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Spalding's handwriting found in BoM manuscript?


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I had never heard this story until today, and I can hardly believe it. If it were true, I think I'd have heard it sooner:

In February 1976 an amazing thing happened. A Mormon researcher, Howard Davis, who had been working for years trying to locate Manuscript Found!, was home from work, ill. He was absently flipping through a Mormon research book when suddenly he spotted distinctive handwriting, which he recognized from earlier research. It was Solomon Spalding

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I had never heard this story until today, and I can hardly believe it. If it were true, I think I'd have heard it sooner:

Source:

http://www.mazeministry.com/resources/books/havetext/appendixc.htm

What's the real truth behind this rumor?

If true, then Solomon Spalding must have been quite a magician.

The pages in 1st Nephi, purportedly in his handwriting, occur in long,

folded signatures of multiple sheets of the same paper -- the same paper

as holds the handwriting of known scribes for the Book of Mormon. Same

paper -- same ink -- same folded sheets.

So, how would Spalding's handwriting from before 1816 (when he died)

come to exist within the signatures of a Book of Mormon manuscript

being written down in 1829?

We might guess that Spalding had written out his set of pages -- starting

and stopping in mid-page -- in a pile of signatures that he created before

1816, and somehow came into Joseph Smith's possession. But that would not

account for yet another factor. The handwriting purported to be Spalding's,

not only occurs in the body of these particular pages -- it also occurs as

occasional headings at the tops of pages written out by known 1829 scribes

employed by Joseph Smith.

In order for this half-baked theory to work out correctly, the magician Spalding

knew exactly what was going to be written upon the blank portions of his folded

paper. He went so far as to inscribe headings at the top of blank pages, which

Mormon scribes would fill out in 1828-29.

The handwriting purported to be Spalding's, in the Dictated Book of Mormon manuscript,

bears a superficial resemblance to his penmanship -- but it bears an even CLOSER

resemblance to the writing on a c. 1830 D&C section manuscript.

Quite a magician -- that Spalding -- writing out D&C sections in 1815.

UD

.

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I am proud of you uncle dale. Good job. :P

Watch -- and learn.

UD

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Hi UD and everyone,

First of all, my name is Art Vanick and I believe that I can shed a little light on this subject, since I worked with Howard Davis, Wayne Cowdrey, and Donald Scales on their 1977 book. First of all, and not to sound nit-picky, the expert's name was William Kaye, and he was one of three handwriting experts that Davis et al hired to look at the unidentified scribe pages. Henry Silver and Howard Doulder were the other two experts on the case. Silver was the first one hired and at first he was the most adamant about the scribe pages being in Spalding's handwriting. I have the original copies of his reports. He not only gave a detailed report on the writing similarities but also gave a detailed report on the physical condition of Spalding without ever having done any prior research on Spalding's deteriorating physical condition. I would say that he was equal in experience and expertise in handwriting analysis to Kaye, but that is my opinion. Silver went on at great lengths initially about how Spalding had to be the scribe, that is until one day when Silver had been visited by some gentlemen who scared the living daylights out of him. Either then very next day or shortly afterward, he called a press conference and told the press that he would not testify on our behalf and withdrew from the case. We were approached by Doulder a few days later and when we did not agree to do something for him, he also publicly changed his mind. William Kaye never changed his mind and insisted to the day he died that the unidentified scribe pages were in Spalding's handwriting. The church obviously disagreed with Kaye and so did the Tanners. All I have to say about that is that last time I checked, neither Gerald nor Sandra Tanner had any credentials as handwriting experts. I may be mistaken but I don't think any Mormon handwriting experts came forward either. I'm not an expert either and don't pretend to be, but when the findings were explained to me by the three experts, they were VERY sure that the handwriting was Spalding's, and it was only after two of them were visited and/or contacted by some people we didn't know that Silver and Doulder both changed their minds on their findings, and actually, Silver only really backed down from testifying on our behalf. He never issued a contradictory report to my knowledge.

