Joseph Smith’s New York Reputation Reexamined
by Rodger I. Anderson
[p.170] A Typescript of the Handwritten Notes of the 1881 William H. Kelley Notebook
(Courtesy Library-Archives, Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Auditorium,
Independence, Missouri; Compare Saints’ Herald 28 [June 1881]: 161-68)
[page 1] Dr. Stafford Rochester [lives] near Genisee Call Monger Street — Knows of the Latter day Saints Anthony Pratt in Manchester knows of them Thomas H. Taylor. we met in Manches[ter]. Was with John Brown. Says Smith [was] ducked in the creek in Manchester They did nothing Says nothing had been sustained against Smith
[page 2] Mary Bryant Born 1806 Says Cowd[e]r[y]s “were low Shacks.” Cowd[e]r[y]s did not [join] Baptist Church or Methodist. Wm Brryant b[o]rn 1795. Says Smith was a drun[k]ard, but never saw him drunk. Says he remembers seeing Smith, but says he never saw him drunk. He knew nothing of the fam[i]ly on[ly] what was based on rumor. One he was acquainted with of the Smiths was 25 or 30 Mrs. Robinson of Jackson Mich[igan] lives with Mr. Withy. She lived at Mormon Hill. [back of page 2] made these visits March 6 1881
[page 3] D. Booth Says O[liver]. Cowdry was a low pettifogging lawyer & Mason. guess he was no church member and Mason. Was Cowd[e]ry a drunkard[?] Every body drank then. Cowd[e]ry [was] known as [“]loos[e] Cowdry” Orin Reed Ezry Pierce lives in the Smith Neighborhood [back of page 3] Orland[o] Sanders lives on the Road leading from Palmyra to Manches[ter] Wallace Minors Dorius Peirce lives in Chesea Mich[igan]. Able Chase on Palmyra and Manchester Road
[page 4] Ezra Peirce. Says Joes did not know anything more about Hyglyerics Lyman Cowd[e]ry was a lawyer. O[liver]. Cowd[er]y [was a] School Teacher. Characters good. [“]I know that Joe Smith [p.171] was ignorant.” Has pulled sticks with Joes for a gallon of Brandy but never knew [him] to get drunk. Born 1806.
[page 5] Orin Reed Lived in time of Smiths. in Town of farmington. I know nothing about the Smiths only by hearsay. [back of page 5] Major G[i]lbert of Palmyra sat up the type of B[ook]. of M[ormon].
[page 6] Orlando Saunders Say 78 year old in April Smiths worked for him and they were good fellows to work Hyram and the old man were coopers very good people. Every bod[y] drank in those days and the Smith[s] drank also. but they never got drunk. They were the best family in the neighborhood in case of sickness. One was at my house nearly all the time when my father died. Martin Haris was one of the first ones of the Town
[page 7] Able D. Chase 67 years old. Old man Smith was a cooper Alvin was the oldest 6 boy[s] 2 girls — &c Alvin Hyr[um] — Josep[h] [Samuel] Harrison Wm & Carlos. Every one drank. I was young and don[‘]t remember only general character — poorly educated — ignorant and selfish — supersticious Shiftless but do a good days work. — Soby Joe — [back of page 7] E B Graanden printed B[ook]. of Mormon Whitmers went from Senaca Co Dr. [Philastus] Hurlbert lives at Coneaut. Ohio
[page 8] Jo[sep]h [Smith] got a s[ingular?] looking stone which was dug up out of my fathers well [A?] Sister that [had] a stone she could see in, but it was not the one that Smith had Jackway)
[page 9] Colonel John H Gilbert Sat up B[ook] of M[ormon]: Says he changed nothing about it. He punctuated it. Hyrum Brought Manuscrip[t] 24 Sheets at a time — B[ook]. of M[ormon] was commenced to be printed in August 1829 — and finished in March 1830 Lorenzo Saunders says [Sidney] Rydon was in the neighborhood befor[e] B of M was published 18 months Lorenzo [p.172] Saunders lives in New Adr[i]an Mich[igan]. [back of page 9] James L. Cob[b] of Salt Lake [City] corresponds with Colonel Gilbert.
[page 10] He knew Lyman and Oliver [Cowdery] Lyman was a petifogge[r]. Oliver was a school teacher — [Martin] Harris was a very honest farmer but very supersticious — He saw the Book with his spiritual eyes. 79 years of age.
[page 11] Hyram Jackway 65-6 Saw Joe and his Father Drunk in a hay field. Knows nothing about them stealing. Stafford was a Sailor. Wm Stafford He was the one that furnished the Black Sheep. Smiths translated in the farm hous[e]. Maj Gilbert said they translated in a cave
[page 12] Hyram and his Father owed Mr. Jaynes 1505 Martin Harris was an honest man Harrison was a good worker for one day or a month. There were 6 boy[s] and 3 girls: The old lady Smith was kind in sickness. Cowd[e]rys good as the general run. Mrs. Jayn[e]s says [Pomeroy] Tucker never asked Willard Chase about what he knew
[page 13] John Stafford He [Joseph Smith] was a real clever jovial boy — What [Pomeroy] Tucker said about them was false absolutely — My father was never connected with them in any way —Smiths with others were hunting for money previous to obtaining plates My father Wm S— had a stone which some [back of page 13] thought they could look through — and old Mrs. S[mith]. came there for it but never got it. — 76 years old — Common then for any body to have drink in field those days one time Joe while working for some one on[c]e after he was married They had boiled cider Joe came in with his shirt torn — his wife felt bad about it & when they went
[page 14] home. She put shawl on him — had not been fighting —he was a little contentious but never saw him fight — known him to scuffle — Do a fair days work if hired out to a man but were poor managers. I lived a mile from them — My father is said to [p.173] have furnished a sheep — but I don[‘]t think my father was there at time they say sheep was [back of page 14] sacrificed — Cousin Christopher Stafford Aburn Geauga Co. Ohio, Oliver Cowd[e]ry Taught school in house 3½ miles from Palmyry — Cowd[e]ry good Character. [Martin] Harris not very religious before B[ook] of M[ormon] — Was an Honorable farmer. Don[‘]t know whether he was sceptical or visionary — old Joe claimed he
[page 15] understood Geology and could tell all kinds of minerals — & they fixed up a dose for him. Joe was quite illit[erate] —until after they began to have school at at their house — they had school at their house. and studied their Bible — think Sidney R[igdon]. might have been there for the reason I can’t account for the manuscript [Book of Mormon?] in [back of page 15] any other way — Don[‘]t know that Sidney was ever there before Book [of Mormon] was published. Sidney was never there that [Philastus] Hurlburt or [Eber D.] Howe or [Pomeroy] Tucker Could find out — Have been thinking and [hearing] about it for the last 50 years. Saw them dig 3 or 4 years before B[ook of Mormon] was found — Joe not there — The
[page 16] neighbors use[d] to Claim Sally Chase Could look through [a] stone she had & find money — Willard Chase use[d] to dig when she found where the money was Peaceable among themselves — old woman Had a great deal [of] faith [that] their Child[ren] — was going to do something great.