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1834-39 Articles

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FrdC Jan 01 '34  |  BPat Apr 08 '34  |  BWhg Jul 23 '34
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NiC Jan 02 '39  |  NiD May 01 '39  |  NiD May 22 '39
NiC Jul 31 '39  |  F&M Oct 10 '39

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Vol. XIII.                           Fredonia, NY, Wed., January 1, 1834.                          No. 41.

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

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. XXIII.                            Buffalo, NY, Tues., April 8, 1834.                           No. 1168.

From the Painesville Telegraph.


The undersigned Committee appointed by a public meeting held in Kirtland, Geauga co., Ohio, for the purposes of ascertaining the origin of the Book of MORMON, would say to the Public, that when met as directed by said meeting, it became a subject of deliberation whether the committee without violating the spirit of that instrument which declares that "no human authority can in any case whatever control or interfere with the rights of conscience" could take measures to avert the evils which threaten the Public by the location in this vicinity, of Joseph Smith Jun. otherwise known as the Mormon Prophet -- and who is now, under pretence of Divine Authority, collecting about him an impoverished population, alienated in feeling from other portions of the community, thereby threatening us with an insupportable weight of pauperism. The committee were of opinion that the force of truth ought without delay to be applied to the Book of Mormon, and the character of Joseph Smith, Jun. With this object in view, the Committee employed D. P. Hurlbut to ascertain the real origin of the Book of Mormon, and to examine the validity of Joseph Smith's claims to the character of a Prophet. The result of this enquiry so far as it has proceeded has been partially laid before the public in this vicinity by Mr. Hurlbut -- and the Committee are now making arrangements for the Publication and extensive circulation of a work which will prove the "Book, of Mormon" to be a work of fiction and imagination, and written more than twenty years ago, in Salem, Ashtabula County, Ohio, by Solomon Spalding, Esq., and completely divest Joseph Smith of all claims to the character of an honest man, and place him at an immeasurable distance from the high station which he pretends to occupy.

O. A. Crary,
Amos Daniels,
John F. Morse,
Samuel Wilson,
Josiah Jones,
Warren Corning,
James H. Paine,
Jos. H. Wakefield,
Sylvester Cornwell,
T. D. Martindale.
Kirtland, Geauga co., Ohio.

Note: The May 3, 1834 Michigan Monroe Sentinel and the Cleveland Herald of Mar. 22, 1834 also took notice of this unusual item from the Painesville Telegraph of Jan. 31, 1834.


The  Buffalo  Whig.
Vol. I.                              Buffalo, NY, Wed., July 23, 1834.                             No. 6.


The Mormon War. -- We learn by the following article, and others in other papers corroborating it, that violence & bloodshed may be expected in Missouri, between those fanatics, who seek to put down their superstitions and delusions by force of arms. -- Pittsburgh Adv.

              Liberty, (Mo.) June 11.
The Mormons. -- Our friends at a distance may feel desirious 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 shedding of blood; and in fact, we have felt very little interest in the matter, farther 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. &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 lands of the Mormons, and paying them for the 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: This article came from a mid-June 1834 issue of the Missouri Enquirer.


Vol. XV.                           Fredonia, NY, Wed., March 25, 1835.                          No. 2.

Mormonism Unveiled:

OR, a faithful account of that singular imposition and delusion, from its rise to its present time. With sketches of the characters of its propagators, and a full detail of the manner in which the famous Golden Bible was brought before the world. To which are added inquiries into the probability that the historical part of the said bible was written by one Solomon Spalding, more than 20 years ago, and by him intended to have been published as a romance. With plates.

==> Just received and for sale at the Fredonia Bookstore. Price 75 cents.
  March 16, 1835.

Note: Painesville publisher, Eber D. Howe, issued this book for sale at the end of Nov, 1834. As part of the terms of their Feb. 1834 agreement, D. P. Hurlbut was to receive 4 or 500 copies of the finished volume. By the end of 1834 Hurlbut and his new bride were living in Erie Co., Pennsylvania. Howe shipped the books to Hurlbut via Conneaut, Ohio. However, once Hurlbut uncrated his copies and attempted to sell them, he discovered that Howe had already supplied the book to most interested readers and that it was no longer a good seller. Early in 1835 Hurlbut disposed of his copies at auction in Buffalo, New York. The owner of the Fredonia Bookstore apparently procured a stock of Mormonism Unvailed at the Buffalo auction. He ran ads for the sale of the book in the Fredonia Censor from March 18th until May 27th of 1835.


Vol. XV.                           Fredonia, NY, Wed., July 22, 1835.                          No. ?


AN ANGEL. -- The Magazine and Advocate says, that while the Mormon Prophet, Jo Smith, was in Ohio, engaged in proselying people to the faith of the "Golden Bible," he sought to give additional solemnity to the baptismal rite, by affirming that on each occasion an angel would appear on the opposite side of the stream, and there remain till the conclusion of the ceremony. The rite was administered in the evening in Grand River, near Painesville, not by the Prophet in person, but by his disciples. In agreement with the prediction of the Prophet, on each occasion a figure in white was seen on the opposite bank, and the faith of the faithful was thereby greatly increased. Suspicions as to the incorporeal nature of the reputed angel, at length induced a company of young men (unbelievers of course) to examine the quality of the ghost, and having secreted themselves, they awaited its arrival. Their expectations were soon realized, by its appearance in its customary position, and rushing from their lair, they succeeded in forcing it into the stream, and although its efforts at escape were powerful, they succeeded in bearing it in triumph to the opposite side of the stream, when who should this supposed inhabitant of the upper world be, but the Mormon Prophet himself! -- Rochester Republican.

Note 1: The appearance of the original of this report in the 1835 Evangelical Magazine and Gospel Advocate has not yet been confirmed. The Mormons responded to the Republican's June 15th reprint of this article in their LDS Messenger & Advocate of


Vol. XV.                           Fredonia, NY, Wed., Aug. 12, 1835.                          No. ?


Mormonism has broken out in Boston, and there is talk of the yellow fever there also. A preacher at Julien Hall is propagating the former, and foul cellars and putrid hides are doing what they can in spreading the latter. -- New-York Sun.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XV.                           Fredonia, NY, Wed., Sept. 2, 1835.                          No. ?


Joe Smith the Mormon prophet, has bought three mummies, and has discovered that they are the bodies of Joseph (the son of Abraham,) and King Abimeleck and his daughter. They are now carrying them about the country with which to gull poor human nature.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XV.                           Fredonia, NY, Wed., Nov. 4, 1835.                          No. ?


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

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


Vol. XVI.                           Fredonia, NY, Wed., June 26, 1836.                          No. 15.

The following Tale was written for the New England Galaxy,
and to it was awarded a Prize of fifty dollars.


A Green Mountain Tale.


In one of those rough and secluded towns, situated in the heart of the Green Mountains, is a picturesque little valley, containing, perhaps, something over two thousand acres of improvable land, formerly known in that section of the country by the appellation of The Harwood Settlement...

(under construction)

Note: Daniel P. Thompson's "May Martin; or, The Money Diggers" was reprinted from the New England Galaxy as a book in 1835. In a letter written by the author on June 17, 1835, he says: "the story is founded on facts. A band of money diggers made quite a noise in one of our back towns about 10 years ago..." Although the story makes no direct mention of Western New York money-diggers (like Joseph Smith, Jr.), it nevertheless provides an interesting, contemporary view of the practice and the practitioners. The Fredonia Censor printed the entire text, in a number of weekly installments, ending on July 28, 1835.


Vol. XVI.                             Fredonia, NY, July 1, 1836.                            No. ?


Mormon Emigration. -- Our citizens have noticed for several days past, an unprecedentedly large number of traveling wagons, drawn principally by ox teams, and loaded with women, children and household goods. Often 10 or 12 have been seen in company, all of which were rigged and equipped with wonderful uniformity. We were not aware, until informed two or three days since, that they were the persons and property of the emigrating Mormons, from their head quarters in Kirtland, bound to Missouri. Not far from 1a thousand persons, we are told, have thus departed on their pilgrimage during the last 4 or 5 weeks. Their movements are all directed by their prophet, Smith; and they look forward to a rest beyond the Mississippi, which they express no expectations of attaining except through strife, and it may be blood. -- Cleveland Daily Gazette.

The Cleveland Daily Gazette, is the title of a new daily paper which has been commenced in Cleveland, Ohio, by L. L. Rice, Esq., the enterprizing proprietor of the Cleveland Whig. It is neatly printed, on an imperial sheet, and conducted with spirit and ability. Cleveland can now boast of two daily papers, three weekly, and we believe, one monthly.

