Who wrote the BOM?


#1

Pretty damaging evidence, from a This Rock article :

From a very early date, the relatives and acquaintances of a retired Congregationalist minister, Rev. Solomon Spalding, who died in 1816, had complained against the Latter-Day Saints that the Book of Mormon was really a plagiarized version of an unpublished novel, Manuscript Found, which the deceased clergyman had written and circulated among his friends. A number of affidavits were sworn to this effect, but their publication and propagation was sporadic and poorly organized. The LDS church launched a massive counterattack that capitalized on the fact that the original draft of Manuscript Found could not be produced to verify the affidavits.

Naturally, the Mormons claimed that these were malicious, satanically inspired falsehoods. All that remained was an earlier Spalding novel, Manuscript Story, which shows some definite stylistic similarities to the Book of Mormon but also some marked differences. Eventually, most anti-Mormon writers stopped appealing to the Spalding theory as an explanation for the Book of Mormon because the available evidence seemed incapable of being substantiated.

But Cowdrey, Davis, and Scales pieced together a long chain of events connecting Smith and Spalding. The chief link in the chain was an itinerant evangelist named Sidney Rigdon, who had a close friend who worked at the print shop in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from which Spalding’s second manuscript disappeared. A Dr. Winter later claimed to have been shown the manuscript by Rigdon in 1822.

Rigdon was eventually baptized into the Mormon Church in November 1830 and always claimed that he had known nothing of Smith or Mormonism until late that year. Cowdrey et al found at least ten people who testified that they had seen Smith and Rigdon together a number of times from 1827 onwards—the very period when Smith was preparing the Book of Mormon.

The climax came in 1976 when Cowdrey and his friends were examining some old manuscripts in an LDS church library. They came across a few pages from the Book of Mormon in handwriting no one had been able to identify. But before this the researchers had managed to track down some undisputed samples of Spalding’s handwriting at Oberlin College in Ohio, including a deed from January 1811 bearing his signature.

There, amid the quiet and rather dull surroundings of paper and bookshelves, the awesome truth dawned on them: These harmless-looking scraps of aging paper had the potential to shatter once and for all the myth of Joseph Smith the saint and prophet—a great, historic, American myth for which men and women had lived and died and suffered and killed; a myth that had pioneered part of the Wild West, built the state of Utah, and now ruled the hearts and lives and fortunes of millions round the world.

This extract from the Book of Mormon (“translated” from “golden plates” in 1828) was in the handwriting of Solomon Spalding (died 1816)! What the young men had stumbled on was part of the long-lost manuscript of Spalding’s second novel—crushing evidence of Smith’s plagiarism and deceit that had been preserved by the unsuspecting Mormons themselves.

The three men proceeded to write a book detailing the results of their research (Who Really Wrote the Book of Mormon? Vision House Publishers, 1977). The LDS Church issued denials of the identification and prohibited any further examination of the relevant manuscript. But the detailed testimonies of two independent handwriting experts, William Kaye and Henry Silver, are photographically reproduced for all to see: the unquestioned Spalding documents and the supposed Book of Mormon extract are judged professionally to be definitely in the same hand (Walter Martin, The Maze of Mormonism, pp.62–64).[/FONT]


#2

[quote=arieh0310] . . . . .From a very early date, the relatives and acquaintances of a retired Congregationalist minister, Rev. Solomon Spalding, who died in 1816, had complained against the Latter-Day Saints that the Book of Mormon was really a plagiarized version of an unpublished novel, Manuscript Found, which the deceased clergyman had written . . . . The LDS church launched a massive counterattack that capitalized on the fact that the original draft of Manuscript Found could not be produced to verify the affidavits . . . .

. . . Cowdrey, Davis, and Scales pieced together a long chain of events connecting Smith and Spalding. The chief link in the chain was an itinerant evangelist named Sidney Rigdon, who had a close friend who worked at the print shop in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from which Spalding’s second manuscript disappeared. A Dr. Winter later claimed to have been shown the manuscript by Rigdon in 1822.

Rigdon was eventually baptized into the Mormon Church in November 1830 and always claimed that he had known nothing of Smith or Mormonism until late that year. Cowdrey et al found at least ten people who testified that they had seen Smith and Rigdon together a number of times from 1827 onwards—the very period when Smith was preparing the Book of Mormon.

