Emma Hale (1804-1879)

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Alternate Names Emma Smith, Emma Bidamon, Elect Lady
Birth 10 July 1804
Willingborough Township, Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania, United States
Marriage Joseph Smith Jr., 18 Jan 1827
Lewis C. Bidamon, 23 Dec 1847
Death 30 April 1879
Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, United States
Gender Female
Religious Influence Church of Christ (1830), Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Callings President of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo, 1842-1844
Occupation Scribe, editor, boardinghouse operator, clothier[1]
Authority Control
DBpedia Emma Smith
FamilySearch KWNT-GX2
GND 119205890
ISNI 0000 0000 2745 9103
JSPP Smith, Emma Hale
LCCN n82238761
VIAF 64812309
Wikidata Q2348210
Wikipedia Emma Smith
WorldCat Smith, Emma Hale

Emma Hale was born 10 July 1804 to Isaac Hale and Elizabeth Lewis at Willingborough Township (now Harmony), Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania[2]. She eloped with Joseph Smith Jr. and was married on 18 January 1827 at South Bainbridge, New York.[3][4] Emma briefly acted as his scribe during the translation of the Book of Mormon and compiled the first hymnal for her husband's new church[5]. Giving birth to nine children and adopting two, Emma outlived all but four of them. On 17 March 1842, she became the first president of what is now known as the Relief Society.[6] She did not follow Brigham Young out west. Instead, she remained in Nauvoo and on 23 December 1847 Emma married Lewis C. Bidamon.[7] When her son, Joseph Smith III, became president of the church now known as the Community of Christ, Emma joined with them. She died in Navuoo on 30 April 1879.[8]

Published Works

  • Collection of Sacred Hymns (1835)


Primary Sources

Secondary Sources

Related Entries


  1. "Smith, Emma Hale," Joseph Smith Papers, http://josephsmithpapers.org/person?name=Emma+Hale+Smith
  2. “Obituary,” Saints’ Herald, page 171.
  3. Smith, "Last Testimony of Sister Emma," Saints' Herald, page 289.
  4. History, 1838–1856, volume A-1, page 8, Joseph Smith Papers, http://josephsmithpapers.org/paperSummary/history-1838-1856-volume-a-1-23-december-1805-30-august-1834?p=10
  5. Minute Book 1 / “Conference A,” 1832–1837, entry for 14 Sept 1835, page 108, Joseph Smith Papers, http://josephsmithpapers.org/paperSummary/?target=X5DC3AFA7-7FC3-4682-A442-EAA9E3053E51#!/paperSummary/minute-book-1&p=112
  6. Relief Society Minute Book, entry for 17 March 1842, Joseph Smith Papers website, http://josephsmithpapers.org/paperSummary/nauvoo-relief-society-minute-book&p=4 http://josephsmithpapers.org/paperSummary/?target=XE364A107-8BCD-4116-BFFA-E9126CD21AF2
  7. Hancock Co., IL, Marriage Register, 1829–1915, vol. A-1, p. 105, microfilm 954,177, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, Family History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah.
  8. “Obituary,” Saints’ Herald, page 171.