return to Treasures Now
of JULIA MURDOCK SMITH MIDDLETON,
eldest child and only daughter of Joseph
and Emma Smith (adopted).
St. Louis, Missouri, and Nauvoo, Illinois. 1860s and later.
CARTE-DE-VISITE ALBUMEN PHOTOGRAPHS of Emma Smith and descendants, including several stunning images of Joseph III, David Hyrum, their wives and other family members, including a post-mortem photograph of a related Utah infant and a picture of sleeping baby Elbert Aoriul Smith. Inscribed in an unidentified hand on the printed album title page,
January 1st 1864 ~
Mrs. Julia M Middleton
The inscription is worked into the printed title, "BOOK of Photographs," which is in lavender and gold with ornamental borders, lithographed by Sarony, Major & Knapp, 499 Broadway, N. York.
THE LIFE OF JULIA MURDOCK SMITH
Of great historical and sentimental importance. Joseph and Emma Smith knew nothing but heartbreak during their first years' efforts to have children. Their first baby lived less than a day, and lies a few hundred feet from where the translation of the Book of Mormon began in Harmony, Pennsylvania. Shortly after moving to Kirtland, Ohio, Emma gave birth to a boy and girl on April 30, 1831. These also died immediately . . .
In a six-month period, Emma had made the difficult break with her parents, endured a strenuous trip, adjusted to a new town, and established her own home. After only four years of marriage, all three of her children lay in graves.
The day after Emma's twins died at Kirtland, Mormon Julia Clapp Murdock died in childbirth, leaving her newborn twins and three other young children motherless. John Murdock considered the grim difficulties of caring for his five small children alone and concluded that he must divide his family among friends. The survival of his newborn twins, named Joseph and Julia, depended on a woman who could nurse them. When they were nine days old Emma took them as her own. This adoption did not separate the natural father from his children, as John Murdock boarded at Emma's home periodically over the years. [Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery, Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith . . . (Garden City, NY, 1984), p.39]
Baby Joseph was exposed to cold on the night when Joseph Smith was tarred and feathered. Already feverish, he worsened and died before reaching his first birthday. Little Julia thus became the first child of Joseph and Emma to survive. According to Newell and Avery, she was not told that she was adopted, and the community accepted her as a Smith. She was the only sister to Joseph III, Frederick G. W., Alexander Hale, and David Hyrum, pictured in the present album which, almost miraculously, has been preserved in private hands to the present day and only identified a few months ago.
In 1929, Julia's niece described an unforgettable scene which occurred when the Saints were driven from Caldwell County, Missouri while Joseph Smith was in jail . . .
Emma Smith, fleeing from her home to escape the destruction of life and property which abounded, crossed the frozen Mississippi in the bitterness of winter, with her infant son Alexander and his two-year-old brother Frederick in her arms, with six-year-old Joseph and seven-year-old Julia clinging to her dress in terror. [Mary Audentia Smith Anderson, Ancestry and Posterity of Joseph Smith and Emma Hale . . . (Independence, Missouri, 1929), p.76].
The date was February 15, 1839. They walked apart from the wagon for fear that the thin ice would break. Under the skirts to which little Julia and Joseph III clung were concealed the papers of Joseph Smith, including his translation of the Bible and the Prophecy on War. The fleeing Saints were welcomed by the citizens of Quincy, Illinois. Emma and her children found shelter in the home of John and Sarah Kinsley Cleveland three miles outside of town. By spring, Joseph had escaped from custody in Missouri and joined his family. In May, 1839, the Smiths moved to Commerce, Illinois, the future "City of Joseph," or Nauvoo, where Emma taught little Julia to cook, sew and read. There were no schools at first, but the child learned quickly enough to begin teaching her brothers (Tippets & Avery, pp. 80, 90).
Julia was only thirteen when her father returned home that final night of June 23, 1844 before heading to the Carthage Jail. There, he was killed at a quarter past five on the afternoon of the 27th. Julia "would never be a beauty," according to Tippets & Avery, "but her brown eyes and thick hair were assets. She was a sensitive girl with a streak of daring and a sense of humor that endeared her to her father." (p.189)
In the summer of 1849, a "slender, fair-skinned, blue-eyed man of thirty-six named Elisha Dixon came to Nauvoo as an entertainer . . ." Julia married him that same season, after which he took off to St. Louis on some business, only to retreat when cholera hit the city. Julia and her new husband then began to operate the Mansion house, relieving Emma's financial condition to the point that Emma gained weight. (p.253). The family's serenity was punctuated by frequent visits from Mormons travelling East, as well as by occasional bouts of minor violence in Nauvoo, especially after a liquor establishment was opened nearby. "We will have [fights] enough now. . . . ," Julia commented. "I am so sorry about it, but what can't be cured will have to be endured." (p.261)
Endurance, indeed, would gradually become the watchword of Julia's life. In the spring of 1852, she and her husband moved to Galveston, Texas, where Elisha took a job as a steamboat's bookkeeper. In view of the personal family significance of Julia's album which is currently at hand, it may be relevant to pause for a moment to contemplate Julia's longing for familiar scenes . . .
Julia was homesick, and David's sketches and Emma's letters only made her more so. Julia cried over one of her mother's letters, then wrote, "The last time I saw you the Boyes and Zerelda were in the North Room and you were in the front Door and Joseph was beside the gate." They "imprinted the last Kiss on one anothers Cheek" before she left. A year later she wrote Emma, "I wish I could just walk in to the front Door at home today and take you all by surprise. Would it not be delightful?-Tell Grandmother [Lucy Mack Smith] I want to see her very much." She wrote of her fortunate experience of being raised in Emma's home, then commented: "In childhood we see everything through a coulered Glass, as it were, and it coulers everything in the most brilyent light and pleases our eye, but as we grow older . . . it is a magnifying [glass] and we see things as they [really] are." The following year the boiler exploded on the steamship on which her husband worked, throwing him into the ash pan. Badly burned, Elisha Dixon died after suffering three weeks. The young widow returned to Emma in 1853. [Newell and Avery, p.261]
After Julia's moved home to Nauvoo, her spirits seemed to improve, and by 1855 (at age 24), the young widow's letters showed her to be an active member of the social scene. She called herself "Jute Dick" in a letter to her brother, and told of a Fourth of July dance at the mansion which lasted until dawn:
I had a good deal of fun that day at the expense of some of the country people coming in . . . and you would have laughed too, could you have seen some of them. It was fun alive. After supper was over they all [wanted] to come down here and so Mother finally gave her consent for them to do so, and we went it on the light fantastic toes until daylight caused us to part.
The next day she went on a boat ride on the Mississippi, arranged by her brothers. Some of the girls stayed ashore for fear of the rough water, but not Julia, who "went at all hazards and had a delightful time of it." There was a new girl in town, she told young Joseph III, "One after my own heart, . . . Wild as a March hare!" (p.264)
Then, Julia's happy lifestyle came to a dramatic end:
Julia's letters mentioned a John Middleton taking part in activities that summer . She married him soon after. Middleton was a Catholic, and Julia joined his church. Educated to become a priest, he failed to take his orders because of excessive drinking. He failed as a lawyer, and then as a farmer, before securing a position as a clerk in St. Louis. John Middleton's alcoholism eventually lost him his property, then his job, and finally his self-respect. Julia lived a sad and lonely life with him. [pp. 264-5]
"Mine has been no easy life," she wrote soon after marrying Middleton. "[Why] could [I] not have been raised with my own blood and kin and not with strangers and bear a name I had not claim to." This shocking turn of attitude was expressed in a letter to her natural brother. While acknowledging that Emma Smith had been "more than a mother to me and loves me as one of her own," Julia went so far as to hint at the stigma of adoption, even that there were people who thought Joseph Smith was her actual father "but that [her] mother was some unfortunate girl that was betrayed by him." (Julia Murdock Middleton to John Riggs Murdock, 2 November 1858, cited in the journal of John Murdock, Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, BYU, in Buddy Youngreen, Reflections of Emma, Joseph Smith's Wife [Orem, Utah, 1982], p.80). Julia's natural father wrote back from Lehi, Utah, explaining his difficult circumstances at the time of Julia's birth, and the providential help of Joseph and Emma:
Sister [Emma] Smith your foster-mother had two children [die about the same time and Joseph] sent word to me that he would take the children and raise them and also sent a man and woman for them and I sent them to him. . . . When I afterwards went to Kirtland Sister Smith requested me not to make myself known to the children as being their father: It was a hard request [but] she wanted to bring the children up as her own and never have them know anything to the contrary that they might be perfectly happy with her as their mother. . . . Joseph told me it would one day all come to light which it appears has taken place without my divulging it for I have always held my peace upon the subject. [John Murdock to Julia Murdock Middleton, 20 January 1859, ibid.]