The climax came in 1976 when Cowdrey and his friends were examining some old manuscripts in an LDS church library. They came across a few pages from the Book of Mormon in handwriting no one had been able to identify . . . . There, amid the quiet and rather dull surroundings of paper and bookshelves, the awesome truth dawned on them: . . .(it was) the handwriting of Solomon Spalding (died 1816)! What the young men had stumbled on was part of the long-lost manuscript of Spalding’s second novel—crushing evidence of Smith’s plagiarism and deceit that had been preserved by the unsuspecting Mormons themselves.

The three men proceeded to write a book detailing the results of their research (Who Really Wrote the Book of Mormon? Vision House Publishers, 1977) . . . . the detailed testimonies of two independent handwriting experts, William Kaye and Henry Silver, are photographically reproduced for all to see: the unquestioned Spalding documents and the supposed Book of Mormon extract are judged professionally to be definitely in the same hand (Walter Martin, The Maze of Mormonism, pp.62–64).[/FONT]
[/quote]

I own the book by Davis, Cowdery, and Scales. It is largely discredited, since it mainly engages in speculation and is based upon hearsay from witnesses known to be antipathetic to Joseph Smith. The handwriting experts cited have themselves acknowledged that they were mistaken. Very few counter-cult organizations seriously entertain the Spaulding Manuscript theory any longer. See the following:

lightplanet.com/mormons/response/qa/spaulding.htm

It appears highly unlikely that Joseph Smith had any contact whatever with Solomon Spaulding, nor does he appear to have any association with anyone who might have had contact with Spaulding until well after the publication of the Book of Mormon. (Sydney Rigdon is often named as the ‘mastermind’ who intorduced Smith to the Spaulding Manuscript, but no one has ever established that Rigdon ever met Joseph Smith prior to the publication of the Book of Mormon).

I frankly do not think the Book of Mormon was beyond the capabilities of an intelligent and imaginative 20-year-old man, as Joseph Smith was when he first began having the Book of Mormon transcribed. Please remember that Smith WAS NOT illiterate, though he wrote poorly and slowly.He cut his teeth on the King James Bible, from which the Book of Mormon quotes profusely, and spent nearly six years preparing himself mentally for the idea that he would some day produce what we now know as the Book of Mormon. I see little in the book which seems really beyond his abilities, especially when you compare the literary style of the Book of Mormon with the style of the Doctrine and Covenants and/or the Pearl of Great Price.


#3

[quote=flameburns623]antipathetic
[/quote]

antipathetic? Does that mean “not pathetic”? :smiley:

:rotfl:


#4
an·tip·a·thet·ic (ăn-tĭp'ə-thĕt'ĭk) http://content.answers.com/main/content/img/pron.gif also an·tip·a·thet·i·cal (-ĭ-kəl)
adj. Having or showing a strong aversion or repugnance: antipathetic to new ideas. Opposed in nature or character; antagonistic: antipathetic factions within the party.Causing a feeling of antipathy; repugnant: “The whole place and everything about it was antipathetic to her” (Anthony Trollope).an·tip'a·thet'i·cal·ly adv.


#5

Arieh0310, This Rock, and all;
I think it is a shame when a magazine that so frequently condemns the uncritical examination of any troubling Catholic detail is so willing to uncritically exam and reproduce material that reflects poorly upon another church.

Briefly for a substantive response, Henry Silver with William Kaye issued an initial response claiming the handwriting was “similar.” When this was vastly overstated by the future authors of the book quoted by “This Rock,” Silver withdrew his comments and claimed that he actually made no assertions about the “similarity” of the sample and Spaulding’s handwriting, but rather that he was suggesting that the authors had a faithful photocopy of the material Silver was asked to review (this is a little confusing to me, but Silver left the picture in anger and does not seem to have any more to do with the issue).

When it appeared the book would be published before Kaye could finish his final analysis he threatened to take appropriate action against the authors. The publishing was delayed. Kaye’s final analysis confirmed the two handwriting samples were the same person.

Of course the authors do not seem to mention that initially three experts were enlisted for this endeavor. Two of these completed their work. Howard C. Doulder claimed that the reproductions of the handwriting were poor, but ultimately stated, “There are dissimilarities that are unexplainable and are not attributable to individual writing variations of the same author.”

