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The Mountain Meadows Massacre Children


Uncle Dale

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Another thread here got off track with my own questions about the surviving children

from the Fancher Party Wagon Train of 1857. Now that the other thread is back on track,

I think it best not to pursue the discussion there any longer.

So, I'll continue it here, with these points for discussion ----

1. Who determined that some children would be exempted from the massacre?

a. The decision was pre-determined by some high level leader in the Iron Co. Militia

b. The decision was made during/after the massacre by one of the on-site Mormon leaders

c. The decision was made individually by various participants in the massacre

d. The decision was a "standing order" in "rules of engagement" in the 1857-58 Mormon War

e. It was a logical outcome of the limitations on vengeful "blood oaths" (do not elaborate)

2. What was the purpose in saving some of the children?

a. Simple spur-of-the-moment compassion on the part of the massacre leaders/participants

b. With the intent to preserve them past the "age of accountability," to raise them as Mormons

c. With the intent to possibly return them to their relatives in "the States" at a later time

d. To retain potentially useful "bargaining chips" for future dealings with the non-Mormons

e. As trophies, witnesses, servants, or some other obscure reason, perhaps never to be understood

If your answer is a purely theological one (i.e. Mormons are loving Christians, etc.) please state

that it is your opinion/testimony (not established fact, agreed upon in published concensus histories)

If you have relevant source references that help give an answer, either link to them or cite them

(Please do not discuss in detail the content of any "temple oaths" or related material)

Thank you,

Uncle Dale

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Another thread here got off track with my own questions about the surviving children

from the Fancher Party Wagon Train of 1857. Now that the other thread is back on track,

I think it best not to pursue the discussion there any longer.

1. Who determined that some children would be exempted from the massacre?

2. What was the purpose in saving some of the children?

1. The men were concerned about shedding innocent blood. Also, they believed they could spare the littlest children because they would supposedly have no memory of the events.

2. Same answer--they did not want to shed innocent blood. They could rationalize that the older children and adults were not innocent but there was no way to rationalize the killing of little children and not commit murder.

It's interesting that saving the children was probably a dead giveaway that this was not a simple Indian massacre. When the first reports came in, reporters questioned the stories because the children were spared. In a typical indian massacre, no one was spared; if children were spared, then women were spared also. (Source--the Tribune reports of the Trial of John D. Lee). This was one of the facts that made people question the version of events.

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Another thread here got off track with my own questions about the surviving children

from the Fancher Party Wagon Train of 1857. Now that the other thread is back on track,

I think it best not to pursue the discussion there any longer.

I don't think I saw that thread, but I thought I'd mention one bit of information I found out about the surviving children.

When I read the Tribune reports of John D. Lee's trials, written in the mid 1870's, I found that one news story claimed that the childrens' relatives had never been found--that they were being cared for by govt. sources. in an institution.

However, in Will Bagley's book, he goes into great detail giving information of what happened to the children--they were all reunited with family; and so I was able to determine that the contemporary news story was incorrect.

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1. The men were concerned about shedding innocent blood. Also, they believed they could spare the littlest children because they would supposedly have no memory of the events.

2. Same answer--they did not want to shed innocent blood. They could rationalize that the older children and adults were not innocent but there was no way to rationalize the killing of little children and not commit murder.

It's interesting that saving the children was probably a dead giveaway that this was not a simple Indian massacre. When the first reports came in, reporters questioned the stories because the children were spared. In a typical indian massacre, no one was spared; if children were spared, then women were spared also. (Source--the Tribune reports of the Trial of John D. Lee). This was one of the facts that made people question the version of events.

Yes, I see this point mentioned in some of the early news reports. I am placing a number of them on

the web at my California newspaper articles page and my other news articles pages. However, the fact

that children were spared was not immediately known -- it was realized by observers over time. So,

how did that information first become public knowledge?

Working backward from the fact that some children were spared, we must come to the obvious realization

that some person or persons made that decision. Who? When? and to what effect?

Uncle Dale

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I am placing a number of them on the web at my California newspaper articles page...

Here are two of the very first published reports:

Los Angeles, Saturday, October 3, 1857.

Rumored Massacre on the Plains.

We have just been informed by Judge Brown, of San Bernardino, who has arrived in town from that city, that a rumor was prevalent there, and had obtained general belief, that a whole train of emigrants from Salt Lake city, for San Bernardino, composed of twenty-five families, comprising ninety-five persons, men and women, had been cruelly massacred on the road, between the last settlements in Utah Territory and the boundary of this State.

All the property of the company had been carried off, and only the children left, who were picked up on the ground, and were being conveyed to San Bernardino.

This intelligence was brought on by another party who had started from the city after the reported missing company, and who had overtaken the mail carrier in the Cajon Pass, where he is said to have encamped on Wednesday night.

No further particulars are known, nor any names given, nor any account of the finding and disposition of the bodies. We give the rumor for what it is worth. The alleged facts are without authenticity as yet, the party not having arrived in San Bernardino at the time our informant left.

Although the rumor was generally believed in San Bernardino, we confess our unwillingness to credit such a wholesale massacre.

http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/dbroadhu/CA/misccal1.htm#100357

and...

Los Angeles, Saturday, October 10, 1857.

Horrible Massacre of Arkansas and Missouri Emigrants.

In our last publication, we gave the substance of a rumor which had just then reached us, of the massacre of a large party of emigrants on their way to this State by Great Salt Lake City. We were unwilling at first to credit the statement, and hoped that rumor had exaggerated the facts, but the report has been confirmed, and the loss of life is even greater than at first reported. This is the foulest massacre which has ever been perpetrated on this route, and one which calls loudly for the active interposition of the Government. Over one hundred persons have fallen by the hands of the merciless destroyers, and we hope that immediate steps will be taken by the authorities to inflict a terrible retribution on those concerned. There is no longer reason to doubt the facts -- we have them from different parties, and all agree in placing the number of the slain at over one hundred souls, men, women and children.

The details, as far as yet known, are these: -- A train of emigrants, from Missouri and Arkansas, for this State, were waylaid and cruelly butchered on the route, at a place called Santa Clara canyon, near the rim of the Great Basin, about three hundred miles from Salt Lake City. The scene of the massacre is differently designated, as the Santa Clara canyon, the Mountain Springs, and the Mountain Meadows; but all agree in locating it near the rim of the Great Basin, and about fifty miles from Cedar City, the most southern of the Mormon settlements. Of a party of about one hundred and thirty persons,

only fifteen infant children were saved. The account was given by the Indians themselves to the Mormons at Cedar City, to which place they brought the children, who were purchased from them by the people of that city. Whether the cause assigned is sufficient to account for the result, or whether a different cause is at the bottom of the transaction, we will leave the reader to form his own conclusion. We can scarcely believe that a party traveling along a highway would act in the manner described, that is, to poison the carcass of an ox, and also the water, thus endangering the lives of those who were coming after them. Yet this is the story told by all who have spoken of the massacre. It is stated, the emigrants had an ox which died, and they placed poison in the body, and also poisoned the water standing in pools, for the purpose of killing the Indians; that several of the tribe had died from this cause, and that the whole force mustered, pursued the train, and coming up with them at the above named place, which favored their purpose, attacked and murdered the whole party, except a few infant children. The Indians state that they made but one charge on the party, in which they cut off the greater portion of the men, and then guarded the outlets of the canyon, and shot the men and women down as they came out for water; that one man was making his escape with a few children, and they followed him, killed him, and took the children, fifteen in number, the eldest under five years of age. The report was brought to San Bernardino by Messrs Sidney Tanner and W. Mathews.

