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1800-1828 Articles

The Western Reserve of Ohio c. 1800

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Articles Index   |   Painesville Tel.  |   Painesville Rep.  |   Gazette/Spec.


 and  Hamilton  Gazette.

Vol. ?                          Cincinnati, Ohio, August 19, 1801.                         No. ?


Now in press, and for sale at this office, to-morrow, price 25 cents, a pamphlet entitled, The Little Book: The Arcanum Opened, containing the fundamentals of a pure and most ancient theology -- The Urim, or Halcyon Cabala, containing the platform of the spiritual tabernacle rebuilt, composed of one grand substantive -- and Seven excellent Topics, in opposition to spurious Christianity. A liberal deduction will be made to those who take a quantity. No trust.

Note 1: The above mentioned publication was perhaps the first religious tract published in what is now Ohio -- three years before the region (first known as the Northwestern Territory, with its capital at Concinnati) received statehood.

Note 2: The author of the pamphlet was the Rev. Abel M. Sargent, late of Pike Run, Followfield twp., Washington Co., Pennsylvania, where he had served briefly as the pastor of the Pike Run Universalist church. The only know extant copy of the 24 page tract, Voice of the Midnight Cry. The Little Book: The Arcanum Opened, is preserved in the Beinecke Library, at Yale University, New Haven, Conneticut A companion tract, published in Cincinnati at about the same time by Rev. Sargent, was entitled: The Urim, or Halcyon Cabala; Containing the Fundamental Principles of the Halcyon Church of Christ in Columbia, survives in multiple copies.



Vol. III.                          Cincinnati, Ohio, Wednesday, April 1, 1812.                         No. ?


Mississippi River, Natchez.     
February 18, 1812.       
Messrs. Cramer, Spear and Eichbaum,
Printers, Pittsburgh.


Your being editors of that useful guide, the Ohio and Mississippi Navigator, induces me, for the sake of the western country traders to inform you as early as in my power the wonderful changes for the worse in some parts of the Mississippi River, occasioned by the dreadful earthquake which happened on the morning of December last, and which has continued to shake almost every day since. As to its effects on the river I found but little from the mouth of the Ohio to New Madrid, from which place to the Chickesaw Bluffs, or Fort Pickering, the face of the river is wholly changed, particularly from Island No. 30, to island No. 40; (see page 185) this part of the river burst and shook up hundreds of great trees from the bottom, and what is more singular they are all turned roots upwards and standing upstream in the best channel and swiftest water, and nothing but the greatest exertions of the boatmen can save them from destruction in passing those places.... I shall advise all those descending the river not to take the right hand of Island No. 38, as it appears entirely choked up with drift and rafts of sawyers. When through these bad places the worst is over, only fuller of snags, but mind well the directions in the Navigator and there will be no danger. Run the Grand Cut-off No. 55, (p. 192) in all stages of the water, and hug close the right hand point, this pass is good. Take the left of St. Francis No. 59, left of No. 62, right of large sand bar and Island No. 63, and right of No. 76, in all the different stages of the water. All these channels are much the best and safest. Should this be the means of saving one boat load of provisions to an industrious citizen, how amply shall I feel rewarded for noting this, whilst with gratitude I acknowledge the obligation we as boatmen are under to you for your useful guide, that excellent work the Ohio and Mississippi Navigator, much to be valued for its accuracy and geographical account of this immense country.

I have the honor to be, gentlemen, your sincere friend and humble servant.

Note 1: The above letter was reprinted from the Pittsburgh Gazette of Feb. 21, 1812. That paper also featured a earlier account, written by a steamboat traveler less than a week after the third New Madrid area earthquake, reporting its severe aftershocks.

Note 2: Strong tremors from the massive Arkansas-Missouri earthquakes of Dec. 16, 1811 through Feb. 7, 1812 were felt as far away as Boston and were definitely a cause of concern in Ohio towns such as New Salem, where Solomon Spalding was then living and writing fictional stories. His c. 1812 Roman story mentions destructive earthquakes and measures that should be taken to insure the safety of buildings in an area susceptible to quakes. Certainly any American fiction writer of that era would have imagined the possibility of earthquakes having the power to destroy (and even overturn and bury) entire cities with their doomed residents.



Vol. ?                       Warren, Ohio, Wednesday, July 22, 1812.                       No. ?

Highly  Important.
Extracts of a letter from John S. Edwards, Esq. of this town,
to the Editor, dated Huron, July 17, 1812.

On Monday the 6th of July, General Hull arrived with his army at Detroit. On Saturday night the 11th of July he crossed over to Sandwich, on the Canada shore, sixteen miles above Malden, with two thousand men, and took possession of it, without bloodshed, at which place, he was by the last advices fortifying.

The British have collected all their forces at Malden, where it appears, they are determined to make a stand. They have two hundred and fifty regular troops, seven hundred militia; about four hundred Indians. The country about Malden is in the greatest state of alarm and distress possible: all the men of that region have been drove into the garrison at Malden, and a great proportion of them at the point of a bayonet.

The British are engaged in putting all their most valuable effects on board of their vessels, prepared to go down the lake, provided they should be drove to extremes.

The Indians are waiting to see the event of the contest before they take a stand. And nothing is to be feared from them in this quarter, unless Gen. Hull should be beaten....

Note 1: As things turned out, Gen. Hull was beaten -- or he at least found his position at Detroit untenable and surrendered the American army there on Aug. 16, 1812. The "greatest state of alarm and distress" previously prevailing among the Canadian pioneers subsequently infected the southern Erie shore and, for a time, it appeared that the British would prevail.

Note 2: Solomon Spalding had perhaps already determined to leave his residence at Salem, Ohio by the summer of 1812 -- but the disturbing military news from Detroit probably hastened his departure. His widow said in 1839: "Mr. Spaulding... conceived the idea of giving an historical sketch of this long lost race. Their extreme antiquity of course would lead him to write in the most ancient style, and as the Old Testament is the most ancient book in the world, he imitated its style as nearly as possible.... This was about the year 1812. Hull's surrender at Detroit, occurred near the same time, and I recollect the date well from that circumstance."



Vol. V.                       Chillicothe, Ohio, Wednesday, March 31, 1813.                       No. 234.


The Rev. Abel M. Sargent will preach at the courthouse, in Chillicothe, at 3 o'clock on Sunday afternoon next, and also on Sabbath next at eleven o'clock.

Note: Rev. Sarjent may have extended his Ohio preaching as far north as the Lake Erie shore. At an early date there was a congregation of his followers established in what later became Ashtabula County. See also the Western Spy of Aug. 19, 1801.



Vol. II.                         Warren, Ohio, Tuesday, July 13, 1813.                         No. 56.


Nothing new since last week from the North Western Army. Gen. Harrison was at Cleveland when the last express left there.

On Saturday morning, about 8 o'clock, a dead body of a man was found on the beach of lake Erie, at the mouth of the Conneaught creek, in a high state of putrefaction, insomuch that a few hours exposure to the air wasted a considerable part of the muscular part of the body, so as to expose the bones of the legs, arms and head; from which circumstances, it was the general opinion that the body should be immediately interred in the grave-yard, in Salem; and any feeling interested, and wishing for information as to particulars, will receive all that can be given by applying to the subscribers who were a committee chosen for that purpose.

Nahum Howard,
J. Z. Cozens,
Asa Brown,
James Harper,
Henry Lake,
Salem, June 26th, 1813.

Note 1: The above news, regarding the burial of an unidentified body at Salem (later Conneaut) Ohio, it useful in that it documents the presence in that place of two of the "eight witnesses" who later said they read (or heard read) the imaginative fictional history, written by their neighbor, Solomon Spalding. Although Spalding's name does not appear in this 1813 list, he is known to have resided at Salem until the late summer or early fall of 1812 and arguably knew each of the five subscribers of the above notice.

Note 2: It is not unexpected that Nahum Howard's name appears at the top of the list, for he was a medical doctor and probably served in an informal capacity as Salem's coroner at the time. He was one of the eight "Spalding romance" witnesses. Joshua Z. Cozens and Asa Brown are known, from various old records, to have been residents of Salem, but they are not known to have provided any statements relating to the fictional writings of their neighbor, Solomon Spalding. James Harper was a member of the original family of settlers in what is now Ashtabula Co. and his name appears on the 1804 Ohio Tax List as a resident of the "Salem Gore ." Although he left no extant statement concerning Spalding's writings, the name of his brother, Robert Harper, was mentioned in 1873 by a friend, as having been an early Ashtabula Co. resident who knew Spalding.

Note 3: Compared to the other men listed, Henry Lake was a relative newcomer to the Ohio Western Reserve. Like Dr. Nahum Howard, Mr. Lake was one of the eight "Spalding romance" witnesses. According to an 1811 document, he was "of Buffalo in the county of Niagara" and according to his 1833 statement, Henry Lake arrived in New Salem at the beginning of 1811 and soon after that he entered into a business partnership with Solomon Spalding. In Safford E. North's 1899 book, A Descriptive and Biographical Record of Genesee County, New York, Henry Lake is listed as an 1803 pioneer of T. 12, R. 2 of the old Genesee -- the township where the village of Batavia eventually grew up. The 1810 Federal Census shows an "H. Lake" as a head of a household in Niagara County, where Buffalo is located.

Note 4: While in Ohio Henry and his family for many years managed an important inn or hotel in Salem, an establishment called the "Lake House." Whether or not the inn existed under that name as early as 1813 is unknown, but a likely date for Henry's opening the business would have been during the second half of 1812, after he and Solomon Spalding abandoned operation of their failing iron forge, located just east of Salem hamlet on Conneaut Creek. An old citizen of the Buckeye State, Mr. William H. Leffingwell, recalled in 1885 that "Mr. Spalding wrote a drama called 'the Book of Mormon,' in a hotel at Conneaut, Ashtabula county, O., where I had been teaching school." Presumably Leffingwell refers here to the Lake family inn at Salem.

Note 5: In about 1845 Henry Lake moved to Kane Co., Illinois, where he died five years later. His son Zaphna moved to Illinois during the 1830s, then in 1840 he returned to Conneaut for about 16 years, before moving back to Illinois, where he died in 1858. Baker's 1856 Atlas of Ashtabula County lists Zaphna as the operator of the Lake House, although he also engaged in other significant business operations in the area. Henry's youngest son, Hiram Lake, remained in Conneaut and he appears to have continued the family's operation of the Lake House inn after Zaphna moved back to Illinois. An 1908 issue of the Conneaut newspaper describes the appearance of Conneaut's Main Street in 1861 and makes notable mention of the "Lake House," the "Lake Block" and the home of Hiram Lake. Hiram (who also provided a statement regarding the Spalding authorship claims), was born at Salem in 1811 and was only about two years old when the Trump of Fame article was published. In a recollection published in 1901, Mrs. Diadama Chittenden stated that, when a copy of the Book of Mormon was first brought to Conneaut, "Squire Wright... surprised at its contents," summoned "Zaph Lake, into consultation on 'Smith's bible.'" Probably the elderly lady had replaced "Squire" Aaron Wright's old friend, Henry Lake, with his son Zaphna in her memory. She also recalled that a certain person (who was obviously Solomon Spalding) had been a "millwright" and a "sort of overseer or superintendent for Squire Wright of Salem." Although this recollection is also a less than perfect one, it agrees to some extent with statement made in 1878 and in 1879 by Jasper J. Moss, who in his earlier years had conversed with "Squire" or "Judge" Aaron Wright of Conneaut: and remembered that the "ex-Judge" had pointed out to him the "clerk's office" at the old Conneaut iron foundry, where "Spalding’s romance in manuscript" had been written. Also, "that the Furnace Co. employed him [Spalding] more from charity than from need of his services & that he was obliged to be in the office but had many idle hours." All of which indicates that Aaron Wright was probably involved to some extent in the operation of the Spalding-Lake iron forge (or furnace), where Spalding functioned more like a useless employee than like a managing partner in the business.



Vol. II.                         Warren, Ohio, Tuesday, January 19, 1814.                         No. 83.


And for sale, at the office of the Trump of Fame....

L E D G E R D E M A I N,
Containing all that is curious, pleasing, entertaining and surprising; selected from the most celebrated masters of deception, including the various exhibitions of those wonderful artists, Breslaw, Sieur, Comus, Jonas, &c. the whole forming a book of real knowledge in the art of conjuration.

Has on hand a quantity of excellent
Which he will sell for four dollars and fifty cents per bushel. Those persons who want salt can be supplied at my store in Warren, or at Bentley & Jones's store in Sharon on Shenango. Persons who have not settled their accounts with me, are again requested to make payment immediately, for no longer indulgence can be given. The subscriber also wants a quantity of linen and cotton RAGS, for which he will give four cents lb. in store goods of any kind he has in hand.   A. BENTLEY.

Note: The advertised book appears to have been the 1811 American reprint of Breslaw's Last Legacy (London, 1784) which featured descriptions of various "magical" tricks and hoaxes, dream interpretation, palmistry, etc. See p. 198 in Trevor Hall's 1972 Old Conjuring Books; along with Owen Davies' 2003 Cunning-Folk: Popular Magic in English History.


Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. -- Solomon.
Vol. I.                             Chillicothe, Ohio, Tuesday, July 5, 1814.                             No. 1.

For publishing a literary work,


The importance of such a work must be obvious to every inquirer, as well as to the antiquarian and the lover of science. Some knowledge of the history and character of the aboriginal inhabitants of our country, however limited or imperfect, is matter or unusal interest to every person in civilized society; but such knowledge can be approached only thro' a regular and correct induction of facts and particulars relating to the antiquities which are yet visible among us. To make this induction is the principal object of the work now offered to the public. A publication of this sort is the more imperatively called for by the cause of science, in as much, as many facts calculated to reflect light on the antiquity of the Western country have already fallen into oblivion, and others, no less fugitive in their nature, must soon be lost forever unless something in this way is done to give them permanence and perpetuity. The time is not remote when it will be in historick description only that the proudest monuments of the labour and ingenuity of that remarkable people, once the tenants of our soil, can at all be recognized. The changes constantly operating, no less by time than by modern improvement, rapidly hasten their destruction and must ere long snatch them alike from the eye of curiosity and the grasp of the historian. The utility and importance of the other subjects proposed to be treated in this work need no comment to the lovers of science, and indeed none to any person who from curiosity or otherwise, feels an interest in the character and resources of our enviable country.


This work will be printed on fine paper, in a duodecimo volume of about 200 pages, bound in boards.

The price to subscribers will be one dollar and twenty-five cents per copy.

To Book-sellers, who subscribe for a quantity, a liberal deduction will be made.

AS soon as the engravings are finished (which may exceed twenty in number) the work will be put to press. It will possibly be ready for delivery by the first of December next.
Chillicothe, July, 1814.

Is published on Tuesday,

The following gentlemen are respectfully requested to procure subscriptions, and hereby authorised to receive, and give receipts for, any monies paid for the Weekly Recorder...

Rev. Mr. Patterson -- Pittsburgh...

Note 1: As things turned out, the Rev. John P. Campbell's "Western Antiquities," with 20 engravings and 200 pages of text never made it to the press of Mr. John Andrews in Chillicothe. After several delays (the most serious of which was caused by Rev. Campbell's death in Nov., 1814) an excerpt from Campbell's manuscripts was published in two consecutive 1816 issues of the Philadelphia Port Folio. What happened to the remainder of Rev. Campbell's intended book, history does not seem to recall. Possibly portions of the text were left behind by him at Lexington, Kentucky, when he left that town near the end of 1813. Presumably Campbell could have procured in populous Lexington (more easily than in wild Ohio) the twenty or more engravings he promised his readers.

Note 2: It is not at all strange that Presbyterian editor John Andrews would solicit the Rev. Robert Patterson, Sr., of Pittsburgh, to act as his sales agent in that city. Patterson was an orthodox Presbyterian minister who operated what was then perhaps the largest book store in western Pennsylvania. The fact that it was the same Rev. Robert Patterson (and not his brother, Rev. Joseph Patterson, Jr.) is confirmed in subsequent issues of the Recorder where Robert's first name initial is printed (and where Joseph Patterson is shown as acting as an agent in another part of the state). This means that patrons of the Patterson book shop in Pittsburgh saw copies of the Recorder during the years 1814-15-16-17, at least. After that year Robert Patterson's name disappears from John Andrews' agents' list, but other names are shown as his contacts in that city. All of which strongly suggests that Solomon Spalding (who continued to receive his mail at the Pittsburgh post office, even after he moved several miles out of the city) saw and read copies of the Chillicothe paper, with its continuing mentions of the Rev. John P. Campbell's anticipated book on "mound-builder" artifacts. It is more than probable that Spalding made some attempts to communicate with Campbell, before the latter man's death at the end of 1814. Besides that, the doctor who attended Solomon Spalding in his final days of life, in Oct., 1816, was Cephus Dodd of Amity, Pennsylvania. The same Cephus Dodd is listed as Mr. Andrews' sales agent in Amity, beginning in 1817 -- which indicates the likelihood that issues of the Recorder circulated in the village where Spalding died, even before his demise.


Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. -- Solomon.
Vol. I.                             Chillicothe, Ohio, October 18, 1814.                             No. 16.

From the Christian Observer

Account of the Dartmouth College in America.

... Mr. Ralph Wheelock... is said to have been "an officer," not of the army, but "of the church of Windham." He was a farmer of respectability, hospotable and pious.

The Doctor, of whom we are principally to speak, was the only son of this agriculturalist. 'A handsome legacy from his grandfather, whose name [Eleazar] we took, supplied the emans of affording to him a publick education at Yale College in Conneticut, where he was the first to receive the interest of a legacy given by the Rev. Dean Berkley, to the best senior classick scholars. He took his American degree in 1733.

The religious impressions so greatly prevalent about this time in many parts of America, in the production of which the Rev. Jonathan Edwards was principally instrumental. served to excite our young pastor... He now became anxious for the conversion of the Indians in the northern and western borders, whom he considered as having been almost criminally neglected... A part of his plan was to persuade Indian parents... to semd him their children; and he wished to make them equal even to English youths in usefulness and virtuous accomplishments....

The province of Massachusetts voted him a temporary allowance for educating six children of the Six Nations; and Mr. Joshua Moor, a farmer in Mansfield, making the first considerable donation to his institution, it obtained the title of Moor's Indian Charity School....

In 1763, Mr. Charles Jeffery Smith was ordained both as a preacher and as a missionary; and Mr. Wheelock on that occasion delivered a sermon... on these words: "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain pf the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, &c." In this discourse the wretchedness of the outward condition of the Indians is urged as one motive to compassion... They are said to have sunk into a much more savage state than their ancestors in Asia. That they came from Asia seems to have been generally believed in America ever since the proximity of the Continents at Bjering's Straits has become known. This origin is inferred from the greater population of the western side of North America, from many traditions among the Indians, and from languages...

It is further remarkable, that forts and mounds resembling those in northern Asia, abound in America, and escpecially on the western [sic] side....

(To be Continued.)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. -- Solomon.
Vol. I.                             Chillicothe, Ohio, October 25, 1814.                             No. 17.

From the Christian Observer

Account of the Dartmouth College in America.

(under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. -- Solomon.
Vol. I.                             Chillicothe, Ohio, November 1, 1814.                             No. 18.

From the Christian Observer

Account of the Dartmouth College in America.

(under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. -- Solomon.
Vol. I.                             Chillicothe, Ohio, November 8, 1814.                             No. 18.

From the Christian Observer

Account of the Dartmouth College in America.

(under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. -- Solomon.
Vol. I.                         Chillicothe, Ohio, December 13, 1814.                         No. 24.

We presume that the following Sketch of the Literary
Acquirements & Various Writings of the late

Rev. John P. Campbell
will be gratifying to many of our readers.

