His early advantages had only been those of this then new country; but in order to defend Mormonism, so unpopular with all other creeds, study, investigation, reflection, and argument were necessary. The young convert soon became a zealous talker, next an exhorter, and then a popular preacher of the doctrines of the Golden Bible. He united his fortunes with the persecuted Mormons, and became eminent with them for his zeal, his talents, and sound judgment. When driven from Nauvoo, Mr. Babbitt 'struck his stake' with his people in the Great Basin, and now claims a seat in Congress as a delagate from Deseret."

Notes: (forthcoming)


TIOGA  [   ]  EAGLE.
Vol. XII.                           Wellsborough, Pa., Wednesday, June 26, 1850 .                          No. 43 .

The Nauvoo Temple again Destroyed. -- A fatality seems to attend the temple at Nauvoo. It was finished by the Mormons in 1845, was nearly destroyed by fire in 1848, and on the 27th of May, a tremendous hurricane demolished the walls. The Icarian community of Socialists, under Cabet, had purchased it, and were engaged in repairing it, with a view to fitting it up for schools, studying and meeting halls, and a great refectory for a thousand persons. The workmen were engaged on it when the storm burst forth with such violence, that the walls came tumbling down, and the workmen had to fly for their lives. Those walls that remained standing had to be pulled down. The surrounding buildings were also demolished, and in the wash-house, where six Icarian women were washing, there was so sudden an inundation from the rising creek, that the women had to escape through the windows. The community are going to undertake the erection of another large and fine building.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Lehigh  [   ]  Register.
Vol. VI.                           Allentown, Pa., Thursday, March 25, 1852 .                          No. 25 .

Mormonism  Exposed,  by  a  Mormon.

The late high-handed and treasonable proceedings of the Mormons in the territory of Utah, as shown by the official reports of the United States officers returned therefrom, however strange and startling they may appear to the uninitiated, form no new development to those who have had an opportunity of scrutinizing and observing them, and their doctrines and practices, and designs; but are in perfect keeping with the character of the sect, openly avowed by them to most of their members for some ten years or more.

The writer of this having been one of their number, and having been personally acquainted with Brigham Young and his associates, called by them the twelve apostles, and having had frequent conversations with them in respect to their policy in relation to the government of this country, is perhaps better qualified than many to submit a few hints thereon.

First, then, a word in regard to their great leading doctrine. They believe and teach that the aborigines of this continent are descendants of a branch of the house of Israel, through the seed of Joseph, the patriarch, and consequently those remarkable blessings pronounced upon Joseph and his two sons, by Jacob, his father, also by Moses, will be fulfilled upon the heads of the Mormon Church, and on this continent. Hence all those terrible denunciations and destructions predicted of in the Prophets, against the oppressors of Ephraim and Manassah (the Indians) are to be fulfilled upon the devoted heads of the American people, the Mormons being the instruments.

The Book of Mormon, -- misnamed the Mormon Bible -- which Joseph Smith claimed to have found miraculously, in the shape of metallic plates, inscribed upon in an unknown or lost language, but translatsd by him through inspiration, is the sacred and political history of this branch of Israel, the predecessors of the American Indians. The organization of the Mormon church is the beginning of this work, of returning political powers to the Indians ostensibly, but in reality to the Mormon church. In regard to the government and laws of this country, they are ready at any and all times to set them at defiance, except when they may deem it politic to do otherwise. In addition to their religious idea of vengeance on this government, they have sworn vengeance against the States of Missouri and Illinois, from which they have been driven, and against the U. S. Government for not siding with them against those States.

The Salt Lake movement was got up for the avowed purpose of placing themselves without the pale of this Government, (they, with all their prophets, little dreaming it was so soon to be a part of the government,) that they could the better manage their treasonable designs, and at that time the Mormons petitioned Queen Victoria for aid for the Mormon emigrants from Great Britain, urging in that petition the importance of her Majesty's government counteracting the rapid emigration from the United States to California! That petition can be seen by examining the files of the Mormon paper printed in England at that time, called the Millenial Star.

In regard to polygamy, it has been preached among them for years; and, if it were necessary, I could give you cases of the separation of husbands and wives, the breaking up of families, the demoralization of young women by some of these twelve apostles, in this city and vicinity, that would almost chill the heart's blood.

They teach and avow openly that marriages performed out of that church are null and void, and can be broken at the pleasure of either or both parties! There is no particular order or system about it. The heads of the church manage to secure to themselves the most desirable of the females that join the church; and, when tired of them, give them over to the laymen of the church, and not before.

I know of one instance of a family from this city, where the mother and two daughters (mere children) were used as wives by one of these apostles, Heber Kimball; he at the same time living with his lawful wife. I know of another case, in which P. P. Pratt, another of these 12, took the young wife of Mr. [Hurn] of this city, unbeknown to him, and they have lived as husband and wife since. But your space will not permit me to begin to enumerate instances of that kind that have come to my personal knowledge. Instead of polygamy, it should be termed licentiousness run mad. Any and all of these charges I stand ready to substantiate by their own documents, and by unimpeachable witnesses.
(from the Boston Transcript)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XI.                           Pittsburgh,  Friday, August 13, 1852.                           No. 22.


This city of the Mormons once had 20,000 inhabitants; there are now about 2,000. One half the houses the Mormons left, have been removed or pulled down, and the other half are tenantless. Each lot contained an acre. In walking through its deserted streets I startled several quails, in the midst of the once populous city. The mansion of Joe Smith is kept by his wife, (once his widow but now again a wife, of another and a live man,) as a tavern. Between this mansion and the river are the remains of a famous hotel, which was abandoned after its walls had reached the second story; the walls are of fine pressed brick, with marble doorsills and caps. Joe's store-house is also standing. The Masonic Hall is a fine brick building three stories high. I am told that all the Mormons were Masons. Their lodge was under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of the State of Illinois. -- Smith, I am told, initiated some of the "mothers in the church," then the charter was taken from them and the lodge closed. The front wall and the one next to it, which formed the vestibule, are all that is left standing of the achievements of fanaticism called 'the Temple.'

A company of French socialists have purchased a portion of the property, the site of the ruins of the temple included.... -- Madison Courier.

Notes: (forthcoming)


The  Daily  Dispatch.

Vol. ?                         Pittsburgh,  Saturday, April 23, 1853.                         No. ?


MORMONISM. --The Dixon Telegraph states that William Smith brother of the celebrated "Joe Smith," who has a gatherimg of the believers in Lee county, Illinois, was lately arrested in consequence of an affidavit made by one of the female members of the church, in which she set forth that she had been induced to believe that it was necessary for her salvation that she should become his spiritual wife, the result of which was the same that usually accompanies cases where no spiritualism is claimed. On account of the inability of the witness to attend at this term, the case was continued. The defendant says that it all arises in persecution from the Gentiles.

As another item on the same subject, we may state that Smith has himself now pending in the same court, an application for a divorce, on the ground that his wife, while at Nauvoo, was initiated into the mysteries of, and, as he says, "took seven degrees" in spiritual wifery. So that it seems, according to his ideas of the doctrines of that particular branch of the church militant, what is sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Lehigh  [   ]  Register.
Vol. VII.                           Allentown, Pa., Wednesday, August 3, 1853.                          No. ?

Beaver  Island  Mormons.

The Mormons, at Beaver Island, in Lake Superior, have, as the papers tell us, awoke a bloody resistence from the people in that vicinity. -- There is, in consequence, great reason to fear that the scenes, formerly enacted in Illinois and Missouri, will be repeated on this new stage. -- The drama, in fact, has opened in the same way and is apparently being played with similar violence. Mutual accusations, from exach side, appear to be the order of the day. If half is true that is said against Strang, the Mormon High Priest at Beaver Island, and his followers, their expulsion, sooner or later, would seem to be inevitable, however illegal, in no sense, the act might be. If half is true of the prejudice, misrepresentation, and persecution, charged by the Mormons, on their antagonists, such an expulsion, should it occur, would be one of the most flagrant atrocities of the age. Who will say! ...

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XII.                           Pittsburgh, Pa., Monday, August 8, 1853 .                          No. 16.

Ruins of the Mormon Temple and the Icarians.

A correspondent of the Dover (N.H.) Star, under the date of June 17th, gives some interesting facts in relation to the city of Nauvoo, Mormonism, &c.

"Before the temple was burnt, it was nearly finished. Now, all that remains is the end facing the river, and this is seen for a few miles back in the country, and at some distance on the river, below and above. It was built of limestone; the outside hewn and carved, exhibiting some of the most beautiful figures that I ever saw made on stone. The location for the city is considered one of the best on the river. It is on a point of land formed by a great bend in the river, overlooking quite a portion of Iowa. A considerable part of the city is below the bluff, yet is so high that it is never inundated. The present number of inhahitants is about 3,000, and there is but one evangelical meeting, and this is the Methodist. The Catholics have a meeting in the place."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XII.                         Pittsburgh,  Friday, Dec. 16, 1853.                         No. 127.


The Late Massacre on the Plains. -- Capt. Morris, of the U. S. Army, has forwarded to Washington the particulars of the late msisacro by Indians, of a portion of Capt. Gunnison surveying party, on the Western Plains. He says:

On the morning of the 20th of October Capt. J. W. Gunnison, with a portion of his scientific party, an escort of seven men, and Mr. William Potter, of Manti, as guide, left our camp on Sevier, for the purpose of surveying the lakes. The same morning I moved with the remainder of my command fourteen miles up the Sevier, there intending to await the return of the late Capt Gunnison. On the morning of the 20th at 11:30 A. M., the non-commissioned officer in charge of the escort came running breathlessly into camp, saying that their party had been surprised, and he believed all had been killed. I immediately proceeded to the fatal spot with all the troops I had, in hopes of saving some of the party, or rescuing the wounded. On my way met three or four more of my men who had escaped, all of whom confirmed the sad intelligence, but I knew not who had fallen. Pushing rapidly on, I reached at dark the spot where three of the party had fallen. Their bodies were filled with arrow wounds, though not otherwise mutilated. I halted my command here for the night and waited until daylight, when I proceeded on. Reaching the vicinity of the camp, I found the remaining corpses of the party, all of which were stripped, and some mutilated.

Capt. Gunnison was killed by fifteen arrow wounds, and his left arm cut off. Mr. Creutzfeldt had both arms cut off. The statement made by the survivors is as follows: That Capt G. reached the first pond or lake at 3 p. m., on the 26th instant, and encamped between the lake and river, and at a bend on the river thickly fringed with willows; that the party arose at day break and were in the act of breakfasting, when a terrific yell was raised on their left, accompanied by a discharge of rifles and a shower of arrows. The escort seized their rifles, and some few shots were exchanged, when, finding that the Indians were rapidly closing around their little party, they all tried to reach their horses. Those who succeeded escaped, while those who failed fell. The lowest number of Indians is stated at sixty. The American party consisted of twelve men, all told.

Names of the Killed. -- Capt. J. W. Gunnison, Corps of Top. Eng. U. S. A.; Wm. Potter, guide, Manti, U. T.; R. H. Kirn, topographer of the party; Mr. Creutzfeldt, botanist of the party; Privates Canlfield, Liptrott, and Mehrteens, company A, mounted riflemen; John Bellows, employee.

The Indians secured eight rifles, two double barrelled shot-guns, seven pistols, and about one thousand cartridges of ammunition, and the scientific instruments of the party; and some of the notes of the survey, all of those of the Wahsatch Mountains, and in fact most of the sketches and topography between the San Rafael and this point.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXV.                           Erie, Pa., Saturday, November 25, 1854.                          No. ?


ANECDOTE. -- The Journal of Commerce tells the following capital anecdote of Joe Smith, the Mormon:

"Some persons visited him during his troubles in Illinois, and the conversation turned upon self defence. He was asked what he thought of the words of the Scriptures, which required him who had been smitten on one cheek to turn the other also. 'A very remarkable passage,' he answered, 'spoken by Jesus himself, and striking illustrative of his thorough acquaintance with human nature. A man may strike you at first under a mistake, or without intending any harm; and you ought not to strike back immediately, but turn the other cheek and give him the opportunity to explain, or, if he be in earnest, to repeat the offence. However, you need not turn a third time, but if a man strikes you twice, then [go] into him like a thousand of brick."

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. II.                           Wellsborough, Pa., Thursday, October 25, 1855.                          No. 14.


Some years ago, a number of orthodox clergymen were ascending the Ohio river on one of the fine boats navigating this stream. and among the passengers was Elder Hyde, of Mormon faith. Of course the passengers were treated with several sermons, and on Sunday two discourses were delivered by two of the most talented of the clergy. Some of the gentlemen on board the boat expressed a wish to learn something of the views of that peculiar people to which Elder Hyde had attached himself, and a respectable number joined in the request; the Elder consented to preach them a sermon. Every person on the boat, including that portion of the crew who could leave their stations, were assembled in the cabin, and the curiosity of all were excited. The Elder took his station, read a chapter from the Bible, selected a verse as a text, and gave them a regular, old fashioned sermon, differing in none of the essentials from those which preceded it. However, after tea, this incident led to the discussion of Mormonism, and the clergymen were expressing their surprise that people could be led astray by such ridiculous doctrine. An Illinoisan, a sober-faced man, not before joining in the conversation, here remarked that the miracles worked by prophet Smith, were of a character to satisfy the mind of any one of the Mormon faith." "What miracles!" spoke up several at once, "we have never heard of them." "They are numerous enough," said the sober-looking friend, "and were generally wrought among the poorer classes and tended to their worldly advancement. While the Prophet lived in Illinois, before his enemies combined against him to destroy him, he went about preaching the faith and doing good to members of his flock, and it was considered a high honor to receive a visit from the Prophet, he was a welcome visitor wherever he went. One morning when wending his way towards an humble log cabin, he was descried by the little son of the poor widow who occupied it, who ran to inform his mother of the august person approaching. -- She dropped the web of linen just cut from the loom, which she was in the act of measuring, and ran out to welcome the Prophet. She expressed herself highly gratified by the visit, had his horse fed and got him his breakfast. After a time the Prophet rose to depart, and wished to force upon the poor woman some recompense for the trouble he had given her, which she would not listen to. -- He then blessed her and said the Lord would keep her till noon at whatever she went at after he departed. The Prophet then left, and the widow without reflecting upon his words, went to measuring the linen web. But there was no end to it. She measured and measured, and her little son trampled down until her little cabin was filled with several thousand yards of linen, and still it held out till the hour of high noon fulfilled the Prophet's miracle."

"Don't believe a word of it," said one; "Gammon," said another. But our friend stuck to the truth of his story, and continued: "Of course the widow's good fortune was the talk of the neighborhood, and all the miracles of the Prophet, from beginning to end, were carefully enumerated. All the weavers of the county were anxious for a visit from a great and good man. One old lady, more avaricous than godly, wove about half a yard of linen, and left it in her loom, and awaited a visit from the Prophet. After awhile her heart was gladdened and her patience rewarded, by seeing him approach, with the first rays of the morning sun, the long looked for friend of the poor. He was bound on a longer journey than usual, and had made a very early start. The old lady had his horse fed from the oats belonging to the Methodist preacher, and got the traveler the best breakfast her larder afforded. When the wants of the man were supplied, the Prophet arose to depart, and as was his custom, urged the old lady to take pay for his breakfast. No, indeed; she could not think of taking pay from the Prophet. So he blessed her also, and said God would prosper her and continue her at whatsoever work she went at, and so departed on his journey. The woman was elated with joy, and hurried to her loom, to cut out her short web, and measure from it quantities of linen sufficient for years to come. In her great hurry she stumbled over an unfortunate urchin that stood in the way, and in her wrath, she pulled up its clothes and went to spanking it and the Lord prospered her and she continued her spanking until noon." Our sober-faced friend never smiled, for he seemed to believe every word of what he was relating; and the clergymen present, after casting side glance[s] at each other, went to bed for the night.

Notes: (forthcoming)


The  Independent  Republican.

Vol. II.                           Montrose, Penn., Thursday, May 1, 1856.                          No. 16.

Joe Smith and the Mormons.

There are persons now living in this County who remember Joe Smith, the great Mormon prophet, when he lived in Harmony, just above Great Bend on the Susquehanna. He was a young man then, and as illiterate and loutish a young fellow as you will often see. He belonged to a worthless, shiftless family, and his father, his brothers, and himself, spent a great deal of their time in digging for buried money and other hidden treasures, Joe acting as guide in the matter and looking through a stone placed in a hat to discover the whereabouts of the treasures. Their money-digging did not prosper, as some mischievous spirits seemed always at hand to whisk away the buried treasure as the searchers were about to seize on it -- Joe ultimately took to propagation of a new religion for a profession. With the particulars of his career, and the history of his rise to the position of prophet and leader of a large body of infatuated people, the public are already in a good degree familiar. His beginning was certainly humble enough. When a young man here, he could scarcely write his name. It was at this time that he fell in love with Emily [sic - Emma?], daughter of Jesse [sic - Isaac?] Hale, once a famous hunter in these parts, and it is said that his attachment for this girl was the real cause of his embarking in his career of Prophet. When he and a companion commenced translating the Mormon Bible, they hired an old unoccupied house, and there boarded themselves. Joe would work out among the farmers, get a bushel of corn and get it ground and take it home, and then the two would go on translating till the supply of corn was exhausted. Their marvellous stories about the golden plates containing the Book of Mormon excited considerable curiousity in the neighborhood, and many persons were permitted to feel the plates while enclosed in a pillow case, but none of the faithful were permitted to see them.

During this time Joe continued his visits at the house of Jesse Hale, although he was coldly received there except by the young lady in question; but at length it was discovered that he had been making propositions to a young girl working in the family, to make her the mother of another Jesus, as he blasphemously expressed it, and thereupon the old hunter turned him out of doors and forbid him his house. Subsequently Joe succeeded in persuading Emily Hale to elope with him to York State, where they were married.

While residing in Harmony, Joe had many discussions on religious subjects with the neighbors, and it is said that some of the simple people and uneducated Methodists, including Jesse Hale, Elder Lewis and his sons, used often so to befog and confound the embryo prophet, that he would cry of vexation. He was already beginning to perform miracles in a small way. Among other neighborly acts, he would often 'put a blessing on' the crops of his friends to ensure an abundant harvest. It happened that a man living just across the Susquehanna, had planted some corn on low, moist land, much subject to frost, and, whatever may have been his opinion of Joe's powers, he got him to put his blessing on the corn. But the Fall came and with it an early frost before the corn was ripe, and the whole crop was ruined. The Prophet's attention was called to the circumstance, but he had already begun to acquire that dexterity in escaping from a dilemma, for which he was afterwards remarkable, and he immediately explained the matter by saying that he had put a curse on it by mistake.

Among the many strange events the world's history has witnessed, few are stranger than the success of this poor, illiterate, depraved, Gipsey-like stroller, in building up, in a Christian land, a new religion. Of the success of Smith and Harris and their companions in making converts, of their removal to the West, of the persecutions they endured in Missouri and Illinois, of the founding of Nauvoo, of the conflicts with State authorities, of Joe's tragical death, and the subsequent removal of the faithful to 'the land of promise' in Utah, where they have succeeded in establishing a strange, many-wived, priest-governed community, under the guidance of Joe's successor, Brigham Young, -- the reader needs not to be informed.

The Mormons continue to exhibit remarkable zeal and industry in propagating their faith. The have missionaries in almost every Christian country of the world, and meet with much success in making converts, mostly from the lower and more ignorant classes. These converts are sent off immediately to swell the numbers at Salt Lake City.

This community, thus rapidly increasing by immigration as well as by the peculiar structure of its social organization, it is said is about to apply for admission as a State in this confederacy. The condition of society there is represented as most horrible. Not only are bigamy and adultry considered as meritorious, but crimes of every grade and dye go unpunished and almost unnoticed. The authority of Brigham Young is considered superior to that of the United States, and the Judges and other officers sent there by the Federal authorities, are treated with contempt. The people of this country generally are exceedingly jealous of any appearance of a union of Church and State; but in Utah the Church is the State, there is no separating them. The condition of the female sex in Utah is really little different from that of slavery. The degradation of their condition soon deprives them of all the fine and delicate characteristics of their sex, and they sink to the level of servile drudges for their lords and masters. But, besides these victims, the Mormon Elders hold real slaves, both of the African and Indian races, and it is said that the number of these is rapidly increasing. -- What a disgusting spectacle does such a state of society present! Are the Free States of this Union, in which side by side stand the meeting house and the school house where the morality of the Bible in inculcated, to have their fortunes linked forever to those of a community where crime is legalized and all the rules of morality and decency are set at naught? Here is matter for serious thought for the advocates of popular sovereignty, those who hold that it is obligatory on us to admit any Territory that asks admission as a State, without reference to the nature of its institutions.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. II.                           Wellsborough, Pa., Thursday, July 3, 1856.                          No. 49.

DETRIOT, June 19. -- Jas. A. Strang, the Mormon leader at Beaver Island, was shot on the 16th by two of his former followers -- at latest advices he was still alive -- but in a critical condition. His assassins are under arrest.

Notes: (forthcoming)


The Democratic Watchman.
Vol. II.                           Bellefonte, Pa., Wednesday, March 4, 1857.                          No. 12.



Thirty years ago there lived near Palmyra, an obscure individual, whose name has since become familiar to the world. That individual was Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet. A sketch of this person's life is interesting, not because we find anything in his character to admire, but because it presents to our view the origin of Mormonism -- one of the most extravagant humbugs that the world has ever witnessed. The idea of a new religion originating in a person possessing less than ordinary abilities, and rapidly increasing in number till both the Old and the New World contain multitudes of proselytes, is a subject of much interest. To give the reader an idea of the origin of this singular sect is the object of the present essay.

The family of which Joseph was a member was large, remarkable neither for intelligence nor industry. His father possessed a visionary mind, and cherished the notion that a prophet would arise out of his family. It is hard to say why he should arrive at this conclusion, yet the means of accomplishing his wishes were evidently in his own power, for it was soon announced to the world that a brother of Joseph was the expected prophet. It is evident that this appointment was not made by Divine authority, else so serious a mistake could not have occurred, for the prophet suddenly died -- died of surfeit of eating too much raw turnip! The hopes of the ambitious father were not to be blasted by this unfortunate occurrence; for it was soon known to the people of Stafford street, where they resided, that Joseph was the successor of his brother.

In order to obtain a clear idea of the prophet's career, it will be necessary to refer to his early years. The boyhood of Joseph was passed on the farm with his father. During the winter months be attended the district school, where he acquired the little knowledge which he possessed. He is remembered by his school-mates as being idle, and somewhat vicious, and was regarded by all as a very dull scholar. As a young man, his prospects were anything but cheering. He was engaged in no steady employment, and might often have been found lounging around the bar-rooms of Palmyra, in company with persona as worthless and idle as himself. This was the general character of Joseph Smith up to the time of his prophetic career, and no one would have surmised that he was to become the founder of a new religion, or an inglorious martyr at Nauvoo.

Joseph's prophetic powers were first directed to the acquisition of wealth, and money-digging soon engaged the attention of the family, and a part of the neighborhood. Night after night these fanatics labored, urged on by visions of untold wealth. Excavations were made in hillside and valley, but Fortune, the fickle goddess, refused to smile upon them. Their golden visions were fruitless; the prophecy was false.

At this state of affairs a circumstance occurred which retrieved the waning hopes of the prophet, and gave a new direction to his genius. This was the discovery of the book of Mormon, or Mormon Bible. This event proved to be the origin of Mormonism -- the feeble germ which produced the tree of giant proportions, whose branches have extended over a large part of the known world. It was pretended by the prophet that this record was found on a hill, below the surface of the ground, written on plates of gold. This being transcribed by a mysterious process, became the work now known as the Mormon Bible. This is the fabulous account of its origin. Its authentic history is as follows: It was written by a Vermont clergyman named Spalding. It was intended merely as a work of fiction, and was entitled "The Manuscript Found." The author died before its circulation, and, after various fortunes, it fell into the hands of Joseph Smith, who at once made it necessary to his ambitious schemes.

It is probable that this book owes its origin to that sentiment which prompts us to venerate old manuscripts which contain an account of men and times long since passed away. It professed to be the history of a people which had its origin at the time of the confusion of tongues, and whose prophet's name was Mormon. The style of the book is in imitation of the Holy Bible, but in point of beauty of diction, sublimity of character, and divinity of its author, it holds no comparison. The only work with which the Mormon Bible can be compared is the Koran. Each is the oracle of a false religion, and the author of each was an impostor.

Well may Mormonism blush at its parent age. The life of its founder exhibits no feature worthy of imitation, and his character is associated with all that is vicious and immoral. Mormonism itself is but a specious humbug, whose vital principle is polygamy. Such is the man -- such the religion of which he was the founder.

Note 1: The above article is a reprint taken from the original in the New York Home Journal of Oct. 18, 1856. It was also reprinted in July 23, 1857 issue of the Millersburg Holmes County Republican and other contemporary newspapers.

Note 2: Some of the Palmyra Smith family traditions mentioned in the above article were first published in a June 1851 issue of the Rochester Daily American. William H. Payne evidently derived most of his article's information from some early 1850s version of Orasmus Turner's reporting.


The  Lancaster  Intelligencer.
Vol. LVIII.                           Lancaster, Pa., Tuesday, May 5, 1857.                          No. 16.



To the Editors of the National Intelligencer:
     GENTLEMEN: From a military order recently published published in your paper, I infer that a division of the United States army is to move into Utah. This news will be hailed with joy by thousands of American citizens, in every State and Territory of the Confederacy who have suffered directly or indirectly by the merciless outrages of the Mormons, committed while quietly pursuing their toilsome journey overland to Oregon and California. Every indignity has been offered to emigrants, every species of property stolen, and every species of crime has been committed. The Federal laws have been trampled in the dust, Government officials set at defiance, menaced, threatened and insulted; juries have been influenced, and the ends of justice thwarted; the prison doors have been opened, und the criminals set free. All this did not satisfy them, but they must enter the hall of records, and publicly burn the archives of the Territory.

Now, as evidence of their inveterate hatred to American, and every thing pertaining to America, (and these sentiments are constantly taught and preached) I will cite as follows:
"A Gentile shall not board in my family, and if one of my houses are rented to a Gentile, after the time had expired I would burn it down! That's the doctrine." -- Jedediah M. Grant.

"If a Gentile were boarding in my family, and I should bow down to pray, and the Gentile or heathen should hesitate, I would say to him, bow down you devil! This is the doctrine, and I know it; and any man who shall oppose it shall be destroyed." -- Heber C. Kimball.

Their religious tenets may be inferred from the following:
"I believe in marrying brothers and sisters; I believe in the pre-existence of man; that Adam and Eve are the parents of all men, spiritually and physically; that all the saints of this dispensation will be resurrected by Joseph Smith, Jr. If ever I am saved, I expect to be saved by and through they atonement of Joseph Smith." -- Brigham Young.

"Were my daughter to marry a Gentile, I would save her in this kingdom, namely, cut her throat from ear to ear." -- Brigham Young.

Their advocacy of internal improvements may be inferred from the following:
"Mr. Lee, who piloted the Government troops through on that route (south side of Great Salt Lake) last Spring, (1854,) wished to publish a book -- a guide of the route -- but was prevailed on not to do it, as the Presidency there (Carson Valley) did not wish the emigration to pass that way." -- Elder Johnson.

Object of missionaries: "Most of the foreign missionaries will be called home. They will be sent among all the Indian tribes, to teach them agriculture, the mechanic arts, and military tactics!" -- Brigham Young.

Means of defense: "We have the self-loading twenty-four repeating rifle, the Minie rifle, Browning's revolving five-shooting rifle, Colt's rifle and pistol, and a revolving cannon, or field-piece." -- Elder Ivins.

All of the above named firearms, powder, ball, etc., are in process of secret manufacture.
What the Indians are expected to do: "It (the United States mail) may come this way awhile yet, as they (the Indians) wish to cut off the mail going from here!" -- Elder Hawkins.

"The Sioux, Cheyennes and Arapahoes have banded together against the Gentiles to the number of 8,000 warriors." -- Walker, Chief of the Utah Indians.

"The Lamanites (Indians) are the battle-axe of the Lord in the hand» of the Mormons." -- Mormon Bible.

"There is more union in the Masonic Order than any other except the Mormon." -- Heber C. Kimball.

"The right of private search by 'rogues' keys' is a peculiar characteristic order of the Mormons." -- Memoranda.

The law and the prophets: "A kingdom can exist mithin a republic." -- Brigham Young.

"No one was ever known to dissent from the will of Brigham Young." -- Orson Pratt.

What may be expected: "If Government officers ever interfere with onr women again, I will cut their throats from ear to ear." -- Brigham Young.

"A division of the United States army shall never winter in this valley again." -- Brigham Young.

The above, quotations are taken from a mass of information collected in 1854-'55, during nearly a year's stay in Utah, all of which came under my personal observation, and was noted at the time it was spoken. I have been thus particular in noticing these quotations that the public may know upon what is based the conclusions that follow.

The Mormon priesthood is a consolidated system of police, compounded from the old Aaronic, Levitical, and Melahisideck priesthoods, and is known by the name of "The Church of the Latter Day Saints of Jesus Christ." Brigham Young is the Prophet, Priest, and King of the Saints. His will is law; he is the vicegerent of God, deriving authority directly from Him, which is absolute whenever he says "thus saith the Lord." Brigham stände upon the shoulders of his two councillors; they stand upon the shoulders of the other ten apostles; they stand upon the shoulders of the high priests; they stand upon the shoulders of the bishops; they stand upon the shoulders of the captains of fifties and seventies; they stand upon the shoulders of the elders; they stand upon the shoulders of lay-members of the church; they stand upon the shoulders of the laboring masses who till the soil which supports the pile. From his towering height Brigham issues forth his edicts to the people, and with the scorpion lash of his serpent tongue he lashes every one beneath him into silence. "No one was ever known to dissent from his will." The entire fraternity is bound together by oaths the most solemn to support the church and nothing but the church, and every man, woman and child is constituted a police officer, always on duty, and required to report to the head whenever any thing of sufficient interest occurs to justify it. From this you will not fail to perceive that the church form is but a closely compacted system of police, having a head from which it derives all power, and a body forming a nucleus around which are gathering the ignorant, the superstitious, the bigot, the outlaw, and the disaffected of all countries in the world, who are taking refuge, as they suppose, under the wings of the angel of the last dispensation. However deluded the great mass of their followers may be, the leaders are not deluded, but are knaves from choice, willfully misleading the masses for the purpose of obtaining and wielding power, boldly predicting the overthrow of the Republic, when they will resume the reins of government and proclaim Mormonism to the benighted nations of the world.

Every species of information is studiously kept from the people except their own doctrines, which are so ingenious and fascinating that they bewilder rather than enlighten, till the feeble mind becomes lost in the mazes of metaphysical theories, and, looking around for some sure anchor of safety, despairing falls prostrate at the feet of the monster, imploring him, in the language of scripture, "I believe; help thou my unbelief."

The endearing appellation of "brother and sister" is applied to all classes indiscriminately, which, with the plurality wife system and the marriage of blood sisters, breaks up and obliterates every vestige of the family relation.

One-tenth of all property and one-tenth of all products are demanded as "tithing;" and then not only the man, but his wives and children, and his property entire are consecrated to the church. All are at the disposal of Brigham.

The entire male population of the State are enrolled in the militia, who are under weekly (some daily) military drill, every one of whom, from the boy of twelve to the man of eighty years, is required to keep on hand one hundred rounds of cartridges, one gun or rifle, one or more pistols, swords, sabres, knives, &c., all he can obtain; and then, in the event of war, the women and children are to fight with whatever weapon they can command. Now, when we consider their location, a thousand miles inland on every side, in the mountain fastnesses of the continent; their numbers, which, according to Chief Justice Drummond, are one hundred thousand in the Territory and two hundred thousand in surrounding States and Territories; their appliances of war; their secret agents in every nook and corner of the Republic; their emissaries among every Indian tribe on the continent, teaching them "the mechanic arts and military tactics," they amount to something more than we have been accustomed to regard them. They have settlements on Salmon river, Oregon Territory, and on Lewis river, near Puget Sound, in Washington Territory, and in Carson Valley and at San Bernardino, California. They instigated the Indians to revolt in Oregon and Washington Territories in the late war, and were, in my judgment, the cause that created the necessity for the proclamation of martial law by Gov. Stevens; and when the Governor forwarded a supply train of goods up to and for the Nez Perces in payment of debts contracted with them when returning from treating with the Blackfeet or Crows, in the Winter of 1855-'6, on the arrival of the train at Colonel Craig's, the Indian agency for the Nez Perces they had been induced to favor Kom-in-kun, the Yakima war chief, refused to receive the goods either in payment of debts or as presents, and ordered all the whites to leave their country. Col. Craig, the Indian agent, was retained in case of need; the train returned hastily to the Dalles; but other whites among the Nez Perces, instead of coming to the Dalles and claiming the protection of the United States army, went through the country of the war Indians to the Mormon settlement on Salmon river for protection! In Colonel Shaw's last battle with the Indians in the Grand Ronde among the camp equipage of the enemy he captured ammunition witíi Mormon labels on them!

Now, permit me to conduct you to San Francisco, California, on the ever memorable 18th day of August, 1856, and behold the streets of that ill-fated city thronged with men and arms. The Federal Constitution has been upheaved, the laws overthrown, and the "Committee Vigilantes" have instituted a reign of terror. The committee lays down its power and calls out its adherents to celebrate its retirement to law and order. The streets are decorated and hung with flags; but, alas, the star-spangled flag of the free was set aside! "The all-seeing wyw over the crescent," on which was inscribed "Vigilantes," occupied the foreground, with a United States flag on either side. Immediately in the rear of these, also in the centre, hung the Mormon emblem (worn by them as military badges) of the "bee-hive and bees;" in the rear of these, between other United States flags, was the "Lone Star" on blue ground, surrounded by a constellation. These are all the prominent ensigns of Mormonism, except the secret signs of the priesthood, which are worn on under-garments, and are of course invisible. No one knew the object of the secret order "Vigilantes" but those who recognize Brigham as their prophet, priest and king. The vigilance committee of 1851 was an experiment of Mormon strength, headed by Samuel Brannan, Parley P. Pratt, and others, and the vigilance committee of 1856 may be regarded in the same light. If nit Mormon, let some one assign reasons for the setting aside of the United States flag and the display if ensigns of Mormonism.

Throughout the States and Territories, at varions and convenient localities, the Mormons have what are termed "Stakes in Zion," and each stake is governed by a presidency. It may not be known to many that tbere is a stake in the city of Now York, whose president is editor of a paper called "The Mormon;" at Council Bluffs is another stake and another paper; at Independence, another stake; at St. Louis, &c. Their ageuts and spies are in every city in the Union, adapting themselves to surrounding circumstances, luring the ignorant and unsuspecting into their meshes; secretly denouncing individuals whom they suspect capable of informing against them; pursuing their victims with a pertinacity that overcomes all obstacles; and their agent in Congress keeps them constantly advised of the policy and aims of the General Government. They are in the frontier post offices, either by appointment as postmasters or as clerks, and have the opportunity of supervising the transit and distribution of all mail matter; and it may not be improbable that to this cause may be traced the loss of so many letters going to and coming from the Pacific Territories.

Now, in view of the facts herein set forth, and the assumption by Chief Justice Drummond that they are a hundred thousand strong in Utah and [have] two hundred thousand spies and emissaries in adjoining States and Territories, with every facility for obtaining and transmitting information; allied to a savage Indian horde of three hundred thousand more, who are, in their hands, the "battle-axe of the Lord," to be wielded against the Gentiles; added to a thousand miles of land travel, prairie and mountain, with natural means at hand to throw every obstacle in the way of an army, by running off their animals, cutting off small parties, poisoning the springs of water, and blockading the canyons and mountain passes; I repeat, in view of all theese facts staring us boldly in the face, they form an obstacle to the peaceful settlement of the interior of the country of no mean character, and which should be promptly met by the General Government. In my judgment the only way to meet the necessity of the case is to appoint a military governor for the Territory, with discretionary power to place the whole Territory under martial law, backed by a military force of at least five thousand men, amply equipped with munitions of war and a year's supply of provisions; then station the army at three several points in the Territory, not to fight the people, but to defend them. By proclamation, now, call on all true citizens of the United States to come out and enroll themselves under the flag of the Republic; warning all hostile thereto to leave the Territory under penalty of capture, trial, and execution by martial law. This, in my judgment, will be the easiest, cheapest and safest mode of reaching and remedying the evil. The idea that if left to themselves they will break up and disband by internal dissensions is futile and absurd.

They have a solid nucleus of one hundred thousand strong, with two hundred thousand spies and emissaries scattered over the whole country, and a savage ally of three hundred thousand to do their bidding. And what want they more? A State government? No; they already have that which to them is far better, namely, a willful perversion of the democratic principle of self-government, declared in the Kansas-Nebraska bill, "to regulate their own institutions, in their own way." This leaves them in a far better condition to propagate their treasonable designs than if they were existing under the form of State government. As there is no power in the Constitution to force them into the Union, (God forbid they should ever come in !) they may always remain a Territory of the United States, recognizing the federal laws merely as a form, while the power de facto remains absolute, and the head of the Church becomes the head of the State.

Something ought, something should be done. Let the Government look well to it that its army be sufficient, amply supplied with munitions of war and provisions for at least one year, as the task it is about to assume is no child's play. More anon.
                     Very respectfully,   VERASTUS.

Note: "Verastus" was possibly U.S. Judge William Drummond. Another of his letters was published in the New York Times of May 26, 1857. The National Intelligencer article was reprinted in the United States Magazine of June of 1857, pages 613-616. For the LDS response, see the Western Standard of June 12, 1857.



Vol. LXX.                              Pittsburgh, Saturday,  May 23, 1857.                               No. 234.


LETTER FROM UTAH TERRITORY. -- More Violence and Bloodshed by Mormons. -- We have dates from Salt Lake City to April 1st, with acounts of more violence and even bloodshed by the Mormons. It appears that a man named Parrish, a seceding Mormon, left the wall[ed] town Springville, to come to the States on foot, his wagon and horses having been stolen by Mormons the night previous to the departure. He was accompanied by his two sons and two men named Potter and Darper. They had not left the place more than a few hundred yards behind when they were attacked by a number of men armed and disguised. Potter was shot dead, five balls having entered his body; Parrish fell wounded, when one of the assailants rushed upon him, and, in his disabled condition, cut his throat from ear to ear, and ripped up his abdomen. One of Parrish's sons ran about eighty yards, when he was struck down, his throat cut, and his abdomen ripped up. The other young Parrish and Darper contrived to escape. The only notice taken of the matter by the Mormon authorities was the summoning of a coroner's jury, who sat upon the case and returned a verdict of "assassination by some persons unknown."

Potter was a brother of one of the men killed in Gunnison's massacre, and was one of the very few who knew the secret history of that sanguinary transaction. Parrish and his sons were also well acquainted with the Mormon secrets, having once been in full Mormon communion.

Another tragedy, not very dissimular, is also reported by the last mail from Utah. It occurred about seventy miles from Parowan, on the California road, and the victims were a smsll party of seceding Mormons emigrating to California. Four were shot as they sat encamped at the foot of some rocky hills. The names of two of these men were Tobin and Peltro. They too were well apprised of the aims and secrets of the Mormons, and therefore too dangerous to be allowed to emigrate.

UTAH. -- Washington correspondent of The N. Y. Times, says:

"A large military force has been ordered for Utah, to take their position on the Government Reserve, forty miles south of Salt Lake City. -- The new Governor of the Territory has been selected, but has not yet been heard from, and his whereabouts is unknown. Whoever and wherever he may be, it is understood that he was recommended by Mr. Bright of Indiana."

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. LXX.                              Pittsburgh, Thursday,  Aug. 13, 1857.                               No. 304.


MORE OF THE SAINTS LEAVING. -- A letter from Lawrence, K. T., dated the 26th ult., says:

"We have another arrival from Mormondom. An emigrant train, containing a large number of women and children -- 100 persons in all -- has just reached this city, after a wearisome journey of 60 days. The train consisted of 15 teams, and brought through a large and valuable collection of beaver and buffalo furs. In spite of the extremely hot weather of the last few weeks, the party arrived in excellent health, the women and children especially bearing the fatigue better than the men.

"The members of this company are, or rather were, professors of the Mormon faith, but they fled from the holy land, partly to escape form the relentless tyranny of the Brigham Young oligarchy, and partly to improve their pecuniary affairs. When they left, there was great dissatisfaction among the Saints, and about a thousand persons abandoned Utah at the same time. Several trains departed for the States, and nearly four hundred started for Oregon. It was with difficulty that they escaped, and many threats were made the violence would be committed upon them if they attempted to leave the country. The large number of those who left is believed to have been their protection.

"The emigrants are heartily sick of the Mormon religion and all the attendant institutions. They state that the members of the church, (embracing almost the entire adult population of the Territory,) have, on an average, about three wives apiece. A poor man, they think, has no possible chance to succeed in Utah. With decidedly strong prospects of having a large family to support, he is compelled to devote the entire labor of every tenth day to the church, and to pay heavy taxes beside. Some of them state that they were called upon to pay tithes before they had been in Salt Lake City a week. There are many who would gladly renounce the Brigham Young tyranny and flee from the Territory; but after the “endowment” (a certain step in the church) has been taken, the subject of it cannot leave unless he has the permission of the spiritual authorities, without placing his life in the most imminent peril. Large numbers of unfortunate women who were lured into Utah by appealing to their religious enthusiasm, and grossly misrepresenting the actual state of affairs, are thoroughly disgusted with the practical workings of what was so beautiful in theory, but have no means of escaping from their hard lot.

"The disaffected, however, (according to my informants who come by this train,) by no means comprise the whole, or even a majority of the people of Utah. Thousands of men have such deep seated faith in Brigham Young, that they would cheerfully fight for him to the last drop of blood. Many women, too, with a firm persuasion that his mission is from Heaven, are attached to him with a fanatical devotion, and would not hesitate to lay down their lives for him. In Great Salt Lake City the people are well armed, and have thirty pieces of artillery. In many of their localities, the male Saints are armed and disciplined. These emigrants confirm the various reports that the population of Utah has been greatly exaggerated. They think forty thousand a liberal estimate, and state that Salt Lake City has not more than seven thousand inhabitants.

Note: The above letter was written by a correspondent of the Cincinnati Times. In other reprints, he goes on to say: "Every nation, kindred and people is represented among the Saints. It is evident that if Brigham Young desire it, he can give Gen. Harney and his troops a good deal of trouble for a time, but it seems hardly possible that a man of so much shrewdness would array himself against the United States troops.... The returning emigrants propose to settle at some point in Kansas, where all men who are willing to work have a fair chance and where their children will be free from the degrading influence of polygamy and some other patriarchal institutions."


Vol. V.                       Pittsburgh, Saturday, September 5, 1857.                       No. 50.

Mormonism. *

What is to be the future of this abominable imposture? Hitherto it has been nourished by deep ignorance, unreasoning credulity and wild fanaticism. Its votaries have chiefly been gathered from foreign nations, where proselytes have been gained by enormous lying and wholesale deception. The manufacturing districts of England, and the large towns of Scotland, have afforded the most extensive supplies of these misguided beings. Although our own country must acknowledge the paternity of the delusion, and our Western States and unoccupied territory have afforded homes to the impostors and their victims, still the victims have mainly come from abroad.

There is no difficulty in accounting for this fact. In this country the characters Smith, Rigdon & Co., very speedily became known; and although the system soon began to change its character, still the gross immoralities and blasphemies of its founders, and their unwarranted pretences and dishonesty, were pretty generally understood in a short time, in all parts of the land where the people were in the habit of reading. Under these circumstances it was not likely that any would be led astray by their simulation of prophetic powers, or their claims to a Divine mission, except the most unreflecting. None could yield to them but such as are disposed to be carried captive by the marvelous, and who are ready to believe the incredible. True it is that every large community will be found to contain a certain number of men without moral principle, ready to join any association where they may be able to gratify their selfishness by preying on the substance of others, or to satisfy their licentious appetites by means of the provisions of this modern Mohammedanism.

Any one who is acqnainted with the condition of the manufacturing districts of England, will feel no surprise at learning the numbers which have been gained to Mormonism out of those regions. For years past, the people have lived in vast masses congregated together, and as a general thing, without the means of grace. The Church of England has long lain under the charge of not being a teaching Church. Among the masses of the people which, in a census, could not have been claimed by any body of Dissenters, there have been multitudes who never come into contact with a minister of the Gospel; who attend on no church, and who have no rational ideas of religion, of revelation, or of the nature and authority of the Bible. In Scotland, while the Church has been a teaching institute, there are great numbers crowded together in the large cities, such as Paisley, Glasgow, and Dundee, who, from the want of the subdivision of parishes, are nearly as degraded, intellectually and morally, as are their English, heathen brethren. It is among this class that the Mormon missionaries have reaped the largest harvest.

It is a remarkable fact, that the Presbyterianism of the North of Ireland has proved an impregnable stronghold to the assaults of the Mormons: It is the same with Mormonism in that country as it was with Socialism. Various efforts were made to export the Social system from England to Dublin and Belfast, but the people, discerning the impunity of the system, and, how it degraded the female portion of the human family, rose up at once and chased the first apostles of the creed out of the country. Mormonism has found as little favor in that country as did its affiliated system of impurities; and there is no prospect now that it will ever gain a lodgment in the Green isle.

The different works which have been published, expository of the conduct and character of the Utah Saints have been reprinted in Great Britain, and their circulation has done much good already, in guiding the public mind. We believe it to be true that in England, among intelligent and educated men, there were few who could imagine that any who laid claim to the exercise of reasoning powers would bring themselves to hearken, with patience, to the advocates of such a system. Such men, therefore, disregarded the efforts of Mormon preachers. They did not believe that success could attend their efforts, and they therefore despised them as unworthy of notice. The shrewd apostles, finding that they had the field to themselves, became bold in assertion, and defiant, as well as expository and prophetic, in their ministrations. Success among the thoughtless soon attended their efforts, and thousands made up their minds to go to an earthly paradise, from the toil and care and unceasing struggle of a trying English home. In some quarters, there were ministers and members of churches who were willing to go down from their social position, and, for the sake of the poor people who were being led astray, to stand face to face with the vile abettors of the polluted system. Many have done so, and with great success. The Mormon apostles have been routed out of many towns and parishes by the zeal of such men; but in many of these encounters, the friends of truth have urgently felt the want of correct information of a historical nature, and of facts in detail. That want is not likely to be felt much longer. The public had been made acquainted with the state of affairs in Utah, in 1852, by Lieut. Gunnison, whose residence 'in the Territory enabled him to sketch the rise and progress, the peculiar doctrines, condition, and prospects of the Mormons. In 1854, Benjamin G. Ferris, who had filled the post of Secretary in Utah Territory, published a similar work, after six months' residence at Great Salt Lake City. Now a more important work; and much fuller of details has appeared, from the pen of one who has been a veritable Elder, and leader in this gigantic system of blasphemy and imposture.

John Hyde, Jr., the author of the work before us, is a fair specimen of an Englishman converted to Mormonism. He candidly avows, that in early life he had no clear or connected views on the subject of religion. He was not more ignorant of facts than he was illogical in his examination of the claims of the system which he embraced. With as much propriety he might have become a Hindoo, a Parsee, or a Mohammedan, so far as the reasonableness of his reasons are concerned. Nevettheless he became a Saint, was soon elevated to the rank of an Elder,and left his native land for the elysium beyond the Rocky Mountains. All the romance, and the gilded visions faded when the facts of the beastly state of the Mormon community became fully known to him. To keep him employed, he was dispatched on a mission to the Sandwich Islands, and he embraced the opportunity of leaving the community; and now, with a view to cast as great a flood of light as possible on the state of affairs in Utah, he has given his book to the public. Nearly every view in which Mormonism should be considered, is diecussed here; while facts and illustrations are given in abundance. As an evidence of his truthfulness, he almost always gives the names of the parties, in full, to whom he has occasion to refer. We have examined the work with much care, and consider that the circulation of a large, and cheap edition in England, would do much in arresting the progress of the imposture in that country.

While we have no a desire to occupy our columns by discussing the political aspects of Mormonism, we cannot forbear to say that the appointment of Brigham Young, the head of the Church, to the highest civil office of the Territory, was a grand political mistake. Evil and nothing but evil, has flown from this blunder, and we trust that the political changes which are about to be effected in Utah by the present Administration, will have a happy influence in social affairs. With the religious belief and religious worship of the Mormons, so long as these are matters between them and God, and do not injuriously interfere with their fellow-men, Government must not interfere; but if they will practice corrupting immoralities, destructive of the well-being of their fellow-men, socially and individually, they are not to be permitted to take shelter under the sacred name of religion. The Administration has, in the present case of Utah, a very difficult task. We pray that it may have the needed wisdom, activity, and firmness, and may be sustained by the whole moral and phjsical influence of the country.

* MORMONISM: Its Leaders and Designs. By John Hyde, Jr., formerly a Mormon Elder and Resident of Salt Lake. 12mo.; pp. 335. New YorK: W.P. Fetridge & Co., No. 281 Broadway, 1857.

Notes: (forthcoming)


The Washington Weekly Reporter.
Vol. L.                            Washington, Pa., Wednesday, Oct 21, 1857.                            No. 14.


A Curious Narrative of an Escaped Mormon.

Council Bluffs City, Iowa.    
Monday, June 29, '57.      
My Dear Brother Thomas: -- It is with much pleasure that I write you these few lines, hoping that they will find you all alive and well. I can assure you that I am much better in health now than when I wrote to you before. I can now go about without a shade over my eyes.

I shall now try to give you a short account of my journey from the city of Great Salt Lake; for I can now write my mind with more liberty. l often think of thf' promise I made you before we parted, if you remember. I said that I would be sure to let you know the truth, and nothing but the truth; and I have done that as far as it lay in my power. I have written many letters, but I don't expect that you have received them all. Thank God, I am now in a free country, and in the society of white men.

I guess you are anxious to know the reason why I left Salt Lake. I shall try, in the first place, to inform you what a man must do to be a Mormon. He must give himself, his family, and all his possessions over to Brigham Young, and then he'll have to give the tenth of all his income -- the tenth of a day's work -- and he must keep from two to ten wives. If he don't agree to these things, he had better quit, but by doing so he is in danger of losing his life, every minute, for they would rather kill him than Iet him be the means of letting the world know how things are in their midst. Many have been shot down in trying to escape. I have seen dozens shot down on the street; and three days beiore I left I saw three persons killed merely because they intended to escape. -- They were shot down in a place called Springfield, while they were preparing their trunks to leave. This took place about 8 o'clock on a Sunday morning, within fifty yards of the gate of the city. The first was a young man called William Parish; he received seven balls in his body. The second was his father, and the third was a man called Porter, whose body received as many as fifteen balls. The old man was pierced in the back, and his throat cut in three different places. I saw them lying down, and I could name the persons who killed them. Brigham Young has got men for this purpose. Their numbl'r is four hundred. They are called the Destroying Angels. Their Captain's name is William Hickman, and the second in command is Porter Rockwell.

The walls around the city are fifteen feet high, and they are surrounded by a deep and wide moat. The city is enterede by four gates, which are watched in the night tirne. The gates are so narrow that only one vehicle can pass through at once. The "Destroying Angels" go out on the plains in the spring, in order to intercept those who may escape from the city. -- Many left on foot last January. They sleep by day and travel by night. I know of men and women who have traveled this way -- the men dressed as women, and the women as men. I came across some who were very short of food; the little they had they gave to the women, and the men were principally :sustained by the women's milk.

I Ieft Salt Lake City on the 17th of April, in company with two Welshmen and an African. The few Mormons who knew of our intentions said that we would never reach the States alive, but I told them that I was determined to try, whatever would occur. On Saturday, the day after we Ieft, we had traveled thirty miles from the city, when we saw three men following us. They were sent by the authorities of the city to catch us. The name of one was Patrick Lynch, an Irishman by birth, and Secretary to Brigham Young. This man fired his revolver at me. They then came near us on their horses and inquired our names, and when we refused to tell them, they swore that they would blow "our damned brains out." WIth that, one of them raised his revolver as if he was going to use it -- he had one each side of the saddle. I then took out my revolver and told him to fire if he liked. I had six revolvers with me, and a rifle, containing in all thirty-seven balls. Another ball was then fired at me, which whistled by my left cheek. I then fired at him, and one ball hit him on the leg and another on the shoulder. (My friends by this time had run in the woods, and I was left to fight it out myself.) I then lost my footing' and one of the men ran at me with a knife and cut my belt and took four of my revolvers. I had the other two hid in my boots. I got hold of one of them and fired, and succeeded in keeping them off for some time, till I had a chance to run for the woods, where I got the assistance of my friends.

We continued to travel that day and the following night, and succeeded in reaching a place called Ft. Briger, which is 113 miles from the valley. The number of our pursuers had now increased to twenty, and we had to put to the woods again. We traveled till night and were so fortunate as to meet a host of friendly Indians, who gave us buffalo meat to eat. The next day we overtook a number of wagons, known as Mrs. Rabbit's train, in number 28. I was hired to drive one wagon which was drawn by six mules. We had some trouble with a lot of Indians called the "Crow Tribe." They were well armed and about a thousand strong. About six hundred shots came into our tents. We killed about thirty Indians, and they killed five of our men.

We arrived here on the 13th of June with merry hearts, and we were received with a good welcome by the people of Florence. I went to see my father's grave. I thank God that it is where it is. I left mother with Jane, Louisa, Mary and John, in good health. So was Mr. Thomas too. I___s is a thorough Mormon, and I am sorry to say that he did his best to kill me -- thinking that better than to let me escape to spread his character abroad. I am very desirous for my mother and chidren to leave Salt Lake and join me here. If they could do that I would buy some land here, which I could have at $1.25 per acre. My work here is looking after a brick yard. -- I get $30 a month, besides my board.
From your loving brother,                     
JOHN DAVIES.        

Notes: (forthcoming)


The Washington Weekly Reporter.
Vol. L.                            Washington, Pa., Wednesday, Oct 28, 1857.                            No. 15.

Later From Utah.

Later news from Utah reaches us by way of California. An improbable rumor of the defeat of the United States troops by the Mormons, had reached Carson Valley. A letter from that locality, dated Sept. 10, gives the report as follows: "Within the last week or ten days there has been a great stir among the Mormons in this place and vicinity. Rumor has it that orders from Salt Lake, at the instance of Brigham Young, have been received for aid in the approaching troubles at Salt Lake. True it is that the Latter Day Saints are almost unanimously disposing of their property at a sacrifice, and will" be ready to move in two weeks. It is supposed that about four hundred men, with their families, will answer the call. Guns, pistols and ammunition arc selling at a premium.

"It is also reported here that Gen. Harney, with 2500 troons, was met and driven back by the Mormons, with a loss of 600 men. The news is said to have reached here by special express, direct from Salt Lake within a day or two past."

The San Francisco Herald utterly discredits this intelligence. It says:

"Leaving out of consideration the almost impossibility for Harney's troops to have reached a point where such a conflict could have taken place, the General is a soldier too well tried and experienced to suffer himself to be drawn into an ambuscade, or to be betrayed; for under no other circumstances could such a result as reported have taken place. However, these startling rumors have the effect of drawing attention to the present and future state of affairs in Utah."

The Sacramento Union, however, which first published the news, endorses its correspondent as a reliable person.

Immigration was coming rapidly into Salt Lake City at last advices. Mormon ranches and stock along the overland route of travel were being disposed of at prices one third their value, and the Mormons all through the Carson Valley are preparing to return to Utah, in obedience to the commands of Brigham. They all deny that they are going back to fight the troops.

