Utah and the Mormons...
(Washington, D.C: 1863)
UTAH AND THE MORMONS.
S P E E C H
HON. JOHN CRADLEBAUGH,
ADMISSION OF UTAH AS A STATE.
DELIVERED IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, FEBRUARY 7, 1863,
Mr. Chairman: Having resided for some time among the Mormons, become acquainted with their ecclesiastical polity, their habits, and their crimes, I feel that I would not be discharging my duty if I failed to impart such information as I have acquired in regard to this people in our midst who are building up, consolidating, and daringly carrying out a system subversive of the Constitution and laws, and fatal to morals and true religion.
The remoteness of Utah from the settled regions of our country, and the absence of any general intercourse between the Mormons and the masses of our people, have served to keep the latter in almost complete ignorance of the character and designs of the former. That ignorance, pardonable at first, becomes criminal when the avenues to a full knowledge are open to us.
Mormonism is one of the monstrosities of the age in which we live. It seems to have been left for the model Republic of the world, for the nineteenth century, when the light of knowledge is more generally diffused than ever before, when in art, science and philosophy we have surpassed all that ages of the past can show, to produce an idle, worthless vagabond of an impostor, who heralds forth a creed repulsive to every refined mind, opposed to every generous impulse of the human heart, and a faith which commands a violation of the rights of hospitality, sanctifies falsehood, enforces the systematic degradation of women, not only permits, but orders, the commission of the vilest lusts, in the name of Almighty God himself, and teaches that it is a sacred duty to commit the crimes of theft and murder. It is surprising that such faith, taught too, in the coarsest and most vulgar way, should meet with any success. Yet in less than a century it girdles the globe. Its missionaries are planted in every place. You find them all over Europe, thick through England and Wales, traversing
Asia and Africa, and braving the billows of the southern oceans to seek proselytes. And, as if to crown its achievements, it establishes itself in the heart of one of the greatest and most powerful governments of the world, establishes therein a theocratic government overriding all other government, putting the laws at defiance, and now seeks to consummate and perpetuate itself by acquiring a State sovereignty, and by being placed on an equality with the other States of the Union.
Mormonism is in part a conglomeration of illy cemented creeds from other religions, and in part founded upon the eccentric production of one Spaulding, who, having failed as a preacher and shopkeeper, undertook to write a historic novel. He had a smattering of biblical knowledge, and chose for his subject "the history of the lost tribes of Israel." The whole was supposed to be communicated by the Indians, and the last of the series was named Mormon, representing that he had buried the book. It was a dull, tedious, interminable volume, marked by ignorance and folly. The work was so flat, stupid and insipid, that no publisher could be induced to bring it before the world. Poor Spaulding at length went to his grave, and the manuscript remained a neglected roll in the possession of his widow.
Then arose Joe Smith, more ready to live by his wits than by the labor of his hands. Smith had, early in life, manifested a turn for pious frauds. He had figured in several wrestling matches with the devil, and had been conspicuous in giving in eventful experiences in religion at certain revivals. He announced that he had dug up the book of Mormon, which taught the true religion; this was none other than poor Spaulding's manuscript, which he had purloined from the widow. In his hands the manuscript became the basis of Mormonism. Joe became a prophet; the founder of a religious sect; the president of a swindling bank; the builder of the City of Nauvoo; mayor of the city; general of the armies of Israel; candidate for President of the United States, and finally a martyr, as the Saints choose call him. But the truth is that his villainies, together with the villainies of his followers, brought down upon him the just vengeance of the people of Illinois and Missouri, and his career was brought to an end by his being shot while confined in jail in Carthage. It was unfortunate that such was his end, for his followers raised the old cry of martyrdom and persecution, and, as always proved, "the blood of the martyr was the seed of the church."
Mormonism repudiates the celibacy imposed by the Catholic religion upon its priesthood, and takes in its stead the voluptuous impositions of the Mohammedan Church. It preaches openly that the more wives and children its men have in this world, the purer, more influential and conspicuous will they be in the next; that wives, children,
and property will not only be restored, but doubled in the resurrection. It adopts the use of prayers and baptism for the dead, as a part of its creed. Mormons claim to be favored with marvelous gifts -- the power of speaking in tongues, of casting out devils, of curing the sick, and of healing the lame and the halt. They claim that they have a living prophet, seer and revelator who holds the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and through whose intercession alone access can be had. They recognize the Bible, but they interpret it for themselves, and hold that it is subject to be changed by new revelation, which, they say, supercedes old revelation. One of their doctrines is that of continued progression to ultimate perfection. They say God was but a man, who went out developing and increasing until he reached his present high capacity; and they teach that Mormons will be equal to him; in a word, that good Mormons will become gods. They teach the shedding of blood for remission of sins, or, in other words, that if a Mormon apostatizes, his throat shall be cut, and his blood poured out upon the ground for the remission of his sins. They also practice other revolting doctrines, such as are only carried out in polygamous countries, which is evidenced by a number of mutilated persons in their midst. They hold that the prophet's revelations are binding upon their consciences, and that they are bound to obey him in all things. They say that the earth and the fullness thereof is the Lord's; that they are God's chosen people on earth; that their mission on earth is to take charge of God's property, and, as faithful stewards, that it is their duty to obtain it, and are taught that, in obtaining it, they must not get in debt to the Lord's enemies for it; in other words, they teach that it is a duty to rob and steal from Gentiles.
They have christened themselves "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." They claim that Mormonism is to go on spreading until it overthrows all the nations of the earth, and if necessary for its accomplishment, its success shall be consummated by the sword; that Jackson county, Missouri, is to be the seat of empire of the Mormon Church; that here the Mormons are to be finally gathered, and that from that Zion shall proceed a power that will dethrone kings, subvert dynasties, and subjugate all the nations of the earth.
I have said that their doctrines were repulsive to every refined mind. Every other false faith which has reigned its evil time upon this goodly world of ours, has had some kindly and redeeming features. Even the semi-theocracy of the Aztecs, as Prescott tells you, disfigured as it was by horrid and bloody rites, was not without them. Buddhism and Brahmanism, with, all their misshapen fables, still inculcated, in no small degree, a pure code of morals. Nor is the like assertion untrue of Mohammedanism. It was reserved for Mormonism, far off in
the bosom of our beloved land, to rear its head, naked in all its hideous deformity, and unblushingly, yes, defiantly, proclaim a creed without the least redeeming feature, and of such character that the Thugism of India cannot match it.
So at variance is the practice of polygamy with all the instincts of humanity, that it has to be pressed upon the people with the greatest assiduity as a part of their religious duty. It is astonishing with what pertinacity through all their "Sermons and Discourses." it is justified and insisted on. Threats, entreaties, persuasions, and commands, are continually brought in play to enforce its cheerful observance. So revolting is it to the women, that to aid in its enforcement they are brutalized, their modesty destroyed by low, vile, vulgar expressions, such as I could not repeat, and would not ask the clerk to read in your hearing. If, however, my conjugal friend, the Delegate from Utah, will undertake such task, I will most cheerfully furnish them for him; certainly he ought not to hesitate. If they are proper to be repeated before large congregations of women and children in Salt Lake City, the representative of the Church ought not to be ashamed at reading them to this House. Will the Delegate from Utah read them?
CONDITION OP THE WOMEN.
But their teachings, officially reported by themselves, give you a better idea of their estimation of woman than anything I could say. I shall read to you from a few of their sermons on this subject, only observing that you may pick other passages inculcating similar doctrines, containing like threats, rebukes, and complaints, in nearly every sermon published in the Church organ.
President J. M. Grant, in a sermon delivered September 21,1856, reported in the Deseret News, (volume 6, page 235) said:
"And we have women here who like any thing but the celestial law of God; and, if they could, would break asunder the cable of the Church of Christ; there is scarcely a mother in Israel but would do it this day. And they talk it to their husbands, to their daughters, and to their neighbors, and say that they have not seen a week's happiness since they became acquainted with that law, or since their husbands took a second wife. They want to break up the Church of God, and to break it from their husbands and from their family connections."
President Brigham Young, in a sermon delivered the same day, reported in the same paper, said:
"Now, for my proposition; it is more particularly for my sisters, as it is frequently happening that women say that they are unhappy. Men will say, 'my wife, though a most excellent woman, has not seen a happy day since I took my second wife;' 'No, not a happy day for a year,' says one; and another
has not seen a happy day for five years. It is said that women are tied down and abused; that they are misused, and have not the liberty they ought to have; that many of them are wading through a perfect flood of tears, because of the conduct of some men, together with their own folly.
I wish my women to understand that what I am going to say is for them, as well as all others, and I want those who are here to tell their sisters, yes, all the women of this community, and then write it back to the States, and do as you please with it. I am going to give you from this time to the 6th day of October next for reflection, that you may determine whether you wish to stay with your husbands or not, and then I am going to set every woman at liberty, and say to them, "now go your way, my women with the rest; go your way." And my wives have got to do one of two things; either round up their shoulders to endure the afflictions of this world, and live their religion, or they may leave, for I will not have them about me. I will go into Heaven alone, rather than have scratching and fighting around me. I will set all at liberty. "What, first wife too?" Yes, I will liberate you all.
I know what my women will say; they will say, "you can have as many women as you please, Brigham." But I want to go somewhere and do something to get rid of the whiners; I do not want them to receive a part of the truth and spurn the rest out of doors."
* * *
"Let every man thus treat his wives, keeping raiment enough to clothe his body; and say to your wives, 'take all that I have and be set at liberty; but if you stay with me you shall comply with the law of God, and that, too, without any murmuring and whining. You must fulfill the law of God in every respect, and round up your shoulders to walk up to the mark without any grunting.'
"Now, recollect, that two weeks from to-morrow I am going to set you all at liberty. But the first wife will say, 'it is hard, for I have lived with my husband twenty years, or thirty, and have raised a family of children for him, and it is a great trial to me for him to have more women that will bear children.' If my wife had borne me all the children that she ever would bear, the celestial law would teach me to take young women that would have children.
* * *
"Sisters, I am not joking; I do not throw out my proposition to banter your feelings, to see whether you will leave your husbands, all or any of you. But I do know that there is no cessation to the everlasting whinings of many of the women of this Territory. And if the women will turn from the commandments of God and continue to despise the order of Heaven, I will pray that the curse of the Almighty may be close to their heels, and that it may be following them all the day long. And those that enter into it and are faithful, I will promise them that they shall be queens in heaven and rulers for all eternity."