He commenced his Literary Course in May 1783, at the age of fifteen. In 1784 he went to Lexington, where he was a student in the first Grammar School ever formed in Kentucky. Having finished the Latin and studied the Greek and French languages he went to Virginia to complete his education. He passed through a course of Science and Belles Letters with the learned and truly estimable Mr. A. Scott, of Augusta County, whose academy produced several useful and highly reputible characters in publick life. Having passed through the usual course of scientifick reading, and not knowing what profession to choose, he went, in the Autumn of 1787, to Williamsborough, Granville County, North Carolina, where he engaged (though not yet twenty years of age) in conducting an academy. There he continued till the Autumn of 1789, devoting his leisure, which was considerable, to general reading, and partially to the study of medicine. Having bad health, he returned to his native County, in the mountains of Virginia, and devoted the succeeding winter to the study of Theology and of the Sacred Scriptures.

In May 1790, he went to Hampden Sydney College, then under the presidency of the great and eloquent John Blair Smith, or precious memory; where he employed six months in study, and graduated in company with Messrs. T. C. Poage, Wm. Williamson, and David Smith, but continued in College until the next May, 1791, pursuing a course of theological reading, under the Rev. Messrs. Graham and Hoge, and was licensed to preach the Gospel of Christ in May, 1792.

In July, 1793, he was ordained and installed, as a collegiate minister with Mr. Graham, in the congregations of Oxford, New-Monmouth, Lexington, and Timber-ridge.

In 1793, he removed to Kentucky, where he continued eighteen years, performing the duties of the ministerial office in various congregations, particularly in the upper counties of that State, where he published a number of theological works, cheifly in defence of the doctrines of the Reformation. He had acquired a knowledge of the Hebrew language, which he found was of great use in the discussion of the subjects on which he wrote. He resumed his medical studies, and pursued them at leisure hours; and, constrained by the necessities of a numerous family, he was for many years engaged in the practice of physick, in which he was very successful; but frequently regretted that he could not devote his whole time to the work of the ministry.

In the Autumn of last year (1813) he moved to Chillicothe in the State of Ohio. He had it in contemplation to publish a history of the Church in the Western Country. He hads also collected materials and issued proposals for publishing by subscription a literary work, to be entitled "Western Antiquities." But it pleased God to remove him from the stage of action before either of these works had been prepared for the press...

Note 1: The above memorial to the Rev. John Poage Campbell (1767- Nov. 1814) is accompanied by a list of twelve of his sermons, dating from 1797 to 1812, which appear to convey his belief in orthodox Presbyterianism, and his aversion to modern reformers like Barton W. Stone. Residing practically in the center of the "Great Kentucky Revival," Rev. Campbell was affored more than ample opportunity to view Presbyterian Calvinist election doctrine melt away in the hearts of the many revival attendees -- who generally expected that an opportunity for Christian salvation might be extended to all repentant believers. This shift in popular opinion was not particularly helpful to the Presbyterian Church, which lost many members in Kentucky and Ohio during Rev. Campbell's final years in the west.

Note 2: The Morgan Bibliography of Ohio Imprints, 1796–1850 lists a book or booklet, written by the Rev. John P. Campbell, and published at Chillicothe, Ohio in 1815, under the title: Antiquities of Kentucky. Rev. Campbell also edited the Evangelical Record and Western Review, while he lived in Lexington, Kentucky, during the years 1812-13.


Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. -- Solomon.
Vol. I.                         Chillicothe, Ohio, February 9, 1815.                         No. 32.


The late Dr. John P. Campbell, having spent much time, and taken much pains in collecting facts for a work entitled "Western Antiquities," and having at his decease committed his papers into the hands of his widow, it has been thought proper to proceed in the publication of the work for her benefit. In justice to subscribers, we would observe, that the papers are now in the possession of a gentleman who intends as soon as possible to publish the work according to the original plan & design.

==> The Editors of the Monitor, Lexington, and the Editor of the Weekly Recorder, Chillicothe, are respectfully requested to give this a place in their respective papers.

Advertiser Office. Winchester, Ky. |
            January 28th, 1815.           |

Notes: (forthcoming)


Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. -- Solomon.
Vol. I.                         Chillicothe, Ohio, March 2, 1815.                         No. 35.


In our number of the 9th inst., we inserted a notice relative to the publication of a work to be entitled

Western  Antiquities.

We understand the materials for this work which were collected by the late Dr. John P. Campbell are in the hands of a gentleman of a liberal education, who designs to publish the Works for the benefit of Dr. Campbell's widow. -- As there appears to be some deficiency in the Doctor's papers under the heads of Biology and Mineralogy. it is thought proper to make some further researches, in order that the work may be as complete as possible. Gentlemen of science are respectfully invited to communicate, free of expense, whatever they may deem and important acuisition, to the Rev. Henry H. Frost, at Richmond, Madison County, Kenrucky, or if more convenient, to the editor of this paper. Gentlemen friendly to the proposed publication, and particularly, those who hold subscription papers, are requested to use their influence to procure a liberal patronage.
          Recorder Office, Chillicothe, (O.)
                   March 2, 1815.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. II.                    Canton, Ohio, Thursday, October 19, 1815.                    No. 30.

Indian  Treaty.

From the Buffalo Gazette, Sept. 19.

Cession of the Islands of the Niagara river by the Seneca Nation of Indians, to the State of New-York.

For several days previous to the arrival of gov. Tompkins, the Seneca Indians had been in council with their agent E. Granger, Esq. at which attended the interpreters, Capts. Parish and and Jones. On the arrival of his Excellency, the following treaty was consumed. The islands ceded, are Squaw Island, opposite the mouth of Conjockety Creek. 3/4ths of a mile in breadth, containing some excellent meadow, and but few trees: Strawberry Island, about a mile below. containing wild meadow, and about the size of Squaw Island: -- Grand Island, commences three miles below Black Rock and extends to within a mile of Schlosser, 12 miles long and from 2 to 7 broad, well timbered, level and said to contain an excellent soil; there is, however, on the Island a large cranberry marsh, -- no improvements of any consequence: -- Navy Island lies partly between the lower end of Grand Island and the British shore, is supposed to be within the boundary of Upper Canada, because the branch which passes between Grand island and our shore, united to that which passes between Grand and Navy Islands, are superior to the third branch of the river which passes between the island and the Canada shore; the questions of territory will doubtless be settled by the commissioners of both governments; this island is about 3/4ths of a mile long and 100 rods broad, and has been somewhat cultivated: Goat Island, divides the falls of the Niagara, 1/2 a mile long and some 60 or 80 rods broad, it is rocky and covered with very shabby timber and accessible only at a single point. We consider this to be a good bargain for the people; and if the people would sell such portion of their lands on this frontier as could be advantageously settled, it would have great effect in opening and improving roads on the Niagara river; and which would also greatly relieve the industrious inhabitants on the frontier, whose means of living have been straitened by the devestation of War.

Now for the Treaty.


Entered into this 12th day of September, 1815, at Buffalo in the county of Niagara and state of New York, between the chiefs, sachems, and warriors of the Seneca nation of Indians, of the first part and the people of the state of NewYork, on the second part, witnessed as follows:

First. The said chiefs, sachems and warriors of the Seneca nation, in consideration of the sum of one thousand dollars in hand paid by Daniel D. Tompkins, governor of the state of New York, and the covenants and agreements hereinafter contained, do hereby sell grant, convey and confirm, to the people of the state of New York, all the islands in the Niagara river, between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, and within the jurisdiction of the United States; to have and to hold the same, with the appurtenances unto the said people of the state of New York in free and pure allodium forever -- reserving, however to the said chiefs, sachems and warriors of the Seneca nation of Indians, equal rights and privileges with the citizens of the U. States, in hunting fishing and fowling, in and upon the waters of the Niagara river, and of encamping on any of the said islands for that purpose, whilst the same shall continue to belong to the people of the state of New York.

Secondly. The people of the state of New York, in addition to the sum of one thousand dollars already paid to the said chiefs, sachems and warriors of the Seneca nation, covenant to pay them annually forever, an annuity of five hundred dollars to be paid on or before the first day of June in each year forever hereafter, at Canandaigua, in the county of Ontario, the first payment to be made on the first day of June 1816. In testimony whereof, the aforesaid chiefs, sachems and warriors of the one part, and Daniel D. Tompkins, governor of te state of New York, Peter B. Porter, Henry Crocheron, Samuel Young, Roger Skinner, Esex Cowan, Robert Tillotson, and Lewis Livingston, commisioners in behalf of said state, have hereunto set their hands and seals, at Buffalo in the county of Niagara, the day & year first above written.

(Here follows the signatures of both parties.)

Note 1: An abbreviated version of this same article appeared in the Oct. 30, 1815 issue of the Pennsylvania Washington Reporter.

Note 2: It was the remnant of these same Seneca Indians to whom Oliver Cowdery and Parley P. Pratt first brought the Book of Mormon, at the commencement of their 1830 "mission to the Lamanites." By that time the Seneca had mostly moved to the Cattaraugus Reservation, southwest of Buffalo. Although Solomon Spalding does not mention Grand Island nor the Seneca Indians in his extant writings, he does speak of the Cattaraugus region and Indians living there. Major Mordecai M. Noah made two different attempts to obtain Grand Island and there conduct his "gathering of Israel," including both the scattered Jews and the American Indians (as the remnant of the Ten Lost Tribes), but he failed to bring these Zionic schemes to fruition. In more recent times, some Book of Mormon scholars, like Elder Delbert W. Curtis, have put forth the claim that the Niagara River is the "River Sidon" of ancient Nephite history -- thus implying that Grand Island and the regions round about are important locations in Book of Mormon geography.



Vol. II.                    Canton, Ohio, Thursday, May 16, 1816.                    No. 60.

From the Greensburgh Gazette.


For several days past, a black spot has appeared upon the sun's disk near its centre. While the sun is at the horizon, owing to the smoky state of the atmosphere, it is distinctly visible to the naked eye; while in the meridian, it may be seen by a coloured glass... it is certain that it was more plainly and distinctly visible to the naked eye, than any which has appeared for many years -- or any that have been described by ancient astronomers. -- Whether this was owing to the peculiar state of the atmosphere in this particular place, or to an extension of, or change in, the spot itself, cannot without the aid of astronomical apparatus, be ascertained.... It is presumed this novel appearance on the sun will have attracted the attention of the learned -- from whom we may expect a more satisfactory explanation.
  May 1, 1816.                                   CADMUS.


Communicated for the Columbian.

The original inhabitants of America shewn to be of the same family and lineage with those of Asia, by a process of reasoning not hitherto advanced. By Samuel L. Mitchell, M. D. Professor of Natural History in the University of New-York; in a communication to De Witt Clinton, Esq. President of the New-York Philosophical Society, dated New-York, March 31, 1816.

The view which I took of the variety of the human race in my course of Natural History, delivered in the University of New-York, differs in so many particulars from that entertained by the great zoologists of this age, that I give you for information, & without delay, a summary of my yesterday's lecture to my class.

I denied, in the beginning, the assertion that the American aborigines were of a peculiar constitution, of a race sui generis, and of a copper colour. All these notions were treated as fanciful

The Indigenes of the two Americas appear to me, to be of the same stock and genealogy with the inhabitants of the northern and southern Asia. The northern tribes were probably more hardy, ferocious and warlike than those of the south. The tribes of the lower latitudes seem to have been greater proficients in the arts, particularly of making clothes, clearing the ground and erecting works of defence.

The parallel between the people of America and Asia, affords this important conclusion, that, on both continents, the hordes dwelling in the higher latitudes have overpowered the more civilized, though feebler inhabitants of the countries situated towards the equator. As the Tartars have overrun China, so the Astecas subdued Mexico. As the Huns and Alans desolated Italy, so the Chippewas and Iroquois prostrated the populous settlements on both banks of the Ohio.

The surviving race in these terrible conflicts between the different nations of the ancient native residents of North Arteries is evidently that of the Tartars. This opinion is founded upon four considerations.

1. The similarity of physiognomy and features. His excellency M. Genet, late minister plenipotentiary from France to the United States, is well acquainted with the faces, hues and figures of our Indians and the Asiatick Tartars; and is perfectly satisfied of their mutual resemblance. -- Mons. Cazeaux, Consol of France to New-York, has drawn the same conclusion from a careful examination of the native men of North America and Northern Asia.

Mr. [Smibert] who has been employed, as Josiah Meigs, Esq, now commissioner of the land office relates, in executing paintings of Tartar visage, for the grand duke of Tuscany, was so struck with the similarity of their features to those of the Naraganset Indians, that he pronounced them members of the same great family of mankind. The anecdote is preserved with all circumstances, in the fourteenth volume of the Medical Repository.

Within a few months I examined over & over again seven or eight Chinese sailors, who assisted in navigating a ship from Macao to New York. The thinness of their beards, the bay complexion, the black lank hair, the aspect of the eyes, the contour of the face, and in short the general external character, induced every person who observed them, to remark, how nearly they resembled the Mohegans and Oneidas of New York.

Sidi Mellimelli, the Tunisian envoy to the United States in 1804, entertained the same opinion on beholding the Cherokees, Osages and Miamies, assembled at the city of Washington, during his residence there. Their Tartar physiognomy struck him in a moment.

2. The affinity of their languages. The late learned and enterprising professor Barton, took the lead in this curious inquiry. -- He collected as many words as he could, from the languages spoken in Asia and America, and he concluded from the numerous coincidences of sound and signification, that there must have been a common origin.

The existence of corresponding customs. I mean to state at present that of shaving away the hair off the scalp, from the fore part and sides of the head, so that nothing is left but a tuft or lock on the crown.

The customs of smoking the pipe on solemn occasions, to the four cardinal points of the compass, to the heavens and to the earth, is reported upon the most credible authority, to distinguish equally the hordes of the Asiatick Tartars and the bands of the American Sioux.

4. The kindred nature of the Indian dogs of America, and the Siberian dogs of Asia.

The animal that lives with the natives of the two continents, as a dog, is very different from the tame and familiar creatures of the same name in Europe. He is either a different species, or a variety of the same species. But the identity of the American and Asiatick curs, is evinced by several considerations. Both are mostly white. They have shaggy coats, sharp noses and erect ears. They are voracious, thievish, and to a considerable degree indomitable. They steal whatever they can. & sometimes turn against their masters. They are prone to snarl and grin, and they have a howl instead of barking. They are employed in both hemispheres for labour; such as carrying burthens, drawing sleds over the snow, and the like; being yoked and harnessed for the purpose like horses.

This coincidence of our Indian dog with the Cana Sibericus, is a very important fact. The dog. the companion, the friend or the slave of man in all his fortunes and migrations, thus reflects great light upon the history of nations and of their genealogy.

II. The exterminated race in the savage intercourse between the nations of North America in ancient days, appear clearly to have been that of the Malaya.

The bodies, and shrouds, and clothing of these individuals, have within these few years been discovered, in the caverns of salt-petre and copperass within the states of Kentucky and Tennessee, their entire and exsiccated condition, has led the intelligent gentlemen who have seen them to call them mummies. They are some of the most memorable of the antiquities that North America contains. The race or nation to which they belonged is extinct; but in preceding ages, occupied the region situated between Lakes Ontario and Erie on the north, and the Gulf of Mexico on the south, and bounded eastwardly by the Allegheny mountains, and westwardly by the Mississippi River.

That they were similar in their origin and character to the present inhabitants of the Pacific Islands & of Austral Asia, is argued from various circumstances.

1. The sameness of texture in the plain cloth or matting that enwraps the mummies, and that which our navigators bring from the Wakash, the Sandwich Islands and the Fegees.

2. The close resemblance there is between the feathery mantles brought now-days from the islands of the South Sea, and those wrappers which surround the mummies lately disinterred in the western states. The plumes of birds are twisted or tied in the threads with peculiar skill, and turn water like the back of a duck.

3. Meshes of nets regularly knotted and tied, and formed of a strong & even twine.

4. Mockasons or coverings for the feet, manufactured with remarkable ability, from the bark or rind of plants worked into a kind of stout matting.

5. Pieces of antique sculpture, especially of human heads, and some other forms, found where the exterminated tribes had dwelt, resembling the carvings of Otaheite, New Zealand, and other places.

6. Works of defence, or fortifications, overspreading the fertile tract of country formerly possessed by these people, who may be supposed capable of constructing works of much greater simplicity than the morajs or burial places, and the hippas or fighting [--ages] of the Society Islands.

7. As far as observations have gone, a belief that the shape of the skull and the angle of the face in the mummies correspond with those of the living Malays.

I reject, therefore, the doctrines taught by the European naturalists, that the man of Western America differs in any material point from the man of Eastern Asia. Had the Robertsons and the Buffons, the Raynols, the De Pauws, and the other specialists upon the American character and the villifiers of the American name, procured the requisite information concerning the hemisphere situated to the west of us, they would have discovered that the inhabitants of vast regions of Asia, to the number of many millions, were of the same blood & lineage with the undervalued and despised population of America. The learned Doctor Williamson has discussed this point with great ability

I forbore to go further than to ascertain by the correspondences already stated, the identity of origin and derivation to the American and Asiatick natives. I avoided the opportunity which this grand conclusion afforded me, of stating that America was the cradle of the human race; of tracing its colonies over the Pacifick Ocean, and beyond the sea of Kamschatka, to new settlements; of following the emigrants by land and by water until they reached Europe and Africa; and lastly the following of the adventurers from the former of these sections of the globe, to the plantations and abodes which they found and occupied in America, I had no inclination to oppose the current opinions relative to the place of man's creation and dispersion. I thought it was not worth while to inform a European that on coming to America he had left the new world behind him for the purpose of visiting the old. It ought nevertheless to be remarked, that there are many important advantages derived to our reasoning from the present manner of considering the subject. The principles being now established, they will be supported by a further induction of the facts & occurrences to an extent and an amount that is impossible, at this moment fairly to estimate. And the conclusion of Jefferson, Lafon, and others favorable to the greater antiquity of American population, will be daily reinforced and confirmed.

Having thus given the history of these races of man spreading so extensively over the globe, I considered the human family under three divisions.

First, The Tawny man comprehending the Tartars, Malays, Chinese, the American Indians of every tribe, Lascars, and other people of the same cast and breed. From these seemed to have proceeded 2 remarkable varieties, to wit:

Secondly, The White man, inhabiting naturally the countries in Asia and Europe, situated north of the Mediterranean sea; & in the course of his adventures, settling all over the world. Among those I reckon the Greenlanders and Esquimaux.

Thirdly, The Black man whose proper residence is in the regions south of the Mediterranean, particularly towards the interior of Africa. The people of Papua and Van Dieman's land, seem to be of this class,

It is generally supposed, and by many able and ingenious men too, that the external physical causes, and the condition of circumstances which they call climate. have wrought all these changes in the human form. I do not, however think them capable of explaining the differences which exist among the nations. There is an internal physical cause of the greatest moment, which has scarcely been mentioned. This is the generative influence. If by the act of modeling the constitution in the foetus, a disposition to gout, madness, scrofula, and consumption, may be engendered, we may rationally conclude, with the sagacious D'Azara, that the procreative power may also shape the features, tinge the skin, and give other peculiarities to man.
                   Yours truly,
                                      SAMUEL L. MITCHILL.

Note 1: The 1816 sunspots were noticed and reported in numerous periodical articles. For example, the Pittsburgh Mercury of May 4, 1816 said: "This phenomenon has, during the past week, been distinctly observed, by most of our citizens, and has excited general conversation. Altho these appearances are not common, still they are not new. The atmosphere being with us very smokey, these spots were, in the morning and evening, quite visible to the naked eye. We do not recollect of a similar circumstance on record." A similar article appeared in the Washington Reporter of May 27, 1816. The smoky sky mentioned in the news report was due to the accumulation of atmospheric dust, world-wide, following the April 5, 1815 volcanic eruption of Mount Tambora on the Indonesian island of Sumbawa. The dust in the sky lowered temperatures worldwide and made 1816 the "year without a summer." The resulting crop failures and economic hard times contributed to the decision of Joseph Smith, Sr. to move his family from Vermont to New York that winter. Solomon Spalding, sleeping out-of-doors one night that fall, reportedly fell victim to the unseasonal temperature ("While traveling he slept in the woods nights, took cold and finally died.") Some early Mormons saw the remarkable 1816 sun spots as betokening divine revelation (see pg. 85 in Elder Charles B. Thompson's 1841 book).

