A Defense of the Saints (1)

Dan Jones

Amddiffyniad y Saint versus cyhuddiadau Thomas Jones, Merthyr, ac ereill.

(A defense of the Saints versus the accusations of Thomas Jones, Merthyr, and others.)

Rhydybont: Printed by John Jones, [ 1846?]

8 pp. 17 cm.

The entire contents of this pamphlet were printed in the December 1846 Prophwyd y Jubili (pp. 148-56) and, with the exception of the title, the typesetting is the same for both. The pamphlet is not advertised in the Prophwyd y Jubili as being available, however, until the July 1847 issue, thus putting the publication date of the pamphlet sometime between December 1846 and July 1847. And because the typesetting is the same for the pamphlet as for the segment in the Prophwyd y Jubili, one would tend to place the date of publication near the beginning of 1847, or shortly after the December Prophwyd y Jubili was off the press.
The Thomas Jones mentioned in the title had joined with the Mormons in April 1843. Three years later, shortly after being excommunicated for immoral conduct, Jones was interviewed by David Williams, a Baptist minister who had published a 32-page pamphlet rebutting Dan Jones's first pamphlet. The interview, dated 4 June 1846, was written up and sent by Williams to the editor of Y Bedyddiwr (The Baptist), who in turn printed Williams's brief introduction and his interview with Thomas Jones in two-and-a-half columns of the July issue of his periodical (pp. 250-51).
Six weeks later, Thomas Jones admitted, in the presence of witnesses, that he had not been completely truthful in the interview with Williams and that he was repentant for having allowed it to be published. His declaration, according to an affidavit signed by eight witnesses and printed on the last page of Amddiffyniad y Saint, was recorded by Elder Robert Evans, a Mormon missionary, in his (Evans's) journal on 13 July 1846. (The journal is not extant.) Y Bedyddiwr is a letter to the editor written by one "Meiriadog" (a pseudonym used by John Edwards, a poet and Campbellite Baptist) in which he recounts a conversation between himself and Robert Evans. In the course of the conversation, Meiriadog quoted from the July Y Bedyddiwr about the Thomas Jones incident, whereupon Evans produced Jones's repentant comments which Evans had recorded in his journal. Meiriadog asked and received permission from Evans to copy Jones's comments and then quoted them as part of his lengthy anti-Mormon letter to the editor. Meiriadog challenged Robert Evans to a debate and assured him that the editor of Y Bedyddiwr would print their writings. But the editor refused, declaring, "Y Bedyddiwr does not exist as a tool for them [the Mormons] to spread their tales and assertions up and down the country" (September 1844, p. 354).
Upon seeing Jones's about-face described in Meiriadog's letter, David Williams immediately sent another letter to the editor, which was printed in the October 1846 Y Bedyddiwr. Williams carefully worded his letter to make it appear that Thomas Jones had made yet another about-face since his comments recorded in Evans's journal. But Dan Jones, on page 7 of Amddiffyniad y Saint, argues that Williams was merely drawing further from his original interview with Thomas Jones for his "latest" derogatory observations about Mormonism.
The foregoing sequence of events prompted three Mormon missionaries--William Phillips, William Henshaw, and Thomas Pugh--to write a letter of defense to the editor of Y Bedyddiwr. Their letter, which was refused publication, constitutes nearly three pages of Amddiffyniad y Saint. An account of their attempt to convince the editor to cooperate with them constitutes the first two pages of the pamphlet. The remaining three pages contain further considerations of the characters of Thomas Jones and David Williams as well as a half-page affidavit signed by eight witnesses to the effect that they had seen Robert Evans record in his diary the words of Thomas Jones.


Flake no. 4458



Jones, Dan


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