According to Newell and Avery, Julia ". . . wrote colorless letters to her mother in an enduring attempt to make the best of an impossible situation but did not mention her husband's drinking or his cruelty. She only referred to him as being sick and expressed a continual hope that he would recover." (pp. 264-5). It seems understandable that Julia should feel confused about her life and her family relationships while she suffered with Middleton for twenty years. She finally gave up on him and moved back to Nauvoo in 1877 to live with Emma and Emma's second husband, Lewis Bidamon. Middleton "headed to New Mexico, a vagabond." Emma, meanwhile, "worried about the sores appearing on her daughter's back and breasts." Julia had developed some form of cancer. She survived Emma by only sixteen months, dying at age forty-nine on September 12, 1880. (pp. 299-300). Her niece Audentia later recorded that "She had ho children; died at the home of Mr. and Mrs. James Moffatt, near Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1880." (Anderson, p.566). Indeed, during his second visit to Utah in 1885, Joseph III visited John Riggs Murdock in Beaver and was shown great hospitality, which he described many years later, recalling that . . .
Julia had become "my earliest companion and the only 'sister' I ever had. . . .
Her brother John, this same Bishop Murdock, some little time before my visit had been east and in passing through Illinois had called at the farm residence of Mr. and Mrs. James J. Moffett near Nauvoo. These were the friends with whom his sister Julia had made her home since the death of my mother [Emma Smith] in 1879. He learned from her at that time that we, her foster brothers, had treated her well, exactly as though she had been born into the family, and that she had shared equally with us in the distribution of whatever had been left to us as a family at the time of my father's death. [Joseph Smith III and the Restoration, ed. Mary Audentia Smith Anderson and condensed by Bertha Audentia Anderson Hulmes (Independence, Missouri, 1952), pp. 389-90]
We can only imagine the tremendous loneliness and suffering under which Julia kept this album of photographs. Inscribed to her in a careful hand some eight years after she left her happy life in Nauvoo, it must have served as a precious anchor and repository.
Here we see an intriguing array of characters from the story above. Conforming to Joseph Smith III's and Audentia Anderson's references to the Moffatt/Moffett family who cared for the dying woman, a number of the photographs in this album are inscribed or identified with the name of "Moffitt." The inventory which follows assures us that this was indeed the cherished property of Julia Murdock Smith, and rekindles the excitement every antiquarian feels at the discovery of a previously unknown treasure!
20 cm. (binding, 21 X 14 cm., 7 cm. thick = approx. 8¼ inches tall, 2¾ inches thick). Printed title page: Book of Photographs. Lith.of Sarony, Major & Knapp, 449 Broadway, N.York. Fifty unnumbered "pages," comprised of twenty-five thick leaves, each with two windows front and back with arched tops and printed purple borders. Original red moiré endleaves. Index leaf printed in gold with numbers and lines to identify the one hundred possible photographs (unused; detached but present).
Original brown morocco, deeply-embossed on spine and both boards; gilt-lettered spine. Inner dentelles gilt, all edges gilt. Brass clasp posts on front boards but clasps gone. Components separating and spine caps worn away; should be restored by a fine conservation binder. Contained in a new archival half-morocco folding box, gilt-lettered backstrip.
INVENTORY OF THE PHOTOGRAPHS
Carte-de-visite albumen photographs (unless otherwise stated), on mounts roughly 4 X 2½ inches and in very good condition. The album pages each have two windows. Most images are vertical, and are viewed with the fore-edge of the album turned toward the viewer.
For an example of this layout, see the illustration following window 30/2. Photographs are designated in this inventory by unnumbered page/window, with the left window (the one nearest the bottom of the album) being Number 1.
At the beginning and near the end are several stock images marketed to the general public depicting nineteenth-century notables. A few photographs are clearly in the wrong slots, but remain just as they were discovered by the father of the present owner decades ago.
Illustrated reference sources cited in the descriptions below are:
Anderson: Mary Audentia Smith Anderson, Ancestry and Posterity of Joseph Smith and Emma Hale . . . Independence, Missouri, 1929.
Youngreen: Buddy Youngreen, Reflections of Emma, Joseph Smith's Wife. Orem, Utah, 1982.
1/2: printed caption "Henry Clay" below a CDV-size engraving. Verso blank.
2/1: printed caption "Prince of Wales and Bride" below a CDV-size engraving. Verso blank. Pencilled inscription in the album below the window: "Mary F. Moffitt"
2/2: pencilled caption "Louis Napoleon" below photograph of his portrait. Verso blank.
3/1: small inked caption partially effaced, possibly "virgin of mad[r]id" below photograph of a seventeenth- or eighteenth-century painting of Mary or a saint. Verso blank.
3/2: printed caption "Angel of Peace" below photograph of a romantic nineteenth-century painting of a female angel carrying a child and a bouquet of flowers over a moonlit town with cathedral by a lake or ocean. Verso blank. Pencilled inscription in the album below the window: "Cordelia Newton [Foss?]"
4/1: Half-length photograph of an unidentified woman perhaps in her thirties, in a dark dress with horizontal pleats at the bust, her right arm resting on what may be the back of a couch. Printed on verso: ". . . Lothrop's Photograph & Ferrotype Gallery . . . Philadelphia . . ."
4/2: Inked inscription, "Visitation Sister" below full-length photograph of a Catholic nun seated beside a table with book and crucifix. The nun appears to be in her forties or fifties, and may have been a confidante of Julia. On the verso is an engraved cartouche of "William Brown, Photographer . . . St. Louis . . ."
5/1: Pencilled inscription: "Alex Mo Callum" below a half-length photograph of a man apparently in his twenties or thirties, with goatee and scant moustache, wearing a coat & vest with watch chain, long necktie with vertical-bar tie-tack pin. Printed on verso: "From N. Smith's Gallery, . . . Sandwich, Ill. . . . C. E. Orr, Op'r." This is Alexander McCallum (1848-1928, son of James & Penelope [Jones] McCallum. Dentist, resident of Turner's Junction, Dupage Co., IL; then Stewartsville, DeKalb Co., MO; then Independence, MO. Died in Silver City, NM, buried in Independence, MO. Anderson, p.585). Married the following:
5/2: Pencilled inscription on the album page: "Emma Smith Joseph [unreadable] daughter" Half-length photograph of an attractive young woman evidently in her mature teens or early twenties with kerchief & chain, a ribbon tying back her hair. This is Emma Josepha Smith (1857-1940; first child of Joseph Smith III by his first wife Emmeline Griswold) who married Alexander McCallum, above, on January 1, 1875. This is the same image (but in better condition) as the one cropped and identified in Youngreen, p.52, as "Emma Smith McCallum, Emma's granddaughter (Courtesy Alma R. Blair)." INSCRIBED ON THE VERSO IN PENCIL: "For Aunt Julia" and with a printed cartouche "From Smith's Gallery, Plano Ills. . . ."
