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He said he ruined 3 batches of wine before getting the dosage right. He told me, "All but 1 of your recipes only require 1 drop. Any more will be overpowering, but I have a sensitive palate so more might work for you. In amateur winemaking non-commercial we should all be willing to share our pioneering discoveries.
That allows everyone to experiment from a new baseline, and that makes it interesting for all of us. I had thought of doing this but never did.
I'm glad someone tried it as I'm sure I would have added too much Liquid Smoke. My thanks to Charles in Topeka, Kansas for sharing. It finally got down to freezing last night but is warming up fast. For those experiencing all that white stuff, my jealousy and sympathy at the same time.
I loved living in Colorado and Washington states, but I do not miss scraping ice off of windshields, putting chains on tires or shoveling snow. But I do miss making snowballs. Every song you really like should have a memory or a host of memories.
If it doesn't you need a life. About two weeks ago I was playing some of my plus albums and reliving many moments of my life. One of them was the American Graffiti soundtrack. Forty-one classics from the late '50s and some of the greatest hits I grew up with.
They've been recycling through my head ever since, along with some of the other songs from other albums. This morning an anomaly popped into my head and I cannot explain it, but it sent me searching YouTube. I knew with certainty it was by Bonnie Tyler and I knew with certainty it was "Total Eclipse of the Heart", but finding the right version was a very long excursion. It is called "Total Eclipse of the Heart Literal Video Version " and is nothing like all the other versions out there by the same artist.
I've linked it below. If you've never seen it, do yourself a favor and watch it. If you've already seen it I know you'll play it again. For me, no memories associated with it except big smiles and a Chianti. Literal video versions are redubs of original music videos in which the lyrics are rewritten to parody the illogic, disconnection or visuals in the original video itself.
The concept was originated by Dustin McLean and associates with the first example uploaded to YouTube in October On May 25, David A. Scott uploaded his sixth literal video Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart", which received 1,, views in its first ten days and more than 2,, views in three weeks. The voice-over is by Persephone Maewyn and it is considered one of the best literal videos to date. Over were uploaded to YouTube before most were taken down by YouTube itself upon notification of copyright disputes, but many have been restored.
The video was unblocked in and copies of the original, like the one linked to above, began to appear. The longevity of the current unblockage is uncertain, so if you haven't seen it do so quickly before it disappears again.
If it disappears, you can search YouTube for it and there may be another instance of it posted that hasn't yet been taken down. Some recipes ask you to add your sugar in two stageshalf at the beginning and half a little later. This can confuse people who have never done it that way. For example, a winemaker in Huntsville, Alabama wrote:. Compare that number raw s. The must already has 10 oz.
The recipe says to add 1 lb. If you add 1 lb. For persimmon, shoot for If the goal is Let's round that down to 2 lb. Since there is already 10 oz.
If the raw s. There are numerous types of persimmons growing in the United States--both wild and domestic--but the two most common native types are the common persimmon Diospyros virginiana and Texas persimmon Diospyros texana.
The first is found from Connecticut and southeastern New York westward to southeastern Iowa, and south from eastern Texas to the Atlantic. The second is found in Texas and the Gulf states of Mexico. Of the various domesticated persimmons cultivars , the Oriental Persimmon is the most common and many fine varieties have been bredmany of which are nearly seedless and non-astringent. Persimmon trees grow from 25 to 50 feet high and are distinctly male or female in gender.
Domestic persimmons can reach 4 inches or more. They have 4 woody calyx lobes at the base which often can bepulled from the fruit when very ripe.
Wild and many cultivars are quite astringent until ripening around October through December, and then are very sweet and juicy. They ripen to an orange to orange-purple some cultivars turn red and persist on the trees until absolutely ripe, which may not occur until early winter or after the first freeze.
After ripening, the fruit drop or can be shaken from the tree, but if very ripe they can split when they hit the ground still safe to use if harvested right away. Persimmons make a fine, slightly fruity wine, but it will be ruined if any unripened fruit are utilized.
The large, red domesticated Oriental persimmons make the best wine with a delicate, amber color, but the wild natives also make a good-tasting, although somewhat unsightly brown wine. Texas wild persimmons make a brown to black wine, very tasty even though it might look like motor oil. Wash the persimmons, cut into quarters and scoop out the pulp from the skin.
If the persimmons are very ripe which is preferred , you won't be able to cut them into quarters, but you'll figure it out. Mash the seeds out with your hands. Mash the pulp well, put into primary, and add half the sugar, the acid blend, yeast nutrient and crushed Campden tablet. Add water to total one gallon. Stir well to dissolve sugar, cover the primary, and set aside. After 12 hours add pectic enzyme and recover. After another 12 hours, add yeast as a yeast starter solution.
Ferment days, stirring daily. Strain through nylon sieve. Do not be concerned if a lot of fine pulp gets through; it will precipitate out. Add remaining sugar, stir very well to dissolve it completely, then transfer to secondary while leaving about three inches headroom. Fit air lock and set aside. Rack every 30 days until wine clears and no additional lees are laid down months.
Stabilize only if you feel the need to sweeten the wine before bottling. This wine should age in the bottle a year in a dark place. Stir until completely dissolved. I crush the potassium sorbate in my mortar and pestle to aid it in dissolving.
The time spent crushing the K sorbate is about equal to the extra time required to completely dissolve the uncrushed prilled form of the product. The advantage of crushing is that you don't see a lot of undissolved floaters that can take a while to dissolve. After the ingredients are dissolved, stir into the wine, attach airlock, and let the wine sit a while I wait about weeks. Then sweeten and let the wine sit another month to make sure it doesn't referment it shouldn't, but there are no certainties in winemaking and I've had corks blow from bottling too soon after sweetening.
Stabilizing doesn't kill the remaining yeast, but rather renders them incapable of reproducing. Whatever live cells are still in the wine will die of old age eventually, but could get another lease on life from sweetening the wine.
Just watch the airlock and rack off any dead yeast before or during bottling. Another winemaker wrote that someone told her that you should only add enough sugar to bring initial specific gravity to between 1. This is by no means a rule.
That does not mean it is the optimal alcohol range for that particular fruit or berry, but is what I used and is reflected in the recipe. If the wine did well in competition, that is a general indicator that the recipe is "in the ballpark" for that fruit wine. However, most other wine yeasts will yield higher abv levels and require more intervention by the winemaker to balance the wine. As I say in many places on my site, the fruit I use will almost certainly not be identical to the fruit you use if you haven't read that, you really need to read my Basic Steps and other writingsthe archives in my blog, for example.
Let us take fig wine, for example. As far back as I counted 77 fig cultivars offered by nurseries. I tend to make fig wine from three cultivars that are very common in this area as they tolerate our severe heat, low rainfall and alkaline soils.
These three are not the dominate yard figs in East Texas where greater rainfall, humidity and more acidic soils influence what grows best in that area. This example can be applied to any fruit and any geographic area you wish to name. Because the figs I use may not be the same as the ones you use, one has to expect that our wines will differ.
Recipes are just guides. If you follow them as one would a cookbook recipe, you will generally produce a good wine. If you tweak them as an experienced cook or chef might tweak a recipe, they might be greatly improved upon or they might not. Knowing how to tweak a wine is something you just naturally learn as you make more and more batches of wine. I hope this reply helps. The writer referred to above also noted that most wines made by my recipes are very dry, lovely wines with very soft fruit undertones.
They do not, however, taste like the fruit from which they were made, so she asked if adding more fruit might help. Many, many times I've stated that most wines will not taste like the base they were made from, but rather like wine made from that base.
There are dozens of wine grapes which, if eaten along side of the wine made from them, will astound most people in the dissimilarity.
But, having said that, I'll admit that adding more fruit will yield a fruitier flavor. My winemaking guru was the late, legendary C.
Berry, the British authority on homemade wine who wrote prolifically. It took me a long time to realize that Berry's recipes reflected two things. First, his recipes were for Imperial gallons, which are considerably larger than U.
Second, they reflect the economic realities established by seven years of World War II rationing and conservation of food that was continued for a post-war decade it took that long to obtain sufficient stocks to allow people to "splurge". Berry established his recipes during that crucial period and his books were what I cut my teeth on. Thus, his frugality became my frugality, and since I won hundreds of ribbons, medals and top awards I saw no reason to change them. Over the past dozen or so years I have added more and more fruit to my own wines but have not gone back and changed the recipes already posted, which I had adapted or developed early on.
Still, I often use the published amount of fruit because I have grown fond of the wines made with those amounts. So I say unto you, if you are dissatisfied with the taste of any wine made using my recipes, add more fruit next time and see if that is more satistying. I have not written anything here in a long time. I will not go into all the episodes of Murphy's Law I have encountered, but suffice it to say they were numerous and often severe.
Most recently, my health took a turn for the worse and a full diagnosis is still pending. However, I promised someone that I would post my recipe for Black Raspberry Chocolate Port the next time I posted anything, so that is the main event of this entry, followed by a reprint of an earlier piece on Dutched Cocoa Powder, an essential ingredient in the recipe.
Black raspberries and Dutched chocolate make a great combination for a special port wine. I have long kept this recipe a secret-not because I didn't want to share, but because I wanted something that was "just mine" and when I tasted this I knew it was the one. Over the years I have had so many requests for this recipe after I inadvertently mentioned it in a blog post that I had finally decided to share it in a future TidBitt entry, mainly to entice more people to subscribe to that now defunct enterprise.
I suppose the time has come. I have made it several ways, the easiest being using farm squeezed and filtered black raspberry juice. For me, it is also the most expensive since I have to buy the juice from afar and have it shipped to me. The recipe here is my first attempt using frozen black raspberries purchased as a rare find at a local supermarket. I bought the last five remaining 2-pound bags and made a wine and a port side by side using 5 pounds of berries in each.
