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Home Missionary 1828-31  |  Ethan S. Smith letter 1887  |  David Persuitte book 1985/2000
Richard K. Behrens paper 2007  |  R. Dawbarn & M. Miller paper 2008

McClure & Parish
Memoirs of Wheelock
(Newburyport, 1811)

  • Title Page
  • pp. 106-111

  • Wheelock Biography
  • Parish Biography

  • Transcriber's Comments  



    OF  THE


    Founder and President






    OF THE





    BY DAVID M'CLURE, D. D., S. H. S.

    Pastor of a Church in East Windsor, Con.



    Pastor of a Church in Byfield, Mass.






    [ 1 ]






    THE biographies of great and good men are justly ranked among the most useful writings of historians or divines. In the life of a good man we see the practicability of human virtues, their rich consolations, their engaging beauties, their divine rewards. In the examples of a good man, we are demonstratively taught the folly and wickedness of those, who object against self government, strict morality and christian piety. We see scripture purity in real life. In the examples of a good man, we learn the reasonableness and propriety of commands, exhortations and threatenings, to deter men from wickedness. In the experience of a good man, we learn, that the integrity of the upright will preserve them, that the just man may live by his faith, that to him who hath, more shall be given, and he shall have abundance. Every good man is a witness for God, that revelation is true. --


    (pages 2 - 105 under construction)


    106                                           MEMOIRS  OF                                          

    it our duty constantly to employ the means apparently necessary to produce the glorious event.

    The celebrated Apostle Eliot, and other good men have been stimulated to great zeal in spreading the gospel among the Indians, from a belief or hope that they are the descendants of Abram. Several plausible reasons encouraged such an opinion.

    As the people of Israel were separated from all others and the tribes kept distinct; so is it with the American Indians. Each nation has its symbol, or each tribe its badge, by which it is denominated. The Mohawks, for example, were divided into three tribes, denominated the bear, the tortoise and the wolf. Each of these tribes bore the animal for which it was called, as a coat of arms, in its banner. When Cortes and a part of his troops entered Llascala, a city of South America, the inhabitants came out to meet them, "each tribe distinct and separate; of these there were four." "The priests came with their pots and incense in loose white garments." It naturally reminds us, that when Alexander and his soldiers entered Jerusalem, two thousand years before, that the people and priests came out "to meet him, dressed in white garments."

    The Indians, like the Israelites, reckon time by sleeps and moons, or lunar months and days.

    The Indians have their high priest and prophets. In every tribe is a high priest and several, who are subordinate. In some tribes their dress is not unlike that of the Hebrew priests. They wear a white ephod, and a breastplate, which is formed from a conchshell. The highest council of the nation does not determine upon war, without the advice and consent of the high priest. They believe he has intercourse with God


                                        DR.  WHEELOCK.                                     107

    In the council house of certain tribes is a sacred place, resembling the holy of holies among the Jews. Here are deposited their sacred things. It is death for any to enter this holy place, except the chief warrior and high priest. *

    Going to war, or suffering any calamity, the Indians, like the Israelites, observe seasons of fasting and prayer. These seasons are sometimes continued seven or eight days.

    In some of the tribes is kept a sacred ark, like that of Israel, in which are preserved various holy vessels. None but the chieftain of the tribe, who is the priest of war, and his servant, dare touch this sacred chest. Their enemies dare not approach it. †

    As among the tribes of Israel, when a person is murdered, the nearest relation is the man-slayer; but the guilty may fly to the "white towns," which are certain places of refuge, where blood is never shed.

    Like the young men of Israel, the Indians give dowries for their wives. They purchase them of their fathers, sometimes they labor for them a stipulated time. ‡

    The mourning and lamentations of the Indians for their dead resemble those of Israel.

    Their laws respecting females entirely resemble those of Israel; they are quite as scrupulous and severe.

    Several of their traditions are evidently derived from the history of the Jewish scriptures. That they are the same people, or that they have had intercourse with them, is an opinion of intelligent missionaries.

    In their discourses, like the Jews, they use many parables.

    * Bartram.

    † The ark in Otaheite has precisely the dimensions of that described in the Bible.

    ‡ History of America.


    108                                           MEMOIRS  OF                                          

    Like the Israelites, as their circumstances or characters change, they assumed new names. Massasoit the first ally of the English in New England, was afterwards called Wosamaquen.

    Some suppose they have discovered traces of the three principal Jewish festivals; the passover, the day of atonement, which commenced on the 10th of the month, and the feast of tabernacles, which began five days after. The Israelites were commanded to "make atonement for their sins once in a year, when they were to afflict their souls, and make an offering to the Lord by fire." Afterwards, having gathered in the first "fruits of the land, they kept a joyful feast unto the Lord for seven days." *

    The day of atonement was a period of mortification and fasting. Then they put an end to all differences, and become reconciled to one another. In the passover no leavened bread was to be in their houses, and the Jews to this day search all corners of their houses, to see that they have none. They cleanse their houses, and furnish them with new kitchens and table furniture. They burn their leavened bread, and those moveables, which are made of metal, are put in the fire and polished. †

    So our Indians, "when their corn is ripe," celebrate a great festival, which continues a number of days. Having cleansed and swept their houses and streets and furnished themselves with new clothes and new furniture, they collect their old clothes and furniture, their old corn and provision into a pile and consume them with fire. They then observe a fast of three days, denying themselves the indulgence of every appetite, and extinguishing all their fires. A general amnesty is proclaimed; criminals return home; crimes are

    * Levit. 23d. chap.

    † Leo of Modena.


                                        DR.  WHEELOCK.                                     109

    absolved, and an universal reconciliation takes place. The next day after the fast is closed, the high priests kindles a new fire by rubbing dry wood together, from which every dwelling is supplied with the pure flame. The scene now changes; hilarity and pleasure reign. New corn and fruits are brought from their fields, and three days are spent in feasting, music and dancing. After this, four days are devoted to social visits among those who had sacrificed and prepared themselves for this annual solemnity. *

    From the natural application of several prophecies, to both people, some persons have supposed they were the same.

    It was said to Israel, "they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies' lands; the land of your enemies shall eat you up." †

    Do not the Indians of America pine away before civilized men? Though they were millions when we were but a handful; though they were sturdy warriors; yet they continue to pine away, and the age may not be remote, when nothing but their bones mat remain as proofs of their existence. It was also prophesied of Israel, that they should in Egypt be offered for sale, and few or none should buy them. ‡ This was literally verified in the early wars of New England with the savages. The prisoners were frequently sent up the Mediterranean to be sold for slaves, yet few were disposed to purchase them.

    The resemblance of the Indian language to the Hebrew has been thought to identify the people. There is not only a remarkable analogy between many Indian and Hebrew words, but the Indians,

    * Bartram.

    † Lev. 26.

    ‡ Deut. 26.


    110                                             MEMOIRS  OF                                            

    like the Hebrews, express their pronouns by prefixes and suffixes. *

    How far some of these circumstances are common to all nations, who approximate to the same state of society, or how far they may be characteristics of the same people, I presume not to offer an opinion. The subject is curious, and deserves further investigation. †  ‡

    Many tribes on the Amazon practise circumcision.

    Doctor Wheelock had enemies, who opposed his measures, who condemned his plans, and seemed envious at the splendor of his fame. By them he was severely reproached, if any thing appeared amiss in his arrangements. Conscious of his integrity and sincere desire to promote the good of mankind; strong in the general approbation of the public, he met opposition with some impatience. Those enemies sometimes felt the severity of his rebukes. To the friends of his benevolent plans he was ardently attached as to the friends of truth and goodness. So strong were his convictions that the cause in which he was engaged was the cause of God, that he could not help considering all opposers as the enemies of God and religion. So confident was he of success that he cheerfully devoted his whole life to the single object of instructing the heathen.

    Possessing strong passions he was most cordial in his friendships, and unwearied in assisting those of whose piety he had a favorable opinion. Of an open and frank disposition, he was unsuspicious, and in some instances was imposed upon by the artful. Though sometimes severe in his resentment toward those, who were vicious or reprehensible,

    * Dr. Edwards.

    † Mather, Negapolensis, a Dutch missionary, Adair, Roger Williams, Eliot, &c., &c.

    ‡ Dr. Parish's Modern Geography.


                                            DR.  WHEELOCK.                                         111

    he was very affectionate in his reconciliation on their acknowledgment and submission.

    On reviewing the works accomplished by Dr. Wheelock, it is evident he must have been remarkably active and indefatigable in his labors. He had no time for amusements or rest; his whole life was a continued series of exertions. He neglected not the minutiae of his concerns; he had a talent of dispatching business with great facility. His correspondence in Europe and America was extensive; and so at command were his thoughts, that often while composing his letters, he at the same time supported conversation on other subjects. He accomplished much because his whole attention was invariably fixed on his favorite object. He pressed every advantage within his reach to one point, the salvation of the heathen. A sentence expressing the character of an ancient worthy, must be applied to him; "Ad id anum natus esse videreter quod aggredereter;" i. e. he seemed to be born for what he had undertaken. According to his devout request, that he might not outlive his usefulness, he died in the full possession of his intellectual powers and in the midst of his usefulness, apparently too soon for his friends, too soon for the church and the world. Through an active life and enterprising life, religion had been his companion and his guide, and in its solemn, closing scene, the consolations of religion were his support and joy.


    George T. Chapman
    Sketches of the Alumni...
    (Cambridge, MA: 1867)

  • Title Page   Brief History
  • Elijah Parish
  • Ethan Smith
  • Solomon Spalding

  • Transcriber's Comments  

  • Dartmouth graduating class of 1785,  (from an old newspaper article)



    OF THE






    BY THE


    OF THE CLASS OF 1804


    Printed at the Riverside Press.



