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Luman Walters


   While acting in his primitive, supernatural capacity as water-witch and money-digger, Smith made the acquaintance of a drunken vagabond by the name of Walters, who had been a physician in Europe.  This person had learned in Europe the secret of Mesmerism or animal magnetism.  This was entirely unknown in America except to a few in large cities, who had read European papers.  Smith learned this art, and like all men with great passions, vitality and physical force he was almost a prodigy in his mesmeric power.  All casting out devils and raising the dead were merely a display of his great mesmeric power.
External Link
Public discussion of the issues between the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and the Church of Christ (Disciples) : held in Kirtland, Ohio, beginning February 12th, and closing March 8, 1884
The Braden and Kelley Debate
Clark Braden
1884
   While acting in his primitive, supernatural capacity as water-witch and money-digger, Smith made the acquaintance of a drunken vagabond by the name of Walters, who had been a physician in Europe. This person had learned in Europe the secret of Mesmerism or animal magnetism. This was entirely unknown in America except to a few in large cities, who had read European papers. Smith learned this art, and like all men with great passions, vitality and physical force he was almost a prodigy in his mesmeric power. All casting out devils and raising the dead were merely a display of his great mesmeric power.

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External Link
Elizabeth Kane's Journal, 15 Jan, 1873
Artemisia Beaman Account
Elizabeth Kane
15 Jan, 1873
   A man named Walters son of a rich man living on the Hudson South of Albany, received a scientific education, was even sent to Paris. After he came home he lived like a misanthrope, he had come back an infidel, believing neither in man nor God. He used to dress in fine broadcloth overcoat, but no other coat nor vest, his trousers all slitted up and patched, and sunburnt boots—filthy! He was a sort of fortune teller, though he never stirred off the old place. For instance, a man I knew rode up, and before he spoke, the fortune teller said, “You needn’t get off your horse, I know what you want. Your mare ain’t stolen.”
   Says the man “How do you know what I want?”
   Says he, “I’ll give you a sign. You’ve got a respectable wife, and so many children. At this minute your wife has just drawn a bucket of water at the well to wash her dishes. Look at your watch and find out if it ain’t so when you get home. As to your mare, she’s not a dozen miles from home. She strayed into such neighborhood, and as they didn’t know whose she was they put her up till she should be claimed. My fee’s a dollar. Be off!”
   This man was sent for three times to go to the hill Cumorah to dig for treasure. People knew there was treasure there. Beman was one of those who sent for him. He came. Each time he said there was treasure there, but that he couldn’t get it; though there was one that could. The last time he came he pointed out Joseph Smith, who was sitting quietly among a group of men in the tavern, and said There was the young man that could find it, and cursed and swore about him in a scientific manner: awful!”
(Note:  This account was recorded in Elizabeth Kane's journal the day she visited and heard the account from Artemisia Snow, daughter of Alva Beaman. No images of the journal entry appear to be available online. Please contact me if you have any information.)

   A transient person, calling himself Laman Walter, has for several days past been imposing upon the credulity of people in this vicinity, by a pretended knowledge of magic, palmistry, conjuration, &c. and a corresponding conduct, was yesterday apprehended by civil authority; brought to trial before Benjamin Little, Esq convicted of the charges in the complaint, and sentenced, as the law provides, to the house of correction; but breaking from his keepers has made his escape.  This is therefore to advise the public of such a character, and to offer to any person <i>Five Dollars</i> as a reward, who will secure the said Laman Walter in the Jail in Hopkinton, county of Hillsboro', or return him to me the subscriber, in Boscawen, within 14 days from this date.<br>
   JAMES GIDDINGS,<br>
   <i>Deputy Sheriff</i><br>
   Boscawen, Aug. 21, 1818.
Full Source
Escape from Justice, Concord Gazette, September 1, 1818, No 13, Vol 12, pg 3, col 5
Escape from Justice
James Giddings
21 Aug, 1818
   A transient person, calling himself Laman Walter, has for several days past been imposing upon the credulity of people in this vicinity, by a pretended knowledge of magic, palmistry, conjuration, &c. and a corresponding conduct, was yesterday apprehended by civil authority; brought to trial before Benjamin Little, Esq convicted of the charges in the complaint, and sentenced, as the law provides, to the house of correction; but breaking from his keepers has made his escape. This is therefore to advise the public of such a character, and to offer to any person Five Dollars as a reward, who will secure the said Laman Walter in the Jail in Hopkinton, county of Hillsboro', or return him to me the subscriber, in Boscawen, within 14 days from this date.
   JAMES GIDDINGS,
   Deputy Sheriff
   Boscawen, Aug. 21, 1818.
(Note:  This notice was also printed in the September 1st edition of the New Hampshire Patriot, page 3, column 5.)

