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Title: Gleanings by the Way
Author: Clark, John A.
Language: English
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_Rector of St. Andrew's Church, Philadelphia_,


"Let me now go to the field and glean ears of corn." RUTH, ii. 2.

W. J. & J. K. SIMON.


Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1842, by
JOHN A. CLARK, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court in the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania.



When it was not so common, as now, to issue publications from the press, a
book of any kind seldom made its appearance, without a PREFACE, to give the
reader some idea of its contents, and the history of its elaboration from
the author's mind. But at the present day, when authorship is no longer the
prerogative of the few, and the press teems with every species of
literature, preface writing has quite fallen into desuetude; not improbably
for the very solid and satisfactory reason that it would be a most
difficult, perplexing, and onerous business, to their several authors, to
assign any plausible grounds for the publication of one half of the volumes
that come forth in such immense shoals from the press.

We are certainly attached to the good old custom of having a preface,
although we are aware that many authors who omit this appendage, assign as
a reason, that the preface is the only part of a book that is never read.
This we think, in many instances, is not exactly true. There are those in
the present day, who like to know why a book was written, and what it
contains, before they begin to read it. By such knowledge--and this is
precisely the information a preface ought to convey--they avoid the trouble
of reading many a volume, which had the author been of the same mind, he
might have escaped the trouble of writing. To this class of readers the
preface is an important part of the book: while to those who eschew every
thing of this sort, it will give but little trouble, to turn over a leaf or
two to the commencement of the first chapter.

We did not mean, when we began, to write a defence of prefaces--but to
write a preface to our own work.

The name of this volume, GLEANINGS BY THE WAY, indicates the character of
the work. It consists principally of thoughts gathered up--and sketches of
scenery, and incidents, that came before the author during excursions made
into the country at different periods, within the last four years. For
several years the author has been labouring under infirm health, and has
found it necessary after encountering the heavy pastoral duties and labours
connected with a large city congregation for nine or ten months in
succession, to retire from the scene of his ministerial duties, and seek to
recruit his wasted strength and enfeebled health amid the retirement of
rural life, or the diversified scenes of travel and journeying. During
these seasons of relaxation, the author desired still to be engaged in
something that might at least indirectly promote the interests of religion.
This volume contains some of the things of which he at such seasons made a

In the tour to the FAR WEST, made during the summer of 1837--and the sketch
that depicts the outline of the Mormon Delusion, the author cherishes the
hope that facts are brought to light that will interest a large class of
readers. And he also cherishes the hope that while these pages may interest
the general reader, may beguile a lonely hour--and attract the attention of
some who would not be likely to take up a more serious book--the tendency
of the whole volume will be to advance, at least indirectly, that cause
which lies so near to his heart. With this hope--and not with any
expectation of earning increased literary reputation, he sends forth these


CHAPTER I.                                           13

_The Three Gleaners._

CHAPTER II.                                          25

_Views of Pennsylvania_:--Tour to Harrisburgh--Aspect of the country--The
Valley of the Susquehanna--The passage of the River--The
Valley of the Juniata--Huntingdon--The Rev. John W. James--His
sudden exit.

CHAPTER III.                                         32

_Glimpses of Western Pennsylvania_:--Source of the Juniata--Ascent of the
Alleghanies--The summit--The Great Mississippi Valley--Skepticism--Rank
growth of religious error--Dunkards--Valley of the Conemaugh--
Moonlight--Singular conversation--Infidel sneers.

CHAPTER IV.                                          42

_Pittsburg and its environs_:--First view of Pittsburg--Its general
aspect--Sabbath and its employments--An affecting incident--Orphan
children--A Christian father in the midst of his children on the Sabbath.

CHAPTER V.                                           49

_Voyage on the Ohio_:--Travelling companions--Steamboats on the Ohio--The
Elk--The Ohio river--The Harmonists--Steubenville--Wheeling--Marietta--
Portsmouth--Kentucky--The dead steamboat captain--Kentucky funeral.

CHAPTER VI.                                          62

_A glimpse of Kentucky_:--Cincinnati--The Queen city--Views in reference
to missionary labour--The kind of missionaries wanted in the great
Valley--Walnut Hills--Lane Seminary--Dr. Beecher--Woodward College--Dr.
Aydelott--The old Kentucky man--Louisville--The Galt House--View
of the interior of Kentucky--Plantations--A sore evil--Kentuckian
traits of character--A thrilling incident.

CHAPTER VII.                                         75

_The Ohio near its mouth_:--New Albany--Sailing down the
Ohio--Profanity--Lovely views of nature--A sudden squall on the
river--Kentucky shore--Young fawn--The mouth of the Tennessee river--The
swimming deer--His struggle and capture--Meeting of the waters of the Ohio
with the Mississippi--Gambling--Intemperance--Sail up the Mississippi to
St. Louis.

CHAPTER VIII.                                        88

_The Mississippi and some of its tributaries_:--St. Louis--Roman
cathedral--Desecration of the Sabbath--Golden sunsets--Sail up the
Mississippi--The meeting of the waters of the Missouri and the
Mississippi--Alton--The burning prairie.

CHAPTER IX.                                         105

_Further views on the Mississippi_:--Des Moines River--Iowa--Group of
Indians--Tributary streams to the Mississippi--Galena--Bishop of Illinois--My
sister's grave.

CHAPTER X.                                          114

_Illinois and the Lakes_:--Lead mines--Indian treaty--Ride to Chicago--Vast
prairies--The stricken family--Amusing adventures--Chicago--Milwaukie--
Mackinaw--Indian encampment.

CHAPTER XI.                                         126

_Michigan_:--Steamboat travelling upon the western Lakes--The waters of
Huron--Saginaw Bay--The stormy night--The beautiful St.
Clair--Detroit--Bishop of Michigan--Ypsilanti--Ann Arbour--Ore
Creek--Bewildered at night in the woods--Rescue--Meeting of friends--Log

CHAPTER XII.                                        140

_Tour from the West_:--The Romanists--Miracles--Indians--Captain
M---- The unhappy sailor--Toledo--Cleveland--Buffalo--Niagara

CHAPTER XIII.                                       151

_Western New York_:--Niagara Falls--Rochester--Canandaigua--Geneva--Seneca
Lake--The moonlit heavens--Departed friends--The clergyman's son--The
candidate for the ministry--A beloved brother--My departed mother--Geneva
College--The Sabbath.

CHAPTER XIV.                                        161

_A jaunt from Philadelphia to Albany_:--A bleak, dreary morning--Bishop
of Illinois--Sail up the Delaware--New York Bay--Sail up the
Hudson--Unexpected meeting--College friend--Story of his afflictions--Poor
African servant.

CHAPTER XV.                                         171

_The Irish couple_:--Albany--The Irish mother--Incidents that occurred
five years ago--The disappointed emigrants--The Little Falls--Rural

CHAPTER XVI.                                        179

_Western New York._

CHAPTER XVII.                                       181

_A Summer Tour_:--Retirement--Seneca Lake--Burlington, N. J.--Brooklyn,
N. Y.

CHAPTER XVIII.                                      187

_Green Wood Cemetery_:--Brooklyn--Improvements--Ride--Approach
to the Cemetery--Views--Beautiful scenes.

CHAPTER XIX.                                        193

_Rhode Island_:--Sail up the Sound--Burning of the
Lexington--Providence--Meeting of old friends--Mr.

CHAPTER XX.                                         201

_The sudden storm_:--Rapid travelling--Auburn--Stage coach--Seneca
Lake--Summer's sultry heat--Sudden change--Fierce tempest--Imminent

CHAPTER XXI.                                        205

_Reminiscences of the past_:--Sunday--Sacred worship--The sanctuary
recalling youthful scenes--Early plighted vows at the table of the
Lord--Retrospect--Mournful reflections--Change in the congregation--Mr. and
Mrs. N---- The C---- family--Col. T---- Village burial ground--C---- The
buried pastor--My Mother--Palmyra--Early ministerial labours--Lyons.

CHAPTER XXII.                                       216

_The Origin of the Mormon Delusion_:--The golden Bible--Moral, political,
and numercial importance of the Mormon sect--Views of Revelation--Causes
that have contributed to spread Mormonism--Martin Harris--Interview
with the author--Transcripts from the golden Bible--Jo
Smith, the Mormon prophet--His early history--First pretended revelation--His
marriage--Chest containing the golden Bible--Attempts to
disinter it--Consequence--Delusion of Harris--Translation and publication
of the _Book of Mormon_.

CHAPTER XXIII.                                      232

_A letter written by Professor Anthon_:--The circumstances that led to
this letter--Martin Harris--His visit to New York--Interview with Dr.
Mitchell--Professor Anthon.

CHAPTER XXIV.                                       239

_The Mormon, or Golden Bible_:--The origin of the Book of Mormon--The
statement of Mr. Isaac Hale, father-in-law of the Mormon Prophet--Rev.
Mr. Spalding's Historical Romance--Mrs. Davison's statement--The
blindness of Martin Harris--Testimony of the three witnesses--The
eight witnesses.

CHAPTER XXV.                                        259

_Mormon Jesuitism_:--Denial of Mrs. Davison's statement in reference
to the origin of the Mormon Bible--The truth of her statement corroborated
by a letter from the Rev. John Storrs--By another from the Rev.
D. R. Austin.

CHAPTER XXVI.                                       268

_Analysis of the Book of Mormon._

CHAPTER XXVII.                                      285

_Analysis of the Book of Mormon continued._

CHAPTER XXVIII.                                     304

_Farther developments in relation to the Mormon imposture._

CHAPTER XXIX.                                       311

_Organization of the Mormons, and their removal to Ohio_:--Steps leading
to the Mormon emigration to the West--Conversion of Parley P. Pratt--Mission
to the Lamanites--Sidney Rigdon--His avowed conversion--Fanatic
scenes at Kirtland--Dr. Rosa's letter--Mr. Howe's statement--Smith's

CHAPTER XXX.                                        323

_Mormon emigration to Missouri_:--Mission to Missouri--Causes that led
to emigration--Settlement at Independence--Change in operations--Gift
of tongues--Rule for speaking and interpreting.

CHAPTER XXXI.                                       331

_Mormon Banking_:--The prophet's attempt at financiering--Mr. Smalling's

CHAPTER XXXII.                                      337

_The Mormon Prophet and his three witnesses_:--An interesting public
document--The Danite band--Testimony of Dr. Avard--Paper drafted
by Rigdon.

CHAPTER XXXIII.                                     345

_Concluding sketch in relation to Mormonism._




Nature has a voice to instruct, as well as charms to please. No one can
walk over the surface of this earth, and gaze upon the objects and scenes
that every where cluster around him, and not hear her instructive voice
echoed upon his ear from ten thousand points, unless stupidity, or sin have
sealed up his senses, and made him deaf as "the adder that stoppeth her
ear, and will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so

Providence, too, has a voice, that speaks with trumpet-tongue in the ear of
those who watch the movement of human events--_who regard the work of the
Lord, and consider the operation of his hands_. The fall of every leaf--the
opening of every grave, the subversion of kingdoms--the overthrow of
empires--every event transpiring around us, reads us a lesson full of deep
and solemn instruction.

In the various and diversified developements of human character--whether
contemplated in its rougher, or more polished state, there is a vast deal
presented to view, from which an intelligent mind may gather very important
elements of instruction.

One who keeps his eye out upon these various fields, will scarcely fail to
GLEAN something every day, either from nature, or Providence, or the
different and ever varying phases of human character, that can be turned to
a profitable account both for instruction and pleasure.

There are, however, different kinds of GLEANING--and different kinds of
GLEANER. The caption to this chapter contains an implied pledge, that there
is to be brought before the eye of the reader three successive
GLEANERS.--And so we intend it shall be. We will at once introduce you to
the first of the three.

       *       *       *       *       *

Some sixteen hundred years before the first advent of the Lord's ANIONTED,
there lived in Bethlehem a man of wealth and distinction. He possessed
extensive flocks and herds, and fields, and all the usual resources of
oriental riches. Palestine was then the land that _flowed with milk and
honey_. Though there had been periods when for the sins of the people the
heavens were shut, and the dews and rains withheld--till the blight of
sterility seemed to have impressed its dreary iron aspect upon every
smiling valley and sunny hill:--at the time to which we refer it was not
so. That whole region then poured forth its productions most luxuriantly,
for the blessing of the Lord was upon the land. And now the season of the
barley harvest had arrived, and the reapers went forth with their sickles
to cut down the bearded and bending grain.

This opulent citizen of Bethlehem, to whom we have referred, when the
rising sun, ascending the deep blue arch of heaven and pouring its full
orbed radiance over hill and dale, had drank up the dew drops of morning,
rode forth into the country amid vine-clad hills, and beneath groves of
olive and palm till he reached his own paternal estate. The bright luminary
of day now poured down a full tide of heat and effulgence over the whole
surrounding scene. The reapers were plying their glittering steel, and
gathering the falling grain into sheaves. The sound of rustic music came
upon his ears as he rode along through the fields. It was the song of the
reapers. He approached them. They were his own hired servants. Though they
were poor, and had to toil for their daily bread, their wealthy employer
did not despise them. He was one who feared the Lord, and saw in every
human form a brother. Kind were his words as he approached the reapers, and
full of pious sentiment--for his salutation was, _The Lord be with you_.

Those sun-burnt and swarthy laborers, suspending for a moment their toil,
respectfully and piously responded, _The Lord bless thee_. I know not what
other pleasant discourse followed. An object of deep interest now presented
itself to the rich owner of these grounds. In a distant part of the field
was to be seen the slender and delicate form of a young female walking
hither and thither to gather up the scattered heads of barley that had
escaped the hand of the reaper. Then said he to his servant who was set
over the reapers: _Whose damsel is this?_ And he replied, _It is the
Moabitish damsel that came back with Naomi_.

That lone female, whose hand was gathering the scattered heads of barley,
had known better days. She had been nursed in the lap of ease. She dwelt in
Moab. A stranger came there. He had been reared near Siloa's sacred stream.
He had been instructed in the divine law and his intellect had been
beautified and expanded, and his heart softened and refined by its heavenly
teaching. He was young and beautiful, and full of manly dignity. This
interesting Moabitess saw the stranger. His dark lustrous eye met hers with
an interest that mutually increased till love burned bright in both their
bosoms. They were joined in wedded love, and her Mahlon was all her own!
No, not all--for death, the insatiable archer, had fixed his eye upon him.
Only a short period elapsed, and Mahlon was numbered with the dead! She saw
his bright eye forever shut, and the dark grave closing over his pale,
unbreathing corse.

Mahlon had a father, but he too had found a grave in that Moabitish land
where they now sojourned. Mahlon had a brother, but that brother had fallen
beneath the shaft of death, and his dust slumbered fast by the side of his
dead father. Mahlon had a mother. Poor lone widow! Her name was once
Naomi--PLEASANT, but now she chose to be called Mara--BITTER--for _the
Almighty had dealt very bitterly with her_. She had buried all she most
loved in a stranger land. Why should she not now return to her native
land--to the altars of her fathers--and the home of her childhood?

Shall she go alone? No--not while Mahlon's widow lives. The hour of
parting came. Her two daughters-in-law--for both of her sons had taken them
wives in the land of Moab--had already accompanied her several miles on her
way to the land of her nativity. But the moment of separation had now come!
They stood under a cluster of palms--a cool, refreshing spring sent forth
its waters which flowed and gurgled along beside them. All nature smiled
around them, but their hearts were sad. This widowed, childless
mother--after a long painful struggle of silent feeling, said unto her two
daughters-in-law, _go return each to your mother's house_. _The Lord deal
kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead and with me._ Then she
kissed them each. And they lifted up their voice and wept. How could they
part? They said, _surely we will return with thee unto thy people_.--And
she said--nay--I have nothing to offer you: I go back to my country stript
of friends, and substance. Therefore turn again my daughters, why will ye
go with me?

The deep fountains of feeling were again broken up, and they again lifted
up their voices and wept. Then Orpah clasping the mother of her buried
Chilion in her arms, fell on her neck, and, sobbing long and loud, kissed
her and bid her a final adieu.

Not so the beautiful, but now faded and care-worn Ruth. Hers was a love
stronger than death. Many waters could not drown it. She refused to
separate herself from the mother of him she had loved. They still lingered
under the shade of the clustering palms. Orpah had taken her final leave,
and her retiring form had now vanished from their view. The sad widowed
mother, now preparing to start on her way, again addressed Ruth, still
lingering at her side--_Behold thy sister-in-law has gone back unto her
people, and unto her gods. Return thou after thy sister-in-law._

But the fair and lovely Moabitess nobly replied--_Entreat me not to leave
thee, or to return from following after thee; for whither thou goest, I
will go; and where thou lodgest I will lodge: thy people shall be my
people, and thy God my God; where thou diest I will die, and there will I
be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part
thee and me._ So onward they two went together to the holy land. It was the
beginning of the barley harvest when they reached Bethlehem. They were
quite destitute, and scarcely knew how they were to provide themselves with
the means of subsistence. But the eternal God in whom they trusted, and who
feeds the fowls of the air, clothes the grass of the field, and decks the
expanded petals of the lily with hues more brilliant and beautiful than
those reflected from the shining robes of royalty--had not forgotten the
poor--had not forgotten to insert in his law _when ye reap the harvest of
your land--thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of the field, neither
shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest_. * * * _Thou shalt leave
them for the poor and stranger: I am the Lord your God._ This divine
injunction was reiterated again and again. _When thou cuttest down thine
harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not
go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and
for the widow; that the Lord thy God may bless thee in all the works of
thine hands._ Here was a merciful provision for the poor. The devoted
Moabitess who had left country and home for her love to Naomi, was not
backward in offering to go forth to glean in the field after the reapers.
It was on this errand, that she walked into the country, and patiently
toiled beneath the rays of the scorching sun.

It was while thus engaged, that Boaz, the rich Bethlehemite, came to his
reapers, and first saw the lovely stranger. How she afterwards sped, those
acquainted with the sacred story need not be told. It only remains for us
to add, that she gleaned in the field until even, and beat out all that she
had gleaned: and it was an ephah of of barley. And she took it up and went
into the city; and her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned; and she
brought forth and gave to her that she had received after she was sufficed.
And her mother-in-law said unto her, Where hast thou gleaned to-day? and
where wroughtest thou? blessed be he that did take knowledge of thee!

This is the first of the three Gleaners. The story of the two that follow
will be much shorter.

       *       *       *       *       *

Circumstances, several years since, led the writer to spend a few days in a
secluded little village, in a very retired and beautiful part of the
country. It was in the month of August, when the indications of summer were
seen on every side--the wheat fields were ready for the hand of the reaper,
and during the livelong day there seemed no cessation to the tide of heat
that came flowing down from the sun, overwhelming the broad earth and every
creature that moved upon it with his fervid influence. The early dawn of
morning, and the hour of twilight at the decline of day, seemed to be the
only seasons, when one could walk forth with any comfort, to enjoy the
rural scenery, that the hand of the Creator had spread with surpassing
loveliness around this spot. These seasons were not allowed to pass
unimproved. The first morning that I walked forth--while the grey twilight
still lingered on hill and dale--casting a sombre, dusky aspect over
surrounding objects, as I passed along, refreshed by the fragrant breath
exhaled from the fields, cheered by the notes of the feathered tribe who
were chanting their early matin lays, and enamored with the glorious scene
pencilled on the eastern sky, which brightened and kindled into broader
lines of orient radiance every step I took, and every moment I gazed, I saw
a young lad, some twelve or thirteen years old, passing by me with a brisk
step, but stooping every now and then, to gather up some straws of wheat,
that lay scattered along the road. The occurrence, however, awakened no
particular attention, and would have been forgotten, had not the same thing
been observed in the evening. In returning to my lodgings, after a ramble
over the fields on the evening of the same day, I met this boy with quite a
bundle of wheat under his arm, moving with a quick step, but stopping every
now and then to gather up a single straw that lay in the road.

The next morning, the circumstance had quite passed out of my mind, till
suddenly and unexpectedly the form of this boy again appeared before me. He
was still occupied in the same manner. He seemed in a great hurry, and yet
he stooped to pick up every straw that lay in his path. I felt an unusual
curiosity to learn his history, and the motives that influenced his
conduct. Upon inquiry, I was made acquainted with the following facts. This
lad was an orphan boy, who resided in an old cottage, about a mile distant
from where I met him, with an aged grand-mother, who was blind, and very
poor. Her children had all gone down to the grave, and this boy was the
only representative of her family. The old blind cottager, was one who
trusted in the Lord, and believed that he did all things well. She tried to
train up her child to a life of industry and early piety. He was a
promising lad and seemed disposed to aid his aged grand parent, and
contribute to her comfort by every means in his power. Every evening he
would read to her out of God's holy book, and in the day he sought some
occupation by which he could contribute to her maintenance. At the time I
fell in with him, he was in the employ of a wealthy farmer, assisting in
securing the wheat harvest. This farmer resided in the outskirts of the
village, while the broad fields which he cultivated, lay abroad in
lengthening expansion and beauty in the immediate vicinity of his dwelling.
Several of his barns were contiguous to his dwelling, so that the wheat
when harvested, was principally conveyed from the field where it grew,
along the road on which I had taken my walks, to these barns. Hence as one
loaded wane after another was driven along, the whole road became strewed
with heads and stalks of wheat. This lad, to whom I have referred, rose a
half an hour earlier in the morning to go on his way to his daily toil, and
lingered a half an hour later at evening on his way homeward to his nightly
couch, in order to gather up these wheat stalks that had fallen by the way.
These wheat gleanings thus gathered up by the way he every night carried
home with him and subsequently threshed, and by steady perseverance in this
course was able to obtain a considerable quantity of grain, to afford bread
both for himself and his aged grand parent. Was not this a beautiful
instance of filial piety? This is the story of our second GLEANER--one who

       *       *       *       *       *

Some twelve years since, it was our happiness, to have met a very
remarkable man, who seemed to live for one single purpose. He possessed
naturally great strength and brilliancy of intellect. While yet a child, a
highly gifted mother had laid her plastic hand upon his character, and so
directed his education as to bring out the highest powers of his mind in
symmetrical development. Thus through the educational advantages he
enjoyed, he was prepared to make large attainments, and to gather much
information from every field of knowledge through which he walked. As he
grew up, he became furnished with most ample stores of learning. He had the
power to instruct and to please, and was eminently fitted to act upon other
minds. Added to all this--he was a Christian. He had felt the power of a
Saviour's love, and had consecrated himself to his service. To him had been
committed the ministry of reconciliation, and he was acting as the legate
of the skies--the ambassador of the King of kings. This was his business.
All the powers of his mind were consecrated to the work of winning souls to
Jesus. He still moved around in society. He was still the charm of every
circle in which he was found. He did not always speak upon religion. He did
not always stand before his fellow men in the attitude of a preacher. He
travelled; for his health required it. He walked out into the fields. He
looked abroad over the face of nature. He moved amid the circles of his
fellow men. He engaged in literary pursuits and scientific investigations.
But he pursued nothing to the neglect of ministerial duty. And from every
circle in which he moved, from every scene he witnessed, from every company
he met, from every field he trod, from every object to which he turned his
eye, from every investigation in which he engaged, he gleaned something, by
which to throw new charms around religion, and enable him to reach minds
through new channels. He never for one moment lost sight of his great
business--but was all the time steadily moving forward to the attainment of
the object for which he lived and laboured. All his pursuits--all his
enjoyments, all his recreations, were made to contribute at least
indirectly to the furtherance of that great object. Like the wheat gleaning
boy, he went to his daily labour, and relaxed no effort in the business of
prosecuting prescribed ministerial duties, yet while going to and from
these duties, he GLEANED BY THE WAY. Every flower that spread its expanded
petals before his eye, every breath of music that fell upon his ear, every
dew drop that glittered in the beams of morning, every little tiny insect
that flitted across his path, every landscape that stretched before him,
every mountain and hill that pointed upward to heaven, every forest and
stream on which his eye rested, every star that hung out its golden lamp on
the sable curtain of night, every interview of friendship, every
vicissitude of life, every incident of travel, every occurrence whether
pleasing or painful, presented to his enriched intellect some new aspect of
thought, from which he could glean materials for the instruction of other
minds. Thus he GLEANED BY THE WAY. And through THESE GLEANINGS he acted
upon a thousand minds, that he could not otherwise have reached. He has
gone to his reward. He sleeps in the silent sepulchre. But _though dead, he
yet speaketh_. A thousand flowers gathered by his hand from the fields of
literature and the scenes of active life, and by his hand planted in the
garden of the Lord, still remain, and from their contiguity to Siloa's
sacred font, and the blood-stained cross, they bloom with brighter tints,
and richer fragrance, and still lead many to approach and fix their eye on
that blessed cross, and ultimately to feel its transforming power. This is
the history of our third GLEANER. And from the history of the three, our
readers will be at no loss to determine what suggested to us the idea of
entitling this volume GLEANINGS BY THE WAY.



     Tour to Harrisburg--Aspect of the country--The Valley
     of the Susquehanna--The passage of the River--The
     Valley of the Juniata--Huntingdon--The Rev. John W.
     James--His sudden exit.

The following twelve Chapters consist principally of extracts from the note
book which the author kept, during a tour through the great Western Valley
in 1837.

                              _On board the Canal Packet Swatara,
                              Wednesday evening, June 14, 1837._

I have never been more struck than to-day with the tranquilizing influence
which the works of nature are capable of exerting upon the mind. There is a
calmness, a solemn stillness--a sweet quietude spread over field and
forest, and all that the eye rests upon in passing through the country at
this beautiful season, which cannot fail to find a response in the bosom of
every beholder. I have no doubt a ride into the country would often operate
like a charm to calm down the agitations, quiet the corrodings, and soothe
the anxieties of many, who amid the engagements of the city are the victims
of carking care, and seem to live only to wade through the fiery stream of
perturbed and anxious feeling.

We left Philadelphia at six o'clock this morning. The cars belonging to the
three regular lines that run on the Rail Road to Harrisburg, filled with
about one hundred and fifty passengers, and fastened to each other in one
train, were moved by the same locomotive. There is something very
exhilarating in the act of being borne through a beautiful country at the
rate of fifteen miles an hour. It seemed as we moved along as though our
whole train was instinct with life, and endowed with magic pinions, which
it had only to spread abroad, and skim over the surface of the ground with
the fleetness of the wind. As we passed along from the city, one varied,
and verdant scene of all that is lovely in hill and dale, forest and field,
orchard and farm-house, presented itself in quick succession after
another--filling up the whole way with images as beautiful and varied as
are brought to the eye by every turn of the kaleidoscope.

The country between Philadelphia and Harrisburg in its outlines and
agricultural aspect strikingly reminded me of western New York. The impress
of thrift and wealth are enstamped upon every vale and hill-side that meets
your eye in this vast fertile landscape. I could not but ask myself,
however, "Is there a moral beauty here, displayed in the lives of those who
cultivate this land, corresponding with the marks of material loveliness
which the Creator has spread over all this scene? Do the walls of these
cottages and farm-houses resound to the voice of prayer and praise with
each rising and setting sun? Is the Saviour of sinners universally known,
and loved, and served here? Do all these people, whose homes are scattered
along this range of country, regard this beautiful region as the theatre on
which God has placed them to prepare for the skies?"

I know not what the state of religion may be generally through these
counties, but when I turned to a tabular list to see how many churches and
communicants we numbered in this extent of country, I felt sad to find how
small a part of the land we had possessed, and how very little we, as a
branch of the great Catholic Church, were doing to extend the kingdom of
Christ even in our very neighborhood. I hope other communions have done and
are doing more to diffuse vital godliness through this section of the land
than we, otherwise there must be a lamentable want of that faith which
Christ came to establish on the earth. O when shall prayer go up as one
thick cloud of incense from every house and hamlet scattered through this
region, made so fair and beautiful by a divine hand! Then indeed will "the
valleys which stand so thick with corn laugh and sing, the hills will clap
their hands, and every thing that hath breath praise the Lord."

At Harrisburg we took the canal. Our course till evening lay along the
valley of the Susquehanna, which as we proceeded we found hemmed in with
mountain bluffs, not unlike the palisades which surmount the banks of the
broad Hudson, or some of the rougher mountain features in the neighborhood
of the Highlands. The scene that opened before us was one of calm--quiet
beauty. There was awakened somewhat of a romantic feeling as we sat down to
our tea, borne quietly along through the rural beauties that clustered
thick around us. Our cabin windows were thrown wide open, and we inhaled
with delight the cool and refreshing breath of evening. On our right,
almost within reaching distance, the road passed along just under the brow
of a very precipitous hill, whose top peered up amid the clouds. On the
left, parallel with our course, was the expanded Susquehanna: and beyond
this beautiful stream one bluff and lofty range of hills rising up after
another, gave to that side of the river the aspect of continuous mountain

As the day declined and the sun sunk below the horizon, a dark mass of
clouds seemed rolling up from the northwest. This stupendous pile of clouds
hung directly over the gap in the mountains, through which the Susquehanna
poured its wide and troubled waters. Soon the heavens began to gather
blackness, and the forked lightning to play with fearful glare on the
surface of this dark mass of clouds, followed by loud peals of startling
thunder. Almost immediately the rain commenced pouring down in torrents.
The transition from the quiet scene through which we had been passing, to
one of storm and tempest, was sudden and unexpected. There was a sublimity
and awful grandeur that gathered around that hour and spot, which I shall
not soon forget. What added to the effect, was, that just then we had
arrived at the point, where we were to cross the Susquehanna. The bridge
that had been flung up over the river to afford a passage for the horses to
tow the boat across, had partially fallen down, so that it was no longer
capable of use. A strong cable had been fixed across the stream, by means
of which a power was applied to our boat, which, in connexion with the
force of the current, would bear us rapidly over. It began to be dark, and
the rain fell violently. The waters seemed rough and threatening, and many
of the passengers felt a sense of great insecurity. To many on board,
though I presume there was no danger, it was a moment of deep and awful
suspense. My mind instantly run off into a train of serious thought. It
appeared to me that our course this day had been not unlike the journey of
life. At first in the May morning of our existence, we start off with speed
and are borne as by enchantment through a succession of gay, bright,
blooming fields. As we advance, though we move apparently beneath benignant
skies, and tread amid many of the beauties of creation, our path all the
while runs along by the side of the river of death. That river we must
finally cross, and it may be amid darkness and storms, and beneath the
impending thunder cloud of divine wrath! Happy are they whose hopes and
interests are so garnered up in Christ, that it matters not to them _when_,
or _how_ they cross it! Happy are they who can embark upon this river with
such a simple, and firm reliance on the Saviour, as to feel that there is
no danger, however rough or dark the passage may be!

_Thursday, June 15._--When we awoke at four o'clock this morning, we found
ourselves wending our way along the valley of the Juniata, a stream
tributary to the Susquehanna. The scenery on either side of this river is
surpassingly beautiful, and in style not unlike that which we passed
yesterday on the Susquehanna. The hills that hedge in the narrow valley of
the Juniata are usually of a conical, or triangular shape, covered to the
very summit with a stunted growth of forest trees. There was a peaceful
quiet--a solemn stillness reigning through almost the entire extent of this
valley, which to me appeared truly delightful. It seemed like the deep and
unbroken silence of nature. It was to us a stillness seldom broken save
when the sound of the boatman's horn, or the heavy tread of the horse on
the tow path, went up the mountain side, and woke an echo amid the
untrodden solitudes that stretched up those wild, and wood covered steeps.

As we advanced farther up the Juniata we saw evidences of a more dense
population. Villages occasionally rose to view. We passed Lewistown early
in the forenoon, and heard a favorable account of the acceptableness and
labors of our young clerical friend, the Rev. J. F. H. How true it is, that
wherever a faithful servant of the Lord is planted, there "the waste places
will soon be converted into a fruitful field, and the desert will be made
to rejoice and blossom as the rose!"

Just at nightfall we passed Huntingdon, the place where poor James fell
last August on his way to western Pennsylvania. This esteemed brother had
been much in my mind in all our jaunt up the valley of this river: and it
had occurred to me as we passed along, if there was a spot on earth where
one could be content to lie down and die, far from friends and home, it was
along this valley, amid this sweet quiet mountain scenery. One can scarcely
look out upon these green and foliage clad heights and the multiplied
demonstrations around him of Almighty power and skill without feeling his
heart drawn up in devout adoration to the Framer of these everlasting

I was disappointed, and sorry in finding the scenery less beautiful at
Huntingdon than at any of the former points on the Juniata. The village
presented an unattractive appearance. The house in which our brother[1] met
his final hour was pointed out to me. It seemed a very gloomy and unlovely
abode. As I passed the spot I felt the deep fountains of sensibility moved
in my soul: I thought, that it was here, far away from the sympathy of his
people, that this man of God lay down in the agonies of death. It was here
that his eye was sealed for ever on earthly scenes--and his liberated
spirit mounted up to God! Though to mortal eyes the circumstances of his
death seemed most undesirable, yet we know that he went quickly up to tread
the streets of the heavenly city, and to stand where he could gaze
everlastingly on the unveiled face of Jesus, his crucified and risen Lord.
O who that looks to the end of the glorious consummation will not long to
depart and "be with Christ which is far better!"


[1] The individual above referred to was the Rev. John W. James, assistant
minister of Christ Church, Philadelphia. Mr. J. was travelling with his
family on a summer excursion in 1836, when he was suddenly arrested with
disease, and called from the scenes of his labors to "the rest which
remaineth for the people of God." He was a faithful minister of Jesus
Christ, and his memory is still most sacredly cherished by many, who feel
that he was to them the messenger of salvation.



     Source of the Juniata--Ascent of the Alleghanies--The
     summit--The Great Mississippi Valley--Skepticism--Rank
     growth of religious error--Dunkards--Valley of the
     Conemaugh--Moonlight--Singular conversation--Infidel

                              _Saturday morning, June 17, 1837._

WE reached Hollidaysburg, a little village on the Juniata, where the
Alleghany Portage Rail Road commences, yesterday morning, June 16th, about
eight o'clock. Our way from this point was up the mountain by successive
inclined planes. I never saw more strikingly illustrated the triumph of art
over the obstacles of nature.

In our progress up the mountain, we at length left the Juniata, at a point
so near its source that we saw the two little rills which, by their
confluence, constituted the commencement of that river, pouring down the
precipitous side of the same hill, and which, separately, were so small
that one might step over them with perfect ease. We traced these mountain
brooks with our eye as they swept along over the washed and worn
pebbles--saw them unite, and then followed them in imagination till they
swelled along the banks of the Juniata, mingled their waters with the
Susquehanna, poured into the Chesapeake, and finally were lost in the

In our ascending way up the mountain, we found the scenery altogether of a
new, wild, and more rugged cast. Our ascent amid these vast summits,--the
wonderful velocity with which we were borne--the ease with which we seemed
to move through the gaps of the mountains, and over the tops of these
everlasting hills--surrounded at every step by the most picturesque and
gigantic elevations, appeared like the effect of enchantment. Then too as
we moved upward a change was perceptible in the atmosphere--we felt its
invigorating and exhilarating influence--and perhaps the new buoyancy,
which our spirits acquired, helped to impart increased effect to the
majestic scene that stretched around us, and had laid hold of our every
sense and feeling with the power of a giant.

Our course was still upward--upward! and all our train of cars still flew
upward till we reached the very tops of the mountain wilds and fastnesses
that stood in such majestic grandeur around us. It was announced at length
that we had attained the summit height of the mountain. Just here the
rivulets changed their course. The streams had all flowed eastward to empty
themselves into the Atlantic, but now they turned westward and leaped
forward, as though eager to find repose in the deep waters of the
Mississippi. The Conemaugh, a tributary stream to the Kiskiminetas takes
its rise here, and appears as a very little rill at its commencement.

It was with peculiar emotions that I stood on the summit of the
Alleghanies, and strained my eye to look off towards the vast valley of the
Mississippi, whose western boundary is terminated by the Rocky mountains,
a distance not less than 2500 miles. I then thought what immense
undeveloped resources does this vast valley contain! What an object of
sublime contemplation is this broad and beauteous region in its surpassing
fertility--its measureless capabilities--its vast rivers--its deep
untrodden forests--its boundless prairies--and in its ten thousand rising
villages and cities! What vast, complicated and mighty sympathies are
gathering around this valley! What scenes are to be acted here, deciding
this nation's civil and religious destiny! What teeming millions are to be
sustained by the products of this soil--are to live and die, and be
prepared for heaven or for hell on the broad bosom of this valley! There is
nothing but the gospel that can exert a saving influence upon the mass of
mind congregating here, and make this far outspreading and fertile region
the abode of moral beauty and the home of civil freedom. The gospel
planting her foot here, and stretching her arms over the whole extent of
this western valley, must wake up holy affections, and songs of praise to
the sin-conquering Lamb, all along the banks of these thousand streams, or
the blight of desolation will fall here--and the fairest portion of God's
earth will be withered by the scorching fire of human passion--and bathed,
as has been the old world, in seas of human blood! There is but one
influence that can save this mighty empire from the sway either of lawless
anarchy or of iron-handed despotism, or rescue the populous millions that
will spread over it, from the deep "damnation of hell," and that is the
influence of the gospel. What new arguments do we find in this thought to
lead us to be unwearied in our efforts to send Bibles, and tracts, and
missionaries, and to establish Sunday-schools _in the west_!

I have already seen enough of western character to discover that while mind
starts up here vigorous and majestic as the sturdy trees of the forest, it
is exceedingly prone to spurn the restraints, and question the authority of
divine Revelation. No where probably is there more avowed or evident
independence of mind--or with a certain class, greater susceptibility of
being gulled, by a swaggering, boastful departure from the ancient
landmarks of faith. The great adversary is always ready to persuade men
that there is much more manliness and independence in believing something
new, however false, than in adhering to what is ancient, however true, in
the faith of our forefathers.

We had scarcely crossed the mountains and reached the level of the great
valley, before we encountered a group of men of very singular, and
grotesque appearance. Their beards were long and filthy, hanging down upon
their breast. I was greatly surprised to learn that this savage appearance
was for conscience' sake. I was told that these were individuals belonging
to a religious sect called Dunkards. My informant gave me the following
particulars in relation to this people. They sometimes live in distinct
communities, and have all things in common. This, however, is not always
and perhaps not generally the case. They do not usually build houses for
public worship, nor believe in sustaining a ministry as a distinct order of
men. Certain persons in their churches, they think, are from time to time
called to preach, and these are denominated ministers. These individuals,
however, still pursue their own secular avocations as before. They not
only hold to baptism and the Lord's supper, but to washing each other's
feet, and, I believe, the observance of an annual love feast. They also
keep up the ancient custom of saluting each other with the kiss of charity,
and this among all their members, whatever the color or sex may be. Their
converts are all baptized by immersion, and hence, they are sometimes
called _Dunkard Baptists_. They hold to a _trine_ baptism--dipping the
candidate three times, with the face downward into the water. Their
sacramental seasons are periods of general feasting--when they keep open
houses, and free tables. In doctrine they hold to the Arian heresy, though
some of them are decided Unitarians. They also believe, most of them, in
universal salvation, holding that the wicked will be punished after death
for a certain period, and then be restored to happiness. One of the
peculiarities to which I have already referred, is that they feel
conscientiously bound to abstain from cutting the beard, or removing the
hair that grows upon their faces. I am told that this sect is quite
numerous in the west.

Last evening we were slowly moving down the valley of the Conemaugh, on
board the Canal Packet Detroit. The scenery on either side of the stream
whose course we were following was bold and beautiful. The trees were
covered with dark thick foliage--at one time spreading out before us the
view of a lengthening forest, and then again opening to disclose to us a
rich verdant lawn--a beautiful corn field or a smiling farm house--with all
its usual appendages for convenience and comfort. After the lingering rays
of twilight had faded away, and night had drawn her sable covering over
the woodland scenes that stretched so gracefully around us, the moon rose
in silvery brightness, and poured down her rich mellow light on all the
shadowy landscape. Now and then a floating cloud crossed her path, and gave
a deeper momentary shade to the sombre shadows that here and there were
flung over the face of nature. It was a summer evening to make one court
the open air; most of our passengers were on deck. Some were sitting apart
by themselves, in silent meditation: some were gazing upward into the
peaceful heavens--and others, off upon the quiet scenes of nature. Others
stood around in little groups and knots, holding various conversations. I
was walking slowly from one end of the deck to the other, a silent observer
of what was passing around me.

At length a remark that I heard arrested my attention, and led me to stop
and listen. The group was composed of some six or eight individuals, who
were most of them evidently well educated and intelligent men, though, as
it will appear in the sequel, exceedingly ignorant upon all topics
connected with the gospel. One of the number was a physician of some
standing; another a lawyer, a member of the Senate in our state
Legislature, who although young has already attracted considerable
attention by the depth of his acquirements, and the brilliancy of his

The remark which fell upon my ear, and drew my attention to the discussion
that was going on in this little group--was--"that any man would find it
hard work to be an infidel." I was glad to hear such testimony from such a
quarter. As it was regarded no intrusion to sit or stand any where, where
one chose on the deck, I found an unoccupied seat near this little knot of
gentlemen, which I immediately took with a view of listening to their
conversation now that it had turned upon the subject of Christianity. The
question had been raised as to what constituted a Christian, when one of
the company thus delivered himself:

"He may be called a Christian who acknowledges the divine authority of the
doctrines and precepts of the Saviour."

This remark the more interested me, as it came from one who had spent much
of his time since we entered the packet in card-playing. As the
conversation progressed, I became more and more interested--but determined
to continue a silent listener. The general style of remark, was of a
character that evinced beyond all question a consummate ignorance on the
part of the speakers, not only of the real design of the gospel, but of the
leading truths which the Bible unfolds. I could not but think how
melancholy it was that so many of the distinguished men of our country--who
were well educated in other matters--should be so profoundly ignorant, in
the science of all others most important. I could not but fear that the
individuals congregated in that little group but too truly represented
several classes in our country, which taken collectively constituted the
majority of our population. I was so struck and so pained at what I heard
that I felt constrained to note down the substance of the conversation at

As the conversation progressed, one of the gentlemen observed--

"No man can come up to the requisitions of the gospel: neither is this
expected. It of course became a perfect Being, like the author of
Christianity, to lay down a perfect system. We are to aim to reach this
system in all its demands. Some will succeed in one particular, and others
in another. No one will come up to the required standard in all things.
Still every one should do what he can to come up to the model set before
us. This is my idea of being a Christian."

The same individual afterwards observed, "Christ had great shrewdness. He
never answered questions directly, but evasively. Take, for instance, the
case when he was asked 'Is it lawful to give tribute unto Cæsar,' he
replied, 'render unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's, and unto God the
things that are God's!' this is the way he generally did. It was difficult
to obtain a direct answer from him."

"He was like a Yankee," said another of the company, sneeringly.

"Or like a Quaker," rejoined a third, with a leering laugh. "I never yet
could get a direct answer from a Quaker; they will always answer your
question by asking another."

"That is because they wish neither to give offence, nor to get caught,"
replied one of the company.

I felt it was almost sinful to sit and listen to this profane manner of
speaking of the blessed Saviour--of Him before whom the loftiest hierarchs
in heaven cast their crowns in lowliest reverence. It was a page of human
nature, however, that I thought it well for me to read; and therefore, I
sat still:

"A really conscientious man," continued the man of law, "is just the worst
witness that can be brought on to the stand. He has so many qualifications
to make, and is so afraid that he shall not state every thing precisely as
it is, he fritters his whole testimony away. A legal friend of mine told me
the other day that he had just lost a cause by having a student of divinity
as a witness. When he conversed with him in private, he thought his
testimony would be entirely conclusive, but when sworn he made so many
qualifications to all he stated, such as--'if he recollected
correctly'--'if he heard correctly'--'if he did not receive a false
impression,'--and ten thousand other hypotheses, which so weakened his
testimony as to render it good for nothing."

Again the conversation went back to the question as to what constitutes the
substance of Christianity. One of the gentlemen remarked.

"In my view the whole of it is summed up in this precept--'Do unto others
as ye would they should do unto you.' Whoever acts on this principle is a
Christian; and I don't care what he believes about the Trinity, or
atonement, or any of the other mysteries of faith. Let him be a Unitarian,
or Trinitarian, or believe what he chooses about the Deity, if he acts on
this principle he will do well enough, and need not trouble himself about
matters of faith."

Another of the group responded--"This is undoubtedly true--it is in
accordance with common sense; but some hold strange views. A lady of my
acquaintance, the other day, was expressing great anxiety about the
salvation of a certain acquaintance of hers. This acquaintance, though
somewhat of a fashionable woman, and not particularly religious, is
nevertheless a most lovely and estimable character. I replied to the lady
expressing this anxiety, 'If you think she is in danger, I am sure there is
not much hope for me.' She looked very grave, and shook her head as though
she thought my case wholly desperate. Now I think it is horrible for people
to be cherishing such opinions about their neighbours--looking upon all the
community around them as going infallibly to an eternal hell, unless they
have a certain species of faith, which is supposed to ensure to those who
have it the favour of God, and everlasting life. I believe this is all a
mystic dream, and whoever acts on the principle 'of doing to others, as we
would they should do to us,' may with perfect safety give to the winds all
apprehensions about salvation, and all controversies about doctrines, and
particular forms of faith."

The individual who uttered these sentiments was the very person who had
remarked that "it was hard work for any one to be an infidel."

To me it seemed astonishing, that intelligent men, who knew any thing of
the scriptures, could hold the views that had been broadly expressed, and
yet suppose that they were not infidels. I was more than ever convinced
that men might be learned in science, in law, in medicine, in politics, and
yet be profoundly ignorant of the great design and prominent features of
the gospel.



     First view of Pittsburg--Its general aspect--Sabbath
     and its employments--An affecting incident--Orphan
     children--A Christian father in the midst of his
     children on the Sabbath.

                              _Saturday Evening, June 17._

About nine o'clock this morning, we passed the Alleghany river just above
the point where the Kiskiminetas falls into it; our course thence was along
the banks. The scenery on either side of this river, like that of all the
other rivers we have traced, is very interesting. Its waters seem clear and
transparent, and the banks are beautifully over-hung with trees of a rich
dark foliage.

It was about three o'clock, P. M., when we caught the first view of
Pittsburg. The day was unusually bright and sunny, and the atmosphere
uncommonly clear, and our Pittsburgian friends congratulated us upon having
so favorable a time in which to take the first view of their city.

I was aware that the hills that encompassed this city were filled with
bituminous coal, and that one great source of its wealth and prosperity
were the factories moved by steam power which could be employed with great
effect and cheapness, in consequence of the abundance of this coal. I was
also aware that this article constituted the principal fuel which warmed
their houses. I therefore expected to see a _smoky city_, but I was not
prepared to see what actually, at first sight, burst upon my view--a vast
cloud of smoke rolling up in ten thousand dark columns, and forming a
dense, murky canopy, that hung in expanded blackness over the whole town.
The city seemed in its sooty and blackened houses, and in its columns of
everlasting smoke, like one vast and extended group of furnaces or
glass-factories. As I continued to gaze upon it, I was reminded of the
smoke that went up from the plain of Sodom the morning after the
destruction of that city, "when Abraham gat up early and looked over the
whole plain." Our nearer approach to the city did not relieve me from my
first impression. Every object and scene, every house and building within
the purlieus of the town seemed stained, soiled, and tarnished with the
sooty vapour that was ceaselessly ascending from its ten thousand chimneys.
Like the frogs of Egypt this dreadful smoke came up into their houses, and
there was no escape from it. The walls of the most elegant drawing-rooms
bore evidence that the discolouring element had found its way there. The
atmosphere every where seemed impregnated with it. I raised the window in
my chamber, and the room was almost instantly filled with smoke. Almost as
soon as I reached the church on Sunday evening, the doors and windows being
open for the admission of air, I perceived the church was filled with a
cloud of smoke. Surely Pittsburg is a _smoky city_. I ask the pardon of its
inhabitants for this doleful description. The town certainly bears marks
of great thrift and prosperity, and its inhabitants do not lack in sterling
excellencies of character. I should be very ungrateful if I did not here
record the acknowledgement of the many acts of kindness and hospitality
that were extended to me during my temporary stay.

In the manner in which the people regarded the unpleasant appendage
connected with Pittsburg to which I have just adverted, I saw another
evidence of the benevolence and wisdom of the Creator in constituting us
with capabilities of adapting ourselves to whatever is around us. The smoky
atmosphere, so far from being an annoyance to the citizens of Pittsburg, is
constantly spoken of by them as its beauty and glory, and seems associated
in their minds with all the delights and interest of _home_.

I have visited the environs of the city, and clambered to the summit of
some of the hills out of which the coal is dug. The views from these
elevations up the Alleghany and the Monongahela are beautiful. The scenery
in every direction around Pittsburg, viewed from these eminences, would be
magnificent, were it not for that unchanging cloud of smoke that covers the
city as a canopy of darkness.

From many a point on the lofty range of hills that encircle the city, you
have a view at the same glance of the Alleghany and the Monongahela,
wending their way from different points through their own distinct
beautiful valleys, and hastening on like two ardent lovers to meet and
mingle into one; and still farther on you see these two blended rivers
moving off in one united stream--THE BEAUTIFUL OHIO, which winds its
serpentine way through _its_ own rich valley, to meet the waters of the
mighty Mississippi--a thousand miles from this spot.

                         _Pittsburg, Sabbath Morning, June 18th, 1837._

The church-going bell calling worshippers to the house of prayer, emits
sounds that fall sweetly on the Christian's ear. How delightful is the
thought, that go where we may in this happy land, we find some who love the
Saviour and are glad when it is said--"_Let us go up to the house of the

As I sat in my room an hour since, I was attracted to the window, which
looks out upon the back-yard, by the merry voices of children. I found the
voices came from an adjoining yard; and as I looked thither I was struck
with the wonderful resemblance which two fine looking boys bore to a
deceased clerical friend. I was not deceived! Upon inquiry, I found that
these were the orphan children of my friend, whose image was so accurately
traced in their countenances. Their father had been suddenly cut down in
the freshness and vigor of manhood. Their mother, always delicate, survived
him only a few weeks,--and they were left alone. They were now thrown upon
the care of their paternal grand-father, who was a Campbellite Baptist, and
whose family, though very amiable, were not professedly pious. Thus were
the children of this deceased clergyman, at almost the very dawn of their
being, removed from those religious sympathies and influences that their
father would most ardently have desired, should have encircled them. We
know not what may be in reserve for us, or our children. We may be quickly
in our graves, and our children may be left to be trained by those who have
no attachment to the church of our affections--and little regard for that
holy religion which brings us into blessed union with the Framer of the
skies, and the Father of our spirits. Can not we, who are bereaved
parents, find in this thought an argument to reconcile us to that
mysterious dispensation of Divine Providence, which has smitten down our
tender blossoms, and covered up in the grave those dear ones that seemed
the light of our eyes and the joy of our hearts! Surely, it is the Lord who
hath done this! He hath made safe and ample provision for our little ones
in his kingdom above! When we go the way of all the earth, we shall have no
anxieties about them--about their education--their morals, their spiritual
welfare, or their future success in life. Yes, thou art just and righteous
in all thy ways, O thou King of saints! And blessed be thy name, that thou
art on the throne, and orderest all things after the counsel of thy own
will! Taking hold of the everlasting covenant, we can leave ourselves, our
families, our all, in thy hands, for eternity!

                                             _Sunday Evening._

After returning from divine service this afternoon, I went to my room to
spend a few hours in preparation for the evening exercises. The window of
my chamber being open, and those of the back parlour directly under my
room, I discovered that my kind host had his children, six little
daughters, assembled there for religious instruction. He was a
Sunday-school teacher, and his children were in the Sunday-school; and yet
he did not feel himself on this account released from the parental
obligation of instructing his own offspring in the way of holiness. I could
distinctly hear the sweet voices of that little assembled group, one after
another, reading aloud to their parent the word of God, and then his
simple but striking comments upon the meaning of what was read. This was
continued for awhile, and then they all united in singing one of the songs
of Zion. Never did I listen to sounds sweeter than those that came from
those uplifted voices, engaged in chanting the praises of God. Directly,
however, those sweet strains were hushed. A solemn pause ensued. Then I
heard the voice of that father going up to heaven supplicating a divine
blessing upon his offspring. The prayer was a simple, earnest pleading with
"the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ," for the sanctification and
everlasting salvation of these children whom the Lord had given him. There
was a tenderness, and pathos, and child-like simplicity connected with the
prayer that deeply affected me. This manifestly was not an
extraordinary--but usual Sunday exercise in which parent and children were
engaged. A lovelier, or holier scene, I could not well conceive this side
of heaven. What a delightful occupation to the parent! What a blessing to
the children! When his head is laid low in the dust, the memory of that
consecrated Sabbath hour, will come up with an influence to melt and subdue
their hearts, and lead them to seek after their father's God. But, alas!
how is this duty of family instruction neglected. How many Christian
parents could be found in any Church who habitually set apart a portion of
the sacred day, to be employed in singing and praying with their children,
and instructing them in the knowledge of Christ and his salvation? What
would be the effect, if all professing Christian parents were in the habit
of spending an hour with their children this way each Sabbath! Would not
the baptized youth of our congregation be a very different race of beings
from what they now are? Should we so frequently hear of infidelity, and our
breaking sins among the children of Christian professors? No. There is
unquestionably a great neglect of duty here--a neglect on the part of
parents which results in the everlasting ruin of their offspring.



     Travelling companions--Steamboats on the Ohio--The
     Elk--The Ohio river--The Harmonists--Steubenville--Wheeling
     dead steamboat captain--Kentucky funeral.

                              _On board the Elk,
                              Monday Evening, June 19._

I have two exceedingly agreeable travelling companions. The one, Mr. B----,
who started with a special view of accompanying me in this tour. He is a
young gentleman of mature intellect, accomplished education, and ardent
piety. The other friend we fell in with on our way to Pittsburg. Mr. F----
is a merchant, residing in Boston, a devoted member of the Congregational
Church, a man of business, and of sterling Christian principle, possessing
more of "the milk of human kindness" than ordinarily falls to the lot of
mortals. The presence of these delightful companions has taken away much of
the solitariness one feels in having a space of so many miles thrown
between him and his home.

