Letters to Dad (E)

[Editor’s notes: This page was transcribed by Cole Waterman. The editors gratefully acknowledge his invaluable assistance.

[The letters on this page derive from several sources, principally FBI Section 126 • EE-1 • Letters to Dad (A-F)FBI Section 130 • EE-2 • Letters to Jim Jones; and FBI Sections 121-123 • BB-31 – BB-32 • Tim Stoen, D Touchette.

[Insofar as possible, these letters have been arranged in alphabetical order of the writer’s last name. Unless otherwise noted, the letters retain their original spelling and grammar.]



The Rev. James & Irene Edwards Typed Letter to Jim Jones

To Whom It May Concern:

We have read, with great interest the local media coverage of Peoples Temple in general, and the matters dealing with our property, in particular. Since no one in the press saw fit to ask our opinion of the matter, but rather, in sensationalist fashion simply came to the conclusion that we were “swindled” out of our property, against our wishes, we decided to write. This kind of journalism is regretable in a personal sense, because the slant it gives about our “case” is totally untrue. We were not “swindled”, pressured or otherwise intimidated into donating our property. We did so because we firmly believe that those with the blessing of greater material comforts have a duty to share them with those less fortunate than themselves.

Our contribution of our property has helped to build this agricultural project where we now live. It is an amazing pioneer-like community, where people of every race and age are working together to build a model of sharing and cooperation. We are proud of our part in this development. We have our own lovely cottage, designed to our specifications and needs and we can enjoy a future that is free from the pressures of urban living– no worries about rent, repairs, bills, or crime. At the same time, we are not idle. We direct a senior citizens program and help to advise the younger members of the community from years of experience, as part of a community council.

In truth, we have gotten far more out of our association with Peoples Temple than we ever put in. But we don’t suppose those whose only measure of happiness is personal material wealth can really grasp that fact. In a sense, we can see why our sister is knocking the church and our pastor—she knows what she has lost, and it is far more than just a chance to get a percentage of the profit from our home.

/s/ Mr. and Mrs. James Edwards
Mr. and Mrs. James Edwards



The Rev. James Edwards Letter to Jim Jones

Farther you Are the Dearest Savior Any one Could Ask for

Thank you farther on the Teaching on Last Evening was on How important it is to be Here. We Are Privlage to Hear your marvelous words. On Race Hatred I Boston A posted sign saying Every one should on A Niggey.

Blacks ran out of town.

A Black woman lost Her Home for taxes

Saying Slaves ware more Healthy under Slavery

The Cleomatrick Theory That In Order to Balance Job All the Black And 30% of the pore white would be Destroyed.

James Edwards



James Edwards Letter to Dad



I have been a ass and not a good [illegible word] as I should have been. I have taken exter porshion [extra portion] of food and I knew better.

I have had sex with Pearl Morise [Pearley Morris] before I left San Francisco. I allso had sex with Joana Garvin.

For my behaver on yesterday I will have one meal a day for two weeks.

James Edwards


EE1-E9a – 9c

The Rev. James Edwards Test Answers

James Edwards

  1. What is the Four Enemy of Communist – Revisionism, Anarchism, Trotskyism, Social Democracy
  2. Tell all you Know about Pro 13
  3. Explain Arms Struggle. Is ware you take Arms to Promote Communist the Red Brigade Action is Arms strugl, Terris is Set fire to A movie and Kill working people
  4. Name some Defernt Part of Senet Bill 1437
    1. be Present
  5. What African Country Did the Colric Ziare
  6. What statmen Did Joshua Nkomo to Carter. Kiss My Black Fat Ass
  7. How dos senense fixin art
  8. How is country movie Z like the U.S. It Police stand Back and do nothing to Help.
  9. Why didn’t the Police Help the Deputy Be cause he was A part of what was Happening
  10. Robert Mugabe & Joshua Nkomo The Leader of the Patriotic Front
  11. Why did Carter S.A.L.T.
  12. Explain the conflict Between Kampuchea & Vietnam. The Chinese Bynest & capitalists is been put out of Vietnam
  13. Tell what you can About Chilean Ship the Esmeralda was a torchis ship throw People over Bord At high Sea. And Rape woman and was welcome to San Francisco.
  14. Explaind the Demand Carter
  15. What country is to withdraw N.A.T.O. The country that Pull because of Turkey, But can not think of the Country.
  16. Who is threatin to go to war with USSR China
  17. What should you do if ever Arested Ask to see A Lawer or DaD
  18. Name a Black leade that A Revinist Angela Davis
  19. What Country [Transcriber’s note: the following nation and leader names are in boxes] Egypt [Anwar] Sadat | Israel [Menachem] Begin | Cuba [Fidel] Castro | Ian Smith – Rhodesia | [John] Vorster – Zimbabwe | [Leonid] Brezhnev – USSR
  20. What magazine was Red in the Begending of the movie Z
  21. What Do I stand for – He is Still Alive
  22. Who is John Harris He was Senets to deth in a Prison in Alabama
  23. Who is Joan Little – A Black woman from South Carolina who Defende her self agance A jailer
  24. Name Seven Deferent Parts of Senet Bill 1437

