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For Episode 2 -- Chapter Three

D. P. Hurlbut Chronology
June-Dec. 1833

by Dale R. Broadhurst  

--( April 2001 )--


Episode 2 Timeline:  Chap. 1   |   Chap. 2   |   Chap. 3   |   Chap. 4   |   Chap. 5
Return to Chapter Three Text


June - September

go back to:
23 June 1833
24 Jun (Mon)
Within a day or two of the June 23 trial at Kirtland DPH learned he had been excommunicated a second time. He probably returned temporarily to Kirtland 024a from Thompson before the end of June and resumed his residence with the Ezekiel Johnson family.
24 Jun (Mon)
H. returned to PA 024b [prob. Erie Co.] where he refused to return his Mormon preaching license to the Church leadership
Jul 1833
DPH returned to Springfield, Erie Co. PA and began holding public lectures 025 condemning the Mormon Church. He may have first mentioned Spalding's writings during these early lectures; his readiness to begin such public discourses suggests DPH had been collecting information hostile to the Mormons while still a member of the Church.

late Jul 1833
DPH continued his lecture tour, moving south through Erie Co., to the area around Jacksonville and Elk Creek.

20 Jul (Sat)
At Independence, a citizens committee destroyed the press of The Evening and Morning Star. They tarred and feathered Bishop Edward Partridge and the Mormons were ordered to leave Jackson county.

23 Jul (Tue)
The corner stones of the Kirtland Temple were laid by Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, F. G. Williams, Lyman R. Sherman and other LDS elders.

23 Jul (Tue)
The leaders of the Missouri Mormons agreed to leave Jackson county, most of them by Jan., 1834 and all of them before by Apr. 1, 1834. This agreement was made without the knowledge of Joseph Smith.
early Aug 1833
DPH investigated the Spalding authorship claims for the Book of Mormon 026 more closely. He had conversations with members of the Lyman Jackson family and eventually came to know Henry Lake, Aaron Wright, etc. -- By this time DPH had probably made the aquaintance of the Woodbury family in Kingsville, Ashtabula Co., OH and he may have occasionally stayed overnight with them during the second half of 1833.

early Aug 1833
DPH's lecture tour in PA took him south through Erie Co., to Elk Creek. Here his relative and foremer co-religionist, Benjamin Winchester, attended one of DPH's anti-Mormon addresses.

2 Aug (Fri)
Joseph Smith claimed to receive two divine revelations. The first instructed the Mormons in Jackson county that the planned Independence Temple was to be "built speedily" and that, by their carrying out these instructions, "Zion... shall prosper and spread herself and become very glorious..." The second revelation commanded the Saints in Kirtland to "commence a work of laying out and preparing... the City of the stake of Zion..."

6 Aug (Tue)
Joseph Smith claimed to receive a divine revelation instructing the Mormons to "renounce war and proclaim peace" and to allow their "enemies" to "smite" them as many as three times without their seeking revenge.

6 Aug (Tue)
Joseph Smith wrote a "beloved brethren" letter from Kirtland to the Mormons in Missouri, enclosing his three latest divine revelations. No mention was made of God knowing about the Independence riot of July 20th, or of the agreement the Mormons had made to leave Jackson county.

9 Aug (Fri)
The Missouri Republican printed its "'Regulating' the Mormonites" article. The news report was widely reprinted by other newspapers.

early Aug 1833
At this time D. P. Hurlbut probably extended his anti-Mormon lecturing into Crawford County. Probably he had heard from the Lyman Jackson family that a brother of the late Solomon Spalding was still living in Crawford. Along the course of his lecture route Hurlbut began speaking more about a fraudulent origin for the Book of Mormon.

c. 14 Aug (Wed)
Oliver Cowdery arrived in Kirtland with the first news of the riot in Independence. About this same time western newspapers begin to arrive with the news that the Missouri Mormon leaders had agreed to leave Jackson county by the beginning of April. According to Lucy Mack Smith, her son then "called a council" in Kirtland in which it was resolved to assist the Missouri Saints with "money and clothing" (Lucy Smith, p. 198).

16 Aug (Fri)
The Painesville Telegraph informed Geauga county residents that "a great riot took place" at "the Mormon colony in Missouri." The article also said that a "treaty of amity" had been accepted, in which the Mormons "agreed to leave the county as soon as they conveniently could."

17 Aug (Sat)
The Chardon Spectator printed its "Mormonites" article, saying that "a great riot" had taken place at the Mormon "headquarters in Jackson county, Missouri...in which the inhabitants of that neighborhood attacked the Mormonites, endeavoring to make some of their leaders recant their faith -- refusing to do this, the people tarred and feathered them..." The Spectator reprinted part of the Missouri Republican's"Regulating the Mormonites" article of Aug 9th. The Spectator also said: "After their colony went to Missouri it was understood, they disagreed among themselves, and the society, without opposition, would have soon fallen to pieces, and resolved itself into the beggarly elements of which it was composed."

18 Aug (Sun)
With all the news of the disaster in Missouri then available in the public press, it is likely that Joseph Smith preached in Kirtland, mentioning the the agreement the Misouri Mormons had made to leave "Zion." Smith reportedly told the Missouri Mormons that "the Lord would justify them to stand in their own defense -- sword in hand," (Donna Hill, p. 163) But Smith exempted Oliver Cowdery from that defense, saying "Oliver can stay here to good advantage..." (letter of Aug 8, 1833, cited in Legg, p. 74)
mid-Aug 1833
Joseph Smith sent his secretary, Orson Hyde, from Kirtland to Missouri 027 to deliver messages and seek the assistance of the Governor of Missouri in maintaining the Mormons upon their property there. Hyde did not return until Nov 25, 1833
c. mid-Aug 1833
DPH obtained important eye-witness statements 028a supporting the Spalding authorship claims from John and Martha Spalding in Crawford Co., PA

mid-Aug 1833
News of the Missouri Mormons being "regulated" by a "committee" in Jackson county spread among Kirtland area anti-Mormons. They discussed the pros and cons of this kind of action. Although the Ohioans did not elect to resort to the extreme illegalities and outrages perpetrated by the Jackson county "committee," they were no doubt impressed by the successful results of concerted group action against the congregating of large numbers of impoverished Mormons.

24 Aug (Sat)
The Chardon Spectator printed its "The Mormonites" article, with text was derived from the Missouri Republican of Aug. 9, 1833. It said: "A meeting of the citizens of Jackson county, to the number of four or five hundred, was held at Independence on the 20th of July. Their avowed object was to take measures to rid themselves of the Mormonites.... the citizens have been daily told that they are to be cut off, and their lands appropriated to the Mormons for inheritances; but they are not fully agreed among themselves as to the manner in which this shall be accomplished, whether by the destroying angel, the judgement of God, or the arm of power. The comittee express their fears that, should this population continue to increase, they will soon have all the offices of the county in their hands; and that the lives and property of other citizens would be insecure, under the administration of men who are so ignorant and superstitious..."
c. late Aug 1833
DPH returned to Kirtland 028b with the intention of conducting new lectures there on the origin of the Book of Mormon.

