CES Letter, Page 86
Newspapers in Joseph’s area contained multiple reports of successes:
"Digging for money hid in the earth is a very common thing and in this state it is even considered as honorable and profitable employment"
"One gentleman...digging...ten to twelve years, found a sufficient quantity of money to build him a commodious house.
". . .another...dug up...fifty thousand dollars!"See Palmyra Herald (24 July 1822); cited in Russell Anderson, "The 1826 Trial of Joseph Smith," (2002 FAIR Conference presentation.) Click here: FairMormon link
Money was found "by the help of a mineral stone, (which becomes transparent when placed in a hat and the light excluded by the face of him who looks into it)."
See "Wonderful Discovery," Wayne Sentinel [Palmyra, New York] (27 December 1825), page 2, col. 4. Reprinted from the Orleans Advocate of Orleans, New York; cited by Mark Ashurst-McGee, "A Pathway to Prophethood: Joseph Smith Junior as Rodsman, Village Seer, and Judeo-Christian Prophet," (Master's Thesis, University of Utah, Logan, Utah, 2000), 170–171. Click here
Was Joseph Smith's involvement with "money digging" a blot on his character?—
Brief Summary: Did Joseph "retrofit" his "treasure seeking" to have a religious explanation? For example, was Moroni originally conceived of as a treasure guardian by Joseph, and only later came to be seen as a divine messenger, an angel? (Click here for full article)
Practitioner of occultism and magic?—
Brief Summary: It is claimed that Joseph Smith's spiritual experiences began as products of "magic," the "occult," or "treasure seeking," and that only later did Joseph describe his experiences in Christian, religious terms: speaking of God, angels, and prophethood. (Click here for full article)
Matthew B. Brown, “Revised or Unaltered?: Joseph Smith’s Foundational Stories,” 2006 FAIR Conference lecture.
Richard Lloyd Anderson, "Joseph Smith's New York Reputation Reappraised," Brigham Young University Studies 10 no. 3 (1970), 285.
Richard Lloyd Anderson, "Review of Joseph Smith's New York Reputation Reexamined by Rodger I. Anderson," FARMS Review of Books 3/1 (1991): 52–80.
Richard Lloyd Anderson, "The Reliability of the Early History of Lucy and Joseph Smith," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 4 no. 2 (Summer 1969), 16, 19.
Leonard J. Arrington, "The Human Qualities of Joseph Smith, the Prophet," Ensign 1 (January 1971), 35ff.
Richard L. Bushman, "Joseph Smith Miscellany," (Mesa, Arizona: FAIR, 2005 FAIR Conference).
Donald L. Enders, "The Joseph Smith, Sr., Family: Farmers of the Genesee," in Joseph Smith, The Prophet, The Man, edited by Susan Easton Black and Charles D. Tate, Jr., (Provo, UT: BYU Religious Studies Center, 1993), 213—25.
Alan Goff, "Dan Vogel's Family Romance and the Book of Mormon as Smith Family Allegory (Review of: Joseph Smith: The Making of a Prophet)," FARMS Review 17/2 (2005): 321–400.
Alan Goff, "How Should We Then Read? Reading Mormon Scripture After the Fall," FARMS Review 21/1 (2009): 137–178.
Andrew H. Hedges and Dawson W. Hedges, "No, Dan, That's Still Not History (Review of: Joseph Smith: The Making of a Prophet, by Dan Vogel)," FARMS Review 17/1 (2005): 205–222.
Louis Midgley, "Editor's Introduction: Knowing Brother Joseph Again," FARMS Review 18/1 (2006): xi–lxxiv.
Louis Midgley, "Two Stories—One Faith," FARMS Review 19/1 (2007): 55–79.
Larry E. Morris, "Joseph Smith and "Interpretive Biography", review of Joseph Smith: The Making of a Prophet by Dan Vogel," FARMS Review 18/1 (2006): 321–374.
Daniel C. Peterson and Donald L. Enders, "Can the 1834 Affidavits Attacking the Smith Family Be Trusted?," in Pressing Forward with the Book of Mormon: The FARMS Updates of the 1990s, ed. John W. Welch and Melvin J. Thorne (Provo, UT: FARMS, 1999), 286—87.
These articles contain useful background information. They were published prior to the disclosure of the Hofmann forgeries, so they may cite forged documents as genuine:
Ronald W. Walker, “The Persisting Idea of American Treasure Hunting,” Brigham Young University Studies 24 no. 4 (1984): 429–460.
Marvin S. Hill, "Money-Digging Folklore and the Beginnings of Mormonism: An Interpretative Suggestion," Brigham Young University Studies 24 no. 4 (Fall 1984): 473–488.
Richard L. Anderson, "The Mature Joseph Smith and Treasure Searching," Brigham Young University Studies 24 no. 4 (1984): 489.