UTAH'S DIXIE HISTORICAL SITES
SONS OF THE UTAH PIONEER - COTTON MISSION CHAPTER

K01- MOUNTAIN MEADOWS


Where is it? GPS DATA:
The monument can be reached by taking Utah highway 18,from St. George toward Enterprise. It is 29.5 miles from St. George or 4.5 miles north on highway 18 from Central and Pine Valley road. It is 8.5 miles south of Enterprise on Utah highway 18.

GPS--- N 37 28.823 W 113 37.845 ALTITUDE 5847 ft

GRAVE SITE MEMORIAL N 37 28.535 W 113 38.537    ALTITUDE 5620 ft


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LOCATION

MOUNTAIN MEADOWS

There is no event in the history of the whole Mormon people more regrettable than the Mountain Meadows Massacre. All the suffering, all the persecution, the mobbings, the burnings, the drivings, and the spilt blood can not blot out that terrible tragedy which took place on a tiny tributary of the Santa Clara in September 1857.

The Fancher party from Arkansas arrived in Salt Lake City early in August. There seems to have been at least one other party with the Fancher train. One mentioned in a number of accounts is described as the "Missouri Wildcats". They traveled leisurely through the chain of Utah settlements on the road to California.

There were a number of reasons why the people of Utah were in a high state of excitement in 1857. On July 24, 1857, the news came that an army was on its way to Utah to put down a rebellion alleged to be existing in the territory. This threat coming as it did on top of the chain of persecution that had already driven them from their homes in Missouri and Illinois brought their emotions to the boiling point. They were resolved to resist this injustice with every resource at their command. This was the attitude of the church leaders. Coupled with this came the news of the assassination of their beloved apostle, Parley P. Pratt, at the hands of an Arkansan.

The refusal to sell grain to the travelers seems to have been interpreted by them as frank hostility, and the actions of some of the company (generally attributed to the Missourians with the group) piled tension on tension until reason ceased to rule. Several days before the massacre the immigrant party had tried to buy supplies at Pinto ( a few miles from Mountain Meadows) and had been refused, either for money or barter, some of the company had felt free to help themselves.

As the Fancher party made its way through Utah, the caravan was followed by Indians from as far north as Fillmore. The Indians were encouraged in their belligerence, no doubt, by the obviously hostile attitude of the Mormons, and sending runners to urge the other bands along the route to join them in plundering the well-equipped travelers. John D. Lee joined the Indians at the Meadows. But he said they did not obey his instructions and attached the camp Tuesday morning, September 8th. with a loss of many of their number.

Lee returned to Mountain Meadows to arrange for their surrender when he entered their defenses under a flag of truce. The weapons were handed over, and the wounded, sick and children were loaded into wagons; the women came next and then the men. At a point agreed upon in advance the order was given, and the bloody business was over within minutes.

In a second trial in 1876, there was a change in the prosecutionís personnel. Whereas the first prosecutors had given every appearance of attempting to place the blame on the "Mormon" Church and its leaders, Attorney Howard announced that he had not come to try Brigham Young and the "Mormon" Church but to try John D. Lee for his personal crimes. Witnesses assured they would not be prosecuted for complicity in the crime, now came forth to testify, with the result that Lee was convicted by an all-Mormon jury.

Reference: Andrew Karl Larson, I was called to Dixie, pgs. 60-66

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The LDS Church's official position on what really happened at Mountain Meadows: Newsroom article from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

 

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