Archive for March, 2012

UW members David Bigler, Will Bagley and Rod Miller win 2012 Spur awards

Utah Westerners, David L. Bigler and Will Bagley, won the Western Writers of America 2012 Spur Award for Best Western Nonfiction Historical for the work ‘The Mormon Rebellion’
Utah Westerner Rod Miller, won (two!)  Western Writers of America 2012 Spur award for Best Western Short Fiction Story for the work ‘The Death of Delgado’ and again for Best Western Poem ‘Tabula Rasa’.


One of our speakers, Frederick H. Swanson, wn the Best Western Nonfiction Contemporary Spur for “The Bitteroot and Mr. Brandborg,” University of Utah Press, edited by Peter DeLafosse.


A link to the other 2012 winners here:


March 22, 2012 at 2:31 pm Leave a comment

March Announcement for the Utah Westerners





Mormons traveling to California in the late 1840s and during the 1850s did so for a number of reasons. While there, many Latter-day Saints recorded events that highlighted the sweeping changes that the state experienced after the discovery of gold. Their collective record provides a literary snapshot of California at the beginning of a remarkable transformation that would impact the entire nation. However, the documentary record of Mormons as observers of the historic changes taking place in California has been largely ignored by many historians engaged in the study of the state’s history.

 Using examples primarily taken from surviving accounts left by “Gold Missionaries” who traveled to California in the fall of 1849, this presentation will explore the potential value of LDS documentary sources in describing, political, religious, social, and environmental changes occurring in California during the 1850s. Michael will also discuss possible reasons why Mormon records have missed the attention of both California and Utah historians and the impact of increasingly available digital resources on the future use of such records.

Long-time Utah Westerner, Michael Landon, holds degrees in history, political science, and public history. He is currently employed as an archivist in the LDS Church History Department and during his years there has devoted much of his time in acquiring documents significant to Mormon history, assisting on various projects, and providing reference services to patrons. He is a member of several historical, archival, and library associations. Michael is co-author with William Slaughter of Trail of Hope: The Story of the Mormon Trail and the editor of The Journals of George Q. Cannon, Volume 1: To California in ’49.

This will be a very timely presentation as we prepare for this year’s field trip to the gold fields of California.

March 14, 2012 at 8:16 am Leave a comment

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