Journey of Discovery bicycle tour



June 6: The views here are beautiful, but the photos didn't turn out. The Mountain Meadow Massacre is a little-known piece of Mormon history that occurred near Enterprise, Utah. The Mountain Meadows massacre occurred on Friday, September 11, 1857 in Mountain Meadows, Utah, several miles south of Enterprise in Washington County along the portion of the Old Spanish Trail that became the overland wagon road to California. Mormon militia killed an entire wagon train of Arkansas farming families known as the Baker/Fancher party, traveling from Arkansas to California. Around 120 unarmed men, women and children were killed. Seventeen younger children (none older than six) were not not killed and were temporarily cared for by local families. The settlers were besieged for five days, beginning on Monday, September 7, 1857. On Friday morning, John D. Lee, a local Mormon, went to the immigrants and convinced them to surrender their weapons and accept an armed one-on-one escort by the Mormon militia to safety from the siege. Once the escort was underway in single file, a call of "Do your duty!" was given, whereupon all the adult men were shot. The women and older children were then killed. The party's extensive property was never fully accounted for, but it is widely believed to have been stolen by those who took part in the massacre. The bodies were placed in both mass and individual graves, and in 1859 a detachment of U. S. Cavalry erected a rock cairn as a monument. On one stone were carved the words: "Here lie the bones of one-hundred-and-twenty men, women and children, from Arkansas, murdered on the 10th-day of September, 1857."

© Ted Phelps * * * Photos captured using an Olympus C-5500Z
Permission is granted to download or distribute for personal, non-commercial use only. High resolution images available upon request.

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