    [ 7 ]


    ELEAZAR WHEELOCK, A. M., D. D. the son of Dea. Ralph and Ruth (Huntington) Wheelock, was born at Windham, Ct., April 22, 1711, and died at Hanover, April 24, 1779, AE. 68, minus nine days, as his birth was according to Old Style. He graduated at Yale College in 1733; studied divinity and was ordained pastor of the 2d Cong. Church in that part of Lebanon called Lebanon Creek, now Columbia, Ct, in March 1735. Here his pastorate continued for about thirty-five years, and in 1754 an Indian Charity School was established by him and named after Mr. Joshua Moor of Mansfield, Ct, one of its principal American benefactors. After its existence for sixteen years, devoted to the civilization and education of Indian youth, Dr. Wheelock, whose honorary degree was conferred by the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, June 29, 1767, determined on obtaining a more suitable location for it, and adding thereto a seminary of learning wherein they and English pupils should be trained up in classical, philosophical, and all literary, pursuits.

    To effect this, early in 1770 he explored the western parts of New Hampshire in search of the contemplated place, and eventually made choice of Hanover, then called Dresden. A more healthy situation could not have been selected. By the United States census of 1850, Vermont, the border State, found to have the smallest mortality for the ten preceding years, in proportion to its relative population, of the entire Union, and Massachusetts the greatest, while the venerable age of the early Dartmouth scholars may be seen in what follows the sketches given of Laban Ainsworth, 1778, and Samuel Wood, 1779. The colony itself was also preferred to others in consequence of the large landed endowments offered by the Hon. John Wentworth, Harv. Univ. 1755, its Royal Governor. Through him also was procured the charter of Dartmouth College, dated Dec. 13, 1769, from his Majesty King George the Third. It was so named in compliment to William Legge, Earl of Dartmouth, one of the excellent of the earth, who, with the world-renowned John Thornton, had materially contributed to the pecuniary benefit of the Moor School. In this charter, Dr. Wheelock was recognised as the Founder and President of the College, with the privilege of nominating his successor. Twelve persons, including himself and the Governor, were also by this instrument appointed its first Trustees, having power not only to confer degrees, but to fill vacancies, though not to increase or diminish the original number.

    President Wheelock removed to Hanover in August 1770, and was soon joined by his wife, Mary (Brinsmaid), and their family; Bezaleel Woodward, A. M. the first College Tutor, who became its first Professor of Mathematicks and Natural Philosophy in 1782; several students, and others designing a permanent residence; in all about 70 persons. A more remarkable settlement for


    8                  BRIEF HISTORY OF DARTMOUTH COLLEGE.                  

    such a purpose was never made. It was in the midst of A wilderness, and upon a plain where a few of its pine-trees of majestick height had been recently felled, and two or three log huts constituted the only shelter. But Dr. Wheelock was the very man to contend with difficulties, and in the spirit of an enlarged philanthropy to overcome them. The huts were multiplied; a frame house for himself, a College for the students, eight,, feet long and two stories high, a Commons' Hall or Refectory, were speedily constructed under his personal supervision. Nothing, however, was in sufficient forwardness to protect them entirely from the piercing storms of winter. Upwards of four months the snow, shielded from the rays of the sun by the evergreen forest, was four feet in depth. Severe hardships ensued, and throughout the inclement season indefatigable courage and fortitude were requisite in order to maintain the infant seminary.

    Nor did they for a moment fail on the part of the distinguished founder. His scholarship for that period was good; his character unblemished; his religious views in accordance with those of the celebrated Edwards and the divines of that school; his popularity as a preacher inferior only to that of his friend, the unrivaled Whitfield; his confidence of enjoying the smiles of Providence upon the great object of his life unbounded. And hence, unwearied in zeal and undaunted by obstacles, he pursued a course without a parallel in the land of his birth, and richly deserving the successful result. Of the ten classes instructed by him, 99 pupils became graduates of Dartmouth, whereas the first ten years of Harvard produced but 53, and those of Yale 36. All this too when that portion of New Hampshire was sparsely peopled, and at a time that the above institutions were venerable from age and deeply seated in the affections of the States they adorned. But my limits forbid enlargement. For nine years the good President occupied his position, commanding universal approbation, and then passed from time to eternity, worthily entitled to the commendation engraved on his monument, -- "By the Gospel he subdued the ferocity of the savage, and to the civilized he opened new paths of science." He married, 1. Sarah (Davenport) Maltby, relict of Capt. William Maltby of New Haven, Ct, and daughter of the Rev. Mr. Davenport of Stamford, Ct, in 1735. 2. Mary Brinsmaid of Milford, Ct. His children were l0 in number, of whom were John Wheelock, D. C. 1771, Eleazar and James Wheelock, both D. C. 1776.

    The next President was his second son, the Hon. JOHN WHEELOCK, A. M., LL. D., who graduated at the first commencement in Aug. 1771, and entered upon the duties of his office in 1779, at the early age of twenty-five years. Dartmouth had then sustained the loss of many students, especially in the two lower classes, in consequence of the Revolutionary War. But a reaction soon occurred, and throughout his long presidency of thirty-six years, it was in a very flourishing condition. Under him the present Dartmouth Hall was built in 1786, the Medical Department established in 1798, with Nathan Smith, M. D. for its Professor, and ere long a Medical Hall was erected. For additional particulars recourse must be had to the sketches of him in the year 1771, where also will be found the reason for shunning a minute account of his ejection from office.

    The third President was F RANCIS B ROWN , A. M., D. D. of the class of 1805. His accession was followed by painful circumstances. The legislature of New Hampshire had passed an act materially modifying the charter of the College, increasing the number of Trustees, and changing its title to that of Dartmouth University, of which the Rev. William Allen, D. D. a graduate of Harvard in


                     BRIEF HISTORY OF DARTMOUTH COLLEGE.                   9

    1802, became President. But the old Trustees refused to acquiesce in this proceeding, insomuch that the two institutions were carried on at the same time in [antagonism] each other. Resort was then had to a legal tribunal. In the [first instance], the case came before the State Supreme Court, by which the [legality] was sustained and the University pronounced the only valid corporation. From this decision the College Trustees appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States, of which the profound jurist, John Marshall, LL. [was] Chief Justice. After a long argument by eminent counsel on both sides, Daniel Webster, D. C. 1801, being one of the advocates for his Alma Mater, the judgment of the inferior court was reversed and old Dartmouth restored to its former position, much to the satisfaction of the country, by reason of the maintenance of eleemosynary and vested corporate rights.

    On this great occasion, President Brown went far beyond his strength in his personal efforts to vindicate what he deemed a legitimate and righteous cause. His health became seriously affected, and in the prime of life, to the calamitous loss of his beloved seminary and the grief of innumerable friends, he descended to the silent grave, after occupying his responsible station for five years. See a notice of him in the year 1805....

    (pages 9-34 under construction)


    36                                           ALUMNI  1785.                                            


    MOSES BRADFORD, A.M. the son of William and Mary (Cleaveland) Bradford, was born at Canterbury, Ct, Aug. 6, 1765, and died at Montague, Ms, June 13, 1838, AE. 72. He taught at Portsmouth; studied divinity with his brother, the Rev. Ebenezer Bradford of Rowley, Ms; was ordained the first pastor of the Cong. Ch. at Franeestown, Sept. 8, 1790; dismissed Jan. 1, 1827; moved to Sullivan in 1833, and to Montague in 1837. His only publication was an Election Sermon in 1812. He married, 1. Dorothy, dau. of Moses Bradstreet of Rowley, Nov. 4, 1788. 2. Sarah, dau. of Moses Eaton of Francestown, Apr. 4, 1793. Samuel Cleaveland Bradford, D. C. 1818, was his son.  

    ELIJAH BRAINERD, A. M. the son of Elijah and Lucy (Smith) Brainerd, was born at Haddam, Ct, Oct. 25, 1757, and died at Warrenton, N. C. May 23, 1828, AE. 70. He studied divinity; was ordained pastor of the Cong. Ch. at Randolph, Vt, Sept. 6, 1786; dismissed ,Jan. 4, 1798; settled again at Claremont in 1808 for two years; was then installed over a Presb. Ch. at Pelham, Ms; eventually took orders in the Episcopal Church, officiating at Warrenton, where he died. He married Parthenia, dau. of Lt Gov. Joseph Marsh of Hartfold, Vt, and sister of the Hon. Charles Marsh, D. C. 1786, of Woodstock, Vt. 

    SALMON CHASE, A. M. the son of Dudley and Alice (Corbet) Chase, was born at Sutton, Ms, July 14, 1761, and died at Portland, Me, Aug. 10, 1806, AE. 45. He was assistant teacher at Phillips Acad. Exeter from 1785 to 1786; read law with the Hon. John Samnel Sherburne, D. C. 1776, at Portsmouth; began practice at Portland in 1789, where be became highly distinguished as a lawyer, no one in the county having had a larger patronage. He married, 1. Mary Simpson of Newcastle. 2. Sarah Tyng (Winslow) Waldo, dau. of Isaac Winslow of Boston and relict of Samuel Waldo of Portland. Baruch Chase, D. C. 1786, Dudley and Heber Chase, D. C. 1791, and Bishop Philander Chase, D. C. 1796, were his brothers. 

    JOSEPH CLARK, the son of Simeon and Lydia (Moseley) Clark, was born in Columbia, Ct, Mar. 9, 1759, and died of apoplexy at East Hartford, Ct, Dec. 21, 1828, AE. 69. He served in the Rev. army, was taken prisoner, carried to Halifax and then to England. After graduating, read law with Gen. John Sullivan at Durham; began practice at Rochester; represented it in the legislature in 1798 and 1801; removed thence to his native place and afterwards to the place of his death. He married Anna H. Burleigh of New Market. 

    LAKE COFFEEN, the son of Capt. John and Susannah (Goldsmith) Coffeen, was born at Rindge, and died at Pike, Wyoming Co. N. Y. in 1816. He served in the Rev. war. On leaving college, he taught some years in Cavendish, Vt, and was familiarly called "Master Coffeen," after this, was a student of divinity in Essex Co. Ms, and licensed to preach July 29, 1806, but is not known to have availed himself of this. He at length removed to Rushford, N. Y. and became a farmer, and at last went to Pike. He married Zilpah Baldwin.

    CALVIN CRANE, the son of John and Rachel (Terry) Crane, was born at Norton, Ms, May 13, 1764, and died at Charleston, S. C. Dec. 26, 1787, AE. 23. He studied divinity with the Rev. Ephraim Judson of Taunton, Ms; was tutor at Dartmouth in 1787; was a young man of brilliant promise; but attacked by a pulmonary complaint, aggravated by intense application to his studies, it was not a more genial climate that could reverse his untimely doom. He did not marry.


                                              ALUMNI  1785.                                             37

    TIMOTHY DICKINSON, A. M. the son of Nathan and Esther (Fowler) Dickinson, was born at Amherst, Ms, June 25, 1761, and died at Holliston, Ms, July 6, 1813, AE. 52. He was in the Rev. war, and graduating, was preceptor of Moor's Charity School from 1786 to 1787; studied divinity with the Rev. Dr John Tucker of Newbury, Ms; ordained pastor at Holliston, Nov. 13, 1788, over the Cong. Ch. and died in office. He married Margaret, dau. of the Rev. Joshua Prentiss of Holliston, Nov. 26, 1789. Samuel Fowler Dickinson, D. C. 1795, was his brother.  

    JOHN HUBBARD, A. M. the son of John and Hannah (Johnson,) Hubbard, was born at Townsend, Ms, Aug. 8, 1759, and died at Hanover, Aug. 14, 1810, AE. 51. He studied divinity but never settled; taught at New Ipswich from Oct. 1788 to 1789; was then preceptor of its Acad. from 1780 to 1795; was Judge of Probate for Cheshire Co. from 1798 to 1802; preceptor of Deerfield Acad. Ms, fiom 1802 to 1804; professor of Mathematicks and Philosophy in Dart. Coll. from 1801 to his death. He published several works, among them, "Rudiments of Geography" and an "Essay on Musick." Judge Hubbard was a man universally esteemed and beloved. He married Rebecca, dau. of Dr John Preston of New Ipswich, at N. Aug. 10, 1791. 

    ALFRED JOHNS0N, A. M. the son ot Jacob Johnson, was born at Plainfield, Ct, July 27, 1766, and died at Belfast, Me, Jan. 12,1837, AE. 70. He studied divinity with the Rev. John Murray of Newburyport, Ms, and the Rev. Dr Levi Hart of Preston, Ct: was ordained the first minister of the Cong. Ch. at Freeport, Me, Dec. 29, 1789; represented it in the Ms legislature in 1791; dismissed from F. Sept. 11, 1805; installed at Belfast pastor of the Cong. Ch. Sept. 25, 1805; dismissed in 1813. He married Sarah, dau. of Gen. Ralph Cross of Newburyport. May 22,1788. 

    ELIJAH KELLOGG, A. M. the son of Joseph and Dorothy (Taylor) Kellogg, was born at South Hadley, Ms, Aug. 17, 1761, and died at Portland, Me, Mar. 9,1 812, AE.80. He studied divinity with the Rev. John Murray of Newburyport, Ms; was ordained pastor of the second Cong. Ch. at Portland, Me, Oct. 1, 1788; dismissed Dec. 5, 1811; installed pastor of the Chapel Cong. Ch. there, Mar. 18, 1812; dismisced Dec. 12, 1821. In early life, Mr. Kellogg was a soldier of the revolution. He married Eunice, dau. of Joseph M'Lellan of Portland, July 1, 1792. 

    DANIEL OLIVER, A. M. the son of Nathaniel and Mercy (Wendell) Oliver, was born at Boston, Ms, Apr. 4, 1753, and died at Roxbury, Ms, Sept. 14, 1840, AE. 87. He studied divinity; was ordained pastor of the second Cong. Ch. at Beverly. Ms, Aug. 28, or Oct. 3,1787; dismissed Aug. 5, 1797; was then a missionary in Boston, living at last in Roxbury. He married Elisabeth, dau. of Thomas Kemble of Boston. Henry Kemble Oliver, D. C. 1818, was his son. 

    ELIJAH PARISH, A. M., D. D., the son of Elijah and Eunice (Foster) Parish, was born at Lebanon, Ct, Nov. 7, 1762, and died at Byfield, Ms, Oct. 15, 1825. AE. 62. He studied divinity with the Rev. Ephraim Judson of Taunton, Ms; was ordained pastor of the Cong. Ch. at Byfield, Dec. 20, 1787, an office held until death, nearly 38 years. He published 18 oceasional sermons; 3 orations; a History of New England; a Gazetteer of the Eastern and Western Continents, jointly with the Rev. Dr Jedediah Morse; a system of Modern Geography; a Memoir of Pres. Eleazar Wheelock, jointly with the Rev. Dr David M'Clure; the Sacred Geography or Gazetteer of the Bible; in addition, a posthumous vol. of his sermons was issued in 1826. Dart. conferred his doctorate in 1807. He was considered an able divine and successful preacher. A political sermon of his, highly seasoned with Federalism and opposed to the Democratick party,


    38                                           ALUMNI  1785.                                            

    attracted great attention in its day, and was the subject of much praise and severe censure, precisely as the prepossession of the reader prevailed for the one side or the otber of the existing antagonists. He married Mary, dau. of Dea. Joseph Hale of Byfield, Nov. 7, 1796. Ariel Parish, D. C. 1788, was his brother.
    HENRY AUGUSTUS ROWLAND, A. M. the son of the Rev. David Sherman and Mary (Spaulding) Rowland, was born at Providence, R. I. Jan. 13, 1764, and died at Windsor, Ct, Nov. 28, 1835, AE. 71. He studied divinity with his father; was ordained his colleague pastor of the Cong. Ch. at Windsor, May 5, 1790, a position held, unitedly or alone, through life or 45 years. Several occasional sermons were published by him. He married, 1. Elisabeth, dau. of Gen. Newbury at Windsor in Mar. 1795. 2. Frances, dau. of the Hon. Moses Bliss of Springfield, Ms, Apr. 18, 1800. William Frederick Rowland, D. C. 1784, was his brother. 

    JOHN SAWYER, A. M., D. D. the son of Thomas and Hepzibah (Dewey) Sawyer, wns born at Hebron, Ct, Oct. 9, 1755, and died at Bangor, Me, Oct. 14, 1858, AE. 103 years and 5 days. He entered the Rev. army as a volunteer in 1777, and was at the surrender of Gcn. Burgoyne. On graduating, he studied divinity, first with Pres. John Wheelock, and then with the Rev. Dr. Samuel Spring of Newburyport, Ms; was ordained pastor of the Cong. Ch. at Orford, Oct. 2, 1787; dismissed Dec. 17, 1795; installed at Boothbay, Me, in Oct. 1798; dismissed in 1808; removed to Newcastle, Me, in order to promote the welfare of the Academy there; after staying a year or two, was a home Missionary in Maine, actively engaged in buidling up churches, encouraging the progress of edueation, and establishing Sabbath Schools; ultimately took up his residence in Garland, Me, remaining there near 40 years before going to Bangor. His tenacity of life was remarkable, holding out in uncommon health almost to the last. He visited his native town in his hundreth year und preached; attended the General Conference of Me at Bath in June, 1857, and addressed a large audience for nearly an hour, his voice filling the house. Dartmouth conferred the D. D. in 1857 in his hundred and second year, not on account of his extreme age but for his theological attainments. With one exception, he lived to be the oldest of United States graduates. That exception was the Rev. Nathan Birdseye, Yale College, 1736, who died Jan. 28, 1818, AE. 103 years, 3 months, and 9 days, being his senior by only 3 months and 4 days. His whole ministry continued 71 years. He married Rebecca, dau. of Thomas Hobart of Pembroke, Ms.
    MASE SHEPARD, A. M. the son of Thomas and Content (White) Shepard, was born at Norton, Ms, May 28, 1759, and died of lung fever at Little Compton, R. I. Feb. 14, 1821, AE. 61. He was the youngest of 13 children; studied divinity with the Rev. Ephraim Judson of Taunton, Ms; preached at Goshen, MS, declining a call there; was ordained pastor of the Cong. Ch. at Little Compton, Sept. 19, 1787, and so continued to his death, an active ministry of more than 33 years, attended with marked ability and happy results. To quote the language of another; "He was a distinguished and successful preacher; a man of commanding presence and powerful voice. In his conversation and conduct, he won the affections of all. His chosen theme in preaching was the sovereign mercy of God. In one of several revivals of religion, he received in one year one hundred and twenty persons into his church." He married Deborah, dau. of John Haskins of Boston, Ms, July 6, 1788. 

    OZIAS SILSBY, the son of Henry and Bethia (Woodward) Silsby, the relict of Isaac Lassall, was born at Windham, Ct, June 15, 1760, and died at Hillsborough,


                                              ALUMNI  1785.                                            39

    Feb. 28, 1833, AE. 72. He studied theology with the Rev. George Leslie of Washington; preached some years at Henniker and also at Wells, Me, but health failing was never ordained; then became a bookseller and mail agent for Chester for about 14 years; afterwards lived at Bedford, Sutton, Warner, and Hillsborough, dying in the last town of asmatick consumption. He married, 1. Polly, dau. of Dea. John Dearborn of Chester. 2. Frances Congdon, dau. of Thomas Jones of Claremont. 

