Latter Day Devils: An unexpected side story in the history of the Grand Canyon led to a connection to the Mormon-led Mountain Meadows Massacre - two historic interests of mine converged.


Mountain Meadows Massacre
The Mountain Meadows Massacre was a series of attacks which resulted in the mass murder of 120 members of the Baker–Fancher emigrant wagon train. The massacre occurred September 7–11, 1857 at Mountain Meadows in southern Utah, and was perpetrated by Mormon settlers belonging to the Utah Territorial Militia, together with some Southern Paiute Native Americans.


One of the hiking/camping road trips I and one of my daughters took included the Grand Canyon.  (Regular readers of Coffee Talking probably remember those posts...). 

In a couple of the bookshops and souvenir shops in the area we saw this book - Over the Edge:  Death in Grand Canyon.  I thumbed through it in the shops we visited, but it was always full price and out of our meager traveling budget so I did not purchase it at the time, but after we returned home, I found it online a little bit cheaper and ordered it.  (I blogged about that too....)

Over The Edge: Death in Grand Canyon

The book is a history of the deaths at the Grand Canyon.  Hikers dying on the trails, or those who have gone over the edge either on purpose or accident, etc. 

While reading the book I was surprised to come across a story that criss-crossed two of my interests.  Hidden in the history of deaths in the Grand Canyon is a story about the Mormons who led an attack at Mountain Meadows and blamed it on the local Indian tribe.

I already knew about the story because I've studied the money-making cult of Mormonism (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) for years.  But it was a gem of a find to read about it here as well and a connection to the Grand Canyon.

I found it interesting and always thought I should do a little post about it on CoffeeTalking.com at some point... but life got in the way and I never did.  The Death in Grand Canyon book was returned to the bookshelf until I grabbed it last night before bed and thought maybe I'd start to re-read it.  Turned down pages led me to open it up and see what I had 'bookmarked' previously (because I didn't recall) and I had an "Oh yeah, I forgot about that!"  moment.

So this afternoon, even though I wasn't in the mood to re-write it all and post about it, I decided I did want to remember my interest in this story and get it posted to my website... so I decided to just put up the story images so it could be read quickly and easily without me having to type it out or quote it.

I'm putting a link to the book so if you are interested, you can purchase it and read not only this little interesting story but all the history of the deaths in the Grand Canyon.



... in the late summer of 1857 a wagon train of about 140 people from Arkansas crossed Utah from Northeast to Southwest.  




Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon