26039

Agreement with Isaac Hale, 6 April 1829

This Agreement made and Concluded this 6th day of April Ano Domini one thousand eight hundred and twenty nine Between Isaac Hale

21 Mar. 1763–11 Jan. 1839. Farmer, hunter, innkeeper. Born in Waterbury, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Reuben Hale and Diantha Ward. Member of Methodist church. Moved to Wells, Albany Co., New York (later in Rutland Co., Vermont), ca. 1771, to live with...

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of the Township of Harmony

Located in northeastern Pennsylvania. Area settled, by 1787. Organized 1809. Population in 1830 about 340. Population in 1840 about 520. Contained Harmony village (no longer in existence). Josiah Stowell hired JS to help look for treasure in area, Oct. 1825...

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in the County of Susquehanna and State of Pennsylvania of the one part and Joseph Smith Jun. of the Township

Located in northeastern Pennsylvania. Area settled, by 1787. Organized 1809. Population in 1830 about 340. Population in 1840 about 520. Contained Harmony village (no longer in existence). Josiah Stowell hired JS to help look for treasure in area, Oct. 1825...

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County and State aforesaid of the other part Witnesseth that the said Isaac Hale

21 Mar. 1763–11 Jan. 1839. Farmer, hunter, innkeeper. Born in Waterbury, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Reuben Hale and Diantha Ward. Member of Methodist church. Moved to Wells, Albany Co., New York (later in Rutland Co., Vermont), ca. 1771, to live with...

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hereby Covenants and agrees to sell and convey to the said Joseph Smith Jun. his Heirs Executors Administrators or assigns by a good and sufficient Deed containing a General Warranty all that certain piece or parcel of land with its appurtenances situate lying and being in the Township of Harmony

Located in northeastern Pennsylvania. Area settled, by 1787. Organized 1809. Population in 1830 about 340. Population in 1840 about 520. Contained Harmony village (no longer in existence). Josiah Stowell hired JS to help look for treasure in area, Oct. 1825...

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in the County of Susquehanna and State of Pennsylvania and butted bounded and described as follows Viz. Begining at a Post on the bank of the Susquehann[a] River thence North half a degree West one hundred & eleven perches1

As a measure of length, a perch is equal to 16½ feet.  


to a post thence North eighty nine and a half degrees East twenty perches to a post thence South half a degree East one hundred and nineteen perches to a Sugar tree on the Bank of said River thence down the River Bank to the place of Begining Containing in the whole thirteen Acres and eighty Rods2

As a measure of area, a rod is equal to 272¼ square feet. Eighty rods is equal to half an acre. Thus, the total acreage involved in this sale was 13½ acres.  


be the same more or less,3

The bounds of this property can be restated thus in current terms: beginning at the river’s edge, the property line extends almost due north (compass bearing 359.5°) for 1,831½ feet, thence a 90° turn to a bearing of 89.5° for 330 feet, thence a 90° turn to a bearing of 179.5° for 1,963½ feet, and finally a 111.8° turn to a bearing of 291.3° for 355 feet. If the distances indicated in this document are accurate, then, depending on how the shoreline “winds & turns” for the last 355 feet and on the straightness of property lines generally, JS actually may have obtained something over fourteen acres. (Compare Deed from Isaac and Elizabeth Hale, 25 Aug. 1830.)  


In consideration and for the sum of two hundred Dollars to be paid in the following Parshal partial payments Viz. one Hundred & fourteen Dollars to be paid by the first of May 1829, and the remainder the first of May 1830 For the due performance of the covenants and agreements afore said the said parties hereby bind themselves their Heirs executors Administrators and assigns each to the other respectively in the penal sum of four hundred Dollars to be paid by the party delinquent to the party complaining In Witness where of they have hereunto set their hands and seals the day and year first above written
Signed Sealed and)Joseph Smith Jr.Signed
Delivered in presence)Isaac Hale

21 Mar. 1763–11 Jan. 1839. Farmer, hunter, innkeeper. Born in Waterbury, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Reuben Hale and Diantha Ward. Member of Methodist church. Moved to Wells, Albany Co., New York (later in Rutland Co., Vermont), ca. 1771, to live with...