Note 2: Excerpts of Dr. Samuel L. Mitchill's 1816 "Zoological Disquisition," were later (in 1820) reprinted in the initial number of the Archaeology Americana. While it is possible that Solomon Spalding read and considered Dr. Mitchill's published lecture, it seems unlikely that Mitchill's 1816 article was the immediate source of Spalding's fictional explanations for "mound-builder" origins, etc. More probably, most of the arguments made by Mitchill in 1816 were already topics of scholarly discussion a decade or more before, and Spalding carried these ideas on American races and antiquities with him to Ohio, prior to his writing his "Conneaught Creek" story.

Note 3: Some of Mitchill's ideas concerning American prehistory have their parallels in early Mormon religious tenets -- that the "Ten Lost Tribes" of Israel were not the same people as North America's "mound-builders," that humankind originated in the "New World," etc. Richard Stout summarizes the matter in these words: "[Mitchill's] closest friend... J. W. Francis protested, '...when he affirmed as his belief that the American continent was the Old World, and that the Garden of Eden might have originally been located in Onondago Hollow [New York], he imposed a tax on credulity too onerous to bear.'... [Joseph Smith] too claimed an American origin for Adam and Eve... 'said the Garden of Eden was in or near Independence [Missouri], the center stake of Zion.' Numerous testimonies along this line, including second LDS prophet Brigham Young's, led the late LDS Apostle Bruce McConkie to make this admission in his book Mormon Doctrine: 'The early brethren of this dispensation thought the Garden of Eden was located in what is known to us as the land of Zion, an area for which Jackson County, Missouri is the center place."'... [thus] when Joseph sent Martin Harris with the facsimiles and the story of the gold plates to Dr. Mitchill, it was to a man Joseph may have had every reason to believe would be receptive to the Book of Mormon... to verify the Doctor's own pet theories." Joseph Smith's notions concerning the Missouri location for the Garden of Eden probably post-dated his involvement in the production of the Book of Mormon and the "New Translation" of the Bible. Neither of these texts indicate an American origin for humankind.


Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. -- Solomon.
Vol. II.                         Chillicothe, Ohio, June 28, 1816.                         No. 48.


Of the Aborigines of the Western Country.

The publisher of the Port Folio, some time since, announced his intention of printing a curious and learned work on the antiquities of the Western part of our Country, by Henry Frost, A. M. The proposals had no sooner been submitted to the publick, than a powerful appeal to his kindness and his sense of justice was made by the friends of the Reverend Dr. John P. Campbell. -- They stated that the materials for this work had been collected by this gentleman, and that they had been obtained, under false pretences, from his widow, by Mr. Frost. The MSS. were therefore immediately placed in the hands of one of her friends, who promises to prepare them for the press, and publish them for her benefit. In the mean while we are permitted to make a few extracts. The subject is extremely interesting, as it treats of the ancient inhabitants of a great continent. Dr. Campbell appears, from the manuscript, so far as we have perused it, to have been admirably fitted, both by taste and education, for the task which he commenced; and to which we understand that he devoted several years of toilsome and expensive research. We shall only add, that any subscriptions (1 vol. 8vo. price $2) which may be transmitted to the publisher of the Port Folio, shall be faithfully applied to the benevolent purposes of this publication....

(view original of this article)

Note: See 1815 issues of the Recorder to trace the convoluted writing and publishing history of what ended up as a two-part article in the Philadelphia Port Folio. Several western newspapers, including the Ohio Repository of July 18, 1816 also reprinted the late Dr. Campbell's contribution to young America's knowledge of her "western antiquities."



Vol. II.                    Canton, Ohio, Thursday, July 18, 1816.                    No. 63.

From the Port Folio.

Of the Aborigines of the Western Country.

THE publisher of the Port Folio, some time since, announced his intention of printing a curious and learned work on the antiquities of the Western part of our Country, by Henry Frost, A. M. The proposals had no sooner been submitted to the publick, than a powerful appeal to his kindness and his sense of justice was made by the friends of the Reverend Dr. John P. Campbell. -- They stated that the materials for this work had been collected by this gentleman, and that they had been obtained, under false pretences, from his widow, by Mr. Frost. The MSS. were therefore immediately placed in the hands of one of her friends, who promises to prepare them for the press, and publish them for her benefit. In the mean while we are permitted to make a few extracts. The subject is extremely interesting, as it treats of the ancient inhabitants of a great continent. Dr. Campbell appears, from the manuscript, so far as we have perused it, to have been admirably fitted, both by taste and education, for the task which he commenced; and to which we understand that he devoted several years of toilsome and expensive research. We shall only add, that any subscriptions (1 vol. 8vo. price $2) which may be transmitted to the publisher of the Port Folio, shall be faithfully applied to the benevolent purposes of this publication.

'Upon the fairest computation, admitting that the Aborigines came to the western country a thousand or twelve hundred years ago, we have then before us a period of sufficient extent to embrace all that is requisite to support the supposition that the Aborigines were the descendants of a civilized people in Asia; a people who had made great advancements in civilization and the arts, but who were probably devastated, and forced to fly, by the sudden encroachment of a foe. We shall readily perceive, that in this case, such a people would perform a rapid migration, and fly from their enemies as far as their desire of safety should dictate. It is not in any degree surprising, that they should, in like manner, escape to this continent, bringing with them that civilization and that knowledge to which they had arrived. The great antiquity which is manifested by the most striking proofs of art and knowledge, seems to warrant this conclusion, and give it weight.

The successive generations of men who have inhabited the eastern parts of Asia, were distinguished, for centuries, by rapid advancements in civilization and the arts, and on a sudden subjected to a great reverse. By the encroachment of some barbarous foe, or some neighbouring robber, they have been forced to renounce the possession of their privileges, or escape for their lives. "Some of the most desert provinces in Asia," says the historian of Catherine the second, "have been repeatedly the seats of arts, arms, commerce and literature. These potent and civilized nations have repeatedly perished, for want of a union or system of policy. Some Scythian, or other barbarian, has been suffered unnoticed to subdue his neighbouring tribes; each new conquest was made an instrument to the succeeding one; till, at length, become irresistible, he swept whole empires, with their arts and sciences, off the face of the earth." This important truth we consider particularly applicable to the original peopling of the western country. The Aborigines probably constituted a part of some such nation existing in eastern Asia, and were forced to escape to this continent by the encroachment of some powerful, invading foe. I have said that this was probably a fact. I venture to add, that it was most certainly the fact in regard to the Aborigines.

It is a very general opinion, prevailing in the western country, that there is ample proof that the country in general was once inhabited by a civilized and agricultural people. This very general consent, we are disposed to respect, and consider an innocent opinion in itself, but we have not yet obtained satisfactory reasons to believe that the country in general, or to any great extent, has been adorned with the improvements and habitations of men living in a civilized and permanent state of society. The aborigines probably advanced as far, in the improvement of particular portions or districts of the country, as their knowledge of agriculture, their improvements of husbandry and their temporary residence would allow. The face of the country, since it was visited by the Aborigines, and since their demise, has undergone great changes. It is to be remarked, that the oldest trees now standing cannot be pronounced coeval with the extinction of the Aborigines.

It is a an opinion prevailing among some, that the Aborigines crossed the Allegheny, and proceeded down the Ohio river; but nothing is more incredible. Some attention to the ancient works on the river, has led us to notice that the works at different positions, are not more or less perfect. It is vain to suppose that the works lower down are less perfect, and were therefore built by a people who migrated westward, or down the river.

Again, it is the current opinion, that the first inhabitants of the western country were white people, and therefore cannot be denominated Indians. Our readers will recollect, and may have noticed, that there are distinguishing shades of white and black within the extent of our own country; and there are those among us who, by birth, or physical causes, are exceedingly dark. It is hence not indispensible that the Aborigines should be a white people, strictly speaking, in order to account for their improvements, or their knowledge of the arts. The inhabitants of Asia, and of the Asiatic continent in general, are allowed to be darker than the inhabitants of these American states, while at the same time they likewise are denominated a white people. The city of Pekin is nearly upon the same latitude with Philadelphia, and yet the citizens of Pekin are strongly shaded compared with the Philadelphians. The Aborigines, for aught we know, might have sustained a lighter complexion than those Indians who contributed to their destruction, -- or than the ancestors of the present race of Indians; and might, on that account, have been denominated by those Indians a white people. There cannot be a doubt but that the same country, at different, and very distant periods of time, may be inhabited, or produce a race of people differing very materially in colour. The climate, and local or physical causes, may be so changed in the term of a thousand years, as to produce several degrees of shade upon the human countenance.

The northern parts of Asia are supposed by some to be much colder now than they were but a few centuries or years ago; and that but a few centuries have elapsed, since the northern regions were more habitable on this very account. We suspect, however, that the Aborigines were in general, and in no other sense, a white people, than of any of the proper inhabitants of Asia at the present time. We likewise suspect that the Aborigines were denominated a white people by the present race of Indians, solely or principally, in consequence of that distinction which they possessed in the view of the Indians, by their works, or the knowledge and skill displayed in these works. These Indians having been accustomed to pay respect to Americans and Europeans as white people, appropriated naturally the same respect and title to the Aborigines. The Indians universally disclaim these ancient works and monuments, which are attributed to the Aborigines, and allege that they were erected by white people. It may not be improper, therefore, to offer the reader several traditions which relate to this point, and which may at least be found an entertainment.

General Clarke, of Louisville, in conversation with the chief of the Kaskaskias, understood him to say, that a very remarkable fortification, to which they referred, was the house of his fathers. This is understood to signify a reverential and general declaration of the same origin.

Mr. Thomas Bodley was informed by Indians of different tribes north-west of the Ohio, that they had understood from their old men, and that it had been a tradition among their several nations, that Kentucky had been settled by whites, and that they had been exterminated by war. They were of opinion that the old fortifications, now to be seen in Kentucky and Ohio, were the productions of those white inhabitants. Wappockanitta, a Shawnee chief, near a hundred and twenty years old, living on the Auglaze river, confirmed the above tradition.

An old Indian, in conversation with colonel James F. Moore, of Kentucky, informed him that the western country, and particularly Kentucky, had once been inhabited by white people, but that they were exterminated by the Indians. That the last battle was fought at the falls of Ohio, and that the Indians succeeded in driving the Aborigines into a small island below the rapids, where the whole of them were cut to pieces. He said it was an undoubted fact, handed down by tradition, and that the colonel would have ocular proof of it when the waters of the Ohio became low. This was found to be correct, on examining Sandy Island, when the waters of the river had fallen, as a multitude of human bones were discovered. The same Indian expressed his astonishment that white people could live in a country once the scene of blood. The Indian chief called Tobacco, told General Clarke, of Louisville, that the battle of Sandy Island decided finally the fall of Kentucky, with its ancient inhabitants. General Clarke says that Kentucee, in the language of the Indians, signifies "river of blood."

In addition to the proof of a great battle near the falls Ohio, it is said by General Clarke, of Louisville, that there was at Clarkesville a great burying ground, two or three hundred yards in length. -- This is likewise confirmed by major John Harrison, who received the tradition from an Indian woman of great age.

Colonel Joseph Daviess, when at St. Louis in 1800, saw the remains of an ancient tribe of the Sacks, who expressed some astonishment that any person should live in Kentucky. They said the country had been the scene of much blood, and was filled with the manes of its butchered inhabitants. He stated also that the people who inhabited this country were white, and possessed such arts as were unknown by the Indians.

Colonel M'Kee, who commanded on the Kenhawa when Cornstalk was inhumanly murdered, had frequent conversation with that chief, respecting the people who had constructed the ancient forts. He stated that it was a current and assured tradition, that Ohio and Kentucky had been once settled by white people, who were possessed of arts which the Indians did not know. That after many sanguinary contests they were exterminated. -- Colonel M. Inquired why the Indians had not learned these arts of the white people. He replied indefinitely, relating that the great spirit had once given the Indians a book, which taught them all these arts, but that they had lost it, and had never since regained the knowledge of them. -- Col. M. inquired particularly whether he knew what people it was who made so many graves on the Ohio, and at other places. He declared that he did not know, and remarked that it was not his nation, or any he had been acquainted with. Col. M. asked him if he could not tell who made those old forts, which displayed so much skill in fortifying. He answered that he did not know, but that a story had been handed down from a very long ago people, that there had been a nation of white people inhabiting the country who made the graves and forts. He also said, that some Indians, who had travelled very far west or northwest, had found a nation of people, who lived as Indians generally do, although of a different complexion.

John Cushen, an Indian of truth and respectability, having pointed to the large mound in the town of Chillicothe, observed to a gentleman that it was a great curiosity. To this the gentleman accorded, and said, The Indians built that. No, said he, it was made by white folks, for Indians never make forts or mounds -- this country was inhabited by white people once, for none but white people make forts.

In addition to the remarks which we have made on the Asiatic origin of the Aborigines, we add, that such an origin is by far the most natural, and most accordant with the progressive movements of the human family ever since the deluge. This progress in Asia, has been uniformly eastward and northward from the Euphrates. The inhabitants of Asia being the descendants of Shem, did not move to the westward in any numbers. We deem it, therefore, natural and just to conclude that the Aborigines belonged to a stock of those who moved eastward from the Euphrates, crossed at Behring Straits, and came to our western country from the north west. The Mexicans invariably declare that their ancestors came from the north west.

It is an acknowledged fact, that the antediluvians, at the event of the deluge, had arrived to a great improvement and refinement in the arts; and it is also an important fact, that a respectable portion of this knowledge was preserved from the wreck, and communicated by the sons of Noah. The descendants of Shem, the first settlers of Asia, or what is synonymous, the ten tribes, probably retained this knowledge, and transmitted it, until, through the lapse of time, it became extinct. From the descendants of Shem, or the Israelites, we derive the commencement of all that knowledge which served to keep the vast continent of Asia from total barbarism. The Israelites carried captive by Salmanaser, in the time of Hosea, became, in a great measure, incorporated with the neighbouring nations; and from this source, or in this channel, we deduce many of the customs which prevailed, and continue to prevail in Asia, and which have been frequently recognized among the Tartars, the Aborigines of the western country, and the present race of Indians. We may here introduce a striking passage of history from the second book of Esdras. "Those are the ten tribes, which were carried away prisoners, out of their own land in the time of Osea the king, whom Salmanasar, the king of Assyria, led away captive, and he carried them over the waters, and so came they into another land. But they took this counsel among themselves, that they would leave the multitude of the heathen, and go forth into a further country, where never mankind dwelt." We do not pretend to say that this country, where never mankind dwelt extends to America, but we consider the passage of history important, and equally weighty as such, although apocryphal. -- The natural consequence of this determination and progress of the ten tribes, would be a very general diffusion of that knowledge which they possessed, and a general incorporation with neighbouring powers.

Note 1: It seems quite likely that Solomon Spalding had an opportunity to read and reflect upon "Aborigines of the Western Country," since the article first appeared in the widely read Philadelphia Port Folio, and was doubtless reprinted by various American publications, besides the Ohio Repository. However, by the time the article could have been brought to Spalding's attention he was probably already rather sick, in what would become his terminal illness (he died on Oct. 20, 1816). Thus, it seems impossible that the appearance of this article, in the public press during the summer of 1816, could have in any way influenced the text of Spalding's pseudo-historical writings. On the other hand, it is possible that Spalding and Campbell, who both shared a keen interest in American antiquities, were in communication with one another before Campbell's own demise.

Note 2: The article's insistance upon a unique explanation for the ancient mounds and fortifications of the Ohio Valley, (saying that were the products of an extinct, light-skinned race), parallelled Spalding's own fictional answers for the origin of such earthworks and artifacts. Some of the notions expressed in the article were, of course, already in circulation years before its appearance. Solomon Spalding could have derived his imaginative ideas regarding the "extinct" race that constructed the mounds from various different literary and oral sources well before he commenced writing his own "historical romance(s)" about the year 1811. For example, the explanation that the American Indians had previously exhibited a higher state of civilization, light skins, Hebrew heritage, etc. was being published in a Pittsburgh periodical almost exactly when Spalding moved to that city from Ohio. For additional information on this subject, see the on-line feature, "Book of Mormon: Sacred Book of the Indians?"


Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. -- Solomon.
Vol. III.                         Chillicothe, Ohio, August 21, 1816.                         No. 4.

Of the Aborigines.
From the National Intelligencer.

Interesting extract of a copy of a letter from Col. R. J. Meigs, dated

                                                      "Cherokee Agency, July 16, 1816.
"I received your letter dated the 24th May last, with Mr. Boudinot's book, in which he attempts to prove that the Indians of America are of Hebrew descent. The Cherokees have some laws and customs, both civil and religious, resembling the laws and regulations of the Jews; but how, or when, or from whence they were introduced, will perhaps remain forever undetermined. The feasts of the First Fruits is, undoubtedly, of religious origin. The name of this feast is the "Green Corn Dance." The name gives it the character of the feast of the First Fruits. I have attentively sen this dance performed. Some hundreds of males and females assemble in a square, perfectly levelled and clean, in front of the national council house. They move in circles, Males in one circle, and Females in another; having a leader or master of ceremonies; they move slowly in measured steps, circle within circle -- there is no speaking; no levity of action -- their countenances are impressed, apparently, with religious awe. Their king or head chief, was present, but not in the dance. Those in the circles were generally young people; they might be called singing men and women, for they all chaunted a monotonous plaintive tune, which did not charm the ear, but the ensamble was pleasing. During the dance (perhaps an hour) not a word is spoken, except by the master of ceremonies, who seems well pleased with his honorable station. When the dance is concluded, the circles disperse, and are mixed with the surrounding spectators -- all are merry and apparently happy -- no cares or vexations are permitted to obtrude themselves on that day.


"Formerally they had practised frequent washings; these were resorted to after going through bodily exercises -- perhaps of dancing; the whole meeting, on such occasions, went to the clear stream and plunged in. This was intended to express that they were cleansed of all moral impurity -- that however they might have before sone wrong, the wrong was now done away, and no more to be considered as any part of their character. This corresponds with my personal observation; for they never reproach each other of former deviations from the right.


"The formerly had cities of refuge, whither a person who had killed a Cherokee might flee. THis was an excellent institution, as it gave time for the passions of the deceased to subside. In some cases, compromises were made for pecuniary compensation, especially in cases of an accidental character. They have since deviated from that wise custom, and in every instance required life for life, as forfeit without any qualification; but they have now returned to a more humane procedure, and, in some instances, make equitable discrimination.

"Although the institution of the "Green Corn Dance, their Ablutions, and Cities of Refuge, bear strong resemblance to Jewish customs, and laws, yet they by no means prove that the American Indians are descended from the Jews; they only prove that the 'religion of nature' corresponds with the religion of the Jews, communicated to them by Moses by divine command.

"I have never seen the distinctive visage of the Jews among all these people; but the visage of the Tartar is every where apparent.

Note 1: Reviews and responses to Elias Boudinot's A Star in the West date to the spring of 1816, so it appears that his book was issued to the public during the early part of that year. This fact strengthens the possibility that Solomon Spalding might have seen the book, or read extracts from it, prior to his death at Amity, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 20, 1816. The modern investigator, however, will probably find no conclusive evidence that any of Spalding's fictional writings drew upon information first published in Mr. Boudinot's book.

Note 2: Non-Indians who lived in close proximity with the American tribes generally seem to have dismissed the various claims professing that the Indians were descended from Israelite ancestors. See, for example, a knowledgeable reader's reaction to Israel Worsley's A view of the American Indians, as published in the Apr. 29, 1829 issue of the Cherokee Phoenix, (a paper edited by Mr. Boudinot's namesake: Chief Elias Boudinot).