That the Mormons intend to show fight is pretty clearly evinced by the tone of their leaders. In addition to the violent and inflammatory speeches of Brigham himself, of which we have before given specimens, the Bishops have calculated the Mormon military strength, and give the result to the Saints for their edification. In the "Bowery," at Salt Lake City, on the 25th July, Bishop Smoot, who had just returned from a visit from the frontier, spoke as follows:

"Several inquired of me how many men we could raise, able to go into the field and do good service. I told him that we were a weak, small people, and that I could not readily give a correct guess. 'Well, could you raise so many?' Yes. 'So many?' Yes. 'Well, how many do you suppose, at a rough guess, that you could raise, good, efficient warriors?' I told them that I thought we could raise fifty or sixty thousand, more or less, but with me it was only a kind of rough guess. However, I spoke candidly and believed all I said, and they also believed it."

The Bishop added --

"The troops have some 700 very heavy freight wagons destined for Great Salt Lake, with two tons and a half in each wagon. Those teams move very slow, and if they reach here before snow fall, I shall be a little disappointed, and I think it very probable that they will need some fresh cattle, and some Yankee drivers, to go on and help them in."

Notes: (forthcoming)


The Washington Weekly Reporter.
Vol. L.                            Washington, Pa., Wednesday, Nov. 11, 1857.                            No. 17.


WASHINGTON CITY, Nov. 5. -- Brigham Young, in a communication to the Indian Bureau, says that if he is to have the direction of Indian affairs, and is expected to maintain friendly relations with the Indians, he would suggest that travelers should omit the infamous practice of shooting them when they see one. Hence it is natural that they wreak their vengeance in retaliation. The Government should make more liberal presents. He has proven that it is far cheaper to feed and clothe the Indians than to fight them. When fighting is over it is always followed by expensive presents, which if properly distributed in the first instance, might have averted the fight. The troops, he also says, must be kept away, for it is a fact that wherever are the most of these, there we may expect Indians, and the least security to persons and property.

If these items be complied with, he has no hesitation in saying, that so far as Utah is concerned, no Indians would molest the person or property of travelers. He says that the Department has often manifested its approval of his management of Indian affairs and never its disapproval, and why should he be subjected to such annoyances in regard to funds, to pay expenses, and why reserve his salary? Why should the appropriation for the benefit of the Indians of Utah be retained in the treasury, and individuals left unpaid? These are questions, he says, I leave for you to answer at your leisure, and in the meantime submit to such a course in relation thereto as you shall see fit to direct.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. LXXI.                              Pittsburgh, Tuesday,  Nov. 17, 1857.                               No. 77.

Later  From  California.

New York, Nov. 16. -- The steamer St. Louis, from Apsinwall, arrived with the California mails to the 20th ult., and $1,170,000 in specie...

An arrival from the plains confirms the statement heretofore made, that on the 10th or 12th of September a train consisting of one hundred persons, were all slain by the Indians, except a few children who were sold to the Mormons. It was generally believed that the Mormons were at the bottom of the affair.

Note: The 1857 suspicion that Mormons carried out the Mountain Meadows Massacre was not limited to the Gentile population of neighboring California and Nevada. William Smith -- formerly an LDS Apostle, Patriarch of the Church, and the younger brother of the late Joseph Smith, Jr. -- stated in May of 1857: "I have no doubt whatever of the truth of the charges against the Mormon people of having committed the most wanton and cruel murders in the disguise of Indians; and if the spirits of their victims now sleeping in their graves at Nauvoo could but speak to the world they would reveal tales of cruelty and horror which would make the people stand aghast and cause these murderous, guilty, Mormon rebels to quake with fear, and possibly to recoil at the contemplation of their own wickedness." -- In 1850 this former high-ranking Mormon leader had also revealed: "I am in possession of proofs to show that bands of Salt Lake Mormons, clothed and armed as Indians, and in perfect disguise, with their bodies and faces painted like Indians, have taken positions on the high road from Oregon and California, in order to plunder the companies of emigrants." Unfortunately Patriarch Smith's warnings in this regard went unheeded and he was generally dismissed as a crank who had nothing reliable to say about the secret practices of the topmost Mormon leaders.



Vol. LXXI.                              Pittsburgh, Friday,  Nov. 20, 1857.                               No. ?


                            From the Los Angeles Star Extra, Oct. 10.
THE LATE HORRIBLE MASSACRE OF OVERLAND EMIGRANTS. -- A train of emigrants from Missouri and Arkansas, for this state, were waylaid and cruelly butchered on the route, at a place called Santa Clara canyon, near the rim of the Great Basin, about 300 miles from Salt Lake City. The scene of the massacre is differently designated as Santa Clara canyon, the Mountain Springs and the Mountain Meadows; but all agree in locating it near the rim of the Great Basin, and about fifty miles from Cedar City, the most southern of the Mormon settlements. Of a party of about 130 persons, only 15 infant children were saved. The account was given by the Indians themselves to the Mormons at Cedar City, to which place they brought the children, who were purchased from them by the people of that city. Whether the cause assigned is sufficient to account for the result, or whether a different cause is at the bottom of the transaction, we will leave the reader to form his own conclusion. We can scarcely believe that a party traveling along a highway would act in the manner described -- that is, to poison the carcass of an ox, and also the water, thus endangering the lives of those who were coming after them. Yet this is the story told by all who have spoken of the massacre. It is stated, the emigrants had an ox which died, and they placed poison in the body and also poisoned the water standing in pools, for the purpose of killing the Indians; that several of the tribe had died from this cause, and that the whole force mustered, pursued the train, and coming up with them at the above named place, which favored their purpose, attacked and murdered the whole party, except a few infant children. The Indians state that they made but one charge on the party, in which they cut off the greater portion of the men, and then guarded the outlets of the canyon, and shot the men and women down as they came out for water; that one man was making his escape with a few children, and they followed him, killed him, and took the children, 15 in number, the eldest under five years of age. The report was brought to San Bernardino by Messrs. Sidney Tanner and W. Mathews.

A correspondent of the San Francisco Alta hints his belief that these people were massacred by the Mormons, and the proofs all tend to confirm that suspicion.

Notes: (forthcoming)


The Washington Weekly Reporter.
Vol. L.                            Washington, Pa., Wednesday, Nov. 25, 1857.                            No. 19.

Brigham Young Defying the Government.

Washington City, Nov. 17. -- Advices have been received from Col. Alexander, substantially confirming all the reports in the newspapers respecting the destruction of the contractors' trains by the Mormons. Brigham Young has issued a Proclamation to the United States troops defying the Government, and counseling his people to hostilities in the most determined form, and ordering the troops to keep out of Utah. He says that if they desire to remain till spring, they may do so, provided they give up their arms and ammunition. Col. Alexander, in reply, informed Brigham Young that the troops were there by order of the President of the United States, and would be disposed of as the Commanding General saw proper.

When Col. Alexander was within thirty miles of Fort Bridger, which place is occupied by Mormon troops, he received a letter from Brigham Young, through the Commander of the Nauvoo Legion, warning the troops out of the Territory, but saying that if they desire to remain till spring they may do so, provided they give up their arms and ammunition, but that they must then leave; in the meantime he will see that they are furnished with provisions. The letter was accompanied by two copies of the Proclamation and a copy of the laws of Utah. -- The Commander tells Col. Alexander that he is at the Fort to carry out Brigham Young's instructions, and expresses the hope that Col. Alexander's answer and actions will be dictated by a proper respect for the rights and liberties of American citizens. Alexander, in reply, says that he has given Young's communication attentive consideration, and will submit the letter to the General commanding, as soon as he arrives here, meaning Camp Winfield, on Ham's Fork. In the meantime, he adds, I have to say that these troops were here by order of the President of the United States, and that their further movements will depend entirely upon the orders issued by competent authority.

Among the documents, is a letter from Col. Johnston, dated Camp on the Three Wings of Sweet Water, addressed to Assistant Adjutant General M'Dowell, at New York, in which he confirms the burning of the contractor's trains by the Mormons. -- He says that the Governor's escort is four days march behind him, with two companies of dragoons. He knows of no reason why Alexander should attempt to reach Salt Lake by Bear River, excepting from fear. The Mormons have burnt the grass on the shortest route. He adds, that if he could communicate with Col. Alexander, he would direct him to take up a good position for the winter at Ham's Fork. The road is beset between this and Ham's Fork with companies of Mormons, so that it is doubtful whether I shall be able to communicate with Col. Alexander.

It is supposed at the War Department that the troops are all in good condition, as nothing to the contrary is said to the Secretary in the dispatches.

Notes: (forthcoming)


The Washington Weekly Reporter.
Vol. L.                            Washington, Pa., Wednesday, Dec. 2, 1857.                            No. 20.

Later from California.

New York, Nov. 29. -- The steamer Northern Light with the California mails and $1,075,000 in treasure arrived unannounced about six o'clock this evening. She brings 600 passengers.

The Northern Light brings evidence of the massacre of 118 emigrants to California in Southern Utah, which appears to be conclusive against the Mormons. It produced great excitement against the Mormons.

Samuel Brannon of San Francisco, has deeded land two miles square near Sacramento with other property to three trustees as security for moneys deposited in his new bank...

Notes: (forthcoming)


The Washington Weekly Reporter.
Vol. L.                            Washington, Pa., Wednesday, Dec. 16, 1857.                            No. 22.

The Utah Expedition.

Dr. Jacob Forney, superintendent of Indian affairs for the Territory of Utah has written a letter to the Indian bureau, dated Fort Laramie, October 25, 1857, (and which the acting commissioner, Charles E. Mix, Esq., has kindly permitted us to peruse) in which he states that the troops would [arrive] there on the evening of that day, and that he and his party would follow on the morrow. He says that they met no hostile Indians between Fort Laramie and Fort Kearney. A report had reached him, that a portion of the Utah Indians are Mormons, and that Brigham Young boasts that he has several Indian tribes in his service, and ready to take up arms against the United States. The Doctor says that, in the course of a few weeks, he will know the truth of this report. -- Wash. Union.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. LXXI.                              Pittsburgh, Thursday,  Dec. 17, 1857.                               No. 102.


FROM UTAH. -- By the way of California we have some interesting news from the Mormons at the Salt Lake. A letter from the city of that name, published in a California paper, contains the following item:
"There are a great many of the brethren out upon the road, somewhere about Fort Bridger. The United States troops are at Ham's Fork, within one and a half day's journey of them, and seven days from here. There are companies going out from here every day. The company I belong to has not been called upon yet, but I expect it will be, for the Governor has declared there shall be no troops come into these valleys while there is a possibility of keeping them out, and should they be able to force their way in, we will every man leave his house and improvements in ashes, and take to the mountains. There is somewhere about three thousand soldiers and seven hundred wagons at Ham's Fork."
Here we have a view of the operations of the Mormons. The whole military force of the settlements has been organized, embodied and disciplined, and reinforcements are constantly sent out to aid to aid those already in the field in harassing the government troops, destroying trains, etc. In a sermon preached on the 13th of September, Brigham Young said:
"I shall treat every army and every armed company that attempt to come here as a mob. (The congregation responded, 'Amen.') You might as well tell me that you can make hell a powder-house, as to tell me that you could let an army in here and have peace, and I intend to tell them and show them this, if they do not keep away. By taking fhis course you will find that every man and woman feels happy, and they say, 'all is right, all is well;' and I say that our enemies shall not slip the bow on 'old Bright's neck' again.

"I have told you that if this people will love their religion, all will be well; and I have told you that if there is any man or woman that is not willing to destroy anything and everything of their property that would be of use to an enemy if left, I want them to go out of the territory; and I again say so to-day, that when the time comes to burn and lay waste our improvements, if any man undertakes to shield his, he will be sheared down, for 'judgment will be laid to the line and righteousness to the plummet.' Now the faint-hearted can go in peace, but should that time come, they must not interfere. Before I will suffer what I have in times gone by, there shall not be one building, nor one foot of lumber, nor a stick, nor a tree, nor a particle of grass and hay, that will burn, left in reach of our enemies. I am sworn, if driven to extremity, to utterly lay waste, in the name of Israel's God."
On the succeeding Sunday, September 13th, Brigham Young preached, and said:
It is a pretty bold stand, for this people to take, to say that they will not bo controlled by the corrupt administrators of our general government. We will be controlled by them if they will be controlled by the Constitution and laws, but they will not.

"If the troops are now this side of Laramie, remember that the Sweet water is this side of that place. They must have some place to winter, for they cannot come through here this season. We could go out and use them up, and it would not require fifty men to do it. But probably we shall not have occasion to take that course, for we do not want to kill men. They may winter in peace, at some place east of us; but when spring comes they must go back to the States, or at any rate they must leave the mountains."
We already know , by the acts of the Mormon hands in the mountains, that these declarations were not idle. The Mormon chiefs have waged war as well as talked it. The guerilla parties have harassed our troops very much by cutting off their supplies. A Monsieur Mageau, who has just arrived at St. Louis overland, in forty days from Salt Lake City, says he met the government trains blocked up in the snow, the cattle dying, and the officers and men gloomy and despondent. He adds that the Mormons were making the most active preparations to repel the troops, and that Young had stated in public council his intention to harrass the army until the latter was in sufficient force to overwhelm him, when he would burn Salt Lake City, and lead his people away.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. LXXI.                              Pittsburgh, Saturday,  Dec. 19, 1857.                               No. 104.


LIEUT. GUNNISON. -- The Alta California revives the suspicion that Lieut. Gunnison was massacred by the Mormons, instead of by the Indians, as was reported at the time. It says that the Mormon Elders in Australia have been circulating secretly a pamphlet for the purpose of making converts, and with the belief that it would never, under ordinary circumstances, reach California. The passage in the pamphlet which excites suspicion is this:

"Let the reviewer go back to school, study his Bible, and learn to know that the moral law of the Lord will be established in Zion as it was formerly, and any man who does not keep it, but seduces his neighbor's wife, must die, and no jury there could find him guilty of murder; it is his duly to execute its just demands, for they keep no hangman there. And in that case, it came very hard upon Lieutenant Gunnison and his squad -- as you inform us by saying it came very hard on them there; but if they had come to Sydney, some of your acquaintances, or your co-religionists, might have helped them to some of your exquisites of Sydney; or maybe more nearer -- one of your acquaintances' hearths. It would not come very hard on them here, if we are to believe your police reports, and some of your teachers' examples we might, have had lately. They who live in glass houses should not throw stones," &c.

The Alta California construes this into an admission that Lieut. Gunnison met his untimely death at Mormon hands; and, on ordinary grounds, it is impossible to construe the language otherwise. If this country was not cursed with the most imbecile administration that ever disgraced any nation, these murderers would long since have been extermined; but it seems to be the purpose of our government instead of exterminating the Mormons, to leave them alone, and visit the extermination upon the 1500 United States soldiers who have been sent into the passes of the Rocky mouniains to meet with a lingering and cruel death. The government not only winks at the massacre of Gunnison, but undertakes to imitate the Mormons and engages in the cold-blooded massacre of its own troops.

Notes: (forthcoming)


The Washington Weekly Reporter.
Vol. L.                            Washington, Pa., Wednesday, Dec. 23, 1857.                            No. 23.

From California.

... Our dates from Salt Lake are to Oct. 2nd. The saints are more violent than ever. -- It is considered unsafe for persons or companies, not Mormons, to travel through Utah Territory. The troops under Gen'l Johnson were shortly expected, and the Mormons had their outposts guarded by faithful sentinels.... Accounts from the plains show that the Mormons are preparing for a bloody massacre.

Notes: (forthcoming)


The Washington Weekly Reporter.
Vol. L.                            Washington, Pa., Wednesday, Feb. 3, 1858.                            No. 29.

Very Late from Utah.

We have just had an interview with a gentleman who had just arrived in this city from California and Salt Lake City direct, having left the Mormon head-quarters on the 10th of December -- a date fully one month later than previous advices.

Our informant started from San Francisco on the 15th November, for Salt Lake, intending to procede then to the States. -- He remained for some days in the Mormon Territory. Stopping at San Bernardino, on the way to Utah, he there had an interview with Captain Hunt and other Mormon leaders, who were crowded with business, in making preparations for the emigration of the whole Mormon population from [that] country to Great Salt Lake City.

The Mormons in that region were selling off their farms, mills, workshops, &c., at great sacrifice. Six months ago the same property could not have been purchased for ten times the price now accepted. Everything they possessed was for sale, save the means of transporting them to the goal of their hopes, and the etceteras required on the journey.

In eleven days from San Bernadino the party arrived at Coal Creek settlement, and left, the next morning, for Great Salt Lake City, passing through Parowan Fort, a small settlement on the Beaver River, Fillmore City, Lehi, Sennitt Creek, [P------], Spanish Fork, Provo City and other small villages, arriving at the City on the 5th of December, having made the journey in twenty days. From the time they entered on the Santa Clara River, (about eighty miles from the first Mormon settlement) they met numerous bands of Piute Indians, who well well armed, pretty comfortably attired, and apparently on very good terms with the Mormons. They likewise passed through bands of Utes, who were living close to the settlements. Many of the Indians spoke tolerably good English.

There is no question that the Mormons in all the settlements are fully posted on the war question, and the Indians [are] quite as much interested as they are. They have rubbed up their firearms, cleaned their [knives], and are particularly [aspiring] to the use of powder and lead.

In the settlements south of Great Salt Lake City the Mormons were united, and very busy threshing their grain, which they had in great abundance from the last harvest.

The suffering among the United States troops was, naturally enough, a subject for congratulation in the city, when friends met. The people believe in the entire destruction of the troops now at the foot of the mountains and as many more as may join them in the Spring, not by the superior human force which may be brought to oppose their entrance into the valleys, but by the exercise of "the Almighty power." ...

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVI.                         Pittsburgh,  Monday, Feb. 15, 1858.                         No. 105.

Latest from California.

... About the 28th of August five American gentlemen whose names are at present unascertained, left Carson Valley for Salt Lake City, and it is understood that they travelled to Utah in company with Mormons vvho quitted Carson Valley; to return to Salt Lake by order of Brigham Young. News has been received now that these gentlemen were murdered at a point about ono hundred miles south of Salt Lake by Indians, and it is suspected that the Saints had some hand in the massacre.

Numerous volunteer companies are being organized over the whole country to await the call of the President to march against the Mormons in Utah.

Dates from Oregon Territory are to January 2d. -- The news was bare of interest. The Snake Indians, it is reported, have joined the Mormons against the United States. The Clichitates are counciling as to what they best do in the Mormon War. The Saints have emissaries among all the Indian Tribes to iniveigle them over upon their side.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVI.                         Pittsburgh,  Monday, July 19, 1858.                         No. 238.

The First Mormon Settlement -- Its Temple.

A correspondent from Kirtland, Ohio, gives the following. His letter dates from a small township situated in Lake County, about twenty miles east of Cleveland. The town is somewhat celebrated for being the first settlement of Joe Smith and his followers in the United States. The population about the year 1834-5 was nearly five thousand -- mostly of the Mormon faith; now it has not far from fifteen hundred, very rew of whom claim allegiance to believe in the doctrines of the "Latter Day SaintS," as promulgated by Brigham Young. He says:

Here the Mormons laid out streets, highways, city lots, built steam-mills, large "blocks" for stores, shops, &c., and made all the preparations necessary for building up a "City of Zion." Here, too, they erected a temple, on which is inscribed, "House of the Lord, built by the Church of the Latter Day Saints, A. D. 1834," and which still stands, not as one on a sure foundation, but as one upon the quicksands of superstition, bigotry and fanaticism, which the winds of religious liberty, good order and moral sociality are fast blowing to decay.

The original internal arrangements of this temple was rather interesting to the visitor. The building is two stories high, of twenty-six feet each, having a large attic; each story had four pulpits, or priestly desks, at either end, one rising above and in the rear of the other, and indicating by certain letters in front the official character of the priests. In the center, the seats for the multitude were arranged much like those in our churches at the present day, except that they were movable, so that the congregation might face either east or west, (the pulpits being at the east and west ends.)

Overhanging the audience were four curtains on rollers, so situated that when unrolled the house would be divided into four equal compartments, each having a speaker and each speaker having a similar screen or drop curtain to exclude his appearance from three-fourths of the house and congregation.

The attic was divided into five compartments for schools, designed to teach Hebrew language. A celebrated Hebrew scholar named Seixas, a gentleman whom the Rev. Doctor stewart often referred for Hebrew authority, had at times a very flourishing school among the Saints.

In this place Brigham Young lived, at one time a Methodist preacher, and was converted (or professed to be) to the faith of the Saints and became one of their Priests.

Dr. Boyington, the celebrated geologist, who has been employed by the United States Government, was one of their number, distinguished among the people of Zion as a teacher and preacher to the chosen ones.

The association in a short time became unpopular, trials and persecutions from the "Gentile" world led some to abandon their faith, but the larger portion left with their leader, Joe Smith, for Missouri, about twenty years since; and nearly the one evidence of their former prosperity, or I might say habitation, here, is the "Temple," now fast crumbling to decay, on the broken and shattered walls of which the names of thousands upon thousands of visitors are written, soon to pass into obscurity and to be numbered with the things that were. The mills, shops and stores and many of the dwellings are decayed, torn down or unoccupied. There yet stands, however, a large unoccupied three story house, known as the "Boston House," built by two maiden ladies converted to the Mormon faith. Whether they have gone to find husbands, or have been called to that unknown country which all must occupy, your correspondent is not informed.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. LXXII.                              Pittsburgh, Tuesday,  May 3, 1859.                               No. 123.


THE MORMON DIFFICULTY. -- The congratulations of the President and the democratic press upon the happy and bloodless manner in which they extinguished the rebellion in Utah were premature, or, as one of our distinguished citizens and an officer in the late House of Representatives of this State has it, a "little previous." The rebellion is not suppressed. The pacification of Utah has not been accomplished. The army is there and the government officials ore there; but the machinery of government will not move in the right way. The Mormon grand juries will not find bills of indictment, and the Mormon petty juries will not convict persons guilty of crimes and misdemeanors, and the witnesses who appear and testify are liable to persecution and even violence. Even the courts are exposed to intimidation, and justice is administered under the protection of bayonets. Gov. Cumming has indignantly denounced Gen. Johnston, and Judge Cradlebaugh has indignantly denounced Gov. Cumming, and a collision between the troops and the Mormons at Provo is considered imminent; and both parties are pouring their complaints in to the unwilling ears of the Administration at Washington, which is nearly distracted with a trouble it does not know how to get rid of. Shall it side with the Governor and the rebellious Mormons? or with the army and the judges, and enforce obedience to the laws? There would seem to be but one course for any honest government to pursue -- to enforce the laws at all hazards; but this government isnot to be judged by such a rule.

'"Popular Sovereignty" is having its practicability put to the test in Utah. If the people there are to rule, then it is folly for U. S. Judges to ask them to rule in any but their own way; and if Judge Cradlebaugh and the Army are to have their way there, [it] is an end to Popular Sovereignty in Utah. As long is it is held absolutely necessary that the people themselves should administer the law, and it is manifest the only law they recognize is one which the Courts do not recognize, the question of how the Government is be carried on is one which is and must be surrounded by endless difficulties. There are but two ways to get out of the dilemma. Either we must conquer the Mormons and hold them subjeot to our laws and jurisprudence, or we must abandon them to their own laws and let them illustrate popular sovereignty in their own way. The whole scheme of the administration, to make the Mormons administer our laws, when we know that they feel it to be their duty to do their best in obstructing and defying them, is an abortion. The thing cannot be done. Mormons will not sit on Grand Juries to find bills against Mormon murderers and thieves; Mormon witnesses will not give evidence against them; and Mormon petty juries will not convict thorn. The law needed here is martial law; and no court is so well suited to the exigencies of the case as a court martial. Judge Cradlebaugh might get military promotion and serve as Judge Advocate in such a court; and then Johnson's troops would come in as potent auxiliaries, instead of finding themselves laughed at and defied as they were at Provo. ln the meantime we outsiders may look on and laugh at the evident embarrassment which the affair causes to poor old Buchanan and his doughty cabinet.

St. Louis, May 2. -- The Salt Lake correspondent of the Republican, under date of the 8th ult., states that the excitement is somewhat abated. This is attributed, in part, to the knowledge that the Mormons have a practical working jury law passed by the late Legislature; it being a complete breastwork to the punishment of any crime committed by the Mormons. Under the law, clerks of the Mormon county courts elect grand and petit jurors of Federal courts, and such restrictions are imposed as to disqualify almost every Gentile in the Territory.

The rupture between the Judiciary and Executive is stated to be open and irreconcilable, unless the Governor yields, which he will not do, and if the Administration moves in the matter, detrimental to the judges, they will resign, and publish a manifesto disclosing darker and bloodier scenes than any that have heretofore been exposed. Cradlebaugh adjourned the Court at Provo, sine die, being unable to accomplish anything.

Brigham Young delivered a temperate duscourse at the Tabernacle on the 7th.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Democratic  [   ]  Watchman.
Vol. IV.                           Bellefonte, Pa., Thursday, December 8, 1859.                          No. 49.


THE ORIGINAL MORMON PROPHET'S FAMILY. -- The family of Joe Smith, the first Mormon Prophet, still dwell in Nauvoo. No persuasions, it is said, can prevail on them to remove to Utah. His widow has married again, and with her husband keeps the Mansion House, the only house of entertainment the city affords. The oldest son, who bares his father's name of Joseph, is a Justice of the Peace, and a useful and much respected citizen. Great inducements have been offered him to remove to Great Salt Lake City, but he steadily resists all such importunities.

Notes: (forthcoming)


The  Globe.
Vol. XV.                           Huntingdon, Pa., Wednesday, Dec. 14, 1859.                          No. 25.


Kingston, Caldwell County, Mo.,        
November 30, 1859.    
Friend Lewis: -- As I have been thinking for some time of writing you a letter, and now having an hour at my disposal, I will try and carry out the idea.... we procured a couple of horses, and rode out to the site of Joe Smith's town, "Far West," the first place he attempted to settle. The location is a beautiful one as could be selected; is on a beautiful rolling prairie, through which meander several small streams, along some of which are fine groves of timber; along others a few stunted trees, with patches of brush and hazel bushes; sumac and elder in abundance grow along the banks of the creeks and edges of the timber. A few dilapidated old buildings are all that are left of what was intended for the great city of the faithful -- but alas! for human calculations, Joe had to leave in hot haste to escape the vengeance of the settlers for crimes his followers had committed, and seek a new home on the Mississippi at Nauvoo. But as the history of Joseph and his followers has heretofore been written, I shall not follow him -- but only remark that whatever faults and failings he may have been guilty of, Joe was a good judge of land, as any one can satisfy himself of who will take the trouble to look at the land around "Far West," or in Hancock county, Illinois, about "Nauvoo." But now having got up this far, I must tell you what I think of Missouri, so far as I have seen it.... After Illinois, I should say that this was going to be one of the finest States in the Union. But as the stage is due in a few minutes, I will close, hoping to be able next time to do better.
                Yours, &c., J. P.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Volume XXX.                           Erie, Pa., Saturday, April 28, 1860.                          No. 47.


Young Joe Smith in His Father's Boots. -- From the correspondent of the Cincinatti Gazette, we get the particulars of the formal installation at Amoby, lee county, Illinois, on the 6th of April, of Joe Smith as "Prophet, Seer, and Revelator in Zion," as successor to his father, in the Mormon Church.

There were present fifty male and female Mormons from Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois and Ohio. Joe Smith made an address, saying that he of late had been having revelations through the Holy Spirit of the will of God; he said that for two or three years past the Church has been exciting the wrath of God, and that he (Smith) had now reorganized it, and that the doctrines of Brigham Young he holds in abhorrence.

Furthermore, he said:

"I believe that a man owes duties to the country in which he lives -- that he is amenable to the laws of the land, and that he is liable to have that duty enforced upon him by those laws; and I say that Mormons can so act that they shall have as many friends as the people of any sect.

"I hold in entire abhorrence many of the doctrines preached and promulgated by Brigham Young. I have been told that my father promulgated these same doctrines -- the doctrines of Young. This I never did believe, and I never can believe it, for the doctrines were not promulgated by Divine authority; and I believe that my father was a good man, and no good man could have promulgated such odious doctrines.

"I believe in the unity of the Church, and in truth and honesty, and all these I find in the Bible, and in the Book of Mormon, and in the 'Book of Doctrine and Covenants,' which latter books are but auxiliaries to the first."

Presidents of Seventies, Presidents of Quorums, and a Bishop were then chosen, and prayers offered up for the "Saints in bindage in Utah."

Note: See the New York Times of April 11, 1860 for a report similar to that published by the Cincinatti Gazette. The Times adds this line: "Now, I have my own peculiar notions in regard to revelation, and I am happy to say, in the face of this meeting, that the voice of those with whom I have conversed among this people is, that they concur with me."


The  [    ]  Pilot.
Volume IV.                        Greencastle, Pa.,  Tuesday, April 7, 1863.                        No. 10.

The  Fight  in  Washington  Territory.

Washington, March 31. -- Official information has been received of Colonel Conner's severe battle and splendid victory on Bear, River, Washington Territory. After a forced march of one hundred and forty miles, in midwinter and through deep snows, in which seventy-six of his men were disabled by frozen feet, he and his gallant band of only two hundred men attacked three h'undred Indian warriors in their stronghold, and after a hard-fought battle of four hours, destroyed the entire band, leaving two hundred and twenty-four dead upon the field. Our loss was fourteen killed and forty-nine wounded. These Indians had murdered several miners during the winter, and were part of the same band who had been massacring emgrants on the overland Mail route for the last fifteen years, and the principal actors and leaders in the horrid crimes of last summer. During Colonel Conner's march no assistance was rendered by the Mormons, who seemed indisposed, he says, to divulge any information regarding the Indians, and charged enormous prices for every article furnished his command.

Note: The Greencastle Pilot was the successor to Sidney Rigdon's and Ebenezer Robinson's late 1840s Conocococheague Herald.


Volume XII.                    Pittsburgh, Wednesday, February 10, 1864.                    No. 21.


When, some two years ago, I ceased connection with the Presbyterian Banner, it was my expectation that this retirement was final.... Yet scarecely had I returned to the exclusive work of preaching the Gospel, when regreats from many quarters were expressed... We now enter upon our work fully sensible of its great requirements, but also looking up to our Father who is in haven, for his help, and earnestly desiring the indulgence and cooperation of the readers and patrons of the Banner...

It is to me a source of the highest gratification to be able to say to the public that Prof. Robert Patterson, formerly of Jefferson College, Pa., but now of Centre College, Danville, Ky., is to be associated with myself. He bears a name familiar for half a century to the people of Western Pennsylvania. he is an accomplished scholar, a forcible and polished writer, a man of the highest integrity, and at the same time the gentle and modest Christian.... Just so soon as the Professor can be released from his engagements with the College, he will enter upon his new duties.

In behalf of myself and colleague, I give you these, our salutations.
James Allison.          

Note: Robert Patterson, Jr. remained with the Presbyterian Banner until his death in 1889. The several articles on Mormonism, appearing in the Banner in the 1870s and 1880s were probably edited by Mr. Patterson, the son of the Rev. Robert Patterson (to whom Solomon Spalding applied to have his "Manuscript Found" published, after 1812).


Vol. ?                              Pittsburgh, Tuesday,  January 1, 1867.                               No. ?


EICHBAUM -- On Sunday morning, Dec. 30, at 7 o'clock, WILLIAM EICHBAUM, in the 81st year of his age.

Note: William Eichbaum served as the Postmaster of Pittsburgh during part of the time when Sidney Rigdon is known to have received mail at that postoffice. The statement of Eichbaum's widow in this regard was taken by the Rev. Robert Patterson, Jr. on Sep. 18, 1879.


Record of the Times.
Vol. II.                          Wilkes-Barre, Pa, Wednesday, August 14, 1867.                          No. 33.


Editorial Correspondence Franklin Repository.

SALT LAKE, June 18, 1867. I have now spent a week with the Latter Day Saints, admired their green shades, beautiful artificial streams, pleasant homes, and the innumerable evidences of industry and prosperity which appear on every hand. Their markets are filled with the choicest vegetables, and the finest strawberries of the continent are offered every hour of the day at reasonable prices. Stores equal to those of the cities of the Western States are numerous, and business of all branches has an air of system, capital and thrift that is delightful. This is a city of 20,000 population, without paupers, brothels or gambling hells. Among the Mormons, who constitute over ninety per cent, of the people, there are none idle, and they claim that none suffer. The bee-hive is found on the dome of the Prophet's house, and frequently on rude business signs, as typical of the habits of the faithful. All must work, and while each owns his property gained by industry, there is still a common store where the distressed and children of want repair. And industry is brightened in every possible way. In the evening the merry dance is to be heard in almost every ward; the theatre is never closed for any length of time, and recreation is devised in every conceivable manner to lighten the burdens of toil.

Salt Lake City is in what is called the Great Basin of the west. A section of country, nearly a circle, with a radius of about 300 miles from the centre, is walled in by the Wasatch mountains on the east, the Sierra Nevada on the west, and their broken spurs north and south. This great valley has no outlet for its waters. The Jordon, Ogdon, Bear and Weber rivers, with many lesser streams, empty in the Great Salt Lake, distance about twenty miles from this city. It is 120 miles long, and averages about 20 in width, and is the most briny body of water in the world." So strongly is it impregnated with salt that its shores, when the waters recede in the dry season, are but a bed of salt, and a man in the lake will float like a cork. Sink he cannot, but the head must be kept carefully uppermost, for in whatever position he lands in the water, he is likely to remain in the position. If head down, down the head will stay, and it requires almost a super-human effort to reverse the position of the body. -- In the Lake are vast islands and high, rugged mountains, some of them covered with nutritious grass and abounding in fresh springs. Cattle and horses are grazed there and thrive better than any place else in the territory. South of this the river Sevier empties into the Lake Sevier, which is also without an outlet, but the waters sink and do not become salt. In the western portion of the Great Basin (now the State of Nevada) there are a number of large rivers, and all sink into the earth at different points in the valley and doubtless find subterranean passage to the sea. The Humboldt, Walker, Carson, Tuckee and other rivers drain Nevada, and all are without an open channel to the ocean. Some of them empty into lakes, but none of them are salt, and all doubtless have invisible outlets.

This Great Basin was once regarded as a vast Desert. The Mormons accepted it as their home to escape the antagonism of the Christians, and supposed that here they could remain unmolested for centuries. When they arrived here there was not so much as a trail across the mountains. This valley, as well as all west to the Pacific and South to the Gulf, belonged to Mexico, and one of the chief motives for the Mormon pilgrimage to this place was to escape the hated jurisdiction of the United States. But within a year after they located here, the territory was acquired from Mexico, and they again became unwilling and disloyal subjects of our government. When they arrived here, there was nothing to promise them requited labor and plentiful harvests. The soil was sterile, acrid, full of alkali, and refused to produce anything but the dreary sage and greasewood; but Mormon industry flooded it with artificial rains, tamed it with corn and buckwheat, and now raise as fine wheat, oats, barley, &c., as are grown in the Union. Not a shrub or tree shaded this vast desert plain when they made it their home, but they had with them the seeds of the locusts, and they gathered the little cottonwoods along the streams, and now the city is one forest of the most heartsome shades and the gardens are covered with the green foliage of every species of orchard fruits. They seemed to have aimed to make this as nearly a paradise for the stranger as human effort could make it, and they have succeeded better than do most Christians in surrounding their homes, from the most humble to the most spacious, with the beauty, fragrance and fruitfulness of nature.

But the peculiar religion, or professed religion of the Mormons, is the most marvelous problem of the age. Here are 100,000 people, the most industrious, as a class, on the face of the earth; sober, neighborly, of good repute as a rule, and most of them sincerely and devoutly pious in their way, who tolerate and sustain in their leaders the most arrant swindling and revolting licentiousness, and call it making sacrifice to the Lord. Of the 100,000 Mormons, nine-tenths are ignorant aliens, who were the slaves of the mines or the serfs of the proprietors in the old countries. They need but little here to improve their condition, and as a rule they have been made owners of their homes. All they ever did learn they have learned from the Mormons, and it is not so surprising, therefore, they bow implicitly to the teachings of those they believe to be inspired from on high. If I were going to analyze the Mormon population, I would set down nineteen of every twenty as pitiable dupes and the remainder, one-twentieth, as the most expert and successful knaves on the earth.

Brigham Young is the spiritual and temporal head of the church. He assumes to be the successor of Christ, and is esteemed by his deluded followers as of equal power and glory with the Savior. They hold that Jesus was the first Messiah, Joseph Smith the second, and Bringham Young the third, and I heard it distinctly taught in the tabernacle that Christ, Smith and Young would come back to the earth together, in the fulness of time, to reign with the people of God. Accepted as of divine anointment -- indeed as being in immediate communication with the Almighty; as the oracle through which God speaks to His chosen people, it is not wonderful that he can riot in wealth, pick the fairest and tenderests lambs from the flock to gratify his beastly lusts, and have the streets filled with his children, who are fed, clothed and schooled by the labor of his followers.

I spent half an hour with him in his inner sanctuary, but it was a mere show, like going to see any other monstrosity. Some half a dozen others were with me, including Mrs. M., and the Prophet was courteous but reticent. He did not know who we might be, and his never failing sagacity made him self-poised and diplomatic in an eminent degree. -- He most adroitly warded off several neat strategic movements to get an insight of Mormonism, and kept the party to glittering generalities with masterly skill. Whenever the conversation became unpleasant for him, he would turn to Mrs. M. and address her with great elegance and fluency on common place topics. I had a seat beside his oldest son, who was not so prudent as the father, and 1 had his views of true Mormanism. "Religion" said he, "without plurality of wives in the Lord, the play of Hamlet with Hamlet left out" and he gave me a patronizing look as if he pitied my unbelief. I did not venture on a discussion, as we had merely called to see the lions, and could not, in a general conversation, learn much worth knowing. Around the house, or rather houses, of Mr. Young, there were a score of children, from three to ten years of age, most of them girls, with different mothers, but all owning Brigham as father. He has some twenty wives who are named to him in the flesh, and perhaps twice as many who are sealed to him merely to become his spiritual wives in heaven. I need not say that these, as a class are long neglected spinsters and unsightly widows, who have failed to gain a union in the flesh. I saw several of them stowed away in one corner of the theatre, and it was not difficult to determine why they were merely sealed as wives for the spirit land. I noticed that in no instance do the Prophet and Elders seal the young and beautiful daughters of the church as spiritual wives. Severe as they profess the cross to be, they accept them in the flesh, usually to the neglect and sorrow of their older partners. In the theatre were six of Brigham's wives in a row, the original wife occupying a comfortable rocking chair as the honored in Israel. She looks like at woman of intelligence and refinement, but rude furrows have been plowed in her face by ever visible grief. She lives in a cottage by herself, and seldom is favored with visits from her lord. The others are all woman beneath mediocrity, all more or less faded, and none bearing the traces of early beauty. They are the sobered and practically discarded mistresses of the Prophet, and have served their purpose, while other and fairer faces usurp the favor they each in turn enjoy. They are relics of the past, and seem to have quietly resigned themselves to their fate. -- And why should they not? Each one as she becomes the favorite so-called wife, pushed others aside, and they accepted their degraded position with the full knowledge that the passions which were sated with their predecessors, would in time demand others to take their places. The favorite is, of course, the last wife, and while the venerable, unsightly spiritual wives were huddled in a corner in plainest garb, and those discarded in the flesh crowded each other in a row near the centre of the parquette, the richly gilded and curtained private box, and softly cushioned chair, held the last fair flower transplanted to the harem. She is still gay and festive, has a queenly step, sports her elegant opera glass and the best of ribbons and laces. She is the niece of the first wife, and like most babies in large families, is the spoiled child of the establishment. Notwithstanding the holy sphere in which she moves, she occasionally combs the head of the Prophet with a three-legged stool, raises Hail Columbia in the very sanctuary of the holies, and smashes a chair over the piano to prove her devout affection to the sacred calling she has accepted. So revolutionary has she been in spite of divine commands from the very oracles of heaven that she had to be "corralled" in a house by herself, and there she rules in her boisterous, obstinate way, and makes the Prophet bow at her feet, instead of becoming the meek submissive wife the church demands of all on pain of eternal punishment.

According to the Mormon faith, woman have no status in heaven excepting such as is given them by their husbands; and, as they cannot be given in marriage there, it is of the importance to all woman to become wives. If they become the wife of a man who has many others, and sad crosses and trials result therefrom, they thus lay up for themselves bright crowns in heaven. In accordance with this belief, it is not uncommon for dying damsels to send for high officials in the church and be sealed to them before death, so as to gain a high seat with their spiritual husbands; and even the dead are sometimes married by proxy, near friends representing them, to lift them up to a level with their spiritual lords in the future world. This doctrine is preached daily to the woman by men who claim and are believed, to be inspired by God, and as a rule is accepted religiously by the Mormon woman. Yet each one struggles to paint the pollution of her own domestic circle and prays that the bitter cup may pass from her. I hear o£ one man who married two wives together who has a peaceful household, but no wife in all Utah has received another to divide, or rather to usurp, the love of her husband without consuming sorrows. They bow in submission to it, but in spite of their religious infatuation, and the promise of a brighter crown above, their womanly instincts revolt at it, and they go in grief the remainder of their days.

I wished to learn of Mormonism from its votaries, and of polygamy from its advocates and victims. I have met its advocates, a class confined to husbands, and heard the best defence of that peculiar feature of their faith; but its victims are not accessible to the stranger. I met a few Mormon ladies who are wives without presiding over a brothel, and the saddest shadow is brought to their faces by the slightest reference to the plurality of wives. One most intelligent and accomplished wife, who with her husband professed the Mormon faith, and have increased in wordly prosperity thereby, advocated the claims of the Morman people to the generous support of the government with much earnestness. I was about to ask her whether she would be willing for her husband to bring another so-called wife into her house, but it would have been too cruel, and I was silent. It would have ended the conversation, and been regarded as a wanton indignity from a guest to a hostess.

I have seen one man who has five wives, a mother and two daughters; others who have brought to their homes children of fourteen years, and made them the reigning queens of their firesides, while their lawful wives, often with children older than their associates, or rather successors, bow in shame with broken hearts. Old men of sixty, dignitaries in the church, have half a dozen or more, from the aged partners of their youth, down to the latest fancy, always of the tenderest years and young girls are thus freely sacrificed by infatuated parents, to decrepid lecherous beasts, with the firm belief that it is a religious duty, and will be rewarded in heaven. After a careful observation of this polygamic people, I must accept the conviction that the leaders teach and practice it simply to gratify their unbridled licentiousness, and they deliberately blaspheme God and his holy precepts to maintain their polluting doctrines. Bear in mind that polygamy is not general among the Mormon people. Not over one-third of the married men have a plurality of wives, and they are, as a rule, the bishops, elders, councilors and other dignitaries, who handle the tithings and fatten on the toil of their miserable dupes.

On Sunday I attended Mormon service in the tabernacle morning and evening, and heard four sermons. The high officials do not attend in the morning, and I was surprised at the low grade of faces almost uniformly presented. There were over 1000 women present, and there was scarcely a bright, intelligent, happy face among them. In the afternoon the elite of the church attended with others, the sacrament was administered (as it is every Sunday) and Brigham Young preached. There were 1500 women present, and among them were very many bright, pretty faces, with lustrous eyes, rosy cheeks and pouting lips that might tempt even a Gentile kiss. The choir looked like a country May party -- filled with pretty girls, with jaunty hats and feathers, and all most tastefully clad. A crazy cockney opened the service by a rambling harangue, demanding equal division of property and wives, and cautioning, with peculiar fervor, the "ewes and lambs" of the church against Gentile unions. Brigham sat behind him, and wearied of his erratic doctrines. He first tried to stop it by crying out "amen" at an appropriate moment, but the insjnred minister rushed on. Finally Brigham's patience was exhausted, and he seized the cockney by the coat tail and jerked him down, when the Prophet ascended the sacred desk and spoke an hour with rare adroitness and perfect fluency. He at once took issue with the man who had preceded him, and declared against an equal division of property. "Equalize tomorrow" said he, "and how long will it remain equal? Not a month, not a week, not an hour. It is folly to talk about it. Not one in forty of you can take care of yourselves, and you must be dictated to by some one who has experience in temporal matters, and is inspired on spiritual matters." After he had shown them that they could not manage their own affairs, he declared that he was their leader, by divine appointment; he Would diciate to them and they must obey. He appealed to the women to be true to ihe faith, and proclaimed it as the will, even the command of the Lord, received directly from Him, that they must not trade with Gentiles or apostates, who refuse to give tithings to the church. His arrogance, profanity, and frequent assumption of omnipotent power were shocking, but a careful survey of the people clearly demonstrated that he spoke with much worldly wisdom to maintain the infatuation and abject submission of his people. After which Sunday was devoted to recreation, and the delightful gardens of Salt Lake were filled with pleasure parties.

How long is this indelible blot on the American name to last? It is in open violation of law, and yet the law seems powerless to vindicate its majesty. Congress has enacted that this monstrous crime must cease to pollute the fairest homes of the far west -- why does it not enforce its own solemn law? It needs but one season of stern justice to scatter it to the winds and drive the bloated imposters from their sore oppression of a deluded people, and morality and public decency demand that it be speedily done.   A. K. M.

Note: Alexander Kelly McClure was a prominent Philadelphia Republican politician. During the 1860s and 1870s, after visiting Salt Lake City on a western tour, he gave lectures on the subject of Mormonism. See his 1879 article on the subject, as published in the Philadelphia Times.


The Washington Reporter.
Vol. LIX.                            Washington, Pa., Wednesday, May 13, 1868.                            No. 40.

For the Reporter.
Where did Solomon Spalding Die?

Messrs. Editors: -- Appleton & Co., of New York, lately published a book on the "Rise and Progress of Mormonism." The author -- Mr. Tucker -- takes the same view with Elder Hyde who published a work on Mormonism some time ago. They both state that Solomon Spalding, a clergyman, of feeble health, wrote a book which was never published by him or his authority -- that after his death Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, by dishonest means, got hold of this manuscript and published it as the Mormon Bible. This is their theory and it is doubtless the correct one.

Elder Hyde says that Mr. Spalding came to Pittsburgh in 1812, and after two years he removed to Amity, Washington county, Pa., where he died in 1816. Mr. Tucker also says that he died in 1816, but that his death took place at Amity, Washington county, New York. Now this may be an error of the types, and if so the publisher should correct it. If it be not an error of the types, I would call attention to the fact that Elder Hyde is right and Mr. Tucker wrong in this particular.

Now for the facts. That Mr. Spalding died at Amity, Washington county, Pa., is beyond dispute. He was buried in the Presbyterian grave yard in that place. His grave is frequently pointed out to strangers who visit the village. It was marked by a head and foot stone of a somewhat sandy texture which crumbles when exposed for a long time. The head stone has fallen but the foot stone is yet standing, and on it are marked the initials of Mr. Spalding's name. Some of the older people in the neighborhood remember to have seen Mr. Spalding. It is said he was fond of reading select passages of his romance to any who would listen.

I write for the integrity of history. If Mr. Spalding lived and died in Amity, Pennsylvania, let it be known. If he wrote a romance for pastime, which became the basis of the Mormon heresy, it should be known. There is nothing more certain than that Solomon Spalding, a clergyman, a fine scholar, a man of bankrupt fortune, of feeble health, and of an imaginative turn of mind, who wrote a romance in Bible style, did live and die in Amity, Washington county, Pa.
AMITY, Pa., May 6, 1868.           J. W. H.          

Note: The above letter from the Rev. Jesse Wells Hamilton (of the Lower Tenmile Cumberland Presbyterian Church at Amity) marks the beginning of mid-19th century researches into the activities of Solomon Spalding and Sidney Rigdon in the Pittsburgh area, of four and five decades previous. Pomeroy Tucker's 1867 book (which received good publicity and a nation-wide distribution) appears to have served as the major impetus for these post-war investigations, in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. The resulting inquries into Mormon origins blended easily with American historians' multitudinous projects for publishing regional biographies and histories throughout the 1870s and 1880s. Unforunately, by that late period there were very few surviving friends and acquaintances of Solomon Spalding left to tell his story. See the Reporter of May 20, 1868 for the published recollection from a Spalding neighbor at Amity, and the issue of Apr. 7, 1869 for Rev. Hamilton's most important contribution to Solomon Spalding historical documentation.


The Washington Reporter.
Vol. LIX.                            Washington, Pa., Wednesday, May 20, 1868.                            No. 41.

For the Reporter.
More About Solomon Spaulding.

Messrs. Editors: -- Having noticed in your paper of the 13th inst,, a communication in reference to Solomon Spaulding, I thought it might be interesting to your readers to hear something more in respect to the death of a man who has unintentionally deceived many persons.

I was well acquainted with Solomon Spaulding. He came to Amity, I think, in the summer of 1815. He lived in the house now occupied by Obadiah Clutter, and kept a public house. He told me that he had formerly lived at or near New Lisbon, Ohio; that while there he had lost his health and had written what he called his "manuscript." It was in the style of a novel, well written, and I and others would frequently set and listen to his reading of it. His manuscript was written on loose sheets of paper with a pen.

I nursed him in his last sickness, made his coffin, and Thomas Vennum and myself bailed his wife Matilda in the administration of his estate, as will appear by the records of the Orphans' Court for the winter of 1817.
Ten Mile, May 18, 1868.

Note 1: This is the first known statement given by Joseph Miller, on the topic of his early acquaintance with Solomon Spalding and family, at Amity, Pennsylvania. Sarah Jane (Harris) Kiefer's 1888 book, Genealogical and Biographical Sketches of the New Jersey Branches of the Harris Family, furnishes this brief summary on Mr. Miller and his wife: "Pamelia Harris, daughter of George Harris and Hannah Tunis, was born in Washington County, PA, 17 October 1788. She married Joseph Miller, 4 March 1813 and had seven children. After their marriage they settled in near the village of Amity in Washington County, PA. where they lived the balance of their lives. Pamelia died 3 March 1863 and Mr. Miller died 12 April 1885, aged ninety-five years. They were married fifty years lacking one day when Mrs. Miller died. They were both members of the Presbyterian Church."

Note 2: Mr. Miller's recollection of Solomon Spalding at Amity "in the summer of 1815" may arise from the fact that Miller and his wife were evidently a newcomers to the village themselves. Miller -- then working around Amwell township as a carpenter -- may not have met Spalding until several weeks after Solomon's November, 1814 arrival in Amity. Miller's confusion regarding Spalding's former residence in Ohio may be due to the fact that Lisbon (or New Lisbon) was located very near Salem, Ohio -- while Spalding lived several miles to the north, at New Salem (later called Conneaut).

Note 3: Miller's reference to the "Orphans' Court for the winter of 1817," probably derives from the fact that the late Solomon Spalding was the guardian of a girl named Matilda (later Mrs. Matilda S. McKinstry). The settlement of his debts and the distribution of his small accumulation of possessions may have involved legal actions beyond the scope of simple probate. These activities must have carried over into "the winter of 1817," which formally ended in late March.

Note 4: The mention of "the house now occupied by Obadiah Clutter," appears to indicate that the old Amity Inn had become nothing more than a private residence by 1868. During the 152 years (1796-1948) it stood in the village, the plain frame building was reported to have served as a "tavern, postoffice, storeroom and office." The Clutter family apparently took possession of the property after it ceased its former function as a public house (under the supervision of Jacob Seaman) and was sold as a residence by D. W. Conningham in about 1825. The Clutters lost the property in 1874 as the result of a lawsuit won by Philip Swart (1797-1876). At the time of his death, Mr. Swart's occupation of the property was still shown (as "P. Swarts") on the 1876 map of Amity.


The Washington Reporter.
Vol. LIX.                            Washington, Pa., Wednesday, May 27, 1868.                            No. 42.

For the Reporter.
Solomon Spalding -- A Suggestion.

Messrs. Editors. -- For many years it has been well known that Solomon Spalding, an eccentric man who lived and died in Amity, Washington Co., Pennsylvania, was the author of what is now called the Mormon Bible; that it was a mere fiction written for his amusement, and often read to his neighbors as such.

This deluded people are already a power in our land, and rapidly increasing by proselytes, mostly from the old world, and they are likely to prove a trouble in coming days. Their religion is not one of self denial and requires no sacrifices, and therefore popular with the ignorant and depraved.

It is nearly half a century since Spalding died, and there are but few living, who, like Mr. Miller, heard him read his manuscript frequently. Would it not be well to have the proofs clearly made out and placed on record in some more permanent form than newspaper articles, of the facts. The day is not far off when it may be important. If it be so, there is no time to be lost.         A. B.

The late Solomon Spalding -- Correction.

Mr. Tucker, the author of the "Origin, Rise and Progress of Mormonism," sends us the following note, which he desires us to to publish, acknowledging his obligations to our correspondent J. W. H., for the correction of an error that crept into the above mentioned work respecting the place at which Solomon Spaulding died:
Messrs. Editors: Your correspondent J. W. H., is right in regard to the State in which the writer of the romance which Joe Smith perverted into the Mormon Bible resided at the time of his death. The locality was Amity, Washington County, Pa., instead of N. Y., as misprinted in the history of the "Origin, Rise and Progress of Morminism," recently issued from the press of D. Appleton & Co., p. 123. Whether the error was made by the printer, or in the copy of the manuscript for the publisher, cannot at this moment be told. This, with several other similar "errors of the types." will be corrected in the next edition of the book. J. W. H. jas the thanks of the author for the favor he has conferred.         P. T.
PALMYRA, N. Y., May 18, 1868.                     

Note: The "Mr. Miller" mentioned in the first news item must have been Joseph Miller, Sr., of Amity, Pennsylvania. See his statement regarding Solomon Spalding, published in the Reporter of Apr. 7, 1869.


The Washington Reporter.
Vol. LX.                            Washington, Pa., Wednesday, April 7, 1869.                            No. 25.

For the Reporter.
Book  of  Mormon.

Some time since, I became the owner of the book of Mormon. I put it into the hands of Mr. Joseph Miller, Sr., of Amwell Township. After examining it, he made the following statement concerning the connection of Rev. Solomon Spalding with the authorship of the book of Mormon.

Mr. Miller is now in the seventy-ninth year of his age. He is an elder in the Cumberland Presbyterian church. His judgment is good and his veracity unimpeachable. He was well acquainted with Mr. S. while he lived at Amity. He waited on him during his last illness. He made his coffin, and assisted to bury his remains where they now lie, in the Presbyterian graveyard at Amity. He also bailed Mr. S.'s wife when she took out letters of administration on his estate.

Mr. Miller's statement may be relied upon as true.

J. W. HAMILTON.        


When Mr. Spalding lived in Amity, Pa., I was well acquainted with him. I was frequently at his house. He kept what was called a tavern. It was understood that he had been a preacher, but his health failed him and he ceased to preach. I never knew him to preach after he came to Amity.

He had in his possession some papers which he said he had written. He used to read select portions of these papers to amuse us of evenings.

These papers were detached sheets of foolscap. He said he wrote the papers as a novel. He called it the "Manuscript Found," or "the Lost Manuscript Found." He said he wrote it to pass away the time when he was unwell; and after it was written he thought he would publish it as a novel, as a means to support his family.

Some time since, a copy of the Book of Mormon came into my hands. My son read it for me, as I have a nervous shaking of the head that prevents me from reading. I noticed several passages which I recollect having heard Mr. Spalding read from his "Manuscript." One passage, on page 148 (the copy I have is published by J. O. Wright & Co., New York) I remember distinctly. He speaks of a battle, and says the Amalekites had marked themselves with red on their foreheads to distinguish them from the Nephites. The thought of being marked on the forehead withy red, was so strange, it fixed itself in my memory. This together with other passages, I remember to have heard Mr. Spalding read from his "Manuscript."

