Criticism of Mormonism/Books/Nauvoo Polygamy/Chapter 3

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Response to claims made in "Chapter 3" (pp. 159-240)

A FairMormon Analysis of: Nauvoo Polygamy: "... but we called it celestial marriage", a work by author: George D. Smith

Response to claims made in Nauvoo Polygamy, "Chapter 3" (pp. 159-240)

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Response to claim: 159 - Orson Pratt, Sidney Rigdon, and Ebenezer Robinson "declined to affirm Smith's good character"

The author(s) of Nauvoo Polygamy make(s) the following claim:

 Author's quote: "several days after Orson Pratt, Sidney Rigdon, and Ebenezer Robinson declined to affirm Smith's good character…."

Author's sources:
  1. History of the Church 5:125, 139.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: The author has stated erroneous information or misinterpreted their sources

The three were Pratt, Rigdon, and George W. Robinson, not Ebenezer. (See Manuscript History, 29 August 1842; History of the Church 5:139; Faulring, American Prophet's Record, 254).


Response to claim: 160 - Governor Carlin described the Nauvoo statute on writs as an "extraordinary assumption of power….most absurd and ridiculous"

The author(s) of Nauvoo Polygamy make(s) the following claim:

Governor Carlin described the Nauvoo statute on writs as an "extraordinary assumption of power….most absurd and ridiculous…[a] gross usurpation of power that cannot be tolerated."

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains propaganda - The author, or the author's source, is providing information or ideas in a slanted way in order to instill a particular attitude or response in the reader

Carlin may not have agreed, but this does not mean that the law was reckless or irresponsible.

|authorsources=

  1. History of the Church 5:153-55.

Nauvoo city charter (edit)

  • See also ch. 1: 2
  • See also ch. 2a: 139
  • See also ch. 3: 160, 161, and 163

}}

Response to claim: 161 - The Nauvoo charter is claimed to be "the basis for this presumption of independence from state jurisdiction"

The author(s) of Nauvoo Polygamy make(s) the following claim:

The Nauvoo charter is claimed to be "the basis for this presumption of independence from state jurisdiction…."

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains propaganda - The author, or the author's source, is providing information or ideas in a slanted way in order to instill a particular attitude or response in the reader

The author again gives no hint that the Mormons were being anything but "presumptuous," when in fact the legal arguments of the day were likely in their favor.

Nauvoo city charter (edit)

  • See also ch. 1: 2
  • See also ch. 2a: 139
  • See also ch. 3: 160, 161, and 163

}}

Response to claim: 162 - The Peace Maker, a non-member's defence of polygamy, "appeared during the hiatus in the erstwhile marriage frenzy of 1842"

The author(s) of Nauvoo Polygamy make(s) the following claim:

The author claims that it is "interesting" that The Peace Maker, a non-member's defence of polygamy, "appeared during the hiatus in the erstwhile marriage frenzy of 1842 and while Smith's apostles were traveling the countryside to counter Bennett's words and deny polygamy."

Author's sources:
  1. Lawrence Foster, "A Little-Known Defense of Polygamy from the Mormon Press in 1842," Dialogue 9 (Winter 1974): 21–34.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event

The author does not discuss the many differences between The Peace Maker and LDS doctrine. The author and his source also ignore the arguments which had been raised against Joseph's participation or approval. See:
    • Eli B. Kelsey, "A Base Calumny Refuted," Millennial Star 12 no. 6 (15 March 1850), 92–93.
    • Kenneth W. Godfrey, “Causes of Mormon Non-Mormon Conflict in Hancock County, Illinois, 1839–1846” (PhD diss., Brigham Young University, 1967), 96-97.
    • Richard L. Bushman, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling (New York: Knopf, 2005), 445–446.


Response to claim: 163 - The book "The Peace Maker" claims that Latter-day Saints were expelled from Illinois "primarily because of the dominant sense they betrayed public trust"

The author(s) of Nauvoo Polygamy make(s) the following claim:

The book claims that Latter-day Saints were expelled from Illinois "primarily because of the dominant sense they betrayed public trust."

Author's sources:
  1. No source provided. He merely asserts and moves on.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: The author has stated erroneous information or misinterpreted their sources

The author here over-simplifies an extremely complex issue, with no references or argument. See:
    • Kenneth W. Godfrey, "Causes of Mormon Non-Mormon Conflict in Hancock County, Illinois, 1839-1846," Ph.D. thesis (1967), Brigham Young University.


Response to claim: 185 - Joseph's "summer 1842 call for an intimate visit from Sarah Ann Whitney"==

The author(s) of Nauvoo Polygamy make(s) the following claim:

Joseph's "summer 1842 call for an intimate visit from Sarah Ann Whitney…substantiate[s] the intimate relationships he was involved in during those two years."

Author's sources:
  1. No source provided.

FairMormon Response

Whitney "love letter" (edit)

Fact checking results: This claim contains propaganda - The author, or the author's source, is providing information or ideas in a slanted way in order to instill a particular attitude or response in the reader

Again, an inaccurate representation of the purpose of the Whitney letter.

Question: Did Joseph Smith write a "love letter" to his plural wife Sarah Ann Whitney to request a secret rendezvous?

On 18 August 1842, Joseph Smith wrote a letter to the parents of Sarah Ann Whitney, who had become his plural wife three weeks earlier, asking them to visit him while he was in hiding.

Critics of the Church would have us believe that this is a private, secret "love letter" from Joseph to Sarah Ann, however, Joseph wrote this letter to the Whitney's, addressing it to Sarah's parents. The "matter" to which he refers is likely the administration of ordinances rather than the arrangement of some sort of private tryst with one of his plural wives. Why would one invite your bride's parents to such an encounter? Joseph doesn't want Emma gone because he wants to be alone with Sarah Ann—a feat that would be difficult to accomplish with her parents there—he wants Emma gone either because she is opposed to plural marriage (the contention that would result from an encounter between Emma and the Whitney's just a few weeks after Joseph's sealing to Sarah Ann would hardly be conducive to having the spirit present in order to "git the fulness of my blessings sealed upon our heads"), or because she may have been followed or spied upon by Joseph's enemies, putting either Joseph or the Whitneys in danger.