The frozen berries were tied into fine-mesh nylon straining bags and left to thaw overnight and half of the next day in sealed primaries. The bags of pulp were also returned to the primaries and the primaries were again sealed. After about 8 hours I untied each bag, sprinkled 1 teaspoon pectic enzyme into the pulp while stirring and turning the pulp with a long-handled spoon. The bags were retied, left in the primaries and again sealed. The next morning I began making the wine and port.
I won't mention the wine again so as not to confuse anyone. But it is at this point that the recipe begins.
None of the above will be restated below, so you must include this as prelude to the recipe. While water comes to a boil, place the pressed raspberry pulp in a fine-mesh nylon straining bag or one knee-high ladies nylon stocking tied closed and black raspberry juice in primary. Measure the Dutched cocoa powder see item following this entry for background on Dutch cocoa powder in dry ounces and add to one pint of warm water in a blender until thoroughly mixed.
Add tannin, acid blend and yeast nutrient and pulse in blender to ensure all are well mixed and then set aside. Pour the sugar in the hot water and stir very well to dissolve sugar. Pour over bag of black raspberry pulp. Add the thawed grape concentrate and stir again to integrate. Finally, add the cocoa water while stirring and continue stirring for a full minute. Cover the primary and set aside to cool to room temperature.
When cooled, add activated yeast in starter solution and cover primary with sanitized, high-count muslin. Punch down the bag of raspberries several times a day, checking their condition after several days. When they start looking thoroughly ravaged by the yeast about days , remove the bag and hang to drip-drain do NOT squeeze to extract readily available liquid I hang the bag from a kitchen cabinet door handle with a bowl underneath for about 20 minutes.
Add dripped liquid back to primary and cover primary. When vigorous fermentation slows, transfer to secondary and attach an airlock without topping up.
Allow fermentation to finish and rack. If a slow fermentation lingers rack it anyway. At this point add the fortifying brandy in the amount dictated by the first calculator Blending to Adjust Alcohol at Blending Wines. When you press the Submit button it will tell you how many parts of the base and fortifier are required to achieve Since the answer is in parts, you're going to have to do some math to figure out how many ounces of each to use.
For example, using the input numbers 18, 12 and 40, you get 22 parts base and 6 parts brandy. Use a handheld calculator to divide the number of ounces of base by For example, if you have 13 ounces of black raspberry base, dividing by 22 will give you 0. To that base, you will add 6 x 0.
I once added a blackberry flavored brandy couldn't find black raspberry and the result was good but not outstanding. The blackberry flavoring they used did not compliment the black raspberry.
I recommend using plain brandy. Once the port is blended, set aside in a dark place for 90 days. Personally, I let it bulk age 6 months, but if you are in a hurry 3 months will work.
Some cocoa powder will almost certainly precipitate out as a fine dusting on the bottom. You can carefully rack the port off the dusting and then bottle it or you can very carefully bottle without racking.
Age an additional months in the bottle before tasting. The resulting port is full-bodied and heavenly tasting. To retain color, this port is best bottled in dark glass and cellared in darkness or very low light. I have never oaked this port as I feel it doesn't need it. If you wish to do so, you're on your own. I will offer no advicve on that.
If you have shopped for cocoa powder in any sizeable supermarket, you probably know there are choices. But if your choices are between Baker's, Hershey's and Nestle's, you might consider looking for a larger supermarket. Even then, your choices may be limited but could open up a couple more brands. Why is this important? Because all cocoa powder is not the same, and if you are making a base-chocolate wine, you want the right kind. At the most basic level, there are essentially two kinds of cocoa -- natural and "Dutched.
Natural cocoa powder is made from cocoa beans that are simply roasted, pressed to extract at least half the cocoa butter and then pulverized into a fine powder. Natural cocoa powder has a richer, more acrid aroma, but accordingly has a more acidic and bitter taste.
Contrary to intuition, natural cocoa powder is lighter in color and more difficult to dissolve in water. Dutch-processed cocoa has less acidity, a smoother flavor and darker, redder color, and it is also more soluble, which is really important when making wine.
So, which kind is best for integrating into wine. If you are used to making base-chocolate wines from natural cocoa powder and know how to adjust the amount to balance the acidity, then natural cocoa is probably your best choice except with more delicately flavored base ingredients like strawberry, kiwi, mint, nectarine, and peach. These bases can easily be overwhelmed by a rich, natural cocoa flavor and leave you wondering what the base actually was.
Only the aroma hinted at what was under the chocolate. Still, the aroma was so intense that everyone "tasted" strawberries when in reality they didn't. This was proven when we all pinched closed our noses while drinking the wine and all but one admitted not being able to discern the strawberries. When it comes to baking with cocoa powder, the type you use is dependent on the recipe.
If it calls for natural cocoa powder, you must use it or risk having a flat or dry product. Natural cocoa, you'll remember, is more acidic. As a result it reacts with baking soda and causes a leavening rising action within the batter and finished baked goods. If the recipe isn't clear on which type to use but calls for baking soda, use natural unsweetened cocoa powder. If the recipe leaves out baking soda but includes baking powder, use a Dutch-processed cocoa powder.
It's all in understanding what various ingredients do for a recipe. The same applies to winemaking recipes. The following are some of the Dutch-processed cocoa powders I've identified, although most will never cross your path in a supermarket.
I have only found the Hershey's, Ghiridelli, Lindt, and Penzeys. I am told the U. However, you can buy any of them and a lot more online. As I said, these are some:. There are also some non-branded, generic Dutched cocoa powders that reportedly are high quality.
Most notable of these are Pier 1 Imports, Trader Joes and nuts. But they also sell natural cocoa powders, so read the descriptors carefully or ask before you buy. Absolutely every authority I've read rates it as the very best But I know I am mortal and would like to taste the very best once before I check out. One last thing, most of the online recipes for base-chocolate wines were ripped from my site or adapted from my recipes.
I don't really care about that except if you copy you are supposed to attribute the source. My greater concern is that most copiers and adapters see "4 oz Hershey's Cocoa Powder" in the ingredients but fail to notice or understand the following: There is a huge difference between a half cup and 4 ounces by weight. Four ounces -- that's grams -- of cocoa powder is a lot more than a half cup, in which case you may very well want to use Dutch processed cocoa powder.
In response to many emails and personal inquiries, I must explain that these long interludes between blog entries means life is consuming my time, not that I am experiencing any heavy depression or health problems.
No need for details, as I'm sure they would bore most of you. Filing my taxes and then filing an amended form was nerve-wracking enough. Other complexities, mini-emergencies, technical difficulties, personal demands, and writing projects ate up my time. I regret it, but life happens. I hope to get back on schedule soon. Several upcoming travels will make that difficult. We'll see how it works out. I hope you all have a relaxing yet fulfilling 4th of July.
As you celebrate this holiday, it is worth remembering that of the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence on that date in five were captured, tortured and executed by the British, nine died of wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War, two lost sons serving in the Continental Army, 12 had their homes, properties and businesses burned by the British, and two were wealthy when they signed but died in utter poverty as a result of the war.
That is the price they paid when they pledged upon that piece of parchment their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. We should all remember the cost of our freedom but few do. I hope you take a moment to reflect upon it. The WineBlog and website have now been rendered for mobile devices. In time, I hope to do far more in optimizing the pages for the huge variety of platforms out there.
Naturally, the larger the screen the better. There are many downsides to this rendering. I will work on reducing that in the future. Another is the on-site search engine—it simply doesn't work on mobile devices. I'm sure I'll discover more as time passes. This is all new to me, so please be patient. I was driving home late one night and flipped stations, only to catch the opening notes of an old classic, Al Stewart's Year of the Cat. My God, what a timeless masterpiece. If it had been the only song Al wrote and recorded under the production genius of Alan Parsons it would still make him one of the best song writers of the '70s at the very least.
And you didn't "have to be there" to love it. You only have to listen to it—preferably through headphones in a dark room, where the music and lyrics can carry you wherever.
The '70s was a decade in which you really had to be talented to rise above the outpouring of clutter that filled it. Much was often good, some very good, a few were great, and then there were a very few magical gemstones. Year of the Cat was, and still is, a timeless jewel. The tale of this song has been told and retold so many times it is with hesitancy that I dare to tell it again, but some may never have heard it.
Stewart wrote the music to very different lyrics as a song entitled "The Foot of the Stage. The audience laughed at the man, thinking it was a new routine but totally in character of the man known for his self-deprecating humor.
But to his dismay Stewart realized the man was serious and on the verge of a total breakdown. Stewart wrote the song after Hancock killed himself with a drug overdose in He never released it, feeling it was too dreary and not really wanting to take advantage of the man's tragedy.
At some time Stewart's drummer went on a tour in North Africa. At one small town the man left the tour to visit the bazaar and do some shopping, soak up the local ambiance or whatever, intending to rejoin the tour at the bus. Instead, he saw a woman, a local, walk out into the sun in the stunning dress of flowing silk and he became enraptured.
We don't know if she was a "working girl" or not, but the man had a sensual interlude with her and later realized he had both lost his tour ticket and missed his bus. So he decided to make the most of it and stayed with the woman for some time. We are not told when or how he left. References in the song to the film Casablanca suggest he was in French Morocco.
The title and tag line suggest it was in , the year of the cat in Vietnamese astrology, but it could have been 12 years earlier. Stewart later said he saw a book by that title in a friend's flat and wove it into the song as a time marker.
This fits , as he recorded the song in early Stewart, a Scottish songwriter and performer, was well known by then for his construction of clever lines that captured the imagination and allowed the listener to weave or paint the story in a personal way.
His talent for doing so peaked when he put new lyrics to his "The Foot of the Stage" melody in Year of the Cat. It charted worldwide, especially in China where the audience had no idea what the words meant or the story it told but loved the music and the sounds in the lyrics. The link is to the studio version, but there are live performances on YouTube that are instrumentally better but the lyrics are not as crisp.
