175 years ago today - May 15, 1844
Josiah Quincy interviews Joseph Smith in Nauvoo. As a "Boston Brahmin" and soon-to-be mayor of Boston, Quincy is the first prominent American leader to request a meeting with and LDS president. In his 1883 FIGURES OF THE PAST Quincy writes: "What historical American of the nineteenth century has exerted the most powerful influence upon the destinies of his countrymen? and it is by no means improbable that the answer to that interrogatory may be thus written: 'Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet.'" Joseph Smith shows Quincy the Egyptian Papyrus and says, "That is the handwriting of Abraham, the father of the Faithful. This is the autograph of Moses, and these lines were written by his brother Aaron. Here we have the earliest account of the creation from which Moses composed the First Book of Genesis" When questioned about an illustration on the papyrus of a snake having legs Joseph replies, "Before the Fall snakes always went about on legs, just like chickens. They were deprived of them, in punishment for their agency in the ruin of man." After showing the mummies and papyri Joseph tells Quincy and his traveling companion, "Gentlemen, those who see these curiosities generally pay my mother a quarter of a dollar"