On this day: the Mountain Meadows massacre


Some of the men who took part in the massacre.

Beginning on the 7th and ending on the 11th of September, 1857 the Mormon Utah Territorial Militia, accompanied by some Paiute Native Americans, massacred between 100 and 140 members of an emigrant party in Utah.

It is believed they were motivated to commit the crime by war hysteria, a dislike of having non-Mormon settlers in the area, and Mormon teachings that created a fear of outsiders.


Massacre survivor Nancy Sephrona Huff approximately eighteen years later. X

In an attempt to eliminate all evidence of the crime, and to ensure no witnesses could come forward, children were amongst those murdered.

Only seventeen people of the wagon train survived, all of them under the age of seven.


John D. Lee sits beside his coffin immediately before his execution. X

Only one person was ever punished for the massacre. John D. Lee was executed by firing squad on the 23rd of March, 1877, nearly two decades after the crime was committed. At the time of his death Lee had around nineteen wives and fifty-six children, and claimed he was a scapegoat. He was reinstated as a member of the Mormon church in the 1960s.