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NRA papers  |  Telescope  |  Herald  |  Spectator  |  M. M. Noah's papers  |  Misc. NYC papers


Vol. ?                               New York City, November 12, 1831.                               No. ?


Ezra Booth, of Nelson, Portage county, Ohio, who was lately a zealous member of the new sect of fanatics, called Mormonites, which lately sprung up in the West, but who has now renounced his error, is giving an account in a series of letters published in the Ohio Star, of what he heard and saw, while he remained connected with this society [several illegible lines follow] ...

... Mormonism has in part changed its character, and assumed a different dress, from that under which it made its first appearance on the Western Reserve. Many extraordinary circumstances which then existed, have vanished out of sight; and the Mormonites desire, not only to forget them, but wish them blotted out of the memory of others. Those wonders, which they wish to have forgotten, stand as the principal foundation of the faith of several hundred of the members of their church.

With the Wonders of Mormonism, or some of them, I design to occupy your attention in this letter; and I wish you to observe here, and hereafter remember, that the evidence by which all my statements are supported, is derived from my own experience and observation, or from testimony of persons, who still adhere to Mormonism; and I hold myself responsible to any tribunal, whether on Earth or in Heaven, for the truth of what I write, or at least, for an intention to write the truth, and nothing but the truth.

"Being carried away in the spirit" and "I know it to be so by the spirit," are well known phrases, and in common use in the Mormonite church. We will first notice the gift of tongues, exercised by some when carried away in the spirit. These persons were apparently lost to all surrounding circumstances, and wrapt up in the contemplation of things, and in communicating with persons not present. -- They articulated sounds, which but few present professed to understand; and those few, declared them to be the Indian language. A merchant, who had formerly been a member of the Methodist society, observed, he had formerly traded with the Indians, and he knew it to be their dialect. Being myself present on some of these occasions, a person proffered his services as my interpreter, and translated these sounds, which to me were unintelligible, into English language. One individual could read any chapter of the Old or New-Testament, in several different languages. This was known to be the case by a person who professed to understand those languages. In the midst of this delirium, they would, at times, fancy themselves addressing a congregation of their red brethren; and mounted upon a stump, or the fence, or from some elevated situation, would harangue their assembly, until they had convinced and converted them. They would then lead them into the water, and baptize them, and pronounce their sins forgiven. In this exercise, some of them actually went into the water; and in the water, performed the ceremony used in baptizing. These actors assumed the visage of the savage, and so nearly imitated him, not only in language, but in gestures and actions, that it seemed the soul and body were completely metamorphosed into the Indian. No doubt was then entertained but that this was an extraordinary work of the Lord, designed to prepare those young men for the Indian mission; and many who are still leaders of the church, could say, "we know by the spirit that it is the work of the Lord." And now they can say, "we know by the spirit that it was it is the work of the Devil." Most of those who were the principal actors, have since apostatized, and the work is unanimously discarded by the church. The limits, which my want of time to write, as well as your want of patience to read, compel me to prescribe for myself, will allow me only to touch on some of the most prominent parts of this newly-invented, and heterogeneous system.

A new method for obtaining authority to preach the Gospel was introduced into the church. One declared he had received a commission, directly from Heeven [sic], written upon parchment. Another, that it was written upon the palm of his hand, and upon the lid of his Bible, &c. Three witnesses, and they were formerly considered persons of veracity, testified, that they saw the parchment, or something like it, when put into the hands of the candidate. These commissions, when transcribed upon a piece of paper, were read to the church, and the persons who had received them, were ordained to the Elder's office, and sent out into the world to preach. But this also sunk into discredit, and experienced the fate of the former.

Visions, also, were in high credit, and sounded abroad as an infallible testimony in favor of Mormonism. The visionary, at times, imagined he saw the City of New-Jerusalem; unlocked its gate, and entered within the walls; passed through its various apartments, and then returned, locked the gate, and put the key into his pocket. When this tour was finished, he would entertain his admiring friends, with a detailed description of the Heavenly City.

The condition of the ten tribes of Israel since their captivity, unto the present time, has excited considerable anxiety, and given rise to much speculation among the learned. But after all the researches which have been made, the place of their residence has never been satisfactorily ascertained. But these visionaries have discovered their place of residence to be contiguous to the north pole; separated from the rest of the world by impassable mountains of ice and snow. In this sequestered residence, they enjoy the society of Elijah the Prophet, and John the Revelator, and perhaps the three immortalized Nephites. -- By and by, the mountains of ice and snow are to give way, and open a passage for the return of these tribes, to the land of Palestine.

About this time, the ministration of angels was supposed to be frequent in the church. The Heavenly visitants made their appearance to certain individuals: they seldom made any communication, but presented themselves as spectacles for the beholder to gaze upon, with silent admiration.

Smith is the only one at present, to my knowledge, who pretends to hold converse with the inhabitants of the celestial world. It seems from his statements, that he can have access to them, when and where he pleases. He does not pretend that he sees them with his natural, but with his spiritual, eyes; and he says he can see them as well with his eyes shut, as with them open. So also in translating. -- The subject stands before his eyes in print, but it matters not whether his eyes are open or shut; he can see as well one way as the other.

You have probably read the testimony of the three witnesses appended to the Book of Mormon. These witnesses testify, that an angel appeared to them, and presented them the golden plates, and the voice of God declared it to be a Divine Record. To this they frequently testify, in the presence of large congregations. When in Missouri, I had an opportunity to examine a commandment given to these witnesses, previous to their seeing the plates. They were informed that they should see and hear these things by faith, and then they should testify to the world, as though they had seen and heard, as I see a man, and hear his voice: but after all, it amounts simply to this; that by faith or imagination, they saw the plates and the angel, and by faith or imagination, they heard the voice of the Lord.

Smith describes an angel, as having the appearance of "a tall, slim, well built, handsome man, with a bright pillar upon his head." The Devil once, he says, appeared to him in the same form, excepting upon his head he had a "black pillar," and by this mark, he was able to distinguish him from the former.

It passes for a current fact in the Mormonite church, that there are immense treasures in the earth, especially in those places in the State of N. Y. from whence many of the Mormonites emigrated last spring: and when they become sufficiently purified, these treasures are to be poured into the lap of their church; and then, to use their own language, they are to be the richest people in the world. These treasures were discovered several years since, by means of the dark glass, the same with which Smith says he translated most of the Book of Mormon. -- Several of those persons, together with Smith, who were formerly unsuccessfully engaged in digging and searching for these treasures, now reside in this county, and from themselves I received this information. Yours, affectionately,     EZRA BOOTH.

   REV. I. EDDY.

Note: See the Oct. 27, 1831 issue of L. L. Rice's Ravenna Ohio Star for the original of this particular letter by Ezra Booth.


Vol. XI.                                 New York City, June 1, 1833.                                 No. 22.


MORMONISM AND THE SALLPOX. -- There having been several cases of small pox in the village of Jamestown, Chautauqua county, a committee of citizens was appointed to take measures to prevent its spreading. In their report the committee state that their efforts to prevent the spread of the disease have been hindered by a sect calling themselves Mormonites, who profess to believe that the disorder will not attack them, neither would they spread it, although they might come in contact with others not protected, even if the small pox matter covered them. Notwithstanding their belief, one of the Mormons had been seized with the disease, and it was feared that this sect would be the means of scattering the infection through the country. -- Rochester Daily Advertiser.

Note: This article was reprinted from a late May issue of the Rochester Advertiser. See also the June 1, 1833 reprint in that periodical's sister paper, the Rochester Republican. It was subsequently reprinted in Vol. 1:10 (pg. 72) of the New York City monthly Family Magazine. New York papers of this period were meticulously publishing reports on outbreaks of the 1833-34 cholera epidemic, but they say practically nothing about there being any small pox epidemic in western new York. Probably the 1833 public health menace at Jamestown (whatever the disease involved may have been), was not a full-blown small pox outbreak.

Note 2: According to Dr. Gilbert W. Hazeltine, at the time of this "small pox" infestation the "peculiar people" did not allow the ministrations of physicians, "depending instead upon the power and efficiency of prayer to cure all diseases..." The Mormons gathered at West Jamestown apparently made their distaste for doctors and public health workers manifestly known to the local authorirties. Hazeltine says: "Then commenced the Jamestown Mormon war. They not only were determined that the physicians should not visit the patients, but they would allow no white flags or signs, warning citizens of the pestilence within the houses... The last of the Mormons left Jamestown in the spring of 1834..." (see his 1887 book The Early History of the Town of Ellicott, Chautauqua County, N. Y. pp. 343ff.) See also: John D. Downs (ed), History of Chautauqua County New York and its People Vol. I (NYC: American Historical Society, 1921, pp. 58-59).

