EmmaHaleSmith
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HALE, Isaac

HALE, Isaac  Additional Information on HALE, Isaac - I19786

Male 1763 - 1839  (75 years)  Submit Photo / DocumentSubmit Photo / Document

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  • Name HALE, Isaac 
    Born 21 Mar 1763  Waterbury, New Haven, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Christened South Bainbridge, Chenango, New York, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 11 Jan 1839  Harmony, Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Buried 12 Jan 1839  McKune cemetary, Oakland, Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    WAC 28 May 1925  SLAKE Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    _TAG Reviewed on FS 
    Headstones Submit Headstone Photo Submit Headstone Photo 
    Person ID I19786  Joseph Smith Sr and Lucy Mack Smith | Joseph Sr., Emma Hale
    Last Modified 16 Feb 2020 

    Father HALE, Reuben Sr. ,   b. 1736, Oxford, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1788, Harmony, Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 52 years) 
    Mother WARD, Diantha ,   b. 9 Aug 1741, Goshen, Litchfield, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1771, New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 29 years) 
    Married 29 Aug 1759  Oxford, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F8048  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family LEWIS, Elizabeth ,   b. 19 Nov 1767, Goshen, Litchfield, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Feb 1842, Harmony, Susquehanna, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years) 
    Married 28 Sep 1790  Wells, Rutland, Vermont Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • ~SEALING_SPOUSE: Also shown as SealSp 16 Jun 1926, SLAKE.MARRIAGE: Also shown as Married 20 Sep 1790 ~SEALING_SPOUSE: Also shown as SealSp 30 Sep 1971, SLAKE.
    Children 
    +1. HALE, Jesse ,   b. 24 Feb 1792, Harmony, Susquehanna, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Dec 1874, Sublette, Lee, Illinois Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years)
    +2. HALE, David ,   b. 7 Mar 1794, Harmony, Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Apr 1878, Amboy, Lee, Illinois, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 84 years)
    +3. HALE, Alva ,   b. 29 Nov 1795, Harmony, Susquehanna, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Apr 1881, Osceola, Polk, Wisconsin, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years)
    +4. HALE, Phoebe Elizabeth ,   b. 1 May 1798, Harmony, Susquehanna, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Dec 1836, Harmony, Susquehanna, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 38 years)
    +5. HALE, Elizabeth ,   b. 14 Feb 1800, Harmony, Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 May 1874, Amboy, Lee, Illinois, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years)
    +6. HALE, Isaac Ward ,   b. 11 Mar 1802, Harmony, Susquehanna, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Sep 1892, Osceola, Polk, Wisconsin, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 90 years)
    +7. HALE, Emma   Additional Information on HALE, Emma - I27,   b. 10 Jul 1804, Harmony, Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Apr 1879, Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years)
    +8. HALE, Tryael ,   b. 21 Nov 1806, Harmony, Susquehanna, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Jun 1860, Amboy, Lee, Illinois Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 53 years)
    +9. HALE, Reuben Charles ,   b. 18 Sep 1810, Harmony, Susquehanna, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Feb 1891, Reading, Berkshire, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years)
    Last Modified 6 Oct 2020 
    Family ID F8042  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsDied - 11 Jan 1839 - Harmony, Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, United States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsWAC - 28 May 1925 - SLAKE Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    https://sg30p0.familysearch.org/service/records/storage/das-mem/patron/v2/TH-904-60720-200-6/dist.jpg?ctx=ArtCtxPublic
    https://sg30p0.familysearch.org/service/records/storage/das-mem/patron/v2/TH-904-60720-200-6/dist.jpg?ctx=ArtCtxPublic

    Headstones
    Isaac Hale grave stone from internet article.jpg
    Isaac Hale grave stone from internet article.jpg

  • Notes 
    • Emma's father, Isaac Hale died 11 January 1839. His tombstone bears this inscription, "The body of Isaac Hale, the hunter, like the cover of an old boo, its contents torn out and stripped of their guilding, lies here, food for worms, yet the work itself shall not be lost, and it will appear once more in a new and beautiful edition, corrected and amended." (His tombstone is in the McKune Cemetery at Harmony, PA).

