The Dale R. Broadhurst
For a Comparative Study of the
Solomon Spaulding Manuscript
The Book of Mormon
submitted to: Dr. Jeffery Holland
Commissioner of the LDS
Church Educational System
on: August 13, 1979
For a Comparative Study of the Textual Affinities
in the Solomon Spaulding Manuscript and The Book of Mormon
I. A DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPOSED RESEARCH
A Description of the Proposed Research
Abstract of the Proposal
The "Spaulding Issue" has been with the Restoration Movement since the Kirtland days of 1833 and has been the source or the primary support of countless efforts directed against the restoration. The publication of the long lost Spaulding Manuscript in 1885 brought a temporary lull to these efforts, as it had become obvious to all that the Book of Mormon was not a copy of that romance on the former inhabitants of America.
However, before long a number of investigators began to report what they felt were unusual parallels between the published manuscript and the Book of Mormon. Such reports added fuel to a new wave of efforts to connect the Nephite record with the writings of Solomon Spaulding. The most recent of these attempts was the subject of nation-wide news coverage in 1977.
It is proposed that a careful and comprehensive study of the two texts now be carried out so that once and for all a definitive statement can be made in regard to the nature, scope and magnitude of all textual parallels and affinities which occur in the two works. Initial efforts in this direction were recently completed in a model study of a portion of the Spaulding text. The unexpected findings resulting from that study clearly indicate that further inquiry into the matter now needs to be carried out by a responsible researcher.*
* See Appendices C & D attached to this proposal.
This writer will be engaged in graduate studies in the immediate vicinity of the repository of the Spaulding Manuscript for a period of two academic years beginning in October of this year. As I will be studying the pioneer history of the Kirtland area and also the scientific analysis and criticism of scriptural texts, I propose that I be supported by the Church in my continued research beyond the model study already completed.
Until a comprehensive study of the two texts is completed and its results compiled, the Church will not have a definitive basis from which to draw detailed information for confirmation or refutation of the claims of those who seek to make the text of the Book of Mormon dependent upon the pre-existing Spaulding romance. Such a study is now easily possible and should be given immediate and full support by the Church.
A DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPOSED RESEARCH
I. DESCRIPTIVE TITLE:
A Comparison of the Textual Affinities in the Solomon Spaulding Manuscript and the Book of Mormon.
II. SPECIFIC PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED:
No comprehensive listing of affinities between the Spaulding MS and the text for the original 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon presently exists.
III. FORMAT OF THE SOLUTION:
It is proposed that:
V. PERSONNEL AND TIMELINE:
It is anticipated that all research and rough draft writing could be conducted by one primary researcher, given the assistance of a part-time research aide/secretary and the consultant resources available within the two major restoration churches.
VI. NAME AND STATUS OF THE RESEARCHER:
Dale R. Broadhurst
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Methods to be Used in the Proposed Research
A Condensed Report on a Model Study
in the cataloging of textual affinities
Conducted by Dale R. Broadhurst
In April and July of 1979
Methods to be Used in the Proposed Research
A model of the procedure to be followed in the proposed cataloging of the vocabulary and phraseology of the Spaulding MS has been formulated and already tested in two instances to date. In April of 1879 I transcribed and cataloged two pages of the Spaulding MS. The transcripts were matched against the text of the current LDS edition of the Book of Mormon and all commonalities were tabulated.
Following this work I carried out a casual reading of the published editions of the Spaulding story and noted a great number of instances of commonality very similar to those which I had found in comparing the two transcribed pages with the Nephite record. This reading resulted in the construction of a list of textual parallels which, along with other material, was incorporated into a report sent in June of 1978 to the Historian's Office of the RLDS Church in Independence, Missouri.*
In July of 1979 the model study was repeated using new photocopies of the MS obtained with the assistance of the Special Collections Department of the Harold B. Lee Library at B[righam] Y[oung] U[niversity], and an 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon. This second application of study methods proved very effective in the cataloging of all the major affinities occurring on the two MS pages transcribed. The steps followed are given below. The resulting transcripts and a portion of the lists appear as appendices to this proposal.
* Broadhurst, Dale R. "A Preliminary List of Textual Affinities Between the Spaulding MS and the Book of Mormon," June 1979, unpublished report.
The Model Study Procedure
1. Two consecutive pages of the manuscript of the Spaulding story were selected for study. This selection was primarily made due to a complete short story being contained on these two pages. It was felt that such a short story might well be a representative sample of the vocabulary and structure of the greater text of the romance.
2. A true word-for-word transcript was made of the two MS pages from photocopies of the original.
3. A concordance of the said MS transcript was than constructed.
4. Each word in the MS concordance was then compared with the listings in an LDS concordance of the Book of Mormon.
Those words which were identical or nearly identical in both texts were then typed up in their alphabetical order.
5. From the list developed in step 4 it was then ascertained which phrases, clauses and word groupings from Spaulding's sentences had some likelihood of occurrence in the Book of Mormon. These selections were than matched against the Book of Mormon concordance and an 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon and all parallel occurrences were listed.
6. Expected common parallel word groups such as "to be their" and other short groups of a similar nature were separated from the listing.
An adjusted list of word groups common to both texts was then arranged in a worksheet concordance format, using one or more words from each group as index words.
7. All those instances of phrasing which appeared highly unlikely to occur in two unrelated texts were then investigated in depth, using he word group list, the Book of Mormon concordance and the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon.
Each such occurrence noted was read carefully in the context of the stories of both works. Further parallels were sought, such as previously unnoticed parallel words occurring at points separated from the main bodies of common phraseology.
8. Examples of two or more identified parallel word groups appearing in close conjunction in either text were carefully searched out and listed when found. Also, examples of very high word counts of common vocabulary
in the two works, which did not necessarily form into parallel word groups were noted.
9. When all such instances of greater textual commonality were noted, those instances with the largest or most "unusual" occurrences of affinities were once again carefully read in each work for possible commonalities of structure or theme. Where such occurred they were carefully noted and the greater body of text surrounding them was again searched for parallels in thought which might not necessarily be expressed in common wording.
In this manner parallels in textual development which extended beyond the scope of the preliminary word lists were discovered and studied.
10. Finally, all major parallels of wording and/or thought were typed up in a comparative format with comments following each instance.
Elements of textual study missing from the model study:
1. Grammar per se was not closely studied. Advanced grammatical analysis was decided to be beyond the present capabilities of the researcher and also a tool which should be applied at a later stage of investigation, after a greater body of vocabulary affinities have been listed.
2. Quantitative comparisons of word counts were not attempted. This type of analysis must await the cataloging of more than just two pages of the MS to have a statistical significance. When a representative sampling of the whole work has been completed (at least half of the chapters) then such statistical methods can be employed.