President Heber C. Kimhall, in a discourse delivered in the Tabernacle, November 9, 1856 (Deseret News, volume 6, page 291,) said:
"I have no wife or child that has any right to rebel against me. If they violate my laws and rebel against me, they will get into trouble just as quickly as though they transgressed the counsels and teachings of Brother Brigham. Does it give a woman a right to sin against me because she is my wife? No,
but it is her duty to do my will as I do the will of my Father and my God. It is the duty of a woman to be obedient to her husband, and unless she is, I would not give a damn for all her queenly right and authority, nor for her either, if she will quarrel and lie about the work of God and the principles of plurality.
A disregard of plain and correct teachings is the reason why so many are dead and damned, and twice plucked up by the roots, and I would as soon baptize the devil as some of you."
October 6, 1855 (volume 5, page 274), Kimball said:
"If you oppose any of the works of God you will cultivate a spirit of apostasy. If you oppose what is called the spiritual wife doctrines, the patriarchal order, which is of God, that course will corrode you with apostasy, and you will go overboard. Still a great many do so, and strive to justify themselves in it; but they are not justified in God."
* * *
"The principle of plurality of wives never will be done away, although some sisters have had revelations that when this time passes away, and they go through the vale, every woman will have a husband to herself. I wish more of our young men would take to themselves wives of the daughters of Zion, and not wait for us old men to take them all. Go ahead upon the right principle, young gentlemen, and God bless you for ever and ever, and make you fruitful, that we may fill the mountains and then the earth, with righteous inhabitants."
April 2. 1854, President Heber C. Kimball said in the Tabernacle -- See Deseret News, volume 4, No. 20:
"There are some ladies who are not happy in their present situation; but that woman who cannot be happy with one man cannot be happy with two. You know all women are good, or ought to be. They are made for angelic beings, and I would like to see them act more angelic in their behavior. You were made more angelic, and a little weaker than man. Man is made of rougher material -- to open the way, cut down bushes and kill the snakes -- that women may walk along through life, and not soil and tear their skirts. When you see a woman with ragged skirts you may know she wears the unmentionables, for she is doing the man's business, and has not time to cut off the rags hanging about her. From this time henceforth you may know what woman wears her husband's pants. May the Lord bless you. Amen."
President Heber C. Kimball, in a lengthened discourse, delivered in the Tabernacle on the 4th day of April, 1857, took occasion to say:
"I would not be afraid to promise a man who is sixty years of age, if he will take the counsel of Brother Brigham and his brethren, he will renew his age. I have noticed that a man who has but one wife, and is inclined to that doctrine, soon begins to wither and dry up, while a man who goes into plurality looks fresh, young and sprightly. Why is this? Because God loves that man, and because he honors his work and word. Some of you may not believe
this; but I not only believe it, but I also know it. For a man of God to be confined to one woman is a small business, for it is as much as we can do to keep under the burdens we have to carry, and do not know what we should do if we only had one woman apiece."
President Heber C. Kimball used the following language in a discourse, instructing a band of missionaries about to start on their Missions:
"I say to those who are elected to go on missions, go, if you never return, and commit what you have into the hands of God -- your wives, your children, your brethren and your property. Let truth and righteousness be your motto, and don't go into the world for anything else but to preach the Gospel, build up the kingdom of God, and gather the sheep into the fold. You are sent out as shepherds to gather the sheep together; and remember that they are not your sheep; they belong to him that sends you; then don't make a choice of any of those sheep, don't make selections before they are brought home and put into the fold. You understand that! Amen."
Such, then, is Mormonism in regard to all that beautifies life in the conjugal relation; such are their sentiments and commands pronounced under the assumed authority of God upon the female sex. When President Kimball calls his numerous wives his "cows," he but reflects the Mormon idea of woman in the social scale.
The view is sickening. I turn with loathing and disgust from their legalized status of systematic debauchery and lust. Before it the entire nature recoils. No wonder that it requires the whole enginery of the Mormon Church, threats and intimidations to compel the women to submit to it. I pity that man or woman who can for one moment look upon this organized, systematic, enforced degradation and prostitution with any other feeling than that of abhorrence and disgust. In matters of affection woman is a monopolist -- she wants the whole heart, or she wants none. But in Utah she is compelled to take part only of the smallest of hearts -- a Mormon's heart—little attention and no devotion.
THEFT AND ROBBERY
I have said that robbery, as well as lust, was
"Behold, it is said in my laws...
if such is not the case...
transgressors would exhibit,,,
have been taken and their blood spilled ..
Such a "sermon" needs no comment.
The church government established by the Mormons to carry into operation the teachings from which I have so copiously extracted, is one of the most complete despotisms on the face of the earth. The mind of one man permeates through the whole mass of the people, and subjects to its unrelenting tyranny the souls and bodies of all. It reigns supreme in Church and State, in morals, and even in the minutest domestic and social arrangements. Brigham's house is at once tabernacle, capital and harem; and Brigham himself is king, priest, lawgiver, and chief polygamist. Is treason hatched in Utah? -- Brigham is the head traitor. Is a law enacted? -- Brigham's advice determines it. Is an offending "Gentile" or an Apostate Mormon to be assassinated? -- the order emanates from Brigham. In addition to all this, he heals the afflicted by the laying on of hands, and comforts the widow by becoming her husband. It may be asked, does he do this without compensation? No, his pay is both high and certain. He taxes his deluded followers to the extent of all surplus property upon their arrival in the Territory. He subsequently taxes them to the extent of one-tenth of their annual productions and labor, and if reluctant to pay, he mercilessly snatches all
that they have. He has through the Legislature unrestricted license to tax merchants. By legislation, all estrays in the Territory are impounded and sold, and the proceeds paid over to him. By like authority he seizes upon the great highway between our Atlantic and Pacific possessions, grants exclusive rights to erect bridges and ferries across all the streams in the Territory -- fixes the toll at enormous rates, ranging from five to ten dollars for a team -- expressly providing in the law that a portion of the receipts shall be paid over to himself, by which means, whether willing or unwilling, the emigrant to the Pacific coast is forced to build up the Church, and furnish money to emigrate pious sisters to Zion to replenish the harems of the hoary-headed leaders of the Church; and as if to consummate the matter of pay, all escheats in the Territory are to him; the property of the emigrant, and oven the habiliments of the deceased may be sold, and the proceeds paid over to him.
He selects for himself the choicest spots of land in the Territory, and they yield him their productions, none daring to interfere. The timber in the mountains for a great distance from Salt Lake City belongs to him, and it is only by delivering each third load, as he shall order, that the gates are opened and the citizen allowed to pass up City Creek canyon to obtain it. Having appropriated all that lie desires for his own use, he has quite extensive tracts of country furnished him by the Federal Government as capital for his Church. He sends his agents, denominating them missionaries, to Europe, who represent Utah as a paradise, and go into the market offering each proselyte who will come to Zion, a homestead of a quarter of a section of land -- being in return compensated by the addition of females to fill the harems, and the tithing which will in the future accrue to him. The cattle on a thousand hills exhibit his brand. He fixes his pay, -- he pays himself. His pampered but plebeian body reposes in a palace, and scores of bright-eyed women call him husband. His deluded followers yield him implicit obedience, and a Church organization known as "Danites" or "Destroying Angels," stands ready to protect his person, or avenge his wrongs, and to execute his pleasure.
Brigham is both Church and State. True, the atrocities committed in Utah are not committed by him with his own hands, but they are committed by his underlings, and at his bidding. He claims that he is not a criminal, because his hand is not seen in the perpetration of crime. He pleads an "alibi," when he is known to be everywhere present in the Territory. He seeks to avert censure by feigning ignorance of the atrocities of his underlings. Such ignorance can only be supposable on the hypothesis that Mormonism is not a system
and Brigham is not its head. That he is a despot without power, or a prophet without the ability to foresee.
Now, Brigham is either complete ruler in Utah, ir he is nothing. The complicity of the church dignitaries, Mayors of cities, and other territorial officials, in the crimes that have been committed, demonstrate that those crimes were church crimes, and Brigham is the head of the church.
The Legislators of the Territory are Mormons. The endowment oaths bind them to yield an implicit obedience to Brigham, as the head of the Church, and political head of the Territory. His mandates are superior to all law. The Mormons are fanatics; they will keep their oath to obey him. Did not their religion induce, their fears would compel obedience, for the vengeance of Brigham, though silent, is swift, and fearful as the horrors of death can make it. Mormon punishment for Mormon apostasy is like the old curse of former Popes, it extend» from the soles of the feet to the hairs of the head. It separates the husband from the wife; it reaches from the confiscation of property to the severance of the windpipe. Armed with such power over the hearts and lives of the people, Brigham defiantly drives the barbaric chariot of Mormon robbery, murder, polygamy and incest over all law, in defiance of all Federal officials in the Territory. Brigham not only controls the legislation, but he controls the courts. He uses the one to aid in accomplishing the other. On the 14th day of January, 1854, he caused to be passed the following law which is still in force. See revised laws of Utah, page 260.
You will find a specimen discourse
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, General 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 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. Why were these classes so peculiarly urgent and hasty in flight? The law of evidence, based on the experience of ages, has but one answer. It was the consciousness of guilt which drove them to seek a refuge from the avenging arm of the law, armed at last, as they supposed, with power to vindicate its injured majesty. It is a well known fact that many of the bishops and presidents of "Stakes" remained secreted in the mountains until the news was confirmed beyond doubt, which announced the retrograde course of the administration at Washington. You can easily conceive the rejoicing of those who had fled, their rapturous change from the extreme of trepidation to that of joy, when at last Gov. Cumming could officially announce to his Mormon friends that the zealous efforts of the united Judiciary of Utah, to expose and punish crime and administer the law, were condemned by the National Administration. And this too, in the face of that Administration's boast, that rebellion "had been crushed out" in Utah.
Let me say here, though it may seem rather a digression, that while it is true that the military were appealed to for aid in the administration and enforcement of the laws, and in the protection of officers and witnesses, it is equally and undeniably true that the legal and social rights of no citizen, whoever he may have been, were for one instant infringed upon, or even endangered by such a course.
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.
Time will not allow that I should read the affidavits taken. I shall publish a portion as an appendix to these remarks that you may see that I am justified in charging that the Mormons are guilty, aye, that the Mormon church is guilty, of the crimes of murder and robbery as taught in their books of faith.
