Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Monday, February 27, 2017
The Warsaw Signal was a newspaper edited and published in Warsaw, Illinois during the 1840s and early 1850s. For most of its history, the Signal's editorial stance was one of vigorous anti-Mormonism and the advancement of the policies of the Whig Party. Names and incarnations: The newspaper was founded as the Western World, with its first edition published on May 13, 1840. In its May 12, 1841 edition, noting that Western World was a title that was "too extensive in its signification", the paper, which had been purchased by Thomas C. Sharp, changed its name to Warsaw Signal. On January 7, 1843, the name was changed to Warsaw Message after Sharp sold the newspaper, but on February 14, 1844 the name reverted to Warsaw Signal when it was repurchased by Sharp. In 1850, it was purchased by James McKee who renamed it Warsaw Commercial Journal. In 1855, McKee merged the Commercial Journal with the Journal of the People to create the Warsaw Express and Journal, which published until the late 1850s. In 1975, a new paper began publishing under the name Warsaw Signal, but its existence was short-lived. Anti-Mormonism: The Signal was vigorously anti-Mormon in its editorial stance. During the two separate periods of time when it bore the name Warsaw Signal, the owner and editor of the newspaper was Thomas C. Sharp, a leader in opposing Joseph Smith and the Latter Day Saint presence in Illinois. Upon hearing news of the city-ordered destruction of neighboring, Mormon-critical press Nauvoo Expositor with assistance from an armed pro-Mormon mob, Sharp editorialized: War and extermination is inevitable! Citizens ARISE, ONE and ALL!!!—Can you stand by, and suffer such INFERNAL DEVILS! To ROB men of their property and RIGHTS, without avenging them. We have no time for comment, every man will make his own. LET IT BE MADE WITH POWDER AND BALL!!! In a June 14, 1844 extra edition, the Signal published the minutes of a meeting of Warsaw residents organized by Sharp whereby those in attendance condemned Smith's destruction of the printing press of the Nauvoo Expositor and resolved that "the Prophet Smith and his miscreant adherents, should ... be demanded at their the Latter Day Saints' hands, and if not surrendered, a war of extermination should be waged to the entire destruction, if necessary for our protection, of his adherents." After Smith and his brother Hyrum were killed by a mob on June 27, Sharp editorialized in the July 10 edition: Joe and Hiram Smith, at the time their lives were taken, were in the custody of the officers of the law; and it is asked by those who condemn the act, why the law was not first allowed to take its course before violence was resorted to? We answer that the course of law in the case of these wretches would have been a mere mockery; and such was the conviction of every sensible man. After the majority of the Latter Day Saints left Illinois under the leadership of Brigham Young, the Signal continued to report on the Mormons and their progression west and remained editorially opposed to the presence of Latter Day Saints in Illinois and surrounding states, particularly those who chose to follow James Strang. Mark Twain connection: Some literary historians have suggested that Mark Twain, then known by his birth name Samuel Langhorne Clemens, was a type-setter and contributor to the Warsaw Signal for a few weeks in late 1855 or early 1856. In a January 1856 edition of the newspaper, an article attributed to "Thomas Jefferson Sole" entitled "Learning Grammar" appeared on the fourth page of the publication. Historians have noted that the article resembles much of Twain's later writings and that Twain would later use the pseudonyms "Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass" and "Soleather" before settling on "Mark Twain".
The Bear River Massacre, or the Battle of Bear River or Massacre at Boa Ogoi, took place in present-day Idaho on January 29, 1863. After years of skirmishes and food raids on farms and ranches, the United States Army attacked a Shoshone encampment, gathered at the confluence of the Bear River and Beaver Creek in what was then southeastern Washington Territory. The site is located near the present-day city of Preston in Franklin County, Idaho. Colonel Patrick Edward Connor led a detachment of California Volunteers as part of the Bear River Expedition against Shoshone Chief Bear Hunter. Hundreds of Shoshone men, women and children were killed near their lodges, while only two dozen soldiers died. The number of Shoshone victims reported by local settlers was higher than that reported by soldiers. Early history and causes: Cache Valley, originally called Seuhubeogoi (Shoshone for "Willow Valley"), was the traditional hunting ground for the Northwestern Shoshone. They gathered grain and grass seeds there, as well as fished for trout and hunted small game such as ground squirrel and woodchuck; and large game including buffalo, deer, and elk. This mountain valley had attracted fur trappers such as Jim Bridger and Jedediah Smith, who visited the region. Cache Valley was named for the trappers' practice of leaving stores of furs and goods (i.e., a cache) in the valley as a base for hunting in the surrounding mountain ranges. So impressed were the trappers by the region that they recommended to Brigham Young that he consider the valley as a location for his settlement of Mormon pioneers. Instead, Young chose Salt Lake Valley. In the long term, Mormon settlers eventually moved to Cache Valley as well. As early as July 31, 1847, a 20-man delegation of Shoshone met with the Mormons to discuss their land claims in northern Utah. Immigrant pressures causing Shoshone starvation: The establishment of the California and Oregon trails, as well as the establishment of Salt Lake City in 1847 brought the Shoshone people into regular contact with white colonists moving westward. By 1856, European Americans had established their first permanent settlements and farms in Cache Valley, starting at Wellsville, Utah and gradually moving northward. Brigham Young made the policy that Mormon settlers should establish friendly relations with the surrounding American Indian tribes. He encouraged their helping to "feed them rather than fight them". Despite the policy, the settlers were consuming significant food resources and taking over areas that pushed the Shoshone increasingly into areas of marginal food production. David II. Burr, Surveyor General of the Territory of Utah, reported in 1856 that the local Shoshone Indians complained that the Mormons used so much of the Cache Valley that the once abundant game no longer appeared. The foraging and hunting by settlers traveling on the western migration trails also took additional resources away from the Shoshone. As early as 1859 Jacob Forney, the Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Territory of Utah, recognized the impact of migrants, writing, "The Indians...have become impoverished by the introduction of a white population". He recommended that an Indian Reservation be established in Cache Valley to protect essential resources for the Shoshone. His superiors at the United States Department of the Interior did not act on his proposal. Desperate and starving, the Shoshone attacked farms and cattle ranches for food, as a matter not just of revenge but survival. In the early spring of 1862, Utah Territorial Superintendent of Indian Affairs, James Duane Doty, spent four days in Cache Valley and reported: "The Indians have been in great numbers, in a starving and destitute condition. No provisions having been made for them, either as to clothing or provisions by my predecessors...The Indians condition was such-with the prospect that they would rob mail stations to sustain life." Doty purchased supplies of food and slowly doled it out. He suggested furnishing the Shoshone with livestock to enable them to become herdsmen instead of beggars. On July 28, 1862, John White discovered gold on Grasshopper Creek in the mountains of southwestern Montana. Soon miners created a migration and supply trail right through the middle of Cache Valley, between this mining camp and Salt Lake City. The latter was the nearest significant trading source of goods and food in the area. Outbreak of the Civil War: When the American Civil War began in 1861, President Abraham Lincoln was concerned that California, which had just recently become a state, would be cut off from the rest of the Union. He ordered several regiments to be raised from the population of California to help protect mail routes and the communications lines of the West. Neither Lincoln nor the U.S. War Department quite trusted the Mormons of the Utah Territory to remain loyal to the Union, in spite of their leader Young's telegrams and assurances. The Utah War and Mountain Meadows massacre were still fresh in the minds of military planners. They worried that the Mormons' substantial militia might answer only to Young and not the federal government. Col. Patrick Edward Connor was put in command of the 3rd California Volunteer Infantry Regiment and ordered to move his men to Utah, to protect the Overland Mail Route and keep peace in the region. Upon arriving in Utah, he established Fort Douglas (adjacent to the current location of the University of Utah) as the primary base of operations for his unit. It was within sight of the Mormon Temple construction site and downtown Salt Lake City. Warnings and conflicts with Cache Valley settlers: Several incidents in the summer and fall of 1862 led to the battle between Bear Hunter and Col. Connor. These were related to broad struggles between indigenous peoples and European-American settlers over almost the entire United States west of the Mississippi River. The attention of most of the nation's population was focused on the Civil War in the eastern states. Modern historians have overlooked these incidents because they occurred near the ill-defined boundary of two different territories: those of Washington and Utah. While the incidents took place in proximity, the administrative centers dealing with them were more than 1,000 miles apart (1,600 km), so it was difficult to integrate reports. As an example, for years residents and officials believed Franklin and the area of conflict were part of the Utah Territory. Residents of Franklin sent elected representatives to the Utah Territorial Legislature and were part of the politics of Cache County, Utah until 1872, when a surveying team determined the community was in Idaho territory. Pugweenee: When a resident of Summit Creek (now Smithfield) found his horse missing, he accused a young Shoshone fishing in nearby Summit Creek of having stolen the animal. Robert Thornley, an English immigrant and first resident of Summit Creek, defended the young Indian and testified for him. Nonetheless, a jury of locals convicted him and hanged him for stealing the horse. Local history recorded the Shoshone's name as Pugweenee. Later information reveals that Pugweenee is the Shoshone word for "fish" and so the man may have been saying, "Look at my fish," or "I was just fishing." The young Indian man was the son of the local Shoshone chief. Within a few days, the Shoshone retaliated by killing a couple of young men of the Merrill family who were gathering wood in the nearby canyon. Massacre near Fort Hall: During the summer of 1859, a settler company of about 19 people from Michigan were traveling on the Oregon Trail near Fort Hall when they were attacked at night, by people they assumed were local Shoshone. Several members of the company were killed by gunfire. The survivors took refuge along the Portneuf River, where they hid among the bullrushes and willow trees. Three days later, Lieutenant Livingston of Fort Walla Walla, leading a company of dragoons, met the survivors. He investigated the incident, and documented what he called the brutality of the attack. Reuben Van Ornum and the Battle of Providence: On September 9, 1860, Elijah Utter was leading migrants on the Oregon trail when they were attacked by a group of presumably Bannock and Boise Shoshone. In spite of settlers' attempts to placate the Native Americans, the Indians killed nearly the entire migrant party and drove off their livestock. Alexis Van Ornum, his family, and about ten others hid in some nearby brush, only to be discovered and killed. Their bodies were discovered by a company of U.S. soldiers led by Captain F.T. Dent. Lieutenant Marcus A. Reno came across the mutilated bodies of six of the Van Ornums. Reports from survivors were that four Van Ornum children were taken captive by the attacking warriors. As a direct result of this attack, the Army established a military fort near the present location of Boise, Idaho, along the migrant trail. Colonel George Wright requested $150,000 to establish a military post able to sustain five companies of troops. Zachias Van Ornum, Alexis' brother, heard from a relative on the Oregon Trail that a small white boy of his missing nephew Reuben's age was being held by a group of Northwestern Shoshone, likely to be in Cache Valley. Van Ornum gathered a small group of friends and traveled to Salt Lake City to get some help from the territorial government. There he visited Col. Connor at Fort Douglas and asked for help to regain his nephew. Col. Connor agreed and sent a detachment of cavalry under the command of Major Edward McGarry to Cache Valley to rendezvous with Van Ornum near the town of Providence, Utah. Van Ornum located a small group of Shoshone warriors being led by Chief Bear Hunter. He and McGarry's men followed the Shoshone as they retreated to nearby Providence Canyon. After the Indians opened fire, McGarry gave the order "to commence firing and to kill every Indian they could see." A skirmish between the Shoshone and the U.S. Army lasted for about two hours after the Shoshone established a defensible position in the canyon. Finally Chief Bear Hunter signaled surrender by climbing a foothill and waving a flag of truce. Together with about 20 of his people, Chief Bear Hunter was taken prisoner and transported