If Lucy Harris didn’t burn the lost manuscript, who stole it? Historian Don Bradley thinks a big suspect might have been an extended member of the Harris family. What else does he know?
Don: It turns out, for instance, the Harris’s had a son-in-law who was a con man. He was a swindler. His name was Flanders Dike. Flanders Dike came from an entire family of swindlers. Two years after the manuscript disappeared, Flanders Dike is mentioned in a newspaper article saying he has skipped town. He’s left Palmyra, with about $1,000 of other people’s goods and money. There’s another notice in the paper several years later saying he’s escaped from jail after doing similar shenanigans again. There are accounts of other swindles carried out by various [relatives] like his father and his brothers. Lucy Mack Smith gives an account in her memoir, saying that Flanders Dike, at one time before the manuscript disappeared, he stole the Anthon transcript temporarily. So, this guy had already stolen documents, other documents associated with the coming fourth of the Book of Mormon. Then just four months later, the Book of Mormon manuscript goes missing. Why wouldn’t we suspect this guy?
I was also surprised to find out that Martin Harris missed his daughter’s wedding because he was helping Joseph translate the Book of Mormon! What other surprises does Don have in store? Check out our conversation….
Don’t miss our other conversations with Don!
361: Exonerating Lucy Harris (Bradley)
360: Masonic Golden Plates & Temple Theology (Bradley)
359: Temple Endowment in Lost Pages (Bradley)
358: Laban Killed During Passover (Bradley)
357: More than 116 Pages Lost? (Bradley)
356: How Much of BoM is Missing? (Bradley)
355: Re-Writing Oliver’s Words: Dirty, Nasty, Filthy Scrape? (Bradley)
354: Dating Fanny Alger