Elizabeth Whitmer Cowdery describes Joseph as translating with his face in a hat.

Feb 15, 1870
Elizabeth Ann Whitmer Cowdery
Scribed Verbatim
3rd Hand

Elizabeth Ann Whitmer, "Elizabeth Ann Whitmer Cowdery Affidavit, 15 February 1870," in William E. McLellin, Letter to "My Dear Friends," February 1870, Miscellaneous Letters and Papers, Community of Christ Library—Archives, Independence, Missouri, in Dan Vogel, ed., Early Mormon Documents, 5 vols. (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2003), 5:260

Signature Books
Elizabeth Ann Whitmer Cowdery, Joseph Smith, Jr., William McLellin
General Public

I staid in Richmond two days and nights. I had a great deal of talk with widow Cowdry, and her amiable daughter. She is married to a Dr Johnson, but has no children. She gave me a certificate, And this is the copy. “Richmond, Ray Co., Mo. Feb 15, 1870—I cheerfully certify that I was familiar with the manner of Joseph Smith's translating the book of Mormon. He translated the most of it at my Father's house. And I often sat by and saw and heard them translate and write for hours together. Joseph never had a curtain drawn between him and his scribes while he was translating. He would place the director in his hat, and then place [-] his <face in his> hat, so as to exclude the light, and then [read?] to his scribe the words (he said) as they appeared before him. . . .

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