(Newspapers of Pennsylvania)

Misc. Pennsylvania Newspapers
1820-1839 Articles

St. Clair/Mifflin Twps. (1826 PA map) - boyhood home of Sidney Rigdon,
who lived on the "Pine Branch" of Peters Cr., near the county line

1810-19   |   1820-39   |   1840-42   |   1842-43   |   1844-49   |   1850-99   |   1900-99

PitGz Jan 07 '20  |   CRp Jan 11 '20  |   PitGz Jul 10 '20  |   PitMr Nov 20 '22  |   PitGz Feb 07 '23  |   PitGz Feb 21 '23
PitGz Apr 04 '23  |   PitMr May 20 '23  |   PitMr Jun 17 '23  |   PitMr Jul 01 '23  |   PitGz Jul 25 '23  |   PitGz Sep 26 '23
WRep Nov 10 '23  |   PitMr Jan 06 '24  |   PitMr Jan 20 '24  |   PitGz Apr 09 '24  |   SDem May 21 '24
PitRc Aug 31 '24  |   SDem Sep 17 '24  |   MtGz Sep 17 '24  |   PitRc Oct 05 '24  |   PitRc Nov 02 '24  |   PitRc Dec 07 '24
MtGz Dec 10 '24  |   MtGz Jan 14 '25  |   PitGz Jan 28 '25  |   PitGz Feb 04 '25  |   WRep Feb 21 '25  |   PitRc Feb 22 '25
PitGz Feb 25 '25  |   AlgD Mar 01 '25  |   PitRc Apr 05 '25  |   PitRc Apr 26 '25  |   PitGz Jun 17 '25  |   PitGz Aug 26 '25
PitRc Sep 27 '25  |   AlgD Oct 04 '25  |   SReg Jan 13 '26  |   PitGz Feb 14 '26  |   SReg Jun 02 '26  |   PitMr Sep 06 '26
PitRc Oct 03 '26  |   ErieGz Mar 22 '27  |   PitMr Jul 24 '27  |   ErieGz May 07 '29
WEnq May ?? '30  |   ErieGz May 13 '30  |   PitGz Apr 01 '31  |   PitGz Apr 12 '31  |   NRS Jun 01 '31  |   ErieGz Jun 30 '31
WPress Feb 11 '32  |   WPress Feb 18 '32  |   PitGz Jun 26 '32  |   PbAdv Dec ?? '32  |   HerT Dec 19 '32  |   HChr Jan 03 '33
PitAdv Jun 23 '33   |   ErieGz Aug 22 '33  |   ErieOb Sep 07 '33   |   PitGz Nov 27 '33   |   AMfg Feb ? '34  |   NCou Mar 26 '34
SReg May 01 '34  |   AlgD May 27 '34  |   PitGz Jun 20 '34  |   PitGz Jun 21 '34  |   PitGz Jul 15 '34  |   NFP Jul 16 '34
LyGz Jul 23 '34  |   ErieGz Aug 14 '34  |   PitGz Aug 14 '34  |   IVol Apr 16 '35  |   IVol Oct 29 '35  |   NWhg Nov 05 '35
SFJ Jun 14 '36  |   IVol Aug 04 '36  |   RepH Aug 17 '36  |   IVol Aug 25 '36  |   GTid Mar 14 '37  |   IVol Jul 27 '37
ErieGz Jun 07 '38  |   Keyst Oct 17 '38  |   PitGz Oct 19 '38  |   PitGz Oct 25 '38  |   TEgl Nov 01 '38  |   PitGz Nov 12 '38
NCou Nov 14 '38  |   PitGz Nov 19 '38  |   PitGz Nov 20 '38  |   PitGz Nov 22 '38  |   PitGz Nov 27 '38  |   Spec Jan 10 '39
OldG May 24 '39  |   TEgl May 29 '39  |   PitGz Apr 25 '39  |   Keyst Jun 12 '39  |   PitGz Jul 01 '39  |   NCou Oct 09 '39

Newspaper Articles Index   |   Early Penn. Magazines   |   Philadelphia papers


Vol. 33.                             Pittsburgh, Friday, January 7, 1820.                             No. 175.

Edited by Robert Morris -- Pub. by Jesper Harding, 74 1/2 South 2nd St. & 56 Carter's Alley.


At the annual meeting of the Pittsburgh Sunday School Association, held at the Second Presbyterian Church, on the 28th of December, 1819 -- The following gentlemen were elected officers of the Society, for the ensuing year:

The Rev. Joseph Patterson, President. Mr. Thomas Davis, 1st Vice Prest. Mathew B. Lowrie, Esq., 2d. Vice Prest....

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. I.                            Carlisle, Pa. Tuesday, January 11, 1820.                           No. 10.

The Pilgrims.

The citizens of Carlisle will no doubt recollect a gang of dirty, squalid creatures, who passed through some years ago calling themselves Pilgrims, and stating that they were on their way to the Promised Land -- By the following account, which we copy from the "Christian Watchman," the reader will find that their pilgrimage did not turn out so happy as they were led to believe by the impostor who styled himself their priest. Whilst every friend to humanity cannot but deplore their misfortunes, yet it affords another salutary lesson to those who "depart from the faith of their fathers to seek strange gods."

Extract of a letter from a gentleman in the interior of New York
to a friend in this vicinity.

Passing near Dryden, I was induced to enquire after news from the 'Pilgrims,' who were visited at their encampment in that town, by Mr. Chase, missionary, whose account of them was published in the Am. Baptist Magazine a year ago.

I was told that their prophet led them westward to the Allegheny river, where they took a large boat, and went down that river in search of the 'promised land,' to which their pretended prophet was conducting them; that on their arrival at a certain island, they disembarked, and the prophet began to penetrate the soil with his staff, to discover if there were any indications of their approach to his uptopian Canaan. He at length announced to his deluded followers that this island was in very deed, the sought for land; in proof of which, his staff, which he left in the ground, would, at a given hour, put forth buds and blossom! but that in the mean time, himself, and priest must go to the main land, ' and seek the Lord.' They accordingly took the boat together with all the provisions and money (of both which they had picked up a considerable quantity on the road) and departed; leaving the rest of the party, augmented to about 70 persons, on the island to wait the issue of the prophet's miracle. The given hour however went by, and the prophet's staff remained but a barren stick. Neither bud nor blossom, prophet nor priest, appeared; and what was still worse, they had neither bread nor meat nor the means of procuring either.

In this distressing situation they remained three whole days, when they were providentially discovered & taken up by some passing boats. Neither their prophet nor priest have since been heard of, and the "pilgrims" made the best of their way to their several homes.

For the authenticacy of this account I cannot vouch further than to say that I heard it related within a few miles of the place where Mr. Chase saw them, and where the prophet acquired several new followers; some of whom as I was informed, have returned to tell their own pitiable story.

Note: For a response to this account (as well as a couple of corrections) see the Philadelphia Union of Jan. 26, 1820.


Vol. XXXVI.                             Pittsburgh, Monday, July 10, 1820.                             No. 6.

Edited by Robert Morris -- Pub. by Jesper Harding, 74 1/2 South 2nd St. & 56 Carter's Alley.


Drowned. -- On Friday evening last, in the Allegheny River, at the old warf, Mr. George Forrester, formerly a teacher in this city, and latterly clerk of the Pittsburgh Steam Engine Company.

In the death of this very worthy gentleman a support & kind protection have been snatched from a rising family, and the community deprived of a virtuous and enlightened citizen.


Four Cents CASH, per pound, will be given for clean Rags of good quality, at the corner of 3d and Wood streets, Pittsburgh, by
J. PATTERSON & Co.              

Note 1: The unexpected death of the "Scotch Baptist" pastor, George Forrester, propelled Walter Scott into the pastorate of that small congregation in Pittsburgh. This group later formed the nucleus for the first Disciples of Christ church in the city.

Note 2: The Joseph Patterson advertisement shows that he was active in seeking raw materials for the Pittsburgh Steam Paper Mill -- an extensive enterprise which must have been making him a substantial profit at that time. What financial support the Rev. Joseph Patterson might have been extending to his soon-to-be bankrupt brother remains unknown. The "Ledger of the firm of R. & J. Patterson, stationers, Pittsburgh" (qr964.886 P31 & qr974.886 P31) housed in the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh remains unavailable for patrons' inspection.


Vol. ?                            Pittsburgh, (Penn.) Tuesday, November 20, 1822.                           No. ?

Raw  Hides  and  Skins:

THE subscriber, at his tanyard, on the Washington turnpike, four miles from Pittsburgh, wishes to purchase a quantity of

Raw  Hides  and  Skins,

For which the Pittsburgh prices will be paid. He will execute tanning and currying on the shares, and engages that his work shall be well executed.


An APPRENTICE to the above business, he must be of from sixteen to seventeen years of age, and come well recommended.

Thomas M. Henry.

St. Clair township.

Note: In 1822 Sidney Rigdon's close relatives still lived on farms in his hometown of St. Clair township, Allegheny Co. -- within easy walking distance of Mr. Henry's tannery. While it is nearly impossible that Rigdon would have applied for apprentice work at the tannery as early as 1822 (when he was already 29 years of age and an ordained Baptist minister), it may be that he performed some work for Mr. Henry prior to his leaving the St. Clair area in 1818. If so, such training in a tannery might help explain how Sidney Rigdon so easily joined with his brother-in-law in 1824 to engage in "journeyman" tanning work in Pittsburgh. The tanning profession, as it was practiced in those days, generally required the preparation of a lengthy apprenticeship prior to employment at the "journeyman" level. If Rigdon did receive some experience in the tanning trade prior to 1818, such work might have easily included the manufacture of leather book-binding material for sale in neighboring Pittsburgh. There were at least two book-binding establishments located in the city before 1818, one of which was owned by Robert and Joseph Patterson (see notes on article for Oct. 4, 1825).


Vol. 38.                                     Friday Morning, February 7, 1823.                                    No. 37.

Edited by Robert Morris -- Pub. by Jesper Harding, 74 1/2 South 2nd St. & 56 Carter's Alley.

Sheriff's  Sales.

By virtue of two writs of Venditioni Exponas, issued out of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny county, and to me directed, will be exposed to public sale at the Court House in the City of Pittsburgh, on Wednesday the 12th day of February next at 10 o'clock A. M.

All the right, title, interest and claim of Robert Patterson and Jonathan H. Lambdin, of, in and to
Twenty-four Lots of Ground,
situate in the city of Pittsburgh, in O'Hara's extension of Pittsburgh; bounded Northwardly by ront street, Southwardly by Brackenridge Street, Eastwardly by Try street, and Westwardly by Ross street; having two hundred and fifty feet front on Brackenridge and Front streets respectively, together with all the ground between Ross and Try streets lying south west of Brackenridge street, and extending from said street to low water mark at the Monongahela river ---

Together with the
Houses, out Houses, Shops and Offices erected on all and every part of said ground, and together also with the Steam Engine and machinery attached thereto and therewith in said Paper Mill; and also all the Presses, Vats, Tools and Implements, whatsoever in the said Mill, for making, finishing, and staining paper, and all the Kettles, Tools, instruments, whatsoever, in any of the offices, out houses or buildings, on the aforesaid premises, and employed or apourtended to the manufactory of Paper, and all and every of the Fixtures, Grates and Implements belonging to the different shops and buildings on the premises above described. Seized and taken in execution as the property of the said Robert Patterson and Jonathan H. Lambdin, at the suits of Matthew B. Lowrie and Henry Holdship, and to be sold by
L. Stewart, Sh'ff.        
Sheriff's Office, Pittsburgh, Jan. 31, 1823.

Note 1: It remains uncertain whether or not Robert's younger brother, Joseph Patterson, Jr., regained title to the paper mill after the Feb. 12th (and April 4th) Sheriff's sale. The 1826 Pittsburgh Directory shows Joseph living on the north side of Penn St., above St. Clair, and credits Joseph with the ownership of the Pittsburgh Steam Paper Mill (on page 72). The Pittsburgh Recorder of Nov. 2, 1824 lists Rev. Joseph Patterson, Jr. and his brother, Rev. Robert Patterson, as "clergymen" ministering at "Fourth, between Wood and Market st." The same Joseph is also listed as being a "paper merchant," operating his business at the "corner of Wood and Third streets," while Robert is listed as a "bookseller and stationer," managing a store located on "Market, between Third and Fourth streets." Joseph obviously maintained important connections with the local paper-making business, after his brother's unfortunate 1823 bankruptcy.

Note 2: Robert Patterson, Sr. and J. Harrison Lambdin appear to have obtained their deed to "part of Lot No. 317, Wood Street, and Third Street," on May, 15, 1821, from the "trustees of John McCombs." There were two court judgment made against Patterson and Lambdin at the beginning of 1823, which forced the sale of their downtown business property. The trustees of John McCombs appear to have held on to their old title to the property, and waited until the end of December, 1827 to sell it to Henry Holdship. He then paid $5,000 for the lot and buildings situated at the corner of Wood and Third streets. Presumably Holdship was paying the trustees rent on the premises during 1823-27. For the first two and a half years of that period, J. Harrison Lambdin stayed there at the "old stand" (a three story brick building, adjacent to a smaller frame house, down the street from John Ramsey's Tavern) until the middle of 1825, when failing health removed him from the book sales business.

Note 3: The Lambdin family members were on friendly terms with the Holdships and the Lowries -- and so it is probable that both litigants attempted to soften the financial blow on the destitute young Lambdin, by allowing him with a place of employment and residence in the old book store (or "office"). Robert Patterson arranged his own affairs so as to be no longer associated with the old "office." His depature from the property appears to have set up the opportunity for Sidney Rigdon to have then established some sort of connection with Lambdin at "the office." See the report of Patterson's statement in that regard, as taken by LDS Apostle John E. Page in 1841.


Vol. 38.                                     Friday Morning, February 21, 1823.                                    No. 39.

Edited by Robert Morris -- Pub. by Jesper Harding, 74 1/2 South 2nd St. & 56 Carter's Alley.

Pittsburgh Feb. 17, 1823.        
THE PARTNERSHIP heretofore existing between Robert Patterson and Jonathan H. Lambdin, trading under the firm of R. Patterson & Lambdin, is hereby dissolved.
J. H. Lambdin.        

Note 1: No published account of the reasons underlying the partnership's dissolution has survived. However, some hints at Robert Patterson's circumstances at the beginning of 1823 may be obtained by consulting James R. Lambdin's "Journal." Recalling the events of late 1822, he says: "Patterson & Lambdin, who were largely engaged in the manufacture of paper, had taken a large contract with a Philadelphia house for the manufacture of a paper suitable for the Mexican market and to be delivered in New Orleans. A large shipment made in flat-boats was caught in the Ohio by the ice and the greater part lost without insurance. This caused increased trouble in their pecuniary affairs." James also says that his brother J. Harrison's "affairs were becoming quite embarassing," which must have meant that he was unable unable to support himself, generally, nor to pay the debts he incurred in the partnership's 1822 business disaster.

Note 2: The printing firm of Butler & Lambdin appears to have gone under by end of 1822 and the what was left of the partnership of Patterson & Lambdin quickly declined into being little more than a wallpaper business. According to the records of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, "on the 1st of January 1823" Patterson and Lambdin were "in the business of bookseller and stationer" in Pittsburgh, and "On that day they failed to a large amount, and made assignments for the use of their creditors." In other words, the partners had borrowed, or otherwise obligated themselves, for a large sum of money (court records indicate a sum more than $3766) and were unable to repay their main creditor, Henry Holdship, Sr.

Note 3: Robert Patterson, Sr. escaped the worst of the crisis, by having placed some of his business assets in the names of his minor children. But J. Harrison Lambdin appears to have been totally ruined. Lambdin had been living with his new bride "in a house on 4th St. below Redoubt Alley." At least that is what his brother James Reid Lambdin reported as the case, following Rachel Wilbur Lambdin's arrival in Pittsburgh in 1818. -- Speaking of a time about a year and a half later, James placed his brother's residence at the corner of Wood and Smithfield streets. The 1819 Pittsburgh Directory lists Prudence Lambdin as living nearby, on the "N. side of 3d, between Wood and Smithfield streets." This is the same general area where the Patterson & Lambdin "office" was located, and where James R. Lambdin opened his painting studio during the summer of 1824.Evidently, from 1823 through 1825 (when not confined to debtors' imprisonment) J. Harrison Lambdin was either at the "office," back living with his mother.


Vol. 38.                                     Friday Morning, April 4, 1823.                                    No. 45.

Edited by Robert Morris -- Pub. by Jesper Harding, 74 1/2 South 2nd St. & 56 Carter's Alley.


On Saturday night, the 22d ult, the fine Brick Court House, and all the public offices attached to it, at Erie. Pa. were destroyed by fire. All public records in the offices were consumed.

                            Pittsburgh, March 26th, 1823.
WE take the liberty to inform our friends and the public generally, that R. PATTERSON & LAMBDIN have appointed us their Assignees; and as such we shall continue to keep on hand a general and exhaustive supply of


at the old stand, (corner of Wood and Third Streets) where Rags and country produce will be received in payment as formerly. We have reduced the prices of all articles in this line of business to a cash standard.

HENRY HOLDSHIP, > Assignees,
P. S. Address "The Assignees of R. Patterson & Lambdin."

Note 1: Also printed in the April 4th issue of the Gazette was the Notice of a Sheriff's Sale (for a second time), ordered to dispose of the Pittsburgh properties belonging to the bankrupt firm of R. Patterson & Lambdin. Among the properties sold on Saturday, April 19th was Patterson's steam paper mill. The fact that Lambdin had dissolved his partnership with Patterson on or about Feb. 17, 1823, combined with this forced sale of the assests of the defunct firm, probably indicates that the final weeks of their partnership were not amicable ones.

Note 2: Apparently Matthew B. Lowrie and Henry Holdship (Lambdin family friends) both sued Patterson & Lambdin in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas at the end of 1822, for financial obligations incurred by the partnership, and thus became involved, as "Assignees," in the firm's financial dispositions. The court settlement eventually left Henry Holdship as the owner of most of the partnership's assets. Holdship, in turn, appears to have engaged Robert Patterson and J. Harrison Lambdin (separately) as agents in running the former partnership's paper mill and book sales businesses.


Vol. XI.                             Pittsburgh, (Penn.) Tuesday, May 20, 1823.                             No. ?


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 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.

Note 1: It is unknown how closely the Elder Sidney Rigdon followed the outcome of this news story. The Mercury article was reprinted from Niles National Register, which, in turn, paraphrased a news report from the Detroit Gazette of Mar. 14, 1823. At the time of its appearance Rigdon was already deeply in trouble with the orthodox members of the Pittsburgh First Baptist Church and with the neighboring Baptists comprising the Redstone Baptist Association. On July 11, 1823, the Rev. John Winter and other Pittsburgh Baptists brought heretical teaching charges against Pastor Rigdon, in anticipation of their having him dismissed from his ministerial office and thus ejected from the Redstone Baptist Association.

Note 2: Elder Sidney Rigdon appears to have fabricated his own "curious manuscript," at about this time. It was published in a Pittsburgh pamphlet at the end of 1824 His pseudo-scriptural text was obviously written as an anti-clerical spoof, but he took the trouble to affix a fake "Preface" to the text, complete with a translator's notice.

Note 3: If Rigdon's own curiosity was aroused by the "curious manuscript" discovery, he perhaps read the various related newspaper reports and learned that a sample of its seemingly untranslatable characters had been sent to the famous Dr. Samuel Mitchell of New York City, for his analysis. Mitchell speculated that the manuscript was written, not in "Irish," but in a peculiar form of old Latin and that its contents resembled somewhat those of a certain archaic manuscript of the biblical scriptures. It is not unlikely that Rigdon, the Bible student, was then impressed with the idea that Dr. Mitchell might be called upon to confirm the antiquity of any other such puzzling scriptural discoveries that might subsequently be brought to light in North America.

Note 4: Reports of this same "curious manuscript" were also printed in the Apr. 15, 1823 issue of the Canandaigua Ontario Repository (near the home of Joseph Smith, Jr. in New York) and in the Apr. 16, 1823 issue of the Poultney Gazette (near the home of Oliver Cowdery) in Vermont.


Vol. XI.                              Pittsburgh, (Penn.) Tuesday, June 17, 1823.                              No. ?

                            Pittsburgh, March 26th, 1823.
WE take the liberty to inform our friends and the public generally, that R. PATTERSON & LAMBDIN have appointed us their Assignees; and as such we shall continue to keep on hand a general and exhaustive supply of


at the old stand, (corner of Wood and Third Streets) where Rags and country produce will be received in payment as formerly. We have reduced the prices of all articles in this line of business to a cash standard.

HENRY HOLDSHIP, } Assignees,
P. S. Address "The Assignees of R. Patterson & Lambdin."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XI.                              Pittsburgh, (Penn.) Tuesday, July 1, 1823.                              No. ?


AND for sale at the bookstores of Mr. Loomis and the assignees of R. Patterson and Lambdin, and at the offices of the Mercury and Pittsburgh Recorder, A brief Review of a debate on CHRISTIAN BAPTISM, between Mr. John Walker, a minister of the Seccession Church, and Mr. Alexander Campbell, a Baptist Minister, in a series of letters. By Samuel Ralston, A. M. --
  July 1, 1823.

Note 1: This notice ran in the Mercury through the end of the year. There were also mentions of the Ralston book in the Gazette during the latter months of 1823.

Note 2: Sidney Rigdon, the soon-to-be-abandoned pastor of the First Baptist Church in Pittsburgh, was at this time distributing the publications of Alexander Campbell in that area. Campbell's Christian Baptism book was printed by the local publishing firm of Cramer, Speers, and Eichbaum at the beginning of the summer of 1823. Rigdon (in cooperation with Elder Walter Scott) was probably the one responsible for wholesaling of copies of the volume to bookshops like the one owned by Mr. Holdship and "the assignees of R. Patterson and Lambdin." Robert Patterson, Sr. and J. Harrison Lambdin were then still connected with the vestiges of their failed book and stationery operations, in the capacity of agents of their own "assignees." In his distribution of Campbell's publications in Pittsburgh during this period, it is more than likely that Sidney Rigdon interacted with former bookstore owners Patterson and Lambdin on more than an occasional basis. See also allusions of Rigdon's religious activities, in cooperation with Elder Walter Scott, in Lawrence Greatrake's 1824 pamphlet, To Alexander Campbell.


Vol. XXXIX.                                     Pittsburgh,  July 25, 1823.                                    No. 9.

Edited by Robert Morris -- Pub. by Jesper Harding, 74 1/2 South 2nd St. & 56 Carter's Alley.



TAKES the liberty of informing the citizens, that he has considerably altered the plan of instruction in his Academy, by the introduction of new and much approved elementary books, among which are Woodbridge's Geography, Butler's History, Blair's Universal Precepter, and Lavoisne's Atlas. Woodbridge's Geography has been adopted as a substitute for Willet's. It has great merit as an elementary work -- and has received the approbations of De Witt Clinton, Zephaniah Switt Moore, and other patrons of Literature. Butler's History is in a chatechetical form, the very general reception it has met with, sufficiently recommends it. Its plan is simple, and adapted to the capacities of youth. The Universal Preceptor, a work of 316 pages, 18mo. contains the elements of no fewer than 31 different branches of learning, vis: Geography, Astronomy, Mechanics, Agriculture, Trade, Commerce, Metallurgy, Architecture, &c. &c. with several branches of luxurious knowledge, as Physics, Metaphysics, Heraldry, &c. &c. Lavoisne's Atlas has been thus commended by W. H. Crawford -- "I consider it the most successful effort of the age, to facilitate the acquisition of Historical, Genealogical, Chronological and Geographical information." "And I shall be happy," says Chas. C. Plakney, "to see it received in all our schools." Of this supurb Atlas, the President of St. Mary's College says, "Indocti discant, [et] ament meminisse periti." The Academy is furnished with a pair of Globes, for the solution of problems.

It is well known that one of the greatest obsticles in the way of a teacher, is the endless variety of mental capacity he meets with among his boys. In some he sees reason elevated almost to intuition; in others degraded to mere instinct. This makes it extremely difficult always to discriminate with certainty between incapacity and negligence. The above course is intended to obviate this difficulty, for while it affords the fairest field for juvenile exertion and talent, it is at the same time, suited to the lowest degree of industry and intellect. Boys, at achool, discover a strong predilection for every thing novel in their studies, and are very apt to impose upon us by their strong seeming bent of inclination. We flatter ourselves that it is genius, and are always ready, and even forward to give it that name, but how often are we disappointed! -- How often does all the promptitude, all the fire of our favorite pupil, turn out to be nothing more than the effervescence of an ephermeral and shallow curiosity! Yet it is said there is a predominant faculty in the mind of every child, and that it is half the teacher's art to detect it. Indeed it is best to make the boy a mere drudge to push him forward in the studies for which he has neither relish nor capacity. Besides, this predominent faculty is perhaps never the same in any two boys in the same school, and if it is, it exists in much different degrees of heat and rapidity, that scarce two out of twenty are found capable of progressing together. If there does exist a predominent faculty in the mind of every child, and if it is at all important to know it, what means are to be employed to make the discovery? Is the child to be entirely neglected, until this vis viva le [----], by the sheer ardor of its own intensity, lifts itself up above all the other powers of the mind, and beckons to us for culture and assistance? -- Surely not. Are we to tie down the child to a single branch of study, say the digging up of definitions from a dictionary, and thus find a predominent faculty by making one -- at the peril of all others? By no means.

W. S. requests the citizens of Pittsburgh to examine the above course, and see whether it be not well calculated to enrich the scholar's mind with general and correct views of almost all subjects, to enlarge, exercise and elevate his understanding; to furnish him with an infinite variety of words and phrases, to prepare him for the study of language and philosophy, and, in short, to lay a substantial and certain basis for future and higher studies. And of what greater acquisitions are boys of 10 or 12 years of age capable? Indeed the Universal Preceptor contains almost all concerning the arts and sciences that can be taught in any Academy, unless the teacher should proceed to experiment and to the examination of stature, but then, in a school of boys, is impracticable, except in a very limited degree. Now with all the varied knowledge of the Universal Preceptor, Woodbridge's Geography, Butler's History, and the great work of Lavoisne, may we not hope that the predominent faculty in the mind of our pupil will ultimately attach itself to some peculiar and favorite branch, and that he himself will be then borne forward in his studies with alacrity and success? How infinitely better prepared for our University is the boy with all this accession of knowledge, than he who cannot so much as tell where the Greeks and Romans lived, or even afford one a definition of the term Philosophy?

It is hoped this course is at least preparatory to the lessons and prelections of Principal Bruce. [Let it] be observed too that the study of the Universal Preceptor, Woodbridge, Butler, and Lavoisne, is not to interfer with the other equally useful branches, as Reading, Writing, Grammar, Geometry, Arithmetic, &c. All these likewise will be carefully attended to.

Mr. Blair allows two years for committing the Universal Preceptor; some of W. S's boys, however, shall have performed this task in about one third of that time. And for their present knowledge of its contents, W. S. would beg leave to refer to their parents, before whom he has had the pleasure of twice examining them. After a vacation of a month, the Academy will open on the 18th of August, when 10 or 12 more scholars may find admittance. The greatest attention will be paid to their attendance and good conduct. and all shall be treated with the utmost tenderness and respect. It is hoped that the superior utility of this course will be better illustrated at the intended quarterly examinations.

Academy in Mr. Church's house, next to Dr. Agnew's, Wood street. Terms moderate.

Note: The "Mr. Church" here mentioned was Dr. William Church, Sr., whose granddaughter, Mary Church, became the wife of Elder Walter Scott's son John in 1848. William was baptized into the Baptist denomination by Walter Scott (probably assisted by Sidney Rigdon) on July 11, 1824.


Vol. 39.                                 Pittsburgh, Friday, September 26, 1823.                                No. 18.

Edited by Robert Morris -- Pub. by Jesper Harding, 74 1/2 South 2nd St. & 56 Carter's Alley.

Public  Notice  is  hereby  given,

THAT the Notes, Book Accounts, and all other property of Robert Patterson & J. H. Lambdin, late Stationers and Paper Manufacturers, trading under the firm of R. Patterson & Lambdin, have been assigned to the subscribers this day for the benefit of creditors.
Pittsburgh, Sept. 22, 1823 --

Note: This notice ran in the classified ads section of the Gazette for at least two years, following its initial appearence in September of 1823.


ns Vol. III.                     Washington, Pa., Monday, November 10, 1823.                     No. 25.

The following letter was received by Mr. HUGH WILSON, agent for the board of foreign missions, who is authorized to receive and forward any contributions that may be offered for their use, to St. Joseph, or Carey Mission, or to Fort Wayne.

"Carey, St. Joseph river, 100 miles North West of Fort Wayne, Sept. 6, 1823.

"Dear Brother,
"The Box of Goods which you had the goodness to forward to us, by way of Pittsburg, in which I had the pleasure of finding a letter from you, dated November 27, 1822, was received Aug. 5.... Please to present our sincere thanks, to the ladies of your place, for their kindness to us, & to their red children of which we have charge...