The following letter from Mr. J. W. Christian, of San Bernardino, to Mr. G. N. Whitman, of this city, has been kindly placed at our disposal, and we give it at length, as it is the fullest report of the massacre, and the cause which led to it, that has reached us. The writer seems to indicate that the Mormons will be held responsible for the murder, and in this respect he is fully borne out by present implications, for a general belief pervades the public mind here that the Indians were instigated to this crime by the "Destroying Angels" of the church, and that the blow fell on these emigrants from Arkansas, in retribution of the death of Parley Pratt, which took place in that State. The truth of the matter will not be known until the Government make an investigation of the affair. This should be done, to place the blame in the right quarter, as well as to inflict chastisement on the immediate actors in the fearful tragedy, who are reported to be the Santa Clara tribe of Indians. The following is the letter:

SAN BERNARDINO, Oct. 4, 1857.

I take this opportunity of informing you of the murder of an entire train of emigrants on their way from Missouri and Arkansas to this State, via Great Salt Lake City; which took place, according to the best information I can possibly acquire, (which is primarily through Indians,) at the Mountain Meadows, which are at or near the rim of Great Basin, and some distance south of the most southern Mormon settlements, between the 10th and 12th ultimo. It is absolutely one of the most horrible massacres I have ever had the painful necessity of relating.

The company consisted of about 130 or 135 men, women and children, and including some 40 or 45 men capable of bearing arms. They were in possession of quite an amount of stock, consisting of horses, mules and oxen. The encampment was attacked about daylight in the morning, so say the Indians, by the combined forces of all the various tribes immediately in that section of the country. It appears that a majority of them were slain at the first onset made by the Indians. The remaining force formed themselves into the best position their circumstances would allow, but before they could make the necessary arrangement for protecting themselves from the arrows, there were but few left who were able to bear arms. After having corralled their wagons, and dug a ditch for their protection, they continued to fire upon the Indians for one or two days, but the Indians had so secreted themselves that, according to their own statement, there was not one of them killed, and but few wounded. They (the emigrants) then sent out a flag of truce, borne by a little girl, and gave themselves up to the mercy of the savages, who immediately rushed in and slaughtered all of them, with the exception of fifteen infant children, that have since been purchased with much difficulty by the Mormon interpreters.

I presume it would be unnecessary for all practical purposes, to relate the causes which gave rise to the above described catastrophe, from the simple fact that it will be attributed to the Mormon people, let the circumstances of the case be what they may. But it seems, from a statement which I received from Elders Wm. Matthew and Wm. Hyde, who were in Great Salt Lake City at the time this train was there, recruiting their "fit out;" and were on the road to this place at the time when they were murdered, but several days' journey in the rear -- somewhere about the Beaver mountains, which is between Parawan and Fillmore cities, that the causes were something like these: The train camped at Corn Creek, near Fillmore City, where there is an Indian village, the inhabitants of which have raised a crop of wheat, and a few melons, &c. And in trading with the Indians they gave them cash for wheat, and they not knowing the value of coin were severely cheated. They wanted a blanket for a sack of wheat, but they gave them 50 cents, and told them that amount would buy a blanket. They also had an ox with them which had died, and they put [some] strychnine in him for the purpose of poisoning the Indians; also put poison of some description in the water which is standing in holes. This occasioned several deaths among them, within a few days after the departure of the train. And upon this, it seems, the Indians gathered themselves together, and had no doubt chosen the place of attack and arranged everything before the train arrived at the place where they were murdered.

It was ascertained by some of the interpreters, from a few of the Indians who were left at Corn Creek, that most of the Indians in the country had left, but they could not learn for what purpose, and before any steps could be taken to ascertain [for certain] what was the cause, the story was told they were all killed.

Yours truly, J. WARD CHRISTIAN.

http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/dbroadhu/CA/misccal1.htm#101057

UD

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Yes, I see this point mentioned in some of the early news reports. I am placing a number of them on

the web at my California newspaper articles page and my other news articles pages. However, the fact

that children were spared was not immediately known -- it was realized by observers over time. So,

how did that information first become public knowledge?

Working backward from the fact that some children were spared, we must come to the obvious realization

that some person or persons made that decision. Who? When? and to what effect?

Uncle Dale

Sounds interesting--I'll have to take a look at them, thanks.

To bolster my comments, I cite this from Will Bagley's Book it says that within three weeks, word spread to San Bernardino's Mormon colony "Addison Pratt wrote that William Mathews "had reached home, and brought the melancholy intelligence of a large party of emigrants from Missouri, to Cal--being killed by indians". The indians "pursued the party and killed all, save a few children, and they were taken to Filmore city, and left with the saints". (p. 188)

Then he goes on "A week later, William Warren complained to Apostle Amasa Lyman, that the Mathews train had brought in two gentiles, George Powers and P.M. Warn, who "told all they knew and probably a great deal more". San Bernardino's numerous apostates "one and all pronounced it a Mormon act and no Indian affair at all." (source Warren to Lyman letter Oct. 6, 1857)

There was also the Dukes train which came right afterwards who brought news and speculation of the massacre so the information traveled pretty quick for no phones or telegraph.

Bagley cites Lee's confession that the decision was made at a priesthood council meeting Thursday eveing during the seige. He says he was given orders signed by Haight (though later, Haight said the orders had been given to him by Dame) by Colonel Higbee. Haight and Dame were Stake presidents and leaders of the militia. Higbee was the field commander over the operation. He told Lee that "the only safe course "was the utter destruction of the whole rascally lot". Higbee said everyone must be killed "except such as are too young to tell tales and if the indians cannot do it without help, [the mormons] must help them." (p. 141--From Lee's last confession) If we are to believe Lee's confession, then it would seem that the decision regarding who to kill and not kill was made at the High council and signed off on by the leaders (who incidentally were not present at the massacre but just ordered it). While Lee claims that the High council voted unanimously on this course of action, other sources disagree and say that it was not unanimous and I believe that was what prompted the insisnten by some that they send word to Brigham Young and inform him of the situation and ask him what they should do.

I believe their concern can be explained by D&C 132 and their belief that they would be damned it they shed innocent blood. They were rationalizing that those under eight were the only ones of the wagon train who were "innocent" and so fell into this category. This way, they could excuse killing older children and women. Twisted thinking, but they were desperate to find a way to cover their crimes--IMO.

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Thanks for posting those UD. It is interesting to see how early in the new reports, we already see the excuses added to the record of Emigrant bad behavior as well as the rumors that it was Mormons (Destroying angels) acting in retribution for Parley Pratt's murder in Arkansas.

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Thanks for posting those UD. It is interesting to see how early in the new reports, we already see the excuses added to the record of Emigrant bad behavior as well as the rumors that it was Mormons (Destroying angels) acting in retribution for Parley Pratt's murder in Arkansas.

In the other thread (the one I took off-track with my questions about the massacre), the idea was

expressed, that Brigham Young and/or the other high officials in Great Salt Lake City, knew nothing

about the 15 (or was it 17, or 19?) survivor children.

I responded with the fact that the children's departure from Great Salt Lake City at the end of June, 1859

was publicized in the newspapers -- and that the Mormon officials must have been aware that the kids

were real persons by that late date at the very least.

In fact, there is at least one G. A. Smith letter in the LDS Archives stating that he was there on scene

when the kids departed from either Camp Floyd or nearby GSLC.

I suppose that Mormon defenders can argue that BY and the other topmost leaders had only heard the

RUMORS of such survivor children, published in the newspapers in 1857 -- and that the leaders did not

know for certain that such alleged children were real people until June of 1859. But is that reasonable?

Bottom line -------> Col. Johnston also knew that Gentile children were being held by Brigham Young's

followers in southern Utah. He knew that he risked the lives of those children, if he made a hostile

move with his federal dragoons upon the Mormon defenders in "The Valley."

................. and the politicians back in Washington, D. C. knew that as well.

UD

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In the other thread (the one I took off-track with my questions about the massacre), the idea was

expressed, that Brigham Young and/or the other high officials in Great Salt Lake City, knew nothing

about the 15 (or was it 17, or 19?) survivor children.

I responded with the fact that the children's departure from Great Salt Lake City at the end of June, 1859

was publicized in the newspapers -- and that the Mormon officials must have been aware that the kids

were real persons by that late date at the very least.

The number varies in contemporary accounts but Lee said there were 17 children and sources agree today on that number.