3. The commonalities were not consistently compared with other literary works known to have predated the texts and which have been suspected by some as possible influences on either the Rev. Mr. Spaulding or Joseph Smith, Jr. Again, it was felt that such study awaits the compilation of a greater body of common text from the two works.
A few of the most unusual parallels were matched against a copy of Ethan Smith's View of the Hebrews. The same parallels were compared with the "King James" edition of the Bible containing the Apocrypha and a few interesting correlations were found. Such work was exploratory only.
4. Automatic data manipulation was not used. This is perhaps the most serious deficiency in the model study. Future work must use modern systems of data storage and retrieval. Funds were not available for the use of this tool in the model study.
Application of the Model to a Larger Study
Only two pages of MS text were analyzed in the model study. In such a limited search the parallels found, however unusual or unexpected, are of very limited value in and of themselves. Only when they are compared to the larger patterns of word usage in the texts of both works can such parallels become useful in formulating conclusions as to why they exist. I was familiar with the content of the larger body of text for each of the two works and was able to formulate some working notions as to what types of affinities might be found in my search; but this kind of personal intuition cannot be relied upon for an in-depth analysis of the information already gathered or that suspected to exist. Interpretations await a comprehensive study of the two texts.
The format of the model study can be applied to a larger study. The most reasonable format appears to be a comparison of the texts based upon the MS chapter breakdown. This approach would allow for adjustment and refinement of the procedure before an over-all comparison is attempted. The comparisons should be effected through the use of computer programs especially written for comparative literature analysis. This would allow the results of the chapter studies to be stored and integrated into the eventual comprehensive study.
When such work has been finished, any larger more sweeping parallels in theme and structure can be established or ruled out once and for all. With the completion of quantitative analysis, the textual relationships (if any) between the Spaulding romance and The Book of Mormon would at last be put into a format which both the proponents and the opponents of the Spaulding Theory could study, extend or dissect in any manner desired.
Justification for the Proposed Comprehensive Study
The model study discussed above was formulated as a small experiment to gather findings which would either indicate the possibility of a textual relationship between the Spaulding story and the Book of Mormon or indicate the improbability of such an internal relationship. Such a limited sampling was expected to produce only limited results. The discovery of a few minor correlations seemed possible but little was expected beyond that. Surprisingly, some patterns began to appear in the final stages of the study which were quite alarming. These patterns point toward the probability of there being much more than only superficial similarities in the two texts examined.
A common story plot with a number of sequential parallels was found to exist both in the two pages examined and in certain portions of the Book of Mormon. The finding of such significant parallels in vocabulary and structure in the examination of only two pages of text in the MS called for further serious investigation.
After a lengthy review of over 140 years accumulation of literature on the subject, I came away with the distinct feeling that my small discoveries might well be only a part in a greater pattern of parallels between the two texts. In a number of instances I found faulty reasoning or sloppy examinational methodology on the part of past writers on the subject, but in almost as many cases I found examples where previous investigators had "hit" upon instances of structural commonality which, when all added together, definitely call for an explanation. There is a real and a growing need to examine this whole issue from a new perspective.
The "anti-Mormon" writers of the past have used the Spaulding theory again and again as a basis for their attacks upon the restoration and there is little reason to believe that the motivation for such efforts has disappeared. Indeed, the recent (1977) efforts of some individuals to renew the Spaulding theory is probably only the beginning of a new wave of assault rather than the end. The thought of textual comparison as a tool in this effort has been raised by the same individuals who raised the handwriting issue recently.
I do not emphasize this aspect as an area for possible embarrassment for the priesthood of the restoration churches or as a potential financial problem, but for another much more basic reason.
The restoration movement is not built of meeting-houses, books, classrooms, temples, or theology, but of individual Saints who collectively form the body of Christ in these latter days. Some members of the body have talents, skills and resources in surplus but many others are still in positions of beginning growth and development; their testimony of Christ in their lives and of the reality of his restored gospel may be frail and their ability to withstand the assaults of the world may be weak. Others at a similar level of commitment on the outside of the movement may never come to the decision for baptism because of their faulty understanding of the nature of our modern scriptures. It is especially on the behalf of such Saints and potential Saints (and there have been times that I would have included myself in their midst) that I ask that the restoration leaders actively support efforts to study, comprehend and teach the true nature of the latter day scriptures. Such efforts should be begun anew in each generation, so that testimony building becomes a unique personal experience founded upon the events of contemporary life and not solely upon the fading assurances of past generations.
A continually growing comprehension and understanding of the true nature and the essential message of the Book of Mormon is critical for any body of Saints who plan to continue its use internally and to offer it externally to the increasingly sophisticated and skeptical secular society on the outside of the Church. If there is some previously undiscovered relationship between our Book of Mormon and other pre-existing literary works we should take the matter as a challenge and be- in the forefront of the investigation of the matter. Thus, I strongly feel that a new study of the nature of the text of the Nephite record, a study which would incorporate the methodology of comparative textual analysis, will be of inestimable value to those who would continue to support its message in the future which is ahead of us.
MEANS TO CARRY OUT THE PROPOSED RESEARCH
It is proposed that the direction, investigation and compilation in the project be centered in a single primary researcher. Ideally such a person should have an advanced education in the modern scriptures, restoration history, philology and literary criticism with a specialty in early 19th century manuscript fiction. As I know of no such individual, I instead suggest myself as an interested and highly motivated researcher who has already spent hundreds of hours in developing the basis for this project.
Such an effort cannot be carried out by one person alone however, and the need for a part-time research aide/secretary will be understood by anyone who contemplates the scope of the project. It is proposed that this aide be paid as a direct temporary employee of the Church with whatever fringe benefits are appropriate for such a position.
The need for a consultant philologist with some understanding of early 19th century American fiction is also primary. Such a consultant would assist in defining the details for textual investigation and would be available to assist in the analysis of the data gathered and compiled. It is suggested that the Church search its personnel resources for such a person who would be available on an "as needed" basis.
Data processing personnel will also be needed on a continuing basis, especially for programming purposes. Such services could be solicited from a professional firm but the use of technicians from the business offices of the Church should also be considered.
- 17 & 18 -
BOOK OF MORMON RESEARCH PROPOSAL
The [Oberlin] Solomon Spaulding Manuscript
Extract for MS pages 154 & 155
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The Solomon Spaulding Manuscript was first transcribed in the Spring of 1885 by Mr. L[ewis] L. Rice of Punahou, Hawaii. who then possessed the manuscript. In a letter to RLDS President Joseph Smith III, dated May 14, 1885, Mr. Rice stated: "...I have made a literal copy of the entire document -- errors of orthography, grammar, erasures, and all -- which I shall keep in my possession..." (letter printed in the Saints' Herald, July 11, 1885.) This Transcript was given by Mr. Rice to Joseph F. Smith, the second counselor to LDS President John Taylor. President Smith in turn sent the Rice transcript to the Deseret News in Salt Lake City for publication.
