Duane and I made a presentation last October discussing our Big Data research on The Book of Mormon, and how it lead us to the discovery of an almost forgotten text by Gilbert J Hunt, The Late War Between the United States and Great Britain. The book was first published in New York in 1816 and appears to have been used as a school textbook. In our analysis, it rose to the top of over 100,000 pre-1830 books, due to having the highest number of rare (& non-biblical) four word phrases connecting it to “The Book of Mormon”.
Since then the work has continued to progress, with a number of new discoveries.
One of the more interesting finds we came across recently while manually looking over the data, was the discovery of an American Holiday likely transmitted from The Late War to The Book of Mormon:
… the fourth day of the seventh month, which is the birth day of Columbian Liberty and Independence, (The Late War, 1816)
… the fourth day of this seventh month, which is in the tenth year of the reign of the judges. (The Book of Mormon, 1830)
Not only are the two phrases nearly identical, but they also connect the Fourth of July to the beginning of a new form of kingless government that replaces their previous monarchy.
What are your thoughts?
I’ve noticed two themes in the comments that I would like to address: (1) Significance and (2) The Reign of the Judges.
Not all books mention dates, but when they do they can be expressed in various formats:
- Fourth/4th of July
- July (the) 4th/fourth
- Fourth day of July
- 4th day of July
- 7/4/1830 etc…
While it may seem odd that both books mention the same date, expressed in the same format, it’s not impossible for this to show up by chance. For example the 4-gram phrase “of the seventh month” shows up numerous times in the bible which disqualified it from our initial search algorithm. However, the 4-gram, “seventh month, which is” turns out to be many times more rare than the actual date match itself. The fact that this rare 4-gram is accompanied by the exact same date makes it even more rare. This was manually discovered long after the computer algorithm had already established that The Late War was significantly connected to The Book of Mormon. Here are some of our favorite matches so far, but there are hundreds more:
(2) The Reign of the Judges
The Reign of the Judges was a government system based on Judges that supplanted the Reign of the Kings in The Book of Mormon.
Freemen support the new kingless government
This change in the Nephite government was apparently devastating to those of high birth, because they later plotted to overthrow the free government and bring back the old system of Monarchy:
“… king-men, … were desirous … to overthrow the free government, and to establish a king over the land. And those who were desirous that Pahoran should remain Chief Judge over the land, took upon them the name of freemen; and thus was the division among them: for the freemen had sworn or covenanted to maintain their rights, and privileges of their religion, by a free government.”
Notice that the free government is the Nephite system of judges, which is supported by the freemen? The dynamics are similar in The Late War, where we find freemen fighting to maintain a free government in the Second War for American Independence against the servants of the King:
“…they were ready and well prepared to meet the servants of the king. Nevertheless, it was so that the freemen who came to the defence of the city, built strong holds and forts, and raised up fortifications…”
Counting the years of freedom from kings
It is also interesting to note that both The Book of Mormon and The Late War not only replaced the monarchy with a free government, but also used the transition as a date marker. Both books count how many years had passed since the new government had started. Notice that the wording is very similar in both books:
The Late War:
NOW it came to pass … in the thirty and sixth year after the people of the provinces of Columbia had declared themselves independent of all the kingdoms of the earth;
…in the thirty and seventh year of the independence of the people of Columbia…
AND it came to pass, on the fourth day of the seventh month, which is the birth day of Columbian Liberty and Independence…
Now on the twenty-sixth day of the ninth month, being in the thirty and ninth year of Columbian Independence,
It came to pass, that a certain…
The Book of Mormon:
And now it came to pass in the twenty and ninth year of the reign of the Judges…
And it came to pass in the thirty and ninth year of the reign of the Judges…
Behold, now it came to pass in the sixty and ninth year of the reign of the Judges over the people of the Nephites…
And it came to pass that in the eightieth year of the reign of the Judges over the people of Nephi, there was a certain…