Juanita Brooks papers, 1941-1993  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Brooks, Juanita, 1898-1989
Juanita Brooks papers
1941-1993 (inclusive)
0.5 linear feet
Collection Number
MS 0486
The Juanita Brooks papers (1941-1993) is comprised mainly of photocopied letters from Dale Morgan to Juanita Brooks concerning her book, Mountain Meadows Massacre, published in 1950. Also included are some short stories, letters concerning John D. Lee, and an oral history transcript.
University of Utah Libraries, Special Collections.
Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library
University of Utah
295 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, UT
Telephone: 801-581-8863
Access Restrictions

Twenty-four hour advanced notice encouraged. Materials must be used on-site. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Juanita Brooks was born in 1898 in the Mormon village of Bunkerville, Nevada. She married Ernest Pulsipher on 10 October 1919 in St. George, Utah. He died of cancer fifteen months later, leaving Juanita a widow with a four-month-old son. Following the death of her husband, Juanita decided to go to college. She was employed in several capacities as she worked her way through school, first at Dixie Junior College in St. George, Utah, and then at Brigham Young University. Following graduation, she returned to St. George to take a teaching position at Dixie College. While at Dixie, Juanita was offered a year's sabbatical leave to continue her education. Taking advantage of the offer, she traveled to New York where she obtained a master's degree from Columbia University. Returning to St. George, Brooks was appointed dean of women for the college. She married Will Brooks of St. George and embarked on a career of research and writing under the Works Progress Administration programs. In 1934, Brooks' "A Close-Up of Polygamy" was published in Harper's Monthly Magazine, the first of over forty articles and fifteen books published during her career. Brooks has become known as one of the major historians of Utah history and particularly of the history of southern Utah.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Juanita Brooks papers (1941-1993) is comprised mainly of photocopied letters from Dale Morgan to Juanita Brooks concerning her book, Mountain Meadows Massacre, published in 1950. Also included are some short stories, letters concerning John D. Lee, and an oral history transcript.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The library does not claim to control copyright for all materials in the collection. An individual depicted in a reproduction has privacy rights as outlined in Title 45 CFR, part 46 (Protection of Human Subjects). For further information, please review the J. Willard Marriott Library’s Use Agreement and Reproduction Request forms.

Preferred Citation

Collection Name, Collection Number, Box Number, Folder Number. Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

InterviewReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Volume
1 1
"Juanita Brooks Remembers"
Typed transcript of a taped interview with Juanita Brooks conducted by R. T. Reilly and E. R. Reilly. In the interview, Brooks recalls her early life as she grew up in Bunkerville, Nevada.

Correspondence, Dale Morgan to Juanita BrooksReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Folder item
1 1
Morgan warns Brooks to be sure of the accuracy of the sources she quotes in her work. He suggests that she check other sources to reinforce the materials from the Ginn manuscript and suggests several sources that might be useful. Brooks had asked Morgan about Bleak's Annals of the Southern Utah Mission. He tells her again to be careful to verify facts from it. Morgan has read Brooks' chapters on Jacob Hamblin and tells her that she must write, "not for Mormons," but to interest others in the story of Jacob Hamblin. Morgan gives other suggestions but tells Brooks not to use them unless they fit her work. He concludes by telling Brooks to find a "fresh and original" title for her book.
1941 December 29
1 2
Morgan speaks of Brooks' visit to Salt Lake City and of showing her where to find materials for her writing. He comments on her belief that he is unselfish by saying that he gets as much from other people as he gives to them. Morgan tells of some of the people he has learned from: a folklorist in Los Angeles, a Nevada highway employee, Wallace Stegner, and Bernard DeVoto. Morgan states that he likes Brooks' interest in southwestern Utah because he himself knows little about it. He is gathering material to write a history of the Mormons. Brooks had asked about his background and he tells of being born into an orthodox Mormon family. He states that until the age of fourteen, he was "a more dutiful Mormon than the average." His father died when he was five and his mother taught school to support the family. Morgan lost his hearing in 1929 due to meningitis. He states, "The loss of my hearing pretty well broke up the world I had lived in, in one way and another: it confirmed a tendency to introspection and living in a personal world." Morgan took up commercial art in high school to earn a living. His English teacher interested him in writing and secured funds from the state vocational rehabilitation department for him to attend the University of Utah for four years. Morgan describes the different jobs he was employed in after he graduated. He states, "History has been perhaps the largest value in my life . . . but it is not a paying kind of history, and I shall have to find jobs to support it." Morgan describes his religious beliefs as being a belief in what he calls, "the decencies of human relationships." He tells Brooks his views on Mormon church history and tells her to be independent in her thinking.
