31772

History, 1838–1856, volume A-1 [23 December 1805–30 August 1834]

made me lie next the wall; He then laid himself down by me, and put his arm around me; and upon my moving in the least, would clench me fast, fearing that I intended to escape from him: And in this ( very disagreeable) manner did we pass the night.— Next day I was brought before the Magistrate’s Court of [blank], Broom Co,

Area settled by emigrants from western Massachusetts, 1785. County created, 28 Mar. 1806. Population in 1825 about 14,000; in 1830 about 18,000; and in 1835 about 20,000. Susquehanna River flows through eastern and southern portions of county. Several hundred...

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and put upon my trial. My former faithful friends and lawyers were again at my side, my former persecutors were arrayed against me. Many witnesses were again called forward and examined; some of whom swore to the most palpable falsehoods, and like to the false witnesses which had appeared against me the day previous; they contradicted themselves so plainly, that the Court would not admit their testimony. Others were called who shewed by their zeal, that they were willing enough to prove something against me; but all they could do, was to tell somethings which some body else had told them. In this “frivolous and vexatious” manner did they proceed for a considerable time, when Newel Knight

13 Sept. 1800–11 Jan. 1847. Miller, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Knight Sr. and Polly Peck. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge), Chenango Co., New York, ca. 1809. Moved to Windsor (later in Colesville), Broome Co., New...

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was called up, and examined by Lawyer William Seymour

Ca. 1780–28 Dec. 1848. Lawyer, justice of the peace, judge, politician. Born in Connecticut. Moved to Windsor, Tioga Co., New York, ca. 1793. Moved to Binghamton, Tioga Co., ca. 1802. Admitted to bar, 1806. Moved back to Windsor, ca. 1807. Served as justice...

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, who had been especially sent for on this occasion. One Lawyer Burch, also was on the side of the prosecution; but Mr Seymour

Ca. 1780–28 Dec. 1848. Lawyer, justice of the peace, judge, politician. Born in Connecticut. Moved to Windsor, Tioga Co., New York, ca. 1793. Moved to Binghamton, Tioga Co., ca. 1802. Admitted to bar, 1806. Moved back to Windsor, ca. 1807. Served as justice...

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seemed to be a more zealous Presbyterian, and appeared very anxious and determined that the people should not be deluded by any one professing the power of Godliness; and not “denying the power thereof.”
Mr Knight

13 Sept. 1800–11 Jan. 1847. Miller, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Knight Sr. and Polly Peck. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge), Chenango Co., New York, ca. 1809. Moved to Windsor (later in Colesville), Broome Co., New...

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was sworn, & Mr Seymour

Ca. 1780–28 Dec. 1848. Lawyer, justice of the peace, judge, politician. Born in Connecticut. Moved to Windsor, Tioga Co., New York, ca. 1793. Moved to Binghamton, Tioga Co., ca. 1802. Admitted to bar, 1806. Moved back to Windsor, ca. 1807. Served as justice...

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interrogate him as follows. Q— Did the prisoner, Joseph Smith, Jr cast the devil out of you? Ansr No sir. Q— Why, have not you had the devil cast out of you? Ansr Yes Sir. Q— And had not Joe Smith some hand in its being done? Ansr Yes Sir. Q And did not he cast him out of you? Ansr No Sir it was done by the power of God, and Joseph Smith was the instrument in the hands of God on the occasion; He commanded him to come out of me in the name of Jesus Christ.
Q, And are you sure that it was the devil? Ansr Yes Sir. Q Did you see him, after he was cast out of you? Ansr Yes Sir I saw him. Q Pray, what did he look like?— (Here one of my lawyers, informed the witness

13 Sept. 1800–11 Jan. 1847. Miller, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Knight Sr. and Polly Peck. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge), Chenango Co., New York, ca. 1809. Moved to Windsor (later in Colesville), Broome Co., New...

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that he need not answer the question,) The witness

13 Sept. 1800–11 Jan. 1847. Miller, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Knight Sr. and Polly Peck. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge), Chenango Co., New York, ca. 1809. Moved to Windsor (later in Colesville), Broome Co., New...

