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Bagley's Interpolation Of "allies" For "grain"


smac97

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I've long been curious about how Bagley managed to interpolate "allies" for "grain" in his quotation of Dimick Huntington's journal (for more information on this topic, see here, here, here and here).

I just ran across a post from a former poster from this board (Rollo Tomasi) posted on ZLMB in 2004. Here's the link. Here's the text:

Smac:

I have actually corresponded with Bagley about this (a few months ago), and he admitted that his copy of the journal entry was not as good as the one shown in BYU Studies (I think that was it) and that his use of "allies" instead of "grain" was an error. But that mistake did not change the rest of the journal entry, which he correctly quoted -- that BY approved the Indians taking the emigrants' cattle (which, in my mind, set up the fight that, intended or not, led to the massacre).

And here (same link):

Bagley is no hero of mine. In fact, when I emailed him asking why he used "allies" in place of "grain," his first response to me was to "f*** off!" (I kid you not). Not the nicest of guys.

Interesting.

-Smac

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You think you can post his email response here smac? I'd like to gage his personal attitude of defending his allegations, I think most would.

Though it sound like some of his words need to be censored.

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Given the fact that Will Bagely was paid to write a book about the MMM, it is little wonder that he might be motivated to twist even benign events into orders to commit mass murder. How he confuses Brigham Young allowing some of the native American tribes to rustle cattle as a command to commit mass murder is astonishing.

His "error" significantly changes the meaning of the text.

Regards,

Six

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Given the fact that Will Bagely was paid to write a book about the MMM, it is little wonder that he might be motivated to twist even benign events into orders to commit mass murder. How he confuses Brigham Young allowing some of the native American tribes to rustle cattle as a command to commit mass murder is astonishing.

His "error" significantly changes the meaning of the text.

Regards,

Six

Well, let's be careful with attributing improper motives to Bagley simply because he was "paid to write a book about the MMM." Turley is being paid to write his book, after all, but we're giving him the benefit of the doubt.

Let's do the same with Bagley.

-Smac

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I understand that professional scholars earn a living by being historians and publishing.

In what manner is Turley being paid for his MMM studies and writing? I am curious.

Does Will Bagley getting paid a quarter of a million dollars to write a book compare with how Turley came to write his book?

Regards,

Six

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I understand that professional scholars earn a living by being historians and publishing.

In what manner is Turley being paid for his MMM studies and writing? I am curious.

Does Will Bagley getting paid a quarter of a million dollars to write a book compare with how Turley came to write his book?

Regards,

Six

Bro. Turley is an employee of the Church (he is the head of the Family and Church History Department). I understand that he is writing the book in his capacity as an employee of the Church. But I suppose I could be mistaken.

But even if I am mistaken, I don't think we should fault Bagley solely for writing the book for a paycheck. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt.

Also, according to Bagley, he wasn't paid $250,000:

After working for Frank for two years, and it was a dream job---he paid me as much as I was making in the computer business, I went everyplace---all together, his company later informed me he spent about $250,000 underwriting this investigation. I only got a small fraction of that (laughing). But the expenses and all the rest of it, overhead, were pretty expensive.

-Smac

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Will Bagley's book is well researched and a credit to anyone with a BA, MA or Phd, if you ask me.

Most people don't write books for free and I agree with those who've defended him--dismissing his work because he was paid to do it is pretty ridiculous.

Why would Bagley make a mistake like this? Because he is writing the book from a point of view that influenced how he looked at the evidence. It fit his view to read the word as "allies" rather than "grain" because it added weight to his belief of events. Luckily, someone had access to a better copy and was able to point out and correct the mistake.

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Ok smac97, can you give me the shortened version?

By missreading "grain" for "allies" how exactly does it affect Bagley's assertions?

To me it puts BY's "cut the scoundrels throughts" discourse into a whole new context, and ties up a lot of loose ends.

