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Organ of the Liberal Cause in Utah. Devoted to Mental Liberty, Social Development & Spiritual Progress.
Vol. I.                       Salt Lake City, U. T., Saturday, January 1, 1870.                     No. 1.


A movement has now commenced in our midst which no hand can turn back. As well might we strive to stamp out an advancing prairie fire with our feet as to stay the progress of inspiration and free thought now sent forth. Before the wave of spiritual power now passing over our people, prejudice will melt away. It will be found that one touch of divine influence felt in the hearts of the people wipes out a thousand false charges and priestly anathemas. Those who think that any amount of personal defamation of character will prevent the examination of the great questlon now before the people will find that they have something grander and greater to cope with than they have ever handled before; against which the tricks and strategy of olden times will be useless.

A new era has opened upon Zion, and prophetic voices are crying to her, "Arise! shine! for thy light has come!" from out of the depths of materialism she is summoned to "put on her beautltul garments" of spirituality and divine truth and take her place as the leader in intellactual freedom and divine philosophy. To assist her in this great mission we humbly dedicate the pages of the Mormon Tribune.

The despotism of the priesthood lies in the false assumption that, unless the members of the church passively and unquestionably obey their measures on all subjects, financial and intellectual as well as the spiritual, that they have the right, as well as the power to separate them from God and divine influences, and from all the joys of eternal life; coercing them by the terrors of damnation, or the loss of church privileges, to a blind obedience to their measures. As our people understand it, God has revealed to them in a thousand ways, that Joseph Smith's mission was divine, so that they can not conscientiously leave the church; and, while in this situation, their leaders demand that they shall believe in their right to dictate them absolutely in all things, or leave the church. Here is coercion to all intents and purposes. They can not renounce "Mormonism," because it is divine to them, and they can not remain in it, and follow the free convictions of their souls; and yet the leaders of the church talk about "liberty and freedom."

....Another necessity for this movement lies in the virtual denial of the privilege of Revelation to the members of the church.... Men may get revelation and inspiration, provided it confirms the measures of the authorities. In case they get any that do not, it is assumed at the start that all such revelations are of the Devil....

A schoolboy possessed of the first elements of reasoning would say, "what is the use of asking God anything about the matter in such a case?" And further, what is the use of God giving revelation under such circumstances? He may only testify in favor of President Young's measures. If he reveals contrary to this, even His revelation will revelation will be ascribed to Satan. It will be clear to the meanest comprehension, that any Priesthood that can persuade a people to accept such a dogma, have them in a fearful grip. They can not investigate their doings, for all revelations that condemn any measure of the Priesthood are assumed to be of the Devil to start with....


Inasmuch as a great variety of rumors have been started with reference to our views concerning the past and future of "Mormonism," we feel that our interests, as well as our duty to the public, require us to make a plain statement of the circumstances which have led to our present relations to the Church...

For daring mildly and respectfully to reason upon the inconsistencies of some of the President's propositions he has deprived us of our fellowship and standing in the Church, and thus, with his own hand, has dissolved our allegiance to him. He has declared that his will is supreme and omnipotent in the Church, that it shall be unquestionably obeyed, and that to oppose any of his measures shall be deemed apostacy, and punished by excommunication.

The proper time having now arrived, we are at liberty to bear our message to the members of our church and the world at large. We, therefore, announce to the world at large that a great and divine movement is at hand, when the Church will find a second birth, and commence a new era in her career. She will return to her true order, the guidance of prophets, seers, and revelations, the administration of angels, and the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Having learned the evils of the one-man power, she will never again surrender her liberty into human keeping; she will disentangle her hands from alliance with commerce and the civil power, and move onward to her true destiny, to be the great spiritual and intellectual power of the earth....

The Church thenceforth will be known as the Church of Zion. The ordinances and principles of the Gospel will remain intact as at present. The Spiritual gifts will be encouraged in all their forms of manifestation. The great truth will be emphatically proclaimed, that no priesthood or standing in the church, or ordinances of any kind, in and of themselves, elevate the possessor, or obtain for him any distinction in the sight of God. All outward forms, important as they are in their place, will be considered only as means for our advancement in purity, goodness, and intelligence. Apart from which object it will be understood that they have no power or value. The whole purpose of the gospel being the elevation of man's nature, all its organizations or requirements will be held, therefore, to be but means to that end.

Inasmuch as men cannot labor with all the energies of their souls, or work with dignity and influence, unless their hearts are fully engaged in their operations, the movement will oppose the principle of sending men on missions where they are destitute of the spirit of such mission or calling.

On the subject of funds it will be understood that the Church was not instituted as amachine for raising money, and that all wealth which the Church cannot obtain without oppressing the people it will be better without. It will be taught that God has no special object in requiring Tithing, only so far as it tends to the promulgation of truth, the relief of the poor, or the promotion of public improvments. The doctrine will be that Tithing was instituted for man and not man for the Tithing. The Movement will also maintain that the Church's funds are the people's property, and should be regularly accounted for to them; and, further, that the control thereof should belong to the Presiding Bishop, acting under a board of Trustees, elected by the people, and not to the Presidency of the Church, whose minds should be left free to attend to higher duties.

Tithing will consist of a tenth of one's increase, or a tenth of all clear profits, obtained over and above the amount possessed the previous year. Or, in other words, tithing should be a tenth of the interest (or gain) obtained by labor or means, or both, annually, and not a tenth of one's entire labor, or, the results of labor, as at present understood and enforced. Thus throwing the weight of Tithing mainly on the rich, and lightening the burdens of the poor.

The prominence and influence once enjoyed by of the Twelve and other quorums will be revived, and the policy will be to repress the principle by which any one quorum has hitherto been made to possess the sole voice in matters, and the conduct of the church.

All quorums of the Church will be understood simply as organizations for the transaction of its business and the promulgation of its principles, and not as vehicles for promoting any set of men above their fellows. The first Presidency of the Church will be recognized as its Executive, who should be chief representatives of the spirit and inspirations of all its quorums -- reflecting not only their own light but the garnered wisdom of the whole people. The first and last lesson to be learned by every quorum will be that neither head nor foot can say to the other, -- "I have no need of thee."

The Priesthood will present itself before the world simply as an institution for teaching and propagating truth. It will throw aside all pretensions to dictatorial power, and leave men's professions, their employment, and the entire control of their talents and means to themselves. It will seek to promote individuality of every man to the utmost. Instead of trying to force the conceptions of one man's brain, or those of twenty, into the million, it will recognize the God, the light and truth that is in the souls of all men, and seek only to develop it and guide it to its true end.

The Church will enlarge her creed so that she can become the nursing mother of millions instead of the controller of a few. So long as men obey the initiatory ordinances of the Gospel and live pure lives, the Church will find a place for them within her borders, whether they can accept one additional principle of truth or a thousand. Like Nature, which rejects nothing from her domain, but, from the rudest to the grandest organism, controls all with the same hand, so will the Church embrace all intelligences within her operations, accepting them where they are and leading them up to God.

The unity which the Church will aim for, will be the unity of oneness in all great principles of truth. It will seek to harmonize the sentiments of mankind, leaving all free to follow the bent of their organization, and to work out their own individuality, instead of aiming to direct their action in the petty details of life. This is the unity and harmony manifested in the universe, in which all elements are united in obeying great general laws, while each manifests its peculiar qualities in its own way. This, therefore, is God's unity, and life and intelligence can be controlled on no other principle. All other unity is the soulless unity of the drill sergeant, and as destructive of human intelligence as it is beneath the aims of a God.

All religions will be recognized as having been wisely developed in the providence of God to meet the varied conditions of the different races and classes of mankind.

It will be understood that any creed which is above the understanding of a man can not be divine to him, while a lower creed, which comes within his conceptions of what is divine, will touch his heart and develop more good in its nature. All creeds, therefore, will be respected in Zion as dulfilling a great and useful mission in God's hand.

In the wide creed of this Divine Movement, Zion's motto will be: "Charity for all." She will view the wicked or corrupt as men morally diseased, that simply need to be cured. She will ascribe all wickedness to ignorance, false education, unfortunate surroundings, and more than all to inherent tendencies to good or evil derived from parentage at birth. While she will teach that all are responsible for making the best use of such intelligence and perceptions of good as they do possess, she will contend that tendencies to good or evil are not equally strong in all men -- that with some it is far easier to do right than it is for others, and that the wicked should be viewed as the unfortunate, who require more love and care than "those that are whole and need not a physician."

The policy of the Movement will be to make Zion, that place, of all others on the face of the earth, where mere difference of creed has the least power to separate man from his fellow man. Zion's policy will be to abolish all distinctions which buildup hatred and division in the hearts of men, and to draw all men so near to her that she can reach their affections and do them good. the term Gentile will pass away. Entrenched in the strength of the broadest, most liberal, and most philosophical principles the world has ever known, and backed by the invisible influences of a higher world, she will fear no rivalry, and need no petty external arrangements to shield her from the influence of inferior faiths, or from intermixture with the bad. All wholesale measures for separation and non-association between classes and creeds are artificial, and require, as we well know, the watchman and the inquisitor to keep them going -- and then they fail. There is no true safeguard from corruption but that of higher education and intelligence. The good and the pure, the intellectually and spiritually developed, need no division between themselves and the ignorant and depraved. Their own natures and higher conditions are a sufficient division and protection.

All trading or social relations with people in or out of the church, will decide themselves upon grounds of acquaintance, experience and individual judgment. All wholesale prohibitions of classes or creeds, commercially or religiously, are opposed to the spirit of the age and must cease.

On the great question of Civil rule, the Movement will recognize the National Government as supreme in its sphere. It will, therefore, practically sustain its laws and seek, by consititional means to change those which it considers opposed to religious or civil liberty.

Another point in the Movement will be to place the practice of plural marriage on the highest grounds. It will only maintain or encourage it so far as it is practiced within the highest conditions of purity, delicacy and refinement. It will assert that pure affection on both sides can alone sanctify this or any other kind of marriage. It will, therefore, oppose all marriage from a cold sense of religious duty, as it will marrying for the mere accumulation of families.

It will teach the high principles -- the strict laws and conditions which alone can render this order of life successful, and then leave it -- like the question of being called to preach the Gospel -- to every man's light and intuitions to determine when, or whether, it will be right in his case or not.

Above all things, the movement will strongly assert the necessity of the highest appreciation of woman, and of her highest development and culture, as the only basis of a high civilization....

P R O S P E C T U S.





The publishers of the Utah Magazine, believing that a Newspaper would be a more appropriate medium than a magazinee for the expression of their views, and better adapted for general circulation, purpose, in a few weeks to suspend the publication of the Utah Magazine and publish a large weekly newspaper, under the above title.

THE MORMON TRIBUNE will sustain the platform already laid down by the Magazine, advocating freedom of speech and mental liberty within the Church, and will seek by kindly discussion to bring this question home to the minds of all.

The TRIBUNE will avoid personalities of all kinds, and no intemperate article will be allowed to appear in its columns; at the same time it will make a manly protest against wrong or abuse of power of every kind. In a word, the TRIBUNE will contend for a Free "Mormonism," not the freedom of license to do wrong, but such Gospel freedom as was offered to us when we came into the Church, and such as the Holy Spirit, then and now, certifies to us as our eternal right.

THE MORMON TRIBUNE will be the pioneer of all advanced thoughts. It will seek to break down all cramping influences which come in the way of the widest and freest discussion of every principle of right. It will bring into practical operation the old Mormon theory that ALL TRUTH belongs to our system, and show to the world that, as a people, we dare look any truth in the face, whether it may have belonged to our original belief or not.

THE MORMON TRIBUNE is started with the full assurance that we are on the eve of a new era in our career, in which "Mormonism" will throw aside all narrowing tendencies and present herself before the world as the exponent of the highest facts of science, the noblest truths of religion, and the widest sentiments of charity to all mankind. To prepare the way for this consummation will be the mission of the TRIBUNE. All who look and pray for such a day will lend their aid to sustain it in its holy work of progress and reform.

The TRIBUNE is no personal speculation. It will be made the property of the Movement it represents, and belong to the people. In aiding it, therefore, by purse, voice, or pen, all may feel that they contribute to a Cause and not to men.

As publishers, on behalf of the Movement, we urge all our friends to yield the TRIBUNE that aid that will enable it to meet the crusade now in operation against the circulation of the Magazine, and sustain it while it fights the battle of free speech and thought.

All who have paid for the Magazine will be supplied with the TRIBUNE until their number is complete. All subscribing for the TRIBUNE will be furnished with the Magazine until the former is published.

THE MORMON TRIBUNE will be published every Saturday. Price $5.00 per year; $3.00 per half year; single copies, 20 cents; clubs of five copies, $20.00.

All who understand the enormous difficulties against which we have to contend, and are disirous of aiding the TRIBUNE in its struggle for right, will take as many copies as they can personally, and raise us all the subscriptions or advertisements in their power. And by the united effort of all our friends, moving in the spirit of reason and kindness, we shall win and convince on every hand, and the truth will march triumphantly along.

W. S. GODBE, }
E. L. T. HARRISON, } Punlishers.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. I.                       Salt Lake City, U. T., Saturday, April 15, 1871.                     No. 1.


The Daily Tribune will be a purely secular presentation of News and to the development of the Mineral and Commercial interests of the Territory. It will have no sectarian bias and will be the organ of no religious body whatever. The aim of the publishers will be to make it a Newspaper in every sense of the word....


William W. Phelps has given 6,000 volumes to Yale College which were once a part of Von Mohl's famous library at Heidelberg.

Note: The man referred to in the Yale donation report "William Walter Phelps," rather than the Mormon "W. W. Phelps." William Walter Phelps (Yale, class of 1860) contributed $1,400 to help the college purchase the library of Robert von Mohl.


Vol. I.                         Salt Lake City, U. T., Friday, April 21, 1871.                       No. 6.

We regret to learn that J. F. Beadle, Esq., a well-known journalist of this Territory, has entirely lost the sight of his right eye from ophthalmia, which has made its ravages in spite of the skill of his physicians. Mr. Beadle proposes, as soon as he can travel with comfort, to proceed to his native State, Indiana, and spend the summer in quiet and repose. It is to be hoped that it may not be too late to restore the sight to his eye. We sympathize with Mr. Beadle in his misfortune.

Note 1: See the Corinne Reporter of Nov. 11, 1869 for details of the attack upon Beadle in which his eye was ingured. In his interview with the New York Times reporter (published April 14, 1872) Mr. Beadle related the 1869 assault incident thusly: "I was summoned on a civil suit before this lecherous old "Saint," Smith in November, 1869. When coming out of the Court-house I was hit suddenly and without warning in the back of the head by somebody, I know not who, and knocked senseless. They then trampled on me with their heavy boots till I had bones broken and was subjugated generally. My friends hauled me home, the doctor set me on my pins in a month or so, and that was the end of it. The "Saints" had all that fun, and it never cost them a cent. Suppose I had brought suit for damages. I should have had a Mormon Judge and jury, and you can guess would have been the result. I had "damages" enough already! In those days we were almost without resource, except the right of appeal to the District Court."

Note 2: The Tribune of April 26th specifically reports that Mr. Beadle's left eye was functional, and that his eye would "be of some service." -- In a biographical sketch of John H. Beadle, published in Maysville, Kentucky Evening Bulletin the of July 2, 1897, his 1869 assault is briefly mentioned, along with the statement: "In the melee he received a wound which caused the loss of his left eye, besides being otherwise injured." In his own telling of the incident, in his 1882 Polygamy: or, The Mysteries and Crimes of Mormonism, Beadle said it was his right eye that was hurt. While Beadle's left eye was initially injured, he eventually recovered its full use -- it was his right eye that suffered permanent damage.


Vol. I.                  Salt Lake City, U. T., Saturday, December 6, 1871.                No. 1.

ARGUS, having talked at the prophet a long time in the Corinne Reporter, without being heard, has now commenced to sing to him. But whether in poetry or prose, he has never brought to light a solitary fact that will be worth a straw in the prosecution of Brigham on any charge. He has simply ented his spleen, which appears to be his sole stock-in-trade. He says adieu, but this is probably not the last of him. Apemantus is never through.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                  Salt Lake City, U. T., Wednesday, February 21, 1872.                No. 108.



The history of polygamy is much like what the Mormons claim for their priesthood -- without beginning of days. This is one of the peculiar features of the peculiar institution, and one that is not easily explained.

Mormonism can be but partly known from its written history, from the fact of its being full of falsehoods and trickery, both being acknowledged as legitimate in the introduction of a "divine" system, to a wicked and an adulterous generation. No wonder that "K." became confused in his endeavors to fathom to its depths the mystery of godliness, and finally refer the subject to the Tribune for solution. O, presumptuous Gentile, give heed to the "Lord's" servants while they lift the veil that obscures the secrets of "divine" revelators from the gaze of the giddly and unconverted outsiders who are not prepared to live up to the privileges enjoyed by 'prophets!'

The "Book of Doctrines & Covenants" was accepted by the Mormon church as a rule of faith in the year 1835, but the text quoted by friend "K." has either been altered since 1845, or misquoted purposely by the Editor of the Times and Seasons, a semi-monthly edited and published at Nauvoo by apostle John Taylor, in which the same question is made, but it reads thus, "We believe that one should have BUT ONE WIFE, and one woman but one one husband."

Section 109, on Marriage (being the one referred to) does not claim to be a revelation, but according to Brigham Young's testimony, it was written by O. Cowdery and permitted to be published in the Book of Doctrines and Covenants by Joseph Smith. Now Cowdery, (who by the way, was no less a personage than one of the three witnesses to the divinity of the Book of Mormon) had discovered that the Prophet enjoyed privileges extraordinary, by way of cohabiting with a number of women other than his lawful wife Emma, which, of course, aroused his jealousy, and he, being also one of the first presidency, saw no "just cause or impediment" why so great a blessing should be withheld from himself. Reasoning thusly he took unto himself his servant girl as a spiritual wife with the extraordinary privilege of cohabiting with her during her mundane existence, after the manner of the prophet. The section referred to, then, was written especially for outside effect lest others, who were not prepared to live so "holy" a law, should also become exceeding amorous and covet blessings conferred only upon the higher priesthood.

That polygamy was practiced by the Mormon leaders as far back as 1841, under the saintly title of "Spiritual wifery," there is not the least shadow of doubt. It is equally true that they not only denied it but also denounced it in unmeasured terms, before as well as after the time they professed to have had a revelation commanding its practice, as I will show.

In the Times and Seasons, published Oct. 1st, 1842, there is a list of twenty-six names, including twelve men and sixteen women, who made affidavit to the effect that they knew of no other system of marriage but that published in the D. and C., some of whom, however, about two years since, made another affidavit that they were polygamous wives at that time and that polygamy was practised in Nauvoo. The "revelation," it will be remembered, was not "given" until July 12, 1843, and not made public until 1852, during which time polygamy was both practised and denied by the Mormon leaders. I quote, in proof from the Times and Seasons of Feb. 1st, 1844:

As we have lately been credibly informed, that an Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter-day Saints, by the name of Hiram Brown, has been preaching Polygamy, and other false and corrupt doctrines, in the county of Lapeer, state of Michigan, this is to notify him and the Church generally that he has been cut off from the church, for his iniquity * * *
      (Signed)          JOSEPH SMITH.
                             HYRUM SMITH.
Presidents of said Church.

This denial, you will perceive, was made some eight months subsequent to the date of the "revelation," and that, too, by the very man who professed to have received it and his brother to whom it had been made known. It was again denied evasively, April 1st, 1844, in a leading article published in the Times and Seasons addressed, "For the Elders Abroad." There it is called "J. C. Bennett's spiritual wife system," thus (after claiming God's sanction) throwing the responsibility of their own disreputable conduct upon others who had become somewhat obnoxious to them.

In the article referred tp, the writer, with his native talent for falsity and deceit says, "We cannot but express our surprise that an Elder or Priest who has been to Nauvoo, should for one moment, give credence to the idea that anything like iniquity is practised, much less taught or sanctioned, by the authorities." Oh, credulous Priests and Elders, to believe such a report! Had you not yet learned that all crime is sanctioned by the Priest's qualification -- the "holy anointing."

That the system of spiritual wivery was a legitimate doctrine amongst the presiding Elders, is evident from the fact that it was practised by Joseph Smith, O. Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, Jc. C. Bennet, Wm. Smith and others, for it had become a system, as is shown by a passage from an article written by E. M. Webb to the Times and Seasons, wherein he says, "Mr. Rigdon's spiritual wife system was never known till it was hatched by John C. Bennett, who was cut off the church for seduction." Here it will be seen that "spiritual wivery" had found a second author, neither of whom, however were responsible for its existence, but the disgrace was thrown upon their heads to blacken their characters, which was necessary because of their apostacy -- this is a fundamental principle of the Mormon faith.

As to Wm. Smith, the brother of the "Prophet" Joseph, it is a fact well established by his co-laborers in New York and other Eastern cities, that he taught and preached spiritual wife doctrine there, and succeeded in seducing a great number of women, both mothers and daughters, whom he persuaded into the belief that it was a "divine" institution. Bit hear that model Saint on his return to Nauvoo: (I quote Times and Seasons, May 14, 1845.) "Having passed the last two or three years among the eastern churches, in setting them in order, and organizing them according to the pattern laid down; and after having labored diligently in teaching them the true principles of virtue and morality, and building them up in the most holy faith, I have now returned to this city." Is this not putting on a good face, in view of the facts before stated?

It is established by those who were well acquainted with Wm. Smith, and to whom I have before referred, that his conduct in the east, was one of the caused that induced Joseph Smith to give the revelation on "Celestial Marriage," in which he claims that one man only holds the "keys" of that instutution at one and the same time, he himself, of course, being the identical person thus highly favored. This checkmated poor Bill, who could no longer be a rival to his brother, the Prophet, except on his own responsibility, which did not require a very great stretch of a conscience, the tension which had been so thoroughly tested unnumbered times before.

There were other reasons which rendered a revelation eminently necessary (for you know revelations are given in these "last days" to suit circumstances) and Joseph's own conduct unfortunately produced those circumstances. I have before stated that the Prophet was pretty well married spiritually, with extraordinary privileges to gain a foretaste of celestial bliss while in the mundane state. To such an extent had this condition of things grown, that not only were the Gentile dogs around incensed at the general conduct of the saintly elders, but discontent was growing within. This appears on the face of the revelation itself, and I have been credibly informed by men who were then and still are Elders in the Mormon Church that Mrs. Emma Smith caught her prophetic husband in the act of adultery, which statement appears undeniable, if we carefully analyze the revelation, which is nothing but a defence in justification of personal criminality, such as any man would be likely to make under the circumstances -- minus the name of the Lord.

I think the quotation that I shall make from that document will show the above to be facts to any candid mind. I quote:

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man receiveth a wife in the new and everlasting covenant, and she be with another man" (mark you "and I have not appointed unto her by the holy anointing, she had committed adultery and shall be destroyed."

Now, suppose the man with whom she has cohabited holds the "keys," by virtue of which he has the power to administer the "holy anointing," is it not evident that both the man and woman are justified in their criminal intercourse, and was it not for such a purpose that the above clause was written? Again I quote:

"I have endowed him (Joseph) with the keys of the power of this Priesthood, if he do anything in my name, and according to my law, and by my word, he will not commit sin, and I will justify him. Let no one, therefore, set on my servant Joseph, for I will justify him, for he shall do the sacrifice which I require at his hands for his transgressions."

Who, I ask, can doubt the purport of the clause referred to after the literal rendering given in this extract?

There appears to have been something more than a spiritual meaning in the words "and shall be destroyed," used in reference to the woman several times in the "revelation," especially was it used in reference to Emma Smith if she refused to "abide this commandment." Do you ask what commandment? Here its is: "And let mine handmaid Emma Smith, receive all those (women) that have been given unto my servant Joseph, and who are virtuous and pure before me." The penalty of disobedience was death, the enforcement of which was attempted either as a means of intimidation or for a more criminal purpose, or the extract that I will now quote is without meaning:

Verily I say unto you, a commandment I give unto mine handmaid, Emma Smith, your wife, whom I have given unto you, that she stay herself and partake not of that which I commanded you to offer unto her; for I did it, saith the Lord, to prove you all, as I did Abraham, and that I might require an offering at your hands, by covenant and sacrifice.

In order to solve this problem, we have only to ask what was the offering of Abraham. The answer is, 'the sacrifice of a human life.' The counter commandment, "Partake not of that which I commanded you to offer her," is conclusive evidence in itself, and needs no comment, especially when we take into consideration that she was to be "destroyed" if not obedient, which she certainly was not.

Without intruding further on your space, Mr. Editor, I will proceed to answer querry No. 5 -- "What are your opinions on this subject?" Personally, I believe from evidence herein adduced, and many more which time and space forbid me from bringing forward, that polygamy was the offspring of sensuality fostered by deceptions and falsehoods, and sustained by fanaticism and intimidation. I look upon the document purporting to be a "revelation" as a wicked imposture palmed upon the world, in the name of the Lord, for the purpose of legalizing crimes that human nature would be ashamed to commit under less "divine" covering.

But whether a man is a criminal for marrying more than one woman, if the women so desire, or whether the State is justified in making such an act criminal by legislative enactment, are questions with which I have absolutely nothing to do. I should, however, think polygamy vastly more honorable were it practiced independent of the authority of such a glaring imposition as the "revelation" alluded to, as its own internal evidences fully demonstrate, the history of which I will briefly outline.

The original document was burnt by Emma Smith. The only manuscript in existence is an unauthorized copy taken by Bishop Whitney, who threw it in an old rubbish chest where it lay in silent repose for some three years, when it was accidently brought to light by the Bishop when at Winter Quarters, while turning out his box. That such a copy was in existence was entirely unknown to the Church authorities and forgotten by him who procured it and placed it in the chest. This I accept as a very suspicious for a "divine" revelation to possess. It may be, however, one of the mysteries of the Kingdom which none could probably unravel better than Mr. Clayton, to whose lectures I am indebted for the information, and who was the writer of the original.       ITHURIEL.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                         Salt Lake City, U. T., Friday, March 8, 1872.                       No. 122.

DEATH OF JUDGE PHELPS. -- This very aged and noted man in Mormonism died yesterday morning at his residence in this city. For a considerable time he has appeared very feeble, though he continued to walk about the streets. Judge Phelps was upwards of eighty years of age and has been a conspicuous man in the Church for forty years. He has figured some what as a literary man, being at one time an editor, and the author of a number of the Saints' hymns, and publisher for many years of the Deseret Almanac.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                         Salt Lake City, U. T., Friday, April 9, 1872.                       No. 149.


The appearance of Mrs. Stenhouse's book at this period cannot but be produclive of much good. It is plain, unvarnished narrative, with every impress of truth upon it, its main facts being a matter of record in Uah and elsewiere. In such a work the first necessity is truth, and with this granted it may easily be imagined that any expose of the mysteries and criminality of polygamy would be interesting. We have had of late years a great many books upon Mormonism in general, written by parties outside the Church of the "Latter-Day Saints;" poetry, even, has been laid under contribution to picture the complications and difficulties that a weak-minded bishop with seven wives lived under, until he was forced to run away from six of them. In the unpretentious work before us we have, however, a painful life story of the inner horrors of the foul system as seen and felt by a refined and sensitive lady. The fact that this book is the first written by a woman on polygamy from the inner standpoint doubtless arises from the lack of either courage or ability, or both, on the part of such as have thrown off its disgusting trammels. Where there was so much shame and outraged womanhood, the story we can easily account for a very general reluctance in putting before the world. Mrs. Stenhouse can, therefore, be complimented on the deIicate way she has treated a subject naturally repulsive. Any one who has read the confessinns of Jean Jacques Rousseau will admit that, had the Swiss lover of nature treated some parts of his life history with less coarseness, its humanitarian's lessons would have had more effect in the world. The Mormon experiences of Mrs. Stenhouse go back more than twenty years, and in opening portray the manner in which converts to that carnal sham of religion were made abroad in the early days, the deceptions practised on the credulous and ignorant by the traveling "Saints," and how the dotrine of polygamy was first received when publicly proclaimed. Then follows a sketch of life as the wife of a missionary in Switzerland and the privations endured for the sake of a belief against which her heart rebelled. There is in this a touching passage, describing in true womanly language the struggle she made to preach the revolting doctrine to the sisters already baptized. The journey to America and the terrible pilgrimage across the arid plains to Salt Lake Valley, and then what life is among the "Saints" at home, are plainly and feelingly told, with here and there an agreeable spice of quiet humor. "The Sacrifice of My Life" by which she describes the giving of another wife to her husband, is an arraignment of polygamy as direct and powerful us it is artless. The spirit in which these marriages "for time and eternity" are perpetrated is made visible, and also all the effects they produce in the annihilation of love and the perpetuation of a heart-eating, enduring jealousy instead. She says:
But what a state of mind is this for mothers to be in! And if children partake of the nature and feelings of their mothers, what kind of dispositions can these poor children inherit, whose mothers have been the victims of these strong and fearful emotions? Oh! it is a cruel wrong to womankind; it is a terrible wrong to innocent children! It is a most wicked wrong, in every sense of the word!
The archfiend of this system, Brigham Young, receives some recognition and his plausible double dealing is shown with a somewhat merciful hand. A catalogue of nineteen of his wives is furnished. Taken together, we are glad of this book's appearance. It is not of 'the sensational class of writing, but it is never dull or commonplace. A number of well executed engravings are scattered through pages, illustrating some of the features of the "peculiar institution." The reading of Mrs. Stenhouse's book, with its new light upon the subect, cannot fail to have its effect in hastening the fall of polygamy. -- N. Y. Herald, 25 March

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                   Salt Lake City, U. T., Tuesday, April 16, 1872.                 No. 3.


... We acknowledge the receipt of documents from the Hon. C. W. [W]endall of Nevada.

Note 1: The Tribune's cryptic reference to "documents" received from Chatles W. Wendall (purposely ? misspelled as "Kendall," makes little sense, until considered within the context of his recent lecture tour, purporting to expose the true history of the Mormon role in the 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre. At this time, the affidavit of Philip Klingensmith had been taken by Wandell in Pioche, Nevada. A copy of the document was certified by judges McKean and Strickland, in Salt Lake City, but it was held back from publication until the 15th anniversary of the massacre, on Sept. 11, 1872 (when it first appeared in the New York City papers)

Note 2: Two days before, the Associated Press (operating out of the Tribune office in Salt Lake City) ran the following report on its telegraphic wire service: "The miners of Star, Lincoln, and other districts in the southern part of Utah territory, are forming secret organizations to oppose the secret influences of the Mormon endowment house, and among other objects, to bring to justice the instigators and perpetrators of the Mountain Meadow massacre." Charles W. Wandell, a leading promoter of the massacre exposure, lived in the mining area of Lincoln County, Nevada and no doubt maintained extensive contacts with "the miners... in the southern part of Utah territory."


Vol. III.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, July 29, 1872.                 No. 90.




On the afternoon of June 29th, 1872, I reached the Colorado River, on the south side, at the point opposite the mouth of Paroah Canyon. I had been told at the Navajo Agency that my Indian guides would take me to Lee's Ferry, but from that side we saw no signs of a ferry, and but one house, rudely built of logs, half a mile up the canyon. My six Indian companions shouted in concert, and I fired my gun at intervals till night, but we failed to bring anyone, though I plainly saw some persons moving about the house on the opposite side. Monday morning my Indians discovered a boat -- afterwards found to be one of Major Powell's -- cached in the willows just below our camp, and the four young Indians put in the entire day dragging it to the bend a mile above, while the old men fell in with butcher knives and hacked out rude oars from pieces of drift wood. No oars were found with the boat. With these contrivances myself and two Indians got across on Monday morning. We found at the house eight or ten children and one woman, who treated us most hospitably, but to my questions answered that "Major Doyle lived there, and she knew of no Lee's Ferry, and no such man as John D. Lee." I supposed of course we had come to a different place from that designated at the Agency, and was forced to content myself till "Major Doyle" should return and help get our horses across, as he had gone to a ranch some forty miles away. He was almost till July 3d, and I employed the intermediate time in rowing back, taking provisions to my Indians, and hearing the two old men recount the history and traditions of the Navajos.

The Major reached home in the morning, and by noon we had succeeded in swimming my horse to this side. The afternoon we passed quite sociably, and I had not the slightest idea whom I was talking to when in relating some incident my host inadvertently spoke of himself as "Lee." Directly I asked, "Do you know any such man as John D. Lee?"

"That's what some folks call me."

"You? Why, I thought your name was Doyle."

"So it is -- John Doyle Lee -- but I'm generally known about here as "Major Doyle." I used to be a Major in the militia."

His wife here spoke stating what she had told me, and asked him to explain, which he did thus:

Well, you see, they've been making a fuss about polygamy, McKean and them; and I'm a man that's had


so I just moved over here and fixed my wives comfortable around, each with her own share, and if anybody speaks of me, my wives call me Doyle -- that's the name they know me by. But now the Supreme Court has decided polygamy's a part of a man's religion and laws got nothin' to do with it, it don't make any difference, I reckon. Suppose you've heard of me?"

Of course I knew this was only a subterfuge, but forbore to speak if the real reason of his seclusion until he made a slight reference to it again, just after supper. Then I requested "If it was not disagreeable to him, I should like to hear the true account of that affair with which he was charged, etc."

I suppose you mean that Mountain Medder business," he replied, clearing his throat nervously and shifting in his chair. I assented and he broke suddenly into a perfect torrent of speech -- denials, asseverations, repetitions and the like -- calling on the name of the Deity every sentence."

Yes, sir, I'll give you the account exactly as it stood, and the truth too. Yes, sir, all of it. I've [rested] for years under the most infamous lies and infernal charges ever cooked up on a man. I've moved from point to point and lost my property, and broke up my family, when I might have cleared myself any minute; but I could not do it without bringing in other men, and I never will betray my brethren. No, never, never! Which I can prove by men now living that I wasn't there; that I went against it from the first, but not without betraying them whose motives at first were pure, bad as it turned out. They trusted me, and their motives were good at the start, and so my name's heralded all over the country as the biggest villain in America; which it is published for a sworn fact that I violated two girls as they were kneeling and begging to me for life; and so help me God, it is an infernal lie!" All this and much more he rattled off so rapidly that I could only make out part of it, it had meanwhile grown dark. He seemed more composed and went on:


Now about the emigrants. They were just the worst lot that ever I saw, and they got here just when we were at war. Buchanan had sent his army to destroy us, and we made up our minds they shouldn't find any spoil. We had been making preparations for a year or two, drying wheat and caching it in the mountains; and we intended to burn and destroy everything and take to the mountains and fight it out guerilla [style]. I tell you our people was all hot and enthusiastic then, and just at this time these emigrants come.


Now to give you an idea what a hard set they was, when Dr. Forney gathered up the children -- fifteen, I believe they was -- two years after, and sent word back, their relations sent answer they didn't want 'em, and wouldn't have anything to do with 'em. And that old Dr. Forney treated the children like dogs, hammerin' 'em around with his big cane.

Well, the company had quarreled on the plains and separated, but the biggest half got here first. They came in just as all the men was going out to war. Their conduct was scandalous. They acted more like devils than men. They swore and boasted openly that Buchanan's whole army was coming right behind 'em, and would kill every g__d d__n Mormon in Utah, and make the women and children slaves and ____.

Well, our people didn't know as much then as they do now, and lots of the foreign born believed it. They had two bulls, which they called one 'Heber' and the other 'Brigham,' and whipped 'em thro' every town, yelling and singing, blackguarding and blaspheming oaths that would a made your hair stand on end. At Spanish Fork -- it can be proved -- one of 'em stood on his wagon tongue, and swung a pistol, and swore that was the pistol that helped KILL OLD JOE SMITH.

And by the bloody ___ it was for Brigham Young


When they got to where the Pahvant Indians was they shot one dead and crippled another. But the worst's a comin'. At Corn Creek, near Fillmore, they poisoned a spring, and the flesh of an ox -- or it drank of the spring -- anyway it was poisoned, and they give it to the Indians to eat, and some few of them died, and the widow Tomlinson there had an ox die of the poison, and she undertook to save the hide and taller, and renderin' it up the poison got in her face, and swelled up her face and she died.

Then they wouls take them big Missouri whips and snap off the heads of chickens and throw them into their wagons. And the widow Evans, this side o' Corn Creek, come out and said to them, Don't kill my chickens, gentlemen, I am a poor woman.' And one man yelled, 'Shut up, you G_d d__n Mormon, or I'll shoot you.' Then her folks got out with guns and swore revenge on the whole outfit.


But the Indians had gathered and was followin' 'em close, though they didn't know it. And they went through Cedar settlement singing, "O, we'll hang Brigham Young and Heber C., we'll hang 'em high before the snow flies" and all such stuff. And at Mountain Medder the Indians overtook them. They planned it to crawl down a ravine and from that make a rush right into the camp. But the dogs got to barking in the corral and let the emigrants know Indians was about. Then fool Indian off on the hill fired his gun and spoilt the whole plan; but all in the ravine fired and killed -- well, six or eight of them. Then a sort o' siege begun. The Indians killed all their cattle and nearly all their horses.


Then came the Council, and the question was, what shall we do? I was sent for, and said, "Persuade the Indians away;" but the rest said, "Let the Indians punish 'em; they deserve it." Well, this thing went on about four days, then I went to the Indians at night, and, says I, "You've killed as many of them as died of your men, and harassed them a good deal, killed their stock and punished them enough. Let them go." Jacob Hamlin was away from home, and there was nobody that could rightly manage the Indians, and it wasn't then like it is now. We've got control over the Indians; but I was getting the Indians all right. I made a rush to try and get into the corral. The balls whistled all about me. One cut my shirt in front, another grazed my arm. I heard women inside there begging and praying, and saying that if the Mormons knowed how they was fixed, they would come and help, no matter if they had treated them badly, and begging some of the men to break out and go and go for help. Well, I couldn't get inside, but had got the Indians about in the notion to quit, then come the thing that spoilt all.


Three of the emigrants had broken out of the corral and started back for help, and they met three of our men at a spring, and our men knew 'em in a minute. One was the man that insulted widow Evans, and the other the fellow that swung his pistol and bragged about Joe Smith and Parley Pratt in Spanish Fork. Well, our boys were enthusiastic, and they shot right into them. They killed one and wounded another; but the two of them got away.


Well, the council had come together again, and a leading man -- I'll never mention any names; I'll die first -- Brother Joseph, at Nauvoo, always taught us to despise a traitor, and I'll never betray my brethren -- Well, this man says, "Why should We go again the Indians, and risk ourselves, to help a lot o'devils who've abused this people; and will only go on to California, and bring back a lot to murder us -- they must all die." I spoke against this, then the young men came and told of killing one. Thus all the Council said, "Now we've killed one, we can't let any go, or it will be worse for us." I will not betray those men. They were enthusiastic, but their motives were pure. They knelt down and prayed fervently to be guided; then decided the emigrants must die. The country was at war, you know, and those men were their enemies, and had forfeited their lives by their own folly. But I would have nothing to do with it myself. I withdrawed. They joined the Indians and the emigrants was killed. There was but twenty white men in it. I don't believe any one of them was killed by a white man actually. There was eighty men able to fight -- and they fought well, and did the best that could be done -- and about forty of fifty women. And a set of d___d villains told to all the country that I violated two of the girls, and as I expect to stand before God, it is an infernal lie! I could prove that I was not there at all.


Before the last charge was made I went and tried to persuade the Indians to save the women. But they said 'all was mean and all had to die.' Then I told them I would buy the children of them, and seventeen children were saved.

Soon after Lee commenced his account it had become quite dark, and he seemed to become more easy and fluent. He continued with a voluminous account of the distribution of the children, the arrival of Forney two years after the brutal conduct toward the children, and the attempt of Judge Cradlebaugh to have some persons arrested, all of which Lee averred to be in direct violation of the treaty stipulations between Brigham Young and the Peace Commissioners. He concluded: Several have hinted to me about this, but what I've told you I've only told to one other person, that's a man named Brand, a Josephite preacher that I roomed with one night at my son-in-law's, and some keep saying, as was published in the Reporter at Corinne, and another hostile paper in Salt Lake, that I should come out and might criminate President Young. Why look at it, Mr. Hanson, even if Brigham was [civil] enough -- which he ain't -- [he ain't -----] enough to see that such a thing would all be ripped up soon or late, and damage him and this people. A messenger was sent next thing to ask his counsel, and he sent back word, 'By all means, and as you expect salvation, let them go on.' But the rider only got back to Fillmore when the whole thing was over -- brought to a head by the killin' of the man at the spring. And what a pity he didn't get here with Brigham's order; for those enthusiastic men, they all obey counsel."

It was long after midnight when Mr. Lee and I retired to our straw pallet on the ground near his house. Such is his account of the Mountain Meadow Massacre. The reader must judge how much is true; I give him the benefit of a hearing. Ot must be admitted, that in all conscience he has confessed enough, as regards the complicity of white men. But other evidence makes the matter much worse. All the Mormons in that section agree that there were two hundred white men in the affair, and Bishop Windsor of Pipe Springs pointed out to me some cattle in his own herd sprung from stock captured at Mountain Meadow, and avowed his belief that the thing was done only for spoil. I have set down the smallest part of Mr. Lee's statements, there being so many digressions as to his feelings and intentions. In particular he often repeated the words,"I'll die like a man and not be choked like a dog."

His house is a perfect arsenal in the way of loaded guns.

At sun rise on Independence Day I bid Mr. and Mrs. Lee good-bye, and in two and a half days riding reached Kanab.

Note 1: The Tribune article is generally a condensation of Beadle's story of an early July, 1872 encounter with John D. Lee, which was published in Chapter 30 of his 1877 book, Western Wilds. The meeting with Lee is also briefly reported by Beadle in Chapter 20 of his 1882 Polygamy: or the Mysteries and Crimes of Mormonism. The narrations are of an actual interview with the notorious Mormon bishop, but the wording in the two texts varies significantly in several places. Evidently, then, one version must be the less accurate. Lee himself mentions the visit with Beadle in his personal journal entries for July 3 and Aug. 28, 1872 (where Lee calls Beadle's published report of his story "nearer true then any other written account previously brought to light"). Possibly both the 1877 book account and the 1872 news article are reconstructions from some fragmentary notes Beadle wrote down soon after talking to Lee, and that unmentioned circumstance explains the conflicting phraseology in the two published texts.

Note 2: Beadle's 1877 book version of his interview with Lee includes the following detail, missing from the above Tribune account: "All the children was saved. The little boy that lived with us cried all night when he left us, and said he'd come back to us as soon as he got old enough. Old Forney, when he come for 'em, got all in his tent and would not let 'em visit or say good-by to anybody. One run away and hid under the floor of the house, and Forney dragged him out and beat him like a dog with his cane. They say he murdered the baby on the plains, because it was sickly and troublesome."

Note 3: John D. Lee's association with the survivor childern at Mountain Meadows is also mentioned in his 1877 book, Life and Confessions of John D. Lee, where he says: "an Indian rushed to the front wagon, and grabbed a little boy, and was going to kill him. The lad got away from the Indian and ran to me, and caught me by the knees; and begged me to save him, and not let the Indian kill him. The Indian had hurt the little fellow's chin on the wagon bed, when he first caught hold of him. I told the Indian to let the boy alone. I took the child up in my arms, and put him back in the wagon, and saved his life. This little boy said his name was Charley Fancher, and that his father was Captain of the train. He was a bright boy. I afterwards adopted him, and gave him to Caroline. She kept him until Dr. Forney took all the children East. I believe that William Sloan, alias Idaho Bill, is the same boy." John D. Lee's "Last Confession" contains a similar assertion regarding "Idaho Bill" -- "I got up, saw the children, and among the others the boywho was pulled by the hair of his head out of the waggon by the Indian and saved by me; that boy I took home and kept until Dr. Forney, Government agent, came to gather up the children and take them East; he took the boy with the others; that boy's name was William Fancher; his father was captain of the train; he was taken East and adopted by a man in Nebraska, named Richard Sloan; he remained East several years, and then returned to Utah, and is now a convict in the Utah Penitentiary, having been convicted the past year for the crime of highway robbery. He is now known by the name of 'Idaho Bill,' but his true name is William Fancher. His little sister was also taken East, and is now the wife of a man working for the Union Pacific Rairoad Company, near Green River. The boy (now man) has yet got the scar on his chin caused by the cut on the waggon-box, and those who are curious enough to examine will find a large scar on the ball of his left foot, caused by a deep cut made by an axe while he was with me."

Note 4: A Sept. 29, 1857 excerpt from Wilfred Woodruff's Journal, first published in 1884 by Penrose, confirm's Lee's claim to have taken and adopted at least one (perhaps two) of the survivor children: "They then rushed into the corral and cut the throats of the women and children, except some eight or ten children, which they brought and sold to the whites.... Brother Lee... had two of the children in his house and he could not get but one to kneel down at prayer time and the other would laugh at her for doing it and they would swear like pirates."

Note 5: See comments attacthed to the article of May 12, 1875 for information of the "Josephite preacher" who was "named Brand."


Vol. III.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, September 6, 1872.                 No. 125.


As for the doctrine that is promulgated by the sons of Joseph, it is nothing more than any other false religion. We would be very glad to have the privilege of saying that the children of Joseph Smith, Junior, the prophet of God, were form in the faith of the gospel, and following in the footsteps of their father. But what are they doing? Trying to blot out every vestige of the work their father preformed on the earth. Their mission is to endeavor to obliterate every particle of his doctrine, his faith and doings. These boys are not following Joseph Smith, but Emma Bideman. Every person who hearkens to what they say, hearkens unto the will and wishes of Emma Bideman. The boys, themselves, have no will, no mind, no judgment independent of their mother. I do not want to talk about them. I am sorry for them, and I have my own faith in regard to them. I think the Lord will find them by-and-bye -- not Joseph, I have told the people times enough, that they never may depend on Joseph Smith who is now living, but David, who was born after the death of his father, I still look for the day to come when the Lord will touch his eyes. But I do not look for it while his mother lives. The Lord would do it now if David were willing; but he is not, he places his mother first and foremost, and would take her counsel sooner than he would the counsel of the Almighty, consequently he can do nothing, he knows nothing, he has no faith, and we have to let the matter rest in the hands of God for the present. -- Brigham Young, Aug. 24th, 1872.

It has been from the first, that is, since the Mormons left Nauvoo, the very vicious and unmanly habit of Brigham Young, George A. Smith, and others to revile the name of Mrs. Emma Smith Bideman in a most infamous manner. Heber C. Kimball, the eccentric man, who, with all his faults, had sterling stuff in him, has sometimes taken "sister Emmy's" part, as he did in Nauvoo against Brigham, when the latter threatened he would break her up, humble her to his feet and leave her in utter destruction

The chief causes of the vindictive enmity of Brigham Young against the lawful wife of Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, are the injuries which he has done her character, before which even this iron-willed cardinal priest has had to bend. She tried to lead her husband away from the counsel of "that bad man," as she called Brigham Young, and with all her might opposed polygamy. And there can be very little doubt that had Joseph Smith followed the moral promptings of his wife instead of his own passions, the ambitious men who were around him, and the women whom Emma Smith would call her husband's concubines, the Mormon prophet would have been alive to day and at the head of a loyal and unoffending people in the Rocky Mountains.

It was polygamy that broke the tie of loyalty between the Mormon prophet and his wife even as it crushed out the fealty he owed to his country. Both in turn madly prophesied against by him, live on, though chastened by trial, in triumph, for both were on the right side, leaving the prophet himself to perish miserably on the side of wrong.

For years one could often hear the story told in Salt Lake City, both by men and women, how "Emmy Smith" rebelled against Joseph, opposed polygamy and burned the revelation. This was all said then in reproach, but there are many now who are turning it to her praise. When she burned that revelation, that foul imposture which has corrupted a religious people and made victims of evey woman who has been entrapped into the system. Every woman in the Mormon Church should have done the same and there would have been no polygamy, but in that case the Mormon "sisters" would have been treated as man's equal, instead of the pattern, [an] Elder of Israel being able to say, "I think no more of taking a wife than I do of buying a cow." these 'authorities' have taken too many wives and thus demoralized both sexes.

We would like to see Emma and her sons, with their followers, come up to "Zion" and let their monogamic church and the polygamic church of Brigham Young contend. We think that if the thousands of Josephites were to flock into Utah under such leadership, this priest-ridden polygamic system would be shaken to its foundations, and the mineral development of this country would justify their coming now. Altogether outside of the Mormon Church there are hundreds of our best citizens who would delight to honor the woman who for thirty years has so nobly fought for the honor of marriage and the integrity of her sex under such trying and peculiar circumstances,

Note: For Brigham Young's entire speech, delivered at Farmington, Utah, on Aug. 24, 1872, see Journal of Discourses XV:135.


Vol. III.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Mon.  September 23, 1872.                 No. 139.


This morning we publish the affidavit of Philip Klingon Smith in relation to the Mountain Meadows Massacre as also the editorial of the N. Y. "Herald" on the subject.

This terrible and unatoned for crime is yet destined to exert a powerful influence in the resolution of Mormonism, as it was the result of a condition of society brought about through the teachings of a fanatical priesthood acting on the minds of ignorant men, literally creating a reign of terror among the disaffected Mormons as well as Gentiles who in any way opposed the will of the leaders.

It is well known that for many years the Indians were accused of the massacre, and the complicity of Mormons was stoutly denied -- the charge of polygamy too at one time it will be remembered, was also as energetically disavowed -- yet subsequent events have only proved how much duplicity they are capable of in the interests of the Kingdom. For years probably a large portion of the Mormon people believed it was the work of Indians, but to-day there are but few who believe that the atrocious outrage was not the work of men calling themselves Latter-day Saints, acting either on their own responsibility or upon orders "from headquarters." Of course the Mormon diplomats East have denied in the most emphatic terms, time after time, any knowledge of the affair further than that it was the work of Indians, yet Brigham Young, as Governor, never took any steps to punish the Indians for so wholesale a slaughter of men and women.

The question whether orders did or did not emanate from "headquarters" for the fiendish butchery, is not the point. We aver that it and other crimes have been the legitimate results of the blood atonement teachings of the leaders of the Church, uttered in the security of isolation and when it was fanatically but, nevertheless, confidently expected that in a few years the Church would gain the ascendancy over the United States Government, and even it should be swept away in "avenging the blood of the prophets."

Granting this premise we say that, with such unlimited power as the Spiritual and Secular headship of this community gave him, his teachings could have been such as to render crime almost unknown in Utah, but such expressions as "sending men to hell across lots," the "unsheathing of the bowie-knife," "avenging the blood of the prophets" and a score of other anti-Christian sentiments have taken strong hold upon an ignorant people who believed him to be the mouthpiece of God to them. The Mountain Meadows massacre was then the effect of a religious belief, the same as polygamy is alleged to be, and we here ask the question, whether in justice leaders, such as Brigham Young, Geo. A. Smith, Geo. Q. Cannon and others, are entitled to the rights of American citizenship? Long has been the forbearance and great has been the generosity of this nation towards them.

Notwithstanding the 'religion' which keeps a republican side in view to the government, and still maintains strictly theocratic views in their public and private teachings to the people, such consummate hypocrisy is treason, a treason infinitely greater than that of the South during the war, inasmuch as it is not open and avowed but is secretly hopeful and defiant.

When Geo. Q. Cannon goes to Congress let him go with the Mountain Meadow record before him and let the nation understand that he is a believer in the ancient dogma of destroying his enemies and in saving apostates by killing them!

The belief in such doctrines should be met by immediate disfranchisement of every man holding them, and no sentimentality about the rights of religion should prevail a moment against banishing such relics of barbarism. These practical exponents of the Mosaic theory must learn that in this republic as they sow they must reap.



State or Nevada, County of Lincoln, ss. -- Personally appeared before me, Peter B. Miller, Clerk of Court of the Seventh Judicial District of the State of Nevada, Philip Klingon Smith, who being duly sworn on his oath, says: -- My name Is Philip Klingon Smith. I reside in the county of Lincoln, in the State of Nevada. I resided at Cedar City, in the County of Iron, in the Territory of Utah from A. D. 1852 to A. D. 1859. I was residing at Cedar City at the time of the massacre at Mountain Meadows, in said Territory of Utah. I had heard that a company of emigrants was on its way from Salt Lake City, bound for California. Said company arrived at Cedar City, tarried there one day, and passed on for California. After said company had left Cedar City

The Militia was Called Out

for the purpose or committing acts of hostility against them. Said call was a regular military call from the superior officers to the subordinate officers and privates of the regiment at Cedar City and vicinity, composing a part of the militia of the Territory of Utah. I do not recollect the number of the regiment. I was at that time the Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at Cedar City. Isaac C. Haight was President over said Church at Cedar City and the southern settlement in of said Territory. My position as Bishop was subordinate to that of said President. W. H. Dame was President of said Church at Parowan, in said Iron County. Said W. H. Dame was also colonel of said regiment. Said Isaac C. Haight was lieut.-colonel of said regiment, and John D. Lee, of Harmony in said Iron county, was major of said regiment. Said regiment was duly ordered to muster, armed and equipped, as the law directs, and prepared for field operations. I had no command nor office in said regiment at that time, neither did I march with said regiment on the expedition which resulted in said company's being massacred at the Mountain Meadows in said county of Iron. About four days after said company of emigrants had left Cedar City that portion of said regiment then mustered at Cedar City took up its line of march in pursuit of them. About two days after said company had left Cedar City, Lieutenant Colonel I. C. Haight expressed in my presence a desire that said company might be permitted to pass on their way in peace; but afterwards he told me that he had

Orders from Headquarters to Kill

all of said company of emigrants except the little children. I do not know whether said headquarters meant the regimental headquarters at Parowan or the headquarters of the Commander-in-Chief at Salt Lake City.

When the said company had got to Iron Creek, about twenty miles from Cedar City, Captain Joel White started for the Pinto Creek settlement, through which the said company would pass, for the purpose of influencing the people to permit said company to pass on their way in peace. I asked and obtained permission of said White to go with him and aid on in his endeavors to save life. When said White and myself got about three miles from Cedar City we met Major John D. Lee, who asked us where we were going. I replied that we were going to try to prevent the killing of the emigrants. Lee replied, "I have something to say about that."

Lee was at that time on his way to Parowan, the headquarters of Colonel Dame. Said White and I went to Pinto Creek, remained there one night, and the next day returned to Cedar City, meeting said company of emigrants at Iron Creek. Before reaching Cedar City we met one Ira Alien, who told us that "the decree had passed

Devoting Said Company to Destruction."

After the fight had been going on for three or four days a messenger from Major Lee reached Cedar city, who stated that the fight had not been altogether successful, upon which Lieutenant Colonel Haight ordered out a reinforcement. At this time I was ordered out by Captain John M. Higby, who ordered me to muster "armed and equipped as the law directs." It was a matter of life or death to me to muster or not, and I mustered with the reinforcing troops. It was at this time that Lieutenant Colonel Haight said to me that it was the orders from headquarters that all but the little children of said company were to be killed. Said Haight had at that time just returned from headquarters at Parowan, where a military council had been held. There had been a like council held at Parowan previous to that, at which were present Colonel Dame, Lieutenant Colonel I. C. Haight and Major John D. Lee. The result of this first council was the calling out of said regiment for the purpose already stated. The reinforcement aforesaid was marched to the Mountain Meadows, and there formed a junction with the main body. Major Lee massed all the troops at a spring and made a speech to them, saying that his "orders from headquarters were to kill the entire company except the small children." I was not in the ranks at that time, but on one side talking to a man named Slade, and could not have seen a paper in Major Lee's hands.

The Devil's Flag of Truce.

Said Lee then sent a flag of truce into the emigrant camp, offering said emigrants that "If they lay down their arms he would protect them." They accordingly laid down their arms, came out from that camp and delivered themselves up to said Lee... separated from the men, and were marched ahead of the men. After said emigrants had marched about half a mile towards Cedar City the order was given to shoot them down. At that time said Lee was at the head of the column. I was in the rear. I did not hear Lee give the order to fire, but heard it from the under officers as it was passed down the column.

The Emigrants were then and there Shot Down,

except seventeen little children, whom I Immediately took into my charge. I do not know the total number of said company, as I did not stop to count the dead. I immediately put the little children in baggage wagons belonging to the regiment and took them to Hamlin's Ranch and from there to Cedar City, and procured them homes among the people. John Willis and Samuel Murdy assisted me in taking charge of said children. On the evening of the massacre, Colonel W. H. Dame and Lieutenant-Colonel I. C. Haight came to Hamlin's, where I had the said children, and fell into a dispute, in the course of which said Haight told Colonel Dame that if he was going to report of the Killing of said emigrants "he should not have ordered it done." I do not know when or where said troops were disbanded. About two weeks after said massacre occurred said Major Lee (who was also Indian Agent) went to Salt Lake City, and, as I believe, reported said fight and its results to the commander-in-chief. I was not present at either of the before-mentioned councils, nor at any council connected with the aforesaid military operations, or with said company. I gave no orders except those connected with the saving of the children, and those after the massacre had occurred, and said orders were given as a Bishop and not in a military sense. At the time of the firing of the first volley

I Discharged my Piece.

I did not fire afterward, though several subsequent volleys were fired. After the first fire was delivered I at once set about saving the children. I commenced to gather up the children before the firing had ceased. I have made the foregoing statement before the above entitled Court for the reason that I believe that I would be assassinated should I attempt to make the same before any Court in the territory of Utah. Alter said Lee returned from Salt Lake City, as aforesaid, said Lee told me that he had reported fully to the President (meaning the commander-in-chief) the fight at Mountain Meadows and the killing of said emigrants. Brigham Young was at that time the commander-in-chief of the militia of the Territory of Utah; and further deponent saith not.
Subscribed and sworn to before me, this 10th day of April, A. D. 1871.
P. D. Miller, County Clerk.    
[District court, Seventh Judicial district, Lincoln county, Nevada. Copy of seal.]

Utah Territory, county of Salt Lake: -- I. O. F.


Fifteen years ago a very wealthy train of emigrants left Arkansas for California, there to seek new homes. From all reports it was considered the most comfortably outfitted company of emigrants that ever crossed the Plains. In addition to the usual wagons, freighted with provisions, clothing and the portable valuables of their former homes, together with the implements of agriculture and mechanics, there were several carriages for the more convenient traveling of the ladies, the young and the aged. Altogether, the appearance of the train and the excellent conduct and pleasant associations of the emigrants with one another bespoke the moving of farmers and tradespeople in comfortable circumstances. They rested every seventh day in their journey, and engaged in religious exercises in their own way, as had been their custom at home. They appeared to be related to each other by families or by marriage, and with the toddling infant playing in the camp at night might be seen the venerable patriarch of three score years and ten. All seemed happy together. Such was the emigrant train that passed through Utah in 1857 and perished on the Mountain Meadows, two hundred and fifty miles south of Salt Lake City.

During the past fifteen years this Mountain Meadows massacre has been frequently charged to the Mormons, but with unyielding pertinacity they have denied the implication, and with the boldness of their assertions they have managed to induce even astute Congressmen to believe that the massacre was the work of the Indians. But, singularly enough, on the fifteenth anniversary of that foul and treacherous deed, in which one hundred and twenty men, women and children were murdered, there comes to us from the city of the Prophet Brigham the full and frank confession of one of his own bishops that the bloody work was ordered by the Mormon leaders and executed by their militia.

Philip Klingon Smith makes oath before the Clerk of the Circuit Court of the Seventh Judicial district of the State of Nevada that the massacre of the large body of Arkansas emigrants on their way to California was perpetrated by the Mormon militia, and by order of the Mormon authorities at "headquarters." We need not recite the horrifying story as related in Smith's affidavit, for that can be seen by our readers. Smith was a bishop in the Mormon Church, and was a member of the force sent by the Mormon authorities to massacre the Arkansas emigrants. There seems to be no reason to doubt the statement he makes under oath, and he was certainly in a position to know the facts. We would willingly believe if we could that no people claiming to bo civilized could be guilty of such a horror and base treachery as he describes; but the details are so circumstantial, and the crime was so much in accordance with the fanaticism and revenge of the Mormons generally at that period that the statement cannot be doubted. * * *

What makes it more horrifying is that after these brave emigrants had fought successfully against their assassins, the Mormon militia, for four days, they were treacherously entrapped by a flag of truce and induced to lay down their arms under a promise of security, and then mercilessly butchered. None but the small children were spared, and these only, perhaps, because the treacherous and brutal Mormons thought they could appropriate persons of such tender years to their own use. There is nothing in the history of civilized countries more fearfully atrocious than this massacre, and no act of treachery dastardly than that by which the emigrants were induced to lay down their arms.

It is an awful confession, and one that will awaken the whole United States to demand that this dark page in our history be illuminated by a full investigation and the prompt punishment of the guilty wretches who slew innocent and unoffending men, women and children. It was with this confession before them that a few honorable citizens of Utah asked Congress, during its last session to so provide for the holding of courts that the murders in Utah could be properly investigated and the guilty brought to punishment. Brigham Young, who knew what was hanging over his head, sent a deputation of two Mormon Gentiles and their wives, together with his favorite Apostle Cannon, to lobby and corrupt where they could, to prevent legislation. And while that was natural enough for Brigham Young to do, it was currently reported that his financial agent at the seat of government had permanently secured in the judiciary committees of both the Senate and the House all the influence necessary to frustrate every measure that promised the dreaded investigation.

With such a record now sworn to by an eyewitness and a participator in the foul deed it will be interesting to watch the action of the Government. Even at this late day it should promptly investigate tho whole matter and bring the guilty wretches to condign punishment A people who could commit such a crime, and a community that would tolerate and cover it up are unfit to be recognized. as civilized. Fortunately, the frightful ulcer of Mormonism in Utah is in process of being eradicated, and the sooner it is completely removed the better. -- N. Y. Herald, 14th.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Sat.  September 28, 1872.                 No. 14?.



The Apostolic editor of the News for speciousness, sophistry and dealing in generalities in a sort of obscure and mystified way, is remarkable; in fact he dodges, twists, squirms and evades everything of a definite character. He is eternally harpong about "some people," a "certain class," "enemies of the people," "good citizens," "unprincipled plotters," "corrupt officials," and a thousand other vague expressions, without point and without argument. The News contained last evening one of these characteristic editorials, which to a stranger, conveyed not the slightest idea of what it was driving at, yet the facts are simply these, which we interpret for our readers.

The News is the organ of Brigham Young. This is fact the first, and the leaders of the Church through the columns of the News are squirming over the Mountain Meadows affair -- fact the second -- and not knowing exactly what to say in refutation of the recent affidavit of Mr. Smith, they carefully avoid any direct allusion to it, but recklessly pitch into "affidavit signers" and apostates generally, thinking thereby to invalidate the testimony of such men, simply because they are "venomous."

The Mountain Meadows affair is, just now, the subject of newspaper articles everywhere, and we have distinctly asserted that it was the result of certain Church teachings promulgated by such men as the editor of the News, and have furnished their own language in support of the assertion, yet do these same individuals meet these direct charges with any direct answer or argument? No, never have they done so, but fall back on their old tirade of abuse against everybody, Gentile or Apostate, who alleges anything against them.

If the News is the honest and "only reliable" journal it but lately proclaimed itself to be, and its masters are not afraid of investigation and opposition, why does it not come out boldly as the representative of the leaders of the Church and Mormonism, and deal with the Mountain Meadows massacre instead of speaking in parables and dealing in innuendos against those who are made "venomous" by reason of the venom Mormonism has itself implanted?

Those who carefully read the three Church organs cannot fail to be struck with the studied shyness and avoidance of all mention of the Mountain Meadows affair, as also the ignoring of all statements made by the free press of this country. The most ever said is that our statements are the vile misrepresentations of "slanderous sheets," but we ask, is that either rebutting testimony or argument? Candid people everywhere cannot fail to see the cloven foot under these haughty assumptions, claiming all truth for their statements and that all [is] misrepresentation on the part of their opposers...


The Mormons dare not face Philip K. Smith in Court.

PIOCHE, Sept. 20, 1872.    
Editor Record: I was present at the time when Philip Klingon Smith made his affidavit concerning the massacre at the Mountain Meadows. That affidavit is sealed with the seal of our District Court. Smith's statements were straight-forward, and from his manner it was evident that he intended them to be the truth and nothing but the truth. The affidavit, though in narrative form, was taken by question and answer.

The Salt Lake "Herald," in a late issue, in evident alarm, calls for the arrest and punishment of Smith. That call is not sincere. They dare not face Philip K. Smith in Court. He is ready to go at any time that he is wanted. From that affidavit we learn, among other things, that Brigham Young was Governor of Utah and Superintendent of Indian Affairs at the time and a long time after the massacre, and that John D. Lee was his Indian Agent for Southern Utah; that the force sent against the emigrants was a regular military expedition -- a part of a regiment of the militia of Utah Territory, regularly called out, and armed and equipped, officered by the proper regimental officers, and marching with regimental baggage wagons and a regular military outfit, except artillery; that it was understood by the rank and file that the expedition had been ordered by Gov. Young; that Major John D. Lee, who was in immediate command, had invited the Indians within his superintendency to join the expedition, which they did; and finally, that Gov. Young never court-martialed Major Lee for his action in that bloody affair, nor called him to account as Indian Agent, nor as a fellow member of the Mormon Church. These, Mr. Editor, are some of the ugly facts contained in that affidavit, and neither the Salt Lake "Herald" folks nor Brigham Young dare face them and Philip Klingon Smith in open court.   CITIZEN.

(The writer of the foregoing is a pioneer of Lincoln County. He knows of what he writes, and the public may rely upon the correctness of his judgment as well as the reliability of his statements -- Ed. Record.) --  Pioche Record, Sep. 21.


Editor Salt Lake Tribune:

The Mormon leaders owe to the Mormon community a frank avowal of what they know about the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Here is a people charged with that great crime, the majority of whom knew no more about the deed, until after it was committed, than the people of New York; and to this day the ignorant masses of this community, living in the northern part of the Territory, believe it was the work of the Indians, so persistently have the Mormon leaders denied that they know aught of the deed, only that they heard it was an Indian massacre. But facts are stubborn things and here are a few of them.

In the fall of 1857, Utah was in open rebellion against the United States Government, and the prejudice was great against the Gentiles. To fan the flames of fanaticism a great religious reformation was going on in the Mormon Church, and judgment was being laid to the line and the word of the President and Bishops was supreme throughout the Territory. This company of emigrants happened to be passing through the Territory that Fall on their way to California and, it being late in the season, concluded to go the Southern route. On their way South through the settlements they seem to have exasperated some of the Mormon people; reports said some of their party boasted they had helped to slay Smith and Pratt in the States; others poisoned running streams of water, and one teamster had the audacity to call two of his bull team, old Brigham and Heber, so the story runs; and by the time they had got near Parowan and Cedar City the excitement was great, and it was evident that some move was on foot for their destruction. There is no doubt but a council was held at Parowan, where the fate of the emigrants was sealed, and it is well known that an express was sent to Brigham Young informing him of what was going on. What answer was given to that express by Brigham is yet to be found out; some say it was to stop the fighting, others say it was to "spare the women and children." Again it is said when the express returned to the south the fight was over with, and his orders could not be heeded. After the massacre John D. Lee, the leading sporit in the horrid deed, came to Salt Lake City and gave a full account of the whole affair to his superiors. It is said Brigham kept [to] his room for two days and wept bitterly for what had been done, but the deed was over with, and how could such a horrid crime be covered up? It must be denied, and laid to the Indians, for it would never do to have it known that the Mormons had anything to do with such a crime. In the fall of that year John D. Lee and Isaac Haight came up to Salt Lake City to attend the legislature, and while here, it is said, made a further report of all connected with the massacre to Brigham, and from that time until the present there are but few of the intelligent portions of the Mormon people but what have known that a portion of the Mormons living in the southern part of the Territory were connected with the Mountain Meadows massacre. But justice demands that charity should be extended to the poor ignorant men who were deluded and led into that horrid affair by those priestly leaders whom they had been taught to implicitly obey. God knows, the men who were urged into that massacre (and many against their will) have suffered enough since then, and feel to curse the priesthood and fanaticism that led them into such a crime. If Brigham Young years ago, when his word was law from one end of the Territory to the other, had caused the leaders in that crime to have been arrested and executed, he would have pleased every intelligent Mormon in the Territory, for they have felt ashamed and bowed down that they had to bear the disgrace of a crime in which they had no part or sympathy; and now for the Mormon leaders to deny knowing about it, and the Deseret News and Herald to ignore the above facts, which are known to three-fourths of the Mormon people, is enough to consign them to utter contempt and oblivion.

When that man stood at the Mountain Meadows manument, a few years ago, and read -- "Vengeance is mine, and I will repay, saith the Lord," he little thought in so short a time that others would rule in the land of Zion, or he would not have turned from the monument and said, "Vengeance is mine and I have repaid, saith the Lord."  l OLD SETTLER.

Note: The "last evening" mentioned by the Tribune writer, was Sept. 27, 1872, when the daily Deseret News ran a cryptic editorial in response to the Klingensmith affidavit. This editorial was reprinted in the weekly Oct. 2nd.


Vol. III.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Tuesday, October 29, 1872.                 No. 170.



A dispatch from Salt Lake City announces that G. A. Smith, elected prophet, seer and revelator in the Church of the Latter Day Saints, has started on a tour, for Jerusalem and the Holy Land generally, with the view of establishing a connection between the Mormon Church and the Lost Ten Tribes of the House of Israel. Our readers may remember that the Book of Mormon professes to be a record of a remnant of the Ten Tribes, who escaped after the whole people had been carried away captive by the Assyrians in 721, B. C., which remnant finally sailed for America, arriving somewhere on the coast of Chili. The story of the American Indians being the long lost Ten Tribes is a very old one, and suggested the romance written by Solomon Spalding, of Connecticut, which is known to be identical with the so-called revelations according to Joe Smith. Of course, if the Mormons choose to send a delegation to assist the explorations now going on in Palestine, no one has a right to complain, and if they can clear up the mystery as to the Ten Tribes, they will do what has hitherto baffled learned men in all ages. Gentiles, however, must regard it as significant that the Church which has heretofore professed to deal with difficult questions only be revelations, now begins to search for matter of fact proof, demonstrable to the senses. --   Gold Hill News.

Note 1: During the last weeks of 1872, several noted Utah Mormons (George A. Smith, Lorenzo Snow, Eliza R. Smith Young, etc.) embarked on a journey to the Ottoman province of Palestine. Their primary pupose reportedly was to renew Orson Hyde's earlier dedication of that place for the "gathering of Israel," and to re-dedicate and "consecrate the land to the Lord, that it may be blessed with fruitfulness, preparatory to the return of the Jews in fulfillment of prophecy." The delegation arrived in Palestine in the early in 1873. See Eliza's 1875 publication, Correspondence of Palestine Tourists for samples of various communications that these travellers sent back to Utah during their trip abroad -- none of which indicate that those Mormon dignataries were especially interested in determining the fate or the location of the "Lost Ten Tribes of the House of Israel." Perhaps the Nevada editors unduely accentuated that particular element in writing their news item for the Gold Hill News.

Note 2: In its issue for Jan. 24, 1857 the LDS Millennial Star featured a doctrinal article by Elder Elias L. T. Harrison, in which the LDS Church pronounced the Solomon Spalding claims for the authorship of the Book of Mormon to be effectively "refuted." Among many other things, that article states: "These statements [by witness to the contents of Spalding's writings] prove the point in question... How the "ten lost tribes," then, migrated to America and are now Indians, was the subject of Spaulding's work. How they did not migrate to America, but went somewhere else, and never saw the Indians; and how a people who never heard of them for 600 years occupied America in their stead, is the subject of the Book of Mormon.... Again we repeat, that the point in this argument may be kept before the mind, if the Book of Mormon was based or 'grounded entirely,' upon a history showing how the ten tribes migrated to America, and are now Indians -- the Book of Mormon is at hand -- therefore point out the part of the book that 'shows' how they migrated to America. Pray produce the part that 'shows' they 'are now Indians;' and this, of course, our opponents ought to be able easily to do, or Spaulding's friends are liars, for they declared, or our enemies have made them declare, which is more likely, that they could see such a history 'immediately.' They either did see it, or they did not. If they did, where is it? If they did not, how did they know it? If Joseph Smith so altered the Spaulding MS. that none of its original features remain, then Spaulding's friends have testified falsely, in declaring that they 'recognized perfectly' his original work."


Vol. IV.                   Salt Lake City, Utah,  January 31, 1873.                 No. ?


WANDELL'S LECTURE. -- Last evening C. W. Wandell gave his lecture on the "Mountain Meadows Massacre" to an intelligent audience of about three hundred. The lecturer described his journey with a company of emigrant Mormons from Santa Cruz to Cedar City via the Mountain Meadows, in November, 1857, about four months after the massacre. Rumors had already reached California of the horrible tragedy before the company started. When they reached Fort Tejon, where great excitement raged against the perpetrators of the bloody deed, they learned that white men and not Indians were the principals in the massacre, and that they were men in authority in the Mormon Church. The company repudiated that statement and were permitted to pass on their way. Arriving at the scene of the massacre they saw the bones at the scene of the massacre which had been dug up by wolves. The speaker gave a graphic description of the desert road, the emigrants' fort and the scene of the massacre. His company continued their way to Cedar City where, from common talk, the speaker became convinced that the rumor was correct -- that white men had done the deed. In the second part of his lecture the speaker described the Arkansas emigrants; their journey south from Bear Lake; the friendly Indians; the brave women; hostilities negative and positive; the militia called out; the troops march; the seige; the treacherous flag of truce; the surrender; the massacre. The part closed with an apostrophe -- O, ye slaughtered ones!" In the third part Mr. Wandell described the closing atrocities of the massacre, the orphan children, the meeting of the Governor and the chief demons of the massacre," and John D. Lee and Isaac Haight partaking the Sacrament at the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City at Conference, just three weeks after the massacre. This sacred "feast" Mr. Wandell delivered in another apostrophe. The audience entered into the horrors of this massacre of the Mountain Meadows with evident wrath, and we heard faithful Mormons affirm that it was one of the most barbarous tragedies found in the annals of civilized man, but that they did not believe Brigham Young was responsible.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Tuesday, March 17, 1874.                 No. ?


Some Fearful Facts From its Horrible Pages.

Something for Tender Hearted Congressmen to Consider.

Eds. Tribune: -- Sunday morning's Herald gives us infliction No. 4, from Apostle John Taylor's pen. He reviews litigation in Utah... He says: "In England they have a blue book -- I am afraid I shall have to open the Black Book." ...This book tells of hundreds of foul, premeditated, cowardly, fiendish murders, committed in this Territory. They were not all committed in one day, but have been done day after day, month after month, year after year.... Have any been indicted?" Have any been tried, committed or discharged? Will Apostle Taylor tell us if any of the murdering fiends that butchered the Arkansas emigrants, under the


have ever been brought to trial? Has any one of them ever been arraigned? Where were they indicted, and when? Give us a transcript from all the Probate Courts in Utah, and give us the record if any, of the Mountain Meadows heroes who have been brought by outraged justice to face the crime of


and stripping them of their clothing, and gobbling up their stock, horses and cattle, appropriating their poanos, their spring wagons, and their jewlry. Is it not a fact, that the leaders of the murdering outfit are at large, and are well known? Who killed the Parrishes? Who killed Morris, and shot down two women, ine of them with an infant in her arms?...

One hundred and nineteen human beings were slaughtered at Mountain Meadows, and no one denies but that it was done by Mormon soldiers, under the command of Major John D. Lee. Brigham Young was Governor at that time and commander-in-chief of the army of Utah. In the execution of


no one will, for a moment, believe that he (Lee) was not under orders from a superior officer. Lee received orders from some heads, and the large presumption is, that it came from the head of the Church. If he acted contrary to orders, why has he not been called to account? The facts are, he accomplished his work to the satisfaction of his superiors. Now, until you can show that some attempt has been made to ferret out the crime of crimes, to find the courageous heroes that dared to


and bring them to justice, I cannot take any stock in your long arguments concerning Mormon courts and their earnest desire that the law be impartially administered. And to close, I beg leave to ask you two questions and respectfully ask an answer:

1. Were not 119 men and women shot down in cold blood at Mountain Meadows, in September, 1857?

2. Who was it that killed them, took their stock, stripped their dead bodies of their raiment, and left them to rot on the ground?   SILEX.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. V.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Wednesday, April 8, 1874.                 No. 141.


His Pretended War Revelation Analyzed.

He Steals Old Hickory's Thunder.

His Treason and Imposture Fully Exposed.

EDS. TRIBUNE: -- In presenting your readers with the subjoined extract from a proclamation issued by President Jackson, December 11, 1832, which was designed as an appeal to the citizens of South Carolina, and a second extract from a pretended prophecy made by the Mormon Prophet, Joseph Smith, dated December 25th of the same year, it will be well to ask a little of your space to explain briefly the circumstances which called the former forth...

(lengthy discussion on Joseph Smith's "Civil War" prophecy follows)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Saturday, May 2, 1874.                 No. 16.

The  Mormon  Bible.

I find in my scrap-book, set down there thirty years ago, an item which may be of interest at the present time, when the Mormon problem is evidently approaching a civilized solution. The truth of the statement herein given was vouched for in my presence by a man who is above deceit. The origin of the "Book of Mormon, so called has been a puzzle to many, much of it being evidently the production of a cultivated mind, and yet springing to light from the hands of illiterate men.

It was written un 1812-13, as a literary recreation, by Rev. Solomon Spalulding, a graduate of Dartmouth College, at that time residing in New Salem, Ohio, and, as he wrote it, it professed to be a historical romance of a lost race, the remains of whose numerous mounds and inscriptions [sic] are found on the banks of the Ohio. After the work had been completed, the author had thoughts of having it printed, and for that purpose he gave the manuscript into the hands of a printer, in whose office it remained for several years, but the design of printing was not carried into execution.

