The New England Common School Experience of Joseph Smith Jr., 1810-16
Cannon, Donald Q.
Regional Studies in Latter-day Saint Church History : The New England States
Religious Studies Center
“While much has been made of the Prophet’s limited education, little has been said about what education he did have. The purpose of this paper is to look beyond the simplistic conclusion that Joseph Smith was uneducated to a consideration of the common school education he received before the age of twelve. An examination of the educational context in which Joseph Smith first learned to read and write may provide added insight to his childhood experiences between 1810 and 1816. Such an analysis may demonstrate how the common schools of New England contributed to his preparation for his calling as a prophet.” (taken from authors' introduction)