Arthur B. Demings’ 1885 solicited statement describing Smith’s fondness for stories about Captain Kidd:
“Jo Smith claimed to be a seer. He had a very clear stone about the size and shape of a duck’s egg, and claimed that he could see lost or hidden things through it. He said he saw Captain Kidd sailing on the Susquehanna River during a freshet, and that he buried two pots of gold and silver. He claimed he saw writing cut on the rocks in an unknown language telling where Kidd buried it, and he translated it through his peep-stone.”
Washington Irving was author of “Kidd The Pirate” (Tales of a Traveler, New York, 1825). Irving was also popular with Sidney Rigdon.
According to Charlotte Haven:
“I have heard it stated that he [Rigdon] was Smith’s chief aid in getting up the Book of Mormon and creed. He is so far above Smith in intellect; education, and secretiveness, that there is scarcely a doubt that he is at the head in compiling it. I looked over his library — on some bookshelves in the kitchen. It was a very good student’s collection, — Hebrew, Greek, and Latin lexicons and readers, stray volumes of Shakespeare, Scott, Irving’s works, and a number of other valuable books. He studied for the ministry in his youth, then was employed in a newspaper office.”