The original manuscript was sent by Mr. Rice to Oberlin College in northern Ohio, where it was examined by RLDS Apostle William H. Kelley in July of 1885. At Kelley's request a transcript was made under the supervision of the President of Oberlin College. This transcript was used to prepare an excerpt of the romance which was published in the Saints' Herald, in the August 8, 1885 issue. This was the first publication of the work, though it had been briefly summarized earlier in the Deseret News. The entire story was published in booklet form by the RLDS Church later that year.
The LDS Rice transcript was published in booklet form in 1886. Both the RLDS and the LDS editions of the Spaulding story were later reprinted by their respective publishers and have again been reprinted in recent years by [persons] outside of the two churches.
A comparison of the RLDS and the LDS editions shows numerous differences between the two transcripts as printed. These differences can be attributed primarily to differing interpretations of the Spaulding handwriting and to differing reconstructions for gaps in the text cause by MS lacunae.
The 1885 RLDS edition title page
A close examination of both the RLDS and the LDS printed transcripts also shows misprints and scribal errors to be evident in both publications. Although these discrepancies tend to be of little consequence in the great majority of cases, they are enough to render both printed editions unreliable for use by the serious student of the work. A new correct transcript is necessary before textual analysis can be undertaken on the Spaulding MS. The original is yet to be published in reproduction form, so the student of
The 1886 LDS edition title page
the work must either work from photographs or journey to Ohio to obtain access to the actual manuscript. To alleviate the problem this writer has begun a new transcript of the MS based upon the study of photocopies of the original. In preparing this transcript I have consulted the two published editions but have not yet studied the original MS at Oberlin College. I expect to prepare a corrected copy at a later date.
In preparing the following transcript I have used the following textual signs: the parenthesis, the slash mark, the insertion mark, and numerical line indications. The latter are given in consecutive numbering beginning with 01 in each MS page transcribed. The parenthesis are used to enclose reconstructed text. Spaulding's original deletions are indicated by slash marks through deleted letters. Such deletions are shown only in the cases where whole words or recognizable portions of words have been removed from the text. Cross-outs of stray marks and occasional letters are not shown, as though the letters had never been entered into the text in the first place. Spaulding's original additions are indicated with insertion marks. The dashes occurring throughout the text are Spaulding's own; they are used often in place of periods and occasionally in conjunction with periods.
The Oberlin Spaulding Manuscript
Pages 154-155 Notes
MS page 154:
The name Hamko is Spaulding's revision of the name Hamkien. In line 28 Hamko is written over Hamkien. In line 35 Spaulding did not correct the original name, probably by oversight. This letter fact is important, for it may indicate that Spaulding had not carefully re-read this manuscript in order to make revisions of the type which would have had to be made before a printer could have set the text for publication.
MS page 155:
The name Haloon shows signs of having been changed from Haboon[/Hakoon]. The word again on line 36 was written over some other indecipherable word. The changing of you to ye appears to be a rather unusual case of re-thinking on Spaulding's part. What his reasoning was in making such a change is now difficult to determine, but he may have been having thoughts of staying closer to the archaic forms similar to those [found] in the "King James" English of earlier times.
The Oberlin Spaulding Manuscript
Extract for MS pages 154 and 155
Note 4.: I typed up the original concordance extract for pages 154 and 155 in August of 1979, prior to my personal inspection of the Solomon Spalding holograph on file in the Oberlin College Archives. Since that time I have prepared a more extensive and reliable computerized concordance for the Spalding MS. As this more recent work was speedily carried out with the help of a computer database management program, spreadsheet processing, spell-check functions, etc., the results obtained were far less problematic than the outcome of my prior hand-work (as outlined on page 30 of this Proposal). The new concordance is an unpublished, computer word-processor format document, the contents of which cover the entire 171 pages of text found in the Oberlin holograph. At some future date I will re-compile this digital concordance as an html resource, utilizing the resources of William A. Williams' on-line concordance program and the accompanying Spalding e-text available at HTTP://WWW.concordance.COM/mormon.htm.
In re-formatting pages 31-51 of my "Book of Mormon Research Grant Proposal" as a web-document I have revised the concordance extract in some places to match the contents of my more recently compiled word-processor text. Because of this re-formatting and revision of the presented data, the results offered here differ slightly from those in the 1979 original for pages 31-51.
Dale R. Broadhurst
So far as I know this is the first attempt ever made to prepare a concordance of the text from the Spalding MS. Were it not for the fact that the work has a been a subject of great controversy for so many years, I seriously doubt that such an effort could have ever been thought to be a worthwhile use of [anyone's] time.
Only MS pages 154 and 155 were used in this effort, since it was conceived as a tool for working within the narrow limits of the model study of those two pages. Such a task is not quickly done, even when so limited. Each word occurring in the previously prepared transcript was listed along with the surrounding words of the contextual setting an in turn, that list was physically cut up and pasted back together in alphabetic order. The use of such crude methods lengthened the task to a period of several days of continual work. It is therefore highly suggested that any future extension of this labor be carried out through the use of modern, automatic data processing equipment.
The following words [did] not appear in the [original 1979] list due to their ubiquity and numerous instance of occurrence. They are given here to complete the listing for quantitative [analysis] purposes.*
* Some word counts and spellings may differ slightly from those stated in 1979 original document,
due to my use of the 1980 revised text in the concordance tables. For the revised transcripts please see MS page 154 and MS page 155.
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The [Oberlin] Solomon Spaulding Manuscript
Extract for MS pages 154 and 155
Selected Book of Mormon Passages
Note 5.: I prepared in the original textual comparisons tabulation and its accompanying discussion in August of 1979, prior to my initiating the Spalding Research Project (SRP) in Ohio at the beginning of 1980. In the 1979 model study I conducted a comparative textual investigation only for the MS material found on pages 154 and 155. This study was not comprehensive, in that all the word groupings identifiable on those two pages were not tabulated in juxtaposition with an exhaustive list of the same, or very similar word groupings identifiable in the Book of Mormon text.
