Agreement with Ebenezer Robinson and Don Carlos Smith, 14 December 1840

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

This may certify that for value received in Stereotyp[e] plates of the Book of Mormon, I hereby bargain grant to & printers of Hancock Co. Ills, the priviledge of printing Two thousand five hundred copies of the Book of Mormon, including the edition, which said Robinson & Smith have allready printed, said Robinson and Smith to have the use of the said Stereotype plates for printing the remainder of the Two thousand <​five hundred​> copies.
Given under my hand and seal this fourteenth day of Decr. A. D. 1840
Joseph Smith
2000 of the above Book Printed.
[p. [1]]
I assign my right to the within to ,
, Feb. 14, 1842. [p. [2]]


  1. new scribe logo

    Robert B. Thompson handwriting begins.  

  2. 1

    Stereotyping was a printing innovation that grew in popularity in the United States during the 1820s. Traditionally, printers set moveable type for a certain number of pages, printed those pages, and then reused that same type in printing subsequent pages. If an author wanted to print additional copies after a book was printed, the entire typesetting process had to happen again. Stereotyping—forming plaster molds of typeset pages and pouring melted metal in the mold—resulted in permanent page plates. These plates were an expensive investment but one that saved much time when reprinting a book. (Author’s Printing and Publishing Assistant, 21–22; Pretzer, “‘Of the Paper Cap and Inky Apron’: Journeymen Printers,” 163.)  

    The Author’s Printing and Publishing Assistant: Comprising Explanations of the Process of Printing Preparation and Calculation of Manuscripts, Choice of Paper, Type, Binding, Illustrations, Publishing, Advertising, &c. with an Exemplification and Description of the Typographical Marks Used in the Correction of the Press. London: Saunders and Otley, 1839.

    Pretzer, William S. “‘Of the Paper Cap and Inky Apron’: Journeymen Printers.” In An Extensive Republic: Print, Culture, and Society in the New Nation, 1790–1840, edited by Robert A. Gross and Mary Kelley, 160–171. Vol. 2 of A History of the Book in America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010.

  3. new scribe logo

    Signature of JS.  

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    Robert B. Thompson handwriting ends; Ebenezer Robinson begins.  

  5. 2

    In February 1842, Robinson transferred the rights to Richards, who was JS’s proxy, as part of his sale of the printing office to JS.