Question: Why was the name "Cumorah" originally spelled "Camorah" in the 1830 Book of Mormon?

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Question: Why was the name "Cumorah" originally spelled "Camorah" in the 1830 Book of Mormon?

Oliver Cowdery stated that this was a spelling error

1830 Book of Mormon showing the spelling "Camorah"

The 1830 Book of Mormon uses the spelling "Camorah." Oliver Cowdery stated that this was a spelling error in the July 1835 issue of the Latter Day Saint's Messenger and Advocate. Oliver Cowdery states:

By turning to the 529th and 530th pages of the book of Mormon you will read Mormon's account of the last great struggle of his people, as they were encamped round this hill Cumorah. (It is printed Camorah, which is an error.)

This matches evidence from the printer's manuscript of the Book of Mormon where the name is spelled "Camorah" once, "Cumorah" six times, and "Comorah" twice.[1]

The correction of "Camorah" to "Cumorah" made it consistent with other Nephite names with the suffix "-cum"

The spelling was corrected to "Cumorah" in the 1837 reprint of the Book of Mormon. This makes it consistent with other Nephite names with the suffix "-cum" (for example, Teancum). There are no Nephite names which contain the suffix "-cam."[2]

Notes

  1. see https://onoma.lib.byu.edu/index.php/Cumorah_/_Camorah_/_Comorah_Variant for the listings and the manuscript listed on the Joseph Smith Papers website for confirmation of this.
  2. see https://onoma.lib.byu.edu/index.php/C for the names.