Solomon Spaulding was born in Connecticut in 1761, graduated from Dartmouth in 1785, and spent three or four years as a Congregationalist minister before leaving the ministry and embarking on a series of unsuccessful business ventures in New York and Ohio. He lived in Conneaut, OH during the time when he is alleged to have written his manuscript. He left Ohio and relocated to Amity, PA in 1812, where he died in 1816.
Spaulding became fascinated with the numerous Indian burial mounds he had encountered in the Ohio area, and that he wrote a historical romance to explain the existence of the mound builders on the American continent, which he allegedly entitled “Manuscript Found”. Spaulding supposedly read lengthy portions of his manuscript to his family and neighbors on a frequent basis such that they became quite familiar with his story and could recall its details even decades later.
Spaulding allegedly took his “Manuscript Found” to the printing office of a Mr. Patterson in Pittsburgh, PA some time around 1812 with hopes of profiting from his historical romance. But, as the theory goes, the alleged manuscript was never published for unknown reasons. The theory further alleges that Sidney Rigdon somehow acquired the Spaulding manuscript from Patterson’s printing office in Pittsburgh sometime thereafter. Spaulding died in 1816, four years after he allegedly deposited the manuscript with Patterson.