-- Apr 13, 1822
The "New Hampshire Sentinel" reports local treasure digging with the comment: "The leader of the 'visionary gang,' is said to be a substantial farmer in the neighborhood, who DREAMED for three successive nights that much treasure was deposited there" (1)
-- During 1822
David W Patten: Frequent "dreams and visions" 1810 to 1822 (2)
-- During 1822-23?
[Joseph Smith] The Smiths seek the expertise of a reputed treasure seer living many miles away. Several sources identify this seer as Luman Walter. In Arrington, reprinting an 1831 article by James Gordon Bennett, Bennett describes this great seer as having "a particular felicity in finding out the spots of ground where money is hid and riches obtained. [Some anonymous member of the treasure quest party] related long stories how this person had been along shore in the east-"how he had much experience in money digging-"how he dreamt of the very spots where it could be found". He said that the Smiths worked for a time "to scrape together a little 'change' sufficient to fetch on the money dreamer." Bennett believed this distant magician was Sidney Rigdon, based on discussion with Palmyra residents who thought Rigdon was the author of the Book of Mormon. However, the story parallels a story told by Abner Cole in the Palmyra Reflector on 12 June 1830 (3)
-- 21-Sep 22, 1823
[Joseph Smith] Late at night, Smith says he had three visions, and one again in the morning, of an angel, who showed him the location of a buried golden book engraved with a history of the Indians. (3)
-- During 1827&1828
[Gold Plates] 1827&1828: John A. Clark's interviews with Martin Harris [recorded 1840]
[Martin Harris] then proceeded to remark that a GOLDEN BIBLE had recently been dug from the earth, where it had been deposited for thousands of years, and that this would be found to contain such disclosures as would settle all religious controversies and speedily bring on the glorious millennium. That this mysterious book, which no human eye of the present generation had yet seen, was in the possession of Joseph Smith, Jr., ordinarily known in the neighborhood under the more familiar designation of Jo Smith: that there had been a revelation made to him by which he had discovered this sacred deposit, and two transparent stones, through which, as a sort of spectacles, he could read the Bible, although the box or ark that contained it, had not yet been opened; and that by looking through those mysterious stones, he had transcribed from one of the leaves of this book, the characters which Harris had so carefully wrapped in the package which he was drawing from his pocket. . . .
... According to Martin Harris, it was after one of these night excursions, that Jo, while he lay upon his bed, had a remarkable dream. An angel of God seemed to approach him, clad in celestial splendour. This divine messenger assured him, that he, Joseph Smith, was chosen of the Lord to be a prophet of the Most High God, and to bring to light hidden things, that would prove of unspeakable benefit to the world. He then disclosed to him the existence of this golden Bible, and the place where it was deposited-but at the same time told him that he must follow implicitly the divine direction, or he would draw down upon him the wrath of heaven. This book, which was contained in a chest, or ark, and which consisted of metallic plates covered with characters embossed in gold, he must not presume to look into, under three years. He must first go on a journey into Pennsylvania-and there among the mountains, he would meet with a very lovely woman, belonging to a highly respectable and
family, whom he was to take for his wife. As a proof that he was sent on this mission by Jehovah, as soon as he saw this designated person, he would be smitten with her beauty, and though he was a stranger to her, and she was far above him in the walks of life, she would at once be willing to marry him and go with him to the ends of the earth. After their marriage he was to return to his former home, and remain quietly there until the birth of his first child. When this child had completed his second year, he might then proceed to the hill beneath which the mysterious chest was deposited, and draw it thence, and publish the truths it contained to the world. (4)
1 - On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com
2 - Quinn, D. Michael, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, Appendix 6, Biographical Sketches of General Officers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-47
3 - Wikipedia, Joseph Smith Chronology, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronology_of_Joseph_Smith,_Jr.
4 - Larry E. Morris, I Should Have an Eye Single to the Glory of God: Joseph Smith's Account of the Angel and the Plates
Mormon Timeline: Dreams