…thou has taken Zion to thine own bosom, from all thy creations, from all eternity to all eternity; and naught by peace, justice, and truth is the habitation of thy throne; and mercy shall go before thy face and have no end…The Book of Moses, 7:31
It is 1861 and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is in crisis.
It seems strange to say that. After all, hadn’t Brigham Young managed to hold the faithful together after the murder of Joseph Smith and lead them across the trackless wilds to the peace and prosperity of the promised land of Deseret?
Indeed he had, but that peace and prosperity gave the Mormons plenty of time to think and reflect on their faith. And what some of them were increasingly realizing is that they found the leadership of Brigham Young wanting, both spiritually and temporally.
One of the loudest of these dissenters was Joseph Morris. He was not one of the original pioneers, but an English convert who had moved to Salt Lake City in 1853. Morris was extremely pious and had a lot of things to say about how the Mormon Church was being run these days, all of it negative. That earned him the ire of his neighbors, and it wasn’t long before local bishops denounced Morris, excommunicated him, and persuaded his wife to leave him.
Morris drifted around the Utah Territory for several years. During this period he began receiving visions from God Almighty. These divine revelations were strikingly similar to the message Morris had already been preaching, that Utah was going to hell in a hand basket.
After the Mountain Meadows Massacre and the disastrous Utah War, the Lord Most High anointed Joseph Morris the one true prophet of the Mormon people. The Lord commanded his prophet to depose Brigham Young, so Morris… began a vigorous letter-writing campaign, mailing harangue after harangue to the governor’s mansion. Most of this correspondence went unanswered. Well, at least officially. Young may have chosen to respond less directly, by having his bishops drive Morris from settlement after settlement.
In 1860 Morris was living in Slatersville, about 40 miles north of Salt Lake City. His unsolicited sermons continued to fall on deaf ears. He had only managed to make one convert to his cause… well, at least until that convert went home to his wife and she started yelling at him.
By November Morris had once again worn out his welcome, and the local bishops were preparing to run him out of town on a rail. The One True Prophet of the Mormon People was tipped off by his one-time convert, and decided that the best thing to do was pray, to ask the Lord to smite his enemies. On the very day that the bishops were to evict Morris a windstorm tore through Slatersville, demolishing numerous houses. Everyone was so distracted by the clean-up and recovery efforts that they barely noticed Morris slipping away in all the confusion.
The narrow escape reinforced Morris’s belief that he was under divine protection and made him realize that the end was nigh. He relocated several miles to the south and moved into an abandoned and incomplete stockade along the Weber River at the mouth of Weber Canyon, which he renamed Kington Fort. The tone of Morris’s sermons changed dramatically. He no longer wanted to reform the Mormon church. Instead, he prophesied that it would be destroyed, that on December 31, 1861 Jesus Christ would descend from Heaven to cleanse the earth with fire and the sword, destroying the Gentiles and Brighamites and sparing only the righteous (and, for the moment, entirely theoretical) few who followed Joseph Morris.
This time his message found an audience, mostly Mormons who were similarly dissatisfied with the state of affairs in the territory — an audience that included several local bishops. Over the next few months a dozen of these converts moved into Kington Fort, including the charismatic John Banks, who would become Morris’s right-hand-man.
At this point the authorities in Salt Lake City had no patience left for Joseph Morris, and in February 1861 he was officially excommunicated from the Mormon Church. Morris responded by founding his own church: The Church of Jesus Christ of the Saints of the Most High, or later, the Church of the Firstborn. History remembers them as the Morrisites, if only to distinguish them from other groups that re-used those names later.
Most of Morris’s theology was identical to that of regular old Mormonism, with a few new ideas imported from contemporary millenarianist and Spiritualist movements. He decried what he called the excesses of Brigham Young, namely the promotion of polygamy and an unseemly focus on materialism and commercialism.
Like millenarianists, he believed armageddon was due any day now. Until that day, all true believers should come together and live in the style of the early Christians, with all property held in common and distributed more-or-less equally. From the Spiritualists he took “The Rounds of Eternity,” a cosmic cycle of reincarnation and transmigration of souls, and added the twist that the “keys of the priesthood” had migrated to Morris after Joseph Smith’s death. Morris also possessed the souls of the Archangel Gabriel, the patriarch Seth, and Moses. This also made him the seventh angel of the seventh seal, whose trumpeting heralds the arrival of (ugh) the Woman Clothed in the Sun, whose child will make manifest the Kingdom of God on Earth. (She’s going to show up everywhere, isn’t she?)