to the soldiers' camp near Providence. When asked about the young white boy, Bear Hunter said that the boy had been sent away a few days earlier. McGarry instructed Bear Hunter to send his people to bring back the white boy. He held Bear Hunter and four warriors hostage. By noon of the next day, the Shoshone returned with a small boy who fit the description of Reuben Van Ornum. Zachias Van Ornum claimed the boy was his nephew and took custody, departing to return to Oregon. The Shoshone protested, claiming that the boy was the son of a French fur trapper and the sister of Shoshone chief Washakie. The federal troops left with Van Ornum and the young boy, McGarry reported to Col. Connor of their rescue of the boy "without the lost or scratch of man or horse." Bear Hunter complained to the settlers in Cache Valley, arguing they should have helped him against the soldiers. After a confrontation between Bear Hunter, some warriors from his band, and nearly 70 members of the Cache Valley militia, the settlers donated two cows and some flour as the "best and cheapest policy" as a kind of compensation. Bear River crossing: On December 4, 1862, Connor sent McGarry on another expedition to Cache Valley, this time to recover some stolen livestock from Shoshone. The Shoshone broke camp and fled in advance of the Army troops and cut the ropes of a ferry at the crossing. McGarry got his men across the river, but had to leave their horses behind. Four Shoshone warriors were captured and held for ransom, although they did not appear related to the theft. McGarry ordered that if the stock was not delivered by noon the next day, these men were to be shot. The Shoshone chiefs moved their people further north into Cache Valley. The captives were executed by a firing squad, and their bodies were dumped into the Bear River. In an editorial, the Deseret News expressed concern that the execution would aggravate relations with the Shoshone. Incident on the Montana Trail: A.H. Conover, operator of a Montana Trail freight-hauling service between mining camps of Montana and Salt Lake City, was attacked by Shoshone warriors. They killed two men who accompanied him, George Clayton and Henry Bean. Arriving in Salt Lake City, Conover told a reporter the Shoshone were "determined to avenge the blood of their comrades" killed by Major McGarry and his soldiers. He said the Shoshone intended to "kill every white man they should meet on the north side of the Bear River, till they should be fully avenged." Attack on the Montana Trail: The final catalyst for Connor's expedition was a Shoshone attack on a group of eight miners on the Montana Trail. They had come within 2 miles (3 km) of the main Shoshone winter encampment north of Franklin. The miners missed a turn and ended up mired and lost on the western side of the Bear River, unable to cross the deep river. Three men swam across to Richmond, where they tried to get provisions and a guide from the settlers. Before they returned, the other five men were attacked by Shoshone. They killed John Henry Smith of Walla Walla, and some horses. When the Richmond people returned with the advance party, they recovered the body of John Smith. They buried him at the Richmond city cemetery. The surviving miners reached Salt Lake City. William Bevins testified before Chief Justice John F. Kinney and swore an affidavit describing Smith's murder. He also reported that ten miners en route to the city had been murdered three days before Smith. Kinney issued a warrant for the arrest of chiefs Bear Hunter, Sanpitch, and Sagwitch. He ordered the territorial marshal to seek assistance from Col. Connor for a military force to "effect the arrest of the guilty Indians." Due to such reports, Connor was ready to mount an expedition against the Shoshone. He reported to the U.S. War Department prior to the engagement: "I have the honor to report to you that from information received from various sources of the encampment of a large body of Indians on the Bear River, 140 mi (230 km) north of this point, who had murdered several miners, during the winter, passing to and from the settlements in this valley to the Bear River mines east of the Rocky Mountains. And being satisfied that they were part of the same band who had been murdering emigrants on the Overland Mail Route for the last 15 years, and the principal actors and leaders in the horrid massacre of the past summer. I determined, although the season was unfavorable to military expedition in consequence of cold weather and deep snow, to chastise them if possible." Military action in Cache Valley: In many ways, the soldiers stationed at Fort Douglas were spoiling for a fight. In addition to discipline problems among the soldiers, there was a minor "mutiny" among the soldiers where a joint petition by most of the California Volunteers made a request to withhold over $30,000 from their paychecks for the sole purpose of instead paying for naval passage to the eastern states, and to "serve their country in shooting traitors instead of eating rations and freezing to death around sage brush fires..." Furthermore, they stated that they would gladly pay this money "for the privilege (original emphasis) of going to the Potomac and getting shot." This request was declined by the War Department. Throughout most of January 1863, soldiers at Fort Douglas were preparing for a lengthy expedition traveling north to the Shoshone. Connor also wanted to keep word of his expedition secret, in order to make a surprise attack upon the Shoshone when he arrived. To do this, he separated his command into two different detachments, that were to periodically come together on their journey to Cache Valley. His main concern was to avoid the problems that McGarry had faced in the earlier action, where the Shoshone had moved and scattered even before his troops could arrive. Reaction to this military campaign was mixed. George A. Smith, in the official Journal History of the LDS Church, wrote: "It is said that Col. Connor is determined to exterminate the Indians who have been killing the Emigrants on the route to the Gold Mines in Washington Territory. Small detachments have been leaving for the North for several days. If the present expedition copies the doings of the other that preceded it, it will result in catching some friendly Indians, murdering them, and letting the guilty scamps remain undisturbed in their mountain haunts." On the other hand, the Deseret News in an editorial expressed: "...with ordinary good luck, the volunteers will 'wipe them out.' We wish this community rid of all such parties, and if Col. Connor be successful in reaching that bastard class of humans who play with the lives of the peaceable and law-abiding citizens in this way, we shall be pleased to acknowledge our obligations." The first group to leave from Fort Douglas was forty men of Company K, 3rd Regiment California Volunteer Infantry, commanded by Captain Samuel W. Hoyt, accompanied by 15 baggage wagons and two "mountain howitzers" totalling 80 soldiers They left on January 22, 1863. The second group was 220 cavalry, led personally by Connor himself with his aides and fifty men each from Companies A, H, K and M of the 2nd Regiment of Cavalry, California Volunteers which left on January 25. As orders specific for this campaign, Connor ordered each soldier to carry "40 rounds of rifle ammunition and 30 rounds of pistol ammunition". This was a total of nearly 16,000 rounds for the campaign. In addition, nearly 200 rounds of artillery shot were brought with the howitzers. As a part of the deception, the cavalry were to travel at night while the infantry moved during the day. Accompanying Connor was the former U.S. Marshal and Mormon scout, Orrin Porter Rockwell. On the evening of January 28, Captain Hoyt's infantry finally arrived near the town of Franklin, where they spotted three Shoshone who were attempting to get food supplies from the settlers in the town. The Shoshone received nine bushels of wheat in three sacks. William Hull, the settler who was assisting the Shoshone, noted later: "we had two of the three horses loaded, having put three bushels on each horse...when I looked up and saw the Soldiers approaching from the south. I said to the Indian boys, 'Here comes the Toquashes (Shoshone for U.S. Soldiers) maybe, you will all be killed. They answered 'maybe the Toquashes will be killed too,' but not waiting for the third horse to be loaded, they quickly jumped upon their horses and led the three horses away, disappearing in the distance." The sacks of grain carried by these Shoshone were later found by the 3rd California Volunteers during their advance the next day, apparently dropped by the Shoshone in their attempt to get back to their camp. Col. Connor met up with Hoyt that evening as well, with orders to begin moving at about 1:00 am the next morning for a surprise attack, but an attempt to get a local settler to act as a scout for the immediate area led the actual advance to wait until 3:00 am. It should be noted that this military action took place during perhaps the coldest time of the year in Cache Valley. Local settlers commented that it was unseasonably cold even for northern Utah, and it may have been as cold as −20 °F (−30 °C) on the morning of the 29th when the attack began. Several soldiers had come down with frostbite and other cold-weather problems, so that the 3rd volunteers were only at about 2/3 of their strength compared to when they left Fort Douglas. Among the rations issued to the soldiers during the campaign was a ration of whiskey held in a canteen, where several soldiers noted that this whiskey froze solid on the night before the attack. Shoshone battle preparations: It is apparent that the Shoshone chiefs were far from ignorant of the potential for conflict with Col. Connor's soldiers, and some minor preparations were made at the same time. Most of this involved mainly gathering foodstuffs from surrounding Mormon settlements, in a fashion very similar to the incident listed above with the residents of Richmond, Utah. Most of the firearms that the Shoshone had at the time of the attack had been captured in various small skirmishes, traded from fur trappers, white settlers, and other Native American tribal groups, or simply antiques that had been handed down from one generation to another over the years. Clearly they were not as standardized or as well built as the guns issued by the Union Army to the soldiers of the California Volunteers. Bear Hunter and the other Shoshone chiefs did, however, make some defensive arrangements around their encampment, in addition to simply selecting a generally defensible position in the first place. Willow branches had been woven into makeshift screens, hiding the position and numbers of Shoshone. They also dug a series of "rifle pits" along the eastern bank of Beaver Creek as well as along the Bear River. Perhaps most ironic was that at the same time the arrest warrant was being issued by Justice Kinney, Chief Sanpitch (named in the warrant) was in Salt Lake City trying to negotiate peace on behalf of the Northwestern Shoshone. A correspondent for the Sacramento Union reported "The Prophet (Brigham Young) had told Sanpitch the Mormon people had suffered enough from the Shoshoni of Cache Valley and that if more blood were spilled the Mormons might just "pitch in" and help the troops." While it appears as though the deception by Connor to hide the numbers of his soldiers involved in the confrontation was successful, the Shoshone were not even then anticipating a direct military engagement with these soldiers. Instead, they were preparing for a negotiated settlement where the chiefs would be able to talk with officers of the U.S. Army and try to come to an understanding. Battle of Bear River: Major McGarry and the first cavalry units of the 2nd Regiment California Volunteer Cavalry arrived at the battle scene at 6:00 am, just as dawn was breaking over the mountains. Due to the weather conditions and deep snow, it took time for Connor to organize his soldiers into a battle line. The artillery pieces never arrived as they got caught in a snow drift six miles (9.7 km) from the Shoshone encampment. Chief Sagwitch noted the approach of the American soldiers, saying, "Look like there is something up on the ridge up there. Look like a cloud. Maybe it is a steam come from a horse. Maybe that's them soldiers they were talking about." Soon afterward, the first shots of this incident occurred. Initially Connor tried a direct frontal offensive against the Shoshone positions, but was soon overwhelmed with return gunfire from the Shoshone. The California Volunteers suffered most of their direct combat-related casualties during this first assault. After temporarily retreating and regrouping, Connor sent McGarry and several other smaller groups into flanking maneuvers to attack the village from the sides and from behind. He directed a line of infantry to block any attempt by the Shoshone to flee from the battle. After about two hours, the Shoshone had run out of ammunition. According to some later reports, some Shoshone were seen trying to cast lead ammunition during the middle of the battle, and died with the molds in their hands. Massacre and actions of U.S. soldiers: As the Shoshone used tomahawks and bows and arrows for defense, the soldiers appeared to lose control. After killing most of the men and many of the children, they raped and assaulted the women. In some cases, soldiers held the feet of infants by the heel and "beat their brains out on any hard substance they could find." Women who resisted the soldiers were shot and killed. One local resident, Alexander Stalker, noted that many soldiers pulled out their pistols and shot several Shoshone at point blank range. The soldiers burned the Shoshone dwellings and supplies; they killed anyone they found in the shelters. Casualties and immediate aftermath: The death toll was large, but some Shoshone survived. Chief Sagwitch gathered survivors to keep his community alive. Sagwitch was shot twice in the hand and tried to escape on horseback, only to have the horse shot out from