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“The Mormon Rebellion: America'S First Civil War, 1857-1858” By David L. Bigler And Will Bagley

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Why was Mike Reed banned from the thread? Might as well ban me too.

lifeonaplate banned from the thread!

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Bagley: Turley still has agents digging at NARA, but I'm sure they'll still a whale of a lot of NARA correspondence. I know for a fact they missed a devastating item at another archive that is pretty much the whole ballgame. It answers the critical question, what did the Old Boss know and when did he know it? Days after the atrocity, it turns out, not 20 years later.

And, of course, it is not evident that Bagley even did any NARA research for BOTP. One of my unpublished papers at the below link shows how he lifted material from Dwyer, who relied upon NARA documents. In one case, Bagley offered a footnote to NARA material which was really an invoice for NARA material ordered by a bitter anti-Mormon, William Wise, in an earlier MMM book. It looks to me as if Bagley got his hands on Wise's papers and, thinking he was citing from real NARA material, cited to some sort of order form. It was laughable.

All that NARA material -- showing DoJ, Department of War, Department of Interior and presidential files all dealing with the Massacre -- putting to the lie of a deal to thwart justice. Bagley missed every single piece of paper.

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Both times I submitted work for publication, titles were not decided by me... but rather my editor/publisher. It is my understanding that this is a rather common practice. What have you published before, USU? Anything? Did you decide the titles?

You're banned from the thread.

If you permit the publication to go forward, you have endorsed the title. Titles for my works are suggested. If I don't like them I don't publish.

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Why was Mike Reed banned from the thread? Might as well ban me too.

lifeonaplate banned from the thread!

Probably because he said:

You can't claim to know all of the evidence he has without reading the book. But thank you for demonstrating who at least one idiot/fool is.

If you call another poster an idiot, you just might get your wish.

Mike is an intelligent fellow, and usually does better than this.

And now I'm going to leave this strand alone before I get on the mods' radar for derailing the thread to a discussion of a mod decision.

Regards,

Pahoran

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That would have been a felony for both the prosecutor, Sumner Howard, and Brigham Young. And unenforceable, as well. Something Howard would have known full well. And such a theory makes no sense, given all the National Archives material showing continued effort by the feds to pin Brigham Young to the crime. If there was such a deal, why would the government have allocated more funds year after year to go after others?

See my unpublished paper on this very topic: http://randomrunner....adows-massacre/

This was my conclusion in that paper:

The conclusion to be derived from these facts is that “scapegoating” was Lee’s trial defense, which the prosecution denied and which only the press seemed to really support. How could Lee have been made a scapegoat for other guilty participants when there is no evidence of a deal to thwart justice, and the government’s internal workings show a continued effort to prosecute President Young and others? “Scapegoating” helped sell books and newspapers. Had the Church and the Department of Justice reached a secret deal to make Lee a scapegoat, then one would think that the DoJ would have acted consistently with that deal. But it didn’t; there were years of additional efforts to pin Brigham Young to the crime.

It is unfortunate that Brooks and Bagley swallowed the scapegoating theory hook, line and sinker when there was not any bait hanging on the hook. Brooks’ analysis of this theory seems, a half century later, rather odd, but one must remember that her grandfather, Dudley Leavitt, was a principal in the massacre. When she published her biography of Leavitt, she left out the massacre entirely other than to say that it would be better left alone. Bagley adopted the theory because by the time Bagley wrote his book the theory had become so entrenched as to take on the force of truth, and there is plenty of external evidence to show that Bagley has an unmitigated axe to grind against the Church.

It is inappropriate that Bagley did not mention the National Archives files of the Departments of Justice, War and the Interior, which discuss the government’s continued efforts to prosecute Church officials and which contain denials of the Salt Lake Tribune’s charges of a deal to thwart justice. Bagley doesn’t even cite these materials in his sources, but it is plain that he had had access to the National Archives in his research because there are a few NARA cites in his footnotes.

Thanks very much for that. I am not a "fan" of the subject by any means!

Obviously, someone coming to the topic of the MMM is first confronted by its very existence. In my case, I had returned from my full-time mission for the Church and I was working in the Church Office Building as a janitor. I came across a full set of the History of the Church and found the chapter on the MMM there. I was shocked that such an atrocity could happen in my home state, and more shocked and offended that I had never heard of it before. Surely, during my Utah History class in the 8th grade, Mr Woodbury, a teacher very cool in his attitude toward the Church, must have taught about it. But then, 8th grade boys no longer possess functioning ears, so that was my excuse for not remembering a single thing about that class other than how bored I was the entire year.

