H. Michael Marquardt & Wesley P. Walters
Smith Family Activities
[p.117]After the Smith family joined Joseph Sr. in Palmyra, New York, they first lived on Main Street. Pomeroy Tucker, who was personally acquainted with the Smith family at this period, recalled:
At Palmyra, Mr. Smith, Sr., opened a “cake and beer shop,” as described by his signboard, doing business on a small scale, by the profits of which, added to the earnings of an occasional day’s work on hire by himself and his elder sons, for the village and farming people, he was understood to secure a scanty but honest living for himself and family… . Mr. Smith’s shop merchandise consist[ed] of gingerbread, pies, boiled eggs, root-beer.1
Pomeroy Tucker described the family’s Manchester cabin as “a small, one-story, smoky log-house, which they had built prior to removing there. This house was divided into two rooms, on the ground-floor, and had a low garret, in two apartments. A bedroom wing, built of sawed slabs, was afterwards added.”2
Tucker also recalled the family’s economic activities during this period:
The chief application of the useful industry of the Smiths during their residence upon this farm-lot, was in the chopping and retailing of cord-wood, the raising and bartering of small crops of agricultural products and garden vegetables, the manufacture and sale of black-ash baskets and birch brooms, the making of maple sugar and molasses in the season for that work, and in the contin-[p.118]ued business of peddling cake and beer in the village on days of public doings.3
The male members of the Smith family hired out to others in the community. John H. Gilbert, a resident of Palmyra, recalled “Hyrum Smith was a common laborer, and worked for any one as he was called on.”4 Orsamus Turner remembered young Joseph bringing “little jags of wood” to the village and obtained an odd job at Seymour Scovell’s store.5
Coopering or making barrels, the essential containers for all sorts of goods and commodities at the time, was a Smith family trade. Asael Smith, the grandfather, was a cooper.6 Mrs. Anderick recalled that Joseph Sr. and his son Hyrum “worked some at coopering.”7 Besides making barrels, they also made related items such as slipwood chairs, baskets, and birch brooms.
Christopher M. Stafford remembered, “Old Jo claimed to be a Cooper but worked very little at anything. He was intemperate. Hyrum worked at cooperage… . I exchanged work with Jo but more with his brother Harrison, who was a good, industrious boy.”8 Other neighbors agreed that Samuel Harrison was an asset to the family. “Harrison was a good worker for one day or a month,” said Hyram Jackaway.9
Benjamin Saunders, another neighbor living near the Smiths, remembered them as “good workers by days work. They were coopers by trade. Did not like to make steady business of it. <They were> Big hearty fellows. Their morals were good. The old man sometimes would drink until he felt quite happy at our log rollings and raisings: but he was not quarrelsome. He was not a bad man.”10 Isaac Butts mentioned that old Joseph “taught me to mow. I worked with old and young Jo at farming.”11
According to his mother, Alvin Smith was the one who took charge of acquiring materials and beginning construction of a frame house for the family. However, after the house was raised, Alvin became sick. Because their own doctor was away, they called a doctor from the next town who over Alvin’s objection gave him a large dose of calomel (mercurous chloride), a toxic compound used as a digestive remedy. The calomel had to be followed by a powerful purgative [p.119]for removing it promptly from the body. When this did not work, Alvin realized he was dying. On his death bed he called Hyrum to his side and told him, as Lucy later recalled, “I must die and now I want to say a few things to you that you must remember. I have done all that I could to make our dear Parents comfortable. I now want you to go on and finish the House, take care <of> them in their old age, and do not ever let them work hard any more.”12 Joseph Sr. was fifty-two and Lucy was forty-eight years old when their son died.
At the autopsy performed by Dr. Robinson and the Smiths’ own doctor, Dr. McIntire, the calomel was found untouched in the upper bowel, surrounded by gangrene.13 Thereafter, according to Lucy, Robinson “spoke long and earnestly to the younger physicians upon the danger of administering powerful medicines without a thorough knowledge of <the practice of> physick.” He expressed regret that as fine a youth as “ever trod the streets of Palmyra” was “murdered, as it were, by him at whose hand relief was expected.” Apparently another person grieved at Alvin’s death—”a lovel[y] young woman who was engaged to be married to my son.”14 Alvin’s death was a shock and heartbreak to the whole family.
Work on the house continued until it was habitable, and the family moved in. This frame house was an improvement over the log cabin, which later became Hyrum’s home. The Smith family would reside on the Manchester portion of the Stafford Road for seven years.
Work during this period included treasure seeking for the older male members. “There was a company there in that neighborhood,” Martin Harris later recalled, “who were digging for money … Of this company were old Mr. Stowel[l]—I think his name was Josiah—also old Mr. Beman, also Samuel Lawrence, George Proper, Joseph Smith, jr., and his father, and his brother Hiram Smith.”15 Alvin helped young Joseph dig the well on the Chase farm in 1822 when they discovered a seer stone.16 Lucy Smith described treasure-seeking activities as balancing other family occupations such as farming:
I shall change my theme for the present, but let not my reader suppose that because I pursue another topic for a season that we stopt our labor and went <at> trying to win the faculty of Abrac, [p.120]drawing Magic circles or sooth saying to the neglect of all kinds of bus<i>ness. We never during our lives suffered one important interest to swallow up every other obligation but whilst we worked with our hands we endeavored to remmember [sic] the service of & the welfare of our souls.17
About two years after the Smith family settled on their hundred-acre farm, Lucy, Hyrum, Samuel, and Sophronia joined the local Western Presbyterian Church of Palmyra. As a result, family activities during the mid-1820s included some church going. As William Smith recalled in 1883:
My mother, who was a very pious woman and much interested in the welfare of her children, both here and hereafter, made use of every means which her parental love could suggest, to get us engaged in seeking for our souls’ salvation, or (as the term then was) “in getting religion.” She prevailed on us to attend the meetings, and almost the whole family became interested in the matter, and seekers after truth.18
Participating family members would have taken part in the instruction, confession of faith, membership vows, baptism, and welcome by the elders and congregation which constituted active membership in the church.
The family was given a reprieve of sorts during this period after Zechariah Seymour, the land agent who collected their mortgage payments, died in July 1822. But the Evertson heirs in New York City hired John Greenwood, a lawyer, to replace Seymour and conferred to him power of attorney in May 1824. Lucy wrote, “<at this time> we received intelligence of the arrival of a new land agent for the Ever[t]son Land, of which our farm was a portion. This caused us to bethink ourselves of the remmaining [sic] payment which was still due and which we would be under the necessity of making <prior> to obtaining the deed <which> our bonds called for.” The death of Seymour prevented their final payment on the land. According to Lucy, her husband “sent Hyrum to the new Agent at Canandaguia [sic] to inform him that the money should be forthcoming as soon as the 25th of <Dec>[em]ber  which the Agent said would answer every purpose and agreed to retain the land untill that time.”19
[p.121]About this time Joseph Jr. sent his brother Hyrum to borrow back the seer stone from Willard Chase. As Chase recalled it:
I believe, some time in 1825, Hiram Smith (brother of Joseph Smith) came to me, and wished to borrow the same stone, alledging that they wanted to accomplish some business of importance, which could not very well be done without the aid of the stone. I told him it was of no particular worth to me, but merely wished to keep it as a curiously, and if he would pledge me his word and honor, that I should have it when called for, he might take it; which he did and took the stone. I thought I could rely on his word at this time, as he had made a profession of religion.20
Soon thereafter Joseph Sr. and his namesake son were hired by Josiah Stowell to come south with him and help him dig for treasure near Harmony, Pennsylvania.21 They were there until about 17 November 1825, after which they returned to Bainbridge.
Lucy remembered that Mr. Stoddard, a neighbor, had been “the principle workman on the house” and had offered to purchase their home but was flatly refused by the Smiths.22 Squire Stoddard had bought the Evertson land south of the Smith farm on 2 November 1825.23 He told the land agent that the elder Smith and young Joseph had both left town and that Hyrum was cutting the sugar maple trees for fire wood and doing damage to the farm. He offered to buy the farm for cash, and since the Smiths were in default, Greenwood agreed and gave Stoddard the deed. Afterward Stoddard and two friends went to the Smiths and asked them to leave the property.
Panic ensued. The family sent for Joseph Sr., and he hurried north to Manchester. As Lucy told the story,
Hyrum went straightway to Dr. Robinson, (an old Friend <of ours who lived in Palmira)>… . [he] sat down and wrote [about] the charecter [sic] of <my> family our industry and faithful exertion’s to obtain a home in <the> forest, where we had set[t]led ourselves, with many commendations ca[l]culated to beget confidence in us as to buisness [sic] transactions. This he took in his own hands and went through the village and in an hour there was attached to the paper the names of 60 subscribers. He then sent the same by the hand of Hyrum to the land Agent in Canandaguia [sic].