You are right Uncle Dale. Brigham Young did know about the children--as early as three weeks after it happened. In Wilford Woodruff's journal entry of Sept. 29, 1857 when John D. Lee came to report on the massacre, Woodruff mentions Indians killed the people, "except some eight or ten children which they brought and sold to the whites". Even if Lee did not tell Brigham Young the truth of the event, he did tell him about some surviving children.

I assume that Brigham Young did not even consider that these little children had claim on the property of the emigrants as he made no recommendations for holding it for them--rather sent instructions to use it for the missionaries and the Indians. I suspect that he just assumed these children would be adopted and become members of families down in Southern Utah.

Now, by the time arrangements were made for the children two years later, Pres. Young was not the responsible party. A new governor and indian agent were in place so they would have been the ones to deal with the surviving children. I think they tried to get back some property but were unable to locate it--I'm sure they got no help from the guilt ridden locals. From my contemporary standpoint, I would have liked Pres. Young to have tried to do something for these children--to make up for their loss, but that's me thinking from a 21st century mind set. 19th century people did not think like that--also, they did not know that the stories of the emigrants' bad behavior were made up or exaggerated--so maybe they felt no concern for trying to make up for what happened.

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The number varies in contemporary accounts but Lee said there were 17 children and sources agree

today on that number.

You are right Uncle Dale. Brigham Young did know about the children--as early as three weeks

after it happened. In Wilford Woodruff's journal entry of Sept. 29, 1857...

Of course the Mormon apologists could argue that the journal entry has some problems with it, of one

sort or another, and that it does not stand as definitive proof that BY knew of the survivor children, nor

that he had any contact with the Mormon leaders in and around Cedar City, upon whose authority

(I suppose), the captured children were distributed and kept in Mormon households.

Notice that some of the first Mormon responses to the story make no mention of the captured children.

I find that strange. I also find it strange that people in "the States," including the relatives of the capitives,

were learning about the survivors in late 1857 and very early 1858, but that the Mormon leaders were

not using their Deseret News to publicize the need to locate the kids' relatives.

Could the lack of mention of the surviving children in the Deseret News serve as an indication

that Brigham Young DID NOT KNOW that the rumors of survivors were true????

MountM2.jpg

"Massacre at Mountain Meadow" -- from an old engraving

Here is an early LDS response to the massacre news reports:

The Western Standard

San Francisco, October 13, 1857

Massacre of Emigrants -- Reckless and Malignant Slanders

______

An extra of the Los Angeles Star contains an account of a horrible massacre of emigrants, which took place at the Mountain Meadows, near the rim of the Great Basin, between the 10th and 12th of Sept. The details, so far as known, have been given in a letter written by J. Ward Christian of San Bernardino, under date of Oct. 4th, to a gentleman in Los Angeles, and is published in the Star. The company consisted of about 130 or 135 men, women and children...

The fact that the massacre occurred somewhere within the boundaries of Utah, and the fact also that the train was from Missouri and Arkansas -- States against which, we are gratuitously informed, the "Mormons" entertain the most intense hatred -- are deemed a sufficient foundation upon which to base an accusation of the guilt against the Mormons. It is incredible, and utterly inconsistent with civilized human nature, in these [Gentile} editors' view of the case, for the emigrants to cheat the Indians, or to poison their water and the carcass of an ox. This is too hard a story to believe. But mark the difference, when there exists the slightest possible chance of attributing the most foul and atrocious deeds to an innocent people, because they are "Mormons," and live in the Territory where they are committed. It is not incredible to think that the "Mormons" either perpetrated themselves or instigated the Indians to perpetuate the murder of upwards of a hundred men, women and children, because, forsooth, they hailed from the States of Missouri and Arkansas! This is not too hard a story to believe -- it does not tax the credulity of these very incredulous gentlemen in the least. They can believe this without the slightest shadow of evidence; but transactions which every season's emigration witnesses -- the cold-blooded murder and poisoning of Indians, can not be believed, because, if believed, the "Mormons" could not be charged as the instigators of the massacre.

Inconsistent as it may seem with "civilized human nature," every man who has affected to discredit the story of the poisoning of the water and the carcass of an ox by the emigrants, must know that it is a practice of common occurrence on the plains, especially among "border ruffians," to shoot down every Indian they can get sight at, and to leave the poisoned carcasses of cattle as a means of entrapping the unsuspecting savage. If they had been killed in any other territory than Utah, the story would have been believed without hesitation; and it would have been said, that the emigrants provoked a most fearful retribution by their own acts.

We appeal to every honest, intelligent man to view all the facts of the case as they have thus far come to light, and ask, Is it not enough to drive any people mad, to be thus charged with an atrocious crime of this kind, when they know they are as innocent of it as the child unborn --- and when they know, also, that their accusers are no more warranted by the evidence before them in accusing them, than they would be in fastening a similar charge on the inhabitants of San Francisco? As if the feelings of the people were not already sufficiently hostile against the people of Deseret, a venal and incendiary press must seek to add fuel to the flame, and raise a feeling of embittered hatred against "Mormonism" and the "Mormons" in the breast of every man who will be influenced by them, or who will not take the trouble to think and investigate for themselves. What cause is there for wonder at our talking as plainly and independently as we do, when this state of feeling is so universally prevalent on all hands? Though we were filled with the most intense love for our compatriots, yet this persistent determination on their part to fasten upon us the commission of the most foul and unnatural crimes, regardless of all evidence and all our protestations of innocence, is sufficient to finally extinguish it. And the instance above is only one out of a numerous list that might be adduced; it is but another illustration of that utter disregard of justice and honor which has been continually exhibited by journalists and others in their treatment of the "Mormons." How long they expect we can endure such things, and not arise and resent them, we do not know; but such creatures may yet learn that there is a limit even to Mormon forbearance and endurance.

http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/dbroadhu/CA/misccal1.htm#101357

UD

.

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I assume that Brigham Young did not even consider that these little children had claim on the property

of the emigrants as he made no recommendations for holding it for them--rather sent instructions to use

it for the missionaries and the Indians. I suspect that he just assumed these children would be adopted

and become members of families down in Southern Utah.

My thoughts are, that BY fully expected to win the war of 1857-58, and to afterwards proclaim an

independent State of Deseret. But, as a fall-back plan, he was prepared for a Gentile victory in

which there would be a negotiated peace.

I do not see how he could help but realize that the children had to be returned to "the States," when

the Mormons lost their struggle against the federal forces.

So, if dealing with the Gentiles was "Plan B," then where in that plan did the children fit in? Can we

hypothetically call them "hostages?"

Of course, if BY did NOT KNOW THE CHILDREN WERE REAL, until after the War of 1857-58 was over,

then he could not have appreciated their value as potential hostages.

1859Hrp1.jpg

1859 on-the-scene sketch of Mountain Meadows, from "Harpers"

That is why I want to know if BY ever went on record as knowing that the kids were real people.

?????

UD

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Another thread here got off track with my own questions about the surviving children

from the Fancher Party Wagon Train of 1857. Now that the other thread is back on track,

I think it best not to pursue the discussion there any longer.

So, I'll continue it here, with these points for discussion ----

1. Who determined that some children would be exempted from the massacre?

a. The decision was pre-determined by some high level leader in the Iron Co. Militia

b. The decision was made during/after the massacre by one of the on-site Mormon leaders

c. The decision was made individually by various participants in the massacre

d. The decision was a "standing order" in "rules of engagement" in the 1857-58 Mormon War

e. It was a logical outcome of the limitations on vengeful "blood oaths" (do not elaborate)

2. What was the purpose in saving some of the children?

a. Simple spur-of-the-moment compassion on the part of the massacre leaders/participants

b. With the intent to preserve them past the "age of accountability," to raise them as Mormons

c. With the intent to possibly return them to their relatives in "the States" at a later time

d. To retain potentially useful "bargaining chips" for future dealings with the non-Mormons

e. As trophies, witnesses, servants, or some other obscure reason, perhaps never to be understood

If your answer is a purely theological one (i.e. Mormons are loving Christians, etc.) please state

that it is your opinion/testimony (not established fact, agreed upon in published concensus histories)

If you have relevant source references that help give an answer, either link to them or cite them

(Please do not discuss in detail the content of any "temple oaths" or related material)

Thank you,

Uncle Dale

After looking into the terified and screaming eyes of these small children, I would think

maybe just a little bit of mercy?