Those who knew Mr. Spalding will soon all be gone and I among the rest. I write that what I know may become a matter of history; and that it may prevent people from being led into Mormonism, that most seductive delusion of the devil.

From what I know of Mr. Spalding's "Manuscript" and the Book of Mormon, I firmly believe that Joseph Smith, by some means, got possession of Mr. Spalding's "Manuscript," and possibly made some changes in it and called it the "Book of Mormon."
    March 26, 1869.

Note 1: This Reporter article was reprinted on page 68 of The Historical Magazine, for August, 1869, introduced by the following note from Rev. Edward D. Neill of Washington, D. C.: "To-day, Mr. Redlck McKee, a gentleman of great intelligence and integrity, now one of the National Bank Examiners, placed in my hand the enclosed communication prepared for the Washington (Pa.) Reporter, relative to the Mormon Bible. In the next generation, when the delusion of the Latter Day Saints will be better understood, all facts relative to these people will be sought for; and I transmit the article to you, in the hope that you may consider it worthy of preservation In your valuable Historical Magazine."

Note 2: Between 1865 and 1870 Rev. Jesse Wells Hamilton was the presiding elder in the Lower Tenmile Cumberland Presbyterian Church, located at Amity, in Amwell township, Washington County, Pennsylvania. There remains scant record of his involvement in the Book of Mormon authorship controversy, but see the Reporter of May 13, 1868 for one early example. Rev. Hamilton's communication of the 1869 Miller statement opened the door to additional local inquiry into the Book of Mormon authorship question, eventually resulting in substantial historical contributions from his fellow Pennsylvania Presbyterian ministers, Rev. Robert Patterson, Jr. and Rev. William A. Stanton.

Note 3: An 1882 reprint of this article may be found on pp. 742-743 of the CD-ROM review copy of Wayne Cowdrey et al., The Spalding Enigma, (Los Angeles: 2000), along with four subsequent Joseph Miller statements. The second one was dated: Mar. 30, 1879, the third about Dec. 1881, the fourth on Jan. 20, 1882, and the last on Feb. 13, 1882. -- See also Redick McKee's follow-up letter in the Reporter of April 21, 1869.

Note 4: The essence of the 1881 Joseph Miller interview is reproduced in Chapter 10 of Sarah Jane (Harris) Kiefer's Genealogical and Biographical Sketches of the New Jersey Branches of the Harris Family in the United States (Madison, WI: Democrat Printing Company, 1888). According to Kiefer, "Mr. Miller died 12 April 1885, aged ninety-five years."


The Washington Reporter.
Vol. LX.                            Washington, Pa., Wednesday, April 21, 1869.                            No. 27.

For the Reporter.

Washington, D. C. April 14, '69.      
Messrs. Editors: -- Here on business with the Government, I have accidentally found, in the Wheeling Intelligencer of the 8th inst., an article copied from your paper, under the caption, "Who wrote the book of Mormon?" The statement of Joseph Miller, Sr., enclosed in the communication of your correspondent, J. W. Hamilton, carries me back in memory, to scenes and occurrences of my youth, at the pleasant old village of Amity, in your county, and are corroborative in some measure, of their conjecture as to the real author of that curious production, the "Mormon Bible."

With a view to throw some additional light upon a subject, which in the future, if not at present, may possess historical importance, I have concluded to employ a leisure hour in giving you some of my recollections, touching the "Lost history found," and its author.

In the fall of 1814 I arrived in the village of "good will," and for 18 or 20 months, sold goods in the store previously occupied by Mr. Thomas Brice. It was on the Main street, a few rods West of Spalding's tavern, where I was a boarder.

With both Mr. Solomon Spalding and his wife, I was quite intimately acquainted. He was regarded as an amiable, inoffensive, intelligent old gentleman, of some sixty winters; and as having been formerly a teacher or professor in some eastern Academy or College, but I was not aware of his having been a preacher or called "Reverend." He was afflicted with a rupture, which made locomotion painful, and confined him much to his house. They possessed but little of this world's goods; and, as I understood, selected Amity as a residence, because it was a healthy and inexpensive place to live in.

I recollect quite well Mr. Spalding spending much time in writing on sheets of paper (torn out of an old book), what purported to be a veritable history of the nations or tribes who inhabited Canaan when, or before, that country was invaded by the Israelites, under Joshua. He described, with great particularity, their numbers, customs, modes of life; their wars, stratagems, victories, and defeats, &c. His style was flowing and grammatical, though gaunt and abrupt; very like the story of the "Maccabees" and other apocryphal books, in the old bibles. He called it "Lost History Found," -- "Lost Manuscript," or some such name; not disguising that it was wholly a work of the imagination, written to amuse himself, and without any immediate view to publication.

I read, or heard him read, many wonderful and amusing passages from different parts of his professed historical records; and was struck with the minuteness of his details and the apparent truthfulness and sincerity of the author. Defoe's veritable Robinson Crusoe, was not more reliable!

I have an indistinct recollection of the passage referred to by Mr. Miller, about the Amalekites making a cross with red paint on their foreheads, to distinguish them from their enemies in the confusion of battle; but the manuscript was full of equally ludicrous descriptions. After my removal to Wheeling, in 1818, I understood (from Dr. Cephas Dodd, perhaps), that Mr. Spalding had died, and his widow had returned to her friends in northern Ohio, or western New York. She would naturally take the manuscript with her. Now, it was in northern Ohio, probably in Lake or Ashtabula County, that the first Mormon prophet, or impostor, Jo. Smith, lived and published what he called the "Book of Mormon," or the "Mormon Bible." It is quite probable therefore, that, with some alterations, the "Book of Mormon" was in fact the "Lost Book," or "Lost History Found," of my old landlord, Solomon Spalding, of Amity, Washington county, Pennsylvania.

I have also a recollection of reading in some newspaper, about the time of my removal to California in 1850, an article on this subject, charging Jo. Smith, directly, with purloining or, in some improper way, getting possession of a certain manuscript which an aged clergyman had written for his own amusement, as a novel, and out of it making, up his pretended Mormon bible. Smith's converts or followers were challenged to deny the statement. Both the date and the name of the paper I have forgotten. Possibly, in your own file of the Reporter, some notice of the matter may be found to verify my recollection.

Many changes have occurred in old "Cat Fish's Camp," as well as in "Amity," since I first knew them. Mr. Joseph Miller, Sr., is I presume, my old friend Jo. Miller, with whom, in 1815, I had many a game of house ball, at the east side of Spalding's tavern. If so, and this article meets his eye, he will recollect the stripling who sold tape and other necessaries in the frame house, nearly opposite good old Tibba Cook's residence, in Amity. He was then in the prime of life, always in good humor; told a story well; a good shot with a rifle; and the best ball player in the crowd. When he and I happened to be partners, we were sure to win. I wish him many happy days in a green old age.

If any of these desultory recollections of the olden time, can aid in any way the truth of history and the suppression of a miserable imposter [sic - imposture?], use them as you deem proper, either in print or in the waste basket.   Respectfully,

Note 1: The above letter was reprinted in the August, 1869 issue of The Historical Magazine. Redick McKee supplied additional information on Solomon Spalding, etc., in a letter to Robert Patterson, Jr., dated April 15, 1879, as well as in a second letter published in Patterson's Presbyterian Banner on Nov. 15, 1882. McKee also wrote a lengthy letter to Arthur B. Deming on the same topic, dated Jan. 25, 1886.

Note 2: Robert Patterson, Jr. published Redick McKee's obituary in the Presbyterian Banner on Sep. 22, 1886. For more on this noted public servant, see Ray Raphael's 1993 book, Little White Father: Redick McKee on the California Frontier.


Pittsburgh  [    ]  Gazette.

Vol. LXXXIV.                       Pittsburgh, Pa., Thursday, April 22, 1869.                       No. 98.

Mormonism -- Brigham Young on the War Path.

The Salt Lake Reporter of the 10th, printing an outrageous speech made at the Mormon Conference, says:

For one whole year the Brighamites have deceived the country and mystified their dupes, by a pretended allegiance to the United States. When the late Conference began, many thought they would keep up the little game of loyalty; they even talked of putting up a house for the entertainment of Grant and his Cabinet when on their summer visit. But Brigham had held in as long as he could; the poison was in him and it had to come out. On Thursday afternoon, the last session of Conference, he took occasion to air his inveterate hate of the Union and the country, and to show the bitter disloyality that rankles in his black heart. And, ye Gods! didn't he belch it forth! For one solid hour every epithet that a vile fancy could suggest, sharpened by forty years of practice, was harled at the heads of the nation; President, Vice President, Congress, Army and Federal officials in Utah, were in turn visited with torrents of the vilest billingsgate that ever fouled the mouth of an outcast from the slums of the Five Points. The strongest terms of the English language utterly fail to convey any idea of this sermon harangue, to which (incredible as it may seem!) five thousand women and children were listeners! We owe an apology to our readers, even for printing any portion of this stuff, but there are some things that ought to be published, that the world may know Brighamism pure and simple; and after ending it let our patrons consider this issue disgraced by such such quotations from that filthy source, and lay it out of sight forever.

The latest Mormon movement is in the revival of an early revelation, known as the Order of Enoch, which inculcates the communism of property. Every good Mormon is exhorted to divide with the Church, as administered by its President, Young. As to any division by him, the revelation is discreetly dumb. The present movement is a bit of Mormon strategy for the more effectual resistance to Gentile inroads, under the later Gentile revelation of railway enlightenment.

Notes: (forthcoming)


The  Indiana  Democrat.

Vol. VIII.                       Indiana, Pa., Thursday, November 25, 1869.                       No. 30.

The  Book  of  Mormon.

We copy the following extraordinary communication from the Washington (Pa.) Review and Examiner of the 10th inst. It throws some light upon a matter that is everyday engrossing more of personal and national:

Messrs. Swan & Ecker: Being in Amity a few days ago, in company with a friend, I visited the cemetery belonging to the Presbyterian church in that village. The last resting places of several individuals were pointed out, and specially attracted my attention. The first, marked by a plain and substantial tombstone, was that of the Rev. Thaddeus Dodd, who settled at Ten Mile in 1779, and was doubtless the first minister of this church. He was the first Principal of the Washington Academy, incorporated by the Legislature of Pennsylvania on September 24, 1787, and merged into Washington College in 1800. He was the father of the Rev. Cephas Dodd, who for many years ministered to the people, both as a preacher and physician. His remains also rest in this cemetery, and are marked by monumental grave stones highly creditable to the workman, as well as honorable to the liberality of friends.

The other was that of the Rev. (if he is worthy of such a title) Solomon Spalding -- a name that has been somewhat identified with the origin of Mormonism. Nothing remains to designate the spot but a rapidly crumbling foot stone, with the initials "S. S.," scarcely discernable. All that is left of the headstone is a very small heap of scaly fragments. I was informed that a few years ago an attempt was made, in that locality, to procure some money, by public subscription, for the purpose of erecting at the grave durable and respectable grave stones. The attempt failed, as I understood, on account of a general feeling that the memory of such men should rot with their bodies.

Rev. J. W. Hamilton, the present pastor of the church, kindly furnished me with the following testimonials, which will throw some light on what Spalding had to do with Mormonism.  M.
Hoge's Summit, Nov. 8, 1866.

(reprints Hamilton-Miller text from Washington paper)

Our correspondent and Mr. Miller have overlooked a fact in this history that gives much force to their theory. Many years ago the manuscripts of Spalding were sent to the Pittsburgh Gazette for publication. For want of funds or some other reason the manjscripts remained unpublished for some time; and it is alleged that the celebrated Sidney Rigdon, a former citizen of Allegheny county, who joined in the Mormon movement, by some means got possession of the tale or dream of poor Spalding, and together with Joe, Smith, conjured out of it the most original and infamous religion of the nineteenth century. -- (Eds. Rev. & Ex.)

Note 1: No copy of the Washington Review and Examiner for Nov. 10, 1869 has yet been located, to verify the original printing of the above article. The library of the American Antiquarian Society reportedly has copies of that paper for the years 1865 through 1876.

Note 2: The assertion that Solomon Spalding submitted a manuscript (or manuscripts) to the Pittsburgh Gazette for possible publication, was also made by the Rev. Abner Jackson in 1881. No reliable evidence of any such c. 1812-1816 Spalding manuscript submital to that newspaper has yet been discovered.


The Washington Reporter.
Vol. LXI.                            Washington, Pa., Wednesday, Feb. 9, 1870.                            No. 16.


Jos. Miller, Esq., an old and highly respected citizen of Amwell Tp., sends us by hand of J. W. Hamilton, of Amity, the following communication which originally appeared in a magazine entitled the Evangelist of the True Gospel, published at Carthage, Ohio, in 1839.

Mr. Miller has, on various occasions heretofore, furnished us with many interesting incidents connected with the career of Solomon Spaulding, and the origin of the so-called Mormon Bible. The present contribution, which consists of a statement from the wife of Mr. Spaulding, seems to furnish conclusive evidence that the "Manuscript Found," written by her husband, and the "Book of Mormon," are one and the same....

(read original 1839 Matilda Davison statement in Boston paper)

Note 1: Other than Miller's communication in the Apr. 7, 1869 issue of the Reporter, there are no known Joseph Miller, Sr. statements from the pre-1879 period. Thus, the editor's reference to "various occasions heretofore" remains unverified -- perhaps he was citing Miller letters from that period which the Reporter neglected to publish.

Note 2: While it is possible that Mr. Miller obtained his copy of Elder Walter Scott's 1839 Evangelist at an early date, it seems equally probable that he (or Rev. Hamilton) received the antique periodical from some person who became interested in making its contents available to Miller after the old man provided his 1869 statement on Solomon Spalding. The modern reader should take into consideration the fact that Joseph Miller had available for his consultation affidavits and letters from Spalding associates such as Matilda Davison, Abner Jackson, etc., when Miller gave some of his later statements. The possibility of the cross-contamination of mid-19th century Spalding witness memories (such as Miller's recollection of "Old Come to Pass" lore) cannot be entirely discounted.


Titusville Morning Herald

Vol. VII.                       Titusville, Penn., Thursday, March 24, 1870.                       No. 96.





"See Naples and die." So runs the old proverb. See Salt Lake and live -- live to work.

At the close of a lovely day in June last summer, I first saw this city of Salt Lake -- this city of the Saints; a great stretch of lovely plain beyond an inland sea of sapphire reflecting a sapphire sky; about it range after range of lofty mountains, glowing through the marvelously clear air, masses of purple and gold, a range of diamonds bright with eternal walls of snow. In the midst of such surroundings and fair things and wonderful things of God's handiwork lays this whited sepulchre.

Fair indeed to the eye, pleasant to the traveler who knoweth not that the dead are here also, and that her inhabitants are in the depth of hell; white, clean, cool streets and dashing mountain streams, flowing through broad avenues -- a land which needs but little work to produce the richest crops in the world; houses, poor adobe huts, but most of them charming in a wilderness of greenery that surrounds them; bushes and trees laden with flowers and alive with fruit; cleanliness, order, quiet; drinking no doubt -- yet no drinking visible, and no licensed drinking saloons, no gambling saloons; all outward decency preserved; as safely for a woman to walk the streets at night as at noonday -- which, doubtless, is vastly more than can be said for some other, more reputable cities, nearer home. Cleanliness, order, quiet -- too quiet, in fact, since a stagnant pool is slower than the running brook, but can be scarcely considered more wholesome.

"I love the noise of a free nation," said De Gasparin. He would be blessed by no such sounds here. Utah is the most absolute tyranny, the most unmitigated despotism, on which the sun shines to-day. Utah and Mormonism is --


No intelligent person can go into that Territory with eyes to see and ears to hear and comprehension to understand, without realizing that the magnet that holds this people together, and the chain that binds them fast, is this one man; this one man, who possesses that rarest of commodities -- brains, and that infinitely rarer faculty, a knowledge of how to use them; the head of the church, the head of the State, absolute in power is Brigham Young, president and city magistrate. True, some command may be pronounced, some order given to which his faithful followers are inclined to complain, and at once Brigham Young, seer, prophet, inspirer of the church, has a revelation direct from Heaven, which he announces on the next Sabbath afternoon from his high place in the temple, and his people not only bow to it in submission, but accept it with delight, though it be as was his final revelation in the matter of co-operation and the taking of one-fifth of their worldly gains each year. The Territory is districted -- the city also. At the head of each one of those most intelligent tools, who at the same time has a position as a civil magistrate, a judge of elections, and a military officer and bishop in the church -- as thoroughly well informed, as absolute in spiritual matters as any Catholic priest at the confessional; a civil magistrate, a judge of election. Under this man's eye lies what is known as the book of the district. Therein is entered the name of each man, woman and child in the district in which he has control, besides, the names and numbers. It is for use and reference in a score of ways, so as to keep every inhabitant in the district continually under the supervision of his spiritual chief, and principally of service at election time.


In Utah everybody votes; but so far as any good or benefit is to be derived therefrom, every individual man or woman might as well forever be deprived of the ballot. The vote is cast by ballot, but with the rest of the defects of an open vote; one candidate, that of Brigham Young; the ballot -- stamped; within, one word "for," or "against;" without, the number of the man who casts it. This ballot is taken from the box, and with the number on the ballot corresponding with the number of the voter; the number of the voter, the judge on the instant knows who cast it; he opens it, and finds whether it be for or against; he knows on the instant whether the man is faithful and trusty, and to be rewarded in time to come, or whether a malcontent, to be punished with dislike and suspicion. If discontent grows into open rebellion, to be pursued to the death; for Brigham Young and Brigham Young's apostles have a speedy and effectual method in settling discontent in this domain. Man after man -- hundreds in the aggregate at one time, as in the Mountain Meadow massacre -- have died within the length and breadth of this territory -- in no sense by the visitation of God.

Many an emigrant train that has passed through this domain, and has dared to give shelter to the men and women fleeing from this spiritual despotism, has found its fair proportions curtailed ere it crossed the boundary line of the territory.


One of their own leaders said to me in conversation with him: "There are crimes against religion" -- that is against the Mormon church, for that is the only religion they profess. "We believe there are crimes against religion, the only punishment for which is death, and for the good of the community we think this punishment should be executed secretly and in silence," and elsewhere, among honorable people, punishment which is death, in secrecy and in silence is termed assassination. Man after man has died in this Territory -- to use a perfectly well known case -- as Dr. Robinson died; a man whose only crimes were that he protested against enormities where they were committed; that he dared to claim United States land in the midst of a United States territory. These people, so far as they can, have claimed and pre-empted every square foot of ground in that territory. It is necessary to get a permit from their President, Brigham Young, in order to occupy land. The result is, it is almost impossible for a loyal citizen of the republic -- a Gentile -- to gain a foothold there.

Dr. Robinson ventured to take from a Mormon's home to the wedding altar a young girl, and then tried to make her his honorable wife. For all this he was threatened and assaulted and finally brutally murdered on the street. The United States authorities took no note of it; his friends investigated the case thereafter, and proved this deed to have been, like many others -- enacted by these very respectable Mormons -- a deed done at the command of those in authority, who had the right to order it; for every police officer had been withdrawn from his beat in that district for the night. Orders had manifestly been given that no note should be taken of any sound, shout or cry, that might be heard without, for the shouts and sounds and cries of death, heard for blocks around, not a window was raised, not a door was opened, not a hand of help was extended, when this deed was done. Dr. Robinson's body was found lying where it fell; it was carried out to the camp on the hill and was buried by his comrades and friends, and over it could be written, as over hundreds of other graves in that territory, "Assassinated by the Mormons."

"Vengeance is mine; I will repay saith the Lord;" and the United States authorities are quite satisfied that the Judge of all the earth will certainly do right. The life and death of such a man will no doubt be vindicated in His own good time, but the government at Washington is altogether too busy about other and more important matters to interfere in behalf of anything so insignificant as the protection of the lives and liberties of these faithful citizens.

A military organization -- each man is trained to arms, and is ready in their use, and twice as ready to use them as any soldier in the kingdom. A sermon is delivered on an average of at least once a month by their historian, George Smith, at the capital of the territory, in which is recounted all the grievances with which they charge the United States Government. This is done in order that the gospel of hatred may be as fully comprehended by the latest comer as by the oldest inhabitants. The obedience taught to them, and the only authority they recognize is that of Brigham Young. This man's power is strictly absolute, no crowned head of Europe has more power. You need to go beyond the worst and oldest despotisms of the ancients to find what power this man holds over the consciences and destinies and the lives of his people.

About him there are a few hundred intelligent tools, for he possesses that rare power which seemingly attends genius alone, of fully comprehending human nature. He never makes a mistake; he always puts his hand on his man, and places that man where he can do the best for himself and the church. He has about him a few hundred intelligent tools, who have brains enough to comprehend his plans, supple hands, and dead consciences to execute them. Of these men, a few exceptions you may count upon your fingers and thumbs, who are Americans, but the great rank and files of the people there are in no sense Americans. They are not Americans by birth, by habit, or by training, or by principle, or by anything. They are Swedes, Danes, Swiss, Germans, French -- two thirds English and Welsh, of the lowest and most degraded of the agricultural peasant class of Europe. They know nothing [of us at home. They see] nothing of us as they are hurried through our midst to reach their destination, and upon gaining their destination they are taught nothing but to despise and hate us. These are the sheep to be shorn. The shearers are Americans, with American brains. These few occupy the hives, and enjoy dignities, emoluments and wives.

It is the universal belief, and a natural one, that the women of the territory far outnumber the men, but it is a mistake, nevertheless. The testimony of the people living along the line of the road, the condition of affairs inside of the city, and even their own testimony, show that the balance is about even, and if it swings on either side it is or the side of the men. Polygamy is the corner stone of their particular edifice, but the practice of polygamy, for reasons manifest, in a great many cases is impossible.


What are they? Cleanliness order, quiet and outer decency, a wonderful patience, a marvelous industry in overcoming the natural obstacles, and fanatical devotion to their leader and their faith. This on the one hand. On the other hand, no free schools, no common schools, no general school system. Schools there are, but they are family schools and private schools, and there is little money or inclination on the part of the people of the Territory to send their children thereto. There is no reading room, no library, no mental light, for the man in authority there comprehends human nature sufficiently well to understand that the only basis whereon such a structure as his can be reared is that of utter and abject ignorance. None of the strength and rich superfluity of humor on the streets and in the indifferently conducted theatre, where the sole amusement is furnished, and in the Temple. Wherever you meet the people, the thought and utterance breaks in upon you, what somber and sober countenances they wear!

Sad! No homes! For how, in any right, sense of the word, can there be any home or home spirit in that place? Where, when you suggest that love and respect, tenderness and regard are the only things that should hold a man and woman together for a life time, you are laughed at as a fool and a sentimentalist by men and women who herd together as the beasts that perish! How, in the right sense of the word, can there be any home spirit in a place where the father scarcely knows the face of his child, and spends his time in half a dozen houses among half a dozen or a dozen women, who hate one another, and who strive each, in their poor fashion, to supplant the others -- the man's power being the utter, abject degradation of body and soul together!

Into this city I came, and through these streets I rode or walked, and had pointed out to me, here and there, houses in which lived the so-called wives of one man. I passed along by the low adobe houses and counted from the number of doors without, the number of wives within. One low adobe hut. One mud room facing the door and street. One wife, with her children gathered around her. Then another mud room, and another door facing the street, and another family gathered therein, and so on to the end of the pitiable and loathsome chapter.

I went into this man's house, and was met by the master of the establishment, for a man in Utah is indeed lord of his own household. There would come into this room another and another, who would be presented as "my wife," "my wife," "my wife." These women came into the room, not as you might enter your parlor, as one who had a right to receive her guest, but they sat down in the room with an air of abject humility, as a slave or a dog may come into the presence of his master! One of these women there in speaking to me said: "I have had a dozen children. Buried six." Another said: "I have had ten children. Buried eight." The record of mortality wherever this disgusting system of polygamy prevails being found frightful among these little ones. But as I looked at those that remained -- little, pale, puny, stunted creatures, and remembered the fate awaiting them, I said to myself, "Would that these too, were in their graves!" I saw them running wild, ignorant uncultured little animals on the streets. I saw ignorant, innocent-faced young girls, growing to womanhood, but how growing? Approaching a life of misery, degradation and shame. I heard on all sides of me cursing, vulgarity, indecency, and obscenity, dressed in the garb of piety, under the cloak and cover of religion. And seeing, and hearing, and comprehending this, such an awful sense of degradation and despair took possession of me as a woman, that I covered my face and cried: "My God let me die!" And then I bethought me; "No, no, that would be a coward's prayer; let me live to work; there is need of me." Need indeed.


The United States Government has a law whereby it virtually declares that polygamy is illegal, and asserts that one man can lawfully claim but one woman for his wife, and one woman can call but one man her husband. The other day there died in the Territory of Utah, a man by the name of Heber Kimball, leaving two hundred widows. The United States officials recognize no such institution as polygamy. The woman that he married first is his widow. These one hundred and ninety-nine others are nothing. The case was carried to Washington to be decided -- not as to whether this man had a right to will his money to these two hundred women, or any other two hundred women, but as to the rights of each one of these two hundred women as the widows of this man. The authorities at Washington declare to one branch that polygamy in some sense is illegal; to another branch it declares that each one of these two hundred widows shall be recognized in every sense. The government at Washington outrages decency and Christianity alike, by indirectly tolerating and supporting this abomination. [Applause.]

Need, indeed! Far as I went toward this city of sin, the men with whom I traveled -- not the roughest, not the rudest, not "lewd fellows of the baser sort" from the saloons or street corners -- oh no, none of these, but men of education, gentlemen of culture, lifted by the ballots of their fellow citizens into offices the highest in the land -- these men, having most faithfully abstained from touching upon this matter as subject to criticism, as men talking of it by the way, found the whole affair marvelously funny -- a capital joke. "Utah was not such a bad place," said No. 1. "No, not a bad place at all," said No. 2. "As good as Chicago," said No. 3. "You can get a divorce there for five dollars," said No 4. A precious set of fellows. The only respectable talk, I believe, done by the men of the party, was done by the two unmarried members thereof. Do you say they did not mean, it, that they were only chaffing? What, I ask, would be thought of the wives of these men, middle-aged matrons, who talked over this matter in this wise -- mothers of grown up daughters? What must be thought of the tendency of these women if they dared to discuss the relation of man and woman and marriage after that wise? So said I to one of those honorable gentleman, who thereupon responded, "I wish you would not drag your hateful theories in on every occasion; you cannot judge a man as a woman; you must not talk after that wise." "Can't I?" said I "Must not I?" "Well, being a woman and not a man, I will, nevertheless, and I give you fair warning it shall be done here and elsewhere."


Passing by the thousand minor offenders, there are such men as Bishop Johnson, we will say, who has four sisters, his own nieces, for his wives; there is George D. Watt, the church reporter and correspondent of the Alta California, respectable in society, conspicuous in entertaining members of Congress and others, yet married, in addition to others, to his own half sister, (sensation) and there is Curtis Bolt, who has a mother and daughter for his wives, the daughter a child of thirteen. On the face of such enormities as these, can a Christian leader of souls, with God's own spirit thrust into him, deliberately put God's own commandments under his foot and strike hands with these people as one of them? No. Why, indeed not, for barring the loathsome features of the case, their theory in regard to the proper subordination of the women of the world is so remarkably exemplified at Salt Lake that he might well feel at home there.

Looking at all this and listening to all this, I said, "Why? Why such speech and such action here, why such speech and such action elsewhere?" Scarcely a public man has gone to Salt Lake City this last summer (and you know how many have been there), scarcely one has gone, with the prominent and honorable exception of our gallant Vice-President, but has gone down into the mud and filth of this place and struck hands with its leaders.

There is Brigham Young, we will say; the great pillar of this whole system, a man without whom it would drop out of sight in twelve months; who carries the consciences of his followers about with him, and the crimes manifold, directly due and instigated by him, who has entered under his name a list of forty three women, whom he claims as his wives and lives with as such -- a robber, an adulterer, a murderer; this man goes to Washington, and Senators and Representatives and Cabinet members call upon him and pay their respects to him, and invite him to their houses; and women -- wives and mothers, too -- give him a seat at their table and a place beside their daughters. Reverse the case: Suppose it was a woman who stood in Brigham Young's place -- nay, suppose it were even one of the forty-three wretched dupes whom he has gathered in his home -- suppose that. "Not a supposable case," say you: "quite another thing, a very different matter." No, it is not. God recognize no sexes, whatever paltry and infamous distinctions you or I may see fit to draw.

...Looking at all this, I said, "Why meet it with such silence?" The papers have lately been filled with discussions of a deed, done yonder in the city of New York: ministers have preached their sermons of denunciation; editors have written their articles of denunciation; society has spoken its speech of denunciation upon this matter. Good men and bad men, good women and bad men [saying] ...

"But, I have been told these women are contented; they are satisfied; and if they are contented and satisfied, what business is it of yours?"

Contented! Why, good friends, you who say that, and think the whole matter closed, and the argument settled -- I can take you out of this land into Persia, and I will show you that the women bought and sold in the shackles in the market places are contented! I can take you to India or Turkey, and point out to you a long line of faces gathered behind the prison bars of harems, and show that they are contented. I can take you to the plains of South America and Mexico, and show you the Indian woman, performing all the drudgery of her lord and master, and I will show you she is contented; or I can take you to country after country in Europe, and point out to you a peasant woman harnessed to a dog or donkey, dragging a cart, and show you that she is contented. [Applause.]

Nay, I can take you here in this, the afternoon of the nineteenth century, and the civilization of America, to this city on the Alkaline plains, deserted of decency, forsaken of goodness, abandoned of God Himself, if there be such a spot under the sun, and I will show you beings there, who are most defrauded and outraged by this system, who are its most uncompromising adherents and its warmest supporters. That is what I heard on all sides when I went into this Territory. Contented? more than contented! Satisfied? more than satisfied! Happy? They wouldn't change their condition if they could. They would that Mormonism was the religion of the world, and polygamy accepted by all humanity. That is what I heard repeated wherever I went, until at last I cried, This is simply monstrous! It is no woman. It is a bigot. It is no wife or mother. It is a mad enthusiast. But, talking to them in such wise, and looking at them in such fashion, that they could comprehend what I had to say, and that it came from no idle or indifferent curiosity, but from the depths of a heart sad and sore for them and their cause, and one woman, and another, and another, spoke after these words:

Said I to one, "Were you married in England?" No," was the reply, "I was married here -- no, I was married in St. Jo." "Doubtless you knew of polygamy when you left England "No." "You learned of it when?" "When my husband brought me to this city, and took me to his home. I found there a woman who had a prior claim. A woman, who had been lost to family and friends for fourteen years, who had been my second mother through my babyhood and while I was a young girl. I stood face to face with my aunt." "No doubt she was quite contented, satisfied?'' "No," she replied, "she was not." "Did she learn to be at any time?" "She died soon." Something in the woman's voice caught my ear, and turning quickly I said: "What did she die of?" The woman answered as quickly: "She died of a broken heart."

Then I said to another woman: "doubtless it is nothing in the world but my imagination, but it does seem to me that the women here carry the most sad and sorrowful faces that I ever beheld. They seem to consider their life worth very little. Now, am I wrong?" "No," was the reply, "you are right. There is not one in ten of us but would be glad to die to-morrow. Then we will be through with all this. "Then, if I rightly understood your faith you are here as Mormons and not as women?" "I do not understand you." "What I mean is, you receive this as the only faith whereby you can save you souls and make sure of heaven. Is that what you believe?'' Answer -- "Yes." "Then you are here because your faith compels you to be here, and not because as women you like to be here?" "What do you take us for?" she answered. And then she went on to say, "If you ask me if I like this system of polygamy, I answer for every woman in the city when I tell you that I hate it, but I cannot take that part of the faith which pleases and, throw away that which is distasteful."

And then said I to another of these women, a fine, fair-faced English woman, "How long have you been in the country?" Seventeen years," she said. "You were married at home?" "No, I married here. -- No, I was married at Independence." "You knew of polygamy when you left your home?" "No," and here she gave the answer which was given in almost every case, "the missionaries said very little about polygamy in England." "You knew of it when you were married?" I asked. "Yes," she replied, "You were not afraid?" said I "No, I was not afraid. I thought my husband never would care for any body else, and if he did I must meet it," for this religion with the exquisite nicety of torture, with the refinement of culture, compels the last wife not only to submit to her own degradation, but to present with her own hand as her free will gift and offering the next wife of her husband at the altar. I inquired, "You were called upon to do that?" "Yes," she replied. ''Could you?" "I fought against it. I struggled against it, I prayed against it, but I submitted. Do not misunderstand me. I am not complaining. I am perfectly happy and satisfied, I would not change my condition if I could. I would rather my husband had twenty wives than two. I wish polygamy was accepted every where. You understand me?" "Yes," I replied, "I see you are perfectly happy, and have no complaint to make. "We will drop the subject now. "We'll say no more about it."

I got up and looked about the room looked at the pictures and flowers and discoursed upon different subjects, letting the time slip by, and the matter slip out of her mind, if indeed it ever does. Then, sitting by her, I dropped my hand on hers, that was resting on the elbow of the chair, and said: "How long did you tell me you had been in this country, my friend?" "Seventeen years." "What church did you go to before you came here? I inquired. "I was a Methodist." "By-the-by, did you know your husband then?" "Oh, yes; I knew him quite well; he was my sweetheart then; he was a Methodist too." Then I said: "My friend, suppose yourself back again in England, a young and happy bright-faced girl once more, and your husband, then your lover, came to see you time and again, as doubtless he did, and by and by he laid bare his heart to you, and told you he loved you, and asked you to be his wife, and you consented, and went to the little village church with him, and from there to his own home, where you were all the world to him, and he all the world to you, and there was no shadow to fear, nothing to molest you or make you afraid. Wouldn't that be better than this? Wouldn't you be a happier woman than you are now? Answer me." "Don't ask me such a question! Don't, for God's sake, if you are a woman!" Contented! How can they be contented, since they are women, and not fiends? Piercing through ignorance, and bigotry, and superstition, and false faith, every woman there is sad and sore and discontented to her heart's core.

Neither are women elsewhere, to whom fortune has assigned a kinder portion, quite contented with what has been given to them. And this discontent is becoming so universal that the world concedes it, to support it or to tight it. It springs from no woman's rights conventions. It springs from no so-called strong-minded appeals nor harangues; from no discussion of legal rights or legal wrongs, legal powers, or legal disabilities. What lies at the bottom of [the so-called woman movement of to-day is simply the spirit of to-day; -- a day wherein men are crying, "Precedent to the wall" when liberty crosses its track; a day wherein men are tearing down the old, to build afresh, and better the new.]


What this movement really signifies is, that the woman of to-day is trying to keep step with the man of to-day; to march with the onward march of the race; trying to go hand in hand with you, brain with brain, heart with heart, up to the heights you are clambering; desiring not to be abandoned in the valleys you are deserting and leaving behind. That is all this movement really signifies; that is what the future will recognize it to signify; and when stripped of all extraneous issues, it stands, as it will stand, crowned triumphant. It is not true that the masses of women desire "the applause of listening Senates to command," nor yet reading their history in a nation's eyes; it is not true that the masses of women desire to see their names shouted by the applause of the populace, or seek the goal of all men -- fame; but it is true that that these women, left to themselves, would select home, wifehood and motherhood for their portion; it is equally true that what society needs to-day is wifehood and motherhood; else why the growing charges against marriages in America; else why the declarations against this or that avenue to honorable independence, that it must be shut against woman because she chooses to undertake to do anything that man does. Do you, then, have faith in your own theories and still believe in the omnipotence of God? Why, then, do the press and the pulpit, science and religion, join in entering protest, solemn and awful, against the growing frequency of homes in America, that are silent, darkened, desolate, without the sunshine of the baby's face, the music of the baby's voice -- silent, darkened, stricken out, oh pitiable perversion of humanity by a mother's hand! "Why all this? It is simply that, while it is natural for a woman to accept wifehood and motherhood for her portion, it is unnatural for her to accept such wifehood and motherhood, as in too many cases is offered her to-day.

It is while society constantly advises motherhood with its lips, it as constantly degrades and stifles the advice with its acts. I see the young girl, clear-eyed, with unworn face, without experience, looking on life, and what does she see and hear. She hears the statement constantly heard, that it is not wit, brilliancy; intellectual power in woman that draws a man and holds a man to her side. "Quite the reverse, my dear," says society; "you should carefully steer clear of any such idea, to begin with, and having steered clear of it, it is that you should be an indefatigable housekeeper and home-keeper, an immaculate house-keeper." I desire to include the whole list -- to cook the steak, wash the baby face, have dinner ready in five seconds, and when tired and weary she should always have a smile of tender sympathy and a word of gentleness for the poor dear when he comes home from his daily toil. Grant that the woman's work is in the kitchen, nursery and parlor -- conceded. It is no more her work than a man's work is back of the counter, in the physician's office, in the editor's sanctum, in the lawyer's office or at the reporter's table.

That is his work, but utterly outside of his work if a man has not grown, quickened, deepened and widened with his opportunities and experiences, society says that his life is a failure. A man may do his work as well at twenty as at forty-two. He may hold his pencil and do the work, at this reporter's table, and be a reporter and perform his work just as well and as admirably at twenty-two as at forty-two; but if outside of the work, knowing nothing at all beyond, as a reporter or as a man, if he is not more of a man at forty-two than at thirty-two society says, that life is a failure, however well the work may be done, however liberal the bank amount may be. On the other hand, a woman may do her work as well at twenty as at forty; she may sweep her carpets as clean, she may set as nice a table and be as intelligent and as successful at the one age as at the other, but she has not grown at home; she has not quickened her brain, deepened her thought and intellect one iota; but society says "Well done;" the less of that the better; the less strength of mind and courage: the less of independence; the less of brain power, you have the more seemingly, the more certain -- for mark you, there is a pivot on which it all turns -- the more certain are you to keep your husband's affections at your side. This is what the girl hears and what does she see? She sees the young man of twenty-two is very fond of being with his girl of twenty; he likes to talk with her; to make her a confident of his plans; to discuss with her hundreds of things besides the soft, sweet experiences of love; she finds this man of twenty-two all devotion and attention.

She finds the man of forty-two as different as may be; he is not at home at night; wanders down street to the saloon or the hotel office, seeking the latest news by cable, or the society of the fellows of his club. When he stays at home he is vastly more interested in some, powerful editorial than in the baby, ribbons and the rest of it, and she finds that he goes to his neighbor's house to talk with his neighbor's sister, or his neighbor's daughter, who is a witty, brilliant, cultivated woman. "Ah, indeed! not the sort of woman I want for a wife, you know, but then, such a charming companion," and society, looking on, says: "There is no harm intended, not the slightest. Poor fellow, you can not be too hard on him; he is such a splendid fellow. "What a pity it is that he is tied to that silly, ridiculous old thing!" and society says woman should be as near a fool as she can be, What else does this girl see and hear? She stands by the young man of her own selection, whose admiration she wishes to win; whose love she desires to gain. This young man, this very young man who twirls his moustache in embryo, announces magnificently then, "Save me from ever marrying a strong-minded woman," and, looking at the style of young men who are educated to say so, one might devoutly answer, "Save the strong-minded woman from ever marrying you."

To the girl of fifteen or sixteen society says, You are ready to assume a most solemn and awful responsibility, and yet society knows this man's work is to this woman's work as starlight to sunlight. Just because woman's work is greater, finer, larger than anything that can be given to man to do, she should have every opportunity to qualify herself for responbilities awaitinig her; to acquire character, dignity, self-respect, not because, as some plead, she would do men's work in the world, but because she is a woman, and as such, intrusted with a work greater and finer by the Creator, than any given to man. ''But she does not want it," you say, if she wants to be weak, vain, silly, society should force this training upon her, because the work of her hands is to stand in blessings or cursings here at the great day and throughout all eternity. In how few, how rare cases, seemingly, is this matter comprehended -- the greatness, the dignity, the majesty of this work, in to which she is called. How many mothers here to-night know the truth of what I say when I assert that in nine cases out of ten the children of widowed mothers have a profounder respect for womanhood and motherhood than where both this parents are living.

Ah, friends, I bethink me of one who stands for me an ideal of things sweet and things strong; things tender and brave in womanhood; and, thinking of her, I say woman should be a mother to be elevated, to be superior, to be reverenced, to be adored by her children. That is what God meant her to be.

Thinking of that, I recollect a scene witnessed last summer in the world-famous Yo-Semite Valley. One day, after a long and wearisome tramp, as, indeed, any tramp there may be, I reached tha descent to the falls when it was in, deep shadow; and what a descent! -- A vast wall of rock on the one hand, a weird gleaming fall of four hundred feet on the other, an abyss beneath, the thundering roar -- a filling of the air with spray and mist, flying wild and white through the night; below me Egyptian darkness; all about the somber mountains and inaccessible steeps -- their tops three, four, five thousand feet high. Peaks and points, and towers and pinnacles and domes; shapes of beauty, shapes of grace, shapes of majesty and power; these carved in the whitest of granite, and those alone above the vast sea of darkness tipped by the rising glory of the moon, and fairly glittering in its light. Marvelous scene! I stood still and let it penetrate me; I was not crushed by it. Something within me, in heart or brain; swelled and swelled till the walls felt as though they might give way; something that cried: "I am greater than this; before them my essence was; above them, beyond them, can I now soar; when these shall go: when the heavens above them shall roll together like a scroll, and all the earth, beneath them shall melt with fervent heat, and these vanish into nothingness, I shall live and grow, and go on from height to height, conquering and to conquer; for the spirit of God has created me, and the breath of the Almighty has given me life."

Since these things are so, since He has made us in His own image, but a little lower than the angels, and crowned us with honor and glory, see to it, women who listen to me, as God himself hath commanded, that no man take your crown.

Note 1: The above article appears to be an edited copy of the Anna E. Dickinson "Whited Sepulchres" lecture transcript published in the St. Louis Daily Missouri Democrat of March 5, 1870. The St. Louis version of the text runs nearly 1500 words longer, exclusive of a differing introduction and a few sub-titles. The Titusville version contains a few short sections not known to exist in the St. Louis Transcript. Some of the differences in the two readings have been inserted into the above article, using
blue colored text to represent the additional St. Louis wording.

Note 2: The Dickinson "Whited Sepulchres" lecture given on March 4, 1870 before an attentive audience at Corinthian Hall, 297 Broadway, St. Louis, was an oral reform essay (and, to many contemporary listeners, a unique entertainment experience) developed from her initial delivery of a very similar speech, presented in San Francisco's Piatt Hall on Sept. 6, 1869. A summary of that original communication was published in the San Francisco Chronicle of Sept. 7, 1869. Miss Dickinson traveled the country delivering the "Whited Sepulchres" lecture, improving upon it from time to time (for example, correcting the opening sentence, and replacing "Rome" with "Naples") and tailoring the message to her allotted time in front of different kinds of audiences. Beginning in the early part of 1870, she dropped the "ridiculous side-saddle mode of riding" commentary at the lecture's termination, and crafted an inspirational, sermon-like "Woman's Rights Movement" ending in its place. See also the Boston Daily Journal of Oct. 13, 1869 and the Brooklyn Daily Eagle of Nov. 20, 1869 for other summaries of her ever-evolving lecture.

Note 3: Miss Dickinson never gave her lecture in Salt Lake City, nor in any other setting where her auditors were predominently LDS. Despite its continued advertisement as an anti-Mormon discourse, the Salt Lake City portion of her presentation was not its main point nor the focus of her liberationist rhetoric. She passed over opportunities to provide details on the incest of Springfield's Bishop Aaron Johnson, and she mentioned secret abortions (Saintly or otherwise) in only a single, cloaked sentence. She was well aware of the Stowe-Byron "incest scandal" then sweeping through the press of the English-speaking world, and could have easily capitalized upon Mormon parallels with that particular degradition of womanhood. However, Dickinson left extended commentary on the salacious aspects of her Salt Lake City experience to the less circumspect editorializing of the Corinne Daily Reporter, and instead directed her feminist indignation towards the ubiquitous non-Mormon leaders who were then implicitly supporting Mormon family notions and explicitly promoting their own versions of female subordination.



Vol. ?                       Athens, Penn., Thursday, August 25, 1870.                       No. ?

                        From the Montrose Republican.


[Beginning is largely illegible -- tells of Smith's blessing a corn field that froze, etc.] ... He was very poor at that time and with several visionary companions was a good deal engaged in digging for money at some place or places near the Susquehanna river.... In those days, Smith was more celebrated for lying than for any other quality, unless it was ignorance, and perhaps a sort of low cunning."

[Smith and Martin Harris ate cornmeal while translating the golden plates]... Emma Hale used a canoe to escape down the river [when she eloped]....

Note 1: Unfortunately this important article is practically unreadable from a microfilm print-out. There is no indication from which issue of the Montrose Republican this was reprinted, though perhaps it was from the summer of 1870. The editor of the Gleaner adds on parts of a second article, also reproduced from the Montrose Republican -- this appears to be an account of Smith walking on the water near Colesville.

Note 2: Some of the anecdotal material in this article was preserved in Emily C. Blackman's 1873 book, The History of Susquehanna County. See also Frederic G. Mather's "The Early Mormons" in the July 29, 1880 issue of the Binghampton Republican.


The Washington Reporter.
Vol. LXIV.                            Washington, Pa., Wednesday, Dec. 13, 1871.                            No. 15.

Spaulding's  Grave.

For the Reporter.

Mr. Editor. -- Many of our middle aged men will recollect that in boy hood, on visiting the old church grave yard at Amity, the inscription on the head-stone at the grave of Solomon Spaulding, with its bold capitals, always received more than a passing notice. There was something in the style of the inscription, as well as in the traditions in regard to the departed, that elicited the attention of every visitor.

On visitinig the same spot to-day, we find the head-stone broken and crumbled into very small fragments -- too small even to contain one letter. The foot-stone stands opposite, bearing on its face, only one of the initials, the other having crumbled away; and between the two a sodded mound which the writer helped to place there some two years ago. About twelve years ago we spent a leisure hour at the grave; and seeing what sad havoc time was making with the record, we went to work and and by carefully replacing the fragments that had composed the head-stone, we were enabled to trace 1816 as the year of the death, and beneath, portions of four lines, as follows:
"A cherub tuned its deepest lay.
--- --- --- --- earth departed day,
--- --- conquering, in glory rise.
--- --- the raptures of the skies."
If any person can produce the missing portions of the full inscription, it would be doing a favor to communicate it. Mr. S. was an educated minister of the gospel; and being an invalid, spent three years of leisure in writing a book, completing it in 1813. It is not as an author, that the name and memory have a notoriety so wide spread, but it is from the fact that he was the accidental writer of the Mormon Bible.

It is help beyond a doubt by the informed, that this (in)famous book is the joint product of a pious heart and highly imaginative mind, innocent of all wrong, and of scheming men who became possessed of the manuscript of the fiction long after the spirit of its author had gone to rest.

The grave of Spaulding has become historic, and. already its locatIon has been a matter of dispute -- Amity, N. Y., having claimed the honor of containing it. -- The prospective downfall of Brigham's dominion also gives a new interest to everything connected with a delusion so huge in its proportions.

Shall we let this grave become unhonored and unknown?

We propose hereby to solicit subscriptions of a dime and upward, to procure a sufficient amount to erect a plain but durable marble sIab containing the original inscription at the grave of one, the history of whose work so far surpasses the wildest fiction.

Rev. J. C. Hench -- pastor of the Presbyterian church here will act as receiver for this community.

Will you, Mr. Editor, please designate the manner in which subscriptions shall be secured at Washington[?]   S.
     Amity, Pa., Dec. 6, '71.

A PRAISEWORTHY OBJECT. -- Our Amity correspondent thus week makes a suggestion in regard to the grave of Solemn Spaulding which it is to be hoped will be promptly and heartily seconded by the people. It would be a shame to let the resting place of the man whose innocent fiction has been made the vade mecum of Joe Smith's deluded followers, pass out of view, and yet from our friend's account unless something be speedily done to mark the spot afresh, the fact that Solomon Spaulding lies buried within the limits of our country, will be only a tradition. This ought not to be the case. If the people of the different neighborhoods in the county will only move in the matter, and take up small contributions, a sufficient amount can easily be raised to put up a suitable stone -- one that will serve to mark the grave for all time to come.

We feel some little delicacy in obeying the request of our correspondent to designate the method by which the money shall be raised here, but have no doubt if the citizens of the borough and vicinity will each hand over a small contribution to C. M. Reed, Esq., that gentleman will take pleasure in seeing that the fund is faithfully applied to the purpose intended. If a considerable number will lend a helping hand it will require a trifle from each. It is not proposed to erect a costly stone, but simply one that will be plain and durable. We hope to be able to announce before the year is out that enough money has been raised for this purpose.

Note 1: According to Abner Jackson, the actual original Spalding gravestone inscription read: "Kind cherubs guard his sleeping clay / Until that great decisive day, / And saints complete in glory rise / To share the triumphs of the skies."

Note 2: Rev. Jesse Wells Hamilton was the presiding elder at the Lower Tenmile Cumberland Presbyterian Church at Amity, from 1865 to 1870. He was replaced by Rev. John Campbell Hench, who remained in that office until 1874.


Volume ?                           Pittsburgh, Wednesday, January 31?, 1872.                           No. ?


A project is on foot to erect a monument over the grave of the Rev. Mr. Spaulding, in Amity churchyard, Washington County, Pennsylvania, who wrote for his own amusement, and that of his friends, the romance which afterwards became the "Book of Mormon." Mr. Spaulding placed the manuscript in the hands of the late Rev. Robert Patterson, father of one of the editors of this paper, who was then engaged in the publishing business, and while it was in this establishment it was copied by Sidney Rigdon, then in his employ, by whom it was afterwards conveyed to Joseph Smith."

Note: The exact date and content of this report are uncertain. The text was copied from a reprint published in the Feb. 10, 1872 issue of the Portsmouth Journal.


Vol. II.                           Greenville, Pennsylvania,  Thursday, Feb. 8, 1872.                          No. 7.

The  Mormon  Bible.

It has been so often stated without contradiction that we suppose it may be considered a fact, that the so-called "Mormon Bible" was written for his own amusement by a clergyman named Spaulding. This gentleman is dead, and buried in Washington county, Pa., and it is now proposed to erect a monument over his grave. Why this should be made a public affair we do not know: for certainly the country has no special reason for being obliged to the author of "The Mormon Bible," a farrago of nonsense which has occasioned greater, mischief than ever such nonsense did before. The MS was given, according to the story, by Spaulding to Rev. Mr. Paterson, and was copied by Sidney Rigdon, who gave his transcription to Jo Smith. Possibly we might have been spared all the Utah botheration if the Rev. Mr. Spaulding had pleased to amuse himself in a more sensible way. On the other hand, Jo, having a passion for setting up new religions, mignt have started his new faith upon some other basis. It is a great comfort to us to feel that Mormonism hasn't enough of solid truth in it to save it from ultimate oblivion; and we are surprised, considering how well the leaders have managed secular maters, that they should have constructed such a shabby ecclesiastical scheme, by the side of which the Moslem faith seems not merely respectable but miserable.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VII.                   Washington, Penn.,  Wednesday, September 18, 1872.                   No. 52.

Local Brevities.

A correspondent of the Pittsburg Leader, who recently traveled through the southern portion of our county, thus writes:

"The Presbyterian congregations at Amity and Prosperity, known ecclesiastically as Lower Ten-mile and Upper Ten-mile, are among the oldest in Western Pennsylvania. Their foundations were laid in the spring of 1776, by one Rev. Thaddeus Dodd, whose death and grave are commemorated by a plain sandstone slab in the Amity burying-ground. He died in 1790, and the stone was erected before 1800. Many gravestones at Amity and Prosperity are over persons buried there before this century began. So that I find I am in an old-settled part of Western Pennsylvania. Among the noteworthy grave at Amity is that of Solomon Spaulding, the writer of the "Book of Mormon," commonly known as the "Mormon Bible." He is said to have written it as a work of imagination, and with no idea that it would afterward be taken up as inspired."

Notes: (forthcoming)


The  Pittsburgh  Commercial.
Vol. X.                         Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,  Monday, Dec. 23, 1872.                        No. 90.


Sidney Rigdon, who is reputed to have been the author of the Mormon Bible, and who at one time ranked next the Joe Smith in the church of the Latter-day Saints, was stricken with paralysis last week, at home in Allegany county, New York.

Notes: (forthcoming)


The Washington Reporter.
Vol. LXV.                            Washington, Pa., Wednesday, Jan. 1, 1873.                            No. 18.


Sidney Rigdon, One of the
Founders of Mormonism


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

Note: This article is mainly an encyclopedia excerpt -- Rigdon was not yet dead when it was published.


The Washington Reporter.
Vol. ?                            Washington, Pa., Wednesday, September 9, 1874.                            No. ?

SHERIFF'S SALE. -- By virtue of a writ of Fieri Facias (upon which inquisition and exemption have been waived), issued out of the Court of Common Pleas of Washington county, and to me directed, there will be exposed to public sale in front of the Court House, in the borough of Washington, Pa., on Thursday the 8th day of October, A. D. 1874, at one o'clock P. M., of said day, the following described property, viz:

All the right, title, and interest of the defendant, George B. Clutter, in and to a house and lot of ground situate in Amity, Amwell township, Washington county, Pa., upon which are erected a two-story frame house, with back building attached, frame stable, &c., adjoining property of the Presbyterian church, and fronting on Main street.

Taken in execution as the property of George B. Clutter at the suit of Phillip Swart.
WILLIAM THOMPSON, Sheriff.            
Sheriff's Office, Wash., Pa., Aug. 26.

Note: Philip Swart (1797-1876) was a long-time resident of Amity. At the time of his death, Mr. Swart's residence there (in the old tavern building) was still shown (as "P. Swarts") on the 1876 map of Amity.


Vol. ?                         Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania  January 1, 1875.                         No. ?

First Baptist Church of Pittsburgh
Historical Notice by Rev. John Winter.

... When Holland Sumner dealt with Rigdon for his bad teachings, and said to him, "Brother Rigdon, you never got into a Baptist Church without relating your Christian experiences," Rigdon replied, "When I joined the church at Peters Creek I knew I could not be admitted without an experience, so I made up one to suit the purpose; but it was all made up, and was of no use, nor true." This I have just copied from an old memorandum, as taken from Sumner himself...

Note: The full title and content of the above article are unknown. The text was taken from an excerpt published by Robert Patterson, Jr. in 1882. This issue of the Pittsburgh Baptist Witness is currently being researched. The full text and exact masthead will be posted here when a proper transcript has been made.


Vol. ?                         Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania  March 1, 1875.                         No. ?


...Sidney Rigdon, when quite a boy, living with his father some fifteen miles south of Pittsburgh on a farm, was thrown from his horse, his foot entangled in a stirrup and dragged some distance before relieved. In this accident he received such a contusion of the brain as ever after seriously to affect his character and in some respects, his conduct. In fact, his brother always considered Sidney a little deranged in his mind by that accident. His mental powers did hot seem to be impaired, but the equlibrium in his intellectual exertions seemed thereby to have been sadly affected. He still manifested great mental activity and power, but he was to an equal degree inclined to run into wild and visionary views on almost every question. Hence he was a fit subject for any new movement in the religious world...