Fig. 1. Mentor-Kirtland-Painesville-Chardon Area, mid-1830s.

c. early Sep 1833
In the days just prior to Hurlbut's return to the Kirtland area, a self-constituted anti-Mormon "Committee" comprised of citizens of Kirtland, Mentor, Willoughby (Chagrin) and Painesville began meeting at the home of Warren Corning, in Mentor, to investigate the origin and design of Mormonism. At least two members of the group were also currently Kirtland township officers: Justice of the Peace Josiah Jones and Town Clerk Oliver A. Crary.
early Sep 1833
With his preliminary documentation in hand DPH called a public meeting in Kirtland and lectured on the "true origin of Mormonism." Here DPH joined with the local anti-Mormon "Committee" 029 the leaders of which met regularly in the Warren Corning home in Mentor. Members of this "Committee" and other local anti-Mormons eventually donated funds to sponsor DPH in his further investigations of Mormon origins.

11 Sep (Wed)
Having lost the Church's "Literary Firm" office in Independence to mob action, Joseph Smith and his counselors decided to establish a publishing house at Kirtland, under the name of F. G. Williams and Co. This decision (along with construction on the Temple and other Church projects) was taken by the local anti-Mormons as a firm sign that Smith's followers were determined to remain and expand their colony in Ohio.
mid Sep 1833
About this time DPH was employed to look up testimony 030a by the anti-Mormon "Committee" which met at Mentor. D. P. Hurlbut collected cash donations from Mentor Campbellite Orris Clapp, and other members of "the Committee." According to Benjamin Winchester, "one of them, a Campbellite by name, Newel... advanced the sum of three hundred dollars, for the prosecution of the work..." It is very doubtful that Mentor businessman Grandison Newell was "a Campbellite," but he was no doubt the same "Newell" who helped finance Hurlbut's research journey.Upon his way to the East, Hurlbut stopped over in Conneaut twp., Ashtabula Co., and called a meeting of the citizens. There he secured more statements from old associates of Solomon Spalding and raised more money to cover his travel expenses.
mid-Sep 1833
DPH began his stage trip eastward 030b -- He stopped in New Salem, Conneaut Twp., Ashtabula Co., called a public meeting and raised more funds to cover his expenses -- DPH also collected more statements supporting the Spalding authorship claims while in the area

late Sep 1833
DPH crossed the border into Erie Co., PA and stopped to collect a statement from Solomon Spalding's old associate, John N. Miller, in West Springfield. During this period DPH apparently renewed his relationship with Huldah Barnes, who lived only a few miles east of Miller's residence.


October - December

about 3 Oct (Thr)
Oliver Cowdery left Kirtland with $800 to purchase a new printing press and type for the Church. His destination was probably Canandaigua, Ontario Co., NY

5 Oct (Sat)
Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon left Kirtland on a 4 week journey to the East. Among other reasons for his leaving at this time, Smith may have been trying to avoid being served writs requiring his appearance in court.

about 5 Oct (Sat)
Oliver Cowdery passed through Erie Co, PA on his way to western NY. He probably stayed overnight with the Saints of the Springfield Branch.

early Oct 1833
After leaving the home of John N. Miller in Springfield Twp., Erie Co., PA, DPH may have lingered in Conneaut Twp., with Huldah Barnes a few days before continuing his investigative journey.
6 Oct (Sun)
Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon stayed at "Brother Rudd's" 031 in Springfield, Erie Co., PA. Erastus Rudd was a recent Mormon convert who lived 3 miles east of the OH/PA border, in a house where Solomon Spalding did much of his writing, 20 years before. Rudd's sister-in-law in the LDS Springfield Branch, Rosanna Jackson Rudd was the daughter of Lyman Jackson, one of the persons who first supplied information about Spalding to DPH.

7 Oct (Wed)
According to Elder Daniel Tyler, during Joseph Smith's "short stay" in Springfield, "he preached at my father's residence, an humble log cabin." Although Andrews Tyler allowed the Mormon leader to preach at his West Springfield residence in Oct., by Dec. his views regarding the Mormons and the basis for their religion had hardened considerably. (See Dec. 5 entry).

8 Oct (Tue)
Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon visited the Elk Creek Branch in Erie Co., PA, the home base of DPH's spring mission and summer lecturing tour. Members included Huldah Barnes, Benjamin Winchester, Justus Morse, Jedediah M. Grant, Amos Hodges, Shadrack Roundy, etc.

10 Oct (Thr)
Construction on the Kirtland Temple was suspended and work began on the new Church office building just west of the Temple, in anticipation of the installation of the new printing press.

mid Oct 1833
About this time DPH left Erie Co., PA and made a side-trip to Pittsburgh. 030 He may have stopped to visit John Spalding on the way. Once in Pittsburgh DPH searched for evidence to confirm that Solomon Spalding had left one of his manuscripts with a local printer. DPH apparently interviewed Robert Patterson, Sr. on this matter. According to E. D. Howe's 1834 book, Patterson denied knowing anything about Spalding. DPH's lawyer, James A. Briggs, said that Hurlbut recovered a Spalding manuscript during this visit to Pittsburgh and that he later brought that document to Mentor, Ohio.

c. 9-11 Oct 1833
Oliver Cowdery visited his brother Warren A. Cowdery in Freedom, Cattaraugus Co., NY. He took letters from Warren to deliver to their parents, Mr. & Mrs. William Cowdery, Jr., who lived just east of Palmyra, Wayne Co., NY.

12 Oct (Sat)
Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon visited the home of Freeman Nickerson's father in Perrysburg, Cattaraugus Co., NY (just south of the the Indian Reservation) and then traveled ton to Buffalo.

late Oct 1833
Following his seemingly non-productive excursion to Pittsburgh, DPH probably traveled north through Cattaraugus Co., NY to Buffalo.

c. 12-14 Oct 1833
Oliver Cowdery was probably at the wholesale printing supply company of James D. Bemis in Canadaigua, Ontario Co., NY, buying a press and type.

c. 14 Oct (Mon)
Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon passed through Buffalo and went into Canada for two weeks,

c. Oct 20-23 1833
Oliver Cowdery visited his parents in Arcadia, Wayne Co., NY and delivered the letters he carried to them from his brother Warren A. Cowdery.

c. Oct 20-23 1833
The printing press Oliver Cowdery had recently purchased was shipped to Buffalo, probably on an Erie Canal boat, loaded at Palmyra.

21 Oct (Mon)
Kirtland Township Overseer of the Poor, Roswell D. Cottrill, began serving a writ of "warning out of town" upon 49 Mormon families in Kirtland. The process was not completed until Dec. 20. Among the first names on his list were Joseph Smith, Jr., Hyrum Smith, and Sidney Rigdon

c. 25 Oct (Thr)
The printing press and type Oliver Cowdery had purchased in western NY arrived in Buffalo. He made arrangements to have the press shipped to Kirtland and then left for Kirtland himself.

c. 25 Oct (Thr)
DPH finished up his investigative work in Pittsburgh and probably made travel arrangements to go north through Buffalo and on to Palmyra.

c. 28 Oct (Mon)
Oliver Cowdery arrived back in Kirtland from Buffalo.

about 30 Oct (Wed)
About this time DPH probably arrived in Buffalo, on his way to Palmyra.

