Mormon-Indian Conflict During the Black Hawk War

  • Chelsea Kennett


Relationships between Mormons and Indians began in a relatively positive, if somewhat assimilative, manner. This changed when land became scarce and the Mormons coluded with the United States government to remove them from their traditional lands and place them on Reservations. The Black Hawk War (1865-1872) was fought over these territorial claims. Indian lands were expropriated and Mormons reacted with violence if they resisted and Mormons were seen as squatters and as responsible for Indian loss of land and identity. This essay examines the beliefs Mormons held about the Indigenous peoples of America and analyzes two cases of violence inflicted on and by Mormons and Indians during the Black Hawk War.