53991744

Letter to the Church in Clay County, Missouri, 22 January 1834

To the brethren in Christ Jesus scattered abroad from the Land of their inheritence

Generally referred to land promised by or received from God for the church and its members. A January 1831 revelation promised church members a land of inheritance. In March and May 1831, JS dictated revelations commanding members “to purchase lands for an...

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1

In JS Letterbook 1, this letter is preceded by a notation that identifies the recipients as “Brethren scattered from Zion.” (JS Letterbook 1, p. 79.)  


Greeting
We your companions in tribulation embrace the present oppertunity of sending you this token of our love and good will assuring you that our bowels are filled with compassion and that our prayers are dailey assending to God in the name of Jesus Christ in your behalf
We have just received inteligence from you through the medium of Bro David Elliott

18 Nov. 1799–2 Dec. 1855. Blacksmith. Born at Charleston, Montgomery Co., New York. Son of Peter Elliott and Phebe Holley. Married first Almira Holliday of Solon, Cortland Co., New York, ca. 1821. Married second Margery Quick. Lived at Ithaca, Tompkins Co...

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of Chagrin

Located in northeastern Ohio. Bordered on north by Lake Erie. French fur trading post established, 1750. Area settled, 1797. Organized 1815. Originally called Charlton, by 1750; name changed to Chagrin, by 1815. Population in 1826 about 733. Chagrin village...

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Ohio,2

To ensure that adversaries did not intercept letters addressed to church leaders in Kirtland, Frederick G. Williams directed church members in Missouri on 10 October 1833 to send letters to Elliott, who would then forward them to church leaders. (Frederick G. Williams, Kirtland, OH, to “Dear Brethren,” 10 Oct. 1833, in JS Letterbook 1, pp. 56–60.)  


making inquiries concerning the course which you are to persue. In addition to the knowledge contained in the above3

A probable reference to the letter just received from Elliott in Chagrin, Ohio.  


upon this subject; we say if it is not the duty of the Gov,

14 Jan. 1790–25 July 1844. Farmer, tavern owner, businessman, investor, lawyer, politician. Born near Greenville, Greenville District, South Carolina. Son of Joseph Dunklin Jr. and Sarah Margaret Sullivan. Moved to what became Caldwell Co., Kentucky, 1806...

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to call out and keep a standing force in Jackson County

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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to protect you on your Lands, which it appears must be done, as we understand that the mob are determined to massecree you if the Gov.

14 Jan. 1790–25 July 1844. Farmer, tavern owner, businessman, investor, lawyer, politician. Born near Greenville, Greenville District, South Carolina. Son of Joseph Dunklin Jr. and Sarah Margaret Sullivan. Moved to what became Caldwell Co., Kentucky, 1806...

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take you back upon your lands and leave you unprotected.4

Phelps told the leaders in Kirtland, “The mob sware, if we come we shall die!” (Letter from William W. Phelps, 15 Dec. 1833, italics in original.)  


It will become your duty to petition the Gov.

14 Jan. 1790–25 July 1844. Farmer, tavern owner, businessman, investor, lawyer, politician. Born near Greenville, Greenville District, South Carolina. Son of Joseph Dunklin Jr. and Sarah Margaret Sullivan. Moved to what became Caldwell Co., Kentucky, 1806...

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to petition the President to send a force of men there to protect you are reinstated. The Gov.

14 Jan. 1790–25 July 1844. Farmer, tavern owner, businessman, investor, lawyer, politician. Born near Greenville, Greenville District, South Carolina. Son of Joseph Dunklin Jr. and Sarah Margaret Sullivan. Moved to what became Caldwell Co., Kentucky, 1806...

