Letter from John E. Page, 16 April 1844

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April 16. 1844
at Pittsburg. Ohio
Pittsburgh April the 16— 1844
Presidents— & J Smith J— Smith &
Dear Bron.
I am hapy to embrace an oppertunity to say to you that I have had the pleasure of seeing Elder in this city, he left here this morning for ; he was in good health, Spirits, he will probily procede to , and thence to —— on receiveing a letter from Elder that my wife was sick, and that it was indispensibly nescessary that I should come home <​I did so—​> these particulars I have sent you in another letter by Elder My wife is some better my youngest child is some unwell but not dangerous to day I am nearly sick myself— I have laboured rather harder this winter and spring than I ought to have done for my own health but it is my glory to expose the stupid ignorance of this generation we baptised five last Sunday others are even many are just on the point to confess Jesus Christ to be there Saveyour [Savior] and Joseph Smith a prophet my theme in preaching is to prove the divinity of the Books of Mormon and Covenants— I have in possession the histories of the anticquities <​of America​> By Stephens, Priest, and Delafield— all of which Books are of later-date than the Book of Mormon and they being disinterested witnesses to the Book of Mormon [p. [1]] the public mind is perfectly astounded to heare the vast amount of correspondence in print of charecter and location of the anticquities of America as set forth first in the Book of Mormon in 1830 and then sustained by <​Messrs—​> Priest in 1833 and Delafield in 1839 and Catherwood and Stephens in 1841— & 42 showing positively and demonstratively in the most profound sense of the terms that it was out of the reach of speculative impostures to have orriginated the matter contained in the Book of Mormon in point of charecter and location of the antiquities of America unless the author was aided either by Books <​or​> Personal observation of them like Stevens and others were or by direct inspiration to say that Smith had Books from which he could draw the facts set forth in the Book of Mormon they cannot for if he had others could have had the same; to have detected the scheme which none have attempted to do; if any should attempt to do so I am the man that is able to efectualy prostrate every such effort for I am able to show many corresponding facts exhisting betwen the history of Book of Mormon and those other Books spoken of above that never was seen in on the face of a book till these Books were published at the dates spoken of— To say that J— Smith had had an oppertunity of an extensive travel to have personly [p. [2]] observed the facts of antiquity as set forth in the Book of Mormon and then sustained by the exact corespondence of those gentlemen antiquarians above mentioned is more than common sense will allow; therefore the last and only alternative is to say that he (Smith) was must have been aided by some agency higher than man and that is to humbleing for this Proud money made <​generation of​> Priests and a Priest riden generation <​to acknowledge—​>
There is one thing in which I do regoice and that is this I am able to set forth more certain tangeble evidence of the divinity of the Book of Mormon than any other man out of the church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints can of the divinity of the old and new testament,— thank God!!
Therefore there is only the two ways in this one is matter, after hearing the evidence of the divinity of the Book of Mormon— one is this the people can humble themselves before God and embrace the truth proved to be such and thus come in to the fold of Christ and be saved— The second is the people can <​hear​> the truth and the Positive proof thereof unto their confounding and <​they can​> mutter and well say well we had rather be damed by a popular error than to be saved by an unpopular truth— If you can glean any thing from the above remark worthy of a Place in the “times and seasons” you a[re] at liberty to do so
Your Bro— in the
Joseph, Smith and)
B[y] the politeness of Elder ) [p. [3]]
(PS) Dear Bretheren I hope you will not consider me vain If I should say that it is probible I have given the Books spoken of in this communication the most carefull and criticle investigation of any other man on Earth by a long and diligent search and untireing labour I have writen out a concordence of all the coresponding points in those Book for my own use in ready refference to the coresponding matter contained in the Book of Mormon and those histories of the American antiquities therefore it is posible and very probable that relative to this matter as evidence of the truth of the divinity of our cause I can set forth the greates[t] amount of evidence and that too of such a nature that both the learned and unlearned are perfectly astounded and confounded they know not what to say or what course to take they <​are​> perfectly chained up and silent as if bound with the lock jaw—— Therefore with your permision I will travel from place <​to place​> where the first principles of the gospel has been preached and lecture on this matter and set it before people fairly; you may be assured that this kind of evidence is what the honest part of the community is asking for especially the rich— It answers the same as to see the “plates” it is a kind of evidence that the mind can grasp at once doing away all doubt at once
Please give me your sanction on this matter and I will improve the oppertunity to the best advantage posible to raise funds for to be appropriated to the and other purposes and raise subscriptions for the papers
your answer to this <​is​> humbly solicited immediately— at the longest at the return of Elder Grant— [p. [4]]


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    Docket in handwriting of Thomas Bullock.