:P

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After looking into the terified and screaming eyes of these small children, I would think

maybe just a little bit of mercy?

:P

That's one very real possibility --- that each of the participants in the massacre reached a point

where he was out of ammunition or out of human targets --- and that when the shooting was all

over, the merciful Mormons looked through the piles of dead bodies and pulled out any who

were still alive, and nursed them back to health.

I can just picture some brave young Iron Co, militiaman shaking his musket at John D. Lee, and

yelling at him: "Gawd damn you, sir! -- This much and no more! We save these tykes -- or you,

sir, will die with them!"

Actually, I'd feel a whole lot better about the history, if that were the real answer.

UD

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That's one very real possibility --- that each of the participants in the massacre reached a point

where he was out of ammunition or out of human targets --- and that when the shooting was all

over, the merciful Mormons looked through the piles of dead bodies and pulled out any who

were still alive, and nursed them back to health.

I can just picture some brave young Iron Co, militiaman shaking his musket at John D. Lee, and

yelling at him: "Gawd damn you, sir! -- This much and no more! We save these tykes -- or you,

sir, will die with them!"

Actually, I'd feel a whole lot better about the history, if that were the real answer.

UD

Me thinks you are getting waaayyyyy out there?

:P

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Uncle Dale, I suspect your comments are a bit facetious, but I'll play along.

I don't believe Brigham Young thought anything about the surviving children to have considered them "hostages". They were just poor unfortunate orphans. If he thought they had any value to him, I would have expected him to have had them brought to Salt Lake. Besides, I don't see the US caring much if he had some hostages. Who would have paid a ransom for them?

Maybe others don't accept Wilford Woodruff's comments but I see no reason to quibble with the facts it presents. I take it at face value; that Pres. Young was informed that there were surviving children as early as Sept. 1857. Unfortunately, it did not occur to him to make sure their rights to the Fancher property were protected.

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each of the participants in the massacre reached a point where he was out of ammunition or out of human targets --- and that when the shooting was all over, the merciful Mormons looked through the piles of dead bodies and pulled out any who were still alive, and nursed them back to health.
Quite similar to my thoughts.

I wasn't there, and haven't read many accounts. However, I've collected umpteen stories from my father and other soldiers who have seen combat. They seem unanimously unhappy with how people record and present instances of violence. My father, a WWII vet who saw action in the battle of the Bulge, spent the rest of his life reviewing movies, documentaries, and statements about it. He found all of them lacking accurate descriptions of the high points. He found blatant errors in most of them - along the lines of where people marched on what day, what kind of combat was seen at a certain place, who was there, who was giving orders, and what orders were given.

Now, I have a deep respect and gratitude for Uncle Dale and the invalueable work he does in publishing source documents for all to see. But I must advance the notion that recorded history can only take us so far, and the deeper you dive, the more riddled with innacuracies and insufficiencies and opinions stated as fact, things become.

Given all that, and given what I've learned about how fighting works, and the physiological impacts on fighting, I can take a guess at the two questions:

1. Who determined that some children would be exempted from the massacre?

2. What was the purpose in saving some of the children?

The women in the Fancher party exempted the children from the massacre. They did it by sticking the smallest children in the safest places possible, with the thickest materials between them and the bullets, hidden as well as they could by blankets and boards and brush. The shooting and killing eventually was over, and adrenalin levels fell off, and group fight/flight reactions took second place to individuality, and people's 'consciouses' kicked back in. Then the attackers discovered the children, and didn't kill them, because the killing was all over, and any further deaths wouldn't be kiling, but murdering. Everything that happened after was being made up as they went along.

Before dismissing my out-in-left-field guess, someone should find a person who has seen actual combat that involved killing and death, and ask them about their take on it. Ask them about what it's like in combat - and how much impact "orders" have on their tactical decisionmaking. Ask them about how they knew the fighting was over, and the different ways they would relax and calm down afterwords.

LM

[dangit!]

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, I can take a guess at the two questions:

The women in the Fancher party exempted the children from the massacre. They did it by sticking the smallest children in the safest places possible, with the thickest materials between them and the bullets, hidden as well as they could by blankets and boards and brush. The shooting and killing eventually was over, and adrenalin levels fell off, and group fight/flight reactions took second place to individuality, and people's 'consciouses' kicked back in. Then the attackers discovered the children, and didn't kill them, because the killing was all over, and any further deaths wouldn't be kiling, but murdering. Everything that happened after was being made up as they went along.

Before dismissing my out-in-left-field guess, someone should find a person who has seen actual combat that involved killing and death, and ask them about their take on it. Ask them about what it's like in combat - and how much impact "orders" have on their tactical decisionmaking. Ask them about how they knew the fighting was over, and the different ways they would relax and calm down afterwords.

HSR

I'd agree your guesses are out of left field--but I must say, at least they show imagination.

The children were saved because that was the orders--not because women managed to protect them with handy blankets and boards. They were walking and the wagons with their supplies were not close enough to reach to get blankets or boards to protect themselves or their babies--Also, the shooting started and was over before any of them were able to retreive their weapons which they had surrendered.

We have some eyewitness accounts of the massacre. John D. Lee's memoirs for one. Philip Klingonsmith testified for the prosecution and admitted to having participated in the killing. Nephi Johnson told his version of events-claiming he was watching from a hill(yeah right) . Also, there are affadavits and letters from others which help us piece together something close to what actually happened. I think it is clear that the orders were to save the youngest of the children and the men tried to follow those orders.

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The women in the Fancher party exempted the children from the massacre....

I think that may account for some of the children surviving the initial onslaught of gunfire, AFTER

the Fancher people began to leave the encampment. At that point they were not near the cover of

their wagons, but the parents probably just naturally struggled to protect their young ones.

Besides which, small children make small targets and are more likely to be missed by a gunman.

So, I think you are half-correct here. But my guess about the other half of the story, is that the

gunmen were instructed (or just naturally decided) to shoot the older pioneers first. The fact that

NO persons older than about 8 years of age survived at the scene of the massacre, tells me that

the people over that age "had to die," regardless of any natural mercy shown by the Mormons.

My guess is that the cut-off age for survivors was not determined locally, but was part of the

"rules of engagement" for combatting the "enemy" during the 1857-58 war. I cannot yet prove my

theory -- but I hope to eventually find some supporting documentation.

As to WHY the children were placed in Mormon homes and kept there for many months, I also

have my theories about that. If I can ever get those narrowed down to a single educated guess,

I will also attempt to provide something more than just "circumstantial" evidence.

Finally -- for alter idem -- thanks for playing devil's advocate here. Brigham knew -- but I'm not

sure of ALL that he knew, or what ALL of his plans were. He was savvy enough to know that he had

some natural political allies back in Washington, D. C. -- and if Johnston's troops engaged in a battle

that resulted in the killing of the Fancher survivors, that the news headlines in the east would read far,

far worse than just: "Innocent Mormons Murdered by Pres. Buchanan!"

UD

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Bottom line -------> Col. Johnston also knew that Gentile children were being held by Brigham Young's

followers in southern Utah. He knew that he risked the lives of those children, if he made a hostile

move with his federal dragoons upon the Mormon defenders in "The Valley."

................. and the politicians back in Washington, D. C. knew that as well.

Are you aware of any letter, diary, etc. of Col. Johnson, or any of the â??politicians back in Washington DCâ? that explicitly states that they â??knewâ? or believed this at the time? (Not a CFR, just asking). Prior to the actual return of the children, was there even any speculation about this in any of the eastern newspapers?