under him. He went to the ravine and escaped into the Bear River near a hot spring, where he floated under some brush until nightfall. Sagwitch's son, Beshup Timbimboo, was shot seven times but survived and was rescued by family members. Other members of the band hid in the willow brush of the Bear River, or tried to act as if they were dead. After the officers concluded the battle was over, they returned with the soldiers to their temporary encampment near Franklin. Sagwitch and other survivors retrieved the wounded and built a fire to warm the survivors. Franklin residents opened their homes to wounded soldiers that night. They brought blankets and hay to the church meetinghouse to protect the other soldiers from the cold. Connor hired several men to use sleighs to bring wounded men back to Salt Lake City. The California Volunteers suffered 14 soldiers killed and 49 wounded, 7 mortally. Connors estimated his forces killed more than 224 braves of 300 warriors. He reported capturing 175 horses and some arms, and destroying 70 lodges and a large quantity of stored wheat in winter supplies. He left a small quantity of wheat on the field for the 160 captured women and children. There was a large difference between the number of Indians reported killed by Conners and the number counted by the citizens of Franklin, the latter being much larger. Also, the settlers claimed the number of surviving women and children to be much fewer than what Conners claimed. In his 1911 autobiography, Danish immigrant Hans Jasperson claims to have walked among the bodies and counted 493 dead Shoshone. In 1918, Sagwitch's son Be-shup, Frank Timbimboo Warner, said, "Half of those present got away," and 156 were killed. He went on to say that two of his brothers and a sister-in-law "lived", as well as many who later lived at the Washakie, Utah, settlement, the Fort Hall reservation, in the Wind River country, and elsewhere. Effects on settlement of Cache Valley and long-term consequences: This conflict marked the final significant influence of the Shoshone nation upon Cache Valley and its immediate surroundings. In addition to opening the northern part of Cache Valley to Mormon settlement, Cache Valley also offered a staging area for additional settlements in southeastern Idaho. Friction between the Mormons and Col. Connor continued for many more years with accusations of harassment of non-Mormons in the Utah Territory and criticisms by Mormons of Connor's attempts to begin a mining industry in Utah. Chief Sagwitch and many members of his band allied with the Mormons. Many were baptized and joined LDS Church. Sagwitch was ordained as an Elder in the Melchizedek priesthood. Members of this band helped to establish the town of Washakie, Utah, named in honor of the Shoshone chief. Most of the remaining members of the Northwestern band of Shoshone built farms and homesteads under LDS Church sponsorship. Their descendants became largely integrated into mainstream LDS society. The Shoshone who were not involved with this settlement went to the Fort Hall Indian Reservation. Col. Connor and the California Volunteers were treated as heroes when they arrived at Fort Douglas and by their community in California, according to published newspaper articles. Connor was promoted to the permanent rank of Brigadier General and given a brevet promotion shortly afterward to the rank of Major General. Connor campaigned against Native Americans in the West for the remainder of the U.S. Civil War, leading the Powder River Expedition against the Sioux and Cheyenne. Memorials and legacy: The Bear River Massacre Site is located near U.S. Route 91. The site was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1990. Western Shoshone acquired the site in 2008 to protect it as a sacred burial ground. They intend to erect their own monument in memory of victims of the massacre. The Smithsonian Institution repatriated two Shoshone human remains, that of a teenaged man and woman who was in her 20s when she was killed, back to the Shoshone people for burial. The remains were returned in 2013.
Sunday, February 26, 2017
On April 26, 2013, Jessica Lynn Heeringa, a 25-year-old, engaged mother of a young son, disappeared from her job at an ExxonMobil station in Norton Shores, Michigan and has not been seen since. She left behind her purse, jacket, cigarettes, money and car. Investigators also found a few drops of blood outside the gas station. Through a DNA analysis the blood was matched to Heeringa. They also found accessory parts to a gun near the blood. For the next three and a half years, a 75 member task force of 14 specialized divisions (including aviation, behavioral science, technical services, and intelligence analysis) from 15 local, state and federal law enforcement agencies spent 12,000 man hours and conducted a massive investigation that included around 1,400 tips, 33 executed search warrants, 20 consensual residential searches, 12 ground searches, and two underwater searches. Although Heeringa's remains have not been found, in September of 2016 a 46-year-old Muskegon Township resident named Jeffrey Willis was charged with her kidnapping and murder, due to forensic evidence and eyewitness statements implicating him in her disappearance. He is also charged with the murder of a 36-year-old woman that occurred in 2014, an attempted kidnapping of a 16-year-old girl in 2016, and child pornography crimes involving his unsuspecting female next door neighbors dating back to 2011, who were 14 at the time. As of December 27, 2016, his trial for Heeringa's murder and the other charges has yet to begin. He is also a suspect in the unsolved murder of a 15-year-old girl that occurred in 1996. Willis' cousin Kevin Bluhm pleaded guilty to lying to police during the Heeringa investigation and during the 2014 murder investigation. Bluhm is awaiting trial for a charge of accessory after the fact for helping Willis dispose of Heeringa's body. Charges- Jeffrey Willis: On September 20, 2016, Jeffrey Thomas Willis, a 46-year-old factory worker already incarcerated in the Muskegon County Jail for several other crimes including murder, was charged by the Muskegon County Prosecutor's Office with the kidnapping and murder of Heeringa. Willis was a frequent customer at her place of employment, he matched a police artist's sketch of a man seen "being real flirty" with her on the night of her disappearance, and his minivan matched the description of one seen at the crime scene and recorded on security camera footage speeding away from the location of her workplace after she went missing. His co-workers told police he was scheduled to work that night but never arrived, nor did he show up for work in the days afterwards. Police executed a search warrant on his minivan and found Heeringa's blood on the floor. They also obtained a search warrant for Willis' home and found pictures of her in a folder labelled "VICS" on his computer. Police searched for her body near his home after a tip was called in on June 17, 2016, but found nothing. Police had previously searched for her body in and around a cabin in Mancelona owned by a friend of Willis on May 20, 2016, but also came up empty. Willis was seen at the Mancelona property walking out of the woods with a shovel soon after her disappearance by a local resident. Trial: On December 13, 2016, a Muskegon County judge ruled that Willis will stand trial for murder and kidnapping charges in Heeringa's case. The judge decided there was enough evidence to call for a trial after four days of testimony during the preliminary hearing. Judge Raymond Kostrzewa noted evidence such as the folder on Willis' computer titled "vics" (possibly short for victims) which prosecutors say included a sub-folder titled with her initials, photos of Heeringa, and the date of her disappearance. They also found necrophilia and murder porn videos downloaded from the internet — some of which were simulated and some of which were real. Another sub-folder on Willis' computer, inside the "vics" folder, had similar items regarding Rebekah Bletsch, a woman found murdered near her home in Dalton Township in 2014. Willis is scheduled to stand trial for Bletsch's murder in 2017. Judge Kostrzewa denied bond for Willis and ordered him to remain in the Muskegon County Jail. Other charges: On May 25, 2016, Willis was charged with the murder of Rebekah Sue Bletsch, a 36-year-old jogger whose body was found with three gunshots to the head near her home in Dalton Township on June 29, 2014. Shell casings found near her body matched a gun found in Willis' minivan, where police also found disturbing photos of females bound and gagged, handcuffs, chains, ropes, and syringes including one with a liquid later identified as a powerful sedative. Willis is also charged with the attempted kidnapping of an unnamed 16-year-old girl in Laketon Township on April 16, 2016, when she was lost and he let her use his phone and gave her a ride. After he pulled away, he locked the doors and reached for what appeared to be a gun, but she managed to escape with minor injuries after she said she couldn't breathe and convinced him to open her window. Willis was charged with production and possession of child pornography after police found videos of two girls who were 14 at the time on his computer. He lived next door to the girls in March 2011 in Fruitland Township and recorded them without their knowledge while they used his bathroom. Willis has pleaded not guilty to all charges and is being represented by the Muskegon County Public Defender's Office, who has assigned nine attorneys to his case. The case has already cost taxpayers $250,000, and the office has requested an increase to their $1.4 million annual budget to continue his defense. Other suspected crime: Willis is a suspect in the unsolved murder of 15-year-old Fruitport High School student Angela Marie Thornburg, whose partially-clothed body was found by a hunter on October 17, 1996 in the woods near I-96 in Fruitport. She went missing a month earlier and was initially considered a runaway, with sightings of her reported soon after. Reports from the time said she ran out a back door at her boyfriend’s house when her mother came to pick her up. Willis graduated from the same school in 1988 and worked as a janitor for the school district from 1998–1999 before being fired for looking at pornography on a computer meant for students in an elementary school. Kevin Bluhm: On June 21, 2016, Willis' cousin Kevin Lavern Bluhm, a 47-year-old Michigan Department of Corrections prison guard, was charged with lying to a police officer during a violent crime investigation after he told police information about Heeringa's disappearance that was not made public but which he later recanted. He was charged with the same crime in regards to the Bletsch case. Bluhm pleaded guilty to both counts on August 26, 2016 and was later sentenced to time served. Bluhm was also charged with being an accessory after the fact when he admitted to investigators he saw Willis with Heeringa's body and helped him bury her after she was sexually assaulted. Bluhm said Willis called him the day after Heeringa's disappearance and said he had a woman and there was a party. Bluhm told police he saw Heeringa with an obvious head wound, face down, hands out, and tied. She was naked and wasn't moving. He also told police he knew that "Jeff had been following or watching Ms. Heeringa, and that he hit her … which made her go unconscious to get her in the van,” and that Willis had sex and used sexual toys and torture. He told investigators he and Willis wrapped Heeringa up in a sheet and drove her to an area on Sheridan Rd near Laketon Rd, where Willis had already placed shovels, and buried her in a hole that was already dug. Bluhm has been suspended without pay from his job as a sergeant at the West Shoreline Correctional Facility, a state prison in Muskegon Heights. The judge set Bluhm’s bond at $100,000 and ordered that he wear a tether if he posts bond and is released. Jessica's Law: On December 9, 2013, a Michigan House of Representatives Bill was announced titled the Jessica Heeringa act, or alternately Jessica's Law (officially known as House Bill 4123). It was requested by Heeringa's parents, introduced by Representative Collene Lamonte and sponsored by Marcia Hovey-Wright and several other Michigan legislature members. The bill requires gas stations and convenience stores that are open between the hours of 11pm and 5am to install and maintain a security camera system or to have at least two employees on shift during these hours. The bill would establish a civil fine of not more than $200 for each violation. Businesses excluded from Jessica's Law include hotels, taverns, restaurants, pharmacies, grocery stores, supermarkets or businesses that have more than 10,000 square feet of retail space. As of January 5, 2017, the bill has not been passed by the Michigan legislature. Small business owners are concerned about the cost associated with installing surveillance cameras or the hiring of additional staff. In November 2014, Shelley Heeringa, Jessica's mother traveled to the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing to speak with state lawmakers concerning Jessica's law. "If you have a daughter, a sister, thank God that they're still with you," Shelly Heeringa said. The owner of the gas station Jessica Heeringa worked at, which did not have a surveillance camera system at the time of her disappearance, has since had one installed. In popular culture: The case was featured on the season six premiere of the Investigation Discovery series Disappeared, titled "Somebody's Watching", originally aired on April 11, 2016. The case was also profiled on an episode of Crime Watch Daily, originally aired on January 10, 2017. The television series Unsolved Mysteries released their Jessica Heeringa story on the two year anniversary of her disappearance in April 2015. The story was released via a "webisode" titled "The abduction of Jessica Heeringa", which was narrated by her mother who also mentioned there was a $26,000 reward for information about her disappearance.