The scene of this horrible massacre at the Mountain Meadows 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 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 after 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; 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 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 overtaken 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 [sic] 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. Welean, William Halley,
Jabes zzzNomlen, John Mangum, James Price, John W. Adair, _____ Tyler, Joseph Smith, Samuel Pollock, John McFarlan, Nephi Johnson, _____ Thornton, 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, to return to Camp Floyd; the General having received orders from Washington that the military should not be used in protecting 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 see 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 the other crimes to which I have alluded, to the evidence published in the appendix hereto.
The Indians would not have saved the infant children from the slaughter. Neither could they have induced the "emigrants" to have left their protected position. It should also be borne in mind that Brigham Young at the time claimed to be, and was acting as Superintendant of Indian affairs in the Territory. There is now pending in this house a claim for thirty or forty thousand dollars, which includes about four thousand dollars for goods distributed by John D. Lee to the Indians about the Mountain Meadows, within twenty days after the massacre; and also includes pay for Lee while he was engaged in the commission of the massacre. Whether Brigham will get it or not, I do not know. This, however, I do know, that some two years ago Congress passed an act to pay to the Territory of Utah some fifty-two thousand dollars, for the amount paid by the Territory in suppressing Indian hostilities in the Territory in the years 1852 and 1853. I have before me every law passed in the Territory, every approbation made by the legislature, and the statement of the Territorial Auditor of Accounts. I defy the delegate from Utah to show that there was ever appropriated or paid from the Treasury of the Territory an amount to exceed three thousand four hundred dollars. It never was done. But you know Brigham says "that he has the most adriot scoundrels in the world in Zion, and that he can beat their sharpest shavers." So there is no telling but in his persevering he may succeed in procuring his demands for murdering, and expenses of endeaviring to purchase the Indians to aid him in his rebellion. The present claim was all made while Utah was in rebellion.
Why was it that Brigham did not report this massacre at the Mountain Meadows! Why, if he was acting as Superintendant of Indian Affairs did he not make report of the property taken at the massacre. And let me ask (my conjugal friend,) the delegate from Utah, why it was that the Deseret News, the Church organ and only paper published in the Territory, for months after failed to notice the massacre, even after it was well known in the States, and when it did so, only did it to say the Mormons were not engaged in it. Will the delegate please answer me these questions!
The motives which the Mormons had, in the massacre was revenge for the killing of Parley Pratt, a leading Mormon, who while in the act of running another man's wife and children through Arkansas to Utah, was overtaken by the outraged husband, and slain -- the Arkansas courts refusing to punish the perpetrator. They in addition, no doubt, were also actuated by a desire to possess themselves of the great amount of stock and property of the emigrants, supposed to be worth sixty or seventy thousand dollars.
This was emphatically "getting the Lord's property," as Heber
Kimball expresses it, "without getting in debt to the Lord's enemies for it."
The surviving children, after they were recovered and on the way back, frequently pointed out carriages and stock that belonged to the train, stating to whom it belonged.
A great portion of the property was taken to Cedar City, deposited in the tithing office, and then sold out; the bed clothes upon which the wounded had been laying, and those taken from the dead, were piled in the back room of the tithing office and allowed to remain for so great a length of time that when I arrived there, eighteen months after, the room was still offensive.
What a commentary upon the condition of affairs in our country! Mormonism reveling upon the spoils obtained by murder, while seventeen orphan children are turned penniless upon the world. Yet that world has "no ear to hear, no eye to see, no heart to feel, no arm to bring deliverance." That we would allow such a condition of affairs to exist is shameful, disgraceful to us all. The disgrace does not alone attach to the weak, imbecile administration of James Buchanan and his legal adviser, who lent himself to prevent the judiciary of Utah from investigating the horrible crimes that had been committed in that Territory, and aided in shielding the criminals, but we are all guilty, and should be held until we, by force, if necessary, compell restitution to the fatherless children, so far as it can be made.
That you may not conclude that I do the Mormons injustice in charging upon them this horrible massacre, I shall publish in the Appendix to my remarks reports of different Government officials who have visited that section of the country.
Major, now General, Carlton visited that region -- he also corroborated all that is contained in the abstracts I make from official reports. At the time he was there, he erected a monument to the memory of the dead. It was constructed by raising a large pile of rock, in the centre of which was erected a beam some twelve or fifteen feet in height. Upon one of the stones he caused to be engraved -- "Here lie the bones of 120 men, women, and children, from Arkansas, murdered on the 10th day of September, 1857." Upon a cross-tree on the beam he caused to be painted -- "Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, and I will repay it." This monument is said to have been destroyed the first time Brigham visited that part of the Territory.
It has been said that we have courts in Utah, and the question is frequently asked, why do not the courts act? The uniform testimony of the judges is to the effect that the courts are powerless. More than fifteen Federal judges, who have gone to the Territory, have so stated. They have again and again told you that the entire legislation of the
Territory is to prevent the administration of the laws; that the church authorities are determined that the laws shall not be enforced in the Federal courts; that the grand and trial jurors are Mormons, who are taught that the Mormon Church laws are the higher laws, and should prevail, and who refuse to punish any Mormon for an offence committed against an anti-Mormon. To such an extent has this been carried, that although the valleys of Salt Lake have been replete with robberies and murders, yet the records of the courts do not show a single instance of the punishment of a Mormon for an offence committed against a "Gentile."
This so painfully manifest in the history which I now give of a term of the court held by my colleague, Hon. Chas. E. Sinclair, who convened his court in Great Salt Lake City on the 8th day of July, 1859.
The Mormon grand jury, ever ready
MASSACRE AT THE MOUNTAIN MEADOWS -- MURDER OF THE PARISHES AND POTTER -- MURDER OF THE AIKEN PARTY -- MURDER OF JONES AND HIS MOTHER -- MURDER OF FORBES.
HISTORY OF THE "DANITE" ORGANIZATION. _______
Fort Bridger, Utah December 4, 1857.
* * *
On the tenth day of September last, George W. Hancock, a merchant in the town of Payson, came to the Indian settlements to look at some fat cattle that I proposed selling, and in course of conversation, said that he had learned that the California emigrants on the southern route had got themselves into a very serious difficulty with the Piedes, who had given them to understand that they could not pass through their country, and on attempting to disregard this injunction, found themselves surrounded by the Indians, and compelled to seek shelter behind their wagons. He said he had learned these facts from an express man, who passed his house that morning with a message from the Indians to President Young, inquiring of him what they must do with the Americans. The express man had been allowed one hundred consecutive hours in which to perform the trip of nearly three hundred miles and return, which Mr. Hancock felt confident he would do. On the day following, one of the Utah Indians, who had been absent for some days gathering pine nuts, west of the Sevier lake, returned, and said that the Mormons had killed all the emigrants. He said he learned this news from a band of the Piedes, but could not tell when the fight occurred, or how many had been killed. One of the Utahs, named Spoods, came to the farm on the morning of the 14th, having traveled all night, and also confirmed the report of the difficulty between the emigrants and the Piedes, but stated that when his brother Ammon (chief, who lives in the Piede country,) went to Iron county to persuade the Piedes to leave the road, the bishop told him that he had no business with the Piedes, and had better leave; whereupon an altercation arose between the bishop and the chief.
Spoods thought that the Piedes had been set upon the emigrants by the Mormons.
It soon began to be talked among the employes at the farm that all the emigrants on the southern road had been killed by the Piede Indians, and the report
was confirmed by several other persons who visited the farm; but the Indians insisted that Mormons, and not Indians, had killed the Americans.
This affair had become so much the subject of conversation, that, on the 17th, I started an Indian boy, named Pete, who speaks the English language quite fluently, with instructions to proceed to Iron county on a secret route, and to learn from the Piedes if possible, and also from the Utahs, what the nature of the difficulty was, and who were the instigators of it. He returned on the 23d, and reported that he only went to Ammon's village, in Beaver county, where he met a large band of the Piedes, who had just returned from Iron county.
They acknowledged having participated in the massacre of the emigrants, but said that the Mormons persuaded them into it. They said that about ten or eleven sleeps ago, John D. Lee came to this village, and told them that Americans were very bad people, and always made a rule to kill Indians whenever they had a chance. He said, also, that they had often killed the Mormons, who were friends to the Indians. He then prevailed on them to attack the emigrants, who were then passing through the country, (about one hundred in number,) and promised them that if they were not strong enough to whip them, the Mormons would help them. The Piedes made the attack, but were repulsed on three different occasions, when Lee and the bishop of Cedar City, with a number of Mormons, approached the camp of the emigrants, under pretext of trying to settle the difficulty, and with lying, seductive overtures, succeeded in inducing the emigrants to lay down their weapons of defense and admit them and their savage allies inside of their breastworks, when the work of destruction began, and, in the language of the unsophisticated boy, "they cut all of their throats but a few that started to run off, and the Piedes shot them!" He also stated that there were some fifteen or sixteen small children that were not killed, and were in charge of the bishop.
Lee and the bishop took all the stock, (over a thousand head,) as also a large amount of money. The Mormon version of this affair is that the Piedes went to the emigrant camp and asked for meat, and they gave them beef with strychnine upon it, and that when Brigham learned this fact, he sent word back to them "to do with the Americans as they thought proper." But I have not yet been able to learn that the strynchnine had killed any of the Indians, or even made them sick. A report also reached the Indian farm on Spanish Fork, about the 15th of September, that the Snake Indians, under a chief named Little Soldier, had attacked an emigrant, named Squires, from Missouri, who was camped near Ogden, and driven off all his cattle, (over four hundred,) together with all the mules and horses belonging to him. But the Utahs made no hesitation in asserting that the Mormons took the stock themselves, and that they had learned all about it from some Gosh-Utes who live in Rush valley.
In confirmation of the truth of this report of the Utahs, I learned a few days ago from Ben Simon, a Delaware Indian, who lives with the Snakes in Weaber valley, that sometime in the early part of September, Dimick B. Huntington, (interpreter for Brigham Young,) and Bishop West, of Ogden, came to the Snake village, and told the Indians that Brigham wanted them to run off the emigrants' cattle, and if they would do so they might have them as their own. Simon says the Snake chiefs consulted him about the propriety of undertaking the theft, and he advised them to have nothing to do with the cattle, which course they concluded to adopt, hut Huntington and West insisted on
their taking the stock; whereupon the chiefs told them that they did not want it, and if the Mormons wanted it let them go and get it themselves, and so the interview ended. Simon thinks that if any of the Indians had anything to do with it they were hired by the Mormons, and says that he knows that the Mormons got the stock.
