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Albany  [     ]  Register.
Vol. VIII.                         Albany, New York, Friday, June 10, 1796.                         No. 462.

F O R  S A L E, at

Faust's Statue, below Dutch Church, State street.


Wrote under the Direction of

And published by his Sacred Command: it being the First SIGN or WARNING, for the Benefit of all Nations. Containing, with other GREAT and REMARKABLE Things, Not revealed to any other Persion on Earth, the RESTORATION of the HEBREWS To Jerusalem, by the Year 1798; Under their revealed Prince and Prophet, RICHARD BROTHERS.

Note 1: The British (Canadian) "prophet," Richard Brothers, was a topic of interest in both the United Kingdom and North America when the year 1800 was approaching. As that year progressed it became evident that no great supernatural events were unfolding and Brothers was dismissed as one in a series of many false prophets. For example, that same year the Salem Register compared a local latter day seer, David Austin, to the discredited Brothers.

Note 2: At the time the Albany Register was advertising Brothers' new book, Solomon Spalding was residing not far away in Otsego County. His activities were reported in the Albany press -- see the Centinel of Aug, 4, 1801.


The  Albany  Centinel.
Vol. V.                         Albany, New York, Tuesday August 4, 1801.                         No. 11.


                        Richfield, July, 1801.
A respectable number of citizens of different political sentiments in the town of Richfield, met on the 4th inst. at the house of Mr. Jacob Brewster. It was unanimously agreed to join in the celebration of Independence. Col. John Abbot was chosen President of the meeting, and Solomon Spalding, Esq. to deliver an Oration. Having partook of an elegant entertainment, and drank a number of patriotic toasts, through which the greatest harmony and cheerfulness prevailed, it was voted to publish the proceedings of the meeting in the Albany Register and Centinel.

The speaker having delineated, in a concise manner, the principal causes which contributed to the origin and establishment of our Independence and National Government, and likewise the prosperous situation of the United States since the adoption of the federal constitution, concludes the oration as follows:

"Not to explore futurity to behold the immense population, wealth, grandeur and power of this nation, her present prosperous situation may be viewed with joy and gratitude.

"What serenity and cheerfulness are conspicuous among citizens of all professions. The farmer is stimulated to enlarge his improvements and accumulate wealth from a firm assurance that he shall not be robbed of his hard earnings by an haughty tyrant or imperious landlord. The mechanic knows that the law secures to him his wages, he therefore, with alacrity, repairs to his employment, and sings in the midst of his toils. The merchant rejoices to see so many customers from all classes, who have the inclination and the means to purchase his goods. The mariner, finding sufficient employment, either in fishing or navigation, and expecting an ample compensation for his fatigues, his sufferings and dangers, makes the ocean resound with his merry songs. Amd here the enterprizing and ambitious find the most powerful incentives to induce them to improve their minds with knowledge, and to regulate their conduct by the rules of virtue and honor; for learning and virtue are generally respected, and form the basis for learned employments and promotion in the community. As the beams of literature have spread, and knowledge has generally been diffused among the citizens of America, hence clerical despotism has fled, and hereditary titles have no existence. The ignorant domineering priest is spurned by every enlightened citizen; and the conceited empiric cures but a few patients by necromancy, and finds but a small sale for his specifics and nostrums. Talents, virtue and patriotism are required for office; of consequence none, without possessing these, can justly promise themselves sufficient confidence and esteem to be promoted in any of the departments of government. If, by impositions and intrigues, any are raised into conspicuous stations, the confidence will be, that their characters will be more effectively known, and they will incur a more universal contempt and hatred, and sink deeper into the mire of ignomeny and reproach.

"Impressed with these ideas, which the occasion naturally suggests, we all rejoice that we are citizens of America -- that we live in a land where, without molestation, we can enjoy our own rights, and where such encouragement is given to virtue and mental improvements. The prospect affords such rational and sublime pleasure, that we would not exchange situations with any state or kingdom under heaven."...

Note 1: The above lines constitute the only known account of the words of Solomon Spalding, published while he was yet aive. The vocabulary and phraseology are consistent with the language found in the manuscript of his c. 1812 "Roman story." For example, the Centinel's Richfield correspondent says: "Having partook of an elegant entertainment, and drank a number of patriotic toasts... the speaker... delineated..." -- and Spalding in his Oberlin manuscript says: "having partook of an elegant dinner and drank a bottle of excellent wine.. The Captain... made the following address."

Note 2: In the venacular of his day an age, Spalding's reference to a "conceited empiric" could best be rendered as a "quack doctor." This characterization of an unprofessional medical pretender dispensing "cures" is particularly ironic, in light of Solomon Spalding's own demise. His former family physician wrote in 1857: "Calling one day [I] found Mr. S. quite ill and advised him to take some medicine but he preferred taking his own way. After an absence of a few days I was called to see him. He sometimes took my prescriptions and sometimes his own or Mrs. Spaulding's -- under which treatment the disease was protracted and terminated in his death."



Vol. XXIII.                         Albany, New York, Friday, May 10, 1811.                         No. 38.

Whereas Solomon Spalding, of Richfield, in the county of Otsego, and state of New-York, by indenture of release, by way of mortgage, bearing date of the thirteenth day of March, in the year one thousand eight hundred and three, for securing the payment of a sum of two thousand three hundred and eighty-eight dollars and forty-four cents, in the manner particularly specified in the said indenture of mortgage, did "grant, bargain, sell, alien, release and confirm" unto me, the subscriber, by the name and description of William F. Miller, of Windsor, in the county of Hartford, and state of Connecticut, my heirs and assigns forever, all his right and title in and to that certain tract of land, lying and being in the first range of townships, lot no. one, tract no. fourteen, in the printed maps of the Connecticut land company, in the county of Trumbull, and state of Ohio, which is bounded as follows, beginning at the north-east corner of said state or tract, and runs south by the Pennsylvania line two hundred and thirty-four chains, to the south-east corner of the tract; thence on the south line of the tract, one hundred and three chains to a post marked on the north-east side number two, and north-west no. one; thence north by lot no. two twenty-two chains to the Coneaught river; and thence northerly by said river to its entrance into lake Erie; and thence by said lake east to the first station, containing two thousand one hundred and fifty acres, be the same more or less.And the proportion of the above described tract of land, which said Spalding hath and doth convey by these presents unto the said Miller, is as one thousand and three acres is to two thousand one hundred, and fifty acres, be the actual quantity what it may, the remainder of said tract of land being one thousand one hundred and forty-seven acres, and was deeded by partition deed to Solomon Bond, [Squire?] Davenport, Esq. and Gideon Granger, bearing date, April 8, 1801, as tenants in common with the said Miller, then a proprietor; to have and to hold all and singular the said messuage or tenements, lands hereditaments and premises above mentioned, and every part and parcel thereof, with their and every of their appurtenances, unto the said William F. Miller, his heirs and assigns forever. And whereas it was in and by said indenture covenanted, concluded, declared and agreed by and between all and every the said parties to the said indenture, and to be the true intent and meaning thereof, that the said Solomon Spalding, his heirs, executors and administrators or assigns, do and shall well and truly pay, or cause to be paid, unto the said William F. Miller, his heirs, executors, administrators or assigns, the full sum of the following notes, as they annually become respectively due, and the interest which may at any time arise thereon, at said Miller's dwelling-house in Windsor; namely, one of nineteen hundred and twenty-six dollars, payable five years after date, one note of one hundred and fifteen dollars and thirty-six cents, also in five years after date, one note of the said sum in four years after date, one of the said sum in two years after date, and one of the same sum in one year after date; said notes being signed jointly and severally by Solomon and Josiah Spalding, that then and from thenceforth those presents and every thing therein contained, and the said indenture of mortgage shall cease and be void, any thing therein contained to the contrary thereof notwithstanding. And in case the said note or notes, or part or parts of them, or any thereof, shall remain unpaid at the time above limited for payment thereof, then and in such case, it shall and may be lawful for the said William F. Miller, his agent, heirs and assigns, and the said Solomon Spalding doth hereby empower and authorise the said Miller, his agent, heirs and assigns, to grant, bargain, sell, alien, release and convey the aforesaid premises, with their appurtenances, at public auction, or venue, and on such sale to make and execute to the purchaser or purchasers, his or their heirs and assigns, a good, ample and sufficient deed or conveyance in the law, pursuant to the acts in that case made and provided, in the state of New-York, which is the foundation of this security, rendering and paying the surplus money if any there be, to the said Solomon Spalding, his heirs, executors or administrators, after deducting the costs and charges of such auction or vendue, as aforesaid; which vendue is to be held on said tract of land, in said state of Ohio. And whereas default has been made in the payment of the principal and interest intended to be secured by the said indenture of mortgage -- Notice is therefore hereby given, that by virtue of the power contained in the said mortgage, and in pursuance of the statutes of the state of New-York, in such case made and provided, the premises described in the said mortgage, will be sold at public auction, on the said premises, on the fourteenth day of October next. Dated this 1st day of April, 1811.     WILLIAM F. MILLER.

Note 1: Following his 1803 visit to the Ohio Western Reserve, Solomon Spalding returned to Richfield, Otsego Co., New York, where his brother (and silent partner in western land speculation) Josiah was still running the family store. Apparently Solomon made his second journey to Ohio three years later, when he recorded his first big land sales there on Oct. 21-22, 1806. In the first of these transactions, Solomon disposed of what was probably his potentially most valuable piece of property on Old Section One: this was Lot 6, with 211 acres and a long border fronting on the east bank of Conneaut Creek. Spalding was able to get $500 from the buyer, Josiah Brown -- the only problem was that he had to take payment in grain and stock. Perhaps Solomon did not agree to these terms until he arrived at New Salem and found that Brown was unable to pay him in any other way. Even so, Solomon accepted the offer and Brown's payment was spread over three years, with installments due the first of the year in 1807, 1808 and 1809. Spalding went on selling lots of Ohio land but evidently did not thereby raise enough cash to pay off his debt to William F. Miller.

Note 2: As early as April 1811 Solomon Spalding had begun to fall behind in his promised payments to Miller. Perhaps by that date he was making no payments at all. All of which served to set up the legal action of Miller's offering some (or all?) of the lots in the original tract of land at public auction in Jefferson, Ohio on Oct. 14, 1811. Apparently the 1811 land auction did not go as planned -- either it was postponed, or else the outcome did not allow Spalding to fully meet his legal obligations to Miller. Miller was thus forced to travel himself to New Salem, arriving there at least a few days before his Nov. 4, 1812 appearance at the Ashtabula courthouse in Jefferson. There he filed suit against the absent Solomon Spalding for the sum of $3,046.11 -- the total of the unpaid mortgage, with accumulated interest, and perhaps some additional expenses incurred in his hapless dealings with Mr. Spalding. Having found the Spaldings gone and having no opportunity to recover the money from Solomon personally, Miller asked the court to award him the six lots of Old Section One which Solomon still held title to. The court was amenable to Miller's legal action and, on Jan. 8, 1813, issued an order to Quintus F. Atkins, the Ashtabula Co. Sheriff, to sell those particular six lots at auction and forward the proceeds to Mr. Miller. A few days later the Sheriff attempted to auction off the proscribed parcels but could find no buyers willing to pay out anything like three thousand dollars in specie for the entire property. Finally, on March 22, 1813, William H. Miller himself offered the minimal bid and received back his original ownership of the six lots. On April 20, 1813 Miller had the deed recorded at Jefferson and likely spent the remainder of his life trying to forget he had ever heard the name of Solomon Spalding.

Note 3: The above legal notice provides the reader with of view of Solomon Spalding's deteriorating financial condition in 1811. He was obviously insolvent and unable to pay off what was then a substantial sum of money to William F. Miller. If Spalding hoped to recover from these dire circumstances by selling metal products from his New Salem iron works partnership, those expectations were dashed with the onset of the War of 1812. In the fall of 1812 Spalding gave up his Ohio business altogether and moved (fled?) to the safer environs of Pittsburgh.



ns Vol. I.                         Albany, New York, Tuesday, December 10, 1811.                         No. 50.


                                              {From the Pittsburg Mercury.}

Chillecothe, Nov. 6, 1811.      
Mr. Gilleland,
      In a former letter I promised to send you a description of the ruins of an Indian city which has been discovered in this state. It is a curiosity the public have not yet been informed of

I was upon an electioneering excursion some weeks ago, when I came in company with Mr. De Voss, a gentlemen who lives about eleven miles from this place (Chillecothe) and he politely inivitd me to his house. On our way thither we passed an Indian mound, which I made some remarks upon, and then enquired of him whether there were not in his part of the country some antiquities that one might conveniently visit. -- He replied that there were some on his farm (for they are all farmers there,) which would highly gratify the curiosity of any one, and that if I had any curiosity, he would go with me to examine them.

On the next morning we rose early and proceeded to examine a fortification which is on the level summit of a high hill. It contains about one hundred acres, and is enclosed by a STONE WALL, which, (if we may judge from the quantity of stones, for it is in ruins) must have been twelve or fifteen feet high, and four or five thick. Within the area there are about thirty furnaces, from some of which I took cinders that resemble in every way those formed in blacksmiths' forges. From some of them I got pieces of burnt unwrought clay that look somewhat like pumice stone, but are of a pale blue colour. Those lying on the surface of the earth are covered with coats of rusty mail, which probably had lain there since the days of Lycurgus.

The fort is nearly circular, and has, if I recollect rightly, ten passes or gates, which are placed at regular distances from each other.

At one of these passes, and on the outside, there is the appearance of a well or spring, enclosed with a stone wall. This well was intended, I suppose, to supply water to those who might have occupied the fort, as there is nothing like a spring or watering place within the limits of it.

There are trees now growing in this fortification which are four or five feet in diameter, and they appear to have been preceded by a race still more gigantic, if we may judge from the long traces left by those that have rotted into their native dust. Some of the largest grew out of the foundation of the wall, in places where the stone had tumbled down on the side of the hill.

These things show the antiquity of the work, but there are others that show it to have been also a work of great labour; for there are no stones that could be used for building, within a mile of the ruins, except in Paint Creek, which runs by the edge of a hill; but the creek stones are of a very different kind from those used in the wall.

At the bottom of the hill, on the south-west side, are the ruins of the town, or rather CITY. The cellars and the stone foundations of the houses still remain. The streets are in regular squares. Near it there is a large mound perfectly level on the top. It was from all appearances the residence of a warlike race; but a description of it will form the subject of a future communication.

The wildest speculations have often proved to be the most correct; and conjecture or accident are the leaders to the discoveries of experience.

But on this subject the first impressions will probably with most people be the last; and the general opinion will be still generally admitted to be true.

The notion of Bishop Madison, of Virginia, that those ancient works, whose remains appear in our country, were never intended as fortresses, is the most outre that I have known to be advanced. I think he has not had the opportunity of viewing any one built of stone. Very few, I presume, who have examined for themselves, will believe that these works contain the fixed habitations of the people who erected them. The situation of these fortifications (for I will venture to call them so) must have rendered them every way inconvenient for the settled residence even of a warlike people, and present only the advantage of security.

Placed on the summits of hills, they screened those within from all missile weapons, and from all weapons, I suppose, their antediluvian inhabitants were acquainted with. The face of the hill formed the glacis, and superceded the necessity of a fosse.

Of that long destroyed race of people we know nothing except what we learn from their works; even their traditions have sunk with them into a common grave. But we have enough left in these vestiges of their labours and their wars, to convince us that they were much more civilized than the present Indian inhabitants of any portion of our continent.

Concerning the origin of the Indians there have been numerous learned, profound, and original conjectures. To me, the one that seems most reasonable is, that they are degenerated branches of the nations who erected these works; and those nations were originally from Asia, and if so, probably they are Scythians. Among the little of the national traits of character, that has been preserved by successive generations through the changes of climate and condition, do we trace the faint resemblance that these branches bear to the other representatives of their original stock.

     I am, my dear sir,
           with the sentiments of
                 friendship and esteem,
                             yours, &c.
                                   JAMES FOSTER.

Note 1: The original letter, as published in the Pittsburgh Mercury, has not yet been located. It probably appeared there near the end of November, 1811. The correspondent was probably the same James Foster who established the Circleville Olive Branch in 1817.

Note 2: Foster's conclusions were remarkably scientific for that day and age: (1) The ancient remains were built as fortifications; (2) The builders were the ancestors of the Indians; and (3) Those ancestors came from the ancient tribesman of Asia. Compare those conclusions with the much more speculative "ten lost tribes" origin notions being published in Pittsburgh less than a year later.

Note 3: Although detailed descriptions of the Ohio Vally "mound builder" remains may have been "news" to the 1811 readers of the Mercury in Pittsburgh and the Balance in Albany, such reports had been circulating among the western settlers since the beginning of the century. See Caleb Atwater's 1820 monograph for some later examples.



Vol. ?                         Albany, New York, Saturday, September 28, 1816.                         No. ?


The old story of the Welch Indians is once more going the rounds in the newspapers. The present account of them is said to have been given by a Capt. Isaac Stewart, who having been taken a prisoner by some of the Indians living westward of Fort Pitt, was carried across the Mississippi to the Red river, and after having travelled seven hundred miles up that river came to this tribe, who he described to be "remarkably white, with reddish hair." He says there was a Welchman with him who understood their language, and that they had rolls of parchment tied up in Otter skins, but as his companion could not read, he was not able to ascertain what they contained.

We think it would be an object worthy the character of our administration, to despatch a mission in search of these mongrel savages -- It is altogether probable, that these parchment rolls were title deeds, either to large tracts of land which they bought, when they first came over, or, what is more probable, to estates which they left behind them in Wales. Possibly they may have been grants from the illustrious Madoc himself. If the former be the fact, our government, who are very fond of land speculations. might probably buy them out at a very cheap rate, and transfer the land to the Georgians and Tennesseemen, who appear to be so sadly disappointed at the loss of some part of the Creek territory, which has been unadvisedly ceded to the Cherokees. If the land should lie in Wales, though it was probably worth but little when the ancestors of these people left that country, it must now have become very valuable. Some of our dashing adventurers might make a fortune at a stroke, by buying up their title, and securing the deeds.

We regret that Capt. Stewart did not observe whether these Indians were fond of leeks and cheese. If that had been the fact, the point would have been settled to the entire satisfaction of every reasonable antiquarian.

There seems to be no end to the criosities of our wilderness. Much pains have lately been taken to prove that the Indians descended from the Jews. A mummy has been recently discovered among them, which proves clearly that there must be some Egyptian mixture in some of the tribes. There now are white Indians with red hair, and let them be Welchmen, or any other race, they certainly must make a droll figure. We can hardly conceive how their appearance could be rendered more comic, unless by the addition of a dialogue, or a war-song, in Welch. If the notes should not frighten their enemies, we are very certain the words would.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. ?                         Albany, New York, October 13, 1817.                         No. ?


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

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

Note 1: For more on the "Prophet" Isaac Bullard's "Vermont Pilgrims," see Wisconsin historian F. Gerald Ham's summer, 1973 article,"The Prophet and the Mummyjums..." Backtracking from the Albany Daily Advertiser's article, it appears that Bullard and one caravan of his Pilgrims passed through Cherry Valley, New York, on Sept. 25, 1817. This caravan was seen the next day at Cooperstown. Ham deduces that Bullard's band of followers, before the Prophet's arrival in Cherry Valley, had split into two separate groups, somewhere in the vicinity of the Shaker village of New Lebanon, in Columbia County. One of these caravans "proceeded down the Hudson Valley, across northern New Jersey, and through Pennsylvania." This was the same caravan of "wretched fanaticks" that passed through Pittsburgh on Saturday, Oct. 25, 1817. Bullard's own caravan continued westward, past Ithaca, and was eventually re-united with the travelers of the southern route, probably in Jefferson County, Ohio.



Vol. XV.                               Tuesday, November 4, 1817.                                No. 30.

Albany, Sept. 13.    
More of the Vermont Pilgrims! -- A correspondent informs us that five waggons loaded with the household goods, men, women, and children of this sect, passed through Cherry Valley, Otsego county, on the 25th ult. on their way to the state of Ohio. The men and women were dressed in the same style of those who passed through Sussex, (N. J.) and were as they alleged, followers of the same prophet. They call themselves the true followers of Christ. Their pretended prophet came from Canada a few months since, and is a man of "austere habits," and a great fanatic. His followers are not yet numerous, but it is thought he will increase them. He rejects sirnames, and abolishes marriage, and allows his followers to cohabit promiscuously.

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

Note: The issue of the Albany Daily Advertiser here cited, was that of Oct. 13, 1817. See also dining postures of Mormon communitarians living at Chardon, Ohio in 1830.


Vol. I.                            Palmyra, N. Y., Wednesday, December 31, 1817.                             No. 6.

Hymen's  Court.

==> Merry Christmas. -- MARRIED
In Farmington, on the 25th instant, Mr. Pardon Butts aged 24, to Miss Rebecca LaMeon, aged 44...

Note 1: The above notice is a curious one -- since other sources indicate that the same Pardon Butts married "Ruth" LeMunyon (1783-1844) in Farmington, on Jan 13, 1818 (see the Ontario Repository of that same date) -- Ruth was then 34 (and not "44"). Since Pardon Butts was a pensioner of the War of 1812, he obviously was not "24" at the end of 1817. Ruth LeMunyon sister Patience was the wife of Abram (Abraham) Fish (1773-1845) whom Pomeroy Tucker identified as an early follower of Joseph Smith in Farmington (Manchester). This was doubtless the same "Abraham Fish" who in 1829 was sued (along with Joseph Smith, Sr.) for an unpaid debt owed Lemuel Durfee of Palmyra. He was perhaps also the "Mr. Fish" mentioned by the Rev. Ancil Beech, in 1832, as "an illiterate man of some property who was duped" for awhile into supporting Smith's gang of money-diggers.

Note 2: Pardon moved to Auburn twp., Geauga Co., Ohio in the 1850s and died there in 1880. Members of the Butts family (Pardon's close relatives) living in Auburn during the 1820s, were near neighbors to Elder Sidney Rigdon, who then resided in the adjacent twp. of Bainbridge.


Vol. I.                            Palmyra, N. Y., Wednesday, January 21, 1818.                             No. 9.

From the North American Review.
[ Nov. 1816 ].


Indian Antiquities. -- The following account, which we take from the Western Gazetteer, adds something to our former knowledge of those hitherto inexplicable wonders, that are found in such abundance in our western country. We have not room to examine any of the speculations, which have entered the heads of our philosophers and antiquarians on the subject; and if we had, we should hardly expect, where all is conjecture and uncertainty, to afford much amusement or profit to our readers. There is something, however, extremely curious in the inquiry itself; although we cannot hope, that any very important or certain results can be drawn from the few facts, which have as yet been given to the world. We can safely infer from them nothing more, than that this immense tract of country, which has every mark of having been for centuries past a desolate wilderness, has been thickly inhabited at some former period by a warlike people, who had made much greater advances in the arts of civilized life, than any of the aboriginal inhabitants of North America, who have been. known since its discovery by Europeans. The mounds described below are situated in the town ot Harrison, Indiana Territory.

'We examined from 15 to 20. In some, whose heights was from ten to fifteen feet, we could not find more than four or five skeletons. In one, not the least appearance of a human bone was to be found. Others were so full of bones, as to warrant the belief, that they originally contained at least one hundred dead bodies; children of different ages, and the full grown, appeared to have been piled together promiscuously. We found several scull, leg and thigh hones, which plainly indicated that their possessors were men of gigantic stature. The scull of one skeleton was one fourth of an inch thick; and the teeth remarkably even, sound and handsome, all firmly planted. The fore teeth were very deep, and not so wide as those of the generality of white people. Indeed, there seemed a great degree of regularity in the form of the teeth, in all the mounds. In the progress of our researches, we obtained ample testimony, that these masses of the earth were formed by a savage people. Yet, doubtless possessing a greater degree of civilization than the present race of Indians. We discovered a piece of glass weighing five ounces, resembling the bottom of a tumbler, but concave; several stone axes, with grooves near their heads to receive a withe, which unquestionably served as a helve; arrows formed from flint, almost exactly similar to those in use among the present Indians; several pieces of earthern ware; some appeared to be parts of vessels holding six or eight gallons; others were obviously fragments of jugs, jars, and cups: some were plain, while others were curiously ornamented with figures of birds and beasts, drawn while the clay or material of which they were made was soft, and before the process of glazing was performed. The small vessels were made of pounded or pulverized muscle shells, mixed with an earthern or flinty substance, and the large ones of clay and sand. There was no appearance of iron; one of the sculls was found pierced by an arrow, which was still sticking in it, driven about half way through before its force was spent. It was about six inches long. The subjects of this mound were doubtless killed in battle, and hastily buried. In digging to the bottom of them we invariably came to a stratum of ashes, from six inches to two feet thick, which rests on the original earth. These ashes contain coals, fragments of brands, and pieces of calcined bones. From the quantity of ashes and bones, and the appearance of the earth underneath, it is evident that large fires must have been kept burning for several days previous to commencing the mound.

Almost every building lot in Harrison village contains a small mound; and some as many as three. On the neighbouring hills, northeast of the town, is a number of the remains of stone houses. They were covered with soil, brush, and full grown trees. We cleared away the earth, roots and rubbish from one of them, and found it to have been anciently occupied as a dwelling. It was about twelve feet square; the walls had fallen nearly to the foundation. They appeared to have been built of rough stone, like our stone walls. Not the least trace of any irontools have been employed to smooth the face of them, could be perceived. At one end of the building, we came to a regular hearth, containing ashes and coals; before which we found the bones of eight persons of different ages, from a small child to the heads of the family. The positions of their skeletons clearlyindicated, that their deaths were sudden and simultaneous. They were probably asleep, with their feet towards the fire, when destroyed by an enemy, an earthquake, or pestilence."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. I.                            Palmyra, N. Y., Wednesday, January 28, 1818.                             No. 10.

Extract from the Western Gazeteer.

The author of this interesting and valuable work, in speaking of the antiquities of the state of Indiana that now exist near Vincennes, County of Knox, says that

"On the hills, two miles east of the town, are three large mounds; and others are frequently met with on the prairies, and upland, from Whiteriver to the head of the Wabash. They are in every respect similar to those in Franklin county, already described.

The French have a tradition, that an exterminating battle was fought in the beginning of the last century, on the ground where Fort Harrison mpw stands, between the Indians living on the Mississippi, and those of the Wabash. The bone of contention was the lands lying between those rivers, which both parties claimed. There were about 1000 warriors on each side. The condition of the fight was, that the victors should possess the lands in dispute. The grandeur of the prize was peculiarly calculated to inflame the ardor of savage minds. The contest commenced about sunrise. Both parties fought desperately. The Wabash warriors came off conquerors, having seven men left alive at sunset, and their adversaries but five. The mounds are still to be seen where it is said the slain were buried."

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. XVI.                                         Tuesday, May 26, 1818.                                          No. 7.

Cincinnati, (Ohio), April 15.    
The Vermont Pilgrims.-- On Saturday afternoon last, these miserable looking men, women and children passed through the skirts of this place, and encamped in the woods about a mile from town. The mayor and council, having authentic information of their affliction by the small pox, and of their extreme filthiness, very wisely, by a committee, requested them to pass by at as great a distance from the town, as convenience would permit.

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

The children excited the most compassion. Many of them are interesting and handsome, and might, perhaps, if separated from the cloud of ignorance and superstition and indolence, that confines them, become useful and honorable members of society. Reared up in their present situation we question their usefulness to themselves, to society or to God. -- They may, like their parents, excite curiosity and contempt.

We could not learn, for it was unknown to themselves, where their travelling will end. -- They take water passage here, and it is very probable we see them no more; a source of no regret.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Geneva  Gazette.
Vol. X.                            Geneva, N. Y., Saturday, July 11, 1818.                             No. 4.


By the Hon. the Council of Appointment.

Ontario -- Gideon Gates, Elisha Ely, James Parmelee, Jeremy S. Stone, Jared Boughton, Samuel Rawson and Enos Giles, justices.

Stephen G. Austin, Jared Wilson, John Mastick, Timothy Barnard, jun., David Courson, Edward S. Stewart, Jared Boughton, Simon Stone, 2d., Abner Woodworth, Jacob Dox, Byram Green, David Eddy, Ira Selby, Jabez French, Joel Dorman, Elijah Kent, Nathaniel Case, Elisha Johnson, Asa Knowden, William Caranhan, John Van Fossen, Lemuel Chipman, William M'Cartney, Warren A. Cowdery, Joshua Lee and George Hosmer, commissioners...

Note: Dr. Warren A. Cowdery (1788-1851) was an older brother to Oliver Cowdery. He obtained his physician's license from the Medical Society of Vermont on Jan. 11, 1815. The following year Dr. Cowdery moved his wife and young child to Ontario Co., NY. By 1817 Warren was in Groveland, Ontario (in 1821 Livingston) Co., where he was appointed an Ontario County Commissioner (and Town Clerk) in 1818. The following year Dr. Cowdery moved his family to Le Roy, in Genesee Co., where for several years he offered his services as a doctor and an apothecary.


Vol. I.                                Palmyra, N. Y., Tuesday, July 14, 1818.                                 No. 34.


By the Hon. the Council of Appointment.

Ontario ...Warren A. Cowdry, Joshua Lee and George Hosmer, Commissioners...

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. I.                        Rochester, New York, Tuesday, August 11, 1818.                         No. 6.



Batavia Recorder.

Of all publications, a newspaper so conducted as to be a vehicle of general intelligence, will ever be most interesting to all classes of mankind. To what other source does the philanthropist, the statesman, the philosopher, and every man of enterprise look for instruction? No publication is more worthy of encouragement than a well executed newspaper -- in the diversified columns of which we are enabled to "catch the manners living as they rise." Herein, from the hoary age to the lisping school boy, all may find instruction, amusement, or interest.

It would seem, while we observe the universal quiet state of the political world, that the present time is unfavorable for our purpose; but when we consider, that although wars have in a mesaure ceased, yet the affairs of nations progress, and that the "passing tidings of the times" are ever of great interest, we could wish for no time more favourable. The proceedings of legislative bodies and the regulation of states continue to interest the politician, and the christian is still interested in the progress of missionaries and the increasing spread of the gospel.

It is our intention to publish a newspaper, which, in its prominent feature, shall be an Intelligencer. We shall endeavor to maintain a spirit of conciliation, and will not knowingly injure the private character of a single human being. We do not feel willing to accuse any set of men with harbouring hostile views in opposition to the welfare and happiness of the Union; but are so charitably disposed as to believe, that, although the great body of the people may differ in opinion on certain political principles, all have the same ultimate end in view. Therefore, in the words of an illustrious statesmen, "We are all Federalists -- we are all Republicans."

This declaration does not infer that we intend to print a neutral paper -- 'a milk and water journal' -- to flatter two opposite interests, in the hope of obtaining patronage from either. No! -- the Recorder shall be firmly REPUBLICAN; and we shall exert our talent to defend the present administrations of the state and of the United States, so far as their proceedings shall accord with our ideas of Republicanism. -- ('the capacity of mankind to govern themselves,' or 'a government which derives all its powers, directly or indirectly, from the great body of the people, and administered by persons holding their offices, during pleasure, for a limited period, or during good behaviour') -- against whatever 'interested opposition' may arise.

We shall make every exertion to cultivate good order in society, and to promote the welfare and happiness of community. Of those who coincide in these sentiments we solicit patronage.

Note 1: The above advertisement ran weekly in the Telegraph, beginning on or before Aug. 4, 1818.

Note 2: This project, proposed by a cousin of Oliver Cowdery, to start a newspaper at Batavia never materialized. According to B. Franklin Cowdery's 1847 biographical sketch, the first newspaper he edited and published in western New York was the Genesee Farmer and Moscow Advertiser, from 1817-18, followed by the Olean Hamilton Recorder, from June 1819 to June 1820. In between the demise of the Moscow paper and the birth of the Orleans publication, Cowdery tried to establish his Batavia Recorder, but was unsuccessful in that endeavor. It is possible, that in his later newspaper publishing, that Franklin Cowdery was assisted by his younger relative, Oliver; however, conclusive proof of that surmise is lacking.


Vol. I.                            Palmyra, N. Y., Tuesday, August 18, 1818.                             No. 39.

                     Nashville, July 27.


It has long been a desideratum with the learned, to know by whom the numerous old fortifications, &c., in the western country, were erected. It is now in our power to add one fact that may serve to direct inquirers a little further. A short time since a cellar was dug in the town of Fayetteville, on Elk river, in this state, not far from the lines of those ancient fortifications so common in the western states; and in the dirt was found, corroded with a kind of rust, a small piece of metal, which, being disrobed of its covering, was ascertained to be a Roman silver coin, issued about 150 years after Christ, and in a good state of preservation.It is in the possession of a merchant of Nashville, and has been seen by hundreds, many of whom are satisfied it is a genuine coin, and one gentleman who was lately in Italy, and saw the busts of the persons represented on the coin declared the heads to be very good likenesses.

On one side around the edge these letters are seen,


on the other side


which is constructed to read thus --

[Antoninus] Augustus Pius, princip. pontifex terio consule
Aurelius Caesar Augustus pontifex terito consule

The marks, letters, &c. exactly agree in every particular, with the probable state of the arts; but how the coin was brought to Tennessee we leave others to ascertain.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                            Palmyra, N. Y., Tuesday, December 2, 1818.                             No. 2.

Somnium  preacher.

When Miss Rachel Baker first commenced her somnium or hallucian exercises, she was considered by many people as a gross imposter, and her conduct during those exercises, as a libel upon her own understanding. But, with her life and character, such strong and convincing proof has been laid before the public, that every rational mind must be satisfied, that her conduct was not that of a deceiver, but the result of a misfortune beyond her control.

Her case, although it has excited much attention, is not altogether singular.

Mr. Joseph Howard, son of Mr. Phineas Howard, of Sodus, has labored under a similar mental disorder for more than a year. He is now in this village, under the care of a Physician. His fits of devotional somnium come on regularly every day, between the hours of 2 & 3 o'clock P. M. and last about one hour and a half. We were last Sabbath gratified by witnessing his somnium exercises. His fits commence with slight twitches of the extremities and the muscles of his face, and in a few moments his whole system becomes agitated with the most violent contortions. From this state, in which he remains about ten minutes, he appears to fall into a deep sleep, when he commences his devotional services. He first names a psalm & after waiting a sufficient time for it to be sung, makes a prayer, names another psalm, then his text, dividing his discourse into different leading heads, which he pursues with much apparent engagedness, and with more propriety than might naturally be expected, by a youth of 17, without the advantages of even a common education. He closes his exercises in the same order he commences, but with the invocation of a blessing. He then informs his audience, that if any one wishes to ask questions there is liberty. Two or three questions were put to him in our hearing, which he answered with astonishing clearness & we believe to the satisfaction of all present. The first question asked him was -- "What do you believe respecting the salvation of infants?" His answer, as near as we can recollect, was as follows: -- "Sin is the transgression of the law of God, and by Adam's rebellion all his posterity are exposed to its penalty. The fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children's teeth are set on edge. -- The soul that sinneth, it shall die. -- But as infants know no law they cannot be guilty of this transgression, and as the blood of Christ has sufficient efficacy to cleanse from all sin, they are consequently justified by His righteousness, who says, "Suffer little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven." Another question put to him was -- "Is water the christian baptism, or is there another?" Answer -- "See to it that your faith in Christ is sincere, and you shall be saved." -- Implying that he did not consider water baptism essential to salvation.

He is agitated by the same convulsive throes and contortions of body when he recovers from his apparent sleep, as when thrown into it. His health is very much impaired by these severe fits; but his mind appears sound and rational. He converses very intelligibly upon the scriptures, and religion appears to be the only theme of his meditations. He says he has not the slightest recollection of any thing that transpires, during these paroxysms.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Geneva  Gazette.
Vol. X.                            Geneva, N. Y., Wednesday, February 17, 1819.                             No. 37.

From the N. Y. Columbian.

Several ancient pieces of aboriginal writing have lately reached New-York from Mexico. They are such as have been described and figured by many of the authors that have treated of the men who were the rulers of that important region of North America at the time of its invasion by the Spaniards -- being partly imitative, by pictures, and partly significant, by hieroglyphics...

Indian Jews. -- A Mr. Adair, who prior to the revolutionary war resided 40 years among the Indians of our country, when their manners and customs had not been so much corrupted and changed as they have been since by their intercourse with the whites, published in 1775, a work, in which he adduces twenty-three arguments and observations, to prove that the American Indians are descendants of ancient Jews. The following is their order in the book:

Argument 1. Their division into tribes.
2. Their worship of Jehovah
3. Their notion of a theocracy
4. Their belief in the ministration of angels
5. Their language and dialects
6. Their manner of counting time
7. Their prophets and high priests
8. Their festivals, fasts, and religious rites
9. Their daily sacrifices
10. Their ablutions and anointings
11. Their laws of uncleaness
12. Their abstinence from unclean things
13. Their marriages, divorces, and punishment of adultery
14. Their several punishments
15. Their cities of refuge
16. Their purifications, and ceremonies preparatory to war
17. Their ornaments
18. Their manner of curing the sick
19. Their burial of the dead
20. Their mourning for the dead
21. Their raising seed to a deceased brother
22. Their choice of names adapted to their circumstances and the times
23. Their own traditions, the accounts of the English writers, and the testimonies which the Spanish and other authors have given concerning the primitive inhabitants of Peru and Mexico.

Literary. -- Kirk and Mercein have just issued from the press, "Travels in England, France and Spain, and the Barbary States, in the year 1813-14 and 15, by Mordecai M. Noah, late Consul of the U. S. at Tunis -- Member of the New York Historical Society, &c." -- It consists of an octavo volume of near 500 pages, handsomely printed, and ornamented with engravings. -- We have but glanced at this work just sufficient to form an opinion that it contains much interesting and useful information, and will not be discreditable to the literature of our country. -- N. Y. Col.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. I.                            Rochester, N. Y., April 6, 1819.                             No. 40.

From the Religious Intelligencer.


It has long been the enquiry among people of reading and observation, from what nation the Aborigines of this country descended. Some, who have been well acquainted with the customs and usages observed among them, are of the opinion that they sprang from the ancient Israelites. I have lately been led to think this conjecture is correct; and that the scripture history affords probable evidence, that the North American Indians descended from the tribe of Dan, in particular... [a lengthy list of evidence follows] ...

Hence, when we consider the early excision of the tribe of Dan from the people of Israel, for their idolatry; and their craftiness for enterprise, and their disposition to roam abroad in quest of prey, like lion's whelps; is it not highly probable, that they would be the first among the Asiatic nations, that should find their way to this continent?

And though it has been found that they retain a number of ancient Jewish rituals, such as the offering of animals in sacrifice, which they have done in many instances; and others might be mentioned; yet it is not strange that they retain no more of their rites when we take into view their early separation from God's ancient church.

And though their copper color has been supposed to have been caused in part from climate, and from their manner of living in smoky huts, &c. yet is there not at least a great probability that Bilhah, Rachel's maid, from whom the Danites descended, was a woman of colour? She was not the kindred of Laban or Jacob, as we may suppose.

And it was common in those times, for men who were accustomed to a civilized and regular way of living, to buy or, procure servants of other nations -- Thus the patriarch Abraham had servants born in his house, and bought with his money, among whom was Hagar the Egyptian, the mother of Ishmael. She was unquestionably a woman of colour. Hence the Arabs and the inhabitants of the Barbary States, who are undoubtedly the descendants of Ishmael, retain their swarthy complexion down to this present time. Therefore, granting that Bilhah, the mother of Dan, was a person of colour, the red complexion of the American Indians forms no objection against their being descendants from that tribe, but is accounted for on natural principles.