31 Oct (Wed)
Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon returned from their two-week visit with the Nickerson family in Canada and stopped in Buffalo overnight.

c. 31 Oct (Thr)
DPH left Buffalo, probably taking the stagecoach through Batavia and arriving in Palmyra, Wayne Co., a couple of days later.

November 1833

c. 2 Nov (Sat)
DPH arrived in Palmyra, Wayne Co., NY and perhaps found temporary lodging with Hurlbut relatives there. He no doubt then contacted local officials, religious leaders, and newspaper editors, seeking the names of residents who had known the Joseph Smith, Sr. family during their stay in the area.

c. 2 Nov to mid Dec 1833
DPH spent several days the Palmyra region of Wayne & Ontario counties, NY He collected numerous adverse affidavits from old neighbors of the Smith family.

3 Nov (Sun)
DPH traveled to neaby Manchester. Ontario Co. and encountered eleven residents (including Able Chase) who were "Personally acquainted with the family of Joseph Smith, sen." They signed their names to a short statement prepared by DPH. As this was on a Sunday, he may have met with the men at a church service. The same day DPH solicited his first personal affidavit from Barton Stafford of Manchester.

4 Nov (Mon)
Joseph Smith arrived back in Kirtland from his travels to Pennsylvania, New York, and Canada. Oliver Cowdery wrote his diary entry that day,

5 Nov (Tue)
After three days of skirmishing Battle near Blue River, the Jackson County Mormons were driven out of the county on Nov 5-6. Most went to Clay county.

8 Nov (Fri)
Joseph Capron provided DPH with a signed statement at Manchester.

9 Nov (Sat)
Orson Hyde wrote a press release detailing the new hostilities in Jackson County (which developed into the expulsion of the Mormons). This article was widely reprinted throughout the USA.

12 Nov (Tue)
The St. Louis Republican printed a new account of the Mormon expulsion from Jackson County, contradicting Orson Hyde's Nov. 9th press release in several particulars.

c. mid-Nov (Fri)
Probably about this time DPH attempted to interview Lyman Cowdery, the brother of Oliver Cowdery. Lyman, who then lived in Lyons, Wayne Co., NY) did not supply information to DPH, but he did contact his brother in Kirtland, informing him of the solicitation.

15 Nov (Fri)
Joshua Stafford provided DPH with a signed statement at Manchester. This was the last dated document he collected in the Palmyra area until Nov. 28th, and possibly even this one DPH did not pick up until later in the month.

Fig. 2. The purple line shows Hurlbut's likely 1833 route from New Salem, OH to
Monson, MA. He visited Palmyra, NY going and returning and stopped in Hartwick
upon his return from Monson. He reportedly visited Pittsburgh, PA on this trip.

16-27 Nov 1833
During a 12 day cessation in his taking of statements in the Palmyra area DPH traveled to the East to obtain Solomon Spalding holographs.
c. 18 Nov (Mon)
DPH visited William H. Sabine 032 (the brother of Spalding's widow) in Onondaga Hollow, Onondaga Co., NY and confirmed that the former Mrs. Spalding had moved to MA, leaving none of her husband's papers with Mr. Sabine. DPH obtained the directions to the widow's residence in western MA and a letter of recommendation from Sabine, requesting that the widow loan him her husband's old writings.

c. mid-Nov 1833
Benjamin Winchester moved from Erie Co., PA and took up residence in Kirtland.
c. 22 Nov (Fri)
DPH called upon Matilda Spalding Davison 033 at her daughter's house in Monson, Hampdon Co., MA. DPH found no manuscripts there but he did obtain a letter from the widow, requesting that her cousin's husband, Mr. Jerome Clark, loan him Solomon Spalding's old writings.
c. 25 Nov (Mon)
DPH visited Jerome Clark 034 in Hartwick, Otsego Co., NY, and presented the letter of requisition from Spalding's widow. DPH took an unknown quantity of Spalding's writings away with him. No receipt of the transaction survives

25 Nov (Mon)
Orson Hyde arrived in Kirtland with news of the Mormon expulsion from Jackson County MO. Joseph Smith had probably already seen the St. Louis Republican article by this time. The news was a severe blow to the Mormon movement and a threatening challenge to his own leadership.

c. 26 Nov (Tue)
DPH traveled from Hartwick, Otsego Co., NY to the Palmyra region of western NY. There is no record of his stopping to consult with William H. Sabine as he passed through the Syracuse area.

27 Nov (Wed)
By this date DPH had probably returned to the Palmyra area and was soliciting statements once again.

c. 27 Nov (Wed)
DPH reportedly wrote to Matilda Spalding Davison (probably from Palmyra) and told her that he had obtained from Jerome Clark the Spalding manuscript he had been looking for.

28 Nov (Thr)
Abigail Harris and G. W. Stodard gave DPH a signed statements at Palmyra. Richard Ford countersigned Stodard's statement.

29 Nov (Fri)
Lucy Harris, wife of Martin Harris, gave DPH a signed statement at Palmyra.

29 Nov (Fri)
The Painesville Telegraph published its "More trouble in the Mormon camp" article, informing its readers that there had been "another fracas in Missouri, between the Mormon fanatics and the citizens..." The Telegraph article also echoed the message attributed to Joseph Smith in mid-August: "since the previous affair, the Prophet had sent orders to the brethren there, to 'stand by their arms,' instead of leaving the place... We understood that dispatches have arrived at the head quarters of the prophet in this county, by a special messenger [i. e. Orson Hyde], from the seat of war.

29 Nov (Fri)
Oliver Cowdery says that the Church's "Literary Firm" will publish a weekly political newspaper, called The Democrat. This paper did not begin until Feb. 1835, when it was published by Frederick G. Williams as The Northern Times. The paper lasted until about Feb. 1836.

December 1833

1 Dec (Sun)
Roswell Nichols gave DPH a signed statement at Manchester.

1 Dec (Sun)
Orson Pratt and Lyman E. Johnson preached at the LDS Springfield Branch in Erie Co., PA. They had left Kirtland on Nov. 27 and probably arrived in Springfield on Nov. 29 or 30. The two Elders had been "set apart by a council of high priests to visit the churches" east of Kirtland.

2 Dec (Mon)
Peter Ingersoll and Parley Chase provided signed a statements for DPH at Palmyra and Manchester.

2 Dec (Mon)
The Chardon Spectator printed its "Mormons" article, passing along to Ohio readers news of the new Mormon troubles in Jackson county, from the pages of the Missouri Republican. This was a restatement of Orson Hyde's Nov. 9th press release.

c. 2 Dec (Mon)
Josiah Jones wrote from Kirtland to DPH at Palmyra, including a clipping from the Chardon Spectator (or some similar article) that reprinted the Mormons' Nov. 9th press release. Jones probably advised DPH to quickly return to Geauga Co. and present his findings to the "Committee" of anti-Mormons. He either knew well in advance that DPH would then be in Palmyra, or he had recently received a letter from the anti-Mormon crusader. The minimum time for a letter to travel that distance was about 3-4 days, so if DPH first contacted Josiah Jones from Palmyra, it must have been during the last week of November, 1833 at the latest.

