MORMON  STUDIES  PRESENTS:



Who Really Wrote
The Book
of Mormon?




by

Howard A. Davis
(et al.)

(1977)






Intro.   |   Ch. 1   |   Ch. 2   |   Ch. 3   |   Ch. 4   |   Ch. 5   |   Ch. 6   |   Ch. 7
go to:  Title  |  Contents  |  Appendices  |  Bibliography  |  Back Cover

Entire contents copyright by Wayne L. Cowdery, Donald R. Scales and Howard A. Davis.


 

return to page 116


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Our scenario has unfolded in the preceding pages to show us a picture of Spalding as a struggling, ill novelist who died with his dream of a published novel inscribing his name in history remaining as nothing more than that -- a dream. Rigdon has shown himself to be a young visionary -- perhaps so dedicated to his own dreams that he thought nothing of appropriating for himself Spalding's dream and modifying it from a novel to a new religion. Both Spalding and Rigdon have had their names inscribed in history. But we believe the evidence shows that while Spalding's name remains that of a would-be novelist, Rigdon's name may well go down as that of a book thief whose misguided actions built an empire on a cracked foundation.

Rigdon's act, supported as we believe by the facts,





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was much more important than that of improperly obtaining another man's literary work. Rigdon took Spalding's novel and, history shows, transformed it and claimed more for it than any novel could hope to claim -- complete inspiration from God. Perhaps we may never know how much of the picture was planned and executed by Rigdon and how much by Smith or Cowdery or others. The evidence points, however, to Rigdon as the instigator and original "discoverer" of the Mormon Bible, Spalding's Manuscript Found.

In this chapter we will examine Rigdon's association with Joseph Smith. Did the two meet, as Mormon sources say, after Rigdon's "conversion" in 1830? Or were they intimate acquaintances long before that time? What evidence do we have for declaring that Rigdon took Spalding's manuscript to Smith and that their collaboration (with others) produced in 1830 The Book of Mormon as it was first published? The following chart outlines the events detailed in this chapter which link Sidney Rigdon with Joseph Smith.



RIGDON/SMITH CHRONOLOGY

1823-30

1827 (February)


1827 (March)


1827 (June)


1827 (October)
Rigdon is evangelist for Disciples of Christ.

Rigdon's official itinerary (o. i.) shows a gap which
continues through April of 1827.

During this same gap, Lorenzo Saunders saw Smith and
Rigdon together near Smith's home.

Gap in Rigdon's o.i.
Mrs. Eaton's testimony places Smith and Rigdon together.

Gap in Rigdon's o.i.
Lorenzo Saunders' testimony again places Smith and
Rigdon together.
Sometime during 1827, Abel D. Chase saw Smith and
Rigdon together.





A Rigdon-Smith Conspiracy / 119   

1828 (June)





1828 (August)



1829 (June/July)



1829 (November/
December)

1830 (April/June)



1830 (August/
November)






1830 (November)
Gap in Rigdon's o.i.
Smith records that 116 pages of The Book of Mormon is
missing (Doctrine and Covenants, Section 3).
Pomeroy Tucker's testimony declares that Rigdon visited
Smith at the time the pages were missing.

Gap in Rigdon's o.i.
For the third time, Lorenzo Saunders places Smith and
Rigdon together.

Gap in Rigdon's o.i.
David Whitmer (founding Mormon) testifies that Smith
and Rigdon were together.

Lorenzo Saunders again saw Smith and
Rigdon together.

Gap in Rigdon's o.i.
Mr. Pearne testifies that he often saw
Smith and Rigdon together.

Gap in Rigdon's o.i.
Lorenzo Saunders heard Rigdon preach on
Mormonism in the summer of 1830.
Mrs. S. F. Anderick saw Smith and Rigdon together
several times "during warm weather."
Doctrine and Covenants 32-33 commands missionaries
to "go west" in October, where they "find" and "convert" Rigdon.

On the fourteenth, Rigdon is baptized into
the Mormon Church by Oliver Cowdery.



The Rigdon/Smith Connection

As is clear from the above chronology, Rigdon was away from his ministerial duties without explanation many times between the years of 1827 and 1830. As a matter of fact, his official itinerary (compiled mostly from Mormon sources), lists no fewer than fifteen gaps from 1827 until his conversion to Mormonism in October of 1830.





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These absences were noticed by those he associated with as well as by us. Our research intensified when we discovered that these gaps sometimes paralleled events described in Doctrine and Covenants to which a confidant would probably be invited. Since his absences were noticed by us and by his contemporaries, why weren't they noticed and investigated by Rigdon's Mormon biographers? Or, if they were noticed and investigated, why weren't the results made public?

Z. Rudolph (whose brother's testimony is presented on page 112 of Chapter 5) had this to say about Rigdon's frequent absences during this period:
During the winter previous to the appearance of the Book of Mormon, Rigdon was in the habit of spending weeks away from his home, going no one knew where: and that he often appeared very preoccupied, and would indulge in dreamy, imaginative talks, which puzzled those who listened. When the Book of Mormon appeared and Rigdon joined in the advocacy of the new religion, the suspicion was at once aroused that he was one of the framers of the new doctrines, and probably was not ignorant of the authorship of the Book of Mormon. 1

Mrs. Sophia Munson also noticed Rigdon's absences. She was living directly across from the Rigdon family at the time in question and, although a young girl, knew Rigdon and his wife well and observed Rigdon's more eccentric practices. She was already living on Mentor Road before Rigdon moved there in 1827, when she was seventeen years old. Her statement concerning the years 1827-30, and in particular Rigdon's conversion to Mormonism, is enlightening:
My parents settled on Mentor Road, four miles west of Painesville, Ohio, in 1810, when I was six weeks old. I well remember when Elder Rigdon came and lived opposite




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our house in 1827. He was very poor, and when he had much company would send his children to the neighbors to borrow knives, forks, dishes and also for provisions. Father kept his horse and cow gratis.

Rigdon was a very lazy man, he would not make his garden and depended on the church for garden supplies. He would sit around and do nothing. He was away much of the time, and sometimes claimed he had been to Pittsburgh, Pa. I was quilting at his house until 1 o'clock at night the day the four Mormons came to convert Rigdon. I heard some of their conversation in the adjoining room. Orson Hyde bearded at our house and attended a select school, also to Rigdon, who taught some evenings.

My parents joined the Cambellite Church, in Mentor, during Eld. Adamson Bentley's protracted meetings, I think, in 1828. Mrs. Rigdon was an excellent woman, and never complained of their poverty.
(Signed)
Mrs. Sophia Munson
Mentor, Ohio, February, 1885.