[p.122]Greenwood was enraged that he had been misled by Stoddard and sent a messenger to re-obtain the deed.24
The Smiths then turned to a friend who directed them to Lemuel Durfee. Durfee, his son Lemuel, and Joseph Sr. went to Canandaigua, where Durfee paid $1,135 on 20 December 1825 for the farm.25 Stoddard “gave up the deed to Mr. Durfy [Durfee] … who now came into posses[s]ion of the Farm. With this Gentleman,” said Lucy, “we were now to s[t]ipulate as renters.” Durfee allowed the Smiths to remain in the frame house and on the farm. According to Lucy, Durfee “gave us the privileage [sic] of the place one year with this provision that Samuel our 4th son was to labor for him 6 months.”26
Almost one year after the family became renters, the Wayne Sentinel announced, “MARRIED – In Manchester … Mr. Hiram Smith, to Miss Jerusha Barden.” They were married on 2 November 1826.27 Jerusha was twenty-one years old, and Hyrum was twenty-six. Lucy heartily approved, noting in her history, “My oldest son [Hyrum] … Married him a wife that was one of the most excellent of Women.”28 Two months later Joseph Jr. married Emma Hale in Bainbridge on 18 January 1827, bringing her back to live in the family home in Manchester. That same year, Sophronia married Calvin Stoddard on 30 December.29
Young Joseph was often hired by Martin Harris to work “on his farm, and that they had hoed corn together many a day, Brother Harris paying him fifty cents per day. Joseph, he [Harris] said, was good to work and jovial and they often wrestled together in sport, but the Prophet was devoted and attentive to his prayers.”30
Samuel Harrison Smith worked for the elder Durfee in 1827, according to one of Durfee’s account books: “April the 16 day the year 1827 S. Harrison Smith Son of Joseph Smith began to Work for me by the month. [He] is to Work 7 Months for the use of the place Where Said Joseph Smith Lives.”31
Hyrum continued working as a cooper and with his father and brothers for local farmers including Lemuel Durfee. They apparently took their wages in credits toward their purchases. In Durfee’s account book for 1827 he noted:
[p.123]Joseph [Sr.] and Hiram Smith Dr [debit] to three barrels of Cider at 9/ per barrel May the Last 1827 [9 shillings per barrel]
June the 26 day Joseph Smith Dr. to Veal hind Quarter 23 pound $0.69 also one fore Quarter Wt. 22 pounds $=55 55
august Credit by Joseph Smith by mo[w]ing three days & Joseph Smith Ju Jnr. two days mowing & Hiram Smith one day mowing even
Sept. first to two barrels of Cider racked of[f] to Joseph & Hiram Smiths at 9/ per barrel $2=2532
Hyrum Smith was now living in the log house with his wife Jerusha, who was expecting their first child. Hyrum had previously joined the Masonic Lodge in Palmyra and was listed as a member of the Mount Moriah Masonic Lodge No. 112 for the period June 1827 to June 1828. Levi Daggett, Pomeroy Tucker, and other respected citizens were also members of the lodge.33 Hyrum was still attending the Palmyra Presbyterian church.34 Hyrum and Jerusha’s first child, a girl named Lovina, was born on 16 September 1827.35
Joseph Jr.’s interest in prehistoric America affected family life during these years. Lucy recalled the recitals about the land’s ancient inhabitants which Joseph began recounting during his teenage years:
In the course of our evening conversations Joseph would give us some of the most ammusing [sic] recitals which could be immagined. He would de[s]cribe the ancient inhabitants of this continent, their dress, thier [sic] man[n]er of traveling, the animals [upon] which they rode, The cities that were built by them, the structure of their buildings, with every particular, of their mode of warfare [and] their religious worship – as particularly as though he had spent his life with them.36
The family became directly involved in Joseph’s passion after the gold plates were retrieved from the fallen treetop where he reported leaving them the first night. According to Lucy, her son Don Carlos was sent to Hyrum’s home to let him know that Joseph needed a chest:
Carlos went into Hyrum’s house he found him at tea with 2 of his wife’s sisters, Carlos touched his brother’s shoulder just as he was raising his cup to his mouth. Without waiting to hear a word of the [p.124]child’s errand Hyrum dropped his cup & sprang from the table and ketched [caught] up the chest, turned it upside down and leaving the contents on the [floor] left the House in an instant with the chest on his shoulder. The young ladies were much surprized at his singular behaviour and protested to his wife (who was bedfast her oldest daughter Lovina being but 4 days) that her husband was positively crazy. She laughed heartily, O! not in the least said she. [Hyrum] has just thought of something that he has neglected and it’s just like him to fly off in a tangent when he thinks of anything that way.37
Before Joseph deposited the artifact in the chest, he permitted the family to feel and handle the plates. William Smith remembered that he “did not see them [the plates] uncovered but I handled them and hefted them while [they were] wrapped in a tow frock.” He mentioned that his “Father and my brother Samuel saw them as I did while in the frock. So did Hyrum and others of the family.”38 Joseph then locked the record in the box and with the family’s help hid it under the brick hearth in the west room of the house. This hearth surrounded the fireplace where the Smith family discussed the events of the day and where Joseph talked to his family about his adventures. It was probably in this room that he related to Josiah Stowell and Joseph Knight “the whole history of the record, which interested them very much.” They listened and believed “all that was told them” by Joseph.39
Still concerned about the safety of the plates, Joseph took the box from the hearth and carried it out to the “cooper shop across the road.” He put the box under the floor of the shop. The money-diggers located it there and smashed the box to pieces but did not find the plates.40 According to Martin Harris, Joseph had taken the plates out of the box and hid them in the loft under some flax.41 Alvah Beeman, a friend of the family, helped make a new container from a wooden box made to hold window glass, and Joseph worked “with his Father on the Farm in order to be near the treasure that was commit[t]ed to his care.”42
Lucy Smith went to the Harris home just north of the village of Palmyra and invited Harris’s wife and daughter to come and see the container. Harris recalled, “My daughter said, they were about as [p.125]much as she could lift. They were now in the glass-box, and my wife said they were very heavy. They both lifted them.”
Martin arrived later but found that Joseph had gone to Peter Ingersoll’s farm to get some flour. Harris talked with Emma and the Smith family and said that Joseph “found them [the plates] by looking in the stone found in the well of Mason Chase [brother of Willard]. The family had likewise told me the same thing.”
While at the Smith home, Harris hefted the plates and thought that they weighed about forty or fifty pounds. Harris told Joseph that if this was the Lord’s work, “you can have all the money necessary to bring it before the world.” He then went home, prayed, and was “satisfied that it was the Lord’s work” and that he “was under a covenant to bring it forth.”43
Although several people felt the plates under a cloth before they were put in a box or held the box while it was in a pillow case, others were dissatisfied and determined to see the actual plates. As a result Joseph and Emma went to her parents’ home in Harmony to work on the translation of the plates away from the curious. Harris paid off Joseph’s debts and gave him $50 for the journey.
Alva Hale, Emma’s brother, came north to Manchester to move their belongings. The box containing the plates was put into a barrel of beans for the trip. Before leaving, Joseph arranged with Harris to come to Harmony and pick up an alphabet transcribed from the Egyptian characters said to be on the gold plates. Harris wanted copies of the writing on the plates verified by experts. According to Lucy, when Harris went to Harmony a few months later to get the copy, “Hyrum went with him.”44
Meanwhile the life and work of the Smiths in Manchester went on as before. Lemuel Durfee noted in his account book:
May the 13th Joseph [Sr.] & [Samuel] Harrison Smith Dr. [debit] to three barrels of Cider the Liqure at $3=38
June the 18 day the year 1828 Credit By Hiram & Har[r]ison Smiths a hoeing one Day a piece
June the 20 day Joseph & Harrison Smiths Dr. to the Liqure of three barrels of Cider at 9/0 per barrel $3=38
July 7 day Credit by J. Smith & Rockwell by hoeing three days
July 20 Jos. Smith & Harrison Cr. by Work binding Wheat one [p.126]day of william and three days of Harrison Work
august 7 Credit <by> Rockwell to two days Mowing for me by Harrison Smith by three days a Mowing for me 45
Early in 1829 Lucy and Joseph Sr. went south to visit Joseph and Emma and to meet Emma’s parents, Isaac and Elizabeth Hale. They found all was well in Harmony.
