on the cover:
“Well researched and deftly written … An outstanding job.” —Henry Warner Bowden, Professor of Religious Studies, Stanford University
“An excellent summary of the elements in the literary and folkloric environment of the early nineteenth century that influenced the content of the Book of Mormon … Solid, clear, well researched.” —Mario S. De Pillis, Professor of History, Amherst University
“A wide range of sources used intelligently and fairly … A sound scholarly job.” —Francis Jennings, Director Emeritus, D’Arcy McNickle Center for the History of the American Indian, The Newberry Library
“This book does a good job of recreating the issues in the debates on Indian origins in the early nineteenth century and in suggesting how that debate might have influenced Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.” —Neal Salisbury, Visiting Reader of English and American Studies, University of Essex.
“Carefully worked out, thoroughly researched, and convincingly reasoned … The sources used here and the opinions they contain are representative of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century ideas. This is not a study of fringe materials. The ideas discussed here were at the heart of an ongoing debate. The author does not misrepresent the climate of opinion at the time … A solid, well-researched book.” —Richard White, Professor of History, University of Utah
“The author is on solid ground.” —Allen T. Vaughan, Professor of History, Columbia University
“Erudite, succinct, and painstakingly documented.” —Gustave H. Blanke, Professor Emeritus of American Studies, University of Mainz
about the author: Dan Vogel is a senior in history at California State University at Long Beach, where he will graduate in the fall of 1986. This is his first book-length work.
Indian Origins and the Book of Mormon:
Religious Solutions from Columbus to Joseph Smith
Copyright 1986 Signature Books, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Printed in the United States of America
cover illustration from an engraving by John McGahey,
“Joseph Smith Preaching to the Indians.” ca. 1870
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Vogel, Dan, 1955-
Indian Origins and the Book of Mormon.
Bibliography: p. Includes index.
1. Book of Mormon—Criticism, interpretation, etc.
2. Indians–Origin. 3. Religious thought—United States—History.
BX8627.V64 1986 288.3’22 86-61016
dedication page: to my parents
Introduction [see below]
01 – The Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon
02 – The New World Antiquities
03 – The Origin of the American Indians
04 – Indians and Mound Builders
05 – Conclusion
 This study involves numerous quotations from seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century printed sources. These follow the originals except in the following instances: spelling (such as the long “s”) has been modernized, and excessive italics (except when used for emphasis) have been omitted. “Sic” and editorial brackets are used infrequently to clarify particularly confusing or distracting areas. Otherwise, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling are reproduced exactly as they occur in the primary sources.
There are a number of churches publishing the Book of Mormon today. The largest of these is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah. Others include the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Church of Christ (Temple Lot), the Church of Christ with the Elijah Message, all in Independence, Missouri, and the Church of Jesus Christ in the United States of America, based in Monongahela, Pennsylvania. Although changes have been made in the Book of Mormon since 1830—mostly for stylistic reasons—I have used the 1982 edition published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Where significant changes occur, they are noted in the endnotes.
My debt to American and British libraries and institutions is such that I can offer appreciation only in a general way. I would especially like to thank the librarians at California State University at Long Beach for their courteous and prompt assistance in securing books and other materials through interlibrary loan. The library’s microfiche, microfilm, and microtext collections proved invaluable, as did materials at the library at the University of California at Irvine. My thanks also to the Library of Congress, the Historical Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the archives of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Utah State Historical Society, the British Museum, and the American Antiquarian Society.
In addition, I am grateful to many individuals. Among those who read early drafts of this work and offered valuable criticisms were Henry Warner Bowden, Francis Jennings, Tom Holm, Richard White, Margaret K. Brady, Brigham Madsen, Marvin S. Hill, Mario S. De Pillis, Neal Salisbury, Alden T. Vaughan, Bernard W. Sheehan,  Ellwood C. Parry III, S. Lyman Tyler, Gustav H. Blanke, Sterling M. McMurrin, Wesley P. Walters, H. Michael Marquardt, George D. Smith, Ronald L. Priddis, and Gary J. Bergera. Their efforts are greatly appreciated. I would especially like to thank Susan Staker for her invaluable help in organizing and editing this work. Although I have enjoyed the kind assistance of many friends and critics, their involvement in no way implies that they agree with my views, and I alone am responsible for errors of fact or interpretation.
Finally, I would like to thank my family and friends who experienced many inconveniences during the research and writing of this book.