The Prophet was in hiding as a result of the assassination attempt that had been made on Missouri governor Lilburn Boggs

On the 16th of August, 1842, while Joseph was in hiding at the Sayer's, Emma expressed concern for Joseph's safety. She sent a letter to Joseph in which she noted,

There are more ways than one to take care of you, and I believe that you can still direct in your business concerns if we are all of us prudent in the matter. If it was pleasant weather I should contrive to see you this evening, but I dare not run too much of a risk, on account of so many going to see you. (History of the Church, Vol.5, Ch.6, p.109)

It is evident that there was concern on Emma's part that Joseph's hiding place would be discovered because of all the people visiting Joseph, particularly if they were in the company of Emma

Joseph wrote the next day in his journal,

Several rumors were afloat in the city, intimating that my retreat had been discovered, and that it was no longer safe for me to remain at Brother Sayers'; consequently Emma came to see me at night, and informed me of the report. It was considered wisdom that I should remove immediately, and accordingly I departed in company with Emma and Brother Derby, and went to Carlos Granger's, who lived in the north-east part of the city. Here we were kindly received and well treated." (History of the Church, Vol.5, Ch.6, pp. 117-118)

The next day, while in hiding at the Granger's, Joseph wrote a letter to three members of the Whitney family inviting them to come visit him

The letter is addressed to "Brother and Sister Whitney, and &c." Scholars agree that the third person referred to was the Whitney's daughter Sarah Ann, to whom Joseph had been sealed in a plural marriage, without Emma's knowledge, three weeks prior. The full letter, with photographs of the original document, was published by Michael Marquardt in 1973, [1] and again in 1984 by Dean C. Jessee in The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith. [2] The complete text of the letter reads as follows (original spelling has been retained):

Nauvoo August 18th 1842

Dear, and Beloved, Brother and Sister, Whitney, and &c.—

I take this oppertunity to communi[c]ate, some of my feelings, privetely at this time, which I want you three Eternaly to keep in your own bosams; for my feelings are so strong for you since what has pased lately between us, that the time of my abscence from you seems so long, and dreary, that it seems, as if I could not live long in this way: and <if you> three would come and see me in this my lonely retreat, it would afford me great relief, of mind, if those with whom I am alied, do love me; now is the time to afford me succour, in the days of exile, for you know I foretold you of these things. I am now at Carlos Graingers, Just back of Brother Hyrams farm, it is only one mile from town, the nights are very pleasant indeed, all three of you come <can> come and See me in the fore part of the night, let Brother Whitney come a little a head, and nock at the south East corner of the house at <the> window; it is next to the cornfield, I have a room inti=rely by myself, the whole matter can be attended to with most perfect safty, I <know> it is the will of God that you should comfort <me> now in this time of affliction, or not at[ta]l now is the time or never, but I hav[e] no kneed of saying any such thing, to you, for I know the goodness of your hearts, and that you will do the will of the Lord, when it is made known to you; the only thing to be careful of; is to find out when Emma comes then you cannot be safe, but when she is not here, there is the most perfect safty: only be careful to escape observation, as much as possible, I know it is a heroick undertakeing; but so much the greater frendship, and the more Joy, when I see you I <will> tell you all my plans, I cannot write them on paper, burn this letter as soon as you read it; keep all locked up in your breasts, my life depends upon it. one thing I want to see you for is <to> git the fulness of my blessings sealed upon our heads, &c. you wi will pardon me for my earnest=ness on <this subject> when you consider how lonesome I must be, your good feelings know how to <make> every allowance for me, I close my letter, I think Emma wont come tonight if she dont dont fail to come to night. I subscribe myself your most obedient, <and> affectionate, companion, and friend.

Joseph Smith

Some critics point to this letter as evidence the Joseph wrote a private and secret “love letter” to Sarah Ann, requesting that she visit him while he was in seclusion. Others believe that the letter was a request to Sarah Ann's parents to bring their daughter to him so that he could obtain "comfort," with the implication that "comfort" involved intimate relations.


Question: How do critics of the Church portray Joseph Smith's letter to the Whitney family as a "love letter"?

Critical treatments of the letter: Was this a "love" letter to Sarah Ann?

Did Joseph Smith write a private and secret “love letter” to Sarah Ann Whitney? Was this letter a request to Sarah Ann's parents to bring her to Joseph? Was Joseph trying to keep Sarah Ann and Emma from encountering one another? Certain sentences extracted from the letter might lead one to believe one or all of these things. Critics use this to their advantage by extracting only the portions of the letter which support the conclusions above. We present here four examples of how the text of the letter has been employed by critics in order to support their position that Joseph was asking the Whitney's to bring Sarah Ann over for an intimate encounter. The text of the full letter is then examined again in light of these treatments.

Critical presentation #1

Consider the following excerpt from a website that is critical of the Church. Portions of the Whitney letter are extracted and presented in the following manner:

... the only thing to be careful of; is to find out when Emma comes then you cannot be safe, but when she is not here, there is the most perfect safty. ... Only be careful to escape observation, as much as possible, I know it is a heroick undertakeing; but so much the greater friendship, and the more Joy, when I see you I will tell you all my plans, I cannot write them on paper, burn this letter as soon as you read it; keep all locked up in your breasts, my life depends upon it. ... I close my letter, I think Emma wont come tonight if she dont, dont fail to come to night, I subscribe myself your most obedient, and affectionate, companion, and friend. Joseph Smith.
—’’Rethinking Mormonism’’, “Did Joseph Smith have sex with his wives?” (Web page)

This certainly has all of the elements of a secret “love letter:” The statement that it would not be safe if Emma were there, the request to “burn this letter as soon as you read it,” and the stealthy instructions for approaching the house. The question is, who was this letter addressed to? The critics on their web site clearly want you to believe that this was a private letter to Sarah Ann.

Critical presentation #2

Here is the way that Van Wagoner presents selected excerpts of the same letter. In this case, at least, he acknowledges that the letter was addressed to “the Whitney’s,” rather than Sarah, but adds his own opinion that it “detailed [Joseph’s] problems in getting to see Sarah Ann without Emma's knowledge:”

My feelings are so strong for you since what has pased lately between us ... if you three would come and see me in this my lonely retreat, it would afford me great relief, of mind, if those with whom I am alied, do love me, now is the time to Afford me succor ... the only thing to be careful is to find out when Emma comes then you cannot be safe, but when she is not here, there is the most perfect safety.
—Richard S. Van Wagoner, Mormon Polygamy: A History, 48.

