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James Gordon Bennett’s 1831 Report on 'The Mormonites'

TitleJames Gordon Bennett’s 1831 Report on 'The Mormonites'
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1970
AuthorsArrington, Leonard
JournalBYU Studies Quarterly
KeywordsBennett, James Gordon; Early Church History

In the summer of 1831 James Gordon Bennett demonstrated the enterprise which was to make him one of America’s greatest journalists by investigating the circumstances surrounding the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. Born in Scotland in 1795, and for several years a student in a Catholic seminary at Aberdeen, young Bennett, “on a sudden impulse,” migrated to Nova Scotia in 1819. For a while he was a teacher, but later moved to New York City where he worked for The Courier. He first obtained national recognition when he was the Washington, D.C. correspondent for the New York Enquirer, sending in lively reports on such topics as the tariff, the United States Bank, and the performances of the French, English, and Italian opera companies. A strong supporter of Andrew Jackson, Bennett eventually secured the backing to purchase the Enquirer, and combined it with the Courier to publish the Morning Courier and New York Enquirer. As associate editor (1829–1832), Bennett developed the Courier and Enquirer into a leading eastern newspaper.