Joseph Hoag Family Papers, 1813-1864

(1 box; 0.25 linear ft.)

RG 5/

©Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College 
500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, PA 19081-1399  

Seal of Swarthmore College
Table of contents
Joseph Hoag (1762-1846) was a New York and Vermont Quaker minister who regarded himself as a traditional Friend, opposing both Elias Hicks and Joseph Gurney. He is best known for his "Vision" of 1803 which predicted an American Civil War, and his Journal, the publication of which in 1860 precipitated a schism at Scipio Monthly Meeting into Otisite and Kingite groups. His wife, Huldah Hoag (1762-1850), was also a Quaker minister, as were many of his ten children. The collection contains the manuscript of Joseph Hoag's Journal, as well as some family correspondence and related papers. Of particular importance are the manuscript journal transcribed by Hoag's granddaughter, Narcissa Battery Coffin, under his direction and correspondence from Huldah Hoag, Joseph Hoag, and Lindley Murray Hoag.

Background note:
1762-1846 Joseph Hoag (1762-1846) was a New York and Vermont Quaker best known for his Journal, first published in 1860, and his "Vision" in 1803 of a great Civil War which was coming in the United States because of slavery. He traveled widely in the ministry and regarded himself as a traditional Friend, opposing both Elias Hicks in the 1820s and Joseph John Gurney in the 1830s and 1840s.
1762-1782 Joseph Hoag was born in Dutchess County, New York. He was descended from John and Ebeneza Hoag, New England Puritans whose children became Quakers in the late seventeenth century. Joseph was the son of Elijah and Phebe Hoag, members of Oblong Monthly Meeting, Dutchess County. In 1782, he married Huldah Case at Creek Monthly Meeting. Huldah Case (1762-1850) was a convinced Friend who also traveled as a minister.
1782-1791 Joseph and Huldah Hoag had ten children, most of whom became Quaker ministers and/or married Quaker ministers. In 1791, the family transferred to Saratoga MM and subsequently to Ferrisburgh MM in Vermont. Joseph visited Friends in New England, the mid-Atlantic, South, and Midwest, as well as Canada.
1845-1860, 1861 In 1845, he decided to entrust his journals and other writing to his daughter and son-in-law, Hannah H. (1790-1849) and Ezra Battey (d. 1867). Their daughter, Narcissa Battey (born 1818), transcribed his writings. The Journal, with considerable editing, was published in 1860. This first edition was edited by William Hodgson, a Philadelphia Friend who supported the Wilburite position within the Orthodox branch of the Society of Friends. This edition precipitated a schism within NYYM at Poplar Ridge (Scipio) into two small groups known as Otisites and Kingites, so named from their clerks, James D. Otis and John King. A second version of the Journal was published in 1861 under direction of the Kingite meeting.

1849 Interestingly, Joseph Hoag's granddaughter, Narcissa Battey (who transcribed his Journal) inadvertently had precipitated a separation in 1849 in Vermont within the Ferrisburgh Quarterly Meeting into Orthodox (Gurneyite) and Wilburite groups; her marriage to Wilburite Friend Alexander G. Coffin was allowed by Starksborough MM (O), leading to a laying down of that meeting by NYYM and then subsequent revival by Ferrisburgh Quarter (Wilburite).
Scope and content
SCOPE AND CONTENT In addition to the manuscript Journal transcribed by Narcissa Battey and multiple printed and manuscript versions of Joseph Hoag's vision, this collection also includes a small group of family correspondence and miscellaneous family papers. Of particular interest are a letter written by Huldah Hoag to her children, a letter from Joseph Hoag describing his experiences in New Bedford in October 1831, and a letter from Lindley Murray Hoag to his sister with poetry and family news. Lindley Murray Hoag (1808-1880) was the youngest of the ten siblings. He was a very active minister, traveling widely and eventually settling in Iowa Falls, Iowa, where he was a founder of Rocksylvania (Iowa Falls) MM.

The Journal was published in edited form as Journal of the life of Joseph Hoag, New York, 1860, and slightly different form in 1861. Joseph Hoag's Vision has also been published.

This collection offers a fascinating insight into a prominent New York/Vermont Quaker family at the center of mid-nineteenth century controversies within the Society of Friends in New England and Upstate New York.

Arrangement The collection is divided into four series:

Added entries

  • Hoag family.
  • New York -- Quakers
  • New York Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Orthodox: 1828-1955) -- History.
  • Quaker -- Social life and customs
  • Quakers -- New York.
  • Quakers -- Vermont.
  • Society of Friends -- Controversies.
  • Society of Friends -- Doctrines
  • Vermont - Quakers
  • Visions
Additional Authors and Contributors
  • Coffin, Narcissa B. (Narcissa Battey), 1818-1892.
  • Hoag, Huldah, 1762-1850.
  • Hoag, Joseph, 1762-1846.
Processed by: SKM
Date: 1997
Restrictions: Use Restrictions Copyright has not been assigned to Friends Historical Library All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in to the Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Friends Historical Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.


Note to Researchers: To request materials, please note both the location and box numbers shown below:

Ser. 1. Journal of Joseph Hoag

This manuscript has been attributed by Christopher Densmore to Hoag's granddaughter, Narcissa Battey, written under the direction of Joseph Hoag and compiled from his journals and notes.
(307 bound pp.) Folder 1

Ser. 2. Correspondence, 1831-1843, n.d.

Lindley M. H. Battey to Huldah Knowls (his cousin) n.d. (ALS) Folder 2

Corbin, Sarah
Note regarding personal property belonging to Sarah Knowls Corbin

Huldah Hoag to children 1843 (ALS)

Joseph Hoag to Nathan C. Hoag; Huldah Hoag "from thy husband." 1831, 10 mo. 24 (ALS)

Lindley Hoag to his sister, Jemima Hoag Knowls n.d. (ALS)

Unknown to Cousin Huldah Hoag Knowls 1839, 7 mo. 26 (ALS)

Ser. 3. Miscellaneous family papers, 1813-1845, n.d.

Silhouettes of Joseph Hoag. n.d. Folder 3

Marriage certificate, David Knowls and Jemima Hoag 1813, 3 mo. 10

Marriage certificate, James Hoag and Huldah H. Knowls 1845, 6 mo. 24

Copy Book, Huldah H. Knowls n.d.

Copy Book, Anna M. Knowls n.d.

Account Book
including inventory of the estate of David F. Knowls.

Testimony of Farnham MM on Sarah Steven, dec.
Sarah Steven was the daughter of Samuel and Sally Knowls. AD (draft). According to the testimony, Sarah Steven accompanied Huldah Hoag in her ministry in about 1815 and soon after became a minister herself.
ca. 1842

Miscellaneous poetry
Apparently written and collected by Joseph and Huldah Hoag's children

Ser. 4. Secondary Material, 1830-1864, n.d.

"A dream of Joseph Hoag as related by himself a short time after taken down in his own words." AMs. n.d. Folder 4

"Vision of Joseph Hoag"
Ms. copied by Philanda Nichol, with printed version.

Tribute to Elizabeth Hazard. 1838

"The Way to be Happy in a Miserable World."

"Self-Knowledge, Essential to Virtue and Happiness."
On cover: "Huldah Hoag to [Jeans]? Hoag my grandson."

Report of the Meeting for Suffering, PYM
on Division of New England Yearly Meeting. Ezra Battey's copy.

Newspaper clipping with Hoag's vision.

"A Letter, Huldah Hoag Book/Jemima Knowls." 1830

Miscellaneous religious tracts and The Friend 835, 8mo. 7