Here's my question to the forum and anyone else who might be interested - if it was so ridiculous that Spalding could have written those pages, then why such a big fuss over it? If indeed it was preposterous for Spalding to have written those pages, then why not just offer the evidence to show it? For that matter, why is it that no other naturalistic theory about the origin of the Book of Mormon gets the church leadership as upset as the Spalding-Rigdon theory? If it's so absurd, why waste so much effort trying to make it go away?

It is a fact that Howard's car was shot by someone with a .357 caliber weapon shortly after the first report about the handwriting was announced, and other people were also shot at within a few days of Howard. Also the print shop where the book was being printed was severely damaged and there were several bomb and death threats. Were these all coincidences? Again, if there was nothing to the experts' claims, why then all of the fuss?

That's pretty much all I have to say about it. It's "ancient" history now and we've all moved forward. As far as we're concerned, in light of all of the other evidence, the scribe pages don't really matter any more.

avmanart

Watch -- and learn.

UD

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Hi UD and everyone,

First of all, my name is Art Vanick and I believe that I can shed a little light on this subject, since I worked with Howard Davis, Wayne Cowdrey, and Donald Scales on their 1977 book. First of all, and not to sound nit-picky, the expert's name was William Kaye, and he was one of three handwriting experts that Davis et al hired to look at the unidentified scribe pages. Henry Silver and Howard Doulder were the other two experts on the case. Silver was the first one hired and at first he was the most adamant about the scribe pages being in Spalding's handwriting. I have the original copies of his reports. He not only gave a detailed report on the writing similarities but also gave a detailed report on the physical condition of Spalding without ever having done any prior research on Spalding's deteriorating physical condition. I would say that he was equal in experience and expertise in handwriting analysis to Kaye, but that is my opinion. Silver went on at great lengths initially about how Spalding had to be the scribe, that is until one day when Silver had been visited by some gentlemen who scared the living daylights out of him. Either then very next day or shortly afterward, he called a press conference and told the press that he would not testify on our behalf and withdrew from the case. We were approached by Doulder a few days later and when we did not agree to do something for him, he also publicly changed his mind. William Kaye never changed his mind and insisted to the day he died that the unidentified scribe pages were in Spalding's handwriting. The ched to me by the three experts, they were VERY sure that the handwriting was Spalding's, and it was only after two of them were visited and/or contacted by some people we didn't know that Silver and Doulder both changed their minds on their findings, and actually, Silver only really backed down from testifying on our behalf. He never issued a contradictory report to my knowledge.

Here's my question to the forum and anyone else who might be interested - if it was so ridiculous that Spalding could have written those pages, then why such a big fuss over it? If indeed it was preposterous for Spalding to have written those pages, then why not just offer the evidence to show it? For that matter, why is it that no other naturalistic theory about the origin of the Book of Mormon gets the church leadership as upset as the Spalding-Rigdon theory? If it's so absurd, why waste so much effort trying to make it go away?

It is a fact that Howard's car was shot by someone with a .357 caliber weapon shortly after the first report about the handwriting was announced, and other people were also shot at within a few days of Howard. Also the print shop where the book was being printed was severely damaged and there were several bomb and death threats. Were these all coincidences? Again, if there was nothing to the experts' claims, why then all of the fuss?

That's pretty much all I have to say about it. It's "ancient" history now and we've all moved forward. As far as we're concerned, in light of all of the other evidence, the scribe pages don't really matter any more.

avmanart

Where's Rod Serling when you really

Oh..that's right...dead

Dead and buried DECADES before the critical event in which critics need him to participate.

Mysterious- and wholly unsubstantiated- threats against our valiant and intrepid researchers? Mysterious shots in the dark? Looming and shadowy figures firing guns in the dark?

All I can say is that it's not Serling you need- it's Mulder and Scully....

....or Reynolds Wrap.

Just like Spaulding.

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I don't really know anything about it except handwriting forensics appears to have only about a 52% accuracy rate.