 I proceed with mine own prophecy, according to my plainness; in the which I know that no man can err … I know that they shall be of great worth unto them in the last days; for in that day shall they understand them. —Nephi (2 Ne. 25:7-8)
For my soul delighteth in plainness; for after this manner doth the Lord God work among the children of men. For the Lord God giveth light unto the understanding; for he speaketh unto men according to their language, unto their understanding. —Nephi (2 Ne. 31:3)
The Book of Mormon presents a number of challenges for serious readers. I have tried to face these squarely in writing this book. Much of what has been written previously was engendered in the crossfire of a debate motivated by reactions to a religion whose foundation rests firmly on the merits of the Book of Mormon. Most members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as Mormons, and other groups tracing their origins to Joseph Smith, believe that the Book of Mormon is a literal history of the inhabitants of the ancient Americas. Joseph Smith, founder and first prophet of the Mormon church, claimed to have translated the book in the late 1820s from a set of golden plates he found buried in a hill near his home in upstate New York. Thus few careful readers can escape questions about historicity. For example, can the Book of Mormon be substantiated as an actual history of native Americans? Historical issues are of course further compounded by the lack of a tangible record. Joseph said he returned the plates to the angel or spirit who first gave him charge of them after he had finished his translation.
From the beginning many readers of the Book of Mormon doubted such claims. To them the book seemed squarely rooted in the nineteenth century. The famous Reformed Baptist preacher Alexander Campbell, for example, charged in 1831 that Joseph Smith had brought together in the Book of Mormon “every error and almost every truth discussed in New York for the last ten years.”1 In 1834 the Boston-based Unitarian magazine echoed Campbell’s analysis, claiming that the Book of Mormon  “is with some art adapted to the known prejudices of a portion of the community.”2
However, with the publication of E. D. Howe’s anti-Mormon expose Mormonism Unvailed in 1834, the discussion narrowed to the theory that Smith and an accomplice, usually Sidney Rigdon, had purloined an unpublished manuscript written by Solomon Spalding, who had died in 1816. The theory of a stolen manuscript appealed to those who assumed Smith was too ignorant to have written the book.3
The Spalding theory, which still has its advocates, dominated Mormon and anti-Mormon literature until I. Woodbridge Riley questioned it in his 1902 book, The Founder of Mormonism: A Psychological Study of Joseph Smith, Jr. Riley, in effect, went back to exploring the kinds of parallels Campbell had suggested between the nineteenth-century environment and the text of the Book of Mormon, demonstrating a dependence on a more modern world view but not direct borrowings from any other text. The subject was picked up forty years later by Fawn M. Brodie in No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith. She delivered the fatal blow to the Spalding theory and followed Riley’s environmental approach to the Book of Mormon. Since both Riley and Brodie were writing biographies of Joseph Smith, neither explored the Book of Mormon itself in great depth. Some important aspects were missed entirely.
Inspired by Riley and Brodie, others, usually anti-Mormons, have tried to expand and explore evidence which the former writers were only able to treat superficially. James D. Bales’s The Book of Mormon? (1958) and especially Jerald and Sandra Tanner’s Mormonism: Shadow or Reality? (1982 revised version) include information not found in Riley or Brodie. However, because of the polemic, one-sided nature of these and similar works, Mormon readers have tended to dismiss their contents as biased and cursory.
Other, less stilted, works have been more concerned with trying to understand and make sense of the Book of Mormon. Gustav H. Blanke’s essay, “Early Theories About the Nature and Origin of the Indians, and the Advent of Mormonism,” Susan Curtis Mernitz’s article, “Palmyra Revisited: A Look at Early Nineteenth-Century America and the Book of Mormon,” and Mark Thomas’s essay, “Revival Language in the Book of Mormon,” have sought to enlarge the scope of approach and interpretation.4
These and other works suggest that the literature of pre-1830 America may hold at least part of the key to understanding more fully the Book of Mormon. In other words, historical criticism, which assumes that a work is never intelligible in isolation and must be explored against the intellectual and cultural backdrop of the period during which it appeared, may be a profitable tool for Book of Mormon students. An  essential task of historical criticism is to explore various expressions of a particular idea or complex of concerns which appeared prior to or were contemporaneous with the work in question. Such an exploration may not demonstrate direct cause-and-effect relationships but will certainly narrow the field of hypothesis and deduction.