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proposes to take you back to your lands whenever you are ready to go (if we understand correctly) but cannot keep up an army to guard you;5

Dunklin officially informed church leaders in Missouri on 4 February 1834 that maintaining militia troops in Jackson County “would transcend the powers” he possessed as governor of Missouri. (Daniel Dunklin, Jefferson City, MO, to William W. Phelps et al., 4 Feb. 1834, copy, William W. Phelps, Collection of Missouri Documents, CHL.)  


and while the hostile feelings of the people of Jackson County

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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remain unabated probably you dare not go back to be left unguarded. Therefore, in your petition to the Gov,

14 Jan. 1790–25 July 1844. Farmer, tavern owner, businessman, investor, lawyer, politician. Born near Greenville, Greenville District, South Carolina. Son of Joseph Dunklin Jr. and Sarah Margaret Sullivan. Moved to what became Caldwell Co., Kentucky, 1806...

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set all these things forth in there proper light, and pray him to notify the President of your situation and also petition the President yourselves according to the direction of the Lord6

The 16–17 December 1833 revelation commanded the church members in Missouri to “importune at the feet of the President.” Church leaders in Missouri wrote to United States president Andrew Jackson and Missouri governor Daniel Dunklin the following April. (Revelation, 16–17 Dec. 1833 [D&C 101:88]; Edward Partridge et al., Petition to Andrew Jackson, 10 Apr. 1834; Sidney Gilbert et al., Liberty, MO, to Andrew Jackson, 10 Apr. 1834, copy; William W. Phelps et al., Liberty, MO, to Daniel Dunklin, 10 Apr. 1834, William W. Phelps, Collection of Missouri Documents, CHL.)  


We have petitioned Gov Daniel Dunklin

14 Jan. 1790–25 July 1844. Farmer, tavern owner, businessman, investor, lawyer, politician. Born near Greenville, Greenville District, South Carolina. Son of Joseph Dunklin Jr. and Sarah Margaret Sullivan. Moved to what became Caldwell Co., Kentucky, 1806...

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in your behalf7

The petition to Governor Dunklin has not been located.  


and enclosed in it a printed revelation, the source of this which we now send to you. The petition was signed by something like sixty brethren and mailed to go to Jefferson City one week ago, and he will probably received it two weeks [p. 79]
To the brethren in Christ Jesus scattered  abroad from the Land of their inheritence

Generally referred to land promised by or received from God for the church and its members. A January 1831 revelation promised church members a land of inheritance. In March and May 1831, JS dictated revelations commanding members “to purchase lands for an...

View Glossary
1

In JS Letterbook 1, this letter is preceded by a notation that identifies the recipients as “Brethren scattered from Zion.” (JS Letterbook 1, p. 79.)  


Greeting
We your companions in tribulation embrace  the present oppertunity of sending you this token of  our love and good will assuring you that our bowels  are filled with compassion and that our prayers are dailey  assending to God in the name of Jesus Christ in your behalf
We have just received inteligence from you through  the medium of Bro [David] Elliott

18 Nov. 1799–2 Dec. 1855. Blacksmith. Born at Charleston, Montgomery Co., New York. Son of Peter Elliott and Phebe Holley. Married first Almira Holliday of Solon, Cortland Co., New York, ca. 1821. Married second Margery Quick. Lived at Ithaca, Tompkins Co...

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[of] Chagrin

Located in northeastern Ohio. Bordered on north by Lake Erie. French fur trading post established, 1750. Area settled, 1797. Organized 1815. Originally called Charlton, by 1750; name changed to Chagrin, by 1815. Population in 1826 about 733. Chagrin village...

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[Ohio,]2

To ensure that adversaries did not intercept letters addressed to church leaders in Kirtland, Frederick G. Williams directed church members in Missouri on 10 October 1833 to send letters to Elliott, who would then forward them to church leaders. (Frederick G. Williams, Kirtland, OH, to “Dear Brethren,” 10 Oct. 1833, in JS Letterbook 1, pp. 56–60.)  


making inquiries  concerning the course which you are to persue. In  addition to the knowledge contained in the above3

A probable reference to the letter just received from Elliott in Chagrin, Ohio.  


upon  this subject; we say if it is not the duty of the Gov,

14 Jan. 1790–25 July 1844. Farmer, tavern owner, businessman, investor, lawyer, politician. Born near Greenville, Greenville District, South Carolina. Son of Joseph Dunklin Jr. and Sarah Margaret Sullivan. Moved to what became Caldwell Co., Kentucky, 1806...