2 Dec (Mon)
Orson Pratt and Lyman E. Johnson traveled to the LDS Elk Creek Branch in Erie Co., PA. There they encountered Elder Zebedee Coltrin. The Elders held a Chuch court and excommunicated two of the local members. Possibly these were converts whose opinion of the Mormons had been swayed by the lecturing of D. P. Hurlbut in that area a few months before.

3 Dec (Tue)
Orson Pratt and Lyman E. Johnson returned to the LDS Springfield Branch. On the next day they "settled some difficulties among the brethren." 4 Dec (Wed)
Fifty-one Palmyra residents signed their names to a statement drafted by DPH or an assistant. This document signing probably occured in the context of his calling a meeting in Palmyra and there delivering one of his anti-Mormon lectures.

4 Dec (Wed)
J. S. Colt, at Palmyra, certified William Stafford and Peter Ingersoll "to be men of truth and veracity" for DPH.

4 Dec (Wed)
Four Palmyra residents certified that William Stafford, Willard Chase, and Peter Ingersoll were "men of truth and veracity" for DPH

5 Dec (Thr)
David Srafford provided a signed statement for DPH at Manchester.

c. 5 Dec (Thr)
According to Elder Daniel Tyler: "About December, 1833, Elder Hyrum Smith, brother to the prophet, came to our neighborhood [Springfield Twp., Erie Co., PA]. My father told him that his daughter, who was present, was bent on being baptized into his church, stating at the same time, that the elder who baptized her would do so at his peril."

5 Dec (Thr)
Orson Pratt and Lyman E. Johnson "Attended another church meeting" at the LDS Springfield Branch in Erie Co., PA and "cut off from the Church Brother Tiler" ( Andrews Tyler). According to his son, Andrews Tyler "admitted that the 'Mormon' doctrines were true, but claimed that the members of that church had adopted them to cover up a fraud." The "fraud" referred to here was almost certainly the claim then being circulated throughout the Conneaut Creek region by Henry Lake and others; namely, that the Book of Mormon was derived from the writings of Solomon Spalding. Following D. P. Hurlbut's conviction at Chardon in April 1834, Andrews Tyler reconsidered his views and rejoined the Mormons. (See entry for Apr. 11, 1834).

6 Dec (Fri)
Orson Pratt and Lyman E. Johnson returned again to the LDS Elk Creek Branch and held a preaching meeting. They probably continued their investigation of local difficulties on Dec. 7.

6 Dec (Fri)
The Wayne Sentinel printed its "The Mormonites" article, saying that "Josiah Jones, Esq. of Kirtland, Ohio" had recently written a letter to "Doct. P. Hurlbert," then in Palmyra "as a missionary in behalf of the people of Kirtland for the purpose of investigating the origin of the Mormon sect."The Sentinel went on to paraphrase some of the Missouri news from the clipping Jones had sent DPH. But, by that time, the editor already had other similar articles in hand from which he could quote the same news.

8 Dec (Sun)
Orson Pratt and Lyman E. Johnson preached before the LDS Elk Creek Branch "upon the two places of gathering" -- probably meaning Missouri and Ohio. The two Elders, apparently in company with Zebedee Coltrin, remained at Elk Creek three more days settling local difficulties. 9 Dec (Mon)
Judge Baldwin in Palmyra certified the signed statement provided to DPH on Nov. 3, 1833 by Barton Stafford Probably DPH was out of the area between about Nov. 5th and Dec. 1st, and thus had to wait to process this certification.

9 Dec (Mon)
Judge Baldwin in Palmyra certified the signed statement provided to DPH by Peter Ingersoll and William Stafford.

9 Dec (Mon)
William Stafford signed a statement in Manchester for DPH

10 Dec (Tue)
Joseph Smith wrote to the Church leaders in Missouri, confessing he did not understand why God had allowed such a disaster to befall the Mormons of Jackson County.

11 Dec (Wed)
Judge Smith in Palmyra certified the signed statement provided to DPH by Willard Chase (probably written that same day)..

11 Dec (Wed)
Orson Pratt and Lyman E. Johnson held a conference at the LDS Elk Creek Branch, Amasa Lyman and Zebedee Coltrin were present. Lyman E. Johnson ordained Amasa Lyman a high priest. Orson Pratt and Lyman E. Johnson then "regulated some difficulties existing between Henry Dighton and Harrison Sagers, and also between Zebedee Coltrin and Moses Martin.

12 Dec (Thr)
Orson Pratt and Lyman E. Johnson left the LDS Elk Creek Branch and traveled to Westfield, NY.

13 Dec (Fri)
Durfey Chase certified the "integrity, truth and veracity" of Peter Ingersoll for DPH at Palmyra. This was the lasted dated document obtained by DPH before he departed for Ohio.

13 Dec (Fri)
Judge Smith of Palmyra certified the statement of David Stafford for DPH

13 Dec (Fri)
The Painesville Telegraph printed its "Painful Intelligence" article, telling more of the hostilities in Missouri, the whipping there of Mormon elders, etc. In an aside perhaps directed to Geauga county anti-Mormons, editor E. D. Howe said: "We fear that the party opposed to the Mormons will think themselves... enabled to cut off the offending sect." Despite his known anti-Mormon sentiments, E. D. Howe at this time became very cautious in publishing news and articles containing rhetoric directed against the LDS Church. Probably he was hoping to avoid inflaming what he saw as a potential replay of the Missouri hostilities there in his own Geauga county. E. D. Howe monitored the progress of the anti-Mormon's activities but he apparently was not a member of the self-styled "Committee" that met on occasion at the Corning house in Mentor.

c. 13 Dec (Fri)
DPH wrote a news release to the editor of the Wayne Sentinel, requesting him to say that DPH had "succeeded in accomplishing the object of his mission..." (the notice was printed Dec 20). DPH linked Sidney Rigdon to the authorship of the Book of Mormon c. 14 Dec (Sat)
DPH departed Palmyra on or about this date. He was likely in Buffalo by mid-December and back in Geauga Co. a couple of days thereafter.

16 Dec (Mon)
Joseph Smith reportedly received a divine revelation in Kirtland, in which the Lord said that he had allowed afflictions to come upon the Saints in Missouri and consequently authorized the formation of "stakes of Zion" as alternative gathering places. This was perhaps the first mention among the Mormons of God knowing about the November expulsion from Jackson County.
c. 17 Dec (Tue)
Oliver Cowdery and N. K. Whitney arrived in Kirtland with the printing press Oliver Cowdery had obtained in western New York. Probably they brought the crated press down from Fairport.

go to:
18 Dec 1833


16 Dec 1833 -- After the Saints were driven from Jackson County, Missouri, in November 1833, the Lord authorized the formation of stakes of Zion as places for gathering (D&C 101:21).