Since the early 1900s, mostly due to the efforts of Mormon scholar and church authority B. H. Roberts, scholars have been increasingly aware of the influence of Joseph Smith’s environment on the Book of Mormon. Anachronisms regarding the Book of Mormon’s use of biblical material prompted Mormon scholars to reject the nineteenth-century notion that Joseph Smith produced from the plates a “literal” translation. Instead they have advanced the idea that the concepts flowed through Joseph’s mind and that he was left to express those concepts in the best language that he could command. Since Joseph, like many in his culture, was familiar with the Bible, Roberts suggested that it was only natural for him to use biblical phraseology in his translation.5 Thus those who view Joseph as the Book of Mormon’s translator have shifted their position from a purely mechanical or literal translation to one which includes Joseph and his environment. Recently Mormon scholar Blake T. Ostler expanded this view to include other early nineteenth-century elements, including Joseph’s own inspired additions to the text.6
In my own study of the Book of Mormon I have not been primarily concerned with discovering the “sources” of Joseph Smith’s thought. Nor have I been interested in tracing links between Joseph Smith and those books he may have read or been exposed to. Rather I have chosen to shift the emphasis of the discussion somewhat, to outline the broad contours of public discussion about the ancient inhabitants of America which had taken place or was taking place by 1830 when the Book of Mormon first appeared. What was the focus and thrust of that discussion? What complex of questions and problems motivated and concerned Joseph Smith’s contemporaries? What kinds of responses were displayed by the books and articles written at the time? Finally, I have tried to determine the extent to which the Book of Mormon may have been part of that discussion.
The Book of Mormon itself, I would assert, licenses my approach because it claims to address its modern readers and their problems. As Nephi, a prophet who appears in the early chapters, says, “I know that they [i.e., his prophecies of the future] shall be of great worth unto them in the last days; for in that day shall they understand them” (2 Ne. 25:8). Most early American Freemasons could have guessed, for example, that the Book of Mormon was describing them when they read its condemnation of latter-day “secret combinations” (2 Ne. 26:22; Eth. 8:23-26).7 Catholics may have winced when they read the Book of Mormon’s typically Protestant description of the “great and abominable church …  the whore of all the earth” (1 Ne. 13 and 14).8 And Universalists must have recognized their own beliefs in the “false and vain and foolish doctrines” of those teaching that “God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God” (2 Ne. 28:8).9
The Book of Mormon invites even more radical comparisons, however. For example, the prophet Moroni refrains from describing the oaths of the Jaredite and Lamanite secret societies because “they are had among all people” (Eth. 8:20). He then warns his latter-day American audience:
Wherefore, O ye Gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins, and suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you … Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation … Wherefore, I, Moroni, am commanded to write these things that evil may be done away. (Eth. 8:23-26)
Moroni is mandating a more fundamental comparison between latter-day and ancient groups than Nephi does when he predicts modern secret societies. Other topics are treated similarly. Nephi foresaw latter-day Universalists, and among the Nephites themselves were those who believed that “all mankind should be saved at the last day” (Al. 1:4). Alma’s words to his son Corianton, a believer in universal salvation, must have resonated for early nineteenth-century Christians caught in the emotional debate between orthodoxy and Universalism (Al. 39-42).
My approach takes seriously this Book of Mormon imperative to compare discussions within the book to those taking place when the book first appeared. Making sense of the ongoing religious controversies in both Book of Mormon and nineteenth-century American contexts requires an exploration of the terms in which questions generating the debates were phrased. The same statement may have different meanings when considered within dissimilar environments.
Let me explore an example which will help to clarify this important point. Jonathan Swift mentioned the two moons of Mars in his 1726 Gulliver’s Travels. At that time the moons were not visible by any means available. But in 1877 the American astronomer Asaph Hall looking through his new, powerful telescope, saw the two moons of Mars as Swift had predicted. Modern readers of Swift have since wondered how he could have made this prediction. Some have even argued that he was divinely inspired. The majority of scientists, however, have maintained that the prediction was only a “very happy guess.” Researching the issue more carefully, however, historians Marjorie Nicolson and Nora Mohler discovered that Swift was in fact transmitting an early eighteenth-century notion.10 Indeed, Kepler and Voltaire had also mentioned the two moons  of Mars. On what basis were such conclusions drawn? As it turns out, this belief followed from the supposition that the planets furthest from the sun had the most satellites. Since earth was known to have one satellite, Jupiter, according to Galileo, had four, and Cassini said Saturn had five, it was natural for Swift and others to choose two satellites for Mars—the next highest number for the next planet out from the earth.11 Knowing the cultural background of the discussion is thus useful in interpreting the significance of Swift’s statement. He was neither prescient nor scientifically precocious but had arrived at what turned out to be a correct conclusion based not on science or direct observation but on an early concept of an ordered universe. Still, he could just as easily have been wrong.
