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Mountain Meadows Witness: The Life and Times of Bishop Philip Klingensmith

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ISBN 10: 0870622293 / ISBN 13: 9780870622298
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Title: Mountain Meadows Witness: The Life and Times...

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Documented by trial transcripts, letters, journals, and diaries, Backus describes the events leading to the Mountain Meadows Massacre from the vantage point of her great-grandfather Philip Kingensmith who was a participant. An American tale as much as a Mormon one, the details of the massacre and its cover up (the men involved tried to blame the killing on Indians) are shocking only 13 children survived of a company of over 200 emigrants. It is a tale of Mormon church politics, racism, greed, and one man's lifetime of attempted atonement. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.


Philip Klingensmith was a Mormon adventurer, settler and pioneer on the western frontier. He was also a witness to and participant of the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Mountain Meadows Witness: The Life And Times Of Bishop Philip Klingensmith is a meticulously documented and comprehensive history of his life as it entwined with the Mormon church, and consequently, the tragedy at Mountain Meadows in 1857. Klingensmith's connections with George A. Smith, Isaac C. Haight, Brigham Young, Parley P. Pratt, Isaac Morley, John M. Higbee, John D. Lee and Jacob Hamblin are all vividly portrayed. The events, orders, letters and meetings all leading to the Mountain Meadows massacre are discussed in detail and in context. John Higbee's control of the Mormon militia, as well as the fear of non-Mormons (fueled by Church patriarchs and George A. Smith) are expanded and explored. Jacob Hamblin's presence at the massacre (a matter of historical debate) is now supported with new information. Drawn from letters, trial testimony, journals and diaries, a compelling account follows Philip from his birth in Pennsylvania and religious roots in Nauvoo, to pioneering the settlement of Utah and Nevada, and ordination to Bishop in Cedar City in 1852, then on to Mountain Meadows and the torment of its aftermath. Kleingensmith's confession and affidavit regarding the massacre is included. His life in the aftermath is rescued from obscurity in the final chapters. IN the face of opposition, his frontier pioneer life of adventure, discovery, settlement, prospecting and service to the Indians continued until his death. A notable and impressive biography, Mountain Meadows Witness is an important work of scholarship, exceptionally well written, and is an invaluable addition to any Mormon or Western history bookshelf. -- Midwest Book Review

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