The lyrics are below the viewer so you can read along if unfamiliar with the song. But even if you are familiar, it is fun to read the image-inspiring phrases and turns on words. On a morning from a Bogart movie In a country where they turn back time You go strolling through the crowd like Peter Lorre Contemplating a crime She comes out of the sun in a silk dress running Like a watercolour in the rain Don't bother asking for explanations She'll just tell you that she came In the year of the cat.
She doesn't give you time for questions As she locks up your arm in hers And you follow 'till your sense of which direction Completely disappears By the blue tiled walls near the market stalls There's a hidden door she leads you to These days, she says, I feel my life Just like a river running through The year of the cat. She looks at you so cooly And her eyes shine like the moon in the sea She comes in incense and patchouli So you take her, to find what's waiting inside The year of the cat.
Well morning comes and you're still with her And the bus and the tourists are gone And you've thrown away the choice and lost your ticket So you have to stay on But the drum-beat strains of the night remain In the rhythm of the new-born day You know sometime you're bound to leave her But for now you're going to stay In the year of the cat.
When I recently received a request for a recipe to make wine from unspecified grapes, I did the best I could with what little information I had. Despite inquiries, the gentleman could not tell me what kind they are. It makes a difference, as it could take between 12 to 18 pounds of grapes per gallon of wine. Only after I gave it my best shot did he mention they were cultivated grapes, but could not or did not identify them. What follows is my reply, edited somewhat for a larger audience.
First, some remarks on what is desired when you request a recipe. The original request was, "I'm looking for a proven recipe to make wine from grapes We are planning on picking them in September from a local grower and going from there. I would like to try and do around 30 gallons.
If one wants a good, reliable answer, then one needs to supply good, reliable information. Are they wild grapes or cultivars, red grapes or white, wine grapes or table grapes? Taking the time to contact the grower and identify the cultivar would help a lot. There are an estimated 60, cultivated grapes. No one recipe fits all. Since no further information came back to me, I selected 15 pounds per gallon as a working number, realizing this could be too many or too few.
I cannot over-emphasize the importance of specificity when requesting assistence. I don't order those I know the equivalency of and are readily available in the US. I keep my yeast in a container in a spare refrigerator used for chill-proofing carboys of wine, so it only has a top shelf with about 8 inches of clearance, a bottom shelf to keep the carboys off the original plastic shelf, the meat and vegetable bins I rarely use, and a freezer section stuffed with ZipLoc bags of grapes and other goodies.
Two months ago I was "taking inventory" by thumbing through the long plastic container I keep my wine yeast inI keep between sachets packets of yeast on hand all the time you never know what you might need. My inventory sheet long ago became unusable due to too many notations, erasures and additions, so I just thumb through them every now and then. It was then I noticed a packet that had slid down under the other packets. I have never just thrown out a yeast without giving it a chance, so I brought it to my kitchen refrigerator and stood it upright against a tub of butter.
Every time I opened the refrigerator I saw it and that and chance finally motivated me to try it. I was in my local supermarket and saw a bin of yellow honeydew melons at a good price. I tested them by pressing the flower end and found several that signaled they were close to full ripeness.
I bought 4 and set them on the kitchen counter. After 4 days I let the yeast come to room temperature and made a yeast starter using orange juice, sugar and yeast nutrients. I sprinkled the yeast in the starter, whisked it a bit with a fork and covered it with a coffee filter held in place with a rubber band.
I fed it every 8 hours for three days. At that time I began a second starter using Lalvin QA But that evening I noticed activity in the Young's starter.
I kept both starters going and the next day began chilling them and the melons in my second refrigerator, reset to 55 degrees F. I also chilled the melons. The next day I cut and chopped the yellow honeydews, stuffed them in a sanitized knee-high nylon stocking and pressed them in my basket press. I adjusted acidity, sugar, added nutrients and a dash of powdered tannin, and now had to choose the yeast.
I chose the Young's and used the QA23 on a hurriedly prepared must of dried hibiscus flowers and frozen mulberries. Nine years past its expiration date and the Young's yeast was still viable. What's more, it carried the yellow honeydew to an educated estimate Lesson learneddon't give up on an old yeast if you stored it in a refrigerator. Just treat it with respect and give it time. In melon wines, that is critical.
I used the steps elucidated in the current June-July issue of WineMaker magazine, pp. Not a subscriber to WineMaker yet? You can correct that by subscribing here. You can also order back issues. I've received several emails and two phone calls about my message in TidBitts about March 30th being my last entry.
TidBitts itself is shutting down on March 31st. Let me explain it here. TidBitts is a platform that allowed people like me to make periodic or, in my case, twice-weekly posts of exclusive content not published elsewhere. The venture was based on obtaining a certain number of subscribers to pay for all the people working behind the scenes that did PR, creator and subscriber support, IT technicians, etc.
After several months of operation September through February , the number of subscribers required to make payroll and access fees did not materialize. Thus, they had to fold. My own experience was a slow start and then a rising momentum of subscriptions until TidBitts made a promotional change and new subscriptions slowed and almost stopped. I believe they made a crucial mistake when they changed from "the first month free" to "a day free trial. With "the first month free," you had to subscribe to gain access to the content.
At the end of the first month you could actually cancel and pay nothing, but if you did nothing you would be charged the subscription fee each month until you chose to cancel. On the other hand, at the end of the "day free trial" you had to then subscribe, but there was no mechanism in place to prevent you from simply signing up for another day free trial.
There was no incentive to require you to subscribe. In the "first month free" model one was already a subscriber. New subscriptions almost stopped under the "day free trial" model. I suspect all TidBitts authors experienced the same loss of subscription momentum.
Whatever the reason, TidBitts simply did not obtain enough subscriptions to render their publishing platform viable. I'm sad to see the venture fail.
I had much more to publish and am sorry that opportunity will soon be gone. I thank all of you who did support Winemaking With Jack Keller. I owe you a debt of gratitude. Drop me a line at WinemakingWithJackKeller at outlook.
One of 5 bottles of sealed wine salvaged from the Civil War blockade runner Mary-Celestia, which sank off Bermuda in , was uncorked and tasted in Charleston, South Carolina on Friday, March 6, The wine was grey and undrinkable. The wine experts present said it actually smelled and tasted like crab water, gasoline, salt water, vinegar, with hints of citrus and alcohol. With no label to identify it, it is most likely the wine was heavily fortified or was in fact a brandy.
Some wines salvaged from shipwrecks actually taste great, having aged slowly in the cold depths and covering of the seabed. In this case, however, sea water obviously invade the wine through its cork closure. A sample smelled like camphor, stagnant water, hydrocarbons, turpentine and sulphur, wine chemist Pierre Louis Teissedre of the University of Bordeaux said after analysing samples. You can read the full story at the link at the end of today's entry.
Yesterday I bought 4 avocados. This morning I struggled to even cut one in half and then had to pry the two halves apart. Try as I did, I could not pry the seed from the half containing it. I went to the internet to see what might be done and read several blog entries and threads on using microwaves to soften the flesh. Some reported failure while others reported success.
I decided to give it a try. First, a little background. I eat an avocado a day as a healthy snack. One of my local supermarkets began importing avocados from Mexico that were consistently badlarge portions of flesh that were brown and showed signs of larva infestation.
Those that were sound tasted bland to badnothing like an avocado should taste. I complained repeatedly to no avail. So, I took my business to the other big supermarket in my town.
The first avocado I cut open from the other supermarket was terribly under-ripe. I decided to try using the microwave oven to soften it up. Thirty seconds on high caused some give, but not enough. An additional 30 seconds created some more softness and freed the large seed, but the center of the flesh was still very hard, so back to the microwave it went for a third 30 seconds.
When removed, the halves were too hot to handle. You could say they was cooked. With the use of w kitchen mitten and spoon the flesh was removed from the skin, but it was still pretty hard and the bright green of an unripe avocado. I considered what I might do. I took the idea of a blog entry I had read and placed the two halves in a bowl large enough for my potato masher to lay flat against the bottom. It was difficult to mash but yielded to determination until it was chunky but spreadable.
The avocado was turning greenish brown but that could have been because of the blending. I tasted it and decided it needed a bit of sweetness, so I added about two teaspoons of mint jelly and blended it in with a fork. While two halves of an English muffin were toasting I cut two thick slices of tomato and microwaved them 30 seconds. The avocado mix was liberally applied to the muffin halves, topped with warm tomato slices and served open-face. I had enough to smother two more English muffin halves topped with warm tomato halves.
It was a wonderful breakfast! After all the marmalade, wine and frozen juice I made with the Meyer Lemons I was gifted see Feb 23, entry , I still had 12 Meyer lemons spread on newspaper on the living room floor. I also had 3 pounds of orange blossom honey. The solution was obvious. Because Meyer lemons ares sweeter than regular lemons, I decided to go all in. I juiced 6 lemons and produced 1 level quart of juice, quite a bit more than I'd normally use but I decided to take a chanceColumbus did.
Here is what I did. Number of Meyer lemons used depends on their size and the juice produced. More pectic enzyme may be be needed if mead does not clear. If unable to separate inner membrane from peel, use sharp paring knife to cut outer peel off in strips and place in jelly bag, tied closed. Add finely crushed Campden tablet not listed at first and third racking and before bottling, if needed. Stabilize with potassium sorbate not listed months before sweetening.
Make a yeast starter solution. Put 1 quart of water on to boil and stir in honey until dissolved. When water boils, remove from heat and skin off any scum.
Cut lemons in half and juice them, reserving juice and discard any seeds pulp removed during juicing can be used in a number of waysjust think about it. Turn lemon halved inside out and with a sharp paring knife start separating membrane from peel, then just pull the membrane off and put with saved pulp. Cut peeling halves into quarters and place in primary or, optionally, put in jelly bag, tie closed and toss in primary.
