Bagley relies upon a strained interpretation of some new evidence, including minutes of a meeting that took place between Dimick Huntington and some Southern Utah Indian chiefs on September 1, 1857, ten days before the massacre. One of the two was killed, and the other was able to make his way back to the Baker-Fancher party. He had not been officially notified that he was to be replaced, so he viewed the news—combined with the efforts to hide the movement of the troops—as an act of war by the United States government against the Mormons. On their way to Utah Territory, members of the Mormon Battalion spent the winter before the Mexican-American War in Pueblo. In a meeting at Cedar City on the afternoon of September 6, 1857, local leaders received word that the wagon train, at Mountain Meadows, had been surrounded by Paiute Indians who were determined to attack the emigrants. Meanwhile, other officials have debated which specific cartels are involved. The mood in the territory was grim and determined. The news of the approaching army spread quickly through the body of the Saints as preparations were made. The sites for these settlements were often chosen because of proximity to an important natural resource; one such resource was the iron ore deposits found in what became known as Iron County in Southern Utah. The only members of the original party remaining were those children judged to be under eight years old, numbering about 17 persons. This trial ended with a hung jury. "Most likely by accident, mistaken for their rivals.". Joe Biden sworn in as 46th president of the United States, Youth poet laureate recites stunning poem at Biden inauguration, President Donald Trump departs the White House, See Trump's final message as President as his family looks on, Trump pardons 73 people, commutes sentences of 70 others, 12 Army National Guard members removed from inauguration duty, Mexico is scrambling to find whoever ambushed and killed 9 Mormon family members, leaving 200 bullet casings. This amnesty was issued at the behest of U.S. President James Buchanan, and covered all hostile acts against the United States by any persons in the course of the Utah War. But former Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge Castañeda told CNN on Tuesday evening two attacks in two places by the same group makes it more likely that they were targeted. (For additional information, see Robert D. Crockett, "A Trial Lawyer Reviews Will Bagley's Blood Of The Prophets," The FARMS Review 15/2, 2003, 199-254.). Mexican Security Minister Alfonso Durazo said the attack could have been a case of mistaken identity of "conflicting groups in the area. Mountain Meadows Massacre site (Jason Olson, Deseret News archives), Videos about the Mountain Meadows Massacre, Mountain Meadows Massacre -- Reburying the Dead, Frequently asked questions about Mormonism, FAIRlds:Shedding New Light on the Mountain Meadows Massacre, https://www.mormonwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Mountain_Meadows_massacre&oldid=51676. One of the most tragic and disturbing events in Mormon history took place on 11 September, 1857, when approximately 120 men, women and children, traveling through Utah to California were massacred by a force consisting of Mormon militia members and Southern Paiute Indians. This work argues that Brigham Young actually ordered the massacre of the Fancher Party. 1 The order sought to put a quick end to the conflict by calling for the Mormons to be “exterminated or driven from the State if necessary.” 2. Most scholars and historians are quick to admit that we don't have all the facts related to the massacre, and we probably never will have all of them. Shortly before July 24th, 1847, the first party of Mormon pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley. The old Cookes spring that supplied water for the fort is still intact and pointed out on the map. Many Mormon settlers vividly remembered the hardships of being forcibly (and violently) expelled from Missouri and Illinois, and were resolved not to be driven from their homes again. They were camped on this spot when a group of Yavapai Indians approached and asked for food. The extermination order is the name commonly used to refer to an executive order signed on October 27, 1838, by Lilburn W. Boggs, the governor of Missouri during the Mormon-Missouri War of 1838. On September 11, 2011, flags flew at half-mast at the memorial site. Massacre, "the bloodiest battle of the Mexican War in California." The presence of the train did nothing to alleviate the tensions already present due to the Utah War. How could such news factor into the decision to massacre the emigrants? It's called Massacre … After serving briefly in the Mexican-American War as a member of Brigham Young's "Mormon Battalion," Lee joined the gathering masses of Zion in Utah. The construction of … John Doyle Lee was born September 12, 1812, at Kaskaskia, Illinois, and baptized on June 17, 1838. Haight joined in the Mormon exodus into Iowa territory. The Baker-Fancher train arrived in Salt Lake City about the end of July 1857 and camped west and a little south of the city, on the Jordan River. The most significant service the battalion provided in California and during the war, was as a reliable unit under Cooke that General Kearny could rely on to block Fremont's mutinous bid to control California. An additional claim sometimes put forward is that Lee was a "scapegoat," and that some kind of corrupt agreement existed between Church leaders and territorial authorities to not pursue anyone else. For the next two weeks, they drew their clothing allowance of $42 per man, received their equipment (Model 1816 smoothbore flintlock muskets and a few Harper's Ferry Model 1803 Rifles), and were more formally organized into a combat battalion. Accusations of any more substantial cover-up, either by the Mormon Church as an institution, or by its highest leaders, are not supported by the available evidence. Marker at grave site of John D. Lee, in