July 15th

July 15, 1833 - The vigilance committee of Jackson County residents openly advocates driving the Saints from the county. In a lengthy epistle they charge Mormons with a multitude of offenses, including religious fanaticism, introducing to Missouri the "dregs of that society from which they came lazy, [i]dle and vicious," tampering with slaves, and "enviting free negroes and mulatoes from other States to become Mormons, and remove and settle among us."

July 15, 1837 - The CLEVELAND GAZETTE warns: "LOOK OUT. We learn by the Painesville Telegraph of yesterday, that the 'Mormon Banking Company' is about making a new emission of their worthless trash, using old paper and signed by [Frederick G.] Williams and one [Warren] Par[r]ish, by the redemption of a few dollars of which they expect to get the old emission as well as the new, again into circulation." Williams and Parrish had recently taken over the Kirtland "Anti-Banking Society" from Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon. In an attempt to salvage what remained of the ravaged institution, the new officers dispensed another $15,000 of notes to supplement the $70,000 Rigdon and Smith had issued. This action merely depreciated the value of the bills further.

July 15, 1840 - WESTERN WORLD, published in Warsaw Illinois reports that some residents of Hancock had begun to complain of "petty depredations... such as the loss of various small instruments of agriculture." Particularly aggrieved are some residents of Tully, Missouri, who complained of the loss of a variety of items. A depot of stolen goods identified as the Tully items are found on a farm not far from Warsaw. Tully residents stake out the depot, and take four Mormons prisoner who are found in the vicinity of the stolen items. They kidnap the four, take them across the river into Missouri, and extract confessions from three of them by tying them to trees and beating them.

July 15, 1841 - TIMES and SEASONS prints a "Dialogue on Mormonism" which presents LDS doctrine and claims in dialogue form. Speaking of the Book of Mormon peoples: "Mr. M. You will observe by this account Mr. R. that this people who landed here were Jews, this you know agrees with the idea, which many learned men have had, that the Indians are descendants of the Jews. Mr. R. I am aware that this idea is generally entertained among the learned."

July 15, 1842 - Thousands of Nauvoo Mormons search for Orson Pratt after discovering a suicide note. They find him distraught because Joseph Smith (according to Pratt's wife.) or John C. Bennett (according to Joseph Smith) had tried to seduce Pratt's wife Sarah.
The ST. LOUIS BULLETIN publishes Martha Brotherton's account of her invitation to enter into polygamy in Nauvoo. She tells how she was privately approached by Brigham Young and asked "were it lawful and right … could [you] accept of me for your husband and companion?" Young stated that "Brother Joseph has had a revelation from God that it is lawful and right for a man to have two wives; for as it was in the days of Abraham, so it shall be in these last days … if you will accept of me, I will take you straight to the celestial kingdom." Brotherton reports that when she hesitated, Young left the room and returned ten minutes later with Smith. "Well, Martha," she reports the prophet as saying, "just go ahead, and do as Brigham wants you to.… I know that this is lawful and right before God.… I have the keys of the kingdom, and whatever I bind on earth is bound in heaven, and whatever I loose on earth is loosed in heaven." Martha begs for time to consider the offer, then left for St. Louis, where she publishes her story.

July 15, 1843 - William Clayton, Joseph Smith's secretary and confidant, "Made Deed for 1/2 S[team] B[oat] Maid of Iowa from Joseph to Emma. Also a Deed to E[mma] for over 60 city lots…"

July 15, 1852 - The NEW YORK HERALD publishes a letter from W. W. Phelps: "The constitution has no power over religion, neither has Utah's Congress.… The federal authorities have no control over morality--that belongs to the good old book, the word of the Lord." Utah's appointed representative in Congress, John M. Bernhisel, is incensed at Phelps's letter. He writes Brigham Young on August 14, that conditions for statehood were improving "until this inconsiderate and untimely letter made its appearance, reviving former prejudices and adding fresh fuel to the fire which had burned so furiously for several months. . . . so far as considering us a religious people, very many here and elsewhere, regard us among the most immoral and licentious beings on the face of the globe.… I therefore beg, entreat and implore Judge Phelps, as an elder brother, to write no more letters nor dialogues on this subject, upon which the nation is so sensitive."

