135 years ago today - (23) March 1885

[Cornelius Stafford (neighbor of Joseph Smith)]
... The Mormon Smith family lived near our house. I was well acquainted with them, and attended school with the younger children. There was much digging for money on our farm and about the neighborhood. I saw Uncle John and Cousin Joshua Stafford dig a hole twenty feet long, eight broad and seven deep. They claimed that they were digging for money but were not successful in finding any. Jo Smith kept it up after our neighbors had abandoned it. A year or two after Jo claimed to find the plates of the "Book of Mormon." He had men dig a tunnel near fifty feet long in a hill about two miles north of the hill where he claimed to find the plates. I tried to look into a peep-stone in my hat in a dark room; I saw nothing, some claimed they could. I saw old Jo Smith, his wife [Lucy Smith] and Mrs. [Sarah Witt] Rockwell baptized by prophet Jo Smith. I have seen Jo in drunken fights ; father and son were frequently drunk. I remember when a man (Hurlbut) came to our school house and took statements about the bad character of the Mormon Smith family, and saw them swear to them.

Jo Smith, the prophet, told my uncle, William Stafford, he wanted a fat, black sheep. He said he wanted to cut its throat and make it walk in a circle three times around and it would prevent a pot of money from leaving. Jo's family ate the sheep; he duped many people in similar ways. He claimed to receive revelations from the Lord. The Smiths stole six hogs-heads from us; everything missing was claimed by our neighbors to be in possession of the Smiths. ...

[Cornelius R. Stafford statement, Naked Truths About Mormonism (January 1888): 3., as cited in Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents: Cornelius R. Stafford Statement]

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