For six weeks in the summer of 2012, eight student scholars from all over the United States and from Europe met daily in the Maxwell Institute library to discuss and research the topic “The Cultural History of the Gold Plates.” This seminar was hosted by the Maxwell Institute and directed by Richard Bushman. The Summer Seminar Papers 2012 are the result of the research done by the students and were presented at a BYU symposium on June 23, 25, and 26, 2012.

By Craig Rossell


When we contemplate Joseph Smith’s gold plates project, we don’t always include the wildly imaginative, locally grown tales that grew up around it. Reports of an angel and an excavation that preceded the discovery of the plates, stories of danger over their safekeeping, and finally, their translation using heavenly spectacles, a seerstone, or both, to produce a book of supposed new scripture: such stories gusted around the countryside even before Joseph Smith and his closest associates would speak of them openly. They consumed the public imagination. Because locals were predisposed to do so, the stories they spun from actual details were typically far more fantastic than those of Smith and his followers. Among other things, the rich folklore that grew up around the plates included stories of caves.

The gold plates came alive in a popular culture well suited to them.  The folklore of that region was able not just to accommodate the plates but put them to further advantage.  For there was, in the regions of Joseph Smith’s early 19th century western New York, a popular belief in buried treasure – which was Smith’s story in a nutshell.  That belief produced a tug so strong that many local residents looked for buried treasure at night in spite of the ridicule that doing so threatened.[1]  Men dug holes and caves and dug up mounds – usually at night – in their quest for buried treasure.  The instant that commotion arose from the rumored discovery of Smith’s gold plates in that very locale, and the subsequent publication of the Book of Mormon, would eventually create a buried treasure sublore surrounding the plates themselves – a mythos in which caves would play a constant role.  

The presence of the plates in the oral tradition of upstate New York has never died.  As late as 1957 residents of Wayne County where Smith grew up recalled stories of “certain people” who, in the days of the Mormons, “roamed the fields and woods at night.  They carried torchlights and lanterns, and they searched for buried treasure and precious stone… with a zeal and energy worthy of a better cause.”  Numerous excavations were still visible more than a hundred years later.[2]  Porter Rockwell, who long before his death took on the dimensions of legend as bounty hunter and gunslinger, and who was the boyhood friend and classmate of Joseph Smith and one of Mormonism’s first converts, was reported by Elizabeth Kane as having said (in her words) that “[t]he most sober settlers of the district … were 'groppers' though they were ashamed to own it; and stole out to dig of moonlight nights, carefully effacing the traces of their ineffectual work before creeping home to bed.”[3] 

This common nocturnal avocation was driven by local legends as well as claims like Smith’s.  Parenthetically, after 1827 there may have been no functional difference between the two.  For the region had been home to native Indians who, it was believed, had buried sacred treasure.  The migration of the Oneida tribe to Wisconsin, for example, left locals digging up tribal cemeteries and mounds in their quest for riches.  The area was also believed to have been traversed by armies from France, Spain and Canada who, it was also rumored, had sunk loot in local soil.  But in Smith’s day there was also a revival of keen interest in the buried treasure of Captain William Kidd.  An entire literature over Kidd’s buried riches developed during Smith’s life time.[4]  New ballads appeared.  Nine separate companies are said to have been formed during the 19th century to dig for treasure the Flying Dutchman had sunk along the Hudson River.[5]  Famous for his buryings in order to stay out of trouble with the Crown, Billy the Kidd was believed to have once been chased up the Hudson all the way to Albany – 90 miles from Smith’s Palmyra – where his men were sent into the woods to bury what they could carry.[6]  “The phantom treasures of Captain Kidd were sought for far and near.”[7]  The tales of Washington Irving, who wrote several yarns about money diggers, and numerous other writers and playwrights fueled the flames of treasure seeking.

