Early Mormon Documents, vol 3 - Dan Vogel

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Unformatted text preview: ISBN: 1-56085-133-3 $44.9* Religion/History E arly M ormon D ocuments Volume 3 Dan Vogel, editor collection of primary sources, editor Dan InVogelthis offers readers the pleasures and frustrations that greet professional historians. Raw and uncen­ sored, all the documents upon which a history of Mormon origins could be based are here, with strengths and weaknesses inherent in any eye-witness account. They are colorful and detailed, opinionated and inconsistent. In tone they range from ultra-devo­ tional to antagonistic. Yet each also contributes an important piece to the overall puzzle. Note the personal odyssey of Ezra Thayre (see back cover) which tells about the world view of that place and time. Yet what should readers make of Thayre’s claim that an angel taught him how to blow a trumpet? Similarly in Solomon Chamberlain’s frank admission that he did not know whether “some geni[e] or good spirit” had led him to Palmyra, New York, should one read into this a literary metaphor or an actual belief in supernatural guidance? In part, the value one places on a source is deter­ mined by the questions one hopes to have answered by it. If one wants to know how the public initially react­ ed to the Book of Mormon, then the Rochester Gem’s light, gossipy report is welcome, though it is not a fair representation of the Book of Mormon’s contents. Compare this to the more thoughtful work of Palmyra native Orsamus Turner. Though not a Mor­ mon, he nevertheless strove to understand what effect Joseph Smith’s religiously divided parentage had on his life and church, a topic that remains of interest today. However, Turner cannot provide the details offered by those who were more intimately acquainted with the Smith family. Nor should one expect to find a witness who is uncontaminated by his or her environment or by the tug of folklore. For example, it was reported that two pranksters one night convinced Calvin Stoddard— husband of Joseph Smith’s sister, Sophronia—that continued on bark fin E a r l y 1V1 o f i e o h EARLY MORMON DOCUMENTS V o l u m e iii COMPILED AND EDITED BY DAN VOGEL S ig n a t u r e B o o k s S alt L ake C ity JACKET DESIGN BY SCOTT KNUDSEN Early Mormon Documents, Volume III, was printed on acid-free paper and was composed, printed, and bound in the United States. © 2000 Signature Books. All rights reserved. Signature Books is a registered trademark of Signature Books, Inc. 04 03 02 01 2000 6 5 4 3 2 1 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Early Mormon documents / compiled and edited by Dan Vogel p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 1-56085-072-8 (v. 3) 1. Mormon Church— History— Sources. 2. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—History— Sources. 3. Smith, Joseph, 1805-1844— Family—History—Sources. I. Vogel, Dan BX8611.E19 2000 289.3’09— dc20 94-40565 CIP CONTENTS P A R T III. (Continued) Introduction . . ix I. MISCELLANEOUS EARLY SOURCES 1. Eli Bruce Diary, 5 November 1830.......................................................3 2. William W. Phelps to E. D. Howe, 15 January 1831 5 3. Palmyra Residents to Painesville (OH) Telegraph, 12 March 1831...................................................................... 8 4. Nathaniel W. Howell and Others to Ancil Beach, January 1832 .......................... 11 5. William W. Phelps Account, 1833. . . . ..................................... 17 6. Jesse Townsend to Phineas Stiles, 24 December 1833 . . 20 7. Jesse Townsend to Elisha Camp, 16 August 1834............................. 24 8. W. W. Phelps to Oliver Cowdery, 25 December1834.................... 28 9. W. W. Phelps to Oliver Cowdery, 21 February 1835.......................31 10. J. N. T. Tucker Statement, 1842........................................................34 :JKr nc^ ^ tof ^ 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. J. MISCELLANEOUS LATE SOURCES Solomon Chamberlain Accounts, 1845 & Circa 1858 ................... 39 Orsamus Turner Account,1851............................................................. 46 Dr. Williams Account, 1854 ..................... 55 Manchester Resident Reminiscence, 8 August 1856....................... 59 Pomeroy Tucker Reminiscence, 1858 ................................................ 62 Ezra Thayre Reminiscence, 1862......................................................... 73 Stephen S. Harding to Pomeroy Tucker, 1 June 1867.................... 82 Pomeroy Tucker Account, 1867 ......................................................... 87 Philetus B. Spear Account, Circa 1873 . . 129 Palmyra Resident Reminiscence, Circa 1876 ................................. 132 Parley Chase to [James T. Cobb?], 3 April 1879 ............................ 135 Abel D. Chase Statement, 2 May 1879............................................. 