Letter from George Gee, 30 December 1841

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

Dec. 30th. 1841
Dear Sir I have taken my pen at this time for the purpose of informing the of the arrival of in this on his way to I arrived here last week found 4 brethren who came from I hired a Hall in the central part of the to preach in on every Thursday Eve & on every other Sunday Eve thie [they] went and engaged the Winebranarian Chapel on Penn Street— 5 ward to have it when not occupied by themselves and the abolitionist— free of charge!!!! published 5 appointments & when preaching the 2d. who should come in but — I was laboring under a very violent cold— and seeing the door opened for preaching I requested to stay a short time and assist me— he seamed very anxious to go immediately home in obedience to the notice in the “Times & Seasons” but saw the necessity of my having some help and after some reflection agreed to stop a short time on my being responsible to the or agreeing to take the blame on my own shoulders if there was any— I called to mind the saying of — he said “ go to be faithful & if you need help the Lord will send it to you” we have preached 4 times to very crowded rooms— many appear to be much excited & last night preached a “Thundering” discourse on the evidences of the Book of Mormon— after he closed we sold 18 copies of our different Books some [a]ppeared to be honest— but the Devil was there in the form of a street commissioner and a Docter— with alias Book and a [p. [1]] pamphlet containing the trial between Br Joseph and at . called upon us to meet in publick and Discuss the authenticity of the Book of Mormon— we agreed to if they would pay for the use of the Hall— provided they were Men Gentlemen of credit— influence Education and Talent— but we would not Debate with Blackguards— which made them Mad— when they called us imposters and applied any quantity of great titles to Br Joseph— but the Constable told them to stop or they should go before His Honor the Mayor— we then left the room while they read s testimony at as give[n] at our friend the constable has told us to day that Mormonism is all the “To[a]st” to day— and that there is as many fi[gh]ting for us as there is against us— who say that that we have conducted like gentlemen and if Mormonism cannot be put down with the Bible— there is no use to bring up the writing of Blackguards & Newspapers tales that it has ganed to[o] many votaries to be put down in that way— and so long as we conduct ourselves as we have thus far no one shall mosest [molest] us— many express there astonishment because we prove our Doctrine so clearly from their “Law” the Bible— I think that some seed has fallen upon good ground and we shall reap a little wheet in this ungodly — I have found some who say that they are acquainted with & know all about his getting the Spalding manuscript from [Robert] Pattersons office. Patterson is yet living so I am told. I anticipate getting his cirtificate, and wish to write me a letter stating the year when [p. [2]] you moved to — & of your first acquaintance with Patterson, and what questions I shall ask Patterson & if I you think of any other persons in this place that I could get any useful information upon the subject— also is s pamphlet correct that he published about the Spalding story. I am in possession of some facts which was not & think some of publishing a pamphlet if I can get Pattersons cirtificate— upon that subject— I do not wish to trespass upon your valuable time by answering the above questions unless you are perfectly willing. I hope however to get an Epistle from the as soon as this shall come to hand perhaps I may get it before leaves— I feel as though I needed your prayers to sustain me that I may be the humble instrument in the hand of God in faithfully warning this and of gathering out the honest in heart to rejoice in — when Jesus shall reward the faithful and take veng[e]ance on the Rebellious & proud— wishes to be remembered to all Saints and sends his best love to the 1st. Presidency & to the and hopes by the blessing of our Heavenly Father to see them soon—
As Ever Your fellow laborer in the Kingdom and Patience of God
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Post Master
, Hancock County
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Footnotes

  1. 1

    Gee was likely referring to Levick Sturges, William Small, Jeramiah Cooper, and George Simon—all from Philadelphia—who wrote a letter to JS the following month. (Letter from Levick Sturges et al., 30 Jan. 1842.)  

  2. 2

    The fifth ward was located in northern Pittsburgh, bordering the Allegheny River. Members of the Church of God founded by John Winebrenner were popularly known at this time as Winebrennerians. The location of the chapel has not been identified. (Rupp, He Pasa Ekklesia, 171–183; Pittsburgh, [1852].)  

    Rupp, Israel Daniel, ed. He Pasa Ekklesia [The Whole Church]: An Original History of the Religious Denominations at Present Existing in the United States, Contains Authentic Accounts of Their Rise, Progress, Statistics and Doctrines. Written Expressly for the Work by Eminent Theological Professors, Ministers, and Lay-Members, of the Respective Denominations. Projected, Compiled and Arranged by I. Daniel Rupp, of Lancaster, Pa. Philadelphia: J. Y. Humphreys; Harrisburg: Clyde and Williams, 1844.

