Volume 1 Chapter 19
Mob Violance at Hiram—The Second Journey of the Prophet to Zion, and Return to Kirtland.
Prospectus of The Evening and Morning Star.
I received a letter from the brethren who went up to the land of Zion, stating that they had arrived at Independence, Missouri, in good health and spirits, with a printing press and a store of goods. Agreeable to the instructions of the fall conference, they also sent me the prospectus of a monthly paper, The Evening and Morning Star. 1
The Prophet's Life in Hiram.
According to previous intentions, we now began to make preparations to visit the brethren who had removed to the land of Missouri. Before going to Hiram to live with Father Johnson, 2 my wife had taken two children (twins), of John Murdock's, to rear. 3 She received them when only nine days old; they were now nearly eleven months. I would remark that nothing important had occurred since I came to reside in Father Johnson's house in Hiram, except that I had held meetings on the Sabbaths and evenings, and baptized a number.
A Prophecy on Olmsted Johnson.
Father Johnson's son, Olmsted Johnson, about this time came home on a visit, during which I told him if he did not obey the Gospel, the spirit he was of would lead him to destruction, and when he went away, he would never return or see his father again. He went to the Southern States and Mexico; on his return he took sick and died in Virginia.
In addition to the apostate Ezra Booth, Simonds Ryder, 4 Eli Johnson, Edward Johnson and John Johnson, Jun., had apostatized.
Mob Violence at Hiram.
On the 24th of March, the twins before mentioned, which had been sick of the measles for some time, caused us to be broken of our rest in taking care of them, especially my wife. In the evening I told her she had better retire to rest with one of the children, and I would watch with the sicker child. In the night she told me I had better lie down on the trundle bed, and I did so, and was soon after awakened by her screaming murder, when I found myself going out of the door, in the hands of about a dozen men; some of whose hands were in my hair, and some had hold of my shirt, drawers and limbs. The foot of the trundle bed was towards the door, leaving only room enough for the door to swing open. My wife heard a gentle tapping on the windows which she then took no particular notice of (but which was unquestionably designed for ascertaining whether or not we were all asleep), and soon after the mob burst open the door and surrounded the bed in an instant, and, as I said, the first I knew I was going out of the door in the hands of an infuriated mob. I made a desperate struggle, as I was forced out, to extricate myself, but only cleared one leg, with which I made a pass at one man, and he fell on the door steps. I was immediately overpowered again; and they swore by G - -, they would kill me if I did not be still, which quieted me. As they passed around the house with me, the fellow that I kicked came to me and thrust his hand, all covered with blood, into my face and with an exulting hoarse laugh, muttered "Ge, gee, G—d—ye, I'll fix ye." 5
Brutality of the Mob.
They then seized me by the throat and held on till I lost my breath. After I came to, as they passed along with me, about thirty rods from the house, I saw Elder Rigdon stretched out on the ground, whither they had dragged him by his heels. I supposed he was dead. I began to plead with them, saying, "you will have mercy and spare my life, I hope." to which they replied, "g—d—ye, call on yer god for help, we'll show ye no mercy;" the people began themselves in every direction; one coming from orchard had a plank; expected would kill me, carry me off plank. then turned right, went about thirty rods further; sixty house, where saw elder rigdon, into meadow, stopped, said, "simonds, simonds," (meaning, supposed, simonds ryder,) "pull up his drawers, pull he take cold." another replied: "Ain't ye going to kill 'im?" when a group of mobbers collected a little way off, and said: "Simonds, Simonds, come here;" and "Simonds" charged those who had hold of me to keep me from touching the ground (as they had done all the time), lest I should get a spring upon them. They held a council, and as I could occasionally overhear a word, I supposed it was to know whether or not it was best to kill me. They returned after a while, when I learned that they had concluded not to kill me, but to beat and scratch me well, tear off my shirt and drawers, and leave me naked. One cried, "Simonds, Simonds, where's the tar bucket?" "I don't know," answered one, "where 'tis, Eli's left it." They ran back and fetched the bucket of tar, when one exclaimed, with an oath, "Let us tar up his mouth;" and they tried to force the tar-paddle into my mouth; I twisted my head around, so that they could not; and they cried out, "G—d—ye, hold up yer head and let us give ye some tar." They then tried to force a vial into my mouth, and broke it in my teeth. All my clothes were torn off me except my shirt collar; and one man fell on me and scratched my body with his nails like a mad cat, and then muttered out: "G—d—ye, that's the way the Holy Ghost falls on folks!"