"No forensic technique has taken more hits than handwriting analysis. In one particularly devastating federal ruling, United States v. Saelee (2001), the court noted that forensic handwriting analysis techniques had seldom been tested, and that what testing had been done "raises serious questions about the reliability of methods currently in use." The experts were frequently wrong--in one test "the true positive accuracy rate of laypersons was the same as that of handwriting examiners; both groups were correct 52 percent of the time." The most basic principles of handwriting analysis--for example, that everyone's handwriting is unique--had never been demonstrated. "The technique of comparing known writings with questioned documents appears to be entirely subjective and entirely lacking in controlling standards," the court wrote. Testimony by the government's handwriting expert was ruled inadmissible. "

from:http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2447/is-handwriting-analysis-legit-science

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It is a fact that Howard's car was shot by someone with a .357 caliber weapon shortly after the first report about the handwriting was announced, and other people were also shot at within a few days of Howard. Also the print shop where the book was being printed was severely damaged and there were several bomb and death threats. Were these all coincidences? Again, if there was nothing to the experts' claims, why then all of the fuss?

Can you link to any old newspaper reports?

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...

That's pretty much all I have to say about it.

...

Hi again, Art --

In 1978 I went to see LDS Historian Leonard Arrington and through his

help was allowed to view all of the preserved "Dictated Manuscript" pages.

At that time they were cut from their original signatures, as single sheets

of long, narrow paper. In 1st Nephi, many of the pages had a title or heading,

sort of squeezed into what had been the top margin of the page.

It was then pointed out to me which of those headings were identified by

scribe, and which ones were not. All of the headings which were NOT otherwise

identified, were in the handwriting of one person -- the so-called "unidentified

scribe." It appeared to me that those headings were written at the tops of

the pages at the time they were composed -- perhaps shortly after the handwriting

for the main part of the page was written down.

Here is another sample of the "unidentified scribe's" handwriting ---->

D&C56a.jpg

The document dates to June of 1831 -- long after Spalding had died.

It cannot possibly be his handwriting. But it matches the headings

added by the "unknown scribe" in the BoM "Dictated Manuscript."

I do not think it possible that Solomon Spalding placed those headings

in his handwriting, atop blank pages, c. 1812-1816, waiting for somebody

to fill in the text at some future date.

As for the run of pages in the handwriting of the "unknown scribe" the

writing both begins and ends in the middle of a page -- in each case on

pages folded inside of a signature of several long, narrow pages.

So, for Spalding to have penned the writing in 1st Nephi, attributed

to the "unidentified scribe," he would, first of all, had to create

some 8-page signatures by folding large paper sheets into long, narrow

little booklets.

Them he would have had to open two of those booklets and begin writing

in mid-page, on an interior page of one signature -- and then have

continued writing into a secind signature of pages, and ceased his

story-telling, again in mid-page, in the interior of a booklet.

After doing all of that, he must have selected some seemingly random

blank pages and penned in cramped headings, right along the top edges

of those several blank pages.

If he did that, it makes no sense that he would have skipped a few

blank pages, here and there -- and that in 1829 a Mormon scribe

would have finished up the heading-writing job for him, by inserting

known handwriting along the previously blank top edges of signatures.

If the purported Spalding handwriting began and ended at page edges

(and not in mid-page) -- and if the writing began and ended at the

start and last pages of signatures -- and if the headings were all

in the same handwriting (and not alternating, cramped captions),

THEN I might be persuaded to think he had left some pages later

appropriated by Smith and inserted into the Book of Mormon.

But the paper and ink used on the signatures attributed to Spalding

is the same paper and ink found in the accompanying BoM MS signatures

from 1828-29. Unless Spalding bequeathed Joseph Smith a packet of

folded, blank signatures, I cannot possibly reason out how the

known Mormon scribes' handwriting from 1828-29 alternates with that

of Spalding (being the unidentified scribe).