If Washington DC politicians -- being what they are -- â??knewâ? this (that if the army made a hostile move on the valley, the local Mormons might murder these small children), wouldnâ??t this have become a topic of gossip, newspaper speculation, and congressional speeches? If the DC politicians â??knewâ? this, why would it have been necessary to sneak an earmark into an appropriations bill to pay to get these children out of Utah? If the Lowell, MA newspaper that you quoted (in the other thread) was aware of the earmark to pay $10,000 to get these children out of Utah, it is difficult to believe that they could be unaware that â??the politicians back in Washington DCâ? knew that Col. Johnson would have â??risked the lives of those children had he made a hostile move...â? Under these circumstances, surely, the Lowell newspaper editors would have never chosen to use this particular earmark as an example of Congressional â??Knavery.â?

Of course, the children were in the custody of federal authorities at the time the earmark was inserted into the appropriation. However, if the DC politicians knew that when the Mormons had custody, they might have murdered these small children (for any reason), surely they would have not hesitated to do everything possible to quickly get them as far from the Mormons as possible.

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Are you aware of any letter, diary, etc. of Col. Johnson, or any of the â??politicians back in Washington DCâ? that explicitly states that they â??knewâ? or believed this at the time? (Not a CFR, just asking). Prior to the actual return of the children, was there even any speculation about this in any of the eastern newspapers?

If Washington DC politicians -- being what they are -- â??knewâ? this (that if the army made a hostile move on the valley, the local Mormons might murder these small children), wouldnâ??t this have become a topic of gossip, newspaper speculation, and congressional speeches? If the DC politicians â??knewâ? this, why would it have been necessary to sneak an earmark into an appropriations bill to pay to get these children out of Utah? If the Lowell, MA newspaper that you quoted (in the other thread) was aware of the earmark to pay $10,000 to get these children out of Utah, it is difficult to believe that they could be unaware that â??the politicians back in Washington DCâ? knew that Col. Johnson would have â??risked the lives of those children had he made a hostile move...â? Under these circumstances, surely, the Lowell newspaper editors would have never chosen to use this particular earmark as an example of Congressional â??Knavery.â?

Of course, the children were in the custody of federal authorities at the time the earmark was inserted into the appropriation. However, if the DC politicians knew that when the Mormons had custody, they might have murdered these small children (for any reason), surely they would have not hesitated to do everything possible to quickly get them as far from the Mormons as possible.

Luckily we have on-line the files of four different Washington, D. C. area periodical publications from that

period -- The Daily National Intelligencer, the Washington Globe, Niles Register and the Congressional

Globe. I have just barely begun to look at the 1857-58 issues of these highly political newspapers and

have posted a miniscule fraction of the Mormon-relevant articles I've found here:

http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/dbroadhu/MA/midatlan.htm

Follow the links at the top to get to the National Intelligencer and Niles Register. Also from this period we

have on-line files of the New York Times, the New York Tribune and the New York Herald, as well as

the Salt Lake City Deseret News and the San Francisco Bulletin.

It will take some time for a researcher to browse through thse papers, in order to establish the extent of

the political bickering and political power-brokering that was going on, in relation to the "Mormon War."

My cut-off date for transcribing old Mormon-related news articles has pretty much been mid-1857, with

the death of Parley P. Pratt. So, I have only just begun to sort out the 1857-58-59 material. There is a

TON OF IT -- believe me! That will be the place to start.

As for correspondence, Arkansas' Democratic Congressman A. P. Greenwood was appointed

Commissioner of Indian Affairs during the middle of these events. He was the main advocate voice for

the recovery of the captured children. A fragment of his correspondence was published in Buchanan's

1860 report to the Congress on the MMM tradegy (available at Google Books) I have just today received

my copy of Mormons and Mormonism in U.S. Gov't Documents, compiled by Susan Fales and Chad

Flake back in 1989. I ordered this sent by Federal Express from Powells when Pahoran called for some

evidence on this subject, and seemed open to the admission of US Government documents as a source

for our investigations. Otherwise, I'd be quoting from Bagley, et al., whom the MB members detest.

In 1895 there was a very lengthy article on the children published in an Arkansas newspaper. I saw a

copy of this publication -- "Children of the Massacre," I think it was titled, at the Utah Historical Society

Library in 1979 and took some notes. It was from those notes that I derived the opinion that there

was political wrangling going among the late 1850s politicians in regard to the safety of the children,

before they arrived at Fort Laramie and were safely out of the Mormon-dominated intermountain west.

There was already a great deal of partisan wrangling going on over the details of sending the army out

to Utah and how affairs in Utah should be managed once Johnston and Cumming arrived there, of course.

That's all I can give you off the top of my head today. I may have more to work with, after I begin

searching those on-line newspaper files and begin receiving documents from the US Archives.

I'm working with a $50 per month budget, from the remoteness of the Pacific, and confined to a wheelchair,

so don't expect much in the way of results for a couple of weeks at least.

Uncle Dale

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...don't expect much in the way of results for a couple of weeks at least.

The following excerpt may or may not be relevant, but it at least shows what was being

reported regarding the survivor children after their repatriation back to the States.

The Mormon Prophet and His Harem Or an Authentic History of Brigham Young His Numerous Wives...

By Mrs. C. V. Waite,

5th enlarged edition 1868.

70 CHAPTER V.

POLITICAL HISTORY CONTINUED.

The Mountain Meadow Massacre and other Crimes of the Mormons. Attempts to bring the Perpetrators to Justice. Doings of Judge Cradlebaugh. Governor Cumming and the Military Officers. Judge Sinclair's Court. Governor Dawson and his Misfortunes. New Governor and Associate Justices appointed.

The darkest chapter of Mormon history is now before us. It becomes my duty to relate one of (he most perfidious arts of cruelty and wholesale butchery to be found in the annals of this or any other country. In doing so, free use will lie made of the statements of Judge Cradlebaugh and others who were thoroughly conversant with all the facts.

The following is from the able speech of Judge Cradlebaugh, delivered in the House of Representatives on the 7th of February, 1863:

"As one of the Associate Justices of the Territory of Utah, in the month of April, 1859, I commenced and held a term of the District Court for the Second Judicial District, in the city of Provo, about sixty miles south of Salt Lake City. Upon my requisition, Gen. A. S. Johnson, in command of the military department, furnished a small military force for the purpose of protecting the court. A grand jury was empanelled, and their attention was pointedly and specifically called to a great number of crimes that had been committed in the immediate vicinity, cases of public notoriety, both as to the offence and the persons who had perpetrated the same ; (for none of these things had " been done in a corner"). Their perpetrators had scorned alike concealment or apology, before the arrival of the American forces. The jury thus instructed, though kept in session two weeks, utterly

POLITICAL HISTORY CONTINUED. 71

refused to do anything, and were finally discharged, as an evidently useless appendage of a court of justice. But the court was determined to try a last resource, to bring to light and to punishment those guilty of the atrocious crimes which confessedly had been committed in the Territory, and the session continued. Bench warrants, based upon sworn information, were issued against the alleged criminals, and United States Marshal Dotson, a most excellent and reliable officer, aided by a military posse, procured on his own request, had succeeded in making a few arrests. A general stampede immediately took place among the Mormons, and what I wish to call your attention to, as particularly noticeable, is the fact that this occurred more especially among the church officials and civil officers. . . .

"Sitting as a committing magistrate, complaint after complaint was made before me of murders and robberies. Among these I may mention, as peculiarly and shockingly prominent, the murder of Forbes, the assassination of the Parrishes and Potter, of Jones and his mother, of the Aiken party, of which there were six in all; and, worst and darkest in the appalling catalogue of blood, the cowardly, cold-blooded butchery and robbery at the Mountain Meadows. At that time there still lay, all ghastly, under the sun. of Utah, the unburied skeletons of one hundred and nineteen men, women, and children, the hapless, hopeless victims of the Mormon creed. . . .