My original apologetic response to the "discovery" of the MMM was to adopt the History's view, that certain guilty individuals had been to blame; that B. Young was utterly innocent; that the Church at the time was outraged and shocked just as I was; that the Church had done everything to cooperate with the Fed authorities to bring those guilty of whipping up the Indians into perpetrating the massacre to justice; that in fact Indians had been the main perpetrators, and only a handful of Mormon "renegades" had participated, etc.

It wasn't until quite recently that I realized afresh just how raw the feelings are on this topic; how it is far from settled and in fact forms a central role in the departure of many from this Church. I have even been banned from the exmo forum over it: I defended the actions of the Mormons as "understandable", in light of their earlier persecutions in Missouri and Illinois. I never justified the MMM. Yet so entrenched is the hatred of the Church over this event that feelings run high enough to prevent reading for comprehension.

As a result of my extended debate on that forum over the MMM, I purchased and read both Brooks' and Bagley's histories. And to this very moment I remain convinced that B. Young did protect the perpetrators. I was unaware until now that the Fed went after him over this issue and tried to pin it on him even after the execution of John D. Lee. It doesn't really alter anything: he probably did his deal-making and then discovered that he was dealing with duplicitous men.

What makes anyone think that a Fed official is above underhanded dealings? Especially out in the "territories" where evidence is thin on the ground and apparently easily covered up? And if anyone (Pahoran) thinks that B. Young lost his influence over the Mormons and the Indians after he lost the governorship, I suggest that the evidence indicates the exact opposite. Young thwarted Fed influence at every turn, by his influence alone, for he certainly possessed no secular authority at all after 1858....

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I was unaware until now that the Fed went after [bY] over this issue and tried to pin it on him even after the execution of John D. Lee. It doesn't really alter anything: [bY] probably did his deal-making and then discovered that he was dealing with duplicitous men.

And just what is the evidence of BY's "probabl[e] . . . deal-making," QB?

Fawn Brodie's word? Or is there actual evidence to support such an inference?

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It doesn't really alter anything: he probably did his deal-making and then discovered that he was dealing with duplicitous men.

What makes anyone think that a Fed official is above underhanded dealings? Especially out in the "territories" where evidence is thin on the ground and apparently easily covered up? And if anyone (Pahoran) thinks that B. Young lost his influence over the Mormons and the Indians after he lost the governorship, I suggest that the evidence indicates the exact opposite. Young thwarted Fed influence at every turn, by his influence alone, for he certainly possessed no secular authority at all after 1858....

You really aren't equipped to understand the problems with making such a deal. A highly respected federal prosecutor, Sumner Howard (who went on to be a congressman and a federal judge) would have knowingly agreed to a felony. A deal to thwart justice was then and is now a felony. You can't have an agreement not to prosecute unless it is approved by a federal judge or a President. And, then, it was much harder to get both; the law seemed to provide that for the first, a deal wasn't available for a chief participant. For the second (a pardon), a conviction had to obtained first. (Remember the controversy when Ford pardoned Nixon before any conviction?)

And, that deal would have been entirely unenforceable. The successor to Sumner Howard could have just ignored it.

You talk about corrupt federal officials. I know personally Sumner Howard's descendants; they'd go ape over such a charge. Not only was Sumner Howard involved in the prosecution, but so was Attorney General Devens and President Grant (who had given Howard a pocket pardon for Lee if Lee turned against Young); it would have required their corruption as well.

What a canard this theory is and a mountebank Bagley is for pushing it, and too bad for people like you believing it. I've done a deep study of this theory; my cited paper goes into great detail as to the source of theory and its problems.

Look, I don't doubt that Brigham Young didn't do handsprings to help the prosecution. But my paper documents his offer to the U.S. Marshal to use a Mormon Territorial Marshal to make the arrests of the chief participants. The U.S. Marshal, who refused to make the arrests himself until he got paid, refused the offer on the ground that deputizing a Mormon was the same as deputizing the devil. This singular event, which Bagley and Brooks ignore, speaks volumes against the charge that there was this massive coverup.