A central question to ask about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon is: How did this book fit into the ongoing discussion about the origin and nature of ancient American cultures? The discovery of the New World had inspired a whole series of questions and debates. At what time and from what nation did the Indians originate? How and over what route did they travel to the Americas? How did they receive their skin color? Who were the builders of the many mounds and ruined buildings which the early colonists found? These and related questions were variously answered and hotly debated for three centuries prior to the publication of the Book of Mormon.
Archaeology, anthropology, linguistics, and other disciplines were still in their infancy at the time, and scientific answers were yet on the horizon. Although a majority of the early writers came close to modern thinking on several points regarding Indian origins, they did not arrive at their ideas through scientific investigation but rather through philosophical speculation. Some correctly guessed that the Indians had migrated across the Bering Strait and were biologically related to the Tartars or Mongolians of eastern Asia. Such conjectures were based on the observation that the Bering Strait was the point at which the Old and New Worlds were closest and that the Indians seemed to resemble some Asiatics. But, like Swift, they could just as easily have guessed wrong.
In fact a significant minority of religiously motivated people proposed other explanations. For them the subject of Indian origins was a theological conundrum. The very discovery of the New World and its inhabitants touched off a theological debate of no small significance.12 Who were these Indians? Did they have souls? Were they men and thus descendants of Adam? What was Christian Europe’s obligation to them? Were they to be civilized first, or Christianized? Could Christians morally justify seizing Indian lands? These were among the various concerns of Joseph Smith’s contemporaries.
 In this context Smith’s 1842 letter to John Wentworth, editor of the Chicago Democrat, is not particularly foreign or unusual. Each of the elements of the letter, as I hope to show—for example, the possible Israelite origin of the Indians, the possible influence of Judaism or even Christianity in ancient America—had been discussed in some form during the ongoing debate. In other words, the compelling questions for Joseph’s contemporaries were very similar to those addressed by the Book of Mormon, as outlined to Wentworth:
In this important and interesting book the history of ancient America is unfolded, from its first settlement by a colony that came from the tower of Babel, at the confusion of languages[,] to the beginning of the fifth century of the Christian era. We are informed by these records that America in ancient times has been inhabited by two distinct races of people. The first were called Jaredites and came directly from the tower of Babel. The second race came directly from the city of Jerusalem, about six hundred years before Christ. They were principally Israelites, of the descendants of Joseph. The Jaredites were destroyed about the time that the Israelites came from Jerusalem, who succeeded them in the inheritance of the country. The principal nation of the second race fell in battle towards the close of the fourth century. The remnant are the Indians that now inhabit this country. This book also tells us that our Savior made his appearance upon this continent after his resurrection, that he planted the gospel here in all its fulness, and richness, and power, and blessing; that they had apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, and evangelists; the same order, the same priesthood, the same ordinances, gifts, powers, and blessing, as was enjoyed on the eastern continent, that the people were cut off in consequence of their transgressions, that the last of their prophets who existed among them was commanded to write an abridgement of their prophesies, history &c., and to hide it up in the earth, and that it should come forth and be united with the Bible for the accomplishment of the purposes of God in the last days.13
One further theoretical issue dictated by the discussion in Joseph Smith’s day should be mentioned here: only a few early nineteenth-century writers suggested multiple origins for the American Indians. The very term “Indian,” as Robert F. Berkhofer, Jr., has pointed out, embodied a unitary concept of the native inhabitants of the Americas invented by Europeans. “By classifying all these many peoples as Indians,” writes Berkhofer, “whites categorized the variety of cultures and societies as a single entity for the purposes of description and analysis, thereby neglecting or playing down the social and cultural diversity of Native Americans then—and now—for the convenience of simplified understanding.”14 Samuel Williams expressed in 1794 a typical view when he wrote that “the Indians … every where appeared to be the same  race, or kind of people.”15 My own discussion of the “Indian” thus ignores the multiplicity of ethnic groups, languages, and lifestyles because most discussions in the nineteenth century and earlier ignored such distinctions. I have tried to note in the following analysis points at which modern knowledge about native Americans differs from misconceptions displayed in the writings of earlier observers. However, readers would do well to keep in mind that I am describing what nineteenth-century Americans thought about the Indians.
