Guide to the Moore Family Papers, 1968-1988

Processed by Denice Stephenson.
California Historical Society
North Baker Research Library
678 Mission Street
San Francisco, California 94105-4014
Phone: (415) 357-1848, ext. 220
Fax: (415) 357-1850
Email: reference@calhist.org
URL: http://www.californiahistoricalsociety.org/
© 2003
California Historical Society. All rights reserved.

Note

Social Sciences--Anthropology--Social and Cultural Anthropology

Guide to the Moore Family Papers, 1968-1988

Collection number: MS 3802

California Historical Society



North Baker Research Library

San Francisco, California

Contact Information:

  • California Historical Society
  • North Baker Research Library
  • 678 Mission Street
  • San Francisco, California 94105-4014
  • Phone: (415) 357-1848, ext. 220
  • Fax: (415) 357-1850
  • Email: reference@calhist.org
  • URL: http://www.californiahistoricalsociety.org/
Processed by:
Denice Stephenson
Date Completed:
April 30, 2003
Encoded by:
UCSC OAC Unit
© 2003 California Historical Society. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Moore Family Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1968-1988
Collection number: MS 3802
Creator: Moore Family
Extent: 28 boxes

14.5 linear ft.
Repository: California Historical Society, North Baker Library
San Francisco, California 94105-4014
Abstract: The collection consists of letters, journals, typescripts, government documents and microfiche, research materials, and ephemera related to the Moore family's investigations into the deaths in Guyana on November 18, 1978, which included three family members and California Congressman Leo J. Ryan. The family correspondence includes letters written from Jonestown by Carolyn Moore Layton and Ann Moore that describe daily life in the agricultural community in Guyana, their relationships with Jim Jones, and their growing concern about negative reports in the U.S. media. The collection also contains correspondence with other members of Peoples Temple, including Larry Layton, husband of Carolyn Moore from 1967-1969, and former Temple spokesperson Michael Prokes. Research materials contain information about the Peoples Temple organization, history, supporters and detractors, including the Concerned Relatives and Citizens Committee, and newspaper articles on the Peoples Temple and Jonestown. A substantial portion of the collection consists of documents released by U.S. government agencies in response to numerous Freedom of Information Act requests and two lawsuits filed by the Moores along with the reports of private investigator John Hanrahan hired by the Moores to interview government officials. The collection includes the Moores' published materials and interviews by the media.
Physical location: Please consult repository.
Language: English.

Administrative Information

Access

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to California Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Research Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the California Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

Preferred Citation

Moore Family Papers. MS 3802, California Historical Society, Manuscript Collection.

Acquisition Information

The Moore Family Papers were donated to the California Historical Society in July 1989.

Biography

The members of the Moore family are Carolyn, Rebecca, and Ann; their parents, John and Barbara; Carolyn's son, Kimo, and Rebecca's husband, Fielding McGehee III. On November 18, 1978, Carolyn, Kimo, and Ann died in the Peoples Temple's murder-suicide ritual in Jonestown, Guyana.
Carolyn Moore Layton (1945-1978), the eldest sister, was a high school history teacher. She and her husband, Larry Layton, joined the Peoples Temple in 1968; they divorced in 1970. Carolyn became a member of the leadership circle and had significant financial responsibilities for the organization. In 1975, Carolyn gave birth to a son, Kimo Layton Prokes (1975-1978), also known as Jim-John, who was fathered by Jim Jones, leader of the Peoples Temple. She and Kimo moved to Jonestown, Guyana in the spring of 1977. Carolyn's death at 33 years old was attributed to cyanide poisoning used in the murder-suicide ritual. Kimo's remains were not identified.
Ann Elizabeth Moore (1954-1978), the youngest of the three sisters, was a nurse. She joined the Peoples Temple in 1972. After she moved to Guyana in May 1977, she became Jones' personal nurse. At the time of her death, she was 24 years old. Ann and Jim Jones were the only two people in the Jonestown settlement who died from gunshot wounds.
Rebecca Moore, Ph.D., a journalist with her doctorate in Religious Studies, teaches at San Diego State University. The Rev. John V. Moore is a retired United Methodist minister in the California-Nevada Annual Conference; his wife, Barbara, is an active community volunteer. Fielding McGehee III is a writer and editor.
For more information about the Moore Family during this period, see Rebecca Moore's A Sympathetic History of Jonestown: The Moore Family Involvement in Peoples Temple (Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 1985).

