Spalding Fragments



Joseph Smith's "History"
Does It Include Spalding Fragments?

Some time ago Ted Chandler wrote an article, proposing that a portion of the 1842-43 Times & Seasons "History of Joseph Smith" (i.e. the Sidney Rigdon section) was influenced by the language and ideas of Solomon Spalding. Casual readers might overlook such claims as mere speculation, but anybody who will take the trouble to read through the published Smith History, from the beginning, will discover several textual oddities that appear to be linked with Spalding's preserved writings. Thoughtful students of Mormon origins are invited to examine the evidence, to see whether they agree with the conclusions presented in the following study report.
(Oct. 2000 - revised May 2009)

Some Background on the 1838-39 Joseph Smith "History"

At the beginning of 1838 Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon fled their crumbling ecclesiastical domain in Kirtland, Ohio and found refuge among the Mormons of Far West, Missouri. By March of that year Smith and Rigdon had consolidated their power at Far West, driving out of the Church such previously important members as the Cowdery and Whitmer families.


John Whitmer refused to turn over to these two leaders the history he had compiled for the Mormons. Oliver Cowdery, who had also written an influencial LDS History in 1834-36 was in apostasy, leaving Smith and Rigdon few personnel options in their plan to rewrite Mormon history from a self-justifying, "faith-promoting" perspective.

At the end of April 1838 Joseph Smith reported that he himself was writing a new history of his experiences and the early years of the Mormon Church. It is almost certain that Sidney Rigdon was the man who did most of the early writing for this project. The leaders' historical compilation was continued in Illinois in 1839, in the hand of Smith's scribe. Rigdon's direct input probably lasted until about the time of his mother's death at Commerce (later Nauvoo) in October 1839. He may have also worked on the project during his lengthy stay in the Pittsburgh region during the last two months of 1839. The new "Smith History" was serialized in the Nauvoo Times and Seasons beginning in March 1842.

There are indications of Rigdon's prose in the Times and Seasons history up through the publication of its 1843 installments. Sidney Rigdon's identifiable contributions no doubt extend at least as far into the newspaper's serialization as the telling of his own story in the spring of 1843 -- the portion wherein Ted Chandler first discovered a probable "Spalding Fragment." Given the many assertions made over the years purporting to connect Sidney Rigdon with the authorship (or editorship) of a Solomom Spalding-based Book of Mormon, it seems significant that Rigdon was also a likely primary author of the first portion of the Smith History: a text containing recognized similarities in theme and language, to the fictional writings of Mr. Spalding.

A Smoking Gun in the Smith History?

As far back as his years in graduate school, during 1979-81, Spalding researcher Dale R. Broadhurst suspected that the Times and Seasons account of Smith's 1827 uncovering of the "golden plates" of the Book of Mormon somehow depended upon a Spalding original. Other students of Mormon history had previously identified many parallels between the Smith account and the story told at the very beginning of the Oberlin Spalding Manuscript: B. H. Roberts, Marvin S. Hill, and Lester E. Bush (all faithful LDS) had previously noticed and reported some of these interesting textual similarities.

In about 1996 Spalding researcher Doyle Franklin of Murfeesboro, Tennessee, completed an unpublished study of textual similarities between the Oberlin Spalding manuscript discovery account and the Joseph Smith golden plates discovery account. Franklin's compilation of textual parallels in the two respective stories runs to 360 entries, but the determination of a "strong" correlation of his selected extracts appears to be subjective and often unreliable. There are perhaps 100 good "hits" in his lengthy tabulation.


Sample page from the 1996 Doyle Franklin Manuscript

For example, there is one very unusual phraseology parallel Franklin missed when compiling his 360 sets of parallel quotations. The Times and Seasons "History of Joseph Smith" segment of May 1, 1842 contains this verbal oddity on page 772:

...rumor with her thousand tongues was all the time
employed in circulating tales about my father's family...

In reading this passage one can easily detect how incongruent the phraseology is with early samples of Smith and Rigdon's written communications. It is difficult for even the imaginative reader to picture either of those two Mormon leaders composing such a poetic personification of "Rumor" and "her thousand tongues" for a prosaic LDS historical narrative. In fact, the wording is much more reminiscent of what might be expected from the pen of Solomon Spalding -- and, sure enough, on page 118 of his Oberlin Manuscript, this phraseology occurs:

Fame with her thousand tongues commenced her pleasing
employment... with many distorted and exaggerated particulars...


Although these two excerpts share some common wording, they are not identical. There is no proof here that Rigdon (or some other LDS writer) copied a passage directly out of a Spalding text. A major difference between the two passages is that Smith's History personifies "Rumor," while Spalding's story personifies "Fame." Spalding probably picked up their particular phraseology from the text of a 17th century play entitled "The Triumphs of Love and Innocence" (published as "Queen of Cypress, or Love Above Ambition"). Act One of that same play speaks of "Fame with her thousand tongues..."