Add all remaining ingredients except yeast to primary and pour in honey water and then enough water to make 1 gallon.
When water cools to room temperature record specific gravity sg , add yeast starter solution, cover, and set aside. When vigorous fermentation subsides remove lemon peels and discard, transfer mead to secondary and affix airlock. Rack after 45 days and measure sg regularly weekly. When at or below sg 1. If not at or below sg 1. Mead takes longer to ferment than wine so be patient.
If mead does not clear when at or below sg 1. If mead is not bone dry sg 0. Even slightly hazy honey will spoil the polished clarity of a mead, although this can be corrected with bulk aging recommended or filtration. I have never used this much lemon in any wine or mead, but these are Meyer lemons and they are not nearly as tart as regular lemons.
I've eaten one a day for the past two weeks, so I know their tartness. The recipe dilutes this tartness by one-fourth, but I suspect it will still require some sweetening to balance. Just how much I don't know. I am still making this mead myself. But I have played with this lemon's juice for two weeks now and I am confident it can be managed or I wouldn't publish it before I've tasted the results.
But if you want to wait, I'll report on it here when it's ready. It seems like once a year I realize that even if all the checks I have written that haven't yet cleared are accounted for, my balance and the bank's balance are different. I guess I need to start using a calculator. Please don't write suggesting electronic banking.
I'm not gonna do it! Without a little pain and suffering, what would be the point of it all? Many times I've explained that I do not use blogging software to publish the WineBlog or The Winemaking Home Page , but rather do all the coding and markup myself.
I choose to do it this way so this is a bed I have chosen to lay in. Any sample of HTML markup could demonstrate how it is done. So why mention this at all? Simply because I want you to know that writing a WineBlog entry isn't just sitting down and writing. It also includes the extra time and attention it takes to markup the text so your computer can display it the way I intended. The extra time is probably not all that long—maybe minutes max—when all goes well.
But it doesn't always go well. All too often what I intend and what displays are two entirely different things. Then I go into troubleshooting mode and try to locate the problem. Sometimes it's easy—a missed open- or close-tag bracket technically, a "less than" or "greater than" symbol —but sometimes it is very difficult to find the problem. A typical difficulty is when a comma is inserted in the markup where a period goes.
Sounds easy to spot but it isn't when you've got advanced macula degeneration and, even with frequest prescription glasses upgrades, they tend to look alike at times, especially after more than a few hours at the computer or delving into reference books.
I once spent over two hours trying to figure out why a code snippet didn't work when it was copied and pasted from a sample that always worked. Turns out that when I typed in the variables that related to the current content, I inadvertently entered a capital "o" O instead of a "zero" 0.
Every time I checked my variables the O looked like a 0. I only discovered the problem when I retyped the variables one letter or digit at a time, running the snippet after each singular entry. What I'm trying to do here is explain why things don't always look right. My vision is deteriorating quicker than I ever anticipated. I require periodic injections in my left eye just to slow down the inevitable.
Very often I see slightly double. My right eye is registering the image in the right place but my left eye is shifting the image to the right just a tad. Just enough to frequently hit the key to the right of the one intended. When that happens repeatedly, I compensate by typing the key to the right of what is intended. The result is I usually hit the correct key but sometimes actually hit the one to the right. I write less and less because of it. My TidBitts were just the right length to get in and get out without fatiguing my eyes to the point where I started seeing double.
Every now and then someone contacts me to say my page is screwed up in some way. Last night I was told my recipe ingredients were all run together on both Firefox and Opera. I then spent well over 3 hours trying work-arounds to make them appear as I intended on those two browsers. There are standards for HTML and CSS, the two major components that tell a browser how to interpret and display the coding sent to them.
I am not up-to-date on the latest standards but have slowly attempted to incorporate new elements as I can. Just so you understand what is involved, It would take the better part of an entire day and evening to bring any one of my archived files to where this page is and it is not where it should be as they would have to be completely recoded.
Someday I may have time to do this, but it isn't in my near future. When my current page displays inaccurately on one or two browsers it means those browsers haven't adopted the standards for the elements I've incorporated or I have simply done it wrong. Essentially, I write for the Chrome browser.
I long ago gave up on Internet Explorer , which often seems slower than me in adapting to new standards. For a while, I looked at my entries in five different browsers and most of what I posted consistently displayed okay in four of them.
Then I got real busy and stopped checking the various browsers. The result is the message I received yesterday. If you think this blog is not displaying correctly on your laptop or PC, please let me know. I know it doesn't display worth a damn on handheld devices but my TidBitts stream does. It will get there one day, but not tomorrow. In the meantime, please let me know of obvious display problems you have on your PC or laptop.
I'll appreciate it very much. Sometimes a gift can be overwhelming. A friend said her friend had a Meyer lemon tree and they had used all they wanted, given others all they wanted, and still had more on the tree.
If I wanted them she would pick me up. I said sure and asked what size bag I should bring. She said to empty my laundry basket. It holds at least a bushel and we filled that sucker to over-flowing and still there were lemons left on the tree. It is thought to be a cross, probably natural, between a true lemon and either a Mandarin orange or true orange, all of which are native to China. A typical Meyer lemon is large, about the size of a normal navel orange, but some are much larger.
They have a thin peel which is easy to remove by hand. They are much sweeter than true lemons and the sections can be eaten raw as a fruit, Their taste is much better than true lemons and certainly better my opinion than sour oranges.
Previously, I was familiar with very thick-skinned Meyer lemons in California but learned that the thick peel is a result of nitrogen or potassium deficiency and seasonal applications of the right fertilizer will eliminate the thick peel.
They are not two variants of the Meyer lemon. The thin peels make excellent marmalade. I use the attachment to my food processor for juicing citrus and it does a magnificent job of removing most of the pulp as well, which is caught in a strainer.
I have made three half-gallon batches of Meyer lemon marmalade, a 5-gallon batch of Meyer lemon wine, a Meyer lemon pie, stored three quart bags of Meyer lemon peel for future marmalade in the freezer, six quarts of frozen juice, and still I have a 5-gallon pail of Meyer lemons. Most of you know that now and then I share with you what I consider to be special moments in musical performance or stylistic development.
I do this because music touches my heart so very dearly that I just want to share it and explain why a performance is special to me. There are talent auditions that are timeless. Susan Boyle and Jackie Evancho are two that jump immediately to mind, but the list is much longer and yet it is also short—less than a dozen have enriched my soul to the point of bringing tears.
In October on Holland's Got Talent a 9-year old delivered one of the most astounding auditions in history. A petite Amira Willighagen stood calmly on the stage and began to sing. Few singers rise to such prominence that they are immediately recognized by fans by their first name alone—Elvis, Cher, Reba, Beyonce, and Madonna are some—but after this single performance Amira meant only one person to millions.
Please do yourself a favor and watch the video to see why. Incredibly, she did this without having a single singing lesson—she heard the song, learned it and found the notes on her own.
This performance was so astoundingly good that she was awarded a "Golden Ticket" straight to the finals, without having to win weekly competitions to get there. This darling girl with the big smile, the friendly wave and a voice that is rare beyond belief went on to win the competition. For those who do not know Dutch, here are a some links to other performances for English speakers: To be up-front, a ounce jar of "Bread and Lettuce Sepo Sauce" was sent to me by the manufacturer to try.
It looked like brown mustard and I already had two jars open in my refrigerator—a spicy Colman's and a coarse Dijon, so this sat on my kitchen counter for a while. When I finally opened and used it, I kicked myself for waiting so long. This stuff is amazing to me, at least—your mileage may vary. Called "Bread and Lettuce Sepo Sauce," the name hardly says it all. My first use of this was on a fluffy salad of hearts of romaine, baby spinach, arugala, and red lettuce, with thin slices of portabella, Roma tomato, English cucumber, and cashew nuts, plus a dusting of ground flax seed.
To be honest, I dribbled the sauce sparingly over the salad, unsure of what it would taste like. Lightly tossed, I took a bite and began chewing. Wonderful things began happening in my mouth. I quickly added more to the salad and tossed again. Just what the doctor ordered! Besides the Dijon mustard, the flavors of garlic, basalmic, onion, and a slight hint of something peppery melded together perfectly into a creamy masterpiece. This is a mayonnaise-based spicy blend, smooth and easy to fold into salads of all kinds—spicy and savory but not piquant, not hot.
After several salads, I finally decided to try it on the other part of its name—bread. I visited a local barbecue place and bought some of their black bread. I love to toast it, smear it with Dijon mustard, place ham and cheese on it, pop it in the microwave for about 45 seconds, and eat it hot. The Sepo Sauce was as detectable as the black bread, ham and cheese, but the balance was perfect.
Since then I have tried it on a variety of sandwiches without a single regret. I once stayed in an English inn near Wales and for breakfast was served two broiled tomato halves with an unknown salty cheese melted on top, poached egg, ham, and fresh-baked rolls with butter and strawberry jam.
I occasionally attempt to repeat this breakfast and it has evolved with my own tweaks. I sprinkle a Creole spice mix on firm tomato halves, broil them until the edges begin to blacken, take them out and top with pre-cut cheese rounds, return these to the broiler until the cheese browns and blisters, and serve with chewy thick-cut bacon, eggs over-medium and fresh baked biscuits, butter and marmalade.
Cowen first moved into a cabin owned by Richard Redden, and afterwards to Miles T. There were four men now in Hiram who had served in the war of the Revolution.
Daniel Tilden, who was a lieutenant, and who was a pensioner, old Mr. Orman Newcomb now lives. He had a large family among which were John Jr. John married for his first wife a daughter of Judge Atwater, of Mantua, and raised a large family. Zeb married a daughter of Elijah Mason, and is the father of General Garfield's wife.
The family emigrated to Ohio from Maryland, John Jr. In the Center district a little time afterwards, a frame building was put up to subserve the purpose of a school house, and with a Masonic hall above, but it was never completed. Some years previous to this Thomas Johnson and Elisha Hutchinson built each a frame barn which were the first two frame buildings in the town.
