Harris convinced Smith to let him take the existing 116 pages of manuscript to Palmyra to show a few family members, including his wife.
Harris lost the manuscript, of which there was no other copy.
(December 23, 1805 – June 27, 1844) was an American religious leader and founder of Mormonism and the Latter Day Saint movement.
When he was twenty-four, Smith published the Book of Mormon.
His followers regard him as a prophet comparable to Moses and Elijah, and several religious denominations consider themselves the continuation of the church he organized, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Community of Christ.
Harris said Anthon initially authenticated the characters and their translation, but then retracted his opinion after learning that Smith claimed to have received the plates from an angel.
Anthon denied Harris's account of the meeting, claiming instead that he had tried to convince Harris that he was the victim of a fraud.
The event would later grow in importance to Smith's followers, who now regard it as the first event in the gradual restoration of Christ's church to earth.
Until the 1840s, however, the experience was largely unknown, even to most Mormons.