"The scene of this horrible massacre at the Mountain Mead- ows is situate about three hundred and twenty miles west of south from Great Salt Lake City, on the road leading to Los Angeles, in California. I was the first federal Judge in that part of the Territory after the occurrence, my district extending from a short distance below Salt Lake City to the south end of the Territory. I determined to visit that part of my district, and, if possible, expose the persons engaged in the massacre, which I did in the early part of the year 1859. I accordingly embraced an opportunity of accompanying a small detachment of soldiers, who were being sent to that section by Gen. Johnson, having requested the Marshal of the Territory to accompany, or to send a deputy. He accordingly sent deputy William H. Rodgers, who went with me.

"The command went as far south as the St. Clara, twenty miles beyond the Mountain Meadows, where we camped, and remained

72 POLITICAL HISTORY CONTINUED.

about a week. During our stay there I was visited by the Indian chiefs of that section, who gave me their version of the massacre. They admitted that a portion of their men were engaged in the massacre, but were not there when the attack commenced. One of them told me, in the presence of the others, that alter the attack had been made, a white man came to their camp with a piece of paper, which, he said, Brigham Young had sent, that directed them to go and help to whip the emigrants. A portion of the band went, but did not assist in the fight. He gave as a reason, that the emigrants had long guns, and were good shots. He said that his brother [this chief's name was Jackson] was shot while running across the Meadow, at a distance of two hundred yards from the corral where the emigrants were. He said the Mormons were all painted. He said the Indians got a part of the clothing; and gave the names of John D. Lee, President Haight, and Bishop Higbee, as the big captains. It might be proper here to remark that the Indians in the southern part of the Territory of Utah are not numerous, and are a very low, cowardly, beastly set, very few of them being armed with guns. They are not formidable. I believe all in the southern part of the Territory would, under no circumstances, carry on a fight against ten white men.

"From our camp on the St. Clara we again went back to the Mountain Meadows, camping near where the massacre had occurred. The Meadow is about five miles in length and one in width, running to quite a narrow point at the southwest end, being higher at the middle than either end. It is the divide between the waters that flow into the Great Basin and those emptying into the Colorado River. A very large spring rises in the south end of the narrow part. It was on the north side of this spring the emigrants were camped. The bank rises from the spring eight or ten feet, then extends off to the north about two hundred yards, on a level. A range of hills is there reached, rising perhaps fifty or sixty feet. Back of this range is quite a valley, which extends down until it has an outlet, three or four hundred yards below the spring, into the main meadow.

"The first attack was made by going down this ravine, then following up the bed of the spring to near it, then at daylight firing upon the men who were about the camp-fires, in which attack ten or twelve of the emigrants were killed or wounded;

POLITICAL HISTORY CONTINUED. 73

the stock of the emigrants having been previously driven behind the hill, and up the ravine.

"The emigrants soon got in condition to repel the attack, shoved their wagons together, sunk the wheels in the earth, and threw up quite an intrenchment. The fighting after continued as a siege; the assailants occupying the hill, and firing at any of the emigrants that exposed themselves, having a barricade of stones along the crest of the hill as a protection. The siege was continued for five days, the besiegers appearing in the garb of Indians. The Mormons, seeing that they could not capture the train without making some sacrifice of life on their part, and getting weary of the fight, resolved to accomplish by strategy what they were not able to do by force. The fight had been going on for five days, and no aid was received from any quarter, although the family of Jacob Hamlin, the Indian agent, were living in the upper end of the Meadow, and within hearing of the reports of the guns.

"Who can imagine the feelings of these men, women, and children, surrounded, as they supposed themselves to be, by savages ? Fathers and mothers only can judge what they must have been. Far off, in the Rocky Mountains, without transportation, for their cattle, horses and mules had been run off, not knowing what their fate was to be, we can but poorly realize the gloom that pervaded the camp.

"A wagon is descried, far up the Meadows. Upon its nearer approach, it is observed to contain armed men. See ! now they raise a white flag! All is joy in the corral. A general shout is raised, and in an instant, a little girl, dressed in white, is placed at an opening between two of the wagons, as a response to the signal. The wagon approaches; the occupants are welcomed into the corral, the emigrants little suspecting that they were entertaining the fiends that had been besieging them.

"This wagon contained President Haight and Bishop John D. Lee, among others of the Mormon Church. They professed to be on good terms with the Indians, and represented the Indians as being very mad. They also proposed to intercede, and settle the matter with the Indians. After several hours of parley, they, having apparently visited the Indians, gave the ultimatum of the Indians ; which was, that the emigrants should march out of their camp, leaving everything behind them, even their guns. It was

74 POLITICAL HISTORY CONTINUED.

promised by the Mormon bishops that they would bring a force, and guard the emigrants back to the settlements.

"The terms were agreed to, the emigrants being desirous of Saving the lives of their families. The Mormons retired, and subsequently appeared at the corral with thirty or forty armed men. The emigrants were marched out, the women and children in front, and the men behind, the Mormon guard being in the rear. When they had marched in this way about a mile, at a given signal, the slaughter commenced. The men were most all shot down at the first fire from the guard. Two only escaped, who fled to the desert, and were followed 150 miles before they were over- taken and slaughtered.

"The women and children ran on, two or three hundred yards further, when they were overtaken, and with the aid of the Indians they were slaughtered. Seventeen only of the small children were saved, the eldest being only seven years. Thus, on the 10th day of September, 1857, was consummated one of the most cruel, cowardly, and bloody murders known in our history. Upon the way from the Meadows, a young Indian pointed out to me the place where the Mormons painted and disguised themselves.

"I went from the Meadows to Cedar City ; the distance is thirty- five or forty miles. I contemplated holding an examining court there, should Gen. Johnson furnish me protection, and also protect witnesses, and furnish the Marshal a posse to aid in making arrests. While there I issued warrants, on affidavits filed before me, for the arrest of the following named persons :

"Jacob Haight, President of the Cedar City Stake ; Bishop John M. Higbee and Bishop John D. Lee ; Columbus Freeman, William Slade, John Willis, William Riggs, Ingram, Daniel McFarlan, William Stewart, Ira Allen and son, Thomas Cartwright, E. Welcan, William Halley, Jabes Nomlen, John Man- gum, James Price, John W. Adair, Tyler, Joseph Smith, Samuel Pollock, John McFarlan, Nephi Johnson, Thorn- ton, Joel White, Harrison, Charles Hopkins. Joseph Elang, Samuel Lewis, Sims Matheney, James Mangum, Harrison Pierce, Samuel Adair, F. C. McDulange, Wm. Bateman, Ezra Curtis, and Alexander Loveridge.

"In a few days after arriving at Cedar City, Capt. Campbell arrived, with his command, from the Meadows; on his return, he advised me that he had received orders, for his command entire,

POLITICAL HISTORY CONTINUED. 75

to return to Camp Floyd ; the General having received orders from Washington that the military should not be used in protect- ing the courts, or in acting as a posse to aid the Marshal in making arrests.

"While at Cedar City I was visited by a number of apostate Mormons, who gave me every assurance that they would furnish an abundance of evidence in regard to the matter so soon as they were assured of military protection. In fact, some of the persons engaged in the act came to sec me in the night, and gave a full account of the matter, intending when protection was at hand, to become witnesses. They claimed that they had been forced into the matter by the bishops. Their statements corroborated what the Indians had previously said to me. Mr. Rodgers, the Deputy Marshal, was also engaged in hunting up the children, survivors of the massacre. They were all found in the custody of the Mormons. Three or four of the eldest recollect and relate all the incidents of the massacre, corroborating the statements of the Indians, and the statements made by the citizens of Cedar City to me.

"These children are now in the south part of Missouri, or north part of Arkansas; their testimony could soon be taken, if desired. No one can depict the glee of these infants, when they realized that they were in the custody of what they called ' the Americans,' for such is the designation of those not Mormons. They say they never were in the custody of the Indians. I recollect of one of them, 'John Calvin Sorrow,' after he found he was safe, and before he was brought away from Salt Lake City, although not yet nine years of age, sitting in a contemplative mood, no doubt thinking of the extermination of his family, saying: 'Oh, I wish I was a man; I know what I would do; I would shoot John D. Lee; I saw him shoot my mother.' I shall never forget how he looked.

