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Joseph Hoag Family Papers

Identifier: SFHL-RG5-199

Scope and Contents

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.


  • Creation: 1813-1864


Limitations on Accessing the Collection

Collection is open for research.

Copyright and Rights Information

Friends Historical Library believes all of the items in this collection to be in the Public Domain in the United States, and is not aware of any restrictions on their use. However, the user is responsible for making a final determination of copyright status before reproducing. See

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).


0.25 Linear Feet (1 box)




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.


The collection is divided into four series:

  1. Journals
  2. Correspondence
  3. Miscellaneous family papers
  4. Secondary material

Physical Location

For current information on the location of materials, please consult the Library's online catalog

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession information

Donor: New York Yearly Meeting, 1997

The collection was transferred from Haviland Records Room by NYYM in 1997.

Processing Information

Received as one box of papers which included Joseph Hoag's Journal (bound) and two folder of miscellaneous family papers.

Material was sorted into series, described, and stored in one box in Record Group 5.


Joseph Hoag Family Papers, 1813-1864
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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