© 1994 by H. Michael Marquardt. All Rights Reserved.
This book is the result of
many years of research into the early history of the Joseph Smith family and the origins of the
Mormon church. Our primary objective has been to find and present historical records, such as tax
lists and censuses, and recollections of people living at the time and place where Mormonism
began. We were interested not only in Mormonism specifically but also in the general social and
intellectual climate of western New York during the 1820s. By evaluating the body of this
documentary material as a whole we hope to bring new insights to the study of Mormon
We follow the original spelling as far as possible when quoting various sources, although in a few manuscripts we have supplied punctuation and capital letters to facilitate readability. Words in manuscripts that appear above the line are indicated by angled brackets <>. Crossed-out and repeated words are usually deleted. Page numbers for some newspapers are added where in the original there is no actual number. Source notations and other comments are contained in the notes at the end of each chapter. References to Mormon scripture are usually provided in their standard abbreviations; thus BC refers to Book of Commandments, D&C to Doctrine and Covenants, PGP to Pearl of Great Price, etc.
Among the places where we conducted research are: the historical department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), Salt Lake City, Utah; the library-archives of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS), Independence, Missouri; J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City; Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah; Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; Town Clerk's Office, Palmyra, New York; Town Clerk's Office, Manchester, New York; Town Clerk's Office, Bainbridge, New York; Office of History, Norwich, New York; Ontario County Records Center and Archives, and Ontario County Historical Society, both in Canandaigua, New York; Wayne County Historical Society, Lyons, New York; Amistad Research Center, New Orleans, Louisiana; Presbyterian Historical Society and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, both in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Princeton University Library, Princeton, New Jersey; American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Massachusetts; Utah State Historical Society and LDS Family History Library, both in Salt Lake City, Utah. We express our appreciation to these repositories and their staffs. We also benefitted greatly from the many helpful suggestions of friends and readers.
On 9 November 1990 Wesley P. Walters passed away. Following his death, the final editing was completed with the help of his wife Helen. This book is dedicated to Wes's memory.
H. M. M.
Inventing Mormonism -- Chapter 5. The Treasure