[81] It is unclear whether Young held this view because he believed that this specific group posed an actual threat to colonists or because he believed that the group was directly responsible for past crimes against Mormons. Historians speculate that the Missouri Wildcats poisoned the spring by accident. [58] Based on a somewhat ambiguous statement by Joseph Smith, some Mormons believed that Jesus would return in 1891[59] and that God would soon exact punishment against the United States for persecuting Mormons and martyring Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Patten and Pratt. He recorded Hamblin's account that the train was alleged to have poisoned a spring near Corn Creek; this resulted in the deaths of 18 head of cattle and two or three people who ate the contaminated meat. On September 11, 1857, some 50 to 60 local militiamen in southern Utah, aided by American Indian allies, massacred about 120 emigrants who were traveling by wagon to California. In 1858, Young sent a report to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs stating that the massacre was the work of Native Americans. In April 1857 a California-bound wagon train estimated at 40 wagons, 120 to 150 men, women, and children, and as many as 900 head of beef cattle, in addition to draft and riding animals, assembled near the Crooked Creek, approximately four miles south of present-day Harrison, Arkansas. John Cradlebaugh to the Grand Jury, Provo, Tuesday, March 8, 1859)", "Tragedy at Mountain Meadows Massacre: Toward a Consensus Account and Time Line", "Horrible Massacre of Arkansas and Missouri Emigrants (Letter to G.N. They had traveled the 165 miles (266 km) south from Salt Lake City, and Jacob Hamblin suggested that the wagon train continue on the trail and rest their cattle at Mountain Meadows, which had good pasture and was adjacent to his homestead. Members of the militia were sworn to secrecy. The victims, most of them from Arkansas, were on their way to California with dreams of a bright future. 64–66. [31] Dame, Philip Klingensmith and two others (Ellott Willden and George Adair, Jr.) were indicted and arrested while warrants were obtained to pursue the arrests of four others (Haight, Higbee, William C. Stewart and Samuel Jukes) who had gone into hiding. The remaining personal property of the Baker–Fancher party was taken to the tithing house at Cedar City and auctioned off to local Mormons. Doug McCormick. After walking a distance from the camp, the militiamen, with the help of auxiliary forces hiding nearby, attacked the emigrants. James Buchanan, believing the Mormons to be in a state of open rebellion, ordered some 2,500 soldiers to Utah to replace Young, who had…. War hysteria preceding the Mountain Meadows Massacre, Conspiracy and siege of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, Killings and aftermath of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, Investigations and prosecutions relating to the Mountain Meadows Massacre, Mountain Meadows Massacre and Mormon public relations, Mountain Meadows Massacre and Mormon theology, Brigham Young and the Mountain Meadows Massacre, Remembrances of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, Utah State Division of Parks and Recreation, Burying The Past: Legacy of The Mountain Meadows Massacre, American Massacre: The Tragedy At Mountain Meadows, September 1857, National Register of Historic Places portal, List of National Historic Landmarks in Utah, National Register of Historic Places listings in Washington County, Utah, "Jacob Hamblin: A Narrative of His Personal Experience Fifth Book of the Faith-Promoting Series (Chapter VI)", "Laban Morrill Testimony—Witness for the Prosecution at Second Trial of John D. Lee September 14 to 20, 1876 (Mountain Meadows Massacre Trials (John D. Lee Trials) 1875–1876)", "Mountain Meadows Massacre Site in Utah by Phil Konstantin", "Mountain Meadows Massacre, Affidavit of Philip Klingensmith", "Visit of the Superintendent of Indian Affairs to Southern Utah", "Charge (Orally delivered by Hon. The massacre occurred September 7–11, 1857 at Mountain Meadows in southern Utah, and was perpetrated by Mormon settlers belonging to the Utah Territorial Militia (officially called the Nauvoo Legion), together with some Southern Paiute Native Americans. The Indians we expect will do as they please but you should try and preserve good feelings with them. Carleton invited readers to consider a potential explanation for the rumors of misdeeds, noting the general atmosphere of distrust among Mormons for strangers at the time, and that some locals appeared jealous of the Fancher party's wealth. [100], In 2014, archaeologist Everett Bassett discovered two rock piles he believes mark additional graves. When Smith returned to Salt Lake, Brigham Young met with these leaders on September 1, 1857, and encouraged them to fight against the Americans in the anticipated clash with the U.S. Army. Sixteen more were wounded. The Mountain Meadows Monument Foundation has expressed their desire that the sites are conserved and given national monument status. The Mountain Meadows Massacre is an American tragedy in a West full of atrocities. ", "Eyring expresses regret for pioneer massacre", LDS Church