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Illust. of Masonry (1826) |  Narrative of Anti-Masonick Excitement (1829) |  Norman Bentley Items & Anti-Masonic Texts (1820s)
Masonic Martyr: Eli Bruce Biography (1861) |  The Broken Seal (1870) |  History of the Abduction & Murder of Wm. Morgan (1873)
History of Abduction of Wm. Morgan (1874) |  Christian Cynosure (1875-99) |  Wm. Morgan & Political Anti-Masonry (1883)
Thomas A. Knight Book & Articles (1932-34) |  William L. Cummings Articles (1934) |  Morgan, Mormons & Masonry (1946)

1820s Anti-Masonic Publications
(and other items relating to Elder Norman Bentley)

Penalties & Oaths  |  J. R. Mulford letter  |  Norman Bentley letter  |  misc. items  |  map 1  |  maps 2 & 3  |  timeline


1. The Penalties of Masonry,
2. Mr. John R. Mulford's Renunciation of Freemasonry,
3. Rev. Norman Bentley's Letter.


"Let your light shine," --
                                          HOLY WRIT.

TO THE PUBLIC. -- We invite the attention of every candid reader, to a carerul and deliberate perusal of the statements here made, as they are from undoubted authority and attested to by hundreds of seceding masons; many of whom have published to the world, what their eyes have seen and their ears have heard in the hitherto mysterious transactions of maonic lodges.

The reader will perceive that in the first step, the candidate binds himself under the awful penalty as seen below, to keep secret he knows not what -- and as he advances, he binds himself under still more unchristian and unnatural oaths, even the very worst that the wickedness and depravity of the heart of man could invent. We hope the reader of this will not stop, until he has thoroughly investigated the subject, and then ask himself, if he does not owe it to his God, and to his country, to raise his voice and his hands against such combinations of iniquity.


The entered apprentices penalty -- Is, to have his throat cut across, his tongue taken out by the roots, and body buried in the ocean.

Fellow crafts penalty. -- To have his left breast torn open, his heart and vitals taken from thence and thrown over his left shoulder, and carried into the valley of Jehosaphat, there to become a prey to the wild beasts of the field and the vultures of the air.

Master Masons Penalty. -- To have his body severed in two in the middle, and divided to the north and south, his bowels burned to ashes in the centre, and the ashes scattered to the four winds of heaven.

Mark Masters penalty. -- To have his right ear smote off, that he may be forever unable to hear the word; and his right hand chopped off as an imposter.

Past Masters penalty. -- To have his tongue split from tip to root, or cleave to the roof of his mouth, that he might forever hereafter be unable to speak the word.


Most Excellent Masters penalty. -- To have his breasts torn open, his heart and vitals taken from thence and exposed to rot on the dung-hill.

Royal Arch Mason's penalty. -- To have his skull struck off, and his brains exposed to the scorching rays of a meridian sun.

Knight of the Red Cross' penalty. -- To have his house torn down and the timber thereof set up, and be hanged thereon; and when the last trump shall blow, that he be forever excluded from the society of all true and courteous knights.

Knight Templars penalty. -- To have his head struck off, and placed on the highest spire in Christendom -- he then drinks wine from a human skull, and says, may this libation appear as a witness against me, both here and hereafter; and as the sins of the whole world were laid upon the head of the Saviour, so may all the sins committed by the person whose skull this was, be heaped upon my head in addition to my own, should I ever knowingly or wilfully violate any obligation heretofore taken, take at this time, or shall at any future period take, in relation to any degree of Masonry or order of Knighthood -- to die the death of a traitor, by having a spear, or other sharp instrument, thrust in my left side.

Illustrious Knight of the Cross' penalty. -- For the violation of the least matter or particle of any of the here taken obligations, he is to be made the silent and mute subject of the displeasure of the illustrious order, and have their power and wrath turned on his own head, and to his dishonor and DESTRUCTION; which, like the nail of Jael, may be the sure end of an unworthy wretch, by piercing his temples with a true sense of his ingratitude; and for a breach of silence in case of such an unhappy event, that he will die the infamous death of a traitor, by having a spear, or other sharp weapon, thrust into his left side, bearing testimony even in death of the power of the mark of the Holy Illustrious Cross, before I. H. S. our three Illustrious Counsellors in Heaven.

Extracts from Masonic Oaths, as divulged by the Le Roy Convention,
Feb. 19th, 1828.

From the Royal Arch Mason's Oath.

Furthermore do I promise and swear, that I wiII aid and assist a companion Royal Arch Mason, wherever I


shall see him engaged in ANY DIFFICULTY, so far as to extricate him from the same, WHETHER HE BE RIGHT OR WRONG. * Furthermore do I promise and swear, that a companion Royal Arch Mason's secrets, given me in charge as such, and I knowing them to be such, shall remain as secure and inviolable in my breast as in his own, MURDER AND TREASON NOT EXCEPTED.