Well, it's kinda long. But here's the gist:

1. Perhaps the single most important piece of evidence intended to inculpate Brigham Young for the massacre (that is, that he ordered it) is the journal of Dimick Huntington. The journal entry describes a meeting between Brigham Young and several Indian chiefs prior to massacre (on September 1, 1857). Bagley's thesis is that this meeting was a discussion wherein Young told the Indians to go after the Fancher group.

2. Here is the relevant text of the journal:

Kanosh the Pahvant Chief[,] Ammon & wife (Walkers Brother) & 11 Pahvants came into see B & D & find out about the soldiers. Tutseygubbit a Piede chief over 6 Piedes Bands Youngwuols another Piede chief & I gave them all the cattle that had gone to Cal[.] the southa rout[.] it made them open their eyes[.] they sayed that you have told us not to steal[.] so I have but now they have come to fight us & you for when they kill us then they will kill you[.] they sayed the[y] was afraid to fight the Americans & so would raise grain & we might fight.

3. When quoting this journal entry, Bagley interpolated "allies" instead of "grain." [EDIT, BUT SEE MY COMMENT BELOW.] According to Bagley, this entry (read with "allies" interpolated into it) proves that "the atrocity was not a tragedy but a premeditated criminal act initiated in Great Salt Lake City" (p. 378), and that "if any court in the American West (excepting, of course, one of Utah's probate courts) had seen the evidence [the Dimick Huntington diary] contained, the only debate among the jurors would have been when, where, and how high to hang Brigham Young" (p. 425 n. 42). Bagley goes on to argue that these Indian chiefs then traveled from the meeting (in Salt Lake City) to Cedar City and participated in the massacre.

4. Those who disagree with Bagley have made three basic criticisms of this thesis:

-A. Bagley Interpolated "Allies" for "Grain" When Quoting Huntington's Journal

Here's a portion of a review of Bagley's book (Lawrence Coates, review of Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows, by Will Bagley, BYU Studies 42/1 (2003): 153.):

2000294274342404675_rs.jpg

And here's an actual image of the journal page:

l_ee56cf8e6c58ba66d691e7819e12119a.jpg

Coates notes that "[in] the context of the rest of the entry grain makes sense: the Piedes would raise grain rather than take the cattle." But Bagley's interpolation, read without context, suggests that the Indians wanted to on the warpath (that they wanted to "raise allies").

-B. The Timing of the Meeting Made it Unlikely or Impossible for the Indians who Participated in the Meeting to Have Been Present for the Massacre

Coates addresses this also:

2000203892540828051_rs.jpg

2000293827553997995_rs.jpg

So does Crockett:

Bagley's chronology is problematic to the point of impossibility. Tutsegabit and Youngwuds did not have time to get from Salt Lake City to Mountain Meadows and return to Salt Lake City by 16 September 1857 or, as Huntington says, by 10 September 1857.

Blood of the Prophets tells us these Indian chiefs were surprised when they were purportedly told to massacre the Fancher train on 1 September but that they recovered from this surprise, and within five days (without horses, no less) traveled three hundred miles to organize and lead the first wave of assaults, assembling for the assault on the evening of 5 September for a predawn attack the next morning. In contrast, John D. Lee claims he rushed on horseback to Salt Lake City to make a report to Brigham Young of the massacre, saying that "I was on the way about ten days," and Lee did not get started for ten days. With excellent and replenished horseflesh, it took James Haslam three days to travel the same distance with Isaac Haight's request for instructions. Wilford Woodruff records Tutsegabit's presence to be ordained an elder in Salt Lake City, certainly not an emergency, five days after the massacre concluded or, as the Huntington diary says, in the middle of the massacre. It is implausible to think that Tutsegabit and Youngwuds made this round-trip in such a short period of time. Moreover, neither Tutsegabit nor Youngwuds were reported to be at the massacre.