This time Mormon authorities did nothing about Morris and his growing flock. Maybe they thought that excommunication would be the end of it all. Maybe it was harder to make a move against Morris now that he wasn’t alone. Maybe it was that they were afraid to make a move while under increased scrutiny from the U.S. Army following the conclusion of the Utah War. Or maybe it was that the Morrisites were armed and holed up in a fortified position.
The Army withdrew from Utah after the start of the Civil War, once more giving the Mormons free rein to handle their internal affairs as they sought fit. They led to the reformation of the Nauvoo Legion, and mandatory conscription. The Morrisites quite understandably refused to enlist in the army of their enemies. That opened them up to civil and criminal penalties, which the authorities were all to happy to mete out. The punishments were light on jail time, but heavy on the attachment of property and cattle — which, of course, played right into Morris’s critique that the Mormon Church was too focused on material things.
Well, monkey see, monkey do. Once the locals could see that the Morrisites’ property was fair picking, they started to rustle their livestock and harass them for fun. In response the Morrisites formed their own militia, “The Army of the Kingdom,” to protect their property and people, since they (rightfully) believed that the militia would do nothing to protect them and the courts were biased against them. Then they promptly turned the tables, harassing their neighbors and rustling their livestock.
Which they desperately needed. With the end of the world imminent, most of the Morrisites had neglected their farms and ranches in favor of a life of prayer and devotion. As a result they were running out of food.
As the promised day approached Fort Kington’s population swelled to over 500 converts. Across the territory there were hundreds more who were sympathetic to the Morrisites cause but not yet ready to make the plunge.
Of course, the sun rose as usual on January 1, 1862 and the world did not end.
Morris had an explanation for that, of course, and after divine communion with Jesus Christ himself scheduled a make-up date for the Second Coming. When that day came and went, Morris and Jesus just sort of stopped mentioning the imminent end of the world and began generically encouraging everyone to stick together. Morris also provided additional revelations, but most of them were baffling clarifications of esoteric points of theology and of little comfort to the starving community. Morale began to plummet, and several Morrisites tried to leave. They were stopped by the Army of the Kingdom, who marched them back into the camp at gunpoint and threw them into a makeshift jail.
In May 1862, a defector finally managed to escape from Fort Kington and make his way to a justice of the peace in Salt Lake City, who issued a writ of habeas corpus ordering the Morrisites to release their prisoners. Marshals arrived at the fort on May 24 but the Morrisites refused service, proclaimed that they were no longer bound to the law, threw the writ on the ground and shoveled coal on it. The marshals read out the writ anyway, and then demanded that the prisoners be released. The Morrisites refused.
In response Judge John F. Kinney, the chief justice of the Third District Court, issued arrest warrants for the Morrisite leadership and a few writs of attachment allowing the militia to enforce those warrants. When the marshals returned to Kingston Fort on June 13, they were accompanied by a posse 500 men strong, outnumbering the Army of the Kingdom by 5:1. For some reason they also had five cannon and a mortar. Apparently their new strategy was overkill.
The leader of the posse, Deputy Marshal Richard T. Burton, found a Morrisite boy out herding cattle, thrust a written ultimatum into his hands, and told him to bring back a response in an hour or they would open fire. At, least that’s what he told the boy. He actually gave the Morrisites far less time — Banks was still reading the ultimatum when the first cannonball sailed over Fort Kington.
It wasn’t intended as a warning shot; the gunners were just locking in their range. The second cannonball didn’t miss. It caromed through the camp, killing an elderly woman and a young mother nursing her baby before tearing the jaw off of a sixteen-year-old girl.
Fort Kington had been built as a place of refuge where pioneers could hide from Native Americans; it was hardly capable of withstanding a frontal assault from a modern military force. The Morrisites soon realized they were sitting ducks with no avenue of as escape, as they were hemmed in by high bluffs and the Weber River. The only way out was through the posse, which occupied the high ground.
The siege lasted for two days. On June 15 the Morrisites realized their situation was hopeless and surrendered.
Burton and several of his men rode into the fort and confiscated all of the guns the Morrisites had. Then he had their leaders bought before them (except for Banks, who had already been shot), and asked which one of them was Joseph Morris.