Kaye and Jerald Tanner (Yes of Jerald and Sandra Tanner) were granted access to examine the unknown scribes writings and compare them to a section of writing dated long after Spaulding’s death. Jerald Tanner reported that these were similar and totally dismissed the handwriting argument for Spaulding authorship. He has published this and it is available. I think Kaye may have ultimately changed his finding too, but I am too tired to check.

One more thing that should be noted it that the funding for this whole project was provided by Walter Martin.

Anyway, I would suggest that Jerald Tanner provided a more critical analysis of this matter than did This Rock. In addition to this, “This Rock” could have researched this more thoroughly before they got in bed with a group of anti-Mormon authors who advocate a theory largely dismissed by the majority (and the more learned of) anti-Mormon authors. Pity! Perhaps there is something to this CoJCoLDS to motivate such tactics.

Here are the words of a fellow who was Catholic:

[font=Geneva]“The underlying motive for this thesis, was my . . . perception that one connection between the Catholic Church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints lay in the fact that those who sought to deny the label ‘Christian’ to the LDS Church were, more often than not, the very same people who would then turn around and attempt to deny this label to the Catholic Church with the same reasons often being used in both instances to justify the conclusion. And since it was easy enough for me to see through the many half-truths, misunderstandings, and even outright errors alleged against the Catholic Church, I suspected that similar critiques leveled against the LDSChurch as to its ‘non-Christian’ status were equally flawed.”[/font]

I too have seen similarities in anti-Catholicism and anti-Mormonism. It is sad for me when I see Catholics who utilize anti-Mormon methods. It is also something that I confront when LDS walk towards this path with respect to Catholicism.

Charity, TOm


#6

Flameburns623,

Thanks for getting to that faster than me.

Charity, TOm


#7

I concede that the handwriting similarities weren’t conclusively proven, but the main point I thought was the striking similarities between the two works.

The other point made in the article is the discovery of the Egyptian Papyri in 1967 that was what JS used to translate into the Book of Abraham. I went to lightplanet.com and to the FARM website to view the Mormon answer to this discovery. What I found was an exercise in semantic gymnastics and obfuscation. I guess I should have used this example as the most damaging evidence presented in the article.

Also, please don’t take the victim attitude. The purpose of this forum is to discuss challenges to the LDS faith. Although Mormon apologetics seems to be an impossible task I do enjoy these discussions. The more I read Mormon refutations to their faith the more secure mine becomes.

God bless…


#8

exercise in semantic gymnastics and obfuscation…Although Mormon apologetics seems to be an impossible task I do enjoy these discussions.

:bowdown:

And I do admire Tom and Casen’s courage in participating.:tiphat:


#9

Quoting myself: “The more I read Mormon refutations to their faith the more secure mine becomes.”

What I meant to type was: “The more I read Mormon refutations to challenges to their faith the more secure mine becomes”


#10

Your error is very forgivable. :tiphat:


#11

Hmmm!

[quote=arieh0310]I concede that the handwriting similarities weren’t conclusively proven, but the main point I thought was the striking similarities between the two works.
[/quote]

If you really think the two works are so similar perhaps you should read them. Before you do you might find it interesting to note that it was the CoJCoLDS that published Spaulding’s Manuscript when it was found.

Do you not think that a magazine that so regularly attacks those who present poor anti-Catholic arguments should exercise a modicum of respect and diligence when ATTACKING another religion? What do you think that communicates to me about This Rock? Should I extend this communication to the Catholic Church? To you? I think I will just view This Rock as hypocritical as so many, including myself, often are, but it is still sad.

[quote=arieh0310]The other point made in the article is the discovery of the Egyptian Papyri in 1967 that was what JS used to translate into the Book of Abraham. I went to lightplanet.com and to the FARM website to view the Mormon answer to this discovery. What I found was an exercise in semantic gymnastics and obfuscation. I guess I should have used this example as the most damaging evidence presented in the article.
[/quote]

I will agree with you that various suggestions as to how the Book of Abraham came to be the BOA and whether the Book of Breathing was involved do not produced a faith promoting story IMO. The evidence of antiquity and other things from the BOA stand next to this, but I cannot dismiss your view of the explanations for its origin.

