The Mountain Meadows massacre of 1857 remains one of the most controversial events in the history of the American West, and it is called “the darkest deed of the 19th century.” It was a murder of 120 men, women, and children, ordered and planned by southern Utah’s Mormon settlers (members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or the LDS Church).
The massacre began on the 5th of September 1857, when a wagon train loaded with emigrants from Arkansas and heading to California was attacked in southern Utah. The attackers were members of the Utah Territorial Militia from the Iron County district, and a few Paiute Native Americans.
Members of the militia were sworn to secrecy. A plan was set to blame the massacre on the Native Americans. But it didn’t go as planned.
Read the full story: Mountain Meadows Massacre of 1857 | The Vintage News
Christopher Kit Fancher (survivor of the Mountain Meadows massacre) | Wikipedia/Public Domain
Brigham Young was an American leader in the Latter Day Saint movement and a settler of the Western United States. He was the second President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from 1847 until his death in 1877. He founded Salt Lake City and he served as the first governor of the Utah Territory. Young also led the foundings of the precursors to the University of Utah and Brigham Young University. He had many nicknames, among the most popular being “American Moses” (alternatively, the “Modern Moses” or “Mormon Moses”),because, like the biblical figure, Young led his followers, the Mormon pioneers, in an exodus through a desert, to what they saw as a promised land | Wikipedia/Public Domain
John D. Lee, constable, judge, and Indian Agent. Having conspired in advance with his immediate commander, Isaac C. Haight, Lee led the initial assault and falsely offered emigrants safe passage prior to their mile-long march to the field where they were ultimately massacred. He was the only participant convicted | Wikipedia/Public Domain
Philip Klingensmith, a Bishop in the church and a private in the militia. He participated in the killings, and later turned state’s evidence against his fellows, after leaving the church | Wikipedia/Public Domain
Isaac C. Haight was an early convert to the Latter Day Saint Movement, a colonist of the American West, Battalion Commander, remembered as a major conspirator of the Mountain Meadows massacre, died 1886 Arizona | Wikipedia/Public Domain
George A. Smith, an Apostle who met the Baker–Fancher party before touring Parowan and neighboring settlements before the massacre | Wikipedia/Public Domain
The scene at Lee’s execution by Utah firing squad on March 23, 1877. Lee is seated, next to his coffin | Wikipedia/Public Domain