From the 12th day of April  until the 14th day of June  he said he had written 116 pages foolscap of the translation. He said at this period of the translation, a circumstance happened. He was the cause of the 116 pages that he had written being lost and never found. He said he believed his wife burned it up, as she was very bitter against him having anything to do with Joseph Smith.
It was caused through her insisting that he bring the manuscript home and letting her and the rest of the family handle and see it. His family then consisted of his first wife, his father and mother, his brother Preserved Harris and his wife's sister, a Mrs. Cobb. "I promised Joseph that I would not let anyone else see it." Joseph inquired of the Lord through the Urim and Thummim if Harris should be permitted to take them, and was forbidden twice, but the third time he was permitted to take them after promising Joseph that he would not let any more see it. But he said when he arrived home, there were more people in the house besides the five and his wife took the manuscript and he never saw it anymore.
(William Pilkington Affidavit, 3 Apr 1934, BYU-A 3, 1)
(William Pilkington Affidavit, 3 Apr 1934, BYU-A 3, 2)
I am the only one alive today of his immediate family that knows anything pertaining to his testimony, as taken from his own lips. In his talks with me, he would say, "Now,Willie, I am not going to live very long; and after I am dead, I want you to tell the people what I have told you. For it is all true." And he would hold up his right hand and swear himself that he was telling the truth. I would invariably tell him: "Yes, Grandpa, I will sure tell the people what you have told me, for I know you have told me the truth.
On the 9th day of July 1875, while he was dying, I knelt by his cot, as he was lying on a cot in the southwest corner of the room in a house owned by a man by the name of Carbine, it was situated on the north side of Clarkston, Cache County, Utah. I wanted to get what I thought would be his last words, but he could not talk audibly. I could not understand what he wanted to tell me. He tried hard to tell me. So I stroked his hair back on his forehead and knelt down and prayed to the Lord and asked him in the name of Jesus to strengthen his servant's voice so that I could understand his last words, but I could get no response. He was lying on his left side, facing in the room and as I knelt down I placed my hands on his right arm. As I moved to stand up, I was in the act of moving my hands and he shook his head as if he did not want me to move. I then knelt down again and prayed to the Lord as before, and I was inspired by the Lord to ask Grandpa if he wanted me to hold up his right hand so that he could bear his testimony. I asked him and his answer came clear, "Yes." While I held his right hand up, strength was given to him and he bore his testimony as he had done many times before and I understood every word.
He then bore the same testimony to the whole world and then laid back exhausted. There were two other men standing in the room and heard him bear his testimony. One of them was Thomas Godfery of Clarkston who just recently died.
Martin Harris' spirit departed the next day, the 10th day of July, 1875, in Clarkston, Cache County, Utah, aged 92 years. I attended his funeral and assisted in his burial in the Clarkston cemetery.
Signed, William Pilkington Smithfield, Utah
(William Pilkington Affidavit, 3 Apr 1934, BYU-A 6, 6)
(William Pilkington Affidavit, 3 Apr 1934, BYU-A 8, 3)
At last night came, supper was over, and after having family prayer, they all retired to bed. The old gentleman then sat down in his arm chair, put his elbow on the arm of the chair and crooked his finger as he did scores of times afterward, and that was a signal for me to bring another chair alongside of his. He again asked me what my name was. I told him. "Oh yes, I am going to call you Willie." He had already found out that I was a Mormon. He then said, "Willie, did you ever go to Sunday School?" I promptly told him, "Yes, sir." "What class were you in?" I promptly told him the Book of Mormon class. His eyes sparkled and his whole body seemed to reverberate. He seemed like a changed being. He was very excited, trembling as I gazed in his eyes. He said, "Did you ever read the Book of Mormon?" "Yes, sir, " was the reply. "Well, if you have read the Book of Mormon, what is the first reading in the preface of the book that we find?" After a little thinking, I said, "the first reading in the Book of Mormon is the testimony of the three men testifying to the whole world that they saw an angel come down from heaven. That they saw the gold plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated, and the angel told them that the translation was correct and we bear record that Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God, and that their names will forever go before the world testifying that the Book of Mormon is true."
He then said, "I know, now, Willie, that you have read that glorious book.
Willie, I am going to ask you one more question. What were those three men's names?" I told him they were Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris.
This little, old man, then ninety- two (91) years of age, of whom in my mind I had likened to Rip Van Winkle, whose whole being at this time was wonderful to behold, all lit up with the Spirit of God, whose eyes now were sparkling, whose whole being was transformed, stood up before me on the memorable occasion, and putting his walking cane in his left hand, straightened up and striking his breast with his right hand, exclaimed, "I am Martin Harris, one of the three witnesses to the authenticity of the Book of Mormon." A man who had the privilege of standing before angels, a man whose eyes beheld the golden plates, a man whose ears heard the voice of God from heaven declare that the Book was translated correctly, and that commanded him to testify to all the world that it was correct. I say again, can you imagine me, a mere boy not yet fourteen years of age until the next month, November, as this was October of the year 1874.
(William Pilkington Auto in Gunnell, "Harris" 72, 3)
(William Pilkington Auto in Gunnell, "Harris" 72, 4)
CENSUS: A Mormon preacher age 77 in househole of George Harris.
CENSUS: Age 88 born in NY.