Whoever has travelled on any of the western rivers knows something about
the annoyances connected with western steamboats--the drinking--the
swearing--the gambling. We were induced to take our passage in "THE ELK,"
from the fact that it was the only boat that was going down the river this
morning. We soon found that our boat was not of the first order; our
captain, however, appears to be one of the most quiet, taciturn, and
unmoveable men we ever met.

It was about ten o'clock, that we found our boat pushing off from the
shore, and our backs turned upon the clouds of smoke that hung in dense
masses over what has been called the Birmingham of America. As we stood on
the deck, we seemed at the moment of starting enclosed by a forest of dark
tunnels peering up from countless steamers lying along the shore. More than
forty of these were clustered together in the same group where "_The Elk_"
was stationed. It is said there cannot be less than seven hundred
steamboats moving on these western and south-western rivers.

We were fully in the stream!--We began to feel that we were borne on the
flowing bosom of the Ohio! The luxury of that moment was worth travelling
four hundred miles to enjoy! What thronging emotions then came rushing upon
our minds! We remembered whither this stream was bearing us--away from our
friends--perhaps never to return! We thought of the vast territory it
watered--its majestic length--the scenes of Indian warfare that had been
acted upon its shores and on its surface, long before the axe of the white
man had felled a single tree in those vast and unbroken forests that stood
upon its banks, and were reflected from its mirrored surface! It was even
then _the beautiful river_, as the name Ohio denotes. It is said that "the
line of beauty" is not a straight but waving line. If so, this river is
richly entitled to its name. From first to last, it moves in "the line of
beauty." So winding is its course that we usually do not see, as we are
passing along upon it, more than a half or quarter of a mile in advance of
us, and often not so far. Thus we see it in distinct sections, each section
resembling a beautiful little lake, surrounded by its own sweet and
peculiar scenery--shut in by its verdant and variegated banks and
wood-covered hills, and ornamented by one or two, and often several little
green islets, around which the parted waters wind romantically.

We passed the settlement of the _Harmonists_, or _Economists_, as they are
frequently called. This people are the followers of Rapp, and reside at a
town called _Economy_, about fifteen miles below Pittsburg. They also form
a singular instance of the power of delusion. The people belonging to this
community are principally German emigrants, extremely ignorant, and,
therefore, more easily controlled by a shrewd and cunning leader. Rapp
professes to be a prophet sent from God, and gifted with the high privilege
of holding such constant communication with heaven, as to receive from
thence directions how to regulate and govern all their affairs.--He
therefore enjoins upon every individual belonging to the community, entire,
passive submission, and implicit obedience to his orders.

This self-constituted ruler claims to be their sole religious instructor.
The people usually assemble on the Sabbath, when he speaks to them, what it
concerns them to know in relation to the Supreme Being and his
Prophet--and then gives them directions about their labour for the ensuing
week, reminding them of the great importance of _harmony_ and _economy_,
assuring them, that both of these will be effectually secured if they
undeviatingly follow his directions.

Though they have no outward ordinances, they make great account of an
annual festival--the _Harvest Home_. At the observance of this festival,
after immense preparation in the way of providing all manner of good things
to eat and drink, not less than six hours are spent at the table--which are
occupied alternately in eating, singing, and praying. The above particulars
I received from several different, but well informed individuals, residing
at Pittsburg.

In the course of the day we passed Steubenville, pleasantly situated on the
river. I had barely time during the landing of passengers to ascend the
hill, and look into one of its principal streets. Its houses, like those of
Pittsburg, bore the dingy stain so common to all this bituminous coal
region. I wished to have met the Rev. Mr. M----, of this place, with whom I
had no personal acquaintance, but in whom I felt a particular interest on
account of the silent and powerful influence he exerted in the institution
where he finished his literary studies, in commending godliness and
rebuking sin, by a holy, spotless, and unblemished life. The savour of his
name still remained at that institution several years subsequent, at the
time when I was passing through my preparatory studies there. I found upon
inquiry that the same simplicity of faith, and singleness of mind, and
devoted holiness of life, characterized his labours on the banks of the
Ohio, which imparted such a charm and moral power to his conduct as an
academical student. There is nothing, after all, that can place such a
mighty moral lever in a man's hands, as simple-hearted piety--decided
holiness of heart and life.

We reached Wheeling just at sunset, and made our arrangements to remain
there through the night, with a view of taking the stage next morning to
pass into the interior of Ohio, making Gambier one of the points at which
we should stop. There having fallen heavy rains, however, the state of the
roads was such that the project was abandoned, and we determined to keep on
in the Elk. We felt some pleasure in being permitted to spend an hour or
two within the limits of the "old dominion," for it was the first time that
either of us had trod upon Virginia soil.

                              _Tuesday, June 20th, Cabin of the Elk,
                              Passing down the Ohio._

I know of nothing more delightful than to sit at one's ease, and be wafted
down such a beautiful stream as this, winding its graceful and circuitous
way through groves and grass-covered fields, and beauteous woodland scenes.
Occasionally we see the banks surmounted with lofty bluffs that lift their
proud summits up towards the clouds--and then succeeded by bottom land
studded with trees that bend over to dip their pendent boughs in the glassy
surface that sweetly reflects them. As one sits in a sheltered nook in the
cabin, gliding down such a stream, with such a scenery around him, and
feeling the cool refreshing breeze fanning his fevered brow, and imparting
vigour and new elasticity to his enervated frame, he must be very stupid,
or very depraved, if his heart is not drawn upwards and made to throb with
gratitude to the glorious Framer of this garnished and goodly scene!

One acquires as he proceeds westward, largeness and expansion to his ideas:
his mind is carried out of its former habits of thought, and swells away
into the vast dimensions of the majestic rivers, and boundless tracts of
country, over which his eye expatiates. Only think of sailing beyond the
Mississippi, in a steamboat, still westward more than two thousand miles,
and find your course at every step skirted with the most rich and fertile
lands which stretch away interminably before you!

We passed this day some interesting towns. _Marietta_ appears beautiful
from the river, is neatly built, and bears the marks of thrift and
enterprise. _Point Pleasant_ and _Guyandot_ in Virginia, _Gallipolis_ and
_Burlington_ in Ohio, are interesting points.

                              _Wednesday, June 21._

We found ourselves this morning lying at the shore of Portsmouth, with the
borders of Kentucky on our left. Being detained several hours we took a
view of the town, found a neat little Episcopal Church, and had an
interview with its humble, worthy, and devoted minister, the Rev. Mr.
S----. In all this western world we find that ministers have many trials
and discouragements. The people are more intent upon every thing else than
that of saving their souls. We here met, to our great delight and surprise,
the Rev. W. J----, and his lady, on their way to Louisville, his future
field of labour.

The river continued to present us with the same beautiful views, varied now
and then by loftier ridges of head-land on the Kentucky side. It was about
two o'clock, P. M., when we saw on the Kentucky shore in a solitary place,
a house surrounded by a large collection of people. Our boat seemed to
sympathize in the scene before us, for it was immediately arrested in its
course, and the captain put on shore. I have before spoken of the captain
of our steamer, as remarkably quiet, taciturn, and even tempered. We did
not know that the placidity of his natural temperament could be moved, or
his tongue unloosed by any earthly power, till the second night after our
embarkation, when we were awakened from our sleep by the tones of
boisterous anger, and volleys of oaths that almost froze our blood. It was
our captain chiding his men. We were now to see him under new
circumstances. As I have said, we dropped him on the Kentucky shore about
two o'clock, while the boat went on to a small village a few miles below.
We were told by some of the hands on board that the captain had stopped on
account of the severe illness of his brother-in-law, who was the owner of
the Elk, and its former commander. The order was to wait until he joined
us. The Rev. Mr. J. and myself improved the time of this delay by
clambering up to the summit of one of the loftiest hills in the
neighbourhood, where we had a fine view of the river and the surrounding
scenery. When the signal for our boat's departure was sounded, we
perceived, as we were going on board, a coffin covered with black velvet.
We now learned for the first time that our boat was to go back to the point
where we dropped our captain, and remain there until the funeral rites of
his brother-in-law, now deceased, were performed. It was in vain to
remonstrate, so we submitted to the delay with as much cheerfulness as
possible.--To improve my time I determined to go on shore and witness a
funeral among the yeomanry of Kentucky. The steamboat had been drawn up to
the bank under the verdant canopy of a cluster of umbrageous trees. After
ascending the bank, which might have been some fifty feet from the water to
its summit, we found ourselves in the midst of a beautiful grove, where the
underwood had been cut away, and the earth was carpeted with green sward.
Most of our passengers having landed, the coffin was brought out from the
boat and conveyed towards a cottage that stood some two hundred yards
distant. We all then moved on towards the house. The first thing that
attracted our attention in approaching this rural dwelling, was the number
of horses fastened to the fences, and equipped most of them with ladies'
riding saddles.--Around and within the house we found a large company
assembled. I was sorry to see so many rotund and rubicund faces among the
men, bearing unerring indications of intemperance. The fair daughters of
Kentucky were certainly on this occasion more happily represented than the
stronger sex. They were, however, very peculiarly dressed. They generally
wore a sun-bonnet, which had a long frill or flounce that hung like a shawl
over their shoulders, and carried in their hands little riding whips, which
left us at no loss to understand who were the riders of the caparisoned
steeds that we had seen in such numbers around this house of mourning.

I pressed along through the crowd, and followed the coffin to the house
with the hope of witnessing the religious exercises that I supposed would
be performed on this occasion. The house consisted principally of one long
large room, in a corner of which the corpse was placed. Here also the
mourners sat, and the company that were collecting to attend the funeral.
The coffin was brought into this room, and placed in front of the corpse,
which was clad in the vestments it was to wear in its narrow house. It was
immediately in the presence of the mourners, and of this promiscuous
company, raised from its position and transferred to the coffin. This being
done, the undertaker proceeded to fasten on the lid with the exception of
the head-piece, which was separate from the other. The wife, and mother,
and family friends, then moved forward, and proceeded to take leave of the
unbreathing dead. I never was more struck with the power of human sympathy.
At that moment many hardy, sun-burnt, iron-looking faces put on all the
expression of deep and overwhelming emotion. Tears ran down cheeks that one
would have thought had never been wet with such tender drops before. Even
our imperturbable captain, whom we thought proof against all feeling, and
almost a perfect impersonation of apathy, wept and sobbed aloud.

The coffin was then borne out into a rude open piazza or stoop in front of
the house, and there left for some time till the curiosity of every gazer
seemed fully glutted. Then again the near relatives came forward and kissed
the dead. The widowed wife seemed almost frantic in bestowing the parting
tokens of her affection upon the unbreathing body of her deceased
companion. I felt obliged to turn away, for I could not endure the sight of
her wild frantic manner as she clasped and kissed again and again the cold
clay of her husband! This finally had a close. Then after a short pause, a
female bearing in her hands a pair of shears, pressed her way through the
crowd, and proceeding to the head of the coffin, took off several large
locks of hair that rested on the cold forehead of the dead man. The coffin
was then immediately closed, and preparation made to move towards the
grave. I accosted an elderly lady that stood near me and said--

"Are we to have no religious services on this occasion?"


"Is there no minister present to officiate?"

"No," was the only reply I received.

I then turned to another and said, "Are there no ministers who reside in
this part of the country?"

"None very near here," was the response.

I mentioned this conversation to my friend B---- who stood near, and
observed to him that I regretted that such an opportunity should be lost,
when the feelings of all were so subdued, to direct the minds of these
people to the solemn realities of eternity; that even a single prayer
offered up at this moment might be the means of saving a soul. He went and
spoke to our captain, mentioned that there was a clergyman present, and
suggested to him the expediency of inviting him to engage in some religious
exercises. The captain with his usual apathy, into which he had again
relapsed, replied, "I don't know whether it is worth while."

The funeral began to move off in the following order or rather disorder.
First, the four bearers took the lead, carrying the coffin on two rudely
hewn sticks, prepared for the occasion. Then followed four or five of the
near relatives all abreast. Then came the bereaved widow, riding on
horseback, and after her all the assembled crowd, male and female, hurrying
on twelve or fifteen abreast of each other. The funeral train proceeded
near where we landed, and, after having gone a short distance into the
grove, it descended into a narrow ravine, through which run a little brook,
gurgling over its pebbly bottom. When the bearers reached this brook they
had no other way to proceed but to ford it; the others got over as well as
they could, on logs and stones. Having ascended the opposite bank, we soon
reached a well trodden path, which we followed for some short distance, and
then turned abruptly into a cornfield. When we had reached the central part
of the field, which was an eminence of some height, we found an open grave.
The excavation was at least four times larger than the coffin required,
with a place sunk in the bottom just large enough to receive it.

While we were ascending the hill near the grave, the captain having had
some consultation with the friends of the deceased, and again feeling some
kindlings of sensibility, sought me out from among the crowd, and very
affectionately throwing his arm over my shoulders thus accosted me--

"I am very sorry to detain you on your journey, but the hands were all so
much attached to Mr. R., I could not well send them on till the funeral was
over." I replied, "It is perfectly right to detain us under these
circumstances. This is a very solemn event, and one that should be regarded
as a loud call both to you and your hands. We must all soon come to this!
How important then to lay it to heart!"

To all this he readily assented and replied, "Several of the friends have
expressed a wish that you should give us a short exhortation at the grave."

I felt no disposition to decline complying with this request. Accordingly
when the coffin had been placed over the excavated grave, with the broad
blue canopy over our heads, amid the stillness of the surrounding country
scene, and the hill-side beneath me covered with a dense mass of human
beings, I lifted up my voice for my Master, and spoke to them of sin, and
death, and Christ, and salvation. As I looked over the silent listening
throng, I remembered that I had never met one of them before, and probably
should never meet one of them again, till we stood together at the judgment
bar. I endeavoured to exhibit to them the scenes of that great and dreadful
day, and the terms on which they would be accepted or rejected. I
endeavoured to direct the mourners that wept around that grave to the balm
that is in Gilead and the physician who is there. The countenances of all
were solemn, and there were not wanting evidences of deep and tender
emotion. The remarks were closed with prayer to the eternal Framer of earth
and sky. Whether on that hill-side, with the Ohio rolling at our feet, and
the blue heavens stretching over our heads, any good was done when we laid
the dead steamboat captain in his grave, the developements of the great day
must show! In my heart I thanked the Lord for this opportunity of going out
into the highways and hedges to try to compel them to come in.

As soon as the grave was closed up, the bell from our boat reminded us that
we must be on our way. During the rest of the voyage our captain seemed
very serious and thoughtful. At tea he requested that a blessing should be
invoked on our meal. My friend B. sought a private opportunity to press the
subject of personal religion upon his attention. He received what was
offered with great candour, and seemed willing to prolong the conversation.
His conduct after this to us was marked with every indication of
respectfulness and attachment. The next morning we found ourselves at
Cincinnati, the city which has been called "THE QUEEN OF THE WEST."



     Cincinnati--The Queen city--Views in reference to
     missionary labour--The kind of missionaries wanted in
     the great Valley--Walnut Hills--Lane Seminary--Dr.
     Beecher--Woodward College--Dr. Aydelott--The old
     Kentucky man--Louisville--The Galt House--View of the
     interior of Kentucky--Plantations--A sore
     evil--Kentuckian traits of character--A thrilling

                            _Cincinnati, Friday Morning, June 23d, 1837._

We reached this city, not inappropriately called "The Queen of the West,"
yesterday morning, and bid adieu to the Elk and its taciturn captain. Upon
the whole I have been greatly pleased with Cincinnati. The whole air and
aspect of the town has reminded me more of Philadelphia than any city I
have seen west of the mountains. Christ Church, in this city, is a noble
building, and the interior furnishes a beautiful specimen of architectural
taste and skill. St. Paul's Church is also a tasteful structure, although I
was not able to obtain a view of the interior. The Roman Catholic cathedral
and college make a fine appearance, but the interior of the cathedral
greatly disappointed me. The audience room is small, narrow, and mean in
appearance. I am happy to say that in passing through this western region
I find but one impression among well-informed and intelligent men in
relation to the growth and progress of popery here; and that is, that it is
making little or no advances, except with the increase of foreign

In my visit to Cincinnati I derived much information in relation to the
west, as well as much personal enjoyment from the conversation and society
of our most excellent brother, the Rev. J. T. B., Rector of Christ Church.
He occupies a most important position on the walls of Zion, and I could not
but say to myself, the more I saw and conversed with him, "Oh that we had a
thousand such clergymen at the west as he." He, as well as several other
intelligent clergymen in this region, assured me that it needed only a band
of well-trained, devoted, godly men, to plant the Episcopal Church every
where through the whole length and breadth of this vast valley. The united
testimony of all is, "Send us the right kind of men--or send us none. The
idea that any one will answer for a missionary to the west is a most fatal
error. We want here men of enlarged and liberal views, thoroughly educated,
of great prudence, energy and efficiency--men who are willing to work, and
willing to keep on working till they see the fruit of their labours--and
above all, pious, devoted men--men full of the Holy Ghost, and burning with
a love for immortal souls, who will speak directly to the hearts and
consciences of people. Give us such ministers, and no limits need be set to
the establishment of the Church. But if men of another stamp are to be
sent, those whose dullness, and deadness, and inefficiency prevent their
getting any place among the old established parishes at the east, the
result will be that our prospects here for the Church wherever they plant
themselves will be for ever ruined."

I have heard these sentiments again and again from the lips of some of our
most devoted ministers at the west. The body of clergy that now come here
are going to give character to the Church. They are engaged in the
momentous business of _laying foundations_. We must look not only to the
immediate, but future results of their labours. In almost all places,
before any thing can be done a church has to be built. I had no conception
till I entered this great valley of the difficulty of finding a place in
which to assemble the people for public worship. Almost the first business
to be done is to effect the erection of a church. The clergyman who can
inspire such confidence in himself and awaken such a degree of interest, as
to lead a western community to embark in such an enterprize, must have some
tact and power. Another difficulty is to induce the people to attend
church. Vast numbers here have fallen into the confirmed habit of spending
their Sabbaths in another way. It is an effort for them to go to church.
There must be some attractions in the minister to draw this class of
persons out, and they are here a very large, and respectable, and
influential class. A dull, sleepy, prosing minister is not the man for the

In the afternoon we rode out to Walnut Hills to visit Lane Seminary, and
pay our respects to Dr. Beecher. He received us with that frank, blunt
cordiality, which I have so often experienced in New England, and which
makes its rough and cragged hills more attractive to me than all the
luxuriant fields of the west. The pleasure of our visit was not a little
enhanced by the presence of Miss Catharine E. Beecher, who is widely known
to the literary world through the productions of her gifted pen. I am sorry
that my limits will not allow me to detail to you some parts of a
discussion that we had upon several interesting topics--especially in
reference to the present state of _the Presbyterian Church_, and of the
best mode of diffusing light among the _Roman Catholics_. I certainly left
Dr. B---- more than ever impressed with a high conviction of the brilliancy
of his intellect, and the depth of his piety.

The location of Lane Seminary is in the midst of a most beautiful
landscape. There is just enough, and just the right admixture of hill and
dale, forest and field, to give it the effect we love to feel in gazing
upon a calm and quiet scene of beauty. In our return to Cincinnati we took
another route, which, as we approached the town, gave us from the lofty
amphitheatre of hills that encircle this "occidental queen" a new view of
her charms. As we approached the lofty eminences in the rear of the town,
while we gazed from the summit down upon the city, I could not but reflect
how Jerusalem must have appeared to the spectator who stood upon Mount
Olivet, and looked down upon the proud domes and busy streets that lay
beneath him. And the thought too then occurred to me, that had I the gifted
vision of him who once stood upon Olivet, and wept over Jerusalem, I might
see in this beautiful city enough to draw forth floods of grief. With all
my admiration of Cincinnati, I see here abundant evidences of great
wickedness. The temperance cause I fear has made but little advance in this
place, and the god of this world holds a fearful sway over the minds of too
many of its inhabitants.

I met last evening the Rev. Dr. Aydelott, the former Rector of Christ
Church, who now occupies the place of President of Woodward College, an
institution in Cincinnati, endowed by the munificence of a single
individual, and which promises, with its present head, to do much for the
cause of learning in the west. I am satisfied that education here is to be
one of the great moral levers by which mind is to be raised from the
darkness and degradation of sin. In the President of Woodward College I
found a man of thorough evangelical views, sound intellect, and fine
literary attainment.

                              _Louisville, Tuesday, June 27._

It was about noon, Friday the 23d, that we left Cincinnati on board the
steamboat _Commerce_. Having reached the great Miami, we had immediately
under our eye the view of three states. Ohio which we were leaving--Indiana
which now constituted the right-hand bank of the river, and Kentucky, which
still continued to present us with its "alternations of bottom and bluff"
on the left.--We met on board a fine specimen of plain, honest, fearless
Kentucky character. He was an old man who cultivated a farm without slave
labour, possessing great bluntness, a large share of intelligence, and an
evident warm-hearted piety. Having formed some acquaintance with B----, he
accosted Mr. F---- and myself almost immediately upon coming where we
stood, in the following manner. "Well, gentlemen, I find your friend here
is for Christ: which side are you on? I am willing to show my colours." He
seemed very happy to know that we were trying to serve the same Master whom
he loved.

At early dawn, on the morning of Saturday, June 24th, we found our
steamboat lying along the shore, on which Louisville is built. As the heat
now began to be oppressive, it was very reviving to leave the confined
cabin of our steamer, and inhale the fresh breath of morning. Louisville is
evidently a flourishing business town, containing about twenty-five
thousand inhabitants, ten thousand less than Cincinnati. We put up at the
GALT HOUSE, an establishment which we had heard very highly commended. We
however, in the end, did not feel disposed greatly to dissent from the
remark of one of the lodgers at the Hotel, who in true Kentucky style
remarked--"_that the Galt House was not after all just what it was cracked
up to be_." I found many things to interest me in Louisville. During the
few days that I stopped here, it was my intention to visit Lexington, but
having been providentially prevented, I endeavoured to make amends for this
disappointment by taking short excursions into the country. How could I
fail to be delighted with the splendid corn and hemp fields along by the
sides of which I passed! and the luxuriant forests which, with their
underwood cleared away, and grown up, as they were, with blue grass,
appeared like noble parks affording pasture ground for the hundred beeves
that roamed there! How could I fail to be delighted with the frank, and
generous, and warm-hearted hospitality which I every where experienced. But
I saw a dark cloud hanging over this beautiful state! Almost all its
inhabitants see it, and lament it, and hope that it may one day be rolled
away! Through the politeness of a friend I was afforded an opportunity of
visiting several large plantations cultivated by slaves. I was pleased with
the evident kindness with which the slaves are treated, and the happy
contentedness which they displayed. But still I could not but see many
evils connected with this system. And I have no doubt that large portions
of the intelligent part of the people in Kentucky have juster views of
these evils than any of their northern neighbours--and that could silent
wishes remove the difficulty the chains of bondage would be instantly
broken. I dined with a gentleman, of great urbanity and professed piety,
living on a small plantation in the country. After dinner, we walked out,
and passed by the shantee in which his slaves lived. He asked me to look
in, and talk with them, he in the mean time passing on, with some other
gentlemen into the garden. I did so. In the cottage they occupied there was
every appearance of neatness and comfort. I remarked to an intelligent
looking woman who stood over the wash-tub--

"You look quite comfortable here, I suppose you are very happy."

She immediately replied, "I am not happy."

"Ah!" said I, "what makes you unhappy? Are you not treated kindly by your
master and his family?"

"Oh, yes!" she responded, "I have nothing to complain of on that ground."

"What is it then that makes you unhappy?" I asked.

"My sins," she replied.

I remarked that this was indeed the cause of all our misery; and I then
endeavoured to point her to that blessed fountain opened for sin and
uncleanness, where she and all our guilty race might wash and be clean.

As I passed along, I saw several young children around the establishment,
and when I joined our host in the garden, I told him what had passed, and
inquired of him, if the parents of the children we saw had been regularly
married. He appeared somewhat confused, and very serious--but at length

"This is one of the worst features of slavery. Two of the parents of those
children are married. The woman with whom you were conversing is the mother
of four children, and has never been married? Her conscience is not easy."

I inquired if such things were of common occurrence among the slave
population? He replied--"Yes--and we cannot prevent it." Alas for that
state of society which brings along unavoidably such sin in its train!

I inquired in relation to the religious instruction of the slaves, and was
sorry to learn that it was so very defective. On one plantation where there
were seventy slaves, the master was a perfect worldling, and never allowed
his slaves to attend public worship or receive any kind of religious
instruction. Must there not be something wrong in that state of society
which places seventy immortal souls so entirely under the control of one
individual that he can shut against them completely the gate of heaven? But
this is an unwelcome theme and I pass on.

Perhaps there is no part of our country where there are such fixed and
marked traits of character as in New England and Kentucky. There are many
traits in the Kentuckian which I admire, and which when brought under the
influence and control of Divine grace form the substratum of a noble
character. One of the attributes of this character is an honest
independence, which despises the meanness of stooping to get any advantage
by blandishment or truckling. This is evident from the common drayman to
the high-minded planter. Another attribute in this character, is a love,
amounting almost to a passion, for discussion, oratory, and public
speaking. It is said, that in no one of the states are all political
questions so thoroughly discussed and understood by the great mass of the
people as in Kentucky. During the sittings of the courts, I am told that
all leave their work, and give up their time to attend the trial of the
various suits that are pending, and to listen to the speeches that are made
on the occasion. Wherever there is public speaking, there the people will
flock. I believe there is no state where a talented, eloquent ministry
could effect more than here.--Unhappily there is much infidelity prevailing
in this state, and yet I have no doubt that it may and will be entirely
supplanted by the labours of a faithful and efficient ministry. You will be
gratified to learn that the Rev. Mr. J---- has commenced his labours with
great acceptableness. His removal to Louisville, at this time, is regarded
by the friends of the Church in this region as a most auspicious event. I
have no doubt that a wide field of usefulness lies before him. They are
erecting in Louisville a new Episcopal Church, and if a suitable pastor is
procured, there is not the least question but that both churches will be
entirely full.

The very best specimen of true original Kentucky character, which I have
met, was on board the steamboat. The love of this individual for his native
state amounted almost to a passion. Though in exterior very plain and
blunt, he possessed uncommon intelligence, and contributed by his
conversation in no small degree to our enjoyment.

He gave me the following statement in relation to the early settlement of

"This was one of the most beautiful and blooming territories over which a
wild luxuriant forest ever waved.--And yet as it was a sort of dividing
line between the northern and southern Indians, it became the battle-ground
upon which these nations met and waged interminable wars, so that it went
among the savages by the name of the _dark and bloody land_. Near the close
of the revolutionary war several settlements were attempted in Kentucky by
emigrants from Virginia. My ancestors were among the number. The Indians
both from the south and north, almost immediately became jealous of these
white settlers, and adopted the purpose of exterminating them. The settlers
were able to keep their position only by building a fort and living in it.
While a certain portion of the men worked in attempting to clear and
cultivate the land, another portion being armed, were on watch. I was born
in one of these forts near Boonsborough. I wore, till I was twelve years
old, hose made of buffalo hair. Our chief living was upon bear and buffalo
meat. We were in the midst of the wildness of nature. Hundreds of times
have I seen the Indians rushing upon our fort, or fleeing before the
sharp-speaking guns of our friends. People who live in the densely settled
portions of our country, know very little about the toils and dangers, the
sacrifices and privations which the first settlers endure."

My Kentucky acquaintance illustrated this last remark by a vast number of
thrilling incidents, one or two of which I will relate.

When he was quite young, several of the people of that settlement,
undertook to manufacture maple sugar. The winter had relaxed its rigours,
and the warm sun began to pour down his genial rays. The snow was fast
melting away, and the sap ran merrily from the perforated sugar trees.
Several negroes were engaged a short distance from the fort in collecting
the sap. It was supposed that no Indians were in the neighbourhood, as none
had been seen for several months. Tempted by the bright sunny day, a
daughter of one of the settlers, a young, beautiful, blooming girl, rambled
beyond the enclosures of the fort, where the negroes were collecting the
sugar sap. While she stood there, full of buoyancy and free from every
apprehension, a negro being near, busily engaged in some of the various
processes of sugar-making, four or five wild Indians in a moment sprung
upon them! The negro they seized and bound, and in an instant cut down with
their tomahawks this beautiful girl. Having scalped her, they fled,
carrying with them the captured negro. The alarm was soon given at the
fort. They were pursued--overtaken, and several of them shot. The negro was
rescued. Those that had escaped went five hundred miles around among the
tribe to raise the war-cry, and then came back and again attacked the
settlement. In that encounter my Kentucky friend told me that _eleven_ of
his family relatives were killed.

Another incident which he related was the following. Somewhere on a station
near Kentucky river, in the spring, when the earth began to put on her
bloom, two young ladies, the eldest of whom was the first child born in
Kentucky, went out to gather flowers. As they saw some very rich blossoms
on the banks of the river, they took a little skiff, and went from one
side to the other collecting them. While thus engaged a number of Indians
were in the canebrakes watching them. The young ladies having by a turn of
the river passed beyond the view of their enemies, the Indians proposed to
gather flowers, and place them all along the bank, where they were in
ambuscade, so that when they returned, attracted by these flowers, they
would come up to the bank and then the boat could be seized. The plan
entirely succeeded, and while these young ladies were gaily cropping their
flowers, a huge wild Indian sprang from his concealment into the boat.
Their destiny then seemed sealed. They were immediately borne away as
captives. One of them, however, wore a dress handkerchief of red and
brilliant colours.--This she silently kept pulling to pieces, and dropping
the shreds as she was hurried along through the forest. The friends of
these young ladies soon become alarmed. Marks were discovered of an Indian
trail. The empty boat was found. A band of armed men commenced pursuit,
headed by the father of one of these young ladies.--They discovered the
shreds of the handkerchief, and traced them till night fall, when they
suddenly came upon them where they were encamped. They perceived there was
a large number of Indians, and thought secresy in their movements
important. They waited till the Indians were asleep, and then the father
drew near. He saw the two young ladies sitting by themselves, guarded by an
Indian. The others appeared to be asleep. His men were at some distance,
and he thought it better to go up unseen, and tomahawk this sentinel, and
rescue his child without alarming the other Indians. But in attempting it,
his faithful dog which accompanied him, growled at the sight of these
savages. In a moment they were on their feet and he their prisoner. They
determined at once to put him to death. He was stripped and bound to a
tree, and they were just levelling their pieces to fire at him.--What a
moment of awful suspense for his child who stood looking on! His men,
alarmed at his long absence, drew near, saw what was going forward, and
instantly fired upon the Indians. A panic was immediately struck into the
camp, and as the fire from the whites was kept up, and one and another
Indian fell gasping on the ground, they soon fled and left their prisoners.
The father and the two young ladies returned. One of them is still living,
the mother of a large and respectable family, whose declining age is
cheered with the comforts of a sweet hope in Christ.

It is well for us to know something of the hardships endured by the first
settlers in the west.



     New Albany--Sailing down the Ohio--Profanity--Lovely
     views of nature--A sudden squall on the river--Kentucky
     shore--Young fawn--The mouth of the Tennessee
     river--The swimming deer--His struggle and
     capture--Meeting of the waters of the Ohio with the
     Mississippi--Gambling--Intemperance--Sail up the
     Mississippi to St. Louis.

                              _New Albany, Indiana,
                              Tuesday Morning, June 27, 1837._

Indiana is unquestionably destined to become one of the most interesting of
the Western States. Its principal towns that stand along on the Ohio, must
of course become very important points. This will be particularly the case
with New Albany, which is already one of the most populous and flourishing
towns in Indiana. It bears on every part of it the marks of a new place,
and the manner in which every house and shed within its precincts is
crowded, shows that it must have expansion. It is situated about four miles
from Louisville, just below the rapids, on a fine broad table of land,
which is so far above high water mark, as effectually to secure it from
those inundations, occasioned by the sudden rise of the Ohio. Some way
back in the rear of the town, and nearly encircling it, rises up in a very
picturesque manner, what is here called _a knob_, an elevated steppe of
land, from which we look down upon the town and river, and see them spread
out before us as on a map, in distinct and beautiful delineation.
Louisville appears in the distance, and the adjacent country, which with
the windings, and wooded scenery of the beautiful Ohio, presents a view so
exquisite, that the imagination can scarcely conceive any thing more

It is only three or four years since there were but a handful of
inhabitants at New Albany: it now numbers six thousand, and is rapidly
increasing in population. A very large proportion of its inhabitants are
young, enterprising men from the East, who possess moderate means, and have
come here to build up their fortunes. How important to bring such minds
under the influence of the Gospel! This is a centre from which influences
for good or evil will go forth through the state, and I believe it may be
truly said, it is one of those fields that "are white for the harvest."

I met Bishop Kemper at Louisville, on his way to hold an ordination at
Madison, another interesting town in Indiana, on the Ohio, between
Louisville and Cincinnati. The bishop purposes to devote two or three
months between this and autumn to Indiana. He appears indefatigable in his
efforts to promote the good cause, and every tongue through the whole west
speaks forth his praise, and cheerfully accords to him the high encomium of
a _zealous, devoted, and holy man_. There are now seven or eight Episcopal
clergymen in Indiana, and the cry still is, "The harvest is plenteous, but
the labourers are few."

                              _Steamboat, Tuesday Evening, June 27th._

It was about three o'clock to-day, that we started on our way from
Louisville, down the Ohio. It was excessively hot, and I experienced a
languor and sense of exhaustion, which I do not recollect ever before to
have felt. When the sun began to decline, and we again found ourselves
gliding as by enchantment over the surface, and sweeping through the midst
of the beautiful scenery of the Ohio, I felt that I had passed into a new
world. As I traversed the deck of the boat, and saw reflected from the
smooth and mirror-like bosom of the river, the luxuriant foliage, rich and
dark by its own deep verdure--the smooth green bank that sloped down to the
water's edge, as though to kiss the smiling surface that slept so quietly
below--the abrupt precipitous bluff, starting up like a mound of earth, or
a wall of solid masonry--and the head-land sweeping off into sloping woods
that towered in majesty above the stream, I could not but feel, and could
scarcely refrain from exclaiming aloud, how beautiful and surpassingly
lovely are the works of God! What must the heart of that man be made of,
who can pass through the midst of such displays of divine beauty, and
pollute the very atmosphere as he passes with profanity! This is what
hundreds are daily doing. Almost all the hands on board of the steamboats,
down even to the little boys, utter an oath almost every other word.
_Profane swearing_ is one of the crying sins of this western world. Oaths
the most horrid are awfully common among all sorts of people. Amid these
scenes of varied beauty where creation appears so lovely we may truly say,

    "* * * Every prospect pleases
    And only man is vile.
    In vain with lavish kindness
    The gifts of God are strown."

Men pass here in thousands, and mindless of all these tokens of a
wonder-working Deity, continue to live as though there were no God in the
Universe, or as if He existed only to afford a theme for more aggravated
profanity. And yet looking at the matter, aside from the native depravity
of the human heart, one would think that the spontaneous effusion of every
intelligent mind whose attention was directed to this scene, would be, as
he looked around, "Surely this is the teaching of the mighty God! May
lessons be impressed upon my heart by the outspread volumes before me,
which no mutations of time, no excitement of passion, no fascinations of
the world, no devices of the Evil one will ever efface. Eternal Creator,
here among this green, boundless, majestic temple of thy works I renew the
consecration of myself to thee, soul, body, and spirit. While these rivers
roll their waters towards the sea--while a spear of grass grows in these
fields--while a tree on these wooded banks is clothed with foliage in the
vernal month--yea, while the solid earth lasts, and the cycles of eternity
move on, with thy grace will I live only to serve and glorify Thee."

                              _Wednesday, June 28th._

While we were leisurely sailing along to-day, the weather being
oppressively warm, and the heavens very bright and sunny, and not a breath
of air stirring, pyramids of snow-white clouds began to be piled up in the
northern and western sky. These masses of cloud seemed heaped together in
every fantastic form. They towered aloft like huge mountains of snow. What
added to the interest and singular appearance of the scene was, that this
arch of the snow-pillowed sky sprung directly up from a boundless sea of
verdant foliage that stretched interminably around. Through these masses of
white cloud, there occasionally appeared large interstices, like deep
caverns, opening into the blue profound!--long vistas through which we
could seem to catch a view of the inmost heaven. Suddenly a tremendous gale
struck us; the waters of the calm Ohio were thrown into the utmost
commotion, and the wind came down upon us with a power that threatened to
shiver the steamer into a thousand atoms. The heavens gathered blackness,
and the whole dark firmament presented a surface every now and then lit up
with a sheet of the most vivid fire. The waters ran very high, the wind
roared, and the thunder was awful. The captain very prudently sought the
shelter of the shore, and our boat was soon fastened by a strong cable to a
tree. Then the rain fell in torrents, as though the waters of the river
itself were scooped up and poured upon us. We learned that a few days
before, not far from where we were, a steamboat had been capsized by a
similar flaw of wind. We were soon again on our way, moving beneath a
bright and benignant sky, and fanned by a gentle and refreshing breeze. How
much our course down this river resembles human life! I cannot stay to make
the application, but will only add that they only are wise who seek the
shelter of God's presence as a hidingplace till the storm be overpast.

We stopped towards evening to take in wood on the Kentucky shore. We there
saw for the first time the native cane-brake. A wood-cutter's hut was near.
A little ragged boy came out followed by two large dogs, and a little pet
fawn. The dogs seemed to be fond of this little innocent thing, which had
been taken only two or three weeks before. It seemed as it skipped along,
and played around the footsteps of the child, very affectionate and
confiding. Oh! that hardened sinners were transformed into a nature as
mild, and gentle, and sweet as this little fawn! The power of Christ
through the gospel can alone accomplish this.

Just at nightfall we passed the steamer Louisiana in distress. She had run
upon a reef of rocks, and was in a sinking state. I cannot but here record
the mercy of God which has followed us thus far in our journeyings.
Steamboats have been blown up, and fired, and sunk, all around us since we
started, and yet the Lord in boundless mercy has preserved us.

                                          _Thursday, June 29th._

When I awoke this morning, I found the boat was taking in wood at Paducah,
just at the mouth of the Tennessee, having passed the Cumberland river in
the night. We were now approaching a scene of interest that we had been
long anticipating--the meeting of the waters of the Ohio and "the father of
rivers." The morning was rainy and unpleasant, still we were constantly on
the alert, eagerly intent upon seeing every object of interest around us.
While thus looking abroad, an affecting scene presented itself to us. The
Ohio here, having received its last large tributaries, had become very deep
and broad. Its banks were covered with tangled underwood, and dense
forest-trees--presenting a scene of unbroken wildness. Now and then a
woodman's hut was visible on the shore, and a little boat fastened to the
bank. A deer, bounding with the fleetness of the wind to escape his
destroyers, had reached the river's edge. What could be more natural than
that, as his pursuers pressed on, he should plunge into the midst of the
flowing stream! How cool and grateful must have been its waters to him thus
panting and faint! But will he find safety here! No. His pursuers are again
upon him. Having seized two little skiffs they eagerly press on to reach
him. We saw them gliding through the waters towards him. Again he puts
forth all his energies, and dashes through the waves like an arrow through
the air. The effort he is making is for his life. But the strong arms that
ply the oars, send forward the little barques which contain his pursuers
with a velocity that seems to cut off the hope of escape. Now they are upon
him! one boat is in advance of him, and the other rushing towards him. His
destiny seemed sealed! But no--he is gone! He has darted to the depths
beneath, and risen far beyond the furthermost boat! He is exerting every
nerve to reach the shore! A few moments more, and his point will be
gained--he will be bounding through the Kentucky woods! No. Hope again
dies! His pursuers are again upon him--the boat is again between him and
the shore. His strength is exhausted. The uplifted oar with dreadful stroke
has fallen upon his head. The hands of his fell pursuers have grasped his
horns, he is dragged up into the boat and the huntsman's knife has made a
deep incision in his throat. He pants, and struggles, and expires!

I said to myself--the sinner is pursued by sin, and satan, and passion,
like that chased deer. There is no escape for him but in Christ. Oh what a
happy, blessed hour of deliverance is that when the arm of mercy is reached
forth to pluck him from the hands of his destroyers!

It was about nine o'clock this morning, when we first come in sight of the
Mississippi. The waters of the Ohio had seemed muddy to us, but now they
appeared clear and limpid compared with the muddy and discoloured stream
which we were about to enter. There it was before us in all its
magnificence, "the mighty father of rivers!" When our steamer touched its
waves, it was with us a moment of deep and intense interest. We now turned
up to breast its impetuous current which swept proudly along by us in
foaming eddies. Every part of the river seemed turbid and thick with mud,
and we could not understand how these waters could hold so much soil in
solution. I shall never forget my sensations, when, shortly after we
reached the Mississippi, I saw one of the boatmen draw up a pail full of
this muddy water, and putting his lips to the vessel drink it off with
apparent relish. I afterwards found it was the only water drank on board
the steamboats, and in the towns situated on this river. I also found that
after it was filtered, it was the most delightful water that I ever drank.
One cause of its turbid appearance is the large portions of magnesia it
holds in solution. This water derives its peculiar characteristics from
the Missouri. Above that stream the waters of the Mississippi are clear and

I have already spoken of the annoyance to which we were constantly
subjected from the profanity of those we encountered. And I may now add
that, gambling is another of the vices that are rife here. On our way from
Louisville to St. Louis there has been one incessant scene of gambling
night and day. We have evidently had three professed gamblers on board. I
am told that there are men who do nothing else but pass up and down these
waters, to rob in this way every unsuspecting individual, they can induce
to play with them, of his money. We saw one victim fall into the clutches
of these blacklegs. He was a young merchant, I believe, from Chilicothe,
Ohio. He was first induced to play a simple game of cards. A slight sum was
then staked to give interest to the game. He was allowed for awhile to be
successful and to win of his antagonist. He played on till he became
perfectly infatuated. He would hardly stop long enough to take his meals.
Being fairly within their toils, large sums began to be staked, and this
young man did not see the vortex into which he was being borne until he had
lost six hundred dollars. In this deep gambling, physicians and judges who
were present participated. What will our country come to, with such
examples before the people! After being shut up for two or three days with
such company, I thought how horrible it must be to be shut up in perdition
with such characters forever! Surely the very presence of such men, with
their depraved passions in full play, would of itself constitute a perfect
hell! Another crying sin, which abounds on board the western steamboats,
and is fearfully prevalent through every portion of this western region, is
_the free and unrestrained use of ardent spirits as a drink_; usually on
board these western steamboats whiskey is used just as freely as water. All
drink. The pilot--the engineer--the fireman--all drink. The whiskey bottle
is passed around several times a day, and then the dinner table is loaded
with decanters. I am satisfied that more than two-thirds of the disasters
that occur on board these steamboats, are attributable to this free use of
ardent spirits.

I know it will be natural to ask, can nothing be done to arrest the
progress of these mighty evils? A gentleman at St. Louis, Captain S----,
has embarked in a noble effort to do this. Last summer he ran a boat from
Galena to St. Louis, with these avowed principles--that the Sabbath should
be sanctified--that wherever the Lord's day found them, there they would
tie up their boat and remain till Monday--that no ardent spirits should be
brought on board the boat--that no profane swearing should be allowed, and
no card-playing permitted. He remarked to me that the exclusion of ardent
spirits removed the whole difficulty--that where there was no intoxicating
drink, there was very little disposition to indulge in profanity or
gambling. This gentleman has now raised forty thousand dollars, and hopes
to bring it up to one hundred thousand in order to establish a line of
boats on the same principle from Pittsburg to New Orleans. I do believe
that this is one of the most important enterprises of the present day, and
that the religious interests of the west are vitally connected with it.
Captain S---- remarked to me, that no class of men, after the clergy, could
exert such a prodigious influence for good or for evil, in the western
valley, as the captains of steamboats. If they were only pious men, there
is no telling how much they might do, every trip they made, to promote the
cause of the Redeemer.

If something be not speedily done at the west to prevent the profanation of
the Lord's day, there will soon be no Sabbath. At the principal landing
places along the rivers, business appears to go forward on the Sabbath just
as upon any other day. Professors of religion are deeply involved in this
sin. Goods are carried to and from their ware-houses at noon-day, and their
clerks are busy in the counting-room while they are at church. Facts of
this kind I do not guess at, but _know_. Will not God visit for such
things? Oh what will become of our land when God riseth up to judge the

The whole character of the scenery, since we entered the Mississippi has
become changed; the banks of this great stream are low and marshy. They are
generally covered with dense forests and tangled underwood, and present the
appearance of nature in its untrodden wildness.

                                               _Friday, June 30th._

We to-day made a short stop at a place which bears the name of _Western
Philadelphia_. There were some half dozen buildings, and two stores. It is
only about nine months since the settlement commenced. Chestnut and Market
streets were pointed out to us. Their course was through a flourishing
cornfield, the stalks of which were so luxuriant and lofty, that we in vain
essayed to reach their tops with our hands.

There are more signs of cultivation visible, as we passed along, on the
Missouri than on the Illinois side. The banks as we proceed up the stream,
occasionally rise into high bluffs--especially in Illinois--towering aloft,
not unlike the palisades on the Hudson. Frequently one rock is piled upon
another to such an elevation, that the summit of the bluff juts over the
river, as though it were ready to tumble down upon the heads of those who
were passing along on the quiet stream beneath. This is particularly the
case as we enter the lead country which commences some time before we reach
St. Louis. These lofty towering bluffs that rise up so perpendicularly,
projecting over the river, afford every convenience for forming natural
shot towers. We saw several of these lofty cliffs that were thus used. A
little box was erected upon the summit of the rock, where the molten lead
was poured down through the mould, into a little tub on the shore beneath
to receive the shot as they fell.

As we slowly wended our way up this mighty stream we found the shores
adorned with flowers, and covered with cane-brake and thick underwood. We
also saw the trees loaded with grape-vines--and many of them completely
matted over with ivy, woodbine, and misletoe. The luxuriance of vegetation
seemed so great, as not only to cover the earth, but to lift itself up
suspended in the air.

We passed to-day St. Genevieve, a French village standing on a beautiful
hill-side. The loveliest prospect stretched out before the town. We could
from this point see the broad Mississippi in its magnificent course
piercing the boundless forests of eternal verdure, and spreading out its
watery surface upon which a hundred green islets seemed to float. The town
itself, like all the French villages that we have seen on this river,
appeared old and dilapidated, and quite destitute of every thing like
improvement, or enterprise. I could not but contrast these French villages,
in the midst of this rich luxuriant land, with their little Roman Catholic
chapels, their low narrow houses, and abundant marks of poverty, with the
neat, tidy, thriving villages of New England, which, although they rear
their heads from a hard rocky soil, where industry has to be taxed to the
utmost to obtain the means of subsistence, present--in their beautiful
church edifices--their elegant public buildings, and well constructed
private residences--marks of thrift, industry, and comfort, which cannot
fail to gladden the heart of the traveller who passes through them. Such is
the difference in their influences between Protestantism and Romanism.

Twelve miles before we reached St. Louis we passed Jefferson barracks, a
military station on the Missouri shore, located on a beautiful swell of

Carondolet is another French village on the banks of the Mississippi,
around which every thing appears ruinous and poverty stricken.

At length St. Louis rose to view, and we hailed the sight with no ordinary
sensations, not only as it was to be our resting place for awhile, but as a
point of exceeding interest in this vast western world.



     St. Louis--Roman cathedral--Desecration of the
     Sabbath--Golden sunsets--Sail up the Mississippi--The
     meeting of the waters of the Missouri and the
     Mississippi--Alton--The burning prairie.

                              _St. Louis, Tuesday Evening, July 4th._

This, unquestionably is destined in time to become THE GREAT CITY OF THE
WEST. Its location is pleasant, and from the manner in which the upper part
of the city is now building, I should think it would ultimately compete in
regularity and beauty with almost any city in the Union. Its most prominent
public buildings at present are the theatre and the Roman cathedral. One of
the priests politely showed us through the latter building. The interior
would be very grand and imposing, were it not for the gaudy paintings,
intended as scriptural illustrations, suspended around the audience room.
However much these may catch the attention and awaken the admiration of the
_ignobile vulgus_, they cannot fail to excite any thing but complacency in
minds accustomed to the more chaste productions of the pencil. In entering
the church, we passed through the basement, where are the confessional
boxes and a small altar, on which wax candles were burning. Here we saw
one of the sisters of charity, sitting in black vestments, in a solitary
dusky nook, as though absorbed in holy meditation. In the church we found
another priest, engaged, as far as we could understand, in preparing a
class of German boys for confirmation.

I learned from an intelligent source that Romanism is making little or no
progress among Protestants at St. Louis. They have found it necessary to
cut off, or conceal many of its offensive excrescences, so that a friend
remarked to me, that he thought that a reformation in spite of themselves,
silent and gradual, was going on in the Roman Catholic Church. The fact is,
that the great difficulty at St. Louis is, that the mass of the people
"care for none of these things." They are equally indifferent to every form
of religion. Of course iniquity abounds, and the institutions of God are
trampled in the dust. The following fact will illustrate this point. As I
went to church on Sunday morning, to my utter astonishment, in passing by
the new theatre, I saw some twenty or thirty men at work on it--masons,
house-carpenters, and painters. God's law, _Remember the Sabbath, to keep
it holy_, was to be of no account, because the people of St. Louis were
anxious to have their new theatre opened on the evening of the Fourth of
July! Each one of the usual denominations has a church here. From all I
could learn, however, I fear religion is at a very low ebb in St. Louis.
There are numberless discouragements to be encountered every where in the
West, calculated to weaken the hands and depress the spirits of the
ministers of religion. No one can understand the number or nature of these
discouragements, without being actually on the ground. A successful
missionary at the West must have great faith and patience, and be unwearied
in his labours. To animate his clergy, and cheer them on in their toil,
there could not be a better man than Bishop Kemper. He seems to throw
sunshine around him wherever he goes.

One thing struck me as remarkable at the West, and particularly at St.
Louis. I refer to the appearance of the heavens at sunset. Nothing can
exceed the richness and splendour of a western sunset. I have heard much of
an Italian sky, but my imagination never conceived such pictures of beauty
and indescribable glory, as are painted on the sky here at the decline of
day. The whole hemisphere seems flooded with unearthly radience. The clouds
piled up the western sky, appear more brilliant and gorgeous than any or
all the colours of earth can make them. And as you look at them, you see,
through the clouds, apertures, which seem like golden vistas, through which
you look almost into the heaven of heavens.

Our Fourth of July has been spent quietly here. There has not been half the
noise and disturbance I had anticipated.

                              _Wednesday Evening, July 5th._

We this morning left St. Louis about nine o'clock. Our progress up the
river has been slow. Some eighteen miles from St. Louis we witnessed one of
the most interesting sights in all our journey--_the meeting of the waters
of the Mississippi and the Missouri_! I cannot attempt description! The
imagination alone can conceive it. If I ever had feelings of sublimity
waked up in my bosom, it was when our boat stood off just abreast the
Missouri, and I looked up its mighty channel, and thought of its source
between two and three thousand miles distant, amid those mountains whose
tops are covered with eternal snow, and then thought of the sunny orange
groves, near where it empties its waters into the ocean!

We stopped a few hours at Alton, Illinois, just above the point where the
Missouri mingles its waters with the Mississippi. This is an interesting
town, fast rising into importance. It is destined to become a point of
great interest. Its present population exceeds two thousand. We passed
Marion City and Quincy, as we advanced up the river. Of the former we have
heard frequent descriptions. We stopped an hour or so at the latter, and
enjoyed from the high bluff on which it is built, a view of one of the most
magnificent prospects that ever stretched before the human eye. The
expanded waters of the Mississippi--the innumerable green islets that seem
to float on its bosom--the beautiful vistas opening between these--the
boundless ocean of forest stretching off to the south and west, and the
level, treeless, luxuriant prairie running back to an unknown distance--all
these lay at your feet, furnishing one of the most picturesque scenes upon
which the eye ever gazed. I regretted the shortness of our stay at Quincy,
not only on account of the enchanting loveliness of the spot, but more
particularly as it deprived me of the pleasure of paying a visit to Dr.
Nelson, the author of a popular work entitled, "_The cause and cure of
Infidelity_," a book of sterling excellence.

We had now passed over a long tract of river navigation since we embarked
at Pittsburgh. Our eyes had become almost wearied with tracing first the
endless sylvan beauties that clustered around the banks of the
smooth-flowing Ohio; and then the vast, unpenetrated, boundless forest
scenes that spread away on either side of us from the abrupt, muddy banks
of the Mississippi. Our ear had become wearied with the monotony of the
sharp, rough sound of the high-pressure engine, that was heard ceaselessly
day and night. Books scarcely any longer could interest us. The character
and conversation of most of those around us seemed exceedingly dull and
common-place. There was however one exception. This was found in the person
of one of our passengers--a man of almost herculean stature, who, we soon
learned, possessed great versatility and vigour of mind. His manners,
however, at first appeared so coarse, and his conversation so blunt, that
there seemed something exceedingly repulsive connected with his character.
But this impression soon wore away, and in a few days he became the centre
of almost universal attraction. He was a true Kentuckian of the old school;
he was born and brought up amid the stirring scenes connected with the
early settlement of his native state, and was perfectly familiar with all
the war legends, and every bloody fray from the first movement of Col.
Boone to the final expulsion of all the savage tribes from this their
ancient hunting ground. To use his own language, he was "born in an Indian
fort, and through childhood fed upon bear's meat, and clothed in buffalo
skins." His physical strength seemed enormous, and he bore evident marks of
being one of those brave, reckless characters that find pleasurable
excitement in facing danger and death in every form. Yet he was not
destitute of the softer and more kindly feelings of our nature, and withal
seemed to have a high and reverential regard for religion.

It was now just at the close of a long summer's day. Our steamer for many a
long weary hour had been pushing her slow course up the broad current of
the Mississippi, when there suddenly opened upon us a vast, far-extending
prairie. To me this was an object of thrilling interest, and the more so
because hitherto we had seen scarcely nothing upon either side of the river
but unbroken and boundless forests, stretching away as far as the eye could
reach to the distant horizon. But here was a vast expanse in which no tree,
nor stump, nor stone was visible. Naught met the eye but the tall grass,
waving in the breeze, bending, rising, and rolling to and fro like the
waves of the ocean after a tempest; and this grassy surface interspersed
with wild flowers of every colour, hue and form.

