American Massacre

American Massacre

The Tragedy at Mountain Meadows, September 1857

Book - 2003
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Baker & Taylor
An analysis of the September 1857 massacre of a gold-laden wagon train of settlers passing through Utah draws on historical records to argue that Brigham Young and members of the Mormon Church played key roles in the crime.

Book News
Controversy has raged over identity of the organizers and participants of the "Mountain Meadows Massacre" ever since a California-bound wagon train was beset in Utah Territory in 1857 by local Mormons and Paiute Indians (as the story is conventionally told Paiutes contest this version and are now supported by physical evidence), killing all but seven of the 140 emigrants over the course of four days. The only person ever held criminally responsible for the crime, John D. Lee, was executed 20 years later, condemning the Mormon Church Leaders as the real instigators of the crime. Investigative reporter Denton revisits those events, exploring the development and aftermath of the episode, concluding that Brigham Young and other church leaders were indeed responsible. Annotation (c) Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Blackwell North Amer
In September 1857, a wagon train passing through Utah laden with gold was attacked. Approximately 140 people were slaughtered, only 17 children under the age of eight were vjkspared. This incident in an open field called Mountain Meadows has ever since been the focus of passionate debate. Is it possible that official Morman dignitaries were responsible for the massacre? In her book, Sally Denton makes a convincing argument that they were.
Denton makes clear that in the immediate aftermath of the massacre, the church began placing the blame on a discredited Mormon, John D. Lee, and on various Native Americans. She cites contemporaneous records and newly discovered documents to support her argument that, in fact, the Mormon leader, Brigham Young, bore significant responsibility - that Young, impelled by the church's financial crises, facing increasingly intense scrutiny and condemnation by the federal government, incited the crime by both word and deed.
Finally, Denton explains how the rapidly expanding and enormously rich Mormon church of today still struggles to absolve itself of responsibility for what may well be an act of religious fanaticism unparalleled in the annals of American history.

& Taylor

An incisive analysis of the September 1857 massacre of a gold-laden wagon train of would-be settlers passing through Utah draws on Mormon history, contemporaneous documents, and recently revealed records to argue that Brigham Young, the head of the Mormon Church, and members of the Church itself played key roles in the crime. 40,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2003
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780375412080
Branch Call Number: 979.247 Denton 2003
Characteristics: xxiii, 306 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, map ; 25 cm


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