137 Orlando Saunders, William Van Camp, and John H. Gilbert Interviews with Frederick G. Mather, July 1880 ............................................................................................. 139 14. Anna Ruth EatonStatement,1881........................................................146 v CONTENTS 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Stephen S. Harding to Thomas Gregg, February 1882................... 152 Gordon T. Smith Reminiscence, Circa 1883 ...................................167 William H. Cuyler Statement, 1884...................................................169 Alexander McIntyre Statement, Circa 1884 171 Samantha Payne Statement, Circa 1884 ............................................173 Lorenzo Saunders to Thomas Gregg, 28 January 1885................... 175 E. E. Baldwin to W. O. Norrell, 3 August 1887 ............................ 180 Palmyra Resident Account, 2 October 1888................................... 184 William Hyde Interviews, 1888 ........................................................ 186 Orson Saunders Account, 1893 ........................................................ 200 Palmyra-Manchester Residents Account, 1893................................203 Daniel Hendrix Reminiscence, 1893 ............................................... 208 Philana A. Foster to E. W. Taylor, 16 July 1895..............................218 Albert Chandler to William Linn, 22 December 1898.................... 221 A. C. Buck Reminiscence, 1899 ...................................................... 224 Charles W. Brown Account, 1904.....................................................228 W. C. Account, 1904 ........................................................................ 235 Carlos Osgood Statement, Circa 1907 ............................................ 237 Elisha W. Vanderhoof Account, 1907 ............................................ 239 Charles F. Milliken History, 191 1.....................................................241 Thomas L. Cook History, 1930..........................................................243 Wallace Miner Reminiscence, 1930................................................. 251 Wallace Miner Reminiscence, 1932..................................... . . 254 Carlos Osgood Statement, 1932..........................................................257 Mitchell Bronk Account, 1948 ............................................... . . . 259 Parshall Terry Family History, 1956.................................................. 261 Palmyra Resident Reminiscence, No Date.......................................263 Mrs. Palmer Reminiscence, No D ate................................................ 265 K. MISCELLANEOUS NON-RESIDENT SOURCES Rochester (NY) Gem, 15 May 1830.....................................................271 Wayne County (PA) Inquirer, Circa May1830 .................................. 274 Geauga (OH) Gazette, Circa 23 November1830.............................. 275 Rochester (NY) Gem, 25 December 1830........................................ 277 David S. Burnett Account, 1831 ...................................................... 278 James Gordon Bennett Account, 1831 ............................................ 281 Illinois Patriot, 16 September 1831 ................................................... 292 Broome County (NY) Courier, 29 December 1831 .............. . . . 293 Lockport (NY) Balance, 1832................................................................ 297 vi CONTENTS 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. William E. McLellin to Samuel McLellin, 4 August 1832 ............ 299 Eber D. Howe Account, 1834........................................................ 302 Mary A. Noble Autobiography, Circa 1834-1836........................... 308 Joseph B. Noble Autobiography, Circa 1834-1836.........................310 John Barber and Henry Howe Account, 1 8 4 1 ................................312 James Colin Brewster Account, 1843................................................ 315 Parley P. Pratt Autobiography (Part I), Circa 1854 .........................319 Thurlow Weed Reminiscences, 1854, 1858, 1880 & 1884 ......... 327 Thomas Ford Account, 1854..............................................................332 Brigham Young Accounts, 1855 & 1857 ..................................... 335 Emer Harris Account, 1856.................................................................339 Parley P. Pratt Reminiscence (Part I), 1856 ................................... 342 Thomas B. Marsh Autobiography, 1857........................................... 346 Phineas Howe Young Autobiography, 1863................................... 350 Heber C. Kimball Autobiography, 1864.......................................... 355 Silas Hillman Reminiscence, 1866.....................................................359 Hamilton Child Account, 1867 ........................................................ 361 Thomas Davies Burrall Reminiscence, 1867.................................... 363 W. H. McIntosh, History of Ontario County (NY), 1876................ 