Description

    Foreman of the Press Pomeroy Tucker's Copy

    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: Printed by E. B. Grandin, for the Author, 1830. First edition, one of 5,000 copies printed by E. B. Grandin in Palmyra, New York. Foreman of the press Pomeroy Tucker's copy, signed by him in pencil on the front free endpaper: "P. Tucker;" and on the front flyleaf: "P. Tucker / Palmyra / N Y;" with his pencil markings and annotations throughout. Additional ink presentation inscription on the front flyleaf: "Dec 12 - 1954 / To Al Fowers / Man of sterling worth / and true and loyal friend / Sydney Tucker Jones / grandson of / Pomeroy Tucker, / in whose print shop / this book was produced." Octavo (7.25 x 4.5 inches; 184 x 115 mm.). iv, [5]-588, [2], [2, blank] pages. This copy complete with the penultimate leaf containing "Testimonies of Three Witnesses" of the original gold plates (Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, Martin Harris) on the recto; "And Also The Testimony of Eight Witnesses" (Christian Whitmer, Jacob Whitmer, Peter Whitmer, Jr., John Whitmer, Hiram Page, Joseph Smith, Sen., Hyrum Smith, and Samuel H. Smith) on the verso; and the final blank leaf. Without the four-page index, "References to the Book of Mormon," issued at a later date and not usually present.

    Contemporary sheep. Smooth spine divided into six compartments by double gilt fillets, with black leather label ruled and lettered in gilt in the second compartment. Edges sprinkled blue, with faint blue marks visible at upper edge of several leaves. Binding quite rubbed, as usual, with several areas of surface loss on covers and spine; joints rubbed; endpapers foxed, and browned at the edges from turn-ins; dampstaining in the lower gutter. Text with some light to moderate foxing, as usual; several leaves creased, sometimes before printing and thus affecting a few letters; leaf 23/1 (pages 353/354) with diagonal crease before printing, affecting several letters (no loss); gatherings 23 (pages 353-370) and 24 (pages 371-380) with considerable creasing, especially in the lower margin, sometimes affecting text. Pages 7/8 with a vertical slice down the leaf, repaired in the upper margin, the repair covering something written in red ink. Ink stain in the outer margin of pages 453/454 and 455/456; ink mark at lower edge of page 526; ink spot lower margin of pages 543/544. A very good copy with an important provenance.

    Laid in is a Typed Letter Signed by Sydney Tucker Jones, Jr., dated September 29, 1958, addressed to "Mr. Alfred J. Fowers [1898-1973] / Fort Orange Press / 883 Broadway / Albany, New York" on Hudson Valley Paper Company letterhead, two quarto pages: "At the time of Dad's funeral, you spoke to me how / pleased you were to have a copy of the Mormon Bible / that he gave you. You might be interested to know that my / Dad's Grandfather apparently had some part in the printing / of the original Book of Mormon. / Mr. Pomeroy Tucker, born August 10, 1802 at Elmira, / New York, died June 30, 1870 at Elmira, was the Father / of Alice Louise Tucker who married Andrew B. Jones, my Dad's / Father..."

    Pomeroy Tucker's daughter, Alice Louise Tucker (1843-1891), married Andrew Barton Jones (1840-1909). Their son Sydney Tucker Jones (1878-1958) was the father of Sydney Tucker Jones, Jr. (1915-1971).

    Journalist and New York politician Pomeroy Tucker (1802-1870) served an apprenticeship as a printer in Palmyra, became a contributor to the Canandaigua Messenger, and in 1824 established the Wayne Sentinel. Tucker was foreman of the press at E. B. Grandin when The Book of Mormon was being printed, and was involved in its printing and proofreading. By his own account Tucker was "well acquainted" with Joseph Smith, his family, and "most of the early followers of Smith," and was suspicious of Smith and the origins of Mormonism. In 1867, he published Origin, Rise, and Progress of Mormonism. Biography of Its Founders and History of Its Church. Personal remembrances and historical collections hitherto unwritten (New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1867), which was considered to have been the "most influential anti-Mormon work in [its] period."

