On December 23, 1805, Joseph Smith was born in Sharon, Vermont. As David observed a few years ago, Joseph asserted his identity as a New Englander in petitioning for redress for the Missouri persecutions:
I was born in Sharon, Vermont, in 1805, where the first quarter of my life grew with the growth and strengthened with the strength of that ?first-born? State of the ?United Thirteen.? From the old ?French War? to the final consummation of American Independence, my fathers, heart to heart, and shoulder to shoulder, with the noble fathers of our liberty, fought and bled; and with the most of that venerable band of patriots, they have gone to rest, bequeathing a glorious country, with all her inherent rights, to millions of posterity. Like other honest citizens, I not only (when manhood came,) sought my own peace, prosperity, and happiness, but also the peace, prosperity, and happiness of my friends; and, with all the rights and realm before me, and the revelations of Jesus Christ to guide me into all truth, I had good reasons to enter into the blessings and privileges of an American citizen, the rights of a Green Mountain Boy, unmolested, and enjoy life and religion according to the most virtuous and enlightened customs, rules, and etiquette of the nineteenth century. But, to the disgrace of the United States, it is not so. These rights and privileges, together with a large amount of property, have been wrested from me, and thousands of my friends, by lawless mobs in Missouri, supported by executive authority; and the crime of plundering our property, and the unconstitutional and barbarous act of our expulsion, and even the inhumanity of murdering men, women, and children, have received the pass-word of ?justifiable? by legislative enactments; and the horrid deeds, doleful and disgraceful as they are, have been paid for by Government. (Reference and continued text here)
For some other fascinating reading about the Joseph Smith birthplace, see Keith Erekson’s article in the Vermont Historical Society magazine as well as another in Mormon Historical Studies, both from his larger thesis.
Caption: “The granite memorial to Joseph Smith was erected and the site dedicated on 23 December 1905 by President Joseph F. Smith in commemoration of the centennial of the Prophet?s birth. The monument is 38 1/2 feet high, one foot for each year of his life. The Memorial Cottage (immediately left of the monument), which was used as a visitors? center, was completed and dedicated at the same time as the monument.”