366 W. H. McIntosh, History of Wayne County (NY), 1877 ................ 371 Brigham Young Account, 1877......................................................... 378 Henry O ’Reilly Reminiscence, 1879................................................383 Edward Stevenson Reminiscence, 1893 ..................................... 386 Perry Benjamin Pierce Statement, 1899 .......................................... 389 Sara Melissa Ingersoll Reminiscence, 1899.......................................390 Wayne County (NY) fournal, 23 April 1908.......................................397 Lockwood R. Doty History, 1925.....................................................399 Elizabeth Kane Interview with Brigham Young, Artemisia (Beaman) Snow, and Orrin Rockwell, 1872-1873 ........................................................................................... 402 L. MISCELLANEOUS DOCUMENTS Palmyra (NY) Road Lists, 1817-1822............................................... 411 Palmyra (NY) Highway Survey, 13 June 1820 . . ....................... 415 Farmington (NY) Census Record, 1820.......................................... 422 Smith Manchester (NY) Land Records, 1820-1830....................... 424 Gain C. and Cains C. Robinson Account Books, 1820-1830 . . . 432 Smith Manchester (NY) Land Assessment Records, 1821-1823 & 1830 ............................................................................. 441 Vll CONTENTS 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. Samuel Jennings Estate Papers, 1822................................................. 446 Alvin Smith Gravestone, 19 November 1823 ................................. 449 Palmyra (NY) Masonic Records, 1827-1828 ................................. 452 Lemuel Durfee Account Books, 1827-1829 ................................. 457 Joseph Smith Receipt to Abraham Fish Account, 10 March 1827....................................................................................460 Book of Mormon Copyright, 11 June 1829 ................................... 461 Testimony of Eight Witnesses, June 1829........................................ 464 Martin Harris Mortgage, 25 August 1829..........................................473 Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery Bible Inscription, 8 October 1829.................................................................................... 478 Book of Mormon Preface, 1829........................................................ 479 Joseph Smith, Sr., and Martin Harris Agreement, 16 January 1830 .................................................................................. 483 Lemuel Durfee Probate Papers, 1830................................................ 486 Nathan Pierce Docket Book, 1830.................................................... 487 Palmyra (NY) Presbyterian Records, March 1830.......................... 496 Manchester (NY) Census Record, 1830............................................502 Missionaries Covenant, 17 October 1830......................................... 504 BIBLIOGRAPHY..........................................................................................................507 IN D E X ............................................................................................................................ 517 Illustrations 1. Joseph Smith, Sr., Home, Manchester, New York, photograph...............................................................................................12 2. Hill Cumorah, Manchester, New York, photograph.........................63 3. Daniel Hendrix, photograph................................................. . . . 209 4. Manchester Assessment Record, photographic reproduction . . . . 442 5. Samuel Jennings Estate Papers, photographic reproduction......... 448 6. Alvin Smith Gravestone, photograph................................................ 450 7. Palmyra Masonic Record, photographic reproduction.................... 454 8. Palmyra Masonic Record, photographic reproduction................ 455 Vlll INTRODUCTION This third volume of Early Mormon Documents follows volume two in gathering published and unpublished sources relating to Mormon origins in Palmyra and Manchester, New York. The previous volume included the major document collections of Philastus Hurlbut, William H. and Edmund L. Kelley, Chester C. Thorne, and Arthur B. Deming, as well as excerpts from Palmyra newspapers and interviews and statements of local residents Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery, and John H. Gilbert. This volume contains an assortment of documents arranged under the following headings: “Mis­ cellaneous Early Sources” (pre-1844); “Miscellaneous Late Sources” (post1844); “Miscellaneous Non-resident Sources”; and “Miscellaneous Docu­ ments.” This collection groups together early sources that are not well known, even to Mormon historians. An excerpt from Eli Bruce’s diary, dated 5 November 1830, documents his interview with Joseph Smith, Sr., while both were incarcerated in