What Is the “Mountain Meadows Massacre”?
On September 11, 1857, some 50 to 60 local militiamen in southern Utah, aided by American Indian allies, massacred several dozen emigrants who were traveling by wagon to California. The horrific crime, which spared only 17 children age six and under, occurred in a highland valley called the Mountain Meadows, roughly 35 miles southwest of Cedar City. The victims, most of them from Arkansas, were on their way to California with dreams of a bright future. For well over a century and a half, the Mountain Meadows Massacre has shocked and distressed those who have learned of it. The tragedy has deeply grieved the victims’ relatives, burdened the perpetrators’ descendants, saddled people who live in the region with sorrow and feelings of collective guilt, and raised painful, difficult questions. Learn more.