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Northern Mining Town of Galena, Illinois (1840s)

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Jacksonville, Illinois, September 16, 1831.

Vol. I.                       J. G. Edwards, Proprietor -- A. P. Ralph, Editor.                       No. 8.

The Mormonites. -- A Preacher of this sect visited us last Saturday. We heard a part of his lecture, which occupied more than two hours. From account, this sect came into existence a little more than a year since in the following manner, -- A young man about 23 years of age, somewhere in Ontario county, N. Y., was visited by an angel! (here the preacher looked around him apparently to see if the credulity of the people in this enlightened age could be thus imposed on,) who informed him three times in one night that by visiting a certain place in that town he would have revealed to him something of importance. The young man was disturbed, but did not obey the summons until the following day, when the angel again visited him. At the place appointed he found in the earth a box which contained a set of thin plates resembling gold, with Arabic characters inscribed on them. The plates were minutely described as being connected with rings in the shape of the letter D, which facilitated the opening and shutting of the book. The preacher said he found in the same place two stones, with which he was enabled, by placing them over his eyes and putting his head in a dark corner, to decypher the hieroglyphics on the plates! -- This we were told was performed to admiration, and now, as the result, we have a book which the speaker informed us was the Mormon Bible -- a book second to no other -- without which the holy bible, he seemed to think, would be of little use.

It appears from his statement, that three of the offspring of Joseph, by his youngest son Ephraim, whose names were Laman, Nephi and Lehigh, as near as we could understand, were the persons from whom sprang Mormon. -- Laman and Nephi rather declined from walking in the right way, but Lehigh was firm in the faith -- Mormon, who was a prophet, led them eastward until they came to the sea, as we suppose, where they built a ship and came to this western world. To prove this, the preacher referred us to Genesis, 49th chapter and 22d verse, and said the branches running over the wall was neither more or less than the progeny of Joseph, leaving their own and coming to this country! He went into a detail of the reasons which induced him to join himself to this people -- that on account of so many sects being in the world, and the discrepancies in their opinions, he became sceptical -- that hearing of these people in July last, he joined himself to them, believing them to constitute the true church -- and that he came this way to meet a convocation of elders in Jackson county, Missouri, which is to be their New Jerusalem, but was disappointed in not seeing them there. He insisted on the bible being joined with his book, by quoting the 16th and 17th verses of the 37th chapter of Ezekiel, and comparing the bible and Mormon's book to the two sticks there spoken of. We thought this part of his subject too ludicrous to be refuted by any man in his right mind. We cannot now enter into the merits of his discourse, nor should we have given this hastily written sketch, had we not been requested to say something on the subject. Some of these men may be sincere; but does this prove they are in the right? The worshippers of Juggernaut are sincere, or they would not sacrifice their lives by throwing themselves under the wheel of its life-destroying car. As far as we are acquainted with the Bible we now have, we are satisfied that the Mormonites are a deluded sect of men, whose doctrines are not only dangerous -- but, notwithstanding all their professions, they are calling down the curse of God on their own heads.

Note 1: This article was reprinted in the Portsmouth New Hampshire Gazette of Oct. 25, 1831, in the Daily Albany Argus of Oct. 15, 1831 and in the Norwalk Huron Reflector of October 31, 1831. The text presented above was derived from those reprints.

Note 2: William E. McLellen (1806-1883) went to Independence, Missouri, in July of 1831 to investigate Mormonism. According to his 1831-36 journal, he reached Independence on Aug. 18th, missing by more than a week the LDS Conference held in that place on Aug. 4th. McLellen was baptized a Mormon at Independence on Aug. 20th; by Saturday, Sept. 10, he was in Jacksonville, Morgan Co., Illinois (where the Illinois Patriot was published) and was preaching there to a receptive audience.

Note 3: Dan Vogel, on page 292 of his Early Mormon Documents III, dates the Illinois Patriot article to "Sept. 16, 1831." Vogel reports that he derived this information from a reprint in the New Hampshire Miscellany of Oct. 11, 1831, but no such article of that date and no such newspaper is known to exist. As the writer of the Illinois Patriot report refers to McLellen's Sept. 10th preaching in that town as occurring "last Saturday," it would appear that the article was written no earlier than Sunday, Sept. 11th and no later than Saturday, Sept. 17th. The Sept. 16th date for its appearance in the Illinois Patriot is confirmed in the Daily Albany Argus' reprint and the Huron Reflector's reprint.

Note 4: Although the reporter makes a few mistakes in relaying what he heard of the story of Lehi, Nephi and Laman, the remainder of the report appears credible. Notably lacking from McLellen's preaching is any mention of Joseph Smith's "first vision," any reference to the restoration of the Melchisedec Priesthood, etc. The doctrinal points recorded in this report may be added to those related in papers like the Hudson Observer of Nov. 18, 1830 and the Western Courier of May 26, 1831, in order to reconstruct an outline of topics covered in very early Mormon proselytizing preaching.


Vol. IV. No. ?                       Rock Spring, Illinois, May ?, 1832.                       Whole No. ?


Some days since several Mormonite preachers, in their peregrinations, passed through this and the adjoining counties. In St. Clair not much impression was made. One preached in Lebanon, 4 miles from us. In Madison County, on the Ridge Prairie, a few miles south of Edwardsville, they were more successful in making "Impressions." Several families, Methodist, Baptists, and others, were 'almost persuaded.' We believe all have been cured of this singular fanaticism but one family. A Mr. McMahan, a pious and respectable man, & a Methodist local preacher, was so bewildered with their new bible, and their power to work miracles, as to follow them to Shoal creek where he got baptized into the Mormon faith, and received from them a commission to preach and work miracles in turn. After one or two ineffectual attempts with his neighbors, he became entirely deranged in which exercise his wife soon joined. Under the notion that they were fighting evil spirits, they commenced a frenzied attack on their house and furniture. They soon demolished a valuable time piece, a new high post bedstead, bureau, chairs, &c. and tore off the weather boarding, and broke the windows of the house. The next project was to "sacrifice" one of their children, but were interrupted by one of their neighbors interfering, who was obliged to confine this promising disciple of Mormonism in irons till he became more peaceable. He is now suffered to go at large, though still laboring under mental alienation. His wife is some better.

These sudden and apparently providential 'effects' of Mormon faith, has put a stop to further proselytizing in this quarter. We hope the people hereafter will be satisfied with the Bible God has given us, and the religion it reveals, without the addition of the "Book of Mormon."

Note: The text of this article was taken from its reprint in the June 21, 1832 Painesville Telegraph. The exact date of its appeareance in the Rock Spring Pioneer is not stated. The Pioneer was the first religious paper published in Illinois. It was edited and published by the Baptist minister, the Rev. Dr. John M. Peck. Rev. Peck founded the Rock Spring Seminary in 1827. Some time after 1831 his seminary was removed to Alton in Madison County, where it was apparently merged with the Alton Seminary under Rev. Hubbel Loomis. In 1836 this seminary became Shurtleff College. Beginning in late 1835 the Rock Spring Pioneer appears to have been published at Alton, by the staff of Alton Seminary, under the title of Western Pioneer and Baptist Standard-Bearer. Rev. Peck reportedly printed up the very first anti-Mormon pamphlet, on his Rock Spring press, even before Alexander Campbell's 1831 Delusions tract was published. No copy of Peck's little production has survived, however.



Vol. II.                          Galena, Illinois, Tuesday, May 7, 1833.                            No. 2.


Mormonism. -- This sect is rapidly gaining strength. About 1000 are now settled in jackson county, Mo., which they call Mount Zion, given by God to Abraham for his posterity.

Note: The first newspaper published in Galena, Illinois began in 1828, and was called the Miners' Journal. In 1832 the owner sold the paper to Dr. A. Philleo, who re-named it The Galenian. This paper, in turn, was superseded in 1834 by the Northwestern Gazette & Galena Advertiser. The paper, under the last two names, ran a number of early articles on the Mormons.


Jacksonville, June 8, 1833.

Number ?                 J. G. Edwards, Proprietor -- A. P. Ralph, Editor.                 Volume. II.


THE STORM. -- Last Saturday night many parts of this country were visited by a tremendous storm... One circumstance which has some connection with this relation, should not in our humble opinion, be passed by. A company of Mormons -- between 80 and 100 -- arrived at the east bank of the Illinois, on their way to New Jerusalem, in Missouri, the same evening in which the storm commenced with the intention of crossing and encamping in the timber on the other side. The place for their encampment had been judiciously selected -- every necessary preparation made for their removal -- but, by some apparently accidental cause, they did not procure a conveyance across the river that night, and were obliged to stay where they then were. It was fortunate that they did so -- almost every tree on the opposite bank had been prostrated by the storm. Looking across the river and seeing the desolation that had been wrought in a single night, one of them exclaimed, "what an awful death we have all escaped."

Note: This article was reprinted in the Norwalk Huron Reflector of July 9, 1833, which assigns the article to "June 8." Probably that is the date it was published in the Patriot The text presented above was derived from the Reflector'sreprint.


    and  Illinois  Intelligencer.

Vol. II.                        Vandalia, Ill., Wednesday, Aug. 28, 1833.                            No. 2.


