Plausible Photograph of
Joseph Smith Jr.
The opinions on this website are solely expressive of the owner, and is not of scientific origin. Research and opinions are by the owner of the photograph, herself, over the course of several years of study. Please read full report below, or specific sections by clicking the words above.
Note- computer versions of this website are more up-to date than mobile versions, mobile version sometimes glitches.
Benjamin Franklin Johnson
“His eyes were shaded by long light eyelashes and bushy eyebrows that were not arched, but ran straight across. The whole arrangement of his eyes, lashes, and brows is said to have produced an unusual or even magnetic effect.”
Parley P. Pratt, a close associate for almost the full 14 years of his leadership, said of Joseph Smith:
“President Joseph Smith was in person tall and well built, strong and active; of light complexion, light hair, blue eyes, very little beard, and of an expression peculiar to himself, on which the eye naturally rested with interest, and was never weary of beholding. His countenance was ever mild, affable, beaming with intelligence and benevolence; mingled with a look of interest and an unconscious smile, or cheerfulness, and entirely free from all restraint or affectation of gravity... his eye, as if he would penetrate the deepest abyss of the human heart, gaze into the eternity, penetrate the heaven and comprehend all worlds."
(Parley P. Pratt, "The Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt (Fifth edition; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1938), pp. 45-46).
The Weekly Gazette, St. Louis, Missouri, May 1844
"The shape of his head is very oblong oval… frontal retreating…notwithstanding the small facial angle, somewhat symmetrical… lips thin, rather than thick….The brows are also light and thick indeed, precisely of that description called bettle-brow..”
“The Prophet’s wife is reported to have said of him, “no painting of him could catch his expression, for his countenance was always changing to match his thoughts and feelings."
Lydia Bailey stated Joseph Smith had:
“brown hair, handsome blue eyes, which seemed to dive down to the innermost thoughts with their sharp penetrating gaze…” (Journal History, october 29, 1833)
Wadle Mace said of Joseph: He was a fine-looking man, tall and well-proportioned, strong and active…blue eyes…” (“Journal of Wandle Mace, 1809-1890” Typewritten copy, Brigham Young University Library, p. 38.)
In this video, I study images of the four sons of Joseph and Emma, superimposing each image with the man. Very few pictures, of the sons, are straight, even shots, as later in the time, it wasn't popular to perfectly face the camera lens.
Joseph F. Smith and Joseph Smith III (cousins, sons of the Martyrs) wrote about having Daguerreotypes of their Dad's
Joseph Fielding Smith's Journal
June 26th, 1856, Journal of Joseph F. Smith, he states among items lost in a fire, a "daguerian likeness of my Father [Hyrum Smith] and uncle Joseph and Brigham Young, a present and priceless to me"
Joseph Smith III's letter to the Salt Lake Tribune
March 20th, 1910, issue of the Salt Lake Tribune, Joseph Smith III, nearing 80, speaking about TWO paintings, FIRST a duplicate oil painting, that he commission (between 1879-99) and donated to the Library of Congress, in 1899, based on the "authentic oil painting" (when his father was 36 years old) and a daguerreotype taken by Lucian Foster (likely 1844- when his Dad was then 38); SECONDLY- the "authentic oil painting"- he "think"s was done in "1843", and how "the painting", was "sustained in its characteristic likeness to my father by the daguerreotype in our possession, taken the same year, I think, by an artist by the name of Lucian Foster". I doubt Joseph Smith III painted over the "authentic oil painting", rather the "duplicated oil painting" (still owned by the Iowa Historical Society) was based on the original 1842 David Roger's painting, and the daguerreotype.
Back in 2016, I found an 1860s Carte de Visite, which was reprinted from a daguerreotype (metal image), on Pinterest. The Pinterest pin was linked to an old Juvenile Instructor blog, from 2009, quoting an ebay seller- saying he found it in a Family Album, noting many other images were from the same area (which turns out to be in Kendall County, in the 1860s)- the previous owner got comments from his followers that this album looked like quote "Mormons", and he noticed a resemblance the prophet Joseph Smith Jr., and posted the CDV for sale on ebay, as being the Prophet (a bold claim, too bold infact the author of the post called it a "fake Joseph" and called the man selling it, "crank", other commenting calling him a "fool"- repeatedly). Something about this image convinced me it could be Joseph, so I kept a screen shot of it on my ipad Pro (quite a new device in 2016, that had an apple pencil I would later find quite helpful).
2017, a conversation had me wanting to see how well he matched the Dibble death mask of Joseph Smith and I used Procreate program (4 bucks on Apple apps) to compare this image to the death mask of Joseph Smith Jun. See my artistic comparison above, and what I found astounded me, minor details I could not imagine lining up, such as marionette lines, the distance from the nose to the mouth, and particularly the eyebrows, which as an artist and esthetician, I know matched in great detail, I felt a push to keep researching and began posting my findings on YouTube, in the beginning, to help out whoever owned it- to not give up (if you saw my emails, I emailed the Church of Jesus Christ, thinking this man somehow may have "donated" it to them, that's how naive I was, even imagining it sitting on a shelf, shoved between other unknown images getting damaged over time...).
I began reading and rereading the 2009 blog, about this old photo; quoting the very bold ebay listing, ebay seller "G", claiming that this little image was taken out of a Smith Family Album, with other images titled as things like "Mrs. Smith" (printed in Missouri), again- he claims below, many were from the same area as my CDV- which was from Kendall County, in the 1860s, and the sons of Joseph Smith LIVED there, Kendall County, Illinois- in the 1860s!!!
The Juvenile Instructor March 30th, 2009, copy and pasted the wording from this listing, stating:
"This photo comes from a album that had ‘Smith” ID’d photos in it…I listed a few cdv’s that, like this one looked to be copies of Daguerreotypes, they did well at auction & covered the cost of this album... the comment about Mormons stuck, mostly because my mothers sister is on the Washington D. C. Church High Council, so I started to look into this... this photo, witch at the time, I beginning to believe was Joseph Smith…
"...all the photos in the album follow the Joseph Smith trail, some from Vermont (one is for sale right now my store, man with glasses, and I have been selling others at auction past 2 weeks) some really interesting ones from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Missouri & Illinois…"
Mid 2017 I had researched all summer, into the fall, trying to discover if this photo was purchased or if the seller still had it, as it was unclear. The comments were brutal and harsh, and I felt worried this ebay seller had tossed this little picture in the trash can, these LDS Historian/bloggers said it was "absurd", as his misspelling and bad grammar (let alone ignorance on Church History) warranted such statements as,
"by their grammar ye shall know them", which really showed how much these Utah Bloggers did not hold anything back, but took a few days punching jabs, Ardis Parshall calling him a "dunderhead", it all only getting worse when Gregory finds this blog, and begins threatening to sue for copyright... Despite the negativity, I was convinced could be Joseph Smith Jr. (not wearing the Urim and Thummin, or glowing orbs, but with a lot of glare from a stark white collard, maybe a large military pin, tie pin and a flower in his lapel).
I searched long and hard to find the current owner of this little photograph, and one night driving home from work (late night shift), I felt strongly inspired to search specific words and read everything I could find in ebay, when I got home and was shocked when I did find him- he sold it to me. Five months of analyzing a photograph that I thought was lost, destroyed or collecting dust in some Church's archives of "unknowns", I was excited to have found it, that I literally jumped up and down smiling and laughing. I'm a dork. Soon, I was worried I'd find out it something that would discredit it. Once I got it in the mail, upon my shoulders was a task I never expected, authenticating an old Carte de Visite. I'd never done this before... never been a collector, hardly knew a thing about the history of photography. I researched the steps of authentication, starting with dating the clothing to style of photograph, experiencing a dip of hope when I realized it was Carte de Visite (this could not be the original copy). I found the clothing style definitely was 1840 (see page on this here), being a Carte de Visite and not a daguerreotype didn't matter- when I found a CDV of Emma Smith- copied from a daguerreotype- 1840s (in Julia Smith's photo album, copying them was a common thing in the 1860s; original can be seen in chapter 17 of this book).
The verso (back) of my CDV states it was printed in Newark, Illinois. Newark, Illinois was a location that Joseph Smith's Presidential Committee campaigned May 18th, 1844, (J.S. Bibbins would have been around 22 at the time), one apostle- J.S. Jr's cousin George Albert Smith, was noted as traveling as visiting several local branches in a type of Stake Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ, aside from promoting Joseph Smith's Presidential bid.
