Massacre at Mountain Meadows

by Glen M. LeonardRichard E. Turley, Jr., Ronald W. Walker,

Massacre at Mountain Meadows

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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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  • SKU: 4932848


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based upon 12 reviews
An important read for all members.
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

This book offers a concise and full account of the Massacre at Mountain Meadows. I believe it is very important to acknowledge this horrible atrocity and deal with the terrifying details. Fully honest and thoroughly written, this book has deepened my understanding of the massacre especially in regards to the climate leading to the killings-in essence the making of a massacre. I concluded the book in the evening when my family was asleep. All I could do was weep, uncontrollably. I was horrified and full of complete sorrow for the victims and the perpetrators. This is the essential book to read if you seek understanding of this most significant event in early Utah and Mormon history.

Excellant read
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

It is the most impartial account of the event that I have read. It truly gives you a better understanding of all events that lead up to the massacre. The authors did not pull any punches.

It paints an accurate view
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

I saw the book at Deseret Book and grabbed it the first day. My husband has been reading other books on this topic. We have been very anxious for this book to come out. We were wanting to read the Church's view on this topic. We feel the authors gave an accurate portrayal of what happened. It was not one-sided as so many others have been. Thank you for writing the book.

About the Authors

Glen M. Leonard

Glen M. Leonard, director of the Museum of Church History and Art in Salt Lake City, graduated from the University of Utah with a Ph.D. in history and American Studies. Formerly the managing editor of the Utah Historical Quarterly, he has published award-winning articles on Utah history and has taught classes at BYU and USU. His previous books include The Story of the Latter-day Saints (co-authored with James B. Allen) and A History of Davis County. He lives in Farmington, Utah.

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Richard E. Turley, Jr.

RICHARD E. TURLEY, JR., Assistant Church Historian and Recorder for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is the chairman of the editorial board for The Joseph Smith Papers series. He is the author or co-author of several books, including How We Got the Book of Mormon, with William W. Slaughter; Massacre at Mountain Meadows, with Ronald W. Walker and Glen M. Leonard; and Stories from the Life of Joseph Smith, with Lael Littke. In addition, he is the coeditor of the series Women of Faith in the Latter Days, with Brittany A. Chapman. He and his wife, Shirley, live in Taylorsville, Utah.

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Ronald W. Walker

No biography available

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