Hill Cumorah

Further analysis and information on Hill Cumorah and Captain Kidd



Joseph “had spent his time for several years … digging for hidden treasures, and especially for pots and iron chests of money, supposed to have been buried by Captain Kidd.”

Stephen Hardin, Early Mormon Documents 3:153-154


Joseph “had learned to read works of fiction and records of criminality, such for instance as would be classed with the ‘dime novels' of the present day. The stories of Stephen Buroughs and Captain Kidd, and the like, presented the highest claims for his expanding mental perceptions.”

Pomeroy Tucker, Origin, Rise, and Progress of Mormonism, 17


Joseph “had learned to read works of fiction and records of criminality, such for instance as would be classed with the ‘dime novels' of the present day. The stories of Stephen Buroughs and Captain Kidd, and the like, presented the highest claims for his expanding mental perceptions.”

Pomeroy Tucker, Origin, Rise, and Progress of Mormonism, 17


Joseph Smith as a boy “had for a library a copy of the ‘Arabian Nights,' stories of Captain Kidd, and a few novels.”

Philetus Spear, Early Mormon Documents 3:130


Joseph Sr. while living in Vermont had “at times engaged in hunting for Captain Kidd's buried treasure,” and that young Joseph's own reading about the pirate had “made a deep impression on him.”

James H. Kennedy, Early Days of Mormonism: Palmyra, Kirtland and Nauvoo, 8, 13


Kidd was “his hero.”

Palymra resident Ann Eaton, Early Mormon Documents 3:148


"He [Joseph] saw Captain Kidd sailing on the Susquehanna River during a freshet, and that he buried two pots of gold and silver. He claimed he saw writing cut on the rocks in an unknown language telling where Kidd buried it, and he translated it through his peepstone … [and then] dug for Kidd's money, on the west bank of the Susquehanna, half a mile from the river."

William R. Hine, Early Mormon Documents 4:182-184

Quick Overview Video

Starts at 1:12:


Excellent Articles and Essays

  1. Grant Palmer's Joseph Smith, Captain Kid, Cumorah and Moroni
  2. Joseph Smith, Captain Kidd Lore, and Treasure-Seeking in New York and New England during the Early Republic
  3. From Captain Kidd's Treasure Ghost to the Angel Moroni: Changing Dramatis Personae in Early Mormonism

Debunking FairMormon

Unofficial Mormon apologetic group FairMormon attempts to obfuscate and diminish the connection. Here is Jeremy's debunking of FairMormon's claims on Captain Kidd and Moroni.




About the Author

Born and raised in Southern California, Jeremy is a seventh generation Mormon of Pioneer heritage who reached every Mormon youth milestone. An Eagle Scout, Returned Missionary, BYU alumnus, Jeremy was married in the San Diego Temple with expectations and plans of living Mormonism for the rest of his life.

In February 2012, Jeremy experienced an awakening to the LDS Church's truth crisis, which subsequently led to a faith transition that summer. In the spring of 2013, Jeremy was approached and asked by a CES Director to share his questions and concerns about the LDS Church's origins, history, and current practices. In response, Jeremy wrote what later became publicly known as the CES Letter (originally titled Letter to a CES Director).

The CES Director responded that he read the "very well written" letter and that he would provide Jeremy with a response. No response ever came.

“I believe that members and investigators deserve to have all of the facts and information on the table, to be able to make a fully-informed and balanced decision as to whether or not they want to commit their hearts, minds, time, talents, income, and lives to Mormonism.”

Jeremy T. Runnells