Note 3: Amateur historian and writer Dale W Adams says that in 1832-34 "there was a substantial group of Mormons located in Westfield..." (in Chautauqua County, NY, about twenty miles northwest of Jamestown) and that it was in Jamestown itself "where a group of Mormons congregated in 1833 and 1834." (Adams, "Judge Not: The Saga of D. P. Hurlbut," p. 4). Adams also notes that "Hurlbut may have fled from smallpox," an outbreak of which he believes hit Jamestown about the beginning of 1833. However, Mormon converts appear to have continued to gather to Jamestown while the contagion was still in effect; those Saints presumably did not fear the disease because they felt they possessed latter day spiritual gifts in defense of its grave effects. It seems more likely that Hurlbut was purposefully sent to Kirtland by his LDS superiors at Jamestown. He had experience as a Protestant minister and perhaps leaders like Sidney Rigdon felt Hurlbut's talents might be put to better use in the Mormon center place than in the New York hinterland.


Vol. XI.                               New York City, Aug. 24, 1833.                               No. ?


We copy from the St. Louis Republican the following account of the high-handed measures pursued by the people of Jackson county, in Missouri, with a view to rid themselves of the Mormonites. The principle acted upon is the same with that adopted by the Georgians in the case of the Cherokees, and by the Canterbury people in the case of Miss Crandall. As the editor of the Republican truly observes, these proceedings "are wholly at war with the genius of our institutions," and it requires but little discernment to perceive that if they should be tolerated by public opinion they will very naturally prepare the way for an extensive invasion of the liberty of the people both civil and religious.

(see original article from Missouri paper)


In the Press. -- "Key to the Revelation, in thirty six Lectures, taking the whole book in course. By Ethan Smith, author of "A Dissertation on the Prophecies," View of the Trinity," "View of the Hebrews," "Key to figurative Language" &c. The plan of this work is in some respects new. It is the result of much reflection and extensive research; and the subject can scarcely fail to interest the biblical student. The work is to be comprised in one vol. duod, pp. 400. Published by J. and J. Harper, New York.

Note: Above clippings located by Erin B. Jennings.


Vol. ?                               New York City,  Sept. 7, 1833.                               No. ?


The inhabitants of Jackson county, in Missouri, have taken very high-handed measures to rid themselves of the Mormonites. The number of the sect in the county was about 1200, and every spring and autumn, other swarms were poured upon them. The inhabitants accordingly met, and a committee was appointed to take their grievances into view, which committee reported, that should this population continue to increase, they will probably soon have all the offices of the county in their hands; and that the lives and property of the other citizens would be insecure, under the administration of men who are so ignorant and superstitious as to believe that they have been the subjects of miraculous and supernatural cures; hold converse with God and his angels, and possess and exercise the gift of divination, and of unknown tongues: and are, withal, so poor as to be unable to procure bread and meat. Finally, the committee say --

"Of their pretended revelations from heaven -- their personal intercourse with God and his angels -- the maladies they pretend to heal by the laying on of hands -- and the contemptible gibberish with which they habitually profane the Sabbath, and which they dignify with the appelation of unknown tongues, we have nothing to say. Vengeance belongs to God alone. But as to the other matters set forth in this paper, we feel called on by every consideration of self-preservation, good society, public morals, and the fair prospects, that if not blasted in the germ, await this young and beautiful country, at once to declare, and we do most solemnly declare,

"1. That no Mormon in future move and shall settle in this county.

"2. That those now here, who shall give a definite pledge of their intention within a reasonable time to remove out of the county, shall be allowed to remain unmolested until they have sufficient time to sell their property and close their business without any material sacrifice.

"3. That the editor of the 'Star' be required forthwith to close his office, and discontinue the business of printing in this county; and as to all other stores and shops belonging to the sect, their owners must in every case strictly comply with the terms of the second article of this declaration, and upon failure, prompt and efficient measures will be taken to close the same.

"4. That the Mormon leaders here, are required to use their influence in preventing any further emigration of their distant brethren to this county, and to counsel and advise their brethren here to comply with the above requisitions.

"5. That those who fail to comply with these requisitions, be referred to those of their brethren who have the gifts of divination, and unknown tongues, to inform them of the lot that awaits them."

The Mormonites not deciding to go immediately, the meeting resolved unanimously to destroy their printing office, which was accordingly done. This convinced the Mormonites that their case was desperate, and they entered into an amicable agreement, at a subsequent meeting, to leave the State.

We deeply regret that such an occurrence should have taken place. Though the citizens of Jackson county have cleared themselves of this fanatical sect, they have doubtless done more to promote the cause of Mormonism than they could have done in any other way.

Note: Above clipping located by Erin B. Jennings.


Vol. XI.                               New York City, Nov. 9, 1833.                               No. 45.


THE MORMONITES. -- A friend from the upper part of Oxford County informs us, that one Mormon preacher from Ohio, and another from New-Hampshire, reinforced by a pair of preachers from Saco, have been making a great stir somewhere about Lake Umbagog. In the plantation of Letter B, in the vicinity of Lake Umbagog, nearly the whole of a Freewill Baptist Church, numbering thirty persons with their pastor, have gone over to the Mormonites, and avowed their faith in the book of Mormon. They have all been re-baptized in the waters of the Lake. In Andover the preachers have had some trouble with the citizens, and were rather unceremoniously dismissed -- Portland Adv.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XI.                               New York City, Dec. 7, 1833.                               No. 49.


On our last page we have given an account of a war between the Mormonites and their neighbors in Missouri from the pen of a Mormonite . The following letter from the Rev. B. Pixley to the editors of the New York Observer, gives a different coloring to some parts of the story. There seems, however, to be no doubt that the enemies of the Mormonites have always been the aggressors. They pulled down their printing office last summer, and in the recent disturbances they rore off the roofs from their houses. These were the first acts of violence in both cases, and the bloodshed which followed was the natural consequence of these acts. It may be very unpleasant to have such men as the Mormonites for neighbors, but so long as they do nothing worse than "invite free negroes to join them from all parts of the country," and merely publish the prophecy that the present inhabitants of the counties in their vicinity are destined "to be driven off, and that they, the Mormons, are to possess the country," we think they might have been safely left to themselves. There can rarely be a case in which the people need any other protection against "fanatics" than that which is afforded by the laws of the land, and we have not yet seen any reason for making this case an exception to the general rule.

                                              INDEPENDENCE, (Missouri,) Nov. 7, 1833.
To the Editors of the New York Observer.

Gentlemen -- For several days past this place has exhibited a scene of the utmost excitement, anxiety and alarm. Yesterday and the day before, I suppose there were more than two hundred citizens under arms, the stores were shut, and business was mostly suspended. You probably already know that a new sect of religionists, called Mormons, have been emerging in considerable numbers, and settling in this place, and that their preaching -- in which they maintain that they inhabit "the Mount Zion spoken of in Scripture;" that the present inhabitants would be driven off unless they sold to the Mormons and went off peaceably, -- that they, the Mormons, should possess the country, together with their inviting free negroes from all parts of the country to come and join them, and their pretended power to work miracles and speak with tongues -- all these things taken together, aroused so much indignation in the minds of the inhabitants, that they assembled last summer, according to appointment, without noise, or riot, or drunkenness, but with deliberate purpose, and pulled down the printing office, (a brick building,) and drew the roof into the highway. They were about to proceed to the same act of violence against the store, when a parley took place, and the parties came to terms of accommodation. The Mormons were to close up their business, and were all to move away before another summer; while the other party bound themselves to pay all damages done to the printing office, &c.

Thus peace was made, and so the matter stood, until a few days since, when it was found not only that the Mormons did not intend to move according to agreement, but that they were arming themselves, and threatened to kill if they should be molested. This provoked some of the more wild and ungovernable among us to improper acts of violence, such as breaking open the Mormon houses, tearing off the covering, &c. On this the Mormons began to muster, and exhibit military preparations. Two gentlemen, passing peaceably through the settlement on Saturday evening, were hailed, and commanded to advance and give the countersign. But as they could not do this, they were put under arrest in what was called the guard-house, and kept prisoners until morning.

On Sunday, I believe, some shots were exchanged, the Mormons having given the first fire and wounded one man. On Monday a party of the inhabitants, some of them armed, went towards the Mormon settlement, mostly for purposes of inquiry and to learn whether the Mormons would attempt to attack them. These were led into an ambuscade, and fired upon by the Mormons before they arrived at their settlement, and two men were killed upon the spot. This little party of the inhabitants, said to be eleven in number, retreated before about fifty or sixty Mormons, but, after the Indian mode, from tree to tree, fired back upon the pursuers till the Mormons had three killed (among whom was one of their elders) and several wounded. This was about sunset.