[The Use of Textual Comparisons]
The Solomon Spaulding MS contains many of the same words which we find in the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon. This is to be expected in that both works were written down in the same general area of the country and in about the same time-span (between 1812 and 1829). Obviously the English language commonly used in northwestern Ohio in 1812 and that used in northern New York state in 1829 were practically the same. We might expect the vocabulary of a college educated man (Spaulding) to be somewhat different from that of an uneducated farm-boy (Smith) but the element of "inspired translation" in the coming forth of the Book of Mormon makes it difficult for us to limit Joseph Smith's English to the aforesaid category. Actually, the word-lists of the two works are not so very dissimilar; the main difference between the two is that Smith appears to have drawn upon "King James" biblical language much more heavily than did Spaulding.
We can also expect the Spaulding text to contain a number of word groupings nearly identical to selected passages from the Book of Mormon. Such expressions as " according to the and on both sides appear to be innocuous in and of themselves and it should come as no surprise that such phrasing is common to both works. It is only when such parallel phraseology occurs in unusual patterns or in an unusual number of instances that we need be very concerned with it. If, for instance, the first few pages of the Book of Mormon were comprised only of such parallels, that would be a highly unusual situation requiring [our] closer investigation. Or, if several Book of Mormon pages contained a number of parallel expressions in the exact same order as their occurrence in the Spaulding romance, then we would be forced to look at the matter more closely.*
* For a discussion on degrees of significance in vocabulary parallels between the two works see Hugh Nibley's "The Comparative Method" in The Improvement Era vol. 62 no. 10 (Oct. 1959) o. 744.
In the two pages which I have closely examined (MS p. 154 & 155) I have not noticed any occurrences of the magnitude of the theoretical cases pointed out above. What a more comprehensive view of both works might show I am unable to say at this point [in my ] of study of the two texts. Beyond the expected affinities in the two texts there are however, some word combinations common to both works which are really quite unexpected. I have attempted to compile a list of all the parallels as they occur in the two MS pages, including these unexpected examples. In each case, after giving the Spaulding quote, I have then listed one or more Book of Mormon passages which have the same word usage and structure. Often two Book of Mormon passages are required to match the entire wording of a single Spaulding quote, In such cases the entire train of thought is not the same in any one place in the portions of both works which were examined; what is being shown is the fact that The Book of Mormon does contain the same word usage, even though either case noted is only a partial textual commonality. Some of the examples show that the writers of the two works used the exact same words to express the exact same thought. Such examples may show some common element which entered into the formulations of both texts. Such intangible "elements" are not necessarily related only to a common authorship or direct plagiarism, but rather are part of a greater set of many possible answers to why such commonalities occur. Thus, while such textual commonalities may indicate a direct relationship between the two texts, they do not necessarily prove that such a relationship ever existed. The listing is followed by a short discussion of some of the more unusual affinities occurring on MS pages 154 & 155 and in the Book of Mormon.
The title page of the 1830 Palmyra edition of the Book of Mormon
Note: This edition is used for all citations unless otherwise specified
- end [of tabulation] -
Discussion: Part One
In the above list I have pointed out forty-four instances of parallel wording in the two MS pages [as compared with] the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon. Some of these examples seem to be of the expected variety. At the same; in a situation; and in order to are representative of this first type. Other examples are [of a] much less expected [type], such as: all who fell into there hands; whispers me; into the camp of the; in a profound sleep; the destruction of their enemies; sallied forth; fell . . . with a groan; and he cast his eyes on the.
Space does not permit a detailed exegesis of each Book of Mormon passage cited above, so I'll limit my exploration to that of [just] one example. In the story by Spaulding two warriors of the opposing sides in a great war meet each other in single combat. One was killed and "fell with a groan." This image if a dying foe giving out one last groan as he falls appears to have appealed to Spaulding, for he used the identical element on MS page 148
line 14, in the telling of a similar story.
In the Book of Mormon we find the word groan used only once in that form and that is in the Book of Helaman, where Kishkumen the robber is stabbed by the servant of Helaman. Here Kishkumen "fell . . . without a groan." The parallel found here is remarkable for it shows a possibility of the two texts [sharing] some mutual influence for their phrasing. Spaulding has his characters falling and groaning when they are killed but the Nephite writers do not. Then why should the Nephites add that Kishkumen "fell . . . without a groan"? If falling and groaning scenes were common features in the Nephite record we might see a good reason for the addition of this piece of detail. But since this is not the case, the detail appears strangely out of place. It reads like an afterthought not clearly worked out, or, even moreso, like an aforethought never completely deleted but nolonger needed in the story.
If structural parallels of this nature are common elements between the two works we may have a serious problem [facing us]. Did one of these texts in some way influence, complement, or expand upon the other? If such parallels are very infrequent the problem may not be so large, but [they] would still [constitute] a valid area for exploration.
One other example of textual affinity which I will explore briefly is that of both Smith and Spaulding using the word massacre. It is highly doubtful that the Nephites used that particular word derived from Middle French, but it is not so problematic to credit it to Smith's vocabulary. How Joseph Smith picked up the word is impossible to discover at this point, however.
Spaulding uses massacre in various forms in a number of places in his story, such as [on] page 158 lines 13 & 22: "massacre the whole multitude" and "the massacre of the defenceless multitude without regard to age or sex." This last Spaulding quote is quite similar to one of the two Book of Mormon
passages where massacre appears: "that their wives and children should be massacred by the barbarous cruelty of those who were once their brethren," In this particular Book of Mormon passage (Alma XXI p 359) we see the only occurances of the words barbarous and cruelty in the Nephite record. Why such "Spauldingish" words all occur together is a question worth asking. Again, if such patterns of word occurances are very common in the Book of Mormon and the Spaulding romance, we have a serious problem facing us.
On the two pages examined Spaulding gives a rather unconvincing story of the great friendship between two Kentuck warriors who engage in "daring exploits" against the enemy Sciotans. [As in Homeric and Virgilian epics] the two are successful in slipping into the enemy camp and killing many of the Sciotans in their sleep. However, as the two are escaping the camp, the Sciotans awake to discover the slaughter and pursue after the two. One is overtaken and killed, while the other turns back to defend his friend and is killed himself.
On the surface this story might seem to have little in common with Book of Mormon events, other than the fact that it contains camps, warriors, and fighting. A closer look at the text reveals much more. The event takes place during a temporary lull in a great war between two peoples who in many ways parallel the Nephites and the Lamanites at the time when the Lamanites were under the command of traitorous Nephites. The latter portion of the Book of Alma [also] contains a number of short stories set within the greater context of the Nephite-Lamanite wars.
The [episodes] which make up the account of Teancum's secret night-time slayings of King Amalickiah and also his brother, King Ammoron,
together make up one of these stories* in an account not too unlike that of Rev. Spaulding. Situated between these two [episodes] are two stories of Moroni capturing two Lamanite-held cities. These two stories also contain a number of structural elements very similar to Spaulding's. Another two stories from the Nephite record [sharing] similarities to that of the Kentucks and Sciotans are the stories of Alma and Ammon each leading a people in their escape from the Lamanites. Finally, two other Book of Mormon stories having remarkable parallels to the Spaulding episode are those of Nephi's murder of Laban and Gilead the Jaredite's slaughter of the drunken army of Coriantumr.
