Mountain Meadows Massacre

I read an article in American Heritage yesterday about the Mountain Meadows massacre, which occurred September 11, 1857. I had never even heard about this until I read it, and I found it very disturbing. A group of Mormon settlers executed 120 members of a wagon train (mostly women and children) that was passing through Utah on its way to California. The wagon train contained about $100,000 in gold, 1,000 head of cattle, and several thoroughbred horses that would be worth over a million dollars in today’s market. The Mormons later denied any involvement, and tried to blame the entire thing on Paiute Indians. It is believed that Brigham “Bring’em” Young, the Mormon church leader at the time, gave the orders to murder the people and distribute their wealth and belongings among church members. Federal authorities didn’t arrive until almost two years later to investigate, leaving little evidence and few witnesses.
The thing I found most disturbing about the entire story is that the cover-up is still going on to this day. In 1999, the previously undiscovered remains of 28 victims were found, most of which had bullet holes in the skull, right between the eyes. According to the article, “state law required that any unidentified human remains found on private property be forensically examined and that failure to comply would be a criminal felony.” Even so, Utah governor Mike Leavitt, who is a direct descendant of one the massacre’s participants, quickly ordered the remains reburied, telling state officials “to find administrative or other means to do so..”
The Salt Lake Tribune published a series of articles on the subject (see below), which according to American Heritage, “has been cited as a primary reason behind the church’s intervention in a convoluted business transaction in which the rambunctious Tribune was sold to a company expected to be more congenial to church interests. Founded in 1871 by dissident Mormons who were then excommunicated by Brigham Young, the Tribune has been the independent voice of Utah’s non-Mormon minority for more than a century. But like the reburied remains, that voice just might be stifled as well.”
The Mormon church makes me sick, as does the Utah state government, which is 90% Mormon.
S.L. Trib articles: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] article
Mountain Meadows Massacre – online book
Thanks to GreaterThings for most of the links

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