BHR recounts discovery and translation of the BOA.

B. H. Roberts

B. H. Roberts, The Gospel: An Exposition of its First Principles (Salt Lake City, UT: The Contributor, 1888), 56–58

The Contributor
Antonio Lebolo, Muhammad Ali of Egypt, Abraham, Joseph, Michael Chandler, Joseph Smith, Jr., Bernardino Drovetti, B. H. Roberts
Latter-day Saints

In our day the evidences which support the authenticity of the Jewish Scriptures have accumulated in a most remarkable manner. In 1835 the two rolls of papyrus, one filled with the writings of Joseph, who was sold into Egypt, and the other with those of Abraham, came into the hands of Joseph Smith. The roll containing the writings of Abraham was translated by the prophet, at least in part, and is published in the Pearl of Great Price under the title of the Book of Abraham. The manner in which these rolls of papyrus came into Joseph Smith's possession was as follows:

In 1831 the celebrated French traveler, Antonio Sebolo, penetrated Egypt as far as the ancient city of Thebes, under a license procured from Mehemet Ali—then viceroy of Egypt—through the influence of Chevalier Drovetti, the French consul. Sebolo employed 433 men for four months and two days; and entering the catacombs near ancient Thebes on the 7th of June, 1831, they procured eleven mummies. These were shipped to Alexandria, and from thence the great traveler started with his treasures for Paris. But en route for the French capital, Sebolo put in at Trieste, where he was taken sick, and after an illness of ten days, died. This was in 1832. Previous to his death he willed his Egyptian treasures to his nephew, Michael H. Chandler, who was then living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but whom Sebolo believed to be in Dublin, to which city he ordered the mummies shipped.

Mr. Chandler ordered the mummies forwarded to New York, where he took possession of them. There the coffins for the first time were opened, and in them were found two rolls of papyrus covered with engravings. While still in the custom house, Mr. C. was informed by a gentleman, a stranger to him, that no one in the city could translate the characters, but was referred to Joseph Smith, who, the stranger informed him, possessed some kind of gift or power by which he had previously translated similar characters.

Joseph Smith was then unknown to Mr. C. The mummies were shipped to Philadelphia, and from there Mr. C. traveled through the country, exhibiting them and the rolls of papyrus. He finally passed through Kirtland, where Joseph Smith was residing. Joseph, seeing the rolls of papyrus and the record upon them, had the Saints purchase them, and they were translated as before stated.

This Book of Abraham, while it has no direct reference to the works of Moses, gives an account of the creation of this earth, which, substantially, is the same account as that given by Moses (Pearl of Great Price, pp. 41–45); and is, at least, a strong collateral evidence to the correctness of the account in Genesis.

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