Massacre at Mountain Meadows
One hundred twenty emigrants passing through southern Utah on their way to California in 1857, at a time when the U.S. Army was on its way to Salt Lake City, unannounced and unexplained by President Buchanan, were massacred by Mormons and Indians, the Mormons taking the lead. Much written on the topic has been marred by bias, agendas and selective use of inadequate sources. Three LDS professional historians, with the input and review of many, LDS and non-LDS, representing a wide range of perspectives, have written what promises to be a masterpiece of historical research and writing.
Ron Walker and Glen Leonard, co-authors of this long awaited book Massacre at Mountain Meadows, were my guests. We discussed their rendition of this event, including new sources and perspectives, resulting from their extensive research on this controversial topic. The third co-author, Rick Turley, Assistant LDS Church Historian, was in Mexico.
Further, the authors spoke of their determination to examine the known sources which pertain to the topic and to seek out previously unknown sources. They explained the position of Church leadership to give them free access to all historical holdings of the Church and that their writing and conclusions would not be supervised nor reviewed by Church authorities. The book is published by Oxford University Press which has a reputation for publishing works which meet a high professional standard. The first printing of 10,000 was sold out before the official release, the second printing will not supply the current demand and a third printing is already planned.