Contemporary reprint of reports of Kinderhook plates discovery.

Jun 1, 1843

Emancipator and Free American, Boston, 1 June 1843, 1

Emancipator and Free American
Reading Public


The Quincy, (Illinois) Whig, gives a relation of the discovery of some brass plates in a mound, in Pike County, in that State, which will go far to strengthen the faith of the deluded followers of Joe Smith. It appears that a young man by the name of Wiley, a resident of Kinderhook, in Pike County, dreamed three nights in succession, that in a certain mound in the vicinity there was a treasure concealed. Impressed with the occurrence of dreaming the same dream three nights in succession, he came to the conclusion to satisfy his mind by digging into that mound. For fear of being laughed at, if he made others acquainted with his design, he went by himself and labored diligently one day in pursuit of the supposed treasure, by sinking a hole in the centre of the mound. Finding it quite laborious, he invited others to assist him. Finally, a company of ten or twelve repaired to the mound and assisted Wiley in his excavations. After penetrating the mound about eleven feet they came to a bed of limestone that had apparently been subjected to the action of fire; they removed the stones, which were small and easy to handle, to the depth of two feet more, when they found SIX BRASS PLATES, secured and fastened together by two iron wires, but which were so decayed, that they readily crumbled to dust upon being handled.

The plates were so completely covered with rust, as almost to obliterate the characters inscribed upon them; but after undergoing a chemical process, the inscriptions were brought out plain and distinct. There are six plates--four inches in length, once inch and three-quarters wide at the top, and two inches and three-quarters wide at the bottom, flaring out to points. There are four lines of characters or hieroglyphics on each; on one side of the plates are parallel lines running lengthwise. A few of the characters resemble, in their form, the Roman capitals of our Alphabet--for instance, the capital B and X, appear very distinct. In addition, there are rude representations of three human heads on one of the plates, the largest in the middle; from this head proceeds marks or rays, resembling those which usually surround the head of Christ in the pictorial representations of his person. There are also figures of two trees with branches, one under each of the two small heads, both leaning a little to the right. One of the plates has on it the figure of a large head by itself; with two [symbol of a pointing finger] pointing directly to it.

Human bones were also found in the mount in the last states of decomposition. Near this mound are two others, one on each side, on one of which is a tree growing, which measures two and a half feet in diameter, near the ground. These mounds like others found all over the valley of the Mississippi, are in the shape of a sugar loaf.

The Mormons are in raptures. One who was present when the plates were found leaped for joy, and remarked that it would go to prove the authenticity of the Book of Mormons. The Mormons affirm that Joe Smith can decypher the hieroglyphics, and the plates, after being exhibited in Quincy, have been sent to Nauvoo to be inspected by the Mormon prophet. We may look out for more revelations.—Pittsburg Advocate.

Citations in Mormonr Qnas
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