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Mormonism Unvailed
1. Smith & Harris
2. Golden Bible
3. Book of Mormon
4. 1Nephi - 2Nephi
5. a. 2Nephi
    b. Jacob - Mosiah
6. Book of Alma
7. Remainder of Book
8. Rigdon Converted
9. In Kirtland
10. In Missouri
11. Spiritual Gifts
12. Missouri Problems
13. Mormon War I
14. Mormon War II
15. 1831 Ezra Booth Letters
16. Mormon Revelations
17.Hurlbut Affidavits,   Isaac Hale
18.  Anthon Affair
19.  Authorship of Solomon Spalding





Solomon Spalding and his copied works by Joseph Smith

We proposed in the commencement of this work, to give to the world all the light,
of which we were in possession, as to the real and original author or authors of
the Book of Mormon. That there has been, from the beginning of the imposture,
a more talented knave behind the curtain, is evident to our mind, at least; but
whether he will ever be clearly, fully and positively unvailed and brought into open
day-light, may of course be doubted. For no person of common prudence and
understanding, it may well be presumed, would ever undertake such a speculation
upon human credulity, without closing and well securing every door and avenue
to a discovery, step by step, as he proceeded. Hence, our investigations upon
the subject have necessarily been more limited than was desirable. At the same
time, we think that facts and data have been elicited, sufficient at least to raise
a strong presumption that the leading features of the "Gold Bible" were first
conceived and concocted by one SOLOMON SPALDING, while a resident of
Conneaut, Ashtabula county, Ohio. It is admitted by our soundest jurists, that a
train of circumstances may often lead the mind to a more satisfactory and
unerring conclusion, than positive testimony, unsupported by circumstancial
evidence -- for the plain reason, that the one species of testimony is more prone
to falsehood than the other. But we proceed with our testimony. The first witness
is Mr. John Spalding, a brother of Solomon, now a resident of Crawford county,
Pa. who says:
Solomon Spalding was born in Ashford, Conn. in
1761, and in early life contracted a taste for literary pursuits. After
he left school, he entered Plainfield Academy, where he made
great proficiency in study, and excelled most of his classmates. He
next commenced the study of Law, in Windham county, in which
he made little progress, having in the mean time turned his
attention to religious subjects. He soon after entered Dartmouth
College, with the intention of qualifying himself for the ministry,
where he obtained the degree of A. M. and was afterwards
regularly ordained. After preaching three or four years, he gave it
up, removed to Cherry Valley, N. Y., and commenced the
mercantile business in company with his brother Josiah. --
In a few years he failed in business, and in the year 1809 removed
to Conneaut, in Ohio. The year following, I removed to Ohio, and
found him engaged in building a forge. I made him a visit in about
three years after; and found that he had failed, and considerably
involved in debt. He then told me had he been writing a book,
which he intended to have printed, the avails of which he thought
would enable him to pay all his debts. The book was entitled the
"Manuscript Found," of which he read to me many passages. -- It
was an historical romance of the first settlers of America,
endeavoring to show that the American Indians are the
descendants of the Jews, or the lost tribes. It gave a detailed
account of their journey from Jerusalem, by land and sea, till they
arrived in America, under the command of NEPHI AND LEHI. They
afterwards had quarrels and contentions, and separated into two
distinct nations, one of which he denominated Nephites and the
other Lamanites. Cruel and bloody wars ensued, in which great
multitudes were slain. They buried their dead in large heaps, which
caused the mounds so common in this country. Their arts,
sciences and civilization were brought into view, in order to
account for all the curious antiquities, found in various
parts of North and South America. I have recently read the Book
of Mormon, and to my great surprize I find nearly the same
historical matter, names, &c. as they were in my brother's writings.
I well remember that he wrote in the old style, and commenced
about every sentence with "and it came to pass," or "now it came
to pass," the same as in the Book of Mormon, and according to the
best of my recollection and belief, it is the same as my brother
Solomon wrote, with the exception of the religious matter. -- By
what means it has fallen into the hands of Joseph Smith, Jr. I am
unable to determine.