Each of these eight Book of Mormon accounts has internal structural elements which link it closely with the other seven stories. These common elements are: 1. all take place at night; 2. all contain an unconscious enemy; and 3. all tell of a successful exploit by the "good guys" of the story. In addition to these three elements there are many more which occur in several of the eight stories but not in every one of them.
When these structural elements are all listed and examined, many are found to be identical (or nearly identical) to elements in the Spaulding episode recounted on MS pages 154 and 155. In addition to these thematic elements, there can also be found instances of identical (or nearly identical) phrasing in the eight Book of Mormon stories and the Spaulding story. What we have before us is not just a case of the Spaulding episode being somewhat like a passage or two in the Book of Mormon, but rather, an example of a ninth story which fits into the pattern of the other eight. In fact, the Spaulding episode fits so well into the pattern that the matter can in no way be dismissed as a casual coincidence
*see J.N. Washburn's discussion of stories of this type in his The Contents, Structure and Authorship of the Book of Mormon, Salt Lake City, 1954, p. 42.
Below I have attempted to list some of the major parallels in the nine stories. This is [not] a comprehensive listing of all the affinities in the stories.
A. Each of the nine stories takes place at night. Some carry over to morning.
B. Those mentioning the next morning.
C. All nine stories have an unconscious enemy who is either alseep or drunk.
D. Several stories stress the element of stealth on the part of the hero(es).
E. Enemy territory is either entered or exited:
F. An unconscious enemy is killed:
G. The hero or heroes are pursued by the angry enemy:
H. The hero is [caught and slain] by the pursuing enemy:
I. In two cases the deep sleep of the enemy had the same cause:
J. In two cases there were two protagonists who entered the enemy camp:
K. The heroes were living in tents:
L. In two cases someone is pierced with a [spear] and dies:
The common vocabulary and phraseology of the nine stories is evident to anyone who takes the time to read them carefully. What is particularly disturbing is the occurrence of several nearly identical word groups in both the Spaulding MS story and the other eight Book of Mormon stories. Word groups such as: into the camp of the; in a profound sleep, fatigues of the day; and a spear/javelin pierced him appear in both texts [where essentially] the same story is being told. The matter is further complicated by the Book of Mormon use of in a profound silence and in a profound sleep in accounts of heroes sneaking past unconscious enemies. That Spaulding would use the term in the exact same way is remarkable! Another highly unusual factor is that neither Spaulding nor the Nephite writers use that term in any other context in [all] the rest of their writing. In fact, the very word profound is used in both texts only in this unique setting!
[The term profound sleep is not a biblical one, but it is applied to the sleep of Adam by Louis Ginzberg in his Legends of the Jews Vol. I p. 68. This particular word combination may have closer ties to Greco-Roman literature. Alexander Pope provides the exact same in a profound sleep as occurs in the Spaulding and Book of Mormon night-time stratagem stories in his note for his translation of line 578 of the tenth book of Homer's Iliad. This note is printed in Pope's 1717-18 edition, just below his note for line 488, where the words "the fatigues of the former day" may be found. In these notes Pope elucidates the night-time stratagem of Ulysses and Diomed, who sneak past unconscious enemies to kill sleeping Trojan leaders and their comrades, much like Teancum slew kings and Amalickiah Ammoron. Teancum was able to accomplish the former deed because the enemy lie in a deep sleep caused by fatigue from "labors and heat of the day." The night-time stratagem recorded in Alma XXV p 380 was carried out "in a profound silence," and "while the Lamanites were in a deep sleep." The parallel quotation in Spaulding is found on page 155, lines 8 and 9: "They found them lying in a profound sleep -- for the fatigues of the day and revels of the night had brought weariness upon them."]*
It may seem that I am making too much of the occurrence of a single word. Yet, I believe the question must be asked of how profound came to be in the Nephite record. The word is used only once in the King James edition of The Bible and that occurrence has no seeming connection with its occurrence in Spaulding and in the Book of Mormon.
If a careful examination of the texts of the Spaulding MS and the Book of Mormon brings forth many examples of this particular kind, we may be forced to admit some unexplained relationship between the two texts.
* This paragraph was inserted as an erratum in late 1979 copies of this Proposal made after its initial submission to Dr. Holland.
The [Oberlin] Solomon Spaulding Manuscript
"A Preliminary List of Textual Affinities Between
the Spaulding MS and the Book of Mormon"
Note 6: Prior to the August 1979 completion of my "A Proposal For a Comparative Study of Textual Affinities in the Solomon Spaulding Manuscript and the Book of Mormon," I had already prepared its precursor in the form an unpublished research paper submitted to the RLDS Historian's Office in April of 1979. This earlier, much more primitive document was entitled, "A List of Textual Affinities Between the Book of Mormon and 'Manuscript Story.'" As this very preliminary tabulation was in many respects an unfinished document, I sent a re-written compilation of more or less the same material to the RLDS Historian's Office in June of 1979. This second effort was entitled, "A Preliminary List of Textual Affinities Between the Spaulding Manuscript and the Book of Mormon."
In June of 1979 I prepared "A Preliminary List of Textual Affinities Between the Spaulding Manuscript and the Book of Mormon" for certain officials in the RLDS Church. At that time I did not have access to a full set of good photocopies of the Spaulding manuscript, so I made use of the 1885 RLDS published transcript of the text.
I feel that this list brings to light a great number of affinities in the two texts, many of which really require further investigation [in order for us] to determine their exact relationship one [to] another. In the previous Appendix [pp. 29-68] some examples of textual parallels taken from a very limited portion of Spaulding's work were examined. The extract given here further indicates that those parallels found on MS pages 154 and 155 are not unique, but rather only a small part of a very lengthy list of such occurrences in the two texts.
