Victims of the Mountain Meadows Massacre
Approximately 120 men,
women, and children were massacred at Mountain Meadows in southern Utah on
September 11, 1857. In the past few years, the Mormon church has
acknowledged that the Mormons who lived in the area were part of those that
perpetrated the massacre. The emphasis of this site will be two
fold. First, to concentrate on the victims. Second, to be a
reference site that will give as much information as possible on the event.
A list of victims of
this massacre can be found at http://www.cswnet.com/~sschmitz/ccmmm.html
. Most were in one of two wagon parties that were traveling through
the area. Many were from Arkansas. I have not checked the list
against books, so I cannot guarantee that the list is correct. The
honest truth is that we do not know everyone who died at Mountain Meadows
from September 7 - 11, 1857.
The Mountain Meadows
Association maintains the site at http://www.mtn-meadows-assoc.com/
A saying at the opening of the home page shows the spirit that permeates the
site. It says Forgiveness
measures the love we have for one another - Marshall Ray Tackett. This group, as well as the
Mormon church President Gordon B. Hinckley, have worked hard to repair 145
years of hatred and misunderstanding. This site also has a ton of
A victim oriented
site, with many photos, can be found at http://members.aol.com/tnf49/mm.html
. It shows photos of all of the relevant markers, with some
Other Side of the
Mountain Meadows Massacre
For many years, the
Mormon church said that the Indians did the killings. Twenty years after
the massacre, Mormon Bishop John D. Lee was charged and convicted of the killing
a few people that fateful day. We now know that John D. Lee was a
scapegoat, though guilty of what he was charged with. Others known at the
time to have participated were not tried for the crime. About 50 years
ago, Juanita Brooks wrote her ground breaking book, Mountain Meadows Massacre,
which clearly laid out who the victims were, and that the Mormons, including at
least the southern Utah hierarchy, were involved in the planning and the
execution of the massacre. Recently, Will Bagley wrote another ground
breaking book which presents much history about the victims which had not been
previously published, and made the case even more airtight as to who did the
killing. The one part that is still not fully shown is whether Brigham
Young himself ordered the attack, either directly or indirectly.
In the past few years,
President of the Mormon Church Gordon B. Hinckley, has gone a long way to make
peace with the Arkansas decendants of the massacre, and has put the Mormons
somewhere in the battle. Inwardly, I suspect he knows that Juanita was
A site that deals
fairly with the "who did it" angle is found at http://www.greaterthings.com/Topical/Mountain_Meadows_Massacre/.
It has many source documents, and represents the massacre for what it was -
a tragedy of killing of 120 or so men, women, and children organized and
most carried out by Mormon men.
about Mountain Meadows Massacre
Here are the books, in
order of importance from most important to least important, about Mountain
Meadows and the events that occurred there 145 years ago.
of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows by
Will Bagley; University of Oklahoma Press. (Oct. 2002) This is the
most important book on the topic. It is exquisitely researched, and
very well written in an entertaining yet scholarly style. An
presentation that Will gave in October 2002 can be found at http://www.salamandersociety.org/snapshots/bagley/
It is very much
Mountain Meadows Massacre by Juanita Brooks. Brooks broke brave
ground, and this book is the most important historical Mormon book.
Even though this book is more than 50 years old, it has aged very well.
extract from John D. Lee's book MOMONISM ( sic ) UNVEILED;
OR THE LIFE AND CONFESSIONS OF THE LATE MORMON BISHOP, JOHN D. LEE; (Written
by Himself) EMBRACING A HISTORY OF MORMONISM FROM ITS INCEPTION
DOWN TO THE PRESENT TIME, WITH AN EXPOSITION OF THE SECRET HISTORY, SIGNS,
SYMBOLS AND CRIMES OF THE
MORMON CHURCH. ALSO THE TRUE HISTORY OF THE HORRIBLE BUTCHERY KNOWN AS THE
MOUNTAIN MEADOWS MASSACRE. -PUBLISHED 1877--Pages 213-248 LAST
CONFESSION AND STATEMENT OF JOHN D. LEE. CHAPTER XVIII. WRITTEN
AT HIS DICTATION AND DELIVERED TO WILLIAM W. BISHOP, ATTORNEY FOR LEE, WITH
A REQUEST THAT THE
SAME BE PUBLISHED can be found at http://www.xmission.com/~country/reason/lee_mm.htm
This is the part of his book that talks about Mountain Meadows and the
events that happened there.