"Our large family, 64 in number, enjoys excellent health in this season, after suffering considerably the first winter, spring and summer, for want of bread, we at length not only find ourselves enjoying this blessing, but also in comfortable situation, in respect to other necessaries of life. Our school contains 48 native scholars, who spend about half their time in study in school, and half in manual labor...

"It affords us much pleasure to bow with these youths before the throne of grace, morning and evening, and it inspires expectations when we hear them on Sabbaths and other occasions, saying 'The year of Jubilee is come, &c.' As success, however, depends on the good Providence of God, we trust that the prayers of the pious will ascend, continually, to him who will 'have the heathen for his inheritance.'

In behalf of our excellent brother Leykins, Mrs. M'Coy and myself, (who are the only missionaries now at this station,) I repeat our acknowledgements, for the patronage of the pious in your country; and subscribe,
              Respectfully yours,
                            ISAAC M'COY.

Note 1: The Rev. Isaac McCoy (1784-1846) was a Baptist frontier clergyman who ministered to the Indians on the western border of Missouri. In 1833 Rev. McCoy penned a lengthy letter detailing the activities of the Mormons in western Missouri. LDS historians, such as B. H. Roberts, have accused this Baptist minister (and famous missionary to the Indians), along with other Missouri clergymen, of "leading armed bands of marauders" against the Jackson County Mormons. According to Roberts, men like McCoy were "the main inspirers of cowardly assaults on the defenseless." For more on Isaac McCoy and his significant interaction with the Mormons in Missouri, see Warren A. Jennings' "Isaac McCoy and the Mormons," Missouri Historical Review 61:62-82 (Oct. 1966).

Note 2: The ministers of the Redstone Baptist Association, meeting at Plum Run, Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1820, passed this measure: "On motion, it was Resolved, That Brother Hugh Wilson of the borough of Washington, be appointed to receive the contributions for the education of Brother Jacob Osbourne." Hugh Wilson's involvement in public charity was again documented in that association's 1821 meeting minutes: "Resolved, That this Association... shall hereafter make their contributions in the produce of the country, or money, for the purpose of aiding the Fort Wayne mission and that a committee be appointed composed of Hugh Wilson of Washington, Ephraim Estep of Peters Creek, [etc.]... whose duties shall be to receive such contributions as may be made by individuals, churches or associations of individuals, and to transmit the same to William H. Hart, an agent for the use of Fort Wayne mission at Pittsburgh." The same year's record reported, that "Brother Hugh Wilson reported that he had paid to brother A. Campbell $60.05 towards the boarding and tuition of Jacob Osborn; the receipt whereof the said Campbell hereby acknowledges."

Note 3: Hugh Wilson's interactions with Alexander Campbell were not merely limited to providing scholarships for needy students at Campbell's academy in Washington County. In 1823 Wilson accompanied Washington County Baptist elders Charles Wheeler, Thomas Campbell and Alexander Campbell to the annual meeting of the Redstone Association at Pittsburgh. This was the same meeting which functionally expelled Elder Sidney Rigdon from his own chapel and congregation, seating his Calvinist rival, Elder John Winter, in Rigdon's place at the discussion table. Deacon Wilson did not travel with the Campbells simply out of convenience -- Wilson's granddaughter later provided this interesting detail: "My grandfather... gave my mother a different education from his elder daughters. His intimate friend was Bishop Alexander Campbell, the founder of the sect of 'Disciples,'... He received my mother into his family as a paying pupil, and educated her with his own daughters."

Note 4: Speaking of Hugh Wilson's first wife, his granddaughter also reported: "While she lived [her] house was a refuge for poor folk, especially needy Baptist ministers, our grandfather being a zealous member of that sect. It was while one of those ministers, a Mr. Spaulding was spending the winter at Locust Hill, being too ill to preach, that he wrote a fictitious story which Joseph Smith published afterwards as the Book of Mormon. My mother who was a child of seven, then, remembered afterwards how she used to listen to the pale young man as he read aloud in the evenings what he had written during the day." Hugh Wilson, besides hosting Solomon Spalding in his home at Locust Hill in Washington Co., c. 1815-16, was also present at Sidney Rigdon's expulsion -- Wilson thus had the opportunity of knowing both Solomon Spalding and Sidney Rigdon. Another person who must have known both men was Mary Rigdon, who lived in the hamlet of Amity with the Spaldings in 1814-16. The Washington Baptist church had not yet been built, and the Wilson family were members of the Tenmile Baptist church, located halfway between Washington and Amity, in Washington County. Coming from a staunch Baptist family herself, Mary Rigdon, the widowed aunt of Sidney Rigdon, would have worshiped at Tenmile, or to some other Baptist church in the area. The Tenmile Baptist church records (preserved in the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh) are said to make some mention Mary Rigdon, as an occasional attendee, if not as a received member.


Vol. XII.                              Pittsburgh, (Penn.) Tuesday, January 6, 1824.                              No. ?

The Assignees of
R. Patterson & Lambdin,

BEING about to close all the concerns of the trust committed to them, the business heretofore transacted in their name, will from this date be discontinued.

The Bookselling and Stationary



On his own account, at the old stand, North West Corner of Wood and Third Streets.

Where every accommodation will be afforded to customers.

             J. H. Lambdin,

Note 1: It appears that J. Harrison Lambdin had been released from debtors' imprisonment by this date. At some point in 1823 he was arrested and confined in the Pittsburgh jail. According to the "Journal of the Senate of the 18th United States Congress," Pennsylvania Senator Walter Lowrie, on Dec. 10, 1823, "presented the petition of Jonathan H. Lambdin, stating that, owing to the ansence of the Judge of the District Court of the United States for the western district of Pennsylvania, he is prevented from availing himself of the provisions of the act of January 6th, 1800, for the benefit of debtors confined in gaol, and praying relief." The first bill of that Senate session was "A Bill Supplementary to the Act, entitled 'An act for the relief of persons imprisioned for debt,'" whereby U.S. District Judges could delegate their authority to release those prisoners from confinement. Lambdin was evidently released into the custody of Henry Holdship, Sr., and thenceforth acted as his sales agent in the "Bookselling and Stationery Business... at the old stand."

Note 2: The absence of the name of Robert Patterson, Sr. in the above announcement probably indicates that by the end of 1823 Patterson had completely disassociated himself from Lambdin in acting as an "agent" for "the Assignees" of his former book and stationery business in Pittsburgh. That business was continued under the sole ownership of Mr. Holdship, beginning in 1823. Apparently Patterson only acted as Holdship's agent in a small store located near Fourth and Market streets, while J. Harrison Lambdin was Holdship's agent the entirely different old office (or "stand") located at Third and Wood streets. Lambdin labored in this diminished professional capacity for no more than a year and a half.

Note 3: According to Patterson's son (Robert Patterson, Jr.), Lambdin died on Aug. 1, 1825, "in his twenty-seventh year." A more reliable source, his brother James Reid Lambdin, places the death on "the 25th day of August, 1825," a date which agrees with his funeral notice in the Pittsburgh Gazette. It seems probable that, until mid-1825 at least, J. Harrison Lambdin exercised control over any old manuscript submissions still held by the remnants of the previous publishing partnership -- after all, he was the partner who assumed management of the old "office," where the firm's various possessions and files were located. Lambdin might have legally disposed of any outdated manuscript holdings, as he desired. Writing in 1886 William H. Whitsitt summarized that 1823 Pittsburgh scenario, thusly: "it is within the bounds of possibility that... Spaulding's work... might have been laid away... among the rubbish of the establishment until the first of January 1818, when it was would be placed under the direct supervision of Butler & Lambdin, who kept it until the deluge broke over them on the first of January 1823.... Sidney had the period from the 28th of January to the last day of December 1822 in which to cultivate the kind regards of Lambdin, before the commercial crash of the first of January 1823 befell the firm of R. Patterson & Lambdin. This disaster would [have been] a favorable occasion to take an inventory and to cleanse the printing office of the soiled accumulations of many years. Among the jetsam and flotsam of such a wreck it is not unlikely was found Solomon Spaulding's [manuscript]... Mr. Rigdon in one of his customary loafing visits may have turned it over, and becoming interested in its contents, desired the loan of it at the hands of his friend Lambdin.... On the other hand, if the contents of the printing office were sold under the hammer, Sidney might have purchased the manuscript Book of Mormon for a song."

Note 4: It should be kept in mind that the Rev. Dr. John Winter reportedly claimed to have been in Sidney Rigdon's study, in 1822-23, and while there, to have seen "a large manuscript," which Rigdon explained by saying, "A Presbyterian minister, Spaulding, whose health had failed, brought this to the printer to see if it would pay to publish it. It is a romance of the Bible." It seems unlikely that Sidney Rigdon would have invited Elder Winter into his study after the first weeks of 1823. According to Alexander Campbell, writing in 1830, "Mr. Winter came to Pittsburg in the year 1822... Rigdon took him and family into his house and sustained them for a time... [but] he afterwards opposed brother Rigdon." William A. Stanton, in 1907, said: "fifteen members... [of Rigdon's congregation]... were excluded for protesting against the preaching of the pastor. They went to the schoolroom of Rev. John Winter, over a harness shop on Wood Street, reorganized, and held services during the winter of 1822-1823. Mr. Winter, a regular Baptist minister, preached to them every other Sunday." The "winter of 1822-1823" ended on March 21, 1823 -- by that time (if not weeks before), Sidney Rigdon was no longer welcome to visit Elder Rigdon's private study, to view any strange manuscript acquisitions.

Note 5: According to James Reid Lambdin, "In the month of October [1825] it was decided that my sister-in-law [Rachael Wilbur Lambdin] and children [Sarah, Mary & Cathrine] should return to her father's at Lyons Farms, N. J. and I hired a carriage to take us..." Apparently J. Harrison's widow never returned to Pittsburgh after that.

Note 6: Essentially the same "Assignees of R. Patterson & Lambdin" notice also ran in the Pittsburgh Gazette, from Jan. 2, 1824 until late 1825.


Vol. XII.                              Pittsburgh, (Penn.) Tuesday, January 20, 1824.                              No. ?

Post  Office

ON TUESDAY MORNING, the 9th inst. the POST OFFICE will be opened in my Dwelling House, in Second, a few doors east of Market street.

Wm. Eichbaum, Jr.
                  Post Master.

The Assignees of
R. Patterson & Lambdin,

BEING about to close all the concerns of the trust committed to them, the business heretofore transacted in their name, will from this date be discontinued.

The Bookselling and Stationary



On his own account, at the old stand, North West Corner of Wood and Third Streets.

Where every accommodation will be afforded to customers.

             J. H. Lambdin,

Notes: (forthcoming)


ns Vol. II.                                     Pittsburgh,  April 9, 1824.                                    No. 30.

Edited by Robert Morris -- Pub. by Jesper Harding, 74 1/2 South 2nd St. & 56 Carter's Alley.

The Creditors
OF the Subscriber are hereby notified that the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, upon his petition for the benefit of the Acts of Assembly of Pennsylvania "for the relief of Insolvent Debtors," have appointed the third day of May next, at Pittsburgh, for his hearing, when, and where his creditors may show cause, if any they have, why he should not be discharged.
                      Robert Patterson,


By advertisement in the Pittsburgh news papers of this date, it will be seen that the vicissitudes, and misfortunes, occurring in late years, have fallen heavily on the subscriber, after a long period of engagement in business, so as to reduce him entirely to insolvency; -- under which his distress would be much greater than it is, were it not for the kindness under Providence, of a few generous individuals, who have enabled him under an agency, with a moderate capital, to commence the BOOK & STATIONARY BUSINESS for the support of his family -- and if possible, however hopeless the prospect, at a late period in his life, to gain something toward the payment of debt.

He has taken the room lately occupied by L. Loomis, as a Bookstore, -- where his assortment will be found to contain generally good and useful books, that are in demand in schools and colleges, and read by professional men and others.

His constant efforts will be employed to keep an assortment of the best Paper and Stationary.

The numerous Tracts of the American Tract Society, of which he is agent, together with a well selected supply of Sabbath School Books, will be found to answer the wishes of those who are fond of promoting reading and instruction in this way. He has also a great variety of books for children.

He takes, to sell on commission, such articles as may be conveniently connected with book-selling, and hopes for a share of encouragement, in this way from Pittsburgh manufacturers. Besides money, he receives in payment, Rags, Tanners' Scraps, Bags, Linen, &c. at the regular cash prices -- and as he neither buys nor sells on a general credit, he can sell as reasonably as regular dealing will justify.

He particularly requests his numerous friends and acquaintances, to bear in mind that a respectable portion of the custom which he has had for many years, in this place, will be sufficient: and he hopes they will not doubt the truth of the old proverb that "every little helps," especially with an individual, such as the subscriber, who has seen and experienced enough to deter from all immediate borrowing, endorsing, and extravagent extension of business, -- and who is content by economy and industry, to seek a living for his family.

His friends and customers will please to recollect that his present stand for Bookselling is not in any of the four places where it has been within 13 or 14 years, but in Market street, a few doors below 4th street.
                      Robert Patterson,

Note 1: Robert Patterson's solicitation for "tanner's scraps" is particularly interesting, as it indicates that he would have continued to maintain some contact with the local tanners and leather finishers. By this time Robert had evidently lost his previous control of a book bindery in Pittsburgh, which had put him directly into contact with leather book-binding dealers. But, given his prominent position in Pittsburgh society, Patterson would have at least been aware of the names of the local tanners -- including Sidney Rigdon. For his part, Sidney Rigdon professed to have little knowledge of Patterson's activities in Pittsburgh during the mid-1820s: "there was no man by the name of Patterson during my residence at Pittsburgh who had a printing office; what might have been before I lived there I know not. Mr. Robert Patterson, I was told, had owned a printing office before I lived in that city, but had been unfortunate in business, and failed before my residence there. This Mr. Patterson, who was a Presbyterian preacher, I had a very slight acquaintance with during my residence in Pittsburgh. He was then acting under an agency, in the book and stationery business, and was the owner of no property of any kind, printing office, or any thing else, during the time I resided in the city." Technically speaking, this is factual -- Patterson's prior association with publishing and printing had disappeared by 1824; but he was still in business, on a smaller scale, and was advertising to buy the very scraps of leather that Rigdon was daily sweeping up from the floor of his tannery. The two men must have known each other.

Note 2: The wording of Patterson's advertisement can be best understood after the reader consults Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Vol. VII (May to September 1838) published in Philadelphia, in 1881. Patterson's case ("Holdship vs. Patterson) was referred to the State Supreme Court, which finally rendered its decision in 1838. He had received financial support from some friends and had placed some of that money into a trust for his children -- his creditors (Holdship, et al.) could only lay claim to that money under certain conditions, etc. etc., and "the property therefore was not liable to the plaintiff's execution." It appears that the balance of Patterson's debt with Holdship (after all forced sales, seizures, etc.), was $3,766. Patterson eventually went into a book sales partnership with Alexander Ingram and, later on, with Luke Loomis, but it is doubtful that he ever made enough money to pay off his debts.



Vol. ?                                  Wilkes-Barre, Friday,  May 21, 1824.                                     No. ?

Montrose, May 14. Robbery and Murder! We are informed that the lifeless body of Oliver Harper, son of Judge Harper, of Windsor, Broome County, N. Y. was picked up in the road, in Harmony Township, in this county on the evening of Tuesday last. The deceased has been down the river with lumber, and was on his return home, with money to a considerable amount, as is supposed, when this horrid act was committed. It is evident that the villain was fully determined upon accomplishing his hellish design, as two bullets were discharged at the unfortunate victim, one of which entered his head, the other passed through his hat just above it. It is to be hoped that prompt measures will be taken to detect the perpetrator of this attrocious deed.   Republican.

Note: The above report is a paraphrase of the account given in the Broome Republican of May 14, 1824. 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.



Vol. III.                                  Pittsburgh, Tuesday,  August 31, 1824.                                     No. 31.


We have had the perusal of a small work, in the pamphlet form, containing thirty pages octavo, just issued from the press of Eichbaum & Johnson, and for sale at the different book stores in this city at 12 1/2 cents a copy, entitled "Letters to Alexander Campbell, V. D. M. by a Regular Baptist. Together with an Address to the Baptist Churches in the Western Section of the United States. And a Word to the Unconverted." This work, we understand, has excited considerable interest, and produced various sensations in the minds of those who have given it a careful reading, according to their different religious sentiments, characters, and connexions. To give our readers some idea of the object and spirit of the author, and of his style and manner of writing, we make a few brief extracts from the work; remarking that those who, with unbiased minds, read the whole in connexion, and are acquainted with the circumstances which occasioned the publication, will be able to judge most correctly of its merits or defects.

Speaking of the sentiments of Mr. Campbell, the author says: --

"Though it is in the chapter of probabilities that your sentiments may have been misunderstood, yet what is found as the views of your professed disciples, will necessarily be considered as the production of your labours, and correlative with your opinions. In the first place then, we notice, that among your adherents, pupils, or disciples, there are those who believe, and have publicly declared that a man by being baptized was made as holy as an angel! or which is the same thing, and to use the words literatim, that "he came out of the water as holy as an angel." -- Again it has been said by some of them, that "the Almighty had been tired of his own moral law for 1500 years, when he abrogated it by the New Testament dispensation, and that it is no longer a rule of conduct for the believer in our Lord Jesus Christ." -- Again, many of your adherents profess to scout the doctrine of the Holy Spirit's immediate influence in regeneration, as well as in all subsequent stages of Christian ;ife, and to denominate the well known characteristic experience of spiritual Israel, a mere phantasy, or mass of mysticism. -- Again, they profess to believe that prayer is no duty, but rather an insult to the Majesty of heaven. Such are some of the horrible brood of sentiments entertained and expressed by individuals who are recognised as under teachers to you, as well as others who are your joint hearers. Now, I do not exactly say, that these and other kindred doctrines are the offspring of your own teeming brain, but you are certainly and strongly suspected of having begotten them in their ductile pericraniums by certain secret intercoursees; though under more public circumstances you have appeared rather to disown the progeny. If such sentiments, sir, are really the product of your system of theology, the results of your writings and your labours, you must have a mind circumstanced to enjoy them."

The author considers Mr. Campbell as assailing and attempting to destroy the influence of ministers of the Gospel, and on this point makes the following remarks: --

"But leaving every thing that cannot absolutely be identified as part of your opinions, speculations, and teachings, we will proceed to notice what is as tangible thereof as the leaves of your "Christian Baptist." You are then, in the first place, endeavouring to create universal distrust of the ministry, in all denominations, baiting an occasional qualification in the admission of an individual now and then, as an exception to the degraded character you give of the rest. Those individuals that are your exceptions may be calculated upon as those whom you expect to make partizans in your own scheme of operations, hence the occasional allusion to them, in different and well timed expressions of pangyric, becomes a stroke of policy, and not a feeling of charity. But for what, sir, is this almost universal attack upon the character of ministers made? the end in view is obvious, and that end is, that you may dissolve, existing connexions between pastors and people, and thus effect the first step towards making the latter your followers, or the proselytes to your system of theology, under the direction of your agents! and in thus doing, consummate the measure of your fame by becoming the acknowledged head of some new, though yet nameless sect."

Towards the close of his letters to Mr. Campbell, the author addresses him in the following terms: --

"You are, sir, a citizen of America, and, as such, free to worship God after the dictates of your own conscience, to profess to believe, or not to believe, in any, or every part of the Bible -- to advance whatever doctrines you please in the community, unless in hostility to the known laws of the land. But you are not at liberty, sir, to profess a connexion with any religious denomination when you are advancing doctrines diametrically opposite to theirs. Here is the particular point on which I found all my reason for considering you worthy of public exposure. Come forth, sir, to our view, what you really are! but not as a genuine Baptist, for you now are, and have been trying to overthrow the faith, the order, and the ministry of that for years past. Come out then, sir, in your real character, and with your real sentiments -- tell us candidly, that you do not believe in what we emphatically denominate regeneration, or in the Spirit's special influences at all -- tell us that you consider a man eligible to baptism without one word of inquiry as to what God has done for his soul, and upon his bare declaration that he believes -- tell us that you do not believe the moral law to be a rule of life for the believer! -- tell us that you have no fellowship with any forms of faith or church discipline -- tell us, that you have no confidence in the exercise of prayer, as a means of grace, or estimation of it, as a believer's privilege: and that in proof thereof, you have been entirely neglectful of it even in your own family for years past -- tell us these things openly, declare them explicitly, and merit the name of a candid man. You are at full liberty, and under positive obligation to do so. You will then give the public a reasonable pledge, that you are governed by no sinister, no improper motives. The Baptist denomination will then be answerable for the palpable inconsistency of holding connexion with a man whose sentiments are in direct opposition to that faith and order which they hold up to public view, as the foundation of their spiritual hope, and bond of their visible existence."

We shall conclude our notice of this publication by the following brief extract from the author's address to the Regular Baptist Churches.

"Brethren, we profess to believe, that God the Holy Ghost, only, can make a saving application of the gospel of Christ to our souls, by its immediate, enlightening, and regenerating influences: that, without this, the gospel is but a dead letter. We profess to believe, that the adorable Spirit, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is the great, the glorious, the soul-refreshing promise of the New, as Jesus Christ was the promise of the Old Testament. What think you then of the man as a minister in your denomination, who never preaches this doctrine? who, at best, is all equivocation in his remarks upon it? and who, in truth, does not believe in it? Are you going to call such a one brother! can you as ministers and people possibly consider yourselves at liberty to welcome to your churches, and place in your pulpits, a man entertaining such sentiments as these? a man that will tell you, there is no Spirit to regenerate and quicken in righteousness: no Holy Ghost for those who ask it of God: no comforter for the saints now: no Spirit to make intercession for them with groanings which are unutterable; or to bear witness with their spirits that they are the children of God, and to seal them heirs of heaven. Oh! brethren, what a rent is here made in the rock of your salvation! the heavens being shrouded, the Sun of righteousness being hid from your eyes, the stars of glory's firmament vanish from your view."

Note: See the notes appended to the reprint of the above extracts, taken from Rev. Lawrence Greatrake's first 1824 pamphlet, as reprised in the Lexington, Kentucky Western Luminary of Oct. 6, 1824, for further developments of the theological matters articulated in the extracts. Campbell's response and Greatrake's counter-response are there made available for further study.



Vol. ?                                  Wilkes-Barre, Friday,  September 17, 1824.                                     No. ?

Trial for Murder. Commonwealth vs Jason Treadwell, for the murder of Oliver Harper, in May last. The Jury brought in a verdict of Guilty. He was taken back to the jail, to be the place of execution where he will be hung by the neck until dead.

Note: Among the witnesses for the prosecution were Isaac Hale and his son Alva Hale. One of the defense witnesses was David Hale, another of Isaac's sons. In their 1994 book, Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery provide a fanciful story of the Hales' supposed interactions with Treadwell: "Emma was nearly twenty in the spring of 1824. One evening in May a neighbor named Jason Treadwell came to the Hales' house. Treadwell , who lived with his wife and child in part of his father's house, was a local ne'er-do-well with an appetite for liquor. According to the county history, his father worked his seventy-five acres with little help from the son, thereby supporting both families. Jason was a strong, powerfully built man, about thirty. Heavy eyebrows that met over his nose gave him a savage appearance. His practical jokes bordered on the sinister. On this night Isaac noticed that Jason seemed agitated. Either through concern or curiosity, Mr. Hale asked, 'Jason, what has been the matter with you today?' -- 'Nothing that I know of,' Treadwell replied, then parried the rest of the conversation and gave Isaac no information. --- The following day horrifying news spread through town. Someone had found Oliver Harper -- shot dead -- up on a hill by the roadside. A man of about fifty, Harper owned and worked a large farm just north of Harmony. He also operated an extensive lumbering business and, the previous day, had been down the Susquehanna on a raft with a load of lumber. He had set out to walk back home with eight hundred dollars in his pocket. When Isaac Hale reported the conversation with Treadwell, Jason became a likely suspect. But the authorities found no weapon or money and, therefore, no motive.

Then a Mr. Welton came forward with a strange story that further implicated Treadwell. Welton had passed over the same road, near the place the body was found, only an hour or so before Harper's death. He spotted someone lying by a log and partially hidden by underbrush. The person looked up and frightened Welton The stranger had blackened his face with coal dust and Welton feared for his life when he saw the obvious disguise He quickly thought of a way to insure his safety. --- 'Here, come with me,' he invited 'I have got something with me that will help you.' The whiskey he produced tempted the man, who followed him, swigging from the bottle as he walked. At the edge of the woods Welton continued on his way, much relieved that the man with the blackened face had turned back. But Mr. Welton remembered a scar under the chin of his new acquaintance. Confident of his memory, he later promised to pick the man out of any crowd Already under arrest by virtue of Isaac Hale's testimony, Jason Treadwell was placed in the midst of the men at Munson's tavern in Hickory Grove. A carefully guarded Treadwell stood at the bar drinking whiskey when Welton singled him out, exclaiming, 'This is the man! By that scar I know he is the man!' --- A motive then became apparent. Another neighbor, John Comfort, had earlier called Treadwell down for drinking, laziness, and general dissolution Treadwell, angered and insulted at Comfort's interference, repeatedly threatened him Comfort had also made a trip down the river and planned to return home the same day as Oliver Harper. The two men resembled each other in size and appearance and were dressed much alike. A man with killing on his mind and alcohol in his blood, hiding nervously in the bushes, could easily mistake one for the other. --- If the suspicions of the townspeople were correct, Jason Treadwell killed the wrong man. He had lain in ambush to take revenge on John Comfort and murdered Oliver Harper instead. After his gun was found hidden in a log and a partial confession was taken, Treadwell was tried, convicted, and hanged.... Isaac Hale thus found himself testifying against his neighbor's son, who was near the age of his own boys, Jesse and David. Bizarre as the Treadwell case was, both the murderer and his victim would figure in the future lives of the Hale family. Years later Emma's older brother, Alva, would see one of his daughters married to Jason Treadwell's son; but it was an easy-money scheme of Oliver Harper's that profoundly changed Emma 's life. ---

Not long before Harper's death a distant relative of Emma's, William Hale, had approached Isaac with a peculiar story. A woman claiming to have powers that enabled her to see underground had told William Hale that great treasures were concealed in a hill just nurtheast of Isaac's house. Persons with such powers were commonly called "peepers" and many people took them seriously. William Hale began digging in the spccified area. The work was slow and difficult for a man who had an aversion to hard physical labor. Not wealthy enough himself to hire help, yet sure there would be riches to share with a partner, he talked Oliver Harper into financing the dig. Harper's untimely death suspended the operation for a time, but exciting rumors about buried treasure still swept through Harmony....


Montrose  Gazette
 Susquehanna  County  Herald.

Vol. ?                                  Montrose, Pa., Friday,  September 17, 1824.                                     No. ?

[The Treadwell murder trial]... Few cases of murder present so many concurrent circumstances to prove the guilt of the accused, or so few attest his innocence or palliate the awful crime.

Note: Article title and full contents have not yet been determined -- under construction.



Vol. III.                                Pittsburgh, Tuesday,  October 5, 1824.                                   No. 35.


Mr. Andrews,

Your Recorder being the only medium through which I have a chance, at present, to communicate a few lines to that part of the community who may be supposed interested in the character of "A Regular Baptist;" and as there may be some of your readers among those supposed to be interested; but more particularly as a matter of favour to myself, I will thank you for permission to say in your next Recorder, that the "Regular Baptist" has duly received the first part of Mr. Campbell's Review of the Letters of the former; that the "Regular Baptist" has it in his power, and will avail himself of an early opportunity, to remove all imputations against his veracity; as well as to inflict another and a harder blow upon the bleeding reputation of Mr. C. Nor can all his efforts, or those of his adherents, to shield his character, as a Baptist, or a Baptist minister, result in any thing less than an aggravation of his calamity by a signal defeat.

N. B. I would esteem it a favour if your readers in the country would exhibit the above paragraph to as many Baptists as possible.

Redstone Baptist Association. -- This association convened at Geprge's Creek, Fayette Co., Pa. on the 3d ult. and continued in session until the 5th. William Brownfield, agreeably to appointment of last year, delivered the introductory sermon from Jude, 3d verse. Letters from the churches were read, which were represented in the Association according to a statement published in the minutes. From this statement it appears, that the number of churches belonging to this Association was 25; ordained ministers, 14; persons baptized during the last year, 36; received by letter, 16; dismissed by letter, 23; excluded 13; deceased, 18; total in communion, 1047. -- The Association passed a resolution that they will have no fellowship with the Brush Run church, of which Thomas Campbell is minister... A Circular Letter is appended to the minutes; but at present we have not room for extracts, and find in it nothing peculiarly interesting.

Note 1: Rev. Lawrence Greatrake, the Pittsburgh Baptist leader who was then taking on Alexander Campbell in a duel of pious words, no doubt read Campbell's two-part "Address to the Public," featured in the 14th and 15th issues of the Christian Baptist. The Campbellite "Review" spoken of by Greatrake in the above notice, must have been the first segment of that "Address," and could not have been Elder Walter Scott's independently published Reply, which appeared from a Pittsburgh press at the end of October, 1824.