MORRIS: Here am I. What do you want of me? I would like to say a few words to my people.
BURTON: Say it, and say it damned quick.
MORRIS: The lord has commanded me to divide this camp and all who are for me and death step this way.
BURTON: I want no more of your apostasy, God damn you! [five gunshots]
Burton fired five shots into Morris, who fell to the ground. A Mrs. Isabella Bowman, horrified, rushed between the two men, holding a child in her arms.
BOWMAN: Oh, you horrible, blood-thirsty murderer, what do you want to kill him for?
BURTON: No one shall call me that and live! [gunshot]
Morris and Bowman bled to death on the dirt, the final casualties of the conflict. In total, Burton and his posse had killed three men, six women, and one child. The surviving Morrisites were set free except for the soldiers in the Army of the Kingdom, who were arrested and marched back to Salt Lake City on foot. They also dragged back the dead bodies of Joseph Morris and John Banks, which were put on display in front of city hall as grisly trophies.
In March 1863 the Morrisite prisoners went on trial; seven of them were convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to hang and sixty-six were fined $100 for resisting a court order. That didn’t sit right with the territorial Governor, Stephen Harding, who saw the whole affair as an unconstitutional abuse of the law to enforce theocratic rule. He pardoned every last one of them.
That opened up a new firestorm, with Mormons complaining about Harding and non-Mormons complaining about Judge Kinney. President Lincoln, who had more pressing matters to deal with at the time, took the easy way out and had both men removed from office.
That made everyone happy. Or at least as happy as anyone can ever be in politics.
The Spirit Prevails
The Morrisites were left in a terrible spot. Joseph Morris was dead, John Banks was dead, and their other chief apostles were in jail awaiting trial.
They decided their best option was to get out of Dodge fast. Army troops gave them an escort into the newly incorporated Idaho Territory, where they settled near Soda Springs and tried to get on with their lives. That didn’t last long. Mormon settlers began expanding into the territory and the Morrisites no longer felt comfortable in their own home.
Many of them peeled off to follow other religious leaders. Some followed the George Williams, “The Prophet Cainan,” who led them further west to California and Nevada. Others followed various prophets north, deeper into Idaho and Montana.
A significant chunk of them, though, chose to follow William W. Davies.
William W. Davies was born in Denbigh, Wales in 1833. He had been drawn to Mormonism as a teenager and converted. In 1854 he married Anne Elizabeth Jones, and the pair emigrated to join their fellow true believers in Deseret. He soon became disillusioned with the state of the Mormon Church and threw his lot in with the Morrisites. He had been at Fort Kington during the siege, and had a front row seat to the murder of his prophet. It’s not clear whether Davies was among those who were convicted and then pardoned — he was certainly the right age. He did migrate with the other Morrisites up to Soda Springs, but soon after joined the Montana Gold Rush and relocated to Deer Lodge.
Davies made a small fortune for himself, but became depressed when he realized he had succumbed to the materialistic urges he had once condemned in his co-religionists. Out of desperation, he prayed for guidance and was rewarded with a mystic vision of a beautiful youth, perhaps Jesus Christ himself, striding through the heavens and destroying everything in his path with the scepter he held in his hand. He took this to be a message from the Lord.
On January 24, 1866 Davies had a second vision. This time he was summoned before a great white throne by the Celestial Father and Jesus Christ, who told him that all of his prayers had been answered. The keys of the priesthood, the divine soul of the prophet Joseph Morris, had transmigrated into Davies’ body, making him the instrument through which God would manifest the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. To make his work light, God also bestowed upon him the souls of the Archangel Michael, Adam the first man, Abraham the first patriarch, and King David.
This new prophet with an old message soon had a small group of about forty apostles, most of them former Morrisites. In 1867 they left Deer Lodge and followed Davies’ visions west into Washington Territory. Ultimately the pioneers found themselves on a pretty plot of land on the outskirts of Walla Walla, sandwiched between Mill Creek and Russell Creek at the foot of the Blue Mountains. Davies looked around with pride, and like Brigham Young before him declared, “This is the place.” The small 80 acre plot was consecrated as the Kingdom of Heaven.
Well, that along with a 240 acre farm on a separate plot, a 40 acre woodlot, and 180 acres up in the mountains by the timber line.
