Summary of Events

Creating This Exhibit

In creating my timeline, I found the most difficulty in the initial stages of research. Because the Mountain Meadows Massacre was not widely publicized and known about, other than in academia, it was difficult to find primary sources relating to the tragedy. I easily uncovered court records and confession transcripts but there seemed to be a lack of images. In constructing my timeline, I found this to be the most problematic. To combat the lack of primary source images, I turned to artist depictions and paintings of the event. Most of these had to be found from sources on the open web (standard Google searches). From there I would use a reverse image search to find the original source. I was forced to discard some images that were actually decent because I was unable to find a credible source to cite. It is possible this was for the best, as there was no way to know the authenticity of the images. I’m almost certain that some of the images of John Lee that Google Search provided were not actually of him. ProQuest the Library of Congress were valuable in finding primary source material. As I began to insert data into the spreadsheet document, the overwhelming task of constructing a timeline seemed to become easier. Taking the data one row at a time helped me to better organize my story and some rewrites were necessary to concisely display content.

Developing the narrative was less worrisome, as I relied on research and websites already in existence. The Famous Trials site by Professor Linder and The Mountain Meadows Massacre in Public Discourse site by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln made it easy to decide which events were important to add to my timeline. I used these sites as a catapult to research some of their summaries in more depth. This led me to researching the confessions of John D. Lee and allowed me to realize that his trial, while significant, was not as important as the effects of the Mountain Meadows Massacre throughout the United States political climate at the time. This caused me to focus only on some of the events leading up to the Massacre and the participation of government entities that eroded Mormon trust in the United States. The trial and the effects it had were nonetheless still vitally important.