Vol. II.                    Canton, Ohio, Thursday, Aug. 22, 1816.                    No. 74.

From the New Tork Evening Post.

Discovery of America.

I present such readers who take delight in this sort of subject, with an interesting letter which I received by a late arrival from a correspondent in London, whom I have not the honour of knowing, but who, if this number of the Evening Post should ever chance to meet his eye, will be pleased to accept my best acknowledgements.

                                                               LONDON, Feb. 21, 1816.
To the editor of the N. Y. Evening Post.

Sir -- If the following account of the discovery of America, by the ancient British, at a very early period, should appear sufficiently interesting, the insertion of a few paragraphs in your truly useful, valuable and respectable paper, will greatly oblige many of your friends on this side of the water, who will be happy to give publicity in any of their papers, to such remarks as you may be pleased to express.

'It appears from the very many quotations from various publications, which have been selected by the best British antiquaries, both ancient and modern, that Prince Madoc Ap Owen Guyneth, a Welsh Prince, discovered America, in the year 1170 -- three hundred and twenty-one years before the first voyage made by Columbus; and the same prince planted a colony on the west side of the Mississippi, the descendants of whom are said to subside in or near the same place by above a hundred credible authors, who have particularly expressed it; and the fact is recognized in ancient Welsh poetry, which existed long before the first voyage was performed by Columbus, The last writers on this subject are Dr. Williams, rector of Sydenham, who has issued two publications, & the Rev. George Burder, A. M., late of Coventry, who has issued one -- all of which are replete with interesting intelligence on this point. These three books have been presented by Richard Mackey, chief mate of the Maria, Capt. Miller, bound to New York.

'For further proof, please look into James Howell's letters, vol. 2, p. 71, concerning the ancient Britons, and you will find that Madoc Ap Owen, Prince of Wales, made two voyages to America at the time before mentioned. See also the 3d volume of the Voyages of the English Nation, by Richard Hugluys, student of Christ Church, Oxford, p. 1. Also, Pagett's Christian ography, p. 47. Also, third and last vol. of the Turkish Spy, p. 202. Also, Purchass, Pilgrimage, vol. 8, p. 899. Also, Broughton, who says that the faith of Christ was preached in America by some of our first prelates, who preached in Britain. Also, George Abbott, Lord Archbishop of Canterbury's History of the World, p. 225-56-57, who informs us that King Arthur had some knowledge of America, and that a Prince of Wales first found it out. See also the Welsh Cambria, written by David Powell and Sir John Brice, Knight, p. 225, translated into English by Humphrey Lloyd, gentleman, where you will find the reasons which induced the Prince Madoc Ao Owen Guyneth to travel. See also Sir Walter Raleigh's History of the World; Sir Thomas Herbert's travels into Persia, p. 355, Mona Antigus, by Rowlands, p. 177. Also, the Archeologia, by Edward Lloyd.

'The character and abilities of some of these authors are respectfully mentioned in Guthrie's Geography, p. 295.

  I am, sir, with great respect,
          Your most obedient and
                   Humble servant,
                          JOHN GRIFFITHS,
                         Revenue Officer.
No. 5, Newgate street, London.'

Note 1: Solomon Spalding died on Oct. 20, 1816, following a period of illness. It is unlikely that he ever saw this article in the local newspapers, much less had any opportunity to benefit from its claims, in writing his own fictional tale of ancient visits to American shores. The legend of Prince Madoc's two voyages to America were, however, so well known that Spalding need not have resorted to reading newspaper accounts on that subject. In 1805 the British Poet Laureate, Robert Southey, published a metrical version of the Madoc tale, in two volumes, which would have been easily available to Spalding, prior to 1812, in American reprint editions.

Note 2: Besides telling the story of white-skinned Christians bringing their religion to ancient America, becoming extinct, and passing from the memory of their savage Indian descendants, the Madoc story, as told by Southey, also alludes to the magician Merlin having traveled across the sea, inside a submersible vessel ("perfectly water-tight"), with its interior illuminated by a radiant stone (the biblical "Urim and Thummim"). Southey also made significant use of the writings of Abbe Francesco Saverio Clavigero in constructing his preColumbian American adventure. Among Clavigero's subject matter is the story of the Mayan hero Votan, who also twice crosses the ancient seas between Europe and America.

Note 3: There is a report, of uncertain dependablity, saying that William Morgan, the anti-Masonic martyr, once wrote a pseudo-history of ancient America, based upon the legend of Prince Madoc.


Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. -- Solomon.
Vol. III.                             Chillicothe, Ohio, February 5, 1817.                             No. 27.

From the Christian Herald.


(under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. II.                    Canton, Ohio, Thursday, Feb. 6, 1817.                    No. 97.


                                     COLUMBUS, January 25.
This day an election was held for the following officers, viz.


... Ashtabula -- Nehemiah King....

Note: Dr. Nehemiah King was an "old settler" of what eventually became Ashtabula County, Ohio. He and his brother Nathan settled in New Salem (now Conneaut) in about 1810 and he was well acquainted with that town's iron forge owner, Solomon Spalding. Dr. King's name appears on an 1811 New Salem voter list, along with that of Solomon Spalding and a handful of other residents of the little hamlet. Solomon left New Salem late in 1812 but Nehemiah remained and became involved in Ohio politics, serving as a county judge and being twice elected to the State Legislature. According to an 1833 letter composed by Spalding's friend, Aaron Wright, it was Dr. Nehemiah King who initiated the Spalding authorship claims for the Book of Mormon, in January of 1832. King died in late 1832 or early 1833, however, before he was able to provide any documentation in support of the authorship allegation.


Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. -- Solomon.
Vol. III.                             Chillicothe, Ohio, February 12, 1817.                             No. 28.

From the Christian Herald.



(under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)



    "He is the freeman whom the truth makes free, and all are slaves besides." -- Cowper.    

Vol. I.                         Lebanon, Ohio,  Friday,  October 10, 1817.                         No. ?


The Rev. Abel M. Sargent will preach at the Court House in this town on Sunday next, at 3 o'clock.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. III.                    Canton, Ohio, Thursday, Oct. 16, 1817.                    No. ?


Newton, N. J. Sept. [15], 1817.    
Passed thro' this town on Wednesday last. ten Pilgrims (6 men and 4 women) from Woodstock in Vermont, on their way to the southwestward, possessed of very singular appearance and deportment.

They profess to be the only true followers of Jesus Christ and his gospel, and are in a special manner called of God to go forth into the world to do, and that continually, his will; for which purpose they have forsaken their houses & lands, relatives and friends, and all the world's enjoyments, and after the manner of the Apostles, are traveling from place to place doing good to the children of men.

They have a prophet or leader among them, who occasionally preaches; and most of them exhort in the streets and ways, as they pass by. They seem all devotion and humility, and are continually engaged in the service of Christ -- holding forth the power of his holy spirit, as communicated unto them, saying that the lost tribe of Judah is now beginning to be gathered in, and the way is fast opening, when the four quarters of the world will be gathered into one fold of such as will receive the true spirit of faith: not the faith which is received by Christians of the present day, but such as is accompanied with holy fire. They have no abiding place in view, but travel as the Lord may direct. They say the people of the world are of the devil, for they cannot serve the Lord and be Christ's. They ask no charity; move very slow, with a cart yoke of oxen and one horse, and say that the Lord will provide of them, for where they go, there is he. Their dress is very singular; long beards, close caps, and bear skins tied around them.

Note: See the Chillicothe Weekly Recorder of Nov. 5th for a reprint of another contemporary "Vermont Pilgrims" article.


Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. -- Solomon.
Vol. IV.                         Chillicothe, Ohio, November 5, 1817.                         No. 14.

From the Albany Daily Advertiser.

A correspondent informs us, that five wagons loaded with the household goods, men, women, and children of this sect, passed through Cherry Valley, Otsego County, on the 25th Sept. on their way to the State of Ohio. The men and women were dressed in the same style as those who passed through Sussex, (N. J.) and were, as they alleged, followers of the same prophet. They call themselves the true followers of Christ. Their pretended prophet came from Canada a few months since, and is a man of austere habits and a great fanatick. His followers are not yet numerous, but it is thought he will increase them. He rejects surnames, and abolishes marriage, and allows his followers to cohabit promiscuously.

The men eat their food in an erect posture, and the women, when they pray, prostrate themselves on the ground with their faces downward. They frequently do pennance for sins, and seem to make uncleanliness a virtue. They allege that their prophet has not changed his clothes for seven years. There was with the party above described a deluded woman, who, it is said, had always sustained a fair character, and who left a husband in affluent circumstances, and a family of children, to follow this prophet. It is probably the object of this leader to draw as many after him as possible and to form in some of the western states a new settlement, similar to the one made by Jemima Wilkinson, in this state.

Note: The Weekly Recorderof Nov. 12, and Nov 26 carried follow-up articles. See also the Oct., 1817 issue of the Philadelphia New Jerusalem Repository for more information on the prophet Isaac Bullard and his "Pilgrims."


Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. -- Solomon.
Vol. IV.                         Chillicothe, Ohio, November 12, 1817.                         No. 15.

                      From the Virginia Patriot.

I noticed in one of your late papers some account of several pilgrims who were then in New Jersey, on their way to Woodstock, Vermont, to the South. Their pilgrim, it appears, commenced in Lower Canada, I believe in May or June last; in which province, it is understood, they had just been tried before one of the king's courts, on a charge of murdering one of their children; or, in other words, administering to it a decoction from a poisonous bark, by command of the Lord. Although the proof of the fact was not of that positive character which a conviction for murder demanded, yet so fully convinced were the Canadians of their guilt, that a march became, as it is said, the last resort of this new sect.

At Woodstock in the state of Vermont, they successively arrived, and tarried several weeks -- made some proselytes, and otherwise added to their numbers. Beneath the roof of a Christian preacher, their devout professions procured them a hospitable protection; and so incessant were their professed addresses to and communications with invisible beings, with whom they pretended at times to hold converse, in the most unmeaning gibberish; added to their dirty caps, bearskin girddles, and long beards, their fame went abroad, and not a few visitors, (among whom was the writer of this article) did curiosity lead to their habitation. They observed times of fasting, wore sackcloth and ashes -- frequently denounced woes upon persons and villages, and often fell prostrate to the earth in their devotions. Strange as it may appear, such a sect gained proselytes -- and the worthy man whose hospitable doors had been opened to these strangers, saw numbers of his own family assume the girdle and ape their manners. Whether they also commenced a pilgrimage, I am not informed.

Should these people, in executing their plan, ever be able to visit Virginia, it is hoped that their reception may be such, especially by the guardians of the publick peace, as such pilgrims shall justly deserve.     VIRGINIA.

Note: Some additional details on this sect are provided in the May 26, 1826 issue of the Palmyra Wayne Sentinel and in the June 24, 1831 issue of the Woodstock Vermont Chronicle.


Zanesville Express
and Republican Standard.

Vol. ?                         Zanesville, Ohio, November 24?, 1817.                         No. ?


As this part of the community may feel anxious to know something of a new sect (I will not say a Christian sect) who have made their appearance here from Lower Canada and Vermont, composed of a leader by the name of Ballard [sic], who calls himself a Prophet, a second Moses, a High Priest, &c., and 20 or 30 followers, who call themselves Pilgrims; I have thought proper to forward to you the following, which is about all the information in my possession, respecting them.

On their first arriving in town, a meeting was notified at the Courthouse, in this place, where an exhortation was given by one of their party, Mr. Holmes, the only man of any considerable talents among them, who has been a Methodist preacher about 12 years in Vermont.

Although Mr. Holmes preached (as he called it) without a text, and wandered without system, upon various subjects, yet he made use of many pithy, common-place expressions, which would have been well received by the community at large, had they not visited the Prophet and his group at home. There, it is presumed, no person possessing a mediocrity of talent, could remain five minutes in suspense relative to the sincerity of Bullard, the "Prophet," who wears every feature and gesture of a consummate scroundrel.

He has frequent paroxysms, in which he utters the unmeaning gibberish, which he calls "an unknown tongue," in which he pretends to converse with the Deity, which is composed at most of not more than four sounds, which he will successively repeat from two to five minutes, which length of time he has been more than once known to occupy in the reiteration of "Bab-Yab" alone.

The discerning mind may easily behold in this pretended Prophet, the sum of his wishes; to destroy all civil establishments, disannual marriage under the spurious pretence that Jesus Christ is the bridegroom, and all his followers are the bride, and consequently need no civil restrictions to govern their passions; but that those passions within them, and their gratifications, are without sin, all being conducted with an eye "single to the glory of God" -- that they cannot sin so long as they are followers of the Prophet.

In fact, this wilderness of speculation, this depravity of principle and pursuit, this distruction of every principle of religion and reason, impelled them to leave a section of the country where little was to be expected, from a people generally enlightened, and seek a remoter section, offering less mental light, where they might, with greater certainty of success, execute their designs, enjoy boundless sway and support themselves in idleness, sloth and gratifications of their lusts, under the names of Morality and Religion, upon the ruins of a misguided community.

They say that the Spirit of God has directed them to make a settlement in the town of Pike, on Darby creek [N.W. Madison Co., OH], whither they are bound.

We would advertise the inhabitants of Pike, to beware; in proportion as they value morality and religion, or revere the laws of civilization, and be cautious how they admit an enemy into their houses, "to steal away their brains."

From all we can gather from this slothful, dirty group, we are disposed to say that they practise indiscriminate cohabitation, openly profess the power and gift of Prophecy, pretend to heal the sick by various incantations, and that they are fast progressing to such perfectability, through the instumentality of fasting and prayer, as to be soon able to raise the dead, who (to use their own expressions) die in the Lord.

Some of them have stated, since they have been in this place, that from Scripture, they thought they could draw strong enough proof that they should never die; and went on to quote several texts, which have strict reference to spiritual Death.

The writer of this has spent much time with them, (foolishly) to satisfy his mind, relative to their doctrine, their motives, &c. He has found them generally aloof to conversation; and if at any time they attempted to answer his inquiries, it has been in an evasive way, introducing a different subject, even with the answer.

Never did a young pedagogue command more obsequiousness from his pupils in a country school, than does this "Prophet" from his followers; they groan when he groans, shout when he shouts, and ape him in his every Monkey trick; flying at his command, with such servile agility, that a bystander might well conclude that they verily believed that the keys of heaven and hell were suspended upon his bear-skin girdle.

In this sect we see a striking proof of the awful strides which mankind have made in every age who have left the church of Christ and its canons, handed down by the apostles and their immediate successors, and taught for "doctrines, the commandments of men."

Note: The above communication was doubtless written by one of Zanesville's established Protestant ministers. One report of a later era assigns the date of "Nov. 20, 1817" to the letter. Whether that was the date the communication was written, or when it was published, remains undetermined -- probably Nov. 24th is the correct publication date. From Zanesville the "Prophet" Bullard's Pilgrims moved west to the border of Madison and Champaign counties. Little Darby Creek runs through the village of Mechanicsburg, in Goshen twp., Champaign Co., and then continues through adjacent Pike twp., which is located in the northwest corner of Madison Co. Bullard and his followers evidently planned to at least spend the winter in these "Darby Plains," but the local residents warned them away and the Pilgrims continued on, in the direction of Cincinnati.


Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. -- Solomon.
Vol. IV.                         Chillicothe, Ohio, November 26, 1817.                         No. 17.

From the Zanesville Express.

As this part of the community may feel anxious to know something of a new sect (I will not say a Christian sect) who have made their appearance here from Lower Canada and Vermont, composed of a leader by the name of Ballard, who calls himself a Prophet, a second Moses, a High Priest, &c., and 20 or 30 followers, who call themselves Pilgrims; I have thought proper to forward to you the following, which is about all the information in my possession, respecting them.

On their first arriving in town, a meeting was notified at the court house, where an exhortation was given by one of their party, Mr. Holmes, the only man of any considerable talents among them, who has been a Methodist preacher about twelve years in Vermont.

Although Mr. Holmes preached (as he called it) without a text, and wandered without system, upon various subjects, yet he made use of many pithy, common-place expressions, which would have been well received by the community at large, had not visited the "Prophet" and his groupe [sic - troupe:?] at home, where, it is presumed, no person possessing a mediocrity of talent, could remain five minutes in suspense relative to the [insincerity] of Bullard, the "Prophet," who wears every feature and gesture of a consummate scroundrel.

He has frequent paroxysms, in which he utters the unmeaning gibberish, which he calls "an unknown tongue," in which he pretends to converse with the Deity, which is composed almost of not more than four sounds, which he will successively repeat from two to five minutes, at which length of time he has more than once been known to occupy in the reiteration of "Bab-Yab" alone.

The discerning mind may easily behold in this pretended Prophet, the sum of his wishes; to destroy all civil establishments, disannual marriage under the spurious pretence that Jesus Christ is the Bridegroom, and all his followers are the Bride, and consequently, need no civil restrictions, to govern their passions; but that those passions, in them, and their gratifications, are without sin, all being conducted with an eye "single to the glory of God." -- That they cannot sin so long as they are followers of the Prophet. In fact, this wilderness os speculation, this depravity of principle and pursuit, this distruction of every principle of religion and reason, impelled them to leave a section of the country where little was to be expected, from a people generally enlightened, and seek a remoter section, offering less mental light, where they might, with greater certainty of success, execute their designs, enjoy boundless sway and support themselves in idleness, sloth and gratifications of their lusts, under the names of Morality and Religion, upon the ruins of a misguided community.

They say that the Spirit of God has directed them to make a settlement in the town of Pike, on Darby creek [N.W. Madison Co., OH], whither they are bound.

We would advertise the inhabitants of Pike, to beware; in proportion as they value morality and religion, or revere the laws of civilization, and be cautious how they admit an enemy into their houses, "to steal away their brains."

From all we can gather from this slothful, dirty troupe, we are disposed to say that they practise indescriminate cohabitation, openly profess the power and gift of prophecy, pretend to heal the sick by various incantations, and that they are not progressing to such perfectability, through the instumentality of fasting and prayer, as to be soon able to raise the dead, who (to use their own expressions) die in the Lord.

Some of them have stated, since they have been in this place, that from Scripture, they thought they could draw strong enough proof that they should never die; and went on to quote several texts, which have strict reference to spiritual death.

The writer of this has spent much time with them, (foolishly) to satisfy his mind, relative to their doctrine, their motives, &c. He has found them generally aloof to conversation; and if at any time they attempted to answer his inquiries, it has been in an evasive way, introducing a different subject, even with the answer.

Never did a young pedagogue command more obsequiousness from his pupils in a country school, than does this "Prophet" from his followers; they groan when he groans, shout when he shouts, and ape him in his every monkey [trick]; flying at his command, with servile agility, that a bystander might well conclude that they verily believed that the keys of heaven and hell were suspended upon his bear-skin girdle.

In this sect we see a striking proof of the awful strides which mankind have made in every age who have left the church of Christ and its canons, handed down by the apostles and their immediate successors, and taught for "doctrines, the commandments of men."     A READER.

Note 1: Dale Morgan called this Canadian pretender, "A club-footed prophet... [who] wandered into Vermont from Lower Canada to gather himself a following of "Pilgrims"... [leading] sixty followers west across the mountains into New York, down through Ohio to Cinnicinnati, and on down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to the Arkansas, where the prophet died and the remnant of his following scattered." As his references for this summary, Morgan cited Zadock Thompson's 1842 History of Vermont, the Bellows Falls Vermont Intelligencer and Bellows Falls Advertiser, of Nov. 10, 1817, etc. See notes attached to the article in the Newton, NJ Sussex Register of Sept. 15, 1817 for a summary of Thomson's report. David M. Ludlum provides a brief review of the Bullard "Pilgrims" episode in his 1939 Social Ferment in Vermont, pp. 242-244. Ludlum derived part of his information on the "Prophet" Isaac Bullard from the May, 1818 issue of the Boston American Baptist Magazine.

