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Rev. Samuel Williams (1802-1887)
Letter to James T. Cobb

(Holograph of December 3, 1878)

Typescript: page 1  page 2  page 3  page 4

Dec. 3, 1878 Samuel Williams Letter
Theodore Albert Schroeder Papers: Box 2, folder 1.
Wisconsin State Historical Society Library, Madison, WI
Partial Catalog: Theodore A. Schroeder Papers

Transcriber's Comments

see also Williams letters:  Nov. 12, 1878   Dec. 14, 1878   |   1842 Williams Pamphlet

[ 1 ]
  Castle Shannon Allegheny Co. Pa Dec 3d -- 78. Dear Sir, A few days since I handed to Mr. Isaac Craig a copy of my pamphlet against Mormonism to forward to you. I fortunately found another copy and I hope you have received it safely. The Rev. Robert Patterson's only surviving son is the assistant editor of the "Presbyterian Banner" published in Pittsburgh. To make matters doubly sure I showed to him his father's certificate in my pamphlet and he added his confirmatory of that I received from his father which I gave to Mr. Craig to send to you. And I also found that my dates were all correct to the very day. He had no old account books or other documents from which he could learn the time when Lambden came into partnership with his Father but from all that he had heard about it it must have been in 14 or 15 and existed until 23 or 24 when they failed and dissolved. Then some friends assisted his father to continue the Bookstore as Agent. He continued only a few years and gave up the business to his eldest son and a Mr. Ingram.

[ 2 ]
  He then moved a few miles into the country where he died in fifty two if I remember rightly. His son's certificate gives the exact date. I also learned that Silas Engles the foreman in the printing office was a cousin of the Rev. P.'s and entrusted with the management of the business. It makes no difference whether Rigdon copied it or procured it from either Lambdin or Engles the identification of it and the Mormon Bible could not be proven more strongly. It is more probable however that Rigdon obtained the Manuscript and modified it here and there in order as he imagined better to accomplish his purpose. It is said that Whitmer who remained in Mo. near Nauvoo has that Manuscript. When Rigdon fled from Mo. with the Danites on his track he no doubt was in great haste and was not able to collect all of his traps. This was not very long before the murder of Smith, but he was evidently frightened. He came through Pittsburgh and was pointed to me one day and two of his family but they did not remain any length of time.

[ 3 ]
  In my last I was led into a great mistake by Mr. Craig which I now correct. He said he had Mr. Robt P.'s death from his tombstone whereas it was his Father's death Mr. Joseph P's he had which made me think that the date of the certificate should be 32 instead of 42, but when I had a little time to think about it I remembered a number of things that made it clear that the date was entirely correct. And I also said that Rigdon was Pastor only about a year of the first Bap Chh -- what I should have said was that before he was with them a year he preached his errors and was charged with them but not excluded until the 11th of Oct 1823, making it one year and nine months. These dates are taken from the old church book and the Minutes of the Association. It was shortly after Page left Pittsburgh that Smith and Rigdon quarrelled and the flight of the latter from the saints in Mo. It is amazing to what a magnitude this imposture has grown in this land and century!

[ 4 ]
  And yet when one reflects that the poor ignorant foreigners in those old feudal lands can never hope to possess a foot of land for themselves or posterity are told by the Elders from Salt Lake that they can every one have 160 acres of the best land in the world and live in the New Jerusalem they become willing to make any profession the Elders may dictate. From the first, Rigdon, Smith, Harris, Pratt &c. were evidently impelled by the spirit of insatiable avarice to pursue this course and practice these impostures. They became so hardened in this wickedness that they were ready to commit any crime to accomplish their object. And no doubt although Rigdon had to leave the community he took a good sum of money with him. But not enough to enrich himself and family as he expected to do. I hope you will publish a full and complete history of this great imposture. It has not yet been done. You may rely on Mr. Howe's statements for he took great pains to inform himself about the Smiths but he had not the facts about Rigdon. And you rely implicitly upon my dates and facts as I have been the Pastor of the same 1st Bap Chh for 28 years and often conversed with the old members about the tricks and errors of Rigdon. Resp. &c S. Williams.


Transcriber's Comments:

(under construction)

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