History, 1838–1856, volume A-1 [23 December 1805–30 August 1834]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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to assist us in our affliction, was a resident of Wayne County  in the State of New York and a farmer of respectability. By this timely aid was I enabled  to reach the place of my destination in , and immediately after my arrival  there I commenced copying the characters of all the plates. I copyed a considerable number  of them and by means of the I some of them which I did  between the time I arrived at the house of in the month of December, and  the February following. Some time in this month of February the aforementioned Mr   came to our place, got the characters which I had drawn off of the plates  and started with them to the City of . For what took place relative to him  and the characters I refer to his own account of the circumstances as he related them  to me after his return which was as follows. “I went to the City of and presented  the Characters which had been translated, with the translation thereof, to a  gentleman celebrated for his literary attainments. stated that the trans lation was correct, more so than any he had before seen translated from the Egyptian.
I then shewed him those which were not yet translated, and he said that they were  Egyptian, Chaldeak, Assyriac, and Arabac, and he said that they were true charac ters. He gave me a certificate certifying to the people of that they were true char acters and that the translation of such of them as had been translated was also correct.
I took the Certificate and put it into my pocket, and was just leaving the house, when   called me back and asked me how the young man found out that there were  gold plates in the place where he found them. I answered that an Angel of God had  revealed it unto him. He then said to me, let me see that certificate, I accordingly took  it out of my pocket and gave it [to] him when he took it and tore it to pieces, saying that  there was no such thing now as ministring of angels, and that if I would bring the plates  to him, he would translate them.<*> <I informed him that part of the plates were sealed, and that I was forbidden to bring them, he replied  “I cannot read a sealed book”.> I left him and went to Dr Mitchel [Samuel L. Mitchill] who sanctioned  what had said respecting both the Characters and the translation.”
April–June 1828
having returned from this tour he left me and went home to , arranged  his affairs, and returned again to my house about the twelfth of April, Eighteen hundred and  twentyeight, and commenced writing for me while I translated from the plates, which we  continued untill the fourteenth of June following, by which time he had written one  hundred and sixteen <pages> of manuscript on foolscap paper. Some time after  had began to write for me, he began to tease me to give him liberty to carry the writings  home and shew them, and desired of me that I would enquire of the Lord through the Urim  and Thummin if he might not do so. I did enquire, and the answer was that he must  not. However he was not satisfied with this answer, and desired that I should enquire  again. I did so, and the answer was as before. Still he could not be contented but insis ted that I should enquire once more. after After much solicitation I again enquired  of the Lord, and permission was granted him to have the writings on certain condit ions, which were, that he shew them only to his brother. , his own wife [],  his father [Nathan], and his mother [Rhoda Lapham Harris], and a Mrs [Polly Harris] Cobb a sister to . In accordance with this  last answer I required of him that he should bind himself in a covenant to me [p. 9]
to assist us in our affliction, was a resident of Wayne County in the State of New York and a farmer of respectability. By this timely aid was I enabled to reach the place of my destination in , and immediately after my arrival there I commenced copying the characters of the plates. I copyed a considerable number of them and by means of the I some of them which I did between the time I arrived at the house of in the month of December, and the February following. Some time in this month of February the aforementioned Mr came to our place, got the characters which I had drawn off the plates and started with them to the City of . For what took place relative to him and the characters I refer to his own account of the circumstances as he related them to me after his return which was as follows. “I went to the City of and presented the Characters which had been translated, with the translation thereof, to a gentleman celebrated for his literary attainments. stated that the translation was correct, more so than any he had before seen translated from the Egyptian.
I then shewed him those which were not yet translated, and he said that they were Egyptian, Chaldeak, Assyriac, and Arabac, and he said that they were true characters. He gave me a certificate certifying to the people of that they were true characters and that the translation of such of them as had been translated was also correct.
I took the Certificate and put it into my pocket, and was just leaving the house, when called me back and asked me how the young man found out that there were gold plates in the place where he found them. I answered that an Angel of God had revealed it unto him. He then said to me, let me see that certificate, I accordingly took it out of my pocket and gave it [to] him when he took it and tore it to pieces, saying that there was no such thing now as ministring of angels, and that if I would bring the plates to him, he would translate them.* I informed him that part of the plates were sealed, and that I was forbidden to bring them, he replied “I cannot read a sealed book”. I left him and went to Dr Mitchel [Samuel L. Mitchill] who sanctioned what had said respecting both the Characters and the translation.”
April–June 1828
having returned from this tour he left me and went home to , arranged his affairs, and returned again to my house about the twelfth of April, Eighteen hundred and twentyeight, and commenced writing for me while I translated from the plates, which we continued untill the fourteenth of June following, by which time he had written one hundred and sixteen pages of manuscript on foolscap paper. Some time after had began to write for me, he began to tease me to give him liberty to carry the writings home and shew them, and desired of me that I would enquire of the Lord through the Urim and Thummin if he might not do so. I did enquire, and the answer was that he must not. However he was not satisfied with this answer, and desired that I should enquire again. I did so, and the answer was as before. Still he could not be contented but insisted that I should enquire once more. After much solicitation I again enquired of the Lord, and permission was granted him to have the writings on certain conditions, which were, that he shew them only to his brother. , his own wife [], his father [Nathan], and his mother [Rhoda Lapham Harris], and a Mrs [Polly Harris] Cobb a sister to . In accordance with this last answer I required of him that he should bind himself in a covenant to me [p. 9]
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