      Isaac's last will was to be administrated by her brother Alva. He left his farm to Alva asking that he pay his brothers twenty dollars, and also to "pay his sisters such sums as would be right and proper." From this we may understand that Emma was not disowned by her father. However small, she would have received something from his estate.

      Gracia N. Jones Elder Nathaniel Lewis is identified by Emily Blackman as "the pioneer Methodist of what is now Oakland." He was ordained a deacon in 1807. {This is Elizabeth's father} Isaac was inturred in a place of his own request. He had Stated, "I further desire my body buried on my own land back of the garden later became the McKune cemetery near the line betwixt me and Joseph McKune, Jr."

      The grave is in the northwest corner of the cemetery and some six yards south of State Highway 171. The cemetery proper is just 75 yards east of the "Restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood" monument. Elizabeth was placed next to her husband, the inscription reading, "Elizabeth wife of Isaac Hale, Died Feb. 16, 1842, Aged 75 years 2 months and 28 days." He is buried in the McCune cemetery which is located 2 1/2 miles west on Rt. 171 of Harmony [now called Oakland, Pennsylvania] Children: (Data compiled from family Bible and other family records supplied by descendants.)

      The children of Isaac Hale were all born in Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania, and nearly all of them came to Illinois. Isaac died 11 January 1839, his will, executed 23 December 1838, being admitted to probate on 21 January 1839. Deeds for transfer of property to and from Isaac Hale are on record in the county court, one of which, of interest here, conveyed in 1830 thirteen acres of land in Harmony to Joseph Smith, Jr. The will of Isaac Hale gives some insigt into the character and felings of the 'mighty hunter' whose generous though secret donations had oftern found their way to the needy. Isaac Hale, in his retirement years when Joseph came on the scene, felt ambivalent about Joseph Smith's stories and the work with the plates. During the summer of 1830 he flirted with belief, but finally, with support of Lewis and other family and community members turned against Smith. After Joseph and Emma left Harmony to escape increasing persecution, there is no evidence of further communication between the Smith's and Hale's, although Joseph apparently suspected disloyalty on Emma's part in favor of her family's opinions on a few occasions. Aside from Emma, one Isaac Hale grandson (Lorenzo Wasson) joined the Church. Among Emma's brothers, Reuben Hale gave some help to Joseph, but later said that Joseph's claims were bogus. David Hale claimed that Reuben helped Joseph fabricate characters supposedly from the plates (reference to the Anthon Transcript?) Alva Hale assisted Joseph and Emma to make the four-day 128 mile journey from Manchester to Harmony in 1827 and evidently was kindly disposed to the Smith's during their stay in Harmony. [Susan Easton Black, "Isaac Hale, antagonist of Joseph Smith," in Regional Studies in Church History - New York, (BYU Religious Studies, 1992), 93-108; Richard Lloyd Anderson, RBBM 3 (1991), 78; Larry C. Porter, "Reverend George Lane--Good 'Gifts,' Much 'Grace,' and Marked 'Usefulness'," BYUS 9 no. 3, 331-332.]

      Affidavit of Isaac Hale, father-in-law of Joseph Smith, Jr., given at Harmony Township, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania on 20 March 1834 Isaac Hale joined the Revolutionary War from Vermont at age 17. Source: "Mormonism," Susquehanna Register, and Northern Pennsylvanian 9 (1 May 1834):1, Montrose, Pennsylvania, emphasis omitted. Paragraphs are shortened for easier reading. I first became acquainted with Joseph Smith, Jr. in November, 1825. He was at that time in the employ of a set of men who were called "money-diggers;" and his occupation was that of seeing, or pretending to see by means of a stone placed in his hat, and his hat closed over his face. In this way he pretended to discover minerals and hidden treasure. His appearance at this time, was that of a careless young man - not very well educated, and very saucy and insolent to his father.

      Smith, and his father, with several other 'money-diggers' boarded at my house while they were employed in digging for a mine that they supposed had been opened and worked by the Spaniards, many years since. Young Smith gave the 'money-diggers' great encouragement, at first, but when they had arrived in digging, to near the place where he had stated an immense treasure would be found - he said the enchantment was so powerful that he could not see. They then became discourged, and soon after dispersed. This took place about the 17th of November, 1825; and one of the company gave me his note for $12[.]68 for his board, which is still unpaid. After these occurrences, young Smith made several visits at my house, and at length asked my consent to his marrying my daughter Emma.