It may be objected by the incredulous that those charges are too vague and uncertain, and deficient in point of names and dates; in answer to which I would say, that the commission of these crimes need no proof, there existence being generally admitted. The only questions to be determined are who instigated them? and whose testimony is deserving the most credit the Mormons or the Indians? And under existing circumstances I am free to say that I prefer yielding my credence to the more unsophisticated. I have frequently been told by the chiefs of the Utahs, that Brigham Young was trying to bribe them to join in rebellion against the United States by offering them guns, ammunition, and blankets, on condition that they would assist in opposing the advance of the United States troops into the Territory, and he has not only made these overtures by his agents, but has at sundry times made them in person. How far he may have succeeded in his plots of treason, at the expense of the government, may not as yet be fully known and understood, but one thing is certain, that the more powerful tribes of the Utahs and Snakes have so far resisted all the allurements that have been offered them and kept themselves untrammeled by this unholy alliance, and I am proud to say that they manifest no inclination whatever to participate in it.
* * *
FORT BRIDGER, July 6, 1859.
MAJOR: I have the honor to inform you that, in pursuance of instructions received from the adjutant general's office of this department, dated April 17, 1859, I left Camp Floyd, Utah Territory, on the 21st of April, 1859, to proceed to Santa Clara, in order to protect travelers on the road to California, and to inquire into certain depredations said to have been committed by the Indians in that vicinity.
My command consisted of one company of dragoons and two companies of infantry.
Nothing of interest occurred until my arrival at the Mountain Meadows, which are situated about one hundred and fifty miles south of Camp Floyd, and on the southern rim of the basin. Here I found human skulls, bones, and hair, scattered about, and scraps of clothing of men, women, and children. I saw one girl's dress, apparently that of a child ten or twelve years of age. These were the remains of a party of peaceful inhabitants of the United States, consisting of men, women, and children, and numbering about one hundred and fifty, who were removing with their effects from the State of Arkansas to the State of California. 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 them), and massacred, with the exception of such infant children that the Mormons thought too young to remember or tell of the affair. The Mormons had their faces painted so as to disguise themselves as Indians.
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.
This affair began by a surprise. The emigrants were encamped near a spring, from which there is a ravine. Along this ravine the Mormons and Indians crept to the spring during the night. When the emigrants arose in the morning they were fired upon, and some twelve or fifteen of them killed. The emigrants then seized their arms and defended themselves so bravely that, after four days, the Mormons and Indians had not succeeded in exterminating them. This horrid affair was finished by an act of treachery. John D. Lee, having washed the paint from his face, came to the emigrants and told them that if they would surrender themselves, and give their property to the Indians, that the Mormons would conduct them safely back to Cedar City. The emigrants then surrendered, with their wives and children. They were taken about a mile and a half from the spring, where they, their wives, and their children, (with the exception of some infants,) were ruthlessly killed.
The infants were taken to Cedar City, where they were either sold or given away to such of the Mormons as desired them. It is a notorious fact that these infants never have been with the Indians. The property of the emigrants was taken to Cedar City, where it was put up at public auction and sold.
These facts were derived from the children who did remember and could tell of the matter, from Indians, and from the Mormons themselves. This affair occurred in the month of September, in 1857.
On leaving the Mountain Meadows, I proceeded on with my command to the river Santa Clara, where I arrived on the 8th of May, 1859. I sent for Jackson, the chief of the tribe said to be most hostile to the Americans. He acknowledged that he had committed some outrages on the people of the United States. He made the most humble protestations of future good conduct, in which I put some reliance, if he is not encouraged to commit overt acts by the Mormons. These Indians are a miserable set of root-diggers, and nothing is to be apprehended from them but by the smallest and most careless party.
The commanding general having concluded that the objects of the expedition were accomplished, I returned to Camp Floyd, Utah Territory, agreeably to his instructions.
I am sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. P. CAMPBELL,
Capt. Second Dragoons, Com'y Santa Clara Expedition.
Major F. J. PORTER,
Assistant Adjutant General U. S. Army.,
Camp Floyd, Utah Territory.
CAMP AT MOUNTAIN MEADOWS, Utah Territory, May 6, 1859.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report, that this morning, accompanied by the detachment of men furnished by your orders, I proceeded to inter the remains of the men, women, and children of the Arkansas emigrant train, massacred
by the Mormons at the Mountain Meadows, Utah Territory, in the month of September, 1857.
At the scene of the first attack, in the immediate vicinity of our present camp, marked by a small defensive trench made by the emigrants, a number of human skulls and bones and hair were found scattered about, bearing the appearance of never having been buried; also remnants of bedding and wearing apparel.
On examining the trenches or excavations, which appear to have been within the corral, and within which it was supposed some written account of the massacre might have been concealed, some few human bones, human hair, and what seemed to be the feathers of bedding, only were discerned.
Proceeding twenty-five hundred yards in a direction N. 15 degrees W., I reached a ravine fifty yards distant from the road, bordered by a few bushes of scrub oak, in which I found portions of the skeletons of many bodies skulls, bones, and matted hair most of which, on examination, I concluded to be those of men. Three hundred and fifty yards further on, and in the same direction, another assembly of human remains were found, which, by all appearance, had been left to decay upon the surface. Skulls and bones, most of which I believed to be those of women, some also of children, probably ranging from six to twelve years of age. Here, too, were found masses of women's hair, children's bonnets, such as are generally used upon the plains, and pieces of lace, muslin, calicoes, and other material, part of women's and children's apparel. I have buried thirteen skulls, and many more scattered fragments.
Some of the remains above referred to were found upon the surface of the ground, with a little earth partially covering them, and at the place where the men were massacred; some lightly buried, but the majority were scattered about upon the plain. Many of the skulls bore marks of violence, being pierced with bullet holes, or shattered by heavy blows, or cleft with some sharp-edged instrument. The bones were bleached and worn by long exposure to the elements, and bore the impress of the teeth of wolves or other wild animals.
The skulls found upon the ground near the spring, or position of first attack, and adjoining our camp, were eight in number. These, with the other remains there found, were buried, under my supervision, at the base of the hill, upon the hill-side of the valley.
At the rate 2,500 yards distant from the spring, the relative positions and general appearance of the remains seemed to indicate that the men were there taken by surprise and massacred. Some of the skulls showed that fire-arms had been discharged close to the head. I have buried eighteen skulls and parts of many more skeletons, found scattered over the space of a mile towards the lines, in which direction they were no doubt dragged by the wolves.
No names were found upon any article of apparel, or any peculiarity in the remains, with the exception of one bone, the upper jaw, in which the teeth were very closely crowded, and which contained one front tooth more than is generally found.
Under my direction, the above-mentioned remains were all properly buried, the respective locality being marked with mounds of stone.
I have the honor to be, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
CHARLES BREWER, Assistant Surgeon United States Army.
Captain R. P. CAMPBELL,
Second Dragoons, Commanding Paymaster's Escort.
PROVO CITY, U. T., March 18, 1859.
SIR: I left Salt Lake City last Sunday to visit the southern Indians, and to bring the seventeen children, remaining from the massacre in September, 1857, to Salt Lake City, or adjacent to it.
* * * I am in possession of the facts of the murders in June and October, and have, within twenty days, received highly important and reliable information of the Mountain Meadow butchering affair. With the facts in my possession now, I may succeed in recovering some of the property. 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. It is presumable they also had some money.
I will make such inquiry about this extraordinary affair as contingent circumstances will admit. I know that the Indians are bad enough; I am aware, also, that it is, and especially has been, exceedingly convenient to implicate the Indians in all such cases.
* * *
I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. FORNEY, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, U. T.
Hon. J. W. DENVER,
Comm'r of Indian Affairs, Washington, D. C.
SUPERINTENDENT'S OFFICE, UTAH, Great Salt Lake City, August, 1859.
SIR: It has been my intention, for some weeks past, to give you a more full statement than heretofore given of the Mountain Meadow tragedy, and of the children saved from it. * * *
A massacre of such unparalleled magnitude on American soil must necessarily excite much interest in the public mind. From information received from various sources during the last twelve months, I am enabled to give you a reliable account of the emigrant company in question, and the children remaining, and also some of the causes and circumstances of the inhuman massacre.
The company was composed of about thirty families, and one hundred and thirty to one hundred and forty persons, and, I think, principally from Johnston county, Arkansas.
I have deemed it a matter of material importance to make strict inquiry relative to the general behavior and conduct of the company towards the people of this Territory in their journey through it, and am justified in saying that they conducted themselves with propriety.
It is generally conceded that the said company was abundantly supplied with traveling and extra horses, cattle, &c. They had about thirty good wagons, and about thirty mules and horses, and six hundred head of cattle, when passing through Provo City, Utah Territory. At Corn Creek, fifteen miles from Fillmore City, and one hundred and sixty-five miles south of this city, the company camped several days. At this place, and within a few miles of the Indian farm, (commenced a few years ago for the Pah-vant tribe, and all living on it,) it is alleged that the said emigrant company treated the Indians most inhumanly; such as poisoning a spring with arsenic, and impregnating
dead cattle with strichnine. John D. Lee, living one hundred and fifty miles south of Fillmore, informed me that about twenty Indians and some cattle died from drinking of the poisoned water, and Indians from eating the poisoned meat.
Dr. Ray, of Fillmore City, assured me that one of his oxen died while the company was encamped in the neighborhood, and that his wife, while engaged rendering the tallow of the dead ox, became suddenly ill, and that a boy who was assisting her died in a few days.
I have not been apprised of any investigation at the time by the Indian officials who were then in the Territory, or of an official investigation by the proper authorities of Fillmore. It seems obvious that Dr. Ray's ox died about the time these unfortunate people were camped in the neighborhood. I cannot learn, however, of any difficulty the company had with the Pah-vant Indians while camped near them. The ox died unquestionably from eating a poisonous weed that grows in most of the valleys in this Territory, and it is by no means uncommon for cattle to get poisoned and die from the effects of this weed. One or two Indians died from eating of the dead ox, but I have not been apprised that this excited any of them against the emigrants. And after strict inquiry I cannot learn that even one Pah-varit Indian was present at the massacre. Those persons in Fillmore, and further south, who believe that a spring was poisoned with arsenic, and the meat of a dead ox with strichnine, by said company, may be honest in their belief, and attribute the cause of the massacre to the alleged poisoning. Why an emigrant company, and especially farmers, would carry with them so much deadly poison is incomprehensible. I regard the poisoning affair as entitled to no consideration. In my opinion, bad men, for a bad purpose, have magnified a natural circumstance for the perpetration of a crime that has no parallel in American history for atrocity.