But I leave the subject, to be resumed by some abler pen.

Note: Perhaps the most striking element of the assumptions made in the above communication is that the ancient, Hebrew speaking people, and their descendants, the Jews, were a fair-skinned, Caucasian, people. In actuality, the physical characteristics of those Jews who did not intermix with Europeans were practically indistinguishable from Arabs or many north Africans. Americans of post-Colonial days generally had very little experience with persons of Middle Eastern ancestry and were content to imagine that such ancient persons as Jesus or King David were men of fair hair and fair skin; thus, when Americans of 200 years ago imagined the predecessors of the Indians, they sometimes thought of an "extinct" race of white people, or of white people whose skin had darkened since their arrival in the ancient Americas.


Vol. II.                            Palmyra, N. Y., Wed., May 26, 1819.                             No. 21.


Zanesville, Ohio, March 29th.    
We have seen an article in the Cleaveland Register, which stated that a mound of considerable dimensions on the west side of the Cuyahoga river, had been opened, and a number of silver broaches found within the body of it, which mwere coroded by rust. The writer of the article proves that the mound was a depository of the dead, by the remains of human bones that were found, and he also proves it to be of great antiquity, by a part of the bones being in a state of dust when found, and the apparently sound parts presently becoming so upon exposure to the air. The same paragraph affirms that an earthen pot, capable of holding three gallons, has been recently washed by the Miami river from a mound originally on its bank, which was 350 feet in diameter at its base, and 100 feet high. From these and many other similar discoveries, the writer believes (and we think with good reason) that this countty was once inhabited by a race of people, at least partially civilized, & that this race has been exterminated by the forefathers of the present and late tribes of Indians in this country.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. I.                            Rochester, N. Y., Tuesday, June 1, 1819.                             No. 48.

Franklin Coudery and Benjamin F. Smead,

Propose to publish,
At Olean, Village of Hamilton, N. Y.
A weekley newspaper,


To commence previous to the first of June.

"Pledg'd but to truth, to liberty and law.
"No favor sways us, and no fear shall awe.

The terms of publication will be two dollars a year, payable quarterly in advance, or, if payment be delayed to the expiration of the year, two dollars and fifty cents will be charged. Advertisements will be inserted on liberal terms for ready pay.
                            COUDERY & SMEAD.
April 6, 1819.

Note 1: The above advertisement ran weekly in the Telegraph, beginning on May 18 or May 25, 1819.

Note 2: The Olean Hamilton Recorder, lasted but one year, from June 1819 to June 1820. According to B. Franklin Cowdery's 1847 biographical sketch, the next newspaper he edited and published in western New York was the Angelica Republican, which he began during the summer of 1820 and ended in 1822. After the Angelica Republican's demise, Franklin worked for nearly a year as a job printer at Lockport, making use of the press of fellow pioneer printer, Orsamus Turner. That period of miscellaneous employment ended in January of 1824, when Franklin moved to what is now Albion, in Orleans Co., and established the Newport Patriot there on Feb. 9, 1824.



Vol. I.                            Rochester, N. Y., Tuesday, June 22, 1819.                             No. 51.

A  new  Paper.

Messrs. Coudery and Smead have recently commenced the publication of a weekly paper at Hamilton village (Olean point) entitled the Hamilton Recorder. -- The proprietors are industrious and worthy young men and we hope their laudable undertaking will be encouraged.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Geneva  Gazette.
Vol. XI.                            Geneva, N. Y., Wednesday, June 23, 1819.                             No. 3.


A newspaper  is commenced  at the village of Hamilton,  (Olean, N. Y.) by Messrs Coudery & Smead, under the title of the "Hamilton Recorder."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Geneva  Gazette.
Vol. XI.                            Geneva, N. Y., August 8, 1819.                             No. 11.

From the St. Louis Enquirer.


It seems that a society in the state of New-York has sent out persons to ascend the Missouri in search of Welch Indians.

Mr. Stoddart collected some years ago, and embodied in his sketches of Louisiana, many loose reports and disjointed rumors on this subject. He seemed to give credit to the belief of their existence. Since his time, however, the country supposed to be the place of their residence, and in fact every part of the country in which they could reside, has been explored. Every river, creek and branch, issuing from the [Rocky] Mountains, and flowing to the Missisippi or the Pacific Ocean, has been examined from its head to its source. There is no exception, from the confines of Mexico to the arctic circle. British or American traders have explored every part, have visited every tribe of Indians, and have not only ascertained where every nation lives, but also know the tracts of the country which are uninhabited. -- They have found no such people as "Welch Indians;" and to go to the sources of the Missouri at the present day in search of such people, would seem as idle as going to a well known part of South America in search of the Amazons.

The St. Louis Gazette, after giving some account of the testimonies existing in support of the opinion that there is now inhabiting the southern branches of the Missouri a race of men descended from the Welch emigrants, who embarked to the number of 323 persons, in 10 vessels under prince Madoc, in the year 1170, from North Wales, mentions that an expedition is now on foot for a thorough investigation of the fact. The persons engaged in the undertaking are Messrs. Roberts and Parry, Welchmen, who speak the language of North and South Wales. It is said that they are industrious, persevering men, and that they will pursue the search as long as the probability of a discovery exists.

In the years 1795 and 1796, John Thomas Evans and John Mackay ascended the Missouri to the Mandan villages, 1700 miles from St. Louis, in search of these Welch Indians and after an absence of two years returned without success. But it is said these people are located by the most credible authorities 2000 miles from the mouth of the Missouri, and consequently 300 miles from the termination of the journey of Evans and Mackay. -- Their fruitless search therefore is not regarded as furnishing any satisfactory solution of this interesting problem.

(We know not who are the authorities here alluded to: the story of the Madoc is found only in the traditional poetry of the Welch; the travels of Lewis and Clark give no support to the idea that there is such a race, living about the head waters of the Missouri. and we suspect the voyage of these two gentlemen, to discover their countrymen, will fall short of its objects. They are said to be [perservering] men, and the expedition may be of some service in exploring the country about the [southern] branches of the Missouri. -- Philad. Union.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. I.                            Albany, N. Y., Saturday, September 11, 1819.                             No. 15.

Weekly  Summary.

Antiquities of Marietta. -- In levelling a street in that town an ancient mound was levelled. when the remains of a human skeleton were discovered, and what appeared to have been a sword was found by him. Lying immedately over the forehead was found a large circular bossus or ornament for a sword belt or buckler: they were composed of copper, and overlaid with a thick plate of silver. The copper was nearly reduced to an oxide or rust. The silver appeared quite black, but not corroded, and on rubbing, it became quite brilliant. -- The mound must have been raised more than six hundred years ago; for when the ground where it was situated was cleared there were trees on it of 500 years growth, and the remains of others apparently as ancient, were found on the ground in every stage of decay. Here then is conclusive evidence that a people formerly inhabited the country who must have made considerable proficiency in the arts, with which the present natives were found totally unacquainted when Europeans first came among them. What has become of this people?

Mr. Lorenzo Dow, the famous itinerant preacher, has once more arrived in this country.

A camp meeting, near Baltimore, was lately held, where 20,000 people were supposed to have been assembled -- the exercise conducted with order and decorum.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. ?                            Penn-Yan, N. Y., Tuesday, September 28, 1819.                             No. ?


In the National Intelligencer of the 11th of September, we notice a communication, signed "A Neighbor," and dated from this county, which is not only "very incorrect," but, in many particulars, false. The writer of that communication begins as follows:

"In the Intelligencer of August 21, I observe a notice of the departure of Jemima Wilkinson -- otherwise called the Universal Friend. This notice is very incorrect. She died at her mansion in Jerusalem, at least twelve miles from Penn-Yan. She never had a chapel; I therefore conclude she did not exhort her disciples, one by one in her chapel." "Her complaint may have been a case of the dropsy, but, if so, it assumed very unusual symptoms." "The roads leading to her dwelling are said to have been literally filled with crowds of people! This mighty concourse of people might possibly amounted to 100 souls, including all her society and spectators, on the day that it was expected she would have been interred. I note these remarks to show how wonderfully we are prone to exaggerate on subjects of this kind, when we talk of the second wonder of the Western country! I have lived for six years a neighbor, and frequently an inmate of the family of Jemima Wilkinson, and those of her society: A wonder she certainly was! and the tongue of man has uttered every thing respecting her which folly, wonder, and malice could prompt."

Now, in the first instance, we will notice the most glaring falsehood in this writer's statement, which is enough to convince those who live at a distance, and unacquainted with the facts, that this writer is not only totally ignorant of the facts, but which falsified his whole statement. It is this -- he says, "She died at her mansion in Jerusalem, at least twelve miles from Penn Yan;" which, in fact, is but little over half that distance, and does not exceed seven miles... [remainder illegible -- see Waterloo Gazette of sept. 29th for full text]

Note 1: An account in the London Gentleman's Magazine, for Aug. 1819, reads: "July 1. At Penn-Yan (New York), of a dropsy, aged 66, Jemima Wilkinson, commonly called "the Universal Friend." She, a few moments previous to her death, placed herself in her chapel, and called in her disciples one by one, and gave each a solemn admonition, then raised her hands, closed her eyes, and gave up the ghost."

Note 2: In his 1964 book, Pioneer Prophetess: Jemima Wilkinson, the Publick Universal Friend?, Herbert Andrew Wisbey writes this (on p. 132): "Later described as 'the second wonder of the western country,' her home seemed to be an essential detour in the grand tour to Niagara Falls."



Vol. III.                         Waterloo, N.Y., Wednesday, September 29, 1819.                          No. 19.

From the National Intelligencer.


Messrs. Gates and Seaton.
  In the Intelligencer of August 21, I observe a notice of the departure of Jemima Wilkinson -- otherwise called the Universal Friend. This notice is very incorrect. She died at her mansion in Jerusalem, at least 12 miles from Pen Yan -- and not at Pen Yan.. She never had a chapel; I therefore conclude she did not exhort her disciples, one by one, in her chapel, but at her bed side, where she has for a year or more been confined most of the time by a most excruciating complaint; and where, on Saturday of each week, she collected the remnant of her followers, and exhorted them. Her complaint may have been a case of the dropsy, but, if so, it assumed very unusual symptoms. Her mansion is situated on a hill -- but not a barren heath -- for the eye of man has rarely seen a more romantic and luxuriant prospect than is displayed from the Eastern front of this mansion. The roads leading to her dwelling are said to have been literally filled with crowds of people! This mighty concourse of people might possibly amounted to 100 souls, including all her society and spectators, on the day that it was expected she would have been interred. I note these remarks to show how wonderfully we are prone to exaggerate on subjects of this kind, when we talk of the second wonder of the Western country!

I have lived for six years a neighbor, and frequently an inmate of the family of Jemima Wilkinson, and those of her society. A wonder she certainly was! And the tongue of man has uttered every thing respecting her which folly, wonder, and malice could prompt. It would be gratifying to me, and I presume to very many others, to see a correct history of her life, ministry, and doctrines written with intelligence and candor. But the idle and malicious tales in circulation respecting her, are utterly unworthy of belief. In frequent conversations with her, I have sought to draw out her peculiar tenets, and to form a correct idea of her doctrines. This, however, I have found was not an easy task. To each question, she always replied by multiplied quotations of scripture texts, and by recounting visions; leaving me to draw inferences to suit myself." From all I have been able to collect, I conclude she started her career under the Millenarian system, and drew with her into the wilderness perhaps a thousand followers, some twenty-five years ago, and located [on] a large tract of land in this county. Her society was wealthy, when I first knew them, about 13 years ago; but have been involved in much litigation. Many have deserted her; and a remnant only has remained with her to the last. A report has long been current that she professed to be the Messiah, at his second coming, to gather the elect, &c. To questions calculated to draw out from her satisfactory evidence on this point, I could obtain no other answer than a string of scripture quotations, and visions of her own seeing; calculated, however, to encourage the belief that she acted by immediate inspiration, and was now undergoing a second crucifixion! (alluding to the troubles in which she was involved in law -- and the bodily pain and afflictions she now suffered, for the sins of her people!!) At one season of her ministry, she had probably 3 or 4000 zealous followers; men left their wives and families -- women and children deserted their homes -- to follow her to the new Jerusalem! where it was believed all the elect were to gather together, under her protection and ministry, and the millenium to take place. I fear the Lawyers will spoil much of the harmony and peace of this Millenium.   A NEIGHBOR.
      Ontario Co., N.Y. Aug. 24, 1819.

Note: See also the Pen Yan Herald of Sep. 28th and the Rochester Telegraph of Oct. 10, 1819.



Vol. XVII.                                   Tuesday, October 19, 1819.                                    No. 28.


Remaining in the Post Office at Avon,
Sept. 30, 1819.

Stephen F. Coudry...
Warren A. Cowdery...

Note: In their 2005 book, the Spalding Enigma, authors Cowdrey, et al. provide this information on p. 216: Oliver Cowdery's brother, Stephen was married [at Avon] on October 4, 1818... and was still a resident of that place when he filed an insolvency petitioneight years later in 1826. When the new counties of Monroe and Livingston were carved out of Genesee and Ontario between 1818 and 1822, the town of Avon was split, the northern part becoming Rush in Monroe County, and the southern part remaining Avon in the new Livingston County [...Stephen F. Cowdery was born February 16, 1791, at Wells, Vt., ...he married Betsy Bradshaw... he died on May 2, 1848.... On February 3, 1816, he was Suspended for one year from the Rainbow Lodge of Royal Arch Masons in Middletown, Vt., and on March 27, 1817, he was expelled.... Stephen Cowdery's first wife, identified only as "Mrs. Cowdry," died at Middletown, Vt., on April 19, 1817, age 22... Stephen's second wife, Betsy (Rebecca) Bradshaw (ca. 1800-1881), seems to have been a daughter of James Bradshaw of Wolcott, N. Y., not far from Ontario (Williamson) where Stephen's father had spent time during 1810-11 with his new wife, Keziah. Evidence that Stephen continued to live at Avon until at least the latter part of 1826 can be found in The Livingston Register for October 10, 1826, which contains a notice of insolvency (dated September 12, 1826) for Stephen F. Cowdery of that place. --By 1830, Stephen was living at Rochester... By 1832 the family had moved to Buffalo (Buffalo City Directory, 1832). Correspondence between Oliver and his brother Warren indicates that Stephen and his family were still living there in 1835, where Oliver visited them in November and wrote that they had been driven from their house and the home demolished by "wind and water," but that they had escaped and were doing well; see letter from Oliver to Presiding Elder W. A. Cowdery at Freedom, N. Y., dated Kirtland, 22 November 1835, Huntington Library Collection, San Marino, Calif.]


Geneva  Gazette.
Vol. XI.                            Geneva, N. Y., November 10, 1819.                             No. 23.


Evacuation of Grand Island. -- The inhabitants of this Island, with few exceptions, have been removed therefrom previous to the day appointed by law for their expulsion. The Island is said to contain about 60 log houses, and more than 100 acres of land cleared, fenced and improved. --Niagara Pat.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                                Palmyra, N. Y., Wed., November 17, 1819.                                 No. 52.

From the Pittsburgh Mercury


(under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                                Palmyra, N. Y., Wed., December 1, 1819.                                 No. 2.

From the Pittsburgh Mercury


(under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. XVII.                                   Tuesday, December 14, 1819.                                    No. 36.


MARRIED -- At Moscow. Mr. Franklin Coudery, of Hamilton, to Miss Amantha Munger...

Jemima Wilkinson. -- Mr. David Hudson of Geneva, is preparing for press a history of this extraordinary woman.

Note: David Hudson's History of Jemima Wilkinson was published at Geneva, NY in 1821. Its narrative outlines a potentially successful operative strategy by which an imposter might convince his followers that he was a latter day prophet.



Vol. II.                            Rochester, N. Y., Tues., December 21, 1819.                             No. 25.


MARRIED -- ... In Moscow, Genesee County, Mr. Franklin Coudery, of Olean, a propietor of the Hamilton Recorder, to Miss Amanda Munger...

Note: The Canandaigua Ontario Respository of Dec. 14, 1819 contains a similar notice.


Vol. XI.                            Geneva, N. Y., January 26, 1820.                             No. 34.


Moses Manassah Noah, Esq. has presented a petition to the Legislature, praying that the state would authorize the sale to him of Grand Island, lying in the Niagara river, for the purpose of "causing a town or city to be erected thereon, to be inhabited by s community of Jewish emigrants." When built, Mr. Noah will doubtless transfer his "National Advocate" to this new city of moonshine, for the instruction of his Jewish brethren.

Note: The name of the petitioneer should read "Mordecai Manuel Noah."



Vol. III.                         Waterloo, N.Y., Wednesday, January 26, 1820.                          No. 36.


Silver Mine. -- Letters from Zanesville, Ohio, received at Philadelphia, appear to confirm the discovery of a silver mine near the former place.

At the last Court of Quarter Sessions for York county, a colored woman, named Lydia Profet, was tried for blasphemy. -- The defendant Lydia Profet follows the business of telling fortunes, and discovering stolen property to its owners. In pretending to discover to a Mr. Witrecht, who had stolen from him a wagon cover, she made use of the Bible, by which she subjected herself to a prosecution for blasphemy. She pretended that through her art, she found that a certain David Ream had taken the wagon cloth, and that it was concealed in his house. The owner, credulous enough to have faith in the pretended discovery of this sable Profet, went straightway to the house of David Ream, in full expectation to find his wagon cloth, in the very spot the conjurer had told him it was concealed. He was disappointed in his search, for he sought without finding, and we hope he is convinced by this time, that modern prophets are not always to be implicitly relied on! The jury acquitted the defendant, and she was discharged with an admonition from the court warning her to cease from evil ways, as she would certainly not always escape with impunity, if she persisted in them.

William Profet, the husband of Lydia, was also tried at the same court, for larceny. Lydia did not alone pretend to the art of discovering stolen goods, but she pretended also to be mistress of that branch of conjuration, by which she could protect thieves against detection. It appears she was in the habit of encouraging her husband and her son to commit various acts of stealing from market wagons, promising to keep them clear of detection or punishment. But in the result of this trial, the fallacy and worthlessness of her art has been clearly demonstrated, for stealing several turkies, a quantity of butter and a number of eggs from the wagon of George S., he was detected, tried and convicted, and sentenced to six months imprisonment in the county jail. -- Balt. Amer.

Note 1: For more on Lydia Profet and her professed supernatural abilities, see the Boston New England Palladium of Feb. 4, 1820.

Note 2: For an account of a female prophet who was both a "fortune teller" and locator of hidden wealth (by manipulation of a "mineral rod") see the Rochester money-digging incident involving Mary Lambert.

Note 3: The young Joseph Smith's claims to supernaturally finding lost or hidden objects have been well documented. See Samuel D. Green's 1877 account, for one report of Smith pretending to "often tell fortunes" and Smith's "wonderful knowledge of lost property."


Vol. XI.                            Geneva, N. Y., February 28, 1820.                             No. 38.


Kid's long-secreted Money found! -- Died -- In the city of New York, J____ D____, one of the crew of the noted Captain Kid. He was supposed to be at the time of his death, one hundred and three years of age. His general occupation for the last 30 years or more, was stowing away vegetables... Having no relations, he willed to a woman who attended him, the whole of his property, amounting from 12 to 18,000 dollars. (Here's a discovery of Kid's hidden money, so much the object of search and research for many years.) -- Columbian.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XI.                            Geneva, N. Y., March 8, 1820.                             No. 40.


Grand Island. -- The house went into committee of the whole on the bill granting Grand Island to Mordecai M. Noah, Mr. M. in the chair, A short debate took place -- in which the speaker[s], Messrs. Fox, Ruggles, Tibbits and Williams took part, & opposed the passage of the bill. Mr. Ulshoeffer defended it, and advocated its passage -- Mr. Crolius said a few words in answer to Mr. Fox; when a motion to strike out the first clause, or in other words to reject the bill, was made and carried by a large majority. -- Alb. Adv.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                            Palmyra, N. Y., Wednesday,  March 8, 1820.                             No. 16.

CHRONICLES -- Chapter I.

1. And it came to pass that as I journied from the great city of Philadelphia, and to a far distant land, that after the seventh day near mid day we came near unto the end of our journey.

2. And lo at the going down of the sun, being near the 6th hour, after the fourth day's journey, we ended our pilgrimage, and sojourned in the great city of Albany, lying northward from the great city of Gotham.

3. And the next day being the eighth day, there assembled together a great congregation of the people of different kindreds and of families, but of the same tongue, being a council of a great nation; and it came to pass that there arose up a man amongst them of much speaking, one of the tribe of Delaware.

4. And he held forth to them in strange doctrines, so that the people were amazed and held their peace.

5. And moreover, when he had marvelled, and said many things, touching the people of the land, he waxed wroth, so that the people were greatly astonished.

6. And it came to pass, after the chief of the tribe of Delaware had spoken much concerning the people of the land, that a great drought come upon him, like unto the drought that prevailed over all the land of Egypt, and he cried with a loud voice, and lo one of his servants gave unto him strong drink.

7. So now when he had drunken his fill the spirit moved him mightily, so that he became strong and loud; and he continued saying many things, both for the people and for his tribe, even the great tribe of Delaware.

8. Saying, give unto us forests of green poplar, of hazel and of chesnut, and our watering troughs, so that our cattle, both of the ring streaked and speckled, and spotted, our Does and our Bucks, may feed undisturbed in the land of our fathers.

9. And it came to pass, as he drew near unto the end, he lifted up his voice like a trumpet, saying, there is no king over Israel; come thou Daniel and reign over us; for this land is like unto a strange flock of sheep that hath no shepherd.

10. And he continued crying, come thou Daniel and reign over us, both thou and thy children and thy children's children, even unto the tenth generation.

11. And it came to pass about even tide, that he made an end to speaking; for the strong drink had gone by, so that he had become weak as other men, yea, like unto them that go by the wall.

12. Then there arose amongst the multitude a man, slow of speech, but deep of thought, and he marvelled greatly, giving unto the people many mild and goodly sayings, and they received them because he spoke truly.

13. But behold he thundered not, neither did he rave, but there came a still voice and he was there: now the name of this man was Granger surnamed Gideon.

14. Moreover it came to pass, that after he had spoken much, that he admonished the multitude, saying.

15. I beseech ye beware of false prophets, that are going up and down amongst you, setting up idols and false gods, and are compassing round about to and fro, amongst the people, like roaring lions, & like wolves by night, seeking whom they may devour.

16. And after he had finished speaking the people cried with one voice, saying this Daniel shall not reign over us, for he has taken our cattle from us, and aimeth to destroy us, both our man servants and our maid servants, our oxen and our asses.

17. Then it came to pass that the multitude went their way, some to their lands, others to the dwellings, some to their wares, and others to their merchandize. -- Albany Reg.

Note 1: The composition of historical, political and humorous narratives in a pseudo-biblical style was a popular feature in British and U.S. newspapers and pamphlets during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. By the 1820s the fad had begun to die out in America, however. For a notable example of this singular writing style, see John Leacock's 1775 series "The First Book of the American Chronicles." Eran Shalev, in his 2010 article "Written in the Style of Antiquity," thoroughly explores this literary topic, and concludes by saying: "The usefulness of a refined language such as Elizabethan English diminished once the United States embraced the ethos of popular democracy. It became evident that the formal biblical language belonged more to the eighteenth century than to Antebellum America, and more to an age of genteel politics of prudent gentlemen than to the public discourse of democracy and evangelism. Only a text in biblical style that adapted to, and embodied the deep cultural transformations of the Jacksonian Era could thrive in a world of democratic coarseness, of mass revivals, and of relentless industrialization. The tradition of writing in biblical style paved the way for the Book of Mormon by conditioning Americans to reading American texts, and texts about America, in biblical language. Yet the Book of Mormon, an American narrative told in the English of the King James Bible, has thrived long after Americans abandoned the practice of recounting their affairs in biblical language."

Note 2: For a late occurring example of this genre, see the "Book of Chronicles" in the Nov. 1, 1830 Geneva Gazette. Early Mormon W. W. Phelps is among the politicians satirized therein. Abner Cole's June 12, 1830 "Book of Pukie" poked fun at Joseph Smith -- as had Paul Pry's Weekly Bulletin the year before.

Note 3: The "Daniel" of the chronicle represented former New York Governor Daniel Tompkins, who was briefly courted by the "Bucktail" faction of New York Democrats as a possible opponent against DeWitt Clinton in the 1820 gubernatorial campaign. Gideon Granger was a New York State Senator in 1820, and a supporter of Clinton's Erie Canal. Before the War of 1812 he had operated as the senior partner in some of Solomon Spalding's land speculation in what later became Conneaut, Ohio.


Vol. III.                            Palmyra, N. Y.,  June 28, 1820.                             No. 32.


Effects of Drunkenness. -- DIED at the house of Mr. Robert M'Collum, in this town, on the 26th inst., James Couser, aged about forty years. The deceased, we are informed, arrived at Mr. M'Collum's house the evening preceding, from a camp-meeting which was held in this vicinity, in a state of intoxication. He, with his companion who was also in the same debasing condition, called for supper, which was granted. Both stayed all night -- called for breakfast next morning -- when notified that it was ready, the deceased was found wrestling with his companion, whom he flung down with the greatest ease, -- he suddenly sunk down upon a bench, -- was taken with an epileptic fit, and immediately expired. -- It is supposed he obtained his liquor, which was no doubt the cause of his death, at the Camp-ground, where, it is a notorious fact, the intemperate, the lewd and dissolute part of the community too frequently resort for no better objewct, than to gratify their base propensities.

The deceased, who was an Irishman, we understand has left a family, living at Catskill, this state.

Note: LDS writer Gordon B. Hinkley has argued that a massive religious excitement was occuring in the immediate vicinity of Palmyra, at this time: "In 1820 it [the great Kentucky Revival] reached western New York. The ministers of the various denominations united in their efforts, and many conversions were made among the scattered settlers. One week a Rochester paper noted: 'More than two hundred souls have become hopeful subjects of divine grace in Palmyra, Macedon, Manchester, Lyons, and Ontario since the later revival commenced.' The week following it was able to report 'that in Palmyra and Macedon... more than four hundred souls have already confessed that the Lord is good.'" (Truth Restored, page 2). The presence of an occasional "camp-meeting" and a "camp-ground" near Palmyra, in 1820, is no sort of evidence of a great revival at all. The Methodists, to cite one example, held regular "camp-meetings" as part of annual (or semi-annual, or quarterly) mini-conferences. A traveling preacher would stay at one location for a week or two, and representatives from a few neighboring congregations would congregate to hear his preaching, transact church business, and perhaps celebrate a wedding or some other group activity. These sorts of occasional "camp-meetings" are not evidence of mass revivals, where "more than two hundred souls" were persuaded to "get religion." See notes accompanying the Register of July 5, 1820 and various transcribed newspaper articles for the fall of 1824 through the first half of 1825 (below on this web-page) for more discussion of this subject.


Vol. III.                            Palmyra, N. Y.,  July 5, 1820.                             No. 33.


Plain Truth is received. By this communication, as well as by the remarks of some of our neighbors who belong to the Society of Methodists, we perceive that our remarks accompanying the notice of the unhappy death of James Couser, contained in our last, have not been correctly understood. "Plain truth" says, we committed "an error in point of fact," in saying that Couser "obtained his liquor at the camp-ground." By this expression we did not mean to insinuate, that he obtained it within the enclosure of their place of worship, or that he procured it of them, but at the grog-shops that were established at, or near if you please, their camp-ground. It was far from our intention to charge the Methodists with retailing ardent spirits while professedly met for the worship of their God. Neither did we intend to implicate them by saying that "the intemperate, the dissolute, &c. resort to their meetings." -- And if so we have been understood by any one of that society, we assure them they have altogether mistaken our meaning.

Note 1: By this report it is made clear that the account of "death of James Couser," published in the Register of June 28th was linked by the paper's editor not to just any "camp-meeting which was held in this vicinity," but to out-of-doors services at or near a local Methodist (Methodist Episcopal?) congregation's place of worship. The two news reports do not make it clear whether these "Methodists" had built their chapel in the vicinity of the camp-ground, but evidently some "grog-shops" existed in that place. This fact probably indicates that the "camp-ground" was near a well-traveled road, or possibly an intersection of roads, where there was some continual traffic of potential customers.

Note 2: See also Rev. George Lane's letter of Jan. 25, 1825, as published in the NYC Methodist Magazine. There Rev. Lane makes mention of fellow Methodist minister Rev. J. B. Alverson having recently held "a watch night in Vienna." Possibly this refers to an all-night meeting held at a Vienna Methodist chapel or camp-ground. Vienna (a few miles east of Palmyra) emerges from old reporting as one place where Ontario County Methodists held camp-meetings. In his 1851 article, "Origin of the Mormon Imposture," Palmyra resident Orsmaus Turner wrote of the young Joseph Smith, Jr.: "Joseph had a little ambition, and some very laudable aspirations... after catching a spark of Methodism in the camp-meeting, away down in the woods, on the Vienna road, he was a very passable exhorter in evening meetings." It is quite possible that the "camp meeting" the Smith youth attended was the same "watch night" held in Vienna in early January 1825, that the Methodist Rev. J. B. Alverson makes mention of. However, since Orsamus Turner had left Palmyra prior to 1825, it is equally possible that he was recalling a Methodist camp-meeting held in the general area of Palmyra, as early as 1817-18. There is some evidence of increased religious enthusiasm in that region at that time -- though Joseph Smith, Jr. would have been barely a teenager then. Turner speaks of Smith as participating "in our juvenile debating club," as though that attendance occurred prior to Turner's departure for Lockport. However, he does not make it entirely clear whether or not Smith's visit to "the camp-meeting, away down in the woods, on the Vienna road" transpired before or after Turner's departure -- Lockport was not far from Palmyra and Turner may have maintained close ties with associates or correspondents in the Palmyra area as late as 1826-28, when Turner himself had reason to periodically return to Ontario County, in relation to the ongoing "William Morgan" legal proceedings.



Vol. I.                            Ithaca, N. Y., Wednesday, October 18, 1820.                             No. 7.


A new paper, called the Angelica Republican, has recently been established in Angelica, Allegany county, by F. Coudery, one of the publishers of the late Hamilton Recorder.

Note: Essentially the same notice ran in the Canandaigua Ontario Repository of Oct. 17th or Oct. 24th.



Vol. III.                            Rochester, N. Y., Tues., October 31, 1820.                             No. 18.


A newspaper entitled "The Angelica Republican" is commenced in Angelica, Allegany county, by F. Coudry.

Notes: (forthcoming)


The  Geneva  Palladium.

Vol. VI.                            Geneva, N. Y., January 17, 1821.                             No. 263.


M. M. Noah, Esq., the patriotic editor of the N. Y. National Advocate, having failed in his attempt to obtain Grand Island for a company of European Jews, now recommends Rhode Island to their attention. He says the Jewish bankers can transmit to this country specie enough to pay our national debt.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. I.                        Palmyra, N. Y., Wednesday, July 4, 1821.                         No. 16.

Extract of a letter published in the Kentucky Gazette.


The Chickasaw women have discovered that our forms of matrimony are more binding than the Indian forms; but what is of still more importance, a marriage with a citizen of the United States exempts them from raising corn, a service they are obliged to render an Indian husband; and as they have become very careful, they prefer white husbands...


Remaining in the POST OFFICE at Palmyra, June 30, 1821.

Samuel T. Lawrence...
Orsamus Turner...

Note 1: While some Native American women may have sought new opportunities by marrying white men, the reciprocal possibility occurred to the early Mormons. That is, if Mormon men could find Indian brides, the Mormons as a group might gain useful connections among the tribes located west of the Missouri River (on whose land the first Mormon temple was originally planned to be located). See H. Michael Marquardt, The Joseph Smith Revelations, pp. 374-376.

Note 2: The dates of Orsamus Turner's residence at Palmyra are of some importance, since he claimed to be an eye-witness to some of the events in that area, relating to the Joseph Smith, Sr. family. According to Turner's biographical sketch, on pp. 71-72 of John Kelsey's 1854 Lives and Reminiscences of the Pioneers of Rochester, "Orsamus Turner was an apprentice to the printing business, in the office of the Palmyra Register, and finished his apprenticeship in the office of the Ontario Repository at Canandaigua. In August, 1822, he became the proprietor of a paper that had been established a few months at Lockport..." By this chronology, it appears that Turner was not living in close proximity to the Smiths after June of 1821 (or perhaps after early 1822, if the "letters waiting" list denotes only a temporary absence from Palmyra), and that by August of 1822 he had moved out of Ontario (later Wayne) County altogether.

Note 3: In their 2005 book, The Spalding Enigma, authors Cowdrey et al. postulate a personal acquaintance, at Palmyra, between the newspaper employee Orsamus Turner, and the recent Vermont emigrant, Oliver Cowdery. However, those authors do not place Oliver in Palmyra until the spring of 1822 -- at which time it appears that Orsamus Turner was living several miles away, at Canandaigua. Even if Turner served a dual apprenticeship (as the Enigma authors speculate, p. 242), it is not likely that Turner and Cowdery would have spent much time together at that early date. On page 326 of their book, the Enigma authors point out that "Turner's regular visits [to Canadaigua, in 1828-31]... were no doubt accomplished by taking the Erie Canal to Palmyra... [and Turner's time there] must have been spent visiting with his professional colleagues and other old friends in the town where he had ended his apprenticeship only eight years earlier..." While it is certainly possible that Orsamus Turner gathered additional information on the Smith family, Oliver Cowdery, etc. during such Palmyra visits (or in other contacts with residents of that area), it is not likely that Turner picked up confidential information directly from Oliver Cowdery in any of those post-1822 communications. See also Ted Chandler's comments on this topic, as well as the note for Enigma page 244 in the "Errata" list for that book.


Vol. I.                        Palmyra, N. Y., July 11, 1821.                         No. 17.

Note Lost.

LOST in the town of Ontario sometime in the month of January, a note of hand, of two hundred dollars, payable in horses, signed by Abraham Cook, and given to the subscriber, dated November 6th, 1820. The maker of said note is hereby forbid paying paying the amount to any person but the subscriber. Whoever will return said Note to the subscriber, shall be handsomely rewarded.
                                                JOSEPH SMITH, Jun.
Ontario, June 12th, 1821.

Note: The "Joseph Smith, jr." listed as the head of a household in the 1820 Census returns for Ontario township, Ontario County, New York was not the scurrilous youth of the same name who then resided with his father in nearby Farmington township. The Farmington Smith reportedly could peer into a seer stone and locate such "lost" items as "a note of hand" with considerable facility. This same notice ran for the next two weeks in the Palmyra paper.


Vol. I.                        Palmyra, N. Y., July 18, 1821.                         No. 18.


A Curiosity. -- Among the additions just made to Dr. Mitchell's collection is a letter from the Chippewa tribe of Indians, to the Sioux, with the answer of the Sioux to the Chippewas, done during the summer of 1820. Both are executed with the point of a knife or some other hard body upon the bark of the birth tree. They are examples of picture writing, bordering upon the symbolic or hieroglyphic, and show the manner in which the aborigines of North America communicate their ideas at the present day. After having served the purpose for which they were produced by Capt. Douglass from the Mississippi, where they had been placed by their authors and brought home by that gentleman as specimen of the way pursued by those people to transact their public business.


On the 3d inst. in the town of Ontario, a dark bay Mare, formerly owned by the subscriber, and sold to a Mr. Peck, a preacher on the Methodist circuit; she is a natural trotter -- has a wart in her right ear, -- was 9 years old the last Spring. The owner of said Mare is requested to prove property, pay charges and take her away.
                                                JOSEPH SMITH.
Ontario, July 14th, 1821.

Note: As with the "Note Lost" notice in the previous week's issue of the Farmer, the mentioned "Joseph Smith," of Ontario twp., Ontario Co., New York was not the scurrilous youth of the same name who then resided with his father in nearby Farmington township. The "Mr. Peck" who bought Smith's mare was most likely the Rev. George Smith of the Methodist Genesee Conference. Rev. Peck later wrote an account of these early times, entitled Early Methodism. That book furnishes some biographical information on the Rev. George Lane, who oversaw the 1824 Methodist revival in and around Palmyra, New York.


Vol. I.                        Palmyra, N. Y., September 19, 1821.                         No. 27.


The operations on the eastern section of the grand canal have advanced to Schenectady flats, within about two miles of the city. The work is progressing with remarkable spirit, and promises completion much sooner than its warmest friends had originally expected.

At a point 11 miles west of Schenectady, in the town of Florida, several curious things have been discovered; partly aboriginal and partly European... Under the latter head may be classed certain other things recently found, such as.

1. The blade of a large knife.

2. A stout nail whose point is bent up as it by driving against a hard and resisting body.

3. Several plates of brass, which probably belonged to cartouch boxes...

These disclosures of the materials that are concealed under ground, furnish the Antiquarian and the naturalist, interesting materials for speculation as to the operations of art and of nature in past time.   Nat. Adv.

Natural Curiosity. -- A stone about eight inches in length and five in breadth was lately found on the residence of the Rev. H. R. Powell, in the town of William in this County, with four or five pieces of Iron or Steel appearing on its surface, similar to the heads of large spike nails. -- On breaking the stone, they were found to be small cubic locks of steel, penetrating from the surface about half an inch in depth. In interior surfaces of the blocks, appear to have been polished smooth with indentings where the blocks lay, as smooth as marble, although the stone itself was rough and gritty. But the greatest curiosity is, that one of the blocks was completely buried in the stone, about a quarter of an inch or more below its surface. The only conclusion that can be made, respecting which, is. that the stone has frown over it.  Communicated.

Note 1: Probably the "cartouch boxes" alluded to were antique cartridge boxes carried by infantry soldiers during the War of 1812 and before. Discarded empty boxes would have disintegrated over time, dislodging their protective metal plates. A set of brass plates, assembled from such sources, might have appeared as quite a curiosity to civilian villagers of the 1820s.

Note 2: Another interesting reference to an early brass plate discovery is recorded by J. H. Spaulding on page 48 of his 1855 Historical Relics of the White Mountains: "THE OLD BRASS PLATE. About the year 1802, a curious brass plate, covered with hieroglyphic inscriptions, of apparently ancient date, was found under a rock near the top of Mount Washington. When it was placed there, or by whom, is yet a profound mystery. There was through the plate a hole, and a piece of rusty copper, that appeared to be a bolt once used to secure it to the rock. According to tradition, this brass was of irregular shape, having been apparently much eaten by rust; and, from its real appearance, the characters were said to be in an unknown tongue; and, in short, of very imperfect and doubtful import. This was found by an explorer, or hunter; and, being carried to the then new settlement of Jackson, below the mountain, for a while created a short-lived excitement, and at last disappeared entirely." Other sources credit the fabrication of this mysterious "ancient" brass plate to Abel Crawford, who reportedly secured it to the rock in 1818: in 1825 it was was dislodged by local vandals.

Note 3: In 1835 Rev. John M. Peck attributed the origin of Joseph Smith's "ancient" Nephite record to a hoax involving "some old copper plates for engravings, which he showed for his golden plates." See also the 1988 anniversary issue of Naked Truths About Mormonism for a "Fools' Gold Bible" article on this allegation.


Vol. I.                        Palmyra, N. Y., October 17, 1821.                         No. 31.

