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CHARLES BLANCHER THOMPSON
& Le Roy Gazette
On line at [http://olivercowdery.com/tests/thom1841.htm#pgoo3a - NO LONGER VALID] one can read and make printouts of the book, “Evidences in the Proof of the Book of Mormons” by Charles Thompson (Note: His middle initial nor middle name is on the title page). At the end one finds a transcribers comments. I could not find the name of this transcriber. These are some of his comments.
“Within two years Charles was living in Genesee County, NY, where (in June of 1840, at the age of 26 ) he became the editor and proprietor of the LeRoy Gazette. The previous editor of the newspaper had been Cyrus Thompson and it is possible that Charles purchased or inherited the establishment from one of his relatives.”
“Charles continued his Mormon missionary effort ( and editorship of the LeRoy Gazette) until at least 1843 (see Frederick Follett's History of the Press in Western New York pp. 58-63)”
“Perhaps Charles was chosen for this task because he operated the LeRoy Gazette and had available to him the means resources needed to publish such a book. The title page of the first and only edition of this work shows that it was published by D. D. Waite in nearby Batavia. Perhaps Thompson did the printing in Le Roy and took the sheets to Waite in Batavia for binding. D. D. Waite was the publisher of the Republican Advocate in Batavia, a paper owned and edited by anti-mason David C. Miller until April of 1828.”
It is with these words that I purposed in my heart to search the microfilms for more insight into the life of Charles Blancher Thompson.
The lead to the images has a signature, ”C. B. Thompson” all by itself but this could not be his signature because it is not a photograph.
The first issue on the microfilm is dated May 3, 1840. In it Cyrus Thompson, Jr. introduces the new editor and publisher.
“TO THE PUBLIC. It is with feelings of satisfaction we are able to announce to our readers that with the present number, the Le Roy Gazette passes into the hands of Mr. Charles B. Thomson, from New York, and more recently from Washington.”---”Mr. Thomson for a number of years past has been employed in some of the principal establishments in New York and Washington, and appears before the community with ample testimonial of his qualifications.----(QST note: I understand that New York & Washington refer to cities, not states. Also note that there is no ‘p’ in the new editor’s name and that the last name spelling is and will be the same through out the ensuing issues.)
Immediately following Cyrus Thompson , Jr.’s remarks Charles B. Thomson gives his remarks.
“TO OUR PATRONS. Having assumed the management of the LE ROY GAZETTE, we herewith present to our readers the first number. The imperfections incident to a hurried collection of matter for a first number ( it is but two days since we arrived in Le Roy,) will, it is confidently hoped, be treated with allowance, and our humble efforts regarded with favor.---”
There is a notice in the same column following his remarks, thus;
“All communications, papers, remittances, &c. respecting the third volume, will hereafter be addressed to Chas. B. Thomson, the present editor and proprietor. The debts due the establishment up to the end of the second volume, will be settled by Cyrus Thompson, jr.”
In the next week’s issue (the paper was issued once a week every Wednesday morning ) Charles B. Thomson in giving a ‘ folksy’ account of seeking a grocery story mentions that he had a ‘ wife’ and ‘ two eldest girls.” (Note: Our CBT’s wife Elizabeth died in 1839 leaving a 5 month old child named Amelia)
In the issue of May 11, 1853 the editor and publisher is listed as C.B. Thomson. In the next issue May 18, 1853 the middle name of B. is C. Battell Thomson. This middle name is brought out in a research paper by Edward M. Perkins, “The Le Roy Gazette,” Le Roy’s oldest Industry. He also mentions that Cyrus was not related to the new editor. The research paper is located in the office of Historical Society in the 1898 Academic Building behind the Historic LeRoy house.
In the August 5, 1840 issue of the Gazette there is the notice of the PRINTERS CONVENTION. The chairman is none other than D.D. Waite, the publisher of our CBT’s book on the “Evidences --” AND the secretary is C.B. Thomson. On Feb. 2, 1841 from Batavia our CBT wrote a letter to Joseph Smith and this letter was published in the Nauvoo, IL paper. Our CBT was in the area and D.D. Waite knew both Charles.
Quickly we see that this editor Charles is not Charles Blancher Thompson. Within the issues of the paper we see the new editor pushing a political agenda, and is one of the secretaries in the local political organization. Throughout the many issues that I viewed there was no attempt to advance Mormonism. The Mormon troubles at Nauvoo, the death of ‘Joe’ Smith, & the completion of the Temple were reported.
Outside of the paper we read that the editor has been that for thirty years. In the “Gazeteer & Business Directory of Genesee County, NY 1869-70, page 212, one can read, “--It [the Le Roy Gazette} has been in the hands of the present proprietor thirty years---”. In 1850 our CBT is censused in St. Louis, MO
I have a print out of pages 66 & 67 of the “Gazeteer & Business Directory of Genesee County,--” in which are listed publications & some editors beginnings, ends, & still in existance. Because I was only interested in the LeRoy Gazette I did not photocopy the other pages. The index did NOT include our CBT. Our CBT does mention giving up a newspaper when he left the area in the summer of 1843. It may be that his newspaper was not a public paper to buy but one with a limited circulation advocating the doctrines of Mormonism. Also, publications listed without noting editors would need further investigating.
I think that the all the ‘nails’ are in the ‘coffin of myth-conception’ that our CBT was the editor and proprieter of the Le Roy Gazette.
Quintin S. Thompson
Greatgrandson of Charles Blancher Thompson
The documents are direct quotes and should not be taken and used as one's own work without identifying the source.
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