"Horrible Massacre of Emigrants!!" The Mountain Meadows Massacre in Public Discourse


Soon after the Mormons established themselves in the Far West, a large company of emigrants, on their way to California, were murdered in Southern Utah. They were surrounded in a valley and deliberately shot down. Only the little children—and not all of them—escaped. This "Mountain Meadow Massacre" has always been charged, by the "Gentiles," upon the Mormons, and, by the Mormons, upon the Indians. Some years ago, an army officer placed in the valley a small slab, with the roughly-out inscription: "Vengence is mine, saith the Lord." This was at once removed by order of Brigham Young. One Philip Klingon Smith, an ex-Bishop of the Latter-Day Saints, made, on April 10, 1871, an affidavit, which has just been published. If this man's testimony is credible, it fixes the responsiblity of the massacre wholly upon the Mormons. He swears that the slayers were members of the Mormon Church; that they had "orders from headquarters to kill all of said company of emigrants except the little children;" and that the details of the massacre were at once "fully reported" to Brigham Young.