The page titled "Provenance", details letters I found, showing that Emma Smith (Bidamon) wrote letters in 1866- talking about trying to arrange a trip to visit her son, Joseph Smith III and his small family, in Plano, Kendall County, Illinois- ten miles away from J.S. Bibbin's (Newark, Kendall County Illinois)- who copied a daguerreotype onto a CDV- sometime in the 1860s, and for sure did travel to Plano, per correspondence with your youngest son (David Hyrum), whether she visited Joseph Smith III is only inferred by her talking about the weather being the same in Plano, as it is in Nauvoo (where she lived from 1839-1879); this page also details how Emma knew J.S. Bibbin's father, Elisha Bibbins (when he was a methodist circuit rider there, and converted her- first, then her father, forever changing the course of their lives). In one letter she even mentions trying to get her "negative" taken, which to me implies she is actually trying to get an old photograph copied, people never referred to getting their own picture taken by a camera as getting their "negative taken", so either she had an old daguerreotype she wanted copied, or paper photograph image (paper photography could produce negatives, (daguerreotypes could not), paper negatives could create multiple copies). Henry Fox Talbot patented the Calotype Process, in 1841- three years before Joseph Smith's death, so for a long time- if you see my page Research- Timestamped... you will see I argued my image had to have always been a paper photograph, I got my CDV authenticated.
Growing up in Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, my knowledge of Joseph Smith's sons (RLDS religion) was very limited. A simple google search shows Newark was just ten miles away from J.S. III, he spent 16 years in Plano, Illinois (per the Community of Christ Website and the Joseph Smith Papers site). Joseph Smith III lived in the same county, Kendall County, as Joseph Slocum Bibbins (photographer) from 1866-1881 (click the under-lined words to go to the websites verifying this fact). They could have run into each other, and considering Bibbins died in Plano (per the 1860 census his post office was in Bristol- he had to pass through to get his mail), dying in Plano, Kendall, Illinois in 1891, verifying for sure- this ten mile difference didn't keep either men from crossing paths in the 1860s/70s.
J.S. III has a journal entry about moving to Plano is recorded in the "Memoirs of President Joseph Smith III", page 55, he describes deciding to move his family from Nauvoo, Illinois to Plano, Kendall County, Illinois. J.S. III and J.S. Bibbins could have crossed paths as early as 1860; in Memoirs of President Joseph Smith III, on pages 80-82 states that October 1860 J.S. III was just outside of Millington, Kendall County, Illinois, roughly 2 miles away from J.S. Bibbins:
"In the fall of 1860, a semi-annual conference was called, to be held October 6, on the premises of Brother Israel L. Rogers, four and a half miles south and a little east of Sandwich [Illinois]… [pg 80]
“Brother Roger’s farm… was located on Fox River, a few miles from Millington… It was a region in which George A. Smith and William O. Clark had labored extensively in the early days of the church…” [pg 82]
Millington and Newark, Illinois, are only two miles apart. George A. Smith taught members of the Newark, Illinois Branch in May 1844, one of the largest branches at that conference of '44, also noting several surround towns, that J.S. III mentioned in 1860 trip to Kendall County, as well; he was in the specific "region" Joseph Smith III talks about being in (Newark is the exact location all these branch members congregated in). Joseph Smith III could have borrowed Emma's daguerreotype of his Father for his first Conference as a Prophet (having accepted their call six months prior, in a conference in Amboy). J.S. III mentions stopping to see his Aunt Lucy on his way back to Nauvoo, maybe he had it copied this trip, and gave this paper CDV away and brought the original back home (not knowing, it would oxidize- which often happened with this copying process, and turned back over time).
A few months after owning my image I found out that J.S. Bibbin's Father, Elisha Bibbins, personally knew Emma as little girl, in Harmony, Penn.. Elisha was on the circuit route in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania in 1812, and is cited as preaching to a young Emma Hale (Smith), teaching her to pray with them in the woods, seeking for answers to their prayers; Emma's Dad heard her praying, and thus was converted to Methodism, soon again allowed religion in their home, all as a result of what Bibbin's taught her. Article by Mark Staker goings in depth to this family connection, here.
The shear amount of reasons for the two men using the same initials of J.S., both sons of famous religous leaders, whose parents knew each other (Emma and Elisha), this folks is what you call Provenance.
Joseph Slocum Bibbins is found in the 1860 Census Records as working as an "Artist", (other tax records use this same term "Artist"- but clarify he is a "photographer"). Bibbins is listed as living in Big Grove, Kendall County, Illinois, below. Kendall County includes Plano and Newark. Historical records state that J.S. Bibbins died in 1891, in Plano, Illinois, and was buried in Millington, Illinois (the town J.S. III mentions above).
Carte de Visite Authenticated, March of 2020
March of 2020, I drove up to San Francisco to get my CDV authenticated by Gawain Weaver, who's been highly recommended by professionals in his field. I knew a few people wanted to write about my image and for that to happen, I needed to get it authenticated.
In 2017, and for almost 3 years, I was sure that my image was always a paper photograph. Henry Fox Talbot had invented paper negatives in 1835, and my image matched the death mask; daguerreotypes were in a flipped perspective, I truly believed my image always a paper photograph, maybe copied from a negative. Daguerre patented the metal daguerreotype just before Talbot patented his paper negatives, but both existed in the later 1830s, though Talbot's form or early photograph did take a lot long to become very popular.
March 2020, I was lucky to get Gawain Weaver to analyze my CDV. He was highly recommended, by one of the top professionals I contacted, in Beverly Hills, CA. He analyzed it, using many techniques, spending a couple of hours and concluded that there were no indications it was fake, it was an 1860s CDV, copied from a daguerreotype or another metal plate. This was news to me, for years I thought maybe another lost daguerreotype was used as the basis of the famous painting, and my image was just another photograph, many years later, realizing my image could be the daguerreotype, the son of Joseph Smith talked about in his infamous 1910 letter, took me some time to wrap my mind around and you will see in my earliest youtube videos, I never claimed the image in my CDV ever came from a daguerreotype, prior. Honestly, I was concerned about his report, but he said it could still be in the right perspective if they used a daguerreotype reversing prism, or took a daguerreotype of a daguerreotype (explaining this was not an uncommon practice and could explain the very high contrast and lack of detail). We even looked at Bibbins photography, and Lucian Fosters and found more similarities to Foster's (and too many differences in lighting and background, quality and style for it to have been Bibbin's own original work).
J.S. Bibbins, Photographic Artist
Joseph Slocum Bibbins listed above, as a "photographer", "artist", "Photographic Artist" in other historical records (tax, civil war docs) not listed here (on ancestry.com), in the year 1860, not sure how long he followed in this field. The question remains, what evidence is there that this is a reprint, by comparing his personal work from the 1860s?
J.S. Bibbin's photography, shown below, shows a taller background, than my image, that is rather light, in comparison to the background of 1840s Illinois Man's background (which appears to stop, or to be draped over something, just above the man's head), with brighter- more even lighting ("good lighting"- whereas mine had "side lighting") and more crisp detail. Weaver pointed out that the numerous reasons he believes my 1860s CDV was a reprint, from something metal- like a daguerreotype, is it's high contrast and lack of detail, seeing Bibbin's 1860s work below, I fully agree with him. Also, of note, is the difference in the back stamps, my CDV says, "PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTIST" in plain type, whereas all of Bibbin's other work use the description, "PHOTOGRAPHER" in fancy font (in those cases claiming his own "work", but in my image he appears to not be claiming "photographer").
Above are two examples of "J.S. Bibbin's" photography, notice the stamps, which were a part of tariff in the U.S. running from 1864-66; my image, seen below, sans stamp was either before Sept. 1864 or after August 1st, 1866.
Lucian Foster's Daguerreotypes; Lighting and Background
The first reaction when I opened my 1860s CDV, was disappointment that it was an albumin CDV, and not a salt water print (or a daguerreotype, as I'd thought all summer). I studied art in college, but I knew very little about the History of Photography. I researched when were CDVs invented (roughly ten years after Joseph Smith's death), and I was sad to find that for sure, my image wasn't printed before Joseph Smith died. I had the strongest impression to search Emma Smith's photograph and landed upon an image of her holding baby David Hyrum Smith, born in November of 1844. I was shook, there was a similar 1860s style CDV, same type of card-stock, double gold trim, even their backgrounds were almost exact, both images appearing to have a backdrop draped over an object, a few inches above my "Joseph's" head and a few MORE inches above Emma's head, clearly showing the height difference between the two; some claim Joseph was 6 feet 2 inches tall and Emma, also tall but shorter than him at 5 foot 9 inches. Notice the tilt of the object, the background is draped on, slants down to our left as well, in both my possible photograph of Joseph Smith and Emma's verified 1845 image copied onto an 1860s CDV.
