Special Award in History
Richard E. Turley, Jr., Glen M. Leonard, and Ronald W. Walker
Massacre at Mountain Meadows
No event is so distant from the Mormon experience; nothing so haunts the Mormon soul as the journey into the valley of the shadow of death at the Meadows. For years, historians have struggled to interpret, analyze, and organize the events leading up to the massacre of 120 men, women, and children in “las vegas de Santa Clara,” as John C. Fremont called the Mountain Meadows. While there is no final explanation for such a brutal eruption of evil, Ronald W. Walker, Richard E. Turley, Jr., and Glen M. Leonard have produced the most complete, thoughtful, and balanced account of the murders to date. Their painstaking research has allowed them to piece together a timeline of events and a multitude of perspectives from which to explain the unexplainable. The Association admires the skill with which interlocking, parallel narratives have been crafted, a nuanced and balanced tone achieved, genuine compassion for the victims evinced, and no excuses sought or given for the perpetrators. Massacre at Mountain Meadows is a narrative of discovery, a journey backward in time, in which we experience fear, anger, rhetorical excess, and murder from an appropriate distance. There is no exploitation of the violence, no investigative journalistic voyeurism in the text. Neither is the telling simply matter of fact. The authors’ pain and dismay are tangible. The book is a fine example of the art of history. The Association for Mormon letters is pleased to recognize with a special award in history, Ronald W. Walker, Richard E. Turley, Jr., and Glen M. Leonard for Massacre at Mountain Meadows, published by Oxford University Press.