Author and historian Juanita Brooks was a wife, mother of eight, teacher, a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and an outspoken proponent of truth. While still on the faculty of then-Dixie College, Brooks ventured into a career researching and writing for the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression of the 1930’s. In 1934, Harper’s Monthly magazine published “Close-Up of Polygamy,” the first of more than 40 articles and 16 books she authored during her lifetime.
In 1950, her most famous work, The Mountain Meadow Massacre was published. Her detailed research of this most lamentable event in “Mormon” history exposed the 1857 killing of 100 California-bound Missouri emigrants traveling through Southern Utah. Her research found this savage event had not been carried out solely by Native Americans, but in concert with a local militia created out of fear of the possibility of war with Johnston’s Army making its way to Utah. Brooks’ courageous stand for telling the truth about this terrible episode in church history gained her a well-deserved reputation as one of the American West’s most respected historians.
Wanna read more? Much has been written about Southern Utah making it well-worth a trip to the library or a search on the internet. Here are some of the best:
- I Was Called to Dixie and/or The Red Hills of November by Andrew Karl Larson
- Quicksand and Cactus by Juanita Brooks
- The Giant Joshua, a novel by Maurine Whipple
- Land of Living Rock by C. Gregory Crampton
- From Isolation to Destination: A History of Washington County by Karl Brooks and Douglas Alder
- Diary of Charles Lowell Walker, edited by Andrew Karl Larson
- The Dominguez-Escalante Journal, edited by Ted. J. Warner
- Silver, Sinners and Saints: A History of Silver Reef, Utah by Paul Dean Proctor and Morris A. Shirts
- Why the North Star Stands Still (Indian legends) by William R. Palmer
- Brigham Young: American Moses by Leonard J. Arrington
- Mormon Country by Wallace Stegner
- and almost anything by Lyman Hafen
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