LW reprints AOS's telling of DWP seeing Cain.

Abraham O. Smoot
2nd Hand

Lycurgus Wilson, Life of David W. Patten: First Apostolic Martyr (Salt Lake City, Utah: The Deseret News, 1900), 46-47

Deseret News
David W. Patten, Abraham O. Smoot, Joseph F. Smith, Deseret News, Levi Taylor
Reading Public

It was probably not long after his arrival in Tennessee in the spring of 1836, that David had one of the most remarkable experiences of his life. He was making his home with Levi Taylor, the stepfather of Abraham O. Smoot, at the time and had been to Paris, some sixteen miles away, holding a meeting. Riding home in the evening, just where his road lay through a dense growth of brush, called in those parts a "barren," he suddenly became aware that a person on foot by his side was keeping pace with the mule on which he rode. But the subjoined letter, dated at Provo, Utah, will explain the matter:

President Joseph F. Smith, Salt Lake City:

Dear Brother: - In relation to the subject of the visit of Cain to Brother David W. Patten in the State of Tennessee, about which you wrote to me, I will say that according to the best of my recollection it was in the month of September, 1835.

It was in the evening, just twilight, when Brother Patten rode up to my father’s house, alighted from his mule and came into the house. The family immediately observed that his countenance was quite changed. My mother having first noticed his changed appearance said: “Brother Patten, are you sick?” He replied that he was not, but had just met with a very remarkable personage who had represented himself as being Cain, who murdered his brother, Abel. He went on to tell the circumstances as near as I can recall in the following language:

“As I was riding along the road on my mule I suddenly noticed a very strange personage walking beside me. He walked along beside me for about two miles. His head was about even with my shoulders as I sat in my saddle. He wore no clothing, but was covered with hair. His skin was very dark. I asked him where he dwelt and he replied that he had no home, that he was a wanderer in the earth and traveled to and fro. He said he was a very miserable creature, that he had earnestly sought death during his sojourn upon the earth, but that he could not die, and his mission was to destroy the souls of men. About the time he expressed himself thus, I rebuked him in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by virtue of the Holy Priesthood and commanded him to go hence, and he immediately departed out of my sight. When he left me I found myself near your house.”

There was much conversation about the circumstances between Brother Patten and my family which I don’t recall, but the above is in substance his statement to us at the time. The date is, to the best of my recollection, and I think it is correct, but it may be possible [to] have been in the spring of 1836, but I feel quite positive that the former date is right.

Hoping the above will be satisfactory to you and answer your purpose,I am with the kindest regards, as ever, Your friend and Brother,

A.O. Smoot

Citations in Mormonr Qnas
Copyright © B. H. Roberts Foundation
The B. H. Roberts Foundation is not owned by, operated by, or affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.