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Brodie reproduces the Reflector articles, as linked below: Article Number IV, February 14, Article Number V, February 28, July 7, Lucy Harris Joseph Capron.
Only limited "fair use" excerpts presented here. Daniel Sylvester Tuttle, D. Brodie in to prove The Book of Mormon man-made. Everybody knew him when Manual 7 Title Page Chapter 7 excerpt Transcriber's comments. New Witnesses for God. Relative to the manner of translating the Book of Mormon the prophet himself has said but little. Of the Urim and Thummim he says: After describing the means the prophet employed to exclude the light from the "Seer Stone," he says: A piece of something resembling parchment would appear, and under it was the interpretation in English.
Brother Joseph would read off the English to Oliver Cowdery, who was his principal scribe, and when it was written down and repeated to Brother Joseph to see if it was correct, then it would disappear, and another character with the interpretation would appear.
Thus the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God and not by any power of man. History of the Church Vol.
It was first published in the Deseret News of April 13, Bishop Reuben Miller, who was present at the meeting, reported Cowdery's remarks. He said that the Prophet possessed a "Seer Stone," by which. He did not see the plates in translation, but would hold the interpreters to his eyes and cover his face with a hat, excluding all light, and before his eyes would appear what seemed to be parchment on which would appear the characters of the plates in a line at the top, and immediately below would appear the translation in English, which Smith would read to his scribe, who wrote it down exactly as it fell from his lips.
The scribe would then read the sentence written, and if any mistakes had been made, the characters would remain visible to Smith until corrected, when they would fade from sight to be replaced by another line. Whitmer said of the Seer Stone and Urim and Thummim. If he meant to describe the Urim and Thummim or "Interpreters" given to Joseph Smith with the plates -- as seems to be the case -- then the reporter is wrong in saying that they were chocolate color and not transparent; for the "Interpreters" given to the Prophet with the plates, as we have seen by his own description, were "two transparent stones.
Martin Harris's description of the manner of translating while he was the amanuensis of the Prophet is as follows: Martin said that after continued translation they would become weary and would go down to the river and exercise in throwing stones out on the river, etc. While so doing on one occasion, Martin found a stone very much resembling the one used for translating, and on resuming their labors of translation Martin put in place [of the Seer Stone] the stone that he had found.
He said that the Prophet remained silent unusually and intently gazing in darkness, no trace of the usual sentence appearing. Much surprised Joseph exclaimed: Martin said, to stop the mouths of fools, who had told him that the Prophet had learned those sentences and was merely repeating them.
With the Nephite record was deposited a curious instrument, consisting of two transparent stones, set in the rim of a bow, somewhat resembling spectacles, but larger, called by the ancient Hebrews "Urim and Thummim," but by the Nephites "Interpreters. It should not be supposed, however, that this translation, though accomplished by means of the "Interpreters" and "Seer Stone," as stated above, was merely a mechanical procedure; that no faith, or mental or spiritual effort was required on the prophet's part; that the instruments did all, while he who used them did nothing but look and repeat mechanically what he saw there reflected.
Much has been written upon this manner of translating the Nephite record, by those who have opposed the Book of Mormon, and chiefly in a sneering way. I repeat, then, that the translation of the Book of Mormon by means of the "Interpreters" and "Seer Stone," was not merely a mechanical process, but required the utmost concentration of mental and spiritual force possessed by the prophet, in order to exercise the gift of translation through the means of the sacred instruments provided for that work.
Fortunately we have the most perfect evidence of the fact, though it could be inferred from the general truth that God sets no premium upon mental or spiritual laziness; for whatever means God may have provided to assist man to arrive at the truth, He has always made it necessary for man to couple with those means his utmost endeavor of mind and heart.
So much in the way of reflection; now as to the facts referred to. He told us that his mind dwelt too much on earthly things, and various causes would make him incapable of proceeding with the translation.
When in this condition he would go out and pray, and when he became sufficiently humble before God, lie could then proceed with the translation. Now we see how very strict the Lord is, and how he requires the heart of man to be just right in his sight before he can receive revelation from him.
Blakeslee, of Gallen, Michigan, under date of September 15th, , David Whitmer said of Joseph Smith and the necessity of his humility and faithfulness while translating the Book of Mormon: He was a religious and straight-forward man.
He had to be; for he was illiterate and he could do nothing himself. He had to trust in God. He could not translate unless He was humble and possessed the right feelings towards everyone.
To illustrate so you can see: One morning when he was getting ready to continue the translation, something went wrong about the house and he was put out about it. Something that Emma, his wife, had done. Oliver and I went up stairs and Joseph came up soon after to continue the translation, but he could not do anything.
He could not translate a single syllable. He went down stairs, out into the orchard, and made supplication to the Lord; was gone about an hour -- came back to the house, and asked Emma's forgiveness and then came up stairs where we were and then the translation went on all right.
He could do nothing save he was humble and faithful. The above debate took place in , several years before the death of David Whitmer, and the statement from which the above is taken was quoted in full. But we have more important evidence to consider on this subject of translation than these statements of David Whitmer.
In the course of the work of translation Oliver Cowdery desired the gift of translation to be conferred upon him, and God promised to grant it to him in the following terms: Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell In your heart. Now, behold, this is the Spirit of revelation; behold this is the Spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground.
That is, the Prophet Joseph Smith looked into the "Interpreters" or "Seer Stone," saw there by the power of God and the gift of God to him, the ancient Nephite characters, and by bending every power of his mind to know the meaning thereof, the interpretation wrought out in his mind by this effort -- by studying it out in his mind, to use the Lord's phrase -- was reflected in the sacred instrument, there to remain until correctly written by the scribe By the probability of Joseph Smith's story, I mean, of course, the probability of the truth of his story concerning the coming forth of the Book of Mormon -- of Moroni revealing its existence to him -- of Moroni delivering to him the plates and Urim and Thummim -- of his translating the record by the gift and power of God, by means of the Urim and Thummim -- of his returning the plates to Moroni, who to this day, doubtless, has them in charge.
According to that word there have been ministrations of angels in times past; and there will be such ministrations to the last day of recorded time. As to the ministration of angels in the past, according to holy scripture, the reader will call to mind the circumstance of angels together with the Lord, visiting Abraham at his tent-home in the plains of Mamre, and partaking of his hospitality; of the appearance of angels to direct the flight of Lot from one of the doomed cities of the plain; of Jacob's physical contact with the angel with whom he wrestled until the breaking of the day; of the angel who went before the camp of Israel in its march from bondage, and scores of other instances recorded in the Old Testament where heavenly personages co-operated with men on earth to bring to pass the holy purposes of God.
Of instances in the New Testament, the reader will recall the ministration of the angel Gabriel to Zacharias, announcing the future birth of John the Baptist; of the angel who appeared to Mary to make known the high honor bestowed upon her in becoming the mother of our Lord Jesus; of the appearance of Moses and Elias to the Savior and three of his disciples, to whom they ministered; of the angel who rolled away the stone from the mouth of the sepulchre, and announced the resurrection of the Savior; of the men in white angels who were present at the ascension of Jesus from the midst of his disciples, and announced the fact that the time would come when that same Jesus should come again to the earth in like manner as they had seen him go into heaven; of the angel who delivered Peter from prison, and a dozen other instances where angels co-operated with men in bringing to pass the purposes of God in the dispensation of the meridian of time.
With reference to the angels who in ages future from that in which the apostles lived ministering to men and co-operating to bring to pass future purposes of God, the reader will recall the saying of the Savior concerning the gathering together of the elect in the hour of God's judgment: Introduction; also "New Witneseep," vol. And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, if any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God.