Panguitch, Utah. It appears that two men from the Baker-Fancher party left the camp, evaded those surrounding their camp, and started toward Cedar City to request help. The Mormon Battalion Center at San Diego is a visitors’ center that commemorates the Mormon Battalion’s historic journey from the Council Bluffs area of Iowa to San Diego, California. This time around, the case was properly tried; the jury heard overwhelming evidence against Lee, who was duly convicted and sentenced to be executed for his crime. The weather could also be dangerous, with winter coming early to the high country and sudden storms occurring during all seasons of the year. However, the record does not back this up. As mentioned earlier, Governor Alfred Cumming believed that the massacre was covered by the Utah Amnesty, thus making any investigation pointless. Though it is our understanding that they are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, our love, prayers and sympathies are with them as they mourn and remember their loved ones.". Kendra Lee Miller told CNN her family has recently been threatened by cartels over where her family can travel. Led by John T. Baker and Alexander Fancher, the train was reported to have been well-stocked, with plenty of cattle, horses, and mules. The FBI also has offered to assist Mexican authorities in the investigation, an FBI official said. 19, Ann Eliza Webb Dee Young Denning accused Brigham Young of ordering the massacre so that he could appropriate the property of the victims. In 1850, Utah was established as a U.S. territory, with Brigham Young as its first governor. The latter actions did not normally arise out of any approval for the massacre, and indeed were usually undertaken without knowledge of the guilt of the persons being shielded; rather they reflected a feeling of community solidarity versus the coercive power of an often-hostile government, and a pervasive mistrust of U.S. authorities and their willingness or ability to ensure that Mormon defendants would receive a fair trial. The claim that it was the worst massacre in American history is a common one; accusations of direct complicity on the part of Brigham Young, of subsequent institutional cover-up or of the "scapegoating" of John D. Lee, are common. Mountain Meadows massacre The widely publicized Mountain Meadows massacre of September 11, 1857, during the Utah War, was a mass killing of about 130 emigrants, mostly from Arkansas and heading for California. After the massacre, local leaders attempted to portray the killings as solely the act of Indians. (CNN)Nine women and children from a Mormon community in Mexico were killed while traveling in a three-car caravan south of the US-Mexico border on Monday, according to Mexico's security minister. CNN's Madeline Holcombe and Ray Sanchez contributed to this report. For protection against all of these hazards, emigrants typically banded together in large parties called "wagon trains," as covered wagons of the "prairie schooner" type were the most typical vehicles used. This official failed to properly try the case against Lee, leading very little evidence against him, and instead focused upon an attempt to prove Brigham Young's complicity in the massacre. The best available evidence supports two levels of cover-up: (1) concerted denials of guilt by massacre participants, including attempts to shift the blame to their erstwhile Indian allies, and (2) attempts by Mormons not involved in the massacre to shield accused persons from capture or prosecution. Nearing the end of their journey (Jan 1847), the battalion passed through Temecula, California, shortly after the Temecula Massacre, a conflict between the Californios and the Luiseño tribe. All family members were clubbed and left for dead except for Olive, 14, and Mary Ann, 7, who were taken captive. Most recently, at the sesquicentennial anniversary of the Massacre (September 11, 2007), then-Elder Henry B. Eyring was permitted to speak, and offered, “May the God of Heaven, whose sons and daughters we all are, bless us to honor those who died here by extending to one another the pure love and spirit of forgiveness which His Only Begotten Son personified.” (LDS Newsroom Report), Church officials and three organizations of descendants — the Mountain Meadows Monument Foundation, Mountain Meadows Association and Mountain Meadows Massacre Descendants — have worked to heal old wounds. Kendra Lee Miller, whose sister-in-law Rhonita Maria Miller was killed in the attack, said, "cartels have taken too many of our family members" and those killed yesterday were not the first. To effect the massacre with a minimum of loss among the white men, it was decided to lure the emigrants out of their circled wagons and into the open. The Utah Territorial Militia was known as the Nauvoo Legion and accused of perpetrating the 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre in which 120–140 non-Mormon settlers were murdered. At the time of its first settlement, the area that came to be known as Utah still belonged to Mexico, but was ceded to the United States in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo following the end of the Mexican-American War in early 1848. With the Mormon Battalion and onto Utah Nowlin experienced the "Mormon War" of 1844-45 and the expulsion of the Mormons in 1846 from western Illinois to Iowa Territory. Some noted that the weapons appear to be bolt action rifles not in use until about 50 years after the Battalion disbanded. Rather than accept responsibility for their own failures, a group of them, upon returning to the East, published claims that they had been forcibly expelled, and that the Mormons were rebelling against federal authority. He served numerous missions for the Church and eventually moved to southern Utah in 1850 or 1851. One participant, John D. Lee, was found guilty of murder in federal court after twenty years and two trials. (2) Sally Denton, American Massacre: The Tragedy at Mountain Meadows, September 1857. Emigrants