Scope and Content of Collection

The Moore Family Papers document the involvement of family members with the Peoples Temple from 1968 to 1988. While letters written from Jonestown, Guyana by the Moore daughters, Carolyn and Ann, form a significant part of the family correspondence, the bulk of the collection was generated after the mass murder-suicides in Guyana on November 18, 1978. Assembled by family members after the 10th anniversary of the tragedy, the collection focuses on their efforts from 1978 to 1988 to investigate and publicize the circumstances that led to the deaths of their relatives and 916 other adults and children in Guyana. The collection consists of letters, manuscripts, government documents, research materials, photographs, audiotapes, books, and ephemera.
Correspondence between members of the Moore family reveals Carolyn and Ann's increasing commitment to their work for the Peoples Temple. Carolyn's letters in particular describe daily life in Jonestown and the community's growing concern and reactions to negative reports in the media. Ann's letters provide glimpses of her thoughts about her decision to join the Temple and her work as a nursing student in San Francisco hospitals and later in Jonestown. A statement she wrote about committing suicide is considered one of the last messages from Jonestown.
The letters, sermons, and essays that comprise the personal papers of the Rev. John V. and Barbara Moore provide insight into the family's involvement and dedication to social justice issues. Published statements about their visit to Jonestown in May 1978 document their experience of the settlement and their attempts to gain media coverage of their impressions. The Moores' correspondence with other members of Peoples Temple and their families reveals their personal commitment to providing consolation and to continuing their investigations of the tragedy.
The work of Dr. Rebecca Moore and Fielding McGehee III on the Peoples Temple and Jonestown produced a scholarly history, as well as a large body of legal documents and papers related to numerous Freedom of Information Act requests. Their papers provide a unique view of the U.S. Government's changing responses over a ten-year span to the provisions of The Privacy Act of 1974.
The Moore Family Papers are divided into three series: Series 1: Family Correspondence and Personal Papers; Series 2: Peoples Temple Related Materials; Series 3: U.S. Government and Legal Documents. Materials are organized as the family collected and documented their research that became the basis for their publications and ongoing investigations of the events that led to the deaths in Guyana.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

Subjects

Peoples Temple
Jones, Jim, 1931-1978
Moore family
Moore, Ann Elizabeth
Layton, Carolyn Moore
Ryan, Leo J.--Assassination
Moore, John V., Rev.
Moore, Barbara
Layton, Larry
Concerned Relatives and Citizens Committee.
United States. Freedom of Information Act.
United States. Federal Bureau of Investigation--Trials, litigation, etc.
United States. Central Intelligence Agency--Trials, litigation, etc.
Jonestown Mass Suicide, Jonestown, Guyana, 1978.
Utopias--Guyana--Jonestown.

Other Index Terms Related to this Collection

Moore, Ann Elizabeth
Layton, Carolyn Moore
Moore, Rebecca, 1951-
Moore, Rebecca, 1951--Sympathetic history of Jonestown
Moore, Rebecca, 1951--In defense of Peoples Temple and other essays
Moore, Rebecca, 1951--Jonestown letters: correspondence of the Moore family, 1970-1985
Moore, John V., Rev.
Moore, Barbara
McGehee, Fielding M. 1949-
Layton, Larry
Prokes, Michael
Hanrahan, John
United States. Dept. of Justice
United States. Dept. of State
United States. Social Security Administration
United States. Internal Revenue Service
United States. Bureau of Customs
United States. Federal Communications Commission

Related Collections

The California Historical Society holds several collections related to the Peoples Temple:
  • MS 3800, Peoples Temple Records,
    Date (inclusive): 1941-1983
  • MS 3801, FBI Papers from Jonestown,
    Date (inclusive): 1972-1978
  • MS 3803, John R. Hall Research Materials,
    Date (inclusive): 1978-1987
  • MS 4062, Ross E. Case Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1961-1984

Separated Materials

Photographs shelved as MSP 3802.