The true significance of the gaps in Rigdon's itinerary becomes evident only as we examine 1) their number, 2) their timing (in relation to Smith's activities especially), and 3) the testimonies establishing his early relationship with Smith.

Even to the casual observer, the number of Rigdon's absences from his pastorate is unusual. Added to this is the testimony of his acquaintances that these absences consistently were unexplained -- and, as our testimony will show, sometimes the brief explanations were contradictory.

Often an absence in Rigdon's schedule corresponds exactly to a particular event recorded by Smith concerning Mormonism or The Book of Mormon. For example, a





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gap in June of 1828 corresponds exactly to Smith's recording that 116 pages of The Book of Mormon were lost at this time by Martin Harris. If Rigdon were in possession of Spalding's manuscript, wouldn't it be logical for him to travel quickly to Smith's residence in New York to either replace the missing pages or authorize some substitution?

Finally, we are faced with consistent testimony from Smith's neighbors and others placing Rigdon and Smith together frequently during the three years before the publication of The Book of Mormon. Each testimony corresponds to one of the gaps in Rigdon's itinerary.


CHRONOLOGY OF
ELDER RIGDON'S SCHEDULE


YEAR

1826
1826
1827
1827

1827
1827

1827
1827
1827
1827
1827
1827
1827
1827

1827
1827
1827
1827
MONTH

Nov.
Dec.
Jan.
Feb.

Mar.
Apr.

June
June
June
July
July
July
Aug.
Aug.

Oct.
Oct.
Oct.
Nov.
DAY

2
13






5
7
15
3
12
19
10
23

9
20
27
EVENT

Marriage of Smith and Giles.
Above marriage recorded.
Held meeting at Mantua, Ohio.
Funeral of Hannah Tanner, Chester, Ohio.
   (Gap of about one month.)
Held meeting at Mentor, Ohio.
Held meeting at Mentor Ohio.
   (Gap of possibly one month and a half.)
Marriage of Freeman and Watterman.
Above marriage recorded.
Baptized Thomas Clapp at Mentor, Ohio.
Marriage of Cray and Kerr.
Above marriage recorded.
Marriage of Snow and Parker.
Above marriage recorded.
Met with Ministerial Assoc., New Lisbon, Ohio.
   (Gap of one month and seventeen days.)
Marriage of Sherman and Mathews.
At Ministerial Council, Warren, Ohio.
Marriage of Sherman and Mathews recorded.
Held meeting at New Lisbon, Ohio.





A Rigdon-Smith Conspiracy / 123   

YEAR

1827
1827
1827
1828
1828
1828
1828
1828
1828
1828

1828
1828
1828
1828

1829
1829
1829
1829
1829
1829

1829
1829
1829
1829
1829
1829
1829
1829
1829
1829
1829
1830

1830

1830
1830
1830

1830
1830
1830
MONTH

Dec.
Dec.
Dec.
Jan.
Feb.
Mar.
Mar.
Apr.
May
June

Aug.
Sept.
Sept.
Oct.

Jan.
Feb.
Feb.
Mar.
Apr.
May

July
Aug.
Aug.
Sept.
Sept.
Sept.
Oct.
Oct.
Oct.
Nov.
Dec.
Jan.

Mar.

June
July
Aug.

Nov.
Nov.
Nov.
DAY

6
12
13
8
14
31






7
18
13

1
1
12

12


1

13
14
14

1
7


31
12







4
11
14
EVENT

Marriage of Wait and Gunn.
Above marriage recorded.
Marriage of Cottrell and Olds.
Above marriage recorded.
Marriage of Herrington and Coming.
Above marriage recorded.
Instructed theological class, Mentor, Ohio.
Conducted revival at Kirtland, Ohio.
Met Campbell at Shalersville.
Baptized H. H. Clapp, Mentor, Ohio.
   (Gap of possibly two months.)
At Association, Warren, Ohio.
Marriage of Dille and Kent.
Marriage of Coming and Wilson.
Above marriages recorded.
   (Gap of two months and a half.)
Marriage of Churchill and Fosdick.
Marriage of Root and Tuttle.
Above marriages recorded.
Meeting at Mentor, Ohio.
Meeting at Kirtland, Ohio.
Baptized Lyman Wight.
   (Gap of possibly one month and a half.)
Organized church at Perry, Ohio.
Baptized Mrs. Lyman Wight.
Marriage of Strong and More.
Above marriage recorded.
Marriage of Atwater and Clapp.
Held meeting at Mentor, Ohio.
Marriage of Roberts and Bates.
The last two marriages recorded.
At Perry, Ohio.
Held meeting at Wait Hill, Ohio.
Marriage of Chandler and Johnson.
Above marriage recorded.
   (Gap of possibly two months.)
At Mentor, Ohio.
   (Gap of two months.)
At Mentor, Ohio.
Held meeting at Pleasant Valley, Ohio.
Met Campbell at Austintown, Ohio.
   (Gap of easily two-and-a-half months.)
Marriage of Wood and Cleaveland.
Above marriage recorded.
Rigdon baptized by Cowdery. 2






124 / Who Really Wrote the Book of Mormon?   

An examination of the preceding chart shows in detail the activities of Rigdon during this time. Remember, too, that where the record shows "Above marriage recorded," it is not implying that Rigdon was present at the recording. At that time, records were commonly kept by the church secretary, a deacon, or the preacher's wife. Any one of them could and did record the marriages the preacher performed.

The distance between Rigdon's home in Ohio and Joseph's in New York was about 250 miles and could be traveled by horseback in five or six days. A gap in Rigdon's itinerary of even one month would allow ample opportunity for him to have conferred with Smith.

An interesting conjecture concerning the coincidence of Rigdon's activities and Smith's "revelations" concerns the actual production of the manuscript. If Rigdon had actually taken Spalding's manuscript from Patterson's Print Shop in Pittsburgh, surely Silas Engles, foreman of the shop, would have known of Spalding's suspicions concerning Rigdon. Perhaps Engles even knew that Rigdon possessed the story. If Rigdon desired to publish Spalding's Manuscript Found as his own work (either as a romance or a revelation), he would certainly do all within his power to see that no one discovered the fraud. For example, he would be much more likely to publish the manuscript after Engles had died.

