Rare Mormon document collection for sale on eBay

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Jan. 22, 2011 10:20 p.m.

    @ Truth:
    I think that is a very legitimate question that I was thinking about myself. I would definitely want to know who has possessed these documents in the past, especially if any of the previous owners had any ties to Mark Hoffman.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 21, 2011 8:48 p.m.

    I have actually donated stuff to BYU library. True, the books I donated were in total worth less than $100 and not anything exceptional, but I do not just recomend others donate.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 21, 2011 8:43 p.m.

    To the 5th Element,
    Actually it appears that Reynolds Cahoon's diary from the temple might be quite insightful on some matters.

    I would speak for them being donated to the Church History Library. However a donation to the Utah Historical Society, University of Utah, Utah State University, BYU Special Collections, the Bancroft Library at Berkeley, the Huntingdon Library, or any of several other libraries that have collections of historical records, possible say the Western Illinois University Library or the Case Western Reserve University Library since many of these papers deal with Cahoon's life while in those vicinities (CWRU is close to Kirtland and WIU is close to Nauvoo) would work as well.

    However few if any of these places have significant aquisitions budgets. Their best chance is for owners of documents to donate them so they can be used for a better understanding of history.

    There is also the fact realized by the people in the Church History Department in the late 1980s, rare documents are susceptible to supply and demand. If institutions pay for them they become more expensive. As the price grows so does the likelyhood of forgery.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 21, 2011 8:35 p.m.

    Tom Smith,
    You misunderstnad the relationship between the Deseret News and the Church. While the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does own the Deseret News articles in the DN do not constitute official statements of the Church and the process of creating articles is an interaciton between reporters and editors.

    The Deseret News exists as a money-making operation. It does hold itself to stricter standards on what type of advertising it will allow and some related issues, but the main reason to print an article is built around the twin goals of serving as a useful disseminator of information and having articles that readers will like.

    In general any reporter at least seeks to present a story in a fair and balanced way. It is often hard to do so and complete balance is probably impossible, but just because you can not fully have clear food does not mean you eat stuff pulled from the gutter.

    On the other hand the LDS Church hisotry department has since the late 1980s had a policy against purchasing historical documents in most cases. This was a direct reaction to Hoffman and made to create less incentive for forgery.

  • Gentile brookings, SD
    Jan. 21, 2011 6:30 p.m.

    Why the slander of Mark Hofmann in the article? The news was the collection up for sale. Not Mark. Unless, of course, Mark hit a nerve with his actions.

  • Calling All Cahoons Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 21, 2011 5:03 p.m.

    It would have been nice if the Cahoon's that sold this collection would have consider keeping it in the family. Lets pool our money together and make John and offer.:^)
    Reynolds Cahoon, and his family, seemed to have been involved in the crucial developments surrounding the early years of the Mormon Church. He was a builder and was on the committees for the Kirtland and Nauvoo Temples. He was a counselor to the Bishop of Kirtland and later served in the presidencies of the Kirtland, Adam ondi Ahman and Zarahemla Stakes. He was a member of the High Council and was a charter member of the ill fated Kirtland Safety Society, a captain of the Missouri Danite band, a polygamist, a member of The Council of Fifty, on the standing Committee of Investigation for the Nauvoo Masonic lodge, was an assistant aide de camp with the Nauvoo Legion, was one of Joseph Smiths and later Brigham Youngs bodyguards, and he also belonged to Joseph Smiths elite Quorum of the Anointed. He was notably involved in the events of the final crossing of Joseph Smith that, many believed, lead to Smiths untimely death.

  • OKCMo Oklahoma City, OK
    Jan. 21, 2011 1:31 p.m.

    I don't agree that these documents belong to the Church. If someone has the money to buy them, then more power to them.

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 21, 2011 1:06 p.m.

    I wonder if these are more Mark Hoffman Originals!

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 21, 2011 12:05 p.m.

    What is the 'worth' of anything?

    Joseph Smith was cautioned about thinking about the dollar value of the 'gold plates'. He was reminded that the 'value' of those plates was found in their contents, not in their minerals.

    The 'owner' of the documents reported in this article has every right to dispose of them in any way that he wishes. He may see the dollar value while others see other value.

    The greater question is within each of us. What do we 'value'? Are we willing to 'sell' ourselves on EBay to the highest bidder or do we hold to eternal values regardless of offers to buy our soul?

  • Brian Wasilla, AK
    Jan. 21, 2011 10:39 a.m.

    Something not somthing...bad typing not bad spelling!

  • Brian Wasilla, AK
    Jan. 21, 2011 10:36 a.m.

    It's easy to suggest someone else should give somthing that they own to the church or to a museum. Everyone is very generous with the other guy's stuff!

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Jan. 21, 2011 10:25 a.m.