"Time will not permit me to elaborate the matter. I shall barely sum up, and refer every member of this House, who may have the least doubt about the guilt of the Mormons in this massacre, and th , other crimes to which I have alluded, to the evidence published in the appendix hereto."

To the foregoing thrilling recital, I will only add: The train consisted of 40 wagons, 800 head of cattle, and about 60 horses and mules. As near as can be ascertained, there

76 POLITICAL HISTORY CONTINUED.

were about 150 men and women, besides many children. They passed through Salt Lake City, and were there joined by some few Mormons, who were disaffected, and sought to travel under their protection.

A revelation from Brigham Young, as Great Grand [Arcbee?], or God, was despatched to President J. C. Haight, Bishop Higbee, and J. D. Lee, commanding them to raise all the forces they could muster and trust, follow those cursed gentiles (so read the revelation), attack them, disguised as Indians, and with the arrows of the Almighty make a clean sweep of them, and leave none to tell the tale; and if they needed any assistance, they were commanded to hire the Indians as their allies, promising them a share of the booty. They were to be neither slothful nor negligent in their duty, and to be punctual in sending the teams back to him before winter set in, for this was the mandate of Almighty God.

On the following day a council of all the faithful was held at Cedar City. Many attended from the neighboring settlements ; the revelation was read, and the destiny of the unsuspecting emigrants sealed. Plans were suggested, discussed, and adopted, and the men designated to carry out their hellish designs. Instructions were given for them to assemble at a small spring, but a short distance to the left of the road leading into the Meadows, a number of intervening hills rendering it a fit place for concealment. Here they painted and disguised themselves as Indians, and when ready to commence operations, by a well-known Indian trail proceeded to the Meadows.

For the benefit of those who may still be disposed to doubt the guilt of Young and his Mormons in this transaction, the testimony is here collated, and circumstances given, which go, not merely to implicate, but to fasten conviction upon them, by "confirmations strong as proofs from Holy Writ,"

1. The evidence of Mormons themselves, engaged in the

POLITICAL HISTORY CONTINUED. 77

affair, as shown by the statements of Judge Cradlebaugh and Deputy-Marshal Rodgers.

2. The statements of Indians in the neighborhood of the massacre : these statements are shown, not only by Cradlebaugh and Rodgers, but by a number of military officers, and by J. Forney, who was, in 1859, Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Territory. To all these were such statements freely and frequently made by the Indians.

3. The testimony of the children saved from the massacre.

4. The children and the property of the emigrants found in possession of the Mormons, and that possession traced- back to the very day after the massacre.

5. The failure of Brigham Young to embody any account of it "in his Report as Superintendent of Indian Affairs. Also his failure to make any allusion to it whatever from the pulpit, until several years after the occurrence.

6. The failure of the "Deseret News," the Church organ, and the only paper then published in the Territory, to notice the massacre, until several months afterward, and then only to deny that Mormons were engaged in it.

7. The flight to the mountains of men high in authority in the Mormon Church and State, when this affair was brought to the ordeal of a judicial investigation.

8. The testimony of R. P. Campbell, Capt. 2d Dragoons, who was sent in the spring of 1859 to Santa Clara, to protect travellers on the road to California, and to inquire into Indian depredations.

In his report to Major E. J. Potter, Assistant Adjutant- General U. S. Army, dated July 6, 1859, he says :

" These emigrants were here met by the Mormons (assisted by such of the wretched Indians of the neighborhood as they could force or persuade to join), and massacred, with the exception of such infant children as the Mormons thought too young to re- member, or tell of the affair.

" The Mormons were led on by John D. Lee, then a high dignitary in the self-styled Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and Isaac Haight, now a dignitary in the same."

78 POLITICAL HISTORY CONTINUED.

Again, after relating briefly the massacre, he says:

"These facts were derived from children who did remember, and could tell of the matter ; from Indians, and from the Mormons themselves."

9. The testimony of Hon. J. Forney, Superintendent of ' Indian Affairs.

In his letter to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs at Washington, dated Provo City, U. T., March, 1859, he says:

"Facts in my possession warrant me in estimating that there was distributed, a few days after the massacre, among the leading church dignitaries, $30,000 worth of property."

Again, in another letter to the Commissioner, written from Great Salt Lake City, in August of the same year, he says :

"From the evidence in my possession, I am justified in the declaration that this massacre was concocted by white men, and consummated by whites and Indians. The names of many of the whites engaged in this terrible affair have already been given to the proper legal authorities. . . . The children were sold out to different persons in Cedar City, Harmony, and Painter Creek. Bills are now in my possession from different individuals, asking payment from the Government. I cannot condescend to become the medium of even transmitting such claims to the Department."

The following is from the Annual Report of Superintendent Forney, made in September, 1859 :

"Mormons have been accused of aiding the Indians in the com- mission of this crime. I commenced my inquiries without prejudice or selfish motive, and with the hope that, in the progress of my inquiries, facts would enable me to exculpate all white men from any participation in this tragedy, and saddle the guilt exclusively on the Indians; but, unfortunately, every step in my inquiries satisfied me that the Indians acted only a secondary part. . . . White men were present, and directed the Indians. John D. Lee, of Harmony, told me in his own house, last April, in

POLITICAL HISTORY CONTINUED. 79

presence of two persons, that he was present three successive days during the fight, and was present during the fatal day." . . .

We close the testimony of Forney, by giving entire a letter from him to the Department at Washington,

"SUPERINTENDENT'S OFFICE, UTAH, |

GREAT SALT LAKE CITY, September 22, 1859. "Sir, Your letter dated July 2, in which you request me to ascertain the names of white men, if any, implicated in the Mountain Meadow massacre, reached me several weeks since, about 300 miles west of this city.

"I gave, several months ago, to the Attorney-General, and several of the United States Judges, the names of those who I believed were not only implicated, but the hell-deserving scoundrels who concocted and brought to a successful termination the whole affair.

"The following are the names of the persons the most guilty: Isaac T. Haight, Cedar City, president of several settlements south; Bishop Smith, Cedar City; John D. Lee,* Harmony; John M. Higby, Cedar City; Bishop Davis, David Tullis, Santa Clara; Ira Hatch, Santa Clara. These were the cause of the massacre, aided by others. It is to be regretted that nothing has yet been accomplished towards bringing these murderers to justice. I remain,

"Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

"J. FORNEY,

"Sup't of Indian Affairs, Utah Territory. " Hon. A. B. Greenwood,

"Commiss'r Indian Affairs, Washington, D. C." ...

UD

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If Washington DC politicians -- being what they are -- “knew” this (that if the army made a hostile

move on the valley, the local Mormons might murder these small children), wouldn’t this have

become a topic of gossip, newspaper speculation, and congressional speeches?...

Perhaps I misstated my views before --- I did not mean to say that the people in the east thought

that the Mormons would automatically "murder these small children," upon the approach of Col.

Johnston's troops. What I meant to say is that the children would obviously be at grave risk in any

sort of general fighting that extended among the non-uniformed, civilian population.

However, since the various militia units and the Nauvoo Legion were not in uniform, then any fighting

with people in Utah Territory might offer a grave risk to ANY Gentiles there -- whether they were the

survivor children, or straggling emigrants from other wagon trains, or teamsters carrying goods to

and from Oregon, California, etc.

The relatives of the children in the Fancher train began writing politicians as soon as they heard that

there were 15 survivors (later increased to 17) from the massacre. This fact was published in the

California newspapers within a few days of the tragedy, and as soon as those California press releases

came to places with a telegraph, the news of the children was spread throughout the eastern states.

I'll paste in some secondary reporting below -- late stuff from 1886, but we can use the reports to

trace back to earlier sources, I think. See, for example, Roger V. Logan, Jr.'s "Long Overlooked Documents

In National Archives Reveal Details About Mountain Meadows Massacre Victims From North Arkansas,"

In Utah Historical Quarterly, vol. 60. Summer 1992, p. 224ff.