Brigham Young sent Erastus Snow to St. George to look into the matter and he got to bottom of things; he grew to detest John D. Lee; the excommunication resulted summarily. For strange reasons, both Brooks and Bagley take great offense to Lee's summary excommunication. Will wonders never cease.

Brigham Young wasn't happy with how the southern Saints were sheltering the participants. According to a master's thesis I've read on William Dame in the rare collection at BYU, the Cedar City Stake President and a chief participant in the crime (he had his defenses; they all did), Brigham Young went to the stake to release Dame as Stake President. The Stake refused to sustain the release and Pres. Young's replacement. In outrage, Young left Dame in place and told the stake they'd have to be saddled with him.

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According to a master's thesis I've read on William Dame in the rare collection at BYU, the Cedar City Stake President and a chief participant in the crime (he had his defenses; they all did), Brigham Young went to the stake to release Dame as Stake President. The Stake refused to sustain the release and Pres. Young's replacement. In outrage, Young left Dame in place and told the stake they'd have to be saddled with him.

Bagley's arguments depend heavily on the unexamined assumption that Young controlled everything in Utah, that nothing important happened in Utah without both his knowledge or consent. Which is nonsense, if you stop and think about it, and take time to actually notice things like this that undermine such thinking.

Kevin Christensen

Pittsburgh, PA

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The beginning question for setting the MMM narrative in motion is “Why should anyone believe that the LDS leadership of the stakes, wards, and militia of southern Utah would originate, plan, and carry out an attack and massacre of an emigrant wagon train without the shared belief that such an action would be approved by headquarters in Salt Lake City?” That is exactly the questionTurley et al try to answer. For those of you have not read the literature, begin at the begin. Read Brooks, read Bagley, read Turley et al on MMM, then read Mormon Rebellion. Study the sources and the noting. Those who do will quickly realize that Morgan Deane has simply not done that necessary lifting, while Crockett is merely the LDS equivalent of Krakauer on these issues. Have fun reading!

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The beginning question for setting the MMM narrative in motion is “Why should anyone believe that the LDS leadership of the stakes, wards, and militia of southern Utah would originate, plan, and carry out an attack and massacre of an emigrant wagon train without the shared belief that such an action would be approved by headquarters in Salt Lake City?”

I disagree that that should be the beginning question. It presupposes things that aren't clearly evident. In fact, the question is phrased in a way that indicates the questioner has already reached a conclusion.

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I disagree that that should be the beginning question. It presupposes things that aren't clearly evident. In fact, the question is phrased in a way that indicates the questioner has already reached a conclusion.

Finding and grasping the historical and factual narrative to my question will (1) answer the first and (2) eviscerate the second concern of your objection. I can develop three lines of evidential argumentation, one of which possibly could satisfy your worries. Reading, discussing, and writing remain essential in satisfying the question. The first involves the reading carefully the works of Brooks, Bagley, and Turley. The second and third tasks follow the first. Since Deane clearly failed to do any of that, the enquirer needs to begin at the begin.

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Finding and grasping the historical and factual narrative to my question will (1) answer the first and (2) eviscerate the second concern of your objection. I can develop three lines of evidential argumentation, one of which possibly could satisfy your worries. Reading, discussing, and writing remain essential in satisfying the question. The first involves the reading carefully the works of Brooks, Bagley, and Turley. The second and third tasks follow the first. Since Deane clearly failed to do any of that, the enquirer needs to begin at the begin.

I see no particular reason myself to defend Deane, but I would suggest that you form your conclusions about the massacre from some source other than that which is corrupt. One of the essential themes of both Brooks and Bagley is that the Department of Justice cut a deal with the Church to make John D. Lee a scapegoat (which implies a lot of other things). That theme is corrupt, unsupportable and ignores -- I'd say intentionally -- much evidence to the contrary which neither Brooks nor Bagley attempt to discuss much less mention. Their works are corrupt and vacuous.

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I see no particular reason myself to defend Deane, but I would suggest that you form your conclusions about the massacre from some source other than that which is corrupt. One of the essential themes of both Brooks and Bagley is that the Department of Justice cut a deal with the Church to make John D. Lee a scapegoat (which implies a lot of other things). That theme is corrupt, unsupportable and ignores -- I'd say intentionally -- much evidence to the contrary which neither Brooks nor Bagley attempt to discuss much less mention. Their works are corrupt and vacuous.

