Peaceful accommodation between Latter-day Saints and Indians was both the norm and the ideal. At times, however, Church members clashed violently with Indians. Mormons often accused Indians of stealing. Indians, meanwhile, believed the Mormons had a responsibility to share goods and livestock raised on Indian tribal lands. In areas where Mormons settled, Indian experience with Europeans had previously consisted mostly of mutually beneficial interactions with trappers and traders, people who passed through the land or briefly dwelled on it, not staked permanent claim to it as the Mormons did.
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These misunderstandings led to friction and violence between the peoples. Details of the murder were likely withheld, at least initially, from Brigham Young and other Church leaders.
On the Mountain
Settlers at Fort Utah did, however, report other difficulties with the Indians, including the firing of weapons at settlers and the theft of livestock and crops. In the winter of —, a measles epidemic spread from the Mormon settlers to the Ute camps, killing many Indians and heightening tensions. A series of battles in February resulted in the deaths of dozens of Utes and one Mormon. Nevertheless, for the most part, the Saints had more amicable relations with Indians than did settlers in other areas of the American West.
Brigham Young enjoyed friendships with several American Indian leaders and taught his people to live peacefully with their Indian neighbors whenever possible. Concerned about spiritual complacency, Brigham Young and other Church leaders delivered a series of sermons in which they called the Saints to repent and renew their spiritual commitments.
Nineteenth-century Americans were accustomed to violent language, both religious and otherwise. Throughout the century, revivalists had used violent imagery to encourage the unconverted to repent and to urge backsliders to reform. Grant, and other leaders preached with fiery rhetoric, warning against the evils of those who dissented from or opposed the Church. In early , U. President James Buchanan received reports from some of the federal officials alleging that Governor Young and the Latter-day Saints in Utah were rebelling against the authority of the federal government.
A strongly worded memorial from the Utah legislature to the federal government convinced federal officials the reports were true. President Buchanan decided to replace Brigham Young as governor and, in what became known as the Utah War, sent an army to Utah to escort his replacement. Defiant sermons given by President Young and other Church leaders, combined with the impending arrival of an army, helped create an environment of fear and suspicion in Utah.
At the peak of this tension, in early September , a branch of the territorial militia in southern Utah composed entirely of Mormons , along with some Indians they recruited, laid siege to a wagon train of emigrants traveling from Arkansas to California. As the wagon train traveled south from Salt Lake City, the emigrants had clashed verbally with local Mormons over where they could graze their cattle.
Some of the members of the wagon train became frustrated because they had difficulty purchasing much-needed grain and other supplies from local settlers, who had been instructed to save their grain as a wartime policy. Aggrieved, some of the emigrants threatened to join incoming troops in fighting against the Saints. Although some Saints ignored these threats, other local Church leaders and members in Cedar City, Utah, advocated violence. Lee, a militia major, to lead an attack on the emigrant company.
When the president reported the plan to his council, other leaders objected and requested that he call off the attack and instead send an express rider to Brigham Young in Salt Lake City for guidance. But the men Haight had sent to attack the emigrants carried out their plans before they received the order not to attack.
The emigrants fought back, and a siege ensued. Over the next few days, events escalated, and Mormon militiamen planned and carried out a deliberate massacre. They lured the emigrants from their circled wagons with a false flag of truce and, aided by Paiute Indians they had recruited, slaughtered them. Between the first attack and the final slaughter, the massacre destroyed the lives of men, women, and children in a valley known as Mountain Meadows.
The express rider returned two days after the massacre. Two Latter-day Saints were eventually excommunicated from the Church for their participation, and a grand jury that included Latter-day Saints indicted nine men. Lee, was convicted and executed for the crime, which fueled false allegations that the massacre had been ordered by Brigham Young.
In recent years, the Church has made diligent efforts to learn everything possible about the massacre. In the early s, historians in the Church History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints scoured archives throughout the United States for historical records; every Church record on the massacre was also opened to scrutiny. Turley Jr.
Smith, and other leaders contributed to a climate of hostility, President Young did not order the massacre. Rather, verbal confrontations between individuals in the wagon train and southern Utah settlers created great alarm, particularly within the context of the Utah War and other adversarial events. Aside from the Mountain Meadows Massacre, a few Latter-day Saints committed other violent acts against a small number of dissenters and outsiders. Some Latter-day Saints perpetrated acts of extralegal violence, especially in the s, when fear and tensions were prevalent in Utah Territory.
The heated rhetoric of Church leaders directed toward dissenters may have led these Mormons to believe that such actions were justified. Even so, many allegations of such violence are unfounded, and anti-Mormon writers have blamed Church leaders for many unsolved crimes or suspicious deaths in early Utah. Many people in the 19th century unjustly characterized the Latter-day Saints as a violent people.
Yet the vast majority of Latter-day Saints, in the 19th century as today, lived in peace with their neighbors and families, and sought peace in their communities. Travelers in the 19th century often noted the peace and order that prevailed in Mormon communities in Utah and elsewhere. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints condemns violent words and actions and affirms its commitment to furthering peace throughout the world.
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Indeed, it advocates peace and forgiveness. Directions are not capitalized unless they become part of the more or less official title of a geographical entity: "He moved from s outh Texas to S outh Africa. That's nonsense. Proper and restrained capitalization simply makes things easier to read unless something is capitalized in error, and then it slows things down. Without the little tails and leaders we get in a nice mixture of upper- and lower-case text, words lose their familiar touch and feel.
Restrain your use of ALL CAPS in e-mail to solitary words that need further emphasis or, better yet, use italics or underlining for that purpose, if your e-mail client provides for that treatment. There is considerable debate, still, about how to capitalize words associated with the Internet. Most dictionaries are capitalizing I nternet, W eb, and associated words such as W orld W ide W eb usually shortened to W eb , W eb p age, W eb s ite, etc. The Yale Style Manual recommends capitalization.
The words e -mail and o nline are not capitalized. The Guide to Grammar and Writing is a monument to inconsistency on this issue. The most important guiding principle in all such matters is consistency within a document and consistency within an office or institution. Probably the most thorough and most often relied upon guide to capitalization is the Chicago Manual of Style, but the Gregg Reference Manual is also highly recommended.
If your computer is equipped with PowerPoint, click on the PowerPoint icon to the right for a brief presentation on capitalization.