Apologizes for Mountain Meadows Massacre, "Mountain Meadows now a national historic landmark", "Archaeologist: Mountain Meadows Massacre graves found", "Voices of the Mountain Meadows descendants", "The Mountain Meadows Massacre: An Analytical Narrative Based on Participant Confessions", "Utah and the Mormons: a Speech on the Admission of Utah as a State", "The Paiute Tribe of Utah/The Mountain Meadows Massacre", "Fatal Convergence in the Kingdom of God: The Mountain Meadows Massacre in American History", "Mountain Meadows Massacre Trials (John D. Lee Trials) 1875–1876, Testimony of Jacob Hamblin", "Limits of Forebearance—Apostates—Economy—Giving Endowments", "Greater Responsibilities of Those Who Know the Truth, &c.", "Testimony of Philip J Klingensmith in the First trial of John D. Lee", "Loose in the stacks, a half-century with the Utah War and its legacy", "Supplement to the lecture on the Mountain Meadows massacre. During the mid-1850s, Young instituted a Mormon Reformation, intending to "lay the axe at the root of the tree of sin and iniquity". [46] The first detailed and comprehensive work using modern historical methods was The Mountain Meadows Massacre in 1950 by Juanita Brooks, a Mormon scholar who lived near the area in southern Utah. On 11 September 1857, some 50 to 60 local militiamen in southern Utah, aided by American Indian allies, massacred about 120 emigrants who were traveling by wagon to California. Lee was entitled under Utah Territorial statute to choose the method of his execution from three possible options: hanging, firing squad, or decapitation. "Territorial Dispatches: the Sentence of Lee", Diary of Daniel Davis, July 8, 1849, the LDS archives - as quoted in. Brigham Young sought to enlist the help of Native American tribes in fighting the "Americans", encouraging them to steal cattle from emigrant trains, and to join Mormons in fighting the approaching army. In this episode, we’re just going to talk about what happened. Leonard J. Arrington, founder of the Mormon History Association, reports that Brigham Young received the rider, James Haslam, at his office on the same day. [3] They were joined along the way by families and individuals from other states, including Missouri. Mason: The Mountain Meadows Massacre was the tragic culmination of several different historical forces in early Mormonism. [12], The somewhat dispirited Baker–Fancher party found water and fresh grazing for its livestock after reaching grassy, mountain-ringed Mountain Meadows, a widely known stopover on the old Spanish Trail, in early September. President James Buchanan had recently issued an order to send troops to Utah. [11] Following the Council, Isaac C. Haight decided to send a messenger south to John D. "[26] Possibly as a protective measure against the mistrusted federal court system, Mormon territorial probate court judge Elias Smith arrested Young under a territorial warrant, perhaps hoping to divert any trial of Young into a friendly Mormon territorial court. [15][21] Young's letter arrived two days too late, on September 13, 1857. [82], According to historian MacKinnon, "After the [Utah] war, U.S. President James Buchanan implied that face-to-face communications with Brigham Young might have averted the conflict, and Young argued that a north-south telegraph line in Utah could have prevented the Mountain Meadows massacre. Brigham Young to Isaac C. Haight, September. Some of the cattle were taken to Salt Lake City and sold or traded. After gathering up the skulls and bones of those who had died, Carleton's troops buried them and erected a cairn and cross.[24]. This monument was a simple cairn built over the gravesite of 34 victims, and was topped by a large cedar cross. [44] National newspapers covered the Lee trials closely from 1874 to 1876, and his execution in 1877 was widely covered. The horrific crime, which spared only 17 children age six and under, occurred in a highland valley called the Mountain Meadows, roughly 35 miles southwest of Cedar City. However, the massacre at Mountain Meadows is almost certainly a result of that conflict, and the loss of 120 innocent lives demonstrates the war wasn’t bloodless at all. On Sept. 7, 1857, Paiutes and some Mormons dressed as Paiutes first attacked. [19] Accepting this, the emigrants were led out of their fortification. Eventually Young issued a declaration of martial law. In particular, they were officially expelled from the state of Missouri during the 1838 Mormon War, during which prominent Mormon apostle David W. Patten was killed in battle. On Sept. 7, 1857, Paiutes and some Mormons dressed as Paiutes first attacked. The events of the Mountain Meadows Massacre were absolutely appalling. Initial reports of the incident date back at least to October of 1857 in the Los Angeles Star. The horrific crime, which spared only 17 children age six and under, occurred in a highland valley called the Mountain Meadows, roughly 35 miles southwest of Cedar City. [73] They were also affected by the report to Brigham Young that the Baker–Fancher party was from Arkansas where Pratt was murdered. The fight lasted five days and the Baker-Fancher party began to run out of ammunition, water, and food. [13] Meanwhile, organization among the local Mormon leadership reportedly broke down. [40] Brigham Young stated that Lee's fate was just, but not a sufficient blood atonement, given the enormity of the crime.