Chapter 8

Solomon Spaulding, Manuscript Found: The Complete Original “Spaulding Manuscript,” ed. Kent P. Jackson (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1996), 44–52.

"Manuscript Found," p. 65


Perhaps Reader before we describe the goverment of the Ohons it might be proper to relax our minds by with a <few> sceches of Biography—The Character which will best connect with the history of the learning & religion & the goverment & laws of the Ohons is that of the great & illustrious Lobaska—He is the Man, who first introduced their present method of writing who presented them the sacred Roll which contains the tenets & precepts of their religion—& who formed their political Constitution as it respects the connection of various kingdoms or tribes under one government

[p. 66] There are many anecdotes, which tradition has handed down respecting this extraordinary man which have the complexion of the miraculous & hence I conclude they must be fabulous—Such as his <fables> <As for instance he is represented as> forming a curious machine by which <& having seated himself upon it> he mounted into the Atmosphere & assended a great hieght—& having sailed a considerable distance <thro the air>, he decended slowly & received no damage—& that multitudes of astonished spectators had, a number of times seen him perform this miraculous Exploit—& that he declared that when he took these excurtions his extraordinary wisdom & knowledge was communicated to him—If he did in fact perform such exploits no wonder that he managed an ignorant people as he pleased—But as it is not my intention to amuse my readers by a splended relation of fables I shall confine myself to facts which ca<n>not be contested—The place of his nativity is not recorded—The first account given of him was his appearance in the great city of Golanga which is situate on the Banks of the siota River. When he entered that city he was attended by his wife & four sons, the [p. 67] the eldest of whom was about Eighteen years of age.—He himself appeared to be about forty. His personal appearance was commanding, being of midling Stature—of a bold frank countenance & eyes livly & penetrating; In his general deportment he was chearful, yet displayed much sedateness & gravity.—He was affable & familiar in conversation but not loquacious—He never would converse long on trifling subjects—had a wonderful facility to intermix some wise sayings & remarks that should improve & of turning with dignity & gracefulness the attention of the company to subjects that were important & interesting—None could then withstand the energy of his reasoning—& all were astonished at the inginuety of his arguments & the great knowledge & wisdom which he displayed—His fame spread thro’ the City & multit & Country & multitudes freequently assembled & importuned him to give them instruction—Always cheerful to gratify the curiosity & comply with the reasonable requests of the Multitude he entertained them by conversing with them familiarly—& by exhibiting publec Discourses—All were charmed with his wisdom & eloquence—& all united in pronouncing him to be the [p. 68] most extraordinary man in existence & generally beleived that he held conversation with celestial beings—& always acted under the influence of divine inspiration.—The people were very liberal in their donations, which enabled him to support his family in affluence—

Having thus in a short time established a character superior with respect to wisdom & eloquence to any man who had ever appeared before him in the nation, he then, at an enterview which <he> held with the king & the chiefs, told them, that he had invented the art of expresing ideas by certain marks or charaters—& having explained the nature of the subject to their full satisfaction <he> then proposed to establish a school, for the instruction of the sons of the principal subjects of the King.—The proposal was received & accepted with much gratitud & cheerfulness—A house was immediately prepared for the accomidation of schollars, & in a short time <the> numbers amounted to near two hundred.—But here it must be observed that the art of making & applying the characters to the words which they represented—was taught principally by his sons—they had all received an education from their father—& even the youngest, who was but about eleven years old could read & write with great correctness& facility—He superintended their instruction & very freequently gave them lectures on scientiffic & mor[p. 69] morral subjects—his Scollars made great progress in learning—& delighted their parents with the improvments they had made in literature civilization & refinement.—He still continued to associate among the people & was indefatigable in his labours to dispel their ignorance, correct their superstition & vices to excite their industry & to defuse a more accurate knowledge, of the mechanical arts—The manufacture of Iron in particular was not known; this he taught a number by showing them how to build a small furnace, & to cast iron ware—& then how to build a small forge & then- refine pigs & Conv<ert> them into Iron—