(see the Missouri Republican of  Aug. 9, 1833 for this text.)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Illinois  Advocate
    and  State  Register.

Vol. III.                             Vandalia, Ill., Saturday, September 21, 1833.                             No. 24.

MORMONISM. -- We learn from the Missouri papers that the Mormon settlement in the western parts of that State, has been violently broken up by their christian neighbors. Persecution judiciously and violently administered may give them consequences hereafter.

Notes: (forthcoming)


    and  Illinois  Bounty  Land  Advertiser.

Vol. I.                             Beardstown, Saturday, October 12, 1833.                             No. 17.


Mormonism has ever been looked upon as one of those delusions which seize upon the best-informed minds. A society of this sect were for a long time peaceably settled in Jackson county, Missouri, where they had established a paper entitled "The Star," and were pursuing their course in usefulness and comfort. It seems that the other citizens of this place, were either envious of their prosperity, or were resolved that none should abide among them but such as chose to subscribe to their especial creed. -- They accordingly held a meeting, at which it was resolved, by the mere force of might, to drive these "obnoxious" people from the country, and raze the printing office to the ground. Their resolutions were prevented from being carried into execution by a subsequent agreement, in which the Mormonites stipulated for the removal of their society, and the discontinuance of the "Star."

We profess to know but little of the character of this religious sect; nor do we pretend to vouch for the soundness of their doctrines, but we protest against the justness of this course of intolerance towards those people, however fanatical and absurd their modes of worship may have been. We have no right to interfere with the religious creeds of our neighbors; and if their conduct towards us is regulated by the laws of the land, we can have no just cause of complaint. Had individuals of this sect, or even of the whole body of it, committed legal offences, the civil tribunals of our country could have given sufficient redress; but to proceed against them as a religious body, not discriminating between the innocent and the guilty, must be considered persecution in the most odious sense of the word, and a disregard of the provisions of our Constitution which declares "That all men have a natural and indefensible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences," and "that no human authority can control or interfere with the rights of conscience; that no person can ever be hurt, molested or restrained, in his religious professions, or sentiments, if he does not disturb others in their religious worship."

Note: In 1844-45 William Law, publisher of the short lived Nauvoo Expositor, relocated in Beardstown, and operated the local newspaper for several months, however the paper evidently published nothing unique relating to Nauvoo and the Mormons.


Jacksonville, November 16, 1833.

Number 50.                 J. G. Edwards, Proprietor -- A. P. Ralph, Editor.                 Volume. II.


(see the Missouri Republican of  Nov. 12, 1833 for this text.)

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. II.                        Galena, Illinois, Friday, Nov. 22, 1833.                            No. 26.

Most horrid! -- The Missouri Republican of the 12th inst. contains the shocking intelligence of a number of skirmishes between the citizens of Jackson County, Mo. and the Mormons, in which between twenty and thirty citizens, and several Mormons were killed, and many wounded. It appears that the Mormons acted defensively, and that the excitement continued to rage at the last advices.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Illinois  Advocate
    and  State  Register.

Vol. III.                         Vandalia, Ill., Saturday, November 23, 1833.                           No. 33.

A SPECK OF WAR -- in Missouri. -- We learn from St. Louis, that a little war is raging in the county of Jackson, Mo., between the people of that county and the Mormons settled there -- and that several outrages had been committed and battles fought, in which from thirty to fifty of the citizens had been killed, and six or eight of the Mormons; and many wounded on both sides. Report says, that the citizens complain that the Mormons have enticed away their negroes, &c. &c., and on the other hand, the Mormons charge the Presbyterians with persecutions and of being the authors of the whole disturbance. The Governor of Missouri will undoubtedly take immediate steps to put a stop to such outrages and to punish the aggressors.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Illinois  Advocate
    and  State  Register.

Vol. III.                         Vandalia, Ill., Saturday, November 30, 1833.                           No. 34.

The difficulties between the Mormons and other inhabitants of Jackson county, Missouri, are said to have been settled, or rather the Mormons have ceased resistance, and are withdrawing from that part of the country. It also fortunately turns out that only one or two lives have been lost in their different conflicts.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. ?                                     Fanville, Illinois, February ? 1834.                                   No. ?


Governor Dunklin, of Missouri, has issued an executive letter, directed to several leading men of the Mormon persuasion, directing them to appeal to the courts of law, which are bound to render them satisfaction for late outrageous assaults upon their rights and liberties as peaceable citizens. The governor says, "in the event that the laws cannot be executed, and that is officially made known to me, my duty will require me to take such steps as will enforce a faithful execution of them."

Note: This article was reprinted in the Norwalk Ohio Huron Reflector of Feb. 18, 1834. The above text was transcribed from that reprint.



Vol. II.                          Galena, Illinois, Friday, Feb. 7, 1834.                              No. 39.

The Mormon mystery developed. -- Dr. P. Hurlbert, of Kirkland [sic], Ohio, who has been engaged for some time in different parts of this state, but chiefly in this neighborhood, on behalf of his fellow-townsmen, in the pursuit of facts and information concerning the origin and design of the Book of Mormon, which, to the surprise of all in this region who know the character of the leaders in the bungling imposition, seems already to have gained multitudes of believers in various parts of the country, requests us to say, that he has succeeded in accomplishing the object of his mission, and that an authentic history of the whole affair will shortly be given to the public. The original manuscript of the Book was written some thirty years since, by a respectable clergyman, now deceased, whose name we are not permitted to give. It was designed to be published as a romance, but the author died soon after it was written; and hence the plan failed. The pretended religious character of the work has been superadded by some more modern hand -- believed to be the notorious Rigdon. These particulars have been derived by Dr. Hurlbert from the widow of the author of the original manuscript. -- Palmyra Sentinel.

Note: This article was reprinted from the Wayne Sentinel of Dec. 20, 1833. Its publication in The Galenian marks the first known mention in an Illinois newspaper of the Rigdon-Spalding claims for Book of Mormon authorship. The Rock Springs Pioneer elaborated upon these authorship claims a year later, following the details published in E. D. Howe's Mormonism Unvailed.


Richmond  Palladium.

Vol. IV.                            Richmond, Ind., Sat., May 24, 1834.                            No. ?

Mormonites. -- On Monday morning last, a caravan of about two hundred Mormonites, with a long train of wagons, passed through this place, on their way to the "far west." There were but few women among them, and the men were generally, if not all, supplied with fire arms. A stout, hardy set of looking fellows they were too, and many of them quite intelligent. From their equipment, it has been suspected that they intend joining and defending their brethren in Jackson county, Missouri. They professed to be in search of new lands, whereon to form a settlement, either in Illinois or farther west. We understand they were from the States of Vermont, New York, and Pennsylvania, and had assembled at some point on their route hither.

Note 1: The text for the above report is taken from a reprint that appeared in the Washington, D. C. National Intelligencer of May 31, 1834. The heading for the reprint reads: "Richmond, (Wayne Co. Indiana,) May 24." Probably that is the date that the news item appeared in the Indiana newspaper.

Note 2: D. P. Holloway, the editor of the Palladium had the unique experience of seeing Joseph Smith's 1834 "Zion's Camp" military expedition pass through Richmond, Indiana, both on its way to Missouri (on May 19th) and on its return (on about July 22nd). See the Palladium of July 26th for the second of his two news reports on this subject.

Note 3: According to Roger D. Launius' 1984 book, Zion's Camp, the regiment of the 1834 Mormon military expedition which was commanded by Joseph Smith, Jr. reached Springfield, Ohio "on May 15" and from there "the marchers picked up the National Road heading west." After that, the Mormons "passed through Dayton... on Friday, May 16" and "on Saturday, May 17, Zion's Camp crossed the state boundary from Ohio into Indiana." Launius continues: "On Sunday, May 18, the troops rested... [and] on Monday, May 19... moved westward... toward Indianapolis," which they reached on May 21.


Jacksonville, Ill., June 7, 1834.

Number ?                 J. G. Edwards, Proprietor -- A. P. Ralph, Editor.                 Volume ?

This looks rebellion. -- A large company of emigrants, consisting of about two hundred and fifty men and four women, encamped near the Mauvaiseterre -- about one mile from this town -- on Saturday evening last. A number of our citizens visited their encampment on the Sabbath. They had preaching and other religious services, conducted by men of theor own party. Many conjectures were afloat in regard to the object and future plans of these individuals. From all that could be gathered, it was ascertained that the bulk of them came from the western part of New-York, and that they were on their way to the "Far West." Curiosity was the more excited on account of the backwardness displayed by every individual in the company, in communicating their inention in coming to this country, &c.

As they passed through the town on Monday morning, we had an opportunity of conversing with some of them, but their laconic, ill-mannerly and unsatisfactory answers made it an unthankful task, and rendered us incapable of throwing any additional light on the subject. We fall in with the opinion of many of our citizens that they belong to that deluded class of individuals who have adopted the book of Mormon for their guide, and are now on their way to Jackson county, Missouri, to render whatever servives may be required by their brethren in that quarter, and to resist any attempt that may be made to thwart them in the design of making that section of country their "New Jerusalem." We are strengthened in this opinion by some hints thrown out in the last Missouri Republican, which we copy, and from several other circumstances, which it is not necessary at this time to tell, There is a report that two other similar parties, on different routes, have crossed the Illinois river.

