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Fielding M. McGehee III Papers

Identifier: MS-0525

Scope and Contents

The Fielding M. McGehee III Papers (1967-1999) consist primarily of correspondence between McGehee and his parents, Fielding McGehee, Jr. and Helen McGehee, and also include some correspondence to and from other family members. Many letters include discussion about draft resistance efforts as well as Peoples Temple and the agricultural settlement at Jonestown, Guyana. Some writings related to the draft are also included.

Some of the letters in the collection from friends and family members contain stories about Hillary Ann Moore, the youngest of three siblings adopted by Fielding and his wife Rebecca Moore while living in South Dakota. Hillary was born with endomyocardial disease, a condition which resulted in her death in 1995 at the age of 15. Determined not to let memories of her pass into oblivion, Fielding and Rebecca gathered these stories into a published memoir of her life, A Streak of Scarlet.


  • 1967-1999
  • Majority of material found in 1967-1980


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in some of these materials have been transferred to or belong to San Diego State University. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections means that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. 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 be obtained in order to publish.  Materials from our collections 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.

Biographical Note

Fielding Merwin McGehee III was born in Charlottesville, Virginia at the end of the 1940s at the height of the Baby Boom. He is the oldest child of parents Fielding McGehee, Jr. and Helen McGehee. Due to his father’s occupation, McGehee spent a significant portion of his adolescence in the Netherlands. He was rebellious as a teenager, a time that coincided with the period of social tumult in the mid-to late-1960s. As part of that rebellion, at Antioch College in Ohio McGehee became an activist against U.S. involvement in Vietnam, an activism which led him to drop out of college and pursue a leadership role in antiwar organizations. Furthermore, McGehee became an active resister to the military draft.

After a four-year hiatus, McGehee returned to Antioch College to complete a degree in journalism and political science. Following the failures of an early marriage and an ill-conceived business venture in journalism that had taken him to California, Fielding returned to Washington in 1977. There he renewed a friendship with a former college classmate and fellow writer, Rebecca Moore - a friendship that soon evolved into romance and marriage in 1980, both of which continue to this day. Fielding followed Rebecca Moore in her several careers – first in television production, then as a college professor – in South Dakota, Montana, Nevada, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and California, before their recent relocation to Friday Harbor in Washington State.

Fielding McGehee has had several careers with public interest groups – the National Council to Repeal the Draft, the Military Audit Project, and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press among them – but it wasn’t until the 1978 tragedy in Jonestown, Guyana which resulted in the deaths of more than 900 people that he found his calling. He is the co-founder of the Jonestown Institute, an online resource which seeks to honor both the living and the dead from the tragedy, and to gather as much information as possible – including reflections of the survivors – into a single place. More than 15 years after its beginning, the resource is the largest repository of government records on the tragedy, the only location with a complete listing of everyone who died that day – including biographical information, photos, and remembrances from loved ones – and a collection of original and reprinted academic articles from numerous perspectives. The Jonestown Institute continues to thrive at


0.42 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Source of Acquisition

Fielding M. McGehee III


May 2015

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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections & University Archives Repository

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