But Solomon Spalding did not derive his entire quote from a 17th century stage drama. As is so often the case with his unattributed literary quotes, he has conflated two similar sayings into a single utterance of his own. A young John Milton once wrote a short flowery essay entitled "On The Fifth of November" -- a piece generally included in printings of his collected works. In that essay Milton speaks of "Rumor... babbling with her thousand tongues... diminishing the truth... exaggerating..." Both the Spalding quote and the Smith History make key use of the idea of "exaggeration," a word that does not appear in the excerpt from the old play. It is likely that the well-read Spalding knew of both the "Fame" and "Rumor" personifications in print, and that he chose to merge their ideas in his own writing about lying exaggerations.

How these same obscure concepts and hyperbolic verbage came to rest within the Smith History is anybody's guess -- but some substantial connection with the writings of Solomon Spalding cannot be ruled out here. In his essay Ted Chandler said: "It isn't merely the styles of these two accounts (Spalding's Oberlin MS and the Smith History) which are similar, but also the content and specific details." That observation may be generally true for the portion of text Chandler examined. It also seems to be true for another part of Smith's History -- the episode in which his recovery of the famous golden bible is recited. But the tales of persecution surrounding the "her thousand tongues" inclusion do not match up well with anything written in the Oberlin manuascript or other known Spalding documents. If a Spalding original was relied upon by Sidney Rigdon or some other Mormon copyist, quotations from that earlier story must have been made selectively, more with the intent to give flavor to the Smith story, than to provide it with a great deal of substance.

One place in the Times and Seasons serialization where such "substance" can be easily located, is in the episode for late 1827. There appears to be a cluster of shared theme and vocabulary with Spalding, at the point in the Smith story where he recovers the "plates" from a stone box, near the top of a hill, a little south of one of the Great Lakes. There are probably other such constellations of common phraseology in the two texts, but the "plates" discovery account merits special notice.




Of course, the mere detection and reporting of unusual phraseology similarities between the Smith History and the extant writings of Solomon Spalding does not answer the question of how these overlaps in thought and language came to exist in two supposedly unrelated texts. Some may say that, despite the external claims for a Spalding authorship of the Book of Mormon, these lingistic parallels are nothing more than an anomalous set of coincidental oddities. Others may wonder aloud whether Sidney Rigdon and his associates once had a whole library of Spalding documents in their possession. The answer probably lies somewhere between these two extremes of possibilities. It is nevertheless a reasonable conclusion that Spalding's language somehow influenced the texts of a whole genre of early Mormon writings -- from the pages of "sacred" latter day scripture and revelation, all the way down to Joseph Smith, Jr.'s mundane explanations of his own early activities. Since the days of Fawn Brodie it has been popular for students of Mormonism to guess that Smith's personal and family experiences are reflected at various points in the Book of Mormon story. The day may now be at hand, when it will be more correct to assert that Smith family members patterned the recollections of some of their own reported experiences after incidents contained in the Book of Mormon and other, lesser known sources, such as the "lost" manuscript prose of Mr. Solomon Spalding.

The tabulation of textual similarities presented below follows the order and numbering of Franklin's 1996 list, but does not duplicate it precisely. The list was derived from a short excerpt from the initial portion of Smith's History (1842 Times & Seasons pages 749-772), compared with the entire Oberlin Spalding Manuscript. Several of the tabulated parallels appear to be worthy of closer study and possible expansion; others are perhaps of no real significance, other than to document shared vocabulary.




See Broadhurst's "The Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon" for presentation of thematic overlap in the Joseph Smith plates discovery story and the fictional ancient record discovery related at the beginning of Spalding's Oberlin manuscript.


No. Joseph Smith History Oberlin Spalding Manuscript
001


002


003


004




005


006


007


008




009


010

Times & Seasons p. 749:
on the evening of the 

TS-749:
the... twenty first  

TS-749:
of September

TS-749:
I betook myself to prayer 



TS-749:
to prayer and supplication 

TS-749:
supplication to almighty God 

TS-753:
While I was thus in the act

TS-753:
in the act of



TS-753:
calling upon God 

TS-753:
I discovered a light

Oberlin Spalding MS p. 161
on the eve of a 

MS-038
the twenty-fifth day 

MS-022
in September
 
MS-120
I myself
MS-002
I prepared myself
 
MS-024
earnest prayers... and
 
MS-008
Almighty...Being...To Him...supplication

MS-001
As I was

MS-030
it is an act of
MS-108
be an act of
 
MS-111
he called upon the

MS-001
I discovered a number


No. Joseph Smith History Oberlin Spalding Manuscript
011






012




013




014


015


016


017


018


019


020

TS-753:
a light appearing in the room 





TS-753:
which continued to increase 

 