Is it mere coincidence that Engles died in July of 1827 and that Smith recorded a "revelation" in September of that year, declaring that it was now permissible to uncover, translate, and publish the golden plates? This possibility is also supported by the fact that Mrs. Munson remembered that Rigdon had traveled to Pittsburgh at different times -- perhaps during the gap in his itinerary the month after Engles' death. This possibility is also supported by the fact that Engles was





A Rigdon-Smith Conspiracy / 125   

the last person to link Rigdon conclusively with his close friend, Lambdin, who had died on August 1, 1825.

In 1825 Smith moved to Bainbridge, New York, and was convicted there for "glass-looking," or seeking buried treasure for a fee by means of mystical stones placed in his hat. 3 As previously noted, Bainbridge was only thirty miles from Hartwick, where at the time Spalding's own copy of the manuscript lay at the bottom of his trunk, last seen before Spalding's daughter's marriage in 1828.

All of these conjectures mean nothing, however, if there is no evidence to back them up. We need solid facts to show that Rigdon and Smith were acquainted long before either of them admitted this fact to the public. If Rigdon did make several trips to New York to visit Smith, to prepare him for the office of "prophet" and to give him the Spalding manuscript (including altered portions of it), then one would expect to find that Smith's neighbors knew of Rigdon's visits. We do have that evidence: there are testimonies of eyewitnesses who saw Rigdon and Smith together between 1827 and 1830, before The Book of Mormon was published.


The Testimony of Chase

Able D. Chase was a teenager at the time he first saw Rigdon and Smith together, in 1827. He testified:

Palmyra, Wayne Co., N.Y., May 2, 1879

I, Abel D. Chase, now living in Palmyra, Wayne Co., N.Y., make the following statement regarding my early acquaintance with Joseph Smith and incidents about the production of the so-called Mormon Bible. I was well acquainted with the Smith family, frequently visiting the Smith boys and they me. I was a youth at the time from twelve to thirteen years old, having




126 / Who Really Wrote the Book of Mormon?   

been born Jan. 19, 1814, at Palmyra, N.Y. During some of my visits at the Smiths, I saw a stranger there who they said was Mr. Rigdon. He was at Smith's several times, and it was in the year of 1827 when I first saw him there, as near as I can recollect. Some time after that tales were circulated that young Joe had found or dug from the earth a BOOK OF PLATES which the Smiths called the GOLDEN BIBLE. I don't think Smith had any such plates. He was mysterious in his actions. The PEEPSTONE, in which he was accustomed to look, he got off my elder brother Willard while at work for us digging a well. It was a singular looking stone and young Joe pretended he could discover hidden things in it.

My brother Willard Chase died at Palmyra, N.Y., on March 10, 1871. His affidavit, published in Howe's "History of Mormonism," is genuine. Peter Ingersoll, whose affidavit was published in the same book, is also dead. He moved West years ago and died about two years ago. Ingersoll had the reputation of being a man of his word, and I have no doubt his sworn statement regarding the Smiths and the Mormon Bible is genuine. I was also well acquainted with Thomas P. Baldwin, a lawyer and Notary Public, and Frederick Smith, a lawyer and magistrate, before whom Chase's and Ingersoll's depositions were made, and who were residents of this village at the time and for several years after.
(Signed)
Abel D. Chase
Abel D. Chase signed the above statement in our presence, and he is known to us and the entire community here as a man whose word is always the exact truth and above any possible suspicion.
Pliny T. Sexton
J. H. Gilbert 4

In corroboration of our thesis, previously expressed, Chase confirms that Rigdon not only met Smith before The Book of Mormon was published, but that he was at





A Rigdon-Smith Conspiracy / 127   

the Smith's "several times." Sexton, one of the witnesses to Chase's statement, was president of the city bank in Palmyra, and his own word was as trustworthy as that of Chase.


The Testimony of Gilbert and Saunders

Ironically, the second witness, Gilbert, was the proofreader of The Book of Mormon at the time of its first printing! However, Gilbert's interest in the Rigdon/Smith relationship was not confined to proofreading. We also have his statement about a conversation he had with Lorenzo Saunders, a resident of Palmyra, who in two separate statements gave us the most complete information on the matter. Gilbert's statement can act as a preface to Saunders' first statement.
Last evening I had about 15 minutes conversation with Mr. Lorenzo Saunders of Reading, Hillsdale Co., Mich. He had been gone about thirty years (from this area). He was born south of our village in 1811, and was a near neighbor of the Smith family -- knew them all well; was in the habit of visiting the Smith boys; says he knows that Rigdon was hanging around Smith's for eighteen months prior to the publishing of the Mormon Bible. 5


SAUNDERS' FIRST STATEMENT
Reading, January 28, 1885

Mister Gregg, Dear Sir. I received your note ready at hand and will try answer the best I can and give all the information I can as respecting Mormonism and the first origin. As respecting Oliver Cowdery, he came from Kirtland in the summer of 1826 and was about there until fall and took a school in the district where the




128 / Who Really Wrote the Book of Mormon?   

Smiths lived and the next summer he was missing and I didn't see him until fall and he came back and took our school in the district where we lived and taught about a week and went to the schoolboard and wanted the board to let him off and they did and he went to Smith and went to writing the Book of Mormon and wrote all winter. The Mormons say it wasn't wrote there but I say it was because I was there. I saw Sidney Rigdon in the Spring of 1827, about the middle of March. I went to Smiths to eat maple sugar, and I saw five or six men standing in a group and there was one among them better dressed than the rest and I asked Harrison Smith who he was and he said his name was Sidney Rigdon, a friend of Joseph's from Pennsylvania. I saw him in the Fall of 1827 on the road between where I lived and Palmyra, with Joseph. I was with a man by the name of Jugegsah, (sp. ?). They talked together and when he went on I asked Jugegsah (sp. ?) who he was and he said it was Rigdon. Then in the summer of 1828 I saw him at Samuel Lawrence's just before harvest. I was cutting corn for Lawrence and went to dinner and he took dinner with us and when dinner was over they went into another room and I didn't see him again till he came to Palmyra to preach. You want to know how Smith acted about it. The next morning after he claimed to have got plates he came to our house and said he had got the plates and what a struggle he had in getting home with them. Two men tackled him and he fought and knocked them both down and made his escape and secured the plates and had them safe and secure. He showed his thumb where he bruised it in fighting those men. After went from the house, my mother says "What a liar Joseph Smith is; he lies every word he says; I know he lies because he looks so guilty; he can't see out of his eyes; how dare tell such a lie as that." The time he claimed to have taken the plates from the hill was on the 22 day of September, in 1827, and I went on the next Sunday following with five or six other ones and we hunted the side hill by course and could not find no place where the ground had