-C. The Meeting was a Discussion About the Indians Going After the Army's cattle, not the Fancher Party's cattle

Crockett addresses this well. Some excerpts:

Brigham Young, if it was truly he who spoke [during the meeting with the Indian chiefs], did not refer to a specific emigrant train. Instead, on that day and on many others, as I will demonstrate, he asked Indian tribal leaders to help scatter the cattle of the army and of all emigrants on the trail in front of the army in order to completely close the trail. As historian Norman Furniss observed fifty years ago, "early in the war at least, the Church's leaders had a deliberate policy of seeking military assistance from the Indians." When Brigham Young told the Indian tribes he wanted assistance in fighting the Americans, he meant only the army.

Bagley tells us that the language in Huntington's diary entry for 1 September 1857 implies an instruction for attack on the Fancher train. Why then did Dimick Huntington use the same language elsewhere with Indian tribal leaders who could have had no geographic proximity to the Fancher train? For instance, two days earlier in Huntington's diary, 30 August 1857, Huntington wrote:

I [Huntington] told them that the Lord had come out of his Hiding place & they had to commence their work[.] I gave them all the Beef cattle & horses that was on the Road to CalAfornia[,] the North Rout[,] that they must put them into the mountains & not kill any thing as Long as they can help it but when they do Kill[,] take the old ones & not kill the cows or young ones.

When Huntington talks about not killing anything "as Long as they can help it" he is talking about "cows." He asked the northern Indians for help to run cattle off the northern California route upon which the Fancher train would never tread. Following the massacre, Indian agent Garland Hurt, certainly no friend of the Mormons, noted the same requests were made to the northern Snake Indians. B. H. Stenhouse also confirms that running the cattle off was a general strategy used successfully against the army. Thus, Brigham Young's 1 September 1857 comment: "I gave them all the cattle" can only mean one thing. He offered the Indians all the cattle they could scatter that were owned by the army.

Let us look at who was present at that 1 September 1857 meeting because this bears on Bagley's theory about instructions to destroy the Fancher train. Most of the Indians present led tribes that had no geographic proximity to the Fancher train, as massacre historian and attorney Robert Briggs has pointed out.16 Only two or three of the twelve chieftains present might have had some connection to the tribes that participated in the massacre. Tutsegabit and Youngwuds were the two Southern Paiute chiefs present in Brigham Young's office whose tribes resided in Iron County (p. 113).

Not only were the wrong people in the 1 September 1857 meeting, the participants were probably talking about a geographic area far from the location of the Fancher train. I have substantial doubt that Brigham Young's reference to the "south rout[e]" on 1 September meant anything more than the entire route south of present-day Wyoming upon which the army was advancing. With contemporaneous descriptions of the south route referring to the entire road south of Lander Pass in Wyoming, it is unreasonable to conclude that Brigham Young had some other meaning for "south rout[e]."

...

Thus, I disagree with Bagley's effort to render what is simple and relatively benign (general cattle running) to what is complex and malicious (killing emigrants)...As Robert Briggs asks in his Sunstone essay, with twenty-five hundred troops approaching, why would Brigham Young concern himself with forty armed men in the Arkansas train?

Read both Crockett's piece and Coates' for more information. They are quite illuminating.

-Smac

Why would Bagley make a mistake like this? Because he is writing the book from a point of view that influenced how he looked at the evidence. It fit his view to read the word as "allies" rather than "grain" because it added weight to his belief of events. Luckily, someone had access to a better copy and was able to point out and correct the mistake.

Has Bagley publicly acknowledged this mistake?

-Smac

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QUOTE(alter idem @ Sep 10 2007, 10:05 AM) *

Why would Bagley make a mistake like this? Because he is writing the book from a point of view that influenced how he looked at the evidence. It fit his view to read the word as "allies" rather than "grain" because it added weight to his belief of events. Luckily, someone had access to a better copy and was able to point out and correct the mistake.

Has Bagley publicly acknowledged this mistake?

I don't know if he has. I'm sure he thinks it's unimportant, since it doesn't change his opinion of how he intereprets the rest of the quote.