The Prophet's Pitiable Condition.
They then left me, and I attempted to rise, but fell again; I pulled the tar away from my lips, so that I could breathe more freely, and after a while I began to recover, and raised myself up, whereupon I saw two lights. I made my way towards one of them, and found it was Father Johnson's. When I came to the door I was naked, and the tar made me look as if I were covered with blood, and when my wife saw me she thought I was all crushed to pieces, and fainted. During the affray abroad, the sisters of the neighborhood had collected at my room. I called for a blanket, they threw me one and shut the door; I wrapped it around me and went in.
A Case of Mistaken Identity.
In the meantime, Brother John Poorman heard an outcry across the corn field, and running that way met Father Johnson, who had been fastened in his house at the commencement of the assault, by having his door barred by the mob, but on calling his wife to bring his gun, saying he would blow a hoe through the door, the mob fled, and Father Johnson, seizing a club, ran after the party that had Elder Rigdon, and knocked down one man, and raised his club to level another, exclaiming," What are you doing here?" when they left Elder Rigdon and turned upon Father Johnson, who, turning to run toward his own house, met Brother Poorman coming out of the corn field; each supposing the other to be a mobber, and encounter ensued, and Poorman gave Johnson a severe blow on the left shoulder with a stick or stone, which brought him to the ground. 6 Poorman ran immediately towards Father Johnson's, and arriving while I was waiting for the blanket, exclaimed, "I'm afraid I've killed him." Killed who? asked one; when Poorman hastily related the circumstances of the rencounter near the corn field, and went into the shed and hid himself. Father Johnson soon recovered so as to come to the house, when the whole mystery was quickly solved concerning the difficulty between him and Poorman, who, on learning the facts, joyfully came from his hiding place.
The Prophet's Undaunted Spirit.
My friends spent the night in scraping and removing the tar, and washing and cleansing my body; so that by morning I was ready to be clothed again. This being the Sabbath morning, the people assembled for meeting at the usual hour of worship, and among them came also the mobbers; viz.: Simonds Ryder, a Campbellite preacher and leader of the mob; one McClentic, who had his hands in my hair; one Streeter, son of a Campbellite minister; and Felatiah Allen, Esq., who gave the mob a barrel of whiskey to raise their spirits. Besides these named, there were many others in the mob. With my flesh all scarified and defaced, I preached to the congregation as usual, and in the afternoon of the same day baptized three individuals. 7
Elder Rigdon's Condition.
The next morning I went to see Elder Rigdon, and found him crazy, and his head highly inflamed, for they had dragged him by his heels, and those, too, so high from the ground that he could not raise his head from the rough, frozen surface, which lacerated it exceedingly; and when he saw me he called to his wife to bring him his razor. She asked him what he wanted of it; and he replied, to kill me. Sister Rigdon left the room, and he asked me to bring his razor; I asked him what he wanted of it, and he replied he wanted to kill his wife; and he continued delirious some days. The feathers which were used with the tar on this occasion, the mob took out of Elder Rigdon's house. After they had seized him, and dragged him out, one of the banditti returned to get some pillows; when the women shut him in and kept him a prisoner some time.
Composition of the Mob.
During the mobbing one of the twins contracted a severe cold, continued to grow worse until Friday, and then died. 8 The mobbers composed of various religious parties, but mostly Campbellites, Methodists and Baptists, who continued to molest and menace Father Johnson's house for a long time. Elder Rigdon removed to Kirtland with his family—then sick with the measles—the following Wednesday; and, on account of the mob, he went to Chardon 9 on Saturday, March 31st.
The Prophet Starts on His Second Visit to Zion.
April first, I started for Missouri, in company with Newel K. Whitney, Peter Whitmer, and Jesse Gause, to fulfil the revelation. Not wishing to go by Kirtland, as another mob existed in that neighborhood (and indeed, the spirit of mobocracy was very prevalent through that whole region of country at the time), brother George Pitkin took us in his wagon by the most expeditious route to Warren, where we arrived the same day, and were there joined by Elder Rigdon, who left Chardon in the morning; and proceeding onward, we arrived at Wellsville the next day, and the day following at Steubenville, where we left the wagon; and on Wednesday, the 4th of April, we took passage on board a steam packet for Wheeling, Virginia; where we purchased a lot of paper for the press in Zion, then in care of W. W. Phelps.