In the following listing only the Spaulding word groupings are given: no Book of Mormon cross-referencing has yet been prepared from my original notes on the subject. The examples given are either identical or near identical [word group] occurrences from both texts and are of the "highly unexpected" variety. The page numbers accompanying the quotes are from the 1885 RLDS edition of Spaulding's romance. In a couple of instances the text used is the 1886 LDS edition's, however. In most cases the word groups can be found just as listed in both works, but in a few instances two passages from the Book of Mormon are required to match the quote in its totality. Also, in a few cases the passages in the Book of Mormon which are in parallel with those of the list are not exact word-for-word copies of the Spaulding phraseology, but are rather close approximations.
page 11: near the... bank of the... river numbers of those people who with the assistance of a lever page 12: the box was taken and I found that it contained in the arts of war page 15: spread... over the face of the page 28: maintain our... religion page 30: to the land of our nativity a narrow strip of along the banks of this river page 31: lest we should fall into the hands of page 36: had a plenty of provisions at all seasons page 42: he put forth his hand and
page 63: be for the benefit of the ordained hugh priest page 64: his... son whose name was to ordain... their high priest page 65: bade... adieu page 73: their villages and cities were page 74: timber on top of and likewise... storehouse... the reception of to defend themselves against page 75: for the space of... years page 76: the eldest daughter of page 77: the darkness of night page 94: when... had received this letter he page 96: the calamities of page 97: blood and carnage page 98: cast up his eyes toward heaven hear a thundering voice... from the page 101: the great founder of page 103: in the cause of their country and their God at the head of a great multitude page 110: to make... preparations for war page 112: spreading carnage the field of battle page 114: be stained with the blood of page 116: determined to conquer or die the blood of brothers (brethren?) page 118: the greatest slaughter was covered with the bodies page 121: an immense slaughter was only the beginning of the war page 125: them... in a profound sleep page 126: had taught them to use stratagem page 127: the narrow passage which led to the
page 130: beheld army marching towards them page 132: blood and carnage page 133: fled to the army of page 135: placed himself at the head of broke down the door page 136: listen to the cries of surrounded by the walls of page 137: band of murderers page 138: the... was covered with the dead page 140: pursued them with his returned in great haste great was the joy of the had fallen by the sword page 141: he marched with the remainder
Book of Mormon. Any one of these parallels, taken by itself, appears to be of little consequence; but the larger patterns [formed] by these textual affinities are truly worthy of study.
TEXTUAL COMPARISONS BIBLIOGRAPHY
Note 7.: The Textual Comparisons Bibliography which follows was reproduced with essentially the same content in my 1980 revision of this Proposal into my "Spaulding Research Project Working Paper No. 1." The only substantial difference between this Proposal appendix and this same section in the 1980 Working Paper was the addition to the latter of a note which followed the information in item number 07. In this e-text I have reformatted that note as "item 07b." within the main body of the bibliography. To distinguish this addition from the rest of the bibliographic material I have reproduced it in red type.
Ever since the 1834 appearance of Eber D. Howe's Mormonism Unvailed writers have tried to make comparisons of the writings of Solomon Spaulding with the Book of Mormon. Howe, who had the [Oberlin] Spaulding Manuscript in his possession, did not make a close study of it, but instead presented a series of statements by various people who equated portions of the Book of Mormon with another manuscript of Spaulding's which was probably titled "Manuscript Found." Until after 1884 that same approach was used by the anti-Mormon writers, until the number of statements gathered reached a very high number. Some writers compiled rather detailed lists based upon the conflicting evidence given in all of these statements, but [lists of] supposed affinities were of little value without the proof of the actual manuscript.
When the [Oberlin] Spaulding manuscript came to light in 1884 the emphasis of the pro-Spaulding [theory] writers shifted to examinations of the long lost work now published and available to all. Actually, such comparisons had already been written, being based upon a summary of the work given in Howe's 1834 book. However, that summary was so short as to be of little value to those who sought to link the Nephite record to Spaulding's fiction.
Initial examinations of the manuscript added little information. Rice and Fairchild dismissed it as not related to the Book of Mormon and most people interested in the matter accepted their opinions. But within a few years after the find some investigators began to notice numerous similarities between the MS and the Book of Mormon. I will give a brief bibliography of some of the more useful lists compiled to date below. This list is based upon a less than exhaustive review of the literature and is not presented as complete. Additions will be gratefully received by this writer.
01. Howe, Eber D. Mormonism Unvailed, Painesville, Ohio 1834.
Howe relates the finding (by D. P. Hurlbut) of the Solomon Spaulding MS and gives a brief synopsis of the story, which, according to the residents of Conneaut, Ohio, "bears no resemblance to the 'Manuscript Found.'" Howe's summary served as the only concrete example of the writings of Spaulding until the MS find in 1884 in Hawaii. As such, it was the basis for some of the early comparisons of thematic elements.
02. Haven, John "A Cunning Device Detected," Times and Seasons vol. I no. 3 (January 1840) p. 47. (reprinted from the Quincy Whig.
This report of an interview with Spaulding's widow touches upon the area of similarities between his writings and the Book of Mormon. It is difficult to be certain that the widow is referring to the same manuscript which was found in Hawaii. Her statement that in the two texts "some few of the names are alike" may refer to the similarity of such MS names as [Jesus] and Labanco to Book of Mormon names like [Jesus] and Laban.
03. Winchester, Benjamin The Origin of the Spaulding Story, Philadelphia 1840, p. 20.
Winchester quotes from Howe on the nature of the manuscript and concludes: "Now any one who has read the Book of Mormon, knows that the contents are altogether dissimilar from this description." In this statement Winchester sets the pattern for almost all future LDS comment on the two works; most later writings are only restatements of this thought by the early Mormon author.
04. Patterson, Robert "Solomon Spaulding and the Book of Mormon" in History of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Boyd Crumrine, editor) Philadelphia, 1882, pp. 425ff.
Patterson, though representing an anti-Mormon viewpoint, still remains the earliest writer who attempted to fathom the Book of Mormon origins. While other non-Mormons used the Spaulding theory as a weapon against the [restoration] movement, Patterson appears to have tried very hard to understand and state what he felt to be the truth of the matter. Some of his insights are still worth reading today -- especially his comparison of the Howe summary with the story of the Book of Ether in the Book of Mormon.
05. Reynolds, George "Internal Evidences of the Book of Mormon" in The Juvenile Instructor Vol. XVII (1882) pp. 235-238, 262-263.
This is the first real attempt from the Mormon viewpoint to compare the reported textual elements of the "Manuscript Found" with the Book of Mormon. This theme is expanded in his The Myth of Manuscript Found which was published the next year as the 11th book in the LDS "Faith Promoting Series." Unfortunately the speculation concerning the contents of the "Manuscript Found" has remained only speculation. Unless that particular manuscript ever comes to light, speculation such as [that] presented by Reynolds is of very little practical use.
06. Kelley, Ed. L. & Braden, Clark Public Discussion of the Issues Between the R.L.D.S. and the Church of Christ (Disciples), St. Louis, 1884.