      This I refused, and gave him my reasons for so doing; some of which were, that he was a stranger, and followed a business that I could not approve; he then left the place. Not long after this, he returned, and while I was absent from home, carried off my daughter, into the state of New York, where they were married without my approbation or consent. After they had arrived at Palmyra [Manchester] N.Y., Emma wrote to me inquiring whether she could have her property, consisting of clothing, furniture, cows, &c. I replied that her property was safe, and at her disposal.

      In short time they returned, bringing with them a Peter Ingersol[l], and subsequently came to the conclusion that they would move out, and resided upon a place near my residence. Smith stated to me, that he had given up what he called "glass-looking," and that he expected to work hard for a living, and was willing to do so. He also made arrangements with my son Alva Hale, to go to Palmyra, and move his (Smith's) furniture &c. to this place. He then returned to Palmyra, and soon after, Alva, agreeable to the arrangement, went up and returned with Smith and his family. Soon after this, I was informed they had brought a wonderful book of Plates down with them. I was shown a box in which it is said they were contained, which had, to all appearances, been used as a glass box of the common sized window-glass. I was allowed to feel the weight of the box, and they gave me to understand, that the book of plates was then in the box - into which, however, I was not allowed to look. I inquired of Joseph Smith Jr., who was to be the first who would be allowed to see the Book of Plates? He said it was a young child. After this, I became dissatisfied, and informed him that if there was any thing in my house of that description, which I could not be allowed to see, he must take it away; if he did not, I was determined to see it.

      After that, the Plates were said to be hid in the woods. About this time, Martin Harris made his appearance upon the stage; and Smith began to interpret the characters or hieroglyphics which he said were engraven upon the plates, while Harris wrote down the interpretation. It was said, that Harris wrote down one hundred and sixteen pages, and lost them. Soon after this happened, Martin Harris informed me that he must have a greater witness, and said that he had talked with Joseph about it - Joseph informed him that he could not, or durst not show him the plates, but that he (Joseph) would go into the woods where the Book of Plates was, and that after he came back, Harris should follow his track in the snow, and find the Book, and examine it for himself.

      Harris informed me afterwards, that he followed Smith's directions, and could not find the Plates, and was still dissatisfied. The next day after this happened, I went to the house where Joseph Smith Jr., lived, and where he and Harris were engaged in their translation of the Book. Each of them had a written piece of paper which they were comparing, and some of the words were "my servant seeketh a greater witness, but no greater witness can be given him." There was also something said about "three that were to see the thing" - meaning I supposed, the Book of Plates, and that "if the three did not go exactly according to orders, the thing would be taken from them." I enquired whose words they were, and was informed by Joseph or Emma, (I rather think it was the former) that they were the words of Jesus Christ. I told them then, that I considered the whole of it a delusion, and advised them to abandon it.

      The manner in which he pretended to read and interpret, was the same as when he looked for the money-diggers, with the stone in his hat, and his hat over his face, while the Book of Plates were at the same time in the woods! After this, Martin Harris went away, and Oliver Cowd[e]ry came and wrote for Smith, while he interpreted as above described. This is the same Oliver Cowd[e]ry, whose name may be found in the Book of Mormon. Cowd[e]ry continued a scribe for Smith until the Book of Mormon was completed as I supposed, and understood. Joseph Smith Jr. resided near me for some time after this, and I had a good opportunity of becoming acquainted with him, and somewhat acquainted with his associates, and I conscientiously believe from the facts I have detailed, and from many other circumstances, which I do not deem it necessary to relate, that the whole "Book of Mormon" (so called) is a silly fabrication of falsehood and wickedness, got up for speculation, and with a design to dupe the credulous and unwary - and in order that its fabricators might live upon the spoils of those who swallowed the deception. ISAAC HALE.

      Affirmed to and subscribed before me, March 20th, 1834. CHARLES DIMON, J[ustice]. [of the] Peace. Affidavit of Isaac Hale, father-in-law of Joseph Smith, Jr., given at Harmony Township, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania on 20 March 1834 Source: "Mormonism," Susquehanna Register, and Northern Pennsylvanian 9 (1 May 1834):1, Montrose, Pennsylvania, emphasis omitted.