Our  Village

... we have been led to these hasty reflections, by witnessing the happy change that has recently taken place among the inhabitants of this village. Science and religion are beginning to claim their tention, and to receive that support which they so richly merit at their hands. Our school has already become an ornament in our village. Our youth begin to vie with each other in the improvement of their minds, and to requite their parents for their exertions to render them useful members of society [and] an honor to their connexions. But this is not all -- Instead of strutting up and down our streets on the Sabbath, going from one tavern to another, twirling the rattan and puffing the cigar, those necessary appendages of a dandie, Our young gentlemen are set in the sanctuary, attentively listening to that [Word]. which can make them wise unto salvation. And instead of riding out in parties of giddy, unmeaning and unsatisfying pleasure, the young ladies are seen to grace the church with their presence, on this holy day... Such a change we could not forbear publishing to the world

Note: The editor (Timothy C. Strong) reflects upon a recent change in public morality and piety in Palmyra in 1821, but he does not attribute the social transformation to the effects of any particular species of religious excitement, camp meetings, revivals. etc. Neither do local church records of this time indicate any significant increase in baptisms and admissions to denominational membership lists. Perhaps a portion of the religious transformation had its root in increased attendance at Ontario county Methodist class meetings, where no life-changing salvation "experience" was required for participation and attendees did not have to become full-fledged Methodists to go to church.


Vol. I.                        Palmyra, N. Y., January 23, 1822.                         No. 45.


NOTICE. -- The young people of the village of Palmyra and its vicinity are requested to attend a Debating school at the school house near Mr. Billings' on Friday next.

Palmyra, Jan. 19, 1822.

Note: In the dead of winter, with little agricultural work to be done, the "young people of the village of Palmyra" were free to attend a few weeks of school, visit with their friends, or even emulate their elders in carrying on some public debate. Orsamus Turner, who worked on the local paper at this time, later recalled that Joseph Smith, jr. "used to help us to solve some portentous questions of moral or political ethics, in our juvenile debating club, which we moved down to the old red school-house on Durfee street." Turner's interaction with the Smith boy in this particular "debating club" was perhaps of short duration, since the young printer moved away from Palmyra during the summer of 1822.


Vol. I.                        Palmyra, N. Y., January 30, 1822.                         No. 46.


A most extraordinary change within two or three weeks past, has taken place in regard to the religious state of this village... [Lyons, east of Palmyra] This change from one extreme to another, has been so powerful, and universal as scarcely to admit of a precedent in all this western region. Such hath been and is still the manifest power of God, through the overwhelming influence of the Divine Spirit, that the whole place exhibits the aspect of a house of mourning. Large collections assemble every evening in the week at the house of God for worship and various religious exercises. These meetings are solemn beyond description. Persons who had formerly opposed awakenings, and persons of every other character are struck with amazement -- and exclaim, this must be the work of God. A large number of [hopeful] converts are now rejoicing in the Saviour, and scarcely an individual can now be found in the place whose mind is not, in a considerable degree, solemnized."

Note: Dale Morgan, who first transcribed the above excerpt, says that the Western Farmer "Reprints from the Lyons Republican of December 7 an account of a Revival of Religion at Lyons... Although the Register and Western Farmer from 1818 had chronicled revivals in Mass., Vermont, and N. Y., this is the first one recorded near Palmyra



No. 1.                            Canandaigua, Friday, March 8, 1822.                             Vol. I.

"Let the best course of life your choice invite,
  For custom soon will turn it to delight."

In presenting the first number of PLAIN TRUTH to the public, we will remark, that the work is undertaken merely to expose the many errors now existing in the Christian world which are passed off on the undiscerning, for "pure and undefiled religion."

No man, conversant with the under handed manaeuvres used by many of the most zealous professors, can candidly discountenance so desirable a work. We shall not presume to point out those impositions which are placed to the credit of the Christian Religion, but our columns shall be ever open to plain truth, let it hit whom it may. No Christian can deny that the Gospel of our blessed Saviour, since the Apostolic days, has been clouded by Popish superstition, even to the present time. In what manner are the clouds to be dispersed, that we may behold the brightness of the "Son of Righteousness" -- that we may behold the transcedent purity of the "Gospel of peace?" --

There is no way to do this but by a public and fair investigation of what is supposed to be anti-Christian. We are fully aware that we shall be eyed with suspicion by the craftsmen, but trusting to the purity of our motives, we shall not be awed into silence by this party or that,

We would, however, particularly caution the public against the hue and cry too often raised in opposition to similar works. The practice of hanging a man and then trying him is frequently resorted to, to prejudice public opinion. Therefore, if those against whom we testify should brand us with the name of Atheist, Deist, Arian, Socinian, &c. &c. we believe them not, for we are not the least hampered by the chains of sectarian bigotry.

Note: The above introductory remarks provides a fair specimen of the anti-clerical tone of the bi-weekly religious journal, "Plain Truth," edited and published by Lyman A. Spalding and Thomas B. Barnum of Canandiagua, Ontario Co., New York. For more comments on this unusual publication, see the notes accompanying the Feb. 12, 1823 issue of the Wayne Sentinel.


Vol. XIII.                            Geneva, N. Y., Wed., March 13, 1822.                             No. 41.

6  Cents  Reward.

DESERTED my employment, an apprentice BOY, by the name of HERVEY NEWCOMB, between 18 and 19 years of age, and somewhat fickle & high minded. This notice is given, not to injure the boy -- but to forbid all persons harbouring or trusting him on my account; and to caution Printers not to employ him; as he left me, a week since, under pretence of going to visit his parents, in Almond, and has since, by letter, refused to return -- thereby, without provocation, violating a most solemn engagement.
                    F. COUDERY.
Records Office, Angelica, Feb. 22. 1822.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                            Palmyra, N. Y., March 27, 1822.                             No. 2.


DESERTED my employment, an apprentice BOY, by the name of Hervey Newcomb, between 18 and 19 years of age, and somewhat fickle and high minded. This notice is given, not to injure the boy -- but to forbid all persons harbouring or trusting him on my account; and to caution PRINTERS not to employ him; as he left me, a week since, under pretence of going to visit his parents, in Almond, and has since, by letter, refused to return -- thereby, without provocation, violating a most solemn engagement,   F. COUDERY.
Record office, Angelica, Feb. 22. 1822.

Note 1: The above notice ran on the front page of the Western Farmer, for several weeks -- see, for example, the issue for April 3, 1822. In his 1847 reminiscences B. Franklin Cowdery (an older second cousin of Oliver Cowdery) recalls his printing business experience at Angelica, in these words: "In October [1819], two wagons conveyed our household goods, printing apparatus, and family, then numbering but two back to Angelica; where in a new little brick house east from the square, we soon began the Angelica Republican, the first press in Allegany county, which we continued just two years and one week. For several weeks we had no other help at case than the wife, as apprentice... This subjected us sometimes to inconvenience.... January, 1823, found us abiding in Lockport... The 'Lockport Observatory' was the paper then published by our friend Orsamus Turner, whom we sometimes assisted and in whose office we printed a pamphlet edition of the New Militia Law, and late in autumn, printed our prospectus, with borrowed head lines from the two Batavia offices, for the 'Newport Patriot,' in the northern part of Genesee County."

Note 2: Apparently the untimely departure of Hervey "Harvey" Newcomb (1803-1863), in February of 1822, so crippled B. Franklin Cowdery's printing operations as to force him to cease publication of the Angelica Republican about eight months later. In his published writings, B. Franklin Cowdery does not indicate who eventually filled the vacant apprentice position in his mobile publishing ventures, but one set of historical researchers speculate that he called upon the services of Oliver Cowdery for this work -- probably around the beginning of 1823, when B. Franklin Cowdery moved his little family to the village of Lockport. In the CD-ROM version of their book, The Spalding Enigma, the authors say: "In his autobiographical essay, 'Forty Years a Typo,' Franklin Cowdery speaks of having commenced his operation in Angelica 'in autumn, 1820, without a partner and alone, except the wife, who had learned the boxes.' While there however, he acquired two young apprentices, one of whom 'staid contentedly the term out,' and another who 'left [in 1822] at the end of a year, and... [eventually] became a preacher of righteousness.' Later, during 1824-25, he had another apprentice to whom he gave 'his first two years instructions in printing... in the Newport office.' ... Of the two who were with Franklin at Angelica, the first... remains unidentified. The other, who ran away in 1822 after only a year and went on to 'become a preacher of righteousness,' was Harvey Newcomb... [who was] was born on 2 Sep. 1803 at Thetford, VT... In 1818, his family moved to Alfred, Allegany Co., NY... In 1821... he was apprenticed to Franklin Cowdery at Angelica... In 1826, Harvey Newcomb moved to Westfield, Chautauqua Co., NY, where he worked as printer on the Western Star... In 1828 it appears that Harvey, his brother George Washington, and James Hull purchased the Star and changed its name to the Chautauqua Phoenix. Harvey remained with this paper only about a year, and then went to Buffalo where he edited the Buffalo Patriot..."

Note 3: Hervey "Harvy" Newcomb probably began his apprenticeship with B. Franklin Cowdery, at Angelica, Allegany Co., New York, during the late fall of 1820. His family lived nearby, in Alfred (or in the adjoining township of Almond), Allegany Co., New York. Hervey's mother was Hannah Curtis, who married his father, Simon Newcomb, in 1790 at Thetford, Orange Co. Vermont. "Hervey" is a surname, and when used as a child's personal name, that application often indicates the occurence of the same surname in the mother's ancestry. For example, Jabez Cowdery (1796-1864) had a son named Hervey (or Hervy), by Betsey Smith of Tunbridge, Vermont, in 1819. "Hervey" was thus Dr. Jabez Cowdery's first great-grandchild born on a male line -- indicating the probability of Hervey ancestry among Betsey Smith's relatives. Oliver Cowdery's brother had a son, named Lyman Hervy Cowdery, born Nov. 23, 1821 at Le Roy, Genesee Co., New York who was a descendant of Betsey Smith of Tunbridge. The authors of The Spalding Enigma speculate that the Hervey (or Hervy) name popped up again, in the case of Oliver himself. They say:"Oliver's middle initials, 'H. P.' probably stood for 'Hervy Pliny,' both of which names appear several times in Oliver's family tree. For example, two of the sons of Oliver's eldest brother, Warren, bore the names "Lyman Hervy" (b.23 Nov. 1821) and "Oliver Pliny" (b.15 Jan. 1827). Both were born at LeRoy, Genesee Co., NY. In addition, Oliver Pliny, in turn, had a son, "Charles Hervy" (b. in Ohio, 1868); and "Hervy Cowdery" (b.1819) was the name of the first great-grandson born on a male line to Oliver's grand-uncle, Dr. Jabez Cowdery of Tunbridge, VT." --- Thus, it is not unlikely that there was some distant family connection between the Newcombs of Allegany Co., New York and the extended Cowdery family.



Vol. XX.                          Canandaigua, N. Y., Tuesday, May 28, 1822.                            No. 8.

Nominations. -- Franklin Caudery, "editor, printer and publisher" of the Angelica News-Record, offers himself to the electors of Allegany county as a candidate for Clerk. Henry Torrey has niminated himself to the same office. Mr. C. advertises "self nominations, if not more than a square, at two dollars a candidate!"

Note: A "square" in and oldfashioned five-column newspaper advertising page, was about 10% of a column, or 2% of the page. A two dollar purchase of such ad space probably bought 2 or 3 appearances of the advertisement in a weekly paper.


By D. C. Miller.                        Batavia, N. Y., July 5, 1822.                         Vol. 11, No. 543.


A very extraordinary discovery was a few years since made in Guatimala, (Mexican Isthmus) of the ruins of an extensive city, which had for ages been covered with herbage and underwood. It has been accurately surveyed by a learned Spaniard, & drawings made of curiosities. The originals of them have arrived in London, and will soon be presented to the world.

Note 1: The "extraordinary discovery" alluded to above, was not so much any contemporary uncovering "of the ruins of an extensive city," as it was the propitious recovery of Captain Del Rio's 1787 report on the Mayan ruins located near Palenque, in what is now Mexico. A copy of this manuscript report, accompanied by illustrations, was sent from Guatamala to London for publication by Henry Berthoud in 1822. The publication of this and of subsequent reports of interesting ancient ruins in the jungles of Central America prompted The Geographical Society of Paris in 1825 to offer substantial cash prizes for the best accounts of various subjects pertaining to American antiquities, written and submitted to the Society for study and publication. The next twenty years would see a great expansion in European and American interest in pre-Conquest Latin American civilizations, culminating with the publication of John L. Stephens' Incidents of Travel in Central America in 1842 and William H. Prescott's History of the Conquest of Mexico in 1843.

Note 2: This same news item appeared in various American newspapers during the summer of 1822, the Newport Rhode-Island Republican of May 1, 1822and provided one of the first published sources -- the report was eventually picked up and reprinted by The Times of London, on Sept. 7, 1822. As already mentioned, the 1822 discovery made a noticeable impact among European "antiquarians;" the publication of the old Del Rio report also had some effect upon certain American historians, as can be seen in John V. Yates and Joseph W. Moulton's 1824 publication of their first volume of the History of the State of New York, in which the writers devote several pages to PreColumbian civilizations and make prominent mention of the 1822 Del Rio booklet on pp. 73-77. The Yates and Moulton history was sold in New York book shops during the mid 1820s and would have been readily available in places like Palmyra. The frequent assertions made in some quarters, that persons like the young Joseph Smith, Jr., during the 1820s, had no possible access to descriptions and illustrations of advanced American Indian societies and their respective "civilizations" are absurd. An illustrated example of what was then available, in regard to ancient Meso-American civilizations, may also be seen on pp. 46-60 of Josiah Priest's 1825 book. The Wonders of Nature... Yates and Moulton speculated, in their 1824 volume, that the ancient civilizations of Latin America extended, in somewhat diminished form, all the way to the southern shores of the Great Lakes, and thus accounted for the old mounds and earthen fortifications of that region.

Note 3: While it is unlikely that copies of the 1822 Del Rio publication, with its fascinating engravings of the Palenque ruins and ancient Mayan inscriptions, circulated in such out of the way corners of civilization as Manchester, New York and the "Great Bend" region of the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania, copies of the widely distributed Philadelphia Saturday Evening Post no doubt did occasionally turn up in such places. During the last half of the 1820s, probably the only description of the Palenque "glyphs" published in the United States, was in Prof. C. S. Rafinesque's letter of Jan. 1, 1827, which appeared in the Post on Jan. 13, 1827. In his letter Rafinesque describes in some detail the "curvilinear elements" of what he called "the Otolum characters" of the Palenque ruins -- explaining how they corresponded with "the Old Lybian, or primitive Alphabet of North Africa." The 1827 Post report was updated and expanded to form the basis for an article on "Philology," published in the second issue of Prof. Rafinesque's Atlantic Journal, issued in the middle of 1832. That article was accompanied by an engraving of Rafinesque's fanciful tabulation of ancient Lybian characters and Mayan glyphs. This article and its engraved table were partly reprinted in Josiah Priest's 1833-4 book, American Antiquities, and from there frequently quoted or cited by Mormon writers as a demonstration that Book of Mormon "characters" matched the form of native American glyphs.

Note 4: Copies of Description of the Ruins of an Ancient City must have been slow-sellers in the United States. W. C. Little, a bookseller in Albany, was offering the 1822 booklet for sale as late as 1833 (see the advertisements section the Jan. 30, 1833 Albany Evening Journal). Since Description of the Ruins was sold in Albany during the late 1820s and/or the early 1830s, it is likely that other stores in various towns along the Erie Canal also had copies for sale during that period.


Vol. II.                        Palmyra, N. Y., Wednesday, July 24, 1822.                         No. 19.

From the Montpelier (Vt.) Watchman.


Every country has its money-diggers, who are full in the belief that vast treasures lie concealed in the earth. So far from being a new project, it dates its origin with the first man who ever weilded a spade. 'Tis as old as Adam. Even in these latter days, we find men so much in love with the "root of all evil," and so firm in the belief that it may be dug up, that they will traverse hill and dale, climb the loftiest mountain, and even work their way into the bowels of the earth in search of it. Indeed, digging for money hid in the earth, is a very common thing; and in this state it is even considered an honorable and profitable employment. We could name, if we pleased, at least five hundred respectable men, who do, in the simplicity and sincerity of their hearts, verily believe that immense treasures lie concealed upon our Green Mountains; many of whom have been for a number of years, most industriously and perserveringly engaged in digging it up. Some of them have succeeded beyond their most sanguine expectations. One gentleman in Parkerstown, on the summit of the mountain, after digging with unyielding confidence and untiring diligence, for ten or twelve years, found a sufficient quantity of money to build him a comodious house for his own convenience, and to fill it with comforts for weary travellers. On stopping lately to refresh, we were delighted with the view of an anchor on the sign, emblematical of his hope of success, while we left him industriously digging for more. Another gentleman on the east shore of Lake Champlain, we are credibly informed, has actually dug up the enormous sum of fifty thousand dollars! The incredulous and unbelieving may stare at this assertion, but it is nevertheless true, and we do not hesitate to declare our belief that digging for money is a most certain way of obtaining it. Much, however, depends on the skillful use of the genuine mineral rod. Don't dig too deep, is an appropriate maxim, with all who are versed in the art. Wood's Iron Plough, skillfully guided, is sure to break the enchantment, and turn up the glittering dust in every furrow. Countless treasures yet remain hid in the earth. Speed the plough -- ply the hoe -- 'twill all come to light.

P. S. The best time for digging money is early in the morning, while the dew is on.


By  a  Shawnee  Indian.

"Ten thousand moons ago, when nought but gloomy forest covered this land of the sleeping sun, long before the pale men, with thunder and fire at their command, rushed on the wings of the wind to ruin this garden of nature; when nought but the untamed wanderers of the woods and men as unrestrained as they were lords of the soil; a race of untamed animals were in being, huge as the frowning precipice; cruel as the bloody panther, swift as the descending eagle, and terrible as the angel of night. The pines crashed beneath their feet, and the lakes shrunk when they slaked their thirst; the forceful javelin in vain was hurled, and the barbed arrow fell harmless by their side. Forests were laid waste at a meal; the groans of expiring animals were every where heard and whole villages inhabited by men were destroyed in a moment. The cry of universal distress extended even to the region of peace in the West, and the Good Spirit interposed to save the unhappy. The forked lightning gleamed all around, and the bolts of Heaven were hurled upon the cruel destroyers alone, and the mountains echoed with the bellowings of death. All were killed except one male, the fiercest of the race, and him even the artillery of the skies assailed in vain. He ascended the bluest summit which shades the source of the Monongahela; roared aloud, bid defiance to every vengeance. The red lightning scorched the lofty firs, and rived the knotty oaks, but only glanced upon the enraged monster. At length, maddened with fury, he leaped over the waves of the west at a bound, and at this moment reigns the uncontrolled monarch of the wilderness.

Note 1: The 1820s was a great time for seeking buried treasure, it seems. The Philadelphia National Gazette publicized the delusion in an article it reprinted from the Hallowell Gazette on Mar. 27, 1822. The Montpelier Watchman article was reprinted in several "yankee" papers, including the May 4, 1822 issue of the New Hampshire Sentinel. Certain avaricious New Englanders spread their money-digging propensities and methods westward to New York, where the novelty took a strong hold. See the Rochester Gem of May 15, 1830 for a story of a family of local money-diggers named Smith and the Wayne Sentinel of Feb. 16, 1825 and Dec. 27, 1825 for accounts of similar clandestine proceedings, including one such episode in nearby Orleans Co.

Note 2: Despite the Montpelier Watchman's tongue-in-cheek reporting of the "skillful use of the genuine mineral rod" and the need "to break the enchantment" guarding buried treasures, such beliefs associated with 1820s money-digging were taken seriously by the practitioners of that dubious trade. The 1822 article from the Watchman was also reprinted as "Money Diggers" in the Canandaigua Ontario Repository of July 30, 1822. It was subsequently reprinted in the Farmer's Diary or Ontario Almanac for 1823, published by James D. Bemis & Co., also in Canandiagua. So, it appears that the subject of money digging was of as much interest to people in Ontario Co., NY during this period as it was to their relatives back in New England.

Note 3: For even more Vermont money-digging and mineral-rod lore, see the Middlebury Vermont American of May 27, 1828, Barnes Frisbie's 1867 book, History of Middletown, and the Rev. Daniel Dorchester's 1879 article, "St. John's Rod."


By D. C. Miller.                        Batavia, N. Y., August 2, 1822.                         Vol. 11, No. 547.

From the Montpelier (Vt.) Watchman.


(same article as in Palmyra Herald, July 24)


Notes (forthcoming)


Vol. XIV.                            Geneva, N. Y., August 7, 1822.                             No. 10.


A Mound, of extraordinary dimensions, has been recently discovered & opened in the southeast part of this county. It is about fifty feet in length and eighteen in breadth at one extremity, and gradually terminating to a complete point at the other. Within this space large quantities of human bones have been dug up, apparently of all ages. Some of the skull bones are very large, and one thigh bone in particular is said to be much too large for the present race of men. The bodies appear to have been thrown in without any order or regularity, as the bones are found cross-wise and in every form. No relics of utensils or implements have been found with them, and whether they were the victims of a battle, or from what cause they were disposed of in this manner, we pretend not to say, but from the works in the vicinity of the mound resembling fortifications, we should judge that to have been the case. Large trees have grown directly over the mound, and the bones on being exposed to the air soon become calcareous. After giving this statement, we leave it to the curious, and those better skilled on this subject, to make such speculations as these facts render deductible.

(A large number of human bones in the last stage of decay, were lately found in the town of Nunda -- Allegany Co. -- promiscuously covered over in a field; near which, on the top of a hill, were the remains of an old fort, inaccessible on every side but one, which appears to have been the work of a civilized people; but tradition even does not point to the time about which it was erected.)

Note: This article was reprinted in the Aug. 14, 1822 issue of the Palmyra Herald and Canal Advertiser.


Vol. XIV.                            Geneva, N. Y., September 18, 1822.                             No. 16.


                                  Circleville, O., Aug. 20.
Our Antiquities. -- A few days since while some mechanics were digging near the north west corner of the "square fort" in this place, they came to a strata of earth, differing in quality and color from that which composed the wall generally -- on which reposed the skeleton of a human being which had probably been mouldering there for centuries. The skeleton was discovered about ten feet from the summit of the wall, and four from its base, or common level of the adjacent earth. The bones are said by those who first discovered them, to have extended nine or ten feet, from head to foot! They immediately crumbled on exposure to the air. The wall is composed of clay, which is readily converted into bricks -- for which purpose it is rapidly disappearing before the devouring hand of man. The layer of earth on which the skeleton was found, was composed of dark fine sand, much resembling alluvial soil; it extended three or four rods in length, and is totally unfit for the purposes for which the remainder of the wall is using. -- Olive Branch.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                        Palmyra, N. Y., October 2, 1822.                         No. 29.

List of Letters
remaining in the Post-Office at
Palmyra, Sept. 30, 1822.

Joseph Smith
Persons calling for the above, are requested to say, that they are advertised.

                    W. A. M'LEAN, P. M.

Notes: (forthcoming)


By D. C. Miller.                        Batavia, N. Y., October 18, 1822.                         Vol. 11, No. 553.


To the editors of the Louisiana Republican.                        

Gentlemen: --
  In the course of my observation & travels through several parts of the United States, I have kept minutes of the most remarkable events which have occurred under my own observation, extracts from which I design, occasionally, to submit to you, and if you think them worthy of insertion in your useful paper, you are at liberty to use them accordingly.

All accounts extant, relative to the size of the ancient settlers of our country, agree that this race of beings must have been larger than the present; but none that I have seen give any evidence of this fact. From my own observation, I have evidence at least of one person of gigantic stature.

In the year 1810, I opened, with several other persons who accompanied me for the purpose, one of the flat mounds common in the western country. It was built of regular layers of flat stones, and covered lightly with earth. This was 4 miles west of the town of Worthington, in Ohio, and within a few rods of the banks of the river Scioto. -- In this mound we found the skeletons of a number of bodies, some of a very large size, they were deposited directly due east and west, the heads to the west; precisely as is the practice in Christian burials.

After several hours fatigue in opening & examining this mound, we retired to a house of a Mr. Miller, about 200 yards from the spot, who informed us that he had taken a skeleton from the mound adjoining the one we had examined, which was supposed to be, when living, a man of at least 7 feet 4 inches. He stated that such was the opinion of all who had seen the bones in his possession -- that the bone of the leg, which had lost a little at each end, was then longer than the bone of the tallest man in the settlement, measuring from the heel to the cap of the knee.

Mr. Miller stated that he had also in his possession, the jaw bone of this skeleton, which he said, would cover loosely the face of any of his neighbors; and that, when he found the skeleton, he picked from one of the joints of the neck bone, (which was also much larger than any he had seen before,) a stone arrow point; from which circumstances, it was thought his death had been occasioned. I made many inquiries of Mr. Miller, who seemed to be a very intelligent man. He informed me that he had been living at his residence on the Scioto, for many years; -- that when he first settled there, he was told by all the old Indians that these mounds existed at a period beyond the recollection of the oldest of them, and that the tribe of Indians before them could give no account of the mounds, other than that they were burying places before they inhabited the country.

From these circumstances, together with some others, which have come under my observation, I have been of opinion, that the bones frequently found in these mounds, must have been the skeletons of a race of beings inhabiting the country, of whom the Indians had no knowledge. The most remarkable circumstance stated by Mr. Miller was, that when ploughing his field, he traced plainly the remains of an ancient building in the form of a house, as there was a manifest difference in the appearance of the earth; and pointing at the same time to the hearth stone in his fire-place, he observed "the hearth-stone which you see there, I took myself from the place where I suppose the fire-place was in the ancient building of which I speak." The Indians, he added, gave him the same account of the appearance of this old building as they had of the mounds; that it existed before their time. During the war, and while on my way to Detroit, I intended calling on Mr. Miller, for more particular information, but upon my arrival at Worthington, I learned that he was dead.

Every information tending to prove the existence of a vast ancient population of any part of our country, ought to be preserved -- but few persons can or will afford to spend time and money to the attainment of such an object. I have occasionally noted what had passed under my observation since the year 1807 in the western country; and, as I find leisure, will transmit them to you to be filed away through the medium of your paper, till better proof can be obtained of the existence of a vast ancient population of our country.

It would, in my opinion, be a very laudable act in the general government to encourage or authorize some competent person to collect the most important facts in relation to this subject. And the present state of profound peace and tranquillity of our country is, perhaps as favorable as any other in the history of our national affairs for such an undertaking.   A TRAVELLER.

Note 1: This article was also reprinted in the Oct. 30, 1822 issue of the Palmyra Herald and Canal Advertiser, along with an article on Mordecai M. Noah's scheme for a gathering of Israel in America.

Note 2: Early settlers moving into the western country once frequently encountered burial mounds and graves containing the bones of such ancient giants, but evidence of these exceptionally tall and robust Indians is rarely uncovered today. The prevalence of these reports during the 1820s and 1830s lead some Americans to speculate that their land had once been inhabited by a civilized (perhaps white) race of "mighty men of yore." Mormon writers have often pointed out the evidence of these large skeletons as supporting the story of the Jaredites or Nephites in the preColumbian Americas. LDS author Phyllis C. Olive, on pages 30-34 of her 2001 book, The Lost Tribes of the Book of Mormon, sets forth her evidence that the Book of Mormon people were not only the "Mound-Builders," but that they were also a "large and mighty nation living in the near vicinity of the Hill Cumorah and throughout the entire mound building region -- the giant, Mound Builders so long sought for; a people who bear remarkable similarities to those described in the Book of Mormon." See also the same writer's 1998 book, The Lost Lands of the Book of Mormon, where she expresses the same ideas. The thought does not seem to have occurred to these Mormon writers, that pre-1830 reports of American antiquities could have influenced the writing of the Book of Mormon itself.


Vol. XIV.                            Geneva, N. Y., January 3, 1823.                             No. 32.

D i e d.

In Canandaigua, the 31st ult. the Hon. Gideon Granger, aged 55. His death was sudden, although he had been confined most of the time for several months, and scarcely a hope was entertained of his restoration to health.

Mr. Granger was born at Suffield , Conn. on the 19th July 1767 -- was educated at Yale College, where he graduated in Sept. 1787, and was admitted to the bar as a lawyer in 1789. In '94 he was elected from his native town, a member of the state legislature, and returned by his fellow citizens to that body for several successive years... in 1801, Mr. Granger was appointed to the office of Post Master General, and continued to discharge its duties until the spring of 1814, when he removed to this state. In 1819 he was elected a Senator from the western district of our state legislature; but in the spring of 1821 the state of his health compelled him to resign his seat. He was distinguished for talents and intelligence -- his views of public affairs were elevated and enlarged, evincing a liberal mind, matured by deep research and much experience. -- Ontario Repository.

Note: Gideon Granger was the business partner of Solomon Spalding, during the brief period when Spalding first acquired his lands in the Ohio Western Reserve. The two men may have first met in Connecticut, where both studied law during the 1780s. It appears doubtful that Gideon Granger and Solomon Spalding maintained much contact after about 1803, even though Granger continued his ownership of a parcel of land adjacent to lots Spalding was selling just east of New Salem, Ohio. Also, although the pro-masonic newspapers linked Gideon's son Francis Granger romantically to Lucinda Morgan, there is no evidence that either Gideon Granger or Francis Granger were ever personally acquainted with Lucinda, destined to become one of Joseph Smith, Jr.'s concubines or "spiritual wives."


Vol. XIV.                            Geneva, N. Y., February 12, 1823.                             No. 37.


From the Litchfield Conn. Eagle, Jan. 20.

A gentleman in Pompey, N. Y. writes to his friend in this place that the following is a fac simile of an inscription on a stone found in that town, in Nov. last. The stone being 14 inches long, breadth 12, and depth 9, with the figure of a tree and a serpent climbing it, between the De and the L., together with a cross.

LeoDe | Ls ^
VI x 1529   cross
The gentleman in Pompey requested the opinion of his friend here, on the subject; and we have been permitted to extract the following from his answer:

Leo. X De., VI 1520 } may this be translated -- Leo, by the Grace of God, Pope, and the 6th year of his Pontificate.

The tree, with the serpemt climbing it, clearly denotes the writer's faith in the apostacy or fall of man, as described in the history of Moses.

L. S. may denote loco sigilli, the Latin words for the place of the seal. -- The inverted ^ may designate the place of the seal, or the seal itself.

The X or cross denotes the writer's faith in a crucified saviour, or the truth of the christian religion.

Dr. Mosheim, the most authentic historian, informs us that Leo X was made pope in 1513, and held the office of Pontificate to the year 1520. If so, the year 1520 would be the 6th year of his Pontificate. This seems to prove that the writer of the inscription was a Christian and a Roman Catholic. The inverted ^ is the most enigmatical of the whole; but it might be an O, denoting the seal, with the bottom worn off by time? ...

The Indians are reported the aborigines of North America; but I doubt the truth of this proposition. The fortifications and remains of antiquity in Ohio and elsewhere, clearly prove them to be the work of some other people than the Indians. Many of these fortifications were not forts, but religious temples, or places of public worship. Many of them much resemble the druidical temples still existing in England.

The first settlers of North America were probably the Asiatics, the descendants of Shem. Europe was settled by the children of Japheth. The Asiatics, at an early period, might easily have crossed the Pacific Ocean, and made settlements in N. America. The South American Indians probably were the first inhabitants of North America. The descendants of Japheth might afterwards cross the Atlantic, and subjugate the Asiatics, or drive them to S. America...

What conderful catastrophe destroyed at once the first inhabitants, with the species of the mammoth, is beyond the researches of the best scholar and greatest antiquaran. Discoveries of this kind furnish subjects for the investigation of the learned, and gratify the imagination of the inquisitive...

Note: This article was also reprinted in the Palmyra Herald and Canal Advertiser of Feb. 19, 1823


Vol. II.                        Palmyra, N. Y., February 12, 1823.                         No. 48.


We have received several numbers of this publication. It continues to toil, with fierce zeal, in its thankless vocation, casting obloquy and contempt on missionaries and all their abettors; lauding, with enthusiasm, the virtues of savages, and the charms of the uncivilized state; deploring the disasterous influence of missionary efforts on the morals and happiness of the heathen; and yet, with marvelous consistency, pleading the cause of benevolence in our own country. Some of our friends, have expressed a wish, that our STAR might chase away, with pure and solutary light, the lurid gleams of this torch of discord, which serve only to make darkness viable. We conceive, however, that our time would be rather unprophitably occupied, in exposing the falsehoods and hallucinations of a work, which is little known, and which carries in its shameless profligancy, an effectual antidote to the maliquity of its aims. -- Star.

Note 1: Plain Truth was a bi-weekly magazine published on the press of the Ontario Republican at Canandaigua. Started on March 8, 1822 by Thomas B. Barnum and Lyman A. Spalding, Plain Truth continued until the end of 1828, reflecting odd specimens of Episcopalian religious thought intermixed with Quaker notions, all of which was probably disdained by most Evangelical Christians of that period; (see the Oct. 30 and Nov. 6, 1822 issues of the Palmyra Register for more on Barnum's publishing activities).

Note 2: The young Lyman A. Spalding left his partnership with Barnum in 1823 and moved to the new town of Lockport. There he established the first grist mill in that place (see Chipman P. Turner's Niagara County Directory, 1869, p. 81). In 1828, at Lockport, Lyman founded the obscure religious periodical, Priestcraft Exposed and Primitive Christianity Defended. This paper was published on the press of [Edwin] Alanson Cooley. Lyman was also the co-editor of Cooley & Lathrop's 1830 booklet, The Analetic Calendar... to expose the craft of the priesthood in Christendom. It is thought that between 1823 and 1828 Lyman funded the printing of several anti-clerical religious tracts on the press of Orsamus Turner's Lockport Observatory (predecessor of the Lockport Balance.) For more on Lyman A. Spalding and Orsamus Turner (Chipman P. Turner's brother) see Horton, Williams & Douglass' 1947 History of Northwestern New York, II p. 232. [Edwin] Alanson Cooley is several times mentioned in Frederick Follett's 1846 History of the Press in Western New York. He was evidently born at Attica, N. Y. in 1806 and lived in that region of the country until the early 1840s, when he moved to Wisconsin. Cooley was a member of the Genesee Co. Olive Branch Masonic Lodge #215 (at LeRoy, NY), along with William Morgan and Dr. Solomon Spalding (the cousin of Solomon Spalding of Ashford and a near relative of Lyman A. Spalding -- see the Dr.'s marriage announcement in the April 7, 1832 issue of the Rochester Daily Advertiser). Oliver Cowdery joined Cooley in Wisconson, in 1848, as co-editor of their Walworth Co. Democrat. After Cowdery's death in 1850, Cooley appears to have moved to central Wisconson, where he died in 1883.

Note 3: Throughout 1823 Franklin Cowdery was an "evening editor" who printed up job items (like tracts and almanacs) when Turner's press was not engaged in publishing the Lockport Observatory. Cowdery says: "The 'Lockport Observatory' was the paper then published by our friend Orsamus Turner, whom we sometimes assisted and in whose office we printed a pamphlet..." Whether or not Franklin Cowdery actually printed religious tracts for Lyman A. Spalding is unknown. If he did, Spalding's oddities were likely distributed throughout the region by pedestrian peddlers who sold almanacs, tracts and pamphlets, on a commission basis. One such local distributor was mentioned by Orsamus Turner in 1831: "the founder of Mormonism is Jo. Smith... the second, an itinerant pamphlet pedlar and occasionally a journeyman printer, named Oliver Cowdery." See also John St. John's 1830 indentification of Franklin Cowdery's cousin Oliver, as earlier being "occupied in writing and printing pamphlets, with which, as a pedestrian Pedlar, he visited the towns and villages of western New York and Canada."

Note 4: A correspondent of Abner Cole's Palmyra Reflector, wrote a letter, using the pseudonym "Plain Truth," on Jan. 1, 1831. The subject of this communication is that "most clumsy of all impositions, known among us as Joe Smith's 'Gold Bible.'" In his Early Mormon Documents 2, Dan Vogel calls the 1831 letter writer "the Farmington correspondent," but he does not identify the person by name (p. 240, n. 34). Walter A. Norton speculates that the unnamed writer may have been Thomas B. Barnum of Canandaigua ("Comparative Images: Mormonism and Contemporary Religions as Seen by Village Newspapermen in Western New York and Northeastern Ohio, 1820-1833" -- Ph.D. Diss., Brigham Young University, 1991, p. 305). Probably Norton is correct in this identification.

Note 5: In the 2000 edition of his Joseph Smith and the Origins of the Book of Mormon, David Persuitte points out (on pp. 131-132) that the first issue of Plain Truth includes a number of interesting religious concepts and terms which are also found in the Book of Mormon. Not the least of these parallels is the "Son of Righteousness" term both publications favor over the biblical "Sun of righteousness" phraseology. Whether or not Joseph Smith, jr. and his associates ever read Barnum and Spalding's Plain Truth remains unknown. Presumably a person like Martin Harris would have ocasionally perused the periodical, however. Harris had Quaker connections, an interest in offbeat religion, and lived close enough to Canadaigua to have known about Plain Truth.

Note 6: The personal papers and writings of Lyman Austin Spalding (1800-1885) of Lockport, Niagara Co., NY, are on file at the Cornell University Library (Lyman A. Spalding Papers, #522. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections). Lyman's father was a first cousin of Solomon Spalding of Ashford: Solomon's father was Josiah (1729-1809), whose younger brother Oliver (1739-1796) was the father of Lyman's father, Erastus (1775-1830).



Vol. VI.                                Ithaca, N. Y., February 26, 1823.                                 No. 29.


The partnership heretofore existing between the subscribers under the firm of Cowdry & Semour, is this day dissolved by mutual consent. Those having any accounts with them, unsettled, are requested to attend immediately in the settlement of the same, with R. L. Cowdry.
                  R. L. COWDRY.
                  MILES SEYMOUR.
Ithaca, Feb. 11, 1828.

Notes: (forthcoming)



No. 2 Vol. XXI.                          Tuesday, April 15, 1823.                           Whole No. 1042.

                            {From the Detroit Gazette}
A Singular Discovery -- Last week a manuscript volume, of between 3 and 4 hundred pages, was discovered by Col. Edwards of this town, under one of his buildings. The book is in a tolerable state of preservation, and is one of the finest specimens of penmanship that we have ever seen. It has travelled the round of the literary circle of this place for the last four or five days, and still remains a mystery! The characters in which it was written are unknown; they are neither Hebrew, Greek, nor Saxon, and the only parts of it hitherto intelligible, are a few Latin quotations.

Note: The above Ontario Repository article regarding a strange old manuscript discovered in Detroit was derived from an original new report published in the Detroit Gazette, on Mar. 7, 1823. The Ontario Repository was easily available to the Joseph Smith, Sr. family of Manchester, Ontario, New York and it is likely that members of the family heard about this unusual manuscript discovery. It is also entirely possible that Stephen Mack, the brother of Lucy Mack Smith, informed Joseph Sr. and his family of this discovery by private letter. Stephen Mack was then living in the Detrioit area and was well acquainted with Abraham Edwards, the reported finder of the old document.



Vol. V.                            Rochester, N. Y., April 23, 1823.                             No. 41.

                    Detroit, March 14.