About the same time, or 20, Jesse Bruce came into the township with his family and built the first frame dwelling house in the township.
It stood on the hill a few rods east of Alvah Udall's barn on lot 25; a few years later he moved on to the east part of lot 24, and died there. He was one of the first carpenters in the township and put up many buildings; his family moved to the Western States. In the first military company was organized by the election of Symonds Ryder, captain; Ryder had previously been an ensign in the company formed by Hiram and Nelson Orrin Hutchinson lieutenant; Silas Raymond, ensign; John Tilden, orderly sergeant; George Udall, drummer; John M.
Udall and Tilden afterwards became drum and fife majors of the regiment Forty years ago on the 28th of June, the year , on a pleasant Sabbath evening could have been see Wm. Jones and Augusta E. Bump of Mantua, quietly wending their way along the rough and newly-cut road through unbroken forests, to the rude and humble home of Symonds Ryder, to have their willing hands and loving hearts which had long been one in the sight of God, but now to be joined in the sight of man, never to be severed until He who gave should call them home.
They found the good man quietly milking his cow, but he soon rolled down his sleeves of home-spun linen and quickly joined the happy pair in the bands of wedlock, gave them his blessing, and they went on their way rejoicing In the winter of Joseph Smith, Jr. During the next spring and summer several converts were made and matters seemed to be going on prosperously for the "Latter Day Saints.
Those papers revealed a deeply laid plot to get possession of the property of their converts and place it under control of Joseph Smith, their prophet. This opened the eyes of the Hiramites and by fall the Mormon church in the township was [a] very lank concern.
It was determined by some not to suffer this flagrant attempt at humbug and swindle to pass with impunity. Accordingly in March, , a company of men from Shalersville, Garrettsville, and Hiram, went under cover of night to Mormon headquarters and took the saints, Smith and Rigdon, from their beds, and denuding them of their sleeping costumes, gave them a plentiful covering with tar and feathers and at the same time gave them the pleasure of "riding on a rail.
This produced the desired result, for the township was soon purged of their presence. They went to Kirtland where Mormonism flourished until , when their emigration to Missouri took place. It is highly probable that had it not been for the discovery of this plot and the resulting tar and feather visitation of the prophets, that Hiram would have been revealed to be a State [sic - Stake] of Zion.
Several of the men who engaged in this summary proceeding are still living, no doubt with the consciousness of having contributed a public benefaction, while others perhaps with more deliberate judgment would decide that mobs and persecutions were not conducive to the welfare of mankind and do not tend to the eradication of evil.
The prevailing religious sentiment up to this had been and for a short time subsequent continued to be, Baptist. This denomination had a small church building at the Rapids which has since been burned. The Congregationalists also had a small church organization at the same place, but it proved too weak to sustain itself.
On the first day of March a church of Disciples was organized at the south road school house, consisting at first of thirteen members. In one year its membership embraced twenty-one, and it continued to steadily increase and prosper until it now numbers between two and three hundred.
In its members erected a church building at the Center which was burned in about twelve years thereafter to be succeeded by the fine and commodious brick edifice that now stands upon the site of the old building The Stark [ County ] Democrat. Canton, Ohio, Thursday, October 7, You can hardly think of one without thinking of the other. Both rested in the midst of fertile plains, Sodom and Utah.
Both were near salt and fish-less seas. Both were the capitals of the most accursed wickedness. In a company of emigrants from Arkansas set out to better their condition in California. They were good, respectable people, but they did what appears to me a most terrible thing -- made the transit of the continent by an emigrant wagon. They suffered everything on their way. By night fires kept away the wolves.
By day they stared danger and starvation in the face; tender womanhood and children were there crying for rest. There were in the company, and their way lay across Utah territory. It had been the custom for the emigrant trains to stop in the Utah country and take in new supplies of provision; but Brigham Young had heard of this company, and forbade any one extending even the hand of bought kindness to these emigrants and why?
It was a revenge for the fate of Elder Pratt, who had been killed in Arkansas where he had stolen away a man's wife and brought her into Momonism. On, on went the emigrant train, suffering all indignities, until they came into Mountain Meadow.
The Indians dashed down upon them, but a temporary barricade was successfully thrown up. Then the Mormon militia came down to their murderous work; but you know how men fight when they are fighting for their wives and children. They were imprisoned in a death-trap, and oh, how they suffered for water, with the spring justt outside, under the sweep of the Mormon rifles. Two little girls, clad in white, were sent out from the barricade to get water. No sooner were they seen than they were shot dead; appeals were made, and three brave fellows volunteered to go out to make the attempt to push on to California and secure help.
They were prayed for by the whole band and went out to be butchered. Time passed by and one day wagons were seen coming. They were met, and assurance was given the emigrants that they could pass on peacefully upon giving up their arms.
They laid them down and walked out -- first the men, then the women and the children. Then came that blot upon our country's record, the Mountain Meadow massacre. Mormon rifles and daggers and knives slew all save a few little children who were thought too little to tell the story. Women sick within the barricade were taken out into the presence of their murdered husbands, stripped of their clothing, and hurled, as they received their death wounds, upon the heap of corpses.
Years after, one of those saved children saw a dress in the possession of a Mormon woman, and exclaimed, "That is the dress that mamma used to wear. Lee was the presiding spirit of that massacre; and when, fifteen years after, he gave his testimony, he said he had orders to do what he did, and that the property taken went to the Mormon power. Carleton passed over the grounds and gathered the skeletons of the martyrs into decent graves, placed over them the inscription, ''Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord.
It is this same Mormonism that I arraign to-day for trial before you, a jury of American people, for disgracing manhood and dishonoring womanhood. Gory, ghastly, hideous, revolting Mormonism, stand up and look into the faces of the American jury that is to try you. This summer, as well as on a previous occasion, I had the opportunity of inspecting this iniquity and of asking many questions, and having them answered by anti-Mormons and Mormons. The Governor of Utah called upon me and asked me, and asked me, when I got home, to present the subject to the people of the East.
I promised to do so, and this morning I redeem that promise. They tell us it is dying out. It is a lie. Seven hundred and fifty arrived but a few days before we got there; ten thousand have been added the past year, and miasionaries are now out to gather up victims from other lands.
Our own fair East, and Great Britain, Norway and Sweden are scoured by the licensed procurers, and only recently a number of Scotch Presbyterians fell into their hands. These missionaries are compelled to go out, for this whole system is cruel and Herodic. These missionaries go to those who have to struggle for life, and beguile the weary with fair promises. They are taxed till the blood comes, and the only escape is the grave. I charge Mormonism with being one great cruelty.
No one denies the existence of the Danites. The Hickman butcheries were Brigham Young's own, and he should have fallen for their expiation. I saw a cellar in which a mother and her two sons had been murdered, for no reason but that they had divulged the secrets of the Endowment House. They have a delicious vernacular. When they speak of putting a party to death, he either has "met with an accident," or "has been unfortunate," or "has been cut off just below the ears.
Because a regiment of United States troops are stationed on the hills overlooking the city, and may at any time rake the city with shrapnel. Not because Mormonism is any the less brutal and bloody, but because it has not the courage, is it now in comparative rest. I charge Mormonism with treachery to the United States Government. There is an oath taken in the Endowment House which is above all other oaths, and perjury is not such when it merely breaks a Gentile or Government oath.
Mormonism hates the United States Government, and is a thorn in the side of the Constitution. There is a man in Salt Lake City who had for his wives a mother, grandmother and granddaughter. As the family increases, the house is increased in size; forgetting that no house is large enough to hold two women married to the same men -- applause and laughter -- marriage becomes a farce for there never yet was a woman who could truthfully divide a husband's affection with another.
They may smile, but they have no mirth. An aged woman in Mormonism is a wretched object, in other lands and in civilized communities the softer chair is the throne of the grandmother. As her wrinkles increase, so do our love and veneration for her.
But in the Mormon house, when when women get old they are pushed backward and outward, as the younger rivals take their place and in turn give way to others, Mormonism is hell. This corpse has been rotting in the sun out on our fair plains of the West for forty years, and the United States Government has not had courage to bury it.
All the time it has been growinig in influence. Once it meant Utah; now it means Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico, while the circle is widening as the influence goes forth to debach the nation.
When a committee of Congress was appointed to examine, one of the members asked why all this fuss about polygamy, because the Mormons make the having of four wives a part of their religion; while some members of Congress have four wives without the pretense of any religion. The United States stands convicted of inefficiency when it permits that gigantic indecency to go on. The curse of God will come down on this nation if we do not extirpate it.
Would you interfere with a man's religion? The Mormon may believe Joe Smith a god, and Brigham Young the second person of the god-head; but polygamy is against morality, and therefore should be destroyed, and it never will be destroyed except by the Government.
It will not be war; it will be police duty by the troops. Gen, Johnson in , with his troops, might have destroyed it when sent out by President Buchanan, had he marched right on; but here was not moral courage enough in the Administration, and Gov.
Not an Administration since has had the power and the will to throttle the evil. We go and look at it and pass on. Grant went; Secretary Schurz went; President Hayes went -- everybody goes and looks and comes away.
They cling to their idols and receive you with courtesy. They bow you into one city and bow you out of it; and I never had a more genial audience than one I addressed in this Mormon city. But if I were a believer in the transmigration of souls, I would pray that the spirit of Andrew Jackson might get into the soul of the soldier President who is to succeed him -- applause -- and in thirty days every Mormon would either be living with one wife, would go to jail or would leave the country.
If they submit, all well; if not, then cannon of the largest bore to thunder morality into their ears. Arbitration by all means, then howitzers and bullets, bayonets and cannon balls. If a pack of them should squat on one of our territories, and say that robbery was a part of their religion, how long would they be permitted to exist? I call the attention of the American Congress to this evil. Let some Senator, with a good morality of his own, lift up the anti-Mormon standard and expose the record, and he will gather about him an overwhelming following.
