Joseph Smith's Trial on Trial

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Fool Speck

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Nov 2, 2001, 2:19:25 PM11/2/01
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Critical: http://www.xmission.com/~country/reason/ny_js.htm

Apologetics:
http://www.shields-research.org/General/LDS_Leaders/Joseph_Smith/1826_Trial_Walters.htm

The above writings are both worthy examples of pro and con literature.
We have here an opportunity for both critics and apologists to play
on a level field allowing each to their respective articles.

Instead of doing a complete review, I suggest we do shorter posts
discussing particular flaws as they are discovered or additional
information missed by the authors.

I will in time post my observations.

Steve Lowther
ARM Critics Guild

Elizabeth & Dale

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Nov 2, 2001, 5:47:27 PM11/2/01
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Sounds like a worthy project.
For those of you wishing to delve a bit more deeply into Bro. Joseph's days
down along the Susquehanna, I suggest the following light reading:


1. Blackman's History of Susquehanna County - (1873)
http://www.olivercowdery.com/smithhome/1873Susq.htm

2. Purple's "Joseph Smith, Originator of Mormonism" (1877)
http://www.olivercowdery.com/smithhome/1877Purp.htm

3. Mather's "Early Days of Mormonism" - (1880)
http://www.olivercowdery.com/smithhome/1880Math.htm

4. The Lewis brothers' recollections of Smith in PA (1878)
http://www.lavazone2.com/dbroadhu/IL/miscill2.htm

5. Nov 1825 "money-diggers'" signed agreement
http://www.lavazone2.com/dbroadhu/UT/tribune.htm#042380


I have more unpublished source material along these lines.
If you want to see more, just let me know and I'll post more.

Unka Dale

Kevin Thurston

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Nov 2, 2001, 10:46:05 PM11/2/01
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Which is more likely:
Prior to publishing the BoM, Joseph Smith had a fascination with the folk
magic of the day, dabbled in aspects of it (divination pertaining to money
digging) and was interested in the speculation of the day about where the
native Americans came from and their role in the construction of mounds that
were common to the area.

Or:
Joseph Smith had no interest or experience in all those things mentioned
above, and he was visited by an angel (either Nephi or Moroni who was
actually a dead person from ancient America) who showed him where he could
dig up a treasure he was not allowed to cash in on, but had to translate
into a book which was actually an ancient revelation from God.
?
Which is more likely?

Kevin Thurston
--
"Jesus must be spinning in his grave!"... Barney Gumble


Fool Speck

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Nov 3, 2001, 3:16:59 AM11/3/01
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"Kevin Thurston" <akth...@concentric.net> wrote in message news:<9rvp9t$s...@dispatch.concentric.net>...

Since Church publications verify that Joseph admitted (although
minimized) his involvement in money-digging, no one can conclude he
had NO interest in it.

So the second paragraph would have to be modified to include what is
documented in _The History of the Church_ .

Steve Lowther

Elizabeth & Dale

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Nov 3, 2001, 4:07:48 AM11/3/01
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Fool Speck wrote:

>
> Since Church publications verify that Joseph admitted (although
> minimized) his involvement in money-digging, no one can conclude he
> had NO interest in it.
>
> So the second paragraph would have to be modified to include what is
> documented in _The History of the Church_ .
>
> Steve Lowther

A better place to get at Smith's admission of money digging is in the
Elders' Jourmal -- here he does not try to mask those activities as
being a quest for a lost silver mine, in which he managed to talk
Josiah Stowell out of the fruitless quest. Rather, Smith admits that he
was paid a small wage for the work.

What he does not disclose, even in his admisison in the 1838 "Elders'
Journal," was that he himself was not actually a "digger."

Smith allowed others to do the dirty work, while he took it easy, gazing
into his crystals and seer-stones. He eventually evolved from a semi-magical
treasure finder to the religiously motivated finder of the Nephite gold plates.

For an interesting "half-way" point in Smith's progression from money-finder
to gold plates finder, etc., see what William Mclellen had to say in Oct. of 1831:

http://www.lavazone2.com/dbroadhu/NE/miscne01.htm#102531

Note that McLellen is reported as preaching to a Gentile audience in Illinois,
that Joseph Smith "found in the same place two stones with which he was enabled
by placing them over his eyes and putting his head in a dark corner to decypher
the hieroglyphics on the plates..."

Now this isn't exactly a description of the "Urim & Thummim" spectacles reported
by Mother Smith and others -- nor is it a description of a single seer stone, gazed
upon in the crown of an inverted hat. The description is of a process that lies
somewhere between there two ends of the Mormon/anti-Mormon spectrum.

Interesting, hunh?

For another glimpse at the very early Smith, through teh etxt of a similar newspaper
report, check this one out:

http://www.lavazone2.com/dbroadhu/OH/miscohio.htm#no5


Cheers,
Unka Dale


Glenn Thigpen

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Nov 3, 2001, 8:56:10 AM11/3/01
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Kevin Thurston wrote:

The two are not mutually exclusive. On a purely rational basis, the first is
the more likely.

Glenn

R. L. Measures

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Nov 3, 2001, 11:50:46 AM11/3/01
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In article <3BE3B447...@gte.net>, Elizabeth & Dale
<dbro...@gte.net> wrote:

€ Yes. "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."
- Mark Twain

later, Dale

--
- Rich... 805.386.3734.
www.vcnet.com/measures

Kevin Thurston

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Nov 3, 2001, 11:58:21 AM11/3/01
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"Fool Speck" <srlo...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:da736b0d.0111...@posting.google.com...

Yet I guarantee there are no missionaries mentioning it to investigators and
it has no part of the stories that are told about it.

>
> So the second paragraph would have to be modified to include what is
> documented in _The History of the Church_ .

Of course. I was trying to keep it in simple terms, so we could do a lot of
modification, couldn't we? The point I was trying to make is that after the
apologists try to obfuscate and rationalize away the evidence, you're still
left with a very simple choice which should be obvious to anyone that
doesn't have the a priori assumption that one version is true as a testimony
provides.

Kevin Thurston
"That's OK Marge we don't have to go on vacation. We'll just go home and
wait for the killer bees to come to us."... Homer Simpson

CharlesSWaters

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Nov 3, 2001, 1:59:14 PM11/3/01
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"Kevin Thurston" <akth...@concentric.net> wrote in message
news:9rvp9t$s...@dispatch.concentric.net...

Joseph Smith's folk magic expertise has been documented.

--

Cheerio,
Charles

"Question with boldness even the very existence of a God; because if there
be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of a
blindfolded fear." -- Thomas Jefferson


Glenn Thigpen

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Nov 4, 2001, 4:28:43 PM11/4/01
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CharlesSWaters wrote:

> "Kevin Thurston" <akth...@concentric.net> wrote in message
> news:9rvp9t$s...@dispatch.concentric.net...
> > Which is more likely:
> > Prior to publishing the BoM, Joseph Smith had a fascination with the folk
> > magic of the day, dabbled in aspects of it (divination pertaining to money
> > digging) and was interested in the speculation of the day about where the
> > native Americans came from and their role in the construction of mounds
> that
> > were common to the area.
> >
> > Or:
> > Joseph Smith had no interest or experience in all those things mentioned
> > above, and he was visited by an angel (either Nephi or Moroni who was
> > actually a dead person from ancient America) who showed him where he could
> > dig up a treasure he was not allowed to cash in on, but had to translate
> > into a book which was actually an ancient revelation from God.
> > ?
> > Which is more likely?
>
> Joseph Smith's folk magic expertise has been documented.

So have the translation of the Book of Mormon, the existence of the golden
plates, the restoration of the priesthood, etc.

Glenn

Fool Speck

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Nov 4, 2001, 6:13:46 PM11/4/01
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The following is a section from the SHEILDS article by Malin L. Jacob:

"THE 1826 TRIAL

"Having concluded that Smith was indeed a glass looker and a
scoundrel, Walters next tackles the 1826 trial. He starts by again
quoting Benton about Smith's 1825 money digging activities as a glass
looker for Stowell.15 He then presents the justice's and constable's
bills with the statement that:

-----------------------------
Here Jacobs states his intention, that Smith was not a glass looker,
or a least did not view himself as such.
-----------------------------


"'the discovery...of two bills from the officials who participated in
the arrest and trial of Joseph Smith at South Bainbridge in 1826
confirm this story beyond question.'

"The bills verify that:

"Smith was before the court on an unspecified misdemeanor charge.

"The Justice's fee was $2.68.

"The court appearance was on March 20, 1826.

"Smith was held for two days and one night.

"Twelve witnesses were subpoenaed.

"Two justices were notified.

"The sheriff had a mittimus.

"Again, no testimony or verdict is recorded. Walters emphasizes that
the term "the glass looker" in Neely's bill proves that Smith was
indeed a glass looker, and as corroboration refers in a footnote to a
statement made by Isaac Hale, Smith's father-in-law, where Hale says
that Smith referred to himself as a glass looker. A comparison of
Hale's statement with Joseph Smith's history show that Walters is
again drawing unwarranted conclusions and suppressing information
about Hale which the reader needs for a proper evaluation of Hale's
statement. The reader needs to know that:

"The Smith family stated that Joseph's reputation as a money digger
originated from his work with Stowell in late 1825. According to the
family, Stowell had hired Joseph to help search for a mine.19

"Hale's statement is not contemporary with the alleged money digging
and glass looking activities, but was given in 1834 after Smith had
made enemies because of the publication of the Book of Mormon and the
founding of a church. Hale, a devout Methodist, considered Smith to
be a religious fraud."

"By emphasizing that Hale was Smith's father-in-law, Walters hopes to
convince the reader that Hale and Smith were on friendly enough terms
that Smith would confide in Hale, who was therefore in a position to
know first-hand what Smith was doing. In fact, Smith boarded with the
Hales while working for Stowell. Hale didn't approve of Smith's
occupation, which at that time was helping Stowell look for a mine,
and refused to let Joseph marry his daughter.21

"In January, 1827, the twenty-two-year-old Emma eloped with Joseph,
much to her father's annoyance. Smith irritated Hale again by
refusing to show him what were supposed to have been the plates from
which the Book of Mormon was taken.

"Thus Hale is not a neutral witness, but held several grudges against
Smith and regarded him as a religious fraud. Yet Walters implies that
this supposed self-designation as a glass looker comes from a source
which is neutral or perhaps even friendly to Smith."

---------------

All of the above seems to have been presented that the reader may
conclude that Hale was "not a neutral witness". And because Hale was
not neutral, are we supposed do discount his testimony? This would be
absurd. In all trials in the history of the United States, how many
witnesses are called because they are neutral? None!

Witnesses are called for the defense, and for the prosecution. By
definition neither is neutral. Dismissing testimony because a witness
is "not neutral" is not logically derived. This is why witnesses are
sworn in. They can expected to be penalized for lying, and it is the
job of the opposing side to confute their testimony.

Jacobs goes on to state: "Yet Walters implies that this supposed
self-designation as a glass looker comes from a source which is
neutral or perhaps even friendly to Smith."