TS-753:
the room was lighter than



TS-753:
at noonday 

TS-753:
immediately a

TS-753:
a personage appeared  

TS-753:
standing in the

TS-753:
in the air

TS-753:
did not touch the

TS-753:
He had on a loose robe 

MS-163
the light should appear
MS-064
appeared in
MS-098
in... the room

MS-152
it... served to increase
MS-092
continued to progress 

MS-098
the room
MS-041
was... a lighter shade

MS-154
until midnight 

MS (many)
immediately
 
MS-067
personal appearance 

MS-11
take our stand in the

MS-066
through the air

MS-057
as to touch his
 
MS-042
wore... a loose garment



No. Joseph Smith History Oberlin Spalding Manuscript
021


022


023a


023b


024




025


026


027


028


029


030

TS-753:
of most exquisite 

TS-753:
It was a whiteness 

TS-753:
beyond any thing

TS-753:
I had ever seen 

TS-753:
nor do I believe 

 

TS-753:
nor do I believe that 

TS-753:
made to appear so... brilliant

TS-753:
so exceedingly 

TS-753:
his hands

TS-753:
were naked and 

TS-753:
and his arms also

MS-049
of the exquisite 

MS-064
a little whiter 

MS (many)
anything

MS-040
than I had ever seen 

MS-169
No... do I 
MS-123
Nor will I 

MS-013
I could scarce believe that 

MS-022
make a very brilliant... appearance
 
MS-001
far exceeded the

MS (many)
his hands
 
MS-057
naked and

MS-110 & 141
his arms



No. Joseph Smith History Oberlin Spalding Manuscript
031


032


033


034




035




036




037


038


039


040

TS-753:
his feet...legs...ankles. His head 

TS-753:
I could discover 

TS-753:
discover that he  

TS-753:
no other clothing on 



TS-753:
into his bosom



TS-753:
Not only was his 



TS-753:
his robe exceedingly white 

TS-753
but his whole person was glorious

TS-753
beyond description 

TS-753
his countenance  



MS-028
her feet... his head

MS (many)
I could
 
MS-001
I discovered that 
 
MS (many)
no other
MS (many)
clothing

MS-112
to his bosom
MS-105
in his bosom
 
MS-137
not only
MS (many)
was his

MS-137
His garments glittered 

MS-136
his appearance was majestic

MS-022
different from any... a description 
 
MS-118
His countenance was 
MS-146
His countenance which was



No. Joseph Smith History Oberlin Spalding Manuscript
041




042


043


044


045


046


047


048



049


050


TS-753
truly like lightning



TS-753
exceedingly light 

TS-753
so very bright

TS-753
around his person

TS-753:
I first looked upon him 

TS-753:
I was afraid

TS-753:
the fear soon left me 

TS-753:
He called me by name


TS-753:
He  said unto me

TS-753:
he was a messenger

MS (many)
truly
MS (many)
lightning

MS-118
exceeding happy 

MS-145
usual brightness

MS (many)
his person

MS-106
she first saw him 

MS-149
fearing that his

MS-040
we fear the 

MS-130
He therefore calls... 
immortalize their names

MS-006
he says to me

MS (many) 
a messenger



No. Joseph Smith History Oberlin Spalding Manuscript
051


052


053


054




055


056


057


058


059


060

TS-753:
from the presence of God

TS-753:
his name was Nephi

TS-753:
ha[s] a work for me to do 

TS-753:
my name should be had  



TS-753:
for good

TS-753:
among all nations

TS-753:
all nations, kindreds, and tongues

TS-753:
good and evil spoken of

TS-753:
among all people

TS-753:
He said there was

MS (many)
presence

MS-014, 104
whose name was

MS-083
In this work he was engaged 
 
MS-006
name I sustain is 
MS (many)
should be

MS-083
laws for the good of

MS-080
among nations

MS-129
every kingdom and tribe

MS-023, 024
spoke... of good... and... evil

MS (many)
among the people

MS-130, 138
he said



No. Joseph Smith History Oberlin Spalding Manuscript
061


062


063


064


065


066


067


068
 

069


070


TS-753:
was a book deposited

TS-753:
written upon gold plates 

TS-753:
giving an account of the

TS-753:
of the former inhabitants of 

TS-753:
of this continent

TS-753:
the source from 

TS-753:
whence they sprang

TS-753:
the fullness of the 

TS-753:
the everlasting gospel 

TS-753:
the... gospel was contained in it

MS-006
a manuscript... will be deposited

MS-003
written in elegant hand 

MS-088
shall keep an account of the

MS-131
all the inhabitants of the Empire 

MS-032, 033
beings that possess this continent

MS-040
originated from 

MS (many)
sprang