A Rigdon-Smith Conspiracy / 129   

been broke. There was a large hole where the money diggers had dug a year or two before, but no fresh dirt. There never was such a hole; there never was any plates taken out of that hill nor any other hill in that " country, was in Wayne county. It is all a lie. No, sir, I never saw the plates nor no one else. He had an old glass box with a tile in it, about 7x8 inches, and that ! was the gold plates and Martin Harris didn't know a gold plate from a brick at this time. Smith and Rigdon had an intimacy but it was very secret and still and there was a mediator between them and that was Cowdery. The Manuscript was stolen by Rigdon and modelled over by him and then handed over to Cowdery and he copied them and Smith sat behind the curtain and handed them out to Cowdery and as fast as Cowdery copied them, they was handed over to Martin Harris and he took them to Egbert Granden, the one who printed them, and Gilbert set the type. I never knew any of the twelve that claimed to have seen the plates except Martin Harris and the Smiths. I knew all the Smiths, they had not much learning, they was poor scholars. The older ones did adhere to Joseph Smith. He had a peep stone he pretended to see in. He could see all the hidden treasures in the ground and all the stolen property. But that was all a lie, he couldn't see nothing. He was an impostor. I now will close. I don't know as you can read this. If you can, please excuse my bad spelling and mistakes.
Yours With Respect,
From Lorenzo Saunders 6

Saunders' first statement confirms several possibilities we raised earlier. First, he unequivocally places Rigdon with Smith as early as the spring of 1827. Second, his testimony has clarified Smith's neighbors' opinions of Joseph Smith's character. These opinions fall short of the opinions presented in most Mormon sources, which portray Smith as a veritable saint throughout all his life. Third, Saunders gave us some





130 / Who Really Wrote the Book of Mormon?   

tangible information concerning the finding of the "plates." He declared that, in the company of others, he tried to find the hole from which Smith supposedly removed the plates on the hill "Cumorah," but, as much as he searched, there was no hole, no stone, and no lever as Smith had described lust the week before.

Saunders' second testimony was given two years after the first and, although shorter, was concise and confirmed his previous testimony in all essentials.
Statement of Lorenzo Saunders.
Hillsdale County, State of Michigan. Lorenzo Saunders being duly sworn deposes and says: That I reside in Reading, Hillsdale County, State of Michigan; that I was born in the town of Palmyra, Wayne County, State of New York, on June 7, A.D. 1811, and am now seventy-six years of age. That I lived in said town of Palmyra until I was forty-three of age. That I lived within one mile of Joseph Smith at the time said Joseph Smith claimed that he found the "tablets" on which the "Book of Mormon" was revealed. That I went to the "Hill Comorah" on the Sunday following the date that Joseph Smith claimed he found the plates, it being three miles from my home, and I tried to find the place where the earth had been broken by being dug up, but was unable to find any place where the ground had been disturbed.

That my father died on the 10th day of October, A.D. 1825. That in March of 1827, on or about the 15th of said month I went to the home of Joseph Smith for the purpose of getting some maple sugar to eat, that when I arrived at the house of said Joseph Smith, I was met at the door by Harrison Smith, Jo's brother. That at a distance of ten or twelve rods from the house there were five men that were engaged in talking, four of whom I knew, the fifth one was better dressed than the rest of those whom I was acquainted with. I inquired of Harrison Smith who the stranger was? He informed me his name was Sidney Rigdon with whom




A Rigdon-Smith Conspiracy / 131   

I afterwards became acquainted with and found to be Sidney Rigdon. This was in March, A.D. 1827, the second spring after the death of my father. I was frequently at the house of Joseph Smith from 1827 to 1830. That I saw Oliver Cowdery writing, I suppose the "Book of Mormon" with books and manuscript laying on the table before him; that I went to school to said Oliver Cowdery and knew him well. That in the summer of 1830, I heard Sydney Rigdon preach a sermon on Mormonism. This was after the "Book of Mormon" had been published, which took about three years from the time that Joseph Smith claimed to have had his revelation.
(Signed)
Lorenzo Saunders
Sworn and subscribed to before me this 21st day of July, A.D. 1887.
(Signed)
Linus S. Parmelee.
Justice of the Peace of Reading, Mich. 7

The most significant statements contained in the above affidavit are: l)that Lorenzo Saunders could find no evidence of the site where Smith claimed he had dug up the golden plates, even though Saunders searched the hill just the Sunday after Smith claimed his discovery; 2) that the first time Saunders saw Rigdon and Smith together was in March of 1827, almost 3 1/2 years before Rigdon was supposedly first approached by Mormons; 3) that Saunders was not only told that the well-dressed stranger was Rigdon, but that Saunders afterwards became personally acquainted with Rigdon; 4) that Cowdery was working on the manuscript before Mormon sources say he was (for example, the LDS book The Restored Church states on page 35 that Cowdery first met Smith April 5, 1829); 5) that Rigdon preached on Mormonism the summer before he allegedly first heard





132 / Who Really Wrote the Book of Mormon?   

Of the "restored gospel;" and 6) that Saunders was qualified to make the above observations, because during the period of time from 1827 to 1830 he was "frequently at the house of Joseph Smith."


The Testimony of Anderick

Another neighbor of the Smiths was Mrs. S. F. Anderick. She was born in 1809, and was two years older than Lorenzo Saunders. She too observed some of the same things as did Saunders. Let her tell her own story.
I was born in New York State near the Massachusetts line, May 7, 1809. In 1812 my parents moved to a farm two miles from the village, and in the township of Palmyra, New York. In 1823 mother died, and I went to her sister's, Mrs. Earl Wilcox, where I lived much of the time until December, 1828, when I went to live with father who had again married and settled on a farm on the Holland Patent, twenty miles west of Rochester, New York. Uncle Earl's farm was four miles south of Palmyra village, and his house was nearly opposite old Jo Smith's, father of the Mormon prophet. Old Jo was dissipated. He and his son Hyrum worked some at coopering. Hyrum was the only son sufficiently educated to teach school. I attended when he taught in the log school house east of uncle's. He also taught in the Stafford District. He and Sophronia were the most respected of the family, who were not much thought of in the community. They cleared the timber from only a small part of their farm, and never paid for the land. They tried to live without work . . . I have often heard the neighbors say they did not know how the Smiths lived, they earned so little money. The farmers who lived near the Smiths had many sheep and much poultry stolen. They often sent officers to search the premises of the Smiths for stolen property, who usually found the house locked. It was said the creek near the house of the Smiths was lined with the




A Rigdon-Smith Conspiracy / 133   

feet and heads of sheep. Uncle's children were all sons, and they played with Smith's younger children, I associated much with Sophronia Smith, the oldest daughter, as she was the only girl near my age who lived in our vicinity. I often accompanied her, Hyrum, and young Jo Smith, who became the Mormon prophet, to apple parings and parties. Jo was pompous, pretentious, and active at parties. He claimed, when a young man, he could tell where lost or hidden things and treasures were buried or located with a forked witch hazel. He deceived many farmers, and induced them to dig nights for chests of gold, when the pick struck the chest, someone usually spoke, and Jo would say the enchantment was broken, and the chest would leave.