"Furthermore, do I promise and swear, that I will vote for a companion Royal Arch Mason, before any other person of equal qualifications."

From the Kight of the Red Cross' Oath

"You further swear, that should you ever know a companion violate any essential part of his obligation, you will use your decided endeavours by the blessing of God to bring such a person to the strictest and most condign punishment, AGREEABLE TO THE RULES AND USAGES OF OUR ANCIENT FRATERNITY, and this by pointing him out to the world as an unworthy and VICIOUS VAGABOND, by OPPOSING his INTEREST, by DERANGING HIS BUSINESS, by transferring his character after him wherever he may go, by exposing him to the contempt of the fraternity and the world, but of our illustrious order more especially, during his whole natural life."

Part of the Obligation of Knight Templars.

"Furthermore do I promise and swear that I will go the distance of forty miles, even barefoot, and on frosty ground, to SAVE THE LIFE and relieve the distresses of a worthy knight, should I know that his distresses required it and my abilities permit."


Yeomanry of New-England! We ask your candid and heedful attention to the following article, extracted from the Morristown (New-Jersey) Palladium. The disclosures made in it of the corruption and profligacy of the masonic combination, must fill every breast with indignation

* This clause of the oath, as I received it, was still more exceptionable: being in the following words, viz. -- "Furthermore do I promise and swear, that I will protect a companion Royal Arch Mason from danger if in my power, IN ALL CASES WHATEVER, RIGHT OR WRONG."


and alarm. Shall such things be any longer submitted to in this land of freedom, justice and equality?

A sense of public duty has long engaged us in an examination of the principles, policy and acts of Free Masonry. In advancing, at every step, we found ourselves surrounded by shades thicker and deeper, of infamy and guilt. The farther we proceeded, the more firmly were we persuaded that we were yet distant from the bottom of this gulf of iniquity, and that the welfare of society demanded increased efforts. Our discoveries have not all been laid before the people; for in many instances we have been restrained in our exposures by the false delicacy and ill-judged fears of our informants. Few men will venture to attack openly a society among whom MURDER is a duty, DEFAMATION a system, and VENGEANCE a sworn obligation.

We here present to the State of New-Jersey, a document of the most commanding interest -- the RENUNCIATION of Mr. John R. Mulford. Mr. Mulford resides within four miles of this town. He is a member of the Christian church; a farmer and mechanic; independent, virtuous and intelligent, -- no partizan in politics, or at elections -- no seeker of office; but a modest, retired, and industrious citizen, of unquestioned probity and respectability, whom no interest but that of his country, and of religion, could have induced to stand forward as he now does, the open accuser of a powerful and vindictive association. Let the following be perused with deep attention.


In making the following statement of my views and disclosures on the subject of Speculative Freemasonry, I am not conscious of being governed by any motive except a desire to discharge my duty as a member of civil society, and of the church of Jesus Christ, and also to promote the cause of truth and justice in our social relations; but above all, the cause of a pure and undefiled religion, as it is taught in the living oracles of God, without the corrupt mixtures of human invention.

I joined Whippany Lodge, in this county, about thirteen years ago, and took the first three degrees of Masonry, and continued to visit the Lodge about five years --


then I silently withdrew, and have since had no fellowship with Masonry.

My reasons for thus forsaking the Lodge, and why I feel it my duty publicly, and forever to renounce the order of Free Masonry, are as follows, viz:

That the principles of Masonry inculcate neither religion, morality, truth, nor justice, but the contrary of all these, which I have both experienced and witnessed. -- While I continued a lodge-going member a Mason told me he did not believe there was any better religion than masonry. This alarmed me; and I began to look at the institution with a more jealous eye. Since that time, I have seen and felt its pernicious influence in many ways, some of which I will mention.

I have seen a Grand Jury selected by a Masonic Sheriff, with an express view to prevent an indictment against a brother Mason, and was told by the foreman of that jury, that had it not been the case of a brother that was coming before them, he should not have been there. I have also seen a Mason brought up to be tried on an indictment, and observed him make the masonic signal of distress, and another sign to the jury, which latter sign of the hand drawn across the throat, two of the jurors answered; and these same jurors when out, refused to convict on a clear case of guilt. I have also seen Masonic signs exchanged between the bar and bench. I have also seen its influence in the choice of public officers, having heard it mentioned in the lodge that such a brother was to be run for Assembly-man, by which I understood that we (the brethren) were to support him, and he was run and elected. I have seen three editions of Morgan's Illustrations of Masonry, and to guard the public against deception in so important a matter, I feel it my duty to state that the first one is a true and genuine exposition of Masonry as I was taught it in the lodge; whereas, the two last have been altered; the one in many particulars, and the other in pass-words and in changing the signs, no doubt to deceive the people. For these reasons, and many more that I could name, I consider Masonry as a corrupt and awfully wicked system, and unfit for the society of Christians or honest men; and considering the pretensions it makes of republicanism, charity, the handmaid of religion, &c. I view it as one of the greatest impositions ever