If the handwriting experts had looked at the 1831 D&C section and

said it was the same penmanship as Spalding's, then I could have

understood their error. The 1831 handwriting is remarkably similar

to that of Spalding -- so much so, that it is possible that the

writer learned his cursive quill-writing in a Connecticut grammar

school at approximately the same time and place that Spalding first

learned to write.

At least those were my findings in 1978.

If the Mormons will let me take a second look, I'd be happy to do so.

Dale

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Shortcomings of Handwriting Analysis.

While an expert analyst can detect many instances of forgery, a good simulation can be undetectable. One example of a forgery the experts missed is the case of the "lost" Hitler diaries. (Although there's a good reason why they missed it.)

In the 1980s, a man named Konrad Kujau, a supposed collector of Nazi memorabilia, approached a German publishing company with 60 handwritten journals purported to be written by Adolf Hitler that had, according to Kujau, just been discovered in the wreckage of an airplane that had left Germany after World War II. The texts seemed to be genuine, and Kujau had an apparently good reputation, so the publishing company paid $2.3 million for the lot. The diaries were immediately published in installment form in a German newspaper owned by the same publishing company, and syndication rights were sold to several international publications, including The London Times. It was The Times that requested a professional handwriting analysis to ensure authenticity.

Three international experts in forensic handwriting analysis compared the diaries to exemplars that were apparently known to be written by Hitler. All agreed that the diaries were written by the same person who wrote the exemplars. The diaries were for real.

It was an analysis of the ink and paper used to write the diaries that revealed them as fakes. An ultraviolet-light examination revealed that the paper contained an ingredient that wasn't used in paper until 1954. Hitler died in 1945. Further forensic tests on the ink showed it had been applied to the paper within the last 12 months. As it turns out, though, the handwriting analysis was in fact correct - the person who'd written the diaries had also written the exemplars. Kujau, later found out to be an experienced con artist, had also forged the exemplars the police were using as comparison documents.

The Hitler diaries debacle is an extreme case of fraud and expert forgery that spanned every stage of the analysis. And while this level of expertise is seldom found in forgeries, the fact remains that if the investigation had relied on handwriting analysis alone, the "lost Hitler diaries" would now be part of the history books. Some other issues affecting the accuracy of handwriting analysis include:

  • You can't make a meaningful comparison between uppercase and lowercase letters.
  • Drugs, exhaustion or illness can significantly alter a person's handwriting.
  • The quality of the exemplars determines the quality of a comparison analysis, and good exemplars can be hard to come by.

­In the initial comparison work done in the case of John Mark Karr, who confessed in August 2006 to the 1996 murder of six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey in Colorado, the ransom note found in the Ramsey house was long enough to be useful as one side of the equation, but finding good exemplars was an issue. In a series of preliminary handwriting analyses, documents expert John Hargett, former head of document analysis at the U.S. Secret Service, compared the ransom note to two exemplars: a yearbook inscription written when Karr was in high school and a job application Karr filled out in Thailand. Hargett found no matches, although the results were inconclusive because the yearbook inscription was written more than 20 years ago and in an artistic writing style, and Karr filled out the Thailand job application in all uppercase letters, while the ransom note was written in both uppercase and lowercase letters. DNA testing later made further handwriting comparisons unnecessary, as Karr's DNA was not a match for the DNA found on JonBenet's body.

Certainly the most significant shortcoming of handwriting analysis as a science is the fact that it is ultimately subjective. This means that its acceptance in the scientific community and as evidence in court has historically been shaky. Only recently, as the training of analysts has become more standardized and certification procedures have been put in place, has handwriting analysis started to gain more acceptance as a reproducible, peer-reviewed scientific process. The results of a handwriting comparison are still not always accepted as evidence in a court case, partly because the science has a few more hurdles to clear, including determining a reliable error rate in analysis and setting standards for the comparison process. The addition of computerized handwriting analysis systems to the process, including the FISH (Forensic Information System for Handwriting) system, which allows examiners to scan in handwritten documents and digitize the comparison process, may speed up the process of general acceptance of handwriting analysis as a science and as expert evidence in court.