Note 2: During the fall of 1817 the "Vermont Pilgrims" temporarily separated into two westward-moving caravans, one group was led by Bullard himself -- it moved through Cherry Valley and Cooperstown New York, bypassed Ithaca, and at some point in eastern Ohio (presumably in Jefferson Co.), Bullard's caravan rejoined their co-religionists (who had traveled in a second caravan, through northern New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the [West] Virginia panhandle). In November of 1817, after the two caravans had joined and were moving through the Zanesville region, "Prophet" Bullard announced that his followers would make their holy settlement a little west of Columbus, Ohio. However, upon due consideration, he instead marched them southeastward (passing through Lebanon, Warren Co., Ohio along the way) and reached the Ohio River at or near Cincinnati in the spring of 1818. From that river port, the Pilgrims moved on boats, westward on the Ohio, entering the Mississippi at Cairo, Illinois. Transiting through New Madrid and Little Prairie, Missouri, in the summer of 1818, the dwindling band of starving Pilgrims sought aid at Helena, Phillips Co., Arkansas, and then ended their fateful journey in Desha Co., near the mouth of the Arkansas River, a few miles north of Arkansas City. Not long after this, Bullard evidently died near Pine Bluff, and the remnant of his followers dispersed from the long pilgrimage -- some of them joined the Shaker colony at Union Village, Ohio; a few remained in Arkansas; others eventually made it back to New England.



Vol. I.                             Mt. Pleasant, Ohio, January 2, 1818.                             No. ?


(article on the Vermont Pilgrims
under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)


The  Urbana  Gazette.

Vol. ?                             Urbana, Ohio, January 28, 1818.                             No. ?

The Prophet & Pilgrims.

It is to be expected, that it will not be unacceptable to the reader, to inform him, that the band of pilgrims, lately mentioned in different newspapers, as proceeding westerly, has arrived in this county, and are now in Mechanicsburg, making it a temporary residence; -- to remove as soon as they conceive that they have an intimation of the Spirit to that purpose. Report at present describes them as very religiously affected or exercised; extremely rigid in their profession; expert in the defence of their tenets proceedings; exceedingly singular in their customs, and as filthy a horde of beings almost, as can be possibly imagined. It is asserted of them, as particulars, that they use no water to wash anything: (the cooks' hands only excepted) use no knives or forks while eating; throw their bedding, uniformly or out of all form, on the floor; wear a girdle of the skins of beasts about their loins; that the males permit their beard to grow unshaven, and that they labor some, and appear not destitute of money. For some reason or other, those that have seen them there, suppose it probable that they will remove to Cincinnati, before long, passing through this place.

In all matters whatever, even concerning the cooking of their food, they profess to wait the immediate direction of the Spirit from above, generally (if I'm not mistaken) thro' the medium of a member or leader, styled "the Prophet," as their oracle. He takes a position with two short staves, and uses strange mutterings, gibberish, and exercises of body by which he Divines -- and professes to receive, sometimes, unutterable communications.

This intelligence is received thro' different concurring channels, and is probably, as far as it goes correct. It is thought their history will be shortly marked, by the gaining of proselytes or a dispersion of themselves.

Note 1: No copy of the above article has yet been located; the text is taken from a reprint published in the Carlisle, PA Spirit of the Times issue of Mar. 9, 1818.

Note 2: According to F. Gerald Ham's 1973 article on the subject, the "Prophet" Isaac Bullard and his Pilgrims wandered south from the Mechanicsburg area (evidently passing through Urbana along the way) and reached the town of Xenia, in Greene Co., in about mid-February of 1818. Here, "Once again the Pilgrims came into contact with the monastic followers of Mother Ann Lee. Two Shaker missionaries from Union Village community near Lebanon [in adjacent Warren Co.] had been sent to visit Bullard's followers at Xenia [with an]... invitation [to visit with them].



    "He is the freeman whom the truth makes free, and all are slaves besides." -- Cowper.    

Vol. II.                         Lebanon, Ohio,  Saturday,  February 7, 1818.                         No. ?


(article on Isaac Bullard's "Vermont Pilgrims"
under construction)

Note: It appears that this news item consisted primarily of the report published in the Urbana Gazette of Jan. 28, 1818.



    "He is the freeman whom the truth makes free, and all are slaves besides." -- Cowper.    

Vol. II.                         Lebanon, Ohio,  Saturday,  February 21, 1818.                         No. ?


(article on Isaac Bullard's "Vermont Pilgrims"
under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)



    "He is the freeman whom the truth makes free, and all are slaves besides." -- Cowper.    

Vol. II.                         Lebanon, Ohio,  Saturday,  February 28, 1818.                         No. ?


(article on Isaac Bullard's "Vermont Pilgrims"
under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)



    "He is the freeman whom the truth makes free, and all are slaves besides." -- Cowper.    

Vol. II.                         Lebanon, Ohio,  Saturday,  March 7, 1818.                         No. ?


(article on Isaac Bullard's "Vermont Pilgrims"
under construction)

Note: Another article on the Vermont Pilgrims reportedly appeared in The Farmer on March 9th -- if so, the newspaper must have either changed its weekly publication day, or issued an "extra" on that Monday.


The  Western  Spy.

Vol. ?                                Cincinnati, Ohio, April 15, 1818.                                No. ?


On Saturday afternoon last these miserable looking men, women and children passed through the skirts of this place, and encamped in the woods about a mile from this town. The Mayor and Council, having authentic information of their affliction by the small pox, and of their extreme filthiness, very wisely, by a committee, requested them to pass by at as great a distance from the town, as convenience would permit.

During the whole of Sunday curiosity led columns of citizens and people from the surrounding country, to see them. The road from Cincinnati in the direction of these wayfaring Pilgrims, was almost literally choaked [sic] with passengers, each with anxious eye, pressing forward for a peep at the seat of filth. Few, however, returned with "bowels of compassion" for them. The society consists of forty-five persons, including children, of which there is a great number. Their theological reason for thus wandering about the country without a home, and without scarcely any of the necessaries of life, was readily and willingly given: "it is imitating the practice of the ancient patriarchs and good men of old," they say. But the basis of their dirty religion they seemed unwilling to disclose. Perhaps they have been subdued and are treacherously governed by a strong and natural inclination to hate every thing bordering upon industry. It may not be. We suspect it.

The children excited the most compassion. Many of them are interesting and handsome, and might, perhaps, if separated from the cloud of ignorance and superstition and indolence that confines them, become useful and honorable members of society. Reared up in their present situation we question their usefulness to themselves, to society or to their God. They may, like their parents, excite curiosity and contempt. We could not learn, for it was unknown to themselves, where their travelling will end. They take water passage here, and it is very probable we see them no more, a source of no regret.

Note: No copy of the above article has yet been located; the text is taken from a reprint published in the Newark Sentinel of Freedom on May 12, 1818.


The  Western  Spy.

Vol. ?                                Cincinnati, Ohio, April 18, 1818.                                No. ?


(article on Vermont Pilgrims
under construction)

Note: No copy of the above article has yet been located. When a full transcript of the text is located, it will be posted on this web-page.


The  Cincinnati  Bee.

Vol. ?                                Cincinnati, Ohio, May ?, 1818.                                No. ?


(article on Vermont Pilgrims
under construction)

Note: No copy of the above article has yet been located. When a full transcript of the text is located, it will be posted on this web-page.


The  Cincinnati  Gazette.

Vol. ?                             Cincinnati, Ohio, July 8, 1819.                             No. ?

J. C. Symmes on the Weather.

It has been dry weather with the exception of very few thunder showers, from the 2d of May until the 6th inst. Yesterday, day before, and to-day have been rainy, with but little wind, and no lightning nor gusts; the river has been very low for a month past, and began to rise briskly last night; the rain not being sufficently copious here to affect the river, leads me to conclude that the rain began to the north east of this, and approached gradually, nearly as slowly as the rising current of the Ohio.

It would be well to remark, in future years, whether we do not annually have a rainy spell or freshet about this season, of very general extent, and whether such rain does not approach from somewhere between north and east, notwithstanding the prevalence of light winds from the southwest.

It must now, according to my theory of the earth, be either about the greatest height of cold, or the commencement of its declination, close under the umbrage of the north polar verge, within the polar opening; that is, the greatest degree of cold that can exist there at any time when the sun is north of the libe; if this rain is in any degree periodical, it may be somehow attributable to the existence of such cold within the verge producing a condensation of the air there, so as to draw the upper current of air from towards the external equator, untill the increase of gravity northward condenses it to rain.

The greater heat of the next warm period under the verge, should be near the middle of SEptember, just before the sun crosses the line. I believe we seldom have settled rains either in the early part of September or April, at which periods summer exists under the verge. If heat under the verge, in April and September, produces to us dry weather, or only moderate showers, cold there in July should produce a contrary result. The rule may not, however, apply to the summer that must (according to my theory) exist there about January or February; the heat of which must arrive through the hollow open spheres from the south pole, where the sun is then shining; nor can it well apply to the other two winters which must occur there, the one in the latter part of November, and the other in the early part of March, as the air (probably always nearly balanced) must then have a tendency to rise from the south pole, which is next the sun, to the north pole, which is the highest in relation to that body, (as the blaze of a comet rises contrarywise from the sun's gravity, whether going towards or from him;) hence no considerable vacancy or condensation can happen at such seasons within the north polar opening, to produce to us southerly winds; but rather a protrusion of air from within must occur, which protruded air becomes colder by the distension of its molecules, on coming southward, where gravity and the incumbent weight of the atmosphere decreases: our usual thaw (most observable in New-England) about January or February, may be somehow connected with the last described summer.

An examination of the diagram of the earth's spheres, as engraved in my arctic memoir, with the relative position of the sun, subjoined by the observer, for different seasons of the year, will show the necessity of there being relatively three summers and three winters under the verges, as above described.

I am told there are three annual freshets in the Ohio, that can be calculated and depended upon with tolerable certainty, which occur in the following order: early in the spring, near mid-summer, and near the middle of autumn; besides which, one or more intermediate freshets occur, with some degree of regularity, between that of spring and that of mid-summer. It would be well to observe whether the above described three freshets do not coincide with the three changes from heat to cold or from cold to heat under the verges, which changes or seasons are described or embraced in this note.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. IV.                             Mt. Pleasant, Ohio, August 5, 1820.                             No. 15.


We have been surprized to find some of our most respectable gazettes giving currency to a story, the object of which is to induce a belief in the instrumentality of a forked hazle twig, held in a certain position, discovering springs or collections of water under ground. This is one of those superstitions which belong to the olden time, and ought to have been, if they were not, long ago exploded. Seriously to employ argument against any hypothesis so absurd, would be a misuse of time, and an abuse of the reader's patience; though, perhaps we ought not to say this when. within a few months, a series of labored essays have appeared in a popular and ably edited paper, in vindication and illustration of the theory of Animal Magnetism, which in its general acceptation, is as unphilosophical as that of the Divining rod. The vulgar belief in omens and like superstitions, have been nearly dissipated in the progress of letters, and consequent enlargement of the sphere of reason. To this effect the discoveries in Chymistry, during the last and present century, have not a little contributed. People do not now-a-days expect to become suddenly rich by finding occult treasures indicated by dreams; a murderer is nolonger expected to be discovered by the congealed blood of his victim flowing afresh at his approach, and its is pretty generally believed that the only way to ascertain the presence of water at any distance below the surface of the earth, is by digging or boring for it, superficial evidence is wanted.     N. Intelligencer.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. I.                             Lebanon, Ohio, January, 1822.                             No. 1.

Antiquities of the People who formerly inhabited the
Western parts of the United States.

It is time to consider the third, last, and most highly interesting class of Antiquities, which comprehends those belonging to that people who erected our ancient forts and tumuli; those military works, whose walls and ditches cost so much labor in their structure, those numerous and sometimes lofty mounds, which owe their origin to a people far more civilized than our Indians, but far less so than Europeans. These works are interesting, on many accounts, to the Antiquarian, the Philosopher, and the Divine, especially when we consider the immense extent of country which they cover; the great labor which they cost their authors; the acquaintance with the useful arts, which that people had, when compared with our present race of Indians; the grandeur of many of the works themselves; the total absence of all historical records, or even traditionary accounts respecting them; the great interest which the learned have taken in them; the contradictory and erroneous accounts which have generally been given of them; to which we may add, the destruction of them which is going on in almost every place where they are found in this whole country, have jointly contributed to induce me to bestow no inconsiderable share of attention to this class of Antiquities. They were once forts, cemeteries, temples, altars, camps, towns, villages, race grounds, and other places of amusement, habitations of chieftains, videttes, watch towers, monuments, &c. These ancient works, especially the mounds, both of earth and stone, are found in every quarter of the habitable globe... and I have little doubt of their existing all the way from the spot where, we are informed, the ark of Noah rested, to our northwestern lakes, down them and their outlets, as far as the Black River country, on the southern shore of lake Ontario in New York.

On the south side of Ontario, one not far from Black River, is the farthest in a northeastern direction on this continent. One on the Chenango river, at Oxford, is the farthest south, on the eastern side of the Alleghanies. These works are small, very ancient, and appear to mark the utmost extent of the settlement of the people who erected them in that direction. Coming from Asia, finding our great lakes, and following them down thus far, Were they driven back by the ancestors of our Indians? and, Were the small forts above alluded to, built in order to protect them from the aborigines who had before that time settled along the Atlantick coast? In travelling towards lake Erie, in a western direction from the works above mentioned, a few small works are occasionally found, especially in Genesee county; but they are few and small, until we arrive at the mouth of Cataraugus creek, a water of lake Erie, in Cataraugus county, in the state of New York, where Governor Clinton, in his "Memoir, &c." says a line of forts commences, extending south upwards of fifty miles, and not more than four or five miles apart. There is said to be another line of them parallel to these, which generally contain a few acres of ground only, whose walls are only a few feet in height. For an able account of the Antiquities in the western parts of Newyork, we must again refer to Governor Clinton's Memoir, not wishing to repeat what he has so well said.

If the works already alluded to, are real forts, they must have been built by a people few in number, and quite rude in the arts of life. Travelling towards the southwest, these works are frequently seen, but like those already mentioned, they are comparatively small, until we arrive on the Licking near Newark, where are some of the most extensive and intricate, as well as interesting, of any in this state, perhaps in the world. Leaving these, still proceeding in a southwestern direction, we find some very extensive ones at Circleville. At Chillicothe there were some, but the destroying hand of man has despoiled them of their contents, and entirely removed them. On Paint Creek are some, far exceeding all others in some respects, where probably was once an ancient city of great extent. At the mouth of the Scioto, are some very extensive ones, as well as at the mouth of the Muskingum. In fine, these works are thickly scattered over the vast plain from the southern shore of lake Erie, to the Mexican Gulph, increasing in number, size and grandeur as we proceed towards the south. They may be traced around the Gulph, across the province of Texas into New Mexico, and all the way into South America. They abound most in the vicinity of good streams, and are never, or rarely found, except in a fertile soil. They are not found in the prairies of Ohio, and rarely in the barrens, and there they are small, and situated on the edge of them, and on dry ground. From the Black River country in Newyork, to this state, I need say no more concerning them; but at Salem in Ashtabula county, there is one on a hill, which merits a few words, though it is a small one compared with others farther south. The work at Salem, is on a hill near Coneaught river, if my information be correct, and is about three miles from lake Erie. It is round, having two parallel circular walls, and a ditch between them. Through these walls, leading into the inclosure, are a gateway and a road, exactly like a modern turnpike, descending down the hill to the stream by such a gradual slope, that a team with a waggon might easily either ascend or descend it, and there is no other place by which these works could be approached, without considerable difficulty. Within the bounds of this ancient enclosure, trees which grew there were such as denote the richest soil in this country, while those growing on the outside of these ruins, were such as denote the poorest.

On the surface of the earth, within this circular work, and immediately below it, pebbles rounded, and having their angles worn off in water, such as are now seen on the present shore of the lake, are found; but they are represented as bearing visible marks of having been burned in a hot fire. Bits of earthen ware, of a coarse kind, and of a rude structure, without any glazing, are found here on the surface, and a few inches below it. This ware is represented to me as having been manufactured of a sand stone and clay. My informant says, within this work are sometimes found skeletons of a people of small stature, which, if true, sufficiently identifies it to have belonged to that race of men who erected our tumuli. The vegetable mould covering the surface within the works, is at least ten inches in depth. In. these same works have been found articles, evidently belonging to Indians, of their own manufacture, as well as others, which they had derived from their intercourse with Europeans and their descendants...

Note: For more of this text, see Caleb Atwater's 1820 monograph, "Description of the Antiquites..."



Vol. I.                             Lebanon, Ohio, February, 1822.                             No. 2.

From the American Missionary Register
American Society for meliorating the condition of the Jews.

In March, 1820, this society was incorporated by the Legislature of New York. "The object of this Society, is, to invite and receive from any part of the world, such Jews as do already possess the christian religion, or are desirous to receive christian instruction, to form them into a colony, and to furnish them with ordinances and employment."

"A circumstance," (says the editor of the Register) "under the direction of Providence, has unexpectedly occurred, which, it is hoped, will give a powerful impulse to the exertions of the Board, and excite in all classes of the christian community, a lively interest in the concerns of the institution"... [communication from Adelberdt, Count von der Recke, announcing his plan to found a Jewish Christian colony in Germany follows]

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. VIII.                    Canton, Ohio, Thursday, Jan. 16, 1823.                    No. 36.


Nehemiah King of Ashtabula, Ebenezer Paine, Jr., and J. Ladd of Geauga county, have been appointed to locate the seat of justice of the county of Lorain (formed out of Cuyahoga, Portage, Medina & Huron)...

Note: For comments on Dr. Nehemiah King, see notes attached to the Repository of Feb. 6, 1817 (above).



Vol. VIII.                    Canton, Ohio, Friday, March 13, 1823.                    No. 46.


Indian Marriages. -- At the Mission house in the Seneca village, near this place, on the 8th ult. the Rev. Mr. Harris, resident Missionary, married 9 couples of the natives, 8 of whom had previously been married according to the Indian ceremony.   Buffalo paper,

Note 1: These Christian marriages were conducted on the Buffalo Creek Indian Reservation, on the outskirts of Buffalo, by the Rev. Thompson S. Harris. Harris' Presbyterian missionizing efforts among the Seneca were much opposed by their primary chief, Red Jacket (see the Apr. 7, 1824 issue of the Gettysburg, PA Adams Centinel). The chief petitioned Gov. Clinton and the New York Legislature and was able to shut down the mission for several months. In 1826 the Seneca sold their lands near Buffalo and agreed to move south to the Cattaraugus Creek Reservation.

Note 2: The "Christian faction" among the Seneca eventually gained the upper hand in tribal affairs, and even Red Jacket's own son was married in a Christian ceremony. The missionaries' new successes among the Seneca were publicized in the newspapers during the late 1820s (see the Apr. 17, 1828 and the June 11,1828 issues of the Georgia Cherokee Phoenix) and, no doubt, the earliest Mormons were aware that, on the former Buffalo Creek Reservation lands there remained a number of Seneca who were baptized Christians and who could read and write English. This fact probably accounts for Parley P. Pratt, Oliver Cowdery, and the other "Missionaries to the Lamanites" stopping over among the Seneca near Buffalo. Pratt identifies the Indians they encountered there as being of the "Cattaraugus tribe," but they were more probably visitors to the old tribal lands at Buffalo, who had already relocated their homes to the Cattaraugus Creek Reservation.


Vol. I.                           Cincinnati, January 24, 1824.                           No. 4.



... Near the close of a pleasant afternoon, I wandered to the Mound, which overlooks the western precincts of Cincinnati... While thoughtfully reclining upon its summit, a thousand evanescent whims... were as often put to flight by the reflection, that I was reposing upon one of the tombs of a race of fellow mortals, the last of whom had long since commingled with the dust. I continued musing upon the history of frail mortality, until the shadows of night closed around, and I insensibly fell into a gentle slumber.

