By Kass Fleisher
Explores how a pivotal occasion in American history-the bloodbath of over three hundred Shoshone males, ladies, and kids in 1863-has been built, contested, negotiated, and forgotten.
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Extra resources for The Bear River Massacre and the Making of History
Still, Young did not rush to that judgment, and a law formalizing the slavery question in Utah Territory was not passed until 1852. This law made Utah the only state west of the Missouri River, and north of the Missouri Compromise line of 36° 30’, to legalize slavery; but the law was more restrictive than those of southern states. A slave market of natives, mostly children exchanged between Mexican traders and the Ute and the Paiute, had existed in the region long before the arrival of the Mississippi Saints.
While slaves and free blacks were at times considered helpmates to whites in these difficult emigration conditions, relations returned to that of apartheid after that first winter. Slaves still feared the corporal punishment uti- Image rights unavailable. 24 The Bear River Massacre lized by some owners, and still feared being sold or separated from their friends and families. Utah historians document several instances of slave trading between Mormon owners. ” According to Ronald G. Coleman, William Crosby wrote to Brigham Young in 1851, complaining that Green Flake was a “‘boy’ who was ‘mean, dirty and saucy’ to his owner, Mrs.
What (We Think) Happened 31 Except as they illustrate the escalating tension between natives and Mormons, details of the resulting Walker’s War are not pertinent to this study, and I refer you to Bigler’s Forgotten Kingdom for a succinct account. But two points are salient to our discussion of the intersection of this gender- and culture-specific conflict. First, the trigger for the conflict: the wife of James Ivie, at her cabin in Springville, gave flour to a wife of Shower-osho-a-kats, in exchange for fish.