26039

Agreement with Isaac Hale, 6 April 1829

Received on the within Sixty four Dollars April 6th 1829
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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Received on the within fifty Dollars April 27th 18297

This fifty-dollar payment may have been contributed by Joseph Knight Jr. Remembered Knight: “I left my Father [Joseph Knight Sr.], purchased a building spot adjoining my Father’s and began to work for myself, and nearly ready to build a large house[.] Joseph [Smith] had commenced to translate the plates, he told my Father he wanted fifty dollars; my Father could not raise it; he then came to me, the same day I sold my house lot and sent him a one horse wagon. Father and I often went to see him and carry him something to live upon: at last Oliver Cowdery came to write for him, then he got along faster.” In the local economy of the time, based as much on barter as on cash, the wagon may have been used for JS’s fifty-dollar payment to Isaac Hale. (Knight, Autobiographical Sketch, 1.)  


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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Received the interest on the within in full up to this date June the 21. 1830
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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Recd on the within in full 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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August 26th. 18308

This later notation in John Whitmer’s handwriting was presumably made near the designated date, 26 August 1830, since Whitmer was on hand on 25 August 1830 to sign as one of the witnesses on the deed giving JS title to the property. JS acquired the funds by arranging what amounted to a loan from Harmony businessman George Noble. (Deed from Isaac and Elizabeth Hale, 25 Aug. 1830; Transcript of Judgment, 26 Aug. 1830, George H. Noble & Co. v. JS [J.P. Ct. 1830], Susquehanna Co. Historical Society, Montrose, PA; see also “George H. Noble v. JS,” in the first volume of the Legal and Business Records series.)  


[p. [2]]

The next three notations are in Oliver Cowdery’s handwriting, except for Isaac Hale’s signatures.  


Received on the within Sixty four Dollars April 6th 1829 
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 Isaac Hale.  


Received on the within fifty <Dollars> April 27th 18297

This fifty-dollar payment may have been contributed by Joseph Knight Jr. Remembered Knight: “I left my Father [Joseph Knight Sr.], purchased a building spot adjoining my Father’s and began to work for myself, and nearly ready to build a large house[.] Joseph [Smith] had commenced to translate the plates, he told my Father he wanted fifty dollars; my Father could not raise it; he then came to me, the same day I sold my house lot and sent him a one horse wagon. Father and I often went to see him and carry him something to live upon: at last Oliver Cowdery came to write for him, then he got along faster.” In the local economy of the time, based as much on barter as on cash, the wagon may have been used for JS’s fifty-dollar payment to Isaac Hale. (Knight, Autobiographical Sketch, 1.)  


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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Received the interest on the within in full up to this date  June the 21. 1830
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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Oliver Cowdery handwriting ends; John Whitmer begins.  


Recd on the within in full 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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August 26th. 18308

This later notation in John Whitmer’s handwriting was presumably made near the designated date, 26 August 1830, since Whitmer was on hand on 25 August 1830 to sign as one of the witnesses on the deed giving JS title to the property. JS acquired the funds by arranging what amounted to a loan from Harmony businessman George Noble. (Deed from Isaac and Elizabeth Hale, 25 Aug. 1830; Transcript of Judgment, 26 Aug. 1830, George H. Noble & Co. v. JS [J.P. Ct. 1830], Susquehanna Co. Historical Society, Montrose, PA; see also “George H. Noble v. JS,” in the first volume of the Legal and Business Records series.)  


[p. [2]]
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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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