Martha Spalding, the wife of John Spalding, says: --
I was personally acquainted with Solomon Spalding, about
twenty years ago. I was at his house a short time before he left
Conneaut; he was then writing a historical novel founded upon the
first settlers of America. He represented them as an enlightened
and warlike people. He had for many years contended that the
aborigines of America were the descendants of some of the lost
tribes of Israel, and this idea he carried out in the book in
question. --
The lapse of time which has intervened, prevents my recollecting
but few of the leading incidents of his writings; but the names of
Nephi and Lehi are yet fresh in my memory, as being the principal
heroes of his tale. They were officers of the company which first
came off from Jerusalem. He gave a particular account of their
journey by land and sea, till they arrived in America, after which,
disputes arose between the chiefs, which caused them to separate
into different lands, one of which was called Lamanites and the
other Nephites. Between these were recounted tremendous
battles, which frequently covered the ground with the slain; and
their being buried in large heaps was the cause of the numerous
mounds in the country. -- Some of these people he represented as
being very large.
I have read the Book of Mormon, which has brought fresh to my
recollection the writings of Solomon Spalding; and I have no
manner of doubt that the historical part of it, is the same that I
read and heard read, more than 20 years ago. The old, obsolete
style, and the phrases of "and it came to pass," &c. are the same.
We would here remark by the way, that it would appear that Sol. Spalding, like
many other authors, was somewhat vain of his writing, and was constantly
showing and reading them to his neighbors. In this way most of his intimate
acquaintnaces became conversant at that time with his writings and designs. We
might therefore introduce a great number of witnesses all testifying to the same
general facts; but we have not taken the trouble to procure the statements of
but few, all of whom are the most respectable men, and highly esteemed for their
moral worth, and their characters for truth and veracity, are unimpeachable. In
fact, the word of any one of them, would have more weight in any respectable
community, than the whole family of Smiths and Whitmers, who have told about
hearing the voice of an angel.
Conneaut, Ashtabula Co. O. September, 1833.
I left the state of New York, late in the year 1810, and arrived at
this place, about the 1st of Jan. following. Soon after my arrival,
I formed a co-partnership with Solomon Spalding, for the purpose
of re-building a forge which he had commenced a year or two
before. He very frequently read to me from a manuscript which he
was writing, which he entitled the "Manuscript Found," and which
he re presented as being found in this town. I spent many hours in
hearing him read said writings, and became well acquainted with its
contents. He wished me to assist him in getting
his production printed, alleging that a book of that kind would meet
with a rapid sale. I designed doing so, but the forge not meeting
our anticipations, we failed in business, when I declined having any
thing to do with the publication of the book. This book represented
the American Indians as the descendants of the lost tribes, gave
an account of their leaving Jerusalem, their contentions and wars,
which were many and great. One time, when he was reading to me
the tragic account of Laban, I pointed out to him what I
considered an inconsistency, which he promised to correct; but by
referring to the Book of Mormon, I find to my surprise that it
stands there just as he read it to me then. --
Some months ago I borrowed the Golden Bible, put it into my
pocket, carried it home, and thought no more of it. -- About a
week after, my wife found the book in my coat pocket, as it hung
up, and commenced reading it aloud as I lay upon the bed. She
had not read 20 minutes till I was astonished to find the same
passages in it that Spalding had read to me more than twenty
years before, from his "Manuscript Found." Since that, I have more
fully examined the said Golden Bible, and have no hesitation in
saying that the historical part of it is principally, if not wholly taken
from the "Manuscript Found." I well recollect telling Mr. Spalding,
that the so frequent use of the words "And it came to pass," "Now
it came to pass," rendered it ridiculous. Spalding left here in 1812,
and I furnished him the means to carry him to Pittsburgh, where he
said he would get the book printed, and pay me. But I never heard
any more from him or his writings, till I saw them in the Book of
Springfield, Pa. September, 1833.