      Paragraphs are shortened for easier reading. I first became acquainted with Joseph Smith, Jr. in November, 1825. He was at that time in the employ of a set of men who were called "money-diggers;" and his occupation was that of seeing, or pretending to see by means of a stone placed in his hat, and his hat closed over his face. In this way he pretended to discover minerals and hidden treasure. His appearance at this time, was that of a careless young man - not very well educated, and very saucy and insolent to his father. Smith, and his father, with several other 'money-diggers' boarded at my house while they were employed in digging for a mine that they supposed had been opened and worked by the Spaniards, many years since. Young Smith gave the 'money-diggers' great encouragement, at first, but when they had arrived in digging, to near the place where he had stated an immense treasure would be found - he said the enchantment was so powerful that he could not see. They then became discourged, and soon after dispersed. This took place about the 17th of November, 1825; and one of the company gave me his note for $12[.]68 for his board, which is still unpaid. After these occurrences, young Smith made several visits at my house, and at length asked my consent to his marrying my daughter Emma. This I refused, and gave him my reasons for so doing; some of which were, that he was a stranger, and followed a business that I could not approve; he then left the place. Not long after this, he returned, and while I was absent from home, carried off my daughter, into the state of New York, where they were married without my approbation or consent. After they had arrived at Palmyra [Manchester] N.Y., Emma wrote to me inquiring whether she could have her property, consisting of clothing, furniture, cows, &c. I replied that her property was safe, and at her disposal. In short time they returned, bringing with them a Peter Ingersol[l], and subsequently came to the conclusion that they would move out, and resided upon a place near my residence. Smith stated to me, that he had given up what he called "glass-looking," and that he expected to work hard for a living, and was willing to do so. He also made arrangements with my son Alva Hale, to go to Palmyra, and move his (Smith's) furniture &c. to this place. He then returned to Palmyra, and soon after, Alva, agreeable to the arrangement, went up and returned with Smith and his family. Soon after this, I was informed they had brought a wonderful book of Plates down with them. I was shown a box in which it is said they were contained, which had, to all appearances, been used as a glass box of the common sized window-glass. I was allowed to feel the weight of the box, and they gave me to understand, that the book of plates was then in the box - into which, however, I was not allowed to look. I inquired of Joseph Smith Jr., who was to be the first who would be allowed to see the Book of Plates? He said it was a young child. After this, I became dissatisfied, and informed him that if there was any thing in my house of that description, which I could not be allowed to see, he must take it away; if he did not, I was determined to see it. After that, the Plates were said to be hid in the woods. About this time, Martin Harris made his appearance upon the stage; and Smith began to interpret the characters or hieroglyphics which he said were engraven upon the plates, while Harris wrote down the interpretation. It was said, that Harris wrote down one hundred and sixteen pages, and lost them. Soon after this happened, Martin Harris informed me that he must have a greater witness, and said that he had talked with Joseph about it - Joseph informed him that he could not, or durst not show him the plates, but that he (Joseph) would go into the woods where the Book of Plates was, and that after he came back, Harris should follow his track in the snow, and find the Book, and examine it for himself. Harris informed me afterwards, that he followed Smith's directions, and could not find the Plates, and was still dissatisfied. The next day after this happened, I went to the house where Joseph Smith Jr., lived, and where he and Harris were engaged in their translation of the Book. Each of them had a written piece of paper which they were comparing, and some of the words were "my servant seeketh a greater witness, but no greater witness can be given him." There was also something said about "three that were to see the thing" - meaning I supposed, the Book of Plates, and that "if the three did not go exactly according to orders, the thing would be taken from them." I enquired whose words they were, and was informed by Joseph or Emma, (I rather think it was the former) that they were the words of Jesus Christ. I told them then, that I considered the whole of it a delusion, and advised them to abandon it. The manner in which he pretended to read and interpret, was the same as when he looked for the money-diggers, with the stone in his hat, and his hat over his face, while the Book of