As foreman [sic] in the printing-office where Mr. Spaulding's romance was lodged, was employed Sidney Rigdon, who afterward figured conspicuously in Mormon history, and there is no doubt that he copied the manuscript, and subsequently gave it to Smith. Upon the appearance of the Book of Mormon in 1830, there were those living to whom Mr. Spaulding had read parts of his romance, and they recognized the verbiage in the book. Upon search, the original manuscript was found among the papers of the deceased clergyman, and on comparison the Mormon Bible proved to have been not materially altered from this parent text. Of course this discovery soon made considerable talk. A great many people went to see the manuscript, and at the expiration of a few weeks it mysteriously disappeared. As there was a Mormon preacher in New Salem at the time, with proselytes at his heals, the mystery of the disapperance was not very deep     S. C. Jr.

Note: The above item, from the writer's "scrap-book" appears to be a somewhat extended paraphrase of an article that originally appeared in the Boston Advertiser in April of 1839. In the process of the telling and re-telling of this old story, Sidney Rigdon gets promoted from, at first having a "connection" with the printing office where Solomon Spalding's manuscript was taken; to being a journeyman printer there; and finally, to being the foreman of the shop! There is absolutely no historical evidence to indicate that Rigdon ever worked in the printing trade. As for the allegation that "a great many people went to see the manuscript" while it was being exhibited in New Salem, Ohio -- that too is a gross exaggeration of the probable facts. In the final days of December, 1833, the ex-Mormon preacher D. P. Hurlbut reportedly displayed in public, in and around Geauga Co., Ohio, what he claimed was Spalding's "Manuscript Found." There is no testimony on record saying that he ever exhibted that document in New Salem (or Conneaut, as the place was being called by 1833). The manuscript Hurlbut was displaying in Geauga Co. did quickly disappear from public view. Also, he is known to have taken another Spalding manuscript to Conneaut, at the end of Dec. 1833, and to have shown it to a small number of people there. This document survived in the keeping of Painesville newspaper editor Eber D. Howe throughout the year 1834 and was subsequently misplaced among his news office files. The writer of the above article has either conflated these two incidents of manuscript exhibition, or, more likely, has simply exaggerated yet another part of the old report from the Boston Advertiser.


Vol. VII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Tuesday, May 12, 1874.                 No. 24.


The Fraud of Joseph Smith Fully Exposed.

The Rev. C. C. Stratton's lecture in the M. E. Church on Sunday evening was listened to by a crowded congregation. His subject was the Book of Mormon and the Bible compared, and in discussing this unpromising subject he produced an argument which, for logical compactness and force and beauty of language, has rarely been surpassed by the most noted speakers.

The lecturer assumed that there were thousands among his hearers who believed in the Book of Mormon as frimly and conscientiously as he believed in the Bible. In the warmth of his argumnet he might say something that would sound harsh to such persons, but he assured them he would be carefull not to [offend].

He had frequently heard it asserted by Tabernacle orators that the Book of Mormon is as


Such preaching was deletrious, because the deluded believer, when he discovers his error, is too apt to lose faith for what is really true. He briefly described the nature and objects of the Word of God. It tells of the Creation of the world, the Deluge, God's covenant with Abraham, the deliverance of the Hebrews, and the many other events which mark the early history of our race. It is broad and catholic in its tone, is applicable to the wants of all races of men, and teaches a system of morals and religion which will never become obsolete.


gives an account of three different families, one of whom (Jared) crossed the Atlantic to this country shortly after the building of Babel; the second wandered off about the time of the Babylonian captivity, crossed the Pacific, divided up into two peoples, the Nephites and the Lamanites, filled the two American continents, until one race was exterminated by the other.

The third family left Asia a few years later, came to this country, and settled farther north.

The golden plates which Joseph claims to have discovered were deposited by an ancient priest, and inscribed with certain records of that extinct race. The plates were found by the guidance of an angel, and were transcribed with the aid of Urim and Thummim.

The Bible bases its claim to acceptance upon the internal and collateral evidence of its Divine origin; the Book of Mormon advances a similar claim. How do these several claims stand the test of scrutiny?

The Bible is sustained by prophecy fulfilled, and by undoubted moracle. The deliverance of the Jews was effected by Divine interposition, and the miracles recorded as the means of effecting their escape from bondage, are proved to have taken place by the Jewish festivals commemorative of their occurrence. These feasts were established at the time the miracles were performed, and they establish the truth of the Biblical record. We celebrate national holidays on the 30th of May, the 4th day of July, and other times. We know what these days commemorate. It would have been as difficult


two thousand years ago, as to-day. The sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper, the lecturer held to be just as indubitable evidence that the event they typify took place, as our celebration of Washington's Birthday proves that that hero was born.

He then took hold of the Book of Mormon. In the life of Nephi, three days' darkness are described, occuring about the time of the Crucifixion, and the appearance of the Savior in this country is mentioned. These statements we have on


There is nothing in the monuments or institutions of the country to support them.

The Speaker referred to the miracles, said to have been wrought by Mormon Elders. He had the authority of the best informed ex-Mormons, to declare these stories apochryphal. If any have seen these miracles their testimony is entitled to weight.


If wrought at all they should certainly be wrought in Zion, where we should naturally look to see such evidences of Divine favor.

Noah prophesied that Canaan should serve; Shem was to receive blessings, and from his stock the Messiah came. Japhet was to be enlarged, and he is enlarged in brain, power and influence. If Noah did not speak thus by the Holy Ghost, how could he have foretold the future history of his descendants.

The Book of Mormon foretells events predicted in the Bible, and its prophesyings are plagiarisms from the word of God. The lecturer then read portions of the revelations to Joseph Smith made in 1832, foretelling the South Carolina rebellion; in that blood and thunder story the negroes were to raise against their masters, the Indians were to take a hand in, and our British cousins in full panoply were to swell the confusion and the grand pyrotechnic finale. The falsity of all this highly colored literature has since been abundantly shown forth.

Jackson County, Mo., is described as the seat of the original Eden, and it is to be the final home of the Saints in 1890. The Indians are to aid in building the temple, according to the Book of Mormon, and become a delightful domesticated people.

Brigham Young, in preaching this Order of Enoch, is only carrying out Joseph Smith's prophecy. The vast sums of money which he talks of accumulating by co-operative labor, will be devoted to the purchase of Jackson county.

The predictions contained in the Bible are broad and comprehemsive; those in the Book of Mormon are temporary and local. A season of grasshoppers in the States, abundance in Utah, and the resort of strangers here to purchase grain. These predictions were all reversed in the fulfillment. Scarcity prevailed in Utah, and abundance reigned in the East.


was another instance of the failure of Mormon prophecy.

The internal evidence of the Bible shows that it proceeded from a divine source. The attributes of God are so truthfully shown forth, human character is so accurately embodied, and the pure and elevating religion of Jesus Christ so beautifully elaborated, that the whole work is stamped


The nature of this sacred book is to promote the happiness of the human race, to lead us to store our children's minds with knowledge, to yield obedience to law, to live and struggle in the world, and preserve and perpetuate peace, and live in conformity with established institutions. The Book of Mormon requires a man to separate himself from his family, to come out from the world, and its whole tendency is to set him against society. It tells that the Latter-day Saints shall be enlarged, unrighteous Babylon destroyed, and a feeling of rancor and hate towards the human race is inculcated.

Which religion is the more reasonable of the two? The religion of Jesus Christ, which teaches its followers that they are the leaven of the earth, and that a pure life is to be exemplar of their faith? Or the religion of Joseph Smith, which calls its devotees out of the world, which sets them against their families and the State, and which teaches hatred of the race of man? One is spiritual, the other grossly material; one talks of faith, the other deals with affairs of this world.

The lecturer then devoted some time to an examination of collateral evidence. He dwelt upon the character of the old patriarchs, the prophets, Jesus Christ, and the twelve apostles.

He then took up the nature of the evidence which sustains the Book of Mormon. Tucker pronounces the family of Joseph Smith unprincipled, unreliable and addicted to loose habits. Thurlow Weed says he knew Joseph Smith in Palmyra and he speaks in the most disparaging terms of him. Peter Ingersoll of Palmyra says he would not believe Joseph Smith under oath; he also says that the future Prophet admitted to him that his stories about digging gold were a hoax. Fifty one neighbors of the family, in a written testimonial, pronounce them bad subjects, and say that the tradesmen to whom they owed money were gald when they moved away to escape the scandal of their company.

Willard and Parley Chase testify that the Smith family were worthless, indolent, untruthful and not entitled to credit. Henry Harris declares that a jury refused to take Smith's testimony because they would not believe him under oath, and furtehr says that he was frequently see drunk while translating the Book of Mormon.


The Book of Mormon is claimed to have been written 600 years B. C. Yet scores and hundreds of passages might be called, which are direct plagiarisms from the new Testament. He cited a number. One passage is stolen from Shakspere [sic]. Many modern terms are used which have gained currency from recent theological discussion. The Book of Nephi speaks of Jesus in the past tense, although written 600 [years] before his appearance upon earth.

These facts clearly invalidate the claims of Joseph Smith to be a true revelator. The clumsy fraud attending the discovery of the gold plates was fully exposed. When they were unearthed he claims to have run two miles with them, (weight 200 pounds) being pursued by two men armed with clubs.

The first version of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants was suppressed, as he found himself imperfect in the business of revelation writing; and the one now used is a second attempt, and conflicts in many cases with the other.

The lecturer read from Senate Document No. 189, printed in 1841, where evidence is given to show that Oliver Cowdrey was arrested for stealing, John Whitmer being an accomplice. This is testified to by Sidney Rigdon, Martin (sic. - George W.?) Harris, Daniel Whitmer, (all apostates,) and eighty-four Mormons. Joseph Smith testifies as unfavorably of another of his early supporters, Martin Harris. Eleven witnesses authenticate the story of the discovery of the gold plates; seven of these afterward apostatized -- and three were kinsmen of Joseph -- interested and untrustworthy.

The speaker then showed the falsity of the Book of Mormon in the animals mentioned, the architectural remains, its philology and ethnology. It says the Indians of this continent are descended from the Hebrews, their language shows they are from a different stock.

The peroration was masterly and eloquent. The Bible gives an impetus to the mind, and incites to cultivation. The most enlightened nations are Christian nations. The Book of Mormon holds the mind in chains and the body in thrall. The above is a very imperfect report of a lecture, which occupied two hours in delivery, and which was a model in its skillful arrangement of favts, and searching philosophical analysis.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Saturday, August 15, 1874.                 No. 105.


A Visit to the Site of the Massacre

The Monument Decaying from Neglect.

Seventeen Years Elapsed, and the Criminals Unpunished.

Hamilton's Fort, Iron Co.    
Aug. 8th, 1874.        
Eds. Tribune: I have just returned from a visit to the noted locality known as Mountain Meadows. Perhaps a few words description of the scene might be acceptable to your readers. As the traveler follows the direct road between Pioche and St. George in a southerly direction, he will come to one of the natural passes leading out of the great western basin. While crossing the divide, he obtains a view of a small plain or valley lying to the southwest, where the mountains appear to converge. There the eye rests upon the spot where the tragedy which has rendered the name of John D. Lee forever infamous, was committed. After getting fairly into the valley, the traveler shortly strikes the old California road. Leaving the main road to the left, and following the declivity about half a mile, he enciunters a mound composed of red-brown granite stones, which mark the spot where the unfortunate emigrants encamped. The incidents of the massacre are well known. While resting there, men, women and children


a band of assassins upon them in the disguise of Indians, from behind the adjoining hills, and treacherously and barbarously murdered the whole company, consisting of 119 persons (though some in this region set the number higher), saving only a few little children who were considered too small to tell tales.

On coming to the "monument," as it is called, about two miles from where the road crosses the divide, it is easy to comprehend the entirely defenceless situation of the emigrants. Two low hills are within easy range, with a ridge connecting them. The emigrants ere probably attacked from behind these hills and connecting ridge, which lie about seventy-five yards west of the monument. A portion of the breastwork erected during the [fight] by the attacking party still stands, which shows the cowardice of the assassins, as they were evidently more ready to trust to the effects of starvation, than to face the weapons of their victims. Although seventeen years have pasted since the massacre, yet no one has been punished


The monument, or grave, where the ashes of the poor victims repose, is a pile of loose stones, twenty seven feet long and nine feet wide. The ground where they camped appears to have been once well set with grass, which has since died from being used as a sheep-pasture, and the roots are fast decaying. A deep wash is formed by the rain-floods, and by the small creek that murmurs along the bottom of the wash. The monumnet is within six feet of the bank, which is from twelve to fifteen feet high. By the natural course of the floods, the monument will soon fall into the wash, and from thence the dust of the sleepers will be carried into the Rio Virgin and will soon mingle with the sands of the Colorado. It is the duty of all lovers of justice to contribute something toward erecting


to mark the place where poor victims of fanaticism are reposing.

It may not [be] uninteresting to the curious to know that the "Holy Order of Enoch" was built and launched within twenty-eight miles of the scene of one of the most horrid tragedies that has been witnessed during the present century, and that John D. Lee accompanied it on the trial trips as far as Kanarrah, forty-eight miles.   BOSCO.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VIII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Friday, August 21, 1874.                 No. 10.


A Saint of Thirty Years' Standing Unburdens His Bosom.

And Tells What He Knows of the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

Brigham Young and John D. Lee the Twin Assassins.

Massacre of the Innocent Emigrants by the Profit.

               Hamilton's Fort, Aug. 12, 1874.
Eds. Tribune: I ask the indulgence of a little space in your columns for the purpose of relating a few facts which pertain to myself, and may not be uninteresting to the majority of your readers. In the Semi-Weekly Deseret News, for Saturday, May 23d, 1874, appeared the following:

"Excommunications: -- At a public meeting held in Cedar City, Sunday evening, April 26, 1874, Geo. A. Hicks, of Fort Hamilton, was cut off the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for apostacy."

The above is a very brief and unpretentious paragraph, which a business man might never notice -- a paragraph which my friends who are still of the Mormon faith, would feel sad as they read it, and my enemies would perhaps rejoice at my downfall, and then it would be utterly forgotten. Not so with myself. In the notice of my excommunication, the readers only hear one side of the case, "apostacy." I shall endeavor to give


Of the forty yearsof my life, thirty have been spent in the Mormon Church. I, with my father's family, was expelled from Nauvoo. I thought it very cruel at the time, and still think so in fact. I have shared the joys and sorrows, the victories and defeats of the Church for thirty years.

I came to Utah in 1852, strong in the faith of Mormonism. I have seen the church when it was full of Christian charity and brotherly love. In 1856, came what is called.


which swept over the country like a tornado. It was then for the first time I heard the doctrine of Blood Atonement. Leading men in the church would say if you should find your father or your mother, your sister or your brother dead by the wayside, say nothing about it, but pass on about your own business. The wildest fanaticism prevailed everywhere. Secret deaths began to be


If we heard of a secret murder in San pete or Cache Valley, we knew the work of the Lord was progressing. I was then a citizen of Spanish Fork City, and be it said to the honor of that place, no one has ever been killed by any priestly assassin inside of its borders.


In the year 1857, while Johnson's army was on the plains, a company of emigrants came to Utah. I saw them pass through Spanish Fork; they were quiet and orderly. They traveled on to the south and stopped on the bottom between Spanish Fork and Payson to rest their teams, and in a week or two continued their journey. The next news I heard of them was thay had all been killed by the Indians. It was afterwards whispered that white men and Indians together, led by one John D. Lee, had done the deed, but nothing definite was known to the public. In the Autumn of 1853 [sic - 1858?], I, with my family, was "called" on a mission to Washington County to raise cotton. In Washington I was told that many of the men there had been to Sebastapol. "Sebastapol," said I, "what do you mean?" "Oh, the Mountain Meadows -- but don't say that I told you," said my cautious informer. I noticed that all these men were in full fellowship in the church and some of them were the loudest preachers and could bear strong testimony of


I thought I would be able to break down their influence in society, as soon as I got a little acquainted. I staid at Washington one year and a half and then removed to Harmony. That settlement was the residence at that time, of John D. Lee, and he was the presiding elder of that branch of the church. Surely, thought I, Brigham Young does not know that Lee is the man who led the Indians and whitemen who


Lee is a Kentuckian. He is an eloquent preacher of Mormonism, and has been very successful in making converts.

When I had been at Harmony one year, Brigham Young came to Harmony, passed through it, and drove up to the residence of John D. Lee! From that time my confidence in Brigham began to wane. Could it be possible that the Prophet of God could find no better men


Then I tried to argue the circumstance from my mind, by saying it was not my business to say where the servants of God should stop, or whom they should stop with.

Time passed on until the murder of Dr. J. K. Robinson. Soon after that event, Brigham Young preached a sermon in Salt Lake City, in which he used the following language: "There are some things which I cannot bear to contemplate, the hounds will [sic - Brownsville?] massacre; the Mountain Meadows massacre, and the murder of Dr. Robinson are atrocities of this sort. These," said he, "I cannot bear to think about; but


That last remark is significant. The sermon containing that extract, was published in the Deseret News. I read it, and re-read it; my mind, which had wavered between two opinions -- one in favor of Brigham Young's innocence, and the other against it. Brother Brigham is all right, I said, and is not in favor of Lee and crime.

The people of Harmony had got tired of Lee, and had put another man in his place to preside over them, but Lee was still allowed to preach two or three times a month. In one meeting I raised an objection, and noted Brigham Young's sermon against Lee, and thought to silence him in public. Lee, who understood his "relations" with the Prophet better than I did, promptly informed me that I did not know Brother Brigham as well as he did; he (Bro. Brigham)


in his sermon. He had talked that way to blind the eyes of the Gentiles, and to satisfy disaffected individuals, such as I was. I felt indignant in the highest degree that the character of the servant of God should be traduced by a man whose hand I believed to be


I immediately informed Brigham Young by letter, of Lee's slanderous statements. recommending that Lee be cut off from the Church. I waited for an answer; it came promptly to hand. The Prophet, did not thank me for the information I had given him, but on the contrary, he pretended to think that I had taken a part in the Mountain Meadows affair, and on that conclusions, advised me to take a


"with a jerk." That a little bit of prophetic advice I did not obey. From that time forth. I have believed that Lee is better acquainted with the Prophet than I am.

To the honest believing Mormon, these statements of mine will seem incredible, but they are nevertheless true. I do not wish to do Brigham Young any physical harm, but I will say to all men who read this article, that if I had only been


I might have rode "cheek by jowl" with the Prophet as Lee has done, and been in good standing in the Church.

On the seventh day of April 1874, I saw John D. Lee by the side of Brigham Young's carriage, and reported the same to The Tribune. I was suspected of so doing of so doing. Bishop Henry Lunt of Cedar City, questioned me on the subject. I did not deny the fact, and was immediately cut off without even a hearing of any kind.

A few more words, and I will close. I was a member of the Mormon Church for nearly thirty years, and never had a charge of any kind brought against me. I have no faith in any of the religions of the day, but like Madam De Stael, I have loved God, my country, and liberty. The reader must judge whether I have or have not had just grounds for apostacy.                Respectfully,
                         Geo. A. Hicks.

Note: For more on Elder George A. Hicks, see Will Bagley's "His Integrity Paid Off For Pioneer," in the Jan. 21, 2001 issue of the Salt Lake Tribune.


Vol. VIII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Saturday, Sep. 19, 1874.                 No. ?


Haunted by the Victims of Mountain Meadows --
Incidents by a Mormon


SEVIER VALLEY, Sept. 13, '71.    
Eds. Tribune. -- Excuse the liberty I take in addressing you for the first time, but as this is near the seventeenth [sic - 14th?] anniversary of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, I could hardly resist taking my pen and induing a few lines in commemoration of that bloody event. I have been a member of the Mormon Church for the past eighteen years, and yet retain my membership. When I first heard of the


I was young -- a mere youth in fact -- and a resident of Salt Lake. Indians were accused of the murder of those innocent people -- so said the brethren, so reiterated the Priesthood in every meeting house in every stake in Zion. Much deviltry is laid at the door of


and he is the scape-goat for too many unhung scoundrels. I believed the Indians were responsible; but vague rumors were afloat -- some of the brethren were absent from their homes on that eventful month, and no good excuse could be given for their absence. It was whispered the Mormons had a hand in the murder of the Arkansas emigrants. I could not believe it. One of our neighbors, who stood high in the Church, said Bro. Brigham on the night of the 14th of September of that memorable year, walked the floor of his office


excusing and accusing himself, and sobbing aloud. He knew of the intended massacre, gave the order, and knew the day on which it was to take place, else, why did he accuse himself and make so much fuss over a matter which had not yet transpired? But I have digressed; I started out to relate


A short time since, an old man died in this valley. He had a history, but it was buried with him, or nearly so. His strange actions frequently led them to inquire into his history, and little by little, I gathered the information that he was one of the men who obeyed the Priesthood one time too often. He was at the Mountain Meadows, and his hands were stained with blood. "Brigham Young," said he, "will answer for the murder of one hundred and twenty innocent persons, who were sent to their graves at his command." This man was but the shadow of a being, careworn and haggard. He imagined that he was always persued by the spectral forms of those he had helped to send to the other world, and the least sound would startle him as one in mortal fear. On his deathbed he raved and beseeched those who watched at his side to intercede in his behalf and protect him from the spectres. He suffered hell on earth, and the man who led him into his troubles will get his on the 7th of December next. This I know, for the astrologist who cast those figures, never makes a mistake.


On this valley is another man, much younger than the one who died, as I have above described. He too, was at the Meadows, and is now possessed of the devils. "Would," said he to me, "I could roll back the scroll of time and wipe from it the dark and damning record. Mountain Meadows and those terrible scenes haunt me day and night -- they will not away." I have known this man to hitch up his team and drive out to his ranch for a load of hay, and return quickly in terror, leaving the horses standing in the field. Nothing could induce him to return after them, and some member of his family would have to do it. The same team has been found standing in the road by his neighbors, left there by their owner who dared not go on with them. The poor man says those cold, calm faces of murdered women and choldren are never out of his sight and at times drive him nearly distracted.

I am now convinced Brigham Young counseled that massacre, and now that the laws can be enforced in Utah, Mormon as I am, I hope to see the day when he will be made to pay the penalty the arch crominal so richly deserves.

"Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord!" Let vengeance be swift and sure, say all Mormons who respect the law of the land. Mountain Meadows is a stain which should be wiped out with the blood of Brigham Young.

Note: The editor of the Salt Lake Herald noted in his issue for Dec. 8th, that "The Tribune's prophet had prophesied that Pres. Y. would die on the 7th (yesterday). The Tribune's prophet, like the Tribune, is a 'liar and a calumniator.'"


Vol. VIII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Sunday, Sep. 27, 1874.                 No. ?


New Light on the Dark and Damning Deed.

Who Murdered One Hundred and Twenty Arkansas Emigrants?

Brigham Young and his Butcher Brother, John D. Lee.

The Prophet Visits the Scene of the Horrible Massacre,

And Carries Away the Bones of One of His Victims.

Eds. Tribune: -- In your issue of the 19th inst., there appears a letter signed "Eighteen Years a Mormon." There is a weird horror story about that communication which chills my blood. The writer is "convinced Brigham Young counseled that massacre."

My God! can it be true that he was the prime mover in that cumination of treachery, pitiless cruelty, and wholesale murder?

I have viewed those beautiful green meadows, each skirted by gentle elevations, where everlasting peace seems to reign. They are situated miles away from any settlement. The moans and screams of the dying could be heard only by the relentless devils who sent their bullets crashing through the quivering bodies of that poor, mangled crowd of human beings.

We Mormons have not believed that Brigham Young had anything to do with it, or knew anything about it, until after "the job" was done. It was the work of Indians, we were told. Indians


Oh, the agony of the last moments of that doomed company! The aged father, the gray haired mother, the beautiful maiden, the stalwart youth, the innocent prattler, in consternation begging for dear life, and in despair clinging together in death.

Shame on the neighboring settlements, that they did not turn out in mass to bury the dead, and save some relic to send to the friends of the murdered. Shame on the bishops, presidents and priests. Shame on the whole Mormon Church, that they did not make a hue and cry all over the world; that they did not hunt every mountain, every canyon, every bush, every nook and corner, to ferret out the miscreants who perpetrated that dastardly deed. Can it be true that those settlements each contributed their quota of men, the Priesthood forcing them to the work of murder by threatening to


And this the counsel of the Mormon god through his Priesthood to his people. I have served and feared him in ignorance of his character over half my life. I part company with him forever. I am ashamed of him. He is a murderer in his heart. I fear him not. I despise him. I spit upon him, and make war against him as a deceiver of my race, as a seducer of their virtue, as a spoler of their goods, as a red-lipped vampire preying upon their life currents by day and by night, binding their souls in chains of fear, through unhallowed oaths, senseless covenants, and blood-letting penalties.


The Indian Amon, when a boy, lived in a Mormon family in San Pete county. He afterwards joined his tribe. He could speak English well. One Sunday he drive into town -- one of the southern towns -- a fine span of dark mules, hitched to a first-class new wagon, with spring seat, and stopped in front of a Mormon temple of worship. He was fresh from the massacre on the green meadows. He was received by the Bishop and his counsel, and invited to a seat among the Priesthood on the stand. It was Sunday morning service. He was dressed in a suit of fine broadcloth, sported a gold watch and chain, and his fingers loaded with gold and silver rings. Having newly arrived from his bloody mission, he was


and gave them a full and complete account of the work of death he had a few days previously been engaged in. He mimicked the struggling victims in their death agonies, and gave a precise detail of how desterously he split open the head of a young woman with his tomahawk, after she had begged of him to spare her life, and let her return home to her mother in the States.


with the inspired effort of their brave and gallant friend and brother Amon. He has since gone to his account.

Quite a number of the Mormon people are beginning to fear that their leaders have played leading parts in that fearful tragedy on the green meadows.


When I visited the spot, a company of U. S. soldiers had kindly and tenderly gathered together the bones and female hair they found scattered in every direction, and buried them in a excavation the beleagered emigrants had made for protection against the bullets if their enemies, and built over them a cairn, around a standard and cross, bearing a suitable inscription.


It was in his company I was traveling. When he was about to enter his conveyance, after taking a survey of the scene,


it was a human bone, believed to have belonged to some one of that murdered company. After it had been duly examined, he placed it in his carriage and bore it off as a souvenir of that dreadful event. If, as your correspondent is convinced, Brigham Young was the chief mover in the perpetration of that most inhuman butchery, can it be possible that he is so devoid of pity, so callous to remorse, as to visit the scene of his murders, pick up a bone of one of his victims, give it a place with him in his carriage, and deposit it in his cabinet of curiosities? Again:

If Brigham actually knew or believed for a moment, that John D. Lee had any hand in that dreadful affair, why would he walk with


apparently in a most affectionate manner, and in broad daylight, and in the face and eyes of all beholders; eat at his table and sleep in his bed?

In the light of these facts, is it not fair to suppose that your correspondent has been too hasty in reaching the conclusion that the Prophet, Seer and Revelator in the Mormon Church was the chief mover in the Mountain Meadows Massacre? If the President knew that John D. Lee took an active part in the carnival of blood, while accepting him in his embrace, I can only conclude that they were "hail fellows well met!"


who planned and executed that diabolical slaughter, feel the full weight of retributive justice. The spirits of the murdered ones call for it; their friends on earth call for it; the honor of our nation calls for it; every true, clean-handed Latter-day Saint calls for it; let it come quickly and surely; let it fall upon the guilty -- no matter whom.   OLD MORMON.
  Kaysville, Sept. 24.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VIII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Saturday, Nov. 7, 1874.                 No. ?


The Secret of the Mountain Meadows Massacre.


To the Editor of the St. Louis Reoublican: -- Reading an article in your paper of the 7th inst., "The Grand Jury in Utah," calls up to my mind the very melancholy reflection that the killing of Elder Parley P.Pratt, the second elder in the Mormon Church at that time (in 1856 I believe it was), near Van Buren, in this State, by Mr. H. H. McLean, of San Francisco, was the cause of the Mountain Meadows massacre. Mr. McClean, agent for the steamship company of San Francisco, had his wife stolen from him by this man, and made his seventh wife. Mr. McClean sent his two children, after this happened, to his father-in-law, in New Orleans. They were a boy and a girl, and as interesting as children could be. Some time after they arrived at New Orleans the mother left Salt Lake and went and got them and started to Utah with them. The almost broken-hearted father left his business to look after his children. Arriving at New York he heard of Pratt, and tracked him to St. Louis. Then he lost sight of him and went to New Orleans. Arriving there he heard of his wife and children in Texas with a certain caravan going to Utah. He went to Texas, and there he intercepted letters written in cipher to Mrs. P. P. Parker, the assumed name of his wife. Having come able to decipher the letters, he learned from them, they were from Pratt, and he desired the caravan to come to the neighborhood of Fort Gibson, in the Cherokee nation. He did so, and under the name of Johnson (his secret being known to the officers of the fort) he captured his wife and children and the brutish seducer also. They were arrested by the United States Marshal and taken to Van Buren, before United States Commissioner John B. Ogden, for trial. The charge for stealing his wife's clothing could not be sustained, and there being no crime known to the laws of the United States under which he could be held he was released. Never shall I forget the trial, the great excitement and popular desire for vengeance on Pratt. When Mr. McLean appeared in Court and read the papers in cipher, written by the old serpent, and stated the history of his so happy family being broken up, the people desired to lynch Pratt, and he was put in jail to prevent it being done. McLean himself became so highly offended and so deeply excited that at one time he commenced drawing his pistol to kill him in the court room. Pratt was secretly discharged early the next morning, but the watchfulness of McLean found it out, and he followed him and killed him, and returned to town and gave notice of the fact. He then got some assistance of his friends here and took his children to New Orleans, and his wife, who had been a well educated woman, was, I think, taken to an insane asylum. Of Mr. McLean it may be said that he was a gentleman of fine education, great business habits, a kind, generous, true and trusty friend, overflowing with human kindness -- indeed there are very few like him. His act was approved and justified by all the people, and if there is a just God, must have been approved by Him. Many a time has the reflection come over me that the murder of 120 persons by the Mormons was for the just death of this impostor and scoundrel.

Note: See also the Sept. 27, 1875 issue of the San Francisco Evening Bulletin, for a similar report and conclusion, reprinted from the New York Sun -- (also reprinted in the Tribune of Oct. 17, 1875).


Vol. VIII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 1874.                 No. ?


The Mountain Meadows Chaplain Captured.


By special dispatch from Beaver, we learn that the infamous John D. Lee, a priest of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Brigham Young's special manager in the Mountain Meadows Massacre, was arrested at Panguitch, in Sevier Valley, last Sunday, by Deputy United States Marshal Stokes, and subsequently taken to Beaver, by that officer, and confined in jail to await trial for the foulest murder which ever disgraced either a civilized or barbarous people. Lee has been indicted, we believe, by the Grand Jury of the Second Judicial District, and his arrest made on a bench warrant from the court. It is already mooted in Church circles, that Brigham Young, if accepted, will turn state's evidence against John D. Lee, in order to show a pretended love of justice in bringing the murderers to the gallows; but on the other hand speculations are rife among the Priesthood regarding the danger of exposure by the prisoner, who is reputed to be in possession of the fatal orders from Salt Lake City, which sent a hundred and twenty innocent beings into untimely and uncoffined graves. We shall not be surprised to hear that a mob of his religious brethren and accomplices, will have precluded the necessity of a jury trial, by ending at once the life and dreaded disclosures of John D. Lee, lately the confidential friend and trusted agent of the Prophet, in matters of Blood Atonement. It behooves the legal officers to take good care of their captive.

The  Messenger.

The above is the title of a new paper, which has just come to light in Zion. It is published under the auspices of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and is edited by Mr. Jason W. Briggs. The price, fifty cents per year, places the Messenger within the reach of all. The number before us contains several able editorials dealing heavy blows against the "twin relic of barbarism," polygamy. We wish the Messenger great success.


..."Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord." John D. Lee, the butcher of Mountain Meadows, is in prison at Beaver.... John D. Lee having been captured, the natural inquiry is, when will the other two butchers, Young and Smith, be arrested in their southern flight?

The capture of Lee is the first victory the Federal officers have had since the 3d of November....

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VIII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Friday, November 13, 1874.                 No. 26.



Thrilling Particulars of the Arrest of John D. Lee.

The Assassin Takes Refuge in a Hen Coup.

Women Fly to His Rescue With Shot Guns.

Cool Bravery of the Marshal and His Men.

(Special to the Tribune)

BEAVER CITY, Nov. 12, 10 p.m., 1874.    
Your readers will probably be interested in hearing fuller details of the arrest of the Mountain Meadows chieftain. The Umited States Marshal has been laying for the assassin for some time, and his arrest was effected earlier than had been expected. The result shows that Stokes had laid his plans well, and he carried them out with discretion and gallantry. Some days since this officer got on to Lee's track, but had failed to come up with him. It was reported that the fugitive had eight armed men with him. Having business at Panguitch he proceeded thither, and just as he was closing it up, Marshal Stokes received a message informing him that his man was on hand. The deputy selected five good and trusty men, and entered Panguich shortly after daybreak. Most of the people of that town are Lee's votaries, but this early raid took them by unawares. When the officer and his posse appeared, Lee seized a revolver and hastily took up his position in a hen coop, which was then covered over with straw.

The Marshal went for the straw with the true instinct of a thief taker, and peering into the coop he saw an object that bore but slight resemblance to a chicken.


the face of the hidden man being only a foot or two from the opening. Stokes ordered him out, Lee showed no disposition to comply. One of the posse was then sent in to disarm him, Stokes covering his capture with his revolver the meanwhile, and informing his aid (one Winn) that if Lee moved he would shoot his head off.

Lee said, "Don't shoot, I will come out!"

He betrayed great trepodation when he came out. During all this time, the numerous women in the house had bestirred themselves, and a number had their guns leveled upon Stokes and his small party. These latter were bestowed so as to prevent surprise. Had a gun been fired,


Stokes' men were all ready and Lee's friends understood that they meant business. They would stand no trifling. The news spread through the village and the excitement became intense. Considerable loud talking was undulged in, but no attempt at rescue was made.

At the prisoner's request his captors stayed while a meal was cooked, and showed no hurry to get away. Their coolness was provoking to the villagers. The women in the house became furious, and indignation rose so high among the villagers, that at one time an attempt at rescue was apprehended.

On departing, Lee was placed in a tight covered wagon with four good horses hitched on. Two of the escort were placed inside with the prisoner, the rest mounted their horses, and the party started for Beaver. The arrest was made on Monday last. They arrived safely in Beaver the next day, having tasted nothing on the road.


in jail. He is quite communicative, but no one is allowed to question him on the Mountain Meadow Massacre.

Full report by mail will reach you to-morrow.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VIII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Saturday, November 14, 1874.                 No. 27.



Further Details of the Butcher-in-Chief's Arrest.

A Dusty Time for the United Staates Marshals.

Stokes and His Hardy Boys Show Nerve.

Lee, it is said, Intends to Tell it All.

(Special Correspondence Tribune)

BEAVER CITY, Nov. 10, 1874.    
The arrival of United States Marshal Stokes in town this forenoon with John D. Lee a prisoner, caused considerable excitement, and in a very short space of time a large crowd had gathered at the Empore Hotel to get a view of the man who seventeen years ago led and directed


Lee, as a Major of the Nauvoo Legion, was placed in command, the Colonel of the regiment, W. H. Dame, of Parowan, as rumor has it, not having sufficient nerve to take command. Beyond all manner of doubt, Lee directed and superintended in person the butchery of 120 men, women, and children, and if the word of Indians is good for anything, violated the persons of three young ladies, and then deliberately cut their throats.

Marshal Stokes assisted by five other men made the arrest yesterday at the town of Panguitch, at 9 o'clock a. m.

Stokes has held a warrant for Lee since the sitting of the Grand Jury in October, and notifying parties at Parowan in whom he could trust; a vigilant lookout has been maintained for his whereabouts. Coming to Panguitch somr ten days ago with his teams for grain and flour, the Parowan boys scented their game, and forthwith notified the proper man. But stratagem had to be used, the least alarm


to his stronghold beyond the Colorado. Marshal Stokes showed himself equal to the occasion. He sent forward Mr. Franklin Fish to Panguitch, to ascertain Lee's exact hiding place. On his arrival at Panguitch, Fish discovered Lee, and, that night riding out of town, sent word to the Marshal through Mr. Thomas Winn, another of the Marshal's deputies.

Fish returned to town, keepong one eye on Lee and the other optic down the road, watching for the approach of Stokes. At nine o'clock, as before stated, the Marshal, with four others, rode into town, and Fish led the party directly to the house where Lee, a few minutes before, had entered. As Stokes tode into town he deputized every man he met to aid him in the arrest. Among the number was one of Lee's sons. It kept one of Stokes' men busy guarding young Lee with a Henry rifle. Lee only got five minutes warning and in that brief space of time he secreted himself under a pile of straw in a hen coop. But Fish had watched his movements too closely to be fooled, and that chicken roost was surrounded with edifying celerity, and six Henry rifles in the hands of brave men were ranged toward one focus. The situation was extremely critical. Lee was undoubtedly armed to the teeth. One of his wives (a woman who has lived among the Navajos) stood in the door of the house a few steps away,


covering the Marshal. Another woman held a Henry rifle, and two of Lee's sons and a son-in-law were trying to walk off in different directions for their arms. Fish says he watched the woman with the shot-gun, knowing her to be the most dangerous foe they had to cope with.

Another of the deputies guarded the stragglers, while Stikes and three others went for the pile of straw. Discovering Lee's exact position, Stokes ordered Tom Winn to go in and disarm him, while he (Stokes) covered Lee with his rifle. At this juncture, Lee called to the Marshal, saying that he would surrender, that there was no need of shooting, etc. In a moment he issued from the pile of straw, handed the officer his six-shooter and peace reigned. Lee showed but little excitement, but his wives and sons appeared greatly distressed. One wife said


than in the hands of the U. S. Marshal. Lee encouraged his family, telling them they must not grieve over his arrest, as it gave him but little concern.

Two of the deputies heard his wives advising him never to divulge what he knows and the Bishop of Panguitch said to Lee in their presence, do not implicate President Young, and Lee replied,


Lee was accompanied to Beaver by his wife (the oldest one) and a son-in-law. He is in fine health and shows good spirits. He is very fond of liquor, and after arriving in town got a drink, which seemed to revive him and unloose his tongue. He talked freely to all, and quoted Scripture, and related funny incidents in his life. He has lived for the last year beyond the Colorado, on the Moyen Coppy, where he raised good vegetables and some corn and wheat, and enjoyed peace with the Arizona Indians. Lee is sixty-two years old, with steel-grey hair, face shaven smooth and clean, and of ruddy complexion. He had a mild blue eye, and not unpleasant countenance, though his gaze is somewhat unsteady. He claims relationship with the Lees of Virginia, though he was born in one of the Northern States. So far, he has refused to talk on the massacre, though there is a rumor, said to have come from his wife, that


He told the Marshal after his arrest that he had made up his mind to surrender himself to the United States authorities, and stand his trial, as he had grown tired of hiding and skulking. He said if he had to suffer death, he wished to be shot.

As far as I have heard any expression of the popular Mormon sentiment it is favorable to his arrest. There is, however, a little shakiness observable, a slight manifestation of fear, or dread, among the High Priests, as if they were weighing evidence in the scales, and calculating on Brother Brigham's chances.

A little confinement will try Lee's nerves. Perhaps there may be something further to report ere long.   MINOS.


The Women to the Rescue -- Lee's Daughter Drinks a Toast --
He Says He will Unbosom -- Care Taken Against Surprise.

Marshal Stokes, armed with a warrant for the arrest of John D. Lee left Beaver on Saturday to find his man. He summoned a posse of five at Parowan, and then proceeded to Panguitch, sending a young man in advance named Franklin Fish, to ferret out the hiding place of the Mountain Meadows butcher. Mr. Fish could not at first get directly on the track of his quarry, but he conceived the idea that he was tarrying with one of his wives. The officer mentioned his suspocions to the Marshal, who was encamped with his posse on the hills near the village. Panguitch is fifty miles from Beaver.

On Monday morning Marshal Stokes rode into town, summoning every able bodied man he met, some of whom ran away to hide, and others apprised Lee of


One of the men summoned said he was a son of John D. Lee, and attempted to get away, but Stokes brought him to a halt.

Lee, on learning the situation, hastened to secrete himself in an old hen coop which he found buried in straw. His retreat was soon discovered, however, and Stokes advancing upon him, found the murderer's head partly exposed. He had a revolver in his hand. The Marshal called upon him to surrender, and the refugee's body was covered with a Henry rifle in the hands of one of his posse.

While this was taking place, Lee's third wife, Rachel, appeared upon the scene with a double-barreled shot-gun, which she leveled at Stokes, daring him and his force to arrest her husband. Others issued from the house, also armed with rifles, which were pointed at the Marshal and his followers.


would have caused a second massacre. But he had tasted enough of blood and held his tongue. A brief parley was held with his captors and then he surrendered.

He was taken to his wife Rachel's house and Marshal Stokes informed all present that if any resistence was offered, he should hold on to the man at all risks. He told them he should treat his prisoner with kindness, if kindness would be consistent with the proper discharge of his duty.

A word was here whispered to her that if he would give the signal, twenty-five armed men were ready to send the Marshal and his posse to the happy hunting ground. This I have from Lee's own lips, and his counsel to his friends was to keep quiet and make no resistance. Some wine was then sent for and freely partaken of. One of Lee's daughters filled her glass and toasted the Marshal in lively style. "Here's hoping that father will get away," said the young termagant, "and that you will never catch him till hell freezes over." The Marshal bowed his acknowledgment to the compliment.

Horses and a wagon were then procured, and the prisoner, with his wife Rachel, were seated therein, with two of the Marshal's men as guards. The other officers mounted their horses, and the cavalcade started for Beaver.

A number of deep and dismal gulches and canyons lay before them to be traversed on their return, and if Lee's friends had thought fit to intercept the party, the officers would have been placed in imminent peril of their lives, Every precaution was taken to avoid surprise, and it is a gratifying fact that they came through in safety.

Yesterday your correspondent interviewed the prisoner and his wife. He appears hale and hearty, and is still lithe and active. He is 62 years of age,


and fifty-four children. He is a fluent talker, and far from an ignoramus. He admitted in conversation that he had been


and was glad that he was captured. He intended to make a clean breast of it. His wife said if he went to prison she should go with him. She confessed that if Lee had given the word she would have filled Marshal Stokes full of lead. Now the capture is made, she has no hard feelings against the Marshal or any of his posee. "They are gentlemen," this virago admitted, "but I was afraid they meant to do bodily harm to my husband."

This interesting pair seem to be reconciled to their situation. They are confined in Matthew's Hotel. Lee is kept under a double guard to prevent accidents. These people change their minds so unaccountably, especially when they get word from headquarters. Things look a little dubious about town; but every possible precaution is taken to keep safe custody of the prisoner. No person is allowed to converse in private with him or pass any written papers to him. Lee shows good spirits under this strict survellance, and says he is glad an opportunity is now afforded him to


Later orders received from General Maxwell, require Deputy Stokes to place his prisoner in close confinement and keep a strong guard over him. There are suspicious movements among the Saints -- the extreme of vigilance is needed. Lee knows too much for the safety of the Church. Dead men tell no tales.   ROYAL.

Note 1: Compare the above accounts with the recollections provided by Marshal Stokes himself, in Mormonism Unveiled. The Tribune report of Lee's arrest was quickly relayed to the reading public via reprints in other newspapers and telegraphed summaries of the event -- for example, the Chicago Inter-Ocean reprinted the entire article, in its issue for Nov. 21, 1874.

Note 2: Brigham Young and George A. Smith passed through Beaver the day before the arrested John D. Lee was brought there. Evidently the stay of the Church leaders did not overlap with the arrival of Lee in the place -- but it is very likely that they were kept informed of the events culminating in the arrest. Certainly Lee's apprehension could not have thus been made, had Young and Smith overtly opposed the transaction.


Vol. VIII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Tuesday, November 17, 1874.                 No. 29.


John D. Lee Confined at Camp Cameron...

(Special to the Tribune)

BEAVER. Nov. 16. -- General Maxwell arrived here on Saturday, and arranged for Lee to be taken to Camp Cameron to-day, strongly ironed and guarded. Lee is sullen and silent, and swears he will suffer death rather than tell on others who were suspected of participating in the crime. More by mail.  B. A. Spears....


The Butcher the Great Center
of Attraction at Beaver.

A Brief Description of John and His Rachel.

The Husband of Eighteen Dead and Living Wives
and Sixty-two Children.

(Correspondence Tribune)

BEAVER, U. T., Nov. 14, 1874.      
John D. Lee, in his cell, is still the excitement of Beaver. When brought out of jail, yesterday, to have his picture taken yesterday, he appeared cheerful, and was quite talkative.


is still with him, and judged by her countenance, must be considered a fightist. Her fiery eyes show fight, and she is said to be skilled in the use of fire-arms. She sat with her husband, yesterday, for their picture, and as the photographer, Mr. Sutterley, intends sending copies to California and the East, the public will no doubt, ere long, be gratified with the pictures of the interesting pair. Mrs. Lee is rendered historic by her long relationship with the monster she calls her husband. She was Lee's wife at the time of the massacre, and no doubt wore the clothing and jewelry taken from the bodies of the murdered women. She says


of it were necessary, and Lee regarded her a safe companion among the Navajoes. When Lee was corralled at Panguitch, she was the first of his friends to seize a weapon, and says if there had been any fighting, she would have got the United States Marshal.


himself, viewed from a phrenologic standpoint, is an animal. His forehead is villainously low and receding; no top head at all, such as a good, conscientious man is supposed to have; wide between the ears, with an overbalancing weight to the cerebellum; his physique is first-class; not large, but muscular and powerful, affording perfect health at the age of sixty-two. His life, aside from the terrible massacre of which he was undoubtedly the leader and commander, is one of strange interest, and outside of the Mormon Church, has no parallel in America. His polygamic career was crowned with


fifty of whom are still living. Two of the wives were sealed to him by the Prophet Brigham, since the massacre. He expresses himself anxious


about the massacre, and to expose the responsible parties. In his own words, he wants the saddle put on the right horse; that he has worn it wringfully for seventeen years. What equine he has in his mind, as being the proper animal to wear so weighty and unwelcome a saddle as the Mountain Meadows Massacre, is yet a mystery. Many think that Brigham Young or George A. Smith, is in for it, but the writer is not so sanguine. He is too old a bird for chaff, and besides, is exceedingly superstitious, and could not entertain the idea of doing and saying anything that would compromise the Priesthood, to whom he looks for salvation. Your correspondent is convinced that he is hinting at Isaac C. Haight or William H. Dame. Haight has fled, but Dame stands his ground with as good grace as is possible under the circumstances.


of the issue, but when forced to an expression, approve the arrest and condemn Lee as a murderer. It would be clear sailing if they were convinced that the leaders occupy safe ground. With all due allowance for the superstition of the Mormon people, it is manifest that a very large majority of them in these southern counties are glad of Lee's arrest and are anxious to see the guilty parties brought to justice. So mote it be.


who made the arrest, in addition to Stokes, are the following gentlemen: Franklin Fish, S. S. Rogers, Thomas LeFever. Thomas Winn, and David Evans. Fish is a young man, perhaps twenty-five years old, whose parents are Mormons. Rogers is about forty, and once belonged to the Church, but has been a free man for a number of years. Winn is about thirty-eight, and was also once a Mormon; his parents are still in the Church. Evans is the son of Bishop Evans of Lehi, and is about twenty-four years old. Lee thought it was very unkind of Evans to arrest him, seeing his father is a good bishop with a number of wives. Dave thinks he can make it right with the old man when he goes north. Anyway, he is not going back on the arrest. Dave is a brave boy, and ought to be permanently added to our list of deputy marshals. William Stokes is about twenty-five years old, and is one of the very best officers in the Territory. He came to Utah about a year ago. His parents live at Oshkosh, Wisconsin.   MINOS.

John in Durance Vile -- His Faithful Frau
and Her Prowess -- Notes of Improvement.

(Correspondence TRibune)

BEAVER CITY, Nov. 12, 1874.    
John D. Lee is in close confinement in the Beaver jail, and his wife Rachel is still with him in jail. A strong guard night and day is still kept, and Marshal Stokes means to keep his prisoner safe and secure if the jail is not so. General Maxwell is expected here to-night, when no doubt other arrangements will be made to keep the old Mountain Meadows chief safe and secure. Lee bears his imprisonment cheerfully and appears to feel as indifferent about the remarks that are made about him as though he had never been charged with as fearful and horrible a crime. And it is not to be wondered at after so long in the training school of murderers. He stands very much in the same position that Wirz of Andersonville fame did. He carried out his master's orders and took a fiendish delight in so doing. At first sight, a person would hardly believe he was the fiend of whom we have read so much: but on close scrutiny and in conversation with him, you will detect a cunning and devilish look, and a smooth and subtle tongue, that carries to a keen observer the impression that this man has no soul or conscience.

"A man can smile and smile -- and be a villain."

And so could Brigham, George A. Smith and all the rest of that kith and kin.


Lee's wife Rachel is a strong, resolute woman, past forty, who, if circumstances required, would face the devil and all his imps, and laugh at the sight of human blood. (That is, Gentile blood.) She, so I was informed by Lee himself, has helped to lay low many a red skin, and no doubt some white skins, too. Most if Lee's wives have left him, but this one sticks to him like a leech to a sick man, and refuses to be separated from him....   ROYAL.

Honor to Whom Honor -- A Brave and Judicious Officer --
More About the Arrest -- A Nice Little Game Spoiled.

BEAVER CITY, Nov. 12, 1874.    
Eds. Tribune: The arrest of John D. Lee is the unfailing topic of talk here, and the interest in this important capture is not likely to abate for some time. Full credit should be given to Deputy Marshal William Stokes. The warrant was placed in Stokes' hands about a month ago, and he has been laying plans and maneuvering ever since for Lee's arrest. To Stokes is due the whole credit of Lee's arrest. He picked his own men and laid all the plans, and those he carried out bravely, cooly and cautiously. When General Maxwell was in this city last, he conferred with Stokes and was satisfied to leave the details of the arrest with that officer. This action has been justified by the result. The arrest of this noted criminal was a bold stroke, and was executed with as much dash as prudence.

Mr. Stokes is not only brave, but honest above suspicion. His record and standing are good. During the Rebellion, he bore arms for the Union, serving, I believe, under Gen. Thomas, in Tennessee, and was present at the battle of Corinth, etc....

Lee was indicted at the September term of the court for participation in the Mountain Meadows Massacre. It was, of course, for this that he has been arrested....   CIVIS.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VIII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Saturday, November 28, 1874.                 No. ?


Wells Spicer, in the Salt Lake Herald, devotes two columns and a-half to a biographical sketch of the butcher Lee, and ingeniously contrives to tell the reader nothing that he wants to know. Without mentioning the Mountain Meadows Massacre, he says the chief participator "asserts that he can show his innocence, and says he has lived under the imputation and reproach of this crime long enough. Heretofore he has been fearful of persecution and fraud, and not of justice; now he is willing to submit his case to a jury made up entirely of non-Mormons."

If this statement is true, he is the victim of a most annoying instance of mistaken identity. Two of the children rescued from the butchery, named John Calvin and Myron Tackett, who were committed to the care of a lady in this city, used to tell in their childish prattle of the part taken by Major Lee in the massacre of their parents. One of them would say to his playfellows: "When I get to be a man I will go to the President and ask him for a regiment of soldiers, and I will bring them here to kill all the men who murdered my father and mother and brothers and sisters. But Lee I will kill myself. I saw him shoot my sister through the body, and if I don't kill that man I shall not die happy."

On the field, the murdered victims believed that John D. Lee led the assassins who sent them to their bloody graves. When the appalling deed was perpetrated, it was whispered among the terrified followers of the Church throughout Zion that this man had directed and borne a conspicuous part in the bloody deed. And the Grand Jury of the Second Judicial District heard evidence of a sufficiently convincing character to satisfy them that in reporting Major Lee for arrest they were securing a man against whom the crime of participating in the Mountain Meadows Massacre could be clearly proved.

This is not the first attempt of the corrupt and slavish Mormon press to divert the ends of justice by enlisting sympathy in behalf of the worst criminals. Some months ago a letter writer in the Deseret News detailed a horseback ride he had taken with this [and another] murderer through some of the southern settlements. He described Lee very much as the Herald correspondent does, a man of eminent piety, correct habits of life, a good talker and "one of our most respected citizens."...

The News writer, like the Herald writer, received the assurance from the murderer's lips of his innocence, and both are convinced that this "respected citizen" is the victim of conspiracy and Gentile hate. It is not a little significant that the sympathetica of these Church scribes are with all the murderers and lechers who have made the annals of this Territory so harrowing. Of course, what may be said in the papers on either side, will not influence Courts or juries, when the solemn [-----s] of life and death are pending before them. But an honest and fearless press would certainly not lend itself to the disgraceful task of exculpating these criminals, vaunting their imaginary virtues, and setting them forth as suffering and wronged citizens. Fortunately for the cause of justice, the evidence of Lee's damning crime is too irrefragable to admit of his longer escape.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VIII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Sunday, December 6, 1874.                 No. ?

Lawyer  and  Correspondent.

Mr. Wells Spicer obtained permission to visit John D. Lee, in the Beaver jail, and then struck out with a correspondence to the Salt Lake Herald, giving a ridiculous phrenology of the malefactor, and demonstrating to his (Spocer's) satisfaction, that the Mountain Meadows butcher is a paragon of benevolence -- a kind of secind Howard -- but now the victim of persecution. The correspondent having, as he thought, manufactured a stock of public opinion wherewith Lee might travel dry-shod over the slough of crime, we next find Mr. Spicer asking the second District Court to assist in the murderer's defense. Whether the court took notice of the professional perfidity, underlying this lawyer's conduct, does not appear, but it looks like an affair that might deserve jusicial censure, if nothing more. It is further known that Spicer is business partner of the Assistant District Attorney of that district, a phase of the matter which will probably be looked into by Judge Carey.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VIII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Sunday, December 13, 1874.                 No. 51.


Who Wrote the Book of Mormon ---
Sidney Rigdon and Joe Smith --
The Tool foils the workman.

The following article from the Pacific Commercial Advertiser, published in Honolulu, of the 14th ult., will be interesting to our readers:

There existed years ago a Conneticut man, named Solomon Spalding (a relation of the one who invented the wooden nutmeg,) a Yankee of true stock. He appears at first as a law student; then a preacher; next a merchant; then a bankrupt; afterwards he became a blacksmith in a small western village; then a land speculator and a county school-master; later still he necomes the owner of an iron foundry; once more a bankrupt; at last a writer and a dreamer.

As might be expected he died a beggar, little thinking that by a singular coincidence one of his productions ("The Manuscript Found") redeemed from oblivion by a few rogues, would prove in their hands a powerful weapon, and be the basis of one of the most anomalous, yet powerful secessions which has ever been experienced by the established church.

We find, under the title of the "Manuscript found," an historical romance of the first settlers of America, endeavoring to show that the American Indians are the descendants of the Jews, or the "Lost Tribes." It gives a detailed account of their journey from Jerusalem, by land and by sea, till they arrived in America, under the command of Nephi and Lehi. They afterwards had quarrels and contentions, and separated into two distinct nations, one of which is denominated Nephites, and the other Lamanites.

Cruel and bloody wars ensued, in which great multitudes were slain. They buried their dead in large heaps, which caused the mounds now so commonly found on the continent of America. Their knowledge in the arts and sciences, and their civilization, are dwelt upon, in order to account for all the remarkable ruins of cities and other curious antiquities, found in various parts of North and South America. Solomon Spalding writes in the biblical style, and commences almost every sentence with, "And it came to pass," -- "Now, it came to pass."

Although some powers of imagination and a degree of [scientific] information are displayed throughout the whole romance, it remained for several years unnoticed, on the shelves of Messrs. Patterson & Lambdin, printers, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Many years passed, when Lambdin, the printer, having failed, wished "to raise the wind by some book speculation." Looking over the various manuscripts then in his possession, the "Manuscript found," venerable in its dust, was, upon examination, looked upon as a "gold mine," which would restore to affluence the unfortunate publisher. But death summoned Lambdin away, and put an end to the speculation, as far as his interests were concerned.

Lambdin had intrusted the precious manuscript to his bosom friend, Sidney Rigdon, that he might embellish it and alter it, as he might think expedient.

The publisher now dead, Rigdon allowed this chef-d'oeuvre to remain in his desk till, reflecting upon his precarious means, and upon his chances of obtaining a future livelihood, a sudden idea struck him.

Rigdon knew well his countrymen and their avidity for the marvelous; he resolved to give to the world the "Manuscript Found," not as a mere work of imagination, or disquisition as its writer had intended it to be; but as a new code of religion sent down to man, as of yore, on awful Sinai, the tables were given unto Moses.

For some time, Rigdon worked hard, studying the Bible, altering his book, and preaching every Sunday. * * * It was easy for him, from the first planning of his intended imposture, to publicly discuss in the pulpit, many strange points of controversy, which were eventually to become the corner-stones of the structure which he wished to raise.

The novelty of the discussions was greedily received by many, and of course prepared them for that which was coming. Yet, it seems that Rigdon soon perceived the evils which his wild imposture would generate, and he recoiled from his task; not because there remained lurking in his breast some few sparks of honesty, but because he wanted courage; he was a scoundrel, but a timorous one * * * With him, Mormonism was a mere money speculation, and he resolved to shelter himself behind some fool, who might bear the whole odium, while he would reap a golden harvest, and quietly retire before the coming of a storm. But as is often the case, he reckoned without his host; for it so happened that, in searching for a tool of this deception, he found in Joe Smith the one not precisely what he had calculated upon. He wanted a compound of rogery and folly as his tool and slave; Smith was a rogue and an unlettered man, but he was what Rigdon was not * * * a man of bold conception, full of courage and mental energy, one of those unprincipled, yet lofty, aspiring beings, who, centuries past, would have succeeded as well as Mohamet, and who has, even in this more enlightened age, accomplished that which is wonderful to contemplate.

When it was too late to retract, Rigdon perceived with dismay, that, instead of acquiring a silly bondsman, he had subjected himself to a superior will; he was now himself a slave, bound by fear and interest, his two great guides through life. Smith consequently became, instead of Rigdon, "the elect of God," and is now * * * [regarded as] a great religious and political leader. But Rigdon is most undoubtedly the Father of Mormonism, and the author of the "Golden Book," with the exception of a few alterations subsequently made by Joe Smith.

Note 1: The above item is a shortened excerpt from the 1843 book by Frederick Marryat, entitled, Monsieur Violet. The article has been slightly changed to reflect the knowledge of a period subsequent to Joseph Smith's 1844 death, and may have been originally published in a newspaper at about that same time. The editors of the Honolulu paper probably copied it from some old article files they had preserved from years past.

Note 2: While his telling of Spalding-Rigdon-Smith story does not appear to be accurate in every small detail, Marryat's reconstruction of Mormon origins corresponds fairly well those of later investigators, such as Robert Patterson, Jr., Clark Braden, James T. Cobb and William H. Whitsitt. Marryat's mention of Spalding working as a blacksmith is interesting bit of information. Evidently Solomon Spalding learned something about ironworking in the years before he set up an iron forge in New Salem, Ohio. Perhaps Marryat here preserves a scrap of biography otherwise lost to history. The information he supplies in regard to J. Harrison Lambdin, the Pittsburgh printer and associate of Sidney Rigdon, is also interesting and may have some grounding in fact -- unfortunately the exact events in that obscure episode of the past are probably not further recoverable at this late date.


Vol. VIII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, December 29, 1874.                 No. 63.


"Argus" Gives Some Further Revelations.

Judge Cradlebaugh's Futile Attempt to Procure Evidence.

Who Issued That "Order from Headquarters?"

Open Letter to Brigham Young

SIR: The following open letter was written at the date named, but failed to reach the office of publication; and as it contains the recital of certain facts which should not be lost sight of of by the community, and especially by yourself; and as those facts can never be considered old, stale, or unimportant, so long as Blood Atonement assassins and Mountain Meadows murderers, their aiders, abettors and counselors, go unwhipped of Justice, I again offer a copy for publication.   ARGUS.

SIR: After Colonel Johnston's army entered the Salt Lake valley and established Camp Floyd, Blood Atonement murders and other high-handed acts of the "Deseret" Priesthood comparatively ceased. I say comparatively, because there still were occasional secret ecclesiastical murders. For example, there was Elder John Land, a gentleman with a superior education, and who was a fine man every way, who had formerly been a Justice of Peace at Monterey, in California, and was one of your followers. This gentleman went to live in Lehi, in 1859 or '60. Being a brother he was


but, disapproving of them, he was inveigled into some secret place, and has not been seen or heard of since. It was understood by the faithful that he had been put out of the way by the priesthood.

Blood Atonement had taken too close a hols upon the Priesthood to altogether cease; but the bishops and elders became somewhat wary of publicly parading the revolting doctrine. The thousands of honest but mistaken disciples began to breathe freely, and were now to be the recipients of another kind of instruction. So, the bishops, taking the prompting from somewhere, left the crimsoned dogma for the time being, and ascended to the plane of holy lying.

Our readers, perhaps, will start upon reading this, but, sir, you know it to be exactly sp; and will not doubt me when I say that your disciples were enjoined to keep the past criminal doings of the Priesthood a secret from the Gentiles, and were instructed that lying was not only a virtuous act, but a religious duty when necessary to that purpose! The second section of your "revelation" commanding polygamy, was quoted to sustain this position, and


even in court, was of no account. The proposition was, that the Priesthood who laid themselves liable to a criminal action in the execution of the Church mandates, must be shielded from the action of the courts at all hazards. This sort of Gospel was not confined to any particular settlement, but was generally taught, and emphatically unpressed upon those communities which had received their "baptism of blood."

I will not pause here to inquire into the divine direction and inspiration of the so-called Prophet, seer and revelator whose peculiar faith and ecclesiastical government could deliberately place an entire body of communicants in the dilemma of choosing between truth and duty to society accompanied with certain destruction upon the one hand, and perjury and a supposed church duty upon the other; because the unwisdom and even bald dishonesty, not to say something worse, of such a policy, is too manifest to need investigation. It was a wrong of inexpressible wickedness forced upon a simple people, who could just as easily have been led in a better direction.

Judge Cradlebaugh felt the full force of these lying sermons when, in the spring of 1859, he proceeded to hold a term of the Court of the Second Judicial District, at Provo. The attention of the grand jury empaneled by him, was emphatically called to


and a list of other Blood Atonement murders, the perpetrators of which were well and publicly known; and, in addition, they had before them the sworn testimony of good and reliable witnesses. Yet, though kept in session two weeks, they utterly failed to do anything; thus "going back" on their oath, which, of course, as believers in your "revelation" commanding polygamy, they regarded as "of no force or effect," Judge Cradlebaugh discharged this loyal grand jury as a useless appendage to his court; then, sitting as a committing magistrate, caused a universal hiding of Blood Atonement assassins in Utah county!, Bishops, high priests, and elders, in crowds, fleeing as fugitives from justice! Fleeing from the fearful consequences of acts performed in pursuance of a "policy" initiated and publically proclaimed by yourself, and urged by your associates! Acts which had been publicly endorsed by the Priesthood as proper and right, and as based upon your religion. Its ministers burdened with conscious blood guiltiness, fleeing as felons flee, and hiding, in some cases for months, in the fastnesses of the mountains!

The Judge closed his court, and shortly afterward, under the protection of a detachment of troops, proceeded to the Mountain Meadows. This produced in the settlement along his route


No running for a day or two with a loaf of bread and a blanket, but with animals well packed with provisions and arms, and prepared for a long stay! He passed the Meadows and went to Santa Clara, a branch of the Rio Virgin. There he was met by Jackson, the head chief of the Piedes, who admitted to him that a portion of his men were engaged in the massacre, but claimed that they were not there when the attack commenced. He said that after the attack had been made, a white man came to their camp with a piece of paper, which, he said,


that directed them to go and help whip the emigrants. He further said that the band went, but did not assist in the fight. He gave as a reason, that the emigrants had long guns and were good shots, and named John D. Lee, President Haight, and Bishop John M. Higbee, as the big captains of the militia. (See Cradlebaugh's speech, as published in "THE MORMON PROPHET," by Mrs. C. V. Waite...).

In describing the scene of the siege the Judge says

The Meadow is about five miles in length and one in width, running to quite a narrow point at the southwest end, being higher at the middle than either end. It is the divide between the waters that flow into the great basin and those emptying into the Colorado River. A very large spring rises in the south end of the narrow part. It was on the north part of this spring the emigrants were encamped. The bank rises from the spring eight or ten feet, then extends off to the north about two hundred yards on a level. A range of hills is there reached, rising perhaps fifty or sixty feet. Back of this range is quite a valley, which extends down until it has an outlet, three or four hundred yards below the spring, into the main meadow:

The first attack was made by going down this ravine, then following up the bed of the spring to near it, then at daylight firing upon the men who were about the camp-fires -- in which attack ten or twelve of the emigrants were killed or wounded; the stock of the emigrants having been previously driven behind the hill, up the ravine.

The emigrants soon got in condition to repel the attack, shoved their wagons together, sunk the wheels in the earth, and threw up quite an entrenchment. The fighting after continued as a siege; the assailants occupying the hill, and firing at any of the emigrants that exposed themselves, having a barricade of stones along the crest of the hill as a protection. The siege was continued for five days, the besiegers appearing in the garb of Indians....

Who can imagine the feelings of these men, women, and children, surrounded, as they supposed themselves to be, by savages....

A wagon is descried, far up the Meadow. Upon its near approach, it is observed to contain armed men. See! now they raise a white flag! All is joy in the corral. A general shout is raised, and in an instant, a little girl dressed in white, is placed at an opening between two of the wagons, as a response to the signal. (Which of the murders was it that killed that little girl? and with that dress on?) The wagon approaches; the occupants are welcomed into the corral, the emigrants little suspecting that they were entertaining the fiends who had been besieging them.

The Judge then says that the others in the wagon were President Haight and Bishop John D. Lee, and adds

They professed to be on good terms with the Indians, and represented the Indians as being very mad. They also proposed to intercede, and settle the matter with the Indians. After several hours of parley, they, having apparently visited the Indians, gave the ultimatum of the Indians; which was, that the emigrants should march out of their camp, leaving everything behind them, even their guns.

From the Meadows the Judge returned to Cedar City, where he was privately assured by some of the militia who had been forced into this tragedy, that they would furnish abundance of evidence in regard to the matter, so soon as they were assured of military protection. He states that their story corroborated the Indian version. You well perceive, sir, that this sad story as related to Judge Cradlebaugh by the militia and the Indians, and to myself by various actors on that scene, agree in all essential particulars.

Captain Campbell of the Judge's military escort, and Deputy Marshal Rodgers took charge of the surviving children of the emigrants, and took them to Camp Floyd and Salt Lake City. From there they were taken, by the Government to the East for identification. Of those children the Judge says:

"No one can depict the glee of these infants, when they realized that they were in the custody of what they called the Americans * * * They say they never were in the custody of the Indians. I recollect of one of them, 'John Calvin Sorrow,' after he found he was safe, and before he was brought away from Salt Lake City, although not yet nine years of age, sitting in a contemplative mood, no doubt thinking of the extermination of his family, saying: 'Oh, I wish I was a man; I know what I would do; I would shoot John D. Lee; I saw him shoot my mother.'

That boy may be heard from yet. What is very singular about those children, they have never been identified by relatives ir friends. When last heard of ny me, they were at a school at St. Louis, and supported by the Government.

I shall close my examination of the Mountain Meadows tragedy, with a brief reference to the principal actors therein:


from Cedar City late last fall (1870). Whether he has been seen since, I do not know; your unexpected act of excommunication wounded him beyond expression. He, doubtless, felt he had been crushed by the very hand which had led him on to ruin, and may have felt disposed to be rebellious. If he is not living, that tells the story of his death! Haight was not of a murderous disposition; it was his implicit faith in you as an inspired teacher, his confidence in your superior understanding, and his perfect knowledge of your imperious rule, which compelled him to obey that fatal order from headquarters, in that terrible campaign.


a man prematurely old, with a partial imbecility, produced by the tormenting phantoms of his victims, slain, perhaps, at different times, but especially at the Mountain Meadows, if living, is at a point about twenty miles from Kanab. Lee is a man of low instincts, naturally a fanatic, and a full believer in all your pretensions. He is supposed to still have the military order under which he acted at the Meadows, and, by his own statement, has refused to surrender it for a large sum of money. He has, perhaps, made up his mind, that in a trial of his case, he would rely upon that irder as his defense. Life has been, and is, a perpetual hell to this man.

In the early spring of 1858, he led a large company of prisoners westwardlt from Beaver, in search of "some secure hiding place," in which the Governor, himself and others, might secrete themselves from the wrath of outraged justice. When Lee reached Snake Creek, he took a small party and started southward in the direction of Mountain Meadows. During the first night he came rushing back into camp at the creek, frightened at the horrible spectres his guilty imagination had conjured up. At another time, while driving in his carriage between Cedar and Harmony, the straps of the harness broke, and the frightened forses, with a sudden spring, cleared themselves of the gear.


which he afterwards declared, had unharnessed his team, "right in the road."

It was during the publication of the "Argus" letters, that the chief high priest of Utah, while upon his usual Southern tour, stopped all night at Lee's house. Lee (as reported by one of his family) was in great mental anguish, as he detailed, and again reiterated to the "President" his apprehensions of a criminal prosecution. President Young did his best to reassure him, telling him he would defeat all efforts of the court in that direction. In this exceptional case he has made his word good, but evidently more for his own safety than for Lee's, whom he afterward


for his Mountain Meadows crime -- another act of treason.

John M. Higbee resides at Cedar City, and is nearly a mental wreck; always apprehensive of arrest, or assination, or of some undefined danger. Under no cicumstances, I am told, can he be induced to go out of his home at night; and sleeps with his dorrs barred. In tracing his present wretchedness back to its cause, the line of thought runs directly through the Mountain Meadows, the Brewer(y) murders, and bloody scenes; thence to the Endowment covenants, the "revelation" commanding polygamy, and ultimately to yourself. Sir, no wonder you dare not sleep without armed sentinels around you.

Ira Hatch is at Kanab. At the time of the massacre he was in the employ of the Government as Indian Interpreter for the Pah-Utes.


at the Muddy, of the only survivor of the massacre, takes rank with the darkest and most revolting particulars of the tragedy at the Meadows. To this list we might add the names of some high in authority, but their whereabouts is well known, as also is their standing in relation to the Mountain Meadows.

Leaving you, sir, to ponder over the very serious question of the propriety of shedding human blood by the quantity for the gratification of a mean spite, and for the purposes of treason, I close by subscribing myself, yours   ARGUS.
Salt Lake City, Oct. 19. 1871.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VIII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, January 3, 1875.                 No. ?

The  Next  Apostle.

Has "one Spicer" yet learned that there will soon be a vacancy in the quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and that he gives evidence of extraordinary ability for that high and dignified calling among the Saints? When he returns from Beaver in the triumphal car of the Utah Southern Railroad, leaning upon the arm of that delicious Christian, John D. Lee, we shall expect that "one Spicer" to prove to the satisfaction of the Saints that Dr. J. King Robinson was never murdered in this city; that indeed, he never lived here; yea, further, that such a person as the martyred Gentule never lived. Go it, Spicer; you're a brick.

Note 1: The Corinne papers were equally unforgiving of that town's former resident, suggesting that "Judge" Wells W. Spicer (1831-1885) might be a suitable candidate for the presidency of the Mormon Church. In taking up the legal defense of John D. Lee (along with a media defense of Lee's wife), Spicer instantly lost his standing in the Liberal Party as well as any hopes of election to the State Legislature by way of the non-Mormon vote.

Note 2: Steven Lubet, in his 2004 book, Murder in Tombstone..., says this: "Professional life was difficult for a gentile (non-Mormon) lawyer in territorial Utah, where law and politics were dominated by Brigham Young and the Mormon Church. For a time, Spicer wrote for the vigorously anti-Mormon Salt Lake Tribune, but he later switched to the Salt Lake Daily Herald, which was friendlier to the Latter-day Saints. Spicer was active in the local Liberal Party, which opposed Young's theocracy, but he was careful to avoid anti-Mormon stances and he eventually gained Young's favor. -- By 1874, Spicer was on the brink of great success. His law practice was thriving, and he had carved out a niche as a man who could maintain profitable relations with both Mormons and gentiles. All of that changed when he undertook the defense of John D. Lee in the Mountain Meadows massacre case."


Vol. VIII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, January 6, 1875.                 No. 69.


How Joe Smith Manufactured His Bible.

Rhetorical Chloroform in the Smith Mansion.

The Smith Fleas Make Themselves Disagreeably Sociable.

The following lively and ireverent story is from the Cincinnati Times, and we reproduce it in our columns as not unworthy the perusal of the children of Zion. The "Steve" who figures so prominently in the narrative, we have a lurking suspicion can be none other than Steve Harding, a former Governor of Utah.

A reporter of the Times, when a boy, was an attentive listener to his mother's Bible stories about patriarchs. He always wanted to see apatriarch, or see some person who had seen one, and no words can tell his vexation on learning that the day had gone by, that


were all dead; and that even old John Robinson, who had been in the lion business for nearly two score years and ten, could give no satisfactory information in regard to old lions or patriarchs. This desire, which hungered so in boyhood, has not altogether left him, and on learning something of the Mohammed of Palmyra, he felt a desire to find Joe Smith, or some person who had acquired the grandeur of his acquaintance.

The other day our reporter learned the whereabouts of one, who knew all about Joe's vagabondish boyhood, his first Mormon trickery, had handled the Golden Bible before it was printed, slept with Cowdery, the witness, joked old Harris, another witness, and in after years


It was only a little jaunt from the city of a half hour or less to the old gentleman's home, so last Saturday thither went the Times representative for a Sunday's cosy interview about Joe, the Saint, and his doings within the lines of modern Palmyra more than 44 years ago. When he reached his destination and received a comfortably assuring welcome from the host, reportorial interest amounted to a very respectful and reverential admiration.

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

The reporter will give in his own language, except when otherwise denoted by proper marks, the account of an


which his informant attended in the summer of 1829. It may be in place here, to say that the old gentleman from whom the facts were obtained, is now at the age of sixty-five, hale and hearty, in the enjoyment of that vigorous mental health, which minifests itself in conversation, by sharp perception, accurate observation, unbounded memory and almost infalible judgment. More serious conversation had for a moment given place to a "joke," which both laughed over -- and which is thought too good to be lost, as it affords an opportunity of touching some things which have not yet found their way into the Sacred History of the Saints.

Grandin, the printer, having failed to keep Martin Harris from mortgaging his farm to print such


had commenced the work, under protest, and a few sheets were being struck, from day to day, under the personal supervision of Joe Smith, Harris, Cowdery, and perhaps others.

According to "Divine command," the manuscript was to be brought to the printer "at the rising of the sun and taken away at the setting thereof," and, on the evening referred to, the parties named took the sheets from the printer, rolled up their manuscript, and started for Joe's residence, a mile or so out of Palmyra. A young man, who appeared to take some interest in the matter, was invited to go along and hear "the faith now being delivered to the Saints." In speaking to this young man, Editor Pomeroy Tucker called him "Steve," from which we may infer that his Christian name was Stephen ____; well, never mind the last name. Let this suffice. "Steve" was the editor's particular friend; he was about twenty, was recently from Cincinnati, where he had been fitted up in a suit of Piatt Evans' best, wore a cane, topped out with a fancy "Otter" hat, and sported


Pretty good looking to begin with, Steve had only to cover the affections of his ardent bosom with that ruffled dickey and be what he was, "an irresistible dash." The party left GRandin's office and started down the lane leading to the log cabins where the Prophet resided.

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

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

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


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


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

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

The girls being well acquainted with the Saint business, including


paid little attention to anything other than supper, one of them in particular to see that Steve had the "new pewter spoon." The other sister was the one, as appears from Pomeroy Tucker's story, upon whom Harris wasted considerable "adoration," in a religious way, believing as Tucker says, that she was to be the Mary of the coming Dispensation, who, in the matter of an immaculate conception, should astonish the Gentiles of Palmyra; but, unfortunately, for Harris,


which quite collapsed Harris, for awhile, and gave rise to wicked scoffings among the ynregenerate of the neighborhood. After supper, all turned to the satisfying of those cravings concerned in spiritual cupboards.

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

Joe knew that the best way to touch a man's heart is


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


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

The reading was continued till 11 o'clock, when all turned in -- to bed. As Steve was a possible convert, he was entitled to some consideration, and was put to bed with Cowdery, who, of all the rest


In a few moments all were soundly asleep, except Steve, whose risibles had been so played upon by the serio-ludicrous of the evening, that sleep went from him.

This thing of lying awake at nights is a waste fo time. So thought the Smith fleas, and they determined to cultivate the acquaintance of the man who had


A jumper made the circuit of all the beds, giving the squeak that the fresh man was "where the snore came from." Cowdery's inspirations from the effulgence of the Divine page were mostly convertible into "snore" hence his acquired reputation of Jack Mormon, when not engaged in reading or snoring. Five or ten thousand fleas came over at once to inquire for Steve; every one that lit on Cowdery sloped on the first snore; as the snoring continued the fleas kept on coming. Steve tried to wake Cowdery by putting his elbows into his rib spaces, but Cowdery couldn't be waked; and as for the fleas, he cared not a whit -- his soul was away hob-nobbing with Nephi, Lemuel and Sam.