Incidents by the Way.
After we left Hiram, fearing for the safety of my family, on account of the mob, I wrote to my wife (in connection with Bishop Whitney) suggesting that she go to Kirtland and tarry with Brother Whitney's family until our return. From Wheeling we took passage on board the steamer Trenton. While at the dock, during the night, the boat was twice on fire burning the whole width of the boat through into the cabin, but with so little damage that the boat went on in the morning; and when we arrived at Cincinnati, some of the mob which had followed us, left us, and we arrived at Louisville the same night. Captain Brittle offered us protection on board of his boat, and gave us supper and breakfast gratuitously. At Louisville we were joined by Elder Titus Billings, 10 who was journeying with a company of Saints from Kirtland to Zion, and we took passage on the steamer Charleston for St. Louis, where we parted from Brother Billings and company, and by stage arrived at Independence, Missouri, on the twenty-fourth of April, having traveled a distance of about three hundred miles from St. Louis. We found the brethren in Zion, generally enjoying health and faith; and they were extremely glad to welcome us among them.
The Prophet Acknowledged President of the High Priesthood.
On the 26th, I called a general council of the Church, and was acknowledged as the President of the High Priesthood, according to a previous ordination at a conference of High Priests, Elders and members, held at Amherst, Ohio, on the 25th of January, 1832. The right hand of fellowship was given to me by the Bishop, Edward Partridge, in behalf of the Church. The scene was solemn, impressive and delightful. During the intermission, a difficulty or hardness which had existed between Bishop Partridge and Elder Rigdon, was amicably settled, and when we came together in the afternoon, all hearts seemed to rejoice and I received the following: 11
Revelation, given April, 1832, showing the order given to Enoch, and the Church in his day. 12
1. Verily, verily, I say unto you, my servants, that inasmuch as you have forgiven one another your trespasses, even so I, the Lord, forgive you.
2. Nevertheless, there are those among you who have sinned exceedingly, yea, even all of you have sinned; but verily I say unto you, beware from henceforth, and refrain from sin, lest sore judgments fall upon your heads.
3. For of him unto whom much is given much is required; and he who sins against the greater light shall receive the greater condemnation.
4. Ye call upon my name for revelations, and I give them unto you; and inasmuch as ye keep not my sayings, which I give unto you, ye become transgressors; and justice and judgment are the penalty which is affixed unto my law.
5. Therefore, what I say unto one I say unto all; Watch, for the adversary spreadeth his dominions, and darkness reigneth;
6. And the anger of God kindleth against the inhabitants of the earth; and none doeth good, for all have gone out of the way.
7. And now, verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, will not lay any sin to your charge; go your ways and sin no more; but unto that soul who sinneth shall the former sins return, saith the Lord your God.
8. And again, I say unto you, I give unto you a new commandment, that you may understand my will concerning you;
9. Or, in other words, I give unto you directions how you may act before me, that it may turn to you for your salvation.
10. I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.
11. Therefore, verily I say unto you, that it is expedient for my servants Alam and Ahashdah [Newel K. Whitney], Mahalaleel and Pelagoram [Sidney Rigdon], and my servant Gazelam [Joseph Smith], and Horah and Olihah [Oliver Cowdery], and Shalemanasseh and Mahemson [Martin Harris], to be bound together by a bond and covenant that cannot be broken by transgression, except judgment shall immediately follow, in your several stewardships—
12. To manage the affairs of the poor, and all things pertaining to the bishopric both in the land of Zion and in the land of Shinehah [Kirtland];
13. For I have consecrated the land of Shinehah [Kirtland] in mine own due time for the benefit of the saints of the Most High, and for a stake to Zion.
14. For Zion must increase in beauty, and in holiness, her borders must be enlarged; her stakes must be strengthened; yea, verily I say unto you, Zion must arise and put on her beautiful garments.
15. Therefore, I give unto you this commandment, that ye bind yourselves by this covenant, and it shall be done according to the laws of the Lord.