July 15, 1855 - Wilford Woodruff writes: "Their is a strange spirit in provo. . . . The people seemed Cold & indifferent . . ."

July 15, 1861 - Brigham Young's office journal records: "A Mr. Benjamins representing himself an Ethnological Tourist, and a jew by birth, called upon the President he stated he was in search of the lost tribes, he sated that Br. [Alexander] Neibaur had represented the Mormon people to him, as being of the tribe of Joseph, particularly through his son Ephraim. The President said he would have written down some particulars respecting this people and hand it to him to aid him in his researches."

July 15, 1864 - Assistant Adjutant General Richard C. Drum, staff officer of the Army of the Pacific, wires General Patrick Edward Connor, commander at Ft. Douglas: "The major-general commanding the department approves of your determination to avoid a conflict with the Mormons. Do so by all means. Is there not some other cause than the mere presence of the guard in the city? Examine closely. Remove the guards and troops rather than their presence should cause a war."

July 15, 1865 - Wilford Woodruff records: "We met in a Bowery at Manti to hold a 2 days Meeting. A Company of 50 men went out to try to overtake & punish the Indians who were killing the people. Col Warren L Snow had Charge of the Command. Our Meeting opened by prayer by W. Woodruff. John Taylor Spoke 28 minutes. (While speaking it was found that many had loaded guns in the Congregation. All that were loaded was taken out & stashed outside & a guard put over them.)"

July 15, 1886 - Apostle Lorenzo Snow says that in the future "brothers and sisters would marry each other in this church. All our horror at such a union was due entirely to prejudice, and the offspring of such unions would be as healthy and pure as any other. These were the decided views of President Young, when alive, for Bother Snow talked to him freely on this matter."

July 15, 1892 - Mormon outlaw Robert LeRoy Parker is arrested on a horse-theft complaint. The arresting officer, Bob Calverly, reports: "I told him I had a warrant for him and he said: 'Well get to shooting,' and with that we pulled our guns. I put the barrel of my revolver almost to his stomach, but it missed three times, but owing to the fact that there was another man between us, he failed to hit me. The fourth time I snapped the gun it went off and the bullet hit him in the upper part of the forehead and felled him. I then had him and he made no further resistance." Parker, better known as "Butch Cassidy" is acquitted.

July 15, 1894 - Mormon outlaw Robert LeRoy Parker, also known as Butch Cassidy, is sentenced to two years hard labor in Wyoming penitentiary for horse theft. This charge is different than the one for which he was arrested two years previously. This is the only jail sentence Parker/Cassidy ever serves.

July 15, 1895 - THE RETURN, an RLDS publication, publishes a letter by Emma [Smith] Bidamon, Joseph Smith's widow: "I always feel a peculiar satisfaction in giving all the information on that subject that I can. Now the first that my husband translated, [the book] was translated by the use of the Urim, and Thummim, and that was the part that Martin Harris lost, after that he used a small stone, not exactly, black, but was rather a dark color, . . . ."

July 15, 1929 - First network broadcast on radio by Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Choir leader Anthony Lund selects both sacred and "highbrow" secular music: a chorus from Wagner's Die Meistersinger and the Finale of Mendelssohn's Elijah billed alongside Parley Pratt and George Careless's "The Morning Breaks, The Shadows Flee."

July 15, 1993 - INSIDE RADIO reports: "New York's finest summoned to the mailroom [of station WABC] Tuesday morning. Somebody heard a beeping or ticking noise coming from a pouch. Played it safe and called the cops. Actual contents of the package: the latest PSA package from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons). Seems the press kit contained a chip designed to emit an attention-getting signal. It worked."

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