Critical presentation #3

This version, presented by George D. Smith, presents excerpts from the letter which makes it sound like Joseph was absolutely lusting for the company of Sarah Ann. Smith even makes Napoleon Bonaparte a Joseph Smith doppelgänger by quoting a letter from the future Emperor to Josephine of their first night together:

"I have awakened full of you. The memory of last night has given my senses no rest. . . . What an effect you have on my heart! I send you thousands of kisses—but don’t kiss me. Your kisses sear my blood” (p. xi). George Smith then claims that a “young man of ambition and vision penned his own letter of affection to a young woman. It was the summer of 1842 when thirty-six-year-old Joseph Smith, hiding from the law down by the Mississippi River in Illinois, confessed:"

Smith then compares the excerpts from Napoleon's letter above to portions of the Whitney letter:

My feelings are so strong for you . . . come and see me in this my lonely retreat . . . now is the time to afford me succour . . . I have a room intirely by myself, the whole matter can be attended to with most perfect saf[e]ty, I know it is the will of God that you should comfort me.
—George D. Smith, “Nauvoo Polygamy: We Called It Celestial Marriage,” Free Inquiry [Council for Secular Humanism] 28/3 (April–May 2008): 44–46.

Critical presentation #4

Finally, we have a version which acknowledges the full contents of the letter...but only after presenting it in the manner described above numerous times. The author eventually provides the full text of this letter (150 pages after its comparison with Napoleon). Since there are no extant "love letters" from Joseph Smith to any of his plural wives, the mileage that the author of Nauvoo Polygamy..."but we called it celestial marriage" extracts from the single letter to the Whitney's is simply astounding:

  • "[i]t was eleven years after the Smiths roomed with the Whitneys that Joseph expressed a romantic interest in their daughter, as well." (p. 31)
  • "recommended his friend, whose seventeen-year-old daughter he had just married, should 'come a little a head, and nock…at the window.'" (p. 53)
  • "Emma Hale, Joseph's wife of fifteen years, had left his side just twenty-four hours earlier. Now Joseph declared that he was "lonesome," and he pleaded with Sarah Ann to visit him under cover of darkness. After all, they had been married just three weeks earlier. (p. 53)
  • "As will be seen, conjugal visits appear furtive and constantly shadowed by the threat of disclosure." (p. 63)
  • “when Joseph requested that Sarah Ann Whitney visit him and ‘nock at the window,’ he reassured his new young wife that Emma would not be there, telegraphing his fear of discovery if Emma happened upon his trysts.” (p. 65)
  • "Three weeks after the wedding, Joseph took steps to spend some time with his newest bride." (p. 138)
  • "It was the ninth night of Joseph's concealment, and Emma had visited him three times, written him several letters, and penned at least one letter on his behalf…For his part, Joseph's private note about his love for Emma was so endearing it found its way into the official church history. In it, he vowed to be hers 'forevermore.' Yet within this context of reassurance and intimacy, a few hours later the same day, even while Joseph was still in grave danger and when secrecy was of the utmost urgency, he made complicated arrangements for a visit from his fifteenth plural wife, Sarah Ann Whitney." (p. 142)
  • "Smith urged his seventeen-year-old bride to 'come to night' and 'comfort' him—but only if Emma had not returned….Joseph judiciously addressed the letter to 'Brother, and Sister, Whitney, and &c." (p. 142-143)
  • "Invites Whitneys to visit, Sarah Ann to 'comfort me' if Emma not there. Invitation accepted." (p.. 147)
  • "As if Sarah Ann Whitney's liaison were not enough…another marriage took place…." (p. 155)
  • "summer 1842 call for an intimate visit from Sarah Ann Whitney…substantiate[s] the intimate relationships he was involved in during those two years." (p. 185)
  • “his warning to Sarah Ann to proceed carefully in order to make sure Emma would not find them in their hiding place.” (p. 236)
  • "Just as Joseph sought comfort from Sarah Ann the day Emma departed from his hideout…." (p. 236)
  • "Elizabeth [Whitney] was arranging conjugal visits between her daughter, Sarah Ann, and [Joseph]…." (p. 366)

One must assume that this is the closest thing that the author could find to a love letter, because the "real" love letters from Joseph to his plural wives do not exist. The author had to make do with this one, despite the fact that it did not precisely fit the bill. With judicious pruning, however, it can be made to sound sufficiently salacious to suit the purpose at hand: to "prove" that Joseph lusted after women.

The full story

In contrast to the sources above, Compton actually provides the complete text of the letter up front, and concludes that "[t]he Mormon leader is putting the Whitney's in the difficult position of having to learn about Emma's movements, avoid her, then meet secretly with him" and that the "cloak-and-dagger atmosphere in this letter is typical of Nauvoo polygamy." [3]

What parts of the Whitney letter do the critics not mention?

As always, it is helpful to view the entire set of statements in content. Let's revisit the entire letter, this time with the selections extracted by the critics highlighted:

