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Utah Historical Quarterly Current Issue


Volume 84, Number 4 (Fall 2016 Issue):


Published since 1928, the Utah Historical Quarterly is the state’s premier history journal and the source for reliable, engaging Utah history. Join the Historical Society for your own copy.

Each issue of the Utah Historical Quarterly is accompanied with rich web supplements that introduce readers to sources, photos, interviews, and other engaging material. These “extras” are located at history.utah.gov/uhqextras.

WEB EXTRAS: See here 


IN THIS ISSUE


It’s often noted that the work of a historian—patching together fragments of information to arrive at an understanding of the past, however limited—is like the work of a detective. Just so, as historians assemble their puzzles of documents, objects, and memories, they ask questions about motivations, about cause and effect, and even about what simply happened. The articles in this issue of Utah Historical Quarterly—as they reconsider accepted explanations and ponder how big events can affect personal lives—are full of such inquiries.

Our lead essay draws on Jedediah Smith’s record discovered in 1967 and published in 1977—more than two decades after Dale L. Morgan’s classic Jedediah Smith and the Opening of the West—to detail the famed 1826 and 1827 southwest expeditions. Smith’s travels helped to map terra incognita, as other historians have shown, and perhaps explain a puzzling mystery: what happened to the Paiute village first encountered by Smith in 1826 but abandoned upon his return the following year? Edward Leo Lyman’s close reading of the record suggests that Jed Smith’s narrative is intertwined with those of two of his contemporaries, James Ohio Pattie and Ewing Young. Though Smith is well known by scholars and general readers of the American West, this piece offers a welcome reevaluation of his travels and provides surprising revelations.

In April 1857, Felix Marion Jones traveled with his family as a toddler, from Arkansas to Utah Territory, where his family became victims of the superlative tragedy at Mountain Meadows. Jones survived the massacre but endured loss beyond description: first his parents, then the woman who cared for him after their death, and even his identity. After the federal government returned Jones and his fellow survivors to Arkansas, the boy experienced a difficult childhood. As a teenager, Jones struck out on his own for Texas and eventually had a family of his own. One of his posterity, a favorite grandson named Milam “Mike” Jones, heard F. M.’s memories and, in 2008, passed them on to the historian Will Bagley. This is a story of loss, family, and renewal that spans centuries.

During the hottest years of the Cold War, the U.S. government—especially the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC)—conducted above-ground, atmospheric tests of nuclear weapons at the Nevada Test Site (NTS). Although representatives of the AEC and others soft-pedaled the dangers of these tests, they had devastating effects upon many people and animals living downwind from the NTS. Our third article explores how employees and institutions of the federal government dealt with the consequences of nuclear fallout.

When designated in 1964, Canyonlands National Park was to be “built” in the tradition of Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon—lodges, restaurants, and roads directing visitors to the park’s inner sanctum. Within fifteen years the Canyonlands General Management Plan called for a preserved landscape devoid of the easy-access roads planned into the Chesler Park, Grabens, and Needles areas. Our fourth essay details the forces at play—the wartime shortfall in funds, the rise of environmental sensibilities, the ideologies of park superintendents—and the sense of loss experienced by some. The history of Canyonlands is a reminder that all landscapes are products of contingent forces and of contending voices. Even the look and experience of a most dramatic and remote landscape is not inevitable or fixed.

 


ARTICLES

Rethinking Jedediah S. Smith’s Southwestern Expeditions
By Edward Leo Lyman

Touching History: A Grandson’s Memories of Felix Marion Jones and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows
By Will Bagley

“Damned Stupid Old Guinea Pigs”: The Cover-Up of the “Dirty” Harry Nuclear Test
By Katherine Good

Closing the Road to Chesler Park: Why Access to Canyonlands National Park Remains Limited
By Clyde L. Denis


BOOK REVIEWS

David B. Danbom, ed., Bridging the Distance: Common Issues of the Rural West. Reviewed by R. Douglas Hurt

Marian Wardle and Sarah E. Boehme, eds., Branding the American West: Paintings and Films, 1900-1950. Reviewed by James R. Swensen

Richard L. Saunders, ed., Dale Morgan on the Mormons: Collected Works Part 2, 1949-1970. Reviewed by Curt Bench

Diana L. Ahmad, Success Depends on the Animals: Emigrants, Livestock, and Wild Animals on the Overland Trails, 1840-1869. Reviewed by Jeff Nichols


BOOK NOTICES

James A. Toronto, Eric R. Dursteler, and Michael W. Homer, Mormons in the Piazza: History of the Latter-day Saints in Italy

Martha Bradley-Evans, Glorious in Persecution: Joseph Smith, American Prophet, 1839-1844