And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit. Mormon by means of Urim and Thummim, or "Interpreters," as they were called by the Nephites, surely believers in the Bible cannot regard such a claim as impossible or improbable, since it is matter of common knowledge that the High Priest in ancient Israel possessed Urim and Thummim, and by means of them received divine communications.
I am not unmindful of the fact that a diversity of opinion obtains respecting Urim and Thummim of the scriptures, of what they consisted, and the exact use of them, but this I think may be set down as ascertained fact; they were placed in the breast-plate of the High Priest, and were a means through which God communicated to him divine knowledge -- the divine will.
He will also find an excellent article on the subject in Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, Hackett edition vol. Josephus' description of Urim and Thummim is as follows: And he was willing this should be known, not to the Hebrews only, but to those foreigners also who were there. But as to these stones, which we told you before the high priest bore on his shoulders, which were sardonyxs, and I think it needless to describe their nature, they being known to everybody: This has appeared a wonderful thing to such as have not so far indulged themselves in philosophy, as to despise divine revelation.
Yet will I mention what is still more wonderful than this: So also respecting Joseph Smith's claim to having found what he called a "Seer Stone," by means of which he could translate. That cannot be regarded as an impossibility or even an improbability by those who believe the Bible; for, in addition to the Hebrew literature giving an account of Urim and Thummim in the breastplate of the high priest, it is well known that other means were used by inspired men of Israel for obtaining the word of the Lord.
That most excellent of Bible characters, Joseph, the son of Jacob, blessed in his boyhood with prophetic dreams, and possessed of the divine gift of interpreting dreams, the savior of Israel in times of famine, and a wise ruler for a time of Egypt's destiny, used such media.
When the cup was found in the mouth of Benjamin's sack, Joseph's steward said to him: Wot ye not that such a man as I can certainly divine? Now this breastplate and this sardonyx left off shining two hundred years before I composed this book, God having been displeased at the transgression of his laws Antiquities of the Jews, bk.
It is a reality sustained by Bible authority that there exists media through which divine revelation may be obtained, and hence to the Bible believers the claim of Joseph Smith concerning "Urim and Thummim," and the "Seer Stone," by means of which, through the inspiration of God, he translated the record of the Nephites, is not impossible nor even improbable.
But what shall we say to that very large number of people who do not believe the Bible? How shall we so appeal to them as to secure their attention in these matters? Addressing himself to those who questioned at least the likelihood of the resurrection, Paul asked: Or why should it be thought a thing incredible with them that media should exist through the aid of which inspired men may be assisted in translating records not otherwise translatable.
They live in the midst of ascertained facts respecting the universe, that such a thing as communication between the inhabited worlds of that universe ought to be looked upon as a thing so rational that to doubt its probability would be esteemed as folly.
They live in the midst of such achievements of man's ingenuity, and in the daily use of such marvelous instruments invented by men for the ascertainment of truth, that surely they ought not to stumble at accepting at least as possible, and even as probable, the existence of media possessed of the qualities ascribed by Joseph to the transparent stones he found with the Nephite plates, -- Urim and Thummim -- and the "Seer Stone," which he sometimes used in translating.
A word as to the first proposition -- viz. Of the change of view respecting our own earth and its relations in the universe, I have already spoken. The ascertained existence of millions of other suns than ours, evidently the centres of planetary systems being granted, the view that these planets are the habitation of sentient beings seems a concomitant fact, so probable that one is astonished, if not a little provoked, at that conservatism which hesitates to accept a hypothesis so reasonable in itself, and so well sustained by the analogy of the existence of sentient beings on our own planet.
The astronomers tell us some of these fixed stars -- these suns that are probably the centre of planetary systems -- have existed for hundreds of thousands of years, for so distant are they from us in space that it would require that period of time for their light to reach our earth, hence they must have existed all that time.
It is evident, then, that they are many times older than our earth; so, too, are the planets that encircle them. From this conclusion to the one that the sentient beings that doubtless dwell upon these planets are far in advance of the inhabitants of our earth, intellectually, morally, spiritually and in everything that makes for higher development and more perfect civilization, is but a little step, which rests on strong probability.
From these conclusions, again, to the conceived likelihood of the presiding intelligence of some of these worlds to which our earth may sustain peculiar relations of order or affinity -- having both the power and the inclination to communicate from time to time by personal messengers, or other means, to chosen men of our own race, -- but for the benefit or good of all, -- is but another step, not so large as the others, by which we have been led to this point, and one that rests also upon a base of strong probability.
And this is the phenomena of the visitation of angels and revelation testified of in the scriptures. Such phenomena are mistakenly considered supernatural and uncanny. They are not so really.
In view of these reflections, why, I ask, should it be thought a thing incredible with scientific men that there should be such phenomena as the visitation of angels, or other means of communication, among the many planets and planetary systems which make up the universe? Surely it will not be argued that it is impossible for sentient beings to pass from world to world, because man in his present state is bound to earth by the force of gravitation, and that the same force would doubtless operate upon the inhabitants of other worlds, and bind them to their local habitation as we are bound to ours.
The beings whom we call angels, though of the same race and nature with ourselves, may pass, and doubtless have passed, through such physical changes as to render them quite independent of the clogging force called gravitation./p>
Reasons for the appearance of quotations from the King James' Bible in the Book of Mormon have also been given. Here it is emphasized that the only information left us by the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, his scribe, may be stated in a sentence. The writings of all these are claimed to be in the manuscript at Independence, Missouri. A part of the interview follows: When did you first know Sidney Rigdon?
I think he came there. Was this before or after the publication of the Book of Mormon? The Book of Mormon had been translated and published some time before. Pratt had united with the Church before I knew Sidney Rigdon, or heard of him. At the time the Book of Mormon was translated there was no Church organized, and Rigdon did not become acquainted with Joseph and me till after the Church was established.
Had he [Joseph] not a book or manuscript from which he read or dictated to you? He had neither manuscript nor book to read from. Could he not have had, and you not know it?
If he had had anything of the kind he could not have concealed it from me. Are you sure that he had plates at the time you were writing for him?
The plates often lay on the table without any attempt at concealment, wrapped in a small linen table cloth, which I had given him to fold them in. I once felt of the plates, as they thus lay on the table, tracing their outline and shape.
They seemed to be pliable like thick paper, and would rustle with a metallic sound when the edges were moved by the thumb, as one does sometimes thumb the edge of a book Could not father have dictated the Book of Mormon to you, Oliver Cowdery, and others who wrote for him after having first written it, or having first read it out of some book? Joseph Smith could neither write nor dictate a coherent and well worded letter, let alone dictating a book like the Book of Mormon, and though I was an active participant in the scenes that transpired, and was present during the translating of the plates, and had cognizance of things as they transpired, it is marvelous to me, "a marvel and a wonder," as much so as to anyone else.
Mother, what is your belief about the authenticity, or origin of the Book of Mormon? I am satisfied that no man could have dictated the writing of the manuscript unless he was inspired; for, when [I was] acting as his scribe, your father would dictate to me hour after hour; and when returning after meals, or after interruptions, he would at once begin where he had left off, without either seeing the manuscript or having any portion of it read to him.
It would have been improbable that a learned man could do this; and, for one so These questions and the answers she had given to them, were read to my mother by me, the day before my leaving Nauvoo for home and were affirmed by her. Major Bidamon stated that he had frequently conversed with her on the subject of the translation of the Book of Mormon, and her present answers were substantially what she had always stated in regard to it.
