Manuscript Miracle

David Whitmer House Before Destroyed, George Edward Anderson
David Whitmer House Before Destroyed, George Edward Anderson

“Mr. David Whitmer, Jun., spoke of the strange and wonderful preservation of the written copy of the book which Oliver Cowdery left in his father’s charge, and the hieroglyphics which Martin Harris took to Professor Anthon of New York.

In the cyclone that devastated the town of Richmond, [Missouri] a few years ago, the courthouse and many other buildings were swept entirely away. Some books belonging to the courthouse were carried over 40 miles, and the Whitmer house was all destroyed, except the small room in which the said documents were kept, in which not a window was broken.

A few minutes after the catastrophe he met an unbelieving scoffer in the street who said, ‘Well, Dave, how about those records?’ ‘and I told him they were all right, although I had not then had an opportunity to look after them.

My father was hurt by the flying timber, for the house on the west side of the road was blown through ours, and thirty-two persons were killed and many badly wounded, but when matters had subsided a little and we had examined the room and the box where the manuscript was kept, we found it to our satisfaction as we had left it, and as it is now, in a good state of preservation.”

(David Whitmer Interviewed by James H. Hart, 21 August 1883, JH, 23 Aug 1883, p. 3)