The same night the Mormons pretended to have had a revelation from heaven (for you must know that these people regulate their conduct by revelations direct from heaven) to arise and pursue and destroy their enemies. In obedience to the mandate from above, (for nothing else, it should seem, but such an extraordinary belief could have led them to such an extraordinary line of conduct) there were discovered under arms to the number of about one hundred and fifty advancing on Tuesday morning to the town of Independence. The alarm was given, and mounted horsemen, from all quarters, flew to the place of conflict, and advanced to meet the Mormons half a mile out of town. It was a serious moment; many hearts, no doubt, palpitating with fear, and as many more, not looking at the consequences, panting for the onset. But happily the Mormon courage failed under a view of superior numbers, and they were induced to deliver up their arms and retire; but I am sorry to add that such was the ungovernable and unmanly conduct of some of our community, that it was with the utmost difficulty that the civil authorities could protect their prisoners from being massacred on the spot. Even now the Mormons who are peaceably moving off, are under the necessity of being guarded by the civil authorities, to protect them from the violence which otherwise they would have the greatest reason to fear. In Justice, however, to a goodly number of the community I must remark, that the suffering of the Mormonites, and especially that of the women and children, in being obliged to move off so suddenly at this season of the year, has excited much lively sympathy and humane feeling, and some have made very liberal contributions for their relief. Although, in the mean time they cannot but condemn the course of the Mormons, and deprecate the evils which must arise to any community, where such principles are evolved and designs manifested, by arbitrary means, by blood and violence, to build up the kingdom of the Redeemer.

Note 1: After its initial publication in the New York Observer, this letter by Rev. Pixley was reprinted in numerous other papers, including the Dec. 21st issue of the Boston Christian Register, etc. The New York Spectator summarized Pixley's letter in its issue of Dec. 19th and that paraphrase was also widely reprinted.

Note 2: Rev. Pixley also wrote two other eye witness reports regarding the activities of the Mormons in and around Independence, Missouri. The first of these was published during Nov. 1832 in the Christian Watchman and reprinted in papers like the Boston Independent Messenger of Nov. 29, 1832. Pixley's second letter appeared in the Baptist Weekly Journal, early in 1833, under the title, "Mormonites," and was subsequently reprinted in papers like the Apr. 6, 1833 issue of the Boston Christian Register.


Vol. XII.                               New York City,  July 12, 1834.                               No. 28.


THE MORMONS IN MISSOURI. -- The Enquirer, published in Liberty, Missouri, near the residence of the Mormons, says, under date of the 11th ult., "Our friends at a distance may feel desirous to hear something respecting the 'Mormons, so called,' and knowing that the larger portion of them are in this county, may look to us to give them the wanted information. We have heretofore been almost silent on this subject, hoping that the difficulties which occurred in Jackson county, between the citizens and the Mormons, would be soon settled in an amicable way, at least without the shedding of blood, and in fact, we have felt very little interest in the matter, further than it affected the general good of the country. But as this thing has arrived at a crisis which is really appealing to the feelings of good men, we feel it a duty to inform our readers of the movements of this people, at the same time we do not wish to be understood as trying to exasperate the minds of the people against this deluded and unfortunate sect.

For the last six or eight weeks, the Mormons have been actively engaged in making preparations to return to Jackson county, 'the land of promise,' by providing themselves with implements of war, such as guns, pistols, swords, &c. They expect a reinforcement from the State of Ohio, and we are informed that small parties are arriving almost every day. So soon as they all arrive, they intend to call upon the Governor to reinstate them upon their lands in Jackson, and then, if molested, they are determined to protect themselves, sword in hand. We are told they will be able to muster 700 strong.

A gentleman from Jackson informs us that the citizens of that county are no less engaged in making preparation for their reception. On Monday last they held a meeting, for the purpose of electing officers, and Samuel C. Owens, a gentleman known to many citizens of the State, was unanimously elected Commander-in-Chief of all their forces. Our informant states that they have received a letter from the Governor, advising them to effect a compromise, if possible by purchasing the land of the Mormons, and paying them for injuries which they have sustained. For this purpose ten persons were appointed, invested with full power to settle the whole matter, and will meet the Mormons in this place, on Monday next, for that purpose. Should the Mormons refuse to accede to an honorable and fair adjustment of these difficulties, the Governor will not restore any to that county, but such as hold lands. The following gentlemen compose the above named committee: Thomas Stayton, sen., Samuel Erwin, Smallwood V. Noland, Smallwood Noland, Robert Rickman, James Campbell, Richard Fristoe, Thomas Jeffries, and John Davis.

We have our fears as to the final issue of this matter, but hope for the best.

Note: The above article originated in the Liberty Missouri Enquirer of June 18, 1834. Most eastern papers received this news via a reprint in the St. Louis Missouri Republican of June 30, 1834. (Clipping located by Erin B. Jennings)


Vol. XII.                               New York City,  July 19, 1834.                               No. 29.


A MORMON BATTLE. -- A letter has been received at Chardon, Ohio, direct from Missouri, which states that a body of well armed Mormons, led on by their great prophet, lately attempted to cross the river into Jackson county. A party of the citizens of Jackson county opposed their crossing, and a battle ensued, in which Joe Smith was wounded in the leg, and the Mormons obliged to retreat; that Joe Smith's limb was amputated, but he died three days after the operation.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                               New York City,  January 9, 1836.                               No. ?


The Mormons in Ohio, -- The Mormons pretend to have the spirit of Prophecy, to speak with tongues, and to work miracles. The Mormons I presume, do not make many new proselytes in this area. A few are occasionally leaving them and others are coming in from abroad. They have also been visited recently by Mathias "the imposter"...

Note: The full text of the above report will be posted here, after a full copy has been located and transcribed.


Vol. ?                               New York City, October 6, 1838.                               No. ?


(under construction)


Note: This article appears to be comprised mostly of extracts from the Sept. 19, 1838 issue of the Missouri Republican.


Vol. ?                                 New York City, October 20, 1838.                                 No. ?


(under construction)


Note: The above article appears to be comprised mostly of extracts from the Sept. 25, 1838 issue of the Missouri Republican.


Vol. ?                                 New York City, November 17, 1838.                                 No. ?


(under construction)


Note: The above article appears to be comprised mostly of extracts from correspondence published in the Nov. 1, 1838 issue of the Missouri Republican and the Nov. 10, 1838 issue of the Jackson, Missouri Southern Advocate.


Vol. ?                                 New York City, November 24, 1838.                                 No. ?


(under construction)


Note: The above article appears to be comprised mostly of extracts from the Nov. 9, 1838 issue of the Missouri Republican.


Vol. ?                               New York City, December 29, 1838.                               No. ?


(under construction)

EXAMINING TRIAL OF THE MORMONS CLOSES. -- About thirty Mormons were discharged and thirty-five retained... some for treason, some for murder, some for arson & robbery... Indictments in counties of Ray and Daviess... The Mormons Petitioned Missouri for pecuniary aid ... Mormon houses have been burned... 40 Mormen Men killed and 100 compelled to escape...

Correspondence of the Journal of Commerce.

Missouri, Nov. 30.    
Our Mormon war from the beginning to end has been so disgraceful to our citizens, that I am ashamed to speak of it. There were three Yankees, part of whom you know, who offered their services as spies and took fourteen prisoners, which was more than were taken by the whole army besides on their march out. One of these prisoners was killed after he was brought into camp before our eyes. The Yankee who brought him in reported the matter to the General, but nothing was done about it. -- Joe Smith and all the leaders will probably be sacrificed.

Note: The full text and original source of the first the first article remain uncertain. The transcript will be updated when a proper copy is located.


Vol. ?                                 New York City, January 12, 1839.                                 No. ?


(under construction)


Note: The texts of the above article has not yet been transcribed. A transcript will be made when a proper copy is located. Extracts from this issue report Missouri House of Representatives appointing committee to investigate the recent "Mormon War," etc.


Vol. ?                                 New York City, March 9, 1839.                                 No. ?


(under construction)


(under construction)


Note: The texts of the above articles have not yet been transcribed. A transcript will be made when a proper copy is located.

Vol. XVII.                                 New York City, Apr. 25?, 1839.                                 No. ?

Origin of the Book of Mormon
or "Golden Bible."

For the original article see the Apr. 19, 1839 issue of the Boston Recorder.


Note: The New-York Observer's reprinting of Matilda Spalding Davison's 1839 statement from the Boston Recorder was widely circulated in the American newspapers of late April and early May of that year. The exact date of the Observer's reprint has not yet been determined -- but it was presumably April 25th. Some sources date the item to as late as May 18, 1839, but unless the paper then offered its readers a second reprint, such citations must be mistakes.


Vol. XVIII.                                 New York City, May 9, 1840.                                 No. ?


THE MORMONS: -- The Mormons have deputed twelve of their number (answering, we suppose, to the twelve Apostles) to go to the Holy Land and Preach the Gospel to the Jews. John Page and Orson Hyde are two of the number. The Headquarters of the Mormons are now at Commerce, Illinois, on the Mississippi River. Their number is increasing.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVIII.                                 New York City, August 8, 1840.                                 No. 32.


