SMITH, Joseph, Founder and Prophet, Church of the Latter-Day Saints (1805-1844). The Book of Mormon: An Acount written by the Hand of Mormon, upon Plates taken from the Plates of Nephi...by Joseph Smith...Author and Proprietor. Palmyra, New York: E. B. Grandin, for the author, 1830.
8o, 185 x 118 mm. Titlepage (copyright notice on verso), Preface "To the Reader," signed "The Author" (pp.[iii]-iv), text (pp.-588), extra leaf "The Testimonies of Three Witnesses" (recto) "And Also The Testimony of Eight Witnesses" (verso), final blank. Without the two-page index, issued at a later date. (Foxing and even browning as is usual with the inexpensive paper used in this edition, early owner's ink and pencil inscriptions to endpapers, minor tape stains to front pastedown). Contemporary plain sheep, spine simply ruled in five compartments, edges lightly speckled blue (rubbed, short tear to leather at head of spine, stain to corner of upper cover, corners worn, two severely), but otherwise a sound, unsophisticated copy of a book commonly found in quite marginal condition.
FIRST EDITION OF THE BOOK OF MORMON WITH THE EXTRA LEAVES OF TESTIMONIES. A very good copy of Joseph Smith's translation of the thin, golden tablets whose hiding place was revealed to him by the angel Moroni. This edition was 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. 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). Church 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 S623. Sabin 83028. Streeter 4:2262.
Provenance: "Hannah Winters," early pencil inscription on rear pastedown.