For a long time I watched this beauteous scene, till the shadows of evening
began to settle down upon it. While I continued still gazing upon the
prairie, the old Kentuckian, who stood near, was making his observations,
and at length remarked, "That prairie on fire would be a noble sight! I
have seen them burning in a dark night, while the wind sprung up and bore
on the flames like a sea of fire. I can tell you a good story and a true
one about a burning prairie, and a family who perished by the

We were urgent for him to proceed in the narrative. He began by giving an
account of the family that perished in this conflagration, with whose
history he seemed quite familiar. It was a beautiful and touching picture
of real life that he drew in describing this family as they lived somewhere
in the valley of Onion River, amid the sublime mountain scenery of Vermont.
He represented Mr. N----, the father, as a hardy, sensible, and pious New
England farmer. The family consisted of four children, two of whom, James
and Lydia, were grown up to adult age, while George, the next son, was
about thirteen years old, and the youngest daughter was only eight. Mr.
N---- had long toiled to accumulate a little property, but the increase had
been so slow, that in a fit of discouragement he sold his little farm, and
determined to emigrate to the Far West, where he learned he could purchase
land at a very low price, and procure the means of subsistence with very
little labour. He persuaded himself that by adopting this course he should
be doing more justice to his children than by remaining in a country where
property, and even the means of subsistence for a family, could be attained
only by years of persevering toil. There was only one heart made sad by
this determination, and that was the heart of his favourite and eldest
daughter. Lydia N---- was a girl of excellent sense, and some personal
attractions. She had interested the affections of a young man who had grown
up with her from childhood. His father owned an adjoining farm. The two
families were quite intimate, and many happy hours had Charles S---- and
Lydia passed together. This proposition of emigrating to the Far West
seemed to the young people a death-blow to all their long-cherished hopes,
as the circumstances of the young man did not warrant his forming a
marriage connexion at once. But true affection is ready to make any
sacrifices to attain its object. As soon as it was a settled point that Mr.
N---- was to leave, Charles S---- offered to accompany him in the capacity
of a hired man, if he would accept his services. Mr. N---- assented, and
every thing was arranged accordingly.

They were now on their way, moving in true western style. They expected to
be weeks and months on their journey before they reached their distant
home. The family and all the effects they bore with them, were carried in
two stout wagons, each one of which was drawn by three yoke of oxen. Mr.
N---- or his eldest son usually acted as the driver of one of these wagons,
while Charles S---- took charge of the other. They had already been on
their journey many weeks, and had penetrated so far into the western world
as to find it necessary to pitch their tents each night, and seek a
lodging-place wherever the shades of evening overtook them. They at length
entered the prairie country, and were for awhile almost spell-bound by the
wide tracts of plain that stretched around them. To them the wonders of the
boundless prairies appeared more amazing, because they had always been shut
up by lofty mountains in a narrow dell, and had never till now looked
abroad upon such amplitude and vastness of expanse.

They had now been travelling through prairie country for several days. It
was late in autumn, though the weather continued as bland as summer. The
day was bright and sunny; the wagons, each covered with a thick tow-cloth
awning, and drawn by three yoke of oxen, were moving slowly on through the
vast extended region of long grass, now sere and dry, which stretched
around them like a shoreless ocean, and gently bent and waved to and fro
in the autumnal breeze. No house, nor stone, nor hillock, nor solitary tree
were seen within the vast circle of the encompassing horizon. As the sun
declined, and the shadows began to lengthen, the tops of a small grove
began to be visible in the distance. The emigrants immediately determined
to seek a place of encampment for the night in the neighbourhood of this
grove; for they naturally concluded that they should there find a spring or
rivulet that would furnish water for their cattle and for their own use,
and fuel for cooking their evening meal. They had been successful this day
in shooting a large quantity of prairie hens, and were anticipating a
delicious repast.

Mr. N---- proposed that James and himself should go on ahead of the wagons,
and get every thing ready by the time they came up. They accordingly
started off, having left Charles S---- to drive the forward wagon in which
the family rode, and George to conduct the other. Mr. N---- and James,
however, had gone but a few yards before Lydia came bounding through the
long, sere grass, with the fleetness of a deer, bearing a tea-kettle in one
hand, and three or four prairie hens in the other. Lydia, as we have before
said, was full of sprightliness and vivacity, and she had too often
clambered up the steep and rough sides of the Green Mountains to think any
thing of a walk of two or three miles across the prairie. Her object in
accompanying her father and brother was to hasten the evening meal; and as
her father made no objection, the group moved on with quickened step
towards the distant woods. They had already proceeded full three miles when
they came to a beautiful spring of cool, clear water. Here they all sat
down, and with grateful hearts partook largely of nature's refreshing
beverage. In the mean time Mr. N---- drew his pipe from his pocket, and
having filled it with the dried Indian weed, a supply of which he always
carried with him, he soon ignited the same by means of his jack-knife and a
flint. They were now only a short distance from the woods, and having
filled a tea-kettle and a pail with water, they went forward and began to
cut up some wood and prepare for kindling a fire.

And now the sun had set, and the evening shades were gathering fast around
them. Beneath the covert of a large tree a fire was burning brightly, over
which was suspended the tea-kettle and all things were ready for the
arrival of the party on board of the wagons. Lydia ran out of the woods a
little way into the prairie to see if she could any where discover the
advancing party. She saw them about a half mile distant, moving slowly on,
but she saw at hand, and near the spring, what greatly alarmed her--a smoke
and flickering blaze. She ran back in great haste and said, "Father, I fear
in lighting your pipe you have set the prairie on fire!"

Mr. N---- started up as though a thunderbolt had fallen at his feet, and
rushed forward to ascertain the truth of Lydia's remark, James and Lydia
both following him. The moment they had emerged from the woods and got into
the open prairie, the awful certainty burst upon them in a moment! What a
sight then met their view! The prairie was indeed on fire. It was now quite
dusky, and the little flickering blaze which Lydia had seen had already
become a sea of fire! The wind drove the flames in the direction of their
friends, whose escape seemed impossible.

The long dry grass, which had waved so gracefully in the wind, now caught
every where like tinder, and sent up a long sheet of flame that widened and
expanded every moment, and mounted up with increasing brightness and
height, as though it would reach the very skies.

The feelings of this group were excited almost to agony in behalf of their
friends. The thought at length struck them that if they could only succeed
in getting them through the long line of flame, they might save them, as
the conflagration was evidently moving off from the place where they stood;
and as the column of flame seemed to extend more to the right than to the
left, they embraced the determination to make an effort to reach their
friends in that direction. Reckless of consequences, wild with despair,
they instantly rushed forward, and succeeded in getting in advance of the
fire in one place. But they soon saw that the enemy was coming upon them
with the speed and the fury of the whirlwind. Mr. N---- lifted up his voice
and shouted aloud, bidding the teams to move in this direction, but no
sound was returned save the awful crackling of the advancing flames.
Darkness, too, covered the whole vast prairie, save where this sweeping
column of fire spread its desolating track. They could no where discover a
single trace of the wagons; and now they began to see the peril of their
own situation. Already were they completely environed with the fire, and
all retreat seemed cut off. The only hope left them was to endeavour to
rush through the flames and get to the windward side of the conflagration.
Mr. N---- and James made their way for a while successfully through this
awful tempest of flame, the daring Lydia keeping close at their heels. At
length a point was gained which seemed to open the prospect of escape; not
a moment was to be lost, for already the fire raged around them like a
furnace. Mr. N----, drawing in his breath, dashed through this awful line
of flame, and reached a spot where the consuming element ceased to rage, it
having already swept away every vestige of combustible matter. Though
scorched and smarting in every limb, he could not but feel grateful to God
for this deliverance. He instantly turned to see what had become of his
children. At this instant he saw one bright, lurid sheet of fire mounting
up like a vast wave of the ocean, and completely overwhelming them! He
rushed back to assist them, but the flame, like a furnace seven times
heated, rolled its intense, fiery surge back upon him in such a manner that
he was obliged to retreat. At this moment he heard Lydia shriek--her dress
was all on fire, and her brother was trying to bear her through the raging
tempest. When it had in some slight degree abated, again the father rushed
forward--but another gust of wind swept such a torrent of fire over the
bodies of his children that it was impossible for him to reach the spot
where they were. When the burning waves had passed by, he strained his
eyes, but in vain, to catch a glimpse of these objects of his affection.
They were not visible. At length, as the fire marched on, he reached the
spot where he had seen his children struggling with this awful element, and
there he found them both, lying on the ground--their clothes nearly burnt
off, and their bodies half consumed by the devouring flame! His poor
daughter was gasping in death, and his son so dreadfully burned that he
could scarcely move a limb. The fire was still burning the roots of the
grass around and beneath them. A little distance, however, there was a spot
where the consuming element had exhausted itself; to this place he
endeavoured to remove his children. Poor Lydia almost expired in his arms.
As he laid her down on this black and scathed spot of earth, she faintly
said, "Christ is my hope! Jesus can make this resting-place 'soft as downy
pillows are!'" The father hastened to remove his son to the same spot. He
there laid him with his face turned towards his sister. He soon saw that
she was dead, and said to his father, "This is a sad night for us; Lydia is
gone, and I think I shall soon follow."

"This is an hour," replied his father, "in which all we can do is to look
to God. He has said 'when thou passest through the fire I will be with

"Will you pray with me, dear father?"

"I will," said the agonised father, and kneeling down on the blackened
earth, while bending over one child already dead, and another almost ready
to expire, he cried unto God for help and mercy. When he arose from his
knees he perceived that James's breathing was more rapid and embarrassed
than it had been before. A dreadful fever was burning through his veins.

"I shall soon be," said the dying son, "where the flame can no longer
kindle upon me; and I shall be able to bathe in the cool, refreshing stream
that flows from the throne of God and the Lamb."

"God grant," said the father, "that an entrance may be ministered unto thee
abundantly into his everlasting kingdom." "Amen," responded James, and
died. The chill of death had suddenly come over him, and his spirit fled to
the presence of his Maker and Judge.

The father sat for a long time on the ground gazing upon his dead children.
The curtain of darkness was drawn over the scene--but here and there
dissipated by the dying and reviving embers, and flickering flame that
still lingered on almost every spot over which the awful conflagration had
swept. An unsteady, lurid light, just sufficient to reveal the wide-spread
scene of desolation, was thus flung over the dark and blackened waste where
the consuming element had a few hours before rode on in his resplendent
car. At the distance of a few miles, and as far to the right and left as
the eye could reach, rose one vast extended column of flame, mounting up to
heaven amid the darkness of midnight, and marching on with the speed, and
fierceness, and fury of the whirlwind. It was an awful and sublime sight!
Here the father sat by the side of his lifeless and unbreathing children;
the stillness of solitude was around him;--and there, bursting up from amid
thick darkness, was this tremendous conflagration, which seemed so bright,
and fierce, and awful, that one could hardly refrain from thinking it would
burn up the world and melt the elements with its fervent heat.

But I ought before this to have told the reader the account the Kentuckian
gave of the fate of those who were connected with the advancing wagons.
They had seen the smoke of the fire that was to cook their evening meal
curling above the trees, and directed their course to that point as the
spot where they should meet their friends. They were not at all aware of
the coming of this awful conflagration, or of the approach of danger, till
they saw the whole prairie directly before them lit up with one extended
sheet of flame. No one can depict the terror, the anguish, the horror of
that moment! No one can depict the sublimity and grandeur of the scene that
at that moment burst upon their view! But fear and wild distraction took
complete possession of the whole company. The very cattle that drew the
wagons seemed to sympathise with them, and to discover at once that their
fate was sealed.

We have already remarked that the fire extended more rapidly in one lateral
direction than the other. This Charles S---- observed, and immediately
sought to take advantage of it, and if possible get to the windward of the
fire. But long before they reached the line of the flame, the fire had
extended miles in this very direction. It was too late--there was no
escape--the fire was every moment approaching them. Mrs. N---- clasped her
young daughter to her bosom and sat still in the wagon. The oxen, as the
flames advanced, became perfectly unmanageable. They rushed forward with
the fury of wild and maddened beasts into the thickest of the flames. The
one team took one direction, and the other, another, but both of them
continued to move on through the hottest column of flame, till at length
the cattle one after another fell down in the yoke, suffocated by the
flame, and bellowing as though in the agonies of death. Long before the
last ox had fallen, and the wagon had ceased to move, Mrs. N----, with her
youngest child clasped to her bosom, had given up the ghost. The tow awning
which covered the wagon in which she rode, took fire almost as soon as
they met the line of flame, and instantly all the combustible materials in
the vehicle were in flames. Escape seemed impossible, for already the oxen
were moving with the speed of the wind through the thickest of the flames,
and Mrs. N.----, clasping her child to her bosom, yielded to her fate,
committing all to God. Poor George, not able to keep pace with the team he
drove, as he saw the flame marching on, sought by running to escape from
the face of the devouring element, but the attempt was vain. The whirlwind
of fire soon overtook him, and like a resistless sea, rolled its burning
waves over him. When Charles S---- saw the team he drove could no longer be
controlled, and that in order to follow them he must encounter certain
death, he left them to take their own course, and sought to rush through
the line of flame--which had now become so expanded, that long before he
passed the fiery column, the flesh was almost burned from his bones, and he
at length fell down upon the burning earth, unable to move a step farther.
The fire still moved on with awful, unabated fury over the wide and
far-extended prairie. No one that looked upon that awful sight could have
failed to have exclaimed, "What a time it will be for the ungodly when this
whole world shall be on fire!"

When the morning came, a most melancholy spectacle was presented to view
over that blackened plain. One solitary living human form alone, was seen
slowly moving amid the scene of desolation--and that was Mr. N----. He
found Charles S---- just in the last agonies of death, from whom, however,
he learned the particulars above stated. This young man soon expired; and
Mr. N----, alone, of all that emigrant train, was left to tell the sad



     Des Moines River--Iowa--Group of Indians--Tributary
     streams to the Mississippi--Galena--Bishop of
     Illinois--My sister's grave.

                              _Friday Evening, July 7th._

Having passed the Des Moines river, the whole country bordering on the west
bank of the Mississippi, is denominated the Wisconsin Territory, or more
commonly here, _the Iowa country_. It is indeed a most beautiful country.
It is said that a little more than four years since, there was not a single
white settler west of the Mississippi and north of Des Moines river; now,
there are between thirty and forty thousand. The Iowa country will,
undoubtedly, soon become a state. Its new towns are springing up rapidly. I
stopped at Burlington, where there are more than twelve hundred
inhabitants, and where two years since there were only a few log-cabins.
How important is it that the gospel should be planted here! The Methodists
are beginning to send their preachers to proclaim salvation here. Every
where we find them first on the ground. Truly their promptness and zeal are
to be commended.--We have not a clergyman in this whole region. Cannot one
be found who is willing to go to the Iowa country? Is there not one in the
classes now graduating in our seminaries, that will come over to this
Macedon and help them?

As the day declined, the scenery around us seemed still more pleasing. The
prairies on the left bank of the Mississippi became increasingly
interesting. The river stretched before us like a broad lake, indented at a
hundred points by masses of luxuriant and thickly clustered trees, that
seemed to float in natural and upright form upon the surface. These, with
all their verdant foliage, were distinctly reflected from the mirrored
bosom of the unruffled waters, so that we seemed, as we gazed upon the
watery surface, to look into the very depths of the forest, and see one
tree standing back of another almost interminably. While thus gliding on,
by a turn of the river we came suddenly upon the corner of another large
prairie, and almost the first object that met our view were two rude bark
covered wigwams that had just been put up on the very margin of the stream.
In front of these cabins a fire had been kindled, either to keep off the
musquitoes or to cook their evening meal. At the entrance of these Indian
huts lay a dog, and around him stood or sat half a dozen Indian children,
some of them in a state of almost entire nudity. Still nearer the water,
looking into it, and off on to the opposite shore, stood the adult members
of each family. These scarcely raised their head, or deigned to cast a
glance at us, as our boat with all its clattering machinery swept proudly
by.--While I continued to look at them, and saw them standing amid the
solitariness of the prairie, with their eyes still fixed upon the opposite
bank of the river, where rested the bones of their ancestors--when I saw
how dignified, and serious, and contemplative they seemed, I could not but
regard them as the last representatives of a race fast fading away, and who
will soon scarcely have a place or name this side of the Rocky Mountains.
It seemed to me that they were standing at this twilight hour looking once
more upon the shore where rested the bones of their people, before they
bade a final adieu to these scenes where they used once to hunt the deer,
glide over the watery surface with their bark canoes, raise the luxuriant
corn, and build their wigwams. Strangers now possessed their home, and they
were just bidding to the scenes of their childhood a _long, long farewell_!
Oh, thought I, that they could have the gospel to tame their fierceness,
soften their savage natures, and cheer them in their solitary wanderings
through the wilderness! It occurred to me as very likely that those Indians
who stood there on the bank of the Mississippi, knew nothing of the way of
salvation, and very likely had never heard of the name of Jesus! We know
there are thousands that range over the great hunting grounds of the west
precisely in this condition. We are going to meet them at the judgment
bar--shall we not make every effort to send them the gospel?

                              _Saturday Evening, July 8th._

We found ourselves, when we awoke in the morning, at Stevenson. This is
another of those places springing up as by the wand of enchantment. It is
located at one of the most beautiful points in all the west. Just here Rock
River enters the Mississippi, separating the town from Rock Island, on
which stands Fort Armstrong. It was in reference to the section of country
just around here, that the Black Hawk war took its rise, and all along
above was the scene where it raged. I do not wonder that the Indians gave
up this tract of country with reluctance. The eye never looked out upon a
more beautiful land--the imagination in its most romantic flight never
conceived any thing more lovely. On the Iowa side, especially, the country
sweeps off from the shore most beautifully in the form of a rolling
prairie, covered here and there with small clusters of trees, that give it
the aspect and loveliness of a region that had been under the highest
cultivation for the last three centuries. And yet five years ago no foot
trod there but the Indian's.

The day passed pleasantly away. As the shades of evening gathered thick
around us, we bade adieu to the mighty Mississippi, on whose broad current
we had travelled nearly seven hundred miles. Our boat turned in behind an
islet of living green, and pushed its way up the serpentine course of
_Fevre River_. At length Galena was in view. It was at the close of the
week, and here we were to seek a resting place for a number of days.

                                            _Galena, July 15th._

Fevre River, at Galena, runs through a narrow vale, and is hedged in on
either side by ranges of hills. The town is built at the base and on the
side of the western ridge, which is here quite precipitous. The valley
itself is overflown with every rise of the Mississippi above this point.
The waters of the Fevre River between Galena and its junction with the
"Father of rivers" are very sluggish--so that the waters of the Mississippi
flow up to Galena often three or four times a year, and flood the whole
lower part of the town. Since I have been here the third rise which they
have had this season occurred, occasioned as it was supposed by the melting
of the snows and ice around the sources of the most northern tributaries of
the Mississippi. One thing is very remarkable in relation to the whole
class of western tributaries to this stream. The freshets to which they are
subject, all occur at different seasons, beginning with the southernmost
and ending with the most northerly. This is accounted for by the fact,
that, as these streams take their rise at different points of latitude in
the Rocky Mountains, spring and summer reach the source of each of them in
regular progression from south to north, by a few weeks later. This is a
most merciful provision: for if the freshets in two or three of these
streams were to happen at the same time, the effects would be desolating.
Let the Red River, the Arkansas, and the Missouri, pour their swollen
streams at the time of their annual freshets, together into the
Mississippi, and the whole lower regions for hundreds of miles above and
around New Orleans would be one unbroken sea. What a tremendous armament of
destruction has the Almighty here! Have not the inhabitants of that city
which has seated herself as a queen at the mouth of this river, reason to
remember that the Lord can bury them in a moment in the midst of the sea?
He has only to blow with his wind, and the waters will flow, and the depths
cover them! Let those who openly and remorselessly trample on every law of
God consider this and tremble.

Galena is by no means a pleasant town. There are some situations on the
hills which environ it that would furnish delightful sites for residences,
but at present these are chiefly unoccupied. The streets of this place are
narrow, and after a rain unspeakably _muddy_. The houses are small, poor,
and crowded. There is nothing interesting or attractive about the
appearance of the town, except in a business point of view. Galena is the
port where almost all the lead raised from the vast mines scattered through
this region is brought to be shipped, and will therefore unquestionably be
a place of great importance. Its moral character, I fear, is far from what
we could wish it. Like many of these western towns, till recently, there
has been scarcely the semblance of a Sabbath here. Drinking, duelling, and
gambling, have all been common.--And yet there are many here that wish
things were different, and are making some successful efforts to cause them
to be so.

The Bishop of Illinois was here, and officiated the first Sunday I spent in
Galena. He bore his testimony very faithfully, in rebuking the prevailing
sins of the country, especially duelling, Sabbath-breaking, and profane
swearing. I believe his counsel was very kindly received. There is a great
deal of intelligence among the residents in this place, and they seem
willing to have the truth preached to them plainly.

To me there was one object of thrilling interest in Galena--_its grave
yard_! Some half-mile from the town, on the head lands beyond the western
range of hills that encompassed it, where one stands and looks down into
the valley of Fevre River, and off upon the far-spreading prairie, in a
retired place, is the spot of earth allotted to the dead, shut in and
guarded from unhallowed tread by a neat enclosure. Owing to the newness of
the country, and the difficulty in procuring marble, scarcely a single
sculptured monument appears on this ground which has already become the
resting place of many who were once engaged amid the activities of life.
But affection has displayed itself in another form. Not a few of the graves
are enclosed by a little fence, painted beautifully white, and the graves
are adorned with wild roses which scatter their fragrance and leaves over
the place where rests the mouldered dust beneath. When I first entered this
sacred enclosure, and trod through the high tangled grass that grew here, I
felt at each step that I was treading on holy ground. I was led to a spot
where rested the mortal part of one whose image came up before me with the
vividness of living reality. The long grass had grown, and become matted
over her grave! Fifteen years had elapsed since I had looked upon that dear
form, that rested in unbreathing stillness below. During this period I had
passed through many trying scenes and often drank deep into the cup of
sorrow. And now with the image of this dear departed one, all of "life's
troubled dream" rose up before me with a power that paralyzed every effort
I made to subdue or control my feelings. I then _felt_ and wept like a
child. Why should I not have done so? I was standing on the grave of the
sister of my childhood, whose existence and mine for many years had run
along together as though our being had been woven in the same web. I
remembered how when I was but a very little child, she led me to the
country school--how we wandered together in playful glee on the green bank
of the Housatonic, and her hand gathered for me the wild flowers that grew
there. I remembered how in the wild buoyancy of childhood we strolled
together through the orchard, and gathered fruit from a favourite tree?
With what kind looks and affectionate greeting our dear mother met us when
we returned from such a ramble. And could I then fail to remember the sad
hour when that dear sainted mother gasping in the agonies of death bade us
all a long farewell? When a mother's kind eye no longer gazed upon me, was
it not natural that my heart should turn with deeper and stronger affection
to the sister of my childhood? But where was she? She no more came,
bounding along with sparkling eyes, and flowing locks, and animated
features at the call of her brother. There she lay sleeping, oh how
silently, how profoundly in the grave! The solitude and stillness of the
mighty prairie were around me. No mortal was present to witness or
intermeddle with the feelings or overflowings of my heart, save him who
recognised in this heaped hillock of earth the resting place of the loved
one of his heart--the wife of his youth--the mother of his children.
Together we bowed down there in silent grief? Our hearts were so full that
we could do nothing but mingle our tears together over that sacred spot,
which I would again travel all the way from the Atlantic to the Mississippi
to look upon! A thought full of light and glory, however, darted across my
mind as I bent over that grave. I remembered that this dear sister had
closed her eyes upon this mortal scene, full of faith, full of trust in
Christ, and of calm resignation to his blessed will. I recollected the
words of my Saviour, and his promise to raise the dead. This recollection
chased away my tears, and brought a flood of heavenly radiance down upon
that grave. I said, "my sister shall rise again." "The Lord Jesus will
bring her with him." This is his promise.

The last time I visited this grave, I brought away a little flower that
bloomed on it. It has already faded--but that glorious body which Christ
will give to that dear mouldered form will never fade, but bloom on in
immortal youth, through the unending ages of eternity. Oh, how happy shall
we be, when we have passed all these gloomy scenes that now surround us,
and stand in the midst of that "land where the inhabitants no more say I am
sick"--when we shall have done with sin, and behold the Redeemer in all his
glory! May the Lord safely bring us there.



     Lead mines--Indian treaty--Ride to Chicago--Vast
     prairies--The stricken family--Amusing

We spent one day during the present week in passing through the mining
country to visit several of the diggings in Wisconsin, and around Galena,
and also the smelting furnaces, where the mineral is extracted from the ore
and cast into pigs. The country through which we passed was one continued
series of rolling prairies. It was perfectly enchanting to see what a
perfect flower garden was before us wherever we went.

We descended a mine which had been sunk about one hundred feet. The lead
runs in veins either due north and south, or west and east. Veins
frequently cross each other at right angles. If it is a north and south
vein, and a good one--and crosses an east and west vein, it becomes
inferior from that point, and the other assumes a superior character, and
usually is the best lead. The way the miners dig the lead is to pierce down
perpendicularly till they get to the bottom of the sheet--then take the
base out and dig upwards. The lead is usually wedged in between two ledges
of rocks, filling up the crevice, which runs down from fifty to one
hundred feet. It is frequently wedged in so tight that the rocks have to be
blasted to loosen it. I went down about fifty feet where they were at work,
and then passed along in a horizontal direction, about eighty feet, where
the miners were knocking out the lead in the fissures in the rocks over
their heads. We loitered around the mines till the decline of day. The
shades of evening gathered over us before we had crossed the last prairie
on our way to Galena. The moon was just climbing above the horizon, when a
prairie wolf darted across our path, as though scared by the sound of our
carriage wheels, but having run a few rods, turned around to look to see
who were the intruders upon his domain.

An Indian treaty is about negotiating at St. Peters, and a steamer started
from here a few days since to carry up a party who desire to be present at
this gathering of the wild men, and to visit the majestic and stupendous
scenery around St. Anthony's Falls. I had fully intended to have been one
of the party, but on the eve of starting I felt myself forced for want of
time to forego the excursion.

                              _The Steamer James Madison,
                              Wednesday Evening, June 19th._

At early dawn, on Monday last, we crossed Fevre river, and started for
Chicago in an open lumber wagon, 'ycleped a stage. Taking our trunks for
seats, we determined we would make the best of every thing, and if possible
keep up good spirits, while we learned the manner in which people travel
through new countries. Our journey, though attended with no little fatigue,
was like a walk over the rosied path of pleasure, compared with a jaunt of
which Bishop Kemper gave me an account. He had made an appointment
somewhere in the interior of Indiana, where it was necessary for him to be
at a given day, and had undertaken to pass over Illinois from St. Louis to
that point by land. He was overtaken by rain which continued a day or two:
the streams became swollen, and the roads, often for miles, completely
overflown. All this time he was obliged to ride in an open wagon, the
bottom boards of which were loose, and often slipping out, rendering it
necessary for him every now and then to get out, and stand in the mud and
water, till the rickety wagon could be again brought into a state of
temporary order. During the last part of his journey he rode all night with
the rain pouring down upon him, and the horses sometimes fording deep
creeks--sometimes plunging into sloughs, and then wading for miles through
the water which had overflowed the road. The office of a missionary Bishop
at the west, if he does his duty, and throws himself with all his heart
into the work, is no sinecure.

Our course from Galena, for the first thirty miles, was through beautiful
oak openings, and over a rolling prairie. After this, on nearly to Chicago,
our path lay through a magnificent, level prairie country. The wide sea of
grass around us was now and then broken by a grove, springing up with
luxuriance and beauty amid the treeless tract of country that stretched
around on every side. These groves are points of great interest, and are
spoken of by the sparsely scattered inhabitants of northern Illinois, as we
speak of cities and towns. The most beautiful of those which we passed were
Buffalo, Inlet, and Paw Paw groves, around or near which were scenes of
massacre and slaughter during the Black Hawk war.

As no one can conceive the sensation awakened by being out of sight of land
at sea, till he actually stands on the deck of a vessel, that is ploughing
her way through the trackless world of waters that stretch interminably
around him, and strains his eye in vain to catch a view of one single
fading outline of the far off shore--so no one can conceive the emotion
that rises up in the bosom of the traveller as he stands on the broad
prairie, and sees the horizon settling down upon one wide sea of waving
grass, and can behold around him neither stone, nor stump, nor bush, nor
tree, nor hill, nor house. These vast prairies, though bearing a luxuriant
growth of grass, would impress one with a sense of desolateness, were they
not beautified with flowers, and animated with the songs and the sight of
the feathered tribes. The view of the prairie, as it stretches off before
you, often appears like a perfect flower garden. Though we were too late to
see these productions in their rich vernal beauty, yet often they stood
strewn around us on every side as far as the eye could reach, spreading out
their rich and brilliant petals of every colour and hue. An intelligent
lady told me that in a single walk over the corner of a prairie, she
gathered for a bouquet forty different kinds of flowers; and another
informed me that she had been able to gather one hundred and twenty
different kinds. Though the music wafted along over these luxuriant
expanses of earth be usually not so melodious nor varied as that to which
the woodlands echo, there is something very animating in the wheeling of
the plover, the chirping of the robin, and the fluttering of the wings of a
flock of prairie hens, started up at every half mile of your journey. And
then occasionally we saw noble herds of cattle feeding over these vast
plains. Such large, and fat, and noble-looking oxen and cows, I never
before beheld, as I saw grazing amid the luxuriant prairies of Illinois.
There is no fence to stay them in their course:--they range where they
choose amid the ten thousands of acres that stretch unenclosed around them.

I have already intimated that this part of Illinois is as yet but thinly
populated. It is rapidly filling up but for some years the first settlers
will have to endure many hardships, and submit to many privations and
sacrifices, of which we can scarcely form an idea. The following fact will
serve to illustrate this remark. While on our way to Chicago, as we stopped
on one occasion to change horses, I went in and sat down in the only house
in the place. It was a comfortable log-cabin, and all nature looked so
bright and sunny without, I was hardly prepared for demure and melancholy
looks within: and yet the moment I entered, I saw in the countenance of the
good lady of the cabin that her heart was ill at ease. She looked so
forlorn and full of gloom, I determined to enter into conversation with her
and if possible elicit the cause of her depression. After a variety of
inquiries, she was drawn out to give the following sketch of herself, which
I will put down as nearly as possible in her own words.

"We came into this country from western New York several years since. We
have never failed to be amply remunerated for our cultivation of the soil.
In a temporal point of view we have increased in goods. But our children
have never been to school a day since we have been here. We used to go to
meeting every Sabbath, but here often for months there is no such thing
known as public worship. A while ago, there was a minister that used to
come once in three weeks, and preach about four miles from this. But now
he is dead, and we have no preaching at all. We have no ministers and no
physicians. What made me more contented to reside here, was that my oldest
daughter was married and lived my nearest neighbour, about two miles from
this. She had three lovely and promising children, in whom all our hearts
were bound up. But the grave now covers them! They were all cut down one
after another about six months ago by the scarlet fever. We could'nt get
any physician to see them, and they all died within ten days of each other.
And then we had to carry them ourselves to the grave. We put them into the
ground in silence. There was no one to lift up the voice of prayer."

Here the good woman seemed choked in her utterance. She wiped her eyes and
ceased speaking for a moment. I remained silent, and soon she proceeded.

"My daughter laid her loss very much to heart. She never after the death of
her babes wore a bright countenance. About ten days ago she was confined.
Herself and her infant are dead! We buried them about three days since. She
had no physician to attend upon her, for there was none within _thirty_
miles. She had no minister to speak to her words of heavenly consolation,
for there are none near here. Her husband has a good farm, and the crops
look well; but what is all this to him, now that his wife and children are
all gone? He appears desolate and broken-hearted."

Having listened to this touching story, I could well understand why the
aspect of gloom sat upon her countenance, and while I endeavoured in a few
words to direct her thoughts to Him who was "appointed to bind up the
broken-hearted, and to comfort all that mourn," I was led to think of the
unnumbered blessings and privileges that we who live on the Atlantic border
enjoy, for which we feel little or no emotions of gratitude. How
unspeakable are our religious privileges! And yet how little are they
appreciated by the great mass of the people! Will not God one day visit for
these things?

In our journey we had some singular and rather amusing adventures. We found
all along at our log inns, for our refreshment, substantial food, bacon and
beans, or fried pork and potatoes, and if we were too dyspeptic to eat
these, we could fast, which is sometimes useful. But at night we frequently
found ourselves placed under more embarrassing circumstances. A single
instance will serve to illustrate a number of analogous cases. I select the
second night after leaving Galena. It is after nine o'clock. The strip of
moon that is visible emits a few feeble rays. The stars, half obscured,
glow faintly in the heavens. Our course is still onward through the
boundless prairie. In the distance may be seen the faint outline of a
grove. We hope to find there a resting place for the night. As we approach
it, we find it is a cluster of trees that grow on either side of Somonauk
Creek. Our driver has already plunged his horses into the cool waters of
the creek. The farther bank is gained. Our course now is beneath the noble
elms that hang drooping over the creek, and spread abroad their branches
forming a thick and dark shade over the road. We see in the distance the
smoke eddying up amid the trees. It is the place where we are to spend the
night--a log cabin, before the door of which is kindled a fire, half
smothered with dirt and chips, whose eddying currents of smoke as they are
swept into the house by the evening breeze expel the swarms of musquitoes
that for several hours had been making acquaintance with us.

When the weary traveller reaches his resting-place for the night, it is a
great comfort to have a bed and room by himself to which he can retire and
seek repose. But this is a luxury not to be expected usually by the western
traveller. They have here what is playfully called "_The Potter's field_,"
a place in these log taverns in which they put strangers--a room designed
as a dormitory, in which all travellers, men, women and children are placed
to lodge! The house which we had reached at Somonauk Creek had a place of
this sort. It was the only room in the house save the kitchen. Two stage
loads had already arrived, and other travellers were coming in. I told my
friend B---- that we must try to secure a bed while we could. In this
Potter's field they gave us a comfortable corner with a straw bed on which
to stretch ourselves. We were among the earliest to seek our repose.
Fortunately, there was one bed enshrouded with curtains, which was assigned
to a gentleman from Vermont and his newly married bride, whom he was
bringing to reside at the west.--They went on stowing the beds with
occupants, and spreading the floor with couches, till _fourteen_ persons
were disposed of, and then they found that every foot of ground was
occupied. The landlord appeared to be full of the milk of human kindness.
When some of our fellow lodgers cried out, that they were half devoured by
musquitoes, he very benignantly replied, "I will open the door and let in a
current of smoke, and that will drive them out." We found some inhabitants
tabernacling in our bedstead that annoyed us more than the musquitoes. Yet
after all we got some rest, and when we rose to breathe the fresh air we
felt that we had abundant cause to thank the Lord for his goodness. However
indifferent had been our lodgings, we remembered that the Saviour while
here on the earth, had not always so comfortable a spot at night to lay his
head as this.

About a dozen miles before we reached Chicago, we seemed to descend to
another _steppe_ of land, where the prairie was for the most part from two
to twelve inches under water. The grass, thus having its roots continually
irrigated, looked very rank; we made but very slow progress through it on
our way. Though that part of Chicago which is built up, stands on more
elevated ground, the anticipated limits of the city extend into this wet
prairie. We saw the lots staked out as we passed, which I suppose have been
sold at a very high price. I could not but think of the remark of a fellow
traveller, who, in speaking of this and several other places, said, "If
each of these places do not become as large as Pekin in China, these city
lots cannot all be built upon."

Chicago is truly an interesting place. It has sprung up here in three or
four years--a city--as by the wand of enchantment. I had heard much of this
place, but must confess I was not prepared to find so large and interesting
a town. Its situation on either side of the Chicago river is too well-known
to need description. It has quite the air of an eastern town. There is a
fine brick Episcopal Church just completed. Our stay was very brief in
Chicago. Almost the first sound we heard after our arrival, was the ringing
of the bell of the large and beautiful steamboat, _James Madison_, which
was on the eve of departure for Detroit and Buffalo. As we might have no
other opportunity of going by the lakes for the next ten days, with the
specimen of land travelling that we had just had, we were not long in
making up our minds whether we would avail ourselves of this boat, or
direct our course to Detroit through the Michigan woods. We gave Chicago a
very hasty survey, took our passage on board the James Madison, and as the
shades of evening gathered over us we found ourselves skimming over the
waves of Michigan lake.

                                         _Mackinaw, July 20th._

We this morning found ourselves bounding over the green waters of the
Michigan with the Wisconsin Territory on our left. About nine o'clock, A.
M. we landed at Milwaukie. A bar in the river prevented the steamboat from
going up to the town, but we found ourselves amply compensated for our long
walk by a view of this interesting place from several of its streets and
more elevated parts. The whole site of the town, in connexion with the
adjacent country, is richly entitled to its Indian name,--"THE LOVELY
LAND." Less than two years since there was scarcely a frame house on the
spot, and now there is a population of nearly three thousand, with
buildings that will compare in stability and elegance with those found in
our large eastern towns.

It was towards evening when we approached this picturesque
spot--Mackinaw--where the wide expanse of water, and the dark evergreens of
the islands, and the thronging multitudes of wild men, gave to this point
in my journey a novel appearance. I think this would be a most delightful
retreat for an invalid who wanted retirement, a cool, invigorating
atmosphere, and inducements to active exercise. It would be impossible for
a man to be here long without having new trains of thought awakened in his
mind, or without being led to contemplate the human character under several
new aspects. Mackinaw is an island of about nine miles in circumference.
There is a fort occupying the elevated parts of the town, which is now
vacated, the troops having been withdrawn to be present at the treaty at
St. Peter's. This circumstance, in connexion with the great number of
Indians now present, has created some uneasiness in the minds of the
inhabitants of this place, especially as the Indians are very much
dissatisfied with the attempt to palm off on to them goods in part for
their annuities, when money had been promised. Already has a council been
held among them, and the hint has been dropped that they can bring a
thousand warriors into the field. The first object that met my eye on the
low pebbly shore, as we approached the island, was the beautiful lodges,
and well made bark canoes of the Ottawa and Chippewa tribes. The whole
appearance of their encampment in this wild spot is picturesque and
imposing. Each family had their bark canoe, which was now drawn up on the
beach, and lay beside their lodge or tent. In this canoe, made of the outer
rind of the birchen tree, they carry their family, and furniture, and all
their worldly effects--children, dogs, fishing-tackle, guns, their tent,
cooking utensils, and themselves. Their tent, or lodge, consists first of
five or six tapering rods, which are set up so as to form a cone, and then
around these are placed a coil of matting, made of reeds or flaggs, and
arranged in such a manner as to form a series of concentric or circular
covering, each lapping upon the other like the scales upon a fish. In the
centre of the lodge a fire was kindled, a hole having been left in the
upper part through which the smoke could pass off. Around the fire were
spread the blankets and bear-skins, which furnished both beds and seats. We
entered several tents and were kindly received. Almost the first
countenance of a white man upon which I looked after reaching the shore,
was the bright sunny face of our beloved brother, the Bishop of Michigan. I
never had a more unexpected or joyful meeting with a Christian brother. We
spent two or three hours in the most delightful Christian intercourse.
Bishop McCoskry was on his way to visit Green Bay, Milwaukie, and other
parts of Wisconsin. It was only a few hours, before our steamers were again
moving forward through the deep green waters, to their several places of



     Steamboat travelling upon the western Lakes--The waters
     of Huron--Saginaw Bay--The stormy night--The beautiful
     St. Clair--Detroit--Bishop of Michigan--Ypsilanti--Ann
     Arbour--Ore Creek--Bewildered at night in the
     woods--Rescue--Meeting of friends--Log cabin.

                                          _Detroit, July 23d._

We parted with the friend we met at Mackinaw in the night. The two steamers
rode off in two opposite directions. Our course, which from Chicago had
been to the north, now became southward. There is something exceedingly
novel in steamboat travelling upon the great western rivers. But the
navigation of the lakes by steam presents scenes to the eye, and furnishes
material for the imagination, far more grand, and striking, and
magnificent. These lakes are indeed great inland seas. The wind and the
storm have mighty power over them. But the well-directed steamer rides
proudly over their agitated surface with all her precious cargo of life,
and holds steadily on her way to the destined port in despite of wind and
waves. This, however, is not always the case. The wind at times blows so
fierce and furious that the vessel is driven back some fifty or ninety
miles in her course. When a storm occurs with great and unwonted violence
upon these lakes, especially upon Huron and Michigan, where there are very
few safe harbours, the expedient adopted is to keep the boat at sea, and
let her drive before the gale. We saw, but in one single instance, these
waters putting on a wrathful appearance. During the greater part of our
voyage, they lay beneath our steamer that swept over them in smooth and
placid tranquillity. There is something in the very appearance of the
waters of these lakes to wake up poetic conception. They have a sandy or
pebbly bottom, which appears white as chalk, while every rippling wave as
well as the whole mass of waters that roll beneath you, though so pure and
transparent that a silver dollar might be distinctly seen at the depth of
thirty feet, everywhere assumes the colour of deep emerald green.

The day after we left Mackinaw, while passing Saginaw Bay, every vestige of
land faded from our sight, and we saw nothing around us but one wide world
of waters. As the close of the day drew on, the hitherto bright sunny
heavens became covered with dark menacing clouds. A wind sprang up, and the
waters of Huron, that had previously slept with the tranquillity and hushed
slumbers of an infant, suddenly woke to the fierceness and fury of an
enraged giant. I plainly saw what an aspect that lake could put on in a

The sun went down. Neither moon nor stars were visible. The curtains of
darkness were drawn closely around that whole world of waters that roared
and dashed so fiercely. As I stood upon the upper deck, and looked out upon
that scene of darkness and wild commotion, and heard the roar of the wind,
and the dashing of the waves, and the hoarse rumbling breath of steam from
the escapement pipe, like the suppressed growl of a lion, that told of
mighty power to urge onward and to destroy, I felt, in a way I have seldom
done before, my entire dependence on God. As I stood there on the deck,
with the wind sweeping by me, the waves of the troubled lake rolling
beneath me, and the blackness of darkness around me, interrupted and
illumined only by the cloud of ignited sparks that streamed incessantly
forth from the dark funnels of the steamer, I felt the force and meaning of
the 93d Psalm, "The Lord reigneth, he is clothed with majesty. He is
clothed with strength wherewith he hath girded himself. The floods have
lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice: the floods lift
up their waves. The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters,
yea, than the mighty waves of the sea. _Thy testimonies are very sure._"
_There_ I saw my safety. The testimonies of my covenant God were very sure,
who had said, "when thou passest through the waters I will be with thee." I
slept soundly that night. In the morning the sun shone brightly on us, and
all appearance of a storm had gone by. In a few hours we were gliding over
the surface of the beautiful St. Clair, and before evening, Detroit, with
its neatly built streets, and its noble stream sweeping proudly by it, lay
before us. It was with a grateful heart that I stepped on the shore,
remembering the many mercies I had enjoyed, and anticipating much pleasure
in the eight or ten days that I had purposed to spend in Michigan. I was
not disappointed.

Detroit, is an interesting and beautiful town. The parted stream above the
city, and the island around which it winds, as well as the view of Sandwich
on the opposite side, with the improved country that stretches around it,
are all points of interest upon which the eye loves to linger. The houses
in Detroit are generally composed of wood, which are very neatly painted.
Several streets running parallel with the river are exceedingly beautiful,
especially _Jefferson Avenue_, which is the Broadway or Chesnut street of
Detroit. The Episcopal Church is a very neat gothic building. A second
Episcopal Church of a larger size is soon to be erected in another part of
the town. The churches and other public buildings in Detroit are certainly
highly creditable to the place.

I met, soon after my arrival at Detroit, the Rev. Mr. R----, who had come
to supply the pulpit of St. Paul's during the first Sunday of the Bishop's
absence. It has always appeared to me that there was great wisdom in the
views expressed some years since by our present presiding bishop--_that
every diocesan should have a parochial charge_. His judgment, as delivered
at the time to which I refer, was, that all our dioceses should be _small_,
as they were in primitive times; that the mitre should have no worldly
splendour or peculiar emoluments connected with it; that each bishop, like
the rest of his clergy, should have his own parochial charge, to whom he
should look for his maintenance. One reason assigned for this--and that is
what I particularly refer to--was that as one of the great duties of a
bishop is to preach the gospel, it is infinitely important that his heart
should be burning with love for souls; and that he only who had a
particular congregation, the charge of whose souls was upon his hands,
would ordinarily feel a ceaseless and ever wakeful solicitude for dying
sinners; and if he did not feel this he would not preach with the power and
unction that become an ambassador of Christ, and the chief pastor of the
church. Go to that man who, as a minister of the Lord Jesus Christ, has
been spending his days and nights in prayer and toilsome labours to promote
the spiritual interests of the flock committed to his care, and then visit
him after he has been acting four or five years in the capacity of a
professor or president of a college, and see if he does not recognize the
truth of this doctrine, see if he does not sigh for that spirituality and
burning love for souls, which once bore him on so cheerfully in his
labours. However this matter shall be viewed, the bishops in many of our
dioceses must have parochial charges, and this will constitute an important
portion in the field of their labour. In this department of labour the
Bishop of Michigan has been pre-eminently blessed.

One could hardly desire a larger measure of popularity, either with his
parish or in his diocese, than Bishop McCoskry enjoys. Every where the
highest testimony is borne to the loveliness and excellency of his
character, and the faithfulness and evangelical spirit of his ministry.
This I heard from all quarters--from clergy and laity, Episcopalians and
Presbyterians. Indeed I think the bishop's greatest danger lies in this
quarter. May he still have grace as he hath hitherto done, amid all these
praises of men, to count himself as nothing, and to sit as a little child
at the feet of Jesus. When all our bishops become distinguished for their
meekness and simplicity, for the fervour of their love, their spirit of
evangelical piety, and their unquenchable zeal to exalt Christ, and rescue
dying sinners from the iron grasp of the god of this world, we shall then
indeed see a return of primitive days, and evidences of a truly apostolic

I was delighted to learn from the Bishop of Michigan, that in his
contemplated visitation through his diocese, he purposed to hold as far as
it was practicable, continued services for several days in each parish,
like the _Rhode Island convocations_, or the _Pennsylvania and Virginia
associations_. A clergyman speaking of these anticipated services,
remarked, "they will be worth to me in such a place a whole year's labour."
In the place to which he referred, the Episcopal Church was just about
being organized, and there, as every where, the great obstacle to the
establishment of our church was the impression that we were destitute of
piety, and that our object was to establish a particular denomination, and
not to save souls. Let the missionary go where he will _and preach Christ
crucified_, and the people will rally around him. Let him only make the
impression on the mind of any community that he has a message from God to
them--that he stands as between the living and the dead to stay the
plague--that in his view all other things dwindle into nothing, when
compared with the salvation of their undying souls--and he will not want
hearers, he will not want materials with which to build up a church. The
people are not opposed to an Episcopal form of government--they are not
opposed to our liturgy--they are not opposed to our doctrines--but they are
opposed to a _dead_ church. Whether these, their impressions in relation to
us are well or ill-founded, one thing is certain, these impressions do in
ten thousand instances exist, and in my view, that minister of our church,
is the best and soundest churchman, who preaches most faithfully the
doctrines of the cross, and exemplifies most fully the power of
Christianity upon his heart by a holy life. It is not by controversy and
argumentation, but by doing their Master's work, by putting forth all their
energies to bring men to repentance and the foot of the cross, that our
clergy will remove this impression in relation to our want of piety, and
make our Zion a praise in all the earth. And this, I believe, to a very
great extent, the clergy of Michigan are striving to do.

                                         _Tuesday, July 25th._

I was induced to start this morning for Ypsilanti, by the kindness and
importunity of the Rev. Mr. R----, who offered, if I would return with him
to his parish, to convey me in his own carriage to the several points I
wished to visit in the interior of the state. The pledge was fully
redeemed, and my comfort and pleasure greatly augmented by my acceptance of
his kind offer. The road for the first twenty miles towards Ypsilanti gave
us a fine specimen of the toil and tardiness of travelling in a new
country. At one time the formidable slough received us into its cavernous
depths, and as we went down, vehicle and horses and all, seemed to threaten
to swallow us up in its miry embrace. Then, as we rose from this perilous
depth, our carriage went bounding from log to log which lay side by side
transversely across our path, deeply embedded in mud, constituting what is
expressively called a _corduroy road_. These were almost the only
alternations in our path for the first twenty miles. The land, after you
leave Detroit, is, in almost every direction, low, clayey, and wet. It is
also heavily timbered, and therefore will not be very rapidly settled. The
soil of the farms that have been cleared up is said to be productive, but
principally valuable for purposes of grazing.

The last ten miles of our course, as we urged our way on to Ypsilanti, lay
through a country of a totally different character. I almost felt as
though I was again travelling through a section of Illinois, though there
were more signs of cultivation around me than I any where saw there. Our
road now became fine, and we swept along through the oak openings, and by
the side of successive fields of beautifully tasselled corn, luxuriant
oats, and yellow bending wheat, with a speed which soon brought us to the
place of our destination. Ypsilanti is a neat country village, built on
Huron river, and contains a population of nearly two thousand.

                                                _July 27th._

We started yesterday morning from Ypsilanti, directing our course towards
Ann Arbour. We found the country through which we passed, rich and
beautiful, and bearing every where incontestible evidence that it was a
soil which would remunerate the agriculturalist for every stroke struck
upon its bosom.

_Ann Arbour_ also stands on Huron river, and is a very pleasant village
containing nearly three thousand inhabitants. There is here an Episcopal
Church, which has been recently erected, that stands beautifully embosomed
in a grove of oaks. Immediately adjoining the plot of ground on which the
church is built, an acre of land which cost one thousand dollars, has been
purchased by a gentleman residing, I believe, in Monroe, who purposes to
erect upon it a neat and commodious dwelling for the use of the rector, and
to convey it to the parish corporation as a parsonage. To this noble act of
munificence he was prompted from his love of the Redeemer's cause, and an
ardent desire for the success and establishment of our church in Michigan.
He saw that if there was a house provided for the rector, the parish would
soon be able to provide the means for his support, and that thus the
ministrations of the Gospel would be permanently secured to this people.
How many men there are within the bounds of our church, who could in like
manner, with the utmost ease, bestow a few thousand dollars, and secure to
feeble churches the certainty of future ministrations of the word, while at
the same time they would be adding unspeakably to the comfort of a body of
men who are wearing themselves out in the service of the Lord, and by their
exhausting labours and toil to rescue sinners from death, are preparing
themselves for a premature grave! Sure I am, when these opulent men, stand
at last before God and the Lamb, and behold the resplendent crown of glory
which Jesus has purchased for them by his toil and tears, and sweat and
blood--when they look down into the depths of that hell from which he has
rescued them, and up to the heights of that heaven to which he is about to
exalt them, and when that same Jesus points to such an act of munificence,
and says, _Inasmuch as ye did it for the least of these my ministers, ye
did it unto me_, oh then I am sure they will not regret the few thousand
dollars they have given to Christ! Would to God that many professors of
religion, who have already wealth enough to ruin all their children, and
are still holding back their pecuniary means and hoarding them up, refusing
to consecrate any part of them to Christ, would think seriously of this,
would meditate frequently on the scenes of that day.

Our course from Ann Arbour was towards Ore Creek. The country through which
we passed was somewhat undulating, and upon the whole a very fine
agricultural district. No where in the west have I seen better crops. The
yellow golden wheat, the bearded and densely standing barley, the luxuriant
oats, and stout corn, as they were spread out before the eye in vast fields
rapidly succeeding each other, and gently waving in the summer breeze,
presented a scene full of interest, and bore indisputable testimony in
relation to the excellence and fertility of the soil. The point to which we
were directing our course was _North Green Oak_. We had already travelled
some thirty miles, and were now within the limits of this town. Night was
coming on, and we were yet some four miles from the place which I wished to
reach. As it would be dark before our arrival, and the road was rough, and
it was uncertain whether we could all be accommodated for the night at the
place to which I was directing my course, it was decided as a matter of
prudence, that Mr. and Mrs. R----, who had kindly accompanied me in their
carriage, should remain at the log inn which we had already reached, and
whose quaint sign was "CALL AND C," while the driver, mounting one horse,
and myself the other, should go on to find the house of my friend. I
scarcely need say that we had now reached a very new country. It was with
difficulty that we could muster a saddle in the neighbourhood; but at
length one was found, and we set out, bidding adieu to our friends for the
night. During the first two miles our path lay chiefly through the forest:
we however passed in that distance three houses; at the last house, which
was on the borders of a lake, we stopped to enquire for the residence of my
friend. We were told he lived almost two miles on the other side of the
lake, that there was no road save the track of a wagon, and that as our
path was a blind one, it was very uncertain whether we should find the way.
We tried to get some one to go with us as our guide, but there was no one
at home but women and children. It was already dark, our path was through
the thick woods, and as the last rays of twilight were fast fading away, we
had no time to lose. We rode rapidly on, and were soon buried in the dense
forest. We had not proceeded more than a mile before we lost every trace of
our path, but after riding around awhile among the bushes we again struck
upon the track, and were able to advance a little further. Soon, however,
in consequence of the increasing darkness, we were again at fault, and knew
not which way to proceed. We dismounted, and having searched for awhile on
our hands and knees, succeeded in discovering the track of a wagon wheel,
which we followed till it led us into a small oak opening. We had gone but
a few paces, however, on our way, before the path, which had now become
more distinct, diverged into two branches, the one leading into the dense
forest, and the other descending into a low marsh. It now became a grave
question which path we were to take. We were far away from any human
habitation; it was doubtful whether we could retrace our steps, even if we
attempted to return; the night was dark, sultry, and hot, the deep forest
was around us, the musquitoes were biting us most unmercifully, and we had
not provided ourselves with the means of striking a light to kindle a fire.
The idea of spending the night, therefore, unsheltered in the woods under
these circumstances, was not altogether agreeable. What added to our
embarrassment was that if we took either path and were able to follow it,
we knew not but we might be going so much farther from the place where we
would be. The driver, who was now my only companion, proposed to lift up
his voice and halloo, thinking that if any one was within hearing distance,
we should receive an answer. But though the woods rung to the shout, and
echoed back his voice, no other response was returned.--All was still and
silent around us as though we were in some vast and boundless solitude. At
length we determined to advance as far as we could trace the track of a
wheel through the marsh, and if our path did not lead us to the place where
we would be, to return and try the other. We had not proceeded far amid the
high grass before we ascended a hill, and again entered the woods. Our road
now became more distinct, but whether it was leading us in the right
direction we knew not. At length my eye caught the glimmering of a taper;
at first I thought it might be only the phosphorescent light of the
fire-fly, swarms of which had been hovering around our path. A second look,
however, convinced me that it was indeed the light of a taper we saw. I
cannot describe the emotions that then thronged around my heart. I thought
at that moment of those words of Cowper, and could in some measure
understand their meaning, and conceive of the feelings of a lost sinner,
upon whose benighted path the first glimmering of hope fell.

