Poesy Meets Prophecy : Poems to the Prophet Joseph Smith
Brigham Young University
Robert McCorkle (1807-1873) was one of many Americans curious about Mormonism. In 1844 he visited Nauvoo, Illinois, then headquarters of the Latter-day Saints. He hoped to obtain an audience with Joseph Smith but was able only to hear Smith speak at public meetings. When he returned to his home in Tennessee, he wrote to Smith, asking questions and describing his willingness to relocate to Nauvoo if Smith could prove that he was a true prophet. Interestingly, McCorkle wrote much of his letter in rhymed verse and hoped that Joseph Smith would reply in verse. In this thesis McCorkle's letter is given in its entirety with extensive footnotes and commentary. Also in 1844, a different author writing under a pseudonym, Fare Play, composed a poem to Joseph Smith entitled, "The Patent Wrench." Aptly named, the poem purports to provide the Latter-day Saints with a new tool to help assuage persecution, reconcile debts, and promote faith. This thesis includes the never before published poem in full with extensive footnotes and commentary.