Criticism of Mormonism/Books/American Massacre

Index to claims made in American Massacre: The Tragedy at Mountain Meadows


A work by author: Sally Denton

This is an index of claims made in this work with links to corresponding responses within FairMormon Answers. An effort has been made to provide the author's original sources where possible.

Claim Evaluation
American Massacre
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Chapter 1

Summary: Claims made in "Chapter 1: Palmyra, 1823" (3–11)

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Chapter 2

Summary: Claims made in "Chapter 2: Kirtland/Far west, 1831" (12–21)

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Chapter 3

Summary: Claims made in "Chapter 3: Nauvoo, 1840" (22–39)

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Chapter 4

Summary: Claims made in "Chapter 4: Winter Quarters—Council Bluffs, 1846" (40–60)

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Chapter 5

Summary: Claims made in "Chapter 5: Salt Lake City, August 24, 1849" (61–75)

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Chapter6

Summary: Claims made in "Chapter 6: Sevier River, October 26, 1853" (76–92)

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Chapter 7

Summary: Claims made in "Chapter 7: Harrison, March 29, 1857" (93-103)

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Chapter 8

Summary: Claims made in "Chapter 8: Deseret, August 3, 1857" (104–117)

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Chapter 9

Summary: Claims made in "Chapter 9: The Southern Trail, August 3, 1857" (118-127)

No claims in this chapter are addressed at the present time.

Chapter 10

Summary: Claims made in "Chapter 10: Mountain Meadows, September 7-11, 1857" (128–146)

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Chapter 11

Summary: Claims made in "Chapter 11: Deseret, September 12, 1857" (147–163)

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Chapter 12

Summary: Claims made in "Chapter 12: Camp Scott, November 16, 1857" (164–187)

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Chapter 13

Summary: Claims made in "Chapter 13: Cedar City, April 7, 1859" (188–204)

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Chapter 14

Summary: Claims made in "Chapter 14: Mountain Meadows, May 25, 1861" (205–217)

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Chapter 15

Summary: Claims made in "Chapter 15: Mountain Meadows, March 23, 1877" (218–236)

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Chapter 16

Summary: Claims made in "Chapter 16: Mountain Meadows Aftermath" (237–241)

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Reviews of this work

Robert D. Crockett, "The Denton Debacle: Review of Sally Denton. American Massacre: The Tragedy at Mountain Meadows, September 1857"

Robert D. Crockett,  The FARMS Review, (2004)
Sally Denton's American Massacre is the "Native Americans didn't do it" version of the Mountain Meadows Massacre of 1857 near Cedar City, Utah. The massacre has recently attracted much attention with the refurbishing of the memorial at Mountain Meadows and the publication or republication of three other widely acclaimed books: Will Bagley's Blood of the Prophets, which I have reviewed earlier;1 Jon Krakauer's bestseller Under the Banner of Heaven; and William Wise's Massacre at Mountain Meadows.2


Denton's polished writing style is more readable than Bagley's. That is about the best one can say of this work, though, because Denton's pursuit of Native American political correctness fails her when she gets into the tough issue of culpability beyond the direct participants. In an area that demands a thorough knowledge of the relevant literature, Denton is deficient. She also relies heavily on secondary sources, many of which are suspect because of their own failure to adequately document primary sources. Her work, therefore, is largely a reinterpretation of old sources rather than a treatment of new sources and material. Her suggestion that she is an insider to the Latter-day Saint psyche (p. 293) proves unconvincing because she makes mistakes that careful historians of Mormon Americana do not.

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