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.
And now it came to pass that in the sixteenth year from the coming of Christ, Lachoneus, the Governor of the land, received an epistle from the leaders and the Governor of this band of robbers; and these were the words which were written, saying: Lachoneus, most noble and Chief Governor of the land: behold I write this epistle unto you, and do give unto you exceeding great praise because of your firmness, and also the firmness of your people, in maintaining that which ye suppose to be your right and liberty; yea, ye do stand well, as if ye were supported by the hand of a God, in the defence of your liberty, and your property, and your country, or that which ye do call so. And it seemeth a pity unto me, most noble Lachoneus, that ye should be so foolish and vain as to suppose that ye can stand against so many brave men, which are at my command, which do now at this time stand in their arms, and do await, with great anxiety, for the word, Go down upon the Nephites and destroy them. And I knowing of their unconquerable spirit, having proved them in the field of battle, and knowing of their everlasting hatred towards you, because of the many wrongs which ye have done unto them, therefore if they should come down against you, they would visit you with utter destruction; therefore I have wrote this epistle, sealing it with mine own hand, feeling for your welfare, because of your firmness in that which ye believe to be right, and your noble spirit in the field of battle; therefore I write unto you desiring that ye would yield up unto this my people, your cities, your lands, and your possessions, rather than that they should visit you with the sword, and that destruction should come upon you; or in other words, yield yourselves up unto us, and unite with us, and become acquainted with our secret works, and become our brethren, that ye may be like unto us; not our slaves, but our brethren, and partners of all our substance. And behold, I swear unto you, if ye will do this, with an oath, ye shall not be destroyed; but if ye will not do this, I swear unto you, with an oath, that on the morrow month, I will command that my armies shall come down against you, and they shall not stay their hand, and shall spare not, but shall slay you, and shall let fall the sword upon you, even until ye shall become extinct. And behold, I am Giddianhi, and I am the Governor of this the secret society of Gadianton; which society, and the works thereof, I know [p. 457]