Ballad of the Mountain Meadows Massacre

On September 11th, 1857 a Mormon mob attacked and murdered 120 men, women and children who were passing through Utah Territory as they traveled from Arkansas to California on their way to a better life. Known as the Mountain Meadows Massacre, the following ballad performed by Pete Moore tells the tragic story.

The original words of this ballad (the variant below provided by Frank Kirkman’s Mountain Massacre Site) are believed to have been written within months of the massacre by a United States soldier who was encamped on the border of Utah Territory at the time of the murders (Austin E. Fife, Western Folklore, Vol. 12, No. 4 [Oct., 1953], 238-239).

Ballad of the Mountain Meadows Massacre

Come all you sons of liberty, unto my rhyme give ear
‘Tis of the bloody massacre you presently shall hear
In splendor o’er the mountains some thirty wagons came
They were awaited by a wicked band, oh Utah, bear the blame!

In Indian colors all wrapped in shame this bloody crew was seen
To flock around this little train all on the meadows green
They were attacked in the morning as they were on their way
They forthwith corralled their wagons and fought in blood array

Till came the captain of the band, he surely did deceive
Saying, “If you will give up your arms we’ll surely let you live.”
When once they had give up their arms, thinking their lives to save
The words were broken among the rest which sent them to their graves.

When once they had give up their arms they started for Cedar City.
They rushed on them in Indian style, oh what a human pity!
They melted down with one accord like wax before the flame,
Both men and women, old and young, oh Utah!, where’s thy shame?

Both men and women, old and young, a-rolling in their gore
And such an awful sight and scene was ne’er beheld before
Their property was divided among this bloody crew
And Uncle Sam is bound to see this bloody matter through.

The soldiers will be stationed throughout this Utah land
All for to find those murderers out and bring them to his hands.
By order from their president, this bloody deed was done
He was the leader of the Mormon Church, his name was Brigham Young.

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
This entry was posted in Brigham Young, Early Mormonism, Mormon History, Mormon Leaders and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Ballad of the Mountain Meadows Massacre

  1. falcon says:

    OK I’ll preempt any attempt by a Mormon poster to try and change the topic to “all religious groups have done things like this”. I view that type of strategy as not facing the incident head-on and learning from it. It sort of takes the LDS “persecution” card off of the table.

  2. Mike R says:

    We’ll never know the whole story about this tragedy because Mormon leadership will not allow
    full access to historical documents sequestered away in the First Presidency’s private vault .
    Given that fact there could very well be some evidence there that could shed more light on
    this event .

    It’s certainly not surprising to learn that when this terrible event happened it was on Brigham Young’s watch .

  3. Mike R says:

    Falcon mentioned the ” persecution card ” that many Mormons use . This is used by them to
    validate that the religion started by Joseph Smith is the true followers of Jesus , His one true
    church because they were persecuted ? It seems that this is the reasoning in their minds .

    Perhaps when a Mormon resorts to using the persecution done to their former colleagues
    to suggest that Mormonism is true , they should then be advised about the massacre of 120
    people , including children , that happened in the kingdom of ” Zion ” Mormons were
    building in the Great Basin in 1857 .

    Mormon children are constantly reminded that the reason their ancestors came west was
    because of being harshly treated back east . That is true , and it was something that never
    should have happened to those people . Unfortunately , many Mormons grow up thinking
    this proves that Mormonism is true , that it is Jesus’ only true church on earth . But that type
    of reasoning is flawed .

  4. falcon says:

    Persecution is a good strategy for gaining sympathy and for drawing the group together because of a perceived threat. All cult leaders do that to solidify their own positions within the group. What happened at Mt. Meadows was not persecution but murder. So according to BY theology there should have been blood atonement for the Mormons who perpetrated the crime.

  5. Mike R says:

    Falcon, like I mentioned above , that the mountain meadows massacre happened while
    Brigham Young was leading the Mormon church can’t surprise anyone who has read about
    him , and the full story concerning his involvement will never be known unless one of the
    top leadership today leaves and discloses what is in their private vault etc . I just find it
    interesting how every Mormon school kid can probably recite the terrible treatment of
    Mormons in Missouri by non -Mormons , yet not know anything about the Mountain meadows
    massacre . I’m sure that more and more LDS are hearing about this vile act in Utah thanks
    to Christian ministries (like MRM) , and even a few conscientious Mormon writers , but this
    was certainly something that was not readily known by the vast majority of Mormons for a long
    long time . Why ?

    Considering the authoritative claims made by Mormon leaders , the spotlight can focus on
    those claims , and for those Mormons who persist in playing the ” persecution card ” then
    they must also address the mountain meadows massacre .

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