Joseph Smith Jr. was an American religious leader and founder of Mormonism and the Latter Day Saint movement. When he was 24, Smith published the Book of Mormon. By the time of his death, 14 years he had attracted tens of thousands of followers and founded a religion that continues to the present. Smith was born in Vermont. By 1817, he had moved with his family to the burned-over district of western New York. Smith said he experienced a series of visions, including one in 1820 during which he saw "two personages", another in 1823 in which an angel directed him to a buried book of golden plates inscribed with a Judeo-Christian history of an ancient American civilization. In 1830, Smith published what he said was an English translation of these plates called the Book of Mormon; the same year he organized the Church of Christ, calling it a restoration of the early Christian church. Members of the church were called "Latter Day Saints" or "Mormons", Smith announced a revelation in 1838 which renamed the church as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
In 1831, Smith and his followers moved west. They first gathered in Kirtland and established an outpost in Independence, Missouri, intended to be Zion's "center place". During the 1830s, Smith sent out missionaries, published revelations, supervised construction of the Kirtland Temple; the collapse of the church-sponsored Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Company and violent skirmishes with non-Mormon Missourians caused Smith and his followers to establish a new settlement at Nauvoo, where he became a spiritual and political leader. In 1844, Smith and the Nauvoo city council angered non-Mormons by destroying a newspaper that had criticized Smith's power and practice of polygamy. Smith was imprisoned in Illinois where he was killed when a mob stormed the jailhouse. Smith published other texts that his followers regard as scripture, his teachings discuss the nature of God, family structures, political organization, religious collectivism. His followers regard him as a prophet comparable to Moses and Elijah, several religious denominations consider themselves the continuation of the church that he organized, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Community of Christ.
Smith was born on December 23, 1805 in Sharon, Vermont to Lucy Mack Smith and her husband Joseph Sr. a merchant and farmer. Modern DNA testing of Smith's relatives suggests that his family were of Irish descent, as he carried a rare Y-DNA marker within Haplogroup R1b, found entirely in people of Northwestern Irish descent. Smith suffered a crippling bone infection when he was seven and, after receiving surgery, used crutches for three years; the family moved to the western New York village of Palmyra in 1816–17, after an ill-fated business venture and three years of crop failures, they took a mortgage on a 100-acre farm in the nearby town of Manchester. The region was a hotbed of religious enthusiasm during the Second Great Awakening. Between 1817 and 1825, there were several camp revivals in the Palmyra area, his parents disagreed about religion. Smith said that he became interested in religion by age 12; as a teenager, he may have been sympathetic to Methodism. With other family members, Smith engaged in religious folk magic, a common practice in that time and place.
Both his parents and his maternal grandfather had visions or dreams that they believed communicated messages from God. Smith said that, although he had become concerned about the welfare of his soul, he was confused by the claims of competing religious denominations. Years Smith stated he had received a vision that resolved his religious confusion. In 1820, while praying in a wooded area near his home, he said that God and Jesus Christ, in a vision, appeared to him and told him his sins were forgiven and that all contemporary churches had "turned aside from the gospel." Smith said. The event would grow in importance to Smith's followers, who now regard it as the first event in the gradual restoration of Christ's church to earth; until the 1840s, the experience was unknown to most Mormons. Smith may have understood the event as a personal conversion. According to his accounts, Smith was visited by an angel named Moroni, while praying one night in 1823. Smith said that this angel revealed the location of a buried book made of golden plates, as well as other artifacts, including a breastplate and a set of interpreters composed of two seer stones set in a frame, hidden in a hill near his home.
Smith said he attempted to remove the plates the next morning, but was unsuccessful because the angel returned and prevented him. Smith reported that during the next four years, he made annual visits to the hill, until the fourth and final visit, each time he returned without the plates. Meanwhile, the Smith family faced financial hardship, due in part to the death of Smith's oldest brother Alvin, who had assumed a leadership role in the family. Family members supplemented their meager farm income by hiring out for odd jobs and working as treasure seekers, a type of magical supernaturalism common during the period. Smith was said to have an ability to locate lost items by looking into a seer stone, which he used in treasure hunting, including several unsuccessful attempts to find buried treasure s
Necromancy is a practice of magic involving communication with the dead – either by summoning their spirit as an apparition or raising them bodily – for the purpose of divination, imparting the means to foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge, to bring someone back from the dead, or to use the dead as a weapon, as the term may sometimes be used in a more general sense to refer to black magic or witchcraft. The word "necromancy" is adapted from Late Latin necromantia, itself borrowed from post-Classical Greek νεκρομαντεία, a compound of Ancient Greek νεκρός, "dead body", μαντεία, "divination by means of"; the Classical Greek term was ἡ νέκυια, from the episode of the Odyssey in which Odysseus visits the realm of the dead and νεκρομαντεία in Hellenistic Greek, rendered as necromantīa in Latin, as necromancy in 17th-century English. Early necromancy was related to – and most evolved from – shamanism, which calls upon spirits such as the ghosts of ancestors. Classical necromancers addressed the dead in "a mixture of high-pitch squeaking and low droning", comparable to the trance-state mutterings of shamans.
