"Horrible Massacre of Emigrants!!" The Mountain Meadows Massacre in Public Discourse
Since September 1857, the events of the Mountain Meadows Massacre have been recounted and interpreted by innumerable writers. From newspaper articles, to government reports, to novels, to plays, and even to films, the massacre has been represented in popular culture and public discourse in ways that reflect the historical context of the writers and the meanings they derived from the events of September 11, 1857.
Rather than delving into the facts surrounding the massacre, this archive focuses on these portrayals of the Mountain Meadows Massacre and how their creators represented the event and its aftermath. Additionally, this archive gives users tools to explore these representations. With these tools, which include advanced browsing functions, concept highlighting that reveals narrative elements within texts, and visualizations that illustrate language usage and information dissemination, visitors can begin to develop their own understanding of the ways the massacre was reported on, ignored, contextualized, and reinterpreted over time.
The initial stages of this project focus on newspaper coverage of the massacre from 1857-1870. Many of the descriptions of the Mountain Meadows Massacre in later works spring from this early period of reportage, particularly from the earliest California reports of the massacre. Reports of a poisoned ox and the verbal abuse of Mormon women, as well as assertions of Mormon guilt and unburied corpses arise in these first articles and editorials and recur for many years.
Upon the completion of the first stages, newspaper accounts from the years following Philip Klingensmith’s confession and John D. Lee’s arrest, trial, and subsequent execution will be integrated into the archive. As these later newspaper articles are added, government reports about the massacre, burial of victims, the quest for reparations for families of the victims, and the Lee trial also will be folded into the archive.
In later phases of the project, fictional treatments of the Mountain Meadows Massacre will be added, as will depictions of the massacre in non-fiction works of Western Americana. Dramatizations of the massacre on stage and in film will round out the archive.
|1870||Brigham Young's Daughter||Wesley Bradshaw [Charles Wesley Alexander]||Brigham Young's Daughter|
|1878||My Queen: A Romance of the Great Salt Lake||"Sandette" [Marie A. Walsh]||My Queen: A Romance of the Great Salt Lake|
|1879||In the Toils: or, Martyrs of the Latter Days||Mrs. A. G. [Cornelia] Paddock||In the Toils: or, Martyrs of the Latter Days|
|1881||Shadows of Shasta||Joaquin Miller||Shadows of Shasta|
|1881||The Fate of Madam La Tour: A Tale of Great Salt Lake||Mrs. A. G. [Cornelia] Paddock||The Fate of Madam La Tour: A Tale of Great Salt Lake|
|1881||The Danites in the Sierras||Joaquin Miller||The Danites in the Sierras|
|1883||Apples of Sodom: A Story of Mormon Life||Rosetta Luce Gilchrist||Apples of Sodom: A Story of Mormon Life|
|1899||The False Star: A Tale of the Occident||A.[bram] D.[ale] Gash||The False Star: A Tale of the Occident|
|1899||Retribution at Last: A Mormon Tragedy of the Rockies. By An Ex-Officer of the U.S. Army||Charles Brewer||Retribution at Last: A Mormon Tragedy of the Rockies. By An Ex-Officer of the U.S. Army|
|1902||By Order of the Prophet: A Tale of Utah||Alfred Hylas Henry||By Order of the Prophet: A Tale of Utah|
|1903||The Lions of the Lord: A Tale of the Old West||Harry Leon Wilson||The Lions of the Lord: A Tale of the Old West|
|1913||Kawich's Goldmine: An Historical Narrative of Mining in the Grand Canyon of the Colorado and of Love and Adventure Among the Polygamous Mormons of Southern Utah||Josiah F. Gibbs||Kawich's Goldmine: An Historical Narrative of Mining in the Grand Canyon of the Colorado and of Love and Adventure Among the Polygamous Mormons of Southern Utah|
|1914||In the Days of Brigham Young||Arthur Thomas [Hannett]||In the Days of Brigham Young|
|1915||The Star Rover||Jack London||The Star Rover|