The Catholic Church opposes all forms of abortion procedures whose direct purpose is to destroy an embryo, blastocyst, zygote or fetus, since it holds that "human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception". From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life." However, it does recognize as morally legitimate certain acts which indirectly result in the death of the fetus, as when the direct purpose is removal of a cancerous womb. Canon 1398 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law imposes automatic (latae sententiae) excommunication on Latin Catholics who procure a completed abortion, if they fulfill the conditions for being subject to such a sanction. Eastern Catholics are not subject to automatic excommunication, but by Canon 1450 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches they are to be excommunicated by decree if found guilty of the same action, and they may be absolved of the sin only by the eparchial bishop. In addition to teaching that abortion is immoral, the Catholic Church also makes public statements and takes actions in opposition to its legality. Many, and in some Western countries most, Catholics disagree with the official position of the Catholic Church, which opposes abortion and its legality; with views ranging from allowing exceptions in a generally pro-life position to acceptance of complete legality and morality of abortion. There is a correlation between Mass attendance and agreement with the official teaching of the Church on the issue; that is, frequent Mass-goers are far more likely to be pro-life, while those who attend less often (or rarely or never) are more likely to be pro-choice.
why do i always attract people. even when i'm listening to music and sitting by myself i'm around people. i'm a people person but lemmie tell ya sitting alone and reading for hours on end isn't that bad. i'm becoming more like my mom. she wanted nothing to do with my friends from church but now she's fine with them and i'm like, please leave me alone.
Saturday, February 25, 2017
Thursday, February 23, 2017
I often will go with things. Like my baptism, I didn't choose the person who dunked me. I was told the day of my baptism who was dunking me and how he was "honored to do it". I thought "he's dunking me? Yay" so I went with it. Lemmie clarify 1 thing: the guy dunking me is a friend and I would've chosen him regardless
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Monday, February 20, 2017
The Story of the Latter-day Saints is a single-volume history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) by James B. Allen and Glen M. Leonard, first published in 1976. Overview: The authors summarized the tone of their work by identifying four recurring themes that emerged throughout The Story of the Latter-day Saints: -The Latter-day Saints were primarily religiously motivated. -The church was always influenced by its environment, to some degree. -The church started small and American, but would grow into an international organization. -The church has been flexible with some issues, yet committed to certain central teachings. Although seen as well written and comprehensive, the book was intended for a Latter-day Saint audience, because it detailed minutiae like organizational changes, but didn't focus on issues of interest to new readers on Mormonism. Unlike most earlier Mormon histories, this book focused on casting the church in a broader context, addressed controversial historical issues, and covered the events of the twentieth century. History- Impetus: For over 50 years, Joseph Fielding Smith's Essentials in Church History was issued as a popular single-volume history of the LDS Church. After Smith's death in 1972, LDS Church and Deseret Book officials asked the church's Historical Department to write a new single-volume history to replace Essentials in Church History and cover more recent events, while using new sources available in the Church Archives. With the First Presidency's approval, the department assigned the project to Allen, an Assistant Church Historian, and Leonard, a Senior Historical Associate. The Story of the Latter-day Saints was published in 1976, the one-hundredth anniversary of Joseph Fielding Smith's birth. The book took a non-partisan, factually-sound approach to LDS Church history and was the first time the entire history of Mormonism was professionally surveyed in one book. It was also one of the first institutionally-sponsored publications to deal frankly with many controversial issues such as the complexities of Nauvoo, and the church's political, economic, social and doctrinal developments. As professional historians, the authors cast their subject in its historic context, with connections made to larger Restoration and American movements. The product revealed the challenges and progress of the new Mormon history in confronting controversy and reevaluating setting and tone. Reception: Anticipating high demand, Deseret Book prepared a very large first printing of 35,000. It sold quickly with 10,000 copies in the first month, including 5,000 to the LDS Church's Public Communications department to place in U.S. libraries. Nearly 20,000 copies sold in the first year and the entire original printing was sold out within three years. The book was initially received favorably. It was called a "significant" and "pathbreaking" history of Mormonism. Historian Richard Poll recommended it "to every serious student of Mormonism and every library interested in history, religion or Americana." Its extensive bibliography was also respected and seen as noteworthy. The book was commended for its modern scholarship and dispassionate tone, while representing a faithful LDS perspective. One review noted the authors' "remarkable blend of the scholarly approach and the religious story… They do not feel constrained to bear testimony, and yet they demonstrate an empathy toward Mormonism that could only emanate from devoted members. It is a pleasant balance." However, this balance risked displeasing both religious and academic readers. Believers in the divinity of all church actions disliked seeing events cast against the influences in their historical setting. History purists wanted discussion of more issues and problems, and felt significant events and details were missing in this concentration of all Mormon history. Allen and Leonard's history was praised and criticized by both Mormon and non-Mormon readers. Controversy: In 1976, some members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles had concerns that the book wasn't faith-promoting. When they approached quorum president Ezra Taft Benson, he requested a thorough reading by his executive assistant. This produced a critique that asserted the book wasn't spiritual enough to be a "true" LDS history and that the Historical Department's activities should be controlled. In a speech, Benson publicly worried the book may spiritually harm young church members. He condemned the portrayal of the Word of Wisdom health code and Joseph Smith's visions as being influenced by parallel movements in American history. Benson warned that the terms "experimental systems," "communal life," "primitivists," and "prophet alleged," were offensive and did not promote faith in the church. He advised against purchasing work by "liberal sources," because it would "help sustain their cause." In a meeting with the First Presidency and Church Historian Leonard J. Arrington, Benson and Apostle Mark E. Petersen argued the book was faith-damaging and should have presented more prophetic evidences. Arrington defended it, but agreed to allow future department manuscripts to be reviewed by an Apostle before publication, even though they already passed through a reading committee of accomplished historians. While other church leaders agreed that the book was too "secular," several continued to support it, including Howard W. Hunter and LDS Church President Spencer W. Kimball. Kimball felt it was a great work and was unhappy with "unchristian" treatment of Allen by some religion faculty at Brigham Young University (BYU) who were upset by it. Kimball thought Allen had performed honorably in this approved assignment, and "that Benson and Petersen did not have the authority or the right to interfere with the sale of the book." However, such support remained private, to preserve the public unity of the Apostles. Despite its quick sell-out, The Story of the Latter-day Saints was not reprinted for years, and some doubted it would ever be. It was rumored to be uncitable in publications by Deseret Book and the Church Educational System. Aftermath: The book fueled growing suspicion and disfavor with the Historical Department's activities, which led to the History Division's turning point. Plans were canceled for a 16 volume comprehensive history series in honor of the church's sesquicentennial. Division staff were downsized, bureaucratized and eventually transferred to BYU, where they could publish under academic rather than ecclesiastical sponsorship. Eventually, a second printing was approved for 1986. Later, Allen and Leonard prepared a revised and updated manuscript, which was published as a second edition in 1992. After the controversy dissipated, the book was still seen as an influential and notable accomplishment in its field. It is appreciated as respectful and faithful in its approach and "a model example of the new Mormon history ... It remains the best one-volume treatment of the Mormon past and the place where the beginning student of LDS history should turn first." Curt Bench, a dealer in fine and rare Mormon books, listed it as one of the 50 most important Mormon books.
The Janet Smith case concerns the murder of 22-year-old nursemaid Janet Kennedy Smith in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on 26 July 1924, and the ensuing suspicions of a coverup. Background: Janet Smith was born in Perth, Scotland on 25 June 1902 to railway fireman Arthur Mitchell Tooner Smith and Joanna Benzies. The family moved to London when she was eleven. In January 1923, she obtained a position taking care of the newborn daughter of Frederick and Doreen Baker. Frederick Baker ran an import-export business. When the family moved, first to Paris in April, then in October back to Vancouver, she accompanied them. The Bakers were among the social elite of the city. They lived on the fashionable West Side, then moved in May 1924 into the house of Frederick Baker's brother, Richard Plunkett Baker, at 3851 Osler in the exclusive Shaughnessy Heights neighborhood. The Chinese houseboy, married 25- or 27-year-old Wong Foon Sing, became infatuated with Smith, giving her presents such as a silk nightdress. Although her friends would later testify that she feared him, her diary would reveal that she enjoyed attracting men. Death and lack of an investigation: On 26 July 1924, Point Grey Police Constable James Green was called to the house. Wong claimed he heard what sounded like a car backfire; in the basement he found Smith's body. There was a bullet wound through her temple and a .45 caliber revolver near her right hand. Green picked up the weapon, making it impossible to obtain fingerprints from it. Despite there being no bullet, blood or brain tissue on the walls, no powder burns on her face, and the fact that the back of her head had been smashed in, Green concluded that she had committed suicide. After an inquest, the Vancouver coroner called it a "self-inflicted but accidental death." Undertakers were summoned, and instructed by both the coroner and the police to embalm the body, likely eradicating any clues that it might have yielded, for instance whether Smith had been sexually assaulted. It was the first time the undertaker had embalmed the victim of a violent death without a postmortem. He found unexplained burns on Smith's right side. Smith was buried at Mountain View Cemetery in the 1919 section bordered by 41st and 43rd Avenues. Reopening of the case: Smith's friends contacted the recently formed United Council of Scottish Societies, which pressured the provincial government and Attorney General Alexander Malcolm Manson to reopen the case. The Vancouver Star, a scandal sheet published by Victor Odlum, was quick to pounce on the affair. An additional inducement for Odlum was that an enemy of his, General A. D. McRae, was the father of Frederick Baker's sister-in-law. The body was exhumed on 28 August and a second inquest held. This time the jury concluded that Smith had been murdered. Manson appointed a special prosecutor, Malcolm Bruce Jackson. Suspicion immediately fell on Wong, the only other person in the house (other than the Bakers' baby, Rosemary) when the crime was supposedly committed. The Star published several articles in late July and early August in which it had portrayed Wong as the likely killer. Proposed legislation: Odlum was an "exclusionist"; he believed that Asians could not assimilate with whites and had run on an anti-Asian platform in the 1921 federal election. On 8 August, he published an editorial called "Should Chinese Work with White Girls? He called for legislation to "preserve white girls of impressionable youth from the unnecessary wiles and villainies of low caste yellow men." Popular Member of the Legislative Assembly Mary Ellen Smith introduced the "Janet Smith Bill" in November. It would have prohibited the employing of Orientals and white women in the same household. The Vancouver Province pointed out that it violated the Anglo-Japanese Treaty of 1911 (which prohibited discriminatory legislation against Japanese) and that the British Columbia legislature did not have the authority to pass it. It failed after a second reading. Kidnapping: Interest gradually died down, until on 20 March 1925, Wong was kidnapped by a group of men dressed in Ku Klux Klan robes. They proceeded to torture their captive for six weeks, trying to elicit a confession, but Wong refused to cooperate. On 1 May, he was released. A scandal later developed when it was discovered that the kidnappers included "two Point Grey police commissioners, the chief of police, a detective sergeant and three prominent officials of the city’s Scottish societies." The group had also enlisted the translation services of Wong Foon Sien, whose participation elicited outrage amongst both Chinese Canadians and Anglophones in the community because he was also working for a detective agency investigating the case. One man pleaded guilty to kidnapping. A detective and his son were also convicted, but the jury gave a "strong recommendation of mercy". The Point Grey policemen were acquitted, and the government controversially barred prosecution of the others. As it turned out, Manson knew where Wong was being held, but did nothing about it, hoping that the torture would solve the case. Instead, Manson's career was severely damaged by the revelation of his inaction. Trial: Meanwhile, Wong was put on trial for murder. In October, the case was thrown out of court due to lack of evidence. Wong went back to work for the Bakers. In 1926, he left the country for Hong Kong. Other suspects: Other theories gained popularity. According to one rumor, Smith had been raped and murdered at a wild party at the Baker house by wealthy playboys, who then bribed the authorities to cover it up. Writer Ed Starkins proposed Frederick Baker as the killer, portraying him as a drug smuggler.