This transcript of a debate held in Kirtland contains a wealth of information on the Spaulding theory from both pro and anti viewpoints. The entire discussion of Proposition #1 is an excellent review of the theory as it stood just before the Hawaii MS find. See especially Braden's 6th Speech and Kelley's 9th Speech for comparisons of the reported "Manuscript Found" with the Book of Mormon. Braden appears to have viewed the [Oberlin] Solomon Spaulding manuscript as a sort of rough draft of the "Manuscript Found," so his remarks apply to both stories at some points in his discussion
07a. Fairchild, James H. Manuscript of Solomon Spaulding and the Book of Mormon (a paper read before the Northern Ohio and Western Reserve Historical Society, March 23, 1866 and published in Tract no. 77, Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, Ohio.)
In the first real comparison of the [Oberlin] Spaulding manuscript with the Book of Mormon, Fairchild finds little in common between the two. Though personally involved, Fairchild does not appear to have had an adequate background in the Book of Mormon. Thus, just because he was a man of advanced education and helped in the bringing forth of the lost manuscript he is often credited as having given the definitive statement on the non-relationship of the two works. His remarks are quoted in most major Mormon works on the subject, perhaps without [any understanding] of [just] how limited his knowledge of the Book of Mormonreally was.
07b. Whitsitt, William H. "Mormonism" in S. M. Jackson's Concise Dictionary of Religious Knowledge, 1891 (A summary of "Sidney Rigdon, the Real Founder of Mormonism")
Although Dr. Whitsitt wrote extensively on the origin of the Book of Mormon and had a copy of the MS found in Hawaii in his possession, he had very little to say about how little or how much the texts of those two works resembled each other. This writer had nearly completed his massive Sidney Rigdon biography when the Spalding story discovered in Honolulu was announced to the world.
The few thematic parallels noted by Whitsitt are his attempt to provide documentation for the idea that the Book of Mormon story line was developed from a Spaulding authored Book of Ether. Whitsitt felt he could detect a pattern of literary evolution extending from the Oberlin manuscript's story, through the Jaredite account, and on into the Lehite records. Without having the Oberlin document in hand during most of his investigations, however, Whitsitt did not wite a detailed explanation of his idea.
08. Whitney, Orson History of Utah, Salt Lake City, 1892-1904.
In the third chapter of the first volume of this work Whitney gives a good review of the Spaulding issue. On page 50 he appears to admit a "few" similarities between the [Oberlin] MS and the Book of Mormon, but he does not support any connection between the two works. He does give some interesting side-by-side comparisons of the two texts.
09. Smith, Joseph F. "The Manuscript Found" in Improvement Era Vol. 3 no. 4 (February, 1900)
In the first installment in a three issue article article on the Spaulding theory, LDS President Joseph F. Smith quotes L.L. Rice, saying that the only resemblance between the MS and the Book of Mormon is that they both "give an account of American Indians."
10. Schroeder, Theodore A. The Origin of the Book of Mormon Reexamined . . . Salt Lake City, 1901.)
Schroeder was the first anti-Mormon to revive the Spaulding theory after the Hawaii find. He appears to have looked at the [Oberlin] MS as a rough draft for the reported "Manuscript Found." On page 4 he makes a remark of how the story resembles that of the Book of Mormon. Such unsupported statements are as vague as Mormon claims that there are no similarities in the two works. However, Schroeder had a considerable effect on later writers and opened up the idea that the [Oberlin] Solomon Spaulding MS might indeed have some connection with the record of the Nephites.
11. Evans, John H. One Hundred Years of Mormonism, Salt Lake City, 1905.
Evans gives considerable space to a discussion of the Spaulding theory in this well accepted older history. It [marks] a turning point in the Mormon view on the subject, in that he says: "there are some general resemblances between this work and the Book of Mormon, both in content and in external details . . ." Evans seems to have noticed both the textual similarities of the two works and the parallels in Joseph Smith's history of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and Spaulding's account of the bringing forth of his "Roman record." This point is quite important, for the double parallel was not acknowledged by Mormon writers until Evans announced it.
12. Meyer, Eduard The Origin and History of the Mormons, Halle, Germany 1912. (available in a 1961 English translation by Rahde and Seaich, Salt Lake City, 1961).
This European writer listed four parallels between the two works (see p. 26 of the English translation) but all are superficial in and of themselves and two are exaggerations of the actual case. Thus. while Meyer was one of the first to list actual parallels, his work is of limited usefulness.
13. Roberts, Brigham H. New Witnesses for God, Vol. II The Book of Mormon Salt Lake City, 1909.
Roberts makes a statement on page 385 of this work which is worthy of quotation here:
Composition in writers becomes individualized as distinctly as the looks, or appearance, or character, of separate individuals; and they can no more write in several styles than individuals can impersonate different characters . . . underneath these impersonations is to be seen the real individual; and so with authors. As we have in this (the Spaulding Manuscript) enough of Mr. Spaulding's style to determine its nature; if this manuscript of his was used either as the foundation or the complete work of the Book of Mormon, we should be able to detect Spauldingisms in it; identity of style would be apparent; but these things are entirely absent from every page of the Book of Mormon.
Although I do not agree with Roberts' conclusion that there are no Spauldingisms on the Book of Mormon, I feel that he has a good point stated in the rest of his discussion. Though Roberts was a staunch defender of the Book of Mormon on this issue, he did note parallelism in Joseph Smith's History and the Spaulding Manuscript (see 14. below).
14. Roberts, Brigham H. "Manuscript of Parallels" (unpublished manuscript with no date, copy in the RLDS Library and Archives).
This remarkable work is a comparison of the Book of Mormon with Ethan Smith's View of the Hebrews. On page 2 of the parallels listing Roberts makes another statement worth quoting:
Has your attention ever been called to at least one striking passage in the Solomon Spaulding Book as published by our Church, which suggests something of a parallel to the description given above of this stone box as found by our prophet? It is given by Spaulding in connection with his finding the manuscript of his book . . .This quote was discussed by RLDS writer Charles A. Davies in "'View of the Hebrews' and the Book of Mormon" in The Saints' Herald Vol. 109 no. 15 (Aug. 1, 1962) pp. 537ff. Davis thought that this one parallel seen by Roberts was "the only similarity between the Book of Mormon and the Spaulding romance."
As this unpublished manuscript was written late in Roberts' career, I cannot help but think that he may have had some second thoughts on the possible link of Spaulding to Mormonism, at least in regard to the Joseph Smith account of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. [I cannot help but] wonder if Roberts may have not left behind other unpublished works investigating a possibility such as this.
15. Shook, Charles A. The True Origin of The Book of Mormon, Cincinnati 1914.
Heavily influenced by Schroeder in his thought on the [Spaulding] theory, Shook was an RLDS author who left the Church and wrote a number of works including this well thought-out volume. Shook was [one of] the first writers who actually sat down and compiled a list of thematic parallels between the Book of Mormon and the Spaulding story. Pages 155 to 165 contain this listing and is "must" reading for anyone investigating the Spaulding theory. Shook's list includes a number of misstatements and a mixing of the Nephite record material and the Joseph Smith History in making a comparison to Spaulding's work. Even so, it was [one of] the first such listings and [it] contains a good core of parallels often quoted by later writers.
