|19th Century Engraving of the Mountain Meadows Massacre|
The attack on members of the Fancher-Baker party came on September 11, 1857, as they were driving a herd of hundreds of cattle west to California where beef was desperately needed in the golf fields. Noted Mormon or L.D.S. missionary Parley Pratt had recently been killed in Arkansas and the tension between the Mormon emigrants who had settled in Utah and the United States was growing. For reasons that continue to be debated today, militia members and their Indian allies attacked the wagon train, took the cattle and other supplies, and killed an estimated 120 or more members of the party. Only 18 small children were spared to be adopted into local Mormon families. They were subsequently taken into the custody of the U.S. government and returned to their families in Arkansas.
|Arkansas Grave of Parley Parker Pratt|
|Beaver Bridge in Arkansas|
Also of interest is the monument near Alma and Van Buren marking the grave of slain LDS leader Parley Pratt, who was killed in Crawford County in May of 1857 (the same year as the massacre) by a part of vigilantes headed by the irate first husband by one of his plural wives. You can read more about the murder and monument by visiting www.exploresouthernhistory.com/parleypratt.