Methought I was suddenly transported into a long gloomy hall, illuminated by a single taper; the walls were decorated with beads, and shells, and stones, -- fragments of earthen ware, and copper trinkets, -- bones, skeletons, and ghastly mummies. A large oaken table, covered with books and drawings, and mouldering manuscripts occupied the middle of the floor. A convocation of Antiquarian philosophers was seated around it, engaged in reading, qnd comparing broken decayed bones; and each one distinguished from the rest, by a fanciful badge of former years.

A wooden column rose from the centre of teh table, supporting a marble slab, on which was placed one of those female mummies recently disentombed from a Nitre cavern in Kentucky...

The President, haveing called the meeting to order, rose slowly from his chair, and every eye was hastily turned upon him. Having bowed respectfully, he observed -- "... We have before us a field unbounded, and fruitful in the monumnets of Antiquity... BY a process of reasoning entirely new, I have convinced myself, that the primitive inhabitants of the earth, lived upon this continent. I feel assured indeed, that the 'garden of Eden' was within the present limits... In the course of my examinations among the Indian Antiques, I have... under the direction of the American Antiquarian Society, fully established numberless interesting facts, touching this long lost nation of people... They were Roman Catholics, as has been proven by the discovery of a Cross, suspended from the neck of a skeleton, disentombed at Chilicothe..."

Here he was interrupted by a member near the middle of the table... "I have, Sir, by a luminous chain of ratiocination based upon the midplane cavity between facts and asumptions, fully demonstrated that the architects of these stupendous remains, were a hardy set of bold male adventurers, who issued from the artic polar opening, on a scientific expedition, about the close of the fourth century. That there were no females among these wanderers from Symmesonia, is evident, from the fact, that the whole race is now extinct." ... [at length a demon appears and the conclave of learned gentlemen scatters in sudden fright]

The noise and confusion of the flight at length aroused me from my slumbers. My limbs were stiffened with the cold dews of evening; -- all was silence around; and the beauteous Goddess of night, was rising over the eastern hills, and casting her silver beams upon the quiet city.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. I.                               Cincinnati, February 21, 1824.                               No. 8.


To collect and embody materials for the History of our Country, particularly the Western Section of it, is one of the objects to which we have intended to devote a portion of our paper. Some of our contributors, are in possession of documents from which we hope hereafter to obtain many valuable facts.

The following article from Professor Rafinesque, of Transylvania University, seems to embrace a more extended historical view than he had expected to bring before our readers, few of whom can be supposed to be able to judge of the facts or inferences except from the character of the author whose industry and researches are well known. It is very probable however that the grounds on which his opinions are founded might not appear as substsntial to most readers as to the learned Professor.



Having for several years past observed the numerous remains of antiquity scattered throughout the Western States, and personally surveyed many of them; they have unfolded to me many new views, which compared with the late historical researches made in Indostan, have offered some important results.

It is my intention to publish occasionally in the present form, the most conspicuous of those results, in a concise manner; reserving for special works on the subject, the details and illustrations of my research.

The ancient monuments of North America, known to me already, amount to 1830 (exclusive of little mounds and graves) and the sites where they are found to 540, of which 505 monuments and 148 sites are in Kentucky; the remainder out of Kentucky. In Ohio 72 sites and 150 monuments of ancient population are known to me.

These monuments appear to have been erected by at least three very distinct races of men, that have successively inhabited North America.

The first and most ancient came to America from the East, and sprung from five ancient North-African nations, the Atlantes, Palis, Warbars, Darans and Corans, and five ancinet European Nations of the same race: the Celts, Cantabrians, Cimbrians, Pelasgians and Tubalans. Their monuments are known by their great antiquity and circular shapes. One half of the American population has sprung from this ancient stock, and has divided itself in 1000 nations, among which the most conspicuous were in North America the Tlascalans, Chipans, Apalachians, Talegans &c. and in South America the Parians, Skayans, Guaranis, Araucanians, Quichuans &c.

The second race of men, came from Asia, by the West, the Malays or Hindous have furnished but few nations to America; the great bulk sprung from the Tulans, Assians and Istakans of the Caucasus, which separated at a very early period from the Irans or primitive nation, and has spread in 6 distinct nations through North Asia and America; they were called by the Mexicans, Xolhuans, Tenochans, Xicallancas, Olmecs, Mistecas and Otomians, from them sprung since 600 American nations and tribes, such as the Toltecas, Mexicans, Natchez, Osages, Chicasaws, &c. Their monuments are known by their angular shapes &c.

The third race sprung in Siberia from the Oguisians, Tongusians, Samojeds, Vogulians &c. and came last to America, where it has divided in six nations Lenapians, Mengwers, Edluans, Rumsens, Euslens and Karatits, and these again in 400 tribes, their monumnets are known by their recent state and rude structure...

These outlines although unfolding important facts, may appear mere assertions to those who are not acquainted with the numerous proofs that can be adduced to support them; but such proofs would swell swell these pages beyond their endurance.

By these researches several great historical problems have been solved, -- such as

1. Who were the first inhabitants of America? They came from North Africa, Europe and Hindostan soon after the foundation of the eastern empires.

2. Who were the ancestors of the Mexican race? This query which has been pronounced by the Edinburg Review, one of the most important and obscure, is now nearly solved. They sprung from a Caucassian nation, the ancient Tulans and Istakans, whose asiatic tribe still exist under the names of Asibans or Abassans, Attikeseks, &c.

3. Who built our ancinet monuments? The Tlascalans, Talegans, Apalachians, Olmecas, Toltecas, Natchez, &c. and the most modern were raised by the Shawnees, Ottawas, Panis, &c.
In my ancient history of Kentucky, and North America, these positions will be illustrated and proved.
C. S. RAFINESQUE.        

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. I.                           Cincinnati, February 28, 1824.                           No. 9.

Symmesonian No. 1.

Having been informed Mr. Editor, that your countrymen always require of every person when first introduced to them, a regular account of himself -- including his name, his business, whence he came, where he is going, &c. &c. I shall commence this communication by informing you that I am desirous of concealing my name, and that all otehr matters concerning myself will be revelaed to you in the course of several communications which I intend making...

My country is that part of the concave surface of this sphere lately discovered by Capt. Symmes of this city, and named by him Symmesonia. I have been induced to undertake the dangerous and fatiguing journey from thence to this city, in consequence of a report by some of the red men of the morth, (who have, as they say, been driven quite into the concave regions by your encroachments on their territory,) that an expedition was fitting out here under the command of Capt. Symmes, for the purpose of visiting my country. From the character given of you by your red neighbors and their accounts of your conduct toard them, very great alarm has been excited in Symmesonia...

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. I.                           Cincinnati, March 20, 1824.                           No. 12.


The very amiable private character of Capt. Symmes; the reputation which he acuired in the army as a brave and active officer, and the exclusive devotion of all his time, talents and property to the propagation of his new doctrines, have excited a degree of attention and sympathy towards him in this city, which in many instances, induces a belief of the truth of his theory; and that his opinions are treated with undeserved neglect and contempt by the learned, and by our government. Capt. Symmes' arguments are such as require no scientific knowledge for their comprehension; while those principles of science which have long been considered as the most firmly established, are in opposition to them -- but are not generally understood, except by men of liberal education. For the purpose of exhibiting the real merit of Capt. Symmes' theory and making the reasons of the neglect of it intelligible to all, Mr. T. J. Matthews has been induced to deliver the lecture of which the publication is commenced this number. It will be found to contain information sufficiently valuable to the generality of our readers to authorize its publication, even if no extraordinary reason for it existed; and as a literary production it will doubtless be considered creditable to the author.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. I.                               Cincinnati, April 3, 1824.                               No. 14.


Ancient History of North America. --
Monuments of the State of Ohio.

Archaeological Enquiries are among the most evident, certain, and accurate sources of the knowledge of historical revolutions and events.

The Monuments of the State of Ohio were among the first to be noticed, and many have been repeatedly described, particularly those of Marietta, Circleville, Newark, Miami, &c. yet we are very far from knowing them all, since I have only been able to see or collect information on nearly 160 of them, distributed in about 70 places or sites, while I have already discovered twice as many sites in Kentucky, containing over 500 such remains of ancient population.

My giving a short account of such sites and monuments in Ohio, it may lead to further discoveries, and to ascertain all the localities of ancient populations in that State: which is indispensable before a complete view of its ancient Geography and History can be undertaken.

The individuals into whose hands these disquisitions may fall, and who may be acquainted with any spot or monument omitted by myself and former writers, may easily increase our historical knowledge by communicating to me, or rather, to the public by means of newspaper, or the Literary Gazette, such additional facts.

I was in hopes that Mr. Atwater, when he undertook to describe again the Antiquities of Ohio, would not have neglected to collect and embody all the previous or actual information concerning the monuments of that State; but his labours although highly valuable as far as they go, were far from being general. He was too much bent upon a peculiar system, and surprised by a few magnificent remains, to enlarge by a liberal method the bounds of science, and enter into the details of all the seats of population by a connected view of the whole. -- I was once in active Corresponsence with him, but having often ventured to give him some advice, to show him that he had not exhausted the subject, and particularly how absurd it was to consider all our monuments as forts, how necessary it was to consult, acknowledge, or correct previous writers, &c. I had to regret that I gave offence, although nothing was further from my intention. He has never mentioned my name in his work, although he was at last compelled to acknowledge the truth of some of my hints, and contradict himself. Having since corrected some inaccuracies of his in a Review of his labours (very different from the fulsome account of the North American Review) I have incurred his displeasure, which has shown itself in a manner rather singular and unwarrantable.

Yet I always admired the zeal and industry of Mr. Atwater, and still think that if he could have studied more and attempted less, or rather, made his attempts on a different plan and scale, the results would have been more beneficial to history and science. Meantime I still look up to him for an increase of the knowledge on which I am now writing, and he never will find any one more ready to acknowledge and praise his labours than myself, notwithstanding whatever may have happened... [a catalog of 36 Ohio sites follows, including "Salem, Ashtabula Cy.," etc.]

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. I.                               Cincinnati, April 10, 1824.                               No. 15.


Ancient History of North America. --
Monuments of the State of Ohio.


[a catalog of 34 more Ohio sites follows]

It would be highly desirable that some intelligent citizens of Ohio, residing in those neighbourhoods would give us some idea of the number and kind of monuments that they may afford or show, if not destroyed already.

If there are any monumnets in places omitted in the above enumeration, the information will be still more valuable.

Before I came to Kentucky, hardly 15 sites and 100 monuments were known to be in this State, and my researches during 4 or 5 years have increased sixfold the number of sites...

Every new site discovered will be an addition to the geography of our country, and ought to be inserted in our maps, as I mean to do in my statistical and physical map of Kentucky. Every single monument well indicated, becomes an addition to our knowledge of ancient Arts, civilization, population and History. -- A time may come when such labours will be deemed highly important; when discoveries will become rare; and then our pyramids, and monuments will be visited like those of Egypt.

That will happen when we shall have an ancient History of America, for which the materials are near us; when we shall imitate the best late historians, who no longer begin the history of Italy, with Romulus, nor of Greece with Inachus, but dive into the earliest records of time. Then the history of America will no longer begin with Columbus; but ascend to the powerful Empires and Nations of Anahuac, Muyscas, Peru, Arcucans, Chiapa, Cholula, Tula, Hayata, Apalachians, Thapalans, Talegans, Natchez, &c. which have successively flourished for ages in our Hemisphere
C. S. RAFINESQUE.        

Note: Although Prof. Rasinesque makes passing mention of a once "powerful Empire" or "Nation" in "Chiapa," the name seems to have been only a spot on the map of Guatamala for him, in 1824. The following year Rafinesque would be asked to leave his teaching position at Transylvania University in Lexington and would begin several months of travels that eventually landed him in Philadelphia. Either in the course of those wanderings, or at his new home in Pennsylvania, the Professor came across the 1822 edition of Del Rio's old explorations in Chiapas, where he uncovered the important Mayan ruins near Palenque. Rafinesque's study of Del Rio's report would cause him to re-orient his entire pre-Columbian American social geography around Palenque -- and thus, "Chiapa" became his preeminent New World "Empire." See Rafinesque's letter of Jan. 1, 1826 in the Philadelphia Saturday Evening Post.


Vol. I.                                 Cincinnati, May 8, 1824.                                 No. 19.


Ancient History of North America. --
On the Mexican Nations


The name of Mexico has been given to that extensive region of North America, about 3000 miles long, stretching from the sources of Rio-grande in New Mexico to the Isthmus of Darien in Panama: although that region has ever been divided into a great number of independent states and nations, and had many peculiar names. Mexico was at one period a powerful empire in the centre of that region called Anahuac; but it never subdued many other states in the immediate neighborhood, such as the kingdoms of Tezcuco, Mihuacan, &c. the Republics of Tlascala, Cholula, &c. Anahuac extended no further south, than the 14th degree of latitude; beyond this were the independent regions Onohualco, Nicaragua, &c. On the north, Anahuac extended only 100 miles beyond Mexico, and northward of it all the nations were independent of the Mexican domination.

This fact is of material importance in our ancient history. Mexico was only one of the many kingdoms of North America, and was established by one of the tribes of Iztakans called Aztecas, about the year 1353.

America called Atala by the Hindoux and Celts, had been inhabited for ages by numberless nations that came through the Atlantic Ocean, and which had spread from Lake Ontario to Paraguay, forming powerful empires in Ohio, Kentucky, Anahuac, Onohualco, and South America; when about 3000 years ago, it was invaded from the west by many Asiatic tribes; which event was followed by many revolutions in this continent.

The annals of these nations, which have been partly preserved by the Mexicans, &c. give us a tolerably connected history of their migrations and establishments, which their monuments and languages help us to elucidate....

These primitive Iztakan nations, driven gradually to America by the revolutions of Asia, (in which they all agree) settled successively in various parts, spreading from New Albion to Florida, and from California to Chili, during 20 centuries, conquering many of the Atalan nations; but were driven away from the great part of North America, by the posterior invasion of the Siberian or Oghusian nations, which began near the time of the christian era, or 1800 years ago....

The posterity of Xolhua and Tenoch, who spoke dialects nearly similar, followed next, and became the most distinguished. They spread from the Rio Gila to the Mississippi, at first establishing many powerful kingdoms, such as Aztlan, Teocolhua, Amaquim, Tollan, Tula, Tehuajo, Rabajog, Huetapalan, Cibola, Copatla, Tlapal, &c. several of which, (and particularly the two last) were on the Mississippi or Chucagua. These were all to the north of Anahuac. In those northern regions, they became divided into many tribes and nations; the invasions of the Oghusian tribes from Siberia, and their mutual wars drove them gradually to Anahuac. Their arrival and history in that country are positively known...

In 1160 the Nahuans or Nahuatlacas, left Aztlan; they divided into 7 tribes, Sochinulcus, Chalcas, Tapanecas, Colhuas, Tlahuicas, Tlascalans, and Aztecas. They reached Anahuac in 1178....


Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. I.                                 Cincinnati, Ohio, Saturday, May 15, 1824.                                 No. 20.



The Aztecan tribe deserves peculiar notice, as the ancestors of the real Mexicans. After wandering in many parts of Anahuac, they began to build Mexico in 1325, but called it Tenochtitlan. They were then a republic divided into a double clan, but in 1353 thay elected Acamapitzin for their first king; he was succeeded by 10 kings or Emperors, who became very powerful by the gradual conquest of the greatest part of Anahuac. Their empire was ultimately destroyed by the Spaniards in 1521, under their last Emperor, Guatimotzin, after lasting only 168 years,

The Otomis, were the least civilized of all the Iztakan nations, and appear to have come to America last of all, since they are always found in the rear of the others. They however reached Anahuac soon after the Toltecas, but never went further than the northern frontier. They were mere hunters and only began to become civilized and to build towns in 1420. They were but partly subdued by the Mexicans, and were only reduced by the Spaniards in 1650. They extended 300 miles north of Anahuac, and were surrounded by numerous hunting nations such as the Tarans, Opas, Endevans, Najaris, &c. who dialects of a peculiar language, the Eduan or Californian; besides many civilized nations living in towns...

The Otomian nations appear to have had a large range in North America, and to have extended from the Missouri and the Scioto to Anahuac....

Lastly the numerous tribes... who speak similar dialects although intermixt with the Otomian tribes are of a different origin and much older in America.... These distinctions are very important, in order to ascertain the migrations and acquire an accurate knowledge of the various nations of North America.
C. S. RAFINESQUE.       

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. I.                                 Cincinnati, Ohio, Saturday, May 29, 1824.                                 No. 22.


Ancient History of North America. --
Biography of the American Solomon.

The Biography of eminent monarchs, heroes, legislators, and philosophers, has always been an important department of history. It would be my wish to rescue from oblivion, all the eminent Americans of ancient times, whose names and deeds are scattered. in the fugitive annals of the American nations, and in whose lives we may find new sources of instruction, admiration and entertainment. As an example of my plan and view, I now select one of the most illustrious individuals of North American history who united in the highest degree II the above mentioned titles; since he was a wise King, a great warrior, an enlightened lawgiver and an eminent philosopher. I shall bestow upon him the title of the AMERICAN SOLOMON, which he really deserves: and give an abridged notice of his life, character and deeds.


Was the tenth king of Tezcuco, or the Acolhuans, in the region of Anahuac, which we call sometimes Mexico. He was the son of Ixtli, the sixth king of Tezcuco, who had been dethroned and killed by Tezomoc king of the Tepanecas in 1410.

Nazahual was then 20 years old; and, being compelled to take refuge in the mountains, until the death of Tezomoc in 1442; he was taught wisdom by adversity. Tezomoc, a monster of cruelty and ambition, who had become Emperor of all Anahuac by treachery and conquest, was succeeded by his son Tejatzin, who was murdered in 1423 by his brother Maxtlaton, another, tyrant, against whom Nazahual rose in arms, and being joined by the Mexicans, Tlascalans, &c. he succeeded after three years, in destroying him and reconquering his father's dominions. (1) He was crowned in 1420, and had a long happy reign of 44 years, one of the most glorious and peaceful in Mexican history; he was during that long period in close alliance with the Mexicans, and was merely involved in a short war with Chalco in 1437. He rendered his capital Tezcuco, one of the finest and most flourishing cities in Anahuac. It became the Athens of the Mexican nations, the nursery of arts and the centre of cultivation. The Mexican language was spoken there with the greatest purity. Artists, poets, orators and historians abounded there in his life time and afterwards.

Nazahual was not only a great hero and sage, but an astronomer, naturalist and poet. The progress which he made in the arts and and sciences were such as may be expected of from a great genius, who has but few books to study, or masters to instruct him. Nothing gave him so much delight as the study of nature: he applied himself to the knowledge of the stars, animals and plants; he caused paintings to be made of all those of Anahuac. He established Academies and Colleges of Astronomy, History, Poetry, Music, Painting, &c.

This American Solomon exceeded the Asiatic Solomon in many things: since he was a great reformer and legislator, and completed the civilization of the Acolhuan nation. He established four great tribunals, called the Civil, Criminal, Financial and Military tribunals. He published a code of 80 laws, which are worthy of praise. He went about in disguise to know whether they were properly executed; and he was so strictly just, that he allowed 4 of his sons to be put to death, who had violated the laws and committed crimes. Yet his clemency and benevolence were acknowledged by all.

His enquiries into the causes and effects of natural phenomena, led him to discover the weakness of Idolatry and the Mexican Worship. He became a Deist and acknowledged no other God than the creator of Heaven. He taught this doctrine to his sons and successors, but attempted in vain to inculcate it among his people. He abolished human sacrifices, but was compelled by the priests to permit sometimes the sacrifice of prisoners. He erected a high tower of nine stories for his own worship, which he dedicated to the only God, or the Creator of Heaven.