MORE MORMON DIFFICULTIES: -- The last Quincy Whig gives an account of a difficulty between some of the Mormons, residing in Illinois, and some of the citizens of Missouri, residing at Tully, on the Mississippi. It seems, or rather, the citizens of Tully, Missouri, allege, that there has been considerable property, such as salt, oron, &c. stolen from that place within the last two weeks -- the Missourians charged the Mormons with the thefts -- practising upon the suspicions several perosns of Tully, crossed over the river in the vicinity of the Mormon settlements, below Nauvoo -- after searching the bottom, sure enough sundry of the missing articles were found concealed among the underwood. It further appears, from the statement of our informant, that two or three Mormons were in the bottom hunting horses, while the Missouri party were on the hunt for the goods, and coming upon them as it were by accident, three of the Mormon horse hunters, together with a very respectable old gentleman, whose gray hairs should have protected him from insult, -- were charged with secreting the goods, made captive, and contrary to their will forced across the river and confined in Tully, Here, with their victims in their power, the Missourians proceeded to inflict a severe punishment upon them. One was immediately stripped, a halter placed around his neck, and attached to a limb above his head, and so tightly drawn, that to prevent choking to death, he was obliged to stand on the tops of his toes, in this situation, with his arms fastened around the tree, so that his bare back was fully exposed, the tormentors swore that they would take his life unless he would confess. In vain he urged his immocence that he had never committed any theft, &c., they still applied their whips until his back was so dreadfully lacerated, that to save his life, he agreed to confess any thing they could desire. He was taken down from the tree, with scracely any life in him, and actually confessed whatever his tormentors wished! This was necessary, to give a coloring of justice to their inhuman outrage. Two other Mormons were totyured in the same manner, and a similar confession extorted from them. The old gentleman we spoke of above, one of the four abducted, behaved with such resolution, and pointed out to them so clearly the injustice and inhumanity, that after stripping and fastening him to a tree, and taunting him with epithets of the foulest character, they took him down and finally set him at liberty. One of the victims, by some means, succeeded, all cut to pieces as he was, in making his escape -- he reached the river closely pursued by his persecutors, where finding a canoe, he made all haste for the shore; upon arriving at which, he staggered out of the boat and fell exhausted on the beach, seemingly resolved to die, if die he must, upon a soil where the laws were respected. The other of the victims, by our latest intelligence, were still in the hands of the people of Tully, if death, of which there is some probability, has not put an end to their sufferings. A petition, affidavits, &c. detailing a history of the outrages, and communicating the names of several citizens of Tully, who were engaged in the transaction has been laid before Gov. Carlin. The Governor, with commendable spirit, we learn, has taken hold of the amtter, and avows his intention of investigating all the circumstances connected with these outrages -- and to protect the Mormons from future outrage and aggression, to the utmost of his authority. It is also the intention of the Governor, we understand, as soon as the necessary papers can be made out, to demand the authors of the outrage from the Executive of Missouri. Every good citizen, of whatever party or denomination will sustain the Governor, in vindicating the laws of our State, which have in this transaction, been shamefully violated.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVIII.                                 New York City, December 5, 1840.                                 No. 49.


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

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XIX.                                 New York City, January 8, 1841.                                 No. 2.


PROGRESS OF MORMONISM: -- A Mormon Newspaper entitled "Times and Seasons" has been started at Nauvoo, Illinois. The first number gives a history of the "Rise of the Church," (the true church of course,) by which it appearsthat the Mormons recognise the entire Scriptures, including an "infinite atonement" by the Redeemer. Another article on the "Gospel" interprets the passage giving the Apostles the power of miracles, speaking in unknown tongues, &c., [ ----------- ] as applicable at this day. The Mormons have a [re-----] priesthood, "elders," &c. -- [It] appears that they have numerous societies in various parts, the following being incidently mentioned: Philadelphia, 255 members, New York, 210, Brooklyn, L. I. 19, Hempstead L. I. 20, Monmouth co. N. J. 25, Chester co. Penn. 135, Lancaster co. Penn. 84, New Jersey 116, Oneida, N. Y. 80.

At a recent meeting in Preston, England, 1800 members were present. Believing that the time for the "gathering" has arrived, they have selected several points in the West for the home of the Latter Day Saints. The settlement at Nauvoo is said to be flourishing, and they have put down another "stake" at Ramus, in the same state. The Book of Mormon is one of the inspired supplements ro the Scriptures which, as they aver, were promised. -- Newark. Sent.

Note: Clipping located by Erin B. Jennings.


Vol. XIX.                                 New York City, May 8, 1841.                                 No. 19.


THE MORMONS: -- The corner stone of the Great Mormon Temple (that is to be) at Nauvoo, Illinois, was laid on the 6th inst., in the presence of seven or eight thousand persons, and the Nauvoo Military Legion, consisting of six hundred and fifty men. The Warsaw (Ill.) "World," says: "Mr. Rigdon officiated at the laying of the chief comer stone, and addressed the assembly in a very energetic manner in a speech of about an hour's length. On the whole the exercises passed off with the utmost order, without accident or the slightest disturbance. Gen. Bennet commanded the Legion, under the direction of the Prophet, and acquitted himself in a truly officer like manner."

Note: Clipping located by Erin B. Jennings.


Vol. XIX.                                 New York City, June 26, 1841.                                 No. 26.


THE MORMONS -- ARREST OF JO. SMITH. -- By the annexed extract of a private letter from a highly respectable gentleman residing near the Mormon City, Nauvoo, it appears that the scenes which a few months since were enacted in Missouri, are in danger of being repeated in Iowa. There is a tract of 120,000 acres of beautiful land lying directly opposite the Mormon settlement on the Mississippi River. This Tract was given to the half breeds of the Sac and Fox nations by the United States, and has been purchased from them by the whites. Proceedings have been had in the Equity Court of Iowa to partition these lands, and Commissioners appointed by the Court to survey and divide them among the lawful claimants. -- Some months since, the title being then unsettled, Jo Smith received a revelation from God to the effect that the Latter Day Saints should go in and possess this fair land, and enjoy the fruits thereof. -- Accordingly there are said to be now about 2000 of these people residing on said lands, who claim by the highest possible title, -- a title direct from the Creator; and they seem determined to set all human decrees at defiance. In addition to despoiling the lands of much valuable timber, they now forbid the Commissioners and Surveyors, on pain of death, to attempt a survey and partition. The arrest of their leader, it is to be hoped, will prevent the execution of their threat.

                        Extract of a letter from the vicinity of Nauvoo. --

"The excitement on both sides of the river against the Mormons is increasing very fast. The conduct of Jo Smith and the other leaders, is such as no community of white men can tolerate. It is the entire absence of all moral and religious principle, that renders them so obnoxious to the Gentiles of all denominations, wherever they reside. Jo Smith was yesterday arrested, between Nauvoo and Quincy, by the authorities of Illinois, on a requisition from the Governor of Missouri. May justice be meted out to him for his villiany. Martin Harris, who was one of the witnesses to the Book of Mormon, and who has been for some time lecturing in Illinois against the Mormons, was found dead last week, having been shot through the head. He was no doubt murdered." -- J. of Com.

Note: The Times & Seasons editor copied the above reports from a June, 1841 issue of the New York Journal of Commerce. The Mormon editor says: "The statement with regard to the murder of Martin Harris, is the climax of iniquity, and gives evidence of corruption the most foul, and a heart as black as sin and the devil can make it. It is utterly false." As later reports confirmed, a different Harris had been lecturing in the Nauvoo area. After the reported death of a Mr. "Harris" in that vicinity the rumor was put into circulation that Martin Harris had spoken against the Nauvoo LDS and had been killed. (Clipping located by Erin B. Jennings)


Vol. XIX.                                 New York City, August 7, 1841.                                 No. 32.


MORMONS IN NEW JERSEY. -- The Trenton State Gazette states that the Mormons have two societies in Monmouth county: one at Honor's town, and the other at Tom's river. About 200 belong to the former and 70 or 80 to the latter. They have also meetings regularly, once a week at New Egypt, besides occasional meetings at other places.

Note: Clipping located by Erin B. Jennings


Vol. XIX.                                 New York City, August 28, 1841.                                 No. 35.


AMERICAN MORMONS IN ENGLAND. -- One of the English papers states that on the 22d. ult. two young men, formerly of Louth, members of the "Church of the Latter-day Saints," commonly called "Mormons," arrived at Louth, direct from the banks of the Missouri (America), far west of New York. One of them represents himself as a divinely authorised elder, of the above church, and as having obtained, on the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery, the promise of the miraculous gift of tongues, by which he will be enabled to preach with power to the "Lamanites," a tribe of Indians, the whole of whom, it has just been discovered by the "Book of Mormon," brought to light by an angel, are the descendants of the patriarch Joseph. These young Mormons intend soliciting subscriptions towards the building (now in progress) of a city and temple of Jerusalem, in the middle of America, simultaneously with the rebuilding of the temple in Judea by the other tribes of Israel, about (as they assert) to retain thither ommediately; after which, they declare, both the cities, and all those who join the Mormons by the iniatory rite of baptism in the same theological order as the "Campbellites," will be caught up into heaven, whence they will again descend with the celestial New Jerusalem, and the Redeemer in person, to the earth, which will become one extended plain, the islands uniting with the continents, and the waters pushed up to the far north. All the wonderful predictions of Daniel and the Revelations will then be literally accomplished in rapid succession, and the destruction of every anti-Mormonist, and the final consummation of all things. will follow.

Note: Clipping located by Erin B. Jennings


Vol. XIX.                                 New York City, November 6, 1841.                                 No. 45.