Note: According to the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, Lewis L. Rice (long the owner of the Oberlin Spalding manuscript) began publishing the weekly Cleveland Whig on Aug. 20, 1834. In January of 1835 Rice took on Mr. R. Penniman as a partner. The two began the Cleveland Daily Gazette on June 1, 1836. Six months later they sold both the Whig and the Gazette to Charles Whittlesey and A. H. Lewis (on January 3, 1837).


Vol. XVI.                             Fredonia, NY, July 27, 1836.                            No. ?


Another War Brewing. -- The 'Far West,' published at Independence, Missouri, says that information has been received from Kirtland, Ohio, through various channels, of another movement among the Mormons, to obtain possession of the 'promised land,' and to establish their Zion in Jackson county, the scene of their former disastrous defeat. -- They are said to be arming to the number of 1500 to 2000, and to be making their way, in detached parties, to the 'debateable ground.' The 'Far West' also states that the people of Jackson and their friends in the surrounding counties are taking effective measures for resistance, and will teach Joe Smith, the modern hero of revelation and rags, that the world is not rolling backward either in knowledge or chivalry. -- Louisville Adv.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVI.                             Fredonia, NY, August 10, 1836.                            No. 21.


Extract of a letter from a gentleman at Richmond (Missouri) to his friend in Philadelphia, dated July 8, 1836:

"Our town is all commotion today... The Mormon question is not yet settled in this country, nor will it be, in my opinion, as long as any of them remain here. Meetings are being held in the various counties to prevent their introduction here. Their great suit with the Jackson county boys, was settled yesterday to the satisfaction of both parties -- the Jackson boys raying them $750 for their expulsion and destruction of property. There are thousands of these wretched beings encamped all over our country. The citizens of Clay have met, and concluded to let 100 families of them remain in that country. -- This county (Ray) has done nothing yet."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVI.                             Fredonia, NY, January 4, 1837.                            No. ?


Mormon Bank. -- A Bank with a capital of four millions of dollars, is about to be established at Kirtland, Geauga, the head quarters of the sect known as the Mormons or Latter-day Saints. We have just received an extra from the office of the Messenger, printed at that place, giving the proceedings of a meeting of the Stockholders. At this meeting fourteen articles for the regulation of the "Kirtland Safety Fund Society Bank" were adopted. We have not learned whether the Capital Stock has been subscribed; or whether they have ever applied for a charter. -- Cleveland Daily Herald.

Note: See the Jan 12, 1837 issue of the Cleveland Daily Gazette for another, more hostile reaction to the opening of the bank at Kirtland.


Vol. I.                             Black Rock, NY, January 6, 1837.                            No. 48.


The President of the Bank of Monroe, Michigan, has published a card contradicting rumors injurious to the character and credit of that institution, and asserting the perfect solvency of the Bank. The reports have been traced to one or two individuals who had personal motives in getting them in circulation.

Note: At about this time, Joseph Smith, Jr. was finalizing plans for the Mormons to buy a controling interest in this failing Michigan bank.


Vol. ?                             Fredonia, NY, January 18, 1837.                            No. ?


Mormon Money. -- We published an article from a Cleveland paper, a short time since, intimating that the Mormons at Kirtland, Ohio, were about commencing banking operations. A day or two since a one dollar bill of this kind of money was seen in this village. It was signed as President by Joe Smith. Cashier's name we did not learn. We have always understood Joe to be a staunch Jacksonian man, but it seems he kicks out of the traces a little in going for the small bills; and as we presume he has no bank charter, he appears to be independent of legislative enactments. Probably he has had a vision, from which he derives his banking authority.

Note: It was generally the Whigs who favored the printing of small denomination banknotes, while the rival Jacksonian establishment favored abolishing the National Bank and relying on gold and silver coins for smaller sums of currency. Financial events in Europe were then drying up the ready supply of specie, however. Jackson's anti-banking policies, coupled with a change in the financial and economic situation, helped push the nation into the money crisis of 1837. Had they been strict Jacksonians, the Mormons would have never tried to set up their bank at Kirtland during the uncertain days of early 1837.


Vol. I.                             Black Rock, NY, January 20, 1837.                            No. 50.


NEW REVELATION -- MORMON MONEY. -- During the past few days an emission of bills from the society of Mormons, has been showered upon us. As far as we can learn there is no property bound for their redemption, no coin on hand to redeem them with, and no responsible individuals whose honor or whose honesty is pledged for their payment. They seem to rest upon a spiritual basis. Aside from the violation of the statute rendering them void, and of course the notes given for them, we look upon the whole as a most reprehensible fraud on the public, and cannot conceal our surprise that they should circulate at all. For instance, the large letters engraved on the bills appear, on a casual examination, to read like a bank's bill, and the unsuspecting would in the hurry of business, take them as an ordinary bank bill. But on scrutiny it will be found that previous to the word "Bank" in capital letters, the word "anti" in fine letters is inserted, and after the word "Bank" the syllable "ing" is affixed in small letters also, so as to read in fact, in stead of Bank, "antiBANKing." We do not object to private or company banking, as a system, provided it is done upon a system and made safe, but we consider this whole affair a deception, and are told by a legal gentleman, that there is still in force a section of the statute affixing a penalty of one thousand dollars to the issuing or passing unauthorized Bank paper like the present. It is a kind of radicalism that would flourish better in Michigan than Ohio. -- Gaz.

Note: The Lockport Niagara Democrat published this exact same reprint article on the same date


Vol. II.                             Lockport, NY, Jan. 27, 1837.                            No. ?


(under construction)

Note: This Niagara Democrat article on the Kirtland Bank and its paper money will be transcribed when a more legible copy of the new item can be located.


Vol. III.                             Buffalo, NY, February 13, 1837.                            No. 36.


MONROE BANK AGAIN. -- If it be true, as has been said, that a bank's reputation is like that of a woman, once suspected it is gone forever, then the credit of the Monroe Bank must be pretty effectually annihilated by this time. If all is right why do not the proper persons come out with an official expose of the affairs of the Institution? Until satisfactory evidence is laid before the public that the Bank is perfectly solvent, the bills should be refused absolutely by every one. The editor of the Miami of the Lake says that having some of this money, and finding that no one would take it, he was obliged to return it to the gentleman from whom he had it.

"Piqued at this unnecessary trouble to which we had been subjected, says the editor, we were determined to learn the true cause of this distrust, and accordingly took some little trouble in making inquiries. Although we could not be expected to reach positive proof, yet sufficient was learned to satisfy us that there exists a perfect understanding between certain individuals in Monroe, and the officers of the Commercial Bank at Cleveland. The individuals engaged make it a matter of speculation, and of course raise or depreciate this money, to suit their interest. The actors in this disreputable conduct, should be exposed.

Why not expose them then, instead of hinting in this way?

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                             Black Rock, NY, February 17, 1837.                            No. 2.

From the Monroe Times -- Extra.

BANK OF MONROE. -- With much satisfaction we announce to the public that the stock of this institution, having changed hands, is about to be increased to $500,000.

Mr. Harleston, having sold his entire interest in the Bank, is succeeded, in his capacity of Cashier, by B. J. Hathaway, Esq., a gentleman possessing the character and accomplishments which render him peculiarly qualified for the station so ably and acceptably filled by so worthy a predecessor.

At a meeting of the Stockholders and Board of Directors of the Bank of Monroe, held at their Banking House, this day, George B. Harleston, Esq., resigned his situation of Cashier and Director in the Institution, and O. Cowderry, Esq., was appointed a Director and Vice President by the Board for the remainder of the year, and Bailey J. Hathaway, Esq., was appointed Cashier.

By order of the Board:

        B. J. HATHAWAY, Cashier.
Monroe, Feb. 10, 1837.

Note: "O. Cowderry, Esq." was, of course, the Mormons' front-man in this banking scheme, the LDS "Second Elder," Oliver H. P. Cowdery, late of Kirtland, Ohio. This Monroe notice was picked up by other newspapers as well -- the Buffalo Daily Commercial Advertiser of Feb. 17th ran the same report.


Vol. XVI.                             Fredonia, NY, March 3, 1837.                            No. ?


