Times and Seasons (, Hancock Co., IL), 16 May 1842, vol. 3, no. 14, pp. 783–798; edited by JS. For more complete source information, see the source note for Letter to Isaac Galland, 22 Mar. 1839.
The 16 May 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons was the sixth issue of the newspaper JS edited. It featured a variety of items, including “A Fac-simile from the Book of Abraham. No. 3,” with an explanation of various figures depicted in the facsimile, a serial installment of the “History of Joseph Smith,” letters from British members, and reprinted articles from the Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star and Dollar Weekly Bostonian. In addition, the 16 May 1842 issue included three editorial comments, written by JS or the staff of the newspaper, which are featured here. JS’s level of involvement is unclear—he may have directed their creation or reviewed the material once written—but as editor he assumed editorial responsibility for all of the content in the issues of the paper published during his time as editor.
Note that only the editorial content created specifically for this issue of the Times and Seasons is annotated here. Articles reprinted from other papers, letters, conference minutes, and notices, are reproduced here but not annotated. Items that are stand-alone JS documents are annotated elsewhere; links are provided to these stand-alone documents.
A letter to the editor from an individual identified only by the initials “I. T.” related and refuted discussions of the church in the Baptist periodical the Cross and Journal, published in Columbus, Ohio.
it had sunk some three or four feet beneath the surface. Its weight, if we are not much mistaken, was not far from a ton.
Postscript.—Since writing the above, we have conversed with Mr. Horace Palmer, who was on his way from Dunkirk to this place when the meteor appeared. He was two or three miles from Dunkirk, when he appeared to be instantly surrounded with a most painfully vivid light, proceeding from a mass of fluid or jelly like substance, which fell around and upon him, producing a sulphureous smell, a great difficulty of breathing, and a feeling of faintness with a strong sensation of heat. As soon as he could recover from his astonishment he perceived the body of the meteor passing above him, seeming to be about a mile high.— It then appeared to be in diameter about the size of a large steamboat pipe, near a mile in length! Its dimensions varied soon; becoming first much broader and then waning away in diameter and length until the former was reduced to about eight inches, and the latter to a fourth of a mile, when it separated into pieces which fell to the earth and almost immediately he heard the explosion, which he says was tremendous. On arriving here in the morning, his face had every appearance of having been severely scorched; his eyes were much affected, and he did not recover from the shock it gave his system for two or three days. This is really a marvellous story; but Mr. Palmer is a temperate and an industrious man, and a man of integrity: and we believe any one conversing with him on the subject, would be satisfied that he intends no deception; but describes the scene as nearly as possible, as it actually appeared. Probably however his agitation at his sudden introduction to such a scene, caused the meteor to be somewhat magnified to him. Witnesses here speak of the sparks which were thrown off; probably one of those sparks fell and enveloped Mr. Palmer. In addition to its light, Mr. Palmer states that its passage was accompanied by a sound like that of a car moving on a railroad, only louder.
At Salem an observer stated the meteor to be “as large as a house”—rather indefinite, but proving it to have been one of extraordinary magnitude. It was noticed at North East, Waterford, and Sugar Grove, Pa.; Harmony, , and other towns in this county. The report was heard also at . In , an observer describes it a six or eight inches in diameter, and half a mile long.
We learn also that it burst about three miles beyond Fredonia, Or about eighteen from this place. The report is, that a fragment has been found, a foot or more in diameter, but we know not the original authority of the statement.
If it did burst where it is represented to have done, and it was seen here until it exploded, its elevation must have been about 35 miles.— This is pretty low in comparison with most of them, but it would seem from the account of Mr. Palmer that it was much lower still. Perhaps it was not observed here as long as it might have been from good points of vision.— Its course is represented by all to have been North Easterly.
In copying the above account, the Commercial Advertiser says: “At and Rochester, places about 150 miles apart in a straight line, the light was nearly as vivid as that of day. This shows the immense magnitude and great height of the meteor.”
having returned from this tour he left me and went home to , arranged his affairs and returned again to my house about the twelfth of April, eighteen hundred and twenty eight, and commenced writing for me, while I translated from the plates, which we continued until the fourteenth of June following, by which time he had written one hundred and sixteen pages of manuscript on foolscap paper. Some time after had begun to write for me he began to teaze me to give him liberty to carry the writings home and shew them, and desired of me that I would enquire of the Lord through the Urim and Thummim if he might not do so. I did enquire, and the answer was that he must not. However he was not satisfied with this answer, and desired that I should enquire again. I did so, and the answer was as before. Still he could not be contented, but insisted that I should enquire once more. After much solicitation I again enquired of the Lord, and permission was granted him to have the writings on certain conditions, which were, that he shew them only to his brother , his own , his , and his , and a Mrs. [Mary (Polly) Harris] Cobb, a sister to his wife. In accordance with this last answer I required of him that he should bind himself in a covenant to me in the most solemn manner, that he would not do otherwise than had been directed. He did so. He bound himself as I required of him, took the writings and went his way. [p. 785]