Most local treasure stories included spirits of the dead.  Indian spirits safeguarded sacred objects.  The ghosts of dead pirates did likewise, even if what they protected was less sacred.  In many of these pirate stories one of “Kidd’s men” was murdered after digging the hole and then tossed in on top of the loot to ward off greedy treasure seekers.  (As an aside, throwing in a dead pirate fulfilled two objectives simultaneously:  it not only protected the treasure but left one less pirate with knowledge of its location.)  And so, hidden treasure in Smith’s day was thought to be presided over and protected by spirits of the dead.  Many treasure digging expeditions included a conjurer to keep ghosts under control until excavations were concluded.  Tales of Joseph Smith’s diggings almost always included the same element, and he was typically the conjurer.  Smith acknowledged that in 1825 he had hired himself out to one Josiah Stowell and joined “the rest of [Stowell’s] hands” for a month-long dig for Spanish treasure along the Susquehanna River in upstate Pennsylvania.[8]  In 1838 he said he had once earned $14 in one month digging for money.[9]  As we shall see, because Joseph Smith, his father and brothers, were known money diggers, metal plates in the earth and cave construction became cultural allies in the minds of many who went on record about the gold plates.

Cave stories associated with the gold plates found their way into print for almost a century – or until 1930.  They were handed down from one generation to the next.  This suggests that gold plates cave lore was hearty amongst the locals.  In most all of these tales no source is offered for the information provided.  Nothing that may have been said by Smith or anyone associated with him about caves is extant.  Gold plates stories – most of which were oral – fulfilled a craving for the imaginative expression of what everyone seemed to be doing, or at least thinking about, in Smith’s day – which was, finding hidden treasure.  Although most all cave accounts were presented as accomplished facts, they often included whimsical, even supernatural, elements that incorporated the folkways of that time and place.  Smith and his gold plates merely provided a familiar setting within which the popular imagination could thrive.

Within three years after the Book of Mormon was first published, William Stafford, a neighbor of the Smiths since perhaps 1819, stated that the Smith family was fond of telling people that “nearly all the hills in this part of New York, were thrown up by human hands, and in them were large caves,” that “Joseph, Jr. pretended he could see all things within and under the earth,” that “he could see within the above mentioned caves, large gold bars and silver plates,” and that “he could also discover the spirits in whose charge these treasures were….”[10]  Another Stafford, Joshua, stated that around 1819 the Smith family “commenced digging for hidden treasures… [and] controlled marvelous stories about ghosts, hob-goblins, caverns, and various other mysterious matters.”[11]  Another neighbor, Peter Ingersoll, who provided Joseph with transportation during translation, averred that Smith told him “the ancient inhabitants of this country used camels instead of horses” and “that in a certain hill on the farm of Mr. Cuyler, there was a cave containing an immense value of gold and silver, stands of arms, also, a saddle for a camel, hanging at one side of the cave.”[12]  Willard Chase, who in 1822 had a water well dug on his property by Joseph and his brother Alvin, related how Smith had once told Josiah Stowell “he had discovered on the bank of the Black River, in the village of Watertown, Jefferson County, N.Y., a cave, in which he found a bar of gold, as big as his leg, and about three or four feet long.”[13]

These four accounts are foundational.  As with all the declarations created by Philastus Hurlbut during 1832-33 in his drive to discredit Smith and the Book of Mormon, we need not concern ourselves with their truth or falsity.  These four merely situate Joseph Smith as seer inside a motif of treasure caves.  Even if these declarants didn’t believe it, at least in their minds Smith was connected with the supernatural ability to locate caves containing treasure.

In 1907 the Wayne County Journal reported an interview with Carlos Osgood in which Osgood related a story he had heard as a boy from his grandfather “of the early days” in which Smith and others dug “for those supposed plates” “on the side of [Gold Bible Hill] not far from the top… for several evenings.”  In the process they made “a huge cave.”[14]  Here, then, we encounter Joseph Smith the cavemaker.  No plates yet.

A highly imaginative account from 1903 combines cave making with the discovery of the plates.  In a book on early Manchester history, Charles W. Brown wrote that on “Mormon Hill,” “[n]ight after night,” Joseph, Sr. with “sons, Alvah [Alvin] and Joseph, delved and dug in different spots.” But it was on another hill, one now owned by “the Chauncey Miner heirs,” where the Smiths made “nothing more nor less that an artificial cave” 60 feet long, 15 feet wide, and 10 feet high that was “guarded by an iron-plated door.”  It had two rooms, and the “chamber beyond” was an “audience room” that “was furnished with one rude table and half a dozen uncouth stools.”  In this dark auditorium “the plotters” held “secret meetings” “by the flaring light of a tallow candle.”  Then “[o]ne morning …a strange rumor was passed from mouth to mouth that the night before, the Smiths in one of their midnight expeditions had commenced digging on the north-western spur of Mormon Hill, and had been rewarded by the discovery of several golden tablets, which were covered with hieroglyphics.…”[15]  So here we find Joseph setting up shop in a tall 900 square foot “cavetorium” when he discovers tablets so precious that Moses himself would have envied them. 