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replied, I believe I need not answer your last question, but I will do it, provided I be allowed to ask you one question first, and you answer me. Viz: Do you, Mr Seymour

Ca. 1780–28 Dec. 1848. Lawyer, justice of the peace, judge, politician. Born in Connecticut. Moved to Windsor, Tioga Co., New York, ca. 1793. Moved to Binghamton, Tioga Co., ca. 1802. Admitted to bar, 1806. Moved back to Windsor, ca. 1807. Served as justice...

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, understand the things of the Spirit? No (answered Mr Seymour

Ca. 1780–28 Dec. 1848. Lawyer, justice of the peace, judge, politician. Born in Connecticut. Moved to Windsor, Tioga Co., New York, ca. 1793. Moved to Binghamton, Tioga Co., ca. 1802. Admitted to bar, 1806. Moved back to Windsor, ca. 1807. Served as justice...

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) I do not pretend to such big things. Well then (replied Knight

13 Sept. 1800–11 Jan. 1847. Miller, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Knight Sr. and Polly Peck. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge), Chenango Co., New York, ca. 1809. Moved to Windsor (later in Colesville), Broome Co., New...

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,) it would be of no use to tell you what the devil looked like, for it was a a spiritual sight, and spiritually discerned; and of course you would not understand it, were I to tell you of it. The Lawyer dropped his head, whilst the loud laugh of the audience proclaimed his discomfiture. Mr Seymour

Ca. 1780–28 Dec. 1848. Lawyer, justice of the peace, judge, politician. Born in Connecticut. Moved to Windsor, Tioga Co., New York, ca. 1793. Moved to Binghamton, Tioga Co., ca. 1802. Admitted to bar, 1806. Moved back to Windsor, ca. 1807. Served as justice...

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now addressed the court, and in a long and violent harangue endeavored to blacken my character and bring me in guilty of the charges which had been brought against me; among other things, he brought up the story of my having been a money digger, and in this manner proceeded, in hopes to influence the court and the people against me. Mr Davidson

Ca. 1779–9 June 1847. Farmer. Likely born in Guilford, Cumberland Co., New York (later in Windham Co., Vermont). Son of James Davidson and Lydia Wetherbee. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge), Tioga Co., New York, as early as 1797. Married Betsey. Died in...

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[p. 46]
made me lie next the wall; He then laid himself down by me, and put his arm  around me; and upon my moving in the least, would clench me fast, fearing  that I intended to escape from him: And in this (not very <dis>agreeable) manner did we  pass the night.— Next day I was brought before the Magistrate’s  Court of [blank], Broom Co,

Area settled by emigrants from western Massachusetts, 1785. County created, 28 Mar. 1806. Population in 1825 about 14,000; in 1830 about 18,000; and in 1835 about 20,000. Susquehanna River flows through eastern and southern portions of county. Several hundred...

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and put upon my trial. My former faithful friends  and lawyers were again at my side, my former persecutors were arrayed against  me. Many witnesses were again called forward and examined; some of whom  swore to the most palpable falsehoods, and like to the false witnesses which had ap peared against me the day previous; they contradicted themselves so plainly, that  the Court would not admit their testimony. Others were called who shewed by  their zeal, that they were willing enough to prove something against me; but all they  could do, was to tell somethings which some body else had told them. In this  “frivolous and vexatious” manner did they proceed for a considerable time, when  finally Newel Knight

13 Sept. 1800–11 Jan. 1847. Miller, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Knight Sr. and Polly Peck. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge), Chenango Co., New York, ca. 1809. Moved to Windsor (later in Colesville), Broome Co., New...

View Full Bio
was called up, and examined by Lawyer [William] Seymour

Ca. 1780–28 Dec. 1848. Lawyer, justice of the peace, judge, politician. Born in Connecticut. Moved to Windsor, Tioga Co., New York, ca. 1793. Moved to Binghamton, Tioga Co., ca. 1802. Admitted to bar, 1806. Moved back to Windsor, ca. 1807. Served as justice...

View Full Bio
, who  had been especially sent for on this occasion. One Lawyer Burch, also was on the  side of the prosecution; but Mr Seymour

Ca. 1780–28 Dec. 1848. Lawyer, justice of the peace, judge, politician. Born in Connecticut. Moved to Windsor, Tioga Co., New York, ca. 1793. Moved to Binghamton, Tioga Co., ca. 1802. Admitted to bar, 1806. Moved back to Windsor, ca. 1807. Served as justice...

View Full Bio
seemed to <be> a more zealous Presbyterian,  and appeared very anxious and determined that the people should not be deluded by  any one professing the power of Godliness; and not “denying the power thereof.”
So soon as Mr Knight

13 Sept. 1800–11 Jan. 1847. Miller, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Knight Sr. and Polly Peck. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge), Chenango Co., New York, ca. 1809. Moved to Windsor (later in Colesville), Broome Co., New...

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had been <was> sworn, <&> Mr Seymour

Ca. 1780–28 Dec. 1848. Lawyer, justice of the peace, judge, politician. Born in Connecticut. Moved to Windsor, Tioga Co., New York, ca. 1793. Moved to Binghamton, Tioga Co., ca. 1802. Admitted to bar, 1806. Moved back to Windsor, ca. 1807. Served as justice...

View Full Bio
proceeded to interrogate him  as follows. Q— Did the prisoner, Joseph Smith, Jr cast the devil out of you?  Ansr No sir. Q— Why, have not you had the devil cast out of you? Ansr Yes  Sir. Q And did he not cast Q— And had not Joe Smith some hand in its  being done? Ansr Yes Sir. Q And did not he cast him out of you? Ansr No Sir  it was done by the power of God, and Joseph Smith was the instrument in the hands  of God on the occasion; He commanded him <to come> out of me in the name of Jesus Christ.
Q, And are you sure that it was the devil? Ansr Yes Sir. Q Did you  see him, after he was cast out of you? Ansr Yes Sir I saw him. Q Pray, what  did he look like?— (Here one of my lawyers, informed the witness

13 Sept. 1800–11 Jan. 1847. Miller, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Knight Sr. and Polly Peck. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge), Chenango Co., New York, ca. 1809. Moved to Windsor (later in Colesville), Broome Co., New...

View Full Bio
that he need  not answer the question,) The witness

13 Sept. 1800–11 Jan. 1847. Miller, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Knight Sr. and Polly Peck. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge), Chenango Co., New York, ca. 1809. Moved to Windsor (later in Colesville), Broome Co., New...

View Full Bio
replied, I believe I need not answer your last  question, but I will do it, provided I be allowed to ask you one question first, and you  answer me. Viz: Do you, Mr Seymour

Ca. 1780–28 Dec. 1848. Lawyer, justice of the peace, judge, politician. Born in Connecticut. Moved to Windsor, Tioga Co., New York, ca. 1793. Moved to Binghamton, Tioga Co., ca. 1802. Admitted to bar, 1806. Moved back to Windsor, ca. 1807. Served as justice...

View Full Bio
, understand the things of the Spirit? No  (answered Mr Seymour

Ca. 1780–28 Dec. 1848. Lawyer, justice of the peace, judge, politician. Born in Connecticut. Moved to Windsor, Tioga Co., New York, ca. 1793. Moved to Binghamton, Tioga Co., ca. 1802. Admitted to bar, 1806. Moved back to Windsor, ca. 1807. Served as justice...

View Full Bio
) I do not pretend to such big things. Well then (replied  Knight

13 Sept. 1800–11 Jan. 1847. Miller, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Knight Sr. and Polly Peck. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge), Chenango Co., New York, ca. 1809. Moved to Windsor (later in Colesville), Broome Co., New...

View Full Bio
,) it would be of no use to tell you what the devil looked like, for it was a  a spiritual sight, and spiritually discerned; and of course you would not under stand it, were I to tell you of it. The Lawyer dropped his head, whilst the  loud laugh of the audience proclaimed his discomfiture. Mr Seymour

Ca. 1780–28 Dec. 1848. Lawyer, justice of the peace, judge, politician. Born in Connecticut. Moved to Windsor, Tioga Co., New York, ca. 1793. Moved to Binghamton, Tioga Co., ca. 1802. Admitted to bar, 1806. Moved back to Windsor, ca. 1807. Served as justice...