    "I see, or think I see
    A glimmering from afar,
    A beam of day that shines for me,
    To save me from despair."

We now rode on with speed, and were soon by the side of a log cottage. It
was the very place which we had been seeking. All anxiety was now at an
end, and the glad welcome so cordially tendered, and the well-known face
glowing with looks of kind recognition, made all the care and toils of the
evening appear as naught. Here was a family around me, consisting in all of
some ten or twelve in number, apparently contented and happy in a log
cabin. They had a single room below and a sort of garret above it. The last
time that I saw them was in an elegant three story house, in East Broadway,
in New York. I know not that they appeared more happy then than they did
this evening. They expected soon to have a better and more commodious
domicil, which they were erecting but even with their present dwelling
place they were contented. Truly happiness is in the mind, and they whose
hopes are on God, and who feel that they are in the path of duty can be
happy in spite of all external circumstances.

The sun was shining brightly the next morning as we retraced our way, and
joined our friends at the log tavern. Our course was then towards Pontiac,
which we reached just at the close of the day. We passed through a
beautiful country rendered truly picturesque and romantic by the chain of
little lakes that stretch through this section of the state. The banks of
these lakes are high and shaded, affording the most delightful spots for
residence. The waters are pure and limpid, and filled with the finest fish.
We must have passed during our journey at least twenty of these lakes.
Pontiac is as beautiful a village for size as I saw in Michigan.

                                              _Friday, July 28th._

On our way to Detroit we stopped to-day at Troy, to visit our old friend,
the Rev. Mr. H----, who is leading a little flock onward in their heavenly



     The Romanists--Miracles--Indians--Captain M---- The
     unhappy sailor--Toledo--Cleveland--Buffalo--Niagara

                              _Detroit, Monday, July 31._

The Roman Church has been supposed to be very strong here, but from
inquiries that I every where made, I am still more confirmed in the belief
that the papists at the west are making very little impression upon the
Protestant population. While they are attempting much, and with sinuous
effort endeavoring to identify themselves with every interest, they in fact
as yet, with all their marvellous reports to the Leopold Society, have done
but very little. That system cannot bear the light. It flourishes best
under arbitrary governments, and amid the thick darkness of ignorance. The
experiment is now making in this country, whether it can live and flourish
in Protestant and republican America without losing its essential and most
obnoxious features. The remark was made to me by a highly intelligent man
in Detroit, "that the absurdities that were swallowed ten years ago by the
Catholics there would be hooted at now." In illustration of this remark, he
went on to say, that about eleven years since he was present at the
cathedral where the former bishop was preaching, and endeavoring to prove
the doctrine of transubstantiation. Among other evidences to which he
referred was the following: "A few years previous," said this mitred
prelate, "in a certain city in Europe, a profane person procured one of the
consecrated wafers, and with carnal curiosity, after leaving the church,
broke it in two, when instantly a stream of blood issued forth, which ran
down his clothes, and stained his apparel. He went home in great affright,
but the stream of blood still flowed, and ceased not till in haste he
returned to the priest, and confessed his sin; then the crimson stream was
dried up, and its stain from his person removed." "This," said the bishop,
"happened in such a city, and there is such an individual now present who
lived in that city at the time, to whom you can refer for corroboration."

"It would be the utter ruin of their prospects," said my informant, "for a
bishop or a Roman Catholic priest to make such an assertion at the present
time. There is too much light now, even among the papists, to listen to
such a ridiculous story for a moment."

There is one point of view in which it is infinitely important that
Detroit, and many other towns situated similar with it, should have
pervading it a high sense of religious feeling. I speak with reference to
the influence which the tone of its morals must, and does exert upon the
many hundreds of Indians that annually visit it. These red men of the woods
are forming their opinions of Christianity from what they see at Detroit,
and St. Louis, and many of our western towns. They see among the white
population every thing to lead them to turn away with disgust from a
religion, professed to be drawn from the Bible. Their depraved natures
readily lead them to lay hold of the vices that abound among us, and they
go back to their tribes, carrying the impression that these are among the
fruits of Christianity. It is painful to see how degraded many of them
become in their intercourse with what is called civilized society.
Intemperance is the vice which they most readily fall into. Under its
baneful influence they seem to lose all the natural and noble traits of
their character. I saw in Detroit a stout built Indian playing the _merry
Andrew_ through the streets, hawking about a lump of ice, as though it were
a loaf of sugar, and calling for the highest bidder. As he staggered by I
could not but think how different he appeared from the native son of the
forest; that manly and noble bearing, that graceful and elastic step, that
grave, serious, and dignified look which sat so well upon the native
Indian's brow, and marked him as one of nature's true noblemen, was gone
and he had become a poor, degraded, drunken outcast and was trying to pick
up a few pennies by making himself a laughing stock to a crowd of idle
boys! What formidable barriers do the vices that still remain incorporated
with Christian communities present, to hinder the progress and extension of
the Redeemer's kingdom!

While at Detroit I met with two incidents, which I noted down at the time,
and which it may not be improper to record here. The one was an interview
with Captain M----, the popular author of several recent novels who is now
making the tour of the lakes. The gentleman whose kind hospitalities I was
sharing, had met with him on his way from Buffalo, and had also after his
arrival at Detroit, called to pay him his respects. It was certainly civil
in the captain to have returned the call, but it was shocking to the
feelings of Christian sensibility, that the time selected for this
reciprocation of civility, was during the sacred hours of the Sabbath.
Capt. M---- could not attend the place of public worship, for the day was
to be employed in returning his calls. He appeared to be addressing himself
to this in a business-like way. With a friend as his guide, and a carriage
to convey him, he was proceeding from street to street, carrying with him
his long list of names, and a bundle of visiting cards. All this was done,
of course, to show that he appreciated the attentions and civilities he had
received. When will men show as much respect to God and his institutions,
as they do to the worms of the dust around them?

The other incident was of a still more painful character. On the same
Sunday, just at the close of the day, there passed my window, a face that
called up the recollection of one whom I supposed had long since been
numbered with the dead. My first acquaintance with him was at the
commencement of my ministry. His father's residence occupied one of the
loveliest spots I had ever beheld on the bank of Lake Ontario. The house
and garden, and court yards, all indicated ease and opulence. This young
man was then a youth, the only son of his father, and cherishing large
expectations in relation to future wealth. He had been reared up under the
eye of a fond mother, who "would not let the winds of heaven blow too
roughly" upon him. His disposition was naturally amiable and vivacious, and
there were many to admire and caress him. But suddenly his prospects were
darkened. It was discovered that his father's estate was covered with
mortgages, and his affairs embarrassed beyond redemption. One piece of
property went after another, till the beautiful family residence was
alienated, and bankruptcy and poverty seemed now staring them in the face.
Mr. ---- had reserved a single farm unencumbered, which he now promised to
give his son. The young man, with a truly noble spirit, determined to
accommodate himself to the circumstances around him, and entered with
hearty zeal upon the cultivation of his farm with his own hands. He had
just become acquainted with some of the more common agricultural operations
and began to look forward to humble independence, when the astounding fact
was disclosed, that this farm too was under a heavy mortgage. In the
straitened circumstances in which Mr. ---- found himself, he had been led
to forget his promise to his son, and to alienate his last acre of land.
The young man's spirit seemed broken. He had unhappily contracted the habit
of moderate drinking. On his father's sideboard, while he was yet a boy,
there always stood a decanter of brandy, and every visitor who made a
morning, afternoon, or evening call, was urged to drink. The father and
son, to encourage their guests always drank with them. Thus this young man
contracted a love for ardent spirits. It was now the season of darkness and
depression with him. The mother who had watched over his childhood, had
gone down to the grave. The riches in which they once rolled, had taken to
themselves wings and flown away. The fond hopes he had cherished of rising
by his own industry, had been crushed. Poverty was staring them in the
face. This young man was without employment. Several years passed by, and
the prospects of this family did not brighten in a single particular. At
length the father went abroad. His family were left behind to shift for
themselves. He never returned. The son became more and more dissipated,
till in a fit of desperation he went to New York, and embarked on board of
a ship as a common sailor. Many a father and mother who knew this promising
young man, and witnessed his career up to this point, when they looked
around upon their own infant band, sighed and shook their heads, painfully
feeling that they could not tell what their children would come to. Young
---- went to the East Indies, and, it was said, was lost during the voyage.
I had never heard of him since. But as I sat by the window at this time,
the countenance and form of one that passed by, so strongly reminded me of
him, that I sent out a young lad to overtake him, and invite him to come
in. There soon entered one in complete sailor's dress, with loose
pantaloons, round-about coat, and tarpaulin hat, swaggering along,
evidently under the influence of intoxicating drink. He looked at me for a
moment, and then uttered my name! What was my astonishment and amazement!
Was this the gifted and talented young ----, whom I had first met in the
dwelling of courtly splendor--from whose father's hands I had received so
many expressions of kindness and acts of hospitality--over whose
pleasure-grounds, amid delightful shade and shrubbery, I had so often
roamed? Was this that noble, gifted boy, in relation to whom such high
hopes were formed, and who had naturally such generous and kind feelings? I
had thought the waves of the deep had long since rolled over him! But no,
there he stood, a perfect wreck of what he once was. His eye was glassy,
and his breath fetid and offensive beyond endurance. He seemed to be
conscious of the degradation he had brought upon himself, and by an evident
struggle and effort of will, did succeed in throwing off the symptoms of
present inebriety. I found that he had visited every part of the world, and
had suffered every thing but death. He had been imprisoned in Chili, and
cast away on the shores of western Africa. I spoke to him about his soul.
He seemed much affected, and shed tears. After a few moment's pause, he
said, "I have been a very wicked fellow, but I have never lost the early
impressions I had in relation to my responsibility to God. The little
Testament my sister gave me, I have kept when stript of every thing else. I
have read it when the other sailors around me were asleep. I knew they
did'nt understand my feelings, and they would only laugh at me. I have
often prayed, but then I would soon become as wicked as ever. I have
thought of you, sir, often, and of the sermons I used to hear. When I sat
naked on the burning sand in Africa, I thought of many serious things,
which I had heard from your lips, and I tried to pray. Yes, that was an
awful time! We were cast away--our vessel was lost--three or four of us got
ashore and were saved. But we were immediately stript of every rag of
covering, and for three months I wandered over the sands of Africa, naked
as when I came into the world, and living as I could snatch a little fruit
here and there. I at length found my way to Liberia, and was sent to
America by the Governor of that colony."

He then told me that for several years past, he had been on the lakes. I
asked him if he was happy. He said "No, never, except in a storm, when
every thing around me seems going to destruction. Then I become excited and
feel a sort of mad happiness." I entreated him to bethink himself of his
ways, and turn unto the Lord. He said he did not think it would do any
good; that he was too far gone, and that if he prayed ever so much, or made
ever so many resolutions, in a few days he was as bad as ever. I endeavored
to point out where the difficulty lay. He went to church with me that
evening, and seemed solemn and affected. Poor fellow, I know not what will
be his end! I fear there are many youths of our land going on just in this
same path.

                                         _Cleveland, August 2d._

Yesterday I took leave of Detroit on board the steamboat "United States"
for this place, which we reached this morning. On our way here, we visited
Toledo, in Ohio, which stands on the Maumee River, about ten miles from its
mouth. This is a place of some notoriety, but although we stopped there
several hours, I found very little to interest me. There were not a few
indications that it was a place where iniquity abounded. Though a place of
considerable size, the institutions of the gospel have found very little
foothold as yet. I was told, though I cannot vouch for the correctness of
the account, that some time ago, when an effort was about being made to
establish some religious society here, a public meeting was called, and
they voted that they would have no such thing in their town. I hope they
have come to a better mind before this.

Just before we entered the Maumee River, we passed a light house that had
been erected on a bare and barren bank of sand, of about an acre in extent,
which had risen up in the midst of the surrounding waters. On this barren
spot there is a solitary dwelling, the residence, I presume, of the keeper
of the light-house. There is something very striking in this lonely
residence, pitched in the midst of a wild waste of waters, and forcibly
reminded me of the state of the Christian in this life, whose habitation is
often in some desolate place, some lonely spot amid a surrounding moral
desert, but always where he can answer some useful end, can tend upon some
light-house to direct the path of tempest-tost mariners towards the haven
of rest.

We also touched in our way to Cleveland at Sandusky City and Huron. It was
my original intention to stop at one of these places, and make an excursion
through the northern part of Ohio, taking Gambier in my circuit. I felt an
increased desire to visit that place, after learning as I did in Michigan,
the important influence the institution there is silently exerting upon the
west, but I found it necessary to deny myself this pleasure for the want of
time. From what I heard of Kenyon College, I should think that the standard
of attainment there was very high, and that they had wisely guarded against
the custom too common in the west of hurrying the student through a rapid
and superficial course of studies, and conferring upon him a degree at a
time when he ought to be regarded as a _sophomore_. The course of studies
at this institution is very thorough, and the faculty able and talented.
Kenyon College cannot fail to prove a most powerful auxiliary to the cause
of learning and religion in the west, and its influence for the interests
of the Episcopal Church will be more extended than any of us of the
present generation can compute.

With Cleveland I have been decidedly pleased. It is principally built on a
high table of land, that looks boldly off upon the far-stretching and
majestic waters of Erie. It has a population of about eight thousand; its
houses are generally handsome and well built. It is separated from Ohio
City by the Cuyahoga river, a stream into which the steamboats run up,
which stop at Cleveland. Ohio City is a pleasant town, having between two
and three thousand inhabitants. They are here erecting a fine stone edifice
for an Episcopal Church. This place appears to bear the same relation to
Cleveland that Brooklyn does to New York. Unhappily there is no small
jealousy between the two places, which it is hoped the experience of a few
years will cure. Some of the streets in the eastern part of Cleveland,
looking off upon the lake, are beautiful beyond the power of description.

                                          _Niagara Falls, August 3d._

In passing from Cleveland to Buffalo over Erie's green waters, we touched
at several interesting points, but I omit any description of them or of
Buffalo, which has grown up into a large and beautiful city. I have spent
the day most delightfully here, silently musing on these vast waters that
leap with giant stride over this mighty precipice of rock. I had thought
that these falls, when I first gazed upon them from Table Rock, some four
years since, possessed all the conceivable elements of sublimity, but I
never understood their full grandeur and majesty till I looked at them
to-day, and remembered that the water of all those lakes upon which I had
travelled more than a thousand miles, was pouring in one gathered column
over that precipice! Then, immediately, I felt that the tremendous roar,
that rose deafening around me, was the voice of God! I saw that it was His
hand that had gathered those waters, and poured them with such resistless
force over that vast precipice, and the thought then flashed upon my mind,
"How will he speak to impenitent sinners when he riseth up to judgment? How
will they escape from his mighty hand when he poureth out his fury like

Just then a rainbow met my eye that lay beautifully pencilled on the
foaming flood below. I remembered it was the bow of promise; and new
emotions of gratitude were waked up in my heart, when, at the very moment I
was surrounded with such demonstrations of almighty power, and such vivid
proof that God could with the breath of his mouth hurl the guilty down to
bottomless perdition, I was reminded by the bow that lay on the bosom of
the foaming gulf, that through the mercy of God in Christ there was a way
for poor sinners to escape! Oh that they might be prevailed upon to lay
hold of the hope set before them, and not rush madly on to the precipice of
eternal death!



     Niagara Falls--Rochester--Canandaigua--Geneva--Seneca
     Lake--The moonlit heavens--Departed friends--The
     clergyman's son--The candidate for the ministry--A
     beloved brother--My departed mother--Geneva
     College--The Sabbath.

                                          _Geneva, Aug. 9th._

Every man who has visited Niagara Falls, that scene of enchantment,
remembers with what difficulty he tore himself from the spot. To every mind
that has any sensibility--any relish for the grand and sublime, every
island and grove, every stone and tree, every green bank and shaded nook
around that mighty cataract, is a charmed spot. Go to what point you may,
to take your last look at the falls, whether it be on the British or
American side--whether you stand on Table Rock or Goat Island--whether you
look out from the top of the observatory that has been reared with daring
intrepidity on the edge of the foaming current and the brow of the Falls,
or look up from the foot of the vast cataract, and see a world of waters
plunging in one animated, leaping mass from the heights above, you will
feel as you gaze there to bestow your last lingering look, that the hand of
some giant power has laid a spell upon all the scene around you, and
chained you to the spot. You may tear yourself from this scene, but it is
with the feeling with which you separate yourself from, and bid adieu to
the loved one of your heart. Your eye and your thoughts oft turn back to
catch another glimpse of that which you fear is fading from your view for

Have you not sometimes in your journeyings, taken your leave with great
reluctance from some dear family circle, who gathered around you at the
door, and followed you while you could yet see them with every
demonstration of kindness and interest? At length a turn in the road shut
them from your view, and you went on your way musing on the past, and
thinking perhaps you would never meet them more till you met them with the
ransomed on high. While you moved on indulging in a pensive train of
reflection, your path took another turn, and brought the mansion you left
again to view, and showed you your friends still watching your course,
whose waving hands and handkerchiefs testified that their hearts were with
you, though their voices could no longer reach your ear. It was somewhat so
with us, when on _Friday morning the fourth of August_, we started in the
railroad cars from the Falls, bound to Lockport. The course of the railroad
for some distance lies along on the bank of Niagara river, every now and
then revealing to us the swift and green waters of the stream as it leaps
along its deep-worn channel, some hundred feet below. We had proceeded thus
a mile or two, when suddenly by a turn of the river, the entire view of the
Falls was again brought before us. The eye was now able to take in the
whole scene at a single glance, and no view of Niagara appeared more
impressive than this. You could distinctly trace the rapids above the
Falls, see the foaming current urging its way on like the angry billows of
the ocean, till it reached the dreadful leap, and then gracefully and
majestically sliding off from the edge of the precipice to the vast abyss
below in one beautiful and vast column of emerald green. Below you saw, as
in one great cauldron, the whole river boiling up in white and milky
appearance, and then winding off in its deep channel, till at length it
again assumed its native hue of green. The islands and groves, and wild
scenery that environ this wonder of the world, were all gathered in one
rich group distinctly before the eye. Who can look on such a scene and not
remember its Creator? What must be the glories which God will reveal to his
ransomed and sanctified people in the celestial world, when he allows to
linger here amid the defilements and desolations of sin such traces of
surpassing beauty and loveliness!

We took Rochester in our way, and thence directed our course by stage to
Canandaigua, which, with its tasteful court-yards, and beautiful houses,
and elegantly shaded streets, reminds one of a beauteous, gemmed, and
highly adorned bride that has retired from the festal scene, and is seeking
repose in some rural bower. The country through which we rode from
Rochester to Geneva is in a high state of cultivation, and the rich fields
of waving grain around one makes him feel at every step that he is passing
through the garden of America. We reached Geneva in the early part of the
afternoon. There is not a lovelier spot beneath the far-expanded sky for
the site of a village than the banks of the Seneca. Though the business
part of the village is situated principally on the northwest corner of the
lake, by far the most beautiful part of the town stretches along on the
western bank which rises some fifty or hundred feet above the quiet waters
of this beautiful lake. Here a street runs along parallel with the lake,
and the most delightful residences are built up on either side. Almost
every dwelling has before it a fine court-yard filled with shrubbery and
ornamented with flowers. And those built on the brow of the lake have
gardens terraced down to the water's edge.

The lake is here some three miles wide, stretching off forty miles to the
south, and presenting on the opposite side a beautiful and
finely-cultivated country. On this street, looking off upon this lovely
sheet of water, stands the college. As we recede to the west the land rises
by gentle and successive undulations for a mile or two, furnishing on the
summit of these successive ridges the most delightful locations for
residences, from some of which you have brought within the ken of your eye
the whole village and lake, and country beyond. I have already partially
described the street that runs along on the western bank of the lake, which
is adorned and shaded with trees, and on which the college and principal
churches are built. Farther west and running parallel with this is another
street inferior in beauty, but peculiarly attractive to me, as at its
northern extremity is situated the old burying ground, where sleeps the
dust of many, many dear friends.

Memory loves to go back to the past. I well recollect a summer evening of
1820. The day had declined, and the curtains of night were drawn around the
green earth. While twilight still lingered in the west, gently fading into
darkness, the moon rose in full orbed splendour. I was returning, with a
friend from a walk. Our course lay along on the margin of the lake. Never
did I see a sweeter or lovelier scene, than was exhibited on the bosom of
that lake, lit up with a flood of splendour streaming down from the bright
orb of night. That beautifully-expanded sheet of water lay in unruffled
smoothness. The lake seemed like a sea of glass. If a ripple run over that
transparent surface, it was so gentle, that it seemed only the rocking of
the moon-beams to sleep that played there. The air was bland and balmy, and
full of the fragrance which the verdant and flowery earth gave forth. But
with myself and my friend, life then looked thus bright and fresh and fair.
Our walk terminated at the threshhold of my own paternal mansion. We went
in and sat down. Three other persons joined us. We looked out upon the
moonlight scene, and talked of future days. There was not one sad or
clouded brow there. I can remember every countenance in that happy group as
though it were but yesterday night. But now of the five that sat there and
enjoyed the delightful converse of that sweet night, I alone am the only
survivor. All the rest have for these nine years slept within the precincts
of the burial-ground.

One of this little group was the friend of my childhood. His father was the
parish priest, from whose lips my infant ear first drank in the sounds of a
preached gospel.--I well recollect with what a throbbing heart I first drew
near the chancel in an old time-stained church in New England, with a band
of children like myself to rehearse to this holy man my catechism. I well
recollect the solemn tones of his voice, and the benignant look with which
he pronounced a blessing on our young heads. I can never forget the many
kind, cordial welcomes I have received under the roof of the pastor of my
childhood. The young man to whom I have referred was his eldest son. We
were now far from the scene where had past the sports and frolics of
childhood. The good hand of the Lord had shown me that there was something
better than the fading vanities of this empty world to occupy and absorb
the affections of an immortal being. Often had I tried to lead my young
friend to see things as I saw them. When absent I had written to him; but
though his affection for me seemed unchanged, he always evaded any coming
to the point, in relation to his own personal salvation. Though amiable and
moral, he was naturally gay and vivacious, and the world had still an
unbroken hold upon his affections. On the evening to which I have referred,
he seemed more than ordinarily pensive. In less than a year, though
apparently full of vigour and health, he was suddenly laid upon a sick bed.
The last night of his life I was with him, and did not leave his room till
the dawn of morning. At midnight when all was still, he called me close to
his bed-side, and thanked me for my letters that I had formerly written to
him, and all my solemn admonitions, and assured me that they had not been
forgotten, but had made very deep impressions upon his mind. And then he
continued--"I wish to be saved, I wish to give my heart up to God, I wish
to be pardoned and have a hope in Christ. Oh that I had sought the Lord in
health, and now were at peace with him." Then he fervently called on God
for mercy. His mind soon began to wander. The next morning he was an
unbreathing corpse.

Another of this company, was one who had been associated with me in study.
The home of his childhood was amid the rugged hills of New England. He had
contended with a long train of difficulties to push his way onward to the
threshold of the sacred ministry. The last obstacles now seemed giving
away. In about a year he would go forth as the accredited ambassador of the
King of kings. Animated with this thought, and the brightening prospect
around him, his mind on that evening seemed winged with hope, and his
conversation was full of life and sprightliness. Just about a year had
gone. The day for his ordination was appointed. His friends were anxiously
waiting to see him put the sacred armour on. But the hand of disease
suddenly seized him, and on the very day he was to have been ordained, he
died, and I trust went up to the heavenly court to be made there a "priest
unto God."

A third in this group, was a beloved brother, who had been to me not only a
brother, but my spiritual father. It was his voice that first directed my
feet to the cross of Christ; and it was from his hands that I first
received the consecrated memorials of a Saviour's dying love. The cares and
toils and anxieties of his spiritual flock were even then wearing away his
life. A few years passed by, and my friend--my counsellor--my brother, was
borne to that same burial-ground, where his voice had been so often heard,
committing "Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust." There are those
that remember the pastor's counsel, who still go to that grave where his
ashes sleep, and water it with their tears.

The last in that group which sat and conversed so delightfully together on
the evening to which I have adverted, was one who bore to me a dearer and
more sacred relation than any or all of these. Can I ever forget the
kindliness of that eye that beamed with such sweet affection on me? Can I
ever forget the soft velvet pressure of that hand, which when I was sick
was laid so gently on my burning, feverish brow? Can I ever forget that
cradle hymn, that calmed my infant fears, and hushed all my troubles to
repose? Can I ever forget the tones of that sweet voice that first breathed
into my infant ear the name of Jesus? Can I ever forget the appearance of
that dear form, the heavenliness of that look, or even the seat in which
she sat, when I was first taught to kneel down by her side, and say "_Our
Father who art in heaven?_" No! Every other image may fade from my memory,
but my mother's will be there for ever!

On that evening to which I have referred, no one appeared more cheerful or
happy, and no circumstance added more enjoyment to that hour than the
presence and conversation of my dear and beloved mother. But a few years
only had elapsed, and the charm of our home was gone! Well do I recollect
that night when I was called from my bed, and saw the last breath trembling
on her quivering lips. Well do I recollect how that brother of whom I have
just spoken, as we stood silent around that bed from which a departing
saint was about to go up to glory, took her dying hand, and as the last
pang was ended, said in the deep solemn stillness that pervaded the weeping
group, "The bitterness of death is passed, and _she is at rest_!" Her grave
is in the burying ground. Of all that company that sat and talked and
looked out on that moonlight scene I only am left. Oh what reason have I to
praise the Lord! What reason to die daily!

The commencement of Geneva College had occurred a few days previous to my
arrival. This institution had been struggling for many years with a series
of difficulties, most of which are now happily overcome. The corporation
have recently received an endowment that will enable them to compete with
any kindred institutions in the country. They have an able and
well-organized faculty, at the head of which is President Hale, a man not
only of varied and large acquirements, but of most bland manners and
devoted piety. There is an influence now gathered around this institution
that must very soon elevate it to a high rank among the institutions of our
country. It gives fair promise at present of being what one of its
originators toiled and prayed and spent many anxious days and nights to
make it. Though he has gone to his rest and though he saw gathering over it
during his life nothing but clouds and darkness, he will reap the fruits of
his labours in eternity.

I spent a Sunday here that strikingly reminded me of former days. The
congregation were already gathered. I went in, and sat in the same pew I
used to occupy long before I assumed the responsibilities of the sacred
office. The place itself was unaltered, but the worshippers--what a change
had come over them! Here and there was a well-known countenance, but how
many pews were occupied with those who were strangers to me! And then,
where was that venerable father--that promising young jurist--that
physician rising rapidly to eminence--that blooming, beautiful young bride,
that drew all eyes towards her? Where was that mother in Israel--that much
respected and hoary headed man, whose voice used to give such deep emphasis
to the responses? Where were a hundred others, whose images came up fast
before me? Ah! the grave, the grave had swallowed them up! And where too
was the pastor whose voice used to echo through this temple? He too was
gone! That voice which had so often called upon sinners to turn and flee
to calvary, and urged the heaven-bound pilgrim onward towards the goal, was
now hushed in death! On a tablet near the pulpit I saw his name inscribed,
but I believe it was written in deeper and more durable characters upon the
hearts of some who worshipped with me that morning.

The day was bright and sunny. There seemed that morning to rest on the mind
of the assembled worshippers a sweet, holy calm, the emblem of that "rest
which remaineth for the people of God." The deep, solemn tones of the
service, came that morning with unwonted power on my ear. Every sentence of
the liturgy, fraught as it is with the richest vein of evangelical piety,
seemed particularly on that occasion to give wings to my devotion, and to
bear my soul upward to the very courts of the most high God. It was a
sacramental season. The sermon was appropriate, faithful, solemn, and
affecting. The communion service began. The bread was broken and the wine
poured out. As I went forward to kneel at that altar, I could not but call
to remembrance my feelings eighteen years before, when I first bowed there
to vow a vow unto God, and receive a token of the Saviour's dying love. The
thoughts and feelings of that hour I will not presume to obtrude upon you.
There was a rush of sensibilities and recollections that quite overcame me
for the moment.



     A bleak, dreary morning--Bishop of Illinois--Sail up
     the Delaware--New York Bay--Sail up the
     Hudson--Unexpected meeting--College friend--Story of
     his afflictions--Poor African servant.

The sketches contained in the three following chapters were written in

                              _Fairfield, N. Y., Sep. 21, 1838._

After having passed a day or two in the country, or gone along some two or
three hundred miles by stages, steamboats, and railroad cars, in looking
back upon the scenes through which you have passed, the company you have
met, and the different individuals with which you have been brought in
contact, one feels almost astonished to reflect how many touching incidents
of human woe have been brought to his notice during this short period.
Sorrow and sadness seem to lie every where on the surface of society. You
cannot enter a steamboat, or walk through the streets of a large town, or
mingle at all in the circles of the living, without meeting with something
to remind you, and that most painfully, "_that man is born to trouble_."
Does not this show that ours is a world full of disorder and sin? Does it
not show that some great moral convulsion has occurred here, which has
upturned the very foundations upon which human nature was originally built?
Surely a God of order and of benevolence would never have created such a
world as ours now is! Surely this world is not now what it was when upon
its original creation, "the morning stars sang together, and the sons of
God shouted aloud for joy!" I do not see how any one can prosecute an
investigation upon the subject of moral philosophy, and not come to the
conclusion that the Bible is the only book in the world that gives any
satisfactory account of the origin and history of man.

It was a bleak and dreary morning upon which we left Philadelphia. The wind
blew fiercely, and the waters of the Delaware seemed stirred the very
bottom as we entered the steamboat. Notwithstanding the earliness of the
hour, and the roughness of the weather, a great crowd was rushing on board.
Among the number was the Bishop of Illinois. The last time I had seen him
to have any continued conversation with him, was more than a year since,
near the banks of the Mississippi, in the extreme northwest corner of his
extensive diocese. I was sorry to find on the present occasion, that the
bishop seemed a good deal depressed in reference to the prospects of the
Church in his diocese, though still looking to the Lord and trusting in his
wise government. I could in some measure enter into his feelings, as I had
travelled over the vast field of destitution in the midst of which he is
placed. Being entrusted with the interests of the Church in the vast and
powerful state of Illinois, without funds, without a salary adequate to his
own support, with only here and there a single labourer to co-operate with
him, how can he carry out the designs of his office? Though a thousand
fair fields lie blooming before him, all promising a rich and luxuriant
harvest, how, with his present means, can he take possession of them? He
wants a vast increase of missionary men, and pecuniary means to sustain
them. The discouragements around him are innumerable. What can be done for
the West? What can be done for Illinois? I believe if three or four of our
eastern clergy, who have acquired character and standing in the Church,
were to go into each of the western dioceses, and there co-operate
together, determined to stand by the Church, to sink or swim with it,
determined never to leave the ground till the whole western wild should
blossom as the rose, this would do more for the cause of religion than any
other measures that could be adopted. Are there not in the length and
breadth of our Church a dozen men of this character, who will make this
sacrifice for Christ and for undying souls? If we had the spirit, and the
faith, and the self-sacrifice of Paul, is it not probable that we should
see, if not in divine visions, yet in many of our waking hours, and perhaps
in the dreams of the night, imploring thousands standing on the banks of
the Wabash, the Illinois, and the Mississippi, stretching forth their hands
and saying, "_Come over and help us!_"

Our sail up the Delaware was characterized with nothing new or unusual. The
cars took us on at their usual rate. And in due time we were safely landed
at the battery in New York. At five o'clock, P. M., we found ourselves
again embarked on board one of the North river steamers. As we pushed out
from the wharf and gazed over the beautiful bay that stretched around us,
studded with islands and whitened with a hundred sails, the thought most
forcibly pressed itself upon my mind, that Americans need not be ashamed
to speak of New York bay, even in connection with the bay of Naples, though
the latter in the bold shores of Capri, the towering summit of Vesuvius,
and the vast, extended, circling sweep of its waters has, doubtless,
features of _sublimity_, which the former cannot claim.--As we passed the
_palisades_, and began to approach the mountain scenery of the highlands, I
was more than ever impressed with an idea which I embraced while in Europe,
that, take it all in all, there is no river scenery in the world comparable
with that of our own Hudson.

While I stood upon the deck of our steamboat, gazing upon the precipitous
and rugged sides of the _palisades_ that rise like a wall of masonry above
the noble Hudson, a gentleman approached me and said, "I ought to know you;
I think we were class-mates in college. My name is W----."

When I first looked at the speaker, the remembrance of him as an old
college acquaintance, was like the faded and indistinct recollections of a
forgotten dream. But as one and another particular was mentioned, the
picture of the past gathered fresh brightness, and stood before my mind's
eye with all the vividness of an occurrence of yesterday. More than fifteen
years had elapsed since we bid adieu to our _Alma mater_ and to each other.
Our class at the time we graduated, consisted of about eighty; my
acquaintance with W. during our college course was slight, and as his
residence was in one of the remote southern states, I had never met with
him before since the day of our graduation. We, however, immediately upon
this unexpected meeting, felt our hearts strongly drawn towards each other,
by the power of old associations. We sat down and talked over college
scenes, till the shades of evening gathered around us. I was astonished to
find how many of our class were already numbered with the dead: and how
many among the most gifted and talented of our old associates had fallen
victims to intemperance. During the fifteen years since we last met, we
ourselves had passed through a variety of scenes, and had each tasted of
the cup of sorrow. I became deeply interested in my friend's history, and
though the dark summits and lofty mountain peaks of the highlands were
around and above us, and at this time rendered still more wild and romantic
by the partial darkness in which they were enwrapped, I had no eye nor ear
for any thing but the touching tale to which I listened. The outlines of
the story were as follows:--

While young W. was still in college, he had formed an acquaintance with Mr.
Y----, who then resided in a neighbouring city, and filled one of the
highest offices in the state. Mr. Y's. family, for several generations
back, had been regarded among the most respectable in the land. Young W.
was often invited to share the hospitalities of his house, and soon became
a frequent visiter there. There were in this family three young ladies,
daughters of Mr. Y., all of them accomplished and interesting. Jane, the
youngest, was particularly beautiful and attractive. To her W. felt his
heart drawn with resistless power. Himself belonging to a distinguished and
wealthy family in Georgia, he did not hesitate to aspire to the hand of the
lovely Jane Y. His suit was successful. After having passed through a
course of law studies, the happy hour arrived in which he was permitted to
stand up and claim Jane as his wedded bride. The evening of the
celebration of their nuptials, witnessed a scene of most brilliant
festivity in the old family mansion of Mr. Y. All the gaiety, and
splendour, and luxury which are found in the brightest paths and most
resplendent saloons of fashion, were that night there. When the next
morning dawned, and the family gathered around the table for breakfast,
there was an occasional cloud of gloom that every now and then came over
the mother's countenance: for that day she was to part with her daughter!
Jane was now the wife of a planter in Georgia, and upon that distant
plantation was to be her future home. Her young and joyous heart, though
for a moment depressed, as she gave the parting kiss to each of the family,
soon recovered its wonted buoyancy. Her presence flung an immediate
sunshine around the habitation to which she was conducted, and her happy
husband thought again and again that he had never before known half her
worth. Years passed on, and Jane had now become the mother of two beautiful
children. This couple were as happy as this world could make them. They had
health and wealth, ease, family distinction, and promising children, and
yet they lacked one thing absolutely essential to their happiness. They
were strangers to the transforming power of divine grace. Living remote
from any place of divine worship, they seldom visited the house of God, and
were becoming each year more indifferent to divine things.

At length the following incident awakened Mrs. W---- to a consideration of
the things of eternity. There was a female slave on the plantation advanced
in years, who was very ill. Mrs. W---- had an amiable and tender heart, and
never failed to do all in her power to render the situation of their
slaves comfortable. She visited them in sickness and did every thing to
minister to their wants and to alleviate their sufferings. Hearing of the
illness of old Peggy she hastened to the cabin to see what she could do to
relieve her. As she stood on the threshold of the door, just ready to
enter, she heard the voice of this old negro woman lifted up in prayer. She
immediately stopped, feeling that it would be wrong to interrupt any human
creature while communing with God. The words which this old female slave
uttered were very simple, but full of pious sentiment. As Mrs. W----
listened she heard her say, "Oh Lord God, me am a poor sinner, but massa
Christ died for sinners, therefore, good Lord, do have mercy upon me, poor
dying cretur, for Jesus' sake. My sins many, oh do blot them all out--make
me, poor slave, holy--make me fit to enter heaven--and oh bring massa and
missa and the little babies there. Save us all for Jesus' sake." As Mrs.
W---- listened to these simple words, her heart was touched--the tear fell
upon her cheek. She entered the cabin, and found old Peggy stretched on a
couch, and evidently struck with death. In haste and with agitation she
asked what she could do for her. The old servant replied, "Nothing,
nothing--I am now going home." As Mrs. W---- appeared distressed and
anxious to do something for her, Peggy said, "Dear missa, don't be troubled
about me--you have always been good to we poor blacks. The Lord bless you.
You can do no more for me, I shall be gone soon." But, said Mrs. W----,
"Are you not afraid to die?" Upon this inquiry, the did woman raised
herself up, and clasping her hands, looked towards heaven and said in the
most plaintive, touching tone, "Oh Jesus, should me be afraid to come to
thee?" And then her eye sparkling with joy, as she turned to Mrs. W----,
she said, "Me love Jesus--me give him my heart; Jesus knows me, and
therefore me no fear to go through the dark valley to him: for he says in
the good book, '_I know my sheep and they follow me, and I give unto them
eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out
of my hand._'" The old woman was exhausted by this effort and fell back
upon the bed with her eyes closed, apparently dying. One or two coloured
persons who were in the room, now gathered around the bed, expecting every
moment to see her breathe her last. After ten or fifteen minutes she again
opened her eyes, and fixing an intense look upon Mrs. W----, said, "Dear
missa, do you not love Jesus?" * * * She would have said more, but her
tongue was already palsied in death--the muscles around her mouth
quivered--her eye seemed glazed--her breath was gone: her soul was in

Mrs. W---- went home serious and thoughtful. She retired to her chamber and
took down her long neglected Bible. She perused the sacred page for a long
time. She knelt down and tried to pray. She found her heart was cold, and
that there was no love to Jesus there. She called upon God for mercy. The
deep fountains of sensibility in her heart were at length broken up, and
she wept in agony of spirit over her impenitence and hardness of heart.
When her husband came in, he found her bathed in tears and instantly
demanded the cause. She told him of Peggy's death, and of the solemn
impression made upon her mind, adding, "I have a presentiment that I shall
not live long, and I am determined no longer to neglect the salvation of my
soul." "Oh," said W----, who at that time was rather inclined to be
skeptical, "do not indulge in such gloomy and nervous feelings or think
about such superstitious matters."

Mrs. W----, however, remained steadfast to her purpose. From this time she
daily read the sacred Scriptures, and sought divine illumination at the
mercy-seat. The Methodist ministers who had officiated on the plantation
among the slaves, and by whose instruction old Peggy had been taught the
way to heaven, were invited to visit Mr. W----'s house. The voice of prayer
was now frequently heard in that dwelling. Mrs. W---- had already become a
decided Christian, and was leading her husband on in the same path, when
she was suddenly attacked with a violent fever. From the very commencement
she felt that this sickness would be unto death. When it was evident that
she was rapidly sinking and could survive but a few hours, she begged her
husband to sit down at her bed-side and the children to stand by their
father, and then calmly addressed him in substance as follows: "Charles, I
told you a year ago I had a strong presentiment that I should not live
long. Ever since that time I have been looking forward to this hour. I have
a hope in Jesus, which is 'as an anchor to my soul.'--Though I love you and
these dear children above all earthly things, I am willing to leave you all
in the hands of God and to _depart and be with Christ which is far better_.
But, dear husband, will you not join me in yonder heaven? Will you not
bring these dear, precious ones with you there? Oh! then seek the salvation
of your soul in the atoning blood of Christ, and train up these children in
the nurture and admonition of the Lord." These were her last dying words.
The green grass has for more that two years waved over her grave. Before
her death the decease of her father had thrown a vast increase of wealth
into her husband's hands. But that bereaved husband with all his vast
wealth, as he looks upon his motherless children, and upon Jane's
grass-covered grave, feels that this world is all an empty show, that we
look for happiness in vain beneath the skies.

This was the outline of W----'s story. The hour had already become late
before our conversation drew to a close. We each sought our respective
berths in the cabin below. When we awoke in the morning, we found ourselves
in the immediate vicinity of Albany. We were soon on shore moving up State
street. * * * *



     Albany--The Irish mother--Incidents that occured five
     years ago--The disappointed emigrants--The Little
     Falls--Rural retirement.

                                         _Fairfield, N. Y., Sept. 22._

Our stopping place in Albany was at CONGRESS HALL, which we reached some
time before the sun sent his resplendent beams abroad: the morning was damp
and hazy, and upon the whole every thing looked dull and gloomy around us.
We were, however, occupying one of the most delightful positions in the
place--our inn being located on one corner of the beautiful enclosure in
front of the capitol or state-house, whence we could overlook almost the
entire city. As I sat down by a window which commanded a view of the
state-house park, or square, my travelling companion directed my attention
to a female, who with tattered vestments and feeble steps, was pacing
backwards and forwards one of the gravelled walks in the verdant enclosure
before us. She was carrying in her arms a sickly looking infant, some nine
or ten months old, and the whole appearance both of the mother and child,
seemed to indicate that they were houseless wanderers, and had passed the
night without a shelter. As in her continued walks up and down the
gravelled avenue, she occasionally approached near the window where we sat,
I saw that she was about middle aged, and had evidently once had a fine and
expressive countenance, though the traces of sorrow and grief were now
deeply worn there.

We were called to our breakfast: as soon as it was dispatched we hurried
away from our hotel to the grand railroad depot, whence we were to take our
departure westward. On our way we passed directly by the gravelled walk,
where we had seen the poor woman, who had so much excited our sympathy. She
now sat on the ground, her infant sleeping in her lap, and herself
apparently absorbed in melancholy. She was evidently of Irish extraction,
and though her appearance bore evidence of extreme poverty, there were no
indications about her of intemperance. I could not but think what a tale of
sorrow, of disappointed hopes, and perhaps of cruelly blighted innocence,
would that Irish mother's history, if recorded, unfold. My thoughts
immediately went back to that beautiful Emerald Isle, over whose green
fields I had so recently roamed. Though I had seen some misery there, I had
seen much happiness and contentment. I verily believe there is often to be
found more real happiness in the mud cottage than in the gilded palace. The
Irish have strong and generous feelings, and strong family affection. As I
saw that poor Irish mother sitting there upon the ground, so forlorn and
desolate, my imagination pictured to me her early home, where she passed
her childhood beneath the glad eye of her affectionate parents. They saw
her grow up, the pride of their heart, and thought that she would be the
solace of their declining years. But the tempter came--she was lured from
her home--she passed over the deep waters, and found herself in a foreign
land. Her base husband soon showed himself the degraded victim of
intemperance, and after a few years deserted her--leaving her houseless,
homeless, in poverty, and broken-hearted sorrow. Perhaps in point of fact
there were no lines in the history of that poor Irish mother in
correspondence with this picture, but I believe, if the real history of
many an emigrant from that green isle were known, we should feel more
kindly to that people, and the heart and hand of Christian charity would be
more frequently open to relieve the destitute among them. I know not where
we shall find on earth such noble elements of character as in the Irish
race. I confess I have been charmed and filled with admiration with some
specimens I have met of Irish Christian gentlemen. I cannot turn my face
away from any poor Irishman who asks alms at my door, unless he be
manifestly the victim of intemperance, and begs to procure the means of
indulgence in this sin. It is true we are sometimes liable to be deceived.
Clothes and money are sometimes procured under false pretexts. But even
then they may minister to the comfort of the destitute, and if we have
given for Christ's sake, we shall not lose our reward.

I do not mean by these remarks to intimate that I regard it as a Christian
duty to give to all without discrimination who ask alms at our hands--but
simply to say, that I think it better to give to twenty undeserving objects
than to turn our face away from one who is Christ's representative here on
earth. (Mat. xxv. 35-46.) Neither do I mean to affirm, that there is not
danger of being deceived by some who make large demands upon us for
assistance. In such cases we should undoubtedly proceed with great caution:
and even then, after all, we may be beguiled. A case in point now occurs to

While residing in New England, on a dull, cold, rainy Saturday afternoon,
some five years ago, I heard a ring at my door. As the servant did not
immediately appear to answer the call, I myself went to the door, where I
found two persons in shabby and tattered dress, standing on the steps, with
their clothes dripping with rain. The female was the first to speak,
inquiring if I would not render some assistance to a distressed couple, who
were extremely destitute, and far from country and home. The tones of her
voice were so sweet and gentle, her manners so modest and unobtrusive, and
the language which she used so well chosen, and even elegant, I felt
convinced that they had indeed seen better days, and I should have done the
greatest violence to my feelings, and every better principle of my nature,
had I not opened my door and bid them enter. After they had dried
themselves by the fire, and partaken of some refreshment, I asked them to
tell me their history. The outline of it was as follows:--They were both
natives of Ireland, where they had always resided till about four years
since. Mrs. S----, the name of this female, and the wife of the man who
accompanied her, was the daughter of a clergyman of the Established Church,
who was vicar of a parish in Ireland, the name of which I do not now
recollect. She was brought up in great tenderness and highly educated, as
she was an only daughter. Being a novel reader and full of romantic ideas,
she took it into her head to fall in love with a young bricklayer, who was
engaged in working upon a house that was building near the vicarage. She
found means of meeting him unknown to her parents, and they were soon
engaged to be married. At the appointed time she stole away secretly from
home, met her lover at a specified spot, and then they went together to a
distant part of the country, where they were married. She then sent home to
her parents, confessing the whole affair. They were very indignant, and
returned so severe an answer, that she and her husband concluded to embark
at once for America.--They soon put their resolution into execution, and
after a very long voyage found themselves at Montreal, without any means of
subsistence. Her husband succeeded in obtaining some employment, so that
they lived along comfortably for nearly a year. About this time she became
the mother of a little daughter; and accidentally hearing that the Rev. Mr.
----, who was a brother of her mother's, and had been in this country
several years, was residing at Troy, she persuaded her husband to go with
her in quest of her uncle. When they reached Troy, they found that there
was no Rev. Mr. ---- residing there. Here they lived for some time, Mr.
S---- hiring himself out to a builder, who was carrying on a large business
there. After S---- had earned about one hundred dollars besides his living,
this builder unexpectedly failed, and absconded without paying off any of
his hands. S---- was again left in poverty, and without employment. A few
months before, their little babe had sickened and died. They had recently
heard that their relative resided in Boston. They therefore started off
with the hope of finding him: having at length reached Northampton in great
destitution, they made known their situation to the Rev. Dr. P----, who
relieved them from present distress, and informed them that the clergyman
whom they were seeking lived in Philadelphia. With a view of going thither
they had come to the place where I resided. The whole story appeared
natural, and though they told it to a number of different individuals, they
never contradicted themselves. Mr. S---- was rough and uncultivated--just
such a man as a bricklayer would be. On the other hand Mrs. S---- was
evidently an accomplished lady. She was acquainted with books, played on
the piano forte, and sung beautifully. A clergyman bearing the name of the
one whom she claimed as her uncle, actually resided in Philadelphia, and
had not long since visited England and Ireland, as she said. I could detect
no incongruity in any part of the narrative. They remained with us a
week--during which time a number of our friends fitted them both out with
new apparel, and procured for them the means of travelling with comfort to
Philadelphia. I have seldom known so much sympathy to be awakened for
destitute strangers as there was in their case. Several individuals
accompanied them to the steamboat when they left, and wished them God
speed. I sent by them a letter to the Rev. Mr. ---- informing him of the
facts above related. This was the last I ever heard of them! I saw the Rev.
Mr. ---- in a few months; he informed me he had never received the letter,
that he had no relatives in Ireland, and that so far as he was concerned it
must have been a sheer fabrication. My friends and myself, when these facts
came to our knowledge, had a hearty laugh over this affair, and though we
regretted that this Irish couple had used such deception, at least in one
particular we did not regret that we had fed the hungry, clothed the
naked, and sent them on their way with solemn admonitions about the
salvation of their souls.

Very little of interest is to be seen on the way between Albany and
Schenectady across those sandy plains, save the distant tops of the
Cattskill to the south, and the misty summits of the Green mountains to the
north. Our course from Schenectady up the valley of the Mohawk was very
delightful. The beautiful sylvan scenery up this valley, with its broken
sheets of water, and dark rich verdure, reminded me of some scenes in
England, which I can never forget. I need not describe the grand and rugged
mountain scenery which nature has thrown up in forms of singular wildness
around the _Little Falls_, nor the upland and undulating country through
which one has to pass to reach the spot whence I write.

Here then, I am, far away from the strife of tongues, the agitations of
business, and the dust and din of the city. The green hills are all around
me, presenting a coat of dark rich verdure, which shows that they have not
this season felt the blight of the withering and far-spread drought. All
amid these retired hills appears full of quietness and repose--a fit place
in which to study one's own heart and try to get nearer to heaven. I
attended the other evening, what in England would be denominated _a cottage
meeting_. The inhabitants of the neighbourhood were gathered together in a
private house, and after suitable devotions conducted by the pastor, the
people were familiarly and solemnly addressed on the subject of their
immortal interests. These meetings, I understand, are held weekly in
different parts of the village, and will, I doubt not, carry salvation to
many a house. What an inexpressible blessing is a faithful pastor, who
cares for the flock, and uses every means in his power to guide them in the
way everlasting!



                              _Fairfield, N. Y., Oct. 1._

Within the last week I have made an excursion into the central part of
Western New York. I never fail, while travelling through this region, to be
impressed with the conviction, that this is the garden of America! The soil
itself has in every field you pass, and upon every hill-side and vale to
which you turn your eye, ten thousand witnesses to attest its astonishing
fertility. And then there are treasures beneath the soil more valuable than
silver or gold, in the vast beds of lime and plaster, and the exhaustless
saline springs, scattered at different points over this region. Here, also,
you have beautiful scenery in ten thousand varied forms: and if you wish to
view nature in one of her more awful moods, you have only to draw near and
listen to the tremendous roar of Niagara, and see the collected waters of
an hundred lakes, dashed headlong in one great, furious tide, down the vast
precipice, to the deep, rocky channel below.

I am sure the traveller who passes along the old post-road from Utica to
Buffalo, and sees the hundred beautiful villages, the noble forests, the
majestic trees, the rich foliage, the luxuriant orchards, the luscious
fruits, the crops of yellow wheat, the fields of waving corn, the vast
enclosures of dark, fertile soil, the peaceful lakes and silvery streams
that everywhere meet the eye, will exclaim, THE GARDEN OF AMERICA! And then
when he sees all this beautiful region intersected by canals and bound
together by turnpikes, railroads, and lake and steam navigation, he will
feel that Western New York possesses advantages of a most singular and
superior character!

       *       *       *       *       *

Last year in some few sketches of a tour to the West, a brief description
was given of Geneva. This sweet village, take it all in all, I must regard
as the gem of Western New York. I cannot conceive of a more lovely place
for residence than this beautiful village on the banks of Seneca lake.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was towards the close of the day that I reached this place, a spot with
which so many sweet and sacred recollections were connected in my mind. My
destination for the night was a few miles beyond it in the country. The
road along which I passed lay through a scene full of sylvan beauty,
disclosing every half mile to the eye of the traveller through the opening
of the trees a beautiful view of a portion of the lake, that now slept in
the sweet evening calm, tranquil as a sea of glass. The house of our
friends was at length reached--and there were such greetings and gladness
of heart, as they only feel who have been long and far separated from each
other, with but little hope that they should ever again meet this side of



     Retirement--Seneca Lake--Burlington, N. J.--Brooklyn,
     N. Y.

The following chapters are made up of letters detailing incidents of travel
connected with a tour from Philadelphia to Rhode Island, and from thence
into Western New York, during the summer of 1840.

                                         _Seneca, July 22._

Although nearly five weeks have elapsed since I left Philadelphia, I have
not, till the present time, had an opportunity of redeeming my promise in
giving you the sketches I promised. I am now enjoying what I have been
sighing for ever since I started on my summer excursion, _quietude_ and
_seclusion_. Here I am encompassed with delightful rural scenery, and
passing the livelong day undisturbed by the calls of either friends or
parishioners making demands upon my time or services.