(For Episode 2 -- Chapter Three Timeline)

Return to: note 023
024a Hurlbut's place of residence during June 1833 is not known for certain. He very likely took up residence with Julia Hills Johnson in Kirtland Flats early in June, just after she purchased a house there near the junction of the Painesville and Chardon roads. Testifying some 50 years later, William R. Hine says:
I was often in Hurlbut's company, and once while fishing with him on Lake Erie, after he had left the Mormons, he told me he was going to ferret out Mormonism and break it up; I replied you had better break up a nest of yellow jackets. I told him I knew the Mormons in New York State would as soon swear to a lie as to the truth. Later I told Hurlbut to write to Isaac Hale, Jo's father-in-law, and he did. (W. R. Hine Statement, Naked Truths I:1, Jan. 1888).
Hine's recollection of fishing "on Lake Erie" probably refers to a location on the Geauga Co. shoreline, perhaps near Fairport, north of Kirtland. The timeframe of Hine's account is after Hurlbut was cut off from the Church but before he began his active campaign against the Mormons. This would have been in late June or early July and would fit well with Hurlbut having then lived in the Johnson house in Kirtland Flats.

024b Winchester (pp. 6-7) continues the story, saying "For this crime he was immediately expelled from the church, and his license called for, but he refused to give it up. On discovering he had irretrievably ruined himself with the church, his tactics were changed, and he now determined to demolish, as far as practicable, what he had once endeavored to build up. Now his nefarious purposes were frustrated, he sought to obtain revenge in this manner. Not because he did not conscientiously believe the work of God, as proclaimed by the Latter Day Saints, but because he had rather enjoy the pleasures of sin..." This obscure statement provides little wherewith to understand D. P. Hurlbut and his motives after June 23, 1833. For a period he may have hung on to some of his original Mormon beliefs, becoming a kind of apostate believer. However, it is equally likely that Hurlbut had already learned something about the Spalding authorship claims for the Book of Mormon by this time and decided to make use of this information to discredit the honor of Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, and other top leaders in the Church.

If Hurlbut did indeed begin his campaign against the Mormons from this quasi-believer stance he soon abandoned the message "proclaimed by the Latter Day Saints" and began an active crusade against them. Winchester continues by saying, "He accordingly repaired to Springfield, Pa.; in which place he held forth for the first time. From that place he came to the neighborhood where I resided." Clearly Hurlbut did not feel that it served his purposes to remain in OH. At about this time he must have moved out any possessions remaing at Julia Hills Johnson's house and departed for a lengthy visit to the Conneaut Creek region of PA.

025 Hurlbut's move to Springfield Twp., Erie Co., PA indicates that he had contacts there who would taken in and offer help to an ex-Mormon. Perhaps Hurlbut located such kindred souls among the other former Mormons who resided in the area. People like ex-Mormon Asa Jeffers may have sympathized with the unemployed young man and his indignation over being proclaimed unworthy to be a Latter Day Saint. Though not especially well educated or widely read, Hurlbut had a natural talant for preaching and lecturing to crowds who sought a kind of verbal recreation which was not too taxing of their collective intellect. Deprived of his Mormon missionary status, Hurlbut took advantage of the Mormons' proclivity to exclusivity and secrecy to tell their Gentile neighbors the "real story" behind the strange sect.

If Hurlbut was not already fully informed of the Spalding claims for Book of Mormon authorship by the beginning of July 1833, he was no doubt a self-proclaimed expert on the subject before the month was over. By locating in Erie Co. the ex-missionary put himself right in the midst of old Solomon Spalding associates like John N. Miller, an elder in the Presbyterian Church at East Springfield. Then again, since Hurlbut did not solicit Lake's statement on the Spalding claims until September 1833, he may have only come to know that particular eyewitness after living in the area for a few weeks.

Winchester (p. 7) provides the following information: "From that place {Springfield Twp.] he came to the neighborhood where I resided {Elk Creek Twp.] . . . no sooner had he made his appearance as the champion of sectarianism, and the assailant of Mormonism, than churches, chapels, and meeting-houses were crowded to hear him." This foray into Elk Creek shows that Hurlbut was making effective use of his lecture material. No reports from this era tell how much he charged for his anti-Mormon addresses, but he appears to have brought in enough money to live on. By becoming an anti-missionary he was no doubt able to resume much of his previous lifestyle, moving from place to place, accepting free lodging and meals while performing his new method of preaching. The Elk Creek area had a higher proportion of recent Mormon converts than elsewhere in western PA and Hurlbut was able to turn this Mormon expansion to his own advantage -- offering a kind of insider consultation service to local families and religious leaders who had seen their friends and relatives embrance the "Mormonite delusion."
026 Speaking of this time (or of only a slightly later period), Joseph E. Johnson says that Hurlbut "gave notice to our enemies that... if they would come together he would tell them where 'Joe Smith' got his 'Mormon Bible.' He soon collected around him the congregations of our enemies, and in pert and pompous style told them the tale he had concocted of the 'Manuscript Found,' which of course was good enough when they could get nothing better." Johnson probably has the cart before the horse in saying that D.P. Hurlbut "concocted" a "tale" about Solomon Spalding's "Manuscript Found." Clearly Hurlbut did not originate nor first give public expression to the Spalding authorship claims. The honor for that preliminary exposure must go to people like Nehemiah King, Aaron Wright, Henry Lake, and Abner Jackson. Still, it was Hurlbut who merged their diverse and limited personal stories into a uniform public announcement. It was probably Hurlbut who first suggested Sidney Rigdon as the middleman who brought the Spalding writings into incipient Mormonism. When Hurlbut took it upon himself to collect written statements from the old eyewitnesses from the Conneaut Creek region, his amalgam of authorship notions and his method of questioning them no doubt influenced what was reported (and not reported) in those unwitnessed affidavits.

Both Johnson and Winchester say that Hurlbut learned of Solomon Spalding and his writings in "Jacksonville" or "Jackson Settlement," that is to say, in modern Albion, where one of the founding pioneers and residents in 1833 was Lyman Jackson. This Lyman Jackson had several adult sons and daughters living there or nearby, one of whom had long before married the Mormon, John Rudd, Jr. At that John's brother Erastus was living in NW Springfield Twp., three miles from New Salem, OH, and John himself either in New Salem or just over the PA State line near Erastus. Lyman had known Solomon Spalding personally and no doubt knew Aaron Wright, Henry Lake and Nehemiah King, as well as Solomon's brother, John (then living a few miles south of Lyman in Crawford Co., PA). Lyman's son Abner had been acquainted with Aaron Wright from an early age. All of these kinship and neighborly connections make it highly likely that some word of the Spalding authorship claims for the Book of Mormon had seeped out of New Salem in 1832 or 1833 and were already being used as a defense against proselytizing by the Mormons in that area.