View Full Bio
now  addressed the court, and in a long and violent harangue endeavored to blacken my charac ter and bring me in guilty of the charges which had been brought against me; among other  things, he brought up the story of my having been a money digger, and in this manner  proceeded, in hopes to influence the court and the people against me. Mr Davidson

Ca. 1779–9 June 1847. Farmer. Likely born in Guilford, Cumberland Co., New York (later in Windham Co., Vermont). Son of James Davidson and Lydia Wetherbee. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge), Tioga Co., New York, as early as 1797. Married Betsey. Died in...

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[p. 46]
PreviousNext
This document, volume A-1, is the first of the six volumes of the “Manuscript History of the Church.” The collection was compiled over the span of seventeen years, 1838 to 1856. Volume A-1 encompasses the period from JS’s birth in 1805 to 30 August 1834, just after the return of the Camp of Israel (later known as Zion’s Camp) from Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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to Kirtland

Located in Newel K. Whitney store in northwest Kirtland on northeast corner of Chardon and Chillicothe roads. Whitney appointed postmaster, 29 Dec. 1826. JS and others listed “Kirtland Mills, Geauga County, Ohio” as return address for letters mailed, 1833...

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, Ohio. For a fuller discussion of the entire six-volume work, see the general introduction to the history.
In April 1838 JS renewed his effort to draft a “history” with the aid of his counselor Sidney Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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. George W. Robinson

14 May 1814–10 Feb. 1878. Clerk, postmaster, merchant, clothier, banker. Born at Pawlet, Rutland Co., Vermont. Baptized into LDS church and moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, by 1836. Clerk and recorder for Kirtland high council, beginning Jan. 1836. Married...

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served as scribe. JS’s journal for late April and early May 1838 notes six days on which JS, Rigdon, and Robinson were engaged in “writing history.” Though not completed and no longer extant, that draft laid the foundation for what became a six-volume manuscript eventually published as the “History of Joseph Smith,” and at least a portion of its contents are assumed to have been included in the manuscript presented here.
On 11 June 1839 in Commerce

Located near middle of western boundary of state, bordering Mississippi River. European Americans settled area, 1820s. From bank of river, several feet above high-water mark, ground described as nearly level for six or seven blocks before gradually sloping...

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, Illinois, JS once again began dictating his “history.” James Mulholland

1804–3 Nov. 1839. Born in Ireland. Baptized into LDS church. Married Sarah Scott, 8 Feb. 1838, at Far West, Caldwell Co., Missouri. Engaged in clerical work for JS, 1838, at Far West. Ordained a seventy, 28 Dec. 1838. After expulsion from Missouri, lived ...

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now served as scribe. Apparently the narrative commenced where the earlier 1838 draft left off. When work was interrupted in July 1839, Mulholland inscribed the draft material, including at least some of Robinson

14 May 1814–10 Feb. 1878. Clerk, postmaster, merchant, clothier, banker. Born at Pawlet, Rutland Co., Vermont. Baptized into LDS church and moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, by 1836. Clerk and recorder for Kirtland high council, beginning Jan. 1836. Married...

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’s earlier material, into a large record book already containing the text of an incomplete history previously produced over a span of two years, 1834–1836. For the new history, Mulholland simply turned the ledger over and began at the back of the book. The volume was later labeled A-1 on its spine, identifying it as the first of multiple volumes of the manuscript history.
Prior to his untimely death on 3 November 1839, Mulholland

1804–3 Nov. 1839. Born in Ireland. Baptized into LDS church. Married Sarah Scott, 8 Feb. 1838, at Far West, Caldwell Co., Missouri. Engaged in clerical work for JS, 1838, at Far West. Ordained a seventy, 28 Dec. 1838. After expulsion from Missouri, lived ...

