130 years ago today - Sep 17, 1884

[Lorenzo Saunders Interview] ... Q. Was you ever acquainted with young Joe Smith?

A. The first time I ever went to Sabbath School I went with young Joe Smith at the old Presbyterian Church.

Q. What kind of person was the old man Smith ?

A. Oh! he would go to Turky Shoots and get drunk; pretend to enchant their guns so that they could not kill the Turky. would blow in Q. How would he do that?

A. He would blow in the gun and feel around the lock then tell them it was charmed and they could not kill the turky.

Q. Did you ever see Joe's peep stone? A. Yes. It looked like a babies foot. The old man and Joe came into our barn <<their cooper shop>> one day when it was rainy; and I asked young Joe if he would not look and see if he could not see look something <<into futurity?>> Joe said he could not look into any holy thing. The old man had on the dirtyest and raggedest shirt I ever--saw all full of holes--and he <<said he>> cannot look into my shirt then.

...Q. How come you to go over to Smiths to eat sugar?

A. The Smiths were great sugar makers; they had a large bush and sugared off every day at their house and they wanted me to go over come over and eat sugar. They made seven thousand lbs. [pounds] one year and took the bounty in the County--of $50.00. They were pretty good fellows in their way, but they were shiftless and money diggers were in the money digging business.

Q. Did you ever see the Smiths dig yourself or [others?] for money?

A. I never saw them digging for money. I saw them dig in a hill, said to be for that purpose; that young Joe could look in his peep stone and see a man sitting in a gold chair. Old Joe said he was king i.e. the man in the chair; a king of one of the Nephites or Lamanites <<tribes>> who was shut in there in the time of one of their big battles. This digging was a mile from Smiths. Don't know as there was ever anything in the cave. The cave was on our place. This was in 1826. The cave had a door to it. We tore it off and sunk it in a pit of water where they got dirt to cover a cole [coal] pit. ...

Q. Did you ever hear Joe give an account of finding the plates?

A. Yes. He made the statement in gave the account in my father's house. He said he was in the woods at prayer and the angel touched him on the shoulders and he arose, and the angel told him where the plates were and he could take his oldest Brother with him in a year from that time and go and get them. But his oldest Brother died before the year was out. At the end of the time he went to the place to get the plates the angel asked where his Brother was. I told him he was dead. The angel told him there would be an other appointed. Joseph chose Samuel Lawrence. But he did not go.

Q. What kind of a woman was Joseph's wife?

A. Joseph's wife was a pretty woman; as pretty a woman as I ever saw. When she came to the Smiths she was very much disappointed and used to come to our house and sit down and cry. Said she was deceived and got into a hard place. Joe said in our house to my mother, the angel said he must get married him a wife and take her and go and and get the plates. Sam Lawrence took him over into Pennsylvania and introduced him to Emma Hale. I dont know as Joe had ever been in Pennsylvania before, but him and Sam Lawrence was had been deviling around--no telling where they had gone. Joe told Sam Lawrence that there was a silver mine over in Pennsylvania--told him if he would he might share in it with him; but behold he wanted an introduction to Emma Hale is the way it turned out. Sam Lawrence told me so.

After he was married and brought his wife home, the angel told him he must procure a black horse to go and get the plates. He come one night to get my Brothers black horse and went off and said he got the plates. He borrowed the horse. ...

[Source: Lorenzo Saunders, Interviewed by William H. Kelley, 17 September 1884, 1-18, E. L. Kelley Papers, RLDS Church Library-Archives, Independence, Missouri., as cited in Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents: Lorenzo Saunders Interview]

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