As to the fleas, the frisky ones started a cotillion under Steve's bosom ruffles; others, intent on business, divided up


while the rapscallions organized a Danite Band. Blood was the watch-word; and, till daylight, the merciless marauders pursued their bloody recreations. Cowdery slep the sleep of a Saint, and, as Steve says, "snored a sepulchral blast, which wounded through the house like the wheeze of whooping-caigh or a wood-pecker's requiem on a hollow beech!"

Morning came, but what words can tell the feelings of that distressed Gentile on beholding that shirt frill. Hereon the fleas had assembled previous to saying good-bye; their weapons were yet dripping with blood, and every time they grounded arms, each one made a red spot on that shirt bosom, and the stragglers coming up late,


scrawling with bedraggled legs a farewell complimentary, in characters that bore a wonderful resemblance to Joseph's "learning of the Jews in the language of the reformed Egyptian."

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

Turning to Steve she, at last, said:

"Did you not dream last night?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Vol. VIII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Monday,  January 18, 1875.                 No. ?


The general interest in that unatoned crime in our domestic annals, the trecherous murder of one hundred and twenty peaceful Arkansas emigrants at Mountain Meadows, seems to be on the increase. Recently, the Sacramento Record devoted upwards of a page to recounting the thrilling tragedy, and later the Chicago Tribune and Inter-Ocean gave compendious narratives of the same dread occurrence. From all parts of the country our exchanges come with frequent references to the wholesale murder, and the question is frequently asked, when are the offenders to be brought to justice?

Yesterday Mrs. Stenhouse started west on an extended lecturing tour, taking with her three ably written and very interesting lectures on different phases of Mormonism. Two of them have been delivered in this city before crowded audiences, and were received with the heartiest approval. The third of the course has been expressly prepared for the present engagement, and is devoted to succinctly narrating the appalling incidents of the Mountain Meadows Massacre. We have been favored by this talented and very estimable lady with a perusal of the manuscript, and in justice feel bound to speak in the highest terms of her painstaking detail and the dramaticinterest with which she has invested her subject.

The massacre of these emigrants she shows was not without adequate causes, and these may be thus generalized -- a gloomy fanaticism pervading the Mormon faith, a settled hostility to the human race growing out of the murder of their prophet, Joseph Smith, and the more sordid lust of gaining possession of the valuable effects belonging to this devoted party of emigrants. At the time they reached Salt Lake the fury of Brigham and his slavish Priesthood was aroused against the government and people of the United States, by the attempt of President Buchanan to enforce the laws in Utah. An army under Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston was approaching, accompanied by a full set of Federal officials, who were to be installed in office by force of arms, if necessary, and supported in the performance of their duties by bayonets. The minds of the loyal citizens of Utah are at this day constantly outraged by the treasonable utterances of the brutal Priesthood and their servile scribes in maligning and defying the Federal authorities in Utah. But in those days the Lion of the Lord reigned supreme, and the approaching invasion of his Kingdom with the threatened curtailment of his absolute power, stirred him up to ungovernable rage. The credulous followers of the prophet were appealed to resist the armed host, the favor of the Lord in behalf of his peculiar people was assured them, and scripture hyperbole was freely repeated to show that one soldier of the Most High would chase a thiusand invaders and two would put ten thousand to flight. Our traitor-mayor, Daniel H. Wells, then Lieutenant General of the prophet's army, sent orders far and wide to his "brothers in Christ," in command of various detachments, to destroy the provision trains of the struggling American forces, raid their stock, and burn up the country in advance.

Having this spirit to encounter, the Arkansas emigrants found hostility in all the settlements of Utah, and this feeling was rendered the more intense against them, because they came from a State where the high priest, Parley P. Pratt, had been killed for profaning a peaceful household in the indulgence of his polygamous practices. Their fine stock, their pleasure vehicles, their musical instruments, and abundant and elegant outfit, excited the cupidity of the sacerdotal robbers, and hence to the gratification of their gloomy ferocity, was added the inducement of capturing rich spoils.

It is not mecessary for us to follow the too faithful writer through the whole of her painful narrative. The story is too well known in Zion for such labor to be necessary. One deduction of the author's however, we cannot forbear producing. The guilt of ordering the massacre has never been brought home to Brigham, and in view of his insidious habits of caution, it is doubtful whether it ever can be. But although he cannot be held legally accountable for this most terrible crrime of the nineteenth centry, his moral responsibility is none the less sure. Day after day for many years, the destruction of the perverse human race was foretold, and the coming universality of the reign of the Saints portrayed. The red-hot vengeance of the Lord was to be poured with immitigable fury upon the devoted heads of the American nation, because the blood of the prophet Joseph Smith was upon their hands, and the Government had failed to avenge his taking off. With this prompting to blood guiltiness and revenge always held up to the Mormon mind, as murder being invested with the halo of religious duty, it is easy to understand how any criminal suggestion of the prophet would be carried into bloody execution by unsparing and fanatic hand....

Mrs Stenhouse reminds us that upwards of seventeen years have elapsed since this atrocious massacre was committed, and no attempt has ever been made by the Mormon authorities to discover the perpetrators. Brigham Young was Governor of the Territory at that time, and hence was responsible for the safety of the lives and property of all dwelling in or passing through Utah. An attempt has been made to charge the crime upon the Indians, but Brigham Young was Indian Superintendent, in constant intercourse with all the agents in his superintendency, and if the Indians had been the murderers, the facts could readily have been made known. That the red man only performed a subordinate part in the massacre is evident from the fact that the spoils fell into the hands of the Church, and persons are yet living in this city who can identify the pleasure vehicles, jewelry, wearing apparel and other property of the murdered emigrants, which were divided up among the more prominent hierarchy and were worn or used in their families for years afterwards. Further than all this, Brigham's authority over his followers was so complete and all-pervading, that the smallest commercial undertaking and the most trifling domestic details were subject to his dictation. Is it possible then, that a militia regiment could be mustered, the Indians summoned as allies, and this large party of emigrants hounded and exterminated without his having a full knowledge of the whole murderous details? Such a belief is too preposterous to entertain.

Two of the leading assassins are now in the hands of the officers, and the hiding places of many others are well known. Shall justice be meted to these inhuman butchers? The country has waited many years to see this crowning act of perfidity avenged, yet perfect immunity has been accorded the red-handed butchers... the treacherous assassination of this party of American citizens traveling along a national high-road, and the indecent spoilation of their remains, have never been made the subject of inquiry by Congress, and no President has ever recommended that judicial quest be made into the appalling crime. Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, I will repay; but the dread will of the Almighty is executed through human instruments, and his power to punish is delegated to Kings and the ministers of law. The country now looks with impatient interest to see whether the prosecution of these arch-criminals will be conducted in earnest.

Note 1: The Sacramento Record-Union articles on the Mountain Meadows Massacre were written between late 1874 and early 1875 by Charles F. McGlashan. Copies of these articles are preserved in a scripbook in Carton II, folder 115 of the C. F. McGlashan Papers in the Bancroft Library.

Note 2: The Chicago newspapers cited by the writer were the Chicago Tribune of Jan. 6, 1875 and the Inter Ocean of Nov. 24, 1874 and Jan. 7, 1875.


Vol. VIII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Tuesday, February 23, 1875.                 No. 110.


Recollections of Mormon Terrorism.

Eds. Tribune: Two or three days ago the Deseret News commented upon the heavy debt with which Missouri is now burdened. As I have mislaid the copy of the paper containing the article, I must draw upon my memory for the substence of a passage which attracted my attention. It says, "Our people have a registered expectation to return to that State to live again. These may not be the exact words. I am a stranger in the Kingdom, having come here to spend a few days in relaxation, but I find myself among old acquaintances. My home is in Jackson county, Missouri, where I was born, and my farm covers a considerable area of territory. FRom 1841 to '49 my father was Sheriff of that county. I have a vivid recollection of my Mormon neighbors, and I am rejoiced at the opportunity of reviving old recollections. Our county was then settled mostly by pioneers from Virginia and Kentucky, a well-to-do people, who followed the star of Empire on its westward course. Our Mormon neighbors had not yet received the revelation regarding polygamy, but were very defective in discriminating between the orthodox precepts relating to the distinction between "mine and thine," It was revealed to them that


and they had a vested claim to all they could put their hands on. The honest yoemen of that county very soon perceived a rapid attenuation of their stock. Horses, hogs, cows and sheep disappeared. Their barns yielded to the rapacity of midnight thieves. They could not fathom the mystery by which they were berift of their stock and provisions, although they were exceedingly suspicious of certain neighbors who were known to be Mormons. They however contented themselves by charitably attributing their losses to the accidents which beset the steps of the hardy adventurers in the wilderness or on the prairie. Notwihstanding these drawbacks, they continued struggling with adversity, and happy in the knowledge that the prolific soil would pour upon them its stores of wealth. But the depredations committed upon them gradually forced them to takes measures against the forahers.


forbearance gave way to stern necessity. One Sunday we assembled at the meeting house, three miles from where the flourishing town of Independence now stands. We had preaching once a month in those days. The exhortation of our parson was rudely interrupted by a band of villainous looking men, armed cap a pic. Some of them carried guns the we recognized as our property. I noticed particularly a rifle that my father brought from Virginia. While we were wondering at the meaning of this intrusion, one of the unwelcome party, a burley, red-faced fiend named Taylor, strutted up to the table in the center of the house, and read a proclamation to this effect: "You are commanded one and all and


to leave this county within twenty-four hours. The Boreas will be at the landing this evening. You will reamin here at your peril." We left the building and looked for our teams and wagons which had been hitched outside. They were all gone, and we dispersed to our homes on foot. Three or four days afterwards the house of E. S. Reed, a prominent citizen was burned to the ground and all his stock stolen. His son, a bright, promising young man, was found one night with his throat cut from ear to ear. Murders and robberies became so frequent, that a universal terrorism reigned. Finally the people combined to punish the perpetrators of these repeated outrages. Vigilance was the watch-word. A monster in human shape was detected while lurking around the stables of Egbert Dorsey, evidently with the intention of committing arson and robbing the premises. He was arrested by persons who were on the watch. He was, however, rescued. My father then Sheriff, proceeded to Independence and obtained a warrant for the arrest of the criminal. The friends of the accused sallied forth in large numbers to resist the service of the writ. As the Sheriff was unable to enforce the execution of the law, he called upon law abiding citizens of the county to assist him in overcoming the banditti. A general response was given, the people flocked from all sides,


We then enjoyed peace and prosperity.

Now, I will suggest to the holy people who propose to return to Missouri, that when they do come back to our rich county, every inch of which is under the highest cultivation, with a population of one hundred and fifty thousans souls, and when they see our numerous cities and towns, experience the benefit of a progressive civilization, and breathe the air of a country in which a stone cannot be thrown without striking a schoolhouse, it would be advisable for them to forget their old tricks.
Salt Lake, Feb. 22, 1875.

Note: If this correspondent meant to date the various criminal acts he mentions, to the period when his father was the Sheriff in Jackson County, Missouri (1841-1849), it seems very unlikely that many (or any) of the criminals were Mormons. Or going back a few years to the late 1830s, practically none of the problems then occurring between Mormons and non-Mormons were located as far west in Missouri as Jackson Co. It appears that the writer may have conflated some old reports he heard about the Mormons, dating back to 1832-33, with some subsequent, non-Mormon criminal activities from 1841-1849.


Vol. VIII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Wednesday, April 7, 1875.                 No. 147.


Smith and Clayton as Revelators --
The Revelation Officially Denied --
An Elder Cut off for Preaching it.

Eds. Tribune: That Joseph Smith was a spiritual medium, none need doubt; and that he was also a lying medium, we have abundant proof.

In the polygamy case of George Reynolds, Messrs. Sutherland & Bates, attorneys for the defendant, put forth a plea on behalf of the defendant, by stating that he, the defendant, is and has been, a sincere believer in the truth of a revelation given to the Mormons on the 12th day of July, 1843, and that his future salvation depends upon his obeying the doctrine contained in that revelation, not as a cloak for lustful pleasure, but as the cardinal and vital part of his religion.

Just for a few moments let us look at the author of the revelation, who is believed by the Mormon people to have been the mouth piece of God to the Church. Let us see if he and his abettors have acted in accordance with the spirit of truth and righteousness.

On the 12th of July, 1843, Joseph Smith gave a revelation to the people ordaining the plural wife system, William Clayton, the present usurping Territorial Auditor, writing the language down as it flowed from the Prophet's mouth, he being at that time a clerk in Joseph's office.

In a paper entitled the Times and Seasons, published by authority in Nauvoo, we find the following:


The Twelve feeling a great anxiety for the unity and prosperity of the whole Church, and more especially for the benefit of the branches of the Church abroad in the world, would after mature deliberation, and as a matter of counsel (approving of the course, management and matter of the Times and Seasons and Neighbor) recommend that suitable pains and exertions be taken by both elders and members to obtain these papers from Nauvoo. A unity of effort to circulate these papers, not only among the Saints, but among the people at large, will greatly facilitate the labors of the traveling elders, while it disseminates correct principles, sanctioned by the highest authorities in the Church * * *

Done in council, this 1st day of January, 18[45].     BRIGHAM YOUNG,

Six months after [sic - before?], Joseph Smith writes in this journal the following in relation to his precious polygamy screed:

        CITY OF NAUVOO, Feb. 1, 1844.


As we have lately been credibly informed that an elder of the Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter-day Saints, by the name of Hiram Brown, has been preaching polygamy and other false and corrupt doctrines, in the county of Lapeer, state of Michigan.
Presidents of said church.

In a later number of the same paper, Hyrum Smith writes:

        CITY OF NAUVOO, March 15, 1844.
Whereas, brother Richard Hewitt, has called on me to day, to know my views concerning some doctrines that are preached in your place, and states to me that some of your elders say, that a man having a certain priesthood, may have as many wives as he pleases, and that doctrine is taught here, I say unto you that that man teaches false doctrine, for there is no such doctrine taught here [neither is there any such things practiced here] * * *
(Signed.)                 HYRUM SMITH.

This was written eight months after the revelation was given to his brother Joseph Smith, and three months subsequently the brothers were killed.

In the Times and Seasons, Nov. 15th, 1844, an article signed, "An old man in Israel," contains the following paragraph:

Woe to the man or men who will thus lie to injure an innocent people. The law of the land and the rules of the Church do not allow one man to have more than one wife alive at once, but if any man's wife die he has a right to marry another and to be sealed to both for eternity to the living and the dead. This is all the spiritual wife system that ever was tolerated in the Church.

The Apostle John Taylor, was editor at the time, and he endorses the statement in the strongest language.

At Boulogne sur-mer, on the 13th of July, 1850 (seven years after the revelation was given) this same Apostle gave his views of polygamy (he at the time having four wives,) in these words:

We are accused here of polygamy and actions the most indelicate [and] obscene and disgusting, such that none but a corrupt and depraved heart could have contrived. These things are too outrageous to admit of belief.

I have produced the above official utterances for the benefit of Brothers Reynolds and Cannon, and for the benefit of all the devout Saints who derive so much religious edification from the practice of polygamy. An unconverted heathen would be very apt to inquire, "if the Lord gave this revelation to Joseph Smith, why did not this degenerate son of a gun avow it openly to all the world? Lopping off Elder Hiram Brown for proclaiming the doctrine, and denying it in his writings three months before his death, would indicate that he, like some Saints of the present day, was lacking in the spirit of a martyr, and was either false to his Maker, or practicing a huge fraud upon his followers.

Perhaps Brother Clayton could reflect some light upon this dark subject, if he were called upon the witness-stand, and captured, like Mrs. Reynolds No. 2, before receiving counsel from his masters. It would be interesting to hear him describe how he felt when the words fresh from Jehovah's lips were being traced by his pen, and he was separated by a well-worn calico sheet from the ineffable presence of the Deity. Surely that was a great day of our Lord!

Brigham Young says that all revelations vouchsafed to mankind partake largely of the nature of the medium through whom they are transmitted. This being true, we may say that the animalism in Joseph Smith's nature stands out prominently in his Polygamy Revelation, and some might be irreverent enough to declare that instead of the Almighty dictating that wretched piece of verbiage, the impostor's lustful passions were the inspiring cause.
Salt Lake, April 5.                         S. C.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IX.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Wednesday, May 12, 1875.                 No. 23.


An Interview with John D. Lee -- He Denies Complicity,
but Refuses to Tell What He Knows -- An Intimation
that Implicates Brigham Young

We find the following interview with John D. Lee, published in the Philadelphia Times of the 3d. A reporter of that paper did the pumping:

Having obtained a pass from Deputy Marshal William Stokes, I paid a visit to the noted prisoner John D. Lee, now held in the guard house as a criminal charged with murder. Lee seems to enjoy company, and answers nearly all questions propounded to him cheerfully, and, of approached in a spirit of kindness, he becomes quite talkative. During this mood of loquacity, much that is interesting might be elicited from him, and it is my opinion that were it not for his attorney he would convict himself. In answering the following questions he was not reserved until the name of Young was mentioned, who would have been implicated in the massacre.

Correspondent: Do you remember having conversed with a Mr. E. C. Brand (a deputy marshall and representative of the faith and doctrine of Joseph Smith, Jr.)?

Lee: I do sir; he stayed all night with me; ate drank and slept with me. We talked all night on various topics touching the massacre.

Correspondent: How old are you?

Lee: Sixty-three years old on the 6th of September next. I have had eighteen wives, sixty-three children. Thirty-five of them sons. I have fifty-six children still living, one hundred grand children, and one great grand child.

Correspondent: Do you now believe in polygamy as a true doctrine?

Lee: You should not ask me that question, having so many children and wives as I have. But I have not taken any wives since the act of 1862.

The contrary can be proved, it is said. I asked him if he believed the Book of Mormon to be an inspired work of Joseph Smith. He asserted his belief in the work emphatically. Still he knew that the book denounced the practice of polygamy in plain language.

Correspondent: You did not deny to Mr. Brand the charge alleged by the public against you as to participation in the Mountain Meadows Massacre?

Lee seemed to hesitate, but finally denied having anything to do with the murder of the emigrants, as he was three-fourths of a mile away in a hollow at the time.

Correspondent: Did you not say you felt sorry for what was done there -- that you would throw the blame where it belonged?

Lee: I am no traitor. I will never betray Brigham Young, as he was not there. Still, I do not intend to say that others were not guilty, but Brigham Young sent messengers with despatches to that place (the Meadows,) but all was over and it was too late.

This is certainly enough to show that Young had knowledge that the massacre would take place.

Correspondent: Mr. Lee, you know that blood atonement was then and has been taught by Young?

Lee: Yes.

Correspondent: Do you feel justified, Mr. Lee, in covering up this affair at Mountain Meadows, having the knowledge of it that you have, and still hiding it from the world?

To this wuestion Lee seem to have objections, but in a low tone said, "he would never stretch hemp."

Correspondent: You say, Mr. Lee, that you do believe in the Book of Mormon, which is strong against polygamy and blood atonement?

Lee: I do.

Correspondent: Well, in that book we are informed that the Lord forgave certain of the people of their murders when they repented seriously, and finally, after offering their lives, were firgiven, but died for the testimony of Jesus. Do you not feel it would be better to do this and make a clean breast of it than to suffer hereafter the stigma attached to your character?

Lee: IO dislike a traitor. Joseph Smith, Sr., used to say a traitor is worthy of death.

Correspondent: But those people at Mountain Meadows were innocent, both men, women and children being like you claim to be. No law had condemned them as guilty, and all men, in a certain degree, are innocent in the eyes of the law until proved otherwise.

This is hardly soo, I think, in their case at least, as the Territory was under martial law at that time.

The old story of their (the emigrants) poisoning springs, uttering oaths, and so on, was repeated. [This] is how lies were manufactured in former times and sworn to by Indians. Lee was courteous, and by this time had become quite familiar, and it is my belief that if he were to plead his own case he would convict himself. This he would do and make a clean breast of it if a proper course could be pursued. He has very little money at his command, and were it not for the means in his hands of others, who employ attorneys at their own expense, or for the sake of notoriety, we would quickly be rid of the most guilty, ungodly, professed prophets, pseudo-apostles, falls teachers and sacrilegious priestly perjurers that ever escaped the guillotine or the gallows. All the efforts ever made by the firmness, determination, untiring industry and zeal for preservation of the honor and rights of the law of such judges as his Honor J. S. Boreman, with his associates in the Second District of the courts of Utah. There is little use in jeopardizing the lives of such worthy men as Marshal Stokes in the dangerous undertaking of capturing such men as Lee whilst the power and money are in the hands of the guilty, the law itself being weakened by a priestly hiearchy, for the defense of which perjury and conspiracy against the General Government are considered no crime. Even the press, in some instances, is not free from bribery, and where one word is misplaced or published to the world by an honest Gentile, a thousand are used to defame his character by the Urim and Thummim of a sacerdotal priesthood composed of aliens, bigamists, polygamists and despisers of Government, who would in some countries long ago have been condemned to felon's cells or the traitor's long home.

Note: The Philadelphia Times reporter appears to have been aware of a controversial report from the RLDS missionary, Edmund C. Brand, which had been published in the Salt Lake Tribune around the second week of August, 1871. In that communication Elder Brand reported that John D. Lee had admitted, in regard to the massacre, that "the Enemies of Brigham Young in their News paper reports had the Saddle on the right Horse," and that Lee "had been heard to say as much in Parowan." In a retrospective personal journal entry, dated "About July 20th, 1871," Lee relates that "one of the advocates of young Joseph," had visited him at that time (not long after his LDS excommunication) and they had a long discussion concerning the Mountain Meadows massacre. For another mention of Lee's having communicated the story of the massacre to this RLDS elder, see J. H. Beadle's July 29, 1872 report in the Tribune, (also his 1877 book, Western Wilds.) Beadle correctly identifies the RLDS elder as "Brand, a Josephite preacher." This is obviously the same "Mr. E. C. Brand" mentioned by the Philadelphia Times reporter. Brand's communication to the Tribune has not been located; nor has the contemporary account that John D. Lee thought was "was published in the Reporter at Corinne." Fawn Brodie transcribed John D. Lee's journal entry of the RLDS elder's name as "Braun," and so did not realize that he was a noted Reorganite leader, who had offered Lee a new religious home among the "Josephites." History does not record whether Joseph Smith III approved of Elder Brand's attempted missionizing in this particular case.


Vol. IX.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Saturday, June 5, 1875.                 No. 43.


Graphic Account of an Interview
Between Joe Smith and
Peter Cartwright.

Cincinnati, O., May 28, 1875.      
Eds. Tribune: A few nights ago, Terrill, the murderer of Harvey Myors, stepped into a book store in Cincinnati and called for the autobiography of Peter Cartwright, the pioneer Methodist of Illinois. He wanted to read up a little on


Cartwright says, "Soon after the Mormons were driven from Missouri, I became acquainted with many of the leading men, and was formally introduced to Joe Smith, in Springfield, then our county town. We were soon engaged on religion -- Mormonism in particular -- and I found him to be a very illiterate and impudent desperado in morals, having a vast deal of low cunning. Joe made an [onset] on me by flattering, laying on the soft sodder thick and fast. He expressed unbounded pleasure in the privilege of becoming acquainted with me, one among God's noblest creatures, an honest man. * * * gave him rope, as the sailors say, and he preceeded to express his belief that "the Methodists of all the churches in the land were nearest right, but they had stopped short by not claiming gift of tongues, prophecy and miracles," quoting a batch of Scripture to prove his positions correct. He did


and went on to say: "Indeed,if the Methodists would only advance a step or two, they would take the world. We Latter Day Saints are Methodists, only a little more so; and if you would come in, we could sweep not only the Methodist Church, but all others, and you would be looked up to as one of the Lord's greatest prophets. You would be honored by countless thousands, and have of this world's good things


I criticized Joe's explanations, till, unfortunately, we got into high dispute, when he cunningly concluded that the bait of flattery would not take, as I was not to be wheedled out of common sense and honesty, so he moved upon my fears, saying, In all ages the right and good way has been evil spoken of, and it is an awful thing to fight against God."

"Now," said he, "if you will go with me to Nauvoo, I will show you living witnesses who will testify that they were cured, by the saints, of all the diseases flesh is heir to. I will show you that we have the gift of tongues, can speak in unknown languages, and that the Saints can drink any deadly poison without being hurt." He closed by saying, "the idle stories you hear about us are nothing but sheer persecution." I then gave him an account of some Mormons who came to one of my camp meetings in Morgan county. These Mormons, twenty or thirty in number, came to the meeting, took their position, did some singing, and then put forward an old woman to blather in an unknown tongue. She swooned -- into her husband's arms, and, on coming to, sure enough began to talk in an unknown tongue. The manoeuver was to bring the Mormons into notice and break up our meeting. So coming up I took the old woman by the arm saying, I would hear nothing of such presumptuous, blasphemous nonsense, and told her peremptorily to hush her gibberish. She opend her eyes, says, "My dear friend, I have a message from God to you," but I stopped her saying, "I'll have none of your messages. If God cannot speak through any better medium than a lying, hypocritical old woman, I will not hear it." The husband flew into a great rage, but I cleared them from the place, and was informed that this same husband had been recently caught


Joe became restive, and at the conclusion of my story, his wrath boiled over and he cursed me in the name of his God, and said, "I will show you, sir, that I will raise up a government that will overturn the United States Government, and a religion that will overthrow every form of religion in this country!"

"But," said I, "Uncle Joe, the Bible says the bloody and deceitful man shall not live out half his days, and I expect the Lord will send the devil after you some of these days, and take you out of the way."

"No, sir," said he, "I shall live and prosper, while you will die in your sins."

"Well," said I, "if you live and prosper, you must stop your


From which last remark of that redoubtable Peter it doth appear that Joseph did -- !

Note: The Tribune account is a paraphrase of Rev. Peter Cartwright's words, not an exact reproduction.


Vol. IX.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Saturday, July 25, 1875.                 No.85.


A Review of His Sermon by Elder Briggs.

Eds. Tribune: Mr. Pratt's discourse on Sunday, July 11, 1875, in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, was an elaborate effort of two hours, in which he assumed to speak for the Latter-day Saints, and proposed to give (to the editorial excursion party, a small part of whom were present) the peculiar doctrines of the Latter-day Saints. We listened to the discourse, and having noted its prominent features, shall here give them to the reader, and our answer to them. But first, we object to Mr. Pratt's speaking unqualifiedly for the Latter-day Saints, because the Utah people with whom Mr. Pratt is connected, is, and ever have been, only a fraction, and a sect or faction of the great body of the Latter-day Saints. This is shown by the following


In 1844, the Latter-day Saints were estimated at 200,000 (Times and Seasons, vol. 5, p. 517). And in 1853, after nine years of gathering and proselyting, the number in Utah is given by Mr. Pratt himself, as 30,000. Now, allowing that the proselytes during these nine years were equal to those in fellowship out of Utah, the while number was in 1853, 20,000, less than one-sixth the number of Latter-day Saints in 1844. And when it is remembered that in that year (1853) polygamy was first proclaimed, resulting in the withdrawal of large numbers, this proportion may be conceded as unchanged, and of the original 200,000 in 1844, probably not one-fiftieth are now in fellowship with Mr. Pratt's party. But waving the further consideration of his assumption, let us see whether he represents or misrepresents the faith. He says we are here in these vallies, gathered out from the various nations, in fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah, 21 chapter, 2d verse: "And it shall come to pass in the last days that the mountain of the Lord's House shall be established in the tops of the mountains -- and all nations shall flow unto it." Now, if these mountains around this valley were the only ones known, it would need be the ones referred to; but as they are not, how did Mr. Pratt identify them as the one the prophet referred to? Simply by affirming it. But we will prove that they are not. The first verse settles this as follows: "The word that Isaiah the son of Amos saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem," -- not Utah, or Salt Lake City. So Mr. Pratt has cited this scripture to deceive others, and to his own condemnation.

The same is found in Micah, 1th chapter, And in chapter 1, verse 1, we learn it is applied to Samaria and Jerusalem, and in chapter 3, verse 12 we are told where the Mountain of the House is, viz: in Jerusalem. On applying these prophecies to Utah, Mr. Pratt necessarily assumed that the temples here were within the Zion therein mentioned and of course a chosen place of the Lord, etc. Two strange contraditions are here involved. 1st this location, this city, temple, etc. is not upon the tops of the mountains "nor" above the hills; but at the foot of them. 2nd, in the Seer, vol. 1. p. 77, Mr. Pratt states that the people here, are in exile, driven here. Now if they are within the boundaries of Zion, they are not in exile; and if they are out of the boundaries, what authority is there for temples?

We learn in Doc. and Cov. sec. 13th, par. 3, that Zion, is the new Jerusalem, and in sec. 27, part1, we learn where the center of the city of Zion, or New Jerusalem is; viz: Independence, Jackson County, Mo.; and in par. 21-1 we have the measurement, viz: 12,000 furlongs, or 1500 miles square. Salt Lake City's Temple is thus more than 500 miles outside of the boundaries of Zion. Israel did not found a Zion at Babylon in their exile! But if Isaiah and Micah did not speak of Utah, evidently Jeremiah did, chapter 17, 2, 5, 6, where it is said, "Those who trust in man and made flesh his arm -- or did as they were told by man -- should inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited." This place, in fact, also shows why Mr. Pratt's exiles were locared here, because their hearts "departeth from the Lord,"

Mr. Pratt then introduced marriage as a peculiar tenet of the Saints. By refering to the nuptials of Adam and Eve, his reasonings and assumptions were as follows: Adam and Eve were immortal, hence their union was for eternity. Mr. Webster defines immortal thus: "Exemption from liability to die, undieing, imperishable, etc." Adam and Eve were liable to die, asnd did die, therefore were not immortal. Therefore Mr. Pratt's "eternity of marriage," is false, and the inference drawn from it must be false also. But he goes on and affirms that the object of marriage is the production of offspring, hence the begetting and bearing of children will continue through all eternity. But in Lu. 20, marriage is clearly limited to this world. This world and that world is this side and the other side of the resurrection. The contrast is drawn between the two upon this point, thus: The children of this world marry, the children of that world neither marry nor are they given in marriage. Doc. and Cov., Sec. 68, par. 3, declares "That marriage is ordained to fill the earth (not eternity)" with the measure or offspring of man. Mr. Pratt having


of course every proper inference from it, we find is falsehood also. But the main object of Mr. Pratt was to establish polygamy, which he asserted grew out of the eternity of marriage, as follows: The object of marriage being children, and in case the wife of a man -- a man in the prime of life, says Mr. P., should die -- such do die -- the man may take another and raise children, and this second is his wife as much as the first; and in the resurrection both will be his wives. So says Mr. Pratt, triumphantly; polygamy will exist in eternity, in spite of Congress. To this it might be replied, that a husband might die, and leave a wife "in the prime of life," and she would be equally entitled to marry again, to obey that "great command," to multiply, and her second, would be just as much her husband as the first; and in the resurrection she would have two husbands; and thus establish poliandry in eternity, in spite of Congress.

But Mr. Pratt thus assuming that he had firmly established polygamy in eternity, asks, why not practice it in this world? He does not forget to mention Abraham and his two wives, Sarah and Hagar; but he forgot to notice that the Lord and Sarah divorced him from the latter, so that Abraham went into that world a monogamist, and not a polygamist. Mr. Pratt then asked, who says polygamy is a crime, does the bible? And answers, "no prophet, no aspostel, no inspired man ever called polygamy a crime." To this we oppose the following: In the Book of Mormon, page 118, it is twice referred to as a "grosser crime." Jacob, here speaking, says he was burdened by the word of the Lord because of those "grosser crimes." And then forbid in the name of the Lord that any among them "should have save it be one wife and concubines none." Again, Joseph and Hyrum Smith in their notice to the Church, February 1st, 1844, polygamy is placed with other false and corrupt doctrines, the teachings of which is called "iniquity." This is equivalent to calling it a crime.


Mr. John Taylor (one of Mr. Pratt's quorum of Apostles) said in 1845, "For once let me say that Cain who went to Nod and taught the doctrine of a plurality of wives, and the giants who practiced the same iniquity, etc. -- are all co-workers on the same plane;" (T. & S., vol. 6, p. 888). If iniquity is criminal, then here is an apostle of Mr. Pratt's own quorum who once called "plurality of wives" or polygamy a crime. Again, Doc. & Cov., sec. 108, par. 4, "Inasmuch as this Church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication and polygamy, we declare that we believe that one man should have one wife, and one woman one husband." This item of law was adopted by the general assembly of all the quorums of the Church, Mr. Pratt among them, who here calls polygamy a crime. Thus we have shown that both prophets and apostles, and the whole Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints call polygamy a crime.

Then why did Mr. Pratt make the statement he did? Was it not to deceive? He knew he was stating an untruth. And does not this prove that he is one of the "false Apostles' deceitful workers," of whom Saints and honest Gentiles are


Mr. Pratt then claimed immunity for polygamy under the Constitution, as being "part of our religion," and said, suppose the majority (in Congress) should enact a law to imprison all who practicd sprinkling, etc. The following is also a part of the religion of this faction represented by Mr. Pratt. "I could refer you to plenty of instances where men have been righteously slain, in order to atone for their sins." (Brigham Young's Jour. Dis. vol. 4, page 22). "This is loving our neighbor as ourselves. If he wants help, help him. If it is necessary to spill his blood on the earth, in order that he may be saved, spill it." Ibid.


Now here is a peculiar doctrine fo this people -- a part of their religion. To spill the blood of such as is "necessary, (they of course being judges) in order that he may be saved," Hence, according to Mr. Pratt, Congress has no right to enact laws against "spilling blood" or killing in Utah, beacuse, forsooth, it is part of their religion. And it is upon this view of the subject, that all attempts at ferreting out, and punishing the Church murders, is called persecution! The time has come, Mr. Pratt, to uncover iniquity, rebuke hypocracy, and call crime by its right name.       J. W. BRIGGS
Salt Lake, July 21, 1875.

Note: See also this Josephite chief apostle's other articles of this period, in his own Salt Lake Messenger.


Vol. IX.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Monday, July 27, 1875.                 No. 86.


The position of the Mormon press on Mountain Meadows is peculiar. For twelve years their voice was one of indignant denial that any Mormons were engaged in the affair. Then a few hesitating admissions were made; and finally, in 1871, the whole Mormon people changed front as suddenly as a well-drilled regiment. All the papers and speakers who had furiously denounced us in 1870 for saying that any Mormons were guilty, then furiously denounced Higbee, Haight and Lee for being guilty. The defense they then had for all Mormons, they now reserve for Brigham Young and the heads of the church. If they were so badly mistaken in the former case, is it not just possible that they are mistaken as to Brigham's innocence? As they all swore unitedly for thirteen years that Haight, Lee & Co., were innocent, and they "know it by the spirit," what are we to think of the same "sporit" when it declares Brigham innocent?

There is another very curious point: Lee is in custody and out of the church; Dame is in custody and in the church, in good standing; Haight and Higbee are out of custody. Now observe how closely Mormon sentiment tallies with these facts. Haight and Higbee are now the head devils of the whole concern; Lee is only slightly guilty, and not the author of the scheme, and Dame is entirely innocent. All the red-hot indignation of the Church is poured upon Haight and Higbee -- they are out of this jurisdiction. Next year they may be prisoners and Lee dead or at liberty. Then Lee will be the head devil, and Haight and Higbee the poor, persecuted innocents who were "forced in" against their will!

How long is this nonsense to go on? When do the heads of the Church propose to quit the doubling and twisting, and go honestly to work to assist in bringing out all the facts? If Brigham Young and George A. Smith are really innocent of connivance in that deed of blood, then are they of all men most interested in having the facts elicited. The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, will clear them of dark suspicion....


Opinions of the Press Throughout the Country.

The confession of Lee, as briefly summed up, in this morning's dispatch, if confirmed, ought to send some of the dignitaries of the Mormon church to the scaffold. As we read of so terrible crimes as the Mountain Meadows Massacre and reflect upon the uncertainty and insufficiency of human punishment, we are ready to accept the severe doctrine of the orthodox church, as to the punishment for earthly sins, in the life to come, and derive no small consolation from it, at least as applied to other people -- Denver Tribune....

(under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IX.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Thursday, July 30, 1875.                 No. 88.


We should think the Mormon leaders would learn by this time the pains and penalties, not to say actual dangers, of that policy of concealment and evasion they have so long followed.Parley P. Pratt, in his Autobiography, boldly meets the issue, and maintains the rightfulness of lying when the necessities of the faithful require it; but if Parley were alive now, we think he would admit that lying raises more troubles than it cures.

In the matter of Mountain Meadows, the priesthood are now in the same predicament they were as to polygamy. For nine years or more they rigorously denied the existence of polygamy; then came out boldly, denied their own denials, and claimed that they had practiced polygamy since 1843. Similarly, they bitterly denied for twelve years that any white man had anything to do with Mountain Meadows; now they admit that some fifty or sixty Mormons were engaged, and still deny that the heads of the Church had any connection with it.

Suppose they should be telling the truth -- how are we to know it? They have told so many lies about the matter that nobody would believe them, even if they told the truth. Honest men are fully justified in believing them guilty, solely on account of their evasions and misrepresentations. The defense now want the testimony of Brigham Young, but what will it amount to? He has already sworn falsely once in the matter. In 1861, two members of Congress, from the committee on Indian affairs, were in his office, and he complained that his expenditure for the Indians had not been repaid. They rejoined that evidence had been laid before the committee that these Indians had joined the Mormons in the Mountain Meadows Msssacre. And then and there Brigham solemnly swore, and called heaven to witness, that no Mormon had aught to do with that massacre! Who can believe what he may testify on the Lee trial?

Geo. A. Smith has on two occasions borne testimony that no Mormon was implicated. He knew that testimony was false. As late as the fall of 1870, Geo. Q. Cannon gave us a two-column lie in the Deseret News, to the effect that no white men were engaged, and the murders were solely the work of Indians. Suppose Cannon and Smith should really have valuable evidence for the defense, how can they make it available? Who will believe them even though they tell the truth? More than one innocent man may siffer in the next five years, because they have ruined their character as witnesses. How much better the situation would be to-day, if they had one and all started in 1857, by telling the plain truth, which they knew then as well as they know it now.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VI.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Saturday, August 28, 1875.                 No. 35.


Was the Book of Mormon Translated
from Engraved Plates?

Eds. Tribune: When any insane individual outside the sacred pales of the Mormon Church, aspires to the dignity of "prophet," his predictions are published in the Mormon newspapers under the head of "Curiosities of Literature," and then the good Saints complacently and wonderingly await the fulfillment of the awful prediction, which usually fails to come to pass. One of these "curiosities" was invented last year, with the diabolical intent of destroying New York City by a "tidal wave," but which the inventor forgot to put into practical execution. We are now told by the Saints that "they knew there was nothing in it, or it would have been predicted through "this people."

But a greater "curiosity" to me, is the fact that the inspired oracles of the Church of Brigham Young of Latter-day Saints will so far forget themselves as to make


in referring to the same subject. For instance, Joseph Smith says in his autobiography, in speaking of the translation of the Book of Mormon from the plates, that "Martin Harris came to our place, got the characters which I had drawn off the plates, and started with them to the city of New York. For what took place relating to him and the characters, I refer to his own account of the circumstances as he related them to me after his return," which is as follows: "I went to the city of New York, and presented the characters which had been translated, with the translation thereof, to Prof. Anthon, a gentleman celebrated for his literary attainments. Prof. Anthon stated that the translation was correct, more so than any he had before seen translated from the Egyptian. I then showed him those which were not yet translated, and he said that they were Egyptian, Chaldaic, Assyriac, and Arabic, and he said that they were true characters."

Orson Pratt says, in reference to this memorable interview between Harris and Anthon that, "he examined them, but was unable to decipher them correctly; but he presumed that if the original records could be brought, he could assist in translating them." Here is an ambiguous literary "curiosity." Orson says "he was unable to decipher them," and the venerable Martin assures us that "the translation was correct." A house divided against itself cannot stand.

In the presence of this conflicting array of testimony, let us examine the decisive fiat of the renowned Anthon himself. He says: "This paper was in fact


It consisted of all kinds of crooked characters, disposed in columns, and had evidently been prepared by some person who had before him at the time a book containing various alphabets. Greek and Hebrew letters, crosses and flourishes, Roman letters inverted or placed sideways, were arranged in perpendicular columns; and the whole ended in a rude delineation of a circle, divided into various compartments, decked with various strange marks, and evidently copied after the Mexican Calender given by Humboldt, but copied in such a way as not to betray the source whence it was derived." A comparison of the conflicting statements of the two "Anointed" Saints, with the unequivocal, impressive explanation of the celebrated author, must certainly convince all deliberate, unbiased thinkers that the wonderful plates which contained the original Book of Mormon, existed only in the imagination of their pretended discoverer. And the well known fact that Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris -- the three original witnesses to the Book of Mormon -- all three apostatized from the faith, and refused to believe their own testimony, is confirmatory of the veracity of the author's statement.

In a few years hence, when Mormonism shall be numbered among the things past; when the present leaders of this hell-begotten system of impious hierarchy shall have passed to their long account, unhonored and unsung, and perhaps unhung; then will the Book of Mormon appropriately rank as the most notorious "curiosity of literature" ever published.   L.A. Garn.
            Salt Lake City, Aug. 24, '75.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IX.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Wednesday, October 6, 1875.                 No. 147.


The Early History of the Saints and Their Enemies.

Joe Smith's Practical Polygamy and Its Results.

A Beautiful and Flourishing Country for Saintly Gathering.

Joe's Curses Which Miss Fire Like an Old Shot Gun.

(Correspondence Tribune.)

INDEPENDENCE, Jackson County, Missouri      
Sept. 28th, '75.      

Compelled by a mysterious and afflictive providence to wait two days in West Missouri, I seized the occasion to run down here and put in a day in the Holy Land of Mormonism. And I have seen and heard so much to interest me that I am sure many of my Mormon friends will be pleased to learn how their old neighbors get along, and read of the present condition of the land of Zion. It is, indeed, a goodly land. Of that there can be no question by Saint or Gentile; and my opinion of the Prophet has risen fifty percent since I arrived at his


I have now visited and got pretty well acquainted with five of the Mormon Zions -- Salt Lake City, Council Bluffs, (or rather Winter Quarters on the west bank,) Independence, Nauvoo and Lake County, Ohio; and it must be said that they always made good selections. If the "Lord" had only kept his word with them, they might have amounted to a great deal in this selection. But the "Lord" proposed and the Missourians disposed, and things are as they are.

Falling in on the ears with an old citizen who has been here forty years, he had the driver take me to the hotel by the way of Limestone Avenue and


and on the highest point we paused and took a good view of the situation. It was beautiful beyond description. Twelve or fifteen miles westward, the spires of Kansas City glittered attractively in the light of the setting sun; while in all directions gently rolling prairie and tasty groves combined in rural beauty -- the prairies rich in tall corn, the groves each enclosing a magnificent farm house. Independence is on a series of knolls and intervening slopes; the native timber still adorns the town; drainage is excellent and pavements good, and the result is, one of the most beautiful and healthful cities in the West. The population is 4,000, and in that number is an amazingly large proportion of pretty girls. I don't see how it is possible for a single man to get away from the place.

Temple Block, still unfenced, is on the crown of the most commanding knoll; but the ground slopes so gradually that the rise is not evident till one leaves it. That and the lots immediately adjacent are the property of some resident Mormons, of whom there are


the Hedrickites and Twelveites. They have a bishop and did publish a little weekly called the Truth Teller; but is has lately "ausgespielt." There were two brothers named Hedrick who headed one of the dissenting parties which refused the Presidency of Brigham. John Hedrick had his neck broken in this county by a runaway team; the other one moved to Kansas, where he now owns a mile square of land and is rich in flocks and herds. Meanwhile Brewster, Cutter, Page and others, who also led off small bands of dissenters, died, and their followers party gathered here; the rest of them are scattered in Iowa, "half Mormon and half nothing." The conglomerates in Missouri took the name of Twelveites, but have kept splitting into factions till only a dozen or twenty families are left here under Bishop Haldeman. They have preaching once a month and are contentedly waiting for Christ's second coming. They have a big advantage over Brigham -- they own the undoubted site of the Temple which is to be, in the New Jerusalem. In most other respects Brigham is ahead.

Jackson is the second county in the State, St. Louis only being ahead; and it had in 1870 a population of 60,000. Kansas City has doubled in size since then, and allowing for a slight increase throughout the rural districts, they claim a population for the whole county of 85,000. No part of Missouri has a better population. From every commanding point, schoolhouses and churches are seen; every good plat of land is under cultivation, only the ridges and groves being in common. There is just about timber enough to suitably adorn the landscape, and all the public buildings and most of the residences are elegant and handsome. The records show, except in Kansas City, an exceptionally small percentage of crime. The old settlers announce with some pride that there has never been a mob in the county since that which expelled the Latter-day Saints. I use this term because it is in common use in Utah; but while they were here it was an unknown phrase. The Saints called themselves the "Church of Christ," and they were known by sinners as Mormonites. Their present title was afterwards adopted at Kirtland. Of course, in the above statement as to mobs, the citizens excluded the era of the war, which did some damage in the county, but none of any permanence. The average of wealth and intelligence is high. In short, if the "Lord" condescends to come in person, he could not well select a better place to come to.

My first call was on Dr. William E. McLellin, whose name you will find in every number of the old Millennial Star, and in many of Smith's revelations. I found the old gentleman in pleasant quarters, himself and wife living with two grandchildren in a home he has occupied for many years. He joined the Mormons in 1831, and left them in 1836. Came to Independence in 1831 from Paris, Illinois, and was baptized here. Soon after he went on a mission and returned in 1833. Soon after his return a Mormon meeting was called in the yard in front of John Corril's home, (I visited the place,) where the Doctor was called upon for remarks. He expounded from the scriptures, (this is his account,) that the Gentile world was in bad straits; that a general wind-up was at hand, and that the result would be blood and destruction to the unbelievers and a glorious triumph for the Saints. The Doctor was careful not to specify how this would be brought about, or to set any time, but the speaker who followed him prophesied that before five years


Upon this a few Missourians in the outskirts of the crowd signified an emphatic dissent and went down town. That evening an "indignation meeting" was called in the public square, where Russel Hicks, a lawyer, and Saml. C. Owens, county clerk, gave it as their opinion that the Mormonites intended to raise the slaves, join them and massacre the whites. This set the ball rolling and the next Tuesday three hundred armed men from the county were assembled in town. They tore down the Mormon printing office, chased Dr. McLellin through a corn field and into the woods, but failed to catch him, committed some other outrages and notified the Saints to emigrate. The latter assembled their forces on Big Blue, in the upper part of the county. The citizens feared an attack on the town, armed all the men, and sent a small scouting party to parley with they enemy. This party was fired upon by the Saints, and two citizens, Brezeal and Linville, killed. This was the first blood shed, and the Mormons shed it. But it settled their fate in Jackson county, and they were driven out en masse the next November.

Dr. McLellin is strongly of opinion that the troubles of the Saints here did not result from anything they had done, but altogether from what the citizens feared they might do if they got a majority. They Saints at that time interpreted the prophecies much more literally than they now do; in particular Sydney Rigdon, Orson Hyde, W. W. Phelps, and Martin Harris, whether in Kirtland or Missouri, were instant, in season and out of season, in declaring to the Gentiles that the great day of Armageddon was at hand, and that if the Gentiles resisted the ordinances of God, blood would flow even to the horses bridle-bits. With them was a small minority of the Saints, who went about the country notifying the old settlers that they had better sell out and leave, for the Lord was "about to clean up his threshing floor and make a way for the Saints." Of course, this sort of talk created trouble, but the Doctor is very emphatic in his statement that the Saints committed no more actnal [sic] crime than an equal number of other people. The Doctor "dissented" (the apostates were then called "dissenters") in 1836. His faith was first shaken by the changes made in the revelations. He had been careful to keep copies of the originals, presented proof that all the early


and considerably amended before they appeared in their present form. Next he was swindled out of all the property he put into the joint stock concern in Kirtland, and soon after was convinced that the Prophet had suborned men to commit crime. What follows I give on his authority, and he is regarded here as a thoroughly reliable man.


At Kirtland there was a wealthy citizen, Grandison Newell, who brought a number of civil suits against Joseph Smith -- estimated as high as thirty. Dr. McLellin was a witness in some of these cases. About that time a devout Saint whispered to the Doctor that "men had slipped their wind for smaller things then Newell was guilty of." Upon this the Doctor saw one of Joseph Smith's intimates privately, and the latter confessed that he and another were employed by Smith to assassinate Grandison Newell! The Doctor satisfied himself fully that the man's statement was true, and thought it about time to leave. He accordingly put his wife on one horse, took another himself and "lit out." Soon after he settled in Upper Missouri, and was soon surrounded by the Saints again, but was careful to keep still and have no intimacies with them.


He was in the vicinity during all the Mormon troubles in Northern Missouri, and grieved heavily over the suffering of his former brethren. He also informed me of the spot where the first well authenticated case of polygamy took place in which Joseph Smith was "sealed" to the hired girl. The "sealing" took place in a barn on the hay mow, and was witnessed by Mrs. Smith through a crack in the door! The Doctor was so distressed about this case, (it created some scandal at the time among the Saints,) that long afterwards when he visited Mrs. Emma Smith at Nauvoo, he charged her as she hoped for salvation to tell him the truth about it. And she then and there declared on her honor that it was a fact -- "saw it with her own eyes." The long disputed question, then, as to whether the Prophet did practice polygamy, is now effectually set at rest; and Brigham is a little ahead of young Joe on that point. About the time she told the Doctor this, Mrs. Smith also published a card in the Quincy (Illinois) Whig, in which she stated that she had no faith in the prophetic mission of her "late husband, and considered his revelations as the result of a diseased mind." Despite all these experiences, Dr. McLellin is still a firm believer in the Book of Mormon. He thinks it was truly "given by divine inspiration," but that the men to whom the trust was committed proved unfaithful, and have gone from bad to worse ever since.


I also met a gentleman named Brown, who resided in Gallatin, when the Mormons sacked that place and burned the principal houses. This was after they had been harassed considerably by their enemies, and he was inclined to sympathize with them at first, but was rather rudely converted by having his father's house set on fire by the sparks from the store-house. About the same time Millport, (a little town in Davis county) was plundered and partially burned by the Mormons; still they might have settled their troubles with the people had it not been for dissensions among themselves. But in Far West, the Saints capital, were many of the original converts who did not fully believe the latest revelations. Of those Oliver Cowdry, David Whitmer, John Whitmer, W. W. Phelps and Lyman E. Johnson received a written notice signed by eighty-four Saints, that they were considered guilty of counterfeiting, gambling, etc., and were under surveillance. These persons accordingly fled to the Gentiles for protection. The first two were "witnesses" to the Book of Mormon, the next, one of the "eight witnesses." Some of them came to Dr. McLellin's on their flight. One by one the suspected and disaffected slipped out of Far West, while the irregular war went on; but finally the militia assembled under an official call, and in a very short time all the Saints were dispersed or captured. I obtained, and now have in my possession, a complete copy of the evidence taken on the trial, from the copy certified to by Judge Austin King, and printed by authority of the State.


When the Saints went into Clay county, the citizens there were profuse in kindness to them, and full of indignation at the people of Jackson; but in a year or two the Clay county people in turn began to hold mass meetings, and beg the Mormons to go further on. One of these meetings appointed a committee to draft an address to the "new settlers, the people commonly called Mormonites," a copy of which is before me. It is a funny document. It sets forth in florid rhetoric the facts that the exiles from Jackson had come into Clay poor and destitute, averring that they only wanted refuge for a year; that the people of Clay had exhausted kindness on them, and sought by all honorable means to make peace between them and Jackson county; that the time was past in which the Mormonites had agreed to go, and yet they showed no signs of leaving, and if they remained so much as one year longer, it would cause war between Clay and Jackson. The address closed by imploring them by every consideration of honor and public safety to go further, and suggested Wisconsin Territory as a good place for them, "where their neighbors will be few, all Northern people like themselves; they can establish a government of their own, and have no conflict with our laws," etc. Cornelius Gillum was active in effecting a compromise, and finally got the Saints to remove without using Clay as a basis of attack against Jackson county. This Gillum afterwards led a company of militia in the war against the Saints.

I may as well add here that Dr. McLellin evidently sought to soften the case against the Saints, and apologised for them as much as possible; but his wife, in what little she had to say, took a more radical view of it, averring of her own knowledge that the leading Mormons in Far West were guilty of every kind of little crime and meanness." Lyman Johnson, one of the exiles from Far West, was her nephew. I also saw Mr. Reuben Wallace, who served in the extempore regiment which was raised to defend Jackson country from "Joe Smith's army"--meaning, I suppose, "Zion's Camp," from Kirtland. But the people of Clay county positively forbade the Saints to use their territory as a basis of operations against Independence, and the expected invasion was indefinitely postponed. Also, Mr. Weston, late mayor of this city, whose father commanded part of the Jackson Militia; Mr. Lucas, son of General Lucas, and may others. All the participants in the war against the Saints have been so often described in Utah as a set of murderous scoundrels, mobocrats and villains, who deserved


that one is rather surprised to find in the survivors mild, venerable old gentlemen, who look as if they had never wantonly injured a fly. Colonel Thomas Pitcher, in particular, is generally pictured in Mormon annals as a blood drinker, whose favorite meal was a Mormon baby on toast; but he is an exceedingly quiet and pleasant old farmer, with hardly nerve enough to butcher a calf. As the Prophet Joseph pronounced the curse of heaven on all these men as enemies of God and his saints, and predicted untold horrors for them, your Mormon readers will no doubt be pleased to learn


The first fact that strikes one is, how wonderfully tenacious of life all those combatants seem to have been, whether Mormon or anti-Mormon. It seems as good as a life insurance to have been engaged in the Mormon war on either side. But individually the account, as far as known here, is as follows:

Oliver Cowdery, first witness of the Book of Mormon, after being "cut off for lying, counterfeiting and immorality," turned his attention to law and real estate in which his success was only average. It was a favorite practice with him when half drunk to preach a Mormon sermon. When visited by any of the Saints, or a stranger, he invariably asserted the truth of his "testimony;" but among his friends privately he admitted that it was "all a bottle of smoke." He died in Richmond, Ray county, and Elizabeth, his wife, afterward married an old farmer, with whom she is living up in Iowa -- "fair, fat and sixty," and not caring much about Mormonism.

David Whitmer, second witness, still lives in Richmond -- a well to do livery man and stock dealer, accounted by all the citizens a perfect gentleman. He generally refuses to talk about Mormonism, but when hard pressed by interviewers insists that "an angel showed him the plates." Privately he informs his friends that his statement is true, but he means Mr. John Angell, a neighbor of the Smiths! The "curse" don't appear to have got him bad, but there is no telling what may happen. It would be a great card for some missionary from Salt Lake to restore the old man and bring him to Utah, as Stevenson did Martin Harris; but as Whitmer is rich, while Harris was a pauper, he might not be so easily restored.

John Whitmer, brother of David and one of the "eight witnesses," lives near old Far West and is the wealthiest [man] in that vicinity, owning 700 acres of land in one body, cattle upon a thousand hills, and ready money in abundance. Evidently the "curse" has missed him on a fair point blank range. But the "Lord" may snatch him bald-headed yet, before 1890 and the return of the Saints. So it won't do to count too much on his case.

Samuel C. Owens, who made the first speech here against the Saints and led the mob, was shot dead in the Mexican war, while leading an assault. I hardly know whether to credit this to the "curse" or not; but on second thoughts have concluded its only fair to do so. True, a great many men were killed in that war who had nothing to do with the persecution; but the "Lord's" bookkeeping may differ from ours, and it is best to be on the safe side. So credit Owens to prophecy.

Russel Hicks, then Owens' deputy, is now an old lawyer at Kansas City. He is a rough, gruff old sinner, but hale and tolerably prosperous. But if he don't go a little slower on his "bitters," I think the "curse" will eventually catch him.

Jones H. Flournoy, another mob leader, then postmaster, died a natural death years ago. Nothing remarkable about his fate in any respect.

General S. D. Lucas, who assisted Generals Doniphan and Clark in the capture of Far West, served his country with distinction for many years, and died a natural death. His family holds high rank here, both socially and intellectually. His son is recorder of deeds for this county, and is a man of promise. Possibly the "curse" is postponed to the next generation, according to the law of Moses.

Henry Childs, attorney for the Saints, and generally their friend, moved West, and was killed in an Indian war. No "moral" to be drawn from his case.

Samuel Weston, then justice of the peace and a savage anti-Mormon, died a natural death, leaving a moderate property and respected family. His son, late mayor of this city, has made a success in the plow manufacture. I asked him particularly if he felt the "curse," but he could not say that he did.

Colonel Thomas Pitcher, the great Mormon-eater, who led the militia of the county in the final struggle, lives a little out of town on a beautiful farm; he feels the infirmities of age, and otherwise is doing as well as could be expected.

Cornelius Gillium tried for a long time to compromise the trouble in Northern Missouri, failed completely, charged the fault of the failure to the Saints, and became one of their bitterest enemies. He settled in the Platte Purchase, and made money, afterwards went to Oregon and became a [renowned] Indian fighter, and for aught I can learn, may be living there yet.

Ruben Wallace, another "mobber," is keeping a grocery and feed store here. He is usually troubled with biliousness at this season of the year, but beyond that is not particularly conscious of the "curse." I have thought over his case considerably, and if you consider the prophecy hard pressed, you may credit his biliousness to the "curse" -- but you must do it on your own responsibility. I wash may hands of it.

Captain Samuel Bogart, who commanded the Missouri militia at the battle of Crooked river, (and by the way the opposing accounts of that battle are fearful "crooked,") served many years after as a Methodist preacher; finally got too fat and lazy for that business, and moved on to a farm up north. No later reports of him. Should think if the "curse" got anybody, it would be him; for in that battle Apostle Patten was killed. Mr. Samuel Tarwater, a citizen, was also badly wounded and captured by the Mormons who hacked him almost to pieces with their knives and swords. One cheek was cut off and his jaw broken, most of his lower teeth knocked out, a rib broken and at least twenty flesh wounds on his body.. They departed, leaving him for dead, but under the treatment of Dr. Ralph he recovered and lived to a good old age. On account of his case, many of his neighbors and friends cruelly treated all the Mormons they captured. In fact the war seems to have been conducted on both sides with great barbarity.

This letter has spun out to unreasonable length, and I will only say of all the other notables of the Mormon period, that they have lived or died, prospered or failed, according to their talents and character, very mich like other men. Jackson county has a population nearly equal to that of Utah, and about twice as much wealth. The crops this year are enormous and the general condition prosperous; law and order prevail, and life and property are secure. If the "Lord" has put a "curse" on the country, he has a queer way of showing it; but as the statute of limitations does not run against Prophets, it may come to a fulfillment any time within the century. And further this deponent saith not.

Note: John Hanson Beadle (1840-1897) was the author of the 1870 book Life in Utah, which went through several printing and name alterations, each of which preserved his sub-title: "Mysteries & Crimes of Mormonism." He is the same correspondent who wrote "The Golden Bible" for the Tribune issue of Apr. 15, 1888, which featured an interview with the grandson of Sidney Rigdon.


Vol. IX.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Sunday, October 6, 1875.                 No. ?


Persued and Killed by His Seventh Wife's Husband --
The Tragedy that Led to the Mountain Meadows Massacre,
Described by an Eye Witness.

(Correspondence N. Y. Sun.)

FORT SMITH, ARK, Sept. 9. -- A reader of The Sun having seen an account of the killing of Parley P. Pratt, second elder in the Mormon Church, in 1855 or 1856, by the husband of the woman he abducted and made his seventh wife, and knowing it to be erroneous in many particulars, has requested me, as an eye-witness of the tragedy, to write something in regard to it.

Hector H. McLean married a Miss McComb in New Orleans, and afterwards settled in San Francisco. There he became connected with the steamship companies, which brought him an income of about $2,000 a year. He had an interesting, highly-educated and accomplished wife, and two children, a boy and a girl, both intelligent beyond their years. They were living peacefully and happily together when Parley P. Pratt abducted Mrs. McLean, took her to Salt Lake City, and made her his seventh wife. So great was the shock to her husband that it almost unsettled his reason. He went to New Orleans, taking his children there to his father-in-law, and then returned to San Francisco and resumed his business. What was his surprise to learn that Pratt and Mrs. McLean had left Salt Lake and were trying to steal his children, and later that they had accomplished their purpose. McLean then set out to hunt up the abductor and recover his children. He gave up his business and started for New York. There he learned that Pratt was in the city but could not be found. A few days later he learned that Pratt was in St. Louis, and he started immediately for that city; but so well did the old scoundrel cover his tracks that no trace of him could be found. McLean then went to New Orleans, and there learned that his wife and children were in the northern part of Texas with a large caravan about to start for Salt Lake. He went to Texas and there intercepted letters addressed to Mrs. P. P. Parker, and written by old Pratt in a peculiar cypher, which he had to study a long time before he could read it. These letters proposed to meet Mrs. Parker at or near Fort Gibson in the Cherokee nation.

Mr. McLean returned dispirited to his father-in-law's in New Orleans and concluded to give up the chase. Resolving, however, to make one further effort he started up the Arkansas river under the assumed name of Johnson. Arriving at Fort Gibson he told his story in confidence to the officers there, and they afforded him every facility to trap the seducer. In this he was successful, first getting possession of his wife and children. Having Pratt, as he thought, in the hands of the law, he attempted no violence on him, but had him taken to Van Buren, Ark., for trial before the United States Court. As there was no United States law by which an abductor could be punished, a charge was made against Pratt of stealing the clothing of the wife and children when he abducted them. This charge, however, would not stand. Pratt was tried before Judge John B. Ogden, and there was great excitement about him. When Mr. McLean related his grievances on the witness stand, and read the clandestine correspondence between Pratt and his wife, there was hardly a dry eye in the court room. Then when he began to understand that there was no law for the redress of his wrings, and that it was probable the old scoundrel would be released, he became so much excited that he attempted to shoot Pratt on the spot, in the presence of the court. It was at this time that the writer was made McLean's acquaintance. He caught hold of McLean and stayed his arm as he was about to shoot, and told him that he must take no advantage of a man in custody. This led to a statement of all the facts of the case to me. Had there been at that time any mob law in Arkansas, Pratt would have been summarily hanged, so exasperated were the citizens. Having, however, more respect for the United States authorities than they might have had for the State's, no outrage was committed. The Court put the case off for a day, and had Pratt released early in the morning, so that he might escape, and he immediately left town on horseback. When McLean and his friends found this out, they started in pursuit.

On my arrival in Van Buren that morning I was informed that a footman had just come in who had met Pratt and McLean within 600 yards of each other. Some half dozen or more of us started out to see what had happened. Five or six miles out we met McLean, who said he had not seen Pratt. While returning with us he began following the track of a horse across to another road. Myself and another gentleman accompanied him, not knowing but that we were following the track of one of our men. We followed pretty rapidly until, when about eight miles from Van Buren, we got sight of a man ahead. The writer being in advance, put spurs to his horse to see whether it was Pratt, and to get away from the expected recontre. McLean followed rapidly, and immediately after the writer passed Pratt (for it was he,) a pistol ball came whizzing by his head, and he thought it best to get out of the road. On looking back I saw two horsemen going rapidly through the woods and bushes, heard the discharge of firearms, and saw the smoke of the powder. In a short time all was still, and I ventured to return by the road. What was my surprise to find that, at the point or thereabouts where the first firing began, both McLean and Pratt were dismounted and engaged in a hand-to-hand struggle. I rode right up, and in a moment or so McLean seemed suddenly to recollect that he had another pistol, for he stepped back and drew one, and fired apparently right into the body of Pratt, who soon fell. Then McLean made a motion as though to draw a knife, and I ride off and found the gentleman whom we left behind. Presently McLean joined us, and finding that he had dropped his Derringer pistol, he got a pistol of one of us, and returned to Pratt to pick up his. We were astonished at hearing another report of a pistol. McLean, when he returned, said he found the "old scoundrel" sitting up, leaning on his elbow, and he put a pistol to his head and shot him. He was not struck by a pistol ball at all, but was killed with a knife. He lived long enough to send to town for Mrs. McLean to go and see him. Mr. Mclean left here with his children, feeling that he had done no more than was right, and in this the community were with him. Mrs. McLean went to Salt Lake where she still resides. The above was the whole cause of the Mountain Meadow massacre.

Note: See the Tribune of Oct. 17th for a reprint of this article.


Vol. ?                       Salt Lake City, Utah, November 14, 1875.                     No. ?

Ann  Eliza  vs.  Brigham.

(From the Cincinnati Enquirer.)

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

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

Although the proof is not direct, yet Mr. Tucker, who printed the first Mormon Bible, has produced a sufficency of evidence to show that Rigdon was the originator of the imposition, and Smith, Cowdery, Harris and Pratt, the accomplices to bring the play upon the boards. Public sentiment and the affidavits of near one hundred citizens of Palmyra abd Manchester raised the temperature above living conditions for Smith & Company in this State, in the year 1830. Kirtland is in Lake county, and one may search in vain to find a more amusing, long-drawn imposture than the pioneer Mormon knaves practiced upon the people of that town and neighborhood. The real story of Miss Ann Eliza begins at this place (Kirtland), as it was here that her parents met and married. The father (Webb) had been converted in New York, and coming to Ohio fell in with a charming young school teacher, sixteen years of age, who, under the pious declamation of Brigham Young, experienced a change of heart, became a Mormon, married Mr. Webb, and ultimately became the mother of Ann Eliza. While at Kirtland, Joseph Smith, the Lord's Anointed, had a revelation, which commanded him not to work -- which suited the Prophet amazingly, and he closed on every thing that smacked of labor. He also had a revelation instructing the people to build him a house, and the good Saints built him a house. To accomodate the brethren, just to accomodate them, Joseph and Sidney started a mill, from the funnels of which they took the flour, leaving the chaff to those less dainty than themselves. They also started a church store, in conducting which some misunderstandings occurred that led to the application of tar and feathers to these two worthies. After diverse purifications, they induced the brethren to "cast in" their currency, with which they started a bank, Rigdon being the President, and Joseph the Prophet, cashier. The bank notes were beautifully engraved, countersigned by Sidney Rigdon and Joseph Smith, and backed by assurance from Heaven; they went right out, and the good things of the earth, houses, lands, cassimeres and silks, biscuiys and honey, came right in -- to Joseph and Sidney. All at once, Jones of Pittsburgh, came in with a carpet sack full of Kirtland bills; whereupon Sidney and Joseph informed Jones that their banking was conducted on Divine principles; they put out their notes and took in whatever they could lay their hands on -- just to accomodate the people. As to Pittsburgh notions of exchange and redemption, they knew little, and cared less, and, with a glance at Jones' satchel, informed him that "they didn't redeem!" Immediately thereafter the Bank of Kirtland collapsed; and Joseph and Sidney were, for awhile, necessarily absent. Previously they had let the contract for a "Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," which Temple, the first of Mormon edifices, was duly completed, and is still standing. The building was dediacted with appropriate ceremonies, in which divers wonders, miracles, tongues and gifts of the spirit were indulged particularly the latter. Several of the Apostles got drunk, according to their own account, which, instead of raising them to a higher plane, only led to the exasperation of all the Gentiles and to the apostasy of many of the better sort of the brethren and sisters, Time would fail in giving even a short account of Kirtland Mormonism, its kanvery, foolery and wickedness; apsotasy set in. Gentile persecution increased, and, with Joseph in the lead, the Saints cleared out for Independence, Missouri, the Mormon Zion -- "Zion never to be removed" according to one of the Prophet's revelations. Here, as in fact it has been everywhere else, their pious fantastics did not commend the Saints to their neighbors, and, after being invited out of the State, the people of Jackson and other counties put them out. The Lord's geography as to Zion having proved inaccurate, a revised revelation pointed to Nauvoo, Illinois, where the Mormon faithful, among whom were the parents of Ann Eliza "gathered," as the phrase is in the sacred records. In this city Ann Eliza Webb, our own Ann Eliza, was born on the 13th of September, 1841. Previous to this time their pious peculiarities had brought the Saints into many troubles.

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

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

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. X.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Saturday, December 4, 1875.                 No. 126.


Brigham's Danite Band try to
Destroy Klingensmith.

We find the following in the Pioche Journal of last week, which shows that Brigham is determined to get Klingensmith, the most important witness in the Lee trial, out of the way.

Philip Klingensmith, now stopping at Mineral Park, about a week ago received quite a severe scalp wound from a rock thrown at him from some parties unknown. We are told that he was insensible for several days afterwards from the effects of the blow, and was given up as dead, but he is now in a fair way to recover. Klingensmith is one of the persons who confessed the secrets of the Mountain Meadows Massacre and had the facts made public. The Mormon Church swore vengeance on the old fellow for disclosing what he knew, and it is probable a destroying angel was after him, and attempted to put out his light when he was hit by the stone.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. X.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Saturday, December 4, 1875.                 No. 43.


Some Astounding Facts in Regard to the Villainy
of Brigham and His Apostle Pratt.

Eds. Tribune -- Permit me, through the columns of your paper, to reply to the unjust attack upon the name and character of Sarah M. Pratt, by her husband, Orson Pratt, sen., which appeared in a letter in the Herald of the second of December, copied from the Deseret News.

(under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. X.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Wednesday, December 28, 1875.                 No. ?


(under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Saturday, January 1, 1876.                 No. ?


JIM LITTLE, engaged in tramping for the Mountain Meadows Church, writes Grandmother that he has visited the place where Joe Smith had the plates revealed to him. This is the Hill Cumorah, in Wayne county, N.Y., and Little says of it: "In the center of the north end is a swell in the ground, termed in Utah a 'hog back,' extending from the base to the top, where it flattens out a few feet in width." It is our earnest belief that Joe found the aforesaid plates immediately under that "hog's back."

Note: See Deseret Evening News of Dec. 31, 1875 or the Semi-Weekly Deseret News of Jan. 1, 1876 for Elder Little's New York letter.


Vol. X.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, March 15, 1876.                 No. 126.


How an Ex-Bishop puts the Matter up

Has Been Forty Years a Mormon, and now sees Daylight.

The following lecture was delivered in the Liberal Institute, in this city, on Sunday evening, March 12th, by Bishop Andrew Cahoon, who was forty years a member of the Mormon Church:

I am happy to be with you this evening... I have forever let go some of the cardinal doctrines of Mormonism, for the simple reason that I am convinced beyond a doubt that they are not, and acnnot be true. Mormonism has always had, like other religions, two sides to it -- a fanatical side, and a common-sense side. The common-sense side was the one presented to me, and I embraced it. I have tried to mind my own business and keep my own side, taking little stock or interest in what was going on on the otehr side. The fanatics might teach that Adam was God; I never endorsed it. They might teach that Brigham Young was God's representative and mouthpiece; I had a notion of my own about that...

... I might continue to point out the fanaticisms and absurdities which have, first and last, been dragged in, tacked on; fostered and encouraged and preached, until they had come to be regarded as the fundamental doctrines of the Church; but I was never a thorough convert to them... The history of the Church is familiar to me as my own; if any man knows anything about it I ought to know. I cannot say that I regret the experience I have gained. But I am often amused to hear people relating some great stories about Joseph Smith, and the early history of the Church; to see how wide of the truth they are, and how marvelous a little incident becomes in the short space of forty years, and often wonder what great lies they might get to be a thousand years hence.


Because I have come out of Mormonism, I do not wish it to be understood that I regard it as anything that is bad, by any means, for there are many good things about Mormonism... The absurd doctrines to which I have referred are no worse than many that are incorporated in other religious creeds...


Joseph Smith was a prophet, a seer -- in other words, he was a spiritual medium, one of the most remarkable men of the age. Mormonism was the outcropping or beginning of this great spiritual illumination or dispensation that is spreading through every nation on the habitable globe. The charge of humbug and unreliability which is brought against thes espiritual manifestations is certainly not altogether unfounded, but it was these humbugs in spiritualism which first opened my eyes to the humbugs in Mormonism. When I come to trace them back through the history of the Church and on through the Bible, I find the same character of unreality throughout... It may not have been printed in a book, but the Kirtland Bank was established by revelation, on one of these unreliable communications. It lived only a few months, and a great many lost money by it. Another one of these unreliable communications set on foot an expedition of about two hundred men, called Zion's camp, from Kirtland to Missouri, a distance of eight hundred miles, to redeem Zion and reinstate the Saints in their inheritance in Jackson county. It was a total and complete failure. Another was for building the Nauvoo House. A great many thousand dollars was wasted in the foundation that was never got above the ground. Now if these and hundreds of others I could name, do not come under the head of [nonreliable] communications, I should not know what to call them; and their chief swindle and delusion consisted in accepting them as revelations from God....

That expedition called


He must have known would be a complete and an entire failure, so far as accomplishing the object for which it was sent. But the fact is, God, the Great Ruler of the universe, never had anything to do with these revelations. So, likewise, there are many in the Bible, and in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, of the same kind. I mention these, because many of us have been victims to teh delusion. And, again, here in Utah, although they may not have been printed in a book, we have been afflicted and suffered to a very great extent with these same unreliable communications through Brigham Young -- bogus "thus saith the Lords."...

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XI.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, June 25, 1876.                 No. 60.


Death of Parley P. Pratt. -- A New Version of the Old Story.


(Correspondence of the New York Sun.)

Editor of the Sun. -- Mrs. McLean, the innocent cause of the assassination of Parley P. Pratt, was a native of Pennsylvania. Her parents moved to New Orleans, where she married Hugh Mclean. Some few years after their marriage they moved to San Francisco, Cal. There for the first time Mrs. McLean became acquainted with the doctrine of the Latter-day Saints, and she was eventually convinced of the truth of their teachings. She obtained the consent of Mr. McLean to be baptised, and she joined the church.

For years prior to her becoming a Mormon, she had led a life of untold misery. Her husband was not only an inebriate, but possessed a violent temper, so much so, that she often feared for her life. All these persecutions she continued to endure like a true Christian mother, for the sake of her children.

Mrs. McLean had never seen P. P. Pratt until some time after her connection with the Mormons. Her first acquaintence with him was in 1855. He was residing in California with his wife, and no intimacy existed between Mrs. McLean and Mr. Pratt, other than would naturally arise between members of the same church. Although Mr. McLean gave his consent for her to join the Mormons and receive the ordinance of baptism (something the Mormons never permit without the consent of the husband,) he took advantage of that circumstance to persecute her still more than formerly. He forbade her mentioning Mormonism in his presence, or singing any of their hymns.

On one occasion he came home late at night and found her singing a Mormon hymn, which so experated him that he put her into the street and locked her out. She durst not leave the house, and stayed close to it until a gentleman with whom she was acquainted came along. She solicited his protection, and wrote a note to P. P. Pratt asking counsel. He advised her to go to a respectable boarding-house and engage board and lodging at McLean's expense, and she did so. But only a few days elapsed before McLean sent a mediator to prevail with her to return to her home, telling her the children were inconsolable. A mother's love prevailed and she returned to her home, and resumed the charge of his home and children, but was never a wife to him after.

She remained with him a short time, when he committed an act which entirely separated them forever. She had sent her children to school one morning as usual, but when the time came for their return they came not, and she grew very anxious. When McLean came home she informed him of their absence, and requested him to go in search of them; but he very contemptuously told her that she would never see her children again, that he had sent them to New Orleans. She instantly fainted, and when she regained her reason she resolved to go to New Orleans. Her children were two boys and a girl, the oldest only nine years old. Her husband had sent them to New Orleans without any protector; solely in the care of strangers. He sent them to Mrs. McLean's parents, pretending that he was afraid she would run away with the Mormons and take her children with her.

Mrs. McLean again and again besought her husband to furnish her with means to go to her children, but he persistently refused. When all hopes failed of obtaining the means from him, she informed some of her acquaintances of her deplorable condition, and they proffered her the money to bear her expenses to New Orleans. When MvLean learned that, his pride forbade that she should accept assistance from strangers, and he gave her the required amount and let her go, but with strict orders to her parents not to let her have any intercourse with her children except under a trusty guard. Her parents believing his accusations against her, carried out his injunctions to the very letter. She was not allowed to even converse with her children without some person being present.


This state of affairs could not long be endured; her health failed her, and she felt that she could not survive the approaching summer in that hot climate; so she obtained the consent of her parents and set out for Utah. When she arrived in Salt Lake City there was no one in the place she was acquainted with, except P. P. Pratt and wife. She therefore went to their residence, and requested them to give her a home with them until she regained her health; which favor they readily granted. When her health was sufficiently established, she engaged to teach Brigham Young's family.

This school she taught for years, but she could not be happy. Her mother's heart yearned for her children. Finally Mr. Young told her she had better return to New Orleans and try to get her children; and she concluded to do so. Mr. Young then went to Mr. Pratt and requested him to go to the states on business and accompany Mrs. McLean and another lady, Mrs. Sayers, across the plains. Mr. Pratt was laoth to go, he seemed to have a presentiment of evil, but consented. He accompanied the ladies to St. Louis, where they separated.

Mrs. McLean and Mr. Pratt agreed to correspond occasionally in order to arrange the time for reaching the frontier on their return, as Mrs. McLean was anxious to meet Mr. Pratt, so that she could be sure of a reliable friend to accompany her back across the plains; and their correspondence led to the fatal tragedy. Through some of Mr. McLean's secret agents their letters were intercepted and their appointed meeting discovered.

Mr. McLean reached the frontier just after Mrs. McLean had arrived. She had managed to get her two youngest children, the eldest boy, she never saw after he left California. Her relatives had sent him to Ohio to school before she reached New Orleans and she never heard of him afterward. When McLean met his wife he tore the children from her, while they clung to her in frantic grief, and sent them back. To retain his wife he had a writ served on her, and he sent her under guard to Fort Smith. McLean then went in pursuit of Mr. Pratt and had a writ served on him for petit larceny; and he too, was taken to Fort Smith. The accusation was stealing the children's clothes. It was all a sham, for Pratt had not been near New Orleans, neither had he seen the children or their clothes.


