Mormon ghosts

On September 11, 1857, over 120 migrants on their way from Arkansas to California hid in a haphazardly constructed wagon fort in southern Utah. They feared that local Paiutes were going to renew attacks against them. Having spent four days under siege, they were relieved by the sight of Mormon leader John D. Lee, the “spiritual son” of Brigham Young, and four dozen local militiamen approaching their fort. Waving a white flag of truce, Lee promised the migrants safe passage out of Utah. Salvation seemed close, at least until they heard Lee’s terms. In return for the militia’s help, Lee asked the migrants to leave behind their cattle and other belongings, pile all of their weapons into a wagon and march out with the women and children in the lead and the men following behind. Although the migrants feared a trap, they had little choice.


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