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“I went to the city of New York, and presented the characters which had been translated [by Joseph Smith, Jr.], with the translation thereof, to Professor Charles Anthon, a gentleman celebrated for his literary attainments. Professor Anthon stated that the translation was correct, more so than any he had before seen translated from the Egyptian. I then showed him those which were not yet translated, and he said that they were Egyptian, Chaldaic, Assyriac, and Arabic; and he said they were true characters. He gave me a certificate, certifying to the people of Palmyra that they were true characters, and that the translation of such of them as had been translated was also correct. I took the certificate and put it into my pocket…”

Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith – History 2:64 (Salt Lake City, UT: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1977 Green Leather Edition), 55

Professor Anthon replied:

“The whole story about my having pronounced the Mormonite inscription to be ‘reformed Egyptian hieroglyphics’ is perfectly false… Upon examining the paper in question, I soon came to the conclusion that it was all a trick, perhaps a hoax… This paper was in fact a singular scrawl. It consisted of all kinds of crooked characters disposed in columns, and had evidently been prepared by some person who had before him at the time a book containing various alphabets. Greek and Hebrew letters, crosses and flourishes, Roman letters inverted or placed sideways, were arranged in perpendicular columns, and the whole ended in a rude delineation of a circle divided into various compartments, decked with various strange marks, and evidently copied after the Mexican Calendar given by Humboldt, but copied in such a way as not to betray the source whence it was derived. I am thus particular as to the contents of the paper, inasmuch as I have frequently conversed with my friends on the subject, since the Mormonite excitement began, and well remember that the paper contained anything else but ‘Egyptian Hieroglyphics.’”

~E.D. Howe, Mormonism Unvailed (Painesville, OH: Howe, 1834), 270-272