and handling. This event is free and open to the public.
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 Mormon 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 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.
Ronald Walker is an independent historian who has earned an M.A. from Brigham Young University, an M.S. from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Utah. He is the author of Wayward Saints: The Godbeites and Brigham Young, which was awarded the Best Book Award from the Mormon History Association, as well as Qualities That Count: Heber J. Grant as Businessman, Missionary, and Apostle, and he was a co-author on Studies in Mormon History. His work has earned him a Dale Morgan Award, a Grace Fort Arrington Award, a Golden Spike Historical Award, and his contributions to historical journals have been recognized many times over. He has served as president to both the Mormon History Association and the Association of Utah Historians. He currently lives with his wife, Nelani, in Salt Lake City.
Richard E. Turley, Jr. is the Assistant Church Historian and Recorder for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Prior to his appointment he served for eight years as managing director of the Family and Church History Department, overseeing the Church Archives and Records Center, the Church History Library and the Museum of Church History and Art, which collectively contain the world’s largest collection of resources for the study of Latter-day Saint history and one of the richest collections on the settlement of the western United States. He was the editor of Selected Collections From the Archives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the author of Victims: The LDS Church and the Mark Hofmann Case, an oft-cited history of the famous Hofmann forgery-murder case of the 1980s. Turley received a bachelor’s degree in English from Brigham Young University, where he was a Spencer W. Kimball Scholar. He later graduated from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University, where he served as executive editor of the law review and was elected to the Order of the Coif. Turley is a member of the editorial board for The Joseph Smith Papers and general editor of The Journals of George Q. Cannon series. In 2004, Turley received the Historic Preservation Medal from the Daughters of the American Revolution.
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. Leonard has also served on the advisory boards to the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies at Brigham Young University, the Utah State Historical Society, and to the National Park Service for the Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail. 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. His work has earned him numerous awards including a Dale Morgan Award and a T. Edgar Lyon Award of Excellence. He currently lives in Farmington, Utah.