I think we need to be more careful in our assessment of Juanita's motives than we do of Bagley's. We know the latter has access to sources, many of them already referred to in this thread, that give the lie to Lee's self-serving hints and accusations made in the context of a defense to capital charges. We can even judge Lee more charitably, since, when a man's fighting for his life, he will cast about for anything that looks like a life preserver. Bagley, however, proves himself an obdurate fool, committed as he is to an untenable position despite all evidence to the contrary. To him it's more useful to believe in Card Indians who can run faster than the wind to the greenwood's song and other fictional thingies, so long as he doesn't have to re-examine his antiMormonism.

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I think we need to be more careful in our assessment of Juanita's motives than we do of Bagley's.

I've read closely Levi Peterson's biography of Brooks. I concluded from it that she took more extreme positions that she really believed, most likely in reaction to her unhappiness with church officials who touched her life.

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I've read closely Levi Peterson's biography of Brooks. I concluded from it that she took more extreme positions that she really believed, most likely in reaction to her unhappiness with church officials who touched her life.

I've read the same things. "In the quiet heart is hidden sorrow that the eye can't see." I'm inclined to judge her as charitably as I'm able.

Bagley's quite another matter. To admit knowledge of evidence destructive of one's position and then ignore it is the act of a zealot.

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You project your motivation and efforts, Bob, on others: an internal corruption of personal inadequacy and insecurity. Brigham Young correctly described your type in a speech given on 5 July 1852. You may begin any discussion with me by starting with the question I gave, not your silly conclusions based on misreadings and misstatements. Drag the shirt tails elsewhere.

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I think we need to be more careful in our assessment of Juanita's motives than we do of Bagley's. We know the latter has access to sources, many of them already referred to in this thread, that give the lie to Lee's self-serving hints and accusations made in the context of a defense to capital charges. We can even judge Lee more charitably, since, when a man's fighting for his life, he will cast about for anything that looks like a life preserver. Bagley, however, proves himself an obdurate fool, committed as he is to an untenable position despite all evidence to the contrary. To him it's more useful to believe in Card Indians who can run faster than the wind to the greenwood's song and other fictional thingies, so long as he doesn't have to re-examine his antiMormonism.

Thank you for being charitable to Juanita. However, your describe your own attitudes about self examination when you project them on to Bagley.

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Some of you mistake what Juanita thought in later years. A better understanding is ~

"For instance, Juanita Brooks wrote to Roger B. Mathison, the Gifts & Exchange Librarian at University of Utah in later November, 1968 (Brooks to Mathison, 21 November 1968, Juanita Brooks Papers, MS 486, Folder 14, Manuscripts Division, University of Utah Marriott Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2). She told Mathison that she changed her mind about Young’s responsibility for the massacre. She had underplayed, she admitted, the role of the Indians in her book, and now believed "that" Young "was directly responsible" for the massacre because he stirred up the Indians. She mentions the meeting with the Indians to which Huntington referred, and believes that Haslam’s letter from Young to the Southern leadership is further evidence of Young’s guilt. The Fancher wagon train was away to the south of Utah, and its Indian threat, Young admitted to the Iron County leaders, "might have been more real than I had previously supposed." The missive instructs that the leaders "should . . . preserve good feelings with them [the Indians]", written at a time when a battle (or massacre) supposedly might occur, actually was occurring, or had occurred. The letter’s tone clearly reveals that the emigrants' welfare to Young, at the very least, was on the low scale when compared to that of the southern Indians or Mormons. A minimal interpretation of Brooks’ understanding of Young’s counsel is that if the Mormons had to choose a side, it should be Indians over emigrants, and that is the tale that Massacre At Mountain Meadows tells." http://www.aml-online.org/Reviews/Review.aspx?id=4391

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Some of you mistake what Juanita thought in later years. A better understanding is ~

"For instance, Juanita Brooks wrote to Roger B. Mathison,

Is a copy of the actual letter available online?

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You project your motivation and efforts, Bob, on others: an internal corruption of personal inadequacy and insecurity. Brigham Young correctly described your type in a speech given on 5 July 1852. You may begin any discussion with me by starting with the question I gave, not your silly conclusions based on misreadings and misstatements. Drag the shirt tails elsewhere.

Welcome to the board, Melvin. Please become better acquainted with the board guidelines. Personal attacks aren't allowed.