Above, left is also- an 1860s Carte de Visite of Emma Smith, courtesy of Collection of John Hajicek, Mormonism.com. 1860s CDV, to the right shows a short background, which I have lined up below, and cropped to match the height of the background of Emma Smith, the camera's themselves, the odd slanted tilt, the textured background, the shade of the background, a medium shade. Joseph Smith was roughly 6 feet 4 inches, by some accounts, and Emma Smith was shorter (but still tall for women of her day) at 5 feet 9 inches; you can see such a height difference when lining up the these two.
The 1860s CDV of Emma Hale Smith, can be found on Rick Grunder's website, which gives us ample of info on this image, Grunder found this in Julia Murdock Smith's Photo Album (eldest adoptive daughter of Joseph and Emma Smith). To see Rick Grunder's cool website, click here. On the back of the CDV of Emma, it states, "R. F. Adam's . . . St. Louis, Mo". Julia lived in Missouri, for quite some time, and as this was found in her photo album, the Missouri location makes total sense; likely she borrowed the daguerreotype of Emma and brought it back after getting it copied onto a paper CDV. The original daguerreotype is almost totally black and is in the hands of the Community of Christ.
Daguerreotypes often turned black, once they have been copied, as you can see above, an oval shape, that I personally have studied and conclude- perfectly matches the daguerreotype. Since you can see BEYOND the oval shape, it is beyond any doubt that part of this copying process, included taking the daguerreotype out of it's protective case, removing the glass plate (that was placed there to prevent oxidation), and then was prone to oxidizing and turning black- which it did, it's hardly recognizable, it is so darkened, from oxidation. Very likely this happened to Joseph Smith's original daguerreotype, if my image is Him, and it was also done in the 1860s (1870s brought Cabinet Cards, and CDVs were soon "out"). I theorize: that is why Joseph Smith III could not copy it (again) in 1879, and he just photographed the ONLY forward facing, life painting, yet mentions having the daguerreotype.
Many believe the photographer of the image of Emma Smith, above, was done by Nauvoo Photographer Lucian Foster, in 1845. Prior to moving West, the Saints only mention two photographers, Lucian Foster in Nauvoo and Marsena Cannon (on the East Coast- who went straight from Boston to SLC, never living in Nauvoo or stopping there). Lucian Foster Advertised his studio, on August 21st, 1844 Issue of the Nauvoo Neighbor. (last page of the paper, with advertisements)
Images zoomed in, above, you can imagine Joseph Smith Jr. would be too tall for Foster's background, towering past the height he had the background set, and Emma looks about the height difference, as can be imagined.
Joseph Smith III's Daguerreotype of His Father,
and the Forward Facing Painting; Timeline of Events
September 16th, 1842
The painting of Joseph Smith, the Joseph Smith Paper's has concluded was done by an artist named, David Rogers, who is written about in Joseph's September 16th, 1842 journal entry. The four succeeding entries, making it obvious the amount of time Roger's spent painting Joseph Smith, from life, (not from a daguerreotype it didn't exist for another two years).
I bought Joseph Smith's three volumes of journals (birthday present), standing thumbing that pages, I came upon the introduction pages that boldly states this was from Life and done by David Rogers, for the first time, I was shocked, as everything I'd heard online was the total opposite, stating that this painting was "based on a daguerreotype" and- not from life and done by William Major. After a couple years trying to find out why the Scholars on the Joseph Smith Papers believed it was from life, the evidence I have found is massive and in the affirmative to be from life, NOT by William Major or from a daguerreotype.
The spliced article that I pasted below, is not from 1875, but is from the pen of Junius. F. Wells, writing for "The Instructor" (February, 1830), remembering his visit with Emma Hale (Smith) Bidamon, and his stay in her house in Nauvoo, where she showed him the forward facing painting of Joseph Smith. Wells does make mention of hearing the belief that Lucian Foster took a daguerreotype of Joseph Smith, somewhere between April, 1844 to Joseph's death, in June 1844 (remember David Roger's paints Joseph Smith in September 1842, two years prior).
July 25, 1879
The above Library of Congress image of Joseph Smith, states on their website, is a photograph of a painting, copyrighted by Joseph Smith III, in 1879; not a single mention of it being a photograph of the man. Having studied this image to the painting by Rogers, I fully agree with the Library of Congress. Taking into consideration camera distortion, paper possibly being curled (theory on why the LOC copy appear more narrow than Carter's (eyes too close together)), those two things wouldn't make any face that inaccurate compared to the death mask, as the Roger's painting and photographs of his paintings are, in the exact same ways. Anatomically speaking- the nose in the LOC and Carter images- when superimposed, land tremendously lower than the nose is shown on his death mask, or on any human's face.
August 15th, 1879
August 15th, 1879 Issue of the "Saints Herald", a paper ran in Plano, Illinois, by Joseph Smith III, states:
"This Portrait was taken by a painter from New York, when Joseph was about thirty-six years of age, and represents him as he appeared at that time, has remained in the possession of Emma, until near the close of her life, when it was by her committed to the hands of President Joseph Smith, with permission to have it copied, copyright secured. Copies can also be procured of Jane A. Robinson 1512 Main street, Peoria, Illinois; or of Lewis C. Bidamon, Nauvoo…"
Above advertisement is for prints of the "only forward facing painting of Joseph Smith", made when Joseph Smith was 36 years old, this lines up with the timeline of when David Roger's painted Joseph Smith in September 1842- he would have been 36 years old- turning 37 on December 23, 1842, so 1843 was an inaccurate guess. J.S. III was 10 when Rogers painted his father, for perspective; second point made was that the artist of the painting was from "New York", and David Rogers did just come from New York in 1842. Any doubt of these facts needs to remember that Joseph Smith III was spending time, money and great effort in making this advertisement come to be, and being the lead editor of the newspaper it is being run in, of course he checked and possibly wrote this advertisement himself, if not dictated it, so the point of the artist of the only forward facing painting of Joseph Smith being done by a man from New York, when his father was 36.
Joseph Smith III was selling photographs of a painting, not a man (yet, you will see in the following sources, he starts the fire of controversy 6 years later, visiting Salt Lake). Also of note- is that the Saints Herald was run in Plano, Kendall County, Illinois, ten miles from Newark, Kendall County, Illinois (where J.S. Bibbins was still alive and living, but likely already had printed my CDV a decade prior, according to experts).
August 1885, Carter is mentioned in an August 26, 1885 article in the Deseret News stating:
“Portrait of the Prophet.- C.W. Carter, a photographer, of this city, has in his possession a daguerreotype portrait of the Prophet Joseph Smith, taken in Nauvoo in the year 1843- probably within a year of his death. The old acquaintances of the illustrious man to whom it has been shown, pronounce it an excellent likeness. We have always been of the opinion that the busts and most of the pictures of him in existence made him appear too effeminate looking, and this portrait tends to confirm that opinion. The face as shown in it appears to be stronger and more mature looking and the head broader than generally pictured.
“Mr. Carter has taken photographic copies of the daguerreotype, which he proposes to touch up with India ink and have copied again, until pictures as true to nature as possible and in various sizes can be produced.”
This is where the controversy begins. The memoirs of Joseph Smith III notes on page page 236, he met with Charles Carter, July 1885. Carter tries to bond with him, stating that he was inactive, but would not join the RLDS faith, yet showed sympathy, he sat to get his photograph done by Carter, talked for a long time. That's it.
Junius F. Wells mentions in an October 1885 Newspaper Article, the Contributor, that he personally knew that the forward facing painting was photographed by Charles Carter (image below), then was edited and sold many times over, yet he also knew that many thought these "Photographs of Joseph Smith" were of the man, not of the painting, he sought to debunk these claims, in 1885, stating,
"The fine photo-engraving which appears as the frontpiece of this number was made… It is a from a pen and ink drawing executed by Dan Weggeland, Esq., from photographs. [photographs of Jackson County, Missouri]…
“The conspicuous feature of the engraving is the portrait of Joseph Smith the Prophet. This purports to be from a daguerreotype taken from life; but so far as we have been able to discover by dilligent inquiry, no such portrait was ever taken, and we fully satisfied ourselves that the original of the daguerreotype is the same as that of Mr. Tullidge’s steel engraving. The latter purports to be taken from the oil painting of Joseph, which his wife Emma always kept in her room, and refused during her lifetime to have copied… In the engraving an unnatural mass of black is given him and the simpering expression of the face is so intensified that it is quite revolting. The engraving was at once condemned, and the has met with little favor among the acquaintances of the Prophet.
