Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Brigham Young and His Wolf-hunters

MORMONS: [The Encyclopedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, London, 1911] ... In 1856 the Mormon “Reformation” had begun.... inspiration by the Church of assassination of any suspected of hostility to the Church, of opposition to the ambition of its leaders, or of an intention to escape from Utah and the control of Young; and the doctrine of “blood atonement,” which was introduced by Jedediah Morgan Grant (1817-1856) and by which the only remission for certain sins was the shedding of the sinner's blood, so that, according to Brigham Young, “cutting people off from the earth ... is to save them, not to destroy them.” Many outrages were committed by a Mormon band of desperadoes who called themselves “Wolf-hunters.” Young's agents doubtless killed William P. Parish of Springville, Utah, early in 1857, apparently because he was planning to remove to California; at about the same time a party of six, including two brothers named Aikin, travelling from San Francisco were arrested as spies, were acquitted, and then were attacked in their camp and murdered, one at least by an assassin who claimed that Young had given him the order; and at Mountain Meadows in Washington county, in the south-western part of Utah, on the 11th of September 1857, about 120 immigrants on their way to southern California, having been attacked four days before by Indians and Mormons and having made a bold defence, were tricked by a flag of truce carried by Mormons who pretended to be a rescuing party, and were killed by armed Mormon troops,[11] seventeen of the younger children being spared.

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