In the year 1811, I was in the employ of Henry Lake and
Solomon Spalding, at Conneaut, engaged in rebuilding
a forge. While there, I boarded and lodged in the family of said
Spalding, for several months. I was soon introduced to the
manuscript of Spalding, and perused them as often as I had
leisure. He had written two or three books or pamphlets on
different subjects; but that which more particularly drew my
attention, was one which he called the "Manuscript Found." From
this he would frequently read some humorous passages to the
company present. It purported to be the history of the first
settlement of America, before discovered by Columbus. He brought
them off from Jerusalem, under their leaders; detailing their travels
by land and water, their manners, customs, laws, wars, &c. He
said that he designed it as a historical novel, and that in after
years it would be believed by many people as much as the history
of England. He soon after failed in business, and told me he should
retire from the din of his creditors, finish his book and have it
published, which would enable him to pay his debts and support his
family. He soon after removed to Pittsburgh, as I understood.
I have recently examined the Book of Mormon, and find in it the
writings of Solomon Spalding, from beginning to end, but mixed up
with scripture and other religious matter, which I did not meet with
in the "Manuscript Found." Many of the passages in the Mormon
Book are verbatim from Spalding, and others in part. The names of
Nephi, Lehi, Moroni, and in fact all the principal names, are bro't
fresh to my recollection, by the Gold Bible. When Spalding divested
his history of its fabulous names, by a verbal explanation, he
landed his people near the Straits of Darien, which I am very
confident he called Zarahemla, they were marched about that
country for a length of time, in which wars and great blood shed
ensued, he brought them across North America in a north east
Conneaut, August, 1833.
I first became acquainted with Solomon Spalding in 1808 or 9,
when he commenced building a forge on Conneaut creek. When at
his house, one day, he showed and read to me a history he was
writing, of the lost tribes of Israel, purporting that they were the
first settlers of America, and that the Indians were their
decendants. Upon this subject we had frequent conversations. He
traced their journey from Jerusalem to America, as it is given in the
Book of Mormon, excepting the religious matter. The historical part
of the Book of Mormon, I know to be the same as I read and heard
read from the writings of Spalding, more than twenty years ago;
the names more especially are the same without any alteration. He
told me his object was to account for all the fortifications, &c. to
be found in this country, and said that in time it would be fully
believed by all, except learned men and historians. I once
anticipated reading his writings in print, but little expected to see
them in a new Bible. Spalding had many other manuscripts, which
I expect to see when Smith translates his other plate. In
conclusion, I will observe, that the names of, and most of the
historical part of the Book of Mormon, were as familiar to me before
I read it, as most modern history. If it is not Spalding's writing, it
is the same as he wrote; and if Smith was inspired, I think it was
by the same spirit that Spalding was, which he confessed to be
the love of money.
Conneaut, August, 1833.
When Solomon Spalding first came to this place, he purchased
a tract of land, surveyed it out and commenced telling it. While
engaged in this business, he boarded at my house, in all nearly six
months. All his leisure hours were occupied in writing a historical
novel, founded upon
the first settlers of this country. He said he intended to trace their
journey from Jerusalem, by land and sea, till their arrival in
America, give an account of their arts, sciences, civilization, wars
and contentions. In this way, he would give a satisfactory account
of all of the old mounds, so common to this country. During the
time he was at my house, I read and heard read one hundred
pages or more. Nephi and Lehi were by him represented as leading
characters, when they first started for America. Their main object
was to escape the judgments which they supposed were coming
upon the old world. But no religious matter was introduced, as I
now recollect. Just before he left this place, Spalding sent for me
to call on him, which I did. --
He then said, that although he was in my debt, he intended to
leave the country, and hoped I would not prevent him, for, says
he, you know I have been writing the history of the first
settlement of America, and I intend to go to Pittsburgh, and there
live a retired life, till I ha ve completed the work, and when it is
printed, it will bring me a fine sum of money, which will enable me
to return and pay off all my debts -- the book, you know will sell,
as every one is anxious to learn something upon that subject. This
was the last I heard of Spalding or his book, until the Book of
Mormon came into the neighborhood. When I heard the historical
part of it related, I at once said it was the writings of old Solomon
Spalding. Soon after, I obtained the book, and on reading it, found
much of it the same as Spalding had written, more than twenty
years before.
Conneaut, August, 1833.
