Hazen Aldrich was born 10 January 1797 in Lebanon, Grafton County, New Hampshire, United States to Andrew Aldrich (1767-1836) and Annis Sweetland (1775-1838) and died 1873 El Monte, Los Angeles County, California, United States of unspecified causes. He married Elizabeth Manchester (1798-1821) 28 October 1819 in Bath, Grafton County, New Hampshire, United States. He married Polly Hand (1803-1829) 29 January 1827 in Peacham, Caledonia County, Vermont, United States.

Hazen Aldrich (January 10, 1797 – 1873) was an early leader in the Latter Day Saint movement. After the death of Joseph Smith, Aldrich went on to lead a small denomination of Latter Day Saints known as the Brewsterites.

Religious Awakening (LDS)

Early missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

1830 edition of the Book of Mormon.

The 1830's saw a great Protestant religious revival sweep across the United States that was called the "Second Great Awakening" and was characterized by much emotional preaching, spiritual and social reform movements and a surge in membership growth for a great many Christian denominations.

This period also saw the rise of a new Church of Christ that was organized in early 1830 by its young prophet-leader, Joseph Smith (1805-1844), and after 1838 was formally named The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This church group was frequently called the "Mormon Church" or "Latter-day Saints" (LDS) for its belief in a new set of holy scriptures called "The Book of Mormon". For better or worse, this new religion generated a lot of attention in this region.

Missionaries of this church taught that it was not a reform movement or protest movement but a "restoration" of the original church with completeness of the full of doctrine of the gospel of Jesus Christ including the ministering of angels, the restored priesthood, lost scripture, revelations, prophecy, living apostles, the gifts of the spirit and much more. This message had profound impact on many who subsequently left all to follow the Prophet and the Church. In many cases their faith was so strong as to push these early converts to endure many difficult hardships and sacrifices and to eventually journey over a thousand miles westward to settle in the Great Salt Lake Valley. (See also New Religion (LDS 1830).)[1][2]

In April or May 1832, Aldrich was taught about the Latter Day Saint movement by missionaries Orson Whitley Pratt (1811-1881) and Lyman E. Johnson and was baptized in Bath, New Hampshire. Aldrich was baptized soon afterwards by Amasa Mason Lyman (1813-1877), a future church apostle and member of the First Presidency.

On July 4, 1832, Aldrich was given the Melchizedek priesthood and ordained to the office of elder by Pratt. On June 8, 1833, Pratt ordained him a high priest.

Zions Camp Participant

This Judith Mehr rendition depicts struggles endured by members of Zion's Camp, an expeditionary force to help Church members in Jackson County redeem their brethren.

One of the most interesting episodes in the early history of LDS Church was the march of Zion's Camp (1834). The members of the Church in Missouri were being persecuted, and the Prophet Joseph made it a matter of prayer and received a revelation on February 24, 1834. The Lord instructed the Prophet to assemble at least one hundred young and middle-aged men and to go to the land of Zion, or Missouri. [3]

Zion’s Camp, a group of approximately one hundred and fifty men, gathered at Kirtland, Ohio, in the spring of 1834 and marched to Jackson County, Missouri. By the time they reached Missouri, the camp had increased to approximately two hundred men.

More Church Duties

On February 28, 1835, Joseph Smith ordained Aldrich to the office of seventy and chose him as the presiding president of the newly organized First Quorum of Seventy. However, when it was discovered by Smith that Aldrich had previously been ordained a high priest, he asked Aldrich to stand down from his position and join the quorum of high priests. Aldrich did so on April 6, 1837, which left Joseph Young as the presiding president of the Seventy.

In 1836, Aldrich was the first Mormon missionary to preach in Lower Canada, in what today is the province of Quebec.

Brewsterite Sect Leader

Aldrich apostatized from the mainstream Mormon church in 1837 in Kirtland, Ohio.

After the succession crisis, Aldrich joined the church led by James Strang. On December 16, 1846, Strang excommunicated Aldrich from the church for incest with his daughter, either Betsy or Louisa. In November 1847, Aldrich became a member of the Church of Christ (Whitmerite). After this denomination died, Aldrich and James C. Brewster created the Church of Christ (Brewsterite) in 1848. On September 29, 1849, Aldrich became the president of this Latter Day Saint denomination, and edited a Brewsterite periodical entitled the Olive Branch.

In August 1850, Brewster led about 85 of his followers (including Hazen Aldrich's pregnant daughter, Betsy Aldrich Wilder and her family) from Independence, Missouri to the edenic "Land of Bashan" that Brewster had seen in visions, lying at the confluence of the Gila and Colorado rivers, in the southwestern United States. Inadequate preparation and lack of supplies along the route led to dissension in the group. One dissenting family, the Oatmans, split from the main body of migrants, and were mostly slain by Apache Indians. Two surviving young girls were held in captivity several years, one eventually starving to death. Olive Oatman, however, survived and was eventually recovered from the Mohave tribe, who had gotten her from the Apache. Betsy and her husband were also dissenters from the group but made it safely to Los Angeles, California, where she divorced her husband in February 1853 and married Wesley Fielding Gibson and raised more children.

Aldrich, who did not follow Brewster to Arizona, resigned his position as church president in January 1853, and emigrated to California to support his daughter Betsy through her divorce, and to live with his other daughter, Louisa Aldrich Geary and her family, in El Monte, California. Aldrich died in El Monte in 1873, and was buried in Rosemead, California.


Offspring of Hazen Aldrich and Polly Hand (1803-1829)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Elizabeth Aldrich (1828-1893)


Offspring of Andrew Aldrich (1767-1836) and Annis Sweetland (1775-1838)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Daniel Aldrich (1789-1874)
Hazen Aldrich (1797-1873) 10 January 1797 Lebanon, Grafton County, New Hampshire, United States 1873 El Monte, Los Angeles County, California, United States Elizabeth Manchester (1798-1821)
Polly Hand (1803-1829)
Roswell Aldrich (1800-1895)
Isaac Newton Aldrich (1803-1885)
Jamon Aldrich (1805-1839)
Annes Aldrich (1805-)


See Also

  • Hazen Aldrich
  • Aldrich Family
  • Aldrich in Grafton County, New Hampshire
  • Aldrich in Los Angeles County, California


Footnotes (including sources)

‡ General