Canandaigua’s jail (see III.I.l, ELI BRUCE DIARY, 5 NOV 1830). Although published in 1861, this important diary entry has frequently been overlooked. The same is true of the 12 March 1831 letter from ten unnamed residents of Palmyra to Ohio publisher E. D. Howe, which includes a description of Joseph Smith’s treasure seeking and mentions “Walters the Magician” (see III.1.3, PALMYRA RESIDENTS TO PAINESVILLE (OH) TELEGRAPH, 12 MAR 1831). Published for the first time in its entirety is a letter from six leading citizens of Canandaigua, dated January 1832, which contains information about Martin Harris and Joseph Smith that is found in no other source (see III.1.4, NATHANIEL W. HOWELL AND OTHERS TO ANCIL BEACH, JAN 1832). The late sources include the accounts of well-known non-Mormons Orsamus Turner and Pomeroy Tucker (see III.J.2, ORSAMUS TURNER ACCOUNT, 1851; and III.J.8, POMEROY TUCKER ACCOUNT, 1867), as well as the lesser known statement of Daniel Hendrix (see III.J.26, DANIEL HENDRIX REMINISCENCE, 1893). Hendrix’s document, although known to historians, is preceded by new information about Hendrix. While some of these documents have been previously published, many have resisted notice. Among the more important of these are: Robert Richards [pseud.], The Californian Crusoe (see III.J.3, DR. WILLIAMS ACCOUNT, 1854); Pomeroy Tucker, “Mormonism and Joe Smith” (see III.J.5, POMEROY TUCKER REMINISCENCE, 1858); Jared S. Na- INTRODUCTION smith, “Joseph Smith and Mormonism Which Started 100 Years Ago. Some Incidents Related About Smith By Professor Philetus B. Spear, D.D., a Man Bom in Palmyra in 1811” (see III.J.9, PHILETUS B. SPEAR ACCOUNT, CIRCA 1873); and William Hyde Interview, in “Birth of Mormonism” (see III.J.23, WILLIAM HYDE INTERVIEWS, 1888). Previously unpublished documents composed after 1844 are the letters from E. E. Baldwin to W. O. Norrell, dated 3 August 1887, and from Philana A. Foster to E. W. Taylor, dated 16 July 1895 (see III J.21, E. E. BALDWIN TO W. O. NORRELL, 3 AUG 1887; and III.J.27, PHILANA A. FOSTER TO E. W. TAYLOR, 16 JUL 1895); the statements of Carlos Osgood and Wallace Miner in M. Wilford Poulson’s “Notebook containing statements made by residents of Palmyra, N.Y., Manchester, N.Y., and other areas ...” (see III.J.38. CAR­ LOS OSGOOD STATEMENT, 1932; and III.J.37, WALLACE MINER REMINISCENCE, 1932); and the document entitled “Concerning Joseph Smith” (see III.J.41, PALMYRA RESIDENT REMINISCENCE, NO DATE). This third volume also includes testimony from non-residents, meaning those who either lived in New York outside Wayne and Ontario counties or were visitors from other states. The earliest accounts here are usually excerpted from newspapers: Rochester Gem, Geauga (OH) Gazette, Wayne County (PA) Inquirer, Illinois Patriot, Broome County (NY) Courier, and Lockport (NY) Balance (see III.K.l; III.K.2; III.K.3; III.K.4; III.K.7; III.K.8; III.K.9). Accounts of Mormon converts, such as Parley P. Pratt and Thomas B. Marsh (see III.K.16, PARLEY P. PRATT AUTOBIOGRAPHY, CIRCA 1854; III.K.21, PARLEY P. PRATT REM INISCENCE, 1856; III.K.22, THOMAS B. MARSH AUTOBIOGRAPHY, 1857), have received some attention previously, while those of non-Mormons have been largely ig­ nored. Among the most interesting in this latter group are David S. Burnett’s 1831 account (III.K.5); James Gordon Bennett’s 1831 account (III.K.6); John Barber and Henry Howe’s 1841 account (III.K. 14); Thurlow Weed’s remi­ niscences of 1854, 1858, 1880, and 1884 (III.K.l7); and Thomas Davies Burrall’s 1867 reminiscence (III.K.27). Even some well-known Mormon sources have received little scholarly attention, perhaps because they deal with Joseph Smith’s treasure seeking. See, for example, James Colin Brew­ ster’s 1843 account (III.K.15); Brigham Young’s 1855, 1857, and 1877 accounts (III.K.19 and III.K.30); and Elizabeth Kane’s 1872-73 interview with Brigham Young, Artemisia (Beaman) Snow, and Orrin Rockwell (III.K.37). Documents published here for the first time in their entirety include: William E. McLellin’s letter to Samuel McLellin, dated 4 August 1832 (III.K.10); Emer Harris’s 1856 account (III.K.20); Henry O ’Reilly’s x IN TRODUCTION 1879 reminiscence (III.K.31); and Sara Melissa Ingersoll’s 1899 reminiscence (III.K.34). The concluding section contains civil records (for example, road lists, a highway survey, census records, land deeds, tax rolls, merchant documents, and court records) dealing only incidentally with Smith family history, as well as records directly treating the topic of Mormon origins (such as the copyright to the Book of Mormon, the testimony of the Eight Witnesses, the preface to the Book of Mormon, the 1831 agreement between Joseph Smith, Sr., and Martin Harris, and the Missionaries Covenant). isceiianeoiuLS iC/ariy oouiFces R) Hi 1. Eli Br u c e d ia r y , 5 N ovem ber 1830 Robert Morris, The Masonic Martyr: The Biography of Eli Bruce, Sheriff of Niagara County, New Yor...
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