Who is the son of the Prophet Joseph Smith. It may not be amiss in this place, to give a statement to the world concerning the work of the Lord, as I have been a member of this Church of Latter-day Saints from its beginning. In David Whitmer writes an address "to all Believers in Christ. He was now past 82 years of age. In this address David Whitmer bears a faithful testimony to the divine origin of the Book of Mormon.
I will say once more to all mankind that I have never at any time denied that testimony or any part thereof. I also testify to the world that neither Oliver Cowdery nor Martin Harris at any time denied their testimony; they both died reaffirming the divine authenticity of the truth of the Book of Mormon.
I was present at the death bed of Oliver Cowdery and his last words were, "Brother David, be true to your testimony to the Book of Mormon. I testify to the world I am an eyewitness to the translation of the greater part of the Book of Mormon. Part of it was translated in my father's house in Fayette. Seneca County, New York. He also wrote as follows: I will now give you a description of the manner in which the Book of Mormon was translated.
Joseph Smith would put the seer stone into a hat, and put his face in the hat, drawing it closely around his face to exclude the light; and in the darkness the spiritual light would shine.
A piece of something resembling parchment would appear, and on that appeared the writing. One character at a time would appear, and under it was the interpretation in English. Martin Harris related an incident that occurred during the time that he wrote the portion of the translation of the Book of Mormon which he was favored to write direct from the mouth of the Prophet Joseph Smith. He said that the Prophet possessed a seer stone, by which he was enabled to translate as well as from the Urim and Thummim, and for convenience he then used the seer stone.
Martin explained the translation as follows: By aid of the seer stone, sentences would appear and were read by the Prophet and written by Martin, and when finished he would say, "Written," and if correctly written, that sentence would disappear and another appear in its place, but if not written correctly it remained until corrected, so that the translation was just as it was engraven on the plates, precisely in the language then used. Both David Whitmer and Martin Harris knew positively that they had been shown the plates by Moroni and had so declared since the time of the experience, but the Prophet declared in October, , that no one knew the manner of the translation, neither was "it expedient for him to relate these things.
When both these men were past eighty years of age, and about fifty years after the event, they undertook to describe the manner of translation, which Elder Brigham H.
Roberts has clearly shown is not in harmony with the manner indicated in Section 8 of the Doctrine and Covenants. See New Witness for God, Vol. II, pages by B. Moreover, they refer to the use of a seer stone by the Prophet. But no publication during his life contains such a statement. A neighbor, Willard Chase, asserted Joseph stole a "singularly appearing stone" which he had found in when Joseph and his brother Alvin were employed by him in digging a well.
This is an attempt to explain the alleged power of Joseph Smith to translate the plates by a person who denounced him as a fraud and an ignorant deceiver.
In the opinion of the writer, the Prophet used no seer stone in translating the Book of Mormon, neither did he translate in the manner described by David Whitmer and Martin Harris. The statements of both of these men are to be explained by the eagerness of old age to call upon a fading and uncertain memory for the details of events which still remained real and objective to them.
Kirkham makes some mistakes in his references to Martin Harris. The original source for Harris' reported statement, saying "By aid of the seer stone, sentences would appear and were read by the Prophet Roberts wrote in , "We have no statement at first hand from Martin Harris at all, only the statement of another, Edward Stevenson, as to what he heard Martin Harris say was the manner of translation.
However, in the reprint he removed his quotations from David Whitmer and Martin Harris, replacing that material regarding a seer stone, a hat, etc. Obviously Kirkham was uncomfortable, writing about "the use of a seer stone by the Prophet," even though the Deseret News and B. Roberts had years earlier reported such unseemly details. In later editions of his A New Witness, Kirkham found himself having to again review the seer-stone in a hat accounts. He seems to have eventually accepted them as an historical possibility.
Mormon and non-Mormon accounts seem to conflict at every turn. The earliest non-Mormon documents that mention him at all -- an early court record and newspaper accounts -- indicate that Joseph reflected the irreligion and cynicism of his father. The haranguing of the revivalist preachers seems to have filled him only with contempt. But these documents contrast remarkably with Joseph's official biography, begun many years later when he was near the summit of his career.
The latter tells the story of a visionary boy caught by revival hysteria and channeled into a life of mysticism and exhortation. The evidence, however, leaves no doubt that, whatever Joseph's inner feelings, his reputation before he organized his church was not that of an adolescent mystic brooding over visions, but of a likable ne'er-do-well who was notorious for tall tales and necromantic arts and who spent his leisure leading a band of idlers in digging for buried treasure.
This behavior is confirmed by the most coldly objective description of young Joseph that remains, which historians have hitherto overlooked or ignored.
This description seems also to be the earliest public document that mentions him at all. The document, a court record dated March , when Joseph was twenty-one, covers his trial in Bainbridge, New York, on a charge of being "a disorderly person and an impostor.
Four years after this trial Joseph's Book of Mormon appeared, whereupon the local editors in Palmyra, who had never previously considered him worthy of comment, began to explore the vagaries of his youth. Later, in , when Joseph's church was rapidly gaining in notoriety and power, a disgruntled ex-Mormon named Hurlbut went about Palmyra and Manchester soliciting affidavits from more than a hundred persons who had known Joseph before he began his religious career.
These sworn testimonies, which were published in by Eber D. Howe in a vitriolic anti-Mormon book called Mormonism Unvailed, may have been colored by the bias of the man who collected them, but they corroborated and supplemented the court record and Dogberry's editorials. Significantly, Joseph Smith's first sketch of his early years took the form of an apology for his youthful indiscretions. Shortly after Mormonism Unvailed appeared, he wrote a reply for his church newspaper: At the age of ten my father's family removed to Palmyra, New YorE where, and in the vicinity of which, I lived, or, made it my place of residence.
I Kirtland, Ohio, November 6, [sic - December? Actually he was a gregarious, cheerful, imaginative youth, born to leadership, but hampered by meager education and grinding poverty. A landlord class was battening on his labor, driving westward helplessly ensnared families like his own.
In the Palmyra newspaper he could read of their mortgage sales, six to ten every week on the front page. He lived far enough east to see opulence and parade and not far enough west to escape a crushing burden of debt.
His family, having slipped downhill since those early years when his mother's dowry had been the envy of the neighborhood, had lost security and respectability. But the need for deference was strong within him. Talented far beyond his brothers or friends, he was impatient with their modest hopes and humdrum fancies.
Nimble-witted, ambitious, and gifted with a boundless imagination, he dreamed of escape into an illustrious and affluent future. For Joseph was not meant to be a plodding farmer, tied to the earth by habit or by love for the recurrent miracle of harvest. He detested the plow as only a farmer's son can, and looked with despair on the fearful mortgage that clouded their future. There is, of course, a gold mine or a buried treasure on every mortgaged homestead.
Whether the farmer ever digs for it or not, it is there, haunting his daydreams when the burden of debt is most unbearable. New England was full of treasure hunters -- poor, desperate farmers who, having unwittingly purchased acres of rocks, looked to those same rocks to yield up golden recompense for their back-breaking toil.
But where the Green Mountains yielded nothing but an occasional cache of counterfeit money, western New York and Ohio were rich in Indian relics. Hundreds of burial mounds dotted the landscape, filled with skeletons and artifacts of stone, copper, and sometimes beaten silver. There were eight such tumuli within twelve miles of the Smith farm. Young Joseph could not keep away from them. Excitement over the possibilities of Indian treasure, and perhaps buried Spanish gold, reached its height in Palmyra with the coming of what the editor of the Palmyra Reflector called a "vagabond fortune-teller" named Walters, who so won the accedence of several farmers that for some months they paid him three dollars a day to hunt for buried money on their property.