    In his Preface (pages [3]-4) to Origin, Rise, and Progress of Mormonism, Tucker writes: "The facts and reminiscences contained in this volume, based upon the author's personal knowledge and information, are produced to fill the blank and supply the omitted chapters in Mormon history...In claiming for the statements herein set forth the character of fairness and authenticity, it is perhaps appropriate to add in this connection, that the locality of the malversations resulting in the Mormon scheme, is the author's birthplace; that he was well acquainted with 'Joe Smith,' the first Mormon prophet, and with his father and all the Smith family, since their removal to Palmyra from Vermont in 1816, and during their continuance there and in the adjoining town of Manchester; that he was equally acquainted with Martin Harris and Oliver Cowdery, and with most of the earlier followers of Smith, either as money-diggers or Mormons; that he established at Palmyra, in 1823, and was for many years editor and proprietor of the Wayne Sentinel, and was editorially connected with that paper at the printing by its press of the original edition of the 'Book of Mormon' in 1830; that in the progress of the work he performed much of the reading of the proof-sheets, comparing the same with the manuscript copies, and in the mean time had frequent and familiar interviews with the pioneer Mormons, Smith, Cowdery, and Harris; that he was present at the repeated consultations and negotiations between these men and Mr. Grandin in relation to the printing of the book, and united with the latter in the friendly admonitions vainly seeking to divert Harris from his persistent fanaticism in that losing speculation."

    "Probably the most influential anti-Mormon work in this period was Pomeroy Tucker's Origin, Rise, and Progress of Mormonism (1867). A printer employed by E. B. Grandin, publisher of the Wayne Sentinel and printer of the first edition of the Book of Mormon, Tucker claimed to have been associated closely with Joseph Smith. He supported the Hurlbut-Howe charge that the Smiths were dishonest and alleged that they stole from their neighbors. However, he acknowledged that his insinuations were not "'sustained by judicial investigation'" (Anti-Mormon Publications, at http://eom.byu.edu/index.php/Anti-Mormon_Publications ).

    In the Origin, Rise, and Progress of Mormonism, "Tucker quotes extensive portions of the Book of Mormon" (R. L. Anderson). On pages 85-86 he writes: "By the following series of compilations from the different chapters of this Mormon volume, as translated and published by Prophet Smith, the reader will discover a chain of events, incidents, episodes, perils, and tribulations, by wilderness and by sea, constituting the story of immigration by various Israelitish tribes, with their brazen and golden records, from the beginning of their journeyings at Jerusalem, to the consummation of the same in the promised land, where their records were hidden in the 'hill Camorah,' which being interpreted, signifies 'Mormon Hill,' in the town of Manchester, N. Y. The fabulous narrative will repay patient perusal by the curious."

    The passages marked in this copy of The Book of Mormon are for the most part, the passages Tucker quotes in his book. In addition, Tucker corrects several errors, and makes changes in the punctuation and capitalization. Several of the pencil corrections Tucker makes are corrected in later editions. For example, the following corrections were made in the 1837 and 1840 editions: page 16, line 5: "journied" changed to "journeyed" (corrected in 1840 edition); page 49, line 1: "was" changed to "were" (corrected in 1837 edition); page 110, line 18: "they which" changed to "those who" (corrected in 1837 edition); page 127, line 12: "is" changed to "are" (corrected in 1837 edition); page 152, line 9: "prophecyings" changed to "prophesyings" (corrected in 1837 edition); page 529, line 30: with "a" crossed out of "Lamanites a marching" and "towards" changed to "toward" (corrected in 1837 edition); page 533, line 5: "d" crossed out in "singled" (corrected in 1837 edition); page 568, line 16: "was" crossed out in the phrase "And there was robbers" with "were" in pencil in outer margin (corrected in 1837 edition); page 568, line 32: "a" crossed out in the phrase "face of the land were a shedding blood" (corrected in 1840 edition); and page 545, lines 26-27: "mine own due time" changed to "my own due time" (not corrected until 1841 edition). Some of Tucker's corrections had apparently already been made in some copies of the 1830 edition, for example: page 126, line 38: "excedingly" changed to "exceedingly;" page 144, line 36: "obout" changed to "about" (in Jenson's list); page 144, line 43: "feading" changed to "feeding" (in Jenson's list); and page 542, line 18: "maner" changed to "manner." Others were not made until much later, and some never made. See The Parallel Book of Mormon: The 1830, 1837, and 1840 Editions, Joseph Smith, Junior, Author, Proprietor, Translator, Introduction by Curt A. Bench (Salt Lake City: 2008).

