Francis Henry Grice Library of Congress Daguerreotype 1502, ca1844, Proposed to Depict Sylvia Sessions Lyon

The cropped image on the left is Sylvia Sessions Lyon from Smart, Donna Toland, ed. “Introduction.” In Mormon Midwife, 1–30. University Press of Colorado, 1997. p15. The image on the right is cropped and horizontally flipped from the Library of Congress Grice Daguerreotype Collection number 1502. [Unidentified young woman, half-length portrait, facing front] (

Are These the Brothers Hyrum and Joseph Smith, Jr.?

The two men depicted below are proposed by RBN to be Hyrum Smith (left) and Joseph Smith, Jr., (right). The portraits are from the Library of Congress Francis Henry Grice Daguerreotype Collection and are cropped from the originals and then horizontally flipped. The LOC Daguerreotype Collection introductory page is here: Daguerreotypes – About this Collection – Prints & Photographs Online Catalog (Library of Congress) ( The banner atop this LOC introductory page depicts Reverend Augustus Conant and his wife Betsy Kelsy Conant as captured by F. Grice. Below is a link to their story and an explanation of their roles in formulating RBN’s proposed identities of the many men and women depicted by Francis Grice in this blog.

The Grice Collection of Daguerreotypes contains 52 images purchased in two large groups. Two of the images depict the Unitarian Ministers Arthur Buckminster Fuller and Augustus Conant. Both left diaries from the summer of 1844 describing Nauvoo, Illinois, and their stay at the Mansion House run by the just-widowed Emma Smith. Hyrum and Joseph had been murdered at the Carthage Jail on June 27, 1844, while under the protection of Governor Thomas Ford. All twenty-five adult men and fifteen adult women from the Grice Collection have been assigned proposed identities by RBN and a summary can be found here: All Twenty-Five Men and Fifteen Women in the Library of Congress Francis Henry Grice Daguerreotype Collection with Their Identities as Proposed by RBN, Details Elsewhere on this site – Rod’s Ramblings and Ruminations ( Individual images are found below on this blog

Please consider downloading and reading the essay linked within Francis Henry Grice’s Daguerrean Views – Rod’s Ramblings and Ruminations ( Circumstantial, yet compelling, evidence places the gifted polymath and Daguerreotypist Francis Henry Grice in Nauvoo, Illinois, in the late spring and summer of 1844.

Francis Henry Grice’s Daguerrean Views

Left: cropped and reversed from [unidentified man and woman, three-quarters length portrait, seated]
• Creator(s): Grice, F. (Francis), photographer
• Date Created/Published: [ca. 1855] {But is it really 1844?}
• Medium: 1 photograph: quarter-plate daguerreotype.
• Reproduction Number: LC-USZC4-10721 (color film copy transparency)
• Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.
• Access Advisory: Original served by appointment only.
• Call Number: DAG no. 1368
• Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540

What began as an investigation into the uppermost image led to a search for further details about the creator of that image, F. Grice. The Grice and Conant families shared a cause: the abolition of slavery. Francis Henry Grice was a polymath whose path seemed to often cross that of the Mormons in Missouri, Illinois, and Utah. Image 1368 in the Grice Collection at the U.S. Library of Congress might depict one such intersection. The narrative here presented cannot pass for historiography. Still, few other forms of primary sources possess the fidelity of a daguerreotype, for such an original image is a true one of a kind. The right image above is likely a painting based upon the left daguerreotype taken by Francis Grice in Lucian Foster’s studio in mid-June 1844. “Proof” of the painting’s subject is provided by the fact that the man’s awkwardly depicted right hand is actually his wife’s left hand that was copied and “transplanted” from the same daguerreotype. The ring can be seen today:

Smith Family Jewelry (

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what Grice and Conant stories are yet to be told?