Note 2: In his 1825 pamphlet, Alexander Campbell refers to Rev. Greatrake's Sept. 1824 efforts to have his father, Thomas Campbell, excluded from the Redstone Baptist Association, in these words: "His attack upon my father transcends, in its atrocity, all his other misdeeds. It finishes the climax of malevolent calumny... the aforesaid Lawrence Greatrake, a Regular Baptist regenerated Divine, had most vilely slandered Thomas Campbell, at the last Redstone Association." The Minutes for the 1824 Redstone Association show that Lawrence Greatrake represented the Pittsburgh Baptist congregation (the First Baptist Church of that city) and that he was an important participant in the business carried out in the meetings of the Association. Although the 1824 Minutes do not mention Rev. Thomas Campbell by name, they do report that, "The representatives of the church at Brush Run, not being able to give satisfactory reasons for the informality in their letter, were objected to," and thus did not take part in the Association's meetings.



Vol. III.                                Pittsburgh, Tuesday,  November 2, 1824.                                   No. 35.


At the request of Mr. Greatrake (alias "A Regular Baptist,") and as an act of justice to him, we, the subscribers, unitedly testify, that in the said Greatrake asserting in a recent association or elsewhere, that Mr. Tho. Campbell refused to go to prayer at the request of Elder David Philips, as well as to ask a blessing at meals, we unitedly testify, we say, that in the said assertion we know, and are fully satisfied, and can prove when necessary, that the veracity of the said Greatrake has not been compromised.
Mr. Andrews, -- In a publication recently issued from the press of Mr. McFarland, of this City, I am charged with falsifying Mr. T. Campbell to the above effect: oblige me so much more, in addition to what you have already done, as to give insertion to this in your Recorder -- and I pray that it may be considered a small earnest of the entire ability I possess to remove all imputations against my veracity, as well as my intention so to do at an early date.     A REGULAR BAPTIST.

Note 1: Rev. Lawrence Greatrake issued his second anti-Campbell pamphlet in late November or early December of 1824 -- see his letter of Dec. 16th, 1824, as published in the Lexington, KY Western Luminary of Jan. 26, 1825. Greatrake's attempts to justify his previous use of Rev. David Philips' communications, to criticize Thomas Campbell were roundly attacked by the elder Campbell's son, Alexander, in the 1825 pamphlet, Lawrence Greatrake's Calumnies Repell'd.

Note 2: This issue of the Pittsburgh Recorder lists Rev. Joseph Patterson, Jr. and his brother, Rev. Robert Patterson, as "clergymen" ministering at "Fourth, between Wood and Market st." The same Joseph is also listed as being a "paper merchant," operating his business at the "corner of Wood and Third streets," while Robert is listed as a "bookseller and stationer," managing a store located on "Market, between Third and Fourth streets." Immediately after Robert Patterson's name, appears this entry: "Henry Holdship, corner of Wood and Third streets." Contemporary newspaper advertisements show that Robert Patterson's prior ward and business partner, J. Harrison Lambdin, was the manager (or "agent") for Mr. Holdship's Pittsburgh bookshop, located at the northwest corner of 3rd and Wood streets, during 1823-25.



Vol. III.                                Pittsburgh, Tues.,  December 7, 1824.                                   No. 44.




For the year of our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ.


Adapted to the Meridian of Pittsburgh,


At the Office of the Pittsburgh Recorder,
Also, by J. H. Lambdin, Agent, Corner of
Third and Wood Streets, and
By Rev. R. Patterson, Agent, Market, between
Third and Fourth Streets.
This Almanac, considered merely as a Calendar, it is believed, will be found inferior to none that is published in the United States. But, in addition, it contains an excellent Farmers' Calendar, and a great variety of important Religious Information, calculated to interest, instruct and improve the minds of youth which cannot fail to meet the approbation of all the real friends of religion, good morals, and the benevolent institutions of the day.

To be sold at $9 a Gross, 75 cents a Dozen, 12 1/2 single.

Note 1: The front cover of the almanac contains this line: "Also, published by J.H. Lambdin, agent, N.W. corner of Third and Wood-Streets," while the inside front page says "Printed by John Andrews, at the office of the Pittsburgh Recorder." It seems very doubtful that Lambdin then possessed the financial resources necessary to "publish" anything -- he may have merely acted as Henry Holdship's "agent" and channeled that businessman's money into the almanac's printing and distribution. The inside back cover (and the back cover itself) contain advertisements for Lambdin's wares, for sale at the book and stationery store.

Note 2: There is no indication, from the available historical records and sources, to indicate that Lambdin was making any progress in paying off his substantial debts during this period. It seems likely that his poor financial state contributed to the "bad health" he then suffered (as reported in his brother's "Journal").


Montrose  Gazette
 Susquehanna  County  Herald.

Vol. ?                                  Montrose, Pa., Friday,  December 10, 1824.                                     No. ?

... the Governor has at length signed the warrant for the execution of Jason Treadwell, who was convicted at September Court for the murder of Mr. Harper. Thursday, the 13th day of January, is the day fixed for the execution.... We can anticipate no benefit resulting from a public execution; and it is hoped the dreadful scene will pass with as little parade as possible, and that curiosity may not take advantage of the nobler principles of our nature.

Note: Article title and full contents have not yet been determined. --- Emily C. Blackman provided this summary of the Treadwell Trial in her 1873 book History of Susquehanna County: "In the early period of the labors of the compiler in preparing a history of Susquehanna County, she spent several weeks in condensing the voluminous notes of one of Treadwell's counsel, B. T. Case, Esq., and weaving in such outside information respecting the case us had come to hand. On account of its being the first trial of its kind in the county, it excited an intense interest, which has scarcely yet disappeared; but the annals have so grown upon her hands as to render compression a necessity, and the repulsiveness of this subject, together with the fact of the greater frequency of trials of this kind at the present day, may justify its selection for only a passing notice here. Should there be any persons who feel an interest to look further into the facts of the case, they are welcome to take the fuller account originally prepared for this work, or perhaps they may find it published hereafter in the newspapers of the county.

About sunset. May 11th, 1824, the body of Oliver Harper, son of Hon. Geo. Harper of Windsor, N. Y., was found lying and streaming with blood in the old Harmony road, a mile and a half below Lane's mill (Lanesboro). A foul murder had been committed, and suspicion pointed to Jason Treadwell, of Harmony (Oakland), or possibly just over the line in Great Bend, as the author of the deed. He was arrested and brought to Montrose jail, his trial took place Sept. 1-5, 1824, before Judge Herrick, with D. Dimock and Wm. Thomson, Associates. He was defended by B. T. Case, Esq., and Hon. Horace Williston, late of Athens, Bradford County; while N. B. Eldred and Garrick Mallery, Esqs., were the attorneys on the part of the Commonwealth. The evidence daily grew stronger to implicate Treadwell as the murderer; and the jury's verdict was, 'Guilty.' Upon his own statement he knew who committed the deed; he lent the rifle to the murderer, gave him provisions while lying in the woods two days -- the time within which Harper and another man were expected to pass with money; received the rifle in a secluded spot the evening after the murder, and kept him secreted that night. But until he saw his own immediate danger of paying the penalty, he was silent as to any knowledge of the murder. --- He was executed Jan. 13, 1825, on the only gallows ever erected in Sosquehanna County. The location was on the west side of the public square, nearly in front of the present residence of Dr. Vail. (There is some discrepancy in the statements respecting this.) The remains were taken to Great Bend and interred on the bluff above the 60-feet cut on the Erie Railway, between the house of I. Hasbrook and that of the late Isaac Reckhow, Esq. He left a widow and seven children. The county newspaper, for two months after the execution, contained earnest discussions upon the question of capital punishment. The Hon. H. Williston relied upon his client's protestations of innocence until the following incident occurred on the trial: --- One witness described the disguised person seen in the woods the day Harper was shot, and not far from where he was found dead, as having on a particular coat, from which a certain button was missing. The coat was produced, shown to be Treadwell's; but there was no missing button. The fact tended to discredit the witness, and favor Treadwell. As the trial passed on Mr. Williston drew the coat towards him, carelessly turned it over so that he could see the button alleged to have been missing, and discovered, by the thread, etc., that the button had been newly sewed on! A cold conviction of Treadwell's guilt passed over his lawyer like an ague chill, as this mute fact corroborated the witness. He revealed it to no one, then, and but rarely in later years. Both O. N. Worden, Esq. (who furnished the item), and Hon. W. J. Turrell, have heard the incident from his own lips. The former in a recent statement says: -- 'While in Great Bend village, Mr. Hinsdale, a shoemaker, who saw Treadwell hung, stated that his brother received, about twenty years ago, the printed confession of a man who was hung near New Orleans, in which the criminal stated that he had committed seven murders, but knew of only one man being hung for his crimes. That was Treadwell, of Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. Both lay in wait for the murdered man. One was to shoot first, and if his shot was not successful, the other was to shoot next. The first shot fell to the man named; his victim fell dead; and so Treadwell did not have to shoot, and did not shoot, although he was in every respect, excepting the first shot, a murderer. The name of the criminal who was hung, and the exact time and place, Mr. Hinsdale cannot recall; but having, although young, witnessed T's execution, this revelation of the probable accomplice remains clear upon his mind.'"


Montrose  Gazette
 Susquehanna  County  Herald.

Vol. ?                                  Montrose, Pa., Friday,  January 14, 1825.                                     No. ?

The Execution. -- Yesterday being the day appointed by the governor for the execution of Jason Treadwell, the alleged murderer of Oliver Harper, the [awful] ceremony was performed in the usual manner, in presence of four or five thousand spectators. About half past 12 o'clock the prisoner was conducted on foot from the jail to the place of execution, and ascended the gallows without hesitation, and with a firm determination to manifest no fear from the death he was about to suffer. The prisoner was attended by Rev. Messrs. Marks, Dimock, and other clergymen, who severally addressed the Throne of Grace, and implored mercy for the unfortunate being who was about to be launched out of time, into the presence of his Maker. Treadwell then addressed the assembly for some minutes -- censured the court and jury, charged three or four of the witnesses with false swearing -- and protested his innocence of the crime for which he was to suffer. About two o'clock the drop fell -- the scene was closed -- the multitude departed with a satiety, as we hope, with this mode of punishment. The painful duty which this occasion imposed on Sheriff Gregory, was performed with that firmness and decision, and at the same time with that apparent sensibility which all must admire.

Note 1: The above text was taken from a reprint in the Jan. 21, 1825 Susquehanna Democrat. For more on the same general subject, see the Aug. 25, 1870 issue of the Athens Gleaner.

Note 2: In the vast majority of historical accounts, the story of Jason Treadwell ends with his execution. He does not overlap in any significant way with the Oliver Harper story -- except to play the bumbling assassin. In Marian Wells' 1985 novel The Wishing Star, a young Jenny Timmons arrives at Mrs. Harper's house just as news of her husband's death is received. The girl observes from a distance such subsequent events as Treadwell's apprehension and execution, along with Mrs. Harper's continuing involvement in money-digging. Joseph Smith eventually appears on the scene to con Mrs. Harper, Josiah Stowell and others, but he has no association with the late Jason Treadwell. Jenny attends the 1826 Bainbridge trial and watches Smith run away from Judge Neely's sentencing -- but there is no reference made to money-digger human sacrifices and proto-Mormon murders, which Emily C. Blackman reported in 1873 and which Frederick G. Mather hinted at in his July 18, 1880 article.

Note 3: Smith biographer Dan Vogel offers this summation in his 2004 Joseph Smith: The Making of a Prophet: "Michael Morse, Smith's future brother-in-law, said he thought 'three different companies had been digging for [gold] in all and that Mr. Stowell with his company were one of the three.' Digging for the Spanish mine had already commenced under William Hale who, according to two of Isaac's nephews, 'had been informed by a woman named Odle, who claimed to possess the power of seeing under ground, (such persons were then commonly called peepers) that there was great treasures concealed in the hill north-east from his, (Isaac Hale's) house.' With financial assistance from Oliver Harper of Windsor, New York, William hired workers and the digging began in Harmony in 1822 or 1823. After Harper's murder in 1824, Hale's company of diggers returned for another try and, according to the agreement of November 1825, 'work[ed] during a considerable part of the past summer.' Finally, Stowell and company returned in the fall and recommenced digging under the direction of Joseph Smith, the famed seer of Manchester, New York. Stowell's company was confident that the nineteen-year-old would prove to be more gifted than Odle. --- On the first morning, Stowell led Joseph and the others up the steep incline leading to the home of Joseph McKune Jr., situated atop one of the bluffs in the foothills of Oquago Mountain. As the group ascended the rocky slope, they could see evidence of Stowell's previous labors. Plainly visible from the path leading to the McKune home was a large pit twenty feet deep and 150 feet in circumference. Jacob I. Skinner, whose father purchased the land from McKune in 1830, reported that the 'big hole was covered by a rough board house.' --- Standing over the spot, Joseph looked at the stone in his hat and corroborated Odle's assertions, declaring that the Spanish had indeed left behind about a 'ton of silver bars.' After digging for some time, Joseph informed Stowell that the treasure was charmed and had slid down the hill to another location. Over the next two weeks, the company would dIg four additional holes: three smaller pits to the south and another directly east. --- According to rumor, Joseph resorted to blood sacrifice in an attempt to break the charm that held the treasure, just as he had done on the Chase hill in Manchester. However, by the time the residents of Harmony were interviewed, the story of the animal sacrifice had become distorted. Susquehanna County historian Emily Blackman, who first reported it in 1873, said that Joseph had initially requested a 'white dog' but that when one could not be located, a 'white sheep' was substituted. She also reported a rumor that 'Joe's followers killed a black dog, in lieu of the desired black ram, and dragged it around and around in the pit.' Michael Morse said he heard that Smith told Stowell 'there must be a sacrifice of a man before the treasure could be obtained, and that finally he said that in lieu of the man, they could sacrifice a black slut that never [had] pups, and that when this sacrifice was made they should drag the dead carcass around the 'diggings' and that would break the charm so they could get the said treasure.' Jacob I. Skinner heard something similar, reporting in 1880 that when a 'black sheep' could not be found, a 'black dog' was sacrificed instead and 'its blood sprinkled about the ground where the silver was.' The speculation about a human sacrifice was further distorted in a later account as a reference to Oliver Harper's murder. In fact, Harper's death was anachronistic to the story since he had died more than a year before Smith arrived on the scene. [Note that neither Mrs. David Lyons nor Michael Morse connects Harper's death with a requirement for human sacrifice.] Whatever the sacrifice, it seems that there was an offering of some kind that nevertheless proved ineffectual; the treasure would remain out of reach. Although the statements by residents of Harmony were hearsay, other references to animal sacrifice in Manchester and subsequently in Colesville leave one to believe that there must have been some substance to the general theme."


ns Vol. III.                                     Pittsburgh,  January 28, 1825.                                    No. 19.

Edited by Robert Morris -- Pub. by Jesper Harding, 74 1/2 South 2nd St. & 56 Carter's Alley.


RESPECTFULLY informs the Ladies and Gentlemen of Pittsburgh, that he has returned, and intends remaining only a few weeks in the city. Those who have heretofore engaged their portraits, and those who feel inclined to [encourage] him and have their portraits painted will favor him with an early call, at his Painting Room, in Third Street, opposite the Theatre.

For the Gazette.

Mr. Maclean, -- In hearing this lecture of Mr. Owen, last Tuesday, I was forcibly reminded of a new power in human nature, which Mr. Forsyth, in his treatise on the human mind, mentions, and which I do not recollect to be considered as a primary faculty to our nature by any other than himself. The power is thus defined by Mr. Forsyth: "A passion for the improvement of the human race." Forsyth traces this passion through past ages, and through different countries, and states some of his many observations, and yet its general influence on the gradual amelioration of human society. He shows that, in some degree, it operates in most of men, and that it rises in particular instances into a strength of performance which overthrows the deepest rooted prejudice and establishes its own principles as a beneficent gift in perpetuity to mankind.

Mr. Owen appears possessed of many of those features which are found in the character of a reformer. The highest evidence is the correctness and beneficence of the system which they are propagating; a perserverence which opposition of [sentiment] among well informed men cannot cool, and which difficulties cannot discourage, and an immediate application of the principles of the theory which is so warmly espoused to practical operation, under their own immediate superintendence, so far as circumstances will permit. Mr. Owen's system does appear, from the very look of his eye, and the general air of his manner, to have clothed his own mind with all that disinterested benevolence, which, if his plan has great merit in itself, cannot fail to recommend it, and to aid in its operations. If he be a projector, his project is the birth of mistaken sincerity, and will ever stand high among the well wishers of our species, as the production of a highly amiable and philanthropic man.

His remarks on education, as conducted under his system, particularly attracted attention. His children of five years of age know the mountains, the seas and vales, the rivers and cities, the kingdoms and republics of the world, better than the most learned of travellers at the age of fifty... Now it is granted, that while every projector and every reformer was flattering himself that he had the conception of a promising plan, never was any presented to us precisely of the kind which he proposed; while it must, however, be confessed that the Moravians and Shaking Quakers have attempted something of that social combination which appears to be the most distinguishing feature of his plan of amelioration...

Circumstances do indeed modify, in some degree, human character; and a good education, commenced under the care of a tender and benevolent mother, who, though a little unruly elsewhere, always smiles over her infant, as if to breathe tender emotions into it, and to nurse its infant passions to a reformation of the future generation, and this education prudently conducted afterwards, may do much to ameliorate the state of society; but the world, it is much to be feared, has not been so deeply mistaken hitherto, in its application of promising means to procure success, as in the utter inadequacy of any system to banish all injustice and crime.     A HEARER.

Note 1: James Reid Lambdin, the noted painter, should not be confused with his older brother, J. Harrison Lambdin. Both young men worked in the Robert Patterson bookshop in Pittsbutgh, at various times. See notes attached to a Pittsburgh Mercury article of Jan. 18, 1815, etc. for further information.

Note 2: The above letter text is a very abbreviated transcription of a much longer article. The full text will be posted here at a later date. For more on Robert Owen's Feb. 1, 1825 lecture in Pittsburgh, see the Gazette of Feb. 11th.


ns Vol. III.                                    Pittsburgh,  Friday,  February 4, 1825.                                   No. 19.

                For the Gazette.


Mr. Maclean. -- A writer in your last week's paper, under the signature of "A Hearer," deserves the thanks of the community for having directed the attention of your various readers to Mr. Owen's system of mutual co-operation. It is pregnant with consequences so important to society, that it cannot be too closely investigated, nor its tendencies too minutely examined. The author is, I believe, willing to submit it to the strictest scrutiny, and truth cannot suffer by the process.

Your correspondent gives Mr. Owen full credit for the sincerity of his intentions, but seems very reluctant to allow him any claim to originality, and considers the system as already tested by experience, and to be inapplicable to the circumstances of the people of this country. It is very natural, when our feelings are excited very strongly in favor of or against any system, that we should be misled' and we are apt, without great care, to misunderstand the facts which have a bearing upon it.

Mr. Owen did not say, "hid children of five years of age knew oceans and mountains, [seas] and vales, [far] better than the most learned of travellers at the age of fifty;" but that they understood geography better than he did, and better than any person with whom he was acquainted; nor did he tell us, nor can it be at all inferred from what he did say, that it was geography alone, in which they were instructed, but mentioned this as a familiar illustration of the advantages arising from his plan of education.

Your correspondent is not "pleased with the comparative light in which Mr. Owen presented his system, as contrasted with every other," nor "with the degree of success he ascribed to the wisdom of the whole world in devising and carrying on the course of its own improvement." He admits there never was any plan promised to us precisely of the kind Mr. O. proposes, but says it must be confessed that the Moravians and Shaking Quakers have attempted something of that social combination which appears to be the most distinguishing feature of his plan of amelioration." Admitting that the principle of association is the distinguishing feature alike of Moravians, Shaking Quakers, Harmonites, and Mr. Owen's plan -- nay, if he pleases, the foundation of each of them, yet I would ask him, is there any other point of resemblance between them?

Without the least wish to deprecate the good efforts produced by their different associations, I would ask your correspondent, whether the main object they had in view was the same as Mr. Owen's? If not, the feature in the success of the one will be no criterion by which to try the other. Was the formation of these societies undertaken with a single eye, to improve the condition, and to cultivate, in the highest possible degree, the intellectual and moral powers of their members? Have they, for this purpose availed themselves of the most improved system of education, introduced the most effectual means of teaching the arts and sciences, and adopted all the modern discoveries in them, in order to abridge human labor, and thereby afford more leisure for the attainment of intellectual acquirements? Their system, as a natural consequence, has created and accumulated a vast amount of wealth; but there it has stopped, and like a deep and stagnant pool, exhales little else than useless or noxious vapors, infecting the moral atmosphere, whilst Mr. Owen's system, like a beautiful stream, not only enriches and fertilizes its banks, but diffuses health and vigor, knowledge and power, moral and intellectual light, through the whole social system.

[Unwilling], Sir, to occupy too much of your paper at once, I shall defer a few more remarks until another opportunity, and in the meantime shall rejoice if your correspondent, "A Hearer," or any other person, will favor the public with their views upon a subject which, with one exception only, is the most interesting and important that can occupy the mind of man.

Note 1: On January 3, 1825, Robert Owen purchased George Rapp's uptopian community in Harmony, Indiana. Rapp and his followers returned to Pennsylvania and eventually built a new town near Pittsburgh, called Economy. Coverage of Owen's communitarian ideas in the American popular press began before 1825, but it reached a high point that year and there was much speculation over whether or not his colony at Harmony (re-named "New Harmony) would succeed -- it did not. See Alexander Campbell's Christian Baptist for a more or less continuous reflection upon Owen's socialism and his bothersome (to Campbell, anyway) atheism.

Note 2: In his 1962 PhD dissertation, "Shakerism in the Old West," religious historian F. Gerald Ham provides these interesting comments: "Shakers unquestionably infected the susceptible Western Reserve with the communitarian virus. In close proximity... were Berea... Zoar... Equity, the Marlboro Association, the Trumbull Phalanx, and 'The Family' in Kirtland. This last group was an Apostolic communal fellowship founded in 1830 by the renegade Disciples of Christ preacher, Sidney Rigdon. Daryl Chase [in his "Early Shakers," pp. 210-211] is of the opinion that Rigdon borrowed many of his ideas from the [Warren Co., Ohio] Union Shakers."

Note 3: If Sidney Rigdon did take "many of his ideas" from the Shakers (or from George Rapp), that fact might help explain the recollections of the Pittsburgh Baptist minister, Rev. Samuel Williams, who said of Rigdon, in 1842: "in public discourses, he frequently spoke of restoring the 'ancient order of things,' among which he declared was the duty of bringing all that they possessed, and 'laying them down at the Apostles' feet.' Acts 4:32, 35. At the fireside, he frequently introduced his 'common stock system,' as he then called it, and urged with importunity, many of the members to embrace the system; but it seems they comprehended the man so far as to see, that all he desired was to enrich himself at their expense, and luxuriate in the process of their toil." On the other hand, it seems entirely likely that Rigdon was also influenced in "his ideas" by Robert Owen's socialism -- at least from early 1825 onward. If Rigdon did not attend Owen's Feb. 1, 1825 lecture in Pittsburgh, he certainly could not have avoided hearing Owen's communal theories warmly discussed in that city throughout his tenure there (up until the end of 1825). If Owen's system made more of an impression upon "his ideas" than did those of Rapp and the Shakers, it is possible that Rev. Williams' recollections are slightly anachronistic and should be re-dated (from 1822-23, forward to Rigdon's Pittsburgh religious activities during 1825) after his exclusion from the Regular Baptist church there.


ns Vol. IV.                      Washington, Pa., Monday, February 21, 1825.                      No. 40.

For Sale
A Good House and three Lots of Ground

Situate in the town of Amity, Washington county, Penn. 10 miles from Washington and 12 from Waynesburg, on the state road lately located from Morgantown, Va. to Beaver, Penn.

The house is 47 feet in front, by 25 feet back, two stories high, containing nine rooms and a good cellar, and other necessary conveniences; with a new frame Stable, 23 feet square. The whole property being well calculated and in a good situation for a PUBLIC HOUSE, and has been occupied as a Tavern and Store.

The terms will be moderate, and good trade taken in payment -- for further particulars apply to the subscriber on the premises.
D. W. Conningham.           

N.B. If not sold by the FIRST OF MARCH, it will be RENTED for one or more years. D. W. C.
       Amity, January 31, 1825.

Note 1: The "good house" here advertised was the old inn, located next to the Presbyterian church at Amity, which was managed by tavern-keeper Jacob Seaman, at least through the year 1822 -- see notes appended to the Reporter article of Apr. 1, 1955. D. W. Conningham evidently took up residence in the building at some date between 1822 and 1825. His newspaper ad provides the reader with the impression that the former tavern had been converted into a retail store -- one possibly operated by Conningham himself.

Note 2: The advertisement text is interesting, in that it gives the dimensions of the old building, which appears not to have changed very much since its 1814-16 occupancy by Solomon Spalding.

Note 3: In later years the building was owned by the Clutter family, followed by the Swart family -- see notes appended to Reporter clippings dated May 20, 1868 and Sept. 9, 1874.



Vol. IV.                                      Pittsburgh,  February 22, 1825.                                         No. 3.


Some time since, we briefly noticed a Lecture which had been delivered by Mr. Owen in the First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh, on the subject of establishing communities, for the purpose of meliorating the condition of the labouring classes of mankind. We then briefly stated our views of the doctrine which he advanced, and find that it has since become the subject of considerable discussion in the public prints of this city. The sentiments expressed in some of the pieces that have been published accord with our own; and we are now happy in calling the attention of our readers to the following communication, which will doubtless be read with interest and approbation by the real friends of evangelical truth and holiness.


Mr. Andrews. -- This is the age of inquiry. New discoveries for the benefit of mankind are making every day...

(under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)


ns Vol. III.                                     Pittsburgh,  February 25, 1825.                                    No. 22.


FOR SALE at the Bookstore of the Subscriber, in Market Street, "Notes, on the Settlement and Indian Wars of the western parts of Virginia and Pennsylvania, from the year 1763 until the year 1783, inclusive. Together with a view of the state of society and manners of the first settlers of the Western Country. By the Rev. Dr. Joseph Doddridge."   Price $1.
                                         R. Patterson, Agent.


For the Permanent Relief of the Working Classes." A few copies in pamphlet form, for sale as above. Price 6 1/2 cents.

Public  Notice  is  hereby  given,

THAT the Notes, Book Accounts, and all other property of Robert Patterson & J. H. Lambdin, late Stationers and Paper Manufacturers, trading under the firm of R. Patterson & Lambdin, have been assigned to the subscribers this day for the benefit of creditors.
Pittsburgh, Sept. 22, 1823 --

Note: The Henry Holdship notice typically ran every week in the Gazette's classified section -- for more than two years, after its initial appearance in September of 1823. Holdship was obviously eager to intercept and lay claim upon any old, overdue customer payments mistakenly directed the pockets of either Lambdin or Patterson.


Allegheny  Democrat.

Vol. I.                                          Pittsburgh, March 1, 1825.                                          No. 37.


Whereas my wife Anne has left my bed & board without any cause or provocation whatever, I forewarn all persons from harboring or trusting her on my account, as I am determined to pay no debts of her contracting after this date.
William Brooks.  
Feb. 1, 1825.

We are requested to state that the above Wm. Brooks, resides in St. Clair Township, and the advertisement has no reference to any person in this city.

To The Public.

Whereas my husband William Brooks has thought proper to advertise that I have left his bed and board; now do I solemnly declare that the above charge is a false and scandalous libel upon me, his lawful wife, now defenceless and unprotected. It was not possible for me to be guilty of leaving his bed or board for he neither had a bed, nor was he willing (if able) to board me. I have been a faithful and affectionate wife to him; but in return, he has not only published the above false and scandalous libel, but has cruelly and wickedly abandoned and deserted me without any sufficient cause, and has cast me upon the charity of friends.
Anne [ X ] Brooks.
Feb. 8, 1825.

Richardson's  Philadelphia

Warrented qual. to any (of the same name and price) made in the U. States. Adapted to the seasons of summer, winter, and moderate weather: in small kegs -- recommended by the test of trial; sold and to be sold at the usual prices of good Ink in this city.
Robert Patterson,   
Market Street, Pittsburgh,
March 1, 1825.

Note: William Brooks' notice began running in the Allegheny Democrat on Feb. 1, 1825. It was joined each weeks thereafter by the notice of his estranged wife, Anne. The editor's insertion regarding Mr. Brooks' residence was first placed between the two notices in the issue of March 1. This "William Brooks" almost certainly Sidney Rigdon's brother-in-law (and partner in the Brooks & Rigdon tannery), William S. Brooks. See the Democrat of Oct, 4, 1825 for the announcement of the tannery partnership's dissolution.



Vol. IV.                                      Pittsburgh,  April 5, 1825.                                         No. 9.


Mr. Owen. -- In our paper of the 1st of Feb. last, we briefly noticed Mr. Owen's lecture, delivered in this city, on the subject of communities; and some strictures on the same lecture appeared in the Recorder of the 22d of Feb. Mr. Owen went on to Washington city, and delivered two discourses on his new system of society in the Hall of Representatives, before the President and President elect of the U. States...

(under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. IV.                                      Pittsburgh,  April 26, 1825.                                         No. 12.


Discovery of very ancient Egyptian Archives, written several
ages before the Trojan war.

The learned are well acquainted with the important discoveries made by Young and Champollion in the art of decyphering the sacred writing of the Egyptians. The latter is still engaged in pursuing this most interesting object, as will appear from the following detail.

The collection made by Drovetti, one of the most successful explorers of Egyptian ruins and tombs, has become the property of the King of Sardinia, and is deposited in the Royal Museum of Turin. In this collection are a great number of manuscripts written upon papyrus. Champollion was at first attracted by a number of them remarkable for their size and beauty, and for their fine state of preservation. Nearly the whole of them were written in hieroglyphics, and adorned with paints; but contained nothing but extracts from the funeral ritual of greater or less extent. The most complete copy of the funeral ceremony previously known, is in the royal library at Paris; and was regarded as containing the entire formula, whence the other hieroglyphic manuscripts found upon mummies, had been extracted, in greater or less proportion, according to the importance of the person for whom they were intended. Champollion had, however, remarked upon some of the finer coffins, figures and texts that were not to be found in the Paris papyrus, although the largest of all the manuscripts that had been previously brought from Egypt, being twenty-two feet in length. He had thence concluded that a more complete form of the funeral ritual existed, which was confirmed by his researches at Turin, where he found a papyrus sixty feet in length; he considers this as complete.

He found but few papyri written in the vulgar character. Among them were a few of the times of the Ptolemies; one as old as the time of Darius; and he at least discovered one of great length, containing a series of receipts for an annual pension, dated in the reign of Psammiticus I, thus conveying us back to the time of the Pharaohs.

Having made this remarkable discovery, he was led to the examination of some papyri which from their perishable state he had first neglected. He had laid aside about twenty of these, folded in a square form, blackened and eaten by time, and without illuminations. He found them written in the hieroglyphic or sacred character, and the first line he perused, offered to his view the name and prenomen of Sesostris. These he found repeated eight or ten times in the course of the manuscript, and he has from his examination inferred that the papyrus contains either a portion of the history or a public act of the reign of that monarch. In the other manuscripts he found the names and dates belonging to the reigns of eight other kings of the eighteenth and nineteenth dynasties of Manetho.

He thus describes his feelings at this discovery of a million leaves, the multilated remains of books written thirty centuries since.

"To describe the sensations I have experienced in dissecting this great corpse of Egyptian history would be difficult; there was a subject for moralizing on the very extreme of patience. I found myself carried back to times of which history had hardly preserved the faintest recollection, in company with gods which for fifteen centuries have been without altars, and in some little fragment of papyrus I have saved the last and only record of the memory of a king, who, when alive, found the vast palace of Theban Carnac too small for him."

The oldest fragment is dated in the 5th year of the reign pf the celebrated Moeris, and of course is the oldest public act in existence.

From a careful examination Champollion has inferred, that whoever has discovered these manuscripts, had had the rare good fortune to stumble upon the entire archives of some temple or public office, that had remained closed and forgotten since the time of Cambyses. What has been saved, and which Champollion will probably succeed in decyphering completely, will probably leave us to lament, that so many precious documents have been lost, that might have been preserved by a little care on the part of the persons who first found them -- Atl. Mag.

Note: In 1825 it was becoming obvious that scholars examining Egyptian hieroglyphics would "probably succeed in decyphering completely" the previously cryptic writings. Of course, should they happen upon manuscripts composed in re-formed Egyptian, that recent scientific accomplishment would be rendered entirely useless, without some new means of translation.


ns Vol. III.                                     Pittsburgh,  June 17, 1825.                                    No. 38.

Wood St. between First and Second Sts.


EMBRACES this opportunity of informing the public, that having procured a large and commodious dwelling, he can now admit a few more young gentlemen as

Boarders and Scholars.

The course of Education pursued in the Academy, is intended to furnish boys with a plentiful store of general, useful, and necessary knowledge, to unfold to them the true sources of learning; to introduce them to an acquaintance with the diversified objects of human pursuit; to enoble them to choose a profession for themselves, and ultimately to fit them for Society. -- For those important purposes, Woodbridge's Geography, the Universal Preceptor, containing abstracts of 30 different branches of learning, Lasoiane's famous Atlas of History, Chronology, &c. &c. with books of Grammar, Rhetoric, practical and theoretical Geometry, and Arithmetic, &c. have been introduced into the Academy. -- No boy above 16 years of age will be accepted as a Boarder. Tuition, Board, Washing and Mending, $130 per annum.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 40.                               Pittsburgh,  Friday, August 26, 1825.                              No. 48.


Yesterday, Mr. J. HARRISON LAMBDIN, of this city, aged 27 years. (His funeral is to take place at 9 o'clock this morning.)

Note 1: The Washington Review and Examiner of Sept. 3, 1825 ran essentially the same short notice. No cause of death was published in either Pennsylvania paper, and the editors did not bother to solicit an obituary. The same was the case for a similar short mention in the Ravenna Western Courier of Sept. 3, 1825. The Courier was then edited by John B. Butler, Lambdin's old partner in the printing firm of Butler & Lambdin. It is remarkable that these notices said nothing about J. Harison Lambdin's life, nor about his circumstances at the time of his passing. Had the young man died as the result of an accident, or from a lingering physical ailment, probably some reference to that fact would have been published somewhere. Lambdin appears to have been broke, deeply in debt and deprived of his former professional status -- in short, a failure and probably an embarrassment to his family. His brother's "Journal" contains this cryptic recollection: "My brother Harrison's health -- which had been failing for some time -- was now very precarious, so much so as to require very close attention on the part of his family and friends. He died on the 25th day of August, 1825, leaving a wife and three daughters." Lambdin's most important creditor, Henry Holdship, Sr., seems to have anticipated the young man's inability to continue in his livelihood, and so, beginning on July 22nd, he placed ads in various regional newspapers, stating: "The agency of J. H. Lambdin for me... has ceased. All accounts to be settled by me alone." An untimely death, arising from complications associated with deep depression, anxiety or other mental illness, cannot be ruled out.

Note 2: The 1819 Pittsburgh Directory provides the following listings:
    Lambdin & Butler - printers - Fourth, Wood & Market
    Lambdin, J. H. - bookseller &c. - Fourth, Wood & Market
    Lambdin & Patterson - booksellers - Fourth, Wood & Market
    Lambdin, P. - widow - Third, Wood & Smithfield
The 1826 Pittsburgh Directory lists no Lambdins residing in the town, though James R. Lambdin subsequently returned for a period, beginning in 1828, during which he operated a museum in the city.

Note 3: J. Harrison Lambdin's former associate, in the Patterson publishing business, Mr. Silas Engles, passed away two years later. See his death notice in the Pittsburgh Mercury of July 24, 1827 and in the New York Spectator of July 31, 1827.

Note 4: The Gazette of this date carried another ad by Elder Walter Scott, soliciting students for his Pittsburgh "Night School." Scott later departed the city to take up residence in Steubenville. There is also a notice (probably forwarded by editor John B. Butler), from the Ravenna Western Courier, reporting plans for a canal to be excavated into Portage Co., Ohio. On the same page is a short mention of "the speech of Joseph Patterson, Esq., of this city, at the [Harrisburgh] Canal Convention." The Gazette of Sept. 16th contains another news item regarding Joseph Patterson's efforts to begin a survey for "the contemplated Pennsylvania Canal." -- See Matthew Carey's 1825 To the Citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which he co-authored with Joseph Patterson.



Vol. IV.                                      Pittsburgh,  September 27, 1825.                                         No. 34.


This Association convened at Zion's Church, Armstrong county, Pa. on the 25th ult. and continued in session until the 27th. The introductory sermon was delivered by Mr. Winter... Mr. Winter submitted a Treatise on Baptism, which was approved by the Association, and he was requested to publish it...

Note 1: Rev. John Winter's name first appears mentioned in western Pennsylvania Baptist circles, with this brief notice in the Redstone Baptist Minutes of 1823: "4. On motion, Resolved, That the following brethren be invited to take a seat with us, viz. Elder John Rigdon, messenger from the Mohiken Association, and Elder John Winter, lately from England..." The Redstone annual meeting in which Rev. Winter participated was held at Pittsburgh, from Sept. 5-7, 1823. At that time, both the dissenting faction of the Pittsburgh First Baptist Church and the larger faction, led by Rev. Sidney Rigdon, were excluded from the proceedings. This unusual event left Rev. Winter (the de facto leader of the dissenters) the only Pittsburgh Baptist attending the meeting sessions.

Note 2: Rev. William A. Stanton, in his 1907 book, Three Important Movements, says this of Elder John Winter's early activities in and around Pittsburgh: "The Redstone Association met in Pittsburgh in September, 182[3]. Both of the Campbells were present and preached their new doctrines. From that time on Rigdon preached as the Campbells did. There was a strong opposition on the part of a minority. Finally fifteen members, including the church clerk and one deacon, were excluded for protesting against the preaching of the pastor. They went to the schoolroom of Rev. John Winter, over a harness shop on Wood Street, reorganized, and held services during the winter of 1822-1823. Mr. Winter, a regular Baptist minister, preached to them every other Sunday; the alternate Sunday he preached at Bull Creek, but returned to Pittsburgh semi-monthly and continued his preaching... Under directions of Mr. Winter the fifteen wrote a carefully prepared paper, protesting against their exclusion, claiming to be the First Baptist Church of Pittsburgh, and asserting that the majority had departed from the principles of Baptists..." Stanton's assertion is largely confirmed in a local Baptist minister's letter of concern written in July of 1823 to Sidney Rigdon's old pastor, Elder David Phillips.

Note 3: In an 1864 article appearing in the New York Chronicle, Elder John Winter was cited as the eyewitnes source for the allegation that Sidney Rigdon obtained the writings of Solomon Spalding, as a favor (or as a book review assignment) from the "foreman for a publisher of the name of Patterson." The description given matches that of Silas Engles, Jr., a notable Pittsburgh printer.

Note 4: Rev. John Winter's Treatise on Baptism: Containing a... Citation of all the Texts of the New Testament, which Relate to this Ordinance, was published at Butler, PA in 1826. Rev. John Winter evidently provided the Philadelphia Columbian Star and Christian Index with one or more letters critical of Campbellism. For more on Rev. Winter, see Alexander Campbell's Christian Baptist for July 5, 1830, his Millennial Harbinger for Apr. 5, 1830, and the recollections of his daughter, Mary W. Irvine, as published in 1882.


Allegheny  Democrat.

Vol. II.                              &n    Pittsburgh, Tuesday, October 4, 1825.                                   No. ?

Dissolution  of  Partnership

The partnership heretofore existing under the firm of


is this day dissolved by mutual consent. Those indebted will please call and make payment to SIDNEY RIGDON, at the old stand,
William S. Brooks.  
Sidney Rigdon.  
Pittsburgh, Sept. [21] -- 8t.

Note 1: According to a biography of Sidney Rigdon published in the 1843 Times & Seasons, "Having now [i. e., in 1824] retired from the ministry, and having no way by which to sustain his family, besides his own industry, he was necessiated to find other employment in order to provide for his maintenance, and for this purpose he engaged in the humble capacity of a journeyman tanner, in that city, and followed his new employment, without murmuring, for two years." This account of Rigdon's having worked as a tanner in Pittsburgh during 1824-25 is confirmed by the wife of the local Postmaster, who years later stated: "He was connected with the tannery before he became a preacher, though he may have continued the business whilst preaching." Sidney Rigdon's son, John Wycliffe Rigdon, reported that "about Aug. 1824... [Sidney Rigdon] entered the tanning business with his brother-in-law, Richard Brooks a couryer [sic - currier] by trade. My father put some money in the business. At the end of 2 years they sold the tannery." Both of Sidney's brothers-in-law, Richard and William, were tanners and curriers by trade -- perhaps Richard Brooks turned his share of the business over to William at some point. The "old stand" was located on Penn St., east of Hand St. (now 9th), in Pittsburgh.

Note 2: In order for Rigdon to have worked as a "journeyman tanner," he almost certainly would have first obtained some experience in the trade at the apprentice level -- even if he never served out a full (or a full-tme) apprenticeship. This undocumented prior experience is hinted at by the Postmaster's wife when she says that Rigdon was "connected with" a tannery before he became a Baptist minister. The most likely time for Rigdon to have gained this valuable experience was prior to the fall of 1818 (see also notes on article for Nov. 20, 1822 and mis-dated information given by Rigdon's brother in 1843). -- Rigdon eventually left Pittsburgh and returned to resume his earlier life as a preacher in Ohio. He apparently remained in the Pittsburgh area for at least a few months after leaving the tanning business. He petitioned to be relieved of his duties as a foster parent/guardian of David Ferguson later in the year and the court granted his request on Nov. 11, 1825, freeing Sidney to move his family out of Allegheny County. Probably he had already moved hus family to stay with his wife's relatives, in Warren, Ohio, before the matter of David Ferguson was finally settled.



Vol. I.                                       Montrose, Pa., Friday, Jan. 13, 1826.                                      No. 7.


"THE RESTORATION OF ISRAEL." -- A society of gentlemen has been formed, whose intention it is to issue from the press at Syracuse, N. Y. a Monthly Pamphlet with the above title. The object of the periodical, is to illustrate more fully and distinctly, interesting historical facts, relating to the nation of the Jews; their being dispossessed of the land given to their forefathers; their "dispersion" and "casting off;" their present condition; the divine predictions respecting their restoration to the promised land; and in a particular manner, to bring to view, the presumptive evidence, that the Indians -- the aboriginees of America -- are, with a few Tartar exceptions, the lineal descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. If sufficient encouragement be given, it will commence in March next. -- American Traveller.

Note 1: The modern reader can only wonder if the "society of gentlemen" living at Syracuse at the beginning of 1826 had been heavily influenced by their reading of the Rev. Ethan Smith's A View of the Hebrews. During 1824-26 the western counties of upstate New York were criss-crossed by book agents, fanning out from Albany to sell copies of Josiah Priest's Wonders of Nature and Providence, an ecclectic volume that resurrected substantial excerpts from Smith's out of print thesis on restoring the American "Israelites" (in prepration for the coming millennium). The Syracuse gentlemen were quite possibly dupes of Smith and Priest and had more than likely heard of M. M. Noah's recently hatched plan to gather the remnants of Israel on the western borders of New York state -- Elias Boudinot's hope to gather Jews in New York state, prior to the expected coming millennium. So far as can be determined, this "Restoration of Israel" periodical never saw print. Had it been put through the press, it might have looked and sounded a bit like the contemporary New York City paper, Israel's Advocate.

Note 2: By an odd coincidence, Ellen Chase Smith, the youngest daughter of Ethan Smith, lived out her final years in Syracuse and died there in 1846.


Vol. ?                                        Friday Morning, February 14, 1826.                                         No. ?

Edited by Robert Morris -- Pub. by Jesper Harding, 74 1/2 South 2nd St. & 56 Carter's Alley.

("R. Patterson. Agent" advertisement -- under construction)


Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. I.                                        Montrose, Pa., Friday, June 2, 1826.                                        No. ?


"Grand Island, alias Arrarat remains as the Governor and Judge of Israel left it, a wilderness, yet admirably adapted to the highest state of cultivation. The passing traveller looks in vain from the deck of a canal boat, to catch a glimpse at the city of refuge, where the remnant of Israel were to be gathered together, and to "sit under their own vine and fig-tree, with none to molest or make them afraid." Instead of Jewish Synagogues and Rabbis, he sees nothing but a forest, with here and there a straggling hunter or fisherman who walks as if on christian ground. We have no disposition however to speak lightly of Mr. Noah's project -- time alone will develope it, if a splendid speculation was concealed under a plan to ameliorate the condition of the Jews. If not, the project is a benevolent one, and its author should have the best motives attributed to him though his judgment might be questioned -- Lockport Observatory.

Note: The above remarks were almost certainly penned by Orsamus Turner. According to his biographer, Harry S. Douglass, the young Turner assumed editorial control of the Lockport Observatory on Sept. 26, 1822 and "continued as editor and writer for various Lockport publications through the 1830s." Later in 1826 Turner's paper was renamed the Sentinel and Observatory.



Vol. ?                                      Pittsburgh,  September 6, 1826.                                         No. ?


     ==> We are authorized to state, that
     is a candidate for the ASSEMBLY.
Aug. 30.

Note 1: The Pittsburgh Directory for 1826 lists Joseph Patterson, esq. as living on Penn, St., "above St. Clair." He is also listed in the same publication, on page 72, in conjunction with "J. Patterson, & Co.," as the owner of the Pittsburgh Steam Paper Mill, located in the "Northern Liberties." Evidently Joseph Patterson separated his paper business from his previous partnership with his brother, the Rev. Robert Patterson, after their disasterous 1822 attempt to ship a large consignment paper down the Mississippi on barges. It appears that there were subsequent personal difficulties between the two brothers -- Joseph married well, was successful in business and real estate ventures, and eventually moved away to Philadelphia, leaving Robert in a state of pious poverty.

Note 2: Unsuccessful in his 1826 bid for a seat in the Pennsylvania Legislature, Joseph ran again, on the Anti-Masonic ticket -- see the Gazette of Sept. 22, 1829. He lost that attempt as well.



Vol. V.                                      Pittsburgh,  October 3, 1826.                                         No. 34.


If "the outcasts of Israel" are not to be found in America, where, suffer me to as are they to be found? Between two and three thousand years ago, they disappeared from the civilized world, and went somewhere -- where we believe that they now exist, a distinct people. Where did they go? And where are they at present? They are not in Europe -- they are not in Africa -- and, so far as is known, they are not in Asia. The habitable earth has been to a very great extent explored and unless we place them in the wilds of America, they are not to be found.

The natives of this continent, if we except Esquimaux & Greenlanders, are manifestly one people. This is proved, from the similarity of their personal appearance, of their customs, of their religious worship and belief, and especially of their language. They are said indeed, to speak different tongues; but it is now agreed, by the best judges, that these are little more than different dialects of the same tongue. The natives of both the Americas, and of every part of the country bear evident marks of a common origin, & of having descended from some common branch of the human family. -- And not only are they of the same origin and race; they have preserved themselves in a great measure distinct from all other people. They are as distinct, at this day, almost as the Jews are. In this view they correspond exactly with what we might expect of the descendants of Israel.

That they are the descendants of Israel, is rendered probable by their traditions respecting the coming and settlement of their forefathers in this country. -- We have seen already, from the apocryphal history, that when the tribes of Israel left Media, they journeyed, in a northeasterly direction, "a year and a half." This might carry them to the north-east extremity of Asia, and very possibly over Bherrings straits, into the limits of America. In strict accordance with this account, the American natives have a tradition, that a long time ago their fathers came here from another country -- that in their journey they passed over great waters -- and that they came to their present settlements from the north-west. The Mexicans, not only had this tradition, but pretended that they could show the places where their fathers stopped, in their journey from the north-west coast. Here, then, on the other hand, we have an account of the tribes of Israel leaving Media, and travelling long enough in a northeasterly direction, to bring them very nearly, if not quite, upon the north-west coast of America; and on the other, we have a current tradition of the Indians, that their fathers actually came from this coast, and beyond it, from another country.

Another argument, to show that the American Indians are the descendants of the Israelites, is derived from their language. Between the language of these Indians and the Hebrew, there is, to say the least, a strong affinity. This fact has been noticed by many wtiters, and by those too who were best able to form a judgment in the case. I could mention as many as thirty words, besides several phrases of some considerable length, which are almost precisely the same in Indian as in Hebrew. The Hebrew word Hallelujah, so common in sacred music among ourselves, is still more common in the sacred songs of the Indians. The Hebrew Jah, another name of the Deity is in Indian Yah. and the Hebrew Ale still another name for the Deity in Indian [is] precisely the same. The construction of the Indian languages, by means of prefixes and suffixes, also gives it a striking resemblance to the Hebrew. How shall we account for the strong affinity between these languages, unless we suppose the American Indians to be in fact Israelites?

Some have thought that a similarity might be traced between the features of American Indians, and those of the Jews. This was the opinion of the celebrated William Penn. In describing the natives, soon after his arrival among them, he says, "I found them with like countenances with the Hebrew race; and their children of so lively a resemblance to them, that a man would think himself in Duke's Place or Berry street, (the Jew's corner,) in London, when he sees them."

The American Indians have many traditions, corresponding with the Sacred History, which can hardly be accounted for, unless on the supposition that their fathers were once acquainted with the inspired volume. They not only have traditions, like many of the heathen, of a general Deluge, but retain some obscure ideas of numerous other facts, mentioned in the scriptures. They believe that the man was created from the earth, and that the woman was formed from a part of the man. They have a tradition of the longevity of the first inhabitants of the world, when men "lived till their feet were worn out with walking, and their throats with eating." They have a tradition of the Confusion of Tongues -- that "a long time ago, the people were to build a high place; and that while they were building, they lost their language, and could not understand each other." They have a tradition that, a great while since, they had a common father, and that this father had twelve sons -- in allusion, doubtless, to the twelve sons of Jacob. They tell us, "that their ancestors had once a sanctified rod which budded in a night's time." -- Like the rod of Aaron. They believe that "the Great Spirit, in very ancient times, often held councils, and smoked with their fathers, and gave them laws to be observed; but that in consequence of their disobedience, he withdrew from them, and abandoned them to the vexations of the bad spirit." These traditionary accounts, )to which I have it in my power to add others) are very remarkable, and clearly indicate that the ancestors of the Indians must at some period have been acquainted with the sacred history of the Old Testament.

The religious belief of the American Indians differs materially from that of the other heathen nations, and agrees, in many points, with that of the ancient Israelites. They believe in the existence of one God the great invisible Spirit, who created, and who constantly governs the world; and although all the tribes may not have kept themselves entirely free from idolatry; yet in general, they agree, and have ever agreed, in directing their worship to God alone. They believe in a superindenting Providence, and manifest often a degree of gratitude on the reception of favours, and submission in adversity, which would not discredit professing Christians. Their sense of dependence on the Great Spirit, leads them very frequently to pray to him. "Every morning," say our Missionaries among the Osages, "we hear them, on all sides around us, to a great distance from their camp, engaged in very earnest prayer to God their Creator. This they do likewise on all extraordinary occasions, as when they receive any distinguishing favour." Such was their practice when the Missionaries found them, and before they had received any religious instruction. The Indians believe in the existence of angels and demons, and that the demons have a chief over them, who is more wicked than the rest. They believe that they are themselves "the beloved people" of the Great Spirit, as the ancient Israelites did; that they were the peculiar, chosen people of God. The Indians also believe in a future state of rewards and punishments, to be distributed according to the characters which are sustained here. If now we compare these religious views and traits with those of the debased & idolatrous heathen, in Asia, and other parts of the world; we shall discover a difference for which it will not be easy to account, but by supposing the remote ancestors of the American Indians to have been acquainted with Divine revelation. -- Christ. Mag.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VIII - No. 1.                        Thursday, March 22, 1827.                        Whole No. 365.


A Chancery Suit has been instigated in the name of William Morgan, John Davids, and David C. Miller, against some individuals in New-York for publishing a new edition of "Masonry Unvailed," in violation of the copy-right. The editor of one New-York paper says he has seen the injunction.

Note: When Eber D. Howe (an anti-Masonic journalist and editor) published the first anti-Mormon book in 1834, he entitled it "Mormonism Unvailed," recalling the title of this 1826 Masonry Unvailed publication.


Vol. ?                              Pittsburgh, (Penn.) Tuesday, July 24, 1827.                              No. ?

DIED. -- On Tuesday last, after a short illness, SILAS ENGLES, Esq. Clerk of the Mayor's Court, of this city, in the 46th year of his age...

Note 1: Following the death of Silas Engles on July 17, 1827, it is likely that practically no living person recalled the original circumstances under which manuscript submissions came into the possession of R. & J. Patterson, Patterson & Lambdin, or S. Engles & Co. -- and continued to be held as the property of these firms' successors, in later years. Engles' possible business association with the successors of Patterson & Lambdin remains undetermined. His last links with that firm probably died along with J. Harrison Lambdin (his previous co-worker in the publishing business), on Aug. 1, 1825.

Note 2: None of Engles' death notices provide any details on his fatal "illness." One hint at his situation can be gleaned from the 1847 genealogy written by William E. Du Bois -- A Record of the Families of Robert Patterson. He says of Siles Engles, Jr.: "Silas, born in 1781, married [Ann Maria Hauer, b. 1784] in Fredericktown, Md. [14 Dec 1809], and soon after removed to Pittsburg, where he lived a number of years, and where his remains lie. As in the case of [an alcoholic uncle], and from the same cause, his life was passed under a cloud." The "short illness" referenced by the Mercury editor may have been the terminal stages of a lifelong dissipation.

Note 3: The authors of the 2005 book, the Spalding Enigma, offer this summary regarding Mr. Engles: "not a great deal is known about the life of Silas Engles... he acquired the Fredericktown, Md., Republican Advocate in 1807. Sometime during the next four years he made his way to Pittsburgh where, late in 1811, he and the Rev. David Graham launched Pittsburgh's first literary newspaper, the Pioneer, which they continued for about a year-and-a-half. Its contents portray Engles as a man with a good education and a strong appreciation for culture. His partnership, S. Engles & Co., Printers, continued in business as a job office on Wood St., between 3rd and 4th, until he apparently bought out his associates and dissolved the enterprise early in 1814, thus becoming Silas Engles, Printer. During this period he shared parts of the same buildings and acted, on a contract basis, as chief printer for both the Patterson & Hopkins and later the R. & J. Patterson publishing endeavors. He also ran several times, sometimes successfully, for minor offices in the Pittsburgh city government. --- On Oct. 28, 1815, a serious fire broke out on Wood St., which ultimately consumed the entire front of the square between 3rd and 4th streets, along with a number of back buildings. Fortunately, "the principal part of his materials" were saved and a week later he was back in business. In early 1818 he moved his shop to nearby Liberty Ave., where he entered into partnership with Ephraim Pentland to publish the Statesman, a successor to the Commonwealth. Engles was Pentland's printer for a little over six months. In April 1819 he moved again, this time to Diamond Alley behind the courthouse, where he published a variety of legal and business forms, tracts, etc."


Vol. X. - No. 8.                           Thursday, May 7, 1829.                           Whole No. 476.


A view of the American Indians.
By Israel Worsley, London, 1828

We shall probably surprise most of our readers when we state the object of this little volume, which is nothing less than to show that the Indians of America are, in all probability, the descendants of the lost Ten Tribes of Israel. This is an idea which has, it seems, of late years occupied some attention on the other side of the Atlantick, the Rev. Dr. Elias Boudinot having published a work in support of it in 1816, entitled A star in the West, which was followed, in 1825, by another written by a Mr. Smith, pastor of a church in Poultney. The object of the present writer is chiefly to condence and arrange the facts and reasonings that have been advanced by his predecessors; and to add such additional matter in support of the views which they have advocated, as he has been able to collect in the course of his own reading.

We extract a few sentences from his concluding chapter, in which he gives a summary of his argument. -- After contending that the tribes in question must have an existence some where, and remarking that in the book of Esdras they are mentioned as having journeyed to a land where no man dwelt, he proceeds in reference to the Indians as follows:

"They are living in tribes -- they have all a family likeness, though covering thousands of leagues of land and having a tradition prevailing universally that they came into that country at the northwest corner -- they are very religious people, and yet have entirely escaped the idolitary [sic] of the old world -- they acknowledge One God, the Great Spirit, who created all things seen and unseen -- the name to whom this being is known to all, the old Hebrew name of God; he is also called yehowah, sometimes yah, and also abba -- for this Great Being they profess a high reverence, calling him the head of their community, and themselves his favourite people; they believe that he was more favourable to them in old times than he is now, that their fathers were in covenant with him, that he talked with them and gave them laws; they are distinctly heard to sing with their religious dances, hallellujah and praise to jah; other remarkable sounds go out of their mouths, as shillu yo, shillu he, ale yo, he wah, yohewah, but they profess not to know the meaning of these words; only that they learned to use them upon sacred occasions -- they acknowledge the government of a Providence overruling all things, and express a willing submission in whatever takes places -- they keep annual feasts which resemble those of the Mosaick ritual, a feast of first fruits, which they do not permit themselves to taste until they have made an offering of them to God: also an evening festival, in which no bone of the animal that is eaten may be broken; and if one family be not large enough to consume the whole of it, a neighbouring family is called in to assist: the whole of it is consumed and the relicks are burned before the rising of the next day's sun. There is one part of the animal which they never eat, the hollow part of the thigh; they eat bitter vegetables and observe severe fasts, for the purpose of cleansing themselves from sin; they have also a feast of harvest, when their fruits are gathered in, a daily sacrifice, and a feast of love -- their forefathers practiced the rite of circumcision; but not knowing why so strange a practice was continued and not approving of it, they gave it up -- there is a sort of jubilee kept by some of them -- they have cities of refuge, to which a guilty man and even a murderer may fly and be safe." pp. 181, 182.

Another account we observe, of the lost Ten Tribes has lately been given in a German publication, which on highly probable grounds makes at least a large portion of them to have established themselves in the district of the great Plain of Central Asia called Bucharia, where it appears, they amount even at this day to a third part of the population. The traditions preserved among this remnant of the chosen people might perhaps assist in determining whether or no the American Indians are descendants of the same stock.

Note 1: The Erie Gazette was published in the "panhandle" of Pennsylvania, adjacent to the westernmost part of New York state. Since there was some interest in the Erie area, regarding the assertion that the Indians were of Hebrew origin, it seems reasonable to assume that a similar curiosity existed in western New York in 1829 and that the writings of authors like Elias Boudinot and Ethan Smith were known there as well as in the Pennsylvania panhandle.

Note 2: Constantine Rafinesque was expressing an opposing viewpoint at about this same time. See his Aug. 1829 open letter to the Rev. Ethan Smith, published in the New York Evening Post and reprinted in the Fall 1832 issue of the Atlantic Journal.



Vol. I.                                Bethany, Wayne Co., Pa., May ??, 1830.                                No. ?


NEW BIBLE. -- A fellow by the name of Joseph Smith, who resides in the upper part of Susquehannah county, has been, for the last two years, we are told, employed in dictating, as he says, by inspiration, a new Bible. He pretended that he had been entrusted by God with a golden bible which had been always hidden from the world. -- Smith would put his face into a hat in which he had a white stone, and pretend to read from it, while his coadjutor transcribed. -- The book purports to give an account of the "ten tribes" and strange as it may seem, there are some who have full faith in his divine commission. The book, it seems, is now published. We extract the following from the Rochester Republican.

"BLASPHEMY. -- 'Book of Mormon' alias The Golden Bible. -- The 'Book of Mormon' has been placed in our hands. A viler imposition was never practised. It is an evidence of fraud, blasphemy, and credulity, shocking to the Christian and moralist. The author and proprietor is one Joseph Smith, jr., a fellow who, by some hocus pocus, acquired such an influence over a wealthy farmer of Wayne county, that the latter mortgaged his farm for $3000, which he paid for printing and binding 5000 copies of this blasphemous work. The volume consists of about 600 pages, and is divided into books of Nephi, of Jacob, of Mosiah, of Alma, of Mormon, of Ether, and of Helaman. -- 'copy right secured.'

Note: The exact publication date of the above article has not yet been determined. The text is taken from various contemporary reprints, including one in the Fredonia Censor of June 2, 1830.


Vol. XI. - No. 9.                        Erie, Pa., Thursday, May 13, 1830.                        Whole No. 529.


A work has recently been published in the western part of the state of New York, entitled Book of Mormon, or the Golden Bible. -- The author is Joseph Smith, Jr. The work contains about 600 pages, and is divided into the books of Marmon [sic], of Ether and Helaman. The Rochester Daily Advertiser contains the preface, and two letters, signed by eleven individuals, setting forth the excellence of the work and the existence of the original "plates," of gold, on which the contents of the volume were engraved, in a language which the translator was taught by inspiration. It seems that one book, Lehi, was translated and stolen -- the translator was commanded never again to translate the same over. We subjoin, with some hesitancy, one of the certificates, which smacks pretty strongly of what would once have been called blasphemy.

The testimony of Three Witnesses. -- Be it known to all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come, that we, through the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which contain this record, which is a record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites, his brethren, and also of the people of Jared, who came from the tower, of which hath been spoken: and we also know that they have been translated by the gift and power of God, for his voice hath declared it unto us; wherefore we know of a surety that the work is true. And we also testify that we have seen the engravings which are upon the plates; and they have been shown unto us by the power of God, and not of man. And we declare with words of soberness that an Angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates, and the engravings thereon; and we know that it is by the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that we beheld and bear record that these things are true; and it is marvelous in our eyes. Nevertheless, the voice of the Lord commanded us that we should bear record of it; -- wherefore to be obedient unto the commandments of God, we bear testimony of these things. And we know that if we are faithful in Christ, we shall rid our garments of the blood of all men, and be found spotless before the judgment seat of Christ, and shall dwell with him eternally in the heavens. And the honor be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, which is one God. Amen.

The other certificate declares that the plates said to have been found in Manchester, Ontario county, N. Y. had the appearance of gold, [and] bore the marks of ancient and curious workmanship.
                          U. S. Gazette.

Note: The above article evidently appeared in the Philadelphia United States Gazette during early May. The Rochester Daily Advertiser issue mentioned was that of April 2, 1830.



Vol. 46.                             Pittsburgh, Pa., Friday, April 1, 1831.                             No.56.


AN EARTHQUAKE. -- The Pekin Gazettes of June 26th and 29th, announce officially the occurrence of most destructive earthquakes a few days before... on the south of Pekin Province, and... on the north of Ho-nan Province.... the earthquake... overthrew the walls of towns, public offices, prisons and private houses...

About a dozen towns and cities were involved in this awful catastrophe... Accurate accounts of this great calamity are not to be expected, but there is every reason to believe that the earthquake, flood and hail have exhibited a most awful visitation of an inscrutable Providence.

Note: See notes attached to the Hudson Observer of July 7, 1831 and the Painesville Telegraph of April 5, 1831 for relevant comments.



Vol. 46.                             Pittsburgh, Pa., Tuesday, April 12, 1831.                             No.59.


Erie Harbor and the Ice. -- This harbor, with all the lake west of it, and east a number of miles, has been open, and navigation between this and Detroit entirely unobstructed, for ten days and upwards; while the port of Buffalo, and the entrance if the New York and Welland Canals, are blocked with an impassable field of ice, extending 40 or 50 miles up the lake, and gorged into its northeast angle by powerful southwesterly winds, in such masses as will not, probably, be dissolved for 15 to 20 days to come. -- Erie Gaz., April 7.

Note: See notes attached to the Painesville Telegraph of May 17, 1831 for relevant comments.


Norristown Register and Sentinel.

Vol. IV.                             Norristown, Pa., Wednesday, June 31, 1831.                             No.39.


Died, in Kirkland [sic], on Thursday night last, Mr. Warner Doty, aged about 29 years. The deceased was one of those who had embraced the imposition of Jo Smith, and a victim to the delusion of Morfnonism. He duly commissioned after their manner to preach, and was one of the most active zealots in the cause. So fully did he beleive in the divinity of Smith that he had been made to have full faith that he should live a thousand years -- this he confessed to a near relative some four weeks before his decease. Five days before he expired, he was suddenly attacked with an inflammation in the bowels which afterwards assumed a typhoid appearance. He immediately removed to the residence of his parents, who had no faith in the Mormon remedies for the cure of diseases. No persuasion could induce the young man to have a physician called, so strong was he impressed with the supernatural power of Smith. Several of the Mormonites soon assembled round the sick man, where they continued to encourage him to persevere, and strengthen his delusion, telling him. that he was getting better and would soon be well, till they saw he was about to expire, when they all fled from the house, without offering to assist in the last solemnities of the dead. Smith was sent for soon after he was taken sick, and proceeded towards the house of Doty to heal him, but (as Smith said) he received a command not to go to Doty's and "cast his pearl before Swine." He however visited the sick man in a day or two after, and said he would get well, and protested against calling a physician. He held his hand upon the head of Doty for 10 or 15 minutes, but for what object is not known. A few hours before the young man expired, Dr. Brainard was sent for, much against the will of the worshippers of Smith, by the interference of others friends. The Doctor immediately pronounced his disease past remedy, and told the Mormon doctors that their superstition had probably been the means of the young man's death, or something of like import. When the young man discovered that death was nigh his faith in Smith's pretensions seemed to forsake him. He said "what a wonderful mistake I have made" and called all his friends to take his leave. Addressing himself to an old man of the Mormon faith, he said "you are a friend to every body -- I must shake hands with you -- this is a lesson that I have learnt by actual experience, by which you ought to profit, but with me it is too late. Mormonites will probable contradict many of these statements, as they have many positive facts heretofore; but we have our information from a relative of the deceased, who was present during the last 18 hours of his life, and whose intelligence and veracity will not suffer in comparison with the whole of those deluded people who have adopted Jo Smith as their spiritual leader.
Painesville Telegraph.            

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XII.                                 Erie, Pa., Thursday, June 30, 1831.                                 No.?


The Mormonites. -- This infatuated people are again in motion. In their own cant phrase, "they are going to inherit the promise of God to Abraham and his seed." Their destination is some indefinite spot on the Missouri River, they say about 1500 miles distant. About 30 of them have recently been ordained and some have gone, others are about going, two and two, part by the western rivers and part by land to their distant retreat, far away from the cheering voice of civilized man. Those who have disposed of their property go now, and such as have property, are making market for it so eagerly as often to disregard pecuniary interests, and all are to follow with all convenient dispatch. -- They still persist in their power to work miracles. They say they have often seen them done -- the sick are healed -- the lame walk -- devils are cast out; -- and these assertions are made by men heretofore considered rational men, and men of truth.

Man is a strange animal -- and the lesson before us ought to teach us humility for ourselves, and forbearance towards the opinions of others: for though we are still of opinion that the leaders of this fiction are as gross imposters as was Jemima Wilkinson, yet we have no doubt the great body of their followers are sincere and honest. -- Painesville Gazette.

Notes: (forthcoming)


The Western Press.
Vol. V.                        Mercer, Pa., Saturday,  February 11, 1832.                        No. 17.


Mormonism. -- On Wednesday evening two young looking men belonging to this new sect arrived in town, and one of them delivered a discourse in the court house. -- He stated that the golden plates from which the Mormon bible was translated, were found in the state of New York, by the direction of an angel -- they were about the thickness of tin or glass, six by seven inches, and the pile six inches deep enclosed in a stone box. That 600 years before Christ, a prophet who had the care of this gospel was driven from Jerusalem, that his family and another with them, by the providence of God crossed the ocean and landed in South America, and that from them came the American Indians. -- That after Christ's ascension, he again descended among these people on the American continent. -- That the Indians were blacked for their crimes, and that in 420 years after Christ the Gentile nations, who had the light of this gospel among them, were destroyed on account of their sins, and that the last prophet who had the care of this gospel, had those plates made from medals [sic] obtained, and the whole deposited where they have now been found. -- That this and our common bible must grow together, and that they have been commissioned from God, and not from man, to go forth and inform the people of the great change now about to roll upon the earth. -- Faith appears to be the great grand work of the argument, and as these men seem to be sincere, they are likely to possess a full share of it.     A HEARER.

Note: The above publication date and article contents have yet to be positively confirmed. The text is taken from a reprint in the Harrisburg Chronicle of Feb. 27, 1832. See also the Press of the 18th.


The Western Press.
Vol. V.                        Mercer, Pa., Saturday,  February 18, 1832.                        No. 18.


As the press is a medium through which to communicate information for public use, I have sent the following for that purpose. B. STOKELY.

On Wednesday, the 8th of this month, two strangers called at my house and stated that they were sent by God to preach the gospel to every creature, and said if a number could be convened they would deliver a discourse. On the question, what is your profession? they answered the world call us Mormonites; this excited my curiosity, and at early candle light they commenced an address to the people convened. -- The substance of which I took down while they were speaking, and afterwards in conversation.

"We are commanded by the Lord to declare his will to effect his intended purpose. -- In 1827 a young man called Joseph Smith of the state of New York; of no denomination, but under conviction, inquired of the Lord what he should do to be saved -- he went to bed without any reply, but in the night was awakened by an angel, whiter and shinning in greater splendor than the sun at noon day, who gave information where the plates were deposited; -- Smith awoke, and after due preparation and agreeably to the information given by the angel, he went into the township of Manchester, and there, on the side of a hill, found in a stone box, or a square space inclosed by stone on every side, the plates on which the revelation was inscribed. -- The box in thickness was about 6 inches and about 7 by 5 otherwise, the plates themselves were about as thick as window glass or common tin, pure gold, and well secured by silver rings or loops in the box as an effectual defence against all weather. -- Smith, being entirely ignorant of any language but the English, and knowing that itself in a very imperfect manner, was unable read or decipher a single word -- he therefore sent the plates to the city of New York to be translated by Professor Anthony, who could make nothing of them; -- here seemed to be an insurmountable difficulty. It was supposed that the languages of the plates was Arabic, Chaldean, and Egyptain; but God by his goodness inspired Smith himself to translate the whole. -- Smith, howeyer, not been qualified to write, employed an amanuensis, who wrote for him -- they thus translated about two thirds of what the plates contained, reserving the residue for a future day as the Lord might hereafter direct. Six hundred years before Christ a certain Prophet called Lehi went out to declare and promulgate the prophecies to come; he came across the water into South America, who with others, went to Jerusalem; but there they were divided into two parties; one wise the other foolish the latter were therefore cursed with yellow skins; which is supposed to mean the Indians of the Rocky Mountains. -- In 500 years before Christ the wise ones gave a sign, or was to give one, that there should be a total darkness two days I and one night, but the people refused to take warning, and when Jerusalem was destroyed the righteous only were saved -- all the teaching of the Mormonites is comprised in this book (their Bible) price one dollar and twenty-five cents. -- The greater part of the people were converted for a time, but were again divided and destroyed 400 years after Christ. The last battle that was fought among these parties was on the _very ground_ where the plates were found; but it had been a running battle for they commenced at the Isthmus of Darien and ended at Manchester. The plates state that we shall drive back the Indians to the South and West; with a promise, however, to be brought back in the fullness of time; and all the unbeliefs existing can never prevent those prophecies from fulfilment. Inquity will secretly be swept from the Earth. -- Smith, when requested by the Lord to translate, read, and publish the plates, excused himself as being unlearned, and could not even read. The use of the Mormonite Bible is to connect and fulfil the prophecies of Isaiah; it comes also to fulfil the Scriptures and to restore the house of Israel to their lawful rights. The servants of this religion will fish and hunt up Israel and put them into possession of their promised land -- (The Speaker) himself is specially commanded to go forth and warn the people to flee from the wrath to come -- were it not for this injunction he would rather work at the hardest labor. -- They have gone forth like the disciples of old, without money or scrip, taking no thought what they shall say -- and when they are not well received shake off the dust of their feet as a testimony against the people who thus reject the holy spirit. He has left his father, mother, brothers, and sisters, the farm and neighborhood of friends to declare the will of God and the revelation of John who saw the angel flying through heaven -- An angel brought the Mormonite Bible and laid it before him (the speaker;) he therefore knows these things to be true. Being sent to call on all to repent -- he has come to fulfil the commands of heaven; he has cleared his skirts of our blood."

I have made some remarks, and given at few particular traits from the Mormon Bible -- "Christ appeared to 3000 and they all put their hands into his side and believed." (What a host of Thomas's.) -- The books of this Bible are in number 14, under the following names, viz: 1 Nephi, 2 Nephi, Books of Jacob, Enos, Jarem, Omni, Mormon, Masiah, Almo, Helaman, Nephi jr., Mormon, (again,) Ether, and Morni -- translated by Joseph Smith junior, by pure inspiration -- certified to be true by Oliver Cowdry, David Whitmer and Martin Harris, who declare "That an angel of God came down from heaven and brought the plates and laid them before our eyes and we beheld and saw the plates." -- Another certificate is added, signed by eight more, viz: Christian Whitmer, Jacob Whitmer, Peter Whitmer, jr., John Whitmer, Hiram Page, Joseph Smith, senior, Hiram Smith, and Samuel H. Smith, who declare: that J. Smith, jr. laid the plates before them, to the truth of which they certify. -- One of the young men called himself Lymon Johnston, from Portage county, Ohio. The other was called Arson Pratt; no fixed place of abode. They were going North East, intending to preach the gospel to every kindred, tongue and nation. -- They appeared to have very little learning, but to be sincere in all they said. They had good manners -- had been well raised -- were decent and unassuming in every thing I saw, or heard them say. -- They said what I could hardly believe: "that John the Revelator was yet alive and about in the world." I thought for certain he had been dead for more than fifty years, and observed that I should be glad to see the old man; to which they made no reply. Arson Pratt repeated his reluctance to an itinerant life and (but for the mandate of God) he had rather work at any thing else however hard. I observed perhaps on application he could compromise with Providence, get another in his place, and he himself locate -- he made no reply.

Note 1: The above publication's title, date and contents have yet to be positively confirmed. The text is taken from a reprint in the Harrisburg Chronicle of Feb. 27, 1832. See also the Press of the 11th.

Note 2: The above article may have originally been entitled, "The Mormonites," (as in its American Sentinel reprint), or perhaps "The Orators of Mormon," (as in its Catholic Telegraph reprint). According to H. Michael Marquardt: "Lyman E. Johnson and Orson Pratt... started their mission on February 3, 1832 and traveled to Mercer County, Pennsylvania on February 8 and stopped at the home of Benjamin Stokely in Cool Spring Township. The missionaries then preached at the courthouse in Franklin, Venango County, northeast of Mercer County, on Saturday, February 11." See also the Boston Investigator of Aug. 10, 1832.



Vol. 47.                             Pittsburgh, Pa., Tuesday, June 26, 1832.                             No. 81.


By a correspondence with the War Department, published in the Warren Newslatter, of June 12th, it appears that the company incorporated last winter, to construct a rail road from Lake Erie to the Ohio River, have made application to the War Department, for an Engineer to survey the route; and that the request will be granted, if the usual appropriation bill passes the Senate, as it has passed the House of Representatives. "The application is for an Engineer to survey a route for a rail road from Lake Erie, within the limits of the counties of Geauga and Ashtabula, to the Ohio River, within the limits of the county of Columbiana." -- Ravenna Cour.

Note: LDS leader Benjamin Winchester later recalled: "In the autumn of 1837 Joseph received a revelation especially concerning Kirtland. It was to be the great center of the world. Kings and queens were to come there from foreign lands to pay homage to the Saints. It was to be the great commercial point of the universe, and on the strength of this revelation the famous bank there was started." These grand predictions for Kirtland's destined fame predated the 1837 "revelations" of Joseph Smith, however. See various descriptions of the early Mormon plans for Kirtland, to deduce how the construction of railroads, canals, etc. in that section of Geauga County, Ohio fit in with the Mormons' program for a "gathering" and associated regional development.


The Presbyterian Advocate.
Vol. I.                        Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,  December ? 1832.                        No. ?


The Board of Managers of the African Education Society of the City and Vicinity of Pittsburgh, deem it necessaty that the public should be made acquainted with the object of their association, and of the course they are now about to take.

The object of our association is, the general education of our rising youth, and the moral improvement of those of ourselves who need it, of a more advanced age.

We are well persuaded, that it is ignorance which has plunged our African brethren into that dreadful gulf of degradation, into which they have fallen...

The following paper... was presented to the different clergy whose names are therein stated...

'Having understood that the people of color of the city and vicinity of Pittsburgh have formed an Education Society, and are desirous of carrying into operation a plan for the general education of their youth, this laudable undertaking meets our decided approbation, and is, in our opinion, worthy the patronage of a liberal public.'

FRANCIS HERRON, Pastor 1st Pres. church.
CHAS. B. MAGUIRE, Pastor Cath. Congregation.
DAVID HAMMERER, Pastor German Congregation.
JOHN WINTER, Pastor 3d. Baptist church.
WESLEY BROWNING, Preacher of the Methodist Episcopal church.
JOHN BLACK, Pastor Reformed Pres. church.
JOSEPH STOCKTON, Pastor Pine creek church.
GEORGE UPFOLD, Pastor of Trinity church.
SAMUEL WILLIAMS, Pastor 1st Baptist church.
J. R. KEER, Pastor As. Reformed church.
CHARLES ELLIOTT, Preacher in charge of the Methodist Episcopal church.
JOHN TASSEY, Pastor Independent church.
JACOB MORRIS, Pastor 2d Baptist church, Welch.
ROBERT C. HATTON, Pastor Pro. M. church.
ROBERT PATTERSON, Pastor of Highland's congregation.
J. W. NEVIN, Instructor in West. Theo. Seminary.
LUTHER HALSEY, Prof. of Theology, West. Theo. Seminary.
J. P. HALSEY, Pastor 1st Pres. church, Allegh'town.
E. P. SWIFT, Pastor 2d Presbyterian church.
WM. B. M'ILVAINE, Pastor Pres. Cong. East Liberties, near Pittsburgh.

By the Board of Managers,
      LEWIS WOODSON, Secretary.
Pittsburgh, Nov. 23, 1832.

Note 1: The Presbyterian Advocate was published in Pittsburgh from late 1832 forward. According to a backfile of the paper located at Duke University, it was entitled simply The Advocate in its early years, and later the Advocate and Herald or Advocate and Emporium. All known files of the paper's issues of the 1830s are fragmentary -- the above text is taken from a reprint which appeared in the Boston Liberator of Jan. 12, 1833.

Note 2: Three Protestant pastors associated with the Spalding-Rigdon clains for the authorship of the Book of Mormon are represented in the Nov. 1832 list shown above: Rev. Robert Patterson, Sr. (1773-1854); Elder Samuel Williams (1802-1887); and Elder John Winter (1794-1878). Some personal information on Rev. Patterson may be found here. Biographical sketches of Winter and Williams are excerpted from William Cathcart's 1881-83 Baptist Enyclopedia, vol. 2:

--- Winter, John, M.D., was born in Wellington, England, in July, 1794. After graduating in theology from Bradford Seminary, he emigrated to America in 1822, and settled in Pittsburgh, Pa. Here for some time he taught a school, and served as pastor of the First Baptist church. During sixty years of a very active and successful ministry his labors were chiefly in the western part of the State. -- For a few years he preached in Illinois, where two sons survive him. He died Nov. 5, 1878, in his eighty-fifth year, after an illness of only three days, in Sharon. Mercer Co.. Pa. -- His energy was more than ordinary, and his character was of a most positive type, blended with childlike simplicity and tenderness of heart. His clearness of thought was remarkable. These traits made him just the man needed for his day. Hence, in his struggles with the errors of Alexander Campbell, he performed pre-eminent service, and checked materially the spread of error, saving many churches from being overwhelmed and destroyed. His crowning glory was his great success in winning souls to Christ. To the last of an honored and useful life he would not allow his mind to remain inactive, but kept himself well informed in general and theological learning. Hence he was always listened to with marked interest, and continued fresh and green until he closed his earthly labors. -- Dr. Winter was twice married. His second wife survives him, and is the mother of two prominent Baptist ministers. Rev. J. D. Herr, D.D., of New York, and Rev. A. J. Bonsall, of Rochester, Pa. A daughter is also married to Rev. David Williams, of Lewisburg, Pa., while a daughter of Dr. Winter is united in marriage to Judge Justin Miller, of the Supreme Court of the United States. --- Williams, Rev. Samuel, was born in Connellsville, Fayette Co., Pa., on the 5th of August, 1802. At the age of twenty, while a student at Zanesville, O., he embraced Christ by faith. Along with light upon his heart came the love of souls, and in two years from his conversion he was ordained in Somerset Co., Pa. In May, 1827, he became pastor of the First Baptist church in Pittsburgh, Pa. This relation continued twenty-eight years, during which period six other churches were organized. -- Leaving Pittsburgh, he settled in Akron, O. Here he remained eight years, and then became pastor in Springfield. At both these places he, in connection with his wife, conducted a female seminary. Two subsequent years were spent as pastor in New Castle, Pa., and five years more were employed among churches in the vicinity of Pittsburgh. His present residence is Brooklyn, N. Y. -- Mr. Williams engaged in numerous controversies, both orally and in writing, in defense of Baptist doctrine and practice.

Note 3: Elder Winter's congregation more properly might be called the "Second Baptist Church" of Pittsburgh; but as it was transitory, the local Welsh-speaking group fell heir to the title around 1828, when its members were organized into a congregation under Jacob Morris' predecessor (Elder Peter Lloyd?). Neither group bore any formal relationship to the later Afro-American "Pittsburgh Third Baptist Church." For more on the Welsh congregation, as well as John Winter and Samuel Williams, see the 1913 booklet, Centenary of Organized Baptist Work in and about Pittsburgh... For a glimpse of the Pittsburgh Baptists in the year 1835, see Rev. F. A. Cox's 1836 volume, Baptists in America..., pp. 279-283 (in which returning Elder Joshua Bradley is represented as having taken John Winter's place at the "Third Baptist Church").

Note 4: The above listing helps demonstrate that Elder Samuel Williams and the Rev. Robert Patterson, Sr. were more than just casual acquaintances in the Pittsburgh of the 1820s and 1830s. Occasionally a modern reader comes across particular comments made in defense of the ancient origin of the Book of Mormon, theorizing that Elder Williams either fabricated the text of his 1842 interview with Robert Patterson -- or that Williams misrepresented Patterson's position on a Spalding authorship for parts of the Mormon book. Patterson affirmed to Williams that he had previously received a manuscript written in Biblical style which he (Patterson) came to believe was the basis for the Book of Mormon. Elder Williams had the statewment published that year, in Pittsburgh, and advertised his pamphlet in the local newspaper. Patterson made no attempt to disavow or object to that published report. Williams and Patterson obviously knew each other -- they were both notable Calvinist ministers in Pittsburgh when it was still a small city. Both were associated professionally with the local theological seminary, which was a small school with a small faculty. The published report of Williams' interview with Patterson, along with the statement concerning Solomon Spalding, so bothered the local LDS leader (Apostle John E. Page) that he went to Patterson to conduct his own interview. Page evidently came away from that second Patterson interview with no criticism useful to the Mormon cause.


In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth the gospel of your salvation - Eph. 1, 13
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free. - Gal. 5, 1.
Vol. I.                        Montrose, Penn'a., Wednesday, December 19, 1832.                        No. 7.


A few days ago, we borrowed one of those wonderful productions called a "Mormon Bible." We read some fifty pages, and turned our eye slightly over the rest. It purports to be the work of several successive and cotemporaneous writers, a number of centuries before the Christian era.

Nephi relates, that in the first year of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah, which was about 600 years before Christ, Lehi his father a descendant of the tribe of Joseph, together with his family, consisting of five persons, fled into the wilderness. The three sons of Lehi were obliged to return to Jerusalem, to get their gold and silver, and certain "plates of brass," on which were engraved the five books of Moses, and many of the prophets, as well as the records of the Jews, by which [they] learnt their pedigree.

The account says, they were about eight years in the wilderness. Their journey from Jerusalem was first Southeast, (nearly parallel with the Red Sea) and then East, until they came to the great waters. This would have carried them to the Arabian Sea. Nephi then constructed a ship in which they committed themselves to the bosom of the waters. After sailing for several days before the wind, the crew indulged themselves in revery and rudeness, which Nephi, who was the youngest of three sons, thought worthy of reproof. But his reproof and admonition only excited their indignation, and they bound him. The Lord sent a storm and terrible tempest, and they were driven backwards four days, They were in immediate peril -- filled with fear, horror and consternation; and to add to their calamity, their compass ceased to work. But when they loosed him, the winds ceased -- a great calm gave them rest from their toils -- the compass again obeyed the laws of nature -- a pleasant breeze wafted them onward, until they arrived at the promised land.

Now it is not our design to enter into a minute detail of circumstances, nor an elaborate and critical investigation. But we will point out two or three little circumstances, apparent to the commonest intellect, irreconcilable with fact, and which the writer of the book of Nephi happened to overlook.

1. These people were Jews. But twice during eight years do we read of their offering burnt offerings, or sacrifices; and afterwards they seem entirely to have forgotten it. Those plates they valued so highly, are said to contain the books of Moses; and though they profess to regard them on that account, little did they observe the rituals they teach, or the sacrifices they require. Fine Jews these?

2. The writer speaks very familiarly of Jesus Christ, Messiah, Saviour, Redeemer, Son of God, &c. -- of his baptism in Bethabara beyond Jordan -- of the dove that descended -- of his moracles, his twelve Apostles, his teaching, acts, crucifixion and resurrection. He speaks of heaven and hell, saints and sinners, believers and unbelievers, Jews and Gentiles, of salvation and damnation, of the Apostles and their preaching. He quotes familiarly their sayings and arguments, similes and metaphors, for instance like this in Romans, "the Olive branch that was broken off, that the branch that was wild by nature might be grafted in," and even of the Revelations of St. John. And thus by garbling their words, he pretends to teach and enforce their doctrines. Bear in mind he is writing all this 600 years before the advent of Christ. These Jews are Christians before the time?

3. According to Chonoologers the mariner's compass was invented by Gioia, or Goya, in the year of our Lord 1300. But if Mormonism is true, the compass was in use nearly 2000 years before that time, that is to say, 600 years before Christ.

But notwithstanding these striking incongruities, they are as orthodox in their doctrines as any of the Limitarians; or, even as modern orthodoxy itself. They talk of probation in the language like this: -- "And they said unto me, doth this thing mean the torment of the body in the days of probation, or doth it mean the final state of the soul after the death of the temporal body?" The atonement is spoken of as a satisfaction to divine justice, and the means of saving men from torment, (see p. 81.) "For the atonement satisfieth the demands of his justice upon all those who have not the law given to them, that they are delivered from that awful monster death, and hell, and the devil, and the lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment."

How many there are who have long been seeking for testimony to establish the doctrine of endless torment, so near and dear to their hearts or creeds: -- Who have found the Old and New Testaments insufficient, and for want of a positive declaration, have had the mortification of seeing all their fancied strong-holds crumble at the touch of investigation. We would advise them to turn Mormonites. They can then quote the language of Nephi, Mosiah, Alma or Mormon -- and that is explicit.

How much vain talk has there been about hell, as a place of punishment: When, where, and by whom it was created: just because the bible happened to be silent on the subject. To remove all these doubtful disputations, to meet successfully the Universalist, and hold forth more strongly the saving fear of hell, which is believed to be so necessary to piety and godliness in the soul: Let them acquaint themselves with the Mormon Bible, (see p. 38) "And there is a place prepared, yea, even that awful hell of which I have spoken; and the devil is the preparator of it." The devil prepared it, but God makes use of it to punish his incorrigible children. If the devil is such an enemy to God as has been represented, I should hardly think he would accomodate him with a prison house.

The trinity, the doctrine of all doctrines most essential to the creeds -- this too, is a doctrine of Mormonism. On page 51 we read, "The God of Jacob yieldeth himself into the hands of wicked men to be crucified." On the same page we read, "the God of nature suffers." Query: Was Watts a Mormonite when he wrote the following?

Lo the powers of heaven he shakes,
Nature in convulsion lies,
Earth's profoundest centre shakes,
The Great Jehovah dies.
They are not only orthodox in their ideas, but only see how canonical is their phraseology. Page 120, "And behold this is the doctrine of Christ and the only true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God without end -- Amen." Besides these sound doctrines, they are nearly as fanatical as other folks. Why would it not be well for all those who agree so well in doctrine and in practice, to form a coalition against plain, rational, common-sensed, sober-minded people?

The book, is puerile in the incidents of its story -- betrays ignorance of human nature, and want of historical research -- is extremely inaccurate in its syntax -- uncouth and awkward in its expression. And then, when we come to consider the circumstances of their rise and origin, the nature of their faith, and the pretensions of their believers; -- It is truly astonishing that in a country like ours, among a people boasting of intelligence, that so base and clumsy an imposition, could be palmed off upon any member of the community. But it is no more astonishing than that those wicked rants, vulgarly called protracted meetings, should receive the countenance of a community professing to be religious.     A. P.

Note: The Herald of Gospel Truth was published in Montrose, Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania between 1832 and 1833. Given the fact that Joseph Smith, Jr. was active in Susquehanna County (within a few miles of Montrose) in the 1820s, it is strange that the Unitarian book reviewer in this article did not mention him or the advent of Mormonism in the "Great Bend" region, along the New York-Pennsylvania border. Perhaps some subsequent issues of this paper featured articles which paid attention to such topics.


Harrisburgh  Chronicle.
Vol. ?                        Harrisburgh, Pennsylvania, Thursday,  Jan. 3, 1833.                        No. ?


MORMONS. -- The Susquehanna Register says -- "Two or three wretched zealots of this absurd faith have created much excitement, and it is said, are making many proselytes in a remote settlement on the borders of this county and Luzerne. The new converts, we understand, purpose removing to the 'promised land,' of this hopeful society, which is near Painesville in Ohio. The following account of this sect is taken from the Ohio Atlas -- "We have perused a pretty long and probably a true account of this singular people and their location in Mount Zion, contained in a letter published in the Christian Watchman from B. Pixley, and dated Independence, Jackson co. Mo. Oct. 12th, 1832, the very seat of the New Jerusalem. His account of their situation and prospects is not very flattering. About 4 or 500 Mormons -- men, women and children, have collected at Zion. Their possessions are small compared with their numbers, being only about four sections of land. Twenty acres is the portion assigned for each family to improve, but they are to hold no property should they leave the community. Mount Zion is not elevated, and the settlement resembles "new beginnings" generally in the west. -- They are represented as already suffering for the necessaries of life, anct by squalid poverty preparing for the reception of their expected Saviour. Their creed appears to have undergone but little change. Originally members of almost every sect, they cordially unite in detesting all, save Mormons."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VIII. - No. 28.                  Wednesday,  June 23, 1833.                      Whole No. 386.


(Correspondence of the "Boston Recorder.")

Note: This was the Methodist Pittsburgh Christian Advocate -- not to be confused with the other Advocate published in Pittsburgh, by the Presbyterian Church.


Vol. XIV.                                 Erie, Pa., Thursday, Aug. 22, 1833.                                 No.?


Mormonites. -- One of the preachers of this sect returned a few days ago from their head quarters in Jackson county, Missouri, and reports that a great riot took place there immediately before his leaving; in which, the inhabitants of that neighbourhood attacked the Mormonites, endeavouring to make some of their leaders recant their faith -- refusing to do this, the people tarred and feathered them. Inconsequence of this outrage, he fled, and came to Kirtland Flats, about seven miles from this village. At Kirtland, the Mormonites first established themselves, and proclaimed it the Holy Land. Afterwards, their arch-leaders, Joe Smith and Sidney, Rigdon, located the Holy Land in the far-off West; and started the greater part of their followers, then congregated at Kirtland with their families, into Missouri, -- the promised land, where they formed quite a settlement and established a press: -- but being unwilling entirely to give up their first location, a considerable number remained at Kirtland, forming a nucleus, around which they could collect more followers, and Smith and Rigdon, after planting their colony, returned and have spent a considerable portion of their time in and about Kirtland. It is to be feared, that the course taken by the Jackson county people is not calculated to cure the Mormonites of their delusion, or prevent its effecting others. We, who live in their immediate neighborhood, have purposely avoided noticing them, knowing that such absurdities live and flourish by opposition. After their colony went to Missouri it was understood, they disagreed among themselves, and the society without opposition, would soon have fallen to pieces, and resolved itself into the beggarly elements of which it was composed. At Kirtland, they have contemplated erecting a building of stone on a magnificent plan, to be after the one erected by King Solomon, "the Temple." Doubtless, this would have far exceeded the temple of Solomon in magnificence and splendour, The workmen, we have understood, were ready to commence operations, when it was deferred, and perhaps abandoned, owing to some misunderstanding, as we been have informed, in relation to its location, or the purchase of the ground on which it was to stand. -- Geauga Gazette.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                        Erie, Pa., Saturday, September 7, 1833.                        No. 16.


Mormonites -- Extract of a letter to the editors of the New York Journal of Commerce, dated Lexington, Missouri, July 25, 1833.

"You have probably heard of the Mormon establishment in this vicinity. Six hundred, or more of that misguided people have emigrated within the last two years to Jackson City in the next county to this, and have rendered themselves obnoxious to the citizens by holding out inducements for free negroes to settle in the county, and urging slaves to be unfaithful. Lately the citizens organized themselves for the purpose of breaking up the establishment. Their (Mormonite) printing press was torn down, store and machine shop broken up, -- the leaders tarred and feathered, and a time set for their departure. What course may be pursued towards the followers, is not yet known.

Note: This same article appeared in the New York Spectator (the sister paper of the Journal of Commerce) on Aug. 26, 1833.)


Pub. by Alex. Ingram, Jr., Near SE Corner, Diamond, at $6 per Annum in Advance. - Neville B. Craig, Ed. Vol. 49.                                   Pittsburgh, Wednesday, November 27, 1833.                                   No. 195.


Mormonites. -- Orsan [sic] Hyde, in a letter to the editor of the St. Louis Republican, says, that on Thursday night, October 31, some forty or fifty of the citizens of Jackson county, assembled about eight miles from Independence, the seat of the Mormonites, and demolished twelve of their dwelling houses. On the night of the 1st of November, they entered the store of Gilbert & Whitney, and scattered their goods through the streets -- demolished Mr. Gilbert's dwelling house, and broke the doors and windows of all the dwellings belonging to the Morminites, in the town of Independence. On the 2d, the mob commenced their ravages above Blue River, and fired five or six guns upon the Mormonites, but without effect -- the fire was returned, when one of the mob was wounded. On the 4th, the mob collected again, to the number of two or three hundred -- well armed. A part of these attempted to renew their depredations, but were met by a party of Mormonites, who fired upon and killed two or three, and wounded several -- among the killed was Hugh. L. Breazeale, Attorney at Law. On the 5th, another battle was fought, in which Mr. Hicks, a lawyer, and about twenty more of the mob, were severely wounded. Whatever may be the religious opinions of this people, they have certain rights, and ought to be protected from the lawless violence of mobs.


That the Notes, Book Accounts, and all other property of Robert Patterson & J. H. Lambdin, late Stationers and Paper Manufacturers, trading under the firm of R. Patterson & Lambdin, have been assigned to the subscribers this day for the benefit of creditors.
C. ANSHUTZ,       
Pittsburgh, Sept. 22, 1823 --

Note: A rare early mention of the Mormons in the Gazette, a newspaper which generally avoided reporting upon religious controversy and popular delusions.


The American Manufacturer.
Vol. ?                                   Pittsburgh, February ?, 1834.                                   No. ?


A few days since a friend presented us with the far-famed Book of Mormon, and as many of our readers have not yet seen it, we thought it would not be uninteresting to extract the matter on the title page; which explains the ground on which it claims divine origin. The work itself forms a medium octavo, of nearly six hundred pages, and the language throughout is an imitation of the Old and New Testament. Although Joseph Smith signs himself AUTHOR and proprietor of the work, a man who a few years since lived in this city, and was known to many of our citizens under the appellation of Elder Rigdon, is suspected of being the author. Be this however, as it may, the following affords a curious specimen of the means that may be successfully used to gull the credulous and the superstitious.


An account written by the hand of Mormon upon plates taken from the plates of Nephi.

Wherefore it is an abridgment of the Record of the People of Nephi; and also of the Lamanites; written to the Lamanites, which are a remnant of the House of Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile; written by way the commandment, and also by the spirit of Prophesy and Revelation. Written, and sealed up and hid up unto the Lord that they might not be destroyed; to come forth by the gift and power of God, unto the interpretation thereof; sealed by the hand of Moroni, and hid up unto the Lord, to come forth in due time by the way of Gentile; the interpretation thereof by the gift of God: an abridgement taken from the book of Ether.

Also, which is a Record of the People of Jared, which were scattered at the time, the Lord confounded the language of the people when they were a building a tower to get to Heaven: which is to shew unto the remnant of the House of Israel how great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off for ever: and also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting Himself unto all nations, and now if there be fault, [if] it be the mistake of men; wherefore condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the Judgement seat of Christ.   By Joseph Smith, Jr. Author and proprietor."

The plates from which it is stated Joseph Smith made the translation, were as he informs the public, found in the township of Manchester, Ontario co. New York, and when the translation was completed, vanished: according to the depositions of twelve witnesses, up into Heaven.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Northampton  Courier

Vol. V.                              Northampton, Pa., Wednesday, March 26, 1834.                              No. 14.

TRAGICAL EVENT. --The following tragical story of a Mormon preacher is given by the editor of the Independent Messenger on the authority of a gentleman from the western part of the State of New York. We shall expect to see it authenticated by the western papers, if it be true.

In a town where the delusion had made numerous converts the disciples were summoned to assemble in a wild place, circumjacent to a pond, on the water of which, a gifted elder announced that he should walk and preach -- The believers notified their doubting friends, and great things were anticipated. But it seems there were a few wicked Lamanites, who secretly set themselves to make mischief. Choosing their opportunity, just before the appointed day of miracles, they ascertained, by means of a raft, that the pond to be traversed was extremely shallow; a thin sheet of water covering a common swamp mire. This mire was found to be of a consistency nearly strong enough, except within a small central space, to sustain the weight of a man. They soon discovered a line of plank laid in a particular direction completely across the pond, sunk about four inches under the surface of the water. These were so fastened down, and locked together, and so daubed with mud, as to be quite imperceptible from the neighbouring declivities. They resolved on preventing the miracle by sawing the concealed bridge in pieces, just where it crosed the deepest and most dangerous part of the pond. This was done, and left seemingly as they found it. The expected day arrived, the congregation placed themselves as in an amphitheatre on the surrounding slopes, and the preacher appeared at the edge of the water. Presently he raised his stentoring voice, and as he paced his invisible bridge with a step apparently unearthly, taught and warned the people. All ears were open, and every eye strained from its socket with astonishment. But alas! just as the miracle worker seemed to have wrought conviction of his divine power in the wondering hearts of the multitude, lo! he stepped upon one of the detached pieces of plank, sallied side ways, and instantly plunged, floundering and sinking in the deep water mire. The mingling shrieks, screams, and shouts of the spectators, all in a rush of commotion, were appalling. The scene was indescribable. Even those who had spoiled the miracle were filled with horror when they actually saw the unfortunate impostor finally disappear. They had not dreamed that their trick would cost him more than the fright, discomfort, and disgrace of being submersed, and afterwards struggling ashore; all along taking it for granted, that his plank would enable him to swim, however it might treacherously fail him to walk. But the tale closes with the close of his life, and the consequent close of Mormonism in that vicinity. He sunk, and long before the confounded assembly were in a condition to afford him relief, perished a victim to his imposture.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Public Opinion -- Its Decision In All Free Governments Is As Safe, As It Is Final. --Cass.
Vol. IX.                                Montrose, Penn'a, Thursday, May 1, 1834.                                 No. ?


Mr. Ward, Sir, -- The Sect calling themselves Mormons, which started a few years since in Harmony in this County, have, you are aware brought themselves into public notice in many parts of our country. A gentleman in the state of Ohio, applied to Mr. ISAAC HALE, of Harmony, for a history of facts relating to the character of Joseph Smith, jun., author of the Book of Mormon, called by some, the Golden Bible, and the Mormons pronounced the letter a forgery; and said that ISAAC HALE was blind, and could not write his name. -- which was the cause of the taking [of] the accompanying affidavits.

Some of your subscribers, and particularly those at a distance, might feel obliged by your inserting the affidavits, then all might judge for themselves, as to the authenticity of the Revelation claimed to have been made to Joseph Smith, jun'r.     A SUBSCRIBER.
Great Bend 21, March 1834.

                  Painesville, Ohio, Feb. 4, 1834.
Mr. Isaac Hale, --
  Dear Sir, -- I have a letter with your signature, post-marked Dec. 22, 1833 -- addressed to D. P. Hurlbut, on the subject of Mormonism. I have taken all the letters and documents from Mr. Hurlbut, with a view to their publication. An astonishing mass has been collected by him and others, who have determined to lay open the imposition to the world. And as the design is to present facts, and those well authenticated, and beyond dispute, it is very desireable, that your testimony, whatever it may be, should come authenticated before a magistrate.

Your letter has already been pronounced a forgery by the Mormons, who say you are blind and cannot write, even your name. I hope no one have attempted to deceive us: deception and falsehood in this business will do no good in the end, but will help build up the monstrous delusion. We look upon your connexion with Smith, and your knowledge of facts as very important, in the chain of events, -- and if it be your desire to contribute what facts you know, in so desirable an undertaking, I hope you will without delay, have drawn up a full narative of every transaction wherein Smith, jun'r. is concerned and attest them before a magistrate -- This is our plan.

E. D. HOWE.          

Statement of Mr. Hale.

I first became acquainted with Joseph Smith, Jr. in November, 1825. He was at that time in the employ of a set of men who were called "money diggers;" and his occupation was that of seeing, or pretending to see by means of a stone placed in his hat, and his hat closed over his face. In this way he pretended to discover minerals and hidden treasure. His appearance at this time, was that of a careless young man -- not very well educated, and very saucy and insolent to his father. Smith, and his father, with several other 'money-diggers' boarded at my house while they were employed in digging for a mine that they supposed had been opened and worked by the Spaniards, many years since. Young Smith gave the 'money-diggers' great encouragement, at first, but when they had arrived in digging, to near the place where he had stated an immense treasure would be found -- he said the enchantment was so powerful that he could not see. They then became discouraged, and soon after dispersed. This took place about the 17th of November, 1825; and one of the company gave me his note for $12.68 for his board, which is still unpaid.

After these occurrences, young Smith made several visits at my house, and at length asked my consent to his marrying my daughter Emma. This I refused, and gave my reasons for so doing; some of which were, that he was a stranger, and followed a business that I could not approve: he then left the place. Not long after this, he returned, and while I was absent from home, carried off my daughter, into the state of New York, where they were married without my approbation or consent. After they had arrived at Palmyra N. Y., Emma wrote to me enquiring whether she could take her property, consisting of clothing, furniture, cows, &c. I replied that her property was safe, and at her disposal. In a short time they returned, bringing with them a Peter Ingersol, and subsequently came to the conclusion that they would move out, and reside upon a place near my residence.

Smith stated to me, that he had given up what he called "glass-looking," and that he expected to work hard for a living, and was willing to do so. He also made arrangements with my son Alva Hale, to go to Palmyra, and move his (Smith's) furniture &c. to this place. He then returned to Palmyra, and soon after, Alva, agreeable to the arrangement, went up and returned with Smith and his family. Soon after this, I was informed they had brought a wonderful book of Plates down with them. I was shown a box in which it is said they were contained, which had to all appearances, been used as a glass box of the common window glass. I was allowed to feel the weight of the box, and they gave me to understand, that the book of plates was then in the box -- into which, however, I was not allowed to look.

I inquired of Joseph Smith Jr., who was to be the first who would be allowed to see the Book of Plates? He said it was a young child. After this, I became dissatisfied, and informed him that if there was any thing in my house of that description, which I could not be allowed to see, he must take it away; if he did not, I was determined to see it. After that, the Plates were said to be hid in the woods.

About this time, Martin Harris made his appearance upon the stage; and Smith began to interpret the characters or hieroglyphics which he said were engraven upon the plates, while Harris wrote down the interpretation. It was said, that Harris wrote down one hundred and sixteen pages, and lost them. Soon after this happened, Martin Harris informed me that he must have a greater witness, and said that he had talked with Joseph about it -- Joseph informed him that he could not, or durst not show him the plates, but that he (Joseph) would go into the woods where the Book of Plates was, and that after he came back, Harris should follow his track in the snow, and find the Book, and examine it for himself. Harris informed me afterwards, that he followed Smith's directions, and could not find the Plates, and was still dissatisfied.

The next day after this happened, I went to the house where Joseph Smith Jr., lived, and where he and Harris were engaged in their translation of the Book. Each of them had a written piece of paper which they were comparing, and some of the words were "my servant seeketh a greater witness, but no greater witness can be given him." There was also something said about "three that were to see the thing" -- meaning I supposed, the Book of Plates, and that "if the three did not go exactly according to the orders, the thing would be taken from them." I enquired whose words they were, and was informed by Joseph or Emma, (I rather think it was the former) that they were the words of Jesus Christ. I told them then, that I considered the whole of it a delusion, and advised them to abandon it. The manner in which he pretended to read and interpret, was the same as when he looked for the money-diggers, with the stone in his hat, and his hat over his face, while the Book of Plates were at the same time hid in the woods!

After this, Martin Harris went away, and Oliver Cowdery came and wrote for Smith, while he interpreted as above described. This is the same Oliver Cowdery, whose name may be found in the Book of Mormon. Cowdery continued a scribe for Smith until the Book of Mormon was completed as I supposed and understood.

Joseph Smith Jr. resided near me for some time after this, and I had a good opportunity of becoming acquainted with him, and somewhat acquainted with his associates, and I conscientiously believe from the facts I have detailed, and from many other circumstances, which I do not deem it necessary to relate, that the whole "Book of Mormon" (so called) is a silly fabrication of falsehood and wickedness, got up for speculation, and with a design to dupe the credulous and unwary -- and in order that its fabricators may live upon the spoils of those who swallow the deception.   ISAAC HALE.

  Affirmed to and subscribed before me, March 20th, 1834.
      CHARLES DIMON, J. Peace.

State of Pennsylvania,
      Susquehana County, ss.

We, the subscribers, associate Judges of the Court of Common Pleas, in and for said county, do certify that we have been many years personally acquainted with Isaac Hale, of Harmony township in this county, who has attested the foregoing statement; and that he is a man of excellent moral character, and of undoubted veracity. Witness our hands.
      DAVIS DIMOCK.   March 21st, 1834.

I have been acquainted with Isaac Hale for fifty years, and have never know[n] him guilty of wilfully, or deliberately telling a falsehood. His character for truth and veracity has never been questioned. He has been Supervisor, Assessor and Collector, in this town -- has kept his own accounts, and made his returns, to the satisfaction of all concerned. But he is now old, and his arms are somewhat plasied, so that when he desires any thing written, he usually employs one of his sons, although he retains his sight, and is still capable of writing.
Affirmed and subscribed before me,
March 20, 1834.
      CHARLES DIMON, J. Peace.

State of Pennsylvania,
      Susquehana County, ss.

I do hereby certify, that I have been acquainted with Nathaniel Lewis, who affirmed to, and subscribed the above certificate, for these twenty-seven years, last past, and during the whole of that time he had veen a respectible minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, a man of veracity, and good moral character. Witness my hand, March 21st, 1834.     WM. THOMPSON.
      Associate Judge.

Elder Lewis also certifies and affirms in relation to Smith as follows:

"I have been acquainted with Joseph Smith Jr. for some time: being a relation of his wife, and residing near him, I have had frequent opportunities of conversation with him, and of knowing his opinions and pursuits. From my standing in the Methodist Episcopal Church, I suppose he was careful how he conducted or expressed himself before me. At one time, however, he came to my house, and asked my advice, whether he should proceed to translate the Book of Plates (referred to by Mr. Hale) or not. He said that God had commanded him to translate it, but he was afraid of the people: he remarked, that he was to exhibit the plates to the world, at a certain time, which was then about eighteen months distant. I told him I was not qualified to give advice in such cases. Smith frequently said to me that I should see the plates at the time appointed.

"After the time stipulated, had passed away, Smith being at my house was asked why he did not fulfil his promise, show the Golden Plates and prove himself an honest man? He replied that he, himself was deceived, but that I should see them if I were where they were. I reminded him then, that I stated at the time he made the promise, I was fearful "the enchantment would be so powerful" as to remove the plates, when the time came in which they were to be revealed.

"These circumstances and many others of a similar tenor, embolden me to say that Joseph Smith Jr. is not a man of truth and veracity; and that his general character in this part of the country, is that of an impostor, hypocrite and liar.
           NATHANIEL C. LEWIS."

Affirmed and subscribed, before me, March 20th, 1834.
             CHARLES DIMON, J. Peace.

We subjoin the substance of several affidavits, all taken and made before Charles Dimon Esq. by credible individuals, who have resided near to, and been well acquainted with Joseph Smith Jr. -- Illustrative of his chraracter and conduct, while in this region.

JOSHUA M'KUNE states, that he "was acquainted with Joseph Smith Jr. and Martin Harris, during their residence in Harmony, Penn'a., and knew them to be artful seducers;" -- That they informed him that "Smith had found a sword, breast-plate, and a pair of spectacles, at the time he found the gold plates" -- that these were to be shown to all the world as evidence of the truth of what was contained in those plates," and that "he (M'Kune) and others should see them at a specified time." He also states that "the time for the exhibition of the Plates, &c. has gone by, and he has not seen them." "Joseph Smith, Jr. told him that (Smith's) first-born child was to translate the characters, and hieroglyphics, upon the Plates into our language at the age of three years; but this child was not permitted to live to verify the prediction." He also states, that "he has been intimately acquainted with Isaac Hale twenty-four years, and has always found him to be a man of truth, and good morals."

HEZEKIAH M'KUNE states, that "in conversation with Joseph Smith Jr., he (Smith) said he was nearly equal to Jesus Christ; that he was a prophet sent by God to bring in the Jews, and that he was the greatest prophet that had ever arisen."

ALVA HALE, son of Isaac Hale, states, that Joseph Smith Jr. told him that his (Smith's) gift in seeing with a stone and hat, was a gift from God," but also states "that Smith told him at another time that this "peeping" was all d---d nonsense. He (Smith) was deceived himself but did not intend to deceive others; -- that he intended to quit the business, (of peeping) and labor for his livelihood." That afterwards, Smith told him, "he should see the Plates from which he translated the book of Mormon," and accordingly at the time specified by Smith, he (Hale) "called to see the plates, but Smith did not show them, but appeared angry." He further states, that he knows Joseph Smith Jr. to be an impostor, and a liar, and knows Martin Harris to be a liar likewise. That his father (Isaac Hale) can both see and write, the declarations of the Mormons tp the contrary notwithstanding; and that the letter sent by his father, Isaac Hale, to Dr. P. Hurlbut was written by Jesse Hale, his (I. Hale's) son, and was correct and true."

LEVI LEWIS states, that he has "been acquainted with Joseph Smith Jr. and Martin Harris, and that he has heard them both say, adultery was no crime. Harris said he did not blame Smith for his (Smith's) attempt to seduce Eliza Winters &c.;" -- Mr. Lewis says that he "knows Smith to be a liar; -- that he saw him (Smith) intoxicated at three different times while he was composing the Book of Mormon, and also that he has heard Smith when driving oxen, use language of the greatest profanity. Mr. Lewis also testifies that he heard Smith say he (Smith) was as good as Jesus Christ; -- that it was as bad to injure him as it was to injure Jesus Christ." "With regard to the plates, Smith said God had deceived him -- which was the reason he (Smith) did not show the plates."

NATHANIEL C.EWIS states "he has always resided in the same neighborhood with Isaac Hale, and knows him to be a man of truth, and good judgment." He further states, that "he has been acquainted with Joseph Smith Jr. and Martin Hassis, and knows them to be lying impostors."

SOPHIA LEWIS, certifies that she "heard a conversation between Joseph Smith Jr., and the Rev. James B. Roach, in which Smith called Mr. R. a d---d fool. Smith also said in the same conversation that he (Smith) was as good as Jesus Christ;" and that she "has frequently heard Smith use profane language. She states that she heard Smith say "the Book of Plates could not be opened under penalty of death by any other person but his (Smith's) first-born, which was to be a male." She says she "was present at the birth of this child, and that it was still-born and very much deformed."

We certify that we have long been acquainted with Joshua M'Kune, Hezekiah M'Kune, Alva Hale, Levi Lewis, Nathaniel C. Lewis and Sophia Lewis (the individuals furnishing the several statements above referred to) and that they are all persons of good moral character, and undoubted truth and veracity.
Abraham Dubois, J. Peace.
Jason Wilson, Post Master.
Herbert Leach.
Great Bend, Susquehanna Co., Penn'a.
March 20th, 1834.

Note 1: Mormonism had previously been discussed in the Montrose newspapers. See the Dec. 19, 1832 issue of the Herald and Watchman.

Note 2: For more on Isaac Hale's 1833 letter to D. P. Hurlbut (as mentioned above by E. D. Howe) see William Riley Hine's 1885 statement.


Allegheny  Democrat.

Vol. ?                                  Pittsburgh, Tuesday, May 27, 1834.                                   No. ?

The Mormonites in Motion. -- According to a late number of the Pennsylvania Telegraph, General Joe Smith, the leader of the Mormonites, has, accompanied by about five hundred of his followers, set out for the purpose of reconquering the "Holy Land" lately taken from them by the infidels of Missouri. Joe, it seems, has been stirring up his proselytes for some time, stating that it was the command of God that they should buckle on the armour of their faith, and enrol under the banners of mormonism; that their church was in danger; and that they must, if necessary, die the death of martyrdom. Accordingly, the deluded fanatics obeyed his summons; a great rise took place in the market for warlike implements, as each had provided himself with an abundent supply of pistols, dirks, swords, &c. The sword of Smith himself, it is said, is more than four feet long. The prophet, professes the expectation of sharing the fate of a martyr at the coming contest. We trust that the good people of Missouri will take care of these fanatics, and see that they do not violate the laws with impunity.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 49.                                Pittsburgh, Friday, June 20, 1834.                                 No. 370.


Difficulties are again anticipated between the Mormons and the citizens of Jackson county. A letter from Independence, under date of 31st May, says --

"The people here are in fearful expectation of a return of the Mormons to their homes. They have heard that a reinforcement is coming from Ohio, and that as soon as the Santa Fe Company of Traders leaves, the Mormons will recross the river from their temporary residence in Clay county; in which event, much blood will be shed. It is not to be wondered at, that they have chosen this as the 'promised land,' for it is decidedly the richest in the state." A merchant of Independence has, we understand, given orders for a piece of artillery to be sent to him immediately, to be used in defence of his property. The Mormonites are now on their way from Ohio. --
    St. Louis Republican.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 49.                                Pittsburgh, Saturday, June 21, 1834.                                 No. 371.