practised upon mankind, that of Mahomet not excepted. I am perfectly satisfied from what I have seen, that had the Masons the reins of power in their hands, or in the hands of men whom they could, as they say, "MANAGE," we should soon be reduced to a state of "hewers of wood and drawers of water," they our "Grand Masters, Most Worshipful's," &c. and we the people their SLAVES. I would here forewarn all persons, especially the youth from entering the lodge to find the secrets of masonry, or any thing good; they will only find a scene of folly and wickedness, and purchase this at the expense of both money and credit.

Of this latter class, I have known individuals to enter the lodge with correct morals and steady habits; and in a few years become dissipated and worthless members of society. Such is its corrupt and corrupting influence.

If such persons wish to know the true secrets of Masonry, and will take the trouble to call on me, I will communicate to them as far as I have gone in this "mystery of iniquity," " without money and without, price."

As a member therefore, of the church of Christ, and of civil society, I do hereby publicly, "solemnly, and sincerely" renounce Free Masonry forever, and can, and will hold myself no longer bound by its horrible and bloody oaths.
Genungtown, Chatham Township,                          
Morris Co. July 31, 1828.

Thus is laid open a scene of villany at which the mind recedes with disgust. All we have said stands now upon proof, and much more remains yet to be revealed. Evidence is about to pour in upon all sides, and the inquiry assumes an aspect of solemn and severe dignity, in which the people ought to act in their own name. It is time that some regular measures were adopted, to annihilate a conspiracy of fraud and falsehood, and rapine, which endangers the property, liberty, life and character of every man in the community. The religion, the morals, the happiness of society, depend upon an impartial and strict scrutiny. Some course of procedure should be digested; and in the mean time, we trust no Masonic Judge will attempt to dispense justice from the bench -- no Sheriff presume to summon a Masonic Juror. If the body politic have a


rotten limb, better amputate it, than suffer the whole constitution to become putrid.

We cannot now be at any loss to account for those anamolous decisions of the Bench, which have struck the uninitiated with such astonishment and perplexity.

Let us no longer he told of excitement, if by excitement is meant a mere transitory ebullition of feeling. The excitement we have felt and now feel, is deep indignation against a conspiracy, which, veiling its nefarions purposes under the cloak of mystic and religious ceremonies,has been actively engaged in a clandestine warfare against the rights, the property, and the characters of their fellow citizens: If this is excitement, it is an excitement which will pervade every part of the continent; for where are our liberties when we may be doomed to beggary, infamy or imprisonment, by the secret signal of any member of a Lodge? Where are our laws, when all sense of the obligations of an oath; and the claims of justice, may be banished from the minds of the Judges and Jury, by the concerted sign of any profligate Mason, exhibited in open court?

Mr. Mulford has exposed himself to every machination of the common adversary. We fear nothing for his personal safety, but his character and his prosperity will be assailed by a foe whose poisonous arrows fly in the dark; it is our duty, it is our interest, to extend over his head the broad shield of public protection.

The Editors of papers, open to free discussion, are requested to insert the above.
Morristown, N. J. Palladium.              


We, invite the serious attention of our readers to the following extracts from the disclosures made by the Convention of FREE MASONS held for that purpose at Le Roy, N. Y. on the 19th and 20th of February, 1828. Leonard B. Rose, Esq. a veteran of the Revolution, presided at this meeting, which was composed principally of Christian Ministers and members of the church. We shall publish the doings of this convention in extenso, as soon as we can find room.

"Resolved, That the book written by Capt. Mm. Morgan, and published by Col. D. C. Miller, entitled "Illustrations


of Masonry," is a fair and full exhibition of the three first degrees of Speculative Free Masonry that we solemnly and unequivocally testify to the above, we cheerfully subscribe our names. We certify according to the degrees we have taken.

Entered Apprentices. -- Platt S. Beach, Henry Peck, David C. Miller.

Fellow Craft. -- George W. Blodget.