"The painting from which it was made has a history… Mr. Rogers from New York, almost despaired of getting a portrait that would be satisfactory. He was considerable of an actor, however, and also something of a wit, and he resorted to his drollery to cheer up his subject…Joseph... looks as though he were just going to laugh. When it was finished his opinion was asked of it, and he said:
“It is a pretty good likeness of a silly boy, but not much like the Prophet of the Lord.”
"Our engraving is made from a drawing of the daguerreotype with some slight changes of expression and an original handling of the hair… It is originally taken from the painting, and while that was not a very good likeness of the Prophet, it nevertheless was the only front face view of him that was taken during his lifetime…
"Mr. C. W. Carter has made some very fine photographs from the daguerreotype and had them touched up and finished in good style."
Charles Carter touched up a daguerreotype of the David Roger's 1842 painting, and sold it. Joseph Smith III was selling copies of this painting, since 1879, however his July 1885 heart to heart with Carter likely I assume did include him telling him he had a daguerreotype of his dad, maybe he tried photographing it, but analysis has shown his "copies" just match the David Rogers painting. Although we cannot go back in time to ask Wells more questions, some further information confirms that the painting was likely done in 1842; the Joseph Smith paper's conclusion, is the painting was done in 1842 and not 1843 (this mistake is understandable- as J.S.III was just ten years old at the time). David Roger's was noted in Joseph Smith's Journal September 16, 1842 (and a subsequent four days, another profile painting claimed to have been done by Rogers, could have also been executed; owned by Brigham Young). The daguerreotype couldn't have been done by Foster in 1842, or anytime prior, as he wasn't even in Nauvoo until April 1844. Joseph Smith III's hesitancy to say the year for the daguerreotype to be 1843 was an accurate stance, but never, ever does he state the daguerreotype came before the painting, it obviously was the opposite. Below left is Charles Carter's touched up photograph of the Roger's painting, and below right is the engraving Junius F. Wells is mentioning in is 1885 article. Obviously the two images match, but it is clear Well's heard from Emma this painting was done when Joseph Smith was alive, not after and was not based on a daguerreotype.
Image Courtesy of State Historical Museum of Iowa, Des Moines; copy of the original, by Victor Kress; this painting bears a strong resemblance to my Carte De Visite, when it comes to the eyes and eyebrows- analysis farther down this page.
1899 Joseph Smith III donates a painting to the Historical Society of Iowa , a duplicate of the original 1842 painting, enhanced to look more like his Dad, by the use of a daguerreotype in his possession. Do I see differences in THIS painting, which was NOT from life, which was created with an adult Joseph Smith III standing there giving his VERY strong opinions and providing NOT just the 1842 David Roger's painting for reference, but the daguerreotype of his Dad, completed some time before 1899, by Victor Kress. Link
Now we wrap things all together, with the 1910 letter, from Joseph Smith III, in full:
"...in your issue of Saturday morning, March 5, 1910, a copy of which was handed me by a neighbor, a cut purporting to represent a lifesized portrait of my father, Joseph Smith, painted by a Utah artist. I do not regret to see the picture, but I do regret to know that all the reverence said to be held by the people of Utah toward Joseph Smith, the first president of the church, they know so little about the appearance of the man. I regret the statement made, that there is no authentic picture of my father in existence, for this is a mistake. If your artist, Mr. Ramsay, should ever visit the capitol of Iowa, he will find a duplicate oil painting of Joseph Smith in one of the halls, placed there by myself and my son, at the request of Mr. Charles Aldredge, then curator of the historical society.
There is an authentic oil painting now in the possession of my son Fredrick M. Smith, at Independence, Mo., painted by the same artist that painted one of my uncle, Hyrum Smith, which has formed a basis of pictures of him since his family went to Utah. It fortunately happens to us that this portrait, painted in 1843, is sustained in its characteristic likeness to my father by the daguerreotype in our possession, taken the same year, I think, by an artist by the name of Lucian Foster.
The picture in the Tribune looks like it had been made up of a composite of superimposed photograph, creating an ideal face. It represents him wearing a ring on his right hand. The only ring he ever wore was worn on his left hand. The picture represents a curly-headed man, but my father’s hair was not curly. It was quite light in color and altogether the picture fails to essentially represent the man.
That Mr. Ramsay has done well from the material he had to work with I can believe, but the expression about the lower part of the face, taken from the death mask, which I saw reproduced in Ogden, executed by one Brown, several years ago, gives too full prominence to the lips and chin.
It is a pleasure to think, however, that the remark made by you under the cut, that the artist has given human touch to the picture may be true. The collection of the man so far as Utah is concerned has been kept alive by flat side views, by pictures originally executed by Sutcliffe Maudsley, an English designer, and a good many are but caricatures. I am inclosing a photograph taken from the oil painting referred to.
I think that the confusion really is WHICH painting was "sustained in it's characteristic likeness to [Joseph Smith] by the daguerreotype"? I believe the fact that Joseph Smith III talks about the Iowa painting FIRST and recommends the Salt Lake Tribune writer visit Iowa, because all of Utah has already known about the "original" oil painting.
Could Joseph's Daguerreotype have Oxidized, Beyond Repair?
Above is my CDV darkened to the point that Emma Smith's own original daguerreotype is darkened to (which I cannot put on my website, but we have obtained permission to study for our paper), then it is flipped in perspective to look like how I think the original daguerreotype could have looked. I said COULD because it IS possible, as Weaver explained to me- two things- that a daguerreotype reversing prism was used- thus producing an end product in the correct perspective (invented quickly as making photos of buildings or famous landscapes in the wrong perspective or seeing writing backwards- was an irritant), or a daguerreotype of a daguerreotype was made- to produce an image in the right perspective, which I wonder if Foster could have done for free, getting to live in the Nauvoo Mansion, with the Prophet. Either way, the original, of my CDV, whoever you believe him to be, likely was oxidized. It is obvious, in comparing the original daguerreotype of Emma- her image was taken out of the case, and from behind the glass (her 1860s copy of her 1845 daguerreotype shows much more of her body than the original does- in it's case- so it was taken OUT of the case), carefully I presume, but once air hit that daguerreotype (and if you didn't buy multiple copies, POSSIBLE in the 1860s), you'd end up with one clear- paper copy of a the once MUCH clearer- original daguerreotype that now is going to rend itself useless-with time (but might take a few days, months to see the damage). I theorize whoever paid for this, kept the original daguerreotype, not knowing it would oxidized and go too dark to replicate again, and gave my paper CDV to relative, such as the two sisters of the slain Prophet, still living, Catherine and Lucy, who too- stayed in very small towns on the outskirts of Nauvoo, the rest of their lives, not joining the Saints in Utah. It is mentioned in the Memoirs of Joseph Smith III, that he often stayed with his favorite Aunt Lucy, and some of his Aunts on Emma's side (a brother and sister of Emma's moved to Amboy or surrounding areas- where the April 1860 Conference was held for the RLDS Church).
William B. McCarl further pursues the theory that the forward facing painting was used to not "sustain" the painting of Joseph Smith, but to BASE it on the daguerreotype, all because of J.S.III's words in the 1910 letter, that his father wore his wedding ring on his left, not right hand. On page 46 McCarl theorizes that since Joseph Smith III complains of the Utah artist depicting his father wearing a ring on his right hand, and that his Father only wore it on his right hand, McCarl pointing out his own painting of his Dad has the ring on the right hand too, concludes that the "daguerreotype of Joseph Smith" would show J.S. Jr. wearing a ring on the opposite hand- if it was BASED on the daguerreotype, points out how much it matches the Library of Congress image (obviously since it's a doctored photograph of that exact painting), using the word conclusive- states the painting was then- for sure- based on the daguerreotype and is not from "life".
