Sunday, March 29, 2015

Mountain Meadow Massacre

Mountain Meadow Massacre

On September 11th, 1857 a wagon train from Arkansas that was passing through Southern Utah was attacked by Mormons and about 140 men, women and children were killed.

The people of the wagon train had surrendered after a several day siege by the Mormons.  The men were taken from the group, disarmed and while walking with one Mormon per man an order was yelled saying, "Do Your Duty!" and each man was killed by their Mormon guard.

After the men were killed, the women and older children were either shot or had their throats slit.  Children who were thought to be under the age of 8 were spared from death and given to Mormon families to raise. The 17 children were eventually returned to Arkansas.

Because of the Civil War it took several years before a formal investigation was completed.  John D. Lee was eventually excommunicated by the Church and executed for his crimes by federal authorities.  He was the only one convicted.
John D. Lee
There is no significant proof that Brigham Young had ordered the massacre but their is evidence that he stalled, delayed and hindered the investigations.  Members of the church spread myths about the Indian involvement and changed the narrative that was taught for more than 100 years.

There is also clear evidence that Brigham Young had taught a message of revenge, isolationism and murder that contributed to the 1857 hysteria.

Only recently has the Church apologized for the massacre.

Monument Built by LDS Church

Wikipedia Article
Henry Erying Statement
Smithsonian Magazine Article

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