Ben Mack


Missouri, Zion, Haun's Mill Massacre, Latter-day Saints, mobocrats


For the Mormons in Missouri, the year 1838 presented many trials. They were in the midst of an attempt to establish "Zion," a community that would be "of one heart and of one mind," but there were obstacles to such an endeavor. Tension between the established Missourians and the Mormon settlers escalated throughout the summer. At the end of the year, the bitterness exploded into a devastating outburst of Missouri violence referred to as the "Haun's Mill Massacre." Of the victimized Mormons, or Latter-day Saints (LDS), seventeen were killed and thirteen were wounded. The massacre, though undeserved by the Mormons, did not occur without some provocation from a few of their own members. Indeed, in the months preceding the Missourian attack, the foolish and fanatical actions of a few LDS provided bait for the groups of local mobocrats.