McLean could prove nothing against Pratt and he was released. After he was discharged, McLean got two other men of his own stamp to go with him, and pursued their victims until they came to a small bit of woods, where they discharged their firearms, but not one ball pierced the apostle. Then one of the assassins jumped from his horse, caught Mr. Pratt's horse by the bridle, and held it while McLean pulled him down to the ground and stabbed him to the heart. A man who resided near by happened to be in sight, and witnessed the bloody scene. After the assassins had left he went over to Mr. Pratt, and found him still living and able to speak. He said he was not suffering, felt no pain at all, but was thirsty. Two hours afterward he died.

Mrs. McLean was also released from custody, no charge being proved against her. She subsequently returned to Salt Lake City, and resumed her former occupation of teaching school. Her son Albora (one of those she started with for Utah) came to visit her, and remained with her until her death, which took place in November, 1874. She was a woman of unblemished character, one who feared God, and strove to keep his commandments, and who was willing to sacrifice all that could be required for her religious faith. McLean ended his cruel and vloody career by a miserable death.

Parley P. Pratt was an apostle in the Mormon Church, revered and honored by his brethren in the same faith. He was esteemed and respected by all good people with whom he was acquainted, whether Mormons or otherwise. As for the Mountain Meadow massacre being perpetrated by the Mormons to avenge the death of Pratt, the story is entirely without foundations. The testimony given at the Lee trial, in Beaver, ought to satisfy any reasonable person of that.
Salt Lake City, U. T., May 26, 1875.

Note: The writer of the above article neglects to inform his readers that Mrs. McLean and Parley P. Pratt were married (with no divorce from Mr. McLean on record) at Salt Lake City, on Nov. 14, 1855 -- Mrs. McLean used her maiden name, "Eleanor Jane McComb," in Utah prior to becoming one if the "plural" Mrs. Pratts.


Vol. ?                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Tuesday, August 1, 1876.                 No. ?


A valued correspondent writes us from Dunkirk, New York, that he has been to Friendship to interview Sidney Rigdon, and he found him a grave man. The old disciple and associate of Joe Smith had passed quietly away a week previous to our friend's arrival there, having died on Friday, July 14th, at the advanced age of eighty-three years, the latter thirty of which were passed in contempative retirement in the village where he breathed his last. He was born in Alleghany county, Pennsylvania in February, 1793, and since his excision from the holy and everlasting priesthood, he has attended strictly to his own business, repelling rather than attracting curiosity. The Elmira Advertiser says of the deceased Saint:

He has been often interviewed by those intent upon clearng up some of the mysteries and delusions that attended the origin of Mormonism, but inevitably without success. On those occasions he would defend the Mormon account of the origin of the Book of Mormon, and also the chief doctrines of the early Mormon Church, and in many ways exhibit a sympathetic interest in its prosperity. His mind had a natural religious bias and his [inclusions] respecting bible doctrines subject to diverse interpretations, were conservative. In his prime he took an active part in the theological controversies that raged so fiercely in this and Western States, and was then and always familiar with the Bible, and had in him the material for a useful minister of any denomination; yet for many years he held himself aloof from the church affairs of his vicinity, and his whole conduct led naturally to the inference that his religious ambitions were buried at the time he was superceded by Young or perhaps at the time when the polygamous doctrines of Joseph Smith were promulgated.

Previous to joining the Latter day Dispensation, Sidney Rigdon had been a Campbellite preacher of some repute in Ohio, but the missionary seal of Parley P. Pratt brought him over to the new faith. The preacher then set to work upon his flock, and was successful with quite a number of them, as well as with the heathen living round about, insomuch that Ohio became an object of the prophet's attention. In December, 1830, Rigdon paid a visit to Joseph Smith, prolonging his stay till the next month, during which while he aided the prophet in his inspirational translation of the New Testament. The prophet returned with his disciple to Ohio.

The loose habits of the Saints soon excited] the ire of the settlers against them, and early in 1832 Joseph and Sidney were set upon by a mob and roughly treated to a coat of tar and feathers. The prophet seems to have received the worse treatment, but the effect produced upon the disciple's mind was the more bitter and lasting. During the next five or six years Sidney took a leading part in saintly proselyting, traveling through the States and Canada. He then became mixed up with Joe Smith's bank, being President of the same, and when the swindle exploded, he and his prophet master set out from the scene of their financial operations between two days to escape the wrath of their infuriated victims. Kirtland was now abandoned for ever, the faithful gathered to Zion, then to Far West, Missouri, where a yet rougher experience awaited the ex-Campbellite preacher. The folly and fanaticism that possessed this man's mind is shown in a Fourth of July oration which he shortly afterward delivered (called Sidney Rigdon's Salt sermon [sic],) wherein he denounced against the Missourians the most terrible retribution. The following is a specimen of his cheerful utterances:

No man shall be at liberty to come into our streets, to threaten us with mobs, for if he does, he shall atone for it before he leaves the place, neither shall he be at liberty, to villify and slander any of us, for suffer it we will not in this place. We therefore, take all men to record this day, that we proclaim our liberty on this day, as did our fathers. And we pledge this day to one another, our fortunes, our lives, and our sacred honors, to be delivered from the persecutions which we have had to endure, for the last nine years, or nearly that. Neither will we indulge any man, or set of men, in instituting vexatious law suits against us, to cheat us out of our just rights, if they attempt it we say we be unto them. We this day then proclaim ourselves free, with a purpose and a determination, that never can be broken, No never! No never!! NO NEVER!!!

"The elections were at hand," says Mr. Stenhousem in his "Rocky Mountain Saints," commenting on this intemperate outburst, "and the old settlers saw in the incoming Mormons from the East, a repetition of the traditionary story of Aaron's rod, and they resolved not to be swallowed up or exterminated as Sidney threatened." This author says further along: "Sidney Rigdon was an eloquent, full fledged fanatic, ever ready to roast heretics and annihalate all who opposed the wild flight of his imagination and his ambition, a most dangerous man in the midst of such a people as he had around him in Missouri."

Troubles increased between the Saints and the sinners, and the State militia was called out to preserve the peace. General Clark who was placed in command, made the following report to Governor Boggs:

There is no crime, from treason down to petit larceny, but these people, or a majority of them, have been guilty of; all, too, under the counsel of Joseph Smith, Jr, the prophet. They have committed treason, murder, arson, burglary, robbery, larceny, and perjury. They have societies formed under the most binding covenants in form, and the most horrid oaths, to circumvent the laws and put them at defiance; and to plunder and burn and murder, and divide the spoils for the use of the Church.

A number of persons captured by the military, were examined before a justice of the peace, the greater number were discharged, but Joseph and his brother Hyrum, Sidney Rigdon and half a score of others were held for trial on the charges of treason and murder. The place becoming too hot to hold the congregation of Israel, they fled to Quincy, Illinois, and Joseph and the imprisoned Saints, breaking jail, took after their fugacious brethren. These persecutions chilled Rigdon's faith in the prophet's doctrine, and for several years previous to his expulsion from the Church, he had become luke-warm and unreliable. The state of mind into which his crazy fanaticism had thrown him is thus sketched by Stenhouse in the volume above named:

Rigdon had been the Boanerges of the new faith, and had given it the first important aid which it received; but he was now waning in everything. He had seen Joseph revel in visions, dreams, and revelations, and had witnessed their wonderful effect upon the bewildered minds of the Saints. To step securely into Joseph's shoes, he had to do something like him, or to be forever overthrown -- like Lucifer, for his ambition in seeking the headship of the Church. He essayed the role of Joseph and entered upon the shadowy regions of revelation. He had nightly visions about Gog and Magog, and saw wonderful things which were soon to take place. The great battle of Armageddon was at hand, and Rigdon was to lead on the hosts of the Lord to the slaughter till the blood flowed up to the horses' bridles. When that was all done and got through with, he, as a conqueror, was to be privileged with the honour of "pulling the nose of little Vic." * * * In private assemblages of the brethren he announced that he held "the keys of David," and he ordained some special friends to be "prophets, priests, and kings," and made general preparation for the maintenance of his claims, by force if necessary, to the guardianship of the Church.

Rigdon was brought to trial, Sept. 8th, 1844, before the High Council of Nauvoo. charged with a determination to rule or ruin the Church, eight of the apostles being witnesses, although they were, in effect, his principal accusers. Rigdon feigned sickness, and was not present at the trial, but the business went on. The accusations were made, and the family quarrel was anything but edifying to the Saints. The scene wound up with Elder Young rising before the assembly and delivering the offending high priest to the buffetings of Satan in the name of the Lord. Some ten persons voted in favor of Rigdon, and these were immediately suspended from fellowship. This closed his public life as a preacher, and he shortly after dropped from public view. He leaves a wife, five daughters and three sons, who all live in the locality. His funeral was attended by the Masonic fraternity, of which he was a member, and by a large gathering of citizens. It has been expected that he would confess to having aided Joe Smith in rehashing, from Dr. Spaulding's manuscript, "the Book of Mormon," but he has died and made no sign. The old zealot seems to have left his spirit and ambition in the Church on his excommunication.

Note: The above article was reprinted in the weekly Tribune of August 5th.


Vol. XI.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Sunday, August 20, 1876.                 No. 107.

A Latter-Day Pilgrim.

Last week an embodiment of credulity called at our sanctum to inquire the way to Mormon Hill. He was a young man of thirty-five or more. There was a pious benignity upon his face, an inquiring look in his blue eye, and a charming deceitfulness about his fluent grammar. His appearance was characteristically that of a Mormon elder and his patriarchal whiskers made compensation for lacking wisdom and common sense. His name was Havens. He had from boyhood eaten the husks of Nephi, Lemuel and Sam, and drunk deeply from the fountains of foolery which allay no thirst.

Although capacitated for better things, he had been the creature of unkind circumstances. He had learned little of Jesus, but much of Palmyra's champion trickster, Joe Smith. He had ignored the Sublime morality of the acknowledged Great Master and stupified his soul with the solified nonsense of Joe Smith's Bible. From the far West he had come, like the pilgrim to Mecca's holt place, desiring to walk the streets of our Holy City, climb the sacred side of Cumorah, look from the summit upon the home of Prophet Joe, bare his brow to the light of heaven, and, standing upon the unmarked graves of slaughtered Nephites, to recall the startling past and from memory's solemn music drink in the inspirations of historic places, and go away to the immortal accomplishment of small things in a large way! This mild form of insanity was like many other others, who make up in sincerity what they are wanting in intelligence. Full of a perverted faith, he had the conscientious approval of any and all foolery which might come to him in the name of the Mormon religion!

To the older inhabitants of our town -- those who knew the bad character and consciousless trickstering of Messrs. Smith, Cowdery and Harris -- these Mormon pilgrimages are an amusement, commencing with a broad smile and ending in the "Ha-ha" of jeering contempt.

In theory and practice, plot and play, Mormonism is certainly the most contemptible of all religious impostures; and yet, we are sorry to say, there are persons who will accept its inconsistent balder-dash, swallow its sickening literature and tire their wayward feet in making pilgrimages to Cumorah. One only hopes is in the growth of intelligence and the lectures of Mrs. Ann Eliza Young, whose labors we desire to applaud -- Wayne (New York) Sentinel.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XI.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Saturday, August 26, 1876.                 No. 112.


Let There Be Rejoicing Among the Faithful in Zion.

The Lost Pages of Smith's Bible
Found Among the Ruins of Palmyra.

The Gospel Restored, and Lehi Turns Up at Last.

Readers of Mormon history are aware of the fact that just before the Mormon Bible was printed, in 1830, one hundred and sixteen pages of the sacred manuscript were made away with by Mrs. Harris, wife of Martin the Witness, in cobsequence of which loss the Bible makers were at their wits' ends, and the printing of the book delayed several months.

It was supposed by Smith and Cowdery that the missing pages had been handed over by Mrs. Harris to some one who might produce them to the confusion of Joseph, in case he should attempt to replace them. Smith did not reproduce the stolen pages, (a thing easily accomplished had he been possessed of the plates and ability to translate them,) but published a card giving his reasons for not re-translating. This card of explanation was printed in the first edition of the Book of Mormon, and is, of itself, conclusive evidence of imposture; indeed the explanation was worse than the loss of the manuscript, and is now omitted by Brigham and the Bible venders at Plano. The possible reappearance of the missing sheets was a cause of much anxiety to Joseph for some months; and their coming to light at this late day will be a matter of transporting astonishment to all the Saints who hunger and thirst after Cumorah's hillside mysteries. The following will explain itself.

After leaving Cumorah's sacred summit we wended our way to the old, rackety, tumble-down building, to which, we were assured, Harris was in the habit of going alone, during the inception of the new ism, wherein, also, Mrs. Harris was occasionally seen during the absence of her husband. "This is the place," said Havens, "the very place where old Martin and Joe used to inspire each other with chances to gull the town and clear a thousand or two. Here, too, old Mrs. Harris used to saunter in and out inquiringly, and just as like as not she chucked those sacred pages into some of these cracks here. I say, Jenkins, give us a lift there on that slab, while I stir up a rat's nest -- that's a mysterious looking aperture." So said, and done; when, lo! amid the rubbish of rotten wood, leaves and cob webs, a dingy, torn copy of the Wayne Sentinel, bits of paper scribbled, but illegible, and by the shades of Nephi, a roll of manuscript!

"Go for it, Jenkins," aid Havens excitedly; and I went for it. The outside pages were tender with age, and like short cake fell to pieces in unrolling. "Give me a chance at that," said Jenkins; "if there's anything I'm specially qualified for it is in decipherin' old documen's. I hope this si a batch of Joe's love letyters or Harris's adventure with the Devil. Go to -- let's at it." On examination this old roll of paper seemed to have neither beginning or end; it commenced without a commencement and quit with dim obscurity. There were neither capitals nor periods and but for the frequent recurrence of And it came to pass," the first ten pages would have been wholly illegible. The following pages told the rather uncertain story of one Lehi and his attempt to teach a Sunday school class by the story method. Here it is --- as it were.

"---- And now for the more instruction part of my hearers, and insomuch as the place that now knows me will know me no more for ever (Selah) and as my father did observe to say a remark to me of the bounden duty of ____ to bear testimony of my own knowledge concerning that of which hath been spoken.

I, Lehi, the seventh son of the seventh son, all of whom were males now speech to ye, before I go to that bourne from whence no traveler e'er returns, upon the much wickedness of ye Sodomites, which was of much badness, and worse and more so. And it came to pass, as my father were wont to say, so I saith to ye. (And did not Zoram bear like chronology to his progenitors?) Thus endeth the eleventh year of Coriantum[r] and Shiz. The Lamanites were driven out of the land; and the Ammonihahites from Ammonihah, who lived a time after their fathers existed before them, these all were destroyed; yea, and every living soul did cease to be alive; and it came to pass, because of much desolation the land was desolate. (For did not Annulek say, it is very lonely!) And their carcasses were mangled by canines, which are dogs; and their carcasses, of which hath been spoken, were scattered up on the face of the earth; and they were covered with a shallow burial, and there was not much earth upon their bodies, for behold it was quite thin. An it came to pass, Sodom did stand up and speak, and he did say a remark with his mouth, and I saith the same to ye; did he not say, 'I am monarch of all I survey' -- because of this desolateness; but it is not good for man to be alone, and moreover, for as much more, Satan finds some mischief still for idle hands to do, I will pass by the land of Shiz and Shux and Borax, and like the busy bee that doth improve each shining hour, so I will -- yea verily.

And it came to pass as Sodom and his two wives and his three sons and their four wives essayed to go into the south country, they were attacked by the Yanks and Modocs and Busharecs. And Sodom said to his hosts (for by this time their children were big.) "The question now is -- to be or not to be; we are surrounded by bloodthirsty savages, whose souls are not regarded in Bozrah. They care not for the inalienable rights of man among whom are life, liberty and the pursuits of happiness." And it came to pass that he did exhort them with many other fine oratories, insomuch that they were swollen with valor, and Damscopus did nail the flag to the mast, and they did fall upon their enemies and did smote them hip and thigh from sunrise until the going down thereof, and they did slew forty-two hundred thousand, and when morning came there were a good many dead, yea, verily, those who had died the day before!

Behold, is this not engraven on the plates? Verily, Selah!


And it came to pass, yet, so, as, thereby, neither; and Sodom went to, and did, and built a city and called it after himself, Sodom, which is, as it was, a city named after himself.

And it came to pass that Sodom and his two wives and his three sons and their four wives and their much relatives, insomuch they were forasmuch more so, did, yea, verily, they didst, as hath been spoken, and married and did live up to their privileges and did take unto themselves wives, all of which they chose, and the daughters of men were fair to look upon. Selah! And they said, 'e plurbus unum,' and they ceased to bear testimony, and the desert did cease to blossom as the rose, and the Lord poured hot shot upon the town of Sodom because of their intercourse with the Gentiles and their admiration for a certain vile sheet, a Tribune, as it were, after a sort. So it came to pass, verily thus saith I, it came to pass Sodom was no more, it was not and became as it had not been, according to the sayings of the prophet who declareth in Zion, nux comica!

And it came to pass that, the spindle did turn whithersoever it turned, and Lot did get out of, go away and leave Sodom, with but one long, lingering look behind. And it came to pass, the Angel of the Lord, thus saith the Angel of the Lord, get thee out, Lot, and thy two daughters. And so it came to pass they did go, and did get, and go from the ashes of Sodom. And, lo! it did seem to Lot that he was alone in an inhospitable place, and there was not a woman, nor any wife to him and he could not live up to his privileges, for Lot was of the genus Mormon. And he did say to the girls, with that speech wherewith he did say unto them, "Bring me to the pleasure of my fathers, and of the valley Tan whereof ye have a wherewithal, let me have the solace of five several delights." And as he said, so did the girls, and things became so-so.

And Lot knew the woman after a certain sort and did say in his heart, Heaven and earth, and they did conceive and the mother of Moab became the mother of the Moabites and Ammon the mother of the Ammonites, which are to this day.

And it came to pass that this became thus -- thusly, according to the words of Alma. As the mothers of Moab and Ammon were sisters, the boys were each other's uncles! Quotha; and as the children of the same father, are brother and sister, Moab was his own uncle.

And now furthermore, as Moab and Ammon were children by the same parent, they were brothers and sisters, and being at the same time children of sisters, they were also cousins! So Moab was not only his own uncle, but cousin and uncle to Ammon, who being child to the same father, was brother to his mother!

And now, forasmuch as the father of a mother is a grandfather, and as Lot was both father to Ammon and Ammon's mother, father and grandfatherwere one and the same man, consequently Lot was his own father. according to the most excellent doctrines and peophecies of Mormon, the relative of I, Lehi!

And it came to pass --
*     *     *     *     *     *

Beyond this the manuscript is illegible. But it is plain enough that the story is that spirited away by Mrs. Harris in 1827-8-9. The facts, like those in the Momron Bible, are important; the names are easily recognized, and the composition is characteristic. Beyond a doubt Havens and Jenkins have discovered the missing pages of the Book of Mormon, and we shall look expectantly for a new edition containing this addition to the revelations of Palmyra Joseph!

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XI.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Sunday, August 27, 1876.                 No. 113.


Young Joe Smith denies that his.
Father Practiced Polygamy --
An Auditor Cites Facts to.
Show he is Wrong.

(From the San Francisco Chronicle.)

Last evening the hall of the Grand Army of the Republic was crowded with a very respectable audience of both sexes who had come together to listen to "Joseph Smith, the President of the Church of Latter-day Saints throughout the world." After the usual introductory singing and praying, Smith commenced by making some general remarks about the Spirit of Truth that were suitable enough for any religious coventicle, and went on to say that the point in which the church he represented, differed from the other religious denominations was in regard to the views which they hold as to the office of this spirit -- in brief, he claimed present revelation. In the closing of his remarks he alluded to the misery of the people in Utah under the blighting influence of polygamy, which he earnestly condemned, and pledged himself to devote his life and labors to free that people from its baneful effects, for it had not only done great wrong to the people, but it had destroyed the faith of many in the divine mission of Mormonism. The Gospel of Christ, he said, and the first faith of the Mormons never required any man or woman to do wrong, nor were they required to surrender their personal individuality of character. These home thrusts at Brigham Young were hugely relished by the audience and were followed with some applause. As the speaker closed and resumed his chair, a gentleman rose and asked if he would be permitted to


And here commenced the most interesting part of the meeting. The subject on his mind was polygamy, and he was anxious to learn if the elder Smith had not been a polygamist, which the younger Smith was now denouncing. The interrogator, who ever he was, spoke quietly and deliberately, like a man who meant to be respectful in manner and determined to be answered. The auditors were evidently greatly pleased with the question, and sat in breathless silence. To this the young "prophet" made answer that he would give his understanding of this subject. He was only 12 years of age when his father was killed, and he could not well know much of domestic life, but from all that he then knew and had since learned he was fully satisfied that his father neither sanctioned polygamy in the relations of others nor practiced it himself. He had heard of much that had been said on the subject charging his father with living in polygamy, but he had never discovered the evidence of it, nor any clue to it that would convince him that his father was a polygamist. There was a buzzing of disapprobation in various parts of the hall as if some thought the young "prophet" was dodging the issue of the question. The interrogator got to his feet again, and in very respectful language expressed what he had to say. He said he first heard the charge of polygamy against the Mormon leaders in London in 1839, which was denied by their missionaries. In 1842 he was in Nauvoo, where the Mormons were living, and heard there the same charge made against their leaders, and which was denied again. He thought that it was exceedingly strange that they should have been charged with polygamy at the time he referred to, and so earnestly and indignantly deny it, and in less than two years afterwards the Mormon leaders should have a revelation


The son of the martyr admitted that these matters were indeed strange, but he would not attempt to explain them now. He did not know what evidence other men may have had that polygamy was established in the Mormon Church during the lifetime of his father, but while he would admit to the singularity of the circumstances, for himself he had no explanation to give, and would leave it to the people of Utah to explain. He would, however, be in the city again in a few days and take that occasion to give his views. The interrogator was not to be put off, and rose a third time to tell what he knew. He referred again to the denials of 1842 that the Mormons were polygamists, and when they threw off the disguise and admitted the fact it was visible to everybody that the leaders were "steeped in it" and had multitudes of wives and he knew of his own knowledge of one man who had three wives in Far West, Missouri, as far back as 1839. He thought it strange that these things should exist among the disciples, and the Prophet -- the father of the young man -- should be ignorant of them. Smith admitted again that these things were indeed strange; but he doubted them being wives as stated by the interrogator, to which the latter pleasantly replied that "whether they were wives or not, they were at least women." Enough had been said and the doxology and a brief word of prayer ended the meeting.

A goodly number of the auditors were from Utah, and richly enjoyed the controversy and the embarrassment of young Smith. Among the auditors was one of Brigham Young's daughters, who is now residing in this city.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XI.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Tuesday, September 12, 1876.                 No. 126.

Death  of  a  Catauraugus  Mormon.

In the local historical sketch by James G. Johnston, in the last Olean Times, he gives an account of the advent of a band of Mormons in that place in 1831. They tarried there about six months and converted three families, "all of whom left with the proselyting party, and with the full consent of their neighbors." The chief priest of the gang was named Sidney Rigdon, and they went from there to Kirtland, Ohio, where they were established for some years. On the 11th of last month this Rigdon died in Friendship, Catauraugus county, aged 83 years. Mr. J. appends the following notice, which shows the he was an important factor in the formation of the Mormon sect:

The first publicity known of him was in 1812, when he was a journeyman printer in the book publishing office of a Mr. Patterson, at Pittsburg, Pa. The Mormon Bible was said to have been a historical romance, written by Rev. Solomon Spaulding, for the avowed purpose of accounting for the pre-historic settlement of America. He also invented the buried plate idea, to account for the manuscript. But Patterson was fearful, and the romance was not then published. That copy of the manuscript that was left in the office, disappeared finally, and was generally believed to have been "taken care of" by Rigdon. Another copy, in the posssesion of Spaulding's widow, was lost or stolen when she was living in Joe Smith's neighborhood.

As soon as Smith began his campaign, Rigdon made his appearance, and from that time, until Smith's tragic death, they operated together, Rigdon really doing all the figuring or "beadwork," and Smith acting as his oracle or mouthpiece. Rigdon and Smith went to Kirtland, Ohio, as I have before stated, made it their rendezvous, started the bank, of which Rigdon was the cashier, and when the bubble burst, they both "left between two days," for Illinois [sic]. Early in the history of the sect, Rigdon became an active and successful proselyter. His Biblical knowledge was remarkable, and his power as a conversationalist was rarely equalled by any of his opponents; hence he almost always won the victory in any controversy into which he was drawn, or, as was generally the case, into which he managed to work himself. During the troubles which preceded and culminated in the death of Joe Smith, Rigdon was an active participant, and being one of the originals laid claim to, and considered himself entitled to become Smith's successor. But Brigham Young, who had shown himself to be a born leader, from the outset of his joining the Mormons, skillfully managed to overthrow Rigdonand secure the prize for himself. Rigdon and a small band of adherents were cut off, and went into Pennsylvania, intending to organize a band of Saints of their own. But they dissolved in a short time, and some thirty years ago he appeared at and settled in Friendship, where he has ever since resided. He is reported to have always received his support from Brigham Young, who spared no efforts to concilliate him, and as has been supposed, to keep him from maing any damaging revelations. -- Fredonia (N. Y.) Censor.

Note 1: It appears very unlikely that Sidney Rigdon ever worked as "a journeyman printer in the book publishing office of a Mr. Patterson, at Pittsburg, Pa." At the most, Rigdon may have been friends with the printer whom Patterson generally used to print the material he published -- and have, perhaps supplied Patterson's Pittsburgh bindery with finished leather book-covers, while a young man learning the tanner's trade in that place. Patterson was acquainted with Sidney Rigdon, during Pittsburgh's early days, and Rigdon was probably an occasional visitor to Patterson's book store and publishing office, however. According to an 1841 statement attributed to Mr. Robert Patterson, Sr., "Sidney Rigdon was not connected with the office for several years afterwards" -- the time "afterwards" being the years following the death of Solomon Spalding in 1816. In those "years afterwards" the Patterson publishing and book selling business was split up, between Mr. Robert Patterson, Sr. and his former employee, Mr. J. Harrison Lambdin. It appears that Sidney may have maintained some connections with Lambdin during that period (early 1820s), but he was never a "journeyman printer" with Patterson's publishing company.

Note 2: The "copy" of the manuscript above referred to, was evidently not "lost or stolen" while Solomon Saplding's widow "was living in Joe Smith's neighborhood," since she never did live in his "neighborhood." The widow claimed to have entrusted the manuscript (along other papers of her deceased husband) to Mr. D. P. Hurlbut, late in the year 1833 -- this was long after she had moved from upstate Neww York to Massachusetts.

Note 3: While the Rev. Sidney Rigdon was somewhat remarkable as a convincing preacher of the Campbellite and Mormonite messages, he seems rarely to have engaged in personal debates or in running controversies in the press. Thus it cannot reliably be stated that "he almost always won the victory in any controversy." -- This article was reprinted in the weekly Tribune of Sept. 16th.


Vol. XI.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Tuesday, October 31, 1876.                 No. ?

The  Ann  Eliza  Case.

(under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Tuesday April 10, 1877.                 No. 150.


The Re-organized Church to California
-- Brigham, the Usurper --
The True Faith.

Correspondence Tribune.}
San Francisco, April 6, 1877.    
Being desirous of hearing the doctrine of the "True Latter-day Saints" preached, the Tribune correspondent attended the Josephite Church last Sunday evening. There was a very large audience present, and they listened with marked attention to Elder Brown. He repeated that the doctrine of Joseph was the true Mormon religion, and that those who did not recognize Joseph as the head of the Church were Apostates. Polygamy is not countenanced by the true Mormon Church, and Joseph never received a revelation ordaining it. Brigham Young secretly introduced polygamy and claims that it was revealed to the Prophet. The Lord did not ordain polygamy, for does he not say, "One wife shalt thou have; concubines, none." King Solomon and David lived in polygamy, but that did not make it right. Though they were servants of God, they sinned in doing so. And this was why the Saints were driven from Nauvoo. Because the people did not accept their religion. If their religion had been acceptable in the sight of the Lord, they would not have been "driven from city to city, and from temple to temple." Before the murder of Joseph, Brigham was scheming for the presidency of the Church. There are men in San Francisco who were present, and I was present -- when Joseph laid his hand on Brigham's head and said: "If any one were needed to run this Church to hell, Brother Brigham would be the best man." On Joseph's death, Brigham said no one could take his place -- that Joseph, though dead in the flesh, could rule the Church from spirit land. Brigham had then conceived an idea of spiritualism. But he was President of the Twelve Apostles, and he did not want a president elected, so that he could rule. He knew he could not rule long, if they remained at Nauvoo, so he thought they would go to the mountain fastnesses of the West. There were many Saints who had built homes and amassed property. Brigham knew that they would not sacrifice their homes and follow him. So he incited the lawless element, who had congregated at Nauvoo, to pillage and rob their Gentile neighbors. The robberies and thefts that were then committed in the name of the Mormon Church, were done by Brigham's instruments, in order to bring down persecution upon the entire Church, and drive the Saints hence. The Gentiles rose in their might, and the Church suffered for the sins of the few, and the murderous teachings of the usurper Brigham. He has carried out these murderous teachings in the valleys of Utah. There exists no greater enemy to the United States Government than the Mormon Church of Utah under Brigham. The Saints believe that the Gentiles are damned in the eyes of the Lord, and the only way to save them is to cut their throats. Many of the Saints are good, and could not be brought to commit crime, but if Brigham was to crook his finger, and say it was the will of the Church, they would not hesitate to slay all the Gentiles in their power. A present apostle of the Mormon Church once said to me, "If President Brigham Young was to tell me to cut my wife's throat, I would do it, for I know unless I did, my life would be the penalty of disobedience to orders."

Note: Compare Elder Brown's quote concerning Brigham Young and the Church, to the one given by Fanny Stenhouse, that Joseph Smith, Jr. had said: "If ever the Church had the misfortune to be led by Bro. Brigham, he would lead it to hell" (Tell It All, p. 268); also, compare with William Smith's recollection: "I also heard Joseph say that should the time ever come that Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimbal would lead this church, that they would lead it to hell. This was said in the hearing of sister Emma Smith," (Voree Herald, July, 1846); see also Saints' Herald for Apr. 15, 1875.


Vol. XIII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Thursday, May 12, 1877.                 No. 25.


The Original Palmyra Edition --
Facts about the First Publication
of the Latter-day Saints.

(From Cincinnati Inquirer.)

One of the rarest books printed in the nineteenth century, is the first edition of the "Book of Mormon," published at Palmyra, new York, in 1830. Lord Macaulay tried in vain for years to procure a copy of it. -- Literary Notes.

The copy of this rare book, which Lord Macaulay tried in vain to procure is now before us. It is in good condition, brown leather cover, leaves a little yellow, and the pages marked hither and yon with a lead pencil...

The book contains 588 pages, plain print, and is prefaced by Smith's blundering excuse concerning the 116 pages which Mrs. Harris burned up, and which are, of course, not found in this body of Smith's divinity. At the end of the book the testimony of the "Three Witnesses," Cowdery, Whitmer and Harris, is appended; also a certificate to the same purpose, signed by four Whitmers, one Page and three Smiths! These testimonials are a mere blind, bad in grammar, irrelevant in fact, and evidently written by the same hand.

The preface, by Author and Proprietor Smith, is to any sensible person conclusive evidence of the imposture, and it is now omitted from Brigham's edition.

Note: The original article, from an early May, 1877 issue of the Cincinnati Enquirer, is considerably longer and conatians unique information concerning the young Joseph Smith, Jr.


Vol. XIII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Tuesday, May 25, 1877.                 No. 25.


His Mysterious Disappearance --
Who is Responsible?

The following letter appears in the New York Herald of the 17th, written by William H. Wandell, of Greenpoint, New York:

The Eastern friends and relatives of Judge C. W. Wandell, of Utah, are apprehensive that he has been "taken off" by Brigham Young's satellites, the Danites, in revenge for a scathing lecture on the Mountain Meadows Massacre, delivered by him at Salt Lake City, in the Liberal Institute, on the evening of January 30, 1873, a full account of which appeared in the columns of the Herald on the 10th of the following month. During the delivery of the lecture, Brigham Young and the leaders of the Mormon Church were directly charged by Judge Wandell with being the real instigators of the massacre. This was indeed bearding the lion in his den. An old lady who had spent a score of years among the Mormons and knew Brigham well, after reading the Herald's account of the lecture, turned to the writer of the article and remarked that that of itself was enough to seal the fate of a dozen such men as Judge Wandell was.


Since that time but few letters have been received from him, the last being dated San Francisco, November 6 of the same year, just as he was about to leave that city for some point not designated, being addressed to a sisrer in Brooklyn, E. D. Whether his family were with him is not known. It was afterward, through Mormon sources learned that he went to Sidney, Australia, where it is said, he died in May, 1875. The Sidney Register, however has been thoroughly searched by Mr. J. H. Williams, the United States Consul, at the solictation of his (the Judge's) relatives, without finding his name. Neither was it entered on the Consul's books of the arrivals of American citizens, who always report at his office. Indeed, not the slightest clew has been found that he ever went there at all.


Since the publication of John D. Lee's confessions, Judge Wandell's friends and kindred have come to the conclusion that he and his friends have fallen victims to the wrath of the Mormon despot, being followed (if they ever left San Francisco alive) by Brigham's human bloodhounds and hunted to death.

Judge Wandell was an old resident of both Nevada and Utah, and had for a number of years held numerous positions of trust both under the Territorial and General Governments. He had been engaged for several years in ferreting out the real authors of the massacre, with a view to bring them to justice, notwithstanding the warning of friends and the scowling of Brigham himself. He was also the author of the famous "Open Letters," signed "Argus," addressed to Brigham Young, in which he solemnly charged him with the whole responsibility of the slaughter of the emigrants. These letters were inserted in Stenhouse's "Rocky Mountain Saints," published a year or two ago. No wonder, then, that Brigham wanted him out of the way.

Note 1: Dan L. Thrapp's 1991 Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography provides the following information: "Wandell, Charles W. (Argus), Mormon pioneer (1819-c.1875)... For a time he worked in the church historian's office at Salt Lake City. Wandell is supposed by Brooks to be the "Argus" who wrote an open letter to Brigham Young which appeared as a series of articles in the Corinne Utah Reorter, demanding that the mystery of the Mountain Meadows Massacre of September 11, 1857 be cleared up..."

Note 2: According to Inez Smith Davis' The Story of the Church, Wandell became an RLDS in July of 1873 and went on a mission to Australia for that church the following year. He died at Sydney on March 14, 1875. Davis quotes the last lines of Wandell's journal (evidently preserved by the RLDS Church along with his Mountain Meadows Massacre manuscripts until 1907 when they were burned) on page 530 of her book. She also wrote a short biography for Wandell, which was published in Journal of History III:4 (Oct. 1910) and IV:1 (Jan. 1911). Wandell was accepted as a Seventy by the RLDS and in that capacity his name is mentioned in conjunction with that of Edmund C. Brand in RLDS D&C Sec. 117 (given in April, 1873). His pairing with E. C. Brand may be significant, in that Elder Brand was mentioned by John D. Lee as having been one of Lee's confidents regarding the Mountain Meadows Massacre history.


Vol. VIII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Saturday, May 29, 1877.                 No. 213.


A Mormon Wife and Mother Pictures Her Degradation.

How She Revolted from Polygamy and was Cursed
by Her Husband.

The Apostle Orson Pratt's Harem.


(Salt Lake Correspondence New York Herald, May 18.)

I shall in these letters cite the testimony of more than one woman who is or who has ceased to be a Mormon. It is time to give you the pathetic narrative of Mrs. Orson Pratt, the first and lawful wife of the ablest, most eloquent, most fanatical and unfortunate of the Twelve Apostles of the Mormon Church, who is best known in the East as the champion who overthrew Brother Newman, of Washington, in an argument on polygamy at the Tabernacle here several years ago.

Mrs. Pratt was married to Orson Pratt at the age of nineteen, as other confiding girls are married every day to husbands who promise to love them only until death. Hardly a year had passed when she was rudely awakened from a prolonged and illusive honeymoon. Her husband heard the teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith and was infatuated by them. His eloquence and her affection induced her to abandon her family and her early friends and join him in the long and miserable pilgrimage of the Mormon outcasts which ended in the valley of Salt Lake.


Mrs. Pratt's experience in Nauvoo and afterwards in Utah not only taught her to study the characters and motives of the leading Mormons with whom she was continually associated -- It gave her knowledge of their acts. It so happened that she had known Brigham Young when he was a vulgar, illiterate boy, and this fact, involving a bad original impression of him, led her afterward to distrust his right to the mantle of the Prophet Joseph, and to address him at the height of his power with familiarity and irony, which were extremely distasteful to him. "Mr. Pratt," she says, "often used to say to me, 'I wish I could talk to Brigham Young as freely as you do, but somehow I never dare to do it.'"

The lady's recollection of the state of Mormon society in Utah in the years just preceding the Mountain Meadows Massacre, and of the men whose names have figured in the traditions of that atrocity from Brigham Young, Governor, down to Indian Farmer John D. Lee, is vivid. She knew immediately, as her husband did, all the Apostles, spiritual heads, bishops, counsellors and officers of the Nauvoo Legion at that time. Dame, Haight, Higbee, Stewart and others in Southern Utah were among her acquaintances, also the cunning missionary George A. Smith. At her home the other evening, where I obtained from her lips a thorough and fearless statement of events within her knowledge since her pilgrimage here, she gave me these facts and impressions:


"Whether the Mountain Meadows Massacre was ordered by Brigham Young or not -- and I haven't a doubt that it was -- it was the natural result of Brigham Young's teachings. The ceremonials and oaths of the Endowment House, the commands given by Brigham Young and the Twelve Apostles from the pulpit, and the council transmitted to the people through Bishops, counsellors and teachers, all urged the doctrine of blood atonement. Murder had become common; the smell of blood was in the very air. Scores of dead men and not a few dead women lay unburied on the 'benches' at the foot of the mountains around Salt Lake City -- lay there, I say, as food for crows and objects of interest to the hawks that circled over their gradually denuded corpses. It is horrible but it is true, that men in that time missed their wives and wives their husbands forever, without daring to seek their remains or even make an inquiry about them. There was a time when the disappearance of prominent citizens here was only mentioned by their friends in whispers, and when a woman being discovered by her teacher in tears over the news that her husband had been murdered, was found in bed next morning with her throat cut. Such was, then, the fear of Brigham Young and his chief counsellors, such, indeed, was the fanatical surrender of Mormons to the doctrine that whatever he ordered was directed from on High, that few even among those who suffered most dreadfully from the carrying out of the dogma of blood atonement had the termerity to question or denounce it. It is impossible to exaggerate. I cannot give you in my poor language an idea of the sense of oppression, the dread, the shrinking from an unfriendly look in the face of an acquaintance by day, and the anxiety at every unusual sound at night, of those among us who were not earnest in the faith or who were suspected of not being so.


"At that time, remember, I had ceased to be a Mormon.I was endeavoring to rear my children so that they should never espouse the Mormon faith, and, at the same time, to conceal from my neighbors and from the Church authorities the fact that I was thus raising them. Fortunately my husband was almost constantly absent on foreign missions; but imagine if you can the difficulty, the strain upon my nervous system, of the task I resolved to accomplish. I had not only to prevent my children from becoming Mormons, I had to see to it that they should not become imbued with such an early prejudice as would cause them to betray to the neighbors my teachings and intentions. Many a night, when my children were young and also when they had grown up so as to be companions to me, I have closed this very room where we are sitting, locked the door, pulled down the window curtains, put out all but one candle on the table, gathered my boys close around my chair and talked to them in whispers for fearthat what I said would be overheard. This was no idle apprehension. Spies, then, were on the track of every suspected household. There were nights when from two to four men used to gather around this building, leaning with their ears against the panes to hear some word which might warrant them in entering and erasing all our lives."


"The state of things in Southern Utah," continued Mrs. Pratt, "was even worse. Brigham Young and the other leaders were from the first opposed to Utah being a transit for travellers and emigrants between the Eastern States and California. They wanted to isolate the Mormon people, and especially they did not wish the ignorant English, Danish and other foreign Mormons in the South to become acquainted with strangers and thus learn too much of the outside world. They, therefore, inculcated in the Southern settlements a malignant disgust of Gentiles, most of whom came to be regarded there as the very people upon whom all Mormons who had taken the 'endowment oaths' had bound themselves to 'avenge the blood of the prophets.' Consequently assassinations of outsiders who took the southern route to the Pacific became even more frequent than the putting away of Mormon apostates. There is not an old Mormon resident of Beaver or Parowan or Cedar City who doesn't recollect, and could not tell if he would, of murders in and about those places which educated the perpetrators of the Mountain Meadows butchery in throat cutting and inured every one of them to the sight of blood. The pretended horror of Mormons over that affair, and particularly Brigham Young's statement when Lee came to Salt Lake City he told him he 'did not want his feelings harrowed up by the details,' are the veriest fictions. They must seem ridiculous to all who, like myself, have not forgotten the willingness and practised skill in bloodshed of at least one third of the white Mormons who participated in the killing of the Arkansas emigrants, and the indifference of Brigham Young to the murders which at that time befouled nearly every canyon leading out of Utah."


"I infer that you have not seen any letter or paper from Brigham Young encouraging those Southern Mormons to wipe out that emigrant train. Are you sure, then, that he gave such an order?"

"As sure as I can be of anything that I did not actually see or hear. I am sure that neither Lee nor Haight nor Higbee nor any of the men who put themselves lower than the savages that day would have done what they did, if they hadn't been satisfied they would have been found at fault with if they hadn't done it. I tell you, sir, they didn't dare to let those emigrants pass and not do it. They could not have been sure at the period I have described to you that their own blood would not have been spilt if they neglected to commit that butchery. I mean to explain to you and I want you to understand, that those men were so dependant upon Brigham Young, so pledged and anxious to do his will and so afraid of his vengeance if they should not please him, that they must have been certain of his approval of that barbarous job, else not a man of them would have undertaken it. Brigham Young was, as I have partially explained and you will presently see, absolute dictator over life, property and domestic concerns [in] Utah. No one but a hothead or a fool ventured to buy or sell a house or move from one settlement to another or marry or get an extra cow without consulting him through a bishop.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XIII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Thursday, July 12, 1877.                 No. 64.

The  Two  Mormon  Bodies.

In a note to the Chicago Inter-Ocean Joseph Smith writes from Plano, Kendall county, Ill., as follows: "David Whitmer, one of the witnesses to certificate prefixed to the Book of Mormon, referred to by you, is still living and resides at Richmond, Mo. Neither he nor Oliver Cowdery nor Martin Harris ever denied the statements made by them in that certificate. Both of the latter died in the faith of the divinity of that book, and the former has repeatedly of late restated his unshaken confidence in its truth. The difference between the Salt Lake Mormons and the believers in the mission of Joseph Smith, the prophet, now residing in and about Plano, Ill., is about as follows: Those at Salt Lake believe and practice polygamy; those at Plano neither teach nor practice it, but denounce it as evil. Those believe that Salt Lake is the Zion, the gathering place of the elect; these do not. Those believe in "blood atonement," These do not. Those believe, if reported correctly, that Adam is the God to whom they will account; or as expressed by their leading man, the "only God with whom they have to do:" these do not, but believe in God the Father, Christ the Son; and in Adam only as a man. Those believe in and follow Brigham Young as their leader; these do not. These are some of the minor points of difference which grow out of, and are supplementary to, those named above."

Note: Joseph Smith III's letter first appeared in the Chicago Weekly Inter-Ocean, of June 18, 1877 and was reprinted in full in Charles W. Lamb's 1879 Exposition of Mormonism, beginning on page 6.


Vol. XIII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Wednesday, August 15, 1877.                 No. 93.


The Prophet on Mineral Desposits and Mining.

New Light on Gold Bibles, and How to Get Rich.

Some Serious Questions to Leading Mormons.

Let those who imagine that Mormonism is modifying itself to suit the tenor of progressive thought, read the following extracts from a sermon delivered by Brigham Young, in Farmington, on the 17th of July last. It cannot be charged that they are "Tribune lies," for they are copied from the News, Brigham's official organ, and the "lie" part of them, therefore, emanate[s] from the Prophet. His inspired utterances were devoted to the brethren who are seeking after gold, and on this head he tells us something which ye honest miner should store up in his mind. He says:

"But do you know how to find such a mine? No, you do not. These treasures that are in the earth are carefully watched, they can be removed from place to place according to the good pleasure of Him who made them and owns them. He has His service, and it is just as easy for an angel to remove the minerals from any part of one of these mountains to another, as it is for you and me to walk up and down this hall. This, however, is not understood by the Christian world, nor by us as a people."

      *       *       *       *       *

"I presume there are some present who have heard me narrate a circumstance with regard to the discovery of a gold mine in Little Cottonwood Canyon, and I will here say that the specimens taken from it, which I have in my possession today, are as fine specimens of gold as ever were found on this continent. A man whom some of you well know, brought to me a most beautiful nugget. I told him to let the mine alone.

"When General Conner came here, he did considerable prospecting; and in hunting through the Cottonwoods, he had an inkling that there was gold there. Porter, as we generally call him, came to me one day, saying, 'They have struck within four inches of my lode, what shall I do?' He was carried away with the idea that he must do something. I therefore told him to go with the other brethren interested, and make his claim. When he got through talking I said to him, 'Porter, you ought to know better; you have seen and heard things which I have not, and are a man of long experience in this Church. I want to tell you one thing; they may strike within four inches of that lode as many times as they have a mind to, and they will not find it.' They hunted and hunted, hundreds of them did; and I had the pleasure of laughing at him a little, for when he went there again, he could not find it himself." (Laughter by the congregation.)

      *       *       *       *       *

"I will tell you a story which will be marvelous to most of you. It was told me by Porter, whom I would believe just as quickly as any man that lives. When he tells a thing he understands, he will tell it just as he knows it; he is a man that does not lie. He said that on this night, when they were engaged hunting for this old treasure, they dug around the end of a chest for some twenty inches. The chest was about three feet square. One man who was determined to have the contents of that chest, took his pick and struck a hole into it, and split through into the chest. The blow took off a piece of the lid, which a certain lady kept in her possession until she died. That chest of money went into the bank. Porter describes it so (making a rumbling sound); he says this is just as true as the heavens are."

      *       *       *       *       *

"I believe I will take the liberty to tell you of another circumstance that will be as marvelous as anything can be. This is an incident in the life of Oliver Cowdery, but he did not take the liberty of telling such things in meeting as I take. I tell these things to you, and I have a motive for doing so. I want to carry them to the ears of my brethren and sisters and to the children also, that they may grow to an understanding of some things that seem to be entirely hidden from the human family. Oliver Cowdery went with the Prophet Joseph when he deposited these plates * * * there was a portion of them sealed, which you can learn from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. When Joseph got the plates, the angel instructed him to carry them back to the hill Cumorah, which he did. Oliver says that when Joseph and Oliver went there, the hill opened and they walked into a cave, in which there was a large and spacious room. He says, he did not think, at the time, whether they had the light of the sun or artificial light, but that it was just as light as day. They laid the plates on a table; it was a large table that stood in the room. Under this table there was a pile of gold plates as much as two feet high, and there were altogether in this room more plates than probably many wagon loads; they were piled up in the corners and along the walls. The first time they went there the sword of Laban hung upon the wall; but when they went again it had been taken down and laid upon the table across the gold plates; it was unsheathed, and on it was written these words: 'This sword will never be sheathed again until the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our God and his Christ.'"

      *       *       *       *       *

I have known places where there were treasures in abundance, but could men get them? No. You can read in the Book of Mormon of the ancient Nephites hiding their treasures, and of their becoming slippery; so that after they had privately hid their money, on going to the place again, lo and behold it was not there, but was somewhere else, but they knew not where. The people do not understand this; I wish they did, for they would then do as I do, pay attention to the legitimate business that God has given them to perform."

These are the words of the Prophet Brigham, who speaks by inspiration. In his church there are some men who are credited with having good horse sense. Among them are John Sharp, a director of the Union Pacific Railroad, John T. Caine, W. H. Hooper, William Jennings, SEptimus Sears, Heber P. Kimball, Feramorz Little, Lewis S. Hills, and several others. Now we want to ask these gentlemen candidly, if they have to swallow all of this yarn in order to get the whole of Mormonism. We can conceive very readily how they accept polygamy, but that Hill Cumorah business, and stacks of gold bibles -- cart loads of them -- do you, gentlemen, really take in all of that?...

Note: The above excerpts from Brigham Young's June 17, 1877 discourse at Farmington, were reprinted from the Deseret News, into the Journal of Discourses, vol. 19, pp. 36ff.


Vol. XIII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, September 11, 1877.                 No. ?


Who Wrote the Book of Mormon and
Who stole the Manuscript.

(Springfield (Mass,) Republican)

Remarkable local testimony has been discovered by the Republican sustaining the charge that the religion of Joe Smith and Brigham Young had its origin in a romance written by Rev. Solomon Spaulding, of Ohio, half a century or more ago. The story is furnished by Mr. J. A. McKinstry, of Longmeadow, a son of the late Dr. McKinstry of Monson, and grandson of Rev. Mr. Spaulding. Mr. McKinstry is employed in the Main street store of Newsdealer Brace. Rev. Mr. Spaulding's widow, who afterward became Mrs. Davison, came east from Ohio [sic - New York?] to live with her daughter at Monson, many years ago, bringing the manuscript of his romance with her. She died some twenty-five years ago, but before her death a plausible young man from Boston came to Monson 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, Mrs. Davison consented to let her husband's unpublished romance go. Nothing was ever heard from it again, and the family have always considered that the bland young gentleman was an agent of Brigham Young's to destroy the convicting evidence that Joe Smith's Mormon Bible was of earthly origin.

The story of how Rev. Mr. Spaulding came to prepare his romance, which Mr. McKinstry remembers as a child to have seen, is fresh and interesting. He was out of the active ministry in Ohio -- the name of the place Mr. McKinstry does not recollect, but it was near Palmyra, we believe -- running a small iron foundry, and being a man of literary tastes, employed his leisure moments in weaving a romance. It was a time when the work of the mound-builders was creating wide 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 writer. He entitled his production "Manuscript Found," the idea being that the romance woven by the ex-preacher 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 spells and the fancy fell 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 his production to his neighbors as it progressed. It was written in Bible phraseology, and made as quaintly olden as possible, so as to carry out the conceit of its alleged mound origin. Among the attentive listeners at these readings were Joe Smith and Sidney Rigdon, the same who founded Mormonism. Not only did Smith hear the manuscript read, but on one occasion, as Mrs. Davison frequently testified before her death, he borrowed it for a week or so, giving as a reason that he wanted to read it to his family, who had been unable to attend on Mr. Spaulding's reading. Not long afterward, it will be remembered, Smith claimed that an angel had revealed to him the existence of a buried history of aboriginal America, the plates of which it is alleged were dug up, and the book of Mormon made as a translation of their inscriptions. The widow of Mr. Spaulding and her daughter, Mrs. Dr. McKinstry of Monson, compared the Smith Bible with the parson's romance, and they were essentially the same. The similarity was so overwhelming as to leave no doubt that Smith copied in full Rev. Mr. Spaulding's writing, and made out of it bodily his divine "revelation.

The character of the minister's romance was such, and his elaboration of it so thorough, as to strike the fancy of Smith, who was given to the mysterious. His family had been noted for divination, treasure-seeking, etc., and so Joe found Mr. Spaulding's work just in his line. That the results of his appropriation of it have been so stupendous was always a great cross to Mr. Spaulding's good widow, Mrs. Davison. She mourned that, even innocently, her husband should have been the means of foisting upon the world so great an evil. This was the real reason of her willingness to allow the manuscript to be taken to Boston for publication. It is to be regretted that her family have not better preserved Mrs. Davison's recollections of her husband's writing, now forever lost to the world. Enough has been handed down, however, to establish beyond doubt the truth of the claim that here was a source of Joe Smith's "inspiration." Mrs. Davison's story has long been familiar to leading en of Monson, and so impressed was the late Rev. Dr. Ely with it that he prepared a considerable account of it years ago.

Note: See the New Haven Palladium of Sept. 3, 1877 for notes on this article.


Vol. XII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Tuesday, September 18, 1877.                 No. 122.


A Writ of Habeas for Luella Cobb
John W. Young'a Intended Concubine.

The father of the girl Luella Cobb, who, it seems, is about to be illegally married to John W. Young as a polygamous wife, applied to the Third District Court, yesterday, for a writ of habeas corpus to gain possession of his daughter, and thus prevent the unclean alliance. The writ was granted, and last evening the following dispatches were sent to Marshal Nelson... [Sept. 17, 1877 James T. Cobb communications follow]

The girl passed Cove Creek, Saturday morning, in company with her mother, and John W. Young was met on the evening of that day at Chicken Creek. It is probable that the girl has already passed Beaver, and if she has, the telegraph lines being in the hands of the Mormons, the dispatches sent to the Marsahl will, of course, be forwarded to her and she will escape. This proceeding, we fear, is too late to avail anything. However, Assistant District Attorney Denny, who is mentioned in the dispatch, may be able to reach the case in some legal way. Let us hope he will.

Note 1: The above mentioned incident, along with other related reports, caught the attention of the RLDS President, Joseph Smith III. In 1883 he said: "Mr. James T. Cobb is the son of the woman known as Brigham Young's Boston wife. He was an inmate of Brigham's family and partaker of his bounty, and a member of the church in Utah, as I am informed. His domestic life was poisoned by the defection of his own wife; and subsequently still, his daughter, Luella, became the polygamous wife of John W. Young, supplanting that gentleman's Philadelphia wife. For these reasons he is an intense hater of Mormonism... I am persuaded to believe that the many newspaper articles so lavishly scattered over the land, are in the main his work."

Note 2: James T. Cobb apepars to have been the author of various articles published in the Tribune between October, 1878 and April, 1880. For more information on the man and his work, see episode 10 of the "Spalding Saga."


Vol. XII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Sunday, October 14, 1877.                 No. 144.


We published a special from Detroit a few days ago informing our readers that the Free Press, of that city would publish a likely sketch of the Cobb family, "with severe comments upon John W. Young's connubial infidelity." The question was asked by a number, what austere moralist in that remote part of the country had knowledge of the Cobb family? Friday's Eastern mail brought an answer. The Cobb family, and the censor of the erotic John W. Young, is none other than our virtuous frined -- who is ever turning up in unexpected places -- George Caesar Bates. THe massive brain of this Cyclopean genius, is still laboring with the MOrmon question, and in an elaborate article, written with all his accustomed grace and polish, the outside heathen are told all about "Polygamy in Utah, and how to end it."... Speaking of John W,'s return to the bosom of the Church, and his wooing of his brother's widow, our philosophic friend says: "Like all apostates and neophytes, he wanted to prove the reality of his re-conversion, so the first thing he did was to attempt to marry Clara Stenhouse." But the staid, sober-minded citizens of Utah, who see no greater evil in polygamy to-day than they have seen for many years, are not so fiery in their zeal. They do not ask Congress to do everything...

Mr. Bates' "Lively Sketch of the Cobb Family," is in the following words:

Now this girl's (Luella Cobb) life is a romance of Mormonism. Her grandmother, Mrs. Cobb, was a strong-minded, thoroughly educated Boston lady, a great idealist and spiritualist, who forty years ago, was struck with the Mormon religion, left her husband, a Boston merchant, joined the Mormons at Kirtland, Ohio, and was sealed to Brigham Young as his spiritual and celestial wife, and that relation she retains to this day, and inherits about $40,000 as one of his widows. She took with her to Utah a son, James T. Cobb -- a man who prepared for college at Amherst, graduated at Dartmouth College at Hanover, New Hampshire, and who would today ornamnet the bench, the bar, the pulpit, the Senate of any State in the Union -- and a daughter who became the plural wife of Mr. Godbe, now a leader of the Apostate Mormon Church. This James Cobb married Mary Van Cott, a Mormon lady, and lived with her several years. She became a mother of this young bride, and then she was divorced from James Cobb, and subsequently married old Brigham Young, and is today the mother of Brigham Young's youngest child. Thus Mrs. Cobb the elder, is Brigham Young's celestial wife; her daughter-in-law, Mrs. James Cobb, is Brigham Young's real plural wife and the mother of his youngest child; and so John W. Young has now married his father's step-daughter, his own step-sister, and the daughter of his own mother.

The terribly-in-earnest George Caesar's method of dealing with polygamy is first to arrest, try and convict John W. under the act of Congress of 1862 for bigamy, using Luella Cobb as a witness against him; and "send the Prince Royal, Brigham's favorite boy, to the penitentiary for this base, infamous crime, and all the Mormon polygamists will say, Amen!" For this peverse youth to take his father's funeral baked meats to grace his own ill-timed marriage table, and return to his former sin,

    With one auspicious and one dropping eye,

he condemns as an insult to public sentiment. He would, therefore, make this offender his first illustrious mark, and then deal with the common herd of connubial pluralists as soon as Congress invests the officers of the law with power to deal with them effectively.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XV.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Wednesday September 4, 1878.                 No. 121.

Whooping Them Up in London.

Mr. S. N. Townsend, special correspondent of the London Field, in writing up his visit to Utah, in a recent number of the paper he represents, goes over the Mormon fraud with no gentle or caressing hand. He says.

"Turkey without its oriental luxury -- Egypt without its wonderful Pharaoh-impressed history -- like Gomorrah and the cities of the plain, the Mormon capital raises in a lovely desert oasis its tabernacle dome to outraged Heaven, and cries to the United States and to the world for a religious toleration that in the days of its power -- before the advent of the Union Pacific into Utah -- it cruelly denied, as it refused even life, to the very child of the non-Mormon emigrant who, on his way to golden California, sought in vain for permission to cross the territory of the remorseless Young. It was an evil day for the western emigrant when in 1760 Solomon Spaulding was born, though even then, if he had not graduated at Dartmouth College, or had he kept himself free from debt, the Mormon bible, which his good education enabld him to write as a romance to pay his creditors, would never have been given to the world."

It may have been an evil day when Spaulding was born, but the devil himself was at the helm when Joe Smith and Sidney Rigdon were added to the human race to inflict it with such a foul thing as Mormonism. Rigdon and Smith will be known in history a few hundred years hence, as two consummate rascals who perpetrated a new religious fraud upon a few ignorant and superstitious people in the first half of the nineteenth century, while the harmless balderdash written by Spaulding will figure as 0.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVI.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, October 5, 1878.                 No. ?


A Letter by Oliver Cowdery on Polygamy.

Oliver Cowdery, one of the early leaders of the Mormon churc, apostatized in 1838, and settled in the practice of law in Tiffin, Ohio. He had had the dream of a perfect church, but the conduct of Smith as early as 1836 staggered the faith of Cowdery. Smith had sent him to New York, where he purchased for the church a large stock of goods on time, giving his note. When these goods reached the Mormon community the high priesthood reveled in fine things. Cowdery remonstrated with the prophet, who [scouted] the idea of ever paying for them, and openly declared the servants of God so much ahead of the Gentiles. The goods were never paid for, but Cowdery had to stand the odium of obtaining them under false pretences. This fact coupled with a knowledge of the circumstances under which Smith ruined an adopted daughter only fifteen years old, caused Cowdery to leave the church. His two sisters, Lucy and Phoebe, being married to Phineas H. Young, Brigham's brother, and Daniels Jackson, respectively, remained with the Mormons. Shortly prior to Smith's death the Mormons began to be charged with the practice of polygamy, which was denied by the elders through the press and from the pulpit. These rumors reached Cowdery, and he wrote his sister Lucy inquiring as to the truth of the reports. Young would not allow his wife to answer the letter, but Cowdery's other sister, Mrs. Jackson, wrote her brother giving full reports of the whole dirty system, and stating that the Church was about to emigrate in a body to California. In after years Brigham Young used to charge Cowdery with having first practiced polygamy in the Church, and that the Saints may see Brigham was an old vilifer, we produce Cowdery's letter.

Tiffin, Seneca County, Ohio,          
July 24, 1846.          

             Brother Daniel and Sister Phoebe
Phoebe's letter mailed at Montrose on the 2nd of this month was received in due time, and would have been replied to immediately, but it came in the midst of the toil and business of court, which has just closed; and I take the earliest moment to answer. It is needless to say that we had long looked for and long expected a letter from you or Sister Lucy.

Now, brother Daniel and Sister Phoebe, what will you do? Has Sister Phoebe written us the truth? and if so, will you venture with your little ones into the toil and fatigues of a long journey and that for the sake of finding a resting place when you know of miseries of such magnitude as have, as will and as must rend asunder the tenderest and holiest ties of domestic life? I can hardly think it possible, that you have written us the truth, that though there may be individuals who are guilty of the iniquities spoken of -- yet no such practice can be preached or adhered to, as a public doctrine. Such may do for the followers of Mahomet; it may have done some thousands of years ago; but no people, professing to be governed by the pure and holy principles of the Lord Jesus, can hold up their heads before the world at this distance of time, and be guilty of such folly, such wrong, such abomination. It will blast, like a milldew, their fairest prospects, and lay the axe\ at the root of the tree of their future happiness.

You would like to know whether we are calculating to come on and emigrate to California. On this subject everything depends upon circumstances not necessary for me here to speak of. We do not feel to say or do anything to discourage you from going if you think it best to do so. We know, in part, how you are situated. Out of the Church, you have few, or no friends, and very little or no society -- in it you have both.

So far as going West is concerned, I have thought it a wise move -- indeed I could see no other, and though the journey is long and attended with toil, yet a bright future has been seen in the distance if right counsels were given and a departure in no way from the original faith, in no instance, countenanced. Of what that doctrine and faith are and were I ought to know, and further it does not become me now to speak.

Here follows a page or more concerning family matters, and then the signature of Oliver Cowdery.

Note: See the Jan. 15, 1908 issue of the Lamoni, Iowa Saints Herald for a less abbreviated text of Cowdery's letter.


Vol. XVI.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, October 20, 1878.                 No. 6.


For Elder Orson Pratt, of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Book of Mormon is corroborated by three witnesses and by eight witnesses. The three witnesses testify, "That we have seen the engravings which are upon the plates, and they have been shown unto us by the power of God and not of man."

Query: How came it that it took the power of God to show them these plates, when two out of the three witnesses, viz. Martin Harris and Oliver Cowdery, were scribes to Joseph Smith, and he could have shown them the plates by merely drawing aside the blanket which screened him from his scribes?

The eight witnesses declare "Joseph Smith showed us the plates and as many of the leaves as said Smith has translated, we did handle with our hands." In the one case it took the power of God to show them to those who had for weeks been sitting within arm's reach of them, in the other case Joseph Smith simply showed them, and they had to take his word as to how many he had translated.

Elder Orson Pratt in his tracts on the Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, says, "I bear my testimony that the Book of Mormon is a Divine revelation, for the voice of the Lord as declared it unto me."

Are we to understand [that Elder Pratt heard] the voice of the Lord himself, or was it in the Jesuitical sense spoken of in the revelation to J. Smith in June, 1829. "These words are not of man, but of me, wherefore ye shall testify, they are of me and not of man, for it is my voice which speaketh them unto you, and by my power you can read them one to another, and save it were by my power, you could not have them. Wherefore you can testify that you have heard my voice, and know my words."

Elder Pratt declares in another place "IF the Book of Mormon is true, none can reject it and be saved, if false, all who receive it will be damned." Is he prepared to stand by this testimony if the book is proved to be a man made book, written "To establish certain views of Bible doctrines," by men in our own time?

Sidney Rigdon, come into court.
Salt Lake, Oct. 19, 1878.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVI.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, October 27, 1878.                 No. 12.


Examination of Sidney Rigdon, Alias "Pelegoram," Who
Being Deceased is Examined by "Proxy."

How did you obtain possession of the "manuscript found," of the Rev. Solomon Spalulding?

When and where did you meet with Joseph Smith for the first time?

Did you not take into your confidence amongst the Campbellites, some aspiring young men and inform them that a book was going to be published to the world, containing a history of the Aborigines of America?

Amongst these young men are not the names of Parley P. Pratt and Darwin Atwater, to be found?

Was not the idea of the Order of Enoch, or Common Stock, your own invention, and because Alexander Campbell would not endorse it in the year 1830. the cause of your final alienation from him?

How much was there new in Mormonism, in 1830, which you had not been previously preaching amongst the Campbellites?

Was not the idea of introducing keys and oracles, and especially the idea of setting up a prophet and mouth piece of the Almighty the offspring of your own audacious and despotic fanaticism?

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVI.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, November 3, 1878.                 No. 17.


Examination of Sidney Rigdon, alias
"Pelegoram," Continued

Are you not the mysterious and unnamed stranger mentioned by Lucy Smith, in the Life of the Prophet Joseph, upon the loss of the 116 manuscript pages of the Book of Mormon?

It is confidently asserted among Mormons that you first met Joseph Smith in the early part of December, 1830, when you traveled in company with Ed. Partridge, from Kirtland, Ohio to Fayette, N. Y. Is this true or false? J. Smith states in his history that he baptised E. Partridge, in Seneca river, Dec. 11, 1830, "the Lord" is made to say to Partridge, "I will lay my hands upon you by the hand of my servant, 'Sidney Rigdon,'" etc. and further on, "And now this calling and commandment give I unto you concerning all men, that as many as shall come before my servants Sidney Rigdon and Joseph Smith, Jr., embracing this calling and commandment, shall be ordained and sent forth to preach the everlasting gospel amongst the nations," etc.

At this time you had but just arrived at the headquarters of the Church -- a brand new convert to Mormonism -- how is it you are so suddenly raised to the chief place in the synagogue and that "the Lord" says by your hand He will lay His hand upon Partridge, and that men are to come to you and Joseph for instruction in the things of the Kingdom?

Did you not, upon reaching Palmyra, N. Y., with Ed. Partridge, in the first week of December, 1830, in your very first sermon on Mormonism, compare the Bible and the Book of Mormon to the stick of Judah and the stick of Ephraim, and are you not the author of this analogy?

Was you not the leading spirit in the Mormon Church, both in preaching and organizing, in Kirtland and in Missouri?

Did you not, by your high handed and unlawful teachings, bring about all the troubles and so-called persecutions which came upon the Mormon people in Missouri?

Did you not talk "extermination." at least three months before Governor Boggs did?

Did not Brigham Young, Parley Pratt, and Orson Hyde, at your trial in Nauvoo, say you were the direct cause of all the Missouri persecutions, and that Joseph Smith tried to control you, but could not restrain your reckless will?

When called upon to give up your license, did you not say that you had not received it from the Church, and therefore, you would not give it up to the Church?

Finally, are you not the father of Mormonism, and is not Joseph Smith the mother?

Martin Harris, come into court.

Salt Lake, Oct. 19, 1878.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVI.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, November 10, 1878.                 No. 23.


Examination of Martin Harris, One of the
Three Witnesses to the Book of Mormon.

Did you not go into the gold plate - golden bible business as a money making speculation?

Did you not tell your wife, on one occasion when she remonstrated with you, "That what if it was a lie, if she would let you alone you would make money of it?"

Was you not so much interested in the book as a speculation, that one one occasion when through the advice of his wife and her relations, J. Smith was about to give up the book you said, "That you had started in in the business and that he had to go through with it?

Did you not mortgage your farm to pay for the printing and peddle the books to pay yourself back?

Was not the first book of plates only a history of the Aborigines of America, and was not the plan changed into a Bible to found a new religion upon, after the 116 pages of manuscript were destroyed by your wife?

Are you not called that "wicked man, Martin Harris," in one of the revelations, when the 116 pages of manuscript was lost? Was this because you had lost them, or because the "Lord" supposed you had lied about losing them?

Did not President Anthon, of New York, tell you that the words you showed him were taken from an old Mexican Calendar, and that some one wanted to swindle you?

Is not the account of what transpired on that occasion given in the history of Joseph Smith, and repeated in Orson Pratt's "Remarkable Visions," untrue in every particular?

Did you not "tease" Joseph Smith to ask the Lord to be one of the witnesses to the Book of Mormon, and did you not get the office because you "teased" for it?

Did you have to satnd a Church trial in Kirtland on charges preferred by Sidney Rigdon, that you had told A. O. Russell, Esq., that Joseph Smith did not know what was contained in the Book of Mormon, before he had translated the plates, but that you knew what was in it before it was translated?

Did you not in Salt Lake City in the year 1870 tell more than one person, that the "story of the stone box being found in the hill," was a fiction, and there were a good many more fictions connected with it?

Were you not soon after arriving in Utah, shipped away to Cache Valley to prevent your telling tales out of school?

When you left the Church in Missouri in 1838, did not Joseph Smith, say that it was beneath the dignity of a gentleman to notice such a person as you, and yet you were his chief witness, and partner in the Book of Mormon? How is this?

Oliver Cowdery, come into court.


Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVI.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, December 1, 1878.                 No. 40.


Examination of Oliver Cowdery, one of the
three witnesses to the Book of Mormon

What was the gift of Aaron, spoken of in a revelation given to J. Smith and O. Cowdery in May, 1829?

Was not this "gift" spoken of in the first edition of the "Book of Commandments," as the "gift of working with the rod," even the "rod of nature"?

Was not this "rod of nature" simply a "witch hazel," that would turn when held in the hands?

Did it take more than six weeks to write out the whole Book of Mormon, say from the middle of April to the beginning of June, 1929?

When you desired to assist in the "translation" of the plates, as promised to you in the first revelation, were you not bluffed off with the excuse that there were other records which you should translate that belonged to "the sealed portion" of the Book?

How about this "sealed portion" -- who is to translate that, now you are gone who was to do that work?

Did you not, like Martin Harris, obtain the privilege of being a witness to the Book of Mormon, because you "teased" for it?

Did you not go with P. P. Pratt and two others to Kirtland, to introduce the Book of Mormon to Sidney Rigdon, and was not his the first house visited by you after your arrival in Kirtland?

Were not you and P. P. Pratt closeted all night with Sidney Rigdon, and the other two missionaries sent off elsewhere?

Was not the conversation of Sidney Rigdon cut and dried, and so understood by yourself and P. P. Pratt?

How was it, although you were called to be the second elder in Joseph Smith's cgurch, that you immediately gave up that position to Sidney Rigdon and took the humble place as scribe and clerk?

Was not this a part of the programme from the beginning, and so understood by you?

When and where did Peter, James and John appear to you, and confer the apostleship upon you and Joseph Smith?

Will you please impress the minds of some of the Elders, who have thundered forth to the world the fact (?) of this visitation, to state, if they can, where any account of the same is to be found?

What did "the Lors" mean by saying that you should see the plates, "even as my servant Joseph hath seen them?" Why did you not "heft" them and testify that you "hefted" them?

Why were others, outside, so much more highly favored in this respect, when this was the point, namely, to know if J. Smith really had the plates, upon which yourself and Martin Harris were from the first most sceptical?

Were not you, in connection with four others, in June, 1838, warned to leave the city of Far West, Missouri, within three days, at the peril of your lives?

Was not this warning written by Sidney Rigdon and signed by eighty four Mormons?

Did not S. Rigdon charge you and others in this document, with being associated with a gang of "counterfeiters, thieves, liars and blacklegs of the deepest dye?"

If you were justly charged with these crimes, can you be considered a competent witness in a matter involving the salvation or damnation of the human family?

Did you not, as shown by S. Rigdon's address to the Dissenters, and by D. P. Kidder's book on Mormonism, withdraw your testimony and utterly repudiate the Book of Mormon?

David Whitmer, come into court.
Salt Lake, Nov. 30, 1878.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVI.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Thursday, Dec. 5, 1878.                 No. 43.



How the Work Was Done, and the
Excitement it Produced.

A contributor to the Tribune, who has been a lifelong member of the Mormon Church, and who has made its doctrine and history a special study, asks us to publish the following extract from: "A. H. Hayden's History of the Disciples in the Western Reserve," which he offers to his brother Saints as profitable food for recollection. It is a generally accepted fact that Mormonism is made up of Hebraism, Mohamedanism, and any number of later theologies, and our correspondent, in copying the adjoined for the benefit of our readers, thinks he makes it apparent that the Mormon leaders in their eclecticism, have largely drawn from the Campbellite doctrine. Judging from this specimen of Professor Hayden's volume, we regard him as a very finished writer, and as he treats upon a topic interesting to all theological inquirers, we willingly accord him all the space he asks.

In the winter of 1827-8, Brother Scott opened, at Simmons Sackett's, Ohio, the plea of the ancient gospel. The second chapter of Acts, the opening of the Kingdom was his subject. He contended ably for the restoration of the true, original, apostolic order, which would restore to the Church the ancient gospel as preached by the apostles.

(A revelation given to Joseph Smith in March, 1829, found in the "Book of Commandments" in 1832, but eliminated from subsequent editions of the Mormon "Book of Doctrine and Covenants." contains these words: "I will establish my church like unto the church which was taught by my disciples in the days of old.")

The interest became an excitement. All tongues were set loose in investigation, in defense, or in opposition. The Bibles were looked up, the dust brushed off, and the people began to read. "I don't believe the preacher read that Scripture right." "My Bible does not read that way," says another. The book is opened, and lo! there stand the very words! In the first gospel sermon, too - -the model sermon -- as what "began at Jerusalem" was to be "preached to the ends of the earth." The air was thick with rumors of a new religion, a new Bible, and all sorts of injurious, and even slanderous imputations: so new had become the things which are as old as the days of the apostles.

The bright jewel of the "ancient Gospel," as the newely discovered arrangement of its fundamental items began now to be designated, attracted universal attention. So simple, so novel, so convincingly clear, and so evidently supported by the reading of the Acts, it won friends and wrought victories wherever it was proclaimed. It spread rapidly and became the topic of excited investigation from New Lisbon to the lakes. Mr. Scott's success had so completely demonstrated the correctness of his method of the direct application of the Gospel for the salvation of sinners, that his zeal knew no bounds. He was a rapid rider. Mantled in his cloak, with a small polyglot Bible in the minion type, which he constantly studied, he hurried from place to place to tell the news; to preach the things concerning the kingdom of God

The ardor of religious awakening resulting from the new discoveries in the gospel was very much increased about the year 1830, by the hope that the millennium had now dawned, and that the long expected day of gospel glory would very soon be ushered in. The restoration of the ancient gospel was looked upon as the initiatory movement which, it was thought, would spread so rapidly that existing denominations would almost immediately be deorganized; that the true people, of whom it was believed Christ had a remnant among the sects, would at once, on the presentation of these evidently scriptural views, embrace them, and thus form the union of Christians so long prayed for; and so would be established the Kingdom of Jesus in form, as well as in fact, on its New Testament basis. All the powers in array against this newly established kingdom, whether in the churches of Protestantism or Romanism, would soon surrender at the demand of the King of kings.

The prospect was a glorious one, springing very naturally from the discovery of the complete adaptation of the gospel to the ends for which it was given. This hope of the millennial glory was based on many passages of the Holy Scripture. All such scriptures as spoke of the "ransomed of the Lord returning to Zion, with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: that they should obtain joy and gladness, and that sorrow and sighing should flee away," (Isa. xxxv: 10,) were confidently expected to be literally and almost immediately fulfilled.

Many thought the day of the Lord just at hand. They prayed for it, looked for it, sung of it. The set time to favor Zion had come. The day of redemption was near. It only awaited the complete purification of his church -- which meant the removal of sects and the union of Christians on the "Bible alone." Preaching against "sectarianism" was now more frequent and vehement.

These glowing expectations formed the staple of many sermons. They were the continued and exhaustless topic of conversations. They animated the hope, and inspired the zeal, to a high degree, of the converts, and many of the advocates of the gospel. Millennial hymns were learned and sung with a joyful fervor and hope surpassing the conception of worldly and carnal professors. One of these hymns, better in its hope than poetic merit, opened as follows:

"The time is soon coming by the prophets foretold,
 When Zion in purity the world will behold,
 For Jesus' pure testimony will gain the day,
 Denominations, selfishness will vanish away."
The Scriptures, especially the prophetic writings, were studied with unremitting diligence and profound attention. It is surprising even now, as memory returns to gather up these interesting remains of that mighty work, to recall the thorough and extensive Bible knowledge which the converts quickly obtained. Nebuchadnezzar's vision of the four great monarchies, with the accompanying vision of the kingdom of the stone (Daniel) and the visions of that prophet himself (chapters 7 and 8), became generally familiar, and were, in the main, it is presumed, correctly understood. Many portions of the Revelation were so thoroughly studied that they became the staple of the common thought. The "two witnesses," their slaughter, their resurrection after three and a half days; their ascent in clouds to heaven in the sight of their enemies; the woman that fled into the desert from the flood of persecution poured out to engulf her; her abode and nourishment there for a "time, times and the dividing of time;" her blissful return from her wilderness retreat, and the prophetic acclaim: "Who is this that comes from the wilderness leaning on the arm of her beloved, fair as the sun, clear as the moon, and terrible as an army with banners?" all these and many others constituted a novel and voluminous addition to the stinted Bible knowledge and the stereotyped style of sermonizing which then prevailed.