Because Hyrum Smith was one of the trustees of the local school, he was responsible for hiring teachers. Lyman Cowdery applied but soon encountered a scheduling conflict and recommended his brother Oliver, who was hired.46 While teaching, Oliver boarded with the Smith family, where he heard the story of Joseph and the ancient record. Oliver decided that as soon as the school term was ended, he would like “the priviledge of writing for Joseph,” who was still in Harmony. Lucy remembered, “The time was now drawing to a close. We now began to make preparations to remove our family and effects to the log house <which> was now occupied by Hyrum” and his family.47 Thus the extended Smith family crowded into the old cabin. “In April,” related Lucy, “all Mr. Cowdray’s affairs being arranged according to his mind,” he left for Pennsylvania with Samuel Harrison. They arrived on 5 April 1829, and Cowdery became a scribe for Joseph’s religious history. Thereafter the writing of the manuscript of the Book of Mormon progressed more rapidly. Cowdery was reportedly shown the plates in a vision before he left Manchester.48
In May Hyrum visited Joseph to see how the translation was coming. While there Joseph received revelation directed to Hyrum personally:
whosoever will thrust in his sickle and reap, the same is called of God… . Seek not for riches but for wisdom, and behold the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto you, and then shall you be made rich; behold he that hath eternal life is rich… . Keep my commandments, and assist to bring forth my work according to my commandments, and you shall be blessed. Behold thou has a gift, or thou shalt have a gift, if thou wilt desire of me in faith, with an honest heart, believing in the power of Jesus Christ, or in my power which speaketh unto thee: for behold it is I that speaketh: behold I am the light which shinneth in darkness, and by my power I give these words unto thee… . Behold I command you, that you need [p.127]not suppose that you are called to preach until you are called: wait a little longer, until you shall have my word, my Rock, my church, and my gospel, that you may know of a surety my doctrine … Yea, cleave unto me with all your heart, that you may assist in bringing to light those things of which have been spoken: Yea, the translation of my work: be patient until you shall accomplish it… . Behold thou art Hyrum, my son; seek the kingdom of God and all things shall be added according to that which is just.49
During June Hyrum, who had not attended the Presbyterian church at Palmyra for the past eight months, visited Fayette, New York, where Joseph rebaptized him for the remission of his sins.50 A copyright was secured for the Book of Mormon in the name of Joseph Smith on 11 June,51 and Joseph and Oliver began thinking about starting a new church.52
After his return to Manchester, Hyrum received a letter from Cowdery, written to strengthen Hyrum’s resolve. Cowdery said he was “feeling anxious for your steadfastness in the great cause of which you have been called to advocate.”53 A few days later Hyrum received correspondence with a very different thrust from his Uncle Jesse Smith, who was living in Stockholm, New York:
Again you say, if you are decieved [sic] God is your deciever [sic], Blasphemous wretch – how dare you utter such a sentence, how dare you harbor such a thot – aye, you never did think so, but being hardened in iniquity, you make use of the holy name of Jehovah! for what, why to cover your neferious [sic] designs & impose on the credulity of your Grandfather, one of the oldest men on the earth, Blackness of darkness! … You state your father cannot write by reason of a nervous affection this is a poor excuse, worse than none, he can dictate to others and they can write, If he knows not what to write, he can get your Brother’s spectacles he would then be as able to dictate a letter, as Joe is to decipher hieroglyphics, if more should be wanting he can employ the same scoundrel of a scribe, and then not only the matter but manner and style would be correct.54
On 27 June another daughter, named Mary, was born to Hyrum and Jerusha.55
On 23 August 1829, Martin Harris made an indenture between himself and Egbert Grandin, editor of the Wayne Sentinel, “in consid-[p.128]eration of the sum of three thousand dollars” for typesetting, printing, and binding the Book of Mormon. This was secured by a mortgage for “the same tract of land or farm upon which the said Martin Harris now resides” and was to be paid in eighteen months.56
Oliver Cowdery squeezed into the log home, where the entire Smith family was living, and began making a copy of the manuscript of the Book of Mormon for the printer to use in typesetting. According to Lucy, “Peter Whitmer was commanded to remain at our house to assist in guarding the writings.”57
Most of the typesetting was done by twenty-seven year old John H. Gilbert, who recalled years later:
When the printer was ready to commence work, [Martin] Harris was notified, and Hyrum Smith brought the first installment of manuscript, of 24 pages, closely written on common foolscap paper—he had it under his vest, and [his] vest and coat closely buttoned over it. At night Smith came and got the manuscript, and with the same precaution carried it away. The next morning with the same watchfulness, he brought it again, and at night took it away. This was kept up for several days… . After working a few days, I said to [Hyrum] Smith on his handing me the manuscript in the morning; “Mr. Smith, if you would leave this manuscript with me, I would take it home with me at night and read and punctuate it.” His reply was, “We are commanded not to leave it.” A few mornings after this, when Smith handed me the manuscript, he said to me: — “If you will give your word that this manuscript shall be returned to us when you get through with it, I will leave it with you.” I assured Smith that it should be returned all right when I got through with it. For two or three nights I took it home with me and read it, and punctuated it with a lead pencil… . Martin Harris, Hyrum Smith and Oliver Cowdery were very frequent visitors to the office during the printing of the Mormon Bible.58
Thomas B. Marsh described visiting the Grandin printing office:
I returned back westward and found Martin Harris at the printing office, in Palmyra, where the first sixteen pages of the Book of Mormon had just been struck off, the proof sheet of which I obtained from the printer and took with me. As soon as Martin Harris found out my intentions he took me to the house of Joseph [p.129]Smith, sen… . Here I found Oliver Cowdery, who gave me all the information concerning the book I desired. After staying there two days I started for Charleston, Mass., highly pleased with the information I had obtained concerning the new found book.59
Stephen S. Harding remembered that during the summer of 1829 he went to the Wayne Sentinel office and to the Smiths’ residence in Manchester, which he described as “a log house, not exactly a cabin. Upon our arrival, I was ushered into the best room in company with the others.” Oliver Cowdery read from the Book of Mormon manuscript. When Harding returned to the printing office a few weeks later, he was given a copy of a proof sheet that included the title page.60
Solomon Chamberlain also stopped in Palmyra and visited the Smith family:
I soon arrived at the house, and found Hyrum walking the floor; as I entered the room, I said peace be to this house; he looked at me and said “I hope it will be peace.” I then said is there any one here that believes in visions and revelations. He [Hyrum] said yes, we are a visionary house. I then said I will give you one of my pamphlets, (which was visionary and of my own composition)… .61
* * *
They then called the people together, which consisted of five or six men who were out at the door. Father Smith was one and some of the Whitmer’s. They then sat down and read my pamphlet. Hyrum read first, but was so affected he could not read it, He then gave it to a man, which I learned was Christian Whitmer, he finished reading it. I then opened my mouth and began to preach to them, in the words that the angel had made known to me in the vision, that all Churches and Denominations on the earth had become corrupt, and [that] no Church of God [was] on earth but that he would shortly raise up a Church, that would never be confounded nor brought down and be like unto the Apostolic Church. They wondered greatly who had been telling me these things, for said they we have the same things wrote down in our house, taken from the Gold record, that you are preaching to us.62
[p.130]and if you are a visionary house, I wish you would make known some of your discoveries, I think I can bear them. Then they began to make known to me, that they had obtained a gold record, and had just finished translating it. Here I staid, and they instructed me in the manuscripts of the Book of Mormon; after I had been there two days, I went with Hyrum and some others to [the] Palmyra printing office, where they began to print the Book of Mormon; and as soon as they had printed sixty-four pages I took them and started for Canada.63
During the last week of October, Martin Harris and Hyrum Smith went to Fayette to visit the Whitmers. Oliver Cowdery wrote to Joseph, “Hyram and Martin went out to Fayette last week they had a joyful time and found all in as good health as could be expected.”64
A free-thinking Palmyra lawyer, whose office was located in the center of town on Main Street as early as 1812, began in September 1829 a satirical paper called The Reflector. Abner Cole presented his commentary on village life under the pen name of Obadiah Dogberry. He arranged to use the press of the Wayne Sentinel on evenings and Sundays to print his paper.65 He had probably heard much talk around town about Joseph Smith’s new Bible and was intrigued by the sheets containing pages of the Book of Mormon that he found around the printing office.
Lucy Smith remembered that in January 1830 on “One Su[n]day <afternoon> Hyrum became very uneasy, he told Oliver that his peculiar feellings [sic] led him to believe that something <going> was [sic; was going] wrong at [the] printing Office.” Oliver and Hyrum went to Grandin’s printing establishment and found Abner Cole “at work printing a paper which seemed to be a <weekly> periodical.” Hyrum discovered that Cole was printing portions of the Book of Mormon in his paper. Thus The Reflector became the first publication to print extracts from the text of the Book of Mormon even before its issuance in March 1830.66
“Mr. Cole, said he [Hyrum], what right have <you> to print the book of Mormon in this way, do you not know that we have secured a copy right.” Lucy continued, “Hyrum <&> Oliver returned immediately home and after counciling with Mr. Smith it was considered neces[s]ary that Joseph should be sent for. Accordingly My husband [p.131]set out as soon as possible for Penn.”67 Joseph made a trip north from Harmony to talk to Cole and told him to desist from publishing any more from his book. The last issue of The Reflector containing any text from the forthcoming Book of Mormon was an “Extra,” dated 22 January 1830.
The Smiths struggled to maintain control over the printing and sale of the book. Joseph Sr. signed the following agreement with Martin Harris:
I hereby agree that Martin Harris shall have an equal privilege with me & my friends of selling the Book of Mormon of the Edition now printing by Egbert B. Grandin until enough of them shall be sold to pay for the printing of the same or until such times as the said Grandin shall be paid for the printing the aforesaid Books or copies.
Manchester January the 16th 1830 Joseph Smith Sr.
