Times and Seasons (, Hancock Co., IL), 2 May 1842, vol. 3, no. 13, pp. 767–782; edited by JS. For more complete source information, see the source note for Letter to Isaac Galland, 22 Mar. 1839.
The 2 May 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons, a periodical published in , Illinois, was the thirteenth number in its third volume.JS purchased the and the newspaper from in February 1842 and was identified as its editor from 15 February to 15 October 1842. Although JS was named as the editor in the 15 February issue, he did not consider himself the editor of the newspaper until the 1 March 1842 issue. , , and others helped JS produce the Times and Seasons from March through October 1842, but JS was directly responsible for the content of the newspaper.
The fifth issue that JS oversaw as editor was dated 2 May 1842 and contained a letter to the Saints from the , urging them to fund the construction of the ; letters from missionaries and church members in the eastern and Europe; an extract of the “History of Joseph Smith,” which was printed serially in the newspaper; and reprinted articles from several other newspapers, including the church newspaper in , the Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star. In addition to this material, the issue also contained editorial content, meaning content created by JS as the editor or his editorial staff for the paper. This content in the 2 May issue included commentaries on articles about mummies, an editorial on the Nauvoo temple, news from proselytizing , commentary on an article about Judaism, and notices concerning temple donations and a position with the printing office staff. Selected editorial content from the 2 May issue is featured here, with individual introductions for each passage.
Note that only the editorial content created specifically for this issue of the Times and Seasons is annotated here. Articles reprinted from other papers, letters, conference minutes, and notices, are reproduced here but not annotated. Items that are stand-alone JS documents are annotated elsewhere; links are provided to these stand-alone documents.
More Prophecy.—Joe Smith, in his last “Times and Seasons,” gives us another slice of the “Book of Abraham,” embracing a synopsis of his geology and astronomy, illustrated with a curious map of the Mormon Solar System. Joe also gives his readers a bit of his auto-biography—quite rich it is, too.
The Mormon Movement.—Nea[r]ly two hundred more Mormons, very respectable looking saints, arrived at recently, on their way to , the head quarters of Joe Smith and the Mormons. The prophet is adding to his religious empire every day—and who can set bounds to it? He is president, priest, and prophet, and whenever he is in a difficulty, he says that he has a direct revelation from heaven, that settles the point at once.
Mr. , is a little too fast about the finding of the records; it will be seen by the following that “Joe Smith,” knew what he was doing.
These Mummies, with seven others, were taken from the Catacombs of Egypt, near where the ancient, and we may say, almost unparalleled city of Thebes once stood, by the celebrated French traveller Antonio Lebolo; at a great expense, under the protection of the French Consul, by consent of Mehemet Ali, the Viceroy of Egypt. It is to be noticed that several hundred Mummies, differently embalmed were found in the same catacomb, but only the eleven in a state to be removed. The seven have been sold to gentlemen for private museums, and in consequence are kept from the eye of the public.— They have been exhibited in and Baltimore, to crowded audiences; in the latter place, although only engaged for two weeks, the exhibition was prolonged to five weeks, with attraction. Of all the relics of the ancient world that time has left, the Mummy is the most interesting. It is a well known fact, recorded in both sacred and profane history that men were embalmed, which science has attracted the learned for ages. All other antiquities are but the work of man, but Mummies present us with the men themselves—they are the personages, preserved in human form, for the gaze and attraction of people who are occupying down the stream of time centuries from those—they have certainly been conspicuous actors in those mighty scenes of which the history of Egypt is full. An hundred generations have passed away, and new empires have began since this flesh was animated—since these eyes were bright, and this tongue was eloquent, and the heart beat within this breast. These strangers illustrious from their antiquity, may have lived in the days of Jacob, Moses, or David, and of course some thousand years have elapsed since these bodies were animated with the breath of life! History records the fact, that the higher class concealed their knowledge from the lower, in figures and hieroglyphic characters—A few of those, upon papyrus, used by the Egyptians for writing, will be exhibited with the Mummies.
Having examined with considerable attention and deep interest, a number of Mummies from the catacombs, near Thebes, in Egypt, and now exhibited in the Arcade, we beg leave to recommend them to the observation of the curious inquirer on subjects of a period so long elapsed; probably not less than three thousand year ago. The features of some of these Mummies are in perfect expression.— The papyrus, covered with black or red ink, or paint, in excellent preservation, are very interesting. The undersigned, unsolicited by any person connected by interest with this exhibition, have voluntarily set their names hereunto, for the simple purpose of calling the attention of the public to an interesting collection, not sufficiently known in this .
JOHN REDMAN COXE, M. D.
RICHARD HARLAN, M. D.
J. PANCOAST, M. D.
WILLIAM P. C. BARTON, M. D.
E. F. RIVINUS, M. D.
SAMUEL G. MORGAN, M. D.
I concur in the above sentiments, concerning the collection of Mummies in the Arcade, and consider them highly deserving the attention of the curious.
W. E. HORNER, M. D.
We have in our possession the four mummies referred to. They together with the records, were purchased of a who exhibited them in different parts of the , and sold them to us in Ohio. The above is a copy of the original placards published by , whilst they were yet in his possession. [p. 774]
Lebolo was an antiquities dealer. Born in Italy in 1781, he moved to Egypt and in the 1820s was employed by Bernardino Drovetti, a French consul to Egypt. Using his connection to Drovetti, Lebolo was allowed to excavate and sell artifacts near the modern city of Luxor, where the ruins of the ancient city of Thebes are located. (Tyldesley, Egypt, 72–74; Count Carlo Vidua, Cairo, Egypt, to Count Pio Vidua, 28 June 1820, in Balbo, Lettere del Conte Carlo Vidua, 176–177; Peterson, Story of the Book of Abraham, 36, 43–67; see also Historical Introduction to Book of Abraham Manuscript, ca. Early July–ca. Nov. 1835–A [Abraham 1:4–2:6].)
Tyldesley, Joyce. Egypt: How a Lost Civilization Was Rediscovered. London: BBC Books, 2005.
Balbo, Cesare, ed. Lettere del Conte Carlo Vidua. Vol. 2. Torino, Italy: Presso Giuseppe Pomba, 1834.
Peterson, H. Donl. The Story of the Book of Abraham: Mummies, Manuscripts, and Mormonism. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1995.
Following this paragraph, Chandler’s certificate of authenticity for the mummies is reproduced. The certificate had first been published in the December 1835 issue of the Messenger and Advocate. (Oliver Cowdery, “Egyptian Mummies—Ancient Records,” Messenger and Advocate, Dec. 1835, 2:234–235.)
Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate. Kirtland, OH. Oct. 1834–Sept. 1837.