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recorded the first fifty-nine pages in the volume. Subsequently, his successor, Robert B. Thompson

1 Oct. 1811–27 Aug. 1841. Clerk, editor. Born in Great Driffield, Yorkshire, England. Member of Methodist church. Immigrated to Upper Canada, 1834. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt, May 1836, in Upper Canada. Ordained an elder by John Taylor, 22...

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, contributed about sixteen more pages before his death in August 1841. William W. Phelps

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

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then added a little over seventy-five pages. However, it was not until Willard Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

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was appointed JS’s “private secretary and historian” that substantial progress was made on the compilation of the history. Richards would contribute the remainder of the text inscribed in the 553-page first volume. The narrative recorded in A-1 was completed in August 1843. Thomas Bullock and Charles Wandell subsequently added sixteen pages of “Addenda” material, which provided notes, extensive revisions, or additional text to be inserted in the original manuscript where indicated. For instance, several of the addenda expanded on the account of the Camp of Israel as initially recorded.
JS dictated or supplied information for much of A-1, and he personally corrected the first forty-two pages before his death. As planned, his historian-scribes maintained the first-person, chronological narrative format initially established in the volume. When various third-person accounts were drawn upon, they were generally converted to the first person, as if JS was directly relating the account. After JS’s death, Brigham Young

1 June 1801–29 Aug. 1877. Carpenter, painter, glazier, colonizer. Born at Whitingham, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of John Young and Abigail (Nabby) Howe. Brought up in Methodist household; later joined Methodist church. Moved to Sherburne, Chenango Co., New...

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, Heber C. Kimball

14 June 1801–22 June 1868. Blacksmith, potter. Born at Sheldon, Franklin Co., Vermont. Son of Solomon Farnham Kimball and Anna Spaulding. Married Vilate Murray, 22 Nov. 1822, at Mendon, Monroe Co., New York. Member of Baptist church at Mendon, 1831. Baptized...

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, George A. Smith

26 June 1817–1 Sept. 1875. Born at Potsdam, St. Lawrence Co., New York. Son of John Smith and Clarissa Lyman. Baptized into LDS church by Joseph H. Wakefield, 10 Sept. 1832, at Potsdam. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1833. Labored on Kirtland temple...

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, and others modified and corrected the manuscript as they reviewed material before its eventual publication.
Beginning in March 1842 the church’s Nauvoo periodical, the Times and Seasons, began publishing the narrative as the “History of Joseph Smith.” At the time of JS’s death only the history through December 1831 had been published. When the final issue of the Times and Seasons, dated 15 February 1846 appeared, the account had been carried forward through August 1834—the end of the material recorded in A-1. The “History of Joseph Smith” was also published in England in the church periodical the Millennial Star beginning in June 1842. Once a press was established in Utah and the Deseret News began publication, the “History of Joseph Smith” once more appeared in print in serialized form. Beginning with the November 1851 issue, the narrative picked up where the Times and Seasons had left off over five years earlier.
Aside from the material dictated or supplied by JS prior to his murder, the texts for A-1 and for the history’s subsequent volumes were drawn from a variety of primary and secondary sources including JS’s diaries and letters, minutes of meetings, the first edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, church and other periodicals, reports of JS’s discourses, and the reminiscences and recollections of church members. The narrative in A-1 provides JS’s personal account of the foundational events of his life as a prophet and the early progress of the church. It also encompasses contentions and disputations that erupted between the Latter-day Saints and their neighbors in New York

Located in northeast region of U.S. Area settled by Dutch traders, 1620s; later governed by Britain, 1664–1776. Admitted to U.S. as state, 1788. Population in 1810 about 1,000,000; in 1820 about 1,400,000; in 1830 about 1,900,000; and in 1840 about 2,400,...

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, Pennsylvania

Area first settled by Swedish immigrants, 1628. William Penn received grant for territory from King Charles II, 1681, and established British settlement, 1682. Philadelphia was center of government for original thirteen U.S. colonies from time of Revolutionary...

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, Ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

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, and Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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. While it remains difficult to distinguish JS’s own contributions from composition of his historian-scribes, the narrative trenchantly captures the poignancy and intensity of his life while offering an enlightening account of the birth of the church he labored to establish.

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