Source: http://science.howst...g-analysis2.htm

FYI I can change my writing style anytime . I can write papers in Hawaiian, English and Spanish. The only reason I don't write in Kanji (Japanese style) is it's a pain and tedious to learn. All in different styles and in different context. I have written my signature so many ways and I know that many signatures variate from each person over time an age. When I write in Hawaiian my style is totally far different in penmanship then would be if I wrote in English word for word. I still believe handwriting analysis is pseudo-science that may belong in CSI, but not in real courts.

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...

If the handwriting experts had looked at the 1831 D&C section and

said it was the same penmanship as Spalding's, then I could have

understood their error.

...

I think it is important here to point out that quill pen writing is a bit

different from metal pen writing. A handwriting expert who examines

documents from the early 19th century, needs to have some experience

with quill pen writing, and with the cursive scripts taught in grammar

schools during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Since I first examined the Book of Mormon manuscript pages in 1978, I have

had the opportunity to browse through literally hundreds of old handwritten

documents. I was a constant visitor at the Oberlin College Archives in

1979-81, and very carefully examined all of their documents in Spalding's

handwriting, many times over.

I dare say that I am the ONLY contributor to this on-line forum who has

studied BOTH the LDS Dictated Manuscript for the Book of Mormon AND

the Oberlin Spalding documents --- with a magnifying glass -- taking notes.

When Jerald Tanner showed me the 1831 D&C section photocopy of the

"unidentified scribe" handwriting, I was amazed at how closely resembled

Spalding's penmanship. But Jerald pointed out a number of significant

differences between the letter formation on Spalding's writings and the

1831 D&C manuscript. The resemblance is remarkable -- but anybody who

carefully examines that page, side-by-side with Spalding, will eventually

see the differences in letter formation.

The 1831 D&C handwriting resembles the BoM "unidentified scribe" MORE

CLOSELY than it resembles Spalding. In fact, when the 1831 document is

laid side-by-side with the BoM pages attributed to Spalding, any examiner

will eventually discern that all the letter formations are the same in

the two sets of writing.

I wish that the "handwriting experts" had also examined the 1831 D&C section.

Had they done so, they might have initially attributed it to Spalding. However,

if they also took the trouble to acquaint themselves with late 18th century

New England cursive scripts, written with quill pens, then, I think they

would have determined that the 1831 D&C page was written by the 1st Nephi

"unidentified scribe."

TROR-02.jpg

M=Book of Mormon MS / S=Spalding Oberlin MS

Whoever he was, he was not Solomon Spalding.

Dale

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What when this story first broke, the Church News published a detailed article by Dean Jesse, which included photographs of the relevant handwriting from Spalding, the Book of Mormon, and the D&C scribe. (I think I still have my copy at home somewhere.) The difference from Spalding was obvious. What was not obvious was why anyone would suppose identity in the first place. The whole thing collapsed very quickly, and the "experts" quickly backpedaled.

Kevin Christensen

Pittsburgh, PA

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For that matter, why is it that no other naturalistic theory about the origin of the Book of Mormon gets the church leadership as upset as the Spalding-Rigdon theory? If it's so absurd, why waste so much effort trying to make it go away?

Just how much effort is the LDS church going to to make the Spalding-Rigdon theory go away? How upset is the church leadership about it?

I don't really see much effort or concern at all, but I'm the first to admit I'm not in the know on any of that. Do you have any examples?

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Here's my question to the forum and anyone else who might be interested - if it was so ridiculous that Spalding could have written those pages, then why such a big fuss over it? If indeed it was preposterous for Spalding to have written those pages, then why not just offer the evidence to show it? For that matter, why is it that no other naturalistic theory about the origin of the Book of Mormon gets the church leadership as upset as the Spalding-Rigdon theory? If it's so absurd, why waste so much effort trying to make it go away?

