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In 1816–17, after an ill-fated business venture and three years of crop failures, the Smith family moved to the western New York village of Palmyra, and eventually took a mortgage on a 100-acre (40 ha) farm in the nearby town of Manchester.
During the Second Great Awakening, the region was a hotbed of religious enthusiasm.
Smith and Emma eloped and married on January 18, 1827, after which the couple began boarding with Smith's parents in Manchester.After Smith was imprisoned in Carthage, Illinois, he was killed when a mob stormed the jailhouse.Smith published many revelations and other texts that his followers regard as scripture.By the time of his death fourteen years later, he had attracted tens of thousands of followers and founded a religious culture that continues to the present. By 1817, he had moved with his family to what became known as the burned-over district of western New York, an area of intense religious revivalism during the Second Great Awakening.According to Smith, he experienced a series of visions, including one in which he saw "two personages" (presumably God the Father and Jesus Christ) and others in which an angel directed him to a buried book of golden plates inscribed with a Judeo-Christian history of an ancient American civilization.
Between 18, there were several camp meetings and revivals in the Palmyra area.