Sep 28, 2023 - Sale 2646

Sale 2646 - Lot 214

Price Realized: $ 6,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 5,000 - $ 7,500
(MORMONS.) Early newspaper report on "a new Bible" dictated by a "fellow by the name of Joseph Smith," in an issue of the New-York Evening Post for the Country. 4 pages, 22 x 15 1/2 inches, on one folding sheet; disbound, minor foxing and wear. New York, 25 May 1830

Additional Details

The report is reprinted from an obscure newspaper, the Wayne County Republican, originating in the county where the Book of Mormon was published: "A fellow by the name of Joseph Smith, who resides in the upper part of Susquehannah county, has been, for the last two years, we are told, employed in dictating, as he says, by inspiration, a new Bible. He pretended that he had been entrusted by God with a golden bible which had always been hidden from the world. . . . As strange as it may seem, there are some who have full faith in his divine commission. The book, it seems, is now published." An unsympathetic review from the Rochester Republican follows.

This story was quite possibly the first printed reference to the Book of Mormon in New York City--we have been unable to trace any earlier. The Book of Mormon was advertised in the Wayne Sentinel of Palmyra, NY (the town where the book was published) on 26 March 1830. The review reprinted here was written in the Rochester Republican on 6 April. The commentary by the Wayne County Republican must have followed soon after, but we can trace no surviving copies of that newspaper. This Wayne County Republican account spread rapidly across the country in late May and June as one of the first widely disseminated news reports on the new faith. The earliest printing anywhere we have found was in the city edition of the New York Evening Post on 21 May 1830, and it is here reprinted in the paper's country edition four days later.

Another similar story originated in the United States Gazette of Philadelphia on 13 April 1830, and was republished in many newspapers, but we have not yet traced that one to New York.