He excelled in the poetry of his nation; he composed 60 hymns in honor of the Creator of Heaven, besides many odes, &c. His hymns and odes were highly esteemed; they became celebrated even among the Spaniards after the conquest of Mexico, and they have been translated into Spanish.

Tezcuco was embellished by him, with new buildings, palaces, gardens, schools temples, &c. All the arts and sciences flourished there under him and his successors.(2)

He had many wives, but only one Queen, the daughter of the king of Tacuba. He died in 1470 at the age of 80, after having chosen and appointed his son Nazahual-pilli for his successor, who followed the worthy steps of his father, and had a happy reign of 46 years.(3)

Such was the life of the great Nazahual, the best, wisest and most glorious king of the Acolhuans: who although setting on throne, did not disdain to cultivate and improve Religion, Philosophy, the Sciences, Arts and Literature. Who was virtuous and just, generous, pious, enlightened and prudent: happy and worthy model of a truly great kind, and wise legislator.
(1) The kingdom of Tezcuco was 200 miles long and 60 broad; it contained nearly two millions of inhabitants. It was also called the kingdom of Acolhuan; but Tezcuco the metropolis gave generally its name to it. Many other large towns were included in that kingdom. It was quite independent of Mexico.

(2) The town of Tezcuco was on the west side of the Lake of Tezcuco or Mexico, and the most splendid, if not the largest town, in Anahuac after Mexico.

(3) Nazahual-pilli or Nazahual II, was thus called to distinguish him from his father, who was also called Nazahual-coyotl, or the Fox; the fox being the emblem of wisdom among the Mexicans.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. III.                       Sandusky, Ohio, Wednesday, June 9, 1824.                       No. 3.

From the Broome Co. Republican.


On the afternoon of the eleventh inst Mr. Oliver Harper, of Windsor, in this county, was robbed and murdered on the public road between Mount Pleasant and Ocquago. Mr. Harper had been down the Delaware river to Philadelphia, with a large quantity of lumber, and was returning with a considerable sum of money in his possession; he had arrived within eight or ten miles of his house, when he was shot down, and robbed by some person or persons unknown.

The deceased was a son of George Harper, Esq. and about 40 years of age. He was an enterprizing and industrious citizen, and his death will be sincerely mourned by a numerous circle of relatives and friends. -- His money, the fruit of successful industry, no doubt prompted the commission of this horrible crime. No circumstances have yet transpired which lendto fix suspicion upon any particular person, but we hope and trust that the perpetrators of this foul deed will not be permitted to escape punishment.

MURDER OF MR. HARPER. -- A young man of the name of Jason Treadwell, has been taken up and committed to jail in Montrose, on suspicion of being the murderer of, Mr. Oliver Harper, of Windsor, Broom county, whose death is mentioned in an article from the Binghampton Republican in the last Journal. There are several strong circumstances stated against Treadwell...

... A rifle was found in the woods, near the scene of the murder, which was recognised as belonging to Treadwell. These, and other circumstances which have been reported leave no doubt that Tread well is the murderer. Mr. Harper had been down the Delaware with lumber, and was within 8 or 10 miles of home a short distance within the Pennsylvania line, when he was shot down. The money in his possession was the only incentive to the foul deed; and from inquiries which had been made in the neighborhood by Treadwell, it was supposed that another person similarly circumstanced to Mr. Harper was the intended victim for [whom] he lay waiting.
Ithaca Journal.

Note 1: The first article was reprinted in various Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio newspapers, including the June 3, 1824 issue of the Livingston Register, etc. The second appears to be a summary of an article from the Broome Co. Republican. That paper also published a lengthy article on Treadwell's conviction and sentencing -- see its reprint in the Sept. 22, 1824 issue of the Gettysburg Adams Centinel.

Note 2: Oliver Harper (b. 1784, the son of Judge George Harper and Ruth Wolcott) was murdered near Windsor, Broome Co., NY on Tuesday, May 11, 1824. George Harper was an early resident of Windsor twp., Broome Co., NY. He served as the first Postmaster of Ocquago (or Ocquago) which became Windsor P. O. in 1818. Where the above article mentions "Ocquago," the writer is probably NOT referring to Ouaquaga, the hamlet three miles north of Windsor. What likely happened is that Oliver Harper disembarked from a boat on the Delaware River at or near Deposit, Broome Co., NY and was on the road running westward from there to Windsor, when he was waylaid and murdered near modern McClure hamlet, on Oquaga Creek. However, other accounts say he was killed in neighboring Harmony twp., Susquehanna Co., PA. Oliver and his parents are buried in Stow (Ouaquaga) Cemetery, two miles north of Windsor. Oliver Harper's widow is not buried there, indicating that perhaps that she remarried and moved elsewhere, after her own 1825 participation in the Joseph Smith directed money-digging venture proved fruitless.

Note 3: Emily C. Blackman's 1873 book History of Susquehanna Co. provides some background information on the murder of Oliver Harper and the eventual execution of the man convicted of killing him, Jason Treadwell. See also the April 1879 statement of Joseph and Hiel Lewis, who say: "some time previous to 1825, a man by the name of Wm. Hale, a distant relative of our uncle Isaac Hale... commenced digging [for money], but being too lazy to work, and too poor to hire, he obtained a partner by the name of Oliver Harper, of York state, who had the means to hire help... Wm. Hale heard ofpeeper Joseph Smith, jr.... Smith was either hired or became a partner with Wm. Hale, Oliver Harper and a man by the name of Stowell..."

Note 4: Some researchers have speculated that Joseph Smith, Jr. actually lived with Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Harper at Windsor in 1822-24. RLDS Elder Michael Morse reported: "...Joseph said, when they (Harper's money-diggers) failed to find the 'treasure,' that a man must die, -- a sacrifice must be made..." See also F. G. Mather's Aug 1880 article, where he says: "At last the prophet decided that it was of no use to dig unless one of their number was made a sacrifice. None of the faithful responded to his call, and thus the magnificent scheme was abandoned. Oliver Harper, one of the diggers who furnished the money, was soon afterward murdered. The prophet thought this might answer for a sacrifice: he again rallied the diggers, but the charm remained stubborn and would not reveal the silver" Whether or not Joseph Smith's alleged call for a human sacrifice among the Susquehanna money-diggers was in any way related to Treadwell's murder of money-digger financier Oliver Harper, remains undetermined. Tradition says that the money Harper was carrying was obligated for the pay of his employees, some of whom were then digging stone from a quarry. Treadwell was tried and hanged for the murder, although swore to the end that he was innocent. At the very least, this unhappy incident shows that that young Joseph once found employment among a rough set of men, one or more of whom were perhaps prepared to commit murder to get what they wanted. Strangely enough, a once close associate of Joseph Smith provides a recollection of an 1842 conversation with him which may shed some light upon Joseph's uneasy relationship with the Susquehanna money-diggers. In his "Further Mormon Developments" article. published in the July 15, 1842 issue of the Sangamo Journal, former top Mormon leader John C. Bennett recalls that Smith threatened him, by saying:"I tell you as I was once told, 'your die is cast -- your fate is fixed -- your doom is sealed,' if you refuse. Will you do it, or die?" The veracity of Bennett's recollection is, of course, subject to informed disbelief. However, the probability remains that Joseph Smith, jr. was never afterwards in more dangerous or threatening close company than he was when he associated with Susquehanna money-diggers during the early 1820s.



Vol. X.                    Canton, Ohio, Thursday, October 7, 1824.                    No. 21.


John [sic] Treadwell has been convicted of murder in the first degree, at a Court of Oyer and Terminer held at Montrose in the county of Susquehanna, and sentenced to be hung for the killing of Oliver Harper on the 11th of May last.

The testimony, although principally circumstantial, was clear and pointed; irresistibly establishing the prisoner's guilt, and exhibiting in him a depravity of heart, seldom evinced in cases of equal magnitude. --

Treadwell, no doubt, had meditated the murder of Harper, for several days previous to carrying his designs into execution. -- He had ascertained, as near as possible, the time Mr. Harper would return from Philadelphia, in which place Mr. H. had been with lumber. Having blacked and disguised himself, he lay in wait nearly two days, in an unfrequented tract of woods adjoining the road Mr. Harper would necessarily travel, a few miles distant from his residence. It does not appear that Mr. Harper was in any way apprised of the approach of the murderer. He was shot through the head and instantly expired. -- Treadwell then rifled his pockets of about $400, and fled to the woods. On the day the murder was committed he was seen with his rifle by a Mr. Welton, blacked and secreted by the way, near the spot where Mr. Harper was found. He was subsequently recognized by Mr. Welton. . This, with other circumstances, led to his detection, and finally to his conviction.

Note 1: The report was originally published in the Binghampton Republican Herald of Sept. 10, 1824. A better (fuller) reprint of the article appeared in the Sept. 22, 1824 issue of the Gettysburg, PA, Adams Centinel.

Note 2: Dan Vogel, in the Chronology Appendex for the 5th volume of his Early Mormon Documents, dates Joseph Smith, Jr.'s first appearance in the Colesville-Harmony area to mid-October, 1825. If this assumption is correct, Smith had no involvement with Oliver Harper's Susquehannah money-diggers until after Harper's murder. Other sources, however, indicate that Joseph Smith, Sr. and Joseph Smith, Jr. had visited the Susquehannah area earlier, as timber-cutters. See Nov. 1, 1825 "Articles of Agreement" for documentation of the Smith's connection with Harper's money-diggers.



Vol. X.                    Canton, Ohio, Friday, December 31, 1824.                    No. 33.


Dec. 12. -- Petitions ... By Mr. Rigdon from certain inhabitants of Columbiana, Stark, and Harrison, praying for a new county....

... The bill to amend the act for the preventing of certain immoral practices... was taken up... Mr. Rigdon said he had been attentively engaged in observing the course of law on individuals who were inclined to disturb persons engaged in public worship, and was fully convinced that all laws that had been, or could be, enacted, would be inefficient and of unfavorable tendency....

Dec. 22. Reports -- Of the committee of the three percent fund, by Mr. Rigdon...

The Book of Revelation unsealed. -- Under this head the editors of the National Intelligencer announce that 'after remaining hidden during many centuries, the meaning of the Apocalypse has been revealed.' ... Worthy with dropsied Southcote to be classed...

Note: Dr. Thomas Rigdon, representative of Knox county, was a cousin of the Rev. Sidney Rigdon. See the Ohio Repository of Oct. 28, 1824, for a notice of Dr. Rigdon's election to the Legislature.


Vol. X.                           Canton, Ohio, January 7, 1825.                           No. 34.


Another Execution. -- The death warrant for the execution of Jason Treadwell, who was convicted in the County of Susquehannah for the murder of Oliver Harper, has been received by the Sheriff of said county and he is to be hung on Thursday the 13th inst.

Note: Dan Vogel, in the Chronology Appendix for the 5th volume of his Early Mormon Documents, dates Joseph Smith, Jr.'s first appearance in the Colesville-Harmony area to mid-October, 1825. If this assumption is correct, Smith had no involvement with Oliver Harper's Susquehannah money-diggers until after Harper's murder. Other sources, however, indicate that Joseph Smith, Sr. and Joseph Smith, Jr. had visited the Susquehannah area earlier, as timber-cutters. See Nov. 1, 1825 "Articles of Agreement" for documentation of the Smith's connection with Harper's money-diggers.



Vol. ?                           Sandusky, Ohio, Saturday, January 8, 1825.                           No. ?

(Excerpt from "The Devil and Tom Walker" -- a Washington Irving story
about Kidd's buried gold, ancient indian earthworks, etc. -- not copied)


Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XI.                           Canton, Ohio, Thursday, Oct. 13, 1825.                           No. ?

(article about Maj. M. M. Noah's theories on Israelite origin of the Indians, etc.
under construction)


Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. XIV.                           New Lisbon, Ohio, October 29, 1825.                           No. ?

From Noah's speech at Ararat.

The discovery of the lost tribes of Israel, has never ceased to be a subject of deep interest to the Jews. The divine protection which has been bestowed upon the chosen people, from the infancy of nature to the present period, has, without doubt, been equally extended to the missing tribes, and, if as I have reason to believe, our lost brethren were the ancestors of the Indians of the American Continent, the inscrutable decrees of the Almighty have been fulfilled in spreading unity and omnipotence in every quarter of the globe. Upwards of three thousand years have elapsed, since the nine and a half tribes were carried captive by Palamanazer, King of Assyria. It is supposed they were spread over the various countries of the East, and by their international marriages, have lost their identity of character. It is, however, probable that from the previous sufferings of the tribes in the Egyptian bondage, that they bent their course in a north west [sic] direction, which brought them within a few leagues of the American Continent. and which they finally reached.

Those who are most conversant with the public and private economy of the Indians, are strongly of opinion that they are the lineal descendants of the Israelites, and my own researches go far to confirm me in the same belief.

The Indians worship one Supreme Being as the fountain of life, and the author of all creation. -- Like the Israelites of old, they are divided into tribes having their Chief, and distinctive Symbol to each. Some of their tribes it is said are named after the Cherubinical figures that were carried on the four principal standards of Israel. They consider themselves as the distinct people of God, and have all the religious pride which our ancestors are known to have possessed. Their words are sonorous and bold, and their language and dialect are evidently of the Hebrew origin. They compute time after the manner of the Israelites, by dividing the year into four seasons, and their subdivisions are the lunar months, our new moons commencing according to the ecclesiastical year of Moses, the first moon after the vernal equinox. They have their prophets, high priests, and their sanctum sanctorum, in which all their consecrated vessels are deposited, and which are only to be approached by their archimagas or high priest. They have towns and cities of refuge -- they have sacrifices and fastings -- they abstain from unclean things, in short, in their marriages, divorces, punishment of adultery -- burial of the dead, mourning, they bear a striking analogy to our people. How came they on this continent, and if indigenous, when did they acquire the principles of the Jews? The Indians are not savages, they are wild and savage in their habits, but possess great vigor of interest and native talent, they are brave and eloquent people, with Asiatic complexion, Jewish features. Should we be right in our conjectures, what new scenes are opened to the nation -- the first of people on the old world, and the rightful inheritors of the new? Spread from the confines of the northwest coast to Cape Horn, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

If the tribes could be brought together, could be made sensible of their origin, could be civilized, and restored to their long lost brethren, what joy to our people, what glory to our God; how certain our dispersion, how miraculous our preservation, how providential our deliverance.

It shall be my duty to pursue the subject by every means in my power.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XII.                           Canton, Ohio, August 3, 1826.                           No. 12.

October Election Candidates.

Governor -- Allen Trimble, Calvin Pease and Duncan McArthur.

Congress -- ...

Holmes County -- Assembly: ... Charles Rigdon. ...

Stages. -- Two lines now run twice a week between this place [Painesville] and Warren; one pursuing the old state road, and the other the Burton route -- and a link is about to be established through Ravenna, in Portage county, intersecting the Warren line at Chardon. -- Painesv. Tel.

Note 1: Calvin Pease was the attorney for Solomon Spalding's land business partner in NE Ohio. Charles Rigdon was the cousin of the Rev. Sidney Rigdon.

Note 2: Stage line connections, by the summer of 1826, had developed to the point that Sidney Rigdon (then living in Mentor, Ohio, near Painesville) could have made round-trips to visit his relatives on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, and barely missed a Sunday preaching service. In cases where he chose to stay away a little longer, or was delayed by bad weather and poor road conditions, Rigdon could still have left Mentor, traveled as far as Palmyra, New York, or Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and returned home, having missed only one Sunday preaching engagement during his absence.


Vol. II.                   Ravenna, Saturday, August 19, 1826.                   No. 18.



On the Religious Notions of


As exhibited in their Writings, Orations
&c. Addressed particularly to the


Composing the Mahoning Association.


"Beloved; believe not every spirit
but try the spirits, whether they are of
God, because many false prophets are
gone out into the world."


The stores of Messrs  KENT,  PRENTISS & BREWSTER,
and also at this office.                                   

Price 12 ½ Cents.

August 19th, 1826.

Note 1: Evidently, Rev. Lawrence Greatrake, Sidney Rigdon's eventual replacement in the First Baptist Church in Pittsburgh, traveled to Portage County, Ohio to have the above advertised pamphlet published. The title's mention of the "Religious Notions of A[lexander] Campbell and others" in the Mahoning Baptist Association, is an obvious reference to the "Reformed Baptist" elders Walter Scott (at Steubenville), Adamson Bentley (at Warren), and Sidney Rigdon (who preached occasionally within the bounds of the Mahoning Assocation, at Hiram, Mantua, etc.).

Note 2: It may be assumed, that Rev. Greatrake peddled his pamphlets along the route back to Pittsburgh, stopping at Warren (where he advertised in the newspaper), Youngstown, Steubenville, Wheeling, Bethany, etc., on his the way. The retail stores of Zenas Kent and H. A. Brewster were located in Ravenna, in Portage Co. -- whether or not stores in neighboring Geauga Co. also sold the publication remains unknown. Rev. Greatrake was in a position to divulge a good deal about the private and public lives of Sidney Rigdon and Rigdon's coreligionists: the pamphlet's contents, however, remain a mystery, as no copy has survived for modern historians' inspection.

Note 3: The same notice ran in the Western Courier's columns through mid-October.


Published by Hapgood & Pease -- Warren, Trumbull County, Ohio.
Vol. X.                                Warren,   Friday, Aug. 25, 1825.                                 No. 517.


And for sale at the stores of D. & L. King and D. Gilbert, in this place, and at this office, a pamphlet entitled.

A. CAMPBELL, and others, &c.

Price 12 ½ Cents.

Note: The above notice ran in the Chronicle through the end of September -- see notes appended to a similar advertisement in the Ravenna Western Courier of Aug. 19th for more details.



Vol. V.                         Sandusky, Ohio, Saturday, December 2, 1826.                         No. 25.


DIVINING RODS. The vulgar belief in some parts of this country is so generally in favor of the mysterious virtue of "Divining Rods," that it is gratifying to find the subject has attracted the attention of men of science. A communication is inserted in the last number of the Journal of Sciences and the arts, statements and arguments to show how little reason there is to place any confidence in the pretended discoveries of the impostors who use them.

The "divining" (rod is) a forked twig about two feet long of the willow or hazle. The latter is generally preferred. It is used to discover precious stones in the earth, or springs of water. In some of the western states and territories it has acquired the greatest credit, and been most been most extensively used, because in some parts of those region springs are very scarce. The art of divining is there practised by numbers of persons, who often demand a high price for their services, and live by imposing upon the credulity of their neighbors. To use the divining rod, the hands are spread, with the palms upward the thumbs pointing out, when the ends of the forks are grasped by closing the fingers, and the rod is carried along perpendicularly over the ground to be explored. The practitioners pretend that on [arriving] over water, or a mass of precious ore, the top of the rod will bend over and point at it; and sometimes the incredulous spectator is made to observe that the bark is twisted by the subterraneous attraction, which is represented as too powerful to be resisted by the firmest grasp.

The writer in the Journal of Science mentions an experiment made with a boy, who was supposed to be gifted by nature for a diviner, (for the doctrine is that the necessary qualifications are confined to a few.) Taking his rod, and following the course of a spring near a well, as indicated by an older showed several places where water might be found. These spots were marked by breaking up the turf, and a line. The writer then blindfolded the boy, and made him traverse his former path but the rod was quite insensible as he passed it, and afterwards pointed so irregularly, that as turf was broken at every spot indicated, the field soon presented a singular appearance, which quite discredited the pretended art.

The deception with the divining rod appears to be produced by slight motions of the hands, which it is difficult for a bystander to perceive, and which nothing will teach the person who uses it. The position of the hands is so awkward, that a novice may impose up on himself, as the muscles will often produce the opposite effect in directing the rod from [what] he would expect. It is well that such [arts] should be exposed, and that the impostors who practise them should be detected in their tricks.

