OliverCowdery.com: The Premier Web-site for Early Mormon History

Dale R. Broadhurst's


Part 2: 1831-1835

Part 1: 1823-1830   |   Part 2: 1831-1835   |   Part 3: 1836-1840   |   Part 4: 1841-1845
1831   |   1832   |   1833   |   1834   |   1835


- 1831 -

(This Year is Under Construction)


- 1832 -

(This Year is Under Construction)


- 1833 -

23 Jun (Sun)
D. P. Hurlbut was excommunicated from the Mormons for the second time

early Jul 1833
D. P. Hurlbut traveled back to Springfield, Erie County PA and held his first public lectures against the Mormon Church. The lecture tour took him south through Erie county, to Jacksonville and Elk Creek.

20 Jul (Sat)
At Independence, a citizens committee destroyed the press of The Evening and Morning Star. They tarred and feathered Bishop Edward Partridge and the Mormons were ordered to leave Jackson county.

23 Jul (Tue)
The corner stones of the Kirtland Temple were laid by Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, F. G. Williams and other elders.

23 Jul (Tue)
The leaders of the Missouri Mormons agreed to leave Jackson county, most of them by Jan., 1834 and all of them before by Apr. 1, 1834. This agreement was made without the knowledge of Joseph Smith.

late Jul 1833
D. P. Hurlbut's lecture tour in PA took him south through Erie county, to Jacksonville and Elk Creek. Here his relative and foremer co-religionist, Benjamin Winchester, attended one of Hurlbut's anti-Mormon addresses. Hurlbut no doubt took advantage of being in the home area of Lyman Jackson and his family and questioned them more closely about claims that Solomon Spalding had written a large part of the Book of Mormon text.

2 Aug (Fri)
Joseph Smith claimed to receive two divine revelations. The first instructed the Mormons in Jackson county that the planned Independence Temple was to be "built speedily" and that, by their carrying out these instructions, "Zion... shall prosper and spread herself and become very glorious..." The second revelation commanded the Saints in Kirtland to "commence a work of laying out and preparing... the City of the stake of Zion..."

6 Aug (Tue)
Joseph Smith claimed to receive a divine revelation instructing the Mormons to "renounce war and proclaim peace" and to allow their "enemies" to "smite" them as many as three times without their seeking revenge.

6 Aug (Tue)
Joseph Smith wrote a "beloved brethren" letter from Kirtland to the Mormons in Missouri, enclosing his three latest divine revelations. No mention was made of God knowing about the Independence riot of July 20th, or of the agreement the Mormons had made to leave Jackson county.

9 Aug (Fri)
The Missouri Republican printed its "'Regulating' the Mormonites" article. The news report was widely reprinted by other newspapers.

early Aug 1833
At this time D. P. Hurlbut probably extended his anti-Mormon lecturing into Crawford County. Probably he had heard from the Lyman Jackson family that a brother of the late Solomon Spalding was still living in Crawford. Along the course of his lecture route Hurlbut began dropping hints of a fraudulent origin for the Book of Mormon.

about 14 Aug (Wed)
Oliver Cowdery arrived in Kirtland with the first news of the riot in Independence. About this same time western newspapers begin to arrive with the news that the Missouri Mormon leaders had agreed to leave Jackson county by the beginning of April. According to Lucy Mack Smith, her son then "called a council" in Kirtland in which it was resolved to assist the Missouri Saints with "money and clothing" (p. 198).

16 Aug (Fri)
The Painesville Telegraph informed Geauga county residents that "a great riot took place" at "the Mormon colony in Missouri." The article also said that a "treaty of amity" had been accepted, in which the Mormons "agreed to leave the county as soon as they conveniently could."

17 Aug (Sat)
The Chardon Spectator printed its "Mormonites" article, saying that "a great riot" had taken place at the Mormon "headquarters in Jackson county, Missouri...in which the inhabitants of that neighborhood attacked the Mormonites, endeavoring to make some of their leaders recant their faith -- refusing to do this, the people tarred and feathered them..." The Spectator reprinted part of the Missouri Republican's"Regulating the Mormonites" article of Aug 9th. The Spectator also said: "After their colony went to Missouri it was understood, they disagreed among themselves, and the society, without opposition, would have soon fallen to pieces, and resolved itself into the beggarly elements of which it was composed."