The Rev. B. F. Morris, Warsaw, Ill., writes:

This deluded, fanatical and ignorant sect is about to be piured upon us by thousands. Measures have been consummated, by which the Mormons will settle on a section of land adjoining Warsaw; and thus, like the locusts of Egypt, consume every green thing in the land, and wither away, so far as they can, every vestige of godliness. Joe Smith, who you know, is the prophet of this people, has issued his proclamation, for his followers to locate at Lower Warsaw, as it is to be called. His decrees are considered imperative and must be obeyed; so that in a few days, our roads will be lined with the wagons of this deluded people, coming up to settle at this new "stake," as they call their places of gathering. I have no doubt, before two years elapse, two or three thousand people will be in the midst of us. In view of this prospective state of things, nearly all of the old citizens are anxious to sell their property, and many of them I have no doubt will move away. There is, not only in this village, but all through the country, a strong disinclination to live near the Mormons.


The power of Smith over his followers is incredible. He has unlimited influence, and his declarations are as the authority and influence of God itself. He is a complete despot and does as he pleases with his people. Some people consider him a great man; I do not. He is not possessed of a single element of greatness, unless it be in vice and blasphemy. He is a compound of ignorance, vanity, arrogance, coarseness, stupidity and vulgarity. His present unlimited influence, has been gained by the force of circumstances, and not by any intrinsic talents he possesses. He is only the putside agent of a band of as wicked men as ever opposed the gospel His power and influence are sustained by various high orders of officials, such as the "Presidency, the Highpriesthood, Elders, Levites," and others whose name is legion. And these men -- having no fear of God or man -- are artful, vigilant and wicked. The sect is increasing rapidly. Their whole number here and in the adjoining counties and in Iowa, must amount to from ten to fifteen thousand, the most of whom are in this county. How far they will continue to increase, is known only to the Searcher of all hearts.

I wish to state before I close here, one interesting fact. It is this. The great body of the Mormons are from those churches where the greatest cardinal doctrines of the Bible are kept rather in the back ground. Comparatively few have had the privilege of sitting under a thoroughly educated ministry, and thus of being fully indoctrinated into the prime truths and doctrines of the Bible. If this be true, and the history of Mormonism will prove it so, it will obviously follow that just such a ministry as the Am. Home Miss. Soc. aims to sustain, in the ministry imperiously required by the wants of the West. -- Home Missionary.

Note: Clipping located by Erin B. Jennings


Vol. XX.                                 New York City, January 22, 1842.                                 No. 4.


THE MORMON COMMUNITY OF NAUVOO, ILLINOIS: -- The Mormon Elders have issued an Epistle from the city of Nauvoo, on the Mississippi, requiring the "Saints of the Last Days" to contribute one tenth of all their substance, and one tenth of their earnings, to help forward the Temple of The Lord. Their city now numbers 10,000 inhabitants.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XX.                                 New York City, February 12, 1842.                                 No. 7.

(From the Louisviile Gazette.)


We are frequently forcibly struck with remarks we hear concerning Mormonism and various other superstitions which are daily springing up.... We should cease to be surprised at the success of Matthias, or at the swift and constantly increasing accession of numbers to Mormonism, when we see educated and intelligent men leading themselves to the mysteries of Mesmerism, or in other words Animal Magnetism... [remainder of article has nothing of significance on the Mormons]

Note: Clipping located by Erin B. Jennings


Vol. XX.                                 New York City, June 11, 1842.                                 No. 24.


THE MORMONS IN SALEM. -- Mormonism is advancing with a perfect rush in this city just at present. Several of the Elders have made a descent upon us. Meetings have been holden now very frequently for several days past, and crowds flock to listen to the strange doctrines of the "Latter Day Saints." How many new converts they make, we have not learned, but understand that the whole number of those who have come over to the faith, is about eighty. -- Salem (Mass.) Register.

Note: Clipping located by Erin B. Jennings


Vol. XX.                                 New York City, July 16, 1842.                                 No. 29.


EXCOMMUNICATION EXTRAORDINARY. -- General Bennett, who has been commander of the "Nauvoo Legion," has been thrown over a wall by the Mormon dignitaries. The last number of the "Times and Seasons," the Mormon organ, published at Nauvoo, contains the following bull: --

Notice. -- The subscribers, members of the first presidency of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, withdraw the hand of fellowship from General John C. Bennett, as a christian, be having been labored with from time to time, to persuade him to amend his conduct, apparently to no good effect.

(signed Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, W. Law, and "nine members of the quorum" and three "bishops.")

Note: Clipping located by Erin B. Jennings


Vol. XX.                                 New York City, July 30, 1842.                                 No. 31.


(under construction)

The State of Illinois appears to have become highly excited in consequence of certain disclosures concerning the political purposes of the Mormons, the infamous and polluted character and conduct of Joe Smith, their prophet, and the condition and privileges of their city of Nauvoo... Numerous Mormon Villainies exposed... Jo Smith's attempted assassination of Governor Boggs of Missouri... Joe Smith's prediction in Nauvoo to congregation of violent death of Gov. Boggs in 1841...

The famous Nauvoo Legion... Possesses arms, 20 or 30 cannon, ammunition... "This country should be informed that this now populous Mormon city enjoys, by the charter granted by the last Loco Legislature of Illinois, privileges that have never been granted to any sect in this country"... Charter allows University, military force... Joe Smith is Lieut. General... Joe Smith has a "desperate corps, called danites, to do his will..."

Note: The above fragmentary text is still under construction and will be replaced by the text of the full article, once it becomes available for transcription.


Vol. XX.                                 New York City, August 20, 1842.                                 No. 34.


CRISIS OF MORMONISM APPROACHING: -- The Mormon farce is manifestly drawing to a close. They continue from time to time to assume still higher ground, and to utter more direct threats. They are rallying from every point to this county, for the purpose of carrying the elections, and thus getting all the public business of the county into their hands -- and there is a state of growing excitement among the rest of the community. I am afraid the next August election will not pass by without bloodshed. I presume Nauvoo is as perfect a sink of debauchery and every species of abomination as ever was Sodom or Nineveh. -- Cor. of Home Missionary.

Note: Clipping located by Erin B. Jennings


Vol. XX.                                 New York City, September 3, 1842.                                 No. 36.


(under construction)

Requisition has been made upon Gov. Carlin, by The Executive of Missouri, for the bodies of Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet, and O. P. Rockwell, the latter having been indicted in Missouri as principal and the former as an accessory in the attempted assassination of Ex-Governor Boggs... Both Released in Nauvoo... Prophet has Revelation... Battle fought between the Mormons and anti-Mormons... 30-40 killed or wounded...

Note: The above fragmentary text is still under construction and will be replaced by the text of the full article, once it becomes available for transcription.


Vol. ?                                 New York City, September 10, 1842.                                 No. ?


(under construction)

Joe Smith's followers leaving him... company of 40 reaches St. Louis from Nauvoo...

Note: The above fragmentary text is still under construction and will be replaced by the text of the full article, once it becomes available for transcription.


Vol. ?                                 New York City, October 29, 1842.                                 No. ?


(under construction)

JOE SMITH IN CUSTODY AT CARTHAGE. -- be brought before Judge Douglass who is holding court... writ of habeas corpus to be suspended...

The Illinois Journal contains formal renunciation of Mormonism signed by ten late members of the Mormon Church, who declare that they have been "most scandalously imposed upon in matters and things of a divine character." Oliver H. Olney, late a preacher of the Mormon doctrines, has also renounced all connexion with the "Latter Day Saints," as they call themselves, having been a witness to the corruptions and debaucheries of their leaders.

Note: The above fragmentary text is still under construction and will be replaced by the text of the full article, once it becomes available for transcription.


Vol. ?                                 New York City, December 17, 1842.                                 No. ?


(under construction)


Note: The above item is still under construction -- it will be updated with the full article text, once that becomes available for transcription.


Vol. ?                                 New York City, December 31, 1842.                                 No. ?


Alpheus Harmon, a Mormon preacher -- one of the three hundred commissioned by Joe Smith to spread the doctrines of Mormonism -- and his nephew, Orsey Harmon, were frozen to death on Thursday, the 17th ult., on the open prairie between Carthage and Nauvoo, about seven miles from the latter place. They were travelling across the prairie toward Nauvoo with an ox team and wagon, and it is supposed they became bewildered in the storm. Mr. Alpheus Harmon was found on the Saturday following, a few rods from the wagon, and his nephew, a young man, was not found until the following Monday. It appears he had wandered some two miles from the wagon before he perished.

The older Harmon had just made the tour [through] Indiana, and was returning to the city of the latter day saints, where he had a wife and nine children anxiously awaiting his return; but while yet a short space intervened between him and his domestic fireside, death arrested him on his homeward journey.

Note: The above text was adopted from the New York Spectator of Dec. 28, 1842, which in turn condensed an original report from the Wisconsin Southport Telegraph of Dec. 7, 1842.


Vol. XXI.                                 New York City, January 7, 1843.                                 No. 1.


(under construction)

... monument to folly completed at an expense of $200,000...

Note: The above text is still under construction and will be replaced by the text of the full article, once it becomes available for transcription.