Witness Oliver H. P. Cowdery68
There were thirty-seven galley sheets printed for the 1830 Book of Mormon. With two unnumbered pages containing the Testimony of the Three and Eight Witnesses, the book contained a total of 590 pages. The cost of printing each book, including binding, was about sixty cents. With 5,000 copies printed, the total cost was $3,000. Martin Harris was assured of having enough books to sell to recover his investment in the printing.
An old debt incurred by Joseph Sr. resulted in legal action against him three days after he signed the agreement with Harris. When Lemuel Durfee’s estate was inventoried, it included a note signed by Joseph Sr. and by Abraham Fish with an “x” for $36.50 plus interest. On 19 January Durfee’s son entered a plea before Justice Nathan Pierce against Smith and Fish, and the two signed a consent for judgment. It was turned over to Constable S. Southworth for collection and resolved in September.69
About September 1828, Lucy as well as Hyrum and Samuel Harrison had stopped attending the Palmyra Presbyterian Church and partaking of the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.70 By spring 1830 the pastor and elders of the church had become concerned:
March 3d 1830 Session met pursuant to notice – opened with prayer Present Revd Alfred E. Campbell Moderr [Moderator]
David White Elders
… Resolved that the Revd A. E. Campbell and H Jessup be a committee to visit Hiram Smith Lucy Smith and Samuel Harrison Smith and report at the next meeting of session
Closed with prayer –
Recorded from the Moderators minutes
[Signed] Geo. N. Williams Clk [Clerk]
A week later the session met again and received the report of their committee’s visit: “The committee appointed to visit Hiram Smith Lucy Smith and Samuel Harrison Smith reported that they had visited them and received no satisfaction. They acknowledged that they had entirely neglected the ordinances of the church for the last eighteen months and that they did not wish to unite with us anymore.” The session accordingly cited them to appear before it in two weeks to answer the charge of “Neglect of public worship and the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper for the last eighteen months.”71
Lucy remembered the visit from three men, one of whom she called “Deacon Beckwith.” George Beckwith had been appointed to be the advocate to manage their defense and either went with the committee or on his own to do what he could to bring them back to the church. Lucy reported her firm resistance to Deacon Beckwith’s pleas:
No sir, said I, it is <of> no use; you cannot effect any thing by all that you can say – he then bid me farewell and went out to see Hyrum. They asked him if he really did believe that his brother had got the record which he pretended to have. Hyrum <testified boldly to the truth>, told him that if he would take the book of Mormon when it was finished [being printed and bound] and read it asking God for a witness to the truth of [it] he would receive what he desired and now, said he [Hyrum], Deacon Beckwith just try it and see if I do not tell you [the] truth.72
Beckwith remained unconvinced.
When the Smiths did not appear before the session on the [p.133]appointed day, they were cited to appear five days later. Pelatiah West was appointed to serve the citation and be sure they received it. The Palmyra session records for the trial read:
March 29th 1830 Session met pursuant to adjournment
Opened with prayer
Present Revd Alfred E. Campbell Modr
Pelatiah West Elders
The persons before cited to wit. Hiram Smith Lucy Smith and Samuel Harrison Smith not appearing and the Session having satisfactory evidence that the citations were duly served Resolved that they be censored for their contumacy Resolved that George Beckwith manage their defense. The charge in the above case being fully sustained by the testimony of Henry Jessup, Harvey Shel, Robert W. Smith and Frederick U. Sheffield (see minutes of testimony, on file with the clerk) the Session after duly considering the matter were unanimously of opinion that Hiram Smith, Lucy Smith and Samuel Harrison Smith ought to be Suspended. Resolved that Hiram Smith, Lucy Smith and Samuel Harrison Smith be and they hereby are suspended from the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.
Closed with prayer – Adjourned
Recorded from the minutes of the Moderator.
[Signed] Geo. N. Williams Clk73
As this was occurring, the Book of Mormon was being sold.74 Eight days later the Church of Christ was organized at the Manchester loghouse on 6 April 1830. With Joseph Jr. in Harmony, Hyrum was a central figure in the new church in the Palmyra area. For example, in August 1830 Hyrum was visited by Parley P. Pratt, who later recalled:
I accordingly visited the village of Palmyra, and inquired for the residence of Mr. Joseph Smith. I found it some two or three miles from the village. As I approached the house at the close of the day I overtook a man who was driving some cows, and inquired of him for Mr. Joseph Smith, the translator of the “Book of Mormon.” He informed me that he now resided in Pennsylvania; some one hun- [p.134]dred miles distant. I inquired for his father, or for any of the family. He told me that his father had gone [on] a journey; but that his residence was a small house just before me; and, said he, I am his brother. It was Mr. Hyrum Smith… . He welcomed me to his house.75
Pratt left for a few days but soon returned to Hyrum’s house:
I now returned immediately to Hyrum Smith’s residence, and demanded baptism at his hands. I tarried with him one night, and the next day we walked some twenty-five miles to the residence of Mr. Whitmer, in Seneca County. Here we arrived in the evening, and found a most welcome reception… . I found the little branch of the church in this place [Fayette] full of joy, faith, humility and charity. We rested that night, and on the next day, being about the 1st of September, 1830, I was baptized by the hand of an Apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ, by the name of Oliver Cowdery. This took place in Seneca Lake, a beautiful and transparent sheet of water in Western New York. A meeting was held the same evening, and after singing a hymn and prayer, Elder Cowdery and others proceeded to lay their hands upon my head in the name of Jesus, for the gift of the Holy Ghost. After which I was ordained to the office of an Elder in the Church.76
Parley P. Pratt left Fayette but returned to Manchester in October 1830 after baptizing his brother Orson. Parley recalled:
I now took leave, and repaired again to the western part of New York, and to the body of the Church. On our arrival, we found that brother Joseph Smith, the translator of the Book of Mormon, had returned from Pennsylvania to his father’s residence in Manchester, near Palmyra, and here I had the pleasure of seeing him for the first time… . On Sunday we held meeting at his house; the two large rooms were filled with attentive listeners, and he invited me to preach… . We repaired from the meeting to the water’s edge, and, at his request, I baptized several persons.77
One of those baptized at this time was Ezra Thayer. He recalled that his half brother and a nephew also heard Hyrum preach before Joseph returned:
I had a half brother living with me and a nephew, and they took [p.135]my horses and went to meeting, to hear Hyrum preach while I was gone… . My half brother said that Hyrum said that Joseph had seen an angel. My nephew said that there was something in it, and that I had better go and hear him… . The next Sunday I went and there was a large concourse of people around his father’s house, so that they extended to the road, filling up the large lot… . Hyrum began to speak… . Joseph was then in Harmony, Pa., and the next Sunday he came to his father’s house, and we assembled to see him… . He then asked me what hindered me from going into the water, as Oliver Cowdery’s mother was going to be baptized… . Then we started to the water… . We were baptized just below the mill… . Parley P. Pratt baptized us.78
In August 1830, about the time Parley Pratt visited Hyrum, the census was taken of those living in the Smith family house in Manchester. It had been a decade since the previous census and the families of both Joseph Sr. and Hyrum were listed as one household.79 The ages of the male family members were: 10-15, 1 (Don Carlos); 15-20, 1 (William); 20-30, 2 (Hyrum and Samuel Harrison), and 50-60, 1 (Joseph Sr.). Females members were: under 5, 2 (Lovina and Mary, daughters of Hyrum and Jerusha); 5-10, 1 (Lucy); 20-30, 1 (Jerusha); 30-40, 1 (not identified), and 50-60, 1 (Lucy Mack Smith). Catherine (age seventeen) was not listed.
By August growing financial complications would shortly result in the family quitting the area entirely. On the day after the founding of the Mormon church, 7 April 1830, Hyrum Smith signed a note for shoeing horses with Levi Daggett of Palmyra. When this was not repaid, Daggett brought suit before Nathan Pierce, a justice of the peace in Manchester.80 A summons was served by Constable Southworth on 8 June, the day before the first church conference in Fayette. Ten days later another summons was issued. On the 28th Joseph Sr. appeared on his son’s behalf. The Docket Book reads:
28th June 1830 Joseph <Smith> father of the Defendant appeared and the Case was called and the plaintif[f] declared for a note and account Note dated 7th April 1830 for $20.07 on Interest and on account for Shoeing horses of ballance due on account $0.69 Joseph Smith sworn and saith that his Son the Defendant engaged him to Come down at the return of the summons and direct the Justice to [p.136]enter Judgment against the defendant for the amount of the note & account Judgment for the plaintif for twenty one dollars seven cents $21.07
August came and Daggett still had not been paid. Thus on 14 August Pierce issued an execution:
THESE are therefore to command you to levy on the goods and chattels of the said defendant (except such as are by law exempted from execution) the amount of the said judgment, and bring the money before me, on the 13th- day of September 1830 at my office in the town of Manchester… . And if no goods or chattels can be found, or not sufficient to satisfy this execution, then you are hereby commanded to take the body of the said defendant and convey him to the common Jail of the county aforesaid.81
Constable Nathan Harrington collected $12.81 from Hyrum and after court costs paid Daggett $9.94 of the amount owed him on 13 September. This was not quite half of the debt. On 27 September the execution was renewed by Justice Pierce with additional fees and again the threat of jail. After nearly a month Harrington came with the execution to collect the remainder and found neither Hyrum nor anything of value. He wrote on the execution: “No property to be found Nor Boddy [sic] and I return this Execution October the 26 1830.”82 Hyrum had left for Colesville.