Plates were at the same time in the woods! After this, Martin Harris went away, and Oliver Cowd[e]ry came and wrote for Smith, while he interpreted as above described. This is the same Oliver Cowd[e]ry, whose name may be found in the Book of Mormon. Cowd[e]ry continued a scribe for Smith until the Book of Mormon was completed as I supposed, and understood. Joseph Smith Jr. resided near me for some time after this, and I had a good opportunity of becoming acquainted with him, and somewhat acquainted with his associates, and I conscientiously believe from the facts I have detailed, and from many other circumstances, which I do not deem it necessary to relate, that the whole "Book of Mormon" (so called) is a silly fabrication of falsehood and wickedness, got up for speculation, and with a design to dupe the credulous and unwary - and in order that its fabricators might live upon the spoils of those who swallowed the deception. ISAAC HALE. Affirmed to and subscribed before me, March 20th, 1834. CHARLES DIMON, J[ustice]. [of the] Peace. Joseph Smith by C. Clark Julius, MPS The Philalethes - August 1987 In 1827 Joseph Smith and his bride, Emma , arrived at her father's farm near Great Bend in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. Here in this peaceful country along the banks of the Susquehanna River, Joseph would spend the next two-and-a-half years translating the Book of Mormon into English. He had been born twenty-one years earlier in Sharon, Vermont. His father, also named Joseph, and his mother, Lucy, had started their marriage auspiciously with Lucy's ample dowry of one thousand dollars. But the dowry was quickly spent and the farm was overgrown with weeds. In a last desperate attempt to recoup his losses, Joseph's father had invested everything he had left in a shipment of ginseng to China. He had heard that the Chinese would pay high prices for the root of the ginseng plant, which grew wild in Vermont. When he failed to get a penny for his ginseng, Joseph's father moved his family to a farm near Palmyra, New York, in the western part of the state. There he fared little better than in Vermont. The Smith family often went hungry during the winter months. As soon as they were able to work, the Smith children had to help support their family. Consequently, Joseph obtained little schooling. When Joseph was adolescent, an itinerant magician and diviner stopped over in Palmyra and offered his services to the local residents. The diviner claimed that he could locate not only ground water near the surface, but also treasure which had been buried by Indians many years before. Some farmers hired the diviner at three dollars per day to look for buried treasure on their lands. The diviner had several magic stones which he looked into, in order to discover the sites of the buried treasures. Young Joseph Smith took a deep interest in the diviner's skills and spent as much time as he could in the magician's company, trying to master the man's divining abilities. When no treasure was found and no more farmers would pay him, the diviner left town, but by that time Joseph had picked up some of his lore. Acquiring some magic stones of his own, Joseph was successful in using the stones to locate some lost tools. A visitor to Palmyra who heard about Joseph's clairvoyance was interested in meeting the young seer. The visitor was from the eastern part of New York State, and convinced that Spaniards had once deposited treasure on his property. Joseph agreed to accompany the visitor east, and to help him locate the treasure, provided that Joseph was paid three dollars a day, the same fee the diviner had charged. Joseph's father accompanied his nineteen-year-old son on this expedition in 1825. The site of the hoped-for treasure was the Susquehanna Valey near Damascus, New York, just north of the Pennsylvania border. While hunting for the treasure, Joseph and his father lived at a farm in Pennsylvania, where the Susquehanna dips into that state near Great Bend. A large party of diggers stowed up to help in excavating the treasure. All of them contributed to Joseph's wage, in return for a share in the expected treasure. The work progressed slowly. For the first few days the diggers worked with a will, anticipating the riches that would soon be theirs. But as they dug and found nothing, their spirits began to sink. When Joseph told them that the treasure had begun to sink lower due to an "enchantment," they suspected him of being a charlatan and felt that he had made fools of them. The search for treasure ended, and Joseph's father returned to his home in Palmyra, but Joseph stayed on in the Susquehanna Valley. He had fallen in love with Emma Hale, the daughter of Isaac Hale, in whose house Joseph and his father had boarded during the treasurehunt. Emma, who was one year older than Joseph, was a beautiful and self-contained schoolteacher who kept herself aloof from Joseph. Despite Emma's coolness, Joseph took a job as a farmhand just over the border in New York State, within walking distance of the Hale