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to  call out and keep a standing force in Jackson County

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

More Info
to  protect you on your Lands, which it appears must  be done, as we understand that the mob are determined  to massecree you if the Gov.

14 Jan. 1790–25 July 1844. Farmer, tavern owner, businessman, investor, lawyer, politician. Born near Greenville, Greenville District, South Carolina. Son of Joseph Dunklin Jr. and Sarah Margaret Sullivan. Moved to what became Caldwell Co., Kentucky, 1806...

View Full Bio
take you back upon  your lands and leave you unprotected.4

Phelps told the leaders in Kirtland, “The mob sware, if we come we shall die!” (Letter from William W. Phelps, 15 Dec. 1833, italics in original.)  


It will  become your duty to petition the Gov.

14 Jan. 1790–25 July 1844. Farmer, tavern owner, businessman, investor, lawyer, politician. Born near Greenville, Greenville District, South Carolina. Son of Joseph Dunklin Jr. and Sarah Margaret Sullivan. Moved to what became Caldwell Co., Kentucky, 1806...

View Full Bio
to petition the  President to send a force of men there to protect you  are reinstated. The Gov.

14 Jan. 1790–25 July 1844. Farmer, tavern owner, businessman, investor, lawyer, politician. Born near Greenville, Greenville District, South Carolina. Son of Joseph Dunklin Jr. and Sarah Margaret Sullivan. Moved to what became Caldwell Co., Kentucky, 1806...

View Full Bio
proposes to take you back  to your lands whenever you are ready to go (if  we understand correctly) but cannot keep up and  army to guard you;5

Dunklin officially informed church leaders in Missouri on 4 February 1834 that maintaining militia troops in Jackson County “would transcend the powers” he possessed as governor of Missouri. (Daniel Dunklin, Jefferson City, MO, to William W. Phelps et al., 4 Feb. 1834, copy, William W. Phelps, Collection of Missouri Documents, CHL.)  


and while the hostile feelings of the  people of Jackson County

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

More Info
remain unabated probably  you dare not go back to be left unguarded. Therefore,  in your petition to the Gov,

14 Jan. 1790–25 July 1844. Farmer, tavern owner, businessman, investor, lawyer, politician. Born near Greenville, Greenville District, South Carolina. Son of Joseph Dunklin Jr. and Sarah Margaret Sullivan. Moved to what became Caldwell Co., Kentucky, 1806...

View Full Bio
set all these things forth in there  proper light, and pray him to notify the President of  your situation and also petition the President yourselves  according to the direction of the Lord6

The 16–17 December 1833 revelation commanded the church members in Missouri to “importune at the feet of the President.” Church leaders in Missouri wrote to United States president Andrew Jackson and Missouri governor Daniel Dunklin the following April. (Revelation, 16–17 Dec. 1833 [D&C 101:88]; Edward Partridge et al., Petition to Andrew Jackson, 10 Apr. 1834; Sidney Gilbert et al., Liberty, MO, to Andrew Jackson, 10 Apr. 1834, copy; William W. Phelps et al., Liberty, MO, to Daniel Dunklin, 10 Apr. 1834, William W. Phelps, Collection of Missouri Documents, CHL.)  


We have petitioned  Gov [Daniel] Dunklin

14 Jan. 1790–25 July 1844. Farmer, tavern owner, businessman, investor, lawyer, politician. Born near Greenville, Greenville District, South Carolina. Son of Joseph Dunklin Jr. and Sarah Margaret Sullivan. Moved to what became Caldwell Co., Kentucky, 1806...