[41]. Mountain Meadows Massacre Investigation Treasures in America has a long history with this story. But it did. [95] In August 1999, when the LDS Church's construction of the 1999 monument had started, the remains of at least 28 massacre victims were dug up by a backhoe. [28] Apparently because no federal charges ensued, Young was released. Mormons were required to stockpile grain, and were enjoined against selling grain to emigrants for use as cattle feed. The militia members assured the emigrants they were protected, and after handing over their weapons, the emigrants were escorted from their hasty fortification. From July to September 1857, Mormon leaders and their followers prepared for a siege that could have ended up similar to the seven-year Bleeding Kansas problem occurring at the time. (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1984), 5:577. [27] Cradlebaugh publicly charged Brigham Young as an instigator to the massacre and therefore an "accessory before the fact. [24] Carleton later said it was "a sight which can never be forgotten." [22], An early investigation was conducted by Brigham Young,[15] who interviewed John D. Lee on September 29, 1857. "[50], In addition, during the prior decades, the religion had undergone a period of intense persecution in the American Midwest. However, they debate whether Young knew about the planned massacre ahead of time and whether he initially condoned it before later taking a strong public stand against it. I shall repay", Young responded, "it should be vengeance is mine and I have taken a little. They anticipated several days of rest and recuperation there before the next 40 miles (64 km) would take them out of Utah. You must not meddle with them. (A Mormon who listened to a sermon by Young in 1849 recorded that Young said "if any one was catched stealing to shoot them dead on the spot and they should not be hurt for it"); See Patriarchal blessing of William H. Dame, February 20, 1854, in Harold W. Pease, "The Life and Works of William Horne Dame", M.A. A federal judge brought into the territory after the Utah War, Judge John Cradlebaugh, in March 1859 convened a grand jury in Provo, concerning the massacre, but the jury declined any indictments. They were camped near what is the present-day town of Enterprise when they were besieged by what they thought were Indians. The groups were mostly from Marion, Crawford, Carroll, and Johnson counties in Arkansas, and had assembled into a wagon train at Beller's Stand, south of Harrison, to emigrate to southern California. Jacob Forney, Superintendent of Indian Affairs for Utah, also conducted an investigation that included visiting the region in the summer of 1859 and retrieved many of the surviving children of massacre victims who had been housed with Mormon families, and gathered them in preparation of transporting them to their relatives in Arkansas. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. As the Baker-Fancher train camped at Mountain Meadows, some of the residents of Cedar City and the surrounding areas determined that some action needed to be taken against the emigrants. [87][88], The first monument for the victims was built two years after the massacre, by Major Carleton and the U.S. Army. In addition, the process of sifting through conflicting accounts can help students The women and children were then ambushed and killed by more militia that were hiding in nearby bushes and ravines. [37] Lee called no witnesses in his defense. [11] The plan for a Native American massacre was discussed, but not all the Council members agreed it was the right approach. He issued a report in May 1859, addressed to the U.S. Assistant Adjutant-General, setting forth his findings. Important additional testimony recently received", "Eleanor McLean and the Murder of Parley P. Pratt", "LDS 'Headquarters Culture' and the Rest of Mormonism: Past and Present", Malinda (Cameron) Scott Thurston Deposition, "Shining New Light on the Mountain Meadows Massacre (2003 FairMormon Conference)", "Proclamation of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints", "Instructions to the Bishops—Men Judged According to their Knowledge—Organization of the Spirit and Body—Thought and Labor to be Blended Together", "To Know God is Eternal Life—God the Father of Our Spirits and Bodies—Things Created Spiritually First—Atonement by the Shedding of Blood". But, on September 7, the party was attacked by Mormon militiamen dressed as Native Americans and some Native American Paiutes. Some of the property of the dead was reportedly taken by the Native Americans involved, while large amounts of their valuables and cattle were taken by the Mormons in Southern Utah, including John D. Lee. By Sept. 11, the Mormons feared that the settlers had realized their identities. [47] Since then, the LDS Church has condemned the massacre and acknowledged involvement by local Mormon leaders. The horrific crime, which spared only 17 children aged six and under, occurred in a highland valley called the Mountain Meadows, roughly 35 miles southwest of Cedar City.” We’re going to cover this issue in 2 parts. But, he also included a statement from an investigator who did not believe the Fancher party was capable of poisoning the spring, given its size. While on his return trip to Salt Lake City, Smith camped near the Baker–Fancher party on August 25 at Corn Creek, (near present-day Kanosh) 70 miles (110 km) north of Parowan. By this time, the emigrants were running low on water and provisions, and allowed some members of the militia—who approached under a white flag—to enter their camp. The Native American chiefs were reluctant, and at least one objected they had previously been told not to steal, and declined the offer.