    Pittsburgh. Lithography by Schuchman and Haunlein; original cartography by R. E. McGowin. Pittsburgh: Woodward and Rowlands, [1852]. Digital image at David Rumsey Map Collection, accessed 15 Jan. 2019, http://www.davidrumsey.com.

  3. 3

    JS and Brigham Young, Notice, Times and Seasons, 15 Oct. 1841, 2:582.  

  4. 4

    Hurlbut collected a series of affidavits about the Smith family. The affidavits, which included allegations of fraud, were published in Howe’s Mormonism Unvailed. If Gee was suggesting that Hurlbut and Howe were the same individual, he was wrong. (See Howe, Mormonism Unvailed, chap. 7.)  

    Howe, Eber D. Mormonism Unvailed: Or, A Faithful Account of That Singular Imposition and Delusion, from Its Rise to the Present Time. With Sketches of the Characters of Its Propagators, and a Full Detail of the Manner in Which the Famous Golden Bible Was Brought before the World. To Which Are Added, Inquiries into the Probability That the Historical Part of the Said Bible Was Written by One Solomon Spalding, More Than Twenty Years Ago, and by Him Intended to Have Been Published as a Romance. Painesville, OH: By the author, 1834.

  5. 5

    In 1834 JS took Hurlbut to court for threatening his life and won. A pamphlet describing Ohio v. Hurlbut has not been located. (See Historical Introduction to Minutes, 4 Apr. 1834.)  

  6. 6

    James Thompson. (Boucher, Century and a Half of Pittsburg and Her People, 424.)  

    Boucher, John Newton, ed. A Century and a Half of Pittsburg and Her People. Vol. 1. New York: Lewis, 1908.

  7. 7

    Copley, who was a former Latter-day Saint at the time of the Painesville trial, testified concerning rumors associated with JS’s visions of the angel Moroni. The men reading his testimony were likely unaware that Copley had recanted his testimony and rejoined the church. (Howe, Mormonism Unvailed, 276–277; JS, Journal, 1 Apr. 1836.)  

    Howe, Eber D. Mormonism Unvailed: Or, A Faithful Account of That Singular Imposition and Delusion, from Its Rise to the Present Time. With Sketches of the Characters of Its Propagators, and a Full Detail of the Manner in Which the Famous Golden Bible Was Brought before the World. To Which Are Added, Inquiries into the Probability That the Historical Part of the Said Bible Was Written by One Solomon Spalding, More Than Twenty Years Ago, and by Him Intended to Have Been Published as a Romance. Painesville, OH: By the author, 1834.

  8. 8

    See Matthew 13:8.  

  9. 9

    Patterson was a Pittsburgh printer and co-owner of the printing office Patterson and Lambdin. This was the printing office to which Solomon Spalding had submitted his unpublished manuscript and from which Rigdon allegedly pilfered it. (Howe, Mormonism Unvailed, 286–290.)  

    Howe, Eber D. Mormonism Unvailed: Or, A Faithful Account of That Singular Imposition and Delusion, from Its Rise to the Present Time. With Sketches of the Characters of Its Propagators, and a Full Detail of the Manner in Which the Famous Golden Bible Was Brought before the World. To Which Are Added, Inquiries into the Probability That the Historical Part of the Said Bible Was Written by One Solomon Spalding, More Than Twenty Years Ago, and by Him Intended to Have Been Published as a Romance. Painesville, OH: By the author, 1834.

  10. 10

    Benjamin Winchester, The Origin of the Spaulding Story, concerning the Manuscript Found . . . (Philadelphia: Brown, Bicking and Guilbert, 1840).  

    Winchester, B[enjamin]. The Origin of the Spaulding Story, concerning the Manuscript Found; with a Short Biography of Dr. P. Hulbert, the Originator of the Same; and Some Testimony Adduced, Showing It to Be a Sheer Fabrication, So Far as Its Connection with the Book of Mormon Is Concerned. Philadelphia: Brown, Bicking, and Guilbert, 1840.

  11. 11

    See Revelation 1:9.  

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    Circular postmark stamped in red ink.  

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    Postage stamped in red ink.