On 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 Young's 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 expose, Massacre at Mountain Meadows provides the clearest and most accurate account of a key event in American religious history.
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Was the mountain meadows massacre an attack led by Mormons, on innocent immigrants? Yes, but to accurately judge a historic event like this you really need to examine surrounding events that led up to this point. The authors are not (as other reviewers have mentioned) 'trying to make the Mormon church look good', they are trying to give you an accurate window into the lives of Mormons at that point in history. By doing this, the authors help us gain better understanding and insight into what the Mormon people might have been thinking and feeling at the time and WHY this tragic event happened. The authors of this book did an excellent job. If you read the preface you will find that they were aware of their potential biases and they explain the steps they took to give the reader an accurate and unbiased account of what happened. They included information from as many primary sources as were available. This is a very well researched book and if you have a physical copy of the book, you can see that about 1/3 to 1/4 of the book are pages dedicated to citing their sources.
- Amazon Customer
Slow to get started - not fully balanced.