An attractive, appealing CDV of the first grandchild of Joseph and Emma Smith, with her presentation inscription on the back to her aunt, the eldest (adopted) child of Joseph & Emma Smith, retained in the recipient's album to the present day. In fine condition. It is important to consider that these small photographs are usually clear enough to enlarge substantially. They offer significant detail, as shown by this massive blow-up of a small portion of the full picture shown above . . .
Emma Josepha Smith, first grandchild of Emma and Joseph, greatly enlarged
6/1: Pencilled inscription on the album page: "Julia Murdock Farnsworth." Bust-length photograph in convex embossed oval of a woman appearing to be in her forties (but see below), a floral-design arrangement at her neck, with chain, her hair in a bun surmounted by ornamental comb. On a pale lavender mount, inscribed on the verso:
Taken at 30 years, 1883.
Beaver City, Utah.
Yours Truely J. P. M. Farnsworth.
This is Julia Permelia Murdock (23 December 1852 - 1938; the daughter of Julia's natural brother, John Riggs Murdock: thus, Julia's natural niece). On February 16, 1874, she married Philo Taylor Farnsworth in the Endowment House. Her biography appears in Andrew Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia II:621-2, with later portrait. Jenson credits her with starting "the second suffrage society ever organized in Utah." She served on the Relief Society General Board for many years, and traveled thousands of miles in that capacity, later touring Europe. [Her husband's grandson though another marriage was Philo T. Farnsworth (1906-71), a principal inventor of television and the electron microscope.] Compare to the photograph in window 42/1.
A CDV of an accomplished polygamous Mormon woman, signed and inscribed. By the time she sent this to Illinois, Julia had been dead for some three years. We can only speculate that the Moffit Family received it and placed it in the album out of respect for their departed friend. Very good condition with minor spotting; verso darkened around the edges.
6/2: Inscribed in ink at bottom [i.e., at end of horizontal image]: "Maggie May Farnsworth, Age 1 Year 12 day" Full-length post-mortem photograph of an infant in gown and knit booties, lying on a coverlet; chest of drawers with light-colored porcelain knobs in the immediate background. Printed gilt border. Printed in gilt diagonally on verso: "J. Fennemore & Co. Photographers, BEAVER, UTAH." A nice image, the child composed and attractive. I find no record of this child, but the photograph was obviously sent to Julia because of her natural relation and presumed interest. In very good condition, minor blemishes to verso.
A nicely-composed Utah territorial post-mortem
of a child from a distinguished family, in excellent condition, with gilt border.
7/1: Inscribed in ink at bottom: "Jos Hartley family." Printed in small red letters at the bottom (below the inscription): "Bradshaw, Main St., - Quincy, Ill." Verso blank but for pre-printed ornate border intended to receive a photographer's cartouche. Photograph of a family with seven children ranging from infancy to perhaps ten years. The husband sports a full beard, and holds two of the children on his lap; the wife holds a baby in long gown (to which, contours have been added lightly by hand). In nearly fine condition; a handsome group.
7/2: Inked inscription on verso: "Mrs Adda Hobbs" and in pencil on the album page: "Julia Hobbs." Bust-length photograph of a woman perhaps thirty years of age, with white collar & cameo; four dark horizontal stripes across upper chest & sleeves. Printed blue double-line border. Printed on verso: "Photographed by J. F. Mourer, . . . Ft. Madison, Iowa . . ." INSERTED BEHIND this photograph is a full-length photograph of a girl about four years of age seated in a draped chair, her expression pained. Inscribed in ink at bottom: "Annie Newton" with verso blank.
8/1: Inscribed in ink on verso: "Lewis J. Moffitt" Utterly unpretentious bust-length photograph of a sober-looking man perhaps twenty-five years of age. Short hair and moustache, wearing neat but casual heavy buttoned shirt and outer shirt. If printed on modern paper, this image could pass for a photograph taken in the 1990s. This would be a member of the "James Moffatt" family in whose home Audentia Anderson says Julia died in 1880 (Anderson, p.566).
8/2: Inscribed in ink at bottom: "Bert Tallant." Pencilled inscription on album page "Nancy Burt" Full-length photograph of a seated child perhaps two and a half years of age, in a patterned dress and high buttoned shoes, the hair combed to a single ringlet at top - quite possibly a boy. Oval with marble border in the photograph. Verso printed in gold on dark blue-green ground: "J. P. Phelps, Muscatine, - - Iowa"
9/1: Inscribed in ink on verso: "Dollie Burt" Charming full-length picture of a girl about four years of age wearing a lace bonnet, dark dress trimmed in lace, and horizontal-striped long stockings. She wears a small crucifix, and holds a doll in her right hand and a purse or toy basket in her left. She sits cross-legged against the fringed end of a fainting couch. Printed on verso: "A. W. Witherell . . . Keokuk, Iowa."
:: Lying loose :: in this area of the album is a full-length tintype photograph of a nicely-dressed young woman with a little girl who resembles "Dollie Burt," above. 31/8 X 2 inches. The seated woman wears a fine hat, flowing blouse and generous pleated skirt. The girl stands beside her, wearing a bonnet. Remnants of window edges from a different CDV album are still attached to the edges.
9/2: Shoulder-length photograph of a woman in her thirties with glum expression. Dress extended downward to achieve bust length using amateur pencil strokes. Traces of adhesive to two blank corner areas, not affecting the image. Two areas of the scalp crudely retouched by hand. No identification. Cartouche printed on verso: "Outley's Photographic Palace of Art . . . St. Louis . . ." Presumably a friend of Julia.
10/1: Inscribed in ink at bottom: "Amelia Ebert" and inscribed in a different hand in pencil on the album page, "Amelia Ebert" Striking full-length photograph of a young woman in a fine dress, standing with her hand resting upon a book or album with fore-edge up, its spine resting on a darkly-draped table. Ca. later 1860s, with 3¢ revenue stamp on verso. Printed gilt double-line border. Printed on verso: "Geo. S. Woodbridge & Co. Photographer, Ottumwa, Iowa." A few minor flaws, including one small but obtrusive flaw in the background, without affecting the clear and attractive portrait itself.
10/2: Inscribed in ink at the bottom (and in another hand in pencil on the album page): "Jennie Moffitt" Faded full-length photograph of a seated child of perhaps 11/2 years, in a dark dress with striped trim. In an oval. Primitive hand-stamp on verso; the name of the photographer did not print well, but appears to read: "A. W. Lochmann, Artist, Mullholland St Nauvoo ILL."
11/1: Inscribed in ink on verso: "Robert Middleton" Pencilled inscription on album page: "Lillie Ward Faulkner" Three-quarter seated photograph of a man in his thirties or forties wearing a heavy buttoned shirt with sleeve cuffs rolled once, his legs crossed, an arm resting on the fringed arm of an uphostered chair. Focus somewhat poor. His hair is thinning but grows down over the tops of his ears; moustache. Edge of print chipped without affecting image. Printed on verso: "John E. D. Baldwin, [star device], Gallery, SANTA CRUZ." Presumably Julia's brother-in-law, sent to her husband, perhaps with correspondence which lured him West when Julia returned to live with Emma in Nauvoo. Medium wear.
11/2: Tintype. Inscribed on paper label affixed to verso: "Annie Newton" Full-length ferrotype photograph of a young woman standing, in stylish dress, her right forearm resting atop an architectural piece with an arrangement of vines in a bowl, her left hand holding a purse. Photographer's landscape backdrop. Cheeks very lightly tinted pink. Medium wear and flaws.
12/1: Bust-length photograph of a woman perhaps in her thirties wearing a fringed velvet dress, her hair parted and hanging down in long ringlets at each side onto her shoulders. Inscribed in ink in a mature hand on the album page: "Sarah Griffin Candron" The photograph itself is not inscribed and may or may not be Sarah. Printed on the verso: "E. W. Oliver, Photographer, . . . Warsaw, ILLS." Medium staining and flaws.