By 1903, then, the original backstory is elaborated ornamented.  We have a cave on par with the Smith farmhouse size-wise that is improved with an iron-plated door so Smith and his coreligionists can secretly conspire before the supposed discovery of the plates.  What we also see developing is a relatively short oral tradition centered in one person – in this case a clever and devious one – performing the magical, the supernatural, in a natural setting with plenty of exaggerated action and entertainment that reflects the cultural customs and values of the place where the story is born.  Here, the gold plates saga begins to take on the trappings of classic folklore.

There are numerous other cave accounts.  The only account that actually finds Joseph taking possession of the plates in a cave is attributed to Smith’s mother, Lucy.  In 1842, an Episcopalian minister from St. Louis, Henry Caswell, met Lucy in Nauvoo, Illinois at her “small brick house.”  In veiled sarcasm he later wrote that “this eminent personage” welcomed him “to the holy city,” and that during their visit, she told him “[t]he angel of the Lord [had] appeared to [her son, Joseph] fifteen years since, and showed him the cave where the original golden plates of the book of Mormon were deposited….”[16]  Lucy apparently never confirmed such statements, which were published in England.

Another passed-down account given in 1893 by local resident Orson Saunders indicates Smith hid the plates in a cave the day after he first obtained them.  This account, which was told more than sixty years after the events in question, was attributed to Saunders’ uncle.  Recounting the night Smith received the plates, Saunders spoke as if Smith himself:  “Many a time I thought the holy plates would be taken from me, but I never let them go until I found a place to hide….  The country was heavily timbered in those days, but I was not afraid to go through the woods.  On the following day I had the plates safely clasped to my breast and I carried them home and afterward hid them in a cave, where I began the first translation of the inspired pages….”[17]  So here cave as hiding place and cave as translation site conflate.  This later Saunders account again suggests that plates/cave tales became embellished in the public mind as such stories were handed down.

Several other narratives posit that Joseph translated the Book of Mormon in a cave, none of them close in time to the events they recount.    In 1867 Pomeroy Tucker published a book stating that “[t]he work of translation this time had been done in the recess of a dark artificial cave, which Smith caused to be dug in the east side of the forest-hill near his residence, now owned by Mr. Amos Miner.”  Alternatively, according to Tucker, “the prophet continued to pursue his former mode of translating behind a curtain at his house,” and only used “the cave to pay spiritual devotions and seek the continued favor of Divine Wisdom.”[18]  Hamilton Child was quoted in 1867 as saying that “Joseph Smith would repair at night to a cave in the hillside, and dictate to his amanuensis, (Oliver Cowdrey,) what he ’mysteriously translated from golden plates,’ which he pretended to have found while digging for money in September 1823, by spirit of revelation….”  Smith’s revelations “were only given in the cave at night, without any light, no one else being able to read the inscription on the plates but he.”[19]  In 1930 Thomas L. Cook published Palmyra and Vicinity in which he wrote that “[a]fter Joseph found the golden plates on Mormon Hill, Thum Moroni, his guardian angel, told him to go east of the house and dig a cave.  There he would meet him and reveal to him the hieroglyphics on the golden plates….”  Smith went to the first spot and dug twenty feet before “Thum Moroni informed him it was not holy ground.”  He then tried again elsewhere with the same result.  Finally, “[h]e then repaired to the east side of Miner's Hill… and after digging twenty feet it was made known to him that this was the accepted spot and to dig twenty feet more, making nearly forty feet.  [¶] After the cave had been dug a door was put at the opening and fastened, and every evening, just at twilight, for the next three months he visited the cave, always accompanied by two or more, but always entering the cave alone.”[20]  Cook’s cave account is the only one, save the one attributed to Lucy Mack Smith, to mention an angel – “Thum Moroni” – as being present when Smith first obtained the plates.  In these tales we find Smith variously cave digging at the direction of an angel, securing the cave with a door, and going there at night to mysteriously translate under the tutelage of the angel with a scribe – all as a fait accompli

