Biographical / Historical
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).