I cannot understand, how those who reside in the city and who escape for a
weeks in summer from the dust, and din, and heat, and ceaseless cares that
assail them amid the scenes of their daily occupation, can from choice fly
for recreation to other cities, or to fashionable watering places, where
they are sure to encounter all the inconveniences they have left behind,
with scarcely any of their home comforts. To me it would seem infinitely
more desirable to seek "a lodge in some vast wilderness--some boundless
contiguity of shade." Indeed I must say, I very much prefer a wholly rural
district, to the most picturesque country village, in which to spend the
few weeks during which I am to seek to recruit my health, and prepare for
the duties and labors that await me on my return to the city. In such a
situation one has not to make a constant effort to be agreeable. You can
sit down and vegetate for a while, without being called upon to make any
intellectual exertion whatever. Here one can sit or walk, wake or sleep,
lounge or ride, as he chooses; he can read or write, or stroll forth amid
the quiet fields, or sit beneath the shade of some wide-spreading tree.
There is much in such a scene to hush all stormy passions to repose--to
tranquilize one's existence, and to lift up the heart in devout aspirations
to God.

My location for a few weeks is in just such a rural district near the banks
of Seneca Lake, a beautiful expanse of water, of which I will tell you more
hereafter. Around me are scattered farm-houses and orchards, and smiling
fields, interspersed here and there with remaining fragments of that once
mighty forest, that in the early history of this country waved in unbroken
majesty from the shores of one lake to another. Here we see all the beauty
of dark, deep, American foliage, and all the light, glowing brightness of
American verdure, so strikingly in contrast with the English. On every side
of me, I see from the window where I sit writing, the busy scenes of the
hay harvest--the mowers swinging their scythes or pausing for a moment to
whet the shining steel--the young lads, full of the life and spring of
joyous youth, spreading the new mown grass--the rakers gathering up the hay
into winnows, or rolling it into heaps; and the loaded wains creaking under
the burthen of the fragrant products of the meadow, slowly moving towards
the barn or the rising stack. I look across to another field, and there
waves in silent beauty the newly tasselled corn; while in a third, I see
the golden headed wheat, gently nodding in the breeze, or bowing before the
keen stroke of the cradler, or the more slow, but no less sure onward
movement of the reaper. Above this rural scene spreads a cloudless canopy,
and upon it the great luminary of day is pouring a flood of brightness. The
sky, however, is not always cloudless here--the heavens not always
serene--nor the day always bright, as I shall have occasion to relate to
you before finishing these sketches.

Having thus informed you something of my present locality, I will return to
the commencement of my journey, and if you and your readers will follow me
in a tour along a very common-place track, I will endeavor to furnish them
and you with such GLEANINGS BY THE WAY as I was able to make.

Our first landing place after turning our backs upon Philadelphia, was
Burlington, N. J., where we spent a week in the most delightful manner.
Often as I had passed that place by steamboat or rail road car, and much as
I had admired its location, a single stroll along the green bank that
skirts the Delaware, shaded as it is with luxuriant and full grown trees,
convinced me that I had never appreciated one half of the beauties of this
sweet spot. The country seat of one of my parishioners, located on GREEN
BANK, amid the thickest and tallest cluster of those trees which add so
much beauty to the whole extent of the river side, was the hospitable
mansion where we spent our time--and from which we could look out and watch
the changing phases of the river, the passing of the steamers, the
garniture of the fields beyond, the glowing tints of the evening sky, and
the golden glories of the setting sun. We enjoyed our walks along the
verdant bank and over the green lawn--we enjoyed our little excursions
across the river in the row-boat--but most of all we enjoyed that sweet
Christian converse we were permitted to have with the kind friends beneath
whose hospitable roof we lodged.

Strangers in passing Burlington are usually attracted by the singular
appearance of one particular mansion that stands near the banks of the
river, surmounted by a small cross. Although this is sometimes mistaken for
a church, I need not tell you it is the residence of the Bishop of New
Jersey. This structure to an American eye, at first sight, has rather an
uncouth appearance; but this impression will be corrected in the mind of
every one who takes the trouble to visit this Episcopal palace. The
interior arrangements are delightful, and exhibit great taste. While
traversing its spacious apartments, we were strikingly reminded of some
antiquated structures that we saw in England. During our stay at
Burlington, the Bishop was absent. The institution of St. Mary's Hall is,
of course, one of the things that will be likely to attract the attention
of a visitor to this place. I was invited by the superintendant to attend
the family worship of the young ladies connected with this institution on
Sunday evening. The evening service of the Liturgy was read; after which,
by the request of the superintendent, I addressed a few words of Christian
counsel to the assembled group. I have seldom seen a more interesting or
intelligent company of young beings than those who then sat before me; and
the solemn attention and evident sensibility with which they listened, led
me to hope that under the Christian culture they were receiving, in
connection with their intellectual training, they would all at last be
found among the sheep of Christ's heavenly fold.

Our time passed quickly away while we remained at Burlington, and the hour
we had fixed for our departure, came by far too soon. But life itself is
like a journey, and to all our bright sunny spots here below, we have to
bid an adieu almost as soon as we have reached them. Our next stopping
place, after leaving Burlington, was Brooklyn, N. Y., where we were
welcomed to the hospitalities of the spacious domicile of a Christian
friend, to whom our hearts were knit in strong attachment, when existence
with us was fresher than it now is. O, it is delightful to find, in this
cold, heartless, fickle world, one who remains amid all the fluctuations of
this changeful scene, the same; one, who, after the lapse of years, and
who, though borne high upon the swelling tide of worldly prosperity,
continues to the end the same simple, warm-hearted friend and consistent
heavenly-minded Christian that he was at the first starting point of life.
Such was the friend in the bosom of whose happy family we were permitted to
abide during our stay at Brooklyn.

I shall by no means attempt to enter into a detail of the scenes or
incidents connected with our visit to New York, or Brooklyn; but there are
two things which I am not disposed to pass entirely by.

I was present during a portion of the exercises of the commencement of the
New York Seminary, and felt particularly interested in the Address of
Bishop Ives to the graduating class. It contained exceedingly well-timed
counsel, calculated to produce a most salutary effect upon the minds, not
only of those about to assume the responsibilities of the sacred office,
but of all those engaged in the exercise of its functions. The subject was
the indispensable necessity of humility to the clerical character. There
was a pathos and force and unction about the Bishop's remarks, that we
think must have gone home to every heart.

Had we among us universally that lowliness of mind and gentleness of spirit
which the Bishop so happily pourtrayed and so delightfully enforced, we
should soon learn, both laity and clergy, in the great essentials to "be
all of one mind; to love as brethren; to be courteous; to be patient toward
all men, not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing; but
contrarywise blessing." May the Lord speed the happy day when all the
members and ministers of our Church may "_be clothed with humility_"--may
have as the controlling principle of their lives, dwelling in them and
pervading all their thoughts and actions, "_the meekness and gentleness of

The other particular to which I referred as worthy of some passing notice,
I shall have to reserve for my next chapter.



     Brooklyn--Improvements--Ride--Approach to the
     Cemetery--Views--Beautiful scenes.

                                          _Seneca, July 29th._

In my last I conducted you on my journey as far as Brooklyn, N. Y. My
temporary stay there was at South Brooklyn, a portion of that enterprising
town which has been but recently built up. Scarcely any thing during my
tour has more astonished me than the wonderful growth of this place. From a
little rural village, it has grown up, in a few years, to a city, which,
though it cannot pretend to rival the mighty metropolis that lies spread
out in gigantic dimensions on the other side of the river, can still number
its _thirty_ or _forty_ thousand inhabitants. One of the causes that have
contributed to the rapid growth of this town, is its vicinity to New York.
Gentlemen engaged in business in New York, find it pleasant and healthful
to have their residences located upon the hills of Brooklyn, which look off
upon the beautiful bay, and are daily fanned with fresh breezes from the
ocean. While Brooklyn is thus increasing in population, I was happy to find
that a corresponding increase was observable in its religious institutions
and houses of public worship. The temporary edifice occupied by the
congregation of Christ Church, of which our friend the Rev. K. G---- is
rector, is soon to be abandoned, and a new and beautiful Gothic structure
is to be erected for the occupancy of that congregation. I was greatly
delighted with what I saw of this congregation. The labours of our brother
seem to have been peculiarly blessed. He has gathered around him a most
interesting people, and God has sent among them already multiplied tokens
of his converting grace. Whereever the Gospel is faithfully, and earnestly
preached, and its holy precepts illustrated in the daily walk and
conversation of those who "bear the vessels of the Lord," religion will
prosper, and the church become like the garden of the Lord.

But I commenced this letter with a view of giving you an account of another
matter, referred to in my last--a visit to the Green Wood Cemetery.

The friend with whom I was staying, charged me not to think of leaving
Brooklyn without paying a visit to this Cemetery. I had heard something of
these picturesque grounds, but had formed no adequate conception of their
beauty. Several racy and graphic notices, from time to time, have appeared
in the New York papers, as I since learned, of this magnificent ground
plot, where is to be constructed a vast subterranean city for the dead.
None of these, however, had fallen under my eye, and I therefore did not go
prepared to witness the magnificent scene of wild and sylvan beauty, that a
ride over these grounds revealed to me. My visit to this spot almost
instantly unfolded to me the origin and propriety of its name, GREEN WOOD
CEMETERY--a large portion of the grounds being covered with green wood.
The great interest of this spot arises from the natural beauty of the
grounds in connection with the association of the purpose to which it has
been devoted: for as yet not a grave has been dug here, nor a monument

It was a bright sunny morning, while a bland balmy sea breeze refreshed the
air, in which we started to visit the Green Wood Cemetery. We rode from
South Brooklyn along on the margin of the bay, some two miles or more, till
we had passed the little village of Gowanus, before we ascertained the
exact locality of this future city of the dead. A short distance beyond the
village just named, at a spot signalized in the Revolutionary war as the
scene of a bloody engagement, we left the road, and entered a lane leading
to the grounds of this Cemetery. This lane, from the gate onward, had all
the appearance of wild and uncultivated rusticity, being shut in on either
side with a sort of rude hedge, and shaded by forest trees and brushwood.
For a while it conducted us through cultivated grounds, and we saw on each
side of us, rich fields of grain, and corn growing in all the luxuriance of
summer. Soon, however, this lane in its winding and upward course brought
us into a scene perfectly sylvan, and woodland in its character. There was
a stillness and seclusion around us that impressed us with the idea that we
were in the depths of a vast forest,--such as we might expect to find a
thousand miles from the great metropolis, whose steeples, and shipping, and
scenes of vast activity were visible a few rods from the spot we now
occupied. We had already entered upon the grounds of the Cemetery. They
consist of about two hundred acres. I never before saw the same extent of
territory combining such vast variety of scenery. There is here forest and
field, hill and dale, streamlet and lake in such variety, and singular
juxtaposition, that in following the circuitous avenue that conducts you
over these grounds in a ride of four miles, one is impressed with the idea
that he has been travelling over a very extended district of country. It
was not only the grounds themselves, but the views we caught of distant
objects, from different points of the winding avenue, that helped to give
effect to this whole scene. As we proceeded, every turn of the carriage
wheel, either brought to view some new developement of striking sylvan
beauty, or opened upon us some new feature of loveliness, or grandeur in
the surrounding prospect. At one point we were completely embosomed in
trees, where all was stillness and deep repose as though we were shut up in
some remote dell, amid the lofty and rugged Alleghanies. Then again we
emerged into smiling plains, and sunny fields, and smooth lawns of deepest
green. Again our path conducted us into a dense forest, and we directly
found ourselves upon the wooded brow of a steep declivity, sweeping off
down to the margin of a little silent lake, whose dark shaded waters gave
back with more than pictorial beauty, every tree and limb, and leaf whose
shadow fell upon their surface: and then soon we again emerged from this
forest scene, and found grassy fields, and an extended open country lie
stretching around us. The winding avenue which we traced, every few rods
brought us to a point of observation, where the surrounding scenery, made
up of bays and islands, rivers and mountains, cities and villages, farms
and country houses, and forests, put on a new phase, and, like the turn of
a kaleidoscope, presented a new and still more beautiful picture to the

The highest elevation of land in these grounds, is near their centre, and
is said to be the highest point of land upon Long Island,--it manifestly is
the highest point in this part of the Island. It is called Mount
Washington, from a determination already formed on the part of the
proprietors of this ground, to erect upon its summit a lofty and
magnificent monument to the Father of his country. From this elevated
point, a panoramic view of surpassing beauty, in almost illimitable
perspective, opens upon the eye. In one direction you see the blue waves of
the outstretched ocean, upon which are visible all along the margin of the
horizon, the whitened canvass of a hundred receding or approaching vessels;
while in the intervening space, are seen the plains of Flatland and
Flatbush, covered with grain, and verdure, and orchards, and forests,
villages, hamlets, and farm-houses. Turning directly around, the whole bay
of New York, with its beauteous islands, and the two magnificent rivers,
whose mingled waters form the bay, together with the great metropolis
itself, burst upon the view. Or to trace the prospect more leisurely:--at
one point, you see in the distance, Sandy Hook, and the Lighthouse; and a
little further to the right, Staten Island, the Lazaretto, Brighton, and
the Jersey shore: still farther to the right appears Jersey City,--the
waters of the broad Hudson, and along its banks, the palisades, and, still
higher up, the highlands fading away in the dim distance. At a point in the
landscape much nearer us rises to view the city of New York with its canopy
of perpetual haze,--its hundred spires, and encircling forests of masts,
while in still closer vicinage we can trace the East River, with all its
busy show of commerce, and see Brooklyn sitting like a bridal queen upon
this shore of the island.

We have often followed the remains of some friend, or parishioner, to the
picturesque grounds of our own LAUREL HILL--we have _traced_ each winding
walk among the groves and tombs of MOUNT VERNON, and gazed upon the various
monuments, the sculptured tombs, the dark shrubbery, and encircling scenery
of _Pere la Chaise_; but we have no where seen such combined beauties, and
natural advantages for a rural cemetery, as in the grounds which we have
here attempted to describe. And what will these grounds be some hundred
years hence, when art shall have reared up in every vale, around the margin
of every lake, and upon every hill-side a thousand marble monuments, and
when a larger population shall be ensepulchred here, than the living mass
of beings that now inhabit New York and Brooklyn? What multitudes and
myriads will those two cities within the next hundred years send to be
entombed here! How will the population of this subterranean city go on
increasing, till all these acres are covered over with piles of human dust!
And what a scene will be exhibited here, when the last trumpet sounds! What
myriads will start up here at that call! "For all that are in their graves
shall hear his voice and come forth!" And how solemn the truth which the
Saviour subjoins,--"they that have done good unto the resurrection of life,
and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation!"

I have lingered so long about the grounds of Green Wood Cemetery, that I
can tell you nothing in my present letter about our excursion to Rhode



     Sail up the Sound--Burning of the
     Lexington--Providence--Meeting of old friends--Mr.

                                         _Seneca, August 1._

In my last I was principally occupied in giving you some account of the
picturesque grounds of Green Wood Cemetery. It was on Tuesday afternoon,
the thirtieth of June, at five o'clock, that we started in the well-built
and beautiful steamer MASSACHUSETTS, on our way upon an excursion to Rhode
Island. The scenery along the East River and up the Sound presents
evidences of higher cultivation, but possesses features of less native
picturesque wildness and rural beauty, than that which opens to view along
the pathway of the Hudson. The atmosphere we encountered on our way to the
steamboat issuing from every street of the great metropolis we had just
left, was like the heat from a burning furnace. In delightful contrast with
this, was the cool refreshing breeze that played around the bow of our
advancing steamer, as we tracked our way up the river and along through the
whirlpools and breakers of Hurlgate, a pass far more formidable, and
requiring vastly more nautical skill than the famous Straits of Pelorus
with Scylla on one side and Charybdis on the other. The evening was
beautiful, and our sail up the Sound proved truly delightful. The last rays
of twilight were beginning to fade away, and the countless stars studding
the arched firmament, to twinkle with unwonted brightness, when we reached
the spot where we were told the ill-fated LEXINGTON met her disastrous end.
I could not but contrast the scene around me at the moment with the events
of that awful night. We were sailing along over the tranquil and starlit
bosom of the Sound, with the balmy breath of a summer evening fanning us:
with no alarms within,--no raging tempest without. But on that fearful
night, and aboard that ill-fated vessel, what a scene was exhibited! What
amazement and terror and dismay must have seized every heart when the
conflagration broke forth in all its fury! What added exceedingly to the
excitement, and no doubt tended greatly to bereave many of all
self-possession and presence of mind, was that the fire burst out in the
central part of the steamer, cutting off all communication between those
occupying the forward and the hinder part of the boat. Thus, in this moment
of awful peril, husbands and wives,--parents and children, brothers and
sisters were suddenly separated from each other by a wall of fire, and
deprived of each other's counsel when most they needed it: and thus they
were filled with increased alarm, not only for themselves, but for each
other. Alas! this was an hour when no man could help his brother,--when the
parent could neither save himself nor his children. If they remained on
board the burning vessel, they must be consumed. If they plunged into the
roaring waves they would sink into the depths beneath, and find there a
watery grave: or if they should escape the fury of the waves by clinging
to a bale of cotton, or some floating part of the wreck, the chill winds of
winter, and the icy waters that dashed over them, would soon stagnate and
freeze to the very fountain the warm current of life. Thus all the elements
of nature were armed against them, flame, and flood, and frost, and they
could not escape. No imagination can conceive the horror or agony of the
scene! I leaned over the side of our steamer, as we passed the spot where
this awful scene occurred, and tried to picture to myself some of its
outlines. Even the picture which rose before me was too awful to

What a lesson that disaster ought to teach us of our entire dependence upon
God for safety while travelling by land or by sea! What an admonition ought
it to sound in our ears to be always ready for death! We know not the day
nor the hour in which the Son of Man cometh! Our death may be as sudden,
and as unexpected, as that of any of those on board the Lexington, though
it occur in our own dwelling, and in the bosom of our family. If we are
truly the Lord's people, and our names are in the Lamb's book of life, it
matters little _when_, or _where_ death meets us: for then the grizly king
becomes the friendly porter that opens to us the golden gates of paradise.

The more usual course that passengers now pursue to Providence and Boston
is to stop at Stonington, and take the railroad cars from that point. By
this means they reach Providence and Boston several hours earlier than they
were accustomed to by the old route. But as the steamboat arrives at
Stonington long before morning, we were not disposed to leave our quiet
berths for the sake of reaching Providence some three or four hours earlier
than we otherwise should, and therefore kept on in the old course around
Point Judith touching at Newport.

The time that we spent at Providence in the midst of our old friends, I
need not tell you, was passed most delightfully. The church where I once
preached the reconciling word, the lecture-room where I saw countenances
that called up with thrilling emotions the memory of days and scenes that
will be fresh in my recollection through all eternity,--the private circle
where cordial greetings, and more than Highland welcomes met us, all these
and the countless associations they awakened, seemed to throw around us
such a circle of enchantment, that, when the time had elapsed which we had
designed to spend there, we still lingered from day to day, as though
unable to pass that circle. If there be one draught of enjoyment more
delicious than another which a Christian minister is permitted to drink
this side of heaven, it is, when after years of absence, he returns to
visit the flock from whom in the providence of God he was removed, and with
whom his labours were once greatly blessed, and finds those for whose
salvation he laboured, and whom he was instrumental in introducing into the
fold of the Redeemer, "standing fast in the Lord," and exhibiting "the
fruits of the Spirit;" or learns that those who are gone, and are numbered
with the dead, departed in the triumphs of Christian faith. St. John could
say, "_I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in the
truth._" And St. Paul, "_For now we live if ye stand fast in the Lord._"
The highest zest of the pleasure I enjoyed in this visit to the scene of my
former labours, arose from what I saw and heard of the stability, and
increased spirituality of a people with whom I hope to sit down one day,
in company with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of God.

You are familiar with the whole topography of Rhode Island, and therefore I
need say nothing of the interblending of rural scenery and retirement, with
city embellishment and comfort, which so eminently distinguish not a few of
the neat and elegant residences in Providence. There is one feature in the
moral character of this city, which distinguishes it from most other New
England towns. In almost all New England the great mass of mind is
educated, and the people upon all subjects think for themselves. Generally,
however, especially in the interior, the descendants of the Puritans,
cleave in religious matters to the faith of their forefathers, and are
opposed to all change. But in Rhode Island, there has always been a more
liberal, and free-thinking spirit on the subject of religion than in any of
the other New England states.--It was here that Roger Williams fled when
his Puritan brethren would not tolerate him in the Bay state. It was
through his influence that a more enlightened feeling in reference to
religious toleration was made to pervade the community settling at
Providence, than was found at that period in any other New England town.
And probably there is no place in our country, where, at this time, a more
kind and catholic spirit, or a greater freedom from the influence of
narrow, sectarian feeling prevails, than here. This tolerant spirit,
however, in some minds, manifests a strong tendency to latitudinarianism.
Hence, perhaps, there is no community in the world where a new religious
sect would so soon gather intelligent adherents as at Providence, and no
where, where more sound and able, and fearless advocates would rise up to
defend "the faith once delivered to the saints." I have been led into this
train of reflection, from encountering a greater prevalence of the
transcendental spirit, at Providence, than I have anywhere before met in
our country. This offshoot of German neology, issuing from the same parent
stock with Socinianism, finds a congenial soil in a Unitarian community.
You are aware that the Rev. Mr. Emerson, formerly a Unitarian minister at
Boston, has embraced transcendentalism in all its heights and depths.
Whether he be actually deranged, as some suppose, or not, matters very
little, since multitudes, and some who desire to be classed among the
_elite_ of the land, are ready to gather around him and receive the law of
their belief from his mouth. He has recently made a visit to Providence,
and developed by means of lectures and conversations, his peculiar views.
He is spoken of as a man of genius, and wonderfully attractive. He is a
thorough pantheist. He believes that every thing in nature is a part of
God--that good men are incarnations of Deity, and that it was in this sense
alone, that God is said to be "_made flesh_" in the person of Jesus Christ.
He places Socrates, and Zoroaster and Jesus in the same category, and
considers that they differed from each other only in the degree of
inspiration which they had. He thinks that the writings of Socrates and
Plato, and Zoroaster should be bound up in the same volume with the Bible,
and that they are entitled to more confidence, and marked with deeper
wisdom than some portions of our present canon of Scripture.

During Mr. Emerson's stay at Providence, having advanced some crude idea,
he was referred to a saying of the Saviour, which contradicted his
position: when he very deliberately replied, "_Jesus was mistaken_." On
another occasion speaking of the Saviour, he said: "Jesus was a very good
man, I wish he had been better: he had no fun, no humour in his character,
in this respect he was imperfect." Such are some of the specimens of gross
infidelity, which the abettors of transcendentalism in New England, openly
put forth. The charm of this transcendental scheme consists partly in the
metaphysical mystification, the sentimental namby-pambyism,--the crazed
poetic inspiration, with which the masters of this school speak and write.
Then there is much to soothe and flatter the pride of the human heart, in
the idea which they would have every man take up that he is a pure
emanation of Deity,--a bright scintillation from the divine mind, and that
all he has to do, is to follow the lofty inspirations of his own mind, and
then he will sparkle forth along the track of being, an incarnate God. One
very truly remarked in relation to transcendentalism, that it was no new
doctrine,--that it was taught as long ago as when man was in the garden of
Eden: even then, the father of lies, said to our first ancestors, eat the
forbidden fruit, and "_ye shall be as gods_."

In the midst of abounding iniquity and multiplying error, it behoves the
friends of truth to stand on the watch tower and give the people timely
warning. I felt greatly refreshed and truly delighted in various interviews
with the clergy whom I met in Rhode Island. My mind naturally reverted to
the scenes of former days, when I was so pleasantly associated with them,
and when we used to meet at the monthly Convocations as a band of brothers,
having one heart and one mind, and labouring together for one simple
object, the upbuilding of the Saviour's kingdom and the glory of God. Great
changes since that period have taken place. Some of these brethren have
gone to the north, and some to the south--some to the east, and some to the
west; and yet the character of the Rhode Island clergy continues the same.
Take them all in all, I know of no set of men more thoroughly evangelical
or more truly devoted to the best interests of the Church of Christ; or
occupying a more elevated stand for piety and learning and talents, than
the clergy of Rhode Island.

I passed a few days at Westerly, and could not but remember with gratitude
my first visit to this place some six years ago. As I saw the beautiful
church--the neat parsonage house--the respectable congregation, and the
multiplied tokens of true piety around me, I could not but say, "_What hath
God wrought!_" Never can I doubt that the power of God is connected with
_Revivals of religion_, while I remember the scenes of Westerly--while so
many "fruits of the Spirit" remain, of consistent, devoted, exemplary
followers of Christ, brought to a knowledge of the truth in a revival.
Because men get up imitations of the work of the Lord, as the magicians did
of the miracles of Moses, it does not invalidate the Lord's work any more
than those magical attempts did the truth of his miracles.

I have room only to add, if the Lord permits, you will soon hear from me



     Rapid travelling--Auburn--Stage coach--Seneca
     Lake--Summer's sultry heat--Sudden change--Fierce
     tempest--Imminent peril.

                                         _Seneca, August 6th._

In our journey to this place, we had a practical illustration of the
increased facilities and greatly accelerated movements of modern
travelling. Having left New York on Wednesday evening, the fifteenth of
July, at five o'clock, we found ourselves the next evening, before nine
o'clock, at Auburn--a distance but little short of three hundred and fifty
miles, which was passed over, omitting, in our reckoning, the time spent at
Albany, Utica, and Syracuse, in about twenty-one hours.

I cannot now stop to notice the refreshing influence of the broad-swelling
tide of the noble Hudson as we sailed up this stream--nor the picturesque
aspect of the palisades--nor the more sublime features of the rugged and
sombre highlands, throwing their dark shadows upon the moonlit waters
below; neither can I now stay to tell you any thing of the improvements in
the capital of the great empire state, nor of the improving aspect of the
interior city, which stands, as it were, on the dividing line between
Eastern and Western New York--nor yet of the peculiarities of the rising
town, which is the centre and the great emporium of the salt trade, and
which has appropriated to itself the dignified name of the renowned city
where the great Archimides met his fate. Passing by all these, with
railroad speed, and all the varied beauties of a magnificent agricultural
region, I hasten to give you some account of an adventure in which we found
ourselves involved just before arriving at this place. The railroad is
completed no farther than Auburn, from which place we were obliged to come
on in a common stage coach. The morning was very hot and dusty, and our
ride, although only about twenty miles, seemed long and tedious. The driver
of our coach, in order to avoid the deep sand between Waterloo and Geneva,
took the lake-road, which brought us on to the beach of the lake, about
three miles from Geneva. From this point, on quite to the village, we keep
along upon the circling margin of the lake, with the waters of the broad
Seneca dashing up over the pebbly shore, almost laving with every returning
surge the carriage wheels. Here too we see the whole expanse of the lake,
which is about three miles wide, together with the beautiful farms that
sweep away from the shores back into the country; and are also able to
follow the long track of these far stretching waters many miles towards
their head. Upon a noble and finely-elevated bluff of land which forms the
shore and northwestern corner of this beautiful lake, the village of
Geneva, with its colleges and churches, and stores and elegant residences,
surrounded with gardens and embowered in shade, lies spread out in one
noble panoramic view. We had reached the point where all this scene of
beauty opened upon us. We thought we never saw the lake more placid--nor
all nature more quiet. Every thing seemed to be oppressed with the weight
of the sultry and heated atmosphere. Immediately around us was a rural
district, from the living features of which Thomson might have drawn all
the pictures that make up one scene of his SUMMER. A various group of herds
and flocks were scattered around us. Some lay ruminating on the grassy
bank; while others stood half in the flood, and "often bent to sip the
circling surface." Deeper in the lake drooped the strong laborious ox "of
honest front, which incomposed he shook;" and lashed from his sides the
troublous insects with his tail. Not a breath of air seemed to shake a
bough of the leafy elm, or spread a ripple over the glassy waters. But as
we rode leisurely along the sandy beach, a little cloud seemed gathering
over the lake, and now and then a faint gleam of lightning played with
fitful and flickering blaze over its darkening fold. We had nearly reached
the place of our destination, and were congratulating ourselves that we
should be in the midst of our friends and under safe shelter before the
shower reached us. But scarcely had we thought this, before the heavens
began to gather blackness and the wind to rise and roar as though a tempest
were coming. And indeed a tempest was coming; for scarcely five minutes had
elapsed after the first visible indications of the coming storm before a
perfect gale struck us. The waters of the lake were dashed into the wildest
scene of agitation--the trunks, and band-boxes, and baggage began to be
blown from the top of our coach, and chased along on the ground, "like a
rolling thing before the whirlwind." And then the rain began to descend,
and to rush into our carriage as though the water had been scooped up from
the lake and poured upon us in a torrent. We had no time to fasten down
the uprolled curtains of our coach; we had no time to protect ourselves in
any way--our baggage was flying--our horses were frightened--our driver
could hardly keep in his seat. And still the storm increased: the wind
swept down in a narrow column from the head of the lake with all the fury
of a tornado, and blew our horses and coach quite up against the fence,
where the rain continued to come in upon us as though a water spout had
broken directly over our heads. But this was not our greatest difficulty.
Our carriage was now in a position in which it seemed impossible that it
should not be upset. The wheels had already become entangled in the fence.
One of the huge stakes of the fence was thrust into the window of our
carriage which we could not remove, while the carriage itself was rocking,
and nearly on its side. The horses all this time were floundering and
jumping, and exceedingly restive; but the wind was so strong that they
could not move forward. There were three ladies in the coach, of whom I had
the care, besides my wife and children, and nurse. Never before did I so
fully realize that I was held in the hollow of God's hand, as at this
perilous moment. For at least five minutes there seemed to be but a hair's
breadth between us and death. But we looked unto the Lord, and he delivered
us. In a few moments the storm abated--the rain ceased--the dark clouds
rolled away, and the sun came forth as bright and as lustrous as though no
mist or dark thunder cloud had ever obscured his disk.



     Sunday--Sacred worship--The sanctuary recalling
     youthful scenes--Early plighted vows at the table of
     the Lord--Retrospect--Mournful reflections--Change in
     the congregation--Mr. and Mrs. N---- The
     C----family--Col. T---- Village burial ground--C----The
     buried pastor--My mother--Palmyra--Early ministerial

                                        _Fairfield, Aug. 15th._

In these GLEANINGS BY THE WAY, I have very little plan or method, but send
you just what happens to interest me most at the time.

Perhaps there are no two places that we visit, after long years of absence,
with so much interest as _the sanctuary_ where we first plighted our vows
of allegiance at the sacramental table to Jehovah, and the old, shaded
_burial place_ where repose the ashes of many whom we knew and loved in
early life. In my late excursion through Western New York, I was permitted
to enjoy this pleasing, yet melancholy satisfaction. Upon the first Sunday
of the present month, I was permitted to worship in the sanctuary where
twenty-two years before I first knelt at the communion table to receive the
consecrated symbols of my Saviour's dying love. As I stood within the rail
of the altar and looked around that sanctuary, a tide of thought rushed
upon me, awakening in my mind varied and conflicting emotions.

The sacred place with its history called up some pleasing reflections. I
could not but rejoice that "_the truth as it is in Jesus_," continued to be
proclaimed there, and that the cross of Christ was perpetually held up as
the sinner's only hope. I could not but rejoice to see the increase and
prosperity of Christ's spiritual flock; the number of communicants having
swelled from _fifty_ to nearly _two hundred_. I could not but be thankful
to remember how mercifully and kindly the Lord had led me through the
wilderness for more than twenty years, and how unerringly he had fulfilled
all his covenant promises!

But there were also painful reflections called up by what I saw before me.
Remembering as I did that here, in this spot my covenant vows were pledged
before high heaven, I could not but recollect how far I had fallen short of
that entire consecration to God--that separation from the world, and
supreme love for Christ, implied in those vows--I could not but recollect
what poor returns I had rendered to that Saviour who had laid down his life
for my redemption, to that merciful God

    *   *   *   *   *   * that sought me
    Wretched wanderer, far astray;
      Found me lost, and kindly brought me
    From the paths of death away.

Since the hour I had first knelt at that altar to consecrate myself to the
service of Jehovah, his covenant promises had been all verified. "Not one
thing had failed of all the good things which the Lord my God had spoken
concerning me." During all this period, "his loving kindness he had not
taken away, nor suffered his faithfulness to fail." But amid all these
unwearied displays of divine faithfulness, alluring me with the sweetness
of spiritual joys, and rousing my dullness, as well as rebuking my
waywardness with the chastenings of a father's rod, how often had I, like
Israel of old, by spiritual declension, and worldly conformity "forsaken
the Lord--provoked the holy one of Israel unto anger, and gone away
backward!" Most overwhelming, indeed, would have been the review of the
past, but for that voice of redeeming love which breathed from the altar on
which lay the symbols of Christ's great sacrifice, saying--"the blood of
Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin." "Come now, and let us reason
together, saith the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as
white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." "If
any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the
righteous; and he is the propitiation for our sins."

The scene within that sanctuary also awakened other mournful reflections. A
large congregation sat before me, but where were the individuals and
families that twenty years before filled those pews? Only here and there
amid the assembled congregation could be traced a familiar countenance. The
great mass had gone! Some had undoubtedly left the place and removed to
other parts of the country; but the majority of the senior members of the
former congregation, had finished their probation and gone to the Spirit
land! How solemn did the place seem as I stood and looked upon the mere
handful now remaining of that large congregation that once filled this
temple. There were four pews to which my eye was particularly directed. I
recollected distinctly how they were occupied twenty years ago. Each of the
families that sat in those pews were among the most respectable and
influential people in the place. Regular as the Sabbath morn came, was Mr.
and Mrs. N---- with their large and interesting family seen moving up the
aisle in a dignified train and with looks of deepest seriousness towards
their pew. He was for a long time one of the wardens of the church. He had
filled some most important posts of civil duty, and enjoyed the esteem and
respect of all. Mrs. N---- afforded in her whole life a most lovely
specimen of consistent, dignified, matronly piety. So extensive were the
charities of this family, that it might almost literally be said of them,
that "they were eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame. They delivered the
poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help
him,"--so that in truth wherever they went in the neighbourhood of their
own home, "the blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon them; and
they caused the widow's heart to sing for joy." But those venerable forms,
those worthy characters, were no longer to be seen in that pew. Long since
they had been borne to the place of the dead, and several of those children
that used to sit by them, had also been laid by their side in the grave.
Adjoining this pew, was another occupied by a family of great
respectability and worth. The head of this family was one who filled a
large space in the public mind, and for many years held a seat in the
highest legislative council of the nation. I looked for him in that pew,
but he was not there! he was numbered with the dead! I was wont to see amid
that family group, a young beautiful blooming girl--the pride of her
parents' hearts, but now _she_ was not there! She had been married, and
had every thing around her that earth could afford to make one happy. But
in the midst of all that was bright and lovely, consumption had fixed its
deadly blight upon her, and nothing could rescue her from the grave.

I looked across the church to two other pews, their former occupants,
though they were families that had been long residents in the place, and
possessed great wealth and respectability, were gone. Not a single
representative of either family remained in the congregation or the place.
Mr. C----, the head of one of these families, was also long a warden of the
church. They had a lovely daughter, who was an only child. I well recollect
her appearance in the house of God. She was a delicate flower, and most
tenderly was she nurtured by her affectionate parents. All their earthly
hopes seemed to centre in her. No expense was spared in her education.
Every advantage that was supposed calculated to refine her taste, cultivate
and expand her intellect, embellish her manners, and fit her to shine in
the world, was placed within her reach. She was indeed a lovely young
being. She had already interested the affections of one every way worthy of
her. He was highly educated--of an excellent moral character, and belonged
to a family of great wealth, influence and respectability--the very family
who occupied the other pew of which I am soon to speak. But strong parental
affection, high personal accomplishments--the brightest prospects in life,
and the warm attachment of a devoted lover, could not shield Susan from the
power of disease, or the cold iron grasp of death. The long grass now waves
over her grave, and her broken-hearted father lies by her side. Their large
estate has been scattered to the winds--and her mother resides in a
distant part of the land a lonely widow.

I have already alluded to a fourth pew in this sanctuary, whose occupants I
had some twenty years before so often seen in this place of worship. Col.
T---- held a proud place among the distinguished and influential men in
Western New-York. He possessed all which wealth and high standing and
extensive influence can impart to secure to himself and family the most
unalloyed earthly enjoyment. And I trust that he had something better than
this, even that hope, which sheds light over the gloom and darkness of the
grave. He and his family were regular attendants upon the service of the
sanctuary. He had two sons whom he expected would inherit a portion of his
property and perpetuate his name in the world. But the youngest to whom we
have before alluded, did not long linger upon the shores of time, after he
saw the object of his young affections torn from him and swallowed up in
the grave. His only surviving brother, in the very midst of life, shortly
followed him. And soon his father and his mother were laid by his side.
This is a picture--a miniature picture of life! Thus doth "the fashion of
this world pass away!" What solemn testimony was before me, that "all flesh
is grass, and all the goodliness thereof as the flower of the field." How
emphatic then did the words of the prophet seem--"The grass withereth, the
flower fadeth; because the Spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the
people is grass." Not only had the flock changed--but the pastor was also
gone! He who had instructed my youth--who had led me to the Saviour--who
had first broken to me the sacramental bread, and given some of the first
impulses to my preparation for the ministry--no longer stood before that
altar--his voice was no longer heard in that sanctuary! A simple marble
slab placed in the recess behind the pulpit, told the melancholy tale that
he too had gone to the spirit land.

The account I have given you of my visit to this sanctuary, is so full of
death I need scarcely take you to the village burial ground. It was a
place, however, consecrated by the dust of too many dear friends for me to
abstain from treading among its grass-covered and heaped hillocks of earth.
This burial place, consisting of several acres of ground, enclosed by a
neat pale, and shaded by shrubbery and trees, was located in the outskirts
of the town, and at present, is seldom used for interments. A solitary walk
amid its graves brought up a long train of recollections of the past. How
mournful, yet how sacred did I find the satisfaction of brushing away the
long grass that had grown over the spot where reposed the mouldered ashes
of one who gamboled with me amid the sports of childhood's careless hour,
and rushed onward at my side in life's joyous course till youth was
ripening into manhood, and then the barbed arrow of death met him, and he
fell like a young, vigorous, foliage-clad tree, struck by heaven's bolt, in
all the freshness of his existence! How mysterious and inscrutable did the
ways of Providence appear to me as I trod down the tall weeds that had
grown up around the grave of one who had been associated with me during a
portion of my academical life, and who looked forward to the same
profession with myself! C---- had one of the warmest and most amiable
hearts that ever beat within the human bosom. He had faults of character,
but they were all counterbalanced and lost amid the many excellencies that
distinguished him. He had long contended with poverty and discouragements
of various kinds, in order to press his way towards the sacred ministry.
After years of toil, and sacrifices of every kind, when he had just reached
the goal, and was to be invested with the ministry of reconciliation,
disease fastened upon his earthly tabernacle, and he sank down in death. No
tender mother, nor kind sister was near to close his dying eyes. No family
friends were present to follow his remains to the tomb. There he lies in a
lone spot, far from the home of his childhood, with the weeds grown up all
around his grave, and few that pass by understand the full import of the
simple inscription of the marble slab that marks the spot where his ashes

And there too, amid the gathered crowd of the dead, was all that remained
of the mortal part of one whose voice had been heard a hundred times amid
those grounds repeating the solemn burial service of our Church. But years
have passed away since that service was repeated over him. Well do I
recollect the melancholy occasion, when the cold icy clod of winter fell
upon his coffin, as the affecting words were pronounced--"_We commit his
body to the ground: earth to earth--ashes to ashes, dust to dust._" I could
not pass through those grounds without paying a visit to the grave of the
buried minister, for he had not only shed spiritual light upon my path, but
was united to me by the strong ties of kindred and blood. He was my own
brother! The grass was green over his grave; for it had flourished there
undisturbed for more than twelve years.

But no spot in all that ground seemed so sacred, or so pregnant with power
to awaken deep emotions and melt my soul into tenderness, as my mother's
grave! What a volume of past recollections does every visit to that grave
call up! What hallowed thoughts and sacred remembrances stand associated
with the dust that slumbers in that narrow house? Can I ever forget a
sainted mother's love! Can I ever forget the hour she took my tiny hand
into hers and led me to a secret place there to pray for me and to teach me
how to lift up my infant voice to the Creator of the skies? Can I ever
forget how each night and morning in childhood's happy days I knelt at her
side to repeat "OUR FATHER?" Can I ever forget how in my childish sorrows
her voice soothed my distress, and her bright beaming smile spread a
sunshine around my path? Can I ever forget how, when sickness came upon me,
and the scorchings of fever sent the blood boiling through my veins, she
hung over me like a guardian angel--laid her soft hand upon my burning
brow, and night after night sat and watched by my pillow? Can I ever forget
that look of holy rapture and unutterable gratitude that lit up her
countenance when the constraining love of Christ first led her unworthy
child to go forward and take hold of the horns of the altar? And above all,
can I ever forget her prayers and solemn counsel, her holy trust in Christ
and upward looking towards the summit of the everlasting hills, when the
icy hand of death was upon her, and her hold upon life was breaking away?
And could I stand by her grave, and not have these recollections come
thronging upon me? But I must stop. I had almost forgotten that I was
writing for the eye of others. Did I not know that many into whose hands
these remarks will fall, have also stood by _a mother's grave_, and
thought and felt unutterable things, and will therefore appreciate the
source and sacredness of these feelings to which I have been almost
involuntarily led to give expression, I would immediately erase them from
this sheet.

But I have lingered over these scenes much longer than I intended. I had
purposed to give you some account of an excursion I made to Palmyra and
Lyons, two rising and beautiful villages located within sixteen miles of
each other, at different points on the line of the great Erie Canal. The
whole range of country from Geneva onward to these villages, and still
farther north till we reach the shores washed by the waves of the broad
Ontario, which expands before the eye like a great inland sea, is one of
the richest and most beautiful farming districts found in our country. This
region, fourteen years ago, was the scene of my early missionary labours.
It was then comparatively a new country. A change has come over the whole
aspect of this agricultural district, and that within so limited a period,
that it would almost seem to have been effected by the wand of enchantment.
Edifices too for public worship have been raised, and the sound of the
church-going bell is now heard in many places where a few years since all
seemed like spiritual desolation. The Episcopal Church had neither
existence nor local habitation in the county of Wayne fourteen years ago.
An effort had been previously made at Palmyra to establish the Episcopal
Church, but it proved abortive. Palmyra, Lyons, and Sodus, were the
principal points where my early ministerial labours were bestowed. Here we
organized churches, and in two places commenced rearing up houses of public
worship. In each of these three places they now have a settled pastor. I
spent a Sabbath most delightfully at Palmyra, preaching in the neat and
tasteful church edifice erected there. Most deeply affecting was it to see
among the serious and exemplary communicants of this church some who during
my residence in that place were among the giddiest youth of the village.

At Lyons they are building a beautiful stone Gothic Church--which will be
an ornament to the village, and highly creditable to those engaged in this
enterprise. I have met with but few men, to whom upon so short an
acquaintance, I have felt my heart more drawn than to the worthy young
pastor placed over this congregation. His ministerial fidelity, attractive
pulpit powers, and lovely Christian character seem to have attracted all
hearts towards him. Here too, was I delighted to find among the
communicants some whom I had baptized in infancy.



     The golden Bible--Moral, political, and numercial
     importance of the Mormon sect--Views of
     Revelation--Causes that have contributed to spread
     Mormonism--Martin Harris--Interview with the
     author--Transcripts from the golden Bible--Jo Smith,
     the Mormon prophet--His early history--First pretended
     revelation--His marriage--Chest containing the golden
     Bible--Attempts to disinter it--Consequence--Delusion
     of Harris--Translation and publication of the _Book of

The sketch that follows, detailing some facts connected with the rise and
origin of Mormonism, is made up partly of a series of letters written by
the author in 1840 for the columns of the EPISCOPAL RECORDER, a religious
periodical published in Philadelphia, of which he is one of the editors,
and partly of facts and documents that have since come into his hands.

The present chapter contains the substance of the first letter of the
series referred to.

                                            _Palmyra, Aug. 24th._

I proceed to give some account of the rise and origin of the Mormon
delusion, as I am now in the region where this imposture first sprung up.
In the town of Manchester, about six miles from this place, may still be
seen an excavation in the side of a hill, from whence, according to the
assertion of the Mormon prophet, the metallic plates, sometimes called THE
GOLDEN BIBLE, were disinterred. A writer in the NEW YORK EVENING EXPRESS,
who has been recently travelling in the West, remarks that "the Mormons
have assumed a moral and political importance which is but very imperfectly
understood." He then proceeds to add in relation to them that, "associated
on the religious principle, under a prophet and leader, whose mysterious
and awful claims to divine inspiration make his voice to believers like the
voice of God; trained to sacrifice their individuality; to utter one cry;
to think and act in crowds; with minds that seem to have been struck from
the sphere of reason on one subject; and left to wander like lost stars,
amid the dark mazes and winding ways of religious error; these remarkable
sectaries must necessarily hold in their hands a fearful balance of
political power. In the midst of contending parties, a single hand might
turn their influence, with tremendous effect, to which ever side presented
the most potent attraction, and should they ever become disposed to exert
their influence for evil, which may Heaven prevent, they would surround our
institutions with an element of danger, more to be dreaded than an armed
and hundred-eyed police." It is not, however, in reference to their
political, but to their _religious_ influence, that we entertain a degree
of apprehension. This sect has been organized only about ten years, and yet
they profess to number, in their society, _one hundred thousand_ souls.
This undoubtedly is an exaggeration, but it has been stated from a source
upon which reliance can be placed, that there are probably not less than
_sixty thousand_ persons now professing the Mormon faith. It is said also
that they are putting forth the most indefatigable efforts by itinerant
missionaries, both in this country and in Europe, to make proselytes to
their creed. These facts show the importance of spreading upon the columns
of our religious journals from time to time statements that tend to unveil
the trickery and artifice by which this system of imposture was got up and
continues to be perpetuated.

There are two or three reasons why the Mormon delusion has spread so
rapidly, and which will probably continue to give it more or less currency.

One cause is, that it fully and cordially admits the truth of the sacred
Scriptures. Did it discard all previous revelation,--pour contempt upon the
Saviour of the world, and set up an independent claim for a revelation
wholly new, it would have gained comparatively few adherents. But
recognizing the truth and credibility of the sacred Scriptures, and
retaining as it does, many doctrines which are held in common by different
denominations of Christians, and covering its own absurdities with imposing
forms and lofty pretensions, it opens a winning asylum for all the
disaffected and dissatisfied of other persuasions, and contains much that
is congenial to almost every shade of radicalism, or erratic religious

Another cause which has contributed to the rapid spread of this imposture,
is, that it appeals strongly to the love of the marvellous,--to that thirst
and anxiety, so rife with a certain class of mind, to know more than God
would have us know,--to find some discovery that will carry us farther than
revelation,--to get some one to come back from the grave, and tell us what
is in eternity,--to see with our own eyes a miracle, and obtain some new
glimpse of the invisible world. There is manifestly existing in a certain
order of men, in every part of the world, and in every period of time, a
strong propensity of this sort. What but this propensity would have given
such potent and almost irresistible influence to _Joan d' Arc_, who, from
an ostler maid in an obscure country inn in France, by claiming heavenly
inspirations, and pretending to see visions, and to hear divine voices
calling her to re-establish the throne of France, and to expel the foreign
invaders, rose to such surprising eminence and power, as to be the very
pivot upon which the destinies of the whole nation turned!--as to be
invested with the military conduct of the French army,--directing and
raising sieges,--inspiring the troops with invincible courage, and
spreading disaster and defeat through all the ranks of the British army, so
that the Duke of Bedford, after all the previous success and triumph of the
English arms at Verneuil and Orleans, and with all his tact and ability,
could scarcely keep any footing in France? What but this deep-rooted
propensity could have prepared men to have received the dreams, and
reveries, and pretended revelation of Emanuel Swedenborg, or of Ann Lee; or
to have yielded up their reason to a belief in the clairvoyance of animal
magnetism? And not to multiply instances abroad, what but such a propensity
as the one to which we have now referred, attracted the New Jerusalemites
around _Jemima Wilkinson_, and gave her so much power over a large
community of men and women? What but this, opened the way for the monstrous
claims set up by the execrable _Mathias_, who drew after him, as by the
power of enchantment, and subjected to his dictum, whole families,--persons
of education and refinement, and among the number, several men of
intelligence, respectability and fortune? It is to this same principle,
this anxious desire to look deeper into the hidden mysteries of the
invisible world, than any mortal has hitherto been privileged to do, that
the originators of this "cunningly devised fable" of Mormonism have
appealed. While they admit the truth and credibility of the sacred
Scriptures, they profess to have obtained an additional revelation, by
which new illumination is shed over every page of the sacred word,--all
controversies settled, and the obscurity that hitherto hung over many
religious subjects dispelled. They profess to bring to light a historical
and religious record, written in ancient times, by a branch of the house of
Israel that peopled America, from whom the Indians are descended. This
record, which, engraven upon metallic plates, lay deposited in the earth
for many centuries, not only corroborates and confirms the truth of holy
writ, but also opens the events of ancient America, as far back at least as
the flood. They pretend that this record "pours the light of noon-day upon
the history of a nation whose mounds and cities, and fortifications, still
repose in grand but melancholy ruins, upon the bosom of the western
prairies." The Mormons not only claim this new revelation, but profess to
have still among them the gift of prophecy and miracles. They contend that
miracles and revelations from heaven, are as necessary now, and as
important to the salvation of the present generation, as they were in any
former period, and that they alone possess this privilege of immediate and
constant intercourse with heaven.

But that which has given vastly the greatest strength to Mormonism is the
violent persecution which its disciples have suffered in the West, and
especially in Missouri. Nothing can be more impolitic, or unjust, or
farther removed from the spirit of the gospel, than to oppress and
persecute any set of men on account of their religious tenets; and
certainly nothing can give them more strength or rapid growth than such a

The Mormons first located themselves, as a body, in Kirtland, Geanga Co.,
Ohio. Some difference arose among their leaders on account of certain
banking operations which they attempted, and they separated, and a portion
of them went to Independence, Jackson Co., Mo. The people in the
neighbourhood of that location became unfriendly to them, and drove them
away by force, subjecting them to great sufferings and loss of property.
They were at last entirely and forcibly expelled from the state of
Missouri. They afterward purchased the town of Commerce, said to be a
situation of surpassing beauty, at the head of the lower rapids on the
Illinois shore of the Mississippi river. The writer to whom I have already
referred, and who has revisited these western Mormons this present summer,
remarks:--"The name of the place where they now reside, they have recently
changed to Nauvoo, the Hebrew term for fair or beautiful. Around this
place, as their centre, they are daily gathering from almost every quarter:
and several hundred new houses, erected within the last few months, attest
to the passing traveller the energy, industry, and self-denial with which
the community is imbued. They have also obtained possession of extensive
lands on the opposite side of the river, in that charming portion of Iowa
Territory, known as the 'Half Breed Reservation;' and there upon the
rolling and fertile prairies they are rapidly selecting their homes and
opening their farms. As the traveller now passes through those natural
parks and fields of flowers which the hand of the Creator seems to have
originally planted there for the inspection of his own eye, he beholds
their cabins, dotted down in most enchanting perspective, either on the
borders of the timbers, or beside the springs and streams of living water
which are interspersed on every hand."

The other portion that remain in Ohio, have erected a stone temple in
Kirtland, of splendid appearance and singular construction. The first floor
is a place of worship, with four pulpits at each end; each pulpit
calculated to hold three persons. These pulpits rise behind and above one
another, and are designed for different grades of ministers according to
their rank in office. These are the two principal settlements of these
people, although there are small societies of them found in almost every
part of the United States. In some instances not only members but ministers
of orthodox churches have been led to leave their own churches, and
identify themselves with the Mormons.

It is time that I should acquaint you with some facts that came to my
personal knowledge full thirteen years ago, connected with the rise of this

It was early in the autumn of 1827 that Martin Harris called at my house in
Palmyra, one morning about sunrise. His whole appearance indicated more
than usual excitement, and he had scarcely passed the threshold of my
dwelling, before he inquired whether he could see me alone, remarking that
he had a matter to communicate that he wished to be strictly confidential.
Previous to this, I had but very slight acquaintance with Mr. Harris. He
had occasionally attended divine service in our church. I had heard him
spoken of as a farmer in comfortable circumstances, residing in the country
a short distance from the village, and distinguished by certain
peculiarities of character. He had been, if I mistake not, at one period, a
member of the Methodist Church, and subsequently had identified himself
with the Universalists. At this time, however, in his religious views he
seemed to be floating upon the sea of uncertainty. He had evidently quite
an extensive knowledge of the Scriptures, and possessed a manifest
disputatious turn of mind. As I subsequently learned, Mr. Harris had always
been a firm believer in dreams, and visions, and supernatural appearances,
such as apparitions and ghosts, and therefore was a fit subject for such
men as Smith and his colleagues to operate upon. On the occasion just
referred to, I invited him to accompany me to my study, where, after having
closed the door, he began to draw a package out of his pocket with great
and manifest caution. Suddenly, however, he stopped, and wished to know if
there was any possibility of our being interrupted or overheard? When
answered in the negative, he proceeded to remark, that he reposed great
confidence in me as a minister of Jesus Christ, and that what he had now to
communicate he wished me to regard as strictly confidential. He said he
verily believed that an important epoch had arrived--that a great flood of
light was about to burst upon the world, and that the scene of divine
manifestation was to be immediately around us. In explanation of what he
meant, he then proceeded to remark that a GOLDEN BIBLE had recently been
dug from the earth, where it had been deposited for thousands of years, and
that this would be found to contain such disclosures as would settle all
religious controversies and speedily bring on the glorious millennium.
That this mysterious book, which no human eye of the present generation had
yet seen, was in the possession of Joseph Smith, jr., ordinarily known in
the neighbourhood under the more familiar designation of _Jo Smith_; that
there had been a revelation made to him by which he had discovered this
sacred deposit, and two transparent stones, through which, as a sort of
spectacles, he could read the Bible, although the box or ark that contained
it, had not yet been opened; and that by looking through those mysterious
stones, he had transcribed from one of the leaves of this book, the
characters which Harris had so carefully wrapped in the package which he
was drawing from his pocket. The whole thing appeared to me so ludicrous
and puerile, that I could not refrain from telling Mr. Harris, that I
believed it a mere hoax got up to practice upon his credulity, or an
artifice to extort from him money; for I had already, in the course of the
conversation, learned that he had advanced some twenty-five dollars to Jo
Smith as a sort of premium for sharing with him in the glories and profits
of this new revelation. For at this time, his mind seemed to be quite as
intent upon the pecuniary advantage that would arise from the possession of
the plates of solid gold of which this book was composed, as upon the
spiritual light it would diffuse over the world. My intimations to him, in
reference to the possible imposition that was being practiced upon him,
however, were indignantly repelled. He then went on to relate the
particulars in regard to the discovery and possession of this marvellous
book. As far as I can now recollect, the following was an outline of the
narrative which he then communicated to me, and subsequently to scores of
people in the village, from some of whom in my late visit to Palmyra, I
have been able to recall several particulars that had quite glided from my

Before I proceed to Martin's narrative, however, I would remark in passing,
that Jo Smith, who has since been the chief prophet of the Mormons, and was
one of the most prominent ostensible actors in the first scenes of this
drama, belonged to a very shiftless family near Palmyra. They lived a sort
of vagrant life, and were principally known as _money-diggers_. Jo from a
boy appeared dull and utterly destitute of genius; but his father claimed
for him a sort of second sight, a power to look into the depths of the
earth, and discover where its precious treasures were hid. Consequently
long before the idea of a GOLDEN BIBLE entered their minds, in their
excursions for money-digging, which I believe usually occurred in the
night, that they might conceal from others the knowledge of the place where
they struck upon treasures, Jo used to be usually their guide, putting into
a hat a peculiar stone he had through which he looked to decide where they
should begin to dig.