Master Masons. -- Leonard B. Rose, Geo. W. Harris, James Cochrane, Jonathan Foster, Edmund Badger, Orasmus Bowers, Jason Gratton, Jas. Gray, Benjamin Geoley, Enos Bacheldor, A. F. Hotchkiss, John Tomlinson, Samuel D. Green; Pelatiah Dewey, Adam Richmond, David Snow, Seth M. Gates, Elijah Gray, Paschal D. Webb; John Aumock, James Taylor, Wm. W. Phelps, B. Bliss.

Mark Master. -- Solomon Southwick.

Royal Arch Masons. Miles P. Sampson, David Bernard.

Knight of the Red Cross. -- Richard Hollister.

Knight Templars and Illustrious Knights of the Cross. -- Anthony Cooley, Cephas A. Smith, Augustus P. Hascall, Hollis Pratt, Herbert A. Reed, James Ballard, John Hascall."

                         From the National Oberver.

We request the particular attention of our readers to the following communication. We have ascertained to our perfect satisfaction, that Mr. Bentley is a gospel minister of good standing. He tells a plain, simple tale, and one, of which, with our own experience of masonic violence, we want no other confirmation than Mr. Bentley's word. We verily believe, that we should have been assassinated on the 4th of July last, could the wretch, who. contemplated the crime, have had access to our person. He showed his dagger, and swore that he would put two inches of it into our heart before night! But on being informed that a warrant was about to be issued for his arrest, he made off from Le Roy, where we then were. -- This masonic assassin was the notorious Seymour, well known at Geneva and Canandaigua, and was, if we do not labor under a mistake, one of the seventeen, who were


tried for Morgan's abduction, at the latter place, August 22 1827. He left Geneva, as is well known there, with the avowed detennination of taking the life of the writer of this article; and from confidential communications, in our possession, we have little, if any doubt, that he was officially authorized, from a High Masonic Source, to commit the bloody deed! He has since died, in a wretched condition, somewhere on the Erie Canal; and his death was probably accelerated by the horrors of a guilty conscience, having had his hands dipped in the blood of Morgan, and his heart stained with our blood in anticipation -- in which he was frustrated by that all-wise Providence, to which alone, and not to Masonic forbearance, we repeat it, we owe the preservation of our existence to this day.

With these, and a thousand other facts in our mind's eye, in relation to ourselves, we can readily believe Mr. Bentley's statements, and enter into his feelings. But we advise him, and all other seceding masons, as well as anti-masons in general, to be of good cheer; the standard of Anti-Masonry is now raised aloft, and though once defeated, it is not disgraced. It is the standard of Heaven, and cannot be put down by human force. The enemy is gnashing his teeth, at this moment, in the agony of disappointment for his fancied triumph is but defeat and disgrace in the garb of victory. THIRTY THOUSAND FREEMEN, at least, have sworn that they will not quietly submit to be governed by a BANDITTI OF RUFFIANS AND ASSASSINS, and they will keep their oath. The day of retribution will come. The ballot boxes will yet purify the atmosphere of the State and the Union from masonic and political corruption.

Guilford, Chenango Co. Oct. 28, 1828.            
Dear Sir -- I make this communication to you with no other apology, than knowing you to be a Christian patriot and a decided anti-mason. I am a professed minister of the religion of of Jesus, and for the benefit of whom it may concern, I find it my duty to give you a succinct account of my having been connected with the masonic institution, together, with my secession from it. Although I am an obscure and humble individual, yet as I before hinted, I am an ordained minister, in regular standing, in a Christian denomination, of which, to say the least, they are noted for truth and veracity; and what l now write, I write in the presence of God, before whoso impartial throne and judgment seat ere long I must not only


meet what I now write, but give an account of my state of probation in this lower world.

