Richard Burton remarks on Henry Caswall and reviews his books.

Richard F. Burton

Richard F. Burton, The City of the Saints and Across the Rocky Mountains to California (London: Longman, Green, Longman, and Roberts, 1861), 252

Longman, Green, Longman, and Roberts
Henry Caswall, Richard F. Burton, Joseph Smith, Jr., Lucy Mack Smith
Reading Public

The four following works were written by the Rev. Henry Caswall, a violent antiMormon, who solemnly and apparently honestly believes all the calumnies against the "worthless family" of the prophet; unhesitatingly adopts the Solomon Spaulding story, discovers in Mormon Scripture as many "anachronisms, contradictions, and grammatical errors," as ever Celsus and Porphyry detected in the writings of the early Christians, and designates the faith in which hundreds of thousands live and die as a "delusion in some respects worse than Paganism, and a system destined perhaps to act like Mohammedanism (!) as a scourge upon corrupted Christianity" (sub. the American?) The Mormons speak of this gentleman as of a 19th century Torquemada: he appears by his own evidence to have combined with the heart of the great Inquisitor some of the head qualities of Mr. Coroner W―when insisting upon the unhappy Fire-King's swallowing his (Mr. W's.) prussic acid instead of the pseudo-poison provided for the edification of the public. Mr. Caswall went to Nauvoo holding in his hand an ancient MS. of the Greek psalter, and completely, according to his account, puzzled the Prophet, who decided it to be "reformed Egyptian." Moreover, he convicted of falsehood the "wretched old creature," viz. the maternal parent of Mr. Joseph Smith, called a Mother in Israel, looked upon as one of the holiest of women, and who at any rate was a good and kind-hearted mother, that could not be reproached, like Luther's, with "chastising her son so severely about a nut that the blood came." It is no light proof of Mormon tolerance that so truculent a divine and opponent par voie de fait, should have been allowed to depart, from amongst a people whom he had offended and insulted, without loss of liberty or life.

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