It is a fact that Howard's car was shot by someone with a .357 caliber weapon shortly after the first report about the handwriting was announced, and other people were also shot at within a few days of Howard. Also the print shop where the book was being printed was severely damaged and there were several bomb and death threats. Were these all coincidences? Again, if there was nothing to the experts' claims, why then all of the fuss?

Black

Helicopters

Are

A

Go

Terminate

With

Extreme

Prejudice

:P

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...

Prejudice

...

Over on the message board "whose name shall not be mentioned" some of us recently

guessed that Howard's car was shot at by irate Book of Mormon defending fundamentalists.

The guess is not really that crazy. There are internet archived death threats

against myself, for my saying the book was a 19th century production. The BoM

believer who threatened to assassinate me still has a high profile website that's

up and running.

Years back, when I was investigating the relatively benign polyg group ran

by Rulon C. Allred, I heard first hand accounts of assassination attempts.

Again, when I was in Independence in 2000, I met with the sister of a member

of the Jeff Lundgren cult -- members of which carried out murders within their

own ranks, and who have threatened to assassinate "Gentiles and apostates."

The CofJCofLDS people may think they are the only Book of Mormon defenders

on the face of the earth -- but if you want to get a sharp wake-up call on

that score, just walk up and down the streets of Manti with a signboard

reading "Moroni is a Fake!" -- or show up at the FLDS temple, to pass out

free copies of Ed Decker videos.

I was corresponding with Howard when his car was shot at on an Orange County

freeway (if I recall correctly). The cops investigated the case. There are

probably records of the incident somewhere.

Let's stick to exposing the true fakes (like the handwriting "experts") and

leave documented facts to stand for themselves.

Yer Unk

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It's Sidney Rigdon, obviously.

Byron Marchant advocates this theory -- based upon his study of

Rigdon's early handwriting.

The problem with Rigdon, is that his penmanship is "all over the place."

The nicely-signed Kirtland banknotes were probably mostly the copyist

work of Warren Parrish and F. G. Williams. Looking at other, more reliably

authenticated Rigdon writing, it varies from illegible chicken scratchings

to carefully crafted calligraphy.

I think Sidney Rigdon is a serious candidate for multiple personality

disorder, complete with alternating personas and changing handwriting.

Did he write "Hearken, o ye people......." -- probably not. Byron is

reading too much of his own prejudgement into his document inspections.

UD

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Over on the message board "whose name shall not be mentioned" some of us recently

guessed that Howard's car was shot at by irate Book of Mormon defending fundamentalists.

The guess is not really that crazy. There are internet archived death threats

against myself, for my saying the book was a 19th century production. The BoM

believer who threatened to assassinate me still has a high profile website that's

up and running.

Years back, when I was investigating the relatively benign polyg group ran

by Rulon C. Allred, I heard first hand accounts of assassination attempts.

Again, when I was in Independence in 2000, I met with the sister of a member

of the Jeff Lundgren cult -- members of which carried out murders within their

own ranks, and who have threatened to assassinate "Gentiles and apostates."

The CofJCofLDS people may think they are the only Book of Mormon defenders

on the face of the earth -- but if you want to get a sharp wake-up call on

that score, just walk up and down the streets of Manti with a signboard

reading "Moroni is a Fake!" -- or show up at the FLDS temple, to pass out

free copies of Ed Decker videos.

I was corresponding with Howard when his car was shot at on an Orange County

freeway (if I recall correctly). The cops investigated the case. There are

probably records of the incident somewhere.

Let's stick to exposing the true fakes (like the handwriting "experts") and

leave documented facts to stand for themselves.

Yer Unk

You are quite correct in your assesment. The parties indicated may well have been shot at. Such shots could very well have come from apostate group members. I must add however over the years I have met one or two who maintained membership in

COJCOLDS who were capable of such action.

The thing I would refute is the intimation that such actions were concieved and initiated by leaders of COJCOLDS.