On these lands Davies began organizing a commune in the style of the early Christians. Though his followers acted as if all property was held in common, legally Davies held the title, probably to keep things simple.
They had one problem: they couldn’t afford to buy the supplies they needed, because they’d spent all their money on the land. From their time as Morrisites, they knew that scavenging those supplies from their neighbors was a bad idea. Instead they began working as hired hands on other farms in the area to raise cash, and additional funds were raised by soliciting thousands of dollars in donations from former Morrisites in other states.
For a while the community prospered, though it topped out at about seventy people. Honestly that was about the upper limit of what the land could support, because they never managed to make it past subsistence farming.
Most of the Kingdom of Heaven’s new residents were born into the community, or poached from Morrisite communities in other states. Interestingly, the group made few efforts to proselytize to the good people of nearby Walla Walla — indeed, they seemed to avoid the locals because of the anti-Mormon sentiments expressed in the local press.
What do you call someone from Walla Walla? I have no idea. How about Walla Walloons? Well, the Walla Walloons largely regarded the Kingdom of Heaven as a group of outcasts and weirdos. At least they were pleasant neighbors, always hardworking and polite and respectful and honest. No one understood why they chose to deny themselves the pleasures of alcohol, tobacco, and pork but hey, more for the rest of them.
Local opinion started to shift after Davies’ first son, Arthur, was born on February 11, 1868. About a week his birth Davies presented the swaddled babe to his followers and declared that the boy was the “temporary tabernacle occupied by the spirit of Jesus” — and also Elijah and Isaiah too, for good measure. Afterwards, he tried to return Arthur to his wife Anne, but she was reluctant to take him back. Davies ultimately had to comfort her through flattery: “Do not be alarmed that God has made it your privilege to nurse the infant Redeemer.”
The following year Anne Davies gave birth to another boy on September 28, 1869. This one held the reincarnated spirit of “God the Eternal Father of Spirits.” That didn’t exactly trip off the tongue, so they just called him David instead.
Perhaps to keep up with the title inflation, William W. Davies began heaping additional honors upon himself as well. He was “the High Priest and Prophet of the Kingdom of Heaven,” “the Light of the World,” “the Standard of Israel,” and also gained the spirit of the Holy Ghost. Wife Anne became the “Blessed Mother” and her name was changed to Sarah for some reason — perhaps because Davies himself was already the reincarnation of Abraham.
What an unusual family dynamic that must have been. The youngest brother was the Father, the older brother was the Son, with a father who proceeded from both. I would have loved to eavesdrop on their dinner table arguments.
The Kingdom of Heaven did not bother to keep the birth of the Savior and his Father a secret. Indeed, it was a key part of their missionary strategy. It didn’t actually work, mind you. People had nothing but derision for those who dared to follow the “Walla Walla Jesus.” The only acknowledgement the Kingdom of Heaven received was from local Native Americans, who did not bother the farm out of respect for the Holy Trinity.
For the next decade, the commune was more or less stable. Davies attributed this to divine favor, that with the Father, Son and Holy Ghost under one roof no disaster could befall the Kingdom of Heaven.
Towards the end of the decade, though, things began to unravel a bit. Davies’ morals and ethics began to get a bit weird, bending back and forth to match his current whim. In his book And There Were Men, Russell Blankenship described this drift eloquently:
…to the mystic, theology is an impertinence; the only valid rule of faith and practice comes directly from the godhead, and such a rule is subject to immediate revision or reversal at the will of God who can be trusted to impart his wishes to anyone with whom he may have communion.Russell Blankenship, And There Were Men
Tony Zbarachuk’s thesis said much the same but was much more succinct:
…a sect whose leader is god has no real need of any theology.Tony Zbaraschuk, The Fall of the Standard
This moral rot was noticeable in many ways. For instance, while all residents of the Kingdom of Heaven were equal in the eyes of God the Davies family got preferential treatment: they did not have to work but still had their pick of the best lodgings, the best food, and the best clothes. Arthur and David even had special white and red velvet outfits to wear on ceremonial occasions… while their fellow children often had to run around barefoot.
This state of affairs led to some internal resentment, and some community members began questioning the High Prophet’s sanity, shirking their duties, drinking, and having sex. Davies ordered his right-hand-man Grosvenor Andrus to discipline them. Andrus was a veritable mountain of a man with a barrel chest, rock-hard fists, and curly waist-length auburn hair. His nickname was “The Destroying Angel” and a single conference with him was usually enough to knock a dissenter back into line.
