“A Fac-simile from the Book of Abraham, No. 2.,” Second Issue, between circa 15 March 1842 and 1 April 1843
“A FAC-SIMILE FROM THE BOOK OF ABRAHAM, NO. 2.,” second issue, [, Hancock Co., IL, between ca. 15 Mar. 1842 and 1 Apr. 1843]; “Truthiana,” CHL. Includes redactions and archival markings.
One leaf, measuring 12¼ × 15⅛ inches (31 × 38 cm). The leaf was ruled with thirty-seven blue lines that are now faded. Facsimile 2 was printed on the right half of the leaf; an explanation of the figures in Facsimile 2 was printed below the illustration in three columns. Below the three columns is a single line of text not found in the first issue of Facsimile 2: “-[From the Times and Seasons, Vol. 3, No. 10 edited and published by Joseph Smith, in the City of Nauvoo, Illinois, March, 15, 1842.]-” The illustration, which is nearly circular—though slightly oblong in its width—measures 7¼ × 7⅜ inches (18 × 19 cm). At some point, the leaf was folded in half vertically, forming two leaves, each measuring 12¼ × 7⅝ inches (31 × 19 cm).
Early church clerks used the paper of this and other copies of the second issue of Facsimile 2 for other documents—apparently several copies were available for use as notepaper. used this bifolium to draft a letter to the Boston Bee in 1843. The document has presumably remained in continuous institutional custody.
In March 1843, Willard Richards began a series of pseudonymously signed letters to the Boston Bee. The Facsimile 2 sheet published here was used for the third letter, dated 1 April 1843. (See “For the Bee Truthiana No. 3,” 1 Apr. 1843, “Truthiana,” 1843, draft, CHL.)
“Truthiana,” 1843. Draft. CHL. MS 15537.
After its publication in the Times and Seasons, Facsimile 2 was reprinted as a loose broadside, nearly identical to the earlier version except for an additional line of text at the bottom. Copies of the first printing were tipped into the issue of the Times and Seasons dated 15 March 1842, between pages 720 and 721. The motivation for reprinting the facsimile in a second version is unknown. That it was intended to be separate from the Times and Seasons is evidenced by the line of text added to the bottom of the version here, which reads, “-[From the Times and Seasons, Vol. 3, No. 10 edited and published by Joseph Smith, in the City of Nauvoo, Illinois, March, 15, 1842.]-” There are no known additional printings of Facsimile 1 or Facsimile 3.
The copy featured here is the only known copy of the second version that is still preserved as an intact bifolium leaf. The facsimile is printed on one half of the sheet, while the other half of the sheet is blank. All other known copies are single sheets, though slight variations of the width of those copies indicate that they were originally printed on bifolia and then cut away from their companion blank halves. That one surviving copy is not printed on both sides of the bifolium sheet may hint that the printing was not completed and that the printers intended to print the facsimile on the other half of the sheet as well.
In comparison to the version that was tipped into the Times and Seasons, the large bounding circle of the facsimile in the second version measures a fraction of an inch longer vertically, though both versions were clearly printed using the same printing plate. If the printers wetted the paper of the first issue before printing (a common technique for the day), it would have slightly expanded the paper along the fibers, making the printed paper shrink slightly after it was printed and had dried. If the second issue was printed on dry paper, that would explain its slightly longer circle.
All known copies of the second version were printed on machine-ruled paper, perhaps to provide space for handwritten information, although no known copy of the second issue supports this supposition. Many of the extant copies of the reprint were used by clerks in JS’s office or the Historian’s Office during the mid-1840s. The copy featured here is the earliest extant copy known to have been used by scribes in JS’s office for other purposes. The handwritten text on this bifolium is dated 1 April 1843, which means this reprinted version of Facsimile 2 was printed no later than that date.
This process of printing on both sides, called a work-and-turn method, meant that an entire stack of paper would have been printed on one side before the whole stack was turned over and printed on the opposite side. Then the sheets could be cut in half, resulting in two broadsides per sheet.
Because the two different printings used different paper, it is also possible that the different paper types, when wetted, expanded and contracted differently. It is also possible that a warped woodcut was used on one of the versions.
