“The Reverend Solomon Spaulding was preaching at Cherry Valley and teaching at the academy there in 1795. He reappeared at Conneaut, Ohio, in 1809. He was given to writing historical romances and occasionally read excerpts to his relatives and neighbors” From THE OTSEGO  FARMER. Vol 73. No. 50.  Cooperstown, NY.  Sept 17, 1959.  Roy L. Butterfiled.


“After the Revolution the Rev. Solomon Spaulding established the first Cherry Valley Academy. He was, however, blessed with a very vivid imagination and was ousted from his position for writing a ‘Biblical Romance’.”


John Sawyer, 1898.  History of Cherry Valley from 1740 to 1898, Cherry Valley, NY, Gazette Print, p. 56-57.


“The first principal, the Rev. Solomon Spaulding, was hired in June [1795] and dismissed in October. The original manuscript of the Mormon Bible was later traced to this Rev. Solomon Spaulding. The second principal, Eliphalet Nott, also gained prominence as he later became president of Union College.”


From p. 129 in “Who Really Wrote the Book of Mormon?” – March 2, 1857 Letter from Dr. Cephas Dodd to Col. Thomas Ringland:

“Mr. and Mrs. Spaulding usually attended Church one part of the day. I understood from him that he had formerly lived at Cherry Valley in the State of New York, where he had met with some losses and had then removed to Western Reserve where he had erected Iron works & failed. Being one day in Amity, I noticed that Redick McKee (then a lad and employed in keeping store for Mr. Jelly) was reading Virgil. On enquiring who was his teacher, he said “Mr. Spaulding.” [103] So it appeared that he had some knowledge of Latin. He afterwards read to me at different times some short pieces which he proposed to send for publication to the County newspaper but I believe none of them if sent were ever published. [104] With me he always seemed shy and reserved about his former history. Understanding that he had lived {at Cherry Valley] I endeavoured to draw him out by enquiring about Rev. Dr. Nott. He only said that Dr. Nott had used him very ill. I think it was in Oct 1816 that Dysentery was prevailing and I attended Redick McKee who boarded with Mr. S. Calling one day [I] found Mr. S. quite ill and advised him to take some medicine but he preferred taking his own way. After an absence of a few days I was called to see him. He sometimes took my prescriptions and sometimes his own or Mrs.Spaulding’s — under which treatment the disease was protracted and terminated in his death. When he appeared to be sinking under his disease I endeavoured to converse closely with him, but there was the same reserv[e] as to any disclosure of his manner of life. Some time after his death an old Yankee man by the name of Hubbel who went about selling wooden bowls told me that he had known him in the state of [N]ew York  and had often heard him preach and also called him “Esquire Spaulding.” It is probable that he was a Congregationalist — and it is likely not ordained [i. e. while at Amity — Editors] [as] that denomination only gives licenses which expire by their own limitation as to time; so that there is no evidence of his being deposed for immorality. [See text below for explanation — Editors]

The few scraps of writing above mentioned were all that I knew anything about, till some years after his death when the Mormons took their rise. Having received a letter of enquiry on the subject from some person in the State of Ohio, I found that Mr. S had been more communicative to some other persons and that Messrs John Thomson an[d] J. Van Seaman had read his novel or some parts of it. Seaman was then dead. I enquired of Mr. Thomson. He could [not] give much account of it — but said that he remembered the names of Neri and Lehi which he understood were used in the Mormon Bible. I was referred to Miss Sarah Thomson (now Mrs. Day). She had read some of his writings, but not the one in question.

I have understood that Mr. S. had submitted his manuscript to Revd. R. Patterson of Pittsburg [who] was connected in a printing office & Bookstore with a view of having it published — and of course that must have been before he came to Amity as he still had it [i. e. the manuscript] here. Mrs. S. went after his death to N[ew] York State and I suppose carried the M. S. with her; and that being the neighborhood where Joe Smith resided — it by some means fell into his hands. Such I think has been the impression of Mrs. S. though she she [sic] knows not how he obtained it. You will thus perceive that I have no personal knowledge that would have any bearing on the subject as I have never seen either the Manuscript or the Mormon bible. My impression however is that is of little consequence. I have no doubt that Spaulding’s novel was used by Joe Smith. But it was only used as a kind of substratum and did not contain anything of the essence of the Mormon faith – All [of] that is contained in pretended revelations made to him and his successors, and added afterwards. I do not suppose that any testimony that could be offered in this case would convince a Mormon of his error and Congress will not undertake to decide as to the truth or falsehood of any religion. Nor does it belong within their province. Respectfully Yours, Cephas Dodd.”