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Sealed
of)
Oliver H P6

In several early documents, Oliver Cowdery signed his name with “H” or “H P” as middle initials. See, for instance, the signature at the end of his 28 December 1829 letter to JS and the letter noted in the 20 February 1830 issue of the New-York Telescope. What the initials represent is unknown. That early associates were familiar with them, however, is evident by the quip in the Palmyra Reflector that Cowdery “left out his two middle names in the ‘Book of Mormon.’” (Letter from Oliver Cowdery, 28 Dec. 1829; C. C. Blatchly, “Caution against the Golden Bible,” New-York Telescope, 20 Feb. 1830, 150; News Item, Reflector (Palmyra, NY), 1 June 1830, 28; see also Letter to Oliver Cowdery, 22 Oct. 1829; and Agreement with Martin Harris, 16 Jan. 1830.)  


Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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)
Samuel H Smith

13 Mar. 1808–30 July 1844. Farmer, logger, scribe, builder, tavern operator. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, by Mar. 1810; to Lebanon, Grafton Co., New Hampshire, 1811...

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)
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Oliver Cowdery handwriting begins.  


This Agreement made and Concluded this 6th day of  April Ano Domini one thousand eight hundred and  twenty nine Between Isaac Hale

21 Mar. 1763–11 Jan. 1839. Farmer, hunter, innkeeper. Born in Waterbury, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Reuben Hale and Diantha Ward. Member of Methodist church. Moved to Wells, Albany Co., New York (later in Rutland Co., Vermont), ca. 1771, to live with...

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of the Township of Harmony

Located in northeastern Pennsylvania. Area settled, by 1787. Organized 1809. Population in 1830 about 340. Population in 1840 about 520. Contained Harmony village (no longer in existence). Josiah Stowell hired JS to help look for treasure in area, Oct. 1825...

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 in the County of Susquehanna and State of Pennsy[l]vania of  the one part and Joseph Smith Jun. of the Township

Located in northeastern Pennsylvania. Area settled, by 1787. Organized 1809. Population in 1830 about 340. Population in 1840 about 520. Contained Harmony village (no longer in existence). Josiah Stowell hired JS to help look for treasure in area, Oct. 1825...

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County  and State aforesaid of the other part Witnesseth that  the said Isaac Hale

21 Mar. 1763–11 Jan. 1839. Farmer, hunter, innkeeper. Born in Waterbury, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Reuben Hale and Diantha Ward. Member of Methodist church. Moved to Wells, Albany Co., New York (later in Rutland Co., Vermont), ca. 1771, to live with...

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hereby Covenants and agrees to sell and  convey to the said Joseph Smith Jun. his Heirs Executors  Administrators or assigns by a good and sufficient Deed  containing a General Warranty all that certain piece or  parcel of land with its appurtenances situate lying and being  in the Township of Harmony

Located in northeastern Pennsylvania. Area settled, by 1787. Organized 1809. Population in 1830 about 340. Population in 1840 about 520. Contained Harmony village (no longer in existence). Josiah Stowell hired JS to help look for treasure in area, Oct. 1825...

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in the County of Susquehanna and <State> of  Pennsy[l]vania and butted bounded and described as follows  Viz. Begining at a Post on the North side bank of the Susquehann[a]  River thence North half a degree West one hundred & eleven  perches1

As a measure of length, a perch is equal to 16½ feet.  


to a post thence North eighty nine and a half degrees East  twenty perches to a post thence South half a degree East one hund red and nineteen perches to a Sugar tree on the Bank of said  River thence down the River to Bank to the place of Begining  Containing in the whole thirteen Acres and eighty Rods2

As a measure of area, a rod is equal to 272¼ square feet. Eighty rods is equal to half an acre. Thus, the total acreage involved in this sale was 13½ acres.  


be the  same more or less,3

The bounds of this property can be restated thus in current terms: beginning at the river’s edge, the property line extends almost due north (compass bearing 359.5°) for 1,831½ feet, thence a 90° turn to a bearing of 89.5° for 330 feet, thence a 90° turn to a bearing of 179.5° for 1,963½ feet, and finally a 111.8° turn to a bearing of 291.3° for 355 feet. If the distances indicated in this document are accurate, then, depending on how the shoreline “winds & turns” for the last 355 feet and on the straightness of property lines generally, JS actually may have obtained something over fourteen acres. (Compare Deed from Isaac and Elizabeth Hale, 25 Aug. 1830.)  


