Criticism of Mormonism/Books/Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows

Table of Contents

Response to "Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows"

A FairMormon Analysis of: Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows, a work by author: Will Bagley

Response to claims made in "Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows" by Will Bagley

Jump to Subtopic:


Response to claims made in Blood of the Prophets, "Front matter"

Jump to Subtopic:


Response to claims made in Blood of the Prophets, "Chapter 1: Their Innocent Blood Will Cry unto the Lord of Hosts"


Response to claims made in Blood of the Prophets, "Chapter 2: The Battle-Ax of the Lord"

Jump to Subtopic:


Response to claims made in Blood of the Prophets, "Chapter 3: Political Hacks, Robbers, and Whoremongers"

Jump to Subtopic:


Response to claims made in Blood of the Prophets, "Chapter 4: The Arkansas Travelers"

Jump to Subtopic:


Response to claims made in Blood of the Prophets, "Chapter 5: I Will Fight Them and I Will Fight All Hell"

Jump to Subtopic:


Response to claims made in Blood of the Prophets, "Chapter 6: We Are American Citizens and Shall Not Move"

Jump to Subtopic:


Response to claims made in Blood of the Prophets, "Chapter 7: The Knife and Tomahawk"

Jump to Subtopic:


Response to claims made in Blood of the Prophets, "Chapter 8: The Work of Death"

Jump to Subtopic:


Response to claims made in Blood of the Prophets, "Chapter 9: The Scene of Blood and Carnage"

Jump to Subtopic:


Response to claims made in Blood of the Prophets, "Chapter 10: Plunder"

Jump to Subtopic:


Response to claims made in Blood of the Prophets, "Chapter 11: All Hell Is in Commotion"

Jump to Subtopic:


Response to claims made in Blood of the Prophets, "Chapter 12: I Have Slain My Children"

Jump to Subtopic:


Response to claims made in Blood of the Prophets, "Chapter 13: Vengeance Is Mine"

Jump to Subtopic:


Response to claims made in Blood of the Prophets, "Chapter 14: A Hideous Lethargic Dream"


Response to claims made in Blood of the Prophets, "Chapter 15: Lonely Dell"

Jump to Subtopic:


Response to claims made in Blood of the Prophets, "Chapter 16: As False as the Hinges of Hell: The Trials of John D. Lee"

Jump to Subtopic:


Response to claims made in Blood of the Prophets, "Chapter 17: He Died Game: The Execution of John D. Lee"


Response to claims made in Blood of the Prophets, "Chapter 18: The Mountain Meadow Dogs"


Response to claims made in Blood of the Prophets, "Chapter 19: Nothing but the Truth Is Good Enough"


Response to claims made in Blood of the Prophets, "Epilogue: The Ghosts of Mountain Valley"

Jump to Subtopic:


Responses to claims made in Blood of the Prophets, "Appendix"


Use of sources

Summary: An examination and response to how the author of Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows interprets the sources used to support this work, indexed by page number.

Omissions

Summary: A listing of notable events which were omitted or not acknowledged by the author of Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows.

About this work

Even though Bagley claims to be aware of “the basic rules of the craft of history” (xvi), he consistently violates them in Blood of the Prophets.
— W. Paul Reeve and Ardis E. Parshall, "review of Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows, by Will Bagley," Mormon Historical Studies (Spring 2003): 149.
Attempting to write a gripping story. Bagley exaggerates and sensationalizes the details beyond their actual significance. Throughout the entire book, facts associated with the massacre become crucial when tied to prophecy, omens, signs, oaths, patriarchal blessings, or temple rituals. Facts become extremely important if they are dark and dirty, have hidden meaning, or hint at some insidious secret, plot, or conspiracy. In addition, Bagley creates a melodrama characterizing the Mormons as sinister, evil, deceptive people, while the governor and Indian agents who cooperate with the Saints are weak, spineless dupes. The judges, military officers, and officials who challenge the Mormon theocracy he views as honorable, upright, respectable, courageous men.
—Lawrence Coates, "Review of Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows," Brigham Young University Studies 42 no. 1 (January 2003), 153.

Reviews of this work

Robert D. Crockett, "A Trial Lawyer Reviews Will Bagley's Blood of the Prophets"

Robert D. Crockett,  The FARMS Review, (2003)
Bagley's particular claim to make this book worthwhile is that he has "troubling new evidence" to prove that President Brigham Young and Apostle George A. Smith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were accessories before the fact to commit the massacre.2 By contrast, in her watershed and erudite works,3 Juanita Brooks tells us that "no real evidence . . . has been found" to implicate these authorities before the massacre.4 As to matters after the massacre, Bagley follows the path well-worn by others to conclude that Brigham Young was an accessory after the fact to obstruct justice.


My review examines the way in which the author of Blood of the Prophets handles these new and old theories. In so doing, I challenge some of Juanita Brooks's earlier conclusions. As a trial lawyer, I offer my perspective of the quality of Bagley's and Brooks's evidence and arguments in some key areas. Trial lawyers may not be trained historians, but we are called upon to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of various classes of evidence and to interpret the meaning of official government action. The heinous massacre, its investigation, the trial of John D. Lee, and the actions of persons who control or are swept into the legal process (presidents, cabinet members, judges, prosecutors, defense lawyers, grand jurors, petit jurors, marshals, and witnesses) are all matters that lend themselves to a legal analysis. I am surprised that so little has been done in this area of the massacre's legal aftermath.

Click here to view the complete article

  • Thomas G. Alexander, "Review of Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows," Brigham Young University Studies 31 no. 1 (January 2003), 167–. off-site
  • Lawrence Coates, "Review of Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows," Brigham Young University Studies 31 no. 1 (January 2003), 153–. off-site
  • Paul H. Peterson, "Review of Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows," Brigham Young University Studies 31 no. 1 (January 2003), 159–. off-site
  • W. Paul Reeve and Ardis E. Parshall, "review of Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows, by Will Bagley," Mormon Historical Studies (Spring 2003): 149–157.

Videos

Shining New Light on the Mountain Meadows Massacre, Gene A. Sessions , 2003 FAIR Conference