In addition to crystals, stuffed toads, and mineral rods, the scryer's usual paraphernalia, Walters claimed to have found an ancient Indian record that described the locations of their hidden treasure. This he would read aloud to his followers in what seemed to be a strange and exotic tongue but was actually, the newspaper editor declared, an old Latin version of Caesar's [Cicero's? The press accounts describing Walters's activity, published in , stated significantly that when he left the neighborhood, his mantle fell upon young Joseph Smith.
Joseph Capron swore that young Joseph had told him a chest of gold watches was buried on his property, and had given orders to his followers "to stick a parcel of large stakes in the ground, several rods around, in a circular form," directly over the spot. Antiquities of the State of New York Buffalo, , pp. Another neighbor, William Stafford, swore that Joseph told him there was buried money on his property, but that it could not be secured until a black sheep was taken to the spot, and "led around a circle" bleeding, with its throat cut.
This ritual was necessary to appease the evil spirit guarding the treasure. They afterwards informed me that the sheep was killed pursuant to commandment; but as there was some mistake in the process, it did not have the desired effect.
This, I believe, is the only time they ever made money-digging a profitable business. Martin Harris stated that it came from twenty-four feet underground, and Willard Chase testified that Joseph could see wondrous sights in it, "ghosts, infernal spirits, mountains of gold and silver. Pilgrim from Nauvoo, Illinois, March 27, It is now in the library of the Reorganized Church in Independence, Missouri. Martin Harris's statement was published in Tiffany's Monthly, , pp.
Of this company were old Mr. Stowel -- I think his name was Josiah -- also old Mr. They dug for money in Palmyra, Manchester, also in Pennsylvania and other places. After his death it was taken to Utah.
Crystal-gazing is an old profession and has been an honored one. Egyptians stared into a pool of ink, the Greeks into a mirror, the Aztecs into a quartz crystal, and Europeans into a sword blade or glass of sherry -- any translucent surface that made the eyes blur with long gazing. When Joseph Smith first began to use his seer or "peep" stone, he employed the folklore familiar to rural America. The details of his rituals and incantations are unimportant because they were commonplace, and Joseph gave up money-digging when he was twenty-one for a profession far more exciting.
When in later years Joseph Smith had become the revered prophet of thousands of Mormons, he began writing an official autobiography, in which his account of his adolescent years differed surprisingly from the brief sketch he had written in in answer to his critics. Here was no apology but the beginning of an epic. When he was fourteen years old, he wrote, he was troubled by religious revivals in the neighborhood and went into the woods to seek guidance of the Lord.
It was the first time in my life that I had made such an attempt, for amidst all my anxieties I had never as yet made the attempt to pray vocally I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak.
Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction. I , pp. History of the Church, Vol. This history, compiled chiefly from Smith's manuscript journals on file in Salt Lake City, will hereafter be referred to simply as History of the Church. It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air.
One of them spake unto me, calling me by name, and said -- pointing to the other -- "This is my beloved Son, hear Him," My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right -- and which I should join.
I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong, and the personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in His sight: When I came to myself again, I found myself lying on my back, looking up into heaven. Joseph, it will be seen, was even more favored than Moses, to whom God had said: Elias Smith, Vermont's famous dissenting preacher, at the age of sixteen had had a strikingly similar experience in the woods near Woodstock, when he saw "the Lamb upon Mt.
Sion," and a bright glory in the forest. John Samuel Thompson, who taught in the Palmyra Academy in , had seen Christ descend from the firmament "in a glare of brightness exceeding tenfold the brilliancy of the meridian Sun," and had heard Him say: I shall soon publish a cheap pamphlet, my religious experience and travel in the divine life.
One would naturally expect the local press to have given it considerable publicity at the time it allegedly occurred. And Joseph's autobiography would indeed lead one to believe that his vision of God the Father and His Son had created a neighborhood sensation: I soon found, however, that my telling the story had excited a great deal of prejudice against me among professors of religion, and was the cause of great persecution, which continued to increase; and though I was an obscure boy, only between fourteen and fifteen years of age, and my circumstances in life such as to make a boy of no consequence in the world, yet men of high standing would take notice sufficient to excite the public mind against me, and create a bitter persecution; and this was common to all the sects -- all united to persecute me.
Oddly, however, the Palmyra newspapers, which in later years gave him plenty of unpleasant publicity, took no notice of Joseph's vision either at the time it was supposed to have occurred or at any other time. He came originally from Lyme, Connecticut, the home town of Solomon Mack, and migrated to Vermont in the same period that Mack did.
I have examined all these newspapers with care. Moreover, Joseph's first autobiographical sketch of , which we have already noted, contained no whisper of an event that, if it had happened, would have been the most soul-shattering experience of his whole youth.
The description of the vision was first published by Orson Pratt in his Remarkable Visions in , twenty years after it was supposed to have occurred. Between and Joseph's friends were writing long panegyrics; his enemies were defaming him in an unceasing stream of affidavits and pamphlets, and Joseph himself was dictating several volumes of Bible-flavored prose. But no one in this long period even intimated that he had heard the story of the two gods.
At least, no such intimation has survived in print or manuscript. The first published Mormon history, begun with Joseph's collaboration in by Oliver Cowdery, ignored it altogether, stating that the religious excitement in his neighborhood occurred when he was seventeen not fourteen. This history began the account of Joseph's religious life with the story of the angel Moroni, who directed him to the golden plates. Joseph's own description of the first vision was not published until, , twenty-two years after the memorable event.
But Joseph admittedly did not begin writing his history until , and the editors of this history do not state from what manuscript source in the Utah Church library this journal entry came. Access to all these manuscripts is denied everyone save authorities of the Mormon Church. See especially Letter IV, February , p. Scrapbook of Mormon Literature, Vol. And he was writing for his own people. Memories are always distorted by the wishes, thoughts, and, above all, the obligations of the moment.
If something happened that spring morning in , it passed totally unnoticed in Joseph's home town, and apparently did not even fix itself in the minds of members of his own family. The awesome vision he described in later years may have been the elaboration of some half-remembered dream stimulated by the early revival excitement and reinforced by the rich folklore of visions circulating in his neighborhood.
Or it may have been sheer invention, created some time after when the need arose for a magnificent tradition to cancel out the stories of his fortune-telling and money-digging. Dream images came easily to this youth, whose imagination was as untrammeled as the whole West. A few discerning citizens in Joseph's neighborhood were more amused at his followers than alarmed at the moral implications of his money-digging.
One native, in writing his impressions of the boy in later years, recognized certain positive talents: In later years Joseph's relatives constantly confused the first vision with the vision of the angel Moroni. Joseph's brother William said in a sermon in Deloit, Iowa. Joseph and myself did not join; I had not sown all my wild oats While he was engaged in prayer, he saw a pillar of fire descending.
Saw it reach the top of the trees. He was overcome, became unconscious, did not know how long he remained in this condition, but when he came to himself, the great light was about him, and he was told by the personage whom he saw descend with the light, not to join any of the churches. That he should be instrumental in the hands of God in establishing the true church of Christ. That there was a record hidden in the hill Cumorah which contained the fulness of the Gospel.
You should remember Joseph was but about eighteen years old at this time, too young to be a deceiver. Joseph's cousin George A. Smith made the same kind of error in two sermons in Salt Lake City.
See Journal of Discourses, Vol. And subsequently, after catching a spark of Methodism in the camp meeting, away down in the woods, on the Vienna road, he was a very passable exhorter in the evening meetings. His mother wrote that from the first he flatly refused to attend the camp meetings, saying: Although contemptuous of sectarianism, he liked preaching because it gave him an audience.
And this was as essential to Joseph as food. Daniel Hendrix, who helped set type for the Book of Mormon, once wrote that Joseph had "a jovial, easy, don't-care way about him that made him a lot of warm friends. He was a good talker, and would have made a fine stump speaker if he had had the training.
He was known among the young men I associated with as a romancer of the first water. I never knew so ignorant a man as Joe was to have such a fertile imagination. He could never tell a common occurrence in his daily life without embellishing the story with his imagination; yet I remember that he was grieved one day when old Parson Reed told Joe that he was going to hell for his lying habits. At seventeen he was lank and powerful, six feet tall and moderately handsome. Even at this age there was something compelling in his bearing, and older men listened to his stories half-doubting, half-respectful.
He never lacked a following. His imagination spilled over like a spring freshet. When he stared into his crystal and saw gold in every odd-shaped hill, he was escaping from the drudgery of farm labor into a glorious opulence. Had he been able to continue his schooling, subjecting his plastic fancy and tremendous dramatic talent to discipline and molding, his life might never have taken the exotic turn it did.
His mind was agile and eager, and disciplined study might have caused his creative talents to turn in a more conventionally profitable direction. Douglas, also a great natural leader, was in these same years attending the Canandaigua Academy, some nine miles south, and it was there that he took the measure of his own vigarous talents and proceeded to put them to use.
The two probaily did not meet in their youth, but when their paths crossed years later in Illinois the two men had become, each in his own fashion, the most celebrated figures on the Mississippi frontier. But whether Joseph's ebullient spirits could ever have been canalized by any discipline is an open question.
He had only limited formal schooling after leaving New England. And since he never gained a true perspective of his own gifts, he probably was inclined in regard them as more abnormal -- or supernatural -- than they actually were. What was really an extraordinary capacity for fantasy, which with proper training might even have turned him to novel-writing, was looked upon by himself and his followers as genuine second sight and by the more pious townspeople as outright lying.
When Joseph was eighteen his eldest brother Alvin died in sudden and dreadful agony from what his mother described as an overdose of calomel prescribed by a physician to cure a stomach disorder. Lucy Smith in her narrative mentioned the death briefly and almost philosophically, for twenty years had passed to mitigate her sorrow, but she omitted altogether its curious sequel. Fearing it to be true, the elder Smith uncovered the grave on September 25, and inspected the corpse.
That day, and for the two weeks succeeding, he published the following paid advertisement in the Wayne Sentinel: Whereas reports have been industriously put in circulation that my son, Alvin, has been removed from the place of his interment and dissected; which reports every person possessed of human sensibility must know are peculiarly calculated to harrow up the mind of a parent and deeply wound the feelings of relations, I, with some of my neighbors this morning repaired to the grave, and removing the earth, found the body, which had not been disturbed.
This method is taken for the purpose of satisfying the minds of those who have put it in circulation, that it is earnestly requested that they would desist therefrom; and that it is believed by some that they have been stimulated more by desire to injure the reputation of certain persons than by a philanthropy for the peace and welfare of myself and friends. In fact, by the time he was nineteen young Joseph was beginning to acquire a reputation for being a necromancer of exceptional talent who numbered even his father and brother Hyrum among his followers.
His mother wrote that Josiah Stowel or Stoal came all the way from Pennsylvania to see her son "on account of having heard that he possessed certain keys by which he could discern things invisible to the natural eye. Stowel was so impressed that he begged the youth to go south with him and look for a lost silver mine said to have been worked by the Spaniards in the Susquehanna Valley. He would pay him, he said, fourteen dollars a month and board him free.
Always loyal to his family, he insisted that his father be included in the arrangement, and they set forth with Stowel for the south. They stopped in the Allegheny foothills, staying for a time in Harmony, Pennsylvania, on the banks of the romantic Susquehanna.
Here they boarded with a big, bearish Vermonter named Isaac Hale. Their host, a famous hunter, spent most of his time in the forests, leaving his wife and daughters to look after the gardens and cows.
Joseph was at once attracted to the twenty-one-year-old Emma, a dark, serious-faced girl with great luminous hazel eyes. She was quiet almost to taciturnity, with an unapproachable air to which Joseph, who at twenty was already accounted "a great favorite with the ladies," responded with more than casual attentiveness. In the beginning Hale helped subsidize Stowel's expeditions into the mountains, but with the first failures he was quickly disillusioned and shortly became contemptuous.
Nine years later he wrote of Joseph, who had by then become his son-in-law: Young Smith gave the 'money-diggers' great encouragement, at first, but when they arrived in digging to near the place where he had stated an immense treasure would be found -- he said the enchantment was so powerful that he could not see.
They then became discouraged, and soon after dispersed. This took place about the 17th of November, See also History of the Church, Vol. In March Joseph's magic arts for the first time brought him into serious trouble. One of Stowel's neighbors, Peter Bridgman, swore out a warrant for the youth's arrest on the charge of being a disorderly person and an impostor.
On the witness stand Joseph denied that he spent all his time looking for mines and insisted that for the most part he worked on Stowel's farm or went to school. He admitted, however, 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 informed him where he could find those 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 he 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 its injuring his health, especially his eyes -- made them sore; that he did not solicit business of this kind, and had always rather declined having anything to do with this business.
Once the youth had told him to dig at the roots of an old stump, promising that he would find a chest of money and a tail-feather. At a depth of five feet he had uncovered the tail-feather, only to discover that the money had "moved down. Stowel's relatives attacked Joseph bitterly, and the court pronounced him guilty, though what sentence was finally passed the record does not say. Oliver Cowdery's history, the only Mormon account that ever mentioned this trial, denied that Joseph had been found guilty.
It may be that this renunciation came in part from disillusionment with his own magic. Most bucolic scryers are ignorant, superstitious folk who believe profoundly in their mineral rods and rabbits' feet. Professional magicians, on the other hand, are not naive. The great anthropologist Sir James Frazer sagely pointed out that in primitive tribes the intelligent novitiate studying to be a medicine man is likely to see through the fallacies that impress duller wits. The sorcerer who believes in his own extravagant pretensions is much more likely to be cut short in his career than the deliberate impostor, and the ablest are those who plan and practice their trickery.
Where the honest wizard is taken aback when his charms fail conspicuously, the deliberate deceiver always has an excuse. Certainly Joseph's mentor, the conjurer Walters, belonged to the latter class.
It is clear that Joseph had no desire to make a life profession of emulating Walters. Perhaps he gave up the trickery and artifice just when their hollowness became most evident to him; perhaps his renunciation was due entirely to Emma Hale. But he could not cast off his unbridled fancy and love of theatricalism, which had attracted him to necromancy in the first place. After the trial he remained for some months with Stowel, for he was now very much in love and reluctant to return to Palmyra without taking with him Emma as his wife.
But Isaac Hale, holding Joseph to be a cheap impostor, thundered a refusal when asked for her hand and drove him out of the house. Joseph now made clandestine visits whenever Hale went hunting, and begged the girl to run away with him. Skeptical, unsure of him, and concerned over their future, she hesitated. Cowdery states that this trial took place before It should therefore not be confused with two later trials in the same area, where Joseph actually was acquitted.
