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CitationAbuse:CES Letter:Metcalf Ten Years Before the Mast
Citation abuse in the original Letter to a CES Director: Anthony Metcalf's Ten Years Before the Mast
The Letter to a CES Director presents two quotes and two sources to demonstrate that Martin Harris did not actually see the gold plates and the angel Moroni:
“While praying I passed into a state of entrancement, and in that state I saw the angel and the plates.” – Martin Harris, (Anthony Metcalf, Ten Years Before the Mast, n.d., microfilm copy, p. 70-71)
“I never saw the gold plates, only in a visionary or entranced state.” – EMD 2:346-47
The two quotes are actually derived from the same quote, and the two different sources are actually from a single source
The Letter presents these two quotes as coming from two different sources: 1) Anthony Metcalf, Ten Years Before the Mast and 2) Early Mormon Documents (EMD) 2:346-347. An examination of the two sources, however, demonstrates that both came from the same source. The first quote, the one attributed to Metcalf, is found in EMD 2:346. The second quote is found in EMD 2:347. The combined citation for both quotes is EMD 2:346-347. The Letter, however, only assigns this citation to the second quote. The author of the Letter also reverses the order in which the two phrases appear in the quote.
Anthony Metcalf interviewed Martin Harris in the 1873 or 1874 timeframe. Note that Metcalf considered Joseph Smith a "pretended prophet" and was therefore relating Harris's claims from a skeptical perspective. Here is the complete quote with the portions that were extracted and presented separately by the author of the Letter to a CES Director highlighted in blue:
Following is the history as related to me, including all his connections with Joseph Smith, the pretended prophet and the founder of the Mormon church: He told me all about the translating of the Book of Mormon, and said he had give $5,000 towards its publication. He said "I never saw the golden plates, only in a visionary or entranced state. I wrote a great deal of the Book of Mormon myself, as Joseph Smith translated or spelled the words out in English. Sometimes the plates would be on a table in the room in which Smith did the translating, covered over with cloth. I was told by Joseph Smith that God would strike him dead if he attempted to look at them, and I believed it. When the time came for the three witnesses to see the plates, Joseph Smith, myself, David Whitmer and Oliver Cowdery, went into the woods to pray. When they had all engaged in prayer, they failed at that time to see the plates or the angel who should have been on hand to exhibit them. They all believed it was because I was not good enough, or, in other words, not sufficiently sanctified. I withdrew. As soon as I had gone away, the three others saw the angel and the plates. In about three days I went into the woods to pray that I might see the plates. While praying I passed into a state of entrancement, and in that state I saw the angel and the plates." 
- "Martin Harris Interview with Anthony Metcalf, Circa 1873-1874," in Vogel (ed.) Early Mormon Documents 2:346-347.