Another Mormon Bank. -- The Mormons of Kirtland, Ohio, have purchased the stock of the Monroe Bank, in Michigan, and have appointed new officers in it.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                             Lockport, NY, March 17, 1837.                            No. 29


THE JEWS AND INDIANS. -- M. M. Noah, of New York, delivered last week, a lecture before the Mercantile Library Association of that city, the subject of which was the evidence of the American Indians being the descendants of the last tribes of Israel. How far he succeeded in convincing his auditors of the proposition he attempted to prove, we are not told -- but his lecture is spoken of as eloquent and inhenious. A fact has since been stated by the New London Gazette, on authority of a letter from Fort Gibson, Arkansas, which, if true, may furnish the lecture with a rare argument. The writer says, "It has been supposed that the Indians are of Jewish origin, which appears somewhat confirmed by their late emigration, nine men have gone before the emigrants ever since they left the old nation, and one of them has carried some thing like the Ark of the Covenant, or the tables which Moses brought from the Mount. White men are not allowed to see them, but an old negro says, that they have two brass plates about 16 by 6, with letters engraved on them; probably the commandments. The person carrying them has not been known to speak to any one upon the road; and in his manners he has been as solemn as the grave. It is said, that the plates are cleaned once a year by a person who attends to no other business. I shall endeavor to obtain further information on this highly interesting subject." -- Boston Transcript.

Note 1: Although the above masthead includes the words "and Lockport Balance," that addition was not made to the paper's title until about a year later. The source, for the remainder of 1837, should simply be cited as the "Niagara Democrat."

Note 2: For a follow-up article on this same "Lost Tribes" subject, see the Sept. 8, 1837 issue of the Noagara Democrat.


Vol. III.                             Buffalo, NY, March 24, 1837.                            No. ?


NEW REVELATION -- MONROE (MICH.) BANK. -- This Bank, which has been in bad odor for some time past, and has been vibrating in the balance, as the varying reports have affected its credit, has at last, according to the article below, taken from the Cleveland Daily Herald of the 18th, refused to redeem its bills:

MONROE BANK. -- This Institution, we learn from a source entitled to credit, refuses to redeem its bills. We conceive it a duty we owe the community to make this statement, that the public may no longer be imposed upon. They stopped payment on the small sums of some two or three hundred dollars.

The Monroe Times of the 16th, publishes the following expose of the condition of the Bank on the 10th of March, duly attested by the officers of the institution:

Statement of the condition of the BANK OF
MONROE, March 10th, 1837.

To bills discounted
  bills protested
  bills in suit
  Real estate
  Bank furniture, Plates &c.
  Am't due from other institutions,
  "   of funds in New York
  "   of funds in Buffalo
  "   due from sundry individuals
$52, 219.19
Cash on hand.
In specie,
Notes and checks of other
By capital stock paid in,
  Notes in circulation,
  Certificates of Deposites,
  Am't due to other institutions,
  Am't due to individual depositors,
  Profit and loss,
$191, 330.76
49, 075.55
122, 565.00
2, 457.45
5, 482.74
11, 544.79
191, 330.76

A communication in the same paper states that "the Bank has, at last, availed itself of a provision in its charter, and suspended payment for sixty days." It cautions holders of the bills against "throwing them away," and avers that "the Bank will not go down!" It evidently will not "go down" -- the public.

Note: Monroe Bank Vice President Elder Oliver H. P. Cowdery's prophesy, that "the Bank will not go down!" arrived stillborn, as his refusal to redeem the Mormon institution's "small sums" plainly shows. Although there is only circumstantial and anecdotal information upon which to base a conclusion, the modern student of this failed scheme is tempted to believe that, in Michgan, "larger sums" were redeemed in Kirtland banknotes, while, in Ohio, the Kirtland bank's obligations were paid in equally worthless Bank of Monroe notes. Whoever made the last large trade of this bankrupt currency, for gold, at the Commercial Bank at Cleveland, must have walked away from the cashier's window with a look of circumspect satisfaction upon his face.


Vol. XVII.                             Fredonia, NY, March 29, 1837.                            No. 2.


Monroe (Mich.) Bank. -- This Bank, which has been in bad odor for some time past, and has been vibrating in the balance, as the varying reports have affected its credit, has at last, according to the article below, taken from the Cleveland Daily Herald of the 18th, refused to redeem its bills:

Monroe Bank. -- This Institution, we learn from a source entitled to credit, refuses to redeem its bills. We conceive it a duty we owe the community to make this statement, that the public may no longer be imposed upon. They stopped payment on the small sums of some two or three hundred dollars.

(The Monroe Times of the 16th, corroborates the above, and publishes a statement of the funds and liabilities of the Bank, furnished by its officers, which looks bad enough; though it is accompanied with an intimation that no great loss will fall upon the holders of the bills. The public have now a specimen of Mormon tact at banking.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                             Lockport, N. Y., June 2, 1837.                            No. 40.


TO THE PATRONS OF THE DEMOCRAT. -- My connection with the paper closes with the present number. Protracted ill health, principally, induces this withdrawal, and would have dictated such a course some time since, if personal interest, and inclination, had alone been consulted. I keave it with the best wishes for its success, and not without a due sense of the gratitude I owe in common with my associate, for the liberal patronage that has been extended to it. The paper commenced under many disadvantages, but I have the gratification of leaving it, in a more prosperous condition, in the enjoyment of a more substantial patronage, than has hitherto been bestowed upon any newspaper in the country.

It is now nearly fifteen years, since I first became connected with a press in the county, and that connection has existed during the principal portion of that period. In that time our village, from what was previously but a small beginning, has gone on to an accumulation of a population of about 5000, with all the evidences of substantial prosperity; and the county from a spare population, to a condition equal to many of the neighboring counties, that had many years the start of it. If in the capacity of a conductor of a public press, I have failed to contribute in this aggregate prosperity of village and county, it has not been in the absence of motives, which early association, and identity of feeling and interest have constantly prompted. The breaking of a relation to a community of so long standing, and one peculiarly calculated to attach him to its common interest and welfare, with the probability that it will not again be resumed, is productive of feelings, which may be felt, but which need not be expressed. A withdrawal from an active participation in all that concerns the common interest and welfare of a community with which I have so long been connected, is attended with a sincere desire that its prosperity may continue -- a desire that will not be abated by distance, should that intervene, or lessened, should I remain here, in pursuit of other avocations.   O. TURNER.

Note 1: Editor Orsamus Turner says that "nearly fifteen years" has passed since he first began newspaper work in Niagara County. Previously he was the publisher of the Wayne Sentinel in Palmyra, the newspaper that published the Book of Mormon a few years after Turner moved west to Niagara County, to run the Lockport Observatory. Turner here bids his readers a final adieu, in a valedictory column, saying his "active participation" probably "will not again be resumed," -- however he soon enough returned to the controlling reins at the Niagara Democrat.

Note 2: For some other interesting editorial comments by Turner, see his mention of Oliver Cowdery in the May 31, 1831 issue of his earlier newspaper, the Lockport Balance.


Vol. XVII.                             Fredonia, NY, June 7, 1837.                            No. 12.


A Mormon Fugitive. -- That noted Mormon, Sidney Rigdon, who held forth to a gaping multitude in this village a short time since, it appears was then making his escape from justice, having been much more free in shelling out the bills of the pretended Mormon Bank at Kirtland, than he was in giving any thing in exchange for them. The letter which we give below is contained in a correspondence published in the Painesville (Ohio) Telegraph by request, the Editor thereof premising that he cheerfully complies with the request, "in order that the public may properly understand what is going on among the Prophets and High priests of the "latter day saints."

To SIDNEY RIGDON, at Palmyra, Waterloo, Chenang Point, Pittsburgh, Massachusetts, Maine, or some other place where his business calls him.

Sir: I perceive from your letter, that though your journey, like your moral course, is so serpentine, so crooked that the devil himself might be puzzled to follow you, yet the fear of Sherifs and constables has been a ghost on your track. No wonder. You have committed such incredible wickedness in pretending to direct revelations from Heaven, in aiding Jo Smith in ruining so many deluded but innocent families -- in giving countenance to assassins, and swindling community by means of your rag money, that it is not at all surprising, that the Sherif with the appropriate implements for execution should constantly be present to your imagination, and that you should undergo nightly in your dreams the merited punishment of your atrocious deeds. There is no peace to the wicked. -- You have opened the correspondence with me, and now I must discharge my duty to you and the people whom you and Joe Smith are seeking to enthrall, and betray to ruin. You have become a villain so desperate, a swindler so bold, that you are lost to all good, and advice to you about reformation is idle preaching; but your intended victims may be saved by learning your true character. You came to Mentor in a cloak of religion, pretending to be a Baptist; suddenly you changed to a Campbellite, and lastly to a Mormon. But when you appeared the best men of discretion and observation, plainly saw, that under this cloak you concealed a heart desperately wicked. On embracing Mormonism you became a co-worker with Jo Smith, the Prophet of imposture and evil. You and him have been successful in collecting at Kirtland, some three or four hundred honest but ignorant and credulous people, by basely perverting their religious sentiments, and you subjected them by pretending to act by the authority of the great and good Being whom all the conscientious revere, to a system of tyranny and plunder, that has overwhelmed them in ruin; some are in a state of starvation, some are mad, all in despair. Families you have separated, warm hopes of happiness, blighted; you have put asunder whom God joined together, and when this wide spread desolation among your followers was pressed on your attention, you mocked at their calamities: told those whom your wily arts collected with promises of great spiritual and temporal good, to disperse or starve! In my next I shall examine some other points of your character and conduct.
                          GRANDISON NEWELL.