The Manuscript. -- The singular volume recently discovered by Col. Edwards, has been compared with more than thirty different alphabets, ancient and modern, and although the characters in which it was written bear a slight affinity to several of them, it is very clear that they belong to neither. They bear more resemblance to the Phenician alphabet than any other with which they have been compared, though a number of the letters differ but little from the Saxon. There is no doubt, from the Latin sentences interspersed through it that it is a religious work, and it is probably the production of some learned theologian of the seventeenth century, written in a peculiar cipher.

Note: See comments attached to other instalments in this "manuscript discovery" story, as reprinted in the Apr. 15th and May 20th issues of the Ontario Repository.


Vol. XIV.                            Geneva, N. Y., May 14, 1823.                             No. 50?


The public has been much amused of late, with an account of the discovery of a curious manuscript at Detroit, which not a little puzzled the learned. It was determined that it was not Chinese, Arabic, Syriac, French, Spanish, or English, &c., but what it was no one could tell. Four pages of the book being sent to major general Macomb, at Washington, he submitted it to the examination of the professors at Georgetown college, where it has been discovered to be Irish, and, with a few exceptions, "truly classical." Some "strange abbreviations" make it difficult to unravel it, but a part has been translated, and it is evidently a treatise on some of the doctrines of the catholic church. -- Niles.

Notes: (forthcoming)



No. 7 Vol. XXI.                          Tuesday, May 20, 1823.                           Whole No. 1047.

Curious Manuscript. -- The public has been much amused of late, with an account of the discovery of a curious manuscript at Detroit, which not a little puzzled the learned. It was determined that it was not Chinese, Arabic, Syriac, French, Spanish, or English, &c., but what it was no one could tell. Four pages of the book being sent to major general Macomb, at Washington, he submitted it to the examination of the professors at Georgetown college, where it has been discovered to be Irish, and, with a few exceptions, "truly classical." Some "strange abbreviations" make it difficult to unravel it, but a part has been translated, and it is evidently a treatise on some of the doctrines of the Catholic church. -- Niles.

Note: The above Ontario Repository article was reprinted from a late April 1823 issue of the Baltimore-based Niles National Register. The Niles report paraphrases an article published in the Detroit Gazette, on Mar. 14, 1823. The same Niles "Curious Manuscript" article was also reprinted by the Pittsburgh Mercury on May 20, 1823. This was during the period that Rev. Sidney Rigdon lived in that city and served in the office of Pastor for the First Baptist Church there. Oddly enough, the "strange abbreviations" and "characters" in the ancient text were sent to Dr. Samuel Mitchill of New York City for identification -- and this was five years before Joseph Smith, Jr. provided more characters, from his own ancient textual discovery, to be sent to the same Dr. Mitchill. Stephen Mack died in 1826 and was unable to advise his Smith nephew of his own knowledge of the futility of such a quest for interpretation by "the learned."



No. ? Vol. XXI.                          Tuesday, July 1, 1823.                           Whole No. ?

Masonic. -- At the June communication of the Grand Lodge of the State of New York, held in the city of New York, on Wednesday June [18?], 1823, the following named gentlemen were duly elected and installed grand officers of the said Grand Lodge: --

Joseph Enos, Esq. of Eaton, Madison county, Grand Master.
John Brush, Esq. of Poughkeepsie, Dutchess county, Deputy Grand Master.
Nathaniel Allen, Esq. of Richmond, Ontario county, Senior Grand Warden.
Thomas Barker, Esq. of New York, Junior Grand Warden.
Charles G. Haines, Esq. of New York, Grand Secretary.
Welcome Esleek, Esq. of Albany, Grand Treasurer.

Masonic. -- The R. W. Grand Lodge of the State of New York, held their annual communication on Wednesday evening last, when the following persons were unanimously elected Grand Officers for the ensuing year:

John Wells, Esq. M. W. G. M.
Martin Hoffman, Esq. D. G. M.
Richard Hatfield, Esq. Sen. G. W.
M[atson]. Smith, Esq. Jr. G. W.
Rev. H. J. Feltus, G. C.
Rev. Mr. Johnson, of Newtown, A. G. C.
Elias Hicks, Esq. G. Secretary
Cornelius Bogart, Esq. G. Treasurer

The installation took place this morning at St. John's Hall. -- N. Y. Statesman.

(We are not in the mysteries of Masonry, but observing in the papers two lists of officers, stated to have been elected at the late meeting in New York, we enquired of some of the brethren for an explanation, with a view of publishing it correctly. We understand that on the regular ballotting the wishes of the country members prevailed in the election of the first list; and that the minority held a meeting in the evening, and formed and published the second.) -- Ont. Repository.

Note 1: According to John I. Brooke's The Refiner's Fire, this little-known episode of Masonic history -- the New York Masonic Schism of 1823 -- developed in parallel with DeWitt Clinton's extension of the Erie Canal westward during the early 1820s. New York's western Masonic wing was then on the rise; new "blue lodges" were all the time being chartered, expanding their membership, and looking forward to great things in the west when the Erie Canal was completed. At the same time, the established Masonic leaders in New York City and its satellite lodges were reluctant to delegate very much of their fraternal power to the upstart western Masons. Brooke says: "The western lodges complained that they had no voice in the Grand Lodge affairs conducted in New York City, and they met in Canandiagua in 1821 to plan a restructuring of the governance of the Grand Lodge... [in 1823 Joseph Enos's] election as Grand Master precipitated the secession of the City lodges. Members of Enos's Canandiagua lodge, led by Nicholas G. Cheesborough, who was himself elected in the "Country" Grand Lodge in 1825, were directly implicated in the assassination of William Morgan... in 1826."

Note 2: Commenting on the stepping-down of New York Grand Master Daniel Tompkins, in June of 1822, Masonic historian Ossian Lang, in his 1922 book, History of Freemasonry in the State of New York, says: "For some unaccountable reason the brethren elected Past Grand Visitor Joseph Enos to succeed him." (p. 99). The "unaccountable reason" probably had something to do with the fact that Enos was not from the New York City area and that more and more westerners were then voting at the annual Grand Lodge meetings. The western delegates were even stronger a year later. Lang says: "On the day before the annual session of 1823 their delegates met in caucus and decided not to support any man for a Grand Lodge office who was connected with a city Lodge." By that, Lang means to say that the westerners decided to vote in their own slate of officers, despite the inevitable split that action would cause between them and the delegates from (and allied with) the New York City lodges.

Note 3: For a while the upstate "Country Lodge" had some hopes of moving the New York Grand Lodge to Albany, but, in the disastrous aftermath of the William Morgan Affair, these plans never materialized. The anti-Masonic fervor in the western part of the state practically put the "Country Lodge" out of business by the spring of 1827. Joseph Enos began to lose the country members' support during 1824. He was re-elected that year with a thin majority (see the June 16, 1824 issue of the Wayne Sentinel), accused of improprieties, and deposed the following summer. In June of 1825 the "Country Lodge" came under the leadership of Grand Master Stephen Van Rensselaer, a respected and powerful man who was open to reconciliation with the "City Lodge." Rensselaer was re-elected in 1826, just before the William Morgan affair hit the newspapers. The leaders of the somewhat less legitimate (but more firmly established) "City Lodge" gradually gained influence, at the expense of the western masons, who were distracted and decimated by the sudden upsurge of anti-Masonry in their part of the state. On June 7, 1827 a pact was made between the two factions to reunite what remained of New York's craft lodges under Stephen Van Rensselaer.


Vol. XV.                               Geneva, N. Y., Wednesday, July 9, 1823.                                No. 5.


Some weeks since we published a notice to landholders, from the society for meliorating the condition of the Jews, proposing to purchase land for the formation of a colony, to be located in the state of New York: We now understand that it is probable the society will purchase 20,000 acres of township No. 5, about 25 miles west of Plattsburgh, and near the military turnpike. An agent has been on to view the premises, and is satisfied with the soil and situation. The society has in view "the establishment of an asylum for the oppressed of that people, who profess faith in Christ, or desire to be instructed in the doctrines of the Christian religion." -- Plattsburgh Repub.

Note: See the Apr. 5, 1823 issue of Niles Register for an announcement of the Society's earlier plan, to purchase "20,000 acres of land in the 'Genesee country,' for a Jewish colony." The Society abandoned its plan to locate the Jewish-Christian settlement west of Rochester and selected the Plattsburgh site instead. Evidently that site did not meet their expectations, and finally a small parcel was purchased north of New York City for their purposes.



Volume II.                 Lyons, N.Y., Wed., September 3, 1823.                 Number 15.


Mr. James, in his Account of Major Long's Expedition, furnishes a very detailed and interesting picture of savage life, as it now exists among the numerous tribes inhabiting the country traversed by the expedition, which extends from the Platte to the Canadian, one of the branches of the Arkansas river. The characters and habits of those Indians have a general similarity -- they differ not much in size, shape and complexion; and from the pecularities of the country, their employments and habits are much alike. The rivers are usually known by the names of the tribes which inhabit them; and this fact is found of no small advantage to the reader, who is thus able to accompany the narrative with greater clearness and satisfaction. There is great reason for considering these various tribes as originally derived from the same stock; though, as has often been remarked before, their mysterious predecessors, the builders of the ancient fortifications in their country, were doubtless of another race; and their works remain as much a subject of admiration and doubt to the Indians as to the white men.... N. Y. Adv.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Volume I.                 Palmyra, N. Y., Wednesday, October 22, 1823.                 Number 4.


Remaining in the Post-Office at Palmyra, September 30th, 1823.

... Hannah Hurlburt
... Samuel I. Lawrence
... William Smith
... Daniel P. Wells

P R O G N O S T I C A T I O N!
(from the Mohawk Herald)

We publish the following in compliance with the solicitation of the author. He is a respectable inhabitant of this town. The constant exercise of his mind on religious topics, has, it is thought by many of his friends, affected the sanity of his mind; on every other subject, he appears entirely rational. -- Ed. Herald.

Remarkable Vision and Revelation:
as seen and received by Asa Wild, of Amsterdam, (N. Y.)

Having a number of months enjoyed an unusual degree of the light of God's countenance, and having been much favoured of the Lord in many respects, and after having enjoyed the sweetest, and most ravishing communions with Him; the Lord in his boundless goodness was pleased to communicate the following Revelation, having in the first place presented me with a very glorious Vision, in which I saw the same things:

In the first place I observe that my mind had been brought into the most profound stillness, and awe; realizing in a remarkable manner the majesty, greatness and glory, of that Being before whom all nations are as the drop of the bucket. It seemed as if my mind, though active in its very nature, had lost all its activity, and was struck motionless, as well as into nothing, before the awful and glorious majesty of the Great Jehovah. He then spake to the following ourport; and in such a manner as I could not describe if I should attempt. -- He told me that the Millennium state of the world is about to take place; that in seven years literally, there would scarce a sinner be found on earth; that the earth itself, as well as the souls and bodies of its inhabitants, should be redeemed, as before the fall, and become as the garden of Eden. He told me that all of the most dreadful and terrible judgments spoken in the blessed scriptures were to be executed within that time, that more than two thirds of the inhabitants of the world would be destroyed by these judgments; some of which are the following -- wars, massacres, famine, pestilence, earthquakes, civil, political and ecclesiastical commotions; and above all, various and dreadful judgments executed immediately by God, through the instrumentality of the Ministers of the Millennial dispensation which is to exceed in glory every other dispensation; a short description of which may be seen in the last chapter of Isaiah, and in other places. He also told me, that every denomination of professing christians had become extremely corrupt; many of which had never had any true faith at all; but are guided only by depraved reason, refusing the teaching of the spirit [illegible lines]... which alone can teach us the true meaning [illegible lines]... He told me further, that he had raised up, and was now raising up, that class of persons signified by the angel mentioned by the Revelator XIV. 6, 7, which flew in the midst of heaven; having the everlasting gospel to preach, that these persons are of an inferior [social] class, and small learning; that they were rejected by every denomination as a body; but soon, God will open their way, by miracles, judgments, &c. that they will have higher authority, greater power, superior inspiration, and a greater degree of holiness than was ever experienced before [illegible lines] ... divine grace and glory

Furthermore he said that all the different denominations of professing christians constituted the New Testament Babylon; and that he should deal with them according to what is written of IT, in the book of Revelation: that he is about to call out all his sincere children who are mourning in Zion, from oppression and tyranny of the mother of harlots; and that the severest judgments will be inflicted on the professors of religion; which will immediately commence in Amsterdam, and has already commenced in different parts of the world, and even in this country. And though their operations at first are gradual, and under cover, yet it will soon be generally seen that it is the immediate execution of divine vengeance upon an ungodly world.

Much more the Lord revealed, but forbids my relating it in this way. But this, I have written and published, by the express and immediate command of God: the truth and reality of which, I know with the most absolute certainty. -- Though I have ever been the most backward to believe things of this nature; having been brought up in the Calvinistic system, and having had a thorough understanding of the same, and was fully established in the belief of it for several years after I experienced the love of God in my heart: but finding the Calvinists did not understand the glorious depths of holiness, and conformity to the divine character in heart and practice, which I saw was our privilege and duty I joined the Methodist Church, which I found had much clearer and more scriptural views on these and some other points than the Calvinists; though I soon saw that they as a body, were very corrupt, having departed much from their primitive purity and holiness. I also saw that their first founders did not travel into all that was their privilege; and that vastly greater depths of holiness might have been experienced even by them. Yet I thank God for what light I have received through their instrumentality, but know that much greater and more glorious light is about to burst upon the world.
              Amsterdam, October, 1823.

N. B. Printers of newspapers and periodical publications are requested to insert the above.

I further observe, that I shall soon publish, in a cheap pamphlet, my religious experience and travel in the divine life, with a more full account of the truths above written, and many other things connected with them.
              ASA WILD.
Amsterdam, October 1.

BY virtue and authority of an order of Jared Williams, Esq., Surrogate of the County of Ontario, the subscribers will expose for sale at public auction, on Friday the 28th day of November next, at ten o'clock in the forenoon of that day, at the house of the deceased, in the town of Williamson, in the county of Wayne, all that certain tract or parcel of land...
              MARTIN HARRIS,
              REUBEN HEWETT,
Admr's of Seth Harris dec'sd.
October 14, 1823.

Note: Asa Wild's "vision" was apparently transcribed from the manuscript of his late 1823 pamphlet, "A Short Sketch of the Religious Experience and Spiritual Travels of Asa Wild, of Amsterdam, N.Y." A summary of his purported vision was published in the Oct. 1, 1823 Hohawk Herald, and was subsequently reprinted in various newspapers, including the Wayne Sentinel. See Elden J. Watson's "The 'Prognostication' of Asa Wild," in BYU Studies 37:3 (1997-98) pp. 223-230.



Volume I.                 Palmyra, N. Y., Wednesday, November 5, 1823.                 Number 6.


We have been obligingly favored with the numbers of a new paper lately established at Albany, entitled "THE NATIONAL DEMOCRAT. It is edited by Solomon Soutawick, Esq. who is well known as the editor of the late Albany Register, a paper which for a great number of years, maintained a high standing among the republicans of this state. We think it must be a source of gratification to every republican of the " Old School," that Mr. Southwick has resumed an occupation for which he is so eminently qualified.

A weekly newspaper is about to be established at Newport, Genesee county, by F. Coudry, to be entitled Newport Record of the Times."

Note: Franklin Cowdery's newspaper ended up with the title of Newport Patriot. It began publication in January of 1824.



Vol. XXI.                           Wednesday, December 17, 1823.                             No. 17.

The following extract of a letter from Niagara, U. C., Nov. 9, to a gentleman in Albany, gives a particular account of the apprehension of a gang of counterfeiters, a few weeks since, near Kingston.

"This place has been in much agitation for a few days past, in apprehending and bringing to justice a number of counterfeiters.

"A party of five gentlemen of this place, volunteered their service about three weeks ago, and embarked in a chartered schooner for Kingston, taking with them a convict who was convicted last court of King's bench for passing counterfeit money. The party arrived at Kingston in two days, and proceeded to a swamp back of Kingston 15 miles, where they were conducted by their prisoner. They arrived in the night to avoid suspicion, and commenced executing their errand. They entered first a small hut inhabited by a man and his wife, whom they declared prisoners in the name of his Britannic majesty. In this hut they made a search, and to their inexpressible joy found a set of dies for coining dollars, and others for doubloons, together with some sheets of copper, and thin plates of silver, secreted under stones, old timber, &c. They next proceeded to other of the huts in separate parties, and secured all they found, amounting to four persons and numerous pieces of unfinished metal for manufacturing gold and silver coin. The chief workman, Flanders, from the vicinity of the Mohawk, had escaped a few days before, to an island near Prescott, where he had located himself and family, leaving the others to follow as soon as practicable (they have since got him) and bring with them all the implements left by him. The party returned elated with their good fortune in securing so many of this gang -- they lodged their prisoners in Kingston jail, and returned with the prisoner taken from this place to conduct them; subsequently they have arrested a considerable number of persons, among whom are a methodist preacher, several physicians, blacksmiths, apothecaries, and a number of young attornies. The dollars coined are heavier and not perfectly round -- they are not easily detected even by cutting in the side of them; the copper is in the centre and convex -- they contain two thirds copper and one third silver. They are cut to fit the mould or die, and one blow of the sledge on a wedge that is next the dies, completes the dollar, except for the tempering them, which is done in a few minutes by another. A man can coin in this way a number of hundred dollars in a day. They likewise have plates on a number of the banks of the United States, and banks of Canada, &c. for counterfeiting their notes. Last winter several sets of dies were sent up to this place for an establishment yet unknown, and were deposited in the hands of an apothecary here. All testimony and connexion with these rascals is sought after with all possible vigilance and secrecy. -- Thus far is all I have been made acquainted with."

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. V.                          Saratoga Springs, N. Y., Tues., December 23, 1823.                           No. 32.

                 For the Saratoga Sentinel.


The Rev. Ethan Smith, of Poultney, (Vt.) already known as the author of A Dissertation on the Prophecies, Sermons on Baptism, and other productions, has published a new and highly interesting work on THE STATE OF THE HEBREWS. It is with a view to calling publick attention to this valuable little book, as much as to express an individual opinion, that a few strictures are about to be hazarded on one of its principal positions. The subject is one, which derives peculiar interest from exertions now making in favour of the Jews. There are many points in it much needing discussion; and certainly, if we may judge from our own feelings, such a collection of facts and details, as is presented by our author, must secure for his book an unusual degree of popularity...

Note: The above introduction touched off a journalistic exchange between the anonymous reviewer ("N.") and the Rev. Ethan Smith, which took up considerable space in the columns of five issues of the Sentinel. See the on-line feature "Ethan Smith: Articles, Book Reviews, Etc." for the full series of 1823-24 Sentinel items.



Vol. VI.                            Rochester, N. Y., February 17, 1824.                             No. 34.


Progress of Improvement. -- We have received the first number of the Newport Patriot, published at Newport, Genesee county, by Mr. F. Coudery. The village where the Patriot is located is on the canal, about forty miles west of Rochester, and about two miles from the great Ridge Road. It is of recent growth, and bids fair, from the enterprise of its inhabitants, to become a place of some importance. This is, we believe, the fourth press which owes its establishment to the great internal improvements which are going on, and the time is probably not far distant, when the [benign] influence of the press will be extended from one end of the canal to the other, in a tract of country which was recently a vast and uncultivated wilderness. The circumstances under which Mr. Coudery commences his paper, and the difficulty of procuring suitable materials at this season of the year, is a sufficient apology for the ordinary appearance of the Patriot, which he promises to improve in a few weeks. We must sincerely wish the publisher success in this undertaking, and hope he will find that encouragement which is due to his industry and enterprise.

Note 1: A similar, but shorter notice appeared in the Canandaigua Ontario Repository of Fe. 18th.

Note 2: See B. Franklin Cowdery's 1847 biographical sketch for more details about his founding of the Newport Patriot on Feb. 9, 1824 -- a paper where some historical researchers credit Oliver Cowdery with having gained some of his experience in the printing trade.



Volume I.                 Palmyra, N. Y., Wednesday, Feb. 18, 1824.                 Number 21.


Counterfeit money. -- In consequence of disclosures made by one of the criminals at Canandaigua last week, a house in this village, occupied by a Mrs. Weston, was visited by the officers of justice, and after some time spent in a search, a painted keg was found in the celar having a false bottom, in which was deposited a quantity of counterfeit bills amounting to about $1600, on various banks. The family was examined on Monday [-------] and Mrs. Weston committed for trial. It is believed that persons are now travelling the county, vending bills issued from this depository. It behooves every one to be on their guard. -- Geneva Gaz.

Counterfeiters. Another retreat for counterfeiters was discovered in the town of Farmington, eight miles north of this village on Friday last. John Forbes was lately arrested at Geneseo, and we are informed, admitted bail, on condition that he should disclose the names of his confederates and the place of the retreat. Upon the information obtained from him, several gentlemen went to Farmington on Friday, where they found in the house occupied by a Mrs. Butler, dies for counterfeiting dollars and half dollars, and recipes and chemical preparations for altering bills. The company consisted of fifteen persons; the names of some of whom we learn were given up by Forbes. None of the gang have yet been arrested. -- Forbes says that they procured their counterfeit bills from a place called Slab Village [in] Canada. We have seen a one dollar bill of the Union Branch Bank, altered into a ten, [------s] was very clumsily done. We are informed however, that there are some so well executed that they can only be detected by the circle which encloses the figure 10 at the right hand side of the top of the bill. This circle is the same as that on the one dollar bills. The counterfeit coins are extremely well executed. They cannot easily be detected, either by the appearance or the sound, but the dollars are about twenty cents lighter than the genuine. The half dollars about ten. -- Ontario Freeman.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XV.                             Geneva, N. Y., Wednesday, February 25, 1824.                              No. 38.


More Counterfeiters. -- Another nest of these villains has been discovered in the town of Farmington, Ontario county. John Forbes, who formerly resided in the east part of Farmington has been arrested at Geneseo, as one of the gang, and on consideration of being admitted to bail, has disclosed the names of his confederates, and the place of their retreat, which was at the home of a Mrs. Butler in Farmington. At this depository were found dies for counterfeiting dollars and half dollars, and receipts and chemical preparations for altering bills. The company consists of 15, none of which have yet been apprehended. Forbes says the bills were procured from Canada, at a place called Slab Village. The coins are extremely well executed but are lighter than the genuine. Some of the bills are also well executed.

Note 1: The papers of this time are full of reports of counterfeiters. This particular band of monetary forgers was operating "in the east part of Farmington," within walking distance of the Joseph Smith, Sr. farm, located just across the east boundary of Farmington, in adjacent Manchester township. Joseph Smith, Sr. was reportedly arrested for being a member of a gang of counterfeiters in Vermont, but he turned state's evidence and was let go without being put on trial. John L. Brooke, in his thoughtful book, The Refiner's Fire, speculates that the money-digging members of the Smith family were the natural adversaries of local counterfeiters and did not mix with those criminals. However, on page 172, he says: "The base of this Forbes-Butler gang in east Farmington must have been quite near the [Joseph] Smith homestead in northwest Manchester..."

Note 2: In 1838 the Mormon Church brought charges against Oliver Cowdery at Far West, in an attempt to excommunicate him, among which was the accusation that he participated in counterfeiting operations while a member of the top leadership of the Church. Cowdery resigned from the Mormons before proof of these charges could be established in court. No record has survived as to how early in life Cowdery was alleged to have engaged in this criminal activity, or where he learned the trade. Pedestrian peddlers, operating along the US-Canada border on the Niagara River during the 1820s, were in an excellent position to smuggle counterfeit money into and out of New York. Oliver Cowdery reportedly worked as just such a peddler in that very location, c. 1823-24.


Broome  Republican.

Vol. II.                              Binghampton, N. Y., Friday, May 14, 1824.                               No. 47.


Murder and Robbery. -- On the afternoon of Tuesday last, Mr. Oliver Harper of Windsor, in this county, was robbed and murdered on the public road between Mount Pleasant, and Ocquago. Mr. Harper had been down the Delaware river to Philadelphia, with a large quantity of lumber, and was returning with a considerable sum of money in his possession. He had arrived within eight or ten miles of his home, when he was shot down, and robbed by some person or persons unknown. The deceased was a son of George Harper, Esq. and about [40] years of age. He was an enterprizing and industrious citizen, and his death will be sincerely mourned by a numerous circle of relatives and friends. -- His money, the fruit of successful industry, no doubt prompted the commission of this horrible crime. No circumstances have yet transpired which tend to fix suspicion upon any particular person, but we hope and trust that the perpetrators of this foul deed will not be permitted to escape punishment.

Note 1: The early files of the Binghampton Republican are incomplete. The above text was taken from reprints in the June 1, 1824 Schenectady Cabinet and in the June 3, 1824 Livingston Register. A paraphrased version was published in the Wilkes-Barre Susquehanna Democrat of May 21, 1824. The Cabinet adds this final line, taken from a late May issue of The Craftsman published in Kingston New York: "Since the above was in type, we have learned by a gentleman from the west, that a man by the name of Jason Treadwell has been arrested, and after an examination, committed to jail to await his trial for the above attrocious act. Circumstances are said to be very strong against him."

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

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

Note 4: Some researchers have speculated that Joseph Smith, Jr. actually lived with Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Harper at Windsor in 1822-24. RLDS Elder Michael Morse reported: "...Joseph said, when they [Harper's money-diggers] failed to find the 'treasure,' that a man must die, -- a sacrifice must be made..." See also F. G. Mather's Aug 1880 article, where he says: "At last the prophet decided that it was of no use to dig unless one of their number was made a sacrifice. None ofthe faithful responded to his call, and thus the magnificent scheme was abandoned. Oliver Harper, one of the diggers who furnished the money, was soon afterward murdered. The prophet thought this might answer for a sacrifice: he again rallied the diggers, but the charm remained stubborn and would not reveal the silver." Whether or not Joseph Smith's alleged call for a human sacrifice among the Susquehanna money-diggers was in any way related to Treadwell's murder of money-digger financier Oliver Harper, remains undetermined. The incident does show, however, that young Joseph had found employment among a rough set of men, one or more of whom were perhaps prepared to commit murder to get what they wanted. Several of Joseph's new in-laws had testified in Treadwell's 1824 trial. Jerald & Sandra Tanner asserted that Treadwell was part of Smith's money digging group (see their 1988 Mormonism, Magic and Masonry, p. 35). Following their lead, Mark Hines has alleged, that, "As a result of Smith's incitement, Jason Treadwell, a member of themoney digging band, murdered Oliver Harper as a blood sacrifice..." Historian Michael Quinn has concluded the Joseph Smith was involved in Great Bend area treasure-seeking as early as 1822-23, but Quinn does not associate Smith with Treadwell in any way.

Note 5: Strangely enough, a once close associate of Joseph Smith provided a recollection of an 1842 conversation which may shed some light upon Joseph's uneasy relationship with the Susquehanna money-diggers. In his "Further Mormon Developments" article, published in the July 15, 1842 issue of the Sangamo Journal, former top Mormon leader John C. Bennett said that Smith threatened him, by saying: "I tell you as I was once told, 'your die is cast -- your fate is fixed -- your doom is sealed,' if you refuse. Will you do it, or die?" The veracity of Bennett's recollection is, of course, subject to informed disbelief. However, the probability remains that Joseph Smith, jr. was seldom in more dangerous or threatening close company than he was when he associated with Great Bend money-diggers and their neighbors (neighbors also of the murderer Jason Treadwell).



Vol. I                       Moscow, New York, Thursday, June 3, 1824.                       No. 22.


Murder and Robbery. --
(reprints Binghampton Republican of May 14, 1824)

Note: See the Livingston Register of Sept. 1, 1824 for a follow-up notice to this murder story.



Volume 1.                 Palmyra, N. Y., Wednesday, June 16, 1824.                 Number 38.





At a quarterly communication of the Right Worshipful Grand Lodge of the State of New-York, held on the 2d of June, A. L. 5824, at the Lodge Room in Tammany Hall, city of New-York, the following persons were elected Grand Officers for the ensuing year, viz:

M. W. Joseph Enos, jr., esq. of Eaton, Madison county, G. Master.
R. W. John Brush, esq., Counsellor at law, Poughkeepsie, Dutchess county, D. G. Master.
R. W. Nathaniel Allen, esq. Richmond, Ontario county, Senior G. Warden.
R. W. John W. Oakley, esq., city of New-York, Grand Secretary.
R. W. Welcome Esleeck, esq., Counsellor at law, Albany, G. Treasurer.
R. W. & Rev. William B. Lacy, D. D., Albany; and R. W. &. Rev. John Reed, Poughkeepsie, Grand Chaplains.

Note 1: This list of "Country Lodge" officers can be compared to that elected a year earlier and published in the July 1, 1823 issue of the Canandaigua Ontario Repository, along with Editor J. D. Bemis's query about what was happening in New York Freemasoney that was causing an apparent split in its "blue lodges."

Note 2: Although the results of this Grand Lodge election might appear to signify a victory for "Country Lodge" Grand Master Joseph Enos, it was just the opposite. In the year that had passed since the split in the Grand Lodge, Enos had been unable to disestablish the rival "City Lodge," made up primarily of members from the eastern and southeastern portion of the state. Enos had not been able to move the headquarters of his organization to Albany, as he had hoped to do. The continued meeting of the Masons in the Lodge Room at Tammany Hall appears to indicate that Enos retained some support among the "Bucktail Democrats" who controlled that seat of political power in new York City, but his reelection was not a unanimous one. That disturbing fact signaled the beginning of the decline of Grand Master Joseph Enos. He was not elected in the 1825 meeting, and was replaced in his office by Stephen Van Rensselaer.

Note 3: Editor Pomeroy Tucker's publication of the "Country Lodge" election results undoubtedly shows that the Palmyra "brethren" were aligned to that side of the fraternal schism. The Wayne Sentinel echoed the Masonic party line under Tucker and under the editorial hand of Egbert B. Grandin, a few years later, it would become a vocal proponent of the craft, even during the darkest months of the "Morgan Affair." Neighboring Canadaigua was also Country Lodge" territory and its Worshipful Master, Nicholas G. Cheesborough, was already pointed down the road to ruin, both as an "Enos man" and as a conspirator in the abuse of Masonic power and influence in the western part of the state.


Vol. III.                            Fredonia, N. Y., July 7, 1824.                           No. 14.


Grand Lodge. -- At a quarterly communication of the Right Worshipful Grand Lodge of the state of New-York, held on the 2d of June, A. L. 5824, at the Lodge Room in Tammany Hall, city of New-York, the following persons were elected Grand Officers for the ensuing year, viz:

M. W. Joseph Enos, jr. Esq. of Eaton, Madison county, G. Master.

R. W. John Brush, Esq. Counsellor at law, Poughkeepsie, Dutchess county, D. G. Master.

R. W. Nathaniel Allen, Esq. Richmond, Ontario county, Senior G. Warden.

R. W. Thomas Barber, Eaq. city of New-York, Junior G. Warden.

R. W. John Oakley, Esq. city of New-York, Grand Secretary.

R. W. Welcome Esleck, Esq. Counsellor ar law, Albany, G. Treasurer.

R. W. and Rev. Wm. B. Lucy, D. D. Albany; and R. W. and Rev. John Red of Poughkeepsie, G. Chaplains.

Note: The unexpected 1823 election of Joseph Enos as Grand Master of the NY Grand Lodge split the freemasons in the state and paved the way for the "Morgan affair" of a few years later. What effect Enos' short (and allegedly corrupt) reign at the head of the craft had upon the later founding of Mormonism remains uncertain.


By D. C. Miller.                        Batavia, N. Y., July 16, 1824.                         Vol. 13, No. 649.


The following address, delivered at the celebration of the Nativity of St. John on the 24th June, at Bethany, by B. Powers, Esq. is, at the request of a number of his audience, not of the fraternity, published in this number; and it is more cheerfully done, as it is calculated to make an impression, on such as are prejudiced against Masonry, that it is based on the firm and immutable principles of Religion and Morality. -- Adv.

... The Word of God, or the true name of the Deity, which is the source from whence decency and order proceed, is that which has engaged the attention of the good and the great in all ages and nations of the earth. Enoch, the seventh from Adam, was no doubt in possession of the name of his God, whom he worshipped and adored. This illustrious character built a temple under ground, (which was founded on nine arches) which he dedicated to Almighty God. He also caused a triangular plate of gold to be made, each side was a cubit long, he enriched it with the most precious stones, and encrusted the plate upon a stone of agate of the same form: -- he then engraved upon it the INEFFABLE CHARACTERS, and placed it upon a triangular pedestal of white marble, which he deposited in the deepest arch. The triangular plate of gold, and that of the pedestal of white marble, I must confess, when meditating thereon, strikes me as the most solemn and impressive emblems of the purity and holiness of the Triune God: and that Enoch was inspired by divine love to leave, as a memorial, something that should be emblematic of the Trinity, I have not the least doubt. The Masonic Word, or the Divine Logos, instructed Enoch and inspired him with wisdom to construct two magnificent pillars, one of marble to withstand fire, and the other of brass to withstand water. On these pillars he engraved hieroglyphics expressive of the liberal arts, but more especially that of Masonry; and also to signify that there was a most precious treasure concealed in the arches under ground...

Note 1: This article David C. Miller published while he was still an active Freemason. However, his distribution of such a speech, on the front page of his newspaper, probably marks an early sign of his subsequent inclination to help expose the "secrets of the craft." The masonic Enochian legend appears to have influenced would-be author Solomon Spalding, when he composed the opening pages of his "Oberlin manuscript." There the protagonist uncovers an opening into a buried vault, from which he extracts ancient, hidden secrets and sacred records. The scene Spalding describes is strongly reminiscent of the initiation rite for Royal Arch Freemasons, a portion of the lore which Miller did not publish in his paper at this time, but which Spalding may have gained knowledge of in his own day. Spalding, in his known writings, says nothing of Enoch or engraved golden plates, however.

Note 2: The projection of the speaker, of trinitarian concepts back into the patriarchal era of the scriptures, is typical of Christian dispensationalism and of the lore of Freemasonry. The idea that the most ancient persons in the biblical story possessed the "one true religion" and that the prophets among them foresaw in great detail the future unfolding of Judaism and Christianity, was a common notion among Americans of the 1820s, whether they were especially religious people or not.



Vol. I                 Geneseo, N. Y., Wednesday, September 1, 1824.                 No. 35.


Jason Tredwell has been tried and convicted of the murder of Oliver Harper, of Windsor, Broome county. The evidence, although circumstantial, was irresistably conclusive. -- Ovid. Gaz.

Note: See the Binghampton Republican of May 14, 1824 for for the context of this murder of a money-digger and the conviction of his assailant.



No. ? Vol. ?                         Wed., September 8, 1824.                          Whole No. ?


The Famous M. M. NOAH, having been expelled the editorship of the "National Advocate," has issued a pamphlet giving a history of his grievances, and exposing the hypoctirical and treacherous conduct of those with whom he has heretofore acted, and who have been his party friends and advisers.

The political history of Noah, for the last seven years, exhibits a disgusting instance of the prostitution of talents to mean and unworthy purposes. Ever since 1817, he has devoted time and talent to the propagation of calumnies against a man whom we doubt not he believed in his conscience, and has been heard to pronounce, an able and enlightened statesman, who administered the government of this state in a manner calculated to promote her honor, dignity and welfare. This Mr. N. has done to gratify the ambitious views of those by whom he was hired for the purpose, and who have now, it seems, cast him off, for fear, as they say, he should go over with his Advocate, to some other party -- or in other words, sell himself to somebody else.

Had Mr. Noah employed his extraordinary talents as aÊpolitical writer, in an honorable, independent and conscientious course, he would have avoided the embarrassments which now surround him, and he would have enjoyed the respect, confidence and esteem of his fellow citizens, instead of being suspected, despised and displaced. Let his fate impress upon us the maxim that "honesty is the best policy," whether in morals or politics -- and especially let it admonish all editors, old or young, that the moment they surrender their consciences and independence to the keeping and dictation of any man or set of men, and consent to write and publish what they do not themselves believe, they are assuredly treasuring up for themselves sorrows and disgrace.

Mr. Noah announces in his pamphlet, that he shall take the editorship of a new paper, to be called "The National Advocate." The old "Advocate," it seems, is to be under the direction of Judge Van Ness.

Note 1: The man Major Noah had opposed "ever since 1817," was, of course, Gov. DeWitt Clinton. The Advocate was published by the New York Democratic "Bucktail" or "Tammany" faction that supported Martin Van Buren and generally stood in opposition to Clinton, while a rival paper, the Columbian, served as the Clintonian mouthpiece. Political squabbles within the Tammany group led to Judge Van Ness taking over the editorial office at the Advocate and Noah resigning, in August of 1824. Noah began his own paper, the New York National Advocate, which soon after was re-named The New York Enquirer. Canadaigua editor James D. Bemis was a Clinton man and had little regard for Major Noah at this point in history; as time passed Noah became less antagonistic to the Clintonians and Bemis' Ontario Repository took a better view of him.

Note 2: Although all of the connections are still far from clear, it appears likely that Major Noah's redirection of his political allegiances and efforts during 1824 affected significantly his 1825 bid to establish a Jewish "city of refuge" on Grand Island. Probably a careful look into his political, social and fraternal associations during this period would provide much useful information relative to motivation, planning, and financing that went into the failed "gathering of Israel" on American soil.


Broome  Republican.

Vol. III.                              Binghampton, N. Y., Friday, September 10, 1824.                               No. ?


Trial for murder. -- At the Court of Oyer and Terminer held at Montrose last week, by the Hon. Edward Herrick, Jason Treadwell was tried on an indictment for the murder of Oliver Harper, in May last. The trial commenced on Wednesday morning, and was very ably conducted by Messrs. Eldred, Mallory and Read, on the part of the Commonwealth, and Messrs. Case and Williston for the prisoner. After argument of counsel, and a clear and lucid charge, the case was submitted to the jury on Saturday evening. On Sunday morning; the jury returned a verdict of Guilty.

The testimony, although principally circumstantial, was clear and pointed irresistibly establishing the prisoner's guilt, and exhibiting in him a depravity of heart, seldom evinced in cases of equal magnitude. Treadwell, no doubt, had meditated the murder of Harper for several days previous to carrying his design into execution. He had ascertained, as near as possible, the time Harper would return from Philadelphia, to which place Mr. Harper had been with lumber. Having blacked and disguised himself, he lay in wait nearly two days in an unfrequented tract of woods adjoining the road Mr. Harper would necessarily travel, a few miles distant from his residence. It does not appear that Mr. Harper was in any way apprised of the approach of the murderer. He was shot through the head and instantly expired. Treadwell then rifled his pockets of about $400, and fled to the woods. On the day the murder was committed he was seen with his rifle by a Mr. Welton, blacked and secreted by the way, near the spot where Mr. Harper was found. He was subsequently recognized by Mr. Welton. -- This, with other circumstances, led to his detection, and finally to his conviction. Early on Monday morning last, sentence of death was passed upon him. He appeared quite unconcerned. During; the whole trial, and on the Judge's pronouncing the awful sentence of the law, he remained, unmoved, as if unconscious of his fearful situation, or the deep depravity of the crime he had committed. The time of execution is, by the laws of that state, to be fixed by the Governor.

