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Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church, married Emma Hale during the winter of 1827 in Afton, N.Y.

Categories: History, NYS History, People, Religion, WCNY Vignette

The central and western part of New York State in the 19th century was the home of what religious scholars refer to as “The Second Great Awakening.” There were numerous revivals and new Protestant sects formed. Perhaps the most notable of the religious movements is Mormonism, which includes The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The founder of the church, Joseph Smith, as a teenager, moved with his family to Palmyra, New York. It was during this time in that Smith had a religious vision that resulted in his founding the Latter Day Saints church. In 1826, while at a boarding house in Pennsylvania, Smith met Emma Hale, whom he began courting. Hale’s father objected to the union on the grounds that Smith had no way to support his daughter. The couple eloped, and were married at a house on this site in Chenango, NY, near Smith’s family farm. The next year they headed West; the church now has its home in Utah.

Video produced by WCNY.