“A Fac-simile from the Book of Abraham, No. 2.,” Second Issue, between circa 15 March 1842 and 1 April 1843
“A FAC-SIMILE FROM THE BOOK OF ABRAHAM, NO. 2.,” second issue, [, Hancock Co., IL, between ca. 15 Mar. 1842 and 1 Apr. 1843]; “Truthiana,” CHL. Includes redactions and archival markings.One leaf, measuring 12¼ × 15⅛ inches (31 × 38 cm). The leaf was ruled with thirty-seven blue lines that are now faded. Facsimile 2 was printed on the right half of the leaf; an explanation of the figures in Facsimile 2 was printed below the illustration in three columns. Below the three columns is a single line of text not found in the first issue of Facsimile 2: “-[From the Times and Seasons, Vol. 3, No. 10 edited and published by Joseph Smith, in the City of Nauvoo, Illinois, March, 15, 1842.]-” The illustration, which is nearly circular—though slightly oblong in its width—measures 7¼ × 7⅜ inches (18 × 19 cm). At some point, the leaf was folded in half vertically, forming two leaves, each measuring 12¼ × 7⅝ inches (31 × 19 cm).Early church clerks used the paper of this and other copies of the second issue of Facsimile 2 for other documents—apparently several copies were available for use as notepaper. used this bifolium to draft a letter to the Boston Bee in 1843. The document has presumably remained in continuous institutional custody.
“Truthiana,” 1843. Draft. CHL. MS 15537.
After its publication in the Times and Seasons, Facsimile 2 was reprinted as a loose broadside, nearly identical to the earlier version except for an additional line of text at the bottom. Copies of the first printing were tipped into the issue of the Times and Seasons dated 15 March 1842, between pages 720 and 721. The motivation for reprinting the facsimile in a second version is unknown. That it was intended to be separate from the Times and Seasons is evidenced by the line of text added to the bottom of the version here, which reads, “-[From the Times and Seasons, Vol. 3, No. 10 edited and published by Joseph Smith, in the City of Nauvoo, Illinois, March, 15, 1842.]-” There are no known additional printings of Facsimile 1 or Facsimile 3.The copy featured here is the only known copy of the second version that is still preserved as an intact bifolium leaf. The facsimile is printed on one half of the sheet, while the other half of the sheet is blank. All other known copies are single sheets, though slight variations of the width of those copies indicate that they were originally printed on bifolia and then cut away from their companion blank halves. That one surviving copy is not printed on both sides of the bifolium sheet may hint that the printing was not completed and that the printers intended to print the facsimile on the other half of the sheet as well.In comparison to the version that was tipped into the Times and Seasons, the large bounding circle of the facsimile in the second version measures a fraction of an inch longer vertically, though both versions were clearly printed using the same printing plate. If the printers wetted the paper of the first issue before printing (a common technique for the day), it would have slightly expanded the paper along the fibers, making the printed paper shrink slightly after it was printed and had dried. If the second issue was printed on dry paper, that would explain its slightly longer circle.All known copies of the second version were printed on machine-ruled paper, perhaps to provide space for handwritten information, although no known copy of the second issue supports this supposition. Many of the extant copies of the reprint were used by clerks in JS’s office or the Historian’s Office during the mid-1840s. The copy featured here is the earliest extant copy known to have been used by scribes in JS’s office for other purposes. The handwritten text on this bifolium is dated 1 April 1843, which means this reprinted version of Facsimile 2 was printed no later than that date.