1942 April 12
1 3
Morgan has sent off his Humboldt River manuscript and is ready to leave Salt Lake City and go east to live. He has returned Brooks' Mountain Meadows massacre piece and outlines eight points he feels she should establish as she develops it. Morgan states that he will send notes or excerpts if he finds any material on the Mountain Meadows massacre while he is researching in the Library of Congress.
1942 September 7
1 4
Morgan reports having checked several California newspapers at the Library of Congress for information on the Mountain Meadows massacre.
1942 December 5
1 5
Morgan has been to New York City to use the public library files there. He lists a number of books he has used, and asks Brooks to find out what has happened to the original trial records of the second John D. Lee trial. He sends Brooks The Crimes of the Latter-day Saints published in 1884, and tells her of other materials that may be of interest to her.
1943 November 26
2 1
Morgan has just come from the Library of Congress. He tells Brooks to try to contact Layman R. Martineau of Los Angeles for his journal. Morgan reports having trouble getting materials at the Library of Congress, since much of it was in storage for the duration of the war.
1944 April 27
2 2
Morgan reports that there is no Hamblin material in the Library of Congress. He has checked on Judge John Cradlebaugh's speech of 1963 on the Mountain Meadows massacre and sends a copy of a note in the Wagner-Camp bibliography, The Plains and the Rockies.
1944 May 5
2 3
Morgan writes that he has received a letter from Dutton Publishers about Brooks' Mountain Meadows massacre book, but that Farrar and Rinehart are to have first chance at it. Morgan has been in contact with four publishers interested in books by western authors with western themes.
1944 October 5
2 4
Morgan suggests that Brooks talk to David O. McKay and tell him that it will be better to have a friendly book by a church member than an adverse one. He states that Charles Kelly claims to have access to material on the Mountain Meadows massacre that no one else has or ever will have.
1945 April 23
2 5
Morgan sends Brooks the microfilm of the second John D. Lee trial. He tells her that the record of the first trial is at the Huntington Library and in the Charles W. Penrose pamphlet.
1946 March 21
2 6
Morgan has been to New York City to check New York Public Library files. He was interested in the Frederick S. Dellenbaugh diaries, books, and manuscripts. He found a letter to the Buffalo Express pasted into one of the diaries telling of John D. Lee's story of the Mountain Meadows massacre. The letter tells of the wagon train at Spanish Fork and at Cedar City, and of poisoning the springs to kill the Indians. It also states that the attack was planned by the Cedar City Council.
1946 August 16
2 7
Morgan states that Darel McConkey has returned Brooks' manuscript to him. He will read it and send it to Brooks for revision. Morgan requests that she send it back to him so he can make publication arrangements.
1946 August 27
2 8
Morgan writes that he has finished his book. Fawn Brodie has been in Washington and he has visited with her. Morgan tells Brooks to go to the Tribune-Telegram library and go through the papers from John D. Lee's capture to his execution. He also sends additional notes on the Mountain Meadows massacre.
1946 September 17
2 9
Morgan writes again that he has finished his book. He states that he had to cut it down considerably and tells Brooks how difficult it is to cut a manuscript.
1946 October 31
3 1
Morgan writes that he is waiting for advanced copies of his book and will send one to Brooks as soon as they arrive. "When I write my big Mormon job, I am going to seek the most searching criticism of it I can find, which will mean Mormon criticism."
1947 March 28
3 2
Morgan is back in Salt Lake City. He is returning five chapters from the Mountain Meadows massacre manuscript to Brooks and tells her to eliminate repetition. He also tells her to emphasize the "frontier aspects" of the Mountain Meadows massacre and to play up some aspects of Mormon culture, namely obedience to authority and loyalty to the group.