Vol. XXI.                                 New York City, Jan. 21, 1843.                                 No. 3.


THE MORMON PROPHET. -- Joe Smith, accompanied by a retinue of some 15 or 20 of his Mormon subjects, appeared at Springfield (Ill.) on the 2nd inst., and surrendered himself to the Sheriff of the county, upon the warrant issued by the Gov. of Illinois, upon the requisition of the Gov. of Missouri, upon a charge of being accessory before the fact to an attempted assassonation of ex-Gov. Boggs. After his arrest by the Sheriff, a writ of habeas corpus was sued out and he gave bail in the U. S. Circuit Court to await its decision from day to day, on the exception taken by his counsel to the arrest. He contends that the act of Congress authorizes the authorities of one state to call upon those of another, only for fugitives from justice. Joe was a citizen of Illinois and in the State at the time of the alleged crime.

Note: Clipping located by Erin B. Jennings


Vol. XXI.                                 New York City, Feb. 25, 1843.                                 No. 8.

  (under construction)

MORMONISM IN MASSACHUSETTS. -- ...Mormon preachers visit Cummington... succeed in gaining proselytes... Nine persons baptised... converts believe that Joe Smith is true Phrophet and that the Melchisedec priesthood has been restored...

Note: The above article is still under construction and will be replaced by the text of the full report, once it becomes available for transcription.


Vol. XXI.                                 New York City, March 4, 1843.                                 No. 9.


MORMONISM IN WESTERN NEW YORK. -- One of our oldest subscribers in Genesee county, who has himself embraced the doctrines of Joe Smith, called upon us a few days ago, and stated that he had been appointed agent for some thirty or forty farmers, now residents of the counties of Genesee and Wyoming, who intend of emigrating as soon as they can dispose of their property, to the city of Nauvoo, Ill., the head quarters of the "Latter Day Saints." They offer their farms, some of which lie in the vicinity of Batavia, and others on the Attica and Buffalo Railroad, at from 15 to 25 sollars per acre. These facts will excite greater wonder when it is recollected that the prophet Joe commenced his career in Western New York, and was never able to make but one or two converts here, until his name became celebrated at the west. -- Roch. Dem.

Note: Clipping located by Erin B. Jennings


Vol. XXI.                                 New York City, July 8, 1843.                                 No. ?


THE MORMON WAR. -- ...Joe Smith was lately indicted in some upper counties in Missouri, for murder and treason growing out of the Mormon war. Immediately thereafter a writ was issued and a messenger despatched to Springfield, Illinois, with a requisition from the Governor of Missouri on the Governor Of Illinois for the arrest and Delivery of Smith. It was intended to keep the whole proceedings a secret, [to secure Joe's arrest], but in some way or another the Mormons at Springfield [heard of action in advance] and despatched a messenger to [warn] Smith at Nauvoo. Smith has left for parts unknown, or at least keeps himself so concealed that he cannot be arrested. It is reported that Rockwell, who is in jail at Independence for the attempted assassination of Governor Boggs, has signified a willingness to turn State's evidence and reveal the whole plot and actors. If this be true, it probably furnishes an additional motive for Smith to keep out of the clutches of the law.

Note: The above text has not yet been fully transcribed and checked for accuracy.


Vol. XXI.                                 New York City, July 15, 1843.                                 No. ?


JOE SMITH AND THE MORMONS. -- ... Joe Smith passed thru Peoria on his way to Springfield... in carriage in custody of officers... Half a dozen citizens of Missouri participated in the arrest of Smith... Joe procured writs to be issued against them, which were executed and they were jailed... These prisoners sent for aid... large numbers of the Nauvoo Legion may arrive...

Note: The above article is still under construction; it appears to be a paraphrase of a report published in the St. Louis New Era of July 3, 1843.


Vol. XXI.                                 New York City, September 23, 1843.                                 No. 38.

The Prairies, Nauvoo, Joe Smith,
the Temple, the Mormons, &c.

(See original article in Sept. 15, 1843 issue of the Pittsburg Gazette)


Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXI.                                 New York City, Sept. 30, 1843.                                 No. 39.


THE MORMONS AND ANTI MORMONS. -- The St. Louis Era contains a notice of the Anti-Mormon Convention held at Carthage. They declared, if Governor Ford would not surrender Joe Smith on the requisition of the Governor of Missouri, which he has refused to do from politicak considerations, that they would call in aid from other counties and other States, to assist them in delivering them up. -- As rumors were prevalent that a number of citizens had had their lives threatened by the Mormons, the meeting resolved to avenge any blood that might be shed. They agreed not to obey the mandates of the Mormon officers of the county, who have been put in power by the Mormons, the whole county treasury being now at their disposal.

Note: Clipping located by Erin B. Jennings


Vol. XXII.                                 New York City, February 3, 1844.                                 No. 5.


On Monday, the 11th Dec. last, an inquest was taken before Mr. T. Badger, coroner, and a highly respectable jury, on the body of Robert Turner, of Sheffield, aged 35, by trade a spring-knife cutter, whose body had been discovered on Sunday afternoon in the river Rother. It appeared from the evidence of William Bellamy, Matthew Gregory, Simeon Gee and others, that Turner had embraced the religion of the Mormonites, or Latter-day Saints, and after preaching at Handsworth Woodhouse on Sunday, the 19th of November, he gave out that if any person felt thoroughly convinced of the truth of the religious principles which he professed and preached, and would attend early on the following morning, he would baptize them in the river Rother. Accordingly, very early the following morning, several persons met Turner, their preacher, in a meadow called "Fairy Meadow," adjoining the river above Woodhouse Mill, and the party, after praying and singing, and being addressed by one of their preachers from Shieffield, as to the absolute necessity of their being born of water and of the Spirit, or else they would not enter the kingdom of heaven, several of their disciples at once proceeded to strip off all their clothes, and Turmer plunged into the river, which was deep and considerably swollen by the late rains, followed by one William Bellamy, a collier, whom he baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. He got out safe, and then one Matthew Gregory wnet in, and the priest aftering plunging him over the head, to use the man's own words, and nearly "slockening" him, he, with great difficulty, half-drowned, and much frieghtened, scrambled out of the river and saved his life, but Turner, on leaving hold of Gregory, unfortunately slipped forward into the deep water, and the current running strong, he was carried away into the middle of the river, and soon sank to rise no more. Exertions were made to save the man without effect. Daily efforts have since been made to find the body, and on Sunday afternoon last it was discovered standing upright in the river, with the head partly out of the water, and about twenty-five yards only from the place where he was drowned. The coroner and jury, after making strict inquiry into all the circumstances of the case, but strongly condemning the rash and inconsiderate conduct of the parties in plunging into the river, where it was both deep and dangerous, and strongly recommending the surivors not again run such risks, returned a verdict of "Accidental death."

THE MORMONS. -- An intelligent gentleman who resides in the vicinity of Nauvoo, informs the editor of the Cleveland, Ohio, Herald, that the Mormons are receiving constant accessions to their numbers from various portions of the United States and from Europe -- that the Great Temple is progressing slowly -- and that "General Joseph Smith" is becoming more and more dictatorial and threatening towards the worldly powers that be, and more impious in his pretensions to the character of a prophet. Still he fears kidnapping or assassination by the "evil minded Missourians," and keeps a portion of his forty Policemen pretty constantly about his person! Smith keeps a tavern called the Nauvoo House, and by special ordinance monopolizes the liquor trade at 12 1-2 cents a glass.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXII.                                 New York City,  February 24, 1844.                                 No. 8.


MORMONS. -- Two young women were baptized into the Mormon faith, on Sunday afternoon, in the South Mill Pond -- a hole, of a few yards square, where the water was about three feet deep, having been cut in the ice for that purpose. The administrator of the ordinance, in his common dress, of pantaloons, &c., but in his shirt sleeves, first appeared from the edge of the ice into the opening, and then the young women, one after the other, were assisted into the water, baptized, and lifted out again upon the ice. The administrator made a prefactory address to the audience; but if there were prayers, singing, &c., the services probably took place some where under cover. -- Salem (Mass.) Gazette.

Note: Clipping located by Erin B. Jennings


Vol. XXII.                                 New York City,  March 2, 1844.                                 No. 9.


MORMON DIFFICULTIES IN ILLINOIS. -- The Quincy Herald of the 9th instant, states that four wagons passed through through that place on Tuesday previous, on their way to the State Arsenal at Alton, for the purpose of procuring arms to be used against the Mormons. The difficulties and the prospect of an immediate breach between the citizens and the Mormons has been brought to the knowledge of Gov. Ford, and he has been earnestly appealed to, to maintain the peace and protect. The state of exasperation between the Mormons and citizens is such that we will not be surprised to hear of actual hostilities between them and a portion of our own citizens. -- St. Louis Repub.

Note: Clipping located by Erin B. Jennings


Vol. XXII.                                 New York City,  March 23, 1844.                                 No. 12.