could purchase foodstuffs and other supplies from businesses in Salt Lake City and other towns, while their animals—both beasts of burden and any livestock—could find excellent grazing at a spot near Cedar City known as las Vegas de Santa Clara or the Mountain Meadows. Generally, the community practices a fundamentalist version of … Haight's role in the massacre was a complex one; he was involved in its planning, but also made some efforts to stop or at least delay the actions against the emigrants. The route was used by groups like the Mormon Battalion (1847), the Oatmans (1851), and by the San Antonio and San Diego Mail Line (1857). Updated 0317 GMT (1117 HKT) November 7, 2019. The Luisenos asked the battalion to guard them as they buried the dead. He was also serving as a bishop in the Mormon Church at that time. Before the completion of the trans-continental railroad in 1869, overland travel was both difficult and dangerous. In 1850, Utahwas established as a U.S. territory, with Brigham Young as its first governor. Lee was not tried as a "scapegoat" but as an actual participant—evidently the leading participant—in the massacre, who had done more than any other person to bring it about, and who had actually killed five people. Brigham instructed all missionaries to return to Utah, ordered Church missions closed, and ordered the abandonment of the more isolated Mormon colonies. The site comprises a 2,500-acre valley about 30 miles north of St. George — the Mountain Meadows site is already on the National Register of Historic Places. We have all the water we could ever need.". Polygamy is illegal in both the United States and in Mexico. Mormon Battalion’s trail marker at the Oatman massacre site February 18, 1851, would be a date and memory that would live in the legends of the surviving Oatmans and annals of western history. The leaders decided that they needed to ask Brigham Young what to do, so they dispatched a fast rider to Salt Lake City with a message to that effect. After much hardship the Mormon Battalion arrived in California where the Mexican-American War was still on. [1]. The Church, which owns much of the massacre site land, announced its plans to seek national landmark status in 2008. The Mormon Battalion was the only religiously based unit in United States military history, [1] and it served from July 1846 to July 1847 during the Mexican-American War.The battalion was a volunteer unit of between 534 [2] [3] and 559 [4] Latter-day Saints men led by Mormon company officers, commanded by regular US army officers. There have been many accounts of the events that occurred in relation to the Mountain Meadows Massacre, and a small library could be filled with pertinent materials. Officials and family members believe that Mexican drug cartels carried out the attack, though there's a question of which cartel did so. Roberts. The very brief minutes (actually a diary entry made after the fact) indicate that the purpose of the meeting, as with similar meetings held in the previous few days, was to enlist the Indians as allies against the approaching army, and not against the Fancher party. The following year, the Black Hawk War broke out. "(Castañeda) said something about a conflict over water rights, (but) we live on a river. In the 1980s descendants of the victims and the perpetrators met together to start bridging the divide and make peace with the past. He did not participate personally in the massacre, but was, by the standards of military justice applicable both then and now, administratively responsible for the actions of officers and soldiers under his command. Three historians working with church records have published an official Mormon account of a 151-year-old incident that remains a PR nightmare for Mormons. They killed the Paiute Indians caught in possession of belongings of the two dead white men. Some report thirty-three and still others report one hundred and twenty-five. He was present at the massacre and subsequently turned state's evidence, but his testimony was of no real help to the authorities. While there were no doubt many honest public servants among them, a number of the federal appointees to both territorial and federal positions, including some judges, turned out to be both morally venal and abusive of the prerogatives of their offices. The Mormon settlements of Utah provided important rest and re-provisioning points for overland travelers. He said one of the women killed was an activist and there were frictions over water rights. Lucas arrested Joseph Smith and a few other Mormon leaders and ordered their execution for the next day. "If Mexico needs or requests help in cleaning out these... monsters, the United Stands stands ready, willing & able to get involved and do the job quickly and effectively," he wrote. The new memorial was a rendition of the original rock cairn constructed at the site by a military expedition under the direction of Major James H. Carleton about two years after the massacre. The Indians we expect will do as they please but you should try and preserve good feelings with them." The family was supposed to go to Miller's wedding next week in La Mora, she said. A few scattered signs can be found that will provide additional information about this historic area. Efforts to bring Haight and others to justice after the massacre proved to be fruitless. The Battalion boys played some role in ensuring the transition of California from Mexican to American control. The victims are part of a Mormon community of about 3,000 members living in Mexico. Perhaps the best-known of the recent polemical accounts are: (1) Will Bagley, Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows. The Californio leaders of the massacre all died tragic deaths. There is no doubt the news that both Indians and white men—Mormons—were attacking the emigrants was not well received. Yet clear if the attacks specifically targeted the family or if it was a case of identity. 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