Massacre at Mountain Meadows by Ronald W. WalkerOn September 11, 1857, a band of Mormon militia, under a flag of truce, lured unarmed members of a party of emigrants from their fortified encampment and, with their Paiute allies, killed them. More than 120 men, women, and children perished in the slaughter.
Massacre at Mountain Meadows offers the most thoroughly researched account of the massacre ever written. Drawn from documents previously not available to scholars and a careful re-reading of traditional sources, this gripping narrative offers fascinating new insight into why Mormons settlers in isolated southern Utah deceived the emigrant party with a promise of safety and then killed the adults and all but seventeen of the youngest children. The book sheds light on factors contributing to the tragic event, including the war hysteria that overcame the Mormons after President James Buchanan dispatched federal troops to Utah Territory to put down a supposed rebellion, the suspicion and conflicts that polarized the perpetrators and victims, and the reminders of attacks on Mormons in earlier settlements in Missouri and Illinois. It also analyzes the influence of Brigham Youngs rhetoric and military strategy during the infamous Utah War and the role of local Mormon militia leaders in enticing Paiute Indians to join in the attack. Throughout the book, the authors paint finely drawn portraits of the key players in the drama, their backgrounds, personalities, and roles in the unfolding story of misunderstanding, misinformation, indecision, and personal vendettas.
The Mountain Meadows Massacre stands as one of the darkest events in Mormon history. Neither a whitewash nor an exposï¿½, Massacre at Mountain Meadows provides the clearest and most accurate account of a key event in American religious history.
Massacre at Mountain Meadows
On September 11, , Mormon settlers in southern Utah used a false flag of truce to lull a group of California-bound emigrants from their circled wagons and then slaughter them. When the killing was over, more than one hundred butchered bodies lay strewn across a half-mile stretch of an upland meadow. Most of the victims were women and children. What did the terrible atrocity say about the killers? What did it say about their church and its leaders? Did early Mormonism possess a violent strain so deep and volcanic that it erupted without warning?
Massacre at Mountain Meadows 1st Edition. Massacre at Mountain Meadows offers the most thoroughly researched account of the massacre ever written. Richard E. Turley, Jr. is Assistant Church Historian for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
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The massacre has left a legacy, a burden upon members of the Church, and the only way you can erase that burden, lift that burden, is to confront it with complete honesty and open disclosure, and then at that point healing can take place. We felt that in order to face this topic head-on and in order to make it more comfortable for people to talk about, to promote healing, we just had to face it. We had to uncover all the facts wherever we could find them and then let the evidence tell the story for us. Only by facing this story head-on, directly, could we finally expect to get to a point where real healing could take place. I was excited about that prospect that our goal would be to find the truth and to present it with candor. For ten years off and on before I got involved in this book, I had been working with some of the descendants of the victims, the Arkansas people, in the projects that led to two monuments at the meadows. I sensed their distrust of Mormon historians because they feared we were hiding something and they wanted to know what we were hiding.