Painesville, May 17th, 1837.

("His next" is made up mostly of a charge against Rigdon and Jo Smith for having instigated some of their deluded followers to put the writer of the above out of the way by assassination.)

Note: According to Richard Van Wagoner's Sidney Rigdon, p. 198: "To escape lawsuits, dissent, and financial distress, Rigdon and Smith traveled to Canada on a five-week fund raising excursion" at this time. Van Wagoner states that the two Mormon leaders were still in Ohio as late as July 27, 1837, but the editor of the NY Fredonia Censor places Rigdon in Fredonia "a short time" before June 7th. Also, Newell's May 17th, 1837 letter is addressed to its recipient (Rigdon) at some far away place, perhaps as distant as "Massachusetts" or "Maine." This appears to indicate that Rigdon had disappeared from sight in northern Ohio by the middle of May.


Vol. XVII.                             Fredonia, NY, June 14, 1837.                            No. 12.


A Prophet in Limbo -- The Mormon Prophet, Jo Smith, has lately been arrested in Geauga county, as an accessary to an attempt to murder an unbeliever in his golden humbug. It seems that Jo had a revelation that a certain sceptic in the neighborhood of the "Holy Land" deserved martyrdom, and soon found a couple of his followers stupid and wicked enough to obey his ministrations. -- They were foiled in their attempt to shoot the individual; quarelled with the Prophet, and are now exhibiting this fiend in the garb of a "Latter day Saint," in his true character. So says report. -- Cleve. Herald.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                             Lockport, N. Y., June 16, 1837.                            No. 42.


Trial of Jo. Smith. -- It will be recollected that the Mormon prophet was recently apprehended at Painsville, on a charge of attempting to take the life of one Newell, by inducing two individuals of his "faith and order" to lay in wait for Newell, near his dwelling in order to shoot him.

Due examination was held before Justice Flint, in Painsville, on the 3d inst., into the demerits of the cause, which resulted in the Court requiring Mr. Joseph Smith, Jr., the Prophet, to give $500 bonds for his appearance at court, and three of the witnesses, Rigdon, Hyde and Dayton, of $50 each, for their appearance as witnesses.

The scriptural maxim, "a Prophet is [sic - is not?] without honor, save in his own country," seems to be quite reversed in the case of this impostor. Derided and execrated as his fanatical puerilities are by every one out of the pale of his own society, it appears from the evidence given on the trial, that he is there regarded as "a revelear of the word of God." -- Buffalo Pat.

Note 1: This article evidently appeared in the Buffalo Patriot during the second week in June. Elder Solomon W. Denton (not "Dayton") was the chief witness for the prosecution, but due to the disappearance of Denton's fellow assassin, Elder Marvel C. Davis, insufficient evidence was produced in court to convict Joseph Smith of conspiracy to murder Mr. Newell, and the Mormon leader was released.

Note 2: A fairly detailed account of this obscure but very interesting trial was published in the June 9, 1837 issue of the Painesville Telegraph.


Vol. XVII.                             Fredonia, NY, July 19, 1837.                            No. 18.

(From the N. Y. Evening Star.)

Mormons. -- These crazy fanatics have their grand tabernacle at a place they call Kirtland, 5 miles from the shore of Lake Erie, and 30 miles from Cleveland, and count no less than 4000 persons under their leader, Joe Smith. They have been lately joined by a shrewd literary person, named Sydney Rigdon, formerly a preacher of the doctrine of Campbell. He is the Grand Vizer to Smith; and under their decision a banking house has been established, of which Smith is president and Rigdon cashier. The issues have been about $150,000. The bank failed. They have several mills on their property. The houses are small, including the prophet Joe's. The temple is a beautiful building of rough stone, three stories high, about 70 to 75 feet square. Each of the two principal apartments holds twelve hundred persons. The joists of the interior are supported by six fluted columns. Each apartment contains six pulpits, arranged, gradatim, three at each end for the "Aaronic priesthood" and three at the other end for the "priesthood of Melchisidec." The slips are so constructed that the audience can face either pulpit, as may be required. In the highest seat for the "Aaronic priesthood" sits the reverend father for the prophet; the next below is occupied by Joe, and his prime minister, Rigdon. The attic story is occupied as school rooms, five in number, where the various branches of English, Latin, Greek and Hebrew languages are taught to a great number of students. The actual cost of the temple is not known, but is estimated at not less than $60,000.

Smith, from an account of a late visit in the Miami of the Lake newspaper, is reported as a placid looking knave, with passionless features, and perfectly composed in the midst of the hetrogenous multitude who have become the victimized dupes of his imposture. Rigdon is described as the reverse, with a face full of fire, a tenor voice, and of eloquent speech. The subject of his sermon was the pressure; his discourse was mild and persuasive. Rigdon is the wire-puller or screen of Joe's inspirations. The followers are many of them upright men and tolerant toward other sects.

Note: The report from the from the Perrysburg, Ohio Miami on the Lake newspaper, cited above, apparently was published in that paper near the end of June, 1837. It was reprinted in the Washington National Intelligencer of July 4, 1837 and the entire, two-part article was published in M. M. Noah's New York Evening Star at about the same time. The paraphrased version given above evidently first appeared in the New Yorker of July 8, 1837.


Vol. XVII.                             Fredonia, NY, August 16, 1837.                            No. ?


Besides several arrests that have recently taken place elsewhere, we have a case in our own vicinity to record. Eben'r Webber was arrested near Silver Creek on Saturday last, and brought to this village for examination, on a charge of passing counterfeit money. He passed a $10 bill of the U. S. bank which was proved to be counterfeit. He also had a quantity of Mormon bills from the mint at Kirtland, Ohio, some in sheets unsigned, and some signed ready for distribution. He was held to bail for his appearance at court. There are, no doubt, others engaged in this business in this county, and it is believed that he could have brought considerable iniquity to light had he been disposed; as it is he probably will go clear.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                             Lockport, N. Y., Sept, 8, 1837.                            No. 2.


THE LOST TRIBES OF ISRAEL. -- M. M. Noah, in an able lecture on the subject of the North American Indians, has advanced many facts and arguments in support of the hypothesis that they are the descendants of the lost tribes of Israel. It is undeniable that many of their customs and religious ceremonies exhibit a marked affinity to the Jewish doctrines. From the remote period at which these peculiar tenets must have been inculcated, and from the necessary wear of customs and language in so great a lapse of years, any striking similarities between the two races cannot be supposed still to remain. But such as they are, many coincidences have been adduced favoring the supposition, and other facts of the same tendency may be drawn from sources which have not yet been so fully investigated.

That the Jews passed over to this continent, and established their worship here, and probably originated the present race of Indians, may be inferred on several grounds: the identity of some of their words with the Hebrew, the similarity of many of their religious practices with those of the Jews, the resemblance in physiognomy, and other equally well established facts and equally conclusive coincidences; which all tend to show that the Jews at a very remote period have inhabited this country.

That the present race of Indians are descendants from them, may be strongly averred from their Asiatic cast of features, tawny complexion, dark eyes, black straight hair, high cheek bones, &c., which are remarkable in all the North American tribes. But we can go no further, unless we reject the idea that they are to be brought together. Where are the Jewish practices so strictly observed by all the remnants of this people, wheresoever situated? In the centre of Asia a body or community of Jews exist, who believe themselves a remnant of the ten tribes, and who have never so fully mingled with their neighbors, but that they still maintain most of their religious rites, preserve their trafficking character, and are in fact the sole merchants of the Asiatic inhabitants of the country.

Whatever may be the case, we think that the investigations on this subject should be made more generally public. A spirit of inquiry would thereby be awakened among the people, which might lead to some important results. Our whole country is fertile in the remains of a people long since passed and gone away; every foot of our land is rich in the scenes of departed years; wherever we tear open the bosom of the storied earth, we are repaid by the additions of some fragment of history to the accumulating mass which is ultimately to reveal to us the origin and fortune of the most ancient inhabitants of America. Once or twice we have adverted to this subject; but it is to be regretted that those who are fully capable of doing it justice, will not devote their attention to it more particularly. -- N. Y. Sun.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                             Lockport, N. Y., Dec. 30, 1837.                            No. 17.