MS-081
the fulfillment of 

MS-124
the perpetual 

MS-053
contains the tenets of their 
theology... religious



No. Joseph Smith History Oberlin Spalding Manuscript
071




072


073


074


075


076


077
 

078


079


080


TS-753:
as delivered



TS-753:
the Saviour

TS-753:
the ancient inhabitants

TS-753:
these stones fastened

TS-753
constituted what is called

TS-753:
deposited with the plates

TS-753:
the possession and use of 

TS-753:
seers in ancient  times

TS-753:
former times

TS-753:
had prepared them for

MS-123
he delivered him
MS-119
to deliver

MS-015
Jesus Christ

MS-110
the ancient

MS (many)
stones

MS-043
constituted a... part

MS-006
deposited with this history
 
MS (many)
possession of

MS-110
ancient scribbling of a great sage

MS-055
the earliest ages of time

MS (many)
prepared for the



No. Joseph Smith History Oberlin Spalding Manuscript
081


082


083


084


085


086


087
 

088
 

089




090


TS-753:
for the purpose of

TS-753:
translating the book 

TS-753:
he told me that 

TS-753:
when I got

TS-753:
I got those plates

TS-753:
of which he had spoken 

TS-753:
the time that they should 

TS-753:
they should be obtained 

TS-753:
was not yet fulfilled



TS-753:
I should not

MS-153
for the purpose of

MS-004
a translation of... a volume 

MS-068
he... told them that 

MS-001
when I

MS-002
I found... rolls of parchment

MS-155
had he spoken 
 
MS-098, 155
the time they
 
MS-040
could be obtained

MS-037
fulfilled
MS-160
to fulfill his

MS (many)
I should



No. Joseph Smith History Oberlin Spalding Manuscript
091
 

092


093


094
 

095
 

096


097
 



098


099
 

100


TS-753:
only to those  commanded to 

TS-753:
to show them

TS-753:
if I did I should be destroyed

TS-753:
was conversing with 

TS-753:
the vision 

TS-753:
was opened

TS-753:
opened to my mind 



TS-753:
I could see... so clearly 

TS-753:
the place where the  

TS-753:
were deposited

MS-076
to...them only...commanded... to

MS-069
showing them

MS-150
destroyed if... they had begun
 
MS-067
conversing with them
 
MS-062
the vision

MS (many)
opened
 
MS-002
my mind
MS-105
in his mind

MS-126
clearness of his sight 
 
MS-140
the place where the 

MS-152
were deposited



No. Joseph Smith History Oberlin Spalding Manuscript
101
 

102


103
 

104
 

105




106
 

107


108


109


110

Times & Seasons p. 753
clearly and distinctly 

TS-753:
I visited it

TS-754:
this communication I...immediately 

TS-754:
the light 

TS-754:
in the room... begin to

 

TS-754:
around the person 

TS-754:
had been speaking

TS-754:
it continued to

TS-754:
the room was... dark

TS-754:
when instantly I

Oberlin Spalding MS pp. 018, 034
a distinct

MS-035
I... visited
 
MS-033
I immediately communicated 
 
MS-030, 163
the light

MS-141
in a room
MS-145
begin, to march 
 
MS-042-043
round... the people

MS-129-130
speaking... has been

MS (many)
continued to

MS-041
was... dark

MS-028
when one... instantly



No. Joseph Smith History Oberlin Spalding Manuscript
111
 

112
 

113




114


115


116
 

117


118
 

119
 

120

TS-754:
as it were a 

TS-754:
a conduit open 

TS-754:
I saw... open right up into heaven
 


TS-754:
he ascended up 

TS-754:
he entirely disappeared and 

TS-754:
the room was left 

TS-754:
had made its appearance

TS-754:
I lay 

TS-754:
musing on the  

TS-754:
the singularity of 

MS-122
as it was a
 
MS-001
a conical

MS-125-126
up his eyes towards Heaven... 
Heaven... opens to my view... 
I behold... Here I see

MS-067
he mounted... and ascended 

MS-155
Moon disappeared, and 
 
MS (many)
the room

MS-021
made a most terrific appearance
 
MS-028
where he lay
 
MS-105
He reasoned on the 
 
MS-001
The face... had a singular
 


No. Joseph Smith History Oberlin Spalding Manuscript
121
 

122



123
 

124


125


126
 

127


128
 

129


130
 
TS-754:
of the scene  

TS-754:
and marvelling greatly at 
what had been [told me]  

TS-754:
this extraordinary 

TS-754:
messenger

TS-754:
in the midst of my 

TS-754:
my meditation  

TS-754:
I suddenly discovered that

TS-754:
beginning to get 

TS-754:
in an instant

TS-754:
the same 

MS-158
of the scene 
 
MS-067-068
and all were astonished at... the great
... wisdom which he... told them 
 