He had resided among the Sciotans about three years & the happy effects of his Labors were visible to all observs—A great reformation had taken place in the morals & manners of the people—industry had encreased—& agriulture & the mechanical arts had received great

im[p. 70]provment—& houses were built on a more commodious & eligant construction—But not willing to stop here the benevolent mind of the great Lobaska midetated a more important revolution—now was- the propicious era to had ari ved & the way was prepared for the introduction of that sytem of Theology which is comprised in the sacred Roll—In the first place he read & explained the whole sytem to the king & the cheifs of the nation, who cordially gave it their approbation & gave permssion to propogate <it> among the people- Under a pretence that this sytem was revealed to him in several enterviews which <he> had been permited to have with the second son of the great & good Being—the people did not long hisitate, but received as sacred & divine truth every word which he taught them They forsook their old religion which was a confused & absurd medly of Idoletry & supersticious nonsence & embraced a religion more sublime & consistent—& more fraught with sentiments [p. 71] which would promote the happiness of mankind in this world.

Whilst the Siotans were thus rapidly progressing in their improvements they were unhappily [1] disturbed by the certain prospect of war. Bombal the king of the Kentucks—a nation which lived on the south side of the great River Ohio, had taken great umbrage against Hadokam the King of Siota—This Bombal was the most haughty & the most powerful prince, who reignd in this part of the western Continant—

It had been the custom for several ages for the king & chiefs of the Kentucks <to have the exclusive right> to wear, in their Caps a bunch of blue feathers, which designiated their preeminance over every nation.—The Siotan princes envising them this distinguished [p. 72] honor & considering themselvs as being at least their equals assumed the liberty to place bunches of Blue feathers upon their Caps.—This in the opinion of the Kentucks, was an unpardonable offence, if persisted in, & a most daring insult upon their supereminent dignity A messenger was immedi. After a solemn Counsil was held with his chiefs, Bombal, with their unanimous consent dispached a Messenger to Hadocam—who thus proclaimed—Thus saith Bombal, the king of kings & the most mighty prince on earth—Ye have insulted my <our> honour & dignity in assuming blue feathers, which was the badge of our preeminence—kno<w> ye that unless ye tear them from your Caps, ye shall feel the weight of our ven[p. 73]gence. Hadocam replied, tell your Master that <a great Company of> Wolves made an attack upon a City to rob the [2] citizens of their dear & elk, & they let forth their dogs upon them, which attacked them with such fury & courage, that they fled, mangled, & torn, to a most dreary swamp—here they- by <the> most tre tremendous the most plaintive howling, they lamented their sad disaster & disgrace.

An answer so shrewd & insulting, it was expected would soon be followed by an invasion. Measures must immediately be taken for the defence of the kingdom—Lobaska was invited to set in Council—All were unanimously of opinion, that to comply with the haughty demand of Bombal, by tearing the blue feathers from their caps would be degrading the honour of the nation & a relinquishment of their natural right—they were likewise sensible that the most vigorous exertions were necessary to save the Country from ruin. The opinion & advice of Lobaska was requested. It is my opinion says he, that <by> using a little stratigem this war might be bro’t <to> a conclusion [p. 74] which will be honourable to this kingdom. We will pursue, says the King, your advice & directions.

I shall be happy, says Lobaska to assist you with my best advice—Call immediately into the field an Army of Three thousand men—provide two thousand shovels, five hundred mathooks & one thousand wheel barrows—<& one hundred axes.> I will give directions how to make them—

Not a moment was lost, the army was assembled & impliments provided with the utmost expidition—& they marched down the river to a certain place where the Army of the Enimy must pass, in order to arive at the City of Golanga At this place the hill or mountain came within less than a mile of the River & a flat or level Land intervened—Here Lobaska directed that a Canal should be dug from the River to the River to the Hill—That it should be eight feet wide & eight deep & that the dirt which they dug should be thrown into the River—That the canal except what should be wanting to lay over thin peices of split timber, which should be extended across the Canal & so weak & slender that the weight of a man would brake them down. This novel invention inventio was soon carried into effet—& the work compleatly finished—Every pre[p. 75]caution was used to prevent, any inteligence of these transactions from geting to the enimy.—