I have much less knowledge on this controversy than I do on the controversy concerning the BOM. I believe the BOA is what it claims to be because it is clear to me that the BOM is not a product of 1830’s America.

And there is much more to the story than what was presented in the already much discredited article. Things are not nearly as bad as they seem when one is willing to be culpably ignorant or deceitful in ones reporting

[quote=arieh0310]Also, please don’t take the victim attitude. The purpose of this forum is to discuss challenges to the LDS faith. Although Mormon apologetics seems to be an impossible task I do enjoy these discussions. The more I read Mormon refutations to their faith the more secure mine becomes.
[/quote]

I would comport myself radically differently if I was here to cause you to become insecure in your faith.

Your above quoted comments are perhaps the kindest way I have been told that my ideas are patently ridiculous, but I support your right to believe that.

If I am taking the victim’s attitude, then that will just have to be the way of it.

Let me again suggest to you that if This Rock had a position that was as strong as many wish it was they shouldn’t have to resort to behaving EXACTLY like those who attack the Catholic Church do; exactly like the people corrected by This Rock for attacking the Catholic Church. This in itself could be said to be telling.

Charity, TOm


#12

Hmm, the Spaulding manuscript.

Sorry, I did not buy that one while a believing mormon, and guess what; I don’t buy it as an ex-mormon either.

Granted, this is the first time I heard of a pre-BoM Smith-Rigdon connection; but even if this proves true, then at most Rigdon could have provided was the basic idea from these tenuous meetings, not likely that Rigdon (who is claimed to have stolen the manuscript) would have given it (the manuscript) to Smith (not until after Rigdon’s joining of the church anyway.)

So, I think the concept of plagerism would be a stretch of plausibility.

Should a verifiable copy of Spaulding’s manuscript be found, and there indeed were material (not just thematic) similarities, them perhaps a case for plagerism could be more accurately made. But, I don’t think this would happen. Why? I don’t find the theories of JS having a copy of the manuscript to be plausible.

Now, having heard the idea during a cofee-shop conversation, and running with it in his own direction; that is several degrees more pausible than ownership of the manuscript by Smith.

But, again, who cares where he got the idea from, if all you are going to assert is that he made it up anyway; all you are doing is attacking his creativity and originality; the lack or presence of either won’t prove or disprove his message.


#13

I do not think that Joseph Smith plagirized the BoM. I (and Casen and Tom are going to KILL me for saying this) think that Joseph Smith was a litttle off his rocker.
i think so for the simply reason that there isn’t any contradiction in his work and that he died in a jail cell. He also seemed to be able to keep his story straight and he didnt make much money off of the whole concept.
I think he hallucinated Moroni and the Golden Plates, and his witnesses thought he was joking around. Then they where basically stuck with a big group of people who beleived them and didn’t know what to do, so they just went along with everything. Interestingly enough some wittnesses even left the church. Another thing is this Whitman family makes up 5 of the " witnesses" and JS’s wife, his son, and his father make up 3, and then we have Birgham Young and Oliver Crowdly, and some other people that later left the church. Joseph Smith’s family,a long with 1000 others, stayed behind when Birgham Young led most Mormons into Utah. Joseph’s family went on to found the Reorganized Church Of Jesus Christ, now Community Of Christ, that has greatly differeing opinions on Mormonism.
If they all thought Joseph Smith was a true prophet, then why did his own family found another branch of Mormonism? His wife was even reluctant to publish one of his “scriptures” (I cant rememeber which)!


#14

Chazemataz,
Your theory is interesting even though you got the witnesses mixed up a bit but a look at the real history doesn’t support it. The Three Witnesses were: Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and Martin Harriss. They testified that they saw the gold plates and also the angel Moroni. All three later left the church because the disagreed with Joseph’s policies, but none of them ever denied their testimony of the plates. Two of the three later rejoined the church and all three repeated their testimony to their death, despite their falling out with Joseph and despite never making any monetary profit from it.

The Eight Witnesses were: CHRISTIAN WHITMER, HIRAM PAGE, JACOB WHITMER, JOSEPH SMITH, SEN., PETER WHITMER, JUN., HYRUM SMITH, JOHN WHITMER, SAMUEL H. SMITH. They didn’t see an angel but they physically handled the plates. All eight stood by their testimony of seeing the plates to their deaths. Other witnesses not included in the eleven were Mary Whitmer and Emma Smith.