house in Pennsylvania. In his spare time he attended school to improve his skill in reading and writing, very likely so that he would seem a worthier suitor to a schoolteacher. As Joseph persisted in his courting of Emma, she gradually yielded to his ardor. But when Joseph asked her father for Emma's hand in marriage, he was brusquely refused. Mr. Isaac Hale had been one of the original diggers for treasure under Joseph's direction, and one of the first to lose confidence in the young diviner. He considered Joseph to be an arrogant, fraudulent, and lazy young man, totally unworthy to marry his daughter. After being turned down by Isaac Hale, Joseph continued to visit his daughter while Isaac was away on frequent and extended hunting trips. In the spring of 1826, some of the former treasure-hunters brought legal charges against Joseph in the court at Bainbridge, New York. Joseph was accused of "disorderly conduct" and also of being an "impostor." One of the witnesses testifying against him was his sweetheart's father, Isaac Hale. Joseph was found guilty on both charges. There is no record of the sentence imposed on him. Despite this public humiliation which was aided and abetted by her father, Emma Hale remained attracted to Joseph. In January 1827, when Joseph was twenty-one, he succeeded in persuading Emma to elope with him. After getting married in New York State, they went to live with Joseph's parents in Palmyra. In the fall of 1827, Joseph and Emma returned to her parents' home in Pennsylvania to pick up her belongings. There was an emotional meeting between Isaac Hale and his son-in-law, in which Isaac accused Joseph of having stolen his daughter. Amid tears, Joseph asked his father-in-law for forgiveness. Joseph promised to lead a more honest and responsible life, and to be a worthy husband to Emma. Isaac seemed reassured by Joseph's contrition, and offered to give the young couple a small house on his property. Joseph and Emma moved into the small house, and Isaac expected that Joseph would help with the work on his farm. Instead, Joseph kept himself occupied with some mysterious indoor activity. One day Isaac decided to investigate what was going on in the small house, and paid a visit to his son- in-law. Isaac found Joseph sitting at a table with a hat over his face, uttering long Biblical phrases. Emma sat behind a curtain, hidden from Joseph, while she wrote down the words Joseph was speaking. On the table-top in front of Joseph sat some square object concealed by a cloth. When Joseph removed his hat from his face, Isaac could see two stones in the hat, similar to the stones Joseph had used in divining the location of the "buried Spanish treasure." Alarmed, Isaac demanded an explanation of this strange activity. The explanation that Joseph and Emma gave him only alarmed Isaac more. They told Isaac that Joseph had seen a vision of an angel back in Palmyra. The angel had led Joseph to a place which Joseph called Cumorah, a hill near Palmyra. There, digging in the spot the angel indicated, Joseph had found a set of golden plates comprising a holy book, called the Book of Mormon. The book was written in symbols which Joseph called "reformed Egyptian," but with the gold plates were two stones, with which Joseph could decipher the ancient symbols on the gold plates . Joseph told Isaac that the gold plates were right in front of them on the table, in a box covered by a cloth. It was not necessary for Joseph to see the plates in order to decipher them. He could read the plates, understand them, and translate them into English, by gazing into the stones. However, in order to see into the stones, he had to shut out all extraneous light. Therefore, he put the stones into his hat and covered his face with the hat. When Isaac asked to see the golden plates, Joseph refused permission. Joseph said that, if anyone besides himself looked at the golden plates, it would mean instant death for the person. So far as Isaac could tell, no change had occurred in Joseph since his treasure-hunting days. Isaac later said, "The manner in which he pretended to read and interpret was the same as when he looked for the money-diggers, with the stones in his hat, and his hat over his face." Isaac failed to notice that, although Joseph's occult techniques had not changed, the purpose of Joseph's life had taken a new direction. Formerly, Joseph had been looking for gold. Now, he seemed indifferent to money. As described by Joseph, the gold plates he had found at Cumorah were worth millions of dollars; yet Joseph valued only the message engraved on them. Isaac felt certain that there were no gold plates, and that Joseph was plotting some elaborate fraud. But Emma remained loyal to her husband, dutifully taking down Joseph's dictation, hour after hour, day after day. The words Joseph spoke through his hat told the story of Jewish families which had migrated to America from Israel in the seventh century before Christ, becoming the ancestors of the American Indians. According to the scriptures which Joseph was