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Book Notice, 1830

By: Ardis E. Parshall - March 13, 2014

I find newspaper clippings like this interesting not so much for their often-garbled, almost-always-negative content, but more for imagining what it might have felt like to early members of the Church to read this kind of press.

MECHANICS’ FREE PRESS (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
8 May 1830

FANATICISM AND IGNORANCE GO HAND IN HAND

From Freedom’s Sentinel.

But who would think of finding a believer in mysterious stories at the present day, especially in this land of letters? It certainly appears absurd, but it is nevertheless true, that many people are so credulous as to believe what is too dark to be understood, in preference to plain facts, which are established by common sense and daily observation. A marvelous feast for the credulous has recently appeared in the state of New York, in the shape of a “golden bible,” &c. The Boston Bulletin takes the following notice of it.

“A work of 500 pages has recently been published at Rochester, New York, by “Joseph Smith, jr. author and proprietor,” “The book of Mormon, or the golden bible,” which the Rochester Daily Advertiser pronounces “one of the vilest impositions ever practised – an evidence of fraud, blasphemy and credulity, shocking to the christian and the moralist.” The “author and proprietor,” it is said, by some hocus pocus, acquired such an influence over a wealthy farmer of Wayne county, N.Y. that the latter mortgaged his farm for $3000, which he paid for printing and binding 5000 copies of the blasphemous work. The volume is divided into the books of Nephi, of Jacob, of Masiah, of Alma, of Mormon, of Ether, and of Halaman.”



1 Comment »

  1. Wow — they’re really shooting with a shotgun here. I have to think if I were an 1830s reader, I would have wondered what all the fuss was about. Their stated aim is at the “golden bible,” but the editors feel compelled to hit almost every negative characteristic they can think of, without ever saying exactly why the book is so offensive.

    Axe to grind, anyone? (Or should I say, “newspapers to sell, anyone?”)

    Comment by David Y. — March 13, 2014 @ 4:12 pm

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