Luman Walters
External Link
Population schedules of the fourth census of the United States, 1820, Vermont, pg 426
1820 Census, Andover, VT
1820 Census
1820
Luman Walters

Luman Walters
External Link
Population schedules of the fifth census of the United States, 1830, New York, pg 138
1830 Census, Sodus, NY
1830 Census
1830
Luman Walters
(Note:  Pultneyville was part of the Township of Sodus for the Census Report.)

Luman Walter
External Link
Population schedules of the sixth census of the United States, 1840, New York, pg 145
1840 Census, Gorham, NY
1840 Census
1840
Luman Walter
(Note:  According to the Ontario County Deed Index Luman purchased his land in Gorham in 1834. In the 1850 Census he is still listed as living in Gorham with two of his daughters. He had six children by his first wife Harriet Howard: Lona (1821), Margaret (1823), Daniel M. (1824), Melissa (1827), Eliza (1830), and Mary (1833). The Taylor County History lists his daughter Eliza as having been married around 1846. He remarried a woman named Margaret and with her had a daughter named Weltha or "Della" in 1852.)

   1. And it came to pass in the latter days, that wickedness did much abound, and the Idle and slothful said one to another, let us send for Walters the Magician, who has strange books, and deals with familiar spirits; peradventure he will inform us where the Nephites, hid their treasure, so be it, that we and our vagabond van, do not perish for lack of sustenance.<br>

   2. Now Walters, the Magician, was a man unseemly to look upon, and to profound ignorance added the most consummate imprudence, -- the summons of the idle and slothful, and produced an old book in an unknown tongue, (Cicero's Orations in latin,) from whence he read in the presence of the Idle and Slothful strange stories of hidden treasures and of the spirit who had custody thereof.<br>

   3. And the Idle and Slothful paid tribute unto the Magician, and besought him saying, Oh! thou who art wise above all men, and can interpret the book that no man understandeth, and can discover hidden things by the power of thy enchantments, lead us, we pray thee to the place where the Nephites buried their treasure, and give us power over the spirit, and we will be thy servants forever.<br>

   4. And the Magician led the rabble unto a dark grove, in a place called Manchester, where after drawing a Magic circle, with a rusty sword, and collecting his motley crew of latter-demallions, within the centre, he sacrificed a Cock (a bird sacred to Minerva) for the purpose of propiciating the prince of spirits.<br>

   5. All things being ready, the Idle and Slothful fell to work with a zeal deserving a better cause, and many a live long night was spent in digging for the root of all evil.<br>

   Howbeit, owing to the wickedness and hardness of their hearts, these credulous and ignorant knaves, were always disappointed, till finally, their hopes, although frequently on the eve of consummation -- like that of the hypocrite perished, and their hearts became faint within them.<br>

   7. And it came to pass, that when the Idle and Slothful became weary of their nightly labors, they said one to another, lo! this imp of the Devil, hath deceived us, let us no more of him, or peradventure, ourselves, our wives, and our little ones, will become chargeable on the town.<br>

   8. Now when Walters the Magician heard these things, he was sorely grieved, and said unto himself, lo! mine occupation is gone, even these ignorant vagabonds, the idle and slothful detect mine impostures. I will away and hide myself, lest the strong arm of the law should bring me to justice.<br>

   9. And he took his book, and his rusty sword, and his magic stone, and his stuffed Toad, and all his implements of witchcraft and retired to the mountains near Great Sodus Bay, where he holds communion with the Devil, even to this day.<br>