Now approaching twenty-three, she may have felt herself threatened with spinsterhood. Moreover, Joseph had all the ardor of a youth of twenty-one, but none of the usual inarticulateness. She was wildly in love with him.
He was big, powerful, and by ordinary standards very handsome, except for his nose, which was aquiline and prominent. His large blue eyes were fringed by fantastically long lashes which made his gaze seem veiled and slightly mysterious.
Emma was probably quick to notice what many of his followers later believed had a supernatural cause, that when he was speaking with intense feeling the blood drained from his face, leaving a frightening, almost luminous pallor. However she may have disapproved of his money-digging, she must have had faith in his insight into mysteries that common folk could not fathom; she needed no one to tell her that here was no ordinary man.
Stowel, who was fond of the couple and anxious to further their marriage, arranged for Emma to visit Joseph at his home in South Bainbridge, where on January i8, they were secretly married. After the ceremony they departed for Manchester to live with Joseph's parents. Eight months later they returned to Harmony to brave the wrath of Isaac Hale and to secure some furniture and livestock that Emma owned in her own name.
Since Joseph had no wagon, he hired Peter Ingersoll to drive them the distance, and it is to him that we are indebted for a description of the meeting. You spend your time in digging for money -- pretend to see in a stone, and thus try to deceive people.
He then promised to give up his old habits of digging for money and looking into stones. In truth he was through with money-digging. But if he had become disillusioned with the profession, he had retained a superb faith in himself. In the next five years Joseph climbed up out of the world of magic into the world of religion. He was transformed from a lowly necromancer into a prophet, surrounded no longer merely by a clientele but by an enthusiastic following with common purposes and ideals.
People of State of New York vs. Warrant issued upon oath of Peter G. Bridgman, who informed that one Joseph Smith of Bainbridge was a disorderly person and an impostor. Prisoner brought into court March 20 Says that he came from 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 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 he 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 its injuring his health, especially his eyes -- made them sore; that he did not solicit business of this kind, and had always rather declined having any thing to do with this business.
Says that prisoner had been at his house something like five months. Bacon had buried money; that he and prisoner had been in search of it; that prisoner said that it was in a certain root of a stump five feet from surface of the earth, and with it would be found a tail-feather; that said Stowel and prisoner thereupon commenced digging, found a tail-feather, but money was gone; that he supposed that money moved down; that prisoner did offer his services; that he never deceived him; that prisoner looked through stone, and described Josiah Stowel's house and out-houses while at Palmyra, at Simpson Stowel's, correctly ; that he had told about a painted tree with a man's hand painted upon it, by means of said stone; that he had been in company with prisoner digging for gold, and had the most implicit faith in prisoner's skill.
Says he see prisoner look into hat through stone, pretending to tell where a chest of dollars were buried in Windsor, a number of miles distant; marked out size of chest in leaves on ground. Says that he went to see whether prisoner could convince him that he possessed the skill that he professed to have, upon which prisoner laid a book open upon a white cloth, and proposed looking through another stone which was white and transparent; hold the stone to the candle, turn his back to book, and read.
The deception appeared so palpable, that went off disgusted. Says he went with Arad Stowel to be convinced of prisoner's skill, and likewise came away disgusted, finding the deception so palpable. Prisoner pretended to him that he could discern objects at a distance by holding this white stone to the sun or candle; that prisoner rather declined looking into a hat at his dark-colored stone, as he said that it hurt his eyes.
Jonathan Thompson says that prisoner was requested to look Yeomans for chest of money; did look, and pretended to know where it was, and that prisoner, Thompson, and Yeomans went in search of it; that Smith arrived at spot first was in night ; that Smith looked in hat while there, and when very dark, and told how the chest was situated. Prisoner would not look again, pretending that he was alarmed the last time that he looked, on account of the circumstances relating to the trunk being buried came all fresh to his mind; that the last time that he looked, he discovered distinctly the two Indians who buried the trunk; that a quarrel ensued between them, and that one of said Indians was killed by the other, and thrown into the hole beside of the trunk, to guard it, as he supposed.
Thompson says that he believes in the prisoner's professed skill; that the board which he struck his spade upon was probably the chest, but, on account of an enchantment, the trunk kept settling away from under them while digging; that, notwithstanding they continued constantly removing the dirt, yet the trunk kept about the same distance from them.
Says prisoner said that it appeared to him that salt might be found at Bainbridge; and that he is certain that prisoner can divine things by means of said stone and hat; that, as evidence of fact, prisoner looked into his hat to tell him about some money witness lost sixteen years ago, and that he described the man that witness supposed had taken it, and disposition of money.
Hurlbut in collected sworn statements from more than a hundred of the early friends and neighbors of Joseph Smith in the vicinities of Palmyra, New York, and Harmony, Pennsylvania. These have been largely ignored by Mormon historians.
The following are the most significant extracts LDS Apostles committe head: Church Section May 11, Transcriber's comments. Presumably neither the author nor the publisher wanted this book reviewed by the Deseret News since no copy has ever been sent for its perusal. In the circumstances the News has had no occasion to make any review, but it nevertheless is glad to comply with the request of its correspondents and give its estimate of the publication.
Indications are that reviews of the book are being much more widely read than the book itself. It is desired accordingly to preface this comment by reference to one of them by a certain high ecclesiast. Brodie's work has all the lure for him of an inviting pool on a hot summer's day.
He plunges in headlong and splashes around with great glee, because of the assumed embarrassment the story will prove to the Latter-day Saint Church. Only an antagonism born of fear could engender his ill-concealed relish. He predicts that time and research "will vindicate both the method and the findings of Mrs.
Brodie" thus putting on both his seal of immortality. Professedly, at least, he is a devout believer in the whole story about Jesus as narrated in the Gospels, including the extremist supernaturalism, for the church whose cloth he wears so proclaims. We must assume his sincerity. Is a professedly Christian Father, in the hope of understanding the faith of another church, willing to help destroy faith in Christ himself?
So gushing is his exuberance at a supposed discomfiture to another that he does not have the wit to see that Mrs. Brodie's "method" is to rule out God, the supernatural and the miraculous. The scriptural story about Jesus, to her, is quite as much a fable as she makes the story of Joseph Smith.
Yet Father Dwyer gurgles complacently along revelling in the Brodie "method and findings" too dull-witted to perceive that if his prediction shall prove true his own faith must crumble, for she would leave no place for his rituals, pageantry, church or creed. It is all right for him to smirk down to Mrs.
Row in mock-pity because she spent time doing temple work for her dead. But one must wonder if at the same time the Good Father in common with others of his faith, was spending money to keep tapers burning and to have the dead prayed out of purgatory!
Or perhaps he was on the other end of the deal and for a price paid him by the devout out of their meagre store was saying the prayers for the rescue of their dead from whatever terrible place he thinks they were in.
And what should the "stalwart defenders of the faith at Brigham Young University" do? Leave their posts and come to the worthy Father to be trained in the highly intellectual discipline of learning how to count beads or be inducted into the mysterious process by which the bread and wine at the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper are transmuted into the very flesh and blood of the Christ?
Before he wastes too many tears on Mrs. Row because of what Mrs. Brodie says about Joseph Smith maybe he had better look at the papal skeletons in his own church closet.
Has he forgotten, or did he never know of the Inquisition, or what the history books say about the lapses and the degradations charged against his church and a line of its infallible "Holy Fathers? The Church, beginning a hundred years ago, and continuing at intervals on down through the next half century, met all that Mrs. Brodie has said -- and grew and prospered. But Father Dwyer should take note that it will probably be wisest for him to stop his persistent sniping.