One of the more entertaining accounts of translation was provided in 1893 by Daniel Hendrix.  He told how, “as a lad,” he saw a thoroughly disheveled Joseph Smith daily for six years at a store in Palmyra, and how “[t]he copy for the 'Book of Mormon' was prepared in a cave that Smith and others dug near the scene of the finding of the golden plates on Gold hill.”  Hendrix recalled Sunday walks to the cave during translation and later during the printing of the book.  He said, “Some of the converts were constantly about the entrance to the cave, and no one but Smith and Alvin [Oliver] Cowdry, a school teacher there, who had proselyted that season, was allowed to go through the door to the cave.”  “[S]eated on the other side of a screen or partition in the cave, [Cowdery] wrote down the words as pronounced by Joe."[21]  What distinguishes this imaginative account is its firsthand perspective.  Hendrix draws his facts from Sunday walks.  In such a direct and personal account, the supernatural arises from the ordinary.

Joseph Smith never responded directly to any of these accounts.  In 1838 he would only provide his own version of what had transpired to combat “the many reports which have been put into circulation by evil-disposed and designing persons.”  This, he said, was “to militate against” “the authors” “who had written against the character of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its progress in the world.”[22]

Several more accounts posit that the final resting place of the gold plates was a cave. These came from Mormon church leaders after the westward migration was well under way.  One of these is contained in the diary of Elizabeth Kane, a nonmember whose husband Thomas was an incalculable political ally and friend to Mormonism for much of the 19th century.  Elizabeth and others were with Brigham Young, Porter Rockwell and others at Young’s St. George home on or near the evening of January 15, 1873.  She records that after dinner, “I asked where the plates were now, and saw in a moment from the expression of the countenances around that I had blundered.  But I was answered that they were in a cave….  [Oliver Cowdery] had been to the cave, I did not understand exactly whether Oliver Cowdrey was there three times, or whether he accompanied Joseph the third time he went there, and Brigham Young's tone was so solemn that I listened bewildered like a child to the evening witch stories of its nurse.  Nor do I understand whether the plates were all transcribed by this time or not.”  She went on to describe the dimensions of the cave.[23]  

In 1877 Brigham Young himself declared what he said Oliver Cowdery would not disclose in public:

When Joseph got the plates, the angel instructed him to carry them back to the hill Cumorah, which he did.  Oliver says that when Joseph and Oliver went there, the hill opened, and they walked into a cave, in which there was a large and spacious room.  He says he did not think, at the time, whether they had the light of the sun or artificial light; but that it was just like day.  They laid the plates on a table; it was a large table that stood in the room.  Under this table there was a pile of plates as much as two feet high, and there were altogether in this room more plates than probably many wagon loads; they were piled up in the corners and along the walls.[24]

Young’s manuscript history also describes a meeting in which his counselor, Heber C. Kimball, “talked familiarly to the brethren about Father Smith, Cowdery, and others walking into the hill Cumorah and seeing records upon records piled upon table[s], they walked from cell to cell and saw the records that were piled up….”[25]  Kimball himself stated in an 1856 address that “Joseph and unnamed others went into a cave in the hill Cumorah, and saw more records than ten men could carry[.]  There were books piled up on tables, book upon book.”[26]  Another apostle, Wilford Woodruff, made a journal entry in 1867 that said:  “I attended the school of the Prophets….  President Young said in relation to Joseph Smith returning the Plates of the Book of Mormon that he did not return them to the Box from wh[ence?] He had Received [them] But He Went [into] a Cave in the Hill Comoro with Oliver Cowdry & deposited those plates up on a table or shelf.  In that room were deposited a large amount of gold plates Containing sacred records….”[27]  