1948 May 28
3 3
Morgan returns Brooks' manuscript and writes his criticism of it. He makes suggestions for getting it into shape to send to the publisher as well as making suggestions on the form of the bibliography.
1948 June 15
3 4
Morgan tells of writing a popular article on the mosquito to earn money to pay his debts. He states that he has been rereading the Bible and the Book of Mormon.
1948 July 16
3 5
Morgan states that he has finished reading the revised Mountain Meadows Massacre manuscript and that Brooks has much improved it by cutting it down in length. He tells her that he will return all but the bibliography to which he wants to add some information from his own notes.
1948 August 11
3 6
Morgan had checked with the Utah State Historical Society to see if they had sent Brooks Dwyer's thesis he had ordered for her and found that it had been sent to Fawn Brodie by mistake. He mentions talking with Caroline Parry, a granddaughter of Haight, who said that Haight and his family kept a vow of silence on the Mountain Meadows massacre. He reports that Parry also said that John D. Lee had been reinstated in the L.D.S. church after his death.
1948 September 2
3 7
Morgan has been to St. George to visit Brooks's family and to look at the Mountain Meadows location. He is sending her the pictures he took and she may use any of them she wants for the book. Morgan tells of Marguerite Sinclair's efforts and failures at the Utah State Historical Society to get any reprinting done by the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. He comments on the Board of State History and the governor's appointments to the board.
1948 October 3
3 8
Morgan is sending Brooks the pictures he took at the Mountain Meadows Monument. He tells her of a trip to Denver and other personal news.
1948 November 2
3 9
Brooks has been to Salt Lake City. Morgan ran out of gas and she missed her bus. Morgan asks her if she has anything on Kanab, Utah, from 1870-1872.
1948 November 15
3 10
The Pacific Historical Review has printed Morgan's "Indian Affairs in Utah, 1851-1858." He plans to write two additional sections for it. He asks Brooks to let him know as soon as she hears from Stanford University Press.
1948 December 10
3 11
Morgan writes mainly about what he has been writing. He states that he has written to Wallace Stegner about a publisher for Brooks's autobiography.
1948 December 27
4 1
Morgan tells Brooks of the problems of university publishing. He suggests that she publish her writings on the Hamblin and Brown journals in a copy of the Utah Historical Quarterly.
1949 January 24
4 2
Morgan suggests that Brooks edit some women's journals or diaries. He tells her to get permission from the Hamblin family to publish Jacob Hamblin's journal.
1949 February 18
4 3
Morgan sends Brooks additional notes on what the Church Historians' Library has on John D. Lee and the Mountain Meadows massacre.
1949 February 24
4 4
Morgan writes to Brooks that the historical society's funds have been cut by the legislature. He discusses plans for Brooks to edit the Martha Spence Heywood journal.
1949 February 28
4 5
Morgan writes of the plans to have the Mountain Meadows Massacre manuscript published by the Stanford University Press, and also concerning the Lee family funds. Brooks has been appointed to the Board of State History.
1949 March 23
4 6
Morgan writes about the Abner Blackburn narrative. He encloses a chili recipe for Brooks.
1949 April 12
4 7
Morgan tells Brooks about publishing contracts on books and the Stanford University Press offer on Mountain Meadows Massacre. He suggests that she go to Los Angeles and talk to A. H. Clark & Company and also to Ettie Lee.
1949 April 25
4 8
Morgan writes of the death of Roderic Korns and of his plans to finish Korns' book. Tells Brooks about plans he has for the Utah Historical Quarterly.
1949 July 3
4 9
Morgan writes of news from his friends Stanley Ivins, Fawn Brodie, and Professor William Mulder. All of them have given him some new information concerning Mormon materials.
1949 July 6
4 10
Morgan writes again of his plans to finish the Korns manuscript and to publish it. Tells Brooks of his resignation as temporary editor of the Quarterly.
