Book of Abraham Manuscript and Explanation of Facsimile 1, circa February 1842 [Abraham 1:1–2:18]
Book of Abraham and Explanation of Facsimile 1, [, Hancock Co., IL, ca. Feb. 1842]; handwriting of ; fifteen pages (one leaf missing); Book of Abraham Manuscripts, CHL. Includes docketing and archival markings.Thirteen leaves, each measuring 11½ × 7½ inches (29 × 19 cm). Each leaf is ruled with thirty-five blue lines. The first and second, sixth and seventh, and thirteenth and fourteenth leaves were each originally part of bifolium sheets that were later cut down the middle to form two leaves of approximately the same size. All thirteen leaves are inscribed on the recto side. Two leaves are inscribed on the verso as well: the verso of the second leaf contains the explanation of Facsimile 1, and the verso of the third leaf contains docketing and archival notations. At an unknown time, the leaf containing the fourth page was separated from this collection of leaves; it is apparently no longer extant. Creases resulting from imperfections in the low-quality paper have caused tears across several of the pages. Some of these tears were repaired at an unknown time with cellophane adhesive tape. Given the stability of the tape and the lack of staining, this repair was probably done in the 1960s or 1970s.The thirteen leaves were grouped and folded three times to form a bundle. The pages were collated in such a way that the verso of the third leaf was the outermost page. This verso contains wear and early and later docketing, suggesting it served as the outermost page for some time. The leaves were stapled multiple times, as evidenced by the two sets of double holes on each of the upper left corners of the pages.Docketing by (“Part Book of Abraham” and “1841”) and Andrew Jenson (“Book of Abraham | A.J.”) suggests the document was in the continuous custody of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This document also appears to be listed on a 1904 Historian’s Office inventory. Unlike other Egyptian-language and Book of Abraham documents, the pages of this manuscript are not labeled with letters of the alphabet, which indicates that this document was not stored with the related documents that were marked in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. That this item is not found on the 1956 microfilm roll of the Book of Abraham and Egyptian-language materials held in the Historian’s Office indicates that it was still stored separately at that time. The document is present with the other Book of Abraham and Egyptian-language documents in a microfilm made in 1971.
Cole, David J., Eve Browning, and Fred E.H. Schroeder. Encyclopedia of Modern Everyday Inventions. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2003.
Historian’s Office. Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904. CHL. CR 100 130.
Egyptian Documents Film, 14 Sept. 1956. Microfilm. CHL.
Book of Abraham Manuscripts, ca. 1835–1838, ca. 1841–1843. CHL.
This manuscript in the handwriting of is a -era copy of the -era Book of Abraham material. Its title and short introduction, which provides a brief history of the believed origins of the papyri, are not copied from any Kirtland-era manuscript. The manuscript presented here is textually dependent upon the Kirtland-era manuscript in the handwriting of and (Book of Abraham Manuscript–C), suggesting that Richards copied directly from that document. Compared with Book of Abraham Manuscript–C, the first two hundred words of Richards’s Nauvoo-era copy contain significantly more revisions than subsequent portions of the copied text. The heavy revision suggests that Richards copied this section from an intermediate text that contained revisions, rather than from the original Kirtland-era document. However, the significant misspellings and rushed letter formation in the entire manuscript suggest that someone—presumably JS—read from the Kirtland-era manuscript, making occasional changes, while Richards inscribed the text. Once the manuscript was finished, someone added light edits to prepare it for publication. These edits include the inscription of the letter “P” and a number at various points in the manuscript; these notations correspond to the paragraph or verse number in the published Book of Abraham.A manuscript draft of the explanation of Facsimile 1, in ’s handwriting, is found on the verso of the second leaf of this manuscript. Whether the explanation was inscribed before or after Richards copied this version of the Book of Abraham is unknown. The annotation in this document tracks significant differences between this version and the text found in the three -era Book of Abraham manuscripts, ignoring differences in punctuation, capitalization, and spelling.