In consideration and for the some <sum> of two  hundred Dollars to be paid in the following Parshal [partial] payme[n] ts Viz. one Hundred & fourteen Dollars to be paid by the first  of May 1829, and the remainder the first of May 1830  For the due performance of the covenants and agreements  afore said the said parties hereby bind themself themselves their  Heirs executors Administrators and assigns each to the other  respectfully respectively in the penal sum of four hundred  Dollars to be paid by the party delinquent to the party  complaining In Witness wher[e] of they have hereunto  set their hands and seals the day and year first above written
Signed Sealed and)Joseph Smith Jr.Signed4

TEXT: “Signed” encircled.  


Delivered in presence)Isaac Hale

21 Mar. 1763–11 Jan. 1839. Farmer, hunter, innkeeper. Born in Waterbury, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Reuben Hale and Diantha Ward. Member of Methodist church. Moved to Wells, Albany Co., New York (later in Rutland Co., Vermont), ca. 1771, to live with...

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Original signatures of JS, Isaac Hale, Oliver Cowdery, and Samuel Smith.  


Sealed5

TEXT: “Sealed” encircled.  


of)
Oliver H P6

In several early documents, Oliver Cowdery signed his name with “H” or “H P” as middle initials. See, for instance, the signature at the end of his 28 December 1829 letter to JS and the letter noted in the 20 February 1830 issue of the New-York Telescope. What the initials represent is unknown. That early associates were familiar with them, however, is evident by the quip in the Palmyra Reflector that Cowdery “left out his two middle names in the ‘Book of Mormon.’” (Letter from Oliver Cowdery, 28 Dec. 1829; C. C. Blatchly, “Caution against the Golden Bible,” New-York Telescope, 20 Feb. 1830, 150; News Item, Reflector (Palmyra, NY), 1 June 1830, 28; see also Letter to Oliver Cowdery, 22 Oct. 1829; and Agreement with Martin Harris, 16 Jan. 1830.)  


Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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)
Samuel H Smith

13 Mar. 1808–30 July 1844. Farmer, logger, scribe, builder, tavern operator. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, by Mar. 1810; to Lebanon, Grafton Co., New Hampshire, 1811...

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)
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In November or December 1827, JS and Emma Smith

10 July 1804–30 Apr. 1879. Scribe, editor, boardinghouse operator, clothier. Born at Willingborough Township (later in Harmony), Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania. Daughter of Isaac Hale and Elizabeth Lewis. Member of Methodist church at Harmony (later in Oakland...

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moved from Manchester

Settled 1793. Formed as Burt Township when divided from Farmington Township, 31 Mar. 1821. Name changed to Manchester, 16 Apr. 1822. Included village of Manchester. Population in 1825 about 2,700. Population in 1830 about 2,800. JS reported first vision of...

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, New York, to Harmony

Located in northeastern Pennsylvania. Area settled, by 1787. Organized 1809. Population in 1830 about 340. Population in 1840 about 520. Contained Harmony village (no longer in existence). Josiah Stowell hired JS to help look for treasure in area, Oct. 1825...

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, Pennsylvania, where Emma’s parents, Isaac

21 Mar. 1763–11 Jan. 1839. Farmer, hunter, innkeeper. Born in Waterbury, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Reuben Hale and Diantha Ward. Member of Methodist church. Moved to Wells, Albany Co., New York (later in Rutland Co., Vermont), ca. 1771, to live with...

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and Elizabeth Hale

19 Nov. 1767–16 Feb. 1842. Innkeeper. Born in Litchfield Co., Connecticut. Daughter of Nathaniel Lewis and Esther Tuttle. Member of Methodist church. Moved to Wells, Charlotte Co., New York (later in Rutland Co., Vermont), 1776. Married Isaac Hale, 20 Sept...

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, lived.1

JS’s history stated, “On the 22d day of Sept of this same year [1827] I obtained the plat[e]s—and in December following we mooved to Susquehana by the assistence of a man by the name of Martin Har[r]is.” Joseph Knight Sr. recalled that JS and Emma moved in November, while Martin Harris said they left in late October or early November. (JS History, ca. Summer 1832, 5; Knight, Reminiscences, 3; “Mormonism—No. II,” Tiffany’s Monthly, July 1859, 170.)  


JS and Emma soon moved onto a thirteen-and-a-half-acre lot adjoining the Hales’ residential property, a lot with a small house recently vacated by Emma’s brother David Hale.2

Susquehanna Co., PA, Tax Assessment Records, 1813–1865, Harmony Township, PA, Tax Record for 1828, p. [11], microfilm 1,927,832, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL. JS was taxed on the house (but not the property) on 3 January 1828. He and Emma likely moved into the house in February.  