1949 July 21
4 11
Morgan asks Brooks to send a letter to Joel E. Ricks of the Board of State History concerning the makeup of the board and its functions. Morgan writes the letter for her. Morgan states that he will go east to live as soon as his finances permit as Utah cannot offer him a position with a living wage. He plans to work on the Korns material before he goes.
1949 July 30
4 12
Morgan writes of a conference with the Utah State Historical Society Board editors about printing the material of Rod Korns.
1949 August 4
4 13
Morgan writes to Brooks about the details of her contract with the Stanford University Press.
1949 August 9
4 14
Morgan writes in regard to an Indian grave Brooks's sons have found. He states that the date seems too early to him and suggests that Brooks consult a qualified archaeologist.
1949 August 29
4 15
Morgan is preparing to move to Washington, D.C., and states that he hopes it will be his last move.
1949 September 30
4 16
Morgan is now settled in Alexandria, Virginia, and is doing research at the Library of Congress. He is looking for a job in the field of history somewhere in Washington, D.C. He tells Brooks he is saddened that Stanford University Press should want to censor her Mountain Meadows Massacre manuscript.
1949 November 15
4 17
Morgan writes concerning the Utah State Historical Society's secretary who wants to return after a year's absence.
1949 December 6
5 1
Morgan writes that he is working hard on his book. He tells Brooks that the Empey diary has been printed by the Wyoming Historical Department.
1950 February 16
5 2
Morgan asks to borrow volumes eight through ten of The Journal of Discourses. He comments on several friends.
1950 April 14
5 3
Morgan is working on a bibliography of the divergent sects of the L.D.S. Church for the University of Utah Press. Reference is made to the Conover Journal.
1950 July 15
5 4
Morgan comments on the Council of Fifty referred to in John D. Lee's journal. He also comments on the 1850 Utah census report of Iron County, John D. Lee journal excerpts of 1849, and the Bigler diary of 1848.
1951 July 6
5 5
Morgan writes of plans for his two books on Mormon history, and continues his discussion of John D. Lee and his role in the Mountain Meadows massacre.
1951 July 26
5 6
Mention is made of Warner Brothers interest in making a movie based on Mountain Meadows Massacre, and Morgan states that he has never had a movie proposal. He writes of having been asked to work for the Utah State Historical Society by Mortenson, and tells Brooks that he wants to come west and follow Jedediah Smith's trail.
1951 September 12
Morgan writes more about his desire to follow the Jedediah Smith trail, and informs Brooks that the Korns book is finally being distributed.
1951 November 13
Folder item
5 8
Brooks has been to Hollywood to talk about a motion picture based on Mountain Meadows Massacre. Morgan reports that the L.D.S. Church has the original of Thomas D. Brown's Southern Indian Mission.
1951 November 20
5 9
Brooks has an interview with A. William Lund of the Church Historians' Library. Morgan writes of the L.D.S. Church's view of truth in Mormon history and of the problems writers encounter in trying to secure materials from the church archives. He also writes of his work in evaluating western materials for Eberstadt's Book Store.
1951 December 9
5 10
Morgan comments on reviews of Brooks' book.
14 December 1951
6 1
Warner Brothers movie proposition to Brooks has fallen through. Morgan mentions the "Record of Norton Jacob," and of Jacob's being a member of the 1947 company that arrived in Utah. He writes about his friends Fawn Brodie and Charles Kelly, and tells Brooks that the Utah State Historical Society is lending him the microfilm of the Elias Smith journal.
1952 January 2
6 2
Morgan reports having eyestrain. He is working on his Jedediah Smith book and doing relatively little on his Mormon history book. Morgan also comments on Brooks's plans to edit the John D. Lee diaries with Dr. Cleland of the Huntington Library.
1952 January 26
6 3
Morgan is preparing to go west to work on the Jedediah Smith book. He reports that he has yet to hear from the Smithsonian Institute about a possible job there. He is returning to Salt Lake City after a stop in St. Louis to use the "Missouri historical collections," and tells Brooks that he has applied to the Guggenheim Foundation for a grant.
1952 February 23
6 4
Morgan is back in Salt Lake City doing research at the Utah State Historical Society in the Hudson Bay Records. He comments on the historical society and their plans to move to the Kearns Mansion.
