The New International Encyclopædia/Rigdon, Sidney
RIG'DON, Sidney (1793-1876). A Mormon elder. He was born in Saint Clair township, Allegheny County, Pa. He was pastor of a Baptist church in Pittsburg (1822) and afterwards was a minister of the Disciples' Church in Ohio. It has been claimed that here he became acquainted with a romance of prehistoric America, written in 1812 by Solomon Spaulding, an eccentric Congregational minister in Ohio, and that this was the ‘source, root, and inspiration’ of the Book of Mormon. The claim has not been substantiated, and there is no positive evidence against the statement of Joseph Smith that he met Rigdon for the first time in December, 1830. Rigdon was closely associated with Smith after the latter's removal to Ohio (1831). and accompanied him to Missouri and Nauvoo, where he was one of the three presidents of the new Church. He refused to acknowledge the authority of Brigham Young after the death of Smith, was excommunicated for contumacy, and returned to Pittsburg, but never gave up his Mormon faith. He died at Friendship, N. Y.