   10. Now the rest of the acts of the magician, how his mantle fell upon the prophet Jo. Smith Jun. and how Jo. made a league with the spirit, who afterwards turned out to be an angel, and how he obtained the Gold Bible. Spectacles, and breast plate -- will they not be faithfully recorded in the book of Pukei?
External Link
The Book of Pukei, Chapter 1, The Reflector, Palmyra, 12 Jun, 1830, pgs 36-37
The Book of Pukei, Chapter 1
Abner Cole
12 Jun, 1830
   1. And it came to pass in the latter days, that wickedness did much abound, and the "Idle and slothful said one to another, let us send for Walters the Magician, who has strange books, and deals with familiar spirits; peradventure he will inform us where the Nephites, hid their treasure, so be it, that we and our vagabond van, do not perish for lack of sustenance.
   2. Now Walters, the Magician, was a man unseemly to look upon, and to profound ignorance added the most consummate imprudence, -- the summons of the idle and slothful, and produced an old book in an unknown tongue, (Cicero's Orations in latin,) from whence he read in the presence of the Idle and Slothful strange stories of hidden treasures and of the spirit who had custody thereof.
   3. And the Idle and Slothful paid tribute unto the Magician, and besought him saying, Oh! thou who art wise above all men, and can interpret the book that no man understandeth, and can discover hidden things by the power of thy enchantments, lead us, we pray thee to the place where the Nephites buried their treasure, and give us power over "the spirit," and we will be thy servants forever.
   4. And the Magician led the rabble unto a dark grove, in a place called Manchester, where after drawing a Magic circle, with a rusty sword, and collecting his motley crew of latter-demallions, within the centre, he sacrificed a Cock (a bird sacred to Minerva) for the purpose of propiciating the prince of spirits.
   5. All things being ready, the Idle and Slothful fell to work with a zeal deserving a better cause, and many a live long night was spent in digging for "the root of all evil."
   Howbeit, owing to the wickedness and hardness of their hearts, these credulous and ignorant knaves, were always disappointed, till finally, their hopes, although frequently on the eve of consummation -- like that of the hypocrite perished, and their hearts became faint within them.
   7. And it came to pass, that when the Idle and Slothful became weary of their nightly labors, they said one to another, lo! this imp of the Devil, hath deceived us, let us no more of him, or peradventure, ourselves, our wives, and our little ones, will become chargeable on the town.
   8. Now when Walters the Magician heard these things, he was sorely grieved, and said unto himself, lo! mine occupation is gone, even these ignorant vagabonds, the idle and slothful detect mine impostures. I will away and hide myself, lest the strong arm of the law should bring me to justice.
   9. And he took his book, and his rusty sword, and his magic stone, and his stuffed Toad, and all his implements of witchcraft and retired to the mountains near Great Sodus Bay, where he holds communion with the Devil, even to this day.
   10. Now the rest of the acts of the magician, how his mantle fell upon the prophet Jo. Smith Jun. and how Jo. made a league with the spirit, who afterwards turned out to be an angel, and how he obtained the "Gold Bible." Spectacles, and breast plate -- will they not be faithfully recorded in the book of Pukei?

   1. And it came to pass, that when the mantle of Walters the Magician had fallen upon Joseph, sirnamed the prophet, who was the son of Joseph; that the idle and slothful gathered themselves together, in the presence of Joseph, and said to him, lo! we will be thy servants forever, do with us, our wives, and our little ones as it may seem good in thine eyes.<br>
   2. And the prophet answered and said, -- Behold! hath not the mantle of Walters the magician fallen upon me, and I am not able to do before you my people great wonders, and shew you, at a more proper season, where the Nephites hid their treasures? -- for lo! yesternight stood before me in the wilderness of Manchester, the spirit, who, from the begining, has had in keeping all the treasures, hidden in the bowels of the earth...
External Link
The Book of Pukei, Chapter 2, The Reflector, Palmyra, 7 Jul, 1830, pg 60
The Book of Pukei, Chapter 2
Abner Cole
7 Jul, 1830
   1. And it came to pass, that when the mantle of Walters the Magician had fallen upon Joseph, sirnamed the prophet, who was the son of Joseph; that the "idle and slothful" gathered themselves together, in the presence of Joseph, and said to him, "lo! we will be thy servants forever, do with us, our wives, and our little ones as it may seem good in thine eyes."
   2. And the prophet answered and said, -- "Behold! hath not the mantle of Walters the magician fallen upon me, and I am not able to do before you my people great wonders, and shew you, at a more proper season, where the Nephites hid their treasures? -- for lo! yesternight stood before me in the wilderness of Manchester, the spirit, who, from the begining, has had in keeping all the treasures, hidden in the bowels of the earth...