    SOLOMON SPALDING, A. M., was born at Ashford, East Ashford Society, Ct., in 1761, and died at Amity, Washington Co., Pa, in 1816 AE. 55. In youth, he was a soldier in the Rev. army, and, leaving it, read law with Judge Zephaniah Swift, of Windham, Ct., but on change of religious views, sought the ministry, and entered the sophomore class at Dart. at the age of 21. Graduating there, he studied divinity and became a licentiate of the Windham, Ct., Cong. Association, Oct. 9, 1787; preached 8 or 10 years and, being in this time ordained an evangelist, received several offers to settle that were declined, owing to ill health. In 1795, he was married, and soon after went, into business with his brother, Josiah, at Cherry Valley, N.Y. but both removed the store to Richfield, N.Y., in 1799. Here they purchased large tracts of land in Pa and Ohio, to superintend which Solomon moved to Salem, Ohio, but the war of 1812 deranged their plans and caused great losses. Josiah, then visiting his brother found him in poor health and low spirits, writing a work of fiction, suggested by the opening of a mound, in which was discovered human bones and some relicks indicative of a former civilized race. He entitled his work a "Manuscript Found," and in it imagined the fortunes of the extinct people. Josiah left him thus employed. Not long after, probably in 1814, Solomon went to Pittsburgh, Pa., where he was followed by Sidney Rigdon, then a printer and afterwards a noted Mormon. He told his employer of Spalding' s novel, who borrowed the manuscript, and offered to print it. This was refused, and the author wandered to Amity, the place of his death. His widow returned to New York with the manuscript, and while absent from home, a stranger called on her and desired to examine it, that he might confirm or refute a report current in the West, that it had become the Mormon bible. She permitted him to visit her house and obtain it from a certain chest. He went and reported that he could not find it. Mrs. Spalding never saw it after this. The probability is, that Rigdon copied the work at Pittsburgh and that the stranger purloined the original to avoid a future exposure. The uniform testimony of those who read the work is, that the basis and in great part the form thereof, now constitute the Mormon bible. And thus a clergyman was most unwittingly and innocently the medium of a delusion, whose dimensions have become so large, and its impostures so monstrous. The above facts are chiefly imbodied from a letter written by the brother in question and dated at Eastford, Jan. 6, 1855. Mr. Spalding, though married, had no children...

    (pages 39-56 under construction)


    56                                           ALUMNI  1785.                                            

    (pages 39-56 under construction)

    ETHAN SMITH, the son of Dea. Elijah and Sybil (Worthington) Smith, was born at Belchertown, Ms, Dec. 19, 1762, and died at Boylston, Ms, Aug. 29, 1849, AE. 86. He studied divinity with Rev. Dr Eden Burroughs


                                              ALUMNI  1785.                                            57

    of Hanover and the Rev. Dr Asa Burton, D. C. 1777, of Thetford, Vt; was ordained pastor of the Cong. Ch. at Haverhill, Jan. 25, 1792; dismissed Dec. 16, 1817; had pastral charge of the Presb. Ch. at Hebron, N. Y. in 1818; installed pastor at Hanover, Ms, May 16, 1827; dismissed Jan. 12, 1832; was then City Missionary at Boston, Ms, till old age suspended his labours. He published, "A view of the Hebrews;" "A key to the Revelation;" "Prophetick Catechism;" "A view of the Trinity;" "A key to the figurative language of the Prophecies;" "Memoirs of Mrs. Abigal Bailey;" "Four lectures on the Subjects and Modes of Baptism," and 10 occasional discourses. He married Bathsheba, dau of the Rev. David Sanford of Medway, Ms, Feb. 4, 1793. Lyndon Arnold Smith, D. C. 1817, was his son... 

    (pages 57-177 under construction)


    178                                           ALUMNI  1815.                                            

    (pages 57-177 under construction)

    LEVI SPAULDING, A. M. -- D. D. the son of Phinehas and Elisabeth Spaulding, was born at Jaffery, Aug. 22, 1791. He studied divinity at And[over] Theo. Sem. graduating in 1818; was ordained as a missionary at Salem, Ms, Nov. 4, 1818; sailed from Boston, Ms, June 8, 1819; arrived at Ceylon, East India, Feb. 18, 1820, and has spent his life at Manepy, Tillipally, and Oodooville, with the exception of a visit to the U. S. Dart[mouth] conferred the D. D. in 1864. He married Mary, dau. of Samuel Christie of Antrim, Dec. 10. 1818.

    (pages after 178 under construction)


    Dartmouth Alumni Magazine
    October 1943

    Forgotten Dartmouth Men

    --Vox Clamantis in Salt Lake City --

    Perhaps there were no loungers in the class of 1810. But if there was one in that class, and he could preach on a tree stump where the College Hall chairs now rock to and fro in the springtime, he would have seen many families passing through Hanover on their way to the ever expanding frontier of those days. During the undergraduate days of this 1810 lounger a family of Smiths would have passed through Hanover. The family would appear typical -- in its name, its large progeny, its hopes, and its possession of a musket which had been in service in the Revolutionary War. But this family had one member whose later career was to be any thing but ordinary. Joseph Smith, who had been born in 1805 in Vermont, was traveling with his parents from one suburb of Hanover to another -- specifically from Lebanon to Norwich. This child later became prophet, seer, and revelator of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or more familiarly the Mormon Church. One writer states that his brother, Hyrum, was destined for Dartmouth, but after attending an academy at Hanover, he continued on the restless journey westward with the other members of his family.


    There is a possibilty, however, that the connection of Dartmouth with early Mormonism goes back even earlier than Joseph Smith's birth. Delvers into the problematical have frequently asked whether or not Joseph Smith is the sole author of that sine qua non of Mormon belief, the Book of Mormon. This question involves Solomon S. [sic] Spaulding who graduated from Dartmouth in 1785. After finishing college, this man followed well-fashioned grooves in his career. He studied divinity, moved westward to Ohio and went into business. But, in one respect, his career was unusual. He had a vivid enthusiasm in finding out all he could about the ancestors of Samson Occom, the primitive Alcazar, and other aboriginal inhabitants of North America. His imagination lingered over the life of these people and he finally wrote a fictitious history of the early red men, calling his work, The Manuscript Found. This work connects the Indians with the lost ten tribes of Ancient Israel.

    One of the mooted questions in Mormon historiography is whether or not Joseph Smith had access to the product of Solomon Spaulding's mind. If Joseph Smith did see Spaulding's work or know of its thesis, one might trace the chain of cause and effect back to the Indian surroundings of Hanover in 1785, or perhaps to some college instructor or preacher who had set Spaulding's imagination on fire. Ninty-nine years after Spaulding's commencement a manuscript was found in Hawaii which may be the Spaulding original of The Manuscript Found. This manuscript is now in the possession of the Oberlin College library at Oberlin Ohio. It has been pointed out, particularly by the followers of Joseph Smith, that the story in this manuscript can have no connection with the Book of Mormon. But are the two stories the same? Several people who had heard Spaulding read his version of the lost ten tribes of Israel claim this Oberlin manuscript is a different story entirely. In other words there is the possibility that the original story of The Manuscript Found is still lost. The weight of evidence is strong on both sides, but present opinion seems to be that the charge of plagiarism against Joseph Smith is not proved and the probability is that the question will never be settled definitely. Spaulding died in 1816 but the struggle over the authorship and the authenticity of the Book of Mormon still marches on...


    Dartmouth College
    "Course of Instruction"
    (Hanover, NH: c. 1800)

  • page 1
  • page 2
  • page 3
  • page 4
  • page 5

  • Transcriber's Comments  


    [ 1 ]

    Course of Instruction, &c.




    Every candidate for admission into this College must produce a certificate, to the satisfaction of the Immediate Government, that he sustains a good moral character.

    For admission into the Freshman Class it is required, that the candidate be well versed in the Grammar of the English, Latin and Greek Languages, in Virgil, Cicero's Select Orations, Sallust, the Greek Testament, Dalzel's Collectanea Graeca Minora, Latin and Greek Prosody, Arithemetick, and Ancient and Modern Geography; and that he be able accurately to translate English into Latin. The stated times for examination are the day before Commencement, and the close of the vacation immediately following. The tuition of the first quarter is required in advance.

    Persons admitted to advanced standing, in addition to the requisites for admission to the Freshman Class, must be able to bear examination in the studies pursued by the class which they desire to enter, or in others equivalent to them.

    At or before the beginning of the term following the admission of any student, he must give to the Treasurer a bond with one surety, or, if he be a minor, a bond signed by two persons, for the payment of his College Bills.



    Commencement is on the Wednesday preceeding the last Wednesday of August. The vacations are, from Commencement, four weeks; from the first Monday in January, seven weeks; from the Thuesday next preceeding the last Wednesday in May, two and a half weeks.

    There are two public examinations of the several classes in each year, in the months of March and August.

    Course of Study.


    First Term.
    1. Titus Livius, Lib. v. priores.
    2. Adam's Roman Antiquities.
    3. Collectanea Graeca Majora, Dalzel, 2 vols. (Herodotus, Xenoph, Cyrop.
        and Anab,; Aelianus; Polyaenus; and Theophrastus.)
    Second Term.
    3. Continued. (Homer.)
    4. Q. Horatius.
    2. Finished.
    5. Walker's Rhetorical Grammar.
    Third Term.
    3. Continued. (Hesiod.)
    4. Finished.
    6. Arithemetick reviewed.
    7. Algebra.

    Exercises in reading, declamation, translation, and English composition, through the year.


    First Term.
    3. Continued. (Thucyd,; Demosth,; and Lysias.)
    8. Cucero de Oratore.
    9. Euclid's Elements of Geometry (6 Books.)
    10. Tytler's Elements of General History and Chronology (Ancient.)



    Second Term.
    3. Continued. (Xenoph. Phil.; Isocr.; Aeschin.; Dions.; and Plat.)
    10. Finished.
    11. Excerpta Latina.
    12. Plane Trigonometry.
    13. Mensuration of Superficies and Solids.Second Term.
    14. Guaging.
    15. Messuration of Heights and Distances.
    16. Surveying.
    17. Navagation.
    Third Term.
    9. Finished.
    11. Finished.
    18. Clair's Lectures on Rhetorick and Belles Lettres, 2 Vols.
    19. Logick.

    Exercises in composition and declamation.


    First Term.
    3. Continued. (Oed. Tyr.)
    20. Taciti Historia.
    21. Conick Sections and Spherick Geometry and Trigonometry.
    22. Chemistry.
    Second Term.
    3. Continued. (Eurip. Med.)
    23. Natural Philosophy and Astronomy.
    24. Paley's Natural Theology.
    Third Term.
    3. Finished
    23. Finished.
    24. Finished.
    25. Paley's Moral and Political Philosophy.

    Composition and declamation.


    First Term.
    26. Locke's Essay on the Human Understanding.
    27. Edwards on the Will.
    28. Butler's Analogy.
    29. Natural and Politick Law.
    Second Term.
    30. Stewart's Elements of Philosophy, 2 vols.
    31. Paley's Evidences of Christianity.
    Third Term.
    32. The Federalist.

    Dissertations, Forensick disputes and declamations.



    Private instruction is permitted in the French and other modern Languages.


    Lectures are delivered in the Chapel, every Saturday, by the Professor of Divinity.

    The Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy delivers a course every year to the two upper classes, during the Spring and Summer terms.

    The members of the two upper classes are also permitted to attend all the Lectures of the Medical Professors by paying a small fee.


    Tuition   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   . $20 00
    Ordinary indicentals   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .  2 40
    Library    .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .  2 00
    Room rent, in College, or in a private home --
              average  .   .  .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   6 00
    Board from $ 1.00 to $1.75 per week --
              average for 38 weeks      .   .   .   .   .    52 25
    Wood, lights, &c.       .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .    10 00
                                             Per year,      $98.65
    Room rent, wood and lights are estimated on the supposition
    that two students occupy a chamber.


    [ 5 ]

    Medical  Lectures.

    The annual course commences with the College Term, viz. four weeks after Commencement, and continues thirteen weeks.

    FOUR LECTURES upon the different branches are delivered daily.

    FEES, for the course, FIFTY DOLLARS.

    A course of twenty-five or thirty lectures on Natural Philosophy, for the small additional fee of about two dollars.

    Medical  Instruction.

    A course of regular Medical Instruction is now given by the Professors to a class of private pupils, consisting of daily recitations in the various branches, and lectures on some of the most important of them.

    During the Spring and Summer, LECTURES ON ANATOMY, twice a week.

    A course on BOTANY, commencing in May.

    A course on GEOLOGY and MINERALOGY.

    During the Lecture term in Autumn, three recitations a week to the private pupils.

    The private pupils are entitled to the privileges of resident graduates, and are of course allowed to attend the public lectures delivered by the College Professors.

    There will be one vacation a year, viz. from the close of the Lecture term twelve weeks, and a recess of a few days after Commencement.

    FEES -- For a year, FORTY DOLLARS. If paid in advance, THIRTY-FIVE DOLLARS. For six months


    [ 6 ]

    (under construction)


    Levi Spaulding
    Accounts of his 1814 Vision
    (Home Missionary I-IV, 1828-31)

  • Vol. I, p. 69
    "The Spirit of Missions"
  • Vol. IV, p. 135
    "The Marble Monument"
  • notes

  • Transcriber's Comments  



    VOL. I.                       AUGUST 1, 1828.                       NO. 4.

    [p. 69]


    Little Pine on the bank of the Connecticut.

    ... [Levi Spaulding] was a young man of distinguished powers of mind, and an enthusiastic student; but not a Christian. His ambition, indeed, for literary distinction, absorbed all his affections; and the love of God had no place in his heart, till in the progress of a revival of religion in that college, during his senior year in 1815. he became a new creature.

    I well recollect the morning -- I never can forget it, when, having been oppressed with the load of his guilt for many days, his countenance cast down, and his flesh wasted by the aŁony of his spirit, he invited me to take a solitary walk for the purpose of conversation. We wandered the distance of a mile, till we reached the bank of Connecticut river. He was agitated beyond expression. He knew that he was a sinner. He was convinced that it would be right in God to cast him off for ever; and yet his proud spirit would not submit to be saved by Christ.

    I invited him to kneel down with me and pray. After a pause, which indicated the conflict in his own bosom, he replied, "I will, if you will lead." I remarked, that I could pray for him with all my heart; but it appeared to me, that God was waiting for him to pray for himself. He hesitated a moment, and then dropped upon his knees, and prayed for the first time in his life. He ever after regarded that, as the place of his conversion....

    (under construction)


    Note 1: According to Ralph Nading Hill's 1964 College on the Hill, Levi Spaulding was one of ninety students who participated in a revival centered at Dartmouth College, during 1814-15. Spaulding's Christian conversion vision reportedly came while he praying in a grove of trees near the bank of the Connecticut River. During that experience he looked up to see a blaze of light and knew thus he was saved from his sins (p. 205). In their 2008 JWHA paper, entitled, "Source of the Book of Mormon: Hill Cumorah or Dartmouth College?", Ron Dawbarn and Margie Miller describe Levi Spaulding's vision thusly: "[Levi, while he was] a student at Dartmouth also reported that he had felt remorse and concern over the fate of his immortal soul and retired to the woods to pray. There he saw a light brighter than the noon day sun and was assured of his forgiveness. He reported this on campus and [Eleazar] Wheelock wrote to his sister that it resulted in one of the greatest revival experiences at the school."

    Note 2: Levi Spaulding's vision was similar to that reported by the early LDS Apostle, Phinehas Young in 1858, when he said: "I was at a prayer meeting... the congregation were mostly praying for sanctification; I felt like one alone, for I could pray for nothing but to become holy, and I had got in one corner, as much alone as possible, when all of a sudden I saw a body of light above the brightness of the sun descending towards me; in a moment it filled me with joy unutterable: every part of my system was perfectly light and perfectly happy. I soon arose and spake of the things of the kingdom of God, as I had never spake before. I then felt satisfied that the Lord had heard my prayer and my sins were forgiven."

    Note 3: In 1816 the Rev. Elias Smith gave a similar account of his own conversion vision: "... I went into the woods one morning... I fell... [and] while in this situation, a light appeared to shine from heaven, not only into my head, but into my heart. This was something very strange to me, and what I never experienced before. My mind seemed to rise in that light to the throne of God and the Lamb, and while thus gloriously led, what appeared to my understanding was expressed in in Rev. xiv. i... The Lamb once slain appeared to my understanding, and while viewing him, I felt such love to him as I never felt to any thing earthly. My mind was calm and at peace with God through the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world. It is not possible for me to tell how long I remained in that situation..."

    Note 4: The Rev. Alexander Campbell (who claimed that his early associate, Sidney Rigdon, was a great advocate of Elias Smith style religious experience), mentioned in 1824, a revival among "Presbyterians, Methodists, and Baptists" in the state of New York," in which one "man was regenerated when asleep, by a vision of the night. That man heard a voice in the woods, saying,'Thy sins be forgiven thee.'" Campbell reported that another man "saw his Saviour descending to the tops of the trees at noon day." ("Address... No. IV," The Christian Baptist, Vol. I, No. 8, March 1, 1824, pg. 50). The Rev. Joshua Bradley reported in late 1824, "About 1000 in this region, since March or February last [1824], are rejoicing in a good hope through Christ." In Palmyra, a town about 30 miles North East of this, God has triumphed gloriously. About 200, as I am informed, are sharers in this great and precious work." About a year later, Rev. Joshua Bradley became a successor to Elder Sidney Rigdon, in the pastorate of the Pittsbutgh First Baptist Church.



    VOL. IV.                       NOVEMBER 1, 1831.                       NO. 7.

    [p. 135: "The Pastor's Journal"]


    [Furnished by a Layman.]

    Our readers will recollect that in the Pastor's Journal for the year ending 1829, (vol. I. page 69,) we published an article denominated the "SPIRIT OF MISSIONS," or the "Little Pine on the bank of the Connecticut." It was an account of the conversion of L___ S____, in 1815 [sic - 1814?], then a member of Dartmouth College, and now a missionary in Ceylon, together with an interesting communication from him to the writer. The reader will be richly rewarded, if he will turn back to the No. of our "Journal" which contains it, and peruse that article again. "That Little Pine," as we then said, "will be remembered in heaven." L___ S____ still lives and labours in that far distant island of the sea; with what spirit, the following extracts, which we have received from a respected correspondent in New Hampshire, will show. Our correspondent writes: "I cannot withhold from you an interesting fact concerning L___ S____, and which is thus detailed in a letter from him to my brother B., at H[anover], dated Oct. 12, 1830: -- 'For all I ever was at Hanover -- for all I now am, or expect to be, in this world, I am indebted to a very little turn in Providence, with which you are acquainted. You recollect my brother Oliver, who was drowned in 1807, while a member of the junior class. You may recollect that the members of the United Fraternity erected the white marble monument to his memory. This generosity and kindness of strangers to one so dear to me, so took hold of my mind, that I often wept; and while my hand was hold of the plough, my heart was with those who had loved and buried my dear brother. These feelings, however, I kept to myself about two years. I at last began to fit for College, and was eventually introduced at Dartmouth college just a year before I was fitted for such a place. All this was the result of that marble which, stands at the head of my brother's grave. All this time, God led me in a way I knew not, and was making use of that very marble to raise up a missionary for India. Happy, happy shall I be, if at last some in India may be able to testify that I have been as useful to them as that monument has been to me.'

    "I will give you another beautiful extract from the same letter.

    "'Let us rejoice that, though on different sides of the world, we are included, if indeed we are the true followers of Christ, in the same Church -- are engaged in the same cause -- are members


    [p. 136: "The Pastor's Journal"]

    of the same body -- baptized into the same spirit -- have one faith -- one hope. He that soweth and he that reapeth shall rejoice together, and he that goeth out to the battle and he that sticketh by the stuff shall alike be rewarded. With these animating hopes and prospects, let us pray that we may be enabled to stand in our lot, and each build up that part of the wall which is over against his own house.'"

    Such are the feelings with which the Christian remembers every object associated with his conversion to God. The "LITTLE PINE," and the "MARBLE MONUMENT," are objects of unsepeakable interest to our distant brother, because they are inseparably connected in his remembrance of the grace of God, by which he is what he is. They shall perish, but the remembrance of them shall live in eternity.


    Richard K. Behrens
    “Dreams, Visions...”
    (JWHA Journal XXVII, 2007)

  • page 170  Background
  • page 173  Spiritual Experiences
  • page 175  Dreams and Dartmouth
  • page 177  Recovery and Reflection
  • page 179  Ethan Smith
  • page 183  Nexus Chart

  • Transcriber's Comments  

  • (Entire contents copyright © 2007 by Richard K. Behrens.
    All rights reserved. Only "fair use" excerpts presented here)


    [ 170 ]

    Dreams, Visions, and Visitations:
    The Genesis of Mormonism

    Richard K. Behrens

    This paper will review the environmental factors that contributed to the spiritual development of the Joseph Smith Sr. family from 1791 in eastern Vermont through 1830 in western New York. Special attention will be given to Joseph Smith Sr. as be filtered the rich local community discourse for family edification. Additional attention will be given to son Hyrum's direct exposure to the original source of much of the community discourse while he attended Moor's Academy at Dartmouth College.

    (text deleted due to copyright restrictions)


    Shortly after June 1791 Joseph Smith Sr., father of the prophet Joseph Smith, arrived in the White River Valley in the highly contested political, economic, and religious cauldron in the center of the new state of Vermont.

    (text deleted due to copyright restrictions)


    [ 171 ]

    Joseph Smith Sr., along with his parents and his siblings, came from eastern Massachusetts by way of southern New Hampshire.

    (text deleted due to copyright restrictions)

    Family Formation

    Stephen introduced his sister Lucy to Joseph Smith Sr. The couple was soon married in January 1796 [5]

    (text deleted due to copyright restrictions)

    Farming, however, does not appear to have been Joseph Smith Sr.'s consuming passion for he soon became interested in dowsing and treasure-seeking. He may even have been the Joseph Smith associated with Nathaniel Wood in nearby Rutland, Vermont, in the late 1790s. [8] Census records for 1800 do not confirm his residence in Tunbridge and appear to be those of a Joseph and Hannah Smith and family. [9]

    (text deleted due to copyright restrictions)

    Joseph Smith Sr. also seems to have taken an interest in freemasonry and quite possibly even named his second son,

    1 Larry C. Porter, "A Study of the Origins of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints in the States of New York and Pennsylvania," (Ph.D. diss., Brigham Young University, 1971), 5.

    2 Ibid.

    3 Randolph Masonic Lodge Records as researched by Nick Literski as interviewed by the author.

    4 Porter, "Origins of the Church," 5.

    5 Ibid.

    6 Dan Vogel, Joseph Smith: The Making of a Prophet (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2004), 5.

    7 Records of Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Miscellaneous Items, Book A, 130, Tunbridge Town Clerk's Office, Tunbridge, Vermont.

    8 D. Michael Quinn, Early Mormonism and the Magic World View (Salt lake City: Signature Books, 1998), 36.

    9 Records, Book A, 402.


    [ 172 ]

    Hyrum, [10] after the principal characters in the masonic myth, Hiram king of Tyre and Hiram Abiff his principal architect, who according to the myth built Solomon's temple. Although Joseph's brother John, brother-in-law John C. Waller, and other relatives were accepted into the Randolph lodge, Joseph appears to have been rejected in 1801. [11] This rejection, however, might have been that of the other Joseph Smith, leaving the source of Hyrum's name in question.

    Hyrum's birth record, however, was not recorded in Tunbridge until 1803, further suggesting that the Smiths may have been living elsewhere in 1800. The apparent masonic rejection seems to have initiated a rift in the Smith family evidenced by Joseph Sr. becoming more closely affiliated with the Mack family. This rift was further advanced when Jason, Lucy's brother, visited the family from Canada in 1803. He related his spiritual seeker views and left one of his orphan charges with the Smith family for several months to be educated. [12] The Smiths soon began attending Methodist meetings, possibly prompted by Lucy's sister-in-law, Sallie Ball Mack, a strong Methodist, until discouraged by Joseph's family. Thus three seeker dimensions were firmly established early in the developing Smith family discourse: treasure, rite, and spirit. The family was definitely seeking something special beyond the conformist rural life.

    (text deleted due to copyright restrictions)

    10 Ibid., 397. Hyrum's name appears as Hiram on his birth record signed by his father and on Moor's School records and all documents prior to 1826, after which he appears to change his name after the William Morgan masonic killing -- possibly to distance himself from the local Masons to protect his teaching job, the family's primary source of income. The more familiar spelling will be used throughout this paper.

    11 Randolph Masonic Lodge Records.

    12 Lucy Mack Smith, History of Joseph Smith by His Mother (Arlington, Va.: Stratford Books, 2005),75.

    13 Ibid., 73.

    14 Richard L. Anderson, Joseph Smith's New England Heritage (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1971, 2003), 139-40.


    [ 173 ]

    A Spiritual Experience

    In 1803 Lucy also had her well-known seeker dream in which she first saw Joseph Sr.'s spiritual flexibility as a tree bending gracefully in the wind, preparing to receive the gospel of the Son of God as compared with Joseph's brother Jesse's resistance as a pillar of marble. [17] Lucy was clearly conflicted by this family situation. However, to begin to understand this dream it is necessary to review the context of the development of the religious discourse in the upper Connecticut and White River Valleys. In 1769 Eleazar Wheelook founded Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, to teach the Native Americans, prepare missionaries, and train ministers for the rapidly growing towns in the region [18] -- including Elijah Lyman [19] and Solomon Aikens, [20] uncles of Joseph Sr.'s later sisters-in-law, Clarissa Lyman and Mary Aikens.

    Spiritual Background of the Community

    Eleazar Wheelock was a Yale graduate and a product of the Great Awakening; he was mentored by Jonathan Edwards, a traditional Puritan Calvinist, and George Whitefield, a Methodist Arminian closely associated with John and Charles Wesley. [21] Wheelock leaned in the direction of the Arminian concept of free agency rather than the Calvinist concept of predestination. [22] He selectively used Edwards's work on the Freedom of the Will, which discussed both approaches, as his principal religious text. [23] Dartmouth trained hundreds of ministers in the region by the early 1800s. [24] Traditional Calvinism, however, gained increasing strength in the region by 1810 and vehemently opposed both Universalism, which applied Christ's Atonement broadly to everyone, and Arminianism, which applied the Atonement's highest degree of glory all those who would consecrate their lives to the service of Christ. Calvinism's

    15 Ibid., 274.

    16 Smith, History of Joseph Smith, 83.

    17 Ibid., 81.

    18 Ralph Nading Hill, College on the Hill (Hanover, N.H.: Dartmouth Publications, 1964), 31.

    19. George T. Chapman, Sketches of the Alumni of Dartmouth College (Cambridge: Riverside Press, 1867), 46.

    20 Ibid., 33.

    21 Hill, College on the Hill, 23.

    22 John Wheelock, History of Dartmouth College and Moor's School (Hanover, N.H., 1815), 58

    23 Ibid.

    24 Chapman, Sketches of the Alumni, 13-150.


    [ 174 ]

    narrow definition of the elect of God could tolerate neither heresy. In 1803 Jesse was clearly in the Universalist camp, [25] Lucy was a still a bit Calvinist, and Joseph Sr. appears to be undecided. Joseph's willingness to attend Methodist meetings with Lucy suggests that they were both heading in that direction. [26] As Universalism began to fade in the region and Calvinist rigidity was on the rise, the Smith family began seeking for some satisfying alternative. The religious tension would begin to come to a climax in 1810 when control of the board of trustees of Dartmouth College shifted from a narrow Arminian to a narrow Calvinist majority. [27] Soon openly engaged disputation evolved into vehemently contested revivals. In the midst of this religious malaise in December 1805 Joseph Jr. was born on the Solomon Mack farm, which straddled the boundary between Royalton and Sharon, Vermont. There must have been some concern before Joseph's birth since Joseph Sr. made a twenty-four-mile round-trip to fetch Dr. Joseph Adams Denison from Bethel, Vermont, who was the best known baby doctor in the region. [28] Denison had been trained by his cousin Joseph Adams Gallup who had been the first graduate of the new Dartmouth Medical School, founded in 1796 by Nathan Smith. [29]

    (text deleted due to copyright restrictions)

    25 Smith, History of Joseph Smith, 79.

    26 Ibid.

    27 Wheelock, History of Dartmouth College, 43.

    28 Porter, "Origins of the Church," 7.

    29 Oliver Hubbard, The Early History of the New Hampshire Medical Institution (Washington, D.C.: The Globe Printing and Publishing House, 1880), 14.

    30 Ibid., 3.

    31 Smith, History of Joseph Smith, 83,

    32 Anderson, Joseph Smith's New England Heritage, 25.

    33 Smith, History of Joseph Smith, 83-84.


    [ 175 ]

    The Dreams Begin

    In 1811 there was also a revival in the area that strongly affected Lucy's father, Solomon Mack, and caused him to write his history and embark upon on a preaching tour from town to town. [34] Joseph Sr. also reacted to the revival by having his first seeker dream in which he was uncomfortable with the images of bickering that, without true religion or a plan of salvation, were represented by fierce wild animals. Yet at the same time he was comfortable with his position. [35] This revival focused on many of the Calvinist vs. Arminian doctrinal issues that were continuing to be fiercely contested at nearby Dartmouth College. Joseph's focus on the plan of salvation appears to reflect his growing interest in Christ's atonement.

    For some reason in 1811 the Smith family moved on to Lebanon, New Hampshire, just south of Dartmouth. [36] Soon after arriving in Lebanon the Smith family was in sufficient financial condition to establish their second son, Hyrum, in the Moor's Academy at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. [37] Joseph Smith Sr. appeared to have approached Dartmouth Hall with a degree of anxiety as he dropped Hyrum off to join his cousin Stephen Mack at Moor's Academy. [38] The boarding school was probably Lucy's idea as she still wanted to keep up with Stephen, her brother, and his efforts to acquire the things of this world. Students were known to sit in the windows of the upper floors of Dartmouth Hall and look out and down on those approaching the tall building. Joseph Sr.'s feelings about leaving his son in such a situation are reflected in his concurrent dream that focused on family unity both in physical and spiritual terms challenged by the perceived appearance of Babylon to separate them.