It seems the author (Jacobs) has failed to review Smith's testimony
which Smith himself admits as much:

"Prisoner brought before Court March 20, 1826. Prisoner examined: says
that he came from the town of Palmyra, and had been at the house of
Josiah Stowel in Bainbridge most of time since; had small part of time
been employed in looking for mines, but the major part had been
employed by said Stowel on his farm, and going to school. That HE HAD
A CERTAIN STONE WHICH HE HAD OCCASIONALLY LOOKED AT TO DETERMINE WHERE
HIDDEN TREASURES IN THE BOWELS OF THE EARTH were; that he PROFESSED TO
TELL in this manner WHERE GOLD MINES were a distance under ground, and
had looked for Mr. Stowel several times and had informed him where he
could find these treasures, and Mr. Stowel had been engaged in digging
for them. That at Palmyra he pretended to tell by looking at this
stone where coined money was buried in Pennsylvania, and while at
Palmyra had frequently ascertained in that way where lost property was
of various kinds; that he had occasionally been in the habit of
looking through this stone to find lost property for three years, but
of late had pretty much given it up on account of its injuring his
health, especially his eyes, making them sore; that he did not solicit
business of this kind, and had always rather declined having anything
to do with this business."

So what is the author's point of trying to illustrate that Smith did
not think of himself as a glass-looker? All one needs to do is to
read the summary of Smith's testimony!

Critics of FARMS (and SHIELDS) style have stated that FARMS' main
tactic is to write a great deal in an argumentative tone without
really stating much at all. So here we have yet another example!

More to come!

Elizabeth & Dale

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Nov 4, 2001, 7:17:31 PM11/4/01
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Fool Speck wrote:


>> The following is a section from the SHEILDS article by Malin L. Jacob:
>>
>> "THE 1826 TRIAL"
>>

>> ...


>
>> "Hale's statement is not contemporary with the alleged money digging

>> and glass looking activities, but was given in 1834...
>>
>> "... Hale is not a neutral witness, but held several grudges against
>> Smith and regarded him as a religious fraud..."


>
>
> All of the above seems to have been presented that the reader may
> conclude that Hale was "not a neutral witness". And because Hale was
> not neutral, are we supposed do discount his testimony? This would be
> absurd. In all trials in the history of the United States, how many

> witnesses are called because they are neutral? None!... More to come!


>
> Steve Lowther
> ARM Critics Guild

Ok Ok, we might argue that since father Hale gave his sworn, signed testimony
about a decade after Smith first lived and operated in the Susquehanna region as a
treasure-locater, that Hale's testimony is inadmissable -- too many years had passed.
But -- if we do this -- thousands of pro-Mormon statements collected over the years
would have to be thrown out also. I suggest that we do not too lightly disregard Hale.

What we must consider, however, is that his testimony may not be 100% accurate or
100% objective. Certainly Hale's feeling about Smith in 1834 should be taken into
consideration as we read what he has to say about his son-in-law.

But -- and a BIG but -- Hale was not so detached from the money-digging operations
as some might care to think. He was an initial member of the money-digging operation,
his own close relative having gotten the whole scam going, even before the money-diggers
murdered the major financier, Oliver Harper, and the project came under Stowell's control.

So -- Father Hale and one or more of his family were going out with Smith in the early
money digs. Hale had ample opportunity to witness how Joseph Smith went about
locating buried riches -- whether with a divining-rod or with a seer-stone. To argue that
Father Hale could have known nothing about these things, because Joseph would have
never admitted them to his future father-in-law, is ridiculous. Many early Mormons
testify to the fact that Smith used seer-stones, even stones above and beyond the so-called
biblical Urim & Thummim. He used such stones before, during, and after the period
during which the Book of Mormon text was being prepared for publication.

To argue that Smith was not a "glass-looker" or seer-stone gazer is not a very good
tactic in Mormon apologetics. It would be far better for the polemicist to argue that
Smith was never convicted of cheating anybody when he did such things -- that much,
at least, might be supported by the evidence surrounding Smith's pre-trial hearing.

For Father Hale's testimony -- as originally given and published -- see this:
http://www.lavazone2.com/dbroadhu/PA/penn1820.htm#050134

For the purported original second money-digging agreement -- see this:
http://www.lavazone2.com/dbroadhu/UT/tribune.htm#042380

For info on the first money-digging operation, with Harper, Stowell, Smith, etc.: -- see:
http://www.olivercowdery.com/smithhome/1873Susq.htm

Cheers,
Unka Dale


cdowis

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Nov 5, 2001, 10:48:25 AM11/5/01
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srlo...@hotmail.com (Fool Speck) wrote in message news:<da736b0d.0111...@posting.google.com>...
snip


> It seems the author (Jacobs) has failed to review Smith's testimony
> which Smith himself admits as much:
>
> "Prisoner brought before Court March 20, 1826. Prisoner examined: says

> that he came from the town of Palmyra, snip


Please give us the source.

Fool Speck

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Nov 5, 2001, 2:50:09 PM11/5/01
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CharlesSWaters

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Nov 5, 2001, 4:34:58 PM11/5/01
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"Glenn Thigpen" <glennt...@tcnet-nc.com> wrote in message
news:3BE5A686...@tcnet-nc.com...

So has the divine creation of the Koran, the mission of Islam, the divine
Islamic laws of God, etc.

O, and Joseph Smiths folk magic practices.

--

Cheerio,
Charles

"There is nothing more frightening than active ignorance." Goethe


Glenn Thigpen

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Nov 5, 2001, 6:14:30 PM11/5/01
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Fool Speck wrote:

Or to show that such a witness had an axe to grind, as Isaac Hale most
certainly did. When a defense lawyer is questioning a witness for the
proposition concerning something of this nature, i.e. "I heard John Doe
say such and such." there is very little he can do to prove that the
witness is lying. But if he can show that the witness had ill feelings
toward the defendant, it tends to weaken that witnesses testimony to a
rational juror.
We have no way at this time to cross examine Isaac Hale or anyone else
connected with that 1826 examination, which appears to be more of a
preliminary hearing than a trial. But in testing a witnesses credibility,
one must take into account demonstrated prejudices and ill feelings. A
case in point is that of A. W. Benton, with whom I trust you will deal
soon.

>
>
> Jacobs goes on to state: "Yet Walters implies that this supposed
> self-designation as a glass looker comes from a source which is
> neutral or perhaps even friendly to Smith."
>
> It seems the author (Jacobs) has failed to review Smith's testimony
> which Smith himself admits as much:
>
> "Prisoner brought before Court March 20, 1826. Prisoner examined: says
> that he came from the town of Palmyra, and had been at the house of
> Josiah Stowel in Bainbridge most of time since; had small part of time
> been employed in looking for mines, but the major part had been
> employed by said Stowel on his farm, and going to school. That HE HAD
> A CERTAIN STONE WHICH HE HAD OCCASIONALLY LOOKED AT TO DETERMINE WHERE
> HIDDEN TREASURES IN THE BOWELS OF THE EARTH were; that he PROFESSED TO
> TELL in this manner WHERE GOLD MINES were a distance under ground, and
> had looked for Mr. Stowel several times and had informed him where he
> could find these treasures, and Mr. Stowel had been engaged in digging
> for them. That at Palmyra he pretended to tell by looking at this
> stone where coined money was buried in Pennsylvania, and while at
> Palmyra had frequently ascertained in that way where lost property was
> of various kinds; that he had occasionally been in the habit of
> looking through this stone to find lost property for three years, but
> of late had pretty much given it up on account of its injuring his
> health, especially his eyes, making them sore; that he did not solicit
> business of this kind, and had always rather declined having anything
> to do with this business."

What is the source for this supposed testimony? Not the the
non-existent but still "published court record" I hope? How sure are you
of your sources?


>
>
> So what is the author's point of trying to illustrate that Smith did
> not think of himself as a glass-looker? All one needs to do is to
> read the summary of Smith's testimony!

Steve, you must first demonstrate that Joseph actually admitted to the
things he is alleged to have.

cdowis

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Nov 6, 2001, 8:23:06 AM11/6/01
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srlo...@hotmail.com (Fool Speck) wrote in message news:<da736b0d.01110...@posting.google.com>...


And........???? Perhaps I am missing something here, but I see
nothing proving the exact text of the so-called transcript of the
trial. Where is the original copy?

Please help me understand.

I quote as follows:

=============================

In 1971 Wesley P. Walters made a remarkable discovery which verifies
the claim that Joseph Smith was a "glass looker" and that he was
arrested and brought before a Justice of the Peace for that practice.
Since that time, Pastor Walters has contributed a great deal to our
knowledge of Joseph Smith's encounter with the law. Walters has shared
with us many of the insights and material which he has gleaned from
his study of the laws of the State of New York. His research, in fact,
has made this article possible. Pastor Walters will undoubtedly
prepare the definitive work on many of the things which we briefly
touch on in this issue of the Messenger. Just recently H. Michael
Marquardt found some original documents which throw important new
light on this matter. He has been kind enough to allow us to be the
first to publish on this subject. In addition, some Mormon scholars
have also added some important observations that have helped us to get
a more complete picture of what occurred in 1826.
============================

Nothing so far on the transcript.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

At this point we are printing the court record in its entirety from
its earliest known source, Fraser's Magazine, February, 1873, vol.
VII, pp. 229-230.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The original pages of this transcript were still in existence in
January, 1886, when the Utah Christian Advocate published the
following:

"The document we print below is interesting to those, who desire
historical light on the origin of Mormonism. We received the
Manuscript from Bishop Tuttle; and the following, from the good
bishop's pen, explains how he came into possession of the
Manuscript:--'The Ms. was given me by Miss Emily Pearsall who, some
years since, was a woman keeper in our mission and lived in my family,
and died here. Her father or uncle was a Justice of the Peace in
Bainbridge Chenango Co., New York, in Jo. Smith's time, and before him
was tried. Miss Pearsall tore the leaves out of the record found in
her father's house and brought them to me."'

While Bishop Tuttle could not remember whether it was Emily Pearsall's
father or uncle who was Justice of the Peace in Bainbridge, Stanley S.
Ivins solved this problem many years ago when he found that Albert
Neely was Miss Pearsall's uncle (see History And Genealogy of the
Pearsall Family in England & America, pages 1143, 1144 and 1151).
The transcript was published three times by different individuals
after it arrived in Salt Lake City. As we have already shown, it
appeared first in Fraser's Magazine in 1873. It was printed by Bishop
Tuttle in the 1883 New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia and finally appeared
in the Utah Christian Advocate in 1886.
++++++++++++++++++++

Please note that the **original** was stolen by an assistant of an
infamous antimormon, and then "lost" before its authenticity could be
verified.

Here is an antimormon, known for his attacks on Mormonism, and when
the so-called transcript is now in SLC where others can check its
authenticity, it becomes "lost".

Did you happen to see that in their article?? The Tanners did not
make that fact very clear, so you have to read behind the lines in
their article.

It became **********lost************* No one authenticated this
document. It is lost.

================================
Michael Marquardt's study of the text of the three different printings
leads him to the conclusion that they were all printed from the
original pages rather than one borrowing from another.
=============================

How does this antimormon know it was from the "original", rather from
a single forgery. IOW, all three are printed from ONE document,
either a forgery or the original. Marquardt cannot prove which, but
the antis say it was the original.