I first became acquainted with Solomon Spalding, in Dec. 1810.
After that time I frequently saw him at his house, and also at my
house. I once in conversation with
him expressed a surprise at not having any account of the
inhabitants once in this country, who erected the old forts,
mounds, &c. He then told me that he was writing a history of that
race of people; and afterwards frequently showed me his writings,
which I read. I have lately read the Book of Mormon, and believe
it to be the same as Spalding wrote, except the religious part. He
told me that he intended to get his writings published in Pittsburgh,
and he thought that in one century from that time, it would be
believed as much as any other history.
Artemas Cunningham, of Perry, Geauga county, states as follows:
In the month of October, 1811, I went from the township of
Ma dison to Conneaut, for the purpose of securing a debt due me
from Solomon Spalding. I tarried with him nearly two days, for
the purpose of accomplishing my object, which I was finally unable
to do. I found him destitute of the means of paying his debts. His
only hope of ever paying his debts, appeared to be upon the sale
of a book, which he had been writing. He endeavored to convince
me from the nature and character of the work, that it would meet
with a ready sale. Before showing me his manuscripts, he went into
a verbal relation of its outlines, saying that it was a fabulous or
romantic history of the first settlement of this country, and as it
purported to have been a record found buried in the earth, or in a
cave, he had adopted the ancient or scripture style of writing. He
then presented his manuscripts , when we sat down and spent a
good share of the night, in reading them, and conversing upon
them. I well remember the name of Nephi, which appeared to be
the principal hero of the story. The frequent repetition of the
phrase, "I Nephi," I recollect as distinctly
as though it was but yesterday, although the general features of
the story have passed from my memory, through the lapse of 22
years. He attempted to account for the numerous antiquities which
are found upon this continent, and remarked that, after this
generation had passed away, his account of the first inhabitants
of America would be considered as authentic as any other history.
The Mormon Bible I have partially examined, and am fully of the
opinion that Solomon Spalding had written its outlines before he
left Conneaut.
Statements of the same import, might be multiplied to an indefinite length; but
we deem it unnecessary. We are here willing to rest the question, in the hands
of any intelligent jury, with a certainty that their verdict would be, that Solomon
Spalding first wrote the leading incidents of the Book of Mormon, instead of its
being found by the Smith family, while digging for gold, and its contents
afterwards made known by the Supreme Being. But our enquiries did not terminate
here. Our next object was to ascertain, if possible, the disposition Spalding made
of his manuscripts. For this purpose, a messenger was despatched to look up the
widow of Spalding, who was found residing in Massachusetts. From her we
learned that Spalding resided in Pittsburgh, about two years, when he removed
to the township of Amity, Washington Co. Pa. where he lived about two years,
and died in 1816. His widow then removed to Onondaga county, N Y, married
again, and lived in Otsego county, and subsequently removed to Massachusetts.
She states that Spalding had a great variety of manuscripts, and recollects that
one was entitled the "Manuscript Found," but of its contents she has now no
distinct knowledge. While they lived in Pittsburgh, she thinks it was once taken
to the printing office of Patterson & Lambdin; but whether it was ever brought
back to the
house again, she is quite uncertain: if it was, however, it was then with his other
writings, in a trunk which she had left in Otsego county, N.Y. This is all the
information that could be obtained from her, except that Mr. Spalding, while
living, entertained a strong antipathy to the Masonic Institution, which may
account for its being so frequently mentioned in the Book of Mormon. The fact
also, that Spalding, in the latter part of his life, inclined to infidelity, is established
by a letter in his hand-writing, now in our possession.
The trunk referred to by the widow, was subsequently examined, and found to
contain only a single M.S. book, in Spalding's hand-writing, containing about one
quire of paper. This is a romance, purporting to have been translated from the
Latin, found on 24 rolls of parchment in a cave, on the banks of the Conneaut
Creek, but written in modern style, and giving a fabulous account of a ship's being
driven upon the American coast, while proceeding from Rome to Britain, a short
time previous to the Christian era, this country then being inhabited by the
Indians. This old M.S. has been shown to several of the foregoing witnesses, who
recognise it as Spalding's, he having told them that he had altered his first plan
of writing, by going farther back with dates, and writing in the old scripture style,
in order that it might appear more ancient. They say that it bears no resemblance
to the "Manuscript Found."