According to Martin Harris, it was after one of these night excursions,
that Jo, while he lay upon his bed, had a remarkable dream. An angel of God
seemed to approach him, clad in celestial splendor. This divine messenger
assured him, that he, Joseph Smith, was chosen of the Lord to be a prophet
of the Most High God, and to bring to light hidden things, that would prove
of unspeakable benefit to the world. He then disclosed to him the existence
of this golden Bible, and the place where it was deposited--but at the same
time told him that he must follow implicitly the divine direction, or he
would draw down upon him the wrath of heaven. This book, which was
contained in a chest, or ark, and which consisted of metallic plates
covered with characters embossed in gold, he must not presume to look into,
under three years. He must first go on a journey into Pennsylvania--and
there among the mountains, he would meet with a very lovely woman,
belonging to a highly respectable and pious family, whom he was to take for
his wife. As a proof that he was sent on this mission by Jehovah, as soon
as he saw this designated person, he would be smitten with her beauty, and
though he was a stranger to her, as she was far above him in the walks of
life, she would at once be willing to marry him and go with him to the ends
of the earth. After their marriage he was to return to his former home, and
remain quietly there until the birth of his first child. When this child
had completed his second year, he might then proceed to the hill beneath
which the mysterious chest was deposited, and draw it thence, and publish
the truths it contained to the world. Smith awoke from his dream, and,
according to Harris, started off towards Pennsylvania, not knowing to what
point he should go. But the Lord directed him, and gained him favour in the
eyes of just such a person as was described to him. He was married and had
returned. His first child had been born, and was now about six months old.
But Jo had not been altogether obedient to the heavenly vision. After his
marriage and return from Pennsylvania, he became so awfully impressed with
the high destiny that awaited him, that he communicated the secret to his
father and family. The money-digging propensity of the old man operated so
powerfully, that he insisted upon it that they should go and dig and see if
the chest was there--not with any view to remove it till the appointed
time, but merely to satisfy themselves. Accordingly they went forth in the
stillness of the night with their spades and mattocks to the spot where
slumbered this sacred deposit. They had proceeded but a little while in the
work of excavation, before the mysterious chest appeared; but lo! instantly
it moved and glided along out of their sight. Directed, however, by the
_clairvoyance_ of Jo, they again penetrated to the spot where it stood, and
succeeded in gaining a partial view of its dimensions. But while they were
pressing forward to gaze at it, the thunder of the Almighty shook the spot,
and made the earth to tremble--a sheet of vivid lightning swept along over
the side of the hill, and burnt terribly around the place where the
excavation was going on, and again, with a rumbling noise, the chest moved
off out of their sight. They were all terrified and fled towards their
home. Jo took his course silently along by himself. On his way homeward,
being alone and in the woods, the angel of the Lord met him, clad in terror
and wrath. He spoke in a voice of thunder: forked lightnings shot through
the trees, and ran along upon the ground. The terror which the appearance
of the divine messenger awakened, instantly struck Smith to the earth, and
he felt his whole frame convulsed with agony, as though he were stamped
upon by the iron hoofs of death himself. In language most terrific did the
angel upbraid him for his disobedience, and then disappeared. Smith went
home trembling and full of terror. Soon, however, his mind became more
composed. Another divine communication was made to him, authorizing him to
go alone by himself and bring the chest and deposit it secretly under the
hearth of his dwelling, but by no means to attempt to look into it. The
reason assigned by the angel for this removal, was that some report in
relation to the place where this sacred book was deposited had gone forth,
and there was danger of its being disturbed. According to Harris, Smith now
scrupulously followed the divine directions. He was already in possession
of the two transparent stones laid up with the GOLDEN BIBLE, by looking
through which he was enabled to read the golden letters on the plates in
the box. How he obtained these spectacles without opening the chest, Harris
could not tell. But still he had them; and by means of them he could read
all the book contained. The book itself was not to be disclosed until
Smith's child had attained a certain age. Then it might be published to the
world. In the interim Smith was to prepare the way for the conversion of
the world to a new system of faith, by transcribing the characters from the
plates and giving translations of the same. This was the substance of
Martin Harris' communication to me upon our first interview. He then
carefully unfolded a slip of paper, which contained three or four lines of
characters, as unlike letters or hieroglyphics of any sort, as well could
be produced were one to shut up his eyes and play off the most antic
movements with his pen upon paper. The only thing that bore the slightest
resemblance to the letter of any language that I had ever seen, was two
upright marks joined by a horizontal line, that might have been taken for
the Hebrew character He. My ignorance of the characters in which
this pretended ancient record was written, was to Martin Harris new proof
that Smith's whole account of the divine revelation made to him was
entirely to be relied on.

One thing is here to be noticed, that the statements of the originators of
this imposture varied, and were modified from time to time according as
their plans became more matured. At first it was a gold Bible--then golden
plates engraved--then metallic plates stereotyped or embossed with golden
letters. At one time Harris was to be enriched by the solid gold of these
plates, at another they were to be religiously kept to convince the world
of the truth of the revelation--and, then these plates could not be seen by
any but three witnesses whom the Lord should choose. How easy it would be,
were there any such plates in existence, to produce them, and to show that
Mormonism is not a "cunningly devised fable." How far Harris was duped by
this imposture, or how far he entered into it as a matter of speculation, I
am unable to say. Several gentlemen in Palmyra, who saw and conversed with
him frequently, think he was labouring under a sort of monomania, and that
he thoroughly believed all that Jo Smith chose to tell him on this subject.
He was so much in earnest on this subject, that he immediately started off
with some of the manuscripts that Smith furnished him on a journey to New
York and Washington to consult some learned men to ascertain the nature of
the language in which this record was engraven. After his return he came to
see me again, and told me that, among others, he had consulted Professor
Anthon,[2] who thought the characters in which the book was written very
remarkable, but he could not decide exactly what language they belonged to.
Martin had now become a perfect believer. He said he had no more doubt of
Smith's commission, than of the divine commission of the apostles. The
very fact that Smith was an obscure and illiterate man, showed that he must
be acting under divine impulses:--"God had chosen the foolish things of the
world to confound the wise, and the weak things to confound the mighty; and
base things of the world, and things which are despised--yea, and things
that are not to bring to nought--things that are--that no flesh should
glory in his presence:" that he was willing to "take of the spoiling of his
goods" to sustain Smith in carrying on this work of the Lord; and that he
was determined that the book should be published, though it consumed all
his worldly substance. It was in vain I endeavoured to expostulate. I was
an unbeliever, and could not see afar off. As for him, he must follow the
light which the Lord had given him. Whether at this time Smith had those
colleagues that unquestionably afterwards moved, unseen, the wheels of this
machinery, I am unable to say. Even after Cowdery and Rigdon were lending
the whole force of their minds to the carrying out of this imposture, Jo
Smith continued to be the ostensible prominent actor in the drama. The way
that Smith made his transcripts and translations for Harris was the
following. Although in the same room, a thick curtain or blanket was
suspended between them, and Smith concealed behind the blanket, pretended
to look through his spectacles, or transparent stones, and would then write
down or repeat what he saw, which, when repeated aloud, was written down by
Harris, who sat on the other side of the suspended blanket. Harris was told
that it would arouse the most terrible divine displeasure, if he should
attempt to draw near the sacred chest, or look at Smith while engaged in
the work of decyphering the mysterious characters. This was Harris's own
account of the matter to me. What other measures they afterwards took to
transcribe or translate from these metallic plates, I cannot say, as I very
soon after this removed to another field of labour where I heard no more of
this matter till I learned the BOOK OF MORMON was about being published. It
was not till after the discovery of the manuscript of Mr. Spaulding, of
which I shall subsequently give some account, that the actors in this
imposture thought of calling this pretended revelation the BOOK OF MORMON.
This book, which professed to be a translation of the golden Bible brought
to light by Joseph Smith, was published in 1830--to accomplish which Martin
Harris actually mortgaged his farm.

In addition to the facts with which I myself was conversant in 1827 and
1828, connected with the rise of Mormonism, I have been able to lay hold of
one or two valuable documents, and to obtain several items of intelligence,
by which I shall be enabled to continue this sketch of the rise and origin
of this singular imposture. To my mind there never was a grosser piece of
deception undertaken to be practised than this.


[2] In the following chapter the reader will find an account of this



     The circumstances that led to this letter--Martin
     Harris--His visit to New York--Interview with Dr.
     Mitchell--Professor Anthon.

A few months subsequent to the publishing of the foregoing letter, the
author saw in the columns of the _Church Record_ a letter from Professor
Anthon which singularly corroborated the statement that Martin Harris made
to him in relation to his having had an interview with that gentleman, when
on his first mission to New York in quest of some interpreter who should be
able to decipher the mysterious characters of the golden Bible. The cause
which drew forth the letter from the learned professor is thus stated. The
Rev. Dr. Coit, Rector of Trinity Church, New Rochelle, West Chester county,
N. Y., hearing that the Mormons in that place--for there is scarcely a town
or village where some of them are not found, "were claiming the patronage
of Professor Anthon's name, in behalf of their notions, took the liberty to
state the fact to him, and ask in what possible way they had contrived to
associate him with themselves." In reply to this inquiry, Professor Anthon
wrote the letter above referred to--which we here insert:

                              _New York, April 3d, 1841._

I have often heard that the Mormons claimed me for an auxiliary, but, as no
one, until the present time, has ever requested from me a statement in
writing, I have not deemed it worth while to say any thing publicly on the
subject. What I do know of the sect relates to some of their early
movements; and as the facts may amuse you, while they will furnish a
satisfactory answer to the charge of my being a Mormon proselyte, I proceed
to lay them before you in detail.

Many years ago, the precise date I do not now recollect, a plain looking
countryman called upon me with a letter from Dr. Samuel L. Mitchell
requesting me to examine, and give my opinion upon, a certain paper, marked
with various characters which the Doctor confessed he could not decypher,
and which the bearer of the note was very anxious to have explained. A very
brief examination of the paper convinced me that it was a mere hoax, and a
very clumsy one too. The characters were arranged in columns, like the
Chinese mode of writing, and presented the most singular medley that I ever
beheld. Greek, Hebrew, and all sorts of letters, more or less distorted,
either through unskilfulness, or from actual design, were intermingled with
sundry delineations of half moons, stars, and other natural objects, and
the whole ended in a rude representation of the Mexican zodiac. The
conclusion was irresistible, that some cunning fellow had prepared the
paper in question, for the purpose of imposing upon the countryman who
brought it, and I told the man so without any hesitation. He then proceeded
to give me a history of the whole affair, which convinced me that he had
fallen into the hands of some sharper, while it left me in great
astonishment at his own simplicity.

The countryman told me that a _gold book_ had been recently dug up in the
western or northern part (I forget which), of our state, and he described
this book as consisting of many _gold plates_, like leaves, secured by a
gold wire passing through the edge of each, just as the leaves of a book
are sewed together, and presented in this way the appearance of a volume.
Each plate, according to him, was inscribed with unknown characters, and
the paper which he handed me, a transcript of one of these pages. On my
asking him by whom the copy was made, he gravely stated, that along with
the golden book there had been dug up a very large _pair of spectacles_! so
large in fact that if a man were to hold them in front of his face, his two
eyes would merely look through one of the glasses, and the remaining part
of the spectacles would project a considerable distance sideways! These
spectacles possessed, it seems a very valuable property, of enabling any
one who looked through them, (or rather through one of the lenses,) not
only to decypher the characters on the plates, but also to comprehend their
exact meaning, and be able to translate them!! My informant assured me that
this curious property of the spectacles had been actually tested, and found
to be true. A young man, it seems, had been placed in the garret of a
farm-house, with a curtain before him, and having fastened the spectacles
to his head, had read several pages in the golden book, and communicated
their contents in writing to certain persons stationed on the outside of
the curtain. He had also copied off one page of the book in the original
character, which he had in like manner handed over to those who were
separated from him by the curtain, and this copy was the paper which the
countryman had brought with him. As the golden book was said to contain
very great truths, and most important revelations of a religious nature, a
strong desire had been expressed by several persons in the countryman's
neighbourhood, to have the whole work translated and published. A
proposition had accordingly been made to my informant, to sell his farm,
and apply the proceeds to the printing of the golden book, and the golden
plates were to be left with him as security until he should be reimbursed
by the sale of the work. To convince him more clearly that there was no
risk whatever in the matter, and that the work was actually what it claimed
to be, he was told to take the paper, which purported to be a copy of one
of the pages of the book, to the city of New York, and submit it to the
learned in that quarter, who would soon dispel all his doubts, and satisfy
him as to the perfect safety of the investment. As Dr. Mitchell was our
"Magnus Apollo" in those days, the man called first upon him; but the
Doctor, evidently suspecting some trick, declined giving any opinion about
the matter, and sent the countryman down to the college, to see, in all
probability, what the "learned pundits" in that place would make of the
affair. On my telling the bearer of the paper that an attempt had been made
to impose on him, and defraud him of his property, he requested me to give
him my opinion in writing about the paper which he had shown to me. I did
so without any hesitation, partly for the man's sake, and partly to let the
individual "behind the curtain" see that his trick was discovered. The
import of what I wrote was, as far as I can now recollect, simply this,
that the marks in the paper appeared to be merely an imitation of various
alphabetical characters, and had, in my opinion, no meaning at all
connected with them. The countryman then took his leave, with many thanks,
and with the express declaration that he would in no shape part with his
farm or embark in the speculation of printing the golden book.

The matter rested here for a considerable time, until one day, when I had
ceased entirely to think of the countryman and his paper, this same
individual, to my great surprise, paid me a second visit. He now brought
with him a duodecimo volume, which he said was a translation into English
of the "Golden Bible." He also stated, that notwithstanding his original
determination not to sell his farm, he had been induced eventually to do
so, and apply the money to the publication of the book, and had received
the golden plates as a security for repayment. He begged my acceptance of
the volume, assuring me that it would be found extremely interesting, and
that it was already "making a great noise" in the upper part of the state.
Suspecting now that some serious trick was on foot, and that my plain
looking visitor might be in fact a very cunning fellow I declined his
present, and merely contented myself with a slight examination of the
volume while he stood by. The more I declined receiving it however, the
more urgent the man became in offering the book, until at last I told him
plainly, that if he left the volume, as he said he intended to do, I should
most assuredly throw it after him as he departed. I then asked him how he
could be so foolish as to sell his farm and engage in this affair; and
requested him to tell me if the plates were really of gold. In answer to
this latter inquiry, he said that he had never seen the plates themselves,
which were carefully locked up in a trunk, but that he had the trunk in his
possession. I advised him by all means to open the trunk and examine the
contents, and if the plates proved to be of gold, which I did not believe
at all, to sell them immediately. His reply was, that if he opened the
trunk the "_curse of heaven would descend upon him and his children_."
"However," added he, "I will agree to open it, provided you will take the
'curse of Heaven' upon yourself for having advised me to the step." I told
him I was perfectly willing to do so, and begged he would hasten home and
examine the trunk, for he would find he had been cheated. He promised to do
as I recommended, and left me, taking his book with him. I have never seen
him since.

Such is a plain statement of all that I know respecting the Mormons. My
impression now is, that the plain looking countryman was none other than
the prophet Smith himself, who assumed an appearance of great simplicity in
order to entrap me, if possible, into some recommendation of his book. That
the prophet aided me by his inspiration, in interpreting the volume, is
only one of the many amusing falsehoods which the Mormonites utter relative
to my participation in their doctrines. Of these doctrines I know nothing
whatever, nor have I ever heard a single discourse from any one of their
preachers, although I have often felt a strong curiosity to become an
auditor, since my friends tell me that they frequently name me in their
sermons, and even go so far as to say that I am alluded to in the
prophecies of Scripture!

If what I have here written shall prove of any service in opening the eyes
of some of their deluded followers to the real designs of those who profess
to be the apostles of Mormonism, it will afford me a satisfaction,
equalled, I have no doubt only by that which you yourself will feel on this

I remain very respectfully and truly, your friend,

                              CHAS. ANTHON.
_Rev. Dr. Coit_, New Rochelle, N. Y.

It will be seen that in the main this tallies exceedingly well with what
Harris told the author, in relation to the fact of his interview with
Professor Anthon. He kept back in his account of the interview all allusion
to the discouragements which the Professor threw upon his enterprise. There
can be no doubt but that the person who waited upon Professor Anthon in the
manner above stated, was Martin Harris.



     The origin of the Book of Mormon--The statement of Mr.
     Isaac Hall, father in law of the Mormon Prophet--Rev.
     Mr. Spaulding's Historical Romance--Mrs. Davison's
     statement--The blindness of Martin Harris--Testimony of
     the three witnesses--The eight witnesses.

The communication which follows is the second in the series of letters
referred to in a former chapter.

                              _Fairfield, August 31, 1840._

According to the intimation given in my last, I proceed to furnish you with
some further facts in relation to the origin and history of Mormonism. In
developing the history of this imposture, and showing the several steps by
which it has won its way to the regard, and gained the confidence of
thousands, it may seem desirable to furnish some account of what is
denominated THE BOOK OF MORMON--a volume containing 588 duodecimo pages,
consisting of fifteen different books, purporting to be written at
different times, and by different authors, whose names they respectively
bear. The period of time which these historical records profess to cover,
is about a thousand years--commencing with the time of Zedekiah, king of
Judah, and terminating with the year of our Lord 420.

This volume, as I have already intimated, has exerted a most important
influence in giving some plausibility to the claims set up by the
originators of the Mormon imposture. I am quite confident there never would
have been any permanent converts to Mormonism, had not this volume been
ushered into existence. The story of the GOLDEN BIBLE, like a thousand
previous and no less marvellous tales told by Jo Smith, would have long
since sunk into oblivion but for the publication of this book. The origin
of this volume--how it came into being--is a grave question. The general
impression is that neither Jo Smith nor Martin Harris had intelligence or
literary qualification adequate to the production of a work of this sort.
Of the correctness of this impression, however, I am not quite confident.
The subsequent career of Smith has shown that he possesses great tact, and
cunning. The authorship of this volume is a question of some interest. The
Mormons say that it is a revelation from God. They claim for it a divine
character. They say that the successive narratives spread upon the pages of
this volume, are the identical records engraven upon the metallic plates to
which we have already referred, and which, like the leaves of a book, were
deposited in a box and hid in the earth; that the writing on these plates
was in "_the Reformed Egyptian language_:" that Joseph Smith was directed
by an angel to the spot where this sacred deposit lay; and subsequently
inspired to interpret the writing, by putting two smooth flat stones, which
he found in the box, into a hat, and then putting his face therein. This is
the claim set up for the BOOK OF MORMON, and which has seduced many
unstable souls.

Had the originator of this fabulous history, called the BOOK OF MORMON,
kept entirely behind the scenes up to the present period, and had there
been no clue by which the authorship of this figment of the imagination
could be traced, it would still have been abundantly evident to every
intelligent person, that it was the product of some shrewd and designing
mind, who calculated to find his advantage in gulling the credulous and
superstitious. The people of Palmyra, at the commencement of the printing
of this book, only laughed at the ridiculousness of the thing, and wondered
at the credulity of Harris. As the publication progressed, and the contents
of the book began to be known, the conviction became general that there was
an actor behind the scene, moving the machinery, of far higher intellectual
qualifications than Smith or Harris. Suspicion in some degree rested upon a
man by the name of Cowdery, who had formerly been a school teacher, if I
mistake not, and was now known to be in some way connected with Smith in
preparing this volume for the press.

I will here insert a document which I have in my hands, and which may tend
to throw some light upon the origin and authorship of the Book of Mormon,
which I found in a little work, entitled "RELIGIOUS CREEDS AND STATISTICS."
The author gives a brief sketch of Mormonism, and among other things
inserts a letter or statement written by Isaac Hale, the father-in-law of
Jo Smith, giving some account of his first acquaintance with Smith. I had,
previously to meeting with this letter, felt anxious to obtain some facts
in relation to Smith's marriage, in order to ascertain how those facts
would agree with the statements made by him to Martin Harris, which I
noticed in my last letter. While at Palmyra, I met with a respectable
clergyman of the Episcopal Church, who had formerly belonged to the
Methodist connection, that was acquainted with Mr. Hale. He represented him
to be a distinguished hunter, living near the _Great Bend_ in Pennsylvania.
He was professedly a religious man and a very zealous member of the
Methodist Church. The letter to which I have referred, is accompanied with
a statement, declaring that Mr. Hale resides in Harmony, Penn.: appended to
the letter also is Mr. Hale's affirmation or affidavit of the truth of the
statement there made, taken before _Charles Dimon, Justice of the Peace_;
and there is also subjoined the certificate of William Thompson and Davis
Dimock, Associate Judges of the Court of Common Pleas in the County of
Susquehanna, declaring that "they have for many years been personally
acquainted with Isaac Hale of Harmony Township, who has attested the
foregoing statement, or letter, and that he is a man of excellent moral
character, and of undoubted veracity."

The letter or statement above referred to, is as follows:

"I first became acquainted with Joseph Smith, Jr., in Nov. 1825. He was at
that time in the employ of a set of men who were called "_money-diggers_;"
and his occupation was that of seeing, or pretending to see, by means of a
stone placed in his hat, and his hat closed over his face. In this way he
pretended to discover minerals and hidden treasure. His appearance at this
time, was that of a careless young man, not very well educated, and very
saucy and insolent to his father. Smith and his father, with several other
"money-diggers," boarded at my house while they were employed in digging
for a mine that they supposed had been opened and worked by the Spaniards,
many years since. Young Smith gave the "money-diggers" great encouragement
at first, but when they had arrived in digging to near the place where he
had stated an immense treasure would be found, he said the enchantment was
so powerful that he could not see. They then became discouraged, and soon
after dispersed.

"After these occurrences, young Smith made several visits at my house, and
at length asked my consent to marry my daughter Emma. This I refused, and
gave him my reasons for so doing; some of which were, that he was a
stranger, and followed a business that I could not approve. He then left
the place. Not long after this, he returned: and while I was absent from
home, carried off my daughter into the State of New York, where they were
married without my approbation, or consent. After they had arrived at
Palmyra, N. Y., Emma wrote to me, inquiring whether she could have her
property, consisting of clothing, &c. I replied that her property was safe,
and, at her disposal. In a short time they returned, bringing with them a
Peter Ingersol, and subsequently came to the conclusion that they would
move out, and reside upon a place near my residence.

"Smith stated to me that he had given up what he called "glass-looking,"
and that he expected to work hard for a living, and was willing to do so.
Soon after this, I was informed they had brought a wonderful book of plates
down with them. I was shown a box, in which it is said they were contained,
which had, to all appearance, been used as a glass box, of the common sized
window glass. I was allowed to feel the weight of the box, and they gave me
to understand, that the book of plates was then in the box: into which,
however, I was not allowed to look. I inquired of Joseph Smith, Jr., who
was to be the first that would be allowed to see the book of plates? He
said, it was a young child.

"After this, I became dissatisfied, and informed him, that if there was any
thing in my house of that description, which I could not be allowed to see,
he must take it away; if he did not, I was determined to see it. After
that, the plates were said to be hid in the woods.

"About this time, Martin Harris made his appearance upon the stage: and
Smith began to interpret the characters or hieroglyphics, which he said
were engraven upon the plates, while Harris wrote down the interpretation.

"It was said that Harris wrote down one hundred and sixteen pages, and lost
them. Soon after this happened, Martin Harris informed me that he must have
a _greater witness_, and said that he had talked with Joseph about it;
Joseph informed him that he could not or durst not show him the plates, but
that he, (Joseph,) would go into the woods where the book of plates was,
and that after he came back, Harris should follow his track in the snow,
and find the book, and examine it for himself. Harris informed me
afterwards, that he followed Smith's directions, and could not find the
plates, and was still dissatisfied.

"The next day after this happened, I went to the house where Joseph Smith,
jr., lived, and where he and Harris were engaged in their translation of
the book. Each of them had a written piece of paper which they were
comparing; and some of the words were--"My servant seeketh a greater
witness, but no greater witness can be given to him." There was also
something said about "three that were to see the thing;" meaning, I
supposed, the book of plates; and that "if the three did not go exactly
according to orders, the thing would be taken from them." I inquired whose
words they were, and was informed by Joseph or Emma, (I rather think it was
the former,) that they were the words of Jesus Christ. I told them then,
that I considered the whole of it a delusion, and advised them to abandon
it. The manner in which he pretended to read and interpret, was the same as
when he looked for the money-diggers, with the stone in his hat, and his
hat over his face, while the book of plates was at the same time hid in the

"After this, Martin Harris went away, and Oliver Cowdery came and wrote for
Smith, while he interpreted, as above described. This is the same Oliver
Cowdery whose name may be found in the book of Mormon. Cowdery continued a
scribe for Smith, until the book of Mormon was completed, as I supposed,
and understood.

"Joseph Smith, jr., resided near me for some time after this, and I had a
good opportunity of becoming acquainted with him, and somewhat acquainted
with his associates; and I conscientiously believe, from the facts I have
detailed, and from many other circumstances, which I do not deem it
necessary to relate, that the whole "Book of Mormon," (so called,) is a
silly fabrication of falsehood and wickedness, got up for speculation, and
with a design to dupe the credulous and unwary, and in order that its
fabricators might live upon the spoils of those who swallowed the

                              "ISAAC HALE."

I shall have occasion hereafter to refer to the loss of the one hundred and
sixteen pages mentioned in the preceding letter, and to the manner in which
they were lost; as this fact will not only tend to illustrate Harris'
character, but to throw some farther light upon the sinuous track which
was pursued to palm off the BOOK OF MORMON as a divine revelation. Whether
Smith and Cowdery were acting alone at the time referred to by Mr. Hale, or
were then deriving their illumination from Rigdon, I have no means of
determining. It is highly probable, however, that they then had access to a
copy of the manuscript written by Mr. Spaulding, of which we shall soon
speak, and this copy was undoubtedly obtained through the agency of Rigdon.
The true authorship of what constitutes the basis of the BOOK OF MORMON,
unquestionably belongs to Mr. Spaulding. I cannot think, however, that the
Book of Mormon is an exact copy of Mr. Spaulding's "_Historical Romance_,"
as Mrs. Davison very properly denominates it. No intelligent or well
educated man would have been guilty of so many anachronisms and gross
grammatical errors as characterise every part of the Book of Mormon. While
Mr. Spaulding's _Historical Romance_ is unquestionably the ground-work of
this volume, the christianized character of the work--the hortatory clauses
about salvation through the blood of Christ--and the adaptation of the
whole to meet the peculiar religious views of Martin Harris, and to tally
with the pretended discovery of Jo Smith, are evidently parts of the work
added to Mr. Spaulding's manuscript. In farther corroboration of this idea,
I will just advert to two facts. _First_, in this record, some portions of
which were professedly written six hundred years before the appearance of
our Saviour, the various _dramatis personæ_ seem as familiar with the
events of the New Testament and all the doctrines of the gospel, as any
preacher of the present day. Now no intelligent and well educated man
would be guilty of such a solecism as that of putting into the mouth of a
Jew who lived four hundred years before the birth of Christ, a flippant
discourse about things as though they were then familiarly known, when they
did not occur till some five hundred years afterwards. Hence I infer that
these parts were added to the original document of Mr. Spaulding by Jo
Smith, Cowdery, Rigdon, or some of the fraternity.--_Another_ reason,
leading me to the opinion that considerable alterations were made in the
document referred to, stands in connection with the fact to which I have
already adverted--the loss of the one hundred and sixteen pages, which were
never replaced. These pages were lost in the following way. Harris brought
home the manuscript pages and locked them up in his house thinking them
quite safe. But his wife, who was not then, nor ever afterwards became a
convert to Mormonism, took the opportunity, when he was out, to seize the
manuscript and put it into the hands of one of her neighbours for safer
keeping. When the manuscript was discovered to be missing, suspicion
immediately fastened upon Mrs. Harris. She, however, refused to give any
information in relation to the matter, but simply replied: "If this be a
divine communication, the same being who revealed it to you can easily
replace it." Mrs. H. believed the whole thing to be a gross deception, and
she had formed a plan to expose the deception in the following manner.
Taking it for granted that they would attempt to re-produce the part she
had concealed, and that they could not possibly do it verbatim, she
intended to keep the manuscript until the book was published, and then put
these one hundred and sixteen pages into the hands of some one who would
publish them, and show how they varied from those published in the Book of
Mormon. But she had to deal with persons standing behind the scene, and
moving the machinery that were too wily thus to be caught. Harris was
indignant at his wife beyond measure--he raved most violently, and it is
said actually beat Mrs. H. with a rod--but she remained firm, and would not
give up the manuscript. The authors of this imposture did not dare to
attempt to re-produce this part of the work; but Jo Smith immediately had a
revelation about it which is inserted in the preface of the Book of Mormon
as follows: "As many false reports have been circulated respecting the
following work, and also many unlawful measures taken by evil designing
persons to destroy me, and also the work; I would inform you that I
translated, by the gift and power of God, and caused to be written _one
hundred and sixteen pages_, the which I took from the book of Lehi, which
was an account abridged from the plates of Lehi, by the hand of Mormon;
which said account, some person, or persons, have stolen and kept from me,
notwithstanding my utmost exertions to recover it again: And being
commanded of the Lord that I should not translate the same over again, for
Satan had put it into their hearts to tempt the Lord their God, by altering
the words, that they did read contrary from that which I translated and
caused to be written, and if I should bring forth the same words again, or,
in other words, if I should translate the same over again they would
publish that which they had stolen, and Satan would stir up the hearts of
this generation that they might not receive this work: but behold, the Lord
said unto me, I will not suffer that Satan shall accomplish his evil design
in this thing: therefore thou shalt translate from the plates of Nephi,
until ye come to that which ye have translated, which ye have retained;
and behold ye shall publish it as the record of Nephi: and thus I will
confound those who have altered my words. I will not suffer that they shall
destroy my work: yea I will shew unto them that my wisdom is greater than
the cunning of the devil."

This was the expedient to which they resorted in order to avoid replacing
the lost pages. Had those pages, however, been transcribed verbatim from
Mr. Spaulding's manuscript, they would undoubtedly have re-produced them,
and urged the fact of their being able to do so as a still further proof of
their divine inspiration. But on the supposition that there was
considerable new matter mingled up with Mr. Spaulding's sketches, it would
be impossible for them to produce the one hundred and sixteen pages just as
they were before, and they would therefore naturally devise some expedient
to relieve themselves from the necessity of re-producing those pages. In
all probability Cowdery, and Smith, and Rigdon, had all more or less to do
in combining these additional parts with Mr. Spaulding's work.

The origin of this work of Mr. Spaulding, to which I refer, and which
unquestionably forms the entire ground-work of the BOOK OF MORMON, is thus
described by Mrs. Davison, formerly the wife of Mr. Spaulding. This
statement of Mrs. Davison was published some time last winter in the Boston
Recorder, to the editors of which it was sent by the Rev. John Storrs, the
Congregational minister in Hollistown, accompanied with a certificate from
two highly respectable clergymen, the Rev. Mr. Austin and the Rev. A. Ely,
D. D., residing in Monson, Mass., the present place of residence of Mrs.
Davison,--stating that Mrs. Davison, the narrator of the following
history, was formerly the wife of Rev. Solomon Spaulding, and that since
his decease she had been married to a second husband by the name of
Davison, and that she was a woman of irreproachable character, and a humble
Christian, and that her testimony was worthy of implicit confidence.

"As the 'BOOK OF MORMON' or 'GOLDEN BIBLE' has excited much attention, and
has been put by a certain new sect in the place of the Sacred Scriptures, I
deem it a duty which I owe to the public, to state what I know touching its
origin. That its claims to a divine origin are wholly unfounded, needs no
proof to a mind unperverted by the grossest delusions. That any sane person
should rank it higher than any other merely human composition, is a matter
of the greatest astonishment; yet it is received as divine by some who
dwell in enlightened New England, and by those who have sustained the
character of devoted Christians. Learning recently that Mormonism had found
its way into a church in Massachusetts, and has impregnated some with its
gross delusions, so that excommunication has been necessary, I am
determined to delay no longer in doing what I can to strip the mask from
this mother of sin, and to lay open this pit of abominations.

"Rev. Solomon Spaulding, to whom I was united in marriage in early life,
was a graduate of Dartmouth College, and was distinguished for a lively
imagination and a great fondness for history. At the time of our marriage
he resided in Cherry Valley, N. Y. From this place we removed to New Salem,
Ashtabula county, Ohio; sometimes called Conneaut, as it is situated on
Conneaut creek. Shortly after our removal to this place his health sunk,
and he was laid aside from active labors. In the town of New Salem there
are numerous mounds and forts, supposed by many to be the dilapidated
dwellings and fortifications of a race now extinct. These ancient relics
arrest the attention of the new settlers and become objects of research for
the curious. Numerous implements were found, and other articles evincing
great skill in the arts. Mr. Spaulding being an educated man and
passionately fond of history, took a lively interest in these developments
of antiquity; and in order to beguile the hours of retirement, and furnish
employment for his lively imagination, he conceived the idea of giving a
_historical sketch of this long lost race_. Their extreme antiquity of
course would lead him to write in _the most ancient style_, and as the Old
Testament is the most ancient book in the world, he imitated its style as
nearly as possible. His sole object in writing this _historical romance_
was to amuse himself and his neighbours. This was about the year 1812.
Hull's surrender at Detroit occurred near the same time, and I recollect
the date well from that circumstance. As he progressed in his narrative the
neighbours would come in from time to time to hear portions read, and a
great interest in the work was excited amongst them. It claimed to have
been written by _one of the lost nation_, and to have been _recovered from
the earth_, and assumed the title of "Manuscript Found." The neighbours
would often enquire how Mr. Spaulding progressed in deciphering "the
manuscript," and when he had a sufficient portion prepared he would inform
them, and they would assemble to hear it read. He was enabled from his
acquaintance with the classics and ancient history, to introduce _many
singular names_, which were particularly noticed by the people, and could
be easily recognised by them. Mr. Solomon Spaulding had a brother, Mr. John
Spaulding, residing in the place at the time, who was perfectly familiar
with the work, and repeatedly heard the whole of it read.

"From New Salem we removed to Pittsburgh, Pa. Here Mr. Spaulding found a
friend and acquaintance, in the person of Mr. Patterson, an editor of a
newspaper. He exhibited his manuscript to Mr. Patterson, who was very much
pleased with it, and borrowed it for perusal. He retained it for a long
time, and informed Mr. Spaulding that if he would make out a title page and
preface, he would publish it, and it might be a source of profit. This Mr.
Spaulding refused to do, for reasons which I cannot now state. Sidney
Rigdon, who has figured so largely in the history of the Mormons, was at
that time connected with the printing office of Mr. Patterson, as is well
known in that region, and as Rigdon himself has frequently stated. Here he
had ample opportunity to become acquainted with Mr. Spaulding's manuscript,
and copy it if he chose. It was a matter of notoriety and interest to all
connected with the printing establishment. At length the manuscript was
returned to its author, and soon after we removed to Amity, Washington
county, Pa., where Mr. Spaulding deceased in 1816. The manuscript then fell
into my hands and was carefully preserved. It has frequently been examined
by my daughter, Mrs. McKenstry, of Monson, Mass., with whom I now reside,
and by other friends. After the "Book of Mormon" came out, a copy of it was
taken to New Salem, the place of Mr. Spaulding's former residence, and the
very place where the "Manuscript Found" was written. A Mormon preacher
appointed a meeting there, and in the meeting read and repeated copious
extracts from the "Book of Mormon." The historical part was immediately
recognised by all the older inhabitants, as the identical work of Mr.
Spaulding, in which they had all been so deeply interested years before.
Mr. John Spaulding was present, who is an eminently pious man, and
_recognised perfectly_ the work of his brother. He was amazed and afflicted
that it should have been perverted to so wicked a purpose. His grief found
vent in a flood of tears, and he arose on the spot, and expressed in the
meeting his sorrow and regret that the writings of his sainted brother
should be used for a purpose so vile and shocking. The excitement in New
Salem became so great that the inhabitants had a meeting, and deputed Dr.
Philastus Hurlbut, one of their number, to repair to this place, and to
obtain from me the original manuscript of Mr. Spaulding, for the purpose of
comparing it with the Mormon Bible, to satisfy their own minds, and to
prevent their friends from embracing an error so delusive. This was in the
year 1834. Dr. Hurlbut brought with him an introduction, and request for
the manuscript, which was signed by Messrs. Henry Lake, Aaron Wright, and
others, with all whom I was acquainted, as they were my neighbours when I
resided at New Salem. I am sure that nothing would grieve my husband more,
were he living, than the use which has been made of his work. The air of
antiquity which was thrown about the composition, doubtless suggested the
idea of converting it to purposes of delusion. Thus an historical romance,
with the addition of a few pious expressions and extracts from the sacred
Scriptures, has been construed into a new Bible, and palmed off upon a
company of poor, deluded fanatics as divine. I have given the previous
brief narration, that this work of deep deception and wickedness may be
searched to the foundation, and the author exposed to the contempt and
execration he so justly deserves.

                              "MATILDA DAVISON."

The whole mystery of the origin of this book seems to be cleared up by this
statement, and I have seen no attempt made to gainsay or deny its truth.
The farther, however, Martin Harris went into this delusion, the more he
seemed to become infatuated. He had already embarked a large portion of his
property in bringing out the publication of the book of Mormon, and though
many things had occurred that we should think would have convinced any
rational man that he had been made the subject of a deep laid scheme of
deception, he still seems to have shut his eyes, and gone on in the dark.
As I have already mentioned, at first, Martin Harris was assured that the
golden plates, on which this record was engraven, would be his, and that it
would be perfectly lawful to subject them to public inspection,--but as the
managers of this imposture proceeded they found it necessary to advance
with more caution, lest they should put into the hands of others the very
elements which would contribute to their own utter explosion. Hence it was
revealed to Jo Smith, that he would be authorized to show them only to
three individuals who should assist in bringing forward this work, this was
a lure to secure the continued co-operation of Harris. To convince Harris
that he would be highly privileged, it was foretold in the book of Ether,
written by Moroni,[3] that he that should find the plates should have the
privilege of showing them to three persons. The passage referred to is as
follows, "Behold ye may be privileged that ye may shew the plates unto
those who shall assist to bring forth this work; and unto three shall they
be shewn by the power of God; wherefore they shall know of a surety that
these things are true. And in the mouth of three witnesses shall these
things be established; and the testimony of three and this work, in the
which shall be shewn forth the power of God, and also his word, of which
the Father and the Son, and the Holy Ghost beareth record; and all this
shall stand as a testimony against the world, at the last day."

In order to satisfy Harris, and those whom they hoped to delude, it became
necessary that three witnesses should see the plates. And accordingly we
find appended to the book of Mormon the following certificate, headed with
this caption:--


     "Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and
     people, unto whom this work shall come, that we,
     through the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus
     Christ, have seen the plates which contain the record
     which is a record of the people of Nephi, and also of
     the Lamanites, his brethren, and also of the people of
     Jared, which came from the tower, of which hath been
     spoken; and we also know that they have been translated
     by the gift and power of God, for his voice has
     declared it unto us; wherefore we know of a surety,
     that the work is true. And we also testify that we have
     seen the engravings which are upon the plates, and
     they have been shown unto us by the power of God, and
     not of man. And we declare with words of soberness that
     an angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought
     and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the
     plates, and the engravings thereon; and we know that it
     is by the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus
     Christ, that we beheld, and bear record that these
     things are true; and it is marvellous in our eyes:
     nevertheless the voice of the Lord commanded us that we
     should bear record of it; wherefore to be obedient unto
     the commandments of God, we bear testimony of these
     things. And we know that if we are faithful in Christ,
     we shall rid our garments of the blood of all men, and
     be found spotless before the Judgment seat of Christ,
     and shall dwell with him eternally in the heavens. And
     the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the
     Holy Ghost, which is one God.--Amen.

                              "OLIVER COWDERY,
                              DAVID WHITMER,
                              MARTIN HARRIS."

To know how much this testimony is worth I will state one fact. A gentleman
in Palmyra, bred to the law, a professor of religion, and of undoubted
veracity, told me that on one occasion, he appealed to Harris and asked him
directly,--"Did you see those plates?" Harris replied, he did. "Did you see
the plates, and the engravings on them with your bodily eyes?" Harris
replied, "Yes, I saw them with my eyes,--they were shown unto me by the
power of God and not of man." "But did you see them with your
natural,--your bodily eyes, just as you see this pencil-case in my hand?
Now say _no_ or _yes_ to this." Harris replied,--"Why I did not see them as
I do that pencil-case, yet I saw them with the eye of faith; I saw them
just as distinctly as I see any thing around me,--though at the time they
were covered over with a cloth."

This was the way that Harris saw the plates, Cowdery, another of the
witnesses, was one of the prime actors in getting up this "cunningly
devised fable." Whether Whitmer, the third witness, was a deceiver, or one
of the deceived, I am unable to say, but he and four of his brothers were
among the earliest avowed converts to Mormonism. And as he was thus
privileged because he assisted to bring forth the work, there can be but
little doubt that he bore the same relation to it that Cowdery did. The
declaration in the testimony "that an angel of God came down from heaven,
and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates,
and the engravings thereon," show but too well what sort of jugglery to
blind people's eyes, this certificate is. They seem themselves not to have
been satisfied with the testimony; and therefore, although it was expressly
revealed that only three should see the plates, and that it should be
established by the witness of three,[4] yet they immediately subjoin the
testimony of eight additional witnesses in the following words: "Be it
known unto all nations, kindreds and tongues, and people, unto whom this
work shall come, that Joseph Smith Jr., the author and proprietor of this
work has shewn unto us the plates of which hath been spoken, which have the
appearance of gold; and as many of the leaves as the said Smith has
translated, we did handle with our hands; and we also saw the engraving
thereon, all of which has the appearance of ancient work and of curious
workmanship. And thus we bear record, with words of soberness, that the
said Smith have shown unto us, for we have seen and hefted, and know of a
surety, that the said Smith has got the plates of which we have spoken. And
we give our names unto the world, to witness unto the world that which we
have seen: and we lie not, God bearing witness of it." This is signed by
Hiram Page, Jo Smith's father,--two of his brothers, and four of the
Whitmers, brothers of the Whitmer, who was one of the three witnesses. They
were all persons deeply interested in the success of this imposture, and
expecting to make their fortunes by it. As I have before taken occasion to
remark, Harris was ready to be duped by any thing which these jugglers were
disposed to tell him. He seemed to think at length that he himself was
inspired, and that revelations from heaven were made to him in reference to
the most minute affairs in life. After the BOOK OF MORMON was published it
was revealed to him that he should sell it for one dollar and fifty cents
per copy. But as it did not sell very briskly at that price, he declared
that another revelation was made to him from heaven, and that he was
ordered to sell the book for one dollar per copy. No matter where he went,
he saw visions and supernatural appearances all around him. He told a
gentleman in Palmyra, after one of his excursions to Pennsylvania, while
the translation of the Book of Mormon was going on, that on the way he met
the Lord Jesus Christ, who walked along by the side of him in the shape of
a deer for two or three miles, talking with him as familiarly as one man
talks with another. With a knowledge of the facts that have now been
stated, the existence of the Book of Mormon can well be accounted for, and
also the success of this imposture.


[3] See Book of Mormon, page 548.

[4] See Book of Mormon, page 548.



     Denial of Mrs. Davison's statement in reference to the
     origin of the Mormon's Bible--The truth of her
     statement corroborated by a letter from the Rev. John
     Storrs--By another from the Rev. D. R. Austin.

Up to the period, in which the preceding sketch was published in the
columns of the Episcopal Recorder, no attempt was made, as far as our
information extends, to contradict the statement of Mrs. Davison, or in any
way to invalidate her testimony. Shortly after the appearance of the sketch
above referred to, a small pamphlet was issued by one of the Mormon
ministers, who, we understand, bears the relation of Pastor to one of the
societies of that people, established in Philadelphia, who call themselves
"The church of the latter day saints."

Although we do not think, that the truth, or falsehood of Mormonism, in any
degree turns upon the correctness, or incorrectness of the foregoing
statement of Mrs. Davison, for deceit and imposture are enstamped upon
every feature of this monster, evoked by a money digger and a juggler from
the shades of darkness--still if her statement be correct and is to be
relied upon, the facts brought out by Mrs. Davison would seem to be one of
those singular developments of divine Providence, by which impostors are
confounded, and their devices brought to nought; and therefore it may be
well to look for a moment at the arguments that are offered to disprove,
what the writer of the pamphlet just referred to denominates "THE SPAULDING
STORY." The pamphlet itself abounds with low and scurrilous remark--just
such as we should think would be likely to emanate from a Mormon leader.
The principal points upon which the writer rests his argument, are,

_First._ The worthless character of Dr. P. Hurlbut--who was deputed by a
meeting called at New Salem to visit Mrs. Davison and obtain from her the
manuscript written by her husband, Rev. Mr. Spaulding.

_Secondly._ That Mrs. Davison neither wrote nor signed the letter published
in the Boston Recorder, but that it was the production of the Rev. Mr.

_Thirdly._ That Sidney Rigdon did not join the Mormons nor have any
connection with them, till after the Book of Mormon was published: and did
not reside at Pittsburgh at the time he was supposed to have done so by
Mrs. Davison.

1. In reference to the first point: this writer depicts the character of
Dr. Hurlbut, as made up of dissoluteness, depravity, and crime. He was for
a considerable period a zealous Mormon, was ordained an elder, became a
distinguished preacher among them, and continued so, until they could
endure his vices no longer and cast him out--then he turned against them,
and endeavoured to expose their deception and imposture. Whether this be a
slander or true testimony, we have no means of ascertaining. But we do not
see, that in either case it makes any thing for Mormonism, or in the least
affects the truth of Mrs. Davison's statement. We can readily believe that
a system of imposture like that of Mormonism, would have charms for just
such a man as Hurlbut is described.

2. The assertion that Mrs. Davison did not write nor subscribe the letter
published in the Boston Recorder, furnishes a fair specimen of the
Jesuitical tricks resorted to, to keep up this imposture. A letter is
inserted in the pamphlet above referred to, written by Mr. John Haven, in
which a conversation is related, said to have taken place between Mrs.
Davison and the brother of the writer, and which is calculated and
evidently designed to carry the impression that Mrs. Davison utterly
disavowed the authorship of the letter, published in her name in relation
to the Spaulding manuscript. To satisfy myself on the truth of this point,
I addressed a letter to the Rev. Mr. Storrs, an extract from which I will

                           "_Hollistown, June 28th, 1841._

     "The results of my inquiries from Dr. Ely and from Mr.
     Austin confirm me in the opinion the Spaulding
     manuscript was the foundation of the foolish affair
     called the Mormon Bible. This is my opinion though we
     may not be able to prove it directly. I have never
     supposed, I have never said that they were one and the
     same thing. Only that it was the _foundation_ of the
     Mormon Bible: supposing that its story, its incidents,
     and names, gave the Mormon leaders the idea of their
     own book, and supposing that from it they manufactured
     the book about which so much has been said. _So_ then
     in using the word '_identical_' in relation to the
     manuscript and Smith's book, it must be understood in a
     modified sense.

     "We may never be able to prove by direct testimony that
     such was the foundation of the Mormon Bible. But we
     have circumstantial evidence enough. The communication
     made to the world by Mrs. Davison, it seems to me
     settles the question.

     "And then this testimony is not at all invalidated by
     the letter written from this town by Mr. John Haven,
     and published in the pamphlet you sent me, entitled
     "the Origin of the Spaulding Story concerning the
     manuscript found." And here observe the sophistry of
     this communication. The questions and answers from the
     letter are as follows: 'Did you, Mrs. Davison, write a
     letter to John Storrs, giving an account of the origin
     of the Book of Mormon? _Ans._ I did not. _Ques._ Did
     you sign your name to it? _Ans._ I did not; neither did
     I see the letter till I saw it in the Boston Recorder:
     the letter was never brought to me to sign. _Ques._
     What agency had you in having this letter sent to Mr.
     Storrs? _Ans._ D. R. Austin came to my house and asked
     me some questions, took some minutes on paper, and from
     these wrote the letter. _Ques._ Is what is written in
     the letter true? _Ans._ In the main it is.' The
     quibbling here is palpable. It is very true Mrs.
     Davison did not write a letter to me, and what is more,
     of course she did not sign it. But this she did do, and
     just what I wrote you in my former letter I supposed
     she did: she did sign her name to the original copy as
     prepared from her statement by Mr. Austin. This
     original copy is now in the hands of Mr. Austin. This
     he told me last week. But again, mark another and
     important thing in this catechism. It is the distinct
     avowal after all, and published by the Mormons
     themselves that what she had said was true. "Is what is
     written in the letter true? _Ans._ "_In the main it
     is._" It is just as you or any other honest man under
     similar circumstances would affirm such a production
     to be the truth. In fact she does not as I understand
     from the questions and answers disavow a single
     statement made in the communication to which her name
     was affixed. But she affirms it all as a verity. I must
     confess my wonder that the Mormons should ever have
     published the above quotations. It must be that they
     thought their quibble about Mrs. D. not signing the
     identical piece of paper sent to me, would cover up the
     great and important fact that, she affirmed that all
     that was sent to me was the truth. So then the
     circumstantial evidence contained in the communication
     published in the Recorder some few years ago that the
     Spaulding manuscript was the origin of the golden Bible
     remains sound.

     "But another thing: I expect we shall never be able to
     lay our hands on the identical manuscript, and thus
     prove by comparison in the sight of all that one was
     the foundation or origin of the other. But be this as
     it may, the very fact that it is lost, is evidence in
     my mind that the manuscript was the foundation of the
     Mormon book. Dr. Hurlbut took the manuscript. It is
     reported in Missouri, that he sold it for four hundred
     dollars; that the manuscript is not to be found. I must
     confess that my suspicions are, that a deep laid plot
     has been consummated to obtain possession of the
     manuscript, and thus preclude all possibility of its
     ever being compared by competent men with the Book of
     Mormon. At least my suspicions will not be removed
     until the manuscript--and the _whole_ manuscript--is
     returned to the hands of its owner. I am suspicious
     that a deep and long game has been played by the
     Mormons to obtain and destroy the manuscript. Some one
     has got that manuscript and has got it secreted from
     the public eye. And if that manuscript cannot be found,
     in my mind will be proved that the Mormons have
     conveyed it away. The burden of proof is on the
     Mormons. To them it belongs to produce the manuscript.
     If they have got the manuscript and will not produce
     it, it is plain they fear its publication to the world
     will destroy their pretended revelation.

                              "Your brother in the Lord,
                              JOHN STORRS."

I also wrote to the Rev. Mr. Austin for information, who returned me an
answer from which I make the following extracts.

                "_Sturbridge, Mass., June 28th, 1841._

     "The circumstances which called forth the letter
     published in the Boston Recorder in April 1839, were
     stated by Mr. Storrs in the introduction to that
     article. At his request I obtained from Mrs. Davison a
     statement of the facts contained in that letter, and
     wrote them out precisely as she related them to me. She
     then signed the paper with her own hand which I have
     now in my possession. Every fact as stated in that
     letter was related to me by her in the order they are
     set down. (There is one word mis-printed in the
     published letter--instead of "woman preacher," on the
     second column, it should be _Mormon preacher_.)

     "That the pamphlet published to refute the letter
     should contain false statements is not surprising. A
     scheme got up in falsehood must be sustained by lies.
     But the truth of the statements contained in that
     letter of Mrs. D. will remain unshaken, notwithstanding
     all the Mormons can do. It gives a very clear,
     consistent and rational account of the origin of that
     abominable piece of deception and fraud.

     "Mrs. Davison is now living about twelve miles from
     this place; is an aged woman and very infirm. Dr.
     Hurlbut was an entire stranger to her, and obtained her
     confidence by means of the letters of introduction
     which he brought from gentlemen in New-Salem. He
     promised to return the manuscript in a short time. Mrs.
     D. would only consent to lend it to him. He stated some
     time after he had received the manuscript that he had
     made $400 out of it. Mrs. D. has not the least doubt
     now but that he obtained it in order to sell it to the
     Mormons. If Dr. H. can be found, I have no doubt but
     that the manuscript may be traced into the hands of the
     Mormons--which would be about as satisfactory as to
     find it. If they purchased it of him, (of which there
     is no doubt) and refuse to present it, the reason is
     obvious. I can give no information with respect to the
     present residence of Dr. H. I suppose light on this
     point may be obtained at New Salem.