Necromancy was prevalent throughout Western antiquity with records of its practice in ancient Egypt, Babylonia and Rome. In his Geographica, Strabo refers to νεκρομαντία, or "diviners by the dead", as the foremost practitioners of divination among the people of Persia, it is believed to have been widespread among the peoples of Chaldea and Babylonia; the Babylonian necromancers were called manzazuu or sha'etemmu, the spirits they raised were called etemmu. The oldest literary account of necromancy is found in Homer’s Odyssey. Under the direction of Circe, a powerful sorceress, Odysseus travels to the underworld in order to gain insight about his impending voyage home by raising the spirits of the dead through the use of spells which Circe has taught him, he wishes to question the shade of Tiresias in particular. The Odyssey's passages contain many descriptive references to necromantic rituals: rites must be performed around a pit with fire during nocturnal hours, Odysseus has to follow a specific recipe, which includes the blood of sacrificial animals, to concoct a libation for the ghosts to drink while he recites prayers to both the ghosts and gods of the underworld.
Practices such as these, varying from the mundane to the grotesque, were associated with necromancy. Rituals could be quite elaborate, involving magic circles, wands and incantations; the necromancer might surround himself with morbid aspects of death, which included wearing the deceased's clothing and consuming foods that symbolized lifelessness and decay such as unleavened black bread and unfermented grape juice. Some necromancers went so far as to take part in the mutilation and consumption of corpses; these ceremonies could carry on for hours, days, or weeks, leading up to the eventual summoning of spirits. They were performed in places of interment or other melancholy venues that suited specific guidelines of the necromancer. Additionally, necromancers preferred to summon the departed based on the premise that their revelations were spoken more clearly; this timeframe was limited to the twelve months following the death of the physical body. While some cultures considered the knowledge of the dead to be unlimited, ancient Greeks and Romans believed that individual shades knew only certain things.
The apparent value of their counsel may have been based on things they knew in life or knowledge they acquired after death. Ovid writes in his Metamorphoses of a marketplace in the underworld where the dead convene to exchange news and gossip. There are several references to necromancers – called "bone-conjurers" among Jews of the Hellenistic period – in the Bible; the Book of Deuteronomy explicitly warns the Israelites against engaging in the Canaanite practice of divination from the dead: 9When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do according to the abominations of those nations. 10There shall not be found among you any one who maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or who useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, 11or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12For all who do these things are an abomination unto the LORD, because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.
Though Mosaic Law prescribed the death penalty to practitioners of necromancy, this warning was not always heeded. One of the foremost examples is when King Saul had the Witch of Endor invoke the Spirit of Samuel, a judge and prophet, from Sheol using a ritual conjuring pit. However, the so-called witch was shocked at the presence of the real spirit of Samuel for in I Sam 28:12 it says, "when the woman saw Samuel, she cried out in a loud voice." Samuel questioned his reawakening asking, "Why hast thou disquieted me?" Saul did not receive a death penalty but he did receive it from God himself as prophesied by Samuel during that conjuration – within a day he died in battle along with his son Jonathan. Some Christian writers rejected the idea that humans could bring back the spirits of the dead and interpreted such shades as disguised demons instead, thus conflatin
Book of Mormon
The Book of Mormon is a sacred text of the Latter Day Saint movement, which adherents believe contains writings of ancient prophets who lived on the American continent from 2200 BC to AD 421. It was first published in March 1830 by Joseph Smith as The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi. According to Smith's account and the book's narrative, the Book of Mormon was written in otherwise unknown characters referred to as "reformed Egyptian" engraved on golden plates. Smith said that the last prophet to contribute to the book, a man named Moroni, buried it in the Hill Cumorah in present-day Manchester, New York before his death, returned to Earth in 1827 as an angel, revealing the location of the plates to Smith, instructing him to translate the plates into English for use in the restoration of Christ's true church in the latter days. Critics claim that it was authored by Smith, drawing on material and ideas from contemporary 19th-century works rather than translating an ancient record.
The Book of Mormon has a number of original and distinctive doctrinal discussions on subjects such as the fall of Adam and Eve, the nature of the Christian atonement, redemption from physical and spiritual death, the organization of the latter-day church. The pivotal event of the book is an appearance of Jesus Christ in the Americas shortly after his resurrection; the Book of Mormon is the earliest of the unique writings of the Latter-day Saint movement, the denominations of which regard the text as scripture, secondarily as a historical record of God's dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas. The archaeological and scientific communities do not accept the Book of Mormon as an ancient record of actual historical events; the Book of Mormon is divided into smaller books, titled after the individuals named as primary authors and, in most versions, divided into chapters and verses. It is written in English similar to the Early Modern English linguistic style of the King James Version of the Bible, has since been or translated into 111 languages.
As of 2011, more than 150 million copies of the Book of Mormon had been published. According to Joseph Smith, he was seventeen years of age when an angel of God named Moroni appeared to him and said that a collection of ancient writings was buried in a nearby hill in present-day Wayne County, New York, engraved on golden plates by ancient prophets; the writings were said to describe a people whom God had led from Jerusalem to the Western hemisphere 600 years before Jesus' birth. According to the narrative, Moroni was the last prophet among these people and had buried the record, which God had promised to bring forth in the latter days. Smith stated that this vision occurred on the evening of September 21, 1823 and that on the following day, via divine guidance, he located the burial location of the plates on this hill. Smith's description of these events recounts that he was allowed to take the plates on September 22, 1827 four years from that date, was directed to translate them into English.
Accounts vary of the way. Smith himself implied that he read the plates directly using spectacles prepared for the purpose of translating. Other accounts variously state. Both the special spectacles and the seer stone were at times referred to as the "Urim and Thummim". During the translating process itself, Smith sometimes separated himself from his scribe with a blanket between them. Additionally, the plates were not always present during the translating process, when present, they were always covered up. Smith's first published description of the plates said that the plates "had the appearance of gold", they were described by Martin Harris, one of Smith's early scribes, as "fastened together in the shape of a book by wires." Smith called the engraved writing on the plates "reformed Egyptian". A portion of the text on the plates was "sealed" according to his account, so its content was not included in the Book of Mormon. In addition to Smith's account regarding the plates, eleven others stated that they saw the golden plates and, in some cases, handled them.
Their written testimonies are known as the Testimony of Three Witnesses and the Testimony of Eight Witnesses. These statements have been published in most editions of the Book of Mormon. Smith enlisted his neighbor Martin Harris as a scribe during his initial work on the text. In 1828, prompted by his wife Lucy Harris requested that Smith lend him the current pages, translated. Smith reluctantly acceded to Harris's requests. Lucy Harris is thought to have stolen the first 116 pages. After the loss, Smith recorded that he had lost the ability to translate, that Moroni had taken back the plates to be returned only after Smith repented. Smith stated that God allowed him to resume translation, but directed that he begin translating another part of the plates. In 1829, work resumed on the Book of Mormon, with the assistance of Oliver Cowdery, was completed in a short period. Smith said that he returned the plates to Moroni upon the publication of the book; the Book of Mormon went on sale at the bookstore of E. B.