12/2: window empty, but inscribed in pencil on the album page: "Mrs. Steele [or, Steese]"
13/1: Fine full-length photograph of a man perhaps in his later twenties or thirties standing at a chair in a richly-appointed photographer's studio. He sports a vest and long coat and generous muttonchop sideburns. Printed gilt double-line border. Engraved cartouche on verso of "William Brown, Photographer . . . St. Louis . . ." Unidentified, but presumably a friend of Julia or her husband.
13/2: Fine full-length photograph of a woman perhaps in her later thirties or forties standing beside a small marble-toped table in a richly-appointed photographer's studio. she wears a billowing dress and cape, with elaborate bonnet and her sleeves trimmed in lace. a vest and long coat and generous muttonchop sideburns. Printed gilt double-line border. Engraved cartouche on verso of "William Brown, Photographer . . . St. Louis . . ." Unidentified, but presumably a friend of Julia or her husband.
14/1: Fine three-quarter-length photograph of a man perhaps in his thirties standing at a chair in a photographer's studio. He wears a dark suit with long coat and a goatee extending to the lower sides of his chin. In his right hand he holds a large dark cap by the brim. Printed gilt double-line border. Engraved cartouche on verso of "William Brown, Photographer . . . St. Louis . . ." Unidentified, but presumably a friend of Julia or her husband.
14/2: Bust-length, three-quarter-facing photograph of a woman perhaps in her twenties wearing a print dress with moderate ruffled collar and cameo. She has dark hair tied back and wears a kindly, inviting expression. She may possibly be Hispanic. Printed gilt double-line border. Engraved cartouche on verso of "William Brown, Photographer . . . St. Louis . . ." Unidentified, but presumably a friend of Julia or her husband.
15/1: Full-length photograph of a pensive boy about six years old standing in a photographer's studio with landscape backdrop, his right arm resting on a draped table on which sets a brimmed hat. He wears a costume of three-quarter-length pants and open-front jacket over a light, collared shirt. The jacket and pants are embroidered with an elaborate winding border: the effect is of a little gaucho in semi-short pants and white stockings. Printed on the verso: "From 'Brown's Gallery, . . . Little Rock, Ark. Card Photographs of all officers of the Army and Navy. Also, a large assortment of ALBUMS, at prices from 50 cents to 40 dollars, LOCKETS, &c" Very good, but mount corners clipped (not affecting the image). Unidentified, but perhaps 1870s.
15/2: Three-quarter-length photograph of a child about one year of age wearing an expansive dress trimmed in such a manner as to suggest a girl. Seated at an elaborate tall chair and smiling. Printed gilt double-line border. Printed on verso: "Brown's Gallery, . . . St. Louis . . ." It is interesting that this photograph is mounted beside the one above, also by a "Brown's Gallery," but in cities far apart. Unidentified.
16/1: Full-length photograph of a seated child about one year of age. Wearing a plaid dress with pressed lace collar and dark stockings, this could easily be a boy. Someone holds the child's head still from behind, through a plain backdrop cloth! On a black glossy mount printed at the bottom in gold below a gilt double-line divider: "Tewksbury. Ft. Madison, Iowa." Verso blank. Unidentified.
16/2: Full-length photograph of three children, aged about two to eight. Boys in stylish outfits stand at each side of a piano stool on which stands a little girl in full dress, braced by a photographer's head stand, apparently, and her brothers. Printed gilt double-line border. Printed on verso: "Hughes & Co. Photographers, Troxel's Old Stand, . . . St. Louis . . ." Unidentified.
17/1 and 17/2: Inscribed in ink on the album page: "Sweeny girls" Pair of bust-length photographs of young women in their mid-teens. Each wears a dark dress with numerous light buttons up the front and a discreet white collar with cameo. A dark ribbon is tied at one side of each girl's head. Red printed double-line borders and small imprints in red at bottom: "D. Rabenau, Artist, . . . St. Louis." Versos blank and no further identification.
18/1: Three-quarter seated photograph of a man about forty years of age in a dark suit. Full-bodied, with hair extending over the tops of his ears, hands resting on thighs. Printed double-line border. Printed on verso: Hughes & Co., Photographers, Troxel's Old Stand, . . . St. Louis . . ." Unidentified.
18/2: Bust-length photograph of a woman perhaps in her thirties or early forties. With broad V-shaped lace collar, a narrow velvet choker about her neck supporting a crucifix. Purple printed single-line border. Printed on verso: "J. H. Fitzgibbon, Photographer, . . . St. Louis . . . The only gallery in the city where pictures are taken at night." Unidentified.
22/1: empty; inscribed in pencil on the album page: "Dollie Burt" This may be the original window which housed the unidentified tintype now lying loose between pages 9-10, above.
22/2: empty; inscribed in pencil on the album page: "Annie Newton." This may be the original window which housed the photograph of little Annie Newton now tucked behind the photograph in window 7/2.
::Lying loose:: between pages 22-3 is a tintype inscribed in ink: "Milt Hobbs Lemuel Beecher" Full-length ferrotype photograph of two men evidently in their forties or fifties, in rather plain attire and hats, seated in a very plain photographer's studio. Rather amusingly posed with that nineteenth-century close male camaraderie often seen in folksy pictures of the time, the men essentially arm in arm and seated extremely close together. In its own sealed paper frame with printed gilt borders around an arched window.
23/1: empty; inscribed in pencil on the album page: "Julia A. Moffatt."
23/2: empty: inscribed in pencil on the album page: "[Lola?] Moffatt"
24/1: Inscribed in pencil on the album page: "Carrie Griswold" Three-quarter-length photograph of a young woman seated three-quarter-facing the viewer. Her right hand rests on a table with a vase or arrangement. Her hair descends to her shoulders in long ringlets. A double-panel ornamental belt buckle is prominent in the picture. Gilt printed double-line border. Engraved cartouche on verso: "Brown's Gallery . . . St. Louis . . ." Not otherwise identified. Perhaps a sister to Emmeline Griswold in window 25/1.
24/2: Tintype inscribed on a paper slip affixed to verso: "Margaret Cowles" Full-length ferrotype of a woman perhaps forty years of age, standing beside a draped table bearing a figurine, in a photographer's studio. Her hair is worn down. Medium wear.
25/1: Inscribed in pencil on the album page: "Emma Griswold Smith first wife of Joseph S -" Bust-length photograph of a woman in her late teens, bare-shouldered, her hair evidently down and contained in an ornamental net at back. This is Emmeline Griswold (1838-69), the first wife of Joseph Smith III (md. at Nauvoo, 22 October 1856). In somewhat startling contrast to the other pictures in the album, this may have been taken in Texas before moving north. A fuller image of this picture showing Emmeline's sheer-gloved hands and bare arms appears in Anderson, p.567; a highly cropped version hiding even some of the bare shoulders appears in Youngreen, p.54 ("Courtesy Alma R. Blair"). Printed red single-line border. Verso blank. Not further identified. An unsightly oxidation stain occurs in a blank area, not affecting the image, and can probably be nearly eradicated by a skilled conservator. Julia's correspondence suggests particular affinity with her next sibling, Joseph III, so this portrait of Joseph's first wife would be of particular interest to her.
A rare photograph, perhaps the only sitting or image known of this frail woman who died shortly after turning thirty-one years of age (at Plano, IL, 25 March 1869).
25/2: Inscribed in pencil on the album page: "Joseph Smith Jun." Bust-length photograph in convex embossed oval of Joseph Smith III wearing a formal coat, vest and shirtfront. His beard is quite gray, and he appears to be in his forties or fifties. Printed on the verso: "C.W. Carter, Portrait and View Artist, Salt Lake City Utah . . ."
