Mormon History

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Dead Letters Notice - 1816

The Commonwealth

Pittsburgh July 9, 1816

LIST  OF  LETTERS

Remaining in the Post Office, at Pittsburgh, June 30, 1816.

NOT  ADVERTISED  BEFORE.

        R
David Robb
G. C. Russel
Henry Richardson
Jacob Rudolf
John Robinson
John Richa
Joseph Richardson
Joseph Rieldy
Rulif Rinyan
Samuel Robinson
Sidney Rigdon
Wm. C. Roberts
Wm. Reed
Wm. Robinson jun.

        S
Benja. Summerton 2
Daniel Stotler
Dandridge Spotswood
Geo. Slacket Esq.
Jacob Sangree
Jacob Smyth
Jacob Steally
James Snodgrass 2
James Steel
John Smith
John Stotler
Capt. John Srodel
Roswell Sturdevant
Joel Smith
Robert Sibbit
Samuel Still
Solomon Spalding
Wm. Skillen
Wm. Sinclair
Wm. Simpson 2
Wm. Smith
Wm. Steward
Miss Mary Snyder
Mary Stuard


Note: The same letter list was republished in The Commomwealth on July 16 and July 23, 1816, and again contained the names of Solomon Spalding and Sidney Rigdon. Solomon Spalding died at Amity, Washington Co., Pennsylvania on Oct. 20, 1816 (apparently of dysentery) after suffering an illness of "six or eight weeks." It is possible that as late as the mid-summer of 1816 he was still calling for his letters at the Pittsburgh Post Office. Given Spalding's poor health in his later years, it is also probable that while living at Amity, he generally depended upon friends and neighbors to retrieve his mail from Pittsburgh. - Dale Broadhurst

The first appearance of Spalding's name in the Commomwealth's letter lists was on May 5, 1813. His name appeared again on Nov. 10, 1813 and Sep. 7, 1814. A list published on Nov. 30, 1814 shows a "Tolomon" Spalding; a list published in Feb. 1815 has a "Solm. Spalding, and one published in Sept. 1815 shows a "Sol." Spalding. His full name reappears on the July 9, 1816 notice and the two subsequent reprintings, with the July 16th version showing his name as "Spaldin." Sidney Rigdon's name first appears on the July 9, 1816 list.  - Dale Broadhurst

 

The importance of this material cannot be overstated, for not only does it provide incontrovertible proof of Sidney Rigdon's presence in Pittsburgh well before 1821, but it places him there during the very time Solomon Spalding is known to have been involved with the Patterson brothers seeking publication of A Manuscript Found. At the same time, any question of Mrs. Eichbaum's credibility is effectively laid aside by the fact that these new revelations firmly support her 1879 statement in two extremely critical areas. - Who Really Wrote The Book of Mormon?, page 137.

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