In the meantime Hadokam bro’t into the <field> seven thousand more of his warriors, men of brave hearts & valiant for the Battle—The indignant king of the Kentucks by this time had assembled an Army of Thirty Thousand <men> who were ready at the risk of their lives to vindicate the preeminence of their nation & the transcendent dignity of their king & his chiefs—’- Had of this At the head of this Army Bombal began his march to execute his threatned vengance on the Sciotans—As he entered their country he found the viliges deserted & all the movable property conveyed away—Not a man, of worn to be seen until he came in view of the army of Hadokam, who was encamped within a small distance of the Canal.—

Bombal halted & formed his men in two Ranks extending from the river to the hill—He had a reserved core, who were placed in the rear of the main body—Having thus arranged them for battle, he went from one wing to the other—proclaiming alould, we have been insulted, brave Soldiers, by these cowardly Siotans—They [p. 76] have assumed the blue Feather, the badge of our preeminance & exalted dignity—Behold it flying in their Caps—will your high born souls submit to behold such Dastards place themselvs on equal ground with you—No, my valiant warriors, let us revenge the insult by the destruction of their puny army & the conflagration of their City—

Make a furious charge upon them—& & the victory is ours—Let you<r> motto be blue Feather & you will fight like wolvs robed of their puppies.—Hadocam had by this time, formed his army in order of Battle close to the edge of the Canal & extended them <only> in one rank only from the River to the Hill.—As the Kentucks approched within a smal distance, the Sciotans gave back & began a retreat with apparent confusion, notwithstanding the pretended exertions of the King & his officers to prevent their retreating—Bombal observing this commanded to rush forward on the full run but to keep their Ranks in order—This they instantly obeyed as one man—& as soon [p. 77] as their feet stept on the slender covering of the canal it gave way & they fell to the bottom, some in one position & some in another—A disaster so novel & unexpected must have appalled the stoutest heart & filled their minds with amazement & & terror.—Nor did this compleat there misfortune of the army of Bombal—an ambush of the Sciotans, who lay on the side of <the> hill opposite to the reserved Corps of the Kentucks, rushed down upon <them> in an instant—Supprize & terror prevented resistance—they threw down their arms & surrenderd—The retreating army of Hadocam immediately returned with shouting to the edge of the Canal—Their enimies, who but a moment before, tho’t themselvs invincible & certain of victory—were now defenceless & wholy in their power.—When Lobaska was present & saw the success of his stratigim his great soul disdained revenge on an [p. 78] helpless & prostate Enimy—he conjured the Siotans not to shed one drop of Blood—but to be generous & merciful—Bombal had now recovered from his surprise & seeing the deplorable situation of his army, his haugty soul felt the keenest anguish—Where says he is the King of the Siotans? Here I am sasy Hadocam—what is your request my Brother? Reduced says he by a stratagim the most ingenious & artful, to a situation which subjects us wholly under your power, & in which you can take ample revenge—I now emplore your generosity & compassion for my army—Spare their lives—& then name your other terms & if I can comply with them, whithout degrading the honour of my Crown, it shall be done. Your request says Hadocam is granted—Surrender your arms—& let your army return in peace.—As for your majesty, & the chiefs of your nation, who are present, you <will> give <us> the pleasure of your company in our return to the City of Golanga, & there we will execute a treaty of peace & amity, that shall be advantageous & honourable to both nations.—These terms were accepted, [p. 79] & the Kentucks returned in peace to their own Country, not to describe exploits & bloody victories—but the curious stratigim of Lobaska—The two kings & their splended Retinue of princes, having arived at Golangaevery attentions was paid by the Hodacam & his chcifs to their honorable visitors Hodacam made a sumptuous entertainment at which all were present—The next day both parties met for for the purpose of agreeing to terms of peace & perpetual amity—What are your terms says Bombal= Lobaska, says Hodacam, shall be our Arbitrator—He shall name the terms,—his wisdom will dctate nothing which will be dishonerable for either party. Your proposal, says Bombal, is generous Lobaska shall be our Arbitrator—Lobaska then rose—Attend says he, to my words ye princes of Siota & Kentuck. You have all derived your existence from the great father of Spirits—you are his children & belong to his great family—Why then have you thirsted for each others Blood for the Blood of Brothers.—& what has [p. 80] & what has produced this mighty war—A blue feather, may it please your majesties, A blue feather, a badge of preeminence. It is pride, it is cursed ambition & avarice which devastate the world & produce rivers of human Blood—& the wars which take place among nations generally originate from as trifling causes as the blue feather.