It has got to be done. Let the man go forward in the name of God, and he will make his everlasting political fortune. Why do we have a campaign, and as our issue, exhume only the dry mummy of African slavery out of our soil, and toss it about as a weapon, when here we have a live, aggressive subject? Take some of the money that is being poured into the lap of this mother of harlots. Utah is rich enough to pay for all the surgery of taking out this cancer from our social and political body.
I make no war against Mormonism as a religion; but only as it is an insult to morality, The knife broke up Judge Drummond's court in , and it was the same spirit that piled loose rocks on the edges of the canyons over the roads, ready to roll down on the United States troops.
Now I have impanelled you as a jury. Are you ready for the verdict? What say you, guilty or not guilty? When shall the execution take place? Let the scaffold rest, one end on the Sierra Nevadas and the other end on the Rocky Mountains.
What grave shall be deep enough to bury this thousand armed, thousand footed, thousand headed corpse, and put upon a monument high enough for the world to see, "Born Feb. I make a plea for the 15, Gentiles who live on in hope in the midst of that abomination there, I plead for the thousands of emigrants coming and yet to come. I plead for the women of Mormondom, who live and die in mute despair. I plead for the womanhood grieved till it cannot weep, living on in the horrible pandemonium of a polygamous home.
O, men with wives and mothers, and daughters and sisters, does not your blood run cold at the story of the great crime? O, you wives and women, sympathize with your sisters dying the still death of Mormonism. The one great sin in our republic. The best cornerstone of a republic is the hearthstone. May God keep it inviolate. Talmadge gave various versions of this speech during , in different cities.
Cincinnati, Saturday, January 29, Special Correspondence to the Cincinnati Gazette. The village of Kirtland, two miles south of Gen. Garfield's residence, is a place of interest to many persons who come from distant parts of the country to visit Mentor. It was once the Mecca of the Mormons, and that strange sect still have an interest in it. Their first temple was built in Kirtland in , and still stands in good repair, a monument of the methodical fanaticism which has culminated in Utah.
It is a stone building, eighty feet long by sixty in width, and the walls are about fifty feet high. It stands on a hill, and presents an imposing appearance. For a long time the ownership of this temple was in dispute, but it was filially settled in February, , Joseph Smith of Plano, Illinois, the son of the original Mormon prophet, holds the property now as the trustee of the "Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints," his title being confirmed by a decision of the Common Pleas Court of Lake County.
The original Mormon Church was organized in Palmyra, N. A few months since its members, headed by Joseph Smith, removed to Kirtland, where Smith's co-laborer, Sidney Rigdon, a disciple Campbellite preacher, had already gathered a congregation of fanatical religionists, who readily embraced the new faith, and combining with the colony from New York, formed a strong community. Many converts were made in Mentor, and other adjoining towns, some of whom were persons of considerable wealth.
They established a mill, store, bank and printing offlce in Kirtland, and for some years carried on a lively and prosperous business. In conversing with the older people in this vicinity, I find that their earliest recollections of Mormonism in Kirtland are in regard to the bank. It was a "wildcat" institution, of the class that flourished in those good old Democratic days before the wicked Republican party gave to the country an honest banking system and a sound currency. No legal checks or safeguards hampered the financial genius of the Latter Day Saints; and they made the volume of their paper money equal to the demands of trade in this section of country.
The connection of several wealthy men with the enterprise gave it an advantage in gaining the confidence of the public, and as the notes of the bank were for some promptly redeemed on presentation, a fair credit was established, and a very large circulation was soon afloat.
Farms, live stock, lumber, and indeed all kinds of property were bought by the Mormons wherever the notes of the bank could be used in payment. One of these notes lies before me as I write, and is an interesting relic of early Mormonism and of the financiering that was popu'ar forty or fifty years ago. Leaving off the figures, which were handsomely engraved on the margins, the face of the note reads as follows: The bank began business in and collapsed in When the inevitable crash came, Smith and Rigdon fled to the West to escape the wrath of hundreds of swindled Gentiles whose worldly goods had been exchanged for Mormon "money.
But thenceforth the Kirtland "Zion" was too hot for them and they removed as rapidly as possible to Independence, Missouri, then to Nauvoo, Ill. A few of the original Mormons, however, are still to be found in Mentor and vicinity. They are all aged people, and none of the peculiar features which Brigham Young added to Mormonism seem to have any attractions for them.
They denounce the polygamists as apostates, stoutly deny the complicity of the prophet Joseph in the introduction of polygamy, and adheres to his son Joseph of Plano, III. They are still full of the strange fanaticism which led them into Mormonism, and although for half a century their expectations have been disappointed, they still look daily for the "end of the world" and the literal "coming of the Lord.
The farm on which General Garfield lives was owned by a Mormon in those palmy days of religion and financial inflation, when this region was the hotbed of Mormonism.
The General is familiar with the early history of this strange sect, and has a hearty abhorence of the iniquities which have characterized it from its birth, In the judgment of a very large class of his countrymen, his official attitude toward the Salt Lake abomination is of far greater importance than the. During his administration we may confidently hope for a real advance toward the destruction of the surviving "twin relic of barbarism" which now disgraces the republic.
A strange and yet not wholly improbable way of peaceably settling the question would be the acceptance of Joseph Smith's leadership by the Church in Utah, and a "revelation" through him of the necessity of stopping the further progress of polygamy.
As the son and heir of the original prophet he has much prestige, even in Utah, and he is carrying on quite an extensive and systematic missionary work In many of the States, steadily increasing the number of his followers, all of whom are taught to regard polygamy as a fatal heresy.
He has a printing house at Plano, where he publishes the Saints' Herald, a monthly journal and various Mormon books and tracts, including the "Book of Mormon. Cincinnati, Ohio, Saturday, February 26, First it is the home of the President-elect, a fact pretty generally well known by this time; and second, it contains the renowned "Mormon Temple.
It is situated about three or four miles from the residence of the President-elect in the now quiet and almost obliviated town of Kirtland. It is built on a commanding point of land, and is visible long before the village is reached. The temple is of plain sandstone, and is strongly and substantially constructed.
The visitor's first impressions on viewing the temple are the peculiarity of its architecture and its remarkable height. It is two stories high, and two rows of singularly arranged windows run entirely around the building.
Two massive green colored doors form the entrance to the front of the Temple. Its interior construction is unique and peculiar. The pews occupy the middle of the lower floor and are flanked at both ends of the church by terraced pulpits.
Initial letters representing the degrees of officers and deacons are fastened on the front of these. Passing upstairs we find the upper section much the same except that a few modern improvements have been made in the pews. There is still another room above, through which we passed. It was used as a conference room by the officers of the church. After leaving the church the Commercial's representative called on a resident of the little village who remembered distinctly the first settlement in He informed us that at one time between 3, and 4, Mormons were in Kirtland and worshiped at the Temple.
Three years after the settlement, or in , the Temple was completed. A Mormon bank was established and did a rushing business. But little by little the church divided into factions and left, and no services had been held therein for two years.
There are now but two followers of the Mormon faith in Kirtland. The Temple is a great curiosity to tourists, and in the summer time it is well patronized. The structure is now the property of Joseph Smith, jr. Canton, Ohio, Tuesday, July 19, They were encased in a cotton bag, and Mr. Wells did not actually see them, but from their lack of weight he did not believe they were metal plates as Joe Smith alleged, but were slates. He was greatly tempted to "smash" them; and if he had -- where would Mormonism have been today?
Wells died in He was married there in and his first four children were born in Palmyra bewteen and In he joined with other freighters to form the American Express Company. In Wells Fargo separated its banking and express operations, and by American Express was an independent corporation.
Wells was thus the co-founder of two of America's best known companies. His business grew until it needed a horse and wagon. This, merged with others, became the American Express Co.
Henry Wells married his first wife Sally Daggett in the little weather beaten house that stands opposite Stafford street on the north side of Main street. Cook reprinted a series of old articles from the Palmyra Courier-Journal, under the title of Palmyra and Vicinity, and on page he stated: On this lot was a house and blacksmith shop. Later Levi Daggett occupied both. His daughter Sarah married Henry Wells, prominent in connection with the express business.
According to an sermon delivered by the Rev. Horace Eaton, in Palmyra: This house was occupied by the father of Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, who came from Sharon Vt. Cincinnati, Monday, December 12, Your correspondent, familiar with this valley, which lies in the southern part of Washington county, Pa.
There, near the town of Ten Mile, in a comely farm house, neat without and tidy within, and surrounded in his declining years by kindred of the closest ties and the comforts of life, your correspondent found the object of his search, one Joseph Miller, sr. Miller is now in the ninety-second year, a fresh, affable old gentleman, whose hand was extended to meet the writer as he introduced himself, and sat down to make known his mission.
Miller is an elder in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and a man of unimpeachable veracity. In answer to the question if he knew Rev. Solomon Spaulding, the author of the "Book of Mormon," he quickly turned toward the writer and his face brightened as his mind ran back to the events of the past, and he said, with considerable emphasis: Hamilton, a Presbyterian minister, now living in Steubenville, O. Spaulding read it to him from his manuscript, it fixed itself upon his memory, and that he had never forgotten it.
He said that about Mr. Spaulding came to Amity, a small village about five miles from his present home, where he kept a hotel. That Spaulding was in delicate health and he Miller often spent his evenings at his home.
While there, upon several occasions, Mr. Spaulding would bring out a large roll of papers, and read select portions of their contents to amuse us of evenings. He told me that he wrote it for a novel, and intended to have it published as a means of support for his family. He called it "The Lost Manuscript Found," and said that he wrote it to pass away the time when he was feeling unwell. Miller, "from what I know of Mr. Spaulding's manuscript and the Book of Mormons, [sic] that Joseph Smith by some means got possession of the copy of that novel, and promptly made some changes in it, and issued it under the name by which it is known to-day.