Thus, when D.P. Hurlbut heard about Solomon Spalding and his writings from old acquaintances of Spalding living in Jacksonville, he did not just encounter vague remembrances of a man who had written and told stories about the ancient mound-builders, he encountered the authorship claims for the Book of Mormon in their earliest, most primitive form. It is unlikely that Hurlbut made these accounts a central topic in his first lectures. As he gathered information from the Jacksons and other of Spalding's old associates a plan was forming in his own mind -- a plan to turn these vague accounts into a published anti-Mormon work which he could sell for money. With such a project growing in his thoughts Hurlbut realized that it would not suit his purposes to say too much too quickly about what he had learned. He wasn't about to give this information away freely to the newspapers or print up handbills publishing the story to the world. Instead, he decided to gather more evidence in his cause, and where possible to talk other people into paying for his evidence-gathering.

027 See History of the Church, Vol. 1.

028a D. P. Hurlbut probably learned about the existence of Solomon Spalding's brother John, and the location of John's residence in adjacent Crawford Co., in conversation with members of the Lyman Jackson family in Erie Co. (Adams, "Dr. Philastus Hurlbut," p. 78). Otherwise, Hurlbut may well have encountered John Spalding by accident while he was doing missionary work in John's neighborhood in May, before his excommunication. Whatever else Hurlbut had heard previously about Solomon Spalding and his writings, the anti-Mormon crusader no doubt derived his most detailed information from John Spalding. The statements he obtained from John and John's wife Martha were undated, but circumstantial evidence points to their having been written in the second half of August, 1833.

028b With reports of the recent serious Mormon setbacks in Missouri appearing in all the newspapers, D. P. Hurlbut decided it would be a good time to extend his lecturing to the Mormon headquarters of Kirtland. Not only did the news from Missouri serve to arouse public interest in the Mormons, it also demonstrated the seriousness of the anti-Mormon reaction there and the vulnerability of Joseph Smith as the self-styled prophetic leader of the sect. Hurlbut determined to move back to his old residence with the Ezekiel Johnson family in Kirtland Flats and there capitalize upon the growing resentment against the LDS Church. With him he carried the statements of John and Martha Spalding, testifying that John's late brother, the Rev. Solomon Spalding, had unwitingly supplied a large part of the Book of Mormon text.

It was also becoming clear to Hurlbut that he could obtain the most valuable personal and financial support back where he had come from, in the Mormon capital of Kirtland and the surrounding towns of Geauga Co., OH. By late August he had returned and was soliciting support among the Mentor Campbellites and Kirtland Whigs, persons already predisposed to make a stand against Mormon expansion in the area. At about the same time that Hurlbut conducted his first lecture in Kirtland in the origin of the Book of Mormon (in the Methodist meeting-house just north of the partly built Kirtland Temple) he discovered that a number of the local businessmen, public officials, and land-owners had already been meeting to discuss how to stop the growth of Mormonism in Kirtland. Probably this group grew from informal origins rooted in Kirtland town meetings during the summer of 1833. The allegiances and motives of these businessmen, public officials, and land-owners overlapped those of the Mentor Campbellites to a large extent, while their collective secular identity gave them the respectability and capacity to extend the kind of support and protection Hurlbut was then seeking. By offering himself as an ex-Mormon expert consultant and researcher, D. P. Hurlbut was able to create a paid position for himself -- a position in which he could sooner or later reap the financial benefits of publishing anti-Mormon literature, lecturing for pay, and collecting the rich rewards offered by congregations and families eager to regain their "lost sheep" from the Mormon fold.

Hurlbut's "lawyer" in Geauga Co., James A. Briggs, offers this information: "In the winter of 1833-34, a self-constituted committee, consisting of Judge Allen, Dr. Card, Samuel Wilson, Judge Latham, W. Corning and myself, met at Mr. Corning's house, in Mentor... to investigate Mormonism... D. P. Hurlbut... was employed to look up testimony."

The "winter of 1833-34" Briggs speaks of began several months after Hurlbut arrived back in OH. His activites there prior to being "employed to look up testimony" are not well accounted for. Winchester (pg. 9) says that after Hurlbut had put together a general account of the Spalding claims, "he immediately repaired to Kirtland, Ohio, and made an appointment to deliver a lecture, on what he called Anti-Mormonism; and made a special request that all who were opposed to the church of the Latter Day Saints should attend, which they did, both priest and people . . ." Unfortunately Winchester does not clarify the meaning of "he immediately repaired to Kirtland;" this may have been either before or after Hurlbut gathered his written statements in Aug.-Sept. The most likely reconstruction of events is that Hurlbut first moved back to Geauga Co., OH, where he assessed the local sentiments of the anti-Mormons and realized that he would need some written documentation of his alleged findings on Book of Mormon origins. While he may have lectured in the Kirtland area as early as August 1833, it is unlikely that he singlehandedly "composed a council" of anti-Mormons there.

Hurlbut may have approached members of the Jackson family in PA for signed statements of their recollections of the Solomon Spalding and his writings in August of 1833. If he attempted this solicitation he either came away empty-handed or with statements not particularly suited to his purposes. Winchester (p. 8) says that Hurlbut "came to get his [Mr. Jackson's] signature to a writing testifying to the probability that Mr. S[palding]'s manuscript had been converted into the Book of Mormon," but that this particular "Mr. Jackson" refused to provide the requested document. Who this "Mr. Jackson" may have been is not stated, but whoever he was he does not appear to have shared the opinions and sentiments of Abner Jackson. It is interesting to note that Hurlbut's first success in obtaining his desired statements was from Aaron Wright, a friend of Abner Jackson. Perhaps one or more of the Jacksons were reluctant to write out the kind of statement Hurlbut and they directed him to Wright as a more suitable source for the kind of information he wanted.

The anti-Mormon researcher was able to gather two other statements from old associates of Solomon Spalding that August, from Dr. Nahum Howard of New Salem, Conneaut Twp., OH and from Oliver Smith. So, Hurlbut's initial "evidence gathering" was likely right in the town of New Salem, probably near the end of August. His gleanings in September included statements from Henry Lake (also in New Salem) and John N. Miller, who lived near East Springfield in Erie Co., PA. Besides these, Hurlbut netted an undated statement from Artemas Cunningham, of Perry Twp., Geauga Co., OH. Two other undated statements were collected from John and Martha Spalding of Sadsbury Twp., Crawford Co., PA.

It was probably with these statements in his back pocket that Hurlbut finally approached the Geauga Co. ant-Mormons for financial backing in his performing further "evidence-gathering." The date of his receiving this paid assignment was probably about the middle of October 1833. By that time Hurlbut (or one of his anti-Mormon associates) could indeed have called the public meeting Winchester alludes to. And from that meeting, or other related gatherings arose the "self-constituted committee" composed of James A. Briggs and his associates. Assuming that Hurlbut left Geauga Co. on his tour of the east near the end of October, that date would agree more or less with the commencement of the "winter of 1833-34" Briggs speaks of.