To be Present at a meeting Prosting the Rule of way that go thro a Park

To leaflet with 200 feet of A Federal Building Wile in session



Shirley Edwards Letter to Jim Jones


Dear Dad

Last night after the meeting an incident happen between Edith Roller and me. When I came home Juanita Green and I had to put the light on to get out our sleepers, Edith just had light to see. She jumped up and said did we have to put on the light and why was all this talking going on. I told her it would only be on for a minute just until I found my sleepers. She said I had an attitude and thats why Isaac was lying half dead in Georgetown and that you had to save him. I told her to keep my Dad name out of her mouth. Dad the way she made it seem like I was using light unnecessary Because of all the money you had to spend on Isaac. Dad I think she was out of line for bring his name in it. What we was talking about did not concern him.

Jossie Chambliss & Juanita Green was a witness

I want to say I am grateful to you for saving his life and making it possible for him being here.

Thank you Dad
Shirley Edwards


EE1-E8a – 8b

Zipporah Edwards Letter to Jim Jones

This is why we left the U.S.A

the nutron bomb that can be set to cover a certain area and kill all the people and not disturb a piece of paper or pen on a table or anything else

ethnic weapons where certain chemical can be put in food and water that would cause mass genocide to all blacks and people of color

concentration camps where all people of color would be the first to go and many would die like they did in Germany

Earthquakes that would destroy entire cities and wash most of Los Angeles in the ocean

food shortages brought on by the draughts and many people would starve especially blacks they would be kept from geting food so the whites would be sure they would have enough for themselves. the black would be shot if they tried to get food

Bill 1427 where if you are arrested and question and if you didn’t give the Answer they want you to, you can be jailed as long as they want to keep you

Also there will be an oil shortage where there wont be fuel to run hospitals cars nursing homes planes and all other industries that need fuel to function.

the buzz bomb that woud fly at treetop level and would most likely hit a mountain and explode and destroy cities Kill thousands of people right in the United States the buzz bomb was built to stop onComing missiles from other Countries also race riots Klu Klux Klan party that spreads race hatred ending up in two races seperate and unequal black and white in a race war which would be disastrous for the black because we would not have any backing because all law inforcement agencies woud turn on us.

I am so glad father, that because of your great love we wont have to face those things so we must stand together and fight for this beautiful socialist cause to Keep those Kind of things from spreading thank you father for everything

Zipporah Edwards



Zipporah Edwards Letter to Jim Jones

[Transcriber’s note: First page appears as a cover note or envelope addressed to Carolyn Layton]

Carolyn – you may want to save this. Jim already saw it.


EE1-E10b – 10c

Dear Dad.

I was out side the other night and I looked up at the stars, I never saw such beautiful sight in my life. they all twinkling as though as they were saying to me welcome I am glad you are free from that Capitalist society. it is so lovely here in this Country. I look back in my life and just think I never dreamed that I would ever be doing the thing I am doing now working to help liberate all the oppressed people of the world. And I am so grateful to you for making it possible because without you I never would have known what it was all about. it gives one such a good feeling to know that you are doing something for betterment of down trodden people. And I thank you for giving me a chance to learn and gain knowledge of whats going on in the world and that I can become a true Communist I am going to study harder than ever to learn more. I thank you for all these years I have known you because I know that it wasn’t not by chance that I turned on my TV that Sunday morning and you were there I never will forget the feeling that came over me when I heard you speak I knew at once that I had found what I had been looking for. And I made my pledge that as long as I lived I never would leave. So I thank you dad for all you have done for every one. And leting me know who you are. I have alway wish I could have walked with the Christ but you proved to be much greater than the one I thought about. And I thank you for allowing me the privelege of walking with you. I thank for every thing. I think on you every day and I am blessed to be here.