MORMONS IN ALABAMA. -- The Mobile Journal of the 7th inst. says: -- "The Mormons are upon our borders. We learn from a late letter from Sumpter county, that they are making a somewhat formidable demonstration in the adjoining county of Mississippi. They commenced operations at Pleasant Springs late in the fall, and now number about seventy-five proselytes -- some twenty being seceders from the Methodist connexion and about twenty-six from the Baptist -- the balance from non-professors. They have recently commenced propagating their faith at Brooklyn, only a few miles from our State line, where they will probably meet with a like success."

Note: Clipping located by Erin B. Jennings


Vol. XXII.                                 New York City,  May 25, 1844.                                 No. 21.


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

Note: Clipping located by Erin B. Jennings


Vol. XXII.                                 New York City,  June 1, 1844.                                 No. 22.


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

Note: Clipping located by Erin B. Jennings


Vol. XXII.                                 New York City,  June 22, 1844.                                 No. 25.


MORMON OUTRAGES RENEWED. -- The Alton Telegraph of the 8th inst., has the following:

A deputy marshall of the district of Illinois, proceeded to Nauvoo a few days since, with a process issued by the Judge of the district court of the United States, for the arrest of Jeremiah Smith, upon a criminal charge of embezzling money. The deputy marshal succeeded in arresting Smith; when "holy Joe," caused his follower to be taken out of the possession of the United States' Officer, and brought before the municipal court of Nauvoo, for an examination under the writ of habeas corpus, issued by that immaculate body. The deputy, in a letter, states that the examination was to come off on the next day, and the result was involved in doubt. He farther avowed a fixed determination on his part, fearlessly and faithfully to execute the process of the United States court, regardless of the course of this mock tribunal of justice, whose chief business is the release of all rogues who take shelter at Nauvoo, and are subsequently arrested by any process of law, whether issued from the State or Federal Courts. Should Joe Smith refuse to surrender the accused into the hands of the deputy marshal, Col. Prentiss will repair in person to the scene of the action, with such a force as will insure obedience to the Constituted authorities of the Government.

Note: Clipping located by Erin B. Jennings.


Vol. XXII.                                 New York City,  July 6, 1844.                                 No. 27.


THE MORMON DIFFICULTIES. -- The St. Louis papers of the 18th ult. were looking for an outbreak at Nauvoo. The excitement in the neighborhood of Warsaw was hourly increasing, and nearly 2000 persons armed and equopped, had placed themselves under the control of the Sheriff to assist in arresting Joe Smith.

St. Louis June 20. -- Several Mormons arrived here yesterday from Nauvoo; Sidney Rigdon, the Prophet's principle advisor, was of the number. He is on his way to Pittsburgh, in the vicinity of which he has been ordered to reside, in pursuance of one of Jo Smith's convenient revelations.

St. Louis June 21. -- We have received nothing definite in relation to the Mormon difficulties. The people in the neighborhood of Nauvoo were organizing into military companies at the latest dates, and arming themselves for a serious conflict. They were not expected to make any attack upon Nauvoo, until the return of the messengers sent to the Governor, and when they return, we suppose the law will take its way without bloodshed.

A mandamus has been issued by Judge Pope, of Illinois, against the Nauvoo Council, for ordering the office of the Expositor to be demolished, and thus exceeding the authority granted by the charter of the city. -- Reporter.

Note: Clipping located by Erin B. Jennings.


Vol. XXII.                                 New York City,  July 13, 1844.                                 No. 28.


FROM THE MORMON COUNTRY -- DEATH OF THE PROPHET. -- A sudden and tragic issue has followed the exciting accounts from Nauvii and its vicinity, which attracted so much attention last week; whether it will be the end, or only the beginning of the end is a question very difficult to answer.

The career of Smith the self-styled prophet, is brought to a close by a short and bloody death. It appears that on the 24th of June, in compliance with the peremptory demand of Governor Ford, Smith surrendered the arms collected at Nauvoo, and gave himself up a prisoner, with his Council. On their arrival at Carthage they were all arrested on the warrants previously issued, the charge against Smith being treason against the state; and they were committed to the jail which was strongly guarded. What followed we learn from an extra issued by the publishers of the St. Louis Evening Gazette.

A Mormon attempted to rush by the guard for the purpose of forcing his way into the jail. He was repulsed by the guard, and fired a pistol at one of them, giving him a slight wound. A general confusion ensued. Joe and his Mormon fellow prisoners, it seems, had provided themselves with pistols and commenced firing upon the guards within. He attempted to escape from the window, when a hundred balls entered his body, and he fell a lifeless corpse. His brother Hiram shared the same fate. Richards, a leading Mormon, was badly wounded.

The fears expressed for the safety of Governor Ford arose from the fact that he remained, with a small force, at a point between Carthage and Nauvoo, and only seven miles from the latter. The apprehension was that the Mormons, infuriated at hearing of their leader's death, would attack and overpower him.

Friday, 3 1-2 P.M. -- The Boreas returned to-day from Quincy to Warsaw with nearly 500 armed men, receiving by the way the United States arms at Tully. Warsaw has no more news from Carthage or Nauvoo since last evening, except a vague rumor that Gov. Ford had left Nauvoo for Carthage. What will be done is yet conjectural. The probability is that Gov. Ford, if not already the subject of Mormon vengeance, will be consulted this evening, and prompt measures adopted consistent with the disposition of the now distressed "Latter Day Saints;" should they continue hostile, their doom is sealed. It is said the Governor, by harangues and private interviews, has done much to undeceive these deluded men. If so they will no longer constitute a distinct religious sect, but be remembered only as things that were.

The Cincinnati Gazette states that a traveller who arrived at that city on the 3d inst., of apparent candor and truth, relates the following account of the death of the Prophet:

He was left in prison with Hiram at Carthage, and a guard of sixty men placed over them by order of Gov. Ford. The Guard, except about eight had left their position at the jail, when a mob disguised in dress and painted black in the faces, rushed into the jail, shot Hiram dead, and then killed Joe. No resistance was made by either. Joe was leaning or sitting upon a window when shot; he fell from it exclaiming, My God! My God! and died. After he reached the ground he was stabbed, apparently by a young man, in the breast, who said "that; you killed my father."

The Mormons have removed the dead bodies of Joe and Hiram Smith to Nauvoo.

All was quiet in Nauvoo, on the 28th ult. The Mormons, so far from seeming disposed to retaliate, were apprehensive of an attack. The remains of Joe Smith and his brother had been interred.

Note: Clipping located by Erin B. Jennings.


Vol. XXII.                                 New York City,  July 20, 1844.                                 No. 29.


MORMON DISTURBANCES. -- Signs of peace. -- At Nauvoo, on the 2d inst., all was quiet.

The extra from the Mormon organ indulges in many lamentations for the death of the Prophet and his brother, and narrates how the deed was accomplished. -- The murder was committed about six o'clock in the evening, by an armed mob of 150 to 200 men, painted red, black and yellow, who surrounded the jail, forced it, and poured a shower of bullets into the room where the men were confined. Each of the victims received four balls in his body, and John Taylor, editor of the Nauvoo Neighbor was also shot in four places, but not seriously injured. About three o'clock the next day, the bodies of "the noble martyrs" were received at Nauvoo. They were met -- the paper says -- "by a large assemblage of people, east of the Temple, on Mulholland street, under the direction of the city marshal, followed by Samuel H. Smith, brother of the deceased, Dr. Richards and Mr. Hamilton, of Carthage. The wagons were guarded by eight men. The procession that followed in Nauvoo, was the City Council, the Lieut. General's Staff, the Major General and Staff, the Brigadier and Staff, commanders and officers of the Legion, and citizens generally, numbering about several thousands, amid the most solemn lamentations and wailings that ever ascended into the ears of the Lord of Hosts to be avenged of our enemies!

"When the procession arrived, the bodies were both taken into the 'Nauvoo Mansion.' The scene at the Mansion cannot be described: the audience was addressed by Dr. Richards, Judge Phelps, Wood and Reed of Iowa, and Col. Markham. It was a vast assemblage of some 8 or 10,000 persons, and with one united voice resolved to trust to the law for a remedy of such a high handed assassination, and when that failed to call upon God to avenge us of our wrongs."

A correspondent of the N. Y. Tribune gives the following account of the origin of the troubles.