If you study Maudsley's artwork- J.S.Jr. often wore his wedding ring on his right hand (see the above video), and many men commonly wore rings on their right hands, until the late 19th century. I conclude that Joseph Smith III stating this forward facing painting was from life, and David Roger's being the only other artist mentioned in Joseph Smith's journals, other than Maudsley (all of his artwork has been accounted for), Joseph Smith Paper's Scholars concluding the painting was done by David Rogers, I agree with them and Wells; and I take Well's word for it- that Joseph Smith, the living breathing human being, sitting for four days, was the basis of the forward facing painting and the daguerreotype was NOT the basis of the painting at all (just used to sustain it, in whatever way J.S. III means, but likely it was painted on top of). The daguerreotype helped to maintain/sustain an already executed painting (based on a real man, really sitting for four days), either way, we have two witnesses stating the forward facing painting was done from life and no one ever said the painting was based on daguerreotype, other than William B. McCarl, in 1962.
Lucian Foster likely took the daguerreotype of Joseph Smith in 1844, if anything the daguerreotype was used to "sustain" the likeness of Joseph Smith III's father, after he inherited in 1879. Wells asked Emma Smith what Joseph Smith Jr. thought of the forward facing painting and quotes him as saying,
“It is a pretty good likeness of a silly boy, but not much like the Prophet of the Lord.” (The Contributor, 1885).
Junius F. Wells quotes Emma Smith, in another article, the Juvenile Instructor, Feb. 1930 (pg. 79):
"…The record relating to the painting, which being finished hung first in the Mansion House and afterward in the Nauvoo House in possession of the Prophet’s widow, Emma Smith. Upon visiting her, in the winter of 1875-76, she entertained me very hospitably and showed me the painting, then hanging in her bedroom in the Nauvoo House. I asked her if it were a good likeness of the Prophet. She replied,
“No. He could not have a good portrait— his countenance was changing all the time.”
“...This portrait is a drawing made from a daguerreotype, purported to be taken from an oil painting of the Prophet painted during his lifetime by a Mr. Rogers from New York, preserved by Emma Smith, and now is possession of her son Joseph Smith of Independence, Mo.
“It will be seen that no claims are made that the portrait is an exact one.”
The word J.S. III used in his 1910 letter- "characteristic likeness", in the painting, clearly implies the painting does not perfectly MATCH his father's real likeness, let alone the daguerreotype, so why would the daguerreotype look EXACTLY like the painting that isn't a very good likeness of the prophet?
Selling copies of my CDV, here: LINK
Life Paintings Comparisons to my Carte de Visite
Two things are very consistent when artists have depicted Joseph Smith (from life), one- he never ever has side-burns, and two- his hair is always brushed forward, on the sides (taking the place of where side-burns usually go. The two images below are attributed to Sutcliffe Maudsley. The image on the left often shows him facing our left, but some publish him facing right, which is very good to know, as it appears he has less hair on the left side of his head, than his right, and a thinner left eyebrow. Neither image below shows side burns and both show a thinning hairline and his hair is always brushed forward, with his ears peaking through, never successfully covered.
David Rogers is attributed to the image below, which was allegedly in the possession of Brigham Young, in William B. McCarl's scholarly article (page 55). The clothing and background match the forward facing painting done by Rogers. Joseph's hair color in the above and below paintings, are a far cry from the light blonde hair so many choose to believe, and paint Joseph Smith as having. The color is exactly as dark in my CDV, and more noticeable in the painting below is the hairline thinning back to Joseph's ear-lobes. Those who contest this are doing so by looking at a lock of hair that's been sitting underneath the glare of a sky light, in a museum, and who knows how it was display or "protected" prior to the museum obtaining it (which ironically matches the shade of my own medium blonde hair, that can appear just as dark as my CDV, when lighting isn't great).
Sculpture above was made in 1850, by Lucius Gahagan, in London; using the death masks, portrait sketches, and the mind of John Taylor (who physically went to England to have this made), you get something much more similar to hairline as seen in my image. Smaller details I notice, are on side has more hair brushed forward than the other, side part. Joseph's hair in this sculpture is quire receded, as evident in Maudsley's earlier paintings (and very unlike Roger's September 1842 painting, Joseph Smith III edited (for sure)).
Descriptions often have described Joseph Smith as having thick eyebrows:
"The brows are also light and thick indeed, precisely of that description called bettle-brow."
(The Weekly Gazette, St. Louis, Missouri, May 1844).
“His eyes were shaded by long light eyelashes and bushy eyebrows that were not arched, but ran straight across. The whole arrangement of his eyes, lashes, and brows is said to have produced an unusual or even magnetic effect.”
Benjamin Franklin Johnson
If you gaze upon images of the Pedestal Death Mask of Joseph Smith, a newer, shiny and smoother version of the Dibble Death Mask, you would see very little evidence Joseph Smith even had eye-brows, let alone wrinkles or scars. I will not rehash everything above, about how it is evident to me that Joseph Smith had two unique, not similar eyebrows (on being rather thick). ]
The two cropped images of Carter and the Library of Congress (edited) photographs of the David Roger's forward facing painting is incredible to look at, even after four years of studying, I spent some time analyzing the similarities, I see uniquely similar traits. Firstly, their right eyebrow is so thick that it nearly meets with his eyelid, and travels down to the level of the corner of his eye (on the right eyebrow ONLY) and nearly meets with their hairline (whether this is only the result of his hair being brushed forward is hard to tell in my picture, and in the painting, but likely is so), and their left eyebrows do NOT angle down, the end of the left eyebrow for both men, is higher up- than where it started at their tear-duct, and the hairline doesn't come close to meeting with his eyebrow, but has a larger space (although much larger distance in my image, the similarity is uniquely amazing).
There was some sparring going on, a week or so, AFTER I spent almost 300 dollars on my CDV, with an "Anonymous" Church Historian, adamant that my CDV showed a man with protruding ears and he was confident Joseph Smith did not, also claiming absolute PROOF that my image was not Joseph Smith, was that the artwork shows a man with unattached earlobes and my man had "attached" (look how curved the lobe is in my image top left (his left ear), attach earlobes are rarely anything but straight, NOT curved are rounded (as is seen in my image, so I do not believe my guy even has attached earlobes, although... Emma Smith for SURE had attached earlobes and Maudsley's artwork, DOES show her without attached earlobes, ahem).
Did the death mask cover the ears? No. Can we rely on artists to be forensically or accurately depict his ears and NOT use this thing called, "Artistic Liberty"? NO. Above are two extremes, Benjamin West- sketch, from LIFE, cartoonish of course, but he WOULD emphasize Joseph's ears- and he DID, BIG time... no pun intended. Alas, David Roger's next to the sketch- shows a VERY long ear lobe, matching my CDV for the left ear- but all other details, common to an ear- unless it's been partially cut off (and we WOULD have heard about THAT), are missing, there is only- the LOBE, clearly Roger's started to paint it and I theorize he played of game of Old Timey "photoshop", called what ALL artists do and that's what got Joseph Smith roaring with laughter- just how I imagine it going... also probably how he ended up with a giant poof- never at all seen in Maudsley's artwork- before and after THIS painting. Lastly are profile David Rogers and Profile- Maudsley- BOTH show a right yer that peaks through his hair, imply it- yes- protrudes a bit. See below, images of the sons of Joseph and Emma, most of the son's have protruding ears, as did his biological sisters.
References abound in McCarl's incredible work (that I do believe deserves praise, despite an inaccurate detour in making sense of Joseph Smith III's letter- that I disagree with), especially his compilation of sources. Below are statements he compiled of people who said Joseph Smith had "blue eye", only ONE source detours from this, one reporter (not a friend or acquaintance) said he had "hazel" eyes; considering lighting always being by candle-light and the likelihood he was one of many reporters interviewing Joseph, I could see how he'd not get quite a good look at Joseph's eye color, in such a short meeting (Spring 1844, as he was running for President of the U.S.). My own eyes often appear to be different shade of blue, depending on what I am wearing, and I too often get asked, "what color are your eyes"- whereas to my family and close friends, everyone has always said I have "blue eyes", in photos my eyes can appear dark blue/purple, or almost green, blue is always the overabundant color.
Lydia Bailey stated Joseph Smith had:
“brown hair, handsome blue eyes, which seemed to dive down to the innermost thoughts with their sharp penetrating gaze…” (Journal History, october 29, 1833)
Wadle Mace said of Joseph: He was a fine-looking man, tall and well-proportioned, strong and active…blue eyes…” (“Journal of Wandle Mace, 1809-1890” Typewritten copy, Brigham Young University Library, p. 38.)