Accounts by church leaders of a supernatural plate depository no doubt entertained as well as instructed audiences.  In 1874 church member Jesse Nathaniel Smith attended a meeting where Young spoke.  Smith recorded in his journal:  “I heard him at an evening meeting in Cedar City describe an apartment in the Hill Cumorah that some of the brethren had been permitted to enter.  He said there was great wealth in the room in sacred implements, vestments, arms, precious metals and precious stones, more than a six-mule team could draw.”[28]  An earlier 1855 journal entry by another church member, William Horne Dame, noted that in a church talk, apostle W. W. Phelps related “a story told to him by Hyrum Smith” that “Joseph, Hyrum, Cowdery and Whitmere went to the hill Cormorah.  As they were walking up the hill, a door opened and they walked into a room about 16 ft square.  In that room was an angel and a trunk.  On that trunk lay a book of Mormon & gold plates, Laban’s sword, Aaron’s breastplate.”[29]  This was marvel and legend expressed by legally constituted priesthood authority.  It no doubt had a lasting impact on the imaginations of many who heard it. 

Apostle Orson Pratt frequently lauded the hill Cumorah in poetic strains:  “…O holy, lovely mount!  The resting place of Zion's law!  In thy Chambers dwell eternal riches!”  He would often explain how it was that so many sacred records were inside the hill: 

When Moroni … made the deposit of the book entrusted to him, he was, without doubt, inspired to select a department of the hill separate from the great sacred depository of the numerous volumes hid up by his father [Mormon].  The particular place in the hill, where Moroni secreted the book, was revealed, by the angel, to the Prophet Joseph Smith, to whom the volume was delivered in September, A.D. 1827.  But the grand repository of all the numerous records of the ancient nations of the Western continent was located in another department of the hill, and its contents under the charge of holy angels, until the day should come for them to be transferred to the sacred temple of Zion.[30]

Pratt taught that anciently there had been “great and terrible wars” lasting “about 50 years at Cumorah, during which millions of [Nephites and Lamanites] were destroyed,”[31] and that in preparation for those battles the many plates from which Mormon had abridged his record – the record that became the Book of Mormon – were deposited there and that “they must have been very numerous indeed.”[32]  He also believed that the more ancient Jaredite nation had also perished in the same location centuries before and that they too had also buried their sacred records and artifacts in and around Cumorah.  This was the explanation for so large a cave containing so many precious artifacts.   

Taken individually, these various accounts rarely provide more than one function for the caves they discuss.  But gathered and lined up, we find that over time they embellish a large body of “facts” – no matter how implausible or contradictory – at points all along the gold plates timeline.  In summary, we find caves as part of (1) Joseph Smith’s immediate geography; (2) what his parents’ family liked to talk about with others; and (3) where he located his earliest purported treasure discoveries.  There are also stories of a cave (4) dug by Smith in his search for buried treasure; (5) a cave as a sort of cult meetinghouse for him and his colleagues prior to his receipt of the plates; (6) as what Smith had to dig to initially find the plates, or (7) as the pre-existing chamber where he initially went to receive them; (8) as hiding place for the plates; (9) as the translation site, and finally, (10) as the place Smith went to relinquish the plates after the manuscript was finished.

Closer textual analysis of these narratives would yield many more insights.  But in the time remaining, perhaps we should ask, why did most of detractors of Joseph Smith who told these tales spin them if they did not believe them?  Why did they tell stories in so straight forward a manner before incorporating supernatural elements?  And why did those who told them as faithful history tell them given their inherent implausibility?  In each case the answers must be different. 

I suggest that for outsiders who wanted to discredit Joseph Smith and his newfangled faith, there was a social anxiety that these tall tales soothed. Stories of angels and gold plates – new contact from heaven – were a menace in an infant nation still uncertain about the implications of democracy.  In a country committed to the overthrow of state-sponsored religion, and in an Enlightened Protestant age that denied access to heaven, a charlatan like Joseph Smith could take advantage of America’s freewheeling religious climate.  He could make believers with impunity.  For most American Christians, upshot movements like Mormonism, in which Smith could symbolically hold up a book without fear and lay claim to supernatural power and divine authority, threatened anarchy as well as atheism.  Political power was supposed to be available only through the Constitution.  This is why William D. Purple, in The History of Chenango and Madison Counties, could call Mormonism “a giant evil” that threatened “to subvert all principles of law and order.”  This is why Mormonism was worthy of “every effort to suppress it.”[33]  Hyperbole and parody, in a folk setting, were part of that offensive. 