     "It is really wonderful how this most palpable delusion
     has spread. The foundation of it is the most weak and
     absurd of any delusion ever palmed upon the world. It
     is remarkable how these manias all tend to one point.
     Perfectionism, Unionism, and Mormonism, as they have
     been developed in this region, have all aimed directly
     at licentiousness. They feed and fatten upon one base
     passion. Mormonism will doubtless have its day and then
     die. Something quite as absurd will spring up in its
     place. There is an appetite in the community which
     craves such food. If it can be garnished with the name
     of religion, it will go into more extensive use.

     "This is one of the deepest plots of the devil. He has
     placed his golden hook under the name of a "golden
     book" in the nose of these miserable fanatics, and is
     leading them in the direct way to destruction.

     "Yours in the bonds of christian fellowship,

                              "D. R. AUSTIN."

3. In relation to the assertion, that Sidney Rigdon did not embrace
Mormonism till after the publication of the Book of Mormon; and that he did
not reside in Pittsburgh at the time stated by Mrs. Davison, we have some
remarks to offer in a subsequent chapter.

If Rigdon did not reside there at the time, still in accordance with Mrs.
D's suggestion, a copy might have been made of Mr. Spaulding's manuscript,
which subsequently came into his hands. This copy, even if Rigdon had no
hand in preparing the Book of Mormon, and was wholly ignorant of the
existence of Mr. Spaulding's manuscript, might have reached Smith in some
other way. It is enough to know that the one was the foundation of the
other, no matter who the agents in the imposture are. Even if it could be
proved that Rigdon had no knowledge of the manuscript, and no hand whatever
in preparing the Book of Mormon, this would in no respect invalidate Mrs.
Davison's testimony, or show that Mr. Spaulding's historical romance was
not the foundation of that book. Mrs. Davison merely conjectures that
Rigdon must have been the agent--and that from circumstantial evidence--but
she _knows_ that the outline of her husband's historical romance is
actually the basis--the manifest substratum of the Mormon Bible.

This point is made very clear by her testimony, that, in some way or
other, Smith and his coadjutors obtained a copy of Mr. Spaulding's
manuscript, which evidently forms the basis of this pretended bible, and
fastens upon it the undoubted mark of imposture.

But were not this the case--had Smith and those associated with him no such
basis, on which to build the scheme developed in the Book of Mormon, this
would in no way strengthen the claims which this volume sets up for a
divine origin. The book itself is full of internal evidence of imposture
and fraud.

If the reader can have patience to follow us we will endeavour in the two
subsequent chapters to furnish him with an outline of the principal topics
contained in the Book of Mormon.



According to the intimation given in the last chapter, we proceed to
furnish our readers with a brief outline of the contents of that mysterious
volume whose origin and history we have already given, and which, as we
have seen, has exerted no small influence in imparting a degree of
plausibility to the claims set up by this sect, and in gaining for them
among the superstitious and the credulous, hosts of converts. I have before
me a copy of the BOOK OF MORMON, which I have read through in order to
furnish the following analysis. Since reading this volume of nearly six
hundred pages, I am more than ever convinced that there were several hands
employed in its preparation. There are certainly striking marks of genius
and literary skill displayed in the management of the main story--while in
some of the details and hortatory parts there are no less unequivocal marks
of bungling and botch work.

As I have already stated, this volume consists of fifteen separate books,
which profess to have been written at different periods, and by different
authors, whose names they respectively bear: all these authors, however,
belonged to the same people, and were successively raised up by Jehovah,
and by him inspired to carry on the progress of the narrative, and deposit
the record when made upon metallic plates in the same ark of testimony
which contained the plates handed down by their predecessors. The first
book in the volume is called the Book of Nephi: it contains seven distinct
chapters, and opens with an account of Lehi, the father of Nephi. Nephi,
the writer of this first book, appears to be the grand hero of this epic.
His father, Lehi, resided in Jerusalem--was a devout man, and one that
feared God. His mother's name was Sariah--and the names of his three
brothers were Laman, Lemuel, and Sam. The narrative commences with the
first year of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah. During this year the
prophets of the most high God came and uttered such fearful predictions in
relation to the destruction of Jerusalem, that Lehi became greatly alarmed
for the city and for his people. He was so impressed with the messages
which the Hebrew seers proclaimed, that he was led to go and pray with
great fervency before the Lord. While in this solemn act of prayer, there
came down a pillar of fire and rested upon a rock before him, blazing forth
in awful majesty, and speaking to him out of the flames. Awed and terrified
by this divine manifestation, he went home and cast himself upon his bed
overwhelmed with anxious thoughts and fearful forebodings. While he lay
there thus meditating upon what he had seen, he was suddenly carried away
in a vision, and saw the heavens opened, and God sitting upon his throne,
"surrounded by numberless concourses of angels." "And it came to pass," I
here use the language of Nephi, (page 6,) "that he saw one descending out
of the midst of heaven. And he beheld that his lustre was above that of
the sun at noon day; and he saw twelve others following him, and their
brightness did exceed that of the stars in the firmament; and they came
down and went forth upon the face of the earth; and the first came and
stood before my father, and gave unto him a book, and bade him that he
should read. And it came to pass as he read, he was filled with the Spirit
of the Lord, and he read, saying, Wo, wo unto Jerusalem! for I have seen
thine abominations; yea and many things did my father read concerning
Jerusalem--that it should be destroyed, and the inhabitants thereof, many
should perish by the sword, and many should be carried away captive into
Babylon." Lehi, after this vision, became himself a prophet, and predicted
the overthrow of the Holy City; on account of which he was persecuted by
the Jews. While they were plotting to destroy him, he had another vision,
by which he was instructed to take his family and depart into the
wilderness. He immediately obeyed, leaving his house and land and gold and
silver and precious things behind. In his journeyings he came near the
shore of the Red Sea, and at length pitched his tent in a valley beside a
river of water. His two eldest sons were quite unbelieving, and thought it
absurd that their father should leave all his comforts behind, and come to
dwell in a tent in the wilderness. But Nephi who was the third son, was
piously disposed, and being led to seek the face of the Lord in prayer, had
a revelation from God--that he should be led to a _land of promise_, and
become a teacher and ruler over his brethren.

After this, Lehi also had another vision, in which he was commanded to send
Nephi and his brethren back to Jerusalem to obtain "_the record of the
Jews, and also a genealogy of his forefathers, engraven upon plates of
brass._" This was a mission attended with great danger, and replete with
sundry adventures of a marvellous character. After the three brethren had
reached Jerusalem, they cast lots to decide which should go to Laban, who
seems to have been the keeper of these sacred deposites, and ask for the
records. The lot fell upon Laman. He was received very roughly by Laban,
and had to flee from his presence for his life, without attaining the
object of his wishes. The two elder brothers now determined to abandon the
object of their mission and go back to their father; but Nephi, full of
faith, wished still to persevere, and therefore proposed that they should
go to their former residence and collect together the gold and silver and
precious things belonging to their father, and endeavour to make an
impression upon Laban's mind by the offer of all these, if he would give
them "the plates of brass." Laban was pleased with the exhibition of their
treasures, and determined to slay them, in order to possess their wealth.
They fled, however, into the wilderness, and hid themselves in the cavity
of a rock. The two elder brothers now became utterly indignant with Nephi,
and smote him with a rod, because he had led them into such an adventure.
An angel of God, however, appeared, and rebuked them--enjoining it upon
them to go up to Jerusalem again, and not to give over the enterprise upon
which they had embarked--assuring them that the Lord would deliver Laban
into their hands. Notwithstanding this divine reproof, the two elder
brothers felt rather sorely towards Nephi, and went up again towards
Jerusalem quite reluctantly. When they reached the walls of the city, they
positively refused to go any farther. Nephi, however, offered to go again
to the house of Laban. He proposed that they should hide without the walls,
and wait till his return. It was night; and Nephi stole carefully into the
city, directing his steps towards the house of Laban. As he drew near his
residence, however, he found a man stretched out on the ground, drunk with
wine. Upon examination, he found it was Laban himself. He was armed with a
sword, the hilt of which was "of pure gold, and the workmanship exceeding
fine." Nephi drew the sword from its scabbard, and as he held it up, he
felt constrained by the Spirit to kill Laban. He had to struggle some time
with the natural tenderness of his feelings, but his desire to obey God
prevailed, and he therefore "took Laban by the hair of the head, and smote
off his head with his own sword." He then stript off the garments of Laban,
and put them on himself, and girded himself with his armour, and "went
forth towards the treasury of Laban," and as he went, "he saw the servant
of Laban that had the keys of the treasury." This servant mistook Nephi,
who tried to imitate the voice of Laban, for his own master, and readily
took out "the engravings which were upon the plates of brass" and carried
them without the walls. When the servant discovered the mistake, he was
very much frightened--but at length was prevailed upon to accompany these
adventurers into the wilderness: therefore having obtained the object of
their wishes, they returned to the tent of their father.

Lehi now examined, at his leisure, the records engraven upon the plates of
brass, and found that they contained the five books of Moses, "and also a
record of the Jews from the beginning even down to the commencement of the
reign of Zedekiah, and also many prophecies spoken by the mouth of
Jeremiah." He also found a genealogy of his fathers, from which he learned
that he was a descendant of Joseph.

Here I cannot but remark that it is astonishing that he had not found out
before this to what tribe he belonged; and it is not a little remarkable
that as the sons of Joseph, Ephraim, and Manassah, were appointed to
represent two tribes, in the place of Joseph and Levi, he had not told us
from which of these descendants he sprang. We were all along at a loss to
know what sort of officer Laban was, but here we are told at this stage of
the narrative: "Thus my father Lehi did discover the genealogy of his
fathers. And Laban also was a descendant of Joseph, wherefore he and his
fathers kept the records." This seems to us quite a _non sequitur_.

But to proceed. Upon obtaining these plates of brass, Lehi began to be
"filled with the spirit, and to prophecy concerning his seed; that these
plates of brass should go forth unto all nations, _kindreds_, tongues, and
people, which were of his _seed_. Wherefore, he said that these plates of
brass should never perish; neither should they be dimmed any more by time."

Soon after this Nephi had a very wonderful vision, which he told to his two
sons, by way of warning the two elder, Laman and Lemuel, of whom he had
great fears--as they were disposed to be unbelieving and rebellious. This
vision presented an allegorical representation. Lehi declared that he saw a
man dressed in a white robe, who came and stood before him, and then bade
him follow him. He did so. The white robed guide led him through a long,
dark, and dreary waste. After travelling on for many hours in darkness he
began to pray unto the Lord; and the Lord then led him into a large,
spacious field, in the midst of which he saw "a tree whose fruit was
desirable to make one happy." He partook of this fruit, which was intensely
white, "exceeding all the whiteness he had ever seen." As soon as he had
partaken of the fruit, "his soul was filled with exceeding great joy." This
led him to wish that his family should come and partake of the same. While
looking around to see if he could discover his family, he beheld a river of
water, which ran along near the tree of whose fruit he had been partaking.
At a short distance he beheld the head of this stream, and near it his wife
and two younger sons, and they stood as if they knew not whither they
should go: and he called out unto them with a loud voice to approach the
tree and partake the fruit thereof, and they came. And then his anxieties
were awake for his two elder sons, whom at length he discovered in the
distance, near the head of the stream, but he could not induce them to come
to him or approach the tree. And then he beheld a rod of iron extending
along the bank of the river, leading to the tree by which he stood: and
also "a straight and narrow path, which came along by the rod of iron to
the tree. And it also led by the head of the fountain, unto a large and
spacious field, as if it had been a world, and he saw numberless concourses
of people: many of whom were pressing forwards, that they might obtain the
path which led unto the tree by which he stood." As soon as those who were
advancing entered this narrow path they encountered "an exceeding great
mist of darkness," so that many lost their way, while others caught hold of
the end of the rod of iron, and pressed forward through the mist, clinging
to the rod, and following it until they came into the light amid which the
tree stood, and partook of its fruit. The persons who thus approached the
tree, after they had partaken of the fruit, looked around and some of them
seemed ashamed. "Lehi also cast his eyes round about, and beheld on the
other side of the river of water, a great and spacious building: and it
stood as it were in the air: and it was filled with people both old and
young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceeding fine;
and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards
those which had come at, and were partaking of the fruit." This was what
caused some who had come to the tree to be filled with shame, and to fall
away. He saw continual multitudes pressing forward towards the tree, and
others towards the great, and spacious building. With all his persuasion
Lehi could not induce his two eldest sons to come and partake of the fruit
of the tree, therefore he had great fears in relation to them.

After relating this vision, Lehi began to prophecy in relation to the
Saviour, and told very distinctly what is related in the New Testament
about him. Nephi, however, became very anxious to see the tree of which his
father had told, and at length he was gratified. The same vision was
repeated to him, and he obtained also from the spirit of the Lord the
interpretation thereof. The spirit commanded him to look. He did so, and
first he beheld Jerusalem--then Nazareth--and "in the city of Nazareth, a
virgin exceeding fair and white." And then he saw the heavens open, and an
angel came down, and stood before him, and said, "the virgin which thou
seest, is the mother of God, after the manner of the flesh." She was
carried away in the spirit, and after awhile she returned bearing a child
in her arms, and the angel said to him, "Behold the Lamb of God, yea even
the eternal Father! Knowest thou the meaning of the tree which thy father
saw? And I answered him, saying: Yea, _it is the love of God_." Afterwards
he looked and saw the son of God going forth among the children of men. He
then saw in succession all the miracles of Christ--all the events of his
life--the scenes that followed his crucifixion--and the whole history of
the Christian Church up to the _present_ time--_beyond which_ the deponent
Nephi sayeth not.

The tree was the love of God in Christ--the rod of iron leading to it was
the word of God--the mist and darkness, that blinded the eyes of those
going to the tree, were the temptations of the devil--the large and
spacious building was the pride and vain imaginations of the children of

After this protracted vision, Nephi returned to the tent of his father, and
found his brethren disputing about the allegorical sense of the vision of
their father Lehi. He of course was now prepared to enlighten them. They
asked him "what meaneth the river of water which our father saw?" and he
replied, "The water was filthiness. So much was my father's mind swallowed
up in other things, that he beheld not the filthiness of the water, and I
said unto them, that it was an awful gulf which separateth the wicked from
the tree of life, and also from the saints of God--a representation of

I have neglected to mention that previous to Lehi's vision, Nephi and his
brethren were commissioned to go up to Jerusalem the second time, to
persuade Ishmael and his five daughters to join his father in the
wilderness. The fifth chapter opens with a tender scene, in which Nephi
and his brethren are married to the daughters of Ishmael. Immediately
after, Lehi received a command to strike his tent and journey on into the
wilderness. And when he arose the next morning and went forth to the tent
door, "to his great astonishment he beheld upon the ground a round ball of
curious workmanship, and it was of fine brass. And within the ball were two
spindles; and the one pointed the way whither we should go into the
wilderness." They travelled on "for the space of four days nearly a south
east direction." Various trials occurred in their journey. The elder
brothers uniformly murmured, and Nephi was uniformly submissive. When in
extremity the brass ball was their guide, pointing out the way, and
exhibiting, inscribed on its sides, the various intelligence they needed
visible at proper times. Ishmael died in the wilderness, where they
sojourned for the space of eight years. At length they pitched their tents
by the sea shore. Here Nephi was called to ascend a high mountain. There
the Lord met him, and commanded him to construct a ship to carry his people
across the waters to the promised land. He commenced the construction of
this ship in the face of much opposition, and of many difficulties, being
quite ignorant of the art of ship-building, and his brethren at the same
time ridiculing and opposing him. But the Lord helped him, so that
ultimately his brethren not only desisted from their opposition, but united
in assisting him to complete it; and then they embarked with all their
stock of seeds, animals, and provisions. During the voyage Nephi's elder
brothers began again to be rebellious. They bound him with cords, and
treated him with great cruelty. They, however, soon encountered a terrible
gale, and were driven back from their course. The brazen ball which had
miraculously guided them through the wilderness, and which was now a
compass to steer by, ceased to work, and they were in the most awful peril.
For a long time their fate seemed suspended, and their destiny doubtful;
but the power of God at length softened the hearts of Laman and Lemuel, who
released Nephi from his confinement, and then again every thing went on
smoothly, and they soon reached the land of promise, which of course was
America, where "they found beasts of every kind in the forest, both the
cow, and the ox, and the ass, and the horse, and the goat, and the wild
goat, and all manner of wild animals for the use of men." And "all manner
of ore, both of gold and silver, and copper." Nephi by the command of the
Lord made metallic plates soon after his arrival in America of this ore, on
which he recorded their peregrinations, adventures, and all the prophecies
which God gave him concerning the future destinies of his people and the
human race. These plates were to be kept for the instruction of the people
of the land, and for other purposes known to the Lord.

The second book of Nephi consists of fifteen chapters. It opens with an
account of Lehi's death, who, previous to his decease, calls all his
children around him and their descendants, and reminds them of God's
goodness in having brought them to the promised land, and gives each a
patriarchal blessing, uttering sundry predictions in reference to their
future destinies. After the death of Lehi, Laman and Lemuel undertook to
destroy Nephi, who thereupon fled into the wilderness, taking along with
him his own family, his brother Sam, and his younger brothers, Jacob and
Joseph, who were born after his father went out from Jerusalem, and their
families. He also took along with him the plates of brass, and the ball
that guided them in their former wanderings in the wilderness by the Red
Sea, and was their compass to steer by across the ocean. Being thus
separated they became the heads of separate tribes. The Nephites soon grew
into a numerous people, and built a temple "like unto Solomon's." They,
like their father Nephite, for many generations were good christians,
hundreds of years before Christ was born, practising baptism and other
christian usages. Nephi here accounts for the color of the aborigines. It
was the curse of God upon the descendants of his elder brothers on account
of their disobedience. "Wherefore as they were white, and exceeding fair
and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people, therefore
the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them." A curse was
also pronounced upon intermarriages with them. Nephi also declares that on
account of the curse of God upon them "they did become an idle people, full
of mischief and subtlety, and did seek in the wilderness for beasts of

In this book is also introduced "the words of Jacob, the brother of Nephi,
which he spake unto the people of Nephi." He predicts the coming of Christ,
and the return of the Jews from dispersion upon embracing the gospel. Nephi
then takes up the subject, and transcribes several chapters from Isaiah by
way of corroboration. This is followed by a long harangue, setting forth
all the peculiar theology of the New Testament. He then predicts the
appearance of a great prophet, and a marvellous book which he shall bring
to light. The book of course is the golden Bible, and the prophet Jo Smith.
"Wherefore," continues he, "at that day when the book shall be delivered
unto the man of whom I have spoken, the book shall be hid from the eyes of
the world, _that the eyes of none shall behold it, save it be that three
witnesses shall behold it by the power of God, besides him to whom the book
shall be delivered_: and they shall testify to the truth of the book, and
the things therein." This would seem to be directly in the teeth of what
actually happened, for as we have seen in a former number there were eight
other witnesses besides the three, who declared that they saw these
mysterious plates. To elude this difficulty a saving clause is thrown into
this chapter to this effect. "And there is none other which shall view it,
save it be a few, according to the will of God, to bear testimony of his
word unto the children of men." The reason is also here assigned why the
plates are not spread before the learned--it is to teach them humility! An
unlearned man is chosen to transcribe the hieroglyphics, or words of the
book, that the learned may read them. The learned refuse to read the
hieroglyphics, unless they can see the plates whence they are taken. This
God will not permit. He has no need of learned men. He is able to do his
own work. He will therefore make use of the unlearned to bring these hidden
things to light. The prophet, though an unlearned man, will be competent
through the power of God, not only to transcribe but to translate the book.

Nephi discards altogether the idea that our present revelation is complete,
or that our sacred books contain the whole canon of Scripture. He predicts
that the Book of Mormon will meet with opposition,--that many of the
Gentiles would say upon its appearance,--"A Bible, a Bible, we have got a
Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible. Thou fool, that shall say, a
Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained a
Bible save it were by the Jews? Know ye not that there are more nations
than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God have created all men, and
that I remember _they_ which are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule
in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word
unto the children of men, yea even upon all the nations of the earth?
Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye
not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God,
that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore I speak the same
words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run
together, the testimony of the two nations shall run together also. And I
do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday to-day and
forever, and that I speak forth my words according to my own pleasure. And
because that I have spoken one word, ye need not suppose that I cannot
speak another; for my work is not yet finished, neither shall it be until
the end of man; neither from that time henceforth and forever. Wherefore
because ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words;
neither need ye to suppose that I have not caused more to be written; for I
command all men both in the east and in the west, and in the north and in
the south, and in the Islands of the sea, that they shall write those words
I speak unto them. Behold I shall speak unto the Jews and they shall write
it,--unto the Nephites, and they shall write it,--unto the other tribes of
the house of Israel which I have led away, and they shall write it; and
unto all the nations of the earth and they shall write it. And the Jews
shall have the words of the Nephites, and the Nephites the words of the
Jews. And the Nephites and the Jews shall have the words of the lost tribes
of Israel, &c." This we consider one of the most pernicious features of
this HISTORICAL ROMANCE,--that it claims for itself an entire equality in
point of divine authority with the sacred canon. It is not only calculated
to deceive and delude the credulous, and marvel loving, but to strengthen
the cause of infidelity.

The only remaining thing worthy of note in this second Book of Nephi, is
the prediction of the ultimate conversion of the Indians, who are a part of
the lost tribes of Israel, or descendants of Nephi, to Christianity,
through the influence of Mormonism, and that soon after this event they
would change their colour, and become "a white and delightsome people." The
period occupied by the events related in this Book of Nephi, is fifty five

The next book in course is the Book of Jacob, one of the younger brothers
of Nephi; which contains five chapters. This book gives an account of the
ordaining of Jacob by Nephi, to be priest over the people, and the
particulars of Nephi's death. It also relates the circumstance of Jacob's
confounding a man who rose up among them and sought to overthrow the
doctrine of Christ; and contains a specimen of Jacob's preaching. One of
the arguments by which he endeavoured to reclaim the Nephites from certain
prevailing sins, was that if they did not repent, the curse of God would
light upon them and they would become as dark coloured as the Lamanites.
Sundry efforts were made by the benevolent Nephites "to reclaim and restore
the Lamanites to the knowledge of the truth." But it was all to no purpose.
They continued to delight in wars and bloodshed, and cherished an eternal
hatred against their brethren. To ward off their incursions, the people of
Nephi had to fortify and protect their land with a strong military force.

Jacob, who had brought up his son Enos "in the nurture and admonition of
the Lord," when he saw his own decease approaching, gave him the plates and
left him successor in office over the people of Nephi.

The Book of Enos is short, as is also the two following books of Jarom and
Omni, containing little except an account of the transmission of the plates
from one generation to another till the time of king Benjamin, about 320
years after the flight of Lehi from Jerusalem. During the latter part of
this period, many wars took place between the people of Nephi and the
Lamanites; so that Mosiah, then king, was warned to emigrate into a new
region, or district of the wilderness--into a land called Zarahemla. After
reaching there they discovered that the people of Zarahemla were also Jews
who came from Jerusalem at the time that Zedekiah, king of Judah, was
carried away captive into Babylon, and that they were also brought by the
hand of the Lord across the great waters. The Lamanites at this period are
described as "a wild, ferocious, and blood-thirsty people, wandering about
in the wilderness with a short skin girded about their loins, and their
heads shaven, and their skill was in the bow and the scimitar and the axe.
And many of them did eat nothing save it was raw meat."

But I must stop. I fear the reader is already wearied with these foolish
vagaries of the imagination, which the Mormon prophet palms off upon his
followers as the revelation of the Most High. To redeem our pledge in
giving an analysis of the Book of Mormon, we shall be obliged to occupy
another chapter with these details. If the reader cannot make up his mind
to follow us, he can skip over the next chapter.



The question has been frequently asked, why the sect whose history we have
been attempting to sketch, are called Mormons? The answer to this question
will be readily suggested to any one who has patience to wade through Mr.
Spaulding's historical romance. From the account that we have already given
of the Book of Mormon we are led to see the mode by which it is pretended
that the records of one generation of the Nephites were transmitted to
another, and how the history of each preceding age was preserved. These
records were engraven upon plates, and the plates, handed down from one
prophet to another, or from one king to another, or from one judge to
another--the Lord always having raised up some one to receive these plates,
when the person in whose hands they had been previously placed was about to
die. Mormon, who lived about four hundred years after the coming of Christ,
while yet a child received a command in relation to these sacred deposites.
The metallic plates which contained the record of all the generations of
his fathers, from the flight of Lehi from Jerusalem to his own time,
ultimately came into his hands. From these plates he made an abriged
record, which, taken together, in connection with the record of his own
times, constitutes the BOOK OF MORMON. Thus we see why the book bears this
title. For Mormon was a sort of Ezra, who compiled the entire sacred canon
contained in this volume. He lived at a very eventful period, when almost
all his people had fallen into a fearful apostacy, and he lived to see them
all destroyed, except twenty-four persons. Himself and these sole survivors
of his race were afterwards cut off with a single exception. His son
Moroni, one of the survivors, lived to tell the mournful tale, and deposite
the plates under the hill where Jo Smith found them. Mormon took his name
from a place where the first American church was founded, of which we shall
hear directly, and where the first candidates for admission into the church
were baptized, some two hundred years before the commencement of the
Christian era. He was very distinguished in his way, and quite worthy to be
the founder of this new sect, who have brought to light his records, and
rescued from oblivion such a bundle of marvels, as no one ever heard the
like before.

I am sorry to say I must ask you to follow me through a _labyrinth_ of
history, if I carry out the plan of furnishing an analysis of the Book of

We have already traced the history of the Lamanites and Nephites down to
the period of King Benjamin, between three and four hundred years from the
period of Lehi's flight from Jerusalem. The father of Benjamin was Mosiah,
who was warned of the Lord to migrate to Zarahemla with all his people,
that he and they might not be destroyed by the Lamanites. Zarahemla was
subsequently the scene of much that is interesting in this history. It now
became the dwelling place of the Nephites. Benjamin was the king of the
land. He was a sort of David. He not only fought nobly, but took great
pains to establish true religion among the people. He assembled them
together, and addressed to them powerful exhortations, preaching to them
"repentance and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ." The people were so much
affected that they fell to the earth--were converted, and became firm
believers in Christ. Benjamin then thoroughly instructed them in the
doctrines of Christianity, and finally died about four hundred and seventy
six years after Lehi's flight. His son, Mosiah, reigned in his stead, who
was no less eminent in kingly power and righteousness than his father. All
these facts are given us in what is termed the Book of Mosiah, which
contains thirteen chapters.

In the fifth chapter we have quite an episode introduced. As we have before
noticed, the Nephites had left their first residence and gone to dwell in
the land of Zarahemla.--Some of their number, however, desired to go back
to the land where they formerly dwelt. The first party that went out for
this purpose were unsuccessful, having had much dissension among
themselves. The second attempt, made under a leader by the name of Zeniff,
resulted in their making a settlement in that land, and building a city
called Lehi-Nephi. No intercourse, however, having been kept up by this
colony with their parent country, the result of their enterprise remained
unknown in Zarahemla. In the reign of Mosiah, however, a number of
individuals determined to go out on an exploring excursion, and to
ascertain what had been the fate of their brethren, who had thus gone up
to the land of Nephi. The leader of this exploring party was Ammon, a man
that afterwards became famous among the Nephites. This party travelled a
long way through the wilderness. I suppose the wilderness, as the term is
used in the book of Mormon in reference to America, means woods or forests.
At length they approached the land of Shilom and Nephi. They had not
proceeded far before an armed band fell upon them, and having taken them
prisoners, bound them and brought them before the king of the land. His
name was Limhi, and, as it appeared in the sequel, he was a descendant of
Zeniff. As soon as Limhi learned Ammon's origin and the errand on which he
came, he released him and his company from their bands, treated them with
great hospitality, and invoked his and his country's aid to assist them in
extricating themselves from the oppressive power of the Lamanites. Limhi
also assembled his people together, and announced to them the character of
these visiters. He then brought out the records of his people, and
exhibited them to Ammon and his company. Ammon read the engravings upon the
plates, which in substance were as follows:--Zeniff, the founder of this
people, after leaving Zarahemla, travelled a long way through the
wilderness, where he encountered various trials, and at length came to the
land of Lehi-Nephi and Shilom. They found this country in possession of the
Lamanites. From the king of Laman, however, he obtained by treaty the
privilege of occupying this land. The Lamanites, the old enemies of his
nation, allowed his people to go on and build cities, and make improvements
for many years, and then rose up and sought to bring them under their
dominion, that they might bear the relation of serfs or vassals to them.
This attempt was rigorously resisted by Zeniff and the colony he had
established. During the whole life of Zeniff, who now became their king,
the Lamanites were invariably repulsed, and driven off. After his death the
kingdom was conferred upon his son Noah, who proved to be a very bad and
depraved man. Iniquity soon began to abound every where in the land, and
vice to stalk shamelessly abroad with brazen front. Just at this time the
Lord raised up among them a prophet by the name of Abinadi. He was very
valiant for the truth. He reproved the people for their sins, and denounced
the judgments of God openly against them. This fearless denunciation on the
part of the prophet awaked the displeasure of the people, who determined
and sought to slay the man of God. But Abinadi fled and escaped out of
their hands. After about two years, however, he returned in disguise, so
that they did not know that it was Abinadi. But as he continued to reprove
them, and denounce heaven's wrath against them they determined to kill him.
He however was not at all intimidated, but enforced his bold reproofs by
repeating to them each one of the commands contained in the decalogue. This
exasperated them the more, and they sought to destroy him at once; but he
defied their efforts, declaring to them they could have no power over him
till he had finished his message. Accordingly he went on, and preached unto
them the coming of Christ, exhibiting the whole plan of salvation as laid
down in the gospel. His preaching seemed to make some impression upon the
mind of the king, but the priests of the land, who were wicked and who
derided the idea of the coming of Christ--succeeded in getting him put to
death. He was accordingly led forth and burned at the stake.

Among those who were present, and heard Abinadi testify in reference to the
coming and power of Christ, was a young man by the name of Alma, whose
heart was touched by the words of the prophet. Though Abinadi perished in
the flames, his spirit lived in Alma, who now became not only a firm
believer, but a preacher of the doctrines which Abinadi taught. He, of
course, became obnoxious both to the king and priests of Lehi-Nephi.--He,
however, persevered in preaching, though he was obliged to do it in a
private way. His preaching was attended with great effect. And now it was,
that those who believed on him resorted to a place called MORMON for
baptism. The record thus states the matter. "As many as did believe him,
did go forth to a place which was called Mormon, having received its name
from the king, being in the borders of the land, having been infested, by
times, or at seasons, by wild beasts. Now there was in Mormon a fountain of
pure water, and Alma resorted thither, there being near the water a thicket
of small trees, where he did hide himself in the day-time from the searches
of the king." Here the people came secretly to hear him. And Alma
instructed them in the doctrines of Christ, and baptized them by immersion
in the waters of Mormon. About two hundred and four souls were thus
baptized. The record having recounted these facts, proceeds to say, "This
was done in Mormon: yea, by the waters of Mormon; yea, the place of Mormon,
the waters of Mormon, how beautiful are they to the eyes of them who there
came to the knowledge of their Redeemer; yea, how blessed are they, for
they shall sing to his praise for ever." It was from this place, and these
waters, that the individual took his name, from whom the sect of the
Mormons derives their appellation.

Alma and his operations at Mormon, however, soon became known, and created
a great sensation. He and his followers were denounced as rebels, and a
military force was sent out to cut them off. They had now increased to
nearly five hundred souls. Apprized of the designs of King Noah, they
immediately fled into the wilderness.

The Lord did not allow the wickedness of the people of Lehi-Nephi to go
unpunished. The Lamanites soon came upon them, and reduced them to a state
of vassalage.--They were still allowed, however, to keep up the shadow of a
government, and Limhi succeeded Noah in the kingdom. They were not only
made tributary to the Lamanites, but repeated efforts were made on the part
of the Lamanites to cut them off, and this led them to be always in a
warlike posture. They were also exposed to assaults continually from a
banditti that at times came up from the wilderness, and fell upon them.
When Ammon and his party were seized by the armed forces of Limhi they were
supposed to be one of these marauding bands. This explains the cause of the
treatment which they at first received.

Limhi, having thus explained matters to Ammon, proceeded to tell him that a
short time before, a small party, having been sent out by him to search for
the land of Zarahemla, missed the object of their search, but stumbled upon
a country, filled with the ruins of ancient buildings, the remains of
decayed and rust-cankered armour, and the bones of men and beasts. Here,
also, were found the records of this extinct race, "engraven upon plates of
ore." These plates, which were twenty-four in number, and of pure gold,
they brought away with them, but the writing was in a language which
neither Limhi nor any of his people understood. They applied therefore, to
Ammon to see if he could translate it, but he could not. Ammon, however,
told them that he knew one who could interpret these engravings, "even the
king of the people which is in the land of Zarahemla." He remarked, "he
hath wherewith he can look and translate all records that are of ancient
date, and it is a gift from God. And the things are called interpreters;
and no man can look in them except he be commanded, lest he should look for
that he had not ought, and he should perish." I suppose these must have
been the spectacles handed down with the plates through which Joseph Smith
looked to read and translate the book of Mormon. Ammon, in his discourse to
Limhi, greatly magnified the office of such a looker: "whosoever is
commanded to look in them, the same is called seer. A seer is a revelator,
and a prophet also. A seer can know of things which has past, and also of
things which is to come: and a gift which is greater can no man have." The
preceding quotation will give an idea of the grammatical correctness and
style of this book.

Limhi of course was very happy at the idea of having the historic facts
veiled under these mysterious characters, constituting the written language
of an extinct race, brought to light. In this he was gratified, as we shall
subsequently see.

But the great matter, which just at this time weighed most upon Limhi's
mind, was, how he could extricate himself from the iron meshes of the net
which the Lamanites had cast over his people. Ammon, however, devised an
expedient, by which the whole people could flee secretly from Lehi-Nephi.
They watched the opportunity and took their flight and found a secure
asylum in Zarahemla, where they were received by Mosiah with joy, who also
received their records, and the record which they had found in the country
of the extinct people before noticed. Here this episode should end. But
appended to this is a sub-episode in relation to the people, which were
driven into the wilderness by the people of king Noah.--The followers of
Alma, who were organized into a church at Mormon, and fled for their lives,
travelled eight days through the dense forests, till at length they came to
a very beautiful and pleasant country. Here they pitched their tents, and
began to till the ground and erect buildings. They offered to make Alma
their king, but he declined the honour, and dissuaded them from the idea of
having a kingly government. He was already the founder of their Church, and
filled among them the office of high priest. No irregularities were allowed
in ecclesiastical discipline, as we are expressly informed that "none
received authority to preach, or to teach except it were by him from God.
Therefore he consecrated all their priests and all their teachers." The
deep secluded glen which they inhabited was at length discovered by the
roving tribes of the Lamanites, who immediately subjected them to a bondage
that was peculiarly oppressive. They soon contrived, however, to escape
from their hands, and fled to the land of Zarahemla, which was now becoming
a refuge for the oppressed. They were there kindly received by Mosiah,
shortly after the arrival of Limhi and his people. Thus ends this episode.

All the people of Nephi were now assembled together, and also the people of
Limhi and Alma, and in their hearing Mosiah read the records both of Zeniff
and of Alma; and the Nephites were filled with amazement and joy.--Alma was
called out to address the mighty concourse of these gathered tribes. King
Limhi and all his people at once became converts to the doctrines of Alma,
and desired baptism. And we are told: "That Alma did go forth into the
water, and did baptize them; yea, he did baptize them after the manner he
did his brethren in the waters of Mormon; yea, and as many as he did
baptize, did belong to the church of God; and this because of their belief
on the words of Alma. And it came to pass that king Mosiah granted unto
Alma that he might establish churches throughout all the land of Zarahemla;
and gave him power to ordain priests and teachers over every church. Now
this was done because there was so many people that they could not all be
governed by one teacher; neither could they all hear the word of God in one
assembly; therefore they did assemble themselves together in different
bodies, being called churches, every church having their priests and their
teachers, and every priest preaching the word according as it was delivered
to him by the mouth of Alma; and thus notwithstanding their being many
churches they were all one church; yea, even THE CHURCH OF GOD!!" The
people had generally, especially those who had lived in the land of king
Benjamin, become very pious Christians. But many of the children, who were
now growing up to man's estate, being still unregenerate, were full of
unbelief; and some of them became awfully depraved. Among the number were
the sons of the king, and also a son of Alma, who bore the name of his
father. They were not only profligate in their lives, but bitter and
scoffing infidels. While this young Alma, like Saul of Tarsus was laying
waste the church of God, an angel of God appeared to him by the way, and
descending in a cloud spoke to him in a voice of thunder which caused the
earth to shake upon which they stood. He instantly fell to the earth, being
struck dumb and entirely senseless. He continued in this state for two days
and two nights and then rose up a perfectly changed and converted man, and
became a most zealous preacher of righteousness. Four of the sons of Mosiah
were also converted, and became preachers. These sons of the king were so
zealous, that they embraced the idea of going on a mission to see if they
could not convert the Lamanites. The plan having been approved by their
father, they set off. We shall in due time hear what was the result of
their efforts. But years passed away without any intelligence being
received of them. Their father was growing old, and he had no one on whom
to confer the kingdom. He therefore committed the records of his people for
transmission to young Alma, who had now become so pious. He did not do this
however, till he had translated the records of the extinct nation found by
the people of Limhi, engraven upon twenty-four plates of gold.

These records form what is called the book of Ether, in the BOOK OF MORMON,
which is placed by Mormon nearly at the end of this volume. The substance
of this record is as follows: The people who inhabited these regions, were
descendants of Jared and his brother, who were among those that were
engaged in building the tower of Babel. When Jared and his brother saw that
God was confounding the language of all the builders, they cried unto him
that he would have compassion on them and not confound their language. He
did so. They also besought him to show them into what part of the earth he
would have them go. He gave them a satisfactory response, guided them a
long way through the wilderness, and instructed them to build barges to
cross the sea. These were made air tight. A breathing hole was made in the
top. To dissipate the darkness, they were instructed to obtain sixteen
molten stones, which were touched by the finger of God, and thus these
molten stones became in the dark barges like so many stars to enlighten the
passengers. They embarked in these barges and were miraculously conducted
over mountain waves to the promised land--which was America. Here they
became mighty nations--built cities--cultivated the arts--and finally on
account of their wickedness became exterminated by dreadful wars between

The following description is the account given of Mosiah's mode of
translating these records: "He translated them by the means of those two
stones which was fastened into two rims of a bow. Now these things was
prepared from the beginning, and was handed down from generation to
generation for the purpose of interpreting languages; and they have been
kept and preserved by the hand of the Lord; and whosoever has these things
is called seer."--The same spectacles, as we have seen, came down as an
heir loom to Jo Smith.

We have now reached the five hundred and ninth year after the flight of
Lehi. Here the book of Mosiah ends giving an account of the termination of
the reign of the kings, and the commencement of a sort of republican
government, or what is called the reign of the judges.--This change was
brought about because none of the sons of Mosiah would accept the kingdom.
Alma was made the first chief judge. The book of Alma here follows, which
contains twenty-nine chapters, and occupies nearly two hundred pages of the
BOOK OF MORMON. It is principally filled with details of the events that
happened under the reign of the early judges of the wars and contentions
among the people, of the efforts of Alma and others to establish the
church, and an account of a war between the Nephites and the Lamanites. One
of the first cases brought before Alma after he sat upon the judgment-seat,
was that of Nehor, a very large man, and noted for his great strength. He
preached strange doctrine to the people, declaring "_that every priest and
teacher had ought_ to become popular; and they ought not to labour with
their own hands, but that they _had ought_ to be supported by the people."
This was one of his heresies. The other was the doctrine of the
universalists, "he testified unto the people that all mankind should be
saved at the last day and that they need not fear nor tremble, but that
they might lift up their heads and rejoice; for the Lord had created all
men, and had also redeemed all men; and in the end all men should have
eternal life." Gideon opposed him, and thereupon Nehor became wroth and
slew him. He was accordingly brought before the judgment seat and doomed
to die. After about five years Amilici, a cunning shrewd man, of similar
sentiments with Nehor, rose up, and tried to lead away the people. He at
length was so successful that he proposed himself as the king of the
nation. The question whether he should be king, was decided by popular
vote, and he was defeated. His adherents however still clave to him, and
anointed him king, and immediately hereupon there commenced a civil war.
The insurgents were defeated in battle, and fled to the Lamanists, who now
came in like an inundation upon Zarahemla. But the people of Zarahemla
cried unto the Lord, and went forth in his strength and utterly defeated
them. The grotesque appearance of the Lamanites at this time is thus
described. "The heads of the Lamanites were shorn; and they were naked,
save it were a skin which was girded about their loins, and also their
armor, which was girded about them, and their bows and their armour, and
their stones and their slings. And the skins of the Lamanites were dark,
according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse
upon them because of their transgression, and their rebellion against their

A season of universal prosperity to the church followed this expulsion of
the Lamanites, three hundred and fifty persons having been baptized by Alma
during the seventh year of the reign of the judge. At the end of the eighth
year there was a sensible decline in spiritual things. So alarming was the
state of things, that Alma, who had hitherto held the office of chief judge
and high priest, laid down altogether the ermine, and took up the crozier,
devoting himself wholly to the business of preaching, with a view to
revive and establish the churches. We have sundry specimens of his sermons,
which show that he was a perfect _Boanerges_, a real son of thunder, with
which few modern preachers, however versed in the doctrines of
Christianity, or skilled in the tactics of Arminian theology, would venture
to compete. Great effects attended his preaching generally in the various
cities he visited, but when he reached the city of Ammonihah he could make
no impression upon the minds of the people. He therefore gave them up in
despair; but as he was departing an angel of God met him and told him to go
back, and make another effort. He did so, and Amulek, a young man of some
distinction, was converted, who laboured with him in the ministry. But the
lawyers opposed them, and tried to stir up the people against them. Alma,
however, waxed mighty in spirit, and confounded, and perfectly silenced
Zeezrom, the most distinguished of the lawyers. Zeezrom himself was
ultimately converted, and suffered much persecution for his new faith. Alma
and Amulek were imprisoned, abused and every way insulted, but their prison
doors were broken open, and they delivered in the sight of all the people.
Among the most prominent topics of Alma's preaching was the speedy coming
of Christ. He declared he would appear in this land in America after his
resurrection. Before dismissing the subject of Alma and his preaching, who
is one of the most distinguished characters in the book, I cannot refrain
from transcribing a passage from his address to the people of Ammonihah.
"And now, my beloved brethren, for ye are my brethren, and ye _had ought_
to be beloved, and ye _had ought_ to bring forth works which _is mete_ for
repentance, seeing that your hearts have been grossly hardened against the
word of God, and seeing that ye are a lost and a fallen people."

We have next an episode, giving an account of the missionary adventures of
the sons of Mosiah, in their attempts to evangelize the Lamanites. These
four sons most unexpectedly made their appearance in the land of Zarahemla
after an absence of fourteen years. After they first reached the land of
the Lamanites, they were seized and made slaves in the service of several
princes that reigned there. Ammon, whose adventures are related with the
most minuteness, was a perfect Guy of Warwick. He could encounter and
overcome by his single arm, hundreds of men, all trying at the same time to
overpower him. He gave a specimen of his prowess in this way, in protecting
the king's flock, which he was leading to water, against the efforts of a
band of hostile shepherds who tried to scatter and disperse the flock. The
fame thereof came to the king. He was called into his presence. This opened
the way for him to preach the Gospel to him. While he was speaking the
power of the Holy Spirit was displayed in such a way that the king fell to
the ground, and his wife and servants. They were, of course, all converted.
Ammon now became a great man, and though he encountered much opposition,
and many trials, he and his brethren succeeded in converting all the Kings
and Queens, and most of the people of the Lamanites. They seem, generally,
previous to their conversion, to have had, what in modern times is called
the _power_. They were most generally struck down under the word, and after
remaining insensible awhile, they rose up and began to shout praises to
the Most High, being perfectly transformed. These converted people were
called Anti-Nephi-Lehies. Soon the more fierce tribes of the Lamanites who
still remained unconverted, made war upon these; and as they seem with
these new views to have adopted the doctrine of non-resistance, they were
in danger of being exterminated. Hence by the suggestion of the four
missionaries, they determined to emigrate to Zarahemla. They had already
reached the border of the land, and when the king's sons met Alma, their
principal errand was to ask permission for this people to dwell in the land
of the Nephites. This request was of course granted.

Alma gave very long lectures or charges to his sons, and especially to
Helaman, to whom he committed all the sacred plates, the interpreters, and
the director which guided Lehi through the wilderness. To him he also
uttered this prediction, "Behold I perceive that this very people, the
Nephites, according to the spirit which is in me, in four hundred years
from the time that Jesus Christ shall manifest himself unto them, shall
dwindle in unbelief; yea, and then shall they see wars, and pestilences,
yea, famines and bloodshed, even until the people of Nephi shall become

Alma, after uttering this prophecy, disappeared in the same mysterious way
that Moses did, and no man knoweth his grave unto this day. At this period
all who believed in Christ took upon them the name of Christians. Various
wars now raged between the Lamanites and Nephites. The people of Nephi
erected many forts and high mounds to secure themselves from the invasion
of their enemies.

The Book of Helaman, which consists of five chapters, opens with the
fortieth year of the reign of the Judges. It details sad accounts of
dissensions and war, and strange alternations of prosperity and adversity
to the church. A man by the name of Nephi, who was now chief judge,
imitated Alma, and laying down his civil office, became a great preacher
and prophet, performing miracles and mighty wonders. He went even to the
Lamanites, and was so successful in converting them, that he arrested the
tide of war and restored peace to the land. The earth shook, the heavens
were opened, and angels came down at his voice. After Nephi, rose up
Samuel, a Lamanite, who predicted that Christ would come in five years, and
that on the day he was born, though the sun would go down as usual, there
would be no night, it would continue as light as day. This was to be the
sign. Another sign to attend his death, which was to take place in the
thirty-fourth year after his birth, was three whole days of darkness, in
which there were to be thunderings and lightnings, and earthquakes, and the
rending of rocks and cleaving of hills. According to the testimony in the
next book, at the end of five years the sign of his birth occurred, two
days succeeding each other without any intervening night. The Nephites,
therefore, knew that Christ had come. They accordingly reckoned their time
from this period, regarding it as the commencement of a new era. The
Lamanites that were converted now became white as the Nephites. At the end
of thirty-three years, the signs that were foretold would accompany the
death of Christ, appeared. There was a great tempest, and terrible thunder;
the earth shook, as though about to divide asunder. Vivid lightning ran
along on the ground, cities were overturned and buried in the midst of the
sea--a terrible darkness came over the land for three days--and a great
mourning and howling and weeping among the people. The voice of Christ was
heard, amid the awful tempest, denouncing woes upon sinners, and offering
grace and salvation to all who would repent and believe. After this Christ
made his personal appearance on the earth, coming down from heaven with
great glory. There were several occasions on which he appeared, at which
times he delivered to the assembled thousands all the instruction, and
performed nearly all the miracles recorded in the New Testament, and then
he was again taken up out of their sight. He ordained twelve apostles and
gave them singular gifts. He instituted baptism and the Lord's supper,
blessed the children and healed the sick, but I am obliged to pass over all
the details of these, as this chapter is already so long. Now all were
baptized in the name of the Trinity. All the Nephites, and nearly all the
Lamanites, became converted. For about fifty years the earth was almost a
perfect paradise. But then the love of many began to wax cold, and iniquity
to abound. Terrible wars ensued. The Nephites apostatized more and more
from the faith, till at the end of four hundred years after Christ they
became entirely destroyed, and Mormon, as we have said, was one of the last
of his race, who committed the records of this people to his son, Moroni,
who deposited them in the hill, where Joseph Smith found them. This is an
outline of this historical romance, which the deluded Mormons now regard as
a revelation from God. In this brief sketch we have been obliged to omit
many things that attracted our attention; but I suppose that our readers
are exceedingly glad we have reached the end, as the writer certainly is.



Since preparing the preceding chapters for the press, there have come into
the author's hands several documents, that seem to throw additional light
upon the origin and authorship of the Book of Mormon. These documents
consist of statements made by Mr. John Spalding, now residing in Crawford
county, Pa., the brother of Rev. Mr. Spalding--by Mrs. Martha Spalding, the
wife of Mr. John Spalding--by four gentlemen, residing in Conneaut,
Ashtabula county, Ohio, the very spot where Mr. Spalding's historical
romance was originally written, and by several others acquainted with the
facts in reference to Mr. Spalding's manuscript. From these statements we
make the following extracts:

Mr. John Spalding, having given an account of the education of his brother,
his preparation for the ministry, his subsequent relinquishment of its
duties, and his engagement in mercantile business, says, "In a few years he
failed in business, and, in the year 1809, removed to Conneaut, in Ohio.
The year following, I removed to Ohio, and found him engaged in building a
forge. I made him a visit in about three years after; and found that he had
failed, and become considerably involved in debt. He then told me he had
been writing a book, which he intended to have printed, the avails of which
he thought would enable him to pay all his debts. The book was entitled the
'Manuscript Found,' of which he read to me many passages. It was an
historical romance of the first settlers of America, endeavouring to show
that the American Indians are the descendants of the Jews, or the lost
tribes. It gave a detailed account of their journey from Jerusalem, by land
and sea, till they arrived in America, under the command of Nephi and Lehi.
They afterwards had quarrels and contentions, and separated into two
distinct nations, one of which he denominated Nephites and the other
Lamanites. Cruel and bloody wars ensued, in which great multitudes were
slain. They buried their dead in large heaps, which caused the mounds so
common in this country. Their arts, sciences and civilization were brought
into view, in order to account for all the curious antiquities, found in
various parts of North and South America. I have recently read the Book of
Mormon, and to my great surprise I find nearly the same historical matter,
names, &c. as they were in my brother's writings. I well remember that he
wrote in the old style, and commenced about every sentence with 'and it
came to pass,' or 'now it came to pass,' the same as in the Book of Mormon,
and according to the best of my recollection and belief, it is the same as
my brother Solomon wrote, with the exception of the religious matter. By
what means it has fallen into the hands of Joseph Smith Jr., I am unable to

Mrs. Martha Spalding's testimony is very similar. She says, "I was
personally acquainted with Solomon Spalding, about twenty years ago. I was
at his house a short time before he left Conneaut; he was then writing a
historical novel founded upon the first settlers of America. He represented
them as an enlightened and warlike people. He had for many years contended
that the aborigines of America were the descendants of some of the lost
tribes of Israel, and this idea he carried out in the book in question. The
lapse of time which has intervened, prevents my recollecting but few of the
leading incidents of his writings; but the names of Nephi and Lehi are yet
fresh in my memory, as being the principal heroes of his tale. They were
officers of the company which first came off from Jerusalem. He gave a
particular account of their journey by land and sea, till they arrived in
America, after which, disputes arose between the chiefs, which caused them
to separate into different lands, one of which was called Lamanites and the
other Nephites. Between these were recounted tremendous battles, which
frequently covered the ground with the slain; and their being buried in
large heaps was the cause of the numerous mounds in the country. Some of
these people he represented as being very large. I have read the Book of
Mormon, which has brought fresh to my recollection the writings of Solomon
Spalding; and I have no manner of doubt that the historical part of it, is
the same that I read and heard read, more than twenty years ago."

Mr. Henry Lake, residing at Conneaut, gives the following statement: "I
left the state of New York, late in the year 1810, and arrived at this
place, about the 1st of January following. Soon after my arrival, I formed
a co-partnership with Solomon Spalding, for the purpose of rebuilding a
forge which he had commenced a year or two before. He very frequently read
to me from a manuscript which he was writing, which he entitled the
'Manuscript Found,' and which he represented as being found in this town. I
spent many hours in hearing him read said writing, and became well
acquainted with its contents. He wished me to assist him in getting his
production printed, alleging that a book of that kind would meet with a
rapid sale. I designed doing so, but the forge not meeting our
anticipations, we failed in business, when I declined having any thing to
do with the publication of the book. This book represented the American
Indians as the descendants of the lost tribes, gave an account of their
leaving Jerusalem, their contentions and wars, which were many and great.
One time, when he was reading to me the tragic account of Laban, I pointed
out to him what I considered an inconsistency, which he promised to
correct; but by referring to the Book of Mormon, I find to my surprise that
it stands there just as he read it to me then. Some months ago I borrowed
the Golden Bible, put it into my pocket, carried it home, and thought no
more of it. About a week after, my wife found the book in my coat pocket,
as it hung up, and commenced reading it aloud as I lay upon the bed. She
had not read twenty minutes till I was astonished to find the same passages
in it that Spalding had read to me more than twenty years before, from his
'Manuscript Found.' Since that, I have more fully examined the said Golden
Bible, and have no hesitation in saying that the historical part of it is
principally, if not wholly taken from the 'Manuscript Found.'"

Mr. John N. Miller, residing in Springfield, Pa., who was then in the
employ of Mr. Lake, and boarded in the family of Mr. Spalding, corroborates
the preceding statement. After having mentioned being introduced to the
manuscript of Mr. Spalding, he says, "It purported to be the history of the
first settlement of America, before discovered by Columbus. He brought them
off from Jerusalem, under their leaders; detailing their travels by land
and water, their manners, customs, laws, wars, &c.

"I have recently examined the Book of Mormon, and find in it the writings
of Solomon Spalding, from beginning to end, but mixed up with Scripture and
other religious matter, which I did not meet with in the 'Manuscript
Found.' Many of the passages in the Mormon Book are verbatim from Spalding,
and others in part. The names of Nephi, Lehi, Moroni, and in fact all the
principal names, are brought fresh to my recollection, by the Golden

Mr. Aaron Wright, of Conneaut, remarks, "I first became acquainted with
Solomon Spalding in 1808 or 9, when he commenced building a forge on
Conneaut creek. When at his house, one day, he showed and read to me a
history he was writing, of the lost tribes of Israel, purporting that they
were the first settlers of America, and that the Indians were their
descendants. Upon this subject we had frequent conversations. He traced
their journey from Jerusalem to America, as it is given in the Book of
Mormon, excepting the religious matter. The historical part of the Book of
Mormon, I know to be the same as I read and heard read from the writings of
Spalding, more than twenty years ago; the names more especially are the
same without any alteration. He told me his object was to account for all
the fortifications, &c. to be found in this country."

