Mountain Meadows Massacre

6 Mormon Stud. Rev. 167 (2019)

Posted: 13 Jun 2019

Date Written: March 5, 2019


In 1857, a Utah territorial militia massacred a California-bound immigrant train as part of the so-called “Utah War.” The Mountain Meadows Massacre is the most violent event in the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and remains the object of intense on-going scholarly debate. This article reviews the recently published Mountain Meadows Massacre: Collected Legal Papers, which provides a comprehensive documentary history of the legal aftermath of the massacre. Among the issues documented in the collection, this review argues that the documents illustrate the vitally important shift from military to legal conflict in the 19th-century conflict between the federal government and the Church. The history they document thus provides a vivid example of the how law can replace violence as a way of mediating religious conflict.

Keywords: Mormon, Latter-day Saints, Religious Violence, Mountain Meadows Massacre

Suggested Citation

Oman, Nathan B., Mountain Meadows Massacre (March 5, 2019). 6 Mormon Stud. Rev. 167 (2019), Available at SSRN:

Nathan B. Oman (Contact Author)

William & Mary Law School ( email )

South Henry Street
P.O. Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
United States


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