Nauvoo August 18th 1842

Dear, and Beloved, Brother and Sister, Whitney, and &c.—

I take this oppertunity to communi[c]ate, some of my feelings, privetely at this time, which I want you three Eternaly to keep in your own bosams; for my feelings are so strong for you since what has pased lately between us, that the time of my abscence from you seems so long, and dreary, that it seems, as if I could not live long in this way: and <if you> three would come and see me in this my lonely retreat, it would afford me great relief, of mind, if those with whom I am alied, do love me; now is the time to afford me succour, in the days of exile, for you know I foretold you of these things. I am now at Carlos Graingers, Just back of Brother Hyrams farm, it is only one mile from town, the nights are very pleasant indeed, all three of you come <can> come and See me in the fore part of the night, let Brother Whitney come a little a head, and nock at the south East corner of the house at <the> window; it is next to the cornfield, I have a room inti=rely by myself, the whole matter can be attended to with most perfect safty, I <know> it is the will of God that you should comfort <me> now in this time of affliction, or not at[ta]l now is the time or never, but I hav[e] no kneed of saying any such thing, to you, for I know the goodness of your hearts, and that you will do the will of the Lord, when it is made known to you; the only thing to be careful of; is to find out when Emma comes then you cannot be safe, but when she is not here, there is the most perfect safty: only be careful to escape observation, as much as possible, I know it is a heroick undertakeing; but so much the greater frendship, and the more Joy, when I see you I <will> tell you all my plans, I cannot write them on paper, burn this letter as soon as you read it; keep all locked up in your breasts, my life depends upon it. one thing I want to see you for is <to> git the fulness of my blessings sealed upon our heads, &c. you wi will pardon me for my earnest=ness on <this subject> when you consider how lonesome I must be, your good feelings know how to <make> every allowance for me, I close my letter, I think Emma wont come tonight if she dont dont fail to come to night. I subscribe myself your most obedient, <and> affectionate, companion, and friend.

Joseph Smith

So, let’s take a look at the portions of the letter that are not highlighted.

Dear, and Beloved, Brother and Sister, Whitney, and &c.—

The letter is addressed to “Brother and Sister Whitney.” Sarah Ann is not mentioned by name, but is included as “&c.,” which is the equivalent of saying “and so on,” or “etc.” This hardly implies that what follows is a private “love letter” to Sarah Ann herself.

Could this have been an appeal to Sarah's parents to bring her to Joseph? In Todd Compton's opinion, Joseph "cautiously avoids writing Sarah's name." [4] However, Joseph stated in the letter who he wanted to talk to:

I take this oppertunity to communi[c]ate, some of my feelings, privetely at this time, which I want you three Eternaly to keep in your own bosams;

Joseph wants to talk to “you three,” meaning Newel, Elizabeth and Sarah Ann.


Question: What was the real purpose of the letter written by Joseph Smith to the parents of Sarah Ann Whitney?

The one portion of the letter in which Joseph actually gives a reason for this meeting is often excluded by critics

Interestingly enough, the one portion of the letter in which Joseph actually gives a reason for this meeting is often excluded by critics:

..one thing I want to see you for is <to> git the fulness of my blessings sealed upon our heads, &c. you wi will pardon me for my earnest=ness on <this subject> when you consider how lonesome I must be, your good feelings know how to <make> every allowance for me...

According to Richard L. Bushman, this may have been "a reference perhaps to the sealing of Newel and Elizabeth in eternal marriage three days later." [5] Compton adds, "This was not just a meeting of husband and plural wife, it was a meeting with Sarah's family, with a religious aspect. [6]

Joseph needed to have the company of friends who supported him

In addition to the stated purpose of the meeting, Joseph "may have been a lonely man who needed people around him every moment." [7] Consider this phrase (included in Van Wagoner's treatment, but excluded by the others):

...it would afford me great relief, of mind, if those with whom I am al[l]ied, do love me, now is the time to afford me succour, in the days of exile. (emphasis added)

These are not the words of a man asking his secret lover to meet him for a private tryst—they are the words of a man who wants the company of friends.

"...when Emma comes then you cannot be safe"

So, what about Emma? The letter certainly contains dire warnings about having the Whitney's avoid an encounter with Emma. We examine several possible reasons for the warning about Emma. Keep in mind Emma's stated concern just two days prior,

If it was pleasant weather I should contrive to see you this evening, but I dare not run too much of a risk, on account of so many going to see you. (History of the Church, Vol.5, Ch.6, p.109)

Joseph wished to discuss and/or perform a sealing ordinance that Emma had not yet received

Joseph had been sealed to Sarah Ann three weeks before without Emma's knowledge.[8] Joseph may have wished to offer a sealing blessing to Newel and Elizabeth Whitney at this time. Given Joseph's indication to the Whitneys that he wished to "git the fulness of my blessings sealed upon our heads," and the fact that Emma herself was not sealed until she consented to the doctrine of plural marriage nine months later, Joseph may have felt that Emma’s presence would create an uncomfortable situation for all involved—particularly if she became aware of his sealing to Sarah Ann.

Joseph wished to avoid involving his friends in case he were found by those looking for him

If Joseph was in hiding, he had good reason to avoid being found (hence the request to burn the letter that disclosed his location). He would also not want his friends present in case he were to be found. Anyone that was searching for Joseph knew that Emma could lead them to him if they simply observed and followed her. If this were the case, the most dangerous time for the Whitney's to visit Joseph may have been when Emma was there—not necessarily because Emma would have been angered by finding Sarah Ann (after all, Emma did not know about the sealing, and she would have found all three Whitney's there—not just Sarah Ann), but because hostile men might have found the Whitney's with Joseph. Note that Joseph's letter states that "when Emma comes then you cannot be safe, but when she is not here, there is the most perfect safty: only be careful to escape observation, as much as possible." Joseph wanted the Whitneys to avoid observation by anyone, and not just by Emma.


Response to claim: 190 - The "pretended marriage" of Joseph Kingsbury to the polygamously-married Sarah Ann Whitney is postulated by the author to "have been a precaution against possible pregnancy"

The author(s) of Nauvoo Polygamy make(s) the following claim:

The "pretended marriage" of Joseph Kingsbury to the polygamously-married Sarah Ann Whitney is postulated by the author to "have been a precaution against possible pregnancy."

Author's sources:
  1. No source provided.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains propaganda - The author, or the author's source, is providing information or ideas in a slanted way in order to instill a particular attitude or response in the reader

Speculation. Despite the author's wearisome repetition of his "tryst" fable, there is no evidence of a sexual relationship with Sarah Ann.

Whitney "love letter" (edit)

Response to claim: 193 - Joseph Smith promised Lucy Walker "that if she prayed, she would receive her own personal manifestation from God, which she reported she received"

The author(s) of Nauvoo Polygamy make(s) the following claim:

Lucy Walker "told Joseph she required a revelation before she would submit [to plural marriage]. He promised that if she prayed, she would receive her own personal manifestation from God, which she reported she received 'near dawn after—a sleepless night"—when a "heavenly influence" and feeling of "supreme happiness…took possession" of her."