Willard Chase, a Methodist who lived about two miles from uncle's, while digging a well, found a gray smooth stone about the size and shape of an egg. Sallie, Willard's sister, also a Methodist, told me several times that young Jo Smith, who became the Mormon prophet, often came to inquire of her where to dig for treasures. She told me she would place the stone in a hat and hold it to her face, and claimed things would be brought to her view. Sallie let me have it several times. but I never could see anything in or through it. I heard that Jo obtained it and called it a peep-stone, which he used in the place of the witch hazel. Uncle refused to let Jo dig on his farm. I have seen many holes where he dug on other farms.

When Jo joined the Presbyterian Church, in Palmyra village, it caused much talk and surprise, as he claimed to receive revelations from the Lord. He also claimed he found some gold plates with characters on them, in a hill between uncle s and father's, which I often crossed. Several times I saw what he claimed were the plates, which were covered with a cloth. They appeared to be six or eight inches square. He frequently carried them with him. I heard they kept them under the brick hearth.

He was from home much summers. Sometimes he said he had been to Broome County, New York, and



134 / Who Really Wrote the Book of Mormon?   

Pennsylvania. Several times while I was visiting Sophronia Smith at old Jo's house, she told me that a stranger who I saw there several times in warm weather and several months apart, was Mr. Rigdon. At other times the Smith children told me that Mr. Rigdon was at their house when I did not see him. I did not read much in the "Book of Mormon" because I had no confidence in 10. Palmyra people claimed that Jo did not know enough to be the author of the "Book of Mormon", and believed that Rigdon was its author. I was acquainted with most of the people about us, and with Martin Harris.

On my way to California I stopped in Salt Lake City from July, 1852, until March, 1853. I received much attention from Mormon ladies because I was acquainted, and had danced with their prophet.
(Signed)
Mrs. S.F. Anderick.
Witnessed by:
       Mrs. L.A, Rogers (daughter),
       Oscar G. Rogers (grandson).
Subscribed and sworn before F.S. Baker, Notary Public for Monterey County, California, June 24, 1887. 8

With the introduction of Mrs. Anderick's testimony, more pieces are fitted into the puzzle of Rigdon's early involvement with Smith. Her testimony confirms our thesis that Joseph was a sort of fortune-teller (see Appendix 2), using first witch hazel (probably like a divining rod), and then a stone, which led to his appellation of "peep-stone gazer." Mrs. Anderick also saw what Smith said were the "golden plates" several times. However, as is true with all of the people who "witnessed" the plates, she never actually saw them, but only saw something covered with a cloth that Smith claimed were the plates!

Mrs. Anderick supplies one piece to our puzzle that none of the previous testimony contained. She declared





A Rigdon-Smith Conspiracy / 135   

that Smith was gone often in the summer and had even gone to Pennsylvania. Since Rigdon's travels often took him to Pennsylvania during this time, it is quite conceivable that the two men met several times in Pennsylvania (perhaps in Pittsburgh). Could they have met during the month following the death of Engles, in the summer of 1827?

Mrs. Anderick's testimony provides additional confirmation that Rigdon knew Smith long before 1830, and in fact frequented Smith's house. Mrs. Anderick said that she saw Rigdon "several times in warm weather"; this could hardly refer to Rigdon's public visit in December/January of 1831, because this was certainly not the season of warm weather, and this visit occurred two years after Mrs. Anderick moved to her father's new farm !


The Testimony of Hendrix

A quite detailed statement concerning the origin of The Book of Mormon and the relationship between Sidney Rigdon and Joseph Smith was provided by Daniel Hendrix, who as a young man lived in Palmyra and was very well acquainted with Smith and later Rigdon. He said:
I was a young man in a store in Palmyra, N.Y. from 1822 until 1830 ... and among the daily visitors at the establishment was Joseph Smith, Jr. Every one knew him as Joe Smith. He had lived in Palmyra a few years previous to my going there from Rochester.

Joe was the most ragged, lazy fellow in the place, and that is saying a good deal. He was about 25 years old. I can see him now, in my mind's eye, with his torn and patched trousers held to his form by a pair of suspenders made out of sheeting, with his calico shirt as dirty and black as the earth, and his uncombed hair




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sticking through the holes in his old battered hat. In winter I used to pity him, for his shoes were so old and worn out that he must have suffered in the snow and slush; yet Joe had a jovial, easy, don't care way about him that made him a lot of warm friends. He was a good talker, and would have made a fine stump speaker if he had had the training. He was known among the young men I associated with as a romancer of the first water. I never knew so ignorant a man as Joe was to have such a fertile imagination. He never could tell a common occurrence in his daily life without embellishing the story with his imagination; yet I remember that he was grieved one day when old Parson Reed told Joe that he was going to hell for his lying habits.

... For over two years Joe Smith's chief occupation was digging for gold at night and sleeping in the daytime. He was close-mouthed on the subject of his gold-seeking operations around on the farms of Wayne County, where not a speck of gold was ever mined and when people joked him too severely concerning his progress in getting the precious metal he would turn his back upon the joker and bystanders and (retreat) as fast as possible. With some of us young men, however, who were always serious with him and affected an interest in his work, he was more confidential.

. . . Finally, in the fall -- in September, I believe -- of 1828, Joe went about the village of Palmyra telling people of the great bonanza he had at last found. I remember distinctly his sitting on some boxes in the store and telling a knot of men, who did not believe a word they heard, all about his vision and his find. But Joe went into such minute and careful details about the size, weight, and beauty of the carvings on the golden tablets, the strange characters and the ancient adornments, that I confess he made some of the smartest men in Palmyra rub their eyes in wonder. The women were not so skeptical as the men, and several of the leading ones in the place began to




A Rigdon-Smith Conspiracy / 137   

feel at once that Joe was a remarkable man after all.

