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American Massacre: The Tragedy at Mountain…

American Massacre: The Tragedy at Mountain Meadows, September 1857 (2003)

by Sally Denton

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    The Mountain Meadows Massacre by Juanita Brooks (waltzmn)
    waltzmn: The Mountain Meadows Massacre is one of the major events in American religious history -- a battle between Protestant and Mormon citizens of the west. I have been repeatedly surprised that it has not been more discussed as Mormons become more part of the American mainstream. It remains a popular topic for modern authors -- but the first great writer on the subject was Juanita Brooks. Her book has a rather strange organization, but every writer since her time, including Sally Denton, has been largely dependent on her work. So it makes sense to at least look at the source....… (more)
  2. 00
    A Gathering of Saints: A True Story of Money, Murder and Deceit by Robert Lindsey (John_Vaughan)
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    Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer (John_Vaughan)

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A thoroughly researched history of the Mountain Meadows Massacre in southern Utah, with an extensive bibliography. This book also provides background history relating to the beginnings of Mormonism in Palmyra, New York, and its movement westward through Kirtland, Ohio, and Nauvoo, Illinois, to Salt Lake City, Utah, and the far West. ( )
  mariesansone | Apr 18, 2011 |
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For my sons,
Ralph, Grant, and Carson
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It is a late summer afternoon and the valley is at its most beautiful.
The contention that the Mormons believed the train to be an advance guard of the U.S. Army is ludicrous, given the numbers of women and children. It is certain that the Fancher-Baker party was lured under false pretenses and treachery to the remote ambush site of Mountain Meadows for the purpose of annihilation and plunder; that the genocide was carried out as part of a military operation of a highly disciplined, rigidly hierarchical theocracy of a would-be nation-state; and that it was never the independent initiative or act of renegade terrorists or Indians, as some Mormon advocates have stated. p. 153.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375726365, Paperback)

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 spared. This incident in an open field called Mountain Meadows has ever since been the focus of passionate debate: Is it possible that official Mormon dignitaries were responsible for the massacre? In her riveting book, Sally Denton makes a fiercely convincing argument that they were.

The author–herself of Mormon descent–first traces the extraordinary emergence of the Mormons and the little-known nineteenth-century intrigues and tensions between their leaders and the U.S. government, fueled by the Mormons’ zealotry and exclusionary practices. We see how by 1857 they were unique as a religious group in ruling an entire American territory, Utah, and commanding their own exclusive government and army.

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. American Massacre is totally absorbing in its narrative as it brings to life a tragic moment in our history.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:44 -0400)

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

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