View Full Bio
in your behalf7

The petition to Governor Dunklin has not been located.  


and enclosed in it a  printed revelation, the source of this which we now send  to you. The petition was signed by something like  sixty brethren and mailed to go to Jefferson City one  week ago, and he will probably received it two weeks [p. 79]
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JS, Sidney Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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, and Frederick G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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wrote this 22 January 1834 letter in response to a 15 December 1833 letter that William W. Phelps

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

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wrote from Clay County

Settled ca. 1800. Organized from Ray Co., 1822. Original size diminished when land was taken to create several surrounding counties. Liberty designated county seat, 1822. Population in 1830 about 5,000; in 1836 about 8,500; and in 1840 about 8,300. Refuge...

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, Missouri, to church leaders in Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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, Ohio, requesting advice on what church members in Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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should do after being driven from their homes in Jackson County

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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. Phelps and other church leaders in Missouri had already petitioned Missouri governor Daniel Dunklin

14 Jan. 1790–25 July 1844. Farmer, tavern owner, businessman, investor, lawyer, politician. Born near Greenville, Greenville District, South Carolina. Son of Joseph Dunklin Jr. and Sarah Margaret Sullivan. Moved to what became Caldwell Co., Kentucky, 1806...

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to help restore church members to their property in Jackson County, to protect them from further violence until they were able to protect themselves, and to commence a court of inquiry into the violence against the Mormons,1

William W. Phelps et al., Petition to Daniel Dunklin, 6 Dec. 1833, copy, William W. Phelps, Collection of Missouri Documents, CHL.  


but they were disappointed by the governor’s response. According to Phelps’s letter, Dunklin had ordered part of the militia to stand prepared to “guard a court martial, and court of Enquiry” and had expressed his willingness to help restore the church members to their lands; however, Dunklin had also indicated that he did not have the authority to keep a military force in Jackson County to protect the Mormons from possible attacks in the future.2

“The Governor is willing to restore us,” Phelps wrote, “but as the constitution gives him no power to guard us, when back, we are not willing to go.” Dunklin’s official response to the petition is dated 4 February 1834; thus Phelps probably received this information about Dunklin’s position from Alexander Doniphan and David R. Atchison, who had been hired as legal counsel to the church and who had been in communication with Missouri attorney general Robert W. Wells. (Letter from William W. Phelps, 15 Dec. 1833; Daniel Dunklin, Jefferson City, MO, to William W. Phelps et al., 4 Feb. 1834, copy; Robert W. Wells, Jefferson City, MO, to Alexander Doniphan and David R. Atchison, 21 Nov. 1833, copy, William W. Phelps, Collection of Missouri Documents, CHL.)  


“I do not write this letter to entertain you with news, or for to wake you up to our dreadful condition,” Phelps wrote to the leaders in Kirtland, “but that you may timely give us some advice what is best to do in our tarry till Zion is redeemed!3
JS and other church leaders in Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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answered Phelps

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

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’s question both in the letter featured here and by sending a revelation that JS had dictated on 16–17 December 1833 explaining why church members had been driven out of Jackson County

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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and instructing them how to obtain redress for their losses.4 Pursuant to the instructions contained in the letter and revelation, church leaders in Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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petitioned United States

North American constitutional republic. Constitution ratified, 17 Sept. 1787. Population in 1805 about 6,000,000; in 1830 about 13,000,000; and in 1844 about 20,000,000. Louisiana Purchase, 1803, doubled size of U.S. Consisted of seventeen states at time ...

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president Andrew Jackson to help restore displaced church members to their homes and property in Jackson County, Missouri. They also wrote to Dunklin, asking him to write to Jackson in support of the church leaders’ petition. Both Jackson and Dunklin

14 Jan. 1790–25 July 1844. Farmer, tavern owner, businessman, investor, lawyer, politician. Born near Greenville, Greenville District, South Carolina. Son of Joseph Dunklin Jr. and Sarah Margaret Sullivan. Moved to what became Caldwell Co., Kentucky, 1806...