Notes: (forthcoming)


    and  Illinois  Intelligencer.

Vol. II. No. 52.                            Thursday, June 12, 1834.                            Whole No. 104.


The St. Louis Republican of  June 2d says: --

  "Difficulties are anticipated between the Mormons and the citizens of Jackson county. A letter from Independence, under date of 21st May, says -- "The people here are in fearful expectation of a return of the Mormons to their homes. They have heard that a reinforcement is coming from Ohio, and that [as soon] as the Santa Fe company of traders leave, the Mormons will re-cross the river from their temporary residence in Clay county; in which event, much blood will be shed. It is not to be wondered at, that they have chosen this as the 'promised land,' for it is decidedly the richest in the state.' A merchant of Independence has, we understand, given orders for a piece of artillery to be sent to him immediately, to be used in defence of his property. The Mormonites are now on their way from Ohio."

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. III. No. 6.                            Monday, June 16, 1834.                            Whole No. 109.


The St. Louis Republican of June 2d. says. --

"Difficulties are anticipated between the Mormons and the citizens of Jackson county. A letter from Independence, under date of 21st May, says -- 'The people here are in fearful expectation of a return of the Mormons to their homes. They have heard that a reinforcement is coming from Ohio, and that as soon as the Santa Fe company of traders leave, the Mormons will re-cross the river from their temporary residence in Clay county; in which event, much blood will be shed. It is not to be wondered at, that they have chosen this as the 'promised land,' for it is decidedly the richest in the state.' A merchant of Independence has, we understand, given orders for a piece of artillery to be sent to him immediately, to be used in defence of his property. The Mormonites are now on their way from Ohio."

The company of Mormons which passed through Springfield on Friday last, is undoubtedly, the 'reinforcement' above referred to. This company were between 250 & 300 strong, composed of able-bodied men, with the single exception of one woman & a few children -- and appeared to be generally armed. They did not state their place of destination, although frequent inquiries were made upon the subject. One of the company, who appeared to be a leader, stated to a respectable citizen of this town, that he had himself performed more miracles than were recorded in the Old and New Testaments.

The company mentioned in the following article is supposed to be the same; --

Emigration, -- On Thursday, the 15th inst. about one hundred and fifty persons passed through this place southward, emigrating to Illinois, or perhaps Missouri. They had their plunder in 22 or 23 wagons, we were informed; had guns (muskets and rifles) in abundance, were roughly clad, & what excited most curiosity, there were but two or three women with them, and but few children; and a very great disproportion of old and elderly men. We did not see the main caravan ourselves, but are informed that, by conversation had with some of them, they were supposed to be of that sect called Mormons or Mormonites. One of the women, we are told, observed, in answer to some questions propounded to her, that their object, in carrying guns with them, was not battle; but as they intended a settlement, or to settle, somewhere in the West, they did not intend to be driven off, as some who had went before them had been. Those of them we happened to see, were apparently "pretty well Yankeyed over," and "considerable well up to the trade and pedlin."
                      Ohio Collustrator.

Note 1: The report of Joseph Smith's "Zion's Camp" military expedition passing through Springfield perhaps came from the Sangamo Journal of June 7, 1834. A very similar account was published in the St. Louis Western Examiner of June 15, 1834. It is not unlikely that the bragging Mormon miracle-worker was Martin Harris, who was prone to such religious verbosity.

Note 2: The Galenian ceased publication not long after this date, and was superseded by the Northwestern Gazette & Galena Advertiser.



Vol. III. No. 10.                            Monday, July 14, 1834.                            Whole No. 113.

From the Missouri Enquirer.       


On Monday last, a committee on the part of the citizens of Jackson county, and one in behalf of the Mormon people, met in this place, to take into consideration the subject of compromising the difficulties which occurred in Jackson county last fall. At the suggestion of the Hon. Judge Ryland, the parties met at the court house, and were addressed by him in an impressive and forcible manner, relative to the importance and urgent necessity of bringing their difficulties to an honorable adjustment. He portrayed to them, in lively colors, the destructive and inevitable consequences which would result from an onstinate refusal to bring this disagreeable and truly deplorable state of things to an amicable end. He informed the commitees of the respective parties, that it was not his province as a high judicial officer, to dictate to them the terms upon which they should settle this subject; nevertheless, as a man who felt deeply interested for his country and its laws, and the happiness and well being of his fellow men, he advised them to ponder well what they were about to do; and after enjoining upon them the necessity of regarding the laws of the land, -- he addressed the Mormons, warning them against the danger of suffering themselves to be led by pretenders to the high preogatives of the Prophets of God, to certain destruction. With all the candor of a man who felt the importance of the crisis, he informed them of the real state of feeling that now pervades the greater part of the upper country he supposed that the Mormons might cross the river and defeat the citizens of Jackson in battle -- that it would only be the means of involving them in greater difficulties -- that hundreds would rush from the adjoining counties to revenge the blood of their neighbors, and that they must be expelled in turn -- that the arm of the civil law could do nothing amid the din of arms and the rage of war -- and he hoped they would reflect seriously, before our rich soil should be deluged with the blood of our countrymen.

A meeting was then organized by the citizens of Clay county, for the purpose of appointing a committee to act as mediators, and lend every possible aid to effect a compromise, but without effecting any thing, the people became so much excited, that it was thought most prudent to adjourn.

We are truly sorry to see such a state of things, yet it is a lamentable fact that this matter is about to involve the whole upper country in civil war and bloodshed. We cab not (if a compromise is not agreed to before Saturday next) tell how long it will be before we shall have the painful task of recording the awful realities of an extermination war. The crisis has arrived, and it behooves every well-wisher of his country to act with prudence and self possession, and to use every exertion to allay the impending storm.

We have very little idea that the Mormons will accede to the propositions made by the citizens. We are told that such a hope is hardly entertained by any of the Jackson committee, and we have no doubt but the citizens of Jackson are determined to dispute every inch of ground. The chairman of the committee declared in the court house, in the presence of five or eight hundred persons, appealing to high heaven for the truth of his assertion, that they would dispute every inch of ground, burn every blade of grass, and suffer their bones to bleach on their hills, rather than the Mormons should return to Jackson county.

(The paper also contains a correspondence between the commitees of the respective parties, in which the people of Jackson county propose to buy the possessions of the Mormons in that county, at an appraised valuation, with the addition of 100 per cent. upon the ascertained value; or to dispose of their property upon the same terms to the Mormons. The Mormon committee, not being authorized to treat upon this subject, asked time to consult their brethren.) ...

(under construction)

Note 1: The first portion above article was copied from the St. Louis Missouri Republican of June 30, 1834, which, in turn, reprinted the Liberty Missouri Enquirer's article of June 18, 1834. The remainder of the article in The Galenian summarizes a letter relating the news of a ferry boat sinking in the Missouri, south of Liberty, the cause of which was attributed to the Mormons.

Note 2: The Galenian ceased publication not long after this date, and was superseded by the Northwestern Gazette & Galena Advertiser.


Richmond  Palladium.

Vol. IV.                            Richmond, Ind., Sat., July 26?, 1834.                            No. ?


Mormons. -- A number of Mormons whose passage westward through this place we noticed in May last, have returned this week, and look indeed like the remnant of a scattered army. They say they are returning to the east for their families, some to settle business, &c. -- They were not communicative, but they speak of a battle having taken place between some of their people and the citizens of Jackson county, Missouri. They say the Governor ordered them to give up their arms, which they did peaceably. Their persons and equipage denote hard service, and make a contrast to their outward bound appearance.

Note 1: The text for the above report is taken from a reprint that appeared in the Ravenna Ohio Star of Aug. 7, 1834. The heading for the reprint reads: "Richmond, Wayne Co. Indiana, July 26, 1834." Probably that is the date that the news item appeared in the Indiana newspaper.

Note 2: D. P. Holloway, the editor of the Palladium had the unique experience of seeing Joseph Smith's "Zion's Camp" military expedition pass through Richmond, Indiana, both on its way to Missouri (on May 19th) and on its return (on about July 22nd). See the Palladium of May 24th for the first of his two news reports on this subject.

Note 3: According to Roger D. Launius' 1984 book, Zion's Camp, when the returning Mormon military expedition reached Richmond. Indiana, the troops read an erroneous report of the supposed "battle" in Missouri, the alleged death of Joseph Smith, etc., as published in the July 17, 1834 issue of the Elyria Ohio Atlas, and reprinted shortly thereafter (probably on July 19th) in the Richmond Palladium. Launis paraphrases LDS Apostle George A. Smith, in his recalling that "Joseph Smith visited the editor of the paper and tried to convince him that there was not battle," etc. This encounter probably occurred in Richmond about July 22, 1834. Whatever corrections may have been suggested to him by Smith, Mr. Holloway evidently printed his July 26th story without adding any emendations to his text. Smith's company continued back to Kirtland and reached home on Aug. 1, 1834.



Vol. ?                            Connersville, Indiana, August ? 1834.                            No. ?


