November 3 @ 7 pm at the Grand County Public Library: Author and Historian Barbara Jones Brown in conversation about her new book Vengeance is Mine: The Mountain Meadows Massacre and its Aftermath

 

The long-awaited follow-up to the groundbreaking Massacre at Mountain Meadows

Published in 2008, Massacre at Mountain Meadows was a bombshell of a book, revealing the story of one of the grimmest episodes in Latter-day Saint history, when settlers in southwestern Utah slaughtered more than 100 members of a California-bound wagon train in 1857. In this much-anticipated sequel, Richard E. Turley Jr. and Barbara Jones Brown examine the aftermath of this atrocity.

Vengeance Is Mine documents southern Utah leaders’ attempts to cover up their crime by silencing witnesses and spreading lies. Investigations by both governmental and church bodies were stymied by stonewalling and political wrangling. While nine men were eventually indicted, five were captured and only one, John D. Lee, was executed.

The book examines the maneuvering of the defense and prosecution in Lee’s two trials, the second ending in Lee’s conviction. Turley and Brown explore the fraught relationship between Lee and church president Brigham Young, and assess what role, if any, Young played in the cover-up. And they trace the fates of the other perpetrators, including the harrowing end of Nephi Johnson, who screamed “Blood! Blood! Blood!” in his delirium as he was dying, more than sixty years after the massacre.

Turley and Brown also tell the story of the massacre’s few survivors: seventeen children who witnessed the slaughter and eventually returned to Arkansas, where the ill-fated wagon train originated.

Vengeance Is Mine brings the hitherto untold story of this shameful episode in Mormon and Utah history to its dramatic conclusion.

Richard E. Turley Jr. was a long-time historian for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah, and a co-author of Massacre at Mountain Meadows. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Historical Association’s Herbert Feis Award and the Historic Preservation Medal from the Daughters of the American Revolution. Turley also represented relatives of the Mountain Meadows Massacre victims in their successful petition of the federal government to grant National Historic Landmark status for the atrocity site.

Barbara Jones Brown is the director of Signature Books Publishing and former executive director of the Mormon History Association. She also provided content editing for Massacre at Mountain Meadows. She holds an M.A. in American history from the University of Utah and a B.A. in journalism and English from Brigham Young University. While researching her genealogy after beginning work on Vengeance Is Mine, Brown discovered that, like the earlier Mountain Meadows Massacre historian, Juanita Brooks, she is a direct descendant of one of its perpetrators.

 

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