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Melissa Brownell letter

 Item — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 777

Scope and Contents

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.


  • approximately 1880


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing 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.

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.


2 folders (0.02 linear ft.)




19th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts.

Existence and Location of Copies

Photocopy of letter is available.


Holograph, signed.

Processing Information

Processed; Ryan K. Lee; 2013.
Register of Melissa Brownell letter
Rose Frank
18 April 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States