In these hard times, when people heard that their neighbors were going to move they wanted hard cash.83 Lucy commented concerning Hyrum’s leaving the house about October 1830: “Hyrum was flying from his home, and why I knew not.” She mentioned, “Hyrum had settled up his business, for the purpose of being at liberty to do whatever the Lord required of him.” Thus Hyrum, his wife, and their two daughters were to “go immediately to Colesville.” Lucy notes that this was a Wednesday and “Hyrum had not been long absent when the neighbors called one after another and enquired where Hyrum was gone. I told each one that he was in Colesville.” A few days later a young gentleman came to the house and asked “if Mr. Hyrum Smith was at home. I told [him], as I had others, that he was in Colesville. The young man said that Mr. H. Smith was owing Dr. Mackintire, who was then absent, a small sum of money.” Lucy told him that the debt [p.137]was to be paid in corn and beans and arranged for them to be delivered the next day.84
About the same time Hyrum left for Colesville an elderly Quaker came to the house with a note owed by Joseph Sr. and demanded payment. According to Lucy, the man offered to forfeit the note if Smith would burn the copies of the Book of Mormon, but he received neither payment nor satisfaction. A constable was ordered to arrest Smith and take him to the Canandaigua Jail, where he became “an imprisoned debtor.” Samuel Harrison visited his father in the jail. Lucy reported that her “husband [was] confined in the same dungeon with a man committed for murder.” The elder Smith remained at the jail yard “until he was released, which was thirty days.”85 The man mentioned by Lucy was Eli Bruce. Bruce had been convicted on charges dealing with the abduction and murder of William Morgan, reportedly by Masons. In his diary Bruce recorded:
November 5th—Not so much pain in my head as yesterday. Had a long talk with the father of the Smith, (Joseph Smith,) who, according to the old man’s account, is the particular favorite of Heaven! To him Heaven has vouchsafed to reveal its mysteries; he is the herald of the latter-day glory. The old man avers that he is commissioned by God to baptize and preach this new doctrine. He says that our Bible is much abridged and deficient; that soon the Divine will is to be known to all, as written in the new Bible, or Book of Mormon.86
After Joseph Sr.’s release, the family moved to Waterloo, near the Whitmer’s farm in Fayette. There were still threats from creditors. Joseph Jr., who had since moved to Kirtland, Ohio, warned Hyrum that David Jackaway was planning to arrest his father. “I <have> had much Concirn about you but I always remember you in <my> prayers Calling upon God to keep <you> Safe in spite <of> men or devils. I think <you> had better Come into this Country immediately for the Lord has Commanded us that we should Call the Elders of this Chursh [sic] to gether unto this plase as soon as possable.” In a postscript he wrote, “Harrison [Smith] and O[r]son Prat[t] arrived here on Feb. 27th. They left our folks well. David Jackways has threatened to take father with a supreme writ in the spring. You had <bet[t]er> Come to Fayette and take father along with you. Come in [p.138]a one horse wagon if you Can. Do not Come threw [sic] Buf[f]alo for th[e]y will lie in wait for you. God protect you. I am Joseph.”87
In Colesville Hyrum, his wife, and two daughters stayed with Newel and Sally Knight.88 Hyrum was appointed to preside over the Colesville branch of the church, and, according to Knight, they spent their time
in the villages around, preaching the gospel wherever we could find any who would listen to us, either in public or private. A few believed and were baptized, among whom was Emer Harris, brother to Martin Harris… . On the 14th of October, Brother Hyrum Smith and I held a meeting at my uncle Hezekiah Peck’s. Brother Hyrum had great liberty of speech, and the Spirit of the Lord was poured out upon us in a miraculous manner. There was much good instruction and exhortation given, such as was calculated to encourage and strengthen the Saints in this their infantile state. At this meeting, four persons came forward and manifested their desire to forsake all, serve their God in humility, and obey the requirements of the gospel… . After laboring for some time in this vicinity, we returned to my home, found our wives well and in the enjoyment of the Spirit of the Lord. We also found Brother Orson Pratt awaiting us, who had been called by the prophet to labor with us in the ministry.89
That December Orson Pratt arrived from Fayette with a letter from Joseph Smith and John Whitmer. Later that month Pratt and Hyrum traveled from Colesville to Fayette to attend the third church conference on 2 January 1831.90 Previous to the conference Joseph Jr. received a revelation that the whole church should move to Ohio.91
When Hyrum left Colesville for the last time in March 1831, leadership of the branch transferred to Newel Knight. Hyrum and family probably went to Fayette to get his father, then moved all to the new gathering place at Kirtland, Ohio, where the Smith family began anew.92
1. Pomeroy Tucker, The Origin, Rise, and Progress of Mormonism (New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1867), 12. James Gordon Bennett in his diary, entry for 7 Aug. 1831, recorded: “Old Smith [Joseph Sr.] . . . made gingerbread and buttermints &c&c” (in Leonard J. Arrington, “James Gordon Bennett’s [p.139]1831 Report on `The Mormonites,'” Brigham Young University Studies 10 [Spring 1970]: 355). This was published as “the manufacture of gingerbread” in The Morning Courier & Enquirer (New York), 31 Aug. 1831. It was reprinted in such publications as the Christian Register, 24 Sept. 1831, and the Hillsborough Gazette (Hillsborough, Ohio), 29 Oct. 1831.
4. Memorandum dated 8 Sept. 1892, Palmyra, New York, in Wilford C. Wood, Joseph Smith Begins His Work, 2 vols. (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1958), Vol. 1, introductory pages. “Hyrum, another son, helped his father at the trade of a cooper” (Frederic G. Mather, Lippincott’s Magazine of Popular Literature and Science 26 : 198).
6. Richard L. Anderson, Joseph Smith’s New England Heritage: Influences of Grandfathers Solomon Mack and Asael Smith (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1971), 92, 94, 193nn136-37; and Pearson H. Corbett, Hyrum Smith: Patriarch (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1963), 14.
12. Lucy Mack Smith, Preliminary Manuscript (MS), “History of Lucy Smith,” 52, archives, historical department, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah (hereafter LDS archives); the page numbering corresponds with a typed transcript in LDS archives and with the page numbers in the photocopy of the manuscript; Lucy Mack Smith, Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith the Prophet, and His Progenitors for Many Generations (Liverpool: Published for Orson Pratt by S.W. Richards, 1853), 88 (hereafter Biographical Sketches); Lucy Mack Smith, History of Joseph Smith By His Mother, [p.140]Lucy Mack Smith (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1958), 87 (hereafter History of Joseph Smith).
15. Tiffany’s Monthly 5 (Aug. 1859): 164. Pomeroy Tucker wrote, “Smith’s father and elder brothers generally participated in the manual labors of these diggings” (Origin, Rise, and Progress of Mormonism, 23).
16. Willard Chase, in E. D. Howe, Mormonism Unvailed (Painesville [OH]: Printed and Published by the Author, 1834), 240-41. Willard, a son of Clark Chase (1770-1821), was on born 1 February 1798. His brother Mason was born on 19 November 1795 (Wm. E. Reed, The Descendants of Thomas Durfee of Portsmouth, R.I. [Washington, D.C.: Gibson Bros., 1902], 213-14, and George Grant Brownel, comp., Genealogical Record of the Descendants of Thomas Brownell 1619 to 1910 [Jamestown, NY: 1910], 200). Martin Harris stated, “Joseph had a stone which was dug from the well of Mason Chase, twenty-four feet from the surface” (Tiffany’s Monthly 5 [Aug. 1859]: 163).
17. Lucy Mack Smith, Preliminary MS, 46. Not in Biographical Sketches or History of Joseph Smith. Abrac derives from Abracadabra and Abraxas, both of which were used on magic amulets. Members of the Masonic Lodge of the eighteenth century claimed they knew “the way of obtaining the faculty of Abrac” (James Hardie, The New Free-Mason’s Monitor [New York: n.p., 1818], 203). The Ontario Phoenix of 25 Aug. 1830 reprinted the following from the Boston Free Press on this subject: “A VERY ANCIENT MASONIC CHARM, or the way of winning the Faculty of Abrac, – is meant the chimerical virtues ascribed to the magical term – ABRACADABRA, written or repeated in a particular manner, and is thought to be efficacious in curing agues, and preventing FITS and other masonic diseas[e]s.” John E. Thompson concluded, “It is very clear what Lucy meant by the `faculty of Abrac.’ She meant precisely what both the Masonic and Anti-Masonic writers of her day meant, not merely the ability to know all that is to be known about magic, but rather the ability to use that knowledge for specific magical ends” (“`The Facultie of Abrac:’ Masonic Claims and Mormon Beginnings,” in The Masons, the Mormons and the Morgan Incident [Ames, IA: Iowa Research Lodge No. 2 AF&AM (1984)], 2).
