Appendix 2, Document 3. Stick of Joseph, 1844
The Stick of Joseph, Taken from the Hand of Ephraim, broadside, [ , NY: Prophet, 1844], one page. The copy used for transcription is held at CHL; includes file notes.File notes on verso in ink in unidentified handwriting: “”; “Vault | Nq | M222 | 5854 | 184-?”; “1844 | Placard | Stick of Joseph”; “Book of Mormon | Characters”; and in handwriting of : “This was formerly owned by sent to the Historian office March 22, 1860, by his son Joseph <F.> Smith”.Printed sheet measuring 14⅝ × 11⅞ inches (37 × 30 cm). Gold leaf printing on paper coated in black. Border around the text block measures 10⅞ × 8⅞ inches (28 × 23 cm), composed of various designs. Text set in various typefaces and sizes. Includes three sets of characters enclosed in separate borders. This copy of the broadside has multiple folds.
This broadside is the first known published copy of characters reported to have been taken from the . The Prophet, a church-affiliated newspaper in , printed it to help cover its publication costs and to memorialize “the wisdom that inspired our martyred Prophet.” In December 1844, it advertised, “We have published a very neat specimen of the original characters or hieroglyphics that were copied from the plates which the Book of Mormon was from.” Although the three lines of characters reproduced here closely resemble the characters in ’s copy, his document could not have served as the source for this 1844 publication. Following his 1838 excommunication, Whitmer left the church and took his papers, including his copy of the characters, with him.
The Prophet. New York City, NY. May 1844–Dec. 1845.