18 Aug (Sun)
With all the news of the disaster in Missouri then available in the public press, it is likely that Joseph Smith preached in Kirtland, mentioning the the agreement the Misouri Mormons had made to leave "Zion." Smith reportedly told the Missouri Mormons that "the Lord would justify them to stand in their own defense -- sword in hand," (Donna Hill, p. 163) But Smith exempted Oliver Cowdery from that defense, saying "Oliver can stay here to good advantage..." (letter of Aug 8, 1833, cited in Legg, p. 74)

prob. mid-Aug 1833
With reports of the serious Mormon setbacks in Missouri in all the newspapers, D. P. Hurlbut decided this would be a good time to extend his lecturing to the Mormon headquarters of Kirtland. He determined to move back to his old residence with the Ezekiel Johnson family there. With him he carried important statements he had just obtained from of John and Martha Spalding in Crawford county. Their statements said that John's late brother, the Rev. Solomon Spalding, had unknowingly written a large part of the published Book of Mormon text.

mid-Aug 1833
News of the Missouri Mormons being "regulated" by a "committee" in Jackson county spread among Kirtland area anti-Mormons. They discussed the pros and cons of this kind of action. Although the Ohioans did not elect to resort to the extreme illegalities and outrages perpetrated by the Jackson county "committee," they were no doubt impressed by the successful results of concerted group action against the congregating of large numbers of impoverished Mormons.

mid-Aug 1833
Joseph Smith sent his secretary, Orson Hyde, from Kirtland to Jackson county to deliver messages and seek the assistance of the Governor of Missouri in maintaining the Mormons upon their property there.

24 Aug (Sat)
The Chardon Spectator printed its "The Mormonites" article, with text was derived from the Missouri Republican of Aug. 9, 1833. It said: "A meeting of the citizens of Jackson county, to the number of four or five hundred, was held at Independence on the 20th of July. Their avowed object was to take measures to rid themselves of the Mormonites.... the citizens have been daily told that they are to be cut off, and their lands appropriated to the Mormons for inheritances; but they are not fully agreed among themselves as to the manner in which this shall be accomplished, whether by the destroying angel, the judgement of God, or the arm of power. The comittee express their fears that, should this population continue to increase, they will soon have all the offices of the county in their hands; and that the lives and property of other citizens would be insecure, under the administration of men who are so ignorant and superstitious..."

prob. late Aug 1833
With John & Martha's statements in hand D. P. Hurlbut began short series of lectures on the "true origin of Mormonism" in and around Kirtland. It is not likely that Hurlbut gave a full recitation of the Spalding authorship claims at this point, but his avowal that he knew the book's true origin proved intriguing to local anti-Mormons and disgruntled ex-Mormons like Joseph H. Wakefield.

prob. early Sep 1833
In the days just prior to Hurlbut's return to the Kirtland area. a self-constituted committee of citizens of Willoughby, Mentor, and Painesville began meeting at the home of Warren Corning, in Mentor, to investigate the origin and design of Mormonism. At least two members of the group were also currently Kirtland township officers: Justice of the Peace Josiah Jones and Town Clerk Oliver A. Crary. D. P. Hurlbut got himself invited to the semi-public meetings of this group.

11 Sep (Wed)
Having lost the Church's "Literary Firm" office in Independence to mob action, Joseph Smith and his counselors decided to establish a publishing house at Kirtland, under the name of F. G. Williams and Co. This decision (along with construction on the Temple and other Church projects) was taken by the local anti-Mormons as a firm sign that Smith's followers were determined to remain and expand their colony in Ohio.

mid Sep 1833
At this time D. P. Hurlbut was "employed to look up testimony" by the self-constituted committee of anti-Mormons which met at Mentor. According to the Jan. 31, 1834 "To the Public" notice in the Painesville Telegraph, "the Committee employed D. P. Hurlbut to ascertain the real origin of the Book of Mormon, and to examine the validity of Joseph Smith's claims to the character of a Prophet." According to the Dec. 20, 1833 "Mormon mystery developed" article published in the Wayne Sentinel, Hurlbut gathered evidence in "in different parts" of New York state "on behalf of his fellow-townsmen, in the pursuit "of facts and information concerning the origin and design of the Book of Mormon..." D. P.'s widow supplied this account: "He was employed by leading citizens of Mentor and Geauga Co. to investigate the character of the Mormon Smith Family and the origin of the Book of Mormon. He went to Palmyra, N.Y. by stage..." Thus it seems that while Hurlbut's primary mission was to bring back evidence of "the real origin of the Book of Mormon," he was also employed to "examine the validity" of Mormon claims that Joseph Smith and his family were persons of good character.