Author's sources:
  1. Littlefield, Reminiscences, 48; Smith, Intimate Chronicle, 100, 557.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event

Smith provides the bare minimum of the story; Lucy's account is more impressive and powerful than these few fragments suggest.

Response to claim: 196 - financial and marital issues, "especially concerning the Lawrence sisters" would eventually "inflame public opinion" and result in Joseph's arrest

The author(s) of Nauvoo Polygamy make(s) the following claim:

The author presumes that financial and marital issues, "especially concerning the Lawrence sisters" would eventually "inflame public opinion" and result in Joseph's arrest.

Author's sources:
  1. Gordon Madsen, ‘The Lawrence Estate Revisited: Joseph Smith and Illinois Law regarding Guardianships,’ Nauvoo Symposium, Sept. 21, 1989, Brigham Young University.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: The author has stated erroneous information or misinterpreted their sources

The author does not tell us that Madsen's work (which he cites for his claim) demonstrates that Joseph properly discharged all his financial duties as guardians of the Lawrence estate. The author completely ignores the primary documents on this issue, and relies only on Law's hostile, and demonstrably false, account.

Response to claim: 198 - there existed a "conflict of interests between building a church community" and Joseph's "continuing affection for young women"

The author(s) of Nauvoo Polygamy make(s) the following claim:

The author speculates that there existed a "conflict of interests between building a church community and [Joseph's] continuing affection for young women."

Author's sources:
  1. No source provided.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains propaganda - The author, or the author's source, is providing information or ideas in a slanted way in order to instill a particular attitude or response in the reader

Smith commonly exploits the presentist fallacy in the matter of Joseph's wives' ages.

Ages of wives (edit)

  • See also ch. Preface: ix
  • See also ch. 1: 1, 22, 29, 30, 31, 32, and 44
  • See also ch. 2: 53
  • See also ch. 2a: 142-143
  • See also ch. 3: 198
  • See also ch. 6: 408

Response to claim: 198 - Joseph was "pursuing" Helen Mar Kimball

The author(s) of Nauvoo Polygamy make(s) the following claim:

The author claims that Joseph was "pursuing" Helen Mar Kimball.

Author's sources:
  1. No source provided.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains propaganda - The author, or the author's source, is providing information or ideas in a slanted way in order to instill a particular attitude or response in the reader

Womanizing & romance (edit)

Response to claim: 201 Helen Mar Kimball expected her marriage to Joseph Smith to be a ceremony 'for eternity only,' not an actual marriage involving physical relations

The author(s) of Nauvoo Polygamy make(s) the following claim:

Helen's biographer concludes that she 'expected her marriage to Joseph Smith' to be a ceremony 'for eternity only,' not an actual marriage involving physical relations.

Author's sources:
  1. Todd Compton, In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1997), 500. ( Index of claims )

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: The author has stated erroneous information or misinterpreted their sources

There is no evidence for physical relations in Helen's marriage to Joseph. The source cited, Compton, does not agree with the author's reading: “there is absolutely no evidence that there was any sexuality in the marriage, and I suggest that, following later practice in Utah, there may have been no sexuality. All the evidence points to this marriage as a primarily dynastic marriage.” [9]

Response to claim: 201 - Helen Mar Kimball was surprised to discover that marriage included "a physical union"

The author(s) of Nauvoo Polygamy make(s) the following claim:

The author claims that Helen Mar Kimball was surprised to discover "that it included [marriage for] time also: a physical union at age fourteen with a thirty-seven year-old man."

Author's sources:
  1. Todd Compton, In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1997), 500. ( Index of claims )

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: The author has stated erroneous information or misinterpreted their sources

The author again distorts the source. The surprise was not in finding that she needed to have "a physical union," but that she was regarded as married, and so could not date others her age while Joseph was alive.

Response to claim: 201 - Helen "put her ambivalent feelings into verse in her 'Reminiscences'"

The author(s) of Nauvoo Polygamy make(s) the following claim:

 Author's quote: "As she put her ambivalent feelings into verse in her "Reminiscences," Helen had "thought through this life my time will be my own," but "the step I am now taking's for eternity alone." She saw her "youthful friends grow shy and cold" as "poisonous darts from sland'rous tongues were hurled." She was "bar'd out from social scenes by this destiny," and faced "sad'nd mem'ries of sweet departed joys"

Author's sources:
  1. Stanley B. Kimball, Heber C. Kimball: Mormon Patriarch and Pioneer (Ubana: University of Illinois Press, 1981): 109-110.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: The author has stated erroneous information or misinterpreted their sources

This poem in fact demonstrates the author's misrepresentation of the facts. Helen's concern was indeed that she was "bar'd out from social scenes"—she could not date while married. This does not mean, however, that there were sexual relations, and the author's source agrees. In addition to hiding Compton's conclusion, the author does not tell us that his Kimball source likewise concluded that the marriage with Helen was “unconsummated.”

Response to claim: 205 Brigham Young married his cousin Rhoda Richard

The author(s) of Nauvoo Polygamy make(s) the following claim:

 Author's quote: "That [Rhoda Richards] was her husband Brigham's cousin was apparently secondary to the grander scheme of interlocking the hierarchy in marriage."

Author's sources:
  1. No source provided.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: The author has stated erroneous information or misinterpreted their sources

Here the author again relies on presentism to provide a hostile interpretive lens. It was not unusual for first cousins to marry. Nineteen of the present-day states permit unrestricted marriage between first cousins, and most countries have no restrictions at all on marriage between cousins. In its exploitation of the presentist fallacy, the author’s remark is utterly irrelevant in its historical context.

Response to claim: 214 - "Smith and Clayton spent three hours preparing the eloquent language" of D&C 132

The author(s) of Nauvoo Polygamy make(s) the following claim:

The author states that "Smith and Clayton spent three hours preparing the eloquent language" of D&C 132….

Author's sources:
  1. No source provided.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: The author has stated erroneous information or misinterpreted their sources

Presumes or implies that Joseph Smith and William Clayton were the author(s). Clayton would testify

"Joseph commenced to dictate the revelation on celestial marriage, and I wrote it, sentence by sentence, as he dictated. After the whole was written, Joseph asked me to read it through, slowly and carefully, which I did, and he pronounced it correct." [10]


Response to claim: 225-226 - The author intends Joseph to be seen as arrogant...“I combat the errors of ages; I meet the violence of mobs..."

