On the town square in front of the Boone County Courthouse, Harrison Arkansas, stands this silent witness to the 140 men, women and children from the Harrison area who were victims of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, one of the most horrific atrocities in American history.
The massacred were emigrants on their way to California who departed from Caravan Spring, about 4 miles south of Harrison, Arkansas, around May 1, 1857. They traveled by wagon train and camped at Mountain Meadows, in Utah, in the late summer. There they were attacked by Indians who were directed by Mormon settlers.
The pioneers fought and fended off the Indians for several days until both their supply of ammunition and their bodies were exhausted. Then they were approached by a band of Mormons under a banner of truce. The emigrants dropped their rifles and cheered when they saw that it was white men who were approaching.
Then the Mormon outlaws turned on them and brutally murdered 120 men, women and older children. 17 small children were later found in Mormon homes, rescued by the United States Army.
John D. Lee, a Mormon Bishop who confessed guilt, was tried, convicted and executed for his complicity in the crime in 1877.
Beneath the inscription on the monument is this quote from the Bible: "Vengence is mine, I will repay saith the lord."