===========================

The fact that Wesley P. Walters' discovery of the 1826 bill of Justice
Neely confirms the accuracy of the transcript can hardly be disputed
by anyone who takes a close look at the evidence.
==============================

It does not prove the ************text************ of the transcript.

==================================

We have already shown that the statement on the Neely bill that Joseph
Smith was a "Glass looker" fits very well with the contents of the
transcript which has been published. Moreover, Neely's bill provides
some very specific evidence. It states that the trial took place on
"March 20, 1826," and this is precisely the date found in the
published account of the trial: "Prisoner brought before Court March
20, 1826." (Fraser's Magazine, Feb. 1873, page 229) In Albert Neely's
bill the fee for this case is listed as "2.68," and this is the exact
figure found in the printed record: "Costs:... $2.68." In light of
this evidence, it seems impossible to continue to deny the
authenticity of the court record.
==============================

It proves nothing. It proves that the antimormons stole the
transcript, created the forgery based on the original. They used the
details on the original, and followed the original as closely as
possible with "minor" changes.

The "transcript" then became ................ lost.

The Tanners have not proven the text of the transcript.

++++++++++++++++++++
From this it is very clear that the published transcript is not
something that can be easily dismissed.
++++++++++++++++++++++

Even the Tanners now admit that they have proven nothing. They can
only say that if it were a fogery, the forgers followed the details of
the original transcript. Big deal.

J Stryker

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Nov 6, 2001, 9:34:19 AM11/6/01
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>Subject: Re: Joseph Smith's Trial on Trial
>From: cdo...@my-dejanews.com (cdowis)
>Date: 11/6/2001 8:23 AM EST

cdowis says


>And........???? Perhaps I am missing something here, but I see
>nothing proving the exact text of the so-called transcript of the
>trial. Where is the original copy?
>
>Please help me understand.
>

But Charrles, you don't WANT to understand. Everytimes someone quote a source
YOU want to see the original. But you fail everytime you post to locate the
original source.

Why do you insist everyone else must be held to a higher standard than you?

If you would just say "I choose to not believe the evidence you give for no
other reason than I don't want to", it woulld be a more intelligent argument.

So to bring you to speed on this as an equal to all you "refute" please give us
the earthly location of the original plates of gold. Just to be sure JS Jr
copied it faithfully.

Jan

Kevin Thurston

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Nov 6, 2001, 9:45:04 AM11/6/01
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"Glenn Thigpen" <glennt...@tcnet-nc.com> wrote in message
news:3BE3EAE2...@tcnet-nc.com...

Steve has pointed out how the dichotomy is not how I portray it, and I
pointed out that I was going on the simplistic route. If the two are not
mutually exclusive, then it's a remarkable coincidence. In fact it would be
so remarkable as to be beyond belief. I suppose that doesn't matter to one
who has faith.

> On a purely rational basis, the first is
> the more likely.

On a purely rational basis, the BoM is a natural product of the 19th
century, not a supernatural reclamation of ancient Western Hemisphere
writings. It appears that you would agree with that statement also. This is
something I wouldn't have credited you with prior to this. I would have
lumped you in with the apologist that claims that rational analysis
concludes that the BoM is a supernatural product. It's nice to know that you
realize you have only your testimony, your faith to assure you of the
validity of the BoM. Or have I jumped to conclusions here?

Kevin Thurston
--
"Let's hear what this noted scientician has to say."... Troy McLure


cdowis

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Nov 6, 2001, 3:11:46 PM11/6/01
to
jstry...@aol.com578 (J Stryker) wrote in message news:<20011106093419...@mb-cf.aol.com>...

> >Subject: Re: Joseph Smith's Trial on Trial
> >From: cdo...@my-dejanews.com (cdowis)
> >Date: 11/6/2001 8:23 AM EST
>
> cdowis says
> >And........???? Perhaps I am missing something here, but I see
> >nothing proving the exact text of the so-called transcript of the
> >trial. Where is the original copy?
> >
> >Please help me understand.
> >
>
> But Charrles, you don't WANT to understand. Everytimes someone quote a source
> YOU want to see the original. But you fail everytime you post to locate the
> original source.
>
> Why do you insist everyone else must be held to a higher standard than you?

The authenticity of the so-called transcript *is* the whole issue
under discussion, not just whether something is quoted properly or
not. Tanners entire article is based on their argument that it is
authentic. I point out the flaws in their argument, and, yes, I
insist on the original.

And the antis themselves stole the document -- removed it from the
courthouse, had several different versions printed, and and then
promptly "lost" it.

And now our friends here are quoting from this "transcript" as if it
were authenticated.


snip

Markg91359

unread,
Nov 6, 2001, 3:54:43 PM11/6/01
to
>And........???? Perhaps I am missing something here, but I see
>nothing proving the exact text of the so-called transcript of the
>trial. Where is the original copy?
>

This may be beyond you to follow Charles, but for the benefit of the others
here let me say the following:

1. When Fawn Brodie published NMKMH in 1945, the book was, IMO, legitimately
criticized by the LDS Church for relying too much on this transcript that has
been quoted here. The transcript was allegedly torn out of a court docket book
by Emily Pearsall, who was a relative of the Judge who presided at the trial,
Judge Neely. It is quite true that since the original document does not exist
that one can argue, that all kinds of liberties could have been taken with it.
However, what has been found subsequently, generally bears out the "overall
authenticity" of what occurred.

2. Subsequent research unearthed letters written by A.W. Benton and Dr. Purple
(Dr. Purple was regarded as an eminent physician and historical authority in
Bainbridge, NY where the proceedings took place). There is some disagreement
on some specifics in these letters. A.W. Benton contends that Smith was tried
and convicted. Dr. Purple contends he was acquitted because the person
allegedly being defrauded (Josiah Stowell) stood up in court and declared he
believed Smith could see buried treasure underground by looking through a seer
stone. However, both independent accounts agree there was a trial and that
Smith was being tried for being a disorderly person and a "money digger".

Interestingly, both A W Benton and Dr. Purple in independent correspondence
talk about the witnesses who testified during the trial. There is a great deal
of concurrence on who the witnesses were and what they said. Much of this
correlates with the material in the Pearsall transcript. Thus, in some sense,
authenticating the Pearsall transcript as legitimate.

3. Other research by Dale Morgan established that the names of the people who
appear in the Pearsall transcript as witnesses were not made up. They were
actual living people who appear in the US Census Records in 1830 in the area.
Its hard to imagine Pearsall, or others, could have totally fabricated this
transcript, but gotten all these names correct.

4. Smith conceded to Oliver Cowdery that in his youth he had been involved in
some legal trouble. Although, Cowdery's version is that he was totally
exonerated of the charges.

5. Wesley Walters came along in the 1970's and produced other legal documents
indicating there had been criminal proceedings brought against Smith.

6. The fact there was likely a trial has been conceded by Mormon scholars who
have written in BYU Studies. (See "Joseph Smith's 1826 Trial: The Legal
Setting", by Gordon Madsen, BYU Studies, 1978, P. 91)

One bugaboo that constantly arises about this trial is a fixation that the only
important thing is whether Smith was found guilty or innocent. I think based
on the historical evidence we have its hard to say definitely what the court's
finding was. In my view "guilt or innocence" is a red herring here, anyway.
The importance of the trial lies in the facts that were established.

First it is clear is that there was a trial (despite protestations to the
contrary of some LDS scholars). Several witnesses testified to Smith claiming
he could see buried treasure underground with a seer stone. Further, that
Josiah Stowell believed Smith could do this, even though treasure was, of
course, never found.

The implications of this seem clear. Smith claimed he could see buried
treasure underground with a stone, even though its pure nonsense. Smith must
have been quite a persuasive person enough because even though he never found
treasure, Stowell remained a believer in his claims. Finally, its quite a
coincidence in my view that all this occurred in 1826--just three years before
the BoM was translated and the CJCLDS was founded.

The original copy may not be available, Charles, but its not necessary to
establish the most important events that occurred. Quibbling over details,
rather than focusing on the basic facts does not help your cause.

Mark

Mark

Elizabeth & Dale

unread,
Nov 6, 2001, 5:07:59 PM11/6/01
to

Markg91359 wrote:

Heck, Mark -- if the original pre-trial hearing proceedings had been written down
and preserved in a J. P.'s docket book, and kept under lock and key since that very day,
the TBM polemicist would still not accept it as credible evidence.

Trial?
what trial?
Seer stone?
what seer stone?
Leg bail?
what's that?

Nephi "If I had the wings of an angel, over these prison walls I would fly" Poindexter

R. L. Measures

unread,
Nov 6, 2001, 5:53:18 PM11/6/01
to
In article <20011106155443...@mb-fq.aol.com>,
markg...@aol.com (Markg91359) wrote:

> >And........???? Perhaps I am missing something here, but I see
> >nothing proving the exact text of the so-called transcript of the
> >trial. Where is the original copy?
> >
>
> This may be beyond you to follow Charles, but for the benefit of the others
> here let me say the following:
>

€ What you say to Charles Dowis will be like unto water on a duck's back.

cheers, Mark and congrats on a well written piece.

--
- Rich... 805.386.3734.
www.vcnet.com/measures

R. L. Measures

unread,
Nov 6, 2001, 5:57:03 PM11/6/01
to
In article <3BE85FA1...@gte.net>, Elizabeth & Dale
<dbro...@gte.net> wrote:

> Markg91359 wrote:
>
> > >And........???? Perhaps I am missing something here, but I see
> > >nothing proving the exact text of the so-called transcript of the
> > >trial. Where is the original copy?
> > >
> >
> > This may be beyond you to follow Charles, but for the benefit of the others
> > here let me say the following:
> >

> >...


>
> Heck, Mark -- if the original pre-trial hearing proceedings had been
written down
> and preserved in a J. P.'s docket book, and kept under lock and key
since that very day,
> the TBM polemicist would still not accept it as credible evidence.
>

€ ... because visions heavenly babes dance in their heads.

cheers, Dale

Glenn Thigpen

unread,
Nov 6, 2001, 8:03:23 PM11/6/01
to
>
> > CharlesSWaters wrote:
>
> > >
> > > Joseph Smith's folk magic expertise has been documented.
> >

"Glenn Thigpen" <glennt...@tcnet-nc.com> wrote in message

>


> > So have the translation of the Book of Mormon, the existence of the
> golden
> > plates, the restoration of the priesthood, etc.

"Glenn Thigpen" <glennt...@tcnet-nc.com> wrote in message


To which Charles Waters replied

> So has the divine creation of the Koran, the mission of Islam, the divine
> Islamic laws of God, etc.

and added redundantly,

>
>
> O, and Joseph Smiths folk magic practices.
>

So Glenn replies:
Then documentation in and of itself seems to prove nothing.

Glenn

Glenn Thigpen

unread,
Nov 6, 2001, 8:06:53 PM11/6/01
to
Fool Speck wrote:

Of course this is a source which curiously no one has been able to produce for any of us to verify where it
actually came from. As you may have already noticed, there are several accounts with quite some few differences.

