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Martin Harris Pageant records, 1983-1997

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Martin Harris Pageant
Title
Martin Harris Pageant records
Dates
1983-1997 (inclusive)
Quantity
7 linear ft.
Collection Number
USU_COLL MSS 243
Summary
Contains various documents relating to the Martin Harris Pageant, a production of the Mormon musical play "Martin Harris: the man who knew", held annually in Clarkston, Utah. Includes minutes, agendas, reports, budgets, correspondence, missionary efforts, ticket requests, programs, publicity, scripts, and music.
Repository
Utah State University, Merrill-Cazier Library, Special Collections and Archives Division
Special Collections and Archives
Merrill-Cazier Library
Utah State University
Logan, UT
84322-3000
Telephone: 435-797-2663
Fax: 435-797-2880
scweb@usu.edu
Access Restrictions
Restrictions

Open to public research.

Languages
English.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

In 1982, Valdo Benson, a regional representative of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, asked Rhett S. James, a teacher at the Logan LDS Institute of Religion, to write a historical musical play representing the life of Martin Harris. Martin Harris was one of the three witnesses of the gold plates from which Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon. Harris died on July 10, 1875 in his son's Cache Valley home in Clarkston, Utah. Benson told James that Denzel Clark, the Mayor of Clarkston, and the Clarkston citizens were building the Martin Harris Memorial Amphitheater in the small town for cultural and civic activities for communities throughout the valley in Utah and Idaho. Clark gained the support of both Governor Matheson from Utah and Governor Evans from Idaho, as well as L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Ezra Taft Benson, president of the quorum. Both Perry and Benson were Cache Valley natives. The Martin Harris Pageant was just one of the many events that would be held at the amphitheater.

In 1982, Rhett James wrote the script and lyrics, Norma and Frank Dupree composed the music accompanying the prose in 1982. By August of 1983, the pageant was performed for its first season. The audience totalled 35,000. Copyrights for the script and music were retained by James and the Duprees. Donations from both the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and the community were used to finance the production. Rhett James's Martin Harris: The Man Who Knew was also published at this time in its script form with endnotes. The proceeds from sale of the books were donated to finance the pageant's first three productions.

Support for the production exchanged hands between LDS church sponsored regional and area events for the next few years. Concerned about the longevity of the pageant, Denzel Clark was eager to transfer responsibility for the event over to the LDS church. On May 17, 1990, Robert L. Backman, Director of the Missionary Department, assumed responsibility for the production and placed it under the direction of the department's exhibits committee.

The LDS church asked the pageant's original committee leadership to serve as the presidency. Denzel Clark became the president; Rhett James and Dwayne Huff, the pageant's director, were asked to serve as his counselors. Almost two years later, on February 21, 1992, Clark was set apart by Marlin K. Jensen, a member of the Quorum of the Seventy. His counselors were later set apart by Alexander Morrison from the Area Presidency.

Initially, the pageant was organized as a community project for Cache Valley, though members of the church were involved in its planning. Now, under the direction of the LDS church, the pageant serves as an education tool for its members. It is also used for missionary work for the LDS church.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Minutes, agendas, reports, budgets, correspondence, missionary efforts, ticket requests, programs, publicity, research, scripts, music, and production reproductions relating directly to the Martin Harris Pageant administrative concerns. (1983-1997).

Committee minutes, agendas, and notes are placed together and organized by year. They cover the period between 1984 and 1997. The pageant's budget including the years 1988 to 1995 is included in the collection. a financial report for 1990 is also enclosed in the collection.

The collection also includes samples of the programs and broadsides representing each year of the production except for its first year in 1983. These samples include programs, tickets, broadsides, and advertisements for other related events. Newspaper advertisements and feature articles are included in the publicity for the event. Publicity since 1994 is not included in the records. Advertisements and articles appear in many of the Cache Valley, northern Utah, and Idaho publications. Some also appear in publications throughout the country.

The pageant made a great push for missionary service for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The pageant kept careful records detailing nonmembers and inactive members attending the pageant each year. Experiences of the audience members were kept as well as requests for tickets from people throughout Utah and the country. Policies and guides for missionary work are also kept in the series.

Correspondence to the pageant presidency and other members of the committee is found within the records. Letters from leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, including Presidents Ezra Taft Benson and Gordon B. Hinckley and Apostles David B. Haight, Neal A. Maxwell, and Boyd K. Packer, mark the importance of this local event. General files found within the collection include research, invitations, book copy orders, and information on the setting of the pageant are included. Files containing information on the Martin Harris family reunion, the Larry Cantwell accident, and "The Witness Series" of Bill L. Hill are included.

The original 1983 script and changes to the script after the first production are included in the records. Pageant scripts and changes also appear for 1984 and 1988. Text and stage directions are exhibited as well. In addition to the pageant's script, its original music is represented in the collection. Video tapes and cassette tapes of the pageant conclude the collection.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Copyright

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission to publish from the owner of the copyright (the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her transferees, heirs, legates, or literary executors). The user agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Utah State University Libraries, its officers, employees, and agents from and against all claims made by any person asserting that he or she is an owner of copyright.

Permission to publish material from the Martin Harris Pageant records must be obtained from the Special Collections Manuscript Curator and/or the Special Collections Department Head.