Note: The full title and content of the above article are unknown. The text was taken from an excerpt published by Robert Patterson, Jr. in 1882, in which Patterson cites it as coming from "A. H. Dunlevy, of Lebanon, Ohio, who, giving as his authority Dr. L[oammi] Rigdon, of Hamilton, Ohio." Anthony H. Dunlevy was evidently either the brother or the nephew of Dr. John C. Dunlevy, Loammi's medical partner in Warren Co., Ohio. This issue of the Pittsburgh Baptist Witness is currently being researched. The full text will be posted here when a proper transcript has been made.


The  Pittsburgh  Gazette.
Vol. 89.                                      Pittsburgh, Tuesday, July 18, 1876.                                       No. 173.


Death of Sidney Rigdon, Joe Smith's Successor --
Some Facts About His Life.

On Friday last there died at Friendship, Allegany county, N. Y., Sidney Rigdon, in the eighty-fourth year of his age.

He was a person who had a peculiar history, and one not without interest to Pittsburghers. He was born near Piney Fork, this county, and reached maturity near the place of his birth. When about twenty-five years old, he entered the ministry in the Baptist Church, and was for some time pastor at the First Baptist Church, corner of Third and Grant streets. Becoming dissatisfied with the faith, he with Alexander Campbell and a Mr. Church, of this city, formed the "Campbellite" or "Christian" church, which at one time had a considerable number of adherents in this section of the country.

Some time after he went to Ohio and organized a congregation according to the new faith. There he met Elder Parley Pratt, of the Mormon church, in debate, and becoming worsted joined the Mormons and took his congregation with him. They went to Courtland [sic - Kirtland?], Ohio, where a Mormon congregation was organized. From that they were forced to go to Western Missouri, and, finally, by persecutions were driven to Nauvoo. There Mr. Rigdon staid until within six or seven months of Joe Smith's death, when, becoming dissatisfied with polygamy, he returned to Pittsburgh. Hearing of Smith's death, and that he was appointed his successor, Mr. Rigdon returned to Nauvoo. On the day appointed for choosing Smith's successor, Mr. Rigdon told the congregation that if he was elected he would not only prohibit polygamy, but expel every one who practiced it. He then asked the audience if they desired to have him for President that each man hold up his right hand. Not a hand was raised. Brigham Young then told the audience that he was Smith's successor, and if elected he would carry out his ideas. He was unanimously elected.

Mr. Rigdon again returned to Pittsburgh, and tried to establish a church. Not succeeding he moved to the Genesee Valley, N. Y., and has there remained up to the time of his death, a period of about thirty years. After abandoning his religious ventures he devoted himself to the study of geology, and supported himself in a great measure by lecturing upon that science. He is said to have been much respected in his community, as a law-abiding, conscientious citizen.

Note: This article was reprinted in the Chicago Tribune of July 25, 1876. No follow-up news items have yet been discovered.


Vol. IV.                               Pittsburgh, Tuesday, July 18, 1876.                               No. ?



The early history of Mormonism is intimately blended with the history of this county and of Western Pennsylvania, the Book of Mormon -- the bible of the polygamists -- having been printed in this city, and two of the most noted founders of the "twin relic" having had "a local habitation and a name" in our midst. Solomon Spalding, the author of the Book of Mormon, lived in this city from 1812 to 1814, when he removed to Amity, Washington County, where he died and was buried. Sidney Rigdon, who died in Friendship, Alleghany County, N. Y., on Friday last, was born in St. Clair Township, this county, Feb. 19, 1793. The manuscript of the Book of Mormon was set up in a printing office in Pittsburg in 1812, with which young Rigdon was connected. Soon after getting possession of a copy of Spalding's manuscript he left the printing office and became a preacher of doctrines peculiar to himself and very similar to those afterward incorporated into the Book of Mormon. He gained a small number of converts to his views, when about 1829 he became associated with Joseph Smith. It is asserted that through Rigdon's agency Smith became possessed of a copy of Spalding's manuscript. Smith and Rigdon then set about to establish a Church having at first vague and confused ideas as to its nature and design, but with the Book of Mormon as their text and authority, they began to preach this new gospel; and Smith's family and a few of his associates, together with some of Rigdon's followers, were soon numerous enough to constitute the Mormon Church, as it was styled by the people around them, or the Latter Day Saints, as they presently began to call themselves. The Church was organized in Manchester, New York, in 1830.

The following year the believers were led by Smith and Rigdon to Kirtland, Ohio, which was to be the seat of the New Jerusalem. Here converts were rapidly made, and Smith and Rigdon established a mill and store, and set up a bank without a charter, of which Smith appointed himself President and made Rigdon cashier. The neighboring country was flooded with notes of a very doubtful value, and in consequence of this and other business transactions, in which Smith and Rigdon were accused of fraudulent dealing, a mob, on the night of March 22, 1832, dragged the two prophets from their beds and tarred and feathered them. About a year afterward a government for the Church was instituted, consisting of three Presidents, Smith, Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams, who together were styled the First Presidency, a revelation from the Lord having declared that the sins of Rigdon and Williams were forgiven, and that "they were henceforth to be accounted as equal with Smith in holding the keys of His kingdom."

In January, 1838, the bank at Kirtland having failed, Smith and Rigdon, to avoid arrest for fraud fled in the night, pursued by their creditors, and took refuge in Missouri. The Mormons soon became involved in quarrels with the Missourians, and toward the close of 1838 the conflict assumed the character and proportions of civil war. The Militia of the State was called out, and Rigdon and Smith were charged with treason, murder, and felony. Rigdon was released on a habeas corpus. Shirtly after this Rigdon and Smith established themselves in Illinois and built the City of Nauvoo.

After the death of Joe Smith, Sidney Rigdon aspired to succeed him as head of the Church, but Brigham Young was chosen First President, and Rigdon being contumacious, was cut off from the faithful, cursed, and solemnly delivered to the devil "to be duffeted in the flesh for a thousand years." Having thus been turned out of the fold, Mr. Rigdon returned to Pittsburg and tried to establish a church. Not succeeding, he moved to the Genesee Valley, New York, and has there remained up to the time of his death, a period of about thirty years. After abandoning his religious ventures, he devoted himself to the study of geology and supported himself in a great measure by lecturing upon that subject. He was in the eighty-fourth year of his age, and is said to have been highly respected by his neighbors during the declining years of his life.

Note: This obituary article was widely circulated in reprints. See, for example, the New York Times for July 24, 1876. Another, more accurate, set of obituaries sprang from the pens of Disciples of Christ writers Isaac Errett and Thomas Dille -- see the Cincinnati Christian Standard of Aug. 5, 1876 for a lengthy example. A locally-generated obituary was published in the NY Friendship Register of July 18, 1876. Another informative obituary was published in the Elmira Daily Advertiser on July 21, 1876.


The  Pittsburgh  Commercial.
Vol. XIII.                               Pittsburgh, Wednesday, July 19, 1876.                               No. 268.

Death  of  an  Original  Mormon.

Sidney Rigdon, one of the leading spirits in the organization of the Mormon Cburch, and a native of St. Clair township, this county, died on Friday last, in Friendship, Allegheny county, New York. The deceased was born in 1793; and, in 1812, he was employed in a printing office, in this city, where the manuscript of Solomon Spalding's "Book of Mormon" had been left to be printed. It is alleged that Rigdon got a copy of Spalding's manuscript, and soon after began preaching doctrines similar to those set forth in the "Book." Some ten years afterward he became associated with the famous Joe Smith, and organized the Church of the Latter Day Saints. Spalding died in Washington county in 1816, and Smith and Rigdon modified the "Book" to suit themselves. The history of the Mormon Church in Kirtland, Ohio, in Independence, Missouri, and in Nauvoo, Ill., is known to many of our readers. On the death of Joe Smith, Rigdon made an effort to succeed him, but was beaten by Brigham Young, and finally driven out of the church. He returned to Pittsburgh about the year 1846, and soon after removed to the Genesee Yalley, New York, where he died at the age of eighty-three. After abandoning his religious venture he devoted himself to the study of geology, and supported himself in a great measure by lecturing upon that subject. -- He is said to have been highly respected by his neighbors during the declining years of his life.

Notes: (forthcoming)


The  Pittsburgh  Gazette.
Vol. 89.                                      Pittsburgh, Friday, July 21, 1876.                                       No. 176.

Ann Eliza vs. Brigham Young.

SALT LAKE, Utah, July 20. -- The Ann Eliza vs. Brigham Young case was up before Judge Shaffer to-day, when the following rulings were given. That as Ann Eliza claimed to have been married to Brigham Young, which the defendant did not deny, but denied that she was his legal wife, and that as the contest was as to the legality of the marriage, the court could properly grant alimony during the suit. A motion for personal attachment upon the defendant for contempt of court in not paying five hundred dollars per month alimony was denied, as this was a harsh measure where milder means would be sufficient. A motion to strike out the amended answer of the defense was overruled, and evidence in the main case ordered taken before a commissioner. It is probable an execution will be asked by the plaintiff as a means of collecting the alimony heretofore awarded, while the defense will no doubt ask for a reduction of the alimony.

Notes: (forthcoming)


The  Pittsburgh  Gazette.
Vol. 89.                                      Pittsburgh, Monday, July 24, 1876.                                       No. 178.


Attempting to Assassinate a Nephew of Brigham Young.

SALT LAKE, Utah, July 20. -- Early yesterday morning John C. Young, one of the reporters of the Daily Tribune, while going from the office to his residence, was waylaid by four of Brigham Young's Danite Band of "Destroying Angels," who attempted to murder him. Mr. Young is a nephew of Brigham, and has become extremely obnoxious to his uncle and the Mormon priesthood by reason of his connection with the Tribune, a Gentile paper, which opposes Mormons, and shows up their habits and crimes. Orders were issued by Young to destroy his nephew, and these four men were set apart for the bloody work. One of them was stationed at a street corner diagonally across from the office to give notice of Young's departure for home, and the rest secreted themselves behind trees in front of his residence. When the signal was given they all made their appearance, simultanous. One of them approached him, saying "You're the man we are looking for," and was about to seize him when Young, facing him with a cocked revolver, backed into the yard, and told him if he advanced another step he would kill him. The movement was so sudden that the leader was thrown off his guard. The neighbors, hearing the noise, came to the doors with light, and Young escaped assassination.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                         Pittsburgh, Thursday, August 24, 1876.                         No. 112.


A Report of a Lecture He Delivered
Forty Years Ago in Meadville -- Rigdon's
Account of Joe Smith's Revelation.

To the Editor of the Pittsburgh Telegraph:

I observe that several papers besides the TELEGRAPH notice the late Sydney Rigdon. Rigdon was a curious genius, more knave than fool. I will never forget the first and only time that I was ever in his company. A friend had purchased a farm upon Sugar Creek, Crawford county, who wished me to go up to Meadville for him, and have the title examined, and if all right, to make the first payment upon it. This was about the middle of March, 1836. While in Meadville flaming posters were placed all over the town stating that at a certain hour, at the Court House, Sydney Rigdon would deliver a discourse upon Mormonism and how Joe Smith became the Mormon prophet. Upon arriving at the Court House, I found myself somewhat late, as Mr. Rigdon was upon his feet and speaking. The audience was large, and he was telling it a wonderful rigmarole of an eagle arising in the East and flying to the West, and of the [rod] of Ephraim breaking the staff of Jacob, &c., when the people got restless and broke in with, "Mr. Rigdon, we want to hear all about the Mormon bible, and where Joe Smith got it."

This call brought Sydney to a stand still, when he said: "Well, I will tell you all about it. Joe Smith some few years previous was a poor boy who, to earn a living, herded cattle in Ontario county, New York. He was a good boy, and one day while herding cattle he fell into a trance, when the angel Gabriel appeared to him and told him that he was the chosen of God, appointed to be His prophet to reveal mysteries to the world that had been kept hidden to the present time, and for him to go to a particular spot, which he designated and dig, that he would there find a revelation from God, which he was to proclaim to the world. Joe, when he awoke, was so forcibly impressed with the heavenly vision that he started off directly for a mattock and shovel, and went to work at the place. After getting down about waist deep Joe came to a nice square stone box. The four sides and bottom were each eighteen inches square. The top was wider, projecting an inch or so over the sides, so as to throw off water. In the center was a large iron ring into which a man could comfortably put his hand. After clearing out all the earth from around it, Joe laid hold of the ring to pull it out and get it up; but there was no moving it. Joe tugged and tugged and tugged (his exact words) but move it wouldn't. When he raised himself up out of the hole and threw himself down upon his face to wonder over its stubbornness, the fact came to his remembrance that the angel told him that he was to take up the box when he was exactly twenty-one years of age, and that that day he was only twenty. So Joe turned to and filled up the hole and carried back his shovel and hoe and waited another year with great patience, until the eventful hour arrived when he returned in full faith that he was no[w] to receive a crown of rejoicing. The earth was again taken out of the hole, the box cleared off, and he again laid hold of the ring, when (with a graceful wave of his right hand, making a circle in the air, bringing it down past his face to his left side), it just came up like that."

When the box was once safe upon deck every one then was anxious to hear what was in it, when we were told that it contained fourteen gold plates, covered with mysterious characters, together with the sword of Gideon and the spectacles of Samuel the prophet! Joe, he said, was a very illiterate man, was unable either to read or write; but when he put on his nose the prophet's spectacles, and took the gold plates one by one, letter by letter and word by word presented themselves, and with the aid of an amanuensis the Bible that he held in his hand was a literal translation of the writing upon the gold plates. 

As a good many were putting questions to Sydney, the writer's question to him was, "Had he seen the contents of the mysterious box, and what kind of a sword was it that could be packed away in an eighteen inch box?" But Sydney had seen nothing. "But here," he said, turning to the back of the Bible, "are the sworn statements of those who have seen it." To the question, "What eventually became of the box?" we were told that Joe, after having had the mysteries that he was to proclaim translated into English, packed away everything again in the box and put it back where he got it.

As the programme stated that Sydney, like the Apostles of old, was to address us "in tongues," at this stage of the proceedings a sharp, little man to my right, in spectacles, who, I was afterwards told, was a Professor in Allegheny College, said, "Mr Rigdon, I believe you to be a good German and Greek scholar, and after you have spoken to us in those languages, I want you to speak to us in five or six other languages, giving a list of them." This proposition was a stumper which closed up poor Sydney, who, after looking all around him, declared us to be such a set of unbelievers that he wouldn't open his mouth to us again that day, and he sat down with his head upon his breast. Then a lawyer to my left, said to be called Potter, put his hand in his coat tail pocket and brought out a handful of shelled corn, which he flung all around Sydney's head and shoulders, but Sydney neither looked up nor moved. An old gentleman with a small Bible in his hand, called Col. Cochran, here arose, and after a word to the audience, pitched into Sydney. "To think," he said, "that a man who had once been a minister of God joining with an imposter to delude the simple and weakminded that he might be a big and looked up to man among them, is horrible!"

Sydney bore a long, excoriating address without ever looking up or speaking. I left him surrounded by a volunteer guard, who promised to see him off without letting him be mobbed. As Brigham Young has had a great many "latter day revelations," I thought that I would give you Joseph Smith's first one, as told by Sydney Rigdon.

Note: The "Rural" who write this letter to the Pittsburgh Telegraph was identified as being John T. Murdock by Rev. Robert Patterson, Jr.


Vol. I.                         Washington, Pa., Friday, Aug. 3, 1877.                         No. 309.


(Dr. W. W. Sharp, of Amity, furnishes us the following, with the promise that he will follow it with an original article giving some local history never before published):

As the Mormon Problem is not yet settled, and as few persons have any defibite idea as to the origin of this great delusion, it will be interesting to many to read the following authentic statements, gathered by an industrious reporter of the Cleveland Leader. They commence as an organized community in the Western Reserve, Ohio. The Sidney Rigdon spoken of in the sketch, was one of their ablest men, before Brigham Young became prominent. It will be noticed that he was originally a Campbellite preacher. After he seceded from the Mormons he resided for a time in Greencastle, near Mercersburg, Pa. The Mr. Cowdry (or rather, Cowdery), spoken of, resided for a while in Tiffin, Ohio, where he tried to be a lawyer, not succeeding in this, he tried Mormonism. J. H. G.

Joseph Smith, the reputed founder of Mormonism, was born in Sharon, Vermont, December 23, 1805. At the age of ten years he removed with his father's family to Ontario County, N. Y. His parents were in very humble circumstances and he was often employed by the neighboring farmers and others as a laborer, among whom he bore the reputation of an ignorant and lazy young man. His family bore a bad reputation also, and were exceedingly superstitious, believing in witchcraft, etc. At one time they were in possession of a rod which they believed possessed remarkable power, and Joseph dug in various places for money which they pretended it revealed. He insisted that he often got sight of the pot containing the money, but could not get near enough to take it. He, moreover, placed a remarkable stone in his hat, by the light of which he pretended to make discoveries of gold and silver deposited in the earth. He commenced his career of prophet at the age of eighteen, when he called a meeting of the people of Palmyra to listen to divine revelations he had received. But very few, however, had interest enough to turn out and hear him, thus illustrating the fact that "a prophet is not without honor save in his own country." The young man from this time continued to proclaim the words which he claimed were constantly given him until, suddenly, in one of his searches after precious metals, guided by the light of the stone in his hat, he pretended to find the great Book of Mormon.

We will now give a short sketch of a man of entirely different mould:

Solomon Spaulding was born in Connecticut in 1761. He graduated with high honors [sic] at Dartmouth, and having failed in mercantile pursuits, some time in the year 1809 removed to Conneaut, Ashtabula County, Ohio. In the year 1812 his brother John visited him, and left on record the following testimony in regard to the visit.

(1833 John Spalding and Henry Lake statements follow)

Many other witnesses have left on record their testimony, corroborating, in the main, the facts set forth by the two already quoted.

Mr. Spaulding was vain of his writings, and was never more pleased than when showing them to any one who would take interest enough in them to examine them. As Mr. Lake states above, Mr. Spaulding went from Conneaut to Pittsburgh, when it is almost absolutely certain that the "Manuscrpt Found was taken to the printing house of Patterson & Lambdin [sic - R. & J. Patterson?], and intrusted in their hands to be brought out. Mr. Howe very naturally applied to this firm, to ascertain what disposition was made of the book, but here death had interposed such a barrier that we never shall be able fully to solve the mystery. The firm of Patterson & Lambdin was dissolved and broken up soon after we suppose Mr. Spaulding to have carried his book to their house. Mr. Lambdin had died, subsequently, and Mr. Patterson said he had no recollection of any such manuscript, as described, having been brought to their office, neither could he have remembered the circumstances, for at the time, all the printing was conducted by Mr. Lambdin [sic - Mr. Engles?]. He said, however, that many manuscript books were brought to their office about that time, that remained for years upon their shelves, never having been even read by either member of the firm. Spaulding remained in Pittsburgh only about one year, when he removed to Amity, Pennsylvania, where he died in 1816.

About the year 1823 Sidney Rigdon, who had been for several years an earnest and effective preacher of the new Reformers, or Disciples of Christ, in Northern Ohio, went to Pittsburg with the professed intention of spending a few years in a fuller study of the Bible, that he might be the better prepared to unfold its teachings to his hearers. Now it is known that Rigdon was on terms of intimacy with Lambdin, and was often seen in the printing house. Rigdon often asserted that during the whole three years of his residence in Pittsburg he abandoned preaching, and devoted himself entirely to the further study of the word of God. He left Pittsburg a little after the death of Lambdin, and came to Lake County, where he began preaching what he called some new points of doctrine, which were afterward found to be included in the Mormon Bible. He resided here about four years previous to the bringing forth of the Mormon Bible, during which time he made frequent long visits to Pittsburg, and we have reason to believe, also, to the region of the Susquehanna, where the Smiths were then digging for gold, and announcing that they were on the track of a book that should give an account of the first settlement of America. It may also be noted that two years yet elapsed before they got possession of this book.

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

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

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

Note 1: The above article contains no original information: its contents were evidently derived entirely from earlier reports on Mormonism. It was reprinted in the weekly Reporter of Aug. 8, 1877 -- the original article in Cleveland Leader has not been located.

Note 2: Dr. William W. Sharp/Sharpe (1825-1883) served as a Union army surgeon at the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War. He lived at Amity and took an interest in local history, including the Spalding authorship claims.


Vol. ?                                  Pittsburgh, Sunday, September 2, 1877.                                  No. ?

How to Solve the Mormon Problem

... The only way -- is for the U. S. government to help Joseph Smith Jr., the son of the prophet, to assert his leadership and establish himself in the very Lion-house of the usurper, Brigham. In making this suggestion, the other day, we pointed out that young Joseph is the legitimate successor of his father, nominated by inspiration for the office and duly ordained, that the Mormons themselves confess the fact, admit that Brigham tricked the Smith boys out of their rights,  *  *  * and that they have always looked on young Joseph with respect and even with reverence  *  *  * When Joseph visited Salt Lake City, he was treated with the highest respect by the people, nor was it denied by any one that he was the true high priest, prophet and revelator, and would some day come back to rule over the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Well, with the death of Brigham that day has arrived if young Joseph has the pluck to assert himself.  *  *  * In this juncture the advent of a genuine leader, the legitimate successor, claiming inspiration, and able to cry, "thus saith the Lord," to a people who believe he has the right, would have a profound and decisive effect, Coming as he would with an accession of adherents to swell the Mormon body and heal a division of thirty years' standing, he ought surely to succeed, if he exhibits half the ability and worldly wisdom of his father.  *  *  * The capture of the Utah Mormons by Joseph Smith of Illinois would insure the downfall of poligamy, and this would be the elimination of the only feature of Mormonism to which the United States has any objection. The Josephites of Illinois, of Iowa, of Pittsburg, are as good and law abiding citizens as the members of any other denomination, and possess no social customs that keep them separate from the rest of the world. With Joseph Smith ruling the Mormon church, Utah would be as open to outside settlement as any other territory.  *  *  * It might prove a very brilliant act of statesmanship for President Hayes to appoint Joseph Smith, Jr., governor of Utah, and thus give him the vantage from which he might conquer the place his father bequeathed him, and peacefully and lawfully root out that relic of barbarism -- poligamy -- from the only spot in the United States where it flourishes." "Let it (the government) keep sternly on in the good work of punishing the Mountain Meadows murders...

Notes: (forthcoming)


The Washington Reporter.
Vol. ?                            Washington, Pa., Wednesday, Sept. 12, 1877.                            No. ?


Its Prosperity a Fiction -- A Miserable People.


Correspondence N. Y. Tribune.

Brigham Young has colonized a territory of the United States, but meanwhile Territories have been settled all around him, some of which have far outstripped his own. If it had not been for his proscriptive policy, Utah would be to-day far in advance of what is in all the elements which constitute the greatness of a state. He has rendered the Territory comparatively populous, but only by bringing in converts from the Old World. Every one of these immigrants, too, has been compelled to pay Brigham Young for his passage out, and at least a part of the funds so realized have been used in bringing in more. Two years ago, upon his return from the South, he characterized his people as among the most destitute and miserable of mankind. From end to end of Utah, the people barely live -- the leaders excepted. There are no free schools, no hospitals, and only one insane asylum, and that has been established comparatively recently. The surplus earnings of the people are absorbed in tithing, marrying, preaching and building temples.

There is no growth or prosperity anywhere visible. Brigham Young died exceedingly wealthy, showing, beyond question, to what end his energies were devoted. In consequence of his policy, the general level of squalor and inanity has been steadily lowered instead of raised. In 1869, twenty-two years after the Territory was first settled, its taxable assessed valuation was, in round numbers, $11,000,000. The railroad was built, the outsiders came in, mines were discovered, and in four years the figures increased to $22,000,000. The railroads have been built chiefly with the money of the Gentiles; the mines, now worth from $20,000,000 to $30,000,000, have been opened and are owned mainly by Gentiles and apostate Mormons; and that the Mormons themselves have gone on tilling their little patches of wheat and potatoes, paying tithing, marrying, obeying counsel, "living their religion," and growing poorer and more more wretched every year.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Volume IX.                          Indiana, Pa., Thursday, February 7, 1878.                          No. 6.

The  Mormon  Bible.

Major Gilbert of Palmyra, Missouri [sic. N.Y], gives the following account of the getting up of the Mormon bible: One pleasant day in the summer of 1829, Hiram Smith, Joe's brother, came to the office to negotiate, for the printing of a book. The arrangements were completed. Five thousand copies of the book were to be printed for $3,000. A well-to-do farmer named Martin Harris, living in the neighborhood, agreed to become security for the payment of the money, and the work was at once put in hand. Major Gilbert set up all the type of the book, except some 20 or 30 pages, and did nearly all the press work. It was all worked off on a hand press. The copy was brought to the office by Hiram Smith. It was written on foolscap paper in a good, clear hand. The handwritimg was Oliver Cowdery's. There was not a punctuation mark in the whole manuscript. The sentences were all run in without capitals, or other marks to designate where one left off and another began, and it was no easy task to straighten out the stuff. Major Gilbert, perceiving that large portions were stolen verbatim from the Bible, used to have a copy of that book on his case to aid him in deciphering the manuscript and putting in the proper punctuation marks. At first Smith used to come to the office every morning with just enough manuscript to last through the day. But it was so much bother to put in the punctuation that Gilbert said; "Bring me around a quantity copy at a time, and I can go through it and fix it up evenings, and so get along faster with it." Smith replied: "This is pretty important business young man, and I don't know as we can trust this manuscript in your possession." Finally his scruples were overcome, and he consented to this arrangement. Then he would bring around a quire of paper, or 48 pages, at a time, and this would last several days. When the matter had been set all the copy was carefully taken away again by Smith. It took eight months to set up the book and run it through the press. Major Gilbert was not much interested in the book, thought it rather dry and prosy, and to this day has never thought it worth his while to read it a second time. Of course, nobody then dreamed that the "Book of Mormon" was destined to achieve the notority which it has gained, or that it was to cut such a figure in the history of this country. It did not find a very ready sale, at the outset, and Harris, who had mortgaged his farm to pay the printer's bill, was cleaned out financially; He was an intimate friend of the Smiths, and afterwards became an adherent to the doctrines they taught. He did not follow them Westward, however, but remained near his own home, where he died two years ago. With this book as the basis of his teaching, Joe Smith began to preach, and soon formed a congregation of followers in Palmyra and the neighboring village of Manchester, where the Smiths resided. A year later, he, with thirty of his followers removed to Kirtland, Ohio. His subsequent history is well known. There were nine children in the Smith family. Joe was then about 23 years of age. He was a lazy, good-for-nothing lout, chiefly noted for his capacity to hang around a corner grocery and punish poor whisky. He had good physical strength, but he never put it to any use in the way of mowing grass or sawing wood. He could wrestle pretty well, but was not given to exerting his muscles in any practical way. He had evidently made up his mind that there was an easier way of getting a living than by honest industry. He was the discoverer of a magic stone which he used to carry around in his hat. Holding it carefully laid in the bottom of his hat he would bring his eye to bear on it at an angle of about 45 degrees and forthwith discover the whereabouts of hidden treasures. He would draw a circle on the ground and say to the awe struck bystanders, "dig deep enough within this circle and you will find a pot of gold." But he never dug himself. He had a good share of the rising generation of Palmyra out digging in the suburbs, and to this day traces of the pits thus dug are pointed out to curious visitors. As he claimed to be the author of the "Book of Mormon" his story was that by the aid of his wonderful stone he found gold plates on which were inscribed the writings in hieroglyphics. He translated them by means of a pair of magic spectacles which the Lord delivered to him at the same time that the golden tablets were turned up. But nobody but Joe himself ever saw the golden tablets or the far-seeing spectacles. He dictated the book, concealed behind a curtain, and it was written down by Cowdery. This course seemed to be rendered necessary by the fact that Joe did not know how to write. Otherwise the book might have gone to the printer in the handwriting of Old Mormon himself. It is now pretty well established that the "Book of Mormon" was written in 1812 by the Rev. Solomon Spalding. of Ohio, as a popular romance. He could not find anyone to print it. The manuscript was sent to Pittsburg, where it lay in a printing-office several years. Spalding was never able to raise the money to secure the printing of the story, and after his death in 1824 [sic - 1816] it was returned to his wife. By some means, exactly how is not known, it fell into the hands of one Sidney Rigdon, who, with Joe Smith, concocted the scheme by which it was subsequently brought out as the work of Smith. The dealings with the outside world in respect to it were manipulated by Hiram Smith, an elder brother of Joe.

Note: Other printings of this article add this, at the end: "Maj. Gilbert's recollection of all these persons and events is fresh and vivid, and he has a fund of anecdote and incident relating to them."


Pittsburgh  Commercial  Gazette.
Volume 93.                              Pittsburgh, Friday, Nov. 22, 1878.                              No. 103.


RIGDON -- On Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 20th, 1878, Mrs. SARAH RIGDON, wife of the late Carvil Rigdon, aged 82 years.

The friends and family are respectfully invited to attend the funeral from her late residence, No. 21 Overhill street. This morning at 10 o'clock.

Note 1: Carvel (or Carvil) Rigdon was the older brother of Sidney Rigdon. He died in 1873, but his wife, Sarah Boyer Rigdon, survived until 1878. Carvel Rigdon was converted to Mormonism by his brother Sidney and joined the Church in May 1831. Carvel had been ordained an elder before the end of 1834: see the Jan. 23, 1835 letter of "Elder Carvel Rigdon" published in the LDS Messenger and Advocate, I:5 (Feb. 1835). See also Carvel's name among the list of elders published in the Dec. 1836 issue of the Messenger and Advocate, (III:3). Carvel took an active interest in his brother Sidney's Mormon splinter group, formed in Pittsburgh in the fall of 1844, eventually bankrupting himself and losing his farm while trying to help fund Sidney's religious adventure. For his trouble Carvel was ordained the Patriarch of that little church and was authorized to collect fifty cents for every blessing he bestowed upon its members.

Note 2: Sarah was the daughter of James Boyer and Ann Blackmore (Blackmoor) and was born about 1797. She was probably baptized a Mormon in 1831, and, like her husband Carvel, she evidently reverted to her original Baptist faith after 1847. She was the sister of Peter Boyer of Library, Pennsylvania. Peter married Sidney Rigdon's sister, Lacy Rigdon. About the year 1820 Mrs. Nancy Rigdon (mother of Sidney, Carvel and Lacy) moved in with the Peter Boyer family. She became a Mormon and Sidney later transporter her to Nauvoo, where she died. Carvel, his wife, and Peter Boyer (with his second wife) may have lived briefly at La Harpe, Hancock Co., Illinois (near Nauvoo) during the early 1840s -- returning to Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania by mid-1843.


Volume LXV.                    Pittsburgh, Wednesday, January 8, 1879.                    No. 19.


It will be gratifying to the whole country to learn on the 6th inst. the Supreme Court at Washington unanimously affirmed the constitutionality of the act of Congress prohibiting polygamy in the Territories. The decision of the court in Utah, in which a Mormon was convicted of bigamy, was affirmed. It only remains for the Government to enforce this righteous law.  

Notes: (forthcoming)


Volume LXV.                    Pittsburgh, Wednesday, January 15, 1879.                    No. 20.


The decision of the U. S. Supreme Court, rendered on the 6th inst. and briefly reported in last week's BANNER, deserves more than a passing reference which was all we could then give it. Like most other evils, polygamy dies hard, and its death struggle is not over. A great point, however, has been gained in the fact that the Third District Court of Utah, in whose jurisdiction this test case originated, and on appeal the Supreme Court of Utah Territory, and on further appeal the Supreme Court of the United States have all decided, as indeed would seem to have been inevitable, that the law of Congress, enacted in 1862, prohibiting bigamy in the Territories, is constitutional. This law provided that "every person having a husband or wife living, who marries another, whether married or single, in a Territory or other place over which the United States have exclusive jurisdiction, is guilty of bigamy, and shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500, and shall be imprisoned for a term of not more than five years." In this statute nothing is said of polygamy, or, as the Mormons designate it, "plural marriage;" but as, according to other precedents, the "plural" husband may be punished for each offence, the subject must be one of peculiar interest in Utah just now for those miscreants who have "pluraled" from ten to twenty times.

It only remains that so righteous a law should be rigorously and impartially enforced, and this foul blot upon our national honor will soon be removed. For twenty years these culprits have defied the laws and authority of the United States, and have added to their licentiousness uncounted acts of violence and cruelty. Some of the most revolting murders have been indubitably fastened upon the Mormon leaders, as in the noted case of the Mountain Meadow massacre. The wretched plea of "religious requirement" as a cover for their crimes, but renders them more revolting. Possibly another Mormon exodus may result from this decision of the Supreme Court, and some unfortunate Mexican province may be the next theatre for the display of their so-called religion. But if they remain upon American soil, they should be compelled to obey American laws or suffer the penalties of their infraction.

Note 1: Publicity given the U. S. Supreme Court's 1879 positive decision on the legality of the "bigamy" law quickly placed the "Mormon Question" back on the front pages of American newspapers, including those in Pennsylvania. For ten years the momentum had been building among the non-Mormon easterners to do something about this "question." With the completion of the railroad through Utah, the death of Brigham Young, and the political irritation generated by the Utahans continued push for statehood, it was inevitable that the legal, religious and political situation of the Mormons would be thrown back into the pages of the popular press in a major way at the end of the 1870s. The Supreme Court's decision was the spark that ignited a ten year blaze of news articles on the Mormons in American papers.

Note 2: While most American newspapers of the period confined their reporting on this topic to matters closely related to the battle over Mormon polygamy, the papers of the Pittsburgh area contributed numerous secondary reports on relevant historical figures like Sidney Rigdon and Solomon Spalding, both of whom had once lived in the city. It was this batch of 1879 Pennsylvania news articles, coupled with the several related articles written by James T. Cobb for the Salt Lake Tribune during 1879 that brought the Spalding authorship matter back before the public attention and resulted in several interesting developments in the "Spalding theory" during the early and mid 1880s. See, for example, the effect of Cobb's research in the Feb. 5, 1879 issue of the Washington Reporter and Albert Creigh's lengthy article in the Feb. 12, 1879 issue of the Banner.


Vol. III.            Washington, Pa., Wednesday, February 5, 1879.            Whole No. 781.

Origin of Mormonism.

For the Reporter.

(Dr. W. W. Sharp, of Amity, this county, has prepared a statement concerning early Mormonism, for James T. Cobb, Esq., of Salt Lake City, which he has kindly placed in our hands for publication, as follows:)

In view of the magnitude of the Mormon delusion, and of the serious complications it is likely to cause in the near future, by its relations to our government, every thing conected with its origin and history, challenges an almost universal interest.

The author of the "Manuscript Found," which doubtless suggested the Book of Mormon, and occupied so important a position in its conception, design and execution, lived and died in Amity, Pa. The old frame house he occupied is still tenable, and his grave in the old cemetery attracts many a curious visitor. A stone still marks the foot of the grave with one of its bold initials obliterated. Time has reduced the headstone to small particles of dust, while many a fragment of it adorns the cabinets of the antiquarians. About eighteen years ago, the writer, by carefully replacing the broken pieces, obtained a fragmentary copy of its inscription, a part of which was a four-line stanza, commencing as follows:
"A seraph tuned his sweetest lay." But we have a living witness -- Joseph Miller -- a veteran of the war of 1812. A Christian gentleman of undoubted veracity, with mind and memory remarkable for their prolonged preservation, and singularly free from any signs of senility. I had an interview with Mr. Miller two days ago. Found him well and hearty barring some muscular disability, and as ready to crack a joke or fling a repartee as ever. He said, if he lived till to-day, (Feb. 1) he would be 88 years old.

I asked him to give me all the information he could from his personal knowledge of Rev. Solomon Spaulding and his family, his recollections and impressions, from association with him, with reference especially to his object in writing the "manuscript found," and its subsequent misuse by the founders of the Mormon sect. Prefacing his reply with the remark that he would not intentionally say one word that he did not believe to be strictly true; he proceeded deliberately, to make in substance, the following statement:

I was well acquainted with Mr. Spaulding while he lived in Amity, Pa. I would say he was 55 to 60 years of age; in person, tall and spare, and considerably stooped, caused in part, I think, from a severe rupture. His hair was quite gray. He was chaste in language and dignified in manner, becoming his profession. I never heard him preach, think he never preached at A.; said he had quit preaching on account of ill health. He kept a public house or tavern of the character common at that day. He died of dysentery in 1816, (in the fall, I think), after an illness of six or eight weeks. Dr. Chephas Dodd attended him.

I watched with him many nights during this illness. After he died I made his coffin and superintended his burial. One night when near his end, he told me he thought he should die, and requested me to assist his wife in settling his estate; accordingly I, with Col. Thomas Venom went on her bond as administratrix, and I helped her close it up.

Mrs. Spaulding was intelligent and of pleasing manners, with fair complexion, and say, from 35 to 40 years of age.

A child of fair complexion and about 14 years of age, lived with them here, think she was their daughter as she bore the Spaulding name.

Mr. S. was poor but honest. I endorsed for him twice to borrow money. His house was a place of common resort especially in the evening. I was prosecuting my trade (carpenter) in the village and frequented his house. Mr. S. seemed to take delight in reading from his manuscript (written on foolscap) for the entertainment of his frequent visitors, heard him read most, if not all of it, and had frequent conversations with him about it.

Sometime ago, I had in my possession, for about six months, the book of Mormon and heard most of it read during the time. I was always forcibly struck with the similarity of the portions of it which purported to be of supernatural origin to the quaint style and peculiar language that had made so deep an impression on my mind when hearing the manuscript read by Mr. S. For instance, the very frequent repetition of the phrase, "and it came to pass." Then on hearing read the account from the book of the battle between the Amalekites and the Nephites, in which the soldiers of one army had placed a red mark on their foreheads to distinguish them from their enemies, it seemed to reproduce in my mind not only the narrative, but the very words as they had been impressed on my mind by the reading of Spaulding's manuscript.

The object of Mr. S. in writing the manuscript found as I understood, was to employ an invalid's lovely imagination, and to supply a romantic history of those last [sic - lost?] races or tribes, whose true history remains buried with their dust beneath those mysterious mounds, so common in a large portion of our country.

Its publication seemed to be an after thought, most likely suggested by pecuniary embarrassment. My recollection is that Mr. S. had left a transcript of the manuscript with Mr. Patterson, of Pittsburgh, Pa., for publication, that its publication was delayed until Mr. S. would write a preface, and in the mean time the transcript was spirited away and could not be found. Mr. S. told me that Sidney Rigdon had taken it, or that he was suspicioned for it. Recollect distinctly that Rigdon's name was used in that connection.

The longer I live the more firmly I am convinced that Spaulding's MS. was appropriated and largely used in getting up the Book of Mormon. I believe, that leaving out of the book the portion that may be easily recognised as the work of Joe Smith and his accomplices that Solomon Spaulding may be truly said to be its author. I have not a doubt of it.

If my life has been prolonged, that I might assist in exposing so base a fraud, and if I shall be permitted to see this abominable delusion dispelled, I shall console myself with the thought that I have not lived in vain.
At the close of the interview I dined with my old life long friend, (we call him uncle Joe) and after a few parting words I was on my way home feeling that it is seldom one enjoys so much pleasure and profit as I had in this interview.   W. W. SHARPE.
February 1st, 1879.

Note 1: This letter from Dr. William W. Sharp (or Sharpe) was reprinted in the weekly Reporter of Feb. 12th. I was also re-published (with slight changes) in the Pittsburgh Telegraph of Feb. 6, 1879. The content of Joseph Miller's 1879 statement corresponds in most respects to the one published ten years before in the Daily Evening Reporter on Apr. 7, 1869.

Note 2: In his 1869 statement Miller made no reference to Sidney Rigdon; much less the claim that "Mr. S. told me that Sidney Rigdon had taken" the infamous "Manuscript Found." Miller may have had some early acquaintance with the young Sidney Rigdon, given the fact that Sidney's Aunt Mary Rigdon lived near Miller at Amity. However, the modern reader should take into consideration the fact that when Joseph Miller gave some of his later statements, he had by that time (post-1869) available for his consultation various published recollections from Spalding's old associates (such as Matilda Davison, Abner Jackson, etc.). While Miller may have been entirely honest in providing his sundry reminiscences, the possibility of some cross-contamination in the mid-19th century Spalding witness memories (such Miller's subsequent parroting of "Old Come to Pass" lore at Amity) cannot be entirely discounted.


No. 1797.                     Pittsburgh, Thurs. Evening, Feb. 6, 1879.                     3 Cents.


Important Researches at Amity Authorized
From Utah -- The Story of  
Rev. Solomon Spaulding --
Some New Facts.

The little town of Amity, a few miles up the Monongahela River, was the birth place of Mormonism. For many years Sidney Rigdon was thought to have written the Book of Mormon, afterward elaborated by Joe Smith, and made the basis of the faith or system of the Utah Colony, but some investigations lately made at Amity by Dr. W. W. Sharp, under authority from Salt Lake City, have brought out a new story about the origin of the book. Dr. Sharp writes as follows to the Reporter of Washington, Pa.

The author of the "Manuscript Found," which doubtless suggested the Book of Mormon, and occupied so important a position in its conception, design and execution, lived and died in Amity, Pa. The old frame house he occupied is still tenable, and his grave in the old cemetery attracts many a curious visitor. A stone still marks the foot of the grave with one of its bold initials obliterated. Time has reduced the headstone to small particles of dust, while many a fragment of it adorns the cabinets of the antiquarians. About eighteen years ago, the writer, by carefully replacing the broken pieces, obtained a fragmentary copy of its inscription, a part of which was a four-line stanza, commencing as follows:

"A seraph tuned his sweetest lay." But we have a living witness -- Joseph Miller -- a veteran of the war of 1812. A Christian gentleman of undoubted veracity, with mind and memory remarkable for their prolonged preservation, and singularly free from any signs of senility. I had an interview with Mr. Miller two days ago. Found him well and hearty barring some muscular disability, and as ready to crack a joke or fling a repartee as ever. He said, if he lived till to-day, (Feb. 1, 1879) he would be 88 years old.

I asked him to give me all the information he could from his personal knowledge of Rev. Solomon Spaulding and his family, his recollections and impressions, from association with him, with reference especially to his object in writing the "manuscript found," and its subsequent misuse by the founders of the Mormon sect. Prefacing his reply with the remark that he would not intentionally say one word that he did not believe to be strictly true, he proceeded deliberately to make, in substance, the following statement:

I was well acquainted with Mr. Spaulding while he lived in Amity, Pa. I would say he was 55 to 60 years of age; in person, tall and spare, and considerably stooped, caused in part, I think, from a severe rupture. His hair was quite gray. He was chaste in language and dignified in manner, becoming his profession. I never heard him preach, think he never preached at A.; said he had quit preaching on account of ill health. He kept a public house or tavern of the character common to that day. He died of dysentery in 1816 (in the Fall, I think), after an illness of six or eight weeks. Dr. Chephas Dodd attended him.

I watched with him many nights during this illness. After he died I made his coffin and superintended his burial. One night when he was near his end, he told me he thought he should die, and requested me to assist his wife in settling his estate; accordingly I, with Col. Thos. Venom went on her bond as administratrix, and I helped her close it up.

Mrs. Spaulding was intelligent and of pleasing manners, with fair complexion, and say, from 35 to 40 years of age.

A child of fair complexion and about fourteen years of age, lived with them here, think she was their daughter as she bore the Spaulding name.

Mr. S. was poor but honest. I endorsed for him twice to borrow money. His house was a place of common resort especially in the evening. I was prosecuting my trade (carpenter) in the village and frequented his house. Mr. S. seemed to take delight in reading from his manuscript (written on foolscap) for the entertainment of his frequent visitors, heard him read most, if not all of it, and had frequent conversations with him about it.

Some time ago I had in my possession, for about six months, the book of Mormon, and heard most of it read during the time. I was always forcibly struck with the similarity of the portions of it which purported to be of supernatural origin to the quaint style and peculiar language that had made such a deep impression on my mind when hearing the manuscript read by Mr. S. For instance, the very frequent repetition of the phrase, "and it came to pass." Then on hearing read the account from the book of the battle between the Amalekites and the Nephites, in which the soldiers of one army had placed a red mark on their foreheads to distinguish them from their enemies, it seemed to reproduce in my mind not only the narrative, but the very words, as they had been impressed on my mind by the reading of Spaulding's manuscript.

The object of Mr. S. in writing the "Manuscript Found," as I understood, was to employ an invalid's lonely imagination, and to support a romantic history of those l[o]st races or tribes, whose true history remains buried with their dust beneath those mysterious mounds so common in a large portion of our country.

Its publication seemed to be an afterthought, most likely suggested by pecuniary embarrassment. My recollection is that Mr. S. had left a transcript of the manuscript with Mr. Patterson, of Pittsburgh, Pa., for publication, that its publication was delayed until Mr. S. would write a preface, and in the meantime the transcript was spirited away and could not be found. Mr. S. told me that Sidney Rigdon had taken it, or that he was suspicioned for it. Recollect distinctly that Rigdon's name was used in that connection.

The longer I live the more firmly I am convinced that Spaulding's MS. was appropriated and largely used in getting up the Book of Mormon. I believe, that leaving out of the book the portion that may be easily recognised as the work of Joe Smith and his accomplices, that Solomon Spaulding may be truly said to be its author. I have not a doubt of it.

Note: This letter by W. W. Sharp (or Sharpe) was taken (with slight changes) from the Daily Evening Reporter of Feb. 5, 1879. The Telegraph's reprint undoubtedly received a wider circulation than did the original article, and it is certain that contemporary Salt Lake City journalist James T. Cobb was pleased to discover Miller's new statement regarding the Spalding authorship claims (and equally pleased to assist in its reaching a larger readership).


Pittsburgh  Commercial  Gazette.
Volume 93.                              Pittsburgh, Saturday, Feb. 8, 1879.                              No. 169.


A correspondent of the Washington, Pa., Reporter, Dr. W. W. Sharp, has given an interesting account of his attempt to investigate the origin of the Book of Mormon. It is nothing less than surprising to find able editors even of city journals characterizing Dr. Sharp's statement as "a new story about the origin of the book." As we have said, the account is interesting, but its interest consists wholly or chiefly in the fact that the writer repeats with apparent fidelity the narrative of an aged, though still competent witness, respecting facts often before related. That the book out of which the Book of Mormon was concocted was the work of the Rev. Solomon Spalding, a Congregationalist clergyman, has been frequently asserted with the allegation of evidence more or less satisfactory. Mr. Spalding, disqualified for his professional labors by ill health, spent many of the latter years of his life in the village of Amity in this State, where, it seems he kept a decent public house or tavern for subsistence. He died in 1816, and Dr. Sharp has lately conversed with an old man, Mr. Miller, who knew him well, and who retains a distinct recollection of the style and general tenor of the manuscript which has been so often mentioned as the source of the Book of Mormon. The style of the manuscript was an imitation of the style of the King James version of the Bible, and the tenor of it was a romantic history of those lost races or tribes who formerly inhabited this country, and of whom the mysterious mounds of the Mississippi valley are supposed to be the remains. Mr. Miller has seen the Book of Mormon, and not only the style recalled the Spalding manuscript, but he at once recognized the tribal name of the Nephites as a name used in the romance. Other details proving the general identity of the two books were, if we mistake not, attested years ago by other persons who knew Spaulding and had read or heard his novel.

Spalding no doubt wrote the story merely for his own amusement, but the interest with which his neighbors listened to the reading of it, or some other cause, seems to have raised in him the hope of profit from its publication. At any rate, there is no doubt that a copy of the manuscript was placed in the hands of Mr. Patterson, of Pittsburgh, for the purpose of being printed -- that Sidney Rigdon, afterwards so closely associated with Joe Smith in the promulgation of his pretended revelation, was at the time in the service of Mr. Pattterson -- and that the manuscript suddenly disappeared. There must be several persons in the city of Pittsburgh able to say whether these statements are correct, and it seems therefore worth while to repeat them once more with the view of having them attested or denied. We have already seen that the account of the Spalding origin of the Mormon book is not universally known.

A great English writer, Mr. Stuart Mill, has spoken of the rise and progress of Mormonism as perhaps the most remarkable phenomena of the nineteenth century. Whether this be a just estimate or not, there can be no question about the singular curiosity which attaches to the subject. In the light they reflect upon the operation of superstition in remote ages the facts are most significant and instructive, while as mere illustrations of the obscurities and difficulties which attend the historical investigation of origins, both religious and national, Mormonism already offers problems worthy of the most earnest attention.

Note: For the "new story" report, see the Pittsburgh Telegraph of Feb. 6, 1879 -- This letter by Dr. William W. Sharp was taken (with slight changes) from the Daily Evening Reporter of Feb. 5, 1879 (reprinted in weekly Reporter of Feb 12th).


No. 1799.                     Pittsburgh, Thurs. Evening, Feb. 8?, 1879.                     3 Cents.

The Early Saint of the Mormon Church. --
One Who Heard Him Preach Here.

To the Editor of the Telegraph.

In your issue of yesterday you published an article in relation to the "Book of Mormon," in which the name of Sidney Rigdon naturally appeared. That man was a popular preacher in his day. There are a few, and but a few, now living, who were men and women in those days, and heard him preach. His manner is just as fresh in my mind to-day, as when in my boyhood I heard him preach in the old Baptist church, on the corner of Third and Grant Streets. It was an old one-story frame building, standing on the spot now occupied by the Universalist church. He must have been an extraordinary man, for the house was always filled to hear him. He was truly eloquent, and used the most elegant language, at least I thought him certainly the best preacher in the city. He preached three times every Sunday throughout the year, and such a thing as "hay fever" was a disease unknown in all our orders. It is greatly to be regretted that such a dreadful plague has of late years been afflicting our preachers, many of them leaving their posts for rural scenes, and some of them taking refuge in Europe from the attacks of the terrible scourge! It is certain that then, as well as now:

"Dangers stood thick through all the ground.
  To push us to the tomb
And fierce diseases waited round
  To hurry mortals home."
Yet they stood up like men and soldiers, and faced the dangers, and if they found that any disease got hold of them, they would leave the pulpit for the care and comfort of their homes and struggle with the monster there, where their wives and children could minister to their wants. How changed the times!

Mr. Rigdon had at [that] time some difficulty with his church, what it was I never knew; but whatever it was, he [left] the church for a season. The people called him back again, and on the Sunday morning following his return he preached from the following text.

"I came unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for. I therefore ask for what intent you have sent for me?" In the afternoon at 3 o'clock, from the text: "For I am determined to know nothing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified," and in the evening: "Tell me, if you will deal kindly and truly with my Master, and if not, tell me so that I may turn to the right hand or to the left."

It is not far from sixty years since these sermons were preached, and, to this day, I picture the man in my memory, as he stood in the pulpit pouring forth the strains of fervid eloquence to a house full to repletion, as if it were only yesterday.

One Sunday he preached three sermons from the following text (quoting from memory, I may not give the exact language of scripture) "And in the days of these kings shall the God of Heaven set up a kingdom that shall not be left to the hands of other people, but it shall break in pieces all other kingdoms and shall stand forever." No one ever tired under him, although he would preach more than an hour.

After he turned Mormon it was supposed that he had something of the kind in his mind when he preached from that text. Be this as it may, they were three excellent sermons. I would like to know how [many of those] living at this day heard him on [these] occasions? Oh how many thousands are now sleeping in our "silent cities of the dead" who were among the busy ones thronging our thoroughfares in the days of Sidney Rigdon!

PITTSBURGH, February 7, 1879.

Note 1: The exact date of this letter's publication remains uncertain. It may have been printed the day before, or the day after, Feb. 8, 1879.

Note 2: The First Baptist Church of Pittsburgh began as a small congregation in 1812, the same year Solomon Spalding arrived in that town. In 1820 the members built a modest frame building at the corner of Third Avenue and Grant Street. It was here that the Rev. Sidney Rigdon served his pastorate in 1822 and 1823. The present stone chapel was erected in 1867 at Fourth Avenue and Grant Street. An extension was constructed in 1876, placing the chapel's new front door on Ross Street, as it remains today.

Note 3: It is interesting that the Telegraph's elderly correspondent recalled Rigdon preaching a proto-Mormon sermon in Pittsburgh as early as 1822-23. The Rev. Samuel Williams reported also hearing that Rigdon was preaching an early version of the Campbellites' adult immersion for the remission of sins at about this same time. This baptismal conversion tenet (still a controversial innovation when introduced on a wide scale by Rev. Walter Scott in the fall of 1827) was a key teaching in the 1830 Book of Mormon. As for Sidney Rigdon's preaching the Christianist "Kingdom" -- so often championed by religious enthusiasts after their reading of prophetic passages in the Book of Daniel -- Rigdon made his views on that topic crystal clear in 1844: "I know God, I have gazed upon the glory of God, the throne, visions and glories of God, and the visions of eternity... When God sets up a system of salvation, he sets up a system of government; when I speak of government I mean what I say; I mean a government that shall rule over temporal and spiritual affairs." It seems quite possible that Elder Sidney Rigdon was preaching this same millenarian joining of church and state to his parishioners in Pennsylvania as early as 1823.


Pittsburgh  Commercial  Gazette.

Vol. 93.                              Pittsburgh, Monday, February 10, 1879.                              No. 170.


Memorial of Anti-Polygamists -- The Saints Violating
the Laws the Same as Ever.

Salt Lake, Utah, February 8. -- At a meeting of the Anti-Polygamy Society today the following memorial to Congress was adopted:

While Delegate Cannon and representatives of the Mormon Church are petitioning for amnesty, and promising obedience for their people to the anti-polygamy law, expressions and actions of Mormons in Utah give no evidence that this promise will be fulfilled. Apostle John Taylor, President of the Mormon Church, declares that the revelation enjoining polygamy came direct from God; that it is his religion, and neither Congress nor the Supreme Court had a right to interfere; that the Supreme Court decision would have no effect, except to unite, confirm and strengthen the Mormons in their faith. This same Taylor, when in France, in 1853, he having then live wives, denied the existence of polygamy among the Mormons, and had the denial published in pamphlet form in French, and circulated. It is a matter of common notoriety that Mormons are contracting unlawful marriages the same as ever, that John W. Young has married his fifth wife, James Welsh his second wife and John White his third wife since the decision was made. The Deseret News, the Mormon Church organ, declares the decision of the Supreme Court was rendered under popular pressure by feeble- witted and cloudy-minded Judges, and in ward meeting houses violent diatribes are uttered against the Judges and the judgment of the court. Therefore we respectfully ask Congress, during the present session, to so amend the Act of 1862, that it may become operative by making a general reputation of conjugal relation proof of marriage, and living together in polygamy to constitute the offense. Unless the prosecuting officer of the Government is enabled by some such legislation to prosecute and punish offenders, no regard will be paid to the statute.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Pittsburgh  Commercial  Gazette.

Vol. 93.                              Pittsburgh, Tuesday, February 11, 1879.                              No. 171.


A Mormon woman in Salt Lake has received a letter from a man in Connecticut, in which he asks: "How do you morman wimin git along these hard times[?] I read in the papers you have held a meeting to stand up for your Rights and moral caricter if a man has two or three wives do they all agree well are the mormans good to the poor and help them[?] Do they have Schools to teach their Children to Read[?] is there many unmarried wimin in utah[?] how many wives canaman have if I should come out there I should like to keep school[.] I am a Batchelder never was married Could I find two or three wives[?] do you know of enny that I could get if you do will you write and let me know and tell me what their names are?"

Notes: (forthcoming)


Volume LXV.                    Pittsburgh, Wednesday, February 12, 1879.                    No. 24.


In another column will be seen what there is much reason to believe is a true history of the origin of the Mormon Bible." It will be read with the closest attention.

