In this post I will introduce Hagoth and his travels northward and how he relates to my map and theory. According to the Book of Mormon Hagoth was a builder of ships and was a very curious man.
5 And it came to pass that Hagoth, he being an exceedingly curious man, therefore he went forth and built him an exceedingly large ship, on the borders of the land Bountiful, by the land Desolation, and launched it forth into the west sea, by the narrow neck which led into the land northward.
6 And behold, there were many of the Nephites who did enter therein and did sail forth with much provisions, and also many women and children; and they took their course northward. And thus ended the thirty and seventh year.
7 And in the thirty and eighth year, this man built other ships. And the first ship did also return, and many more people did enter into it; and they also took much provisions, and set out again to the land northward.
8 And it came to pass that they were never heard of more. And we suppose that they were drowned in the depths of the sea. And it came to pass that one other ship also did sail forth; and whither she did go we know not.
When I was first working on my map I was wondering where he went northward. The only reference that we can use in relation to the current geography is the narrow neck of land. There are several possibilities. Florida, in which the Gulf of Mexico would be the west sea, Panama if the Book of Mormon took place in northern South America, the narrow neck of land near the Yucatan and southern Mexico, and Baja California. The best option I had was Baja California because I believe that he came from the Land of Zarahemla which, according to my theory, is in southern Mexico and Guatemala. The Pacific Ocean is the west sea, Bountiful is an area in southern Mexico and the land of Desolation was northern Mexico. I thought that maybe Hagoth and some Nephites settled along the Pacific coast. Well, I was partly right. Remember, I created this map before I read the Archives. In the Book of Hagoth from the Archives, Volume 1, he talks about traveling up the western coast of Mexico and eventually discovered and settled the Colorado River.
From the Book of Hagoth in Volume 1:
4 Now, it was also in that year that many of the Nephites began to see that those families who had not sent men into the wars to protect their liberties were filled with pride. For they were very rich because of their trade in the wars. Many could see the seeds of the downfall of our nation and they desired to go into the Land Northward. And there were others who saw that much of the country was wasted and yet the Lamanites persisted. Therefore, many desired to move, as our father Nephi moved, away from the threat.
5 Wherefore, I built a ship, and it was after the pattern of the ship built by Nephi except that it was much larger. Into this ship went up many of the Nephites and from Bountiful, by the Isthmus, they set sail into the West Sea. These Nephites sailed following the shore northward beyond the land Desolate and they went down out of the ship at the mouth of a great river. The place where they went down out of the ship was exceedingly barren, however, and the people sent the ship and a few trusty men back to the land Bountiful for provisions.
6 Now, I Hagoth, being exceedingly concerned for our brethren and their families who had made the journey into the north by sea, I went to Shiblon to get the word of the Lord concerning them. Now Shiblon was also concerned, for many had also taken their journey northward by land. And he went to the Lord and inquired of Him. And the Lord commanded that I should send provisions unto the Nephites in the Land Northward both by the West Sea and by the East Sea. Yea, I did build a fleet of ships by which many of the Nephites and their families removed into the Land Northward and Shiblon commanded that copies be made of all the writings of our fathers and that they should be carried with those journeying into the Land Northward so that the people should not dwindle in unbelief.
7 Now, the people who sailed to the Land Northward by way of the East Sea found a land of dense forests and much water and they did establish themselves somewhat in that land and a record is kept, I am told, of their doings. The people who journeyed into the Land Northward by way of the West Sea passed near unto the Land of Desolation and for many days found a land barren and unforgiving. And when they ran low of provisions, they stayed their journey at the mouth of a great river and sent my ship back for provisions. And I did send even more ships and more people into the Land Northward by that same route, for it seemed curious to me that so great a river should flow out of a barren country. And even I, myself, took my family and certain of the Lamanites of the People of Ammon, who had covenanted with Moroni to take up the sword no more against us, even they went with me into the Land Northward.
8 And it came to pass that we kept the land in sight, lest we become lost in the sea and we came to a place where there was land on the right hand and land afar off on the left hand for many days, and we traveled between the shores until they came together at the mouth of the great river of which I had been told and of which I have spoken.
9 Now, the water of the river was muddied as if it had traveled down from out of a mountainous place and where it emptied into the sea, it sullied the clear blue waters there. But there was an abundance of fish in this place, yea, even great marshal fish which provided much meat, and though the land was barren, some of our people desired to stay there because of the abundance of fish and other creatures of the sea that they could trade with our brethren in the Land Southward. Yea, the more part of them desired to stay and build a city, and they did establish themselves at the mouth of the river.
10 But I desired not to live in a barren land, for I was a builder in wood and behold, in the place where the river emptied into the great bay, there was no wood. Therefore, I was desirous to know of the land from whence the river flowed, for the waters contained much earth and it seemed reasonable to me that the land from whence the waters flowed must be exceedingly rich, to nourish a river so. Therefore, I took those families that would follow me and we fashioned smaller boats after the fashion of the Lamanites, which were propelled by oars; for our large ships used the wind to propel them and they were as great birds of the sea, pushed along upon the winds; and we took much provisions and we took our journey upon the river to see where it would lead us.
11 Therefore, I and twelve other of my brethren from among the Nephites and twelve of our brethren the Lamanites, took our families and our provisions and we made our expedition into the Land Northward. Behold we traveled a long way and the land was for many days barren and we found few streams that emptied into the river. Wherefore, it continued strange to us that so great a river should pass through such a dry land. Then we came to a place where the river had carved great canyons and precipices, even so much that the walls thereof surpassed by many times the height of the temples of the Nephites. Yea, so exceedingly tall were they in some places that even our strongest men could not climb to the tops thereof.
12 Now, the journey through this part of the land became exceedingly strait, for we had thought to find a rich land with game and provision. But we could not ascertain the nature of the land because of the exceedingly steepness and the height of the precipice. Here and there we found places to land but they were sparing and we found no game and little provision. Yea, and the water was plentiful but, being muddy, it was of questionable worth to drink. Yea, our suffering was great, for we were unprepared and hasty. And it came to pass that our suffering became so great because of the heat that some of our people drank heavily of the water of the river and became exceedingly ill with fevers and with flux. For, the water was only sound for cooking and was unsafe to drink. Wherefore, when the women and children, when the food was gone and the water being at hand, did put forth their hands from the boats and drank of it freely from the river, then verily did they begin to suffer exceedingly, for the water was heavy and unfit to drink.
13 Verily, when our suffering was the most acute, we put our boats in upon a small island of yellow sand and we turned them so that we could use them as a shelter from the sun, for the heat was great upon the river, and we cried unto the Lord and prepared ourselves for the inevitable end that we each knew was about to come upon us. Yea, so great was our suffering that we were all ready to give up the ghost, almost believing that there was no deliverance for us.
You can read the rest of the Book of Hagoth online here.
I was very excited about reading this book. It confirmed, at least in part, my map locations and Nephite settlements. This could be the story of the Anasazi that we are all familiar with. To be continued….