   It is well known that Jo Smith never pretended to have any communion with angels, until a long period after the pretended finding of his book, and that the juggling of himself or father, went no further than the pretended faculty of seeing wonders in a “peep stone,” and the occasional interview with the spirit, supposed to have the custody of hidden treasures; and it is also equally well known, that a vagabond fortune-teller by the name of Walters, who then resided in the town of Sodus, and was once committed to the jail of this county for juggling, was the constant companion and bosom friend of these money digging impostors.<br>
   There remains but little doubt, in the minds of those at all acquainted with these transactions, that Walters, who was sometimes called the conjurer, and was paid three dollars per day for his services by the money diggers in this neighborhood, first suggested to Smith the idea of finding a book. Walters, the better to carry on his own deception with those ignorant & deluded people who employed him, had procured an old copy of Cicero’s Orations, in the latin language, out of which he read long and loud to his credulous hearers, uttering at the same time an unintelligible jargon, which he would afterwards pretend to interpret, and explain, as a record of the former inhabitants of America, and a particular account of the numerous situations where they had deposited their treasures previous to their final extirpation.<br>
   So far did this impostor carry this diabolical farce, that not long previous to the pretended discovery of the “Book of Mormon,” Walters assembled his nightly band of money diggers in the town of Manchester, at a point designated in his magical book, and drawing a circle around the laborers, with the point of an old rusty sword, and using sundry other incantations, for the purpose of propitiating the spirit, absolutely sacrificed a fowl, (“Rooster,”)in the presence of his awe-stricken companions, to the foul spirit, whom ignorance had created, the guardian of hidden wealth; and after digging until day-light, his deluded employers retired to their several habitations, fatigued and disappointed.<br>
External Link
Gold Bible, No. 5, The Reflector, Palmyra, 28 Feb, 1831, pg 109
Abner Cole Account
Abner Cole
28 Feb, 1831
   It is well known that Jo Smith never pretended to have any communion with angels, until a long period after the pretended finding of his book, and that the juggling of himself or father, went no further than the pretended faculty of seeing wonders in a “peep stone,” and the occasional interview with the spirit, supposed to have the custody of hidden treasures; and it is also equally well known, that a vagabond fortune-teller by the name of Walters, who then resided in the town of Sodus, and was once committed to the jail of this county for juggling, was the constant companion and bosom friend of these money digging impostors.
   There remains but little doubt, in the minds of those at all acquainted with these transactions, that Walters, who was sometimes called the conjurer, and was paid three dollars per day for his services by the money diggers in this neighborhood, first suggested to Smith the idea of finding a book. Walters, the better to carry on his own deception with those ignorant & deluded people who employed him, had procured an old copy of Cicero’s Orations, in the latin language, out of which he read long and loud to his credulous hearers, uttering at the same time an unintelligible jargon, which he would afterwards pretend to interpret, and explain, as a record of the former inhabitants of America, and a particular account of the numerous situations where they had deposited their treasures previous to their final extirpation.
   So far did this impostor carry this diabolical farce, that not long previous to the pretended discovery of the “Book of Mormon,” Walters assembled his nightly band of money diggers in the town of Manchester, at a point designated in his magical book, and drawing a circle around the laborers, with the point of an old rusty sword, and using sundry other incantations, for the purpose of propitiating the spirit, absolutely sacrificed a fowl, (“Rooster,”)in the presence of his awe-stricken companions, to the foul spirit, whom ignorance had created, the guardian of hidden wealth; and after digging until day-light, his deluded employers retired to their several habitations, fatigued and disappointed.

   The first idea of a “Book,” was doubtless suggested to the Smiths by one Walters, a juggling fortune-teller, who made the ignorant believe that an old book in his possession, in the Latin language, contained an account of the anti-deluvians, &c. and the word was given out that the book Smith was about to find, was a history of hidden treasures.
External Link
The Telegraph, Painesville, Vol II, No. 40, March 22, 1831
Letter to the Painesville Telegraph
Ten Palmyra Residents
12 Mar, 1831
   The first idea of a “Book,” was doubtless suggested to the Smiths by one Walters, a juggling fortune-teller, who made the ignorant believe that an old book in his possession, in the Latin language, contained an account of the anti-deluvians, &c. and the word was given out that the book Smith was about to find, was a history of hidden treasures.

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Interview with E. L. Kelley, 12 Nov. 1884, pg12
Lorenzo Saunders Interview
Lorenzo Saunders
12 Nov, 1884
   At the time the big hole was dug in the hill they was duped by one Walters who pretended to be a conjurer, I heard Willard Chase say that he was duped. They could not be deceived in it after he had gone through with a certain movements &... charged them $7.
(Note:  No images of this interview are available online. Please contact me if you have any information.)

   Mr. Smith was soon informed that 10 or 12 men were clubed together with one willard chase a Methodist class leader at their head and what was most rediculous they had sent for a conjuror to come 60 miles to divine the place where the record was deposited by magic art<br>
   we were apprehensive that the pates were taken out and secreted some where and we were somwhat uneasy least they might like Moses who was hid in the bulrushes be discovered by our enemies—accordingly the morning after we heard of their plans Mr Smith went over a hill that lay east of us to see what he could discover among the neighbors there at the first house he came to he found the conjuror Willard chase and the company all together this was the house of one Mr Laurence he made an errand and went in and sat down near the door leaving the door ajar for the men were so near that he could hear their conversation they were devising many plans and schemes to find Joe Smiths gold bible as they termed it the conjurer was really animated although he had travelled 60 miles during the latter part of the day and the night before.<br>
   the woman was uneasy at the exposures they were making she stepped through a back door into the yard and called to her husband in a suppressed voice (but so loud that Mr. Smith heard every word distinctly) Sam, Sam said she you are cutting your own throat—the conjuror bawlled out again at the top of his voice I am not afraid of any body we will have the plates in spite of Joe Smith or all the Devils in Hell—<br>
External Link
The Joseph Smith Papers, Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, pgs 62-63
Lucy Smith Account of a Conjurer
Lucy Mack Smith
1844-45
   Mr. Smith was soon informed that 10 or 12 men were clubed together with one willard chase a Methodist class leader at their head and what was most rediculous they had sent for a conjuror to come 60 miles to divine the place where the record was deposited by magic art
   we were apprehensive that the pates were taken out and secreted some where and we were somwhat uneasy least they might like Moses who was hid in the bulrushes be discovered by our enemies—accordingly the morning after we heard of their plans Mr Smith went over a hill that lay east of us to see what he could discover among the neighbors there at the first house he came to he found the conjuror Willard chase and the company all together this was the house of one Mr Laurence he made an errand and went in and sat down near the door leaving the door ajar for the men were so near that he could hear their conversation they were devising many plans and schemes to find Joe Smiths gold bible as they termed it the conjurer was really animated although he had travelled 60 miles during the latter part of the day and the night before.
   the woman was uneasy at the exposures they were making she stepped through a back door into the yard and called to her husband in a suppressed voice (but so loud that Mr. Smith heard every word distinctly) Sam, Sam said she you are cutting your own throat—the conjuror bawlled out again at the top of his voice I am not afraid of any body we will have the plates in spite of Joe Smith or all the Devils in Hell—
(Note:  Luman Walters was apparently living in Pultneyville, in the Sodus township, in 1827, which is approximately 16 miles from Palmyra, not 60.