The above considerations have shaped the process by which I have weighed and selected the available sources. For the most part I have explored two broad categories of writings: books motivated by theological issues—as is obviously the case with Ethan Smith’s View of the Hebrews (1823 and 1825)16—and those motivated by concerns more antiquarian than religious—such as John Yates’s and Joseph Moulton’s History of the State of New York (1824). I have looked in these sources for arguments, stories, and questions which persisted over time and were thus picked up and repeatedly reworked. I have also explored those sources which reached a broad audience–books reprinted again and again, for example, or excerpted or written about in popular periodicals and newspapers.
I have, of course, tried to include all sources which would have been available in the area where Joseph Smith grew up and later worked. These sources do not prove but merely suggest Joseph’s exposure to the subject. Palmyra, where he grew up, was booming in the 1820s. In 1822 a section of the Erie Canal was completed between Rochester and Utica. The canal, which ran through the north end of the village of Palmyra, increased commerce and attracted many people to the area. Historian Horatio Gates Spafford wrote in 1824 that Palmyra “has long been a place of very considerable business, and is the third in rank in this [western] Country, and increasing rapidly.”17 With a population of nearly 4,000, Palmyra had its own newspaper, the Palmyra Register, from 1817 to 1823, and the Wayne Sentinel thereafter. Palmyra had its own library after 1823, and nearby Manchester had had one since 1817. Several bookstores in Palmyra and vicinity sold a variety of publications at reasonable prices.18
Books, of course, were not the only sources of information. Many things can be learned by word of mouth, what Mormon historian B. H. Roberts once called the fund of “common knowledge” inherited by individuals living in the same cultural setting.19 Joseph Smith certainly inherited some of his attitudes and beliefs about the Indians from his ancestors–many of them leading citizens in New England’s Puritan community and members of the Congregational church. His maternal grandfather, Solomon Mack, fought against the Indians in the French and Indian Wars.20 Moreover, Joseph may have learned about Indian origin  problems through popular channels of information such as circuit preachers, traveling lecturers, or community talk circulating in the country store, post office, and other public gathering places.
Working within the context of these theoretical and practical considerations, I have organized the book in the following way. Chapter 1 presents background material about Joseph Smith and the publication of the Book of Mormon. Chapter 2 documents pre-1830 knowledge of ancient American material culture—ruined buildings, temples, pyramids, roads, towers, earthen mounds, and fortifications, for example. Chapter 3 explores the various pre-1830 debates about Indian origins in the New World. Finally, Chapter 4 discusses mound-builder myths and the theory of a lost white-skinned Christian race. The bibliography contains an extensive annotated list of pre-1830 sources dealing with the origin, history, and antiquities of the American Indians as well as some of the sources consulted for this study.
3. In 1834 E. D. Howe, using information from disaffected Mormon Philastus Hurlbut, claimed that the Book of Mormon was really a reworking of the Spalding manuscript. Mormonism Unvailed (Painesville, OH, 1834), 278-90. For a discussion of the origin and development of the Spalding theory, see Lester E. Bush, Jr., “The Spalding Theory Then and Now,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 10 (Autumn 1977): 40-69.
4. Blanke’s article is found in Amerikastudien 25 (1980), 3: 243-68; Mernitz’s essay is in The John Whitmer Historical Association Journal 2 (1982): 30-37; and Thomas’s article is in Sunstone 8 (May-June 1983): 19-25.
5. See the following discussions of the theory that Joseph Smith conceptually translated the Book of Mormon: B. H. Roberts, Defense of the Faith and the Saints, 2 vols. (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1907-12), 1:255-74; Richard Van Wagoner and Steven Walker, “Joseph Smith: `The Gift of Seeing,’” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 15 (Summer 1982): 49-68. Edward H. Ashment, “The Book of Mormon–A Literal Translation?” Sunstone 5 (March-April 1980): 10-14; James E. Lancaster, “The Method of Translation of the Book of Mormon,” The John Whitmer Historical Association Journal 3 (1983): 51-61. This theory does not account for the early eye-witness accounts which describe the translation process as literal and mechanical. See Dan Vogel, “Is the Book of Mormon a Translation? A Response to Edward H. Ashment,” Journal of Pastoral Practice 5 (1982), 3: 75-91.