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declined their requests.5

Edward Partridge et al., Petition to Andrew Jackson, 10 Apr. 1834, copy; Sidney Gilbert et al., Liberty, MO, to Andrew Jackson, 10 Apr. 1834, copy; William W. Phelps et al., Liberty, MO, to Daniel Dunklin, 10 Apr. 1834; Daniel Dunklin, Jefferson City, MO, to William W. Phelps et al., Liberty, MO, 20 Apr. 1834; Daniel Dunklin, Jefferson City, MO, to William W. Phelps et al., Kirtland, OH, 22 Jan. 1836; Lewis Cass, Washington DC, to Sidney Gilbert et al., Liberty, MO, 2 May 1834, William W. Phelps, Collection of Missouri Documents, CHL.  


The letter featured here also indicates that JS and church leaders in Kirtland had similarly sent a petition to Dunklin and were also planning to send a petition to Jackson. These petitions have not been located.
In addition to discussing the situation in Jackson County

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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, the 22 January 1834 letter addressed other issues, including the making of printing type and the activities of Doctor Philastus Hurlbut

3 Feb. 1809–16 June 1883. Clergyman, farmer. Born at Chittenden Co., Vermont. “Doctor” was his given name. Preacher for Methodist Episcopal Church in Jamestown, Chautauque Co., New York. Baptized into LDS church, 1832/1833, at Jamestown. Ordained an elder...

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, who had been ordered to keep the peace and to appear before the court of common pleas for threatening JS’s life.6

Geauga Co., OH, Court of Common Pleas, Court Records, 1807–1904, Final Record Book P, pp. 431–432, microfilm 20,278, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.  


Hurlbut had recently returned from a journey through Pennsylvania

Area first settled by Swedish immigrants, 1628. William Penn received grant for territory from King Charles II, 1681, and established British settlement, 1682. Philadelphia was center of government for original thirteen U.S. colonies from time of Revolutionary...

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, New York

Located in northeast region of U.S. Area settled by Dutch traders, 1620s; later governed by Britain, 1664–1776. Admitted to U.S. as state, 1788. Population in 1810 about 1,000,000; in 1820 about 1,400,000; in 1830 about 1,900,000; and in 1840 about 2,400,...

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, and Massachusetts

One of original thirteen colonies that formed U.S. Capital city, Boston. Colonized by English religious dissenters, 1620s. Population in 1830 about 610,000. Population in 1840 about 738,000. Joseph Smith Sr. born in Massachusetts. Samuel Smith and Orson Hyde...

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, where he had been looking for evidence to support his claim that the Book of Mormon was based on an unpublished work of fiction written by Solomon Spalding and also “to examine the validity of Joseph Smith’s claims to the character of a Prophet.” Although Hurlbut obtained some of Spalding’s papers, both he and Howe

9 June 1798–10 Nov. 1885. Newspaper editor and publisher, farmer, wool manufacturer. Born at Clifton Park, Saratoga Co., New York. Son of Samuel William Howe and Mabel Dudley. Moved with family to Ovid, Seneca Co., New York, 1804. Located at Niagara District...

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were never able to produce a manuscript that bore any relation to the Book of Mormon. However, Hurlbut did collect several purported signatures and statements from people in New York claiming that the Spalding manuscript was the basis for the Book of Mormon and attesting to the poor character of JS and his family.7

Winchester, Plain Facts, 9–11; “To the Public,” Painesville (OH) Telegraph, 31 Jan. 1834, [3]; Howe, Mormonism Unvailed, chaps. 17, 19.  


Nevertheless, the letter featured here informed the Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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members that because of the judgment against Hurlbut, “his influence was pritty much distroyed.”

Facts