It will be recollected by some that about September last, a disturbance took place between the Mormons and the citizens of Jackson county, Missouri. The former numbering about 1200, had selected that place as the land of Zion, and each successive spring and autumn poured forth its swarms of them, with a gradual falling off in the character of the people, was too manifest. The citizens had been old they were to be cut off, and their lands appropriated to the Mormons for inheritances; but whether this was to be done by the destroying angel -- by the judgement of God, or the arm of power, was not disclosed to them. They however plainly saw, that if this population continued to increase, they would soon have all the offices in their hands; and the lives and property of the citizens be insecure.

The citizens called a meeting and passed resolutions that no Mormon should, in future, be allowed to settle in that county; and that those in it should be compelled to pledge themselves to remove from it. It was also resolved that the "Star" a paper printed by the Mormons, should be suppressed. The Mormons refusing to accede to the terms of the meeting, the citizens marched en masse to the printing office and secured the type and press ri et armis; taking, also, some other similar steps, but no blood was shed or blows inflicted. The meeting and mob then adjourned until the 23d, same month, when they met and forced the principal men to pledge themselves to remove out of the county by the first of January, and the remainder by the first of April following; leaving two, however, to act as agents and dispose of the property and wind up the concerns of the Society.

They, it appears, did not regard their solemn pledge, but remained until several small skirmishes took place between them and the citizens in which a few lives were lost; they then yielded submission and removed: but have recently manifested a disposition to return to their Holy Land of Zion. The following, from the National Intelligencer, will give a clue to the matter as it stands.

"The Missouri Enquirer -- printed at Liberty -- of the 18th June says, that on the Monday preceding, a Committee on the part of the citizens of Jackson county, and one in behalf of the Mormon people, met at Liberty, to take into consideration the subject of compromising the difficulties which occurred in Jackson county last Autumn. No compromise was effected, however, notwithstanding the exertions of the people of Clay county, -- in which Liberty is situated -- a committee of whom were appointed to act as mediators. On the contrary, the excitement among the People was such, that the conference was, in consequence of it, obliged to be adjourned. -- The proposition made by the People of Jackson county to the Mormons, who were driven out of the county last Autumn, and are about to re-enter it with additional numbers, in arms, is, to buy all the lands and improvements of the Mormons, at a valuation by disinterested arbitrators, to which valuation 100 per cent shall be added, to be paid within thirty days thereafter; the Mormons thereupon to leave the county, and not hereafter to attempt to enter it, individually, or collectively. Or, the citizens of Jackson county to sell their lands to the Mormons on exactly reciprocal terms. To neither of these propositions were the committee of the Mormons authorized to assent, nor does there appear any probability that either of them will be assented to. The Enquirer, after narrating these facts, gives utterance to the following melancholy foreboding: "It is a lamentable fact, that the matter is about to involve the whole upper country in civil war and bloodshed. We cannot -- if a compromise is not agreed to before Saturday next -- tell how long it will be before we shall have the painful task of recording the awful realities of an exterminating war."

The citizens of Jackson, it appears, though inferior in numbers to the Mormons, are resolved to dispute over every inch of ground and the Chairman of their Committee declared, at the Meeting in the Court House of Clay county, appealing to heaven for the truth of his assertion, that "they would dispute every inch of ground, burn every blade of grass, and suffer their bones to bleach on their hills, rather than the Mormons should return to Jackson county."

Note: No files for a paper called "The Watchman," published in Connersville, Indiana, have yet been located. Possibly this was a transient religious paper. The above text comes from a reprint published in the Sept. 12, 1834 issue of the Cincinnati Catholic Telegraph.



Vol. ?                            Indianapolis, Indiana, Sept. 5, 1834.                            No. ?


The poor Mormons are beginning to discover the imposture -- have pierced through the veil that has covered the deformities of their Mokarra. A number of them residing in Bowling Green, Mo., have determined to renounce the doctrine of Mormonism for the [present], or, in other words, to remain silent or neutral, until something shall have been revealed to them from heaven.

A paper published at Bowling Green [Missouri] says:

"Numbers of those who some time since went to Jackson, are returning on their way back to the place from whence they started. It is said that the cholera had broken out in their camps, and that many had died. Some of those returning express themselves much dissatisfied with their prophet, Gen. J. Smith. -- They say he has failed in all his attempts to cure the cholera, or to bring the dead to life."

Note: The above text, quoting the Missouri news item, was taken from a reprint which appeared in the Cambridge, Ohio Guernsey Times on Aug. 16, 1834. Which paper the Indiana Journal took its reprint from remains unknown. Oddly enough, this major media voice for the Hoosier State reported nothing in its columns about the Mormons' Zions' Camp passing to and fro, through Indianapolis and along the public highways in 1834.


Vol. VII.                             Rock Spring, Illinois, March ?, 1835.                             No. ?


This imposture had its origin in Ontario county, N. York, in 1830. The ostensible projector was an idle, worthless fellow, by the name of Jos. Smith -- the real inventors of the delusion, have had adroitness enough to “keep dark” as yet. Smith pretended that he had found some golden or brass plates, like the leaves of a book, hid in a box in the earth, to which he was directed by an Angel, in 1827, -- that the writing on them was in the "Reformed Egyptian language," -- that he was inspired to interpret the writing, or engraving, by putting a plate in his hat, putting two smooth flat stones, which he found in the box, in the hat, and putting his face therein -- that he could not write, but as he translated, one Oliver Cowdry wrote it down. The next step was to operate upon a superstitious and credulous farmer, by the name of Martin Harris, and induce him to sell his farm, worth, it is said three thousand dollars, to raise funds to print the Book!

Harris was a professor of religion, and believed much in dreams, and supernatural communications, and was easily persuaded to believe Smith’s story about the plates and the Angel. To confirm his faith, and get his money, they pretended to show him some of the plates, and got him several other persons by name of Whitmer, and Smith’s relations, to certify to the plates. The probability is that Smith, who had been a book pedlar, and was frequently about printing establishments, had procured some old copper plates for engravings, which he showed for his golden plates.

It is pretended that the "Book of Mormon," was translated by Joe Smith from these plates.

Of the falsehood of this, the book itself contains the most unquestionable evidence. On the truth or falsity of Smith’s pretended inspiration and of the character of this "Book of Mormon," rests the whole scheme. If the Book in general is a fable -- with the extravagant stories, then Joe Smith Junior, is a base imposter -- a worthless fellow, and all his followers are most wretchedly deceived and deluded.

I have not space, nor is it necessary, to give any thing like a regular account of its contents. Its composition is the work of three kinds of authors, each peculiarly and distinctly marked.

1. It contains many extracts, and sometimes whole chapters from our common Bible, both the Old and New Testaments, word for word as it is in our common translation. But it is scripture perverted, because it is mixed up with the most extravagant and monstrous fictions -- and low, vulgar, cant expressions.

2. A series of extravagant and romantic histories about two sorts of people, that at two remote periods of time, are supposed to have crossed the Atlantic Ocean, and lived on this continent.

One class came here shortly after the confusion of tongues at Babel, lived here for many generations, became very warlike, and fought till at last every man, woman and child was killed off!! The Kilkenny cats only fought till nothing was left but the tips of their tails, but the "Jaredites," unmerciful wretches, fought up tails and all!

But this is not more extravagant than the manner in which this race first came to the American continent. They built eight small barges both air and water tight, had the identical stones, which Joe Smith now uses to translate by, for lights, and partly by skimming the surface, and partly by diving like ducks, they crossed the ocean, with their families, flocks, herds, fowls, and "all manner of provisions," in 344 days!

The second race of men migrated here about six hundred years before the birth of Christ, from Jerusalem, and became the ancestors of the present race of Indians. They were of the tribe of Joseph, and constituted the Mormons.

The extravagant fictions of this portion of the story, outdo the Arabian Night’s Entertainment, or the stories of Sinbad the Sailor.

They might pass for wild romances, however, were it not for the blasphemous assertion that Jesus Christ, after ascending to heaven from Mount Olivet, descending again on this continent, chose here twelve apostles, organized a church, and stayed some time on earth again. The family of Lehi, who first came over, had a quarrel, and became divided into two parties under the name of Lamanites and Nephites. The Lamanites became corrupt and idolatrous -- the Nephites, though descending from Joseph as the tale supposes, had [their] High Priests, common priests, temple service and Jewish religion, with baptism and many christian usages long before Christ was born. Three or four hundred years after Christ, the Nephites and Lamanites were engaged in the most exterminating wars -- more were slain in battle than ever were slain in all the wars of Alexander, Caesar, and Napoleon, until all the Nephites were slain except Moroni, the "last of the Mormons," who buried the plates for the special purpose of having Joseph Smith find them!

The Book of Mormon pretends to have been written during the space of 1030 years, by twelve different authors, the last of which, Moroni, gives the story of the "Jaredites," who came over in the little barges, under the ocean, before the days of Abraham.