Grandin in Palmyra, New York on March 26, 1830. Today, the building in which the Book of
Smith family (Latter Day Saints)
The Smith family is the name of an American family with many members prominent in religion and politics. The family's most famous member was Joseph Smith Jr. founder of the Latter Day Saint movement. Many other members of the family took on leadership roles in various churches within the movement. Lived 1771–1840 Married: Lucy Mack in 1795 Father of Alvin Smith, Hyrum Smith, Joseph Smith Jr. Samuel H. Smith, William Smith, Don Carlos Smith brother of John Smith Lived 1775–1856 Married: Joseph Smith Sr. in 1795 Mother of Alvin Smith, Hyrum Smith, Joseph Smith Jr. Samuel H. Smith, William Smith, Don Carlos Smith Lived: 1781–1854 brother of Joseph Smith Sr. father of George A. Smith Lived: 1798–1823 Oldest child of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith Brother of Hyrum Smith, Joseph Smith Jr. Samuel H. Smith, William Smith, Katharine Smith Salisbury, Don Carlos Smith Lived: 1800–1844 Second son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith Brother of Alvin Smith, Joseph Smith Jr. Samuel H. Smith, William Smith, Katharine Smith Salisbury, Don Carlos Smith Lived: 1803–1876 Oldest daughter of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith Sister of Alvin Smith, Hyrum Smith, Samuel H. Smith, William Smith, Katharine Smith Salisbury, Don Carlos Smith Lived: 1805–1844 Founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Latter Day Saint movement Mayor of Nauvoo, Illinois 1842–44 Candidate for President of the United States 1844 son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith Brother of Alvin Smith, Hyrum Smith, Samuel H. Smith, William Smith, Katharine Smith Salisbury, Don Carlos Smith Father of Joseph Smith III Married: Emma Hale in 1827 Lived: 1808–1844 Brother of Alvin Smith, Hyrum Smith, Joseph Smith Jr. William Smith, Katharine Smith Salisbury, Don Carlos Smith Lived: 13 March 1811 – 13 November 1894 Illinois State Legislature 1842 Brother of Alvin Smith, Hyrum Smith, Joseph Smith Jr. Samuel H. Smith, Katharine Smith Salisbury, Don Carlos Smith Married: Caroline Amanda Grant, sister of Jedidiah Morgan Grant and Roxie Ann Grant Married: Roxie Ann Grant after her sister Caroline's death Lived: July 8, 1813 – February 1, 1900 Sister of Alvin Smith, Hyrum Smith, Joseph Smith Jr. Samuel H. Smith, William Smith, Don Carlos Smith Married: Wilkins Jenkins Salisbury Married: Joseph Younger Lived: 1816–1841 Brother of Alvin Smith, Hyrum Smith, Joseph Smith Jr. Samuel H. Smith, William Smith, Katharine Smith Salisbury The following individuals were children of brothers of Joseph Smith Sr.
They were first-cousins to Alvin Smith, Hyrum Smith, Joseph Smith Jr. Samuel H. Smith, William Smith, Don Carlos Smith Lived: 1804–1888 son of Asael Smith Jr. and Elizabeth Schellenger Lived: 26 June 1817 – 1 September 1875 Utah Territorial Legislature 1851, 1867. S. Congress 1856 Son of John Smith Father of John Henry Smith Lived: 26 October 1830 – 11 October 1910 Utah Territorial Legislature 1859, 69, 78 Son of Silas Smith Sr. Brother of Jesse Nathaniel Smith Lived: 2 December 1834 – 5 June 1906 Mayor of Parowan, Utah 1859. Son of Joseph Smith Jr. and Emma Hale Brother of Julia Murdock Smith, Alexander Hale Smith and David Hyrum Smith Nephew of Hyrum Smith 1st cousin of Joseph F. Smith 1st Cousin once removed of Utah Judge Elias Smith Sr Married: Emmeline Griswold in 1854 and had five children Married: Bertha Madison in 1869, after the death of Emmeline Griswold, had nine children Married: Ada Clark in 1898, after the death of Bertha Madison, had three children Lived: 1838–1909 Son of Joseph Smith Jr. and Emma Hale Brother of Julia Murdock Smith, Joseph Smith III and David Hyrum Smith Lived: 1844–1904 Son of Joseph Smith Jr. and Emma Hale Brother of Julia Murdock Smith, Joseph Smith III and Alexander Hale Smith Lived: 1841–1928 daughter of Don Carlos Smith and Agnes Moulton Coolbrith Lived: 18 September 1848 – 13 October 1911 Utah Territorial Legislature 1882 Son of George A. Smith Half-brother of Clarissa Smith Williams Lived: 1859–1930 Daughter of George A. Smith and Susan West Half-sister of John Henry Smith Lived: 1872–1918 Son of Joseph F. Smith, grandson of Hyrum Smith Brother of Joseph Fielding Smith and David A. Smith Lived: 1876–1972 Son of Joseph F. Smith, grandson of Hyrum Smith Brother of Hyrum M. Smith and David A. Smith President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1970–1972 Lived: 1879–1952 Son of Joseph F. Smith, grandson of Hyrum Smith Brother of Hyrum M. Smith and Joseph Fielding Smith Lived: 1874–1946 Son of Joseph Smith III, grandson of Joseph Smith Jr. Brother of Israel A. Smith and W. Wallace Smith Prophet–President of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1915–1946 Live
Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It borders the U. S. states of Massachusetts to the south, New Hampshire to the east, New York to the west, the Canadian province of Quebec to the north. Vermont is the second-smallest by population and the sixth-smallest by area of the 50 U. S. states. The state capital is the least populous state capital in the United States; the most populous city, Burlington, is the least populous city to be the most populous city in a state. As of 2015, Vermont was the leading producer of maple syrup in the United States. In crime statistics, it was ranked as the safest state in the country in 2016. For thousands of years, indigenous peoples, including the Mohawk and the Algonquian-speaking Abenaki, occupied much of the territory, now Vermont and was claimed by France's colony of New France. France ceded the territory to Great Britain after being defeated in 1763 in the Seven Years' War. Thereafter, the nearby colonies the provinces of New Hampshire and New York, disputed the extent of the area called the New Hampshire Grants to the west of the Connecticut River, encompassing present-day Vermont.