7. Among those who have recognized possible anti-masonic elements in the Book of Mormon are Fawn M. Brodie, No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith, 2nd ed., rev. and enl. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1976), 63-66; Thomas F. O’Dea, The Mormons (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1957), 35; Jerald and Sandra Tanner, Mormonism: Shadow or Reality?, enl. ed. (Salt Lake City: Modern Microfilm, 1982), 69-72; Robert N. Hullinger, Mormon Answer to Skepticism, Why Joseph Smith Wrote the Book of Mormon (St. Louis: Clayton Publishing House, 1980), 100-119; H. Michael Marquardt, “Early Nineteenth Century Events Reflected in the Book of Mormon,” Journal of Pastoral Practice 3 (1979), 1: 118-20; and Mernitz. Richard L. Bushman, Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1984), 128-31, provides an apologetic response. See also John E. Thompson, “Joseph Smith and the Illuminati: Masonry and Anti-Masonry in the Burned-over District,” unpublished paper, 1980, much of which was incorporated in The Masons, the Mormons, and the Morgan Incident (Ames: Iowa Research Lodge No. 2, 1984).
9. Only a few writers have discussed possible anti-Universalist elements in the Book of Mormon. See Thomas, “Revival Language,” and his “Lehi’s Plan of Salvation Discourse in Its Nineteenth Century Theological Setting,” unpublished paper, 1984.
10. Marjorie Nicolson and Nora Mohler, “The Scientific Background of the Voyage to Laputa,” Annals of Science (1937), as discussed in S. H. Gould, “Gulliver and the Moons of Mars,” Journal of the History of Ideas 6 (Jan. 1945): 91-101.
12. On the theological significance of America’s discovery, see Lewis Hanke, “The Theological Significance of the Discovery of America,” in Fredi Chiappelli, ed., First Images of America: The Impact of the New World on the Old, 2 vols. (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1976), 1:363-89; and Blanke.
13. Times and Seasons, 1 March 1842, 707-708; cf. Joseph Smith, Jr., History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, B. H. Roberts, ed., 6 vols. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1932-51), 4:537-38. Smith’s letter to Wentworth, especially the portion quoted, appears to have been adapted from Orson Pratt’s pamphlet, A[n] Interesting Account of Several Remarkable Visions and of the Late Discovery of Ancient American Records (Edinburgh, 1840).
14. Robert F. Berkhofer, Jr., The White Man’s Indian: Images of the American Indian from Columbus to the Present (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1978), 3. Berkhofer discusses in detail the process by which the Europeans “invented” the Indians and wielded the concept to their own advantage.
15. Samuel Williams, The Natural and Civil History of Vermont (Walpole, NH, 1794), 187. See also Ethan Smith, View of the Hebrews; or the Tribes of Israel in America (Poultney, VT, 1825), 88, which quotes Samuel Williams and others describing the Indians as a unitary group.
16. For a discussion of Ethan Smith’s possible influence on the Book of Mormon as well as a review of the polemics of that theory, see Hullinger, 172-76. See also George D. Smith, “Book of Mormon Difficulties,” Sunstone 6 (May-June 1981): 45-50; Madison U. Sowell, “The Comparative Method Reexamined,” Sunstone 6 (May-June 1981): 44, 50-54; and David Persuitte, Joseph Smith and the Origins of the Book of Mormon (Jefferson, NC: McFarland and Co., 1985). Persuitte’s book contains valuable material on Ethan Smith but overstates his influence and enters into unnecessary and tenuous speculations.
18. For information on Palmyra in the 1820s, consult Milton V. Backman, Jr., Joseph Smith’s First Vision: Confirming Evidences and Contemporary Accounts, 2nd ed., rev. and enl. (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1980), 22-52.
19. B. H. Roberts, Studies of the Book of Mormon, Brigham D. Madsen, ed. (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1985), 153-54. Others who have discussed the Roberts manuscripts include Wesley P. Walters, “The Origin of the Book of Mormon,” Journal of Pastoral Practice 3 (1979), 3: 123-52; and George D. Smith, “`Is There Any Way to Escape These Difficulties?’: The Book of Mormon Studies of B. H. Roberts,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 17 (Summer 1984): 94-111.
20. Joseph Smith’s Puritan ancestry and Solomon Mack’s exploits with the Indians are discussed in Richard Lloyd Anderson, Joseph Smith’s New England Heritage: Influence of Grandfathers Solomon Mack and Asael Smith (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1971).