MS-002
this extraordinary work

MS (many)
messenger

MS-008
in the midst of a 
 
MS-069-070
He had... meditated 

MS-158
They... instantly realized that 

MS (many)
beginning to

MS (many)
in an instant

MS (many)
the same



No. Joseph Smith History Oberlin Spalding Manuscript
131
 

132
 



133
 

134
 


135
 

136


137
 

138
 

139


140
 

TS-754:
He commenced 

TS-754:
and again related the very 



TS-754:
which he had done  

TS-754:
at his first visit 


TS-754:
without the least  

TS-754:
the least variation

TS-754:
he informed me 

TS-754:
great judgments which were coming  

TS-754:
upon the earth

TS-754:
great desolations 

MS (many)
commenced

MS-138
and related
MS-032,161
the very
 
MS-082, 109
which he had done 
 
MS-104-105
receiving visits... at their 
first interview 
 
MS-109,115
without the least 

MS-051
the variation of

MS-109-110
he informed her... Believe me
 
MS-053
great events which take place 

MS-151
upon the earth
 
MS-128
devastation... by the Great



No. Joseph Smith History Oberlin Spalding Manuscript
141


142


143


144




145


146
 

147
 
 


148
 

149
 

150

TS-754:
famine, sword, and pestilence 

TS-754:
grievous judgments

TS-754:
on the earth in this generation

TS-754:
Having related these things

 

