"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.
|1886||History of Salt Lake City||Edward W. Tullidge||History of Salt Lake City|
|1889||Tullidge's Histories, vol. II||Edward W. Tullidge||Tullidge's Histories, Volume II|
|1889||History of the Pacific States of North America, vol. XXVI, History of Utah, 1540-1886||Hubert Howe Bancroft||History of the Pacific States of North America, Volume XXVI, History of Utah, 1540-1886|
|1892||History of Utah, Volume 1||Orson F. Whitney||History of Utah, Volume I|
|1893||History of Utah, Volume 2||Orson F. Whitney||History of Utah, Volume II|
|1908||The Making of a State: A School History of Utah||Orson F. Whitney||The Making of a State: A School History of Utah|
|1914||Reminiscences of Early Utah||R. N. Baskin||Reminiscences of Early Utah|
|1916||Reply by R. N. Baskin to Certain Statements by O. F. Whitney in his History of Utah Published in 1916||R. N. Baskin||Reply by R. N. Baskin to Certain Statements by O. F. Whitney in his History of Utah Published in 1916|
|1916||Popular History of Utah||Orson F. Whitney||Popular History of Utah|
|1923||The Founding of Utah||Levi Edgar Young||The Founding of Utah|
|1929||Utah and the Nation||Leland Hargrave Creer||Utah and the Nation|
|1931||Utah: A Romance in Pioneer Days||Edmund T. Olson||Utah: A Romance in Pioneer Days|
|1932||Utah: The Storied Domain||J. Cecil Alter||Utah: The Storied Domain|
|1933||The Story of Utah: The Beehive State||John Henry Evans||The Story of Utah: The Beehive State|
|1940||History of Utah, 1847 to 1869||Andrew Love Neff||History of Utah, 1847 to 1869|
|1967||History of Utah, vol. I, 1870-1896||Wayne Stout||History of Utah, Volume I, 1870-1896|
|1972||Utah's Heritage||George S. Ellsworth||Utah's Heritage|
|1975||Deseret, 1776-1976: A Bicentennial Illustrated History of Utah by the Deseret News||William B. Smart and Henry A. Smith||Deseret, 1776-1976: A Bicentennial Illustrated History of Utah by the Deseret News|