Huggins This last of our three-part series examining the life and research of Jerald Tanner, focuses on the integrity Jerald brought to his research of Mormon historical documents. The latter source in addition had a tantalizing note to the effect that "apparently there are no copies of the original extant. They stressed however that they had no information "as to the location of the original copy.
Huggins This last of our three-part series examining the life and research of Jerald Tanner, focuses on the integrity Jerald brought to his research of Mormon historical documents. Sandra and Jerald Tanner J erald Tanner's research was always centered in determining the truth, not just uncovering problems in LDS claims.
Besides examining the church's own material, at times he found it necessary to examine the veracity of works that were critical of the LDS Church. The latter source in addition had a tantalizing note to the effect that "apparently there are no copies of the original extant.
This naturally represented a challenge to Jerald and Sandra's circle of friends to see if they could find an original copy. In late Pauline Hancock, pastor of the little Church of Christ in Independence, Missouri, received a letter from Susan Kallenbach of the Yale University Library's Western Americana Collection announcing that they had not the original itself but a copy of the original, which they were willing to photocopy or microfilm.
They stressed however that they had no information "as to the location of the original copy. Walters, fellow researcher and pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Marissa, Illinois, had managed to trace the original from which the Yale copy was made to a certain Mr.
Fulk, who allowed him to examine it in his home. Walters was disappointed to discover that it was not an original but only made to look like one: Fulk's copy the page had been cut all the way across just above the word Defence.
A blank piece of paper of the same quality as the rest of the title page was pasted above the word Defence. I couldn't see the point of this until I returned home and checked [R. He sent a copy of the Cowdery Defence that he had somehow obtained possibly from the Tanners' tract to Yale and received a letter back from Archibald Hanna, curator of the Western American Collection, informing him that the copies he had sent were derived from the Yale copy, further noting that the Yale copy had been "photographed from a pasted up dummy," which suggested to Hanna that "the original may have appeared in a newspaper and that Cowdery decided to reprint it as a pamphlet and so pasted up a dummy and had a title page set for it.
In response Jerald made the question a matter of his own investigation, and on April 7,he and Sandra issued a tract entitled A Critical Look: A Study of the Overstreet "Confession" and the Cowdery "Defence"which set out to prove that the Defence, along with another document related to Cowdery that also placed the LDS Church in a bad light, were both forgeries.
Here we shall focus only on the Defence. In making his case against the Defence Jerald repeated many of the same concerns shared by Anderson and other early investigators, i.
But, as in most of his work, Jerald's most decisive argument was a literary one in which he proved, I believe beyond reasonable doubt, that the Defence had been cobbled-together from published Cowdery writings, especially from the series of letters he wrote on the history of the Church which appeared in the LDS newspaper Messenger and Advocate.
There are two legitimate reasons that authors may write similar things in different places. The first is that everyone has his own distinctive style of writing, features of which show up consistently in whatever they write.
It is also a common practice among writers when they write on a topic they have already covered to copy what they formerly said in a new work. Jerald, however, discovered close parallels to Cowdery's writings that fit neither of these criteria.
In his pamphlet Jerald focused only on the first: We compared all of these sources with the purported "Defence," and the results of this study are rather interesting. In the letters found in the Huntington Library we found no parallels of any importance; likewise the History of the Church contained no significant parallels.
In the Evening and Morning Star we found only one important parallel—i. He concluded that "whoever wrote the 'Defence' used the Messenger and Advocate. Usually the motive for recopying something that you have written before is that the author has occasion to talk about the same topic again.
But what we find in the Defence are phrases and chunks of text taken out of one context and patched in to another, without there being any obvious connection between the two settings.
This is the case, for example, in the following three parallels: The only way someone could make a case for its authenticity at this stage would be to prove that Cowdery was in the regular habit of plundering phrases and paragraphs from his earlier writings and dropping them without rhyme or reason into his later ones.
Ina year after Jerald's pamphlet, Richard Lloyd Anderson wrote an article on Oliver Cowdery for the Improvement Era in which he prefaces his own attempt at debunking the Defence by saying: But he does not mention the Tanners efforts from the previous year at all.
Historians less beholden to the LDS Church than Anderson were also less quick to come to the conclusion that the Defence was indeed a forgery fathered on Cowdery. After reading the Tanners' pamphlet, historian Juanita Brooks wrote to Sandra saying: You have convinced me that the item is genuine and that it was really written by Oliver Cowdery.
You did for me what I had intended to do with the Messenger and Advocate letter myself, and the result is clearly that Cowdery was really the author. Brodie similarly did not agree with Jerald's arguments. It just goes to show that not everyone has a head for discerning textual relationships. With time, however, Jerald's position has won out, leaving Brodie to be one of the very few historians to hold out for the authenticity of the Defence.
As a historian I have long been cognizant of the fact that being careful about getting at the truth of history is not a necessary prerequisite for success in publishing, in fact a certain cavalierness in fiddling the truth is often just the right recipe for achieving big sales and pride of placement on the shelves of major book stores.
It is simply not the case anymore that a layperson can pick up a book by a scholar from a prominent university and trust that the information it contains is going to be true and accurate even at the level of being correct about the basic facts.
A good example of this is the book Reading Judas: After writing a critical review of their book I was scarcely surprised to find Pagels and King's Reading Judas come out in paperback this year with all its original errors intact.🔥Citing and more!
Add citations directly into your paper, Check for unintentional plagiarism and check for writing mistakes. + free ebooks online. Did you know that you can help us produce ebooks by proof-reading just one page a day? Go to: Distributed Proofreaders.
"Table 5, Population of Utah by Race and Sex - ," Faithful Mormon apologist John A. Widtsoe, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, debunked the more-women-than-men myth, but many members continue to use it.
This last of our three-part series examining the life and research of Jerald Tanner, focuses on the integrity Jerald brought to his research of Mormon historical documents.
+ free ebooks online. Did you know that you can help us produce ebooks by proof-reading just one page a day? Go to: Distributed Proofreaders. "Table 5, Population of Utah by Race and Sex - ," Faithful Mormon apologist John A.
Widtsoe, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, debunked the more-women-than-men myth, but many members continue to use it.