“For the Bee Truthiana No. 3,” 1 Apr. 1843, “Truthiana,” 1843, draft, CHL. The collection of draft letters of Truthiana to the Boston Bee contains six facsimiles, the General Church Minutes collection has nine full facsimiles and a fragment of one, the collection of Joseph Smith History material has two full facsimiles and a fragment of one, and a collection of Thomas Bullock papers has two copies. (See versos of “For the Bee Truthiana No. 3,” 1 Apr. 1843; “For the Bee Truthiana No 6”; Willard Richards [Viator, pseud.], Nauvoo, IL, 26 July 1843, Letter to the Editor, draft, “Truthiana,” 1843, draft, CHL; Historian’s Office, General Church Minutes, 6 Apr. 1843; William W. Phelps, History Draft, ca. 1842; William McCleary, Statement, ca. 1842, Historian’s Office, JS History Documents, 1839–1860, CHL; see copies of A Fac-simile from the Book of Abraham, No. 2. [Nauvoo, IL, 1842] in Thomas Bullock Collection, CHL; see also verso of William W. Phelps for JS, Nauvoo, IL, to Clyde Williams & Co., Harrisburg, PA, 1 Aug. 1843, copy, JS Collection, CHL.)
“Truthiana,” 1843. Draft. CHL. MS 15537.
Historian’s Office. Joseph Smith History Documents, 1839–1860. CHL. CR 100 396.
Bullock, Thomas. Collection, 1830–1939. CHL.
A FAC-SIMILE FROM THE BOOK OF ABRAHAM, NO. 2.
[facsimile of hypocephalus]
Explanation of the above Cut.
Fig. 1. Kolob, signifying the first creation, nearest to the celestial, or the residence of God. First in government, the last pertaining to the measurement of time. The measurement according to the celestial time; which, celestial time, signifies one day to a cubit. One day, in Kolob, is equal to a thousand years, according to the measurement of this earth, which is called by the Egyptians Jah-oh-eh.
Fig. 2. Stands next to Kolob, called by the Egyptians Oliblish, which is the next grand governing creation, near to the celestial or the place where God resides; holding the key of power also, pertaining to other planets; as revealed from God to Abraham, as he offered sacrifice upon an altar, which he had built unto the Lord.
Fig. 3. Is made to represent God, sitting upon his throne, clothed with power and authority; with a crown of eternal light upon his head; representing, also, the grand Key words of the Holy Priesthood, as revealed to Adam in the Garden of Eden, as also to Seth, Noah, Melchisedek, Abraham and all to whom the Priesthood was revealed.
Fig. 4. Answers to the Hebrew word Raukeeyang, signifying expanse, or the firmament of the heavens: also, a numerical figure, in Egyptian, signifying one thousand; answering to the measuring of the time of Oliblish, which is equal with Kolob in its revolution and in its measuring of time.
Fig. 5, Is called in Egyptian Enish-go-ondosh; that is one of the governing planets also; and is said by the Egyptians to be the Sun, and to borrow its light from Kolob through the medium of Kae-e-vanrash, which is the grand Key, or in other words, the governing power, which governs fifteen other fixed planets or stars, as also Floeese or the Moon, the earth and the Sun in their annual revolutions. This planet receives its power through the medium of Kli-flos-is-es, or Hah-ko-kau-beam, the stars represented by numbers 22, and 23, receiving light from the revolutions of Kolob.
Fig. 6, Represents this earth in its four quarters.
Fig. 7, Represents God sitting upon his throne, revealing, through the heavens, the grand Key words of the Priesthood; as, also, the sign of the Holy Ghost unto Abraham, in the form of a dove.
Fig. 8, Contains writing that cannot be revealed unto the world; but is to be had in the Holy Temple of God.
Fig. 9, Ought not to be revealed at the present time.
Fig. 10, Also.
Fig. 11, Also.—If the world can find out these numbers, So let it be, Amen.
Figures 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 21, will be given in the own due time of the Lord.
The above translation is given as far as we have any right to give, at the present time.
-[From the Times and Seasons, Vol. 3, No. 10 edited and published by Joseph Smith, in the City of , Illinois, March, 15, 1842.]-
[pp. – blank prior to later use as notepaper] [p. ]