prob. late Sep. 1833
D. P. Hurlbut collected cash donations from Mentor Campbellite Orris Clapp, and other members of "the Committee." According to Benjamin Winchester, "one of them, a Campbellite by name, Newel… advanced the sum of three hundred dollars, for the prosecution of the work..." It is very doubtful that Mentor businessman Grandison Newell was "a Campbellite," but he was no doubt the same "Newell" who helped finance Hurlbut's research journey.Upon his way to the East, Hurlbut stopped over in Conneaut twp., Ashtabula Co., and called a meeting of concerned citizens. There he secured more statements from old associates of Solomon Spalding and raised more money to cover his travel expenses.

prob. about the beginning of Oct 1833
D. P. Hurlbut visited with old Spalding associate Henry Lake in western Erie Co., PA. While there he spent a night or two with a woman of low reputation -- probably Sister Huldah Barnes of Conneaut township.

about 3 Oct (Wed)
Oliver Cowdery left Kirtland with $800 to purchase a new printing press and type for the Church. His destination was probably Canandaigua, New York.

about 5 Oct (Fri)
Oliver Cowdery was passing through Erie co, PA on his way to New York.

prob. about 5 Oct (Fri)
D. P. Hurlbut left the Henry Lake farm in western Erie co., PA and began his solo journey to the East to collect documentary evidence damaging to Joseph Smith, Jr.

5 Oct (Sat)
Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon left Kirtland on a 4 week journey to the East. Among other reasons for his leaving at this time, Smith may have been trying to avoid being served writs requiring his appearance in court.

6 Oct (Sun)
Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon stayed at "Brother Rudd's" (a recent Mormon convert living in western Erie Co., PA, on the first stop of their journey to the East. Erastus Rudd lived in a house where much of Solomon Spalding's writing had been done. His sister-in-law was the daughter of Lyman Jackson, probably the man who first supplied details about Spalding to D. P. Hurlbut

6 Oct (Tue)
Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon visit Elk Creek, Erie Co., PA, the home base of D. P. Hurlbut's spring mission and summer lecturing tour.

prob. early to mid-Oct
According to Benjamin Winchester and E. D. Howe, D. P. Hurlbut made a side-trip to Pittsburgh at about this time. If so, the results of his interview with Robert Patterson, Sr. remain unknown. Hurlbut's lawyer, James A. Briggs, said that Hurlbut recovered a Spalding manuscript during this visit to Pittsburgh and that he later brought that document to Mentor, Ohio.

10 Oct (Thr)
Construction on the Kirtland Temple was suspended and work began on the new Church office building just west of the Temple

about 8-11 Oct 1833
Oliver Cowdery apparently visited his brother Warren A. Cowdery in Freedom, Cattaraugus Co., NY at this time.

12 Oct (Sat)
In a divine revelation reportedly received at Perrysburg, Cattaraugus Co., NY (just south of the the Indian Reservation), Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon were commanded to continue their travels in the East.

about 12-14 Oct 1833
Oliver Cowdery was probably at the wholesale printing supply company of James D. Bemis in Canadaigua, Ontario Co., NY, buying a press and type.

about 14 Oct (Mon)
Joseph and Sidney Rigdon passed through Buffalo and went into Canada for two weeks,

21 Oct (Mon)
Kirtland Township Overseer of the Poor, Roswell D. Cottrill, began serving a writ of "warning out of town" upon 49 Mormon families in Kirtland. The process was not completed until Dec. 20. Among the first names on his list were Joseph Smith, Jr., Hyrum Smith, and Sidney Rigdon

about Oct 20-23 1833
Oliver Cowdery visited his parents in Arcadia, Wayne Co., NY

about Oct 20-23 1833
The printing press Oliver had recently purchased was sent to Buffalo on an Erie Canal boat at about this time. Perhaps it was loaded onto the canal at Palmyra.

about 25 Oct (Thr)
The printing press and type Cowdery had purchased arrived in Buffalo and he left for Kirtland.

about 25 Oct (Thr)
D. P. Hurlbut finished up his investigative work in Pittsburgh and made travel arrangements north to Buffalo.

about 28 Oct (Mon)
Oliver Cowdery arrived back in Kirtland from Buffalo.

about 30 Oct (Wed)
About this time D. P. Hurlbut probably arrived in Buffalo and made travel arangements to continue on to Palmyra, NY.

31 Oct (Wed)
Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon returned from their trip to Canada and stayed in Buffalo overnight.

about 1 Nov (Thr)
About this time D. P. Hurlbut probably arrived in the Palmyra, NY.

about 2 Nov to mid Dec 1833
D. P. Hurlbut spent several days the Palmyra region of Wayne & Ontario counties, NY He collected numerous adverse affidavits from old neighbors of the Smith family. During a 12 day cessation in D. P. Hurlbut's taking of statements in the Palmyra area he probably traveled to the East to obtain Solomon Spalding holographs.

3 Nov (Sun)
Eleven Manchester Palmyra residents signed their names to a statement drafted by D. P. Hurlbut or an assistant. This document signing perhaps occured in the context of Hurlbut's lecturing after a church meeting in Manchester.

3 Nov (Sun)
Barton Stafford gave D. P. Hurlbut a signed statement at Manchester.

4 Nov (Mon)
Joseph Smith returned to Kirtland from his travels to Pennsylvania, New York, and Canada. Oliver Cowdery wrote his diary enntry that day,

5 Nov (Tue)
After three days of skirmishing Battle near Blue River, the Mormons were driven out of Jackson County on Nov 5-6. Most went to Clay county.

8 Nov (Fri)
Joseph Capron provided D. P. Hurlbut with a signed statement at Manchester.

9 Nov (Sat)
Orson Hyde wrote his press release on the new hostilities in Jackson county and what what would shortly become the Mormon expulsion. The article was widely reprinted throughout the USA.

12 Nov (Tue)
The St. Louis Republican printed a new account of the Mormon expulsion from Jackson county, contradicting Hyde's Nov. 9th press release in several particulars.

15 Nov (Fri)
Joshua Stafford provided D. P. Hurlbut with a signed statement at Manchester. This was the last dated document Hurlbut collected in the Palmyra area until Nov. 28th.

16-27 Nov (Thr)
A 12 day cesation in D. P. Hurlbut's taking of statements in the Palmyra area.

prob. mid-Nov 1833
D. P. Hulbut called upon Matilda Spalding Davison at her daughter's house in Monson, Hampdon Co., MA -- He received a letter from her requesting that Jerome Clark give him Spalding's old writings.

prob. mid-Nov 1833
Benjamin Winchester moved from Erie Co., PA to Kirtland

prob. mid-Nov 1833
D. P. Hulbut went to Onondaga Valley, Onondaga Co., NY to consult with William H. Sabine. There he secured a letter of introduction from Sabine to his sister, the widow of Solomon Spalding. Hurlbut also obtained the directions on how to locate the widow in western Massachusetts.

prob. late Nov 1833
Hurlbut visited Jerome Clark in Hartwick, Otsego Co., NY and presented his letter of authorization from Spalding's widow. He took an unknown quantity of Spalding's writings away with him. No receipt survives

25 Nov (Mon)
Orson Hyde arrived in Kirtland with news of the Mormon expulsion from Jackson county Missouri. Joseph Smith had probably already seen the St. Louis Republican article by this time. The news was a severe blow to the Mormon movement and a threatening challenge to his own leadership.

prob. late Nov 1833
D. P. Hurlbut traveled from Hartwick, Otsego Co., NY to the Palmyra region of western NY. There is no record of his stopping to consult with William Sabine as he passed through the Syracuse area. However, at about this time, D. P. Hurlbut probably attempted to contact and interview Lyman Cowdery, Oliver Cowdery's estranged brother. Lyman lived near his parents in Lyons, Wayne Co., a few miles east of Palmyra.

prob. late Nov 1833
Oliver Cowdery apparently visited his parents in Lyons, Wayne Co., NY at about this time.

28 Nov (Thr)
By this date D. P. Hurlbut was back in the Palmyra area taking statements.

prob. about the end of Nov
D. P. Hurlbut reportedly wrote to Matilda Spalding Davison (perhaps from Palmyra) and told her that he had obtained from Jerome Clark the Spalding manuscript he had been looking for.

28 Nov (Thr)
Abigail Harris and G. W. Stodard gave D. P. Hurlbut a signed statements at Palmyra. Richard Ford countersigned Stodard's statement.

29 Nov (Fri)
Lucy Harris gave D. P. Hurlbut a signed statement at Palmyra.

29 Nov (Fri)
The Painesville Telegraph published its "More trouble in the Mormon camp" article, informing its readers that there had been "another fracas in Missouri, between the Mormon fanatics and the citizens..." The Telegraph article also echoed the message attributed to Joseph Smith in mid-August: "since the previous affair, the Prophet had sent orders to the brethren there, to 'stand by their arms,' instead of leaving the place... We understood that dispatches have arrived at the head quarters of the prophet in this county, by a special messenger [i. e. Orson Hyde], from the seat of war.