This corresponds exactly with a bust-length CDV illustrated with full margins and mount in Anderson, p. , and with the image reproduced in Youngreen, p.96 (there less cropped before printing than the present original and the one in Anderson, being three-quarter length seated) credited "Courtesy LDS Church Archives." Joseph Smith III visited Utah in 1876, '85, '89 and 1905. While Carter was actually in business through all these years, he may most likely have taken this picture in 1876 or '85. Carter was close to the William Godbe crowd in his early Utah years, and Joseph III visited with Godbe during his 1876 visit. He spent considerable time in Salt Lake City during the earlier visits when this picture could have been taken, and during the 1885 visit he had an important confidential visit with J. T. Fennimore, "the photographer who took the pictures that appeared in some articles about the trial and execution of John D. Lee." (Joseph Smith III and the Restoration, pp. 252-5, 393-4).
A handsome mature CDV portrait of Joseph Smith III in fine condition, taken by a major Utah photographer and owned by Joseph's devoted sister in Missouri and Illinois until her death; preserved in her album to the present day.
26/1: Inscribed in pencil on the album page: "Philip Gerhard" Half-length photograph of a gaunt man evidently in his mid-fifties or sixties, his head turned one-quarter to his left, wearing coat and vest. He has a moustache and long goatee. Verso blank; no other identification.
26/2: Half-length photograph of a girl perhaps five years of age posed with forearms crossed atop a draped object. In an oval, quite faded. Printed red single-line border on mount. Mount trimmed at bottom, not touching the photograph. Printed on verso: "[I?]ke. N. Coleman, Photographer [sic], Osage Mission, Kan." No identification.
27/1: Half-length photograph of a young man in his later-mid teens wearing coat, vest, watch chain and dark necktie secured through the large knot with a small ornamental pin. The white shirt with impeccable starched stand-up collar. Printed at bottom of the mount: "TEWKSBURY, Photographer, Ft. Madison, Ia." Printed on the verso in fine type: "From J. R. Tewksbury's Fine Art Rooms, . . . Fort Madison, Iowa. Gallery also at Farmington, Iowa . . ." No identification.
27/2: Inscribed in ink on album page: "Mrs E. Be[nn?]et Heb[ner?]" Tintype. Postage-stamp size shoulder-length three-quarter-facing ferrotype image of a woman perhaps in her twenties or early thirties, the cheeks lightly tinted. Her dress has broad horizontal piping or stripes and she wears a necklace with long beaded pendants. Her hair at the back braided in a bun. The tintype is sealed from behind, and shows through an arched window with border embossed with stars. Verso blank. No identification.
28/1: Full-length photograph of a woman perhaps in her early twenties wearing a dress of fine fabric, her right hand resting on an elaborate chair in a photographer's studio. The high-waisted belt is secured by an oblong rectangular buckle. Verso blank. No identification.
28/2: Inscribed in pencil on the album page: "Tommy Tall[art?]" Bust-length photograph of a man in his twenties or thirties wearing coat and vest of fine fabric and a plaid tie. Moustache; hair covering the tops of his ears. Printed on verso: J. L. Hall, Photographer . . . Muscatine, Iowa . . ." No other identification.
29/1: Full length photograph of a man and three children, lovingly if somewhat artlessly posed in a photographer's studio. The man, seated, appears to be in his late forties or early fifties, with graying beard and hair, no moustache apparent. A girl evidently in her early-mid teens sits at his left, and at her left a young standing boy in a suit inclines awkwardly against her. At the man's right stands a boy perhaps eight years of age in a suit. A sober, deadpan portrait with curtain and photographer's backdrop. Printed on verso: "Fitzgibbon's Art Gallery . . . St. Louis, Mo." No identification, but presumably friends of Julia or her husband.
29/2: Three-quarter photograph of a girl perhaps nine years of age, seated sideways in an ornately-backed chair of open design. Three dark horizontal stripes or piping around the lower area of the dress; the neck cut open sideways to expose upper shoulders. In all, an ungainly, uncomfortable pose and expression. Printed on the verso: "Chas. J. Richter . . . St. Louis, Mo. . . ." No identification, but evidently an acquaintance of Julia or her husband.
30/1: Inscribed in pencil on the album page: "Dave Smith youngest son of the prophet Joseph" Half-length nearly-side-facing photograph of a man evidently in his twenties wearing a coat with velvet-trimmed collar and striped tie. He has a full moustache and long goatee. Printed on verso: "Stamper Bros., Fine Art Gallery, Council Bluffs, Iowa." This is David Hyrum Smith (1844-1904), youngest child of Joseph and Emma Smith. The image corresponds to that reproduced in Anderson, p. 582. No other identification.
Excellent portrait of David Hyrum Smith, youngest child of Joseph and Emma Smith, in very good condition, taken in Council Bluffs, Iowa, ca. late 1860s-1870. Owned by his sister Julia until her death in Illinois and preserved in her album to the present day.
30/2: Nearly-full-length photograph of a man and woman evidently posed as husband and wife in their twenties. The man is seated and wears a three-piece suit with watch chain. The woman stands, wearing a finely-detailed dress. Her left side faces the camera while she rests her left hand on her husband's left shoulder and turns her head toward the viewer. Printed in gold at the bottom of the mount: "Bradley & Rulofson . . . San Francisco." Printed in gold on the verso: Bradley & Rulofson . . . San Francisco. Cal. Have the only Elevator connected with Photography in the World." Various pencil and ink notes on the verso are difficult to read and interpret, and may or may not apply to the image. Notes include the name, "Mrs. E. Sheridan" Not otherwise identified.
Windows 30/1 - 31/2, as Julia arranged them in her album
31/1: Inscribed in pencil on the album page: "Zaeda Smith Josephs' daughter" Half-length photograph of a young woman in her teens, wearing a checked dress with plaid tie and narrow lace collar. Buttoned wide-trimmed closure over the left shoulder. Printed on verso: "N. Smith, Photo=Artist, Plano and Sandwich, Ill. Copying and Enlarging of old Pictures a Specialty. J. Lewis, Operator, Plano." Inscribed on the verso, presumably in the subject's or a family member's hand: "Taken last Spring" Such an inscription, without providing the year, would make sense if written by someone sending the picture to Julia, but would not likely be written without the year by a recipient intending to preserve a record of when the picture was taken, just before inserting it in an album. This is Zaide Viola Smith (1863-91), daughter of Joseph Smith III and his first wife Emmeline Griswold. The image is not reproduced in either Anderson or Youngreen. However, it appears to be a somewhat younger portrait of the young woman identified as Zaide Smith Salyards in Youngreen, p.66, (credited to "Author's collection").
An early and little-known portrait of Zaide Smith, granddaughter of Joseph and Emma Smith and daughter of Joseph Smith III. In very good condition, inscribed on the verso by the subject or someone close to her. Owned by her aunt Julia, adopted daughter of Joseph and Emma Smith until Julia's death in Illinois, and preserved in her album to the present day.
31/2: Inscribed in pencil on the album page: "Carrie Smith ^Weld Joe Smiths [^]Jun daughter" Half-length photograph of a woman in her teens, wearing a dark dress of fine fabric with matching pleated vertical trim along each side of the bodice, with narrow lace collar and a tie made of pale checked fabric with sailor's knot. Printed on verso: "N. Smith, Photo=Artist, Plano and Sandwich, Ill. Copying and Enlarging of old Pictures a Specialty. J. Lewis, Operator, Plano." On a mount identical to that in window 31/1 above, presumably taken near the same time. This is Carrie Lucinda Smith (1861-1944), daughter of Joseph Smith III and his first wife Emmeline Griswold. The image is not reproduced in either Anderson or Youngreen. However, it appears to be a slightly younger portrait of the young woman identified as Carrie Smith Weld in Youngreen, p.66, (credited to "Author's collection").
An early and little-known portrait of Carrie Smith, granddaughter of Joseph and Emma Smith and daughter of Joseph Smith III. In very good condition, owned by her aunt Julia, adopted daughter of Joseph and Emma Smith until Julia's death in Illinois, and preserved in her album to the present day.
32/1: Inscribed in ink on verso: "Mrs Elvira Heb[n?]er" Bust-length photograph of a woman in her late thirties or forties wearing a fine dress with high ruffled collar trimmed in lace with ornamental chain; her hair braided at the top and pulled back. Inscribed by the photographer in pencil on the verso: "D. H. Dowd Artist"
32/2: Bust-length photograph of an intimidating-looking woman in her fifties wearing a dark dress with wide dark collar and an imposing dark bonnet with wide ties forming a bow beneath her chin. Broad printed gilt border on the mount. Verso of mount pink, printed in blue with ornamental logo and advertisement for the "Photographic Art Studio of T. W. Townsend . . . Iowa City, Iowa . . ." Not identified.
33/1: Inscribed in ink on the album page: "Elbert Smith" Full-length photograph of a child perhaps one year old sleeping on a makeshift bed of cushions and bedding atop two ordinary wooden chairs. Printed on the verso: "D. W. McClure, Artist [name of town neatly and deliberately obliterated] Ill. . . ." Inscribed in ink on the verso in small handwriting: "It is not a very good picture of the little boy but it is the best we can get, as he will not sit still one moment awake." This is Elbert Aoriul Smith (8 March 1871- 15 May 1959), only child of David Hyrum Smith (who was the youngest child of Joseph and Emma Smith) and Clara Charlotte Hartshorn. Born at the Mansion House in Nauvoo, he was "a member of the RLDS First Presidency from 1909 to 1938, and . . . Presiding Patriarch from 1938 to 1958." (Youngreen 132). He was the author of numerous works of theology and fiction, including Timbers for the Temple; see Flake 7792-7831. The photographer's painted background appears dimly in the background, and one can only imagine the scenario of David Hyrum and/or Clara Charlotte coaxing the child to sleep on the photographer's chairs! The image is rather low contrast and somewhat dark, as hinted by the inscription on the back.
Exceptional CDV image of a child sleeping in a Midwestern photographer's studio on a bed improvised for the purpose of taking his portrait while still. Illinois, ca. 1872. The child is Elbert Aoriul Smith, grandson of Joseph Smith, founder of Mormonism (son of Smith's youngest child David Hyrum Smith).
Elbert became a prominent official and writer of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. With a charming inscription on the verso by David Hyrum or his wife, this photograph was sent to the child's Aunt Julia Smith, eldest (adopted) child of Joseph Smith and kept in her album until the present day. In very good condition and presumably very rare.
33/2: Inscribed in pencil on the album page: "Dave Smith and wife" Full-length photograph of a man and a woman in their twenties. The seated man wears a suit of fine fabric, the vest of light color. He has a moustache and moderately-trimmed goatee. The woman wears a white or light-colored dress with wide waist band and a sash tied from her right shoulder to the left side of her waist, the ends hanging down. Her hair and dress are ornamented with a few flowers and foliage. This is presumably a wedding photograph. Printed at the bottom of the mount: "Photographed by C. E. Orr, Sandwich Ill." This is David Hyrum Smith (1844-1904), youngest child of Joseph and Emma Smith, and Clara Charlotte Hartshorn (1851-1926). They were married May 10, 1870, at Sandwich, DeKalb County, Illinois (Anderson, p.580). A highly cropped version of this image appears in Youngreen, p.72 (credited "Courtesy Lynn E. Smith"). An artist, musician and writer, young David was particularly admired by his family and eventually served in the RLDS first presidency and as a missionary. He began to show signs of mental instability after visiting Utah and beginning to believe that his father Joseph Smith had indeed practiced polygamy. He spent his later life in an institution. Clara remained true to David, raised Elbert Aoriul (window 33/1), and eventually died at Elbert's home in Independence. According to Joseph III's reminiscences, "she always said, 'He may recover. If he does, he will find me his wife, as I was when he left me. His leaving was the result of misfortune for which neither of us was responsible, so far as my knowledge goes, and I wish to remain faithful to him.'" (Joseph Smith III and the Restoration, p. 273)
CDV wedding photograph of David Hyrum Smith, son of Joseph and Emma Smith, and Clara Charlotte Hartshorn, Sandwich, Illinois, 1870. In excellent condition, sent to David's sister Julia and kept in her album to the present day.
34/1: Inscribed in pencil in lower margin of the image: "Alexander Smith" Bust-length photograph of a man perhaps thirty years of age wearing a jacket and an open vest with narrow collar. Thick hair combed back; moustache and goatee showing a bit of gray or light hairs. Printed gilt double-line border on the mount. Printed on the verso: "J. Olsen's Photograph Gallery, First South Temple St., Salt lake City. Views of Cities, Landscapes, and Portraits of Prominent Men always on hand." This is Alexander Hale Smith (1838-1909), third surviving son of Joseph and Emma Smith. "Alexander H. Smith was a farmer near Nauvoo, and as a young man was noted for his athletic vigor, his skill in hunting, and his marksmanship with the rifle. He early associated himself with his brother Joseph in the work of the Reorganization . . . His was a gentle and genial nature, instantly winning the friendship and confidence of those who knew him." He served as a missionary worldwide, apostle, counselor to the president, and for many years presiding patriarch of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Anderson p. 580). This particular image is not illustrated in Anderson or Youngreen, but is the same person shown in several other images identified in those works as Alexander Hale Smith. His first mission to Utah was evidently in the later 1860s, which would correspond with his apparent age in the photograph (Youngreen, p.44). While in Utah, he debated Utah Apostle Joseph F. Smith, his own cousin: the two had both been born at Far West, Missouri, in 1838. "Here were the sons of Joseph and Hyrum Smith," wrote T. B. H. Stenhouse a short time later,
quarrelling over Brigham Young and Polygamy-Alexander H. maintaining that Brigham was a usurper, and that polygamy was from the devil, while Joseph F. was just as certain that Brigham was the true successor of "the martyred Joseph," and that polygamy was from heaven-and each "knew" that his position was true "by revelation," and "by the "Holy Ghost!" To make the wrangling still more interesting, Joseph F. made a malignant attack upon Mrs. Emma Smith, and called her a vile name before a public audience. Alexander H. was more a Christian than is admired by people generally, but he sprang up and warmly cautioned Joseph F. that, though they were cousins, he must not apply such an epithet to his mother again. [The Rocky Mountain Saints . . . (NY, 1873), p. 629n.]
A CDV portrait of Alexander Hale Smith, son of Joseph and Emma Smith, taken at about age thirty while on a mission to Utah and kept by his sister Julia in her album where it remains to the present day.
34/2: Inscribed in pencil in lower margin of the image: "Fred Smith" Bust-length image of a young man perhaps twenty years of age with medium-long hair. He wears a cap, white shirt, buttoned coat and an outer coat. Printed gilt double-line border on the mount. Printed on the verso in dark red: "R. F. Adam's . . . St. Louis, Mo." Bottom of mount trimmed just to the photograph.
