53993096

Oliver Cowdery’s Copy of the Book of Commandments

[copyright page] [p. [2]]
[copyright page] [p. [2]]
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A Book of Commandments, for the Government of the Church of Christ, Organized according to Law, on the 6th of April, 1830; Zion [Independence], MO: W. W. Phelps & Co., 1833; incomplete (printing interrupted); [1]–160 pp.; includes typeset signature marks and copyright notice. The copy excerpted herein is held at CHL; includes early marginalia and editorial marks.
This volume, which was owned by Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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, measures 4¼ × 3 inches (11 × 8 cm) and is bound in vertically striated, salmon-colored calfskin. The text block edges are stained yellow. The recto of the front flyleaf has “Joseph Smith Jr” written in JS’s handwriting upside down along the bottom of the page. On the verso of the front flyleaf is inscribed “Joseph Smith J[r] | & Oliver Cowdery | Book for the | printing office”. The recto of the back flyleaf bears a similar inscription: “Joseph Smith J[r] | Oliver Cowdery | for the off[ic]e”. In both cases, JS’s name is in JS’s handwriting and the remainder of the notation is in Cowdery’s handwriting.
This copy was acquired by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from a grandson of Warren Cowdery

17 Oct. 1788–23 Feb. 1851. Physician, druggist, farmer, editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Married Patience Simonds, 22 Sept. 1814, in Pawlet, Rutland Co. Moved to Freedom, Cattaraugus Co., New York, 1816...

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, the brother of Oliver

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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. The church acquired from the same man a copy of the first edition of the Doctrine and Covenants (1835) that belonged to Warren Cowdery. It is possible that Warren Cowdery obtained this copy of the Book of Commandments when he began editing the Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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, Ohio, newspaper Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate in February 1837. It is clear from the notations on the flyleaves and numerous marks throughout the volume that this copy of the Book of Commandments was used in the Kirtland printing office.

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