Source: Mark Norris Papers, Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library. view enlarged graphic
Note 1: Mark Norris (1796-1862) was a prominent Ypsilanti businessman. He was the Postmaster of that town during the 1830s and the letter, on the reverse side, bears the inscription: "Mr. Mark Norris P M Ypsilanti, Michigan."
Note 2: The writer of the letter was Mark Norris' brother, Benjamin Franklin Norris (1811-c.1870), a non-Mormon, perhaps from late from Perry, Ohio, who evidently was working in Mentor, painting chairs from Grandison Newell's chair factory, which was located on the east branch of the Chagrin River, between Mentor and Kirtland.
Note 3: He wrote his brother via the Painesville P. O., about the Kirtland Mormons, saying: "There is a large society of them about two miles from this place. Rigdon & Smith reside her[e]. They have established a printing press. Rigdon & Smith are the founders of mormonism. It is said that the inhabitants have threatened mobing them. They are now arming themselves with instruments of war such as guns sords dirks spontoons Ec Smith has four or five armed men to gard him every night they say they are not going to be drove away as they ware at missory they will fights for their rights. Smith has sworn the peace against a man named Hurbert who has ben engaged for about three months in tra[c]ing the origin of the book of mormon. He [has] returned and was [jailed?] yesterday... His work will be published in a few weeks giving the true origin of the book of Mormon." (Letter of B. F. Norris to Mark Norris, January 6, 1834, Mark Norris Papers, Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library) -- On 4 Jan (Sat) Stephen Sherman, a Kirtland Constable from Kirtland, appeared before William Holbrook a Painesville Justice of the Peace with defendant DPH in his custody. His hearing was postponed to the 6th and Constable Sherman was ordered to keep DPH in his custody until that time. -- 6 Jan (Mon) Constable Sherman again appeared before Judge William Holbrook with DPH in custody. The hearing was postponed a second time, to Jan 13, 1834. DPH successfully requested to be kept in the custody of Constable A. Ritch of Painesville, rather than the custody of the Kirtland Constable.
Source: Oliver Cowdery Letterbook, H. E. Huntington Collection: OCLB 18-22 (as photo-reproduced on microfilm #95, RLDS Library and Archives, Independence, MO).
Note 1: Oliver Cowdery Letter (to his brother, Lyman Cowdery, in New York State) -- Oliver's saying that "Hurlbut is now in this country" probably refers to the fact that D. P. Hurlbut had returned from his evidence-gathering travels in the East and was again residing in Geuaga Co., Ohio. Hurlbut likely returned from that trip on or before the "21st day of Dec. 1833," as listed in the record of Joseph Smith's court actions against the man. The fact that Oliver so refers to Hurlbut (without further introduction) shows that Lyman Cowdery was already familiar with the man and his activities. Indeed, it appears from Oliver's remark, ("you would never regret that you did not open a communication with him") that Lyman had been contemplating contacting Hurlbut or responding to a solicitation previously made by him. If so, Lyman probably communicated that information in the letter of Jan. 3, 1834 which Oliver refers to in his opening sentence. As D.P. Hurlbut had been visiting New York State only a few days before this time, it appears that Lyman learned of the ex-Mormon's activities locally, and not via some Mormon source in Ohio.
Note 2:Oliver's reference to law-suits being brought by the Mormon leaders against "the heads of the mob" at this time no doubt refers to court actions in Missouri. A law-suit was also being initiated by the Mormon leaders against D.P. Hurlbut at this same time in Ohio, and Cowdery may have regarded him as a similar "head" of the local "mob."
Source: "History of Joseph Smith," Times & Seasons, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL, Vol. 6. No. 14, Aug. 1, 1845. pp. 976-7.
Note 1: On the 22nd, the presidency of the High Priesthood wrote from Kirtland to the brethren in Christ Jesus, scattered from Zion, scattered abroad from the land of their inheritance:
Jan. 22, 1834 Orson Hyde Letter (to the Mormons in Missouri.) -- Orson Hyde's remark, that there was then "not quite so much danger of a mob upon us as there has been," appears directly related to the fact that "Bro. Joseph" had (on the "21st day of Dec. 1833,") demanded a Justice of the Peace's "warrant" against D.P. Hurlbut, and that Smith's charges against the ex-Mormon had been heard in a "three days trial." According to Hyde, following the outcome of this hearing, Hurlbut's "influence was pretty much destroyed" and the local "spirit of hostility" held by some of the non-Mormons had "broken down in a good degree." These remarks indicate that D.P. Hurlbut was either a major leader of local hostile efforts against the Saints, or the main promoter of such work in the earliest part of 1833.
The official record regarding this "three days trial" may be found in 1834 Ohio vs. Hurlbut documents. In part, it reads: "On complaint of Joseph Smith Junr. against the defendant against J. C. Dowen a Justice of the Peace for Kirtland Township in said County made on the 21st day of Dec. 1833 a warrant was issued by said J. C. Dowen, Justice aforesaid which was returned before me William Holbrook a Justice of the Peace for Painesville township in the County aforesaid on the 4th day of January A D 1834 by Stephen Sherman a Constable of Kirtland township with defendant in Court."
Source: Joseph Smith, Jr. Letters, photocopy, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah view enlarged graphic
Notes: early 1834 Joseph Smith Note to Newel K. Whitney (c. Feb.-Mar. 1834, Kirtland, Ohio) While this obviously hastily scribbled note contains no date, it must owe its existence to fears among the Mormon leadership that the assests of the "United Firm" were in danger from the actions set forth by "evil" and "unseen" hands. As early as Jan. 11, 1834, Joseph Smith, F. G. Williams, Oliver Cowdery, John Johnson, Orson Hyde and Newel K. Whitney had begun to pray that God would protect them, grant blessings upon the United Firm, and "that the bishop would have sufficient funds to pay the debts of the United Firm." See Phillip R. Legg's Oliver Cowdery... (Independence, Herald House, 1989), pp. 78-79 for the latter quote.
As the United Firm did not survive past April 10, 1834, it is likely that Smith's note to Whitney was written at least a few weeks prior to that date, but probably not much before Jan. 11, 1834. I think that its most probable time of composition was c. Feb.-Mar. 1834, before the State of Ohio vs. D.P. Hurlbut csas was conducted in Chardon. BR>