“The Morrisite Massacre”


"We'll see Morris, Banks, and others, Joseph, Hyrum with the Martyrs, On Mount Zion in great glory With the savior and his army." "Slain by Burton, cruel Mormon," the song tells of the coming joys for the believers


The Morrisites are, as best I can tell, an extinct sect, largely because of the actions described in this song. Joseph Morris in 1860 had received a series of revelations; he gathered followers among the Mormons and founded his own community. Being a rather poor organizer, and expecting the second coming at any moment, he was unable to control dissension among his followers.

Eventually some disgruntled followers called on the Utah authorities, who -- being left largely free of federal control due to the Civil War -- moved in quickly to settle the dissident faction. Salt Lake County sheriff Robert T. Burton gave the Morrisites 30 minutes to surrender, then moved in. Burton moved in, killed a few people including Morris and his assistant Banks, and took the rest prisoner.

Burton would be placed on trial in 1879, but was acquitted.

Joseph and Hyrum are, of course, the brothers Joseph and Hyrum Smith, who were slaim by a mob near Nauvoo, Illinois, one of the key events in Mormon history. - RBW

Historical references

  • June 13, 1862 - The Morrisite Massacre


  1. Burt, pp. 121-122, (no title) (1 text)
  2. BI, Burt121


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1958 (Burt)
Keywords: religious homicide
Found in: US