Founder of Mormons linked to 19th Century massacre
- Founder of Mormons linked to 19th Century massacre
Ananova - Wednesday 27th February 2002
The foundder of the Mormon Church has been linked to one of the worst massacres in American history. A confession etched on a newly discovered lead sheet claims Brigham Young, who founded Salt Lake City, ordered the death of 120 settlers. The wagon train of settlers, mostly women and children, were killed after they had thrown down their weapons on a promise of safe passage. The Church of the Latter-Day Saints first tried to blame Indians for the slaughter, which became known as the 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre.
But John D Lee, a militiaman who was Young's adopted son, was tried and executed for organising the attack 20 years later. The Daily Telegraph reports the church has maintained the militia acted alone, although it's believed documents incriminating its leaders were burned at the end of the 19th century. The lead sheet signed by Lee is the first evidence to directly link the killings to Young. It was found during restoration work on the debris of Lee's Fort.
Tests are being conducted to date the etching and Mormon leaders insist further checks have to be conducted on the authenticity of the note.