Mr. Oliver Smith, of Conneaut, gives the following statement: "When Solomon
Spalding first came to this place, he purchased a tract of land, surveyed
it out and commenced selling it. While engaged in this business, he boarded
at my house, in all nearly six months. All his leisure hours were occupied
in writing a historical novel, founded upon the first settlers of this
country. He said he intended to trace their journey from Jerusalem, by land
and sea, till their arrival in America, give an account of their arts,
sciences, civilization, wars and contentions. In this way, he would give a
satisfactory account of all of the old mounds, so common to this country.
During the time he was at my house, I read and heard read one hundred pages
or more. Nephi and Lehi were by him represented as leading characters, when
they first started for America. Their main object was to escape the
judgments which they supposed were coming upon the old world. But no
religious matter was introduced, as I now recollect. When I heard the
historical part of the Book of Mormon related, I at once said it was the
writings of old Solomon Spalding. Soon after, I obtained the book, and on
reading it, found much of it the same as Spalding had written, more than
twenty years before."

Mr. Nahum Howard, of the same place, gives a similar statement. We will
detain the reader only by a single additional statement. Mr. Artemas
Cunningham, of Perry, Geauga county, relates the following facts: "In the
month of October, 1811, I went from the township of Madison to Conneaut,
for the purpose of securing a debt due me from Solomon Spalding. I tarried
with him nearly two days, for the purpose of accomplishing my object, which
I was finally unable to do. I found him destitute of the means of paying
his debts. His only hope of ever paying his debts, appeared to be upon the
sale of a book, which he had been writing. He endeavoured to convince me
from the nature and character of the work, that it would meet with a ready
sale. Before showing me his manuscripts, he went into a verbal relation of
its outlines, saying that it was a fabulous or romantic history of the
first settlement of this country, and as it purported to have been a record
found buried in the earth, or in a cave, he had adopted the ancient or
Scripture style of writing. He then presented his manuscripts, when we sat
down and spent a good share of the night, in reading them, and conversing
upon them. I well remember the name of Nephi, which appeared to be the
principal hero of the story. The frequent repetition of the phrase, 'I
Nephi,' I recollect as distinctly as though it was but yesterday, although
the general features of the story have passed from my memory. The Mormon
Bible I have partially examined, and am fully of the opinion that Solomon
Spalding had written its outlines before he left Conneaut."

With such a cloud of witnesses, commentary seems quite unnecessary.



     Steps leading to the Mormon emigration to the
     West--Conversion of Parley P. Pratt--Mission to the
     Lamanites--Sidney Rigdon--His avowed
     conversion--Fanatic scenes at Kirtland--Dr. Rosa's
     letter--Mr. Howe's statement--Smith's removal.

Jo Smith, who aspired to the high character of a prophet of God, was far
more successful in gathering early disciples than Mahomet. His own family,
and numerous coadjutors, being in the secret with himself, and hoping to
build up their fortunes by this scheme, became very zealous converts to the
Mormon imposture.

There was not much ground for Smith to hope to make converts in the
neighbourhood where this fabrication was got up. In addition to his own
family, Harris, Cowdery, Whitmer, and those whom they could personally
influence, a few converts were obtained in the neighbouring towns, by the
marvellous pretensions which the prophet set up. These, however, were
either mere adventurers, or the firm believers in ghosts and hobgoblins.
Soon after the Book of Mormon was issued from the press, a person by the
name of Parley P. Pratt, passed through Palmyra, and hearing of the "golden
Bible," sought an interview with the prophet, and immediately became a
convert. This individual resided in Lorrain co., Ohio, and was very
intimate with Sidney Rigdon. Rigdon was professedly a Campbellite Baptist
preacher. He resided in the county of Geauga, and but a few miles from
Kirtland, which afterwards became the head-quarters of the Mormons. About
the time that Pratt visited the prophet, and gave in his adhesion to the
Mormons, an expedition was fitted out for the Western Country, under the
command of Cowdery, to convert the Lamanites, as the western Indians were
called by them. The persons sent on this mission were Cowdery, Pratt,
Peterson, and Whitmer. Under the guidance of Pratt, they reached the
residence of Rigdon in Mentor, Ohio, the last of October, 1830.--Rigdon at
first received them apparently with suspicion, and objected to the Mormon
scheme, and the authority of the prophet, but in the course of two days,
his objections gave way, and he avowed his conversion to the Mormon faith.
He very soon started off in order to have a personal interview with the
prophet. Smith of course was prepared to receive him, and declared there
had just been made to him a revelation from the Lord in relation to this
new convert. This pretended heavenly communication uses such language as
the following--"Behold, verily, verily, I say unto my servant Sidney, I
have looked upon thee and thy works; I have heard thy prayers, and prepared
thee for a greater work--thou art blessed for thou shall do great things.
Behold thou wast sent forth even as John to prepare the way before me, and
Elijah which should come, and thou knewest it not--thou didst baptize by
water unto repentance, but they received not the Holy Ghost; but now I give
unto you a commandment, that thou shalt baptize by water, and fire of the
Holy Ghost, by laying on of hands, even as the Apostles of old."

There is great reason to believe that this meeting of Smith and Rigdon was
preconcerted--and that the pretended mission to the Indians was devised to
form a plausible pretext for Rigdon, to come out openly in favour of the
Mormons--and thus to conceal more effectually the hand which he might
previously have had in concocting this scheme of imposture.

Certain it is "their plans of deception appear to have been more fully
matured and developed after the meeting of Smith and Rigdon. The latter
being found very intimate with the Scriptures, a close reasoner, and as
fully competent to make white appear black, and black white, as any other
man; and at all times prepared to establish, to the satisfaction of great
numbers of people, the negative or affirmative, of any and every question,
_from Scripture_, he was forthwith appointed to promulgate all the
absurdities and ridiculous pretensions of Mormonism, 'and call on the Holy
Prophets to prove' all the words of Smith." A revelation was soon received,
"that Kirtland, the residence of Rigdon and his brethren, was to be the
eastern border of the 'promised land,' 'and from thence to the Pacific
Ocean.' On this land the 'New Jerusalem, the city of Refuge,' was to be
built. Upon it, all true Mormons were to assemble, to escape the
destruction of the world, which was soon to take place."

Those sent on the mission to the Lamanites having spent some time at
Kirtland, succeeded in making a number of converts. After Cowdery and his
associates, began to develope the peculiarities of their system, we are
told that scenes of the most wild, frantic and horrible fanaticism ensued.
"They pretended that the power of miracles was about to be given to all
those who embraced the new faith, and commenced communicating the Holy
Spirit, by laying their hands upon the heads of the converts, which
operation, at first, produced an instantaneous prostration of body and
mind. Many would fall upon the floor, where they would lie for a long time,
apparently lifeless. They thus continued these enthusiastic exhibitions for
several weeks. The fits usually came on, during or after their
prayer-meetings, which were held nearly every evening. The young men and
women were more particularly subject to this delirium. They would exhibit
all the apish acts imaginable, making the most ridiculous grimaces,
creeping upon their hands and feet, rolling upon the frozen ground, go
through with all the Indian modes of warfare, such as knocking down,
scalping, &c. At other times, they would run through the fields, get upon
stumps, preach to imaginary congregations, enter the water, and perform all
the ceremony of baptizing. Many would have fits of speaking all the
different Indian dialects, which none could understand. Again, at the dead
hour of night, the young men might be seen running over the fields and
hills in pursuit, as they said, of the balls of fire, lights, &c., which
they saw moving through the atmosphere."

Three of the young converts pretended to have received commissions to
preach from the skies, after having first jumpt into the air as high as
they could. All these transactions were believed to be from _the Spirit of
God_. They very soon numbered in this region a hundred converts. To these
converts Rigdon, soon after joining Smith at Manchester, wrote a letter,
disclosing among other things that Kirtland was to be the seat of
empire--and that they were dwelling on their eternal inheritance, and that
the land of promise extended from that place to the Pacific ocean.

The facts above stated are principally taken from a volume entitled
"MORMONISM UNVEILED," sent the author by a most estimable clergyman of the
Episcopal Church, residing at Ashtabula, Ohio, with the information that
this volume is regarded by all candid and respectable people in the
neighbourhood of the Mormon settlement, as a correct and fair statement of
facts. It may tend to throw some new light upon some of the actors in this
grand drama of deception to insert a portion of the correspondence that led
the clergyman just referred to, to forward this volume to the author. The
Rev. Mr. Quinan, who now resides in Philadelphia, having formerly lived in
the neighbourhood of Kirtland, was requested by the author to open a
correspondence with some intelligent person in that neighbourhood, who
would be able to give some account of the first emigration of the Mormons
to Kirtland, and the line of operations which they had there pursued. Mr.
Quinan's letter was addressed to Dr. A. Hawley. Dr. H---- put this letter
into the hands of the clergyman above alluded to, who having obtained the
following communication from Dr. Rosa, forwarded it to the author, with a
postscript of his own appended, as will be seen in the insertion below. Dr.
Rosa's letter is dated _Painesville, Ohio, June 3d, 1841_, from which we
make the following extract.

     * * * I think the history of Mormonism as published by
     E. D. Howe--a copy of which can be obtained in our
     place--contains all the material truths connected with
     the rise and progress of that miserable deception.
     There are occasionally new doctrines introduced and
     incorporated with their faith, such as _being baptized
     for the dead_. This is a common custom here. When a
     member is satisfied that his father, mother, or
     brother, or any other friend is in hell, he steps
     forward and offers himself to the church in baptism for
     that individual, and when properly baptised the
     tormented individual will instantaneously emerge from
     his misery into perfect happiness. There are many such
     follies which the simple hearted are ready and willing
     to believe. There is no permanent separation in the
     society. There were a few seceders a few years since,
     some of whom left them entirely, and became infidels,
     and others held to the original purity of the doctrines
     as they termed it.

     As to Martin Harris--of late I have heard but little of
     him. My acquaintance with him induces me to believe him
     a monomaniac; he is a man of great loquacity and very
     unmeaning, ready at all times to dispute the ground of
     his doctrines with any one. He was one of the seceders,
     and for a time threatened the Mormons with exposure, as
     I have been informed; but where he is now I cannot say.

     Jo Smith is regarded as an inspired man by all the

     Sidney Rigdon is at the western settlement; he embraced
     the Mormon religion in the latter part of October,
     1830. See page 102 of the book as published by E. D.
     Howe, above referred to.

     In the early part of the year--either in May or June--I
     was in company with Sidney Rigdon, and rode with him on
     horseback a few miles. Our conversation was principally
     upon the subject of religion, as he was at that time a
     very popular preacher of the denomination calling
     themselves '_disciples_' or Campbellites. He remarked
     to me, that it was time for a new religion to spring
     up; that mankind were all rife and ready for it. I
     thought he alluded to the Campbellite doctrine--he said
     it would not be long before something would make its
     appearance--he also said that he thought of leaving for
     Pennsylvania, and should be absent for some months. I
     asked him how long--he said it would depend upon
     circumstances. I began to think a little strange of his
     remarks, as he was a minister of the Gospel.

     I left Ohio that fall, and went to the state of New
     York, to visit my friends, who lived in Waterloo--not
     far from the mine of golden Bibles. In November I was
     informed that my old neighbour, E. Partridge, and the
     Rev. Sidney Rigdon were in Waterloo, and that they both
     had become the dupes of Jo Smith's necromancies: it
     then occurred to me that Rigdon's new religion had made
     its appearance, and when I became informed of the
     Spalding manuscript I was confirmed in the opinion that
     Rigdon was at least accessary if not the principal in
     getting up this farce. Any information that I can give
     shall be done cheerfully.

                         Respectfully, your obedient servant,
                         S. ROSA..
                         REV. MR. HALL.

                              _June 5th, 1841._
     REV. JOHN A. CLARK, D. D.

     DEAR SIR:

     The above letter I have obtained in answer to several
     questions respecting Mormons and Mormonism, transmitted
     by the Rev. Mr. Quinan to Dr. A. Hawley, of _this
     county_, from you. This letter of Dr. Rosa's, together
     with the book, "Mormonism Unveiled" which accompanies
     it, I send as the best answers to your questions, and
     the best expositions of Mormonism which can be
     obtained. It is believed by candid and respectable
     people in the vicinity of the Mormon Temple, that Mr.
     Howe's book--"Mormonism Unveiled"--is very correct. As
     to the deponents in reference to Spalding manuscript,
     at New Salem (now Conneaut), I have been acquainted
     with them for thirty years (excepting Miller), and
     believe them to be credible and respectable persons.

     It is indeed astonishing that so low an imposture
     should ever have been countenanced at all; much more so
     that hundreds of English converts should recently have
     come over to it, and that four hundred more should now
     be daily expected to take shipping at Buffalo, in order
     to pass up our Lakes to join the Western Mormons!

                              JOHN HALL,
                         _Rector of St. Peter's, Ashtabula, Ohio_.

In the conclusion of Mr. Howe's book--referred to in the preceding
letter--we were particularly struck with the following statement, which
seems to account perfectly for Rigdon's easy faith, and to identify him
with this scheme of imposture from its very origin. The reader will
recollect that Mrs. Davison states that the manuscript was lent to Mr.
Patterson, the publisher of a newspaper in Pittsburg, with whose office
Rigdon was connected. The author of the volume above referred to,
says:--"It was inferred at once that some light might be shed upon this
subject, and the mystery revealed, by applying to Patterson & Lambdin, in
Pittsburg. But here again death had interposed a barrier. That
establishment was dissolved and broken up many years since, and Lambdin
died about eight years ago. Mr. Patterson says he has no recollection of
any such manuscript being brought there for publication, neither would he
have been likely to have seen it, as the business of printing was conducted
wholly by Lambdin at that time. He says, however, that many manuscript
books and pamphlets were brought to the office about that time, which
remained upon their shelves for years, without being printed or even
examined. Now, there is the strongest presumption that Spalding's
manuscript, (or a copy of it) remained there in seclusion, till about the
year 1823 or '24, at which time _Sidney Rigdon_ located himself in that
city. We have been credibly informed that he was on terms of intimacy with
Lambdin, being seen frequently in his shop. Rigdon resided in Pittsburg
about three years, and during the whole of that time, as he has since
frequently asserted, abandoned preaching and all other employment, for the
purpose of _studying the Bible_. He left there, and came into the county
where he now resides, about the time Lambdin died, and commenced preaching
some new points of doctrine, which were afterwards found to be inculcated
in the Mormon Bible. He resided in this vicinity about four years previous
to the appearance of the book, during which time he made several long
visits to Pittsburg, and perhaps to the Susquehanna, where Smith was then
digging for money, or pretending to be translating plates. It may be
observed also, that about the time Rigdon left Pittsburg, the Smith family
began to tell about finding a book that would contain a history of the
first inhabitants of America, and that two years had elapsed before they
finally got possession of it.

"We are, then, irresistibly led to this conclusion;--that Lambdin, after
having failed in business, had recourse to the old manuscripts then in his
possession, in order to _raise the wind_, by a book speculation, and
placed the "Manuscript Found," of Spalding, in the hands of Rigdon, to be
embellished, altered, and added to, as he might think expedient; and three
years' study of the Bible we should deem little time enough to garble it,
as it is transferred to the Mormon book. The former dying, left the latter
the sole proprietor, who was obliged to resort to his wits, and in a
miraculous way to bring it before the world; for in no other manner could
such a book be published without great sacrifice. And where could a more
suitable character be found than Jo Smith, whose necromantic fame and arts
of deception, had already extended to a considerable distance? That Lambdin
was a person every way qualified and fitted for such an enterprise, we have
the testimony of his partner in business, and others of his acquaintance.
Add to all these circumstances, the facts, that Rigdon had prepared the
minds in a great measure, of nearly a hundred of those who attended his
ministration, to be in readiness to embrace the first mysterious _ism_ that
should be presented--the appearance of Cowdery at his residence as soon as
the Book was printed--his sudden conversion, after many pretensions to
disbelieve it--his immediately repairing to the residence of Smith, three
hundred miles distant, where he was forthwith appointed an elder,
high-priest, and a scribe to the prophet--the pretended vision that his
residence in Ohio was the "promised land,"--the immediate removal of the
whole Smith family thither, where they were soon raised from a state of
poverty to comparative affluence. We, therefore, must hold out Sidney
Rigdon to the world as being the original 'author and proprietor' of the
whole Mormon conspiracy, until further light is elicited upon the lost
writings of Solomon Spalding."

We proceed, however, with our narrative. Rigdon tarried with Smith in
Manchester about two months, receiving revelations, preaching in that
vicinity, and trying to establish the truth of Mormonism. But meeting with
little success, he returned to Kirtland, being followed in a few days by
the prophet and his connections. This happened early in 1831. "From this
point in the history of this delusion, it began to spread with considerable
rapidity. Nearly all of their male converts, however ignorant and
worthless, were forthwith transformed into 'Elders,' and sent forth to
proclaim, with all their wild enthusiasm, the wonders and mysteries of
Mormonism. All those having a taste for the marvellous, and delighting in
novelties, flocked to hear them. Many travelled fifty and an hundred miles
to the throne of the prophet, in Kirtland, to hear from his own mouth the
certainty of his excavating a bible and spectacles. Many, even in the New
England States, after hearing the frantic story of some of these 'elders,'
would forthwith place their _all_ into a wagon, and wend their way to the
'promised land,' in order, as they supposed, to escape the judgments of
Heaven, which were soon to be poured out upon the land. The State of New
York, they were _privately_ told, would most _probably_ be sunk, unless the
people thereof believed in the pretensions of Smith.

"On the arrival of Smith in Kirtland, he appeared astonished at the wild
enthusiasm and scalping performances, of his proselytes there, as
heretofore related. He told them that he had enquired of the Lord
concerning the matter, and had been informed that it was all the work of
the Devil. The disturbances, therefore, ceased. Thus we see that the
Devil, for the time being, held full sway in making converts to

We have already stated that Sidney Rigdon, previous to his conversion to
the Mormons, was a preacher among the Campbellite Baptists, and enjoyed
considerable popularity. After his return to Kirtland, with his new
companions and new faith, Elder Campbell, the founder of the sect to which
he had previously belonged, sent him a challenge for a public debate, in
which he would undertake to show the foolish absurdities, shameless
pretensions, and manifest imposture of the whole Mormon scheme. This
challenge, however, Rigdon very prudently declined accepting.


[5] Mormonism Unveiled.



     Mission to Missouri--Cause that led to
     emigration--Settlement at Independence--Change in
     operations--Gift of tongues--Rule for speaking and

Cowdery and those connected with his mission, after having made the
converts we have noticed at Kirtland in the autumn of 1830, proceeded on
still farther to the west, in order to convert the Indians. They at length
set down in the western part of Missouri.

The following extract from the volume already referred to, will explain the
cause that led the Mormons to think of emigrating to Missouri.

"The Mormons soon began to assemble in considerable numbers at and about
Kirtland, the supposed 'eternal inheritance,' and those who were able,
bought land; but the greater part of their dupes had thus far been the poor
and needy, and came there with a view of enjoying all things 'in common,'
as such doctrine had gone forth. Many, however, found out their mistake
after their arrival; and the revelation appeared to be only that the
prophet and some of his relations should be supported by the church. In
consequence of their inability to purchase lands adjoining head-quarters,
they were scattered about in several townships, much exposed to 'wild
beasts,' and subject to have their faith shaken by the influence of reason.
Several renounced it. They were daily running to the prophet with queries
and doubts which were constantly arising upon their minds. He generally
satisfied them by _explaining_; nevertheless, they annoyed him much and the
necessity of withdrawing them from the influences which surrounded them
became apparent; hence, their removal to Missouri, where they could, in
time, purchase all the land which they should need at a low rate, and
become a 'distinct people.'

"As before noticed, Cowdery and his companions, proceeded on to the west,
with the avowed intention of converting the Indians, under a command of the
Lord. On their way they tried their skill on several tribes, but made no
proselytes, although their deluded brethren at home could daily see them,
in visions, baptising whole tribes. They finally arrived at the western
line of the State of Missouri, late in the fall of 1830, with the intention
of proceeding into the Indian country, but were stopped by the agents of
the general government, under an act of Congress, to prevent the white
people from trading or settling among them. They then took up their winter
quarters in the village of Independence, about twelve miles from the State
line. Here they obtained employment during the winter. In the following
spring, one of them returned to Kirtland, with a flattering account of the
country about Independence. About the first of June, the prophet assembled
all his followers, for the purpose of a great meeting, at which time it was
given out that marvellous events were to take place. Here many new attempts
were made by Smith to perform miracles and otherwise to deceive his
followers. Previous to this time, it should be remarked, nearly all the
Mormonites had arrived from the State of New York, under a revelation, of
course, to take possession of the 'promised land.' There were in all about
fifty families. At the above mentioned meeting a long revelation was
manufactured, commanding all the leading men and Elders to depart forthwith
for the western part of Missouri, naming each one separately, informing
them that only two should go together, and that every two should take
separate roads, preaching by the way. Only about two weeks were allowed
them to make preparations for the journey, and most of them left what
business they had to be closed by others. Some left large families, with
their crops upon the ground, and embarked for a distant land, from which
they have not yet returned.

"On arriving at the village of Independence, they proceeded to purchase a
lot of land, upon which the prophet directed Rigdon and Cowdery to perform
the mock ceremony of laying the corner stone of a city, which he called
Zion. Of the future prosperity and magnificence of this city, many
marvellous revelations were had by the prophet and many more marvellous
conjectures formed by his disciples. Among others, it was said that it
would in a few years exceed in splendor every thing known in ancient times.
Its streets were to be paved with gold; all that escaped the general
destruction which was soon to take place, would there assemble with all
their wealth; the ten lost tribes of Israel had been discovered in their
retreat, in the vicinity of the North Pole, where they had for ages been
secluded by immense barriers of ice, and became vastly rich: the ice in a
few years was to be melted away, when those tribes, with St. John and some
of the Nephites, which the Book of Mormon had immortalized, would be seen
making their appearance in the new city, loaded with immense quantities of
gold and silver.

"The prophet and his _life-guard_ of Elders, stayed in their city about two
weeks. Revelations were had for a part of them to return to Ohio, a part to
stay and take charge of the city, and a part to commence preaching 'in the
region round about.' Much dissatisfaction was manifested by some as to the
selection of the site, and the general appearance of the country. Smith,
Rigdon and Cowdery returned to the old head-quarters in Kirtland. Their
followers immediately commenced selling their lands, mostly at a great
sacrifice, and made preparations for emigrating up the Missouri. All were
now anxious to sell, instead of buying more land in Ohio. A special command
was given to seventeen families, who had settled in one township, some
three months previous, to depart forthwith to the promised land, who obeyed
orders, leaving their crop to those who owned the land. Besides a great
variety of special revelations relating to individuals, and other matters,
a general one was given to the proselytes to sell their lands and other
property and repair to Missouri as fast as possible, but not in haste.
Accordingly, many went during the year, making sacrifices of property,
(those few of them who had any,) in proportion to their faith and their
anxiety to be upon their 'eternal inheritance.' In the mean time, thirty or
forty 'Elders,' were sent off in various directions in pursuit of
proselytes. This year passed off with a gradual increase, and considerable
wealth was drawn in, so that they began to boast of a capital stock of ten
or fifteen thousand dollars.

"Their common stock principles appear to be somewhat similar to those of
the Shakers. Each one, however is allowed to 'manage his own affairs in his
own way,' until he arrives in Missouri. There the Bishop resides; he has
supreme command in all pecuniary matters, according to the revelations
given by the prophet.

"The next year commenced with something like a change of operations.
Instead of selling their possessions in Ohio, they again began to buy up
improved land, mills and water privileges. It would seem that the Missouri
country began to look rather dreary to the prophet and his head men,
supposing that they could not enjoy their power there as well as in Ohio.
They could not think of undergoing the hardships and privations incident to
a new country. Besides, the people there were not much disposed to
encourage the emigration of such an army of fanatics--and their "Lamanite"
brethren, under Gen. Black Hawk, were about that time commencing a war upon
the whites.

"They therefore, continued to extend their impositions by sending abroad
every thing that could walk, no matter how ignorant, if they had learnt the
tales and vagaries of their leaders. All that were so sent, were dubbed
_Elders_ or _High Priests_, and furnished with a commission, purporting to
have been dictated by the Lord to the prophet. These requisites being added
to their credulity, they were of course inspired with all necessary
self-sufficiency, zeal and impudence. They were thus prepared to declare
that every thing which they stated or imagined, was absolutely true--for
the _Spirit_ had so informed them.

"During the year 1832, considerable progress was made in writing out, and
revising the Old and New Testaments, which the prophet pretended to do by
inspiration, or by the guidance of the Spirit. In this business, most of
his leisure hours were occupied, Rigdon acting as scribe. They say that the
Scriptures in their present form, retain but little of their original
purity and beauty, having been so often copied and translated by unskilful
hands. The whole of the old Bible is now said to be ready for the press, in
its amended form, and will be forthcoming, as soon as the state of their
finances will permit.

"On the opening of the year 1833, the 'gift of tongues' again made its
appearance at head-quarters, and from thence extended to all their branches
in different parts. Whether the language now introduced differed materially
from those practised two or three years previous, (and pronounced to be of
the Devil,) we have not been informed. It appears that this last device,
was all that was then lacking to make the system perfect. They had long
before professed to be fully endowed with the power of healing all manner
of diseases, discerning spirits, and casting out devils. But a succession
of failures had rendered them rather stale, and given distrust to many of
the faithful. A new expedient was therefore indispensably necessary, in
order to revive the drooping spirits of the deluded, and at the same time,
insure a new crop of converts. The scheme proved eminently successful.
Hundreds were soon convinced of the truth of the whole, by hearing of and
seeing the manner in which the 'tongues' were performed, although the trick
would seem more susceptible of discovery than any previous one. This gift
was not confined to the elders and high priests, who, in other respects,
were supposed to have a superabundant share of 'the spirit;' but nearly all
the proselytes, both old and young, could show their faith by speaking with

One would think from the following account that the Mormons had been taking
some hints from the school of Edward Irving.

Mr. Kilby, who was an elder among the Mormons, but afterwards came to his
senses and renounced the delusion, relates some very curious facts in
relation to their pretended gift of tongues. Two distinguished Mormon
preachers, Mr. Cahoon and Patton, gave a rule for speaking in unknown
tongues, and also for interpreting what was spoken by others.

"This rule, they said, was perfect--that as long as we followed it we could
not err. And so I believe; it was a perfect rule to lead men astray. The
rule, as given by Cahoon, is this: rise upon your feet and look and lean on
Christ; speak or make some sound; continue to make sounds of some kind, and
the Lord will make a correct tongue or language of it. The interpretation
was to be given in the same way." Subsequent to this there was a still
greater emigration to Missouri. Soon disturbances of various kinds arose.

We had prepared two chapters containing such facts as we were able to
collect, to exhibit the history of the Mormons in their residence in
Missouri, and the two wars in which they were engaged. But upon looking
over the pages which we had prepared we cannot make up our mind to tax the
reader with the details of these belligerent operations. The result of
their last resort to arms was their expulsion or emigration from Missouri
into Illinois, and the founding of their new city at Nauvoo where at
present is the principal Mormon settlement. There are some few remaining
facts to which we shall call the attention of the reader, in order to
illustrate still further the folly, and depraved character of some of the
prominent actors in this grand imposture.



     The prophet's attempt at financiering--Mr. Smalling's

Allusion has been made to the attempts at financiering in which the Mormon
prophet and his coadjutors embarked, before leaving Kirtland. The facts
connected with this are presented in a clear light by Mr. Smalling, of
Kirtland, in a letter addressed to Mr. Lee, of Frankford, Pa. An effort
having been made at that village to establish a Mormon society, the Mormon
preacher at the close of his lecture invited any one, who chose, to ask
questions, or offer remarks. Mr. Lee being present arose, gave his views of
the new sect, which were not very complimentary, and among other facts
presented before the audience a ten dollar bank note issued by Smith and
Rigdon, which he declared was a gross fraud, as they had never obtained a
charter for a bank, and did not pretend to redeem their notes. Mr. Lee was
quite brow-beaten by the Mormon preacher. To satisfy himself and the
public, Mr. Lee wrote to Kirtland, and obtained a letter in reply from Mr.
Smalling, from which we make the following extracts:

                  _Kirtland, Ohio, March 10th, A. D. 1841._

     DEAR SIR:

     By request, and the duty I owe to my fellow-man, I
     consent to answer your letter, and your request as to
     Joseph Smith, Jr., and the Safety Society Bank of the
     Latter Day Saints, as they call themselves at the
     present, or Mormons. The followers of Smith believe him
     to be a prophet, and he had a revelation that the
     church must move to the Ohio, which they did, selling
     their possessions and helping each other as a band of
     brothers, and they settled in this place. The Smith
     family were then all poor and the most of the church. I
     visited them in 1833, they were then building a temple
     to the Most High God, who, Smith said, would appear and
     make his will known to his servants, and endow them
     with power in their last days that they might go and
     preach his gospel to all nations, kindred tongues, and
     people. For this purpose they wrought almost night and
     day, and scoured the branches in the east for money to
     enable them to build. The people consecrated freely, as
     they supposed for that purpose, for they supposed they
     were to be one in the church of Christ, for so Smith
     had told them by his revelations, and that they must
     consecrate all for the poor in Zion. Thus many did
     until they finished the temple, and in the meantime the
     building committee built each of them a house, Sidney
     Rigdon and Joseph Smith, Jr. By this time the leaders
     of the church, Smith, Rigdon, Carter and Cahoon, I may
     say, all the heads of the church, got lifted up in
     pride, and they imagined that God was about to make
     them rich, and that they were to suck the milk of the
     Gentiles, as they call those that do not belong to the
     church, or do not go hand in hand with them. From this
     you can see they have a great desire for riches, and to
     obtain them without earning them. About this time they
     said that God had told them, Sidney and Joseph, that
     they had suffered enough and that they should be rich;
     and they informed me, that God told them to buy goods
     and so they did, to some thirty thousand dollars, on a
     credit of six months, at Cleveland and Buffalo. In the
     spring of 1836 this firm was, I believe, Smith, Rigdon
     & Co. It included the heads of the church. In the fall,
     they formed other companies of their brethren, and sent
     to New York as agents for them, Hiram Smith and O.
     Cowdery, and they purchased some sixty or seventy
     thousand dollars worth, all for the church, and the
     most of them not worth a penny, and no financiers. At
     this time the first debt became due and not any thing
     to pay it with, for they had sold to their poor
     brethren, who were strutting about the streets in the
     finest broadcloth, and imagining themselves rich, but
     could pay nothing: and poverty is the mother of
     invention. They then fixed upon a plan to pay the debt.
     It was, to have a bank of their own, as none of the
     then existing banks would loan to them what they wanted
     and the most refused them entirely. They sent to
     Philadelphia and got the plates made for their Safety
     Society Bank, and got a large quantity of bills ready
     for filling and signing; and in the meantime, Smith and
     others, collected what specie they could, which
     amounted to some six thousand dollars. The paper came
     about the first of January, 1837, and they immediately
     began to issue their paper and to no small amount: but
     their creditors refused to take it. Then Smith invented
     another plan, that was to exchange their notes for
     other notes that would pay their debts, and for that
     purpose he sent the elders out with it to exchange, and
     not only the elders, but gave large quantities of it to
     others, giving them one half to exchange it, as I am
     informed by those that peddled for him. Thus Smith was
     instrumental in sending the worthless stuff abroad, and
     it soon came in again. There was nothing to redeem it
     with, as Smith had used the greater part of their
     precious metals. The inhabitants holding their bills
     came to inquire into the Safety Society precious
     metals: the way that Smith contrived to deceive them
     was this: he had some one or two hundred boxes made,
     and gathered all the lead and shot that the village had
     or that part of it that he controlled, and filled the
     boxes with lead, shot, &c., and marked them, one
     thousand dollars, each. Then, when they went to examine
     the vault, he had one box on a table partly filled for
     them to see, and when they proceeded to the vault,
     Smith told them that the church had two hundred
     thousand dollars in specie, and he opened one box and
     they saw that it was silver, and they hefted a number
     and Smith told them that they contained specie. They
     were seemingly satisfied and went away for a few days,
     until the elders were sent off in every direction to
     pass their paper off: among the elders were Brigam
     Young, that went last, with forty thousand dollars;
     John F. Boynton, with some twenty thousand dollars;
     Luke Johnson, south and east, with an unknown quantity.
     I suppose if the money you have was taken of those, it
     was to Smith's and their profit; and thus they
     continued to pass and sell the worthless stuff until
     they sold it at twelve and a half cents on the dollar,
     and so eager to put it off at that, that they could not
     attend meeting on the Sabbath,--but they signed enough
     at that price to buy one section of land in the
     Illinois. There was some signed with S. Rigdon,
     cashier, and J. Smith, Jr. president, for the purpose,
     as it was then said, that if they should be called upon
     when they could not well redeem, that they would call
     them counterfeit, but they had no occasion to call any
     counterfeit, for they never redeemed but a very few
     thousand dollars, and there must be now a great many
     thousands of their bills out. There was some which
     others signed _pro. tem._ that were genuine too, the
     name of F. G. Williams, N. K. Whitney, and one
     Kingsbury, all those are genuine.

     The church have not now nor never had any common
     stock,[6] all that has been consecrated, Smith and the
     heads of the church have got, and what they get now
     they keep, for to show this I send you a revelation
     which is as follows:--Revelation given July 9th, 1837,
     in far west, Caldwell county, Missouri,--O Lord, show
     unto us, thy servants, how much thou requirest of the
     properties of thy people for a tything? Answer: Verily,
     thus saith the Lord, I require all their surplus
     properties to be put into the hands of the bishop of my
     church of Zion, for the building of mine house, and for
     the laying the foundation of Zion, and for the
     priesthood, and for the debts of the presidency of my
     church, and this shall be the beginning of the tything
     of my people, and after that, those who have been
     tythed, shall pay one-tenth of all their interest
     annually, and this shall be a standing law unto them
     forever, for my holy priesthood saith the Lord: Verily,
     I say unto you, it shall come to pass, that all those
     who gather unto the land of Zion, shall be tythed of
     their surplus properties, and shall observe this law,
     or they shall not be found worthy to abide among you;
     and behold, I say unto you, if my people observe not
     this law to keep it holy, and by this law sanctify the
     land of Zion unto me that my statutes and my judgments
     may be kept thereon, that it may be most holy; behold:
     Verily I say unto you, it shall not be a land of Zion
     unto you, and this shall be one example unto all the
     states of Zion, even so. Amen. They left here in a
     great hurry, as there was many debts against them, for
     the principal part that Smith had was borrowed, as also
     the heads of the church in general, and they had to
     keep the poor brethren lugging their boxes of silks and
     fine clothes from place to place, so that they should
     not be taken to pay their just debts, and mostly
     borrowed money, until they succeeded in getting them
     off in the night. They were pursued, but to no effect,
     they had a train too numerous, so the people could not
     get their pay, and thus they have brought destruction
     and misery on a great many respectable families, that
     are reduced to distress, while they live in splendour
     and all kinds of extravagance. These statements are
     well known here, and I presume will not be contradicted
     there, unless by some fanatic that has no knowledge of
     things as they do exist, or those deeply interested in
     the frauds of the saints themselves.

                         I am yours, &c.,
                         CYRUS SMALLING, _of Kirtland, Ohio_.


[6] Instead of the stock being common, it appears the intention of the
ringleaders is to monopolize it, and leave their poor dupes at last to
shift for themselves.



     An interesting public document--The Danite
     band--Testimony of Dr. Avard--Paper drafted by Rigdon.

We insert the following communications, published in a most highly
respectable religious journal.

From the New York Baptist Advocate.



A rare public document of a most interesting character having fallen into
my hands, I propose to furnish you several communications in reference to
it, and likewise in relation to the people to whom it relates.

The Mormons have been generally regarded as a harmless sect of deluded
fanatics, unworthy of any particular notice; and the common impression
seems to be, that they have been wronged and persecuted by the state of
Missouri. For my own part, having had occasion to become better acquainted
with their principles and history than many others, I have for a long time
been endeavouring, as opportunity offered, to open the eyes of the
community to their character, and to show that mischief lurks beneath this
cover of apparent insignificance, and that there are two sides to the story
of the Mormon war in Missouri.

Near the close of the recent session of Congress, a pamphlet was printed by
order of the United States' Senate, for the use of the members of Congress,
entitled a "Document showing the testimony given before the judge of the
fifth judicial circuit of the state of Missouri, at the court-house in
Richmond, in a criminal court of inquiry, begun November 12th, 1838." A
list of fifty-three individuals is given, as being charged with the crimes
of high treason against the state, murder, burglary, arson, robbery, and
larceny. Among the number are Joseph Smith, jr., Hiram Smith, Sidney
Rigdon, and Parley P. Pratt. A copy of this document I succeeded in
obtaining, after considerable difficulty, it not having been printed for
general distribution.

The first witness produced on behalf of the state was Dr. Sampson Avard,
who had been a special teacher among the Mormons. He testifies that a band
at first denominated the Daughters of Zion, but afterwards the Danite band,
was formed by the members of the Mormon church, the original object of
which was, to drive from the county of Caldwell all who dissented from the
Mormon church. Joseph Smith, jr., blessed them, and prophesied over them,
declaring that they should be the means, in the hands of God, of bringing
forth the millenial kingdom. The covenant taken by this band was as
follows, (holding up the right hand:) "In the name of Jesus Christ, the Son
of God, I do solemnly obligate myself ever to conceal, and never to reveal
the secret purposes of this Society, called the Daughters of Zion. Should I
ever do the same, I hold my life as the forfeiture." This band felt
themselves as much bound to obey Joseph Smith, jr., and his two
counsellers, Hiram Smith and Sidney Rigdon, as to obey the supreme God.
Joseph Smith, jr., in a public address, told them that they should stand by
each other, right or wrong. He declared on another occasion, that all who
did not take up arms in defence of the Mormons of Daviess, should be
considered as tories, and should take their exit from the county. In
reference to taking the property of others, in their expeditions to Daviess
county, he told them that the children of God did not go to war at their
own expense. He said it was high time they should be up, as the saints of
the most high God, and protect themselves, and take the kingdom. On some
occasions, he said, that one should chase a thousand, and two put ten
thousand to flight; that he considered the United States rotten; that the
Mormon church was the little stone spoken of by the prophet Daniel; and
that the dissenters first, and the state next, was part of the image that
should be destroyed by the little stone. In an address to the forces at Far
West, about the time that Gen. Lucas appeared in that quarter with the
militia, Smith told them, that for every one they lacked in number of those
that came out against them, the Lord would send angels, who would fight for
them, and that they should be victorious.

This witness (Dr. Avard) received orders from Smith and his counsellors to
destroy the paper containing the constitution of the Danite Society,
inasmuch as if it should be discovered, it would be considered treasonable.
This order he did not obey, but kept the paper in his possession; and after
he was made prisoner by General Clark, he delivered it up to him. The
Mormon preachers and apostles were directed to instruct their followers to
come up to the state called Far West, and to possess the kingdom, and that
the Lord would give it to them.

A paper was draughted by Sidney Rigdon against the dissenters from
Mormonism, and signed by eighty-four Mormons. It was addressed to Oliver
Cowdery, David Whitmer, William W. Phelps and Lyman E. Johnson. Of these,
Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer were two of the three witnesses that
testified to the truth of the Book of Mormon. This will therefore serve to
show how much credit is to be attached to their testimony. These
eighty-four Mormons, in the letter, say to the dissenters, (Cowdery,
Whitmer, &c.) that they had violated their promise, and disregarded their
covenant; that Oliver Cowdery had been taken by a state warrant for
stealing, and the stolen property was found in the house of William W.
Phelps, Oliver Cowdery having stolen and conveyed it; that these dissenters
had endeavoured to destroy the characters of Smith and Rigdon by every
artifice they could invent, not even excepting the basest lying; that they
had disturbed the Mormon meetings of worship; that Cowdery and Whitmer had
united with a gang of counterfeiters, thieves, liars and blacklegs of the
deepest dye, to deceive, cheat and defraud the Mormons out of their
property, by every art and stratagem which wickedness could invent,
stealing not excepted; that they had attempted to raise mobs against the
Mormons; that Cowdery attempted to pass notes on which he had received pay;
that Cowdery, Whitmer and others, were guilty of perjury, cheating, selling
bogus money, (base coin,) and even stones and sand for bogus! that they
had opened, read and destroyed letters in the post-office: and that they
were engaged with a gang of counterfeiters, coiners, and blacklegs.

There, Mr. Editor, is the character of two of the three witnesses who
testified that they had seen the plates of the Book of Mormon; that God's
voice declared to them that they had been translated by his gift and power;
that an angel of God laid the plates and engravings before their eyes; and
that the voice of the Lord commanded them that they should bear record of
it. This is the character of two of the three witnesses, according to the
testimony of eighty-four _Mormons_, and not _opposers_ of Mormonism. To how
much credit these two witnesses are entitled, you can judge for yourself.
In the course of my communications on this subject, I shall exhibit the
character of the other witness, (Martin Harris,) and likewise of Prophet
Smith himself.

From the Baptist Advocate.



In my first communication on the subject of the Mormon war in Missouri, I
showed, by Mormon evidence itself, that two of the three witnesses that
testified to the truth of the Book of Mormon, viz: Oliver Cowdery and David
Whitmer, are utterly unworthy of any credit whatever. In pursuance of my
proposal in the same letter, I now proceed to exhibit the character of the
remaining witness, Martin Harris; and likewise the character of Smith
himself, over and above what has already been shown in relation to him.


                              _Palmyra, Nov. 29, 1833._

Martin Harris is naturally quick in his temper. At different times while I
lived with him, he has whipped, kicked, and turned me out of the house. In
one of his fits of rage, he struck me with the butt end of a whip, which I
think had been used for driving oxen, and was about the size of my thumb.
He beat me on the head four or five times, and the next day turned me out
of doors twice, and beat me in a shameful manner. His main complaint
against me was, that I was always trying to hinder his making money. One
day, while at Peter Harris's house, I told him he had better leave the
company of the Smith's, as their religion was false; to which he replied:
"If you would let me alone, I could make money by it."

There is the character of the third witness of the trio, on whose testimony
the Book of Mormon depends for support. Let us now look a little further at
the character of Prophet Smith himself.

Fifty-one of Smith's old acquaintances in Palmyra, declare him destitute of
that moral character which ought to entitle him to the confidence of any
community, spending much of his time in money digging, and being addicted
to vicious habits.

Peter Ingersol, of Palmyra, testifies, that Smith acknowledged that he
could not see in a stone, as he had pretended.

William Chace, of Manchester, Ontario county, N. Y., testifies, that Smith
acknowledged he had no Book of Mormon, and never had any.

Parley Chace, of Manchester, states, that Smith was entitled to no credit
whatever; that he was lazy, intemperate, worthless, and very much addicted
to lying, boasting of his skill in it, digging for money, and scarcely ever
telling two stories alike in relation to the Golden Bible matter.

David Stafford, of Wayne county, testifies, that Smith used to get
intoxicated, on which occasions he would quarrel and fight.

Barton Stafford, of Manchester, testifies, that Smith was very much
addicted to intemperance, even after he professed to be a prophet; and when
intoxicated, he frequently made his religion his theme.

Henry Harris, of Cuyahoga county, Ohio, testifies, that such was Smith's
character for lying, that the jury did not believe him when under oath.

Rev. Nathaniel C. Lewis, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and a relative
of Smith's wife, testifies, that Smith's general character was that of an
impostor, hypocrite, and liar.

Alva Hale, brother-in-law of Smith, testifies, that Smith told him, that
his gift in seeing with a stone and a hat, was a gift from God; but at
another time he told him, that this "_peeping_" was all nonsense. He
further testifies, that he knows Smith to be an impostor and liar.

Levi Lewis testifies, that he has heard Smith and Harris both say, that
adultery was no crime. Lewis further testifies, that he knows Smith to be a
liar; that he saw him intoxicated at three different times, while composing
the Book of Mormon; that he has heard him use the most profane language;
that he has heard him say he was as good as Jesus Christ; that it was as
bad to injure him as it was to injure Jesus Christ; and that God had
deceived him with regard to the plates, which was the reason he did not
show them.

Let this suffice on this point. And now we have before us the character of
this false prophet, and of his three supporters, on whose credibility the
fate of the Book of Mormon depends. Not one word of commentary is
necessary, after such an exhibition of their worthlessness and vileness;
and I shall, therefore, leave it as it is to speak for itself.



The following letter is the last in the series, originally written for the
columns of the Episcopal Recorder.

Although I have occupied your attention so long with the history of the
origin and rise of Mormonism, I have a few words more to add before closing
the subject. Several facts which have come to my knowledge, since
commencing these sketches, lead me to apprehend, that the developments we
have been attempting to make are not ill-timed. Is there any one who would
have formed so low an estimate of the Christian intelligence of this land,
as to have concluded _a priori_ that a deception so barefaced, and, withal,
so ridiculous, as the pretended disinterment of the Mormon Bible from one
of the hills of Western New York, and _this_--set on foot by an illiterate
vagrant hanging on the skirts of society, and of exceedingly doubtful moral
character, and backed by the pecuniary means of a man of the most credulous
and superstitious cast of character, whose sanity of mind was greatly
questioned by all his acquaintance, should have gained in a period of ten
years such dominion over human belief, as to be received as the undoubted
truth of God by more than sixty thousand persons. We are surprised to hear
of the success of this imposture in the Great Valley of the West, although
there is material there for almost every erratic conception of the human
mind to act upon. But what shall we say of the success of Mormonism in the
Atlantic states,--gathering its converts from orthodox and evangelical
churches? Will it not fill intelligent Christians with surprise to learn
that the Mormons are establishing themselves not only in many parts of New
England, but that they are spreading through Pennsylvania, and that they
already have two churches formed in Philadelphia, and that a portion of the
members of these churches, have been regular communicants in the Methodist
and Presbyterian Churches? Such, however, is the fact. And we shall not be
greatly surprised, if this "mystery of iniquity" continues to work, and
that those who have dared to "_add to the words_" of God's finished
revelation, shall receive the threatened curse. We shall not be surprised
if "God shall send upon such, strong delusion, that they should believe a
lie," and that they "wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived."

One thing however is distinctly to be noted in the history of this
imposture. There are no Mormons in Manchester, or Palmyra, the place where
this Book of Mormon was pretended to be found. You might as well go down
into the Crater of Vesuvius and attempt to build an ice house amid its
molten and boiling lava, as to convince any inhabitant in either of these
towns, that Jo Smith's pretensions are not the most gross and egregious
falsehood. It was indeed a wise stroke of policy, for those who got up this
imposture, and who calculated to make their fortune by it, to emigrate to a
place where they were wholly unknown. As soon as they had arranged their
apparatus for deceiving weak, and unstable souls--as soon as the Book of
Mormon was printed and their plans formed, the actors in this scene went
off _en masse_ to a part of the country where their former character and
standing were unknown, and where their claim to divine inspiration could be
set up with a little more show of plausibility than it could have been any
where in the state of New York. Mormonism had to grow a number of years in
a western soil, and there acquire a sort of rank and luxuriant growth,
before it could be transplanted with any success to a point near its
birth-place. And even now it keeps very much in the background its grand
pecularities. The Mormon preachers, I am told, in this region, generally
dwell upon the common topics of Christianity, rather than upon the
peculiarities of their system. The object of this is manifest. They wish to
strengthen themselves by a large accession of converts, before they stand
on the peculiarities of their system. But all Christians should beware of
their devices. Their whole system is built upon imposture. They believe
Joseph Smith to be a prophet of God, when there is not a man in our
Penitentiary, that might not with just as much plausibility lay claim to
that character. They believe the BOOK OF MORMON to be a divine revelation,
when it can be proved, that the whole ground-work of it was written by Mr.
Spalding as a Religious and Historical Romance. They believe that they have
the power among them to work miracles, when even "Satan with all" his
"power and signs and lying wonders," and with all his deceivableness, has
not been able to sustain their claim to in a single instance.

Martin Harris, after he went to Kirtland, Ohio, where, as we have seen, the
first Mormon settlement was formed, used occasionally to return to
Palmyra. As one of the three witnesses, he claimed divine inspiration, and
is, I believe, to the present day regarded by the Mormons, as one of the
greatest and best among "_the latter-day saints_." In these visits to the
place of his former residence he not only endeavoured to proselyte his old
acquaintances to his new faith, but used sometimes to edify them with very
solemn prophecies of future events. I was informed by Judge S---- of
Palmyra, that he came to his office so much and uttered his prophecies so
frequently that he at length told him, that he would not consent to his
uttering his predictions any more orally, but that he must write them down
and subscribe his name to them, or else seek some other place for the
exercise of his prophetic gift. Harris instantly wrote down two
predictions, attaching his signature to each.

The one was a declaration that Palmyra would be destroyed, and left utterly
without inhabitants, before the year 1836. The other prediction was that
before 1838 the Mormon faith would so extensively prevail, that it would
modify our national government, and there would at that period be no longer
any occupant of the presidential chair of the United States. To these
predictions he subjoined the declaration that if they were not literally
fulfiled, any one might have full permission to cut off his head and roll
it around the streets as a foot-ball. Bear in mind that this was one of the
pretended chosen witnesses of God, to testify to the truth of the Book of
Mormon. I need not say that both these prophecies in their entire failure
of fulfilment, convicted him of falsehood, and show how little is the value
of his testimony.

Another fact worthy of note in this connection is, that as Harris, Smith,
Rigdon, &c., all expected to make their fortune out of this scheme. The
banking enterprise in which they engaged, as we have seen, liked to have
proved a ruinous operation to them all. Ultimately this speculation
contributed to sever Harris from Smith and Rigdon, who went farther west,
and commenced operations in Missouri. Harris, in one of his late visits to
Palmyra, remarked to a friend of mine, that Jo Smith had now become a
complete wretch, and that he had no confidence either in him or Rigdon.
Recollect that this is the testimony of one of the three chosen witnesses
by which the truth of the Book of Mormon is to be established.

One fact more. You recollect that it was mentioned in a former No. of these
sketches, that Martin Harris' wife could not be induced to come over to the
Mormon faith. He consequently abandoned her, visiting her only once or
twice a year. She at length declined in health, and was evidently sinking
down to the grave. A gentleman of undoubted veracity in Palmyra told me
that a few days before her death, Harris returned, and on one occasion
while sitting in the room with her, appeared to be very much occupied in
writing. She inquired what he was writing? He replied that he was writing a
letter to a female to whom he was going to be married when she was dead!
And according to his words he was married to her in a very few weeks after
his wife's death. What are we to think of Mormonism, when we remember that
a man of such feelings and such morality was one of the chosen witnesses to
attest its truth.

I have already said, that the Mormons in this region cautiously keep out of
sight the peculiarities of their system, and principally dwell upon the
common topics of Christian faith and practice. One proof of this is, the
very few copies of the Book of Mormon, that are found among them. I am told
that among all the members of the two Churches established in Philadelphia,
there are not more than twenty copies of the Book of Mormon. This book I
suppose is only for the initiated--for those whose faith is well

Another fact in proof of the foregoing position is the effort they use to
drop the name of Mormons, and to assume the more taking one of "Latter day
Saints"--and when called upon to state their creed, instead of declaring
boldly that Joseph Smith is the prophet of God, and that the Book of Mormon
is his word, they rather dwell upon those points of faith which all
Christians hold in common.

In illustration of this last remark, I will here insert a written statement
given by Joseph Young, of Kirtland, Ohio, an elder of the Mormon Church,
while on a visit to Boston to establish his faith in that city.

"The principal articles of the Latter-day Saints, vulgarly called
_Mormons_, are

"1. A belief in one true and living God, the creator of the heavens and the
earth, and in his Son Jesus Christ, who came into this world 1800 years
since, at Jerusalem; was slain, rose from the dead, ascended on high, and
now sits on the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens; that through the
atonement thus wrought out, all men may come to God and find acceptance;
all of which they believe is revealed in the holy Scriptures.

"2. That God requires all men, wherever his gospel is proclaimed, or his
law known, to repent of all sins, forsake evil, and follow righteousness;
that his word also requires men to be baptized, as well as to repent; and
that the direct way pointed out by the Scriptures for baptism, is
immersion. After which, the individual has the promise of the gift of the
Holy Spirit; that this divine communication is absolutely promised unto all
men, upon whom "the Lord our God shall call," if they are obedient unto his
commandments. This gift of the Holy Spirit, was anciently bestowed by the
laying on the apostle's hands: so this church believes that those who have
authority to administer in the ordinances of the gospel, have this right
and authority, through prayer; and without this authority, and this gift,
the church is not _now_ what it _anciently_ was; consequently, cannot be
recognised as the true Church of Christ.

"3. That God will, in the last days, gather the literal descendants of
Jacob to the lands, anciently possessed by their fathers; that he will lead
them as at the first, and build them as at the beginning. That he will
cause his arm to be made bare in their behalf; his glory to attend them by
night and by day. That this is necessary to the fulfilment of his word,
when his knowledge is to cover the earth as the waters cover the seas. And
that, as men anciently saw visions, dreamed dreams, held communion with
angels, and converse with the heavens, so it will be in the last days to
prepare the way for all nations, languages and tongues, to serve him in

"4. That the time will come when the Lord Jesus will descend from heaven,
accompanied with ten thousand of his saints; that a mighty angel will lay
hold on the dragon, bind him, cast him into the pit, where he will be kept
from deceiving the nations for a thousand years; during which time, one
continued round of peace will pervade every heart. And,

"5. They believe in the resurrection of the body: that all men will stand
in the presence of God and be judged according to the deeds, or works, done
in this life; that the righteous will enter into eternal rest, in the
presence of God, but the wicked be cast off, to receive a just recompense
of reward; and that, to ensure eternal life, a strict obedience to all the
commandments of God, must be observed, to the end."

You see there is not even a remote allusion to what constitutes the gist of
their whole system. But I will here leave the subject for the present.


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