"By the charter a Municipal Court was established, 'composed of the Mayor or Chief Justice, and the Aldermen as Associate Justices,' which Court had the power to grant writs of habeas corpus, &c. Under this power, whenever Joe or any of his men had been arrested for any crimes, writs of habeas corpus would be sued out and discharges granted. The consequence was, that crimes have been committed at Nauvoo with perfect impunity -- the laws of the State have been openly set at defiance. It was resolved by Joe that those engaged in destroying the press should not be given up to the proper authorities, and on the other hand it was determined by the citizens of the county that they should be arrested at all hazards. Martial law is declared by Joe at Nauvoo, and the "Legion" is called out and put under arms. The citizens of Hancock and the neighboring counties commence rendezvousing at different points, messengers are despatched to Missouri for men, arms, ammunition, and every thing wears the appearance of actual war. In the meantime messengers are sent to the Governor of the State (Thomas Ford) to request that he will order out the militia to enforce the laws. The Governor soon makes his appearance at Nauvoo, issues a powerful proclamation to the Mormons, commanding obedience to the laws, and commenting in strong and nervous language upon their recent outrages. He finally induces Joe and Hyrum to surrender themselves up to the civil authorities, by pledging his honor and the honor of the State, that they shall be dealt with only according to law. Joe and Hyrum went to Carthage, the seat of Justice of Hancock County, attended by a strong guard of armed men, where they delivered themselves up and went to jail to await an examination on a charge of treason. The Governor disbanded Joe's men, rook their arms and sent them away, but retained a company of 50 men at Carthage to ptotect Joe and Hyrum from any violence. The Governor then returned to Nauvoo and made a speech to the Mormons, which was received by murmurs and hisses. He told them that if they committed any farther violence they would be held responsible, and that tens of thousands would come upon them and avenge their wrongs by burning the town and destroying every man woman and child within their borders.

Mr. Editor, Being some time ago very much i. my mind on various topics of the christian religion m his mnve’m.tim W, th me he said ‘the sam+’11 at t];-n the Rev. S. “~—y . came to give me relief. One of the points, and the principal one, for which he labored to convince me, was the importance of infant baptism. I had heard him preach on the subject, and je was m mmma”d nor premdmt f m it in all the word of God. "But..." said he, "the Most High, in the dispensations of his providence, m ordered it, that the church of Rome had left this ordinance pure and ~nc.~pt from the apostles down to the Reformation, and the worthies of the Reformation handed it down to...

(remainder of article illegible)

Note: Clippings located by Erin B. Jennings.


Vol. 23.                                 New York City,  May 3, 1845.                                 No. 69.


There are some errors so desperately absurd and evil that nought less than fact could induce our belief of their success. As of stark night into which one has but to peer if he would know its blackness, we should say of these beforehand, all men will detect their gross, fraudlent nature at once. Alas for human pride, no delusion has yet been too shallow or villainous, for the credulity of numerous souls. The cause God reveals in emphatic truth by his Word. Carnal wisdom, arrogant, but senseless as wicked, is apt to all folly. There are no depths of mystic nonsense too low for its grivelling bent, no lyimg abominations too glaring for its complacent belief[.] Vishnu, Apis, Joan Southcote, and Joe Smith, stand mainly in one category with respect to the essential type faith accorded them by their devotees. All unbelief in the alone truth of God originates in one source, is the various issue of sinful spiritual blindness.

And being prone to indefinite measures of error, mankind need guide marks at every point of deviation.

Mormonism, perhaps, deserves the cap and bells for unparalleled nonsense, and the infamous credit of having transcended all precedents in impudence, forgery and blasphemy. Yet its disciples are thousands; knaves many, weak and ignorant people also not a few, ostritch-like, gorging as if it were for food, matter impossible of digestion. Of such in general, hope is faint. Rugged experience may teach them some direction. God may recover some as brands from the burning. Even before them should truth yet shine willing to convey light, though excluded it may be to the end. And for alarm to the wavering, the chained but still unslain, the plainest detection of imposture should be given if happily they may be delivered from the snare.

That lying wonder -- Smith's feigned reception of golden plates inscribed with Hebrew-American records is a fundamental doctrine in the scheme. Says Orson Pratt -- (a standard authentic writer of the sect) "These records were engraved on plates which ahd the appearance of gold." "They were filled on both sides with engravings in Egyptian characters."

Fatal blunder! but indeed no marvel the falsehood would leak occasionally through the meshes of its veil. This explicitness should have been avoided like treason. If upon inspection the pretended writings bear no likeness to Egyptian gravings, the great mystery is rotten at heart. It is blasphemous too, not less than false; because Smith's narrative and testimonial concerning the matter affects the dignity of inspiration. Deceit here vitiates the whole story. But the impostor's credit had yet a chance in confirming the view of these plates to the three sages who were raised up as "witnesses to the nations," and say -- "we declare with words of soberness that an angel of God came down from Heaven and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld the plates and the engravings thereon." Fit guarantee to such a device of falsehood. But sin will betray itself; and accordingly it is certified.

"A few of the original characters were accurately transcribed and translated by Mr. Smith, which, with the translation were taken by a gentleman by the name of Martin Harris to the city of New York where they were presented to a learned gentleman by the name of ANTHON, who professed to be extensively acquainted with many languages both ancient and modern. He examined them but was unable to decipher them correctly, but he presumed that if the original records could be brought he could assist in translating them."

In other Mormon books occur a few additional statements about this affair, as that the paper was shewn to Dr. Mitchell and that Dr. Anthon professed to know (I think,) forty languages.

The object of this movement was under the pretence of fulfilling Isaiah 29:11-12, to dupe Harris -- an honest credulous farmer into the investment of his property in the publication of the "Golden Bible." The following letter from Professor Anthon -- replying to one addressed to him on this subject determines thoroughly the veracity of Joe Smith and his inspired compeers in the lie.

( COPY. )

NEW YORK, Aug. 12, 1844.   
Rev. and Dear Sir, — The Mormon story is a complete falsehood. A person called upon me many years ago and showed me a pretended transcript of a page of the Golden Bible, desiring me at the same time to favor him with a translation. It required but a single glance to perceive that the whole affair was a sheer and very clumsy imposition. The paper contained in one or two parallel columns rude imitations of Hebrew and Greek characters together with various delineations of sun, moon, stars, &c. The man who handed me the scrawl had previously taken it to Dr. Mitchell and had been referred by that gentleman to me. He stated that he was about to engage in the affair of the Golden Book and (if my memory serve me right) intended to sell his farm and appropriate the proceeds to the publication of the volume.

I told him very frankly that the whole matter was a hoax and cautioned him against being cheated out of his property.

You will perceive from this what a monstrous lie, the Mormons are uttering when they say that I promised to decipher the piece of writing in question — if the original records were brought to me. I told the man at once that he was imposed upon and that the writing was mere trash. What Dr. Mitchell may have said I know not. Of one thing however I am very sure, that I never professed to be acquainted with the vast number of languages of which the Mormons speak and would deserve to be laughed at if I thought that any other language than Gibberish were required to obtain a knowledge of the contents of the paper that was handed to me.
Yours truly,                 CHAS. ANTHON.

There are features of Mormonism equally atrocious on which comment is ready, but this article is already too long. I have thought the preceding facts may be useful -- at least where your paper circulates in the neighborhood of this miserable fanaticism.
Fairhaven, Conn.

Note 1: According to a note, on page 130 of H. Michael Marquardt's 2005 book, The Rise of Mormonism: 1816-1844, the above Charles Anthon letter in the New York Observer was published in the context of an article supplied by "Cygnus" of Fairhaven, Connecticut. This "third Anthon letter" apparently was not cited by the historians of Mormonism until it was first circulated recently by historical researcher Erin Jennings.

Note 2: Anthon's assertion, that he did not pretend to understand the cryptic meaning of the characters brought to him by Martin Harris, corresponds with Jonathan A. Hadley's report in the Palmyra Freeman of August 11, 1829: "So blindly enthusiastic was [Martin] Harris, that he took some of the characters interpreted by Smith, and went in search of some one, besides the interpreter, who was learned enough to English them; but to all whom he applied (among the number was Professor Mitchell, of New York,) happened not to be possessed of sufficient knowledge to give satisfaction!" Compare all of this with a slightly later report published in the Wooster, Ohio Republican Advocate: "Martin Harris an industrious farmer, caught the [Mormon] contagion, took some of the characters to different learned men to translate, but without success" (reprinted in the Ravenna Ohio Star of Dec. 9, 1830). -- Essentially the same story was taken down nearly a year later by field journalist James G. Bennett: "Harris with several manuscripts in his pocket, went to the city of New York, and called upon one of the Professors of Columbia College [Anthon] for the purpose of shewing them to him. Harris says that the Professor thought them very curious, but admitted that he could not decypher them."

Note 3: As late as July, 1842 LDS Apostle John E. Page argued that Anthon's inability to read the characters supplied to him by Martin Harris, fulfilled biblical prophecy concerning the coming forth of the Book of Mormon: "Isaiah xxix, 20, 21... the 10th and 11th verses -- 'And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying: Read this, I pray thee; and he saith I cannot, for it is sealed.' ... which scriptures we believe to have particular reference to the Book of Mormon, and was literally published in the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, in the fact of Mr. Joseph Smith transcribing some of the characters of the plates, and sending them to Professor Anthon of the city of New York, by Mr. Martin Harris, as Mr. Anthon has acknowledged, was exhibited to him in that city." This argument by Apostle Page appears to support Anthon's initial response to an inquiry on the matter: "The whole story about my having pronounced the Mormonite inscription to be 'reformed Egyptian hieroglyphics' is perfectly false." The "whole story" referred to by Anthon evidently sprang from rumors and exaggerations, such as the claims made by W. W. Phelps on Jan. 15, 1831 and by certain early LDS missionaries, such as those mentioned in the New York Fredonia Censor of Mar. 7, 1832.

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