Thanks Smac--that was all very interesting. I have to wonder how bad Bagley's copy was. It sure didn't look like "allies" to me. :P

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I don't know if he has. I'm sure he thinks it's unimportant, since it doesn't change his opinion of how he intereprets the rest of the quote.

Thanks Smac--that was all very interesting. I have to wonder how bad Bagley's copy was. It sure didn't look like "allies" to me. :P

I just found something very interesting.

Bagley's book is available on Amazon.com.

The quote under discussion (the one where Bagley interpolated "allies" for "grain") appears on page 114 of the book (as referenced in the reviews by Crockett and Coates).

Amazon has a feature called "Search Inside" that allows you to search the text of a book that is advertised as having that feature. Bagley's is just such a book.

Click on the above link and then click on the image of the cover of Bagley's book (it has the "Search Inside" logo just above it). This will take you to a search page.

Type in "114" as your search term and click "Go."

You'll get one result: page 114.

Here's a clip from page 113 that provides the introduction to the quote from Huntington's journal:

2002624886701814094_rs.jpg

And here's a clip of page 114 (take a good look at the indented quote from Huntington's journal):

2002615516504994891_rs.jpg

The interpolated word "allies" no longer appears in the book, at least the version for sale on Amazon. Instead, it interpolates "grain" (which is odd, since "grain" actually appears in the text and therefore should not be an interpolation).

Is this a tacit admission by Bagley that he flubbed it?

-Smac

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Is this a tacit admission by Bagley that he flubbed it?

It's someone's admission, that's for sure! Great sleuthing Smac.

I just checked the copy of Bagley's book I have and it has; ..."& so would raise [allies] and we might fight".

This copy is from the library--It's copyright 2002 and signed by the author.

I suspect that he has changed it in later editions and whether or not he wanted to or was compelled to, I don't know--but I bet he wasn't happy about it. :P

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It's someone's admission, that's for sure! Great sleuthing Smac.

I just checked the copy of Bagley's book I have and it has; ..."& so would raise [allies] and we might fight".

This copy is from the library--It's copyright 2002 and signed by the author.

I suspect that he has changed it in later editions and whether or not he wanted to or was compelled to, I don't know--but I bet he wasn't happy about it. :P

Here's an image of the footnotes for the quotation (footnotes 90 and 91):

2001707433140855317_rs.jpg

There is no mention of or explanation for the changed interpolation.

-Smac

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  • 2 weeks later...

You know, a simple statement settles this issue.....

A GOOD and RESPECTABLE historian tells history for the sake of the whole truth, and done so with class and respectability, not for an agenda or bias.

This is why I have never respected anti-mormon scholarship compared to LDS scholarship.

Anti-mormons paint every single issue according to their negative bias, omitting facts, misquoting, and outright lying, rather than simply telling the whole truth of the matter. A mormon scholars agenda is simply the facts that ultimately lead naturaly to the whole truth which is in fact positive in most cases. Of course, not stating perfection with the LDS scholar, but the imperfection is natural rare error, not utter and complete falsehood and bearing false witness in almost every statement and subject as anti-mormonism does.

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Most people don't write books for free and I agree with those who've defended him--dismissing his work because he was paid to do it is pretty ridiculous.

=Actually it can be dismissed. Why? Because Bagley was intentionally paid to write it in a negative biased manner while trying to be historically accurate at the same time.

That doesn't mix, and it belongs with the anti-Mormon volumes of the ages.

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I have to wonder how bad Bagley's copy was. It sure didn't look like "allies" to me. :P

Telling someone to f*** off, does that sound like an open, public admission of his error. As one who admires Bagley's work as a researcher, why not write him and ask for a copy of his "poor copy" and report back to us your results.

You can put the whole discussion to rest.

Will Bagley's book is well researched and a credit to anyone with a BA, MA or Phd, if you ask me.

I think our discussion centers on his conclusions and interpretation of the facts.