This is Frederick Granger Williams Smith (1836-1862), second surviving son of Joseph and Emma Smith. He and his brother Joseph III farmed together east of Nauvoo and were quite close. In December of 1861, Joseph stopped by the farm house to discover his brother ill and abandoned by his wife and little daughter. He had neither fire, food nor water handy. On Christmas Day, Joseph removed Frederick to the Mansion House where he was nursed by Emma until his death that April, 1862; he was not yet twenty-six years old. The wife returned and tried unsuccessfully to claim property which she had led her new husband to expect Frederick had inherited. "Acting upon my suggestion," wrote Joseph, "Mr. Creen went to the county seat and made a search of the land records there, which resulted in his discovering that all the property Frederick had received from Father's [Joseph Smith's] estate had been used up after his marriage, and that nothing whatever remained. In his last extremity my brother had been entirely dependent upon his mother and me for care, sustenance, and loving comfort, and at our expense was laid to rest in the family graveyard near the old homestead." (Joseph Smith III and the Restoration, pp. 202-4). This image is reproduced in Youngreen, p.  (credited there "Courtesy Audio-Visual Department, Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints"). The only other picture of Frederick which I have seen is in the group portrait of the four Smith sons and Major Bidamon.
Frederick Granger Williams Smith, detail greatly enlarged
CDV photograph of Frederick G. W. Smith, son of Joseph and Emma Smith who died at age twenty-five. An informal and appealing image of a forthright young man in long hair and cap. Perhaps a copy photograph made in St. Louis where Frederick's sister Julia lived about the time the portrait would have been taken. Placed by Julia in her album after Frederick's death, where it remains to the present day.
35/1: Inscribed in pencil on album page and at bottom of mount: "George Hemmy." Full-length photograph of a distinguished looking man in his forties, standing in a suit with his left arm resting against a photographer's architectural prop, painted landscape backdrop behind. He has a dark bushy beard and no moustache, and holds a rolled paper in his right hand. Printed gilt double-line border around the mount. Printed on verso: "From B. R. Johnson's Photograph Gallery, Doyle's Fire Proof Building, Main Street, Petaluma [California?]"
35/2: Inscribed in pencil on the album page: "Harriet Griffin" Full-length photograph of a woman perhaps in her thirties, her right hand grasping a finial of an ornately-turned wood chair in a photographer's studio. Her hair descends in multiple ringlets, surmounted by an arrangement of bows or leaves; narrow lace collar. Printed red double-line border around the mount. Printed at the bottom of the mount: "C. D. Clinton, Photographer, Warsaw, Ills." Verso blank but for cancelled revenue stamp. Ca. 1860s. Not otherwise identified.
36/1: Inscribed in pencil at the bottom of the mount: "Mrs Joseph Smith and son Dave Born 3 months after his father was killd" Three-quarter-length photograph of a seated woman in her forties holding a sleeping infant. Both wear dresses of fine fabric. The woman has a tired, pensive look, her hair parted crisply and tied back; wide lace collar and narrow string of pearls or beads. Printed gilt double-line border on the mount. Printed on the verso in dark red: "R. F. Adam's . . . St. Louis, Mo." This is a copy photograph from a daguerreotype, the original of which shows the mark of oval matting. This is the well-known picture of Emma Hale Smith, widow of Joseph Smith, holding baby David Hyrum, born nearly five months after his father and uncle were murdered in the Carthage Jail. The original was presumably taken in 1845, and this copy probably made at the same time as that of the Frederick Smith print in window 34/2. Anderson, p. 292, reproduces this image, identifying it as a "painting by David H. Smith" but looking nearly identical, though in an oval cropped more closely than the oval mark in the present image. A cropped version of this image is also reproduced in Youngreen, p. 57 (credited "Courtesy Lynn E. Smith"), in Newell & Avery, fifth illustration page following p. 178 (credited "RLDS Library-Archives), and in numerous other LDS and RLDS publications. In fine condition; trimmed at the bottom of the mount, not affecting the photograph or the inscription.
The face of Emma Smith, recently bereaved
CDV photograph of Joseph Smith's widow Emma holding their last child asleep in her arms. Perhaps copied from the original daguerreotype (temporarily in the possession of Joseph and Emma's daughter Julia in St. Louis ?), and kept in her album where it remains to the present day. A famous, poignant and clear image in fine condition.
36/2: Inscribed in pencil on album page: "Joseph Smith Junior" Three-quarter-length seated portrait of a man perhaps thirty years of age wearing a three-piece suit, the coat collar trimmed in velvet. His left arm rests upon a thick book atop a draped table, his left fingers inserted in the vest in a Napoleonic gesture; right hand folded in his lap. Dark hair, beard and moustache. This is Joseph Smith III (1832-1914), eldest surviving son of Joseph and Emma Smith and first president of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Printed on the verso: "R. Thompson's Fine Art Gallery . . . Sandwich, Ill." This caption has been printed twice inadvertently, side-by-side, with some overlap. SIGNED in ink on the verso: "J. Smith." This signature compares favorably with numerous examples in Smith's Justice of the Peace manuscript book kept at Nauvoo throughout the time this picture would have been taken. A fine, clear image, the verso with moderate staining and soil. Upper corners of mount neatly rounded with scissors, just grazing the printed border but not affecting the photograph.
In the spring of 1860, Joseph III was ordained to the presidency of the Reorganized Church. That fall, he journeyed nearly 200 miles by buggy to a conference near Sandwich, Illinois (west of Chicago). The photograph now at hand was presumably taken at that time. It is a shame that this picture is not full length: just before leaving, Joseph felt inspired to return to the house and grab a second pair of boots. After several days' travel, he arrived at the home of Zenas Gurley, one of the original RLDS apostles, a few miles from Galesburg. Elder Gurley kept Joseph and his travelling companion two nights, somehow stalling before they should continue to Sandwich . . .
Feeling we could not stay longer, on the second morning we prepared to proceed on the journey. In talking with Brother Gurley I soon discovered that the real reason he was hesitating about going was that he had no suitable shoes. He showed me what footwear he possessed, which were so worn he was practically barefoot.
"Well, Brother Gurley," I said, "if you were supplied with a pair of boots and your expenses paid on the way, would you then be able to go with us?"
Receiving an affirmative answer, I said, "Well, then, get your horse and buggy ready, for I have the boots."
"Opening my satchel, I took out the extra pair of boots I had brought with me and put them upon my feet, giving Brother Gurley the better and stronger pair I had been wearing. We found they fitted him splendidly. He made ready his horse and buggy and went with us to the conference.
En route, I pondered deeply over the strange experience about the boots, and marveled at its provisions. Afterward I learned to recognize the voice which had spoken to me-for it is one I have heard many times since in my life-as the voice of prophecy or prescience of events to come. [Joseph Smith III and the Restoration, p.179]
The eyes of Joseph Smith III, showing detail these photographs preserve
While this is the most dignified, stately portrait of Smith I have seen from this crucial period, it is not reproduced either in Anderson or Youngreen, and may not be widely known.
Striking CDV portrait of Joseph Smith III at Sandwich, Illinois, probably 1860, during the first year of the Reorganization. Signed on the verso, "J. Smith." Kept by his sister Julia in St. Louis and placed in her album where it remains to the present day.
37/1: Inscribed in ink at bottom of photograph: "John Rantschler" Bust-length photograph of a blond man perhaps twenty years old with bristling goatee, no moustache. He wears a collarless shirt and jacket with velvet-trimmed collar. Printed on verso: "Denver Photographic Rooms . . . W. G. Chamberlain, Artist . . . Mountain Views, Plain and Stereoscopic, Always on hand in great variety." Not otherwise identified.
37/2: Tintype. Bust-length ferrotype photograph of an attractive blond boy perhaps 31/2 years old, wearing a dark open-front jacket buttoned at the neck. Without collar, but trimmed around the neck and front edges with double ornamental cord. Cheeks tinted. Sealed in a mount with oval window; mount edges and window with printed gilt borders. Verso blank. Not identified, but similar to the younger subject in window 33/1: this may well be a portrait of little Elbert Aoriul Smith; would have to be compared to other known examples.
38/1: Half-length photograph of a woman perhaps in her early twenties with long hair loosely woven in broad strands. She faces three-quarter left, resting her left elbow on an upholstered chair arm with fringe and her left knuckles against the unseen back left portion of her face. Her dress has a light collar below which is a large flat ornamental bow and chain. Printed red border around mount. Printed on verso: "A. Milt. Lapham's Art Store & Gallery . . . Decatur, Ills." Not identified.
42/1: Signed on verso in ink: "Beaver City Utah/ 15 July 1873/ J. P. Murdock" Half-length photograph in oval of a young woman evidently twenty years of age. Her curly dark hair is parted at the center and styled out sideways, giving a square shape to the hairdo. She wears a dark dress with narrow light vertical strips and a cameo. Somewhat faded. Narrow printed gilt border around mount. No photographer identification. This is Julia Permelia Murdock (23 December 1852-1938; the daughter of Julia's natural brother, John Riggs Murdock). For biographical information, see the entry for window 6/1 showing her ten years later. The distinctive handwriting of the inscriptions on the two photographs matches.
CDV portrait of a future prominent Utah woman, sent to her natural aunt, Julia Murdock Smith, adopted daughter of Joseph and Emma Smith. This is presumably the only photograph Julia ever saw of her natural niece Julia, as the later photograph in this album was sent to Illinois after Julia's death. Still in the album in which Julia placed it more than a century and a quarter ago.
43/1: Inscribed in pencil at bottom of mount: "Miss Jennie Stone - [remainder unreadable]" Full-length photograph of a perfectly-proportioned dwarf, perhaps a young woman in her teens. She stands facing the viewer's left and wears adult attire and coiffure, her hair secured back in a bun. Her skirt is distinguished by large light cornucopia-shaped appliques. Printed on verso: "Hughes, Photographer, Nashville, Tenn." Light wear and soil.
43/2: Printed at bottom of mount: "Mr. Charles Decker, 19 Years Old-Height, 31 Inches-Weight, 45 lbs. Hyde, Photographer . . . St. Louis, Mo." The dwarf wears a three-piece suit with short-waisted coat, and cap; he holds a walking stick in his tiny right hand. He stands beside an ornate table which reaches the height of his shoulders. Printed gilt double-line border around mount. In very good condition. Verso blank.
44/1: Full-length photograph re-creation of the marriage of Charles S. Stratton and Lavinia Warren. This is the "fairy wedding" of "General Tom Thumb" and his wife. Two even-smaller dwarfs stand at each side (see window 45/2); the four diminutive figures are half as tall as the clergyman. The original ceremony took place at Grace Episcopal Church in New York City, 1863; this image appears to be a re-creation with fully-garbed priest in a photographer's studio. Printed or stamped on the verso: "Published by The New York Photographic Co. . . . New York" In excellent condition. Not identified; description above from historical sources.
44/2: Charming full-length photograph of Charles S. Stratton (promoted as "Gen. Tom Thumb") and Lavinia Warren. The richly-attired dwarfs are not quite as tall as the ornate chair beside which they stand. Lavinia rests her right hand affectionately on Charles' shoulder, and both smile. Printed on verso: "Silsbee, Case & Co. Photographic Artists . . . Case & Getchell, From Dec. 3, 1862." Small embossed photographer's logos at lower corners of the image, perhaps to protect copyright. Slight darkening of upper blank corner area of the photograph, but generally very good
45/1: Appealing full-length photograph of Charles S. Stratton (promoted as "Gen. Tom Thumb") and Lavinia Warren holding their infant daughter. All smile. Lavinia wears a bare-shouldered, billowing dress. The little girl wears an elaborate white dress some three times her length; she would die in early childhood. Verso blank; no identification. Description from historical sources. Very good.
45/2: Printed in gold at bottom of mount: "Commodore Nutt & Miss Minnie Warren. Groomsman & Bridesmaid. Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1863 by E. & H. T. Anthony . . ." Full-length photograph of the dwarfs, both well attired. They are noticeably shorter than the chair beside which they stand. Printed facsimile signatures on verso of "G. W. M Nutt" and "Minnie Warren" Also printed on verso: "From Photographic Negative by Brady. Published by E & H. T. Anthony, 501 Broadway, New York. Manufacturers of the best Photographic Albums."
46/1: Printed at bottom: "Mrs. Martha Washington" CDV-size engraving on glossy cardstock. Verso blank.
46/2: Printed at bottom: "Gen. Washington" CDV-size engraving on glossy cardstock. Verso blank.
47/2: Inscribed in pencil at bottom: "Maximilian" Three-quarter-length photograph of the Archduke of Austria & Emperor of Mexico (1832-67). He wears a dark coat and vest and small-checked trousers and sports his ostentatious beard. Printed purple single-line border and note at bottom: "C. D. Fredricks & Co., N.Y." Fredricks identification also printed on verso in light yellow and faded; difficult to read.
48/1: Inscribed in ink on album page: "Julia Middleton/ adopted daughter of Jos Smith" Half-length photograph of a woman perhaps in her late twenties, her left forearm resting before her, presumably on an upholstered arm of the photographer's furniture. She wears a dress with contrasting darker lace trim on the sleeves and a narrow light lace collar. Her hair is parted at the center and is styled outwards a bit to the sides. Printed gilt border; verso blank. No other identification.
This is the owner of the album, Julia Murdock Smith Dixon Middleton (1831-80) oldest (adopted) child and only daughter of Joseph and Emma Smith. This image is reproduced, slightly cropped and in more soiled condition, in Youngreen, p. 64 (credited "Courtesy Audio-Visual Department, Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints").
Julia's own picture, placed at the end of her album where it has remained to the present day. In very good condition.
48/2: Inscribed in ink on album page: "John Middleton" Bust-length photograph of a man evidently in his thirties or forties. He wears a jacket of fine fabric over a darker vest. Dark tie; beard and moustache. Printed gilt double-line border around mount. Verso blank but for revenue stamp with hand cancel: "May 63" This is presumably Julia's husband, whose drinking made her life miserable. He wears a kindly, pleasing expression. Small oxidation stain near bottom of image, not affecting the portrait.
50/2: Inscribed in ink on album page: "Hugo Rothlander" Bust-length photograph of a young blond man perhaps in his later-mid teens. He wears a buttoned narrow-collared jacket over a white shirt with standing collar and a velour tie secured with a small round pin. Printed on verso: "Boehl & Koenig, . . . St. Louis, Mo. . . ."
FROM THE MOMENT that Julia died at the Moffitt home in Nauvoo, her album was preserved there or in nearby residences. The present owner recalls how his father, Clarendon E. Van Norman, Sr., described finding this album "in the house next to the Smith residence" in Nauvoo, Illinois, sometime in the mid-1940s. Mr. Van Norman was an antiquarian bookseller in Galesburg, Illinois, for more than 65 years. He took the album back home where it remained until his son obtained it in continuing his father's business.
Vaguely aware of the album's existence for a decade, I knew only that it contained images which might relate to the Smith Family. It was entrusted to my care for examination last fall. When I finally took the album out of the safe to look at it closely, the story fell together in minutes. In these sharp, graphic mementos, familiar accounts came vividly to life. Here is Emma, widowed, holding her last infant. She appears more like the child's grandmother than its mother, worn and tired. All of her children are here, gathered in Julia's loneliness and marvelously preserved together in her album. Joseph III haunts us with his intense gaze. Young Frederick looks at the photographer with boyish innocence, not long for this world. Stalwart Alexander sits for his portrait in Utah, there to convert the Mormons away from polygamy and back to the fold as he understands it. And Clara Hartshorn rests her arm comfortably on the shoulder of David Hyrum in their wedding picture. It would not be long until he would have to lean on her, and she would never shrink from devotion. All of these remind us of the very real and sometimes tragic family of Joseph Smith. One may well imagine the emotions and reverence with which this Latter-day Saint treasure will be preserved and viewed - not only by those who may acquire and preserve it now - but by Saints worldwide for centuries to come.
© 2001 Rick Grunder
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