1 Dec (Sun)
Roswell Nichols gave D. P. Hurlbut a signed statement at Manchester.

2 Dec (Mon)
Peter Ingersoll and Parley Chase provided signed a statements for D. P. Hurlbut at Palmyra and Manchester.

2 Dec (Mon)
?????? The Chardon Spectator printed its "Mormons" article, passing along to Ohio readers news of the new Mormon troubles in Jackson county, from the pages of the Missouri Republican. This was a restatement of Orson Hyde's Nov. 9th press release.

about 2 Dec (Mon)
Josiah Jones wrote from Kirtland to D. P. Hurlbut at Palmyra, including in his letter the clipping from the Chardon Spectator (or some similar article) that reprinted Orson Hyde's Nov. 9th press release. Jones probably advised Hurlbut to quickly return to Geauga county and present his findings to the "Committee" of anti-Mormons. Jones eitehr knew in advance that Hurlbut would be in Palmyra, or he had received a letter from him there. The minimum time for a letter to travel that distance was about 3-4 days, so if Hurlbut first contacted Jones from Palmyra, that must have been during the last week of November, 1833.

early Dec 1833
At about this time Oliver Cowdery and N K. Whitney were in New York state (probably in Canandiagua, Ontario Co.), purchashing a printing press for the Church. This was likely bought from the James D. Bemis Co. If so, Oliver may have heard that D. P. Hurlbut was in the area, collecting hostile testimony about the Mormon Smith family.

4 Dec (Wed)
Fifty-one Palmyra residents signed their names to a statement drafted by D. P. Hurlbut or an assistant. This document signing probably occured in the context of Hurlbut's calling a meeting in Palmyra and their delivering one of his anti-Mormon lectures.

4 Dec (Wed)
J. S. Colt, at Palmyra, certified William Stafford and Peter Ingersoll "to be men of truth and veracity" for D. P. Hurlbut.

4 Dec (Wed)
Four Palmyra residents certified William Stafford , Willard Chase, and Peter Ingersoll "to be men of truth and veracity" for D. P. Hurlbut.

5 Dec (Thr)
David Srafford provided a signed statement for D. P. Hurlbut at Manchester.

6 Dec (Fri)
The Wayne Sentinel printed its "The Mormonites" article, saying that "Josiah Jones, Esq. of Kirtland, Ohio" had recently written a letter to "Doct. P. Hurlbert," then in Palmyra "as a missionary in behalf of the people of Kirtland for the purpose of investigating the origin of the Mormon sect." The Sentinel went on to paraphrase some of the Missouri news from the clipping Jones had sent Hurlbut. But, by that time, the editor already had other similar articles in hand from which he could quote the same news.

9 Dec (Mon)
Judge Baldwin in Palmyra certified the signed statement provided to D. P. Hurlbut on Nov. 3, 1833 by Barton Stafford Probably Hurlbut was out of the area between about Nov. 5 and Dec. 1, and thus had to wait to process this certification.

9 Dec (Mon)
Judge Baldwin in Palmyra certified the signed statement provided to D. P. Hurlbut by Peter Ingersoll and William Stafford.

9 Dec (Mon)
William Stafford signed a statement in Manchester for D. P. Hurlbut.

11 Dec (Wed)
Judge Smith in Palmyra certified the signed statement provided to D. P. Hurlbut by Willard Chase (probably written that same day)..

10 Dec (Tue)
Joseph Smith wrote to the Church leaders in Missouri, confessing he did not understand why God had allowed such a disaster to befall the Mormons of Jackson county.

13 Dec (Fri)
Durfey Chase certified the "integrity, truth and veracity" of Peter Ingersoll for D. P. Hurlbut at Palmyra. This was the lasted dated document obtained by Hurlbut before he departed for Ohio.

13 Dec (Fri)
Judge Smith of Palmyra certified the statement of David Stafford for D. P. Hurlbut.

13 Dec (Fri)
The Painesville Telegraph printed its "Painful Intelligence" article, telling more of the hostilities in Missouri, the whipping there of Mormon elders, etc. In an aside perhaps directed to Geauga county anti-Mormons, editor E. D. Howe said: "We fear that the party opposed to the Mormons will think themselves... enabled to cut off the offending sect." Despite his known anti-Mormon sentiments, Howe at this time became very cautious in publishing news and articles containing rhetoric directed against the LDS Church. Probably he was hoping to avoid inflaming what he saw as a potential replay of the Missouri hostilities there in his own Geauga county. Howe monitored the progress of the anti-Mormon's activities but he apparently was not a member of the self-styled "Committee" that met on occasion at the Corning house in Mentor.

about 14 Dec (Sat)
D. P. Hurlbut departed Palmyra on or about this date. He was likely in Buffalo by mid-December and back in Geauga county a couple of days later. 16 Dec (Mon)
Joseph Smith reportedly received a divine revelation in Kirtland, in which the Lord said that he had allowed afflictions to come upon the Saints in Missouri. This was perhaps the first mention among the Mormons of God knowing about the November expulsion from jackson county.

