Question: Did Solomon Spaulding's doctor state that Spaulding talked to him about the Nephites in his manuscript?

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Question: Did Solomon Spaulding's doctor state that Spaulding talked to him about the Nephites in his manuscript?

This claim is based upon a forgery

This claim comes from an affidavit allegedly inscribed in the flyleaf of a copy of the Book of Mormon:

This work, I am convinced by facts related to me by my deceased patient, Solomon Spaulding, has been made from writings of Spaulding, probably by Sidney Rigdon, who was suspicioned by Spaulding with purloining his manuscript from the publishing-house to which he had taken it; and I am prepared to testify that Spaulding told me that his work was entitled, "The Manuscript Found in the Wilds of Mormon; or Unearthed Records of the Nephites." From his description of its contents, I fully believe that this Book of Mormon is mainly and wickedly copied from it. CEPHAS DODD.[1]

It is considered a forgery (even by most Spalding theorists), and was given to C.E. Shook by R.B. Neal.

Shook published it in a book at the beginning of the 20th century. The original (if it ever existed) doesn't exist any more.

On the other hand, there is an authentic letter by Dodd in which he says that he knows almost nothing of the writings of Spalding. As one Spaulding theorist wrote:

Rev. Snowden reciting the "further testimony that Solomon Spaulding had written a manuscript entitled 'The Manuscript Found in the Wilds of Mormon, or Unearthed Records of the Nephites,'" is problematic. This assertion was originally published in 1914 by Charles A. Shook[2] -- who, in turn, evidently received the unsubstantiated claim from Rev. R. B. Neal. The original source -- a purported Cephas Dodd statement of June 5, 1831 -- has been documented as a forgery, and there is no reliable evidence for Solomon Spalding ever having made use of this strange title.[3]

Notes

  1. Cited in Appendix 5, "The Cephas Dodd Hoax and Other Fabrications," in Wayne L. Cowdrey, Howard A. Davis, and Arthur Vanick, Who Really Wrote the Book of Mormon? The Spalding Enigma. (St. Louis: Concordia, 2005), 402. Analysis
  2. Charles A. Shook, The True Origin of Mormon Polygamy (Cincinnati: The Standard Publishing Company, 1910). It was also cited by Dr. W. L. Dodd, Early History of Amity, Pa. 1770-1870 (Private publication, 1940).
  3. Dale Broadhurst, "Wayne Cowdrey, et al. Who Really Wrote The Book of Mormon? The Spalding Enigma," Note 2, accessed 2 May 2015. http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/dbroadhu/PA/penn1900.htm