Dale L. Morgan photograph collection, circa 1850  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Morgan, Dale Lowell, 1914-1971
Dale L. Morgan photograph collection
circa 1850 (inclusive)
20 items
Collection Number
The Dale L. Morgan photograph collection contains copy negatives taken of sketches by people involved in the California Gold Rush it includes various locations and/or landmarks in the West. Including the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Chimney Rock, Independence Rock, Wasatch Mountains, Devil's Gate, and Porter's Rock. As well as a title page from a journal, a Carte-de-Visite and a portrait of Dale Morgan.
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

Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Dale Lowell Morgan was born in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1914. When he was five years old his father died, and his mother taught school to support the family. When he was fourteen, Morgan contracted meningitis, which left him totally deaf. He graduated from West High School in 1933, and went on to the University of Utah. In 1937 he earned a bachelor's degree in art, with a minor in English.

Morgan's first job was with the Utah Works Progress Administration (WPA). He wrote introductory historical essays for the Historical Records Department, and his talents were soon acknowledged. The WPA published Morgan's first monograph in 1940. In the same year, the Utah Historical Quarterly published his The State of Deseret. He was soon transferred to the writer's program of the WPA, where he edited and did most of the writing for Utah, A Guide to the State, published in 1941.

The WPA project closed in 1942, and Morgan went to Washington, D.C., to work for the Office of Price Administration, until 1946. In 1947, he received his first Guggenheim fellowship. He wrote The Great Salt Lake in 1947, and Jedediah Smith and the Opening of the West in 1953. In 1961, the California Historical Society presented him with the Henry R. Wagner Memorial Award in recognition of his editions of The Overland Diary of James A. Pritchard, 1959. In 1970, he received his second Guggenheim fellowship.

Throughout his career as historian and writer, Morgan contributed chapters and sections to books by other authors, and wrote articles and book reviews, in addition to his own projects. He worked on a project he called "The Mormons and the Far West," which entailed typing more than 2,000 pages of articles from microfilm. Since his move to Washington in 1942, Morgan compiled material for the publication which was eventually published as A Mormon Bibliography in 1978.

In 1954, Morgan took a position with the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley. He remained there until his death in 1971. His bibliography was completed and published in 1978 after six years of work on behalf of a committee formed by Dr. Everett L. Cooley, Director of Special Collections at the Marriott Library at the University of Utah, and Chad Flake, Curator of Special Collecttions at the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

18, 4 x 5 copy negatives taken of sketches made primarily by people involved in the California Gold rush. Platte river, Scott's Bluff and Chimney Rock, Title page from a journal, Porter's Rock in the Black Hills, Independence rock, Devil's Gate, South Pass on the Wind river, Journal Page, Wasatch Mountain, "Great Gulf" and/or "The Awful Pass", San Gabriel Mission, Sierra Nevada Mountains, and various other unidentified. Also included is a Carte-de-Visite of Porter Rockwell (authenticity is questioned), and a portrait of Dale Morgan in 1968.

Accompanied by a note explaining state of negatives. The descriptions of the images are taken off the negatives themselves.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
1 Dale L. Morgan miscellaneous photographs
Photograph number 1: 'Sierra Nevada Mountains., Feather River April 30, 1850'Photograph number 2: 'Wagon Hill to Browns Hole, Utah'Photograph number 3: 'Porter's Rock, on the Prairie Base of Black Hills'Photograph number 4: {Title Page} California Expedition Journal, Laramie Peak, it can be seen 100 milesPhotograph number 5: 'Scott's Bluff and Chimney Rock'Photograph number 6: 'Pawnee Village on the Platte, destroyed by Sioux 1836'Photograph number 7: [Sketch Map]Photograph number 8: [Sketch Map]Photograph number 9: unidentified, probably a mountain passPhotograph number 10: 'Independence Rock' [With Lorton's sketches of many emigrant names on the face, including, in the upper right corner, his own W.B. Lorton, and a figure of a man atop the Rock at upper left]Photograph number 11: 'Devil's Gate, June 16, 1849'Photograph number 12: South Pass, July 26, 1849, Eastern Lamp Bluffs, Windriver Chain, of 'Am. Alps.'Photograph number 13: 'Rocks on Red Fork, California'Photograph number 14: 'California journal from Salt Lake vol. III 1849. Horse Spring ..Cut-Off.'Photograph number 15: 'Wasatch Mountain, Novemeber, 6 1849, Cave at Can Kanyon' [and more, but illegible]Photograph number 16: 'Great Gulf of Awful Chasm at Attempted Pass 1,000 feet high'Photograph number 17: 'On Table Land Windblown Region' [various cacti sketches, etc.]Photograph number 18: "San Gabriel Mission, January, 17 1850"Photograph number 19: Carte-de-Visite of Porter Rockwell, Chief of Danites [This is NOT Orrin Porter Rockwell. It is probably of another man labeled a "Danite" in early Mormon history.]Photograph number 20: Dale Morgan with Bennion Sword USHS August 1968. Photo by Everett Cooley.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Gold rushes--California
  • Landscapes West (U.S.)
  • Landscapes--United States--Maps
  • Geographical Names :
  • West (U.S.)
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Carte de visite photographs
  • Photographic prints