Miller said that Spaulding was an enthusiastic archaeologist, and that he often indulged himself in the belief that the American continent was at one time peopled by a colony of ancient Israelites, and that his MS. Miller is the only man living at this time who was acquainted with Spaulding, at least, the only person who has any knowledge of the correct origin of the "Book of Mormon," or who ever heard it read from the lips of the author. He said to your correspondent, during his stay, that as he neared the grave, with but one breath between him and heaven, he hoped that last breath might carry a message that would prevent people from being led into Mormonism, that most seductive delusion of the devil.
Miller, "and I would not cast a shadow upon his memory, for it never was his intention to create a false religion by anything that he wrote. I attended him through his last illness, and when death called him from the earth, I, with my own hands, made the coffin that contains his sleeping ashes. He was buried in the church yard of the village, and his grave remains unmarked, while the work of his idle hours, eighty years ago, has grown in the country he dearly loved until the eyes of the nation are turned with horror upon its magnitude.
The grave, as stated above, is unmarked, curiosity seekers having broken and carried away the small stone once erected. Hundreds of people from all over the country have visited the spot, and it is now proposed to erect a monument suitable to the memory of the deceased. Cooper was once the co-editor of The Washington Advance Observer , and later a special correspondent of the Cincinnati Gazette. He relocated from Washington Co. This interview article was only one of several in which Mr.
Joseph Miller provided information over the years. His first newspaper piece was published in , followed by another in These two accounts were followed by the interview conducted by Mr. Cooper for the Cincinnati Gazette. Joseph Miller provided a fourth account for publication in Feb. Finally, he wrote a fifth account, also in , but it was not published until Democrat Printing Company, According to Kiefer, "Mr.
Miller died 12 April , aged ninety-five years. One point made by Miller in this interview is perhaps incorrect. He states that is was never Spalding's "intention to create a false religion by anything that he wrote. Cleveland, Thursday, December 15, Cincinnati, Friday, January 27, To the Editor of the Cincinnati Gazette. Cooper, in writing from Washington County, Pa. I can not expect the space necessary to present our side of the case as we would desire, and as would be but justice to us.
The argument offered that certain passages in Mr. Spaulding's romance and the Book of Mormon are so strikingly similar that the latter must be a plagiarism on the former, has been used as effectively against the Bible.
See "Bible in India. Spaulding read his novel, and several have affirmed this, among them John Spaulding, Henry Lake, Oliver Smith, Arthur [sic] Cunningham and others, who claim to have been Mr. Spaulding's neighbors, and all that Mrs. McKinstry remembers, of the similiarity of the two works, is four names, just these and no more, and they all remember the same four -- Nephi, Lamenite, Moroni, and Mormon -- and these are precisely the ones of all others used in the lectures of the early elders of the Church.
Miller remembers particularly a passage on page that struck his mind so forcibly, as being identical with a passage in Spaulding's novel, but, he fails to give any intimation of what that passage related to or anything in it, so that those who have the book could judge of the accuracy of his memory.
But I will not question the belief of the old gentleman that the Book of Mormon and Spaulding's romance are the same; he doubtless honestly believes that they are identical.
But I wish to offer a few reasons why I do not believe it. In the first place there is no proof whatever yet produced, that Joseph Smith ever saw the manuscript of Rev. He was but twenty-five years old when the Book of Mormon was printed, and he claimed to have his "Golden Bible," which was a well known fact in the neighborhood, as early as , or three years before, or when he was but twenty-two years old.
But let us trace the history of this "Lost Manuscript Found," as Mr. Miller calls it, or "The Manuscript Found," as Spaulding's daughter says it was designated. Without quoting the exact words, in order to save space, I will give its history as told by Mrs. McKinstry in Scribner's Monthly, August, Spaulding wrote it from to In he removed to Pittsburg, lived there two years; in removed to Amity, Washington County, Pa. Davison, Spaulding's widow, says that the manuscript then fell into her hands and "was preserved carefully" till Hurlburt got it in Then in her mother married a Mr.
Davison, of Hartwicks, N. McKinstry, of Monson, Mass. The document was in her possession then, as Mrs. McKinstry shows, for she says, "The old trunk. Jerome Clark, of Hartwicks, when she came to Monson, intending to send for it. In , a Mr. Hurlburt came to her house to get the "Manuscript Found," and after some hesitation, and with much reluctance, they gave him a letter to Mr.
Clark to open the trunk and deliver it to him. We afterward learned that he did receive it from Mr. Clark, at Hartwicks, but from that time we have never had it in our possession. And if Smith got hold of it for a season and copied it, "illiterate and lazy" as he may have been, why did not some of those parties who saw the book in and , right in the neighborhood where Spaulding wrote his romance, make an effort to get it, and compare the two, without waiting for Mr.
Hurlburt to do it, four years after? Well, Hurlburt got it, and gave it to, Mr. Howe, of Painesville, O. So, for aught that he personally knew, he did get the original genuine work, and it did not show any similarity to the Book of Mormon, and he did not do as he intended -- i. But, suppose that Jerome Clark palmed off some other of Spaulding's papers on Hurlburt, what has become of the "Manuscript Found? McKinstry says Hurlburt did receive that very paper, but if she is mistaken, that "old trunk" ought to be hunted up, and perhaps it may be found yet.
However, [is it] not likely that she was mistaken, and that Hurlburt got the right thing, and, when compared by Howe with the Book of Mormon, proved to be no more like it than chalk and cheese are alike, notwithstanding friend Miller's belief that Spaulding wrote the Book of Mormon[? Miller thinks Joe Smith only "made some changes" in the manuscript and "issued it under the name by which it is known today. The truly historical and biographical form but one-third. The doctrinal part must have been written entirely by Smith, then, for it is far from being the doctrine of the Church of which Mr.
Spaulding was a minister -- viz.: It would probably take offense if I claimed that the book taught its faith and order. The "some changes" would, therefore, cover two-thirds of the book, and that much at least must have been original with Smith, leaving only the historical, biographical, and genealogical third to Mr.
But the trouble then would be that to separate the doctrinal from the historical and other part would make the latter absolutely unintelligible. So interwoven are these various portions that to separate them would be impossible. But grant that Smith merely changed the statement of doctrinal thought, which might be done by substituting a few words only here and there, and thus leave the body of the book as Spaulding's production, it would bring worse disgrace to his memory than anything yet said against Joseph Smith for this reason.
In hundreds of places does the book represent angels from heaven speaking and revealing important truths, and of Jesus Christ Himself appearing here on this continent and teaching His disciples, like he did in Judea, and of organizing His Church, and His apostles teaching by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and it gives utterances of prophets, as the Spirit of God moved them, and fully a hundred pages are taken up with this style of writing, and the name of the Lord is used copiously.
Now if Spaulding wrote all that as a novel, placing Christ, and angels, and the Holy Spirit in his plot, making his characters speak in the name of the Lord, and of course taking that holy name in vain; making them pretend to reveal divine and awful truths; then would he be the most wicked blasphemer and heaven daring wretch that ever lived. And if Joseph Smith, or any other man, wrote the prophetical and doctrinal portion of that book, either as a novel or as a pretended series of revelations, such an one deserves the execration of the whole human race, and the severest judgments of the Almighty.
But the burden is put upon Spaulding's shoulders by his daughter's testimony, who said, in the article referred to, that it was believed to be her father's writings with but "slight alterations. He subsequently took it upon himself to refute the Spalding-Rigdon explanation for Book of Mormon authorship and wrote a number of letters and articles upon that subject. Elder Smith was mistaken, in his idea that Solomon Spalding was a Presbyterian "Reverend" at the time he was writing fictional stories in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
He was only briefly licensed as an evangelist in his youth, and there is no reason to believe that Spalding professed Christian religious tenets during his later years. As early as he was publicly criticizing "ignorant domineering priest[s]. Cincinnati, Ohio, Saturday, July 1, When Fuller wrote his Strictures on Sandemanianism, he was thought by many to have entered upon his work in order to save himself from the obloquy of being called a Sandemanian.
I do not know but what similar causes may have influenced the "very amiable Christian gentleman," whose modesty scarcely permits him to announce to the world the wonderful things that his erudite brain enabled him to bring to light. Campbell responsible for Mormonism? What do the premises say? The only ground upon which the learned gentleman can base his assertion, is the fact that Sidney Rigdon was a Mormon.
Rigdon was, undoubtedly, the real founder of "the most corrupt and odious system that has disgraced the nineteenth century. Beadle was not prejudiced in favor of the Disciples. In speaking of the causes which produced Mormonism, he said: One thing is evident, it was not Mr. All his efforts were made against such a mockery of pure and undefiled religion.. But the premises show such a state of religion. Jerks, jumpings, howlings, barkings, lights, voices, dreams, etc.
An experience void of these was considered worthless. An experience such as related in the eighth chapter of Acts would not have been received as evidence of a genuine conversion in the associations of the Western Reserve in There and then the eunuch would have been required to show a powerful conversion, made manifest by contortions of the body, clapping of hands, leaping from the chariot and the enunciation of a direct communication from God to his own heart.
The people of the Reserve were taught that the word of God was a dead letter, and new revelations given to each individual , were necessary to conversion. New Testaments were sufficient to make a man wise unto salvation.
The insufficiency of the Scriptures, and additional revelations were two of the orthodox planks that had been nailed onto Protestantism. Campbell and his co-adjutors desired to have the planks removed.
Because they expressed this desire, and because they were leading the people away from their vain superstitions to the simplicity of the truth, and because they said the so-called spiritual manifestations were the result of physical causes, and were not produced by the Holy Spirit, they were denounced as heretics, and accused of repudiating experimental religion, and denying the existence of the Holy Spirit.