Zipporah Edwards

Dad I wrot this letter about two weeks ago. And it got missed place and the other day Hyacinth [Thrash] found it but never looked to see what it was and threw it in the waste basket. I went out and emptied it but after some time I looked on my shelf among my clothes and there this letter was. I never thought I would ever see it again. thank you dad because I could not have thought of the same words to say again because I am always moved upon to write you. Sometime I have gone to bed and all of a sudden I am moved to write about the things thats on my heart. I get right up and do so thank so much



Undated Note to Jim Jones from Zippy Edwards

Jim – I heard you say that you wanted everyone who worked to write up what their job is the time you put in. When I was at the radio room, I went to work at 7 AM to 1 PM and worked at Central Supply at 1:30 PM to 4 PM, but I haven’t been at the radio room 4.3 weeks after they moved Hyacinth [sister, Hyacinth Thrash] and I out of the Senior Center. I had to help her get together each morning, that rushed me and having to come back every now and then to see if she needed anything, so I talked it over with Ava Jones about being off for a while until we got someone to help out. Ava told me to do so and she would let me know later. I still work at Central Supply and in my spare time I cut up stuffings for the toys. I like working at Central Supply very much because I had [a] job once where I had to work with clothes. I like doing that and anything else that will help.

[Transliteration for Russian “Thank you”] for everything.

Zippy Edwards



Alonzo Evans Letter to Jim Jones

San Fran. Calif
Alonzo Evans

Hello Jim

Life give me No better time to write you and the family. Tell every one hello.

Jim i will be back but Not until i can get my thing together. Don’t feal you love me, Because you didn’t. I haven’t did any wrong. Just trying to work that is all i been doing. Tell Tim Stoen and the Houston family they will receive their money Real soon, and tell Jerry Liverston [Livingston] that i will send his five dollar also I love you all and will be home soon, Trust me,

Love & Peace



Debbey Evans Letter to Jim Jones


I’m not sure if you’re aware, but Tuesday evening I was instructed to call the bail bondsman for my court date for trial.

When I called, he said; “Good news; all charges have been dropped and the case has been dismissed due to lack of evidence!” I don’t have to show up for any kind of hearing!

You said everything would be alright and you were so right – as always.

I’m so grateful; I only hope I can prove deserving of such love and kindness; and all that you are.

Thank-you again;
Debbey Evans



Undated Letter and Note to Marceline and Jim Jones from Debbie Evans


Letter from Debbie Evans

Mentions Danny [Curtin] is lonely & says his brothers [Clifford Gieg, Stanley Gieg] are in the right place.

Positive on her part. Might want to read it to the congregation.


EE-2-d-1b – 1i


Dear Mom (Marcie)

Got your letter, and as always was really glad to hear from you. The pictures were wonderful; glad you got Stan in there! It’s just amazing how much they have grown… They truly are not little boys anymore, but fine young men. Everyone really looks well.

Things are about the same here – still at a hectic pace, trying to get this stuff out as quickly as possible.

Still working; just started with new interns and am already pulling my hair out! If I finally show up in Jonestown bald … you know why! Did Jimmy Jr. [Jim Jones Jr.] tell you I talked to him the other night … him and about 20 other of the guys were in the radio room with Cliff; what a rowdy bunch!!! Really though all the young men sounded so good and really enthusiastic about all they were doing. Jimmy’s voice is so deep; they tell me he has the biggest feet in Jonestown – but when you’re 8 feet tall (and he sounds about that tall!) what else do you expect!

Almost every time I talk with Teri [Terry Carter Jones], Lew [Jones] comes in and says “Hi” – and always talks about the baby, and about all the babies there.

