Sexual Fables
This article accompanies the fable
The Sorcerer's Apprentice


1805 December Birth of Joseph Smith
1809 Birth of Abraham Lincoln
1814 The Golden Pot. A Modern Fairytale by E.T.A. Hoffmann published
1819 Birth of Herman Melville
1820 Joseph Smith’s first vision; further visions through the 1820s
1823 Ethan Smith’s View of the Hebrews published, reflecting widely held views
1827 Joseph Smith marries Emma Hale
1830 Book of Mormon published in Palmyra; formal creation of the Church of the Latter Day Saints followed; Herman Melville studying in Albany, New York

1832 Rumors Joseph Smith has an affair with Fanny Alger (Oliver Cowdrey calls it a “dirty, nasty, filthy affair”)
1836 Emerson’s essay Nature published; The American Scholar comes the following year.  American Transcendentalism on the rise.
1837 Hawthorne’s Twice-Told Tales published and makes him well known
1838 excommunication of Oliver Cowdery and the first dissenters following allegations of Smith’s affair with Fanny Alger
1838 Emerson’s Harvard Divinity School address
1838 Mormon War in Missouri, Mormons move to Nauvoo, Illinois by 1839.

1839 Joseph Smith and the LDS found Nauvoo
1839 Melville voyage to Liverpool and back (almost 20 years old)
1839 Charles Darwin’s The Voyage of the Beagle published as Journal and Remarks and so is Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher
1840 Melville, aged 21, on Mississippi riverboat from Galena to Cairo, passes by Nauvoo
1840 September John Cook Bennett arrives in Nauvoo and this is around when Smith begins writing of the baptism of the dead
1840 Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd become engaged then he breaks it off; a roller-coaster of emotions follows
1841 Melville on a whaling ship: later says his life begins at this point.
1841-42 First major sexual scandals in Nauvoo centered around Bennett and Joseph Smith.  This is also when Smith’s first plural marriage occurs (with Louisa Beaman in April 1841).  Scandal comes to a climax between May and July of 1842 when Bennett is excommunicated and his exposes start appearing in the press

1842 Articles of Faith letter
1842 Emerson’s essay Self Reliance published in Essays.
1842 Book of Abraham published (translation may have begun in 1835)
1842 Abraham Lincoln marries Mary Todd
1843 William Miller begins prophesying the Second Coming
1843 July - Joseph Smith’s revelation endorsing polygamy and “the restoration of all things”; plural marriages increase and the second phase of scandals begins
1843 October – Joseph Smith publicly preaches against polygamy
1844 February: Joseph Smith declares his candidacy for the US presidency
1844 April: the King Follett discourse by Joseph Smith
1844 June 7 inflammatory issue of the Nauvoo Expositor – its only issue – accusing Smith of encouraging and practicing polygamy
1844 June 27: Death of Joseph and Hyrum Smith in Carthage, Illinois; another brother dead July 30

1844: September: Sidney Rigdon excommunicated
1844 early October: Melville returns to the US – to Boston
1844 October 22: The Great Disappointment of the Millerites.  And Ellen G. White then has her vision of New Jerusalem.
1844 October Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation published anonymously
1844 Some time this year the first Mormon missionaries in the Pacific
1845 January: Nauvoo’s city charter repealed by the Illinois Legislature
1845 Melville’s Typee completed by summer; published the following year
1846 February: LDS migrations to Utah begin – main migration completed by 1852. Joseph Smith’s wife, Anna Hale Smith remains in Nauvoo.
1846 Lincoln elected to the U.S. House of Representatives
1846 April - The Mexican-American War – resolved in 1848
1847 Melville’s Omoo completed
1847 Melville marries Elizabeth Shaw

1848 Gold discovered in California – Gold Rush begins
1848 Edgar Allen Poe’s Eureka
1848 The Mexican-American War ends – Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
1849 January, Melville’s Mardi: And a Voyage Thither completed
1850 The Compromise of 1850 introduced; Congress passes The Fugitive Slave Law
1850 Establishment of the Utah Territory
1850 Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter
1850 Melville’s White-Jacket
1850 Melville’s Hawthorne and His Mosses

1851 The Mormons’ The Pearl of Great Price
1851 Melville’s Moby-Dick, or The Whale
1852 Brigham Young makes Smith’s polygamy revelation public, saying it was in 1843

1852 Melville’s Pierre
1855 Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass
1856 Melville's The Piazza Tales
1857 Melville’s The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade
1861-65 American Civil War
1865 Lincoln assassinated
1867 Melville's oldest son, Malcolm, commits suicide

1870 Utah grants women the right to vote (revoked 1887, restored 1895)
1876 Ann Eliza Young publishes Wife No. 19
1876 Melville's Clarel: A Poem and Pilgrimage in the Holy Land
1877 Death of Brigham Young
1886 Melville's younger son, Stanwix, dies in San Francisco
1886 Sarah Pratt interview, alleges Joseph Smith propositioned her to be a spiritual wife
1890 September Manifesto by the Mormons officially bans plural marriage
1891 Melville completes Billy Budd (unpublished till 1924)
1891 September Death of Herman Melville

1896 Utah admitted to the US as the 45th state

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