Is This Joseph Smith? Part II

Over on LDS Anarchy (love that name), there is a daguerrotype that does indeed look like it could be Joseph Smith. According to LDSA, this print is dated 1844, which is the date that Joseph Smith is known to have sat for a picture. What do you think?

For comparison, here is the “death mask” cast of Joseph Smith’s face:


10 Responses to Is This Joseph Smith? Part II

  1. I think he looks like a scammer 😉

  2. Mina says:

    So the guy’s basic argument is that he chanced upon a reproduction in a book and he thinks it looks like JS. And the reproduced image originally came from New York in 1844 (but this is gleaned from reading a language he doesn’t know).

    Not very convincing. And it doesn’t look anything like any of the images of JS.

    I think the original photo may be a cabinet photograph. That’s what the “case” thing might be. It would depend on the size. It could also be just a carte de visit in carrying case. Either way, its a pretty conventional mode of display and nothing all that special.

  3. Mina, don’t you think it looks like Joseph Smith? I know Spanish, which isn’t all that far from Portuguese, so it’s not like it was in Chinese. Of course it doesn’t look like any of the other images, they are all paintings, drawings, illustrations, etc., with artistic license and best guesses taken. Of the extant possible photos of Joseph Smith, can you honestly say that this isn’t the one that most closely resembles his distinguishing characteristics? As for the case, the owner doesn’t know who it is of, nor who it possibly could be of. The frame doesn’t matter. He just liked it when he acquired it, as he collects old things, and more especially daguerreotypes. In truth, the original (which I’ve seen) is spectacular in preservation and colorization. Hopefully, I’ll get the museum to scan it and send it to me.

    One correction, my original recollection was that it came out of New York in 1844, but when I looked at the photocopy today, it stated that it came out of New York in 1845.

  4. runtu says:


    I don’t know. The image looks kind of similar to the death mask, but you’re right that the provenance is more than a little shaky. The other suspected photo looks nothing like Joseph Smith to me.

  5. Mina says:

    This always seemed a better match to me:

    Not that I care either way.

  6. runtu says:

    I don’t really care either. Just thought it was interesting.

  7. Mina says:

    Oh yeah, it is kinda interesting.

    You know I always had a bit of a soft spot for JS, influenced in large part by NMKMH. I appreciated his creativity and lust for life. Especially compared to what came after; “man is that he might have joy,” is a sentiment completely alien to the religion I knew.

    But after researching the mormons experience in Missouri, and after reading Compton, I’m more and more disgusted…

  8. runtu says:

    As well you should be. This was not a good person.

  9. Hmmmm… I think it looks like him.

  10. kyrsten and tricia says:

    i think it does i mean of coarse he could look diffrent but i think that looks like him!

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