The Most Important Book on American Religion,
Joseph Smith. The Book of Mormon: An
Account Written by the Hand of Mormon, Upon Plates Taken From the
Plates of Nephi. By Joseph Smith, Junior, Author and
Proprietor. Palmyra, [New York]: Printed by E. B. Grandin, for the
Unrestored in Its Original Binding
First edition. Octavo. iv, , 588  pages. Complete with the two-page preface at the front and the testimonial leaf followed by three blank leaves at the back. With the misprint of "122" on page 212. Without the index, which was issued at a later date.
Original unrestored full sheep binding. Smooth spine with black morocco label with gilt lettering and seven double gilt rules. Some rubbing to boards and along joints, with a few light scores to front board. Edges and extremities worn, with pasteboards exposed at corners and at top and bottom edges near joints. Three corners lightly bumped. Boards bowed. Front pastedown is peeling away from board at top edge, with a .75 x 2-inch portion missing, exposing board. Some puckering to both pastedowns. Lacking the front free endpaper leaf. Indecipherable penciled words to front pastedown and to final printed page; list of inked numbers to rear pastedown. Significant dampstaining throughout. Cockling, toning, and foxing to pages. Inoffensive minor chipping to two leaves (page 349/350 and page 351/352). Despite the cosmetic imperfections, the binding is sound, and the book is in overall very good condition.
The Book of Mormon was the first publication of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a church organized with six charter members on April 6, 1830, soon after the book went to print. "According to Smith, a revelation was given to him by an angel in September, 1823, when he was informed of the purpose of the visitation, and where the inscribed records were deposited, in the hill of 'Cumorah,' now called Mormon Hill, near the village of Manchester, Ontario County, NY, about six miles south of Palmyra, and where they had remained hidden since about the year 420 A.D. After many other visitations, these records ['engraven on plates which had the appearance of gold'] were delivered into his hands, in September, 1827; and when the translation was completed in 1829, they were returned to the angel" (Sabin).
"This is the first edition of the Mormon Bible, in which polygamy and freemasonry were prohibited. In subsequent editions the former doctrine was changed so as to permit the Saints to have a plurality of wives" (Church). The first edition is the only early edition to contain Smith's preface and the only one to identify Smith as the author. In all subsequent editions, Smith is acknowledged as merely the "translator."
This very book was recently featured on PBS' Antiques Roadshow where it caused much excitement. For generations this book has remained in the family of its earliest known owner, Texas lawyer and Presbyterian minister, the Reverend Dempsey W. Broughton (1824-1890). Dempsey Broughton, a lawyer and Chief Justice in Kaufman County, Texas, was also a Master Mason and an ordained minister who served as a pastor in North Texas. As a member of the Cumberland Presbyterians, he was instrumental in the founding of Trinity University in 1869 in Tehuacana, Texas (later re-located to San Antonio, where it continues to be a highly-respected university). Broughton served in the Confederate Army as a major in the 20th Cavalry regiment but returned to his duties with the Presbyterian Church after the war and spent his later years as a pastor in Dallas. He died in 1890 and is buried in the city's historic Pioneer Park Cemetery.
This sacred text of the Church of Latter Day Saints has had a remarkable impact on both religious thought and nineteenth-century American history, and, as such, it has become a book highly desired by collectors around the world.
Church 1342. Crawley 1. Crawley & Flake, A Mormon Fifty, 1. Flake 595. Grolier, 100 American, 37. Howes S623. Sabin 83038. Streeter Sale 2262.
More Information: Dempsey and his law-partner brother Edward Thomas Broughton II (1834-1874) both served in the Confederate Army: Dempsey was a major in the 20th Cavalry regiment, and Tom was a captain of Company C in the Seventh Texas Infantry, who was twice taken prisoner of war, and who fought briefly with Hood's Texas Brigade. After the war, Tom was twice elected as a state Senator, but was forced to retire as his health declined. He died at age 39 and left behind a still-extant collection of letters he wrote to his wife during his time as a soldier. Dempsey continued to serve the Presbyterian Church, and spent his later years as a pastor in Dallas. He died in 1890 and is buried in the city's historic Pioneer Park Cemetery.
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