Here, then, our enquiries after facts partially cease, on this subject. We have
fully shown that the Book of Mormon is the joint production of Solomon Spalding
and some other designing knave, or if it is what it purports to be, the Lord God
has graciously condescended, in revealing to Smith his will, through spectacles,
to place before him and appropriate to his own use, the writings and names of
men which had been invented by a person long before in the
grave. Having established the fact, therefore, that most of the names and leading
incidents contained in the Mormon bible, originated with Solomon Spalding, it is
not very material, as we conceive, to show the way and manner by which they
fell into the hands of the Smith family. To do this, however, we have made some
It was inferred at once that some light might be shed upon this subject, and the
mystery revealed, by applying to Patterson & Lambdin, in Pittsburgh. But here
again death had interposed a barrier. That establishment was dissolved and
broken up many years since, and Lambdin died about eight years ago. Mr.
Patterson says he has no recollection of any such manuscript being brought
there for publication, neither would he have been likely to have seen it, as the
business of printing was conducted wholly by Lambdin at that time. He says,
however, that many M.S. books and pamphlets were brought to the office about
that time, which remained upon their shelves for years, without being printed or
even examined. Now, as Spalding's book can no where be found, or any thing
heard of it afte r being carried to this establishment, there is the strongest
presumption that it remained there in seclusion, till about the year 1823 or '24,
at which time Sidney Rigdon located himself in that city.
We have been credibly informed that he was on terms of intimacy with Lambdin,
being seen frequently in his shop. Rigdon resided in Pittsburgh about three years,
and during the whole of that time, as he has since frequently asserted,
abandoned preaching and all other employment, for the purpose of studying the
bible. He left there and came into the county where he now resides, about the
time Lambdin died, and commenced preaching some new points of doctrine, which
were afterwards found to be inculcated in the Mormon Bible. He resided in this
vicinity about four years previous to the appearance of the book, during which
time he made several long visits to Pittsburgh, and perhaps to the Susquehannah,
where Smith was then digging for money, or pretending to be translating plates.
It may be observed also, that about the time Rigdon left Pittsburgh, the Smith
family began to tell about finding a book that would contain a history of the first
inhabitants of America, and that two years elapsed before they finally got
possession of it.
We are, then, irresistibly led to this conclusion: -- that Lambdin, after having
failed in business, had recourse to the old manuscripts then in his possession, in
order to raise the wind, by a book speculation, and placed the "Manuscript
Found," of Spalding, in the hands of Rigdon, to be embellished, altered, and
added to, as he might think expedient; and three years' study of the bible we
should deem little time enough to garble it, as it is transferred to the Mormon
book. The former dying, left the latter the sole proprietor, who was obliged to
resort to his wits, and in a mirculous way to bring it before the world; for in no
other manner could such a book be published without great sacrifice. And where
could a more suitable character be found than Jo Smith, whose necromantic
fame and arts of deception, had already extended to a considerable distance?
That Lambdin was a person every way qualified and fitted for such an
enterprise, we have the testimony of his partner in business, and others of his
acquaintance. Add to all these circumstances, the facts, that Rigdon had
prepared the minds in a great measure, of nearly a hundred of those who had
attended his ministration to be in readiness to embrace the first mysterious ism
that should be presented -- the appearance of Cowdery at his residence as soon
as the Book was printed -- his sudden conversion, after many pretentions to
disbelieve it -- his immediately repairing to the residence of Smith, 300 miles
distant, where he was forthwith appointed an elder, high priest, and a scribe to
the prophet -- the pretended vision that his residence in Ohio was the "promised
land," -- the immediate removal of the whole Smith family thither, where they
were soon raised from a state of poverty to comparative affluence. We therefore,
must hold out Sidney Rigdon to the world as being the original "author and
proprietor" of the whole Mormon conspiracy, until further light is elicited upon the
lost writings of Solomon Spalding.