16. Behold, here is wisdom also in me for your good.
17. And you are to be equal, or in other words, you are to have equal claims on the properties, for the benefit of managing the concerns of your stewardships, every man according to his wants and his needs, inasmuch as his wants are just—
18. And all this for the benefit of the church of the living God, that every man may improve upon his talent, that every man may gain other talents, yea, even an hundred fold, to be cast into the Lord's storehouse, to become the common property of the whole church—
19. Every man seeking the interest of his neighbor, and doing all things with an eye single to the glory of God.
20. This order I have appointed to be an everlasting order unto you, and unto your successors, inasmuch as you sin not.
21. And the soul that sins against this covenant, and hardeneth his heart against it, shall be dealt with according to the laws of my church, and shall be delivered over to the buffetings of Satan until the day of redemption.
22. And now, verily I say unto you, and this is wisdom, make unto yourselves friends with the mammon of unrighteousness, and they will not destroy you.
23. Leave judgment alone with me, for it is mine and I will repay. Peace be with you, my blessings continue with you.
24. For even yet the kingdom is yours, and shall be forever, if you fall not from your steadfastness. Even so. Amen.
The Purposes the Prophet Seeks to Effect Through Church Organization.
On the 27th, we transacted considerable business for the salvation of the Saints, who were settling among a ferocious set of mobbers, like lambs among wolves. It was my endeavor to so organize the Church, that the brethren might eventually be independent of every incumbrance beneath the celestial kingdom, by bonds and covenants of mutual friendship, and mutual love.
A Visit to the Colesville Saints.
On the 28th and 29th, I visited the brethren above Big Blue river, in Kaw township, a few miles west of Independence, and received a welcome only known by brethren and sisters united as one in the same faith, and by the same baptism, and supported by the same Lord. The Colesville branch, in particular, rejoiced as the ancient Saints did with Paul. 13 It is good to rejoice with the people of God. On the 30th, I returned to Independence, and again sat in council with the brethren, and received the following;
Revelation, given April, 1832. 14
1. Verily, thus saith the Lord, in addition to the laws of the church concerning women and children, those who belong to the church, who have lost their husbands or fathers:
2. Women have claim on their husbands for their maintenance, until their husbands are taken; and if they are not found transgressors they shall have fellowship in the church.
3. And if they are not faithful they shall not have fellowship in the church; yet they may remain upon their inheritances according to the laws of the land.
4. All children have claim upon their parents for their maintenance until they are of age.
5. And after that, they have claim upon the church, or in other words upon the Lord's storehouse, if their parents have not wherewith to give them inheritances.
6. And the storehouse shall be kept by the consecrations of the church; and widows and orphans shall be provided for, as also the poor. Amen.
Literary Affairs of the Church Considered.
Our council was continued on the 1st of May, when it was ordered that three thousand copies of the Book of Commandments be printed in the first edition; 15 that William W. Phelps, Oliver Cowdery, and John Whitmer, be appointed to review and prepare such revelations for the press as shall be deemed proper for publication, and print them as soon as possible at Independence, Missouri; the announcement to be made that they are "Published by W. W. Phelps & Co." It was also ordered that W. W. Phelps correct and print the hymns which had been selected by Emma Smith in fulfilment of the revelation.
Transaction of Temporal Business.
Arrangements were also made for supplying the Saints with stores in Missouri and Ohio, which action, with a few exceptions, was hailed with joy by the brethren. 16 Before we left Independence, Elder Rigdon preached two most powerful discourses, which, so far as outward appearance was concerned, gave great satisfaction to the people.
Return Journey to Kirtland—Incidents by the Way.
On the 6th of May I gave the parting hand to the brethren in Independence, and, in company with Brothers Rigdon and Whitney, commenced a return to Kirtland, by stage to St. Louis, from thence to Vincennes, Indiana; and from thence to New Albany, near the falls of the Ohio river. Before we arrived at the latter place, the horses became frightened, and while going at full speed Bishop Whitney attempted to jump out of the coach, but having his coat fast, caught his foot in the wheel, and had his leg and foot broken in several places; at the same time I jumped out unhurt. We put up at Mr. Porter's public house, in Greenville, for four weeks, while Elder Rigdon went directly forward to Kirtland. During all this time, Brother Whitney lost not a meal of victuals or a night's sleep, and Dr. Porter, our landlord's brother, who attended him, said it was a pity we had not got some "Mormon" there, as they could set broken bones or do anything else. I tarried with Brother Whitney and administered to him till he was able to be moved. While at this place I frequently walked out in the woods, where I saw several fresh graves; and one day when I rose from the dinner table, I walked directly to the door and commenced vomiting most profusely. I raised large quantities of blood and poisonous matter, and so great were the muscular contortions of my system, that my jaw in a few moments was dislocated. This I succeeded in replacing with my own hands, and made my way to Brother Whitney (who was on the bed), as speedily as possible; he laid his hands on me and administered to me in the name of the Lord, and I was healed in an instant, although the effect of the poison was so powerful, as to cause much of the hair to become loosened from my head. Thanks be to my Heavenly Father for His interference in my behalf at this critical moment, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
The Foreknowledge of a Seer.