Ironically, however, the cave stories of LDS church leaders were no less fantastic.  Doors to caves that suddenly appeared in hillsides, opening mysteriously on their own, and chambers filled with ancient records and artifacts rivaled the tales of outsiders even if they were not intended for general circulation, and even if they only sought to increase faith among the faithful.  In the case of these general authorities, embellishing what most members already believed made the topic more entertaining and marvelous. 

In a book titled The Fantastic:  A Structural Approach to a Literary Genre, Tzvetan Todorov proposes that “[i]n the genuine fantastic, there is always the external and formal possibility of a simple explanation of phenomena, but at the same time this explanation is stripped of internal probability.”  The fantastic includes “the existence of events of two orders, those of the natural world and those of the supernatural world.”  The fantastic occurs when “hesitation [is] experienced by a person who knows only the laws of nature, confronting an apparently supernatural event.”  “The possibility of a hesitation between the two [realms] creates the fantastic effect.” [34]  In most of the gold plates narratives involving caves, whether told by Mormons or non-Mormons, there seems to come a moment when we sit, transfixed, uncertain as to where reality ends and the supernatural appears.  Many gold plates narratives begin with an introduction to Joseph Smith, something on the order of Orson Saunders’:  “I can see him now, in my mind’s eye, with his torn and patched trowsers, held to him by a pair of suspenders made out of sheeting, with his calico shirt as dirty and black as the earth, and his uncombed hair sticking through the holes in his old battered hat.  In winter I used to pity him, for his shoes were so old and worn out that he must have suffered in the snow and slush, yet Joe had a jovial, easy, don’t-care way about him that made him a lot of warm friends.”  From there, however, these stories glide into the supernatural world – sometimes seamlessly.  For Daniel Hendrix the Book of Mormon “was prepared in a cave that Smith and others dug near the scene of the finding of the golden plates on Gold Hill” and that he went there frequently on Sunday walks during the process of the translation of the plates and book printing[35] (italics added).  

This “twilight zone” element in which the ordinary is blurred by the preternatural has always been part of the allure and fascination of gold plates cave stories.  They almost always force the reader to step into a realm where the natural and the supernatural merge at some uncertain moment.  Printed tales of caves and Joseph Smith’s gold plates have persisted since 1833, and are sufficiently numerous, to have established a unique subgenre in buried treasure folktales from New York’s 19th century.  They perpetually spark the imaginations of those who hear and spin them.    

[1] William Hallam Bonner, “Hudson River Legends of Captain Kidd.”  New York Folklore Quarterly (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press), 2/1 (Feb. 1946), 47.  In 1729 Benjamin Franklin warned “the poor deluded money-diggers” to give up the search for buried treasure.  Bonner at 40.

[2] Laurence A. Johnson, “The ‘Money Diggers’ of Rose.” New York Folklore Quarterly.  (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press), 13/3 (Autumn 1957), 252-54.

[3] Elizabeth Kane, A Gentile Account of Life in Utah’s Dixie, 1872-73 – Elizabeth Kane’s St. George Journal.  (Salt Lake City:  University of Utah, Tanner Trust Fund, 1995), 74.

[4] William Hallam Bonner, “Hudson River Legends of Captain Kidd.”  New York Folklore Quarterly (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press), 2/1 (Feb. 1946), 46.

[5] Id. at 44.

[6] William Hallam Bonner, “Hudson River Legends of Captain Kidd.”  New York Folklore Quarterly (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press), 2/1 (Feb. 1946), 40-51.   

[7] Elizabeth Kane, A Gentile Account of Life in Utah’s Dixie, 1872-73 – Elizabeth Kane’s St. George Journal.  (Salt Lake City:  University of Utah, Tanner Trust Fund, 1995), 74.  (Statement attributed to Orrin Porter Rockwell.)

[8] Joseph Smith, Joseph Smith History, 1838, The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, Dean C. Jessee, ed.  (Salt Lake City, Deseret Book, 2002), 238. 

[9] Joseph Smith, “Answers to Questions," Elders' Journal (Kirtland, Ohio) 1 (July 1838), 42-43.

[10]William Stafford Statement, Eber D. Howe, Mormonism Unvailed:  Or, A Faithful Account of that Singular Imposition and Delusion, from Its Rise to the Present Time (Painesville, OH: Eber D. Howe, 1834), 237-38 (12 Dec. 1833 (hereafter, “Mormonism Unvailed”).