About twenty years since, a singular, eccentric gentleman, by the name of Spalding, in the north eastern part of Ohio, was engaged in writing a series of romances, the prolific fruits of his own fertile imagination, about the early settlement of America. He was a man of some talent, of much eccentricity of character, and in poor circumstances. He went to Pittsburgh to get his book printed, but soon died, and the manuscripts were supposed to be mislaid or lost. From a number of circumstances it appears now evident that Joseph Smith, jun. got possession of them, and hence the legends in the Book of Mormon! Smith had the cunning with others to turn the whole to a religious account, impose upon the credulous, superstitious and visionary, and became the prophet and leader of a new sect.

Hence, 3d, the preface, conclusion, and occasionally a few sentences interspersed through it, are the genuine writings of the Imposter Smith and his coadjutors.

As a religious system, Mormonism is false, most impiously and ridiculously false!


1. The Book of Mormon represents the descendants of Joseph in the family of Lehi, as instituting a priesthood, and high priests, on the continent of America, whereas God expressly forbid any stranger, or the person of another tribe than Levi, and any family but that of Aaron, from administering the priestly office in Israel on penalty of death! See Numbers 3:10-16:40. Deut. 21:5. Paul affirms the same in Heb. 7:13,14.

2. The impious book makes God violate his covenant engagements with Abraham and his posterity, concerning the land of Canaan, and of the law of the Jews, by separating the family of Lehi from the rest, and sending them across the ocean to a strange land: -- whereas, according to Deut. 20:21, this separation was to accommodate all the curses of that law upon such a family.

3. It represents the temple service continuing in this land, contrary to every precept of the divine law to the Jews in the Bible.

4. The book states that Christ was born in Jerusalem, (p. 240,) whereas every child that has read the Testament, knows that Christ was born in Bethlehem.

5. The Mormon prophets 2400 years ago, (according to Mormonism,) heard the saying of a Pagan, who lives 634 years after, "The God of nature suffers" -- they quoted from Shakespeare, "The silent grave from whence no traveler returns," -- and many other like expressions. "Had ought" -- "light lit up the soul" -- "I who ye call your king" -- and fifty other expressions peculiar to illiterate Yankees, were in use by them.

6. The name of "Jesus Christ" was declared to Nephi, 545 years before it was announced to Mary, and who, in true Roman phraseology, is called "The Mother of God." Baptism was discussed, performed, and all controversies settled, hundreds of years before John came as the precursor of Christ. The great questions of the trinity, regeneration, atonement, original sin, transubstantiation, penance, and the lesser ones of freemasonry, republican government, steamboats, and mariner’s compass were all known, discussed, and decided, either by angels, the prophets, or Jesus Christ himself, in that early period.

7. Christ is represented as having descended and spent some time on the western continent, after having ascended to heaven from Mount Olivet in Judea! This fabulous Mormon story, to say nothing of its impious character, is in opposition to the declarations of God, in the New Testament, and places Momonism in direct hostility with the word of God. See the following scriptures. Mark 16:19 -- John, chapter 14: verses 2 ,3,19 -- chapter 16; verses 7, 10, 17, 28 -- chapter 17: verses 4,11, and 24 -- Acts 3:20, 21. (This passage alone overthrows the whole Mormon scheme.) See also Heb. 1:3, 5 -- chapter 4:14 -- chapter 6:20, also, chapter 9: verses 27 and 28. In this last passage it is affirmed that Christ will come at the day of Judgment, "the SECOND time," whereas Mormonism affirms that he appeared the second time on the continent of America, and that he will soon come the third time to the Mormons.

The above are but a few of the many internal evidences that Mormonism furnishes of its own base and worthless imposition.

Parents are required to have their children baptized for the remission of their sins at eight years old, and receive the "laying on hands," for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

READER -- If you wish to become a Mormon, you must believe the following things, amongst many absurdities:

1. All the foolish, ridiculous, impious stories and sayings in the Book of Mormon.

2. That no gospel church existed on earth from the year 420 to 1830, when Joe Smith and his coadjutors organized the Mormon Society in Manchester, N.Y. notwithstanding the pledge of Christ that the gates of hell should not prevail against his church.

3. That Joseph Smith, jun. a strolling vagabond, is the Great Prophet of God, and found and translated the golden plates of the Book of Mormon, though he cannot show now a single plate -- that this book was in the language of the "Reformed Egyptian," though no such language ever existed -- and that its fables are all verities.

4. If you have been previously a professor of religion, you must be prepared to renounce all that religion -- that you have always been deluded, and that there is no true light but what comes through Joe Smith.

To conclude -- Mormonism adds another to the thousand lamentable proofs of the obliquity and perverseness of the human mind -- of the deceptions of the Evil One, and of the delusions of imposters.

Its existence amongst us, warns us of the folly of remaining ignorant of the "sure word of prophecy," and pleads in a most impressive manner for the children and youth of our land to be well instructed in the living oracles of God, that they may be prepared to reject the "filthy dreams" of superstition and imposture.
A FRIEND OF TRUTH.              

Note 1: The text of this article was taken from its reprint in the New York Weekly Messenger and Young Men’s Advocate of April 29, 1835. Partial reprints were also published in the Exter, NH, Christian Journal, of May 28, 1835 and The Rover: Weekly Magazine of Tales, Poetry and Engravings III:19 (Sept. 15, 1844). The exact date of its appearance in the Rock Spring Pioneer remains undetermined. See also Peck's 1835 Mormonism, One of the Delusions of Satan, Exposed by a Friend of Truth, a pamphlet preserved in the St. Louis Mercantile Library. --- The Pioneer began publication in Rock Spring, St. Clair Co., Illinois on Apr. 25, 1829 with Elder John Mason Peck as the editor and Rev. Thomas P. Green as its publisher. Some early issues were titled "The Western Pioneer." With the removal of the Rock Spring Seminary to nearby Alton (early in 1836) the paper was continued there as the Western Pioneer and Baptist Standard-Bearer. At the end of 1838 the Alton incarnation of Peck's newspaper was discontinued and its subscriptions were taken up by the Baptist Banner, published at Louisville, Kentucky. Beginning with its 1839 volume (VI) the Louisville paper was re-titled: "The Baptist Banner and Western Pioneer."

Note 2: Ignoring the anti-Mormon reports published in papers closer at hand (than was this obscure paper from the Illinois frontier), Elder Oliver Cowdery chose to respond to the Pioneer article in his April 1835 issue of the Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate. In his response Cowdery chides the Pioneer's correspondent for suggesting "that Smith, who had been a book peddler, and was frequently about printing establishments, had procured some old copper plates for engravings, which he showed for golden plates." The irony of Oliver Cowdery's refutation of this allegation may be found in that fact that Oliver himself had once been a peddler of various publications and in the fact that he himself was prone to spending time "frequently about printing establishments." It remains uncertain whether or not Cowdery and Smith ever made use of copper engraving plates for the purposes suggested by the Pioneer's correspondent; but see the 1988 anniversary issue of Naked Truths About Mormonism for "The Fools' Gold Bible," an article on this very subject.

Note 3: Elder Cowdery's April 1835 rebuttal takes the Pioneer's correspondent to task for suggesting "that the 'true origin' of the writing composing the book of Mormon, is from the pen of an eccentric Spaulding..." This was only the second time that the Mormon leadership had ever specifically mentioned the Spalding authorship claims in print -- the previous occasion having been in an article published in their Evening and Morning Star 12 months before -- in which Spalding was merely referred to as a "celebrated clergyman" and not mentioned by name. See the Illinois Galenian of Feb. 7, 1834 for another reference to this same "respectable clergyman."

Note 4: Elder Peck's minimal reference to the Spalding authorship claims for the Book of Mormon was likely derived from E. D. Howe's 1834 Mormonism Unvailed, which was just then coming to the reading public's attention. Since Elder Peck does not quote directly from Howe, it seems likely that Peck's knowledge of Spalding came to him by way of a summary in his correspondence with Ohio Baptists, or perhaps via some recent news item on Mormonism. Peck had personal knowledge of early southwestern Pennsylvania Baptist ministers Joshua Bradley, Charles Wheeler, Sidney Rigdon, etc. (see Memoir of John M. Peck p. 214) but he is not known to have published anything regarding Rigdon's reported connection with the origin of the Book of Mormon.


Vol. I.                       Rockville, Indiana,  July 18, 1835.                       No. 2.


CAPTURE OF A MORMON ANGEL. -- A western paper has a curious accunt of a new adventure with the Mormons. Jo Smith, the high priest and prophet of those fanatic vagabonds, was not long since upon his proselyting expedition in Ohio, and to give more solemnity a eclat to the administration of his baptism, he gave notice that angel would appear on the opposite side of the river in which the ceremony was performed, as often as the rite should be repeated. Accordingly, whenever the baptism took place, a figure in white sure enough appeared upon the bank of the Grand River, and continued there as long as the ceremony lasted. Some of the unbelievers, however, secreted themselves near the spot, and the next time it showed itself, his ghostship, after several unghostlike attempts to escape, and after ducking in the river to which it was driven, was taken bodily possession of, when it was found, upon examination, to be nothing more nor less than the prophet himself. -- Courier & Enquirer.

Note 1: This report first appeared in the Utica Evangelical Magazine and Advocate of June 6, 1835. The story was shortened and paraphrased in the Rochester Republican on June 15, 1835 and by reprinted in various papers, such as the New-York Mercury on June 25, 1835.