1952 April 11
6 5
Morgan writes that he is continuing his work on the Jedediah Smith book. He asks Brooks to check on Smith's trip along the Santa Clara River.
1952 April 28
6 6
Morgan reports that the University of Utah has offered him a job of surveying their western and Mormon collections but that the job depends on state legislative funds being granted.
1952 May 28
6 7
Morgan tells Brooks how to plan changes in her book for a revised edition. He reports that no funds were appropriated for the job at the University of Utah.
1952 June 13
6 8
Morgan writes that he is critiquing Charles L. Camp's new edition of The Plains and the Rockies. He is also evaluating pamphlets for Eberstadt's Book Store.
1952 July 29
6 9
Morgan writes of finding a collection of Nauvoo Legion papers and suggests to Brooks that she revise the Dudley Leavitt booklet.
1952 August 15
6 10
Morgan comments on notes of a meeting that George A. Smith and Amassa Layman had with the Council of the Twelve Apostles in 1858 regarding the William H. Dame case.
1952 August 18
6 11
Morgan comments on Ezra Taft Benson's appointment as Secretary of Agriculture in the Eisenhower Cabinet. Also, he writes of the art of writing a biography and that he is still looking for a job.
1952 November 29
6 12
Morgan reports that the Huntington Library is printing other Lee journals and asks Brooks if the Utah State Historical Society can reprint them in its quarterly publication. He also comments on the historical society's efforts to establish an archives department.
1953 January 27
6 13
Brooks is up for reappointment to the Board of State History. Morgan discusses two new Lee letters that have been discovered and also the gap in the Lee journals and diaries in the 1850s.
1953 February 15
6 14
Morgan writes about the W.P.A. records at the Utah State Historical Society Library, and of being asked by Mortenson to catalog them. He asks Brooks to see if there are any jobs available for him at the Huntington Library.
1953 March 15
6 15
After having looked for a job for so long, Morgan reports having suddenly been offered four.
1953 April 12

General MaterialsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Testimony Given at the Second Trial of John D. Lee
Account of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, Bull Nally Snort
Photocopy of a seventeen page handwritten account of the Mountain Meadows Massacre focusing on the part the Indians played in it. A later letter by Brooks identifies this account as having been written by John S. Higbee.
Newspaper Article, "The Pioneer," San Jose, California
An article written by Alex P. Murgotten about the families that were murdered at Mountain Meadows and of the journey of the wagon train up to a few days before its destruction. The article also tells of people who left the wagon train at Fort Bridger to take the northern route to California.
John Wolcott Phelps Diary Excerpt
Tells of the Mountain Meadows massacre scene as soldiers saw it two years later and of the story they heard about the attack.
Juanita Brooks Statement
Brooks tells of her decision to find the truth in the Mountain Meadows massacre matter and to tell it to the public.
Correspondence, Warner Brothers
Correspondence between Juanita Brooks and Finlay McDermid of Warner Brothers Pictures concerning their agreement to make a motion picture based on Brook's book Mountain Meadows Massacre. In the end, Brooks calls the movie deal off.
Correspondence, Juanita Brooks to Everett Cooley
The first letter concerns John D. Lee's reinstatement in the L.D.S. Church on May 12, 1961. Attached to the letter is a copy of a letter from Miss Ettie Lee to Brooks concerning the same subject. A second letter tells of Brooks meeting with the Lee family in Phoenix, Arizona. The family asked her to refrain from printing the fact that Lee was reinstated as a member of the church. Brooks refused the request.
Miscellaneous Correspondence
The Utah Alumnus
In this issue, Leonard J. Arrington reviews Juanita Brooks' book, On The Mormon Frontier: The Diary of Hosea Stout.
Newspaper Clippings Concerning Juanita Brooks
Correspondence with Martha Schack
1968; 1993

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Mountain Meadows Massacre, Utah, 1857
  • Personal Names :
  • Lee, John Doyle, 1812-1877
  • Morgan, Dale Lowell, 1914-1971
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Correspondence
  • Transcripts