The author(s) make(s) the following claim:

The author intends Joseph to be seen as arrogant. He quotes a letter from Joseph to James Arlington Bennet:

“I combat the errors of ages; I meet the violence of mobs; I cope with illegal proceedings from executive authority; I cut the Gordian knot of powers, and I solve mathematical problems of universities, with truth . . . diamond truth; and God is my ‘right hand man.’”

The author then editorializes:

“With such a self-image, it is not surprising that he also aspired to the highest office in the land: the presidency of the United States.”

Author's sources:
  1. No source provided.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: The author has stated erroneous information or misinterpreted their sources

The author fails to tell us that Joseph's remarks are a tongue-in-cheek reply to Bennet's previous letter.


Response to claim: 227 - The author claims that there is "no reason to doubt that Smith's marriages involved sexual relations in most instances"

The author(s) of Nauvoo Polygamy make(s) the following claim:

The author claims that there is "no reason to doubt that Smith's marriages involved sexual relations in most instances."

Author's sources:
  1. No source provided.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: The author has stated erroneous information or misinterpreted their sources

We have evidence of sexual relations for only nine wives.
  • Gregory L. Smith, A review of Nauvoo Polygamy:...but we called it celestial marriage by George D. Smith. FARMS Review, Vol. 20, Issue 2. (Detailed book review)

Response to claim: 228-229 - "Until decisive DNA testing of possible Smith descendants...from plural wives can be accomplished, ascertaining whether Smith fathered children with any of his plural wives remains hypothetical"

The author(s) of Nauvoo Polygamy make(s) the following claim:

 Author's quote: "Until decisive DNA testing of possible Smith descendants—daughters as well as sons—from plural wives can be accomplished, ascertaining whether Smith fathered children with any of his plural wives remains hypothetical."

Author's sources:
  1. No source provided.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: The author has stated erroneous information or misinterpreted their sources

This is true, but the author fails to tell us that all those who have been definitively tested so far—Oliver Buell, Mosiah Hancock, Zebulon Jacobs, Moroni Pratt, and Orrison Smith—have been excluded. Would he have neglected, one wonders, to mention a positive DNA test?

Response to claim: 230 - in 1841 "Sarah Pratt firmly rebuffed Smith and remained monogamously committed to her missionary husband"

The author(s) of Nauvoo Polygamy make(s) the following claim:

The author claims that in 1841 "Sarah Pratt firmly rebuffed Smith and remained monogamously committed to her missionary husband."

Author's sources:
  1. Bennett, History of the Saints, 228-31; "Workings of Mormonism Related by Mrs. Orson Pratt," 1884, LDS Archives.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: The author has stated erroneous information or misinterpreted their sources

The author here again follows Bennett completely uncritically. He tells us nothing about the multiple witnesses who testified to Sarah's adultery with Bennett.

Response to claim: 231 - "Cordelia C. Morley Cox rejected Joseph's "amorous proposal"

The author(s) of Nauvoo Polygamy make(s) the following claim:

The author speculates that "Cordelia C. Morley Cox...had rejected [Joseph's] amorous proposal."

Author's sources:
  1. Cordelia Morley Cox, Autobiographical statement, Mar. 17, 1909, Perry Special Collections.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains propaganda - The author, or the author's source, is providing information or ideas in a slanted way in order to instill a particular attitude or response in the reader

The author again uses loaded language. There is little evidence that Joseph's proposals were romantic or amorous.

Response to claim: 232 - Eliza Winters “perhaps did not” resist Joseph’s advances “but apparently talked about it all the same"

The author(s) of Nauvoo Polygamy make(s) the following claim:

It is speculated that Eliza Winters “perhaps did not” resist Joseph’s advances “but apparently talked about it all the same.”

Author's sources:
  1. No source provided.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim is false

There is no evidence that Eliza ever said anything about this.

Eliza Winters (edit)

  • See also ch. 1: 28-29 and 29
  • See also ch. 3: 232

Response to claim: 234 - "the posthumous sealing meant that Heber would be Smith's son in the eternities, not the son of his biological father"

The author(s) of Nauvoo Polygamy make(s) the following claim:

 Author's quote: "According to LDS theology, the posthumous sealing meant that Heber would be Smith's son in the eternities, not the son of his biological father."

Author's sources:
  1. No source provided.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: The author has stated erroneous information or misinterpreted their sources

Heber was connected to Joseph because all believers had to be sealed into one large family. This was no attempt to displace Heber's biological father, but grew out of the recognition that his father had not been a believer, and so had not accepted essential ordinances. Later clarification under Wilford Woodruff encouraged believers to be sealed to their biological family, with the understanding that such matters would be sorted out through God's mercy and justice via proxy ordinances for the deceased.

Vicarious ordinances Sealing takes away families? (edit)

  • See also ch. 2: 77
  • See also ch. 3: 234

Response to claim: 235 - It is claimed that in 1831 Joseph "directed missionaries to marry native American women"==

The author(s) of Nauvoo Polygamy make(s) the following claim:

It is claimed that in 1831 Joseph "directed missionaries to marry native American women."
  1. No source provided.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: The author has stated erroneous information or misinterpreted their sources

Joseph did not direct them to marry the women. None did so. Joseph reported that God said that "It is my will, that in time, ye should take unto you wives of the Lamanites and Nephites…." (italics added). That this might entail plural marriage was only realized three years later when Joseph was asked about it. None of the missionaries in 1831 understood the plural marriage implication.


Question: Did the Church suppress a revelation given to Joseph Smith in 1831 which encouraged the implementation of polygamy by intermarriage with the Indians in order to make them a “white and delightsome” people?

The only evidence for this revelation is a letter written by W. W. Phelps in 1861 in which he recounts from memory some of Joseph's comments in Independence, Missouri, on 17 July 1831

It is claimed that the church "suppressed" a 1831 revelation in which the Church was commanded to make the Indians a “white and delightsome” people through polygamous intermarriage. The basis for this claim is a letter written by W. W. Phelps in 1861 (30 years after the revelation was said to have been given) in which he recounts from memory some of Joseph's comments in Independence, Missouri, on 17 July 1831. At present, the only evidence that an 1831 revelation was given is the 1861 document written by Phelps.

