In creating my timeline, I found the most difficulty in the initial stages of research. Because the Mountain Meadows Massacre was not widely publicized and known about, other than in academia, it was difficult to find primary sources relating to the tragedy. I easily uncovered court records and confession transcripts but there seemed to be a lack of images. In constructing my timeline, I found this to be the most problematic. To combat the lack of primary source images, I turned to artist depictions and paintings of the event. Most of these had to be found from sources on the open web (standard Google searches). From there I would use a reverse image search to find the original source. I was forced to discard some images that were actually decent because I was unable to find a credible source to cite. It is possible this was for the best, as there was no way to know the authenticity of the images. I’m almost certain that some of the images of John Lee that Google Search provided were not actually of him. ProQuest the Library of Congress were valuable in finding primary source material. As I began to insert data into the spreadsheet document, the overwhelming task of constructing a timeline seemed to become easier. Taking the data one row at a time helped me to better organize my story and some rewrites were necessary to concisely display content.
Developing the narrative was less worrisome, as I relied on research and websites already in existence. The Famous Trials site by Professor Linder and The Mountain Meadows Massacre in Public Discourse site by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln made it easy to decide which events were important to add to my timeline. I used these sites as a catapult to research some of their summaries in more depth. This led me to researching the confessions of John D. Lee and allowed me to realize that his trial, while significant, was not as important as the effects of the Mountain Meadows Massacre throughout the United States political climate at the time. This caused me to focus on some of the events leading up to the Massacre and the participation of government entities that eroded Mormon trust in the United States at the time. The trial and the effects it had were nonetheless still vitally important.
One issue I had in developing my timeline came near the end. I wanted to add both a background image and an image next to text on a single slide, but given my lack of experience with the program I was unable to do that. I was unsure about how to place citations in the areas of the timeline spreadsheet and only had room for one citation/image per slide. I tried not to manipulate the program too much for fear that I would cause a Timeline JS nuclear meltdown. The other problem I had was more of a frustration. The images embedded did not always line up with the text on the slide. I remedied this in some locations by splitting the information up between more than one slide, but decided to omit some information in the end for clarity. I tried to retain as much information as I could on the slide about the actual massacre, but initially the image was skewed to the top of the page. There was simply too much information that I felt needed to be on the page for clarity, but in the end I had to make a decision to omit certain details.
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Gibbs, Josiah. “John D. Lee Pre-Execution Photo.” Salt Lake City Tribune. 1910. From Wiki Commons. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/66/John_D._Lee_pre-execution_photo.png.
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Britton, Rey & Co. [Mountain meadows / from nature by S.H. Redmond ; drawn on stone by H. Steinegger ; Lith. Britton, Rey & Co]. Utah, ca. 1877. San Francisco: Published by the Pacific Art Co. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/95510919/. (Accessed October 17, 2017.)
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James Buchanan / engraved by permission, from the original in the possession of J.C. Buttre. , ca. 1860. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/89707760/. (Accessed October 17, 2017.)
Jenks, Daniel A., Artist. Pretty camp – Rocky Mountains. California Colorado, 1859. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2004661633/. (Accessed October 17, 2017.)
“John D. Lee.” 1857 Iron County Militia. Retrieved from http://www.1857ironcountymilitia.com/index.php?title=File:John_D.jpg.
Linder, Douglas O. “Mountain Meadows Massacre.” Famous Trials. Accessed October 17, 2017. http://www.famous-trials.com/mountainmeadows/.
Linder, Doug O. “Mountain Meadows monument at burial site for some victims (near site of siege).” Dougless O. Linder. 2006. Found at http://www.famous-trials.com/mountainmeadows/925-images.
“Original Route of the Mormon Pioneer Historic Trail.” National Park Service. 2016. https://www.nps.gov/mopi/planyourvisit/maps.htm.
Stenhouse, T.B.H. “Mountain Meadows Massacre.” Wiki Commons. 1873. https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mountain_Meadows_massacre_(Stenhouse).png#mw-jump-to-license
Turley, Jr., Richard E. “Clash of the Legal Titans: The First Trial of John D. Lee.” Lecture, Dixie State University, St. George Tabernacle, March 26, 2014.