Collection Contents

 

Series I:  Family Correspondence and Personal Papers, 1970-1988.

Physical Description: Boxes 1-9, Folders 1-55, Box 17, Audiotapes 1-2

Scope and Content Note

Family correspondence contains letters between members of the Moore family. Of special note to researchers are the letters from Ann and Carolyn (Folders 1-4) that describe daily life in Jonestown. Additional family correspondence is also located in folders on specific subjects such as burials, manuscript drafts, and lawsuits. Among the materials relating to the deaths of Carolyn, Ann and Kimo are their autopsy reports (Folders 16-17), of note because they represent two of only seven autopsies performed on the 910 bodies found in Jonestown. A few personal items were also recovered from Jonestown: drawings by Ann, a box filled with notes that belonged to Carolyn, and a cloth "Marcie doll" created and produced for sale in Guyana by Peoples Temple members.
The personal papers of Rev. John and Barbara Moore include audiotapes of sermons John gave the week after Jonestown and at their family's memorial services (Box 17, Audiotapes 1-2). Barbara's photographs include family snapshots from before 1977, and images from their visit to Jonestown in May 1978. The remaining sub-series focus on Rebecca and Fielding 's research and manuscript drafts. Photographs from their May 1979 trip to Guyana to interview officials and visit Jonestown are included with John and Barbara's.

Arrangement

Divided into five sub-series: Family Correspondence; Materials Relating to the Deaths of Carolyn, Ann and Kimo; Rev. John V. and Barbara Moore Personal Papers; Rebecca Moore Personal Papers; and, Fielding McGehee III Notes.
 

Family correspondence, 1970-1987

Physical Description: Box 1:1-11

Scope and Content Note

Family correspondence contains letters between members of the Moore family. Of special note to researchers are the letters from Ann and Carolyn (Folders 1-4) that describe daily life in Jonestown.
Box-folder 1:1

Letters from Ann to John and Barbara, 1976-1978

Box-folder 1:2

Letters from Ann to Rebecca, 1972-1978

Box-folder 1:3

Letters from Carolyn to John and Barbara, 1976-1978

Box-folder 1:4

Letters from Carolyn to Rebecca, 1970-1977

Box-folder 1:5

Letters from Rebecca to John and Barbara, 1979-1983

Box-folder 1:6-8

Letters from Barbara to Rebecca, 1972-1982

Box-folder 1:9-10

Letters from John to Rebecca, 1973-1987

Box-folder 1:11

Letters from Fielding to John and Barbara, 1981

 

Materials Relating to Deaths of Carolyn, Ann and Kimo, 1978-1983

Physical Description: Box 2:12-20; Box 3

Scope and Content Note

Family correspondence is also located in folders on specific subjects such as burials, manuscript drafts, and lawsuits. Among the materials relating to the deaths of Carolyn, Ann and Kimo are their autopsy reports (Folders 16-17), of note because they represent two of only seven autopsies performed on the 910 bodies found in Jonestown. A few personal items were also recovered from Jonestown: drawings by Ann, a box filled with notes that belonged to Carolyn, and a cloth "Marcie doll" created and produced for sale in Guyana by Peoples Temple members.
Box-folder 2:12

Correspondence and notes on autopsies and burials plans, 1978-1980

Box-folder 2:13

Newsclippings on autopsies, burials and costs, 1978-1979

Box-folder 2:14

Moore family memorial services December 11-12, 1978

Box-folder 2:15

Newsclippings on Moore family, 1978-1983

Box-folder 2:16

Ann's identification papers and autopsy report, 1979

Box-folder 2:17

Carolyn's identification papers and autopsy report, 1979

Box-folder 2:18

Carolyn's passport and personal papers, 1972-1976

Box-folder 2:19-20

Documents relating to Carolyn's estate, 1979-1982

Box 3

Drawings, cloth doll made in Jonestown, small paper box

 