    The dream dealt with his reluctant acceptance of the new situation. He appeared to be fascinated with the east-to-west-running Mascoma River behind their new home. When the guiding spirit explained that the tall building represented Babylon and that the people in the windows were the inhabitants thereof who scorn the saints of God because of their humility, [39] he was further concerned. In the new home, however, Joseph Sr. found the pure love of God shed abroad in the hearts of all those who love him and keep his commandments. [40] Also in 1812 Solomon Spaulding, who graduated from Dartmouth in 1785, completed his unpublished work on the origin of the Indians and reintroduced

    34 Anderson, Joseph Smith's New England Heritage, 39.

    35 Smith, History of Joseph Smith, 85.

    36 Ibid., 85.

    37 Ibid., 90.

    38 Moor's School Attendance Records, Rauner Special Collections library, Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H.

    39 Smith, History of Joseph Smith, 88.

    40 Ibid., 87-88.


    [ 176 ]

    the notion of arrival by ship originally suggested by John Smith in his 1780 lecture on the origin of native-American Aborigines. Spaulding's Manuscript Found was widely discussed among his family, most likely including his nephew James Spaulding [41] who was attending the Dartmouth Medical School and his second cousin Levi Spaulding [42] who was attending Dartmouth College at the time.

    Sickness and Surgery

    In the fall of 1812, however, the outbreak of typhus (typhoid) brought tragedy to the entire Connecticut River valley.

    (text deleted due to copyright restrictions)

    41 Charles Spear, Dartmouth Gazette broadside, November 1811.

    42 Chapman, Sketches of the Alumni, 178.

    43 Hubbard, The Early History, 18.

    44 Smith, History of Joseph Smith, 90.

    45 Ibid., 95.

    46 Porter, "Origins of the Church," 9.

    47 Smith, History of Joseph Smith, 95.

    48 Porter, "Origins of the Church," 9.

    49 Ibid., 9.

    50 Nathan Stone's Daybooks, New Fane Historical Society, New Fane, Vermont.


    [ 177 ]

    Recovery and Reflection

    At this time Joseph Sr.'s view of Dartmouth was probably much more positive. He did keep Hyrum home for over a year to attend young Joseph before allowing him to return to Moor's Academy at about the same time the family moved to Norwich, Vermont, in 1814. [52]

    (text deleted due to copyright restrictions)

    Young Joseph was confined to his room in 1813 and carried around. He was then on crutches until the family arrived in Palmyra by 1817. [55] During this long recovery Hyrum was young Joseph's principal tutor since Joseph could not attend school. At twice-daily chapel sessions Hyrum bad been exposed to Dartmouth's free-agency-based Arminian Theology, developed by Professor John Smith, [56] cousin of his grandfather Asael Smith. The plan of salvation, the Godhead, the atonement, the Son's Church in all ages, the Melchizedek priesthood, Aaronic priesthood, and degrees of glory were only a few of the concepts to which Hyrum was exposed. [57] When Hyrum returned to Moor's Academy in 1814, he renewed his acquaintance with Louis Langdon, a Canadian Indian who could read the New Testament in Greek and Cicero in Latin, [58] as well as with two Seneca from western New York.

    Hyrum also witnessed the revival of 1814-15, which Dartmouth president John Wheelock characterized as Zion arriving with the greatest outpouring of the Spirit that he had ever witnessed. [59] Student Benjamin Hale in letters to his father and uncle said that there had been nothing like it since apostolic times

    51 Nathan Smith's Daybooks, Rauner Special Collections library.

    52 Moor's School Attendance Records.

    53 Smith, History ofjoseph Smith, 98.

    54 Chapman, Sketches of the Alumni, 101.

    55 Smith, History of Joseph Smith, 103.

    56 Chapman, Sketches of the Alumni, 15-16.

    57 John Smith, Theology Lectures, Rauner Special Collections Library.

    58 Moor's School Attendance Records.

    59 John Wheelock, letter to his sister, 1815, Rauner Special Collections Library.


    [ 178 ]

    and that the great millennial day was at hand. [60] Levi Spaulding, one of ninety Dartmouth students who participated in this revival, had an epiphany in which while praying in a grove of trees he looked up to see a flash of light and knew he was saved. [61] At about this time Elias Boudinot's resurrected Indian spiritual advisor is also introduced to guide a devout Indian seeking more knowledge of the Great Spirit. [62]

    Thus Hyrum had much to share with both Joseph Sr. and Joseph Jr. Since both Hyrum and Joseph Sr. shared exposure to the concept of the plan of salvation, one can only speculate on whether Joseph Sr. would discuss it with his sons as Lehi in the Book of Mormon would later do with his. Whether and to what extent Hyrum discussed these concepts and events with young Joseph is not recorded. After three very cold winters, however, the Smith family moved to Palmyra, New York, by 1817.

    The Dreams Continue

    (text deleted due to copyright restrictions)

    60 Benjamin Hale, letters to his father and uncle, 1815, Rauner Special Collections Library.

    61 Hill, College on the Hill, 205.

    62 Elias Boudinot, A Star in the West (Trenton, N.J.: D. Fenton, S. Hutchinson and J. Dunham, 1816), 263.

    63 Smith, History of Joseph Smith, 106.

    64 David Smith, letter to his father, Nathan Smith, 1816, Rauner Special Collections Library.

    65 Smith, History of Joseph Smith, 105.

    66 Ibid., 110-11.

    67 John Smith, Theology Lectures.


    [ 179 ]

    (text deleted due to copyright restrictions)

    Before the Smith family arrived in Palmyra, Dartmouth and Moor's School missionaries Davenport Phelps, [69] Samuel Kirkland [70] and James Dean [71] had worked closely with the Indians, but now another fascinating development began in western New York which would add substantially to the diverse mix of factors that established the rich regional community discourse. Lyndon Smith," who spent time on campus with Hyrum as well as James and Levi Spaulding and shared many common experiences, graduated from Dartmouth in 1817. Soon after, his father, Ethan Smith [73] -- who had graduated from Dartmouth in 1790, trained in the Dartmouth mission to the Indians and Arminian theological traditions, and served in two long New Hampshire pastorates -- suddenly and abruptly moved to a small pastorate in Hebron, New York, located between the Oneida and Stockbridge reservations where he could do some missionary work with the Indians and further study their traditions. [74]

    From 1817 to 1821 Ethan carefully studied Indian traditions first-hand before moving to a new pastorate in Poultney, Vermont, where he completed his View of the Hebrews in 1822. The first edition of the book was well received and widely distributed in 1823 followed by an enhanced edition in 1825. [75] It soon became a part of the community discourse that focused on both religious doctrine and its relation to the origin of the Indians. It is fascinating that later in September of 1823, as the community discourse had a deeper and deeper impact on the Smith family discourse, late-teenage Joseph would again approach his feelings of unworthiness in prayer. Immediately Moroni, a resurrected early American, would visit him and move him in the direction of simultaneously

    68 Smith, History of Joseph Smith, 114.

    69 Chapman, Sketches of the Alumni, 19.

    70 Hill, College on the Hill, 27.

    71 Chapman, Sketches of the Alumni, 14.

    72 Ibid., 190.

    73 Ibid., 56-57.

    74 Ibid.

    75 Ibid.


    [ 180 ]

    resolving the doctrinal and Indian-origin issues that were being so heatedly discussed in the community discourse.


    (text deleted due to copyright restrictions)

    76 As Jan Shipps pointed out in Mormonism: The Story of a New Religious Tradition (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1985), 87-108, Lucy Mack Smith's oral history was drafted and edited from a series of interviews done by Martha Jane and Howard Coray in 1844 and was originally entitled The History of Lucy Mack Smith by Herself. It should be used in that vein. Numerous efforts have been made to rework it as a history of the prophet Joseph Smith. Its author, however, attempted to use it as a guidepost for searching out collaborating documentary evidence. Many times Lucy's 1844 recollections proved to be more accurate and at least more enlightening than subsequent redactions of her reminiscences attempted by later editors. Had the Dartmouth data not conformed to the content and timing of Joseph Sr.'s dreams this paper would not have been written.


    [ 181 ]

    Therefore it can be argued that Joseph Jr.'s first vision, Book of Mormon, and later doctrine all seem to follow logically from the family dynamics of his childhood. Since there are few if any elements of Joseph Sr.'s dreams or Joseph Jr.'s later visions that were not discussed in at least rudimentary form at Dartmouth before 1817, it appears that the Dartmouth community discourse and the Smith family discourse have become deeply entwined. The resurrected Indian, who appeared in a dream to instruct a praying Indian on where to find a better understanding of the Great Spirit, entered the Dartmouth community discourse in 1816 by way of Elias Boudinot's A Star in the West and provided another interesting parallel, as did Solomon Spaulding's use of ships in Manuscript Found.

    (text deleted due to copyright restrictions)


    [ 182 ]

    FIGURE 1: The Prophet Joseph Smith's First Vision

    A Nexus of Dreams, Visions, and Epiphanies

    (text deleted due to copyright restrictions)


    [ 183 ]      

    FIGURE 2: The Hyrum Smith/Oliver Cowdery Nexus      

    Who Knew What, Where and When?      


    Dawbarn & Miller
    “Source of the Book of Mormon: Hill Cumorah or Dartmouth College?”
    (Unpublished Paper, Restoration Studies Symposium; John Whitmer Historical Association Annual Meeting, April 2008)

  • Introduction   Christology   Players
  • Freemasons   Detroit MS   Theology

  • Transcriber's Comments  

  • (Entire contents copyright © 2008 by Ron Dawbarn and Margie Miller.
    All rights reserved. Only "fair use" excerpts presented here)


    (view entire pre-publication text, here)

    "Source of the Book of Mormon:
    Hill Cumorah or Dartmouth College?"

    Ron Dawbarn & Margie Miller


    This paper contains extracts from a book that we are in process of writing. We will start with our initial interest in studying the origins of the Book of Mormon. As most know, one of the early theories for its origin was that it was plagiarized from a novel written by Solomon Spaulding where Sidney Rigdon added his Christian theology to this secular novel. Hearing of Joseph Smith's reputation as a treasure seeker, he then gave it to him to claim he had found it inscribed on ancient plates. These plates he subsequently translated.