TS-754:
he had done before

TS-754:
By this time  

TS-754:
so deep were the impressions 
made on my mind 
 

TS-754:
sleep had fled  

TS-754:
from my eyes  

TS-754:
overwhelmed in astonishment 

MS-126
their swords... famine and pestilence 

MS-087
redress grievances and punish

MS-005
in some future age... of the Earth 

MS-063
these things
MS-066
a... relation of 

MS-082,109
he had done
 
MS-021
By this time 
 
MS-105
deeper in his mind 
MS-127
with such impressions

MS-167
his reason fled 
 
MS-155
from all danger... his eyes 

MS-001
my astonishment 



No. Joseph Smith History Oberlin Spalding Manuscript
151


152


153
 

154
 

155
 

156
 


157
 

158
 


159
 

160
 
TS-754:
had both seen and heard

TS-754:
what was my surprise when 

TS-754:
when again I beheld the 

TS-754:
him rehearse 

TS-754:
or repeat... the  

TS-754:
the same things as before 


TS-754:
and added... that 

TS-754:
a caution... that... 
try to... get the 

TS-754:
to tempt me... to get 

TS-754:
in consequence of the 

MS-145
be seen... and... was heard

MS-115
what was their surprise when 
 
MS-159
when he beheld the
 
MS-055
they rehearse
 
MS-167
to repeat the 
 
MS-109-110
As ELSEON... had done before...
the same... contents
 
MS-111
and the Emperor added that

MS-074-075
precaution... to prevent any...
from getting to the enemy
 
MS (many)
induced me/him to
 
MS (many)
in consequence of



No. Joseph Smith History Oberlin Spalding Manuscript
161
 

162
 

163


164


165
 

166



167
 


168


169
 

170
 
TS-754:
the indigent 

TS-754:
circumstances of 

TS-754:
my father's family 

TS-754:
to get the plates for... 
getting rich

TS-754:
for the purpose of  

TS-754:
This he forb[i]d me
 

TS-754:
must have no other object in view 


TS-754:
to glorify God

TS-754:
be influenced by 

TS-754:
any other motive 

MS-059,098
indigence

MS-004
circumstance

MS-111
to our family... my father 

MS-135
to obtain great riches 
from the spoils
 
MS (many)
for the purpose of 

MS-123-124
This speech... he delivered...
we will not... permit 
 
MS-154
might soon... have such...
a further object in view

MS-130
gloriously...in the cause of...God
 
MS-068
under the influence of
 
MS-111
opposite motives



No. Joseph Smith History Oberlin Spalding Manuscript
171
 

172


173
 

174
 

175
 

176
 

177
 

178
 

179


180
 
TS-754:
of building his 

TS-754:
his kingdom

TS-754:
otherwise I 

TS-754:
I could not 

TS-754:
third visit 

TS-754:
ascended [up] into heaven 

TS-754:
to ponder on  

TS-754:
the strangeness of 

TS-754:
had just experienced 

TS-754:
when almost immediately 

MS (many)
in building

MS-089
within his kingdom
 
MS-096
otherwise there
 
MS-001
I could not read
 
MS-090
second visit
 
MS-025
ascended in curls to heaven
 
MS-050
to obtain... wonder 
 
MS-088
the peculiar prerogative of

MS-156
Experience had taught 
 
MS-165
When... orders were immediately



No. Joseph Smith History Oberlin Spalding Manuscript
181
 

182
 

183


184


185


186


187


188


189


190

TS-754:
the heavenly  

TS-754:
the... messenger 

TS-754:
ascended from

TS-754:
the third time

TS-754:
I found that

TS-754:
was approaching

TS-754:
interviews must have occupied

TS-754:
the whole of

TS-754:
that night 

TS-754:
I shortly after 

MS-125
the heavenly 
 
MS (many)
messenger

MS (many)
ascended

MS (many)
the third

MS-002
I found that

MS-076
approached

MS-106-107
interview, which lasted... hours

MS (many)
the whole of

MS-163
That they... the night 
 
MS-105
a short time... being afterwards



No. Joseph Smith History Oberlin Spalding Manuscript
191
 

192


193
 

194
 

195


196
 

197
 

198


199




200

TS-754:
arose from my 

TS-754:
my bed 

TS-754:
and as usual 

TS-754:
the necessary labors 

TS-754:
of the day

TS-754:
my strength 

TS-754:
so exhausted 

TS-754:
as render[ed] me

TS-754:
entirely unable



TS-754:
discovered... to be wrong with me 





MS-092
arose from the

MS-126
in their bed 
 
MS-109.145
his usual
 
MS-063
all unnecessary labor

MS-115,155
of the day
 
MS-091
His advise and... strength
 
MS-151
nearly exhausted

MS-030
heart-rending... bear me down

MS-026
entirely
MS-150
unable
 
MS (many)
discovered
MS-105
was not well
MS (many)
wrongs



No. Joseph Smith History Oberlin Spalding Manuscript
201
 

202
 

203
 

204
 

205




206
 

207
 

208
 

209


210
 
Times & Seasons p. 754:
something to be 

TS-754:
My father... told me to go 

TS-754:
I started... to 

TS-754:
with the intention of  

TS-754:
going to the house



TS-754:
in attempting to  

TS-754:
to cross the 

TS-754:
the fence 

TS-754:
out of the field where

TS-754:
strength entirely failed 

Oberlin Spalding MS p. 088
be something
 
MS-111
with my father's command... I will go
 
MS-022
I began to inspect

MS-168
with an intention to 

MS-097
into the house
MS-165
towards the fort...in that house...go 
 
MS-155
was attempting to 
 
MS-140,154
to cross the
 
MS-094
fences

MS-166-167
out of the  field
 
MS-149-150
strength and courage... 
intolerably fatigued


No. Joseph Smith History Oberlin Spalding Manuscript
211


212
 

213


214
 



215
 

216


217
 

218


219


220

TS-754:
and I fell helpless 

TS-754:
on the ground 

TS-754:
for a time

TS-754:
was quite unconscious 

 

TS-754:
The first  

TS-754:
I can recollect 

TS-754:
a voice speaking 

TS-754:
calling me by name 

TS-754:
I looked up

TS-754:
and beheld the same

MS-077-078
and they fell...helpless and prostrate 
 
MS-043,162
on the ground

MS (many)
for some time
 
MS-110
she fell
MS-067
displayed much sedateness 
 
MS (many)
the first 

MS-115
will recollect...his...recollection 
 
MS (many)
a voice

MS-014-015
name... and myself were... called 

MS-032
looked down

MS-090-091
now beheld... the same



No. Joseph Smith History Oberlin Spalding Manuscript
221
 



222


223


224


225
 

226


227


228


229




230

TS-754:
over my head 



TS-754:
surrounded by

TS-754:
had related to me the

TS-754:
the previous night

TS-754:
commanded me to go 

TS-754:
to my father

TS-754:
and tell him of the

TS-754:
the... commandments which

TS-754:
which I had received



TS-771:
I obeyed



MS-106
my head
MS-163
upon my own head

MS (many)
surrounded by

MS-138
and related the

MS-153
the next night
 
MS-110
command me to

MS-142
to my father

MS-170
and tell... him a... of the

MS-064
the commandments which

MS (many)
had received
MS-110
I received

MS-076,124,136
I/they obeyed
MS-142
I must obey



No. Joseph Smith History Oberlin Spalding Manuscript
231


232
 

233




234


235


236
 

237


238
 

239
 

240

TS-771:
I returned [back] to my father 

TS-771:
in the field  

TS-771:
I... rehearsed the 
whole matter to him


TS-771:
He replied  

TS-771:
it was of God 

TS-771:
as commanded by the  

TS-771:
I left the field 

TS-771:
the field and  

TS-771:
to the place where the 

TS-771:
the messenger 

MS-111-112
for his return... to his father's 
 
MS-135
in the sanguine field 

MS-034
I then made known to him
MS (many)
matters
 
MS-065
He replied 

MS-036-037
This was... of the... God 
 
MS-131
is commanded by the 
 
MS-035
I had left
 
MS-153
the field and 
 
MS-074
to a certain place where the
 
MS (many)
messenger



No. Joseph Smith History Oberlin Spalding Manuscript
241
 

242


243
 

244
 

245
 

246
 

247


 

248
 

249
 

250

TS-771:
had told me 

TS-771:
the plates were deposited 

TS-771:
owing to the  

TS-771:
the distinctness of 

TS-771:
the vision which 

TS-771:
which I had 

TS-771:
concerning it 

 