UD

Massacres of the Mountains: A History of the Indian Wars of the Far West

By Jacob Piatt Dunn

New York

Harper & Bros.

1886

[273]

CHAPTER X.

MOUNTAIN MEADOWS.

During these years whose happenings we have been recording...

[305]

... These men [who saw the aftermath of the massacre] went on to California and told their story.

A meeting of citizens at Los Angeles examined the testimony, decided that the Mormons had committed

the crime, and called on the President for protection. The report flew on wings of the wind to every

part of the country, which was already excited over the resistance offered to the army. How secret

the brethren in Utah kept it!

On December 31, fifteen brief weeks after it occurred, William C. Mitchell, of Dubuque, Arkansas, wrote

to Senator Sebastian of that state: "Two of my sons were in the train that was massacred, on their way

to California, three hundred miles beyond Salt Lake City, by the Indians and Mormons. There were one

hundred and eighteen unmercifully butchered; the women and children were all killed with the exception

of fifteen infants. One of my sons, Charles, was married and had one son, which I expect was saved, and

at this time is at San Bernardino, I believe in the limits of California. I could designate my grandson if I

could see him... Four regiments, together with what regulars can be spared, is too small a force to whip

the Mormons and Indians, for rest assured that all the wild tribes will fight for Brigham Young. I am

anxious to be in the crowd -- I feel that I must have satisfaction for the inhuman manner in which they

have slain my children, -- together with two brothers-in-law and seventeen of their children."

... Dr. Forney, Superintendent of Utah, was instructed to look into the matter. The Western men did

not let the case drop, however. On March 18, 1858, Mr. Gwin,

[306]

of California, introduced a resolution of inquiry in the Senate, asking what steps had been taken to

punish the murderers of the one hundred and eighteen emigrants. He said he knew the Indians were

guilty, and it had been charged, and was believed, that the Mormons were, but at any rate the guilty

should be punished. On June 22,1858, Dr. Forney reported:

"It affords me great pleasure to inform you, and the friends of the children in question through you,

that I learned to-day where the children are. In my inquiries about the children I met a gentleman who

lives at or near where the massacre took place. This gentleman, Mr. Hamlin, has one of the children,

and informs me that all the children (fifteen) in question are in his immediate neighborhood in the care

of whites. These unfortunate children were for some days among Indians [sic]; with considerable effort

they were all recovered, bought and otherwise, from the Indians." Forney was as impartial a man

as the Mormons could have asked for -- in fact, he was prejudiced in their favor. He evidently believed

Hamlin, of whom more anon, but, as he went south and gathered facts, here and there, the truth

gradually forced itself upon him, and on May 1, 1859, when he had recovered sixteen of the children,

he wrote: "Four of the oldest of the children know, WITHOUT DOUBT KNOW, enough of the material facts

of the Mountain Meadow affair, to relieve the world of the white hell-hounds who have disgraced humanity

by being mainly instrumental in the murdering of at least one hundred and fifteen men, women, and

children, under circumstances and mariner without a parallel in human history for atrocity."

...

[307]

... the conduct of the emigrants all through Utah had been most exemplary; that none of the children

had been with the Indians for an hour. And yet, as if desirous of adding a little more to the awful infamy

of this affair, all the Mormons who had had custody of these children put in claims for the purchase-money

expended in buying them from the Indians, as well as for their maintenance, the total claimed amounting

to over $7000. Of this amount Forney paid $2961.77 for what he considered proper charges, and reported

as to the rest that he "cannot condescend to become the medium of even transmitting such claims to

the department."

...

[309]

... On June 29, seventeen of the children having been recovered, fifteen of them were sent East, overland,

in spring-wagons, escorted by soldiers. Every possible provision was made for their comfort, and four

women were sent with them to attend to their wants. Two boys about seven years of age, John C. Miller,

known to the Mormons as John Calvin Sorel, and Milum Tackett, who was known to the Mormons as

Ambrose Miram Taggit, were retained as witnesses. Those returned were Mary Miller, called by the

Mormons Mary Sorel; "William Tackett, known to the Mormons as William Taggit; Prudence Angeline

Dunlap and Georgiana Dunlap, known to the Mormons as Angeline Huff and Annie Huff; Sophronia Jones,

called by the Mormons Sophronia Huff; T. M. Jones, called by the Mormons Ephraim W. Huff; Kit Carson

Fancher, called Charley Fancher by the Mormons; his cousin Tryphena Fancher, called Annie Fancher by

the Mormons, and supposed by them to be Charley's sister; Betsy Baker, Sarah Jane Baker, William Baker,

Rebecca Dunlap, Louisa Dunlap, Sarah Dun- lap, and Joseph Miller, called by the Mormons Samuel Dunlap.

They were met at Fort Leavenworth by Mr. Mitchell, whose great bereavement by this horrible affair

has been mentioned. His little grandchild was not among the saved, as he

[310]

had hoped. With heart bowed down by the completeness of his loss, he bore the little ones tenderly on

to Carrollton and gave them into the arms of their friends. It was a sad day in the little county-seat.

Nearly every one had lost some relative in the massacre, and bitter tears were accompanied by bitter

curses on the murderers. The two boys kept as witnesses were afterwards taken to Washington, and

then returned to their homes. In addition to these children, two others were made orphans at the

Mountain Meadows, although they were not there; they were Alfred Rush and his sister Martha -- now

Mrs. Campbell -- who live at present in Texas. The misfortunes of these children did not end with their

return.

In attempting to justify themselves the Mormons have forged most shameful lies about them,

and have so often repeated them that they have obtained credence with outsiders. It was told, and

currently believed in Utah, that Idaho Bill, a noted desperado who served a long term in the Utah penitentiary

for horse-stealing, was Charley Fancher, and yet it can be proven by a large number of witnesses, whose

characters are above reproach, that this boy was raised by his uncle, H. B. Fancher, in Carroll County,

Arkansas, and died at his house some years ago. It was told that the children were sent to the poor-house

in St. Louis. There was just one of them that went to St. Louis, but not to the poor-house. Sarah Dunlap,

blind from her birth, and with one arm shattered and crippled for life by a Mormon rifle-ball,

went to the Institute for the Blind in that city. They were all raised by their relatives and friends, and most

of them still live in the neighborhood of their former homes. William Baker, Betsy Baker, now Mrs. Terry,

and Sarah Baker, now Mrs. Gladden, live at Harrison, Arkansas; Rebecca Dunlap, now Mrs. Evans, is at

Hampton, Arkansas; Louisa Dunlap, now Mrs. Lynton, is at Scottsville, Arkansas; her sister Sarah lives

with her. Samuel Dunlap is at Lead Hill, Arkansas. Tryphena Fancher is the wife of J. C. Wilson, of Rule,

Arkansas. The Huff children live in Eastern Tennessee. William Tackett is at Protein, Missouri;

Milum Tackett lived for some years in Texas, but is now in Arizona.

There is nothing in the character of any of them that any

[311]

one need apologize for, and if there were, the Mormons should be the last ones to upbraid them for it.

Whatever any of them may lack of the comforts or the accomplishments of life is due to the Saints.

They have the money, the cattle, the jewelry, and the other property that should have gone for the

education and maintenance of these orphans. Is it not enough that they should have been made to eat

the bread of charity, and to make their own ways over the rugged paths of struggling poverty, without

being weighted down with slander?...

[314]

...

And what did the Mormons all this time? They bent every power to show that the massacre was the deed

of Indians who had been incensed by outrageous conduct of the emigrants. They slandered the victims

in the most vindictive manner. They said the relatives of the surviving children refused to receive them,

saying that "they were the children of thieves, outlaws, and murderers, and they would not take them,

they did not want anything to do with them, and would not have them around their houses,'' and that

in consequence the children were sent to " the poor-house in St. Louis." There was not a Mormon of

any prominence who did not know the truth about the massacre, and not one who did not take part in

this deception. George Q. Cannon, late Representative in Congress, wrote articles to prove the Indians

guilty. Brigham Young maintained it for years...

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