Polygamy was not one of the original features of the delusion, but was afterwards engrafted upon it. And to this day the Mormon emissaries in Europe are careful to conceal their peculiar and distinct views with regard to marriage; otherwise they would prevent their success in obtaining new recruits almost altogether. It is only after their arrival in Utah that the greater part of deceived Europeans learn how purity, law and decency have been set aside in the matter of marriage, John Taylor, now President of the Mormon Church, when in France in 1853, although he then had no less than five wives, denied the existence of polygamy among the Mormons, and had a denial printed in pamphlet form in French and circulated in large numbers. Now this same John Taylor declares that the revelations concerning polygamy came directly from heaven; that is his religion, and neither Congress nor the Supreme Court of the United States which declared the act of 1862 forbidding polygamous marriages in the territories of the United States constitutional, will have no effect except to unite, confirm and strengthen Mormons in their faith. And it is well known that leading Mormons have taken additional wives since the decision of the Supreme Court was given. In direct contempt of the opinion of the court, John W. Young has married his fifth wife, James Welch his second wife and John White his third wife. At the same time Mormon women are beseiging the President and others in authority and Delegate Cannon and representatives of the Mormon Church are petitioning for amnesty and promising obedience to the law.

In view of the state of things it is not strange that a petition has been addressed to Congress by the anti-polygamists in Utah, praying that instead of rendering the law against polygamy more lenient, Congress would amend the act of 1862 by making living together in polygamy under the general reputation of marriage sufficient to constitute the offence, as otherwise the statyte will be practically inoperative. In this movement the law-observing and purity-loving people of Utah should have the co-operation of all opponents of the iniquitous institution, in all parts of the country. Thorough work should be made in delivering the people of the United States from the charge of tolerating a degrading system of concubinage. Too much confidence must not be placed in Congress, without watchfulness on the part of the people; its members ought to be made to feel that the public eye is always upon them, and they will be held to strict account for neglect of duty.



The recent decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, sustaining the constitutionality of the law of Congress, enacted in 1862, punishing bigamy in the Territories with fine and imprisonment, has attracted public attention anew to the most stupendous delusion of the nineteenth century. Thank God for the decision! It is a step in the right direction to crush out a system destructive of good morals, patriotism, the marriage relation and the principles of liberty.

The facts in regard to the origin of the Book of Mormon have been frequently published. They were detailed by the present writer in his "History of Washington County," published in 1870. Briefly they are as follows:

Rev. Solomon Spaulding, a graduate of Dartmouth College, became a resident of New Salem (sometimes called Conneaut), in Ashtabula County, O., in the early part of the present century. Here he was compelled by the state of his health to desist from active labors. To occupy his hours of leisure, he amused himself by writing a historical romance, containing a record of the wanderings and the varied fortunes of the race that reared the mounds so numerous throughout the West, and many of which were to se seen in the vicinity of his residence. This was about the year 1812. The romance, purporting to be written by one of the lost race and to have been recovered from the earth, was entitled the "Manuscript Found." Mr. Spaulding, as his work progressed, frequently read it to his neighbors, many of whom became interested in it and familiar with the events and names recorded. From New Salem Mr. Spaulding removed to Pittsburgh and deposited his manuscript in the printing office of Mr. Patterson for examination, with a view to publication. It is supposed that Sidney Rigdon, one of the originators of the Mormon delusion, had come across this manuscript whilst in the office, became acquainted with its contents, and possibly made or obtained a copy of it. After some time the manuscript was returned to Mr. Spaulding, who soon after removed to Amity, Washington County, Pa., where he died in 1816. About 1830 the Book of Mormon appeared; a Mormon preacher visited New Salem and in a public meeting read copious extracts from the book, which were immediately recognized by the older inhabitants present as the identical work of Mr. Spaulding; and his brother, being present, arose on the spot and with tears expressed his sorrow that the work of his sainted brother should be used for so shocking a purpose. The inhabitants of New Salem held a meeting and deputed one of their number, Dr. Hurlbut, to repair to Monson, Mass., where Mr. Spaulding's widow (who had married a Mr. Davidson) resided, to obtain the original manuscript for comparison with the Mormon Bible. This was in 1834. Mrs. Davidson afterwards wrote a full statement of the facts, of which the above is but an outline. This statement (given in full in the "Hist. of Wash. Co." pp. 91-93, was published in 1839, and elicited from Mr. Rigdon the year a published denial of all knowledge on his part of Mr. Spaulding's manuscript. In connection with Mrs. Davidson's statement, a letter from Joseph Miller, Sr., dated March 26, 1869, is given in the "History above referred to. Mr. Miller (still living at Amity, being 88 years of age) was well acquainted with Mr. Spaulding, waited on him in his last illness and assisted at his burial. Mr. Miller had heard Mr. Spaulding read portions of his novel entitled the "Manuscript Found," and afterwards on hearing the Book of Mormon read, recollected several passages as the same he had heard Mr. Spaulding read. One passage he remembers distinctly, where the Amalekites had marked themselves with red on the foreheads to distinguish them from the Nephites. The singularity had fixed it in his memory.

To the testimony of which the above is a brief sketch, the following facts may be added as not devoid of interest in connection with the history of this colosal fraud:

Mr. McKinstry, a son of the late Dr. McKinstry of Monson, Mass., and the grandson of Rev. S. Spaulding, says that his grandmother came East from Ohio to live with her daughter at Monson many years ago, bringing the manuscript of his grandfather's romance with her. Before her death a plausible young man from Boston came to see and get the Spaulding writing. It was a time of considerable excitement concerning the Mormons, and he claimed to represent some Christian people who wanted to expose Mormonism. He therefore begged the loan of the manuscript for publication. Much against the wishes of Mrs. Dr. McKinstry, the daughter of Mrs. Spaulding (now Davidson) she consented to let her husband's unpublished romance be taken away. Nothing was ever heard of it again, and the family have always considered that the bland young gentleman was an agent of Brigham Young to destroy this convincing evidence that Joe Smith's Mormon Bible was of very earthly origin.

The widow of Mr. Spaulding and her daughter, Mrs. Dr. McKinstry, had compared the Mormon Bible with the romance of the "Manuscript Found," and stated that they were essentially the same -- that the similarity was so overwhelming as to leave no doubt on their minds but that Joe Smith or Sidney Rigdon had copied it in full and made out of it bodily, the divine revelation -- as a special revelation from God on plates of gold engraven by his own hand -- and that after being translated they were taken back to heaven.

The Springfield (Mass.) Republican gives its testimony in these words: The story of how the Rev. Mr, Spaulding came to prepare his romance, which Mr. McKinstry remembers as a child to have seen, is very interesting. Mr. Spaulding was out of the active ministry in Ohio, and employed his leisure moments in weaving a romance. It was at the time when the Mound Builders were creating wild excitement and interest -- the implements of cookery and war being unearthed showing the existence of a forgotten race. This furnished the inspiration for the chronicles of the story writen. He entitled the production the "Manuscript Found," the idea being that the romance written by Mr. Spaulding was dug up out of one of the mounds in the region. It was a history of Ancient America, not all written at once, but as leisure and fancy occurred to him, Mr. Spaulding would add to it. His writing was no secret in the neighborhood. In that then frontier region, with few opportunities for literary enjoyment. Rev. Mr. Spaulding was prevailed upon to read to his neighbors. It was written in Bible phraseology and made as quaintly old as possible, so as to carry out the idea of its alleged mound origin.

I might add in this connection that Joe Smith was born on Vermont in 1805, and his friends claim that when he was fifteen years of age he was informed by an angel in a vision of the apostacy of the Primitive church. On September 22, 1827 he received from the hands of a messenger from the Lord the golden plates containing the ancient history of this continent, written by various prophets and concealed by Morni [sic] in the year 420. He was informed that he was the chosen instrument to restore God's church to its former purity and holiness. Accordingly he proceeded to translate the golden plates and the church was organized in 1830.

Three witnesses, viz: Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and Martin Harris, testify 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 engraving thereon;" and I may add, to complete the imposture, that Joe Smith exhibited these plates to Christian Whitmer, Jacob Whitmer, Peter Whitmer, Jr., John Whitmer, Hiram Page, Joseph Smith, Sr., Hiram Smith and Samuel H. Smith, and that they "had the appearance of gold and the engraving was of curious eorkmanship and was handled by their own hands."

We can readily account for the reason why the Whitmers and the Smiths are the principal witnesses -- because the book itself says that "Morni, a son of Mormon, was authorized to show the plates unto those who shall assist to bring forth this work and unto three shall they be shown (viz: Cowdery, Whitmer and Harris) by the power of God wherefore they shall know of a surety that these things are true."

Such is the stupendous fraud and imposture which has been imposed not only on the American people, but upon foreign countries to which emissaries have gone, bringing back ignorant people by the ship load to become American citizens.

Note 1: Alfred Creigh's article in the Banner was quickly reprinted in the Feb. 14th issue of his home-town paper, the Washington Reporter. For Alfred Creigh's earlier account of the Spalding claims for Book of Mormon authorship see pp. 89-93 of his 1870 History of Washington County, Pennsylvania.

Note 2: The John A. McKinstry statement in the Springfield Republican, referred by Mr. Creigh is known by its reprint in the New Haven Connecticut Palladium of Sep. 3, 1877. The same reprint was also carried by the Syracuse Journal on that same date. Creigh's paraphrase of the McKinstry statement changes the original wording considerably. Also, it should be noted here that the 1877 McKinstry statement conflates the two separate visits of D. P. Hurlbut (in 1833) and Jesse Haven (in 1839) into a single, somewhat jumbled account.

Note 3: Rev. Robert Patterson, Jr., the secondary "editor and proprietor" of the Banner Robert Patterson, Jr., was at least marginally involved in investigations of the Spalding claims as early as November of 1878, when the Rev. Samuel Williams contacted Patterson about his father's interaction with Spalding in Pittsburgh c. 1812-1816. Through Rev. Williams the junior Patterson soon came into contact with the highly motivated Spalding claims researcher, James T. Cobb of Salt Lake City and much of Cobb's enthusiasm for this line of research seems to have quickly rubbed off onto Patterson. Whether Patterson solicited the Feb. 12, 1879 article from Creigh, or whether it was Creigh who first approached Patterson on that matter remains unknown. At the very least the interests of both Creigh and Patterson regarding the Spalding authorship claims appear to have converged early in 1879. For a contemporary letter by Patterson on this subject, see the Commercial-Gazette of Feb. 17, 1879. From this point forward it was Robert Patterson, Jr. who carried forward most of the new research on the Spalding authorship claims (at least he was the primary researcher of this subject in western Pennsylvania in the early 1880s). For example, in August of 1879 Patterson was inspired to seek out and interview the aging D. P. Hurlbut at Gibsonburg, Ohio and obtain a statement from him (printed in the Leader in Feb. 1880 ) regarding the man's involvement in the 1833 effort to recover the writings of Solomon Spalding. It was probably his frustrations and subsequent realizations, developing out of his failed effort to obtain useful information from Hurlbut that motivated Patterson to continue and expand his search for the facts underlying the old Spalding claims.


Vol. III.                 Washington, Pa., Friday, February 14, 1879.                 Whole No. 783.


We publish in this issue the facts in relation to the origin of the Book of Mormon. It is a curious piece of history which persons yet living can verify. It is due to those who have been deceived by this imposture; to the country under whose institutions it has become so powerful and so insolent, and to christianity which it presumes to supplant as "the church of the latter day saints of Jesus Christ," that some permanent memorial shall be erected to identify and make clear the time, place and circumstances of [its] origin. Solomon Spalding, as a man or as a preacher, is not entitled to any special notice save as the innocent author of a system of religion, which it is fair to do a great amount of harm to us as a people and a government. The system is a fraud, although it claims a divine origin, and while the living witnesses of this imposture still exist, some efforts should be made to mark the spot where its author lies, in such a manner as will identify it as a historical fact. In a few years the grave of Spaulding will only be known by tradition, nothing being left to mark the place. The living witnesses will have died, and then in time, it may be a question in the minds of many, whether such a man really lived, and whether the origin of the Book of Mormon is not a fiction. In the name of Christianity which it shames, a monument should be reared as a protest against the imposture which threatens to mislead so many simple-minded people, and to involve our country in evils of the greatest magnitude. The different christian churches should unite and place a durable monument of granite upon the grave of Spaulding as a permanent memorial which will remind the people of the outrages and crimes perpetrated in the name of a religion which claims to be divine. The christianity of Washington county owes it to itself and the country that this memorial shall be solemnly made. A few hundred dollars thus invested will rear a monument which will be permanent protest against the claims of "the latter day Saints" of Utah.

Will not some of our church bodies move in this matter before the living witnesses shall have departed? What is done should be done soon.



(see the Feb. 12th Presbyterian Banner for this text)

Note: These articles were reprinted in the weekly Reporter of Feb. 16th.


Pittsburgh  Commercial  Gazette.

Vol. 93.                              Pittsburgh, Monday, Feb. 17, 1879.                              No. 176.


We publish to-day two short letters which have been called forth by our article of some days ago respecting the origin of the Book of Mormon. To these communications we respectfully invite the attention of readers, of readers especially who, by reason of age or circumstances, may feel qualified to shed light, however slight or incidental, upon the curious and really important subject to which they relate. It is, indeed, not altogether creditable to Americans that the question raised so many years ago regarding the composition of the Book of Mormon was not long ago fully cleared up. The truth seems to be that in consequence of their proximity to the thing and of their contempt for its mean associations, Americans have failed to view the progress of Mormonism with the thoughtful interest it has awakened in the minds of philosophical foreigners. We have needed the hazy glamour which results from distance in time or place to see the phenomenon in its true character. And yet, if fifty years ago, any person had exercised his imagination in anticipating and portraying even in shadowy outline, the rise and growth of the imposture as one of the possibilities of our American future, the dream or prediction would have been deemed too monstrously extravagant even to amuse. Every rational and tolerably knowing person would have said that the time had passed for such things to happen in Christendom -- that they pertained to a much earlier age of the world. But here in the latter part of the nineteenth century, in a land covered with a network of railways and telegraph wires, we have Mormonism to deal with as a portentous reality. Missionaries of the sect are busy gathering converts in almost every corner of the Christian world, whom, from time to time, they convert in multitudes through our cities of churches and schools, to their Promised Land in the West. Nor are signs wanting that, in full view of its past and its increasing vitality, Americans in general seem unable to take in the full dangerous import of the movement.

As one of our correspondents suggests, even Mormons of a certain class, probably well represented in the sect, might find their faith shaken by a satisfactory account of the true origin of their sacred book. It is true that they are not "people of a book" precisely in the same sense in which in a Moslem phrase, Jews, Christians and Mohammedans are each "people of a book." The Book of Mormon is, we believe, less to them than the Bible is to Christians or the Koran to Mussulmans. It is, however, much to them, and if the book could be clearly shown to be Mr. Spalding's romance, with certain changes and additions, the argument might prove very useful in Utah. We understand that Dr. Sharp, to whose recent investigations we referred the other day, was led to make his researches by an appeal from Christian residents of the Territory. There is no doubt, we fancy, that conclusive evidence of the general or substantial identity of the works was easily attainable some years ago. A correspondent of the Presbyterian Journal lately stated that while a student at Princeton in 1843, he heard the Rev. Dr. Carnahan, President of the college, speak confidently on the subject, referring to Dr. Spalding's widow as a person whom he knew well and from whom he had received his statement touching the composition of the romance and the sameness of the matter and form between it and the Book of Mormon. We trust that the subject may not be allowed to rest.

The Mormon Bible.

To the Editors of the Commercial Gazette:

Having read with interest your editorial of the 8th inst.: A Question of Authorship," I have watched your columns in the hope that some of our older citizens would responf to your very timely suggestion. If, as generally believed, the romance of Rev. Solomon Spaulding, entitled the "Manuscript Found," was surreptitously obtained from a printing office in Pittsburgh, about the year 1815, and reappeared in 1830 under the transforming hand of Sidney Rigdon, as the "Book of Mormon," it is reasonable to suppose, as you remark, that "there must be several persons in the city of Pittsburgh able to say whether these statements are correct, and it seems therefore worthwhile to repeat them once more with the view of having them attested or denied." Permit me to add my voice to yours in urging that such of your readers as have facts to communicate on this point would give them to the public at once. Dr. Sharp, to whom you refer, has set an example which should be generally followed and possibly much additional light may yet be shed upon this question of disputed authorship. Its possible influence upon the minds of Mormons themselves should not be forgotten.     R. P.

To the Editors of the Commercial Gazette:

Your "Question of Authorship," relating to the origin of Mormonism, in today's issue, leads me to drop you this item. So far back as 1822 the firm of Patterson & Lambdin, (a shade of doubt about the last name of the firm) did business as Publishers, Bookbinders and Booksellers, at the southeast corner of the Diamond and Market street. At the same time Sidney Rigdon, tanner and currier, had his tan-yard and shop on Penn street, on the lot running from Penn avenue to Allegheny above Ninth street. The shop stood where the Drs. Dicksons' office now is. In 1841 the administrators of my father's estate found among the papers an unpaid note bearing Rigdon's signature. It was not long after 1822 that Rigdon was reported to have gone to Eastern Ohio.

After the Book of Mormon had appeared, it was remembered by many who read it, and by the members of Mr. Spaulding's family, that parts of it were a reproduction of a manuscript which had been sent to the Patterson firm. I think this firm went out of the publishing part of their business about that time. Putting these things together, it is likely that, in the business transactions between book-binder and tanner, Sidney Rigdon took the Spaulding manuscript to Ohio, and he became the real, whilst Joseph Smith was the ostensible originator of the Mormon fraud. Rigdon was for a time one of the "Twelve Apostles" of that system, but never gave his assent to its teachings on polygamy. He visited Pittsburgh between 1844 and 1850. As a singular coincidence, in 1841, one of the early residents of Pittsburgh told me that she was at a meeting in a Baptist church in Pittsburgh, and on that evening, Sidney Rigdon and Alexander Campbell both dissolved their connection with the Baptist denomination. The influence of both, as founders of schools of religious thought, has been widely extended, although of very different notions and tendencies.   Y.
            PARNASSUS, PA., Feb. 15, 1879.

Note 1: The first letter was written by the Rev. Robert Patterson, Jr., the son of the publisher with whom Solomon had dealings over sixty years previous (and in 1879, the assistent editor of the Presbyterian Banner, published in Pittsburgh.

Note 2: The second correspondent provides valuable information, saying that "Sidney Rigdon, tanner and currier, had his tan-yard and shop on Penn street." A "currier" of those days prepared leather for special use by treating the rawhide with certain chemicals, trimming it to a uniform thickness, and polishing its outer surface. In a c. 1900 account, Sidney's son, John W. Rigdon, mentioned that his father formed a partnership with Richard S. Brooks to open the short-lived tannery. John calls this same Richard (who was Rigdon's brother-in-law) a corroyeur, so it seems likely that Sidney improved upon his previous, undocumented tanning training, to become a leather dresser (currier) as well as a leather maker. When the business was dissolved in 1825, Sidney's partner at that time was Richard's brother, William S. Brooks. All of Sidney Rigdon's Brooks family brothers-in-law probably had some amount of training in the trade, since their father, Jeremiah Brooks, owned and operated a tannery near Warren, Ohio. One such special use would have been the manufacture of leather sheets for book-binding. An example of the early need for curriers in Pittsburgh may be seen in an advertisement in the Mercury for May 20, 1813, reading: "Wanted immediately -- A tanner and currier -- apply at the office of the Mercury." The same paper advertised for "journeyman book-binders" in its issue of Aug. 10, 1814, requesting respondents to apply to "R. and J. Patterson." See also Isaac Craig's letter of Oct. 14, 1882, where he says: "Rigdon had a small tannery on Penn street, near Hand, for the manufacture of book-binders sheep-skins, and supplying these to the office brought him in contact with [Silas] Engles. This impression I obtained from John Sandersen, an old time butcher, who sold sheep pelts to Rigdon." Thus, it appears that Sidney Rigdon's earliest contact with persons associated with Spalding's writings would have been through Silas Engles, rather than through the Patterson brothers. The date when such a tradesman's contact first began remains unknown, but farmboy Sidney was evidently also enrolled in a tanner's apprenticeship in the Pittsburgh environs as early as the 1810s.

Note 3: The second correspondent also says, "it is likely that, in the business transactions between book-binder and tanner, Sidney Rigdon took the Spaulding manuscript..." Sidney Rigdon, after he was removed by the orthodox Baptists of Pittsburgh, preached Campbellite doctrines to a small band of seceders at the court house in that city. At some point became a "journeyman tanner" in the Pittsburgh area and was able to work at that occupation after his dismissal from the regular Baptists. Rebecca J. Eichbaum, who knew Rigdon at Pittsburgh, in her 1879 statement, says: "He was connected with the tannery before he became a preacher, though he may have continued the business whilst preaching. Rebecca's statement is confirmed by Rigdon's own 1843 autobiographical sketch, where he states: "Having now retired from the ministry, and having no way by which to sustain his family, besides his own industry, he was necessiated to find other employment in order to provide for his maintenance, and for this purpose he engaged in the humble capacity of a journeyman tanner, in that city, and followed his new employment, without murmuring, for two years." Of course Rev. Rigdon could not have gone to work as a "journeyman" tanner without first having earlier served an apprenticeship in that same trade.

Note 4: Rigdon reportedly engaged in leather finishing in Ohio during his 1825-26 residence in Bainbridge. Later, after he had relocated to Kirtland, he managed the Mormons' tannery there. As a "currier," Rigdon would have had personal acquaintance with the leather book-binding industry in Pittsburgh. The main questions to be answered are when and where Rigdon first worked as a currier and when Robert & Joseph Patterson (and/or their business associate Jonathan Harrison Lambdin) were first engaged in the book-binding trade in Pittsburgh. For more discussion on this point see the notes accompanying the ad for "tanning and currying" in the Mercury of Nov. 20, 1822. It may be relevant, that in his 1842 interview with Robert Patterson, Sr., LDS Apostle John E. Page was reportedly told that "Sidney Rigdon was not connected with the office" maintained by Patterson for book publishing in Pittsburgh, until "several years" after Solomon Spalding's 1816 death. A likely period for this "connection" would have been in 1824, when Rigdon was a tanner and currier in Pittsburgh and Jonathan Harrison Lambdin was acting on his own as a sales agent for "the Assignees of R. Patterson & Lambdin," in the remaining business of this previously dissolved partnership. However, an 1824-25 Rigdon-Engles/Lambdin business association does not preclude and even earlier (c. 1812-1816) business association with Engles, before Sidney had been promoted from tanner's apprentice to journeyman tanner.

Note 5: The above referred to article in the 1870s (Philadelphia?) Presbyterian Journal has not yet been located. James Carnahan (1775-1859) served as the ninth president of Princeton College between 1823 and 1854. Dr. Carnahan's reported connection with Spalding's widow still remains to be investigated.


Vol. III.            Washington, Pa., Wednesday, February 19, 1879.            Whole No. 793.


Messrs. Editors Reporter: -- The article in your paper about Dr. Solomon Spaulding and his relation to the book of Mormon, has created some interest in Pittsburgh. One paper invites articles from persons who have any information about it and Sidney Rigdon's relation to it. There may be some persons in our county who can give us valuable information on this subject. Please call them out, that we may know all about it and in the future have a correct history concerning it. The Latter Day Saints and the Mormons, with their "Book" are not to be overcome with a "get thee behind me." We want stubborn facts and hard logic, and any of our citizens who have this kind of merchandise will do a world of good by bringing it forward. These people are bold and aggressive and meeting with success. Hundreds upon hundreds are embracing it. The old country is sending ship after ship loaded with them. Their zeal and their sacrifices put to shame the advocates of a better cause. If any of our old citizens possess any facts or unpublished truths concerning the origin of this book and expose its fallaciousness, many in the ages to follow, will call him blessed. It is truth believed and obeyed which exculpates man in the grand assize and sanctifies him while yet in the "patience of hope."   JOHN A. BEST.

Note: This article was reprinted in the Feb 26, 1879 weekly edition of the Reporter.


No. 18??                      Pittsburgh, Thurs. Evening, March 27, 1879.                      3 Cents.


The Book of Mormon and the Spaulding Romance.

Documentary Details Demonstrating Their Identity.

Fanaticism Fighting a Fatal Fact for Fifty Years.

"Such a Resemblance Without Plagiarism
Would be a Greater Miracle than all the Rest".

To the Editor of the Telegraph:
The most direct and important testimony which has yet been given, bearing upon this question, is the letter of the widow of Rev. Solomon Spaulding, which was published in the Boston Recorder, in its issue of April 19, 1839, only nine years after the appearance of the Book of Mormon. It has been repeatedly reprinted, but there are many of the present generation who have not seen it, and who will peruse it with deep interest. Especially will this be the case in this city and vicinity, which may be regarded as the birthplace of this great imposture. The prefatory note from Rev. John Storrs, at that time (1839) pastor of the Congregational Church in Holliston, Mass., fully explains the occasion for writing this letter, and the appended testimonies of Rev. Messrs. Ely and Austin, of Monson, Mass., emphatically sustain the reliability of Mrs. Davison.

Here follows the text of the original Davison-Storrs
article from the Boston Recorder of   April 19, 1839.

The above has been carefully compared with a transcript taken from the files of the Boston Recorder, to secure an accurate copy of so important a document. A typographical error occurred in the Recorder, in Which "Mormon preacher" was printed "woman preacher." The correction has been made on the authority of Rev. D. R. Austin, who acted as amanuensis for Mrs. Davison.

Note 1: The Mar. 27, 1879 Pittsburg Telegraph article was almost certainly written by the Rev. Robert Patterson, Jr., ("P.") in cooperation with Mr. James T. Cobb of Salt Lake City. James T. Cobb could have easily assisted Patterson in obtaining the 1839 Boston Recorder article typescript, since Cobb had several old friends and relatives then living in the Boston area. Cobb was already in contact with Rev. David R. Austin, upon whose "authority" the correctness of the 1839 Davison-Storrs article was verified.

Note 2: This article was reprinted in the Apr. 11, 1879 issue of the Salt Lake Tribune with additional comments by James T. Cobb. Austin refers to the Mar. 27, 1879 Pittsburg Telegraph article in his Apr. 4, 1879 letter to Cobb, wherein he says he had just received "a paper from Pittsburgh. Pa, containing the account I gave... April 1st - 1839... I send you the paper..." Austin's letter and the forwarded news article probably reached Cobb a couple of days before the Tribune of April 11th went to press. The contents of this letter from Rev. Austin letter are also discussed in the Apr. 12, 1879 issue of the Salt Lake Tribune.


Vol. XXX.                    Warren, Pennsylvania, Friday, April 4, 1879.                    No. 32.

Origin  of  the  Mormon  Bible.

(Sunday Afternoon for April.)

The real author of the book of Mormon was Rev. Solomon Spaulding, a graduate of Dartmouth College in 1785. His health failing, he engaged in business, and, in 1809 was living at Conneaut, O., where there are numerous Indian mounds. He then wrote a romance, setting forth the not new theory that the North American Indians were representatives of the lost tribes of Israel. Mr. Spaulding took advantage of his surroundings and connected his story with the relics which were found in the mounds. In a fictitious introduction to his novel which he entitled "The Manuscript Found," he speaks of the book as one of the exhumed relics of a past age. He makes use of the Scripture style of expression. He tells of the departure from Palestine of a Jewish father, Lehi, and his four sons, Laman, Samuel, Lemuel and Nephi, of the various journeys and their voyage to this Western Continent. Dissension and division are frequent. The descendants of the brothers develop into hostile tribes. Then came quarrels and wars, and finally a decisive battle, and in short, the substance of all that is found in the "Golden Bible" of Joseph Smith. Indeed the Book of Mormon seems to be only a modified but mutilated edition of Rev. Mr. Spaulding's "Manuscript Found." There is abundant internal evidence that the later is a reproduction of the earlier work. Spaulding used to read the chapters of his story to his neighbors, who were deeply interested in its progress, and were greatly entertained by the ingenuity of the author. He worked upon it three years, or until 1812, when he moved to Pittsburg, Pa. There he put his manuscript into the hands of a printer by the name of Patterson. He expected to publish the book and it was announced in the papers in 1813 as forthcoming. It never was published, however, probably because Spaulding had not the money to pay the bills. Spaulding died in 1816. The original copy was returned to his widow who kept it until the Book of Mormon was published, and then she produced it in proof of her assertion that Joseph's pretended revelation was a fraud. In the Boston Journal, of May 18, 1839, she told the story of the Manuscript. The evidence is complete that Smith discovered only what he and some associate had hidden in a box of their own making in a hole of their own digging. Smith came into possession of a copy of the work of Spaulding made by Sidney Rigdon, a workman in Patterson's printing office. Rigdon confessed the fact afterward when he was cut off from the Mormon Church by Brigham Young. The three witnesses also quarreled with Joseph and Rigdon, and confessed to having sworn falsely. Rigdon, on leaving the work of printer became a preacher of peculiar doctrines. Smith had quite a large following in certain views peculiarly his, and these two religious Ishmaelites coming together, set to work to give the world a new Bible. Smith, adding what was suited to his purpose, dictated Spaulding's story to Oliver Cowdrey from behind a screen, and the work was done, "and palmed off upon a company of poor deluded fanatics as divine."

The new prophet seems to have had but vague notions of what doctrines the new church should hold. Rigdon held to some doctrines which Smith did not. But they both agreed on the question of the second Advent, then exciting their section of country. They made that doctrine prominent in their Bible. The idea was "the end is at hand; the Indians are to be speedily converted; America is the final gathering place of the saints, who were to assemble as near the centre of the continent as possible." This was a doctrine and this they preached and this chiefly at first. It may be said in brief that the religious teachings of the Book of Mormon relate to very modern questions. The discussions of 1830 and thereabouts seem to furnish the new leaders with themes. Millenarianism is the main question. Infant Baptism, however, quite an ancient institution, is denounced, and wonderful to relate, polygamy, a much more ancient, and for this country a very modern institution, is emphatically and repeatedly condemned. Polygamy as a duty was proclaimed by a revelation, much later in the prophet's life.

Note: For a more complete reprint of the original Sunday Afternoon article, see the Geneva Courier of April 16, 1879.


Review  &  Examiner.

Vol. ?                       Washington, Pa., Wednesday, June 11, 1879.                       No. ?

As will be seen by the minutes elsewhere, the Historical Society has appointed a committee to take measures to perpetuate the memory of Rev. Solomon Spaulding, a citizen of this county and the author of the so-called Bible of the Mormons. The collection of marvelous statements which make up that wonderful piece of sacred fiction was written, it is generally believed by the above gentleman as a sort of intellectual gymnastic exercise, and to pass away the idle hours, never thinking it would become the standard of faith for a people gathered from all parts of the world controlling one of the richest territories belonging to the United States. The work was never printed, but the manuscript was left to careless hands as a thing of no value. How Joe Smith, the high priest of Mormonism, got possession of it, we have not heard, but it is said that it can be clearly proven that the story which Solomon Spaulding, the Washington county preacher, wrote for fun, is substantially the same that Joseph Smith, the apostle of polygamy, palmed off for gospel. The work of this committee will be, in addition to making this fact well understood beyond quibble, to devise some permanent memorial of the obscure country preacher, who, however unwittingly, shaped the foundation stones for the religion of Utah.

Note: This notice incurred the ire of the editors of the Salt Lake City newspaper, the Deseret News. See the response in that paper's issue of June 23, 1879.


Volume LXV.                    Pittsburgh, Wednesday, August 13, 1879.                    No. 50.


At last hope is awakened that something decisive is about to be done by the Government in relation to the Mormon iniquties which have been such a foul blot on the land. It is well known that the additions to Mormonism are mostly from Europe, obtained for the most part under false pretences, and in expectation of light labor and comfortable living. If this importation can be stopped a long step will have been taken towards solving the Mormon problem.

By direction of the President, Secretary Evarts has sent a letter to our Ministers to Great Britian, Germany, and several lesser powers, protesting against their allowing subjects who are Mormons to leave for the United States. It sets forth that under the laws of this country bigamy is a crime, and that persons leaving foreign countries for the purpose of settling in Utah go there with the intention of violating the laws of this country. Reference is made in the letter to the fact that according to our treaties with these countries they are under obligations not to allow parties to depart from their jurisdiction who are known to have criminal intentions. The President holds that after having given these nations notice, the Mormons coming here as such render themselves liable to prosecution under our criminal laws, and that we will then be justified in refusing them admission to our ports.

In the meantime the Mormons in Utah have made themselves as agreeable as possible to the Labor Investgating Committee. It is reported that during its stay its members were the guests of the Mormons, who furnished carriages in profusion and carried them to places of interest. They visited John Taylor, and looked over the Tabernacle, the Mormon Temple, and then drove out to the Penitentiary to visit Cannon and his co-excutors, who are imprisoned for contempt. There they partook of a collation together and had a good time. They listened to Cannon's version of the story, believed him the victim of judicial bigotry, and promised to use their influence to secure his release and to procure Statehood for Utah. These visitors were so constantly surrounded by much-married saints that Gentiles would not approach them. The Committee and their friends left for San Francisco in the confident belief that they knew all about Mormonism. Loyal citizens are inquiring if the public money is paid to their representatives to encourage a disloyal sect in wrong-doing?

This if true -- and we are afraid it is, is most discreditable to that committee and should be severely rebuked. It is very certain that since the visit of that committee the Mormons have become more defiant and threatening towards other people now resident in Utah.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Volume LXV.                    Pittsburgh, Wednesday, August 20, 1879.                    No. 51.


The London Times having editorially on the 12th inst. objected to the circular of the U. S. Government on Mormon emigration, on the ground that any interference with Mormons would be a kind of inquisition into religious opinions, the attention of President Hays was called to the article, and he is reported to have said that the circular must have been misunderstood, that it does not make the slightest reference to religion, and that it invites the co-operation of foreign governments in discouraging Mormon emigration, for the protection of their own deluded subjects as well as to prevent an influx into this country of persons coming with criminal intent. Whatever other governments may do in the matter, our own government is determined to enforce the laws against bigamy, and in this is entitled to the support of all good citizens.

Notes: (forthcoming)


The  Greenville  [   ]  Advance  Argus.
Vol. IX.                    Greenville, Pennsylvania, Thursday, August 21, 1879.                    No. 35.


Joe Smith's Early Life in Susquehanna County, Pa. --
How He Founded Mormonism.

(Col. McClure, in Philadelphia Times.)

MONTROSE, July 28, 1879. -- Some time about the year 1820 an indolent and ignorant adventurer, known as Joe Smith, made his advent into what is now Oakland, one of the extreme northern townships of this county. It borders on the New York State line and is divided by the Susquehanna river as it forms its great bend, from which a thrifty village on the Erie railway takes its name.

A high order of intelligence is not one of the common characteristics of pioneers, and the scattered population among whom Joe Smith made his first appearance as the possessor of supernatural powers were no exceptions to the rule, but they furnished few believers as stars for his crown. He had made a precarious living for some years as a lazy lumberman. He was without culture, and beyond a streak of low cunning, that served a most useful purpose in his petty frauds in "peeping," he possessed no qualities which marked him as anything else than a thriftless adventurer, ready for anything that promised him bread without earning it. Many of the early settlers accepted, to a greater or less degree, the superstitions of the Indians, and "peeping" or "seeing" was a profession by which some one esteemed where water or minerals might be found. What was called "a seeing stone" was in the custody of one of the residents, and it was claimed that lost valuables and even a lost child had been found through the deliverances of the little dumb oracle, a stone described as about the size of a goose egg, green in color, with brown irregular spots on it.

Some dusky soothsayer of the forest had probably invested the stone with its astounding virtues, and there was enough of ignorance and superstition prevalent in the neighborhood to make even the doubting cherish a secret reverence for it.

Joe Smith finally became the possessor of the magic stone, and devoted himself to


and minerals. Finding a people about him ready to deal in the marvelous, he extended his "peeping" for the ordinary wants of settlers to "seeing" hidden treasures, etc. A tradition of buried treasure somewhere on the upper Susquehanna was seized upon by Smith as his first venture in the line of the miraculous. By his magic stone he located the treasure on Turkey Hill and deluded a well-to-do farmer named Harper, residing across the New York line, to furnish the capital for unearthing the hidden money. On the farm of Mr. Skinner, near the northern line of this county, are yet visible the diggings made by the victims of Smith from 1822 to 1825. One pit is twenty feet deep and fifty in diameter, and several smaller pits are yet traceable in the fields. When several thousand dollars had been expended by Harper without the discovery of the treasure, he refused to proceed further, his faith having perished with his fortune, but for several years thereafter there was more or less digging by various parties who had believed in Smith's power of "seeing" derived from his magic stone. At times the digging would be done only at night, showing that there were victims of Smith's pretentions who were unwilling to confess themselves to their neighbers. When a party wearied of the work and abandoned it, Smith would give out that the Almighty was displeased with some of them and call for the blood of an entirely white dog as a mediation. Finally, having exhausted the credulity and contributions of treasure-seekers, Smith decided to turn to profit the religious superstition that he found largely diffused among his neighbors, and the speculation of an ignorant and thriftless imposter led to the founding of the Mormon Church or the sect of the Latter-Day Saints.

In 1825, while engaged in money digging, Smith had made the acquaintance Isaac Hale, one of the early settlers of Oakland, then Harmony township, Susquehanua Co. He is described by Mr. Hale, in a statement made in 1834 over his signature and attested by the Justice and Postmaster, as "a careless young man, not very well educated and very saucy and insolent to his father." Referring to the "Book of Mormon," Mr. Hale says, in the same statement, that he had a good opportunity to know Smith and his associates and that the so-called Mormon Bible "is a silly fabrication of falsehood and wickedness, got up for speculation and with the design to dupe the credulous and unwary, and in order that its fabricators might live upon the spoils of those who swallowed the deception." But the want of respect for Smith manifested by Mr. Hale did not extend throughout his entire family, as he discovered in 1825, after money-digging delusions had vanished, when Smith asked Mr. Hale's consent to


the daughter of the incredulous farmer. The father refused his consent because of the general worthlessness of the suitor, but the daughter seems to have had more faith in the pretentious adventurer, and in February, 1826, Emma ran off with the future prophet to New York and married him. She was a simple-minded rustic maiden, and the strata of superstition that she honestly inherited or absorbed from surroundings, made her readily dream of success for the sorcerer who sought her hand mainly for the sake of a home, as the sequel proved.

After struggling with poverty at Palmyra, New York, for a while, both Smith and Emma came repentant to Mr. Hale, asked to be allowed to return to the Hale homestead, Smith declaring that he "was willing to work hard for a living." They were brought home by Alsa [sic - Alva?] Hale, brother of Emma, but if any "hard work" was done for their living, it was done by Emma, for Smith brought with his scanty household stores a sealed box about the size of a common window-glass box, and surrounded it with the mystery that so readily deludes the ignorant by declaring that none but the appointed one could look into it and live. The practical father-in-law notified Smith that he proposed to look into every box kept about the premises, regardless of any sanctity with which they might be invested, and Smith secreted the box in woods rather than permit Hale to inspect its contents. Smith claimed that the hieroglyphic plates of the new revelation were contained in that box. None were allowed to see the plates. Even the two scribes, Martin Harris and Oliver Cowdry, who wrote out the Book of Mormon as Smith interpreted the distant and hidden plates by gazing at the magic stone, never were allowed to see the contents of the box. Smith declared that only his first-born child, which was to be a son, could look into the box and live; but as the first-born of Joseph and Emma was a girl [sic], the chapter of Mormon history recording the first inspection of the plates is a lost link in the story of the new religion. One Martin Harris, whose history is lost in the obscurity of his previous and subsequent life, was Smith's first scribe. A man of his name and alike unknown to the people this region, broke jail at Wilkeabarre some twenty years before, and the Mormon scribe is believed by some to have been the escaped convict, but it cannot be asserted as a fact. Mr. Hale tells how Smith interpreted the plates: "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 tbe book of plates was at the same time hid in the woods." Harris disappeared, no one seemed to know whither, before the work was done, and Oliver Cowdry, whose name has since been prominently associated with the Mormons, became scribe. He continued until the interpretation was complete, and


was thus invented because of the failure of the "peeping" profession to furnish Smith a living. The only analogy between the Mormon prophet and the ancient prophets was in the failure of Smith to command honor as a religionist in his own country. He seems to have had no followers in the region where he was best acquainted and where the history of the pretended revelation on the mysterious plates was known. In 1831-2, the local papers of the county make note of "two or three wretched zealots of Mormonism" creating some excitement, but this field was speedily abandoned, and Smith and a few followers located the "promised land" near Painesville, Ohio, whither they departed, leaving only the rude pits on the Skinner farm as monuments of the work of Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, in Susquehanna county.

There are other stories about the origin of the Book of Mormon, but the circumstantial statement of Isaac Hale, father-in-law of Smith, written as early as 1834 to D. P. Hurlburt of Ohio, in answer to inquiries about Smith and the Mormons, is doubtless correct, as Smith and his wife lived with Hale at the time and he spoke from personal observation and knowledge. The history of Smith after he located in Ohio is familiar to all. He and his followers were driven from Ohio to the Mississippi, and thence they fled the jurisdiction of the country after Smith had been murdered in his own temple [sic] at Nauvoo. Brigham Young soon after usurped the rulership of the Mormons, deposing Sidney Rigdon by trickery. He gave to his followers the special revelation commanding the adoption of polygamy, and the "Josephites," the followers of Smith, who refused to accept polygamy, were driven from the fold in Utah, and now have their home at Malada, in Idaho. Smith's widow yet lives, I believe, among the followers of her husband, and he has sons who uphold his faith away in the Northwestern Territory.   A. K. M.

Note 1: Alexander Kelly McClure was a prominent Philadelphia Republican politician. During the 1860s and 1870s, after visiting Salt Lake City on a western tour, he gave lectures on the subject of Mormonism. See his 1867 report from Utah, as published in the Chambersburg Franklin Respository. -- His "Joe Smith" account was published in the Philadelphia Times (he was later its editor) at the end of July, 1879. A slightly different version was reprinted in the Port Jervis Evening Gazette of Aug. 2, 1879.

Note 2: See also Emily C. Blackman's 1873 book, History of Susquehanna Co., from which some of the above article's contents were paraphrased.


Vol. IV.                Washington, Pa., Friday, August 29, 1879.                Whole No. 957.

THE CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION OF THE TEN MILE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCHES. -- At an early hour on the morning of the 28th of August, 1879, the people began to assemble... The second address was by the Rev. Dr. Allison, Editor of the Presbyterian Banner. His subject was "The Life and Service of the Rev. Dr. Dodd, the Founder of the Ten Mile Churches."... followed by a stirring speech from Cephas Dodd McFarland, Esq., of Baltimore, great grand son of the old pioneer. Dr. Hays, President of the W[ashington] and J[efferson] College, was next introduced, and diverging from the immediate subject of the occasion, directed the attention of the people to the fact that Mormonism was a delusion in the land that had its origin, in the perversion of a novel, written by the Rev. Solomon Spaulding, whose grave in their neighboring church yard he visited that morning.

He said that it is in contemplation to erect a suitable memorial stone over the grave as a protest against the delusion of which the deceased was the unwilling author, and asked that at the proper time they should contribute to the project.

Redick McKee, Esq., of Washington City, was then introduced as a living acquaintance of the author of the "Book of Mormon," when he resided in the neighboring village of Amity...

Note 1: The Rev. George P. Hays, D.D., was pastor of the Central Presbyterian Church of Allegheny prior to his taking over the presidency of Washington and Jefferson College in 1870. The text of his Aug. 28, 1879 address has not been preserved. According to the Rev. Joseph Cook (speaking in June of 1879), President Hays had informed him, that there were "several living witnesses cognizant of the fraud practiced in transforming Spaulding's 'Manuscript Found,' (with alterations and additions,) into the Book of Mormon," and that "those parties" were "willing to make deposition before a court of record exposing the whole imposture, and the investigation will be published and widely circulated in order that this Mormon delusion, with its keystone of gold plates and peepstones, may be thoroughly exploded."

Note 2: In his Jan. 26, 1886 letter to Arthur Deming, McKee offered this recollection: "I see by my diary, that on August 28, 1879, I left McKeesport for Washington, Pa., and on the 29th by special invitation of the Historical Society attended the Centennial Anniversary of the origin of the Presbyterian Churches of Upper and Lower Ten Mile Creek. The weather was very fine and this great meeting of 2000 or more, was held in a beautiful grove near the upper church. Addresses were made by Dr. Brownson, Dr. Allison, Dr. Wilson, Dr. Hayes -- President of the Allegany Seminary -- and others. Reference was made to S. Spaulding as a member of the Amity church, and I was called upon to give my recollections about him and the book he had written called 'Manuscript Found,' or some such name, and believed to have been the origin of the Mormon Bible. In compliance I addressed the meeting in a short speech."


Volume LXVI.                    Pittsburgh, Wednesday, September 10, 1879.                    No. 2.


Any one having a copy of "Mormonism Unveiled," published by the author, E. D. Howe, in Painesville, O., in 1834 (and in 1840), to dispose of, may hear of a purchaser by addressing the PRESBYTERIAN BANNER.

Note: This ad solliciting a copy of Howe's 1834 book was placed on the editorial page of the Banner by the secondary editor, Robert Patterson, Jr. This was before Patterson wrote his chapter on Mormonism for Boyd Crumrine's 1882 History of Washington County. Patterson began researching early Mormon history at the beginning of 1879, but, strangely enough, none of his reporting on that subject appeared in the Banner during 1879-1882. Perhaps James Allison, the senior editor of the paper, did not see fit to allocate space in the Banner for the publication of articles by Patterson on the distasteful topic of Mormonism.



Vol. ?                           Pittsburgh, Friday, February 20, 1880.                           No. ?

In reply to many criticisms, Mr. Smith, the Mormon preacher of Pittsburgh, sends us a small letter of about forty pages, which he requests us to print as 'an act of justice' to him. * * * We have to be just to our readers as well as to Mr. Smith, and can not therefore surrender the space where they have a right to look for news, to the missionary efforts of any sect whatever. It should be sufficient hustice to Elder Smith to say right now and here, as we frankly do, that the evidence by which it is sought to prove that 'Joe' Smith or Sidney Rigdon stole the manuscript copy of Rev. Solomon Spaulding's romance, and made the Book of Mormon out of it, is FATALLY DEFECTIVE. The thing can not be proved. The Mormons SUCCESSFULLY RIDDLE the testimony of those who assert it, and very fairly demand that Spaulding's romance be produced and the comparison made or the slander be dropped. The fact that this romance. though alleged to have remained in Gentile hands, never has been produced, and can not be now, is prima facie evidence that it is not the original of the Book of Mormon.

Note 1: Apostle Thomas Wood Smith (1838-1894) was the chief RLDS Elder in Pittsburgh at this time. Smith was a native of Pennsylvania and probably had some relational ties to those Pittsburgh area Rigdonites who eventually joined with the RLDS. His "Mormon" missionary activities in Pittsburgh aroused the unwelcome attention of several people who were opposed to his religion. Utah journalist James T. Cobb apparently submitted more than one letter or article to the Pittsburgh papers, written opposition of the assertion of Elder Smith and others like him. Robert Patterson, Jr. wrote to Cobb from Pittsburgh on Sept. 6, 1879, saying: "... I cannot find your case on the Rigdons in the Com. Gaz. of Aug. 18. Possibly it was in some other Pittsburgh paper?" Again, on Feb. 28, 1881, Patterson says to Cobb:"I mail herewith Pittsburgh 'Dispatch' of this date with your reply to Mr. T. W. Smith." Apparently the joyrnalistic conversation between Elder Smith and his opponents moved back and forth between the pages of the Leader and those of the Dispatch between 1879 and 1881. Elder Smith had a lengthy letter published in a January 1881 issue of the Leader.

Note 2: It is supposed that Robert Patterson, Jr.'s Aug. 19, 1879 interview with D. P. Hurlbut was published in an issue of the Leader soon after the that paper's Feb. 20th notice regarding the local activities of Elder Thomas W. Smith. The exact date for the appearance of Patterson's interview in the Pittsburgh papers remains unknown.



Vol. ?                                  Pittsburgh, February ? 1880.                                   No. ?

... I paid him [D. P. Hurlbut] a visit at his home in Gibsonville, Sandusky county, Ohio, in August, 1879, and interviewed him in reference to his connection with the Spaulding manuscript. He said that he did receive the manuscript from the widow of Spaulding in 1834 [sic - 1833?], which manuscript he gave to E. D. Howe of Painesville, P., but declares his entire ignorance of the contents of that manuscript. He says this was the only Spaulding Manuscript he ever had in his possession. Mr. Howe states that this manuscript was not the one known as the 'Manuscript Found,' but was on an entirely different subject...

GIBSONBURG, OHIO, Aug. 19, 1879.      
I visited Mrs. Matilda (Spaulding) Davison at Monson, Mass., in 1834, and never saw her afterward. I then received from her a manuscript of her husband's, which I did not read, but brought home with me, and immediately gave it to Mr. E. D. Howe, of Painesville, Ohio, who was then engaged in preparing his book -- "Mormonism Unvailed." I do not know whether or not the document I received from Mrs. Davison was Spaulding's "Manuscript Found," as I never read it entire, and it convinced me that it was not the Spaulding manuscript; but whatever it was, Mr. Howe received it under the condition on which I took it from Mrs. Davison -- to compare it with the "Book of Mormon," and then to return it to her. I never received any other manuscript of Spaulding's from Mrs. Davison, or any one else. Of that manuscript I made no other use than to give it, with all my other documents connected with Mormonism, to Mr. Howe. I did not destroy the manuscript nor dispose of it to Joe Smith, or to any other person. No promise was made by me to Mrs. Davison that she should receive any portion of the profits arising from the publication of the manuscript, if it should be published. All the affidavits procured by me for Mr. Howe's book, including all those from Palmyra, N. Y., were certainly genuine.
D. P. HURLBUT.      

Note 1: The exact date of this clipping has yet to be determined. For more information regarding the solititation of this Hurlbut's 1879 statement by the Rev. Robert Patterson, Jr. see Patterson's 1881 article in The Leader and the Sept. 15, 1880 issue of the RLDS Saints Herald..

Note 2: In her 1885 statement for Arthur B. Deming, D. P. Hurlbut's wife recalled Robert Patterson having contacted her husband. She there says: "Mr. Patterson a son of the printer Spaulding left his Manuscript with called and took a statement from Mr. Hurlbut about five years ago. I heard him say at that time that Sidney Rigdon was a relative of his and was frequently in their office when the Manuscript Found was there." Unfortunately Maria Hurlbut's 1885 statement does not mention exactly when it was that "Mr. Patterson" came to visit (August, 1879?), nor who was related to Sidney Rigdon. Apparently Robert Patterson, Jr. claimed this family relationship for his own father, the Rev. Robert Patterson, Sr. If the Pattersons and the Rigdons were related, the connection must have been a distant one. Perhaps Sidney Rigdon was somehow related to Patterson's printer, Silas Engles -- who was himself a distant relative of the Pattersons.

Note 3: In 1882 Rev. Robert Patterson, Jr. recalled that "Hurlbut himself informed the present writer Aug. 19, 1879 that he had never seen Mr. Patterson or had any communication with him." This portion of Hurlbut's communication to Patterson is not included in the partial 1880 Pittsburgh Leader article clipping transcribed above.



Vol. XXXIV.                       Warren, Pa.. Friday, August 27, 1880.                       No. 1.


In the last issue of Scribner's is an article which professes to show that the Morman religion is based on a romance written in this century, and which was made public by a disreputable young scamp who by some means got possession of the manuscript. The subject may be familiar to some of our readers, but it is certainly new to many. The principal part of the Scribner article is an affidavit of Mrs. McKinstry, the daughter of Rev. Mr. Spaulding. Mrs. McKinstry is now living in Washington, but has a clear recollection of the facts which she gives to the public through one of her nephews. About 1812 Mr. Spaulding removed to Conneaut, Ohio, and while there became interested in the curious mounds which abound in that section of country. He caused several to be opened, and inspired by the findings wrote a romance, entitled, "Manuscript Found." He sent this to Mr. Patterson, of Pittsburgh, a printer, who kept it in his possession for several years, and finally returned it without publication. In Mr. Patterson's employ was a man named Rigdon, the famous Mormon apostle in after years. The manuscript of the romance was left in an open trunk for many years after Mr. Spaulding's death, and the trunk was also stored in the house of Mr. Sabine, for whom Joseph Smith, afterwards the Mormon leader, drove team. This Joseph Smith about 1824 began talking of religious revelations and a new religion founded on a "seer stone" which he had discovered. Some years after the "Mormon bible" was printed and Mr. Spaulding's brother, his daughters, wife and others who had heard the story of the "Manuscript Found" read, declared the two were identical, but as the trunk containing this manuscript, with other papers of the deceased author was stored at friend's in New York, no actual comparison was made. In after years a man named Hulbert, a Mormon, got possession of the manuscript of the story, and it is said had it destroyed. Joseph Smith, the Mormon leader, and Rigdon, another apostle, were placed in such a position as to have access to the story, and it is presumed that one or the other copied it, and on this romance; written by an Ohio preacher, was rounded the greatest religious sham of the century, and the one which is puzzling the government of the United States.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. LXVII.                    Pittsburgh, Wednesday, September 1, 1880.                    No. 1.

Coming Fall of Mormonism.

The Salt Lake Tribune says: "There was a Gentile celebration here on the Fourth of July, and a Mormon celebration on the 24th of the same month. The Mormons are as five to one in the majority, and their effort was to make a showing which should dwarf the display on the Fourth. So far as their procession was concerned they succeeded, but there they stopped. Their crowd marched as veteran soldiers might take up a weary and distasteful march, because they were ordered to. There was no enthusiasm either in the procession or on the streets, when the services were over the participants retired out of sight, save a few that were too drunk to leave. On the Fourth the streets were thronged with young Utah. They were forbitten to take part in the proceedings, but they were here to see what was going on. The difference in the spirit of the two days was most marked, and if we mistake not in a thousand Mormon homes the question has since been asked, 'Why, living in this great Republic, could we not join in celebrating its birthday?' In this respect the little celebration on the Fourth was a grand success; the big celebration on the 24th was a grand failure. The truth is that the iron rule of the Mormon masters, while it seems as firm as ever, is breaking down. The instinct of boys born in America is to gain wealth and honorable name. The instinct of girls born and reared in America is to dress well, to gain knowledge, to mingle with the best society, and to secure as fair and as honorable a husband as possible. Both these instincts are in direct conflict with the Mormon feature of polygamy. And the leaders will in the next few years be forced to decide whether to give up that article of their creed or to see their whole system of fraud tumble to pieces about their ears."

Notes: (forthcoming)


N.S. Vol. IV.                      Washington, Pa., Friday, Jan. 7, 1881.                       Whole 1383.


The interest attaching to the question, Who wrote the "Book of Mormon?" leads us to publish the following correspondence and communication of Abner Jackson, of Canton, Ohio, through Mr. John Aiken in behalf of the Washington County Historical Society.
CANTON, OHIO,   Dec. 20, 1880.      
Mr. John Aiken, Esq.: -- I here send you the document you solicited so long ago. You see, though a long time coming, that it is poorly written: but I am too old to do it very well. I hope you will be able to read it. You probably have seen Mrs. McKinstry's statement in Scribner's Monthly (already published in the Washington Reporter -- Eds.) for August, 1880. I wish to say that I have not seen her or had any intelligence from her, since they left Conneaut. If any should think we have conferred in any way to make out a case of plagiarism against Joseph Smith, let them know that so far as we are concerned, we are now perfect strangers. I did not know that she was living until I heard, as stated in the accompanying paper. If so many errors had not been published there would be no necessity for this statement. When contradicting statements are published, people often say, one is wrong, maybe neither is right, and so ignore both. Mrs. McKinstry says that her father's iron works was a foundry. This was the little girl's view of it. It was a forge of the older type. Iron was made from ore under a trip hammer, as there were no rollers in this country at that time. But this is not essential, and has nothing to do with Mormonism.