21. An 1825 agreement was signed by Stowell, Joseph Smith, Sr., Joseph Smith, and others. It was published in the Salt Lake Daily Tribune, 23 Apr. 1880, 4. Statement of Isaac Hale in Susquehanna Register, and Northern Pennsylvanian 9 (1 May 1834): 1; Howe, Mormonism Unvailed, 263.
25. Deed Liber 44:232-34, Ontario County Records Center and Archives, Canandaigua, New York. Lucy stated in her manuscript they were told that “if Hyrum could raise $1000 by Saturday at 10 o’clock in the evening they would give up the deed” (Preliminary MS, 61; Biographical Sketches , 96; History of Joseph Smith , 97).
29. Bible of Joseph and Emma Smith; see photo in Ensign 11 (Mar. 1981): 62 and 14 (Jan. 1984): 33; “Genealogy of President Joseph Smith Junior,” in Manuscript History A-1:9 [separate section] (see Dean C. Jessee, ed., The Papers of Joseph Smith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, Co., 1989], 1:18). The Smith-Cowdery Bible purchased in 1829, and used for Joseph Smith’s revision of the Bible, contained the following under “Marriages,” “Joseph Smith Junr Emma Hale was married Jan 18 1827 Bainbridge, Chenango County State of New York” (RLDS archives). In Lucy Smith’s Preliminary Manuscript, Joseph’s and Hyrum’s marriages are placed previous to the Smiths becoming renters on the farm. For Calvin and Sophronia’s marriage date, see Record in Family Bible, photo in our possession. The original Calvin Stoddard Bible was in the possession of Charles Boyd of Chicago, Illinois, in 1968. Lucy’s 1853 book has the marriage date as 2 December 1827 (40).
32. Lemuel Durfee Account Book, 41-42, location of original in the King’s Daughters Library, Palmyra, New York, in 1973, present location unknown, copy in our possession. This is a separate account book and should not be confused with a similar ledger cited in note 31.
33. “Return of Mount Moriah Lodge No. 112 held in the town of Palmyra in the County of Wayne and State of New York from June 4th AL 5827  to June 4th AL 5828 ,” Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York, Library and Museum, New York City. Also the Nauvoo, Illinois, Lodge listed Hyrum as having previously been a Mason in New York, entry of 30 Dec. 1841: “Hyrum Smith, Mount Moriah, No. 112, N.Y.” in Mervin B. Hogan, ed., Founding Minutes of Nauvoo Lodge, U.D. (Des Moines, IA: Research Lodge No. 2 ), 8. See Richard L. Anderson, Investigating the Book of Mormon Witnesses (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1981), 149nn28-29.
35. Lucy Mack Smith, Biographical Sketches (1853), 42; History of Joseph Smith (1958), 352. See photo of the “Family Record” in Hyrum Smith’s family Bible in The Friend 18 (Jan. 1988): 35, entry: “Lovina Smith the Daughter of Hyrum & Jerusha Smith was Born September 16th 1827.” This Bible is dated to the Kirtland, Ohio, period. Lovina was born in Manchester. See George Albert Smith Family Papers, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City.
37. Lucy Mack Smith, Preliminary MS, 73; Biographical Sketches (1853), 105-106; History of Joseph Smith (1958), 109. Lucy has Lovina being four days old. She should have been eleven days old (or more), as Joseph did not bring the record immediately home.
38. “Wm. B. Smith’s last Statement,” Zion’s Ensign 5 (13 Jan. 1894): 6; reprinted in the Deseret Evening News 27 (20 Jan. 1894): 11; Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star 56 (26 Feb. 1894): 132. Ten years earlier William Smith wrote, “I was permitted to lift them [the plates] as they laid in a pillow-case; but not to see them” (William Smith on Mormonism, 12).
41. Martin Harris who was interviewed in 1859 reported, “After they had been concealed under the floor of the cooper’s shop for a short time, Joseph was warned to remove them. He said he was warned by an angel. He took them out and hid them up in the chamber of the cooper’s shop among the flags [flax]. That night some one came, took up the floor, and dug up the earth, and would have found the plates had they not been removed” (Tiffany’s Monthly 5 [Aug. 1859]: 167).
43. Tiffany’s Monthly 5 (Aug. 1859): 168-70. Edward Stevenson wrote, “Martin’s Wife had hefted them & felt them under cover as had Martin” (Interview of Martin Harris by Edward Stevenson, 4 Sept. 1870, LDS archives). Willard Chase, a younger brother of Mason Chase, talked with Joseph about the same time that Harris asked the family how the plates were found. Chase recalled, “He then observed that if it had not been for that stone, (which he acknowledged belonged to me,) he would not have obtained the book” (Mormonism Unvailed, 246). In the preface to the 1830 Book of Mormon, Joseph wrote: “I would also inform you that the plates of which hath been spoken, were found in the township of Manchester, Ontario county, New-York.”
46. Lucy Mack Smith, Preliminary MS, 97; Biographical Sketches (1853), 128; History of Joseph Smith (1958), 138. Mrs. S. F. Anderick recalled: “Hyrum was the only son sufficiently educated to teach school. I attended when he taught in the log school-house east of uncle’s [Earl Wilcox]. He also taught in the Stafford District. He and Sophronia were the most respected of the family” (21 Dec. 1887, in Naked Truths About Mormonism 1 [Jan. 1888]: 2). William and Oliver Cowdery were evidently living in the township of Arcadia, Wayne County. See list of letters unclaimed at the Newark Post Office, 1 Oct. 1827, in the Lyons Advertiser 6 (17 Oct. 1827). For Lyman Cowdery, see list of unclaimed letters at the Palmyra Post Office, Wayne Sentinel 5 (11 July 1828): 3.
47. Lucy Mack Smith, Preliminary MS, 99; Biographical Sketches (1853), 129; History of Joseph Smith (1958), 139-40. The earlier reading “we had formerly lived in” is crossed out in the manuscript. There were two log homes that the Smiths had lived in prior to residing in the frame house. The first [p.144]one was in Palmyra, to which they did not return, and the other one was built by the Smiths in Manchester. Lucy Mack Smith, William Smith and Pomeroy Tucker each mention a cabin being built on land in Manchester.
The Smith family’s place of residency after their move to the log house of Hyrum and his family is referred to in every case as Manchester. All of the Smiths’ legal and personal documents dating from 1829-30 are dated at Manchester. This includes Joseph Smith’s revelations; letters written by Oliver Cowdery while living with the Smith family; law suits against Joseph Sr. and Hyrum; the 1830 census; and the 1830 Manchester assessment roll where Hyrum Smith is taxed for fifteen acres on Lot 1.
There is no evidence of Hyrum Smith residing in Palmyra since the highway road tax lists do not include his name on any road district for 1827 or 1828. The road leading from the south boundary of the Corporation of the Village of Palmyra to the town line in 1828 was in Road District 1 and was Stafford Road. There were only six men over twenty-one years of age in this road district (Palmyra Highway Tax Record, Palmyra, New York, Copies of Old Village Records, 1793-1867, microfilm #812869, LDS Family History Library, Salt Lake City; microfilm 900, reel #60 at Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah).
48. Lucy Mack Smith, Preliminary MS, 98, 100; Biographical Sketches (1853), 129-30; History of Joseph Smith (1958), 139, 141. See agreement dated 6 Apr. 1829 signed by Joseph Smith and Isaac Hale in the presence of Oliver H. Cowdery and Samuel H. Smith, LDS archives. On 7 September 1834 Oliver Cowdery wrote, “On Monday the 6th, I assisted him [Joseph] in arranging some business of a temporal nature” (Messenger and Advocate 1 [Oct. 1834]: 14, Kirtland, Ohio). Manuscript History, Book A-1: 13, LDS archives, has the date of arrival as “the fifth day of April.” This was published in the Times and Seasons 3 (1 July 1842): 832 as “the fifteenth day of April.”
Joseph wrote concerning Cowdery’s vision that the “Lord appeared unto a young man by the name of Oliver Cowd[e]ry and shewed unto him the plates in a vision and also the truth of the work…now my wife had writ[t]en some for me to translate and also my Brother Samuel H. Smith” (Joseph Smith’s 1832 account, 6, LDS archives, in Jessee, Papers of Joseph Smith, 1:10).
49. BC 10:2-5, 8-9, 11; also in LDS D&C 11:4, 7, 9-11, 15-16, 19, 23; and RLDS D&C 10:1b, 3b, 4c-5, 8a-b, 9b, 11a. Compare BC 10:1-4 with similar wording in BC 5:1-4 (for Oliver Cowdery, Apr. 1829), BC 11:1-3 (for Joseph Knight, May 1829), and BC 12:1-3 (for David Whitmer, June 1829).