The following is the charge:

You have been indicted, and after a full hearing in which you have been assisted by able counsel, have been found guilty, by a jury of your country, of the most wicked and atrocious crime that man can commit against his fellow man. That there was abundant evidence for that conviction, none that witnessed the trial can entertain a doubt. In that nefarious act, there was not a solitary circumstance to alleviate your guilt. The deceased was not your enemy; he had not injured you; betwixt him and you, there had never existed ill blood, and from aught that appeared he was your friend. He had a large and interesting family; to whom he was returning with the avails of his industry; anticipating no doubt, the fond moment that should bring him to their embrace, whilst you were lying in wait in the forest to rob him, and in cold blood you murdered him. In an instant you cut him off from all his hopes, his family and endearments, and sent him prematurely to the grave. There was a time, perhaps, when the thought of perpetrating so horrid a crime, would almost congealed your blood. You commenced your career, probably, with palliating in your own mind the commission of small offences, and progressively familiarizing yourself with these dangerous subjects, until they appeared to lose their wicked character in the intimacy and habit; for few men have ever been so depraved as to commence with crimes of the deepest die. The history of the wicked has generally found their criminality to have originated in Sabbath-breaking, tippling, gambling, indolence and mischief, and proceeding through the various gradations, until it has left them in the same deplorable condition that you now are. A mind so deeply imbued with guilt, can draw but little consolation from a life marked with crime, Can you reflect upon the first impulse of your own mind, or the suggestions of the evil one that hurried you away; or on the shocking catastrophe itself, without chilling emotions? If there is nothing in the past to console you; can your mind fix on anything in the future, to cheer your melancholy way? As the greatest act of kindness that can be done you, let me impress you with the reality of your condition -- for the days of delusion are now past with you, and the days of a dreadful reality have commenced. Are you prepared to look forward to that sad spectacle, which must finish your course? And if you be, are you prepared to go through the dark valley and shadow of death, and meet on the shores of eternity, the spirit of him you murdered? And above all, are you prepared to accompany his accusations before that tribunal, which has declared, that although he is a "God of he will in no wise spare the guilty," Standing upon so awful a precipice, be entreated by all the solemnity of your situation by all that's heaven, and by all that's hell, to seek the Lord whilst he may be found. Go, in the agonies of sorrow for your iniquity, with your bloodstained hands lay hold on the cross and cry for mercy; for though your sins be as scarlet, he can make them as snow. And for your encouragement remember, that the expiring thief on the cross, who in the contrition and sincerity of his heart cried -- "Lord, when thou comest into thy kingdom remember me," received the merciful answer, which you may also receive, "This day thou shalt be with me in Paradise."

You must now listen to the sentence of the law, which is the consequence of your crime:

That you be taken back to the jail, from whence you came; thence to the place of execution, where you be hung by your neck until your body be dead.

And may the Lord have mercy on your soul.

Note 1: The early files of the Binghampton Republican are incomplete. The above text was taken from reprints in the Sept. 18, 1824 New York American and in the Sept. 22, 1824 Gettysburg Adams Centinel.

Note 2: See also the Republican of May 14, 1824.



Volume II.                 Palmyra, N. Y., Wednesday, September 29, 1824.                 Number 1.



          To the Public.

WHEREAS, reports have been industriously put in circulation, that my son Alvin had been removed from the place of his interment and dissected, which reports, every person possessed of human sensibility must know, are peculiarly calculated to harrow up the mind of a parent and deeply wound the feelings of relations -- therefore, for the purpose of ascertaining the truth of such reports, I, with some of my neighbors, this morning, repaired to the grave, and removing the earth, found the body which had not been disturbed.

This method is taken for the purpose of satisfying the minds of those who may have heard the report, and of informing those who have put it in circulation, that it is earnestly requested they would desist therefrom; and that it is believed by some, that they have been stimulated more by a desire to injure [the] reputation of certain persons than a philanthropy for the peace and welfare of myself and friends.     JOSEPH SMITH.
  Palmyra, Sept. 25th, 1824.

Note 1: This notice appeared in the Sentinel throughout Oct., 1824, as well as on Nov. 3, 1824.

Note 2: Samuel Brown, in his 2006 BYU Studies paper. "The 'Beautiful Death' in the Smith Family, provides the following information: "Ten months after Alvin was interred in the Palmyra cemetery, rumors caused the family to feel anxious about his resting place. This led Joseph Sr. to perform an unenviable task. The only firsthand report of the incident is an advertisement repeated for six straight weeks in the town newspaper.... While Dale Morgan dismissively groups the disinterment with popular ridicule of the Smiths’ treasure seeking, and some critics believe Alvin’s father and brother sought talismans from dismembered limbs, the exhumation of Alvin’s remains was neither unimaginable for a poor New Englander nor consciously associated with money digging. The dissection mentioned in the newspaper advertisement above referred to the predations of the anatomists rather than the craft of the necromancer or the toiling of the treasure seeker. Independent of these proposed associations, the claims of dissection would have been extremely denigrating, placing the Smith family in the company of the dispossessed “as people who were unable to protect their dead, whose dead deserved no protection.”


(note: this New York City article is reproduced here for quick reference --
see the 1824 New York City articles for complete notes, etc.)


Vol. II.                         New York City, November 20, 1824.                         No. 39.

From the Christian Secretary.


Extract from a letter from Mr. Israel Douglass, of Leyden,
Lewis county, New-York, to Rev. Asahel Morse,
of Suffield, Conn. containing a short account
of a gracious Work of the Lord in that vicinity.

"In the month of February last [1824]. the Church generally arose, and made public confession of their stupidity and coldness. From that time an unusual zeal and engagedness was manifest in some of our brethren. Soon solemnity was depicted on the countenances of some of our youth.

Preachers and brethren began their labours, after the Apostolick order, from house to house.

On the first of May, the revival was powerful. On the 5th of May, six were baptized in the likeness of Christ's death. Meetings were frequent. Two or three at the same time in different parts of the town. Since May commenced, to Sept. 15th, one hundred and twelve have been added to this church by baptism, and ten or twelve by letter....

In this part of the country there is a very genral and lamentable coldness which prevails, with few exceptions, if we mistake not, in all our churches. This is a circumstance that cannot be too deeply regretted; nor can the causes that have led to it, be too speedily investigated, or the means of its removal be too soon, to earnestly, or too prayerfully applied.

Palmyra, is one of the exceptions, and there are, we believe, a very few others of an encouraging nature, not many miles distant from this place. From these, however, we have not as yet received any very definite accounts... -- West. Recorder.

Note: By consulting various subsequent reports (in the NY Rel. Chrn. of Apr. 9, 1825 and various issues of the 1824-25 Western Recorder) the location of the "Palmyra" with religious developments of "an encouraging nature," is definitely identified as Palmyra, Wayne Co., New York. In 1824 the degree of religious activity demonstrated by that towns residents was "encouraging," but it had not reached the proportions of a full-blown revival. The editor of the Feb. 1825 issue of the Western New-York Baptist Magazine was probably reporting news from Dec. 1824 and Jan. 1825, when he said: "The town of Palmyra, N. Y. is graciously visited. It is hoped that about 100 [Baptist converts] have experienced pardoning mercy." Thid revival chronology agrees with the 1883 recollections of William Smith, the brother of Joseph Smith, Jr. He says: "In 1822 and 1823, the people in our neighborhood were very much stirred up with regard to religious matters by the preaching of a Mr. Lane, an Elder of the Methodist Church, and celebrated throughout the country as a "great revival preacher. My mother, who was a very pious woman and much interested in the welfare of her children, both here and hereafter, made use of every means which her parental love could suggest, to get us engaged in seeking for our souls' salvation, or (as the term then was) 'in getting religion.' She prevailed on us to attend the meetings, and almost the whole family became interested in the matter, and seekers after truth." All evidence indicates that the 1822-1823 "regard to religious matters" by people in the Palmyra area did not develop into a remarkable revival until late in 1824. That revival carried over into the first months of 1825, bring with it a flood of new converts and revitalized old members into the local congregations. It was in the midst of this 1824-25 religious excitement that Lucy Smith and her children (Hyrum, Sophronia, and Samuel) joined the Presbyterian church in Palmyra. Their conversions to Presbyterianism evidently did not occur until after the death of Lucy's son Alvin -- who passed away in Nov. of 1823.


Vol. I.               Published by Franklin Cowdery., Friday, November 26, 1824.               No. 42.


~  LOOK  HERE.  ~

For the better arrangement of my business, and in order to manage my affairs in the most economical and least hazardous manner, I have resolved to make the following new arrangement, in regard to the terms of subscription of the Newport Patriot.

All persons indebted for papers or advertisements are requested to settle up, without delay, to the first of January next. Bills will be made out, up to that time, 2nd those who disregard this notice must not complain if the Justice gets a fee at their expense; -- because types are costly and Perishable, my ink is paid for in advance, the mechanical prosecution of my business is laborious and expensive, requiring strict regularity; and the paper maker's bills, which are by no means light, have to be met statedly and with interest; and, rent and firewood expenses, and candles, (for printer's work late at night,) amount to no small sum, in the "turn of a year." Besides -- there are, belonging to this concern, four or five mouths to be filled at three stated times every day -- and does it cost nothing to fill them? This is not a beggarly plea, asking charity; but merely a justification to -- you -- and you -- and you -- who, through inattention, may get sued for neglecting to "pay the printer" [and prevent any mistake.]

The first number in January, will, hereafter, in every year, commence a volume; and the new terms will then be adopted, excepting as concerns the few who have paid in advance for papers beyond that time. A volume will, consequently, begin and end the year. My patrons will please to comply...

Note 1: Unfortunately B. Franklin Cowdery does not specify just who the "four or five mouths to be filled" at his printing office are. Presumably these were: 1. himself, 2. his wife Amanda, 3. his daughter Sarah, 4. his apprentice, and 5. his part-time "printer's devil." After Apr. 8, 1825, the family had yet another mouth to feed, the infant Lucy. The modern investigator can only wonder whether the apprentice at this time was one Oliver H. P. Cowdery, formerly of Rutland Co., Vermont.

Note 2: Among the earliest miscellaneous recorded documents in the Oreleans County Court House at Albion is a copy of a Feb. 23, 1826 certificate, signed by "Franklin Cowdery." The document merely certifies that Cowdery was the printer of the Newport Patriot on Friday the 27th of May, 1825, a "week previous to the day of sale" of the newspaper to Timothy Strong. According to B. Franklin Cowdery's 1847 biographical sketch, he quit the Newport Patriot in "the fall of 1825" when he "sold out to Timothy C. Strong." Perhaps Cowdery sold the paper in May but did not fully turn the business over to Mr. Strong and depart town until that fall. From Newport Cowdery went to Rochester and worked as a printer with Thurlow Weed's from the last part of 1825 until Weed left that paper at the end of 1827. Probably Cowdery followed Weed to the Anti-Masonic Enquirer and worked for that new paper for most of 1828.


Vol. I.               Published by Franklin Cowdery., Friday, December 3, 1824.               No. 43.

Commissioner's Office.

The subscribed is ready, at all times to attend to the business appertaining to the appointment, at his Printing Office on Village Street, Newport.

                F. COWDERY.

Commissioner to take the acknowledgment of deeds, &c.

Nov. 18, 1824.

Note: B. Franklin Cowdery's job as a county commissioner authorized him to draft and record legal papers and perform other related duties. A number of 1823-25 documents in the Orleans Court House at Albion bear his signature.

Free (    ) Press.

Vol. II.                          Auburn, N.Y., Wednesday, January 5, 1825.                           No. ?

Proposed New Work. -- Mr. Josiah Priest, of Albany, has issued proposals for a new work to be entitled "The Wonders of Nature and Providence." The object is to comprise in one volume, those remarkable facts, with which nature and history are signalized and diversified; and if it be judiously compiled, it will be one of the best forms in which the unextinguishable love of the marvelous can be gratified, and which will be gratified either by fact, or fiction.

Note: See also the interesting article, "A Pickle for the Book Venders." in the Lyons Advertiser for Aug. 30, 1826.

ns Vol. III.                          Rochester, N.Y., Saturday, January 15, 1825.                           No. 2.


More than two hundred souls have become the hopeful subjects of Divine grace in Palmyra, Macedon, Manchester, Phelps, Lyons and Ontario, since the late revival commenced. This is a powerful work; it is among old and young, but mostly among young people. -- Many are ready to exclaim, ["What God hath wrought!" It is the Lord's doing, and is marvellous in our eyes.] The cry is yet from various parts, "Come over and help us." There are large and attentive congregations in every part, who hear as for their lives. Such intelligence must be pleasing to every child of God, who rightly estimate the value of immortal souls, and wishes well to the cause of Zion.

Note 1: The date assigned the above short article is probable. The fourth volume (new series vol. III) of the semi-monthly Religious Advocate and Missionary Intelligencer began with January 1st, and it was thereafter issued bi-monthly in Rochester (on the 1st and 15th of each month). The previous three volumes of the paper had been published in Saratoga Springs, so it was with the January, 1825 issues that local (western upstate New York) religious news began to appear in this Presbyterian-oriented newspaper. Since the Boston Zion's Herald reprinted the above item in its issue for Feb. 9, 1825, it seems very unlikely that it originated in the Religious Advocate as late as February 1st. As Dale Morgan pointed out long ago, the date for its Rochester publication is either Jan. 1st or Jan. 15th (with the latter date being the most probable one). Although the editor had relocated his office to Rochester before the end of 1824, the final issues of ns Vol. II were distributed from the old establishment in Saratoga Springs.

Note 2: The above text is a composite taken from various reprints. Should actual 1825 issues of this ultra rare periodical be located, there relevant contents will be added here in an update. The original wording of the two sentences placed in brackets is uncertain, as it varies somewhat in the reprints thus far examined -- for example, the Palmyra Wayne Sentinel of Mar. 2, 1825 printed the reading: "What hath God wrought?"

Note 3: The Religious Advocate may have published follow-up reports on the Palmyra area's 1824-25 "revival of religion;" but, if so, only paraphrases of their contents have survived. The Wayne Sentinel of Mar. 2, 1825 published a short note "communicated" by an enthusiastic reader, which included some information lacking in the "Moral and Religious" article. On page 22 of his 1938 book, History of Palmyra and the Beginning of Mormonism, local LDS historian Willard Bean quoted from these two related Wayne Sentinel articles, separating his two partial transcripts with the words: "A week later." This editorial insert shows, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Bean did not obtain his transcripts directly from whole sheets of the bi-monthly Religious Advocate. If the Palmyra historian (after almost certainly having consulted these articles via the Wayne Sentinel) believed that there was a week's lapse between the to religious revival items, he probably took his transcriptions from misdated (or undated) article clippings, and thus became confused. Had Mr. Bean examined whole sheets of either newspaper, there would have been no excuse for associating these 1825 items with supposed 1820 events. Since it is marginally possible that Bean himself was the recipient of mis-dated transcripts, supplied by an associate, (which he did not bother to verify) it cannot be argued that he had any malicious intent in his misidentification of the articles in question.


Baptist Magazine.

Vol. IV.                         Morrisville, Madison Co., New York, Feb. 1825.                          No. 9.


... Considerable additions have been made to one of the Baptist churches in Cincinnati, Ohio. October 9, 16 were baptized.

The town of Palmyra, N. Y. is graciously visited. It is hoped that about 100 have experienced pardoning mercy...

In the vicinity of Woodville, N. Y. there has been a season of grace. -- Since May last, 106 have been baptized in one church, and 11 in Richmond...

Note: See the Mar. 2, 1825 issue of the Palmyra Wayne Sentinel, for more on the 1824-25 religious revival in Ontario Co., New York, which seems to have been centered at Palmyra.



Vol. I.                         West Bloomfield, Ontario Co., New York, Feb. 1825.                          No. 2.


...We learn that a powerful reformation has been spreading for several months past, in the towns of Palmyra, Williamson and Ontario. The work we are informed still continues in those places. -- In Mendon, God has poured out his Spirit among the christian brethren of late, several have been hopefully converted and some backsliders reclaimed...

Note 1: This report came from Rev. David Millard, a minister of the Christian Connection, working in close cooperation with the Rev. Joseph Badger (who was then living in the adjacent township of Mendon). The full content of Rev. Millard's report remains undetermined. The transcribed excerpt was taken from the Portsmouth Christian Herald of March 1825.

Note 2: Rev. Badger moved away from the Mendon-Bloomfield area in 1828, but returned a couple of years later to establish the Christian Palladium at Rochester. By the middle of 1833 that publication had merged with Millard's Gospel Luminary and was thereafter issued at Union Springs, New York. For an interesting sample of Badger's reporting, see his letter to Joshua V. Himes in the March 1833 issue.



No. 45 Vol. XXII.                          Wed., February 9, 1825.                           Whole No. ?

                          Windsor, Vt. Jan. 17.
Money Digging. -- We are sorry to observe, even in this enlightened age, so prevalent a disposition to credit the accounts of the marvellous. Even the frightful stories of money being hid under the surface of the earth, and enchanted by the Devil or Robert Kidd, are received by many of our respectable fellow citizens as truths. We had hoped that such a shameful undertaking would never have been acted over again in our country, till the following event occurred, not long ago in out vicinity.

A respectable gentleman in Tunbridge, was informed, by means of a dream, that a chest of money was buried on a small island in Ayer's brook, in Randolph. No sooner was he in possession of this valuable information, than he started off to enrich himself with the treasure. After having been directed by the mineral rod, where to search for the money, he excavated the earth about 15 feet square to the depth of 7 or 8; and all the while it was necessary to keep six pumps running to keep out the water. Presently he and his laborers came
Pat upon a chest of gold,
  And heard it chink with pleasure,
Then all prepared, just taking hold,
  To raise the shining treasure.
One of the company drove an old file through the rotten lid of the chest, and perceiving it to be nearly empty, exclaimed with an oath, "There's not ten dollars apiece." No sooner were the words out of his mouth, than the chest moved off through the mud, and has not been seen or heard of since.

Such is the story as related by himself. Whether he actually saw the chest, or whether it was the vision of a disturbed brain, we shall leave the public to determine.

Note: This article was first published in the Jan. 17, 1825 issue of the Windsor Journal. After appearing in the Ontario Repository, the same article was also reprinted in the Palmyra Wayne Sentinel on Feb. 16th. The township of Randolph, in Orange Co., Vermont, is adjacent to the Royalton/Sharon area where the parents of Joseph Smith, Jr. lived before moving to Palmyra, New York. In 1802 Joseph Smith, Sr. and his wife operated a retail business in Randolph, during which time they lost a considerable amount of money in ginsing root speculation. When the Smiths of Palmyra read of the "respectable gentleman" in Randolph, Vermont's sudden enrichment, they must have recalled with dejection their own, equally sudden impoverishment in that same place two decades before.



Vol. II No. 21                 Palmyra, N. Y., Friday, February 16, 1825.                 Whole No. 73.

                          From the Windsor, (Vermont) Jour. Jan. 17.
Money digging. -- We are sorry to observe even in this enlightened age, so prevalent a disposition to credit the accounts of the marvellous. Even the frightful stories of money being hid under the surface of the earth, and enchanted by the Devil or Robert Kidd, are received by many of our respectable fellow citizens as truths. We had hoped that such a shameful undertaking would never have been acted over [again in] our country, till the following event occurred, not long ago in out vicinity.

A respectable gentleman in Tunbridge, was informed, by means of a dream, that a chest of money was buried on a small island in Ayer's brook, in Randolph. No sooner was he in possession of this valuable information, than he started off to enrich himself with the treasure. After having been directed by the mineral rod, where to search for the money, he excavated the earth about 15 feet square to the depth of 7 or 8; and all the while it was necessary to keep six pumps running to keep out the water. Presently he and his laborers came
Pat upon a chest of gold,
  And heard it chink with pleasure,
Then all prepared, just taking hold,
  To raise the shining treasure.
One of the company drove an old file through the rotten lid of the chest, and perceiving it to be nearly empty, exclaimed with an oath, "There's not ten dollars a piece." No sooner were the words out of his mouth, than the chest moved off through the mud, and has not been seen or heard of since.

Such is the story as related by himself. -- Whether he actually saw the chest, or whether it was the vision of a disturbed brain, we shall leave the public to determine.

Note: This article was first published in the Jan. 17, 1825 issue of the Windsor Journal. It was reprinted in the Canandaigua Ontario Repository on Feb. 9, 1825. The township of Randolph, in Orange Co., Vermont, is adjacent to the Royalton/Sharon area where the parents of Joseph Smith, Jr. lived before moving to Palmyra, New York. In 1802 Joseph Smith, Sr. and his wife operated a retail business in Randolph, during which time they lost a considerable amount of money in ginsing root speculation. When the Smiths of Palmyra read of the "respectable gentleman" in Randolph, Vermont's sudden, transitory enrichment, they must have recalled with dejection their own, equally sudden impoverishment in that same place two decades before.



Vol. II.                           Palmyra, New York, Friday, March 2, 1825.                           No. 23.

Religious. -- An article in the Religious Advocate gives the pleasing fact that a revival of religion had taken place in the towns of Palmyra, Macedon, Manchester, Phelps, Lyons and Ontario, and that more than 200 souls had become hopeful subjects of Divine Grace, &c. It may be added, that in Palmyra and Macedon, including Methodist, Presbyterian and Baptist Churches, more than 400 have already testified that the Lord is good. The work is still progressing. In the neighboring towns, the number is great and fast increasing. Glory be to God on high, and on earth, peace and good will to all men. Communicated.


The Revival. -- The Religious Advocate published at Rochester contains the following account as just received from Ontario. --
      "More than two hundred souls have become the hopeful subjects of divine grace in Palmyra, Macedon, Manchester, Phelps, Lyons and Ontario, since the late revival commenced. -- This is a powerful work; it is among old and young, but mostly among young people. Many are ready to exclaim, "what hath God wrought!" "It is the Lord's doing, and is marvellous in our eyes." The cry is yet from various parts, "come over and help us." There are large and attentive congregations in every part, who hear as for their lives. Such intelligence must be pleasing to every child of God, who rightly estimate the value of immortal souls, and wishes well to the cause of Zion.

Note 1: This is apparently a further development the 1823-4 religious revival spoken of by William Smith in his recollections of 1883. Smith says: "In 1822 and 1823, the people in our neighborhood were very much stirred up with regard to religious matters by the preaching of a Mr. Lane, an Elder of the Methodist Church, and celebrated throughout the country as a "great revival preacher. My mother, who was a very pious woman and much interested in the welfare of her children, both here and hereafter, made use of every means which her parental love could suggest, to get us engaged in seeking for our souls' salvation, or (as the term then was) 'in getting religion.' She prevailed on us to attend the meetings, and almost the whole family became interested in the matter, and seekers after truth." All evidence indicates that Lucy Smith and her children (Hyrum, Sophronia, and Samuel) did not join the Presbyterian church in Palmyra until after the death of her son Alvin -- who passed away in Nov. of 1823.

Note 2: The revival spoken of in the Jan. 1825 Rochester Religious Advocate seems have made its greatest gains during the summer and fall of 1824, when the Baptists and Presbyterians of Palmyra each added nearly 100 new members to their congregations, while the Methodist gained 200. The Religious Advocate began publication in Rochester at the very beginning of 1825, but its editor had been a resident of that place since at least the final half-dozen weeks of 1824. Thus, the ongoing revival was still "news" when the Rochester paper reported that "more than 400 have already testified" of their newly found faith. The article helps demonstrate that the flame of revival was not extinquished by the snows of winter -- that it was still making new converts as late as February and March of 1825.

Note 3: Mormon historical writer Willard Bean disagreed with the 1825 date for the Palmyra area revival, however. In his 1938 book, A.B.C. History of Palmyra and the Beginning of "Mormonism," Elder Bean states: "In the year 1819 a sort of religious awakening... spread... After reaching New York it spread to the rural districts upstate, reaching Palmyra and vicinity in the Spring of 1820.... The revival started the latter part of April [1820]... which gave the farmers a chance to attend the meetings... By the first of May, the revival was well under way with scores of people confessing religion... The revival had been even more successful than the ministers had anticipated. I quote from the 'Religious Advocate' of Rochester: 'More than 200 souls have become hopeful subjects of divine grace in Palmyra, Macedon, Manchester, Lyons and Ontario since the late revival commenced. This is a powerful work. It is among young as well as old people.... A week later [also from the'Religious Advocate' of Rochester]... 'It may be added that in Palmyra and Macedon, including Methodist, Presbyterian and Baptist churches, more than 400 have already confessed that the Lord is good. The work is still progressing. In neighboring towns, the number is great and still increasing. Glory be to God on high; and on earth peace and good will to all men.'"

Note 4: The fact that the Rochester paper published its revival report in 1825, and not in 1820, is further substantiated by a reprint appearing in the March, 1825 issue of the Providence Hopkinsian Magazine. For additional confirmation of the Feb. 1825 date on the Rochester Religious Advocate item, see also the report of Rev. George Lane, in the April, 1825 issue of the New York Methodist Magazine, and the March 9, 1825 letter of the Rev. Solomon Goodale, as published in the April, 1825 issue of the Boston American Baptist Magazine.



Vol. ?                          Canandaigua, N. Y., Wednesday, April 6, 1825.                            No. ?


Counterfeit Bills. -- Several persons wrre apprehended in the west part of Macedon last week for passing counterfeit money. They had been suspected of dealing in this trash, as we are informed, for several years, but they managed their affairs so ingeniously that they succeeded in evading the eye of the public, until an honest neighbor was imposed upon, who, on being accused of roguery, commenced a search and found in the possession of Abraham Salisbury, an innkeeper in that town, (and the same person who had deluded him,) spurious bills corresponding with those which he had received of him. This led to a further search, when a small wooden box containing $115 in counterfiet bank notes, was found concealed in a hollow tree near the house. What added to the evidence of Salisbury's guilt, was the circumstances of several boxes being found in his house of the same description as that found in the tree. Salisbury was committed to jail to await his trial -- the others were acquitted.

Note: The 1810 Ontario Co., NY federal census index shows an "Abraham Salisbury" (page 211). Immediately following Abraham on that list is "Gideon Salisbury" (page 142 - evidently Benton, twp.). Gideon Salisbury, Jr. (1763-aft.1843) was the father of Wilkens Jenkins Salisbury (1809-1853), the husband of Catherine Smith; who was the sister of Joseph Smith, Jr.



Vol. II                 Palmyra, N. Y., Wednesday, April 6, 1825.                 No. 28.


Remaining in the Post Office at Palmyra,
March 31st, 1825.

Cooley, Eliza J.
Cheesbrough, Eliehia
Champlin, James
Conkle, Aaron
Cowdery, Lyman...

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. ?                          Canandaigua, N. Y., Wednesday, April 20, 1825.                            No. ?


[From the U. States Literary Gazette.]


Mountains of Israel! rear on high
Your summits crowned with verdure new,
And spread your branches to the sky,
Refulgent with celestial dew,
O'er Jordan's stream of gentle flow;
And Judah's peaceful vallies smile,
And far reflect the lovely glow
Where ocean's waves incessant toil.

See where the scattered tribes return ;
There slavery is burst at length,
And purer flames to Jesus burn,
And Zion girds on her new strength;
New cities bloom
along the plain,
New temples to Jehovah rise,
The kindling voice of praise again
Pours its sweet anthems to the skies.

The fruitful fields again are blest,
And yellow harvests smile around:
Sweet scenes of heavenly joy and rest,
Where peace and innocence are found!
The bloody sacrifice no more
Shall smoke upon the alters high, --
But ardent hearts, from hill to shore
Send grateful incense to the sky!

The jubilee of man is near,
Where earth, as heaven, shall own His reign;
He comes, to wipe the mourner's tear,
And cleanse the heart from sin and pain.
Praise him, ye tribes of Israel! praise
The King that ransomed you from wo;
Nations! the hymn of triumph raise,
And bid the song of rapture flow!

Note: This poem typifies the Christian Zionism then current among many American Evangelicals. See Elias Boudinot's 1815 book The Second Advent and Ethan Smith's 1823 book View of the Hebrews. The poem was written after the American Society for Meliorating the Condition of the Jews failed to establish its intended refuge for Christianized Jews in western New York in 1823, but before that society's even more dismal attempts to plant such a colony in the eastern part of the state, beginning in 1827. See the Dec. 2, 1825 issue of the Buffalo Gospel Advocate for another reprint of this poem, and some additional notes on the subject.



Vol. I.                 Gaines, County of Orleans, N. Y. May 17, 1825.                 No. 14.


Sale of Grand Island. -- We would wish the public to note that pursuant to the advertisement of the Surveyor General, under act of the fegislature, the sale of Grand Island, together with other islands in the Niagara river, is [to] take place in this city on the 3d of June next. No portion of the public lands of this state have ever offered such a chance for vesting money with a certainty of a liberal profit. The time is not far distant when these premises will be the very center of vast commercial transactions. -- Alb. Gaz.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. ?                         Geneseo, N. Y., Wednesday, May 25, 1825.                        No. ?


Election in Orleans County. -- We learn from the Batavia Times, that the late election held in the new county of Orleans has resulted in the choice of William Lewis, Esq. for sheriff, Orson Nicholson, for Clerk, Ithamar Hibbard, Franklin Cowdery, Joseph Rickey and Shobael Lewis, for Coroners. Self-nominations appear to be somewhat below par in the county of Orleans.

Note: Although there is considerable evidence for B. Franklin having served as a Commissioner in Orleans Co. during 1824-25, there is nothing in the records to show that he was ever a "Coroner." Perhaps the 1825 election report misspelled "Commissioner." The same notice was printed in the Geneva Gazette on May 25th.



Vol. II.                         Lyons, N. Y., Wednesday, June 1, 1825.                        No. 2.


Orleans County. -- An Election was held in this county for the first time, on the 10th May, and the two succeeding days, at which the following officers were elected -- William Lewis, Sheriff; Orson Nicholson, Clerk; Franklin Cowdry, Ithamar Hebard, Joseph Rickey, and Shubael Lewis, Coroners.

Counterfeiters. -- On the 28th of last month a party of Counterfeiters was discovered in Kentucky, about thirty miles from Mount Sterling, in a mountainous region of country, and the discoverers were so fortunate as to break up a regular establishment or manufactory of paper money.The company had a small paper mill [------ ---] and had made about 6000 dollars, principally on the banks of Tennessee, South Carolina and New Orleans. Two of the party were taken and three made their escape; the two ringleaders, Sturdivant and Allen, also made their escape, but it is expected they will be taken. The money is so well executed as to be considered genuine. The information to their detection came from a young man who had acted as their clerk for some years.

Notes: (forthcoming) May 25th.



Vol. ?                          Canandaigua, N. Y., Wednesday, June 15, 1825.                          No. ?

Maj. Noah, editor of the New York National Advocate, has lately made a trip to the Niagara Falls. We cut the following from the paper of the 17th inst.

A Peep at the West. -- I have been to the West, courteous reader -- been on a visit to that very Lion of the West, whose growlings have so altered us good Bucktails, on the eve of an election; but the royal animal is quite placid, reasonable, and domicilated, and improves vastly upon acquaintance; in short, to get out of the menagerie, that slip of country west of Utica, called the Lake Country, is unquestionably, the richest section in America, if not the most flourishing and enterprising in the world; and no citizen of New York can form a proper estimate of its value and importance, without seeing it in person, knowing its former condition, ascertaining its present consequence, and calculating its future growth; the people too, are hardy, enterprising, and republican -- disposed to think right and act right, on matters and things generally.

Notes: (forthcoming)


By D. C. Miller.                        Batavia, N. Y., June 17, 1825.                         Vol. 14, No. 697.

G O L D.

Is a metal distinguished by its yellow color; by its being next in weight to platina, softer than silver, but considerably more hard than tin; and being more easily melted than Copper.

It is found in several states, massive, in grains, in small scales, and capillary or in small branches. It cannot be dissolved in any acid except that called aqua regia, and is more than nineteen times heavier than water.
The countries of hot climates are those chiefly in which gold is discovered. It abounds in the sands of many African rivers. and is very common in several districts both of South America and India. The gold mines of Lima Peru have had a great celebrity; but since the late commotions in the Spanish colonies, the working of them has been much neglected....

Gold has been known and in request from the very earliest ages of the world. By the assent of civilized nations, it has become the representative of wealth under the form of money; and is now an universal circulating medium for the purchase of all kinds of commodities. It has been chosen to occupy this important place on account of its scarcity, its weight, and other valuable properties.

As gold is not liable to tarnish, or rust, it is frequently used for ornaments of dress. But, beyond its use in the coinage, its most important uses are for goldsmith's work, in jewelry abd for gilding. In each of these its standard [of] purity is different. That denominated coinage or sterling gold, consists of an alloy of about twenty-two parts of gold with two parts of copper; whilst gold of the new standard, of which gold plate, watch-cases, and many other articles are made, consists of only eighteen parts of gold and six parts of copper.... Trinket gold, which is unstamped, is in general, much less pure than any of the above and the pale gold which is used by jewellers, is an alloy of gold and silver.

The ductility and tenacity of this metal particularly when alloyed with copper, are extremely remarkable, and are fully proved by the great extent to which a very small quantity of it may be beaten into leaves, or drawn into wire. leaves of gold may be made so thin, that a single grain will cover more than fifty-six square inches. These leaves are only the two-hundred and eighty-two thousandths of an inch thick; and the gold leaf which is used to cover silver wire, is but the twelfth part of that thickness. An ounce of gold upon silver wire, is capable of being extended more than 1,300 miles in length.

Gold is beaten into leaves upon a smooth block of marble, fitted into the middle of a wooden frame... After the leaf has been beaten to a sufficient degree of thinness, it is taken up by a cane instrument and thrown flat upon a leathren cushion, where it is cut to the proper size with a square frameof cane, or wood edged with cane. These pieces are then fitted into books of twenty-five leaves each, the paper of which has been well smoothed, and rubbed with red bole to prevent them from sticking. The leaves are about three inches square, and the gold of each book weighs somewhat more than four grains and a half.

It was anciently the custom to beat gold into thin plates, and to gild the walls of apartments, the surfaces of dishes, drinking utensils, and other articles, by covering them with such. But this was not only a most expensive, but must have been a most clumsy mode of ornament....

Grand Island. -- (see the June 21, 1825 Rochester Telegraph.)

Note: The above, abbreviated reprint, cuts the "Grand Island" article short, ending after the words "particularly on the borders of the canal."



Vol. VII.                            Rochester, N. Y., June 21, 1825.                             No. 364.

From the Albany Daily Advertiser, June 6.


This valuable possession of the state, formerly the property of the Creek Nation, was sold in lots on Friday last, at the Capitol, pursuant to law.

It will be recollected that Mr. Noah, of New-York, made application to the Legislature at their session of 1819, for purchase of Grand Island, setting forth in his memorial that his object was to establish a Jewish settlement or community on that spot. The selection was considered every way eligible and at once drew public attention to that fine portion of land, but the commissioners under the Ghent Treaty, not having concluded their surveys, it was doubtful whether in running the line, Grand Island would fall to the States or to Upper Canada. The point having been decided by the line running through the channel on the Canada side, the state authorised it to be sold, and the proceeds to be appropriated to the Canal fund.

The purchasers on Friday were few, but were among the most spirited and enterprising in the state, and the Island, together with the small islands, which were valued at about $50,000, and by many supposed to be valued too high, brought $76,000. Two sites and the most eligible for cities on the island were purchased for Mr. Noah, one at the point facing Lake Erie, and containing upwards of 1000 acres, and the other containing about 1000 acres, directly opposite the mouth of the Grand Canal, together with Tonnewanda, Beaver, and Frog Islands -- the whole amount of his purchases was almost $20,000. Tonnewanda Island containing 69 acres, and valued at $312, sold for $100.

This may be considered as the last valuable possession owned by the state. Lands are every where locating, particularly on the borders of the canal.

Whether Mr. Noah may succeed in his laudable designs in persuading his nation to emigrate to America, cannot at this time be foretold. He has, however, pursued the object with great steadiness of purpose, which bears every appearance of confidence. It has been a matter of some surprise, why so few of the Jewish people have directed their attention towards this favoured spot, where, not only equal privileges await them, and a perfect freedom in their temporal and religious concerns, but every facility of Trade, Commerce, Manufactures, and Agriculture, are at their command. It must arise from their having no knowledge of the advantages, and the presumption is that when they are spread before them in a manner warranted by facts, a disposition to see the chosen land will at least prevail.

We find the Jewish bankers in London, Paris, Amsterdam, &c., making great loans to Mexico, Columbia, Rio de la Plata, Chili -- Loans for Mexican and other mining companies, to the amount of more than a hundred million dollars, besides continental loans. -- Only ten millions of dollars judiciously invested in the western district of our state, would realize a safe and golden profit, and give additional life and activity to that rich and flourishing section of our country. We are all interested therefore in such representations of our actual condition as Mr. Noah may and will make to his friends abroad. There are sufficient inducements, for enterprising capitalists, to build a city on Grand Island. It is within a few miles of Lake Erie, having the trade of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and the great Lakes, together with Upper Canada, and the Northwest Territory. It is also within a few miles of Lake Ontario, commanding the trade of that lake, and the markets of Montreal and Quebec -- it faces the mouth of the canal, leaving a water communication direct with New-York, and is in every respect one of the most eligible and commanding positions in the state for a commercial city; the Niagara river having fourteen feet water around the island, and the current near that spot very trifling.

In the rapid settlements of this state it was not to be expected that Grand Island could long have been overlooked; and giving to Buffalo and Black Rock all the advantages of position, it will constitute an important depot, particularly when the Ohio Canal is completed, and the produce together with the commerce generally of Lake Erie, find their way to New-York through the canal.

We understand that in the course of the summer the foundation stone of the city will be laid, with suitable masonick, military, and religious ceremonies, probably about the period when the canal is completed and opened.


The Grand Lodge of Master Masons of the state of New-York, commenced its annual session at Tammany Hall, in the city of New-York, in Wednesday, the first day of June, inst. and terminated it on the Wednesday following. There were 16 lodges represented, and 98 Past Masters appeared in Person or by proxy. This assembly contained an unusual degree of talent and information; and learned and animated debates were had on a variety of subjects appertaining to the order. The proceedings were conducted with that brotherly love and harmony, which should ever distinguish members of the fraternity. -- During the session, warrants were granted for 44 new lodges, in different parts of the state.

The following persons were elected officers for the ensuing year:

Stephen Van Rensselaer, of Albany, Grand Master.
John Brush, of Poughkeepsie, Deputy Grand Master.
Ezra S. Cozier, of Utica, Senior Grand Warden.
Elial T. Foote, of Chautauque county, Junior Grand Warden.
Welcome Esleeck, of Albany, Grand Treasurer.
Ebenezer Wadsworth, of Brainard's bridge, Rensselaer county, Grand Secretary.
Rev. John Reed, of the Episcopal church, Poughkeepsie,
  and Rev. Leland Howard, of the Baptist church at Troy, Grand Chaplains.
Joseph Cuyler, of Montgomery county, Grand Sword Bearer.
Elisha Gilbert, of Columbia county, Grand Marshal.
Grove Lawrence and David. S. Van Rensselaer, of Onondaga county, Grand Stewards.
Benjamin Enos, of Cortland county and
  Nicholas G. Cheesboro, of Ontario county, Grand Deacons.
Philip Chase of Dutchess co., Grand Puruivant.
Timothy Candee of Putnam co., Grand Tyler.

Note 1: The same "Grand Island" article reprint from the Albany Daily Advertiser was featured in the Batavia People's Press of June 18, 1825 and a shortened version appeared in the June 17th issue of the Republican Advocate. See the Oct. 30, 1815 issue of the Washington Reporter for an article on the sale by the Seneca (not the Creek) Indians of Grand Island to the State of New York.