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here is my take on the Unknown Scribe pasted above v. Spaulding. I am not clear on whether the "unknown scribe" penmanship is being attributed to Spualding or if it is just the grammatical usage. If the argument is for penmanship then I offer my insight.

Comparisons:

character set "th" are very similar.

character "p" are very similar.

other characters seem similar.

Differences:

Unknown Scribe words ending in "d", the "d" is very stylized consistently.

Spaulding manuscript do not have this consistency

Unknown Scribe words ending in "r" are stylized consistently.

This stylized "r" is not found in Spauldings writings.

Unknown Scribe the term "shall" is consistently misspelled "shal"

Spaulding manuscripts "shall" is spelled "shall" (see HENRY LAKE'S MARCH 1811 CONTRACT and S. Spaulding letter to Josiah Spaulding )

Uknown Scribe "shal" is begins with a singular lower case "s" which is separated from the other letters

Spualding "shall" begins with a stylized "s" that looks more like a "f" - I am aware that at some point in US written English an "s" character looked like a modern "f" (see HENRY LAKE'S MARCH 1811 CONTRACT and S. Spaulding letter to Josiah Spaulding ) (this stylized s is used consistently on words beginning with "s"

Unknown Scribe character "I" in singular form is lower case "i"

Spaulding wrote singular form "I" in upper case.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My conclusion, the individualistic stylized characters in the "unknown scribe" document above that do not match with Spaulding. One would expect to find personal stylization consistently throughout ones own writings.

frankenstein personal note: I could show a letter for letter exact comparison - using the same word - between Spualding (RIP 1816) and my mother (born 1939)

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here is my take on the Unknown Scribe pasted above v. Spaulding. I am not clear on whether the "unknown scribe" penmanship is being attributed to Spualding or if it is just the grammatical usage. If the argument is for penmanship then I offer my insight.

Comparisons:

character set "th" are very similar.

character "p" are very similar.

other characters seem similar.

Differences:

Unknown Scribe words ending in "d", the "d" is very stylized consistently.

Spaulding manuscript do not have this consistency

Unknown Scribe words ending in "r" are stylized consistently.

This stylized "r" is not found in Spauldings writings.

Unknown Scribe the term "shall" is consistently misspelled "shal"

Spaulding manuscripts "shall" is spelled "shall" (see HENRY LAKE'S MARCH 1811 CONTRACT and S. Spaulding letter to Josiah Spaulding )

Uknown Scribe "shal" is begins with a singular lower case "s" which is separated from the other letters

Spualding "shall" begins with a stylized "s" that looks more like a "f" - I am aware that at some point in US written English an "s" character looked like a modern "f" (see HENRY LAKE'S MARCH 1811 CONTRACT and S. Spaulding letter to Josiah Spaulding ) (this stylized s is used consistently on words beginning with "s"

Unknown Scribe character "I" in singular form is lower case "i"

Spaulding wrote singular form "I" in upper case.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My conclusion, the individualistic stylized characters in the "unknown scribe" document above that do not match with Spaulding. One would expect to find personal stylization consistently throughout ones own writings.

frankenstein personal note: I could show a letter for letter exact comparison - using the same word - between Spualding (RIP 1816) and my mother (born 1939)

I pretty much agree -- as would Dean Jessee and the late Jerald Tanner.

The LDS "unknown scribe" may well qualify for having the handwriting most

similar (CLOSEST) to Spalding's, in all the 1820s and 1830s Mormon documents ---

but, unless we're playing a game of horseshoes here, I don't think that

"CLOSE" really counts for much.

UD

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For that matter, why is it that no other naturalistic theory about the origin of the Book of Mormon gets the church leadership as upset as the Spalding-Rigdon theory? If it's so absurd, why waste so much effort trying to make it go away?

I really would like to see some evidence of this. Serious question.

There is one article on lds.org that deals with this issue and it's not from church leadership: http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=0&sourceId=a8e394bf3938b010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD

So what is the "much effort" that has been wasted?

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