Note 2: A chronological oddity is found in the fact that the above reprint cites Major. M. M. Noah's Morning Courier and New York Enquirer as a source -- however, that paper ceased publication in 1833, two years prior to the story's initial appearance in the Evangelical Magazine and Advocate. Probably the citation should have read: The Evening Star, which Noah was publishing in 1835.

Note 3: While reports of the "manufacture" of Mormon angels, in that society's early days at Kirtland may have some historical basis, the fanciful Smith-as-the-angel tale falls into the same fanciful category as the stories of Joseph Smith's "walking on the water," as told in the Apr. 19, 1834 issue of the Philadelphia Saturday Courier and Smith's trained dove mimicking the Holy Spirit, as told in the Feb. 14, 1843 issue of the Norwalk Huron Reflector.


Vol. ?                       Bloomington, Indiana, December 27, 1835.                       No. ?


Whereas my wife Mary has voluntarily abandoned my house against my will and contrary to my consent, without any just cause given by me; whereas, in my absence, she has stipped and robbed my house of all the goods I left in it, say to the amount of at least $150 worth of valuable property; and placed the same in possession of her dishonest neighbor (the greatest enemy I ever had on earth) for her children, and whereas, under the influence and vile directions of her ungodly connexions she has, in her second childhood and old age, become an enemy and traitor to her husband (having loved her children and especially her beloved Daniel Esq. much more than her husband), all persons, therefore, are hereby forewarned not to harbour, trust, or trade with her on my account; in any manner whatever -- as I am determined not to pay any of her debts, nor abide by any of her dealings.

This is only a beginning. Other particulars in detail will shortly be published in a pamphlet.     Abel M. Sarjent.

Note 1: The above notice probably appeared in other Indiana newspapers about the same time. The Rev. Able M. Sargent was evidently living in or near the village of Attica, Logan twp., in Fountain Co., Indiana at the time his wife left him. The family had moved to that place, from Cincinnati, about the end of the year 1829 and Rev. Sargent died in Indiana in 1839, in his 76th year.

Note 2: The woman whom he accuses of being "in her second childhood and old age" was Rev. Sargent's third wife, Mary Gardner (or Gardiner) Sargent, who was then 70 years of age. Why the elderly lady "stipped and robbed" the couple's residence of all its goods, deposited the items with a "dishonest neighbor," and then disappeared from Rev. Sargent's sphere of influence, may never be known. Although he is described as promoting peace and loving human interaction, the "rolling stone" reverend may have not been a very good husband -- and Mary, who had gone through a series of husbands in her life, may have been something less than mentally stable. Mary Gardner Wood (as she is called in genealogical records) was born Sept. 6, 1765 in New Jersey, the daughter of William & Ann Gardner. Mr Gardner died in 1787, at Morristown, Morris Co. New Jersey, about two years after his daughter married Daniel Wood in that same county, inheriting a ready-made family comprised of his children by a previous marriage. Daniel and Mary had two children of their own (Joseph, b. 1786 & Rhoda, b, 1788). About the year 1789 this family migrated to Cumberland twp., Washington Co. (now Greene Co.), Pennsylvania, where Daniel died in 1792. At that point Mary appears to have left her family in the keeping of one of Daniel's older, married sons (perhaps Daniel Wood, Jr., whom Rev. Sargent calls "her beloved Daniel Esq.") and started a new life in Fleming Co., Kentucky. Records show that a "Mary Gardiner" married a Mr. Uriah Dale in Fleming Co., Kentucky on June 13, 1799. The same records show that a "Mary Gardiner b. 1765," married a Thomas Halloway there on Aug. 21, 1806. In her residence in southwestern Pennsylvania Mary no doubt became acquainted with the sect of German Baptist Brethren ("Tunkers," "Dunkers" or "Dunkards") that inhabited parts of Washington and Greene counties, and she may have become a convert to that religious group. At any rate, she married the Rev. George Tarvin, of the Church of the Brethren (Dunkard) in Bracken Co., Kentucky on Mar. 27, 1807. He died six years later, and the oft-married Mary evidently moved to Cincinnati and there, in about 1829, united her fortune with the eccentric widower, Rev. Able Morgan Sargent, Sr.

Note 3: According to the 1833 statement of one of his friends, Rev. Sargent moved to Indiana with the hopes of there spending "the remainder of his days in quietness and peace." However, subsequents events in Indiana did not turn out quite so peaceful as he might have hoped. About the year 1833, his oldest living son, Able Morgan Sargent, Jr., became a Mormon convert and moved his family from Fountain Co., Indiana to either Jackson or Clay county, Missouri. Abel, Jr.'s 8th child, Caroline Sargent, was born at West Liberty (Gladstone?), Missouri on Oct. 28, 1835. With troubles between the Mormons and their Gentile neighbors increasing, Abel, Jr. either moved back to Indiana or sent his wife, Sarah Edwards Sargent, there for the birth of the couple's 9th child, Thomas Sargent, who was born in Fountain Co., Indiana on Oct. 23, 1837. How well Able, Jr. and his father got along after that, history does not say. The old preacher, deserted by both his last wife and his namesake son; ailing and near death, may have simply not been very interested in hearing stories about how the Mormons were being driven from Missouri, etc. Abel Jr.'s 10th (and final) child arrived stillborn while his mother was in the care of relatives in Lafayette, Floyd Co., Indiana (the home of Sarah Edwards Sargent's parents). The mother also died, in childbirth or very shortly thereafter. LDS accounts tell of how Able, Jr., in the early 1840s, struggled to free his motherless children from the grasp of his Mormon-hating parents. These stories are unreliable: Mary Gardner Sargent, his step-mother was long gone by then, and the Rev. Sargent had died on Aug. 10, 1839, in either Owen or Fountain Co., Indiana. Able, Jr. left part of his family with his late wife's parents, who refused to give them up when he decided to move west, after the Mormons expelled from Nauvoo. A few of the brood he managd to rescue, by floating them down the Ohio, from Louisville on a raft. One of his daughters, Harriet Sargent, was married on Mar. 28, 1847, at Winter Quarters, to Elder Charles Coulson Rich (he was made an LDS Apostle on Feb. 12, 1849). Harriet Sargent Rich died at Centerville, Davis, Utah, on July 18, 1915 (see the Bountiful, Utah Davis County Clipper of July 23, 1915. See also the episode of the Spalding Saga, entitled "The Halcyon Inspiration"


Illinois  State  Gazette
  and Jacksonville News.

Vol. II.                            Saturday, November 21, 1836.                            No. 13.

MORMONS. -- A correspondent of the 'Miami of the Lake' gives a short description of the Temple of Mormon, or, as it is called, the 'Temple of the Lord,' in Kirtland, eleven miles south east of Painesville, Geauga county. It is a stone ediface, 58 feet 8 inches by 78 feet 8 inches, two full stories high, with dormer windows in the roof, which give it a singular appearance. For the size and peculiar construction of the 'Temple,' and the addition of the extra eight inches each way, the leaders of this infatuated people give no other reason, but, as they tell their following, that the Lord gave his direction. The house is rather an expensive one, the writer adds, built by the labor of the poor people, who in their delusion, follow Joe Smith and Rigdon.

Note: For a similar, later article from the Perrysburg Miami of the Lake, see its reprint in the Daily National Intelligencer of July 4, 1837.


Illinois  State  Gazette
  and Jacksonville News.

Vol. III.                            Wednesday, May 24, 1837.                            No. 6.

From the Missouri Republican.


All day I continued my journey... a young man was reclining upon the bank... I soon discovered, what I had suspected... that he belonged to that singular sect, to which I have before alluded, styling themselves Mormonites, and was even then [July, 1836. near Shelbyville, Mo.] on his way to Mt. Zion, Jackson County, Missouri. By contriving to throw into my observations a few of those tenets of the sect which, during my wanderings, I had gathered up, the worthy Mormonite was soon persuaded... that he had stumbled upon a veritable brother; and without reserve of mental reservation laid open to my cognizance as we journeyed along, "the reasons of the faith that was in him," and the ultimate, proximate, and intermediate designs of the party... The most which could be gathered of any possible account from this confused, disconnected, mass of rubbish, was the following -- that Joe Smith, or Joe Smith's father, or the devil, or some other great personage, had somewhere dug up the golden plates, upon which was graven the 'Book of Mormon.' That this all mysterious and much to be admired book, embraced the chronicles of the lost kings of Israel. That it derived its cognomen from one Mormon, its principal hero, son of Lot's daughter, king of the Moabites. That Christ was crucified on the spot where Adam was interred -- that the descendants of Cain were all now under the curse, and that no one could possibly designate who they were -- that the Saviour was about to descend in Jackson Co., Mo. -- that the millenium was dawning and that all who were not baptized by Joe Smith, or by his compeers, and forthwith repaired to Mt. Zion, Missouri, aforesaid, would assuredly be cut off, and that without remedy. These may, perhaps, serve as a specimen of a host of wild absurdities which fell from the lips of my Mormonite; but the instant [an] argument upon any point was pressed, away was he a thousand miles into the fields of mysticism, or he laid an immediate embargo upon farther proceedings, by a bare-faced petitic principii on the faith of the golden plates; or, by asserting that the stranger knew more upon the matter than he! At length, coming to the conclusion that the [stranger] could at least boast as much Mormonism as he, I spurred up, and left him still jogging onward to Mt. Zion. And yet... my Mormonite was by no means an ignorant man... taking to himself a brace of wives, and two or three braces of children, by way of stock in trade for the community at Mt. Zion... he [was] all agog for the promised land...