50. Manuscript History Book A-1: 23; Jessee, Papers of Joseph Smith, 1:294. There were three baptisms performed before Hyrum was baptized. Oliver Cowdery, Joseph Smith, and Samuel Harrison Smith were baptized in May [p.145]1829. In June 1829, David Whitmer, Peter Whitmer, Jr., and probably John Whitmer were baptized. If John Whitmer is included, the total number of baptisms at this time is seven. In the Manuscript History there are two general statements concerning baptism: (1) “From this time forth many became believers, and were baptized” (Book A-1: 23; Jessee, Papers of Joseph Smith, 1:294). Cf. History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ed. B. H. Roberts, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1959), 1:51. (2) “almost daily we administered the ordinance of Baptism for the remission of sins” (Book A-1: 26; Jessee, Papers of Joseph Smith, 1:299). Cf. History of the Church 1:59.
There are no records that support numerous baptisms previous to 6 April 1830, despite David Whitmer’s statement in 1887, “There were six elders and about seventy members before April 6th” (An Address to All Believers in Christ, [Richmond, MO: author, 1887], 33). See also Saints’ Herald 29 (15 June 1882): 189, where Whitmer said “there were about forty or fifty members in the Church when organized on April 6th, 1830.”
51. The copyright is documented in three places: (1) a certificate held by Joseph Smith, now in LDS archives; (2) the original entry in vol. 116, Copyright Records, New York Northern District, Sept. 1826 – May 1831, entry 107, by Richard R. Lansing, Clerk, now in the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; and (3) a copy written in the printer’s manuscript for the 1830 Book of Mormon, RLDS archives.
52. BC 15:1, “instructions relative to building up the church of Christ, according to the fulness of the gospel” (Fayette, New York, June 1829). See also vv 27-43; LDS D&C 18; RLDS D&C 16. Cf. with “A Commandment from God unto Oliver,” in Robert J. Woodford, “The Historical Development of the Doctrine and Covenants,” Ph.D. diss., Brigham Young University, 1974, 1:287-90.
55. Lucy Mack Smith, Biographical Sketches (1853), 42; History of Joseph Smith (1958), 352; see Pearson H. Corbett, Hyrum Smith: Patriarch, 57, 103. See photo of the “Family Record” in Hyrum Smith’s family Bible in The Friend 18 (Jan. 1988): 35, entry: “Mary Smith was Born June 27th 1829.”
57. Lucy Mack Smith, Preliminary MS, 111; Biographical Sketches (1853), 145; History of Joseph Smith (1958), 159. Both the printer’s and the original [p.146]manuscripts were used for the typesetting of the Book of Mormon. See Stanley R. Larson, “A Study of Some Textual Variations in the Book of Mormon Comparing the Original and the Printer’s Manuscripts and the 1830, the 1837, and the 1840 Editions,” M.A. thesis, Brigham Young University, 1974, 264; “Book of Mormon Manuscript Fragments Examined,” Ensign 22 (Apr. 1992): 74; and Royal Skousen, “Piecing Together the Original Manuscript,” Brigham Young University Today 46 (May 1992): 23-24.
58. Memorandum, 8 Sept. 1892, Palmyra, New York, in Wilford C. Wood, Joseph Smith Begins His Work, 2 vols. (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1958), Vol. 1, introductory pages. John Gilbert also wrote: “Hyrum Smith was the only one of the family I had any acquaintance with, and that very slight” (Gilbert to James T. Cobb, 16 Mar. 1879); also, “Hyrum Smith brought to the office 24 pages of manuscript on foolscap paper, closely written and legible, but not a punctuation mark from beginning to end. This was about the middle of August, 1829, and the printing was completed in March, 1830. It was some weeks after this before the binder was able to deliver any copies” (Gilbert to Cobb, 10 Feb. 1879). Both of Gilbert’s letters are in the Schroeder Collection, Manuscript and Archives Division, New York Public Library, New York City.
59. “History of Thos. Baldwin Marsh,” Deseret News 8 (24 Mar. 1858): 18, Fillmore City, Utah Territory. Marsh’s sixteen pages would be one galley sheet (eight pages printed on each side) that evidently was given away to a number of persons who visited the printing office. Marsh’s account continued: “From this time for about one year I corresponded with Oliver Cowdery and Joseph Smith, jun., and prepared myself to move west.” Cowdery wrote to Joseph: “My dear Brother I cannot hardly feel to close this letter as yet without informing you that we received one from Mr. Marsh from Boston, Massachusetts dated the 25th Oct. he informs us that he wishes to hear from us and know of our wellfare he says he has talked considerable to some respecting ou[r] work with freedom but others could not because they had no ears” (Oliver Cowdery to Joseph Smith, Manchester, 6 Nov. 1829, copy transcribed in 1832 into Joseph Smith’s Letterbook 1:8, LDS archives). See Ensign 13 (Dec. 1983): 47, for a photograph.
60. Letter of Stephen S. Harding, dated Feb. 1882, in Thomas Gregg, The Prophet of Palmyra (New York: John B. Alden, 1890), 41, 48, 52. Harding mentioned that after the candle had burned “Mother Smith loaded a clay pipe with tobacco, which she ground up in her hands” (43). Cf. Tucker, Origin, Rise, and Progress of Mormonism, 284. For a photograph of the title page Harding was given, and on which Joseph Smith was identified as “author and [p.147]proprietor,” see Church History in the Fulness of Times (Salt Lake City: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1989), 64.
61. Account of Solomon Chamberlain, published in “The John Taylor Nauvoo Journal,” Brigham Young University Studies 23 (Summer 1983): 45, copied into Taylor’s diary in the spring of 1845. One pamphlet which contained some background material on Chamberlain was titled A Sketch of the Experience of Solomon Chamberlin (Lyons, New York, 1829), copy at the Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University.
65. Abner Cole was born about 1782. Orsamus Turner mentioned that he was “an early lawyer of Palmyra” (History of the Phelps and Gorham’s Purchase, 186). Cole was a justice of the peace in Palmyra in 1814 and 1815 (Old Village Records, Palmyra, New York, entries for Apr. 1814 and Apr. 1815). In 1818 he was a village constable. He is listed as a resident of Palmyra in the 1820 and the 1830 censuses. He was in Road District 26, the same one on which Joseph Smith, Sr., is listed, for 1816-21 (Palmyra Highway Tax Records, typed copy). In 1820 he had property in Palmyra (49 1/2 acres) and one hundred acres in Manchester. He published two newspapers. The Reflector was published in Palmyra from 2 September 1829 to 16 December 1829. A “New Series” continued with the issue of 22 December 1829 and the last known issue was dated 19 March 1831. Cole moved to Rochester and started another newspaper, the Liberal Advocate, using the same pen name, Obadiah Dogberry. The masthead, like that of the Palmyra Reflector, included the quote from Alexander Pope: “Know then thyself, presume not God to scan! The proper study of mankind is man.” The Liberal Advocate ran from 23 February 1832 through 22 November 1834. Cole died 13 July 1835, and a local newspaper reported his death: “In this city, on the 13th inst Abner Cole, Esq. Editor of the ‘Liberal Advocate'” (Rochester Daily Democrat, 15 July 1835).
For additional material on “Obadiah Dogberry” (Abner Cole), see M. Hamlin Cannon, “Contemporary Views of Mormon Origins (1830),” The Mississippi Valley Historical Review 31 (June 1944): 261-66; Russell R. Rich, “The Dogberry Papers and the Book of Mormon”, Brigham Young University Studies 10 (Spring 1970): 315-20; and Joseph W. Barnes, “Obediah Dogberry Rochester Freethinker,” Rochester History 36 (July 1974): 1-24.
[p.148]66. Lucy Mack Smith, Preliminary MS, 118; Biographical Sketches (1853), 148; History of Joseph Smith (1958), 164. Lucy recalled the newspaper as “Dogberry paper [on] Winter Hill.” In fact, The Reflector was issued from “his `Bower’ on Winter Green Hill” and was printed on the press of E. B. Grandin. See The Reflector 1 [2 Sept. 1829]: 1.
68. In Simon Gratz Autograph Collection, Case 8, Box 17 (American Miscellaneous), under Smith, Joseph, Sr., Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Used by permission. Photographs have been also published in Ensign 13 (Dec. 1983): 44; and Church History in the Fulness of Times, 65. The Ensign published this comment: “In this agreement (which, incidentally, points out the role of the Prophet’s father, Joseph Smith, Sr., in the publication of the Book of Mormon), the elder Smith agrees that the first profits from the sale of the book were to go toward the payment of the printer, thus relieving Martin Harris of the full burden of payment” (Ensign 13 [Dec. 1983]: 44). Compare this with the text of the agreement.
69. Probate Papers, Box 053, filed by executors Oliver Durfee and Lemuel Durfee, Jr., filed on 22 Jan. 1830, Surrogate’s Court, Wayne County Courthouse, Lyons, New York. For collection process, see Nathan Pierce Docket Book, 1827-30, Manchester Town Office, 25. The signature of Joseph Smith, Sr., appears to be different from the one in the Simon Gratz Autograph Collection. This could be accounted for by the “nervous affection” Jesse Smith mentions, by the quill he used to sign his name, or by his using a different angle when signing.