Man Proposes and God Disposes
Towards the end of the decade Davies’ claims became ever more extravagant. He claimed to have command of “the host of Heaven” which he used to smite sinners, and claimed he was the true cause of the Great Chicago Fire. He claimed to have absolute power over life and death. He claimed his children would be mated, not married; that they would set out from the Kingdom of Heaven to cleanse the world with fire and the sword, and that would begin a line of heavenly kings who would rule forever.
Of course, before the world could be made harmonious the Light of the World would have to make his own household harmonious. He had frequent arguments with his wife and children, perhaps as a result of his creeping megalomania.
Sarah Anne Davies became the first crack in the foundations of the Kingdom of Heaven when she died on May 19, 1879 after a short battle with diphtheria. Everyone was rattled, because Davies claimed he could cure any disease, but were reassured that when at her funeral Davies claimed to have let her die as punishment for her sins.
That excuse wasn’t going to work when a second wave of diphtheria swept through the Kingdom of Heaven in early 1880, sickening dozens. And also killing God the Father on February 15, and Jesus Christ himself on February 22. The Seattle Daily Intelligencer provided a sarcastic eulogy:
Great wonders were expected of this little Messiah, but alas! Man proposes and God disposes.“He, too, is dead.” Seattle Daily Intelligencer, 4 May 1880
Understandably, the sudden death of 2/3 of the Holy Trinity was a shock to the Kingdom of Heaven. Several residents began denouncing Davies as a false prophet with no supernatural powers. They led a mass exodus from the farm, and began demanding the return of everything they had ever donated to the cult, plus back wages. Davies refused.
In October 1880 three of those defectors filed a lawsuit against the Standard of Israel, demanding $14,380 in compensation. The case went to trial in January 1881 and as usual the courts wrestled with the concept of how to divide property when someone leaves a commune. (Note to future communes: put everything in writing and get it notarized.)
Fortunately for Davies, he was able to produce evidence that the defectors knew they were voluntarily donating their money, material goods, and time to the commune — namely, oaths that had been signed when they first entered the Kingdom of Heaven.
Unfortunately for Davies, the plaintiffs then decided to turn the trial into a referendum on the cult itself. They dragged out all of the usual calumnies leveled against cults and communes: that the leader ruled in a tyrannical fashion, lived in luxury while his followers wallowed in poverty, and spent all his free time ravishing everyone’s wives and daughters. People make these sorts of allegations against religious groups all the time because they know they will get attention and shape public opinion. Unfortunately some of the time they turn out to be true.
The specific allegations in this case were that one of the defectors had his arm broken by Grosvenor Andrus after an argument with Davies; and that the prophet had settled several female residents (notably schoolteacher Cornelia Perkins and Mrs. Thomas Parker) into private apartments that he would “visit after dark.”
Because the cult had chosen to separate itself from the Walla Walla community, Davies could not produce any non-cult members who could testify to his character or contradict the plaintiffs’ testimony. He did take the stand himself, but only came off as a deluded fanatic.
In the end, the court ruled against Davies but only awarded the plaintiffs $3,200, far less than what they had asked for. Alas, the Kingdom of Heaven did not have even that paltry sum so the entire Kingdom of Heaven was attached and sold off at public auction to satisfy the judgment. The land itself sold for $1975. Other items, including 16 houses, 56 head of cattle, and 60 sheep, plus assorted farm implements and personal effects, sold for $1757.25. That just barely covered the judgement and associated court fees.
Astoundingly, this was not the end of the Kingdom of Heaven. The High Prophet could still claim fifty loyal followers, and just moved them downstream to a second piece of property he owned along Mill Creek.
In June 1881 the “Destroying Angel” Grosvenor Andrews was arrested for brawling with a local rancher, which got him expelled from the Kingdom of Heaven for immorality. After his release from jail he drifted down to Oregon, where he became a local character, known for his fondness for a fistfight and also for having his thumb bitten off during one of those fights. Even in his old age he was a formidable opponent, once knocking out the marshal of John Day with a single blow. His grandson, Cecil D. Andrus, would later serve five terms as the governor of Idaho.