Note 2: When Mordecai M. Noah was unable to obtain possession of Grand Island in 1819, he shifted his plan for the "gathering of Israel" temporarily to Newport, Rhode Island. When that resettlement plan did not bear fruit, both Mr. Noah and Elias Boudinot's Christian Zionists began looking west of Rochester for sites for their respective (and competing) colonization schemes. The Christians temporarily fixed their attention on a spot near Newport, but eventually decided upon a small land purchase in the eastern part of the state. Mr. Noah went ahead with his plan to obtain the best parts of Grand Island, but no Jews or Indian "Israelites" ever came to settle that remote spot and his "city of refuge" was never built.

Note 3: The list of new Grand Lodge officers can be compared to that elected a year earlier by the schismatic "Country Lodge" and published in the July 7, 1824 issue of the Fredonia Censor. Although some of his people were carried over into the reconciled Grand Lodge list of 1825, former "Country Lodge" Grand Master Joseph Enos had proven himself unable to disestablish the rival "City Lodge," and subsequently disappeared from masonic politics. It would be an over-simplification to describe Enos and his group as "Bucktail Democrats," and Stephen Van Rensselaer's supporters as Clintonians, but the reconciliation of the lodges served to mark a come back for De Witt Clinton in more ways than one. For example, it is unlikely that Van Rensselaer and Clinton would have allowed Moredecai M. Noah to wrap his 1825 Grand Island dedication in masonic panoply, had the reconciliation been formalized even a few days earlier. As things worked out, Van Rensselaer was not installed in office until September and enough anarchy persisted among the brotherhood in the western part of the state to allow Noah's strange demonstration to be staged in Buffalo. One surprising carry-over from the Enos regime was Nicholas G. Cheesboro, Grand Master of the Canandaigua lodge. Within a few months Cheesboro would prove a great embarrassment to Van Rensselaer and Clinton, because of his leading role in the William Morgan affair.



No. ? Vol. ?                         Wednesday, June 22, 1825.                          Whole No. ?

Grand Island. -- The names of the following gentlemen are given as the purchasers of this, and the smaller islands, in the Niagara river, which were sold at auction at Albany, on the 3d inst. viz. -- M. M. Noah, New York, Cornelius Masren, Penn-Yan, Yates county, Herman H. Bogert, Geneva, John G. Camp, Buffalo, Peter Smith, Schenectady, John Knowles, Sullivan, Madison county, Alvin Stewart, Levi Beardsley, James O. Morse, Cherry Valley, S. R. Warren, Troy, C. R. Webster, Dudley & Gregory, and James Carmichael, Albany.

It is said Mr. Noah's object is to accommodate his brethren, the Jews, many of whom are wishing to emigrate to this country, and to locate in a body, in sufficient numbers to form a colony or city, by themselves. Grand Island has been selected for this purpose, and it is stated in the Albany Gazette, that the corner stone of a city will be laid on this island, with suitable masonic and religious ceremonies, in the course of the present summer, probably about the time when the canal is completed and in operation.

"A Peep at the West" -- the facetious editor of the New-York Advocate, M. M. Noah, has furnished his readers with several numbers under the above head, as the result of his observations on a late tour to the Niagara Falls, and back. Apart from the highly interesting information which these narratives afford, as evidence of the rapid growth and flourishing condition of the western part of our state, they abound with stories and pleasing anecdotes, which are related in that humorous style, for which the writer is so peculiar. The following extracts are made: --

GRAND ISLAND, in the Niagara river, is a beautiful body of thickly timbered land, about 12 miles in length, and from 3 to 6 in width. From the New-York and Canada shores, it presents a fine appearance. -- White oak, hickory, ash, maple, and other valuable trees, are in clusters throughout the Island. At the north end, and almost in view of the Falls of Niagara, is a small bay, called Burnt-Ship Bay, which takes its name from the hulks of several vessels sunk on that spot during the old French War; and tradition says, they were sunk with all their military chests and munitions of war, the enemy coming so sudden upon them, as to leave no time to escape. The island was formerly the property of the Seneca Indians, which, with Strawberry, Snake, Squaw and Bird Islands, were sold to the state for $1,000, and an annuity of $500. At one period it contained several hundred squatters, who settled on it from Canada and New-York, erected shanties, declared themselves independent, and formed a government of their own -- levied taxes, and passed laws. O'Higgins was the first Governor; and he was succeeded by the celebrated Gen. Clarke. Their rifles, cows, and fishing apparatus were exempted from seizure for debt. Squire Wilkinson, of Buffalo, committed O'Higgins to jail, for not carrying his laws into effect. The state, alarmed at the formidable increase of this body, and perceiving an utter disregard for the constitutional power, as well as a disposition to destroy the valuable timber of the island, authorized Gov. Clinton to order a sufficient military force, and drive them off. This duty was performed in 1820, and their cottages were burnt, since which time but few have returned to the island.

Looking forward to the few years' when Erie, Ontario, and the Niagara river will be whitened with the canvass of vessels, no spot can be more eligible for a city, and commercial depot, than Grand Island: It faces the mouth of the Grand Canal, and a bridge, it a small expense, can connect the island with the main shore -- the Niagara river, pure as chrystal, flows in a gentle current round the island, and abounds with the most delicate fish.

Lockport is a post village, built on the mountain ridge, the seat of justice of Niagara county; the village seems to have sprung up from a ledge of rocks, been blasted into existence, as it were, for there is any quantity of blue building stone. Lockport may be cited as one of the singular instances of the origin and growth of the numerous villages with which our state abounds. In 1821, there were two houses in the village, in 1823, Lockport had 1200 inhabitants, 250 to 300 buildings, 12 stores, 24 mechanics; shops, a newspaper, 8 taverns, 5 lawyers, 8 doctors, 4 schools, 2 churches, &c. and has now about 1500 inhabitants. This fact is worthy of attention, because, when we project new settlements, and alarm ourselves at the slow increase of population, we have only to turn to such villages, and cheer ourselves with the certain prospect of rapid success. The beauty of the whole line of the canal is at Lockport, and consists of the 5 double combined locks, each of 12 feet descent, which let us down 60 feet to the Genesee level. These locks are of the most substantial character, and have a delicacy and neatness of finish, highly creditable to the honest mechanic, who probably has never been out of that region of the country; and it is only doing him justice to say, whoever he may be, that the world cannot produce superior locks.

The sound of the bugle warned us that the canal boat for Rochester was about to depart, and we soon found ourselves in a small but pleasant party, on board the Myron Holley. All the commissioners have handsome passage boats bearing their name, a slight tribute of respect for their services, and to none is the state more indebted than to Mr. Holley, who, though unfortunate, contributed essentially by his intelligence and persevering industry, to the successful completion of the great project.

Passing under the bridge near Montezuma, a peasant was seated on the railing, having a fish in his hand. We hailed him -- what's that? A salmon, sir, I just speared him in the lake." He jumped into the boat -- the captain higgled for some time to abate a penny; but finally transferred to the black cook, who served it up for dinner, with parsley and fresh butter. It was delicate and finely flavored. Quantities of salmon, salmon trout, pickerel, white fish, bass, &c. are caught in the numerous lakes and rivers in the Genesee country.

At Brockport, another little village on the borders of the canal, two buxom country lasses got on board the boat, and I soon found myself in conversation with them, without the formality of an introduction. "And so you are going only five miles with us, and what for?" "Oh we are going to work out for a few weeks." Work out -- I then recollected that we had just formed a society in New-York, for ameliorating the condition of the servant girls, and it struck me that an importation, fresh from the country, would be an auspicious commencement. "Were you ever at New-York?" "No -- but I hear it is a shockingly beautiful place, big agin as Rochester." "Would you like to pay a visit to New-York?" "Yes, I should hugely, if mother would let me, and I could get a place." "As for a place, nothing is easier -- what can you do?" "O a heap of things -- I can milk cows. feed pigs, hatchel flax, shell corn, spin, churn butter, bake bread, make cheese, and such things." "I very much doubt whether your qualifications are exactly those of a fashionable chambermaid. Can you make beds, arrange a toilet tastefully, run to the circulating library, get a tart from Mrs. Jones, dress yourself in your mistress' hat and feathers, and walk Broadway in the evening?" "Why yes, I guess I could -- I could learn howsomdever -- then, I can wash and iron, and scrub house -- cook a plain dish, and do a little at any thing." 'Twould have been a pity to have spolit an honest industrious girl, by introducing her to the fashionable indolence of the city, so I gave up the project of making rustic engagements.

The spires of Rochester broke upon our view, as we turned the angel of the canal. No other state can boast of so many neat and simple village churches as New-York -- it is almost the first building in a new settlement, always of wood, painted white, with green Venetian windows and blinds in the belfry -- nothing tawdry or in bad taste; the architecture is chaste, and the whole appearance at once impressive and interesting. Rochester excites general interest, and with good reason; it is a city which has grown so rapidly into existence, that the stumps of trees are still to be seen in streets and gardens. When the late war was declared, there were but two houses in Rochester, and now it may claim rank with any town or village in the state. Village statistics are, at best, but dull reading; but it may be well briefly to state, that Rochester has nearly 4000 inhabitants, and that the export of flour alone, during the last year, was not much less than 150,000 barrels.

The aqueduct, at Rochester, is a work highly honorable to the state. The canal boats glide through it, while the passengers view with admiration the ponderous arches, built below on solid rock, and the Genesee rapids rushing furiously through them. A little more capital, and this already flourishing place, will improve rapidly; and while our New-Yorkers are embarking largely in hazardous speculations, some small investments in Rochester, would in a short time, produce profitable results.

However easy and convenient the passage boats on the canal may be, there is a great sameness and little variety; it becomes, therefore, somewhat tedious. -- The traveller by sea, is continually excited by a variety of events; the reefing and unreefing, the storm, the rolling of the billows, the gallant breeze, the head wind, the sudden squall, the ship in sight, the land in view, all tends to promote a continuity of interest; but on the canal we glide along lazy and unruffled; there is no break to the scene; we pass by cottages, woods, lakes and villages, in endless succession, aroused only from our reverie, by the crack of the driver's whip, or the bugle of the pilot. Conversation, unless with a party of your own, is generally insipid. Ladies seem to prefer their own apartment, and we have seldom the pleasure of their company till the bell rings for dinner; and then a majority of them are accompanied with those charming table companions, squalling and troublesome children, and the dear souls snatch off every thing within reach. The easy motion of the canal boat being preferred for children, these little travellers are therefore most numerous. We arrived at Lyons before noon -- it was Sunday -- the sun shone brightly and warm, and well dressed ladies and gentlemen were walking to their different places of worship, in pious meditation.

Here we made some short stay -- groups of persons collected about the boat to gaze upon the passengers, and to learn their names, condition, destination and business. One tall weazen-faced man, with a pepper and salt coatee, and large drab hat, left his company, and coming up to where I stood on deck, accosted me thus, "Mister, mout you be the man that rit against our kanol in the newspaper at New-York?" To this civil question I answered, with a profound bow, "I am the man, 'homo sum' -- Terrance -- a-hem!" "Well, ar'nt you ashamed of yourself?' "Why as to the matter of that, I have changed my opinion a little, which is only saying that you are wiser to-day than you were yesterday." "Are you as great a bucktail as iver?" "About the same, sir, consistency, you know, is praise worthy." "Well, I ar'nt uncharitable, and when a man says 'I'm sorry,' why, I forgives him. I've wanted to see you hugely on our kanol, and had some thoughts of ducking you in it, only for a little sport sir. Mean no offence in the least sir. I wishes you a good day."

Easy and familiar, and most hospitably inclined forsooth. Duck me in the canal? The time will come, when it shall appear that no one did more to unite opinions in support of the canal approbations, than I did, when satisfied of the ability of this state to complete it. This was the only boor I met with; all seemed anxious to give me information respecting the cost and advantages of the canal.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. I.                            Batavia, N. Y., June 25, 1825.                             No. 3.


GRAND ISLAND in the Niagara river is a beautiful body of thickly timbered land, about 12 miles in length, and from 3 to 6 in width. From the New-York and Canada shores, it presents a fine appearance. White oak, hickory, ash, maple, and other valuable trees, are in clusters throughout the Island. At the north end, and almost in view of the Falls of Niagara, is a small bay, called Burnt-Ship Bay, which takes its name from the hulks of several vessels sunk on that spot during the old French War; and tradition says, they were sunk with all their military chests and munitions of war, the enemy coming so sudden upon them, as to leave no time to escape. The island was formerly the property of the Seneca Indians, which, with Strawberry, Snake, Squaw and Bird Islands, were sold to the state for $1,000, and an annuity of $500. At one period it contained several hundred squatters, who settled on it from Canada and New-York, erected shanties, declared themselves independent, and formed a government of their own -- levied taxes, and passed laws. O'Higgins was the first Governor; and he was succeeded by the celebrated Gen. Clarke. Their rifles, cows, and fishing apparatus were exempted from seizure for debt. Squire Wilkinson, of Buffalo, committed O'Higgins to jail, for not carrying his laws into effect. The state, alarmed at the formidable increase of this body, and perceiving an utter disregard for the constitutional power, as well as a disposition to destroy the valuable timber of the island, authorized Gov. Clinton to order a sufficient military force, and drive them off. This duty was performed in 1820, and their cottages were burnt, since which time but few have returned to the island....

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. VII.                            Rochester, N. Y., June 28, 1825.                             No. 365.


Celebration at Lockport. -- The ceremony of laying the Cap Stone of the combined Locks at Lockport, took place according to previous arrangement, on the 24th inst. The occasion called together a respectable number of the masonick fraternity, from different parts of the country, which, together with the citizens and strangers who were present, formed a numerous assemblage...

The site for the county buildings, in the county of Orleans, has been fixed by the commissioners appointed for the purpose in the village of Newport, on the canal.

Gov. Clinton passed through this village yesterday, on his way to Cleveland, Ohio; where he is to assist in the ceremony of breaking ground for the Ohio Canal, on the 4th of July next.


                              Boston, June 18.
The celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the memorable battle on Bunker-Hill, and the ceremony of laying the Foundation Stone of an Obelisk to commemorate that great event, have taken place.

The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts having been requested to assist on the occasion, assembled at an early hour in the morning at their Hall, and soon after were visited by their illustrious Brother, Gen. La Fayette...

Major Noah has, since his return from a tour to Niagara, published several humorous articles headed "a peep at the west," -- from which the following extracts are made: --

GRAND ISLAND, in the Niagara river, is a beautiful body of thickly timbered land, about 12 miles in length, and from 3 to 6 in width. From the New-York and Canada shores, it presents a fine appearance. White oak, hickory, ash, maple, and other valuable trees, are in clusters throughout the Island. At the north end, and almost in view of the Falls of Niagara, is a small bay, called Burnt-Ship Bay...

Looking forward to the few years' when Erie, Ontario, and the Niagara river will be whitened with the canvass of vessels, no spot can be more eligible for a city, and commercial depot, than Grand Island: It faces the mouth of the Grand Canal, and a bridge, it a small expense, can connect the island with the main shore...

Note 1: The year 1825 was a high water point in widely publicized, grandiose masonic ceremonies throughout New York state. Most of this exuberance was a result of the completion of the Erie Canal, each segment of which had been marked with masonic rites, until the entire project took on the air of an exclusive project of the brotherhood. The dedication of other substantial or notable building projects, not only in New York, but all through the nation, were conspicuously conducted attended by masonic dignitaries, the unofficial "priesthood" of the Republic. In New York, especially, the trip of the famous General and Freemason, La Fayette, up the Erie Canal, summoned forth a remarkable fervor among members of the craft. It is no wonder that M. M. Noah (a well known Freemason himself) included prominent masonic rites in his 1825 plan for the dedication of Grand Island as the gathering spot for "scattered Israel." Within a few months the William Morgan affair would so still the wind behind the craft's sails, that public masonic ceremonies were either severely curtailed or vanished entirely from the press of New York and other northern states.

Note 2: M. M. Noah's "A Peep at the West" series of articles demonstrated that he had finally embraced the reality and utility of the Erie Canal -- a project which, as an anti-Clintonian, he had previously opposed. Conceeding the inevitable opening of the canal all the way to Buffalo (which happened in 1825), M. M. Noah used the future prospects of the waterway as one of the selling points in his Grand Island scheme. See the June 22, 1825 issue of the Ontario Repository for the remainder of the article. The same piece was also reprinted in the Batavia People's Press of June 25th.



Vol. ?                                  Geneseo, N. Y., June 29, 1825.                                   No. ?


The newspapers in this state, in speaking of the late sale of Grand Island, &c. in the Niagara River, uniformly say, that these lands were bought by this state, of the Creek Indians. This is certainly a mistake; this purchase was made by the state of New York since the 1812 war, of the Seneca Indians; and what is more, we have no reason to believe that the Creeks ever owned these or any other nearer than the state of Georgia. There are living in this neighborhood, several old Indian warriors, who tell me, that many years ago they went a long way to fight the Creeks in their own country, but deny their ever having has any possession here.

Notes: (forthcoming)



No. ? Vol. ?                         Wednesday, July 20, 1825.                          Whole No. ?

Extract from Mr. Noah's "Peep at the West."

"A rough road of twenty miles, through a well cultivated country, brought us to Canandaigua, (an Indian name, doubtless with some meaning.) This called the handsomest village in the west, and is situated near a small but beautiful lake of the same name. -- This village has some of the most opulent inhabitants of the state, and some men of talent and influence. -- Old Ontario county, of which Canandaigua is the capital, contained 217, 227 inhabitants,* and once covered ten counties; was the right paw of the lion of the west, and gave such swinging Clintonian majorities, that when we bucktails held the shears, we cut it up into several counties, leaving the old lion with about 60,000 inhabitants. There are some elegant houses in this place, much taste, cultivation and style for a village; but the most important and valuable building in the town is a spacious hotel, said to belong to one of our Pearl-street booksellers, and remarkable for an excellent table -- trout, pigeons, game of all sorts, good wine, &c. Having little time for observation, we left Canandaigua at noon, and after a pleasant ride, reached Rochester early in the evening. 

This terminated a short but interesting tour to the west, in which I had a full and satisfactory opportunity of ascertaining the actual importance and value of the lake country; and if we are authorized to form conjectures of the future by considerations of the past, we cannot be in error while attaching a great and rapid increase of wealth and population to that section of country. 

The canal has thrown this state a century ahead. Efforts are successfully making to complete lateral canals from almost every lake and river of the state to the grand canal. These feeders will throw a vast quantity of produce into the grand reservoir, which will find its way to the New York market. Active as commerce will be in the neighborhood of this city -- in the basin of Albany -- at Utica, and at Rochester, the great spring and living source will be the lakes and their tributary streams."

{*Mr. Noah undoubtedly has reference to the census of 1820, when the seven counties of Ontario, Steuben, Genesee, Niagara, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany, (which were all included in Ontario county in 1790, and at that time contained only 1081 inhabitants,) contained a population of 221, 327.}

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. I.                                  Batavia, N. Y., July 23, 1825.                                   No. 7.

(From the New-York American.)

All the money diggers, and believers in Capt. Kidd's hidden treasures, in the upper part of the city, were put in motion last evening by a report that a vast treasure of gold had veen found by some laborers digging the foundation of a house in the vicinity of Chatham square.

The facts upon which fame has already raised many a superstructure, we believe to be simply these: In digging for the foundation of a new building on the site of the old brewery, in Chatham square, near the Tradesman's Bank, the workmen suddenly came upon a brick vault, about three feet long and two feet wide and one foot deep, seculrely & handsomely made. This vault was fourteen feet below the surface, and all around it the earth was solid. -- Those who discovered it say that nothing was contained in it; others, upon what foundation we know not, say it contained a box, which was secretly carried away by the finders. A hundred rumors are afloat, which it would be idle to repeat, or attempt to trace. The facts are as above stated, for what purpose, at what time, and by whom, such a receptacle, in such a place, was constructed, we shall not attempt to conjecture.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. I.                                  Batavia, N. Y., August 6, 1825.                                   No. 9.


The Rev. James Cochran, A.M. from the University of Glasgow, in Scotland, Most respectfully announces that he has undertaken the charge of this Institution. The Academy has been closed for a short period, but is now re-opened, with a fixed determination on the part of its Conductor, that in all its concerns Moral and Literary, the best satisfaction shall be given to Parents and Guardians of youth. Patronage is solicited.

Note 1: Presumably, the above mentioned "James Cochran" was the same man whose name subsequently appeared in a Jan. 1827 letter list published in the Batavia Republican Advocate. If so, the man therein listed in 1827 as "James Cochran" was NOT the man spoken of fifty years later by Batavia inn-keeper Samuel D. Greene. Mr. Greene, in his "Joseph Smith, the Mormon," identifies a young Joseph Smith, Jr. as the companion of the Prophet Jacob Cochran of Maine. Greene however substitutes the name "James" for "Jacob" in his recollections.

Note 2: James Cochran (1763-1846) was a bell-maker who in 1802 came to Genesee County from Pennsylvania. He set up a metal works and bell foundry on Batavia's Bank Street early in the town's history. Although the evidence is scanty, it appears that James Cochran the bell-maker sent his son James to Scotland for religious instruction and that James, Jr. was an ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church. If this was the case, it explains why the 1825 headmaster of the Batavia Academy referred to himself as "Rev. James Cochran." In the 1830 Federal Census tabulation for Batavia, only James Cochran, Jr. is listed as the head of a household -- however, his father, James, Sr. may have been then living with some relative in the area (such as John Cochran of neighboring LeRoy). James, Sr. was later buried in the Batavia Cemetery.

Note 3: In an article entitled "Free-Masonry, in Reply to Anti-Masonry," published in The American Quarterly Review, for March-June, 1830, pp. 162-188, the writer quotes Henry Brown (a Batavia attorney) regarding the 1827 funeral held at Batavia, for a man then supposed to have been the drowned William Morgan: "... a funeral oration pronounced by one James Cochran, who, Mr. Brown says, 'sometimes when sober, and sometimes when otherwise, preached in the vicinity, and was then assistant editor to Colonel Miller.'" See Mr. Brown's 1829 book for the exact quotation (A narrative of the anti-masonick excitement, in the western part of the state of New York, during the years 1826, '7, '8, and a part of 1829, By Henry Brown, Batavia, N. Y."Adams & M'Cleary, 1829).


"We  Love  Him  Because  He  First  Loved  Us."

Vol. III.                       Buffalo, New York, September 9, 1825.                       No. 35.


The following article we copy from the Religious Inquirer of the 27th of August last. -- This paper is printed at Hartford, Con.; and in reply to the Editor's remark that he shall be happy to publish Mr. Fillmore's retraction of the slander, we can assure him that as yet, he shows no disposition to make any; although we have never ceased to importune him and his Methodist brethren on the subject.


In the early ages of the christian era, many deceptions were practiced on pagans and christians by preachers of the gospel, either to convert unbelievers to the right faith, or to silence their antagonists in any controversy that was agitated. Fictitious miracles were performed, the testimony of demoniacs produced, and the most artful stratagems employed to settle disputes concerning the trinity, and to establish the orthodox faith on a permanent foundation. For it was maintained that a doctrine must be true, which God and demons had confirmed by visible interposition, and that those must be heretics, who refused to assent to the combined attestations of heaven and hell. Artifices of this kind were used on all pressing occasions for many centuries, and no great accession to the christian cause was made without prodigies in the air, the earth, or the ocean. Constantine must see a cross in the heavens before he abandons polytheism; Ambrose must produce the testimony of demoniacs to establish the doctrine of the Nicene fathers concerning the trinity, and when Clovis, King of the Franks, is baptized, a phial of oil must be brought from heaven by a milk white dove. So completely were ecclesiastics convinced that holy deception was necessary, that in the fourth century the maxim was adopted, that it is an act of virtue to deceive and lie, when by that means the interest of the church may be promoted. These artifices and impositions, however, were not confined to that age, but were practised by Charlemagne and Boniface in the conversion of the Saxons, and have come down to our own times with various modifications and improvements. -- Scarcely any thing can now be achieved in the religious world without some holy legerdemain to give it credence and eclat, and when any sect or doctrine is destitute of this support, it must of consequence be heretical, or false... That most certainly is a pure and heavenly faith, which encourages people to deceive and lie... Such a faith will elevate the morals of the community beyond all precedent, and most unquestionably hasten the millennial day on this dark and sinful world. For should all the earth be proselyted to the belief that falsehood, when intended to promote the cause of religion, or of a sect, is not only useful, but commendable, we might expect to see all engaged in the service of virtue and holiness, and religion, pure and undefiled, investing our globe with a flood of light...

Note 1: The main point of the above communication (the alleged lies of of the Methodist advocate, Mr. Fillmore, to promote his brand of religion) has been excised from the text, so that the writer's pointed and occasionally sarcastic remarks on pious frauds might stand alone, as an example of some people's feelings in western New York during the 1820s. While numerous towns and rural areas saw revivals in religion and spurts of growth in the established denominations of Christendom, during the 1820s, non-conformist and unorthodox observers on the sidelines of the "Second Great Awakening" viewed the phenomenon with mixed emotions. Quakers, Unitarians, Universalists and other members of the smaller religious societies tended towards anti-clerical reaction and suspicion of organized efforts to evangelize Americans who were not members of the major religious denominations of the day. While most Protestants were pleased to believe that pious frauds were only the devious creations of pre-Reformation Catholics and fanatical sects, other religionists, deists and agnostics professed that even the mainline denominations were guilty of such patent priestcraft -- and that the corruption of the Christian Church had progressed to the point that none of its several denominations might lay claim to any major participation in the expected millennial rule of Christ -- which many people anticipated to be close at hand. See the letter of "Philotheos" (possibly a pen-name of Sidney Rigdon) as reprinted in the Nov. 15, 1826 issue of the New York Telescope.

Note 2: In the case of those believers who contemplated joining the Mormons, four or five years after the above opinions were published in the Gospel Advocate, many of them were quick to believe that the priests and ministers of the established denominations were little more than Satan's minions, in clerical collars -- ready to lie, cheat and steal, in order to promote the gain-getting objectives of the "Great and Abominable Church." To readers holding such opinions, as far back as 1825, the 1829-30 Mormon claims to a "restored priesthood" of divine light and truth, must have come as a seeming answer to their heartfelt prayers.

Note 3: The modern student of American religious history can only wonder what a maverick theologian like the Rev. Sidney Rigdon would have made of the above remarks, prior to his 1830 conversion to Mormonism. Certainly he felt that his religious superior during the late 1820s (the Rev. Alexander Campbell) was less than a fully honest and honorable promoter of "Christian unity" and of "the restoration of the ancient order of things." It seems reasonable to suspect, that by 1827, at the latest, Sidney Rigdon had come to believe that nearly all promoters of organized religion were swindlers of one sort or another. Given such an anti-clerical frame of mind, Rigdon's thoughts may have turned to possible pious frauds of his own making -- at least they would be no worse than what he believed other ministers were then doing to gain converts and establish comfortable situations for themselves. And these pervisions of religion were exactly the sort of charges leveled at Rigdon himself, during his 1844 trail and excommunication (as conducted by the LDS Church leaders in Nauvoo, Illinois).


Vol. V.                            Fredonia, N. Y., September 14, 1825.                           No. 24.


CITY OF ARARAT -- Grand Island. -- We learn that the corner stone of the new Jewish City, on Grand Island, to be called ARARAT, is to be laid on the 15th inst, in Masonic order. M. M. NOAH, Esq. of New-York, will deliver an Address on the occasion. -- Buffalo Journal.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Extra -                              Buffalo, NY, September 15, 1825.                             - Extra


Appointment of a Judge of Israel -- Foundation of a City of Refuge.

It was known at the sale of that beautiful and valuable tract called Grand Island, a few miles below this port, in the Niagara River, that it was purchased in part by the friends of Major Noah, of New-York, avowedly to offer it as an asylum for his brethren of the Jewish persuasion, who in the other parts of the world are much oppressed; and it was likewise known that it was intended to erect upon the Island a City called Ararat. We are gratified to perceive, by the documents in this day's Extra, that coupled with that colonization is a declaration of Independence, and the revival of the Jewish government under the protection of the United States, after the dispersion of that ancient and wealthy people for nearly 2000 years -- and the appointment of Mr. Noah as first Judge. It was intended, pursuant to public notice, to celebrate the event on the Island, and a flag staff was erected for the Grand Standard of Israel, and other arrangements made; but it was discovered that a sufficient number of boats could not be procured in time to convey all those to the Island who were desirous of witnessing the ceremony, and the celebration took place this day in the village, which was both interesting and impressive. At dawn of day, a salute was fired in front of the Court House, and from the terrace facing the Lake. At 10 o'clock, the masonic and military companies assembled in front of the Lodge, and at 11 the line of procession was formed as follows: 

Order of Celebration. -- Music, military, citizens, civil officers, state officers in uniforms, U. S. officers. president and trustees of the corporation, tyler, stewards, entered apprentices, fellow crafts, master masons, senior and junior deacons, secretary and treasurer, senior and junior wardens, masters of lodges, past masters, rev. clergy, stewards with corn, wine and oil.

Principal Architect Globe  ||  with square, level  ||  Globe and plumb,

Bible, square and compass, borne by a master mason, the Judge of Israel in black, wearing the judicial robes of crimson silk, trimmed with ermine and a richly embossed golden medal suspended from the neck; a master mason, royal arch mason, knight templars.

On arriving at the church door, the troops opened to the right and left, and the procession entered the aisles, the band playing the grand march from Judas Maccabeus. The full toned organ commenced its swelling notes, performing the Jubilate. On the communion table lay the Corner Stone, with the following inscription, in Hebrew.

"Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God. -- The Lord is ONE." Ararat, the Hebrew refuge, founded by Mordecai Manuel Noah, in the month of Tisri. 5585, corresponding with September, 1825 and in the 50th year of American Independence.

On the stone lay the silver cups with wine, corn and oil.

The ceremonies commenced by the morning service, read emphatically by the Rev. Mr. Searl of the Episcopal Church. "Before Jehovah's awful Throne," was sung by the choir to the tune of Old hundred. Morning prayer. -- First lesson from Jeremiah, 31st. -- Second lesson, Zeph. iii, 3th verse, Psalms for the occasion, 97, 98, 99, 100, 127th psalm in verse. Ante Communion Service -- Psalm in Hebrew -- Benediction.

Mr. Noah then rose and pronounced a discourse or rather delivered a speech, announcing the reorganization of the Jewish government, and going through a detail of many points of intense interest, to which a crowded auditory listened with profound attention. On the conclusion of the ceremonies, the procession returned to the Lodge, and the masonic brethren and the military repaired to the Eagle Tavern and partook of refreshments. The church was filled with ladies, and the whole ceremony was impressive and unique. A grand salute of 24 guns was fired by the artillery, and the band played a number of patriotic airs.

We learn that a vast concourse assembled at Tunawanda, expecting the ceremonies would be at Grand Isle. Many of them came up in carriages to hear the speech. The following is the proclamation.



WHEREAS it has pleased Almighty God, to manifest to his chosen people, the approach of that period, when in the fulfillment of the promises made to the race of Jacob, and as a reward for their pious constancy and triumphant fidelity, they are to be gathered from the four corners of the Globe, and to resume their rank and character among the governments of the Earth. And whereas, the peace which now prevails among civilized nations; -- the progress of learning throughout the world, and the general spirit of liberality and toleration which exists, together with other changes, favourable to light and to liberty, mark in an especial manner, the approach of that time, when "peace on earth and good will to man," are to prevail with a benign and extended influence, and the ancient people of God, the first to proclaim his unity and omnipotence, are to be restored to their inheritance and enjoy the rights of a sovereign independent people. Therefore I, Mordecai Manuel Noah, Citizen of the United States of America, late Consul of said States for the city and kingdom of Tunis, High Sheriff of New-York, Counsellor at Law, and by the grace of God, Governor and Judge of Israel, have issued this my proclamation, announcing to the Jews throughout the world that an asylum is prepared and hereby offered to them, where they can enjoy that peace, comfort and happiness, which have been denied them, through the intolerance and misgovernment of former ages. An asylum in a free and powerful country, where ample protection is secured to their persons, their property and religious rights; an asylum in a country, remarkable fir its vast resources, the richness of its soil, and the salubrity of its climate; where industry is encouraged, education promoted, and good faith rewarded. "A land of milk and honey," where Israel may repose in peace under his "vine and fig tree," and where our people may so familiarize themselves, with the science of government, and the lights of learning and civilization, as may qualify them for that great and final restoration to their ancient heritage, which the times so powerfully indicate.

The asylum referred to, is in the state of New York, the greatest state in the American confederacy. New York contains 43,214 square miles, divided into fifty-five counties and having six hundred and eighty-seven Post towns and cities, containing one million five hundred thousand inhabitants, together with six million acres of cultivated land, improvements in agriculture and manufactures, in trade and commerce, which include a valuation of Three Hundred Millions of dollars of Taxable property. One hundred and fifty thousand militia, armed and equipped, a constitution founded upon an equality of rights; having no test oaths, and recognizing no religious distinctions, and seven thousand free schools and colleges affording the blessings of education to Four Hundred Thousand children. Such is the great and increasing State to which the emigration of the Jews is directed.

The desired spot in the state of New York to which I hereby invite my beloved people throughout the world, in common with those of every religious denomination, is called Grand Island, and on which I shall lay the foundation of a City of Refuge to be called Ararat.

Grand Island in the Niagara River, is bounded by Ontario on the North, and Erie on the South, and within a few miles of each of those great commercial Lakes. The Island is nearly twelve miles in length and varying from three to seven miles in breadth, and contains upwards of seventeen thousand acres of remarkably rich and fertile land. Lake Erie is about two hundred and seventy miles in length and borders on the States of New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio; and westwardly by the possessions of our friends and neighbors, the British subjects of Upper Canada. This splendid Lake unites itself by means of navigatable rivers with Lakes St. Clair, Huron, Michigan and Superior, embracing a lake shore of nearly three thousand miles; and by short canals those vast sheets of water, will be connected with the Illinois and Mississippi rivers, thereby establishing a great and valuable trade to New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico. Lake Ontario on the North, is one hundred and ninety miles in length, and empties into the St. Lawrence, which passing through the Province of Lower Canada carries the commerce of Quebec and Montreal to the Atlantic Ocean.

Thus fortified to the right and left by the extensive commercial resources of the Great Lakes, and their tributary streams -- within four miles of the sublime Falls of Niagara, affording the greatest water power in the world for manufacturing purposes, -- directly opposite the mouth of the Grand Canal of Three Hundred and sixty miles inland navigation, to the Hudson River, and City of New York, having the fur trade of Upper Canada to the west, and also of the great territories towards the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean; likewise the trade of the western states of America; Grand Island may be considered as surrounded by every commercial, manufacturing and agricultural advantage, and from its location is pre-eminently calculated to become in time the greatest trading and commercial depot in the new and better world. To men of worth and industry it has every substantial attraction, the capitalist will be enabled to employ his resources with undoubted profit, and the merchant cannot fail to reap the reward of enterprise in a great and growing republic, but to the industrious mechanic, manufacturer and agriculturist, it holds forth great and improving advantages.

Deprived as our people have been for centuries of a right in the soil, they will learn with peculiar satisfaction, that here they can till the land, reap the harvest, and raise the flocks which are unquestionable their own; and in the full and unmolested enjoyment of their religious rights, and of every civil immunity, together with peace and plenty, they can lift up their voice in gratitude to Him who sustained our fathers in the wilderness and brought us in triumph out of the land of Egypt; who assigned to us the safe keeping of his oracles, who proclaimed us his people, and who has ever walked before us like a "cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night."

In his name do I revive, renew and re-establish the Government of the Jewish Nation, under the auspices and protection of the constitution and laws of the United States of America, confirming and perpetuating all our rights and privileges, our name, our rank, and our power among the nations of the earth as they existed and were recognized under the government of the JUDGES, -- And I hereby enjoin it upon all our pious and venerable Rabbis, our Presidents and Elders of Synagogues, Chiefs of Colleges, and Brethren in authority throughout the world to circulate and make known this my proclamation, and give it full publicity, credence, and effect.

It is my will that a census of the Jews throughout the world be taken, and returns of persons, together with their age and occupation, be registered in the archives of the Synagogues where they are accustomed to worship, designating such in particular, who have been and are distinguished in the useful arts, in science, or in knowledge.

Those of our people who from age, local attachment, or from any other cause prefer remaining in the several parts of the world which they now respectfully inhabit, and who are treated with a liberality by the public authorities, are permitted to do so, and are specially recommended to be faithful to the governments which protect them. It is however expected, that they will aid and encourage the emigration of the young and enterprising, and endeavor to send to this country such, who will add to our national strength and character, by their industry, honor and patriotism.

Those Jews who are in the military employment of the different sovereigns of Europe are enjoined to keep in their ranks until further orders, and conduct themselves with bravery and fidelity.

I command that a strict neutrality, be observed in the pending wars between the Greeks and the Turks, enjoined by considerations of safety towards a numerous population of Jews now under the oppressive dominion of the Ottoman Porte.

The annual gifts which for many centuries have been afforded to our pious brethren in our Holy City of Jerusalem, to which may God speedily restore us, are to continue with unabated liberality; our seminaries of learning and institutions of charity in every part of the world, are to be increased, in order that wisdom and virtue, may permanently prevail among the chosen people.

I abolish forever Polygamy among the Jews, which without religious warrant still exists in Asia and Africa. I prohibit marriages, or giving Keduchim without both parties are of a suitable age, and can read and write the language of the country which they respectfully inhabit, and which I trust will ensure to their offspring, the blessings of education and probably the lights of science.

Prayers shall forever be said in the Hebrew Language, but it is recommended that occasional discourses on the principles of the Jewish faith, and the doctrines of morality generally, be delivered in the language of the country, together with such reforms which without departing from the ancient faith, may add greater solemnity to our worship.

The Caraite and Samaritan Jews, together with the black Jews of India and Africa, and likewise those of Cochin China, and the sect on the coast of Malabar, are entitled to an equality of rights and religious privileges, as are all who may partake of the great covenant, and obey and respect the Mosaical Laws.

The Indians of the American continent in their admitted Asiatic origin, in their worship of one God, in their dialect and language, in their sacrifices, marriages, divorces, burials, fastings, purifications, punishments, cities of refuge, division of tribes, in their High Priests, and in their wars and in their victories, being in all probability the descendants of the lost tribes of Israel, which were carried captive by the King of Assyria, measures will be adopted to make them sensible of their origin, to cultivate their minds, soften their condition and finally re-unite them with their brethren the chosen people.

A capitation tax of three shekels in silver per annum, or one Spanish dollar, is hereby levied upon each Jew throughout the world, to be collected by the Treasurers of the different congregations, for the purpose of defraying the various expenses or re-organizing the government, of aiding emigrants in the purchase of agricultural implements, providing for their immediate wants, and comforts, and assisting their families in making their first settlements, together with such free-will offerings as may be generously made in the furtherance of the laudaible objects connected with the restoration of the people, and the glory of the Jewish nation. A Judge of Israel shall be chosen once in every four years by the Consistory at Paris, at which time Proxies from every congregation shall be received.