TS-771:
I knew the 

TS-771:
the place  

TS-771:
the instant that

MS-110
who told me

MS-053-054
the records... they have deposited 
 
MS-169
owing to the 
 
MS-131,154
distinction of
 
MS-062
the vision
 
MS (many)
which he had

MS-127
as to war, it was 
MS-146-147
as to... it was 
 
MS-147-148
knowing... I
 
MS (many)
the place 

MS-161
the very instant



No. Joseph Smith History Oberlin Spalding Manuscript
251


252
 

253
 

254
 

255


256


257
 



258
 

259
 

260

TS-771:
I arrived there 

TS-771:
Convenient to the  

TS-771:
the village of 

TS-771:
of... Ontario 

TS-771:
a hill... in the neighborhood

TS-771:
the most elevated of

TS-771:
on the west 



TS-771:
side of this hill  

TS-771:
not far from the 

TS-771:
from the top

MS-142
I will... express arrived 
 
MS-014
convenient... to receive 
 
MS (many)
the village
 
MS-102
the country... Ontario

MS-026
woods and neighboring hills

MS (many)
the highest
 
MS-013
on the north
MS-001
Near the west
 
MS-077
side of this hill 
 
MS-136,161
not far

MS-001
from the fort... on the top



No. Joseph Smith History Oberlin Spalding Manuscript
261
 

262


263
 

264
 



265
 

266


267
 

268
 

269


270

TS-771:
under a stone 

TS-771:
of considerable size

TS-771:
lay the plates 

TS-771:
deposited in a stone box 



TS-771:
this stone  

TS-771:
was thick... on the upper side

TS-771:
and rounding 

TS-771:
in the middle  

TS-771:
and thinner

TS-771:
towards the edges

MS-001
on a flat stone

MS-052
of considerable labor
 
MS-001-002
lay on the... this... deposit
 
MS-002
an earthen box
MS-005
and deposit it in a box secured
 
MS-001
a flat stone. This was 

MS-149
was spread thick on every side
 
MS-150
and, facing round
 
MS-105,168
in the middle 

MS-047
a thin

MS (many)
towards the



No. Joseph Smith History Oberlin Spalding Manuscript
271
 

272
 

273


274




275
 

276
 

277


278


279
 

280
 
TS-771:
the middle part of it 

TS-771:
was visible 

TS-771:
above the ground

TS-771:
was covered with earth



TS-771:
Having removed the earth... I  

TS-771:
I... obtained a lever which I 

TS-771:
I... got fixed under the... stone

TS-771:
the edge of the  

TS-771:
with a little exertion  

TS-771:
the stone... raised it up, I 

MS-021
the middle part of their
 
MS-069,141
were visible

MS-150
beyond the ground

MS-151
covered with...secure...in the earth
MS-153
covered with... mounds of earth
 
MS-001-002
mound of earth... I... tore it down 
 
MS-001
With the assistance of a lever I

MS-002
I noticed... stone... fixed in the
 
MS (many)
the edge of the 
 
MS-073
comply with... vigorous exertions 
 
MS-001
I raised the stone



No. Joseph Smith History Oberlin Spalding Manuscript
281
 

282


283
 

284


285
 

286
 

287
 

288
 



289
 

290

TS-771:
I looked in 

TS-771:
and there indeed

TS-771:
did I behold the 

TS-771:
the plates

TS-771:
as stated

TS-771:
The box... was 

TS-771:
in which they 

TS-771:
they lay 



TS-771:
was formed by  

TS-771:
laying stones

MS-002
I began to inspect

MS-169
and indeed
 
MS (many)
I behold

MS-052
the records
 
MS-022
at stated
 
MS-002
the box was
 
MS-100
in which they
 
MS-155
they lay
MS-001
it lay
 
MS-093
was formed by 

MS-001
it lay... rested on stones



No. Joseph Smith History Oberlin Spalding Manuscript
291


292




293
 

294


295
 

296
 

297


298
 
 

299
 

300
 
TS-771:
in some kind of

TS-771:
of cement



TS-771:
in the bottom of the  

TS-771:
the box

TS-771:
crossways of the  

TS-771:
on these stones 

TS-771:
the other things 

TS-771:
I made an attempt to take them 
out but was forbidden 

TS-771:
informed that the 

TS-771:
the time for 

MS-056
some kind of

MS-047
formed of clay
MS-002
earthen box
 
MS-002
to the bottom of the 

MS-002
the box
 
MS-074
extended across the 
 
MS-001
on stones

MS-024
the... good things 

MS-002
would hardly permit my hands 
to remove this venerable deposit
 
MS-142
informed him, that the

MS-097
the time for



No. Joseph Smith History Oberlin Spalding Manuscript
301
 

302


303


304
 

305




306
 

307


308
 

309
  


 
310

TS-771:
bringing them forth 

TS-771:
had not yet arrived 

TS-771:
neither would [?]