THE MORMONS. -- The last Springfield (Ill.) Journal announces the passage through that place, of a company of Mormons, 250 or 300 strong -- composed of able bodied men, with the single exception of one woman and a few children. -- They appeared to be generally armed. They did not state their destination, although frequent enquiries were made upon the subject. One of the leaders claimed to have performed more miracles than are mentioned in the Old and New Testaments.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 49.                                Pittsburgh, Tuesday, July 15, 1834.                                 No. 390.


The Mormons in Missouri. -- Current information from Missouri confirms the apprehensions entertained of the breaking out of a furious civil war between the Mormons and the residents of Jackson county, in the State of Missouri. The Fayette Monitor, of the 21st, says -- "by our next number we anticipate something (on the Mormon controversy) in an authentic form. The people may look for the worst."

The Missouri Enquirer, (printed at Liberty) of the 18th June says, that on the Monday preceding, a Committee on the part of the citizens of Jackson county, and one in behalf of the Mormon people, met at Liberty, to take into consideration the subject of compromising the difficulties which occurred in Jackson county, last Autumn. No compromise was effected, however, notwithstanding the exertions of the people of Clay county, (in which Liberty is situated,) a committee of whom were appointed to act as mediators. On the contrary, the excitement among the people was such, that the conference was, in consequence of it, obliged to be adjourned. The proposition made by the people of Jackson county to the Mormons, who were driven out of the county last autumn, and are about to re-enter it with additional numbers, in arms, is, to buy all the lands and improvements of the Mormons, at a valuation by disinterested arbitrators, to which valuation one hundred per cent. shall be added, to be paid within thirty days thereafter; the Mormons thereupon to leave the county, and not hereafter to attempt to enter it, individually, or collectively. Or, the citizens of Jackson county to sell their lands to the Mormons on exactly reciprocal terms. To neither of these propositions were the committee of the Mormons authorized to assent, nor does there appear any probability that either of them will be assented to.

The Enquirer, after narrating these facts, gives utterance to the following melancholy foreboding: "It is a lamentable fact, that the matter is about to involve the whole upper country in civil war and bloodshed. We cannot (if a compromise is not agreed to before Saturday next) tell how long it will be before we shall have the painful task of recording the awful realities of an exterminating war." The citizens of Jackson, it appears, though inferior in numbers to the Mormons, are resolved to dispute over every inch of ground and the Chairman of their committee declared, at the meeting in the Court House of Clay county, appealing to heaven for the truth of his assertion, that "they would dispute every inch of ground, burn every blade of grass, and suffer their bones to bleach on their hills, rather than the Mormons should return to Jackson county."   National Intelligencer.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Norristown  Free  Press.

Vol. V.                             Norristown, Pa., Wednesday, July 16, 1834.                             No. 32.


The intelligence from Missouri in relation to the Mormons and the citizens of Jackson County, is of a fearful character. It is apprehended that a civil war is about to break out. The Fayette Monitor of the 21st says --

"By our next number we anticipate something (on the Mormon controversy) in an authentic form. The People may look for the worst."

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

Notes: (forthcoming)



ns Vol. V.                         Williamsport, Pa., Wednesday, July 23, 1834.                         No. 42.


The Mormon excitement in Missouri growing to a head. The professors of Mormonism are concentrating, and are daily receiv[ing] reinforcements from Ohio, and the Western parts of New York, preparatory to taking possession of the lands on which they formerly lived in Jackson county. They are busily employed in procuring muskets, swords, and other implements of war, with which, if opposed, they expect to secure their point. It is said that they will be able to muster seven hundred men, and will then call upon the Governor, to reinstate them upon their lands in Jackson. The residents of Jackson are no less busy in electing officers, and forming themselves into military bodies. The Governor, to prevent the bloodshed of which there is every probability, has addressed a letter to the citizens of Jackson, advising them to effect a compromise, by purchasing the land of the Mormons, and paying them for the injuries received. In compliance with this advice, ten agents have been selected to meet the Mormons at Liberty. If the Mormons refuse to accede to reasonable terms, the Governor will not restore any to Jackson county, but such as hold lands. The WWestern papers express great apprehension as to the result.

Since the above was written, we learn that the delegations from the two parties met at Liberty early in June, and separated without effecting any compromise, notwithstanding the exertions of the people of Clay county, a committee of whom acted as moderators.

The proposition made by the people of Jackson county to the Mormons, who were driven out of the county last Autumn, and are about to re-enter it with additional numbers, in arms, is to buy all the lands and improvements of the Mormons, at a valuation of disinterested arbitrators, to which valuation one hundred per cent shall be added, to be paid within thirty days thereafter; the Mormons thereupon to leave the county, and not hereafter to enter it, individually or collectively. Or the citizens of Jackson county to sell their lands to the Mormons on exactlty reciprocal terms. To neither of these propositions were the Committee of the Mormons authorized to assent, nor does there appear any probability that either of them will be assented to.

The Missouri Inquirer comments on the matter, in the following melancholy strain:

"It is a lamentable fact, that this matter is about to involve the whole upper country in civil war and bloodshed. We can not (if a compromise is not agreed to before Saturday next) tell how long it will be before we shall have the painful task of recording the awful realities of an extermination war."

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

On the evening after the conference, a ferry boat on the Missouri, sunk when full on Mormons [sic - non-Mormons?]. Five persons were drowned, and there was no evident cause for the accident. It is attributed by the Mormons, to a cruel trick on the part of their enemies, and has greatly aggravated the existing hostility.   Pennsylvanian.

Note: Note: See also


Vol. XV.                                 Erie, Pa., Thursday, Aug. 14, 1834.                                 No.?

Richmond, Wayne Co. Indiana,
          July 26, 1834.

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

Notes: (forthcoming)


ns Vol. 2.                                Pittsburgh, Thursday, August 14, 1834.                                 No. 14.


Gen. Joe Smith, the leader of the Mormons, with his army of deluded followers, we learn from the Painesville Telegraph, arrived at his head quarters in Geauga county, last Saturday, from the "promised land" in Missouri, after an absence of three months without accomplishing the object of his expedition. --   Cleveland Her.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                                 Montrose, Pa., Thursday, April 16, 1835.                                  No. ?

(Mormons in South Hadley and Northampton, Massachusetts -- under construction.)


Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                                Montrose, Pa., Thursday, Oct. 29, 1835.                                 No. ?

Heathen Temple on Lake Erie. -- That bold-faced imposter, Joe Smith, of Golden Bible and Mormon memory, has caused his poor fanatic followers to erect on the shores of Lake Erie, near Painesville, (Ohio,) a stone building 58 by 78 feet, with dormer windows, denominating the same the "Temple of the Lord." We should think this work of iniquity extorted out of the pockets of his dupes, as it reflects its shadows over the blue lake, would make the waters crimson with shame at the prostitution of its beautiful banks to such unhallowed purposes.

Note: This short piece on the Kirtland Temple was reprinted from a mid-October issue of M. M Noah's New York Evening Star.


Northampton  Whig

Vol. VII.                                Northampton, Pa., Thurs., Nov. 5, 1835.                                 No. 44.


Palmyra Wayne Co., N. Y. Aug. 16, 1834.

Dear Sir, -- Your letter of the 5th ult. requesting information concerning the people called Mormonites, and concerning their origin and leaders, has been received.

I begin with the leader 'Joe,' as he is and has been called here for twenty years past. For ten years he has been a man of questionable character, of intemperate habits, and a noted money digger. He lived in a sequestered neighborhood, where his loquacity gave him a reputation, with some, for being smart; these he flattered to assist him in digging for money. They soon saw his deceptions, and got out of patience with him. To avoid their sneers, Joe pretended that he had found, by digging, a wonderful curiosity, which he kept concealed.

After Joe had told different stories, and had called the pretended curiosity by different names, he at length called it The golden plates of the Book of Mormon.

As Smith was from time to time questioned, his story assumed a more uniform statement.

In the mean time Joe visited a visionary fanatic, by the name of Harris, and told him he had received some golden plates from the Lord, with directions to call on Martin Harris for fifty dollars, to enable him to go to Pennsylvania, and there translate the contents of those plates. At the same time he affirmed to Harris, that the Lord had told him that he and Martin Harris were the only honest men in the world. Joe had doubtless heard Martin frequently say this of himself. This he knew was the assailable point in his visionary mind. The delicious bait was greedily swallowed. The fifty dollars were soon put into the hands of Joe, and he cleared for Pennsylvania.

Martin Harris was then worth five or six thousand dollars, and the whole brotherhood of the Smiths were in very low worldly circumstances.

The Smiths used Martin's money freely; some other men, who had a great dislike to honest labor, about that time joined Joe in his acts of deception. In that reinforcement was a ready writer, by name Cowdry, and a Whitney, who declared he had once been in heaven, who assisted Joe in writing the Book of Mormon, as a pretended translation of the golden plates which Smith affirmed he had been directed by the Spirit of the Lord to dig from the earth. The whole was done in the most secret manner. At the same time, Smith affirmed that it would be immediate death for any one to see those plates besides himself and the writers of the Book of Mormon. Poor Martin through his lack of faith, and his having at a certain time, refused to hand over to Joe more money, was excluded from a view of the plates.

Previous to that base course of imposition and deception, Martin Harris was an industrious farmer, but unfortunate in his choice of a wife; or rather she was unfortunate in her choice of a husband. It is a truth of public notoriety that Martin Harris, who is the second in authority among the Mormonites, who gives to their preachers license to preach and authority to put their proselytes under water, has lain violent hands on his wife, and so cruelly and frequently whipped and beaten her, that she had to seek refuge from his abuse and cruelty, among her relatives. To this day he is considered, in this section of the country, in domestic matters, a base scoundrel; in religion, a dupe to the Smiths; in all things, an unlearned, conceited hypocrite. He paid for printing five thousand copies of the Book of Mormon, which exhausted all his funds. In Ohio he has attempted to get another wife; some one wrote from Ohio and ascertained that his long and greatly abused wife is still alive in the vicinity of Palmyra, and thus defeated him in his iniquity.

All the Mormanites have left this part of our State. I know of no one in this section of country who ever gave them credence. Joe Smith dare not come into this region from a fear of his creditors, from whom he absconded to avoid paying their just demands. He has had a stone, into which, when it is placed in a hat, he pretended to look, and to see chests of money buried in the earth. He is a fortune teller, and he says he can tell where stolen goods go; probably too well.

Harris prophesied that this village was to have been destroyed by lightning more than two years ago. Some other things, he in like manner said were then to have happened. As his predictions have all failed, he is now seldom seen in this region. He knows that he is considered a false prophet and an imposter.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Spectator and Freemanís Journal.

Vol. I.                                Montrose, Pa., Tues., June 14, 1836.                                 No. 1.

The Mormons are moving westward, like the Star of Empire, and we perceive by the "Far West" a paper published in the extreme occidental portion of Missouri, that some 1500 or two thousand of these respectable citizens are shortly expected in that region. They have "taken up their line of march" from Kirtland County, in Ohio; carrying with them bag, baggage and guns. The Missourians had called public meetings and manifested a dispo- sition to meet the "latter day saints" musket in hand, and prevent them from getting foot hold. They (the legitimate inhabitants,) have very little idea of being overrun in this way by the inhabitants of Mount Zion, as these creatures so modestly style themselves.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                                Montrose, Pa., Thurs., Aug. 4, 1836.                                 No. ?


THE MORMONS. -- Scarcely a day passes that we do not see our roads strewed with these deluded people, marching like Pilgrims to their promised rest, under the influence of their leader, Joe Smith, who we learn promises to be with them this fall. The real object of their concentrating their forces in the neighborhood of Jackson county, cannot be learned from them, so well are they instructed. -- But few of the families seem to have much property to retard their march onward, unless women and children may be styled property; each wagon seems to be filled with these latter articles.

Some of these people pretend, that at or before next fall, the citizens of Jackson county will be glad to sell out their lands and go off; other of whom, we are told, say that they will be permitted to occupy Jackson county by the special interposition if Providence, and that those who now oppose them strongest will be converted to the religion of Joe Smith. -- Journal.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. V. - No. 11.     Pub. by S. B. Lewis, Kingston, Lucerne Co., Pa. Aug. 17, 1836.     Whole No. 329.

By a Correspondent of the N. Y. Commercial Advertiser.

    It appears that Mormonism owes its origin to an individual named Solomon Spalding, who wrote the historical part of the Book of Mormon, or, as it is sometimes called, Bible. But it was done more than twenty years ago and without the least intention, on the part of the author of framing a system of delusion for his fellow men. This Solomon Spalding was a native of Ashford in Connecticut, where he was distinguished, at an early age, for his devotion to study, and for the superiority of his success over that of his schoolmates. At a proper age, he received an academic education at Plainfield and afterward commenced the study of law at Windham. But his mind becoming inclined to religious subjects he abandoned the study of law, and went to Dartmouth college for the purpose of preparing himself for the ministry. After receiving the degree of A. M., he was regularly ordained, and continued in the ministry for about three years; but for some reason not known, he abandoned that profession and established himself as a merchant at Cherry Valley, in the State of New York. Failing in trade, he removed to Conneaut in the State of Ohio, where he built a forge; but again failed, and was reduced to great poverty. While in this condition he endeavored to turn his education to account, by writing a book, the sale of which he hoped would enable him to pay his debts and support his family.

    The subject selected for this purpose was one well suited to his education. The work [w]as to be a historical novel, containing a history of the aborigines of America, who according to the notion of those who refer all questions of history, science, and morals to the scriptures, were supposed to be descended from the Jews.

    The title adopted was "The Manuscript Found;" and the history commenced with one Lehi, who lived in the reign of Zedekiah, King of Judea, six hundred years before the Christian era. Lehi, being warned by God of the dreadful calamities that were impending over Jerusalem, abandoned his possessions and fled with his family to the wilderness. After wandering about the desert for a considerable time, they arrived upon the border of the Red Sea and embarked on board a vessel. In this they floated about a long time on the ocean, but at last reached America and landed upon the shores of Darien. From the different branches of this family were made to spring up the various aboriginal nations of the continent. From time to time they rose to high degrees of civilization; but desolating wars arose in turn, by which nations were overthrown and reduced again to barbarism. In this way the condition of the Indians, at the time of Columbus's discovery, was accounted for; and the ancient mounds, fortifications, temples, and other vestiges of former civilization, found in North and South America, were explained. The Governments of these nations were represented to be theocratic, like that of the Jews from whom they descended, and their national transactions were consequently regulated by their prophets and priests who received their commands directly from the deity. In order, therefore, that the style of the romance might be suited to the subject, and to the popular notions of the people, the author of The Manuscript Found, adopted that of the Bible -- the old English style of James the [F]irst.

    When the work was ready for the press, Spalding endeavored to get the pecuniary assistance necessary for its publication; but his affairs were in so low a condition that he could not succeed. He then removed to Pittsburg, and afterward to Amity in Pennsylvania, where he died. The widow of Spalding, states that while at Pittsburg, she believes the manuscript was carried to the printing house of Peterson and Lambdin; but how it afterwards fell into the hands of Joseph Smith, Jr., by whom the Golden Bible was published, cannot be positively proved. Circumstances, however, have been traced, sufficiently strong to convince any one that this occurred through the agency of one Sidney Rigdon, who was one of the first preachers of Mormon faith. The manner, however, in which this occurred, is of little importance. It has been positively proved, since the Mormon Bible began to attract attention, that the historical part, which is the frame work of the whole scheme, is the same as that contained in The Manuscript Found of Solomon Spalding. Among the many respectable witnesses who have certified to this fact, are a brother and also a sister-in-law of the author.

    The next principal character in the humbug of Mormonism, is Joseph Smith, Junr., the great high priest, prophet and founder of the religion. Joseph Smith, the father of the prophet, emigrated from Royalton in Vermont with his family, about the year 1820, and settled in Manchester in the State of New York. Young Joseph was at this time 15 years of age. The family appears to have been very little respected by its neighbors, and superstitious. They believed firmly in the appearance of ghosts, the power of witches, and telling of fortunes. -- And from time to time they were engaged, in conformity with dreams and other signs and wonders, in digging in solitary places for treasures, supposed to have been hidden by Kidd or the Spaniards. Young Joseph became by degrees very much skilled in the arts of necromancy and Juggling. He had the power of using the diving rod and of discovering wonders in a peep stone; and having had the address to collect about him a gang of idle and credulous young men, he employed them in digging for hidden treasures. It was afterwards pretended that in one of the excavations thus made, the mysterious plates, from which the Golden Bible were copied were found. About the year 1825, it was said by the family that Joseph began to have communication [with? angles? and] spirits by which he learned many things that were hidden to the senses and understandings of ordinary men. Among other things, he was informed by an angel of certain plates of unspeakable value and of the manner in which they might be obtained. But as id usual in such cases, he was opposed and thwarted for a long time by an evil spirit, and it was not until 1829 that they were finally obtained. The discovery was then noised about the neighborhood by the family, who said that the plates contained a history of the aborigines of this country, written in "reformed Egyptian characters," which could not be read by any one of the present day except by the power of God. Many proselytes were made among the credulous; but none of them were permitted at that time, to see the plates, for it was said by the prophet that no one could look upon them and live. The translation was commenced by the prophet himself, who was enabled to read the "reformed Egyptian" by the aid of the "peep-stone." This was done by putting the stone in a hat or box, and then by applying his face the prophet was enabled to read one word at a time, which he pronounced aloud to an amanuensis. After continuing in this manner for some time, said he was commanded by God to remove into Pennsylvania, for the purpose of escaping from certain evil minded men who were instigated by the devil to destroy him. There the translation was completed. and the plates were buried again in the earth, by the command of the Lord, in some place unknown to all.

    In 1830, the Golden Bible, containing about 600 pages, appeared in print, having appended to it the testimony of eleven witnesses to prove its divine origin. The three most important of these witnesses are Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery, and David Whitman; the first two of whom acted as amanuenses of Smith. These men declared upon oath that the golden plates from which the Mormon Bible has been translated, were shown to them by an angel and that they know the translation to have been made by the power of God, because it was so declared to them by the deity himself. Of the eight remaining witnesses, four were brothers of Whitman and three of the family of Smith.

    The Mormon Bible, as has been already stated, professes to furnish a history of part of the Jewish nation. It is pretended that Lehi, who escaped from Jerusalem 600 years before the Christian era, took with him the plates which contained an engraved record of his tribe; and that these plates being transmitted from father to son, the records of the people were continued, until the fifth century, when the tribe being nearly exterminated, the plates were sealed up and hidden in the earth, where they were afterward found by Joseph the prophet.

    According to these records, prophets and generals arose from time to time of great renown among the people, and the various events which commonly took place in the progress of nations occurred in their regular order. By the prophets the most prominent coming events were foretold, especially the coming and crucifixion of Christ, the early condition of the Christian church, the reformation, and the coming of the prophet Joseph in later times. A great many miracles were wrought, of course, to prove the divine authority of the prophecies. The generals had occupation enough in the various wars which arose among the nations descended from the family of Lehi. In one of their military expeditions an army was led into a distant country, which they found entirely desolated by the ravages of war, and filled with the bones of men and beasts. Here, among the ruins, they found some golden plates, containing a record of the people of the Lord, who had escaped the confusion at Babel, and had been conducted by the Lord through Asia to the sea, and finally to America. These people having been entirely exterminated in wars, their records were preserved and sealed up with the records of the people of Lehi.

    Before the publication of the Mormon Bible, many ignorant and credulous persons had been prepared to receive it by the wonderful stories related by Smith. It was accordingly received as soon as it issued from the press, by a sufficient number to form the nucleus of a new community of devotees. The arguments principally relied upon at first to increase the number of proselytes, were the internal evidence of the book itself, and the striking exhibitions of the will and power of God through Joseph Smith. In addition to the extraordinary condescension of the deity in sending angels and spirits to hold communication with him, it seemed marvelous in the eyes of the people, that a man who could not read or write, and who was consequently unacquainted with the science and literature of the world, should be able to produce such a work -- a work wonderful in itself, and still more so for having been translated from a language no longer understood by the world, and found engraved on plates which had been buried for centuries in the earth. Smith is represented as a man exceedingly well fitted for the task he had to perform. For although ignorant, he possessed strong natural powers of mind, an inventive genius, easy address, fascinating manners, a mild and sober exterior, and was withal an excellent judge of human feelings and passions. Soon after the Mormon Bible was published, a member of the congregation of fanatics in Ohio, called Campbellites, happened to be travelling in the State of New York, where he heard of the golden plates. Urged by curiosity he called upon Smith to make inquires, and was converted to the new faith. On his return he was accompanied by missionaries who had been commissioned by Smith to convert the Indians. And on arriving in Ohio, the new religion, its missionaries, and its wonders, were presented to the Campbellites. These people having been for a long time under the [do]minion of enthusiasm, and having fancied that the millennium or some other grand event was about to happen, were in the right condition to receive the new revelation. A great many of them were converted, and with them, Sidney Rigdon, their preacher -- a man of powerful eloquence and of great popularity among them.

The Mormonites. -- This fanatical sect is increasing so formidably in Missouri, as to alarm all the other citizens of the state. Their great influx from Ohio and Illinois into Missouri has lately called forth several public meetings in the latter state, to arrest their influence, more particularly over the Indians on the frontier. Proclaiming themselves the friends of the red men, and teaching them both by argument and by prophesy, that they are destined by Heaven to inherit the land of their fathers in common with the white race, they are believed to have secured the zealous friendship of many powerful tribes. The committee of a public meeting lately held at Liberty, Clay county Missouri, stated that the Mormonites were popularly charged with keeping up a constant communication with the frontier tribes, which the settlers were apprehensive might lead to sanguinary Indian outrages in the south, or at least to a civil war between these bold fanatics and the older settlers.

Note 1: This August 1836 article (originally published in New York City during July 1836) stands in time about mid-way between the appearance of Eber D. Howe's Mormonism Unvailed, published in Ohio at the end of 1834 and LeRoy Sunderland's series of articles on Mormonism printed in the Zion's Watchman newspaper in New York City in 1838. From 1838-39 forward lengthy newspaper articles (along with tracts and pamphlets) on Mormon origins become increasingly common. In mid-1836 such reporting was still relatively rare.

Note 2: The writer of the article obviously made use of Howe's book, but he avoided dwelling upon the more scandalous accusations regarding the conduct of the Mormon Smith family at Palmyra, NY. And, while he substantially paraphrased Howe concerning the Spalding authorship claims for the Book of Mormon, the writer's reporting on the matter is relatively restrained here also. He sticks to the main points of the Spalding-Rigdon scenario without engaging in personal speculation or elaboration. The entire article is generally straight forward, economical in its verbiage, and disinterested in its overall style and manner of presenting information and allegations. The article documents one example (and perhaps a fairly representative example) of how the Mormon origins story was being presented by the Eastern newspapers while the Mormon headquarters was still located at Kirtland. It also provides a useful indication of how and what Spalding authorship claims were being broadcast by the popular press prior to the appearance of the Matilda Spalding Davision "letter" of April 1839.


Vol. ?                                Montrose, Pa., Aug. 25, 1836.                                 No. ?


THE MORMONITES. -- This fanatical sect is increasing so formidably in Missouri, as to alarm all the other citizens of the state. Their great influx from Ohio and Illinois into Missouri has lately called forth several public meetings in the latter state, to arrest their influence, more particularly over the Indians on the frontier. Proclaiming themselves the friends of the red men, and teaching them both by argument and by prophesy, that they are destined by Heaven to inherit the land of their fathers in common with the white race, they are believed to have secured the zealous friendship of many powerful tribes. The committee of a public meeting lately held at Liberty, Clay county Missouri, stated that the Mormonites were popularly charged with keeping up a constant communication with the frontier tribes, which the settlers were apprehensive might lead to sanguinary Indian outrages in the south, or at least to a civil war between these bold fanatics and the older settlers.

Note: This news report was probably taken from a New York City newspaper. It was also published by the Wyoming Republican on August 17th. Another reprint in the Wyoming Republican of that same date was the "History of Mormonism" article from the N. Y. Commercial Advertiser. That lengthy article was evidently reprinted in the Independent Volunteer on or about September 15th.



Vol. I.                                  Pittsburgh, Tuesday, March 14, 1837.                                   No. 17.

Kirtland, -- Mormonism, &c.

In the last No. of this paper, I promised my readers an account of my visit to Kirtland, Geauga co., Ohio, a place of considrable notoriety, as being the principal seat of that class of people denominated by themselves "Latter Day Saints," but more familiarly known abroad by the name of Mormons. I will now fulfil my promise, though my limits will not permit me to be very particular. Kirtland is situated nine miles from Chardon, the county seat, and four miles from the Lake, on (I believe) the main branch of the Chagrine river. The land, like the Western Reserve in general, is rich and fertile. Six years ago, there were but a handful of buildings in the town, farming being the principal employment of the inhabitants in that region. It was about this time, if I mistake not, that the leaders of this sect commenced operations in this place, and made a considerable purchase of land, and have since that time increased to the number of about four thousand. They now own most of the land on two square miles, which is laid out into lots and streets in the style of modern cities, and most of the lots are sold. Hundreds of dwellings are erected and being erected, mostly small frames, but some of them large and quite elegant.

Four years ago, by the commandment of God through the prophet Joseph (as they believe) they commenced the building of a temple of worship, the outside of which is now entirely completed, and also the interior, with the exception of one apartment. It is a splendid edifice, (the dimensions I have forgotten) built of rough stone and handsomely stuccoed, which gives it a very rich appearance. The temple has two principal apartments for meetings, either of which will hold more than a thousand persons. Each of these apartments are capable of being divided into four separate rooms, by means of curtains which are let down from the ceiling above by the help of windlasses. Each apartment contains six pulpits, three at each end, arranged like a flight of stairs. Those at one end of the temple are for the 'Ironic Priesthood,' and those at the other for the Melchisedec Priesthood. The slips and seats are so constructed that the audience can face either way, as the occasion may require.

The third, or attic story of the temple is divided into five rooms for schools, where the various branches of English, Latin, Greek and Hebrew languages are now taught to a large number of students. The actual expense of this building, I believe, is not known, as much of the labor was performed by themselves, without any accurate account. But, when completed, it cannot amount to less than sixty thousand dollars.

The people would undoubtedly be considered superstitious, and, in some respects, I think they are so; yet I have seldom, if ever, been treated with greater kindness by any denomination of Christians, or seen manifested more liberality of sentiment and Christian charity, than by the 'Latter Day Saints,' during my visit among them. They seem to place implicit confidence in the prophesies of Joseph Smith, and the new revelation, and to depend much upon visions, &c., in which I have not the least particle of faith; yet I have the charity to believe that many of them, at least, are sincere in their professions, and I hope that all of them are. I have no doubt that many of them verily believe that this is the commencement of the gathering of the saints of God on earth, and that the glorious millenium is near at hand. It may be so -- but there is one cirumstance that augurs rather unfavorably for such a conclusion. That is, they seem to have too much worldly wisdom connected with their religion -- too great a desire for the perishable riches of this world -- holding out the idea that the kingdom of Christ is to be composed of "real estate, herds, flocks, silver, gold," &c. as well as of human things. But let this pass.

I must not omit to notice that Mr. Edson Beals of Cherry Valley, and Dr. James McKelvey of Paris, Ohio, accompanied me to this, somewhat interesting city, looked upon by the citizens as one of the "Stakes of Zion," not the Zion or Holy City itself, for that, the reader should know is to be built at Independence, Mo. at some future day, when the Lord shall enable them to "stretch forth the curtain of their habitations -- to lengthen their cords and strengthen their slakes."

We had not the pleasure of seeing Joseph Smith Jr. Sidney Rigdon, or O. Cowdery, three leading men of this sect, as they had gone to Michigan on business for their Banking Institution, of which I will not speak at the present. But we were hospitably entertained and kindly treated by Elder Pratt and others, who spent most of their time while we were there, in showing us the "buildings of the temple," and giving us instruction of their new religion and I assure you, dear reader, we so far imitated the Athenians of old, as to spend most of the time in nothing else, but "to "hear some new thing." They kindly offered us the use of their Church for an evening meeting, and took it upon themselves to give the information through the town -- and, though the night was dark and rainy, and the mud very deep, a congregation of four or five hundred assembled and gave devout attention to two discourses from Br. McKelvey and myself, which were followed by some remarks from Br. Beales, Elder Pratt taking part in the services.

On the whole, our visit to Kirtland, was a pleasant one, and notwithstanding I am as far from believing their doctrine as any person can be, yet I must say that they manifested a spirit of liberality, and Christianity, which many of their bitterest persecutors would do well to imitate.
  S. A. D.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                                Montrose, Pa., Thursday, July 27, 1837.                                 No. ?

(article on the Mormons -- under construction.)


Notes: (forthcoming)


Lewiston  Republican.
& Working Men's Advocate.

Vol. ?                           Lewiston, Mifflin, Pa., Tuesday, August 29, 1837.                           No. ?


We learn that a deciple of Joe Smith has been lecturing and preaching for some weeks past in the neighborhood of Hoover's Mill, in Peters township, in this county, and has succeeded in converting a number of persons to the Mormon faith, whom he baptised, by emersion, on Sabbath the 13th instant. -- Chambersburg Repository.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XIX - No. 14.                        Thursday, June 7, 1838.                        While No. 950.


DIED -- In Springfield, Erie Co. Pa. on Saturday the 19th ult. at one o'clock in the morning, Mr. OLIVER SMITH, aged 71 years.

Mr. S. emigrated to this country from one of the New England States, in the year 1801. He endured many privations, it being at that day a matter almost impossible to obtain the necessaries of life; and where now are seen the splendid city and flourishing town, nothing was heard but the howling of Wolves and the hooting of Owls, with here and there a sturdy woodsman that pressed forward amidst all the privations of the country, to cultivate the land and promote civilization. By his industry and frugality and the help of an overruling Providence, Mr. S. became a wealthy and respectable farmer. He was beloved by all that knew him and an active member in society. He has left an aged widow to mourn the loss of a kind husband, and a numerous circle of children to mourn the loss of a beloved parent. He bore his last illness with christian fortitude, and died in the hope of a glorious immortality beyond the grave.   Com.

Note 1: Oliver Smith, Jr. (1767-1838) was one of the eight "Conneaut witnesses" whose statements are featured in E. D. Howe's 1834 book, Mormonism Unvailed. There Mr. Smith says: "When Solomon Spalding first came to this place, he purchased a tract of land, surveyed it out and commenced selling it. While engaged in this business, he boarded at my house, in all nearly six months. All his leisure hours were occupied in writing a historical novel, founded upon the first settlers of this country..." Since Solomon Spalding settled along the Conneaut Creek ("this place") in 1809, it seems that the "six months" period in which he boarded with the Oliver Smith family, in West Springfield, PA, was during the last months of that year, and perhaps during the first part of 1810.

Note 2: In 1891 Anna, a daughter of Oliver Smith, said: "Father, Oliver Smith, came to Springfield, Pa., 1798. Well remember S. Spaulding, who frequently came to our house and remained several days. There was but few settlers, and the latch string always hung out..." The daughter is mistaken as to the date of Oliver's migration to Pennsylvania, but the obituary date of 1801 is correct. Oliver Smith is shown as living in Springfield township, Erie Co., Pennsylvania in the 1810, 1820, and 1830 Federal Census returns, but not in the Springfield listing for 1800. Apparently he came from Massachusetts, with his second wife Betsy Lathrop, and settled at the mouth of Crooked Creek, in Springfield township, upon a piece of property which he purchased from John Rudd, Sr., an old acquaintance of Solomon Spalding's from Otsego Co., N. Y. In 1805 Spalding traded land in Springfield to John Rudd and sometime after Rudd had moved there, that same year, he sold a parcel of the property to his neighbor, Oliver Smith (probably the sale to Smith was in about 1806-07).



Vol. III.                            Harrisburgh, Pa., Wednesday, October 17, 1838.                            No. ?

From the St. Louis Republican.

We have nothing later from Daviess county than the 14th. At that time the militia from Clay, Saline, Jackson and some other counties were collecting in Daviess and Carroll, but no decisive steps had been taken on either side. We copy below an article from the Western Star, (published at Liberty, in Clay county,) of the 14th, which shows the origin and progress of the difficulty. We have heard a number of verbal reports, but nothing that can be relied on, so we prefer waiting for more positive intelligence. The remarks of the Star are as follows:

"We desire in the statement we are about to make to give a true narrative of the causes which have produced the difficulty between the Mormons and the citizens of Daviess county, as well as to give all that has occurred respecting the movements of both parties since the first difficulty took place.

At the election in Daviess county, a citizen objected to a Mormon's voting, which brought about angry words. -- The Mormon was struck with a club, and in return used the same weapon himself, and before the affair terminated, several on both sides were engaged, and knives freely used. No person was killed, but some cut and bruised.

The excitement did not terminate with the fight. Shortly afterwards, Joe Smith, Lyman Wight, and other Mormon leaders, collected a large force in Caldwell, and went into Daviess county to protect the Mormons residing there. They went armed and equipped for war, but they say their intentions were peace; and if what we hear be true, respecting the paper which they presented to Adam Black, a justice of the peace, for his signature, a very different face has been placed upon the transaction to what B. has sworn to. The paper Smith presented to Black was to the effect that, inasmuch as it was anticipated that difficulties would grow out of the fight at the election, between the Mormons and the citizens of Daviess, he (Black) as a Justice of the Peace pledged himself that he would take lawful notice of any unlawful proceedings of either party -- Smith representing to Black, that if he would sign such a paper, he would show it to his own people and to others, and that it would have an effect to prevent difficulties.

We understand that the facts elicited at the trial of Smith and Wight (who gave themselves up, and were heard before the Judge of our Circuit Court last week) completely stamped the certificate of Black, Comstock, and others with falsehood. After the trial of Smith and Wight, it was believed that difficulties had ceased, but not so. The people of Daviess county had sent letters and messengers to other counties in order to raise men to drive all the Mormons out of Daviess, and many from other counties had gone to their aid. The Mormons seeing this, made preparations also. When, seeing the crisis at which things were arriving, the Judge of our Circuit, Hon. Austin A. King, directed General D. R. Atchison to raise 1000 men in his Division, and forthwith march them into Daviess, to keep the peace, and prevent bloodshed.

Two hundred men from Clay, under the command of Brig. Gen. Doniphen, Major Lightburne, and Capt's Moss, Whittington, and Price, marched out on yesterday and the day before.

We are not apprehensive that any thing serious will take place, though both parties have become much excited. Both sides are to blame, but our opinion is that the Mormons are the aggressors. Until the 4th of July, we heard of no threat being made against them, in any quarters. The people had all become reconciled to let them remain where they are, and indeed were disposed to lend them a helping hand. But one Sidney Rigdon, in order to show himself off as a great man, collected them all together in the town of Far West, on the 4th July, and there delivered a speech containing the essence of, if not treason itself. This speech was not only published in the newspapers, but handbills were struck for distribution in Caldwell and Daviess counties. We have not the speech now before us, but we recollect amongst other threats, that the author said: "We will not suffer any vexatious law-suits with our people, nor will we suffer any person to come into our streets and abuse them." Now, if this is not a manifestation of a disposition to prevent the force of law, we do not know what is. It is also true, that when the Mormons left this county, they agreed to settle in, and confine themselves to a district of country, which has since been formed into the county of Caldwell; but they have violated that agreement, and are spreading over Daviess, Clinton, Livingston and Carroll. Such a number had settled in Daviess, that the old inhabitants were apprehensive they would be governed soon, by the Revelations of the great Prophet, Joe Smith, and hence their anxiety to rid themselves of such an incubus.

So many reports are in circulation relative to battles fought, and men on both sides being killed and captured, that it is hard to get at the truth. We are certain, however, that up to yesterday, no person had been killed. Three men from Ray county were captured by the Mormons, and some 50 guns taken. The men are in confinement, (or rather, are guarded and kept,) in the town of Far West; and it is said the people of Daviess have captured one Mormon.

Gen. Doniphan, in some remarks made to the company which went out from this county said, that the men and arms captured by the Mormons would be demanded, as also the Mormon captive in Daviess. Should the Mormons refuse to give up the men and arms, the worst consequences must follow.

We hope and believe they will not be so blinded as to refuse; but if they should, we can tell them, that "war to the knife" will be waged against them, and they will no longer be suffered to remain in the State. We rely greatly upon the standing and influence of Generals Atchison and Doniphan, as well as the other gentlemen who have gone out, to bring this matter to a peaceable termination.

Notes: (forthcoming)


ns Vol. 6.                                Pittsburgh, Friday, October 19, 1838.                                 No. 71.


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

Notes: (forthcoming)


ns Vol. 6.                                Pittsburgh, Thursday, October 25, 1838.                                 No. 76.


Further from the Mormons. -- We learn by the Pirate, which arrived at noon to-day, that, on Tuesday night, the anti-Mormons were still in force near Dewitt. The Pirate lay at Greenville, seven miles above Dewitt, on Tuesday night. At that time, information had come in, that the anti-Mormons had given their opponents notice that they must take up their line of march next morning, at 8 o'clock. This the Mormons refused to do. It was reported, also, that the Anti-Mormons had sent word to the Mormons that, if they would collect their women and children in one house -- that house should not be fired on. -- As the Pirate passed down on Wednesday morning, by Dewitt, a flag was seen flying over one of the largest houses there. From all appearances, there is reason to believe that a conflict took place on Wednesday.   -- St. Louis Repub.


The American Democrat, or, Hints on the Social and Civil Relations of the United States of America, by J. Fennimore Cooper.

Just received, and for sale by
No. 78, Market street.          

Note: Beginning Oct. 25th, [Robert] Patterson and [Alexander] Ingram also advertised for sale Companion to the Bible. Patterson's "old stand" at the corner of 3rd and Wood had been occupied by a succession of booksellers, with Charles H. Kay selling books at that address after August of 1838.


TIOGA  [     ]  EAGLE.

Vol. I.                            Wellsborough, Pa., Thursday, November 1, 1838.                            No. 11.


It seems that the Mormon difficulties have not yet terminated. The St. Louis Republican of a late day says:

"We learn by a gentleman who came passenger in the the steamboat Kansas, on Saturday, that when at the Mormon town above the mouth of Grand River, he saw about two hundred of the Mormons armed and prepared for conflict. About eighty wagons, containing a number of families, had just arrived at the village. This passenger states that some of the citizens of the adjoining county had given notice to the Mormons to leave the country, and that if they did not go by Saturday, they would be driven off. The Mormons had refused to go, and were expecting every day an attack from their opponents, whom they represented as about equally strong with themselves. It however was the opinion of our informant, that both parties dreaded a conflict, and he thought it most likely that nothing serious would grow out of the excitement.

Notes: (forthcoming)


ns Vol. 6.                                Pittsburgh, Monday, November 12, 1838.                                 No. 91.


Mormon War. -- We give a large portion of our paper to-day to the contents of an extra, issued at the request of the Governor, by the Missouri Watchman, containing the evidence on which he has ordered out the troops. We had several reports from that quarter yesterday. The most authentic is, that a skirmish had occurred between the Mormons and citizens near the line of Ray county, in which ten of the citizens were killed and a number taken prisoners. This is but rumor, however, and may or may not be true. There are so many reports it is almost impossible to know what to believe or what to reject   -- St. Louis Republican, Nov. 2.

AMERICAN ALMANAC for 1839. -- The American Almanac, and repository of useful knowledge, for the year 1839. For sale by
No. 78, Market street.          
Notes: (forthcoming)


Northampton  Courier

Vol. IX.                                Northampton, Pa., Wednesday, Nov. 14, 1838.                                 No. 48.


The Far West, a paper published at Liberty, Clay County, Missouri, has the following upon the subject:

Cold winter has come. The snow is now 8 or 10 inches deep on the ground, and would have been at least, 18 inches, had none of it melted. It commenced falling on Tuesday night, and is yet at it, (Thursday, 12 o'clock). We have never in this country seen, or heard of, so tremendous a snow so early in the season. The trees are, still green, the crops are ungathered, and our community very little prepared for the reception of so formidable a visitor.

We really pity the valiant spirits engaged in the ' Mormon war -- their hardships and sufferings will certainly be unequal to the glory that either party will gain. We rather think, however, that the snow and cold weather will be the best mediator of peace between the parties. We believe they'll all take to their scrapers for home, and suspend hostilities, for the present, at least.

Notes: (forthcoming)


ns Vol. 6.                                Pittsburgh, Monday, November 19, 1838.                                 No. 97.


The War at an end. -- The steamboat Pirate arrived at our port last evening from the Missouri. We learn from her passengers that the war with the Mormons, about which so much anxiety has existed, has been brought to a termination, by the surrender of the whole Mormon force to the troops under the command of Major General Clark, near Far West. No resistence was offered by them, and Jo. Smith, Rigdon, White, and three or four others of the leaders were detained by the commander of the forces, to await such proceedings as may hereafter be instituted against them. It is reported- but we think it will turn out to be as erroneous as the statements about Capt. Bogard's engagement and defeat -- that some seventeen or twenty of the Mormons were killed after they had surrendered themselves prisoners, and that other acts of violence were committed. A few days must bring authentic information upon the subject, and also of the disposition which is to be made of the Mormon leaders. It is also stated that General Atchison, of Clay, had resigned his command, because of some disaffection which he felt towards the Governor's orders.   -- St. Louis Republican, Nov. 8.

ETIQUETTE for Ladies -- Etiquette for Ladies, with hints on the preservation, improvement, and display of Female Beauty.

Just published and for sale by
No. 78, Market street.          
Notes: (forthcoming)


ns Vol. 6.                                Pittsburgh, Tuesday, November 20, 1838.                                 No. 98.

From the St. Louis Republican.

We copy the annexed perspicuous statement of the Mormon difficulties from the St. Louis Evening Gazette, being more full than any we have time to prepare. To the Gazette's statement we can only add, that the editor has faithfully embodied the substance of the reports now in circulation in the city. In several instances the statements conflict very much with each other.

Speculation is now busy in the inquiry, what shall be done with the Mormon leaders who have surrendered? What is their offence and to what punishment have they subjected themselves? That the individuals who have been guilty of burning the houses or destroying property, or taking life, are amenable to the law, there can be no doubt, but for these offences each man must answer for himself -- their leaders, unless shown to have participated, cannot be held responsible in law. It is confidently asserted that the expense of this war to the state, will not fall short of two or three hundred thousand dollars. This must be made from the pockets of the people. It is due to the people, that before the appropriation for this purpose be made, the Legislature should institute a thorough investigation into the cause and history of the whole difficulty, and expose the guilty, be they whomsoever they may, to the public execration. We know not, although we have watched the matter closely from its commencement up to its termination, who is the most to blame, or upon whom public condemnation should fall, and we presume the mass of our readers are not better informed. As the people must 'pay the piper,' it is due to them that they should know who got up and kept up the dance.


The Mormon war has been terminated, by a surrender of the Mormon leaders to the troops under Gen. Atchinson. This happened on Sunday, Oct. 28th. On that day, about three thousand men, being part of the army of 5000, ordered out under Gen. Clark, comprising Gen. Atchinson's division made their appearance before the town of Far West, the county seat of Caldwell county, where the Mormons were entrenched. Upon their approach the Mormons had hoisted a white flag, which was shot down by Capt. Bogard, but was immediately replaced. Gen. Atchison then sent in a message, with a view to learn their wishes and intentions, when six of the leaders avowed their willingness to surrender, in the expectation that the Mormons should be unharmed. The surrender was accepted, and the individuals put under guard. Their names are Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, George Hinkle, Lyman Wight, Parley P. Pratt, and Mr. Knight. The Mormons assembled, at Far West, comprised 700 men under arms. Of this number, a small body of 150, retreated and pursued their way to the northern frontier.

The reports vary as to what happened after the surrender. In fact, our intelligence does not come down clearly to a period, later than the day of the capitulation.

On the day after, Gen. Atchison received the orders of the Governor, which has already been mentioned in this paper, as directing the expulsion or extermination of the Mormons. It is said that, shocked and disgusted with the severity of the command, he retired and went home. After that event, it is stated that several -- some accounts say 40 of the Mormons -- were put to death. One version of the statement is, that the Mormons killed, at this time, were such as had not come into Far West. We need, however, more certain and authentic information, than we now have, on this head.

Gen. Clark, with the remainder of the troops collected from the Counties below Caldwell, was, on the Friday after the surrender, encamped in Ray county, and had not then reached Far West.

It is stated that, about the time of the surrender, a Company of men -- 200 in number -- fell upon a body of the Mormons, in Splawn's settlement, on Shoal Creek, about 20 miles from Far West. The Mormons, it is said, were 36 in number; and the story runs that all but four were put to death. Some of the names of the killed, as reported to us, are David Evans from Ohio, Jacob Fox, from Pennsylvania, Thomas M'Bride and his father, Mr. Daly, M. Merrill and his son-in-law, Mr. White, all from Ohio.

The facts about Bogard's fight are that two of his men were killed -- one outright and one died of his wounds. At the same four Mormons fell -- among them the captain of their band. Bogard's company were stationed on the line of Ray Co., to intercept communication between Ray and Caldwell. They had captured 4 Mormons; and to rescue these the attack was made upon them by the Mormons. Bogard's Company is said to have been 40 in number, and the Mormons 70.

As to the Mormon ravages in Daviess County -- the plundering and burning of which so much has been said -- we are informed that, before those hostile operations, the Mormons held a consultation, at which the propriety of the steps afterwards taken, was debated at large. Some of their number were averse to the plan, and nearly one third dissented from it. The reasons assigned for these measures, were alleged outrages by their enemies in Carroll and Daviess Counties. According to the Mormon statement, their houses and buildings, near DeWitt, in Carroll County, had been destroyed by their enemies, and they themselves expelled from the County and afterwards pursued, on their retreat into Daviess. It was, therefore, as they allege, in retaliation for previous unprovoked outrages, that they executed their system of violence and terror in the County of Daviess. Evidently, they could not have adopted a more suicidal policy -- allowing their own statements to be wholly true.

We have no time now -- and it would take more space than we can spare for it -- even with a knowledge of all the facts, to enter into a history of the origin and progress of this difficulty. But there is a statement in this connection, which we have heard but recently, and which we sincerely hope is not true. That statement is as follows.

About the 9th or 10th of last month, when about 80 Mormon families had been expelled from Carroll county, and driven into Daviess, a message was sent by them to the State executive, praying for his interposition in their behalf. The reply to that message was, that already the State had been put to a great deal of expense on account of these difficulties, and that he could see no cause to interpose, thus leaving the parties to fight it out!
The disposition of the captured Mormons presents a case of great difficulty. They are generally poor -- at least they have but little money and few means besides their stock and crops to preserve them from starvation. As it is, we suspect, these means are very much abridged. The presence of several thousand troops in their vicinity must have reduced them greatly. The proposition -- so it is given out -- is to remove them from the State. Who will advance the funds wherewith to consummate such a measure? And where shall they be sent? Their numbers exceed five thousand, men women and children! Are these 5000 people -- without any means and literally beggars -- to be thrust upon the charities of Illinois, Iowa, or Wisconsin?

It is said that the leaders are to be put to trial. We hope there may be a trial, and that the trial will extend to a most thorough, rigid, and impartial examination into the origin and progress of this extraordinary commotion. We hope that a searching operation will be applied to the guilty on all sides. It is only in such a way that the government and people of this State can place themselves in a just and dignified attitude before their sister governments and fellow citizens of the Union.

Notes: (forthcoming)


ns Vol. 6.                                Pittsburgh, Thursday, November 22, 1838.                                 No. 100.

From the St. Louis Republican.

FURTHER FROM THE MORMONS. -- The account of a bloody butchery of thirty two Mormons, on Splawn's Creek, is fully confirmed. Two children were killed, we presume, by accident. Considerable plunder -- such as beds, hats, &c. were taken from the slaughtered. Not one of the assailants was killed or hurt.

About the time of the surrender, several Mormon houses were burnt in Chariton; and one Mormon who refused to leave, killed.

At Far West, after the surrender, a Mormon had his brains dashed out, by a man who accused the Mormons of burning his house in Daviess.
We copy the above paragraph from the Gazette of Saturday evening. We are sorry to say, that our own information corroborates the details. For the honor of the State, we could have wished, that such savage enormities had not attended a controversy in itself disgraceful enough. We understand, that the company engaged in the attack at Splawn's Creek, was not attached to any division of the army, but was fighting on its own hook. The men were principally from Chariton county, and amongst the number was at least one member of the Legislature. The enemy had approached within eighty yards of the Mormons before they were apprized of their approach. The Mormons had their families with them, and to preserve their lives, the men separated from them and took refuge in a blacksmith's shop. Here they were murdered! It is said that the Mormons had arms, but it is a little singular that they should have used them so ineffectually as not to have touched one of the assailants. The latter, in some instances, placed their guns between the logs of the house and deliberately fired on the victims within. These reports are founded upon statements of persons engaged in the attack; and bad as they are, are not likely to be overcharged. Will the actors in the tragedy be suffered, by the courts of that district, to go unpunished?

Notes: (forthcoming)


ns Vol. 6.                                Pittsburgh, Thursday, November 27, 1838.                                 No. 100.

From the St. Louis Republican.

The Mormon War. -- The Western mail, yesterday, brought us some additional particulars in regard to the disturbances in Caldwell county. The Far West, published at Liberty, states that Gen. Clark still remained at the town of Far West, having under his command 1300 men, who were employed in guarding the captured Mormons. The General had despatched an order to Gen. Lucas, commanding him to return Jo and Hiram Smith, Rigdon, Wight, Robinson and Hunt, for trial in Richmond, Ray county. Gen. Lucas was on his way to Jackson county, and, it is said, refused to obey this order. A great many of the Mormons had made their escape from Caldwell county, leaving their families.

The Far West also says:

"Just as our paper was going to press, we received a communication from Gen'l Lucas, giving the stipulations of the treaty made by him and the Mormons. It will be recollected that we stated that General Atchison and his staff returned home, having considered himself virtually ordered from the field by Gov. Boggs; who assigned the command to Gen. Clarke of Howard county. Gen. Lucas was in command of the troops previous to and at the time of the surrender of the Mormons. -- The matter was entirely settled before the arrival of General Clarke. -- What motive could have operated on Gov. Boggs for excluding Gen. Atchison from any command, we do not pretend to know, but this we do know, that he has done himself very little credit, by so illiberal a course of procedure.

Gen. Lucas states that the officers and men under his command conducted themselves in a manner that will ever recommend them to his highest approbation. We are sorry our space and time will not permit us to make any further remarks. The following are the stipulations between the parties: 1st. To give up their leaders to be tried and punished.
2nd. To make an appropriation of the peoperty of all who had taken up arms, for the payment of the debts, and as indemnity for damages done by them.
3d. That the Mormons should all leave the State and be protected out by the militia; but to remain under protection, until further orders from the Commander-in-Chief.
4th. To give up all arms of every discription, to be receipted for.
For the purpose of arranging every thing in a proper and legal way, Gen. Lucas left Col. Williams, aid-de-camp to the commander-in-chief, Col. Burch, and Major A. Ries of Ray county, to attend to drawing, writing &c. with a company of men to execute all orders consistent with the stipulations.

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

Notes: (forthcoming)


The  Spectator
and Freeman's Journal

Vol. ?                                Montrose, Pa., Thursday, January 10, 1839.                                 No. ?


THE MORMONS. -- The Boonville Emigrant of the 12 of November states that the of trial of Joe Smith and forty-seven other of the Mormons, was to come on at the Circuit Court of Ray county, which was then in session at Richmond. It is further stated that it is not true that the Mormons are to be sent out of the state immediately. They are to be permitted to remain for the present, with the distinct understanding that they are not to make another crop in Missouri, but to leave it between this and next summer. The forces which were engaged in the Mormon war are disbanded and sent home with the exception of one of the troop of cavalry, which will be retained until after the trials are over.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VI.                                Pittsburgh, Thursday, April 25, 1839.                                 No. 231.

The Mormons are emigrating from Missouri to Illinois, settling on the Mississippi, near Quincy. Sidney Rigdon is delivering addresses, and locating his disciples there. They appear to be well received by the people. Rigdon's eloquent account of the murder, by the Missouri mobs, of Mormon men and children, the violation of females, the destroying of property, the the burning of houses, etc., are awakening much [compassion].

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. I.                               Lancaster, Pa., Friday, May 24, 1839.                               No. 9.


We learn from the Boston Recorder that Mormonism has found its way into a church in Massachusetts, and led to the excommunication of its members. This circumstance has induced the publication of a letter by Mrs. Davison, a woman of unimpeachable veracity, resident, at Monson in that State, giving an account of the origin of the Mormon Bible. It was written by her first husband, the Rev. Solomon Spaulding, formerly a resident of Cherry Valley in this State, and subsequently of New Salem, in Ohio, sometimes called Conneaut, from the name of the creek on which it is situated. His impaired health excluding him from active labors, he amused himself by the composition of a historical romance; being a sketch of the lost race, who constructed the numerous ancient mounds and forts which abound in the Western country, and some of which are in the town of New Salem. In this production, he imitated the style of the Old Testament. This was about the year 1812. The work purported to have been written by one of the lost race, and to have been dug up from the earth. Portions of the narrative, as he advanced in it, he was in the habit of reading to his friends in the neighborhood.

From New Salem, Mr. Spaulding removed to Pittsburg, Penn., where he became acquainted with Mr. Patterson, the editor of a newspaper, to whom he loaned the manuscript for a perusal. Connected with Mr. Patterson's printing office, was Mr. Sidney Rigdon, who has since figured largely in the history of the Mormons, as one of their leaders and founders, and who had ample opportunities to become acquainted with the manuscript, and to copy it. Mr. Spaulding died in 1816, and the manuscript to which we refer was preserved by his widow.

When the "Book of Mormon" appeared, a copy of it was taken to New Salem, where a female preacher undertook to expound its mysteries. The work was immediately identified by some of the inhabitants, who had heard it read by Mr. Spaulding, and particularly by his brother, who was still resident at New Salem. -- The circumstance produced so much excitement that the inhabitants of the place had a meeting, and deputed one of their number, Dr. Hurlbut, to repair to Monson and obtain the original MS. of Mr. Spaulding, for the purpose of comparing it with the Mormon Bible; to satisfy their own minds, and to prevent their friends from embracing this monstrous delusion. This was in the year 1834.

This statement, of Mrs. Davison accounts most satisfactorily for the origin of the book, and is of a character not to be impugned. The narrative from which we have gathered the above facts, was procured from the writer by the Rev. Mr. Stow [sic], of Hollston, Mass, who states that he has often "had occasion to come in contact with Mormonism in its grossest forms." The narrative is accompanied with the highest testimonial of the character of the writer, and there is no question of its entire correctness.

Notes: (forthcoming)


TIOGA  [     ]  EAGLE.

Vol. I.                            Wellsborough Pa., Wednesday, May 29, 1839.                            No. 41.


THE MORMON BIBLE. -- The origin of this work, which it has puzzled many to account for, being evidently the production of a cultivated mind, yet found in the hands of exceedingly ignorant and illiterate persons, is at length explained. It was written in 1812, for amusement, as a historical romance of the lost race, the remains of whose numerous mounds and forts are found on the banks of the Ohio: The author was Rev. Solomon Spaulding a graduate of Dartmouth College, who resided at New Salem, Ohio. On the appearance of a Mormon preacher there, many of the friends of the deceased clergyman recollected passages which he had read to them during the time he was engaged in composing it. On inquiry, the original manuscript was found among his papers. It also appeared that at one time he had some thoughts in relation to printing the work, and that remained at a printing office in Pittsburg, for a long time. -- Sidney Rigdon, who has figured largely in the history of the Mormons, was at that time employed in this printing office, and it was no doubt copied by him.

Notes: (forthcoming)


THE  [     ]  KEYSTONE.

Vol. ?                            Harrisburg, Pa., Wednesday, June 12, 1839.                            No. ?

Origin of the Book of Mormon  or  the Golden Bible.

(under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Pub. by Alex. Ingram, Jr., Near SE Corner, Diamond, at $6 per Annum in Advance. - Neville B. Craig, Ed. Volume VI.                                      Pittsburgh, Monday, July 1, 1839.                                       No. 288.

N O T I C E.

R. PATTERSON, Agent, having disposed of his interest in the firm of Patterson & Ingram, to his partner, Mr. A. Ingram, Jr., (who is authorized to settle the business of the firm,) most cordially recommends him to the confidence and patronage of all his friends and customers.
                          ROBERT  PATTERSON, Agent.
Pittsburgh, July 1, 1839.

The subscriber will continue the Book and Stationery business, in all its various branches at the old stand, No. 78 Market street.
                                             A. INGRAM, Jr.

Note 1: This dissolution of the Patterson & Ingram partnership in the "Book and Stationery business" marked Rev. Robert Patterson's final retirement from retail sales in Pittsburgh. Alexander Ingram, Jr., who took over the business, became the publisher of the Pittsburgh Gazette. On May 4, 1840 Ingram advertised in the Gazette his publication of ex-Mormon William Swartzell's 48 page pamphlet, Mormonism Exposed. Although Swartzell's booklet quoted passages from Eber D. Howe's 1834 Mormonism Unvailed, the author neglected to copy anything about Solomon Spalding's dealings with Robert Patterson in Pittsburgh, three decades before.

Note 2: At about this same time various Pennsylvania newspapers were reprinting the Matilda Spalding Davison statement, which had recently appeared in the Boston Recorder. Rev. Robert Patterson perhaps provided some public response to this statement; but, if so, a diligent search of western Pennsylvania newspapers for 1839 has so far failed to uncover any publication of his reaction.


Northampton  Courier

Vol. X.                              Northampton, Pa., Wednesday, Oct. 9, 1839.                              No. 43.

From the Fort Wayne (la.) Sentinel.

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

Notes: (forthcoming)

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