[79]. If the bones found in 1999 have been reinterred by official fiat, and most of the relics of the massacre remain undiscovered, the valley is still littered with the debris of unsettled history. [5], The Baker–Fancher party were refused stocks in Salt Lake City and chose to leave there and take the Old Spanish Trail, which passed through southern Utah. [26] Cradlebaugh attempted to arrest John D. Lee, Isaac Haight, and John Higbee, but these men fled before they could be found. I am not going to get into that discussion with this article – but, instead, focus on the story of what happened and two little boys, Allred descendants, who survived the violence. Whitman)", "THE POWERS OF THE PRIESTHOOD NOT GENERALLY UNDERSTOOD--THE NECESSITY OF LIVING BY REVELATION--THE ABUSE OF BLESSINGS", "To the Honorable Judge of the Court, in the town of Van Buren, State of Arkansas, May 12, 1957 (Mrs. Pratt's Letter to the Judge)", "Further Particulars of the Murder - To Brother Orson (A letter from Eleanor McLean Pratt)", "Murder of Parley P. Pratt, One of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints", "Fulfilment of Prophecy—Wars and Commotions", "Malinda (Cameron) Scott Thurston Deposition", "The Mountain Meadows Massacre: An Aberration of Mormon Practice", "Correspondence: Trip to the Santa Clara", "Mountain Meadows Massacre affidavit linked to Mark Hofmann", "Mountain Meadows Massacre Artifact Now Believed To Be A Fake", "Mountain Meadows affidavit Hofmann forgery? Omissions? It has its own unique history in what has happened and taken place during its establishment. "[91][92] In 1932 citizens of the surrounding area constructed a memorial wall around the remnants of the monument. The Mountain Meadows Massacre happened on September 11, 1857. [13] The Baker–Fancher party defended itself by encircling and lowering their wagons, wheels chained together, along with digging shallow trenches and throwing dirt both below and into the wagons, which made a strong barrier. The Utah War delayed any investigation by the U.S. federal government until 1859, when Jacob Forney,[23] and U.S. Army Brevet Major James Henry Carleton conducted investigations. [9], The Baker–Fancher party left Corn Creek and continued the 125 miles (201 km) to Mountain Meadows, passing Parowan and Cedar City, southern Utah communities led respectively by Stake Presidents William H. Dame and Isaac C. Haight. He met with many of the eventual participants in the massacre, including W. H. Dame, Isaac Haight, John D. Lee and Chief Jackson, leader of a band of Paiutes. When a signal was given, the militiamen turned and shot the male members of the Baker–Fancher party standing by their side. [85][86] Analysis indicates that Edwards's signature may have been traced and that the typeset belonged to a typewriter manufactured in the 1950s. [76], Scholars have asserted that George A. Smith's tour of southern Utah influenced the decision to attack and destroy the Fancher–Baker emigrant train near Mountain Meadows, Utah. The perpetrators killed all the adults and older children in the group, sparing only seventeen young children under the age of seven. “What was done here long ago by members of our Church represents a terrible and inexcusable departure from Christian teaching and conduct. The militia did not kill some small children who were deemed too young to relate the story. [7], While most witnesses said that the Fanchers were in general a peaceful party whose members behaved well along the trail, rumors spread about misdeeds. There are no other trains going south that I know of[.] Investigations, after interruption by the American Civil War, resulted in nine indictments during 1874. Lee's second trial began September 13, 1876, before an all-Mormon jury. [98][99], In 2011, the site was designated as a National Historic Landmark after joint efforts by descendants of those killed and the LDS Church. Made aware of the livestock then on the 150th anniversary of the participants for their role in Mountain! And is the present-day town of Enterprise when they were joined along the way by families individuals. Mine and I have taken a little fight lasted five days and climate. Investigators obtained Klingensmith 's confession St. George, Utah territory existed as a result, commander. And not at any of the Mormon militia in southern Utah signing up for this email, you what happened in the mountain meadows massacre to! Major James Henry Carleton led the first federal Investigation of the incident date at. 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