One thing – Cliff and Lew both asked about Danny – Danny just left on a ship; will be gone about 2-3 months. Going to Asia, Philippines, Micronesia and supposed to go through the Caribbean. He called before he left; and we talked for about an hour. He said a lot of things about how he knew that “Dad” was the only Father, and that the work in Jonestown would not go down but would succeed – and was glad the boys were there doing it like they should. He knew how right it was – and that he was too proud, and too self-serving and that’s why he was not where he should be.

He knew that it was quite possible that when he returned I would not be here – and he would be totally cut off from the family; and he had never felt so alone – and hoped someday that if he came to Guyana he would be able to see everyone. He said that if it came down to it getting hard to get out of here (for me and others) he would do what he could to “hold folks off” so we could leave –

He got a call from Freeman; those had called Freeman about signing the petition (“Concerned Relatives”) against us – because she knew her signature alone would mean nothing. Freeman called Danny about it and Danny told him to leave it alone & stay out of it unless he wanted to start something he couldn’t finish and lose the boys at the same time. (Not the most terrific PR – but effective; he didn’t sign and we’re still on superficially friendly terms – although he’s rather cool – but then that’s not new –)

Danny was crying when he was talking – first time I’ve heard him cry in many years; maybe something was sinking into that thick exterior of his; maybe not.

So who knows where he will end up – he knows and believes in the Principle and is proud of the boys for staying with it – he can’t at this point swallow his own ego & pride and get back into what he knows is right. He’s not happy; he’s constantly on the defensive; wheeling & dealing to survive; and he’s alone and was realizing just how much pain there was in the world. This is to let you know – I did not want to tell Lew and Cliff (and no doubt Stan) because things can be misinterpreted in a letter. He has not been “against” us; but he’s not to be envied either; he’s unhappy and unfulfilled and he knows it. He does not want them to look to any other place for happiness, because I think he’s finally realizing there is no other place where one can be truly happy or content.

I think he’s finally realizing what is of real value and life; Father; family and friends who think and believe as we do – a Principle to live your life by. He will probably never change and quite possibly we will never see him again – but he knows that is his fault; and his decision.

Maybe none of this is really necessary and they are not really concerned about it. And I’m sure I’m looking at this more emotionally than objectively, and that is why I did not want to breech [broach] the subject myself. You know what is appropriate more than I –

Also – Rose has come out against us; (i.e. that petition bit) and has now remarried again (#4). I talked to her 1 or 2 times; she’s been very cool and detached; and only asked about the boys in passing. Did not want to hear about the project and trying to belittle or ignore any positive statement I made.

And Freeman – has his life – realizes now the boys are not coming back; does not really want to hear me talk about the project, he has his work and his life and he is “very busy”. He does want to hear from the boys though; letters & pictures; and they should write; so that he will not be taken in by Rose if she should try to make him choose sides against us. I think it’s just a matter of covering all bases – and then again it may not even make a heck of a lot of difference – but as long as we’re still here; it would probably be a good idea.

So – if they want to know – that’s where their immediate family stands – I will not be telling them any of this, but if you feel it’s appropriate please do – otherwise that’s that.

So enough of that stuff – I have to finish some inventories and then get ready for work (yick!); soon we will all be in Jonestown; together and living the life as it should be; for all to see.

If nothing else: the appreciation and reestablishing of my values and beliefs – my family and my Father; has been worth the long separation.

Existence is hollow, meaningless without the Principle to work for; the camaraderie and warmth of the people who believe as you do … no matter the day-to-day squabbles for problems … is nothing compared to the vast despair and aloneness that this system produces … and this time apart only reaffirms my opinions. I guess what really brought it to a crystallization was when I realized how little people actually laugh – and laugh together; with the same feeling and knowing … we’ve laughed together; and felt together, and those [illegible word] were eternities; because we were not alone.

Someday people will realize they do not have to endure such despair.

Well enough babbling – I’ve definitely written a long enough letter –

Take care – as I know you will; I have a sign on my desk that I look at often – it says:

“… Although I may not sit and talk with you, or share a cup of coffee with you; you are my comrades and I’m counting on you…” (Jim – 1976)

and I know he is; for whatever it is I can do – and to me; that’s what it’s all about.

With all the affection and love that I have; one of your daughters; Deb [Evans]