This quote comes from Lucy's original manuscript transcribed in 1844-1845 by Martha Jane and Howard Coray. In 1845 the Corays produced an altered copy which can be read in full here. This altered manuscript was used in the 1853 publication by Orson Pratt in England under the title "Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith, the Prophet, and his Progenitors for many Generations" which can be read in full here.)

   I well knew a man who, to get the plates, rode over sixty miles three times the same season they were obtained by Joseph Smith. About the time of their being delivered to Joseph by the angel, the friends of this man sent for him, and informed him that they were going to lose that treasure, though they did not know what it was. The man I refer to was a fortune-teller, necromancer, an astrologer, a soothsayer and possessed as much talent as any man that walked on the American soil, and was one of the wickedest men I ever saw. The last time he went to obtain the treasure he knew sure where it was, but did not know its value. Allow me to tell you that a Baptist deacon and others of Joseph's neighbors were the very men who sent for this necromancer the last time he went for the treasure. I never heard a man who could swear like that astrologer; he swore scientifically, by rule, by note. To those who love swearing, it was musical to hear him, but not so for me, for I would leave his presence. He would call Joseph everything that was bad and say I believe he will get the treasure after all. He did get it and the war commenced directly.

When Joseph obtained the treasure, the priests the deacons and religionists of every grade, went hand in hand with the fortune-teller, and with every wicked person, to get it out of his hand, and to accomplish this, a part of them came out and persecuted him.
External Link
Journal of Discourses, Vol 2, pgs 180-181
Brigham Young 1855 Speech
Brigham Young
18 Feb, 1855
   I well knew a man who, to get the plates, rode over sixty miles three times the same season they were obtained by Joseph Smith. About the time of their being delivered to Joseph by the angel, the friends of this man sent for him, and informed him that they were going to lose that treasure, though they did not know what it was. The man I refer to was a fortune-teller, necromancer, an astrologer, a soothsayer and possessed as much talent as any man that walked on the American soil, and was one of the wickedest men I ever saw. The last time he went to obtain the treasure he knew sure where it was, but did not know its value. Allow me to tell you that a Baptist deacon and others of Joseph's neighbors were the very men who sent for this necromancer the last time he went for the treasure. I never heard a man who could swear like that astrologer; he swore scientifically, by rule, by note. To those who love swearing, it was musical to hear him, but not so for me, for I would leave his presence. He would call Joseph everything that was bad and say "I believe he will get the treasure after all". He did get it and the war commenced directly. When Joseph obtained the treasure, the priests the deacons and religionists of every grade, went hand in hand with the fortune-teller, and with every wicked person, to get it out of his hand, and to accomplish this, a part of them came out and persecuted him.

   I never heard such oaths fall from the lips of any man as I heard uttered by a man who was called a fortune teller, and who knew where those plates were hid. He went three times in one summer to get them,—the same summer in which Joseph did get them. Baptist, Presbyterian, and Methodist priests and deacons sent for him to tell where those plates were, and to get them out of the hill where they were deposited; and he had not returned to his home from the last trip he made for them more than a week or ten days before Joseph got them. Joseph was what we call an ignorant boy, but this fortune teller whose name I do not remember was a man of profound learning. He had put himself in possession of all the learning in the States,—had been to France, Germany, Italy, and through the world,—had been educated for a priest and turned out to be a devil. I do not know but that he would have been a devil if he had followed the profession of a priest among what are termed the christian denominations. He could preach as well as the best of them, and I never heard a man swear as he did. He could tell that those plates were there, and that they were a treasure whose value to the people could not be told; for that I myself heard him say.
External Link
Journal of Discourses, Vol 5, pg 55
Brigham Young 1857 Speech
Brigham Young
19 July, 1857
   I never heard such oaths fall from the lips of any man as I heard uttered by a man who was called a fortune teller, and who knew where those plates were hid. He went three times in one summer to get them,—the same summer in which Joseph did get them. Baptist, Presbyterian, and Methodist priests and deacons sent for him to tell where those plates were, and to get them out of the hill where they were deposited; and he had not returned to his home from the last trip he made for them more than a week or ten days before Joseph got them. Joseph was what we call an ignorant boy, but this fortune teller whose name I do not remember was a man of profound learning. He had put himself in possession of all the learning in the States,—had been to France, Germany, Italy, and through the world,—had been educated for a priest and turned out to be a devil. I do not know but that he would have been a devil if he had followed the profession of a priest among what are termed the christian denominations. He could preach as well as the best of them, and I never heard a man swear as he did. He could tell that those plates were there, and that they were a treasure whose value to the people could not be told; for that I myself heard him say.

   These pioneer Mormon disciples, so far as their names can now be recollected, were as follows, viz. … Luman Walters, of Pultneyville
External Link
Origin, rise, and progress of Mormonism : biography of its founders and history of its church : personal remembrances and historical collections hitherto unwritten ..., pg 38
Pomeroy Tucker Reference
Pomeroy Tucker
1867
   These pioneer Mormon disciples, so far as their names can now be recollected, were as follows, viz. … Luman Walters, of Pultneyville

   John Walter, a native of Connecticut, came to Burke some time previous to 1800, and first settled on road 21, which farm he afterwards sold to Abner Coe, after having lived there about ten years.  He finally moved to East Haven, where he died at the great age of 101 years.  He had several children.
External Link
Gazetteer of Caledonia and Essex Counties, VT, pg 154
Note on John Walter
Hamilton Child
May, 1887
   John Walter, a native of Connecticut, came to Burke some time previous to 1800, and first settled on road 21, which farm he afterwards sold to Abner Coe, after having lived there about ten years. He finally moved to East Haven, where he died at the great age of 101 years. He had several children.
(Note:  John Walter was Luman Walters' father. According to the source, the town of Burke was settled by Luman's uncle Lemuel Walter in 1794.)

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External Link
"Ambition and Superstition," Miscellaneous Undated Items, Diedrich Willers Papers, Box 1, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
Diedrich Willers Document
Diedrich Willers Jr.
Unknown
   Fortune tellers are consulted as to the future, many in this neighborhood where ever they wish to find out something which is lost or pry into hidden mysteries will consult Dr Walters
(Note:  No images of this document are available online. Please contact me if you have any information regarding this source.)

   Not all Dead Yet.<br>
<br>
   We have often heard it remarked that the fools are not all dead yet.  We are convinced of the fact by a letter which has been placed in our hands, of which the following is a ver batim copy.  Dr. Walters, to whom it is addressed, has some reputation as a physician skilled in the curative properties of roots and yarbs and brandy; but that he brings to his aid a conjurashion stone, as believed in by this Vermont Doctor, surpasses the credulity of Dr. Walters' neighbors;<br>
   Montpeller Oct 12 56<br>
   Dr Luman Walter Bethel ontario Co N Y<br>
   Sur after hearing of you from your neffew that is here now as A, repisenetive I thought I would Rite to you & &c Sur I am at practice here on the Botonic Practis But the old fogies, the old Drs. is down on me I am in ful Believer of one Being Goverend By some Ruling Spirit, that fore tells them, some is powerful, & others is not, I no that ther is some thing to it and I am a furm Believer of it in fore sight and fore seying and Reading A pursens thaughts By Just looking at them that I Do no and firmley Believe in the Jeuine and true spiriuelst and fore telling &c<br>
   Sur can you and will you tell me what my Luck is and will Be to come whether Good or Bad and what I shall Be Likeley to follow and will Do the Best at and in what place and if you can and will Lend me your influence in the Practice of Phisick in the healing Art of Diseasis Also what you will ask me for this if you can and will Give me this Aid, I am Poor that you can se in your conjureashion stone Now if you can lend me your aid Do for I really want help to Give the old Drs fits and I will recompence you if I ever can Git Abel to Return the favior Sur do not think strange of this Please Look my Life over if you can and will and Right to me and Let me no About it By Return of male I was Born in cambridge, Washington co. N y December 14, 18,14.<br>
   Respectifulley Yours &c<br>
   Dr Wm S. Green,<br>
   Also if you can and will what you Will Ask mem for the Art of fore seying and telling As it is an Art from spirits, of the Departed Purmited By God to convey ideas to mortel man here upon urth and Pleas Do not Neglect to Answer and I trust with confydence you will &c<br>
   Wm S Green,
External Link
The Geneva Gazette, Vol 15, No 34, 26 Aug, 1859, pg 2
Conjuration Stone
William S. Green
26 Aug, 1859
   Not all Dead Yet.

