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I offered this copy (without listing it elsewhere previously) on
eBay, January 21-31, 2005 (ten-day sale)
Item number: 6944170042

Opening Bid: $400
No Reserve

The book ::SOLD:: for $ 2,253.98,
which included insured shipping at my expense.



the first major anti-Mormon book  -  the origin of the Spaulding theory

HOWE, Eber D.  MORMONISM UNVAILED: Or, A Faithful Account of that Singular Imposition and Delusion, from its Rise to the Present Time. With Sketches of the Characters of its Propagators, and a Full Detail of the Manner in Which the Famous GOLDEN BIBLE Was Brought Before the World. To Which are Added, Inquiries into the Probability that the Historical Part of the Said Bible Was Written by One Solomon Spalding, More than Twenty Years Ago, and By Him Intended to Have Been Published as a Romance. By E. D. Howe. Painesville [Ohio]: Printed and Published by the Author., 1834.



18 cm. (binding 18½ cm. = 7¼ inches tall). ix, [11]-290 [i.e., 290] pages (page numbers "175-6" were accidentally used twice by the printer, for four different actual text pages), + frontispiece woodcut illustration leaf facing title page (but see below . . .)

INCOMPLETE:  The frontispiece and two leaves of text (pp. 237-40) are supplied in modern facsimile on paper from the period. The title page and all other pages (except 237-40) are original. Title page darkened; text foxed and stained throughout, in varying degrees. The stains are often prominent, but not of the most extreme sort. No tears or other loss of text. Only two, very short notes of a word or two apiece appear in the text (in ink, and quite old, p. 158: "Mo[r]monism";  p. 290: two words & three letters, upside-down in bottom margin - practice writing). All of the paper is strong and can withstand considerable reading and use.

REBOUND at some time in the twentieth century in full black morocco-grained leather. The binding is hardly appropriate to this volume, but is strong and presentable with virtually no wear. Twentieth-century green floral-patterned endleaves. Not "oversewn"; will lie open by itself, more or less.


FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST MAJOR ANTI-MORMON BOOK. Flake 4104; Graff 1985; Sabin 33290; Woodward 99; Scallawagiana Hundred 6; Howes H 717, saying "First elaborate critique of this sect, the first to exploit the Spaulding manuscript and the best contemporary account of Mormon activities of Ohio."

Cited Continuously by mainline Mormon historians for the material it contains, and hotly debated. A very scarce book indeed, ". . . the first book of significance printed with the design of destroying the Church." - Backman, The Heavens Resound, p. 207.  Joseph Smith referred to the frontispiece illustration of this book, which showed him being kicked by the devil,

. . . with his pitchfork of lies, as you will see fairly represented in a cut contained in Mr. Howe's Mormonism Unveiled . . . [History of the Church II:268, September 1835]


That frontispiece and two other leaves of this book are supplied here in modern facsimile, as mentioned above, printed on original old paper of the general period. While certainly not intended to deceive, it is possible that some new collectors might not realize, at first glance, which leaves are not from 1834. Therefore, each of these three (the frontispiece, and pp. 237-40) are printed with a discrete but indelible mark . . .


The lower right corner of facsimile page 240 . . .






The page on the left was printed in 1834.
I made the facsimile page on the right on January 17, 2005.
In the lower-left corner appears my indelible mark: "FACSIMILE LEAF  2005  Grunder"




THIS BOOK is particularly famous for its affidavits gathered by the apostate named "Doctor Philastus Hurlbut," in which , for example, Martin Harris' wife Lucy swears, "realizing that I must give an account at the bar of God for what I say . . . ," that her husband beat her black and blue; Isaac Hale, Joseph Smith's father-in-law, gives a lengthy account; Professor Charles Anthon denies that he took the Anthon transcript seriously; and W. W. Phelps writes to Howe sounding noncommittal, but giving points both in favor and against Joseph Smith, dating his letter January 15, 1831.


Portions of the affidavits of Abigail Harris and Lucy Harris, Martin Harris' sister-in-law and wife . . .


p. 254. For background and full text, see Dan Vogel, ed.,
Early Mormon Documents
, Volume II (SLC: Signature Books, 1998), pp. 31-6.


From W. W. Phelps, who would soon write the LDS hymn, "The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning" . . .

p. 274. For background and full text, see Vogel, Vol. III (2000), pp. 5-7.


And little-known details from Charles Anthon's description of a second visit from Martin Harris . . .

p. 272. For background and full text, see Vogel, Vol. IV (2002), pp. 377-81.


On one occasion, according to Isaac Hale (Joseph Smith's father-in-law),

. . . I went to the house where Joseph Smith Jr., lived, and where he and Harris were engaged in their translation of the Book. Each of them had a written piece of paper which they were comparing, and some of the words were "my servant seeketh a greater witness, but no greater witness can be given him." There was also something said about "three that were to see the thing" . . . The manner in which he pretended to read and interpret, was the same as when he looked for the money-diggers, with the stone in his hat, and his hat over his face, while the Book of Plates were at the same time hid in the woods! [p. 265. Isaac Hale lived across the road and west a few hundred feet from the house]


ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS EARLY MORMON HISTORY SOURCES, USED BY MORMON CRITICS AND DEFENDERS ALIKE. Examples of this first edition are preserved by (among others) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, The Community of Christ [RLDS Church], Brigham Young University, The Library of Congress, Yale, Princeton, Berkeley, the Huntington Library, and various other regional and historical depositories.




AUTHENTICITY GUARANTEED.  Insured shipping at my expense (New York State residents add 8¼ % sales tax, otherwise no sales tax).

My name is Rick Grunder, a former Chairman of the Brigham Young University Library Bibliographic Department. Please click on the me” logo beside seller's name at the top of this page to find my web site with other material for sale (rickgrunder-dot-com)

RICK GRUNDER BOOKS, established 1981, specializing in the origins of Mormonism.  Member, Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America, International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, Ephemera Society of America.


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