Joe declared, with tears in his eyes and the most earnest expression you can imagine, that he had found the gold plates on a hill six miles south of Palmyra, on the main road between that place and Canandaigua. Joe had dug and dug there for gold for four years, and from that time the hill has been known as Gold Hill.

For the first month or two at least Joe Smith did not say himself that the plates were any new revelation or that they had any religious significance, but simply said that he had found a valuable treasure in the shape of a record of some ancient people which had been inscribed on imperishable gold for preservation. The pretended gold plates were never allowed to be seen, though I have heard Joe's mother say that she had lifted them when covered with a cloth, and they were heavy -- so heavy, in fact, that she could scarcely raise them, though she was a robust woman. What Joe at that time expected to accomplish seems difficult to understand, but he soon began to exhibit what he claimed to be copies of the characters engraved on the plates, though the irreverent were disposed to think that he was more indebted to the characters found on China tea chests and in histories of the Egyptians and Babylonians than to any plates he had dug up near Palmyra. Before long, however, a new party appeared on the scene in the person of one Sidney Rigdon, and thenceforward a new aspect was put upon the whole matter.

I remember Rigdon as a man of about 40 years, smooth, sleek, and with some means. He had a wonderful quantity of assurance, and in these days would be a good broker or speculator. He was a man of energy, of contrivance, and would have made a good living anywhere and in any business. He was distrusted by a large part of the people in Palmyra and Canandaigua but had some sincere friends. He and Joe Smith fell in with each other and were cronies for several months. It was after Rigdon and Smith were so intimate that the divine part of the finding of the




138 / Who Really Wrote the Book of Mormon?   

golden plates began to be spread abroad. It was given out that the plates were a new revelation and were part of the original Bible, while Joe Smith was a true prophet of the Lord, to whom it was given to publish among men.

Rigdon, who from his first appearance, was regarded as the 'brains' of the movement, seemed satisfied to be the power behind the throne. Not only were pretended copies of the engraved plates exhibited, but whole chapters of what were called translations were shown; meetings were held at the Smith house, and in the barns on the adjoining farms which were addressed by Smith and Rigdon, and an active canvass for converts was inaugurated. Strange as it may appear from the absurdity of the claims set forth and the well-known character of Joe Smith, these efforts were to quite a degree successful, particularly among the unsophisticated farmers of the vicinity, and a number of them, who were regarded as equal in intelligence to the average rural population, became enthusiastic proselytes of the new faith.

. . . For three or four years Smith, Rigdon, and Harris worked for converts in the new faith. They all became from constant practice and study good speakers, and Smith was at that time as diligent and earnest as he had previously been lazy and careless. The three men traveled all over New York State, particularly up and down the Erie Canal. Smith would always tell with some effect how the angel had appeared to him, how he felt an irresistible desire to dig where he did, and how he heard celestial music and the chanting of a heavenly host as he drew the golden plates from the earth and bore them to his home.

... Of the printing of the 'Book of Mormon' I have a particularly keen recollection. Smith and Rigdon had hard work to get funds together for the new Bible. Smith told me himself that the world was so wicked and perverse that it was hard to win converts: that he had a vision to print the Bible, and that




A Rigdon-Smith Conspiracy / 139   

as soon as that was done the work would be prospered wonderfully.... The printing office was an upper floor, near the store where I worked, and I was one of the few persons who was allowed about the office while the publishing was going on.

The copy for the Book of Mormon was prepared in a cave that Smith and others dug near the scene of the finding of the golden plates on Gold Hill. I went out there frequently for a Sunday walk during the process of the translation of the plates and the printing of the book. Some one of the converts was constantly about the entrance to the cave, and no one but Smith and Alvin (Oliver) Cowdery, a school teacher there, who had proselytized that season, was allowed to go through the door of the cave. Rigdon had some hopes of converting me, and I was permitted to go near the door, but not so much as to inside.

. . . The publication of the book of 538 pages was pushed with spirit, but until it was completed not a copy was allowed to leave the office. Every volume was packed in the upper room, and the pile they made struck me at the time, and has since been vividly in my mind, as comparing in size and shape with a cord of wood, and I called it a cord of Mormon Bibles. This work was finished in the spring of 1830. Not long after the publication was completed Smith and his followers began their preparations for a removal, and ere long the parties with their converts, packed up all their belongings and left for Kirtland, O.

This removal was not 'on compulsion' from any complaints of their neighbors like those they were subsequently compelled to make from Kirtland and Nauvoo, but all seemed to enter into it readily and with the utmost cheerfulness, though many abandoned homes of great comfort and comparative wealth. In the exodus there were farmers who were customers of the firm where I was employed that sold their farms to the amount of $15,000 all of which was committed to the care and tender mercy of Joe Smith, and the votaries committed themselves to his care and guidance.




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Hendrix's testimony was obtained from the Chicago Historical Society and further supports the thesis that Smith and Rigdon were close associates long before Mormonism first reached Kirtland. Hendrix was evidently very well acquainted with both Rigdon and Smith before 1831, since Hendrix said he left Palmyra after 1830.


Mormonism Before Mormonism

With the basic fact established that Sidney Rigdon and Joseph Smith were well-acquainted long before Rigdon's official introduction to Mormonism in 1830, we now need to establish the fact that Rigdon was not only in New York, near Smith, during this period, but also that he was preaching Mormonism before his "conversion."

K. A. E. Bell lived in Painesville, Ohio, and bearded with a man who was often visited by Rigdon during this period. Bell's testimony lends a great deal of credence to our thesis:
I was born in Harpersfield, Delaware County, New York, December 3, 1803, our family lived several years in Broome County, N.Y., four miles from Badgers Settlement, where we did our trading. I came to Painesville, Ohio, in 1825, and bearded with Carlos Granger. Whenever Sydney Rigdon, a Baptist minister who lived in Mentor, came to Painesville, he usually stopped with Granger. I have often heard him say at his meals, "How nice it would be to have all Christians live in a community separate from the world's people." After he became a Disciple, he frequently spoke in his sermons of a wondrous light which was soon to burst upon the world. I have heard others say Rigdon, after he became a Mormon, said that Mormonism was the marvelous light he had predicted. I attended the first Mormon meeting Pratt and Cowdery held in Painesville. My brother Milo,




A Rigdon-Smith Conspiracy / 141   

from Broome County, N.Y., was present. They told about Prophet Jo Smith finding the gold plates, and said they saw them. My brother ridiculed them after the meeting. He told me he knew Jo Smith when he was digging near the Susquehanna River for Captain Kidd's money. To had a peep-stone through which he claimed to see hidden or buried treasures. Jo sold shares to all who would buy, and kept the money. He said they would make a circle, and Jo Smith claimed if they threw any dirt over the circle the money chest would leave. They never found any money. Jo Smith's brother Hyrum's wife was a cousin of Mrs. Bell. It was claimed she died during confinement because her husband refused her the services of a physician. Esek Rosa, an expert accountant and brother of Dr. Rosa, of Painesville, while in conversation with me about Rigdon and Mormonism, several times told me that Rigdon told the people in Mentor and Painesville that he was going to Pittsburgh, Pa., but he went to Rochester, N. Y., instead. Esek said he was visiting in Rochester, and while on the street he was invited to enter a building near by and hear a very smart man preach. Rosa replied, "I think I have heard that voice before." When he entered the room he found Elder Sydney Rigdon preaching Mormonism. This occurred several months before Mormonism was preached in Ohio.