Brother Whitney had not had his foot moved form the bed for nearly four weeks, when I went into his room, after a walk in the grove, and told him if he would agree to start for home in the morning, we would take a wagon to the river, about four miles, and there would be a ferry-boat in waiting which would take us quickly across, where we would find a hack which would take us directly to the landing, where we should find a boat, in waiting, and we would be going up the river before ten o'clock, and have a prosperous journey home. He took courage and told me he would go. We started next morning, and found everything as I had told him, 17 for we were passing rapidly up the river before ten o'clock, and, landing at Wellsville, took stage coach to Chardon, from thence in a wagon to Kirtland, where we arrived some time in June.
Chapter 19 - Notes
1. The prospectus of The Evening and Morning Star, referred to above, is a lengthy document, from which the following is condensed: it is announced that the Star will be devoted to unfolding the meaning of the revelations of God from the earliest times to the present, but more especially those revelations which God has given in the present dispensation; that God made choice of Israel in ancient times through whom to make known His will unto mankind; but owing to transgression Israel was taken captive and scattered, among all nations; God, however, promised that in the last days He would gather Israel then scattered, and bring them again into their own lands where they should be wonderfully prospered.
The time for the accomplishment of these things is rapidly approaching. It will be attended with the sore judgments of God upon the wicked. And as in all past ages, before allowing judgments to fall upon the wicked, God has sent them a word of warning and an opportunity to repent, so too in the crisis pending the Lord will not bring the threatened calamity upon mankind without sending forth due warning. "Therefore, in the fear of Him (the Lord) and to spread the truth among all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, this paper is sent forth, that a wicked world may know that Jesus Christ, the Redeemer, who shall come to Zion will soon appear." The Evening and Morning Star—in addition to being a herald of Israel's return to the favor of God, and a messenger of the everlasting Gospel—will also contain whatever of truth or information that will benefit the Saints of God temporally as well as spiritually, "without interfering with politics, broils or the gainsaying of the world." It is also announced that from the Star press it may be expected, as soon as wisdom directs, that there will be issued "many sacred records which have slept for ages." The Star was to be a royal quarto sheet, issued monthly, at one dollar a year, until it should be deemed proper to publish it oftener. The prospectus was issued in February, and signed by W. W. Phelps.
2. The Johnson family was one of the typical American families of old colonial times—the men were large, strong, brave, sensible, honest, well-to-do. "My grandfather, Israel Johnson," writes Luke Johnson in his autobiographical sketch, "lived in Chesterfield, New Hampshire, and was much respected by his neighbors for his honesty, integrity and industry. My father, John Johnson, was born in Chesterfield, New Hampshire, April 11th, 1779. He followed the occupation of farming on a large scale, and was noted for paying his debts and living independently. He moved from Pomfret, Vermont, to Hiram, Portage county, Ohio. He was connected with the Methodist church for about five years previous to receiving the Gospel." Luke Johnson then relates the circumstance of the Prophet, through the power of God, healing his mother of chronic rheumatism in the arm, which converted Ezra Booth as already related on page 215, and then resumes: "My father was satisfied in regard to the truth of 'Mormonism,' and was baptized by Joseph Smith, Jun., in the winter of 1830-1, and furnished him and his family a home, while he translated a portion of the Bible."
3. Their names were Joseph S. and Julia. They were born in Orange, Cuyahoga county, Ohio, April 30, 1831. Emma Smith, the Prophet's wife, had given birth to twins, a boy and girl—on the same date. They lived but three hours and Emma Smith took the motherless Murdock twins in the fond hope that they would fill the void in her life occasioned by the loss of her own.