mid Dec. 1833
Oliver Cowdery and N K. Whitney arrived back in Kirtland, with a printing press they had obtained in New York.

about 18 Dec (Wed)
D. P. Hurlbut arrived back in Kirtland and made arrangements to meet with the anti-Mormon "Committe" at the Corning house in Mentor. With or without their permission he scheduled a lecture in the Methodist chapel located a few yeards north of the Temple.

about 19 Dec (Thr)
According to Kirtland Justice opf the Peace, John C. Doweb, D. P. Hurlbut gave "his first lecture in the Methodist Church in Kirtland, Ohio, on the origin of the Book of Mormon." at about this time. "He said he had been in New York and Pennsylvania and had obtained a copy of Spaulding's "Manuscript Found." He read selections from it, then the same from the Book of Mormon. He said the historical part of it was the same as Spaulding's "Manuscript Found." He read numerous affidavits from parties in N.Y. and Penn. showing the disreputable character of the Mormon Smith Family."

about 19 Dec (Thr)
According to his lawyer, James A. Briggs, D. P. Hurlbut "was present with the committee" when it assembled for its next meeting in Mentor, "and had Spaulding's original manuscript with him. We compared it, chapter by chapter with the Mormon Bible. It was written in the same style; many of the names were the same, and we came to the conclusion, from all the testimony before us, that the Rev. Sidney Rigdon, the eloquent Mormon preacher, made the Mormon Bible from this manuscript. Of this the committee had no doubt whatever."

about 20 Dec (Fri)
According to his lawyer, James A. Briggs, D. P. Hurlbut "had some trouble with the Mormons at Kirtland... and he had the prophet, Joseph Smith, arrested on a warrant of a justice of the peace for assault and battery..." If this is correct, Hurlbut probably filed his complaint against Joseph Smith with a Justice of the Peace in Painesville, several miles north of the Mormon stronghold. But according to Kirtland Justice of the Peace, John C. Dowen, "Hurlbut said he would "kill" Jo Smith. He meant he would kill Mormonism. The Mormons urged me to issue a writ against him. I did... He was brought to trial..." What probably happened was that Hurlbut and Smith brought charges against each other almost simultaneously. A combined pre-trial hearing was scheduled to take place before two Justices of the Peace in Painesville. This caused Smith to file a complaint on December 21, 1833 against Hurlbut before the Justice of the Peace in Kirtland, J. C. Dowen. A warrant for Hurlbut's arrest was issued… Hurlbut appeared before the Justice of the Peace in Painesville.. [on] the 13th and 14th of January 1834 that the case was heard Hurlbut staid at my house every three or four days for as many months. I read all of his manuscript, including Spaulding's "Manuscript Found," and compared it with the Book of Mormon; the historical part of which is the same as Spaulding's "Manuscript Found"... The trial lasted several days, and he was bound over to appear at the Court of Common Pleas at Chardon. Hurlbut let E. D. Howe, of Painesville, have his manuscript to publish. I should not be surprised if Howe sold Spaulding's "Manuscript Found" to the Mormons. (88) 18 Dec (Wed)
The Mormons' new printing press was installed in the upper story of the Church office building at Kirtland. Oliver Cowdery ran off a proof sheet for a reprint edition of the Evening and Morning Star.

20 Dec (Fri)
The Wayne Sentinel published its "Mormon mystery developed" article, which was essentially a press release composed by D. Philastus Hurlbut before he started back to Ohio (probably written on or about Dec. 14, 1833. The article said that Hurlbut was from "Kirtland, Ohio" and that he had "been engaged for some time in different parts of this [New York] state, but chiefly in this [Palymra] neighborhood, on behalf of his fellow- townsmen, in the pursuit of facts and information concerning the origin and design of the Book of Mormon..." The editor passed on Hurlbut's proud notice, saying "that he has succeeded in accomplishing the object of his mission..." and then concluded the first, sketchy publication of the Spalding authorship claims for the Book of Mormon.

20 Dec (Fri)
The Kirtland Township Council served the last of its "warnings out of town" upon targeted Mormons in the township.


- 1834 -

7 Jan (???)
An unknown resident of Kirtland wrote to "a gentleman" of Palmyra, telling of the militant Mormon activities there. His letter was subsequently published in the Palmyra newspaper.