"Michigan Banks" again. -- With our last week's paper before him, and with our distinct declaration of unshaken faith in most of the banks of Michigan, Mr. Spalding has the illiberality to repeat his assertion that we have manifested hostility to the "Banks of Michigan!" -- We again repeat, that with but a very few exceptions, we believe the banks of Michigan are safe... But if Mr. Spalding believes as we do, why, as a broker, does he depreciate Michigan money, by joining other brokers and shavers in exacting a discount of from 12 to 20 per cent, almost indiscriminately?...

==> The late hour at which Mr. Spalding issued his paper -- the Courier -- left us but with little time to attend to his this week's ebullition of bad feeling. The man waxes warm; is somewhat execusable, however; some gigantic schemes of making money by questionable means, have utterly failed; things don't look so promising with him, as they might. Go on sir? There is just such an amount of pent-up malice, and if we were not the recipients, some one else would be, who are not familiar with your warfare, and where it would perhaps disturb more.

Note 1: The "Mr. Spalding" whom Orsamus Turner so roundly criticizes here was Lyman Austin Spalding (1800-1885), publisher of Lockport's other newspaper, the Niagara Courier. Lyman's father Erastus was a first cousin of Solomon Spalding of Ashford, whom some have claimed wrote the Book of Mormon. He was a Lockport businessman, of Quaker background, an abolitionist, a prominent Whig and, evidently, an anti-Mason -- as well as a great critic of the ministers of organized religion; while Turner was a pro-slavery Democrat, a Protestant, and a prominent Freemason, rather like Major M. M. Noah of New York City. The Spalding and Turner took turns in taking journalistic pot-shots at each other throughout the 1830s.

Note 2: Prior to his removal to Lockport in 1823, Lyman A. Spalding (along with Thomas B. Barnum) was the publisher of the radical Christian journal, Plain Truth in Canandiagua, Ontario Co., New York. After he had become comfortably settled in Lockport, Lyman became involved with the local printer, [Edwin] Alanson Cooley, in publishing the anti-clerical periodical, Priestcraft Exposed and Primitive Christianity Defended. Lyman was also the co-editor of Cooley & Lathrop's 1830 booklet, The Analetic Calendar... to expose the craft of the priesthood in Christendom. Prior to these ventures, during the mid-1820s Lyman likely funded the printing of several anti-clerical religious tracts on the press of Orsamus Turner's Lockport Observatory (predecessor of the Lockport Balance and the Niagara Democrat)

Note 3: Lyman A. Spalding's business partner, [Edwin] Alanson Cooley was a member of the Genesee Co. Olive Branch Masonic Lodge #215 (at nearby LeRoy, NY), along with the "anti-Masonic martyr," William Morgan, and a certain Dr. Solomon Spalding (a second cousin of Solomon Spalding of Ashford and of Lyman A. Spalding of Lockport). Oliver Cowdery joined his old friend Cooley in Wisconsin, in 1848, as co-editor of their Walworth Co. Democrat. It is a near certainty that Lyman A. Spalding knew Benjamin Franklin Cowdery (Oliver's second cousin) when Cowdery lived in Lockport during 1823. Certainly, Orsamus Turner knew both men, and Oliver Cowdery as well. The relationship between Lyman A. Spalding and Dr. Solomon Spalding (who lived several miles away, near Batavia) is less certain. Dr. Solomon Spalding (1797-1862) was the ostensible author of a religious romance, entitled "Romance of Celes," which contains some interseting parallels, both to the known writings of his older cousin, Solomon Spalding of Ashford, and to the Book of Mormon. The fact that this Dr. Spalding was a member of the same Masonic lodge as Oliver Cowdery's friend, [Edwin] Alanson Cooley, is an intriguing one -- especially so, given the fact that William Morgan was also a member of the lodge and that Oliver Cowdery reportedly once served as a scribe for Morgan (who is said to have written a fictional history of ancient America in the time of the Welsh explorer-prince, Madoc).

Note 4: Lyman A. Spalding apparently took a lively interest in the Michigan banks. These questionable financial institutions were brought under some control, after they passed from the governing responsibility of the old Michigan Territory to that of the State of Michigan at the beginning of 1837. One of the old territorial banks that had a particularly bad reputation was the Bank of Monroe, which was purchased by Joseph Smith and associates at the beginning of 1837. Oliver Cowdery was its final managing officer. See the bank's last financial statement, as published in the March 24, 1837 issue of the Buffalo Commerical Advertiser. Spalding -- an "easy money" Whig -- apparently took a less critical view of such "wildcat" Michigan banks than did the Jacksonian editor, Orsamus Turner -- who seems to have echoed the unhappy feelings of critics like James G. Bennett of the New York Herald. So it is that the journalistic battle in Lockport, between Orsamus Turner and Lyman A. Spalding, was carried on within a social context rich in fascinating interactional possibilities.


Vol. III.                             Lockport, N. Y., Feb. 23, 1838.                            No. 26.


Trouble among the Mormons. -- We learn from a source to be relied on, that the Mormon society at Kirtland is breaking up. -- Smith and Rigdon after prophesying the destruction of the town, left with their families in the night, and others of the faithful are following. The 'Reformers' are in possession of the Temple, and have excluded the Smith and Rigdon party. An exposure of the proceedings of the Society is in course of preparation by one Parish, a former confidential secretary of the prophet Smith. -- He has the records, &c. in his possession. -- Cleveland Her. and Gaz.

Mormonism. -- Joe Smith is lecturing on Mormonism at Mount Pleasant, Westchester county. We knew this Joe Smith well, when he was considered about a third rate loafer; and the idea that he would ever become an impostor -- the founder of a new sect, would have been considered very ridiculous. His success thus far, has been a forcible illustration of what consummate ignorance, and insignificance, may do, when brought to bear upon credulity and superstition; assumes the character of a religious reformer or impostor.

Note: The news report of Joseph Smith being in Westchester County, New York (just north of New York City) at the beginning of 1838 is a most intriguing one. Smith's whereabouts during the first weeks of that year are uncertain, though most chronologies place him somewhere on the road between Ohio and Missouri. The editorial remark regarding the Mormon leader evidently came from Orsamus Turner, who personally knew the Joseph Smith, Sr. family in Palmyra, before Turner left that village at the end of 1822.


Vol. III.                             Lockport, N. Y., June 27, 1838.                            No. 44.


==> "The Rev. robber Schermerhorn." -- Niagara Courier -- The editor of the Courier used to call in his Priest Craft Exposed, all Reverends, "robbers!" He now discriminates.

DIED. In this town on the 23d inst. after an illness of five days' duration, A. Hamilton Spalding, in the 32d year of his age. Mr. Spalding was an enterprising and valuable citizen... The disconsolate partner of his bosom, in the habiliments of wo, mourns in the presence of the flowers whose opening bloom he saw in perfect health, and which, short as is their existence, have survived him.

Note: The A. Hamilton Spalding mentioned above was the brother of Lyman A, Spalding. Like Lyman, Alexander Hamilton Spalding (1807-1838) was the son of Erastus and Jennet Mack of Lockport. Erastus was a first cousin of Solomon Spalding of Ashford, the alleged author of the Book of Mormon.


Vol. III.                             Lockport, N. Y., Aug. 1, 1838.                            No. 49.


Mormons. -- The congregation, made of the infatuated followers of those who have been scoundrels, from the day of the finding of the gold bible in a sand hill, near Palmyra, up to the present writing, and their journeying, have broken up their quarters at Kirtland, Ohio, and are now on their way to Missouri; in number about 500, traveling in 57 wagons and pitching their tents at night. We speak with some severity of these impostors; -- we know the originators of the rsacally concern, and have known families of respectability, and in very easy circumstances, ruined by Joe Smith and his associates. In two instances within our knowledge, worthy females, too intelligent to look upon the affair except in derision, have been onliged to join the vagabonds, rather than submit to the disagreeable alternative of parting with their children, and (what should have been considered a much higher crime,) their infatuated husbands.

Note: The "congregation" here referred to was the so-called "Kirtland Camp" of straggler Mormons, who finally left Geauga County, Ohio for Missouri, at the beginning of July, 1838, months after the movement's main leaders had departed Kirtland. These faithful followers of Joseph Smith arrived in the vicinity of Far West, Missouri just before the beginning of the infamous 1838 "Mormon War."


Vol. III.                             Lockport, N. Y., Aug. 8, 1838.                            No. 50.

                               From the Orleans Republican.

As unbelief exists in the minds of some of the Federal Whig party in these parts respecting the late blow-up in the Young Men's State Convention, we give below the statement of Mr. Stanton... Mr. S. has been all the way to Lockport to attend an abolotion convention, where he found good times and good friends -- especially in Lyman A. Spalding, author of 'Priestcradt Exposed,' 'Plain Truth,' and other Infidel publications -- and where, by himself, some of the Reverend Clergy (!) and other gentlemen, 'the subject of --> POLITICAL ACTION' was duly entered into and discussed...

