John Clark (based on discussion with Martin Harris) describes the translation process as occurring with a curtain and a seer stone, but favors the Spaulding theory.

Sep 5, 1840
News (traditional)
John A. Clark

John A. Clark, "Gleanings by the way. No. VI," Episcopal Recorder [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania] (September 5, 1840): 94

Episcopal Recorder
Martin Harris, John A. Clark, Joseph Smith, Jr., Solomon Spaulding
Reading Public

Smith was to prepare the way for the conversion of the world to a new system of faith, by transcribing the characters from the plates and giving translations of the same. This was the substance of Martin Harris’ communication to me upon our first interview. He then carefully unfolded a slip of paper, which contained three or four lines of characters, as unlike letters or hieroglyphics of any sort, as well could be produced were one, to shut up his eyes and play off the most antic movements with his pen upon paper. The only thing that bore the slightest resemblance to the letter of any language that I had ever seen was two upright marks joined by a horizontal line, that might have been taken for the Hebrew character ה My ignorance of the characters in which this pretended ancient record was written, was to Martin Harris new proof that Smith’s whole account of the divine revelation made to him was entirely to be relied on . . . Even after Cowdery and Rigdon were bending the whole force of their minds to the carrying out of this imposture, Jo Smith continued to be ostensible prominent actor in the drama. The way that Smith made his transcripts and translations for Harris was the following; Although as the same room, a thick curtain or blanket was suspended between them, and Smith concealed behind the blanket, pretend to look through his spectacles, or transparent stones, and would then write down or repeat what he saw, which, when repeated aloud, was written down by Harris, who sat on the other side of the suspended blanket. Harris was told, that it would arouse the most terrible divine displeasure, if he should attempt to drawn near the sacred chest or look at Smith while in the work of deciphering the mysterious characters. This was Harris’ own account of the matter to me. What other measures they afterwards took to transcribe or translate from these metallic plates, I cannot say, as I very soon after this removed to another field of labour where I heard no more on this matter till I learned the BOOK of MORMON was about to be published. It was not till after the discovery of the manuscript of Spaulding, on which I shall subsequently give some account, that the actors in this imposture thought of calling the pretended revelation in the BOOK of MORMON. This book, which professed to be a translation of the golden Bible brought to light by Joseph Smith was published in 1830- to accomplish which Martin Harris actually mortgaged his farm.

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