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Barbara C. Moore Correspondence, 1968-1999 | Special Collections & University Archives

By Shawna Bishop

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Collection Overview

Title: Barbara C. Moore Correspondence, 1968-1999Add to your cart.

Primary Creator: Moore, Barbara C. (1922-2004)

Extent: 2.52 Linear Feet


I. Barbara C. Moore Correspondence, (1968-1999)

        1. Letters, Year Unknown

        2. Letters from Barbara Moore to her brother, Robert A. Moore, and his wife, Mary Covington

II. Greeting Cards

III. Photographs

Date Acquired: 09/13/2016

Subjects: Jones, Jim, 1931-1978, Jonestown Mass Suicide, Jonestown, Guyana, 1978--Sources, Peoples Temple--History--Sources

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Barbara C. Moore Correspondence (1968-1999) collection contains correspondence from Barbara Moore to her daughter Rebecca Moore beginning when Rebecca ("Becky") left home to attend college and continuing throughout the following three decades. The collection also contains letters from Barbara to Pat Clary (Rebecca’s first husband) while he was in the Vietnam War, as well as a few letters from John Moore (Rebecca’s father) to Rebecca, and numerous letters and greeting cards from Barbara to her brother Robert. Other items in the collection include photographs of Barbara and family members, newspaper clippings, copies of John’s sermons sent to Rebecca, and greeting cards sent for a variety of occasions. The collection consists of three series: Correspondence (1964-2002), Greeting Cards, and Photographs.    

            Series one, Correspondence (1964-2002), contains the main correspondence from Barbara, organized chronologically by date. Each folder within this series is dedicated to a year and is organized by month and day within. Some letters have an approximate year, which is indicated on the letter itself using brackets and a question mark (for example: [1980?]). There are two subseries: Letters, Year Unknown, which consists of letters that had no identifying year, and Letters from Barbara Moore to her brother, Robert A. Covington, and his wife, Mary Covington. The folders for the former are organized alphabetically by letter recipient. These letters are mainly to Rebecca and Fielding McGehee III (“Mac”, Becky’s second husband) but there are some addressed to Becky and Pat, as well as to Pat alone while he was in the Vietnam war. The second of the two sub-series is mainly comprised of letters and greeting cards from Barbara to her brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Mary Covington.

            The Greeting Cards series contains greeting cards that did not accompany a letter. The majority of the cards are simply signed by Barbara and John, with a few containing longer messages within. Letters that accompanied greeting cards can be found in series one.

            The Photographs series contains photographs of family members and Barbara. Each picture has been labeled on the back with the known information. Other photographs that accompanied letters can be found in series one.

Biographical Note

Barbara Covington (later Moore) was born on June 7, 1922, in Glendale, CA. Barbara attended Pasadena Junior College in the 1940s. In 1942, Barbara met John Moore through mutual friends and the two married six months later. Barbara and John had three daughters: Carolyn, born July 1945; Rebecca born February 1951; and Ann, born May 1954, along with several failed pregnancies. The family moved around the west coast in order to follow John’s career as a Methodist Pastor. In the 1970s, Carolyn and Annie both joined Peoples Temple and became prominent members. Carolyn, Annie, and Barbara’s 3-year-old grandson Jim-John all died in the tragedy of Jonestown, Guyana in 1978. Her surviving daughter, Rebecca, was a professor of religious studies at San Diego State University from 1999 until her retirement in 2015. Rebecca has dedicated much of her career to the study of Peoples Temple. Barbara was an active member of the Methodist Church and the community throughout her life. She devoted herself to helping the less fortunate by taking in runaway youths and becoming a prominent member of the homeless organization “Loaves and Fishes,” among many other community activities. Barbara died on June 21, 2004.

Subject/Index Terms

Jones, Jim, 1931-1978
Jonestown Mass Suicide, Jonestown, Guyana, 1978--Sources
Peoples Temple--History--Sources

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections & University Archives

Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in these materials have been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also obtain in order to publish. Materials from our collection are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

Related Materials: Rebecca Moore Papers, 1951-2013 For more information please see

Preferred Citation: Identification of item, folder title, box number, Barbara C. Moore Correspondence, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1],
[Series 2],
[Series 3],

Series 2Add to your cart.
Box 6Add to your cart.
Folder 41: Greeting CardsAdd to your cart.
Some greeting cards have a date and/or year, others are unknown. Cards were to Becky from Barbara and John, her husband Mac, or her daughter December. They were for a variety of holidays and occasions. Some cards contain long notes inside, others are simply signed. Some cards have been altered by Barbara to add a personal touch. There are other greeting cards located throughout the other folders that were left due to their relationship with corresponding letters.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1],
[Series 2],
[Series 3],

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