   We have often heard it remarked that "the fools are not all dead yet." We are convinced of the fact by a letter which has been placed in our hands, of which the following is a ver batim copy. Dr. Walters, to whom it is addressed, has some reputation as a physician skilled in the curative properties of "roots and yarbs" and brandy; but that he brings to his aid a "conjurashion stone," as believed in by this Vermont Doctor, surpasses the credulity of Dr. Walters' neighbors;
   Montpeller Oct 12 56
   Dr Luman Walter Bethel ontario Co N Y
   Sur after hearing of you from your neffew that is here now as A, repisenetive I thought I would Rite to you & &c Sur I am at practice here on the Botonic Practis But the old fogies, the old Drs. is down on me I am in ful Believer of one Being Goverend By some Ruling Spirit, that fore tells them, some is powerful, & others is not, I no that ther is some thing to it and I am a furm Believer of it in fore sight and fore seying and Reading A pursens thaughts By Just looking at them that I Do no and firmley Believe in the Jeuine and true spiriuelst and fore telling &c
   Sur can you and will you tell me what my Luck is and will Be to come whether Good or Bad and what I shall Be Likeley to follow and will Do the Best at and in what place and if you can and will Lend me your influence in the Practice of Phisick in the healing Art of Diseasis Also what you will ask me for this if you can and will Give me this Aid, I am Poor that you can se in your conjureashion stone Now if you can lend me your aid Do for I really want help to Give the old Drs fits and I will recompence you if I ever can Git Abel to Return the favior Sur do not think strange of this Please Look my Life over if you can and will and Right to me and Let me no About it By Return of male I was Born in cambridge, Washington co. N y December 14, 18,14.
   Respectifulley Yours &c
   Dr Wm S. Green,
   Also if you can and will what you Will Ask mem for the Art of fore seying and telling As it is an Art from spirits, of the Departed Purmited By God to convey ideas to mortel man here upon urth and Pleas Do not Neglect to Answer and I trust with confydence you will &c
   Wm S Green,

L. Walter<br>
Died<br>
June 2, 1860.<br>
Aged 72 years.
External Link
Luman Walters tombstone, Shuman Cemetery, Potter, Yates County, NY. Photographed by Dan Vogel, 1992
Gravestone
Luman Walters
2 Jun, 1860
L. Walter
Died
June 2, 1860.
Aged 72 years.
(Note:  On June 16th, 1863, a surrogate's court was held in which it was decided that the real estate of Luman Walters would be sold as a means of liquidating his debts. The details can be read here.)

   Dr. L. Walters, for many years known as a successful but eccentric practitioner of the medical profession, died at his residence at Bethel, Ontario county, on Saturday last.  He styled himself a seer or clarvoyant doctor, and has effected many very wonderful cures.  He only required the name and age of his patient to enable him to give a complete diagnosis of the case without seeing the person.
External Link
Auburn Weekly Union, Vol 6, No 20, 13 Jun, 1860, pg 5
Obituary
Auburn Weekly Union
13 Jun, 1860
   Dr. L. Walters, for many years known as a successful but eccentric practitioner of the medical profession, died at his residence at Bethel, Ontario county, on Saturday last. He styled himself a seer or clarvoyant doctor, and has effected many very wonderful cures. He only required the name and age of his patient to enable him to give a complete diagnosis of the case without seeing the person.
(Note:  Bethel was the original name of Gorham Village until about 1856.)