According to critics, Joseph Fielding Smith, who was Church historian at the time, stated that the principle of plural marriage was revealed to Joseph Smith in a revelation given in July 1831.[11] Critic Fawn Brodie claims that Joseph Fielding Smith told her about the revelation but would not allow her to see it.[12] Critics conclude that the “real reason” that the revelation was not released was because it commanded Church members to marry the Indians in order to make them a “white and delightsome” people.

The text of W. W. Phelps' 1861 recollection of the revelation

In 1861, 30 years after it was said to have been given, W. W. Phelps wrote from memory his recollection of what he claimed was the revelation given in 1831 by the Prophet:

Part of a revelation by Joseph Smith Jr. given over the boundary, west of Jackson Co. Missouri, on Sunday morning, July 17, 1831, when Seven Elders, viz: Joseph Smith, Jr., Oliver Cowdery, W. W. Phelps, Martin Harris, Joseph Coe, Ziba Peterson, and Joshua Lewis united their hearts in prayer, in a private place, to inquire of the Lord who should preach the first sermon to the remnants of the Lamanites and Nephites, and the people of that Section, that should assemble that day in the Indian country, to hear the gospel, and the revelations according to the Book of Mormon.

Among the company, there being neither pen, ink or paper, Joseph remarked that the Lord could preserve his words as he had ever done, till the time appointed, and proceeded:

Verily, verily, saith the Lord your Redeemer, even Jesus Christ, the light and the life of the world, ye can not discerne with your natural eyes, the design and the purpose of your Lord and your God, in bringing you thus far into the wilderness for a trial of your faith, and to be especial witnesses, to bear testimony of this land, upon which the Zion of God shall be built up in the last days, when it is redeemed. …

[I]t is my will, that in time, ye should take unto you wives of the Lamanites and Nephites, that their posterity may become white, delightsome, and Just, for even now their females are more virtuous than the gentiles.

Gird up your loins and be prepared for the mighty work of the Lord to prepare the world for my second coming to meet the tribes of Israel according to the predictions of all the holy prophets since the beginning; …

Be patient, therefore, possessing your souls in peace and love, and keep the faith that is now delivered unto you for the gathering of scattered Israel, and lo, I am with you, though ye cannot see me, till I come: even so. Amen.

Phelp's wrote his note 30 years after the revelation was said to have been given, after polygamy had been openly practiced for a number of years

A note written by W. W. Phelps in the 1861 document implies that marriage with the Indians coincided with Joseph Smith's planned intent to institute polygamy.

About three years after this was given, I asked brother Joseph, privately, how "we," that were mentioned in the revelation could take wives of the "natives" as we were all married men? He replied instantly "In the same manner that Abraham took Hagar and Keturah; and Jacob took Rachel, Bilhah and Zilpah; by revelation—the saints of the Lord are always directed by revelation."

It is important to note that Phelps wrote his note 30 years after the revelation was said to have been given, after polygamy had been openly practiced for a number of years.


Question: Was Ezra Booth commanded to take a wife from among the Indians?

The only contemporary report of a possible revelation on marriage with the Indians was written in a letter to the Ohio Star on 8 December, 1831 by Ezra Booth

The only contemporary report of a possible revelation on marriage with the Indians was written in a letter to the Ohio Star on 8 December, 1831 by Ezra Booth, who had apostatized from the Church.[13] This letter was republished in Eber D. Howe's anti-Mormon book Mormonism Unvailed. Booth states that,

...it has been made known by revelation, that it will be pleasing to the Lord, should they form a matrimonial alliance with the natives; and by this means the Elders, who comply with the thing so pleasing to the Lord, and for which the Lord has promised to bless those who do it abundantly, gain a residence in the Indian territory, independent of the agent....[14]

Booth makes no mention of polygamy, and instead implies that the "matrimonial alliance" was for the purpose of gaining "residence" in the Indian territory

Booth makes no mention of polygamy, and instead implies that the "matrimonial alliance" was for the purpose of gaining "residence" in the Indian territory.[15] One would think that if Booth, given his opposition to the Church at the time, had been aware of something as controversial as a proposal that polygamy be instituted among the Indians, that he would have been highly motivated to proclaim this in a public forum. In fact, Booth actually states that in order to marry one of the natives, that one elder needed to be "free from his wife." Booth does go on to say:

...It has been made known to one, who has left his wife in the State of New York, that he is entirely free from his wife, and he is at pleasure to take him a wife from among the Lamanites. It was easily perceived that this permission was perfectly suited to his desires. I have frequently heard him state that the Lord had made it known to him, that he is as free from his wife as from any other woman; and the only crime I have ever heard alleged against her is, she is violently opposed to Mormonism. But before this contemplated marriage can be carried into effect, he must return to the State of New York and settle his business, for fear, should he return after that affair had taken place, the civil authority would apprehend him as a criminal (emphasis added).[16]

This quote implies that it was not to be a polygamous union.

It was always implied that the process of becoming "white and delightsome" was to be achieved through the power of God—not through intermarriage

There are quotes from Church leaders indicating that they believed that the Indians were becoming "white and delightsome." However, it was always implied that the process of becoming "white and delightsome" was to be achieved through the power of God—not through intermarriage. Critics cite a statement made by Spencer W. Kimball in the October 1960 General Conference, 15 years before he became president of the Church:

I saw a striking contrast in the progress of the Indian people today ... they are fast becoming a white and delightsome people.... For years they have been growing delightsome, and they are now becoming white and delightsome, as they were promised.... The children in the home placement program in Utah are often lighter than their brothers and sisters in the hogans on the reservation.[17]

Although this is an interesting statement by President Kimball, it has nothing whatsoever to do with polygamy or intermarriage with the Indians. It is simply President Kimball’s own observation that he felt that the Indians were becoming a “white and delightsome” people through the power of God. Then-Elder Kimball was likely unaware that Joseph Smith had edited the Book of Mormon text in 1837 to say "pure and delightsome," possibly to counter the idea that the change referred to was predominantly physical, rather than spiritual. This change was lost in future LDS versions of the Book of Mormon until 1981.

