140 years ago today - Jan 19, 1882

[Diedrich Willers]

I enclose a few recollections and traditions of Mormonism in Seneca County. ... When I came to Seneca County ... I found among the members of a remote congregation, Zion's Church (afterward known as Jerusalem Church), in West Fayette, a plain, unassuming farmer of the name Peter Whitmer. ... it is related, that by some contrivance of Smith and his associates a wooden image or representation was placed in a tree in a field where one of Whitmer's sons was engaged in ploughing, and that when interrogated as to whether he had not seen an angel, he answered in the affirmative. "Then," said Smith, "this is the place where the `Book of Mormon' must be completed, since the angel has already appeared eleven times, and it has been revealed to me that at the place of the twelfth appearing of the angel, the book must be completed." Hence Whitmers', in West Fayette, became the resort of Smith and his fellow-impostors during the progress of this work. ...

[Ellen E. Dickinson, New Light on Mormonism (New York: Funk & Wagnals, 1885), 249-52., as cited in Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents: Diedrich Willers To Ellen E. Dickinson]

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