Keep in mind what was orthodox then. Whoever had experienced "jerks," howlings, jumpings, barkings; whoever had seen a light or heard a voice; whoever had seen a vision or dreamed a dream, was safe. Campbell said these things were vain delusions. In , Mormonism made its appearance. It came with a new revelation; it came saying the Old and New Testaments were not sufficient; it came offering as evidence what was seen and heard in the revivals of the orthodox churches.
The Mormons heard voices, saw lights, dreamed dreams, and they had the jerks; they jumped and muttered and barked; they laughed and they cried. When those who had been taught that such things were evidences of true conversion to God, saw how abundant these evidences were among the Mormons, they were compelled to admit that the new religion must be from God. From this class of orthodox Christians the great majority of the first converts to Mormonism were made.
When Rigdon first openly received the messengers from Joe Smith, he pretended to discredit their statements. He called on them for proofs of the truths of their book and mission. The sign appeared and he was convinced! The sign business was a great converting power among the Mormons.
Some of their conversions are thus described: Many would fall upon the floor, where they would lie for a long time apparently lifeless. The fits usually came on during or after prayer meetings, which were held nearly every evening. The young men and women were more particularly subject to this delirium.
They would exhibit all the apish actions imaginable, making the most ridiculous grimaces, creeping upon their hands and feet, rolling upon the frozen ground.
Concerning such evidences as this, Mr. He who expects visits from angels will find them as he who, in the age of witchcraft, found a witch in every unseemly old woman. I doubt not but that the irreverences and levity in speaking of the things of God, which have been apparent in Sidney's public exhibitions for some time past, and which he has lately confessed, may yet be found to have been the cause of this abandonment to delusion.
The Methodists, among whom it appeared so well to take, amongst whom it has recently so much prevailed, ought to be admonished against laying themselves open to such impressions in their swoonings, vociferous ejaculations, and notions about new visions and revelations of the Spirit. An article upon its advent among the Disciples of Ohio will appear, in due course, in the Church Union.
If we leave out of consideration every other question, and take up the popular idea of conversion, we have sufficient data to direct us to the fountains of Mormonism. These same evidences were given as the first fruits of Mormonism. And yet, today, a doctor of divinity, a professor in a theological seminary, attempts to turn away the odium of Mormonism from the shoulders of his religious ancestors, and saddle it upon the only set of men, who, in the day of its birth, denounced all such signs and visions, and revelations, etc.
Orthodoxy demanded that evidences of conversion should be given in answer to prayer, and should consist of signs, etc. The Mormons adapted the same principle of conversion and signs, etc. They claimed the possession of the same evidences of conversion, as the most devout among the orthodox. This was an unanswerable argument to many who believed that the word of God was a dead letter, and that the Holy Spirit made direct communication to the sinner's heart.
Such was the testimony in its favor then. Campbell and the Disciples, who were then at least nominally Baptists, taught that such experiences were what men claimed them to be; and when they can show that Mr.
Campbell and the Disciples taught that the word of God was not sufficient without other revelations and signs, given in answer to prayer, in the work of conversion, they can show that they, equally with the rest, were responsible for "saddling upon the world the most corrupt and odious system that has disgraced the nineteenth century. Thomas Clapp was born in Middlefield, Mass. He was the son of Orris Clapp and Pheobe Blish. Of their thirteen children Thomas was the ninth. The family removed to the wilds of Northern Ohio when he was less than six months old.
He became a member of the Baptist church at the age of 21, being baptized by Elder Sidney Rigdon, who afterwards became a leader among the Mormons. About a year after the conversion of Thomas Clapp, the Baptist church at Mentor was swept away from its moorings by the rising tide of the reformation which was urged by Thomas and Alexander Campbell.
This was in Thomas Clapp entered fully into the spirit of that movement, and took at that time a position in religious matters from which he never swerved to the day of his death.
When Thomas Clapp was nearly 26 years old, in Nov. Cleveland, Ohio, Monday, October 2, At the foot of Lake Michigan, a few miles outside the Straits of Mackinaw, lies a beautiful island. In winter it is the battleground of blizzards, and the blasts which come howling down from the wilderness of Manitoba, making weird music among the tapering pines which seem to have been driven unto it to hold it in place, render it anything but a desirable habitation.
But in summer, when nature has adorned its slopes and headlands with a coat of green, and the cool breezes play across its surface, few more delightful spots can be found. The great number of bare-tailed, broad-toothed, four footed little engineers which used to sun themselves on the beach, build mud houses and dams, or disport themselves in the clear water which surround it gave to it the name of Beaver Island.
Every sailor who has made the trip from Cleveland to Chicago is familiar with the place, and though there are few mariners on the lakes who know its history, any man who sailed twenty-five years ago can tell many stories connected with it.
He received a passably good education in his native town, and after leaving school became a lawyer. About the time Joe Smith discovered the plates upon which he claimed was written a revelation from God, young Strang was pouring over Blackstone. He soon saw Smith and heard him talk, the result being that he was converted and admitted into the church. Shortly after this Smith turned his face toward the setting sun and came West.
He settled at Kirtland, Ohio, and organized a Mormon community. He built a temple, and in the course of time had succeeded in collecting about him quite a band of followers. After a short residence in Ohio Smith pulled up stakes, and taking most of his disciples with him, went to Independence, Mo. Wishing to extend his power, Smith delegated Strang to go to Wisconsin and organize a branch church, which the latter did with great success.
Profiting by the example of his great leader, Strang proceeded to search for a "revelation. This record had been buried there and it was destined that some great prophet should find it. Joe Smith and Brigham Young looked upon Strang's "find" as an imposition, and were inclined to discredit the story. About the time Strang was reading the "revelation," Smith was killed by a mob at Nauvoo, Illinois.
The death of Smith created a vacancy which Strang was anxious to fill, so he fixed up a forged letter purporting to have been written by Smith, in which the leader said he had a revelation from God to the effect that he was soon to die, and that Strang was to be the leader of the church. They did not believe the story, and Strang was promptly kicked out of camp.
He returned to Wisconsin and redoubled his efforts to build up a church of his own. Beaver Island was then inhabited by a prosperous colony of about one thousand rough and hardy fishermen. Strang saw a chance, if he could overpower the fishermen, of establishing himself in a place where no one would, for a time at least, molest them.
He therefore sent two or three embassies over to the island on a prospecting tour. They were treated very cooly by the fishermen, but they discovered that the soil was rich in resources, and upon making a report to Strang, he decided to possess the coveted island if possible.
He accordingly sent over a number of men and set them to work establishing a colony. They had a hard fight, but finally secured a foothold, and the entire Mormon band was transplanted to the island. Work was then begun in earnest, and in a short time a town sprang up on Beaver Harbor, and was named St.
James, after the King. Strang started a newspaper, of which he was the editor, and it was said to have been the best conducted journal in the northwest.
Once established the Mormons inaugurated a bitter and never-ending warfare against the gentile fishermen, and step by step the latter were driven to the extreme end of the island. The encounters which took place were not without bloodshed, but as there were no laws except those made by King James, there was little fear of punishment for any crime committed against a gentile.
These people were characterized as strictly honest in their dealings with one another, but they followed a different code of morals with the outside world. It was even said that they would not scruple at piracy in order to enrich their coffers. None of the crew were ever seen again, and it is probable they were murdered by the plumderers. Although polygamy was not an essential part of the religion of Strang's church, he himself had five wives, and several others had two or three. In addition to his fanatical religious belief, Strang was an ardent sympathizer with the seccession cause.
This probably had something to do with arousing public sentiment against him. At any rate one day in or the United States steamer Michigan dropped into Beaver Harbor and sent ashore a detachment of men who arrested the king on a charge of treason, the specific reasons for which being that he was conducting a government in open defiance of the laws of the United States.
He was taken on board the steamer, accompanied by seventy of his best men, who voluntarily agreed to go with their leader, and was taken to Detroit for trial. The Mormons employed several prominent lawyers to defend Strang, but the prisoner insisted upon making the argument to the jury.
He then went back to St. James and resumed his sway, but it was not of long duration. His rules regarding the conduct of the people were very strict. The use of intoxicating liquors and tobacco was prohibited under heavy penalties, and many minor offenses were punished by whipping.
A short time after his return from Detroit a United States army surgeon, who had been discharged from the service, applied for, and was granted admission to the community. The surgeon rose rapidly in the church and soon became an elder. He had unfortunately formed the habit of drinking in the army, and the old appetite returning, he indulged it, and became beastly intoxicated. So gross a violation of the rules would not be tolerated even in an elder, and the transgressor was immediately expelled from the community.
The wounds did not result in death immediately, but after a short illness Strang died. His first wife, whom he had frequently tried to shake off, clung to him in his last sickness, and nursed him with great devition, saying that she could forgive him for his polygamous notions, and that she believed it to be her duty to cheer his last hours. In the demise of this remarkable man the community received its death blow, for the faithful could not decide upon a leader.
The property was divided, and the communistic idea was abandoned. Norton, whose place of business is at No. I was bound from Cleveland to Milwaukee, and one afternoon just after leaving the straits the weather began to look very threatening, and I decided to anchor for the night. Beaver Harbor was the nearest point, so I ran the vessel in there.
I had just entered the harbor as I saw a boat put off from the shore. It contained a man and a woman, who, as they came alongside, implored me for God's sake to take them on board and give them protection, as they were in danger of being killed by the Mormon king. I knew this king was a desperate man, but I did not like to leave these people at his mercy without trying to save them.
They were therefore helped on board, and as we preferred the storm to an encounter with the Mormon band, the Sheppard was headed out to sea again, and by morning was fifty miles from the island. After the man's excitement had abated, he told the following story: He held out great inducements to me, and painted a glowing picture of the advantages I would gain by emigrating to the West.
His oily tongue and bland manner completely deceived me, and I decided to go with him. I had no idea what kind of a place we were going to until we arrived.
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