If my statement is not published, please return it to me as soon as convenient. Please inform me if you receive this. I am not anxious for myself at all, but if you can do anything for those entangled by the delusion, it cannot be published too quickly. I hope your Historical Society may prosper and do much good.
       Yours truly,
                               ABNER JACKSON.


It is a fact well established that the book called the Book of Mormon, had its origin from a romance that was written by Solomon Spaulding, in Conneaut, a small village in Ashtabula County, Ohio, about A. D. 1812. Spaulding was a highly educated man about six feet high, of rather slender build, with a dark complexion, black eyes, black hair, rather slow of speech, never trifling, pleasant in conversation, but seldom laughing aloud. His deportment was grave and dignified in society, and he was much respected by those of his acquaintance. He was a clergyman of the Presbyterian order, and for a time a settled pastor in the city of New York. So said his brother John Spaulding and others in the neighborhood, who heard him preach. It was said that failing health caused him to resign the pastorate. He then came to Richfield, Otsego County, New York, and started a store, near where my father lived, about the beginning of the present century.

Spaulding contracted for large tracts of land along the shore of Lake Erie, on each side of the State line, in both Pennsylvania and Ohio. My father exchanged with him the farm on which he lived in Otsego County, New York, for land in Erie county, Pa., where the town of Albion now stands, and moved on it A.D. 1805. It was then a dense forest. Shortly after my father moved, Spaulding sold his store in Richfield, and moved to Conneaut, Ashtabula county, Ohio, and built a forge on Conneaut Creek, two miles from Conneaut Harbor and two miles from the State line. In building this he failed, sold out, and about the beginning of the year 1812, commenced to write his famous romance called by him "The Manuscript Found."

This romance, Mr. Spaulding brought with him on a visit to my father, a short time before he moved from Conneaut to Pittsburgh. At that time I was confined to the house with a lame knee, and so I was in company with them and heard the conversation that passed between them. Spaulding read much of his manuscript to my father, and in conversation with him, explained his views of the old fortifications in this country, and told his Romance. A note in Morse's Geography suggested it as a possibility that our Indians were descendants of the lost tribes of Israel. Said Morse, they might have wandered through Asia up to Behring's Strait, and across the Strait to this continent. Besides there were habits and ceremonies among them that resembled some habits and ceremonies among the Israelites of that day. Then the old fortifications and earth mounds, containing so many kinds of relics and human bones, and some of them so large, altogether convinced him that they were a larger race and more enlightened and civilized than are found among the Indians among us at this day. These facts and reflections prompted him to write his Romance, purporting to be a history of the lost tribes of Israel.

He begins with their departure from Palestine or Judea, then up through Asia, points out their exposures, hardships, and sufferings, also their disputes and quarrels. especially when they built their craft for passing over the Straits. Then after their landing he gave an account of their divisions and subdivisions under different leaders, but two parties controlled the balance. One of them was called the Righteous, worshipers and servants of God. These organized with prophets, priests, and teachers, for the education of their children, and settled down to cultivate the soil, and to a life of civilization. The others were Idolaters. They contended for a life of idleness; in short, a wild, wicked, savage life.

They soon quarreled, and then commenced war anew, and continued to fight, except at very short intervals. Sometimes one party was successful and sometimes the other, until finally a terrible battle was fought, which was conclusive. All the Righteous were slain, except one, and he was Chief Prophet and Recorder. He was notified of the defeat in time by Divine authority; told where, when and how to conceal the record, and He would take care that it should be preserved, and brought to light again at the proper time, for the benefit of mankind. So the Recorder professed to do, and then submitted to his fate. I do not remember what that fate was. He was left alone of his party. I do not remember that anything more was said of him.

Spaulding's Romance professed to find the Record where the Recorder concealed it, in one of those mounds, one of which was but a few rods from Spaulding's residence. Soon after this visit, Spaulding moved to Pittsburgh, and took his manuscript to the Pittsburgh Gazette office, intending to have it printed, but in this he failed. My brother, J. J. Jackson, was a recruiting officer in the U. S. Army, and stationed at Pittsburgh at that time. Being well acquainted with Spaulding and his lady he soon found them, and in his letters home would inform us how they were getting along. The last account he gave us of them was that he was selling pictures and she was sewing up clothing for the soldiers. The next we heard of them was by report. Spaulding moved to Amity, Washington County, Pa., and soon after died and was buried there. His wife and daughter went to her brother, Lawyer Sabine, Onondagp Valley, Onondago, Co., N.Y. When I was returning from Clarksburg, W.Va., to my home in New Brighton, Beaver Co., Pa., A. D. 1840, I passed through Amity, hunted the grave of Spaulding and copied from the headstone the following inscription:

Solomon Spaulding, who departed this life Oct. 20th, A.D., 1816, aged 55 years.

"Kind cherubs guard the sleeping clay,
Until the great decision day.
And saints complete in glory rise,
To share the triumphs of the skies."

Spaulding frequently read his manuscript to the neighbors and amused them as he progressed with his work. He wrote it in Bible style, "And it came to pass" occurred so often that some called him "old come to pass."

So much for Spaulding's Romance; now for the Book of Mormon.

The first account of the Book of Mormon that I saw, was a notice in my father's newspaper, stating that Joseph Smith, Jr., professed having dreamed that an angel had appeared to him and told him to go and search in a place he named in Palmyra, N. Y., and he would find a gold-leaf Bible. Smith was incredulous and did not go until the second or third time he dreamed the same dream. Then he said he went and, to his surprise, he found the golden Bible, according to his dreams. But it was written in a language so ancient that none could be found able either to read it or tell in what language it was written. Sometime after another statement appeared, that an angel had consented to read and interpret it to Joseph Smith, and he should report it to a third person who should write it in plain English, so that all might read the new Bible and understand its import. Some time after, in 1830, the book was published at Palmyra, N. Y., called a "New Revelation: the Book of Mormon." This purports to be a history of the lost tribes of the Children of Israel. It begins with them just where the romance did, and it follows the romance very closely. It is true there are some verbal alterations and additions, enlarging the production somewhat, without changing its main features. The Book of Mormon follows the romance too closely to be a stranger. In both, many persons appear having the same name; as Maroni, Mormon, Nephites, Moroni, Lama, Nephe, and others.

Here then we are presented with Romance, second, called the Book of Mormon, telling the same story of the same people, traveling from the same plain, in the same way, having the same difficulties and destination, with the same wars, same battles, and same results, with thousands upon thousands slain. Then see the Mormon account of the last battle, at Cumorah, where all the righteous were slain. They were called the Nephites, the others were called Lamanites (see Moroni's account of the closing scene) "and it came to pass that a great battle was fought at Cumorah. The Lamanites slew all the Nephites" (except Moroni), and he said "I will write and hide up the Recorder [sic] in the earth, and whither I go it mattereth not." Book of Mormon, page 344, third American edition. How much this resembles the closing scene in the "Manuscript Found." The most singular part of the whole matter is, that it follows the Romance so closely, with this difference: the first claims to be a romance; the second claims to be a revelation of God, a new Bible! When it was brought to Conneaut and read there in public, old Esq. Wright heard it, and exclaimed, "'Old come to pass' has come to life again." Here was the place where Spaulding wrote and read his manuscript to the neighbors for their amusement and 'Squire Wright had often heard him read from his Romance. This was in 1832, sixteen years after Spaulding's death. This 'Squire Wright lived on a farm just outside of the little village. I was acquainted with him for twenty-five years. I lived on his farm when I was a boy and attended school in the village. I am particular to notice these things to show that I had an opportunity of knowing what I am writing about.

After I commenced writing this article, I heard that an article in Scribner's Monthly, for August, 1880, on the "Book of Mormon," contained a note and affidavit of Mrs. Matilda S. McKinstry, Solomon Spaulding's only child, stating that she remembered her father's Romance. I sent at once for the Monthly, and on the 613, 614, 615 and 616 pages, found the article and her testimony. Her statement from the commencement, until they moved to Pittsburgh, in all essential particulars I know to be true. She relates those acts as they occurred to my own personal knowledge, though she was then a little girl. She is now about seventy-five years of age.

I stated before that I knew nothing of Spaulding after he moved to Pittsburgh, except by letters and newspapers. He soon moved to Amity, Washington County, Pa., and shortly after this he died and his wife went to her brother's. His daughter's account of the deceitful method by which Hurlburt gained possession of and retained Spaulding's manuscript, is, I think, important and should not be lost sight of. She was no child then. I think she has done her part well in the vindication of the truth by her unvarnished statement of what she remembered of her father's Romance. I have not seen her since she was a little girl, but I have seen both of these productions, heard Spaulding read much of his Romance to my father and explain his views and reasons for writing it. I also have seen and read the Book of Mormon, and it follows Spaulding's romance too closely to be anything else than a borrowed production from the romance. I think that Mrs. McKinstry's statement fills a gap in my account from Spalding's removal to Pittsburgh, to the death of his wife in 1844. I wish, if my statement is published that hers also be published with it, that the truth may be vindicated by the truth beyond any reasonable doubt.

    (Signed)                                   ABNER JACKSON.
    Canton, Ohio,   Dec. 20, 1880.

* The headstone which marked Mr. Spaulding's grave, and which bore the above inscription, has almost if not altogether disappeared, through the ravages of time and relic hunters. It is due to the memory of Mr. Spaulding, who was the innocent cause of this stupendous fraud of Mormonism, and also to the truth of history, that this tomb-stone be replaced by a suitable and substantial monument bearing the original inscription together with such other legends as may perpetuate the memory of the origin of the greatest imposture of the century. The Christian Church owes it to its own vindication, that such a monument be erected. The Historical Society should also assist in perpetuating a local incident.

Note: Abner Jackson's letter was reprinted in the Jan. 12, 1881 issue of the weekly Reporter. Although the Reporter editor indicated that it was "already published" in his columns, he seems to have been rather tardy in his reprinting of the McKinstry affidavit. See the Jan 12th issue for a reprint of that important statement.



Vol. ?                                  Pittsburgh, Pa.,  January ? 1881.                                   No. ?

That Plagiarized "Book of Mormon."

The proposed celebration in Washington county in memory of Rev. Solomon Spaulding, author of the "Book of Mormon," is apparently creating considerable comment in religious circles here. It has for many years been announced that Rev. Spaulding was the original author of the Mormon Bible, which is more commonly known as the "Book of Mormon." But now comes a Latter Day Saint, or Mormon preacher, T. W. Smith by name, who for some time past has been preaching in a hall on Fourth avenue in this city. Mr. Smith, in a lengthy communication to a morning paper, makes the astounding statement and furnishes some proof to the effect that Rev. Spaulding was not the author of the "Book of Mormon." He claims that according to common assertions, Rev. Spaulding wrote in 1812 a romance which he called "Manuscript Found," and that about 1814 the manuscript was sent to a Mr. Patterson of Pittsburg, who kept a printing office in the city. It was also calimed that one Sidney Rigdon, having access to the office of Mr. Patterson, copied the manuscript, and that he and Joseph Smith subsequently had it published to the world as the "Book of Mormon." T. W. Smith further says:

"Mrs. McKinstry, daughter of the Rev. Spaulding, and wife of Dr. A. McKinstry of Monson, Mass., states that her father died at Amity, Pa., in 1816; that directly after, with her mother, she went to visit an uncle named Sabine, in Onondaga county, New York; that she saw a manuscript, 'about an inch thick, closely written, tied with some stories my father had written for me.' On the outside of this manuscript were written the words, 'Manuscript Found.' That in 1834 a Mr. Hurlbert came to her mother (who had in 1820 married a Mr. Davidson), and from her, by an order on Mr. Jerome Clark, with whom she had placed the manuscript, he obtained the same. This Hurlbert was an excommunicated Mormon, and in retaliation for his expulsion sought to destroy the Book of Mormon, thinking from what he had heard that this 'Manuscript Found' was the basis of the Book of Mormon, the latter being the same work with 'slight alterations.'"

Mr. Smith now claims that Hurlburt never returned the MSS. to Mrs. K.; that he still possesses it, and that it can be obtained by law. Mr. Smith is over-anxious that Mr. Hurlburt's MSS. be given to the world in some shape or other. Mr. Smith gives other evidence to the effect that Mr. Patterson never had a printing office in Pittsburg and that Spaulding never wrote the original "Book of Mormon." He also proves that Rigdon was still a youth, as was Joseph Smith, and that the former was on his father's farm when the copied "Book of Mormon" was first issued. Mr. Smith closes his communication by asking "Hurlburt, for trith's sake, let somebody have that 'Manuscript Found.'"

This morning a LEADER reporter called on Rev. Robert Patterson, a son of the Mr. Patterson, mentioned by Mr. Smith, and interviewed that gentleman of the office of the Presbyterian Banner.

"I have read Mr. Smith's article in the Dispatch," said he, "and the only question is whether Sidney Rigdon did make a copy of Spaulding's 'Manuscript Found.' My father did run a printing office here, in Pittsburg, about that time. There is no direct proof that Mr. Rigdon made a copy of the work, as is claimed he did. However, the evidence that the Mormon Bible was derived from the 'Manuscript Found' has been given over and over again. Mr. Spaulding's old partner at Conneaut, Ohio (Mr. Lake, I think his name was), and numerous other witnesses all testify as to the similarity of many of the names and incidents in Spaulding's 'Manuscript Found' and the 'Book of Mormon.' Two or three of the witnesses are still living Joseph Miller, now an old gentleman of ninety, who lives at Amity, Pa., where Spaulding died, and Reddick McKee, Esq., of Washington city, who boarded with Mr., Spaulding at Amity, are still living. These two gentlemen and Rev. Abner Jackson, a retured minister of Canton, Ohio, all rememver distinctly the instances of similarity of names and incidents in the 'Manuscript Found' and the 'Book of Mormon.' That is simply testimony to show that the Mormon Bible was derived from Spaulding's manuscript. but it does not connect Rigdon with it."

"Then as to Rigdon having been in Pittsburg," continued Mr. Patterson, "and having been about and connected with my father's printing office, I have this to offer. There is an old lady still living in Pittsburg, the widow of William Eichbaum, formerly post master of Pittsburg, who distinctly remembers Rigdon, and recollects him as having been an intimate companion of Mr. Lambdin, the partner of Mr. Patterson, and who remembers that Mr. Cyrus [sic] Engle, the foreman of Patterson's printing office, complained of Rigdon's hanging around the office. This is about all the direct testimony I have about Rigdon. As to this man Hulbert, who Mr. Smith claims still retains the manuscripts of Spaulding, I paid him a visit at his home at Gibsonville, Sandusky county, Ohio, in August, 1879, and interviewed him in response to his connection with the Spaulding manuscripts. He said that he did receive the manuscript from the widow of Spaulding in 1834, which manuscript he gave to Mr. E. D. Howe, of Painesville, O., but declares his entire ignorance of the contents of that manuscript. He says this was the only Spaulding manuscript he ever had in his possession. Mr. Howe states that this manuscript was not the one known as 'Manuscript Found,' but was on an entirely different subject. Those who sustain the view that the Mormon bible was borrowed from Spaulding's Manuscript Found, have made all possible efforts to obtain the copy which Hurlbut was said to possess. There is a contradiction between the story of Rigdon's early life, given by Corvill Rigdon and Pater Boyer, and the statement of Mrs. Eichbaum and others. This is about all I have to offer on the subject, but I would suggest that all the readers of the Leader who possess any information on the subject produce it as soon as possible."

A recent article in Scribner's Monthly on "The Book of Mormon," written by Miss Ellen E. Dickinson, who claims that Rev. Spaulding was her great uncle, contains among other things the following: Rev. Spaulding, while residing at Conneaut, Ohio, made a study of the ancient mounds in that vicinity, and exhumed many skeletons and relics. This discovery suggested to him the subject of a romance, which he called a translation from some hieroglyphical writings exhumed from mounds. The author called his romance "Manuscript Found," and soon after took it to a Pittsburg printer named Patterson for publication. After keeping it a while the latter returned it, declining to issue the work. Sidney Rigdon at this time frequented Patterson's office. In 1823 Joseph Smith, a disreputable fellow, called on Thurlow Weed, who was then proprietor of a weekly paper at Rochester, N. Y., and asked him to print a manuscript. Weed says, "Smith came from Palmyra, N. Y., and said he had been guided by a vision to a spot, where in a cavern he found a golden Bible. He read the first chapter from a tablet, and I listened until I became tired, and told him to go to a book publisher." Smith's book was finally published, and was nearly identixal with that of Spaulding's manuscript.

Rev. Abner Jackson, an aged minister of Canton, Ohio, published a lengthy communication on the Book of Mormon in the Washington, Pa. Reporter of January 12 [sic - 7th?]. In this communication Mr. Jackson states that Reverend Spaulding read much of his "Manuscript Found" to his (Jackson's) father, and told him that it was possible that the Indians was descendants of the lost tribes of Israel. "Spaulding," says Jackson "frequently read his book to his neighbors and amused them with it. He wrote it entirely after the style of the Bible." Mr. Jackson further states that when the Mormon Bible of Smith was finally published the neighbors of Spaulding laughed at it and said that Spaulding's manuscript had "come to pass again." They all remembered distinctly the similarity between the passages and selections from the "Book of Mormon" and Spaulding's "Manuscript Found." More testimony regarding the matter is now in order.

Note 1: The exact date of the appearance of this article in The Leader has not yet been determined.

Note 2: RLDS Apostle Thomas Wood Smith (1838-1894) was preaching in Pittsburgh during the early months of 1881. His cited article must have appeared in the Pittsburgh Dispatch around the end of January, 1881. In a Feb. 28, 1881 letter written to anti-Mormon, James T. Cobb, Rev. Robert Patterson, Jr. says, "I mail herewith Pittsburgh 'Dispatch' of this date with your reply to Mr. T. W. Smith..." Thus, it appears that Cobb (then living in Salt Lake City) had sufficient time to receive Smith's article, respond to it, and have his reply received in Pittsburgh well before the end of February, 1881.

Note 3: For further information on the activities of Apostle Smith's activities in Pittsburgh, see the Saints' Herald issues for June 15, 1879, for Sep. 1, 1881, and for Sep. 15, 1881. Apostle Smith's duties in Pittsburgh were later taken over by Elder Mark H. Forscutt (1834-1903) "pastor of Saints' Church" on "Fourth avenue" in that city.

Note 4: For a published copy of Hurlbut's 1879 statement, as taken by the Rev. Robert Patterson, Jr., see The Leader for Feb. 1880.


The  Washington  Reporter.

Vol. ?                       Washington, Pa., Wednesday, January 12, 1881.                       No. ?


From Scribner's Monthly.


(see original article in Scribner's)

Note 1: Abner Jackson's statement was also reprinted in this issue, from its prior appearance in the daily Reporter of Jan. 7th.

Note 2: Although the Reporter editor had previously indicated that it was "already published" in his columns, he seems to have been rather tardy in his reprinting of the full 1880 Dickinson article and its accompanying McKinstry affidavit. Perhaps he did not notice it until a copy was forwarded to the newspaper office by John Aiken, or some other member of the Washington County Historical Society. See also Mrs. McKinstry's Jan. 2, 1880 letter to Ellen E. Dickinson.


Vol. ?                              Pittsburgh, Monday, January 24, 1881.                               No. ?



Kirtland Ohio, the Cradle of Mormonism -- One of the Saints --
Joseph Smith and His Followers -- Another Ohio Claim.

Special Correspondence of The Telegraph.
Mentor, O., January 20.  

"You are in the very cradle of Mormonism here; my farm was once owned by a Mormon," said General Garfield to some visitors, recently, when the Mormon question was broached at his table. The remark led the correspondent of The Telegraph to inquire into some of the facts of the early history of the Latter Day Saints, as they are preserved in the traditions of this historic neighborhood.

Two miles south of General Garfield's residence is the village of Kirtland. Here, in 1830, was a flourishing church of Disciples (then popularly known as Campbellites), of which Elder Sidney Rigdon was the founder and pastor. Rigdon was a very popular preacher, a powerful controversialist, and a master of the English Bible. In the year above named he met Joseph Smith, according to Mormon history, and was immediately converted to the new faith. There is much "Gentile" evidence, however, to the effect that Rigdon was acquainted with Smith for some years previous to 1830, and that he was one of the inventors of the Book of Mormon. That book was published early in the spring of 1830, and soon after the Church of the Latter Day Saints was organized in Ontario county, New York.

In January, 1831, Smith visited Rigdon at his residence in Mentor, and the two impostors labored with the Disciples in Kirtland until many of them were converted, and a new church was organized. The new religion caused a great sensation throughout this region, and many converts were made in Mentor and other townships adjacent to Kirtland. The village of Kirtland at once became the first Mormon "Zion," and the "Saints" in the State of New York made haste to sell their property and remove to this place. Their cunning leaders had taken great pains to convert men and women who possessed worldly goods, and the church at Kirtland soon numbered among its members persons of considerable wealth and influence.

The new religionists were full of zeal, and were indefatigable workers. Their preachers overran the surrounding country, and daily made converts. Smith and Rigdon exercised their wits in devising novelities in doctrine, polity and worship, and their followers were fascinated by the mystery and pomp which were introduced. The "Elders" became "Priests after the order of Melchisedek,"and ecclesiastical titles and honors too numerous and absurd to mention fell thick and fast on the faithful from the holy hands of the prophet...

Various kinds of business were established by the saints at Kirtland, including a bank of [sorts?] and a printing house. Smith finished his "inspired translation" of the Old Testament in 1833, although he did not begin the study of Hebrew until nearly three years afterwards, when a Hebrew Professor, having become a convert, a Hebrew professorship was eastablished. Without any knowledge of Greek Smith had made an "inspired translation" of the New Testament, which was completed in February, 1833. As prophet and high priest he had frequent visions of the Savior and the angelsm and received revelations in regard to all the business of his strange community.

The "Bank of Kirtland" is vividly remembered by many of the older citizens of northeastern Ohio. Its "paper money" was issued in large quantities. The volume of currency was [made equal] to the demand of Mormon business, and the business was was extended as far as the currency could be made to go. Lands, cattle, building material and, indeed, all kinds of property were paid for with the notes of the Bank of Kirtland. Of this institution Sidney Rigdon was President and Joseph Smith Cashier. The amount of currency which it issued is not known, but it continued in operation for six years [sic], and then failed under circumstances that made it prudent for the President and Cashier to flee from the State. The failure of the bank caused great distress among thousands of "Gentiles" who had exchanged their property for its notes, and who held the latter as the time of the failure.

The house in which Joseph Smith lived... [remainder of article not legible]

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                              Pittsburgh, Monday, February 7, 1881.                               No. ?

Sydney Rigdon Again.

To the Editor of The Telegraph.

I read the other evening in The Telegraph the story of T. W. Smith "wherein in justice to history" he corrects "erroneous statements" respecting Sydeny Rigdon and Joe Smith's Mormon Bible made by certain Gentiles. Mr. Smith has not one word to say as to where Joe Smith found his Mormon Bible only that "the church commonly called the Latter Day Saints did not have its beginning in Ontario county, New York." But what, Mr. Smith, about Joe's Bible? Do you deny that it had its origin in Ontario county, N. Y.? Do you deny Sydney Rigdon's oft repeated account of how Joe Smith had the Mormon Bible copied from fourteen gold plates that he pretended to have found in a little stone box burued in a hill in Ontario county, N. Y., to which place he was directed in a trance by the angel Gabriel [sic], and where Sydney assured every one that he found it? Mr. Smith feels bad to think that the Gentiles call Smith and Rigdon impostors, and having read T. W. Smith's statement and compared it with what I heard from Rigdon's own lips, I include T. W. Smith as one also. I send you a copy of The Telegraph in which you published once before a statement of what the writer heard and saw at a public lecture given by Sydeny Rigdon at Meadville, a statement which I think the old folks' association should have a certified copy of placed upon their files, for when a Saint "in justice to history" palms off such a rigmarole, how will it be when sinners have the telling of the story? Sydney's acting of Joe's digging for the box and his astonishment after having it all ready for lifting out; how with all his tugging he was unable to move it; his throwing himself down upon the ground when he recollected that he was there just one year too soon; his filling in the hole and taking back the borrowed tools -- his coming again at a year's time and clearing out the hole till he came again down to the little chest -- when you would have thought by the swing that he gave his arm that the chest about jumped out of the hole itself, -- was rich. When that he described the contents of the 18-inch box, and that it contained fourteen gold plates upon which were written the whole of the Book of Mormon, together with the sword of Gideon and the spectacles of Samuel, and showed us at the end of the Bible the certificates of ten or twelve Mormons whom he assured us had seen the plates as we could see that they had sworn to having seen them. Sydney, I had been told, had been in the habit of palming off a lot of gibberish to ignorant people as being the same as the tongues spoken by the Apostles at the day of Pentecost which the professors and students of Allegheny College having heard of come to the lecture to test Mr. Rigdon, which ended as stated. Sydney was completely caught and I left him with the conviction that he was both a hypocrite and an impostor.     R.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                                Connellsville, Friday, April 8, 1881.                                No. 37.


The tombstone of Solomon Spaulding who lies buried in the graveyard at Amity, Washington county, had been broken and carried away by relic hunters. Spaulding is noted as being the author of a romance from which the Book of Mormon was afterwards compiled. A new zinc monument will be erected over his grave.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. LXVIII.                    Pittsburgh, Wednesday, August 31, 1881.                    No. 1.


The County of Washington, Pa., will celebrate the centennial anniversary of its organization next week, in the town of Washington, when there is expected to be an immense collection of its present inhabitants and also its sons and daughters from all parts of the United States...

Washington County was organized from a part of Westmoreland in 1781, and was the first of all the numerous counties now bearing that name...


The early ministers of the gospel in this county were a class of superior men, noted for ability, piety and force of character. The impress made by them upon society is felt and seen to this day and extends to the Pacific coast and even to heathen lands. Their preaching powers were of a very high order and were greatly blessed of God. The sermons delivered by them in private houses, in the woods and in the rude log churches were in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, They were the ardent friends of education and the vigorous opponents of all forms of evil. During the madness of the "Whiskey Insurrection" most of them denounced it, and they were not afraid to speak and labor for the defeat of candidates for public office whom they considered unworthy. The names of McMillan, Dod, Smith, Marquis, Patterson, Finley and others will be in everlasting remembrance; while it is impossible for us to mention in this article the great number of ministers of the gospel reared in this county or educated there who have gone into all parts of the world to make known the glad tidings of salvation. The churches of this county have been visited by frequent and powerful revivals of religion. The great revival of 1802 which swept over Western Pennsylvania and which had begun in Kentucky and Tennessee under the preaching of James McGready, a former pupil of Dr, McMillan, manifested itself first at the church of Three Springs, a part of the charge of Elisha McCurdy, in September, 1802. Rev. Thomas Campbell, who had been a member of the General Associate Synod of Scotland and had been received a member of the Associate Presbytery of Chartiers, and his now distinguished son Alexander Campbell, organized the denomination now known as "Disciples," by forming two congregations, one at Cross Roads, six miles northwest of the town of Washington, and the other at Brush Run, eight miles southwest of the same place. In the Fall of 1831 Revs. A. M. Bryan, John Morgan, R. Burrow, and R. Dunnell, upon the invitation of a few persons disaffected towards the church of Ten Mile, came as "missionaries" to proclaim the doctrines of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. The grave of the Rev. SOLOMON SPAULDING, author of the romance entitled "Manuscript Found," which was seized and published as the "Book of Mormon," upon which the whole Mormon delusion has been built by SIDNEY RIGDON, JOE SMITH and others, is in the village of Amity, in this county, where he died in 1816...

Note: It may seem rather strange that the name of Solomon Spalding would be brought forth and mentioned among the prominent past religious figures of Washington county. However, interest in preserving the Spalding gravesite at Amity had been alive in the county since early 1879. Eventually Spalding's headstone was replaced with a permanent stone marker and memory of the would-be writer was kept from fading completely away. No doubt the rising feelings against the Mormons during that time provided the local incentive to demonstrate some pride in the fact that the "author of the romance entitled 'Manuscript Found'" was buried in Washington county and that the story of his life and writings provided a possible antidote to pernicious "Mormonism."


The  Washington  Reporter.

Vol. ?                       Washington, Pa., Wednesday, September 14, 1881.                       No. ?


The Hundred Years of its Pennsylvania Connection....

Rev. Dr. Allison, the able editor of the Banner, apropos of the coming Washington county centennial, has written the following interesting paper...

...The early ministers of the gospel in this county were a class of superior men, noted for ability, piety and force of character.... Rev. Thomas Campbell, who had been a member of the General Associate Synod of Scotland and had been received a member of the Associate Presbytery of Chartiers, and his now distinguished son Alexander Campbell, organized the denomination now known as "Disciples," by forming two congregations, one at Cross Roads, six miles northwest of the town of Washington, and the other at Brush Run, eight miles southwest of the same place. In the fall of 1831 Revs. A. M. Bryan, John Morgan, R. Burrow, and R. Dunnell, upon the invitation of a few persons disaffected towards the church of Ten Mile, came as "missionaries" to proclaim the doctrines of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. The grave of the Rev. Solomon Spaulding, author of the romance entitled "Manuscript Found," which was seized and published as the "Book of Mormon," upon which the whole Mormon delusion has been built by Sidney Rigdon, Joe Smith and others, is in the village of Amity, in this county, where he died in 1816...

Note: See the Banner of Aug. 31, 1881 for more of Rev. Allison's text.


Vol. LXVIII.                    Pittsburgh, Wednesday, February 1, 1882.                    No. 23.


Public attention is now directed, in a degree never heretofore equaled, to the growing abomination of polygamy in Utah. This increase of interest is easily accounted for, by the amazing rapidity with which this iniquity has been recently extending and by the insolent daring with which the Mormons continue in the most open way to violate the natural laws and to defy the power of the national Government. The mass of our people are incensed not only with this new rebellion, but also with the shameful truckling with which politicians of both parties have yielded to Mormon arrogance.

The present is an opportune moment for a brief sketch of their peculiar system of polygamy as defined by the Mormons themselves. It is well known that the Book of Mormon itself gives no countenance to polygamy; on the contrary it condemns the practice. Also, in their book of Doctrine and Covenants (section 49), occurs a revelation through Joseph Smith to Rigdon, Pratt, and Copley, who were sent from Kirtland, O., in March, 1831, on a mission to the Shakers, whose anti-marriage vuews are notorious, in which revelation it is affirmed that "whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God unto man; wherefore it is lawful that he should have one wife and they twain shall be one flesh." By a previous revelation to Smith at Kirtland, Feb. 9, 1831, it was commanded: "Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else."

But with that proclivity, which not unfrequently distinguishes errorists, to go from bad to worse, the Mormon prophet himself soon lapsed from his original standard and, on the evidence of his own followers, was guilty both of attempted and actual violations of his marriage vows. In 1838 he had persuaded several women to become his "spiritual wives," as he euphemistically expressed it, but under which term was included (to adopt the phraseology of the Beecher trial) "all that the word implies." So flagrant became the cirminal practices of himself and some of his subordinates that a number of his adherents renounced Mormonism on this very account at Nauvoo, Ill., in 1844, and commenced the publication of a paper, called "The Expositor," to reveal his licentiousness. In the first number they printed the affidavits of sixteen women, certifying the attempts of Smith, Rigdon [sic], and others to seduce them under the plea of a special commission from heaven

On May 6th, 1844, a mob composed of Smith and his friends demolished the Expositor office for its daring revelations, thus confessing their guilt. For this they were prosecuted, and having resisted the ordinary legal process, were arrested by the militia under the call of the Governor and were lodged in the jail at Carthage. Here the same mob violence to which they had resorted was in turn visited upon themselves, and on June 27th, 1844, the jail was attacked by a lawless band, and Joseph and Hyrum Smith were shot. Thus the murder of these two Mormon leaders, though an inexcusable outrage, was directly traceable to their licentious practices. (See Appleton's Cyclopedia, title: Mormonism).

So great was the public outcry against the alleged Mormon laxity, that in 1845 the Mormon leaders published the following emphatic denial of both the doctrine and the practice.

"Inasmuch as this Church of Christ has been reproached with the crimes of fornication and polygamy, we declare that we believe that one man should have but one wife, and one woman but one husband; except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again."

Notwithstanding these implicit declarations, Brigham Young proclaimed, August 29th, 1852, a "celestial law of marriage," sanctioning polygamy, which he declared had been revealed to Joseph Smith at Nauvoo, July 12th, 1843. Smith's widow and his four sons at once denounced this revelation as a forgery and headed a schism from the Utah body which still continues, the headquarters of the non-polygamist Mormons being at Plano, a small town in Illinois. The vast majority of the Mormons, however, have accepted the polygamous revelation as of divine authority, despite its manifest inconsistency with preceding alleged inspired declarations. This "celestial law" occupies eleven pages of the book of "Doctrine and Covenants." From this disgusting production -- the inspiration of a depraved heart -- we make the following extract:

"If any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else; and if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified. But if one or either of the ten virgins, after she is espoused, shall be with another man; she has committed adultery, and shall be destroyed; for they are given unto him to multiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment, and to fulfil the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world, and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that he may be glorified."

This hideous statute, which is the foundation of Mormon polygamy, is intriduced with this blasphemous assumption:

"Behold! I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory.... he that receiveth a fulness thereof must and shall abide the law, or he shall be damned, saith the Lord God."

It may well be doubted whether, in all the history of imposture, a more frightful and destestable instance of a pretender arrogating to himself the solemn office of being the oracle of God, can be found than that presented by this miserable wretch, his own hands dripping with the blood of his countless victims, his own heart festering with the most loathsome corruption, yet presuming to hurl upon all who opposed him the anathemas of the Almighty, whose holy law he was perpetually trampling under his feat. Yet the Government of the United States stoped so low as to concillare this beastly tyrant by appointing him the first Governor of Utah for four years, from 1850 to 1854; and when he subsequently rebelled against and defied the national authority, necessitating the sending of a force of two thousand five hundred men in 1857 to support that authority, our Government stooped again to compromise with an armed rebel, and weakly nursed the viper it should have utterly crushed.

Another rebellion in Utah is now in progress and it remains to be seen whether our readers have learned wisdom from the lessons of the past.

Note: It is not known whether this article was written by Robert Patterson, Jr., but presumably, as the second editor of the Banner, he agreed with and supported its mesage.


Vol. LXVIII.                    Pittsburgh, Wednesday, March 1, 1882.                    No. 27.


The Hand-Book on Mormonism will not be ready for distribution before Feb. 25th. This delay is occasioned by a delay in getting paper from the East. The book is now in press, and the Hoe Cylinder is working day and night on the first edition of 20,000 copies. Orders are coming in from all parts of the country. These will be filled in the order of their reception. Those wishing the book should send in their orders as soon as possible. A second edition will follow the first as soon as necessary,

It has been suggested that a copy of the book be put on the desk of each legislator of the country, both State and National, by the Christian women of the country. This will require some 5000 copies. If 2500 women will send to J. M. Coyner or Rev. R. G. McNiece, Salt Lake City, one dollar each, two copies will be sent to the donor and the other two will be used as above suggested, or any other amount donated will be used in the same way at 25 cents a copy. If 5000 copies of the Hand-Book can be placed immediately in the hands of the law makers of the land it will do much to give the right directions to public opinion. Will the press please publish this notice?
J. M. COYNER.    
Salt Lake City, Feb. 15, 1882.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Pittsburgh  Commercial  Gazette.

Vol. 96.                              Pittsburgh, Saturday, May 6, 1882.                              No. 241.


EICHBAUM -- On Thursday evening, May 4th, 1882, at 9 o'clock, Mrs. REBECCA J. EICHBAUM, widow of William Eichbaum, in the 90th year of her age.

Funeral from her late residence, Ross and Diamond streets, on Saturday, at 2 o'clock P. M. Friends of the family are respectfully invited to attend.

Note: Smith biographer Fawn M. Brodie accused Rebecca Johnston Eichbaum of having been merely a "mail clerk in Patterson's office," who could not have seen Sidney Rigdon in Pittsburgh "before 1822," and who was prone to making statements about Rigdon and Lambdin that were "clearly untrue." See the Pittsburgh Commonwealth of July 9, 1816 for evidence contrary to Brodie's accusations. Rebecca married William Eichbaum (soon to be appointed Pittsburgh Postmaster) on Oct. 28, 1815. According to her wedding announcement she was then the "daughter of John Johnston, P[ost]. M[aster]." According to the published reminiscences of a close family member, Rebecca, as "the postmistress" in Pittsburgh "was known to her town's people in general" during the tenure of her father and husband in operating the local post office. See also Rebecca's handwritten communication of Sept. 18, 1879.


Vol. LXVIII.                       Pittsburgh, November 15, 1882.                       No. 12.


Redick McKee, Esq., well known to many of our older readers in Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia, writes for us, Nov. 6th, from Washington, D. C., where he has been residing for a few years past, a private letter, from which we make the following extracts which have a general interest.


"On Tuesday last (Oct. 31st) I visited Mrs. McKinstry at the house of her son-in-law, Col. Seaton, and found her an intelligent, active, healthy woman, now in her 77th year. She appeared highly gratified at meeting with me after a separation of 66 or 67 years. Her recollections of early incidents at Amity, where we met daily during the almost two years I boarded in her father's family, are very fresh in her mind, and she recalled many little occurrences which have escaped my memory. Once was my giving her her first horseback ride, sitting behind me, &c.

"The only thing in relation to the lost 'Manuscript' within her recollection of which you have not already learned is her remembering to have heard her mother say that, before they left Pittsburgh, she accompanied her husband to the store of Mr. Patterson and heard a conversation in relation to the publication of the 'Manuscript.' There were two Mr. Pattersons present, one an elderly gentleman, with a remarkably mild, pleasant countenance, and much more robust than the other. The more slender Mr. Patterson told Mr. Spaulding that he had read several chapters of the 'Manuscript' and was struck favorably with its curious descriptions and its likeness to the ancient style of the Old Testament Scriptures. He thought it would be well to publish it, as it would attract attention and meet with a ready sale. He suggested, however, that Mr. Spaulding should write a brief preface, and perhaps a chapter or two in concluding the romance, giving a little more elaborate description of the Indian mounds in Ohio. Her mother thought he was engaged in doing that at the time I was living with the family at Amity. This is confirmatory of my own recollections."

The above reminiscence is important on account of its clearing up one of the difficulties connected with the history of the Spaulding manuscript. The widow of Mr. Spaulding, in a letter published in 1839, had stated that "Mr. Patterson was very much pleased with it (the story) 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." Rev. R. Patterson, in a brief certificate published in 1842, states that he "read only a few pages," and appears to have had no very definite knowledge of the story. At the time of Mr. Spaulding's residence in Pittsburgh, the two brothers were carrying on the bookselling and publishing business under the firm name R. & J. Patterson. The description given above of the one who had read several chapters and advised its publication shows that it was Joseph Patterson, Esq., who did this, and the seeming inconsistency in the statements of Mr. Spaulding's widow and Mr. R. Patterson is accounted for."

Note: Here the elderly Redick McKee updates his previous correspondence of April 15, 1879 to Robert Patterson, Jr. on the same subject matter. McKee's solicitation of this information from the adopted daughter of Solomon Spalding serves the important purpose highlighted by Robert Patterson, Jr., when he says that it accounts for the "seeming inconsistency in the statements of Mr. Spaulding's widow and Mr. R. Patterson" (the father of Robert Patterson, Jr.). McKee was instrumental in reviving public interest in the Spalding authorship claims, beginning with the letter he saw published in 1869. For more on Redick McKee, see the statement he provided to Arthur B. Deming on Jan. 25, 1886. His obituary was published in the Sept. 22, 1886 issue of the Banner.


Wilkes-Barre Record.

Vol. X.                             Wilkes-Barre, Pa., December 8, 1882.                            No. 38.

Jo. Smith's Mormon Temple.

SALT LAKE, Dec. 7. -- A couple of Saints from Salt Lake city have been in Susquehanna, Penn., the present week, exploring the site and surroundings of Joseph Smith's Mormon temple, of which a few traces remain. Their visit reminds the oldest inhabitant of Susquehanna, Mr. Buck, that he saw the original Mormon, heard him expound and witnessed his attempt to repeat the miracle of walking on the water. Joseph had erected a submerged sidewalk in the river, about two miles west of Susquehanna, and advertised the coming miracle far and near. The night before the performance some persons cut out a section of the planking and the assembled multitude had the pleasure of seeing the prophet almost drowned.

Note: For more on the so-called Oakland Mormon Temple, see notes appended to the Philadelphia Inquirer article of Sept. 13, 1901.


Vol. LXIX.                             Pittsburgh, April 11, 1883.                            No. 33.


The village of Kirtland, Lake County, Ohio, is now the scene of a large gathering of that portion of Mormons who repudiate polygamy and other abominations of the Utah branch. Kirtland became, in 1830, the headquarters of the Mormon delusion, and continued to be their centre of operations until the hostility of the surrounding population, occasioned by the dishonest practices of the Mormon leaders, compelled them to seek a home elsewhere. In 1834 Independence, Mo., was selected as the site for the Mormon Zion; in 1835 Joseph Smith disposed of the greater part of his Kirtland property, but seems not to have abandoned that place until January, 1838, when he and Sidney Rigdon, having been arrested on charges of swindling, escaped by night from the sheriff and fled on horseback to Missouri, (Tucker's Origin of Mormonism, p. 155.) During their stay at Kirtland, the Mormons erected their first temple, at a cost of about $50,000, and in this long deserted tabernacle their followers are now holding their reunion. It is reported that a recent decision of a lawsuit has settled the title to this property in the Latter Day Saints, and it is added that they now propose to hold it permanently and use it as a place for an annual convention.

The day for the opening of the present celebration, April 6th, was selected because on that date in 1830, the Mormon Church, as its adherents are fond of calling it, was organized and established at Harmony, Susquehanna Co., Pa. [sic], among a few members of the Smith family and their neighbors. It had but a feeble existence until Sidney Rigdon, a few months afterwards, professed conversion to its faith and became its leading spirit. He was at that time ministering to a congregation of Disciples (Campbellites) at Kirtland, and drew with him a large portion of his flock. Thus Kirtland became the Mecca of this new delusion, and there its 53d anniversary is being celebrated.

The recognized head of this branch of the Mormons is Joseph Smith, of Plano, Ill., a son of the founder of Mormonism. His official title is President of the Church of Latter Day Saints. He delivered the opening address at the exercises on the 6th inst., and was followed by W. W. Blair and Z. H. Gurley, prominent officials. All of the speakers eulogized Joseph Smith, the Prophet, and denounced as strongly as any non-Mormon could do, the polygamous enormities in Utah.

On the succeeding days, up to the present, addresses similar in tone to these, and full of confidence as to the future of pure Mormonism, have been delivered to audiences variously reported as from two hundred to five hundred, comprising delegates from all parts of the United States and Territories. The little town of about three hundred inhabitants is reported to have suddenly increased its numbers to nearly one thousand. The assemblage is an important one as showing the strength and vitality of one of the most transparent delusions in all the history of superstition and imposture.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. LXX.                       Pittsburgh, February 13, 1884.                       No. 25.


The authorship of the historical portions of the Book of Mormon has been attributed by all except Mormons themselves to Rev. SOLOMON SPAULDING, who composed it as a romance purporting to give the origin and history of the Indians of this continent, Mr. Spaulding came to Pittsburgh in 1812 and remained until 1814, for the express purpose of effecting the publication of his story, but in this attempt was unsuccessful. He died at Amity, Washington County, Pa., in 1816. What became of his manuscript is a question which has occasioned no small discussion. The prevailing belief is that SIDNEY RIGDON, one of the earliest Mormon leaders, and the most successful in gaining adherents for this imposture at its introduction, had obtained possession of Mr. Spaulding's manuscript, altered it in some places to suit his purposes, and added to it largely from his own erratic theological opinions, thus forming the Book of Mormon.

In support of this theory a large amount of circumstantial and corroborative testimony has been accumulated and widely published in books, pamphlets, and newspapers. But until recently the evidence of only one witness, the late Rev. John Winter, of Sharon, Pa., attested Rigdon's own admission that he had Spaulding's manuscript.To this we are now enabled to add the unequivocal declaration of another unimpeachable witness, Mr. JAS. JEFFERY, of Churchville, Md. For obtaining this testimony we are indebted ti Isaac Craig, Esq., of Allegheny, who has for years interested himself deeply in the origin of the Book of Mormon, and by an extensive correspondence has enlisted others in the same investigation, of which the following testimony is the latest fruit:


I know more about the Mormons than any man east of the Alleghenies, although I have given no attention to the matter for twenty-five years. I did not know I was in possession of any information concerning the Book of Mormon unknown to others. I supposed that as Rigdon was so open with me, he had told others the same things.

Forty years ago I was in business in St. Louis. The Mormons then had their temple in Nauvoo, Ill. I had business transactions with them. Sidney Rigdon I knew very well. He was general manager of the affairs of the Mormons.

Rigdon, in hours of conversation told me a number of times there was in the printing office with which he was connected in Ohio, a manuscript of Rev. Spaulding, tracing the origin of the Indian race from the lost tribes of Israel; that this manuscript was in the office for several years; that he was familiar with it; that Spaulding had wanted it printed, but had not the money to pay for the printing; that he (Rigdon) and Joe Smith used to look over the manuscript and read it over Sundays.

Rigdon and Smith took the manuscript and said -- "I'll print it," and went off to Palmyra, N. Y.

I never knew the information was of any importance -- thought others were aware of these facts. I do not now think the matter is of any importance. It will not injure Mormonism. That is an "ism," and chimes in with the wishes of certain classes of people. Nothing will put it down but the strong arm of the law. Otherwise it will go on forever, like Tennyson's "Brook."

This is the substance of what I remember about the matter.     JAMES JEFFERY.

I hereby certify that I wrote the above paper at the dictation of Mr. James Jeffery, in the presence of Mrs. James Jeffery, and and Dr. John M. Finney.     (Rev.) CALVIN D. WILSON. Mrs. James Jeffery.  |
J. M. Finney, M. D.  |Witnesses.
Churchville, Hartford Co., Md., Jan. 29, 1884.

To show the care which has been taken to secure Mr. Jeffery's testimony with the utmost accuracy, we append a private letter from the Rev. Calvin D. Wilson to Mr. Craig, which we have been kindly permitted to use. Mr. Wilson has the pastoral charge of two churches in the Presbytery of Chester. His letter evinces the conscientious pains with which he has endeavored to avoid any possible wrror in adding this new link to the chain of evidence that establishes the RIGDON-SPAULDING origin of the Book of Mormon.

Wednesday, January 30, 1884.    

MR. ISAAC CRAIG: -- Dear Sir -- I enclose you a copy of the information which Mr. James Jeffery gave to me about the origin of the Book of Mormon. It is in my handwriting. I wrote verbatim at his dictation, in the presence of Dr. Finney and Mrs. Jeffery. Mr. Jeffery read and signed the paper, as did also Dr. Finney and Mrs. Jeffery.

Mr. Jeffery, in recounting to me various phases of his life, happened to hit on his acquaintance with the Mormons years ago. I have read the pamphlet of Mr. Patterson which you gave me last summer, saw at once that Mr. Jeffery was a likely man to question. So I asked him about his conversations with Rigdon, and found he was in possession of what seemed to me the information you and Mr. Patterson have been seeking.

Mr. Jeffery insists that Rigdon said the manuscript was in the printing office in Ohio. He could not recall the locality. So it is probable Mr. Patterson, Sr., was correct, as stated in his letter printed in the pamphlet, that the manuscript was returned to Spaulding from the Pittsburgh office. It was probably sent later to the office in Ohio by some one else, after Spaulding's death. At any rate it is clear Rigdon was familiar with it, and that Smith took it to Palmyra.

Yours, truly,              
                        CALVIN D. WILSON.

We need make no apology for giving prominence to this important evidence. Strange as it may seem, there are Mormons who confidently believe in the inspired origin of the Book of Mormon; and if these deluded but honest believers can be reached and made to understand the gross fraud in which their superstition had its birth, their deliverance from the bondage of error will be secured.

Note 1: This is apparently the first publication of information from the generally uncited Jan 29, 1884 Jeffery affidavit (which is best known from Fawn M. Brodie's deeply flawed refutation of the Spalding authorship claims in her 1945 book. The affidavit was almost simultaneously published in the Baltimore Presbyterian Observer, and subsequently reprinted from there by the Keokuk Gate City, and the April 1, 1884 issue of the Saints' Herald.

Note 2: It is also likely that the James Jeffery statement was reprinted in a Disciples of Christ publication, early in 1884. It was probably from such a source that Rev. Clark Braden derived his Feb. 1884 summary of the statement. See also Wilhelm von Wymetal's 1886 book for another condensed version of the Jeffery statement.

Note 3: In her lame attempt to refute the Jeffery statement, Fawn M. Brodie says that "Rigdon never lived in St. Louis..." James Jeffery can be documented from contemporary evidence as having been a merchant in St. Louis during the mid-1840s. Rigdon did not have to live in that city to visited there after his excommunication trial at Nauvoo on Sept. 2, 1844. In that trial he publicly threatened to expose "the secrets" of the Mormons: "'Brother Sidney says, "if we go to opposing him he will tell all of our secrets!'" Apostle Orson Hyde followed Rigdon from Nauvoo to St. Louis and on Sept. 12th wrote to Brigham Young that he observed Rigdon in the company of a gentile merchant named "Clapp." Hyde also wrote on Sep. 16th to Young that Rigdon was spouting off in St. Louis, bragging that he had evidence that would have toppled Smith from religious power years before, had he exposed the activities of the late Mormon leader earlier: "Rigdon claimed in St. Louis to be "in possession of facts and power [sufficient] to have hurled Joseph from his station long ago." Rigdon then published a letter in the Sept. 16, 1844 issue of St. Louis Peoples Organ, saying that Hyde "feared disclosures" Rigdon might make and was readying his henchmen in St. Louis to "commit violence on my person." 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." These documented circumstances surrounding the excommunicated Rigdon appear to be precisely such circumstances as would have induced him to begin divulging Mormon "secrets" in St. Louis. It is possible that Rigdon was attempting to preserve his life in a delicate balancing act, whereby he demonstrated his willingness expose a few Mormon "secrets" (to leading Missourians like merchant James Jeffery) but kept other secrets hidden, as a valuable bargaining chip against Hyde's alleged plan to have him murdered.

Note 4: Fawn M. Brodie also says: "nor did Joseph Smith ever visit Ohio before 1831." How she can be so certain of that fact is unfathomable. It would have only taken one secret visit by Smith to see Rigdon in Ohio, to provided a basis for Jeffery's statement. However, Rigdon may have negelected to tell Jeffery that it was through the auspices of a middleman (like pedestrian peddlers Oliver Cowdery and Parley P. Pratt) that a copy of the much revised Spalding epic was taken "to Palmyra" so that Smith could "print it." The one element is the Jeffery statement which seems the least likely is that a Spalding mansucript was left unattended in an Ohio printing office. That much of his statement may well have been a mistaken memory.



Vol. ?                             Pittsburgh, Sunday, May 18, 1884.                             No. ?


It will be remembered by our readers that just previous to the commencement of the debate with Rev. McVey on the Mormon question, Rev. W. R. Coovert stated to a Leader reporter that Sidney Rigdon, a former resident of Pittsburg, had stolen the manuscript of the Mormon Bible, which had been written by a Doctor Spaulding, of Ohio, as a romance and which the latter had left with a publisher named Patterson, father of the editor of the Presbyterian Banner; that after stealing it he submitted it to Joseph Smith, of Palmyra, N. Y., who, in connection with Rigdon, published it and palmed it off as a revelation from God.

Learning that a daughter of Rigdon was living in Pittsburg, a reporter called on her yesterday, and at first she declined to say anything at all on the subject, but finally, on the scribe promising not to use her name -- she is married -- she said: "I have never had the honor of seeing this so-called Rev. Coovert, who of late has been so free in his use of dead men's names, but I understand he parts his hair in the middle of his head, a fact which, from what I have heard and read of him, is no surprise to me. Now, while I most emphatically decline to be drawn into any controversy over that story of Coovert, which if there was any foundation for it, I can not for the life of me, see why it was allowed to remain quiet for years after all the actors are laid in their graves; yet I will say this, that my father, who had the respect of all who knew him, and at a time when he had but little hope of living from one day to another, said to the clergymen around him, of which there was a number belonging to various denominations: these were his words: "As I expect to die and meet my Maker, I know nothing about where the manuscript of the Mormon Bible came from."

The lady said further that she believed as firmly as she "believed anything, that Joseph Smith (who was, she believed, at one time a good man) had a revelation, and that the Mormon Bible was founded on that revelation. But she was satisfied the Rev. Coovert had never seen a copy of it and consequently did not know what he was talking and writing about."

Notes: (forthcoming)


The  { KEYSTONE }  Courier.
Vol. V.                                Connellsville, Friday, May 30, 1884.                                No. 45.



Leaves From the History of Little Washington -- Origin of the
Mormon Bible -- Written by a Washington County Preacher.

Little Washington, the capital of the wool county, has quite a history. The original name of this town was Bassettown, and it originally belonged to Strabane township, one, of the thirteen original townships of the county, created in 1781. Washington county was the first county formed by the legislature of Pennsylvania after the Declaration of Independence had been promulgated to all nations and Pennsylvania had assumed her rank and place as a free and Independent state, and hence it was named after immortal Washington. The name of the town was changed permanently to Washington on the 4th of November, 1784, the date at which the second plot of the town was made. A small stream running through the southern and western portion of the town bears the name of Catfish run. On this ground was the camp of Chief Catfish. The stream, the land and the town all derived their name from this celebrated chief whose Indian name was Tingroegua, He belonged to the Kuskuskee tribe of Indians and occupied the hunting grounds between the Allegheny mountains and the Ohio rivor. Catfish was present and made a speech at the conference held in Philadelphia, December 4th, 1789, at which Governor Hamilton and his council, with chiefs from Wyoming, Delaware and Kuskuskee Indians were present.


Among the original lot-holders was Robert Fulton, of steamboat notoriety. He held three lots In this town. The site where Washington stands was in 1782 a vast thicket of red and black hawthornes, wild plums, hazel bushes, scrub oaks and briars. The whole coimtry was a dense forest, only broken by small patches of dead trees, made so by the axe of the early pioneer. Washington is situated near the centre of the county, on the national road from Philadelphia to Wheeling, twenty-four miles from Brownsville and thirty-two miles from Wheeling, twenty-seven miles from Pittsburg and twenty-two miles from Monongahela City. Its situation is salubrious and from the local position adopted to become a manufacturing centre. Bituminous coal underlies the town and valley. No county in the state of Pennsylvania or probably in the United States can boast of a purer, better, more intelligent and devoted company of Christians than those who first settled Washington connty. The first settlers were composed of the Scotch-Irish element, those who emigrated from the west of Scotland and the north of Ireland, while many others came from Cumberland and York counties, where the sume element prevailed. Those early pioneers of a hundred years ago crossed the rugged steeps of the Allegheny mountains, the turbulent waves of the swift-flowing rivers and penetrated into an unknown wilderness to secure the blessings of civil and religious liberty.