RE: If they all thought Joseph Smith was a true prophet, then why did his own family found another branch of Mormonism?

Emma was not fan of Brigham Young. Emma was compiling a book of hymns for the church at the request of Joseph and Brigham Young published it during his mission to Europe without her permission which became a serious issue for Emma. When her husband was killed the bulk of the saint followed Brigham Young but Emma stayed behind and later helped her son become the leader of the RLDS church. But this had nothing to do with a lack of faith in the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. There is no doubt Emma believed her husband was a prophet and believed in the Book of Mormon.

Long after the martyrdom of Emma’s husband and her remarriage to Lewis Bidamon she gave two interviews in which she described the plates and her own labors as a scribe during the translation. She said:

*When my husband was translating the Book of Mormon, I wrote a part of it, as he dictated each sentence, word for word, and when he came to proper names he could not pronounce, or long words, he spelled them out. Even the word Sariah he could not pronounce at first, but had to spell it, and I would pronounce it for him.

Q. Are you sure that he had the plates at the time you were writing for him?

A. The plates often lay on the table without any attempt at concealment, wrapped in a small linen table cloth, which I had given him to fold them in. I once felt the plantes, as the lay on the table, tracing their outline and shape. They seemed to be pliable like thick paper and would rustle with a metallic sound when the edges were moved by the thumb, as one does sometimes thumb the edges of a book.

Joseph Smith could neither write nor dictate a coherent and well-worded letter, let alone dictating a book like the Book of Mormon. And, though I was an active participant in the scenes that transpired, and was present during the translation of the plates, and had cognizance of things as they transpired, it is marvelous to me, a marvel and a wonder, as much so as to anyone else. My belief is that the Book of Mormon is of divine authenticity – I have not the slightest doubt of it. *


#15

I (and Casen and Tom are going to KILL me for saying this) think that Joseph Smith was a litttle off his rocker.

Many people are of that opinion. Quite a number of people, including a well-respected Indian leader, were of that opinion at that time.

They believed they did what was right. The fraud established a religion that proved, in the minds of believers who were religious fundamentalists of their time, that Indians are descendants of Adam and Eve, and therefore human. The great majority of Mornons, even today, are strict literal creationists with a 6,000 year-old earth…

I would not be surprised if Joe, himself, had some Indian ancestry, was torn apart by the racism of the times. He only wanted to prove himself human. In the process, he turned himself white------


#16

[quote=Casen]Chazemataz,
Your theory is interesting even though you got the witnesses mixed up a bit but a look at the real history doesn’t support it. The Three Witnesses were: Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and Martin Harriss. They testified that they saw the gold plates and also the angel Moroni. All three later left the church because the disagreed with Joseph’s policies, but none of them ever denied their testimony of the plates. Two of the three later rejoined the church and all three repeated their testimony to their death, despite their falling out with Joseph and despite never making any monetary profit from it.

The Eight Witnesses were: CHRISTIAN WHITMER, HIRAM PAGE, JACOB WHITMER, JOSEPH SMITH, SEN., PETER WHITMER, JUN., HYRUM SMITH, JOHN WHITMER, SAMUEL H. SMITH. They didn’t see an angel but they physically handled the plates. All eight stood by their testimony of seeing the plates to their deaths. Other witnesses not included in the eleven were Mary Whitmer and Emma Smith.

RE: If they all thought Joseph Smith was a true prophet, then why did his own family found another branch of Mormonism?

Emma was not fan of Brigham Young. Emma was compiling a book of hymns for the church at the request of Joseph and Brigham Young published it during his mission to Europe without her permission which became a serious issue for Emma. When her husband was killed the bulk of the saint followed Brigham Young but Emma stayed behind and later helped her son become the leader of the RLDS church. But this had nothing to do with a lack of faith in the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. There is no doubt Emma believed her husband was a prophet and believed in the Book of Mormon.

Long after the martyrdom of Emma’s husband and her remarriage to Lewis Bidamon she gave two interviews in which she described the plates and her own labors as a scribe during the translation. She said:

*When my husband was translating the Book of Mormon, I wrote a part of it, as he dictated each sentence, word for word, and when he came to proper names he could not pronounce, or long words, he spelled them out. Even the word Sariah he could not pronounce at first, but had to spell it, and I would pronounce it for him.