TS-771:
until four years 

TS-771:
from that time



TS-771:
he told me that  

TS-771:
I should come to 

TS-771:
precisely 

TS-771:
in one year...would there meet...
of each year, and at each  


TS-771:
I should continue to 

MS-120
called forth

MS-034-035
had not traveled... We arrived 

MS (many)
neither
 
MS-052
four or five years

MS-104
at  that time
MS-110
from this time
 
MS-110
He might... told me 

MS-034
we should... we came to 
 
MS-001
exactly

MS-083
Once every year... shall meet at 
MS-093
each year... each time 
 
MS-152
it should continue to



No. Joseph Smith History Oberlin Spalding Manuscript
311


312
 

313
 

314
 

315
 

316
 

317
 
 


318
 


319
 

320
 
TS-771:
the time... for obtaining the plates

TS-771:
Accordingly as 

TS-771:
I had been commanded  

TS-771:
I found the 

TS-771:
received instruction and 

TS-771:
intelligence from him 

TS-771:
received...at each of our 
interviews...how...his kingdom 
was to be 

TS-771:
respecting what 

TS-771:
the Lord 

TS-771:
in what manner... to be conducted 

MS-052
time to obtain... the records

MS (many)
according to 

MS-150
had been... commanded 
 
MS-001
I found... the point
 
MS-068
received...their instruction and
 
MS-161
him the intelligence

MS-071
revealed... several interviews...
received as... truth


MS-066
respecting this
 
MS-015
the Lord's

MS-022
in the manner of conducting them



No. Joseph Smith History Oberlin Spalding Manuscript
321


322
 

323


324
 

325
 

326


327


328
 

329
 

330

TS-771:
in the last days 

TS-772:
At length the  

TS-772:
the time arrived... September

TS-772:
for obtaining the  

TS-772:
one thousand  

TS-772:
having [went/gone]... to

TS-772:
place where they were deposited

TS-772:
this charge 

TS-772:
I should be responsible for  

TS-772:
if I should let them go carelessly 


MS-064
appeared... in different ages 
 
MS-127
At length the 

MS-022
the time arrives... in September
 
MS-145
anxious for... obtaining a 
 
MS (many)
one thousand 

MS-116
has gone with him to

MS-093
to deposit them in a secure place
 
MS-166
the charge
 
MS-141
I should be...responsible for the 
 
MS-161
He was careful... with them...
but was careful



No. Joseph Smith History Oberlin Spalding Manuscript
331


332
 


333
 

334


335


336
 

337
 



338
 

339
 

340

TS-772:
any neglect of

TS-772:
I should be cut off... or... 
done what was required

TS-772:
my endeavors to 

TS-772:
preserve them

TS-772:
they should be protected 

TS-772:
the reason... why it was  

TS-772:
I had received 



TS-772:
such strict charges 

TS-772:
no sooner 

TS-772:
was it known 

MS-048
is neglected

MS-154
I will...either triumph... 
or perish in the attempt
 
MS-150
endeavored to inspire

MS-058
Preserve... Forsake them not

MS-080
they shall be protected 
 
MS-050-051
the... reason dictates... why it is 
 
MS (many)
had received
MS-020,110
I received
 
MS-076
behold such... a furious charge 
 
MS (many)
soon
 
MS-156
nor was it known



No. Joseph Smith History Oberlin Spalding Manuscript
341
 

342
 

343


344


345
 

346


347
 

348
 

349


350

TS-772:
the most strenuous exertions were 

TS-772:
every stratagem...was resorted to 

TS-772:
be invented 

TS-772:
for that purpose

TS-772:
persecution became...bitter and 

TS-772:
more... severe

TS-772:
and multitudes  

TS-772:
on the alert  

TS-772:
if possible

TS-772:
but by the wisdom of God 

MS-073
the most vigorous exertions were
 
MS-154
seeking by various... stratagems to

MS-051
they were invented 

MS-002
for that purpose
 
MS-136
prosecuting them with vigor and

MS-100
more severe
 
MS-067
and multitudes 
 
MS-110
On the tenth day... be in readiness 

MS-162
if possible
 
MS-062
But...from His substance...His wisdom



No. Joseph Smith History Oberlin Spalding Manuscript
351


352
 

353
 

354
 

355
 

356
 

357
 

358
 

359
 

360

TS-772:
they remained 

TS-772:
safe in my hands 

TS-772:
had accomplished  

TS-772:
was required  

TS-772:
according to 

TS-772:
arrangements the 

TS-772:
the messenger 

TS-772:
I delivered... to him  

TS-772:
his charge 

TS-772:
until this day

MS-013
they belonged... now remained
 
MS-142
my hands... are safe 
 
MS-085
facilitate and accomplish 
 
MS-093
was required 
 
MS (many)
according to
 
MS (many)
arrangement/arrangements
 
MS (many)
messenger
 
MS-123
he delivered him the 
 
MS-157
their charge

MS (many)
the day



Return to:
Another Spalding Fragment


For further evidence of parallels between the work of Solomon Spalding and Joseph Smith, see the following:

Book of Mormon Authorship
Spalding Authorship Items
Spalding Notes
Recent Defenses of the Book of Mormon
Home