Glenn

Glenn Thigpen

unread,
Nov 6, 2001, 9:07:01 PM11/6/01
to
Markg91359 wrote:

The real problem is to ascertain what the basic facts are. That there was a
trial, or rather an examination (which is more like a preliminary hearing) is not
a question. That some people said that Joseph claimed he could find buried
treasure, there is little doubt. I find it rather incredible Joseph would stand up
and imcriminate himself as he appears to do from the the sources that have been
given. He would have to have been incredibly stupid to have done so, and there
would have been no further need for any other witnesses.
That is why it is important to know the source of the original documents from
which these reports were made. If Joseph were indeed discharged, as Dr. Purple
stated, then the reports in Fraser's and the New Scharf-Herzog Encyclopedia that
Joseph was found guilty is a lie.
Those articles were printed as coming from an official court record, which is
not all that likely, since written records were only required for felony cases,
and Joseph's case was clearly labelled a misdemeanor on Justice Neely's bill.
Both Lucy Mack Smith and Joseph Smith jr. inform us that Josiah Stowell came
seeking Joseph when he learned that Joseph had some kind of seer stone. Joseph
tried to disuade the gentleman from his quest, but Josiah offered good wages and
finally persuaded Joseph to accompany him. The actual treasure seeking lasted only
about a month which even Isaac Hale admitted in his affidavit.
It is interesting to note that in the testimony ascribed to Josiah Stowell he
said that he did not believe that Joseph had such powers, but that he knew that he
had them, because when he went to Palmyra to obtain Joseph;s services, Joseph had
described to Josiah the appearance of his home and outhouses as well as a painted
tree with a man's hand upon it.
Now if you are to accept all of this as the gospel truth, that the purported
court record is legit, then you will have to disabuse yourself of the notion that
Joseph being able to see things with his stone "is pure nonsense".
If you can maybe entertain the idea that some people were willing to lie about
Joseph, and many more were all too willing to believ those lies, or maybe
embellish the truth in a most entertaining fashion, then maybe you can come to the
conclusion that the whole thing has been blown completely out of proportion, a
mountain made out of a molehill.

Glenn

Glenn Thigpen

unread,
Nov 6, 2001, 9:32:26 PM11/6/01
to
Kevin Thurston wrote:

> "Glenn Thigpen" <glennt...@tcnet-nc.com> wrote in message
>

> > On a purely rational basis, the first is
> > the more likely.

Kevin Thurston wrote:

>
>
> On a purely rational basis, the BoM is a natural product of the 19th
> century, not a supernatural reclamation of ancient Western Hemisphere
> writings. It appears that you would agree with that statement also. This is
> something I wouldn't have credited you with prior to this. I would have
> lumped you in with the apologist that claims that rational analysis
> concludes that the BoM is a supernatural product. It's nice to know that you
> realize you have only your testimony, your faith to assure you of the
> validity of the BoM. Or have I jumped to conclusions here?
>
> Kevin Thurston
> --
> "Let's hear what this noted scientician has to say."... Troy McLure

Yes, you have jumped to conclusions here. But I will say this, that my
belief in the Book of Mormon, my testimony came before I began to explore the
other aspects of the Book, beginning with a class taught by Daniel H. Ludlow in
1964. Therein he cautioned his students not to jump on every "evidence"
bandwagon that rolled through town.
To the TBM, it would take proof on the order of proving beyound any shadow
of a doubt, that there is no God, to change their belief in the Book of Mormon.
To the skeptic, there is no proof less than actually proving that God exists
beyond any shadow of doubt, to compell him to believe in the Book of Mormon.
I cheerfully admit to being much closer to the TBM camp than the skeptic
camp, and offer no apologies for my testimony.
That does not mean that I have turned off my mind and play the robot with my
life. I just adhere to the philosophy set forth by former President of the LDS
Church, Heber J. Grant.


In 1929, Heber J. Grant (former President of the Church) told the story of a
man with a doctorate who had ridiculed him for believing in the Book of Mormon.
That learned man cited the mention of cement work as an obvious lie "because
the people in that early age knew nothing about cement." President Grant, who
was a young man at the time of that conversation, said:

"That does not affect my faith one particle. I read the Book of Mormon
prayerfully and supplicated God
for a testimony in my heart and soul of the divinity of it, and I have
accepted it and believe it with all
my heart." I also said to him, "If my children do not find cement houses,
I expect that my
grandchildren will."
He said, "Well, what is the good of talking with a fool like that?"
(April 1929
Conference Report, p. 128 ff)

Of course we now know that cement structures have been discovered in central
America. But there are some things which have not been found, all of which have
been discussed here before.
But there are many many things which Joseph Smith nor any other man of his
time could have guessed correctly because they just were not known during his
time, yet they wind up in the Book of Mormon.

Glenn

Markg91359

unread,
Nov 7, 2001, 1:53:39 PM11/7/01
to
Glenn, thanks for a great post. This is a very good reply. This type of
thought-provoking dialogue is what makes ARM worthwhile on occasion.

You wrote:

>The real problem is to ascertain what the basic facts are.

And indeed is a terrific problem. We are looking at events that occurred almost
180 years ago. All we can go by are entries in official records, personal
correspondence, and the later writings of the people involved. There's bound
to be some guesswork in calculating exactly what happened. Finally, there is
the interpretation problem. Someone predisposed to the church is likely to
interpret the facts that exist one way. An antagonist is likely to see them in
an opposite fashion.

The basic problem I have here is that we need context to evaluate Smith's
claims about the BoM. I think most people outside the church would state that
if someone came to them and claimed that an angel told him in a vision that
they would find Golden Plates buried on a hill, that these plates contained
the record of a lost civilization, that the person subsequently claimed he
unearthed the plates and translated them, and finally that when he finished an
angel carried the plates back to heaven, they would meet the claims with
skepticism.

If, subsequently, the non-member learned that this same person had been charged
three years before in the criminal courts with conduct similar to theft by
deception, AND that it involved a story about locating treasure
underground--the non-member's skepticism would likely increase.

The business about Smith's money-digging and trial/examination in the criminal
courts is important precisely because his credibility is at issue.

>That there was a
>trial, or rather an examination (which is more like a preliminary hearing) is
>not
>a question.

Except some LDS scholars still disingenuously try to deny it.

>That some people said that Joseph claimed he could find buried
>treasure, there is little doubt.

Only to those who deliberately blind and deafen themselves to any contrary
evidence.

>I find it rather incredible Joseph would stand up
>and imcriminate himself as he appears to do from the the sources that have
>been
>given.

Well, this is contrary to the three sources....the Dr. Purple letter, the A.W.
Benton letter, and the purported trial record. Maybe all three of them are
wrong. But bear in mind the Purple and Benton letters were written
independently at different times to different entities. One has to wonder how
they could both be mistaken. If the trial record is indeed, invented or a
forgery as some latter day saint scholars contend, one has to ask why are the
names of the witnesses cited therein real people who appear on the census rolls
in 1830 in that part of New York? Possibly parts of the record are invented.
But, I think its a longshot that it was entirely made up.

>He would have to have been incredibly stupid to have done so, and there
>would have been no further need for any other witnesses.

Who knows? Obviously, this was a court pursuing a matter it thought to be
fairly minor. There may not have been strict adherence to procedures by a
justice of the peace. Its a reasonable point though.

>If Joseph were indeed discharged, as Dr. Purple
>stated, then the reports in Fraser's and the New Scharf-Herzog Encyclopedia
>that
>Joseph was found guilty is a lie.

The reports would be incorrect, or Purple would be incorrect. Lie maybe too
strong a comment. Maybe Smith was convicted and then left off with a warning,
or probation that took place quickly. Maybe there is some room for
interpretation of what happened. It does seem evident that whatever occurred,
there was no jail time handed to Smith.

> Those articles were printed as coming from an official court record, which
>is
>not all that likely, since written records were only required for felony
>cases,
>and Joseph's case was clearly labelled a misdemeanor on Justice Neely's bill.

It may have been a situation where there wasn't strict adherence to procedures.
Or parts of the record maybe made up and other parts correct...its difficult
to say with certainty. Again, you make a valid point.

> Both Lucy Mack Smith and Joseph Smith jr. inform us that Josiah Stowell came
>seeking Joseph when he learned that Joseph had some kind of seer stone.

You should ask why did Stowell travel all the way from Bainbridge to Palmyra.
Its a fair distance. Could it have been because Smith had an established
reputation doing this sort of work? What else would have motivated him to make
this journey and offer him wages and lodging just to dig for treasure?

> Now if you are to accept all of this as the gospel truth, that the
>purported
>court record is legit, then you will have to disabuse yourself of the notion
>that
>Joseph being able to see things with his stone "is pure nonsense".

I'm trying to follow this point. Are you suggesting people can see things
underground through stones?

> maybe you can come to the
>conclusion that the whole thing has been blown completely out of proportion,
>a
>mountain made out of a molehill.

This is one possible scenario....and it would be nice to have more information.
I can't think of a more important event--in terms of helping establish context
and credibility--when three years later the same person claims he dug up Golden
Plates on a hill and that we can't see them because an angel carried them back
to heaven.

I don't the know the answer myself because I wasn't there, but I find these
events more than a little interesting.

Mark

CharlesSWaters

unread,
Nov 7, 2001, 2:38:34 PM11/7/01
to

"Glenn Thigpen" <glennt...@tcnet-nc.com> wrote in message
news:3BE87BF0...@tcnet-nc.com...

The book of Mormon, Koran, asops fables, etc., prove nothing.

Fool Speck

unread,
Nov 7, 2001, 3:56:05 PM11/7/01
to
Glenn Thigpen <glennt...@tcnet-nc.com> wrote in message news:<3BE87CC2...@tcnet-nc.com>...

I guess I am missing your point, Glenn. Sources are quoted through
out the article. Which document source do you need that is not
listed?

I actually have not noticed any significant differences in the
accounts, at least none that conflict. I do have to admit my bias,
however, so perhaps I could ask you to list a few of the significant
conflicts that we may discuss them?

I would also be interested in particular criticisms of that web page.
I realize that it may be difficult to enumerate specifics, however
only the specifics count. Wouldn't you agree?

Steve Lowther

cdowis

unread,
Nov 7, 2001, 4:14:05 PM11/7/01
to
markg...@aol.com (Markg91359) wrote in message news:<20011106155443...@mb-fq.aol.com>...

> >And........???? Perhaps I am missing something here, but I see
> >nothing proving the exact text of the so-called transcript of the
> >trial. Where is the original copy?
> >
>
> This may be beyond you to follow Charles, but for the benefit of the others
> here let me say the following:
>
> 1. When Fawn Brodie published NMKMH in 1945, the book was, IMO, legitimately
> criticized by the LDS Church for relying too much on this transcript that has
> been quoted here. The transcript was allegedly torn out of a court docket book
> by Emily Pearsall, who was a relative of the Judge who presided at the trial,
> Judge Neely. It is quite true that since the original document does not exist
> that one can argue, that all kinds of liberties could have been taken with it.
> However, what has been found subsequently, generally bears out the "overall
> authenticity" of what occurred.
>
> 2. Subsequent research unearthed letters written by A.W. Benton and Dr. Purple
> (Dr. Purple was regarded as an eminent physician and historical authority in
> Bainbridge, NY where the proceedings took place). There is some disagreement
> on some specifics in these letters. A.W. Benton contends that Smith was tried
> and convicted. Dr. Purple contends he was acquitted because the person
> allegedly being defrauded (Josiah Stowell) stood up in court and declared he
> believed Smith could see buried treasure underground by looking through a seer
> stone. However, both independent accounts agree there was a trial and that
> Smith was being tried for being a disorderly person and a "money digger".