Kingdom : The Mormon Theocracy in the American West, 1847-1896
by David L. Bigler
Doyle Lee: Zealot, Pioneer Builder, Scapegoat by Juanita Brooks.
This book is
not nearly as well researched or well written at her MMM book.
The Life and Times of Bishop Philip Klingensmith By
Anna Jean Backus. Arthur H. Clark Co. This book is not recommended.
and Exploring the Paria River : Including : The Story of John D. Lee and
Mountain Meadows Massacre by Michael Kelsey, 1997
Water by Judith Freeman, presents MMM in novel format. I do not
at Mountain Meadows : An American Legend and a Monumental Crime
by William Wise
Meadows Massacre ( the book is online ) by Josiah F
Fielding, Robert Kent and Dorothy S. Fielding. The Tribune Reports of the
Trials of John D. Lee for the Massacre at Mountain Meadow. Higganum, Conn:
Kent's Books, 2000.
Reviews about the Mountain Meadows Massacre
Rob Briggs wrote a
full review of Blood of the Prophets for Sunstone. An online version
of that review ( much longer than his review in the printed Sunstone ) can
be found at http://www.sunstoneonline.com/magazine/issues/125/briggs_more%20complete%20review%20for%20web.pdf
Please note that Will Bagley and Rob Briggs will present on February 8, 2003
at the Miller-Eccles Study Group. The agenda for the next
Miller-Eccles Study Group can be read at: http://www.mesg.tierranet.com/
under the link “Current Newsletter”.
Mormon Murder Case - The New York Review previews Blood
of the Prophets by Bagley, and Red Water by Freeman.
SL Trib book review of Backus' Klingensmith book. Not a very
good book, and a review that says so.
Accounts about the Mountain Meadows Massacre ( reverse chronological order )
John D. Lee Letter Contains 19th Century Ore ( SL Trib, March 6,
2003 ) and
is dated as pre-1861 - But
the writing by 'Lee' may still be forgery (
Deseret News, March 9, 2003 ). A lead sheet, possibly a forgery, was
found in January 2002. It is signed by John D. Lee, and says that
Brigham Young ordered the massacre. None of this is news, of
course, since that was Lee's contention at the end of his life. The
dating of this sheet at 1861 will give pause to those who think it is a
forgery. A picture of the lead plate is at right, and a picture of the
fort at Lee's Ferry where he lived late in his life is below.
Meadows debate still smolders (Deseret News, Jan. 9, 2003) -
Oral histories of descendants rife with controversy, a short account of
Shannon Novak's presentation.
Version Depends on Viewpoint ( SL Trib, January 9, 2003 ). A
short account of a talk by Shannon Novak. She conducted the forensics on the
remains dug up at Mountain Meadows, and is writing a book about the events
and evidence of September 1857.
Takes New Look at Massacre ( SL Trib, August 11, 2002 ). A
short account of the sales success of Blood of the Prophets.
D. Lee Statue Vexes Town of Washington (SL Trib, July 6,
Meadows Debated Anew ( SL Trib, May 19, 2001 ). Report of the
Mormon History Association meeting.
The Salt Lake Tribune ran a three part series on Mountain Meadows from
March 12 - 14, 2000. All three parts, together, can be found at http://www.cesnur.org/testi/morm_01.htm
(I) Backhoe at a S. Utah killing field rips open 142-year-old wound
A project to rectify a historic injustice accidentally reopens an
ugly past, prompting vain attempts at a cover-up and a high-level
decision to skirt state law.
(II) Voices of the Dead
After a century of conflicting accounts of a horrible crime, science
begins to piece together the unvarnished truth from the victims
(III) The Dilemma of Blame
Although the modern LDS Church has declared the book closed on the
massacre, its legacy is not easily put to rest.
LDS Church used ground penetrating radar to find the graves.
This April 1999 article is important to understand the stories about the
disturbing of the bones a short while later.
Church Pledges to Rebuild Mountain Meadows Grave Marker - In
January 1999, the Mormon Church offered to rebuilt the Mountain Meadows
Meadows Association organized ( SL Trib, Sept 29, 1998
play about Mountain Meadows ( SL Trib, May 31, 1992 )