72. Lucy Mack Smith, Preliminary MS, 117; Biographical Sketches (1853), 147; History of Joseph Smith (1958), 162. In the 1853 edition it reads: “Hyrum. `I will tell you what I will do, Mr. Beckwith, if you do get a testimony from God, that the book is not true, I will confess to you that it is not true.'” Lucy stated in her manuscript that one of the men said that they had “belonged to our church a whole year.” This is clearly an error on her part.
74. Copies of the Book of Mormon were ready for sale by 26 March 1830. See Wayne Sentinel 7 (26 Mar. 1830): 3. It was first sold for fourteen shillings ($1.75), and later the cost was reduced to ten shillings ($1.25). Cf. Tucker, Origin, Rise, and Progress of Mormonism, 55. Henry Harris recalled talking with Martin Harris: “After the Book was published, I frequently bantered him for [p.149]a copy. He asked fourteen shillings a piece for them; I told him I would not give so much; he told me [they] had had a revelation that they must be sold at that price. Sometime afterwards I talked with Martin Harris about buying one of the Books and he told me they had had a new revelation, that they might be sold at ten shillings a piece” (Mormonism Unvailed, 252). Sylvia Walker remembered that the price of the Book of Mormon was lowered: “The Mormons said the price of the `Book of Mormon’ was established at $1.75 by revelation. It did not sell well and they claimed to receive another to sell it at $1.25” (Naked Truths About Mormonism 1 [Apr. 1888]: 1).
75. The Autobiography of Parley Parker Pratt, ed. Parley P. Pratt, Jr. (New York: Published for the Editor and Proprietor by Russell Brothers, 1874), 38-39; 1961 ed., 37-38. Pratt recalled, “He [Hyrum] invited me to his home, where I saw mother Smith and Hyrum Smith’s wife, and sister Rockwell, the mother of Orin Porter Rockwell” (discourse delivered on 7 Sept. 1856, Journal of Discourses 5:194). In Biographical Sketches (1853) is written, “as Joseph was about commencing a discourse one Sunday morning, Parley P. Pratt came in….The following day he was baptized and ordained….After Joseph ordained Parley, he went home again to Pennsylvania, for he was only in Manchester on business” (157). This account is in error as Joseph was in Harmony at the end of August and first part of September. Pratt remembered being baptized about the first of September. Also, it was Cowdery who ordained Parley to the office of Elder, not Smith. Compare with 1958 edition (176), where the part about Joseph ordaining Parley is deleted.
76. Autobiography of Parley Parker Pratt (1874), 42-43; 1961 ed., 41-42. That Joseph Smith was still in Harmony, see Book of Commandments 28, “given in Harmony, Pennsylvania, September 4, 1830” (60) and the reverse side of the deed of land from Isaac Hale to his son-in-law, dated 6 Apr. 1829, noting that payment was received in full “Harmony August 26th 1830” (Joseph Smith Collection, LDS archives). The Indenture was made on 25 August 1830 and witnessed by John Whitmer. The Manuscript History, Book A-1: 53, says, “during the last week in August we arrived at Fayette” (Jessee, Papers of Joseph Smith, 1:322). This statement is in error as both Parley Pratt and Thomas Marsh were ordained to the office of Elder by Oliver Cowdery due to Joseph’s absence.
77. Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt (1874), 46-47; 1961 ed., 45. Pratt’s description of the log home agrees with that of Pomeroy Tucker who stated, “This house was divided into two rooms,” adding that a bedroom wing was added later (Origin, Rise, and Progress of Mormonism, 13). Pratt wrote elsewhere: “Then, after finishing my visit to Columbia Co., I returned to the brethren in Ontario Co., where for the first time, I saw Mr. Joseph Smith, Jr., [p.150]who had just returned from Pennsylvania, to his father’s house, in Manchester” (Pratt, Mormonism Unveiled [New-York: Published by O. Pratt & E. Fordham, Third Edition, 1838], 41). The “History of Parley P. Pratt” also mentions “I saw for the first time Joseph Smith, the Prophet, at his father’s house, in Manchester” (Deseret News 8 [19 May 1858]: 53).
78. True Latter Day Saints’ Herald 3 (Oct. 1862): 79-83. When Thayer asked what was the price of the Book of Mormon, “Fourteen shillings” [$1.75] was the reply. He bought a copy (80). See Book of Commandments 35:14; LDS D&C 33:15; RLDS D&C 32:3c, where it is clear that Thayer and Northrop Sweet had already been ordained elders in the church because they could lay hands on individuals for the gift of the Holy Ghost. The “History of Parley P. Pratt” states that Pratt preached and at the close of the meeting there were “baptized seven persons” (Deseret News 8 [19 May 1858]: 53). Those baptized included Ezra Thayer, Northrop Sweet and Oliver Cowdery’s step mother Keziah Cowdery.
80. Nathan Pierce Docket Book, Manchester Town Office; microfilm of docket book, film 900, reel #62, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. The fact that this summons was brought before Justice Nathan Pierce of Manchester, Ontario County, is further evidence that in June 1830 Hyrum Smith resided in Manchester rather than in Palmyra, Wayne County. See Laws of the State of New York (Albany: Printed by Leake & Croswell, 1824), 280. In the 1830 assessment records Hyrum Smith is taxed for fifteen acres on Lot 1. See 1830 Assessment Records of Manchester, New York, 5 July 1830, 23, Ontario County Historical Society, Canandaigua, New York; copy in our possession. Don Enders brought this document to our attention.
The reverse side of the Execution records that $9.94 was received for “Levi Daggett by A K Daggett.” This is probably Augustus K. Daggett, son of Levi Daggett, Sr. (see microfilm #017177, LDS Family History Library, Salt Lake City). See also Samuel Bradlee Daggett, A History of the Doggett-Daggett Family (Baltimore: Gateway Press, Inc., 1973), 149-50, 199.
82. The final item written in the docket book for this case was “Paid by Justice 4th April 1831,” and the amount of $21.07 plus $1.60 for a total of $22.67. The reverse side of the execution contains the amount of $24.75, probably including the $12.81 already paid.
87. Dean C. Jessee, ed., The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1984), 231-32; see Improvement Era 9 (Dec. 1905): 168-69. See earlier letter of Joseph Smith to Martin Harris, 22 Feb. 1831, “see that Father Smiths family are taken care of and sent on. You will send to Colesville and have either Hiram [Smith] or Newel [Knight] to come immediately or both if they can be spared. You will not sell the books for less than 10 Shillings [$1.25]” (LDS archives, not in Jessee, Personal Writings of Joseph Smith). See also Pearson H. Corbett, Hyrum Smith: Patriarch (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1963), 80.
In a “List of Articles belonging to Martin Harris & left in the hands of Thomas Lakely for safe keeping not to be delivered to any person except by the written order of the said Harris Dated May 3. 1831” is listed “300 Books of Mormon to be sold for $1.25 & account to the said Harris $1.00 for each copy, or deliver the said books to any person presenting the written order of the said Harris.” The list was signed by Harris and is located in the Palmyra Library Vertical files, Thomas Lakey’s “Record of Court Proceedings 1827-1830,” in the King’s Daughters Library, Palmyra, New York. Another Harris signature is located in the Inventory to the Estate of Seth Harris, Probate Record, 13 Jan. 1822, original in Ontario County Historical Society, Canandaigua, New York.
In a letter to Reverend Ancil Beach dated January 1832, six leading citizens of Canandaigua wrote: “Martin Harris lately testified on a trial which related to the work of printing and publishing the Book that he had sent 2300 copies of it to the west” (copy of letter in the Hubbell Papers, Princeton University Library, Princeton, New Jersey). Hyrum Smith’s diary entries for 1832 as printed in Hyrum Smith: Patriarch mention that he sold the Book of Mormon in Ohio for $1.25 a copy (104, 111). The Book of Mormon was also used as an object of barter (103-104, 111).
90. William G. Hartley, “They Are My Friends”: A History of the Joseph Knight Family, 1825-1850 (Provo, UT: Grandin Book Co., 1986), 60. The letter termed Pratt “another servant and apostle” and called the Colesville area “the seat of Satan.” Cf. 1836 letter regarding the south part of Bainbridge, New York, in History of Chenango and Madison Counties, New York (Syracuse, NY: D. Mason & Co., 1880), 147. See also Elden J. Watson, comp., The Orson Pratt Journals (Salt Lake City: comp., 1975), 10.
92. Lucy Mack Smith, Preliminary MS, 135; Biographical Sketches (1853), 176; History of Joseph Smith (1958), 199. Lucy reported that she had learned “that Mr. Smith [her husband] and Hyrum had gone through to Kirtland by land, in order to be there by the first of April.” At a conference held on 25 October 1831 at Orange, Ohio, “Br. Hyrum Smith said that he thought best that the information of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon be related by Joseph himself to the Elders present that all might know for themselves. Br. Joseph Smith jr. said that it was not intended to tell the world all the particulars of the coming forth of the book of Mormon, & also said that it was not expedient for him to relate these things &c” (Donald Q. Cannon and Lyndon W. Cook, eds., Far West Record: Minutes of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-1844 [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1983], 23).