Brodie's intense atheism not only colors but actually determines the approach and, almost completely, the content of her book. There is, in her conception, no place in human experience for the transcendental.
No supreme being, no divine power intervenes in or influences the course of events or shapes them toward a goal or destiny. God is not regnant in history. Mormonism, therefore, has to be foundationed in a fable, which she at the very beginning declares. That is her fixed predetermined premise. She would say the same thing of all Christian faiths and for the same reason. If her book is anti-Mormon, it is equally anti-Christian. She refers to the "second coming of Christ" and the "resurrection" as being among the "irrationalisms" culled by Joseph out of Isaiah and the Revelation of St.
John, and to the primitive Christian Church she describes an "antiquated theology. Her husband's "qualities of judgment and perception" she tells us have "affected my whole approach to the book," which likely furnished the key to her attitude, for his tradition and upbringing probably inclined him away from rather than towards acceptance of Christian beliefs. The angel's announcement to Mary, his warning to Joseph to take the child Jesus into Egypt, most of the miracles, the claim to Messiahship, the resurrection, Paul's vision on the way to Damascus, -- the kingdom of God -- all these Mrs.
Brodie would chuck as unceremoniously out the window as she does the claims of Joseph Smith to heavenly inspiration and revelation. Indeed, a predecessor, the Jewish Rabbi, Klausner, has already done just that in his book, Jesus of Nazareth, published more than twenty years ago. Klausner, however, is not disrespectful. He gives Jesus high praise. His treatise, written in the Hebrew for Jews, exhibits a dignity and a maturity so patently wanting in Mrs.
Still he has a thesis: Between his book and Mrs. Brodie's there is a startling similarity of approach and organization. He speaks of the complexity of Jesus' character, his gift of imagination and his daydreaming about the redemption of his people, the sudden flashing through his mind at his baptism of the idea that he is the hoped-for Messiah; avers that there is nothing new in Jesus' ethical teachings; that his spiritual ideal is strongly tinctured by the material and worldly, that he was afraid to let his miracles be publicized, because they were not always successful; tells how failures threw him into despondency lest his disciples lose faith in him; that he revealed his real meanings only to the inner circle while teaching the public in ambiguous parables; sets him up for a study in a background of political, social, and economic conditions; dwells upon the humbleness of his beginnings; selects instances and interprets them in light of the thesis, points out alleged weaknesses of character, failure to live up to his own teachings, inconsistencies and contradictions.
Point by point Mrs. Brodie's book runs parallel. It would be revealing to set the two in columns opposite each other. Much of the area's charm comes from the use of parkways as well as parks and greenspace bordering the river.
These features are the result of plans designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. There are two neighborhood associations within North Winton Village. Its major goals include "neighborhood preservation, beautification, pride in home ownership and patronization of neighborhood businesses".
Today, NEMNU's mission is to maintain, improve, and enhance the quality of life in the neighborhood by addressing safety issues, providing social activities, communicating with residents and local government, promoting beautification projects, linking needs with resource opportunities, and developing cooperative efforts with businesses and neighborhood groups. Lining the streets of Park Avenue are cafes, shops, pubs, and restaurants.
In a broader view, the total area surrounding University Avenue—known as the Neighborhood of the Arts—is one of the most culture- and art-rich sections of the city. Also known by the acronym PLEX, the Plymouth-Exchange neighborhood provides affordable housing for lower income families. Also home to many University of Rochester students, both grad and undergrad, it has a richly knit community and an active neighborhood association.
The South Wedge neighborhood dates back to , prior to the incorporation of Rochester as a city. Construction of the Erie Canal the old canal bed which went by the neighborhood is now used by Interstate brought workers to the area, who set up camps for the months it took to complete this section of the canal.
The center of the residential area is Susan B. Anthony Square, a 0. Also within the neighborhood is the Susan B. Anthony House , which was the suffragist's residence for the last decades of her life, now a museum, as well as the Cunningham Carriage factory built in on Canal Street. The Canal Street property, which still stands, remained Cunningham's headquarters for more than years.
This wedge-shaped piece of the city is bordered by S. Clinton Avenue on the west, Field St on the south, and Interstate on the east. The area has one of the highest rates of homeownership in the city. The local elementary school is 35, Field Street, which often sponsors a community garden in its courtyard on Pinnacle Street. Running east from Union Street just north of Main Street, Marketview Heights is best known as the location of the Public Market, which offers a variety of groceries and other goods from marketeers from farms and shops from surrounding areas, primarily on the weekends.
Homestead Heights is in northeast Rochester. It is bordered on the west by Goodman Street, on the north by Clifford Avenue, on the south by Bay Street, and on the east by Culver Road, which is also the border between the city and the town of Irondequoit.
The neighborhood is a mix of residential and commercial. Real estate values are higher on the eastern end of the neighborhood near the Irondequoit border.
The City of Rochester is served by the Rochester City School District which encompasses all public primary and secondary education. The district is governed by a popularly elected seven-member Board of Education. There are also parochial and private primary and secondary schools within the city. Rochester City Schools consistently post below-average results when compared to the rest of New York State, although on-time graduation rates have improved significantly during the past three years.
Rochester and the surrounding region host a high concentration of colleges and universities which drive much of the economic growth in the five county area. The University of Rochester is the metropolitan area's oldest and most prominent institution of higher learning, and one of the country's top research centers. U of R was ranked as the 32nd-best university in the nation by U. The university is also home to the Eastman School of Music , which was ranked the number one music school in America.
It was founded and endowed by George Eastman in his years as a philanthropist. Four institutions began operations in the city and later moved to Rochester's inner-ring suburbs:. Rochester was host of the Barleywood Female University , a short-lived women's college from to The Lutheran seminary that became Wagner College was established in the city in and remained for some 35 years before moving to Staten Island.
The Rochester City School District operates 13 public secondary schools, each serving grades 7— In addition, there is one charter secondary school. The city of Rochester is home to numerous cultural institutions. Geva Theatre Center is the city's largest professional theater.
The Rochester Association of Performing Arts is a non-profit organization that provides educational theater classes to the community. Rochester's East End district, located downtown, is well known as the center of the city's nightlife. It is the stopping point for East Avenue, which along with the surrounding streets is crowded with nightclubs, lounges, coffee shops, bars, and high-end restaurants.
The Eastman School of Music , one of the top musical institutes in the nation, and its auditorium are also within the neighborhood. There are other, smaller enclaves of after-hours activity scattered across the city. Southeast is the heart of Rochester's thriving arts scene, particularly in and around the Park Avenue neighborhood which is known for its many coffee shops, cafes, bistros and boutique shops. Nearby on University Avenue can be found several plazas, like the Village Gate, which give space to trendy bars, restaurants and art galleries that stay open late into the night.
Monroe Avenue, several streets over, is packed with pubs, small restaurants, smoke shops, theaters and several clubs as well as cigar bars and hookah lounges. All of these neighborhoods are home to many artists, musicians, students and Rochester's large LGBT community. The South Wedge district, directly below downtown, has seen significant gentrification in recent years and now is the site of many trendy cafes and bars that serve the student community attending the University of Rochester several blocks away from the heart of the neighborhoods.
The "Wedge" is quickly becoming one of the most vibrant areas within the city limits, its numerous nightspots keeping the streets busy with college students and young professionals many of whom live there due to the abundance of affordable housing, thriving nightlife and proximity to many of the region's major hospitals, parks and colleges.
Hope Cemetery includes the final resting places of Susan B. Anthony , Frederick Douglass , George B. Selden , and many others.