Note 1: Dale Morgan attributed this set of "Sketches of a Traveller" to the pen of Edmund Flagg, who, the next year, took over the editorship of the Far West newspaper at Liberty, Missouri. The above episode probably first appeared in an early May issue of the Missouri Republican.

Note 2: From the writer's single, brief mention of "wives," it is not at all certain whether he is making a serendipitous joke, at the expense of "the sect," or whether he had heard some vague rumors about Mormon polygamy, even prior to Joseph Smith's taking to himself "plural wives" at Far West, Missouri the following year.


Illinois  State  Gazette
  and Jacksonville News.

Vol. III.                            Thursday, June 15, 1837.                            No. 9.


(see the Missouri Republican of May 29, 1837 for this article)

Note: The Illinois State Gazette published this episode from Mr. Flagg's "Sketches" out of chronological order. It should be read before the episode the Gazette reprinted on May 24th.


Illinois  Advertiser

Vol. II.                               Saturday, July 1, 1837.                               No. 18.


A Prophet in Limbo! -- The Cleveland Gazette, of June 2, says, that the Mormon Prophet. JO SMITH, has lately been arrested in Geauga county, as an accessory to attempt to murder an unbeliever in his golden humbug. It seems that Jo had a revelation that a certain sceptic in the neighborhood of the "Holy Land" deserved martyrdom, and soon found a couple of his followers stupid and wicked enough to obey his ministrations. They were foiled in their attempt to shoot the individual, quarreled with the prophet, and are now exhibiting this fiend in the garb of a "Latter day Saint," in his true character. So say reports.

Note: This report appeared first in the daily Cleveland Herald and Gazette of June 2, 1837 and was reprinted in the weekly Herald and Gazette on June 10th. See the June 9, 1837 issue of the Painesville Telegraph for more information on this story.


N.S. Vol. I. No. ?                      Upper Alton, Ill., July 21 1837.                       Whole No. 246.


Curiosity, which has been on tip-toe to hear the lecture of Mr. Noah, on the missing tribes, was gratified at length on Tuesday, the 14th ult., when he delivered it before a very crowded audience, at Clinton Hall.

The subject, which is one of history and religion, was deeply interesting. Every thing relating to the Jewish nation -- to that people preserved in a manner so singular -- the parent we may say of all religions -- so venerable for its antiquity, so fruitful of great events -- which has survived so many revolutions and vicissitudes, and which even now retains so much of the original faith -- a religion concerning which we hear so much from the pulpit, and so udentified with the origin of Christianity, partakes of double interest, cominmg from one who is familiar with its history and character as Mr. Noah, and who ever labored to elevate the reputation of his people and allay those prejudices which happily have retreated before the march of science and civilization. The theory that the American Indians have descended from the ten tribes of Israel, captured by the Assyrians, is by no means a novel one. All the missionaries and travellers among the various nations, from the time of the Spanish conquest, were of this opinion... Mr. Noah, however, carried out the theory in bold relief, amounting almost to conviction. He maintains, according to Esdras, that the tribes, apprehensive of falling into idolatry, left Samaria to travel into a country "where mankind never dwelt," that they passed through Persia, Tartary and China, and reached the western coast of Asia, and crossed to our continent through Behrings' Straits... On the antiquities of Mexico and Central Africa [sic - America?], he advanced a most startling theory, and contended that the pyramids at Cholulu and the great temple at Palenque, near Guatemala, were founded by the Phoneicians, who crossed the Mediterranean, after building Tyre and Carthage, and founded an immense empire in this country of the Opithe worship, and that a thousand years afterwards the tribes passed through Asia to this continent, and fell upon the Canaanites a second time, and destroyed the nation and levelled their cities... N. Y. Mirror.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                               Friday, September 14, 1838.                               No. 28.


By referring to another column in this paper, our readers will perceive that great excitement prevails in some of the upper counties of Missouri, in consequence of an attempt by the leaders of the Mormona to force some of the citizens of those counties, whom they supposed to be unfriendly to their religious system, to sign an instrument of writing dictated by themselves. It appears that the Mormons have at present an armed force of from 80 to 100 men; and also, that the ringleaders have already resisted the regular process and execution of the laws of Missouri. Where this matter will end it is hard to conjecture.

From the Western (Mo.) Star.    

MORMONISM. -- From the following proceedings of a public meeting of the citizens of Ray county, our readers will at once perceive the great excitement which prevails in conquence of the conduct of this extraordinary sect. We will not attempt to give the various rumors afloat, as threats and denunciations, as fulminated by Jo Smith and his council. They can be seen in part, in an oration delivered by Sidney Rigdon, on the 4th of July, in which he threatens to "carry war and extermination" to the lives and property of every citizen who may dare to oppose their wild career.

The Mormons are at this time in open rebellion against the laws of the land. Armed men, as will be found from the statement of Mr. Black, are parading through Daviess county, compelling every person in any way disaffected towards them to sign an instrument of writing dictated by themselves; the purport of which we are unable to find out.

Under circumstances so alarming to the tranquility of this upper country, circuit Judge of this District was called upon to issue his warrant for the apprehension of the ring leaders, who promptly complied by issuing a warrant against Joseph Smith, jr., and Lyman Wight. For the purpose of executing his warrant, it was placed in the hands of the Sheriff of Daviess county, who repaired to the house of Lyman Wight -- and there found an armed force of from 80 ti 100 men, and was told by Wight "that he would not be taken alive -- that the law[s] has never protected him, and he owed them no obedience -- that the whole state of Missouri could not take him," &c. Joseph Smith, jr. professed his willingness to be tried, provided it was done in Caldwell county. Upon these facts being made known, the people of Ray county deputed a committee to Smith and Wight, if possible to prevail upon them to cease their opposition, and peaceably submit to the execution of the laws. That committee, as far as we understand, were unsuccessful in their mission. A second committee was then appointed, from whose prceedings we have not heard one word.

The Mormons can raise from 1000 to 1500 fighting men, well armed. They believe Jo Smith to be a prophet of the Lord and that he holds communion with him. Hence, any statement given to them by said Smith as a Revelation of the Lord, is to be implicitly complied with. He can embody them as one man -- as exemplified in the late election. Suppose then, this modern Mahomet, backed by such a host of armed biggots and enthusiasts, should take it into his head to resist the execution of the laws, would it not verify the statement of Wight, that, even the "whole state of Missouri could not take him!:

Note 1: The Illinois State Register was first published in Vandalia, Fulton Co., Illinois. When the state capital was moved to Springfield the newspaper relocated there -- later in 1838 -- and was often called the "Springfield Register." It was the flagship Democratic paper in Illinois at the time.

Note 2: For more quotations from the Liberty, Missouri Western Star of this time, see the Illinois Quincy Whig of Sept. 8, 1838.


Vol. III.                               Friday, September 21, 1838.                               No. 29.


A committee appointed by the meeting held in this place on Saturday last, and instructed to "Repair to the scene of recent difficulties and aggressions," with the Mormons, have just returned from their mission, and we learn from Mr. P. M. Jackson, one of the committee, that things do not present a scene so very alarming as has been represented by various reports from that quarter. Some of the leading Mormons have intimated their willingness to submit themselves to the legal authorities; hence we may infer that no serious difficulties will arise. -- Boonville Democrat.

Note: The editor of the Illinois State Register reprinted this same notice in his issue of Sept. 28th.


N.S. Vol. II. No. 48.                 Upper Alton, Ill., Oct. 5, 1838.                 Whole No. 296.


Late intelligence from the western frontier of Mo. renders it highly probable that civil war has, by this time, broken out.

The Mormons are settled in Caldwell, where they located themselves before it was organized into a county. This was done by permission of the citizens of neighboring counties, who also pledged themselves not to molest them. The cause of the present difficulties is not fully known, for neither the proceedings of the various county meetings held in that quarter, nor the newspapers from the frontier, throw much light on the subject.

The excitement appears to be very extensive, for nearly every county on the western border of the state, has volunteered to co-operate with Daviess, against the Mormons.

If an appeal is made to arms, there cannot be a doubt of the result. The Mormons would undoubtedly be driven from the country, or exterminated. Whatever may have been the crimes of the men, their wives and children cannot be guilty, and it seems hard that they should suffer. In a land of laws, civil war can never be justofiable. If the Mormons have committed any offence, bring them to trial and punishment.

There could be no difficulty in doing this, for if they should resist the constituted authorities it is evident that there is military power enough in any of these counties to enforce obedience.

Since the above was in type, we have learned through the Alton Telegraph, that the diffictulties between the Mormons and their neighbors, have been settled by the public authorities.