Note: Compare this distainful report (from Silliman's Journal) with the more objective articles on the same subject, published in the Apr. 16, 1822 issue of the Woodstock Observer and in the Aug. 27, 1825 New York Minerva. The first two articles both owe their source material to contemporary expositions published in the Journal of Science. See also the Oct. 1, 1825 issue of the Worcester Magazine.


Vol. III.                             Ravenna, Ohio,  July 7, 1827.                             No. 9.


Capt. Symmes, founder of the celebrated theory of the earth, is confined by a severe indisposition in the neighborhood of Trenton, N. J. and has through the medium of the public prints, requested pecuniary aid to enable him to reach his residence in Ohio. Such persons as are desirous of assisting him will please make their remottances to the editor of the Trenton True American.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. I.                               Hudson, Ohio, August 3, 1827.                               No. ?


David Cusick, an Indian of the Tuscarora tribe, has recently published, in Lewiston, Niagara county, N. Y. a book entitled "Sketches of the ancient history of the Six Nations, comprising, first, a tale of the foundation of the Great Island, now North America, the two infants born, and the creation of the universe. 2d. A real account of the settlement of North America, and their dissensions. 3d. Origin of the kingdom of Five Nations, which [was] called a long house, the fierce animals," &c. Cusick, who has thus placed himself at once among the literati of our country, has embodied in this work, the traditions of this nation, and given a most interesting narrative to the public, told as we gather in the phraseology peculiar to the people of his complexion.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. I.                               Hudson, Ohio, November 21, 1827.                               No. 19.


NEW DISCOVERIES. We copy to-day, from the Missouri Republican, an extract from a letter written by Jedediah S. Smith, giving an account of a tour through a tract of country west of the Rocky mountains hitherto unexplored...

"My situation has enabled me to collect information respecting a country which has been measureably veiled in obscurity, and unknown to the citizens of the United States. I allude to the country South West of the Great Salt Lake and West of the Rocky Mountains.

About the 22d. of August, 1826, I left Great Salt Lake, accompanied with a party of fifteen men...

(lengthy early report on geography of what is now Utah
under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Published by Hapgood & Pease -- Warren, Trumbull County, Ohio.
Vol. XII.                                  Thursday, May 22, 1828.                                   No. ?

Lost Children.

In the latter part of the year 1817, my daughter DORCIS RICE, with her four young children; viz; Abigail, Olive, Tryphena (who had not the use of her limbs,) and Mary, left my then residence, at Homer, in the state of New York, with her husband, Jonathan Rice, who was one of that sect since known by the name of Modern Pilgrims, and was going, as he said, to the promised land. Since that time we have not heard any thing from them, except that the public papers have informed us that the company have been on the Mississippi River. The absence and unknown fate of this family have been indeed painful to the relatives and aged parents of the said Jonathan Rice, who reside in this place. And what must be my own feelings and those of her brothers and sisters, to reflect on the condition of an helpless female, in such circumstances, I leave to the philanthropist to judge. And I humbly request any person that can give any information of all or any one of the above named family, to communicate the same to me at Greene, Trumbull county, Ohio; or to the Post Master of Greensburgh P. O. at the above named place, which will be thankfully received.
==> Publishers of newspapers, generally, are desired to publish the above.

Note 1: The "Pilgrims" above mentioned were the followers of the "Prophet" Isaac Bullard, who wandered down from Canada, through New England, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Ohio in 1817-18, to meet a morbid fate near the mouth of the Arkansas River. Homer is now a suburb of Cortland, in Cortland Co., NY. At the end of 1817, the "Pilgrims" were encamped at Dryden, in adjacent Tompkins Co. (about 8 miles southwest of Cortland and a few miles east of Ithaca); it is likely that Jonathan Rice and his family joined the sect at that time. See the Massachusetts Salem Register of Sept. 15, 1817 for the first news report on Bullard's "Pilgrims," and the Modern Pilgrims web-page for more on this fanatical sect.

Note 2: This same notice also appeared in the Western Reserve Chronicle of May 29 and June 5, 1828.



Vol. II.                               Hudson, Ohio, July 12, 1828.                               No. 25.


WHO FIRST PEOPLED AMERICA. This question is suggested by the evidences afforded by travellers to the west of the existence there, particularly in the vicinity of the Mississippi river, of a race of civilized men long before the discovery of America by Columbus. If it be shown that such an order of men inhabited this country before it was discovered by Europeans, another no less interesting question will arise in regard to their destiny -- whither they have departed? Were they driven off or exterminated by the savage inhabitants who possessed the country at the time of its discovery by Columbus, appears conclusive from the total ignorance of the Indian tribes of all knowledge of arts and civilization, and the non-existence of any tradition of their once proud sway. That they [were] a mighty people is evident from the extent of territory where these antiquities are scattered. The banks of the Ohio and Mississippi tell they once lived; and even to the shore where the vast Pacific heaves its waves, there are traces of their existence. Who were they? In what period of time did they exist?

In a cave in one of the Western States, there is carved upon the walls a group of people, apparently in the act of devotion; and a rising sun is sculptured above them. From this we should infer that they were Pagans, worshipping the sun and the fabulous gods. But what most strikingly arrests the antiquarian's observation, and causes him to repeat the inquiry, "who were they?" is the habiliments of the group. One part of their habit is of the Grecian costume, and the remainder is of the Phoenicians. Were they a colony from Greece? Did they come from that land in the days of its proud glory, bringing with them a knowledge of arts, science, and philosophy? Did they, too, seek a home across the western waters, because they loved liberty in a strange land better than they loved slavery at home? Or what may be as probable, were they the descendants of some band who managed to escape the destruction of ill-fated Troy? the descendants of a people who had called Greece a mother-country, but were sacrificed to her vindictive ire, because they were prouder to be Trojans than the descendants of Grecians? Ay, who were they? Might not America have had its Hector, its Paris, and Helen? its maidens who prayed, and its sons who fought? All this might have been. But their historians and their poets alike have perished. They have been; but the history of their existence, their origin, and their destruction, all, all are hidden by the dark chaos of oblivion. Imagination alone, from inanimate land-marks, voiceless walls, and soulless bodies, must weave the record which shall tell of their lives, their aims, origin, and final extinction.

Recently, report says, in Mexico there have been discovered several mummies, embalmed after the manner of the ancient Egyptians. If true, it carries the origin of this fated people still farther back; and we might claim them to be contemporaries with Moses and Joshua. Still, if I form my conclusions correctly from what descriptions I have perused of these Western relics of the past, I should deride that they corresponded better with the ancient Grecians, Phoenicians, or Trojans, than with the Egyptians. I repeat, I may be incorrect in my premises and deductions, but as imagination is their historian, it pleases me better to fill a world with heroes and beauties of Homer's delineations, than with those of "Pharaoh and his host."

Note: This article on the mound-builders appears to rely upon Schoolcraft's writings for its ideas. The phrase "dark chaos of oblivion" brings to mind the title of Sarah Hale's 1823 book on this same extinct race.



Vol. III.                               Hudson, Ohio, October 15, 1828.                               No. 13.

(From the Spirit and Manners of the Age.)


On the evening of the 31st of December, I had been cherishing the humiliating and solemn reflections which are peculiarly suitable to the close of the year, and endeavoring to bring my mind to that view of the past, best calculated to influence the future. I had attempted to recall the prominent incidents of the twelve months which had relapsed; and, in this endeavor, I was led frequently to regret how little my memory could retain even of that most important to be remembered. I could not avoid, at such a period, looking forwards as well as backwards, and anticipating that fearful tribunal at which no occurrence shall be forgotten; while my imagination penetrated into the distant destinies which shall be dependent on its decisions. At my usual hour I retired to rest, but the train of meditation I had pursued was so important and appropriate, that imagination continued it after sense had slumbered. "In tho'ts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon man," I was mentally concerned in the following scene of interest: --

I imagined myself still adding link after link to the chain of reflection, the progress of which the time for repose had interrupted; and while thus engaged, I was aware that there remained but a few moments to complete the day. I heard the clock as it tolled the knell of another year; and as it rung slowly the appointed number, each note was followed by a sting of conscience, bitterly reproaching me for my neglect of precious time. The last stroke was ringing in my ears -- painful as the groan announcing the departure of a valued friend, when, notwithstanding the meditative posture in which I was sitting, I perceived that the dimness of the apartment became brighter; and on lifting my eyes to discover the cause, I was terrified at perceiving that another being was with me in my seclusion. I saw the one before me whose form indeed was human; but the bright burning glance of his eye, and the splendor which beamed forth from every part of his beautifullyproportioned form, convinced me, at a glance, that it was no mortal being that I saw. The elevation of his brow gave dignity of the highest order to his countenance, but the most acute observation was indicated by his piercing eye, and inexorable justice was imprinted on his majestic features. A glittering phylactery encircled his head, upon which was written, in letters of fire, 'The Faithful One.' Under one arm he bore two volumes; in his hand he held a pen. I instantly knew the recording angel, the secretary of the terrible tribunal of heaven. With a trembling which convulsed my frame, I heard his unearthly accents. "Mortal," he said, "thou wast longing to recall the events of the past year; thou art permitted to gaze upon the record of the books of God. Peruse and be wise." As he spoke thus, he opened before me one of the volumes which he had brought. In fearful apprehension, I read in it my own name, and recognized the history of my own life during the past year, with all its minutest particulars. Burning words were those which that volume contained: all the actions and circumstances of my life were registered under their respective heads in that dreadful book. I was first struck by the title -- “Mercies Received.” Some were there, the remembrance of which I had retained; more which were recalled after having been forgotten; but the far greater number had never been noticed at all. O! what a detail of preservations, and deliverances, and invitations, and warnings, and privileges, and bestowments! I remember that "Sabbaths" stood out in very prominent characters, as if they had been among the greatest benefits. In observing the recapitulation, I could not but be struck with one circumstance; it was, that many dispensations which I had considered curses, were enumerated here as blessings. Many a wo which had riven the heart; many a cup, whose bitterness seemed to designate it as poison, was there, verifying the language of the poet: "E'en crosses from his sovereign hand, are blessings in disguise." Another catalogue was there; it was the enumeration of "transgressions." My hand trembled as I remember them! What an immense variety of classes! Indifference -- thoughtlessness -- formality -- ingratitude -- unbelief; sins against the world -- against the church -- against the Father -- against the Saviour -- against the Sanctifier, as if for the purpose of driving me to despair. Not one sin was forgotten there: neglected Sabbaths -- abused ordinances -- misimproved time -- encouraged temptations; there they stood, with no excuse -- no extenuations. There was one very long class I remember well -- "idle words;" & then the passage flashed like lightning across my mind: "For every idle word that men speak, they shall give account in the day of judgment." My supernatural visitant here addressed me: "Dost thou observe how small a proportion thy sins of comission bear to those of omission?" As he spoke, he pointed me to the instances in the page like the following: "I was hungry and thou gavest me no meat;" "I was thirsty and thou gavest me no drink;" "I was sick and thou didst not visit me." I was conscience stricken. In another part of the record I read the title -- "Duties performed," Alas! how small was their number! Humble as I had been accustomed to think the estimate of my good works, I was greatly disappointed to perceive that many performances on which I had looked back with pride, were omitted, "because," my visitor informed me, "the motive was impure." It was, however, with feelings of most affecting gratification, I read beneath this record, small as it was, the following passage: "Whosoever shall give a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, he shall in no wise lose his reward."

While I gazed on many other many similar records, such was the intense feeling which seemed to be awakened within me, that my brain grew dizzy, and my eye became dim. I was akakened from this state by the touch of my supernatural instructor, who pointed me to the volume in which I had read my own terrible history, now closed, and bearing a seal, on which, with sickening heart, I read the inscription; "Reserved until the day of judgment." "And now," said the Angel, "my commission is completed. Thou hast been permitted what was never granted to man before. What thinkest thou of the record? Dost thou not justly tremble? How many a line is here, which, 'dying, you could wish to blot!' I see you already shuddering at the thought of the disclosure of this volume at the day of judgment, when an assembled world shall listen to its contents. But if such be the record of one year, what must be the guilt of your whole life? Seek, then, an interest in the blood of Christ, justified by which, you shall indeed hear the repetition but not to condemnation. Pray that when the other books are opened, your name may be found in the book of life. And see the volume prepared for the history of another year: yet its page is unsullied. Time is before thee; seek to improve it. Privileges are before thee; may they prove the gate of heaven! Judgment is before thee; prepare to meet thy God!" He turned to depart; and as I seemed to hear the rustling which announced his flight, I awoke. -- Was it all a dream?

Note: See pp. 401-403 of the London-published 1827 Spirit and Manners of the Age, from which this fanciful 1828 account was copied, almost word-for-word. The angel-recorder theme of the story reappears in Eliza R. Snow's 1829 poem, "The Muses," and again in Parley P. Pratt's 1840s story, The Angel of the Prairies.



Vol. ?                    New Lisbon, Ohio, Saturday, December 6, 1828.                    No. ?

From the Washington (Ohio) Republican.


"Iste Deus qui sit,
Pacento excubata."

An impostor was brought intp this town on the 13th inst., who declared himself to be Jesus Christ, and that he had recently came [sic] from heaven for the purpose of judging the world, which was shortly to come to be at an end. He attempted proving his divinity, by showing the prints of the nails on the different members of his body: -- his judgment was rather nonsuited, for the citizens invariably believed him to be not only an impostor, but a felon, whose actions at some period, had merited an acquaintance with handcuffs and fetters.

This strange prodigy is remarkably expert in quoting scripture, and is not without followers, as might be expected; he has erected his throne, for the purpose of judging the world on Leatherwood, about seven miles from this place; where he has been for about five weeks. On the 12th inst. he ascended his throne, with all the pomp and presumption imaginable and commenced the execution of his mission. On the same evening, after having suspended his judgments, he repaired to the house of one of his followers, (who accompanied him to this place) where all his proselytes, about 20, were collected for the alone purpose of worshipping him: at his presence they immediately prostrated themselves at his feet, calling him the true GOD. Amongst these enthusiastic devotees, are found some who were formerly considered the most respectable citizens of that neighborhood; even some who have preached the gospel in at least two different bodies, and have now descended to worship this strange god, who declares that he can shake the heaven and earth with his nod, that he can engulph the whole human family in the vortex of oblivion, if he should but say it, and that the whole hosts of heaven are prompt in the execution of his word.

The impostor was taken before a magistrate of this place, who could find no accusation (mirabele dictu!) against him; no law applicable to a god, and consequently, Jupiter was dismissed.

A citizen of Leatherwood, knowing the injury he had done to his followers; some of whom were entirely deranged, others, careless of property, had turned their flocks into their corn fields, could not permit him to go without impunity, but immediately smote the divinity and gave him an opportunity of escaping, he embraced it and left town with 75 or an hundred citizens after him.

Such superstition and blind enthusiasm as has been exhibited at Leatherwood on the present occasion, of which this is but the outlines, has been unparalelled in modern times, even among the rude and barbarous tribes of the west, yea, the heathen mythology, the history of Hindoos and Hottentots, can scarcely present us with any thing exhibiting such a degree of human depravity, or which has raised into such a horrid flame, all the impure and diabolical passions, which rage in the human heart.

No doctrine it appears can be so heterodox, as not to have advocates; as not to suit the wayward passions of the depraved mind, which prompt men to sanctify vice, to recognize idolatry, or even submit to the wheel of Juggernaut, which has been laved in the blood of thousands.

Note: The followers of Joseph C. Dylkes (the "Leatherwood God") were sometimes confused with the Mormons. See the Sept. 15, 1831 issue of the Rochester Republican for one such example; also the Feb. 22, 1831 and July 12, 1831 issues of the Painesville Telegraph. Also, see the Oct. 6, 1831 issue of the Cleveland Herald for an erroneous report, wherein the Mormons are confused with Dylkes' prophecy on Christ's 1000 year reign commencing at Philadelphia in 1832.



Vol. III.                               Hudson, Ohio, December 6, 1828.                               No. 20.


A work of about 200 pages, has just been published in London, (says the Episcopal Watchman,) entitled "A View of the American Indians, their General Character, Customs, Language, Public Festivals, Religious Rites and Traditions; showing them to be the descendants of the ten tribes of Israel: The language of Prophecy concerning them, and the course by which they travelled from Media into America, By Israel Worsley." Its is characterized by the Christian Remembrancer, as containing much curious information on the subject of which it treats, and though it does not distinctly establish its position, states enough to stagger disbelief, if not convince, and opens a field of inquiry not only interesting, but highly instructive. In 1816, Dr. Boudinot published his "Star in the West, or a Humble attempt to discover the long lost tribes of Israel." -- In 1825, Mr. Ethan Smith sent out his "View of the Hebrews, or the tribes of Israel in America." These, together with "The Gathering of Israel," a work published in Amsterdam in 1644, and some other sources of information, assisted by the incidental remarks of Josephus, Prideaux, Gibbon, Robertson, &c. are the materials of which the present treatise has been composed; and, if it has no other merit, it has, at least, put into tangible form some exceedingly singular coincidences and arguments. The following passage contains some of the parallels:
"They are living in tribes, with heads of tribes -- they have all a family likeness, though covering thousands of leagues of land; and have a tradition prevailing universally, that they came into the country at the north west corner -- they are a very religious people, and yet have entirely escaped the idolatry of the old world -- they acknowledge One God, the Great Spirit, who created all things seen and unseen -- the names by which this being is known is ale, the old Hebrew name of God; he is also called yehovah, sometimes yah, and also abba -- for this Great Being they profess a high reverance, calling him the head of their community, and themselves his favorite people -- they believe that he was more favorable to them in old times than he is now, that he talked with them and gave them Jaws -- they are distinctly heard to sing with their religioys dances, halleluyah or praise to jah: other remarkable sounds go out of their mouths, as shilu-yo, shilu-heala-yo, he wojoh-ewah: but they profess not to know the meaning of these words; only that they learned to use them upon sacred occassions -- they acknowledge the government of a providence over-ruling all things, and express a willing submission to whatever takes place -- they keep annual feasts which resemble those of the Mosaic ritual; a feast of first fruits, which they do not permit themselves to taste until they have made an offering of them to God; also an evening festival, in which no bone of the animal that is eaten may be broken; and if one family be not large enough to consume the whole of it, a neighboring family is called to assist: the whole of it is consumed, and the relics are burned before the rising of the next day's sun: there is one part of the animal which they never eat, the hollow part of the thigh -- they eat bitter vegetables, and observe severe fasts, for the purpose of cleansing themselves from sin -- they have also a feast of harvest, when the fruits are gathered in, a daily sacrifice, and a feast of love -- their forefathers practised the rite of circumcision; but not knowing why so strange a practice was continued, and not approving of it, they gave it up; there is a sort of jubilee kept by some of them -- they have cities of refuge, to which a guilty man, and even a murderer, may fly and be safe; for these beloved or sacred towns are never defiled by the shedding of blood -- in their temples is a holy place into which no one may enter but the priest, and he only on particular occasions -- then he makes a yearly sacrifice for sin, dressed in a fantastical garb which is a humble imitation of the High Priest's robes, with a breastplate and other ornaments -- he addresses the people on the old divine speech, and calls them the beloved and holy people -- they have a succession of priests, who are inducted into office by purification and anointing -- they once had a holy book, which while they kept, things went on well with them; they lost it, and, in consequence of this loss, fell under the displeasure of the Holy Spirit; but they believe they shall one day regain it -- they are looking for, and expecting some one to come and teach them the right way."

Note: See also some related comments, in the March 25, 1829 issue of the Georgia Cherokee Phoenix. In late 1830, the Mormons in New York took seriously Israel Worsley's remarks, regarding the Indians and their supposed desire to have "some one to come and teach them the right way." However, once the Mormon "missionaries to the Lamanites" reached the western Indian Territory, they were unable to convince the tribes living there, that the newly published Book of Mormon was truly the ancient "holy book" their ancestors had "lost," and the Mormon mission was a failure.


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