Sunday, February 19, 2017
Saturday, February 18, 2017
Friday, February 17, 2017
Anticipatory socialization is the process, facilitated by social interactions, in which non-group-members learn to take on the values and standards of groups that they aspire to join, so as to ease their entry into the group and help them interact competently once they have been accepted by it. It is the process of changing one's attitudes and behaviours, in preparation for a shift in one's role. Words commonly associated with anticipatory socialization include grooming, play-acting, training and rehearsing. The concept of anticipatory socialization, first defined by sociologist Robert K. Merton, has its origins in a 1949 study of the United States military which found that privates who modelled their attitudes and behaviours on those of officers were more likely to be promoted than those who didn't. When people are blocked from access to a group they might have wanted to join, they reject that group's values and norms, and instead begin the anticipatory socialization process with groups that are more receptive to them. People doing this, for example economically disadvantaged teenagers who aspire to become drug dealers rather than professionals, are sometimes criticized as lacking motivation, however sociologists say they are simply making a pragmatic adjustment to the opportunities available to them. Examples of anticipatory socialization include law school students learning how to behave like lawyers, older people preparing for retirement, and Mormon boys getting ready to become missionaries. Recent studies show that anticipatory socialization is prevalent among pregnant mothers who choose to reveal the fetal sex pre-birth. Knowing the gender of the baby will affect the way in with the mother interacts with the baby, as a result of preconceived expectations of gender group norms.
Prophet, seer, and revelator is an ecclesiastical title used in the Latter Day Saint movement. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) is the largest denomination of the movement, and it currently applies the terms to the members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. In the past, it has also been applied to the Presiding Patriarch of the church and the Assistant President of the Church. Other sects and denominations of the movement also use these terms. Origin of the phrase: The phrase "prophet, seer, and revelator" is derived from a number of revelations received by the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, Joseph Smith. The first revelation received by Smith after the organization of the Church of Christ on April 6, 1830, declared that "there shall be a record kept among you; and in it Smith shalt be called a seer, a translator, a prophet, an apostle of Jesus Christ, an elder of the church through the will of God the Father, and the grace of your Lord Jesus Christ". In 1835, Smith further clarified the role of the President of the Church, "to preside over the whole church, and ... to be a seer, a revelator, a translator, and a prophet". In 1841, Smith recorded a revelation that again restated these roles: "I give unto you my servant Joseph to be a presiding elder over all my church, to be a translator, a revelator, a seer, and prophet. In 1836, at the dedication of the Kirtland Temple, approximately one year after Smith organized the church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, he instructed that the members of the First Presidency and the apostles should also be accepted by the church as prophets, seers, and revelators: I made a short address, and called upon the several quorums, and all the congregation of Saints, to acknowledge the Presidency as Prophets and Seers and uphold them by their prayers. ... I then called upon the quorums and congregation of Saints, to acknowledge the Twelve, who were present, as Prophets, Seers, Revelators, and special witnesses to all the nations of the earth holding the keys of the kingdom, to unlock it, or cause it to be done among them, and uphold them by their prayers. Later, Smith further confirmed that people other than the President of the Church may hold these titles. For example, in 1841, a revelation described the role of Smith's brother Hyrum Smith as Assistant President of the Church: "And from this time forth I appoint unto him that he may be a prophet, and a seer, and a revelator unto my church, as well as my servant Joseph". Meanings of the terms- The words prophet, seer, and revelator have separate and distinct meanings within the Latter Day Saint movement. LDS Church apostle John A. Widtsoe described the meanings of the terms and the differences between them: A prophet is a teacher. That is the essential meaning of the word. He teaches the body of truth, the gospel, revealed by the Lord to man; and under inspiration explains it to the understanding of the people. He is an expounder of truth. Moreover, he shows that the way to human happiness is through obedience to God's law. He calls to repentance those who wander away from the truth. He becomes a warrior for the consummation of the Lord’s purposes with respect to the human family. The purpose of his life is to uphold the Lord's plan of salvation. All this he does by close communion with the Lord, until he is "full of power by the spirit of the Lord." (Micah 3:8; see also D&C 20:26; 34:10; 43:16) The teacher must learn before he can teach. Therefore in ancient and modern times there have been schools of the prophets, in which the mysteries of the kingdom have been taught to men who would go out to teach the gospel and to fight the battles of the Lord. These "prophets" need not be called to an office; they go out as teachers of truth, always and everywhere. A prophet also receives revelations from the Lord. These may be explanations of truths already received, or new truths not formerly possessed by man. Such revelations are always confined to the official position held. The lower will not receive revelations for the higher office. In the course of time the word "prophet" has come to mean, perhaps chiefly, a man who receives revelations, and directions from the Lord. The principal business of a prophet has mistakenly been thought to foretell coming events, to utter prophecies, which is only one of the several prophetic functions. In the sense that a prophet is a man who receives revelations from the Lord, the titles "seer and revelator" merely amplify the larger and inclusive meaning of the title "prophet." Clearly, however, there is much wisdom in the specific statement of the functions of the prophet as seer and revelator, as is done in the conferences of the Church. A seer is one who sees with spiritual eyes. He perceives the meaning of that which seems obscure to others; therefore he is an interpreter and clarifier of eternal truth. He foresees the future from the past and the present. This he does by the power of the Lord operating through him directly, or indirectly with the aid of divine instruments such as the Urim and Thummim. In short, he is one who sees, who walks in the Lord's light with open eyes. (Book of Mormon, Mosiah 8:15-17) A revelator makes known, with the Lord's help, something before unknown. It may be new or forgotten truth, or a new or forgotten application of known truth to man’s need. Always, the revelator deals with truth, certain truth (D&C 100:11) and always it comes with the divine stamp of approval. Revelation may be received in various ways, but it always presupposes that the revelator has so lived and conducted himself as to be in tune or harmony with the divine spirit of revelation, the spirit of truth, and therefore capable of receiving divine messages. In summary: A prophet is a teacher of known truth; a seer is a perceiver of hidden truth, a revelator is a bearer of new truth. In the widest sense, the one most commonly used, the title, prophet, includes the other titles and makes of the prophet, a teacher, perceiver, and bearer of truth. Current usage within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: At the biannual general conference of the LDS Church, the name of the President of the Church is presented to the members as "prophet, seer, and revelator and President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints". Members are invited to vote to sustain the president in these roles, and the signalling for any opposing votes is also allowed. Additionally, the counselors in the First Presidency and the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are sustained by the membership as "prophets, seers, and revelators". Until October 1979, the Presiding Patriarch of the church was also sustained as a "prophet, seer, and revelator". Apostles who are not members of the Quorum of the Twelve or the First Presidency and other general authorities, (e.g., members of the Quorums of the Seventy and Presiding Bishopric) are not sustained as prophets, seers, and revelators. The procedure of sustaining is repeated in local congregations of the LDS Church several times per year at stake, district, ward, or branch conferences. These procedures are mandated by the theology of the LDS Church, which dictates governance by the "common consent" of the membership.
"The Divine Institution of Marriage" is a video production of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Produced in 2008, the video was broadcast via satellite to LDS Church meetinghouses throughout the world. The video described the position of the LDS Church leadership on the issue of same-sex marriage. The video encouraged the formation of a grassroots campaign within the church to support the passage of California's Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment that eliminated same-sex couples' right to marry in the state of California. LDS Church president Gordon B. Hinckley describes the issue as a matter of morality, not of civil rights.
Thursday, February 16, 2017
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
On November 1, 2008, American vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin fell victim to a prank call by the Masked Avengers, a Quebecer radio comedy duo, who tricked Palin into believing she was talking to French President Nicolas Sarkozy. During the conversation, the fake Sarkozy, speaking in English (the real Sarkozy does not speak English), talked to Palin about foreign policy, hunting, and the 2008 U.S. presidential election. After it was revealed to Palin that the call was a prank, she handed the phone to one of her assistants who told the comedy duo "I have to let you go" and hung up. Both the McCain and Obama campaigns released light-hearted statements about the prank. However, a McCain campaign advisor said that behind the scenes, aides and advisors to the campaign were not happy that the pranksters were able to lie their way up to Palin, or with the publicity Palin received because of the call. Background: "The Masked Avengers" are Disc jockeys and comedians Sébastien Trudel and Marc-Antoine Audette, a Canadian radio duo from Montreal, Quebec radio station CKOI-FM, who have become notorious for making prank calls to celebrities, such as business mogul Bill Gates, golfer Tiger Woods, singer Britney Spears, and French president Nicolas Sarkozy. Sarah Palin was the Republican governor of Alaska. On August 29, 2008, John McCain announced that she would be his running mate in the 2008 presidential election against Democrats Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Critics of Palin voiced their concern what they saw as her lack of foreign policy experience, especially after an interview with Katie Couric of the CBS Evening News where Palin was criticized by many for her answer to a question about her "foreign policy credentials". Preparation: Marc-Antoine Audette said that it took the duo about four or five days of calls to Palin's staff to finally be able to talk to her. They claimed that they started by talking to low-level people in Alaska and made their way up through Palin's campaign staff. Audette said that at first they didn't think their prank would work, calling it a "mission impossible". He claimed that "after about a dozen calls", the duo "started to realize the prank call might work, because Sarah Palin's staff didn't know the name of the French President. They asked us to spell it." Audette and Trudel credited their ability to make their way up through Palin's staff to sounding convincing during the first few calls, always arranging to place the call at a set time, and not leaving a contact number. The four days of calls needed to talk to Palin was quicker compared to some of their other pranks. Audette and Trudel said that it took them two months to talk to Paul McCartney and one to talk to Bill Gates, but only two days to prank Britney Spears. Conversation: Finally, on November 1, the Masked Avengers were able to talk to Palin. The call began with Trudel, who claimed to be an aide to Sarkozy named "Frank l’ouvrier", talking to an assistant to Palin who identifies herself as "Lexi". Lexi puts Palin on the line, who says "hello" only to realize that Trudel is still on the other line. Trudel tells Palin to hold on for a moment while he gives the phone to Sarkozy, who is really Audette. Palin can be heard talking to someone in the room about when to hand Palin the phone. Audette then begins to speak and a somewhat extended conversation ensues. After Audette reveals that the call was a prank by CKOI in Montreal, Palin leaves the phone and can be heard in the background telling her aides that the call was "just a radio station prank". Audette is still on the line and jokes that "if one voice can change the world for Obama, one Viagra can change the world for McCain." One of Palin's assistants picks up the phone and says "I’m sorry, I have to let you go. Thank you." Reaction: In an e-mail, Palin spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt wrote that "Governor Palin was mildly amused to learn that she had joined the ranks of heads of state, including President Sarkozy, and other celebrities in being targeted by these pranksters. C'est la vie." When asked by reporters about the conversation, Palin said that she would "keep a sense of humor through all of this, just as we the McCain campaign did with SNL parodies of her, too." She added that "you've got to have some levity in all this." Barack Obama senior advisor Robert Gibbs jokingly said in an interview that "I'm glad the Obama campaign check out our calls before we hand the phone to Barack Obama." The Masked Avengers received a sudden burst of fame from the prank. They gave more than 300 interviews about the conversation, and were even flown to New York City by CBS to appear on The Early Show. In an interview, Marc-Antoine Audette and Sébastien Trudel said that they found it "pretty disturbing to see that idiots like us can go through to a vice-presidential candidate", and claimed that they were just "two stupid comedians with a bad French accent." The Masked Avengers also admitted that the call was "probably the biggest prank we've ever done." When recalling the experience, Audette said that "once Audette and Trudel started making jokes, she didn't seem to mind, and she didn't seem to be aware of the fact we were making jokes", which according to Audette was when "we were like 'Oh my God this call is gonna be long'". The duo also said that they weren't trying to make any political statements with the call, they just like to take high-profile people to task. Impact: After McCain and Palin were defeated in the general election, a Republican campaign advisor told The New York Times that the McCain Campaign was not happy about the prank, which caused friction between McCain and Palin. McCain and his advisors were allegedly upset that Palin did not tell them beforehand that she planned to speak with who she thought was Nicolas Sarkozy. McCain strategist Steve Schmidt called a meeting and demanded to know who let Palin talk to the fake Sarkozy without checking with senior advisors first. Steve Biegun, one of Palin's aides admitting to vetting the call without speaking to campaign advisors or the U.S. State Department, told the Los Angeles Times that "No one's going to beat me up more than I beat myself up for setting up the governor like that."
The Kinderhook plates were a set of six small, bell-shaped pieces of brass with strange engravings which were claimed to have been discovered in 1843 in an Indian mound near Kinderhook, Illinois. According to Wilbur Fugate in 1879, the plates were carefully forged by himself and two other men (Bridge Whitten and Robert Wiley) from Kinderhook who were testing the validity of the claims made by Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, at that time headquartered in Nauvoo. According to Latter Day Saint belief, the Book of Mormon was originally translated by Smith from a record engraved on golden plates by ancient inhabitants of the Americas. Purported discovery: On April 16, 1843, Robert Wiley, a merchant living in Kinderhook, began to dig a deep shaft in the center of an Indian mound near the village. It was reported in the Quincy Whig that the reason for Wiley's sudden interest in archaeology was that he had dreamed for three nights in a row that there was treasure buried beneath the mound. At first, he undertook the excavation alone, and reached a depth of about ten feet before he abandoned the work, finding it too laborious an undertaking. On April 23, he returned with a group of ten or twelve companions to assist him. They soon reached a bed of limestone, apparently charred by fire; another two feet down, they discovered human bones, also charred, and "six plates of brass of a bell shape, each having a hole near the small end, and a ring through them all, and clasped with two clasps". A member of the excavation team, W. P. Harris, took the plates home, washed them, and treated them with sulphuric acid. Once they were clean, they were found to be covered in strange characters resembling hieroglyphics. The plates were briefly exhibited in the city, and then sent on to Joseph Smith, the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement. Twenty years earlier, on September 22, 1823, Smith claimed to have uncovered a set of golden plates, and, according to Latter Day Saint belief, translated them into the Book of Mormon. The finders of the Kinderhook plates, and the general public, were keen to know if Smith would be able to decipher the symbols on the Kinderhook plates as well. The Times and Seasons, a Latter Day Saint publication, claimed that the existence of the Kinderhook plates lent further credibility to the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. Parley Pratt wrote that the plates contained Egyptian engravings and "the genealogy of one of the ancient Jaredites back to Ham the son of Noah." Smith's response: Smith's private secretary, William Clayton, recorded that upon receiving the plates, Smith sent for his "Hebrew Bible & Lexicon", suggesting that he was going to attempt to translate the plates by conventional means, rather than by use of a seer stone or direct revelation. On 1 May, Clayton wrote in his journal: I have seen 6 brass plates ... covered with ancient characters of language containing from 30 to 40 on each side of the plates. Prest J. Joseph Smith has translated a portion and says they contain the history of the person with whom they were found and he was a descendant of Ham through the loins of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and that he received his kingdom from the ruler of heaven and earth. The History of the Church also states Smith said the following: I have translated a portion of the plates and find they contain the history of the person with whom they were found. He was a descendant of Ham, through the loins of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and that he received his kingdom from the ruler of heaven and earth. Stanley B. Kimball says the statement found in History of the Church could have been an altered version of William Clayton's statement, placing Smith in the first person. Diane Wirth, writing in Review of Books on the Book of Mormon (2:210), states: "A first-person narrative was apparently a common practice of this time period when a biographical work was being compiled. Since such words were never penned by the Prophet, they cannot be uncritically accepted as his words or his opinion". Rediscovery, analysis, and classification as a hoax: The Kinderhook plates were presumed lost, but for decades The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) published facsimiles of them in its official History of the Church. In 1920, one of the plates came into the possession of the Chicago Historical Society (now the Chicago History Museum). In 1966, this remaining plate was tested at Brigham Young University. The inscriptions matched facsimiles of the plate published contemporaneously, but the question remained whether this was an original Kinderhook plate, or a later copy. Though there was little evidence of whether the Kinderhook Plates were ancient or a contemporary fabrication, some within the LDS Church believed them to be genuine. The September 1962 Improvement Era, an official magazine of the church, ran an article by Welby W. Ricks stating that the Kinderhook plates were genuine. In 1979, apostle Mark E. Petersen wrote a book called Those Gold Plates!. In the first chapter, Peterson describes various ancient cultures that have written records on metal plates. Then Peterson claims: "There are the Kinderhook plates, too, found in America and now in the possession of the Chicago Historical Society. Controversy has surrounded these plates and their engravings, but most experts agree they are of ancient vintage." In 1980, Professor D. Lynn Johnson of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University examined the remaining plate. He used microscopy and various scanning devices and determined that the tolerances and composition of its metal proved entirely consistent with the facilities available in a 19th-century blacksmith shop and, more importantly, found traces of nitrogen in what were clearly nitric acid-etched grooves. This matches what was stated in an 1879 letter to James T. Cobb, in which Wilbur Fugate confesses to the hoax: "Wiley and I made the hieroglyphics by making impressions on beeswax and filling them with acid and putting it on the plates. When they were finished we put them together with rust made of nitric acid, old iron and lead, and bound them with a piece of hoop iron, covering them completely with rust". According to Fugate, Wiley had planted the plates at the bottom of the hole he had dug in the mound, before fetching a group of others to witness the discovery. In addition, Johnson discovered evidence that this particular plate was among those examined by early Mormons, including Smith, and not a later copy. One of the features of the plate was the presence of small dents in the surface caused by a hexagonally-shaped tool. Johnson noticed that one of these dents had inadvertently been interpreted in the facsimile as a stroke in one of the characters. If the plate owned by the Chicago Historical Society had been a copy made from the facsimiles in History of the Church, that stroke in that character would have been etched, like the rest of the characters. He concluded that this plate was one that Smith examined, that it was not of ancient origin, and that it was in fact etched with acid, not engraved. In 1981, the official magazine of the LDS Church ran an article stating that the plates were a hoax, and asserted that there was no proof that Smith made any attempt to translate the plates: "There is no evidence that the Prophet Joseph Smith ever took up the matter with the Lord, as he did when working with the Book of Mormon and the Book of Abraham".
The Michigan relics are a series of apparently ancient artifacts that were discovered during the late 19th and early 20th century. They appeared to be evidence that people of an ancient Near Eastern culture had lived in the American state of Michigan, but they have since been determined to be archaeological forgeries. Also known as the Scotford-Soper-Savage collection, the relics number nearly 3,000 pieces. "Discovery" of the relics: In 1890, James Scotford of Edmore, Michigan, claimed that he had found a number of artifacts, including a clay cup with strange symbols and carved tablets, with symbols that looked vaguely hieroglyphic. He put them forward as evidence that people from the Near East or Europe had lived in America. The find attracted interest and also eager looters who arrived to look for more artifacts. It was reported in the Detroit News that Scotford was involved in the forgeries sold at the railroad tracks, ranging from the first to third series of forgeries. Scotford was a sign-painter by trade who used to live in Montcalm County. (Young, 1) He and his company "would dig until they located an artifact, and then the dignitaries who sponsored the work were invited to remove that artifact". (Stamps, 213) Originally, Scotford found his way to Detroit with intentions of selling copper. Detroit was the place to be, with its booming economy and availability of raw materials necessary to produce more artifacts. Ironically, it was Scotford's name that appeared on the certificate of discovery for the second batch of frauds in the museum at the University of Michigan. The relics, however, may have been marked as "discovered by William H.Scotford," an alias. Scotford joined forces with Daniel E. Soper, former Michigan Secretary of State, and together they presented thousands of objects made of various materials, supposedly found in 16 counties across Michigan. Soper had resigned as Secretary of State for the State of Michigan for "corrupt behavior." The objects included coins, pipes, boxes, figurines and cuneiform tablets that depicted various biblical scenes, including Moses handing out the tablets of the Ten Commandments. On November 14, 1907, the Detroit News reported that Soper and Scotford were selling copper crowns they had supposedly found on heads of prehistoric kings, and copies of Noah's diary. Scotford often arranged a local person to witness him "unearthing" the objects. Although many authorities and collectors declared the objects fraudulent, Scotford and Soper had a large number of believing customers. In 1911, one John A. Russell published a pamphlet, "Prehistoric discoveries in Wayne County, Michigan," in which he argued for their authenticity. James Savage, former pastor of the Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Detroit, bought 40 of the objects. Savage believed them to be "remains relevant to the descendants of the Lost Tribes of Israel," and continued to believe in the relics until his death. Skepticism: Professor Albert Emerson came out to the sites to get a better look at the "artifacts" that he dubbed "bad enough in the photographs." Labeling them "bogus" from the hieroglyphics to the characters that were turned upside-down, Emerson said that a primitive artist would never make as many mistakes, such as a dragon without a tail. Archaeologists and historians quickly concluded that the objects were forgeries. On July 28, 1911, professor Frederick Starr of the University of Chicago declared in the Detroit News that the so-called relics were fakes. Mary Robson, who lived a room next door to Scotford's sons Percy and Charles, stated that the boys manufactured more "relics" all the time. In 1911, Scotford's stepdaughter signed an affidavit in which she stated that she had seen him making the objects. The finds attracted the interest of LDS Church members, and in 1909, Mormon scientist James E. Talmage participated in a "dig" and then thoroughly tested the artifacts in his lab back in Utah. His investigations led him to label the artifacts as frauds. In August 1911, he published a work on his findings titled "The 'Michigan Relics': A Story of Forgery and Deception." Scotford and Soper never confessed, but no more objects were found after they died. Recent developments: More recent studies conducted by Professor of Anthropology Richard B. Stamps, of the Michigan Historical Museum, indicate that the artifacts were made with contemporary tools. Current historians tend to agree that Scotford and Soper joined forces to sell the fake relics for personal profit. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints kept 797 of the objects in the Salt Lake City Museum. In 2003, they gave them up to the Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing where they currently reside.
A Christmas Carol in Prose, Being a Ghost-Story of Christmas, commonly known as A Christmas Carol, is a novella by Charles Dickens, first published in London by Chapman & Hall in 1843. A Christmas Carol tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, an old miser who is visited by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. After their visits Scrooge is transformed into a kinder, gentler man. Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol at a time when the British were examining and exploring Christmas traditions from the past, such as carols, as well as new customs such as Christmas trees. He was influenced by experiences from his own past, and from the Christmas stories of other authors, including Washington Irving and Douglas Jerrold. Dickens had written three Christmas stories prior to the novella, and was inspired to write the story following a visit to the Field Lane Ragged school, one of several establishments for London's half-starved, illiterate street children. The treatment of the poor and the ability of self-interested man redeeming himself by transforming into a more sympathetic character are the key themes of the story. There is discussion among academics as to whether this was a fully secular story, or if it is a Christian allegory. Published on 19 December, the first edition sold out by Christmas Eve; by the end of 1844 thirteen editions had been released. Most critics reviewed the novella positively. The story was illicitly copied in January 1844; Dickens took action against the publishers, who went bankrupt, reducing further Dickens's small profits from the publication. He went on to write four other Christmas stories in subsequent years. In 1849 he began public readings of the story which proved so successful he undertook 127 further performances until 1870, the year of his death. A Christmas Carol has never been out of print and has been translated into several languages; the story has been adapted many times for film, stage, opera and other media. With A Christmas Carol, Dickens captured the zeitgeist of the mid-Victorian revival of the Christmas holiday. He has been acknowledged as an influence on the modern Western observance of Christmas and inspired several aspects of Christmas, such as family gatherings, seasonal food and drink, dancing, games and a festive generosity of spirit. Plot: Dickens divided the book into five chapters, which he labelled "staves". Stave one: The story begins on a cold and bleak Christmas Eve in London, seven years after the death of Ebenezer Scrooge's business partner, Jacob Marley. Scrooge, an old miser, hates Christmas and refuses an invitation to Christmas dinner from his nephew Fred. He turns away two men who seek a donation from him in order to provide food and heating for the poor, and only grudgingly allows his overworked, underpaid clerk, Bob Cratchit, Christmas Day off with pay to conform to the social custom. At home that night, Scrooge is visited by Marley's ghost, who wanders the Earth, entwined by heavy chains and money boxes, forged during a lifetime of greed and selfishness. Marley tells Scrooge that he has one chance to avoid the same fate: he will be visited by three spirits and he must listen to them or be cursed to carry chains of his own, much longer than Marley's chains. Stave two: The first of the spirits, the Ghost of Christmas Past, takes Scrooge to Christmas scenes of Scrooge's boyhood and youth, reminding him of a time when he was more innocent. The boyhood scenes portray Scrooge's lonely childhood, his relationship with his beloved sister Fan, and a Christmas party hosted by his first employer, Mr. Fezziwig, who treated Scrooge like a son. They also portray Scrooge's neglected fiancée Belle, who ends their relationship after she realises that Scrooge will never love her as much as he loves money. Finally, they visit a now-married Belle with her large, happy family on a recent Christmas Eve. Stave three: The second spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Present, takes Scrooge to a joy-filled market of people buying the makings of Christmas dinner and celebrations of Christmas in a miner's cottage and in a lighthouse. Scrooge and the ghost also visit Fred's Christmas party. A major part of this stave is taken up with Bob Cratchit's family feast and introduces his youngest son, Tiny Tim, a happy boy who is seriously ill. The spirit informs Scrooge that Tiny Tim will die soon unless the course of events changes. Before disappearing, the spirit shows Scrooge two hideous, emaciated children named Ignorance and Want. He tells Scrooge to beware the former above all and mocks Scrooge's concern for their welfare. Stave four: The third spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, shows Scrooge a Christmas Day in the future. The ghost shows him scenes involving the death of a disliked man. The man's funeral will only be attended by local businessmen if lunch is provided. His charwoman, his laundress, and the local undertaker steal some of his possessions and sell them to a fence. When Scrooge asks the ghost to show anyone who feels any emotion over the man's death, the ghost can only show him the pleasure of a poor couple in debt to the man, rejoicing that his death gives them more time to put their finances in order. After Scrooge asks to see some tenderness connected with any death, the ghost shows him Bob Cratchit and his family mourning the passing of Tiny Tim. The ghost then shows Scrooge the man's neglected grave, whose tombstone bears Scrooge's name. Sobbing, Scrooge pledges to the ghost that he will change his ways to avoid this outcome. Stave five: Scrooge awakens on Christmas morning a changed man. He spends the day with Fred's family and anonymously sends a large turkey to the Cratchit home for Christmas dinner. The following day, he gives Cratchit a pay increase and becomes like another father to Tiny Tim. From then on Scrooge began to treat everyone with kindness, generosity and compassion, embodying the spirit of Christmas. Background: The writer Charles Dickens was born to a respectable family which got into financial difficulties as a result of the profligate spending of John, Dickens's father. In 1824 John was committed to Marshalsea, a debtors' prison in Southwark, London. Dickens, aged 12, was forced to pawn his collection of books, leave school and go to work at a shoe-blacking factory, a dirty and rat-infested place. The change in Dickens's circumstances gave him what his biographer, Michael Slater, described as a "deep personal and social outrage", which heavily influenced his works. At the end of December 1842 Dickens began publishing his novel Martin Chuzzlewit as a monthly serial; although the novel was his favourite work, sales had been disappointing and he faced financial difficulties. By this time he was a well-established author, having written six major works, as well as several short stories, novellas and other works. Celebrating the Christmas season had been growing in popularity through the Victorian era. Although the Christmas tree had been introduced into Britain in the 18th century, its use was popularised by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and their practice was copied in many homes across the country. In the early 19th century there had been a revival of interest in Christmas carols, following a decline in popularity over the previous hundred years. The publication of Davies Gilbert's 1823 work Some Ancient Christmas Carols, With the Tunes to Which They Were Formerly Sung in the West of England and William Sandys's 1833 collection Christmas Carols, Ancient and Modern led to a growth in the form's popularity in Britain. Dickens had an interest in Christmas, and his first story on the subject was "Christmas Festivities", published in Bell's Weekly Messenger in 1835; the story was then published as "A Christmas Dinner" in Sketches by Boz (1836). "The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton", another Christmas story, appeared in the 1836 novel The Pickwick Papers, followed by a passage about Christmas in Master Humphrey's Clock. Literary influences: Dickens was not the very first author to celebrate the Christmas season in literature. Among earlier authors who influenced Dickens was Washington Irving, whose 1819–20 work The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. included four essays on old English Christmas traditions that he experienced while staying at Aston Hall near Birmingham. The tales and essays attracted Dickens, and the two authors shared the belief that the staging of a nostalgic English Christmas might restore the social harmony that had been lost in the modern world. Several works may have had an influence on the writing of A Christmas Carol, including two Douglas Jerrold essays: one from an 1841 issue of Punch, "How Mr. Chokepear Keeps a Merry Christmas" and one from 1843, "The Beauties of the Police". More broadly, Dickens was influenced by fairy tales and nursery stories, which he closely associated with Christmas, because he saw them as stories of conversion and transformation. Social influences: Dickens was keenly touched by the lot of poor children in the middle decades of the 19th century. In early 1843, he toured the Cornish tin mines, where he was angered after seeing children working in appalling conditions. The suffering he witnessed there was reinforced by a visit to the Field Lane Ragged school, one of several London schools set up for the education of the capital's half-starved, illiterate street children. In February 1843 the Second Report of the Children's Employment Commission was published. It was a parliamentary report exposing the effects of the Industrial Revolution upon working class children. Horrified by what he read, Dickens planned to publish an inexpensive political pamphlet tentatively titled, An Appeal to the People of England, on behalf of the Poor Man's Child, but changed his mind, deferring the pamphlet's production until the end of the year. In March he wrote to Dr. Southwood Smith, one of the four commissioners responsible for the Second Report, about his change in plans: "you will certainly feel that a Sledge hammer has come down with twenty times the force—twenty thousand times the force—I could exert by following out my first idea". In a fundraising speech on 5 October 1843 at the Manchester Athenaeum, Dickens urged workers and employers to join together to combat ignorance with educational reform, and realised in the days following that the most effective way to reach the broadest segment of the population with his social concerns about poverty and injustice was to write a deeply felt Christmas narrative rather than polemical pamphlets and essays. Writing history: By mid-1843 Dickens began to suffer from financial problems. Sales of Martin Chuzzlewit were slowing, and his wife, Catherine, was pregnant with the couple's fifth child. Matters worsened when Chapman & Hall, Martin Chuzzlewit's publishers, began to talk about reducing his monthly income by £50 if sales dropped further. He began to write A Christmas Carol in October 1843. Michael Slater, Dickens's biographer, describes the book as being "written at white heat"; it was completed in six weeks, with the final pages written in early December. He built much of the work in his head while taking night-time walks of 15 to 20 miles around London. Slater says that A Christmas Carol was intended to open its readers' hearts towards those struggling to survive on the lower rungs of the economic ladder and to encourage practical benevolence, but also to warn of the terrible danger to society created by the toleration of widespread ignorance and actual want among the poor. George Cruikshank, the illustrator who had previously worked with Dickens on Sketches by Boz (1836) and Oliver Twist (1838), introduced him to the caricaturist John Leech. By 24 October Dickens invited Leech to work on A Christmas Carol, and four hand-coloured etchings and four black-and-white wood engravings by the artist accompanied the text. Characters: The central character of A Christmas Carol is Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly London-based moneylender, described in the story as "a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner!" Kelly writes that Scrooge may have been influenced by Dickens's conflicting feelings for his father, who he both loved and demonised. This psychological conflict may be responsible for the two radically different Scrooges in the tale—one a cold, stingy and greedy semi-recluse, the other a benevolent, sociable man. Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, the professor of English literature, considers that in the opening part of the book covering young Scrooge's lonely and unhappy childhood, and his aspiration for money to avoid poverty "is something of a self-parody of Dickens's fears about himself"; the post-transformation parts of the book are how Dickens optimistically sees himself. Scrooge could also be based on two misers: the eccentric John Elwes, MP, or Jemmy Wood, the owner of the Gloucester Old Bank who was also known as "The Gloucester Miser". Scrooge's views on the poor are a reflection of those of the demographer and political economist Thomas Malthus, while the miser's questions "Are there no prisons? ... And the Union workhouses? ... The treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?" are a reflection of a sarcastic question raised by the Chartist philosopher Thomas Carlyle, "Are there not treadmills, gibbets; even hospitals, poor-rates, New Poor-Law?" There are literary antecedents for Scrooge in Dickens's own works. Peter Ackroyd, Dickens's biographer, sees similarities between Scrooge and the elder Martin Chuzzlewit character, although the miser is "a more fantastic image" than the Chuzzlewit patriarch; Ackroyd observes that Chuzzlewit's transformation to a charitable figure is a parallel to that of the miser. Douglas-Fairhurst sees that the minor character Gabriel Grub from The Pickwick Papers was also worked into Scrooge. Scrooge's name came from a tombstone Dickens had seen on a visit to Edinburgh. The grave was for Ebenezer Lennox Scroggie, whose job was given as a meal man—a corn merchant; Dickens misread the inscription as "mean man". When Dicken's was young he lived near a tradesman's premises with the sign "Goodge and Marney", which may have provided the name for Scrooge's former business partner. For the chains Marley, Dickens had remembered a visit he had made to the Western Penitentiary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in March 1842, where he saw—and was affected by—seeing fettered prisoners. For the character Tiny Tim, Dickens used his nephew Henry, a disabled boy who was five at the time A Christmas Carol was written. The two figures of Want and Ignorance, sheltering in the robes of the Ghost of Christmas Present were inspired by the children Dickens had seen on his visit to a ragged School in the East End of London. Themes: The transformation of Scrooge is central to the story. Kelly writes that the transformation is reflected in the description of Scrooge, who begins as a two-dimensional character, but who then grows into one who "possesses an emotional depth and a regret for lost opportunities". Some writers, including Grace Moore, the Dickens scholar, consider that there is Christian theme running through A Christmas Carol, and that the novella should be seen as an allegory of the Christian concept of redemption. Dickens's biographer, Claire Tomalin sees the conversion of Scrooge as carrying the Christian message that "even the worst of sinners may repent and become a good man". Dickens's attitudes towards organised religion were complex, although he based his beliefs and principles within the New Testament. Dickens's statement that Marley "had no bowels" is a reference to the "bowels of compassion" mentioned in I John, the reason for his eternal damnation. Other writers, including Kelly, see that Dickens put forward a "secular vision of this sacred holiday". They argue that A Christmas Carol shows what Dickens referred to in a letter to Foster as his "Carol philosophy, cheerful views, sharp anatomisation of humbug, jolly good temper ... and a vein of glowing, hearty, generous, mirthful, beaming reference in everything to Home and Fireside". From a secular viewpoint, the cultural historian Penne Restad suggests that Scrooge's redemption underscores "the conservative, individualistic and patriarchal aspects" of Dickens's "Carol philosophy" of charity and altruism. Dickens's wrote A Christmas Carol because of how British social policy treated children at the time, and wished to use the novella as a means to put forward his arguments against it. The story shows Scrooge as a paradigm for self-interest, and the possible repercussions of ignoring the poor, especially children in poverty—personified by the allegorical figures of Want and Ignorance. The two figures were created to engender sympathy with readers—as was Tiny Tim. Douglas-Fairhurst observes that the use of such figures allowed Dickens to present his message of the need for charity, without alienating his largely middle-class readership. Publication: As the result of the disagreements with Chapman and Hall over the commercial failures of Martin Chuzzlewit, Dickens arranged to pay for the publishing himself, in exchange for a percentage of the profits. Production of A Christmas Carol was not without problems. The first printing contained drab olive endpapers that Dickens felt were unacceptable, and the publisher Chapman and Hall quickly replaced them with yellow endpapers, but, once replaced, those clashed with the title page, which was then redone. The final product was bound in red cloth with gilt-edged pages, completed only two days before the publication date of 19 December 1843. Following publication, Dickens arranged for the manuscript to be bound in red Morocco leather and presented as a gift to his solicitor, Thomas Mitton. Priced at five shillings (equal to £22 in 2017 pounds), the first run of 6,000 copies sold out by Christmas Eve. Chapman and Hall issued second and third editions before the new year, and the book continued to sell well into 1844. By the end of 1844 eleven more editions had been released. Since its initial publication the book has been issued in numerous hardback and paperback editions, translated into several languages and has never been out of print. It was Dickens's most popular book in the US, and sold over two million copies in the hundred years following its first publication there. The high production costs upon which Dickens insisted led to reduced profits, and the first edition brought him only £230 (equal to £20,000 in 2017 pounds) rather than the £1,000 (equal to £89,000 in 2017 pounds) he expected. A year later, the profits were only £744, and Dickens was deeply disappointed. Reception: Douglas-Fairhurst writes that the reviews of A Christmas Carol "were almost uniformly kind". The reviewer from The Illustrated London News described how the story's "impressive eloquence ... its unfeigned lightness of heart—its playful and sparkling humour ... its gentle spirit of humanity" all put the reader "in good humour with ourselves, with each other, with the season and with the author". The critic from The Athenaeum, the literary magazine, considered it a "tale to make the reader laugh and cry – to open his hands, and open his heart to charity even toward the uncharitable ... a dainty dish to set before a King." William Makepeace Thackeray, writing in Fraser's Magazine, described the book as "a national benefit and to every man or woman who reads it, a personal kindness. The last two people I heard speak of it were women; neither knew the other, or the author, and both said, by way of criticism, 'God bless him!'" The poet Thomas Hood, in his own journal, wrote that "If Christmas, with its ancient and hospitable customs, its social and charitable observances, were ever in danger of decay, this is the book that would give them a new lease." The reviewer for Tait's Edinburgh Magazine—Theodore Martin, who was usually critical of Dickens's work—spoke well of A Christmas Carol, noting it was "a noble book, finely felt and calculated to work much social good". After Dickens' death, Margaret Oliphant deplored the turkey and plum pudding aspects of the book but admitted that in the days of its first publication it was regarded as "a new gospel" and noted that the book was unique in that it actually made people behave better. The religious press generally ignored the tale but, in January 1884, Christian Remembrancer thought the tale's old and hackneyed subject was treated in an original way and praised the author's sense of humour and pathos. There were critics of the book. The The New Monthly Magazine's reviewer, while praising the story, thought the book's physical excesses—the gilt edges and expensive binding—kept the price high, which made it unavailable to the poor. The reviewer recommended the tale be printed on cheap paper and priced accordingly. The unnamed reviewer from The Westminster Review mocked Dickens's grasp of economics, asking "Who went without turkey and punch in order that Bob Cratchit might get them—for, unless there were turkeys and punch in surplus, someone must go without". Following criticism of the US in American Notes and Martin Chuzzlewit, American readers were less enthusiastic at first, but by the end of the American Civil War, copies of the book were in wide circulation. In 1863 The New York Times published an enthusiastic review, noting that the author brought the "old Christmas ... of bygone centuries and remote manor houses, into the living rooms of the poor of today". Aftermath: In January 1844 Parley's Illuminated Library published an unauthorised version of the story in a condensed form which they sold for twopence. Dickens wrote to his solicitor. I have not the least doubt that if these Vagabonds can be stopped they must. ... Let us be the sledge-hammer in this, or I shall be beset by hundreds of the same crew when I come out with a long story. Two days after the release of the Parley version, Dickens sued on the cases of copyright infringement and won. The publishers declared themselves bankrupt and Dickens was left to pay £700 in costs. The small profits Dickens earned from A Christmas Carol further strained his relationship with his publishers, and he broke with them in favour of Bradbury and Evans, who had been printing his works to that point. Dickens returned to the tale time several times during his life to amend the phrasing and punctuation. He capitalised on the success of the book by publishing other Christmas stories The Chimes (1844), The Cricket on the Hearth (1845), The Battle of Life (1846) and The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain (1848); these were secular conversion tales which reflected the societal changes of the previous year, and which social problems still needed to be dealt with. While the public eagerly bought the later books, the reviewers were highly critical of the stories. Performance and adaptation: By 1849 Dickens was engaged with David Copperfield and had neither the time nor the inclination to produce another Christmas book. He decided the best way to reach his audience with his "Carol philosophy" was by public readings. During Christmas 1852 Dickens gave a reading in Birmingham Town Hall to the Industrial and Literary Institute; the performance was a great success. Thereafter, he read the tale in an abbreviated version 127 times, until 1870 (the year of his death), when it provided the material for his farewell performance. In the years following the book's publication, responses to the tale were published by W. M. Swepstone (Christmas Shadows, 1850), Horatio Alger (Job Warner's Christmas, 1863), Louisa May Alcott (A Christmas Dream, and How It Came True, 1882), and others who followed Scrooge's life as a reformed man – or some who thought Dickens had got it wrong and needed to be corrected. The novella was adapted for the stage almost immediately. Three productions opened on 5 February 1844, with one by Edward Stirling sanctioned by Dickens and running for more than 40 nights. By the close of February 1844 eight rival A Christmas Carol theatrical productions were playing in London. The story has been adapted for film and television more than any of Dickens's other works. In 1901 it was produced as Scrooge, or, Marley's Ghost, a silent black-and-white British film; it was one of the first known adaptations of a Dickens work on film, although only a fragment of the film survives. The story was adapted in 1923 for BBC radio. The story has been adapted to other media, including opera, ballet, a Broadway musical, animation, and a BBC mime production starring Marcel Marceau. Legacy: Although the phrase "Merry Christmas" had been around for several years – the earliest known written use was in a letter in 1534 – Dickens's use of the term in A Christmas Carol popularised the term among the Victorian public. The exclamation "Bah! Humbug!" entered popular use in the English language as a retort to anything sentimental or over festive; the name "Scrooge" became used as a designation for a miser, and was included into the Oxford English Dictionary as such in 1982. The modern observance of Christmas is largely the result of a mid-Victorian revival of the holiday. The Oxford Movement of the 1830s and 1840s had produced a resurgence of the traditional rituals and religious observances associated with Christmastide and, with A Christmas Carol, Dickens captured the zeitgeist of the age, while he reflected and reinforced his vision of Christmas. He advocated a humanitarian focus of the holiday, which influenced several aspects of Christmas that are still celebrated in Western culture, such as family gatherings, seasonal food and drink, dancing, games and a festive generosity of spirit. The historian Ronald Hutton writes that Dickens "linked worship and feasting, within a context of social reconciliation". Ruth Glancy, the professor of English literature, states that the largest impact of A Christmas Carol was the influence felt by individual readers. In the spring of 1844 The Gentleman's Magazine attributed a rise of charitable giving in Britain to Dickens's novella; in 1874, Robert Louis Stevenson, after reading Dickens's Christmas books, vowed to give generously to those in need; and Thomas Carlyle expressed a generous hospitality by hosting two Christmas dinners after reading the book. In 1867 one American businessman was so moved after attending a reading, that he closed his factory on Christmas Day and sent every employee a turkey, while in the early years of the 20th century the Queen of Norway sent gifts to London's crippled children signed "With Tiny Tim's Love". The author G. K. Chesterton wrote The beauty and blessing of the story ... lie in the great furnace of real happiness that glows through Scrooge and everything around him. ... Whether the Christmas visions would or would not convert Scrooge, they convert us.