029 Speaking of Hurlbut's early lecturing in Geauga Co., Winchester adds: "Mr. H. told them that he had been traveling in the state of Pennsylvania, lecturing against Mormonism; and that he had learned that one Mr. Spaulding had written a romance, and the probability was, that it had, by some means, fallen into the hands of Sidney Rigdon, and that he had converted it into the Book of Mormon. Mr. H. stated also, that he intended to write a book called Mormonism Unvailed, which he said would divulge the whole secret." That Hurlbut announced the details of an upcoming book this early in his anti-Mormon project is unlikely. And that he then provided the exact name later used by Eber D. Howe to title the first notable anti-Mormon publication is even less likely. Anti-Freemason Howe's title was adapted from that of a popular book of the times "Masonry Unvailed."

No Hurlbut doubt did agree with leaders of the "self-constituted committee" that they and he would eventually publish a book which would contain excerpts from an original Solomon Spalding manuscript, the text of which would thus be demonstrated as being very similar to the Book of Mormon. But first of all a copy of this alleged production had to be located and permission secured from the owner for its publication. This was the main purpose of the "Committee" hiring Hurlbut to journey to the East and procure materials and information damaging to Joseph Smith and his new religion. It is unlikely that Hurlbut gave a full public recitation of the Spalding authorship claims at this point, but his avowal that he knew and could demonstrate the book's true origin proved intriguing to the Geauga Co. anti-Mormon leaders. Perhaps Hurlbut divulged a few details concerning Spalding's writings to disgruntled ex-Mormons like Joseph H. Wakefield and concerned non-Mormons like Ezekiel Johnson at this time, but his own purposes were best served by his temporarily keeping back a good deal of the information he was collecting. He intended to collect a hefty bonus upon his return from the east with definitive proof of the Spalding authorship claims, both in cash from the anti-Mormons and in his cut from the future proceeds of their tentative book publishing agreement.

Winchester continues: "His auditors were much elated at the idea, and one of them, a Campbellite by name, Newel, and a notorious mobocrat in the bargain, advanced the sum of three hundred dollars, for the prosecution of the work; others of them contributed for the same purpose, and expressed their desire for it to be hastened as fast as possible. After receiving such encouragement, he proceeded immediately to prosecute his hellish purposes with more courage than ever, and was immediately fitted out, and started in search of the above manuscript."

If Winchester recorded the essentials of these communications correctly, Hurlbut must have already been aware that one of Spalding's relatives or heirs possessed an original manuscript bearing a significant resemblance to the Book of Mormon. Unless Hurlbut was hatching some unspoken, sinister double-dealing of his own decice, he and the "Committee" leaders fully believed his proposed quest to find such a damning manuscript was a viable one. D. P. must have left his last meeting with the "Committee" expecting to return to their company with a few weeks, bearing this sensational literary find.

030a According to the Jan. 31, 1834 "To the Public" notice in the Painesville Telegraph, "the Committee employed D. P. Hurlbut to ascertain the real origin of the Book of Mormon, and to examine the validity of Joseph Smith's claims to the character of a Prophet." According to the Dec. 20, 1833 "Mormon mystery developed" article published in the Wayne Sentinel, Hurlbut gathered evidence in "in different parts" of New York state "on behalf of his fellow-townsmen, in the pursuit "of facts and information concerning the origin and design of the Book of Mormon..." D. P.'s widow supplied this account: "He was employed by leading citizens of Mentor and Geauga Co. to investigate the character of the Mormon Smith Family and the origin of the Book of Mormon. He went to Palmyra, N.Y. by stage..." Thus it seems that while Hurlbut's primary mission was to bring back evidence of "the real origin of the Book of Mormon," he was also employed to "examine the validity" of Mormon claims that Joseph Smith and his family were persons of good character.

030b By mid-September D. P. Hurlbut was on the road to NY State. Travelling in style at the anti-Mormon committee's expense, he could afford to move at a leisurely pace, stopping to lodge along the way in comfortable inns. How many different person's statements Hurlbut solicited during his stop-over in the Conneaut region remains unknown. Eber D. Howe admitted that in his 1834 book he only published a portion of all the affidavits the anti-Mormon investigator had collected. In conversations with John and Martha Spalding, Hurlbut already had learned something of the life of Solomon Spalding's widow following her move from Amity, PA to Onondaga Hollow, NY in 1817. Probably John Spalding asisted his widowed sister-in-law during that relocation (see Cowdery, et al., Spalding Enigma p. ??). But it is likely that Hurlbut learned additional details about the widow and her activities once he reached New Salem and had an opportunity to converse at length with Solomon Spalding's old associates still living there. It was from them that he likley discovered that Spalding's writings had been left in the keeping of his widow's brother, who lived near Syracuse in Onondaga Hollow, Onondaga Co., NY. Hurlbut probably knew that the widow resided somewhere in Massaschsetts, and he was careful to obtain letters of recommendation addressed to her from her old neighbors at New Salems, like Aaron Wright, and Henry Lake. However, when D. P. Hurlbut left New Salem in mid-September, his hopes were that he might uncover Spalding's writings in Onondaga Hollow.

When he reached his old haunts in Erie Co., PA Hurlbut had a decision to make. Should he take the road south and make inquiries in Pittsburgh for any old writings Spalding may have left behind there, or should he continue on to the last-known residence of Spalding's widow, on the road east near Syracuse, NY?

Winchester (pp. 10-11) supplies the interesting report that later in his trip Hurlbut learned from Spalding's widow "that Mr. S[palding] removed from New Salem to Pittsburgh, Pa... and no sooner had Mr. H. returned to New Salem, than it was thought best that he should immediately repair to Pittsburgh, and see if Mr. S.'s manuscript had ever been left there." Here Winchester very likely was confused in his source information or recollection. Hurlbut could just have easily learned of these things from Spaldings old associates in the Conneaut Creek region -- there was little that the former Mrs. Spalding might have added to that knowledge which would have sent Hurlbut off to Pittsburgh at the onset of winter when travel was growing increasingly difficult. Besides that, Hurlbut would have had almost no free days to make a time-consuming trip to Pittsburgh after his return from the east. His known activities of that period place him squarely in OH, not in dsitant Pittsburgh.

So, the most reasonable time for Hurlbut's alleged side-trip to Pittsburgh would have been in mid-October 1833, before he ventured eastward to NY and MA. There is good reason to assume that Hurlbut at least considered taking such a jaunt down to Pittsburgh at that time. Winchester supplies what he thought might be the reason for the excursion: "knowing that S[idney] Rigdon had resided in Pittsburgh for a certain length of time, he endeavoured to make the finding of the manuscript take place at Pittsburgh, and then infer, that S. R. had copied it there." A better explanation us that Hurlbut hoped to confirm that Rigdon had frequently visited or even temporarily resided in Pittsburgh during or shortly after Spalding had been there (i.e. c. 1812-1820). This possibility was exceptionally likely, as book-loving Sidney Rigdon's family lived so close to Pittsburgh that he could have spent a day visiting its libraries, newspaper offices, and book-shops and still have had time to make it home for supper. If Hurlbut did go on such a quest to Pittsburgh he passed practically no information along to others about his findings there. Only a vague paraphrase of a possible conversation with Robert Patterson survives from those days, and that unattributed snippet of questionable information might easily have been obtained by postal communication.

