"Adam fell, that men might be;
and men are, that they might have joy." p. 65

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 [NY]: Printed by E. B. Grandin, for the Author., 1830.


19 cm. (binding 19 cm. = 7 2/3 inches tall). iv, [5]-588, [2] pp.; collated complete. One original blank flyleaf at the front, and three at the back (of a possible two at the front and three at the back).

A nice tall copy in very good condition. The title page and most of the text are in somewhat better condition than one normally finds. Foxing is moderate to medium, the title quite nice with minor soiling. Page 109 has some old glue residue and a dozen letters of text (total, from various words) lost as a result.

Original calf binding in excellent condition. The crucial spine ends are strong and complete, as are the joints. Original black leather spine label. The bands on the spine and title indentations on the label are present but the gold is faded away. Original 1830s binding patch on the lower right corner of the front board (often seen on the Book of Mormon).

On the front pastedown and front flyleaf are various ownership inscriptions from the Markham Family, including the names of Henry C. Markham and Abraham B. Markham & his wife Mary L. Brad[ner?] "Married . . . July the 28th 1831 in Plymouth Michigan. S. B. Markham born in Plymouth June the 3d 1832"


FIRST EDITION. Flake 595; Howes S623; Grolier Club List of 100 Influential American Books; Sabin 83038; A Mormon Fifty, 1. Five thousand copies were printed on the third floor of the Grandin Building which stands on the north side of Main Street in Palmyra Village. Luther Howard, on the second story, saw to the binding, and by the end of March, 1830, sent copies down for sale in the walk-in store. Having thus descended from the Celestial level to that of earth, many copies were ultimately consigned to outer darkness. The few which stagger back from their extended missions find eager friends waiting, and are welcomed home as the collector's prize.

And now a story . . . The first-edition Book of Mormon has become so valuable that my friend who consigned this example to me preferred to deliver it in person. I suggested that we meet somewhere midway, and the location was set. It was thus that the gentleman handed me this book not fifty feet from where it was translated! We walked over to a grassy mound and set the book momentarily on the ground, directly in the middle of the site where once stood the home of Joseph and Emma Smith in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. Here much of the Book of Mormon was translated, and fifteen sections of the Doctrine and Covenants were received. Joseph Smith's parents visited here for a time, as did Martin Harris and his wife Lucy, who ransacked the house and grounds looking for the golden plates. Oliver Cowdery journeyed here to introduce himself to Joseph Smith, then stayed "--to sit under the sound of a voice dictated by the inspiration of heaven . . ." Joseph and Emma's first child, a baby boy, lay buried a few hundred feet away; we visited the grave. It was a delightful day, and at least one original copy of the Book of Mormon had now come home.