Blood of the Prophets
Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows
by Will Bagley
The massacre at Mountain Meadows on September 11, 1857, was the single most violent act to occur on the overland trails, yet it has been all but forgotten. Will Bagley’s Blood of the Prophets is the most extensive investigation of the events surrounding the mass killings since Juanita Brooks published her groundbreaking study, The Mountain Meadows Massacre, in 1950.

At Mountain Meadows, local settlers and Southern Paiute warriors waylaid the Fancher party, a wagon train bound from Arkansas to California. Pinned down in a circle of wagons in a remote corner of southwestern Utah, some forty men, thirty women, and seventy children fought for their lives for five days before surrendering under a promise of safe conduct. As the Mormon militia and their Indian allies escorted the emigrants away from their wagons, they killed all of them except seventeen children below the age of seven.

Bagley draws on unpublished journals, letters, and documents from Mormon archives as well as from accounts by Mormons who opposed subsequent efforts to cover up or expunge the record. He explains how the murders occurred, reveals the involvement of territorial governor Brigham Young, and explores the subsequent suppression and distortion of the events surrounding the massacre. Also included here are maps and photographs never before published.

Blood of the Prophets
Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows
by Will Bagley 
University of Oklahoma Press, 2004.
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