In September, Davies married for a second time to Miss Edwina Cornelia Perkins, the schoolteacher he had been accused of fooling around with during his trial. Hey, no judgment here — she was single, he was a widower. On the other hand, it does rather seem to validate the accusations of the defectors and indicates that Davies was holding his followers up to a standard of morality that he himself was unwilling to follow.
On June 13, 1882 Cornelia gave birth to her first child, a daughter who she named Josephine. William Davies presented the child to his flock and announced that the infant was the reincarnation of his late wife Sarah Anne, here to finish her work on the earthly plane.
Astoundingly, this was the end of the Kingdom of Heaven. The idea that the Holy Prophet had reincarnated his wife, who he had earlier claimed to have struck down, was just too much for Davies’ remaining followers to take. They renounced their savior and deserted the Kingdom of Heaven, which was soon disbanded. When Cornelia’s second child, a boy named Arthur, was born on August 17, 1888 William claimed that the infant was the reincarnation of the first Arthur Davies, but did not possess the soul of Jesus Christ and was not the Messiah. No one cared by that point.
The years following the dissolution of the cult were financially disastrous for Davies, and the First National Bank of Walla Walla sued him multiple times in an attempt to recover unpaid debts. In 1889, his obligations finally paid off, he moved to San Francisco and spent the next seventeen years living off of pensions and annuities.
In 1904 he made a trip back to Walla Walla to visit Grace Miller, his daughter from his first marriage. She took him to the site of the former Kingdom of Heaven and asked if it looked familiar. He could only shake his head and answer, “Only the sky and hills. All else has changed.”
In 1906 he made one last trip to Walla Walla, this time to die.
By 1918 the Kingdom of Heaven had been forgotten, so much that a history of Walla Walla County mentioned Davies only as the father of Grace Miller and said nothing about the cult he led for twenty years.
Perhaps that is as it should be. The Kingdom of Heaven, after all, is only a metaphor, a state to be strived for but not one which can actually be reached.
But what do I know. I’m agnostic.
- Anderson, C. LeRoy. For Christ Will Come Tomorrow: The Saga of the Morrisites. Logan, UT: Utah State University Press, 1981.
- Blankenship, Russell. And There Were Men. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1942.
- Fogarty, Robert S. All Things New: American Communes and Utopian Movements, 1860-1914. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990.
- Gilbert, Frank T. Historic Sketches of Walla Walla, Whitman, Columbia and Garfield Counties, Washington Territory. Portland, OR: A.G. Walling, 1882.
- Hoehn, Jack. “The Walla Walla Jesus.” Adventist Today. https://atoday.org/the-walla-walla-jesus/ Accessed 03/18/2021.
- Lyman, William Denison. Lyman’s History of Old Walla Walla County, Embracing Walla Walla, Columbia, Garfield and Asotin Counties. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishign Company, 1918.
- Morris, Adam. American Messiahs: False Prophets of a Damned Nation. New York: Liveright, 2019.
- Morris, John. The Spirit Prevails. San Francisco: George S. Dove & Company, 1886.
- Zbaraschuk, Tony. The Fall of the Standard: William W. Davies and the “Walla Walla Jesus.” 1989.
- “William Davies & The Walla Walla Jesus.” Walla Walla 2020. https://ww2020.net/history-websites/william-davies-and-the-walla-walla-jesus/ Accessed 03/18/2021.
- “William W. Davies” Find a Grave. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/15969383/william-w.-davies Accessed 03/18/2021.
- “William W. Davies.” Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_W._Davies Accessed 3/18/2021.
- “The Advent.” Albany (OR) Democrat, 29 Jun 1877.
- “The Second Christ.” Deer Lodge (MT) The New North-West, 13 Jul 1877.
- “A revolting fraud disclosed.” Idaho Semi-Weekly World, 2 Sep 1879.
- “Minor items.” Butte Correspondent, 19 Oct 1879.
- “Local Paragraphs.” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 21 Feb 1880.
- “The Walla Walla Christ: The Impostor Dies of Diptheria.” Deer Lodge (MT) New North-West, 16 Apr 1880.
- “He, too, is dead.” Seattle Daily Intelligencer, 4 May 1880.
- Ellis, Charles. “Morrisite Massacre: Bloody Story of Persecution and Outrage.” Salt Lake Tribune, 12 Jan 1890.
- “Pioneer court records tell queer story of ‘Walla Walla Jesus’ who died of diphtheria.” Spokane Spokesman-Review, 11 Aug 1912.