18 Jan (Sat)
The Chardon Spectator reprinted the "Mormon mystery developed" article from the Wayne Sentinel. This was the first article relating the Spalding authorship claims for the Book of Mormon ever published in Ohio.

31 Jan (???)
The Wayne Sentinel published an article entitled "The Mormons," passing on the report that the Latter Day Saints in Kirtland, "with Jo. Smith at their head, are 'arming themselves with guns, swords, dirks, large knives, and other implements of warefare...'"

17 Feb (Mon)
The first High Council of the Church was organized at Kirtland


- 1835 -

early Feb 1835
The Northern Times, a Democratic newspaper at Kirtland, began regular publication, with F. G. Williams as publisher and Oliver Cowdery as its editor. Its stated goal was to help projected presidential candidate Martin Van Buren (then Vice President under Andrew Jackson) win the 1836 election.

mid May 1835
At about this time, Kirtland gunsmith Marvel C. Davis reportedly enlisted the help of Solomon W. Denton (a boarder at the Smith home in Kirtland) to join with him in a secret conspiracy to murder Grandison Newell , an outspoken anti-Mormon living two miles away in Mentor.

mid May 1835
At about this time, Solomon W. Denton birrowed two pistols from his boss in the Church printing office, Oliver Cowdery. With these guns Denton reportedly accompanied M. C. Davis to make a murder attempt upon Grandison Newell. The attempt was unsucccessful; exact date unknown.

mid May 1835
The May Messenger and Advocate was printed. It contained a warning from the Presidents of Seventies meeting held 28 April 1837. In that meeting these Mormon leaders agreed that "we will have no fellowship whatever with any Elder belonging to the quorum of the Seventies who is guilty of polygamy or any offense of the kind." This was the first public admission of polygamy occurring within the LDS Church.

mid May 1835
Oliver Cowdery withdrew from the editorship of the Northern Times, and the LDS First Presidency appointed Frederick G. Williams (the publisher) to edit the Mormons' semi-official Democratic newspaper. [Painsville Telegraph 6:51, Friday, 12 June 12, 1835; LDS "History of the Church, Vol. II, p. 227.]

late May 1835
Oliver Cowdery resigned his editorship of the Church's newspaper, the Messenger and Advocate. He was replaced in that office for a few months by John Whitmer. [RLDS "History of the Church, Vol. I, p. 570.]

Jun-Jul 1835
Probably, at about this time, M. C. Davis and Solomon W. Denton made a second attempt upon the life of Grandison Newell. This attempt was also unsuccessful. Denton's wife said she went to Sidney Rigdon, asking his help in ending the murder conspiracy. Rigdon promised to take the matter up with Joseph Smith.

3 Jul (Fri)
Michael H. Chandler arrived in Kirtland and began exhibition of his four Egyptian mummies. Joseph Smith reportedly deciphered the Egyptian "hieroglyphic characters" found on scrolls acompanying the mummies, and on July 6th Chandler provided Smith with a signed statement verifying the proper translation. [RLDS Church History Vol I, p.p. 568-569].

7 Jul (Tue)
On or shortly after this date, "some of the saints at Kirtland" purchased the mummies and scrolls for $2400. Joseph Smith then began a serious review of the scroll contents and reported that "the rolls contained the writings of Abraham..." etc.bought four Egyptian mummies and two or more papyrus rolls from Michael H. Chandler [LDS Church History Vol II].

Jul-Aug 1835
Around this time (possibly earlier), Sidney Rigdon reportedly enlisted Joseph Smith's help in putting an end to the murder conspiracy against Grandison Newell. Smith, who said he knew nothing of the matter, promised to stop the plot.

4 Aug (Tue)
The Church temporarily withdrew fellowship from Orson Hyde and William E. McLellin, following their criticism of Sidney Rigdon’s grammar school. [LDS Church History Vol II]

11 Aug (Tue)
At about this time, Joseph and Hyrum Smith, accompanied by F. G. Williams, departed Kirtland on a trip to Michigan.

17 Aug (Mon)
A General Assembly of LDS Church quorums approved the text of the newly compiled Doctrines and Covenants, including Sec. 101, in which the Church adopted the rule of monogamous marriage. The text says that the LDS Church had "been reproached with the crime of fornication and polygamy." As no known allegations of Mormon polygamy had been published at this time, it appears that the "reproach" came from within the Church itself.

23 Aug (Sun)
Joseph Smith returned to Kirtland from his visit to Michigan. Apparently he had put an end to the murder conspiracy against Newell by this time.