I do hereby name as Commissioners the most learned and pious Abraham de Cologna, Knight of the Iron Cross of Lombardy, Grand Rabbi of the Jews, and President of the Consistory at Paris, and likewise the Grand Rabbi Andrade of Bordeaux, and also our learned and estimable Grand Rabbis of the German and Portugal Jews, in London, Rabbis Herschell, and Mendola, together with the Honorable Aaron Nunez Cardoza, of Gibraltar, Abraham Busnac, of Leghorn, Benjamin Bradis, of Bordeaux, Dr. E. Gans, and Professor Zunts, of Berlin, and Dr. Leo Woolf of Hamburgh, to aid and assist in carrying into effect the provisions of this my proclamation, with powers to appoint the necessary agents in the several parts of the world and to establish emigration societies in order that the Jews may be concentrated and capacitated to act as a distinct body, having at the head of each Kingdom or Republic such presiding officers as I shall upon their recommendation appoint. Instructions to these commissioners shall be forthwith transmitted. And a more enlarged and general view of plan, motives and objects will be detailed in the address to the nation. The Consistory at Paris is hereby authorized and empowered to name three discreet persons of competent abilities to visit the United States, and make such report to the nation, as the actual condition of this country shall warrant.

I do appoint Roshodes Adar, Feb. 7, 1826, to be observed with suitable demonstrations, as a day of Thanksgiving to the Lord God of Israel, for the manifold blessings and signed protection which he has deigned to extend to his people, and in order that on that great occasion our prayers may be offered for the continuance of his divine mercy, and the fulfilment of all the promises and pledges made to the race of Jacob.

I recommend peace and union among us, charity and good will to all, toleration and liberality to our brethren of every religious denomination, enjoined by the mild and just precepts of our holy religion. Honor and good faith in the fulfilment of all our contracts, together with temperance, economy and industry in our habits.

I humbly intreat to be remembered in your prayers, and lastly and most earnestly, I do enjoin you to "Keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes and his commandments and his judgments and his testimonies as it is written in the Law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself."

Given at Buffalo, in the State of New-York, this second day of Tisri, in the year of the world, 5586, corresponding with the 15th day of September, 1825, and the fiftieth year of American Independence.

By the Judge,
A. B. Siexas, Sec'y Pro Tem.

S P E E C H.

Brothers, Countrymen and Friends,

Having made known by proclamation the re-establishment of the Hebrew government, having laid the foundation of a city of refuge, an asylum for the oppressed in this free and happy republic, I avail myself of that portion of my beloved brethren here assembled, together with this concourse of my fellow citizens, to unfold the principles, explain the views, and detail the objects contemplated in the great work of regeneration and independence to which it has pleased the Almighty to direct my attention. Truth and justice demand that I should candidly state the motives which have induced me to aim at higher objects than mere colonization. The world has a right to know what inducements have led to this declaration of Independence, and what measures are contemplated to carry the design into successful execution. The peace of mankind -- the security of persons and property -- the changes incidental to the revival of the Jewish government -- the progress and effect of emigration, and all those vicissitudes arising from change of climate -- new laws and new society, admonish me to be explicit in my declarations and candid in my statements. I shall not deceive the expectations of the world.

Two thousand years have nearly elapsed since the dissolution of the Jewish government, and no period has presented itself more auspiciously than the present for its reorganization. Peace exists among civilized powers, the march of learning and science has been rapid and successful, and mankind are at this day better qualified to estimate the blessings of toleration and liberal views, and better disposed and capacitated to encourage and enforce them, than at any former time. Religion generally, though divided and sub-divided into various sects, assumes a milder aspect, and feelings of universal love and charity have superceded the darkness and bigotry of former ages. The nations of the old and new world including the children of Africa, have had their rights acknowledged, and their governments recognised. The oldest of nations, powerful in numbers and great in resources, remains isolated, without a home, a country or a government.

The Jews have been destined by Providence to remain a distinct people. Though scattered over the face of the globe they still retain their homogeneousness of character -- the peculiarity of their tenet, the identity of their faith. In their prosperity and adversity they have uniformly been the chosen people -- proud of their God, proud of their distinction, and even proud of their sufferings. Bending before the tribunals of power, yielding to persecution and torture, tranquil in misfortune, and resigned to fate, they patiently endured, not meanly surrendered, they bravely defended their rights and the rights of their country, and have never despaired of divine protection or given up hopes of human justice.

Looking forward to a period of regeneration and to the fulfillment of the prophecies, the Jews have preserved within themselves the elements of government in having carefully preserved the oracles of God assigned to their safe keeping, and the time has arrived when their rights as a nation can be recognized, when, in the enjoyment of independence, the lights of learning and civilization, and the obligation of industry and mortality, they can cultivate a friendly and affectionate understanding with the whole family of mankind and have no longer enemies on earth.

In calling the Jews together under the American Constitution and laws, and governed by our happy and salutary institutions, it is proper for me to state that this asylum is temporary and provisionary. The Jews never should and never will relinquish the just hope of regaining possession of their ancient heritage, and events in the neighborhood of Palestine indicate an extraordinary change of affairs.

The Greeks are almost independent of the Ottoman Porte. The Turkish sceptre becomes weaker daily. Russia will march upon Constantinople. The Egyptians are cultivating the useful arts, and are encouraging commerce and agriculture. The Turks, driven beyond the Bosphorus may leave the land of Canaan free for the occupancy of its rightful owners, and the wealth and enterprize of the Jews may make it desirable for them to reclaim their former possession by and with the consent of the christian powers, who more enlightened, and consequently more tolerant, may be duly impressed with a sense of justice due to an injured and oppressed people.

Called together to the Holy Land by the slow but unerring finger of Providence, the Jews, coming from every quarter of the Globe, would bring with them the language, habits and prejudices of each country. Assimilating only in religious doctrines, and divided on temporal affairs, they would present innumerable difficulties in organizing under any form of government, and the diversity of opinions and views would create factions as dangerous and difficult to allay as those fatal ones which existed in the time of the first and second Temples. It is in this country that the government of the Jews must be organized. Here under the influence of perfect freedom, they may study Laws -- cultivate their minds, acquire liberal principles as to men and measures, and qualify themselves to direct the energies of a just and honorable government in the land of the Patriarchs.

Conforming therefore to the constitution and Laws of the United States, there is no difficulty in organizing and concentrating the Jewish nation. Originally we were a race of shepherds; each man governed his own family, and to the enjoyment of domestic happiness they added the blessings of pure religion. Israel accumulating in strength was led to Egypt, delivered from bondage and conducted to the promised land, by the illustrious legislator of the Jews and the great benefactor of mankind. Moral, political and ecclesiastical code of laws which the Almighty through Moses, presented to the children of Israel, forms, even at this day the basis of every civil and religious institution. The victorious Joshua settled the Israelites in the land of Canaan, and divided it according to tribes. -- After a short interregnum on his death, the government of the Judges commenced, which existed 500 years until it was merged in the kingdom which commenced with Saul and terminated after a brilliant epoch in the captivity. The government of the High Priests succeeded and continued 428 years, followed by the Maccabean Kings of Judah, and the nation became finally dispersed under Herod the Idumean.

In selecting from the primitive, the judicial, the regal and sacerdotal governments a form best adapted to the times, and also to the condition of the Jewish people, I have deemed it expedient to re-organize the nation under the direction of the judges.

The authority of the Judges extended to all religious, military and civil concerns -- they were absolute and independent like the Kings of Israel and Judah, with out the ensigns of Sovereignty. The Judges were immediately from the people, mingling in their deliberations, directing their energies, commanding their armies, and executing their Laws. The office, which was not hereditary, conforms in some respect to that of Chief Magistrate, and is in accordance with the genius and disposition of the people of this country.

It is difficult at this period to decide with certainty on the manner and forms adopted in choosing the Judges of Israel. Most of the distinguished men who had filled that station were "raised up" by divine influence. Their skill in war, and wisdom in peace, their valour and experience, their capacity to govern, and incidental and necessary qualifications calculated to excite public confidence, were passports to office.

Dispersed as the nation now is, and no possibility of concentrating the general voice, there can be no just power to grant -- no right to withold -- the office must be assumed by divine permission, and the power exercised by general consent and approbation. He who assumes this power, who takes the lead in the great work of regeneration and judges righteously, will always be sustained by public opinion. By this test I wish to be judged.

Born in a free country, and educated with liberal principles, familiar with all the duties of government, having enjoyed the confidence of my fellow-citizens in various public trusts -- ardently attached to the principles of our holy faith, and having devoted years of labor and study to ameliorate the condition of the Jews, with an unsullied conscience and a firm reliance on Almighty God, I offer myself as an humble instrument of his divine will and solicit the confidence and protection of our beloved brethren throughout the world. If there be any person possessing greater facilities and a more ardent zeal in attempting to restore the Jews to their rights as a sovereign and independent people, to such will I cheerfully surrender the trust.

I cannot be insensible to the many difficulties which may present themselves in the successful progress of the great work of regeneration. The attempt may be pronounced visionary and impracticable -- the reluctance of some to countenance the effort -- the timidity of others, and the apprehensions of all may be arrayed against an enterprize extraordinary and interesting, but always feasible. -- I indulge in no chimerical views, I know this country, its soil, climate and resources, and confidently embark in the undertaking. Firm of purpose, when the object is public good, I allow no difficulties to check my progress. Urged to its consideration by strong and irresistible impulse, the project has always presented itself to me in the most cheering light, in the most alluring colors; and if the attempt shall result in ameliorating the condition of the Jews, and shall create a generous and liberal feeling towards them and open to them the avenues of science, learning, fame, honor and happiness, who shall say that I have failed? I ask the trial -- and will abide the result.

The Hebrew nation, with its sublime Theocracy, its moral laws, its warlike character and powerful government, originated in a family of shepherds. From an ancestry not more illustrious, arose the heroes and sages of Greece, and to the neglected children of the forest was Rome, once mistress of the world, indebted for existence. From origins the most humble, and from projects the most doubtful, the world has been indebted for signal benefits and blessings. A few pilgrims, driven to our continent by European persecution, have laid the foundations of a splendid empire. We have less difficulties to encounter, because we are surrounded by civilization; and a few Jews in this happy land admonished by the past, and stimulated by anticipations of the future, may increase rapidly and prosperously, and under good government and wholesome laws, may fall back in time towards the Pacific Ocean, and possess a country the most fertile as it is capacious and valuable. We have long been captives in a land of strangers; we have long submitted patiently to oppression; we have long anxiously expected a temporal deliverance; but throughout the most terrible periods of calamity, we have done nothing for ourselves. The Almighty, who has covered us with the shield of his personal love, has given us moral agents, by which with his divine aid, we are to affect our own deliverance. We have senses, judgements, powers of self-government, energy, capacity and wealth. If, with all these great requisites we still "hang our harps upon the willow," we still cover ourselves with sackcloth and ashes and do not make one effort for independence, how can we reasonably continue to supplicate God for our restoration, who made man in his own image and proclaimed him free? -- Why should the parent of nations, the oldest of people, the founders of religion, wander among the governments of the earth, intreating succor and protection, when we are capable of protecting ourselves?

The time has emphatically arrived to do something calculated to benefit our own condition, and excite the admiration of the world, and we must commence the work in a country free from ignoble prejudices and legal disqualifications -- a country, in which liberty can be ensured to the Jews without the loss of one drop of blood.

The present condition of our people throughout the world is not without interest and instruction. The rightful possessors of Palestine are slaves in their own territory, and the pious attachment of the resident Jews of the Holy Land, gives them the highest claims on our charity and protection. There are several hundred families in Jerusalem, Hebron, and Tiberius, three of the most ancient congregations in the world, and the number in the Holy Land may be computed at 100,000. Those on the borders of the Mediteranean, are engaged in trade and manufactures; those in the interior, and particularly in Jerusalem, are poor and dreadfully oppressed. They are the great sentinels and guardians of the law and religion, and amidst the severest privations and the most intense sufferings, they have for centuries kept their eye upon the ruined site of the temple and said, "the time will come -- the day will be accomplished." The Samaritan Jews, which formerly were numerous and scattered over Egypt, Damascus, Ascalon and Caesarea, are now reduced to a few hundred poor inoffensive persons, principally residents of Jaffa and Naplouse. As there is no essential difference between their doctrines and the rest of our brethren, the distinction between them should cease. The Caraite Jews, who are numerous, are principally residents of the Crimea and the Ukraine, and are a respectable body of men. They reject the Talmud and rabbinical doctrines, adhering closely to the precepts of our divine law. On the borders of Cochin China, we have a large colony of black and white Jews. Their numbers are computed at 10,000. -- The white Jews reside on the sea coast and the blacks in the interior. The blacks, who call themselves Beni Israel, must have existed at the time of the first temple. The researches in the interior of Africa may, at some future period, give us immense colonies of Jews, which emigrated at an early period from Egypt. They are on the coast of Malabar and Coromandel, and in the interior of India, a considerable number of wealthy and enterprising Israelites. Measures will be adopted to ascertain their force and condition. Upwards of a million and a half Jews reside in the dominions of the Ottoman Porte, including the Barbary States. In Constantinople and Salonichi, there cannot be less than one hundred thousand. They suffer much from the oppression of the Turks -- are severely taxed, and treated with undisguised severity; but their skill in trade and their general quickness and intelligence as bankers, brokers and merchants, give them the entire control of commerce and the command of important confidential stations in the empire. The same character and condition may be likewise attributed to those numerous Jews residing in Egypt and in Persia; they have many wealthy men in Alexandria, Cairo, Ispahan, and the numerous cities beyond the Euphrates.

From countries yet uncivilized, we turn to those, which still withholding the rights of man from the descendants of the Patriarchs, are nevertheless more mild and tolerant in their measures, more liberal and generous to an afflicted people.

The settlement of the Jews in England was coeval with Julius Caesar; the inroads of the Saxons and Danes have obliterated much of the chronicles and traditions relative to their early existence in that country. William the Conqueror brought with him a large colony from Normandy, and for a stipulated sum of money conferred upon them certain commercial privileges, and assigned them places to inhabit. It was in the feudal ages that the Jews of Britain were the most enlightened, tolerant, and polished. Opulent in circumstances and enterprising in the development of resources, they gave an early impetus and direction to that trade and commerce, which has since successfully extended itself to every quarter of the globe. -- During the reign of William Rufus and Henry II, the Jews were favored and protected, though always considered vassals of the crown, to be tolerated or pillaged according to the caprice of government. The cruelty practised towards them during the misguided periods of the crusade, caused many of the most respectable to abandon the country. Several families however, returned under an invitation from King John, to be again pillaged, proscribed and murdered; and for five hundred years their condition underwent no material change. Occasionally protected, but too frequently oppressed, deprived of the natural rights of subjects and citizens, it was not surprising if the Jews of England, during those periods, acquired wealth without consideration, and power without respect. -- During the reign of King George II a bill was introduced in Parliament for the naturalization of the Jews, It was supported by the ministry, though opposed with warmth by the people, and produced great excitement in the public mind. It nevertheless became a law; but such was the strenuous opposition manifested on the occasion, that it was considered prudent to repeal it at the ensuing session. The same legal disqualifications still exist in Great Britain; but it is gratifying to know, that the government affords to Jews certain rights, immunities and protection, and our people in that country in addition to wealth and influence, are rapidly advancing in the career of learning and civilization, of charity and liberal feelings.

The miseries inflicted upon our nation in England, during the Crusade, extended their unhappy consequences to France. The Jews were among the earliest settlers of Gaul, and by their superior talent and advantages, endeavored to encourage and extend civilization among a rude and barbarous people. Their sufferings, banishments and massacres during the reigns of Philip Augustus, Lewis the ninth, Philip the Fair, Philip the Tall, Charles the sixth and several successive kings, fill the sanguinary pages of history, and present a list of enormities that makes humanity shudder. In 1566, they were all banished the kingdom, and in the succeeding year, only four families were permitted to return. In the 17th & 18th centuries, they were gradually permitted to re-occupy their former places of residence, though still exposed to the scorn of the ignorant and the insults of the barbarians, and such feelings were encouraged and perpetuated by an edict of the government compelling them to wear a distinctive dress.

During the French Revolution the Jews claimed from the constituent Assembly, the rights of citizens; many enlightened statesmen espoused their cause, and the decree of 1790 gave them a legal existence. Among the philanthropists of the age who raised his voice successfully in their behalf, was my venerable and pious friends, the Bishop Gregoire, to whom the Jews owe an incalculable debt of gratitude. The civil revolution in the condition of our brethren in France, gave rise to the moral one, which resulted from the proceedings of the Sanhedrin, convened at Paris, by the decree of 1806, and which presented to the world a galaxy of talent and learning which would do honor to any age or country. The Jews in France are citizens, and the charter granted by the good king, Louis the 18th, confirmed all their rights. They are manufacturers, agriculturalists, merchants and bankers, and many of them possess distinguished talents.

The history of our people in Spain is of peculiar interest. Spain was a country dear to the Jews, and after their dispersion, the seat of learning and the birth place of our greatest scholars.

The Jews first appeared in Spain, during the reign of Emperor Adrian, and in his time were numerous and wealthy, but like our brethren in Britain and France, their lives and property were held by a frail tenure, and the Goths exercised a lucrative oppression over this proscribed and unhappy people.

After the expulsion of the Jews from Syria and Egypt, they joined the Saracens and aided them in the conquest of Spain. Favored by the Caliphs and united by a reciprocal hospitality towards the christians, the Jews found asylum and protection from the Saracen Monarchs, and the most brilliant epoch in our history from the destruction of the temple, may be traced to this period. In the early ages the Jews were enlightened and learned in the Law, they were the foes of paganism, the enemies of idolators; but it was under the Caliphs of Bagdad, and the Saracens of Spain that they cultivated the sciences, and established Seminaries of learning, and schools of literature and philosophy.

The revolutions in that country commencing in the eleventh century, eventuated unfortunately for the Jews, and the war declared by Ferdinand against the Saracens, was the commencement of their troubles and calamities. -- During the eleventh and twelfth centuries many learned Rabbis appeared, which did honor to the age and country. They were not only deeply versed in cabalistical, allegorical and mystical interpretations of the laws, but distinguished mathematicians, astronomers, masters of the dead and living languages, and natural philosophers. In Toledo and Andalusia they had colleges in the most flourishing condition, and the piety and illustrious talents of Abraham Ben Esdra, Maimonides, Kimchi, Jarchi Haleri, Abravenel, and others, attested the brilliancy of that epoch in Jewish history. The fury of the Crusades was perhaps more severely felt by the Jews in Spain than in any other part of the world, and more of our people abandoned that country than were brought out of the land of Egypt by Moses. Under the enlightened and liberal Moorish Kings, the Jews lived prosperously in Spain, but the destruction of the Moors caused their ruin, and to this day they have been banished from the country. Upwards of a million of Jews speak the Spanish language, and will never cease to regret the barbarous edicts which prohibit their residence in that beautiful but neglected part of the globe.

Spain is a miraculous and providential instance of the impolity and impiety of religious persecutions. She is weaker in resources, in character, in the means of sustaining independence and national rights, in arts and in arms, than when under the dominion of the Caliphs.

Portugal in ancient and modern times was not more liberal, tolerant, and humane towards the Jews than Spain; they banished, tortured, and burnt them, and Portugal from this proscriptive and cruel system is not more happily conditioned than her neighbor.

The Jews have resided in Rome since they were brought captive to that Capital, by Titus Vespasianous, yet, while subjected to the persecution of the christian monarchs throughout Europe, it is pleasing to recollect and grateful to acknowledge the kindness and protection afforded them by several of the Roman Pontiffs, particularly Gregory the Great, Alexander 2d, Gregory the 9th, Clement the 5th, Clement 6th, Boniface 9th, Nicholas 2d. Alexander 6th, Paul 3d, &c. Men who practised the precepts which they preached. In modern times the Jews have been tranquil residents of that ancient City, yet at this day they are compelled to wear a distinctive badge, to reside in a separate part of the town, and at periods to attend mass under a certain penalty. In most of the cities in Italy, the Jews enjoy protection and privileges; they are a cultivated people, far advanced in science and polite literature, and I have long esteemed them as a learned and distinguished branch of the nation.

Many of the emigrants from Spain and Portugal, took refuge in Holland, which together with those from Germany, formed a considerable congregation, and in the 17th century they were wealthy and flourishing. The Jews in Amsterdam established colleges and academies, over which some of the greatest men of our nation have presided. It is supposed that there are nearly 100,000 Jews in Holland, mostly residents of Amsterdam. -- In comparison with the cruelties inflicted upon our nation by other powers on the continent, the Jews in Holland may have been considered happy and protected, yet they were neither free by law, nor by public opinion, and in many instances they were shut out from honorable and lucrative employment.

Notwithstanding these prohibitory decrees and unfortunate internal divisions existing among the nation, Holland has produced many eminent physicians, counsellors and literary men, particularly since the adoption of the constitution by the States in 1796, and the Jews are now held in estimation by the government.

In the Austrian and Russian dominions, in Prussia, Sweden, Denmark and the Hanseatic towns, and throughout Germany, there must be nearly two millions and a half of Jews. Nearly a million of which were in Poland previous to the partition in 1772. In all those countries their condition has been ameliorated, yet they do not in all enjoy political rights, though their personal deportment acquires consideration and respect, if merited. Of late some strong edicts have been passed relative to the Polish & Russian Jews, & it is to be lamented that they still labor under strong personal and religious prejudices.

It will thus be perceived that with all the toleration of the times, with all the favorable condition of the Jews, they suffer much, and are deprived of many valuable rights.

Our religion imbraces all that is pure and upright, and all that is just and generous. In temperance, in industry, in patience and in all the duties of husband, father, friend and citizen, the Jews may claim an equal rank with those of any other religious denomination. If there are some who occasionally wander from the paths of rectitude, let it be remembered that they are men, and subject to human frailties. If in the narrow and crooked channels of traffic, in which persecution has driven some of them, they have at times disregarded the high injunctions of purity and good faith, let us call to mind that their virtues have never been accredited, while their faults have been magnified. Shut out from more noble pursuits, they have been left without that incentive to good actions, that encouragement to upright conduct, that reward of merit which has been afforded to others.

Why should Christians persecute Jews? Sprung from a common stock, and connected by human ties which should be binding; if those ties are empty and evanescent, where is the warrant for this intolerance? not in the religion which they profess; that teaches mildness, charity and good will to all. I judge religion from its effects, and when I look round and see the seminaries of learning and institutions of charity; when I see temperance united to industry; virtue and wisdom, benevolence and good faith, existing among Christians; if this be the result of their religion, God forbid that it should be destroyed. Let it flourish, I will sustain that faith in its purity; but let us be equally charitable to all. The Jews and Christians are only known by their hostility towards each other. This hostility neither religion recognizes. We should no more censure the Christians at this day for the cruelties practised towards the Jews in the early ages, than the Jews should now be made answerable for the facious policy of our ancestors 500 years ago. Times have undergone an important change; we all begin to feel that we are formed of the same materials, subject to the same frailties, destined to the same death, and hoping for the same immortality. Here, then, in this free and happy country, distinctions in religion, are unknown; here we enjoy liberty without licentiousness, and land without oppression.

Among the many advantages which an asylum in this country promises, the pursuits of agriculture are the most prominent, and of all pursuits the most noble.

The Jews were an agricultural people before they were a nation, the fruitful vallies of Canaan, the plains of Nineva, Greece, Persia, Egypt, and in modern times, Lithuania, the Ukraine, and Moldavia, exhibited their devotion and attachment to this pursuit. In no country on earth can they enjoy in this respect, equal advantages to those which we hold forth. Land of a fertile quality, well wooded and watered, may be purchased on the most reasonable terms; taxes are equalized and moderate; and by a recent act of the Legislature of this state, aliens can hold any quantity, upon declaring their intention of becoming citizens. -- This great privilege, which in other countries is denied to the Jews, is here afforded, together with every personal security. The lands they cultivate are their own; no sovereign or feudal lord, or magistrate can wrest their property from them, no tithes, no exactions, no persecutions await them; they will be called upon to contribute that moderate support to the government, which is cheerfully yielded by every good citizen. They will be themselves lords of the soil, and sovereigns in their own right, eligible to office and honor, and acquiring that consideration and respect which unavoidably await correct deportment, talents and reputation.

The state of New-York is far advanced in improvements of every kind. There are upwards of six millions of acres of cultivated land, producing grain in abundance, and every variety of fruit, and rich grazing meadows. A farm of one hundred acres well cultivated, will, with industry, afford an ample livelihood and corresponding happiness to a family, I again repeat, agriculture is the natural and noble pursuit of man. Between the handles of the plough, in felling the oak of the forest, in the harvest and in the season of fruits, the farmer is still the same free and happy citizen, and has all the resources of life within himself. His cattle are raised in his pastures, his grain produce him bread, his sheep afford him wood, his trees sugar, his fields flax, he is his own brewer and distiller, his forest affords him fuel, he has all the comforts and frequently luxuries which wealth can give. He sees the sun rise in glory and set in majesty. He who wishes to be truly religious and surrounded with admonitions of piety, should be an agriculturalist. To the man of capitol, the advantages held forth in this state, are numerous and acknowledged. To the land proprietor there is plenty and happiness; to the merchant and trader the most profitable facilities, and unceasing encouragement as the manufacturer and mechanic.

The laws and customs in Europe, present many obstacles to the Jews becoming mechanics. -- To be perfectly independent, they should learn some branches of the mechanic art. In this country, our mechanics are numerous, opulent and influential. Masons, carpenters, blacksmiths, tailors, hatters, shoemakers, curriers, and the more light branches of labor are always amply encouraged, and with the acquirement of a trade in this country, no industrious man can possibly want.

The rising importance and value of our manufactories, should attract the attention of Jewish capitalists. The Congress of the United States, has, by a judicious revision of the Tariff, so regulated the duties on foreign fabrics, as to give permanent encouragement to our own. The market value of articles annually manufactured in this state alone, is computed at several hundred millions of dollars, and the investments are principally in grist- mills, saw-mills, oil-mills, fulling-mills, iron foundries, trip hammers, distilleries, tanneries, asheries, breweries, &c.

Grand Island is surrounded by water power, and is admitted to be an eligible spot for the erection of manufactories.

The organization of a system of Finance for the promotion of emigration, affording aid to settlers, erecting and supporting institutions of charity, establishing seminaries of learning, and for all the purposes of an efficient and economical government, is not without some difficulty. Our means are ample, but they are defused, spread over the globe, and not readily concentrated.

A suitable person will be appointed to direct the finance department, and likewise such other officers as are usually named in all well organized governments. The Jewish capital throughout the world, may be estimated at a vast amount. Since the termination of the wars on the Continent, a great portion of the capital has returned to the coffers of its proprietors. A few millions of dollars judiciously invested and thrown into the western district of this state, would realize a reasonable profit, and be of immense benefit to this thriving and populous section of our country.

During the European wars, many Jews joined the different armies, and I learn have distinguished themselves in sundry campaigns; several have been honored with important commissions, and given proof of valour and fidelity. Such, who prefer a military life, and who at the present period have arms in their hands, may continue in their ranks; their arms must never be turned against the country they serve; but we have lost our ancient military character, and the discipline, courage and constancy, of those who have in modern times seen service, may be necessary to constitute the materials from which future armies may be organized.

Wars are necessary in defence of national rights, when unjustly assailed. So God has thought, and fought with us. So man now thinks. We may not have again such generals as Joshua, David and Maccabees; but in blending our people with the great American family, I wish to see them able and willing to sustain its honor with their lives and fortunes. Time which matures and brings forth many surprising events, may give to us a territory beyond the lakes, great in extent and resources; we may occupy a position of importance on the Pacific, and wherever providence may lead the nations, I wish to have its rights manifestly sustained.

I have enjoined a strict neutrality between the Greeks and Ottoman Porte. While it would afford me great happiness to aid any oppressed nation in a contest for liberty, we must not jeopardize the safety of millions living under the Mussulman Government, and who would be instantly sacrificed by their relentless rulers, upon the least succour being afforded to the revolutionists. While prudence, and a due regard to the safety of innocent people enjoin us not to mingle in this contest, it is due to the cause of freedom, not to throw obstacles in the way of its advancement.

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

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

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

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

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

I recommend the establishment of emigration societies throughout all Europe, in order that proper aid may be afforded to those who are disposed to visit this country, and also to ascertain the character and occupation of each emigrant, and supplying them with passports and information. Passage in all cases should be taken for New-York. It should be distinctly understood by emigrants of limited means, that it will be necessary to have at least, sufficient to support their families for six months, as in that time they may be enabled to realize the fruits of enterprize and industry, and a sufficient sum may at that period be paid into the general Coffers, to aid them in their purchase of land. No mistaken impression should exist, that the Jews must not labor in the country; we are all compelled to work. but with the same portion of industry exercised in other parts of the world, we realize a greater portion of happiness, tranquillity, and personal rights. We shall not be prepared to receive emigrants on Grand Island, until the ensuing summer, and this notice is given to prevent an indiscriminate and hasty emigration which may defeat many good objects.

Our law prohibited the Kings of Israel from "multiplying to themselves silver and gold." This prohibition was intended to preserve the people from ruinous and oppressive taxation, and therefore limited the Sovereign to the moderate exigencies of his Court: but it appears from our prophet Samuel, and indeed from the ancient laws of Babylon, also in force among the Greeks and Romans, that the jus regeum was computed at one tenth. The tithes afforded to the High priest were of similar value in cattle, first fruits, the harvest even to "Mint, Cummin and Anise." A considerable portion was also secured to the Levites. It is, however, obvious that these exactions were exorbitant, and while they gave splendour to the governments, they tended to impoverish the people.

Taxes should be equalized and always levied in correspondence with the wants of the nation. In organizing the Jewish Government, the poorest should be enabled to participate in the great and glorious act; and with this view I have imposed a capitation tax of three Shekels of silver, which is equal to one Spanish dollar, to be paid annually, a sum within the means of the poorest, and if paid and collected will be amply sufficient to defray the expenses of the government in its incipient organization. This small tax, however, does not prevent free will offerings in our Synagogues, which the liberal and wealthy may make in the furtherance of the great objects in view.

It is very desirable that education should be more generally diffused among the Jews, it is the staff of their existence -- the star of their future happiness. -- There is no part of our religion which should be altered, nothing should be taken from the law, for if the power of innovation existed, there would be no end to the pruning knife. Our religious demands from us many temporal sacrifices, which should be cheerfully yielded, as a slight acknowledgment for the protecting favors of the Almighty.

Although no law permits polygamy among the Jews, there is no religious statute which prohibits it, and from this omission, an indulgence is claimed in the eastern countries incompatible with morality. Having personally witnessed the observance of this custom among the Jews in Africa, I have deemed it important as one among the first acts of the government, to protest against the practice, and abolish it forever. The duties of Husband and Father can never be safely or honourably fulfilled, when those duties are subjected to the caprices which sensuality produce. Neither can a wife thus circumstanced ever receive that consideration, affection and respect, to which virtuous and good wives, are always entitled. Another and a serious evil is to be apprehended from the prevalence of this custom, in the promiscuous, and probably incestuous marriages, which accidental circumstances may produce among children of one father, and several living mothers. In civilized communities, the laws which are paramount, admit of no such privileges. Our religious divorces are too loosely exercised, and demand the strong arm of authority; marriage is a sacred tie, and such alliances should not be lightly dissolved.

I have made it imperative on parties contracting matrimony, to read, write and comprehend the language of the country, which they respectively inhabit. Early marriages among our people are enjoined by the strongest principles of religion, and many of those important alliances are formed even in infancy, and before the responsibility of the obligations can be duly estimated. It is thus, that ignorance may become hereditary, and a just policy calls for the adoption of measures, which may secure to children at least that portion of intelligence and education, which the times demand, and a future generation will by such means be progressively improved and enlightened.

There are many subjects of great interest, which I reserve for future communications.

Thus commences auspiciously, I hope, the attempt to revive the Government of the oldest of nations, and lead them, if not to the promised, still to the happy land.

The effort may be successful, but otherwise never can be injurious. It directs public attention to the claims of an oppressed people -- it will admonish Sovereigns to be just and generous to them -- it may produce a better state of toleration and religious feelings -- it may place our people in the road to honor and fame -- it opens to them the avenues of industry and competence, in short it makes men and citizens of them, gives them a name, a rank, an interest and a voice among the nations of the earth -- thus, in fact, fulfilling the promises made to the descendants of the Patriarchs -- that the Lord God, may say to an admiring and astonished world, "Behold my people Israel -- here is the nation, that I have sworn to protect -- I was their Shepherd -- their Sun -- their Shade -- their Light and their right hand. In the days of prosperity, they forgot me not, and in the hour of tribulation I have not forgotten them." "In a little wrath I hid my face from thee, but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer."

To Him who shelters and protects the whole family of mankind, the great omnipotent God, do I commit the destinies of Israel, & pray that he may have you all in his sage and holy keeping.

Note 1: Major Mordecai M. Noah's Sept. 15, 1825 "Proclamation to the Jews" was first published that same day as an "Extra" of the Buffalo Patriot. The Buffalo paper also featured the proclamation in its Sept. 20th issue, and from those two sources it was widely reprinted in New York and national newspapers. See the Oct. 1, 1825 issue of Niles' National Register for one editor's reaction. The Buffalo Patriot's text was recently reprinted on pages 105-111 of Schuldiner & Kleinfeld's 1999 book, The Selected Writings of Mordecai Noah. Since no Sept. 1825 issues of the Patriot have been located, the text has been reconstructed above from various reprints.

Note 2: It is significant that Noah begins his proclamation with this remark: "the approach of that period, when in the fulfillment of the promises made to the race of Jacob... they are to be gathered from the four corners of the Globe." His announcement was made at the very time that the American Society for Meliorating the Condition of the Jews was initiating its efforts to establish a colony in New York state for the benefit of Jews who had converted to Christianity. The first president of that society was Elias Boudinot, a prominent voice for the "restoration of Israel" among American Evangelicals. See his 1815 book The Second Advent for more on the need to gather and convert the Jews prior to the commencement of the expected Christian millennium. Noah's remarks concerning the American Indians being the lost ten tribes of Israel also reflects the opinions of Elias Boudinot -- see his 1816 book A Star in the West as well as the Rev. Ethan Smith's 1823 book View of the Hebrews.


By D. C. Miller.                        Batavia, N. Y., September 16, 1825.                         Vol. 14, No. 710.


Mr. Noah, Editor of the New-York National Advocate, passed through this village, in company with several of his Jewish brethren, on Tuesday last, on his way to Grand Island for the purpose of presiding at the laying of the corner stone which is to constitute a part of the foundation of a New City to be called 'Ararat.' We shall, probably, be favored in due season, from some source, with the observations that the occasion may elicit from this singular genius, and shall, with pleasure, present them to our readers. It is said, that after the performance of the ceremonies, connected with this interesting and important event, on his return home, he intends spending a day or two in our village. We can assure him of a hearty reception in our cities; and that however much we may war with the politician, we admire the man: and we can further assure him, that he will not find in this village, or its vicinity, any tall, gigantic, raw-boned gentleman, from the land of steady habits, or from any other land, desirious of 'ducking' him in the "Canawl."

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. III No. 1.                 Palmyra, N. Y., Tuesday, September 27, 1825.                 Whole No. 105.


(We gather from the Buffalo papers, the following sketches relative to founding the new city of Ararat, on Grand Island, intended as an asylum for the persecuted Jews.)

same text as in Sep. 15, 1825 Buffalo Patriot.

(==> We shall endeavor to lay before our readers next week, Mr. Noah's Speech, which occupies nearly neven columns in small type in the Buffalo papers. -- EDTS. SENT.)

Notes: (forthcoming)



No. 26 Vol. XXIII.                        Wed., September 28, 1825.                         Whole No. 1170.

(From the Buffalo Patriot, Extra, Sept. 15, 1825.)

Revival of Jewish Government -- appointment of a Judge of Israel -- foundation of a city of Refuge. --

same text as in Sep. 15, 1825 Buffalo Patriot.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XVII.                             Geneva, N. Y., September 28, 1825.                              No. 18.

From the Buffalo Patriot, September 15, 1825.


same text as in Sep. 15, 1825 Buffalo Patriot.

Notes: (forthcoming)


By D. C. Miller.                        Batavia, N. Y., September 30, 1825.                         Vol. 14, No. 712.


Of M. M. Noah, Esq., on laying the Corner Stone
of the city of ARARAT, on Grand-Island: --

(see the Sep. 15, 1825 Buffalo Patriot for this text)


Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. III No. 2.                 Palmyra, N. Y., Tuesday, October 4, 1825.                 Whole No. 106.

(The following is part of the Speech of M. M. Noah, delivered at the laying of the Corner Stone of the City of Ararat. It will be read with interest by all persons feeling a desire to become acquainted with the ancient and modern history of the Jewish nation. The remainder of the Speech will be given next week.)

S P E E C H.

(same text as in Sept. 15, 1825 Buffalo Patriot.)

The Newport Patriot, issued in the flourishing little village of Newport, Orleans county, has been improved in appearance and passed into the hands of our friend and predecessor, Mr. Timothy C. Strong. The location is a favorable one, being the seat of justice of that new county, and we rejoice in the belief that Mr. Strong's prospects are very flattering. -- We sincerely wish him success.

In giving the public an exposition of the principles which are to govern the future political course of the Patriot, the new Editor says -- "We shall ever take that course which we may deem most conductive to the prosperity and perpetuity of the best Government ever administered upon earth. We shall endeavor to inculcate those republican and patriotic principles that inspired the Heroes of the Revolution. We shall never sacrifice principle at the shrine of party, by whatever specious name it may be called. Measures, and not men, will be the grand trying square by which we shall test the fitness of the materials presented for the people's use."

The editor of the N. Y. Statesman, speaking of the sudden promotion of Mr. Noah to the station of "Governor and First Judge of Israel," indulges in the following pleasant remarks: -- "How rapid, strange and unaccountable are the changes of this sublunary world! But ten days ago, that Prince of Israel walked like other men, even the humblest of his subjects, upon the plain flag pavement of Wall Street, and cracked his jokes most merrily. -- Now he's the "Governor and Judge of Israel." clothed in Judicial robes of crimson silk, trimmed with ermine, wearing a medal of embossed gold; sending his proclamation for the revival of an empire, and dispensing laws to his scattered subjects over the whole globe! Well, he will make a mild and benevolent Judge and governor, and we dare say will sway the destinies of his empire with a wisdom and virtue that will put the Holy Alliance to the blush. -- We wish success to his enterprise, if it will ameliorate the condition and promote the happiness and prosperity of his afflicted countrymen in Europe. The ark of Judge Noah, Governor of Israel, has long been tossing upon the uncertain sea of politics, and we must give him joy at the prospect that it will finally rest on Ararat."

"Meeting of the waters." -- Mr. Bourk; the commissioner at Lockport, has given notice that the unfinished parts of the Erie Canal will be completed, and in a condition to admit the passage of boats, on the 26th inst.; and arrangements are making in nearly all the villages on the line, to distinguish the event with suitable demonstrations of joy...

Note 1: It may be significant that Benjamin Franklin Cowdery decided to sell out his Newport Patriot at almost exactly the same time that the Erie Canal was being completed and Grand Island, in the Niagara River, was being touted as the new commercial center of North America. Beginning with his initial issue, in Feb. 1824, Cowdery commenced opening up a new market for newspaper sales just west of what was then the terminus of the canal (Rochester, then Brockport, then Newport itself). In 1823-24 The American Society for Meliorating the Condition of the Jews was promoting the idea of opening up a great new colony for converted Jews near Newport, but that plan had died by 1825 and Major Noah's dream of developing the Niagara area may have seemed more promising to the founder of the Patriot, than trying to build up the backwater town of Newport (modern Albion). Whether or not Mr. Cowdery toyed with the idea of moving to Grand Island, history does not recall. What is known is that he developed increasingly strong anti-Masonic sentiments and, in the fall of 1827, moved to Rochester to join forces with the anti-Masonic editor and politician, Mr. Thurlow Weed, first on Weed's Rochester Telegraph, and, beginning early in 1828, on his Anti-Masonic Enquirer. The latter sheet was what Weed and Cowdery were publishing in 1829, when Martin Harris and Joseph Smith, jr. approached Weed about the possibility of his printing the recently completed Book of Mormon. Had history taken a slightly different turn, B. Franklin Cowdery might have been the master printer for that book, rather than John Gilbert of Palmyra.

