Shulem wrote: ↑
Mon Feb 13, 2023 11:24 pm
Location, location, location!
Yes location and
Joseph Smith, Sr., had been "at times engaged in hunting for Captain Kidd's buried treasure" in Vermont.
Captain Kidd brought this treasure to Vermont from where
, and when did it arrive there?
he and other members of his family were regularly engaged in the pursuit of Kidd's lost treasure.
Where did Joseph and his family think the lost treasure came from? When did Kidd bury it?
Early Danish convert John Ahmanson, reports that "Joseph Smith found his [plates] while he was digging for treasure which was supposed to have been buried by the notorious buccaneer Captain Kidd in the western part of New York State."
This is interesting. Smith was digging for Kidd's treasure when he found the gold plates? If the notorious buccaneer Captain Kidd had buried them, I wonder if Joseph had originally believed that the plates were carried to New York on the Kedah Merchant.
He claimed he saw writing cut on the rocks in an unknown language telling where Kidd buried it, and he translated it through his peep-stone
This wouldn't have been reformed Egyptian. What language was Joseph translating? Where
was it from and when was it cut into the rocks?
In another affidavit, Ketchel E. Bell similarly recalls having been told by her brother Milo in 1885 that "he knew Jo Smith when he was digging near the Susquehanna River for Capt Kidd's Money. Jo had a peep-stone through which he claimed to see hidden or buried treasures."
Really? Jo was peeping at Kidd's treasure through his peep-stone? The same peep-stone that translated the Book of Mormon?
The angel Moroni began his career as a type of murdered treasure-guardian ghost particularly (though not exclusively) associated with the story of Captain Kidd's treasure. Smith must have learned of the motif while helping his father dig for Kidd's treasure and while studying Kidd's life and lore as a boy.
Where was the murdered treasure-guardian ghost from? How and when did this Moroni, and the treasure he was guarding, get there?
The treasure the Smiths had been digging for, and the guardian charged with protecting it, came from Kedah on the Kedah Merchant, about 100 years earlier. In Joseph's mind, before the story fully took shape after 1830, the treasure of Hill Cumorah had been enchanted by a Malay pirate named Maroni in the late 17th century. The 5th century Hebrew-American prophet named Moroni came later on in the plot.
How do we know which story came first? Joseph Smith Sr. told Fayette Lapham ~1830 that "Soon after joining the Church, [Joseph] had a very singular dream ... in his dream, a very large and tall man appeared to him, dressed in an ancient suit of clothes, and the clothes were bloody. And the man said to him that there was a valuable treasure, buried many years since, and not far from that place; and that he had now arrived for it to be brought to light, for the benefit of the world at large; and, if he would strictly follow his directions, he would direct him to the place where it was deposited."
In my opinion, Joseph had Kedah in mind as the location all the way up until he rewrote the Book of Lehi. At that point he realized there wasn't much of a market in New England for a book about Jews in Kedah, so he changed the landing spot to the Americas. This shift in location is why the geography of the Book of Mormon matches Kedah almost perfectly.(land northward
, land of zarahemla
, land southward
), and does not align with any region in the Americas. It's also why anachronisms like elephants, silk, cows, iron, horses, swords and chariots are in the Book of Mormon. These wouldn't have been anachronisms to an author that was writing about a location that had elephants, silk, cows, iron, horses, swords and chariots.
Most importantly, the name of the ghost wasn't taken from the capital of the Comoros Islands. The murdered guardian of the treasure Joseph was digging for has the exact same name (Joseph also spelled it Maroni)
as the founder of Kedah.