Parley P. Pratt, a close associate for almost the full 14 years of his leadership, said of Joseph Smith:
“President Joseph Smith was in person tall and well built, strong and active; of light complexion, light hair, blue eyes, very little beard, and of an expression peculiar to himself, on which the eye naturally rested with interest, and was never weary of beholding. His countenance was ever mild, affable, beaming with intelligence and benevolence; mingled with a look of interest and an unconscious smile, or cheerfulness, and entirely free from all restraint or affectation of gravity... his eye, as if he would penetrate the deepest abyss of the human heart, gaze into the eternity, penetrate the heaven and comprehend all worlds." (Parley P. Pratt, "The Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt (Fifth edition; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1938), pp. 45-46).
Charlotte Haven stated:
“Joseph Smith is a large, stout man, youthful in his appearance, with light complexion and hair, and blue eyes set far back in the head…” (Charlotte Have, “A Girl’s Letters from Nauvoo, “ Overland Monthly, December 1890, as reported in I. Woodbridge Riley, “The Founder of Mormonism”, (New York; Dodd, Mead and Company, 1902), pp. 5-6.
Josiah Quincy said of Joseph Smith,
“He was a hearty, athletic fellow, with blue eyes standing prominently out upon his light complexion, a long nose, and a retreating forehead. He wore striped pantaloons, a linen jacket, which had not lately seen the washtub, and a beard of some three days growth. This was the founder of the religion which had been preached in every quarter of the earth.”
The two known artists to paint from life and in color, the face of Joseph Smith Jr., Sutcliffe Maudsley and David Rogers, do appear to have captured a man with blue eyes, seen below.
Above top left is a painting by Sutcliffe Maudsley, of Joseph Smith- with blue eyes, middle left is Roger's forward facing painting (one of MANY copies), and... blue eyes, and lastly on the right is Brigham Young's, Roger's profile painting, and yes- BLUE EYES. JOSEPH SMITH HAD BLUE EYES. Blue eyes are "light", and the man in my CDV definitely has quite light hued eyes, that I believe could be described as read above. Even the wrinkles matched up on his right eye!
Not a Life Painting, but a copy of a Life Painting, altered by looking at the "daguerreotype" of Joseph Smith Junior
Did Joseph Smith have a Receding Hairline?
Earlier was mentioned and shown the full body image of the duplicate oil painting, Joseph Smith the third had mentioned being in a Museum in Iowa, and it's still there, not well known, but I see a lot in this image that appears in my CDV. The left eye, on both men (seen on our right) clearly shows a crease extending below the lower eye-lid, I always called it a "line" (more apparently in my computer scanned images with high DPI), if you squint you can see it extend lower, and Joseph's left eye brow sits lower on the brow bone, than his right eyebrow, and the outer edge of the left eye-brow does not extend downward, but upwards, and the inner crease of his left eye-lid appears to have a more sharp (nearly 90 degree) crease- near the tear-duct, unlike his right eye-lid which appears to be more rounded and less hooded in both my CDV and in the painting (based on a life painting and the daguerreotype of Joseph Smith, his Dad); the right eyebrow is just as full and thick as seen in my CDV and clearly extends almost to his hairline, and downward, and the inner portion of the right brow on both the man in my CDV and the painting shows the brow hairs sitting higher on the brow bone, almost like a "bald spot"- as the rest of their right eyebrows sit lower on the brow bone, a very unique feature. Lastly, BOTH images show the line of the eyes and the eyebrows at a totally different tilt- than seen in the original David Roger's painting.
Joseph Smith's Death mask shows a right eyebrow that that is thick and shaped uniquely like the man's right eyebrow in my image and their left eyebrow is very sparse and flat. Superimposed, the shape of both eyebrows is the same. This is what hooked me, in 2017, well before I owned it. The direction of the eyebrow hairs is very unique. As a an artist, I draw and analyze individual Eye-brow Hairs, no one's eyebrows are NATURALLY exactly the same, but Joseph Smith has some pretty unique brows, see video and images below.
1840s Illinois Man appears to have a heavy/hooded left Eyelid, and a deep-set right eye, with the pronounced brown bone "swoop" clearly seen in much of the artwork of Joseph Smith. I outlined the right and left eyelid of my CDV and superimpose those layers onto the death mask of Joseph Smith, below. For a full video- click this link.
Below I superimposed the wrinkles/shape of Illinois Man's right eye onto the death mask. The point in which the top lash meets the bottom is a match, and a very deep expression line, marked in red, meets up with an expression line I see in Illinois Man.
Joseph Smith Jr.'s left Eye-lid appears to be hooded on the death mask, more than his right, this too appears to be very apparent when Illinois Man's left eye-lid/wrinkles are superimposed on top. The point in which the lash lines meet is flush, as is the very top point in which the lid crease starts, and the inner and outer corners of the eyes.
I superimpose the shadows on 1840s Illinois man onto Joseph Smith's Death mask and it's astounding, notice how the curve of the cartilage, above his right nostril lines up, as do many other points I mark in red. See this video analysis in full, by clicking here.
Joseph's mouth, on the death mask, shows the edge of his mouth turns up into a permanent smile on the right side, then droops on the left side of his mouth, superimposed. A possible scars on the right side of his mouth, is clearly seen in my 1840s Illinois Man.
Note: the image of the death mask below was from google images, and this image of the mask shows the mouth sharply coming up, however, the video above was created with images that I took of the death mask in 2019, with a high quality camera, with light coming from my cell phone to offset the bad lighting, trying to imitate the light coming upward in my image (instead of the light sharply coming the top) and you see the edge of the right side of his mouth matches very well, the area where the mouth opens and closes lines up, the scar coming up is still visible, but barely. BOTH men show scars pulling up the right side of his mouth. LIGHTING is everything people...
Joseph Smith had a pronounced chin, not a receding chin- as some alleged images of him show; the shadows show the man in my image as having a very pronounced chin as well, when superimpose, the angles/dimensions are a match.
Hairline, and Facial Perimeter Analyzed
I outlined the Dibble Death Mask- known to be of Joseph Smith- onto 1840s Illinois Man, and adjusted it to be larger, to account for camera distortion, and the dimensions work. Hairline matches from his right temple to the farthest point- where the hair recedes on both the mask and the man in the CDV.
Studies of the Skulls of Joseph and
Six Doctors Believe this is Joseph's Skull
...and Six Doctors believe this skull is Hyrum's, despite being buried as Joseph
In 1995, Dr. Niles Herrod, a maxillofacial surgeon, wrote a report published in Shannon M. Tracy's first book, "In Search of Joseph" coming out with a bombshell of a report, that he believed Skull buried as Hyrum Smith, was actually was Joseph Smith's. Here are some of his statements from his 1995 paper, published in Appendix B, of "Millions Shall Know Brother Joseph Again", Shannon M Tracy:
" DOCTOR HERROD’S MEDICAL NOTES
"July 5, 1995
"Anatomical Treatise of the Exhumed Skulls and Mandibles of Joseph and Hyrum Smith…
"I was provided photographs, which had originally been obtained from the RLDS Church, who identified the skulls as Joseph and Hyrum following the exhumation of these remains and subsequent reburial. I was also provided a photograph of the exhumation process at the the time the skulls were partially uncovered…
"RLDS Joseph: There is complete absence of the mid-facial structures, including facial bones… To explain the loss of the mid-facial structures based upon a fall from a 16-20 foot distance, makes for an interesting conjecture; however the loss of the structures... is not consistent with the usual fracture lines of the Leforte III or cranial facial disjunction pattern fracture. The missing sphenoidal structures may be better explained by a multiply fragmented comminuted fracturing created by a rifle bullet. It is also evident from the photograph taken of the gravesite at the time of exhumation when the skulls were partially uncovered, that the excavation was considerably less than meticulous, which revealed bricks, rocks, root structures, paper, etc. The specimens could have been damaged at the time of exhumation.
"RLDS Hyrum: The frontal view reveals a skull missing the maxilla just anterior to the bilateral maxillary first molars. The nasal floor is absent as well as the septum. The missing segment of the right maxilla appears to be cleanly fractured with evidence of marrow spaces and the left section is dirt encrusted. The left nasal bones and pyriform apurature of the left lateral nose and the nasal process of the maxilla appears to be intact…
"There appears to be a step deformity to the left zygoma viewed at the infraorbital rim, as well as the zygomatical frontal suture, however not evident in the sub-mental view. The bone is intact, as in the buttress of the zygoma. The left zygoma appears less prominent than the right. Argument could be made that this is a healed zygomatical maxillary fracture.
"...Argument could be made that the fracture line of the maxilla could have been iatragenic in the process of the exhumation...