Some of the leaders in these new discoveries, advancing less cautiously as the ardor of discovery increased, began to form theories of the millennium. The fourteenth chapter of Zechariah was brought forward in proof -- all considered as literal--that the most marvelous and stupendous physical and climatic changes were to be wrought in Palestine: ("In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, holiness unto the Lord;  *  *  *  yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of Hosts." Zechariah XIV, 20,21,.) and that Jesus Christ, the Messiah, was to reign literally" in Jerusalem and in Mount Zion, and before his ancients, gloriously." The glory and splendors of that august millennial Kingdom were to surpass all vision, as the light of the moon was to be made equal to the light of the sun, and the light of the sun would be augmented "sevenfold." Brother Scott then, with great fluency, descanted upon the prophecies of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, relating to the return of the Jews and their re-establishment in the Holy Land. Rigdon, who always caught and proclaimed the last word that fell from the lips of Scott or Campbell, seized these views, and with the wildness of his extravagant nature, heralded them everywhere.

Many sagacious brethren perceived with regret the new turn things were taking, and rightly judging that these Millennial theories would not tend to develop the work so auspiciously begun, but rather divert the minds of the people from it, they began prudently and cautiously to correct the aberration, and draw attention away from untaught questions and visionary anticipations of the future to the real purposes of the work of Christ now on hand, the preaching of the gospel for the salvation of sinners, and building up of the saints on the most holy faith.

Note 1: The contributor of this extract was almost certainly James Thornton Cobb (1833-1910) of Salt Lake City. Cobb was the adopted son of Brigham Young, but, according to Joseph Smith III, he was "the son of the woman known as Brigham Young's Boston wife. He was an inmate of Brigham's family and partaker of his bounty, and a member of the church in Utah... His domestic life was poisoned by the defection of his own wife; and subsequently still, his daughter [into polygamous LDS families]... For these reasons he is an intense hater of Mormonism." In a letter written by RLDS President Joseph Smith III to James T. Cobb, dated Feb. 14, 1879, Smith says: "Yours of the 9th inst. is at hand opportunely. Thank you for the reading of A. S. Hayden's letter. I reenclose it to you..." It seems that the historical reconstructions of Rev. Hayden were very much on Cobb's mind at this time, and that he had taken the trouble to obtain a letter from that historian and to loan it to the RLDS President. The unnamed Tribune correspondent feels that "the Mormon leaders," in constructing their religion, "have largely drawn from the Campbellite doctrine." This is a sentiment Disciples of Christ historian Amos S. Hayden might not have put so bluntly, but it does correspond closely with various other statements regarding the origin of Mormonism voiced by James T. Cobb.


Vol. XVI.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Thursday, January 9, 1879.                   No. 67.


Salt  Lake  and  the  Mormons

The above was the title of a most instructive lecture delivered by the Rev. Hugh Johnson, M. A. B. D., in St. James street Church, last evening. The Hon. James Ferrier occupied the chair. The lecturer said that in the heart of this continent, which had been consecrated to civil and religious liberty, has flourished a despotism with a one man power as grinding and absolute as that exercised by any ancient tyrant or modern czar. A man who had regarded himself as much God's vicar on earth as any pope, headed a social or religious organization, with polygamy its chief corner stone, and all the original sensousness of Mohammedism.

Look at Brigham Young as he was wont to present himself. His appearance was not prepossessing, and his manner had caught something of the texture of his garment. He was above the middle height, with a full chest, head large, forehead round and full, and face well shapen. There was nothing of spirituality or refinement in his visage, but he had the look of a cunning, resolute man. He it was who led them for 2,000 miles over the trackless prarie into the far distant wilds of an inhospitable region, and then founded an empire. In such a spot in less than thirty years he had built a capital more populous than the city of our own dominion; swelled his followers from a few hundred to a quarter of a million.

The lecturer rapidly glanced at the history of this strange man and strange people. This anomalous sect was organized in 1830, by Joseph Smith, an illiterate and not over scrupulous young man, who pretended to be a chosen apostle and true prophet of God.

Referring to the Book of Mormon, it had been over and over proved that it was the forgery of an unpublished novel called "The Manuscript Found," by Solomon Spaulding, an invalid clergyman. In 1830 Smith found himself at the head of a visible church, with about 30 members. In 1831, being accused of lying and stealing, he commanded his followers to emigrate to Kirtland, Ohio, where a thousand followers had gathered. The saints at last pitched their tents in Illinois. and consecrated Nauvoo, the city of beauty. A temple was built at an expense of a million [sic] dollars, and Smith proclaimed President. During his residence here he was accused of many serious crimes, and at last was placed in jail. Justice could not wait, so a rabble of one hundred men beat down the iron doors and butchered both Joseph and Hiram Smith in 1844. Brigham Young was then chosen to succeed the Prophet, and preside over the destinies of Mormonism. In 1845 he decided to leave the haunts of man, and find a resting place within the lofty and rugged ranges of the Rockey Mountains. The settlement ere long entered upon a brilliant career of prosperity. These fanatics looked for universal dominion, temporal and spiritual, their city was to be the New Jerusalem -- the central capital in which the glory of the earth was to be displayed.

The lecturer glanced at the theology, the form of government and the social life of Mormonism, and their insult and offense to Christian civilization.

Polygamy was the most startling and hateful of all the doctrines of Mormonism. It degraded and cast down a man while it debased a woman. What was the future of Mormonism? Brigham Young was the keystone of the arch, the omnipotent soul of the body; but now he is dead, and the judgement day and final perdition of this false faith will speedily come. There is, apparently, not one who can succeed him and command the homage of the whole people. The Pacific Railway has broken up their isolation, and the outside world no longer inaccessible. The whistle of the first locomotive was the death rattle of Mormonism.

The Chairman proposed a vote of thanks to the eloquent lecturer, which was heartily responded to and the audience dispersed. -- Montreal Star, Dec. 20th.

Notes: (forthcoming).


Vol. XVI.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, February 9, 1879.                 No. ?


Examination of Mr. David Whitmer, Sole Survivor
of the Eleven Witnesses to the Book of Mormon.

Why don't you answer civil questions addressed to you by letter, Mr. Whitmer? Don't you know that you are under a moral responsibility to do so?

Do you not say that you bore your testimony to the truth of the Book of Mormon in obedience to a commandment from God?

If God commanded you to bear testimony that you saw the plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated, and that you saw a breastplate, Urim and Thummim, etc., why did you in 1829 only testify to having seen the plates? How durst you to disobey a commandment of God?

Did you not bear testimony in 1829 that you saw plates and only plates? You now testify that you saw several other things. How is this?

Did you see these objects in the day time or in the night time?

In your interview with Messrs. Pratt and Smith, at Richmond, Mo., last summer, you say that you saw the plates, etc., by supernatural power, but you told them that your brother, John Whitmer, had them shown to him by Joseph Smith, Jr. In his testimony published in 1830, your brother says that Joseph Smith, Jr. showed him and others the plates. But in a company of eight or nine persons, in the Spring of 1830, your brother, John Whitmer, stated the plates were shown to him "by a supernatural power." Are you able to reconcile this discrepancy?

In their testimony, your brother, John Whitmer, and seven other persons testify to the world that the saw, handled and helfted the plates. Have you ever stated that you handled and "hefted" them, or can you affirm this now?

Were you not commanded of God to testify that you saw the plates, "even as my servant Joseph has seen them?"

Did "my servant Joseph" see these things objectively or in a vision, or both ways? If he showed them to your brothers and to others, and they "handled and hefted" them, then must not Joseph Smith, Jr. likewise have handled and hefted them?

How could you honestly testify that you saw the plates, "even as my servant Joseph has seen them," unless you saw them both ways, as he must have done?

Have you ever stated that you saw these things unless while under some sort of spiritual, mesmeric or preternatural influence?

Here are one or two more points, Mr. Whitmer. You are told "after that you have obtained faith and have seen them with your eyes" -- seen with your eyes, is redundant, and obtain faith and seen with your eyes" is slightly mixed -- "you shall testify of them by the power of God; and this you shall do that my servant, Joseph Smith, Jr., may not be destroyed." Then you not only saw these things by the power of God, (by faith with your eyes,) but you're to testify of them by the power of God! Are you not at liberty to tell about these things in a letter, or in common conversation, Mr. Whitmer, unless it is done "by the power of God?" But the gist of the matter is yet to come. You are to testify of them, by the power of God, "that my servant, Joseph Smith, Jr., may not be destroyed," Wjy, how is this, Mr. David Whitmer? Who could ever have harbored so preposterous a design? Whoever sought or wished to destroy, whoever dreamed of destroying Mr. Joseph Smith, Jr., for digging up plates and translating them by Urim and Thummim, by the Liahona, or otherwise? Not a soul under the wide canopy, Mr. W. On the contrary, Mr. Joseph Smith, Jr., or any other person whatever, would have received any amount of aid and encouragement. This new country, unhappily so deficient in the matter of annals -- "young America," pining for some kind of an early history -- everybody in search of a pedigree, of a past, would have hailed Mr. Joseph Smith, Jr.'s wonderful metallic chromicle as a perfect godsend, and would have delighted to honor him. They would have fairly idolized old Moroni, as a possible blood relation remote, as Mark Twain would say, but still a relation; they would have clung desperately to Coriantumr; they would have enshrined Mormon and the rest among their Lares and Penates; and if a lineal descendant of the noble Nephi were extant would he not have been proud to perch him on the top of his ancestral tree? Why, Mr. Whitmer -- tell us if you can -- why did not Mr. Joseph Smith, Jr.l, consent to exhibit this famous record, at two bits, as was first stated he would, or even at four bits, somewhere? Or why was it not submitted to some honorable savant of our new world where its genuineness might have been acknowledged? Was there mo such person to be found? Perhaps the "rude scrawl" transcribed and sent to Professor Anthon and others (who turned up their scholarly noses at it) would have appeared to them far different had they seen the original. Why, in the name all that is aggravating, were not the original plates exhibited? Have you the address of the angel who now has these [yer?] plates to his keeping? Can you not do at least so much?

Do you not give the world to understand that the things you saw saw were invisible when you went into the woods to pray about them and that they were invisible when you came away? Does not this story savor of anything rather than reality? Do you not see, sir, that you are in honor and duty bound to the world to answer reasonable questions put to you upon the matter?

In your case, is not the whole mystrry to be cleared up on the ground that you either psychologized or that you were made the victim of a deep and carefully executed trick?

Have you never queried why Martin Harris could not and did not have a view of the plates at the time you did? Do you not know, Mr. Whitmer, that Martin Harris, when he came to Utah, said some queer things about this matter?

The testimony of eight witnesses is emphatic, being twice repeated, that Joseph Smith, Jr., showed them the plates. Who had the plates at the time Joseph Smith showed them to these eight? Mrs. Smith, in her history, says the plates were carried to them "by one of the ancient Nephites." The eight say nothing of this, but simply state that Joseph Smith showed the plates to them. If the plates had been of quicksilver could they have been any more slippery? What kind of metal were they any way, Mr. Whitmer? Were they not of brass mostly?

Now, Mr. Whitmer, notwithstanding what the eleven witnesses declare, do not these serious descrepancies in their statements make it doubtful, even to honest believers in Mormonism, whether Joseph Smith, Jr., ever really had any plates?

But about Moroni. Did this old gentleman -- this very old gentleman -- really show the plates to your good mother in the cow yard?

Why should the heavenly messenger feel called upon to take the plates from Harmony to Palmyra, when they had previously been conveyed from Palmyra to Harmony, "compact and comfortable," in a barrel of beans? Are you quite certain that there was no hocus-pocus just at this time?

Did the angel take away the Urim and Thummim at the time he received back the plates for good and all?

Did the idea never occur to you that Sidney Rigdon was playing the role of Mormoni?

Although Moroni had on a white beard when he appeared to you on the road from Harmony to Palmyra did he not otherwise resemble Rigdon?

Was not the practice of assuming [aliases?] quite a feature in early Mormonism?

Why is not the "revelation to O. Cowdery, D. Whitmer and M. Harris given in June, 1829, previous to their viewing the plates containing the Book of Mormon," to be found in the original edition of the Revelations published in 1833?

Are you not aware, Mr. Whitmer, that the Urim and Thummim are not mentioned in the Book of Mormon, nor yeat in the Revelations published in 1833?

When did you first hear of the Urim and Thummim as having anything to do with Mormon revelations?

Nothwithstanding your importunities, the Book of Mormon was about ready for the printer before [anyone] had a view of the plates, [ ----- ---- ] circumstance significant [ ----- ------ ][ ------ ------ ---- ------ ] ...

What became of... -- [containing] the testimonies of the eleven witnesses to the Book of Mormon -- the original document, with the autographs of the signers? In whose handwriting were these testimonies? Will you not satisfy, if you can, a natural curiosity on this point and state what became of this important and priceless document? Could it have been handed over to the custody of Rigdon?

Hiw was it the heads of the Mormon Church permitted Cowdery to keep the manuscript of the Book of Mormon, if some one of them had not an older and the first "translation?" On what ground could either Cowdery or yourself set up a claim to this manuscript? Is it not too bad that not only the plates and Urim and Thummim but the original translation should be missing? Do you not know, sir, that Mr. Barfoot, of the Deseret Museum, would walk barefoot from here to Kolob for either one of these things?

DEspite the statement of the Salt Lake DEseret News, that the several editions of the Book of Mormon have never materially varied from the original, are you not well aware, Mr. Whitmer, that such is not the truth, or even a paring of the great-toe nail of one of these "three Nephites?"

In the original edition of the Book of Mormon is not Joseph Smith, Jr., spoken of repeatedly as its author and proprietor?

Did not eight witnesses testify solemnly, that Joseph Smith, Jr., was author and proprietor of the Book of Mormon, in language calculated to make the world tremble, and convince all the honest in heart -- "we lie not, God bearing witness of it?"

If Joseph Smith, Jr., did not know exactly what the term "author" implied, is it supposable that the All Wise Being who, it is claimed, directed him, did not know the meaning of the word?

Don't you think, Mr. Whitmer, there may have been some rival claimant to the authorship and proceeds of the book, and was not the rival claimant Rigdon?

The history of Joseph Smith states that Nephi visited him about the plates, etc. Joseph F. Smith stated before a Salt Lake audience recently that "this was a mistake of the amanuensis -- it was not Nephi, but Moroni" Do you know, Mr. Whitmer, who was this very erring amanuensis of this very erroneous angel?

The signature 'Mormoni' is found on the title pages of the Book of Mormon, since the second edition. Is his sign manual attached to the original in your possession?

Finally, Mr. Whitmer, as custodian of the purity and integrity of this magically delivered and magically guarded work, will you please turn to the fourth chapter of the First Book of Nephi and note whether the Lamb of God is there called the Eternal Father or the Son of the Eternal Father? Our editions vary on this important doctrinal point, the first, that of 1830, page 32, stating that the Lamb of God is the Eternal Father and Saviour of the world, and subsequent editions of the book stating that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father. Will you have the goodness to refer to the manuscript and see whether, as in the first edition, the theology is that of Arius and Sidney Rigdon, or that of Athanasius and Joseph Smith, Jr.? Have pity upon us, friend Whitmer, for in our current editions -- all since the first -- the typographical error here rectified, makes an immense change of theology, giving two theologies instead of one. Now this is almost as big an oversight as to make the coming forth of the Book of Mormon to be in fulfillment, not of a prophecy, but in fulfillment of a simple comparison of Isaiah. "The vision of all has become as the words of a book that is sealed." The divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon will certainly be exploded, unless upon receipt hereof you come promptly to the rescue, Mr. Whitmer; and straight answers to straight questions only will satisfy the present

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVI.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Friday, February 14, 1879.                   No. 99.


Important Researches at Amity, Penn.
-- The Story of Rev. Solomon Spaulding
--- Some New Facts.

{Washington (Pa.) 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.

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 that 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 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 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. 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. SHARP.

Note 1: This letter by W. W. Sharpe was somewhat edited from its original printing in the Washington Daily Evening Reporter. A more complete version of the letter was printed in the Pittsburgh Telegraph of Feb. 6, 1879. The content of this late Jan. 1879 Joseph Miller statement corresponds substantially with his testimony, as published ten years before in the Washington Daily Evening Reporter on Apr. 8, 1869.

Note 2: The Miller statement (along with the W. W. Sharp letter in which it was embedded in its original publication) was solicited from Mr. Sharp of Amity by James T. Cobb of Salt Lake City. While it is possible that Cobb merely commissioned the taking down of a statement from Miller in order to get it into the columns of the Salt Lake Tribune, it is more likely that by the first weeks of 1879 Cobb had already resolved to write a book on the early history of Mormonism. See, for example, the editorial remarks published in the Amboy Journal of Apr. 23, 1879: "a gentleman in Salt Lake City has undertaken a new book, and for information on some points has opened correspondence with parties... acquainted with Joseph Smith."


Vol. XVI.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Sunday, February 23, 1879.                   No. 107.


One of the Apostles Firing the Hearts
of the Saints

EDS. TRIBUNE: The Apostle Jos. F. Smith has been commissioned by the fifteen-headed outfit called the First Presidency to lecture through the Wards of the city on the Early History of the Church. A few nights ago he lectured in the Eighth Ward, and a motley crowd of his admirers, as a scion of the prophetic Smith line, came out to hear him. He ranted and raved about the persecutions of the Saints in Missouri and Illinois; but never once alluded to the real cause of these persecutions -- the robberies, attempts to murder, and other outrages committed by the chosen tools of the priesthood, the Danite bands of the Mormon Church in those localities.

It is too late in the day, and a very great oversight on the part of the Church authorities, to send out this firebrand amng the people to revive the drooping enthusiasm in the "good work" of resisting the law because it is unconstitutional, and of sustaining the priesthood as the representatives of God Almighty.

When the early history of the Mormon Church is faithfully written, it will chronicle such a black and hideous catalogue of crime committed in the name of God, as will forever put to blush the Spanish Inquisition, or the foulest atrocities that the heart of man, possessed of the fiend's misanthropy and religious fanaticism, has ever conceived. In proof of this, the Mountain Meadows Massacre; the conspiracy against the Morrisites, now before the Third District Court in the trial of R. T. Burton; the murder of the Aiken partyl the killing of Yates, and scores of other cold-blooded murders actually ordered by the leaders of the Mormons, incited thereto by their well-known and undisguised hostility to the human race, stand an eternal monument. It is a fact capable of proof, and generally admitted by the intelligent portion of the Mormon community themselves, that some of the apostles and bishops -- the spiritual and temporal heads of the church -- are tainted with the crime of murder, fraud, perjury, adultry, assault with intent to kill, and other heinous crimes and misdemeanors; to say nothing of the long list of unreserved wrongs, oppressions, and treachery, not enumerated in the criminal laws, that have been practiced upon their own unsuspecting victims in the Church; during the past twenty years, whose cries go up daily to high Heaven against them. And this same man who prates so much of the "persecutions of the Saints," that if he had the power he would immolate, as in one infernal holocaust, every cussed Apostate and Gentile within the confines of Utah.

Send him out, brethren. He is doing a good work; and is earning his $1,500 salary in whooping 'em up.
              A SAINT.


The name of John C. Bennett is intimately associated with the annals of the Mormon Church during the stormy period of its establishment in Nauvoo. He was a man of some education, is vouched for in numberless certificates as "a successful practicioner of medicine and surgery," and he appears to have been a man of superior executive ability. During his connection with the Church he enjoyed the entire confidence of the Prophet Joseph Smith, who elevated him to the first presidency, commissioned him Major General of the Nauvoo Legion and installed him Mayor of Nauvoo. He apostatized after a Saintship of two years, and then published a book, which he calls "an Expose of Joe Smith and Mormonism," which has brought down on his head the implacable hatred of his former fellow sectaries, and has rendered his name a word of evil omen in the minds of the elect. John Taylor says of the apostate doctor in his discussion in Boulogne:

Respecting John C. Bennett, I was well acquainted with him. At one time he was a good man, but fell into adultery, and was cut off from the Church for his iniquity; and so bad was his conduct that he was also expelled from the municipal court, of which he was a member. He then went lecturing through the country, and commenced writing pamphlets for the sake of making money, charging so much for admittance to his lectures and selling his slanders. His remarks, however, were so bad, and his statements so obscene and disgraceful, that respectable people were disgusted. These infamous lies and obscene stories, however, have been found very palatable to a certain class of society, and in times of our persecution multitudes have been pleased with them.

Governor Ford, in his History of Illinois, also gives the doctor the following unflattering notice:

This Bennett was probably the greatest scamp in the western country. I have made particular enquiries concerning him, and have traced him in several places in which he had lived, (before he had joined the Mormons,) in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, and he was everywhere accounted the same debauched, unprincipled and profligate character.

Yet this notorious character is very strongly endorsed by State officials, a number of clergymen, boards of Trustees of colleges and universities, medical conventions, and medical classes over which he presided as their teacher. We will transcribe this one from the scores he produces.

To whom it may concern: -- I with great pleasure state that I have long had a very intimate acquaintance with John C. Bennett, M. D., both as a medical man and private citizen. I have a personal knowledge of his skillful and dexterous professional tact in some of the major operations of surgery, and as a citizen I deem him a gentleman of much moral and intellectual worth.

Mayor of Hocking, Ohio.        
HOCKING CITY, June 9th, 1838.                          

A number of our own citizens who were acquainted with Dr. Bennett in Nauvoo, also bear favorable testimony to his general character; they credit him with being a man of marked ability and a trusted coadjutor of Joseph Smith. In his Expose the Doctor says he joined the Mormons in order to be on the inside, that he might gain a more intimate knowledge of their criminal and licentious practices. "I never believed in them or their doctrines," he says. This would convict him of hypocrisy and bad faith, in the eyes of some, and impair his credibility. In this way he defends himself:

The fact that in joining the Mormons I was obliged to make a pretense of belief in their religion does not alter the case. That pretense was unavoidable in the part I was acting, and it should not be condemned like hypocrisy towards a Christian Church. For so absurd are the doctrines of the Mormons that I regard them with no more reverance than I would the worship of Maniyou or the Great Spirit of the Indians, and feel no more compunction at joining in the former than in the latter, to serve the same useful purpose.

Stenhouse does not credit the doctor with any sincere faith in Joseph Smith, but he is unwilling to believe that his association with the elect people was inspired by any such motive as he assigns in his book. And internal evidence is against such a belief. If regard for the public good led him to take the risk of allying himself with the Church, and his sole purpose was the better to qualify himself to expose their criminal and lawless acts, he should have been more moderate in performing his self-imposed task, and made his arraignment with an approach to judicial serenity. But he gives way to the most violent anger, rates Joseph Smith and his subordinate priests with the coarsest vituperation, answers railing with railing, and keeps up such "a very torrent, tempast and (as I may say) whirlwind of passion," through his book that good taste is offended and he partially defeats his own object.

Dr. Bennett's Exposure was published in 1842 and it created great consternation in the ranks of the faithful; in excess of zeal he may have fallen into the sin of exaggeration, but most of the statements are sustained by such a cloud of witnesses and authenticated by record evidence that there is no gainsaying them. As this book is not accessible to many of our readers, it will be interesting to them to take a cursory glance through its pages.

The character of Joseph Smith is by no means creditable. He sprung from a shiftless family, who lived a vagrant sort of life, and were principally known as money-diggers. Joseph, from a boy, appeared dull and utterly destitute of genius, but his father claimed for him a sort of second sight -- a power to look into the earth and discover where its precious treasures were hid. Consequently, long before the idea of a golden bible entered their minds, in their excursions for money digging, which usually occurred in the night, that they might conceal from others the knowledge where they struck upon treasures, Joseph was usually their guide, putting into a hat a peculiar stone he carried, which indicated the spot where treasure was to be found. The doctor gives a vast mass of testimony sworn to by the neighbors of the Smith family, which exposes a fearful amount of ignorance and superstition pervading the rural districts in the early part of the present century. From this we select one incident sworn to by David Stafford, of Manchester, New York:

It is well known, says this witness, that the general employment of the Smith family was money digging and fortune-telling. They kept around them constantly, a gang of worthless fellows who dug for money nights, and were idle in the day-time. It was a mystery to their neighbors how they got their living. At different times I have seen them come from the woods, bringing meat which looked like mutton. I went into the woods one day very early to shoot partridges, and found Joseph Smith sen. in company with two other men, with hoes, shovels and meat that looked like mutton. On seeing me they ran like wild men to get out of sight. Seeing the old man a few day afterward, I asked him why he ran so the other day. "Ah," said he, "you know that circumstances alter cases; it will not do to be seen at all times."

The finding of the gold plates was managed by just such jufflery, and of course there were plenty of fools about them to believe any idle yarn told them. Upon this discovery the Latter-day dispensation was founded, and the earliest converts to the new faith are not represented as of reputable character. Beadle states the matter more philosophically; in his Life in Utah this well informed author says:

The intense religious excitement which raged throughout the United States during the decade of 1820-30, which led to the wild phenomena of "jerks," and so-called religious exercises of howling, jumping, barking and muttering, seems to have left a precipitate of its worst materials in Mormonism.

He says further:

But Mormonism was a mushroom growth upon a rich bed of decay, which sprang up merely because something better was not planted, but had no enduring root. It might flourish for half a century or more, upon the scum of vice in America and the ignorance of Europe, but could enjoy at best but a sort of living death, and must soon wither and decay.

This latter extract is prophetic, and may not be literally fulfilled. The Mormon Church has now been in existence nearly the time allotted by the author and still shows vitality. But we know that the intolerant reign of the priesthood has become budensome and distateful to a large proportion of its members, and if the laws were enforced in this Territory and the rights of citizens protected, thousands would make haste to abjire allegiance to their priestly masters.

But it would be a gross injustice to the Mormon people to claim that only bad characters enrolled themselves as followers of the prophet. Thousands of well-meaning but deluded people were attracted by the novel doctrine preached to them by zealous elders, and gathered themselves to the fold with the intention of living godly lives. But the influences that surrounded them were impure. The leader of the Church, puffed up with the exercise of power and intoxicated with the semi-divine honors paid him, gave way to every extravagance, and public;y proclaimed himself above the law. His crazy religious schemes which contemplated universal dominion brought him into conflict with the surrounding people, and having the authority of the ancient Jews for levying war upon the heathen, he formed the most lawless of his followers into military societies to consecrate the riches of the Gentiles to the house of Israel and to execute the decrees of Heaven upon the unconverted.

Among the record testimony furnished by the author, is a mass of documents accompanying Governor Boggs' Message to the General Assembly of Misspouri, in 1840, and laid before that body for their action. These statements are so detailed, so strongly authenticated, and bear such convincing internal evidence of truth, that to reject them as "the base inventions of our enemies," as has been attempted by Mormon defenders and apologists, would be doing violence to all recognized rules of testimony. The Governor says in his message:

These people have violated the laws of the land by open and avowed resistance to them; they had undertaken without the aid of the civil authority to redress their real or fancied grievances; they had instituted among themselves a government of their own, independent of and in opposition to the government of this State; they had at an inclement season of the year driven the inhabitants of an entire county from their homes, ravaged their crops and destroyed their dwellings. Under these circumstances it became the imperious duty of the executive to interpose and exercise the powers with which he was invested, to protect the lives and property of our citizens, to restore order and tranquillity the country and maintain the supremacy of our laws.

Among the documents dubmitted with the message is an affidavit sworn to by Thomas B. Marsh, former president of the quorum of twelve, which is endorsed as true by Orson Hyde and a committee of the citizens of [Ray] county. Marsh details some of the robberies committed by a band of eighty Mormons under the command of Lyman Wight, many of whom were bound together with an oath "to support the heads of the Church in all things they say or do, whether right or wrong." Many of this band, Wight says in his affidavit, are much dissatisfied with this oath, as being against moral and religious principles. One evening he witnessed the arrival of a number of footmen from the direction of Millport, laden with plunder which consisted of beds, clocks and other household furniture. Shortly after a company (called the Fur Company) was sent out to forage hogs and cattle. The hogs were called bears; horned cattle, buffalo; and honey, sweet oil. He witnessed the return of these men from various incursions, one time driving in seven cattle, another time four or five. The hogs were generally brought in dead. Judge King, of the Fifth Judicial district of Missouri, reports the following operation to the Governor:

Between eighty and one hundred men went to Gallatin, pillaged houses and the store of Mr. Stollings and the postoffice and then burned the houses; they carried off the spoils on horseback and in wagons, and now have them, I understand, in a storehouse, near their camp. Houses have been robbed of their contents, beds, clothing, furniture, etc. and all deposited, [as] they call it, "a consecration to the Lord." At this time there is not a citizen in Daviess county except Mormons. Many have been driven without warning, others have been allowed a few hours to start. The stock of citizens have been seized upon, killed and salted up by hundreds. From 50 to 100 wagons are now employed in hauling in the corn from the surrounding country.

These lawless proceedings alarmed the law-abiding portion of Joe Smith's followers, and Mr. T. C. Burch, of Richmond, Mo, writing to Governor Boggs, thus described the stampeed of dissenters:

Mormon dissenters are daily flying to this country for refuge from the ferocity of the Prophet Joe Smith, who, they say, threatens the lives of all Mormons who refuse to take up arms at his bidding, or do his commands , These dissenters (and they are numerous) all confirm the reports concerning the Danite band of which you have doubtless heard much; and say that Joe infuses into the minds of the followers a spirit of insubordination to the laws of the land, telling them that the Kingdom of the Lord is come, which is superior to the institutions of the earth.

Ex-president Marsh shows the danger those Saints placed themselves in who refused to take up arms in defense of their prophet. The day before the raid was made into Davis county, he tells us in his affidavit, "Joseph Smith had preached that all the Mormons who refused to take up arms, if necessary, in difficulties with the citizens, should be shot, or otherwise put to death." The prophet very clearly meant business. Says the same affiant:

He inculcates the notion, and it is believed by every true Mormon, that Smith's prophecies are superior in the law of the land. I have heard the prophet say that he should yet tread down his enemies and walk over their dead bodies; if he was not let alone he would be a second Mahomet to this generation, and make one gore of blood from the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic.

Such evidence accumulating upon the Governor's hands, he became convinced of the necessity of taking active measures to repress these scenes of lawlessness, and accordingly issued an order to General Clark to subdue the Mormons and restore peace to the community. This brought about the conflict between God's people and the State authorities, and resulted in the expulsion of the former from the State.

Assailing Dr. Bennett's character does not overturn the testimony he presents; and if we accept only a tithe of it as true, we can understand why the Mormons were always in hot water with their neighbors, and why to this day they cannot live in peace with the human race.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVI.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, March 6, 1879.                   No. ?


Dr. Sharp Tells All About the Business.

(Pittsburgh Gazette.)

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 Spaulding, a Congregationalist clergyman, has been frequently asserted with the allegation of evidence more or less satisfactory. Mr. Spaulding, disqualified for his professional labors by ill health, spent the last two 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 which 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 Spaulding manuscript, but he at once recognized the tribal name of the Nephites as a name used in the romance. Othervdetails proving the general identity of the two books were attested years ago by other persons who knew Spaulding and had read or heard his novel.

Spaulding 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 cause, seems to have raised in 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. Paterson, of Pittsburg, for the purpose of being printed -- that Sidney Rigdon, afterwards so closely associated with Joe Smith in the promulgation of his pretended revelation, was on terms of intimacy with Mr. Patterson -- and that the manuscript suddenly disappeared. Theree 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 Spaulding origin of the Mormon book is not universally known. A great English writer, Mr. Stuart Mills, 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.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVI.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Friday, April 11, 1879.                   No. 147.


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."

(From the Pittsburg Telegraph, March 27, 1879)

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.


Here follows John N. Miller's Statement, reprinted
from Howe's Mormonism Unvailed   pp. 282-83.


The letter we publish from Mrs. Matilda Davison, widow of Rev. Solomon Spaulding, on the origin of the Book of Mormon, is of a character to arrest the attention of every thoughtful Mormon, It first appeared in the Boston Recorder, forty years ago, and was written, in answer to inquiries from Rev. D. R. Austin, of Monson, Massachusetts, in which village Mrs. Davison was then living. Believers in modern miracle are required to give credence to the story that Joseph Smith, an unlettered youth, of irregular, desultory habits, was visited by some supernatural agency (the angel Moroni) and informed of the existence of a package of golden plates, concealed in the earth, on which were inscribed legends of the ten lost tribes of Israel, and their extinction on this continent by internecine warfare. Acting upon this divine revelation, the youth dug up the plates, in the village of Manchester, Ontario county, New York, along with two stones (the urim and thummim) which stones possessed the miraculous power of enabling the finder to read the mystic characters and translate them into biblical English.

The story is too marvelous for belief by any person not blinded by superstition. The Book of Mormon exists, and is accepted as a divine record by the followers of Joseph Smith, and having an existence it must necessarily have had some origin.

The lady above named tells us in a direct and candid manner how the book came to be written. Her husband, a retired clergyman, in feeble health, wrote it to amuse his leisure hours. In Conneaut, Ashtabula county, Ohio, where he lived, he became intertested in a number of mounds and other remains of an ancient (and probably extinct) race, and being endowed with a lively imagination, he conceived the idea of writing an imaginary history of this race of ancient mound-builders. As he elaborated chapter after chapter of this strange narrative, he would gather his neighbors together of an evening and read to them the product of his fanciful brain. It seems they became interested in the wild romance, and this led the author to believe that profit might be derived from its publication. Removing then to Pittsburg, Mr. Spaulding submitted his manuscript to a Mr. Patterson, a newspaper editor and general publisher. In his hands the manuscript remained for some time; Sidney Rigdon, who had some connection with the printing office, having free access to it. "Rigdon had been the Boanerges of the new faith," says Stenhouse, "and had given it the first important aid it had received." He had been a Campbellite preacher in Ohio, possessed great force as an expounder of doctrine and exercised considerable influence over his congregation. Becoming converted to the faith of Joseph Smith, he took to the Latter-day religion so zealously that he is said to have carried over all his followers to the new faith. The Prophet Joseph found in this ardent disciple a man just suited to his uses. a fierce zealot, a fervid orator and a conscience pliable to every touch of interest. The Spaulding romance, which porported to be copied from an ancient manuscript, exhumed from the remains of an extinct race, he seemed to have adapted to his own use, and while it lay unheaded in the printing office, he procured a copy to be made of its contents. "Thus," says Mrs. Davison, "an historical romance, with the addition f a few pious expressions, and extracts from the sacred Scriptures, has been construed into a new Bible, and palmed off upon a company of deluded fanatics as divine."

The [character] of the writer is attested by two respectable clergymen, her neighbors, and the statement she makes is corroborated by a witness who was familiar with Spaulding's writings, and who recognized many passages in the Book of Mormon as copied verbatim from that author.

Here is the imposture charged upon the inventors of the Mormon religion. Joseph Smith, when starting out upon his prophetic career, besides having direct communication with heavenly intelligences and resurrecting the ancient order of priesthood, found it necessary to concoct a new Bible. Solomon Spaulding's manuscript, with a little altering over, was found adapted to his purpose, and in order to foist it upon the world as a divine revelation, he conjured up the visit of the angel Moroni, the finding of the plates, urim and thummim and the many other details necessary to complete the fraud. Stenhouse, in his analysis of "the Gold Bible," says: "The statement of the modern prophet as to the origin of the book cannot well be invalidated. What he says may be sheer falsehood, and as such the world regards the statement, but of itself it furnishes no opportunity for disproof." After this singular admission, the author proceeds to expose the fraudulent character of the book by its internal evidences. In parallel columns he produces some of the passages plagiarized from Holy Writ: with the errors of translation preserved, in juxraposition with the original: even a passage from Hamlet's soliloquy is shown, proceeding from the mouth of Lehi, who lived 570 years before Christ, who, in addressing his sons, speaks of "the cold and silent grave from whence no traveler returns." Shakespeare's expression is:

The undiscovered country, from whose bourne
No traveler returns.
For the purpose of gaining endorsement of science, Martin Harris submitted some copies made from the plates to Professor Anthon, of New York. This learned philologist described the characters as a singular medley of "Greek, Hebrew, and all sorts of letters, more or less distorted, either through unskillfulness or design, and intermingled with sundry delineations of half-moons, stars and other natural objects, the whole ending in a rude representation of the Mexican zodiac." But in addition to this evidence, we understand that a gentleman in this city is collecting very convincing testimony from original sources which will completely invalidate "the statement of the modern prophet as to the origin of the book." In Pittsburg the imposture originated, and there are still surviving in that city a number of reputable citizens who were acquainted with the actors in the forgery, and who have furnished statements which render the chain of evidence complete.

We do not expect that any exposure of error would have any effect upon the blind credulity of the more ignorant believers in the Latter-day dispensation, because they have never been used to exercise the reason, and have no judgment to weigh the value of testimony.

For Faith, fanativ Faith, once wedded fast
To some dear falsehood, hugs it to the last!
But it will be useful to convict the present leaders of the Mormon Church of deliberate fraud and imposture. These men well know that the Book of Mormon was surreptitious in its origin, gotten up by Joseph Smith and his accomplices to deceive the unwary; and they also know that if this truth should gain recognition, and their so-called bible de discredited, the whole fabric of the Latter-day dispensation falls to the ground. Hence they willfully and perfidiously foster the lie, delusing their unreasoning followers that they may live and fatten on the imposture. This accounts for their hostility to Gentile schools, and explains the prohibition imposed upon the employment of unregenerate teachers in Mormon schools. Delusion and imposture can only flourish where mental darkness prevails, and the spread of intelligence in Zion would bring speedy ruin to the entire prophetic business. And because we believe that a full and complete exposure of Joseph Smith's trick of literary legerdemain in turning Solomon Spaulding's "Manuscript Found" into the book of Mormon would be interesting to inquirers of the present age, and would be convincing to a number of the more reasonable Saints, we hope to see the results of our fellow townsman's well directed researches put into print with the least delay practicable.

Note 1: The March 27, 1879 Pittsburg Telegraph article was probably written by 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. In fact, Austin refers to this very 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 Tribune of April 12, 1879.

Note 2: The Tribune comments appended to the Pittsburg Telegraph article were almost certainly supplied by James T. Cobb -- excepting, of course, the two editorial sections, where the reporter speaks of the "gentleman in this city" (James himself) who "is collecting very convincing testimony from original sources." There is no indication given here as to the identity of the Tribune staff writer who was funneling bits and pieces pf Cobb's research on early Mormonism into the newspaper's columns. Perhaps it was Wilhelm von Wymetal or some other journalist colleague.

Note 3: This Tribune article of Apr. 11th (along with portions of articles published in that paper on Dec 5, 1878; Feb. 14, 1879 and Apr. 12, 1879), well summarizes the basis for Cobb's intended (but never completed) book on the origin of Mormonism. It is interesting to note that Cobb, who apparently possessed considerable ability as a literary critic, did not read and analyze the 1839 Davison-Storrs article critically. While that article (and especially the the eye-witness statement it contains) is admittedly a problematical piece of journalism, Cobb could have easily isolated considerable reliable information supportive to his Spalding-Rigdon authorship thesis, had he examined it utilizing historical-critical analytical methodology.


Vol. XVI.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Saturday, April 12, 1879.                   No. 148.



The Sunday Afternoon, a sprightly magazine published in Springfield, Massachusetts, opens its April issue with a talk about "the Mormons." The writer of the article, Mr. T. L. Rogers, editor of the Boston Watchman, paid a visit to Salt Lake about three years ago, made diligent inquiry during his stay here, heard Orson Pratt preach in the Tabernacle and Mayor Little in the Thirteenth ward assembly room, and took careful notes of all that he thought noteworthy. He starts out with a brief account of the origin of the Mormon religion, as told by its own expounders, running, in his first paragraph, against the stumbling block and rock of offense, the finding of the gold plates by Joseph Smith, in the hill Cumorah. Singularly enough, in exposing this fraud, the writer uses the facts furnished by Mrs. Davison, whose Statement, as published in the Boston Recorder, forty years ago, was reprinted in our columns yesterday. We give a portion of Mr. Rogers' version of the story:

The Book of Mormon, he says, seems to be only a modified but mutilated edition of Rev. Mr. Spaulding's Manuscript Found. There is abundant internal evidence that the latter 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 removed to Pittsburg. There he put his manuscripts into the hands of a printer by the name of Patterson. He expected to publish the book, and it was announced in the papers of 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 the 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 18th, 1839, she told the story of the Manuscript. (Mrs. Davison's statement first appeared in the Boston Recorder, April 19th, 1839. -- Ed. Tribune.) 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 the Mormon Church by Brigham Young. The three witnesses (David Whitmer, Oliver Cowdery and Martin Harris,) also quarreled with Joseph and Rigdon, and confessed to having sworn falsely.

The Spaulding manuscript was returned to the deceased writer's widow, and the question is, what became of it? Mrs. Davison tells us that the people of Conneaut, Ohio, recognizing wholesale plagiarism from the production of their fellow-townsmen in the extracts read to them from the Book of Mormon, by a traveling Mormon elder, deputed one of their number, Dr. Philaster Hurlbut, to visit Mrs. Davison, at her home in Monson, Massachusetts, and obtain the original manuscript for the purpose of comparing it with this elder's Mormon bible. This was in 1834. The manuscript was committed to the doctor's care, and while in his hands it disappears from view. Mrs. Davison makes no mention of its return to her. A few days ago we were shown a letter from Rev. D. [R.] Austin, former principal of the Monson Academy, whose name appears in the historical documents we published yesterday, as a friend and neighbor of Mrs. Davison, to a gentleman in this city; in which he divulges what disposition was made of this valuable manuscript by Dr. Hurlbut, in whose temporary keeping it had been placed. But as our fellow-townsman will shortly publish a full detail of this vital point in Latter-day theology, we do not feel at liberty to detract from the interest that awaits his publication.

The writer in the Sunday Afternoon has nothing to add on this point that is original. Here merely tells us that

Rigdon on leaving the work of printer became a preacher of peculiar doctrines. Smith had quite a large following in certain views peculiarly his own, 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 Cowdery from behind a screen, and the work was done "and palmed off upon a company of deluded fanatics as divine."

Orson Pratt, in his "Divine Authenticity," a labored argument of ninety-six octavo pages, gives the following authentic (?) history of the origin of the book. He says:

The Book of Mormon claims to be the sacred history of ancient America, written by a succession of ancient prophets who inhabited that vast continent. The plates of gold containing this history were discovered by a young man named Joseph Smith, through the ministry of a holy angel.  *  *  * With the plates were also found a urim and thummim. Each plate was not far from seven by eight inches in width and length, lying not quite so thick as common tin. Each was filled on both sides with engraved Egyptian characters, and the whole was bound together in a volume as the leaves of a book, and fastened at one edge with three rings running through each. The volume was something near six inches in thickness, a part of which was sealed. The characters or letters upon the unsealed part were small and beautifully engraved. Mr. Smith, by urim and thummim, and by the gift and power of God, translated this record unto the English language.

Here is the testimony in direct conflict. Well authenticated fact shows that the Mormon bible is pirated and plagiarized from the manuscript of a romanticist while lying in the printer's hands; and faith invokes the ministration of an angel from Heaven, a divinely inspired record preserved upwards of two thousand years in the ground, and miraculously endowed peepstones which enable the wearer to decipher and translate hieroglyphic characters, such as defied the acumen of the most learned men. Can the reader believe that the Apostle Pratt was honest and above-board in writing his argument to prove the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon? Or that he is honest no in maintaining the pious fiction? It is absurd for the apostle to talk about Joseph Smith being filled with the gift and power if God, because when this debauchee made improper approaches to Pratt's wife, he was so impressed with his fraud and deceitfulness that he raved and swore at his base betrayer and repudiated his divine mission in intense disgust. His subsequent "testimony" is variously accounted for. "The poor fellow is luny now," is the charitable judgment of those best qualified to pronounce upon the case. Others say: "When this fraud was perpetrated Orson was a green country lad of less than twemty, whose judgment was taken captive by his new-found religion, and he could not be expected judicially to examine into the case." Suppose we accept these reasons as exampting the polygamy champion from accountability, how is it with his brother priests and apostles? We cannot in justice charge them all with lunacy. The nonsensical creed they profess is enough to unseat the reason of the most astute; but we can understand that their religious devotion is not of that intense kind to drive to hypochondria. The only rational conclusion is that these men willfully and deliberately support and propagate a lie! If they are honest in their belief and are willing to commit themselves to the test of truth, let them take up the issue now presented. They cannot ignore it without confessing judgment. Here is proof of the fraud perpetrated ny Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon and other confederates, presented by persons who profess themselves able to sustain the charge; and the facts they produce cloud the whole Latter-day dispensation with imposture and delusion. If the Mormon leaders would stand up in the eyes of the world as honest men, they must meet this charge, array their evidence and disprove the facts alleged, or admit that they have imposed upon the credulity of their followers and that their whole system of religion is built upon deceit and mendacity.

Note 1: Both Mr. T. L. Rogers and the Tribune reporter demonstrate a faulty understanding of the Spalding authorship claims and the events involved in the origin and development of those claims -- the so-called "Spalding theory." Perhaps the most intriguing statement made by Mr. Rogers is that Solomon Spaulding "expected to publish the book, and it was announced in the papers of 1813 as forthcoming." If that allegation could be demeonstrated as fact, it would be a most imporantt fact indeed! More than likely the writer is merely passing along the hazy and unreliable memories of Charles A. Dana, as voiced in his "Mormons" article in the 1861 New American Cyclopedia. Robert Patterson, Jr, looked into Dana's avowel in 1882 but could find no evidence supporting it.

Note 2: The claim made by Mr. T. L. Rogers, editor of the Boston Watchman, saying that a copy of Mrs. Davison's statement appeared in the Boston Journal of "May 18th, 1839" cannot be independently verified. The Boston Journal began Jan. 30, 1833, as the Boston Mercantile Journal, a semi-weekly Whig newspaper. The paper was published by J. Ford & Co. (later Ford & Damrell) of Boston. Between 1837 and 1845 the paper was published by Sleeper, Dix & Rogers. On Mar. 29, 1845 the paper's name was changed to the Boston Daily Journal. The Boston Public Library Microtext Department has Sep. 1835 through Dec. 1842 on microfilm (AN2.M4B64354). The researchers who produced the Spalding Enigma assert that the microfilms of this paper contain neither Mrs. Davison's Apr. 1, 1839 statement nor Sidney Rigdon's May 27, 1839 letter of rebuttal.


Vol. XVI.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Tuesday, April 15, 1879.                   No. 150.


The Deseret News, on Saturday, essayed a lame reply to the charge that the Book of Mormon is pirated and plagiarized from Rev. Solomon Spaulding's "Manuscript Found." The reply is disingenuous and sophistical, as was to be expected, the object of the writer being to bamboozle and befog his own readers within the pale of the Church. The question is discussed at the length of two and a half columns, because, as he admits, "It is attracting some attention." The literary fraud charge against the Mormon Church was perpetrated half a century ago, the mass of the believers in Joseph Smith know nothing about the facts of the crime, and very few have read the fraudulent product.

Mrs. Davison, in her statement, sets forth the following material facts: That her husband (Spaulding) while living in Ashtabula county, Ohio, wrote a book giving an imaginary history of some extinct race of mound-builders which he was in the habit of reading, chapter by chapter, as he finished them, to his neighbors. The family removed to Pittsburg, where Spaulding formed the acquaintance of a book-publisher and newspaper editor named Patterson, to which he submitted his manuscript. While the M.S. lay in the hands of the printer, Sidney Rigdon, "who was at this time connected with the printing office," had ample opportunity to became acquainted with the nature of the clergyman's literary work. The Spaulding family again moved -- this time to Amity, Washington county, Pennsylvania, where the clergyman shortly afterward died, (1816). "The manuscript," his widow says, "then fell into my hands, and was carefully preserved."

A long time subsequent to this, (in 1834,) a Mormon preacher visited Conneaur (where Spaulding had written his work,) and in the course of his ministrations, read portions of the Book of Mormon, which a number of his hearers instantly recognized as identical with the story formerly read them by their fellow townman. This created some stir in town, and resulted in the sending of Dr. Philaster Hurlbut to the clergyman's widow, then living in Monson, Massachusetts, to procure the manuscript for the purpose of comparing it with the Elder's Mormon bible.

To all of which statements the News editor takes exception, and proceeds to propound the following string of interrogatives upon it:

The question now is, what became of this valuable document? If it formed the material from which the Book of Mormon was fabricated, why was it not published, or portions of it given side by side with extracts from the Book said to be made up from it? What did Mrs. Davieson pretend to know about the resemblance between the Book of Mormon and the "Manuscript Found?" She knew nothing but what Hurlburt told her. What did she know about Sidney Rigdon's residence in Pitttsburg, or connection with Patterson's printing office? Nothing whatever. Who wrote the letter signed by Mrs. Davieson and working up this theory? It was plainly the work of John Storrs, the pious preacher who was anxious to stop the spread of "Mormonism," which put his craft in danger. Who was the prime originator of the Spaulding story? This same "Dr." Philaster Hurlbut.

A refutation of the widow's story is then attempted. Hurlbut's character is assailed, (a stale dodge with Mormon defenders,) and his credibility impeached by attributing to him the statements, (published in Howe's History of Mormonism,) that the "Manuscript Found" was

A romance purporting to have been translated from the Latin, found on twenty-four rolls of parchment in a cave, but written in modern style, giving a fabulous account of a ship being driven upon the American coast proceeding from Rome to Britain, a short time previous to the Christian era; this country being inhabited by the Indians.

An extract from an interview held with Mrs. Davison and her daughter Mrs. McKinstry, published in the Quincy Whig and copied in Times and Seasons, January, 1840, is also given as follows:

Q. -- Have you read the Book of Mormon?
A. -- I have read a little of it.

Q. -- Is there any similarity between Mr. Spaulding's manuscript and the Book of Mormon?
A. -- Not any.

Q. -- Did the manuscript describe an idolatrous or a religious people?
A. -- An idolatrous.

Q. -- Where is the manuscript?
A. -- Mr. Hurlburt came here and took it away, and said I should have half the proceeds.

Q. -- Did Hurlburt publish the manuscript?
A. -- No, he informed me by letter that the manuscript after having been examined did not read as they expected, and that they would not publish it.

Q. -- What was the size of the manuscript?'
A. -- About the third part of the Book of Mormon.

The above purport to be the replies of Mrs. Davison to her interviewer, and "Mrs. McKinstry," we are told by the News, "corroborated Mrs. Davison in every particular."

Further, Sidney Rigdon is called in as a witness, who denies that he ever worked in a printing office in Pittsburg, that he knew Mr. Patterson, or that he had ever heard of Spaulding or his romance until he saw them mentioned in E. D. Howe's book. An extract from Parley P. Pratt's autobiography is also given, where the adulterous apostle tells of his conversion to Mormonism, his calling on Joseph Smith in Ontario county, New York, and his missionizing journey to Ohio, in October, 1830, where he met with Sidney Rigdon, and submitted to his eyes for the first time (!) the Book of Mormon. This caused Sidney's conversion to the religion of Joseph Smith and the next day himself and wife were baptized.

This is the case of the defense, as presented by the Church organ, and a defiance is hurled forth to all the enemies of this people "to find some more potent weapon to fight it with than the Spaulding fiction, or hide their heads henceforth in shame." Let us see with whom the shame is to rest. We will take the News editor's statements seriatim.

As to Dr. Hurlbut's consistency. He is charged with saying, "in company with E. D. Howe," that the "Manuscript Found" was "a romance purporting to have been translated from the Latin, found on twenty-four rolls of parchment in a cave," etc. Hurlbut says no such thing. Hurlbut, as we have shown in a previous article, procured the MS. copy of the "Manuscript Found" from Spaulding's widow, and while in his hands it mysteriously disappeared. Hurlbut prompts Howe to say, (History of Mormonism, p. 287 et seq.) that:

While they (the Spaulding family) lived in Pittsburgh, she (Mrs. Davison) thinks it was once taken to the printing office of Patterson & Lambdin; but whether it was ever brought back to the house again, she is quite uncertain. If it was, however, it was then with his other writings in a trunk which she had left in Otsego county, New York.  *  *  * The trunk referred to by the widow, was subsequently examined, and found to contain only a single M. S. book, in Spaulding's hand-writing, containing about one quire of paper. This is a romance, purporting to have been translated from the Latin, found on twenty-four rolls of parchment in a cave, on the banks of the Conneaut Creek, but written in modern style, and giving a fabulous account of a ship's being driven upon the American coast, while proceeding from Rome to Britain, a short time previous to the Christian era, this country then being inhabited by the Indians. This old MS. has been shown to several of the foregoing witnesses, who recognise it as Spalding's, he having told them that he had altered his first plan of writing, by going farther back with dates, and writing in the old scripture style, in order that it might appear more ancient. They say that it bears no resemblance to the "Manuscript Found."

The News writer is evidently familiar with Howe's book, and has garbled his statements solely to mislead. His next plea is a still baser fabrication.

The interview with Mrs. Davison and her daughter, the Church scribe says was published in the Quincy Whig. The Times and Seasons copies the article. It is a "copy of a letter written by Mr. John Haven, of Holliston, Middlesex county, Mass., to his daughter Elizabeth Haven, of Quincy, Adams county, Illinois." In this letter the writer professes to give a report of an interview between his son Jessee and the two ladies. We will transcribe the portion the dishonest Churchman professes to quote:

Ques. -- Have you read the Book of Mormon?
Ans. -- I have read a little of it.

Q. -- Does Mr. Spaulding's manuscript and the Book of Mormon agree>
A. -- I think some few of the names are alike,

Q. -- Does the manuscript describe an idolatrous or a religious people?
A. -- An idolatrous people.

Q. -- Where is the manuscript?
A. -- Dr. P. Hurlbut came here and took it, said he would get it printed and let me have one-half the profits.

Q. -- Has Dr. P. Hurlburt got the manuscript printed?
A. -- I received a card stating that it did not read as they expected, and they should not print it.

Q. -- How large is Mr. Spaulding's manuscript?'
A. -- About the third as large as the Book of Mormon.

The perversion is very material. In the interview Mrs. Davison thinks "some few of the names are alike;" in the fabricated story, she affirms there is no resemblance. But the News man is not the original perpetrator of this fraud; it is to be traced back to his master, John Taylor. This eminently pious man, in his celebrated controversy at Boulogne-sur-mer, in July, 1850, objected to Mrs. Davison's statement being read. In a letter to a local paper, the Interpreter, he explains his reasons for so doing, and in his communication professes to give Mr. John Haven's letter, in which the grossest perversions are made. Of course, this might be expected from a man who had solemnly denied that polygamy was practiced by the Mormons, when he was himself married to seven wives, and his assistant elders were all numerously wedded. We will [----ts] here that Mrs. Davison's statement, dictated to Rev. D. R. Austin, (which was reproduced in our issue of Friday last) first publicly exposed the piracy by Joseph Smith of her deceased husband's unpublished work. In the interview published in the Quincy Whig, the colloquy opens as follows:

Did you, Mrs. Davidson, write a letter to John Storrs, giving an account of the origin of the Book of Mormon?
A. -- I did not.

Q. -- Did you sign your name to it?
A. -- I did not. Neither did I ever see the letter until I saw it in the Boston Recorder, the letter was never brought to me to sign.

Q. -- What agency had you in having this letter sent to Mr. Storrs?
A. -- D. R. Austin came to my house and asked some questions, took some minutes on paper, and from these minutes wrote that letter.

Q. -- Is what is written in the letter true?
A. -- In the main it is.

Mrs. Davison's Christian character and irreproachable morals are certified to by the Rev. Dr. Ely, a Congregational minister to Monson, and by Rev. Austin, principal of the Monson academy, her neighbors. A statement from such a woman must have weight, and it really forms the basis of the charge of larceny brought against the founder of the Mormon Church. The object with the leaders of the Latter day imposture is, therefore, to impeach this letter. John Taylor attempts the task in a manner that might be expected from such a man, by direct prevarication. Professing to give the interview as published in the Quincy Whig, and copied in Times and Seasons, he thus garbles the lady's answers:

Q. -- Is what that letter contains true?
A. -- There are some things that I told him.

Q. -- Have you read the Book of Mormon?
A. -- I have read a little of it.

Q. -- Is there any similarity between Mr. Spaulding's manuscript and the Book of Mormon?
A. --
NOT ANY, with the exception of some names, something similar the one to the other.

The small caps are John Taylor's. Mrs. Davison says that Mr. Austin's report of her sayings is in the main true; John Taylor qualifies this affirmation by altering her language to "there are some things that I told him." In answer to the question whether her husband's MS. and the Book of Mormon agreed, she (not having read much of the latter,) answers, "I think some of the names are alike;" how much closer the resemblance, she could not, and did not, attempt to say. John Taylor basely changes this to a flat denial of any similarity. "Not any," he puts into her mouth, and then follows a mild qualification, which the News man, in copying from his mendacious master, does not give. Do honest, sincere men in promulgating God's word, resort to these base tricks of deception? It is evident that the truth will not bear them out, and so they have to bolster up their system with lies.

Next comes the denial that Sidney Rigdon worked in Patterson's printing office, that he knew Spaulding or ever saw his manuscript. Mrs. Davison says, "he was at this time connected with the printing office of Mr. Patterson." Subsequent inquiry shows that Rigdon was not employed in the office, but that he spent a good portion of his time there. The foreman of Mr. Patterson's office was a man named Engles, scholary, dissipated and uncanny. MSS. left with the publisher were submitted to Engles for his literary judgment. Spaulding, it seems, made a fair copy of his work for publication, which he carried to the printer, retaining the original draft by him. Mrs. Davison says the manuscript was returned to the author; her memory may be correct in this or it may not. Sidney Rigdon, on a letter dated Commerce, May 27th, 1839, makes the following denial:

It is only necessary to say, in relation to the whole story about Spalding's writings being in the hands of Mr. Patterson, who was in Pittsburg, and who is said to have kept a printing office, and my saying that I was concerned in said office, etc. is the most base of lies, without even the shadow of truth

In the same letter he disclaims any knowledge of Spaulding or his manuscript, until the statement of Mrs. Davison came under his notice. And yet he emphatically denies the whole story of Spaulding's writings being in the hands of Mr. Patterson. Why is he so positive in this denial? The only reasonable conclusion is that Engles had placed the writings in his hands.

We have not space to persue this argument further; but the conclusion must be forced upon the mind of the reader where so much disingenousness and prevarication are used to bolster up a case, as Mormon writers and expounders have resorted to, it must be essentially weak, and the statement of Spaulding's widow gains increased strength from the failure of her assailants to deal honestly with her straightforward story.

Note 1: Throughout this period the Tribune reporters had access to the assistance of James T. Cobb in preparing their several articles on the origin of Mormonism and related issues. It is likely that Cobb contributed to this article as well as others relating information on the Spaling claims for Book of Mormon authorship. The Tribune's exposure of the Mormon manipulation of the 1839 Jesse Haven interview text demonstrates that their writers had access to some in-depth research of obscure LDS history. In 1901 A. Theodore Schroeder would renew the Tribune's censure of Apostle Taylor (as well as Elder George Reynolds) for mutilating the Haven text to the Mormons' advantage.

Note 2: Although the Tribune reporter is loath to admit the fact, the April 12th article in the Deseret News did point out several weaknesses and inaccuracies in the Spalding authorship claims as they were commonly then voiced (before the appearance much additional information provided by several publications in the early 1880s). The Tribune reporter's inability to distinguish which points made in the rival newspaper's article were relevant in determining the historical facts betrays the Tribune's sometimes blundering anti-Mormon reporting.


Vol. XVII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Thursday, April 17, 1879.                   No. 2.


In Howe's History of Mormonism, ("Mormonism Unveiled,") it is not claimed, as stated by the News, the "the manuscript fraud" of Spaulding was "a romance purporting to have been translated from the Latin, found on twenty-four rolls of parchment in a cave," but written in modern style, giving "a fabulous account of a ship being driven upon the American coast, proceeding from Rome to Britain a short time previous to the Christian era -- this country being inhabited by the Indians."

There is evidence, however, that Spaulding did originally design a voyage of another people to this continent, in the year 1, (or thereabout,) and that the "twenty-four rolls of parchment," descriptive of the migration of his Latin colony from Rome to this continent, were afterwards transmitted by the writer of the Book of Mormon into "twenty-four plates of gold," from which came the Book of Ether, chronicling the migration of certain Jaredites from the Tower of Babel, and their very Romish "secret oaths and combinations." Secret oaths and combinations, in his own time, were ever according to the widow Spaulding, a pet aversion with the ingenuous Solomon.

What were the Spaulding writings which Hurlbut procured from Mrs. Davison at Monson, in the year 1834? What became of this valuable document? We shall see. It is well attested that Spaulding wrote several works in a vein of historical fiction, thus following -- at a long interval -- the immortal Gulliver, Sir Thomas More, Defoe and others, in a legitimate and pleasing exercise of the imagination. Spaulding never pretended that he wrote under divine inspiration; he never pretended that his writings came, or were to be received as having come from seers or prophets inspired. He never assumed for his fanciful chronicles which
Amazed the gaping rustics gather'd round. that they contained a message of salvation (or damnation) to the human family, or that they were revealed and dug out of the earth by the ministration of angels. There is a difference as wide as the antipodes between what he did, and what he (or they) who manufactured the Book of Mormon from his writings did.

The only plausible point made by the News for non-critical readers in its editorial, "the Dead Revived Again," is in this: "Any one who has read the Book of Mormon can easily see that it is impossible to eliminate the religious from the historical part of the work, each being identified with growing out of and essential to the other, forming one harmonious and consistent whole."

This is not the experience of intelligent readers of the Book of Mormon. To the careful and patient reader the "more history parts" and its "more ministry parts," so boldly noted and distinguished in the book itself, strike the key-note that the one was not originally and organically "identified with growing out of and essential to the other, forming one harmonious and consistent whole." It was undoubtedly the labor of years for a later hand nicely to dovetail the "more ministry parts" into Spaulding's "more history parts." As done, it shows some dexterity in the doing. But what is done may chance to be undone; what is so deftly knit may be unraveled and both parts of the wonderful record revert to their rightful authors.

Note 1: The Tribune writer anticipates the source critical analysis of later scholars like Clark Braden and William H. Whitsitt, in attempting to "unravel" the presumed editorial splicings within the Book of Mormon text. The writer, however, under estimates the demonstrated ability of Solomon Spalding to himself create pseudo-scriptures and fictionally chronicle the utterances of "seers or prophets inspired." With the subsequent disclosure (in 1884-85) of the contents of the Spalding manuscript discovered in Honolulu, it became clear that its writer was very much interested in pretending "that he wrote under divine inspiration" -- or, at least that some of his fictional characters in that story concocted sacred records and made oracular pronouncements and attributed their motivation to such inspiration. Clearly, Solomon Spalding had within him a strange fascination with the effects of religion and religious fraud upon the minds of "gaping rustics gather'd round." As he says in his story discovered in Honolulu: "multitudes of astonished Spectators... declared that when he [Spalding's fictional ancient American prophet Lobaska] took these excursions [into the heavens], his extraordinary wisdom & knowledge was communicated to him... no wonder that he managed an ignorant people as he pleased."

Note 2: The Tribune writer makes one important mistake, when he speaks of Spalding's "twenty-four rolls of parchment" being the literary eqivalent of the Book of Ether's "twenty-four plates of gold." The text of the Oberlin Spalding manuscript actually reads: "twenty-eight rolls of parchment... written in eligant hand... on a variety of Subjects." Spalding's "rolls" can only be compared with the Book of Mormon's "plates" in general terms. Both purport to contain the records of otherwise unknown ancient American chroniclers; both are lost for centuries; both are later discovered and translated, etc., etc. Clark Braden and William H. Whitsitt both make a place for the Book of Ether in their respective theories of how the Book of Mormon text was developed over time. In this they have somewhat of a meeting of the minds with the Tribune reporter (who, again, was probably influenced by the opinions of the local literary affectionado James T. Cobb). It may well be that Solomon Spalding was among those New Englanders who, in the late 1790s, grew increasingly antithetical to freemasonry and European illuminism -- at least E. D. Howe's unverified report, allegedly obtained from Spalding's widow, presents this picture of him. However, in the case of the Book of Mormon text, it appears that its own "pet aversion" to "secret oaths and combinations" spoke mainly to readers of the early 1830s who were caught up in the anti-masonic fervor resulting from the "William Morgan affair." At the very least, a textual analyst who attempts to trace the Book of Mormon's aversion for "secret oaths and combinations" back to the pen of Solomon Spalding, must take into consideration the proximity in time and space of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and the advent of the Morgan affair.


Vol. XVII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Wednesday, April 23, 1879.                   No. 7.


The News, on Monday evening, treated its readers to another effusion on "Sidney Rigdon and the Spaulding Romance." Bro. Anson Call, of Bountiful, has been put upon the stand, and the statements of this aged Saint are paraded as giving the quietus to the theory that the Book of Mormon was fabricated from Solomon Spaulding's "Manuscript Found."

The first point made is the missionizing visit of Parley P. Pratt, with three other Mormon elders, to Sidney Rigdon, in 1830, on which occasion the Book of Mormon was first placed in Rigdon's hands. The News editor relates this dramatic story:

Brother Call tells us that at first he (Sidney Rigdon) spurned it, and ridiculed the idea of paying any attention to a book with such claims. He knew of the controversy between the two men, and says that the only reason why Rigdon consented to examine it at all was because Parley said: "You brought truth to me, I now ask you as a friend to read this for my sake." He studied and prayed over the matter for two weeks, and at length accepted it as true, and soon after he and his wife were baptized as were a few others of the Campbellites.

Bro. Call's story may be historically true, and yet the incident he relates can only be regarded as a coup de theatre. Spaulding left a manuscript copy of his production at the printing office of Patterson & Lambdin, when he removed to Pittsburg in 1812. Two years subsequently he went to live in Washington county, Pennsylvania, where he died in 1816. The MS. never was returned to Spaulding or any member of his family, but remained in the printer's hands. We have already shown that Rigdon used to spend a good portion of his time in Patterson's office, where he made the acquaintance of Engles, the foreman, a man of scholarly parts, although unprincipled and dissipated. Manuscripts sent in for publication were submitted to this man's literary judgment. Thus he would know the nature of Spaulding's neglected effusion. That Rigdon read this production and either copied or abstracted it, in view of the evidence we are about to submit, amounts to a moral certainty.

The News editor gives a number of dates designed to show that Rigdon could not have gained possession of the MS. as above indicated. He went to Pittsburg, we are told, in 1822, to take pastoral charge of the First Baptist Church in that city, at which time "there was no printing office in the place owned by Patterson who had become a bankrupt." It is further declared that Rigdon and Joseph Smith did not meet until the latter part of 1830 (after Rigdon's conversion to Mormonism,) long after the Book of Mormon was translated and published. The inferences drawn from the misleading statements are (1) "that Sidney Rigdon knew nothing of the Book of Mormon, or its origin, until Parley P. Pratt presented it to him in the early part of the fall of 1830," and (2) "that the Spaulding MS. was totally unlike the Book in every respect."

To the first objection we are only at liberty to state that evidence has been obtained establishing the fact that Rigdon lived in Pittsburg previous to his return thither in 1822; and further, that Rigdon and Joseph had met previous to 1830. Rigdon, like his prophet-master, was the very soul of intrigue and double-dealing -- an unconscionable trickster, in fact; and these two subtle churchmen having in hand the promulgation of a new Bible, they would quite naturally be secret in their doings, and disguise the collusion that existed between them.

To the second objection, that "the Spaulding manuscript was totally unlike the book in every respect," we oppose the following sworn testimony given in Howe's History of Mormonism, perfacing the same with the author's views of the modus operandi of the literary piracy. He says:

We proposed in the commencement of this work, to give to the world all the light, of which we were in possession, as to the real and original author or authors of the Book of Mormon. That there has been, from the beginning, a more talented knave behind the curtain is evident to our mind at least; but whether he will ever be clearly, fully and positively unveiled and brought into open day-light, may of course be doubted. For no person of common prudence and understanding, it may well be presumed, would ever undertake such a speculation upon human credulity, without closing and well securing every door and avenue to a discovery, step by step, as he proceeded. Hence, our investigations upon the subject have been more limited than was desirable. At the same time, we think that facts and data have been elicited, sufficient at least to raise a strong presumption that the leading features of the "Gold Bible" were first conceived and concocted by one Solomon Spaulding while a resident of Conneaut, Ashtabula county, Ohio. It is admitted by our soundest jurists, that a train of circumstances may often lead the mind to a more satisfactory and unerring conclusion than positive testimony unsupported by circumstancial evidence -- for the plain reason that the one species of testimony is more prone to falsehood than the other. But we proceed with our testimony.

The first witness is Mr. John Spaulding, a brother of Solomon, now a resident of Crawford county, Pa., who says:

(John Spalding's statement from Howe's book follows)

Martha Spaulding, the wife of John Spaulding, says:

(Statements of Martha Spalding, Aaron Wright, Oliver Smith, & Henry Lake)

We learn that Mr. E. D. Howe, the author from whom we have culled the above formidable array of counter evidence, is still living and in full possession of his faculties, at the age of eighty-four years, in Painesville, Ohio. Devout Saints who may wish to satisfy themselves whether the above batch of counter-divine-origin is another Tribune lie, or a Howe-and-Hurlbut fabrication, would do well to consult the old gentleman and ascertain for themselves from the original source which of the two stories is true. If they discover at last as they assuredly will, that what we have submitted is neither a Tribune lie nor a Howe-and-Hurlbut lie, but the genuine testimony of honest witnesses, let them not give up the hunt till they find out where the lie really does lie, nail the lie home, and then lie down and howl at the thought of their egregious and unsurpassable credu-lie-ty.

The Church organ triumphantly challenges "our enemies" to publish some patagraphs from the Spaulding book in proof of its identity with the Book of Mormon. This is as dishonorable as betting on a sure thing. But two copies of the work are known to have existed. Sidney Rigdon appropriated one, and the other was committed to the hands of Dr. Philaster Hurlbut, in whose keeping it mysteriously disappeared. Can Bro. Anson Call, who seems to know so much about the Manuscript business, tell us what became of this valuable record?

Note 1: The writer of the above article is rather circumspect in revealing his source for the "evidence" which had been recently discovered "establishing the fact that Rigdon lived in Pittsburg previous to his return thither in 1822; and further, that Rigdon and Joseph had met previous to 1830." It is possible that the "evidence" here referred to was the testimony of Rebecca Johnston Eichbaum of Pittsburgh, saying that she used to see Rigdon and Spalding respectively come into the post office there to collect their mail. This testimony was obtained in Pittsburgh by Robert Patterson, Jr., who was in regular correspondence with James T. Cobb in Salt Lake City. The only problem with this presumption is that Patterson did not get Rebecca's testimony in writing until Sep. 18, 1879. It is also possible that Cobb's Pittsburgh correspondent stumbled across one of the old newspaper advertisements for "dead letters" in the post office, and saw in that list the names of Sidney Rigdon and Solomon Spalding. However, if Patterson had such evidence in hand, it seems odd that he never published it himself. What the writer is no doubt here referring to was the hazy 1843 joint-statement of Carvil Rigdon and Peter Boyer, indicating that Sidney Rigdon "returned to Pittsburgh in the winter of 1821 and '22." At that time Rigdon did "return" to the area where he had previously lived, that is to the Library, Pennsylvania region, which lay on the southern fringes of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. The two Mormons who made the 1843 statement probably did not intend to assert that Sidney Rigdon had previously resided in Pittsburgh proper, only that he returned to that general area and then took up residence in the city itself. This "evidence" does not definitively establish "the fact that Rigdon lived in Pittsburgh previous to his return thither in 1822."

Note 2: Apparently James T. Cobb (who likely assisted in the writing of this article) did not bother to take the Tribune's advice and consult Eber D. Howe for particulars on the history of the Spalding authorship claims. It was not until September of 1879 that Cobb's friend, Robert Patterson, Jr. took it upon himself to contact Howe, solicit information, and then relay his findings to Cobb in Salt Lake City. By that time interest in the Spalding claims had apparently waned, both among the readers of the Salt Lake Tribune and its rival, the Deseret News, for nothing was then reported in their columns regarding Howe's recollections of the events of 1833-34.

Note 3: The writer of the article appears to be a bit confused about his own conclusions regarding the fate of the Spalding manuscript left with one of the Patterson brothers in Pittsburgh, c. 1812-15. Spalding's widow was quite certain that she recovered that document and carried it with her to New York state. A good deal of the Mormon argument against Rigdon ever having access to the Spalding holograph lies in the widow's 1839 assertion that she recovered the manuscript. To this may be added later testimony saying that Robert Patterson, Sr. recalled the widow trying one last time to make a sale for the document, after the death of her husband in 1816: He [Robert Patterson, Sr.] also stated to us that the Solomon Spaulding manuscript was brought to him by the widow of Solomon Spaulding to be published, and that she offered to give him half the profits for his pay, if he would publish it; but after it had laid there for some time, and after he had due time to consider it, he determined not to publish it. She then came and received the manuscript from his hands, and took it away."

Note 4: Perhaps the most tenable reconstruction of events is that Rigdon, in his sporadic occupation of being a "currier" and likely a supplier of leather book-bindings in Pittsburgh, had opportunity to frequent the Silas Engles print shop used by the Patterson brothers for their publication efforts. And, that while frequenting that establishment he gained the acquaintance of both Engles and Jonathan Harrison Lambdin (an employee of the Pattersons and a fellow publisher with them and Engles). Having gained the confidence of these men Rigdon also gained access to the manuscript Solomon Spalding had left with the Pattersons, which, in turn, had been placed in Engles' keeping for several weeks or months. With this original story in his hands, Rigdon was able to make a copy -- perhaps he was even called upon by one of the Pattersons' associates to edit and re-write Spalding's crabbed penmanship. If so, was certainly capable of producing a printer's "clean copy" for Engles' typesetter (Lambdin?), pending the raising of funds to publish the story. Once Spalding was dead, his widow departed, and Lambdin operating on his own, Rigdon might have easily reclaimed the worthless "clean copy" of Spalding's unpublished work and taken it home as his own possession. At least such an explanation would allow for the old allegations that Rigdon obtained the text, while Spalding's wife took away her husband's original holograph with her to New York.


Vol. XVII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Friday, April 25, 1879.                   No. 9.


The editor of the Boise City (Idaho) Republican copies Mrs. Davison's account of the Spaulding manuscript, which originally appeared in the Boston Recorder, April 19th, 1839, and adds this corroborative testimony:

We spent our early childhood in Springfield, Pennsylvania, only four miles from New Salem, where Mr. Spaulding wrote the "Manuscript Found," and heard the old settlers that were conversant with the facts as stated in this history, relate them time and again, all through. We never have seen it in print before. We have seen several men who saw and read the original manuscript, and can say that their relation of the facts corresponds in every particular with the history as given by the widow Spaulding and we recognize the names of Lake, Wright, Spaulding and Miller as gentlemen with whom our father did business -- gentlemen of veracity, and some of them men of wealth.

Note: The founder of the Boise City Republican was Daniel Bacon (1822-1896). By 1823-24 Daniel's parents (John Bacon & Sarah Robins Perry) were living in the village of Union City, Union twp., Erie Co., Pennsylvania (some 35 miles east of where Solomon Spalding's old associates then lived). In 1840 the famaily lived in Cussewago twp., Crawford Co., Pennsylvania (12-15 miles southeast of those same Spalding neighbors). A few years later the family moved to Wisconsin. Daniel Bacon started the paper in Boise during the 1860s and later relocated it to nearby Nampa. All considered, Daniel Bacon was in a good place, during his teenage and young adult years, to have encountered the "old settlers" with whom his father John "did business" during the late 1830s and early 1840s.


Vol. XVII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Saturday, May 3, 1879.                   No. 16.


Another Page from the Spaulding Fable -- The Dead Reviving Rapidly.

Having heretofore published the statement of Mrs. Matilda Davison (widow Spaulding) with the testimonies of others, in the matter of the conversion of Spaulding's "Manuscript Found" into the Book of Mormon, it is but fair to allow Sidney to be heard in his own defense. Following is his rejoinder to the Davison statement, minus one passage, of fifteen or twenty lines, too outrageous for print.

(1839 Rigdon statement follows)


We publish in another column Sidney Rigdon's letter disavowing Solomon Spaulding's "Manuscript Found" into Joseph Smith's Gold Bible. The unspeakably bitter and revengeful animus of the production betrays the fact that the writer had been struck home. The hit bird flutters. "Lies -- lies -- lies! about thirty times repeated. Let us see what this arch-Jesuit really states in his disclaimer.

Rigdon first declares that he never heard of Spaulding until the appearance of Mrs. Davison's statement, which first appeared in print in 1839. Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled," in which Rigdon was set forth as the originator, after Spaulding, of the Book of Mormon, was published in 1834. He was not, then, "indebted to this production," but to Howe's "production," five years earlier, for his knowledge of "the creature" (Spaulding). False in one thing, false in all, is a maxim in law. Rigdon may or may not have known of Spaulding prior to 1834 -- his affirmation either way amounts to nothing -- as he has shown himself guilty of prevarication at the outset. He had evidently too much at stake for mere lies, larger or smaller, to stand in his way.

Rigdon denies that Spaulding's writings were in the hands of Mr. Patterson. His language is: "In relation to the whole story about Spaulding's writings being in the hands of Mr. Patterson, who was in Pittsburg, and who is said to have kept a printing office; and my saying that I was concerned in said office, etc., is the most base of lies." How could he tell where Mr. Spaulding's manuscript was deposited, if, as he asserts, he had no knowledge of it? Mrs. Davison says it was in the hands of Mr. Patterson, and the latter also declares that it was in his possession. Rigdon is emphatic -- strikingly and even suspiciously emphatic -- in regard to the Patterson printing office not being in existence during the time of his residence in Pittsburg. Let us see what there is in this.