    "Grandin's print shop was on the third floor of what is now known as the Grandin Building and used by the LDS Church as a museum. Luther Howard's bindery, operated in partnership with Grandin, was on the second floor; Grandin's Palmyra Bookstore was on the first. Near the end of August 1829 the shop began on the Book of Mormon. John H. Gilbert set the type for about 85 percent of the book. On occasion, when he was rushed to get a form ready for the press, he engaged some additional compositors and sometimes cut the pages of the manuscript so they could simultaneously work on the same page. Gilbert faced a serious problem with the Printer's Manuscript. Like the Original, it had virtually no punctuation; only the names of persons and places were capitalized; and there were no paragraphs. So it became his task to add punctuation to the text and divide it into paragraphs. Since the Printer's Manuscript now shows only sporadic additions of punctuation in pencil or pen, it would seem that much of the punctuation was added by the compositor as he set the type. Gilbert also did the press work with J. H. Bortles until December 1829, when Grandin hired a journeyman pressman, Thomas McAuley. After that, McAuley and Bortles operated the press. Grandin's press was a single-pull Smith Patented Improved Press, inked with 'balls'...Faced with setting a six hundred-page book, Grandin ordered a new font of type from Albany. Even so, one form of sixteen pages had to be printed and the type distributed before the next form could be set. Gilbert reported that when he was also working the press, it took nearly three days to print one form. Generally Oliver Cowdery, Hyrum Smith, and Martin Harris saw the book through the press. At least during the early weeks, Hyrum Smith handed the Printer's Manuscript to Gilbert only a few pages at a time. Cowdery did the bulk of the proofreading-occasionally breaking the monotony of reading proof by setting a few lines of type himself...A preface (pp. [iii]-iv) explains the loss of the initial 116 pages of manuscript and the revelation to Joseph Smith not to retranslate that part but to begin with the plates of Nephi. Only the 1830 edition has this preface. Pages [5]-588 contain the main text, and the testimonies of the three and of the eight witnesses occur on both sides of the leaf following p. 588. A few copies have a four-page index in double columns, titled Reference to the Book of Mormon, but this was printed later, probably in Kirtland about 1835, and is not intrinsic to the book" (Crawley I, pages 30-31).

    The first edition of The Book of Mormon contains a number of variants; Crawley concludes that "very few copies of the book exist which are entirely identical." No priority of these states has been determined, and of seventy copies surveyed by Jenson, sixty were determined to be unique. This copy contains the following twelve errors listed in Jenson's Table 1, "Variations in the 1830 Edition of the Book of Mormon:" page 212 is incorrectly numbered 122; pages 342, line 18, and 343, lines 1 and 2, read "River Sidon" instead of "river Sidon;" page 343, line 10, read "lands, and" instead of "lands and;" page 350, line 17, reads "judges" instead of "Judges"; page 351, line 38, reads "armors" instead of "armours"; page 393, line 4, reads "neither does" instead of "neither do;" page 487 is incorrectly numbered 48; page 514, line 2, reads "maybe" instead of "may be;" page 575, line 15, reads "elder priest" instead "elder or priest;" and page 576, lines 17/18, read "unto the baptism" instead of "unto baptism." This copy contains one of the errors in Jenson's Table 2, "Errors Not Yet Discovered in a Corrected State": on page 426, line 34, the "e" in "moreover" has not completely dropped out and is still partially visible. See Janet Jenson, "Variations between Copies of the First Edition of the Book of Mormon," Brigham Young University Studies, Volume 13, Number 2 (Winter 1973), pages 214-222. In addition, page 187, line 41, reads "rssurrection," an error not mentioned by Jenson.

    The first edition of the Book of Mormon was the only edition in which Smith was named as author; in all subsequent editions he is designated as translator. The first edition is also the only edition with Smith's two-page preface (pages [iii]-iv).

    Church 1342; Crawley 1; Crawley & Flake, A Mormon Fifty, 1; Flake 595; Grolier, 100 American, 37; Howes S623; Sabin 83038; Streeter 2262.


    More Information:

    "This is the first publication of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the church having been organized with six charter members, April 6, 1830, just after the book had been finished at the press. According to Smith [1805-1844], 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, N.Y., 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...The translation was dictated mostly to Oliver Cowdery, who acted as scribe. On its completion the copy right was secured and a contract made in 1829, with Egbert B. Grandin, publisher of the 'Wayne Sentinel', at Palmyra, to print and bind five thousand copies for three thousand dollars...To guard against possible loss, a transcript of the original manuscript was made, and portions of this were carried daily to the printer. When the printing was finished, the two manuscripts were kept, the original by Joseph Smith, the other by Oliver Cowdery. Smith deposited his manuscript in the corner stone of the Nauvoo House in 1841, and some years later when Major L. C. Bidamon removed the stone which had been broken it was found that moisture had ruined the manuscript. Oliver Cowdery preserved his copy, and...[it] is now in the possession of the officers of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, at Independence, Missouri. It contains 464 pages. Some pages show the marks of the printer, and some are cut in takes for the typesetter" (Sabin).





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