The Last Month at Jonestown – November 1978: The Documents

At a small compound in the jungles of northwestern Guyana, November 1978 was an intense month of preparation and negotiation for the upcoming visit of a Leo Ryan, a congressman from California, and his entourage of concerned family members and opponents of the Jonestown project. Below is a chronological list of documents – memos, audio recordings, and videos – of the last month at Jonestown.


October – A Memo from Sharon Amos on “The Campaign against Peoples Temple” — Transcript  ||  Annotation  ||  RYMUR 89-4286-1894

November 1 – Leo Ryan sends a telegram to Jim Jones expressing an interest in visiting Jonestown — Transcript  ||  Annotation  || RYMUR 89-4286-AA-1-K-1

**November 2 – Memo from San Francisco with a note from Mark Lane concerning Ryan’s visit  — Transcript || Annotation || RYMUR 89-4286-AA-1-gg

** November 2 – Note to Sharon (Amos?) from Dick Doughty (?) about Ryan’s message to Jones — Transcript || Annotation || RYMUR 89-4286-MM-8-16

**November 3 – Jim Jones reads and interprets the news for the community — Q 322 – Transcript  ||  Annotation  ||  Q 322 (mp3)

**November 4 – Letter from Peoples Temple to KNBC news station in Burbank, CA — Transcript || Annotation || RYMUR 89-4286-AA-1-y

<EM>November 4 – Memo from San Francisco Temple entirely about Ryan’s visit — Transcript || Annotation || RYMUR 89-4286-AA-1-cc

**November 4 – Memo from San Francisco temple that mentions Ryan’s visit with another congressman, Edward Derwinski from Illinois — Transcript || Annotation || RYMUR 89-4286-E-3-A-2


November 5 – US Embassy in Georgetown representative Burke writes letter to State Department about negotiations with Jonestown regarding Ryan visit — Transcript  ||  Annotation  ||  National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D780457–0244

November 5 – Annie Moore writes a memo to Jones that a member had been poisoning Jones’ drinks — Transcript  ||  Annotation  ||  RYMUR 89-4286-N1-A43  ||  Discussions at Alternative Considerations

**November 5 – A Letter from Dick Tropp to KNBC in Burbank, CA (perhaps a draft) — Transcript || Annotation || RYMUR 89-4286-AA-1-z

<EM>November 5 – Memo with information from San Francisco Temple — Transcript || Annotation || RYMUR 89-4286-AA-1-dd

November 6 – Mark Lane, a Temple lawyer, responds to Leo Ryan’s letter and writes another letter to Richard McCoy, the US State Department Desk Officer in Guyana — Lane to Ryan – Transcript || Annotation  ||  RYMUR 89-4286-AA-1-I-1 — Lane to McCoy – Transcript || Annotation  ||  RYMUR 89-4286-AA-1-I-5

November 6 – Jim Jones reads and interprets the news for the community — Q 169 – Transcript  ||  Annotation  ||  Q 169 (access to mp3)

**Fact Sheet on Ryan – Transcript  ||  Annotation  ||  RYMUR 89-4286-E-3-A-2

November 6 – Jim Jones gives instructions to clean up Jonestown for a visit — Q 234 – Transcript  ||  Annotation  ||  Q 234

**November 6 – Memo with information from San Francisco Temple — Transcript || Annotation || RYMUR 89-4286-AA-1-ee

**November 6 – Letter from Eugene Chaikin to Mark Lane explaining progress and outlining the material sent to him — Transcript || Annotation || RYMUR 89-4286-NN-6-J

**November 7 – Memo with information from San Francisco Temple – Kilduff informed the Temple that Ryan visit was proceeding — Transcript || Annotation || RYMUR 89-4286-AA-1-ff

November 8 – Jim Jones announces the impending visit by Leo Ryan to the community — Q 175 – Transcript ||  Annotation  ||  Q175

Richard Tropp’s Memo on the Visit — Transcript  ||  Annotation  || RYMUR 89-4286-AA-1-x-1

** November 8 – Memo from San Francisco concerning Ryan’s visit — Transcript || Annotation || RYMUR 89-4286-AA-1-a

**November 8 – Draft of formal petition to not allow Ryan party in to JT — Transcript || Annotation || RYMUR 89-4286-AA-1-q

**November ## (no date) – Communication from Georgetown to JT on Garry’s response to Lane, and who they think should be allowed in to JT — Transcript || Annotation || RYMUR 89-4286-AA-1-b

November 9 – Peoples Temple community signs a petition to block Ryan’s visit — Transcript  ||  Annotation  ||  RYMUR 89-4286-571

November 10 – Leo Ryan writes a confrontational response to Mark Lane declaring his intention to visit in spite of Lane’s arguments — Ryan to Lane – Transcript || Annotation  ||  RYMUR 89-4286-AA-1-F-3-5

**November 10 – Memo from Georgetown – not much planning for Ryan in these but there is planning for regular operations — Transcript || Annotation || RYMUR 89-4286-E-3-A-2(34)

<EM> November ## (no date) – The Temple in San Francisco acquired copies of the letters Ryan was bringing to Jonestown from families in the states — Transcript || Annotation || RYMUR 89-4286-AA-1-e

