Mountain Meadows Massacre Essay example

2382 WordsOct 6, 201310 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…
She states that “Young’s church elders swept through the outlying communities” and scrutinized “those who were found lacking” (Denton 105). Denton then focuses on the revival of blood atonement, and how it struck fear in the saints. She points out that Mormons tried to flee after the reformation was in progress, but were “hunted down and killed” (Denton, 106). In her book she talks about how the church had more problems, stating that the church was “on the brink of bankruptcy, and with apostates and internal dissenters at an all time high” (Denton 107). Denton uses all of these radical statements to illustrate and give readers an understanding of why there was tension among the Mormons. Walker, Turley, and Leonard explain the reasons for high tension in Utah a different way. Instead of focusing about problems with the church like Denton, they explain about things happening around the church. They focus on how news of a coming U.S. army puts fear in the people. They quote Heber C. Kimball as saying “that the army wanted to take Mormon women back to the States” (Walker, Turley, Leonard 44). Also, the authors describe how Brigham Young also makes it seem like the second coming, where Christ comes to destroy the wicked, is near and that the people need to prepare for it. They also mention Brigham Young’s strict war policy. Within this war policy, they were to be frugal with all their supplies, and not sell or trade any of it to those of
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