In a pamphlet published by John E. Page, in 1843, entitled, "the Spaulding Story Exposed," the writer adduces the testimony of two witnesses, Carvil Rigdon and Peter Boyer, Rigdon's brother and brother-in-law, in which they distinctly affirm that Sidney "returned" to Pittsburg in 1822. Leaving out the question of his previous "residence" there, which probably is mere quibble, if Rigdon had not been in that city and lived there a longer or a shorter time previous to 1822, what propriety in saying, as they do, that he "returned" to Pittsburg in the winter in 1821-2? The reader will note how great a number of times, in one short paragraph, Rigdon rings the charges on his "residence" there.

Parley P. Pratt published the statement that "Mr. Rigdon was never connected with the said printing establishment, either directly or indirectly, and we defy the world to bring proof of any such connection." Rigdon himself does not use the word "connected." his phrase is "concerned in;" and experience in Mormon logomachy imposes upon the candid the disagreeable necessity of taking the elect strictly and literally at their word to get at the truth which their words are designed to conceal. Dissimulation is no name for it. The fact is, aside from Mrs. Davison's statement, there are no persons still living who know and have testified to Rigdon's association, in Spaulding's lufetime, with the Patterson printing office. Rigdon, it seems, was not a printer, nor does he appear to have been an actual employee of that office. But to say, as so boldly and triumphantly assetted by Parley Pratt, that "Mr. Rigdon was never connected with the said printing establishment, either directly or indirectly," is to affirm that which, at least, four persons still living know to be untrue.

Rigdon preached in the First Baptist Church of Pittsburg from February, 1822 until October, 1823, when he was excluded for heretical doctrines. He says Mr. Patterson failed before his (Rigdon's) residence there. As appears from the Pennsylvania Reports, Patterson "failed for a large amount," January 1st, 1823.

Again, instead of denying that he had any hand in manufacturing the Book of Mormon, which, strangely enough, throughout this avalanche of Billingsgate Rigdon nowhere does, he seeks to defame the character of worthy people -- men and women, friend and foe, indiscriminately. The family of Hon. Orris Clapp had been Rigdon's intimate friends, next-door neighbors and fellow Church-members for years: Matthew S. Clapp being in Mentor, Ohio, Rigdon's first convert to "the views advocated by the Disciples, and the first whom Rigdon baptised in Mentor in 1812 [sic, 1828], (Vide Hayden's History of the Disciples in the Western Reserve.) Adamson Bentley, who is characterized by Hayden as "a princely man," was closely connected with Rigdon by marriage, and was for years his chief friend and indulgent patron in Warren, Ohio. Under his roof, Rigdon had lived, sharing his generous hospitality.

Of the Howe family, against whom Rigdon says there were "scandalous immoralities of so black a character," Mr. Howe's wife and mother [sic, sister] were Mormons. He never joined the Church, but, on the contrary, in the prime of life, spent his best energies in ferreting out and exposing the abominations of the Latter-day dispensation. In penning his statements Rigdon gives way to blind and furious rage, influenced with the dread of being caught at last; and in his statement, or rebuttal, he does not hesitate to malign even those of his own household of faith. "The tale in your paper," he says, "is one hatched up by this gang before the time of their explosion." The allusion is to Mrs. Davison's statement, which bore no reference to the Howe book, the latter being a much more pointed arraignment of Rigdon. Undoubtedly as to the man Hurlburt the least said the better; he appears to have been of the same stamp as Rigdon himself.

Rigdon charges his enemies and persecutors with seeking "to destroy the character of innocent men whom they never dare meet in argument." This is cool effrontery. He squarely backed down from a contest, which himself had first challanged, with Thomas Campbell (father of Alexander Campbell) in February, 183[1], and made an almost equally significant back down from the contest with his own cousin, John Rigdon, in 1840. Those Campbellites were a good deal too many for the wily and unscrupulous Latter-day champion. Of all men else they had to be avoided, simply because they knew too much of the real origin of Mormonism.

We have remarked that throughout this whole venomous tirade, Rigdon never once denies having had a hand in manufacturing the Book of Mormon. And yet this was the very time and occasion for him to have done so, if he could; and we may rest assured he would have done so if he could. But instead of this he resorts to the Mormon's ever ready rejoinder, (which is so unfailing a weapon in the hands of our pious Grandmother,) "it's all a lie!"

We will close this brief review with the late Orson Hyde's two-sided testimony as to the worth, character and true-inwardness of Joseph Smith's theological instructor and bosom friend, written before and after Rigdon's recusancy. The following is from Page's "Spaulding Story Exposed:"

I am confident that Mr. Rigdon never had access to the manuscript of Mr. Spaulding; but even allowing that he might (which my own thoughts will not allow for a moment) have seen the manuscript, he lacked the disposition to make the use of it which his enemies accuse him of; for all people know, who know anything about Mr. Rigdon, and are willing to confess the truth, that he would conscientiously stand as far from such a base forgery "as Lot stood from Sodom in its evil day." Mr. Rigdon never writes a romance upon any subject; but if he had been in possession of the same conscience-seared, heaven-daring hardihood that the very pious Mr. Spaulding was, he might possibly have reduced sacred and eternal things to a romance to get gain, as Mr. Spaulding did, his own friends being witnesses. Forgery, deception, and romance formed no part of the principles which Mr. Rigdon taught me during the time that I was under his tuition; and I must say, that I should not have been more surprised if they accused the Lord Bishop of London of the same things which they charge against Mr. Rigdon.

I now close this letter with a warning to all whom it may concern, in the name of Jesus Christ, my Master, that whoever has published the Spaulding falsehood, either from the press or from the pulpit that they repent of their sin, and correct their error through the same medium which they have committed it, lest their garments be found spotted with the blood of souls when God shall judge the secrets of all hearts by that MAN whom he hath ordained.

With sentiments of high esteem, I have the honor to subscribe myself, your brother in Christ Jesus. Amen.     ORSON HYDE."

In Times and Seasons, (Dec. 15th, 1844,) the fervent apostle tells a different story. Here is the record:

I have just learned that Mr. Rigdon's wish and counsel to his followers, was that they should arm themselves with deadly weapons, and go upon the meeting ground and prevent our holding a meeting at the time he was to be tried and cut off from the church. But his principal counsellor opposed him so strongly that the measure did not carry, but fell through. O, Mr. Rigdon, were you not cut off from the church without trial? Poor man, your fiendish schemes have entirely failed, the bubble has burst, and you must be consumed by the sparks of your own kindling, and welter under the infamy created by your own nefarious designs. Let Mr. Rigdon deny this if he will, then my proof shall be forth coming.

ORSON HYDE.        

The candid reader will see from the analysis we have above given, that Rigdon's rejoinder, instead of helping his case any, furnishes very strong corroborative evidence on the other side. Let the ever vigilant Church organ read, mark, learn and inwardly digest, and then further illuminate the world with its rejoinder.

Note 1: As with several other articles printed by the Tribune in its 1879 series on Rigdon and Spalding, this piece carries the marks of James T. Cobb's craftsmanship. The Tribune writer anticipates the later reporting of William H. Whitsitt in saying, "throughout this... tirade, Rigdon never once denies having had a hand in manufacturing the Book of Mormon... this was the very time and occasion for him to have done so, if he could; and we may rest assured he would have done so if he could." Speaking of this same 1839 Rigdon rebuttal to the claims of Spalding's widow, Whitsitt says: "these damaging revelations appeared under his [Rigdon's] very nose... followed by complete silence on the part of Rigdon until the year 1839; he was only enabled at that time to break the force of them by reason of the blundering paper of Mrs. Spaulding, But even in his reply to her he sedulously avoids the main points at issue..." Perhaps the Davison-Storrs statement of April 1, 1839 was not quite so "blundering" as Whitsitt liked to think, but it did put into the public press several misstatements which Sidney Rigdon was able to vent his anger upon, without necessarily ever exposing exactly what the true facts of the case may have been. Rigdon's constantly resorting to calling people "liars" shows that he had no better verbal ammunition with which to defend himself, once he had exhausted his response to the several "blunders" of the 1839 Davison-Storrs statement. Rigdon's "lawyerese" and calculated ambiguity is perhaps best evidenced in his admission: "If I were to say that I ever heard of the Rev. Solomon Spalding, and his hopeful wife, until Dr. P. Hurlburt wrote his lie about me, I should be a liar like unto themselves." Does Rigdon here carefully conceal a double-message, so as to be technically truthful behind the scenes and totally misleading up front? For, if he were to admit that he had heard of Solomon Spalding, Spalding's wife, or Spaldings writings before D. P. Hurlbut wrote something to that effect, the Rigdon would be acknowledging that he had told lies about the Spalding authorship of the Book of Mormon in the past. The Spalding claims were well aired in the Kirtland area nearly a year before E. D. Howe's Mormonism Unvailed appeared at the end of November 1834. Even assuming that D. P. Hurlbut (rather than Ezak Rosa and E. D. Howe) "wrote" much of that book, such writing would have still postdated Hurlbut's verbal spreading of the Spalding claims in Ohio at the end of 1833. It would be preposterous to assert that Sidney Rigdon never heard of Solomon Spalding before the appearance of the widow's 1839 statement and it would be almost as absurd to believe that Rigdon had not heard of these menacing charges against him and the Mormon Church before 1834.

Note 2: Rigdon's 1839 statement was harshly criticized ere the ink in the columns of the Quincy Whig had even dried. A man who claims to have "a personal knowledge" of the matter says: "I saw in your last number an article signed S. Rigdon... [by] his writing, it seems that all who are opposed to Mormonism are "liars," and their sayings "lies."... With all of his precaution to keep back the date of his residence at Pittsburgh... he betrays himself and tells a palpable falsehood... He says "for if her [the Widow's] testimony is to be credited, her pious husband in his life time, wrote a bundle of lies for the righteous purpose of getting money." Now hear "her testimony"   his "sole object in writing this historical romance was to amuse himself and his neighbors." Gentlemen, what does such a perversion of the truth show? Does it show him to be dishonest?"

Note 3: It is an extraordinary fact that neither of the Mormon Church's original top two leaders (Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon) ever said anywhere in print that they had not met prior to 1830 or that they had not conspired to create the Book of Mormon text. In fact, other than a few slight allusions to Howe and Hurlbut, both of these leaders managed to go down to their graves without ever denying the major points of the Spalding authorship claims -- save for this one strange 1839 attempt by Rigdon to seemingly deny a select few of those points.


Vol. XVII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Saturday, May 10, 1879.                   No. 22.


As the plates found at Kinderhook, Illinois, April 23d, 1843, are again the subject of curious speculation among archeologists, as is evidenced by a respectful allusion to them in a recent issue of the Deseret News, doubtless the following queries and correspondence, old and new, concerning them will be read with interest. When "the bell-shaped plates" were first discovered, it was confidently thought they would aid and, indeed, they have done yeoman service in corroborating the story of the plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated. Said the Times and Seasons of May 1st, 1843, "circumstances are duly transpiring which give additional testimony to the Book of Mormon." "That anything like plates could have been used in ancient times, especially among the primitive inhabitants of this continent, has been thought improbable," was also remarked by the same authority, and the editor (John Taylor) added:

The following letter and certificate, will, perhaps have a tendency to convince the skeptical that such things have been used, and that even the obnoxious Book of Mormon may be true; and as the people of Columbus' day were obliged to believe that there was such a place as America, so will the people in this day be obliged to believe, however reluctantly, that there may havebeen such plates as those from which the Book of Mormon was translated. Mr. Smith has had these (Kinderhook) plates. What his opinion concerning them is we have not yet ascertained. The gentleman that owns them has taken them away, or we should have given a fac similie of the plates and characters in this number. We are informed, however, that he purposes returning with them for translation; if so, we may be able yet to furnish our readers with it.

It will be seen by the annexed statement of the Quincy Whig, that there are more dreamers and money diggers, than Joseph Smith in the world, and the worthy editor is obliged to acknowledge that this circumstance will go a good way to prove the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. He further states that, "if Joseph Smith can decipher the hieroglyphics on the plates, he will do more towards throwing light on the early history of this continent than any man living." We think that he has done that already, in translating and publishing the Book of Mormon, and would advise the gentleman and all interested, to read for themselves, and understand. We have no doubt however, but Mr. Smith will be able to translate them.

Then follows, in the Times and Seasons, an elaborate statement from the Quincy Whig, which is headed, "Singular Discovery -- Material for another Mormon Book," which we reproduce as a curiosity of literature. (see original article from 1843)

The Times and Seasons was addressed by W. P. Harris, M. D., who gave further interesting details of the great and wonderful discovery, telling how the writer took the plates home and washed them with soap and water; but finding that ineffectual, how he "treated them with dilute sulphuric acid, on which it appeared that they were completely covered with hieroglyphics which none as yet have been able to read. And wishing that the world might know the hidden things as fast as they come to light," says the Doctor, "I was induced to state the facts, hoping that you would give them insertion in your excellent paper, for we all feel anxious to know the true meaning of the plates, and publishing the facts might lead to the true translation."

The following certificate was also forwarded to the Times and Seasons and appeared in its issue of May, 1843:
We the citizens of Kinderhook, whose names are annexed, do certify and declare that on the 23d of April, 1843, while excavating a large mound in this vicinity, Mr. R. Wiley took from said mound six brass plates, of a bell shape, covered with ancient characters. Said plates were very much oxidated; the band and ring on said plates mouldered into dust on a slight pressure. The above described plates we have handed to Mr. Sharp for the purpose of taking them to Nauvoo.
Rob't Wiley,     W. P. Harris,    
G. W. F. Ward,     W. Longnecker,    
Fayette Grubb,     Ira S. Curtis,    
Geo. Deckenson,     J. R. Sharp,    
          W. Fugate.
Much speculation has been indulged in regard to the origin of these plates. A careful fac simile of them was taken and published in Mormon works. John Hyde and Dr. Mackay reproduce the original Mormon fac simile with respectful and wondering comment. Captain Burton, Messrs. Tucker, Stenhouse and Beadle, likewise, in treating of Mormonism, are puzzled to know the true history of these mysterious tablets, and generally fall in with the view of the Quincy Whig and Times and Seasons, that they, at least, may tend to strengthen the hypothesis that plates were found by Joseph Smith, jr., in his diggings here and there, while, of course, sceptical, (except in the case of the Times and Seasons,) of the translation of the Book of Mormon therefrom.

The following letter, addressed to a gentleman in this city, will reflect that light upon the discovery of the Kinderhook plates which so many have long sought:

Mound Station, Illinois,    
April 8, 1879.    
Mr. _______ I received your letter in regard to those plates, and will say in answer that they are a humbug gotten up by Robert Wiley, Bridge Whitton (a blacksmith) and myself. B. Whitton is dead. Wiley may be living. He was a Missourian. None of the nine persons who signed the certificate knew the secret excepting Wiley and myself. There were two Mormon elders present when the plates were found. Their names were Ward and Sharp. A man by the name of Savage, of Quincy, under an assumed name, borrowed the plates to show to his friends there, and took them to Joe Smith. After they were returned, Wiley gave them to Prof. McDowell, of St. Louis, Mo., for his Museum, but since McDowell's death we heard that they were taken to the Chicago Medical College and placed in the Museum. By writing to Prof. John Hodgen, of St. Louis, you may find out where they are, and also if Wiley is still living. He was a graduate of that college.

Dr. Harris was not a Mormon. He was a chemist and took the rust off the plates when found. The Doctor is dead. Wiley is not a Mormon.

The plates were cut out of copper by a blacksmith (Bridge Whitton). Wiley and myself made the hieroglyphics. A man by the name of Newman saw the plates when they were put in the mound, but whether he is living or not I do not know. I do not know of any man by the name of Roberts. I will say in conclusion that the plates were made simply for a joke. I believe I have answered all of your questions and given you the particulars concerning them. Yours respectfully.
W. Fugate.    
P. S. As father is too old and nervous to write, he requested me to answer, and the above is written as he directed.    Mattie Fugate.

Your letter came to Mount Sterling, and as we havemoved from there several years ago, we did not get it until a few days ago, consequently the delay in answering.

I will give the reason or cause of the joke. We were reading Pratt's prophecy, that truth yet was to spring up out of the earth, and, as they were digging at Kinderhook, we concluded to make the plates, and dig down about eight feet and came to a flat rock and put them under it. They were fastened together with rust made of nitric acid, lead and rusty iron. The hieroglyphics were impressions made in beeswax and filled with nitric acid and placed on the plates. We understood Jo Smith said they would make a book of 1,200 pages, but he would not agree to translate them until they were sent to the Antiquarian Society at Philadelphia, France and England. They were sent, and the answer was that there were no such hieroglyphics known, and if there ever had been they had long since passed away. Then Smith began his translation.   W. Fugate

To do justice to this ridiculous farce, we shall have to repair to the pages of the delightful and sham-puncturing Dickens. He describes exactly such a discovery:

It was at this moment that Mr. Pickwick made that immortal discovery, which has been the pride and boast of his friends, and the envy of every antiquarian in this or any other country * * * "I can discern," continued Mr. Pickwick, rubbing away with all his might, and gazing intently through his spectacles. "I can discern a cross, and a B, and then a T. This is important," continued Mr. Pickwick, starting up, "this is some very old inscription, existing perhaps long before the ancient alms-houses in this place. It must not be lost." * * *

The exultation and joy of the Pickwickians knew no bounds when their patient assiduity, their washing and scraping, were crowned with success. The stone was uneven and broken, and the letters were straggling and irregular, but the following fragment of an inscription was clearly to be deciphered:
Mr Pickwick's eyes sparkled with delight as he sat and gloated over the * * * the evidence of his senses.

"This must be at once deposited," he exclaimed, "where it can be thoroughly investigated and properly understood. In a country known to abound in remains of the early ages --"

But we have already given enough to satisfy the cravings of the archaeological mind. Grandmother [the Deseret News editor(s)] inquires, "Who were the engravers of the plates, continually being found on this continent? The Kinderhook plates, for instance." We refer the old girl to Mr. W. Fugate, who tells a story which will relieve the perplexities of many inquiring students.

Note 1: The Tribune writer (probably James T. Cobb) was evidently responding in his article to a series of letters that appeared in the Deseret News, between Jan. 1 and Jan. 22, 1879, regarding ancient engraved plates, such as the one purportedly owned by Ben Styles, "thickly covered with hieroglyphics," from which "quite a number of fac similes" were reproduced, at an early date, "at a printing office in Cincinnati." Cobb's inquiries regarding the Kinderhook plates were eventually responded to by Wilbur (or Wilbourne) Fugate, resulting in this article of May 10, 1879. Cobb apparently requested Mr. Fugate to re-write his letter in the form of a signed affidavit. The second Fugate statement (dated June 30, 1879) reads very much like his letter of April 8th; it was first published by Dr. W. Wyl in his 1881 book. The May 10, 1879 Tribune exposure of the Kinderhook plates hoax appears to have been largely ignored by Latter Day Saint readers, despite the circulation of reprints in 1879 issues of the Ogden Freeman, the Reno Nevada State Journal, and other western papers.

Note 2: What appears to have been the second published exposure of the Kinderhook plates hoax was published in the form of a letter in the Chicago Inter Ocean of Jan. 31, 1888. See the Lamoni, Iowa Saints' Herald of Mar. 10, 1888 for the "Mormon" reaction. See also Rev. R. B. Neal's "The Champion Hoaxer Hoaxed," in the June, 1909 number of his Sword of Laban. See also James D. Bales' 1958 The Book of Mormon? for a discussion of the topic, including a reprint of Dr. W. P. Harris' 1855 letter exposing the hoax.

Note 3: A facsimile sheet providing various details in regard to the Kinderhook plates was published by the Nauvoo Neighbor, in 1843, along with an interesting article on the plates' discovery, etc. On Sept. 3, 1856, the Salt Lake City Deseret News published the following sentences, as a part of its serialization of "The History of Joseph Smith": "I insert fac similes of the six brass plates found near Kinderhook, in Pike county, Illinois, on April 23, by Mr. R. Wiley and others, while excavating a large mound. They found a skeleton about six feet from the surface of the earth, which must have stood nine feet high. The plates were found on the breast of the skeleton, and were covered on both sides by ancient characters.... In the following issue, Smith continues his history, by saying: "I have translated a portion of them, and find they contain a history of the person with whom they were found. He was a descendant of Ham, through the loins of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and that he received his kingdom from the ruler of heaven and earth" (cf. LDS HC 5:374-375). Smith wrote very little of his published history and this entry was most likely inserted into the original text by its later LDS editors -- evidently from the Nauvoo Journal of William Clayton.

Note 4: William Clayton's Journal entry for May 1, 1843 reads: "I have seen 6 brass plates which were found in Adams county, covered with ancient characters of language containing from 30 to 40 on each side of the plates. Prest J. has translated a portion and says they contain the history of the person with whom they were found and he was a descendant of Ham through the loins of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and that he received his kingdom from the ruler of heaven and earth." Compare the substance of the journal entry with a May 7, 1843 letter by Apostle Pratt: "Six plates having the appearance of Brass have lately been dug out of a mound by a gentleman in Pike Co. Illinois. They are small and filled with engravings in Egyptian language and contain the genealogy of one of the ancient Jaredites back to Ham the son of Noah" (The Ensign, Aug. 11, 1981, p 73).


Vol. XVII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Tuesday, May 13, 1879.                   No. 24.


The foundation stone of this Latter-day dispensation is the Book of Mormon. If the founder of this religious system was not chosen by the Almighty for His sacred work, was not visitd by angels as he claims, and did not discover the plates by divine instruction, the theological fabric he has reared has no support, and it falls to the ground as rank imposture. To determine the truth of the testimony borne in favor if the Gold Bible and its translator, we have to look at the character of the man who assumes to have been appointed by the Lord as His prophet, and also what credibility attaches to the witnesses who certify to the genuineness of the work. The name of Joseph Smith has come down to us as the founder of a new religion, who held constant communication with celestial intelligences, and who gave up his life to seal his testament. Uninquiring faith seizes hold of such a man as a divine instrument, and a halo suffuses his life which misleads the judgment and disarms criticism. But if we go back to the neighborhood where he spent his early years, and take the statements of the men who saw him in his ordinary pursuits, this spell vanishes, and Joseph Smith, the prophet, becomes less than an average mortal. Elder John Hyde, in his History of Mormonism, has taken pains to collect the sworn testimony of scores of Joseph Smith's neighbors, and as a man is best known by the reputation he has at home, we will show the standing held by this holy man among those persons who best knew him. Eleven residents of Manchester, Ontario county, New York, make affidavit, Nov. 3d, 1833, as follows:

We, the undersigned, being personally acquainted with the family of Joseph Smith, sen., with whom the Gold Bible, so-called, originated, state that they are not only a lazy, indolent set of men, but also intemperate, and their word not to be depended upon, and that we are heartily glad to dispense with their society.
      (Here follow the signatures)

The following month, (dec. 4th) fifty-one other men, (reported to be of good standing and reputation,) made the following affidavit.

We, the undersigned, have been acquainted with the Smith family for a number of years, while they resided near this place, and we have no hesitation in saying that we consider them destitute of that moral character which ought to entitle them to the confidence of any community. They were particularly famous for visionary projects; spent much of their time in digging for money, which they pretended was hid in the earth * * * Joseph Smith, sen., and his son Joseph, in particular, were considered entirely destitute of moral character and addicted to vicious habits

Willard Chase made affidavit before a local justice (Judge Smith) as follows:

I have regarded Joseph Smith, jr. from the time I first became acquainted with him, as a man whose word could not be depended on. * * * After they became Mormons, their conduct was more disgraceful than before. * * * Although they left this part of the country without paying their just debts, yet their creditors were glad to have them do so, rather than to have them stay.

Joseph Capron testified that "the object of the Smith family appeared to be to live without work. While digging for money they were constantly harrassed by creditors, who are still unpaid." Barton Stafford, on oath before Judge Baldwin, desposed and said,

Joseph Smith, sen, was a noted drunkard, most of his family followed his example, especially Joseph Smith, jr., the prophet, who was much addicted to intemperance. He got drunk in my father's field, and when drunk would talk about his religion.

Levi Lewis testifies to somewhat similar effect. This witness says he knows Smith to be a liar; that he saw him intoxicated three different times while pretending to translate the Book of Mormon; and he has heard him say adultery was no crime.

The above is enough to establish the reputation of the founder of the Mormon religion; now let us see what is said of the "three witnesses" who attest the sacred character of his work. The following is their voucher for the genuineness of the Book of Mormon: ... [witnesses' statement follows]

Elder John Hyde calls attention to the fact that neither date nor place is given to this "record." The signers do not make three separate affidavits corroboraating each other without collusion; but one testimony is given signed by the three men. And whose pen produced the rigmarole? If we compare the style with a number of Smith's revelations, it will be seen that the author of these divine commandments is also the writer of this testimony. Now let us see what the character and credibility of these men who were favored with the visitation of an angel to attest the truth unto all kindreds, tongues and people.

The first signer is Oliver Cowdery. This devout Saint was a school teacher, and becomming smitten with his prophet's doctrines, he enrolled himself among Smith's followers. Martin Harris having grown tired of his work as an amanuensis, Cowdery was selected to succeed him. But he also felt a lack of faith, and required stronger evidence in support of his master's pretensions. Whereupon Joseph received several revelations for his scribe's especial benefit, which for awhile seem to have answered the required purpose. But matters did not go along harmoniously. Shortly after the organization of the Church in 1830, we find Hiram Smith charging Oliver Cowdery with going to his house while he (Hiram) was in prison, ransacking his goods and carrying off some valuables. He also complains of Cowdery compelling his aged father (Smith senior) to deed over to him, by threatening to bring a mob to his aid, 160 acres of land in payment of a note for $160, which Cowdery said he received from Hiram, but which the latter pronounces a forgery. The testimony of a man guilty of theft and forgery cannot be very convincing to the inquiring mind.

Next David Whitmer receives a setting up at the hands of his friends. In Independence, in the year 1838, Sidney Rigdon charged Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer with being connected with a gang of counterfeiters, theives, liars and blacklegs of the deepest dye, the object of this choice fraternity being to deceive and defraud the Saints. Joseph Smith, in Times and Seasons, charged this choice pair with being "busy in stirring up strife among the brethren in Missouri," and that "they were studiously engaged in circulating false and slanderous reports against the Saints." And he asks upon this showing, "Are they not murderers at heart? Are not their consciences seared with a hot iron? They were cut off from the Church, being too deeply implicated to deny the testimony, and too thoroughly defamed beforehand for such a denial to have any weight."

The third witness is Martin Harris. This strange genius was a farmer in affluent circumstances, and he was forever in quest of some new road to heaven. His acquaintance with the Prophet Joseph began through the latter accosting him on a chance meeting with, "I have been commanded from God to ask the first man I meet to give me fifty dollars to help me do the Lord's work in translating the Gold Bible." Joseph had studied his man before he approached him, and chose just the rightmeans to win his confidence. Martin shelled out the cash. Previous to his turning Saint, he had been Quaker, Universalist, Restorationist, Baptist, Presbyterian. But his frequent conversions never succeeded in uprooting the old Adam from within, for he was a man of violent and quarrelsome temper, and treated his wife most brutally. Richard Ford and G. W. Stoddard made sworn statements to his frequently putting her out of doors. The poor woman herself tells of her shoulders being left black and blue after her husband's gentle administrations, and once, she says, "he struck me over the head several times with the butt end of a whip three or four feet long." The acquaintance opened as above, the pair soon became intimate, and Martin was employed as scribe. But his faith fading him, he wanted to see the plates. Smith put his dsiciple off, and sent him to Professor Anthon with what he professed to be characters copied from the plates. The professor's opinion of the hieroglyphics was by no means reassuring, and he came back more dissatisfied than ever, Joseph treated his patient's disease with his unfailing specific, revelation.

Harris then stole 118 pages of the translation, hoping to expose Smith by a second copy. But the prophet was too cute to be caught that way. He obtained a revelation commanding him to not to retranslate. The book as finished at last, and testimony gotten up to establish its divine authenticity. Harris' signature was appended as a witness, but it had to be extorted from him, and was given last when it should have been first.

"Harris' testimony," says John Hyde, "has convinced thousands but not himself, nor did it deter him from desiring to commit murder and adultery." We find the prophet rebuking his wayward follower, and getting a revelation commanding him to repent and not to covet his neighbor's wife, nor to seek his neighbor's life; also to impart freely of his means to pay for printing the Book of Mormon. In 1837 [sic - 1838?], the man of God got after the bucolic Saint in the following lively manner,

There are negroes who have white skins as well as black ones. Granny Parrish had a few others who acted as lackeys, such as Martin Harris. But they are so far beneath my contempt that to notice any of them would be too great a sacrifice for any gentleman to make.

IN addition to the three witnesses there are eight others; four of the Whitmer family, three Smiths and a Hiram Page -- the last a relative of Cowdery. This little syndicate testify that the translator has exhibited the plates to them, "which have the appearance of gold," that they handled them with their hands, saw the engraving thereon, and "know of a surety that the said Smith has got the plates of which we have spoken." The author and translator was evidently hard run when he was reduced to this expedient. So sacred had these plates been held hitherto that Joseph divided his translating room with a blanket, he sitting on one side and the scribe on the other, and before the three could be indulged with a sight of them, we have frequent revelations, many warnings, three years' delay, and the use of endless subterfuge, mystery and magical paraphrenalia. It will be seen there is no date or place given to this latter testimonial. It is not an affidavit, and it also bears the marks of Joseph's handiwork. It is a snug little family arrangement. Three of the signers are relatives of the prophet, four are related to David Whitmer, who signed the first voucher, and the eighth signer, as we remarked above, is a kinsman of Oliver Cowdery. These to help the prophet out of a scrape, were willing to put their hands to a document prepared for them, but when we see how fraudulent was the character of the man who is connected with the whole business, the mere attest of half a score of persons embarked in the scheme with him will never give authenticity to what has been showen to be a transparent swindle.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVII.                 Salt Lake City, Utah, Friday, May 16, 1879.                 No. 27.



The Deseret News of the 21st ult. bears the following testimony in relation to Rigdon's conversion to Mormonism:

Brother Call says that at first he (Rigdon) spurned it (the Book of Mormon) and ridiculed the idea of paying any attention to a book with such claims. He knew of the controversy between the two men (P. P. Pratt and Rigdon) and says the only reason why Rigdon consented to examine it at all was because Parley said, "You brought truth to me: I now ask you as a friend to read this for my sake." He studied and prayed over the matter for two weeks, and at length accepted it as true, and soon after he and his wife were baptized as were a few others of the Campbellites.

The "History of Joseph Smith" contains the following sketch of Rigdon:

The first house at which they (P. P. Pratt and company) called, was Elder Rigdon's, and after the usual salutations, presented him with the Book of Mormon, stating that it was a revelation from God. This being the first time he had ever heard of or seen the Book of Mormon, he felt very much prejudiced at the assertion; and replied that he had one Bible, which he believed was a revelation from God, and with which he pretended to have some acquaintance; but with respect to the book they had presented him he must say that he had considerable doubt. Upon which they expressed a desire to investigate the subject and argue the matter, but he replied, "No, young gentlemen, you must not argue with me on the subject; but I will read your book, and see what claim it has upon my faith, and will endeavor to ascertain whether it be a revelation from God or not."

After some farther conversation on the subject, they expressed a desire to lay the subject before the people, and requested the privilege of preaching in Elder Rigdon's church, to which he readily consented. The appointment was accordingly published, and a large and respectable congregation assemble. Oliver Cowdery and Parley P. Pratt severally addressed the meeting. At the conclusion, Elder Rigdon arose and stated to the congregation that the information they had that evening received was of an extraordinary character, and certainly demanded their most serious consideration: and as the apostle advised his brethren "to prove all things and hold fast that which is good," so he would exhort his brethren to do likewise, and give the matter a careful investigation, and not turn against it, without being fully convinced of its being an imposition, lest they should, possibly resist the truth.

This was, indeed, generous on the part of Elder Rigdon. *  *  *  After the meeting broke up the brethren returned home with Elder Rigdon and conversed upon the important things which they had proclaimed. He informed them that he should read the Book of Mormon, give it a full investigation, and then would frankly tell them his mind and feelings on the subject -- told them they were welcome to abide at his house until he had opportunity of reading it.

About two miles from elder Rigdon's, at the town of Kirtland, were a number of the members of his church, who lived together and had all things common -- from which circumstance has arisen the idea that this was the case with the Church of Jesus Christ -- to which place they immediately repaired, and proclaimed the gospel to them, with some considerable success; for their testimony was received by many of the people, and seventeen came forward in obedience to the gospel.

While thus engaged, they visited elder Rigdon occasionally, and found him very earnestly engaged in reading the Book of Mormon -- praying to the Lord for direction, and meditating on the things he heard and read; and after a fortnight from the time the book was put in his hands, he was fully convinced of the truth of the work
(Mormon Shibboleth, original with Rigdon) by a revelation from Jesus Christ, which was made known to him in a remarkable manner, so that he could exclaim "flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto me, by my father which is in Heaven."

The above is from the history of Joseph Smith, pages 47 and 48. Sidney Rigdon, we are further given to understand, was "now fully satisfied in his own mind of the truth of the work, and necessity of obedience thereto." Then follows a tedious and fulsome rigmarole (evidently all from Rigdon's own pen) which winds up with the baptism of himself and wife.

We will now give Parley P. Pratt's account of this theatric and sensational affair as contained in Pratt's "Reply to Laroy Sunderland." The writer says:

About the 15th of October, 1830, I took my journey, in company with Elder O. Cowdery, and Peter Whitmer to Ohio. We called on Elder S. Ringdon and then for the first time his eyes beheld the Book of Mormon.

(In dealing with writers whose object is to mislead, and who use words to conceal thoughts, it is necessary to examine their statements critically. It is more than suspected that Rigdon procured the Spaulding Manuscript from Patterson's printing office and recast it into the "Gold Bible." The Apostle Pratt says this was the first time Rigdon saw the Book of Mormon. From which we understand it was the first time he had seen it in print. A literary production is not a book until it is printed and bound up.)

I, myself had the happiness (the writer continues) to present it to him in person. He was much surprised, and it was with much persuasion and argument, that he was prevailed on to read it; and after he had read it, he had a great struggle of mind, before he fully believed and embraced it; and when finally convinced of its truth, he called together a large congregation of his friends, neighbors and brethren, and then addressed them very affectionately, for nearly an hour, during most of which time both himself and nearly all the congregation were melted into tears. He asked forgiveness of every body who might have had occasion to be offended with any part of his former life; he forgave all who had persecuted or injured him, in any manner; and the next morning, himself and wife were baptised by Elder O. Cowdery. I was present; it was a solemn scene, most of the people were greatly affected; they came out of the water overwhelmed in tears. Many others were baptised by us in that vicinity, both before and after his baptism. *  *  * 

Early in 1831 (late in 1830) Mr. Rigdon having been ordained under our hands, visited Elder J. Smith, jun., in the State of New York for the first time, and from that time forth, rumor began to circulate that he (Rigdon) was the author of the Book of Mormon.

There is another catch here we would warn the reader against. Joseph Smith was ordained an elder April 6th, 1830, at the organization of the Church, and the visit Parley talks of was the first paid to Smith by Rigdon after his ordination as an elder. But it is not saying that Rigdon then met Joseph Smith for the first time.

We will give yet another version of Rigdon's conversion to Mormonism from an eye-witness, who in a private letter describes the scene in detail. It carries conviction on the face of it:

MENTOR, O., Jan, 28, 1879.    

My Dear Sir: *  *  *  The whole matter of Rigdon's conversion to Mormonism was so secret, so sudden and so perfectly unexpected, that it was to us like a clap of thunder out of a clear sky. The four Mormons came to Mr. Rigdon's Wednesday evening (I think). Then Thursday morning he came to my father's with the wonderous announcement, as related by Mr. Hayden in his history, page 210. I was present at the time of the incident, and it will not soon be effaced from my memory. I do not remember to have ever seen a man so completely put to route as he was at the comment of my brother, "It's all a lie!" Matthew was then a very young man, but one of very decided convictions and not afraid to express them. Mr. Rigdon had entered the home with that perfect self-reliant confidence so common with him, and, having taken a chair, he at once proceeded to state the curious errand of some men from the State of New York who had put up with him the night before, giving a very plain but brief view of the history and object of the new revelation. He was evidently expecting encouragement, but the response of my brother so decided and evidently unlooked for, showed him that he had nothing to hope for from us. His countenance fell and without another word he returned home, and, though living in a house on my father's farm but a few rods away, he never set foot in our house again.

Some of the Mormon emissaries went to Kirtland, two or three miles distant that day (Thursday) and directly baptized the "common stock family" at Morely's who were members of Rigdon's church. (Rigdon preached alternately at Mentor and Kirtland.) At this Rigdon professed to be indignant. This we heard on Saturday, and on Sunday -- it being his regular appointment at Kirtland -- a number of us went over from Mentor to hear him (not to hear Mormonism). The house was an ordinary school house, would perhaps accommodate a hundred persons. It was reasonably filled but not crowded. He then made the most pitiable effort to which I ever listened to place himself in an honorable position before the public, but utterly failed. During his short address, (probably not more than 15 or 20 minutes,) he affected to exhibit great sorrow and contrition for the inutility of his past preaching, "that he feared it had only tickled their ears, etc." I cannot speak for all that were there, but I saw no signs of sympathy with any except those already enlisted in Mormonism. As for myself, the whole thing was such an evident piece of hypocrisy that I turned away sick and disgusted. I had heard all I wished and returned home.

The next we heard of him, on Monday, he and his wife had been baptized some time during that Sunday night and gone over to Mormonism. This was immediately confirmed by his sending teams for his household goods which were thus removed to Kirtland, himself never coming near us. There was no attempt to get up a public meeting for the purpose of examining the claims of the Book of Mormon before Mr. Rigdon embraced it, either in Mentor or Kirtland, or anywhere in the vicinity. It is sheer fabrication and gotten up (I presume) for the purpose of covering over the indecent haste with which he embraced it.

I think you do the Disciples injustice by your surmise. While they did not cherish vindictive feelings toward Mr. R., they were greatly grieved that one in whom they had placed confidence should prove so unworthy of it. And I think very few now doubt his connection with the origin of the Book of Mormon. It hardly seemed possible that a man of as good education as Mr. Rigdon was supposed to be could be guilty of so many and such gross outrages upon the English language in one book as were apparent in the Book of Mormon. On this account it seemed as though it must be the work of some ignoramus. Then, too, the awkward attempt to imitate the Scripture style which runs through the whole book -- barely resemblance enough to stamp it as one of the basest of counterfeits. Could this be the work of a man familiar with the chaste and grandly beautiful language of Holy Writ? Again, the irreconcilable contradictions betwixt it and the law of Moses in relation to the priesthood. In Mr. Campbell's analysis he makes a very strong point here. The law emphatically declared that the stranger (the man of another family than that of Aaron) who came nigh (to offer incense) should surely be put to death. Yet the Book of Mormon establishes an order of priests, by divine appointment, not even of the tribe of Levi, and makes them perform acceptable worship under the law! Could this be the work of an intelligent student of the Bible? It was not until accumulated evidence forced the conviction upon us that we could believe it.

You ask me for particulars in relation to the letter of Thomas Campbell to Rigdon accepting his challenge to the world to debate the question of the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon. Although I was not present when the challenge was given or accepted, yet as I had the narrative from Mr. Campbell himself, I suppose that I have a correct understanding of it. The challenge was given at one of his harangues immediately after his return from his pilgrimage to visit the prophet. Many of the Mormons had assembled [to] greet him and to welcome him back. He had by this time got over his crying and sniveling; he had laid aside his meekness and humility, and now appeared in his former character, arrogant and boastful. In the course of his remarks he told them that religion was a thing not to be reasoned upon, that they had no use for reason, but that they could know for a certainty the truth of that which they had received.
(So Rigdon is the fons et principium of all this disastrous "certainty!" in Mormonism!)

Waxing warm with his subject, he declared that the evidence of the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon was far greater than that of the Bible, and upon this he challenged any man, or the world, to meet him in public debate.

Mr. Campbell, who was spending the winter in Mentor and vicinity, was immediately notified of the challenge, and very promptly accepted in the letter to which you refer, and in arranging the preliminaries, he makes use of this language: "You, as the professed disciple and public teacher of the infernal Book of Mormon, and I as the professed disciple and public teacher of the supernal books of the old and new testaments." He proceeded to explain that he uses the terms in no offensive sense, but strictly according to their literal and primitive meaning -- the one, coming from above, as supernal; the other dup up from the earth, (coming from beneath) therefore is infernal. Mr. [R.] waited for no explanation, but dashed the letter into the fire, professing to feel very much insulted, but no doubt feeling very glad of an excuse for refusing to debate the question as he had proposed.

Make what use you please of anything I have written. I have said nothing I am unwilling to meet at any time or place.   Yours, truly,
             H. H. CLAPP.

The writer of the above is a thoroughly reliable man. He is a son of Hon. Orris Platt [sic, Clapp], who held a judicial office for years, and Rigdon was a partaker of his bounty. The Platt [sic, Clapp] family were members of Rigdon's flock when he preached Discipleism, and they received their baptism into that faith at his hands.

Note 1: The writer of the letter dated Jan. 29, 1879 was Mr. Henry Harrison Clapp (1812-1897) of Mentor, Lake co., Ohio. He sent the letter to James Thornton Cobb, who was then working on an occasional basis as a journalist for the Salt Lake Tribune. Cobb submitted a lengthy series of articles on Mormonism for publication in the Tribune during 1878-79; Cobb's first contribution in this series was probably "Early Mormonism" published on Dec. 8, 1878.

Note 2: Henry H. Clapp was well acquainted with Sidney Rigdon, both during his career as a "Reformed Baptist" (Campbellite) minister, and after 1830 when Rigdon was the second-ranking leader in the Mormon leadership at Kirtland. Henry's wife was Statira Newcomb, the daughter of the Rev. Obadiah Newcomb who served as the Baptist pastor in Pittsburgh when Sidney Rigdon converted to that denomination at the nearby Peters Creek Baptist congregation in 1818. Henry's father was the Hon. Orris Clapp, who provided the Rigdon family free housing during their residence at Mentor. Henry H. Clapp was baptized into the Mentor Campbellite congragation in June of 1828 by S. Rigdon. His brother, Thomas Jefferson Clapp was baptized by Rigdon on June 15 1827 at Mentor. On Nov. 12, 1831 Thomas married Lorinda Bentley, the daughter of Mary Brooks Bentley, Rigdon's sister-in-law; thus Thomas was Rigdon's nephew by marriage. Also, on Sept. 14, 1829, a year before his own conversion to Mormonism, Rigdon married Henry H. Clapp's sister Harriet to Darwin Atwater at Mentor. Henry H. Clapp was obviously very well acquainted with Rigdon.

Note 3: James T. Cobb probably first wrote to the Clapp family of Mentor near the end of 1878. On Nov. 3, 1878 Cobb had contacted an old friend of the family, Mr. J. J. Moss, asking about his knowledge of early Mormonism in Ohio. Moss wrote to Cobb on Jan. 23, 1879: "Thomas Clapp of Mentor, Lake Co., O, can come nearer answering some of your questions than any man living now." It seems that Cobb was ahead of Moss' suggestion, in his correspondence, and had already written to the Clapps. It is not known whether Cobb exchanged letters with Thomas J. Clapp. Another brother, who also known Rigdon well, was Matthew Smith Clapp, who had died in 1872. Matthew contributed an article on Rigdon to the Painesville Telegraph of Feb. 15, 1831 that agrees with his brother Henry's recollections in nearly every respect.

Note 4: Henry H. Clapp's recollection of the unexpected swiftness with which Rigdon converted to Mormonism is probably essentially correct. Henry says that the four Mormon missionaries to the Lamanites "came to Mr. Rigdon's Wednesday evening," but then qualifies his story by adding "I think." Rigdon's historian, Richard S. Van Wagoner has the four missionaries (Oliver Cowdery, Parley P. Pratt, Peter Whitmer, and Ziba Peterson) arriving "near Rigdon's Mentor home on Thursday, 28 October." Van Wagoner's reconstruction of events does not take all four Mormons immediately to Rigdon's doorstep on the Clapp farm in Mentor -- rather, he says: "After dividing into pairs, the young elders began to proselyte. Cowdery and Pratt... called on the Rigdon household..." In this scenerio "Some of the Mormon emissaries" (Peter Whitmer and Ziba Peterson) go directly to the Morely commune in Kirtland on Thursday, Oct. 28, and there convert many of these detached Rigdonite parishioners for a speedy Mormon baptism, while Cowdery and Pratt are still introducing the principles of Mormonism to Rigdon and his associates in Mentor. Rigdon then goes to Kirtland on Oct. 31, for his Sunday preaching engagement, and there finds some of his congregation (17 members from the Morely farm) already baptized into the new Mormon dispensation. According to Clapp, Rigdon had already heard of this mass baptism of his members at Kirtland on or before Saturday, Oct. 30. Clapp also says that when next he heard of Rigdon, "on Monday" (Nov. 1?) "he and his wife had been baptized some time during that Sunday night and gone over to Mormonism." Here Clapp may have compressed a week's worth of time in his memory, as Richard S. Van Wagoner has the Rigdons being baptized the following Sunday, on Nov. 8, 1830. Whether his formal entry into Mormonism was on Nov. 1 or Nov. 8, it seems that Sidney Rigdon was indeed converted with unexpected swiftness -- what Clapp calls "perfectly unexpected... like a clap of thunder out of a clear sky." The sequence of events put forward by Clapp and Van Wagoner raises the vexatious question: why did the junior missionaries -- Elders Whitmer and Peterson -- take it upon themselves to baptize practically the entire Morely commune without first gaining the concurrence of those members' pastor (or, at least, of their two senior companions, then staying with that pastor)? One tenable answer is that they did have Rigdon's permission, albeit a secret one, to carry out this fait accompli, prior to his coming to Kirtland for the scheduled preaching service of Oct 31, 1830.


Vol. XVII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Thursday, May 29, 1879.                   No. 38.


A Few Scattered Rays From the Light of Revelation Focussed.

As we are continually invited by the Mormon preachers to search the records and acwauint ourselves with the facts of the Latter-day dispensation, to aid the reader in his quest after knowledge, we lay before him the following authentic information. Our first extract is from a discourse by the late Brigham Young, delivered at Farmington, Utah, June 17th, 1875.

When we as individuals and as a people learn things as they are, we will find this fact -- all truth is worthy and worth possessing, while all untruth is not worthy nor worth running after, nor spending our lives for. * * *

Orren P. Rockwell is an eye-witness to some powers of removing the treasures of the earth. He was with certain parties that lived near by where the plates were found that contain the records of the Book of Mormon. There were a great many treasures hid up by the Nephites. Porter was with them one night, (with whom -- the Nephites?) where there were treasures, and they could find them easy enough, but they could not obtain them. I will tell you a story which will be marvellous to most of you. It was told me by Porter, whom I would believe just as quickly as any man that lives. When he tells a thing he understands he will tell it just as he knows it, he is a man that does not lie.

He said that on this night, when they were engaged in hunting for this old treasure, they dug around the end of a chest for some twenty inches. The chest was about three feet square, One man who was determined to have the contents of that chest, took his pick and struck into the lid of it, and split through into the chest. The blow took off a piece of the lid, which a certain lady kept in her possession until she died. That chest of money went into the bank. Porter describes it so (making a rumbling sound); he says this is just as true as the heavens are. I have heard others tell the same story. I relate this beacuse it is marvelous to you. But to those who understand these things, it is not marvelous. You hear a great deal said about finding money. There is no difficulty at all in finding money, but there are a great many people that do not know what to do with it when they do find it. This is the great defect with the human family. I could realte many very singular circumstances.

The following corroborative testimony is furnished by Peter Ingersoll, and shows how the father of the Prophet Smith "worked to the money."

        Palmyra, Wayne Co., N. Y.
                December 2, 1833.
I, Peter Ingersoll, first became acquainted with the family of Joseph Smith, sen. in the year of our Lord, 1822. I lived in the neighborhood of said family, until about 1830; during which time the following facts came under my observation.

The general employment of the family was digging for money. I had frequent invitations to join the company, but always declined being one of their number. They used various arguments to induce me to accept of their invitations. I was once ploughing near the house of Joseph Smith, sen. About noon he requested me to walk with him a short distance from his house for the purpose of seeing whether a mineral rod would work in my hand, saying at the same time he was confident it would. As my oxen were eating, and being myself at leisure, I accepted the invitation. When we arrived near the place at which he thought there was money, he cut a small witch hazle bush and gave me direction how to hold it. He then went off some rods, and told me to say to the rod,


which I did, in an audible voice. He rebuked me severely for speaking it loud, and said it must be spoken in a whisper. This was rare sport for me. While the old man was standing off some rods, throwing himself into various shapes, I told him the rod did not work. He seemed much surprised at this, and said he thought he saw it move in my hand. It was now time for me to return to my labor. * * * Now, said he, if you only knew the value there is back of my house (pointing to a place near) -- "there," exclaimed he, "is one chest of gold and another of silver. He then put the stone which I had given him into his hat and, stooping forward, he bowed and made sundry maneuvers, quite similar to those of a stool pigeon. At length he took down his hat, and being very much exhausted, said, in a faint voice, "if you knew what I had seen, you would believe." To see the old man thus try to impose upon me, I confess, rather had a tendency to excite contempt than pity. * * * Another time, the said Joseph, sen. told me that the best time for digging money was in the heat of summer, when the heat of the sun caused the chests of money to rise near the top of the ground. "You notice," said he, "the large stones on the top of the ground, we call them rocks, and they truly appear so, but they are, in fact, most of them chests of money raised by the sun. * * *
State of New York,
    Wayne County, ss:
I certify, that on this 9th day of December, 1833, personally appeared before me the above named Peter Ingersoll, to me known, and made oath, according to law, to the truth of the above statement.   [J. P. BALDWIN]
Judge of Wayne County Court.

In the Book of Commandments, pp. 19, 20, published in the earliest edition of the Lord's Doctrine and Covenants, (which has since ben materially modified) we find the LOrd declaring that Oliver Cowdery also has the gift of working the rod. This is set forth in a revelation given that favored servant in Harmony, Pennsylvania, April, 1829, which runs as follows:

Oliver, verily, verily I say unto you, that assuredly as the Lord liveth, which is your God and your Redeemer, even so sure shall you receive a knowledge of whatsoever things you shall ask in faith, with and honest heart, believing that you shall receive a knowledge concerning the engravings of old records, which are ancient, which contain those parts of my scripture of which have been spoken, by the manifestation of my Spirit; yea, behold I will tell you in your mind and in your heart by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart. Now, behold this is the Spirit of revelation, behold this is the Spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red sea on dry ground: therefore, this is thy gift; apply unto it and blessed art thou, for it shall deliver you out of the hands of your enemies, when, if it were not so, they would slay you and bring your soul to destruction. O remember, these words and keep my commandments. Remember this is your gift. Now this is not all, for you have another gift, which is the


Behold it has told you things: behold there is no other power save God, that can cause this rod of nature to work in your hands, for it is the work of God, and therefore whatsoever you shall ask me to tell you by that means, that will I grant unto you, that you shall know. Remember that without faith you can do nothing. Trifle not with these things. Do not ask for that which you ought not. Ask that you may know the mysteries of God, and that you may translate all those ancient records, which have been hid up, which are sacred, and according to your faith shall it be done unto you. Behold it is I that have spoken it, I am the same which spake unto you from the beginning. Amen.

Tucker, in his "Rise and Progress of Mormonism," pp. 38-9, gives a list of the early Mormon disciples, which he classes


These pioneer Mormon disciples, so far as their names can now be recollected, were as follows, viz.: Oliver Cowdery, Samuel Lawrence, Martin Harris, [Preserved Harris], Peter Ingersoll, Charles Ford, George Proper and his wife Dolly, of Palmyra; Ziba Peterson, and Calvin Stoddard and his wife Sophronia, of Macedon; Ezra Thayer, of Brighton; Luman Walters, of Pultneyville; Hiram Page, of Fayette; David Whitmer, Jacob Whitmer, Christian Whitmer, John Whitmer and Peter Whitmer, Jr., of Phelps; Simeon Nichols, of Farmington; William Stafford, Joshua Stafford, Gad Stafford, David Fish, Abram Fish, Robert Orr, King H. Quance, John Morgan, Orrin Rockwell and his wife Caroline, Widow Sally Risley, and all the remainder of the Smith family, of Manchester. It is believed that this list embraces all the persons residing at or near the prime seat of the Mormon advent, who from first to last made a profession of belief either in the money-digging or golden bible finding pretensions of Joseph Smith, Jr.; and probably, indeed, not more than one-half of these can be said to have been genuine converts under one head or the other.

We will now resort to the late Brigham Young for an account of Joseph Smith's return of the plates to the hill where he discovered thoise sacred records. It occurs in his Farmington address, quotd from above, and reads like a page from the Arabian Nights Entertainment. He said:

I lived right in the country where the plates were found from which the Book of Mormon was translated, and I know a great many things pertaining to that country. I believe I will take the liberty to tell you of another circumstance that will be as marvelous as anything can be. This is an incident in the life of Oliver Cowdery, but he did not take the liberty of telling such things in meeting, as I take. I tell these things to you, and I have a motive for doing so. I want to carry them to the ears of my brethren and sisters, and to the children also (Poor lambs!) that they may grow to an understanding of some things that seem to be entirely hidden from the human family.

Oliver Cowdery went with the prophet Joseph when he deposited these plates. Joseph did not translate all the plates; there was a portion of them sealed, which you can learn from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. When Joseph got the plates, the angel instructed him to carry them back to the hill Cumorah, which he did. Oliver says that when Joseph and he (Oliver) went there,


and they walked into a cave, in which there was a large and spacious room. He says he did not think, at the time, whether they had the light of the sun or artificial light; but that it was just as light as day. They laid the plates on a table; it was a large table that stood in the room. Under this table there was a pile of plates as much as two feet high, and there were altogether in this room more plates than


They were piled up in the corners and along the walls. The first time they went there the sword of Laban hung upon the wall; but when they went again it had been taken down and laid upon the table across the gold plates; it was unsheathed, and on it was written these words: "This sword will never be sheathed again until the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our God and His Christ." I tell you this as coming not only from Oliver Cowdery, but others who were familiar with it, and who understood it just as well as we understand coming to this meeting,* * * I relate this to you, and I want you to understand it. I take this liberty of referring to those things so that they will not be forgotten and lost. * * * You may think I am unwise in publicly telling these things, thinking perhaps I should preserve them in my own breast; but such is not my mind. I would like the people called Latter-day Saints to understand some little things with regard to the workings and dealings of the Lord with his people here upon the earth.

It will occur to the reader that Oliver Cowdery did not take the liberty of telling such yarns, because he didn't suppose he could find any hearers fools enough to believe him. Mosheim in his Ecclesiastical History tells that in earlier times false articles were artfully proportioned to the credulity of the vulgar, and he notes the time when to lie and mislead, to the interest of religion, was a well nigh publicly adopted maxim. "The writings of the early fathers," he says, "being infested with leprosy." Common sense is the savior from all such delusions, and the invincible foe to all such assumptions. Brethren and sisters, let us cultivate our minds and exercise our judgment, and then we may trust the stars in their courses to fight against all the Siseras of superstition.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Thursday, June 5, 1879.                   No. 44.


Another Chapter on Joe Smith and the Book of Mormon.

The following chapter, written by an eye and ear witness to the matter treated upon, we commend to the perusal, especially, of Apostle Orson Pratt, who is now in England supervising a new edition of the Book of Mormon; also to Appstle Geo. Q. Cannon, who, through the columns of his Juvenile Instructor, is guilty of the very grave offense of filling so many of the youthful minds of this Territory with false and pernicious ideas, by treating the Book of Mormon as if it were true; whereas, if he does not know that the thing is an utter humbug and fraud, he ought to know it, and has no excuse for not informing himself of the actual facts before leading innocent minds astray. Those children in a few years will discover how grossly they have been imposed upon -- and the what will be, what must be, their opinion of those who are now tutoring them in lies!

Rome was not built in a day, nor was this Mormon scheme. The revelations were "given" by spurts and piecemeal. By comparing them as at present put forth with the same revelations as they originally appeared in 1832, it will be seen what a clever and careful revisor their "Gid" is. A line or a word is added here, there a sentence or a paragraph; here and there a phrase is modified, a too bald sentence eliminated, or a too patent "track" artfully covered. That is the way the "God" of these revelations had of adapting himself to the comprehension of his credulous creatures. As Orson Pratt early discovered, and in his childlike simplicity freely admits, "line upon line, here a little and there a little," but to Orson 'tis all God's doings. "The Lord therefore," says Pratt, (The Seer, p. 229,) "adds in hus revelations whatever he thinks proper; but He has expressly forbidden man to make any additions. The high prerogative of adding to an inspired revelation belongs to the Lord only, hence the Lord added by the mouth of Joseph, line upon line, here a little and there a little, to some of the manuscript copies which were about to be published." Poor Orson, how wise, how stupid! Did he never discover the cloven hoof through it all -- not even a toe?

Cowdery says that he wrote the entire Book of Mormon, except a few pages, as it fell from the mouth of the Prophet, as he translated from the plates. Let us see how long he was about it.

According to their mutual statement he met Joseph Smith for the first time and "commenced to write the Book of Mormon" for him, less than two months before the copyright of the Book of Mormon was procured! They met "for the first time" about the middle of April, 1829. The copyright of the Book of Mormon was obtained June 11, 1829.

Says Mr. Tucker (pp. 50, 51, Origin and Progress of Mormonism) " In June, 1829, Smith and the prophet, his brother Hyrum, Cowdery the scribe, and Harris the believer, applied to Mr. Egbert B. Grandin, then publisher of the Wayne Sentinel (now deceased) for his price to do the work of one edition of 3,000 copies. Harris offered to pay or secure payment, if a bargain should be made. Only a few sheets of the manuscript, as a specimen, with the title-page, were exhibited at this time, though the whole number of folios was stated, whereby could be made a calculation of the cost." Mr. Tucker was the editor and founder of the Wayne Sentinel on whose press the Book of Mormon was originally printed.

Says Smith in his history, page 21, "The Title page of the Book of Mormon is a literal translation, taken from the very last leaf on the left hand side of the collection or book of plates, which contained the record which has been translated, the language of the whole running the same as all Hebrew writing in general."

Copyrights at that time were not granted until manuscripts were fully ready for the press. How long, then, is Cowdery in "writing the entire Book of Mormon, except a few pages, as it fell from the prophett's mouth"?

The long game, so artfully laid and so perseveringly played is about up. Messrs. Canon, Pratt & Company; your so-called religion is staken upon the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon. By that are ye justified or by it shall ye be condemned.

The following is the chapter above alluded to, from


It is an interesting illustrative fact to be noticed in the history of Mormonism, that the origin of that extraordinary politico-religious institution is traceable to the insignificant "little stone" found in the digging of Mr. Chase's well. Such was the acorn of the Mormon oak. The fame of Smith's money-digging performances had been sounded far and near. The newspapers had heralded and ridiculed them. The pit-hole memorials of his treasure explorations were numerous in the surrounding fields and woodlands, attracting the inspection of the curious and the wonder of the superstitious. The outgivings of "spiritual demonstrations," in various forms and in different parts of the country, had perhaps contributed in preparing the fanatical mind for some extraordinary revelation. Notwithstanding the failure of seven or eight years' continued efforts for the attainment of the promised wealth from its hidden earthy deposit, yet "the fools were not all dead," and the time might have seemed opportune for the prediction of some marvelous discovery, and for the great "religious" event that was to follow in the career of Joe Smith!


This review comes down to the summer of 1827. A mysterious stranger now appears at Smith's residence, and holds private interviews with the far-famed money-digger. For a considerable length of time no intimation of the name or purpose of this personage transpired to the public, not even to Smith's nearest neighbors. It was observed by some of them that his visits were frequently repeated. The sequel of these private interviews between the stranger and the money-digger will sufficiently appear hereafter.

About this time Smith had a remarkable vision. He pretended that, while engaged in secret prayer, alone in the wilderness, an angel of the Lord appeared to him, with the glad tidings that "all his sins had been forgiven," and proclaiming further, that "all the religious denominations were believing in false doctrines, and consequently that none of them were accepted of God as His Church and Kingdom;" also that "he had received a promise that the true doctrine and the fulness of the Gospel should at some future time be revealed to him." Following this, soon came another angel, (or possibly the same one,) revealing to him that he was himself to be the favored instrument of the new revelation, "that the American Indians were a remnant of the Israelites, who, after coming to this country, had their prophets and inspired writings; that such of their writings as had not been destroyed were safely deposited in a certain place made known to him, and to him only; that they contained revelations in regard to the last days, and that, if he remained faithful, he would be the chosen prophet to translate them to the world."


In the fall of the same year Smith had yet a more miraculous and astonishing vision than any preceding one. He now arrogated to himself, by authority of the "spirit of revelation," and in accordance with the previous "promises" made to him, a far higher sphere in the scale of human existence, assuming to possess the gift and power of prophet, seer, and revelator. On this assumption he announced to his family, friends and the bigoted persons who had adhered to his supernaturalism, that he was commanded, upon a secretly fixed day and hour, to go alone to a certain spot revealed to him by the angel, and there take out of the earth a metallic book of great antiquity in its origin, and of immortal importance in its consequences to the world, which was a record, in mystic letters or characters, of the long-lost tribes of Israel before spoke of, who had primarily inhabited this continent, and which no human being besides himself could see and live; and the power to translate which to the nations of the earth was also given to him only, as the chosen servant of God! This was substantially, if not literally, the pretension of Smith, as related by himself, and repeatedly quoted by his credulous friends at the time.

Much pains were taken by the Smith family and the prophet's money-digging disciples to give wide circulation to the wonderful revelation, and in great gravity to predict its marvelous fulfilment. It is unknown, however, if the momentous announcement produced any sensation in the community, though it is fair to presume that the victims of Smith's former deceptive practices regarded it with some seriousness.

Accordingly, when the appointed hour came, the prophet, assuming his practised air of mystery, took in hand his money-digging spade and a large napkin, and went off in silence and alone in the solitude of the forest, and after an absence of some three hours, returned, apparently with the sacred charge concealed within the folds of the napkin. Reminding the family of the original injunction of non-intervention and non-inspection was given to them, under the same terrible penalty as before denounced for its violation. Conflicting stories were afterward told in regard to the manner of keeping the book in concealment and safety, which are not worth repeating, further than to mention that the first place of secretion was said to be under a heavy hearthstone in the Smith family mansion. Smith told a frightful story of the display of celestial pyrotechnics on the exposure to view of the sacred book -- the angel who had led him to the discovery again appearing as his guide and protector,and confronting ten thousand devils gathered there, with their menacing sulfurous flame and smoke, to deter him from his purpose! This story was repeated and magnified by the believers, and no doubt aided the experiment upon superstitious minds which eventuated so successfully. * * * The spot from which the book is alleged to have been taken, is the yet partially visible pit where the money speculators had previously dug for another kind of treasure, which is upon the summit of what has ever since been known as "Mormon Hill," now owned by Mr. Anson Robinson, in the town of Manchester, New York.

Mr. Willard Chase, a carpenter and joiner (the person from whose well the peep-stone had been obtained in 1822,) was called upon by Smith and requested to make a strong chest in which to keep the golden book under lock and key, in order to prevent the awful calamity that would follow against the person other than himself who should behold it with his natural eyes. He could not pay a shilling for the work, and therefore proposed to make Mr. Chase a sharer in the profits ultimately anticipated in some manner not definitely stated; but the proposition was rejected -- the work was refused on the terms offered. It was understood, however, that the custodian of the precious treasure afterward, in some way procured a chest for his purpose, which, with its sacred deposit, was kept in a dark garret of his father's house, where the translations were subsequently made, as will be explained. An anecdote touching this subject used to be related by William T. Hussey and Azel Vandruver. They were notorious wags, and were intimately acquainted with Smith. They called as his friends at his residence, and strongly importuned him for an inspection of the "golden book," offering to take upon themselves the risk of the death penalty denounced. Of course the request could not be complied with; but they were permitted to go to the chest with its owner, and see where the thing was, and observe its shape and size, concealed under a piece of thick canvas. Smith, with his accustomed solemnity of demeanor, positively persisting in his refusal to uncover it, Hussey became impetuous, and suiting [his] action to his word ejaculated, "Egad! I'll see the critter, live or die!" and stripping off the cover, a large tile-brick was exhibited. But Smith's fertile imagination was equal to the emergency. He claimed that his friends had been sold by a trick of his; and "treating" with the customary whisky hospitalities, the affair ended in good-nature.

With the book was also found, or so pretended, a huge pair of spectacles in a perfect state of preservation, or the Urim and Thummim, as afterward interpreted, whereby the mystic record was to be translated and the wonderful dealings of God revealed to man, by the superhuman power of Joe Smith. This spectacle pretension, however, is believed to have been purely an after-thought, for it was not heard of outside of the Smith family for a considerable period subsequent to the first story. So in regard to Smith's after-averment, that the "hidden records" had been revealed to him in 1823, before Rigdon's mysterious appearance at the scene, though they were not permitted to be taken until 1827. No such pretension was made until after Rigdon's connection with the imposture had become publicly known. This idea was also a secondary invention. It is only a piece of Mormon cunning.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Friday, June 6, 1879.                   No. 45.


Rev. Joseph Cook, in his prelude on Mormonism, spoke of the steps that will shortly be taken to prove by judicial process the fraud and imposture of the Book of Mormon. He said that President Ayes [sic - Hayes?], of Washington-Jefferson College, Pennsylvania, has informed Mr. Cook in conversation that there are several living witnesses cognizant of the fraud practiced in transforming Spaulding's "Manuscript Found," (with alterations and additions,) into the Book of Mormon. Those parties are 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. It is also in contemplation to raise a memorial in stone to Solomon Spaulding to prepetuate his memory as the author of the narrative which furnished the material for the Mormon bible.

This is a useful and commendable enterprise; but we have an idea that the work is likely to be more thoroughly done nearer home. There is a gentleman in this city who has for years been in correspondence with these living witnesses, from whom he has succeeded in gathering a mass of testimony which fixes the charge of literary piracy and fabrication upon Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon so convincingly that the most incredulous can no longer doubt. We are not fully informed upon all the facts of the case, but we are safe in saying that he can prove by reliable witnesses that Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon had met previous to the latter's conversion by Parley Pratt, that Rigdon had lived in Pittsburgh previous to his accepting a pastoral charge there, and that he was a frequenter of Patterson's printing office where Spaulding's manuscript was deposited. Ample correpondence has been obtained to establish Joseph Smith's money digging propensities, his tricky character, the collusion practiced in the translation of the plates, and the air of trickery and imposture which pervades the whole business.

Whether this exposure will answer the purpose of the judicial inquiry which President [Hayes] speaks of remains to be seen; but whether one or both are given to the world it is certain that the conterfeit character of the "Gold bible" will be conclusively proved.

It may be asked what use is there in such labors since the Mormon dupes do not use their judgment and hence cannot be impressed with any array of facts? We reply, it will produce its effect. Truth infiltrates no matter how dense the resisting medium. Some few of the Saints will read and reflect, and when fraud in their prophet and the founder of their religion is proved to a demonstration, it cannot help but affect their faith. Ingenuous youth will be impressed with the showing, and a record which is shown to be an imposture can never win their acceptance. We hold it a moral duty incumbant upon the American people fully to expose this religious cheat, because being built upon lies and sustained by the grossest mendacity, the believers become affected with this spirit of untruth, and thus we have the population of an entire Territory taught as a part of their religious duty to make and love a lie.

Note 1: The Rev. Joseph Cook was an Evangelical Apologist and Lecturer from Boston who took a dim view of Mormonism. The Rev. Sereno Bishop mentions in the New York Independent of September 10, 1885 that the newspaper had recently published and address by Rev. Cook in which he had made "reference to the Spalding manuscript" found in Honolulu. Even Cook's wife took to the lecture podium in Boston to denounce Mormonism Ellen E. Dickinson says on page 140 of her New Light on Mormonism that she had taken information from her book from "Mrs. Joseph Cook's 'Face to Face with Mormonism,' read before the Woman's Home Missionary meeting in Boston, March 27th, 1884." See also the article "Joseph Cook on Morminism" as published in the Winfield Kansas Courier of Apr. 2, 1885. Rev. Cook's announcement of measures under way "to prove by judicial process the fraud and imposture of the Book of Mormon" was apparently just some pulpit-pounding bombast he came up with to enliven his 1879 lecture tour through Utah.

Note 2: In one of his 1879 addresses on Mormonism, Rev. Joseph Cook spoke of the efforts of "President Hayes, of Washington-Jefferson College" and others in Washington county, Pennsylvania, that there were plans in the works "to raise a memorial in stone to Solomon Spaulding" in Washington county, "to prepetuate his memory as the author of the narrative which furnished the material for the Mormon bible." See the Washington Review & Examiner of June 11, 1879 for more on these plans. Rev. George P. Hays, D. D., was President of Washington-Jefferson College from 1870 to 1881; his relationship with Rev. Joseph Cook remains unknown. As it worked out the only "memorial in stone" that John Aiken and his Washington Historical Society committee was able to "raise" for Solomon Spalding was a modest gravestone. However, see the Deseret News of June 23, 1879 for that paper's hostile reaction to the idea of commemorating the contributions of Solomon Spalding in any way whatever.


Vol. XVII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Friday, June 13, 1879.                   No. 51.


A correspondent in another column takes exception to the "slop-bucket method adopted by the Mormon journals of defending Mormonism. Rev. Joseph Cook, when in this city, spoke his mind about the Latter-day religion and its holy priesthood. For this he is called "a pious liar." No arrempt is made to refute his statements, and for a reason we can well understand. The Mormon Church being founded on fraud, and carried on by the grossest deception, honest investigation is always shunned. "It's all a lie" is the ready rejoinder to every statement made against it; and the person who sets out honestly and fearlessly to expose its evils is instantly branded as a liar. It would have been nothing wonderful if Mr. Cook in his compendious arraignment of the Mormon Church had fallen into some errors. It is not to be supposed that he had studied its doctrines very thoroughly, and his brief stay in Zion would hardly have afforded him an opportunity to observe its practices. But (and this astonished his hearers) Mr. Cook made no mistake, he misapprehended no point that he touched upon. There is this phenomenal quality in his intellect that his perception is intuitive, he apprehends by some instinctive process...

He said Utah has no laws against seduction, adultery and other cognate offenses, a law of the Territory of this nature having been repealed by a polygamous Legislature.

He showed that the boasted progress of the Mormons in population, industry and wealth, pales by the side of Colorado, its chief city, Denver, being a miracle as contrasted with Salt Lake....

The speaker told that a judicial investigation was shortly to be instituted in Pennsylvania to prove to the world that the Book of Mormon was fraudently manufactured from Spaulding's Manuscript....

It will be admitted that there is no chance shooting in these counts of Mr. Cook's arraignment; they hit the bull's eye every time. And it is their truthfulness that makes them offensive. Such charges it would be hard for the Mormon journals to deal with, and hence they resort to their ever ready rejoinder, "It's all a lie." And by this puerility they think to hush up an opponent and silence public clamor! Mistaken souls.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Saturday, June 14, 1879.                   No. 52.


Which Originated the Controlling Idea of Mormonism?

And keen thro' wordy snares to track
Suggestion to her inmost cell.   -- TENNYSON.

EDS. TRIBUNE: The periodical which produced the greatest revolution in religious thought in this country, commenced in August, 1823, at the little town of Bethany in (now) Western Virginia. It was called The Christian Baptist, and was edited by Alexander Campbell. The publication of this remarkable sheet, continued for seven years with increasing interest, and only ceased to give place to a larger and more widely-circulated monthly called The Millennial Harbinger.

Walter Scott was born in Dumfriesshire, Scotland, in 1790, and was of the same ancestry as his world-renowned namesake, Sir Walter Scott. During the existence of The Christian Baptist, Scott was a frequent contributor to its pages, and his numerous articles under the signature of "Phillip," gained him a reputation scarcely inferior to that of the editor, A. Campbell himself, who was ten years Scott's senior. This journal was issued but a short distance from Pittsburg, at which place Scott was established as teacher from 1821 until 1826. Scott was a graduate of the University of Edinburg, and some of his Pittsburg pupils afterwards ranked among the finest scholars and most useful men in that region of country. Among them were Chief Justice Lowrey and the eminent author and professor, Dr. D. D. Richardson, at whose father's house in Pittsburg Scott made his home. During the period of Sidney Rigdon's incumbancy as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Pittsburg he was intimately associated with Walter Scott, who was a preacher as well as teacher, and a preacher of what were then regarded as very peculiar and even heretical views. Rigdon was neither a man of scholarly parts nor was he of an original turn of mind. His forte was in appropriating and assimilating the views, ideas and methods of others. In quickness and facility of adopting, adapting and making his own the salient peculiarities of these remarkable minds among whom he was thrown, lay Rigdon's great power. The leading "Campbellites," as they have been called, were men of unusual strength of character, of fine intellect and of unimpeachable moral tone, robust, original, incisive. He was, indeed, the black sheep in the Disciples' fold; unscrupulous, audacious, envious, intractable, vindictive, Diotrephes-like; he was always putting himself forward and seeking the pre-eminence. He was a compound of the Jew and the Jesuit -- judaic in disposition and natural bent, jesuitical in all his methods. Scout it who will, he is the real author and founder of Mormonism.

In the first number of The Christian Baptist, (August, 1823) appeared a striking and powerfully written article from the pen of Walter Scott, with the caption, "A Divinely Authorized plan of Teaching the Christian Religion," this extract from which discloses the very germ of the Mormon pretension:

Were a vision vouchsafed us for the single purpose of revealing one uniform and universal plan of teaching the Christian religion, would not every Christian admire the goodness of God in determining a matter on which scarce two calling themselves Christian teachers now agree? Would not every teacher feel himself bound in duty to abandon his own plan and to adopt the plan of God; to study it, to teach it, and, in short, to maintain its superiority and authority against all other schemes, how plausible soever in their configuration, how apparently suitable soever in their application? The writer has not been favored with any vision on this matter, moreover, as he deems it unneccessary, he of course does not expect any; and surely, if his plan be authorized by the example of God himself; by the Lord Jesus Christ; by the Holy Spirit; in his method of presenting the truth to all men in the Scriptures; if the apostle taught the truth on this plan; and if missionaries in teaching idolaters, feel themselves forced to the adoption of it, then there is no need of angel or vision."

The "vision" and the "angel" of Joseph Smith without which Mormonism would never have existed -- started in the brains of Sidney Rigdon at Pittsburg, in 1823. The formation of a new sect, however, outside of the "Campbellites," was not contemplated by Rigdon until after he had been foiled in his attempts to undermine "Campbellism" -- had found, in fact, that Alexander Campbell and his compeers were "too many" for him. If he himself could not measure arms with Campbell, "the Lord" could, through His servant Joseph, and should do it.

But the tracks have been so ingeniously and persistently covered that perhaps the "oldest inhabitant" of Mormondom will be astonished when they are fully laid bare. Truth will triumph yet, and Sidney Rigdon shall have all the credit, or discredit, he deserves.   GRANDISON.
SALT LAKE, June 12, 1879.

Note: This communication was sent to the Tribune by its own part-time journalist, James Thornton Cobb. It is revealing of Cobb's personal psychology that he chose the pen name of "Grandison" -- identifying himself with Joseph Smith's old nemesis at Kirtland, the anti-Mormon firebrand Grandison Newell. Mr. Cobb must have been well aware that, in 1836, there was a conspiracy within the Mormon Church to put an end to Newell's threatening activities through his secret assassination -- a plot which, apparently, Grandison Newell only barely escaped. In the forty years that had passed since the Mormon attempt upon Newell's life, James T. Cobb had seen both his mother and his first wife defect from their families and unconsciously immolate their chances for future happiness by entering into the harem of Brigham Young. Then, in February of 1876, James' fifteen-year-old daughter, Luella Van Cott Cobb, chose to become the fifth plural wife of middle-aged John Willard Young, a son of Brigham Young by his first wife. There is no reason to believe that all these tangled marital ties inspired in James T. Cobb any familial attachment to Brigham Young, his kinfolk, or his church. In fact, as RLDS President Joseph Smith III sagaciously remarked in 1883, the combined effect upon James' emotions was just the opposite: "Mr. James T. Cobb is the son of the woman known as Brigham Young's Boston wife... His domestic life was poisoned by the defection of his own wife; and subsequently still, his daughter... I do not blame him for not liking polygamy, or Brigham Young's memory, if it is true... that mother wife and daughter fell into its meshes... I am persuaded to believe that the many newspaper articles so lavishly scattered over the land, are in the main his work."


Vol. XVII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Friday, June 20, 1879.                   No. 57.


The Deseret News prades as its motto, "Truth and Liberty," and announces as its editors George Q. Cannon and Brigham Young [jr.] "When I say shtop," explained the Teutonic teamster, "I mean go on." In the same way when our Grandmother says truth and liberty, she means unblushingly mendacity and uninquiring obedience to counsel....

"Old Joe Smith" is an irreverant way of speaking of the prophet... As an autocrat of the Church the former money digger put on airs and was insufferably insolent to all his inferiors. In the Millennial Star, January 8th, 1859, we have a striking exhibition of his arrogance. It occurs in the history of his life, written by himself, and details his treatment of the Twelve when they met in the prophet's office...

At three p. m. I met with B. Young, William Smith, P. P. Pratt, O. Pratt, W. Woodruff, J. Taylor, George A. Smith, and Willard Richards, of the quorum of the Twelve, in my office, and told them to go in the name of the Lord God of Israel, and tell Lucien Woodworth to put the hands on to the Nauvoo House, and begin the work and be patient till means can be provided. * * * You must get cash, property, lands, horses, cattle, flour, corn, wheat, etc. The grain can be ground in this place.

