Criticism of Mormonism/Books/Early Mormonism and the Magic World View/Use of sources/Jugglers or conjurors

Table of Contents

Use of sources: Jugglers or conjurors?

A FairMormon Analysis of: Criticism of Mormonism/Books/Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, a work by author: D. Michael Quinn

The Claim

Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, page 26-27

  • New York state's law provided punishment for "Disorderly Persons," whose definition included "all jugglers [conjurors], and all persons pretending to have skill in physiognomy, palmistry, or like crafty science, or pretending to tell fortunes, or to discover lost goods." (italics added, the amendation of "conjurors" is the author's)

The References

Endnote 238 , page 378

  • New York, Laws of the State of New-York...2 vols., (Albany: Southwick, 1813), 1:114

The Problems

The author wants the reader to read "juggler" as "conjurer," i.e. as a practitioner of magic. In context, it is clear that those referred to are those who attempt to extract money from others by deceit, not the practice of 'magic.' The author also alters the citation as noted.

From Laws of the State of New-York, Revised and Passed at the Thirty-Sixth Session of the Legislature (Albany: Southwick, 1813), 1:114:

...all persons who threaten to run away and leave their wives or children to the city or town, . . . and also all persons who not having wherewith to maintain themselves, live idle without employment, and also all persons who go about from door to door, or place themselves in the streets, highways or passages, to beg in the cities or towns where they respectively dwell, and all jugglers, and all persons pretending to have skill in physiognomy, palmistry, or like crafty science, or pretending to tell fortunes, or to discover where lost goods may be found; and all persons who run away and leave their wives or children . . . ; and all persons wandering abroad . . . and not giving a good account of themselves, and all persons wandering abroad and begging, and all idle persons not having visible means of livelihood, and all common prostitutes shall be deemed and adjudged disorderly persons (italics added). [1]

Notes

  1. ↑ Cited by John Gee, "Review of Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, revised and enlarged edition, by D. Michael Quinn," FARMS Review of Books 12/2 (2000): 185–224. [{{{url}}} off-site]