Rev. John V. and Barbara Moore Personal Papers, 1970-1988

Physical Description: Box 4:21-22; Box 17:1-2; Box 4:23-28

Scope and Content Note

The personal papers of Rev. John and Barbara Moore include audiotapes of sermons John gave the week after Jonestown and at their family's memorial services (Box 17, Audiotapes 1-2). Barbara's photographs include family snapshots from before 1977, and images from their visit to Jonestown in May 1978.
Box-folder 4:21

Barbara's reflections and public statements, 1970-1988

Box-folder 4:22

John's sermons, 1970-1988

Box-folder 17:1-2

Audiotapes of John's sermons, 1978

Box-folder 4:23

Published articles, 1978-1981

Box-folder 4:24-25

Correspondence with church and public officials, 1975-1982

Box-folder 4:26

Notes on conversations with journalists, 1975-1979

Box-folder 4:27-28

Sermons and condolences received, 1978-1982

 

Rebecca Moore Personal Papers, 1978-1988

Physical Description: Box 5:29-36; Box 6; Box 7:37-40; Box 8:41-46; Box 9:47-52

Scope and Content Note

This sub-series focuses on Rebecca's research and manuscript drafts. Photographs from the May 1979 trip to Guyana to interview officials and visit Jonestown are included with John and Barbara's.
Box-folder 5:29-31

Journals, 1978-1982

Box-folder 5:32

Draft of essay "In Defense of Peoples Temple" and CIA essays, 1983

Box-folder 5:33

Film treatment "Last Rights," 1986

Box-folder 5:34

Correspondence and notes on interviews with Guyanese officials and papers related to May 1979 travel to Guyana, 1978-1979

Box-folder 5:35

Research on Jonestown chronology, 1978-1984

Box-folder 5:36

Research on Jonestown survivors, 1978-1979

Box 6

Index card notes on chronology, survivors and media, 1978-1984

Box-folder 7:37

Research on Jim Jones, 1978-1980

Box-folder 7:38

Research on mid 1970's conspiracies and Dennis Banks, 1978-1984

Box-folder 7:39

Research on conspiracies and Jonestown, 1980

Box-folder 7:40

Research on Don Freed and Joseph Mazor, 1978-1984

Box-folder 8:41-43

Draft of The Jonestown Letters: Correspondence of the Moore Family

Box-folder 8:44-46

Draft of A Sympathetic History of Jonestown

Box-folder 9:47-49

Correspondence with publishers and literary agents, 1980-1988

Box-folder 9:50

Correspondence with lawyers on copyright issues, 1979-1985

Box-folder 9:51

Publishing contacts, notes and essay, 1982-1988

Box-folder 9:52

Condolence letters received, 1978-1982

 

Fielding McGehee III Notes, 1979-1988

Physical Description: Box 9:53-55

Scope and Content Note

This remaining sub-series focuses on Fielding 's research notes and correspondence. Photographs from the May 1979 trip to Guyana to interview officials and visit Jonestown are included with John and Barbara's.
Box-folder 9:53

Notes on FBI tapes, transcripts and radio interviews, 1979

Box-folder 9:54

Notes on files in law office of Charles R. Garry, 1979

Box-folder 9:55

Correspondence about anniversaries of Johnstown, 1984-1988

 

Series II:  Peoples Temple Related Materials, 1968-1988

Physical Description: Boxes 10-16, Folders 56-112; Box 17-18, Audiotapes 3-17

Scope and Content Note

Contains correspondence between the Moores and Peoples Temple members and relatives (Folders 56-72). Information about the organization, its history, supporters and detractors, such as the Concerned Relatives, is included in this series as well as court documents about the dissolution of the Peoples Temple and disbursement of its assets. Newspaper articles (sorted into subjects by the Moores), audiotapes of the murder-suicide ritual "White Night," radio interview shows on Jonestown, and conversations between members of Peoples Temple are also found here. This series also contains records of the family's attempts to contact relatives of those who died in Guyana to urge Congress to continue investigations into the circumstances that led to their deaths.
Box-folder 10:56-57