It is beyond the possibility of a doubt that the Book of Mormon was originally written in this county. The village of Amity, in all coming time may be regarded as the Mecca of Mormonism. Dr. Alfred Creigh, in his history of Washington county, gives an accurate account of this most stupendous imposture, which has been perpetrated for centuries; but more especially upon so intelligent a nation as the American people -- an imposture at which the religious world stands amazed. It was in thee year of 1816 [sic - 1814] that Rev. Solomon Spaulding, a graduate of Dartmouth college, settled in Amity, with a view to banish ennui. He was an antiquarian and traveled far and near to investigate scientifically Indian mounds and everything else connected with American antiquities, for the purpose of tracing the aborigines to their original source, a portion of one of the lost tribes of ancient Israel. While pursuing these investigations and to wile away the tedious hours he wrote a romance based upon fiction, his investigations and history, at the same time leaving the reader under the impression that it was found in one of these mounds and through his knowledge of hieroglyphics he had deciphered it. As times and circumstances would permit he would often read to his friends in Amity portions of his fabulous and historical romance.


Spaulding resolved to publish it under the name of "The Manuscript Found" and actually entered into a contract with a Pittsburg publisher named Patterson, to publish the same, but from some cause the contract was not fulfilled. The manuscript remained in the possession of Patterson for two or three years before SpauUling reclaimed it. In the meantime a journeyman printer of the name of Sidney Rigden copied the whole of the manuscript and hearing of Joseph Smilh's digging operations for money through the instrumentality of necromancy resolved in his own mind that he would turn this wonderful manuscript to good account and make it profitable to himself. An interview took place between Rigdon and Smith, terms were agreed upon, the whole manuscript underwent a partial revision and in process of time, instead of finding money, they found curious plates, which when translated turned out to be the Golden Bible or Book of Mormon. But the testimony of living witnesses, whose characters are beyond reproach, place the question beyond the possibility of a doubt thatt the Book of Mormon was originally written by Rev. Solomon Spaulding.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. LXXI                         Pittsburgh, March 11, 1885.                         No. 36.



EDITORS BANNER: -- Mr. E. R. Perkins, of Cleveland, in a late issue of the Leader, says: "Mormonism claims to believe the Bible and the Book of Mormon." Had Mr. Perkins said Mormonism pretends to receive the Bible, but receives the Book of Mormon as the Word of God, he would have hit the matter. Proof that the Mormons do not receive the Bible as the Word of God: The first witness I adduce is W. W. Blair, a prominent Mormon elder and author. He says, in a book called "Joseph the Seer," published by the Board of Publication of the Reorganized Church of Christ: "The evident object in giving what is called the Inspired Translation, was to relieve the Scriptures of gross and harmful errors of doctrine, morals, history, and to restore valluable portions that have been taken away." One joint of a turkey's leg is enough to show whether the animal is tainted. But Joseph Smith in the history of his Church, written shortly before his death says: "We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly." We see from this that the Mormon elders who preach from our Bible or Testament are deceiving the people by withholding truth. Should they tell the people when on their preaching tours that they reject our Bible when they get to Utah, but few would be humbugged. But they take a text from the New Testament mostly, I preach "Faith, repentance and baptism by immersion for the remission of sins," with all the zeal of an Alexander Campbell. Had Mr. Campbell never beem born Mormonism never would have cursed this world.

Note 1: Rev. John Campbell Hench was formerly the pastor at the Lower Tenmile Cumberland Presbyterian Church at Amity. See his connection with Solomon Spalding's gravestone rennovation, as mentioned in the Reporter of Dec. 13, 1871.

Note 2: Rev. Hench equates the Latter Day Saint promotion of "Faith, repentance and baptism by immersion for the remission of sins," as being practically the same as early Campbellite conversion doctrine. This same argument has been made, in detail, by other writers. The possibility here appears to be that the Rev. Sidney Rigdon carried over a considerable amount of Campbellite terminology and practice with him when he joined the Mormons in late 1830. If this is true, as it certainly must be, the question remaining to be answered is, "how did such Campbellite tenets come to be written into the Book of Mormon (which was published months before Rigdon joined the Saints)?"


New  Holland  Clarion.

Vol. XIII.                            New Holland, Pa., Saturday, March 21, 1885.                           No. 12.



What We Saw, and How We Saw It, and
Our Impressions of Persons, Places
and Things, as taken from Our
Diary, Memory, Conversations,
Railway Guides, etc.

By J. F. Beecher, Philadelphia, Pa. *
* This letter was commenced in the Clarion of January 17th, 1885.

Armed with letters of introduction we sallied forth to see the city. We first stopped at the county court house to find the U. S. Surrogate Judge, and failing in this we were referred to the U. S. Court. In going there we came upon ex-judge Smith of the Municipal Court. He is an elderly man, using crutches and is a first cousin of the original Joseph Smith, of Nauvoo fame, and founder of Mormonism. We also met Mr. Cannon, brother of Geo. Q. Cannon, who was sent to Congress as representative of the territory in that body, but was rejected because he had three wives. We had a very pleasant talk with these and other dignitaries of the church and from them we obtained considerable information; their courtesy will be long remembered. We had been informed that Mormons could be identified as such anywhere, particularly the females; but we saw nothing to indicate a distinguishing feature from Catholic, Episcopalian or other sect, and to this our newly made acquaintances rather humorously alluded. We had also been told that the hatred of the Mormons for the Gentiles was such that the churches, halls, etc., of other than the Mormon denomination were broken into and their windows and interiors destroyed by them, and the inmates interfered with. Our new friends called attention to the churches in view from where we were talking and we did not see anything but evidences of peace and good order. Personal violence in the direction of persecution was in no wise indicated, but these gentlemen when asked whether other than Mormons could purchase property and obtain clear titles, said that they could, but that where there were two applicants, one a Mormon the other a Gentile, the former would receive the preference, for they knew what kind of a neighbor he would be and how far to depend on him in the administration of municipal affairs. We were kindly directed as to objects of interest, even giving us assistance by personal attention. Others to whom we were not introduced were not less kind, not saying, "Go this way or that," but "Come this way and I will show you." These volunteered attentions stamp these people as among the most courteous to strangers that we have ever met.

The Tabernacle would be a wonder in any part of the country, but here it is more wonderful, when the disadvantages of time and place of building are considered. It is unlike any other building in the United States so far as we know. It is like a large inverted oval basin supported on forty-four sandstone pillars, three by nine feet in size and from fourteen to twenty feet high. The building is two hundred and fifty feet long, one hundred and fifty feet wide and seventy feet from the floor to the highest part of the ceiling; the roof is ten feet higher. This immense dome is said to be the largest self supporting arch in America, with one exception. There are no pillars except those which support the whole at the edge. A gallery extends around three sides of the interior and is thirty feet wide. The seats are not upholstered and arranged as in churches generally; the pulpit is placed at some distance from one end, so as to enable all to hear the speaker; behind this is the organ, the largest on the western slope, requiring four blowers, and is said to be very fine. The sealing capacity is ten thousand with standing room for several thousand more. The immense ceiling is festooned throughout with evergreens, and presents a very attractive appearance. The acoustic properties of this building are remarkable. From the pulpit a speaker in an ordinary tone of voice, even in a whisper, can be heard in any part of the building, and better far away than very near to the speaker. A pin (not a spike) dropped into a hat upon the pulpit can also be heard. These points were demonstrated to us by the kindness of our conductor. In this building are held the Sunday services in summer, but as there are no provisions for heating, services in winter are held in an adjoining building. The Tabernacle is built almost entirely of native material, even to the furniture and organ, the shingles on the roof also having been made in Salt Lake City. It is enclosed by a high wall made of cobble or round river stones and mortar. The New Temple on the same block and within the same enclosure as the Tabernacle, is an imposing building of granite, smooth dressed, one hundred and eighty-six and a half feet north and south and ninety-nine feet east and west; the walls are seven and eight feet thick and very durable. This building was commenced in 1853 and is still incomplete.

The Endowment house is a large building in the Tabernacle enclosure in which marriages are consecrated, and the people both men and women, undergo certain secret ceremonial services by which they become sealed to each other or to Heaven. The performances in this place have been regarded by some as barbarous and grossly indelicate, but of this we can not say. The Tithing House in the same enclosure, is the depository of tithes paid by the Mormons for the benefit of the church, and consist of money, merchandize, grain, cattle and other products; those who have not material tithes to contribute give an equivalent in labor. The articles thus collected are either given in payment to those employed to do any work for the church, or they are converted into money, and that is used to pay; and it is also dispensed in charity, for this church organization is a large and powerful corporation with many enterprises other than religious, and beggary is not permitted.

The residence of Brigham Young is quite imposing. Here he lived, had his offices, gave his orders and received visitors, and those having business with him. Adjoining is a row of houses in which he kept his numerous wives. Amelia Palace, a fine building, was erected for his principal wife, Amelia, but he did not live to see it completed. We visited these places. Brigham Young died August 29th, 1877, and is buried on his place near by, which is reached by passing through the Eagle Gateway, the arch of which extended over the street and was surmounted by an eagle. The arch is now down, but the stone pillars which supported it still remain. The ground where he is laid contains his vault, cut out of solid granite, and the slab covering his body is bolted down. Around this spot is an ornamental iron fence six feet high; the whole plot is surrounded by a wall eighteen inches high surmounted by an iron fence four feet high. This is the shrine which all good Mormons visit; it is the Mormon Kaba and Salt Lake City is the Mormon Mecca. Other buildings as Social Hall, Salt Lake Theatre, City Hall, Council House, hotels, churches of various religious denominations, etc., are of very substantial construction and some of them are of fine architecture.

Z. M. C. I., Zion's Mutual Co-operative Institution, under the control of the chief Mormon officers, combines the manufacture, purchase and sale of nearly all articles necessary for the people; branch houses are to be found in all of the larger Mormon towns. The building in Salt Lake City is very large and is known as the "Big Co'op." It is well stored with goods. At this time an inventory of stock was being taken and the doors were closed to all comers. The motto of this institution is "Holiness to the Lord," derived from the Bible and supposed to have a specific meaning here. Business is also carried on by others than Mormons, but Mormons prefer to patronize those of their own faith.

About three miles east of the city on the Wahsatch mountains is Camp or Fort Douglass, overlooking the city. This belongs to and is garrisoned by the United States. We did not visit it, though courteously invited to do so by an officer whom we met. With Mr. Werner, United States Surrogate Judge, we made a call upon the governor of Utah. This position was formerly filled by Brigham Young. Desirous of knowing more of the Mormons than we could learn in the east, we made a visit to the Deseret Publishing Company and purchased the Book of Mormon (which is the Mormon Bible) and sundry other works containing the Articles of Faith, etc. With minds more or less prejudiced against the Mormons we were quite discomfited on finding their apparent frankness, extreme affability, and earnest endeavor to correct what they claim to be false statement as to their government, their creed and their treatment of Gentiles. A short synopsis of their history may not be uninteresting.

Joseph Smith the founder and known as "The Prophet" was born in Vermont in December, 1805. His father was a farmer and able to give his son only a meager common school education. When ten years old his parents removed to Palmyra, New York. The religious influence surrounding him was of the Presbyterian creed. When about fifteen years old, being dissatisfied with the doctrines of this and other denominations, he was prompted by a scripture text to seek the Lord in his own way, so retiring to a grove he commenced praying and then had a vision of two angels who assured him his sins were forgiven and that the different denominations were not acknowledged of God as his church and kingdom, but that in the fullness of time he should receive the true creed. Telling his experience to others he was by them subjected to persecution which continued. In 1823 he had another vision and visitation by a bright angel setting forth that the time was approaching for the gospel to be preached preparatory to the second coming of the Messiah, and that he was the chosen one to bring about some of the purposes of this dispensation. He was also informed that certain records of the ancient Hebrew prophets were concealed, but that by God's direction he should discover them. The vision was twice renewed that same night and also the next day while in the field. He immediately started to the spot where the angel said these records were, which spot he immediately recognized near Manchester, Ontario county, N. Y. Here he found certain metallic plates variously inscribed in an unknown tongue with a key to decipher the same. He did not remove them until four years subsequently, as he was ordered by the angel. The plates constituted the original Book of Mormon. After he had obtained them, the persecution waxed stronger, so that his life was in danger. In consequence of this he left for Pennsylvania, packing the plates in a barrel of beans to preserve them from seizure, for an endeavor had been made to take them, and in this State he commenced his translation of them which was published in 1830; this edition is scarce and costly. The translation of the title of the book as taken from the plate having equivalent characters is as follows, "The Book of Mormon, an Account Written by the hand of Mormon, upon Plates, taken from the Plates of Nephi."

He continued to have visions and visitations, and having a few who believed in his special election to serve God's purposes, they organized the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." Persecutions by mobs and individuals continued and they went to Kirtland, Ohio, and subsequently to Missouri and Illinois, establishing on the prairies a number of thriving settlements. Everywhere they were the recipients of the same attentions that they received in New York, causing their migration. Growing in power and wealth, their influence was wanted in politics, which the political parties failed to obtain. Soldiers were even arrayed against them and many were arrested; others were shot down in the streets. Joseph Smith was taken from jail in Carthage, Illinois, and murdered by the soldiery, June 27, 1844. Martyrdom in time past was horrible, but that such should be in the United States in the nineteenth century is certainly a blot upon our history. This martyrdom of Jos. Smith seems to have been allowed by the divine presence, if the statements relative thereto are correct. Hyrum Smith, an elder brother of Joseph, was also murdered in the Carthage jail on the same date.

The Saints selected Brigham Young, an apostle, as successor to Smith in the presidency of the organization. They settled in the western part of Missouri in some three or four counties, north, east, and south of where Kansas City now stands. Here, just as they thought themselves secure, the spirit of intolerance arose and they were actually given notice to leave the country under penalty of destruction of property and life. Brigham Young conceived the idea of going toward the Pacific Ocean with his people, where in territory not under the dominion of the United States he would establish a new Jerusalem for his people, where they might organize and worship God without hindrance,

Brigham Young was a Yankee of the Methodist denomination. He was a man of extraordinary power, which be wielded over his willing subjects; his management and foresight were marvelous. Polygamy had been secretly introduced after the patriarchal manner, and though not kindly received by all, was said to be necessary to please God; besides as all new organizations and colonies get a vast deal of their strength from the young, the begetting of children was ingeniously made a religious obligation, and its failure was a sore trial to the deluded men and woman who believed that their position in heaven depended upon their obedience of the command, "Be fruitful and multiply."

The western states, into which the Mormons first emigrated, were but thinly settled. Illinois was but a young state, and Missouri was on the frontier. In these two states numerous persons resided whose presence in the east had become intolerable by violation of the laws or other reprehensible acts, and they preferred to take up new quarters at points more or less remote from the scenes of their offences and escape the punishment they merited. Many of these allied themselves with the new organization, probably on account of its novelty or to more thoroughly conceal their identity, contributing very materially to its success prior to and during the exodus to the Pacific slope. They were courageous, daring, loved adventure, cared not for hardship, and a better opportunity for demonstration could not have offered.

Brigham Young managed these with a firmness amounting almost to military discipline and with a success which must command respect and excite astonishment. Without any definite place in view, but with faces turned toward the setting sun, Brigham Young at the head of one hundred and forty-three persons and a wagon train, set out from Independence, Missouri, and adjacent places and proceeded over the plains which were known only to hunters, traders and Indians, and part of which was an almost trackless desert. This was April 14, 1847. This band experienced trials in this expedition which would be horrible to relate; hunger and thirst affecting both human and brute; Indians, when not on the war path, harassed them by their thieving disposition; untraveled passes in the Rocky Mountains, narrow and dangerous trails made by man or animals, a journey probably more extensive than that of the forty years wandering of the Israelites in the Desert of Sinai after the Egyptian captivity, and probably fuller of adventure and suffering. But with an object in view, fostered with a belie, in a divine mission, these people murmured but little, if at all, and when they came within a few days march of where Salt Lake City is now located, a small and trusty band was sent ahead, who like Caleb and Joshua of old, were to spy out the land and make early report.

Note: See also Jacob F. Beecher's Notes of travel. A Summer Trip Across the Continent New Holland, Pa. (1885)


Pittsburgh  Commercial  Gazette.

Vol. 100.                              Pittsburgh, Thursday, August 13, 1885.                              No. 14.


Discovered After a Lapse of Years and
About to be Published.

Philadelphia, Pa., Aug. 12 -- Elder Stewart, the Philadelphia missionary of the Anti-Polygamist Church of the Latter Day Saints, states that the original and long-lost manuscript of the Scriptural novel written by Rev. Mr. Spaulding has been found. It was from this manuscript that rumor declared that the Book of Mormon was written, instead of being translated, as was alleged, from the golden plates mysteriously delivered to the "Prophet" Smith by the "angel." The manner of discovery was most simple. The publisher to whom the reverend novelist's production was offered had laid the manuscript aside, not deeming it likely to prove remunerative as an investment for his spare cash to give the work to the public.

In course of time it was deposited, the account says, in a chest, with a number of other MSS., the supposed inherent qualities of which consigned them to oblivion like itself. Recently the stock, good will and fixtures of the place were sold out, and in overhauling the chest in question this manuscript, with Spaulding's signature, came to light. It is now at Oberlin College., and as the "Saints"claim that it is in every particular totally unlike the Book of Mormon, they propose to print and publish it at an early day, that the world may see that the volume on which their religion claims to be based may have had a different origin from that which has long been popularly ascribed to it.

Note: It is rather extraordinary that the copy writer for a major Pittsburgh newspaper could allow such an error-ridden report to appear, with no corrections, before the public scrutiny. Certainly, as late as 1885, there were still many old residents of that city who recalled more accurate accounts of the fate of Mr. Spalding's writings.


Vol. LXXII                       Pittsburgh, September 16, 1885.                       No. 11.

Spaulding's  "Manuscript  Found."

Rev. Sereno E. Bishop, of Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands, in a contribution to the Independent of the 10th inst., states that a manuscript romance from the pen of Rev. SOLOMON SPAULDING has been discovered at Honolulu. The manuscript is attested by the signature of D. P. Hurlbut, the man who in 1834 rifled the trunk of Mr. Spaulding's widow of all its manuscript contents save one unfinished story. The circumstances attending this discovery seem to leave no room for doubt that this is a veritable Spaulding document; and its contents, as reported by Mr. Bishop, show that it has no connection with "The Book of Mormon." This brief statement comprises all that Mr. Bishop's article adds to our previous knowledge of the origin of Mormonism.

From these premises Mr. Bishop derives the conclusion that this is the "famous lost manuscript of Solomon Spaulding" which "has obtained its very considerable celebrity as being the supposed original document from which the Book of Mormon was in part derived;" and he regards it as his "privilege to announce that this long lost and noted document has been discovered in Honolulu."

His premises do not warrant his conclusion. At least fifteen unimpeached witnesses, three of whom are still living, have testified to the identity of many of the names and incidents in the Book of Mormon with those with which they became familiar from hearing Mr. Spaulding read his story, the "Manuscript Found." That the Honolulu document does not bear this title and does not contain these names and incidents, proves clearly that it is not the same story; but certainly does not prove, in the face of such an array of testimony, the Spaulding never wrote such a romance

Again, it is well known by those who know anything of Mr. Spaulding's history, that he was a prolific writer. Mr. E. D. Howe, who published at Painesville, O., in 1834 his Mormonism Unveiled, states (p. 287) that he learned from the widow of Spaulding that her husband "had a great variety of manuscripts and that one was entitled the 'Manuscript Found.'" She supposed that "it was then (1834) with his other manuscripts in a trunk which she had left in Otsego County, N. Y."

Mr. Spaulding's daughter, Mrs. McKinstry, now of Washington, D. C., in her statement in Scribner's Monthly for August, 1880, says that her father "frequently wrote little stories which he read to me," She also mentions the trunk in which her "mother had placed all my father's writings which had been preserved. There were sermons and other papers; and I saw a manuscript about an inch thick, closely written, tied with some stories my father had written for me, one of which was called 'The Frogs of Wyndham.' On the outside of this manuscript were written the words 'Manuscript Found.' I did not read it, but looked through it, and had it in my hands many times, and saw the names I had heard at Conneaut, when my father read it to his friends. I was about eleven years of age at this time."

John Hyde, in his Mormonism, published in 1857, states (pp. 278-9): "Mrs Spaulding, widow, says that she believes the Manuscript was put into a trunk with some others, and that she had it at Hartwick from 1820 to 1832.... After the publication and recognition of the Book of Mormon, this trunk was examined, and only one manuscript was found. The other papers that had been in the trunk were gone. This manuscript that was then found was the commencement of a novel on the subject of the Indians, purporting to bring their forefathers from a colony of Latins. Spaulding, after writing a few pages, had abandoned this idea as being "too recent."

Thus we have evidence of three different Spaulding romances, the theme of each being the colonization of this continent by Europeans; the one given to Mr. Howe by D. P. Hurlbut; the one left by Hurlbut in the trunk in Otsego County, N. Y.; and the one in Honolulu certified by Hurlbut. Not one of these corresponds with the descriptions given by fifteen hearers of the Manuscript Found. We have also the testimony that there were still other writings of Spaulding in the trunk. Why, then, should we be shut up to Mr. Bishop's conclusuion that there could not have been any such story of the colonization of Americas by Jews as fifteen reputable witnesses declare they heard Spaulding read? So long as there is even a possibility that such may have been the case, Mr. Bishop's induction is not proved; and an impartial study of the testimony will convince any candid reader that there certaibly was such a Spaulding romance which has not yet been recovered. One copy passed into Rigdon's possession and one into Hurlbut's. The discovery at Honolulu strengthens this last hypothesis, for it proves conclusively that Hurlbut's stout denial that he ever had any Spaulding manuscript except the one he gave to Mr. Howe, was utterly false. Hurlbut's unwilling admission to Mrs. E. E. Dickinson (New Light, p. 67) that he "saw the names Mormon, Maroni, Lamanite, Nephi," in the manuscript in his possession, amounts to a confession of his guilt in making away with the document he had so treacherously obtained, and which would have exploded the whole vile fraud at its very inception as with a blast of dynamite. It is rumored that the Mormons are desirous to publish the Honolulu manuscript in order to disprove the Spaulding origin of their revered myth. It would simply prove that this recently discovered story was not the one which Spaulding himself was so anxious to have printed, but it would prove nothing more.

Note 1: The Rev. Robert Patterson, Jr. wrote several (some not yet located) newspaper articles on the topic of the Spalding authorship claims, both for his own Presbyterian Banner and for other contemporary publications in the Pittsburgh area. His various contributions of this sort have yet to all be collected and compiled into a single sequel to his 1882 Who Wrote the Book of Mormon? The reproduction of some of Patterson's known articles, here on this web-page, will probably be the only such "sequel" compilation attempted for his post-1882 writings on this subject.

Note 2: Patterson is, of course, wrong in insisting upon there having been three different unaccounted-for Spalding mansucripts, other than the infamous "Manuscript Found." In fact, no manuscript whatever is known to have been "left by Hurlbut in the trunk in Otsego County." From all acounts, Hurlbut left that trunk empty when he departed that place late in 1833. One Spalding manuscript certainly recovered from that trunk was indeed "given to Mr. Howe by D. P. Hurlbut;" and it was that same Spalding document which eventually became "the one in Honolulu certified by Hurlbut." On the other hand, Patterson was quite correct in stating in this article that the manuscript described by Rev. Sereno E. Bishop was not the same one described by "fifteen reputable witnesses" who had known Solomon Spalding. Much the same sort of argument against Bishop's conclusions was provided by the Rev. William H. Whitsitt and saw publication in The Independent of Oct. 1, 1885.

Note 3: Other than in this 1885 article, Robert Patterson, Jr. seems to have avoided discussing the Spalding manuscript discovered in Hawaii the year before. The Presbyterian Banner, for example, makes no mention of James H. Fairchild's pronouncements regarding that document. Perhaps Patterson missed seeing the Fairchild news articles in the papers, and by the time he became aware of the manuscript discovered in Hawaii, the news was too stale to mention in the pages of the Banner.



Vol. ?                          Pittsburgh, Sunday, December 27, 1885.                          No. ?


A communication has been received from Mark H. Forscutt, pastor of Saints' Church, Fourth avenue, with reference to the posthumous story of the late Rev. Solomon Spaulding, upon which the Book of Mormon is by many believed to have been founded. In speaking of the "Manuscript Found," by which the original manuscript of Spaulding's story is known, Mr. Forscutt says: 'The publication of the Manuscript Found uncovers the fraud. Friends of the deceased Spaulding have certified that the historic 'incidents,' in detail, name and all contained therein, (except 'the religious part,' as found in the Book of Mormon,) are identical with those written by Mr. Spaulding in his 'Manuscript Found.' They tell us also that 'the sorrow-stricken widow,' and brother, and friends of 'the revered and lamented' Mr. Spaulding were 'much shocked,' and that the 'widowed wife wept bitterly,' when she and they heard the Book of Mormon read, and saw that his work had been prostituted to 'so base a use;' for they recognized the names of Laban, Lehi, Nephi and others there found as 'names which they remembered very distinctly(!)' precisely as they occured in the Manuscript Found! Now that this precious manuscript is published, the phenomenally excellent memories of Mr. Spaulding's friends, who could accurately remember and succinctly describe, more than twenty years aferwards, what they had casually heard read by the fireside to while away the long winter evenings -- these remarkable memories can now be tested. The only drawback to their memorial powers lies in the two facts: Firstly, That they remembered only after hearing the Book of Mormon read, and after having been admonished of the identity; and secondly, and most damaging of all, that they remembered what had no existence in fact and perjured themselves to destroy, if possible, the calims of that book, for not one of these names that they remembered, so distinctly is in the Manuscript Found, and yet it is the veritable manuscript they certified to. It was possessed by Mr. Howe, and would have been published by him only 'it did not read as they expected it would;' for it was obtained for this purpose from Mrs. Spaulding by D. P. Hurlbut, and handed by him to Howe for publication. It was transferred by Howe in 1839-40 to Mr. L. L. Rice, who has owned it ever since. Will these testators and their publishers now -- will the men be manly enough, the women womanly enough, the publishers honest enough to make the amends honorable? We shall see."

Note 1: The Editor of the Pittsburgh Leader neglects to inform his readers that Elder Mark H. Forscutt (1834-1903) was pastor of the Reorganized Latter Day "Saints' Church" in Pittsburgh at this date. Forscutt had been an RLDS since 1865 and he should have made this fact clear when he wrote his letter to the Leader. His obvious purpose was to promote the new "party line" of the RLDS leaders: that they had recently located and published Solomon Spalding's long lost "Manuscript Found" and shown it to be in no way connected with the Book of Mormon, thus supposedly disproving most of the old evidence supporting the Spalding authorship claims.

Note 2: Elder Forscutt alleges that what little the Conneaut witnesses knew of Solomon Spalding's writings, "they had casually heard read by the fireside to while away the long winter evenings." This is a gross misrepresentation of their testimony relating why and how Spalding communicated the contents of his "Manuscript Found" to neighbors living near the banks of Conneaut Creek. Spalding's writings reportedly gave the long-sought origin of the mysterious ancient mounds and strange artifacts of an "advanced" culture so evident throughout the Conneaut region. The origin of these remarkable antiquities he attributed to an ancient Old World civilization, a colony of which had been miraculously transported to the Americas long before Columbus. For this reason, if for no other, Spalding's readers and auditors were prone to consider his purported "ancient" epic story with great curiosity and interest. After all, he represented his unique American epic as having been a wonderous "ancient record" dug up in their very own, mound-strewn backyards.

Besides this, Spalding parceled out his disclosures from this "ancient record" in small installments, creating the 1812 equivalent of a media serial -- something like a frontier version of the still well-remembered "Roots" TV mini-series. Quite likely Spalding accentuated his readings from the "ancient record" with the dramatic flair of an accomplished oral story-teller, repeating certain portions for emphasis and re-summarizing the story to date at the beginning of each periodic installment reading. Some of his neighbors thus encountered the telling of America's ancient epic in a suspenseful, content repetitive, and uniquely memorable group experience. In an era when there was precious little literary diversion available in the Conneaut region, Spalding's serialized readings of secret works of darkness, bloody contentions, and heroic stratagems may well have been hos neighbors' only entertaining group experience during the dark days of the War of 1812.

In the case of Henry Lake, Solomon Spalding reportedly tried very hard to ensnare Lake as a partner in financing the publication of this "ancient record." Spalding no doubt attempted the same sales promotion with other neighbors in the Conneaut area, foisting upon them endless readings from the verisimilitude of his hand-written epic. As a side issue, Spalding thus publicized his pet notion: that the ancient American were actually Israelites and the Indians were their degenerated descendants. This story element accounted neatly for both the origin of America's mysterious antiquities and explaned where a "remnant" of ancient Israel had been preserved (necessary to fulfill certain important millennialistic prophecies).


Vol. LXVIII.                       Pittsburgh, August 25, 1886.                       No. 8.

SIDNEY RIGDON, formerly a Baptist preacher in this city, became one of the Mormon leaders, and every now and then Mormon missionaries have been sent to this region. A telegram to the Dispatch of this city from McKeesport says: "For some time past a company of men wearing slouch hats and pantaloons bagging heavily at the knees have been tramping up and down the Monongahela Valley. They presented nothing attractive in appearance or in manners or speech. Illiterate and uncouth as they were, still silly women and effeminate men would crowd around them. For some time past they have been holding 'Mormon church' in school houses near Monongahela City. Whenever the announcement was made that the Mormon preachers would hold forth the school houses were crowded with many who came out of curiosity to hear of the doctrine and learn somewhat of the life led in far-off Utah. The missionaries pictured the happy homes and the full coffers of the faithful, and so interested some of their hearers that in several households trouble has arisen." It is charged that several women of whom better things would have been expected have become infatuated with the representationa fiven of Mormon life in Utah.

Note: It is possible that the Pittsburgh Dispatch editor or the sender of the telegram mistook the local "Mormon" disciples of William Bickerton as Utah elders. Bickerton left the Utah Mormons after their 1852 public admission of the doctrine of polygamy and then set up dissenting LDS branches in western Pennsylvania and what is today West Virginia. "Monongahela City" remains the headquarters of the Bickertonite Mormons, which today number about 10,000 members. On the other hand, the preaching missionaries mentioned in the report may have been Utah elders who were looking for converts among the Pennsylvania Bickertonites.


Vol. LXVIII.                       Pittsburgh, September 22, 1886.                       No. 12.


Redick McKee, Esq., well known to many of the older readers of the BANNER, died at Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, on Monday evening, Sept. 13th, in the 86th year of his age. His death was sudden and unexpected. A private letter from him, of Sept. 9th, was received at the BANNER office Sept. 11th, relating to work which he had then in contemplation. Mr. McKee was born Dec. 7, 1800, at McKeesport, Alleghany County, Pa., of which town his father was the proprietor and founder. In early life he was in such delicate health that he was not expected to reach maturity, and for the same reason his school education was limited to about four months. His mother, however, well fulfilled at home the office of a teacher. A few years of life on the farm of an uncle so far invigorated his health that in his 12th year he entered the employment of Messrs. Hugh and James Jelley, who conducted an extensive mercantile business in Pittsburgh. So rapidly did he develop a faculty for business that two years afterwards and whilst in his 14th year, he was entrusted by his employeers with the management of a branch store which they established at Amity, Washington Co., Pa., with a stock of assorted goods amounting to $5,000 or $6,000. Here he remained nearly two years, during the whole of which time he boarded with Rev. Solomon Spaulding, whose name has been so often mentioned in connection with the authorship of "The Book of Mormon."

Mr. McKee was probably the last survivor of those who heard Mr. Spaulding read his famous "Manuscript Found," and who distinctly remembered Mr. Spaulding having suspected Sidney Rigdon of making a copy of his romance whilst it was in the printing office in Pittsburgh. After leaving Amity Mr. McKee became a prominent business man in Pittsburgh, Wheeling, and for a time in California; was a serious laborer in Sabbath Schools; was early chosen to the office of Ruling Elder, and was for some time before his death the only surviving member of the first Board of Directors of the Western Theological Seminary after Allegheny had been selected as its site, in 1827. He was also one of the speakers at the centennial celebration of the Upper and Lower Ten Mile churches in Washington County, August 29, 1879. He retained to the last the use of his mental powers and his interest in the affairs of Church and State.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. LXVIII.                       Pittsburgh, October 27, 1886.                       No. 17.

About the Mormons.

Rev. T. Lamb, of the Baptist Church, has spent a year in the study of the Mormon problem and in work upon the Mormons in Utah. In a lecture given in Philadelphia a few evenings ago he mentioned some things respecting the beliefs and character of these strange people not generally known. Mormons believe that the heads of the Church upon earth will become gods after death and that they will create a new world for their followers. They believe that each world has a God and that there is one Supreme God governing all. Adam is supposed to be the God controlling this world. At present the divine Adam makes his revelations to John Taylor, president of the Mormon Church, and Taylor, through his disciples and other subordinates, diffuses the knowledge among the people. The system is so perfect that in a day all the Mormons in Utah may become aware of a new revelation.

Mr. Lamb says a true Mormon cannot be loyal to any government until the government is placed below the Church. The first obstacle a missionary meets is the inordinate conceit of a Mormon. They ridicule the idea of anyone teaching them. A second difficulty is their hatred of all Gentiles and especially of all preachers, whom they hold responsible for their troubles with the government. They reject all professions of love. One [Baptist] missionary had for years to go eight or ten miles to supply necessities of life to his family as no Mormon in the town where he lived would sell him anything.

Notwithstanding all that the Edmunds law has done, and it has been at least a partial success, the Mormon priests are urging their people to resist all attempts to prevent or break up polygamous marriages.

Note: Rev. Lamb authored the 1886 book The Golden Bible. Lamb's information on the LDS teaching of "Father Adam" being "Jehovah" is a bit outdated; under President John Taylor's administration, the LDS Church abandoned once and for all the old doctrine of Adam as God. Taylor's 1882 book The Mediation and the Atonement helped restore a more traditional Christian theology among the Utah Saints. Although Lamb claims that Taylor's revelations were very quickly disseminated among the Mormons, oddly enough they never elected to publish any of them in their Doctrine and Covenants.


Vol. LXVIII.                       Pittsburgh, April 13, 1887.                       No. 41.


It is well known that there is a number of Mormons who claim to be followers of Joseph Smith, as his system was originally instituted, who reject the teachings of Brigham Young with regard to plural marriages and many other things. Joseph Smith, Jr., a son of the founder of the original Mormon sect, is the presidig officer of this section of Mormonism, which claims to be the reorganized Church of the Latter Day Saints, or the old or original Mormons. They are known as "Josephites," because they claim to be followers of Joseph Smith.

Some of these people live in this city and neighborhood, and hold occasional services. But they are widely dispersed and quite active in the propagation of their tenets. Nine years ago there were 17,928 members of the reorganized Church. To-day there are 19, 235 registered members. In the last year 1710 members were baptized, 157 were lost by expulsion and 317 by death, leaving a net gain of 1306 members. Iowa has the largest number of saints, 4237, and Missouri comes next with 2085, Virginia is at the foot of the column with only six members, while Utah, the hot-bed of Morminism, has only 496 Josephites. Besides the membership in the United States, Australia, Denmark, England, Scotland, the Society Islands, Switzerland, Wales, Canada, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia all furnish proselytes to this faith. Twenty-one new branches have been started this year and about $30,000 in cash has been received in contributions from members. Between this beanch of Mormonism and the Utah Mormons there is a fierce hostility.

In the town of Kirtland, Ohio, thirty miles from Cleveland, is the old temple erected by Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon -- the copyist of Spaulding's romance which was essentially adopted as the Mormon bible -- in 1834. Ten years afterwards the Mormons divided, and the building fell into the hands of those now known as the Utah Mormons. For years its possession has been contested in the courts, but it has been at length given to the Josephites, or the reorganized Church of the Latter Day Saints, who ashere to the rule of single marriage. Last Wednesday a conference of eight days was begun in that place. About 100 delegates, representing every "Josephite" Society in this country, were present. A good deal of time was taken up in what might be termed devotional services. These people are full believers in the power of working miracles at the present time. Many remarkable instances of what they term "faith cures" were related.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. LXVIII.                       Pittsburgh, April 27, 1887.                       No. 43.


The conference of anti-polygamist Mormons, recently held at Kirtland, Ohio, to which we have heretofore referred, has given evidence of the energy and persistence with which this branch of a deluded sect is exerting itself to win converts, and also of the fact that in some degree it is succeeding in its efforts. The circumstance that these followers of Joseph Smith denounce the polygamous abomination of the Utah Mormons is kept before the public, and is calculated to win for them the reputation of being adherents to a comparatively harmless fanaticism. The public mind should be disabused of this error. Conceding all that has been claimed for them as contrasted with those who adopt and practice the hideous teachings of Brigham Young and his successors, they nevertheless regard as divine the blasphemous pretended revelations of Joseph Smith. Not only so, but if the published reports of the recent proceedings at Kirtland can be relied upon, they still claim that God is making known to them his will by direct special communication.

At the conference there, as reported, the President, Joseph Smith, a son of the founder of Mormonism, announced, April 12th, that he had "communed with the Spirit," and then delivered an alleged revelation. It is impossible to resist the conviction that any man who now makes such a claim must be, if sane, a conscious impostor. The Conference itself seemed to think that caution was necessary, as the reporter proceeded to explain "how such a matter is treated by the Church. In the first place, the revelation is presented to the First Presidency, who consider it in detail, and express their views of it. Then it passes to a quorum of Apostles, who also deliberate and state any objections they may have to it. From them it goes to the Elders' Quorum, and from them to the body of the Church. It is a matter that is freely discussed, and the whole revelation may be discarded (!) if the members of the Church see fit." Think of discarding a divine revelation!

The anti-polygamous Mormons, equally with their sensual co-religionists in Utah, receive as divinely inspired all the monstrosities of "The Book of Mormon." Those persona who have never examined this gigantic imposition can have no conception of the amount of credulity it must require to accept this botched edition of the SPAULDING romance as a revelation from God. As well assert that the wild imaginings of Jules Verne or Baron Munchausen were inspired productions.

To all who wish to inform themselves of the barefaced assumptions, the glaring contradictions, and the amazing puerilities of "The Book of Mormon," we cordially and earnestly commend a recent exposure of this mass of silliness. The work to which we refer is entitled, "The Golden Bible, or The Book of Mormon, Is it From God?" Its author is Rev. M. T. Lamb, assistant pastor of the First Baptist church, Salt Lake City, whose lectures upon the subject in that city drew crowded houses, his audiences being composed mainly of Mormons. The publishers are Messrs. Ward & Drummond, 116 Nassau Street, New York. It is a book which should be widely circulated wherever the apostles of this fraud are working among the people. It would be well if every intelligent Mormon could be supplied with a copy, and benevolent persons who may feel prompted to aid in extending its circulation and usefulness should correspond with the publishers who, we have reason to believe, will supply copies for such an object at the lowest possible price.

A perusal of this work cannot fail to be intensely interesting to those who reflect that this accumulated nonsense is accepted by two hundred thousand persons in this country as the gift of God to his people in these latter days, and as superior in some respects to the Bible itself. The more this singular conglomeration of wild fancy and bungling imposture is examined, the more the wonder grows that any person of ordinary intelligence and common sense could be induced to accept such stuff as divinely inspired. The crowning excellence of Mr. Lamb's exposure of this colossal fraud is the kindly spirit he exhibits. He treats the Mormon sore with the severest caustic, but he applies it with the tenderest touch. The deluded Mormon may wince, but he cannot complain when the impossibilities and contradictions of his sacred book are unsparingly but courteously laid bare.

Among the absurdities of the Mormon fable are the following: 1. That the plates discovered by Joseph Smith contained writings in the Reformed Egyptian language, when there never was such a language. 2. That, as Smith had no acquaintance with this language, he first used in his translating a pair of spectacles which he designated "Urim and Thummim," and afterwards a peculiar stone found in digging a well called a "seer stone," each of which optical instruments had the marvelous power, when used by Smith, of presenting to his eye the exact English word or sentence corresponding to the one or more Egyptian characters. This word or sentence remained visible until his amanuensis had written it precisely as it appeared, and then the next word or sentence would follow. The plates were not always present when this rendition into English was going on; they might as well have remained in the spot whence they were exhumed. This shocking claim would make the Holy Spirit verbally responsible for all the crudities, bad grammar, and bad spelling of the Book of Mormon. 3. Long passages in the "Book of Mormon" are transcribed verbatim from the English Bible; yet the Mormons claim and believe that these passages were contained in the plates discovered by Smith, and are a literal English rendering of the Reformed Egyptian text. How incredible that King James's translators, two hundred and twenty years before the Book of Mormon was published, would hit upon the same English words in translating Hebrew and Greek texts which afterwards appeared in Smith's peep stone as the true rendering of portions of his Reformed Egyptian tablets! 4. Numerous anachronisms occur; as an instance, Nephi, who lived six hundred years before Christ, quotes from Rev. xii:11, which is written about one hundred years after Christ. Similar blunders are frequent. 5. A kindred evidence of fraud is the constant occurrences of words, ideas, references, which are peculiarly modern and betray their recent origin. "From whence no traveler can return" sounds more like Shakespeare than Reformed Egyptian. 6. God's command to the brother of Jared, starting on a voyage, to make a hole in the bottom of each barge, is too startling for belief.

But time and space would fail to enumerate a hundredth part of the absurdities of the Book of Mormon. Mr. Lamb's catalogue of these curiosities is but a selection of specimens. Yet in this era of widely diffused intelligence, the believers in all this nonsense and in this impious claim of Divine authority for it, are awakening to new activity in the propagation of this shameless imposture. If we are to have a revival of Mormonism, it would be wise to scatter broadcast such a book as we have named above. Follow -- or precede -- the bane with the antidote.

Notes: (forthcoming)


The  Greenville  [   ]  Advance  Argus.
Vol. XVIII.                    Greenville, Pennsylvania, Thursday, February 23, 1888.                    No. 11.

Two Noted Personages In Sharon.

(From the Sharon Herald.)

One of the early preachers in the Baptist church of Sharon was Sidney Rigdon. He studied theology under Adamson Bentley at Warren, Ohio, and was inclined to locate permanently at Sharon. James Bentley gave $20 to assist in building him a house. Sidney finally changed his mind and joined the Mormons or Latter Day Saints at Kirtland, Ohio. When the society went west, his hopes of leadership were buoyant. He was the brains of the organization. After the death of Joseph Smith at Nauvoo, Sidney expected to become president of the Saints. In this he was defeated by Brigham Young, a man of but ordinary education but shrewd and popular. He was jealous of Rigdon, and gave him over to the tender mercies of the devil. Rigdon now concluded to reverse the honored maxim of Bishop Berkley -- "westward the course of empire takes its way." He came to Pittsburg where he interested a number of capitalists and proselytes in the enterprise of establishing a community of Latter Day Saints somewhere in the Keystone State. He went to the beautiful Cumberland Valley and selected a farm of 393 acres a mile from the town of Greencastle, Franklin county. Standing on the stone bridge which spans the beautiful Conococheague Creek, he said to some of his followers as he cast his eyes over the rich farm of Andrew G. McClanahan: "Over there is to be the home of the Saints -- the future city of the Great King." The property was purchased for $14,600. An advance payment of $6,600 was made, and a mortgage for the remainder was executed. In a short time, Sidney Rigdon, Judge Richards, Ebenezer Robinson and a hundred and fifty converts joined in establishing the coloney. A paper was started, preaching was done regularly by Rigdon in the barn and elsewhere. For nearly two years things went on grandly. Great opposition was encountered. The Scotch Irish were not easily converted to the views of the Latter Day Saints. McClanahan finally foreclosed his mortgage, and compelled the colony to disperse. Thus ended the effort to start Mormonism in Pennsylvania -- the pet enterprise of one of Sharon's ancient preachers, Sidney Rigdon....
Sharon, Pa., Feb. 10, 1888.

Note 1: The 1888 History of Mercer County, Pennsylvania (pp. 382-384), provides the following information regarding Sidney Rigdon as a young Baptist missionary in the Sharon area: "The Baptist Church of Sharon is one of the pioneer churches of the Shenango Valley. Its origin may be traced to the efforts of Rev. David Phillips of Peter’s Creek, who came to this community in 1802, and finding in the sparsely settled country a few Baptists, concluded to preach to them, and finally organized a church... [including Adamson Bentley, Thomas Rigdon, and Charles Rigdon]... The second pastor was Rev. Joshua Woodworth... his labors ceasing in 1816; following his work... The workmen were Samuel McMillen, Sidney Rigdon and G. W. McCleery. Sidney Rigdon subsequently became an apostle of Mormonism, and, in 1846-47, after the death of Joe Smith and the ensuing advancement of Brigham Young to the presidency of the Mormon Church, enlisted the co-operation of a number of men and women in an effort to establish a Mormon colony near Greencastle, Franklin Co., Penn. After the expenditure of many thousands of dollars and some two years of time, the enterprise proved abortive... In June, 1840, Dr. John Winter began his pastoral work."

Note 2: Baptist Historian William R. Pankey, writing in 1940, stated: "Through the influence of Alexander Campbell, Sidney Rigdon secured a call to the First Baptist Church, Pittsburgh, in 1822. He was a printer [sic - tanner?] by trade, but had obtained irregular ordination in Ohio, and had at one time served as Pastor of the Baptist Church at Sharon, Pennsylvania."


The  Pittsburg  Dispatch.
Vol. 44.                                 Pittsburgh, Saturday,  August 10, 1889.                                 No. ?


He Says Joe Smith Will be Avenged --
What Will Happen When Mormonism
Overthrows the Government -- Trouble in Tennessee.

Nashville, August 9. The Mormon trouble in "Wilson county has been settled temporarily by the expulsion of one of the most active of the proselyting elders. The excitement, however, has by no means subsided, and the remaining elders are threatened with coats of tar and feathers if they, too, do not clear out. The elder who was driven from the county delivered an exordium Sunday. He told his sympathizers that the Mormons owned the country: that they were preparing to take it by force, and that the church was organizing an army for that purpose and to punish scoffers and with death. Said he:

"The blood of Joseph Smith must be avenged, and God commands us to overthrow this Government for its oppression of the Saints. The greet wine press of his wrath has not yet been trodden. We are to tread it. and tread, it we will until we have pressed out the last drop of blood and the national and personal existence of these accursed people."

One of his proselytes became alarmed at the excitement created in the Mormon community by these words, and reported them to Rev. John Barrett. The latter repeated them in the course of his sermon the same night, and read a letter from a lady in Kentucky, who had joined the Mormon Church, gone to Utah, become disgusted with the practices of the sect, apostatized and returned to her home. She denounced Mormonism as deceptive and rotten to the core, and the priests and many of the laymen as a set of scoundrels.

As a result of Rev. Mr. Barrett's vigorous denunciation the good citizens informed the elder who preached revolution that he must leave the community or expect the same treatment resorted to in Lewis county two years ago when several elders were killed. The elder went to-day and will not be permitted to return.


An Expounder and Defender of Mormon
Doctrines in Canada.


Ottawa, August 9. -- Mr. A. Maitland Stenhouse, the British Columbian Legislator, who has resigned his seat in the Assembly to join the Mormon colony, at Lethbridge, Northwest Territory, and comes forward as the champion of polygamy, and an exponent and defender of the Mormon doctrines, will contest that constituency at the coming general elections for the Dominion Parliament.

He says that polygamy will soon become one of the institutions of the territories, and believes that if properly represented in Parliament, many of the restrictions which now make polygamy illegal will be withdrawn, and the prejudices which now exist against the sect overcome. He says that only among the Latter-Day Saints are the rights of women fully recognized and admitted. His plan for reforming the marriage laws of the Dominion, he says, is the substitution of polygamy for monogamy. He lauds the intelligence and industry of the Mormon, and says that if the Mormon, like the Chinese, must go, monogamy, with its foul following of betrayals and worse will go also, and that very early, in the country.

Notwithstanding the efforts of the Government to prevent it, reports reaching here from the Northwest say, that the Mormons are not waiting for the Stenhouse legislation, but are openly practicing polygamy.

Notes: (forthcoming)


The  Pittsburg  Dispatch.
Vol. 44.                               Pittsburgh, Saturday, November 16, 1889.                              No. ?

Several Mormons have lately applied for citizenship and objection has been raised on the ground that Mormons who pass through the Endowment House are obliged to take oaths such as unfit them for citizenship. The Utah Court is taking testimony on this point, and several apostate Mormons have made, under oath, terrible accusations against the Church. They say that persons admitted through the Endowment House swear to obey tbe priesthood above all other powers on earth, and to aim at the destruction of tbe United States Government. The penalty for violating or divulging oaths is to have the bowels cut out and the throat and tongue cut, and several witnesses swore that they had seen this done. They also testified that the Mormon Church instigated the Mountain Meadow massacre.

Notes: (forthcoming)


The  Pittsburg  Dispatch.
Vol. 44.                                 Pittsburgh, Sunday,  November 17, 1889.                                 No. ?


How the Original of the Latter Day
Saints' Scriptures Was


In an Obscure Village in Western Pennsylvania.




The village of Amity, Washington county, is an insignificant and altogether unattractive place. No tradition of a thrilling or romantic character clings to the little town, but still like most other small places, its history contains one fact, which distinguishes it from other villages and which at the same time has served to make it widely known. This one fact is that Rev. Solomon Spaulding, the reputed author of the Mormon Bible lived, died and was buried there 78 years ago.

Amity is most conveniently reached over the Waynesburg and Washington Railroad, a narrow gauge line, which extends from Washington to Waynesburg, Greene county. This is a clever little road whose trains creep down up and down the sides of the hills of Washington and Greene counties and haul passengers and freight from Greene into the world, and carry car loads of the same sort back into Greene. The only passenger train on the road will deposit the traveler who seeks the tomb of Spaulding at Hackney's Station, two miles distant from the village of Amity, and then he can walk or take chances in getting to ride there on a farm wagon.

Amity lies ten miles south of Washington, in the center of a rich agricultural district, and the people who make up the community contiguous to the village are intelligent and thrifty farmers, and hold quite different views from the village folk with respect to work.

A great many people go to Amity to see the last resting place of Solomon Spaulding, and about the first question which suggests itself to them is, why should a man of Spaulding's talents seek such a forlorn and desolate place in which to live. It is one of the oldest towns in Washington county, and it still tenaciously clings to its primitive customs and usages. It seems never to have caught the spirit of improvement so noticeable in other small towns in Washington county. Perhaps the town is satisfied with the reputation it has gained because Solomon Spaulding was buried there, and will continue to hibernate during the remainder of its existence.


The location of the place is picturesque, but that is about all that can be said in its favor. It lies in a depression in a high ridge, and its dwellings all told only number twice a baker's dozen. The houses are old frame structures, some of them log, which, weather beaten and paintless, look as if they had, for 100 years, been the prey of the violent winter winds which sweep across the high hills. Its only street is the township road, which, an old resident informed me, in he spring of the year, becomes so deep in clay mud that it is impassable, and the citizens of the place can only visit the neighbors on that side of the street on which they happen to live.

The people, with a few exceptions, consist of the shiftless class who make up the residents of most small places, where there are no industries, save those carried on by the blacksmith, shoemaker and the merchant, who keeps a small store in a small way.

The men lounge about in the single store, blacksmith shop or shoemaker shop, in the winter; and in warm weather they loaf upon the mounting block or empty store boxes, and whittle them with jack knives while they talk about the trivial affairs of the neighborhood. The women of the village scrub snuff as their mothers did, and gossip about each other just as all women do.

If a stranger appears in the village everybody runs to tbe front door or window to see him. If he stops in the place a half hour without making known his business someone will be sent to interview him as to his mission there. A gentleman with whom I talked about the Rev. Spaulding said that he passed through Amity once, and be believed that every man, woman and child in the place came out to see him. He said he inquired to an old fellow why the people stared at him so, and the native replied that he was the first man who had appeared in the town for two months, and that the people were awful glad to see him.


This village was the bome of Solomon Spaulding, the author of a romance entitled the "Manuscript Found," upon which the "Book of Mormon" is said to be founded and the little burying ground which surrounds the old low eaved church, contains the moldering bones of the romancer and preacher, who, it is alleged, was the unintentional creator of one of the most remarkable delusions the world has ever witnessed.

The grave of Spaulding is almost in the center of the church yard and is marked by a plain headstone of white marble. The stone was originally four feet high and 18 inches wide, but it has been chipped and chipped by souvenir hunters, until it is more than half gone, and a ragged-edged, round-topped stump of a stone is all that remains. A portion of the last two lines of the inscription on the tombstone is all that is visible. The entire inscription which was copied by Rev. Abner Jackson, is as follows:


Solomon Spaulding. who departed this life, October 20, A. D., 1816. Aged 55 years.

"Kind cherubs, guard the sleeping clay,
Until the great decision day,
And saints complete in glory rise
To share the triumphs of the skies."

Solomon Spaulding was of a vacillating disposition, and, although a man of talent his life is a good illustration of the adage that a rolling stone gathers no moss. He was born in Ashford, Conn., in 1761; waa educated. at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, and graduated from that institution in 1785. Three years later he entered the ministry of the Congregational Church, and preached three or four years. On account of failing health he gave up his sacred calling, removed to Cherry Valley, New York, and engaged in the mercantile business in a small way. He succeeded no better as a merchant than as a preacher and after a few years' trial at storekeeping, in which he lost considerable money he again removed, in 1809, to Conneaut, Ashtabula County, O, Here he became an iron manufacturer, and built a large blast furnace. In this business, as in his former one he failed, and as a consequence became largely involved in debt.

He continued to reside at Couneaut for three years, and while there his attention was drawn to the great number of Indian mounds and remains of fortifications in that vicinity. Being a man of literary tastes, and particularly fond of history be conceived the project of writing a romance which would purport to account for the existence of the mound builders of this continent, and at the same time relate their history. This employment beguiled the tedious hours of his enforced leisure, and when he had completed the romance, the idea suggested itself that by the publication of the book sufficient profit would arise from the sales to enable him to discharge his indebtedness.


The time of Spaulding's residence at Conneaut was chiefly spent in the preparation of this historical romance. As the work progressed and the pages grew into chapters and chapters into a book, the author was accustomed to invite the neighbors to his house, where they would gladly assemble to hear each new installment read.

In this small frontier settlement, where books were few, newspapers rare, visitors and mail facilities limited, each additional part of the story was awaited with the same interest that the reader of the modern magazine looks for the number containing a fresh installment of the popular serial. The characters and incidents of the romance became subjects of general discussion, the outlines of the narrative were deeply impressed on the minds of the listeners, and the names of the prominent personages grew familiar to all.

At last, in 1812, with the fond hope that his dream might be converted into something substantial, be removed to Pittsburg and carried the manuscript of his romance to the printing house of Mr. Patterson, father of Robert Patterson, of Pittsburg, to make some arrangement for its publication. For some unknown reason, perhaps want of funds on the part of the author, or want of faith in its success on the part of the publisher, the book was never printed.

These continual reverses crushed out all hope of success in the heart of Mr. Spaulding, and weary of the hard struggle against adverse fate he removed to Amity, in 1814 and concealed himself and his disappointment from the world in that obscure village. Two years later, October 20, 1816, he died there.

All the accounts of the life of Solomon Spaulding agree in essential points; but what became of his manuscript is still somewhat of a mystery and probably always will be. The great regret is that it was not published by Mr. Patterson. If the reasonably well founded supposition that Spaulding's romance is the source of Joe Smith's alleged inspired revelations, there is a possibility that its publication might have been the means of preventing the organization, or of exposing the fanciful origin, of the great fraud of Mormonism. A great deal has been said and written by those anxious to prove that the "Book of Mormon" and Solomon Spaulding's "Manuscript Found" are one and the same, but the chain of testimony by which it is sought to connect the two books is weak in certain links, and the identity remains Undetermined.

Notes: (forthcoming)


The  Pittsburgh  Commercial  Gazette.
Vol. ?                                 Pittsburgh, Saturday,  November 30, 1889.                                 No. ?


Prof. Robert Patterson Dies at His Home in Sewickley.

Prof. Robert Patterson who was stricken with paralysis on last Monday afternoon, died at his home in Sewickley at 4:30 o'clock yesterday morning. The deceased was among the thoroughly educated men of the country, and as a writer was particularly brilliant. He was born in Pittsburgh on October 17, 1821, and received his education at Canonsburg Academy and Jefferson College, graduating in 1841. He studied law, but never practiced the profession, but devoted himself to mathematics. He held chairs in that branch in Jefferson College, In Oakland College, Mississippi, and Center College, Danville, Ky.

In 1864 he became one of the editors of the Presbyterian Banner in this city, which position he held until the time of his death. He was always a most bitter opponent of Mormonism and all its doctrines. Some five years ago he wrote a sketch, "The Book of Mormon," which appears in a history of Washington county, in which he treated particularly of the ridiculousness of the inspiration of the Mormon creed, and showing that the book was written by Solomon Spalding. The paper has since become an authority on the Mormon question. He wrote also the "History of the Log College," which was said to have been the first classical school west of the Allegheny Mountains. He took the ground that the first classical school was his alma mater, Jefferson College, and so successfully did he bear out his statements that all further arguments were squelched.

At the time of his death he was engaged in writing a history of the class of '40, Jefferson College, of which he was a member. He leaves besides his widow a son Thomas, a member of the Allegheny County Bar, and two daughters.

The funeral will take place from the chapel of the First Presbyterian Church, on Wood street, on Monday afternoon, at 1:30 o'clock. The Rev. Dr. Campbell will conduct the services.

Note: A brief report on Patterson's funeral was also published in the Pittsburgh Press of Dec. 2, 1889.


The  Pittsburg  Dispatch.
Vol. 44.                                 Pittsburgh, Saturday,  November 30, 1889.                                 No. ?


Prof. Robert Patterson.

Prof. Robert Patterson, one of the editors of the _Presbyterian Banner,_ who had been ill for several days with paralysis, died yesterday morning at 4 o'clock at his home in Sewickley. The funeral will take place from the First Presbyterian Church on Wood street at 1:30 o'clock Monday afternoon. Dr. Passavaant, pastor or the English Lutheran Church, and Dr. Campbell, of Sewlckler, two of the late editor's most intimate friends, will officiate. The remains will be interred in the Allegheny Cemetery.

Prof. Patterson was one of the most thoroughly educated men in the country, and an author of some note. He was born in Pittsburg on October 17, 1821, and received his education at Canonsburg Academy and Jefferson College, graduating in 1841. He studied law, was admitted, but never practiced. He devoted himself to mathematics, and held chairs in that branch in Jefferson College, in Oakland College, Miss., and Center College, Danville. Ky. In 1864 he became one of the editors of the Presbyterian Banner, which position he held until his death.

As a writer he was thoughtful, serious and particularly brilliant. He was always a most bitter opponent of Mormonism and all its doctrines. Some five years ago he wrote a sketch, "The Book of Mormons," which appears in a history of Washington county, in which he treated particularly of the ridiculousness of the inspiration of the Mormon creed, and showing that the book was written by Solomon Spalding. The paper has since become an authority on the Mormon question. He wrote also the "History of the Log College," which was said to have been the first classical school west of tbe Allegheny Mountains. He took the ground that the first classical school was his alma mater, Jefferson College, and so successfully did he bear out his statements that all further arguments were squelched.

At the time of his death be was engaged in writing a history of the Class of 1840, Jefferson College, of which he was a member. He leaves beside his widow, a son Thomas, a member of the Allegheny county bar, and two daughters.

Notes: (forthcoming)


The  Pittsburgh  Commercial  Gazette.
Vol. ?                                 Pittsburgh, Monday,  December 2, 1889.                                 No. ?


PATTERSON -- At his residence, in Sewickley, Pa., ROBERT PATTERSON, on Firday, November 19, 1889, at 4 o'clock A.M., in the 69th year of his age.

The funeral services will be held in the chapel of the First Presbyterian Church, Wood st., Pittsburgh, on Monday at 1:30 P.M. Interment private at a later hour.

Note: The American Historical Society's 1922 History of Pittsburgh and Environs, III provides the following biographical sketch on pages 829-831: "Joseph Patterson, son of Robert Patterson, was born March 20, 1752, and about 1773 came to the American colonies, settling in Saratoga county, N. Y. Later he removed to Germantown, Pa., where he became a teacher in the schools. He was present at the first reading of the Declaration of Independence, at the door of the State House, and there- upon dismissed his school and enlisted as a private in the Continental army, serving in 1776-77. Afterward he migrated to York county, where he continued his work as a teacher, and also engaged in fanning. In 1785, under the guidance of Rev. Joseph Smith, he began to study for the ministry, and on Aug. 12, 1788 was licensed to preach. On Nov. 10, 1789 he was ordained and installed pastor of the Raccoon and Montour Run churches, in Allegheny county. In 1816 ill health forced him to resign and he removed to Pittsburgh, where he continued to preach, also distributing Bibles and tracts. When General Lafayette, after an absence of forty years, visited the United States, he recognized Mr. Patterson, who was five years older than himself, as a companion in arms during the War for Independence. Mr. Patterson married (first) in Ireland, Jane Moak, a native of that country, and (second) Rebecca Leach, who was born in Pittsburgh. On Feb. 4, 1832, he closed his long, useful and eventful life, having served his adopted country as educator, soldier and minister of the gospel. --- Robert Patterson, son of Joseph and Jane (Moak) Patterson, was born April 1, 1773, in Saratoga county, N. Y., and in 1790 entered Canonsburg Academy, reciting his first lessons under the shade of large trees, the buildings being not yet ready for occupancy. In 1794 he entered the junior class of the University of Pennsylvania, where his Uncle Robert was professor of mathematics, and in 1796 he began the study of theology. In 1801, after touring about four years, he was licensed to preach, and during the next six years ministered to two churches in the vicinity of Erie, Pa. In 1807 he moved to Pittsburgh and took charge of the Pittsburgh Academy, an institution which later developed into the Western University of Pennsylvania, now the University of Pittsburgh. From 1810 to 1836 he was in business as a book-seller, publisher and manufacturer of paper. From 1807 to 1833 he supplied the pulpit of the Pennsylvania church at Highland, seven miles north of Pittsburgh. It is worthy of note that the "Manuscript Found," supposed to have furnished the basis of the Book of Mormon, was left at Mr. Patterson's printing house. Mr. Patterson married Jane, daughter of Colonel John Canon, founder of Canonsburg, the place named in his honor. In 1840 Mr. Patterson retired to the country, where he passed the remainder of his life. His death occurred Sept. 5, 1854, and two years later his widow passed away. --- Robert Patterson, son of Robert and Jane (Canon) Patterson, was born Aug. 17, 1821, in Pittsburgh, and studied law under the preceptorship of Hon. Thomas H. Baird. At the end of three years he was admitted, in October, 1843, to the Allegheny county bar, and for three years more practiced his profession as the associate of Judge Baird. In 1840 he had graduated from Jefferson College, where he later filled the chair of mathematics. He was also professor in several colleges, including Oakland College, Mississippi, and Centre College, Kentucky. In 1863 he became joint owner and editor of the "Presbyterian Banner." At one period in his life Mr. Patterson performed military service in Kentucky, but during the Civil War his application for enlistment was rejected because of physical disability. In politics he was a Republican, and in religious belief a Presbyterian. Mr. Patterson died Nov. 30, 1889. He was a man of more than ordinary ability and of unblemished purity of character. He married, Aug. 27, 1851, Eliza, daughter of Judge Thomas H. and Nancy (McCullough) Baird, and the following children were born to them: Thomas... Jane, and Elizabeth."


The  Pittsburg  Dispatch.
Vol. 44.                                 Pittsburgh, Wednesday,  December 4, 1889.                                 No. ?


The Origin of Mormonism.

To the Editor of The Dispatch:

An article was recently published in The Dispatch treating of Mormonism. I may be able to add some further facts of interest. A few years ago I visited Amity, Washington county. Pa., gaining facts from the old inhabitants, and especially from the histories of Washington county, revealing the following: Amity was located by Daniel Dodds in the year 1790. Here, in the year 1816, Mormonism was started by Rev. Solomon Spalding, a graduate of Dartmouth College. He died here and was buried close to the Presbyterian Church. The gravestone bears marks made by relic seekers, as it has been chipped and almost all carried away. When Rev. Spalding settled here be was not able to preach, and was notorious for hunting for American antiquities, such as mounds, for the purpose of tracing the aboriginies to the "original source" a portion of the lost tribe of Israel. While pursuing these investigations and to while away the tedious hours he wrote a romance, leaving the reader under the impression that he was gaining his knowledge from plates found in the mounds, containing the heiroglyphics. which he had deciphered. He often amused his friends by reading parts of his fabulous story.

After his composition had formed many chapters he resolved to publish the work under the name of "The Manuscript Found," and entered into a contract with Mr. Patterson, of Pittsburg, to publish the same. For some cause the contract was not fulfilled. The manuscript remained in Mr. Patterson's possession about three years, until Mr. Spalding called for it. In the meantime a journeyman printer by the name of Sydney Rigdon copied the whole of the manuscript, and hearing of Joseph Smith, Jr., digging for money by the aid of necromancy, Rigdon resolved in his own mind to make it profitable to himself. An interview took: place between him and Smith. Terms were agreed upon, the whole manuscript underwent a partial revision, and in process of time, instead of finding money, they find curious plates, which, when translated turned out to be the Golden Book of Mormon, which according to the prediction contained in these words (see Mormon Bible, page 604): "Go to the land of Anturn [sic], unto a hill which shall be shown, and there I have deposited unto the Lord all the sacred engravings concerning this people."

Such is the account of the most stupendous delusion that has been perpetrated, for many centuries. To place this fact beyond a doubt and to prove that the book of Mormon was originally written in Amity, Washington county, the following names stand as witnesses: Rev. J. W. Hamilton, pastor of Presbyterian Church at Amity; J. Miller, Esq., who made the coffin for Rev. Mr. Spalding; a letter from Mrs. Spalding and John Spalding, a brother; A. Ely, D. D., pastor of Congregational Church, Monson, [Ma.]; D. K. Ely, principal of Monson Academy; Henry Lake, Aaron Wright and Dr. Hurlbut, of Salem, O.   J. BEAMER.
Manor Station, December 3.

Notes: (forthcoming)


The  Pittsburg  Dispatch.
Vol. 45.                                 Pittsburgh, Saturday, October 25, 1890.                                 No. ?


The Origin of Mormonism.

...Mr. Thomas Gregg, who published the second newspaper printed west of the Mississippi, and who lived next door to the Mormon movement in Illinois, has his opinion of that whole business, and has no hesitation in expressing it That "long legged, tow-headed boy who spent most of his time fishing in the mill pond at Duriee's grist mill, on Mud creek," and was known among the neighbors as Joe Smith, was an idle fellow from the start, Mr. Gregg says. Everybody in Palmyra knew Joe Smith, and when he took to digging for hidden treasure in the hills about the town nobody was surprised. That was like Smith. He was always wanting to get rich without earn ing any money. Then when he declared that he had seen an angel, and that the angel had showed him certain gold plates, "each plate six inches wide and eight inches long, and not quite so thick as common tin, filled with engravings in Egyptian characters, and bound together in a volume as the leaves of a book, with three rings running through the whole" when Joe Smith was now grown to manhood, six feet high, long-legged and with big feet, his hair turned from tow color to light auburn, with large eyes of bluish gray, a prominent nose and queer mouth -- when this Palmyra idler revealed this marvelous vision, nobody paid attention to him. It was just Joe Smith.

Nevertheless, Joe Smith became the "Prophet of Palmyra," and founded a religion which is one of the annoyments and anomolies of the present century.

It seems that Pittsburg had some share in that extraordinary achievement. A good man, a minister in the Presbyterian Church, named Solomon Spalding, came here to live about the year 1811. Spalding had written a singular story called the "The Manuscript Found" the manuscript of which, contradicting its title, has now these many years been totally lost. This wild romance, written in Biblical language and describing prehistoric happenings in this country, appears to have been the basis of the "Book of Mormon." The inventor of "Mormon" was this good Mr. Spalding, of Pittsburg, There was then living in this city, in charge of the, First Baptist Church, the Rev. Sidney Rigdon, with whom Mr. Spalding formed acquaintance, and in whose hands he placed the written sheets of his queer story, hoping that it might find a publisher. The Rev. Sidney Rigdon, Baptist minister of Pittsburg, knew Joseph Smith. And he fixed up the manuscript romance, so Mr. Gregg says, at Smith's' request, in the shape in which it stands to-day in the "Book of Mormon." The "Book of Mormon," then, was written here in Pittsburg -- a bit of history which will perhaps be as new to many Pittsburgers as it is to  The Critic.

Note: The publication here alluded to was Thomas Gregg's 1890 book, The Prophet of Palmyra, which mentioned a Joseph Miller, Sr. statement from about Nov., 1881, and which printed the text of another Miller statement, dated Jan. 20, 1882.


The  Pittsburg  Dispatch.
Vol. 46.                                 Pittsburgh, Monday, September 28, 1891.                                 No. ?


The Professor of Things In-General Discovers
Some Who Are Christians, Too
The Latter Day Bible Founded on a Novel.


It is refreshing, in these days of half belief and no-belief, to encounter now and then a faithful soul, who believes not only in the Bible, but in the Book of Mormon. There are quite a number of Mormons resident here in Pittsburg. Once in awhile a Mormon elder makes them a visit, spends a week or two in theso parts, and holds prayer meetings in their houses. These Pittsburg Mormons are, most of them, pretty good Christians. I met one of them the other day at the West Penn Hospital. He had been knocked off the top of a freight car at 6:30 that morning. One leg was cut off at the thigh, and the other was horribly mangled, and the poor fellow died in the afternoon. But from what he said, I think he went to just about the same place to which good Christians hope to go. I have no doubt but that one of the "many mansions" up above got a new tenant that day, who probably learned something in the first five minutes after death about the Book of Mormon.

The Pittsburg Mormons, however, let me hasten to say, do not believe in polygamy. There are two kinds of Mormons, the Latter Day Saints and the Reorganized Latter Day Saints. The Pittsburg Mormons belong to the reorganized party. This division of Mormonism began after the death of Joseph Smith, and was a revolt against Brigham Young, who had seized the succession to the Presidency of the "twelve apostles." These good people had a revelation to the effect that the rightful leader was Smith's oldest son, Joseph Junior. They objected to polygamy. They refused to worship the new gods who had been set in the Mormon heaven; they declined to say their prayers to Adam, to Mohammed, to Joseph Cook or to Brigham Young. They accepted the Book of Mormon, but were quite content to stop with that.

The Good Mormons 27,000 Strong.

These reformed Mormons, who claim, and probably with reason, to be the only true followers of original Mormonism, number about 27,000 people. Their headquarters are at Piano, Ill. They have communicants in places as remote as Scandinavia and Australia and Switzerland. Their number is said to be increasing.

Pittsburg is not a bad place for an orthodox Mormon to live in, for Mormonism really began, had its actual root, got its first inspiration -- so it is said -- in this city. The Mormon, Bible, instead of being discovered in a Palmyra hill, was discovered in a Pittsburg printing office. There may be some people who have forgotten the part played by this city at the beginning of this most singular of all chapters in modern ecclesiastical history.

There was a "long-legged, tow-headed boy" living in Palmyra in the State of New York, while this century was counting its twenties. He spent most of his time, the people said who knew him, fishing in the mill pond at Durfee's grist mill, on Mud Creek. Everybody called him Joe Smith, and accounted him a lazy fellow. But a boy's brain may be buzzing like a train of cars though his hands be as idle as the fingers of a graven image. And fishing has always been known to be a contemplative occupation. Most anglers catch more thoughts than trout. Smith, sitting on the mill pond dam, was very busy thinking.

Joe Smith's Discovery of the Plates.

One day Joe Smith disappeared from his place by the grist mill, and took to digging for hidden treasure in the Palmyra hills. But nobody was much surprised at this. It was like Smith. He was always wanting to get rich without earning any money. By and by, he declared that he had seen an angel, and that the angel had showed him certain gold plates, "each plate six inches wide and eight inches long, and not quite so thick as common tin, filled with engravings in Egyptian characters, and bound together in a volume as the leaves of a book, with three rings running through the whole." There was also a pair of most convenient supernatural spectacles, accompanying these writings, spectacles such as Dr. Lippincott never dreamed of -- curious, bright crystals set in bows of silver. Whoever put on these silver glasses could read Egyptian, "reformed Egyptian," whatever that is. The people of Palmyra, however, listened to this tale with more patience than credulity. Nobody paid much attention to it. It was one of Joe Smith's lies. Smith was a good deal of a liar, a habit which fits in curiously with his fondness for fishing, and this was simply a large, elaborate and somewhat unusually ambitious lie. That was the measure with which the honest inhabitants of Palmyra "sized-up" the Book of Mormon, and its author.

Joe Smith, was now grown to manhood, six feet high, long of limb and huge of foot, his hair turned from tow color to light auburn, with large eyes of blueish gray, a prominent nose, a queer month, and an undesirable reputation. There was a school teacher boarding at Smith's house named Oliver Cowdery. Smith was not very good at reading and writing, but with the magic glasses he made an excellent translator. So Cowdery came to be amanuensis. He sat with pen and paper on one side of a curtain, while Smith on the other side read aloud what he saw through his supernatural spectacles. The result was the Book of Mormon.

The Mormon Book Founded on a Novel.

Some years before this however, Solomon Spalding, a clergyman in the Presbyterian Church, had come to live in Pittsburg. Spalding had lived in New Salem, Ashtabula county, Ohio. There were a number of interesting mounds in Mr. Spalding's parish there, and their presence and his diggings in them had turned his attention toward the primeval inhabitants of this country. He conceived the idea of writing an historical romance, "Looking Backward," in reality, with the scene laid somewhere in the twentieth century, B. C. The good man, besides his preaching, ran a forge and kept a tavern. In the winter evenings, in the tavern parlor, he used to amuse his neighbors by reading to them from the manuscripts of his progressing novel. He wrote it so obtrusively in the language of the King James' version of the Old Testament, with such frequent repetitions of "Now it came to pass" that the irreverent youth of the neighborhood found a nickname for him in his book. "Old Come-to-Pass" they called him. Mormon and Nephi and Lehi were important names in the story. Finally the good man, with his writings in his trunk, moved here to Pittsburg.

At that time, in the year 1814, Sidney Rigdon was pastor of the First Baptist Church. Rigdon was a restless theologian. Alexander Campbell was a member of his congregation. Rigdon afterward became a Campbellite before casting in his fortunes finally with Mormonism. The Rev. Mr. Spalding, meanwhile, had offered his manuscript to the printing firm of Patterson & Lambdin, then doing business here. Rigdon saw it in the office, borrowed it, took it home and read it, and kept it a long time. The "Manuscript Found" was the title of it, a curious title, as the event proved, for since that time it has been most emphatically the manuscript lost. Nobody really knows what became of it. Patterson & Lambdin, unfortunately, never published it, probably seeing no money in it. It went out of the printing office presently, after Rigdon had read it to his heart's content, and Pittsburg knew it no more. Mr. Spalding removed to Amity, Washington, county, died there and was buried. His grave stone, much hacked, it is said, by relic hunters, stands to-day in the old burying ground there.

The Age of Faith Not Ended.

This Presbyterian minister, Solomon Spalding, of Pittsburg, wrote, and this Baptist preacher, Sidney Rigdon, of Pittsburg, copied -- so they say -- the romance of Mormon, which some good souls in Pittsburg to-day reverence as the Mormon Bible. Anyhow, if the memories of the people are good for anything, who heard old Parson Spalding read his book, the two stories are singularly alike, even in their outlandish names.

It seems that long, long ago a man named Lehi with his wife, his four sons and his ten friends departed for Jersualem [sic - New Jerusalem?] and landed on the coast of Chile. There was trouble after Lehi's death between his sons. Nephi, the youngest, was appointed by his father to succeed him, and his brothers objected. As a punishment they were condemned to have red skins, and they became the progenitors of the North American Indians. The Hebrews and the Indians fought vigorously from that day on, until finally in 384 A. D. the last of the Hebrews were massacred by the Indians near the present site of Palmyra. Mormon and his son Moroni were almost the sole survivors, and they having written down all the history of all this singular past, buried the golden plates upon which they had inscribed it in the Palmyra hill, where Joseph Smith discovered them.

Or else, Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon went into partnership to exploit old Parson Spalding's treasure. In which case, Mormon himself once walked these Pittsburg streets.

A queer business! A novel made over in to a Bible, and Joe Smith of Palmyra became a prophet, a martyr, and -- some of the faithful say -- even a god. "Old Come-to-pass" deserves his name. Nothing more wonderful has come to pass within the memory of this generation than the growth of this strange oak out of this Pittsburg acorn. And yet we think that the ages of faith have ended.

Notes: (forthcoming)


The  Pittsburg  Dispatch.
Vol. 47.                                 Pittsburgh, Monday, February 29, 1892.                                 No. ?


Elder W. H. Bond speaks for the Creed of the Latter-Day Saints --
A Claim That More Proof Has Been Secured Recently.

Elder W. H. Bond, a minister in the Church of the Latter-Day Saints, appeared in Goeddel's Hall in the East End last night, to answer the lecture of the Rev. Dr. Passavant on "The Inside View of Mormonism." Elder Bond's argument was abusive of Dr. Passavant and was chiefly a defense of the "Book of Mormon." He denied in vigorous language that Sydney Rigdon had stolen a copy of the manuscript of Solomon Spalding's novel from a Pittsburg printing office and characterized what is generally believed as the origin of Joseph Smith's "Golden Bible" as an invention of the enemies of Mormonism.

Old claims were rehearsed at great length and with a show of pomp the Elder announced that as a final proof that the Solomon Spalding story is a myth, he had recently interviewed a nephew of Spalding who lives in Crawford county who had laughed at the idea of his uncle's novel being taken as the Mormon Bible. "This man told me," said Elder Bond, "that Solomon Spalding had never been a minister: that previous to moving to Conneaut, O., he had been a partner of his brother,["] the father of the man I was interviewing, ["]in the distilling business, and that they fell out because Solomon refused to pay his brother what he owed him.["] Solomon, it seems, contracted a great many debts and expected to pay all of them with the procceds of his novel. He was a very illiterate man, my informer told me, and never graduated from Dartmouth College, as has been announced.

"The original manuscript of Spalding's story is at Oberlin College, Ohio, and shows no simllarlty whatever to the Book of Mormon. It has been published by us, but not by our enemies."

Referring to the band of faithful ones in Utah, the elder said: "I would rather stop in Pittsburg than go to Salt Lake City if I wanted more wives than one. In Utah they arrest people for having too many wives, and I don't think they would in Pittsburg. I've got one wife, however, and that's more than I can take care of now. I am opposed to polygamy and will have to be furnished proof that Joseph Smith practiced it before I believe he did. If the fact should be proved that Smith had more than one wife we most overlook that as we do the sins of David!"

Note 1: Elder Myron H. Bond was assigned to the RLDS Eastern Mission in April of 1883 and continued in his missionary work as a Seventy through the 1890s. In 1877 he interviewed E. D. Howe --- See also Elder Bond's 1891 book, Spiritual Gifts and The Seer of Palmyra, p. 19; also Elder Gomer T. Griffiths' 1888 interview with Daniel D. Spalding, as published in the Saints' Heraldof Dec. 22, 1888.

Note 2: Daniel was mistaken as to his uncle having "never graduated from Dartmouth College." See the graduation list published in the Massachusetts Spy of Oct. 6, 1785.

Note 3: It is indeed possible that Daniel's father, John Spalding, attempted to enagage in the liquor distilling business, during the early 1810s when he resided in the Conneaut Creek area of nothern Ohio and Pennsylvania. A neighbor of the Spalding's, John Rudd, Jr., operated a distillery in this region as early as 1802. It appears less likely that Solomon Spalding joined his brother John in liquor distilling. John evidently engaged in farming in the Conneaut Creek area, during the period when harvested corn was best turned into whiskey in order to make a profit. As a farmer, John might have had good reason to engage in liquor distilling -- but his land sales agent brother (Solomon) would have had no evident reason for doing the same.


Vol. XXVII.                         Washington, Penn., Thursday,  Oct. 28, 1897.                        No. 86.


No Place in Western Pennsylvania Has Had
So many Historical Gatherings.

There is prhaps no other hamlet in Washington county or even in Western Pennsylvania where there has been so many stirring events and notable gatherings, and which is so historically connected with important events as the little town of Amity, situated midway between Waynesburg and Washington. The hamlet has had 100 years of existence but there has been no big celebration to recall the fact, no relic displays to mark its historic events and no history written to recall its many important gatherings. Aside from its connection with the origin of the Mormon bible, Amity is an interesting town from many other points of view. The land now occupied by the village was formerly owned by Daniel Dodd, who in June, 1897, laid out 22 lots for a town. Three of the lots were sold in July, 1797, and later a deed was recorded for lot No. 13, in which the consideration was $11.50. The growth of the "town of good will" was slow. The town never took a boom nor did anything arise that turned the people from their accustomed and steady ways. As early as 1807 John Cooke was licensed to keep a tavern and the "wayside inns" were important places in the old town. In the business traffic that was carried on between Waynesburg and Washington Amity stood as the midway point on the line and the traveling public stopped off there for meals and lodging. A bar was attached to the ancient taverns and consequently they were much frequented by the population at large. In the days before the war the Washington county attorneys would travel on horseback to Waynesburg to attend court. Sessions were held in the autumn and spring when the roads were in the very worst condition. It was a common and somewhat interesting sight to the Amity people to witness such well known attorneys as McKennan, Gough, Montgomery, Watson and other old timers come riding into their town single file and put in at one of the taverns for rest and strength. In 1877 a narrow gauge railroad was put through from Washington to Waynesburg and Amity was no longer the important town of former years.

Amity has the reputation of being the most patriotic town in Washington county. Long before the war Amity had a uniformed company of militia in which all the male citizens of serviceable age were members. One day in each spring the companies of the brigade would hold a big muster at Amity. The companies would be inspected and drilled and hundreds of people from all sections of the county came to witness the event. These were gala days in the hamlet's history. This patriotic zeal which was characteristic of these people birst forth in 1862 with great fervor. It is said that the most stirring scenes in the history of Amity center around the civil war. At the President's call for volunteers in '62 a company was formed in this village under the captaincy of Captain Silas Parker. The company saw service in the hardest and most important battles of the war. At the present the most notable day at Amity is Decoration Day. In the old graveyard the remains of warriors of the revolution, 1812 and civil war now rest -- twenty-five in all. Here lie the remains of Nathaniel McGiffen, a revolutionary soldier, and the great grandfather of the late Captain Norton McGiffen, who served in the China-Japan war, John Ruckman, who died at the advanced age of 103 years, and Colonel Daniel Alexander, both "boys of '76," rest in the historic cemetery at Amity.

The many interesting assemblages characteristic of the pioneer days of our country's history were kept in vogue here until a comparatively recent date. The Fourth of July celebrations, political gatherings, "big musters," apple cuttings, quiltings, spelling bees and celebrations of various kinds made up the social life of the villagers.

Note: Although the writer of this piece notices this town's "connection with the origin of the Mormon bible," he evidently did not know that Solomon Spalding was also a Continental soldier and deserved some mention, along with the other revolutionary veterans buried in the local graveyard.


The  Pittsburg  Dispatch.
Vol. ?                                 Pittsburgh, Sunday,  July 10, 1898.                                 No. ?

(article on Solomon Spalding at Amity
under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                               Pittsburgh, Saturday June 17?, 1899.                               No. ?


The Rev. W. A. Stanton, in the course of three sermons to be delivered from his pulpit at the Shady Avenue Baptist church, will attempt to prove that Pittsburg is the home of Mormonism. He claims that Joseph Smith, who, tradition has it, was shown through Divine revelation the gold-rimmed palm leaves [sic!] whereon was written the basis of the Mormon doctrine and faith, stole a manuscript formulated by Sidney Rigdon from a Pittsburg printing office, which is the actual foundation of Mormonism. The Rev. Dr. Stanton has been making a special study of this question for more than four years, and claims to have ample proof of his assertions. He lately returned from the Pacific Coast and Salt Lake City, where he had been looking up data on the subject.

Note: The exact date of this notice remains undetermined. It is copied from a reprint published in the July 3, 1899 issue of the New York Times. Probably the report was taken from the Saturday, June 17th issue of the Post. Rev. William A. Stanton's three "Mormonism" sermons were delivered on June 18, June 25, and July 2, 1899. See the report on the second sermon in this series, as printed in the Post in June 26th.


The  Pittsburgh  Commercial  Gazette.
Vol. 113.                               Pittsburgh, Monday,  June 19, 1899.                              No. 279.


Rev. W. A. Stanton, D. D., of Shady
Avenue Baptist Church, Tells
Some Interesting Facts.

"Campbell, Scott and Rigdon, their Relation to the Early Religious History of Pittsburgh," was the subject of the morning sermon yesterday by the Rev. W. A. Stanton, D.D., of the Shady Avenue Baptist church. A second sermon will discuss "Did Mormonism Begin in Pittsburgh and was Rigdon its Founder?" An extract of the first sermon follows:

"Three movements in the second quarter of the nineteenth century, each of which was claimed by its leaders to be a reformation of religion, have an important place in American religious history. The earliest of these was led by Alexander Campbell and Walter Scott, resulting in the establishment of the 'Christians' or 'Disciples of Christ,' as a separate religious denomination. The second was the rise of the Mormons with Sidney Rigdon and Joseph Smith as leaders. The third was the development of spiritualism, which followed the 'rappings' of the Fox sisters. It is my purpose in this and a following address, to show the intimate relation of the first two movements to Pittsburgh's early religious history.

"From 1816 to 1821, there were at least three church organizations in Pittsburgh, that were independent of any denomination. One was organized by George Forrester about 1818: he was the principal of an academy. Walter Scott was his assistant; the church met in the court house and were immersionists. They were at first called 'Kissing Baptists' from their practices of immersion and the 'kiss of salutation.' They also practiced feet washing for a time, but after a while abandoned that and the 'kiss.' They never had any organic connection with the regular Baptists. Forrester was drowned in the Allegheny river, Scott succeeded him as principal and pastor. Thomas Campbell, founder of Alexander, was pastor of a second independent congregation. Robert Tassey of a third.

"At this same period the First Baptist church, (now the Fourth Avenue church), was meeting in a frame building at the northeast corner of Grant street and Third avenue. Sidney Rigdon became its pastor January 28, 1822. He was born at Library, a few miles south of this city, and was baptized into the membership of the Peters Creek Baptist church by Elder David Phillips." Dr. Stanton showed how Scott prosecuted his religious investigations until 1822 he met Alexander Campbell in Pittsburgh and found that they had reached much the same conclusions.

"In September, 1822 [sic - 1823?], the Redstone Baptist Association met with the First Baptist church, Pittsburgh. Both of the Campbells were present and preached their peculiar views, and October 11, 1823, he was deposed from the Baptist for heresy. In 1824 he and his followers united with Walter Scott and his followers. A year later Rigdon went to the Western Reserve in Ohio. Next Sunday I propose to return to his history and show his important part as a founder of Mormonism."

"In 1826 Mr. Scott moved to Steubenville, O. Dissensions had sprung up among his followers that were quieted only by the tact and labors of Samuel Church, a young man whom Scott had baptized and the ancestor of our honored citizen and author, Col. Samuel Harden Church. (Rev. Samuel Church's son and Rev. Walter Scott's daughter are the parents of Col. S. H. Church.) This congregation afterwards became the First Christian (or Disciple) church of Pittsburgh. Their antagonists called them Scottites and Campbellites, the latter name finally crowding out the former. Mr. Scott returned to Pittsburgh in 1844 where he published a weekly paper, The Protestant Unionist. In 1848 he became pastor of the First Christian church, Allegheny City. Later he went to Kentucky where he died in 1861. "

"Alexander Campbell never lived in Pittsburgh, but in Washington county. His father, however, taught a school on Liberty street and preached to a congregation of Independents in the school house, most of whom afterwards joined Scott's congregation. Alexander was first a Scotch Presbyterian, then a Baptist (until 1829 when he formerlly withdrew) and after that he was known to the religious world as the founder of the denomination known as 'The Disciples.'"

Note 1: Rev. Stanton's "Mormonism" sermons were delivered on June 18, June 25, and July 2, 1899 at the Shady Avenue Baptist church in Pittsburgh. None of the three texts was published in full at the time, but Pittsburgh newspapers provided a few extracts for curious readers. Stanton would later combine his 1899 lectures with other historical research findings, to produce his 1907 book, Three Important Movements.

Note 2: Some of the dates and other details of early Baptist history in Pittsburgh evidently came to Stanton, indirectly, from the Rev. A. J. Bonsall and his step-father, the Rev. John Winter, M. D. Stanton obviously consulted the earlier research compilations of the Rev. Samuel Williams and the Rev. Robert Patterson, Jr. He was thus able to bring together sufficient evidence whereby to announce "Sidney Rigdon as the Angel," in the Mormons accounts of Joseph Smith and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon -- see notes appended to a report of his preaching, published in the Pittsburgh Post of June 26th.


Vol. XVI.                               Pittsburgh, Monday, June 19, 1899.                               No. 168.



... At the Shady Avenue Baptist church Rev. Dr. W. A. Stanton, in his first of a series of sermons on "Campbell, Scott and Rigdon, and their relation to the early history of Pittsburg," is attempting to prove that Pittsburg is the home of Mormonism. He claims that Joseph Smith, who tradition has it, was shown through divine revelation the gold-rimmed palm leaves [sic!] on which was written the basis of the Mormon doctrine and faith, stole a manuscript formulated by Sidney Rigdon from a Pittsburg printing office, which is the actual foundation of Mormonism. He said in part:

"Rev. Sidney Rigdon was born on a farm about 12 miles from Pittsburg in 1793, and was baptized as a member of Peter's Creek church. Rigdon soon began to put himself forth, sought prominence and well-nigh supplanted his faithful pastor. When he took up his pastorate in Pittsburg the church had 96 members. At this time the church worshiped in a frame building at Grant street and Third avenue.

"At a meeting of the council of the Redstone association in 1823 Mr. Rigdon was found guilty of holding and teaching the doctrine of baptismal regeneration and many other abominable heresies. He was thereupon excluded from the church and deposed as a minister. Shortly after this Rigdon and his sympathizers, who left with him, joined hands with the church of Walter Scott, whose church at that time was declared to be, by the committee of the association, the only legitimate Baptist church in Pittsburg. By some church historians it has been written that there was a union between Scott's church and the followers of Rigdon before the latter's expulsion from the Baptist church. But that is not according to the facts of the case. The minority of the former church was from that time forth officially recognized as the Baptist church of Pittsburg. This settles the historic continuity of the Baptist church in this city from 1812 until the present time."

Note 1: The journalist's introductory paragraph contains a number of obvious errors, but his brief quotation from Stanton's lecture appears to be fairly accurate.

Note 2: Stanton's statement, that Rigdon's Pittsburgh congregation at first included "96 members," may have relied upon a report published by I. M. Allen in the 1833 edition of The United States Baptist Annual Register and Almanac: "His [John Davis's] successor was Mr. Sidney Rigdon, a superficial, flippant man, who for a season promised some usefulness, but, soon embracing the errors of Alexander Campbell, rent the church in pieces, until only fourteen out of ninety-six members remained on the original ground of their constitution. After prosecuting the work of destruction for two years, Mr. Rigdon was excluded from the connection. He then engaged in the business of destroying churches and propagating Campbellism in the State of Ohio, until he found the book of Mormon to be superior to the Bible for the accomplishment of his favorite object -- the common-stock system. This infatuated man is now deluding the ignorant, and transporting his disciples to the New Jerusalem, where they are starving for the necessaries of life."


Vol. ?                               Pittsburgh, Monday, June 26, 1899.                               No. ?


Rev. W. A. Stanton, D. D., Believes Rigdon Used Solomon Spaulding's Religious Romance to Furnish Material for Joseph Smith's Golden Tablets...

Rev. W. A. Stanton, D. D., pastor of the Shady Avenue Baptist church, East End, yesterday followed his lecture of last Sunday on the early religious history of Campbell, Scott and Rigdon in Pittsburg by a second lecture devoted to the work of Sidney Rigdon as the "angel" who supplied to Joseph Smith, founder of Mormonism, the material which makes up the Book of Mormon. Dr. Stanton, by much evidence shows that Rigdon in some way secured possession of the manuscript of a religious romance wtitten by Solomon Spaulding, who lived in Pittsburg. Dr. Stanton has made a recent study of Mormonism in Utah. He saw the book in the Tabernacle a few weeks ago. Dr. Stanton said, in substance:

"in the address of last Sunday we found that Sidney Rigdon was deposed from the pastorate of the First Baptist church, Pittsburg, and excluded from the Baptist denomination on October 11, 1823. In 1824 he and his followers effected a union with the independent congregation meeting in the Pittsburg court house under the leadership of Walter Scott. Within a few months after this Rigdon went to the Western Reserve, Ohio. From this time until his public connection with Joseph Smith and Mormonism he propagated the doctrines of Campbell and Scott, preaching and circulating their books and periodicals. In a number of instances he succeeded in forming churches where he was allowed to preach, and by stratagem or force, succeeded in securing to his people the church property.

"In August, 1827, Campbell, Scott and Rigdon met again at the Mahoning Baptist association in New Lisbon, O. Campbell was a member of the association . The association disbanded at Austintown in 1829. Scott's biographer, Mr. Baxter, says: 'Those Baptists who had embraced the new views, together with the new converts made, were called Campbellites, and by many Scottites, but after yje dissolution of the association, which was really brought about by the efforts of Scott, they were called 'Disciples.''

"When Rigdon preached at the association in New Lisbon his home was in Kirtland, O. Just 30 days after that sermon Joseph Smith proclaimed his finding of the 'Golden Bible,' better known as 'The Book of Mormon,' at the little village of Manchester, six miles from Palmyra, N. Y. Rigdon soon went thither, professed immediate conversion to the 'find' and straightway preached the first Mormon sermon. It was delivered at Palmyra, and showed a remarkable knowledge of Mormonism for a new convert. It was said that he seemed to know more about it than Joe Smith himself...

"Smith claimed to have been directed by an angel to the burial place of a stone box in which was a volume six inches thick and composed of thin gold leaves eight by seven inches, fastened by these gold rings. The writing on the leaves was said to be 'reformed Egyptian.' There was also a pair of supernatural spectacles consisting of two opaque crystals, that Smith called 'Urim and Thummim.' They were set in a silver bow, and whenever he put that on he could read the 'reformed Egyptian language.' My father-in-law, then 19 years old, lived near there, and is still living. He knew Smith. I have heard him say that Smith was an ignorant, smooth-spoken, slippery fellow, lazy, and that he went about digging for lost treasures and locating water springs with a divining rod. He was just the man for Rigdon's use, although he proved in the long run too much for his master. It will probably never be known why Rigdon had to take second place in Mormonism, but it is certain that Smith proved the better politician, and probably held the whip of secrecy over Rigdon. Neither man had the means to publish this 'Golden Bible.' They succeeded in interesting a well-to-do farmer. Martin Harris, who furnished the money. Oliver Cowdery was employed as an amanuensis, writing what Smith dictated to him, Smith being on the farther side of a concealing curtain. In 1830 the book was printed, and with it a sworn statement by Cowdery, Harris and a David Whitmer that an 'angel of God' had shown them the plates from which the book purported to be a translation.

"In after years these three men renounced Mormonism and said that their sworn statement was false. A few weeks ago I stood in the Tabernacle at Salt Lake City and open the Book of Mormon that lay upon one of the pulpits there. It contained the oath of the three men. When asked asked what became of the the original 'Golden Bible' the Mormons give you to understand that an angel removed it after Smith translated it.

"Now we return to Pittsburg: Solomon Spaulding was born in Ashford, Conn., in 1761, and was graduated from Dartmouth college in 1786. Later he lived in New Salem and Conneaut, O. There he wrote a romance that he called 'The Manuscript Found.' He read it to many of his relatives and friends. In it were such names as Mormon, Maroni, Lamanite and Nephi. It divided the people on this continent long ago, into the righteous and the idolatrous, and told the story of the discovery of their history as recorded in a manuscript that had been for centuries concealed in the earth. It was full of wars and rumors of wars, and presented a record of the preaching of Christianity on this continent during the first century. As a minister Mr. Spaulding had made his story conform closely to the historical closing of the Bible: It fitted in as a sequel. In 1812 he moved to Pittsburg. Robert Patterson had a printing office here; his foreman was Silas Engles. Spaulding wanted Patterson to print his romance, but had not the means to secure the printer in case the book was a failure. Patterson told Engles to publish it if Spaulding furnished the security. Patterson always said he supposed Engles returned the manuscript to the author. In 1814 Spaulding moved to Amity, Washington county, Pa., where he died in 1816. Joseph Miller, of Amity, knew him well and knew the contents of his manuscript. The Pittsburg 'Telegraph,' in 1879, reports Miller as telling that Spaulding told him that while he was writing a preface for the book the manuscript was spirited away, and that he suspected a young man named Rigdon of taking it. Redick McKee, of Washington county, told the same story. Both men recognize the likeness of the Book of Mormon to the lost manuscript. Some of Rigdon's friends at Library claimed that Rigdon never lived in Pittsburg at that time, and did not work in a printing office. On the other hand, we have the testimony of Mrs. R. J. Eichbaum, who died in Pittsburg in 1882. Her father was postmaster and she was clerk in the office from 1811 to 1816. She said that Sidney Rigdon and the young Lambdin, who became Patterson's partner in 1818, were very intimate and often came together for their mail. Also that Engles said that Rigdon was 'always hanging about the office,' Spaulding's widow testified that Rigdon was connected with the printing office in some way.

"Rev. John Winter, M. D., well known to many here to-day, testified that he was in Rigdon's study when he was pastor at the First church. In 1822-3, and that Rigdon took from his desk a large manuscript and said, in substance: 'A Presbyterian minister, Mr. Spaulding, whose health failed, brought this to the printer to see if it would pay to publish it. It is a romance of the Bible,' Rev. A. J. Bonsall, now pastor of the Baptist church at Rochester, Pa., has told me that Dr. Winter, his step-father, often referred to this incident, saying that Rigdon said he got it from the printers. Dr. Winter's daughter, Mrs. Mary W. Irvine, of Sharon, Pa., says" 'I have frequently heard my father speak of Rigdon's having Spaulding's manuscript; that he said he got it from the printer to read it as a curiosity. As such he showed it to my father, but at that time seemed to have no thought of making the use of it that he later did. Father always said that Rigdon helped Smith in his plan by revising and transforming this manuscript into the 'Mormon Bible.'

"In 1879 Mrs. Amos Dunlop, of Warren, O., wrote of having visited the Rigdons when she was young and of his taking a manuscript from his trunk and becoming greatly interested in it. His wife threatened to burn it, but he said, 'No. indeed, you will not: this will be a great thing some day.' In 1820 the Widow Spaulding married a Mr. Davidson, of Hartwick, Otsego county, N. Y.: in May, 1839, the Boston 'Recorder' published a statement from her, made to and recorded by Rev. Dr. R. Austin, of Monson, Mass, to the effect that a Mormon preacher took a copy of the Mormon Bible to New Salem, O., where her husband had lived; and where much of his romance had been written, and read from that Bible in a public meeting. Many of the older people who had known her husband immediately recognized it as her husband's story, and his brother, John Spaulding, rose in the meeting and publicly protested against such a use of his brother's writings. Rigdon wrote a coarse and emphatic denial of this to the 'Recorder,' and said he had never heard of such a man as Spaulding. In August, 1880, 'Scribner's Monthly' published some 'testimony from Spaulding's daughter, Mrs. M. S. McKinstry, of Washington, D. C. She testified to the same facts that her mother had given. Mrs. President Garfield's father, Mr. Z. Rudolph, knew Rigdon well, and has certified that during the winter previous to the appearance of the Mormon Bible, Rigdon spent weeks away from home, gone no one knew where. His joining the Mormons so quickly made his neighbors sure that he was in the secret of the authorship of the 'Book of Mormon.' The 'Book' was printed in the office of the 'Wayne Sentinel,' Palmyra, N. Y. The editor of that paper was Pomeroy Tucker. In 1867 he published 'The Origin and Progress of Mormonism.' In that he says that during the summer of 1827 (Smith's 'find' being that same autumn) a stranger made several mysterious visits at Smith's house. This stranger was afterward reconized as Rigdon.

"Tucker's statement is corroborated by Mrs. Dr. Horace Eaton, who lived in Palmyra for more than 30 years. Testimony has been secured from many others. As early as 1835 E. D. Howe, of Painesville, O., printed the full testimony of eight reliable witnesses, such persons as John Spaulding and his wife, Henry Lake, a former business associate of Solomon Spaulding; Oliver Smith, Aaron Wright and Naham Howard, all of Conneaut, O., and all of whom certified as to the substantial identity of Spaulding's romance and the Book of Mormon. Rigdon's own brother-in-law, Rev. Adam Bently, and Alexander Campbell both tell of a conversation that Rigdon had with them at least two years before the Book of Mormon made its appearance. He told them 'that such a book was coming out, the manuscript of which had been found engraved on gold plates.' In spite of their united testimony Rigdon claimed that he first heard of the Book of Mormon from Parley P. Pratt in August, 1830, three years after it was found by Smith...

Note 1: This clipping is from a Pittsburgh newspaper -- probably from the July 10, 1899 issue of the Pittsburgh Post. At least, peripherial texts and the format of the main article in the clipping match closely the content of the Post during this period. See also the report published in the Post a few days prior to Rev. Stanton's delivery of the sermon.

Note 2: Rev. William A. Stanton obviously took a good deal of the information related in his sermon from the a pamphlet written by Rev. Robert Patterson, Jr. This pamphlet, Who Wrote The Book of Mormon? appeared in print during the second half of 1882. It is possible that Rev. Stanton received some of his information directly from Rev. Patterson.

Note 3: It is possible that Rev. Stanton, or one of his Baptist associates, served as Robert Patterson, Jr.'s contact with Baptist minister Rev. A. J. Bonsall, who during the late 19th century was living in Rochester. Stanton mentions in his sermon that he had communicated with Bonsall on the matter of Rev. John Winter having once conversed with Sidney Rigdon in Pittsburgh regarding Spalding's writings. It also appears likely that Rev. Stanton was in contact with his fellow Baptist minister, Rev. William H. Whitsitt, lately the President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary at Louisville, Kentucky. Whitsitt probably derived some of his information and ideas regarding Sidney Rigdon's early history from communication with Baptist ministers residing in Pittsburgh during the mid-1880s.

Note 4: Rev. William A, Stanton summarized his three sermons an interesting article that he sent to the Chicago Standard and published in that newspaper on July 22, 1899. In this article, "The Relation of Sidney Rigdon to the Book of Mormon," Rev. Stanton ends by saying: "... in spite of this, Rigdon claimed that he first heard of the Book of Mormon from parley P. Pratt in August, 1830. In light of this evidence, whence think ye came the Book of Mormon, and what is its claim to divine authority? Was not Rigdon Joseph Smith's angel?" The claim that Rigdon, in contacts with Joseph Smith, Jr. and other early Mormons, posed as an angelic "fellow servant" in their latter day work of "restoring the fulness of the gospel," was not Stanton's innovation. Other investigators of Mormon origins came to this same conclusion, but Rev. Stanton gave that conclusion wider publicity; his allegation, that Rigdon was the somewhat less than heavenly "messenger" claimed by Smith to be his source for the record of the Nephites, was repeated in Stanton's c. 1907 book, Three Important Movements: Campbellism, Mormonism, and Spiritualism, (see the Aug. 20, 1913 issue of the Saints' Herald for a notice and the Oct 29, 1913 issue for a review). Stanton's Chicago Standard article on Rigdon as the "angel" was reprinted in Edgar E. Folk's 1900 book, The Mormon Monster.

Note 5: Clearly Rev. Robert Patterson, Jr., Rev. William H. Whitsitt, and Rev. William A. Stanton shared some specific views concerning the relationship of Campbellism and early Mormonism, along with their jointly-held notion that Rigdon was the lynch-pin between the two religious movements (and that he was the "angel" of Smith's visionary stories). For speculation on how shining angels might have been manufactured, to dupe Rigdon's credulous followers in Kirtland, Ohio, see the Dec. 17, 1878 and Dec. 17, 1878 letters of Elder J. J. Moss to James T. Cobb.


The  Pittsburgh  Commercial  Gazette.
Vol. 113.                               Pittsburgh, Monday,  June 26, 1899.                              No. 285.



Rev. W. A. Stanton Shows That the
Mormon Religion Had Its Origin
in the Fertile Brain of Sidney Rigdon
of Pittsburgh.

Rev. W. A. Stanton, D.D., pastor of the Shady Avenue Baptist church, yesterday morning followed the line of thought he had awakened a week ago regarding the early religious history of Pittsburgh and the probability of its having been the birthplace of Mormonism. The subject of his address yesterday morning was "A Second Chapter in the Early Religious History of Pittsburgh."

Rev. Stanton took up the career of Sidney Rigdon where he had left it the Sunday before, just at the time of his being ousted from the pastorate of the First Baptist church of this city. October 11, 1823. In 1824 Rigdon and his followers effected a union with the independent congregation meeting in the Pittsburgh court house, under the leadership of Walter Scott. A few months after this Rigdon went to the western reserve, Ohio. From that time until his public connection with Joseph Smith he propagated the doctrine of Alexander Campbell and walter Scott. In a number of instances he succeeded in forming a party in churches, and by stratagem or force he secured to those parties the church property.

In August, 1827, Campbell, Scott and Rigdon met again at the Mahoning Baptist association in New Lisbon, O. Campbell was a member of the association, while the two others were visitors. Rigdon preached a sermon before the association. Thirty days after that sermon Joseph Smith proclaimed the finding of the "Golden Bible," better known as "The Book of Mormon," at the little village of Manchester, six miles from Palmyra, N. Y. Rigdon soon went there, professed his adoption of Smith's views, and preached the first Mormon sermon.

Well Posted for a Convert.

It showed a large amount of information for a new convert, and it was said that he knew more about it than Smith himself. Smith was quick-witted, lazy and superstitious and was just the sort of a man that Rigdon could use. It will probably never be known why Rigdon did not to take the first place in Mormonism for himself. Smith later developed better qualities of leadership and Rigdon dared never offend him, lest he divulge the secret of the "Golden Bible."

Neither Smith nor Rigdon had any money to invest in publishing "The Golden Bible," but they succeeded in interesting a well-to-do farmer in the scheme. His name was Martin Harris. Oliver Cowdery was employed as an amanuensis. Harris, Cowdery and a David Whitmer made sworn statements that an angel had shown them the place where the golden plates of the original Golden Bible had been hidden. The book was published in 1830 and with it the sworn statements of these men. They afterwards recanted and declared their own sworn statements false. The great book of Mormon which lies in the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City contains these sworn statements, but not their recantation.

Rev. Stanton then went on to give some of the personal history of Solomon Spalding, who was born in Connecticut, but later lived in [New] Salem and Conneaut, O. Spalding wrote a book which he called "The Manuscript Found." Its leading characters bore such names as Maroni, Lamanite and Nephi. It gave a history of fabulous peoples and told an imaginary story of the discovery of [their] history as recorded on a manuscript that was centuries ago concealed in the earth. In 1812 Spalding removed to Pittsburgh and gave the manuscript to Robert Patterson to be printed.

Recognized Spalding's Story.

Spaulding afterward removed to Amity, Pa., where he died. Joseph Miller, of Amity, an intimate friend of Spalding, testified that Spalding told him before his death that the manuscript was stolen from by Sidney Rigdon. Miller also said that when he heard the book of Mormon read he at once recognized Spalding's story. Several persons, and Rev. Stanton gave their names, testified that Rigdon was employed in Patterson's office.

Six years later Rigdon returned to Pittsburgh and was the pastor of the Baptist church. Rev. John Winter, M. D., said that in the winter of 1822 he was visiting Rigdon in his study, when the latter touched a mass of manuscripts on his desk and said in substance, "A Presbyterian minister, Mr. Spalding, whose health failed, brought this to the printer to see if it would pay to publish it. It is a romance of the Bible." Rev. Stanton went on to give a large amount of testimony to the truth of the various stories told of Rigdon and his connection with the manuscript written by Spalding. He showed conclusively that the romance written by Spalding and the "Book of Mormon" were one and the same and that it fell into the hands of Rigdon, who conceived the idea of founding a religious organization upon it. He further showed the intimacy between Rigdon and Joseph Smith and justified his assertion that Rigdon was the only "angel" that Smith ever saw.

Note 1: On Rigdon as the "angel," see also the June 26, 1899 issue of the Pittsburgh Post, describing Stanton's sermon as "a second lecture devoted to the work of Sidney Rigdon as the 'angel' who supplied to Joseph Smith, founder of Mormonism, the material which makes up the Book of Mormon."

Note 2: Stanton summarized his three Pittsburgh sermons in an interesting article that he sent to the Chicago Standard (published in that newspaper on July 22, 1899), which he titled: "The Relation of Sidney Rigdon to the Book of Mormon." Rev. Stanton ends that text by saying: "Rigdon claimed that he first heard of the Book of Mormon from Parley P. Pratt in August, 1830. In light of this evidence, whence think ye came the Book of Mormon, and what is its claim to divine authority? Was not Rigdon Joseph Smith's angel?"

Note 3: The claim that Rigdon, in contacts with Joseph Smith, Jr. and other early Mormons, posed as an angelic "fellow servant" in their latter day work of "restoring the fulness of the gospel," was not Stanton's innovation. Other investigators of Mormon origins came to this same conclusion, but Rev. Stanton first gave that conclusion wide publicity. His allegation, that Rigdon was the somewhat less than heavenly "messenger" claimed by Smith to be his source for the record of the Nephites, was repeated by Stanton's in his 1907 book, Three Important Movements: Campbellism, Mormonism, and Spiritualism, (see the Aug. 20, 1913 issue of the Saints' Herald for a notice and the Oct 29, 1913 issue for a review). Stanton's 1899 Chicago Standard article on Rigdon as the "angel" was reprinted in Edgar E. Folk's 1900 book, The Mormon Monster.

Note 4: Jerald and Sandra Tanner, writing in Oct. of 1989, tried to pin the blame for the invention of the Rigdon-as-the-angel argument, upon the Rev. Doctor William W. Whitsitt. The Tanners suppressed the fact that numerous other early writers also guessed that Sidney Rigdon acted as Smith's "angel." The Tanners picked 1885 as representing the latest date at which Whitsitt might have taken notice of any other writers' claims linking Sidney Rigdon to Smith's "angel." Actually, William H. Whitsitt could have quoted these earlier sources (if he had cared to) as late as 1891, when a summary of his views on the subject was published in a widely-read reference book. Whitsitt more than likely noticed the Rigdon=divine messenger conclusion published in E. D. Howe's 1834 Mormonism Unvailed, as did Rev. Stanton and other early writers. As for the anti-LDS document fabricator the Tanners were searching for in 1989, he was very likely Dr. Daniel Braxton Turney (1848-1926), a well-educated Illinois politician and infamous anti-Mormon clergyman.

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