In the Fall of 1857, some 120 California-bound emigrants were killed in lonely Mountain Meadows in southern Utah; only eighteen young children were spared. The men on the ground after the bloody deed took an oath that they would never mention the event again, either in public or in private. The leaders of the Mormon church also counseled silence. The first report, soon after the massacre, described it as an Indian onslaught at which a few white men were present, only one of whom, John D. Lee, was actually named.

With admirable scholarship, Mrs. Brooks has traced the background of conflict, analyzed the emotional climate at the time, pointed up the social and military organization in Utah, and revealed the forces which culminated in the great tragedy at Mountain Meadows. The result is a near-classic treatment which neither smears nor clears the participants as individuals. It portrays an atmosphere of war hysteria, whipped up by recitals of past persecutions and the vision of an approaching "army" coming to drive the Mormons from their homes.


About The Author

Juanita Brooks held appointment as a field fellow of the Henry E. Huntington Library and was enabled to carry out the original research for her book by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. She was the author of two other books and edited, with Robert Glass Cleland, A Mormon Chronicle: The Diaries of John D. Lee (Henry E. Huntington Library. 1955)

Jan Shipps is the author or editor of several books on Mormonism, including Sojourner in the Promised Land: Forty Years among the Mormons.
Book Information
8 b&w illus., 3 map
352 Pages
Paperback 978-0-8061-2318-9
Kindle 978-0-8061-8524-8
e-pub 978-0-8061-8538-5
Published September 2012
Resources