"It is interesting to note that the left maxilla and the nasal process of the maxilla and the pyriform margin of the nose appear to be intact in an area which would have been injured had this been the skull of Hyrum, since the death mask reveals a penetrating wound mid-lateral nose.
"The computer-generated image taken from the death mask of Joseph Smith was then overlaid over the appropriately articulated skull and mandible of the RLDS Hyrum and remarkable adaption was evident.
"Summary: ...Skull damage was present from what appears to be a normal deteriorating process as well as possible iatrogenic causes. Although arguments could be made the RLDS Joseph skull had sustained mid-facial fractures, it is difficult to believe that the amount of destruction of the skull was created by blunt trauma. A more reasonable argument would be that these injuries were created by multiple penetrating missles with resultant comminution of these structures and subsequent age deterioration…
"The presence of an intact nasal process of the left maxilla of the RLDS Hyrum gives support to the argument that this skull is not Hyrum and is that of Joseph. Further evidence is that decrease of zygomatic prominence (cheek bone) of the left zygoma, which appears to be evident in the frontal view of the RLDS Hyrum [skull]. This is consistent which the death mask of Joseph."
Kent M. Van De Graaff, PH.D. Human Anatomist (BYU professor emeritus of human anatomy), who wrote books on Anatomy also concluded using computer analysis, of the disinterred skulls of Joseph and Hyrum Smith (1928), had been misidentified and also concluded that the skull previously identified as Hyrum was actually Joseph Smith’s, noting the shape of the frontal bone, and brow bones of Hyrum and the skull buried as Joseph, was of Hyrum Smith.
Expert from "In Search of Joseph", 1995, Shannon Michael Tracy:
“It was a privilege to examine the skull photographs and death mask casts of Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith... The photographic images of both skulls present several problems to an examiner. The most challenging problem is that due the extensive trauma from the bullet wounds important diagnostic bones and features are missing from both skulls...
“A computer scan of each photograph provided the basis for positioning the lower jaw in correct alignment with the upper jaw. This task was much easier in the skull initially identified from Hyrum than it was from that identified as from Joseph...
“Once each mandible was positioned in its proper relation to its respective skull, a match to the computer-modeled death mask was made. Other skeletal features were important in establishing this match. Of particular significance was the prominence of the supraorbital margin of the frontal bone and the size and position of the mental (chin) region of the mandible. Other features that were considered on each skull were the shape of the frontal bones (forehead), the positions of the orbits, and the apparent size and shape of the nose.
“The most startling conclusion of this examination is that the photographs of the skulls were incorrectly identified… the photograph skull identified as from Joseph Smith is actually from Hyrum Smith and the skull identified as from Hyrum Smith is from Joseph Smith.
“Kent M. Van De Graaff, PH.D. Human Anatomist.”
Personally speaking, as an artist, Hyrum Smith's frontal bone, or brow bone was so much more prominent and unique, just like the skull buried... as Joseph Smith's- to finally read a description by Dr. Van de Graaff, felt very validating; but Michael Tracy seems to be credited for this conclusion, when he is only credited for agreeing with these men, and paying good money to help their work be published, in both his 1995 Book, "In Search of Joseph" and again in his 2008 book, "Millions Shall Know Brother Joseph Again".
Dr. D. Cope Norcross, Dr. Kent D. Katz, and Dr. John Pickrell, published in 2008, "Millions Shall Know Brother Joseph, Again", did their own analysis of the photographs, of the two skulls identified as Joseph and Hyrum, along with phrenology measurements taken of Joseph Smith's head, only, in January 1840, by Dr. Alfred Woodward. concurred with the 1995 findings of Dr. Van de Graff and Dr. Niles Herrod, stating:
“...Using accepted skull soft tissue thicknesses, the phrenology measurements from images of the skulls and the masks were taken and standardized. the Photographs of the exhumed skulls attributed to Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith were then examined, as were their measurements from the images of the skulls and the masks were taken and standardized. The measurements were problematic in that parts of the skulls were missing, the photographic alignment of the skulls was not consistent nor anatomic… a sufficient number of the phrenology measurements from the two skulls were constructed, and allowed a reasonable comparison.
“…Based on the phrenology measurements, the group concluded that skull number one [buried as Hyrum Smith, assuming as this is the skull this book using for analyzing the Scannell kid] more closely matched the head measurements attributed to the Prophet Joseph Smith by Dr. Woodward. The group could not say with absolute certainty, however, that skull number one was that of Joseph Smith based solely on the phrenology measurements, only that of the two skulls, number one was most consistent with Joseph Smith’s phrenology measurements.
“…Joseph Smith, while still alive, had his profile traced from his shadow. This profile tracing, along with profiles of the death mask and the photographic profile of the exhumed skull, were digitally overlaid. The location of the pyriform aperture, the nasion, the glabella, the supraorbital ridge, and the hairline fell into alignment…"
[signatures] Kent D. Katz, Cope Norcross, M.D., and John Pickrell M.D."
As I am reading this, for the tenth time, I appreciate these men stating that they know the phrenology measurements are "problematic", these are doctors, men who went to medical school and specialized in example- otoaryngology was Dr. Norcross specialty, Dr. Pickrell is a cardiologist, and Dr. Katz is a gastroenterologist. I have high regard for their analysis of the skulls, they have better education than me, that I KNOW includes incredible study in bones, being just a CMA- I had to learn a lot about bones, but they had to learn was 10X more than I had to know about bones, to pass my CMA exam! Alas, however, they do dedicate about a full page analyzing the Scannell daguerreotype, expressing awe in how well they THINK it matches the facial characteristics seen on the mask and skull. I do not think they took many classes in identifying people in photographs, categorizing facial feature, their opinions from there are not ones that I wanted to include.
I found Tracy to be quite professional in his book, Millions... in what i read of it, at least (do not own it and only read a few pages). Why Curtis Weber was inspired to try and outdo three doctors, without any medical training, or even classes, as a linguist- and to write a detailed report, that I now know was heavily based on THIS report, above, even using the terms "Skull 1" and "Skull 2", using the phrenology measurements... but he relied on those measurements as facts, as if they were done 100% accurately in 1840, which isn't the case above and is why they wrote a shorter report and said further study was needed. Curtis also seemed to simply and accuse anyone associated with Tracy as ignoring the "basics of anatomy", quoting a sculpture as his source and doing a study solely on his own, because he worked at the Church History dept. and had access to physically handle and "test" the death masks. Tracy had ZYGOTE media analyze copies of the death mask, using a digital pen, basically creating a perfect replica on the computer, which was used by the five doctors he combined efforts with. I personally think the measurements are what they said- problematic, but supportive of the 1995 study. I trust three doctors working together than a novice working alone.
Joseph and David Lyon mutually concurred with Dr. Niles Herrod and Dr. Kent M. Van De Graff, in their 2008 study, "Physical Evidence at Carthage Jail and What It Reveals about the Assassination of Joseph and Hyrum Smith". Below, I show portions of their study, which more analyzes the nature of the events that caused the death of the two brothers, June 27th, 1844:
“Effect of an 1816 Musket Ball on a Simulated Human Skull”, writing, “ John Spangler… and Joseph L. Lyon… performed an experiment to estimate the damage done to a skull by a 69-caliber musket ball when fired through a piece of hardwood similar to the door at Carthage Jail. We obtained an artificial skull… used in training neurosurgery residents to cut out sections of bone from the human skull.
"…The skull sat on a wadded newspaper at the back of the box behind a piece of well-dried, 0.8 inch thick black walnut board, held in place by half-inch wood cleats at the bottom… Our goal was to replicate the amount of resistance to a musket ball that the bedroom door would have offered. The skull was positioned on its side with the back lifted up so the ball would pass through the walnut, strike the skull over the left maxilla just under the left eye [Hyrum's left, medical speak], and exit without striking the bones forming the floor of the cranium... Our purpose was to determine if a musket ball fired through a piece of hardwood had sufficient energy to fracture the maxillary bones of the human skull… The force of the ball striking the skull knocked the left maxilla and the base of the right maxilla off the skull and threw them about 15 feet from the box. Had this been the skull of a living person, the overlying soft tissue… would have prevented the maxillae from being blown off the skull. However, we concluded that after being fired through… a musket ball still had sufficient force to fracture the maxillary bones...
footnotes 48. “The skull we have identified as Hyrum Smith’s was originally identified as Joseph Smith’s. Shannon Tracy asserted that the skulls of the Smith brothers were misidentified when they were reburied in 1928 by the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (now Community of Christ). We concur with this assertion. The skull identified… as Hyrum Smith’s had no hole in the left maxilla, but a small defect to the right maxilla. The skull identified as Joseph Smith’s [by the RLDS Church, not the Lyon's brothers or Tracy] was missing the bones of the nose, the floor of the mouth, the frontal sinuses and upper jaws. This would be consistent with a traumatic fracture to these structures such as that caused by a 69-caliber musket ball striking the left maxilla. Tracy, In search of Joseph, 48-60."
