Gift Honors Surgery that Saved Joseph Smith’s Leg


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By Nancy Fontaine

Descendants of Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church, have created a scholarship at the Geisel School of Medicine to honor and give thanks for a pioneering surgery that Dartmouth’s Dr. Nathan Smith performed on young Joseph.

Two hundred years ago, a surgeon in rural New Hampshire saved a young boy’s leg and possibly his life. This was no ordinary treatment, however. The surgeon was Dr. Nathan Smith, founder of Dartmouth’s medical school; the child was Joseph Smith, who later founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; and the surgery was far ahead of its time. Continue reading