Moore and Layton families' correspondence, 1969-1987

Box-folder 10:58

Larry Layton's appeal for leniency, 1986-1987

Box-folder 10:59-60

Newsclippings on Layton family, 1978-1987

Box-folder 10:61

Papers related to Mike Prokes' suicide, 1978-1979

Box-folder 10:62

Peoples Temple members' letters to Moore family, 1977-1979

Box-folder 10:63

Press conference and correspondence with Charles Garry, 1978-1980

Box-folder 10:64

Concerned Relatives' accusation and petition, April 11, 1978

Box-folder 11:65

Lawsuits filed against Peoples Temple, 1976-October 1978

Box-folder 11:66

Peoples Temple responses to accusations and lawsuits, 1976-1978

Box-folder 11:67

Lawsuits and legal documents filed by Peoples Temple, 1978

Box-folder 11:68

Public officials' statements in support of Peoples Temple, 1976-1978

Box-folder 11:69

Internal memos and papers on Apostolic Corporation, 1973-1978

Box-folder 11:70

"Gang of Eight" letter to Jim Jones from former members, 1973

Box-folder 11:71

Issues of Peoples Forum, 1976-1977

Box-folder 11:72

Peoples Temple flyers and pamphlets on Jonestown, 1976-1977

Box-folder 12:73-79

Peoples Temple's assets, 1978-1983

Box-folder 13:80-82

Committee for Justice correspondence and papers, 1983-1984

Box-folder 13:83-84

List of Peoples Temple members who went to Guyana, 1978

Box-folder 13:85-87

Screenplay by Ezra Schacht on conspiracies, 1983

Box-folder 14:88-16:107

Newsclippings

Box-folder 14:88

Jim Jones, 1968-1983

Box-folder 14:89

Peoples Temple before Jonestown, 1972-1978

Box-folder 15:90-94

Jonestown, 1978-1979

Box-folder 15:95

Jonestown, 1980-September, 1988

Box-folder 15:96-97

10th anniversary of Jonestown, November 1988

Box-folder 15:98

Congressman Leo J. Ryan, 1978-1987

Box-folder 15:99

Charles R. Garry, 1977-1979

Box-folder 15:100

Mark Lane, 1978-1979

Box-folder 15:101

Stephan Jones, 1978-1983

Box-folder 15:102

Mills family and hit squad, 1978-1980

Box-folder 15:103

Book reviews, 1978-1982

Box-folder 15:104

Critiques of Jonestown media coverage, 1978-1986

Box-folder 15:105-106

Jonestown from Guyana publications, 1977-1988

Box-folder 16:107

Cults, 1978-1988

Box-folder 16:108

Periodicals on cults and new religions, 1979-1984

Box-folder 16:109

Essays on Jonestown and utopias, 1973-1981

Box-folder 16:110-112

Newsclippings, maps, travel guides to Guyana, 1979-1988

Box-folder 17:3-9

Audiotapes of "White Night," 1978

Box-folder 18:10-17

Audiotapes of radio interviews and speeches, 1978-1981

 

Series III:  U.S. Government and Legal Documents, 1974-1985

Physical Description: Boxes 19-28, Folders 113-198

Scope and Content Note

Organized in order of FOIA requests, then by responding government agency, materials in this series document the family's investigations into the role of the U.S. Government before and after the events in Guyana. Requests for information filed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to each agency are followed by replies, denials and/or subsequent releases. Sixty-one sheets of microfiche released by U.S. Department of State are located in Folder 158. Of the two lawsuits filed by the family, McGehee v. CIA had a substantial impact on the release of information and on general FOIA activities. The files of private investigator John Hanrahan, who was hired by the Moore family to interview U.S. government officials and file additional FOIA requests, are found in Folders 128-130, 160-167.
Box-folder 19:113

FOIA guidelines and program reports, 1974-1984

Box-folder 19:114

Newsclippings on FOIA, 1978-1984

Box-folder 19:115

U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms FOIA requests, 1980

Box-folder 19:116

U.S. Customs Service FOIA requests and releases, 1980

Box-folder 19:117-120

U.S. Department of Defense FOIA requests and releases, 1980-1984

Box-folder 19:121

U.S. Postal and Internal Revenue Services FOIA requests, 1980

Box-folder 20:122

U.S. General Accounting Office release of report to Congress on foster care children in Jonestown, 1979-1980

