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William W. Phelps and Warren Parrish Copy of Abraham Manuscript, Summer–Fall 1835 [Abraham 1:1–2:18]

William W. Phelps and Warren Parrish Copy of Abraham Manuscript, Summer–Fall 1835 [Abraham 1:1–2:18]

Mahmackrah and the god of Koash and the god of Pharaoh King of Egypt, therefore they turned their hearts to the sacrafice of the heathens, in offering up their Children unto these dum Idols, and hearkened not unto my voice, but endeavoured to take away my life by the hand of the priest of Elkkener.
HThe priest of Elkkener was also the priest of Pharaoh, now at this time it was the custom of the priest of Pharaoh the King of Egypt to offer up upon the altar which was built in the land of chaldea for the offering unto these strange gods, both men women and children, and it came to pass, that the priest made an offering unto the god of Pharaoh, and also unto the god of Shagreel, even after the manner of the Egyptians.
(now the god of Shagreel was the Sun) even a thank offering of a child did the priest of Pharaoh offer upon the altar which stood by the hill called Potiphers hill at the head of the plain of Olishem.
Hnow this priest had offered upon this altar three Virgins at one time who were the daughters of Onitah, one of the royal descent directly from the loins of Ham; these Virgins were offered up because of their virtue, they would not bow down to worship gods of wood or of stone,
[p. 2]
Mahmackrah and the god of Koash  and the god of Pharaoh King of Egypt,  therefore they turned their hearts to the  sacrafice of the heathens, in offering up  their Children unto these dum Idols,  and hearkened not unto my voice,  but endeavoured to take away <my> life  by the hand of the priest of Elkkener.
HThe priest of Elkkener was also the pri est of Pharaoh, now at this time it was  the custom of the priest of Pharaoh the  King of Egypt to offer up upon the altar  which was built in the land of cha ldea for the offering unto these stran ge gods, both men women and chi ldren, and it came to pass, that the  priest made an offering unto the  god of Pharaoh, and also unto the god  of Shagreel, even after the manner  of the Egyptians.
(now the god of Shagreel was the  Sun) even a thank offering of a  child did the priest of Pharaoh  offer upon the altar which stood  by the hill called Potiphers hill at  the head of the plain of Olishem.
Hnow this priest had offered upon  this altar three Virgins at one time  who were the daughters of Onitah,  one of the royal descent directly fro[m]  the loins of Ham; these Virgins were  offered up because of their virtue,  they would not bow down to worsh ip gods of wood and <or of> stone,
[p. 2]
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As discussed in the general introduction to the Book of Abraham manuscripts on this website, JS and his scribes 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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, William W. Phelps

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

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, Frederick G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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, and Warren Parrish

10 Jan. 1803–3 Jan. 1877. Clergyman, gardener. Born in New York. Son of John Parrish and Ruth Farr. Married first Elizabeth (Betsey) Patten of Westmoreland Co., New Hampshire, ca. 1822. Lived at Alexandria, Jefferson Co., New York, 1830. Purchased land at...

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spent considerable time in the second half of 1835 engaged in two separate yet related endeavors: the translation of the Book of Abraham, which yielded several Abraham manuscripts; and a language-study effort that produced a number of Egyptian alphabet and grammar manuscripts. Both types of manuscripts exhibit connections to the papyri in JS’s possession and, according to the historical record, both projects occurred roughly concurrently. However, there is presently not enough information to definitively ascertain how these two projects are related to each other or to the revelatory process. The particular text featured here, consisting of a draft of what is currently designated Abraham 1:1−2:18, was inscribed by William W. Phelps and Warren Parrish, apparently between mid-1835 and late-spring 1836.
Phelps

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

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’s hand appears on the first twenty-one lines on the initial page, with Parrish

10 Jan. 1803–3 Jan. 1877. Clergyman, gardener. Born in New York. Son of John Parrish and Ruth Farr. Married first Elizabeth (Betsey) Patten of Westmoreland Co., New Hampshire, ca. 1822. Lived at Alexandria, Jefferson Co., New York, 1830. Purchased land at...

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’s handwriting on the remainder of the document. Phelps evidently copied this text from an earlier Book of Abraham document that is no longer extant (Hauglid, Textual History of the Book of Abraham, 7, 58−59). His contribution, covering passages now associated with Abraham 1:1−3, is not paragraphed but is lightly edited and punctuated and has three hieratic characters appearing in the left margin.
Warren Parrish

10 Jan. 1803–3 Jan. 1877. Clergyman, gardener. Born in New York. Son of John Parrish and Ruth Farr. Married first Elizabeth (Betsey) Patten of Westmoreland Co., New Hampshire, ca. 1822. Lived at Alexandria, Jefferson Co., New York, 1830. Purchased land at...

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began copying a text he had worked on earlier (see Warren Parrish Copy of Abraham Manuscript, Fall 1835 [Abraham 1:4–2:2]) onto the first page sometime after Phelps

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

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’s entry, probably between 29 October 1835, when he was called to be a scribe for JS, and spring 1836, when he left 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, on a mission to Tennessee (Hauglid, Textual History of the Book of Abraham, 22, 110; JS, Journal, 29 Oct. 1835; Woodruff, Journal, 19 Apr. 1836). He began his portion of Abraham’s account where Phelps left off and produced a draft of the text of what is now referenced in Latter-day Saint scripture as Abraham 1:4−2:18. Parrish’s nine and one-third pages of transcription is paragraphed and punctuated, with twenty-five hieratic characters in the left margin.
The Phelps

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

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/Parrish

10 Jan. 1803–3 Jan. 1877. Clergyman, gardener. Born in New York. Son of John Parrish and Ruth Farr. Married first Elizabeth (Betsey) Patten of Westmoreland Co., New Hampshire, ca. 1822. Lived at Alexandria, Jefferson Co., New York, 1830. Purchased land at...

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manuscript was probably available for reference when the Book of Abraham was prepared for publication in the Times and Seasons in Nauvoo

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

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, Illinois, beginning with the 1 March 1842 issue. It was in the possession of JS’s widow Emma Smith Bidamon

10 July 1804–30 Apr. 1879. Scribe, editor, boardinghouse operator, clothier. Born at Willingborough Township (later in Harmony), Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania. Daughter of Isaac Hale and Elizabeth Lewis. Member of Methodist church at Harmony (later in Oakland...

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at the time of her death in 1879. The document was inherited by Emma’s second husband, Lewis Bidamon, and at his death by his son Charles, who sold it to collector Wilford Wood in summer 1937. Subsequently that same year, Wood donated the document to the Church Historian’s Office, now the Church History Library (Wilford Wood, Woods Cross, UT, to Heber J. Grant, Salt Lake City, UT, 24 Dec. 1837, microfilm, Wilford Wood, Collection of Church Historical Materials, CHL; Hauglid, Textual History of the Book of Abraham, 110−111; Peterson, Story of the Book of Abraham, 229).
Note: When an Egyptian hieratic character appears on the manuscript, it is represented by a stylized “H” in the transcript. The transcript of the Book of Abraham excerpt presented here is used with permission of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship. It was published earlier, with some differences in style, in Brian M. Hauglid, A Textual History of the Book of Abraham: Manuscripts and Editions (Provo, UT: Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, Brigham Young University, 2010), 66–81.

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