William Appleby describes seeing papyri and mummies; editor mocks Joseph.

Sep 10, 1841
News (traditional)
William I. Appleby

William I. Appleby, Journal, 5 May 1841; rep. "Journal of a Mormon," Christian Observer (September 10, 1841): 146

Christian Observer, William I. Appleby
William I. Appleby
Reading Public

"5. Visited brother Joseph. Received instruction concerning baptism for the dead. Read the Revelation as given by the Lord last January. Viewed four "mummies," males, and three females, brought from ancient Thebes, in Egypt. Saw the roll of Papyrus, and the writing thereon taken from off the bosom of the male mummies, being some of the writings of ancient Abraham, and of Joseph, who was sold into Egypt. The writing is in the Egyptian language, and gives a description of some of the scenes in ancient Egypt, also of their worship, their gods, &c. The writing is beautiful and plain, being composed of red and black ink. You can perceive a wide difference between the writing, as Joseph appears to have been the best scribe.

Four mummies from ancient Thebes! exhibited in the city of Nauvoo, a village on the borders of western civilization!! Excellent craft! And the roll written by Abraham and Joseph in the Egyptian language!! Admitting that this is supremely bungled and absurd—yet antiquarians, we think, will concede that there is more good taste in exhibiting the writings of Abraham and Joseph to confirm the faith of the wavering, than in the contrivance of the Romish priests, who, to accomplish the same purpose, exhibit the bones and relics of ancient saints.

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