    Hajicek is not LDS and is not likely to donate it to the church. He has made a lot of money off old LDS documents and has an amazing collection. He is very good at what he does. He owns more BofM 1st Ed's than anyone else in the world. I don't think selling these documents on EBay is wrong or immoral. There are a number of very wealthy people who have a passion for this kind of stuff where Ebay is an avenue by which they can obtain these kind of documents.

    What is immoral is the selling of a B of M 1st Ed page by page on Ebay, which some people are doing.

  • Michael De Groote
    Jan. 21, 2011 10:17 a.m.

    I recommend to anybody interested in these documents (not from a buying aspect, but historical interest) to look at the pdf file Hajicek has on the eBay page. There are photos and quotes on just about everything.

    I wrote the article because this is a fascinating collection. Cahoon knew all the early leaders and members of the LDS Church right from the beginning. He saw the whole history -- except to him it wasn't history, it was just his life. My guess is that very few people knew about this collection and about Cahoon.

    The Maudsley drawing of Joseph in the other auction is also fascinating. Hajicek thinks it is was the drawing made from life upon which Maudsley based all his other drawings of Joseph. I wish the photo showed the detail better, but it is a very nice piece.

    I have to admit that I laughed out loud when I saw the Maudsley auction selling for $999,000 and eBay added "Free Shipping."

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    Jan. 21, 2011 10:13 a.m.

    Naturally if someone buy's something of Mormon historical value, it rightly then belongs to the Church, right noneck62?

    The Church just spent an estimated 2-3 billion on a shopping center, so I'm sure they could buy the documents if they wanted them.

  • moodyblue77 Provo, UT
    Jan. 21, 2011 10:12 a.m.

    The sad thing about this whole picture is the sense that the value of documents like these is monetary.

    As Indiana Jones said, "This should be in a museum."

    Better yet, why not the library at the U or at Utah State?

    Put them somewhere they can be studied.

    Perhaps someone will purchase and then donate them.

  • The 5th Element The High Plains of, Texas
    Jan. 21, 2011 10:02 a.m.

    @ noneck62. Just because these are rare Mormon-related documents does not mean that they belong to the LDS Church. These were family documents, handed down over generations, that relate to a time period in the church. If the church thought they were significant enough to purchase them, I'm sure they would put in an offer. While rare, they don't really add or take away anything to church doctrine, etc.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Jan. 21, 2011 9:20 a.m.

    Donate them and take the tax writeoff.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Jan. 21, 2011 9:06 a.m.

    I'm actually a little surprised John is selling these items. He has competed for years for documents like this almost to the point of obsession. He's a nice guy though and has helped me find historical documents for research purposes. I hope things are going well for him and that this auction isn't because he has had financial reversals.

  • noneck62 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 21, 2011 8:57 a.m.

    It is WRONG to sell these Church documents on ebay; these documents belong in the Church History Library here in Salt Lake City.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Jan. 21, 2011 8:31 a.m.

    Good grief!

    Look, it's just news. It has nothing to do with driving the price down or finding buyers. It's just an interesting little news tidbit. That's all. I personally found it quite interesting.


  • Tom Smith Sandy, UT
    Jan. 21, 2011 7:49 a.m.

    It is obvious that the Church is not interested at this price or they would have purchased the items and the article would not have been written. It appears that the article is written to either assist the seller in locating a buyer, OR to notify all potential buyers that the price is too high in an attempt to drive the price down.
    It is interesting that the Church run newspaper would feel that either of these reasons is an appropriate area of interest in a private transaction.

  • pat1 Taylorsville, UT
    Jan. 21, 2011 7:33 a.m.

    My 2cents: This means nothing to you but does to members of the church. If you go to Rome you will see many things that the Catholic Church has kept through the centuries.

    I don't read the Deseret News for national or world news (The Washington Post is better) but for the LDS news. You can certainly read the Trib and avoid the LDS news if it offends you.

  • pat1 Taylorsville, UT
    Jan. 21, 2011 7:31 a.m.

    Donate these things to the Church History library!

  • JanSan Pocatello, ID
    Jan. 21, 2011 6:56 a.m.

    Boy.......... someone got up on the wrong side of the bed!!

    I found this story interesting. Thank you for printing it.

  • Granny Barton Woods Cross, Utah
    Jan. 21, 2011 3:51 a.m.

    If you did'nt care about the subject matter of this article, why did you read it? Articles like this hold a great amount of interest to me and I'm sure to other members of the Church. Although I could never afford to buy something like this, it always amazes me how some people and families can see the value of preserving things such as this down through their families for generations. With all the things that the early Saints went through it is amazing they were able to preserve anything.

  • My2Cents Kearns, UT
    Jan. 21, 2011 2:55 a.m.

    So is this illegal or something? Is the church laying claim to the documents and seeking to confiscate them? If its all legal and upfront they what makes this a story anyone cares about?

    More nonsense news thats not news.