4. Mention has already been made of Simonds Ryder's conversion to the Gospel through the fulfilment of a prophecy relating to an earthquake in Pekin, China (see p. 158). The initial point of his apostasy is equally interesting. It appears that some time after his baptism he was ordained an Elder of the Church (Far West Record, p. 4); and somewhat later informed by a communication signed by the Prophet Joseph and Sidney Rigdon, that it was the will of the Lord, made known by the Spirit, that he should preach the Gospel. Both in the letter he received and in the official commission to preach, however, his name was spelled R-i-d-e-r, instead of R-y-d-e-r, and is soberly stated in the History of the Disciples on the Western Reserve (Hayden) that he thought if the "Spirit" through which he had been called to preach could err in the matter of spelling his name, it might have erred in calling him to the ministry as well; or, in other words, he was led to doubt if he were called at all by the Spirit of God, because of the error in spelling his name! The same circumstance is referred to in Kennedy's Early Days of Mormonism (p. 104). Kennedy also remarks that while in the uncertain mood excited by this incident Ezra Booth returned from Missouri, and a comparison of experiences led to a complete overthrow of all belief in the new creed in the minds of both.
5. The man whom the Prophet struck was named Waste. He was regarded, says Luke Johnson, as the strongest man in the Western Reserve, and had boasted that he could take the Prophet out of the house alone. "At the time they [the mob] were taking him [the Prophet] out of the house, Waste had hold of one foot. Joseph drew up his leg and gave him a kick, which sent him sprawling into the street. He afterwards said that the Prophet was the most powerful man he ever had hold of in his life." (History of Luke Johnson, by himself: Millennial Star, vol. 26, p. 835.)
7. According to the statement of Luke Johnson (autobiographical sketch, Millennial Star, vol. 26, p. 834-5), there were about forty or fifty in the mob that attacked the Prophet on this occasion. He also states that a Dr. Dennison, a man of considerable influence in the community, was a member of this mob, and threatened to do the Prophet great bodily injury, but when he saw the Prophet in the hands of his enemies his heart failed him. Carnot Mason was the one who first seized the Prophet and dragged him from his bed. Speaking of the fate that overtook some of the members of the mob, Johnson remarks that Mason, soon after the mobbing, "had an attack of spinal affection." Fullars, another of the mob, died of cholera, in Cleveland, Ohio; and Dr. Dennison was sent to the penitentiary for ten years (but for what offense he does not say) and died before the term expired.
10. Titus Billings was born on March 25th, 1793, at Greenfield, Franklin county, Massachusetts. He is said to be the second person baptized in Kirtland, Ohio, the baptism taking place in November, 1830.
12. D&C 82.
13. It should be remembered that these Colesville Saints were among the first to receive the Gospel under the teachings of the Prophet, and hence his heart was naturally tender toward them, and this visit was doubtless especially delightful both to the Saints and the Prophet.
14. D&C 83.
16. The arrangements here referred to for the establishment of stores in Missouri and Ohio, as disclosed by the minutes of these council meetings of the 26th, 27th, 30th of April, and the 1st of May, were that the brethren in mercantile pursuits in Kirtland and Zion should be united in one firm, and the establishments in Kirtland and Zion respectively were regarded merely as branches of the one firm; Still it was resolved that each of these branches should have a separate company name. The name of the branch in Zion was to be "Gilbert, Whitney & Company," and the one in Kirtland "Newel K. Whitney & Company." W. W. Phelps and A. S. Gilbert were appointed to draft the bond for the united firm. A. S. Gilbert and Newel K. Whitney were appointed to be the agents of the new firm. It was also resolved that whenever any special business should arise it would be the duty of the united firm by its branches at Jackson county, Missouri, and Geauga county, Ohio, to regulate the same by special agency. It was also resolved that the united firm negotiate a loan of fifteen thousand dollars at six per centum. The firm of Newel K. Whitney & Co. was appointed to transact the business.
17. This is an instance of the Prophet Joseph's power as a seer. Another example is given by David Whitmer in his account of going to Harmony, Pennsylvania, after the Prophet and Oliver Cowdery, in order to take them to his father's home in Fayette, New York, in the summer of 1829, when the Book of Mormon was in course of translation. "When I arrived at Harmony," says David, "Joseph and Oliver were coming toward me, and met me some distance from the house. Oliver told me that Joseph had informed him when I started from home, where I had stopped the first night, how I read the sign at the tavern, where I stopped the next night, etc., and that I would be there that day before dinner and this was why they had come out to meet me; all of which was exactly as Joseph had told Oliver, at which I was greatly astonished." (David Whitmer's Statement to Orson Pratt and Joseph F. Smith, Millennial Star, vol. 40, nos. 49, 50.)