There is no evidence that the instructions contained in the revelation regarding intermarriage with the Native Americans were actually implemented

There is no contemporary evidence, other than that provided by Booth, that anyone was even aware of the revelation at the time that it was supposed to have been given. The only evidence that a revelation was even given is the 1861 document by W. W. Phelps, which he recalled word-for-word from memory 30 years later at a time when the Church was actively and publicly justifying the practice of polygamy.

It is also interesting to note that the typical critical argument against polygamy is that a revelation on polygamy was not received until 1843 and that prior to that time that Joseph Smith was living in adultery with his plural wives. Yet, in this case, the critics are perfectly content to argue the case for a revelation on polygamy actually existing in 1831 as long as it can be tied to making the Native Americans a "white and delightsome" people. While there is evidence that Joseph was discussing plural marriage by 1831, it is difficult to believe that Phelps' text is an exact rendition of any revelation Joseph may have shared with him.


Response to claim: 236a - Emma would have to sneak up on Joseph to check up on him

The author(s) make(s) the following claim:

*The author hints that Emma would have to sneak up on Joseph to check up on him, as evidenced by “his warning to Sarah Ann to proceed carefully in order to make sure Emma would not find them in their hiding place.”

Author's sources:
  1. No source provided.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains propaganda - The author, or the author's source, is providing information or ideas in a slanted way in order to instill a particular attitude or response in the reader

Joseph’s hiding place from the mob and instructions to the Whitneys have been transmogrified into a hiding place for Joseph and Sarah Ann.

Whitney "love letter" (edit)

Response to claim: 236b - LeRoi Snow’s account about Emma and Eliza and the stairs "was accurate"

The author(s) make(s) the following claim:

The author asks us to “assume . . . that LeRoi Snow’s account [about Emma and Eliza and the stairs] was accurate.”

Author's sources:
  1. No source provided.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: The author has stated erroneous information or misinterpreted their sources

Yet again, the author provides no hint that most researchers doubt this event. He does nothing to deal with his sources' objections here or elsewhere.

Emma, Eliza & stairs (edit)

Response to claim: 236c - "Just as Joseph sought comfort from Sarah Ann the day Emma departed from his hideout"

The author(s) of Nauvoo Polygamy make(s) the following claim:

 Author's quote: "Just as Joseph sought comfort from Sarah Ann the day Emma departed from his hideout…."

Author's sources:
  1. No source provided.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains propaganda - The author, or the author's source, is providing information or ideas in a slanted way in order to instill a particular attitude or response in the reader

The author's version of Sarah Ann is again trotted out.

Whitney "love letter" (edit)


Response to claim: 237 - Joseph's "insatiable addition of one woman after another to an invisible family"

The author(s) of Nauvoo Polygamy make(s) the following claim:

The author refers to what he calls Joseph's "insatiable addition of one woman after another to an invisible family…."

Author's sources:
  1. No source provided.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains propaganda - The author, or the author's source, is providing information or ideas in a slanted way in order to instill a particular attitude or response in the reader

If Joseph was "insatiable," ("unable to be satisfied") how could he avoid entering into marriages for the last nine months of his life?

Womanizing & romance (edit)

Response to claim: 237 - Joseph had a "prolonged dalliance with Fanny Alger"

{{IndexClaimItemShort |title=Nauvoo Polygamy |claim=The author claims that Joseph had a "prolonged dalliance with Fanny Alger." |authorsources=

  1. No source provided.

Fact checking results: This claim contains propaganda - The author, or the author's source, is providing information or ideas in a slanted way in order to instill a particular attitude or response in the reader

They were married: it wasn't a "dalliance".

Ignoring Hancock autobiography (edit)

Fanny Alger (edit)

Womanizing & romance (edit)

Notes

  1. Michael Marquardt, 1973 pamphlet "The Strange Marriages of Sarah Ann Whitney to Joseph Smith the Mormon Prophet, Joseph C. Kingsbury, and Heber C. Kimball," George Albert Smith Family Papers, Manuscript 36, Box 1, Early Smith Documents, 1731-1849, Folder 18, in the Special Collections, Western Americana, Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah (source). The original is in the LDS Church Archives.
  2. Dean C. Jessee, The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, [original edition] (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 1984), 539–540. ISBN 0877479747. GL direct link
  3. Todd Compton, In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1997), 350. ( Index of claims )
  4. Todd Compton, In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1997), 349. ( Index of claims )
  5. Richard L. Bushman, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling (New York: Knopf, 2005), 473.
  6. Todd Compton, In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1997), 350. ( Index of claims )
  7. Richard L. Bushman, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling (New York: Knopf, 2005), 473.
  8. Richard L. Bushman, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling (New York: Knopf, 2005), 473.
  9. Todd M. Compton, “Response to Tanners,” post to LDS Bookshelf mailing list (no date), <http://www.lds-mormon.com/compton.shtml> (accessed 2 December 2008). Compare with Smith, Nauvoo Polygamy, 198–202, 302, 362 and Compton, In Sacred Loneliness, 14.
  10. See Smith, An Intimate Chronicle, 558; see also History of the Church 5:xxxii; citing William Clayton, affidavit, 16 February 1874, Salt Lake City, Utah; originally published in Andrew Jenson, "Plural Marriage," Historical Record 6 (May 1887): 224-226.
  11. The source is said to be a letter from Joseph Fielding Smith to J. W. A. Baily dated September 5, 1935.
  12. Fawn M. Brodie, No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1945), 184, footnote. ( Index of claims )
  13. Ezra Booth letter, Ohio Star (Ravenna, Ohio), 8 December 1831.
  14. Eber D. Howe, Mormonism Unvailed (Painesville, OH, 1834), 220. (Affidavits examined)
  15. David Whittaker, "Mormons and Native Americans: A Historical and Bibliographical Introduction," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 18 no. 4 (Winter 1985), 33–60. off-site
  16. Eber D. Howe, Mormonism Unvailed (Painesville, OH, 1834), 220. (Affidavits examined)
  17. Spencer W. Kimbal, Improvement Era (December 1960), 922-23.