There is no disputation that there was a trial.

>
> Interestingly, both A W Benton and Dr. Purple in independent correspondence
> talk about the witnesses who testified during the trial.

There were witnesses.

There is a great deal
> of concurrence on who the witnesses were and what they said. Much of this
> correlates with the material in the Pearsall transcript. Thus, in some sense,
> authenticating the Pearsall transcript as legitimate.

The issue is whether this alleged transcript is *based* on the
original, with most of the facts from the original included but with
significant changes, or if it is the actual original.

>
> 3. Other research by Dale Morgan established that the names of the people who
> appear in the Pearsall transcript as witnesses were not made up. They were
> actual living people who appear in the US Census Records in 1830 in the area.
> Its hard to imagine Pearsall, or others, could have totally fabricated this
> transcript, but gotten all these names correct.

Yawn.

The faked transcript has a factual basis on the actual transcript,
with only minor, but significant changes.

You keep proving what I have already said.

>
> 4. Smith conceded to Oliver Cowdery that in his youth he had been involved in
> some legal trouble. Although, Cowdery's version is that he was totally
> exonerated of the charges.

OK.



>
> 5. Wesley Walters came along in the 1970's and produced other legal documents
> indicating there had been criminal proceedings brought against Smith.

I think you are repeating what we already know. Please get to the
point of the authenticity of the complete text of this alleged
transcript.

>
> 6. The fact there was likely a trial has been conceded by Mormon scholars who
> have written in BYU Studies. (See "Joseph Smith's 1826 Trial: The Legal
> Setting", by Gordon Madsen, BYU Studies, 1978, P. 91)


Yes, yes, yes. Now get to the issue, please. The authenticity of the
text of this faked transcript.


>
> One bugaboo that constantly arises about this trial is a fixation that the only
> important thing is whether Smith was found guilty or innocent.

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

The issue we are discussing is the authenticity of the faked
transcript.

I think based
> on the historical evidence we have its hard to say definitely what the court's
> finding was. In my view "guilt or innocence" is a red herring here, anyway.
> The importance of the trial lies in the facts that were established.
>
> First it is clear is that there was a trial (despite protestations to the
> contrary of some LDS scholars). Several witnesses testified to Smith claiming
> he could see buried treasure underground with a seer stone. Further, that
> Josiah Stowell believed Smith could do this, even though treasure was, of
> course, never found.
>
> The implications of this seem clear. Smith claimed he could see buried
> treasure underground with a stone, even though its pure nonsense. Smith must
> have been quite a persuasive person enough because even though he never found
> treasure, Stowell remained a believer in his claims. Finally, its quite a
> coincidence in my view that all this occurred in 1826--just three years before
> the BoM was translated and the CJCLDS was founded.
>
> The original copy may not be available, Charles, but its not necessary to
> establish the most important events that occurred. Quibbling over details,
> rather than focusing on the basic facts does not help your cause.


This is very funny. You call "quibbling" when I ask for proof of the
authenticity of the *text* of this so-called transcript.

I repeat --> the antis stole the manuscript, they then "lost" what
they claim to be the text of that transcript. Now please prove that
the text of the transcript is correct and authentic.

That is not a "quibble", that is the issue itself.


>
> Mark
>
> Mark

Glenn Thigpen

unread,
Nov 7, 2001, 10:18:04 PM11/7/01
to
Markg91359 wrote:

> Glenn, thanks for a great post. This is a very good reply. This type of
> thought-provoking dialogue is what makes ARM worthwhile on occasion.
>
> You wrote:
>
> >The real problem is to ascertain what the basic facts are.
>
> And indeed is a terrific problem. We are looking at events that occurred almost
> 180 years ago. All we can go by are entries in official records, personal
> correspondence, and the later writings of the people involved. There's bound
> to be some guesswork in calculating exactly what happened. Finally, there is
> the interpretation problem. Someone predisposed to the church is likely to
> interpret the facts that exist one way. An antagonist is likely to see them in
> an opposite fashion.
>
> The basic problem I have here is that we need context to evaluate Smith's
> claims about the BoM. I think most people outside the church would state that
> if someone came to them and claimed that an angel told him in a vision that
> they would find Golden Plates buried on a hill, that these plates contained
> the record of a lost civilization, that the person subsequently claimed he
> unearthed the plates and translated them, and finally that when he finished an
> angel carried the plates back to heaven, they would meet the claims with
> skepticism.

Without a doubt.

>
>
> If, subsequently, the non-member learned that this same person had been charged
> three years before in the criminal courts with conduct similar to theft by
> deception, AND that it involved a story about locating treasure
> underground--the non-member's skepticism would likely increase.

Here is the rub. We do not know exactly what Joseph was charged with. Justice
Neely's bill only indicates that it was a misdemeanor. Dr. Purple said that he was
tried for vagrancy. A. W. Benton and Oliver Cowdery both said that he was charged
with being a disorderly person. Fraser's said that he was brought up on charges of
being a disorderly person and and imposter by one Peter Bridgeman, while Doctor
Purple said it was two of the sons of Josiah Stowell.

>
>
> The business about Smith's money-digging and trial/examination in the criminal
> courts is important precisely because his credibility is at issue.

Isn't the credibility of the witnesses and their motivations just as important?

Just a thought. When Philatus Hurlbut visited the Palmyra region in 1834 on his
character assination mission, if this had been such a big deal, why did not at
least one of those affidavits have something about it? That was only eight years
later.

>
>
> >That there was a
> >trial, or rather an examination (which is more like a preliminary hearing) is
> >not
> >a question.
>
> Except some LDS scholars still disingenuously try to deny it.
>
> >That some people said that Joseph claimed he could find buried
> >treasure, there is little doubt.
>
> Only to those who deliberately blind and deafen themselves to any contrary
> evidence.
>
> >I find it rather incredible Joseph would stand up
> >and imcriminate himself as he appears to do from the the sources that have
> >been
> >given.
>
> Well, this is contrary to the three sources....the Dr. Purple letter, the A.W.
> Benton letter, and the purported trial record. Maybe all three of them are
> wrong. But bear in mind the Purple and Benton letters were written
> independently at different times to different entities. One has to wonder how
> they could both be mistaken. If the trial record is indeed, invented or a
> forgery as some latter day saint scholars contend, one has to ask why are the
> names of the witnesses cited therein real people who appear on the census rolls
> in 1830 in that part of New York? Possibly parts of the record are invented.
> But, I think its a longshot that it was entirely made up.

I am not cognizant of the contents of the A. W. Benton letter, except that the
one he wrote in 1831. Could you kindly post the excerpt you are referring to?

>
>
> >He would have to have been incredibly stupid to have done so, and there
> >would have been no further need for any other witnesses.
>
> Who knows? Obviously, this was a court pursuing a matter it thought to be
> fairly minor. There may not have been strict adherence to procedures by a
> justice of the peace. Its a reasonable point though.
>
> >If Joseph were indeed discharged, as Dr. Purple
> >stated, then the reports in Fraser's and the New Scharf-Herzog Encyclopedia
> >that
> >Joseph was found guilty is a lie.
>
> The reports would be incorrect, or Purple would be incorrect. Lie maybe too
> strong a comment. Maybe Smith was convicted and then left off with a warning,
> or probation that took place quickly. Maybe there is some room for
> interpretation of what happened. It does seem evident that whatever occurred,
> there was no jail time handed to Smith.

From what I have been able to ascertain about this proceeding, an examination
is more like a preliminary hearing to determine if there is cause to hold someone
over for a regular trial. It does seem evident that Joseph was not held over for
anything.

>
>
> > Those articles were printed as coming from an official court record, which
> >is
> >not all that likely, since written records were only required for felony
> >cases,
> >and Joseph's case was clearly labelled a misdemeanor on Justice Neely's bill.
>
> It may have been a situation where there wasn't strict adherence to procedures.
> Or parts of the record maybe made up and other parts correct...its difficult
> to say with certainty. Again, you make a valid point.
>
> > Both Lucy Mack Smith and Joseph Smith jr. inform us that Josiah Stowell came
> >seeking Joseph when he learned that Joseph had some kind of seer stone.
>
> You should ask why did Stowell travel all the way from Bainbridge to Palmyra.
> Its a fair distance. Could it have been because Smith had an established
> reputation doing this sort of work? What else would have motivated him to make
> this journey and offer him wages and lodging just to dig for treasure?
>
> > Now if you are to accept all of this as the gospel truth, that the
> >purported
> >court record is legit, then you will have to disabuse yourself of the notion
> >that
> >Joseph being able to see things with his stone "is pure nonsense".
>
> I'm trying to follow this point. Are you suggesting people can see things
> underground through stones?

I thought I included the part of Josiah Stowell testimony where when he
(Josiah) was at his brother's home in Palmyra he said that Joseph correctly
described his home and outhouses as well as a painted tree with the image of a
man's hand on it.


>
> > maybe you can come to the
> >conclusion that the whole thing has been blown completely out of proportion,
> >a
> >mountain made out of a molehill.
>
> This is one possible scenario....and it would be nice to have more information.
> I can't think of a more important event--in terms of helping establish context
> and credibility--when three years later the same person claims he dug up Golden
> Plates on a hill and that we can't see them because an angel carried them back
> to heaven.

In this instance, though, there were eleven other men who saw those plates. Not
one of them ever recanted that testimony, although several of them later left the
Church for various reasons.

Glenn


Kevin Thurston

unread,
Nov 7, 2001, 10:28:49 PM11/7/01
to

"Glenn Thigpen" <glennt...@tcnet-nc.com> wrote in message
news:3BE890CF...@tcnet-nc.com...

> Kevin Thurston wrote:
>
> > "Glenn Thigpen" <glennt...@tcnet-nc.com> wrote in message
<snippage>

> Yes, you have jumped to conclusions here. But I will say this, that my
> belief in the Book of Mormon, my testimony came before I began to explore
the
> other aspects of the Book, beginning with a class taught by Daniel H.
Ludlow in
> 1964. Therein he cautioned his students not to jump on every "evidence"
> bandwagon that rolled through town.

That's consistent with my expectation/conclusion.

> To the TBM, it would take proof on the order of proving beyound any
shadow
> of a doubt, that there is no God, to change their belief in the Book of
Mormon.

That's a remarkable claim, because it forces me to examine the converse:
that there is no evidence of God beyond the existence of the BoM. This is an
absurd conclusion. The concept of general revelation has to precede the BoM.
Certainly the TBM can entertain the thought that God exists even if the BoM
is a fraud?

You might find this link interesting:
http://www.doesgodexist.org/

> To the skeptic, there is no proof less than actually proving that God
exists
> beyond any shadow of doubt, to compell him to believe in the Book of
Mormon.

Actually I think there are plenty of skeptics of mormonism who can accept
the existence of God without the BoM. I fail to see how you can tie the
existence of God to the validity of the BoM.

> I cheerfully admit to being much closer to the TBM camp than the
skeptic
> camp, and offer no apologies for my testimony.

