Mountain Meadows Massacre

2370 words 10 pages
On the day of September 11, 1857, an emigrant party camped at Mountain Meadows was brutally killed by the Mormon militia aided by Indians. This essay examines two viewpoints regarding the massacre found in Sally Denton’s “American Massacre” and in “Massacre at Mountain Meadows” by Ronald W. Walker, Richard E. Turley, and Glen M. Turley. September 7, 1857, the emigrants of the Fancher-Baker train were just awakening and preparing for the day when gunshots were sounded. The emigrants were caught by surprise and immediately fortified themselves with their wagons. For days they were harassed, lacking food and water. Finally a Mormon leader by the name of John D. Lee came to them with a white flag. The Fancher-Baker party was desperate …show more content…

When the Fancher-Baker emigrants arrived in Utah, many of them expected superior treatment from the Mormons. From the time they left, they planned on Utah as being a place to restock their supplies and rest, greeted by friendly Mormons. Little did the emigrants know that the Mormons were preparing for war, and were following a strict war policy laid down by Brigham Young and Church Leaders. The emigrants arrived to a different Salt Lake City than planned. These events are explained, but differ, by Denton as well as Walker, Turley, and Leonard. Denton takes the emigrants’ side, explaining that they were innocent and the Mormons treated them with unnecessary cruelty. Throughout chapter nine in her book, Denton states the Mormon settlers make false claims about the Fancher group, as well as “allegations of false conduct”, and “threats” (Denton 120). The Mormons kicked the party off what the emigrants thought to be land owned by the U.S. Denton helps enhance the thought of hostility from the Mormons by stating, “The severe treatment of a band of God-fearing emigrants by God-fearing Mormons has bewildered historians” (Denton 123). She explains that the Mormons had no reason to treat the emigrant party the way they did except for possibly the destruction of private property by the massive cattle herd (Denton 123). As one can see