(via Matt Webb’s blog)
1815 saw the eruption of Mount Tambora in what is now Indonesia. Global temperatures fell. The next year, there were crop failures in Europe, and snow fell in New York in June. Two other things also happened as a result:
- Lord Byron holidayed at Lake Geneva with some friends, but the weather kept them indoors. To pass the time they told ghost stories. From that trip we get both The Vampyre (the first modern vampire novel and precursor to Dracula) and also Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.
- Driven to move by the collapse in grain prices, the family of Joseph Smith Jr migrated from Vermont to the religious hotbed of New York where he began to receive visions. Later, he founded a religion, writing his visions as The Book of Mormon.