SMITH, Joseph (1805-1844). The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon, Upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi... by Joseph Smith, Junior, Author and Proprietor. Palmyra: Printed by E.B. Grandin, for the Author, 1830.
8o (187 x 116 mm). Title-page (copyright notice on verso), Preface "To the Reader," signed "The Author" (pp.[iii]-iv), text (pp.-588.) Without the extra leaf of Testimonies, final blank and index. (title-page a bit creased with a few flyspots and pencil marks, some spotting and browning as usual.) Modern half blue morocco gilt, spine with six compartments and five raised bands, gilt-lettered in two, the others with gilt daisy design, marbled endpapers, all edges speckled.
FIRST EDITION. The Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith's translation of the golden tablets revealed to him by the angel Moroni in the hill of "Cumorah" near Manchester, New York. This edition is the only one in which Smith was styled "author," rather than "translator," and was issued only two weeks before the formal founding of the Church of Latter-Day Saints on 6 April 1830. The text was dictated to Oliver Cowdery, who served as scribe, and a local printer, Egbert B. Grandin, proprietor of the Wayne Sentinel, undertook to print the sizeable edition (5,000 copies) for the 25-year old Smith. The manuscript "was delivered a few pages at a time to the typesetter, who supplied all the punctuation and paragraphing" (Crawley and Flake). The Church catalogue notes that this first printing of the Mormon Bible forbade freemasonry and polygamy, but the latter doctrine was altered in subsequent editions so as to permit devotees a plurality of wives. Church 1342; Crawley & Flake, A Mormon Fifty 1; Grolier American 37; Howes S-623; Sabin 83028; Streeter sale 4:2262.