Note 1: The "Mr. Stanton" above mentioned was Henry B. Stanton, Secretary of the American Anti-Slavery Society and husband of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the famous suffragette. With William Lloyd Garrison and others, Stanton was a leading abolitionist during the 1830s and 1840s. His friendly visit with Lyman A. Spalding, in 1838, is not surprising -- Spalding, along with Everard Peck, the publisher of the Rochester Telegraph, and other Whig liberals, was a substantial contributor in the establishment of the Canadian Wilberforce colony as a refuge for persecuted Blacks and escaped slaves. Spalding was a political ally of several notable western New York newspapermen, such as Thurlow Weed and Myron Holley. One account has him assisting William Lloyd Garrison in the publication of Garrison's abolitionist newspaper, The Liberator. As the son of a second cousin of Solomon Spalding of Ashford (alleged author of the Book of Mormon) and a business associate of E. A. Cooley (Oliver Cowdery's friend and co-editor), Lyman A. Spalding remains a special "person of interest" in the ongoing study of Mormon origins.

Note 2: Lyman A. Spalding was the eldest child of Erastus Lyman Spaulding (1775-1830) and Jennett Mack (1779-1836). Erastus, in turn, was the grandson of Ephraim Spalding of Plainfield, Connecticut -- who was also the grandfather of the noted Solomon Spalding. Erastus Lyman Spalding was living in Levanna (south of Auburn), Cayuga County, New York, when Lyman A. Spalding was born in 1800. The family moved to what is now the Rochester area of western New York in 1809 -- the same year that Solomon Spalding of Ashford moved from New York to Ohio. Jennett Mack Spalding died among her children, several of whom were living at Lockport, New York in the 1820s and 1830s. For more on Lyman A. Spalding and his early life in Lockport, see the "Historian's Corner" in the Jan. 17, 1999 issue of the Buffalo News and the Ellen Spalding papers in the Niagara County Historical Society at Lockport.

Note 3: Orsamus Turner's unrelenting criticism of Lyman A. Spalding's was carried over into the Niagara Democrat issues of Aug. 15, 22 and 29, where multiple columns of articles are devoted to traducing the fiesty Whig editor (whom Turner calls "Lie-man Spalding").


Vol. IV.                             Lockport, N. Y., Sept. 5, 1838.                            No. 2.


The Mormons again making war. -- The St. Louis, Missouri, Gazette of the 17th, contains the following under date of Buffalo City, Missouri, August 11th.

A disturbance has broken out in Caldwell county, between the Mormons and other citizens. I have not heard what was the commencement, but it is stated here that Smith is going round with a company of from 100 to 150 armed men, headed by Lyman White [sic], for the purpose of getting those persons who do not belong to their Church to sign a paper primising not to molest them. I am told that they compel those to sign who are not willing. A deputation has left Richmond to request Smith and White to surrender to the civil authority. If they do not do so, it is the intention of the militia of this county to go and bring them in.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                             Lockport, N. Y., Oct. 17, 1838.                            No. 8.


The Mormon War. -- The St. Louis Republican of the 19th, says:

It seems that there has been one conflict already, in which lives were lost. Reports by the steamboat Howard, say that the people of Saline, Lafayette, Ray, and Clay had in addition to Daviess and Livingston, sent out volunteers. Camden, in Ray, was deserted by all its able bodied men. The Mormons had fortified their town, Far West, and were 1500 strong.

From the St. Louis Republican of September 20, says:

The Mormon Troubles. -- We were politely furnished yesterday with the following extract of a letter to a gentleman in this city. dated

                                                             Lexington, Mo., Sept. 14.
There is nothing of any account by way of news, unless I mention the Mormon difficulty, of which I suppose you receive exaggerated accounts. I returned from an excursion on business into the western part of Ray county, and found all the people in arms. A company of about two hundred and fifty left yesterday under the command of Gen. Atchison, of Liberty. I conversed with him upon the subject, and find he intends, if possible, to prevent the effusion of blood; but the citizens generally are of opinion that there will be a severe battle.

A force from Clay county started two days since; also from Carroll and Davies, fully nent on fight. A company of some twenty men from this county started yesterday. The issue will be known in a few days. One thing is very certain, unless the citizens march to the ground with a very superior force, in case of a battle the Mormons will overpower them. They are in complete order and discipline, and they have every inducement for exertion, as Joe Smith tells them if they are beaten they need not expect a resting place this side of heaven.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                             Lockport, N. Y., Oct. 24, 1838.                            No. 9.


The Mormon War. -- The St. Louis Republican of Oct. 1st., says that the Mormon war is now at an end, and that nothing now remains but for the people of Missouri to pay the expenses of it which amount to at least 50 or 60,000 dollars.

The whole difficulty, it appears, was easily adjusted by General Achison, who, as a conservator of peace, went with two hundred select men to the city of the Mormons, and in conference with them, received full assurances from them that they were perfectly willing to submit to the laws and claimed nothing but the protection of those laws. General A. after ascertaining to his entire satisfaction, that the Mormons were an unoffending and cruelly persecuted people, caused all the armed forces in the neighborhood to be forthwith dispersed.

Notes: (forthcoming)


NS. Vol. I.                             Lockport, NY, Oct. 31, 1838.                            No. 9.


MORMON DIFFICULTIES. -- We did suppose that this war, alike disgraceful to all parties concerned, was at an end; but the present prospects are otherwise. We learn by a gentleman who came passenger in the steamboat Kansas, on Saturday, that when at Mormon town, above the mouth of the Grand river, he saw about two hundred mormons armed and prepared for conflict. About eighty wagons, containing a number of families had just arrived at the village. The passenger states that some of the citizens of the adjoining country had given notice to the Mormons to leave the country and that if they did not go by Saturday, the would be driven off. The Mormons had refused to go, and were expecting every day an attack from their opponents, whom they represented as about equally strong with themselves. It, however, was the opinion of our informant that both parties dreaded a conflict, and he thought it most likely that nothing serious would grow out of the excitement. -- St, Louis Republican.

Note 1: Earlier issues of the very rare Lockport Niagara Courier have yet to be searched for relevant articles and news items. One of the surviving issues (that of Aug. 27, 1829) preserves the first newspaper article written about the Book of Mormon: Jonathan A. Hadley's "Golden Bible."

Note 2: The Niagara Courier was started in late 1827 or early 1828 by Mitchener Cadwallader. In 1834 Caswallader sold the paper to George Reece. Evidently, under Reece's ownership, Lyman A. Spalding managed the editorial end of the business and Thomas T. Flagler did the printing. The "first series" of the paper ran from 1828 to 1838, but extant copies are rarities. In August, 1838 the Niagara Courier passed into the hands of Thomas T. Flagler, "editor and proprietor." Lyman A. Spalding's connection with the Niagara Courier, after August, 1838, probably involved political influence, moreso than direct financial or editorial interest.


Vol. IV.                             Lockport, N. Y., Oct. 31, 1838.                            No. 10.


Later from the Mormons. -- A letter in the St. Louis Republican of 11th inst., dated Glasgow, the 7th inst., states that the Mormons are in the town of De Witt, six miles above the mouth of Grand River, well armed, and so strong that a mob of about two hundred persons from the counties of Carroll, Saline and Chariton decline attacking them, though such was their purpose at first. The Mormons are likely to be augmented by numbers from their own town of Far West, in Caldwell county. [They] declare that ever since they have been driven from place to place, and that they had determined, every one of them, to die on the fround.

The letter writer adds:

"The Mormons are commanded by Hinkle. I don't think I ever saw more resolute and determined men than the Mormons. It was our unanimous opinion that if some force sufficient to suppress them does not interpose immediately, there will be great slaughter, and many valuable lives lost -- some of our first citizens have engaged in it. Our country is under great excitement in consequence of it, and there is no telling where it will end."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVIII.                             Fredonia, NY, Nov. 14, 1838.                            No. 14.


==> NOTICE is hereby given to the Priests and People of Fredonia village and the vivinity, that Elder B. Brown, will preach a discourse on the Resurrection, at the Stone School House on Friday evening next.   Nov. 14, 1838.

Notes: (forthcoming)


NS. Vol. I.                             Lockport, NY, Nov. 17, 1838.                            No. 10.


MORMON DIFFICULTIES. -- By the following letter from the St, Louis Republican, it apears that all trouble with the Mormons is for the present at an end.

GLASGOW, October 12, 1838.     

