The Annals of the Southern Mission: A Record of the History of the Settlement of Southern Utah


by James Godson Bleak, Historian for the Southern Mission

Edited by Aaron McArthur and Reid L. Neilson

Foreword by Elder Steven E. Snow

Introduction by Brandon J. Metcalf

“Bleak’s annals are a lasting tribute to the early settlers of Southern Utah and will yet influence many thousand more in our day. The wonderful work in this volume makes that possible.” —Elder Steven E. Snow, LDS Church Historian and Recorder

Available June 4, 2019. Limited smyth-sewn printing. Pre-order today.

Download a free sample of this book.

Book Description:

James G. Bleak’s Annals of the Southern Mission (1900-1907) number 2,266 loose and lined pages and represent the finest early history of Southern Utah stretching from its initial Mormon settlement in 1849 into the early years of the twentieth century.

Bleak submitted the first portion of the history, numbering over 500 pages, to the Church Historian’s Office in April 1903. He submitted additional increments of the manuscript when he visited Salt Lake City, usually for general conferences. He delivered the final installment of his Annals to the Historian’s Office in October 1907. The complete holograph manuscript has been in the continuous custody of the Church History Department (formerly the Church Historian’s Office) ever since.

Carefully transcribed and annotated by Aaron McArthur and Reid L. Neilson, this important work provides a detailed historical, ecclesiastical, agricultural, governmental, and cultural record of Southern Utah in the latter half of the nineteenth century.

About the Authors:

Aaron McArthur is an Associate Professor of History and the Public History Program Director at Arkansas Tech University. He holds a PhD in the History of the US West from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he mainly focused on LDS history in the last half of the nineteenth century. His first book, St. Thomas, Nevada: A History Uncovered, told the story of that town from its founding under the direction of Brigham Young to its inundation by Lake Mead. Aaron recently became a blue belt in Jiu Jitsu and coaches wrestling at his local MMA gym. He lives in Arkansas with his wife Xela and their children.

Reid L. Neilson was appointed Assistant Church Historian and Recorder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2015. He has also served as the Managing Director of the Church History Department since 2010. He is the author and award-winning editor of thirty books, including Exhibiting Mormonism, Early Mormon Missionary Activities in Japan, and Tales from the World Tour. He serves on the editorial boards of the Joseph Smith Papers and the Deseret Book Company. A world traveler, he has toured over ninety countries. He and his wife, Shelly, have five children and live in Bountiful, Utah.

More Information:

874 pages
ISBN 978-1-58958-652-9 (hardcover)

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