Book Signing - Richard E. Turley and Barbara Jones Brown ("Vengeance is Mine: The Mountain Meadows Massacre and Its Aftermath")
Published by Oxford University Press in 2008, Richard Turley's initial account, Massacre at Mountain Meadows, relied on new and exhaustive research to tell the story of one of the grimmest episodes in Latter-day Saint history. On September 11, 1857, southern Utah settlers slaughtered more than 100 emigrants of a California-bound wagon train. In this much-anticipated sequel, Vengeance is Mine, Richard E. Turley Jr. and Barbara Jones Brown follow up that volume with an examination of the aftermath of the atrocity. In greater detail than ever before, Vengeance Is Mine documents southern Utah leaders' attempts to cover up their crime by silencing witnesses and spreading lies about the victims and perpetrators of the crime. Investigations by both governmental and church bodies were stymied by stonewalling and political wrangling. While nine men were eventually indicted, five were captured and only one, John D. Lee, was executed.
The book examines the maneuvering of the defense and prosecution in Lee's two trials, the second ending in Lee's conviction. The book also examines the fraught relationship between Lee and church president Brigham Young, including what Young knew of the crime and when he knew it. The book tells the story, as well, of the seventeen young children who survived the massacre and their later return to Arkansas, from where the ill-fated wagon train originated. It traces the fate of the perpetrators to the end of their lives, including the harrowing demise of Nephi Johnson, who screamed, "Blood! Blood! Blood!" in the delirium of his death bed more than sixty years after the massacre.
We currently have 50 copies of the sequel on hand to sell, as well as several copies of Massacre at Mountain Meadows. The signing will be held on our front porch following their presentation at the St. George Tabernacle. (And you can always buy your copy now in advance.) Richard Turley hopes to join Barbara Jones Brown, who is confirmed, for both the presentation and the signing.
About the Authors
Richard E. Turley Jr. was a long-time historian for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah, and a co-author of Massacre at Mountain Meadows. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Historical Association's Herbert Feis Award and the Historic Preservation Medal from the Daughters of the American Revolution. Turley also represented relatives of the Mountain Meadows Massacre victims in their successful petition of the federal government to grant National Historic Landmark status for the atrocity site.
Barbara Jones Brown is the director of Signature Books Publishing and former executive director of the Mormon History Association. She also provided content editing for Massacre at Mountain Meadows. She holds an M.A. in American history from the University of Utah and a B.A. in journalism and English from Brigham Young University. While researching her genealogy after beginning work on Vengeance Is Mine, Brown discovered that, like the earlier Mountain Meadows Massacre historian, Juanita Brooks, she is a direct descendant of one of its perpetrators.