Brigham meekly inquired of his imperious lord if any of the Twelve should go to England. "No," was the reply. "I don't want the Twelve to go to England this year." Then he proceeds to assign his humble servants to their fields of labor, and the arbitrary, dictatorial manner in which this is done is really edifying. We well quote a little further from the sacred narrative:

Lorenzo Snow may stay at home till he gets rested. The Twelve must travel to save their lives. I feel all the veins and strata necessary for the Twelve to move in to save their lives.

You can never make anything out of Benjamin Winchester if you take him out of the channel he wants to be in. * * * John Taylor, I believe you can do more good in the editorial department than preaching. You can write for thousands to read; while you can preach to but a few at a time. We have no one else we can trust the paper with, and hardly with you, for you suffer the paper to come out with so many mistakes.

Parley may stay at home and build his house.

Bro. George A. Smith, I don't know how I can help him to a living, but to let him go and preach, put on a long face, and make them doe over to him. If he will go, his lungs will hold out.

Wilford Woodruff can be spared from the printing office. If you both stay, you will disagree. I want Orson Pratt should go.

Brother Brigham asked if he should go. Yes, go.

I want John E. Page to be called away from Pittsburg, and a good elder sent in his place. If he stays there much longer, he will get so as to sleep with his Granny, he is so self-righteous.

And so this audacious impostor went on, raking down his divinely illuminated associates in the holy priesthood, and sending them hither and thither as caprice seized him. John Taylor was continued as editor notwithstanding his unfitness, because there was no other man who could be entrusted with the work....

(this text is under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Saturday, June 21, 1879.                   No. 58.


"It's all a lie!" In 1830 Matthew Clapp hurled these words at the founder of Mormonism when Sidney Rigdon came to his father's house with the smooth fraud of the Mormon revelation on his lying tongue. "It's all a lie." The words, like a barbed arrow, were shot out of the mouth of a young man, and went straight to the mark. They took such fatal effect upon the great plagiarist and impostor that he afterwards appropriated even that saying, and from that day to the present the Mormon thinks it the most telling weapon he can use. "The Mormon people are bound by the principles of their religion to be truthful."Are they, indeed? Truthful to what? Says a Book, some would drag down to the level of the Book of Mormon, 'Be not deceived, God is not mocked. Whatsoever ye sow that shall ye also reap." "I would not believe a Mormon under oath," said the same Matthew Clapp. Inexperienced as he was, the spirit of that ingenuous young man was quick to detect the subtle spirit and genius of Mormonism. He knew the man who (to use a favorite expression of Rigdon's) concocted it. Great is the power of one single expression -- a word -- from the armory of truth. Overwhelming is the might of injured innocence, of trusting confidence betrayed. Individual or system, 'tis a millstone about the betrayer's neck. Let hypocrites note it well. True power does not rest in servile and obsequious throngs. The tremendous question is forming in the minds of Mormons themselves, Is Mormonism a religion? Some have already reached the conclusion that it is not a religion at all, but a crafty caricature -- an exaggerated plagiarism and excuse. Things of the past are coming back so clearly into view, one asks, is the Mormon cycle indeed completing its alloted term? What was said of Mormonism at its incipiency is being said louder than ever to-day. The same questions are asked; the same doubts prevail, doubts as to the divine or human origin of the thing. The same inevitable fact stares it sternly in the face. "Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further, and here shall thy proud waves be stayed."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Tuesday, June 24, 1879.                   No. 60.


There is but one thing that troubles Granny more than her beer, and that is the exposure of the Book of Mormon which is being made in Salt Lake and in Washington, Pennsylvania, the home of Solomon Spaulding, the author of that work of fiction....

Like Banquo's the ghost of Solomon Spaulding will not down. The ghosts are all coming back on John the Revelator to push him from his stool. His late master would be foremost among them if he could but burst open those ponderous granite slabs which hold him down.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Wedneday, June 25, 1879.                   No. 61.



The unblushing effrontery of the Mormon priesthood in assuming that their sham theology is a religious system, is perhaps best shown in a work not much known or read in Utah, it never having received the approval of Brigham Young. It is a work entitled, "The Holy Scriptures, Translated and Corrected by the Spirit of Revelation; by Joseph Smith, jr., the Seer." This astonishing production was copyrighted in the year 1867, by Joseph Smith, I. L. Rogers, and E. Robinson, and was issued by them as a publishing committee in Plano, Illinois, the same year.

I make the following extracts from the preface to this Mormonized Bible.

This work is given to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and to the public in pursuance of the commandment of God. As concerning the manner of translation and correction, it is evident, from the manuscripts and the testimony of those who were conversant with the facts, that it was done by direct revelation from God. * * * Joseph Smith was born in Dec., 1805, and was, at the finishing of the manuscripts of this work, in the 28th year of his age. The manuscripts, at his death, in 1844, were left in the hands of his widow, where they remained until the spring of 1866, when they were delivered to Wm. Marks, I. L. Rogers, and Wm. W. Blair, a Committee appointed by the Annual Conference, of April, 1866, to procure them for publication; and were, by them, delivered to the Committee of Publication consisting of Joseph Smith, Israel L. Rogers, and Ebenezer Robinson, and are now presented as they came into our hands.

The preface says that this work "was begun in June, 1830, and was finished in July, 1833."

Orson Pratt, senior, is understood to have vouched for the correctness of "this work" as published, having been familiar with the manuscript. The reason why it did not receive the august approval of the late Brigham is known, but though involving a spicy bit of sharp practice inside the Mormon Church, Brighamite and Josephite, as a major point [it] is here omitted. Sufficeth that in the most devout and best circles of Mormondom this work is held up to be just as canonical as any publication of the Mormon Church.

"This work" is a preposterous and shameless perversion of the Bible, evidently in the main the handiwork of Sidney Rigdon.

"It was begun in June, 1830." Was it, though?

The Book of Mormon, which was begun to be translated from Egyptian hieroglyphics sometime toward the close of 1827 or the beginning of 1828, shortly after their discovery "through the ministrations of an holy angel," contains whole pages of this inspired translation and correction of the Bible.

Isiah was plainly a pet prophet with those ancient Mormon Nephites. They fairly devour him. They revel in Isaiah. They twist; they stupify; they lavish words and ideas upon him by the cartload. The New Translation does the same thing. The Prophet Isaiah chanced to use the figure of a book -- a sealed book. It was a mere accidental comparison, but Isaiah does use the words "a book, a sealed book." On this wise: "The vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed," etc. Argd [sic] Isaiah prophesies of the coming forth, A. D., 1827, in the hill Cumorah, Wayne county, New York, of certain brass plates, having the appearance of gold, and containing an authentic history of primeval America. Inscribed in reformed Egyptian hieroglyphics, namely, the Book of Mormon. To be sure Isaiah does not say all this, in so many words, in our version of the Scriptures, but the before-mentioned preface to the inspired translation (and Correction) says: "It is declared in the Book of Mormon that 'many plain and precious parts have been taken away from the Bible.'" These plain and precious parts are now restored through the new translation, "evidently," in the language of the preface, "done by direct revelation from God." Says Isaiah, new-Translated and Corrected (chap. xxix):

And it shall come to pass, that the Lord God shall bring forth unto you the words of a book; and they shall be the words of them which have slumbered. And behold, the book shall be sealed; and in the book shall be a revelation from God, from the beginning of the world to the ending thereof. Wherefore because of the things which are sealed up, the things which are sealed shall not be delivered. etc., etc.

Continuing in this lively strain about "the book" and "witnesses" and "words of the book;" all this, bear in mind, in the Bible, new-Translated and Corrected, it is evident by direct revelation from God!

And the day cometh, that the words of the book which were sealed shall be read upon the house-tops; and they shall be read by the power of Christ, * * * Wherefore, at that day when the book shall be delivered unto the man of whom I have spoken, the book shall be hid from the eyes of the world, that the eyes of none shall behold it, save it be that three witnesses shall behold it by the power of God, besides him to whom the book shall be delivered; and they shall testify to the truth of the book and the things therein. And there is none other which shall view it, save it be a few according to the will of God, to bear testimony of his word unto the children of men; for the Lord God hath said, that the words of the faithful should speak as it were from the dead. Wherefore, the Lord God will proceed to bring forth the words of the book; and woe be unto him that rejecteth the word of God. (Whoa!) For behold, I am God; and I am a God of miracles; and I will show unto the world that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and I work not among the children of men, save it be according to their faith.

Thus for a page or more, of entirely fresh matter, these being some of the many plain and precious parts of Isaiah's prophecies which have been taken away from the Bible, and now for the first time restored; and "evidently all done by direct revelation from God."

For behold they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb (referring to the Bible) many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have been taken away; and all this have they done, that they might pervert the right ways of the Lord; that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men; Wherefore, thou seest that after the book (Bible) hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church (Roman Catholic), that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book of the Lamb of God (Bible); and after these plain and precious things were taken away it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles -- Book of Nephi, III, 40, Book of Mormon.

Is it to be wondered at that the wary and wily Mormon elder hated the sectarian minister as the devil hates holy water? It is the special business of this same sectarian minister to know something pertaining to the Bible and religion, which other classes meet and handle only occasionally and superficially.

So much for the book, and the words of the book. Now for the Seer, "the cjoice Seer" appointed to bring them them forth; and having seen what the Prophet Isaiah was capable of, we need not be greatly astonished to find away back in the book of Genesis the prediction, by name, of Joseph Smith, jr. Here some very plain and most precious parts are restored to the Bible; another page of entirely new matter here in Genesis! This time it is Joseph, son of old Jacob, who predicts. It appears from this inspired translation and correction of the Bible that, before being embalmed and put in a coffin in Egypt, Joseph foretold the coming forth of a great Mormon Seer, Joseph Smith, jr., in the Latter-days. Says Joseph of old (Genesis, last chapter):

A Seer shall the Lord my God raise up, who shall be a choice seer unto the fruit of my loins. Thus saith the Lord God of my fathers unto me, A choice Seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins, and he shall be esteemed highly among the fruit of thy loins, his brethren, and unto him will I give commandments that he shall do a work for the fruit of thy loins * * * and I will make him great in mine eyes, for he shall do my work * * * And out of weakness shall he be made strong in that day when my work shall restore them who are of the house of Israel, in the last days. And that seer will I bless, and they that seek to destroy him shall be confounded; for this promise I give unto you; for I will remember you from generation to generation; and his name shall be called Joseph, and it shall be after the name of his father; and he shall be like unto you; for the thing which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand shall bring my people unto salvation, etc.

However bungling and absurdly transparant the fraud, a belief that, young and almost totally unlettered as he was, Joe Smith was principal in this audacious and impious hodge podge, is simply out of the question. No. The same half crazed and monstrous genius which contrived the Book of Mormon and its attendant and subsequent revelations, likewise contrived this "inspired translation and correction" of the Bible. That genius was Sidney Rigdon.

Note: The above article is quite likely yet another Tribune piecemeal printing of paragraphs out of the missing anti-Mormon book of James T. Cobb. The writer accuses Rigdon of being the evil genius behind the production of the so-called Joseph Smith translation of the Bible -- going so far as to question whether the preparation of the manuscript texts for that latter day "translation" actually commenced among the Mormons "in June, 1830." The implication is that Rigdon altered the biblical text in a major way at some other point in time, and that his going to work as a purported "scribe" for Joseph Smith, Jr. in the production of this new biblical text was merely a screen for Rigdon's continuing his clandestine work of manufacturing new scriptures, albeit in Smith's presence and with his concurrence. At least the Tribune writer does not attribute the major Rigdon-Smith additions to Genesis as having been copied out of some secretly consulted manuscript originating from the pen of Solomon Spalding. Presumably Cobb would have argued that Rigdon's redaction of and interpolations into Spalding's "Manuscript Found" would have provided him with sufficient practice in fabricating new scriptures, so as to be able to produce the Mormons' new Bible without a core document from Spalding or from anybody else.


Vol. XVII.                       Salt Lake City, Utah, July 25, 1879.                       No. ?


Sidney Rigdon the Chief Inventor of
the Latter-day Dispension.

Says Orson Pratt: "The Book of Mormon claims to be a divinely inspired record, written by a succession of prophets who inhabited Ancient America. It professes to be revealed to the present generation for the salvation of all who will receive it, and for the overthrow and damnation of all who reject it. This book must be either true or false. If true, it is one of the most important messages ever sent from God to man; if false, it is one of the most cunning, wicked, bold, deep-laid impositions ever palmed upon the world, calculated to deceive and ruin millions who will sincerely receive it as the word of God, and will suppose themselves securely built upon the rock of truth until they are plunged with their families into hopeless despair.

"The nature of the message in the Book of Mormon is such that, if true, no one can possibly be saved and reject it; if false, no one can possibly be saved and receive and receive it. Therefore, every soul in all the world is equally interested in ascertaining its truth or falsity. If, after a rigid examination, it be found an imposition, it should be extensively published to the world as such. The evidences and arguments on which


should be clearly and logically stated, that those who have been sincerely yet unfortunately deceived may perceive the nature of the deception and be reclaimed, and that those who continue to publish the delusion may be exposed and silenced." -- Introduction to "Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon."

When those who continue to publish the delusion shall have answered the evidences and arguments already put forth, that not only the Book of Mormon, but the entire system of Mormonism is a fraud of human contrivance, thereby manifesting to the world their candor and unfortunate sincerity, by showing at least that they have something to offer in their own defense and in behalf of their books and system, beyond the simple "feel ing" that they "know" such and such things to be true, (in spite of any amount of evidence to the contrary,) a statement perhaps painfully clear and distressingly logical of the evidences and arguments on which the imposture was detected, will be cheerfully presented. Meanwhile, the bare internal evidence that


is so apparent and so overwhelming to the present writer that it seems hardly worth the time and labor of serious consideration.

As long ago as the fore part of 1831, Mr. Thomas Campbell promptly accepted a challenge made to the world by Sidney Rigdon to disprove the Book of Mormon, addressing Rigdon a courteous, friendly letter of some dozen printed pages, in which he gave Rigdon a fair and full statement of his intended method of defenze and attack. In this letter Campbell says:

"In the last place, we shall examine the internal evidence of the Book of Mormon itself, pointing out its evident contradictions, foolish absurdities, shameless pretensions to antiquity, restore it to the rightful claimant, as a production beneath contempt, and utterly unworthy the reception of a schoolboy. The sooner this investigation takes place, the better for all concerned; therefore, it is hoped you will not protract the time beyond what may justly be deemed necessary for giving publicity to the proposed discussion, -- say one week after your reception of this proposal to accept the challenge you have publicly given."

My Campbell opens his letter to Rigdon thus:

" It may seem strange that instead of a confidential and friendly visit, after so long an absence, I should thus address, by letter, one of whom for many years I have considered not only as a courteous and benevolent friend, but as a beloved brother and fellow laborer in the Gospel; but alas! how changed -- how fallen! Nevertheless, I should now have visited you as formerly, could I conceive that my so doing would answer the important purpose both to ourselves and the public, to which we both stand pledged, you, as a professed disciple and public teacher of


and I as a professed disciple of the supernal book of the old and New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, which you now say is superseded by the Book of Mormon -- is become a dead letter -- so dead that the belief and obedience of it, without the reception of the latter, is no longer available to salvation. To the disproof of this assertion, I understand you defy the world. I here use the epithets infernal and supernal in their primary and literal meaning, the former signifying 'from beneath,' the latter 'from above,' both of which are truly applied, if the respective authors may be accredited; of the latter of which, however, I have no doubt. But, my dear sir, supposing you as sincere in your present, as in your former profession, (of the truth and sufficiency of which you have frequently boasted with equal confidence) neither yourself, your friends, nor the world, are therefore bound to consider you as more infallible in your [latter] than in your former confidence, any further than you can render good and intelligible reasons for your present certainty. This, I understand from your declaration on last Lord's day, you are abundantly prepared and ready to do. I, therefore, as in duty bound, accept the challenge, and shall hold myself in readiness, if the Lord permit, to meet you publicly in any place, either in Mentor or Kirtland, or in any of the adjoining towns that may appear most eligible for the accommodation of the public. The sooner the investigation takes place, the better for all concerned," etc.


Rigdon, when he came to the expression "Infernal Book of Mormon," committed this letter hastily to the flames, no doubt glad of any excuse to back out of the discussion. Had he met Thomas Campbell the probability is that Mormonism would soon have ceased to exist. That "infernal Book of Mormon," like young Matthew Clapp's "it's all a lie," struck home. But who was Rigdon, that he should take the matter so seriously to heart? He was a simple and very recent convert, you know; had not been in the Church three months. He had just returned from visiting Joseph for the first time in New York. Joseph and he were acquaintances of but a few weeks; whereas Campbell and he had been companions-in-arms for years in the Disciples' fold together. Why should Rigdon manifest such a sudden sense of responsibility? It is wonderful -- wonderful, when you once commence to pick this fraud to pieces.

Here is a striking revelation to Edward Partridge, the firts bishop of the Mormon Church, given in December, 1830, when he and Rigdon visited Smith in New York. Mind, Rigdon then had only been acquainted with the Prophet Joseph a few days: "Thus saith the Lord God, the Mighty One of Israel, behold I say unto you, my servant Edward, that you are blessed, and your sins are forgiven you, and you are called to preach my gospel, as with the voice of a trump, and I will lay my hand upon you


(Rigdon) and you shall receive my spirit, the Holy Ghost, even the Comforter, which shall teach you the peaceable things of the kingdom. And you shall declare it with a loud voice saying, Hosanna, blessed by the name of the Most High God. And now this calling and commandment give I unto all men, that as many as shall come before my servant Sidney and Joseph, embracing this calling and commandment, shall be ordained and sent forth to preach the everlasting gospel," etc.

"My servant Sidney" appears to have a surprisingly sudden pre-emmence over the Lord's prophet. "The Lord" lays his hand upon Partridge by the hand of Rigdon, [here's a] "proxy" for you; the first four miles. But where is Joseph? Why are all the human family expected to present themselves before "my servant Sidney (1) and Joseph (2)" when Sidney is a raw recruit, and especially when the Lord has his prophet? Said Rigdon shortly after his "conversion" to Mormonism, "If Smith could be proved a liar, or should say himself that he never found the Book of Mormon as he reported, I should still believe the Book." What amazing faith! What a truly marvelous convert! Rigdon, it will be remembered, obtained a knowledge of the truth of the Book of Mormon almost immediately upon its being presented to him, "by the testimony of the spirit." And that is the [same?] plan laid down in the Book itself. "The things of God can only be discerned by the spirit of God." That is the one song they sing, Rigdon himself pitching the key note of the fanaticism: "open your mouths and shut your eyes." Does not all this appear odd, O! my friends? Verily it doth, "to a man up a tree." But Mr. Pratt and Mr. Any-other-Saint may spare their theories. The thing is a farce, a wicked farce, at times a tragical and bloody farce, but it is about played out to the bitter end. Here are a few more keys, and with these I shall pause, for if Mr. Pratt desires argument and evidence they are thick as leaves in Vallombrosa. Why will the most learned of the apostolic brotherhood be so stupid? Has he lost all common sense? Is all his natural clearness of discernment


He has been outrageously imposed upon in his youth, no question of that, as so many others more have been; but don't for goodness sake, impose upon your own understanding.

Do not any longer mistake Sidney Rigdon for God Almighty.

I say this deliberately, without irreverance. That terrible mistake has been made too long. As the Mormon coin is seen to bear the Rigdon image (if not the Rigdon superacription,) now let us render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.

An editorial on "Keys" Times and Seasons, Dec. 25th, 1844), John Taylor editor, thus concludes, "And even the great Anti Christ of the last days, who would fain make the world believe -- the Saints know better -- that he is 'my Servant, the Branch,' holding the before-mentioned key of David, has gone to Pittsburg to prepare for war." This has reference to Rigdon.

Rigdon of course dared not make open claim of having been the founder of Mormonism; the cardinal pretension was that God instituted the system through Joseph Smith, Jr., who was set up to be the "prophet," the target and figure-head, his notorious illiteracy was to be both shield and spear. It is highly edifying to learn what Rigdon did think prudent and safe to arrogate to himself --


and to trace his maneuverings. He claimed, -- did he -- to be "my servant, the Branch," spoken of in the Bible (Zechariah v, 12) and in the Book of Mormon; and to be the person spoken of, Revelation iii. 7, as "he that hath the key of David, he that openeth and no man shutteth; and shutteth and no man openeth."

O ho! By indirection, then, after his prophet's death, and when figuring for the successorship, Rigdon did claim, as pointedly as he dared, to be the one who "opened" this Latter-day Dispensation, holding authority to open and to shut, etc. We find this key on the house of David again referred to in the Bible, Isaiah xxii. 22: "And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulders; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut and none shall open." Rigdon would fain have made the Saints believe he held that wonderful key of David. But "the Saints knew better." Did they, though?

It is a striking and suggestive fact, that Rigdon, alone of the Latter-day Apostates, whould have been characterized as Anti Christ by his former brethren and by the present President of Mormondom; that he should have been proclaimed to the world as "the great Anti Christ of the last days," yet the Church which he founded be the Church of Christ.

There was a scheme and a carefully elaborated scheme in this man's plunderings and perversions and expansions of Scripture: half conscientious, half crazed. By poring over the Bible, and especially the prophecies, Rigdon had worked himself up to the belief that these were indeed the last days and that he himself was an instrument in the hands of God to open "the dispensation of the fullness of times." But as to being exactly a prophet, he was shrewd enough to know that he was not thus called, that in the political role he would not and could not prove a success. He had been too long before the public, his peculiarities were too well known. Were he to discover the same plates, those pesky "Campbellites" would be after him with a sharp stick. And did he not read that the weak things of the world were to confound the wise? If he could act more safely and with better effect as spokesman, and a wire-puller behind the scenes -- Conscientious! Yes, in a degree, if there be any conscience in a religious craze.

"My Servant the branch shall build the temple of the Lord" (Zach. vi. 12). Who does give [demensions], directions, etc., for building the first temple, at Kirtland? Why, who but Sidney Rigdon? What is the substituted name for Kirtland in the Mormon revelations? Shinehah. "To build a house in the land of Shinar," says Zechariah v. 11. Let the reader who is interested in finding out who is really the author and finisher of his or her faith in Mormonism, read the account of the services at the dedication of the Kirtland Temple. Note, that Rigdon, in the


that of washing of feet, is the boy to ape Jesus and gird himself with a towel and that he first washes Jospeh's, then old man Smith's and Hyrum's feet, and then has his feet washed by the prophet of the Nineteenth Centry. Who's boss, pray? Note Rigdon's text xviii Maithew, 18, 19, 20 verses. Note especially the bearing of the 19th verse: "Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth, as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in Heaven." Inspired translation and correction has this verse, "so that they ask not amiss," showing that the passage in which the "two" were spoken of had been dwelt upon. Who dedicates the centre stake of Zion, with its temple lot? Why, Sidney Rigdon. Again, the "two olive trees" so nauseatingly dwelt upon and elaborated in the Book of Mormon, and the "two olive branches." We had the germ of this ridiculous and preposterous expansion in Zechariah, fourth chapter, toward the end, and which is likewise strikingly suggestive of


in the revelation business. "Then," said he, "these are the two anointed ones that stand by the Lord of the whole earth." The inspired translation and correction of the Holy Scriptures renders this verse, "the two anointed ones that stand before the Lord of the whole earth." This verse, then, was likewise dwelt upon long enough to be changed. And is not this just what these two individuals have done -- thrust themselves with their vapid revelations before the Lord and elbowed him out of the way? The world does not require human mediators and go betweens. All priesthood is summed up in Christ, who is the


Such, as I understand, is the Christian scheme.

The system known as Mormonism can never be thoroughly understood and successfully grappled with until the nature and character of its real founder are understood. We may go blindly and blunderlingly dealing with results and secondary causes till Doomsday; the true solution of the anomaly will not be reached. Viewed superficially, as a lawless fanaticism and excrescence, idle the thought of extirpating it from the hearts of its votaries by force of law, while the idea expressed now and again of subduing Mormonism by the sword is, to say the least, extremely far fetched and premature. It is continually provocative of "bad blood," is altogether gratuitous, confusing and unnecessary. The rational, the humane, the common-sense method is best, and that is to know and to show who originated and started Mormonism. This point once clearly settled and made plain to the comprehension, whether of Mormon or non-Mormon, there will thenceforth be but little difficulty in the


Then, and not till then, will the root of bitterness, altercation, distrust and hate be plucked out of the deluded Mormon mind. God speed that day! Enough said about "our enemies." That is over -- the slogan of selfish, hate-breeding Imposture. Let Mormons but once find out and become clearly satisfied, that they have been grossly and most outrageously imposed upon by pretended divine revelation, by a pretended divine ordination of priestly rule, and that the man Sidney Rigdon was the author and contriver and fashioner of both divine revelation and divine ordination, and they will themselves solve the Mormon problem in short order. Meanwhile if any individual Mormon feels himself so secure in the divine authority of his system as to flout the idea of its merely human origin, there never was a better opportunity than the present to have the matter squarely tested.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Tuesday, August 21, 1879.                   No. 107.


Since the existence of a Gentile newspaper in Zion is so extremely obnoxious to the leaders of "this people," and nothing short of its destruction will satisfy those who feel themselves most aggrieved by its utterances, perhaps it would not be unprofitable to recur to an earlier period in the history of the Mormon Church when the Mayor of Nauvoo (Joseph Smith) and the City Council found it necessary to destroy an obnoxious journal, the Nauvoo Expositor, by ordering the Marshal to break up the press and throw the type and materials into the street. A full account of this transaction is given in "the History of Joseph Smith," which we find in the files of the Deseret News for 1857.

The publishers of this short lived sheet, (for they were only allowed to issue one number,) were Apostates from the Mormon Church, seven in number, some of whom had held high positions in the priesthood. Becoming dissatisfied with the lawless doings of Joseph Smith and his subordinates in office, they withdrew their allegiance and associated together for the publication of a weekly newspaper, as the most effectual means of enlightening their brother Saints on the injustice and usurpation they were made to suffer. The following extract from their prospectus will show more fully the object of the publishers in starting their paper:

  *   *   * A part of its columns will be devoted to a few primary objects, which the publishers deem of vital importance to the public welfare. Their particular locality gives them a knowledge of the many gross abuses exercised under the pretended authority of the charter of the city of Nauvoo, by the legislative authorities of said city; and the insupportable oppressions of the ministerial powers in carrying out the unjust, illegal and unconstitutional ordinances of the same. The publishers, therefore, deem it a sacred duty they owe to their country and their fellow citizens to advocate, through the columns of the Expositor, the unconditional repeal of the Nauvoo city charter, to restrain and correct the abuses of the unit power; to ward off the iron rod which is held over the devoted heads of the citizens of Nauvoo and the surrounding country; to advocate unmitigated disobedience to political revelations, and to censure and decry gross moral imperfections wherever found, either in the plebeian, patrician, or self-constituted monarch, to advocate the pure principles of morality, the pure principles of truth, designed not to destroy, but to strengthen the mainspring of God's moral government; to advocate, and exercise, the freedom of speech in Nauvoo, independent of the ordinances abridging the same; to give free toleration to every man's religious sentiments, and sustain all in worshipping God according to the [monitors] of their consciences, as guaranteed by the Constitution of our country;

This audacious declaration of principles gave mortal offense to the municipal authorities, and no time was lost in dealing with the irreverent journalists. The [1st] number of the Expositor appeared June 7, 1844, and the following day the City Council held two protracted sessions in which the subject of the Nauvoo Expositor was taken under consideration. On Monday we find the following entry in Joseph Smith's journal.

Monday. 10th -- I was in the City Council from 10 a. m. to l:20 p. m., and from 2:20 p. m. to 6:30 p. m. investigating the merits of the Nauvoo Expositor, merits of the Nauvoo Expositor, and also the conduct of the Laws, Higbees, Fosters, and others, who have formed a conspiracy for the purpose of destroying my life, and scattering the Saints or driving them from the State.

The first action of the municipality towards suppressing the offending journal was the passage of an ordinance concerning libels. The ordinance is preceded with a long preamble, which affords so amusing a specimen of inspired legislation that we are tempted to produce a portion of the same. It runs in words and figures as follows:

Whereas the Saints of all ages of the world have suffered persecution and death by wicked and corrupt men under the garb of a more holy appearance of religion; and

Whereas the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints from the moment that its first truth "sprang out of the earth" till now, has been persecuted with death, destruction, and extermination; and

Whereas men, to fulfil the Scriptures that a man's enemies are they of his own household, have turned traitors in the Church and combined and leagued with the most corrupt scoundrels and villains that disgrace the earth unhung, for the heaven daring and damnable purpose of revenge on account of disappointed lust, disappointed projects of speculation, fraud and unlawful designs, to rob and plunder mankind with impunity, and

Whereas such wicked and corrupt men have greatly facilitated their unlawful designs, horrid intentions and murderous plans by polluting, degrading and converting the blessings and utility of the press to the sin-smoking and blood stained ruin of innocent communities, by publishing lies, false statements, coloring the truth, slandering men, women, children, societies, and countries by polishing the characters of blacklegs, highwaymen and murderers, as virtuous, etc.

For the above recited and many other reasons the City Council of Nauvoo ordained,

That if any person or persons shall write or publish, in said city, any false statement, or libel any of the citizens for the purpose of exciting the public mind against the chartered privileges, peace and good order of said city, *  *  *   he, she or they shall be deemed disturbers of the peace.

and upon conviction, fine and imprisonment are imposed as the penalty. The Expositor office was destroyed the same day, three days after the appearance of the first and only number. This is a brief time in which to work "the sin-smoking and blood stain ruin of innocent communities." The story of this outrage which was the immediate cause of the prophet's death, is thus told in "the History of Joseph Smith:"

The council passed an ordinance declaring the Nauvoo Expositor a nuisance. I immediately ordered the Marshal to destroy it without delay, and at the same time issued an order to Jonathan Dunham, acting Major General of the Nauvoo Legion, to assist the Marshal with the Legion, if called upon so to do.

About 8 p. m., the Marshal returned and reported that he had removed the press, type, printed paper, and fixtures into the street, and destroyed them. This was done because of the libelous and slanderous character of the paper, its avowed intention being to destroy the municipality, and drive the Saints from the city. The posse accompanied by some hundreds of the citizens, returned with the Marshal to the front of the mansion, when I gave them a short address and told them they had done right, and that not a hair of their heads should be hurt for it; that they had executed the orders which were given me by the City Council; that I would never submit to have another libelous publication established in the city; that I did not care how many papers were printed in the city, if they would print the truth: but would submit to no libels or slanders from them. I then blessed them in the name of the Lord. This speech was loudly greeted by the assembly with three times three cheers

But the prophet had assumed too much in his address; instead of protecting the hirsute adornment of his followers, he had all he could attend to, to guard his own head. The proprietors of the Expositor office (William Law, Wilson Law, Charles Ivins, Francis M. Higbee, Chauncey L. Higbee, Robert D. Foster, and Charles A. Foster) made instand complaint to Justice Morrison, at Carthage, who issued a warrant for the arrest of the Mayor and Council of Nauvoo, eighteen in number. Mayor Smith obtained a habeas corpus from the municipal court, and the City Council procured their cases to be heard before Justice Daniel H. Wells, who discharged them.

These lawless proceedings aroused the passions of the people surrounding, and Hancock county was all astir. At Carthage the people assembled in public meeting to express their indignation, and in every town and settlement for twenty miles around there were excited gatherings and threats made of driving out and exterminating the Mormons. The prophet, in his trepidation, wrote to Governor Ford, asking that official to come in person with his staff and investigate the whole matter without delay. "I know not but this," the man of God said in his appeal, "will be the only means of stopping and effusion of blood. I ask at your hands immediate counsel and protection." As Mayor of the city he also published a proclamation to correct the false statements set in circulation "by black hearted villains," which, he says in his craracteristic style, "has (inspired grammar) brought upon us the displeasure of the unprincipled and the uninformed, and seems to afford an opportunity to our enemies to unite and arouse themselves in mob; and already they have commenced their hellish operations by driving a few defenseless Mormons from their houses and homes in the vicinity of Warsaw and Carthage."

Dr. Richards and Thomas Bullock, we are informed, sat up all night to write out the proceedings of the City Council (the session of that body which condemned the Expositor office to destruction) for publication, it being supposed that the arguments of the members and the evidence they took would allay the public feeling. Some of these arguments are so characteristic that we will produce them in brief.

The Mayor read the statements of Francis M. Higbee, from the Expositor, and asked, "Is it not treasonable against all chartered rights and privileges, and against the peace and happiness of the city?"

Counselor Hyrum Smith was in favor of declaring the Expositor a nuisance.

Counselor John Taylor said no city on earth would bear such slander, and he would not bear it. He was decidedly in favor of active measures.

Counselor Stiles said a nuisance was anything which disturbs the peace of the community, and the whole community had to rest under the stigma of those falsehoods (referring to the Expositor). If we could prevent the issuing of any more slanderous communications he would go in for it. It is right for this community to show a proper resentment, and he would go in for suppressing all further publications of the kind.

Counselor H. Smith believed the best way was to smash the press and pi the type.

Counselor Johnson concurred with the counselors who had spoken.

Alderman Bennett referred to the statement of the Expositor concerning the municipal court in the case of Jeremiah Smith as a libal, and considered the paper a public nuisance.

Alderman Smith... considered there was but one course to pursue; that the proprietors were out of the reach of the law, that our course was to put an end to the thing at once; believed by what he had heard that if the City Council did not do it, others would.

One speaker (Counselor Warrington) dissented. He thought it might be considered rather harsh for the Council to declare the paper a nuisance. He proposed giving a few days' [limitation], and assessing a fine of #3,000 for every libel.

The Mayor remarked he was sorry to have one dissenting voice in declaring the Expositor a nuisance,

Upon this rebuke, Bro. Warrington [toned] down.

Counselor Hunter believed the sheet to be a nuisance.

Alderman O. Spencer accorded with the views expressed that the Nauvoo Expositor was a nuisance.

Other speakers went back to Far West and Haun's Mill in their remarks, and yet others assailed the character of several of the publishers of the obnoxious sheet. After the question had been debated at great length, it was brought before the Council in the following resolution.

Resolved, By the City Council of the city of Nauvoo that the printing office from whence issues the Nauvoo Expositor is a public nuisance, and also all of said Expositors which may be, or exist in said establishment, and the Mayor is instructed to cause said printing establishment and papers to be removed without delay, in such manner as he shall direct.

This was unanimously adopted, with one dissenting voice from Counselor Warrington. But the publication of these proceedings did not act as oil upon the troubled waters; the ferment increased on every hand. Bro. Hyrum wrote to Brigham Young, who was adsent missionizing, to return to Nauvoo, and put a little powder, lead and a good rifle into his baggage (so as to create no suspicion) and also to draw in others of the Twelve as quickly as possible. Joseph Smith called out the Legion, and in a long, rambling address, put the question to them, "Will you all stand by me to the death, and sustain at the peril of your lives the laws of our country and the privileges and liberties which our fathers have transmitted to us, sealed with their blood?" And those doughty warriors all responded "aye." This relieved his mind immensely, for he said further, "It is well. If you had not done it, I would have gone out there, (pointing to the West,) and raised up a mightier people." Waiting the arrival of Governor Ford, the legionaries were kept busily at work entrenching and fortifying the city.

On the 22d a long letter arrives from Governor Ford, addressed to the Mayor and Council. This afforded but cold comfort. After summing up the evidence upon which the paper was condemned and its office raided, and defining the powers of a municipal body to deal with an offending journal, the Covernor says:

I now express to you my opinion that your conduct in the destruction of the press was a very gross outrage upon the laws and the liberties of the people; it may have been full of libels, but this did not authorize you to destroy it.

He dwelt upon the extreme peril of the situation. "A small indiscretion may bring on a war," he wrote. "The whole country is now up in arms, and a vast number of people are ready to take the matter into their own hands." As the only measure of safety, he urged the Mayor and Council to submit to arrest and be tried before the same magistrate whose authority the had resisted. Joseph could not refrain from sending a long an insolent reply to this, but he came to terms shortly and surrendered to the constable for removal to Carthage. He now saw that he was doomed. Before starting he went twice to bid farewell to his family, and appeared pensive and solemn. He expressed his belief to several around him that he would never return. Passing the Masonic hall, he said to the bystanders, "Boys, if I don't come back, take care of yourselves; I am going like a lamb to the slaughter." As they party passed his farm, the captive prophet took a long and admiring look at its broad acres, turning round several times to take in its beauty and repose. This called out remarks from some of the company, when Joseph replied: "If some of you would not see it any more, you would want to take a good look at it for the last time."

The prophet arrived in Carthage and what took place there, will have to be narrated in another article.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Wednesday, August 22, 1879.                   No. 108.


In our article yesterday, we left Joseph Smith (accompanied with his brother Hyrum) on his way to Carthage to answer the charge of illegally destroying the Expositor office. He was possessed of a fear of violence, the excited feelings of the populace being really menacing to his safety. Beside the destruction of the press he had resisted judicial process, and had called out the Nauvoo Legion for his protection. These legionaries were set to fortifying the city, and it was reported that foraging parties were sent out to commit depredations upon the cattle and other property of surrounding inhabitants. This necessitated defensive measures on the part of the Executive of the State, and Governor Ford lost no time in in establishing his headquarters in Carthage and calling upon the State militia to aid him. But militia-men, equally with civilians, were in an excited state of mind, and the force called upon by the Governor to preserve peace and aid in the execution of the laws, were the most likely to precipitate violence. "You have made it necessary," wrote Governor Ford to Joseph Smith, "that a posse should be assembled to execute legal process, and that posse, as fast as it assembles, is in danger of being imbued with the mobocratic spirit. If you by refusing to submit, shall make it necessary to call out the militia, I have great fears that your city will be destroyed and your people many of them exterminated." In reply to one of the prophet's friends, who expressed his fears for the captives' safety in Carthage jail, the Governor said, "I was never in such a dilemma in my life; but your friends shall be protected and have a fair trial by law." There is no doubt the Governor's will was good to preserve the peace and have the trial proceed decently and in order; but the popular excitement was so intense and all pervading that the agencies he worked with were altogether beyond his control.

In the session of the City Council of Nauvoo which ordered the destruction of the Expositor, Hyrum Smith cited the Warsaw Signal as an obnoxious sheet, and according to the official report of the proceedings, "disapprobated its libelous course." But according to report current at the time, he also offered a reward for the destruction of the Signal office, classing that paper and the Expositor together as libelous and unfit to live. On the 13th of June, 1844, (three days after the raid on the Expositor office) the citizens of Carthage held a mass meeting, whereat the preamble and resolutions adopted at Warsaw were read and approved, and committees appointed to protect the public safety. To show that violence and unreason were not confined to the Mormons, we give a specimen of the preamble and resolutions as follows:

*   *   *   Whereas, The liberty of the press is one of the cardinal principles of our government, firmly guaranteed by the several constitutions of the States as well as the United States. and

Whereas, Hyrum Smith has within the last week publicly threatened the life of one of our valued citizens, Thomas C. Sharp, the editor of the Signal, therefore, be it solemnly

Resolved by the citizens of Warsaw in public meeting assembled, that we view the recent ordinance of the city of Nauvoo, and the proceedings thereunder, as an outrage of an alarming character, revolutionary and tyrannical in tendency and being under color of law, as calculated to subvert and destroy in the minds of the community all reliance on the law.

Resolved, That as a community we feel anxious, when possible, to redress our grievances by legal remedies, but the time has now arrived when the law has ceased to be a protection to our lives and property. A mob at Nauvoo, under a city ordinance, has violated the highest privilege in Government, and to seek redress in the ordinary mode would be utterly ineffectual.

Resolved, That the public threat made in the Council of the city not only to destroy our printing press, but to take the life of its editor, is sufficient in connection with the recent outrage, to command the efforts and the services of every good citizen to put an immediate stop to the career of the mad prophet and his demoniac coadjutors. We must not only defend ourselves from danger, but we must resolutely carry the war into the enemy's camp. We do therefore declare that we will sustain our press and the editor at all hazards. That we will take full vengeance -- terrible vengeance -- should the lives of any of our citizens be lost in the effort. That we hold ourselves at all times in readiness to co-operate with our fellow citizens in this State, Missouri and Iowa, to exterminate -- utterly exterminate -- the wicked and abominable Mormon leaders, the authors of our troubles.

Places of encampment were designated, and a committee of two appointed to notify the Governor that the Mayor and Council of Nauvoo refused arrest and that riot was still in progress.

Joseph and Hyrum Smith arrived in Carthage when the excitement was at the highest. They reached that city with their escort June 21st, at midnight, and were lodged in a tavern. Troops were quartered in the public square, and when the prophet's party was recognizec, the Carthage Grays are charged with gross insults to the prisoner. It is more probable, however, that a midnight the troops would be soundly reposing.

The following morning the Smiths surrendered themselves to Constable Bettlesworth, who had served the justice's writ in Nauvoo, and this officer now served other warrants upon the brothers for "treason against the Government and people of the State of Illinois." How the prisoners were received in Carthage is thus told by a letter from Joseph to his wife.

Dear Emma. I have had an interview with Gov. Ford, and he treats us honorably. Myself and Hyrum have been again arrested for treason, because we called out the Nauvoo Legion, but when the truth comes out, we have nothing to fear. We all feel calm and composed. This morning Governor Ford introduced myself and Hyrum to The malitia in a very appropriate manner as General Joseph Smith and General Hyrum Smith. [There] was a little mutiny among the Carthage Greys, but I think the Governor has and will succeed in enforcing the laws. I do hope the people of Nauvoo will continue placid pacific and prayerful.

In the afternoon, Joseph, Hyrum and thirteen others appeared before Justice Smith to answer the charge of destroying the office of the Nauvoo Expositor. They were bound over in the sum of $500 each for their appearance at the next term of the Circuit Court for Hancock county. But at 8 o'clock, while taking supper in their lodgings, Constable Bettisworth presented himself with a misimus requiring their safe keeping in the Carthage jail to answer a charge of treason. Captain Dunn with a detail of twenty men marched the prisoners to the penal abode assigned them.

Regarding this as a vexatious prosecution, Elder John Taylor sought the Governor to ask his intervention. "I reminded him," says the apostle, "that we had come out there at his instance, not to satisfy the law -- which we had done before -- but the prejudice of the people in relation to the affair of the press. *   *   *   I expressed my dissatisfaction at the course taken, and told him that if we were to be subject to mob rule, and to be dragged contrary to law into prison, at the instance of every infernal scoundrel whose oaths could be bought for a dram of whiskey, his protection availed very little, and we had miscalculated his promises."

But the Governor gave his applicant slight satisfaction. He admitted that it was an unpleasant affair and looked hard; but it was a matter over which he had no control as it belonged to the judiciary. He thought the best thing to be done was to let the law take its course, as he had no doubt that the prisoners would be immediately released.

However the prophet and the patriarch were in prison, whether the law warranted it or not, and the jailer locked them in the prisoners' cell; but shortly afterward he relented and removed them to the debtors' room, where they were allowed to receive visits from their friends. They spent an hour or two in conversation, then offered prayer, and towards midnight the prisoners lay down on the floor and slept soundly till six in the morning.

At 9:30 a. m. (June 30th) Governor Ford in company with Colonel Geddes, visited the jail, where he held a lengthy conversation with the Mormon chieftain on "the existing difficulties." John Taylor reports what was said, and we extract Bro. Joseph's apology for destroying the Expositor office. He said.

Concerning the destruction of the press to which you refer, men may differ somewhat in their opinions about it; but can it be supposed that after all the indignities to which we have been subjected outside, that this people could suffer a set of worthless vagabonds to come into our city, and right under our own eyes and protection, vilify and calumniate, not only ourselves, but the character of our wives and daughters, as was impudently and unblushingly done in that infamous and filthy sheet? There is not a city in the United States that would have suffered such an indignity for twenty-four hours. Our whole people were indignant, and loudly called upon our city authorities for a redress of their grievances, which, if not attended to, they themselves would have taken the matter into their own hands, and have summarily punished the audacious wretches, as they deserved.

Governor Ford then gave his views of the outrage upon a free press. His Excellency said:

I must beg to differ with you in relation to the acts of the City Council. That body, in my opinion, had no right to act in a legislative capacity and as a judicerary also. They should have passed a law in relation to the matter, and then the Municipal Court, upon complaint, could have removed it. But for the City Council to take upon themselves the law making and the execution of the law is, in my opinion, wrong. Beside, these men ought to have had a hearing before their property was destroyed. To destroy it without, was an infringement of their rights. Besides it is so contrary to the feelings of the American people to interfere with the press.

But Joseph was bound to have the last word in the discussion. His reply to this was:

You say the parties ought to have had a hearing. Had it ben a civil suit, this, of course would have been proper, but there was a flagrant violation of every principle of right -- a nuisance, and it was abated on the same principle that any nuisance, stench or putrified carcass would have been removed. Our first step, therefore, was to stop the foul, noisome, filthy sheet, and then the next, in our opinion, would have been to prosecute the men for a breach of public decency.

The conversation wound up with an appeal from the captive prophet for protection. "I believe you are talking of going to Nauvoo. If you go, Sir, I wish to go along. I refuse not to answer any law, but I do not consider myself safe here." The Governor replied that he did not know whether he would go the day following to Nauvoo, but if he did he would take Bro. Joseph along.

The next day was the last spent on earth by the Smith brothers. After breakfast Governor Ford started for Nauvoo, with a guard of militiamen, leaving the prisoners to the safe-keeping of the troops that remianed. Joseph and Hyrum passed the forenoon in the endeavor to convert the guards to the Latter day faith, while friends in the room with them were fitting up a door to keep off intruders. In the afternoon an armed rabble burst into the jail, overpowered the guard and murdered Joseph and Hyrum.

The moral of this tragic incident is that it is not safe for religious zealots who cannot abide the uncourteous utterances of an untrammeled newspaper to make free with its type. The Prophet Joseph thought to put out the light, but he himself was extinguished.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Sunday, September 7, 1879.                   No. 121.



Direct and ancillary there are four parties to the Mormon suit. The Mormons suit proper is likely to outlast those just now in court; for, although it may be proved that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has no legal tenure of existence, wipe that out and still Mormonism will remain. Judge Sutherland is an expert fencer; but if said Church is legally a non-est Church, it might still hold out as an honest Church, but for the not uncertain issue of the graver still suit pending over it, which it must yet squarely face. Judge Sutherland is hardly to be likened to Don Quixote fighting windmills, but "so fight I not as one that beateth the air." There are no less than four claimants for the origin of Mormonism: 1. Solomon Spaulding; 2. Sidney Rigdon; 3. Joseph Smith; 4. the Disciples (Campbellism). The second and third are the direct, and the first and fourth the remote and "no-thank-you" claimants. (The name of the Deity need not appear in this connection until these four claimants all and several are non-suited.) Lacking the first and the forth, Mormonism could no more have come into being than without the second and third. The peculiar and characteristic features of early Mormonism were taken boldly from Campbellism, and Sidney Rigdon was the connecting link between the two. Says a correspondent, and a prominent Disciple:

Rigdon carried with him over into that conglomerate delusion the leading terms, statements and arguments of the Disciples; plea for the restoration of the ancient gospel; and from that day to this all in Mormonism that wins, attaches and converts are the ancient gospel terms, plans, items and arrangements which Mr. Campbell and others had been developing for years before Mormonism was heard of; all of which had to be run through a Rigdon crucible, and from this process it attained sundry additions, such as the gift of the Holy Ghost by imposition of the hands of authorized eldership, the power of miracles, the orders and ranks of priesthood, etc.

Rigdon was always erratic, fanciful, enthusiastic, full of whims and of prophetic themes. He was not thought to be an originator, but ready to adopt and both quick and fierce to advocate. With suprising facility, he could seize another's views, or plan, and so place himself in front of it as to appear its leader. In this way exactly he threw off the habits of the Baptists, and adopted the exhortational tones, terms and methods of Walter Scott. Although the teaching of the Disciples respecting conversion and initiation into the Kingdom, engrafted by Rigdon into Mormonism, have ever been the converting force of their scheme, yet the cause, by stigma or otherwise named Campbellism, was the first and most effectual bar to the progress of the Mormon system. Those principles sometimes called by us "first principles" were in the Mormon scheme turned to the attainment of an object steadily and always repudiated by the Disciples.

(By this the writer probably means that "the door of baptism" was never with the Disciples a trap-door.) The correspondent continues:

You ask about Melchisedek. The air was full of Melchisedek -- sermons. questions, discussions upon him -- who he was, his office literally and typically considered. No such theories or schemes about it as Mormonism developed and adopted were among us. The germs might have been in some fancies, no more: but Melchisedek was a popular and fruitful theme.

Then as to our revised Scriptures. The defence of the Bible, the Scriptures pure and worship alone on that foundation, and consequently pure: this was Mr. Campbell's point, plea and pleading. Hence our new translation. The imitators and copyists must also have the same angle on their edifice, but they overdo it. Theirs must be inspired.

Again, the argumentative basis. This with the Disciples was clear-cut, definite, demonstratable. The Bible alone. No creeds as terms of fellowship. March squarely and fully up to Apostolic ground, and meet the world on this issue. A clearly marked line between the human and the Divine. Just at this door came in the new religion founded on a new revolution.

And to whom, it may here be asked, is this new relation [sic] vouchsafed? Why to Sidney Rigdon. Let any person read the first revelation given to Rigdon and Smith, wherein "my servant Sidney" is informed by the Lord that he has been sent forth even as John, to prepare the way before his coming "and thou knewest it not," (quite ignoring Joe). Let any person read the revelation given to Partridge a few days later: "Thus saith the Lord God, the Mighty One of Israel. * * * I will lay my hand upon you by the hand of my servant Sidney, and you shall receive my spirit, the Holy Ghost. * * * And now this calling and commandment I give unto all men, that as many as shall come before my servants Sidney and Joseph, embracing this calling and commandment shall be ordained to preach the everlasting gospel among the nations." Bearing the important fact in mind that, although the Church had been started eight months, Smith and Rigdon had only been acquainted with each other a few days (?) and the real leader and inspiring genius of the Mormon work is not far to seek.

The depth of this original Mormon conspiracy, and the height of it, will never be reached and known until Rigdon is recognized as its central figure and chief plotter. With the majority of elderly Mormons themselves, who, in many cases for half a life-time or more have been resting complacently and confidently in the [belief] that Rigdon was at most but one out of some half-dozen Mormon leaders, chiefly marked and active at the outset of the "marvelous work," and who have clung to the idea that, after the Lord, His prophet and mouth-piece was all-in-all, this claim -- this supreme claim -- for Rigdon must for a time appear not otherwise than untenable and preposterous; but it will be found, as with every half-concealed truth or fact, the more closely it is looked into the clearer and more cogent it becomes. Those whose vision is not obscured by any mist of fanaticism or prejudice can already discern this utterly revolutionary and convulsing factor in the case "with half an eye."

The correspondent from whom the above extracts have been taken thus concludes:

As complements and fillings up, pages might be filled with terms, phrases and modes of illustration allowing that not only the garment was stolen, but the very form and fit, and even the hue and coloring show the ill-disguised attempt at originality. No counterfeit ever showed more plainly a corrupted copy.

Rigdon was nothing if not "inspired;" nothing if not "legally inspired." The heavens themselves were robbed. Prometheus-like, by this man to kindle fanaticism. The authority claimed by Mormonism was stolen from on high by the audacious pretense of a direct, divine commission. The punishment of Promethus we know: the punishment of Mormonism we see.

It is likewise susceptible of demonstration that at least nine-tenths of the peculiar tenets and terminology of Mormonism were appropriated from Campbellism: notably and primarily, baptism for remission of sins which was inaugurated by the Disciples in the fall of 1827, two or three years before the Mormon Church was organized. The biography of Elder Walter Scott has a passage of significance in this connection, which I will quote:

The preacher (Scott) have a brief review of the various points of his discourse, insisting that the Word of God meant what it said, urging his lecturers to trust that Word implicitly. He rehearsed again the Jerusalem scene, and called attention to the earnest, anxious cry of the multitude, and the comforting reply of the Apostles, "Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." He invited any one present who believed with all his heart, to yield to the terms proposed in the words of the Apostle, and show by a willing obedience his trust in the Lord of life and glory.

Mr. Amend pressed his way through the crowd to the preacher, and made known his purpose; made a public declaration of his belief in the Lord Jesus Christ, and his willingness to obey him, and, on the same day, in a beautiful clear stream, which flows on the southern border of the town, in the presence of a great multitude, he was baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. This event, which forms an era in the religious history of the times, took place on the 18th of November; 1827, and William Amend was beyond all question the first person in modern times who received the ordinance of baptism in perfect accordance with Apostolic teaching and usage. His baptism occasioned no small stir in the community. No one had ever seen anything in all respects like it, and yet it seemed to correspond so perfectly with the teachings and practices of the Apostles that few could fail to see the resemblance.

Rigdon's secret affiliation with Smith from 1827 until 1830 has been stoutly and persistently denied for them; but if one or the other himself ever denied it, the present writer, in an exhaustive draining of the whole field, has not come across such denial, while, on the other hand, there are living witnesses to prove such secret affiliation.

If Rigdon ever denied that he made over the Book of Mormon from the Manuscript Found, such denial has yet to appear. During his lifetime, for thirty-odd years after the death of his prophet, he had the fullest opportunity to deny the part which current belief assigned him in the construction of the Mormon book and scheme. He was importuned continually upon the subject up to the time of his death. Did he ever deny it? If so, when and where?

On the other hand Joseph Smith declared (see Times and Seasons, Nov. 1, 1843:) "The fact is that by the power of God I translated the Book of Mormon from hieroglyphics; the knowledge of which was lost to the world: in which wonderful event I stood alone, an unlearned youth, to combat the worldly wisdom, and multiplied ignorance of eighteen centuries, with a new revelation."

If this is true, how can that be true which Mrs. M. S. McKinstry, now of Longmeadow, Mass., the daughter of Solomon Spaulding, has sent over her own signature to the writer of these lines, to wit: that she distinctly recollects seeing used in her father's manuscript, the names Mormon, Moroni, Nephites and Laminites (spelling the last word thus)? These are unique names, all of them; they could not have been on the sacred plates and in the historical fiction of Spaulding, except, one had been taken from the other. Spaulding died in 1816. Mrs. McKinstry is a witness in every respect above suspicion and irreproachable. She is between 70 and 80 years of age and in feeble health, but of clear memory, and in the enjoyment of her mental faculties. Her testimony but corroborates that of many of Spaulding's friends who heard him read his manuscript, and who afterwards read the Book of Mormon. Their testimony; unimpeached and unimpeachable, has been before the world for nearly fifty years. The "baseless" and "exploded" Spaulding story has ever been the one terror and nightmare of Mormonism. So far from being baseless, it has its base in adamantine truth; so far from Mormons having exploded it, the Spaulding story will yet effectually explode the superstition of Mormonism.

It does not appear that any attempt has ever been made by the Mormons to impeach the credibility of any of those dreadful witnesses; certain it is such an attempt, were it made, would most signally fall.

The straightforward statement of Isaac Hale, the prophet's father-in-law, taken before Charles Dimon, Justice of the Peace in Susquehanna County, Pa. will everlastingly outweigh the crooked, inconsistent and craftily gotten-up testimonies from the Smith and Whitmer families as to the divine authority of the Book of Mormon, "giving the only reliable account of its origin," which ever had been or ever can be relied upon. The first "testimony of three witnesses," is an elizir of moonbeams, and both are striking exhibitions of stupid credulity and stupefying imposture.

William Thompson and David Dimock, associate judges of the Court of Common Pleas in Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania, attested that Mr. Isaac Hale was a man of excellant moral character and of unquestioned veracity; and such is well known to have been Mr. Hale's character. (Again, the Plano Joseph, the double junior, is fortunate in one of his grandfathers. Goof, honest blood flows in his veins from the mother's side. Let him put it to usury, and let the vain and empty eclat of being the son and successor of a prophet go. That lead is pinching out very fast). The prophet did the translation of his sacred plates or a considerable part thereof, under the very nose of his father-in-law. Mr. Hale affirms:

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

Now suppose it should be demonstrated that Rigdon had in his possession in Pittsburg, in the year 1823, the Spaulding romance, from which the Book of Mormon was fabricated. Suppose it should be demonstrated that two or three years prior to 1830 Rigdon secretly foretold to one and another the coming forth of a certain marvelous book containing an account of the aborigines of this continent. Suppose it should be demonstrated that in Harmony, Penna., in 1828, after the prophet had translated a portion of his sacred plates, and after the "Father and Son" had appeared to him and twice told him to join with none of the religious sects, that they were all an abomination; suppose, I say, that he should -- not exactly join -- but try to join the Methodist Church in Harmony; that his name was held as a "probationer" on the classbook of the Methodist "leader" for six months, and that he was finally dropped for eminent and notorious unfitness. And suppose Mr. Michael B. Morse, now of Amboy, Illinois, to have been the very class leader who took Smith's name. Suppose, further, it should be demonstrated that the mysterious hieroglyphics found in Kinderhook, Illinois in 1843, and subsequently fac-similed and translated by the prophet, (vide History of Joseph Smith Millennial Star, Vol. XXI, No. 3.) were made and concealed in the earth by William Fugate and Robert Wiley, who are still alive to testify to their work; with all this evidence before them, would Mormons still feel justified before high heaven, before the world and their own consciences in still clinging to these idols of prophet and book?

In its issue of Tuesday last the Deseret News thinks "It is amusing to see the shifts and twistings to which men resort in an endeavor to account for the Book of Mormon, when they reject the truth in relation to its origin." But this is in no way so "amusing" as to note not merely the "shifts and twistings" of those who seek to stifle the truth in relation to the origin of the Mormon Book, and the cold-blooded, calculating deceit practiced by those pious souls. Such life-long duplicity is something appalling to contemplate.

Note 1: This is another chapter taken from the lost book of James T. Cobb, but fortunately preserved as a Tribune article. Cobb's "prominent Disciple" correspondent was almost certainly Dr. Amos Hayden (1813-1880) and his quotation from that correspondent may well have been the very one he sent to RLDS President Joseph Smith III for his inspection. In his letter of Feb 14, 1879, President Smith says: "Thank you for the reading of A. S. Hayden's letter. I reenclose it to you. The [idea of Smith and Rigdon allegedly having been] co-plotters in a bold work of deception -- bothers him and you..." The eye-witness recollection is an important one and should be read in tandem with the passages on Rigdon recorded in Hayden's 1875 book. Unfortunately Dr. Hayden died not long after Cobb's quotation from his letter was printed in the Tribune and further intelligence from this eye-witness to Rigdon's early years was forever lost.

Note 2: Cobb's placement of Matilda Spalding McKinstry (1805-1891) in "Longmeadow, Mass" in late 1879 may be a bit of a mistake. Rev. David R. Austin wrote to Cobb on Apr. 4, 1879, saying that "Mrs. McKinstry has removed from Monson & now resides with a son, a physician... in Mass." But, supplementing, this information, her son John wrote to Cobb on June 2, 1879, saying: "I... delayed answering till I could hear from my mother in answer to the questions you propounded." It appears that by mid-1879 Matilda Spalding McKinstry had gone to reside with her daughter and son-on-law (Frances W. McKinstry Seaton and Charles W. Seaton) in Washington, D. C.

Note 3: In his letter of June 2, 1879, Dr. John A. McKinstry tells James T. Cobb that he is enclosing "over her signature" the "answer" to some of Cobb's questions to the elderly lady. The original of that 1879 statement by Solomon Spalding's adopted daughter has disappeared, but the Tribune article provides the jist of her short statement -- what John spoke of as being "not as elaborate as I could have wished." Mrs. McKinstry's letter of Aug. 21, 1880, addressed to Cobb ( when her statement for the Aug. 1880 Scribners' Monthly had already gone to press), probably reproduces essentially the content of the earlier, lost letter and agrees with what is quoted by the Tribune.

Note 4: Cobb's reference to Messrs. William Fugate and Robert Wiley, as being able to testify to the facts of the Kinderhook Plates' hoax, is based upon information supplied him in correspondence dating back to early 1878. Cobb was still researching this obscure incident in Mormon history as late as Nov. 1879 and it is supposed the story would have ended up as a chapter in his intended book.

Note 5: Cobb's reference to Michael B. Morse comes out of information he solicited from residents of Amboy, Illinois, including relatives of Emma Hale Smith. The story of Joseph Smith, Jr.'s attempt to join the Methodists, as well as other early accounts of his stay in the Susquehanna region, are related in various issues of the Amboy Journal, beginning with an article published there on Apr. 23, 1879.


Vol. XVII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Wednesday, September 17, 1879.                   No. 129.



There is a little, out-of-the-way pamphlet which Mormons should get, and which they should read, mark, and inwardly digest. I do not refer to the earliest edition of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, published in 1832, titled Book of Commandments, although that, likewise, would well repay a careful and critical perusal, but to a work known as Rigdon's Appeal.

This was published as late as 1863, and purports to have been written by three of Rigdon's friends. They may have written parts of it -- not all. The fierce and trampling "hoof" is too apparent here and there. If read with care (and, as the saying is, between the lines,) this Appeal tells who the fabricator of Mormonism was. The fact that Rigdon himself was this real, though hidden weaver amd fabricator of Mormonism, has been an open secret among the more enlightened and discerning, inside as well as outside of Mormondom, from the very first. 'Tis no new idea. It only now happens to be crowded home. And let whoever thinks he can gainsay it, make the attempt. Among the living, how many of the leading elders -- of those highest in authority and longest in the Church -- are aware of this fact, (in Brigham Young's phrase) "'tis not for me to say." That some among them must know it and do know it hardly admits of a doubt.

(Why, did not Apostle Orson Pratt, as long ago as the [winter of 1858?], know that the prophet Joseph was on record in his history --under his own hand -- using the pronoun "I," -- as having translated a portion of those hieroglyphics which Elder Pratt said, in a secret meeting, it was discovered had been made by Messrs. Fugate and Wiley and placd by them in the mound in Kinderhook, Illinois, in 1843? More secrecy, and evermore more secrecy. What's the good? Soon or late, murder will out. (The truth cannot be gagged forever. To go back to Rigdon).

It may be urged in behalf of Rigdon that he had worked himself up into a sort of half-crazed conviction that he was the agent, or messenger, of the Lord, that he had been sent forth even as John to prepare the way before the Lord's coming, etc., and that he may have been more or less sincere and conscientious in carrying out what he conceived to be certain divine purposes. But this is a shadow of extenuation -- no more. It was for him, as an honest man, if he fancied he held this agency, or ministry, to present his papers. It was not for him (as an honest man) to beat about the bush, but to come out squarely and "tell it all." It was for him (as an honest man) to be exact and explicit as to time, place and circumstances, and then let the world judge. But this is not the way fanaticism and imposture work. This is not the way imposture and fanaticism are poisted upon the world and fostered in credulous minds. They operate under cover and in secret. Their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us? They are not exact, frank, direct; but obscure and tortuous. They live and move and weave their spells in the darkness and the fog. They utter forth their oracles from the cloud. In a word, they are not open but secret. We are told that every one that doeth evil hateth the light, that his deeds may be made manifest that they are wrought in God. (This searching passage is, of course, altered in Rigdon's Inspired Translation and Correction of the Holy Scriptures.)

Said Rigdon in a sermon delivered in Nauvoo, April 1844: "The Church never would have been here, if we had not done as we did in secret." There it is: secrecy -- secrecy, from first to last, from beginning to end. Truth loves open dealing. That cannot be too often repeated. But when people are to be hoodwinked and imposed upon, when woman is to be cajoled and betrayed, secrecy is the thing. Truth loves open dealing. But Eve's daughters will still be curious, and this fatal curiosity if often their downfall. In the new Woman's Era let us hope there will be no secret conclaves. Priests, or not priests, let them know "men were deceivers ever." O, that both men and women would learn to abhor (as the high and noble ones of the race always do abhor) secrecy. Truth loves open dealing. Fling out that banner on the outward wall. Faithful are the wounds of a friend. Open rebuke is better than secret love. And what a saying is this -- how it smites down this whole Latter-day folly with a breath. "If they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the secret chambers, believe it not." Yet still the News croons and twaddles, "We (Saints) shall be the first to know of Christ's coming. He is to come first to us. He will come 'suddenly' to the Temple which we are building for him here at Salt Lake, or, possibly, (if he be in a hurry --a nd who knows but he nay be -- in a desperate hurry -- possibly) to the Temple we have already erected for him at St. George. Anyhow, He is certain to come to some one or more of our secret chambers here in the desert." Be not deceived. God is not mocked.

The following are passages from Rigdon's Appeal.

Here is the sum of the whole matter. The Lord had said, in the Book of Mormon, that He would raise up to Joseph Smith a spokesman, and the Spirit said, in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, that Sidney Rigdon was that spokesman. The case then stands thus, Joseph Smith was to translate the Book of Mormon, and Sidney Rigdon was to take take it, and gather Israel. The prophet Malachi had said that before Christ came, He would send his messenger, and he should prepare the way before Him. Joseph Smith said that Sidney Rigdon was that messenger. It appears further that he (Rigdon) was called to this work before he and Joseph ever saw each other, for the Spirit says, "Thou wast sent forth even as John to prepare the way," etc. It does not say. I will send thee forth, but thou wast sent forth before this time (i. e. before December, 1830). Here is a great fact disclosed, that Joseph Smith was never called to gather Israel, and prepare the way way before Christ, but another man. He (Joseph) had the gift to make known who it was the Lord had chosen for this greatest of all works, but was not the man himself to do it. The Lord said he would prepare a priesthood with which he would gather Israel. Joseph Smith said that Sidney Rigdon held that priesthood.

The form of expression used about bringing this priesthood to light certainly calls for a remark in this place from us. It was said to Oliver Cowdery and Joseph Smith that they had the keys of the gift to bring this priesthood to light. Rather a singular form of expression. We have seen in a former quotation, taken from the Doctrine and Covenants, 11th section and second paragraph, that the priesthood in question, at the time the revelation was given to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, was only in the Divine mind; it had been communicated to no living person, not even to the one (Rigdon) who had been sent forth to discharge its duties. Joseph Smith nor Oliver Cowdery had never heard tell of him who was to hold this priesthood, and the Lord said through Joseph Smith to Sidney Rigdon, that he had been sent forth as John, but he knew it not.

This was the position things were in when Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery had the keys of the gift bestowed on them to bring the priesthood to light. Oliver Cowdery was the man who brought the Book of Mormon to Sidney Rigdon (entire strangers to each other), and presented it as a revelation, and asked him to give it a reading. He did so, and the Spirit of Truth which was in him pronounced it a revelation. The consequence was that Oliver Cowdery baptized him, and he was introduced into the Church. So that conjointly they had the keys of the gift, that is, they had power given to them, conjointly, to bring to light a something which was alone in the mind of the Deity. They got the man, and then the Lord told Joseph Smith that this man was the person whom He had sent forth to prepare the way before Him and Elijah which was to come * * * *

Leaving this part of the subject here, we proceed to consult the books upon the subject of the fulfillment of prophecy, as connected with the Lord's messenger. In the preceeding part of this Appeal, it has been clearly understood. the way the Lord took to perfect His priesthood by literature of the highest order. Isaiah has a saying that gives additional strength to those literary acquirements. We take as transferred into the Book of Mormon, 2d Nephi, 8th chapter, where the prophet said the Lord would give to his servant "the tongue of the learned." Its being transferred into the Book of Mormon shows that this giving of the tongue of the learned was to take place in connection with the coming forth of that book.

The extensive literature that had to be obtained by the priesthood was, as we here see, to fulfill a prophecy, and also what is said in the fifth section, 86th paragraph of the Doctrine and Covenants, that when His servant turned to the Jews, the arm of the Lord would be revealed in power, has its connections and basis in the prophecy of Isaiah. Such as the following: "The Lord will make bare his arm in the sight of all nations, and the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of God." And again: "Awake! awake! Put on thy strength, O arm of the Lord!" As also: "Mone arm judge the people." All of the above are transferred to the Book of Mormon. * * * The result of all is that Christ is to raise a man to redeem Israel that will represent himself, will be a personification of himself, and will rule and direct the affairs of his kingdom exactly as he would do it, were he in person. And so comes the rule of righteousness on the earth, before Christ comes, so that when the prophet Isaiah says, "There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots and the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him," etc., all this righteousness and peace will be exercised by and through a man whom the Lord has chosen for the purpose; yea, the very man whom He has called to prepare the way before Him; and his having this transferred into the Book of Mormon, was for the express purpose of letting us know this important fact. * * *

This question resolves itself into the following facts. Was Joseph Smith inspired of the Lord to translate the Book of Mormon? And did the Holy Ghost [indite] the Book of Doctrine and Covenants? If so, there can be no question about whom the Lord has chosen to be his messenger, to recover the house of Joseph and restore the tribes of Jacob. Or, on the other hand, was Joseph Smith the most scandalous and heaven-daring wretch that ever lived, not even Judas Iscariot excepted? One or the other of these is true. If the first, the Lord will indicate Himself. If the latter, our religion is false as Satan and as corrupt as the [haunts] of perdition. As the Lord is a God of truth, He will act according to what He has caused to be written, and all those who are acting in opposition wil by and by open their eyes in hell, being in torment, and of this there can be no doubt.

Pray, what is the meaning, what is the full significance of the fact of a secret association and understanding and contrivance between Rigdon and Smith for some years prior to the advent and launching forth of the Mormon work? why has the previous acquaintance between these two persons been systematically concealed and denied? Truth loves open dealing.

But the question is, not whether one of two human beings started Mormonism, but whether divinity originated and organized it, and in answer to this question rests and (in the judgment of the present writer) can solely rest, "the solution of the Mormon problem." The longest way round is the shortest way home, when "home" lies across some big Serbonian bog. And in view of the [-----ed] and multiform imbecilities of the past, government and other, the plunging up to the ears in mud, will o' the wisp policies, and what not, in dealing with Mormonism, it may well be asked if the present is not, after all is said and done, likely to prove the most direct, pacific and effectual way of finally settling the question "all round."

If for over half a century the Mormon people have been contributing of their strength, their time, their faith, their energies and their subsistence to gather together from the four quarters of the globe, to build temples, "to build up the Kingdom of God on earth," at the command of the Lord -- well, well enough, if in so doing they do not run counter to the laws of the land; but if they have been doing all this at the (covert) command of Sidney Rigdon, that should be fully known, and the man Sidney should have all the glory of it.

Note: The obscure pamphlet that James T. Cobb refers to in the above article was the 1863 booklet, An Appeal to the Latter-day Saints, compiled and published at Philadelphia by Rigdonites Joseph H. Newton, William Richards, and William Stanley. See Elder Josiah Ells' response to these 1860s Rigdonite efforts in the RLDS Saints' Herald for Jan. 15, 1864 and Feb. 1, 1864 Rigdon's biographer, Richard Van Wagoner passes over the 1860s "Philadelphia Renaissance" of Sidney Rigdon church with barely a single mention -- see his 1994 Sidney Rigdon, p. 405.


Vol. XVII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Sunday, September 21, 1879.                   No. 133.



It is hardly possible to discover the precise mode in which these revelations, these so-called revelations, were manufactured. The modus operandi must have been ingenious, whereby persons of ordinary sagicity and penetration were so grossly imposed upon, and induced to believe in and accept as emanations from Deity, these self-evident contrivances of human cunning and deceit. By comparing these as they at present stand with the same as they originally appeared in the "Book of Commandments," published in 1832, one can see the dexterous weaving hand...

(this text is under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Wed., September 24, 1879.                   No. 135.



(this text is under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Sunday, September 28, 1879.                   No. 139.



While Rigdon gave to Mormonism its written word, it is not to be denied that Smith gave to it much of its unwritten and unwritable spirit; and while there is a modicum of truth associated with this "unwritten word" of Mormonism, what truth there is in the written is not visible to the naked eye. It is for the most part empty pretense and bold assumption. "The Books!" said Brigham Young. "the books are not worth the ashes of a rye straw. The Church has the living oracles." And Brigham -- in the first part of his declaration at least -- was right; and Joseph, in a like (unavowed but practical) position, was right too. "There is a spirit in man; and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding." And these men, unlettered as they were, having minds "uncorrupted by books," at times felt this inspiration of the Almighty giving them understanding -- perhaps much as the Indian feels it. Rigdon was a bookish and formal literalist - with a bee in his bonnet. There is no royal road to learning -- priesthood, revelation, or any other. Of course the sincere, devout mind must always be (so far) in advance of the insincere and undevout. The Spirit of God in the soul of man -- shed abroad in the heart -- is like the early and latter rain upon the soil. But nothing can compensate for the lack of faithful (and fruitful) efforts to "get understanding" from books, from one another, from all the wide domains of nature and art. Knowledge is power; but wisdom, the sum and concentration of knowledge, is the very seed and issue of salvation.

Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers, and I linger on the shore,
And the individual withers, and the world is more and more.

Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers, and he bears a laden breast,
Full of sad experience, moving toward the stillness of his rest.

(Mormonism is no very congeniel theme.)

The Josephite Mormons hold fast by the Mormon books. Many Mormons here do, but the wiser few, whether here or yonder, have discarded, or are discarding them, for they cannot be digested. Indeed the Battle of the Books is just now uon the church known as Mormon, whether in Utah or Illinois, and it will yet wax hot. The issue (it is not difficult to forsee) will be, the assigning of Rigdon to his true place in the Mormon work, which he has never yet had, and Joseph Smith his, whe he has never yet had. The Bible and the Christian religion will remain, as they have all along remained, unaffected by this or any other sectarian issue.

It is a highly significant fact that Joseph Smith, the imaginary founder of Mormonism, was not present on the occasion of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants veing presented to the church for the acceptance as its law and rule of faith. He happened to be away in Michigan at this very important juncture. He was in Kirtland, the then headquarters of Mormonism, just before and just after this important event. But the real Moses of Mormonism -- its real lawgiver -- was then present in the person of Sidney Rigdon, (and its "Aaron," too, in the person of O. Cowdery). This was the occasion of a "General Assembly of the Church of Latter-day Saints," and was held in August, 1835, and then accepted (what Elder Pratt called and as we have seen miscalled the first edition of) the Book of Doctrine and Covenants.

(The "History of Joseph Smith" fails to state that the Section on Marriage was accepted by the unanimous voice of this Conference. For this piece of information one has to refer to Elder Pratt's "first edition" of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, at the end. This edition is also very rare. But Apostle J. F. Smith will no doubt find a copy at the Historian's office.)

It is to be borne in mind that Rigdon was twelve years older than Smith. In 1823, when Smith was a youth of eighteen, Rigdon was thirty. The year 1823 figures conspicuously as a very important date in Mormon history, but, so far as Smith is concerned, it has no great interest or significance. To be sure, that was a very important year in Rigdon's life, but what of that? We shall see anon. The year 1823 is the date in Mormon history when Smith claims to have had his first "call." Three years before (in 1820) at the age of fifteen, the Father and Son had appealed to him (so he says, or so it is said for him,) for the purpose of telling him that all the sects were wrong, and an "abomination" in the sight of heaven, forbidding the youth Joseph to join with any of them -- this injustice being twice impressively repeated. (Yet, spite of this, and even after he has "translated" a part of the sacred plates, he tries hard to join the Methodist church in Harmony, Pennsylvania. If this fact is disputed, satisfactory evidence can be given.) In 1823, when he was eighteen, a messenger sent from the presence of God -- so the history has it -- who said his name was Nephi, came to Joseph for the purpose of making known to him the existence of the sacred plates containing the Book of Mormon, etc. "He said there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang."

There is no reason to dispute that Joseph's earliest vision (so called), when he was a boy of fifteen, had some ground in an actual experience of some such kind. One boy, at least, out of a hundred, will have dreams of a similar character. Why, a friend at our elbow was just relating a most striking dream of his, had when a boy, in which the Father and Son appeared to him, (this dream was several times repeated) and this could readily be twisted into a wonderful vision had he been disposed to thus exaggerate, or make a mountain out of a molehill for him -- as Rigdon undoubtedly was disposed, and (I believe) did in the case of young Joseph. But, leaving out the fact, or fancy, of the Father and Son appearing to young Joe, what do we encounter upon the very threshold of this Mormon structure? Two palpable equivocations:

First -- This angel's name.

Second -- (which will be noticed first,) What did this angel say?

"He said there was a book deposited written upon gold plates." But the Book of Mormon itself does not claim to have been written upon gold plates -- only the "Book of Ether," a very small, fractional part of the Book of Mormon. Here again the oily and effusive scribe, Cowdery, is caught tripping, for he says:

I wrote with my own pen, the entire Book of Mormon (save a few pages) as it fell from the lips of the Prophet Joseph, as he translated it by the gift and power of God, by the means of the Urim and Thummim, or, as it is called by that book, 'holy interpreters.' I beheld with my eyes, and handled with my hands, the gold plates from which it was translated. I also saw with my eyes and handled with my hands the 'holy Interpreters.' That book is true. Sidney Rigdon did not write it. Mr. Spaulding did not write it. I wrote it. I wrote it myself as it fell from the lips of the prophet. -- Mill. Star; Vol. xxi, No. 34.

Cowdery is reported to have borne this testimony a few months before his death. It is pretended, that the plates were -- with the exception named -- gold plates! If they had been, it is exceedingly doubtful if they ever would have been "translated" except into "current coin of the realm."

Now as to the angel's name. Was it Nephi or Moroni? In a half-column of Joseph's history, the "messenger sent from the presence of God," (Sept. 22, 1823,) is described in the most dazzling style, but it appears he did not know his own name, or, if he did, assumed an alias to the inoffensive youth whom "God" (whose presence this messenger had just left) had singled out to do His marvellous work. He (Nephi -- Moroni -- which?) "said that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people.'