Preferred Citation

Martin Harris Pageant records, 1983-1997. (COLL MSS 243). Utah State University. Special Collections and Archives Department.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Pageant committee agendas, minutes, and notes, 1984-1997Return to Top

14 folders
Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 1
Pageant Committees
1984
1 2
Pageant Committees
1985
1 3
Pageant Committees
1986
1 4
Pageant Committees
1987
1 5
Pageant Committees
1988
1 6
Pageant Committees
1989
1 7
Pageant Committees
1990
1 8
Pageant Committees
1991
1 9
Pageant Committees
1992
1 10
Pageant Committees
1993
1 11
Pageant Committees
1994
1 12
Pageant Committees
1995
1 13
Pageant Committees
1996
1 14
Pageant Committees
1997

Pageant budget and financial reports, 1988, 1990-1995Return to Top

8 folders
Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 15
Budget
1988
1 16
Budget
1990
1 17
Budget
1991
1 18
Budget
1992
1 19
Budget
1993
1 20
Budget
1994
1 21
Budget
1995
1 22
Report
1990-1991

Programs and broadsides, 1984-1996Return to Top

13 folders
Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
2 1
Programs and broadsides
1984
2 2
Programs and broadsides
1985
2 3
Programs and broadsides
1986
2 4
Programs and broadsides
1987
2 5
Programs and broadsides
1988
2 6
Programs and broadsides
1989
2 7
Programs and broadsides
1990
2 8
Programs and broadsides
1991
2 9
Programs and broadsides
1992
2 10
Programs and broadsides
1993
2 11
Programs and broadsides
1994
2 12
Programs and broadsides
1995
2 13
Programs and broadsides
1996

Publicity, 1983-1994Return to Top

12 folders
Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
2 14
Publicity
1983
2 15
Publicity
1984
2 16
Publicity
1985
2 17
Publicity
1986
2 18
Publicity
1987
2 19
Publicity
1988
2 20
Publicity
1989
2 21
Publicity
1990
2 22
Publicity
1991
2 23
Publicity
1992
2 24
Publicity
1994
2 25
Publicity general

Ticket Information and missionary work, 1984-1997Return to Top

11 folders
Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
3 1
Ticket information
1984
3 2
Ticket information
1985
3 3
Missionary efforts and success
1984
3 4
Missionary efforts and success
1985
3 5
Missionary efforts and success
1990
3 6
Missionary efforts and success
1992
3 7
Missionary efforts and success
1993
3 8
Missionary efforts and success
1994
3 9
Missionary efforts and success
1995
3 10
Missionary efforts and success
1996
3 11
Missionary efforts and success
1997

Missionary work-ticket requests, 1989-August 1997Return to Top

17 folders
Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
4 1
Missionary work ticket requests
1989
4 2
Missionary work ticket requests
1993
4 3
Missionary work ticket requests
1994
4 4
Missionary work ticket requests
1995 (undated)
4 5
Missionary work ticket requests
1995 January
4 6
Missionary work ticket requests
1995 February
4 7
Missionary work ticket requests
1995 March
4 8
Missionary work ticket requests
1995 April-August
4 9
Missionary work ticket requests
1996 (undated)
4 10
Missionary work ticket requests
1996 January
4 11
Missionary work ticket requests
1996 February
4 12
Missionary work ticket requests
1996 March
4 13
Missionary work ticket requests
1996 April-November
4 14
Missionary work ticket requests
1997 (undated)
4 15
Missionary work ticket requests
1997 January-February
4 16
Missionary work ticket requests
1997 March-April
4 17
Missionary work ticket requests
1997 May-August

Correspondence, 1984-1997.Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
5 1
Correspondence
1984
5 2
Correspondence
1985
5 3
Correspondence
1986
5 4
Correspondence
1987
5 5
Correspondence
1988
5 6
Correspondence
1989
5 7
Correspondence
1990
5 8
Correspondence
1991
5 9
Correspondence
1992
6 1
Correspondence
1993
6 2
Correspondence
1994
6 3
Correspondence
1995
6 4
Correspondence
1997

General subjectsReturn to Top

15 folders
Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
7 1
Research
7 2
Research
1986
7 3
Research
1988
7 4
Research
1989
7 5
Book Orders
1984
7 6
Book Orders
1985
7 7
Gravesite and amphitheater
1983
7 8
Play Adoption and Recommendation submission
1985
7 9
General Authorities pageant mailing
1990
7 10
Invitations
1984
7 11
Printings: programs, letterheads, advertisement
7 12
Supplemental program and lectures
7 13
The Witness Series and Bill L. Hill
1992
7 14
Martin Harris Family Reunion
1994
7 15
Larry Cantwell accident

Script and changes, 1983, 1984, 1988Return to Top

10 folders
Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
8 1
Script
8 2
Script
8 3
Script original
1983
8 4
Script book copy early draft
1983
8 5
Script and book copy on diskettes
1983
8 6
Script changes
1983
8 7
Script original
1984 July
8 8
Script changes
1984 September
8 9
Script
1988
8 10
Text and stage directions

Pageant musicReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box
9-12
Pageant sheet music

Videos of productionsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box
13
Pageant videos

Cassette tapes of productionsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box
14
Pageant cassette tapes