Your posting history (of which I am more familiar than you might expect)
places you squarely in the TBM camp. This is why I posted as I did
previously.

> That does not mean that I have turned off my mind and play the robot
with my
> life.

Yet you have difficulty separating the existence of God and the validity of
the BoM?

<snippage for brevity>


> Of course we now know that cement structures have been discovered in
central
> America. But there are some things which have not been found, all of which
have
> been discussed here before.

Yes, the prior discussions have clearly shown that the BoM history is
inconsistent with the data, regardless of cement. While you are so busy
focusing on what we don't know and haven't found, you ignore what we do know
and have found.

> But there are many many things which Joseph Smith nor any other man of
his
> time could have guessed correctly because they just were not known during
his
> time, yet they wind up in the Book of Mormon.

I haven't seen anything beyond post hoc rationalization and conjecture. A
rational evaluation of the BoM reveals it is not true.

Kevin Thurston
--
"FACTS?!?!? Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove ANYTHING
that's even REMOTELY true."... Homer Simpson


Glenn Thigpen

unread,
Nov 7, 2001, 11:51:32 PM11/7/01
to
Fool Speck wrote:

> Glenn Thigpen <glennt...@tcnet-nc.com> wrote in message news:<3BE87CC2...@tcnet-nc.com>...
> > Fool Speck wrote:
> >
> > > cdo...@my-dejanews.com (cdowis) wrote in message news:<93c36e92.01110...@posting.google.com>...
> > > > srlo...@hotmail.com (Fool Speck) wrote in message news:<da736b0d.0111...@posting.google.com>...
> > > > snip
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > > It seems the author (Jacobs) has failed to review Smith's testimony
> > > > > which Smith himself admits as much:
> > > > >
> > > > > "Prisoner brought before Court March 20, 1826. Prisoner examined: says
> > > > > that he came from the town of Palmyra, snip
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Please give us the source.
> > >
> > > http://www.xmission.com/~country/reason/ny_js.htm
> > >
> > > Steve
> >
> > Of course this is a source which curiously no one has been able to produce for any of us to verify where it
> > actually came from. As you may have already noticed, there are several accounts with quite some few differences.
> >
> > Glenn
>
> I guess I am missing your point, Glenn. Sources are quoted through
> out the article. Which document source do you need that is not
> listed?

The source I am referring to is the report published in Fraser's Magazine in 1873 and later much the same one
published in 1883 in the New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia. Whoever wrote it obviously had some knowledge of the trial,
but as I noted in another post, it is not likely an official transcript. New York law, as quoted by the Tanners
requires that those examinations concerning treason and felony be recorded. The Tanners go on quite a bit endeavoring
to show that any offense could be viewed as a felony, but are using an 1829 New York Book of Revised Statutes to
bolster their case which is moot because they are ignoring the evidence from Justice Neely' bill which clearly states
that Joseph was being examined on a misdemeanor charge.
This is not saying that the proceedings could not have been written down by someone, just that it was not
required. I really find it odd that Justice Neely's bill is listed at the end of the report. That would have come
only after the proceeding was over and Neely had itemized his charges.
Also, there is no information as to the disposition of the case, which would seem to be a reasonable item to be
noted on any official document which goes so far as to list the mundane items of the Justice's bill.


> I actually have not noticed any significant differences in the
> accounts, at least none that conflict. I do have to admit my bias,
> however, so perhaps I could ask you to list a few of the significant
> conflicts that we may discuss them?

A. W. Benton (who may or may not have been at the trial) in 1831 said that Joseph was tried and condemned before a
court of Justice but was designedly allowed to escape.
Dr. W. D. Purple, who claimed to have taken notes at Justice Neely's request said that Joseph was discharged.
Oliver Cowdery (who was almost surely not at the trial) in 1835 said that Joseph was discharged.
The report in Fraser's and the New said that he was found guilty.
Dr. Purple said that Joseph was brought up on charges of vagrancy.
A. W. Benton says that Joseph was brought up on charges of being a disorderly person, which was echoed by Oliver
Cowdery.
Fraser's reports a disorderly person and imposter.
Dr. Purple says that two of the son's of Josiah Stowell were the ones that preferred the charges.
Fraser's reports that it was one Peter Bridgeman.
A .W. Benton says that it was the public.
Oliver Cowdery says that it was an officious person.

>
>
> I would also be interested in particular criticisms of that web page.
> I realize that it may be difficult to enumerate specifics, however
> only the specifics count. Wouldn't you agree?
>
> Steve Lowther

In addition to the problem I noted above with the Tanners' reasoning, I see the following problem. Their research
on the character of an examination according to New York law as delineated in "An Inspector Generalis" of 1819, led
them to conclude that an examination is like a preliminary hearing and they even give us an example to ensure that we
are all on the same page.
They then take exception to the conclusion of an LDS writer who asserted that a "guilty" verdict would be
innappropriate for such a proceeding. But in attempting to make their point they use cases and documents from
Illinois and Ohio, not New York, which really begs the question, of why not New York, which is where the proceedings
were taking place?
If they are correct in their conclusion that this examination was indeed like a preliminary hearing, what would
have been the options available to the Court? They concluded that if if the Justice felt that the evidence warranted
such, the prisoner would be bound over and held for trial. They go to great pains to point out that this was an
examination. or preliminary hearing and not a trial.
So just what did happen? Was he discharged or was he held over for trial at a later datebut allowed to escape?
Constable Dezeng's bill does not list a charge for a mittimus to bind Joseph over for trial. The dockets for none of
the four Justices in the area list no later trial of Joseph. If Joseph was designedly allowed to escape, he didn;t go
far, as history shows that he remained on Josiah Stowell's farm for several weeks after this date. Surely if he were
allowed to escape, a warrant for his reapprehension would have been issued to ensure that he took "leg bail" out of
the country as Joel K. Noble intimated in a letter in 1841 (I think it was 1841).
The Tanners lay out the logic for a preliminary hearing but do not gollow where there own logic was taking them.

Glenn

Glenn Thigpen

unread,
Nov 7, 2001, 11:52:20 PM11/7/01
to
CharlesSWaters wrote:

> "Glenn Thigpen" <glennt...@tcnet-nc.com> wrote in message
> news:3BE87BF0...@tcnet-nc.com...
> > >
> > > > CharlesSWaters wrote:
> > >
> > > > >
> > > > > Joseph Smith's folk magic expertise has been documented.
> > > >
> >
> > "Glenn Thigpen" <glennt...@tcnet-nc.com> wrote in message
> >
> > >
> > > > So have the translation of the Book of Mormon, the existence of the
> > > golden
> > > > plates, the restoration of the priesthood, etc.
> >
> > "Glenn Thigpen" <glennt...@tcnet-nc.com> wrote in message
> >
> >
> > To which Charles Waters replied
> >
> > > So has the divine creation of the Koran, the mission of Islam, the
> divine
> > > Islamic laws of God, etc.
> >
> > and added redundantly,
> >
> > >
> > >
> > > O, and Joseph Smiths folk magic practices.
> > >
> >
> > So Glenn replies:
> > Then documentation in and of itself seems to prove nothing.
> >
> > Glenn
>
> The book of Mormon, Koran, asops fables, etc., prove nothing.

I agree.

Glenn


Glenn Thigpen

unread,
Nov 8, 2001, 5:05:52 PM11/8/01
to
Kevin Thurston wrote:

<snip for brevity>

> I haven't seen anything beyond post hoc rationalization and conjecture. A
> rational evaluation of the BoM reveals it is not true.
>
> Kevin Thurston

Please rationally demonstrate that the Book of Mormon is not true.

Glenn

Clovis Lark

unread,
Nov 8, 2001, 5:19:35 PM11/8/01
to

> <snip for brevity>

Is that what you mean? Or might you mean "Please rationally demonstrate
that the claims of Book of Mormon are not true" or "Please rationally
demonstrate that the claims of the origins for the Book of Mormon are not
true"?

> Glenn

Glenn Thigpen

unread,
Nov 8, 2001, 6:56:27 PM11/8/01
to
Clovis Lark wrote:

Whatever.

Glenn

Kevin Thurston

unread,
Nov 8, 2001, 7:11:44 PM11/8/01
to

"Glenn Thigpen" <glennt...@tcnet-nc.com> wrote in message
news:3BEAF570...@tcnet-nc.com...

What happened? You ignored most of the points I raised.

The discussions about the validity of the BoM have been done ad infinitum on
this forum and your side has never done well. The BoM makes claims about the
ancient inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere that are known to be false. It
makes claims of supernatural origin. The extraordinary claims of the BoM
require extraordinary proof, therefore any rational being will require proof
of it's validity, not the other way around. The burden of proof is on you.
I've seen FARMS articles, I've seen apologetic websites, but I've never seen
anything that wasn't post hoc rationalization and conjecture. My statement
that a rational evaluation of the BoM reveals it is not true, stands.

Despite your dancing around the issue, I can reasonably conclude that your
faith or "testimony" is what convinces you of the validity of the BoM, and
all the post hoc rationalizations give you comfort in that faith. That's not
dealing with facts.

Clovis Lark

unread,
Nov 8, 2001, 7:35:35 PM11/8/01
to

> Whatever.

As if...

> Glenn

Glenn Thigpen

unread,
Nov 8, 2001, 7:53:09 PM11/8/01
to
Kevin Thurston wrote:

> "Glenn Thigpen" <glennt...@tcnet-nc.com> wrote in message
> news:3BEAF570...@tcnet-nc.com...
> > Kevin Thurston wrote:
> >
> > <snip for brevity>
> >
> > > I haven't seen anything beyond post hoc rationalization and conjecture.
> A
> > > rational evaluation of the BoM reveals it is not true.
> > >
> > > Kevin Thurston
> >
> > Please rationally demonstrate that the Book of Mormon is not true.
>
> What happened? You ignored most of the points I raised.
>
> The discussions about the validity of the BoM have been done ad infinitum on
> this forum and your side has never done well. The BoM makes claims about the
> ancient inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere that are known to be false.

It makes claims that have not been verified yet. Some of then have.


> It
> makes claims of supernatural origin. The extraordinary claims of the BoM
> require extraordinary proof, therefore any rational being will require proof
> of it's validity, not the other way around.

The Book of Mormon tells you how to put to the test the extraordinary claims
it makes.


> The burden of proof is on you.

Why. I believe the book of mormon and am comfortable with that belief. It is
there for you to accept or reject at your pleasure.


> I've seen FARMS articles, I've seen apologetic websites, but I've never seen
> anything that wasn't post hoc rationalization and conjecture.

Of course you do not actually come out and give a rational refutation of
those alleged conjectures.


> My statement
> that a rational evaluation of the BoM reveals it is not true, stands.

In your opinion. You have not demonstrated a rational evaluation yet.

>
>
> Despite your dancing around the issue, I can reasonably conclude that your
> faith or "testimony" is what convinces you of the validity of the BoM, and
> all the post hoc rationalizations give you comfort in that faith. That's not
> dealing with facts.

I am not dancing. I am waiting for you to give a rational refutation of the
work by the FARMS work on the Book of Mormon. Take any one of the contibutors
and take them apart, using logic, and facts.

Glenn


TheJordan6

unread,
Nov 9, 2001, 12:18:08 AM11/9/01
to
>From: "CharlesSWaters" cswater...@newsguy.com
>Date: 11/3/2001 1:59 PM Eastern Standard Time
>Message-id: <9s1en...@enews2.newsguy.com>
>
>
>"Kevin Thurston" <akth...@concentric.net> wrote in message
>news:9rvp9t$s...@dispatch.concentric.net...

>> Which is more likely:
>> Prior to publishing the BoM, Joseph Smith had a fascination with the folk
>> magic of the day, dabbled in aspects of it (divination pertaining to money
>> digging) and was interested in the speculation of the day about where the
>> native Americans came from and their role in the construction of mounds
>that
>> were common to the area.
>>
>> Or:
>> Joseph Smith had no interest or experience in all those things mentioned
>> above, and he was visited by an angel (either Nephi or Moroni who was
>> actually a dead person from ancient America) who showed him where he could
>> dig up a treasure he was not allowed to cash in on, but had to translate
>> into a book which was actually an ancient revelation from God.
>> ?
>> Which is more likely?
>
>Joseph Smith's folk magic expertise has been documented.
>
>--
>
>Cheerio,
>Charles

Shhhh! Woody or Dowis might hear you.

Randy J.

TheJordan6

unread,
Nov 9, 2001, 12:36:28 AM11/9/01
to
>From: markg...@aol.com (Markg91359)
>Date: 11/7/2001 1:53 PM Eastern Standard Time
>Message-id: <20011107135339...@mb-mg.aol.com>

Right. And, as I've written numerous times, the most revealing aspect of ALL
the trial accounts, beginning with Benton's in 1831, is that there is no
mention of Smith claiming to have had a "first vision" in 1820, or annual
visits from "the angel Moroni" since 1823, nor any talk of him having a
heavenly mission to 'restore the true gospel.' One would think that visits
from the Creator of the Universe, Jesus Christ, and angels, would have rated at
least a passing mention during the examination---especially since Smith later
claimed that he had been "persecuted" by local religious leaders for claiming
to have seen a vision. Funny, there isn't a single item of documentation from
anyone besides Smith to prove his claims of "persecution" either.

Indeed, there is not a single contemporary document that gives us any
indication that Smith began telling his tales of visions and angels before
about the summer of 1827. And that is why numerous contemporary accounts (from
1830-34) combine to indicate that Smith and his family engaged in a
transformation from peep-stoning and money-digging to claims of religion-like
visions sometime in 1827.

In short, the evidence indicates that Smith's claims of his "First vision" and
"Moroni's visits" were invented several years after their alleged occurrences.
The inconsistent accounts of those alleged visions also bear that out.

Randy J.

Cheap Suit

unread,
Nov 9, 2001, 12:48:11 AM11/9/01
to
TheJordan6 wrote:

they were too sacred to talk about.


dangerous
think global, act loco
<------------------------------------------------------------------------------>
chea...@dangerous1.com
<www.dangerous1.com>
don marchant
<------------------------------------------------------------------------------>


TheJordan6

unread,
Nov 9, 2001, 12:50:53 AM11/9/01
to
>From: Glenn Thigpen glennt...@tcnet-nc.com
>Date: 11/6/2001 8:06 PM Eastern Standard Time
>Message-id: <3BE87CC2...@tcnet-nc.com>

But they all combine to tell the full story of Smith's peep-stoning efforts for
Stowell. If anyone attending that trial had had any idea that Smith would,
three years in the future, be claiming that his same "peep-stone" could
translate gold plates that were delivered to him by an ex-mortal, you can bet
your sweet bippy that they would have recorded every word said and every claim
made. The only reason that there is no one "official" trial account, or that
there are any differences in the ones that exist, is because the incident was a
one-day examination of a misdemeanor charge in a sleepy hamlet, and those in
attendance forgot about it as soon as Smith moved back to Palmyra. It was only
the fact that Smith came back to Harmony in 1830 pitching the BOM that
motivated Benton to write his article about the 1826 trial. If it weren't for
that, we wouldn't even have a single near-contemporary record of the event.

Randy J.

Bill Williams

unread,
Nov 9, 2001, 6:46:35 AM11/9/01
to

"TheJordan6" <thejo...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:20011109003628...@mb-fi.aol.com...

Excellent, Randy. If the visions experienced by JS had really been received
at the claimed times, it would have been exciting news and very
controversial. There would surely have been references in the papers and in
journals and affidavits of the time. All the claims are later and evolving
concoctions.

Bill Williams


R. L. Measures

unread,
Nov 9, 2001, 9:00:38 AM11/9/01
to
In article <20011109001808...@mb-fi.aol.com>,
thejo...@aol.com (TheJordan6) wrote:

€ Not if Smith's ingenious logic-inhibit circuit is working.

cheers, Randy J.

alquijano

unread,
Nov 9, 2001, 1:28:02 PM11/9/01
to
In article <3BE9ED10...@tcnet-nc.com>, Glenn Thigpen
<glennt...@tcnet-nc.com> wrote:

> In this instance, though, there were eleven other men who saw those
> plates. Not
> one of them ever recanted that testimony, although several of them later
> left the
> Church for various reasons.


And the fact that they left the church is truly amazing to me. I
reflect on the signs and wonders viewed by Laman and Lemuel; seeing
golden plates of the nature the witnesses describe certainly approaches
miraculous; yet several turned their backs on an obvious demonstration
from God--no faith necessary. It was right in front of their eyes. How
does an objective person evaluate those events? Much is made of the
fact that none of them ever "recanted." But doesn't leaving the church
say something about the strength of their conviction.

Authorities are always asking why the home teaching isn't done.
Countless hours are spent evaluating the subject. The reason is simple:
the members do not believe they are on God's errand. If they did, the
home teaching would get done. Now, the same people (those not doing
thier home teaching) will stand up in testimony meeting and tell you
they know God lives and that the Church is true: they haven't recanted;
but you can evaluate the strength of their conviction by their actions.

I cannot imagine seeing an angel of God, believing the angel was from
God, then leaving the very organization and prophet endorsed by the
angel. Little in human nature surprises me anymore but I do not
associate the behavior of the witnesses who left the church with that of
firm conviction. If something changed in the organization that caused
otherwise credible men, not just one or two, to leave, such action
should not be examined casually.

TheJordan6

unread,
Nov 9, 2001, 8:43:38 PM11/9/01
to
Glenn Thigpen wrote:

> Here is the rub. We do not know exactly what Joseph was charged with.
>Justice
>Neely's bill only indicates that it was a misdemeanor. Dr. Purple said that
>he was
>tried for vagrancy. A. W. Benton and Oliver Cowdery both said that he was
>charged
>with being a disorderly person. Fraser's said that he was brought up on
>charges of

>being a disorderly person and an imposter by one Peter Bridgeman, while


>Doctor
>Purple said it was two of the sons of Josiah Stowell.

Glenn, although I doubt you'll gain anything from this, I'm going to try to
explain what happened in Smith's trial with a personal story. A couple of
years ago, my son, who had just turned 18, was arrested along with two neighbor
boys for "criminal trespass." Now, that sounds pretty dastardly, but their
specific act was climbing up a maintenace ladder of a local church to shoot off
fireworks from its roof. They couldn't be charged with breaking and entering,
because they didn't break in; they merely climbed the ladder. They couldn't be
charged with theft or burglary, because they didn't steal anything, not had any
intention to. So the only thing the cops could charge them with was criminal
trespassing. After spending the night in the intake facility, we posted his
bail and he received a court date. My son had already apologized to the youth
minister of the church, who didn't even want to press charges, but since it was
the arresting officers who pressed the charges, the case had to proceed. The
youth minister wrote the presiding judge a letter attesting to my son's honesty
and lack of criminal intent, and asked the judge to dismiss the case or to let
the church administer its own justice. When my son appeared before the judge,
he read the letter and told my son to spend 20 hours cleaning the church under
the supervision of the youth minister, which he did. The court appearance took
all of about two minutes. After performing his service, my son's record was
wiped clean as though he had never been arrested.

Now, comparing this to Smith's 1826 trial: I've read one report of a NY law
that prohibited "peeping and muttering", but I can't recall it at present; it
seems to me that Smith was charged with disorderly conduct or being an
"imposter" perhaps because there was no specific charge against "charging
people money for putting your face in a hat and claiming to see buried
treasure", just as there is no specific charge for "setting off fireworks from
the church rooftop." IOW, Stowell's nephews (or sons) had to have him charged
with some kind of fraudulent activity to prevent Smith from, in their eyes,
bilking the credulous Stowell out of his money. So they went with "disorderly
person" or "imposter" or "vagrant." It's obvious from the combined trial
accounts that the judge went easy on Smith, because Smith feigned remorse and
promised to cease such activity. That's likely why Noble's account spoke of
"leg bail," IOW, Smith was indeed guilty as charged, but he was "allowed to
escape", or go free without serving time, and only paying court costs. The
judge likely couldn't set any harsher sentence, because Stowell believed in
Smith's abilities and refused to testify against him. If the man who is being
scammed doesn't mind, there's nothing a judge can do about it. Just as in my
son's case, Smith was allowed to go free because of his youth and first
offense---in Benton's words, hoping that he would reform his conduct. That
judgment isn't one whit different from what a judge of today would do with a
misdemeanor case, as exhibited by my son's experience. But the fact that Smith
got off easy DOES NOT mean that he WAS NOT doing what he was charged
with---taking peoples' money by pretending to have psychic powers that enabled
him to find buried treasure. Seeing as how Smith never found any buried
treasure for Stowell, for himself, or anyone else, it's obvious that his
efforts were fraudulent and engaged in purely for the "fourteen dollars a
month" Smith claimed to earn from Stowell (which was a higher-than-average wage
for the day.) Stowell's nephews put a stop to his game.

If Smith had not three years later began claiming to have translated the "gold
plates" via his same seer-stone scam which he had been tried for in 1826, the
Bainbridge trial would have not likely been remembered by anyone. Like I say,
my son's record was wiped clean, and the only people who even remember it two
years later are us, his buddies, and the youth minister. In that light, it's
surprising that any records or accounts of Smith's trial survived AT ALL. The
fact that the accounts don't agree on every detail does not mean that the trial
didn't occur, or that Smith wasn't guilty as charged; in fact, his
"peep-stoning" was attested to by numerous other witnesses unrelated to the
trial recorders, be they pro-Smith, anti-Smith, or indifferent. Those who
wrote of the trial conflicted on some minor details, but those conflicts do not
magically make the fact that the trial occurred disappear.

So, when you write "We don't know exactly what Smith was charged with," we DO
indeed know the specific act---"peep-stoning" for money, as attested to by
numerous other accounts, including Smith himself and his own mother.

Randy J.

TheJordan6

unread,
Nov 9, 2001, 9:06:35 PM11/9/01
to
Glenn Thigpen wrote:

> Just a thought. When Philatus Hurlbut visited the Palmyra region in 1834
>on his
>character assination mission, if this had been such a big deal, why did not
>at
>least one of those affidavits have something about it? That was only eight
>years
>later.