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=Actually it can be dismissed. Why? Because Bagley was intentionally paid to write it in a negative biased manner while trying to be historically accurate at the same time.

That doesn't mix, and it belongs with the anti-Mormon volumes of the ages.

What evidence do we have that he was "intentionally paid to write it in a negative biased manner?"

I think Bagley's book is deeply flawed, but I've seen little evidence that the flaws derive from the fact that Bagley was paid to write it or that the was paid to write it in a biased way.

Let's refrain from disparaging Bagley in this way when all we have to go on is speculation.

-Smac

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Telling someone to *** off, does that sound like an open, public admission of his error. As one who admires Bagley's work as a researcher, why not write him and ask for a copy of his "poor copy" and report back to us your results.

You can put the whole discussion to rest.

I think our discussion centers on his conclusions and interpretation of the facts.

Man cdowis! Who put a burr under your saddle? :P

I don't know why you seem to think I disagree on this. Do you read every other word of my posts or something? (I wouldn't blame you if you do--I can drone on <_< ) however, I think you have misunderstood me.

I am not defending Bagley's interpolation of "allies"--I'm very happy that he was called on it and had to remove it from subsequent editions. I am waiting with baited breath--hoping that one reason Turley's book is taking so long is that he is rebutting a number of the conclusions Bagley presented with facts of his own.

I've read Bagley's book so I believe I am justified in giving my opinion of the book. If you read his book, you may feel differently about it and you are welcome to give your insights as well. I felt that despite his position and conclusions(which I disagree with completely), his scholarship and research deserves respect.

I'm not alone; Gene Sessions had this to say about Bagley's book in an article for FAIR;

"I must tell you up front (you can throw tomatoes or whatever you want at me) that I was one of the readers that the University of Oklahoma Press sent a manuscript and I recommended publication because I believed very strongly and still do that Br. Bagley had done intense research and that it was fairly exhaustive. He solved whatever he could see and looked very deeply, plumbed very deeply, to find much information that Juanita Brooks did not have when she published her landmark book in 1950. And so I was impressed with that and recommended that the Oklahoma Press publish the book but I cautioned the Press that it was an anti-Mormon polemic and that I did not agree with Will's conclusions and we'll talk more about that some more here if time allows."

http://www.fairlds.org/FAIR_Conferences/20...s_Massacre.html

I think here on the board we like tear down our critics completely, not give them any credit. However, I think Bagley deserves credit for his book. It's not garbage like William Wise's book (I won't pronounce Sally Denton's book garbage since I refuse to waste time reading it). And until Turley's book comes out, Bagley's and Brooks' books provide the most accurate research on the topic. Of the books which are out there right now, a person who wants the most exhaustive information on events surrounding Mountain Meadows Massacre should read Bagley's book.

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What evidence do we have that he was "intentionally paid to write it in a negative biased manner?"

I think Bagley's book is deeply flawed, but I've seen little evidence that the flaws derive from the fact that Bagley was paid to write it or that the was paid to write it in a biased way.

Let's refrain from disparaging Bagley in this way when all we have to go on is speculation.

-Smac

Here's what Gene Sessions said in the same FAIR Conference presentation that alter idem cited above:

Another reason of course is the publication of Will Bagley's book. Will began work on his book well before the Hinckley initiative on the Meadows. He was employed by a former Mormon in California who, frankly, wanted to pin the Massacre on Brigham Young. He put an ad in the Salt Lake Tribune asking for applicants to write a new history of the Mountain Meadows Massacre and in the course of interviewing several who applied (inaudible) except for Br. Bagley. Will was, by his own words to me--this is first hand words--the only one who said that he could and would pin it on Brigham Young. So Will was hired, he quit his job at Evans and went to work full-time writing a new history which was published by the University of Oklahoma Press last year.

In fairness, I have to say I've heard it said or seen it written (sorry, I can't pin down a source at the moment) that Bagley only agreed to proceed with the project with the understanding that he be allowed a free hand in reporting what he found through his research.