Note 2: Major Noah's grandiose proclamation for an Israelite "city of refuge" on Grand Island was timed to both take advantage of the imminent opening of the Erie Canal in that region, and to upstage Gov. DeWitt Clinton in his inevitable publicizing of the 1827 "meeting of the waters" (when the Erie Canal was finally opened for business all the way to Buffalo). Noah had long been a spokesman for the anti-Clintonian "Bucktail" wing of the Democratic party, but by 1827 he had burned many of his political bridges with Tammany Hall and was ready to admit that "Clinton's Ditch" and other workings of the Clintonians might not be all that bad after all. Clinton was making a come-back, both in political circles and in masonic circles, and Noah may have sensed a change in the social winds of New York. Still, memories of his old rivalry with Clinton's supporters burned warm in Noah's blood and he must have relished stealing the headlines from Clinton's planned triumphal journey to Buffalo on the completed canal. In a final display of wry journalistic showmanship, Major Noah sent an "ark" full of exotic animals upon the waters of the newly opened canal, as his contribution to the celebration. What Gov. Clinton thought of that modern "Noah's Ark" traveling the length of his "ditch" he did not say.


Vol. V.                            Fredonia, N. Y., October 5, 1825.                           No. 27.


Masonic Celebration. -- The celebration of the installation of Stephen Van Rensselar, Grand Master elect of the Grand Lodge of the state of New-York, by the past Grand Master, De Witt Clinton, took place in this city yesterday. The procession and the ceremonies, which were joined in by a numerous body of Masons of various orders and degrees, and witnessed by a large concourse of citizens and strangers, were highly imposing, and calculated to impress those who were of the Craft and those who were not, with the extent and strength, and whenever excited, the moral influence of the institution. Aside from its ceremonies, the principles of Masonry, if we, being one of the uninitiated, at all understand them, are such as can scarcely fail to receive the assent of rational and free men everywhere. We are prevented from giving any of the particulars of the ceremonies, in consequence of the late hour at which they were concluded. -- Some account of them will be given on Tuesday. -- Albany Argus.

Note: See the Nov. 8, 1825 issue of the Wayne Sentinel for Clinton's interesting speech at this important ceremony, marking the healing of a two-year internal struggle between the blue lodge members of the state. It is quite possible that, had Van Rensselaer come into office earlier, that he would have not allowed the Masonic services associated with M. M. Noah's dedication of Grand Island as the new gathering place for "scattered Israel."



No. 27 Vol. XXIII.                        Wed., October 5, 1825.                         Whole No. 1171.

The following is the entire speech of M. M. Noah, delivered at the laying of the Corner Stone of the city of Ararat, to be located on Grand Island. It will probably be read with interest by all persons feeling a desire to become acquainted with the ancient and modern history of the Jewish nation.


same text as in Sep. 15, 1825 Buffalo Patriot.

Notes: (forthcoming)


By D. C. Miller.                        Batavia, N. Y., October 7, 1825.                         Vol. 14, No. 713.


Newspaper changes. -- H. P. Brainard has disposed of the "People's Advocate," printed at Norwich, Chenango Co., to Mr. Wm. G. Hyer. who has enlarged the Advocate to the imperial size.

The "Newport Patriot" has also changed proprietors, having been relinquished by Mr. F. Cowdery, into the hands of Mr. T. C. Strong, formerly editor of the "Palmyra Register."

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. III No. 3.                 Palmyra, N. Y., Tuesday, October 11, 1825.                 Whole No. 107.


printed and published every Tuesday

M. M. NOAH'S  SPEECH. -- Concluded

same text as in Sept. 15, 1825 Buffalo Patriot.

Governor Noah's Speech. -- We conclude to-day the inagural Speech of Mordecai Manuel Noah, delivered at Buffalo, on the occasion of entering upon the high office of "Governor and Judge of Israel." In [compliance?] with the editorial custom of giving a passing paragraph to the speeches of Judges, we have to remark (in the language of the N. Y. Statesman) that the inaugural of the Governor and Judge, taking it for all in all, is a very good sort of a speech, altogether superior, as was his proclamation, to the speeches or decrees of the monarchs of Europe, or of "Kien Long, Emperor of the Celestial Empire." To be serious, if our readers have perused it with the same interest that we have, they will not complain of the space it occupies in our columns. It is well written, furnishes a very interesting epitome of Jewish history, and is characterized by the expression of liberal views, and for the most part, discreet and sound opinions on the subject of gvernment. The whole strain of the speech evinces an ardent if not an enthusiastic desire to accomplish the project and conveys also an impression of sincerity on the part of Governor Noah, that he may be instrumental in doing good, by gathering together some portion of the dispersed children of Israel, in a free country, where they may repose in safety, under the shadow of their own "vine and fig tree," and cultivate the arts of peace, while they enjoy the benefits of education and the lights of learning and liberty.


The citizens of this state have, in various ways, expressed their wishes that the completion of the Erie Canal, should be celebrated with such public demonstrations of joy, as a work so beneficial to this state, and which is so proud a monument of our moral and physical greatness, would deservedly require... [description of the planned celebration follows]

Notes: (forthcoming)



No. 29 Vol. XXIII.                        Wednesday, October 19, 1825.                         Whole No. 1173.

Extract of a letter from a correspondent of the New-York Spectator, dated "Lower Canada, Sept. 1825."

After visiting the Falls, I made an excursion to the head of lake Ontario, passing Burlington Heights, and proceeded to York, via Dundas, Nelson, St. Anns, Trafalgar and Etaboco. The capital of the Upper Province, like the towns on our side is imposing, but not in the same proportion. From the number of stores in York; an opinion might be formed that a large business is done. The Parliament house, which was destroyed by fire, some months since, has not been rebuilt; it is expected that provisions will be made at the next session of Parliament, for its erection, provided there be no prospect of the union of the provinces. About thirty-six miles from York there is a singular sect of people called, "Davidites," or the "Children of Peace." -- Their founder and present leader, is David Wilson. He was formerly a member of the society of Friends, as were many of his followers. They emigrated from the state of Pennsylvania about 25 years ago, and they have now a society of from 180 to 200. They reside in families close to each other, forming a community something like the Shakers. Although called the Children of Peace, David has fifty of them completely armed, and I understand that a part of their worship consists of military display. They have recently commenced the building of a temple, which, like that of Solomon is to be seven years in building. The frame is 60 feet square, and was prepared at a distance and brought, and put together without "the sound of an hammer or an axe being heard." It is to be ornamented within and without, and although it will be costly, yet the treasury of David will not admit of the splendor which was displayed by Solomon. The building is to be three stories high, with a steeple. From the base to the top of the first story is 70 feet, and when that was completed twenty four females ascended and sung an evening anthem just as the sun was sinking in the west. They have a small place of worship, in which there is a good organ. They go in procession to their place of worship, the females taking the lead, being preceded by banners, and two of their number playing on the lute. They have two nunneries for females; one for those of the age of 8 and under 18, and the other for those above 18. These singular people occupy a rich tract of country, above five miles in length by two in breadth. -- They use the plain language, but I have not been able to ascertain what are their peculiar doctrines; they do not object to take the ordinary oath in courts of justice. On the sabbath that spent at York, they were to hold a "Love Feast," and many went out to be present. It is not like the Love Feast of the Moravians and Methodists, where bread and water are only made use of, but they partake of the best which the country affords....

Note: According to newspaper editors James St. James and Orsamus Turner, 1824-25 was approximately the time period during which the "journeyman printer," Oliver Cowdery, worked as a "pedestrian peddler," carrying various printed materials into Ontario, Canada and adjacent regions. At the time the Book of Mormon was being printed, according to David Whitmer, Oliver Cowdery and Hiram Page made a special trip to York (Later Toronto) for the purpose of raising money for the book's publication. Cowdery may have been selected for this lengthy hike because he was familiar with the roads and inexpensive accommodations between western New York and the Canadian city. Whether Oliver Cowdery or other early Mormons interacted with David Wilson's temple-building sect in Ontario remains unknown.



Vol. III No. 7.                 Palmyra, N. Y., Tuesday, November 8, 1825.                 Whole No. 111.


printed and published every Tuesday

(==> We embrace the first opportunity to lay before our readers the following excellent Address of De Witt Clinton, on the installation of Stephen Van Rensselaer, as Grand Master of Free-Masons in this state. It will be gladly received by the members of that ancient and numerous fraternity, and be read with interest by the uninitiated.)


Worthy and much respected brethren:

This solemn and interesting session, demands from this place, an illustration of the principles, the objects, and the tendencies of free-masonry. Many volumes have been written, and numerous discourses have been pronounced on this subject. If we were to follow the gratuitous assumptions and fanciful speculations of visionary men, in attempting to trace the rise and progress of this ancient institution, we would be involved in the inextricable labyrinths of uncertainty and lost in the jarring hypothesis of conjecture. Better it is to sober down our minds to well established facts, than, by giving the rein to erratic imagination, merge the radiance of truth in the obscurity of fable. History and tradition are often adulterated by misrepresentation; beyond them the age of fable commences, when no reliance can be placed on the writings of the ancients. All history, except the divine records, before Thucydides, is apocryphal; and oral tradition is almost entirely distorted and perverted after the lapse of three generations. At certain periods of human affairs, and in certain stages of society, it occupies the place of written history, and there is even an end to the reign of fable when all that relates to this "great globe and all which it inherits," is enveloped in the mysterious gloom of unexplored and inpenetrable antiquity.

Enthusiastic friends of our institution have done it much injury and covered it with much ridicule, by stretching its origin beyond the bounds of credibility. Some have given it an antediluvian origin, while others have even represented it as coeval with the creation; some have traced it to the Egyptian priests, and others have discovered its vestiges in the mystical societies of Greece and Rome. The erection of Solomon's temple, the retreats of the druids, and the crusades to the holy land, have been, at different times, specially assigned as the sources of its existence. The order, harmony, and wonders of creation, the principles of mathematical science and the productions of architectural skill, have been confounded with free masonry. Whenever a great philosopher has enlightened the ancient world, he has been resolved, by a species of moral metempsychosis, or intellectual chemistry, into a free mason: and in all the secret institutions of antiquity, the footsteps of lodges have been traced by the eye of credulity. Archimedes, Pythagoras, Euclid and Vitruvius were, in all probability, not free masons; and the love of order, the cultivation of science, the embellishments of taste, and the sublime and beautiful works of art, have certainly existed in ancient, as they now do, in modern times, without the agency of free masonry.

Our fraternity has thus suffered under the treatment of well-meaning friends, who have undesignedly inflicted more injuries upon it than its most virulent enemies. The absurd accounts of its origin and history, in most of the books that treat of it, have proceeded from enthusiasm operating on credulity and the love of the marvellous. An imbecile friend often does more injury than an avowed foe. The calumnies of Barruel and Robinson, who labored to connect our society with the illuminati, and to represent it as inimical to social order and good government, have been consigned to everlasting contempt, while exaggerated and extravagant friendly accounts and representations continually stare us in the face and mortify our intellectual discrimination, by ridiculous claims to unlimited antiquity; nor ought it to be forgotten, that genuine masonry is adulterated by sophistications and interpolations, foreign from the simplicity and sublimity of its nature. To this magnificent temple of the Corinthian order, there have been added Gothic erections, which disfigure its beauty and derange its symmetry. The adoption, in some cases, of frivolous pageantry and fantastic mummery, equally revolting to good taste and genuine masonry, has exposed us to much animadverson; but our institution, clothed with celestial virtue, and armed with the panoply of truth, has defied all the storm of open violence and resisted all the attacks of insidious imposture; and it will equally triumph over the errors of misguided friendship, which, like the transit of a planet over the disk of the sun, may produce a momentary obscuration; but will instantly leave it in the full radiance of its glory.

Although the origin of our fraternity is covered with darkness, and its history is, to a great extent, obscure, yet we can confidently say that it is the most ancient society in the world -- and we are equally certain, that its principles are based on pure morality -- that its ethics are the ethics of christianity -- its doctrines the doctrines of patriotism and brotherly love, and its sentiments the sentiments of exalted benevolence. Upon these points there can be no doubt. All that is good, and kind, and charitable, it encourages; all that is vicious, and cruel, and oppressive, it reprobates. That charity which is described in the most masterly manner, by the eloquent apostle, composes its very essence, and enters into its vital principles; and every free mason is ready to unite with him in saying, "though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. And, although I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself; is not puffed up; doth not behave itself unseemingly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth; but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether they be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away." How happens it then that an institution has created so much opposition, excited so much jealousy, encountered so much proscription, experienced so much persecution?

The mysteries which pertain to this fraternity have been the source of much obloquy, and its entire exclusion of the female sex, from its communion, has been considered an unjust and rigorous rule. In former times the arts and sciences had their mysteries. The inventions of the former and the discoveries of the latter, were either applied by individuals to their own benefit, or thrown into a common stock for the emolument of select associations. In the early stages of free masonry, its votaries applied themselves with great ardor, to architecture and geometry. This will account for the exclusion of women. Such laborious pursuits were not adapted to their destination in life, and their stations in civilized society. A measure then that has been deemed a censure, was the highest eulogium that could be passed on the sex, and, in evincing this distinguished respect, our ancient brethren exhibited that refinement and courtesy which are always accompanied with a just appreciation of female excellence and delicacy. The secrets of the arts and sciences, which were elicited by the researches and employments of the fraternity, were cherished for their common benefits; but the art of printing having thrown open the gates of knowledge to all mankind, and the rights of invention having been protected by government, the utility of secrecy, so far as it related to intellectual improvement and the enjoyment of its fruits, was in a great degree, superceded. There are, however, secrets of importance to the brotherhood, which are entirely innocent, neither touching the concerns nor affecting the doctrines of pure morality nor the precepts of our holy religion.

Secret institutions were not uncommon among the ancients. The Eleusinian, Dionysian and Panathenaen mysteries; the association of the Pythagoreans, the Essenes and of the architects of Ionia, were concealed from the uninitiated; and even the women of Rome, celebrated the mysteries of the Bona Dea in a state of entire seclusion. The Druids had also their mysteries, and our Indians have secret institutions. As secrecy may be enjoined with pure views and for good objects, so it also may be observed, with pernicious intention and for bad purposes. The doctrines and observances of christianity were, in the last century, ridiculed and caricatured by a secret society in the vicinity of London, composed of choice spirits of wickedness; and under the clerical cloak of mysterious association, conspiracies have been formed against freedom and social order. As nothing of this kind can be imputed to free masonry, it ought to have been patronized instead of being persecuted; but the suspicious eye of tyranny, always on the watch for victims, affected to see combinations against the legitimate government, and the sanguinary hand of vengeance was soon uplifted against it. In every nation in Europe, masonry has passed the ordeal of persecution. The inquisition has stained it with blood. Hierarchies have proscribed and interdicted it. Despotism has pursued it to destruction; and every where, except in this land of liberty, it has felt the arm of unjust and tyrannical power; and even here, and in this enlightened age, fanaticism has dared to fulminate its anathemas.

The precepts of free masonry inculcate abstraction from religious and political controversies, and obedience to the existing authorities; and there can be no doubt of the good faith and sincerity of this injunction. And, accordingly, the most enlightened princes of Europe, and among others, Frederick the great of Prussia, have been members of our fraternity, and have not considered it derogatory from their dignity, or dangerous to their ascendancy, to afford it official protection and personal encouragement. But the truth is, that the principles of free masonry are hostile to arbitrary power.

All brethren on a level and of course, are on an equality with respect to natural rights. The natural equality of mankind and the rights of man are not only implied in our doctrine, but the form of our government is strictly republican, and like that of the United States, representative and federal. The officers of the private lodges are annually chosen by the members, and all the lodges are represented in the grand lodge, by the presiding officers and past masters, who elect, annually, the grand officers, and who, together with the existing and past grand officers, constitute the grand lodge. The lodges are thus the members, and the grand lodge the head of a society, which by a combination of the representative and federal principles, constitutes a federal republic as to the government of free masonry.

It must be obvious then that an institution so republican in its elements, so liberal in its principles, so free in its partial and concentrated combinations, must have excited the approbations of arbitrary power, which has constantly sought to propitiate it by kindness and condescension, or to annihilate it by fire and sword -- by banishment and extinction.

The celebrated philosopher, John Locke, was much struck with a manuscript of Henry VI, king of England, deposited in the Bodleian library. It is in the form of questions and answers and to the interrogatory, whether masons are better than others? it is answered, "some masons are not so virtuous as some other men; but in general, they are better than they would have been, if they had not been masons." This is, unquestionably, correct. -- Masonry superadds to our other obligations, the strongest ties of connection between it and the cultivation of virtue, and furnishes the most powerful incentives to goodness. A free mason is responsible to his lodge, for a course of good conduct, and, if he deviates from it, he will be disgraced and expelled. Wherever he goes, he will find a friend in every brother, if he conducts well, and will be shielded against want and protected against oppression; and he will feel, in his own bosom, the extatic joys of that heaven-born charity, which

-- decent, modest, easy, kind,
Softens the high and rears the abject mind,
Lays the rough paths of peevish nature ev'n,
And opens, in each heart, a little heaven.

All doubts on the exalted principles and suspicious tendencies of free masonry must be dissipated, when we retrospect to Washington and Franklin. The former was the principal agent in establishing our independence, and securing to us the blessings of a national government. The latter was the great patron of the arts and administer to the happiness of individuals and the prosperity of states and the head of the philosophy and useful knowledge of the country. Both were patriotic and virtuous men, and neither would have encouraged an institution hostile to morality, religion, good order and the public welfare.

Washington became at an early period of his life a free mason, and publicly as well as privately he invariably evinced the utmost attachment to it. In answer to a complimentary address when president of the United States, from the master, wardens and brethren of King David's lodge in Rhode Island, he had no hesitation in saying, "Being persuaded that a just application of the principles on which the masonic fraternity is founded, must be promotive of private virtue and public prosperity, I shall always be happy to advance the interest of the society, and to be considered by them as a deserving brother." And in reply to the grand lodge of Massachusetts, he explicitly declared "that the milder virtues of the heart are highly respected by a society whose liberal principles are founded on the immutable laws of truth and justice." "To enlarge." continued he, "the sphere of social happiness is worthy the benevolent design of masonic institution, and it is most fervently to be wished that the conduct of every member of the fraternity, as well as those publications that discover the principles which actuate them, may tend to convince mankind, that the great object of many is to promote the happiness of the human race."

Free masonry owes its introduction into Pennsylvania to Benjamin Franklin; on the 24th June, 1734, a warrant was granted by the grand lodge of Massachusetts, for holding a lodge in Philadelphia and appointing him the first master. He cultivated masonry with great zeal, and his partiality suffered no diminution during his long and illustrious life.

Lafayette -- the good Lafayette, the patriot of both hemispheres, was always the devoted friend of free masonry: He saw in it a constellation of virtues, and wherever he went he took every opportunity of demonstrating his attachment and expressing his veneration. -- His countenance has done much good, and has imparted to it no inconsiderable portion of his immense and deserved popularity. Free masonry, like all other institutions, has its days of prosperity and adversity -- its seasons of revivals and deprecations -- and it is believed that when Lafayette left his country it had never attained a greater altitude of usefulness and general regard.

After these illustrious witnesses in favor of our fraternity, let not the dissensions which sometimes preveil; the vicious conduct of some of its members, and the perversions of the institution be adduced as proofs of its intrinsic vices. Although it has received the countenances of the good and the wise of all ages, let it be understood that the character of an institution does not necessarily form the conduct of its members. Good societies may contain unworthy members, and bad societies may enrol good men among their members. Christianity is often degraded by profligate professors, and the heathen religion has had a Socrates, an Aristides and a Cato

It cannot be expected that in any society there will be a perfect accord and congeniality of minds, of tastes, and of morals. Hence, differences will sometimes arise, and if conducted with good temper and candor, will rarely expand into violent convulsions. Wolves will sometimes intrude into the flock, and bad men under the cloak of goodness, will frequently insinuate themselves into the most excellent associations.

For neither man nor angel can discern
Hypocrisy, the only evil that walks
Invisible, except to God alone.
By his permissive will, through heaven and earth.
And oft, though wisdom wake, suspicion sleeps
At wisdom's gate, and to simplicity
Resigns her charge, while goodness thinks no ill
Where no ill seems ---

In all associations of men, there are perturbed and uneasy spirits, who scatter discord and whom "no command can rule, nor counsel teach," and who, like the fabled Enceladus, create disturbance and convulsions whenever they move. It is no easy task to withstand the arts of hypocrites and the acts of incendiaries.

If our society has suffered under such influences, it participates in the fate of all assemblies of men, and the hands which sometimes distract its tranquillity, are as often the offspring of well-meaning and overweening zeal, as of perverse and evil designs.

That free masonry is sometimes perverted and applied to the acquisition of political ascendancy, of unmerited charity, and to convivial excess, cannot be disputed; but this is not the fault of the institution, for it inculcates an entire exemption from political and religious controversy. It enforces the virtues of industry and temperance, and it proscribes all attempts to gratify ambition and cupidity, or to exceed the bounds of temperance in convivial enjoyments, under its shade or through its instrumentality. In lifting the mind above the dungeon of the body, it venerates the grateful odour of plain and modest virtue, and patronizes those endowments which elevate the human character, and adapt it to the high enjoyments of an other and a better world.

Freemasonry has flourished exceedingly in the United States, and especially in this state, In 1781, a grand lodge was established in the city of New York, under a charter from the grand lodge of England. A few years after, an independent grand lodge was instituted; and there are now in the state near five hundred lodges, and more than a hundred chapters. -- Owing to causes which I am not able to explain, and in which I have no participation, two grand lodges have been in existence for a few years. And it will now require the utmost wisdom, moderation and forbearance of the "good men and true," who adorn both establishments to accomplish a re-union on just and reasonable terms. That there are faults and great faults involved in this schism, I am fearful, and that it is a lamentable commentary on our system of brotherly love, is too obvious. -- In consequence of my public duties, I have for a considerable time, withdrawn from any active concern in the affairs of our fraternity, and I have had, of course, no personal knowledge of the causes of and actors in the prevailing division. In censoring it, I have therefore no reference to particular individuals or lodges; and I hope -- most sincerely hope, that before the return of another anniversary, this stain may be removed from our society. Perhaps a new arrangement of the supreme authorities might be advisable, by the creation of provincial or subordinate grand lodges under a controlling head, composed of deputies selected by the different grand lodges. There have been two opposing grand lodges in England, and I believe in Scotland and Ireland, and also in South Caroilina, and Massachusetts, in consequence of the distinction of ancient and modern masonry. Notwithstanding this serious controversy, the schism has been healed, and a most cordial and complete union has taken place in all these cases, so that we have no reason to apprehend a long duration of a separation which has probably originated from more trivial and evanescent causes.

Most Worshipful Grand Master Elect --

Accept my most cordial congratulations on your elevation to the highest honor in masonry. You are now in this region the head of the most ancient, benevolent and distinguished society in the world. And I am rejoiced to see such exalted authority deposited in such worthy hands; and I feel assured that no exertion will be omitted on your part, to realize the anticipations of your usefulness, and to justify the high confidence reposed in you.

I am persuaded that you will use every proper endeavor to re-unite the great masonic family under one government, to confirm and to extend the influence and reputation of freemasonry, and to propagate those virtues which are identified with its character and essential to the cause of benevolence, charity and philosophy.

Your duties are certainly arduous; but important and honorable stations always imply great labor and require much industry and exertion. You will be assisted in your labors by the enlightened officers associated with you, and every worthy brother will raise his voice and his hands in favor of your efforts, and in support of your measures.

To preside merely over the forms of a public assembly, requires no uncommon display of intellectual vigor; but the duties of a grand master involve higher topics and more momentous considerations. He must be employed in devising ways and means of doing good; in inculcating the virtues of our fraternity, and in illustrating by practical demonstration, the beauties of benevolence. His eyes must be vigilant in discerning any inroads on our ancient land marks, and his arm must always be ready to protect the institution against intestine convulsions and external hostilities.

Your life has hitherto been distinguished for its accordance with masonic virtue. If you carry into your high office that benevolence which adorns your private character, and that experience as a member which you acquired in a respectable lodge in this city, you will unquestionably reflect back on the fraternity the lustre which you derive from it.

I shall now proceed to discharge a duty which has been required from me by the grand lodge, and I perform it with no common pleasure; as evidence of my personal concern for you; of my high respect for that distinguished body, and of my sincere devotion to the cause of freemasonry. I shall now invest you with the insignia of your office, and I most humbly supplicate the supreme architect of the Heavens and of the Earth to smile on the proceedings of this day and to render them auxiliary to the holy cause of benevolence, morality and religion, and subservient to the best of the human race.

Address of Stephen Van Rensselaer, Grand Master.

I accept the distinguished honor conferred on me by the grand lodge of this state, with emotions of profound respect and gratitude; to be selected by the members of this numerous, ancient and respectable fraternity, to preside over its deliberations. To guide its councils is a mark of confidence which I shall ever appreciate. And although I cannot bring to the station the talents, or the learning which in former years have adorned it, I still may venture to promise, that on my part, no exertion shall be wanting to reunite the brotherhood into one bond of union; to illustrate the virtues, and to extend the influence of masonry.

The lucid, judicious and eloquent exposition which the brethren have this day heard of the nature of our association, the interesting narrative of its varied fortunes in foreign countries, and the striking eulogiums on the departed as well as the living ornaments of our craft, among the revolutionary patriots of our own nation, must leave a vivid impression on every mind.

Such a statement cannot fail to correct much of that misconception which has assailed our best endeavors, and to remove many of the prejudices which have affected the utility of masonry.

Supported by such testimony, we may succeed with confidence in our efforts towards its extension -- always keeping in our recollection that the virtues which are the object of cultivation in the fraternity, should appear and shine in the life of every one of its members.

In entering on the duties of the high office which I have this day been invested, I rely with full confidence on the cordial aid and cooperation of the officers associated with me. -- Residing in various parts of the state they will be enabled to render all useful information as to the progress and welfare of the craft. They should watch with great care that its honors be not tarnished or its utility impaired, and above all, they should enforce with prudence and judgment, the discipline which all deviations from its institution and duties imperiously require at the present time.

It is not among the least gratifying circumstances attending this occasion, that the grand lodge have directed the present ceremony to be performed by one of the most distinguished members, who has filled its highest offices, and who amidst the duties and honors conferred on him by the country has cheerfully appeared at this time, as the friend and patron of the order. Its thanks most justly await him, and I should indeed be insensitive, were I not to add my own for the kindness and partiality evinced.


The following account of the proceedings at Buffalo are abridged from the Buffalo Journal. [account of Gov. Clinton's canal opening ceremonies at Buffalo follows] ... We mentioned, in the caumeration of boats, only those which started with the "Seneca Chief," but another, and perhaps the most novel of the whole, started about two hours later, and overtook the party, we presume, at Lockport. This was "Noah's Ark," literally stored with "creeping things." She is a small boat, fitted for the occasion, and has on board, a bear, two eagles, two fawns, with a variety of other animals and birds, together with several fish -- not forgetting two Indian boys, in the dress of their nation -- all products of the west. This "Ark" left in company with "The Mars," of Dunkirk, built and despatched as an oyster boat....

Note 1: Governor Clinton took his time in ordaining Stephen Van Rensselaer, to the office of Grand Master of the "Country Lodge." He might just as well been installed on St. John the Baptist's Day (June 24th) with the other officers, but Clinton held apart this replacement for the disgraced Joseph Enos until just before the of the great Masonic celebration in New York City, signaling the commencement of the 1825 Erie Canal festivities. It is quite likely that the new Grand Master accompanied Clinton on his tour to Buffalo, and thus shared the gubernatorial limelight long enough to establish Masonic credibility throughout the western part of the state. Certainly many of the "brethren" must of by then realized that their dreams for the permanent establishment of the "Country Lodge" were just that -- mere dreams. Van Rensselaer worked to mend fences with the "City Lodge" members, and in 1827 the split in the blue lodges was healed. Probably, by reading between the lines of Clinton's and Van Rensselaer's speeches, some hints of their intentions to heal "the schism" and some indirect acknowledgement of the wrongdoings of Joseph Enos and his supporters (in places like Palmyra, Batavia and Canadaigua) might be uncovered. No doubt, the following year the Masonic dissident, William Morgan, advertised his intention to disclose more than hints concerning those very same "works of darkness" among Enos's "secret combination."

Note 2: The modern reader might well wonder if major Noah's "two Indian boys, in the dress of their nation" were clad as Senecas or as members of one of the lost tribes of Israel -- the latter notion being one of Noah's favorite views of Indian origins, and an opinion he kept expressing in his speeches on the "gathering of Israel," down to at least 1837. The modern reader might also speculate that a great proportion of the population of those counties transected by the canal probably turned out to view Gov. Clinton's entourage of decorated boats making their way upon the face of that new waterway. Perhaps the Joseph Smith, Sr. family of Manchester township took advantage of the occasion to peddle "cakes and beer" among the crowds of celebrating onlookers lining the banks of the Erie Canal at Palmyra that day.



Vol. III No. 8.                 Palmyra, N. Y., Tuesday, November 15, 1825.                 Whole No. 112.


printed and published every Tuesday


Mr. Noah publishes the following letter from Berlin, in Prussia, to exhibit an evidence of the fact that, although the Jews in the United States were not prepared for emigration, on the re-establishment of the nation, yet those abroad who are more interested, have been alive to the project, and in expectation of events which have taken place.

Most honorable Sir -- Amidst the general distress and public calamity under which a greater part of the European Jews labored, some years ago, and all still seen to labor, it was, indeed, no small consolation to every one, [to] whom the fate of our brethren would no trifle, to hear the noble voice of a most excellent partaker of our faith, animating the abject spirits of the members of an oppressed creed, bysummoning them from an ungrateful and unjust country, to that part of our globe which they style the new world, but would yet, with greater reason, name the better one. It was you, most honorable sir, who afforded the sublime comfort. Since that time, the better part of the European Jews are looking with the eager countenance of hope to the United States of N. America, happy once to exchange the miseries of their native soil for public freedom, granted there to every religion; and for that general happiness, which, not the adherents of a privileged faith alone, but every citizen is entitled to share.

The society who dares to address you this letter, united for the purpose of advancing the progress of science and knowledge amongst the partners of our religion, but penetrated at the same time with the deepest feelings of gratitude, for the pleasing view which you have opened to our unhappy brethren, would have deemed itself failing in a most urgent duty, not to acknowledge the full extent of your meritorious undertaking, by naming you Extraordinary Member of our Congregation, and Correspondent General for the United States, according to which you will receive herewith the letters patent of the nomination, together with two accounts of the present state of our society, which will perhaps give you a better notion of our filial purpose, than this short letter can be able to afford.

You would, most honorable sir, infinitely oblige us, if you would send us an exact relation of all the particulars concerning the Jews in every province of the United States, their progress in business and knowledge, and the rights allowed to them in general, and by each single state. But you would still more oblige us, by proposing to us a sufficient number of persons, able to be members of our society, and who, under your presidency, settling a particular congregation, would establish a perpetual correspondence with us, about the means of transplanting a vast portion of European Jews to the United States, and how such emigration may be connected with the welfare of those who would prefer leaving their country, to escape endless slavery and oppression.
              E. GANS, Doctor of Common Law,
                            ZUNTZ, Doctor of Philosophy,
              Vice President,
M. MOSER, 1st Vice Sec'ry.
             To M. M. Noah, Esq.
Berlin, 1st Jan. 1822.

Mr. Noah says, "Correspondence of an extensive and interesting nature, not at present necessary or proper to notice, have resulted from the general disposition of the European Jews to emigrate, and early in the ensuing spring a select number will embark from Amsterdam and Hamburgh.

"The above document, and others of similar weight, are warrants for the powers assumed and promulgated, which powers will be respected by those who are most materially interested. Among seven million of a peculiar people, I shall not want a portion who, confiding their destinies to the hands of the Almighty, will embark for a country where they can securely enjoy happiness until the period of the great restoration arrives; and if I shall fail in setting them examples of national fidelity, strict integrity, economy and industry, I shall advance no claims to their confidence and support."

Note: Major Noah's publication of an old letter from a small society of educated Jews in Berlin was hardly the sort of evidence in support of his "Ararat" colonization plan that he needed to be demonstrating to his friends and financial backers at this point in time. Nor does his prediction, that "a select number" of Jews, will soon "embark from Amsterdam and Hamburgh" offer much hope for the speedy development of his American city of refuge. Noah himself does not make the claim that those expected emigrants will sail with their rabbis on board, or that the newcomers will end up on his Grand Island. More relevant to the ill fate of "Ararat" is the negative communication penned by the Grand Rabbi De Cologne at about this same time and published in the Paris newspapers at the end of 1825.



Vol. III No. 9.                 Palmyra, N. Y., Tuesday, November 22, 1825.                 Whole No. 113.


printed and published every Tuesday

From the N. Y. Evening Post, Nov. 5;


Yesterday the celebration of uniting the waters of the Grand Erie Canal with the Atlantic Ocean took place, and a proud day it was for the city and state of New-York... The East and North Rivers and the bay were covered with water craft of every description. -- There were several canal boats and the procession towed by steam-boats. On the deck of one of them were to be seen a number of live wild beasts and wild fowl, such as the bear, wolf, fox, bald-headed eagle, &c. The beautiful boat, Noah's Ark, met with an accident in coming through the locks, which prevented her joining the procession. She has since arrived and is now at Castle Garden, with animals and birds of various descriptions, and two young Indian hunters of the Seneca tribe; dressed in their costume...

Notes: (forthcoming)


"We  Love  Him  Because  He  First  Loved  Us."

Vol. III.                       Buffalo, New York, December 2, 1825.                       No. 47.

From the U. S. Literary Gazette.


Mountains of Israel! rear on high
  Yon summits, crowned with verdure new
And spread your branches to the sky,
  Refulgent with celestial dew;
O'er Jordan's stream of gentle flow,
  And Judah's peaceful valleys smile,
And far reflect the lovely glow
  Where ocean's waves incessant toil.

See where the scattered tribes return ,
  There slavery is burst at length,
And purer flames to Jesus burn,
  And Zion girds on her new strength;
New cities bloom along the plain,
  New Temples [to] Jehovah rise,

The kindling voice of praise again
  Pours its sweet anthems to the skies.

The fruitful fields again are blest,
  And yellow harvests smile around;
Sweet scenes of heavenly joy and rest,
  Where peace and innocence are found!
The bloody sacrifice no more
  Shall smoke upon the alters high, --
But ardent hearts, from hill to shore
  Send grateful incense to the sky!

The Jubilee of man is near,
  When earth as heaven, shall own His reign;
He comes, to wipe the mourner's tear,
  And cleanse the heart from sin and pain.
Praise him, ye tribes of Israel! Praise
  The King that ransomed you from wo;
Nations! the hymn of triumph raise,
  And bid the song of rapture flow!

Note: The Buffalo Advocate was late in reprinting this poem from the United States Literary Gazette; it appeared in other western New York papers as early as Apr. 20th. The original was evidently printed in the U. S. Literary Gazette about the beginning of 1825, well before Maj. M. M. Noah announced his plan to gather "scattered Israel" at Grand Island, just north of Buffalo. This poem typifies the Christian Zionism then current among many American Evangelicals. See Elias Boudinot's 1815 book The Second Advent and Ethan Smith's 1823 book View of the Hebrews. The U. S. Literary Gazette published a review of Ethan Smith's first edition in its issue of Oct. 1, 1824 and, no doubt, inspired some appreciative reader to pen these intriguing lines of verse. The poem was written after the American Society for Meliorating the Condition of the Jews failed to establish its intended refuge for Christianized Jews in western New York in 1823, but before that society initiated its even more dismal attempts to plant such a colony, in the eastern part of the state, beginning in 1826-27.



Vol. III No. 14.                 Palmyra, N. Y., Tuesday, December 27, 1825.                 Whole No. 118.


printed and published every Tuesday

From the Orleans Advocate.

MR. STRONG -- Please insert the following and oblige one of your readers.

Wonderful discovery. -- A few days since was discovered in this town, by the help of a mineral stone, (which becomes transparent when placed in a hat and the light excluded by the face of him who looks into it, provided he is fortune's favorite,) a monstrous potash kettle in the bowels of old mother Earth, filled with the purest bullion. Some attempts have been made to dig it up, but without success. His Satanic Majesty, or some other invisible agent, appears to keep it under marching orders; for no sooner is it dug on to in one place, than it moves off like "false delusive hope," to another still more remote. But its pursuers are now sanguine of success -- they have entrenched the kettle all round, and driven a steel ramrod into the ground directly over it, to break the enchantment. Nothing now remains, but to raise its ponderous weight, and establish a Mint, that it may be coined into federal money. -- Good news indeed for these hard times!

By the rust on the kettle, and the color of the silver, it is supposed to have been deposited where it now lies, prior to the flood.

Note 1: It is unfortunate that the previous editor of the paper was not still in town when this wonderful news first came forth. B. Franklin Cowdery sold his Newport Patriot to Timothy C. Strong in the fall of 1825 and wandered off to pursue other publishing dreams. Whether Strong followed up on the local money-digging scheme remains unknown, but other papers in the area found the article interesting enough to reprint, including the Geneseo Livingston Register of Dec. 28, 1825.

Note 2: Had B. Franklin Cowdery still been in town when this account first appeared in the newspaper he might have investigated the strange events and reported them to the local readers in considerable detail. Also, Cowdery's young cousin Oliver might have found these reports of some interest. Fellow newspaperman Orsamus Turner places Oliver in Newport (no doubt with his cousin Benjamin Franklin Cowdery, whom Turner fails to mention) when the Newport Patriot was first founded, but does not say how long the young man remained there (see Turner's 1849 book, Pioneer History of the Holland Purchase, page 658). The next that is known of Oliver, he was miles to the east in Wayne Co. -- see the letter list in the Nov. 7, 1827 issue of the Lyons Advertiser.

Note 3: B. Franklin Cowdery, even before he set up newspaper publishing at Newport, was familiar with the lore of money-digging. See the Farmer's Diary or Ontario Almanac for 1823 issued by James J. Bemis of Canandaigua, which lists Mr. Cowdery as one of its sales agents. At the beginning of 1823 B. Franklin Cowdery moved to Lockport, in western New York, where he made use of the press of Orsamus Turner to do job printing; he may have even been authorized to run off a Lockport edition of the Bemis almanac -- complete with its feature article on a money-digging scheme recently imposed upon the credulous inhabitants of Vermont. Bemis' almanac was distributed by various agents in western New York, Upper Canada, etc., among whom may have been B. Franklin Cowdery's younger cousin, Oliver Cowdery. Oliver was described by one acquaintance of that period as having been "an itinerant pamphlet pedlar and occasionally a journeyman printer," and by another acquaintance as "a pedestrian Pedlar" who "visited the towns and villages of western New York and Canada," hocking along the way, items like Bemis'Farmer's Diary, with its intriguing account of the money-digging craze.

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