Aug-Sep 1835
Probably about this time, M. C. Davis was excommunicated from the Mormons. It is possible that he associated himself with Joseph's Brother, William Smith, when the latter left the Church on Oct. 31, 1835.

late Aug 1835
Joseph Smith asked Levi Hancock to take Fanny Alger to Missouri. She and her family left the following month, and after a lengthy stop-over in Indiana (for unclear reasons, perhaps her pregnancy), reached Missouri a year later.

early fall 1835
Parley P. Pratt attempted to address residents of Mentor from the steps of the Campbellite church. His preaching was drowned out by a noisy "mob," apparently led by Grandison Newell, a prominent anti-Mormon of that town. Pratt pressed charges against Newell before a local magistrate. [Parkin, "Internal and External Conflict," 1966, p. 153]

26 Sep (Fri)
Mormon fellowship was restored to Apostles William E. McLellin and Orson Hyde -- however Hyde remained in disfavor with the top leadership of the Church untilthe end of the year. [LDS History of the Church, Vol II, p. 283]

17 Oct (Sat)
Joseph Smith turned out the various "boarders" who had been living in his home at Kirtland. If Samuel W. Denton was still residing with the Smith family, he and his new wife would have left by this date.

late Oct 1835
Parley P. Pratt's prosecution of Mr. Newell of Mentor was heard by a judge and jury of the Court of Common Pleas at Chardon. Pratt was awareded $47 in damages. {Chardon Spectator, 5:18, Oct. 30, 1835]

29 Oct (Thr)
Warren Parrish became Joseph Smith's personal scribe [LDS Church History Vol II, p. 293]

29 Oct (Thr)
William Smith angrily criticised Joseph Smith, Jr. during a Kirtland High Council meeting -- a fist-fight between the two brothers was narrowly averted, by the intervention of their father.

31 Oct (Sat)
William Smith confronted his brother Joseph, accusing him of always carrying out his planned course, "whether right or wrong." William tried to justify his "treating the authority of the Presidency with contempt." He then resigned his eldership in the Church and made public rxclamations against his brother Joseph. [LDS Church History Vol II, pp. 296-297; cf. Frost statement]

2 Dec (Wed)
Joseph Smith was harassed in the vicinity of Mentor, while on his way to Painesville, by two non-Mormons. They yelled to him "Do you get any revelations lately?" and added some "blackguard language" to the insult. Possibly the men were referring to allegations that Smith had commanded Mormons Davis and Denton to kill Mentor resident Grandison Newell, in the name of the Lord. Smith noted in his history of the harassment that he had "never laid a straw in their way," thus responding that their abuse of him was unwarranted. [LDS Church History Vol II, p. 323]

2 Dec (Wed)
While in Painesville, Smith visited with "Sister Harriet Howe," the wife of former editor Eber D. Howe. Mr. Howe apparently gave up his vocal criticism of the Mormons after publishing Mormonism Unvailed twelve months before. He resigned as editor of the Painesville Telegraph at the beginning of 1835.

12 Dec (Sat)
William Smith (then nolonger a member of the Church) challenged his brother Joseph to a debate on whether or not "it was necessary for God to reveal Himself to mankind..." William was apparently denying the validity of his brother's claims to receiving divine manifestations.

14 Dec (Mon)
"Sister Harriet Howe" (Eber D. Howe's wife) visited with Joseph Smith. She continued to be his loyal follower at least up until the collapse of the Kirtland Safety Society in 1837 (of which she was a stock-holding member).

16 Dec (Wed)
William Smith resumed his semi-public debate with Joseph Smith, Jr. at their parents' home in Kirtland. Following its conclusion, William wished to carry on the controversy It seems that Joseph did not wish to continue the debate and was seriously beaten by William Smith -- so much so that he was "unwell" the next day. It was probably at this time that William threatened to expose the true origin of the Book of Mormon. [LDS Church History Vol II, pp. 334-335; cf. Frost statement]

16 Dec (Wed)
At about this time, Orson Hyde (who had been disfellowshipped on Aug. 4) was fully reconciled with Joseph Smith. [LDS Church History Vol II, p. 337]

18 Dec (Fri)
Joseph Smith received an apologetic letter from his brother William. No copy of the letter survives other than the printed version, according to its contents, William was unsure of being able to fill the office of an LDS Apostle, but still wished to be a Mormon. [LDS Church History Vol II, pp. 338-339]

29 Dec (Tue)
Joseph Smith brought formal charges against his brother William, as the first step in bringing William back into the Church. [LDS Church History Vol II, p. 346]

Continue Reading with
Year 1836

Return to top of the page

Return to: Oliver Cowdery Home Page
Oliver Cowdery Chronology   |   Sidney Rigdon Chronology

last revised 3-12-2001