As for Turley, my understanding is that he independently came up with the idea of writing a book on Mountain Meadows. Leonard and Walker became his co-authors after he learned that they too were interested in writing on the subject, and they decided to combine their efforts. They were then given approval from Church leaders to pursue the project with the understanding that the book would not be subject to the Church's correlation review process. They pledged at the outset to go wherever the research took them. Preliminary indications, including Turley's Ensign article, indicate, in my mind, that they have been true to that pledge.

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In fairness, I have to say I've heard it said or seen it written (sorry, I can't pin down a source at the moment) that Bagley only agreed to proceed with the project with the understanding that he be allowed a free hand in reporting what he found through his research.

I think you're referring to these comments by Bagley:

I keep getting distracted, but I was actually hired to do this. I spent two years on the bankroll of a California entreprenuer named Frank James Singer.

...

But I do want to make clear that as part of the deal, I told Frank Singer that I would deliver him my best work and my professional conclusions as a historian, but that he would not get history made to order, and he might not be happy with what I concluded, but he would get what I considered an absolutely solid professional opinion, and that I would try to publish a book. Frank was going to write a novel, and had already written the screenplay, and he had already written the acceptance speech for the Oscar he was going to get for his movie on Mountain Meadows.

So it seems there is a discrepancy between what Bagley says and what Sessions says Bagley says (I hadn't seen Sessions's comments before this thread, BTW).

-Smac

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I think you're referring to these comments by Bagley:

So it seems there is a discrepancy between what Bagley says and what Sessions says Bagley says (I hadn't seen Sessions's comments before this thread, BTW).

-Smac

I don't see much discrepancy; the two versions seem essentially consistent to me.

Singer must have felt comfortable with what he saw as Bagley's predisposition, otherwise he wouldn't have agreed to the venture. That is to say, I doubt he would have hired somebody like Turley to do the job.

By the way, the quote from Bagley makes me wonder if there was any connection between Singer and what eventually emerged as "September Dawn."

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I don't see much discrepancy; the two versions seem essentially consistent to me.

Sessions said:

He [singer] was employed by a former Mormon in California who, frankly, wanted to pin the Massacre on Brigham Young.

...

Will was, by his [bagley's] own words to me--this is first hand words--the only one who said that he could and would pin it on Brigham Young.

And Bagley said:

But I do want to make clear that as part of the deal, I told Frank Singer that I would deliver him my best work and my professional conclusions as a historian, but that he would not get history made to order...

Singer wanting to pin the MMM on Brigham Young sounds like he wanted "history made to order," which is what Bagley said he would not deliver. Except that Sessions said that Bagley said that he (Bagley) was "the only one who said that he could and would pin it on Brigham Young."

Hence the discrepancy.

Singer must have felt comfortable with what he saw as Bagley's predisposition, otherwise he wouldn't have agreed to the venture. That is to say, I doubt he would have hired somebody like Turley to do the job.

Well, the question I have is whether Singer was really so brazen as to ask for - as Bagley put it - "history made to order," and whether Bagley was so unscrupulous to - as Sessions put it - promise that he "could and would pin [the MMM] on Brigham Young."

By the way, the quote from Bagley makes me wonder if there was any connection between Singer and what eventually emerged as "September Dawn."

What is it about Singer's name that makes you say that?

-Smac

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I don't see much discrepancy; the two versions seem essentially consistent to me.

Singer must have felt comfortable with what he saw as Bagley's predisposition, otherwise he wouldn't have agreed to the venture.

I don't see any discrepancy either. edited to add my reason; I think Singer was satisifed after speaking to Bagley that he would "pin it on" Pres. Young. I think Sessions comments, since they are second hand about Bagley and Singer, should be recognized as such.

Frank was going to write a novel, and had already written the screenplay, and he had already written the acceptance speech for the Oscar he was going to get for his movie on Mountain Meadows.

Delusions of grandeur if he was at all involved in "September Dawn".

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