Dear Sir: I informed you a few days ago of the then existing difference between the citizens of Carroll and the Mormons residing at Dewitt; I now have the pleasure of informing you, that on yesterday, I witnessed the departure of every Mormon in Carroll County for Far West, in Caldwell County. -- The matter at last was settled amicably, and the Mormons yielded to the proposition from the citizens, that is, that they should be paid for their property and such damages as should be assessed by two men, chosen by each side, from the counties of Howard and Chariton; and upon the arrival of the committee on the ground, both parties took up the line of march and moved off. The citizens of Carroll pledged themselves to assist any county who assisted them, when called on for a similar purpose. There was a company of militia stationed near the place to preserve the peace, of about 100 men, who after peace was made, declared that they would not let the Mormons pass to Far West -- they said there was no room for them in Caldwell County. We have not heard whether they were intercepted on the way, but presume not, for the Mormons were double their number. However, I am inclined to believe that the adjoining counties to Caldwell, will never be contented until they leave the State. Had the Mormons refused to sell on the day the last proposition was made to them, it would have been a serious matter for both parties, for there was but little difference in their forces, and the citizens had come to a determination to make, if possible, a successful attack on the day the compromise was effected.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                             Lockport, NY, Nov. 21, 1838.                            No. 13.


Correspondence of the N. Y, Express.

Office of the Missourian, (Fayette, Mo.)
                    Oct. 27,1838.


The simultaneous tolling of the bells aroused us from our pillows, last night to hear the rehersal of the most barbarous atrocities. The following letters which were read before the meeting, which speedily assembled in the court house, embody the principal facts, as succinctly, perhaps, as any language which we could substitute -- and we hence submit them without further comment than that the authors are gentlemen of the first respectability. The meeting last night adjourned to meet again at 9 o'clock this morning, for the purpose of organizing, and marching this evening or to-morrow.

Snowden's Office, Oct. 25, 1838.        

Col. JONES, Sir -- News has just reached us here that the Mormons have attacked and cut to pieces Capt. Bogard's company of 50 men, except 3 or 4 who had escaped. They say the Mormon force is 3 or 4000 [sic]. Richmond is threatened to-night. If you can spare, I wish you to detail two or three companies of troops, and repair to Richmond will all speed.

Yours in haste,                    
                Aid to General Parks.

CARROLTON, Oct. 25, 1838.        

Gentlemen -- News of an appalling nature has just reached us. Capt. Bogard, who was ordered with his company to guard the frontier of Ray county, was attacked and cut to pieces by immense numbers. They were overpowered by 3 or 400 Mormons, while they were guarding their own frontier. But 5 minutes ago, three reports of a cannon were heard in the direction of Richmond. Firing has been heard in various directions, and there is no doubt that these infatuated villains have attacked Richmond.

The news of their burning and pillage has already reached you. They have indubitably captured the cannon, and taken many prisoners -- probably killed many. Daviess county is a scene of desolation. -- Ray is probably so ere this time; and their next movement will be at this place. It is already threatened.

Be up and doing. Bring all the men you can, and let us check them in their course of destruction and devastation. They are moving on with great strides to the climax of anarchy, civil war, and desolation. Wolf and Baker will explain all. I have just received orders, by express, from Brig, Gen. Parks, to raise 150 mounted men. Fifty have volunteered, and the remainder I will obtain in a day or two.

Stir the people up in Howard and Chariton. Send all the braves you can with Wolf, and we can meet and check them in their mad career.        Yours in haste,
                          WM. CLAUDE JONES.
To Congrave Jackson and others.


From the N. Y. Eve. Star.

FURTHER PARTICULARS. -- By our mail papers from the West, we learn that in addition to the previous sad intelligence, the reports are confirmed, that the Mormons, before the bloody encounter, had given increased provocation to the citizens by burning the Post Office in Daviess co., the court house, also, it is affirmed, together with several stores, a village called Millport, and captured $30,000 worth of property from the citizens of that county. They had also, it appears, challenged Ray county, on the confines of which the conflict took place, saying that they were now ready for her; that having taken arms and magazines enough from the Daviess citizens, to supply all their deficiency in that line, they cannot be whipped. They have threatened to burn Elkhorn and Bookum [sic - Buncombe?].

Capt. Samuel Bogard and his company, who have fallen victims to their fury, had left Elkhorn on Oct. 23d. to prevent the invasion of Ray county by the insurrectionists. The result is seen above. It was feared they would burn also the town of Richmond before relief could be had. A letter in the Missouri Argus, dated Elkhorn, October 23d, says: --

"That prior to the above events the Mormons held councils every day in the Far West. On Sarurday last, they resolved to carry out Sidney Rigdon's 4th of July speech in warfare, viz: Extermination, root and branch. Also, every man in Caldwell able to bear arms, who yet persisted against joining them in the battle and spoils, that their lands should be confiscated, their firesides occupied by better people, and their blood should stain the earth.

"There is a party, whose business it is to pillage, secure, burn and destroy property. They say they are headed by an angel called the 'Destroying Angel.' We believe there are few citizens, if any, in Daviess county at this time.

"And as to murdering the citizens, they had previously threatened the lives of many, and now they have put many of their enemies out of way of the latter day saints.

"They can no longer bear any other name than a band of robbers and incendiaries, under the direction of about 20 heads."

Note: For more information on the Mormons' reported threat to burn building in the Ray County Gentile villages of Elkhorn and Buncombe Settlement (Knoxville), see the Oct. 20, 1838 issue of the Quincy Whig.


NS. Vol. I.                             Lockport, NY, Nov. 28, 1838.                            No. 13.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Further from the Mormons.

It is said that these fanatics have 800 efficient men under arms, and that their numbers are daily increasing. The Governor of Missouri was raising a force of 2500 men, which, under the command of General John B. Clarke, had already marched for the field of battle.

The plan of operation is thus described in a Missouri paper:

General Clarke will repair to Richmond and make that place his head quarters. General Donophon, with a force of 500 men will reconnoitre on the south side of Missouri River, and another General, with a like force, will range on the northern border of the state, from the Des Moines to the Missouri River, and thus move on and concentrate their forces in the Mormon settlement in Caldwell County. We are not advised as to the number of men called out on the present occasion, but suppose it will not be less than 5000. It is stated on good authority, that the instructions from the Governor to General Clarke, are to exterpate the whole fraternity of Mormons or drive them beyond the state. It is possible there may be some little misapprehension in this, but there is no doubt that very strong measures must and will be adopted to put an end to the wretched state of things growing out of the disorganizing conduct of these deluded people.

The St. Louis Bulletin of the 5th says:

The Mormons believe they are the chosen people of God; that their leader, Joe Smith, has continual revelations from heaven; and they look upon him as the mouthpiece of the Deity. When he issues his orders to his tribe, he always says, "The Lord sayeth so and so," and we understand that his power is so absolute over this deluded people as is the Emperor's of Russia over his lowest serfs. They denominate us as heathens, and say that the time will come when they will spread over the kingdoms of the earth. At their meetings some of their men or women always pretend to be inspired, and go on jabbering something unintelligible to us, but some of their chief men pretend to understand it by means of inspiration, and translate it to the people. By such means they work upon the superstition of ignorant men, and as Joe makes them believe that they will immediately go to heaven if they fall in battle, it is probable that they will make pretty good soldiers.


The St. Louis papers of the 8th instant, state that the Mormon war had ended, by the surrender of the leaders of the Mormons. On the 28th ult. about three thousand men. commanded by Gen. Atchinson, of Clay Co., made their appearance before the town of Far West, the county seat of Caldwell county, where the Mormons were entrenched. Upon their approach the Mormons hoisted a white flag which was shot down by Capt. Bogard, but was immediately replaced. Gen. Atchinson then sent in a message, with a view to learn their wishes and intentions, when six of the leaders avowed their willingness to surrender, in the expectation that the Mormons should be unharmed. The surrender was accepted, and the individuals put under guard. Their names are Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, George Hinkle, Lyman Wight, Parley P. Pratt, and M[r]. Knight. The Mormons assembled at Far West, comprised 700 men under arms. Of this number, a small body of 150, retreated and pushed their way to the northern frontier.

On the day after, the order of Gov. Boggs, directing the expulsion or extermination of the Mormons, was received by Gen. Atchinson, disgusted with such a command, he immediately resigned his office and retired. Subsequent to this, it is reported that a number of the Mormons were set upon and murdered.

From the accounts which are now received, it appears to us that the poor deluded Mormons are more sinned against than sinning in the matter of this war, and that their great error was in settling down on some of the richest lands of the State, and that in the defence of their right to them, against the avarice of others, they were forced to take up arms.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                             Lockport, NY, Dec. 5, 1838.                            No. 15.


Just as our paper was going to press, we received a communication from General Lucas, giving the stipulations of the treaty made by him and the Mormons. It will be recollected that we stated that Gen. Atchison and his staff returned home, having considered himself virtually ordered from the field by Gen. Boggs; who consigned the command to Gen. Clark of Howard county. Gen. Lucas was in command of the troops previous to and at the time of the surrender of the Mormons. The matter was entirely settled before the arrival of Gen. Clark.

Gen. Lucas states that the officers and men under his command conducted themselves in a manner that will ever recommend them to his highest approbation. The following are the stipulations between the parties: 1st. To give up their leaders to be tried and punished.
2nd. To make an appropriation of the peoperty of all who had taken up arms, for the payment of the debt, and as indemnity for damages done by them.
3d. That the Mormons should all leave the state and be protected out by the militia; but to remain under protection, until further orders from the commander-in-chief.
4th. To give up all arms of every discription, to be receipted for.
For the purpose of arranging everything in a proper and legal way, Gen. Lucas left Col. Williams aid-de-camp to the commander in chief, Col. Burch and Maj. A. Ries of Ray county, to attend to drawing, writing &c. with a company of men to execute all orders consistent with the stipulations.

Judge Cameron of Clay county, William Collins of Jackson, George Woodward of Ray, John Carroll and W. W. Phelps of Far West, were appointed by Gen. Lucas and Col. Hinkle, the commander of the Mormons, to attend to the adjusting of all claims, &c. -- St. Louis Republican.

Note: The above article is an edited version of a report which appeared in the St. Louis Missouri Republican on Nov. 17, 1838.


NS. Vol. I.                             Lockport, NY, Jan. 2, 1839.                            No. 18.


THE MORMONS. -- We are gratified to find that the friends of justice in Missouri are bestirring themselves to put some impediments in the way of those who would persecute the Mormons with unmitigated severity and injustice. A memorial asking percuniary aid for the Mormon women and children of Caldwell County, Missouri, was laid before the State Legislature on the 31st inst. "It appears," observes the Louisville Journal,"that the homes of many of the Mormons in that county have been burned down; that about 60 Mormon men, all of them married, have been arrested and imprisoned, 40 killed, and 100 compelled to fly to escape the vengeance of the citizens, and that 200 women, most of whom had small children, are thus left destitute, with no food to keep them from starvation, and no shelter to protect them from the winter storms. We trust that the State, through her Legislature will promptly do what she can to repair the foul and cruel wrongs perpetrated by her citizens." -- N. Y. Sun.

Note: The exact same reprint article appeared in the other Lockport newspaper, the Niagara Democrat, on the same day


Vol. IV.                             Lockport, NY, May 1, 1839.                            No. 36.

Extract of a Letter dated

                                                WESTERN MISSOURI, Feb. 24th.
The Mormons, who lately excited such interest, have left for the State of Illinois in great numbers, and the remainder will follow in the Spring. Some of them are such fools as to think that at some future day, and that not very far off, they will return and repossess the New Jerusalem. -- They are selling their lands for a mere song, and have been continually doing so since the fracas. A great many places with good improvements have been sold at a mere trifle over Congress price, and some for even less. There was an attempt made a short time since by six of the tribe to rescue their leader, Jo Smith. They failed however, and five of the number are now in prison. Sydney Rigdon has been bailed in the sum of $4000, and both he and his bail have left the State. -- It is said that all the Mormons upon whose testimony the leaders were committed have gone away. If so, I do not see but Joe is pretty safe from every thing but mob law.

We are enjoying the most beautiful weather that ever was known. For nearly three weeks in January, it did not freeze night or day, and for a week back it has been so warm that we sit in the evening with the doors open and little or no fire. Two years ago I got through the winter with keeping my cattle up only 4 weeks. --   Jour. Com.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                             Lockport, NY, May 22, 1839.                            No. 39.


The Boston Recorder of last week contains the following singular development of the origin and history of the Mormon Bible. It accounts most satisfactorily for the existence of the book, a fact which heretofore it has been difficult to explain. It was difficult to imagine how a work containing so many indications of being the production of a cultivated mind, should be connected with a knavery so imprudent, and a superstition so gross as that which must have characterized the founders of this pretended religious sect. The present narrative, which independent of the attestations annexed, appears to be by no means improbable, was procured from the writer by the Rev. Mr. Stow [sic] of Holliston; who remarks that he has "had occasion to come in contact with Mormonism in its grossest forms." It was communicated by him for publication in the Recorder.

(view original article in the Boston Recorder)

Note: Unfortunately the Lockport journalistic sage, Orsamus Turner, did not contribute any editorial remarks on this 1839 claim for the authorship of the Book of Mormon. Turner later discounted the validity of the Solomon Spalding authorship claims, and pointed his suspicions in the direction of Oliver Cowdery. Turner could be more than a little secretive in his presentation of hstorical recollections, so it cannot be said with authority that he knew nothing about the Spalding claims at an early date. However, had he been inclined to consider the "Spalding theory" with any degree of approval, it is likley that Turner would have attempted to turn the allegations in the direction of his old nemisis, Lyman A. Spalding, in one way or another. Since Turner is not known to have followed this line of speculation, it is perhaps safe to say that he did not, in his own experience, see or hear anything conclusively connecting the text of the Book of Mormon with any members of the extended Spalding family.


NS. Vol. I.                             Lockport, NY, May 22, 1839.                            No. 38.


THE MORMONS. -- The St. Louis papers announce that Joe Smith and other Mormons, detained as prisoners on various charges growing out of the late war with them, recently made their escape, and when last heard from, were at Quincy, Illinois. In that war the Mormons were "sinned against," and Gov. Boggs may consider the matter well settled for him, by the last movement of the "Mormons."

Notes: (forthcoming)


NS. Vol. I.                             Lockport, NY, July 31, 1839.                            No. 48.


THE MORMON PERSECUTION. -- A good deal of interest has been excited at Cincinnati in behalf of this persecuted sect, and a public meeting has recently been held, at which one of the number gave a history of the sufferings which they have recently endured in Missouri. In the report of the proceedings of the above meeting, as given in the Cincinnati News, it is stated that they were ruthlessly driven from their homes, their property destroyed, the women and children forced into the woods, without shelter from the inclemency of the weather of January, where they roamed about till their feet became so sore their enemies tracked them with foot-prints of blood.

In one case an old man, a soldier of the Revolution, was pursued by a mob; but finding he could not escape, turned and supplicated their mercy. The reply he received was a shot from a rifle, which wounded him mortally; he still besought them to spare him, when one of the party picked up a scythe or sickle, and literally hacked him to pieces as he lay on the ground.

On one occasion the mob attacked a smith shop, into which nine of the Mormons and two boys had taken refuge; it being a log house, the mob fired between the logs and killed every individual of the nine men; they then entered and dragged the two boys from under the bellows who begged for mercy in most piteous tones. One of the miscreants applying his rifle to the ear of the youngest, (who was but nine years old,) said, "My lad we have no time to quarter you, but we will halve you," and immediately shot away the whole upper part of his head. The other boy was severely wounded in the hip, but had the presence of mind to fall and remain quiet, and so escaped; he is still living, and is at Quincy, Illinois. Speaking of the massacre, he said, "They had killed my father and brother, and I was afraid if I moved they would kill me too."

Thomas Morris, formerly United States Senator, addressed the meeting.

He said he had been in the vicinity of these transactions, and had taken some pains to acquaint himself with the facts, and from all he could learn, the Mormons were an industrious and harmless people, that no specific charges had been brought against them by the executive of Missouri, but that their persecution was for no other reason than that their religion gave offence to a mob -- for causes which may any time induce the same persecution of any religious sect in our land. He said he believed the statements made by the gentleman to be true, and that they were corroborated by those who resided in the vicinity of their occurrence.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. I.                   Lodi, Cattaraugus Co., Oct. 10, 1839.                   No. 40.

From the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Sentinel.

The Mormons. -- The Missouri papers say that Gov. Boggs is about to [demand of] the Governors of Illinois, Iowa, and Wiscon, in which States they have [fled], the persons of the Mormon leaders. A hard [life] appears to attend those deluded people. After having been robbed and plundered and many of them murdered in Missouri, for no other reason than that their oppressors [meant to obtain?] possession of their improvements, those who could escape fled into the neighboring States and Territories for the preservation of their lives and they are now to be demanded by the Missouri authorities, and tried for alleged offenses against her dignity! The dignity of a mob -- of a band of robbers and murderers! Let those who were connected in the Mormon riots deserve no milder name. They should be delivered up, into the hands of justice, instead of the defenceless victims of their cupidity and oppression.

Notes: (forthcoming)


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