Of the men indicted, only John D. Lee was tried in a court of law. [11] The Council resolved to take no action until Haight sent a rider, James Haslam, out the next day to carry an express to Salt Lake City (a six-day round trip on horseback) for Brigham Young's advice, as Utah did not yet have a telegraph system. [77] He noted that the militia was organized and ready to fight, and that some of them were eager to "fight and take vengeance for the cruelties that had been inflicted upon us in the States. "[83] MacKinnon suggests that hostilities could have been avoided if Young had traveled east to Washington D.C. to resolve governmental problems instead of taking a five-week trip north on the eve of the Utah War for church related reasons. At the time of the Fanchers' arrival, the Utah Territory was organized as a theocratic democracy under the lead of Brigham Young, who had established colonies along the California Trail and Old Spanish Trail. Eventually fear spread among the militia's leaders that some emigrants had caught sight of white men and had likely discovered the identity of their attackers. After arriving in Salt Lake City, the Baker–Fancher party made their way south along the Mormon Road, eventually stopping to rest at Mountain Meadows. They anticipated several days of rest and recuperation there before the next 40 miles (64 km) would take them out of Utah. After Mormons moved to Nauvoo, Illinois, the religion's founder Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum Smith were killed in 1844. [25] Nevertheless, Cradlebaugh conducted a tour of the Mountain Meadows area with a military escort. The Mountain Meadows Massacre Utah is known as being the "Mormon State" because of its early American history of how it was settled. The events of the Mountain Meadows Massacre were absolutely appalling. [19] Accepting this, the emigrants were led out of their fortification. However, the massacre at Mountain Meadows is almost certainly a result of that conflict, and the loss of 120 innocent lives demonstrates the war wasn’t bloodless at all. The massacre has been treated extensively by several historical works, beginning with Lee's own Confession in 1877, expressing his opinion that George A. Smith was sent to southern Utah by Brigham Young to direct the massacre.[45]. Today, historians attribute the massacre to a combination of factors, including war hysteria about a possible invasion of Mormon territory and Mormon teachings against outsiders, which were part of the Mormon Reformation period. He claimed that he reluctantly participated in the massacre and only to bury the dead who he thought were victims of an Indian attack. It is speculated that they wanted no “adult” survivors who could give credible testimony to … John Cradlebaugh to the Grand Jury, Provo, Tuesday, March 8, 1859)", "Tragedy at Mountain Meadows Massacre: Toward a Consensus Account and Time Line", "Horrible Massacre of Arkansas and Missouri Emigrants (Letter to G.N. Britannica now has a site just for parents! In September 2007, the LDS Church published an article in its publications marking 150 years since the tragedy occurred.[48][49]. Brooks found no evidence of direct involvement by Brigham Young, but charged him with obstructing the investigation and provoking the attack through his rhetoric. [89] The monument was found destroyed and the structure was replaced by the U.S. Army in 1864. Turley had this to say about the delay in a penalty: Isaac Haight, and John D. Lee, who were some of the main instigators, were both eventually excommuni… [26] Cradlebaugh attempted to arrest John D. Lee, Isaac Haight, and John Higbee, but these men fled before they could be found. In 1873, the massacre was a prominent feature of a history by T. B. H. Stenhouse, The Rocky Mountain Saints. Note: the reasons for the Mountain Meadows Massacre and who did the killings has been discussed, debated, analyzed and argued about ever since it happened. [100], In 2014, archaeologist Everett Bassett discovered two rock piles he believes mark additional graves. [73] They were also affected by the report to Brigham Young that the Baker–Fancher party was from Arkansas where Pratt was murdered. Some of the property of the dead was reportedly taken by the Native Americans involved, while large amounts of their valuables and cattle were taken by the Mormons in Southern Utah, including John D. Lee. [102], Coordinates: .mw-parser-output .geo-default,.mw-parser-output .geo-dms,.mw-parser-output .geo-dec{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .geo-nondefault,.mw-parser-output .geo-multi-punct{display:none}.mw-parser-output .longitude,.mw-parser-output .latitude{white-space:nowrap}37°28′31.8″N 113°38′37.3″W / 37.475500°N 113.643694°W / 37.475500; -113.643694, 1857 massacre of California-bound emigrants by Mormon militiamen. Initially, the LDS Church denied any involvement by Mormons, and was relatively silent on the issue. The party reached Salt Lake City with about 120 members. [8] Brevet Major James Henry Carleton led the first federal investigation of the murders, published in 1859. Mountain Meadows Massacre Lesson Background The Mountain Meadows Massacre is not only a significant event in the westward expansion of the United States, but it provides an interesting study of group psychology and on getting along with people of different cultures. In Carleton's investigation, at Mountain Meadows he found women's hair tangled in sage brush and the bones of children still in their mothers' arms. By Sept. 11, the Mormons feared that the settlers had realized their identities. On Sept. 7, 1857, Paiutes and some Mormons dressed as Paiutes first attacked. Mountain Meadows Massacre Mountain Meadows Massacre (1875-76) Called "the darkest deed of the nineteenth century," the brutal 1857 murder of 120 men, women, and children at a place in southern Utah called Mountain Meadows remains one of the most controversial events in … But, he also included a statement from an investigator who did not believe the Fancher party was capable of poisoning the spring, given its size. On Sept. 7, 1857, Paiutes and some Mormons dressed as Paiutes first attacked. [11] What Haight told Lee remains a mystery, but considering the timing it may have had something to do with Council's decision to wait for advice from Brigham Young. 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