Q. Are you sure that he had the plates at the time you were writing for him?

A. The plates often lay on the table without any attempt at concealment, wrapped in a small linen table cloth, which I had given him to fold them in. I once felt the plantes, as the lay on the table, tracing their outline and shape. They seemed to be pliable like thick paper and would rustle with a metallic sound when the edges were moved by the thumb, as one does sometimes thumb the edges of a book.

Joseph Smith could neither write nor dictate a coherent and well-worded letter, let alone dictating a book like the Book of Mormon. And, though I was an active participant in the scenes that transpired, and was present during the translation of the plates, and had cognizance of things as they transpired, it is marvelous to me, a marvel and a wonder, as much so as to anyone else. My belief is that the Book of Mormon is of divine authenticity – I have not the slightest doubt of it. *
[/quote]

Why does the Community of Christ not accept the Pearl Of Great Price then? What do they not like about it? They also do not seem as unlikely. They do not believe that humans can become Gods, they do not believe in polygamy, baptising the dead, ect. Also, Joseph Smith was not some stupid dumb old redneck. The LDS Church insists he was, but he most certainly wasn’t. He got his first King James Bible at age 12, and I guaruntee you that he had it read by age 14. He was more than likely thinking of how much more improtant he was than all of the other boys his age for reading thw whole Bible while they where outside running around. He started thinking that God would appear and give him some sort of divine revelation. He became so obsessed with the idea that he hallucinated Moroni. He went to upstate New York following the hallucination. Then he found gold that either had useless scriblings on it, or had some genuine anceitn writing (not nessecarrily the Nephites or Lamites’) on it. He immediantly went back, and he showed it to people as his schizophernia told him to. People believed him, especially Emma Hale, and watched him “translate” them while it was actually just his avid imagination.
Another possibility that I consider…


#17

Your link provides a reasonable explanation, although i prefer to state it in psychological terms, rather than spiritual ones. In a disassociative schizophrenic or epileptic state, under the social pressures that I previously stated, he could very well have produced a work that neither he, nor those around him, thought him capable of. The human being GENERALLY uses only 10% of brain capacity.


#18

I do think as well that the Mormons are strict creationists. A literal interpretation of scripture is difficult enough, but when it comes to a literal translation of a humanly created book, well. One of the interesting things amout Mormonism, and I said this in another post, is their constant claim that the Great Apostasy of the Catholic Church took place in 570AD. Someone else on this forum also told me that was the year Christ appeared to somebody on this continent. I started wonder why the year 570 AD kept popping up in these discussions and searched on the internet for the thing of significance that happened in 570 Ad. Of course, the search did not return that Jesus appeared in 570, nor did it talk about the Apostasy of the Church. What it said was 570AD is the birth year of the great prophet of Islam, Mohammed, who as divine prophet, founded the second largest religion in the world. Second only to Christianity. Interesting. 570 AD.


#19

that was the year Christ appeared to somebody on this continent

not Him, but maybe a bunch of Irish missionaries appeared in North America within that general time-frame?

castletown.com/brendan.htm

newadvent.org/cathen/02758c.htm

prayerfoundation.org/favoritemonks/favorite_monks_brendan_the_navigator.htm

irelandseye.com/irish/people/saints/brendan.shtm


#20

[quote=Jerusha]not Him, but maybe a bunch of Irish missionaries appeared in North America within that general time-frame?

castletown.com/brendan.htm

newadvent.org/cathen/02758c.htm

prayerfoundation.org/favoritemonks/favorite_monks_brendan_the_navigator.htm

irelandseye.com/irish/people/saints/brendan.shtm
[/quote]

Yes, actually that is very likely. This would have been at the first introduction of Christianity in Ireland and before the attacks on the newly built monastaries. But then, one wonders how, so many years later, Smith made such a distortion of St. Brendan’s visit?
Is there any possibility that being from Europe St. Brendan would have been aware of the restlessness in the Middle East? He would not have been aware of Mohammad’s birth of course, as 570, Mohammad had been born and it would be many years before he assumed the role of prophet. But he would have been aware of the general discontent in the area. Could he have conveyed this to any people he met, say in WEst Virginia or elsewhere? No way to know, but it is interesting.


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