   Doctor of Olden Days Used Herb Remedies<br>
<br>
   Reminiscences of Dr. Luman Walters Who Was Noted for His Cures Which Were Accomplished by Peculiar Personal Methods.<br>
<br>
   Gorham, July 26—In the olden days, roots, herbs and vegetables were considered highly essential as medicine for nervous disorders by a number of physicians. Among the early physicians to use these ingredients in his prescriptions for nervous disorders was Dr. Luman Walters, a noted physician and surgeon who practiced in the village of Gorham over a half century ago.<br>
   Dr. Walters was the grandfather of Alonzo Walters of this village. He was a native of Vermont and ran away from home when he was six years old, his people never seeing or hearing of him again until he was a full fledged doctor. He would never divulge of who brought him up, he having worked his way through medical college. Shortly after leaving medical college, he located at Sodus Point and later came to Gorham where he began the practice of medicine.<br>
   According to older residents here Dr. Walters was one of the town characters. He engaged several men to gather various roots, such as burdock, mustard and other forms of vegetation which he compounded into medicine at his laboratory. According to his grandson shortly after coming to Gorham, Dr. Walters was called on a case of croup, the patient being an infant. The baby was given up by the other resident physicians when Dr. Walters was called on the case. The doctor rushed into the house, asked the other two physicians if they were thorough with the case, with the reply that they were. Dr. Walters immediately took the infant from the crib, holding the child by its feet which caused the croup to break and placing the babe back in its crib, told the mother that her child would live.<br>
   The case brought fame to the new physician and his practice from that day increased. People came from every state in the union to take his treatments. Dr. Walters made his visits on horse back and lived in where the residence of Herbert Kearney on Main street, is now. This building was at one time a tavern. One evening the Doctor was disturbed by noise. The next morning he went to the landlord and inquired what was his price for the building. The landlord stated his price and said “come on, down to Matt Pulver and we will sign the papers.” This was done immediately and before noon that day, the doctor had the landlord and all the rest of the guests ejected from the building and from that day on, the Doctor used the building as a sanitarium for treating his patients.<br>
   One of Dr. Walters specialists was reading the mind and being able to tell people where they could find lost articles, friends and the future. An instance is related where a Dutchman living in this vicinity lost two cows. Coming in the Doctor’s office, he said, “Doctor where are my cows?” The Doctor replied you old fool Dutchman, go home and dig your cows out from underneath the straw stack in your barnyard. The Dutchman went home and sure enough, he found his cows, underneath the straw stack dead.<br>
   According to Charles Johnson, the last Civil War veteran in the town of Gorham, Johnson earned his first money gathering herbs for Dr. Walters to use in his practice of medicine. Dr. Walters was one of the pioneer physicians in this vicinity and older residents take great pride in relating how he put Gorham on the map by his famous cures which brought many to this village for consultation with this famous medical man.<br>
External Link
Geneva Daily Times, July 26, 1929, p. 6
Geneva Daily Times Article
Geneva Daily Times
26 Jul, 1929
   Doctor of Olden Days Used Herb Remedies

   Reminiscences of Dr. Luman Walters Who Was Noted for His Cures Which Were Accomplished by Peculiar Personal Methods.

   Gorham, July 26—In the olden days, roots, herbs and vegetables were considered highly essential as medicine for nervous disorders by a number of physicians. Among the early physicians to use these ingredients in his prescriptions for nervous disorders was Dr. Luman Walters, a noted physician and surgeon who practiced in the village of Gorham over a half century ago.
   Dr. Walters was the grandfather of Alonzo Walters of this village. He was a native of Vermont and ran away from home when he was six years old, his people never seeing or hearing of him again until he was a full fledged doctor. He would never divulge of who brought him up, he having worked his way through medical college. Shortly after leaving medical college, he located at Sodus Point and later came to Gorham where he began the practice of medicine.
   According to older residents here Dr. Walters was one of the town characters. He engaged several men to gather various roots, such as burdock, mustard and other forms of vegetation which he compounded into medicine at his laboratory. According to his grandson shortly after coming to Gorham, Dr. Walters was called on a case of croup, the patient being an infant. The baby was given up by the other resident physicians when Dr. Walters was called on the case. The doctor rushed into the house, asked the other two physicians if they were thorough with the case, with the reply that they were. Dr. Walters immediately took the infant from the crib, holding the child by its feet which caused the croup to break and placing the babe back in its crib, told the mother that her child would live.
   The case brought fame to the new physician and his practice from that day increased. People came from every state in the union to take his treatments. Dr. Walters made his visits on horse back and lived in where the residence of Herbert Kearney on Main street, is now. This building was at one time a tavern. One evening the Doctor was disturbed by noise. The next morning he went to the landlord and inquired what was his price for the building. The landlord stated his price and said “come on, down to Matt Pulver and we will sign the papers.” This was done immediately and before noon that day, the doctor had the landlord and all the rest of the guests ejected from the building and from that day on, the Doctor used the building as a sanitarium for treating his patients.
   One of Dr. Walters specialists was reading the mind and being able to tell people where they could find lost articles, friends and the future. An instance is related where a Dutchman living in this vicinity lost two cows. Coming in the Doctor’s office, he said, “Doctor where are my cows?” The Doctor replied you old fool Dutchman, go home and dig your cows out from underneath the straw stack in your barnyard. The Dutchman went home and sure enough, he found his cows, underneath the straw stack dead.
   According to Charles Johnson, the last Civil War veteran in the town of Gorham, Johnson earned his first money gathering herbs for Dr. Walters to use in his practice of medicine. Dr. Walters was one of the pioneer physicians in this vicinity and older residents take great pride in relating how he put Gorham on the map by his famous cures which brought many to this village for consultation with this famous medical man.

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