                K. A. E. Bell.
      Witnessed by: Clara E. Clark
      Sworn to and subscribed before me, the undersigned, by K. A. E. Bell, this sixth day of May, 1885. D. Clington Hill, Justice of the Peace, in and for Painesville Township, Lake County, Ohio. 9

There are four major points to Bell's testimony that have a direct bearing on our thesis. First, Bell confirmed that Rigdon, while he was a Campbellite preacher, taught of a coming "wondrous light" that would be the full restoration of the gospel. In addition, Bell mentioned secondhand information indicating that Rigdon himself





142 / Who Really Wrote the Book of Mormon?   

declared that Mormonism was the light he was foretelling. Second, the charge of "peep-stone gazer" is further supported by Bell's brother's testimony, reported here, that Smith engaged in that practice repeatedly (without positive results for the investors, but very profitable results for Smith) in Broome County, New York. The third item of interest in the above testimony is the statement, in agreement with our thesis, that Rigdon did not always go where he said he would, but, for example, after saying he was traveling to Pittsburgh he would instead go to Rochester -- only a relatively short ride from Palmyra. Finally, Bell's recitation of Rosa's testimony confirms Saunders' testimony that Rigdon was preaching on Mormonism before he claimed to have heard of it in Ohio in October/November 1830.

Isaac Butts had an interesting testimony to add to this. He was approximately the same age as Mrs. Anderick and Saunders and remembers the following:
I was born in Palmyra, N.Y., near where old Jo Smith settled, January 4, 1807. I attended school with Prophet Jo. His father taught me how to mow. I worked with old and young Jo at farming. I have frequently seen old Jo drunk. Young 10 had a forked witch hazel rod with which he claimed he could locate buried money or hidden things, Later he had a peep-stone which he put into his hat and looked into. I have seen both. Joshua Stafford, a good citizen, told me that young Jo Smith and himself dug for money in his orchard and elsewhere nights. All the money digging was done nights. I saw the holes in the orchard which were four or five feet square and three or four feet deep. Jo and others dug much about Palmyra and Manchester. I have seen many of the holes. The first thing he claimed to find was gold plates of the "Book of Mormon," which he kept in a pillowcase and would let people lift, but not see. I came to Ohio in 1818, and became acquainted with Sidney Rigdon in 1820. He




A Rigdon-Smith Conspiracy / 143   

preached my brother's sermon in Auburn, O., in May 1822. I returned to Palmyra twice and resided there about two years each time. Many persons whom I knew in New York joined the Mormons and came to Kirtland. They told me they saw Sidney Rigdon much with Jo Smith before they became Mormons, but did not know who he was until they came to Kirtland.
         (Signed)
         Isaac Butts
    South Newbury, Geauga Co., O. 10

Note especially that Butts not only says that Rigdon knew Smith before Mormonism arrived in Ohio, but Butts says that he received this information from people who had joined the Mormon Church, and therefore could hardly be called prejudiced against Joseph Smith. He also reiterates that no one was allowed to see the plates, but only to lift the package which Smith claimed was the plates.

The statements by W. A. Lillie and Pomeroy Tucker need net comment:
I was born in Trumbull Co., Ohio, in 1815. Our family moved to Chester, the town adjoining Kirtland on the south, in 1822. About 1834 Mr. Pearne, of Chester, told me he used to live in the neighborhood of the Mormon Smith family in Palmyra, N.Y., and was well acquainted with all of them. He said they were a low family and of no account in the community. He told me the summer before Jo Smith, the Mormon prophet, first came to Ohio, he often saw Jo Smith and Rigdon together. It was the first he knew of Rigdon, and it was before the "Book of Mormon" was published. He saw Smith and Rigdon start together in a buggy for Ohio. Mr. Pearne knew Rigdon well after coming to Ohio and said he believed he was at the bottom of Mormonism. My father borrowed the "Book of Mormon" and




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when he had finished reading it laughed and remarked Rigdon had done pretty well.
          W. A. Lillie
Witnessed by:
A. B. Deming
Thomas B. Page.

Sworn to and subscribed in my presence at Willoughby, Lake County, Ohio, this 7th day of March 1885.

A. P. Barber, Justice of the Peace. 11    


Here is the statement by Pomeroy Tucker:
A mysterious stranger now appears at Smith's and holds intercourse with the famed money-digger. For a considerable time no intimation of the name or purpose of this stranger transpired to the public, not even to Smith's nearest neighbors. It was observed by some that his visits were frequently repeated. The sequel of the intimacies of this stranger and the money-digger will sufficiently appear hereafter. There was great consternation when the 118 pages of manuscript were stolen from Harris, for it seems to have been impossible, for some unaccountable reason, to retranslate the stolen portion. The reappearance of this mysterious stranger at Smith's at this juncture (1828) was again the subject of inquiry and conjecture by observers, from whom was withheld all explanations of his identity and purpose. When the Book of Mormon appeared, Rigdon was an early convert. Up to this time, he had played his part in the background and his occasional visits to Smith's had been observed by the inhabitants as those of the mysterious stranger. It had been his policy to remain in concealment until all things were in readiness for blowing the trumpet of the new gospel. He now came to the front as the first regular preacher in Palmyra. 12




A Rigdon-Smith Conspiracy / 145   

Mrs. Eaton, who had lived in Palmyra for 32 years and later interviewed Smith's neighbors concerning Rigdon's association with Smith before 1831, read her findings to the Union Home Missionary Meeting in Buffalo, New York, on May 27, 1881. In part, it said,
Early in the summer of 1827, a "mysterious stranger" seeks admittance to Joe Smith's cabin. The conferences of the two are most private. This person, whose coming immediately preceded a new departure in the faith, was Sidney Rigdon, a backsliding clergyman, at this time a Campbellite preacher in Mentor, Ohio. 13

