Henry Caswall gives another account of his encounter with Joseph and the Greek Psalter.

Henry Caswall

Henry Caswall, America, and the American Church, 2nd ed. (London: John and Charles Mozley, 1851), 356–359

John and Charles Mozley
Henry Caswall, Joseph Smith, Jr.
Reading Public

In order to test the "Prophet's" inspiration in regard to the dead languages, I had brought with me an ancient manuscript of the Greek Psalter, which I still retain as a valuable memorial of the event. Taking this in my hand, I crossed over to Nauvoo on Monday morning, and inquired for the "Prophet." I was informed that he had gone eighteen miles to Carthage, but that he was expected to return about nine o'clock in the evening. At the request of some of the Mormons, I showed them the manuscript, which became at once an object of curiosity and admiration. They assured me that Nauvoo was the only place where its real interpretation could be unfolded, for the Lord had made foolish the wisdom of this world, and had chosen the prophet Joseph to bring to light the things of darkness.

. . .

I then went to the printing-office, where I purchased a set of the "Times and Seasons," and various other documents. Here I was surrounded by Mormon preachers, who were most anxious to purchase, or at least to borrow, my book, that it might be translated by "revelation." They all seemed to agree in an opinion expressed by old Mrs. Smith, viz. that it was "one of the lost books of the Scriptures," which, in the Lord's time, would be fully explained by prophecy to the children of men. After this I returned to the other side of the river, and spent the rest of the day in riding over a beautiful and extensive prairie, then covered with the verdure and the flowers of early spring.

The next morning (Tuesday, April 19th) I again crossed the Mississippi with my book, fully expecting to meet with the renowned "Prophet." A number of the Mormons, who were aware of my intention, accompanied me to his residence, and here I was introduced, as a stranger, to the extraordinary being who, in the estimation of his followers, ranked at least as high as the "sweet Psalmist of Israel." Smith was a clownish-looking man, but with a decidedly knavish expression. His hands were large and fat, and his manner, though awkward, was energetic. On one of his fingers was a massive gold ring containing an inscription. His dress was of coarse country manufacture, and his white hat was enveloped by a piece of black crape as a sign of mourning for a deceased brother. Having been previously informed by his people of my wonderful book, he now took it in his hands and asked me if I had any idea of its meaning. I replied that I believed it to be a Greek Psalter, but that I should like to hear his opinion. "No," he said, "it ain't Greek at all; except perhaps a few words. What ain't Greek, is Egyptian; and what ain't Egyptian is Greek. This book is very valuable. It is a Dictionary of Egyptian Hieroglyphics." Pointing to the capital letters at the commencement of each verse, he said, with a tone of authority, "Them figures is Egyptian hieroglyphics; and them which follows, is the interpretation of the hieroglyphics written in the reformed Egyptian. Them characters is like the letters that was engraved on the golden plates." He then earnestly requested me to sell him the book, but I declined, and tied it in the bundle in which I had brought it from St. Louis. The Mormons were much disappointed, but congratulated me very kindly on the information which I had received. The "Prophet" afterwards exhibited to me the same sheets of papyrus which I had seen on the previous day, and began to give his usual explanation. But his suspicions appeared now to be awakened, and he suddenly departed, leaving me in the midst of the credulous and fanatical multitude. I then told the bystanders that the book was certainly nothing but a Greek Psalter, and endeavoured to make them understand how thoroughly the prophet had committed himself by positively declaring it to be a dictionary of hieroglyphics. After much fruitless argument which, however, they took in good part, one of their number, perceiving my partial deafness, endeavoured to work a miracle for my complete restoration. But observing that the touch of his finger and the use of the unknown tongue were in this instance without effect, he assured me that the actual cure was deferred until I should receive Joseph as a true prophet.

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