After I was admitted a student of the Baptist Literary and Theological Seminary, at HamIlton, N. Y. I felt desirous of obtaining a fund of literary and divine knowledge, which might be something adequate to the sacred functions of a minister of the Lord Jesus. Literary ambition prompted me to grasp after every thing that bore the shadow of science and during one vacation, the place in which I was visiting, was much excited on the subject of Masonry. A member of the church had formed a lodge with others, in his own house, which caused considerable conversation among the members of the church, as well as the members or the immediate communiy. I visited his house for the purpose of conversing with him on the subject. I was just as ignorant of Masonry, in whole or in part, as the infant who is not able to lisp the name of father. This member told me that Masonry was a good thing, and that ministers ought to join the institution; or that Masonry was a good thing for ministers; he said that it would assist them in preaching, and that they. would know more about the bible to understand the mysteries of Masonry. -- I listened like Eve to the serpent, though I had not the means to refute him that Eve had to refute her seducer, I concluded that if what he said was true I needed Masonry, and spoke something to that effect. This was sufficient, I was already duped in mind, and accordingly arrangements were made for my admission as soon as the next vacation, during which time I conversed freely with masons on the subject, and they all represented the institution in such a favourable light, that not only were all my suspicions allayed, but I wondered that I never had heard nor known any thing about Masonry before. Masons uniformly declared that their institution was divine, a handmaid to religion, and made known -- both to the ancient and modern world, knowing nothing to the contrary, I thought it must be so, because they knew, and many good people said so; this was enough to excite my curiosity to the highest degree, and what almost drove me to enthusiasm, was, that it was said that the masonic institution once contained all the arts and sciences; but that their benevolence had been so magnanimous, that they had revealed all which was proper for the general good of mankind, and retained such only as was scientific, moral and religious. Being a youth of ambition, and desirous of all the information within my reach, according to the arrangement previously noticed, the next vacation, I think in June, 1825, I was made a Mason, and the next vacation following I took the royal arch degree in Cherry-valley chapter in the village of Cherry-valley, Otsego, N. Y., but after passing through these seven ancient degrees, and five more modern, I was sensible that the institution was not what it pretended to be; not only so, but I found myself completely enchained by its oaths and penalties. I was completely horrorstruck, but dare not reason on the subject, even before my most intimate masonic friends. Instead of facts and proofs, there were contradictory traditions, which I can make appear from the mysteries of masonry themselves. There was not one single evidence of its pretented antiquity in all its modus operandi; and as for its religion and morality, the whole of it is wrapt up in the horrible oaths and barbarous penulties. I remarked to an individual, a mason, that a maspn was in danger, and asked him if he thought those penalties would be inflicted in case, that any one should transgress? He replied, that there was no danger if we did not violate. So I supposed, and reasoned no further, I do assure you,


and the world, that these oaths and penalties were a burden to my conscience, and I ollen felt them so as a Christian and a Minister; and I do believe that I was wrong in taking them. I am sorry for it; but hope that God has pardoned, at least he bears testimony to my conscience and soul, with an aprobation which I did not enjoy while a mason. During my theological course in the institution at Hamilton, I had but little to do or think about Masonry. Soon after my graduation, the abduction and murder of Morgan occurred. The masons of my acquaintance were much excited, and every means were used to allay suspicion and enquiry among themselves, and if any thing was said, it was that Morgan was a rogue, and undoubtedly was peddling his books; and if one mason said to another, I fear they have killed Morgan, the other would say, I don't believe it, but suppose he was killed, it is no more than he deserved. I was tought to believe that all this was right, and that masonry would shine brighter than ever, as soon as the suspicions of the people and the excitement subsided. Soon after I attended a Lodge in town, and the Morgan affair was the topic of conversation. One mason remarked, that he had no doubt but that Morgan was dead; that the western masons had executed him, and d__n him, said he, I wish that I had been there, I should have fixed him very soon! This by the Lodge was received with a bravado and a hearty laugh! But my soul sunk within me. -- I was afraid that the institution was a bloody one, and designed to be. I got away from the Lodge, and never have entered one since. I now found myself in trouble. What could I do? "Lord, what would thou have me to do?" was my prayer. I thought thnt there was no release from my obligations as a mason; and its corruption began to manifest itself, and I shuddered and trembled, when I looked back on the masonic road I had travelled. I felt all that one can conceive one to feel in such a situation. I then felt it my duty to investigate the subject candidly. Accordingly I read some of the anti-masonic publications of the day, and very soon masons began to renounce and secede, and hence the door was opened. I read also the words of the apostle Paul, 2 Cor. 4; 1, 2 verses, which I wish all seceding masons to read. I now felt it my duty to secede from masonry; and this I did first on my knees before God, and he heard me; second to the church and denomination to which I belonged; and third, to the world, in a written communication dated June 28, 1828. But my secession was first made known to my people in April, but I was not able to publish it to the world until the above mentioned time. I wish to have my name enrolled on the Iist of those who signed the declaration of independence, July 4th, 1828. Immediately after my secession, the masons were much alarmed. I was assailed in the street in an unbecoming manner; they threatened publicly, and to my face. One warned me in a written communication of the vision of Morgan, and said, that I was as bad as he was, and diserved his fate. The tongue of slander was unloosed and I was a liar, and they could prove it; a perjured wretch, an Atheist and had never been a mason. A string of calumny, enough to open the eyes of my townsmen, who seeing such proceedings, investigated the subject, and now are anti-masonic. The masons, fearing the consequences of my secession, breathed vengeance.

I expected to have been butchered in the streets, or torn from my slumbers at midnight, no more to see my family. In the height of feelings produced by my renunciation, as I was returning home one day, about one and a half miles from home, in the day time, a


drunken masonic assassin stept before me, and took my horse by the bits, and demanded of me the reason why I renounced masonry? I told him it was none of his concern, I wished him to loose himself from my horse, and let me proceed, for I was in haste. -- With an eye that flashed like that of the tiger, and a demoniac frantic rage, holding one hand concealed, in which probably was the weapon of death, he swore I should ploceed no farther. I looked around to see if anyone would assist, and I saw a number of masons in diflerent places, talking two and two in truly masonic style, and looking on with perfect indifference. I then thought of danger, and called for help. One would think that somebody would assist in a thick settlement, when help was demanded in earnest, but all was still, no one appeared to care. I then saw an individual coming towards me who is not a mason. I called for his assistance, and he by force took the enraged assassin from my horse, who began to vent his rage at the other masons, for some reasons not known to me. I escaped with my life, praised be God: And, dear sir, when last evening I was reading your address, connectod with your reception of the nomination made by the people of Le Roy for the office of Governor, I could but shudder, and yet bless God, and say, as you did, that it was not masonic forbearance, but the providence of God, which had protected you and spared you to this day. None but those who experience it, can tell the trials of a seceding mason; his life, his character, and liberty, and peace, are at stake every moment. A mason who stood and saw me thus attacked and abused, has since told me in confidence, that this was a design upon my life; and, said he, be careful, for the masons. suppose that you have violated your oath, and that they are under obligation to inflict the penalties. Indeed this is what they themselves have told me, and, said one mason to me, I should feel perfectly justified in doing it. O my country! my country! But yet I do not despair; God give help. I do not write this with any ill will against even my most inveterate enemy; no, I feel to bless, and curse not; but it shows the nature of their institution, and the awful delusion of masons, from which may God and our country deliver them.
    Your, most obedient,                     NORMAN BENTLEY.


Published at the office of the ANTI-MASONIC FREE PRESS,
No. 13, Merchant's Hall.

Price $2 per hundred.....50 cents per dozen.....6 cents single.

==> This publication is the first of an intended series of Tracts shedding light on the hitherto dark and mysterious subject of Masonry. It is put at a low price in order that all may purchase it.

Items Relating to Elder Norman Bentley (1800-1844)

1829:09-15  |  1829:09-29  |  1830:04-13  |  1831:07-20  |  1831:08-03  |  1831:10-05  |  1831:11-16  |  1833:05-29
1833:07-10  |  1833:11-06  |  1841:01-??  |  1841:04-01  |  1931:12-02

Vol. II.                   Rochester, New York, Tuesday, September 15, 1829.                   No. 32.

Eleventh of September. -- This anniversary was commemorated by a portion of our citizens, at the Court House, on Friday. Proper and reasonable arrangements for the occasion, in consequence of the absence of one, and the illess of another, of the persons upon whom that duty devolved, were neglected. Only three days notice, therefore, was given, of the very imperfect arrangements which were made. This added to the Review and the simultaneous services at the Friends Meeting House, where the venerable Elias Hicks prevailed, will satisfactorily account for there not being a larger number at the celebration.

The solemnities commenced with a Prayer from Elder Bernard, a seceding Free Mason. The Anti-Masonic Declaration of Independence was read by Mr. Whittlesey. A. W. Stow, Esq. pronounced an eloquent and patriotic Oration, embracing an enlarged and enlightened view of the outrages which have aroused the public indignation, amd replete with sound civil and political doctrines. We hope to have the pleasure of presenting this Oration to our readers next week. Elder Bently, a seceding mason who experienced the Vengeance of the Fraternity, in Chenango co. pronounced the benediction.

See also the report of this Rochester event, published in a pro-Masonic Batavia paper.


Vol. III.                     Rochester, New York, Tuesday, September 29, 1829.                    No. ?


In Penfield, on the 27th inst. by the Rev. Mr. Bently, Mr. Peter V. Stoothoff, Printer. of this village, to Miss Julia G. Penfield of the former place.

Note 1: Lorilla F. Worden's 1904 History of the Penfield Baptist Church, contains the following information: -- In August 1803 the Baptist Church of Palmyra (now Macedon), granted letters to Joseph Case, a licentiate and other brethren to form a church. Early in 1804 these and others with Elder Case, who was soon ordained as their pastor, formed themselves into the Baptist Church in Northfield. This church numbering twenty-two members, the germ of the present Penfield church, united with the Cayuga Association in September 1804. On August 1, 1808 the name of the town was changed from Northfield to Boyle. In 1810 when Penfield was carved out of Boyle the church became known as the Baptist Church of Penfield.... In April 1829 Elder Norman Bently was called to the church on a salary of $150 and served sixteen months. (April 1829-Aug. 1830)

Note 2: Although Elder Bentley's pastorship of the Penfield Baptist Church expired in the fall of 1830, he evidently remained in the area for several months thereafter. The New York Annual Registers for 1830-'32 list "Norman Bentley" as the "Baptist clergyman" for "Monroe Co., Penfield," and his evident relocation to "Ontario Co., Geneva" is listed in the 1833 edition. Since B. F. Bronson's 1872 First Half Century of Madison University identifies Bentley as a one-time pastor in Rush township (southwest of Penfield), it appears that he spent some of 1830 and 1831 with the Rush congregation (also known as the "Baptist colony"), before moving on to Geneva, in Ontario County, during the summer of 1831..