Other scenic sites are Holy Sepulchre and neighboring Riverside Cemetery. Throughout its history, Rochester has acquired several nicknames; it has been known as "the World's Image Center",  " the Flour City ", " the Flower City ". As a legacy of its time as "The Flower City", Rochester hosts a Lilac Festival for ten days every May, when nearly varieties of lilacs bloom, and , visitors arrive.
The Democrat and Chronicle is Rochester's main daily newspaper. The Daily Record , a legal, real estate, and business daily, has published Monday through Friday since Insider magazine owned by the Democrat and Chronicle , City newspaper and the Freetime entertainment magazine are free, weekly publications.
Rochester Business Journal is the weekly business paper of record. The Good Life Magazine is a free bi-monthly publication. Media addressing the needs of Rochester's large African American population include About Charter Communications provides Rochester with cable-fed internet service, digital and standard cable television , and Spectrum News Rochester , a hour local news channel.
Rochester has several professional sports teams: The Rochester Rhinos soccer club played for many years in the A-League , which was the second-highest level American soccer league. The Rhinos won the U. Rochester was home to the Western New York Flash from Lacrosse has seen some popularity in Rochester: The Rochester Rattlers were a charter member of Major League Lacrosse ; the franchise was transferred away after winning the championship in , re-established in and relocated a final time in Rochester has fielded three major league sports teams in the past.
Since , 29 teams in eight professional sports have represented Rochester. Rochester has a rich history in golf dating back to the 19th Century. Numerous golf magazines have praised Rochester for its rich passion for the game and its high level of competition. Rochester is the largest Metropolitan Statistical Area in the U. The only exceptions are the RIT men's and women's ice hockey teams, which compete at the Division I level.
Rochester is home to two men's rugby teams, the Rochester Aardvarks and the Rochester Colonials. Both have long histories, with the Aardvarks celebrating their 40th anniversary in , and the Rochester Colonials celebrating 30 years in Both rugby clubs are among the few in the country to own their own pitch: Rochester also has a Women's Rugby club, the Rochester Renegades , who celebrated their 20th anniversary in The Spirit of Ontario I had a delayed arrival on April 29, as a result of hitting a pier in New York City on April 5, and was finally officially christened on June 16, at the Port of Rochester.
The Fast Ferry was bought by the City of Rochester in an attempt to save the project. The project was initially well received by inhabitants of Rochester. Considerable effort was spent by inhabitants of Rochester to build up the waterfront to embrace the idea as well as to capitalize on potential tourism which was estimated to be an additional 75, tourists per month.
In the first three months of operation the fast ferry had carried about , people between Rochester and Toronto. There were a number of problems concerning the ship's engine, the lack of mutual building up of waterfronts in Toronto and the inability of the city to put pressure on the company responsible for the production of the Fast Ferry.
This resulted in the failure of the project. Many of these airlines do not operate mainline service to Rochester; rather, they contract regional airlines to operate flights on their own, smaller aircraft. FedEx founder Fred Smith has stated in numerous articles that Xerox 's development of the copier, and its need to quickly get parts to customers, was one of the economic issues that led him to pioneer the overnight delivery business in The current station is modeled after Bragdon's work.
Rochester used to be a major stop on several railroad lines. Amtrak passenger and freight lines provide rail service to Rochester. Rochester has intercity and transcontinental bus service via Greyhound and Trailways. From to , Rochester had a light rail underground transit system called the Rochester Subway.
It was the smallest city in the world to have one. The subway which was operated by the Rochester Transit Corporation was shut down in The eastern half of the subway past Court Street became the Eastern Expressway with the western end of the open cut being filled in The tunnel was last used for freight service by Gannett Company to bring paper to the printing presses for the Democrat and Chronicle in Over the years there have been privately sponsored proposals put forth that encourage the region to support a new system, possibly using some of the old tunnel.
One includes converting the Broad Street bridge tunnel—the former canal aqueduct—into an enhanced pedestrian corridor, which would also include a Rochester Transportation Museum, and a tram system. The former canal and subway tunnel have become a frequent source of debate. Several city homeless use the tunnels for shelter, and a few areas near tunnel entrances have gained the reputation as being dangerous.
The city has considered multiple solutions for the space including recreating a canal way, putting the subway system back in or filling the tunnels entirely. The plan to fill the tunnels in completely generated criticism as the cost of filling would not generate nor leverage economic development. The western end of the tunnel was filled in to the former Baltimore and Ohio Railroad turnout in as part of a redevelopment of the above street and the eastern end of the tunnel is undergoing redevelopment.
The Broad Street aqueduct and most famous part of the tunnel is on the National Register of Historic Places being added in Rochester has an extensive system of limited-access highways called 'expressways' or just 'highways', never 'freeways' which connects all parts of the city and the Thruway.
During the Thruway's construction, a disagreement between the governor of New York and mayor of Rochester resulted in a bypass of downtown Rochester, leaving the city struggling for growth. Rochester's expressway system, conceived in the s, was designed as two concentric circles with feeder expressways from the west, south and east.
The system allows for quick travel within the metropolitan area and a lack of the traffic gridlock typically found in cities of comparable size; in part this is because the system was designed to accommodate an anticipated year metro population of 5 million, [ citation needed ] whereas the present-day population is just over one million.
The Outer Loop circles just outside the city limits while the former Inner Loop once circled around the immediate downtown area within the city the easternmost third was closed in The proposed route extended north from the I and I interchange in Brighton, cutting through Rochester's Swillburg neighborhood. In , consultants Berger Lehman Associates recommended a new 'Busway', an expressway with dedicated bus lanes, similar to Bus Rapid Transit.
Three Interstate Highways run through the City of Rochester: Interstate Genesee Expressway. New York State Route Expressways: New York State Route New York State Parkways: Lake Ontario State Parkway. Rochester has twelve sister cities ,  as designated by Sister Cities International.
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List of tallest buildings in Rochester, New York. List of mayors of Rochester, New York. This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. February Learn how and when to remove this template message. Lions at the Seneca Park Zoo. Mt Hope Cemetery Infrared. Hamlin Beach state park on Lake Ontario north of the city. Rochester station New York. For more information, see Threadex.
United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 5, Retrieved June 9, Rochester History Alive Publications. Archived from the original PDF on June 16, Retrieved July 22, Archived from the original on June 10, Retrieved November 12, Retrieved December 28, Early and Vintage, — Earliest Census to ". Archived from the original on August 6, Retrieved May 4, Retrieved April 23, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Archived from the original PDF on August 8, Retrieved April 19, April 1, to July 1, ".
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The new plant will retain the jobs from the existing plant, next to the company's headquarters in Gates, NY. View Senate District Maps. Retrieved January 6, View Proposed Assembly District Maps. Monroe County Board of Elections. Retrieved January 13, Archived from the original on December 24, National Register of Historic Places.
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With a storied past and an engaging presence, The Province is a bold, edgy and irreverent force in B.C. For over years, we have been a premier source of news, sports and entertainment. 69 all the objections that are urged, based on the manner in which the translation was accomplished, and also as to errors in grammar, the use of modern words, western New York phrases, and other defects of language which it is admitted are to be found in the Book of Mormon, especially in the first edition. Rochester (/ ˈ r ɒ tʃ ɪ s t ər, -ɛ s-/) is a city on the southern shore of Lake Ontario in western New jti-innovation.com a population of , residents, Rochester is the seat of Monroe County and the third most populous city in New York state, after New York City and jti-innovation.com metropolitan area has a population of just over 1 million people.