16. Homans, J. E. (pseudonym: Robert C. Webb) The Real Mormonism NYC, 1916.
On pages 423-426 Homans compares the [Oberlin] Solomon Spaulding MS to the Book of Mormon. Like many anti-theory writers, Homans avoids mentioning the parallels in the texts.
17. Arbaugh, George B. Revelation in Mormonism Chicago, 1932.
Arbaugh appears to have drawn upon Shook for his short listing of parallels appearing on pp. 16-18 of this book. Arbaugh does add a few examples to Shook's list and it is worthwhile to read his discussion of the subject.
18. Bown, M.D. "One Hundred Similarities Between The Book of Mormon and the Spaulding Manuscript," unpublished manuscript in the Special Collections of the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University. (1937?)Though little quoted by recent writers, Bown's lengthy listing of textual parallels is a remarkable work of scholarship on the subject. It appears that this was a paper written for some class at BYU in the mid-thirties. Brother Bown's insight into the material he covers is excellent and his list would be required reading by anyone weighing the evidence of the pro and con sides in the Spaulding issue.
A less significant work is A. Dean Wengreen's "An Analysis of 'One Hundred Similarities Between The Book of Mormon and The Spaulding Manuscript" (unpublished manuscript at BYU, copy in the LDS Church Library). Wengreen points out a few minor errors in Bown's thought but resorts to avoiding the issues raised in that author's work by [voicing] his own testimony that the Book of Mormon has no elements of human origin.
19. Bales, James D. "The Book of Mormon and Spaulding Manuscripts" in The Christian Soldier Vol. IV no. 9 (August 14, 1942) p. 5.
This list of 49 thematic parallels is not so detailed or well thought out as the Bown work and does not appear to rely upon that earlier paper at all. Nevertheless, both authors cover many of the same points. The Bales listing was expanded to 75 "points of similarity" in his 1958 The Book of Mormon? (Rosemead, California). Though in some areas Bales' work adds to Bown's listing, it is not so strong a list. For comments on the Bales effort see Hugh Nibley's "The Comparative Method" in Improvement Era Vol. 62, no. 10 (October 1959) pp. 741, 759.
20. Hill, Marvin S. "The Role of Christian Primitivism . . ." (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Chicago, 1968).
Beginning on page 95 of this work Hill makes a brief mention of some "superficial similarities" in the MS and the Book of Mormon. Unfortunately he seems to have been unaware of the listings under "Spaulding" in the card Catalogs of the [LDS] Church and BYU collections, for he nowhere mentions the works I have listed under items 18. and 19. [above] which are available to any researcher looking into the subject. Hill's otherwise fine discussion of the subject is marred by this major oversight on his part of important source material which he might easily have drawn upon for a more complete review of the issue.
21. Davis, Howard A. (with D.R. Scales & W.L. Cowdrey) Who Really Wrote the Book of Mormon> Santa Ana, Calif. 1977
On pages 247-253 these authors discuss parallels between the Spaulding MS and the Book of Mormon and promise further such examples in a "forthcoming book." These authors also appear to be unaware of previous work done on the subject. Their list is weak and short and does little to support their [stated] point of view.
22. Bush, Lester E. "The Spalding Theory Then and Now" in Dialogue Vol. X no. 4 (Autumn 1977) pp. 40ff.
Of all the Mormon writings on the subject, Lester Bush;s article is the most detailed, open, and [seemingly] honest effort I have yet come across. While he tends to support the anti-Spaulding [theory] view, he makes such statements as: ". . . there are unmistakable parallels in Spalding's introduction and Joseph Smith's early experiences." (p. 42).
On page 56 Bush carefully selects a few parallels between the Book of Mormon and the Spaulding MS and discusses them in a footnote. One gets the feeling that Bush is walking a tightrope: admitting a few parallels but not really confronting the Bown and Bales lists and giving any real explanation [for] these numerous thematic elements which do occur in both the Spaulding manuscript and the Book of Mormon.
23. Broadhurst, Dale R. "A Preliminary List of Textual Affinities Between the Spaulding Manuscript and The Book of Mormon" (unpublished 50 page report on thematic and vocabulary affinities) June 1979.
Though there have been a number of lists dealing with the structural or thematic elements which are similar in the two texts, this was the first listing of identical and near identical phraseology in the MS and the Book of Mormon. Also contained in the paper are some thematic similarities not noticed by previous writers. This preliminary report was not intended for publication and falls far short of even beginning to list the hundreds of [instances] of identical phraseology [in these two works.]
24. Broadhurst, Dale R. "The Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon in Relation to Solomon Spaulding's Manuscript Story" (unpublished research paper, August, 1979).
Previous listings and discussions of parallels usually ignored the fact that there are two different Mormon writings which have very high instances of "Spauldingisms" in their texts. The better known example is the Book of Mormon but Joseph Smith's "History" as published in the Times and Seasons can be considered just as good of an example in the account of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. Evans, Roberts and Bush all noticed these strange similarities and commented on them.
What is quite remarkable is that Smith was no doubt aware of the Howe and Hurlbut charges and should have been particularly careful to refrain from mixing any "fiction" into his account of finding the plates for the Nephite record. Even so, the account has a distinct "Spauldingish" ring to it, both in structure and in phraseology. The Smith account and the Spaulding account are so close to each other that they read like products of the same pen.
This paper examines the two accounts in detail, noting identical word groups and identical structure in a number of places [in the texts.]
No doubt there are other [works] I have missed in the preparation of this bibliography. In at least one instance I have come across letters which contain [comparison] listings and there is a possibility of finding similar material in old journals or unpublished manuscripts.
It has been pointed more than once that lists of textual similarities do not prove any connection between two literary works. Identical vocabulary and identical structure do not prove connections either. Even if it could be shown that Spaulding wrote a work almost identical to the Book of Mormon [that by itself] would not be necessary and sufficient proof that Smith copied from him. If such an example were to be had, I am almost certain that it would be explained away as Spaulding's somehow "tapping into" the truth of the Nephites.
Lists prove nothing but [their compilation does help] lay the groundwork for further investigation. The lists show that there are unusual similarities in the two works. The day is fast approaching when someone will have to look beyond the textual aspect and start looking for "hard evidence" of a link between Spaulding and the writings of the early restoration. It is just possible that something of that nature might surface with proper research and we should be ready for such a development if it comes.