Melissa Brownell letter

Melissa Brownell letter

Dates: approximately 1880

Handwritten and signed letter, addressed to "Beloved Sisters," dated June 26 of an unknown year. Internal evidence suggests the item may have been written in the 1880s, but this is uncertain. Brownell writes about men, marriage, and polygamy largely in negative terms. She mentions Mormon men bringing their polygamous wives to California.

  • Extent: 2 folders (0.02 linear ft.)
  • Creator: Brownell, Melissa, 1830-1888
  • Call Number: MSS 777
  • Repository: L. Tom Perry Special Collections; 19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts; 1130 Harold B. Lee Library; Brigham Young University; Provo, Utah 84602;
  • Access Restrictions: Open for public research.
Languages and Scripts
Alternative Format
Photocopy of letter is available.
Conditions of Use
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from Melissa Brownell letter must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.
Holograph, signed.
Preferred Citation
Initial citation: MSS 777; Melissa Brownell letter; 19th Century Mormon and Western Manuscripts; L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. Following citations: MSS 777, LTPSC.
Subject Terms
Brownell, Melissa, 1830-1888--Correspondence; Home and Family; Mormon women--California--Correspondence; Mormons--California--History; Polygamy--California--History; Polygamy--Religious aspects--Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--History; Social Life and Customs
Genre / Form
Letters; Photocopies
Processing Information
Processed; Ryan K. Lee; 2013.
Appraisal Information
19th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts.
Finding Aid ID Number
Finding Aid Title
Brownell (Melissa) letter
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Rose Frank
Finding Aid Creator
This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2014-03-23T04:22-0600
Finding Aid Language
Biographical Info:

Biographical History

Melissa Brownell (1830-1888) was an early convert to the Mormon Church.

Melissa Cynthia Call Brownell was born March 29, 1830 in Madison, Ohio to Cyril Call and Sally Tiffany. She was an early convert to the Mormon Church. Melissa married Russell Gideon Brownell March 29, 1846, and they had twelve children together. Russell was a member of the Mormon Battalion. In 1849, Melissa traveled with her husband and infant daughter, Mary Jane, to Utah with the Samuel Gully/Orson Spencer Company. They settled in Weber County, Utah, before moving to California sometime after 1850. Melissa Brownell died August 31, 1888, in Stockton, California.

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Ryan Lee
Curator - 19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts