Pioneer diaries now available

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B.H. Roberts

“While I was lingering about [outside the train] talking with the passengers, [Elder Taylor] found the Salt Lake papers containing President Woodruff’s Manifesto. As soon as I entered the car he called to me and showed me the papers containing the document, the headlines of which I read with astonishment,” explains B.H. Roberts, reacting to Woodruff’s manifesto disavowing plural marriage (from Roberts’s diary 1890-1893, p. 39). 


Frederick Kesler

Enthusiasts of Utah pioneer history take note. Copies of original pioneer diaries are now available to order through the Marriott Library. 
       Drawing on the rich manuscript holdings of the library’s Special Collections Department, the diaries of Utah pioneers B.H. (Brigham Henry) Roberts and Frederick Kesler—written in their own hand—are now available to the general public for the first time. The series of 14 diaries offers a glimpse into the personal, business, and religious affairs of two men who helped shape the early history of Utah and the region.
       The diaries may be ordered online individually or as a set. Each volume is reproduced on the library’s Espresso Book Machine (EBM), through the Books On Demand program. The pages of the diaries have been digitized and may be viewed online. Versions formatted for various e-readers will be available in the future.
       Sometimes referred to as an ATM for books, the EBM was purchased by the library in 2009 and prints the text in black-and-white and the cover in color. It glues the cover into place and trims the entire package to the proper size, in this case, 6” x 9” books.
       The EBM process is well suited for self-publishing items such as personalized journal notebooks and is available for use by library patrons and the general public. A large number of other paperback books may be ordered as well. 
       For additional information contact John Herbert or call 801-585-6019.


About the Pioneers 

Frederick Kesler was many things: orphan, millwright, polygamist, warden, bishop, justice of the peace, school trustee, and confidant to Brigham Young. Born in Pennsylvania in 1816, he moved through Ohio, Mississippi, Iowa, Missouri and Illinois before settling in Salt Lake City in 1851. His full, wide-ranging life is captured in these diaries, written in his own hand, beginning in 1859 and continuing until 1899, the year of his death. Kesler diaries are available in these issues: 1859-1874, 1874-1877, 1877-1881, 1881-1885, 1885-1888, 1888-1890, 1890-1893, 1893-1896, 1896-1898, 1898-1899 

B. H. Roberts was born in England in 1857 and immigrated to America in 1866 to join his mother in Salt Lake City. He spent nearly his entire adult life in church service. Always outspoken and sometimes controversial, his writings challenged some of the positions and teachings of his church and he was not allowed to fill his seat in the U. S. House of Representatives in 1898 because of his earlier polygamist lifestyle. Roberts diaries are available in these issues: 1882-1883, 1884-1885, 1886-1887, 1890-1893

One Response to Pioneer diaries now available

  • Holly A says:

    Very exciting! Thank you for making the release of the journals of these interesting and important men available to the public. I can’t wait to read them.

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