Martin Harris, who financed the launching of the new religion of Mormonism, was not usually disposed to tell of the early beginnings of Mormonism. However, by 1852 he had left the Mormon Church and did discuss what he knew of the Rigdon/Smith affair with R. W. Alderman. Alderman reported the following:
In February, 1852, I was snowbound in a hotel in Mentor, Ohio, all day. Martin Harris was there, and in conversation told me he saw Jo Smith translate the "Book of Mormon," with his peep-stone in his hat. Oliver Cowdery, who had been a school-teacher, wrote it down. Sidney Rigdon, a renegade preacher, was let in during the translation Rigdon had stolen a manuscript from a printing office in Pittsburgh, Pa., which Spaulding, who had written it in the early part of the century, had left there to be printed, but the printers refused to publish it, but Jo and Rigdon did, as the "Book of Mormon." Martin said he furnished the means, and Jo promised him a place next to him in the church. When they had got all my property they set me out. He said Jo ought to have been killed before he was; that the Mormons committed all sorts of depredations in the towns about Kirtland. They called




146 / Who Really Wrote the Book of Mormon?   

themselves Latter-Day Saints, but he called them Latter-Day Devils.
                Claridon, Co., Ohio
                Dec. 25, 1844
                R. W. Alderman.

Witnessed by:
          Clara Alderman
          A. B. Deming14


Since Harris (remembered by Alderman) witnessed Rigdon there before The Book of Mormon was printed, it must have been before 1830 -- before Rigdon welcomed the Mormon missionaries and became a Mormon in November of 1830!

Finally, the statement of Judge Lang, Oliver Cowdery's confidant and law partner, provides the final testimony to substantiate the scene we painted at the beginning of this chapter. Although he was loyal to his friend to the end, Lang did feel that he could say the following concerning what he knew from Cowdery:
 

Tiffin, O., Nov. 5, 1881

Dear Sir: -- Your note of the 1st inst. I found upon my desk when I returned home this evening and I hasten to answer. Once for all I desire to be strictly understood when I say to you that I cannot violate any confidence of a friend though he be dead. This I will say that Mr. Cowdery never spoke of his connection with the Mormons to anybody except me. We were intimate friends. The plates were never translated and could not be; were never intended to be. What is claimed to be a translation is the "Manuscript Found" worked over by C. He was the best scholar amongst them. Rigdon got the original at the job printing office in Pittsburgh as I have stated.a I often expressed my objection to the frequent
____________
a Rigdon did not work there, but was friends with Lambdin, who did.






A Rigdon-Smith Conspiracy / 147   

repetition of "And it came to pass" to Mr. Cowdery and said that a true scholar ought to have avoided that, which only provoked a gentle smile from C. Without going into detail or disclosing a confided word, I say to you that I do know, as well as can be known, that C. revised the "Manuscript" and Smith and Rigdon approved of it before it became the "Book of Mormon." I have no knowledge of what became of the original. Never heard C. say as to that ... I could only answer your questions in the manner I did because some of them were not susceptible of a direct answer by me.

Resp. Yours,                       
W. Lang                       

Our thesis, on the basis of overwhelming evidence, has traveled from hypothesis to substantiated history. The Book of Mormon was not translated from golden plates through miraculous power but was the revised edition of Solomon Spalding's second novel, Manuscript Found. We are convinced that, based on the evidence, Sidney Rigdon took the manuscript from Patterson's Print Shop, read and revised it for some years until he felt safe in using it, then met Smith and concocted with him the plan of revealing the manuscript as a communication from God. Then Rigdon supervised the work of preparing the manuscript for publication, always keeping closely associated with every move of the young Joseph Smith and his friends.

Much of this evidence has been available before, but to our knowledge it has never before been fully analyzed as integrated evidence which provides a clear look into the actual roots of Mormonism.

However, during the past three years we have uncovered still more evidence that confirms our thesis. We have actually found part of Spalding's novel, in his own





148 / Who Really Wrote the Book of Mormon?   

handwriting, paralleling The Book of Mormon word for word! In the next chapter we will detail this exciting discovery that provides additional proof that novelist Solomon Spalding is the true originator of The Book of Mormon.


NOTES

1. Patterson, p. 434.
2. Derived from Shook, pp. 138-44.
3. See Appendix 2.
4. Wyl, p. 231.
5. Ibid., p. 231.
6. Shook, pp. 134-35. Saunders' affidavit ends:

Charles A. Shook, being duly sworn according to law, deposeth and saith that the foregoing letters of Thomas Gregg and i Lorenzo Saunders are verbatim copies (except spelling, punctuation and capitalization) of the originals now in the possession of the American Anti-Mormon Association.
        Charles A. Shook
Subscribed to in my presence and sworn to before me, at Eddyville, Nebraska, this 13th day of February, 1913.
        B. R. Hedglin, Notary Public.
7. Deming, p. 9.
8. Deming, pp. 9-11. Testimony to the character of Mrs. Anderick is as follows:

Dear Sir: Mrs. S1 F. Anderick, of whom you inquire, is a member of my church. She is a most estimable Christian i woman, and is possessed of more than average intellectual ability and culture. She is careful in speech and reliable in judgment; sound in mind and of unimpeachable veracity. Her testimony would be first-class in any court of justice upon any subject with which she might be conversant.
Respectfully,
G. W. Izer,
Pastor Simpson Memorial Methodist
Episcopal Church, San Francisco, Cal.




A Rigdon-Smith Conspiracy / 149   

Dear Sir: I am personally acquainted with Mrs. S.F. Anderick, and have been for two years. She lives on this street, one block from my residence. I have often met her in church, in society, and in her home. I am certain that she is remarkably well preserved, and is sound in mind. She is a woman of intelligence, and of high moral and Christian character.
Always sincerely,
C. H. Fowler,
Bishop of the M. E. Church.

9. Ibid., p. 15.
10. Ibid., p. 11.
11. Ibid., p. 53.
12. Patterson, p. 435. Tucker's conclusions were reached after interviews with Smith's neighbors. Tucker was a proofreader for the original printing of The Book of Mormon.
13. Ibid., p. 435.
14. Deming, p. 14.







 

[ 151 ]





Manuscript
Found!

The fate of Spalding's original manuscript has been hidden for roughly 150 years ...



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