The terms JS agreed to when he moved into the house are unknown, but he recalled that by 1829, “we had become reduced in property and my wives father was about to turn me out of doores & I had not where to go.” Fortunately for JS, Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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arrived in Harmony on 5 April 1829, after the “Lord appeared unto [him]” and he became “desiorous to come and write” as JS dictated the translation

To produce a text from one written in another language; in JS’s usage, most often through divine means. JS considered the ability to translate to be a gift of the spirit, like the gift of interpreting tongues. He recounted that he translated “reformed Egyptian...

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of the plates

A record engraved on gold plates, which JS translated and published as the Book of Mormon. The text explained that the plates were an abridgement of other ancient records and were written by an American prophet named Mormon and his son Moroni. The plates ...

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.3

JS History, ca. Summer 1832, [6]; JS, History, vol. A-1, 13.  


Cowdery later wrote, “On Monday the 6th, I assisted him in arranging some business of a temporal nature, and on Tuesday the 7th, commenced to write the book of Mormon.”4

Oliver Cowdery, Norton, OH, to William W. Phelps, 7 Sept. 1834, LDS Messenger and Advocate, Oct. 1834, 1:14.  


The “temporal business” included writing this agreement for JS to purchase the property and home from Isaac Hale and serving as witness to it. Cowdery likely also contributed some or all of the $64 handed to Hale that day as the initial payment toward the purchase price of $200. Cowdery had recently collected a teacher’s salary of $65.50 but did not necessarily have that entire amount with him when he arrived in Harmony; he may have made a $13 payment to a grocer in Lyons, New York, and may have used some of the total for travel expenses.5

See Report to New York Common Schools Superintendent, 1 July 1829, microfilm, Manchester, NY, Public School Records, 1828–1915, BYU; and Adams v. Cowdery and Cowdery [J.P. Ct. 1829], Jameson, Docket Book, 309. Cowdery may have alluded to JS’s financial transaction with Isaac Hale when he later recalled that when JS and his family “were poor, and hated,” he gave “the last cent of my honest earnings to save him [JS] from being turned into the streets.” (Oliver Cowdery, Far West, MO, to Warren Cowdery, 21 Jan. 1838, Cowdery, Letterbook, 81.)  


JS and Emma were financially strapped—whether they or any other friends or relatives were able to contribute is unknown.
The agreement and the down payment gave JS more autonomy from his in-laws and enabled him and Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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to focus almost exclusively on the translation for the next two months. Hale

21 Mar. 1763–11 Jan. 1839. Farmer, hunter, innkeeper. Born in Waterbury, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Reuben Hale and Diantha Ward. Member of Methodist church. Moved to Wells, Albany Co., New York (later in Rutland Co., Vermont), ca. 1771, to live with...

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was apparently flexible about the terms, requiring only the payment of interest when JS failed to meet the 1 May 1830 deadline for the second and final payment. As noted on the back of the agreement, he accepted JS’s 21 June 1830 payment of interest owed on the unpaid installment and waited until 26 August 1830 to receive payment in full. Though JS and Emma

10 July 1804–30 Apr. 1879. Scribe, editor, boardinghouse operator, clothier. Born at Willingborough Township (later in Harmony), Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania. Daughter of Isaac Hale and Elizabeth Lewis. Member of Methodist church at Harmony (later in Oakland...

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moved to New York

Located in northeast region of U.S. Area settled by Dutch traders, 1620s; later governed by Britain, 1664–1776. Admitted to U.S. as state, 1788. Population in 1810 about 1,000,000; in 1820 about 1,400,000; in 1830 about 1,900,000; and in 1840 about 2,400,...

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within days of making the final payment, and to Ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

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in early 1831, they did not sell the property until long after their departure from Harmony

Located in northeastern Pennsylvania. Area settled, by 1787. Organized 1809. Population in 1830 about 340. Population in 1840 about 520. Contained Harmony village (no longer in existence). Josiah Stowell hired JS to help look for treasure in area, Oct. 1825...

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. In June 1833 they sold it to Joseph McKune Jr.

16 June 1792–25 Aug. 1861. Farmer. Born in Mamakating, Ulster Co., New York. Son of Joseph McKune, Sr. and Anna Gillett. Married Sarah Clark, 27 Apr. 1811. Moved to Harmony, Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania, by 1817. Purchased Harmony property from JS and Emma...

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, who owned land that bounded the eastern side of the property.6

JS History, vol. A-1, 53; JS History, vol. A-1, 92–93; Deed to Joseph McKune, 28 June 1833.  


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