With the rest of the Eight Witnesses, he claimed to have "seen," "handled" and "hefted" the golden plates in June 1829. Seven years later, he again wrote forcefully of that experience:
"I desire to testify to all that will come to the knowledge of this address, that I have most assuredly seen the plates from whence the Book of Mormon is translated, and that I have handled these plates, and know of a surety that Joseph Smith, Jr., has translated the Book of Mormon by the gift and power of God. And in this thing the wisdom of the wise most assuredly has perished. Therefore, know ye, O ye inhabitants of the earth, wherever this address may come, that I have in this thing freed my garments of your blood, whether you believe or disbelieve."