The provincial government of New York sold land grants to settlers in the region, which conflicted with earlier grants from the government of New Hampshire. The Green Mountain Boys militia protected the interests of the established New Hampshire land grant settlers against the newly arrived settlers with land titles granted by New York. A group of settlers with New Hampshire land grant titles established the Vermont Republic in 1777 as an independent state during the American Revolutionary War; the Vermont Republic abolished slavery before any of the other states. Vermont was admitted to the newly established United States as the fourteenth state in 1791. Vermont is one of only four U. S. states that were sovereign states, given that the original 13 states were former colonies. During the mid 19th century, Vermont was a strong source of abolitionist sentiment and sent a significant contingent of soldiers to participate in the American Civil War. Protestants and Catholics make up the majority of those reporting a religious preference with 37% reporting no religion.
Other religions individually contribute no more than 2% to the total. The geography of the state is marked by the Green Mountains, which run north–south up the middle of the state, separating Lake Champlain and other valley terrain on the west from the Connecticut River valley that defines much of its eastern border. A majority of its terrain is forested with conifers. A majority of its open land is in agriculture; the state's climate is characterized by cold, snowy winters. Vermont's economic activity of $26 billion in 2010 caused it to rank 34th in gross state product, it has been ranked 42nd as a state in. In 1960, Vermonters' politics started to shift from being reliably Republican towards favoring more liberal and progressive candidates. Starting in 1963, voters have alternated between choosing Democratic governors. Voters have chosen Democrats for president since 1992. In 2000, the state legislature was the first to recognize civil unions for same-sex couples; the origin of the name "Vermont" is uncertain, but comes from the French Les Monts Verts, meaning "the Green Mountains".
Thomas Young introduced it in 1777. In 1913, the Secretary of State of Vermont speculated that the archaic French term Mont Verd may have inspired Young. Another source points out the predominance of mica-quartz-chlorite schist, a green-hued metamorphosed shale, as a possible reason; the Green Mountains form a north–south spine running most of the length of the state west of its center. In the southwest portion of the state are located the Taconic Mountains. In the northwest, near Lake Champlain, is the fertile Champlain Valley. In the south of the valley is Lake Bomoseen. Vermont is located in the New England region of the Northeastern United States and comprises 9,614 square miles, making it the 45th-largest state, it is the only state. Land comprises 9,250 square miles and water comprises 365 square miles, making it the 43rd-largest in land area and the 47th in water area. In total area, it is smaller than Haiti, it is the only landlocked state in New England, it is the easternmost and the smallest in area of all landlocked states.
The west bank of the Connecticut River marks the state's eastern border with New Hampshire, though much of the river is within New Hampshire's territory. 41% of Vermont's land area is part of the Connecticut River's watershed. Lake Champlain, the sixth-largest body of fresh water in the United States, separates Vermont from New York in the northwest portion of the state. From north to south, Vermont is 159 miles long, its greatest width, from east to west, is 89 miles at the Canada–U. S. Border; the width averages 60.5 miles. The state's geographic center is three miles east of Roxbury, in Washington County. There are fifteen U. S. federal border crossings between Canada. Several mountains have timberlines with delicate year-round alpine ecosystems, including Mount Mansfield, the highest mountain in the state. Areas in Vermont a
Mercury chloride is the chemical compound with the formula Hg2Cl2. Known as the mineral calomel or mercurous chloride, this dense white or yellowish-white, odorless solid is the principal example of a mercury compound, it is a component of reference electrodes in electrochemistry. The name calomel is thought to come from the Greek καλός beautiful, μέλας black; the black name is due to its characteristic disproportionation reaction with ammonia, which gives a “spectacular” black coloration due to the finely dispersed metallic mercury formed. It is referred to as the mineral horn quicksilver or horn mercury. Calomel was taken internally and used as a laxative, for example to treat George III in 1801, disinfectant, as well as in the treatment of syphilis, until the early 20th century; until recently, it was used as a horticultural fungicide, most notably as a root dip to help prevent the occurrence of clubroot amongst crops of the Brassicaceae family. Mercury became a popular remedy for a variety of physical and mental ailments during the age of "heroic medicine".
