Brigham Young, Conspiracy, and Long Lost Diaries

By November 1, 2007

A news report aired tonight about the recent surfacing of the diaries of one of Brigham Young’s personal secretaries that died under mysterious circumstances.  If authenticated, this promises to be an important discovery.  However, I was disappointed at the angle of the broadcast and in comments by both Mr. Bagley and Mr. Sanders in alluding to Brigham Young as a murderer. 

That being said, I’m ecstatic at this discovery and ones like it. New documents shed new light on the past and in many cases lead to new and richer interpretations of history.

Are there any other Mormon-related recent documentary discoveries that anyone is aware of? 


  1. This is an exciting find. I wonder if anyone will pressure you to edit this, Jared?

    Comment by David Grua — November 1, 2007 @ 11:39 pm

  2. Too bad for me, I don’t read Pitman. Though, interestingly, on the mission I did pick up a Pitman Shorthand manual from around 1900. Perhaps it’s been sitting on my shelf…waiting for the right moment.

    No, alas, I will not be the one to reveal all the sordid secrets of the murderous Brigham Young, nor will I unlock the code that will tell us where all the bodies are buried.

    Comment by Jared — November 2, 2007 @ 1:36 am

  3. Typical Bagley…

    Comment by Jonathan — November 2, 2007 @ 7:43 am

  4. Any information on the provenance, or who will be auctioning it? Let’s hope that it is not purchased by a private party, unwilling to publish it.

    Comment by J. Stapley — November 2, 2007 @ 8:32 am

  5. Amen to that, J. Stapley. One news report suggested that these diaries could go up to one million dollars at auction. Perhaps if they do sell for a high amount, the buyer will be motivated to publish them, in order to recoup some of the cost?

    In any case, I’m eager to learn what these contain. From the news report I saw, they appear to cover the Civil War era. If so, I’m hoping they contain something regarding Brigham’s reaction to the first Masonic lodge established in Utah. Wilford Woodruff’s diary records a discussion about this lodge, indicating that Brigham was less than thrilled that there was Mormon participation. It appears from my research that some records of that lodge were deliberately destroyed by leaders of the Grand Lodge of Utah during their ban on admission of members, in order to hide the fact that Mormons took part in the lodge, since that would establish a historical precedent against the later ban.

    Comment by Nick Literski — November 2, 2007 @ 9:29 am

  6. I did learn from a coworker last year that a large diary of James Martineau surfaced and was to be edited for publication. I hadn’t heard anything more about it until recently, and I understand it’ll be published and that it looks very interesting. This is another one of those situations where the diary was in private possession.

    Comment by Jared — November 2, 2007 @ 6:19 pm

  7. […] David Grua, documentary editing A friend of mine mentioned to me last week that he hoped that the John V. Long documents would be sold for a million dollars…and then prove to contain nothing of worth, just to prove […]

    Pingback by Two Eliza R. Snow Poems Discovered in Long Documents « Juvenile Instructor — November 10, 2007 @ 10:43 pm


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