Box-folder 20:123

California Attorney General reports on Peoples Temple, 1981

Box-folder 20:124

Health, Education and Welfare FOIA releases, 1980-1981

Box-folder 20:125-127

Social Security Administration FOIA releases, 1980-1981

Box-folder 20:128-129

Interviews related to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and FOIA releases, 1980-1981

Box-folder 21:130

FCC FOIA requests and releases, 1981

Box-folder 21:131

U.S. Department of Justice annual report on FOIA activities, 1982

Box-folder 21:132

FOIA releases on drugs from U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement and other agencies, 1980-1981

Box-folder 21:133-134

U.S. Department of Justice FOIA requests and releases, 1980-1984

Box-folder 21:135

Deposition of Louis B. Sims for Leon Steinberg v. Interpol, 1979

Box-folder 21:136-147

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) FOIA

Box-folder 21:136

Correspondence and newsclippings, 1979-1985

Box-folder 22:137

Requests about John and Barbara Moore, 1979-1980

Box-folder 22:138

Releases on Congressman Ryan and Guyana Index, 1980

Box-folder 22:139

Releases on Peoples Temple prior to Nov. 18, 1978; 1982

Box-folder 22:140

Releases on Peoples Temple, Jim Jones and Mike Prokes, 1982-1983

Box-folder 22:141-142

Release of Peoples Temple member's journal, 1984

Box-folder 22:143

Releases on Peoples Temple communications between U.S. and Guyana, 1980

Box-folder 22:144

Releases on Peoples Temple contact with communist countries, 1980

Box-folder 22:145-146

Releases on Peoples Temple and Soviet Union, 1980

Box-folder 23:147

Releases on drugs and medical personnel in Jonestown, 1980

Box-folder 23:148-155

Moore v. FBI

Box-folder 23:148-149

Correspondence, 1979-1985

Box-folder 23:150-154

Legal documents, 1983-1984

Box-folder 24:155

Releases on Carolyn Moore Layton, 1984

Box-folder 24:156

U.S. Department of State evaluation report of U.S. Embassy in Guyana and newsclippings, 1979

Box-folder 24:157

Correspondence with U.S. Department of State and public officials about FOIA requests, 1980-1985

Box-folder 24:158

U.S. Department of State FOIA release of microfiche records on Peoples Temple in Jonestown, Guyana, 1982

Box-folder 24:159

Rebecca's notes on microfiche records, 1983

Box-folder 24:160

Interviews related to U.S. Department of State, 1980-1981

Box-folder 24:161-164

U.S. Department of State FOIA requests and releases

Box-folder 24:161-163

1981-1983

Box-folder 25:164

1984-1985

Box-folder 25:165-167

Hanrahan and Moore family

Box-folder 25:165-166

Correspondence on Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), 1978-1982

Box-folder 25:167

Contract and invoices, 1979-1981

Box-folder 25:168-169

CIA reports to Congress on FOIA activities, 1977-1985

Box-folder 25:170

Legislative proposal on CIA reform, 1980

Box-folder 25:171-172

Newsclippings on CIA, 1974-1985

Box-folder 26:173

CIA FOIA requests and releases, 1980-1981

Box-folder 26:174-193

McGehee v. CIA

Box-folder 26:174-177

Correspondence, 1978-1987

Box-folder 26:178-188

Legal documents,

Box-folder 26:178-180

1980-1981

Box-folder 27:181-188

1981-1984

Box-folder 28:189

Released documents

Box-folder 28:189

Department of State, 1984

Box-folder 28:190-193

CIA, 1984

Box-folder 28:194-196

CIA FOIA requests and releases, 1982-1987

Box-folder 28:197-198

Newsclippings

Box-folder 28:197

McGehee v. CIA, 1983

Box-folder 28:198

CIA and Jonestown, 1980-1983