Vol. III.                         Rochester, New York, Tuesday, April 13, 1830.                         No. 10.


MARRIED -- In Brighton, on Thursday the 8th inst. by the Rev. Norman Bently, Mr. Daniel Green, of Manchester, Ontario co. to Miss Elizabeth Haight, of the former place.

Vol. XXIII.                       Geneva, New York, Wednesday, July 20, 1831.                       No. 7.


==> The Rev. Mr. BENTLEY will deliver a LECTURE on next Sunday Morning, (and the three followingSundays,) at half past 7 o'clock, in the Grove, south of Mrs. Axtell's, Pultney-street, should the weather admit. The inhabitants of this village are respectfully solicited to attend.
Geneva, July 20, 1831.

Vol. XXIII.                       Geneva, New York, Wednesday, August 3, 1831.                       No. 9.

Remaining at the Post-Office, Geneva, August 3, 1831:

...Norman Bentley...

Vol. XXIII.                      Geneva, New York, Wednesday, October 5, 1831.                      No. 18.

There will be a protracted meeting held with the Baptist Church in this village, commencing next Monday, 10 o'clock, and all who love religion are invited to attend, and mingle in our devotions.
                N. BENTLEY.


Vol. I.                      Geneva, New York, Wednesday, November 16, 1831.                      No. 46.


The citizens of Geneva are respectfully invited to attend a Donation Party, at the dwelling of the Rev. Mr. Bentley, in Pultney-street, this afternoon and evening, November 16.

Vol. XXIV.                      Geneva, New York, Wednesday, May 29, 1833.                      No. 52.


In Vienna, on the 8th inst. by Elder Bentley, of Geneva, Mr. Samuel D Crane, of Lyons, to Miss Ann Olmstead, of the former place


Vol. III.                      Geneva, New York, Wednesday, July 10, 1833.                      No. 132.

[For the Geneva Courier.]

The Sabbath school celebration in this village on the 4th inst, was such as to give entire satisfaction to the friends of the cause who witnessed it...

Although the previous notice had been very short, and the preparations, therefore, exceedingly limited; yet (thanks to the praiseworthy exertions of the committee of arrangements) the whole was conducted with entire success, and more than fulfilled all expectations. The Sabbath schools uniting in the celebration were six, viz. The Dutch Reformed, Associate Reformed, Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist, and the colored school; the number of children assembled was about eight hundred -- a number which entirely filled the body and more than half the gallery of the Dutch Reformed church. The sight of the schools in procession was one very beautiful and interesting in itself, and doubly so in its moral and christian aspect. Each school was preceded by a banner, bearing an appropriate text of scripture as a motto, and both during the procession and the exercises in the church, the utmost order prevailed. The exercises consisted of four short addresses -- The first to the scholars by Elder Bently, the second to the teachers by the Rev. Mr. McLaren, a third lo the congregation by the Rev. Mr. Alverson, and the fourth of a more general nature... by the Rev. Henry Dwight...

Geneva  [ -- ]  Gazette.

Vol. XXV.                   Geneva, New York, Wednesday, November 6, 1833.                   No. 23.


In Vienna, on the 8th inst. by Elder Bentley, of Geneva. Mr. Samuel D Crane, of Lyons, to Miss Ann Olmstead, of the former place

Vol. II.                             Nauvoo, Illinois, Thursday, April 1, 1841.                           No. 11.


The Editor of the "Cross & Journal" Columbus, O. March 5th, has picked up another piece of slander on "Mormonism." The piece is selected from the N. Y. Baptist Register, and only deserves a passing notice. The author one Norman Bentley, professes to have had an acquaintance with Joseph Smith, and makes various ridiculous and contradictory statements which he says Smith made. We pronounce the whole a tissue of lies. We doubt whether the author ever saw Brother Joseph Smith: if he has ever conversed with him, he has knowingly and wilfully vilified his character. -- The article is too low and vulgar to deserve notice.

Comparative Chronologies

Elder Norman Bentley

~ Timeline ~

Joseph Smith, jr.

~ Timeline ~

1800: he is born (in New York)

1822-26: his final schooling in
central New York (Madison Co.)

1827: (Jan?) married (Chenango Co.)
to Louisa _____

1827: (Jan) ordained minister
(Guilford Bap. Ch., Chenango Co.)

1828: (Oct) his first child is born
Rosetta (Chenango Co.)

1828-29: at Guilford, Chenango Co.

1829: (Apr) moves to Penfield in
Monroe Co., New York

1829-30: serves as Baptist minister
at Penfield (near Rochester)

1830-31: serves as Baptist minister
at Rush? (near Rochester)

1831: (May?) leaves Monroe Co. and
arrives at new home in Geneva

1831-34? serves as Baptist minister
at Geneva, (near Fayette) New York

1835-39? probably visits Kirtland to
collect information on Mormons

183?-40 serves as Baptist minister at
Otselic Church, in Chenango Co.

1841 (Jan?) he writes an article for
the New York Baptist Register.

1844 (May) dies at Rome, Oneida Co.
leaving a widow and daughter

1805: he is born (in Vermont)

1825-26: his final schooling in
central New York (Chenango Co.)

1827: (Jan) married (Chenango Co.)
to Emma Hale

1827: (Sep) obtains the "Gold Bible"
("Hill Cumorah," Ontario Co.)

1828: (Apr) his first child is born
Alvin (Harmony) (dies)

1828-29: at Harmony and Fayette

1829: moves between Fayette,
Manchester, and Harmony

1829: (Jun) goes to Rochester and
visits Thurlow Weed

1830: serves as prophet in 3 or 4
different Mormon congregations

1831: (Feb) leaves New York and
arrives at new home in Ohio

1831-34: serves as prophet in Hiram,
Kirtland, Independence, etc.

1835-39: has diffficulties in Ohio
& Missouri; escapes to Illinois

1839-40: purchases Commerce and
renames that Illinois town "Nauvoo"

1841 (Apr) Nauvoo Times & Seasons
criticizes Rev. Bentley for his article

1844 (June) dies at Carthage, Illinois
leaving a widow and children
Note 1: In his 1841 letter to the Baptist Register, Elder Bentley stated that he had exposed the "villainy" and Joseph Smith, Jr., and that the latter had responded: "I feel constrained to ask God not to permit me to ask him to damn you. If I should ask him, he would send you to hell in the twinkling of an eye." While this reported conversation may well have occurred in Chenango County, New York, as early as 1826-27, Elder Bentley goes on to say that "in the presence of the writer" (Bentley himself), "Smith said to Rigdon... 'Thou art to me what John was to Christ.'" This reminiscence could only date to a period later than mid-December, 1830, when Smith and Rigdon first appeared together in public.

Note 2: In the same 1841 Baptist Register letter, Elder Bentley goes on to say that he obtained information regarding Mormonism "from the Mormon apostles themselves;" which may indicate a direct or second-hand interview with the Johnson brothers (former apostles). or perhaps will William McLellin (also a former apostle). In another place, the 1841 Baptist Register piece says: "We derived our information from one who had abandoned the imposture, but was residing opposite the great temple." Evidently the Kirtland Temple was the one being referred to, and the informant was a former LDS leader who had quit the sect and elected to remain at Nauvoo. All of the above cited references appear to confirm that Bentley himself made at least one journey to northern Ohio, prior to 1841, with the intention of gathering information about the Mormon Church.

Geneva  Daily  Times.

Vol. ?                   Geneva, New York, Wednesday, December 2, 1931.                   No. ?



... On Saturday, March 5, 1826, the Church met for communion for the first time, when a formal vote was taken and Elder E. W. Martin was called as the first pastor, he having acted as missionary of the society before that time... On September 2, 1826, the church voted to seek admission to the Ontario Baptist Association. The request of the church was granted. Soon after that a Missionary Society was formed whose object as stated was to send the Gospel to the destitute and promote Indian reform. The latter effort was the principal Missionary work in New York State at that time.

On December 14, 1830, Elder Martin was succeeded as pastor by Elder Norman Bentley. This witnessed one of the great revivals in the county which was reflected in increased membership in the church. Elder Bentley's pastorate closed in September. 1833, the church then having a membership of 178...

Note: Assuming Elder Bentley left Geneva by the end of 1833, he probably then traveled to his old home at Guilford, in Chenango County, and was living in that region by the beginning of 1834. B. F. Bronson's 1872 First Half Century of Madison University indicates that Bentley's final pastorate was at Otselic, in Chenango, Co. -- between Syracuse and Cooperstown, and a little west of Cortland. The 1840 federal census confirms his presence there, as the head of a household of three persons (himself, a wife and a daughter).

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