Dale L. Morgan (1914-1971) remains one of the most respected historians of the American West--and his career, one of the least understood. Among today's scholars his reputation rests largely on his studies of the fur trade and overland trails, yet throughout his life, Morgan's primary interest was the history of the Latter Day Saints. In this volume--the first of a two-part set--Morgan's writings on the Mormons finally receive the attention and analysis they merit.
Dale Morgan on the Mormons is a far-reaching compilation of the historian's published and unpublished writings. Edited and annotated by Richard L. Saunders, the collection includes not only essays but also book reviews and bibliographic studies, many published here for the first time. This first volume includes key extracts from Morgan's contribution to the WPA guide to Utah (1941), which remains an excellent introduction to the complex history of the Beehive State. It further provides a new historiographic introduction to his seminal work The State of Deseret and presents important previously unpublished works on the Kingdom of God, the Deseret Alphabet, and the origins of the infamous Danite society. In addition, the volume illuminates Morgan's legacy as a bibliographer and the significance of that contribution to Latter Day Saint studies. Throughout, Saunders provides informative introductions that place each of the writings or groups of writings into biographical and historical context.