About fifty waggons, loaded with these people, amounting to between 4 and 500, passed through this place, on Friday last, on their way to Caldwell county, Missouri. Joe Smith is certainly recruiting his troops very rapidly, and will be able to give his brother Loco Focos of the neighborhood a hard fight, should they think proper to make an effort for their expulsion from Caldwell county. At the last dates from the seat of anticipated distirbance, however, it was said that Smith and his adjuncts, had concluded not to set up the Standard of the Prophet at present, which has had the effect to tranquilize the appregensions of the citizens of the beighboring counties. From what we have seen, we are inclined to believe that a considerable portion of the emigration from Canada belongs to this Mormon concern -- If so, we are quite willing it should pass by to Missouri.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                               Friday, October 19, 1838.                               No. 33.

MORMON TROUBLES NEEDED. -- A gentleman who arrived yesterday direct from Columbia, informs us that on Tuesday last all the volunteer companies were disbanded by the Governor, and had returned to their respective homes. Peace and quietness reigned amongst the Mormons -- and the general impression in that section of the country thro' which our informant travelled was, that the Mormons had been greatly slandered. -- "more sinned against than sinning."  Bulletin.

Notes: (forthcoming)


N.S. Vol. II. No. 49.                 Upper Alton, Ill., Nov. 5, 1838.                 Whole No. 297.


==> By a passenger on board the Ashley, this evening, from Missouri tiver, we learn that a conflict had taken place between the Mormons and their enemies; that the former had four killed, the latter two wounded; and the Mormons had retreated from Dewitt. -- St. Louis Gaz.

GREENVILLE, Oct. 9th, 1838.       

"DEAR SON: -- I wrote you a few lines by Mr. Sherly, in which I informed you, that I would not leave here until I could see the result of the Mormon war. Some of our officers went to their town this morning, and told them to put their women and children in a house, and place a flag on it, so that they might not hurt them, and told them that they were ready to commence a fight in fifteen minutes, if they did not leave the place; they agreed to leave at 8 o'clock to-morrow; we received news this evening, that Hinkle & Root say they never agreed to do so: we expect to have a battle to-morrow. General Austin has sent over to Saline for all the volunteers that will turn out,"

Since the above was in type, we have received the following through the Alton Telegraph. How lamentable the delusion which induced many well meaning people to leave their peaceful homes, and risk their lives and property under the control of a few misguided leaders. Verily, folly has its reward. The lawless violence, which has assailed these deluded people, to drive them from their homes, cannot be too strongly reprobated.

When will our country cease to be disgraced by such scenes? Not, we fear, until drunkenness, gambling, and other public vice, are effectually put down.


It appears that the Missouri troubles are not yet over. A letter from a gentleman on board the steam-boat Astoria, dated below Jefferson City, Oct. 28, to his friend in St. Louis, published in the Missouri Republican of yesterday, states that the Mormons have devastated Daviess county, burning the seat of justice, and most of the houses, and were then marching on Richmond, with the intention of destroying it also. Two letters from military gentlemen, inserted in the Fayette Missourian of the 27th ult. confirm the above, with the addition that a company of 50 men, under Capt. Bogard, ordered out not long since for the protection of Ray county, had been cut to pieces by a Mormon detachment, nearly 100 strong, three or four only succeeding in making their escape. A mounted force of 3000 men had been called out by Gov. Boggs, with orders to rendezvous at Fayette with all practicable expedition, in order to proceed forthwith to the seat of war; and present appearances would seem to indicate that the controversy will not be brought to a close without a bloody struggle. We are unable to throw any satisfactory light, either on the origin of the difficulties, or on the causes which have led to their renewal, after having been apparently adjusted on two several occasions.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                               Friday, November 30, 1838.                               No. 39.


Light begins to break in upon the dark mobocratic spirit which recently threatened the extermination of the Mormons in Missouri. It is already well understood that the most unworthy motives actuated the prosecution of that fanatical sect. Under pretence of promoting morality and defending religion, the mobites wished to possess themselves of the rich lands the Mormons occupied, and which they had honestly purchased and paid for. A writer in the St. Louis Republican urging a legislative investigation of the conduct of the parties, remarks:

"It does not appear from any thing which I have seen, having the semblance of truth, that the Mormons offered any resistance to the properly constituted authorities of the county -- civil or military. They did desire to protect themselves, their families and their property from the licentiousness of the mob; and they did, furthermore, retaliate upon some portion of that mob, for burning Mormon houses and Mormon property in one county, by doing a similar act of injustice in another. But Squire Black, and those who acted with himin detailing the enormities of the Mormons to the Governor, singularly enough forgot to mention that their patriotic band had been before them in scattering their fire-brands. The retailers of the extravagant tale about the attack upon Capt. Bogard's company of men, and the death of forty-nine out of fifty of them, the noble Captain alone escaping -- which tale so worked upon the Governor's feelings as to induce him to order their extermination or expulsion from the State -- forgot to mention that the Mormons were incited to it by the capture and detention of some of their countrymen. It is remarkable, too, that they should have made such horrid work amongst Capt. Bogard's men. First, there was a report to which I have already alluded. Then it assumed a new phrase -- then men only were killed, but all the rest were taken prisoners and barbarously executed. Then, only three or four were killed; and now it seems very questionable whether any were killed outright. >

We concur in the opinion advanced, that a full investigation should be had. It is due to justice and to the character of the state. -- Louisville Advocate.

Notes: (forthcoming)


N.S. Vol. II. No. 50.                 Upper Alton, Ill., Dec. 13, 1838.                 Whole No. 298.


A terrible fracas took place between the Mormons and other citizens of Daviess, Carrol and other counties in Missouri. Who were the first aggressors, and who are the most to blame are questions beyond our comprehension from all that has yet appeared in the papers of Missouri. It seems howeverm that during the summer the Mormons were repeatedly ordered to leave Carrol and Daviess counties, and threats of violent expulsion were held out. Both parties began to arm themselves and assume a fighting attitude. The Governor ordered out the militia, and a truce was effected without bloodshed. The Mormons agreed to leave Carrol county and confine themselves to certain limits. The truce continued but a short period. The people of Daviess county began to make the same demands, which the Mormons determinately resisted, and prepared to defend their rights. The next we heard was that the Mormons were embodying themselves at Far West, a town of their own, to drive the mob from Daviess county. This was about the 15th of October. It seems that Joe Smith, their leader and inspired prophet, got a commission from heaven authorizing and requiring the Mormons to resist and in defence of their rights, drive off their enemies. -- A portion of the Mormons had some scruples, it would seem, against such summary and lawless measures, byt Joe Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Parley Pratt, Hinkle, and divers others were for warlike measures. They attacked the county seat of Daviess, burned the Court-house, Jail, a store and several dwellings, seized the property of the people, drove to their strong hold at Far West, cattle, hogs, horses, &c. and committed various depredations. The people fled to other counties and across the Missouri river. Some skirmishing followed, and several were killed and wounded on both sides.

Expresses were sent to the governor calling for aid. He promptly ordered out3000 militia. In the mean time as the news of these riots spread, volunteers turned out from Chariton, Howard, Boone, Jackson, La Fayette and other counties. While these preparations were making, the citizens of Ray county became exceedingly alarmed, multitudes fled across the river, and apprehensions of an immediate attack upon Richmond, the county seat of Ray were hourly entertained. -- Soon as the militia under General Clark could be collected, they marched without delay into the Mormon settlements, and surrounded their "strong hold" or fort at Far West. The discomfitted Mormons immediately surrendered by giving up their leaders, Smith, Rigdon, Pratt, Hinkle and others to be imprisoned and tried by the civil laws; to indemnify the other citizens for the destruction of property they had caused, and to leave the State by next spring. A report has gone the rounds of the papers uncontradicted that about 35 Mormons, including two small children, were massacred at a mill they had previously taken.

Smith and his associates, the leaders, are tio receive their trial at Richmond, Ray county. It becomes the people of Missouri to have this business thoroughly investigated, and the causes of these lawless proceedings fully exposed.

It affords lamentable evidence of the effects of the "strange delusions" with which the Mormons are possessed. That Joe Smith is an arrent scoundrel, as well as successful impostor, we have never doubted. That Rigdon is equally unprincipled there can be no mistake. But that hundreds and thousands, many of whom were [once] persons of some sense and information, and others orderly professors of religion for years, should be carried away with the notions and fooleries of Mormonism, affords another lamentable proof of the infirmity of human nature, and its strong tendencies to religious delusion. When men make shipwreck of the faith of the gospel, there is no telling on what barren and desolate shore they will strand.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Northwestern  Gazette
  and Galena Advertiser.

Vol. V.                            Galena, Thursday, February 28, 1839.                            No. 2.


The Missouri Republican of the 16th says: -- "We learn from Liberty that Sidney Rigdon and Jo Smith were recently taken from the prison and brought before a Justice of the County Court, under a writ of habeas corpus. Thestimony in the case was heard, Smith was re-committed and Rigdon admitted to bail. He has since left the state. Rigdon, it is said, made a most able defence before the court.

Note: The Northwestern Gazette & Galena Advertiser replaced The Galenian as the major Whig newspaper in the northern Illinois Galena mining district.

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