It is important to know when the above narrative was first recited, when it was written, and who composed it. It first appeared in print some eighteen years after its pretended occurence -- time enough for the whole matter to have been carefully elaborated and nicely dovetailed; and yet, the fatal oversight of Nephi for Moroni! If Joseph hah had, in 1823, the name of this angel sent from the presence of God, it is inconceivable that he should not have communicated it to Cowdery; but in the series of Cowdery's Letters to Phelps, written and published as late as 1834-5, the name of this angel sent from the presence of God with the all-important mission, is not given. In his lectures on Early Mormonism, last winter, Apostle Joseph F. Smith touched upon this matter, and attempted to explain it, but entirely failed to clear up the discrepancy. If it was Moroni, why did he give the name Nephi? Can any Mormon tell? Or, if the angel gave any name at all, why, in his parade of particulars, did not Cowdery mention it?

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Tuesday, September 30, 1879.                   No. 141.



In concluding a series of pamphlets upon the Book of Mormon, Elder Orson Pratt says:

And I now bear my humble testimony to all the nations of the earth who shall read this series of pamphlets, that the Book of Mormon is a divine revelation, for the voice of the Lord hath declared it unto me.

Exactly what does the Apostle mean? Does he mean to have his words taken literally, definitely and intelligently? Does Apostlr Orson Pratt presume to say that he heard the voice of the Lord declaring to him that the Book of Mormon was a divine revelation? He surely will not dare to say this.

The three witnesses solemnly declare that "We have seen the plates which contain this record (the Book of Mormon) and we also know that they have been transmitted by the gift and power of God, for His voice hath declared it unto us."

The eight witnesses (four Whitmers, a Whitmer brother-in-law, Hiram Page, and three Smiths) testify that Joseph Smith, jr., showed them "the plates of which hath been spoken, which have the appearance of gold; and as many leaves as the said Smith has translated we did handle with our hands, and we saw the engravings thereof," etc. These eight witnesses in their testimony as originally put forth, speak of Joseph Smith, jr., as "author and proprietor of this work." These do not testify that they heard the voice of God declaring to them that the work was true. It is gratifying to find that John Whitmer, Hyrum Smith and Samuel H. Smith testifying to only just so much; namely, that some plates, of some sort, had been shown them by Smith. But what if they were? How could they tell what or how many plates Smith had translated? It is probable that these eight witnesses actually testify to the truth, so far as they were capable of knowing it -- but how about this "voice of the Lord?"

To those who believe that the "voice of the Lord" came through his servant Smith, his say-so upon any matter was sufficient. If He said the Book of Mormon was true, that was the "voice of the Lord" upon the subject. But is this what Apostle Pratt means, and all he means?

A revelation to Joseph, Oliver and David, in Fayette, June, 1829, says:

These words are not of men, nor of man, but of me, wherefore you shall testify that they are of me and not of man; for it is my voice which speaketh them unto you; for they are given by my spirit unto you, and by my power you can read them one to another, and save it were by my power you coukd not have them: wherefore you can testify that you have heard my voice, and know my words."

Elder Orson Pratt is quite capable of expressing himself with precision. He knows whether he has ever heard the voice of the Lord or not. He knows, moreover, whether he believes that he ever heard the voice of the Lord, or not. And there is an excellent opportunity for him and for others to define what they mean when they assert that the voice of the Lord has declared to them that the Book of Mormon is a divine revelation. This is a good subject for the coming Conference. Don't beat around the bush any longer, but come out flat footed and tell what ye know and how ye know it. Possibly the best and the oldest among those who have borne so earnest a testimony of the truth of the Book of Mormon may yet discover that they have been under a hallucination all these years. Could not Orson Pratt just as well, and just as confidently, bear his "humble testimony to the nations" that those Kinderhook plates contained what the prophet said they did? Has Elder Pratt any more to go upon in one case than he has in the other?

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Friday, October 3, 1879.                   No. 143.



The important statement herewith given is a condensed colloquy had between the wife and eldest son of the prophet Joseph Smith, jun., at Nauvoo, Illinois, in February last, some two months prior to the death of the prophet's wife, who, for more than thirty years, has been the wife of Major Bidamon. It is taken from the Saints' Advocate, of October. The Advocate is the minor organ of the Josephite Mormons in Plano, Ill. The statement is there headed, "Last Testimony of Sister Emma," and will doubtless be received by the polygamic Church in Utah with no little interest, but, at the same time, as regards the institution of polygamy, with utter incredulity and distrust. On the other hand, Mrs. Bidamon's testimony in favor of the authenticity of the Book of Mormon and of the Mormon work, with polygamy left out, will not fail to be welcomed. But if her testimony is false in one case, the reasonable query will arise, why not in both?

Mrs. Bidamon's testimony on one point will be observed: She corroborates the statement of her father, Isaac Hale, who affirmed in 1834, before a Justice of Peace in Susquehanna county, Penn., that "the manner in which he (the prophet) pretended to read and interpret was the same as when he looked for the money-diggers, with the stone in his hat and his hat over his face, while the Book of Plates was at the same time hid in the woods.

There was, then, no Urim and Thummim. That, like the "stone box" containing the "sacred plates," is a wicked myth and a sheer fabrication. In this city Martin Harris declared "there never was any stone box, and mony other things were said about the plates that were not so." The prophet is known to have obtained his "peepstone" from the Chase well in Palmyra, N. Y., in 1822. The 'History of Joseph Smith' says:

Having removed the earth and obtained a lever which I got fixed under the edge of the stone and with a little exertion raised it up, I looked in and there indeed did I behold the plates, the Urim and Thummim and the Breastplate as stated by the messenger. * * * At length the time arrived for obtaining the plates, the Urim and Thummim, and the breastplate; on the 22d day of September, 1827, having went as usual at the end of another year to the place where they were deposited, the same heavenly messenger delivered them up to me, with this charge: that I should be responsible for them: that if I should let them go carelessly, or through any neglect of mine, I should be cut off; but that if I would use all my endeavors to preserve them, until he the messenger should call for them, they should be protected.

Oliver Cowdery says:

I wrote, with my own pen, the entire Book of Mormon (save a few pages) as it fell from the lips of the Prophet Joseph Smith, as he translated it by the gift and power of God, by the means of the Urim and Thummim, or, as it is called by that book, 'holy interpreters.' That book is true. Sidney Rigdon did not write it. Mr. Spaulding did not write it. I wrote it. I wrote it myself as it fell from the lips of the Prophet.

Says the prophet's wife:

Your father would dictate to me hour after hour. * * * I frequently wrote day after day, he sitting with his face buried in his hat, with the stone in it, and dictating hour after hour with nothing between us.

But a natural inquiry here is: if the scribe Oliver took down all the Book of Mormon, save a few pages, what became of the Lady Emma's work? Following is the statement of


Joseph Smith could neither write nor dictate a coherent and well-worded letter; let alone dictating a book like the Book of Mormon. And, though I was an active participant in the scenes that transpired, and was present during the translation of the plates, and had cognizance of things as they transpired, it is marvelous to me, "a marvel and a wonder," as much so as to anyone else.

I know Mormonism to be the truth; and believe the Church to have been established by divine direction. I have complete faith in it. In writing for your father I frequently wrote day after day, often sitting at the table close by him, he sitting with his face buried in his hat, with the stone in it, and dictating hour after hour with nothing between us. He had neither manuscript nor book to read from. If he had had anything of the kind he could not have concealed it from me. The plates often lay on the table without any attempt at concealment, wrapped in a small linen tablecloth, which I had given him to fold them in. I once felt of the plates, as they thus lay on the table, tracing their outline and shape. They seemed to be pliable like thick paper, and would rustle with a metallic sound when the edges were moved by the thumb, as one does sometimes thumb the edges of a book. I did not attempt to handle the plates, other than I have told you, nor uncover them to look at them. I was satisfied that it was the work of God, and therefore did not feel it to be necessary to do so.

(Major Bidamon here suggested: Did Mr. Smith forbid your examining the plates?)

Ans. -- I do not think he did. I knew that he had them, and was not specially curious about them. I moved them from place to place on the table, as it was necessary in doing my work.

My belief is that the Book of Mormon is of divine authenticity. I have not the slightest doubt of it. I am satisfied that no man could have dictated the writing of the manuscripts unless he was inspired; for, when acting as his scribe, your father would dictate to me hour after hour; and when returning after meals, or after interruptions, he would at once begin where he had left off, without either seeing the manuscript or having any portion of it read to him. This was a usual thing for him to do. It would have been improbable that a learned man could do this; and, for one so ignorant and unlearned as he was, it was simply impossible.

Ques. -- Who were scribes for father when translating the Book of Mormon?

Ans. -- Myself, Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris, and my brother, Reuben Hale.


The words in brackets are the portions added to the revelation, or changed, since its first publication in the "Book of Commandments," of 1832. As it stands in the little old B. of C., it is headed

a Revelation to Emma, given in Harmony, Pennsylvania, July, 1830.

[Hearken unto the voice of the Lord your God, while I speak unto you,] Emma [Smith,] my daughter, [for verily I say unto you, all those who receive my gospel are sons and daughters in my kingdom]. A revelation I give unto you concerning my will, [and if thou art faithful and walk in the paths of virtue before me, I will preserve thy life, and thou shalt receive an inheritance in Zion]. Behold, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou art an elect lady, whom I have called. Murmur not because of the things which thou hast not seen, for they are withheld from thee and from the world, which is wisdom in me in a time to come. And the office of thy calling shall be for a comfort unto my servant, Joseph [Smith, jun.,] thy husband, in his afflictions, with consoling words, in the spirit of meekness. And thou shalt go with him at the time of his going, and be unto him for a scribe, that I may send [my servant,] Oliver Cowdery, whithersoever I will. And thou shalt be ordained under his hand to expound scriptures, and to exhort the Church, according as it shall be given thee by my spirit; for he shall lay his hands upon thee, and thou shalt receive the Holy Ghost, and thy time shall be given to writing, and to learning much. And thou needest not fear, for thy husband shall support thee in the Church, [from the Church, the revelation reads in the "Book of Commandments"]; for unto them is his calling, that all things might be revealed unto them, whatsoever I will, according to their faith. And verily I say unto thee that thou shalt lay aside the things of this world, and seek for the things of a better. And it shall be given thee, also, to make a selection of sacred hymns, as it shall be given thee, which is pleasing unto me, to be had in my Church; for my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads. Wherefore, lift up thy heart and rejoice, and cleave unto the covenants which thou hast made. Continue in the spirit of meekness, and beware of pride. Let thy soul delight in thy husband, and the glory which shall come upon him. Keep my commandments continually, and a crown of righteousness thou shalt receive. And except thou do this, where I am you cannot come. And verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my voice unto all. Amen.

From the above it appears that as late as July, 1830, long after the "plates" had been "translated," Emma was told not to "murmer" "because of the things which thou hast not seen, for they are withheld from thee, and from the world, which is wisdom in me in a time to come."

It also appears from the above that as early as July, 1830, Emma was to be a scribe for her husband, "that I may send Oliver whithersoever I will." Cowdery, for some reason, was not "sent" to Rigdon until the end of October.

It further appears from the above that several important assurances given to Emma in the draft of the revelation as originally printed are not to be found in subsequent editions. In the first edition "thou needest not fear, for thy husband shall support the from the Church;" in later editions, "thy husband shall support thee in the Church." The motivation, as it appears in the Book of Commandments, opens abruptly: "Emma, my daughter in Zion, a revelation I give unto you concerning my will. Behold, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou art an elect lady, whom I have called."

The revelation is touched up here and there to give it a more impressive ring. E. g. "That I may send Oliver" is less careful than "that I may send my servant Oliver," etc. "The Lord, therefore, adds to His own revelations whenever He thinks proper; but He has especially forbidden man to make any additions. The high prerogative of adding to any inspired revelation belongs to the Lord only," says Apostle Pratt.


Says Mrs. Smith Bidamon:

He [Joseph] had no other wife but me; He had no other wife but me; nor did he to my knowledge ever have. He did not have improper relations with any woman that ever came to my knowledge.

At Plano, Ills., in the summer of 1878, Elder Pratt is reported (Deseret News, Nov. 23, 1878,) to have "cited several instances of Joseph's having had wives sealed to him; one at least as early as April 5th, 1841."

Said the prophet's wife to her son Joseph:

No such thing as polygamy, or spiritual wifery, was taught, publicly or privately, before my husband's death, that I have now, or ever had any knowledge of. There was no revelation on either polygamy, or spiritual wives. There were some rumors of something of the sort, of which I asked my husband. He assured me that all there was of it was, that, in a chat about plural wives, he had said, "Well, such a system might possibly be, if everybody was agreed to it, and would behave as they should; but they would not; and, besides, it was contrary to the will of heaven." At one time my husband came to me and asked me if I had heard certain rumors about spiritual marriages, or anything of the kind; and assured me that if I had, that they were without foundation; that there was no such doctrine, and never should be with his knowledge, or consent.

[What! not even if "the Lord" required it? What sort of prophet was this!]

Ques. -- Did he not have other wives than yourself?

Ans. -- He had no other wife but me; nor did he to my knowledge ever have. I know that he had no other wife or wives than myself, in any sense, either spiritual or otherwise. He did not have improper relations with any woman that ever came to my knowledge.

The condition of feeling between your father and myself was good. There was no necessity for any quarreling. He knew that I wished for nothing but what was right; and, as he wished for nothing else, we did not disagree. He usually gave some heed to what I had to say. It was quite a grievous thing to many that I had any influence with him.

In view of the known facts, and "condition of feeling" that existed between the prophet and his wife, there is a depth of genuine wifely spirit -- a depth of pathetic appeal, even -- in the last paragraph. She, as well as her husband, knew they had parts to play. Both have now played them. Who assigned them these parts? God? No. Sidney Rigdon. Heaven does not require that we practise deceit. But the prophet's wife, through this statement she has made shows her to have been to some extent an ally with her husband, it is now evident was kept in the dark on some of the main points in the scheme.

She was more sinned against than sinning. She was a woman and a mother: a strong-willed woman, a strong-hearted mother -- "Let thy soul delight in thy husband, and the glory which shall come upon him." O subtle tempter!

The party chiefly responsible in this whole Mormon business is slowly but surely coming to light at last. His final and complete revelation of himself is inevitable, and is now but a matter of a very short time. The clue to the Mormon labyrinth is discovered.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVIII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Friday, October 17, 1879.                   No. 2.



Mr. Isaac Hale, the prophet's father-in-law, testified, in 1834"

Joseph Smith, Jr., and his father, with several other money-diggers boarded at my house while they were employed in digging for a mine that they supposed had been opened and worked by the Spaniards, many years since. Young Smith gave the money-diggers great encouragement, at first, but when they had arrived in digging, to near the place where he had stated an immense treasure would be found, he said the enchantment was so powerful that he could not see. They then became discouraged, and soon after dispersed. This took place about the 17th of November, 1825; and one of the company gave me his note for $12.68 for his board, which is still unpaid.

(In this connection read from the revelation given to Joseph and Martin, in Harmony, Pa., March, 1829, when Martin desired of the Lord to know whether Joseph had in his possession the record of the Nephites. In the Book of Commandments, of 1832, "the Lord" says: "And he has a gift to translate the book, and I have commanded him that he shall pretend to no other gift." As revised, and at present published, this passage reads: "And you have a gift to translate the plates and this is the first gift that I bestowed upon you, and I have commanded that you should pretend to no other gift until my purpose id fulfilled in this; for I will grant unto you no other gift until it is finished." The change of person is here immaterial, but note the artful twisting -- the "gift" which the Lord, in the first instance, refers to plainly meaning the gift of peeping for hid treasures. Is nit such jugglery with sacred matters abominable?

Mr. Hale's testimony continues:

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

Smith stated to me, that he had given up what he called "glass-looking," and that he expected to work hard for a living, and was willing to do so. He also made arrangements with my son Alva Hale, to go to Palmyra, and move his (Smith's) furniture etc. to this place. He then returned to Palmyra, and soon after, Alva, agreeable to the arrangement, went up and returned with Smith and his family. Soon after this I was informed they had brought a wonderful Book of Plates down with them. I was shown a box in which it is said they were contained, which had to all appearances, been used as a glass box of the common window glass. I was allowed to feel the weight of the box, and they gave me to understand, that the Book of Plates was then in the box -- into which, however, I was not allowed to look. I inquired of Joseph Smith jr., who was to be the first who would be allowed to see the Book of Plates? He said it was a young child. After this I became dissatisfied, and informed him that if there was anything in my house of that description, which I could not be allowed to see, he must take it away; if he did not, I was determined to see it. After that, the plates were said to be hid in the woods.

About this time, Martin Harris made his appearance upon the stage; and Smith began to interpret the characters or hieroglyphics which he said were engraven upon the plates, while Harris wrote down the interpretation. It was said, that Harris wrote down 116 pages, and lost them. Soon after this happened, Martin Harris informed me that he must have a greater witness, and said that he had talked with Joseph about it. Joseph informed him that he could not, or durst not show him the plates, but that he (Joseph) would go into the woods where the Book of Plates was, and that after he came back, Harris should follow his track in the snow, and find the Book, and examine it for himself. Harris informed me afterwards, that he followed Smith's directions, and could not find the Plates, and was still dissatisfied.

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

Joseph Smith jr. resided near me for some time after his marriage [Jan 1827,] and I had a good opportunity of becoming acquainted with him, and somewhat acquainted with his associates: and I conscientiously believe from the facts I have detailed and from many other circumstances which I do not deem it necessary to relate, that the whole Book of Mormon, so-called, is a silly fabrication of falsehood and wickedness, got up for speculation, and with a design to dupe the credulous and unwary, and in order that its fabricators may live upon the spoils of those who swallow the deception.

Mrs. Bidamon, the prophet's wife, in her recent testimony says nothing about the plates having been hid in the woods. On the contrary, from her statement, they (or something), it would appear, lay around "on the table," in a very careless and indifferent manner, wrapped up in a linen table cloth, and Mrs. Emma is shockingly incurious about them.

The following is part of an affidavit of Messrs. Hiel and Joseph Lewis, of Amboy, Ills., recently taken. The brothers are cousins and old-time neighbors of the late Mrs. Bidamon and her prophet-husband. Hiel Lewis was a member of the M. E. Church for nearly forty years, and for the last seven years has been a member of the Church of the United Brethren. His older brother, Joseph Lewis, has been a member of the M. E. Church for fifty-five years.

First, we would add our testimony to the truthfulness of the statements of our uncle Isaac Hale, father of Mrs. Emma Smith Bidamon, Alva Hale, her brother, Rev. Nathaniel Lewis, our father, Levi Lewis, our brother, and Sophia Lewis, his wife, and Joshua McKune, husband of Elizabeth McKune, our sister. These, with the exception of Alva Hale and Elizabeth McKune, are dead. They were all living in Susquehanna county, Pa., at the time of Joe Smith's exploits, and their statements in the book, "Mormonism exposed by John C. Bennett," are prefectly reliable in every respect.

The statement that the prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., made in our hearing, at the commencement of his translating his book, in Harmony, Pa., as to the manner of his finding the plates, was as follows: Our recollection of the precise language may be faulty, but as to the substance, the following is correct:

He said that by a dream he was informed that at such a place in a certain hill, in an iron box, were some gold plates with curious engravings, which he must get and translate, and write a book; that the plates were to be kept concealed from every human being for a certain time -- some two or three years; that he went to the place and dug till he came to the stone that covered the box, when he was knocked down; that he again attempted to remove the stone, and was again knocked down; this attempt was made the third time, and the third time he was knocked down. Then he exclaimed, "Why can't I get it?" or words to that effect; and then he saw a man standing over the spot, who to him appeared like a Spaniard, having a long beard coming down over his breast to about here, (Smith putting his hand to the pit of his stomach) with his (the ghost's) throat cut from ear to ear, and the blood streaming down, who told him that he could not get it alone; that another person whom he (Smith) would know at first sight, must come with him, and then he could get it; and when he saw Miss Emma Hale, he knew that she was the person, and that after they were married, she went with him to near the place, and stood with her back towards hi while he dug up the box, which he rolled up in his frock and she helped carry it home; that in the same box with the plates were spectacles, with bows of gold and the eyes of stone, and by looking through these spectacles all the characters on the plates were translated into English.

In all this narrative, there was not one word about visions of God, or of angels, or heavenly revelations; all his information was by that dream and bleeding ghost. The heavenly visions and messages of angels, etc., contained in Mormon books, were after-thoughts revised to order.

(Signed)           JOSEPH LEWIS,
                        HIEL LEWIS.

                 Lee County.} ss.
I, Everett E. Chase, a justice of the peace in and for the county of Lee, State aforesaid, do hereby certify that the above named Joseph Lewis and Hiel Lewis, personally known to me to be reputable, truthful and honorable gentlemen, came before me and in my presence signed the above statement; and each of them before me made affidavit to each and all of the allegations therein set forth according to their best memory.
       EVERETT E. CHASE, J. P.
                       April 23d, 1879.    }

We the undersigned hereby certify that we are personally acquainted with Joseph Lewis and Hiel Lewis, that we know them to be in every way worthy of confidence, that they are truthful, honorable Christian gentlemen, and their statements entitled to the fullest credence.
J. B. Felker, M. D., Mayor of Amboy.
W. H. Haskell, Ed. and Pub. Amboy Journal.
R. H. Mellen, Post Master.
A. H. Merrifield, Druggist and Bookseller.
Wm. B. Andruss, J. P. and Alderman.
Alfred Tooker, Attorney at Law,
J. S. Briggs, Druggist and Grocer.
Has. A. Church, Jeweler.
Josiah Little, Banker.

In reference to the prophet Joseph having joined, or having essayed to join, in 1828, the Methodist Church in Harmony, Pa., Mr. Joseph Lewis addressed a letter to the Amboy Journal, June 11th, 1879. It appears that Mr. Morse, the prophet's brother-in-law, now of Amboy, Ill., informed Elder Cadwell, of the "Josephites," that he (Morse) was himself the very "class-leader" who took Joseph Smith's name on his book at the time (1828), and that the prophet remained as a "probationist" for six months. Elder Cadwell published this statement in the Amboy Journal, May 21st, 1879.

Mr. Joseph Lewis writes:

The facts are these: I, with Joshua McKune, a local preacher at that time, I think in June, 1828, heard on Saturday, that Joe Smith had joined the church on Wednesday afternoon, (as it was customary in those days to have circuit preaching at my father's house on week-days). We thought it was a disgrace to the church to have a practicing necromancer, a dealer in enchantments and bleeding ghosts, in it. So on Sunday we went to father's, the place of meeting that day, and got there in season to see Smith and talked with him some time before the meeting; told him that his occupation, habits, and moral character were at variance with the discipline, that his name would be a disgrace to the Church, that there should have been recantation, confession and at least promised reformation; that he could that day publicly ask that his name be stricken from the class book, or stand an investigation. He chose the former, and did that very day make the request that his name be taken off the class-book; and if Mr. Morse was leader at that time, and Smith's name remained on the class-book six months, the class leader neglected his duty.

This is of very great importance -- as it must be borne in mind that the prophet Joseph had already "translated" a considerable portion of his sacred plates, and that the "Father and Son" had some time before appeared to him and told him that all the sects were "an abomination" and that he was on no account to unite himself with any of them.

The following is from a letter dated Amboy, Illinois, Sept. 29, 1879:

I will give what I can from my own knowledge and memory and from what I heard at the time. When Emma Hale eloped with Joseph Smith, the Hale family was greatly exasperated, and perhaps it would not have been safe for Smith to have shown himself at his father-in-law's house. Emma was, or had been, the idol, or favorite, of the family, and they still felt a strong attachment for her. Permission to return and reconciliation were effected and accomplished by her, and perhaps her sister, Mrs. Wasson, who lived near Bainbridge, New York. The persuasions for Smith to return all came from the other side, not from Mr. Isaac Hale or his family in Harmony, Pa. The statement of Mr. Hale, made under oath before Esquire Dimon, was strictly true. * * * Reuben Hale is but little older than myself, was living with his father at the time of Smith's money-digging, and wrote for Smith when he first began to translate, before Harris came to Harmony. It is true that Alva Hale went with his team to Palmyra, N. Y., one hundred miles or more, and moved Smith and wife to Harmony. It was stated by Alva Hale, at the time, that the "Gold Bible" was in a barrel of beans in his wagon, and that he (Hale) slept in his wagon to guard that barrel of beams and its treasure. I remember hearing my older brother Joseph tell Alva that if he, Joeph Lewis, had been in your place (Alva Hale's) he would have known whether that barrel of beans contained any golden Bible or not, perfectly regardless of Smith's statement that it would be certain death for any one to see the plates. The Hales seemed, for a time, to be kept in awe by Smith's statements, but that awe did not last long. Alva Hale is over eighty and his memory has failed much in a few years past. Some things he remembers distinctly, and some things I have been able to help him recall; for example, I asked him if he remembered the letter he wrote to Smith and Emma when they eloped. He said, no, and had no recollection of writing a letter to them. When told the contents of the letter; which was as follows -- "My Creed! I believe in love-powder, in gun-powder and hell fire," he replied, I recollect it as plain as if but yesterday. I asked Alva, on one of our late visits, if he remembered weighing the gold Bible; but he did not. My brother tried to refresh his memory, but in vain. Joseph remembers hearing it stated by Alva that he (Hale) was permitted to weigh the gold Bible in a pillow case, and, according to our memory, it weighed thirteen pounds! There were many persons in Harmony who had from Joe Smith positive promises that they should see the plates and the spectacles, but all say that they never saw them. Alva Hale says he never saw them. I presume he saw that old glass-box that Isaac Hale spoke of, said to contain the plates. Smith's excuse for using his peepstone and hat to translate with, instead of those spectacles, was that he must keep the spectacles concealed; but any and all persons were permitted to inspect the peep-stone; and that he could translate just as well with the stone. My sister, Mrs. E. L. McKune, says,

"I worked in the families of Joseph Smith and uncle Isaac Hale for about nine months, during which time Mrs. Emma Smith had a child which was still-born and much deformed. The dwellings of Mr. Hale and Joseph Smith, jr., were near each other. I saw Smith translating his book by the aid of the stone and hat. Reuben Hale, younger son of Isaac Hale, acted as scribe, writing down the words from Joseph Smith's mouth, but after a short time Martin Harris did the writing. I heard Smith tell his wife Emma that he was nearly equal to Jesus Christ, and was as good to her as her Savior. The time when Smith told the story of the bleeding ghost was after the close of the money-digging, after Smith was married and had moved back to Harmony, and had commenced the translation of his book, I think either before or about the time that Mrs. Harris had abstracted the 130 pages of their manuscript. The date I cannot precisely recall. I have a distinct recollection about the bleeding ghost."

Your idea that the first start of the book was a money speculation, not a new church, is perfectly correct. Your general idea of Smith's plates is also correct. He had something which he would permit a select few to handle, as they were done up in a cloth, or in a box, but doubtless the plates were comething prepared for the occasion. Among the first of Smith's scribes was one Martin Harris, who operated in our immediate neighborhood. His residence was then, I, think, in Palmyra, N.Y. He was a man of some property, and his wife was very strongly opposed to his spending his time and money in Smith's speculation, and once, while Harris was writing for Smith, she came to Harmony township and got hold of the manuscript they were makingand carried it off, or destroyed it, and caused them considerable trouble.

I am able to get near the exact date of Smith's joining the Methodist Episcopal Church. My sister, Elizabeth L. McKune, says she was working in the family of Michael B. Morse the latter part of the winter and spring, and soon after that Joseph Smith, Jr., joined the Church, and while she was working for Mr. Morse he made her a chest and when he painted it put the date, 1828, in red paint on the inside of the chest. She has said chest and date now in her possession. Also my brother Joseph Lewis, from circumstances and business transactions, is able to fix the date to be Harmony, Susquehanna county, Pa., June __, 1828. The day of the month I am not able to ascertain. We have another witness to Smith's joining the Church, in Elder Cadwell's reply to my statement in the Amboy Journal.

Yours Truly,                

Says Goethe: "The phrases men are accustomed to repeat incessantly end by becoming convictions, and ossify the organs of intelligence." The craft of Mormonism is attempting to father itself upon Christianity, and in covering itself with this guise of Christian talk, ceremonial, etc., while rejecting the spirit of genuine religion, betrays its weakness and interaction. The two things, Mormonism and Christianity, cannot possibly amalgamate or coalesce. The nature and essence of the two are dismetrically opposed. But (as Garrison said of slavery) the exact amount of sin which will lie at the door of each individual who believes in -- or pretends to believe in -- Mormonism, in the majority of cases upholding the thing from mere bravado, or from a foolish pride of consistency (God save the mark!) will, of course, depend upon one's birth, training and light. This may not be settled here, but be sure it will have to be met somewhere and settled. Be sure our sin will not find us out. A continued and systematic denial, or ignoring of facts -- facts, too, involving the very existence of Mormonism -- cannot be counted as other than moral felinquency. We are responsible, and will be held responsible, for sinning a gainst light and knowledge. And shall we not be held responsible for shutting our eyes to (possibly unpleasant, possibly humiliating, but still unanswerable) facts in relation to the origin of Mormonism, and cleaving to it as true, when it is within our power to know that it is not true?

It is earnestly hoped from the articles which have been hastily prepared for The Tribune, after a very exhaustive examination, that a just and true insight may be had into the real origin and foundation steps of Mormonism; and that those who have clung so tenaciously but so unreasoningly and so stupidly to it, will be enabled to see that the thing can not possibly be defended and maintained -- that it is clearly something to be ashamed of. "Rid your mind of cant," said gruff old Sam Johnson, "talk as stupidly as you will, but don't think like a fool."

Note 1: Journalist James T. Cobb reveals a little of his efforts to refute Mormonism, in his saying: "It is earnestly hoped from the articles which have been hastily prepared for The Tribune, after a very exhaustive examination, that a just and true insight may be had into the real origin and foundation steps of Mormonism." The first of these Cobb articles in the Tribune was perhaps the one on "Early Mormonism," published Dec. 5, 1878; the last of this series of Cobb's articles was quite likely "A Lying Charge Refuted," published on Jan. 4, 1880.

Note 2: The April 23, 1879 "affidavit of Messrs. Hiel and Joseph Lewis" extracted by Cobb was also published at greater length in Wilhelm R. von Wymetal's 1886 book, Mormon Portraits. On page 81 of that book the author provides Justice of the Peace Everett E. Chase's certification. Allowing for the fact that in all three printings (in the Amboy paper, the Salt Lake paper, and in the 1886 book), that there is probably some editorial restatement of the words in the original document, probably a fairly accurate reconstruction of its contents can be articulated by combining the three published versions of the text. In his book Wilhelm R. von Wymetal names his "learned friend, James T. Cobb, Esq." as a "pathfinder in early Mormon history" and the source of various documents he published relating to early Mormonism, including the Hiel Lewis letter of Sept. 11, 1879 and the Lewis brothers' statement of Apr. 23, 1879, and an Oct. 14, 1879 letter from John. H. Gilbert of Palmyra. Cobb was also, no doubt, the owner of the May 2, 1879 Able D. Chase statement published in his friend's 1886 book.

Note 3: The Hiel Lewis letter to James T. Cobb, dated Sept. 29, 1879, is not known to have been printed by Amboy Journal with the Lewis brothers' 1879 series of statements on early Mormonism. Perhaps its only publication was in the Salt Lake Tribune. The document is missing from the lists compiled and published by researchers such as Dan Vogel, but it appears to provide some useful information concerning Joseph Smith, Jr.'s 1828 attempt to join the Methodist Episcopla church in Harmony township, Pennsylvania (where his wife and some of her family were also apparently attending as members).


Vol. XVIII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Thursday, October 23, 1879.                   No. 7.



The revelation given to Mrs. Smith, wife of the prophet Joseph, as found in the "Book of Commandments," published 1832, reads as follows:

1. A Revelation to Emma, given in Harmony, Pennsylvania, July, 1830.

Emma, my daughter in Zion, a revelation I give unto you concerning my will:

2. Behold, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou art an elect lady, whom I have called.

3. Murmur not because of the things which thou hast not seen, for they are withheld from thee and from the world, which is wisdom in me in a time to come.

4. And the office of thy calling shall be for a comfort unto my servant, Joseph, thy husband, in his afflictions, with consoling words, in the spirit of meekness.

5. And thou shalt go with him at the time of his going, and be unto him for a scribe, that I may send Oliver whithersoever I will.

6. And thou shalt be ordained under his hand to expound scriptures, and to exhort the church, according as it shall be given thee by my Spirit.

7. For he shall lay his hands upon thee, and thou shalt receive the Holy Ghost, and thy time shall be given to unity, and to learning much.

8. And thou needest not fear, for thy husband shall support thee from the Church.

9. For unto them is his calling, that all things might be revealed unto them, whatsoever I will, according to their faith.

10. And verily I say unto thee that thou shalt lay aside the things of this world, and seek for the things of a better.

11. And it shall be given thee, also, to make a selection of sacred hymns, as it shall be given thee, which is pleasing unto me, to be had in my church

12. For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart: Yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me.

13. And it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads.

14. Wherefore, lift up thy heart and rejoice, and cleave unto the covenants which thou hast made.

15. Continue in the spirit of meekness, and beware of pride.

16. Let thy soul delight in thy husband, and the glory which shall come upon him.

17. Keep my commandments continually, and a crown of righteousness thou shalt receive.

18. And except thou do this, where I am you cannot come.

19. And verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my voice unto all. Amen.

It does not appear from the above who "I" is, that so readily forgives this elect lady her sins. Said old Uncle Isaac Hale, (with naive curiosity) concerning another of these so-called revelations: "I inquired whose words they were." We will not pause, however, to inquire here whose words these are. Whosesoever words, they have since been revised and directly fathered on God. In verification whereof let the Saints who doubt overhaul his Doctrine and Covenants, and, as Captain Cuttle says, when found make a note on.

From the above revelation it does appear that Sister Emma is an elect lady whom I have called," designated as such by -- some one. The prophet Joseph was to lay his hands upon his wife, this lady elect, (who had then been baptized but a few weeks,) and she was to receive the Holy Ghost and was to be ordained under her husband's hands "to expound scriptures, and to exhort the Church according as it shall be given thee by my spirit."

Wasn't this virtually making an elder, or eldress of the elect lady? And could not this elect lady-alderess, on a pinch, have baptized?

Now, suppose this sole elect lady elderess, alone or in conjunction with other elders, fully believing that the work known as Mormonism was of divine institution, but that it had fallen into transgression and ill-repute through unwise or wicked administration, suppose these to have still retained their position and still to have held on to the faith as elders and as elderesses, and they not, or had not any one of them, the privilege, the right and the authority to reorganize this (to their mind) transgressing Church? Has not the very doctrine been loudly preached in Utah that, so long as one faithful elder remained on earth, the Church of Christ could never be obliterated? This being so, the only question is, where is the transgression, and who has transgressed -- the Church in Utah, or the one or more who have, as they claim, maintained their standing and integrity, and have essayed to reorganize and who have in fact, as they claim, reorganized the Church? As often happens, Mormonism built more wisely than it knew in its "elect lady whom I have called." We may scorn, repudiate, abjure, all the hunbug of it (and the sooner this is done the better) but it would be the height of folly, short-sightedness and injustice to scorn or ignore the self-sacrifice which Mormonism has entailed and which it has exemplified, sometimes heroic, often pitiable, always respectful when made with sincere motive for right and truth, while forever

The actions of the just
Smell sweet and blossom in the dust.
It is of the utmost importance that those women who have staked their all in this manner, should know definitely upon what it has been staked. Let them not scruple to come forward and reveal what they know and what they have been taught to believe. When such close secrecy and where such deep covenant-taking have been practised and enjoined, one is naturally suspicious, one is warranted in suspecting that there has been some foul play, or underhand work that will not bear the light. The whole truth and the exact truth is bound to come, sisters, after you have gone beyond our hearing and recall. Oh be wise in time, and then you are sure to be wise in eternity. Make a clean breast of it, and leave the result with God. Possibly you may discover -- may come to realize at last -- that you have been duped by vain and wicked men, or by the vain imagination of your own hearts. If Emma Smith Bidamon has stated what she knew to be false, of course she cannot be justified; but before you prove her to be the chief sinner, you must demonstrate the righteousness of what she lived so many years opposing and died repudiating. The more virtuous and enlightened portion of the world have failed to discover the righteousness of polygamy. You say that you know it came from God. Now speak out, and let us know upon what this confident assertion is based.

Come, Joseph, come! Let not the heavens hear these tell-tale women rail on the Lord's anointed -- your honored mother, who if she had had more influence with your father, better would it have been for him and for us all. Too much man, too little of woman, has there been in the councils and government of human beings. Come, let us see if "Sister Emma's son has fastened a stigma on the character of his mother that can never be erased." Your mother, indeed, to shield her husband's name and to shield and spare her children, may not have felt it her duty to tell all, and in Utah you may possibly hear of two women having been sealed to your father one day and through your mother's insistence, unsealed the next, with other items that may surprise you still more. It has been a terrible business -- let us have it all told out at least.

Note: The "Joseph" spoken of in the last paragraph is, of course, Joseph Smith III, the son of Emma Smith -- he was then the President of the Reorganized LDS Church. James T. Cobb had been in correspondence with Emma's oldest son for several months when the Tribune printed this article. Joseph Smith III's reaction to alleged polygamy in his father's family and church was to investigate the matter and then say he did not believe those allegations. The RLDS President did much the same in regard to his investigating and rebutting the Spalding-Rigdon explanation for Book of Mormon authorship (see his 1883 article in the Saints' Herald, which not only denounces the Spalding authorship claims, but also manages to say a word or two about James T. Cobb).


Vol. XVIII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Saturday, October 25, 1879.                   No. 9.



"Joseph Smith, the Prophet, by his Mother, Lucy Smith." is still another of those rare little books, which can not be to carefully read in order to obtain a correct understanding of Mormonism. The Josephite Mormons are just now republishing it, but in Utah it has been for many years under ban; Brigham Young having pronounced it untrustworthy, and ordered it called in and destroyed. It is therefore sure to contain things that Mormons would like to know. Isn't this human nature? In her life of the Prophet Joseph, Mrs. Smith says:

After these witnesses returned to the house, the angel again made his appearance to Joseph, at which time Joseph delivered up the plates into the angel's hands. The ensuing evening we held a meeting, in which all the witnesses bore testimony to the facts as above stated.

* * * When Joseph was about starting for Palmyra, where the writings were to be executed, Doctor Mcintyre came in and informed us that forty men were collected in the capacity of a mob, with the view of waylaying Joseph on his way thither; that they requested him, (Doctor Mcintyre), as they had done once before, to take command of the company, and, that, upon his refusing to do so, one Mr. Huzzy, a hatter of Palmyra, proffered his services, and was chosen as their leader.

On hearing this I besought Joseph not to go; but he smiled at my fears, saying, "Never mind, mother, just put your trust in God, and nothing will hurt me to-day." In a short time he set out for Palmyra. On his way thither, lay a heavy strip of timber, about half a mile in width, and, beyond it, on the right side of the road, lay a field belonging to David Jacaway. When he came to this field, he found the mob seated on the string of fence running along the road. Coming to Mr. Huzzy first, he took off his hat, and good-naturedly saying, "Good morning, Mr. Huzzy," passed on to the next, whom he saluted in like manner, and the next, and so on till he came to the last. This struck them with confusion, and while they were pondering in amazement, he passed on, leaving them perched upon the fence, like so many roosting chickens, and arrived at Palmyra without being molested. Here he met Mr. Grandin, and writings were drawn up between them to this effect: That half of the price for printing was to be paid by Martin Harris, and the residue by my two sons, Joseph and Hyrum. These writings were afterwards signed by all the parties concerned.

(In a revelation to Martin, one of the most solemn and impressive in the whole collection, Martin is told, in the Book of Commandments, curtly, to "pay the printer's debt." It now reads, "Pay the debt thou hast contracted with the printer.")

When Joseph returned from Palmyra, he said, "Well, mother, the Lord has been on my side today, the Devil has not overpowered me in any of my proceedings. Did I not tell you that I should be delivered from the hands of all my enemies? They thought they were going to perform great feats; they have done wonders to prevent me from getting the book printed; they mustered themselves together, and got upon the fence, made me a low bow, and went home, and I'll warrant you they wish they had stayed there in the first place. Mother, there is a God in heaven, and I know it."

Soon after this, Joseph secured the copyright.

Mr. Pomeroy Tucker, who edited the Wayne Sentinel at the time the Book of Mormon was printed on its press, gives a slightly different view of the relation sustained by the prophet and his father's house towards their neighbors at this time. In his "Origin and Rise of Mormonism" he says:

An anecdote touching this subject used to be related by William T. Hussey and Azel Vandruver. They were notorious wags, and were intimately acquainted with Smith. They called as his friends at his residence, and strongly importuned him for an inspection of the "golden book," offering to take upon themselves the risk of the death-penalty denounced. Of course, the request could not be complied with; but they were permitted to go to the chest with its owner, and see where the thing was, and observe its shape and size, concealed under a piece of thick canvas. Smith, with his accustomed solemnity of demeanor, positively persisting in his refusal to uncover it, Hussey became impetuous, and (suiting his action to his word) ejaculated, "Egad! I'll see the critter, live or die!" And stripping off the cover, a large tile-brick was exhibited! But Smith's fertile imagination was equal to the emergency. He claimed that his friends had been sold by a trick of his; and "treating" with the customary whiskey hospitalities, the affair ended in good-nature.

Mr. Tucker adds:

The whole idea of an attempt to harm Smith in any way, or to rob him of his "golden Bible," is purely a Mormon invention. * * * How to reconcile the act of Harris in signing his name to such a statement, in view of the character of honesty which has always been conceded to him, could never be easily explained. In reply to uncharitable suggestions of his neighbors, he used to practice a good deal of his characteristic jargon about 'seeing with the spiritual eye,' and the like."

Lucy Smith's "Life of the Prophet" says that the work of translating the Book of Mormon was concluded before the testimony of the witnesses was obtained. (Chap. xxxi.) Mrs. Smith says:

As soon as the Book of Mormon was translated, Joseph dispatched a messenger to Mr. Smith, bearing intelligence of the completion of the work, and a request that Mr. Smith and myself should come immediately to Waterloo. [where the prophet was living, at Whitmer's] The same evening we conveyed this intelligence to Martin Harris, for we loved the man [and depended upon his money], although his weakness had cost us much trouble. Hearing this, he greatly rejoiced, and determined to go straightway to Waterloo, to congratulate Joseph upon his success. Accordingly, the next morning we all set off together, and before sunset met Joseph and Oliver at Mr. Whitmer's.

The next day, Mrs. Smith says, the testimony of three witnesses was obtained. In answerr to the question of Orson Pratt, put to David Whitmer at the interview last summer -- "Do you remember what time you saw the plates?" David replied -- "It was in June, 1829 -- the latter part of the month, and the eight witnesses saw them, I think. on the next day or the day after."

It was probably the fore part and not the latter part of June, when these testimonies were obtained, as both Lucy Smith's "Life of the Prophet" and "The History of Joseph" say that the copyright of the Book of Mormon was obtained after the testimonies had been given. The giving of precise dates and definite details seems for some reason to be avoided in these transcendently important chronicles. The date of obtaining the copyright of the Book of Mormon (not furnished by any Mormon publication) is June 11th, 1829.

Says Mrs. Smith:

Before Joseph returned to Pennsylvania, where he had left his wife, he received a commandment, which was, in substance, as follows:

First, that Oliver Cowdery should transcribe the whole manuscript.

Second, that he should take but one copy at a time to the office, so that if one copy should get destroyed, there would still be a copy remaining.

Third, that in going to and from the office, he should always have a guard to attend him, for the purpose of protecting the manuscript.

Fourth, that a guard should be kept constantly on the watch, both night and day, about the house, to protect the manuscript from malicious persons, who would infest the house for the purpose of destroying the manuscript. All these things were strictly attended to, as the Lord commanded Joseph. After giving these instructions, Joseph returned to Pennsylvania.

Mr. Orson Pratt edited this Life of the Prophet; and in his and Mr. Smith's interview with D. Whitmer, last summer, Joseph F. Smith "suggested that perhaps there were two copies of the manuscript. But Mr. Whitmer replied that to the best of his knowledge there never was ut the one copy. Herein, of course" (adds the reporter of this interview in Deseret News. 16 Nov., 1878.) "he (Whitmer) is evidently uninformed."

But if David Whitmer was 'uninformed,' who is informed respecting the original "transaction?" What became of it? Who took charge of it? Did the same 'angel' who took away the plates, take possession of the first "translation" of them? And was this angel Nephi, Moroni, or Rigdoni?

In the presence of some half-dozen persons (says this report) David Whitmer brought out the MSS. of the Book of Mormon. We examined them closely and those who knew the handwriting pronounced the whole of them, excepting comparatively a few pages, to be in the handwriting of Oliver Cowdery. It was thought, that these few pages were in the handwriting of Emma Smith and John and Christian Whitmer. We found that the names of the eleven witnesses were, however, subscribed in the handwriting of Oliver Cowdery. When the question was asked Mr. Whitmer if he and the other witnesses did or did not sign the testimony themselves, Mr. W. replied, "each signed his own name." "Then where are the original signatures?" D. W. -- "I don;t know. I suppose Oliver copied them, but this I know is a correct copy." Some one suggested that he being the last one left of the eleven witnessesm he ought to certify to this copy. Sawyer D. Whitmer (David's son) suggested that he had better reflect about it first and be very cautious.

What became of the autograph testimonies? Did the same, "angel" who took away the plates, take possession not only of the original "translation" of them, but also, the autograph testimonies of the eleven witnesses? And was this angel Nephi, Moroni, or Rigdoni?

The gist is here. The translation was either wholly or nearly completed by June 11th, 1829, when the copyright of the Book of Mormon was obtained. About the middle of April, 1829, according to their mutual statement, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery met for the first time. Dates are of the utmost consequence just on these points. Says the History of Joseph Smith:

In the beginning of the month of June (1829) David Whitmer came to the place where we were residing for the purpose of having us accompany him to his father's place [Fayette, otherwise Waterloo, N. Y.] and there remain until we should finish the work. He proposed that we should have our board free of charge, and the assistance of one of his brothers to write for me, as also his own assistence [assistance] when convenient. Having much need of such timely aid in an undertaking so arduous, we accepted the invitation, and accompanied Mr. Whitmer to his father's house, and there resided until the translation was finished, and the copy-right secured.

Cowdery's statement (or the statement put into his mouth) is --

I wrote with my own pen, the entire Book of Mormon (save a few pages) as it fell from the lips of the Prophet Joseph Smith, as he translated it by the gift and power of God, by the means of the Urim and Thummim, or, as it is called by that book, "holy interpreters." * * * That book is true. Sidney Rigdon did not write it. I wrote it. I wrote it myself as it fell from the lips of the prophet.

The History of Joseph Smith does not mention where the prophet was nor what he was doing from the time of obtaining the copyright of the Book of Mormon, June 11, 1829, until April 6, 1830, when the Mormon Church was organized.

Mrs. Smith states that, after securing the copyright and giving injunctions to Cowdery concerning the manuscript, Joseph returned to Pennsylvania.

The question naturally arises, how long did it take the Book of Mormon, save a few pages, to fall from the prophet's mouth on to the twelve or fifteen hundred sheets of paper written by Oliver Cowdery? Would six weeks suffice? It possibly might -- with the miraculous and constant aid of "the Lord." A week, for that matter, would be time enough, or a day, under such circumstances. O foolish Galations, who hath bewitched you?

Note 1: This is yet another article penned by James T. Cobb in his 1879 series on Mormonism for the Tribune. Cobb goes a bit beyond the 1867 speculation of Pomeroy Tucker, who believed Sidney Rigdon had played the role of "John the Baptist" in early Mormon mytholgizing. Cobb here identifies "Rigdoni" as a potential candidate for the "angel" who interacted with Joseph Smith, Jr. before, during and after the composition of the Book of Mormon manuscript in English. The same idea would eventually be picked up and publicized by the Rev. William A. Stanton of Pittsburgh, in sermons he preached in that city during July, 1899. See, for example, Stanton's interesting article for the Chicago Standard of July 22, 1899, entitled "The Relation of Sidney Rigdon to the Book of Mormon," as well as Rigdon biographer Rev. William H. Whitsitt's published identification of Sidney as the angel in Samuel M. Jackson's 1891 book, The Concise Dictionary of Religious Knowledge and in Rev. John F. Hurst's 1893 book, A Short History of the Christian Church.

Note 2: It seems slightly preternatural that Mr. Cobb, writing in 1879, should choose to close his article with the particular biblical quotation he uses, having spoken previously in the text so often of "Rigdoni." According to Emily Coburn Austin, the Rev. Sidney Rigdon visited the Colesville area of early Mormon activity well before most accounts have him being acquainted with Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, etc. In her 1882 book, Emily says: "Sidney Rigdon came into Colesville [and] preached to a numerous congregation. We did not class him as a Mormon, as we were informed that he was a Baptist minister, from Paynsville, Ohio. The words of his text -- 'O foolish Gallatians, who hath bewitched you that ye should not obey the truth?' It was, indeed interesting, and great attention and silence prevailed; and it was acknowledged by all to be the best sermon ever preached in that vicinity. He stayed several days, seeming to have special business with Joseph Smith and the leaders of the new Mormon church."


Vol. XVIII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Wednesday, October 29, 1879.                   No. 12.



Joseph Smith's Autobiographic History is a valuable lead for an inquirer into the secrets of Mormonism to delve in, but its preparation seems to have caused the prophet no end of trouble. He candidly tells us "there are few subjects that I have felt greater anxiety about than my History, which has been a very difficult task, on account of the death of my best clerks and the stealing of records by John Whitmer, Cyrus Smalling and others." (John Whitmer was one of the eleven witnesses of the Book of Mormon, and a most trusted acolyte -- evidently a good kind of man.) But as Bro. Joseph had so kindly provided us with a source of information, it would be base ingratitude not to avail ourselves of his labors. In some remarks made by the leader of the elect in Nauvoo, Sunday, May 26th, 1844, (a month before his death) he said:

I had not been married scarcely five minutes, and made one proclemation of the Gospel, before it was reported that I had seven wives * * * This spiritual wifeism! why, a man does not speak or wink, for fear of being accused of this * * * A man asked me whether the commandment was given that a man may have seven wives; and now the new prophet (William Law) has charged me with adultery. I never had any fuss with these men until that Female Relief Society brought out the paper (the "Voice of Innocence from Nauvoo!") against adulterers and adulteresses.

At a regular session of the Nauvoo City Council, held June 8th, 1844, the Mayor (Joseph Smith) referred to a writing from Dr. Goforth, showing that the Laws presented the communication from the Female Relief Society in the Nauvoo Neighbor to Dr. Goforth, as the bone of contention, and said if God ever spake by any man, it will not be five years before this city is in ashes and we in our graves, unless we go to Oregon, California or some other place, if the city does not put down everything which tends to mobocracy, and put down murderers, bogus-makers, and scoundrels. All the sorrow he ever had in his family in this city has arisen through the influence of William Law.

This William Law is an important character in Mormon annals:

A fellow almost damned in a fair wife. In the winter of 1843-44, he is referred to in the prophet's history alternately as a "Brutus" and a "Judas." He seems, however, to have been as scrupulous of his wife's good name as Caesar himself; and was probably about as much a Judas as the prophet was like Christ. But whether William Law was the 'Brutus' and 'Judas' designated by the prophet, or whether Sidney Rigdon was the person meant, does not clearly appear. Indeed, 'twould puzzle a conjuror to gather out the real facts from this labored autobiography of Bro. Joseph, the whole aim of which is evidently how not to give them, or to gloze over the essential facts with falsehood.

It is stated on good authority that at one time, in the height of the troubles growing out of polygamy in Nauvoo, the prophet's wife took refuge with William Law, and threatened her immaculate lord and master that, if he persisted in going with other women, she would take up with Law; that an exchange of marital pertnership between Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Mr. and Mrs. Law was seriously contemplated; and that this is what is referred to in the revelation on polygamy where Emma is commanded to "stay herself, and partake not of that which I commanded you to offer unto her."

At the meeting of the City Council above referred to,

the Mayor said, if he had a City Council who felt as he did, the establishment (referring to the Nauvoo Expositor) would be declared a nuisance before night. * * * They make it, (said the prophet-mayor) a criminality for a man to have a wife on the earth while he has one in heaven, according to the keys of the holy priesthood * * * He said he would rather die tomorrow and have the thing smashed (referring to the Nauvoo Expositor) than live and have it go on

At the same meeting of the Nauvoo City Council,

Councilor Hyrum Smith referred to the revelation read to the High Council of the Church, which has caused so much talk, about multiplicity of wives; that said revelation was in answer to a question concerning things which transpired in former days.

Says the prophet's history, under date of March 9th, 1844:

The Female Relief Society met twice in the Assembly Room, and sanctioned "The Voice of Innocence From Nauvoo," and then adjourned for one week to accommodate others who could not get into the room at either of the meetings.

The sisters were evidently on tip-toe of excitement over the revelation, and did not know what to believe, or whom, in regard to it. "It's a fact," "no, it isn't;" "yes it is;" "there has been a revelation;" "no, there hasn't;" "yes, there has" ---

Is it not sickening, the promise that religion ever formed, or could form. any part in doings and sayings n their very face so shammy and disgusting? What was true of Nauvoo in 1844 is equally true of Utah in the year of grace 1879 -- the same spirit of secrecy and prevarication is dominent to-day. And when will the end of it all be reached? We may safely esay, not until marriages are made honorable in all by being conducted openly and above board. And to this end let the records of these celestial sealings be extorted and brought into open court in any case where they may be required.

The following is taken from the History of Joseph Smith (Deseret News Vol. 7, No. 29.)

The Mayor (Joseph Smith, jr.,) said he had never preached the revelation in private; but he had in publicl and not taught to the anointed in the Church in private, which statement many present confirmed; that on inquiring concerning the passage, in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, etc., he received for answer, men in this life must marry in view of eternity, otherwise they must remain as angels, or be single in heaven, which was the doctrine of the revelation referred to.

But in utter contravention of the above statement, Elder Joseph B. Nobel swears that in the fall of 1840 Joseph Smith declared to him that he had received a revelation from God commanding him to move forward in the said order of marriage, (the celestial or plural order) the prophet adding, "in revealing this to you I have placed my life in your hands, therefore do not in an evil hour betray me to my enemies." -- Deseret News, Oct. 18, 1879.

And Elder Lorenzo Snow "solemnly declares before God and holy angels" that in April, 1843, the prophet Smith did preach polygamy privately to him, telling him that he had already espoused his sister Eliza as a "spiritual."

Now the question here is, as pertaining to this period, who has borne false witness? The prophet, who, according to his history, not quite three weeks before his death "said he had never preached the revelation in private, and had not taught it to the annointed in the church in private," or those disciples male and female, who sewar he did?

The question of veracity in this matter is one which must be crowded home. In a letter to the Deseret News, October 17th, Eliza Snow writes:

If what purports to be Sister Emma's last testimony was really her last testimony, she died with a libel on her lips -- a libel on her husband -- against his wives -- against the truth, and a libel against God; and in publishing that libel, her son has fastened a stigma on the character of his mother that can never be erased.

But if Mrs. Bidamon "died with a libel on her lips," and if the affidavits of these people, recently published in the News, are to be credited, respecting the prophet's polygamous practice, how did the prophet himself die? He declares he had never preached nor had ever taught the revelation in private. In less than three weeks after this declaration he was killed.

Mrs. Emma Smith Bidamon burned (so said Brigham Young in its first public promulgation, in 1852) "the original copy" of the revelation on polygamy. Said Brigham:

The original copy of this Revelation was burnt up; William Clayton was the man who wrote it from the mouth of the Prophet. In the mean time it was in Bishop Whitney's possession. He wished the privilege to copy it, which Brother Joseph granted. Sister Emma burnt the original. The reason I mention this is, because that the people who did know of the Revelation suppose it is not now in existence.

The Revelation is indeed a wonderful piece of patchwork. In it half a dozen hetrogeneous matters are sought to be blended and fused in one. From its own internal evidence it must have been concocted at different periods and, perhaps, by several hands. If Bro. Clayton, who still tabernacles in the flesh, wrote down this disjointed and piecemeal document, continuously, from the mouth of the prophet, just as it now reads, he is in position to say so, and should make his testimony as explicit and detailed as possible. Mrs. Smith Bidamon solemnly avers that there was no such revelation. She may have seen, and she may have burned, some document, long or short, purporting to be a revelation, which excited her wifely suspicion. Such document may have squinted towards polygamy; but that she ever saw this so-called revelation in its present form, and as now put forth, is altogether unlikely.

If Joseph and Hyrum Smith, less than three weeks before they were killed, publicly declared, as they did -- the one (Hyrum) that the revelation which caused so much talk about a multiplicity of wives was simply an answer to a question concerning things which transpired in former days; and the other (Joseph) that the revelation was simply an answer to a question concerning marriage in the resurrection, Mrs. Smith Bidamon may be warranted in denying the existence (so far as her knowledge extended) of any revelation concerning a command having been received to practice "polygamy, or spiritual wifery" in our time -- and this is, in substance, what she does deny.

This informal testimony of her husband and brother-in=law, given three weeks before their assassination, tends to confirm the "Last Testimony of Sister Emma." As published, the History of Joseph Smith does not make mention of any other woman as a wife of the prophet, save Emma. But the mystery deepens. 'Tis as good as a play. The Josephite brethren will do a substantial service if they succeed in unravelling the whole matter of this polygamic embroglio, so far as it is mixed up in the minds of the deluded Mormon people with a supposed divine command.

Note: The May 26, 1844 "Address of the Prophet" quoted by Mr. Cobb in the first part of his article was originally published in the Millennial Star. It was subsequently edited and republished in the LDS History of the Church Vol. 6, pp. 408-412


Vol. XVIII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, Wednesday, November 5, 1879.                   No. 18.



It is not at all likely that the idea of starting a new church in the world had ever assumed definite shape in the mind of Sidney Rigdon, the founder of the Mormon work, until the spring of 1829.

In "a revelation given to Joseph and Martin, in Harmony, Pennsylvania, March, 1829, when Martin Harris desired of the Lord to know whether Joseph had, in his possession, the "record of the Nephites," the Lord says, or rather is represented as saying:

And thus, if the people of this generation harden not their hearts, I will work a Reformation among them, and I will put down all lyings and deceivings, and priestcrafts, and envyings, and strifes, and idolatries, and sorceries, and all manner of iniquities, and I will establish my church like unto the church which was taught by my disciples in the days of old. -- Book of Commandments, 1832, page 11.

This passage of the revelation, and a good deal more, has since been expunged. As Rigdon, in March, 1829, was actively engaged and conspicuous among the Disciples in the Campbellite Reformation, (or, as they preferred to call it, the work of the Restoration of the Ancient Gospel,) had this passage been allowed to stand, it might have caused inquiry, betrayed the true source of the revelation and shown the connection. It was extremely prudent therefore, to suppress it.

But why was Martin still so skeptical as to Joseph having in his possession the "record of the Nephites?" Had he not himself, the year before, written 116 pages of this "record?" Or was it simply a book speculation he was at that time concerned in? It undoubtedly was; and it is a remarkable fact that the first so-called "revelation" which was ever "received" by the prophet Joseph was in consequence of Mrs. Harris' conduct in abstracting and burning the 116 pages, which her husband had written. "The Lord" did not know that Mrs. Harris had burned this "translation from the plates of Lehi," or He would never have given the revelation, informing the prophet that they had been kept and. with sinister design to thwart his purpose, altered. In that case He would not have said to Joseph:

You shall translate the engravings which are on the plates of Nephi, down even till you come to the reign of King Benjamin, or until you come to that which you have translated, which you have retained; and behold, you shall publish it as the record of Nephi, and thus I will confound those who have altered my words. I will not suffer that they shall destroy my work; yea, I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.

"The Lord" might have saved himself all this flurry had he only known that the wrathy wife of Harris had burnt these pages, and never had an idea of altering them. But, if Oliver Cowdery, commencing as he says he did, to write the Book of Mormon while Joseph translated, the middle of April, 1829, and if he wrote it all but a few pages, as he says he did, what portion of the book had Joseph "retained" in June, 1829, when Mrs. Harris stole the 118 pages?

The simple, the natural, the irresistible conclusion is, that the original design in getting out the Book of Mormon was chiefly for a money spec., through a glamour of mystery. Says Mr. J. H. Gilbert, the printer who first set it up (who still lives in Palmyra, N. Y.): "The plates found by Jo, as represented at the time, purported to be a history of the lost tribes of Israel, and not establishing a new religion, but configuring the Old Testament." All the facts, so far as they have been uncovered, point in this direction, and that the very head and front of the offending had this extent, no more, up to the Spring of 1829, when Cowdery, as he tells it, "commenced to write the Book of Mormon;" and when "day after day" -- for at least six weeks -- "I continued, uninterrupted, to write from his (Smith's) mouth, as he translated with the Urim and Thummim" -- alias, Chase's peep-stone -- or, as the Nephites would have said, "interpreters," thehistory or record called the Book of Mormon.

Says Lieut Gunnison, in his acute and valuable little volume, "The Mormons, or Latter-day Saints":

But let us return to the consideration of the plan in view by this work [The Book of Mormon.] There was a higher object than the making of money by it; -- and another purposes beyond harmonizing the Christian world. The grand scheme was to convince the Jews in all the world that "Jesus is the Christ," their long-expected Messiah, as foretold by their ancient prophets. Accordingly, we find the prophecies here made perfectly plain. As Cyrus is spoken of in Isaiah by name long before his advent, so the name and office of the Savior is declared by the Nephite seers.

But apropos just here. Says Coloridge: "Of prophets in the sense of prognostications, I utterly deny that there is any instance, delivered by one of the illustrious Diadochs whom the Jewish Church comprised in the name Prophets -- and I shall regard Cyrus as an exception, when I believe the 137th Psalm to have been composed by David.

Lieut Gunnison continues:

Nor was this all. The Indians throughout the length and breadth of the land were to be informed of their origin, -- the cause of the Divine wrath explained which had sunk them in degradation; and that "in the last days" they could recover pristine favor, and again become a "fair and delightsome people," enjoying temporal salvation and eternal happiness. Could he succeed in making these two peoples believe in his book as a divine record, their conversion to Christianity was certain to follow. Nor was this thing beneath a soaring ambition, and its success would now place its author on the pinnacle of fame, -- and the object to have been obtained was therefore a good one, whatever we may think of the deception attempted to be practiced.

Ay, but the whirligig of time is sure to bring about its revenges. The priest who stole a lamb to offer in sacrifice was still a thief. Lieut. G. has not, it seems, separated the two designs in palming off the Book of Mormon, the first design and that which supervened. And, evidently led astray, like so many others in and out of Mormonism, by the truly surprising mastery manifested by the prophet upon the expulsion of the Mormons from Missouri and their settlement in Illinois, in 1839-40, Gunnison fails to show the utter impossibility of Smith having been the leading and controling genius of Mormonism during its first decade. The fact -- patent, indisputable -- of Rigdon's supremacy during this period, has astonished and puzzled many. The point, who really was this guiding and shaping intelligence, has been covered with the energy, indeed the very instinct of self-preservation. Said Rigdon, in New York, in 1844, after his prophet's death, when [figuring] for the successorship (and here he just peeps a little): "I guided the prophet's tottering steps until he could walk alone, and now it is my right and my place to lead." And he assuredly would have succeeded in that leadership had he ben (say) as ignorant of the real origin of Mormonism as was Brigham Young. The difficulty was, he knew altogether too much about it. His very life was in jeopardy, with such a secret as he held, and he was forced to twist, and double, and palter and equivocate. The people saw this, but knew not the cause. Suffice it to say, they saw this disposition manifest in Rigdon, and what confidence could they repose in him? Again, in Rigdon's case, the whirligig of time brought about its revenges. How far Brigha himself was duped it is hard to say, perhaps impossible to ever know; but that he was duped to a greater or less extent this writer is persuaded. Possibly John Taylor and Orson Pratt have been. But, if they have read The Tribune for the past year or half year, they have certainly found things broached in this connection which neither they nor any other Mormon living or dead, can controvert. Enough has already been brought forward to indicate the cunning and unscrupulous contrivance of the whole scheme. None so blind as those who won't see. But the honest are getting their eyes open. Here and there one is found who has no axe to grind, and whom nothing but the truth will satisfy. 'Tis a world of progress. People are not naturally lovers of the false, and this class will swell presently to a mutitude.

It is unjust to hold Brigham Young chiefly responsible for the atrocities committed in Utah. It is unjust to hold Joseph Smith chiefly and originally responsible for the iniquities of Nauvoo. The "revelations" given to the Mormon Church, impiously, in the name of God, are responsible. And who is responsible for those revelations? Sidney Rigdon -- if a man beside himself with fanaticism is to be held responsible for anything. Look to it, look to it, all ye who have drunk in of the Mormon spirit of enmity and double-dealing, ye who form a clan, prating of Gentiles, apostates, and the devil knows what all, of folly and insane vituperation! Sidney Rigdon is your spiritual father. The quintessence of the odious spirit of sect-building and bitter Pharisaism was in him incarnate, and whether you know and can even yet begin to sense it, or not, he is your spiritual pastor and master: the trail of that serpent is over ye all.

Note 1: The excerpt that article writer James T. Cobb quotes from Mr. John H. Gilbert (saying that Joseph Smith was originally not attempting to establish a new religion), was probably taken from Gilbert's Oct. 14, 1879 letter to Cobb. The selection from that same letter, as abstracted by von Wymetal in 1886, is too short to confirm this likelihood, however. James T. Cobb's attention was probably first directed to John H. Gilbert when a hostile review of his Dec. 1877 interview appeared in the weekly Deseret News of Jan. 16, 1878. Gilbert, in his March 1881 interview with William H. Kelley , speaks of having been in correspondence with Cobb for "some years," but there is nothing in Cobb's known writings that points to their being in touch before the first part of 1878. Cobb's correspondence with Gilbert was an important catalyst in setting the Salt Lake City journalist on the track of writing a book on the origin of Mormonism. Although that book was never completed and published, portions of its rough draft content appear in his 1879-80 Tribune articles, as well as in the later works of Robert Patterson, Jr., Willhelm R. von Wymetal, A. Theodore Schroeder, Charles A. Shook, and others.

Note 2: Although Cobb seems to have convinced himself that Joseph Smith's "offending" activities had gone no farther than a more or less ordinary book speculation "up to the Spring of 1829," that does not well account for Cobb's thesis saying that Sidney Rigdon was the real founder of Mormonism. Clearly, if Rigdon and Smith were working together to produce the highly religious Book of Mormon -- full of "Campbellite" theology -- as early as 1827, then the goal of their scheme could not logically have been nothing but a book sales speculation "up to the Spring of 1829." Temporally spreaking, at least, Cobb's conclusions in this matter are inconsistent.


Vol. XVIII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, November 12, 1879.                   No. ?



Our readers will have seen by the report we published yeasterday of Elder Brand's argument in Seventies' Hall on Sunday that polygamy forms no part of Mormon doctrine, and that its practice by members of that Church was stoutly denied by those authorized to speak for the Latter-day community both before and after the date of the polygamy revelation. But this denial is not to be taken as proof that the 'spiritual wifery" of John C. Bennett had no evidence in fact. The public denials were made for a purpose. Living in the State of Illinois at the time, where laws existed prohibiting the unclean relation, there was the twofold purpose in concealing the matrimonial entanglements of the Saints from the knowledge of the world, of avoiding prosecution for violation of law, and also of suppressing the scandal which attached to the unhallowed practice. But there is other testimony to be adduced beside that given by Elder Brand in his discourse, and to show that truth has two poles. We will make a brief showing of the opposite side of the case. In a chapter of the "History of Joseph Smith," published in the Deseret News, March 11, 1857, we find the entry in the prophet's journal

5th Oct. 1843. -- Evening at home, and walked up and down the streets with my scribe. Gave instructions to try those persons who were preaching, teaching, or practicing the doctrine of plurality of wives, for, according to the law, I hold the keys of this power in the last days, for there is never but one on earth at a time on whom the power and its keys are conferred, and I have constantly said no man shall have but one wife at a time, unless the Lord directs otherwise.

In the same history, or autobiography, under date of June 8th, 1844, (Deseret News, Sept. 23, 1857,) we read of a meeting of the Nauvoo City Council in which

Councilor Hyrum Smith referred to the revelation read to the high council of the Church, which has caused so much talk about a multiplicity of wives, that said revelation was in answer to a question concerning things in former days.

At the same meeting Joseph Smith said:

Here is a paper (the Nauvoo Expositor) that is exciting our enemies abroad. * * * They make it a criminality for a man to have a wife on the earth while he has one in heaven, according to the keys of the holy priesthood. * * * Said he would rather die tomorrow and have the thing (the Expositor) smashed, than live and have it go on. * * *

Councilor H. Smith proceeded to show the falsehood of Austin Cowles in the Expositor, in relation to the revelation referred to.

The Mayor (Joseph Smith) said he had never preached the revelation in private, but he had public; had not taught to the anointed in the Church in private, which statement many present confirmed. That on inquiring concerning the passage, "In the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage," he received for an answer, men in this life must marry in view of eternity, otherwise they must remain as angels, or be single in heaven, which was the doctrine of the revelation referred to; and the Mayor spoke at considerable length in explanation of this principle, etc.

This suggests the question, if Joseph Smith neitehr preached nor taught the revelation in private, what was the object of his discourse to these city fathers? It is very apparent that the character of the martyred prophet for veracity needs clearing up and Elder Brand and the incoming Josephite brethren should not harp too constantly upon "Joseph the Martyr," otherwise the question will boom forth, "Martyr to what? or for what? They should not preach Joseph Smith, however much they preach the work he was instrumental in establishing. And it is gratifying to be assured that the spirit of the Josephite work is opposed to the fulsome or undue laudation of the Prophet Joseph, (however individuals may gush) and that, like other Christian bodies, the Josephites profess to preach Christ and Him only.

While on the subject we will give another extract from Joseph the prophet, who on May 28, 1844, discourses thus:

This new holy prophet (William Law) has gone to Carthage and swore that I had told him that I was guilty of adultery. What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery and having seven wives, when I when I can only find one. * * * I am the same man, and as innocent as I was fourteen years ago, and I can prove them all perjurors. * * * This spiritual wifeism! Why, a man does not speak or wink, for fear of being accused of this * * * I had not been married scarcely five minutes, and made one proclamation of the gospel, before it was reported that I had seven wives * * * As I grow older my heart grows tenderer for you. I am at all times willing to give up everything that is wrong, for I wish this people to have a virtuous leader.

Always with the best of feelings -- with malice toward none and charity to all, Is not such cant quite insufferable? Says the prophet on another occasion, May 12, 1844, "I testify that no man has power to reveal it but myself -- things in heaven, in earth and hell, and all shut your mouths for the future." Says our Saviour "If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true."

But we propose to let the dear people down easy. Those who are prepared to know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, in relation to Mormonism are possibly not very numerous yet in the Mormon ranks, whether in Utah or even among our law-abiding friends, the Josephites; but they are bound to increase and multiply. Fanaticism is playing out very fast. It has had its day here in Utah.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVIII.                   Salt Lake City, Utah, November 22, 1879.                   No. ?



The last number of the Josephite organ, the Saints' Herald, published in Plano, Illinois, contains further corrobortion of the correctness of the charge that the pretensions of Mormonism have been foisted upon the credulity of the simple-minded by the most unblushing effrontery and fraud. This Josephite journal has, within the past year, been forced to the admission, (made some time last spring) that there was "no written nor reliable oral account in the Church history" of the holy and everlasting priesthood having been conferred by the direct ministration of Peter, James and John -- which knocks the very underpinning from the whole priestly assumption, and now it graciously announces as a fact (have our Tribune articles on Mormonism had ought to do with this discovery or its announcement?)

That the Urim and Thummim story has long been foisted upon the world as the true account of the origin of the Book of Mormon, but the times demand, and the interest of truth demands that the truth shall be told.

* * * The proofs are clear and positive that the story of the Urim and Thummim translation does not date back for its origin further than 1833, or between that date and 1835, for it is not found in any printed document of the Church of Christ up to the latter part of the year 1833, or the year 1834. The Book of Commandments to the Church of Christ, published in Independence, Mo., in 1833, does not contain any allusion to Urim and Thummim. though the term was inserted in some of the Revelations in their reprint in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants in 1835.

The story was invented for the purpose of gaining prestige, in the minds of the people, for ambitious leaders.

With the sanction of David Whitmer, and by this authority, I now state that he does not say the Joseph Smith ever translated in his presence by aid of Urim and Thummim, but by the means of one dark-colored opaque stone, called a "seerstone," which was placed in the crown of his hat, into which Joseph put his face, so as to exclude the external light. Then a spiritual light would shine forth, and parchment would appear before Joseph, upon which was a line of characters from the plates, and under it the translation in English, at least so Joseph said.

Will those who hold the Urim and Thummim story to be correct, still continue to give the lie to David Whitmer, Michael Morse (Smith's brother-in-law) and Mrs. Emma Bidamon (the late widow)? Or will they have the courage to admit that those who held high positions have been guilty of gross fabrication?

The above is taken from a communication in the Saints' Herald of the 15th inst. signed by J. L. Traughber, Jr., and inserted evidently with editorial approval. Said Oliver Cowdery:

I wrote, with my own pen, the entire Book of Mormon (save a few pages) as it fell from the lips of the Prophet Joseph Smith, as he translated it by the gift and power of God, by the means of the Urim and Thummim, or, as it is called by that book, 'holy interpreters.' * * * That book is true. Sidney Rigdon did not write it; Mr. Spaulding did not write it; I wrote it myself as it fell from the lips of the Prophet.

And yet it now turns out there were no "holy interpreters," no Urim and Thummim in the matter, only Chase's peep-stone, which

the prophet had previously used in looking for the money diggers. What a sham it is, to be sure! Yet brother Pratt will get up before his Mormon audiences with all the gravity in the world, and can still hold thousands listening to his yarns. Still the man Cowdery, when he declares that neither Mr. Spaulding nor Sidney Rigdon had aught to do with getting up the Book of Mormon, is claimed to be an honest and truthful witness. Still brother Sharp spreads himself in the columns of the News, airing archeologically, the flimsy pretense that the Book of Mormon Is a genuine and reliable ancient record, while Granny smiles approval. 'Tis pitiful, friends, such stupefaction. Or is it downright and deliberate dishonesty?

But how are the children affected by this imposture? Mormon children are instructed in their catechism (pp. 77-8,) that on the night of the 21st September, 1823, Joseph Smith was informed by a heavenly angel

"that a record, written upon gold plates, an account of the ancient inhabitants of America, was deposited in a particular place in the earth and with the Record two stones in silver bows, which were anciently called the Urim and Thummim, and by which God revelated intelligence to His people"

The young Saints are further instructed in their catechism that on the following day

"Joseph went to the place where the plates were hid, and found them in a stone box, covered with another stone, and hid in a hill, called Cumorah;" that "he raised the stone, saw the plates, the Urim and Thummim, and the breastplate, and made an attempt to take them out, but the angel appeared again unto him, and told him the time was not come, but would be four years longer," that "on the 22d of Sept. 1827, the angel placed in his hands the plates, the Urim and Thummim, and the breastplate, charging him to keep them safe," and that "he (Joseph) translated them, by the power of God, through the Urim and Thummim, enduring much persecution at the time from religious people, who said he was an impostor."

Mormon children are expected to have this stuff by heart, learned in their Sabbath schools. Now, tell them that the story of the Urim and Thummim is not true, but a made up thing, that the Urim and Thummim is a wicked and shameless exaggeration from a mere "peepstone," such as they or some young friend of theirs may chance to find, and amuse themselves with, think you it will not shake to its centre their childish faith in father and mother and teacher?

Mark, in the above quotation, the vile fling at "religious people," "who said he was an impostor." See how the animus -- the savage and clannish spirit -- against "religious people" is sought to be instiled in the minds even of children, and from their very catechism!

This question, friends, Is Mormonism a fraud? is a pretty serious one, first and last, and it behooveth you to know, (you can if you will, and are resoinsible, if you do not endeavor to find out) whether, [in] spite of your towering faith and overwhelming confidence you have not, after all, been following cunningly devised fables.

Isaac Hale, the prophet's father-in-law, in 1834, affirmed that

the manner in which he (joseph) pretended to read and interpret was the same as he used when he looked for the money-diggers, with the stone in his hat and the hat over his face, while the Book of Plates was at the same time hid in the woods.

This "Seerstone" the prophet got from one Willard Chase, in Palmyra, New York, in the year 1822, while helping to dig a well for Chase's father. Mr. Hale concluded his sworn statement thus.

Joseph Smith Jr. resided near me for some time after his marriage (Jan. 1823,) and I had a good opportunity of becoming acquainted with him, and somewhat acquainted with his associates, and I conscientiously believe from the facts I have detailed, and from many other circumstances, which I do not deem it necessary to relate, that the whole "Book of Mormon" (so called,) is a silly fabrication of falsehood and wickedness, got up for speculation, and with a design to dupe the credulous and unwary, and in order that its fabricators may live upon the spoils of those who swallow the deception.

Whatever may be thought of Mormonism in Utah, the Josephites have many clear headed people among them and quite a sprinkling of brains; those who have no disposition to be fooled or to stupify themselves in this very serious concern, religion, but on the contrary those who are (as Mr. Z. H. Gurley says of himself to this writer,) "willing to know the whole truth, cost what it may." Well, a lying tongue is but for a moment (as Solomon says,) and the pen of the scribe is in vain, who seek to perpetrate a fraud. Keep on, brethren, and you will strike the very bedrock of this imposture yet.

Notes: (forthcoming)

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last updated: Jan. 1, 2014