on the cover:
Since the early 1830s, Mormons and non-Mormons alike have tried to make sense of the varied recollections of Joseph Smith’s New York neighbors. Together with autobiographical accounts, these important sources comprise almost everything known about the young prophet and his family during the 1820s. In this perceptive new study, Rodger Anderson includes accurate transcripts of these firsthand reminiscences (some of which are published here for the first time), evaluates the validity of their claims, and discusses the lively debates they have engendered.
“Very well written and long overdue, Joseph Smith’s New York Reputation Reexamined is a fascinating overview of the contro-versial sources relating to early Mormonism.” —Lavina Fielding Anderson, co-editor, Sisters in Spirit: Mormon Women in Historical and Cultural Perspective
“Systematically peeling back the layers of misconception and misinformation, Anderson shows that the witnesses to Joseph Smith’s early activities were not simply conveying community gossip but in many instances were participants in and eye-witnesses to the events they related. An extremely valuable and important contribution.” —Dan Vogel, author, Religious Seekers and the Advent of Mormonism
“Rodger Anderson has returned to the site of the beginnings of Mormonism and produced a rich harvest of information for those interested in the birth of Joseph Smith’s religion. This is a work of valid, authentic detail relating to those fateful events.” —John Phillip Walker, editor, Dale Morgan on Early Mormonism
Joseph Smith’s New York Reputation Reexamined
Rodger I. Anderson
Salt Lake City
With grateful love to my wife, Wilma,
8 December 1943 to 18 December 1988,
for adding the sweet measure of her soul to my existence.
© 1990 by Signature Books, Inc. All rights reserved
Signature Books is a registered trademark of Signature Books, Inc.
Printed in the United States of America
∞ Printed on acid free paper
Cover Design: Randall Smith Associates
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Anderson, Rodger I.
Joseph Smith’s New York reputation reexamined / Rodger I. Anderson.
p. cm. Bibliography: p. Includes index.
1. Smith, Joseph, 1805-1844 – Public opinion.
2. Public opinion – New York (State) I. Title.
89-32697 [B] CIB
01 – The Issues
02 – The Myth Makers
03 – The Hurlbut Affidavits, Part One
04 – The Hurlbut Affidavits, Part Two
05 – The Demming Affidavits
06 – The Kelley Interviews
07 – The Recollections of Lucy Mack Smith and William Smith
08 – Conclusion
Appendix. The Affidavits, Statements and Interviews:
Appendix A – Philastus Hurlbut/Eber D. Howe Affidavits
Appendix B – The Arthur B. Deming New York Affidavits
Appendix C – A Typescript of the Handwritten Notes of the 1881, William H. Kelley Notebook