[11] Joshua Stafford Statement, Mormonism Unvailed, 258 (15 Nov. 1833.

[12] Peter Ingersoll Affidavit, Mormonism Unvailed, 233 (2 Dec. 1833).

[13] Willard Chase Statement, Mormonism Unvailed, 240 (undated but acknowledged 11 Dec. 1833).

[14] Carlos Osgood Statement, circa 1907, "Some Early Mormon History," Wayne County Journal, 11 July 1907.

[15] Charles W.  Brown Account.  One of a series of articles Brown published on early Manchester history.  "Manchester in the Early Days," Shortsville Enterprise, 11 March 1904.  Brigham Young University, Harold B. Lee Library, L. Tom Perry Special Collections. 

[16] Lucy Mack Smith Interview, 1842.  Henry Caswell, The City of the Mormons; or Three Days at Nauvoo in 1842 (London: Printed for J. G. F. & J. Rivington, 1842), 25-26.  Reprinted in “The Mormons,” The Visitor, or Monthly Instructor, For 1842, vo. 2 (London:  The Religious Tract Society, 1842), 407.

[17] Lippincott's Magazine (Philadelphia) 26 (August 1880): 198-206, 211. 

[18] Tucker Pomeroy Account, Origin, Rise and Progress of Mormonism (New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1867), 47-48.

[19] Hamilton Child Account, 1867.  Glazetteer and Business Directory of Wayne County, N. Y for 1867-89 (Syracuse, New York:  Journal Office, 1867), 52-54.

[20] Thomas L.  Cook History, 1930.  Thomas L.  Cook, Palmyra and Vicinity (Palmyra, New York: Press of the Palmyra Courier-Journal, 1930), 221.

[21] Daniel Hendrix Reminiscence, "Origin of Mormonism.  Joe Smith and His Early Habits.  How He Found the Golden Plates.  A Contemporary of Prophet Relates Interesting Facts," San Francisco Chronicle, 14 1893, 12.  Reprinted, various.

[22] Joseph Smith, Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith History, 1.

[23] Elizabeth Kane, A Gentile Account of Life in Utah’s Dixie, 1872-73 – Elizabeth Kane’s St. George Journal.  (Salt Lake City:  University of Utah, Tanner Trust Fund, 1995), 75.

[24] Brigham Young, Farmington address, 17 June 1877.  Journal of Discourses 19: 38.

[25] Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 5 May 1867.

[26] Heber C. Kimball Discourse, 28 Sept. 1856, delivered at the Bowery, Great Salt Lake City; Journal of Discourses  4:105.

[27] Wilford Woodruff, Journals – 1833 – 1898, Vol. 6 (1 Jan. 1862 – 31 Dec. 1870), 11 Dec. 1869. 

[28] Jesse Nathaniel Smith, The Journal of Jesse Nathaniel Smith:  Six Decades in the Early West; Diaries and Papers of a Mormon Pioneer, 1834-1906. Ed. Oliver R. Smith (Provo, UT:  Jesse N. Smith Family Association, 1970), 217, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University)

[29] William Dame Horne Diary, Journal of the Southern Exploring Company, 1854 – 1858, Iron County, UT, 14 Jan. 1855, Della Edwards Papers, Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah.

[30] Millennial Star 28:417-19.  Liverpool, England.  1866. 

[31] Orson Pratt Discourse, New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, 6 April 1874; Journal of Discourses ?: 30.

[32] Orson Pratt Discourse, New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, 22 Sept. 1872, Journal of Discourses 15: 182-83.

[33] William D. Purple, “Historical Reminiscences of the town of Afton,” History of Chenango and Madison Counties, Part 1 (Syracuse, N.Y.: D. Mason & Co., 1880), 154.

[34] Tzvetan Todorov, The Fantastic:  A Structural Approach to a Literary Genre.  (Cleveland/London:  The Press of Case Western Reserve University, 1973), 25-27.

[35] Daniel Hendrix Reminiscence, "Origin of Mormonism.  Joe Smith and His Early Habits.  How He Found the Golden Plates.  A Contemporary of Prophet Relates Interesting Facts," San Francisco Chronicle, 14 1893, 12.  Reprinted, various.