    In her book No Man Knows My History Fawn Brodie noted that the theology was so intricately entwined in the text that this thesis was not possible. [i] Our study started to see if this indeed was the case. In a first attempt, using a disposable copy of the Book of Mormon we took a red pencil and deleted the Christology in the book of Ether. Surprisingly a coherent secular novel of migration remained without any need for stitching sentences. Approximately one third of the material had been erased in this exercise.

    (text deleted due to copyright restrictions)

    the rest of the Book of Mormon survived like the book of Ether. What remained was a coherent secular novel of a migration from Jerusalem with only a need for less than a dozen short stitching sentences to make a fully readable text. Like the story of the exodus from the Tower of Babel, the material from the Lehi stories consisted of about one third Christology and two thirds secular narrative. If the production of the Book of Mormon was as the Spaulding Theory describes then this file is a good approximation of this lost novel "Manuscript Found".

    (text deleted due to copyright restrictions)

    Analysis of Christology

    (text deleted due to copyright restrictions)

    There were several observations from this overview of the theology in the Book of Mormon. The first was that it is eclectic. There is no one denominational set of creeds that covers the whole range. It is definitely skewed to an Arminian Baptist theology with strong overtones of Pelagianism. However there are some definite Presbyterian ideas and also the particular views of Alexander Campbell embedded in its construct. This Campbellite connection and especially the Rigdon version of Campbell's ideas is one of the indications that it is maybe premature to write off a possible Sidney Rigdon involvement. We will address these theology issue towards the end of the paper.

    The players surrounding the writing of the Book of Mormon.

    One of the observations that we noted in our studies is the number of interconnections between a relatively small group of people. Even the widow of William Morgan who disappeared while writing his expose on the Masons, which surely influenced the Book of Mormon's aversion for secret societies, shows up in Nauvoo as one of Joseph Smith's plural wives.

    Then there is the connection between the discovery of the Detroit manuscripts and Lucy Smith's brother and its connections with Dr. Mitchill and Professor Anthon. Also there is the strange fact that Hyrum Smith was sent to Moors academy which was an adjunct of Dartmouth College. Certainly this is unexpected from the Smith's poor and near destitute living conditions. But maybe more understandable when realizing that Lucy's brother sent his son to the same school and quite likely influenced the enrollment of Hyrum. It was this factor of the connection between Hyrum and Dartmouth that started our search for Book of Mormon origins. Added to Hyrum's connection we also will note some of the other players in this rather select group which surround the origins of the Book of Mormon. Ethan Smith who wrote "View of the Hebrews" which B.H. Roberts suggests might have served as a source for much of the material in the Book of Mormon, was a Dartmouth graduate. He also was the pastor of the church that Oliver Cowdrey's family joined. There is even the slight possibility that Oliver served as a printer's apprentice where Ethan's book was published. While Ethan had graduated long before Hyrum attended the school, his son Lyndon was a classmate of Hyrum's. And then Solomon Spaulding was also a Dartmouth graduate and his distant nephew Eli Spaulding was also a classmate of Hyrum.

    (text deleted due to copyright restrictions)

    The earliest telling of the first vision is by Joseph Smith himself. He writes that his motivation for retiring to the grove was that he felt remorse and concern for his immortal soul. He does not mention his perplexity as to which church he should join. In his experience he saw a light brighter than the noon day sun and he was assured that he was forgiven. [ii]

    We feel that it is more than just coincidence that prior to Joseph recalling this event, a student at Dartmouth also reported that he had felt remorse and concern over the fate of his immortal soul and retired to the woods to pray. There he saw a light brighter than the noon day sun and was assured of his forgiveness. He reported this on campus and Wheelock wrote to his sister that it resulted in one of the greatest revival experiences at the school. The young man was Levi Spaulding a classmate of Hyrum and a son of Solomon Spaulding's relative. Levi went on to become a missionary to India where he spent the rest of his life promoting the cause of Christianity.

    While some might dismiss the traditional Solomon Spaulding connection we note that in the one novel of Solomon Spaulding that has survived, his introductory paragraphs of the novel tells how he found a buried stone box and when he obtained a lever and had pried the lid off, found manuscripts written in a foreign language which he translated and discovered it to be a record of ancient Americans. We think that it is doubtful if Hyrum or Joseph ever read this novel, but it is certainly possible that Hyrum had heard of the story from Levi Spaulding. This especially since it is reported from Dartmouth records that Lyndon Smith, Ethan Smith's son, also a fellow classmate brought some of his father's writings to school and they were warmly received by the staff and pupils.

    From the records of Eliazar Wheelock, John Smith, Solomon Spaulding and Ethan Smith it is obvious that interest in the native Americans and speculations about them being descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel were prevalent on the Dartmouth campus.

    (text deleted due to copyright restrictions)

    Masonic Organization at Dartmouth

    Along with a source for the first vision, and the method of finding hidden record there is also the incursion of the Masonic organization on the Dartmouth campus. The indications are that at first the Masons also proselyted the students and one cannot ignore the Masonic foundational myths of Hiram Abiff. Once again there are too many parallels between it and the stories about and within the Book of Mormon to suggest mere coincidence.

    (text deleted due to copyright restrictions)

    One coincidence that does appear in our studies and that is the number of people named Smith. Besides the obvious Joseph and Hyrum, there is Ethan Smith and also a John Smith who Wheelock appointed professor of theology at Dartmouth College and was responsible for developing the theology curriculum. John Smith, similarly saw connections between the Lost Tribes and the Native American Indians, While Wheelock believed that the Ten Lost Tribes came to the Americas via a Bering strait land bridge, John Smith added that since there was evidence that ancient Canaanites migrated to West Africa by sea, that it was not impossible, with favorable winds, for these ancient Hebrews to have sailed to the New World. Certainly an interesting piece of information that could have been transmitted to Joseph by Hyrum.

    The Detroit Manuscript

    The Dartmouth connection is not the only grouping of players. There was the rather strange find of what was called the Detroit Manuscript. This was an old manuscript found by Colonel Abraham Edwards in March of 1823 as he was remodeling a house he owned in Detroit. It consisted of three to four hundred manuscript pages bound together. It was reported in the Detroit Gazette that "The characters in which it is written are unknown; they are neither Hebrew, Greek, nor Saxon, and the only parts that are intelligible, were a few Latin quotations written in the margins." [iv]

    (text deleted due to copyright restrictions)

    Any similarity is of little concern unless there is some kind of connection between the finding of the Detroit manuscript by Col. Edwards and Joseph Smith. The connection is very interesting. First, Edward's business partner was a Mr Steven Mack, the brother of Lucy Mack, Joseph Smith's mother. This relationship was not only familial but Lucy had been remanded to the care of her brother when their mother died. She grew up under the custody of her older brother until she married Joseph Smith Sr. Indeed when they were married, her brother Steven gave her a dowry of one thousand dollars which was a small fortune in those times. There is little of record of actual visits between her brother and Lucy's family. However, one of the postulates concerning Hyrum's selection to attend Moors Academy is that Steven Mack's son was also attending the academy at this time. Hyrum's attendance was thus not a sheer chance selection of a child from an indigent family, but most likely due to his uncle's influence. It would appear very unlikely that the Smith family did not hear about the Detroit manuscript through Steven Mack. It is more likely that they saw copies of the strange markings in the text and in the margins.

    (text deleted due to copyright restrictions)

    We would like to spend the remainder of our time addressing the Theology in the Book of Mormon and suggesting some possible sources. But maybe first we should note some theology which surprisingly is NOT contained in the Book of Mormon.

    The claim is made in the opening pages that the prime purpose of obtaining the brass plates was to preserve a record of their Israelite heritage and in particular the Mosaic Law. In the book of Alma it states "the people did observe to keep the commandments of the Lord; and they were strict in observing the ordinances of God, according to the law of Moses, for they were taught to keep the law of Moses until it should be fulfilled." (Alma 30: 3) [v]

    However one searches in vain throughout the Book of Mormon for references to specific practice of the Law of Moses.

    (text deleted due to copyright restrictions)

    A final note on the specific kind of Christian theology. It is predominantly fundamental Baptist. However it has one specific reference from the Presbyterian creed and that is the question asked of Nephi by the angel... he said unto me, Nephi, what beholdest thou? And I said unto him, A virgin, most beautiful and fair above all other virgins. And he said unto me, Knowest thou the condescension of God?" [ix]

    This idea of the condescension of God is found in the Westminster Confession in the Presbyterian church. Once again pointing to Dartmouth college and the many sermons that Hyrum sat through in his daily exposure in each morning's worship session.

    One thing that we have found and that is a reference where Joseph's father mentioned that Joseph became very concerned with his salvation as a teenager and joined the Baptist church. [x]

    A second reference noted that the Book of Mormon contains much of the theology preached by the preacher in this church who was, an Elder Shay. [xi]

    We have not been able to find any sermons or papers left by this Elder Shay though have found other references which note that he was a noted revival type preacher in the church. If Elder Shay had been influenced by the preaching of the ex-Baptist Alexander Campbell then we have a connection with his theology without reliance on a Sidney Rigdon link. The many references to hell and fire and brimstone is certainly one of the hall marks of the Baptist revival preachers at this time and it is found frequently within the theology of the Book of Mormon.

    As a final note, besides the Orthodox Christian theology found in its pages there is also an overarching millennialism. This is noted by Wesley P Walters in his PhD thesis where he lists the many parallels in the Book of Mormon to the millennial message of Ethan Smith in his book "View of the Hebrews." [xii]

    There are even more parallels between the View of the Hebrews and the Book of Mormon listed in parallel columns in the book "Joseph Smith and the Origins of the Book of Mormon" by David Persuitte. [xiii] This once again suggesting the Dartmouth College influence via Ethan Smith.


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    Transcriber's Comments

    (under construction)

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