031 At about the same time that D.P. Hurlbut was passing through Erie Co., two of the top leaders of the Mormon Church were traveling the same road. Joseph Smith, Jr., in his "Diary, 1832-1834" (MS in LDS Church Archives) made this entry for Oct. 6th 1833: ". . . arrived at Springfield [Erie Co., PA] found the Brotheren in meeting   Brother Sidney spoke to the people &c. and in the evening held a meeting at Brother Ruds . . ."

While this Mormon "Brother Rudd" may possibly been Cyprian Rudd or John Rudd, Jr., it is most likely that it was their brother, 1832 Mormon convert Erastus Rudd. Erastus seems to have taken over managing the farm owned by his mother after John Rudd, Sr. died in 1830. This farm was located on the Lake Erie shore about three miles east of the OH-PA State line, and the farm house was probably only about 5-6 miles from Solomon Spalding's old residence in Conneaut Twp., Ashtabula Co., OH. John Rudd, Sr. had originally purchased the land from Spalding, and his son Erastus reportedly said that it was in their Springfield home, that "much of the romance was formerly written." Exactly which of Spalding's writings was largely produced there, or when that occurred, Rudd did not say.

If Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon were at all curious about the public allegations D.P. Hurlbut had recently been making regarding Spalding and his writings, they had obviously arrived at the best possible place to secure detailed information on that particular subject. If the entire Rudd clan gathered to welcome the Mormon Prophet that evening, he and Rigdon would have met Rosanna Jackson Rudd, wife of John Rudd, Jr. and daughter of Lyman Jackson of Jacksonville in Conneaut Twp. Perhaps she would have even been able to assure them that none of her family had made out any damaging statements for the curious D.P. Hurlbut.

032 In NY State the first stop on Hurlbut's itinerary was in Onondaga Valley, Onondaga Co., where lived William H. Sabine, the brother of Spalding's widow. Unless Hurlbut's information was incredibly outdated, he must have known that the former Mrs. Spalding (more recently Mrs. Matilda Davison) nolonger lived with her brother in NY. Certainly John and Martha Spalding of Crawford Co., OH had passed on to him the fact that Mrs. Davision had long since moved to Monson, MA. But Hurlbut may have stopped at Sabine's residence for several different reasons. First of all, the wealthy lawyer supposedly had a reputation for being an anti-Mormon himself, and Hurlbut had expectations for soliciting a letter of recommendation from the man that he might pass on to his sister. Secondly, Mr. Sabine was able to offer advice on the most direct route to his sister's current residence and advice on how Hurlbut might approach her in requesting the loan of her husband's old writings. And, as an added incentive to Hurlbut, there was always the possibility that Sabine could add some tidbit of new information regarding the Spalding writings. These had been kept at his house for several years and Sabine had numerous opportunities to consult their contents. Perhaps a few stray pages might have even been left behind at Sabine's by his sister.

Hurlbut probably didn't stay very many days in Onondaga Co., but he may have remained long enough to sample Sabine's hospitality and ask the rich lawyer for a contribution to the cause of anti-Mormonism.

In passing through NY on his way east Hurlbut had opportunities to make two unrecorded stops along the way. The first of these would have been in Ontario Co., where he might have visited the local newspaper offices, ministers, and public officials asking for assistance in tracking down information on Joseph Smith's family (who as recently as 3 years earlier had lived there near Palmyra). If Hurlbut did make this preparatory stop-over at Palmyra, that might help explain how he was able to gather together so much in the way of testimony against the Smiths when he stopped there a couple of weeks later.

The other potentially productive stop-over Hurlbut might have made would have been in Hartwick, Otsego Co., NY, where a certain Jerome Clark was living. Mrs. Clark was Matilda Davison's cousin and Mrs. Davison herself had visited and stayed over with the Clark family at times in the past. However, Hurlbut may have not yet been aware that the manuscript writings he was seeking were then stored at the Clark house. As no record has been preserved of his stopping in Hartwick at this time, he may have by-passed the place unaware of what lay waiting there for him.

033 Matilda Spalding Davison and her daughter, Matilda Spalding McKinstry, both left behind published statements providing accounts of Hurlbut's visit to the McKinstry residence in Monson, MA. Prior to his arrival these ladies had already heard some vague reports (probably from old friends and family members living in OH or PA) about there being a possible connection between one of Solomon Spalding's manuscript stories and the text of the Mormon scriptures. Mormonism had received very little publicity in the east up until that time, so Mrs. Davison and Mrs. McKinstry probably had very little knowledge of the new sect and its unsavory reputation among many mainstream Christians in the west. Needless to say Hurlbut must have delivered to them a condensed version of his well-practiced anti-Mormonism lectures.

If he expected Mrs. Davison to bring out Spalding's old writings for his examination, Hurlbut was soon diappointed. Except for a few odd pages from sermons and persoanl papers, all of the writings of Mrs. Davison's late husband remained back in NY -- at the home of the previously mentioned Jerome Clark, in Hartwick, Otsego Co. What Hurlbut was able to learn must have fed his hopes quite enough to make up for the diappointment of viewing no Spalding manuscripts in Monson. Mrs. Davison informed him that her husband had indeed written a sizeable historical romance for possible publication and had presented that literary creation to a printer in Pittsburgh, in hopes that it might be put through the press at someone else's expense. However, the story had for some reason or another never seen print and Mrs. Davison recalled that she had retained possession of the manuscript following her huband's death. At that very moment it available for inspection back in Hartwick, NY.

Few other reliable details are recorded concerning this interview and its immediate outcome. Mrs. Davison appears to have been reluctant to loan out any of her husband's writings and Hurlbut may have exaggerated the recommendations of her brother, William H. Sabine in the proposal to obtain and publish a Spalding manuscript story resembling the contents of the Book of Mormon. He may well have made her promises for careful protection and preservation of this potentially valuable work, along with more promises to provide the speedy return of the original and a nice share in the profits expected from its publication. But, even if some of these communications took place in the McKinstry house, no reliable record has survived detailing the number and contents of Spalding's extant writings in 1833. Nothing is known about how Hurlbut was to identify the particular manuscript said to have resembled the story of the Book of Mormon or how Jerome Clark was to be certain that Hurlbut received the same manuscript spoken of in that parlor in Monson. Most important of all, nothing known about how Jerome Clark was to guarantee that Hurlbut received that manuscript in its totality and nothing more than that manuscript. Mormon apologists, writing at a distance in time and space from the events of those days, have frequently speculated that only one manuscript story of any consequence had been left in Clark's keeping, and that Hurlbut's retrieval of that story was a simple, straightforward task. What really happened next may have been rather more complex set of circumstances and events.

034 forthcoming
035 forthcoming

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