September 11, 1857
A group of 120 to 150 settlers, mostly Arkansans, was attacked by Mormons and Native Americans on Mountain Meadows plateau in southern Utah. The settlers had started a journey from Harrison (Boone County) toward California. All died except for seventeen children, who were taken into Mormon homes. The Mormon Church tried to cover up the crime, mostly by blaming the Indians. The U.S. Army found remains of the victims exhumed by animals, and this, in addition to pressure from victims’ relatives in Arkansas, forced the government to act. No one was prosecuted for almost twenty years, when the leader of the massacre, John D. Lee, was put on trial. He was convicted for his role in September 1876 and executed on March 23, 1877. Controversy still surrounds the event.