Your lack of knowledge of the history once again hurts you. The 1826 trial
took place at Bainbridge, 80 miles southeast of Palmyra; Hurlbut didn't go
there; he only interviewed Smith's Palymra nieghbors and Spaulding's widow near
Syracuse. Hurlbut obtained Palmyra resident Peter Ingersoll's testimony of his
experience in moving Smith and Emma's furniture from Harmony to Palymra;
Ingersoll's presence on the scene is corroborated in Lucy Mack Smith's
"Biographical Sketches," and was quoted as a credible reference in the February
2001 "Ensign" magazine. Ingersoll's affidavit (obtained by Hurlbut)
corroborates the details of the angry confrontation between Smith and Isaac
Hale; Hale swore his affidavit before a Harmony judge; it was published in the
"Suquehanna Register," from which Eber Howe asked Hale's permission to
re-publish it in his "Mormonism Unvailed." (And Hale's affidavit was also
quoted in the same February 2001 "Ensign.") IOW, Hurlbut had absolutely
nothing to do with the obtaining of Hale's affidavit, yet Hale's and
Ingersoll's affidavits corroborate each other. Therefore, neither could have
been "coached" or "influenced" by Hurlbut. The reason that the 1826 trial
isn't mentioned in Hurlbut's (or Howe's) affidavits is becaucse nobody they
interviewed or received affidavits from had attended the trial.

As to your assertion that Hurlbut's trip was a "character assassination
mission," you need to think about two things before you write such ignorance:
One, Smith's "peep-stoning" and money-digging had been written of and widely
published since 1830, beginning with Abner Cole's "Palymra Reflector" articles;
therefore, Hurlbut didn't assassinate Smith's character---he merely gathered
information and more details about Smith's occultic activities that were
already common knowledge. Two, the very reason Hurlbut began his investigation
to begin with is because early Mormon missionaries went to Conneaut, Ohio, to
advertise the BOM; they read portions of it to locals; some of those locals
happened to have been acquaintances of the late Solomon Spaulding, and claimed
that the BOM sounded suspiciously like Spaulding's ramblings. Because of that,
a committee was formed to investigate Smith's background, and Hurlbut was voted
to go to NY to do just that.

The standard Mopologist tactic is to claim that Hurlbut had an "axe to grind"
against Smith, which spurred him to invent his affidavits; but the fact that
the news of Smith's occultic peep-stoning and nocturnal money-digging were
known and published as early as three years before Hurlbut even joined the
Mormonite movement utterly negates that argument. You Mobots need to give up
on discrediting Hurlbut, and move on to an argument that has some merit.

Randy J.


TheJordan6

unread,
Nov 9, 2001, 9:12:31 PM11/9/01
to
>From: Glenn Thigpen <glennt...@tcnet-nc.com>
>Date: Tue, Nov 6, 2001 20:06 EST

>Message-id: <3BE87CC2...@tcnet-nc.com>
>
>Fool Speck wrote:
>
>> cdo...@my-dejanews.com (cdowis) wrote in message
>news:<93c36e92.01110...@posting.google.com>...
>> > srlo...@hotmail.com (Fool Speck) wrote in message
>news:<da736b0d.0111...@posting.google.com>...
>> > snip
>> >
>> >
>> > > It seems the author (Jacobs) has failed to review Smith's testimony
>> > > which Smith himself admits as much:
>> > >
>> > > "Prisoner brought before Court March 20, 1826. Prisoner examined: says
>> > > that he came from the town of Palmyra, snip
>> >
>> >
>> > Please give us the source.
>>
>> http://www.xmission.com/~country/reason/ny_js.htm
>>
>> Steve
>
>Of course this is a source which curiously no one has been able to produce
>for any of us to verify where it
>actually came from.

Now, isn't that funny. No one seems to be able to produce the "gold plates" or
any examples of "Reformed Egyptian" writing either. According to your standard
of proof for the 1826 trial accounts, we must also dismiss the BOM.

>As you may have already noticed, there are several
>accounts with quite some few differences.
>
>Glenn

Indeed, and there are differences in early accounts of the BOM as well, not to
mention wholesale changes in the D&C in two short years between 183 and 1835.
So, I guess we have to throw those in the trash along with the 1826 trial
accounts.

Randy J.


Cheap Suit

unread,
Nov 9, 2001, 9:26:54 PM11/9/01
to
TheJordan6 wrote:

"Continuing revelation" explains the difference in the court accounts quite well.

Glenn Thigpen

unread,
Nov 10, 2001, 1:28:55 AM11/10/01
to
TheJordan6 wrote:

> Glenn Thigpen wrote:
>
> > Just a thought. When Philatus Hurlbut visited the Palmyra region in 1834
> >on his
> >character assination mission, if this had been such a big deal, why did not
> >at
> >least one of those affidavits have something about it? That was only eight
> >years
> >later.
>
> Your lack of knowledge of the history once again hurts you. The 1826 trial
> took place at Bainbridge, 80 miles southeast of Palmyra;

I am feeling no pain. I know where the examination took place and approximately
how far Bainbridge is from Palmyra.


> Hurlbut didn't go
> there; he only interviewed Smith's Palymra nieghbors and Spaulding's widow near
> Syracuse.

I know that he didn't go to Bainbridge.


> Hurlbut obtained Palmyra resident Peter Ingersoll's testimony of his
> experience in moving Smith and Emma's furniture from Harmony to Palymra;
> Ingersoll's presence on the scene is corroborated in Lucy Mack Smith's
> "Biographical Sketches," and was quoted as a credible reference in the February
> 2001 "Ensign" magazine. Ingersoll's affidavit (obtained by Hurlbut)
> corroborates the details of the angry confrontation between Smith and Isaac
> Hale; Hale swore his affidavit before a Harmony judge; it was published in the
> "Suquehanna Register," from which Eber Howe asked Hale's permission to
> re-publish it in his "Mormonism Unvailed." (And Hale's affidavit was also
> quoted in the same February 2001 "Ensign.") IOW, Hurlbut had absolutely
> nothing to do with the obtaining of Hale's affidavit, yet Hale's and
> Ingersoll's affidavits corroborate each other.

From Strang's Book of the Law page 252 and 253:

3. First, among these is an affidavit of Peter Ingersoll,
dated Palmyra, Wayne County,
N.Y., Dec. 2d, 1833, certified by Thomas P. Baldwin, Judge
of Wayne County Court, to
have been sworn before him, "according to law," the 9th day
of Dec., 1833. A few pages
subsequent, are the certificates of six witnesses that
Ingersoll is worthy of credit; a rather
suspicious circumstance, considering that his veracity had
not been questioned.

4. This same Peter Ingersoll is now a resident of Lapeer
County, Michigan, and solemnly
denies that he ever signed or made oath to the affidavit, or
any other affidavit on the
subject. As Thomas P. Baldwin certifies that Ingersoll did
make oath to the statement,
according to law, whereas, in fact, the law did not
authorize him to administer any such
oath, or any extrajudicial oath whatever, his certificate
is, to say the least, not to be
received against Ingersoll's solemn statement that he never
swore to the affidavit. The
certificate is certainly false in one point; for as there is
no law for administering such an
oath, it could not have been done according to law.

5. But as the name of Ingersoll is certainly forged, that of
Judge Baldwin probably is. The
title of his office is erroneously written to his signature,
a mistake he would not be likely
to make himself, though E. D. Howe, of Painesville, Ohio,
might; not being acquainted
with New York jurisprudence. In 1833 there was not in the
State of New York such an
office as Judge of the County Court. Circuit Courts, Oyer
and Terminer, Common Pleas
and General Sessions were held for every county, but there
was no "County Court." Every
official act requiring the signature of a Judge, was signed
by him as Judge of some one of
these Particular Courts; not as Judge of some imaginary
Court, having no existence.


> Therefore, neither could have
> been "coached" or "influenced" by Hurlbut. The reason that the 1826 trial
> isn't mentioned in Hurlbut's (or Howe's) affidavits is becaucse nobody they
> interviewed or received affidavits from had attended the trial.

And had never heard anything of it. The eighty miles from Bainbridge to Palmyra
were no obstacle for Josiah Stowell to have heard of Joseph. He had a brother who
lived in Palmyra. Likewise it would have been no problem for the people of Palmyra
to have heard of any conviction of Joseph in Bainbridge. But not a peep in
Palmyra.


>
>
> As to your assertion that Hurlbut's trip was a "character assassination
> mission," you need to think about two things before you write such ignorance:
> One, Smith's "peep-stoning" and money-digging had been written of and widely
> published since 1830, beginning with Abner Cole's "Palymra Reflector" articles;
> therefore, Hurlbut didn't assassinate Smith's character---he merely gathered
> information and more details about Smith's occultic activities that were
> already common knowledge. Two, the very reason Hurlbut began his investigation
> to begin with is because early Mormon missionaries went to Conneaut, Ohio, to
> advertise the BOM; they read portions of it to locals; some of those locals
> happened to have been acquaintances of the late Solomon Spaulding, and claimed
> that the BOM sounded suspiciously like Spaulding's ramblings. Because of that,
> a committee was formed to investigate Smith's background, and Hurlbut was voted
> to go to NY to do just that.

A quote from this committee as appeared in the Painesville Telegraph January
31, 1834:
and the
"Committee are now making arrangements for the
Publication and extensive circulation of a work which
will
prove the "Book, of Mormon" to be a work of fiction
and
imagination, and written more than twenty years ago,
in
Salem, Ashtabula County, Ohio, by Solomon Spalding,
Esq.,
and completely divest Joseph Smith of all claims to
the
character of an honest man, and place him at an
immeasurable distance from the high station which he
pretends to occupy."

One of the avowed purposes was to try and destroy Joseph Smith's character.
"Character assassination" correctly fits the bill.

>
>
> The standard Mopologist tactic is to claim that Hurlbut had an "axe to grind"
> against Smith, which spurred him to invent his affidavits; but the fact that
> the news of Smith's occultic peep-stoning and nocturnal money-digging were
> known and published as early as three years before Hurlbut even joined the
> Mormonite movement utterly negates that argument. You Mobots need to give up
> on discrediting Hurlbut, and move on to an argument that has some merit.
>
> Randy J.

I didn't know that you thought that Dale Broadhurst is a Mopologist. Check out
this link which may shed further light on Hurlbut's character.

http://www.olivercowdery.com/hurlbut/HChron5.htm

Glenn

Kevin Thurston

unread,
Nov 10, 2001, 11:54:32 AM11/10/01
to

"Glenn Thigpen" <glennt...@tcnet-nc.com> wrote in message
news:3BEB1CA7...@tcnet-nc.com...

> Kevin Thurston wrote:
>
> > "Glenn Thigpen" <glennt...@tcnet-nc.com> wrote in message
> > news:3BEAF570...@tcnet-nc.com...
> > > Kevin Thurston wrote:
> > >
<snip>
> > The discussions about the validity of the BoM have been done ad
infinitum on
> > this forum and your side has never done well. The BoM makes claims about
the
> > ancient inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere that are known to be
false.
>
> It makes claims that have not been verified yet. Some of then have.

That's irrelevent. It makes claims that are KNOWN to be false. Those claims
have been discussed ad infinitum on this very forum and you continue to
ignore it.

> > It
> > makes claims of supernatural origin. The extraordinary