About a couple of weeks since, three men, calling themselves Oliver Cowdry, David Whitmer and Martin Harris, appeared in our village, laden with a new revelation, which they claim to be a codicil to the New Testament. . . .
The account which they give is substantially as follows:--at a recent period an angel appeared to a poor ignorant man residing in or near Palmyra in Ontario County in the State of New York, directed him to open the earth at a place designated, where he would find the new revelation engraved on plates of metal. In obedience to the celestial messenger, Smith repaired to the spot, and on opening the ground discovered an oblong stone box tightly closed with cement. He opened the sacred depository and found enclosed a bundle of plates resembling gold, carefully united at one edge with three silver wires so that they opened like a book. The plates were about 7 inches long and 6 broad, and the whole pile was about 6 inches deep, each plate about the thickness of tin. They were engraved in a character unintelligible to the learned men of the United States, to many of whom it is said they have been presented. The angel afterwards appeared to the three individuals, and showed them the plates. To Smith was given to translate the character[s] which he was enabled to do by looking through two semi-transparent stones, but as he was ignorant of the art of writing, Cowdry and the others wrote as Smith interpreted. They say that part of the plates escaped from them in a supernatural manner and are to be again revealed when the events of the time shall require them. . . .
["Delusion," Geauga (OH) Gazette, circa 23 November 1830, as reprinted in Morning Courier and New-York Enquirer, 7 December 1830., as cited in Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents: Geauga (Oh) Gazette]