translating, Christ himself had come to America before his ascension. During his work of translation, Joseph received some financial support from a few acquaintances who believed in the importance of his task. One man mortgaged his farm to support Joseph. The man's wife, who considered Joseph's scriptures a hoax, was so incensed that she left her husband. Emma worked as Joseph's secretary until the summer of 1828, when she gave birth to a son who survived for only a few hours. Emma was so depressed by the death of her firstborn that Joseph was deeply worried about her. To give Emma a rest, he called in one of his supporters to serve as his scribe, and Emma regained her health and stability. The following year 1829, the second secretary was replaced by a third. Finally, in 1830, the work of translation was completed. Joseph was now twenty-four years old, and had spent two and a half years translating the Book of Mormon. He had dictated a total of 275,000 words. His translation complete, Joseph had one further use of the golden plates. To assure skeptics that the plates did, indeed, exist, he showed them to several trusted witnesses, who signed statements affirming that they had beheld the plates. In preparation for viewing the plates, the chosen witnesses prayed for several hours. After lengthy praying, one witness reported that he saw only an empty box. Joseph sent him out for additional prayer, after which the golden plates were fully visible to the witness. Joseph later announced that he had returned the plates to the angel who had first led him to them. The angel took them off to eternity. The manuscript of the translation then went to a printer in Palmyra. On March 25, 1830, the Book of Mormon went on sale in the bookstore in Palmyra. A week later the book was reviewed in the newspapers of Rochester, New York, under the headlines: "Blasphemy!" Leaders of established churches were, in general, shocked by the emendations of the Bible that were contained in the Book or Mormon. But many people/living in western New York State were fascinated by the Mormon narratives, which tied together their religious and patriotic sentiments. Utilizing the popular theory that the Indians were the descendants of the lost tribes of Israel, the Book of Mormon incorporated the history of the western hemisphere within Biblical history. The entire book was written in the style of the King James Version of the Bible and abounded with phrases like, "And it came to pass..." Judeo-Christian and American traditions were welded in the Book of Mormon, in which America's "fruited plain" was an extension of the Holy Land. Before and during Joseph's time, western New York State had seethed with religious ferment. Fantastic religious sects had arisen and briefly flowered there. Camp meetings, with their unbridled exhibitions, had been frequent. Seasoned evangelists tended to avoid western New York State because they considered it "burnt over territory." Its inhabitants had participated in so many revivals that they had become jaded with religious ecstasy. They were weary of agonizing guilt and had lost faith in the healing power of Christ's sacrifice. Western New York was ripe for a new religious message, and for many that message was contained in the Book of Mormon. Several days after the publication of the Book of Mormon, Joseph organized his first congregation of the Mormon church. Among the converts who were baptized by total immersion in Lake Seneca were his parents and brothers. Joseph and Emma traveled back to her parents' neighborhood in the Susquehanna Valley, where they made some converts. But they did not convert any of his former associates in treasurehunting. Joseph's father-in-law, Isaac Hale, thought that Joseph was the same charlatan as before, and was merely practicing a new confidence game. With the encouragement of the local Presbyterian minister, Joseph was once more put on trial on the charge of "disorderly conduct." After the trial, Joseph and Emma left the Susquehanna Valley. Emma would never see her parents again.

  • Sources 
    1. [S887] International Genealogical index, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
      Isaac Hale; Male; Birth: 21 MAR 1763 Waterbury, New Haven, Connecticut; Death: 11 JAN 1839; Father: Reuben Hale; Mother: Diantha Ward; Spouse: Elizabeth Lewis; Marriage: 20 SEP 1790 Wells, Rutland, Vermont; Film Number: 820399 Page Number: Reference number:
      Record submitted by a member of the LDS Church
      Search performed using PAF Insight on 14 Mar 2006

    2. [S888] McKune Cemetery Records.
      Located on Route 171, East of Great Bend, near Oakland, Pennsylvania

    3. [S887] International Genealogical index, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
      Isaac Hale; Male; Birth: About 1762 Wethersfield, Hartford, Connecticut; Baptism: 16 FEB 1909; Endowment: 05 FEB 1914 LOGAN; Film Number: 177972 Page Number: 257 Reference number: 6867
      Record of LDS Church ordinance (living or proxy).
      Search performed using PAF Insight on 14 Mar 2006