November 10 – Jim Jones leads a “Peoples Rally” to discuss Ryan’s visit — Q 313 – Transcript  ||  Annotation  ||  Q 313 (mp3)

**November 10 – Radio conversation journal of conversation with Georgetown – this would need to be decoded — Transcript || Annotation || RYMUR 89-4286-JJ-38

**November 11 – Charles Garry, the Temple’s lawyer in San Francisco, calls the Temple there to protest Mark Lane’s involvement and threatens to quit — Q 708 – Transcript  ||  Annotation  ||  Q708 (mp3)

**November 11 – Memo from San Francisco – bad copy, difficult to read –Transcript || Annotation || RYMUR 89-4286-AA-1-gg

<KM>November 11 – Law Office Report #55 about the Stoen custody case — Transcript || Annotation || RYMUR 89-4286-X-1-b-15

**November 11 – Jones reads the news from 11/9 and 11/10. Community is under siege, be prepared to die, instructions on visit, view of the Concerned Relatives — Transcript || Annotation || Q-323 (mp3)

<HL> November 11 – Notes from Peoples Temple Staff at Lamaha Gardens in Georgetown concerning preparations for the visit of Ryan. This includes a list of Concerned Relatives who want to travel to Jonestown — Transcript || Annotation || RYMUR 89-4286-E-3-A-2(37-38)

<HL> November 12 – Continuation of the notes from Lamaha Gardens from November 11 — Transcript || Annotation || RYMUR 89-4286-E-3-A-2(25-26)

November 13 – As a last effort to prevent Ryan’s visit, leaders make a formal statement of opposition — PT Statement – Transcript  ||  Annotation  ||  RYMUR 89-4286-1894

**November 13 – Memo from San Francisco – notes from Garry and Lane –Transcript || Annotation || RYMUR 89-4286-AA-1-hh

**November 13 – Notes from Georgetown, many  stationed there are returning to Jonestown for Ryan’s visit — Transcript || Annotation || RYMUR 89-4286-E-3-A-2(20)

**November 13 – Jones discusses the coming visit, dated to 11/13/78. “We have a right to use reasonable force” — Transcript || Annotation || Q-314 (mp3)

**November 13 – Decoded transmission about a message received on 11/13 setting forth conditions for the upcoming visit of Ryan — Transcript || Annotation || Q-56 (mp3)

**November 13 (no date, but around this time) – Jones discusses the coming visit, seems more favorable on Ryan now — Transcript || Annotation || Q-320 (mp3)

**November 13 – Transcript of an NBC interview by Don Harris with Charles Garry — Transcript || Annotation || RYMUR 89-4286-I-1-a-9

**November 14 – Bad copy of a report on news coverage back in San Francisco — Transcript || Annotation || RYMUR 89-4286-AA-1-aa

**November 14 (no date but around here) – List of items needed in Jonestown from San Francisco including files and evidence of the conspiracy — Transcript || Annotation || RYMUR 89-4286-AA-1-ii

<AK> November 14 – Preparing for Ryan’s arrival, attempts to get Guyana government to keep Ryan in Georgetown. — Transcript || Annotation || RYMUR 89-4286-E-3-A-2(15)

<AK> November 15 – Description of events at Office in Georgetown, Ryan’s entourage showed up uninvited; also plans for basketball tournament. — Transcript || Annotation || RYMUR 89-4286-E-3-A-2(11)

<ES> November 15 – Jonestown Press Release about Ryan’s visit — Transcript || Annotation || RYMUR 89-4286-E-3-A-2(7)

<TR> November 15 – Checklist of activities for Georgetown personnel to prepare for Ryan’s visit — Transcript || Annotation || RYMUR 89-4286-E-3-A-2(9)


<KC> November 16 – Notes from Georgetown on arrival of Ryan and his group — Transcript || Annotation || RYMUR 89-4286-X-3-e-1

<KC> November 16 – Georgetown notes during Ryan visit – SF Chronicle reporter at house — Transcript || Annotation || RYMUR 89-4286-E-3-A-2(4-5)

November 16 – Jim Jones leads a “Peoples Rally” to discuss Ryan’s visit in two days — Q 050 – Transcript  ||  Annotation  || Q 050 (access to mp3)

<ES>November 17 – Memo to Georgetown about arranging departures for Ryan  — Transcript || Annotation || RYMUR 89-4286-E-3-A-2(6) 

November 17 – Leo Ryan addresses the Jonestown community during his visit — Q 048 – Transcript  ||  Annotation  ||  Q 048 (mp3)

November 18 – Recording of a brief interview with Patty and Judy Houston — Q 039 – Transcript  ||  Annotation  || Q 039 (mp3)

November 18 (afternoon) – Recording of phone calls with US Embassy — Q 1289 – Transcript  ||  Annotation  ||  Q1289 (mp3)

November 18 (evening) – US Embassy tries to understand coded messages as the deaths begin — Q 1290 – Transcript  ||  Annotation  ||  Q1290 (mp3)

November 18 (evening) – Jones addresses the community as the deaths at Jonestown begin — Q 042 – Transcript  ||  Annotation  ||  Q 042 (mp3)

November 18 – Richard Tropp’s Last Letter regarding Jonestown — Transcript  ||  Annotation  || RYMUR 89-4286-X-1-a-54