DID MORMON MUMMIES FIND A HOME AT THE CARLOS MUSEUM IN ATLANTA? On the Trail of the Missing Joseph Smith Mummies and Papyri

In 1999, the Michael C. Carlos Museum in Atlanta purchased a collection of Egyptian artifacts, including ten coffins and nine mummies, formerly owned by “The Niagara Falls Museum and Daredevil Hall of Fame.” Recent research confirms four of these mummies had apparently been purchased by the Niagara Falls Museum from the Wood’’s Museum in Chicago in 1878–—seven years after the Chicago fire of 1871 supposedly destroyed the Wood’’s Museum’s entire Egyptian collection. It is well known that the Wood’’s Museum owned two of the mummies formerly owned by Joseph Smith, as well as a portion of the Egyptian papyri associated with the Book of Abraham that was not part of the “discovery” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1967. So, are two of Smith’’s mummies now in the Carlos Museum? I’’ll examine the evidence. I’’ll also shed further light on certain ill-understood aspects of the 1878 eastern mission of Orson Pratt and Joseph F. Smith and their apparent attempt to purchase this portion of the Egyptian papyri from the Wood’’s Museum.

Edgar C. Snow