Skylla

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Welcome to the board, Melvin. Please become better acquainted with the board guidelines. Personal attacks aren't allowed.

Skylla

Thank you, Skylla, I am glad to be here, and trust you will apply the guidelines equitably.

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Thank you, Skylla, I am glad to be here, and trust you will apply the guidelines equitably.

That assumption needs to be rethought:

http://www.mormondia...__p__1208690047

Since when have we ever stated we are even handed.
The moderators are not FAIR, no really we are not FAIR. Please don't waste our time fighting every decision made by a mod. No one has died from a bad moderator call.
;)

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You project your motivation and efforts, Bob, on others: an internal corruption of personal inadequacy and insecurity. Brigham Young correctly described your type in a speech given on 5 July 1852. You may begin any discussion with me by starting with the question I gave, not your silly conclusions based on misreadings and misstatements. Drag the shirt tails elsewhere.

I can assure you that the schoolyard retort of, "yeah, well you too" doesn't apply here. I make my observations based upon a personal review of Bagley's sources and a close inspection of his footnotes. For BOTP I don't think UofO did any editing whatsoever. I've made my various points in three different papers.

If I were to summarize briefly Will's problems:

1. He doesn't discriminate between poor evidence and good evidence. The western historians I am used to reading do so. If I were to describe the way Will writes history it is thusly: He assembles notes of various finds he makes, puts them in chronology order and then writes his books. No analysis of the quality of what he has.

2. Rumors and innuendo are perfectly satisfactory evidence for him. Brooks, who wasn't a trained historian either (meaning, in other words, never having had to defend a dissertation) would at least comment upon the fact that she was reporting suspicious rumor. Bagley only would make that kind of comment if the rumor or innuendo happened to favor the church, but most likely he just didn't report on favorable evidence.

3. Bagley's gaffes in historical analysis are huge; I mean, huge beyond reasonable dimension and expectation. Completely missing all DoJ correspondence discussing continued DoJ prosection. Plagiarizing Dwyer without understanding Dwyer's points. Completely botching the Gilman Affidavit affair. Completely missing in BOTP Pres. Young's efforts to get a Mormon marshal involved for the arrests. Completely missing the effect and discussion of the presidential amnesty. Completely blowing (and mixing up) the analysis of the odd violence cases (Potter, Henry Jones etc), claiming for example there were never indictments when there were. Not mentioning that one other person claimed to be Argus and Wandell didn't. No mention of the fact that the Provo Grand Jury was dismissed not because Cradlebaugh was digusted with the failure to indict for MMM but because the army escort was withdrawn. So much blown, so many gaffes. And so unwilling to make corrections -- probably because he doesn't like folks rubbing his nose in these gaffes.

No, my friend, Will Bagley is one who has sold his friends but certainly nobody else.

Thank you, Skylla, I am glad to be here, and trust you will apply the guidelines equitably.

I think that I've treated you neutrally.

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Of course Bagley already had his conclusion: B. Young was the main fault. Without B. Young there would have been no MMM. Without the reformation fervor that he raised there would have been no motive to war. Without B. Young's polemics and religious extremism there would have been no mustering of the "battleaxe of the Lord" to "use up" the Gentiles. And all of that is supported by evidence, even factual statements.

The trouble I see is that those friendly to the Church hate a historian drawing uncomplimentary conclusions. Mutual animosity.

The first trial of John D. Lee was an all-Mormon jury and "not guilty" as the verdict. The retrial made sure that the jury was mixed Gentile and Mormon, and the verdict was "guilty". If someone cannot see machinations behind the scenes going on with that simple fact alone I don't know what else to say....

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The first trial of John D. Lee was an all-Mormon jury and "not guilty" as the verdict. The retrial made sure that the jury was mixed Gentile and Mormon, and the verdict was "guilty". If someone cannot see machinations behind the scenes going on with that simple fact alone I don't know what else to say....

I don't mean to poke my head into a discussion that I'm not qualified for...well, actually yeah why not?

I don't really think that a mixed/non-mixed jury honestly means too much, or at least its not as simple as you say. I would've voted Lee guilty, and I can comfortably say there are Mormons back then who did too. It seems to me like that would be a matter of personal choice, not a 'Gentile' factor. This isn't Twelve Angry Men. I'm not seeing machinations behind the scenes.

Feel free to prove me to the contrary though, I'm sure you will.

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