Let this be the first article of your treaty that any person may wear a blue feather in his Cap)—or any other feather that he pleases.—

Let this be <the> second, that the individuals of each nation may carry on a commerce with each other—& that they shall be protected in their persons & property.

Let this be the third, that I shall be at liberty to establish a shool or schools in any part of the domions of Kentuck & furnish them with such instructors as I please—That none shall be restrained from hearing our instructions—& that we shall be patronized & protected by the King & his chiefs—

Let this be the fourth—that perpetual peace & amity shall remain betwen both nations—

[p. 81] And as a pledge for the fulfilment of these articles, on the part of the princes of Kentuck—that the eldest Son of the King & four sons of the principal Chiefs shall be left as hostiges in this City for the term of Term of Three years.

These terms <met> the cordial approbation of both parties & were ratified in the most solem manner—

Thus [3] happy, <was the> termination of the war, about the blue feather! having taken place—Lobaska proceeded with indefatigable industry & perseverance in his benevolent schemes of enlighning & reforming mankind.

And how happy would it be for mankind, if all wars about as trifling causes as this, might terminate in the same way The benevolent mind of Lobaska soared above trifles—viewing all mankind as brothers & sisters he wished the happiness of all.—Hence he made provision in the Treaty <with the Kentucks> for the introduction of Scools in Kentuck <amongt them>. This was the first step, which [p. 82] he foresaw would introduce improvments in agreculture & the mechanical arts—produce a reformation in their morals & religious principals & a happy revolution in <some part of> their political institutions.—

Bombal had become so captivated with Lobaska that he solicited him to be<ar> him company to his own dominions—He consented & when he had arived at the royal City of Gamba, which is situate on the River Kentuck—he there pursued the same course which he had done at Golanga & his success answered his most sanguine expectations. The people were now prepared for the introduction of a school—He returned back to Tolanga & sent his second son & three of the most forward scollars of the Sciotans to establish a sc<h>ool at Gamba—In the mean time his intention was to make some amendments in the goverment of Sciota.—But as there were several Cities & a great number of viliages, that acknowledged the jurisdiction of the Sciotan king, which still were ignorant of the prin[p. 83]ciplcs & doctrine which he taught—he found it necessary to visit them & to introduce instructors amongst them. In this work he was engaged about two years—& the happy effect of his labours were now visible in various kinds of improvments & in the reformation of manners, morals & religion. The way was now prepared to introduce his system of goverment—The chiefs of the nation were invited to attend a grand council at Tolanga—When they were met—Lobaska rose—& presented them with the following constitution of goverment—

The king of Siota shall be stiled the Emperor of Ohion & the king of Siota—His crown shall be hereditary in the oldest male heir of his family—The cities & vilages who now acknowled his jurisdiction or who may hereafter <do it> shall be entitled to protection from the emperor= If invaded by an enimy he shall defend them with the force of the empire

Once evry year the cheifs shall meet at Golanga to make laws for the good of the nation.—

[p. 84] These young men, having imbibed the the spirit & principles of their great preceptor, spared no exertions to instruct their scholars & to defuse useful knowledge among the people—The happy effects of their Labours were visible in a short time

The people The people embraced the religion of Lobaska & became more industrious & civilized. In their various improvements in agreculture, the mechanical arts they & literature they even rivaled the Sciotans & appeared to be as prosperous & flourishing. Even Bombal himself declared that the termination of the war about the blue feather—which at first appeared unfortunate yet as it occationed such happy effects among his people, it gave him more satisfaction & pleasure than <what> the reputation of being a great Conqueror what he could have received from the reputation of being a great conqueror.


[1] The letters “ily” are written over “y.”

[2] The word “the” is written over “it of.”

[3] The word “Thus” is written over “As.”