Joseph Lyon's makes the sixth doctor, to conclude, the skull buried as Hyrum was actually Joseph's.
1840s Clothing Styles
The scariest step for me, oddly enough, was dating my CDV purchase. I read online the first step in authenticating a photograph is analyzing the clothing. I probably kept this step at bay for a few days, very anxious about the possibility that an image I just spent $300 on, and only believed matched the death mask of Joseph Smith could be disproven in minutes, such as if he was for sure wearing clothing only worn in the 1850s- or later, it would be a bust. I knew I only saw artwork of Joseph Smith with a popped UP collar, mine had a very high- but popped down- collar. I discovered old magazines from the 1840s, with drawings of clothes- sure enough popped down collars, but worn high up on the neck- just like my guy in my CDV; similar bow ties were definitely seen in this magazine.
Clothing styles of the 1840s included popped down collars, that were very high up on the neck, usually and very often was a separate piece from their shirt (unlike today), with a silk scarf wrapped a few times around and tied into a bow-tie. Images below appear very similar to the man in my CDV. Finding an image of Abraham Lincoln (dated to be about 1846- two years since Joseph Smith's death), wearing a similar popped down collar, and many other verified images from website such as "The Met", and the "Library of Congress"- do not get much more legitimate than that. Please click on the images themselves to be taken to a new website- where you can see their history.
Directly above is the collar worn by Joseph Smith, obviously folded as a popped down collar, displayed at the Pioneer Memorial Museum (I received permission for use); you can see evidence of it being squashed up to Joseph's jaw by how flat the top ridge is, likely the effect of it being cinched up via his double-wrapping his silk scarf, as high as possible, to his jaw/chin.
On each of the images of 1840s men-above is a preset to link to their online places of origin, most of which come from the Library of Congress website. A possible daguerreotype of Oliver Cowdery is included, with a link to an article published with BYU, studying it's provenance, link here. The Abraham Lincoln daguerreotype, along with all the others, states under their Rights section, "No known restrictions on publication." So use on this website is legal to use. Lincoln was my biggest validator, to my image showing a man wearing 1840s, not 1850s, or 1860s clothing (despite being printed in the 1860s). Although not a 100% accuracy, when studying clothing styles of unidentified individuals. After being able to date my image, I studied the vests his sons wore (hoping to see a similar vest, maybe they wore Dad's clothes?), and spent a few days searching for any items of clothing worn by the boys, matching what is seen in my CDV to no avail; until the words came into my head, "google Joseph Smith's vest". I did that and in a Joey Lawrence voice, "Whoa..."
Housed in the Pioneer Memorial Museum, in Downtown Salt Lake City, is a similar vest, as seen in the image of my 1840s man, with similar shading and stripes, even signs of some sort of u shaped stitching in my CDV, is seen and is stitched on Joseph Smith's real vest. Photographs I took of the vest are shown below, of images I was given permission to use, from the Pioneer Memorial Museum.
Vest worn by Joseph Smith
I stumbled upon a 1984 ENSIGN magazine article about items worn and owned by Joseph Smith, featured is the vest he once wore. Some of the best images of the vest, showing it's sheen and overall appearance, almost 40 years ago, can be seen if you click the link here. I was floored when I saw this vest, for me this was hard evidence my image could be of Joseph Smith Jr. I was given special permission to take photographs of the vest, in the Pioneer Memorial Museum (in Salt Lake City) and recently given permission to include them on this website.
Obvious similarities are the alternating stripes on Joseph Smith's vest, seen in the man's image to the right (my CDV is edited for more intensity and contrast). Not so obvious things to note, that are similar, a wave of black stitching, ending in an odd U shaped flower design and many more blue and white stitched design of a flower, seen on the vest and faintly in my image. I can see a wave pattern in the CDV's vest, darkening to the edges.
The flowers are obviously not seen in my image, but what is seen mid strips, on our right- possibly the dark U shape, or flower...
Similar Bow- Ties
The tie, Joseph Smith wore when David Rogers painted him, was a large white bow-tie. My CDV zoomed in below, shows silk-like, large bow-tie, not starched as is often seen in the 1850s, but soft appearing. Bottom, right, you can see in my image that there is a lot- going on, there appears to be a tie pin (looks S shaped to me), a carnation flower near the tie, on the lapel, but it is clearly a soft, LARGE bow-tie, wrapped a few times around his neck.
No Shirt Buttons/Shirt Front-piece
In the Church History Museum, a shirt front, which could hide buttons on the front of Joseph Smith's shirt. Although this isn't blatantly seen, posting this as a theory of possibly having been worn on that day, somewhere between April-June 1844, when Lucian Foster was in town.
The man in my CDV appears to be wearing a jacket with a very large lapel, with split shades, and a darker upper, also seen in the photo of the painting of Joseph Smith, seen below.
Although the split shades in the lapel is a little bit faint in the copy of the Roger's painting, another artist, Sutcliffe Maudsley depicts Joseph Smith Jr., with this jacket; a larger than normal lapel and darker upper, seen below, in the work always attributed to Maudsley, "The Two Martyrs", seen below.
Above I also think it is worth to note how Joseph's jacket is always open, in both drawings by Maudsley and the painting by Rogers, and in my CDV.
Joseph Smith's Sons
A little breakdown of the use of the name "Joseph" in the Smith family line, explained below:
Joseph Smith Sr.- born 12 July 1771, was the father of Joseph Smith Junior- born December 23, 1805. Joseph Smith Jr. subsequently too name his boy- "Joseph Smith", hence, Joseph Smith III- born 6 Nov. 1832. When Joseph Smith Sr. died, in 1840, Joseph Smith Jr. began to be referred to as Joseph Smith Sr. (in some historical records), and Joseph Smith III was sometimes referred to as "Joseph Smith Jr.", although I have seen correspondence in which he was Joseph 3rd; but in context is obvious who is who, as from any quotes of a "Joseph Smith"- post 1844- was Joseph Smith III (Senior and Junior had passes).
Joseph Smith III, 1832-1914
Joseph Smith III appears to to have many similar prominent features to my the man in my CDV. Gracia Jones stated he looked more like the Hale side of the family, which is apparent with his down turned nose, dark brown eyes, but his straight eyebrows and protruding ears are similar to 1840s Illinois Man's.
Frederick Granger Smith, Born in 1836
Frederick Smith did not live past his 20s, dying at age 25 from a sickness. Image below are all verified to be him, excepting the daguerreotype- which is alleged to be him by a Church Historian. The image with writing, "Fred Smith" was found in Julia M. Smith's Family Album. Fredrick appears to have fairly arched eyebrows like Emma's and ears that are mostly hidden by longer hair, but which do appear to protrude slightly.
Image directly above shows Frederick in the middle front, to the right is Joseph Smith III, and behind is possibly David Hyrum and Alexander Hale.
Alexander Hale Smith born in 1838
Alexander H. Smith, circa 1868 , https://catalog.churchofjesuschrist.org/record/b3143f6a-7d15-4d4f-ab3e-d6bf496aa3b9/0?view=summary (accessed: May 5, 2022)
David Hyrum Smith, Born November 1844
David Hyrum also appears to have protruding ears, much like his father, and straight but thicker eyebrows, and lighter eyes.
Grandson of Joseph Smith, son of Alexander Hale Smith, Arthur Marion Smith, born in 1880
These images of Arthur Marion Smith were sent to me someone who saw similarities between my image and ones of her grandfather, Arthur Marion Smith (son of Alexander Hale). I can see similarities overall in his face, from his ears- that stick out, retreating forward, marionette lines on the side of his face, to his lighter- but not THAT light hair.
Sisters of Joseph Smith Jr.
Image below is Catherine (Smith) Younger, born in 1813. Although Catherine is elderly in this image, I see a lot of similarities between her and the man in my CDV, particularly the ears.
Lucy (Smith) Millikin, born in 1821, was the youngest sister of Joseph Smith's, I can see similarities with her protruding ears, as well.