It was used by doctors in America throughout the 18th century, during the revolution, to make patients regurgitate and release their body from "impurities". Benjamin Rush was one particular well-known advocate of mercury in medicine and used calomel to treat sufferers of yellow fever during its outbreak in Philadelphia in 1793. Calomel was given to patients as a purgative or cathartic until they began to salivate and was administered to patients in such great quantities that their hair and teeth fell out. Shortly after yellow fever struck Philadelphia, the disease broke out in Jamaica. A war of words erupted in the press concerning the best treatment for yellow fever: bleeding. Anecdotal evidence indicates. Mormon prophet Joseph Smith's eldest brother Alvin Smith died in 1823 from mercury poisoning from calomel. Lewis and Clark brought along the wonder drug of the day, mercury chloride, as a pill, a tincture, an ointment. Modern researchers used that same mercury, found deep in latrine pits, to retrace the locations of their respective locations and campsites.
Mercury is unique among the group 12 metals for its ability to form the M–M bond so readily. Hg2Cl2 is a linear molecule; the mineral calomel crystallizes with space group I4/m 2/m 2/m. The unit cell of the crystal structure is shown below: The Hg–Hg bond length of 253 pm and the Hg–Cl bond length in the linear Hg2Cl2 unit is 243 pm; the overall coordination of each Hg atom is octahedral as, in addition to the two nearest neighbours, there are four other Cl atoms at 321 pm. Longer mercury polycations exist. Mercurous chloride forms by the reaction of elemental mercury and mercuric chloride: Hg + HgCl2 → Hg2Cl2It can be prepared via metathesis reaction involving aqueous mercury nitrate using various chloride sources including NaCl or HCl. 2HCl + Hg22 → Hg2Cl2 + 2HNO3Ammonia causes Hg2Cl2 to disproportionate: Hg2Cl2 + 2NH3 → Hg + HgCl + NH4Cl Mercurous chloride is employed extensively in electrochemistry, taking advantage of the ease of its oxidation and reduction reactions. The calomel electrode is a reference electrode in older publications.
Over the past 50 years, it has been superseded by the silver/silver chloride electrode. Although the mercury electrodes have been abandoned due to the dangerous nature of mercury, many chemists believe they are still more accurate and are not dangerous as long as they are handled properly; the differences in experimental potentials vary little from literature values. Other electrodes can vary by 70 to 100 millivolts. Mercurous chloride decomposes into mercury elemental mercury upon exposure to UV light. Hg2Cl2 → HgCl2 + HgThe formation of Hg can be used to calculate the number of photons in the light beam, by the technique of actinometry. By utilizing a light reaction in the presence of mercury chloride and ammonium oxalate, mercury chloride, ammonium chloride and carbon dioxide are produced. 2HgCl2 + 2C2O4 + Light → Hg2Cl2 + 2 + 2CO2This particular reaction was discovered by J. M. Eder in 1880 and reinvestigated by W. E. Rosevaere in 1929. Mercury bromide, Hg2Br2, is a light yellow, whereas Hg2I2, is greenish in colour.
Both are poorly soluble. Mercury fluoride is unstable in the absence of a strong acid. Mercurous chloride is toxic, although due to its low solubility in water it is less dangerous than its mercuric chloride counterpart, it was used in medicine as a diuretic and purgative in the United States from the late 1700s through the 1860s. Calomel was a common ingredient in teething powders in Britain up until 1954, causing widespread mercury poisoning in the form of pink disease, which at the time had a mortality rate of 1 in 10; these medicinal uses were discontinued when the compound's toxicity was discovered. It has found uses in cosmetics as soaps and skin lightening creams, but these preparations are now illegal to manufacture or import in many countries including the US, Canada and the European Union. A study of workers involved in the production of these preparations showed that the sodium salt of 2,3-dimercapto-1-propanesulfonic acid was effective in lowering the body burden of mercury and in decreasing the urinary mercury concentration to normal levels.
International Chemical Safety Card 0984 National Pollutant Inventory - Mercury and compounds Fact Sheet NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards