Joseph and Josiah Stowell

Joseph was hired by folks like Josiah Stowell, who Joseph mentions in his history. In 1826, Joseph was arrested and brought to court in Bainbridge, New York on the complaint of Stowell’s nephew who accused Joseph of being a “disorderly person and an imposter.”


CES Letter, Page 86

Critics claim Josiah Stowell was victimized by Joseph Smith, but Josiah’s actions indicate that he never would of agreed with them. He remained a staunch supporter of the Prophet throughout his life.

The CES Letter does not tell us that Stowell testified in favor of Joseph. Stowell would go on to join the Church and died a faithful member in 1844. Multiple authors have debunked this charge.

Joseph came to a preliminary hearing and was discharged. Why doesn’t The CES Letter tell us he was not found guilty, and this hearing was never invoked in subsequent trials?

In a letter written by his son, Josiah Stowell Jr., to John S. Fullmer in February 1843, Josiah Stowell expressed his belief in the Prophet and the Book of Mormon.

Josiah Stowell dictated a letter to the Joseph smith in Nauvoo on December 19, 1843, and told him of his desire "to come to Zion the next season"; however, conditions prevented his doing so. Josiah Stowell died in Smithboro, Tioga County, New York, on May 12, 1844.

The nephew who brought charges seems to have had religious issues with Joseph: “Within a month after the trial he was licensed as an exhorter by the Methodists and within three years had helped establish the West Bainbridge Methodist Church. Upon his death in 1872 his fellow ministers characterized him as 'an ardent Methodist and any attack upon either the doctrines or the polity of the Methodist Episcopal Church, within his field of labor, was sure to be repelled by him with a vigorous hand." Is it possible that the trial of Joseph Smith was just one of his first attempts to apply a "vigorous hand?" Click here.

It would not have been unusual during this time for a neighbor, friend, or even a stranger to come up to you and say, “I received a vision of the Lord!” and for you to respond, in all seriousness, “Well, what did the Lord say?”


CES Letter, Page 86

Joseph Smith learned early that reporting his vision would bring persecution. This appears to be alluding to concerns around 19th century culture having a stronger believe in religion and/or superstition.

More details coming: