The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon, upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi; NY: Joseph Smith Jr., 1830; [i]– pp.; includes typeset signature marks and copyright notice. The copy presented here is held at CHL; includes pasted newspaper clippings, bookplate, selling price and signature of former owner, and library markings.
This book was printed on thirty-seven sheets and folded into thirty-seven gatherings of eight leaves each, making a text block of 592 pages. The last printed leaf—bearing the signed statements of witnesses—is not numbered. The book includes two blank front flyleaves and two blank back flyleaves (other copies have three back flyleaves). The pages of the book measure 7¼ × 4⅝ inches (18 × 12 cm).
The book is bound in brown calfskin, with a black label on the spine: “BOOK OF | MORMON”. The spine also bears seven double-bands in gilt. The book measures 7½ × 4¾ × 1¾ inches (19 × 12 × 4 cm). To the inside front cover are affixed four clippings of descriptions of different versions of first edition copies of the Book of Mormon and of an 1854 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, along with a clipping describing the origin of the text of the Book of Mormon and a bookplate of the “Shepard Book Company” of Salt Lake City, Utah. There is also a pencil notation: “CEEY- | asxx”. The recto of the first front flyleaf bears one clipping describing a first edition Book of Mormon for sale and several notations in pencil: “1st Edition” and “$50.00 | BS KN”. Pencil notation on verso of first flyleaf: “1st Edition” and “M222.1 | B724 | 1830 | #8”. Pen notation on recto of second front flyleaf: “James H Moyle | March 22 1906”. The page edges are decorated with a light blue speckled stain.
The price notation inscribed in the front of the book suggests that the book was sold. It is uncertain when this volume was placed in the care of the Church Historian’s Office.
for there began to be a contention among the people concerning the Chief Judge, Pahoran; for behold, there were a part of the people which desired that a few particular points of the law should be altered. But behold, Pahoran would not alter, nor suffer the law to be altered; therefore he did not hearken to those who had sent in their voices with their petitions, concerning the altering of the law; therefore those which were desirous that the law should be altered, were angry with him, and desired that he should no longer be Chief Judge over the land; therefore there arose a warm dispute concerning the matter; but not unto bloodshed.
And it came to pass that those who were desirous that Pahoran should be dethroned from the judgement seat, were called king-men, for they were desirous that the law should be altered in a manner to overthrow the free government, and to establish a king over the land. And those who were desirous that Pahoran should remain Chief Judge over the land, took upon them the name of freemen; and thus was the division among them: for the freemen had sworn or covenanted to maintain their rights, and the privileges of their religion, by a free government.
And it came to pass that this matter of their contention was settled, by the voice of the people. And it came to pass that the voice of the people came in the favor of the freemen, and Pahoran retained the judgement seat, which caused much rejoicing among the brethren of Pahoran, and also many of the people of liberty; which also put the king-men to silence, that they durst not oppose, but were obliged to maintain the cause of freedom. Now those which were in favor of kings, were those of high birth; and they sought to be kings; and they were supported by those which sought power and authority over the people. But behold, this was a critical time for such contentions to be among the people of Nephi; for behold, Amalickiah had again stirred up the hearts of the people of the Lamanites, against the people of the Nephites, and he was gathering together soldiers, from all parts of his land, and arming them, and preparing for war, with all diligence; for he had sworn to drink the blood of Moroni. But behold, we shall see that his promise which he made, was rash; nevertheless, he did prepare himself and his armies, to come to battle against the Nephites. Now his armies were not so great as they had hitherto been, because of the many thousands which had been slain by the hand of the Nephites; but notwithstand [p. 367]