I hear nothing more of the emigrant company until their arrival in Mountain Meadow valley, about the 2d or 3d of September, 1857. This valley is seven miles in length east and west, and one to three wide a large spring at each end. In about the centre, and from north to south-east, is what is termed the "rim of the basin." East of this the waters go to the lakes of Utah Territory, and those west into the Pacific. The valley is well hemmed in by high hills or mountains; is almost a continuous meadow, affording an abundance of pasture.
At the spring in the east end is a house and corral, occupied in September, 1857, by Mr. Jacob Hamblin. It is due to Mr. Hamblin to say that he left home several weeks before the company arrived in the valley, and returned home several days after the massacre.
David Tulis (was living with Mr. Hamblin) says: "The company passed by the house on Friday, September 2d or 3d, towards evening; that it was a large and respectable-looking company. One of the men rode up to where I was working, and asked if there was water ahead. I said, yes. The person who rode up behaved civilly. The company camped at the spring in the west end of the valley. I heard firing on Monday morning, and for four or five mornings afterwards; if there had been firing during the day, I could not have heard it on account of the wind.
I then asked Mr. Tulis the following questions, and received answers, to wit:
1. When you heard the firing first what was your opinion of its cause?
Answer. I believed it was the Indians fighting the emigrant company camped at the spring at the other end of the valley
2. Why did you not notify the nearest settlement?
Answer. I thought or expected that the people of the nearest settlement knew of the fight.
3. Why did you suppose so?
Answer. Because I saw Indians riding back and forwards on the road.
4. Was you afraid?
Answer. I was a little timid.
5. How soon did you see white men?
Answer. Two or three days afterwards -- that is, after the massacre -- these persons looked like travelers. I think they went to bury the dead.
6. Did you see many Indians during the fight?
Answer. During the fighting the Indians continued to run to and fro on the road.
7. How many were in the train?
Answer. I suppose 70 to 100; there seemed to be a good many women and children.
8. Did you hear any talk about the massacre?
9. What did you hear was the cause of the massacre?
Answer. I heard afterwards; because the emigrant party poisoned the spring or some cattle at Corn creek.
10. What was your own opinion of the cause?
Answer. I thought there must have been some fuss with the Indians along the road somewhere. I heard that the emigrant party had poisoned a spring at Corn creek.
11. What became of the property?
Answer. The Indians drove all the cattle and horses away. I heard they burned the wagons where they were camped.
12. What was done with the children immediately after the massacre?
Answer. I heard the Indians took them to Cedar City. I also saw
the Indians drive some cattle towards Cedar City.
13. Did you ever see any of the property in the possession of whites?
14. Did you ever hear any one talk about the property?
15. Did you ever hear of any one escaping from the fight or massacre? Answer. I heard of one ; and he was afterwards killed at the Muddy or Los Vagos river.
This is part of the statement of D. Tulis, made to me in presence of William H. Rodgers, April 13 last, while on my trip to Santa Clara. He was traveling with us from Painter Creek.
I will give you a few extracts from the statements by Alfred, who is a civilized Shoshonee Indian, raised by Mr. Jacob Hamblin, and was then and is still living with him. Alfred says:
"I saw the company passing our house about sun down. It was a large company. They camped at the spring in the other end of the valley. A day or two after passing our house, I heard firing when in bed; it continued all day four days.
Question. Why did you not go there?
Answer. I had not time; I was attending to the sheep. The time they were killed, I was about a mile from them. I saw some Indians killing them. They shot some with arrows and guns, and others were killed with clubs. I talked with some of the Indians (the day they were killed;) they were mad and I was afraid to talk much to them. Some of the Indians, during the four or five days firing, rode to and fro towards Painter Creek settlement, about ten miles east of the Mountain Meadow valley; they were riding over the hills, and riding very fast.
Question. Why did you not, during the four or five days firing, notify the people of Painter Creek and Cedar City of the fight ?
Answer. I told Mr. Tulis and those at the house, when I came in from herding, about the Indians fighting the emigrants. Mr. Tulis told me to mind my business and attend to my herding. I saw the Indians killing the whites.
Question. How did the emigrants get out of the corral?
Answer. They thought the Indians had all left, and then they started out and were coming to our house, and when they were about a mile from the wagons, the Indians who were hid behind oak brush and sage fell on them. I went to the place the same day and saw the dead lying about. Some were stript and some were dressed. The Indians were mad, scolding and quarrelling. I saw the children going past our house. (Mr. Hamblin's.) All the children stopped at our house.
Question. Who brought the children to Mr. Hamblin's house?
Answer. Mr. David Tulis brought them all to our house in a wagon about dark, the same evening of the day of the massacre.
Question. Was Mr. Jacob Hamblin at home when the company arrived in the valley and the day of the massacre?
Answer. He left home several weeks before the company arrived, and returned several days after the massacre.
These persons lived at Mr. Hamblin's, and within three and a half miles of the spot where the killing was done; yet neither were there, if one is to believe them,
I conclude from the most reliable information that the company promiscuously camped near the spring, intending to remain some days to recruit the stock, preparatory to crossing the several deserts before reaching California. They had no apprehension of serious danger when they first reached the valley, and for several days afterwards, or from Friday until Monday morning. The company then corraled the wagons and made a protective fort, by filling with earth the space under the wagons. I saw the evidences of this last April.
The Indians got into a state of tremendous excitement, through misrepresentations of the foulest character, about the supposed poisoning at Corn Creek. * * *
In pursuance to arrangements, the first attack was made on the unfortunate company by Indians on Monday morning, and continued daily until Friday morning, September 9. The camp was surrounded continually, preventing any one from leaving the corral without hazarding life, during five or six days.
It is impossible to comprehend the immense suffering. On the fatal morning two wagons approached the corral, and several whites effected a compromise, the emigrants giving up all their arms, with the assurance that the lives of all should be saved and conducted back in safety to Cedar City. The company started under the care and direction of white men; the wounded, old women, and children were taken in the two wagons. They proceeded about one and
a half mile toward Cedar, when suddenly, and in obedience to a signal, the work of death commenced. The murderers were secreted in a few acres of oak brush and sage, the only thing of the kind I saw in the valley. My impression is that from one hundred and fifteen to one hundred and twenty were there murdered. Several escaped; only three got out of the valley ; two of whom were soon overtaken and shot down. One adult got as far as the Muddy, and was returning with two persons from California; but he was also overtaken and shot by Indians.
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.
I will in due time take the necessary steps for the recovery of the property, which was sold and divided among certain parties.
The seventeen little children, all that I can learn of, were taken after the massacre to Mr. Hamblin's house by John D. Lee, David Tulis, and others, in a wagon, either the same evening or the following morning. 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. * * *
Below is a list of the children recovered by me and brought to this city, fifteen of whom are now en route to Arkansas, and two detained to give evidence:
John Calvin Sorel; Lewis and Mary Sorel; Ambrose Miram, and William Taggit; Frances Horn; Angeline, Annie, and Sophronia or Mary Huff; Ephraim W. Huff; Charles and Annie Francher; Betsey and Jane Baker; Rebecca, Louisa, and Sarah Dunlap; William (Welch) Baker.
I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. FORNEY, Supt. Indian Affairs Utah Territory.
Hon. A. B. GREENWOOD, Com. of Indian Affairs, Washington, D. C.
John D. Lee, a Mormon president, has knowledge of the whereabouts of much of the property taken from these ill-fated emigrants, and, if I am not misinformed, in possession of a large quantity of it. Why not make him disgorge this ill-gotten plunder, and disclose the amount escheated to and sold out by the Mormon Church as its share of the blood of helpless victims? When he enters into a league with hell and a covenant with death, he should not be allowed to make feasts and entertain government officials at his table as he did Dr. Jacob Forney, superintendent of Indian affairs, while the rest of his party refused, in his hearing and that of Lee, to share the hospitality of this notorious murderer THIS SCOURGE OF THE DESERT. This man Lee does not deny, but admits that he was present at the massacre, but pretends that he was there to prevent bloodshed; but positive evidence implicates him as the leader of the murderers too deeply for denial. The children point him out as one of them that did the bloody work. He and other white men had these children, and they never were in the hands of the Indians, but in those who murdered them, and Jacob Hamlin and Jacob Forney know it. The children pointed out to
us the dresses and jewelry of their mothers and sisters that now grace the angelic forms of these murderers' women and children. Verily it would seem that men and women alike combined in this wholesale slaughter.
This ill-fated train consisted of eighteen wagons, eight hundred and twenty head of cattle, household goods to a large amount, besides money, estimated at eighty or ninety thousand dollars, the greater part of which, it is believed, now makes rich the harems of this John D. Lee. Of this train a man, whose name is unknown, fortunately escaped at the time of the massacre to Vegas, one hundred miles distant from the scene of blood, on the California road. He was followed by five Mormons who, through promises of safety, &c., prevailed upon him to begin his return to Mountain Meadows, and, contrary to their promises and his just expectation, they inhumanly butchered him, laughing at and disregarding his loud and repeated cries for mercy; as witnessed and told by Ira Hatch, one of the five. The object in killing this man was to leave no witness competent to give testimony in a court of justice but God, whose ways are inscrutable, has thought proper, through the instrumentality of the "babes and sucklings" recovered by us, to bring to light this most horrible tragedy, and make known its barbarous and inhuman perpetrators.
Already a step has been taken by Judge Cradlebaugh in the right direction, of which we see the evidence in the flight of presidents, bishops, and elders to the mountains, to escape the just penalty of the law for their crimes. If the vengeance of the Lord is slow, it is equally sure. The Mormons, who know better, have reported that the principals and, in fact, all the actors in this fearful massacre, were Indian savages; but subsequent events have thrown sufficient light upon this mystery to fix the foul blot indelibly upon the Mormon escutcheon. Many of the leaders are well known. John D. Lee was the commander-in-chief. President Haight and Bishop Smith, of Cedar City, and, besides these, one hundred actors and accomplices, are known to Judge Cradlebaugh and Dr. Forney. * * *
James Lynch, being duly sworn, states on oath that all the material facts stated by him in the foregoing affidavit, so far as he states the same as of his own knowledge, are true, and so far as he states the same as from information derived from others, as also the conclusions drawn from the same, he believes to be true, and further saith not.
Sworn to and subscribed July 27, 1859.
D. K. ECKELS, Chief Justice of Supreme Court.
The undersigned state on oath, that the foregoing affidavit has been carefully read to them; that they are the identical persons named in it as having been employed by Dr. Jacob Forney to return with him to Salt Lake City; that they went from Beaver City with said Forney south, and back again, and that we fully concur in the statements made by James Lynch, Esq., in the foregoing affidavit, as to what we saw and heard on the trip, and the conduct of Dr. Forney, superintendent of Indian affairs, and further say not.
THOMAS DUNN. JOHN LOFINK.
Subscribed and sworn to before me July 27, 1859. D. B. ECKELS, Chief Justice of Supreme Court.
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,
Supe't Indian Affairs, Utah Territory.
Hon. A. B. GREENWOOD,
Commissioner Indian Affairs, Washington, D. C.
Extract from Superintendent Forney's annual report, of September 29, 1859.
MOUNTAIN MEADOW MASSACRE.
A company of emigrants from Arkansas, emigrating to California, arrived and camped at a spring in the west end of Mountain Meadow valley on the 3d or 4th September, 1857. On the 9th of said month, and near the said spring, one hundred and fifteen to one hundred and twenty were inhumanly massacred. The lives of seventeen children were spared, who were from two months to seven years old. This massacre was brought to my official notice by a letter from the Hon. C. E. Mix, received June, 1858, instructing me to make inquiry, and recover, if possible, certain children, who, it was supposed, were saved from the massacre and were supposed to be living with Mormons and Indians. Sixteen of the surviving children were collected in July, 1858, and were placed in a respectable family in Santa Clara, three hundred and fifty miles south of this city, and were provided for by my directions. The seventeenth child was recovered last April. None of the children were claimed by or were living with or among the Indians. They were taken from the field of slaughter the evening of the day their friends were killed, and conveyed in a wagon to Mr. Hamblin's house, in the east end of the valley, by John D. Lee and Daniel Tullis, and perhaps others. The following day the children were divided out and placed in different Mormon families in Cedar City, Harmony, Santa Clara, &c., from whence they were collected in pursuance of my directions. A massacre of such unparalleled magnitude on American soil must sooner or later demand thorough investigation. I have availed myself during the last twelve months of every opportunity to obtain reliable information about the said emigrant company, and the alleged causes of and circumstances which led to their treacherous sacrifice.
Mormons have been accused of aiding the Indians in the commission of this
crime. I commenced my inquiries without prejudice or selfish, motive, and with a 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 upon the Indians; but, unfortunately, every step in my inquiries satisfied me that the Indians acted only a secondary part. Conflicting statements were made to me of the behavior of this emigrant company, while traveling through the Territory. I have accordingly deemed it a matter of material importance to make a strict inquiry to obtain reliable information on this subject; not that bad conduct on their part could in any degree palliate the enormity of the crime, or be regarded as any extenuation. My object was common justice to the surviving orphans. The result of my inquiries enables me to say that the company conducted themselves with propriety. They were camped several days at Corn creek, Fillmore valley, adjacent to one of our Indian farms.
Persons have informed me that, whilst there encamped, they poisoned a large spring with arsenic and the meat of a dead ox with strichnine. This ox died, unquestionably, from eating a poisonous weed, which grows in most of the valleys here. Persons in the southern part of the Territory told me last spring, when on a southern trip, that from fifteen to twenty Pah-vant Indians (of those on Corn Creek farm) died from drinking the water of the poisoned spring and eating of the poisoned meat. Other equally unreasonable stories were told me about these unfortunate people.
That an emigrant company, as respectable as I believe this was, would carry along several pounds of arsenic and strichnine, apparently for no other purpose than to poison cattle and Indians, is too improbable to be true. I cannot learn that the Pah-vants had any difficulty with these people. The massacre took place only about one hundred miles south of Corn creek, and yet not any of those Indians were present. Bad white men have magnified a natural cause to aid them in exciting the southern Indians, hoping that, by so doing, they could be relied upon to exterminate the said company and escape detection themselves. Thus, on the Monday morning subsequent to the Friday, 4th or 5th of September, the day they camped at the spring, the Indians commenced firing upon them, and continued daily until and during the eighth day of their encamping, but without accomplishing much. Several were killed, however, and a few wounded, When the company first apprehended an attack, they formed a corral with their wagons, and filled up with earth to the wagon beds, which made a protecting fort. White men were present and directed the Indians, John D. Lee, of Harmony, told me, in his own house, last April, in presence of two persons, that he was present three successive days during the fight, and was present during the fatal day. The Indians alone made their last attack on the 8th of September. On the 9th, John D. Lee and others, whose names I gave in my letter of the 23d ultimo, displayed a white flag, and approached the corral with two wagons, and had a long interview with the company, and proposed a compromise. What there occurred has not transpired. The emigrant company gave up all their arms, with the expectation that their lives would be spared, and they be conducted back to Panther creek and Cedar city. The old women, children, and wounded were taken in the wagons, and the company proceeded towards Panther creek, when, suddenly, at a signal, the work of death commenced, about one and a half miles from the spring, at a place where there was about an acre of scrub-oak brush. Here
not less, I think, than one hundred and fifteen men, women, and children, were slaughtered by white men and Indians. Three men got out of the valley, two of whom were soon overtaken and killed; the other reached Muddy creek, over fifty miles off, and was overtaken and killed by several Indians and one white man.
Thus terminated the most extensive and atrocious massacre recorded in American history. Whoever may have been the perpetrators of this horrible deed, no doubt exists in my mind that they were influenced chiefly by a determination to acquire wealth by robbery. It is in evidence, from respectable sources, that material changes have taken place in the pecuniary condition of certain individuals suspected of complicity in this affair. It is to be regretted that no well-directed effort has been made to bring the guilty to trial and punishment. I furnished to the proper officials the names of some of the persons who, I had reason to suppose, were instigators and participators in this unparalleled massacre, and also with the names of witnesses.
AFFIDAVIT OF HENRY HIGGINS.
Territory of Utah. Cedar County ss:
Henry Higgins being sworn says, that he lived in Cedar City, in said Territory, about the month of September, 1857, the time of the massacre at the Mountain Meadows. Some days before the massacre, he saw the train going siuth through, towards the city, he being out herding at the time; train going south a few days after, about sundown in the evening, he noticed a company of persons going out of Cedar City, two wagons full, and others on horse-back, about 25 persons in all, all armed with guns. Nothing was said about where they were going, he inquired, but was unable to find out. In the company that started out he recollected the following persons: William Bateman, Egra Curtis, Samuel Pollock, Alexander Loverage, John M. Higbee, and William Stewart.
Affiant further says, that he saw the same persons return with a lot of wagons and oxen, which were loaded with plunder, there was twelve to fourteen of them, four or five yoke of oxen in each, they were driven to Bishop P. K. Smith's, there unloaded. Some time after the effects were sold at the Tithing office -- and further saith not.
Sworn and signed before me, this 20th of April, 1859.
JOHN CRADLEBAUGH, Judge 2d District, U. S.
EXTRACT OF A LETTER OF WM. H. ROGERS TO THE VALLEY TAN. http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/dbroadhu/UT/utahmsc1.htm#022960
"Leaving the commands here
Leaving the commands here (Mountain Meadows) Judge Cradlebaugh and I proceeded forward to Cedar City, where the Judge intended to remain some time, and make a thorough investigation if he could [concerning the massacre], and persons engaged in it. Owing to some disadvantages in the location of Cedar City, a large portion of the inhabitants that once dwelt there had moved away, and there was, in consequence, a good many vacant houses in the place. Judge Cradlebaugh obtained the use of one of these to stay in, while he remained, and for the purpose of a court room.
As soon as it became known that Judge Cradlebaugh intended holding a court, and investigating the circumstances of the massacre, and that he would have troops to ensure protection, and enforce his writs if necessary; several persons visited him at his room, at late hours of the night, and informed him of different facts connected with the massacre. All these that called thus, stated that it would be at the risk of their lives if it became known that they had communicated anything to him; and they requested the Judge if he met them in daytime, not to recognize them as persons that he had seen before.
* * *
Such was the substance, if not the exact words, of a statement made by a man to Judge Cradlebaugh, in my presence, who confessed that he participated in the horrible events which he related. He also gave Judge Cradlebaugh the names of twenty-five or thirty men living in the region, who assisted in the massacre. He offered to make the same statements in court, if protection was guaranteed to him. He gave as a reason for divulging these facts, that they had tormented his mind and conscience since they occurred * * *
We had been in Cedar City but two days when Capt. Campbell arrived with his command, and informed the Judge that he had received an express from General Johnston, to bring back with him all the troops in his command, as the Mormons were assembling in the mountains, on the [south]. Judge Cradlebaugh was left without protection for those who might be called as witnesses, or of arresting any persons who might flee or resist his writs. Without assistance of this kind it was useless to attempt to hold a court, and we accordingly left on the next day with Capt. Campbell's command for Camp Floyd.
* * *
WM. H. ROGERS. Deputy U. S. Marshall, U. T.
(remainder not copied)
John W. Barber
Our Whole Country, Vol. 2
(New York: 1862)
[ 1453 ]
Utah derives its name from that of a native Indian tribe, the Pah-Utahs. It formed originally a part of the Mexican territory of Upper California, and was ceded to the United States by the treaty with Mexico, at the close of the Mexican war. In 1850 it was erected into a territory by Congress.
"A large part of Utah is of volcanic origin. It is supposed, from certain traditions and remains, to have been, many hundred years ago, the residence of the Aztec nation that they were driven south by the volcanic eruptions which changed the face of the whole country. Eventually, they became the possessors of Mexico, where, after attaining great proficiency in the arts of life, they were finally overthrown by the Spaniards at the time of the conquest.
Utah was not probably visited by civilized man until within the present century. There were Catholic missionaries who may have just touched its California border, and the trappers and hunters employed by the fur companies. The first establishment in Utah was made by William H. Ashley, a Missouri fur-trader. In 1824, he organized an expedition which passed up the valley of the Platte River, and through the cleft of the Rocky Mountains, since called "The South Pass;" and then advancing further west, he reached the Great Salt Lake, which lies embosomed among lofty mountains. About a hundred miles south-east of this, he discovered a smaller one, since known as "Ashley s Lake." He there built a fort or trading post, in which he left about a hundred men. Two years afterward, a six-pound piece of artillery was drawn from Missouri to this fort, a distance of more than twelve hundred miles, and in 1828, many wagons, heavily laden, performed the same journey.
During the three years between 1824 and 1827, Ashley's men collected and sent to St. Louis, furs from that region of country to an amount, in value, of over $180,000. He then sold out all his interests to Messrs. Smith, Jackson, and Sublette. These energetic and determined men carried on for many years an extensive and profitable business, in the course of which they traversed a large part of southern Oregon, Utah, California, and New Mexico west of the mountains. Smith was murdered in the summer of 1829. by the Indians north-west of Utah Lake. Ashley s Fort was long since abandoned.
Unfortunately, these adventurous men knew nothing of science, and but little information was derived from them save vague reports which greatly
excited curiosity; this was only increased by the partial explorations of Fremont.
In his second expedition, made in 1843, he visited the Great Salt Lake, which appears upon old Spanish maps as Lake Timpanogos and Lake Tegaya. Four years after, in 1847, the Mormons emigrated to Utah, and commenced the first regular settlement by whites. It was then an isolated region, nominally under the government of Mexico. They expected to found a Mormon state here, and rest in quiet far from the abodes of civilized man; but the results of the Mexican war, the acquirement of the country by the United States, with the discovery of gold in California, brought them on the line of emigration across the continent, and more or less in conflict with the citizens and general government.
Utah extends from the 37th to the 42d degrees of north latitude, and lies between the 107th and 120th degrees of west longitude, having a breadth of 300, and an average length, east and west, of 600 miles, containing an area of about 180,000 square miles.
The main geographical characteristic of Utah is, that anomalous feature in our continent, which is more Asiatic than American in its character, known as the Great Basin. It is about 500 miles long, east and west, by 275 in breadth, north and south, and occupies the greater part of the central and western portions of the territory. It is elevated near 5,000 feet above the level of the sea, and is shut in all around by mountains with its own system of lakes and rivers; and what is a striking feature, none of which have any connection with the ocean. The general character of the basin is that of a desert. It has never been fully explored, but so far as it has been, a portion of it is found to consist of arid and sterile plains, another of undulating table lands, and a third of elevated mountains, a few of whose summits are capped with perpetual snow. The range nearly north and south, and rise abruptly from a narrow base to a hight of from 2,000 to 5,000 feet. Between these ranges of mountains are the arid plains, which deserve and receive the name of desert. From the snow on their summits and the showers of summer originate small streams of water from five to fifty feet wide, which eventually lose themselves, some in lakes, some in the alluvial soil at their base, and some in dry plains. Among the most noted of these streams is Humboldt's or Mary's River, well remembered by every California emigrant, down which he pursues his course for three hundred miles, until it loses itself in the ground, at a place called St. Mary's Sink, where its waters are of a poisonous character.
The Great Salt Lake and the Utah Lake are in this basin, toward its eastern rim, and constitute its most interesting feature -- one a saturated solution of common salt -- the other fresh the Utah about one hundred feet above the Salt Lake, which is itself about 4,200 above the level of the sea; they are connected by Utah River or, as the Mormons call it, the Jordan which is forty-eight miles in length. These lakes drain an area of from ten to twelve thousand square miles.
The Utah is about thirty-five miles long, and is remarkable for the numerous and bold streams which it receives, coming down from the mountains on the south-east, all fresh water, although a large formation of rock-salt, imbedded in red clay, is found within the area on the south-east, which it drains. The lake and its affluents afford large trout and other fish in great numbers, which constitute the food of the Utah Indians during the fishing season. The Great Salt Lake has a very irregular outline greatly extended at time of melting snows. It is about seventy miles in length; both lakes ranging north and south, in conformity to the range of the mountains, and is remarkable for its predominance of salt. The whole lake water seems thoroughly saturated with it, and every evaporation of the water leaves salt behind. The rocky shores of the islands are whitened by the spray, which leaves salt on everything it touches, and a covering like ice forms over the water which the waves throw among the rocks. The shores of the lake, in the dry season, when the waters recede, and especially on the south side, are whitened with incrustations of fine white salt; the shallow arms of the lake, at the same time under a
slight covering of briny water, present beds of salt for miles, resembling softened ice, into which the horses feet sink to the fetlock. Plants and bushes, blown by the wind upon these fields, are entirely incrusted with crystallized salt, more than an inch in thickness. Upon this lake of salt the fresh water received, though great in quantity, has no perceptible effect. No fish or animal life of any kind is found in it.
The Rio Colorado, with its branches, is about the only stream of note in Utah which is not within the Great Basin. The only valleys supposed to be inhabitable in the vast country in the eastern rim of the Great Basin and the Rocky Mountains, are the valleys of the Uintah and Green Rivers, branches of the Colorado, and whether even these are so, is extremely problematical. The country at the sources of this great river is incapable of supporting any population whatever.
The climate of Utah is milder and drier in general than it is in the same parallel on the Atlantic coast. The temperature in the Salt Lake Valley in the winter is very uniform, and the thermometer rarely descends to zero. There is but little rain in Utah, except on the mountains, from the 1st of May until the 1st of October; hence agriculture can only be carried on by irrigation.
In every portion of the territory where it has been attempted, artificial irrigation has been found to be indispensable; and it is confidently believed that no part of it, however fertile, will mature crops without it, except perhaps on some small patches on low bottoms. But limited portions, therefore, of even the most fertile and warmest valleys, can ever be made available for agricultural purposes, and only such as are adjacent to streams and are well located for irrigation. Small valleys surrounded by high mountains, are the most abundantly supplied with water, the streams being fed by melting snows and summer showers.
The greater part of Utah is sterile and totally unfit for agriculture, and is uninhabited and uninhabitable, except by a few trappers and some roaming bands of Indians, who subsist chiefly upon game, fish, reptiles, and mountain crickets. The general sterility of the country is mainly owing to the want of rain during the summer months, and partly from its being elevated several thousand feet above the level of the sea.
The whole country is almost entirely destitute of timber. The little which there is may be found on the side of the high, rocky mountains, and in the deep mountain gorges, whence issue the streams. On the table lands, the gently undulating plains and the isolated hills, there is none. There are, however, small groves of cotton-wood and box-alder on the bottoms of some of the principal streams.
A species of artemisia, generally known by the name of wild sage, abounds in most parts of the country, where vegetation of any kind exists, but particularly where there is not warmth and moisture sufficient to produce grass.
The Great Salt Lake Valley is the largest known in the Great Basin, being about one hundred and twenty miles long, and from twenty to forty broad, but the Salt Lake occupies much of its northern portion. The surface of its center is level, ascending gently on either side toward the mountains. This valley is regarded as one of the healthiest portions of the globe; the air is very pure. Its altitude is forty-three hundred feet above the level of the sea; and some of the mountains on the east of the valley are more than a mile and sc quarter high, and covered with perpetual snow; while in the valley the thermometer frequently rises above one hundred degrees.
By means of irrigation, the Mormon valleys are made productive. Wheat, rye, barley, buckwheat, oats and Indian corn are their agricultural products, and all the garden vegetables peculiar to the middle and western states are grown. To bacco and sweet potatoes can be produced in limited quantities. The system of irrigation prevents rust or smut striking the crop, and renders it sure. The territory of the Mormons is a stock-raising country, and they are, to a great extent, a pastoral people. We find here that cereal anomaly, the bunch grass. It grows only on the bottoms of the streams, and on the table-lands of the warmest and most fertile valleys. It is of a kind peculiar to cold climates and elevated countries, and is, we presume, the same as the grama of New Mexico. In May, when the other grasses start, this fine plant dries upon its stalk, and becomes a light yellow straw, full of flavor and nourishment. It continues thus through what are the dry months
of the climate until January, and then starts with a vigorous growth, like that of our own winter wheat in April, which keeps on until the return of another May. Whether as straw or grass, the cattle fatten on it the year round. The numerous little dells and sheltered spots that are found in the mountains are excellent sheep walks. Hogs fatten on a succulent bulb or tuber, called the seacoe or seegose root, which is highly esteemed as a table vegetable by the Mormons."
The population of Utah has been nearly stationary for many years, and is composed almost entirely of Mormons. Population of Utah, in 1860, was 50,000.
View in Salt Lake City.
SALT LAKE CITY is pleasantly situated on a gentle declivity near the base of a mountain, about two miles east of the Utah outlet, or the River Jordan, and about twenty-two miles south-east of the Salt Lake. It is nearly on the same latitude with New York City, and is, by air lines, distant from New York 2,100 miles; from St. Louis, 1,200; from San Francisco, 550; and from Oregon City and Santa Fe, each 600. During five months of the year it is shut out from all communication with the north, east, or west, by mountains rendered impassable from snow. Through the town runs a beautiful brook of cool, limpid water, called City creek. The city is laid out regularly, on an extensive scale; the streets crossing each other at right angles, and being each eight rods wide. Each lot contains an acre and a quarter of ground, and each block or square eight lots. Within the city are four public squares. The city and all the farming lands are irrigated by streams of beautiful water, which flow from the adjacent mountains. These streams have been, with great labor and perseverance, led in every direction. In the city, they flow on each side of the different streets, and their waters are let upon the inhabitants gardens at regular periods, so likewise upon the extensive fields of grain lying to the south. The greater part of the houses which
had been built up to the close of 1850, were regarded as merely temporary; most of them were small but commodious, being, in general, constructed of adobe or sun-dried brick. Among the public buildings are a house for public worship, a council-house, a bath-house at the Warm Spring; and they are erecting another temple more magnificent than that they formerly had at Nauvoo. Public free-schools are established in the different wards into which the city is divided. East of the city a mile square is laid off for a State University.
Hon. John Cradlebaugh, late assistant judge of the Territory of Utah, gives this sketch of the Mormons, their origin, doctrines, practices, and crimes:
Extent of Mormonism -- The Mormon people have possessed themselves of this country, and although their history has been but a brief one, yet their progress has been so great as to attract the attention of the world. Although they have not existed more than the third of a century, yet we find that they have been enabled to encompass the globe itself with missionaries. Although they have existed but a few years, we find them rising from a single family to be now what they call a great nation. They claim to be a nation independent of all other nations. They have set up a church government of their own, and they desire no other government to rule over them.
It becomes necessary to know what this Mormonism is, that has thus attracted these deluded people to that country, to seize this empire and to attempt to establish for themselves a government independent of the world.
Mormonism, in the view that I take of it, is a religious eccentricity, as well as one of the great monstrosities of the age. It is not the first, however, of the religious monstrosities and impositions that we have had. Other religious impositions have been invented by men expert in tricks. Knowledge and civilization go moving on at a slow pace, and yet make gradual progress; and every ray of light that is shed shows us the gross absurdity of these frauds in religion. The idols of wood and stone have fallen from the sacred places which they formerly occupied, to be trampled under the feet of their former worshipers, and the cunning devices of a more enlightened age have given way to a purer creed. The majority of the heathen practices of the dark ages have disappeared before an enlightened Christianity. But an epoch came when mankind were fast relapsing into a painful state of ignorance; and about that time arose that boldest and most successful of all impostors, Mohammed, who, incorporating old and cherished doctrines into a voluptuous creed, went abroad with his sword in one hand and the Koran in the other, conquering and to conquer. This was done when darkness reigned on the earth; but in this nineteenth century, favored as it is by the light of a true religion, distinguished as it is by its general knowledge, and refined as it is beyond all precedent and parallel, a religious imposture grosser than all its predecessors, is being successfully palmed off on mankind; not in the deserts of some unknown land; not in a secret corner of the earth; but in free America, where every man can worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and under his own vine and fig tree.
Mormon Doctrines. -- This grotesque, absurd, and monstrous system, thus openly paraded before the world, is Mormonism. It is a conglomeration of illy cemented creeds from other religions. It repudiates the celibacy imposed by the Catholic religion upon its priesthood, and takes instead the voluptuous imposition of the Mohammedan Church. It preaches openly that the more wives and children its men have in this world, the purer, and more influential and conspicuous they will be in the next; that his wives, his property, and his children will be restored to him, and even doubled to him at the resurrection. It adopts the use of prayers for the dead and baptism as parts of its creed. They claim to be favored with marvelous gifts, the power of speaking in tongues, of casting out devils, of curing the sick and healing the lame and the halt; they also claim to have a living prophet,
seer, or revelator; they recognize the Bible, but they interpret it for themselves, and hold that it is subject to be changed by new revelation, which they say supersedes old revelation. One of their doctrines is that of continued progression to ultimate perfection. They say that God was but a man who went on developing and increasing until he reached his present high capacity; and they teach that good Mormons will be equal to Him -- in a word, that good Mormons will become gods. Their elders teach the shedding of blood for the remission of sins; or, in other words, that if a Mormon apostatises, that his throat shall be cut and his blood poured on the ground to save him from his sin. They also practice other most unnatural and revolting doctrines, such as are only carried out in polygamous countries. They hold that the prophet's revelations are binding on their consciences, and that they must obey him in all things.
A Mormon Harem.
They claim to be the people peculiarly chosen of God, and have christened themselves "The Church of Jesus -- the Latter Day Saints." They claim that Mormonism is to go on spreading until it overthrows all the nations of the earth; and that, if necessary, it shall be propagated by the sword ; and that, in progress of time, all the world shall be subject to it. Jackson county, Missouri, whence they were driven for their great crimes, is called their Zion, and their prophets have prophesied that there shall the saints from throughout all the world be assembled, and from that Zion shall proceed a power that shall dethrone kings, subvert dynasties, and subjugate all the nations of the earth.
Origin. -- This wretched sect had its origin in an eccentricity of a man named Spaulding, who had failed as a preacher and as a shopkeeper, and who thought he would write an historical novel. He had a smattering of Biblical knowledge, and he chose for his subject "the history of the lost tribes of Israel." The whole was supposed to be communicated by Indians, and the last of the series was named Mormon, representing that he had buried the book. It was a large, ponderous volume, dull, tedious and interminable, marked by ignorance and folly. Spaulding made many efforts to get it printed, but the work was so utterly flat, stupid and insipid, that no publisher would undertake to bring it before the world. Poor Spaulding at length went to his grave, and his manuscript remained a neglected roll in the possession of his widow.
But now arose Joe Smith, more ready to live by his wits than by the labor of his hands. This Smith early in life manifested a turn for pious frauds. He had been engaged in several wrestling matches with the devil, and had been conspicuous for his wonderful experiences in religion at certain revivals. He announced that he had dug up the book of Mormon, that taught the true religion, and this was none other but the poor Spaulding manuscript, which he had purloined from the house of the widow. In his unscrupulous hands the manuscript of Spaulding was designed to cause an august apostacy; he made it the basis of Mormonism.
Polygamy Introduced. -- Before the death of Smith, he had made polygamy a dogma of the Mormon creed, and made it known to a few of the leaders, and he and they proceeded to put it to practice. It was only after they had placed the desert and the Rocky Mountains between them and civilization that they confessed
it Then they not only confessed it, but openly and boldly advocated it as a part of the religion of Utah. Polygamy then is now the rule, monogamy is the exception to the rule among them. This doctrine is preached from the pulpit it is taught everywhere.
Education and Habits. -- The little education the children get consists in preparing them for the reception of polygamy. To prepare the women for the reception of the revolting practice it is necessary to brutalize them by destroying their modesty. The sentiment of love is ridiculed, cavalier gallantry and attentions are laughed at, the emblematic devices of lovers and the winning kindness that with us they dote on are hooted at in Utah. The lesson they are taught, and that is inculcated above all others, is "increase and multiply," in order that Zion may be filled. The young people are familiarized to indecent exposures of all kinds; the Mormons call their wives their cattle.
A man is not considered a good Mormon that does not uphold polygamy by precept and example, and he is a suspected Mormon that does not practice it. The higher the man is in the church the more wives he has. Brigham Young and Heber Kimball are supposed to have each between fifty and a hundred. The reverend Mormon bishops, apostles, and the presidents of states have as many as they desire, and it is a common thing to see these hoary-headed old Turks surrounded by a troop of robust young wives. The common people take as many as they can support, and it is not uncommon to see a house of two rooms inhabited by a man, his half-dozen of wives, and a proportionate number of children, like rabbits in a warren, and resembling very much the happy family that we read of the prairie dog, the owl, and the rabbit. Incest is common. Sometimes the same man has a daughter and her mother for wives at once; some have as wives their own nieces, and Aaron Johnson, of Springville, one of the most influential men in his parts, has in his harem of twelve women no less than five of his brothers daughters. One Watts, a Scotchman, who is one of the church reporters, is married to his own half-sister.
The ill-assorted children -- the offspring of one father and many mothers run about like so many wild animals. The first thing they do, after learning vulgarity, is to wear a leather belt with a butcher-knife stuck in it; and the next is to steal from the Gentiles; then to ride animals; and as soon as they can, u by hook or by crook," get a horse, a pair of jingling Mexican spurs and a revolver, they are then Mormon cavaliers, and are fit to steal, rob, and murder emigrants. The women and girls are coarse, masculine and uneducated, and are mostly drafted from the lowest stages of society. It is but seldom you meet handsome or attractive women among them.
The foreign element largely predominates in Utah. The persons emigrating to the territory are generally from the mining, manufacturing and rural districts of England. The American portion of the Mormons are generally shrewder than the rest, and are chiefly from the New England states. Most of these men are no doubt fugitives from justice, and most of them are bankrupt in both fortune and character.
The three presidents of the church, or rather the president, Brigham Young, and his two council, Kimball and Grant, are all Americans; eleven of the twelve apostles are Americans. The foreigners are generally hewers of wood and the drawers of water for the church and its dignitaries. The church is everything. It is not only an ecclesiastical institution, but it is a political engine; it not only claims to control Mormons in their spiritual matters, but to dictate to them as to the disposition of their temporal affairs. The church, by its charter, can receive, hold or sell any amount of property; the charter provides for one trustee, and twelve assistant trustees, and Brigham Young is trustee, president of the church, prophet, seer, revelator, and, the commission of the United States to the contrary notwithstanding, he is the real governor of the territory. All Mormons are required to yield to him implicit obedience.
Each Mormon has to pay into the church one tenth part of all he produces, so that if a good Mormon sow bears ten pigs, one is a pious pig, because it belongs to the church. To collect these tithes officers have to be appointed, and to gather the results together a great central depot has to be maintained, and it is situated
in Great Salt Lake City, within Brigham's own walls; and the corn, butter, eggs, and all sorts of produce that is conveyed there and stored would spoil unless it was disposed of; and so we find that they need stores, and in Salt Lake City we find an enormous store, with the sign "Deseret Store." So it is, the church is a trader.
The Angelic Host. -- Connected with the Mormon church is a band of men known as "the Danites," or "the avenging angels." This band is composed of the boldest of the Mormon ruffians. They are bound together by dreadful oaths; they are the executioners of the church, carrying out its vengeance against apostates and offenders against the church discipline; and all church enemies are dealt with by these men, generally in a secret and terrible manner. None but God, Brigham Young and themselves know the names of their victims, or the number.
Missions and Missionaries. -- The Mormon Church is recruited by means of missionaries yearly sent out in large numbers throughout the earth, to preach and propagate the Mormon religion. These missionaries are not selected, as are the missionaries of other sects, for their piety and devotion, or for their general fitness, but as a punishment for some offense against the discipline of the church. The doctrine is that they are good enough to go into the world, for if they send good men they will not believe them, and on that account they send their bad men off as teachers and missionaries.
The missionaries are usually supported by voluntary contributions raised from the ignorant proselytes that they make. They picture Utah as a paradise, the Mormons as saints, and Brigham Young as their prophet; they promise their prophet will heal the sick, restore sight to the blind, and comfort to the afflicted; to the wealthy they promise wealth, and preferment is for the ambitious, while social standing is to be given to the degraded of both sexes, and polygamy is the paradise of all.
Receiving Proselytes. -- These missionaries, when sent on missions, if successful, are commanded to bring their proselytes with them to Zion. They are generally taken in large trains, and the arrival of one of these emigrant trains is hailed as a great event. Women that are young and pretty are greedily caught up by the apostles and dignitaries to swell their harems.
The Foreign Element. -- As I have said, the Mormons are chiefly foreigners; and rude, ignorant foreigners they are. They have not the first conceptions of their duties to our government, or of their duties as American citizens. They come to Zion, but they do not come to America. What do they care for our government or for our people? The first lesson taught them is to hate our people for their oppression, and to hate all other people for they are Gentiles. They are next sworn to support the church and the government established in Utah, and bear an eternal hostility against every other government on the face of the earth. Their next lesson is to revere Brigham Young as both the religious and political head and ruler. Their allegiance is alone due to him; he tells them they are separate and distinct from all other nations made up from many nations; and he said but the other day, "we have been looked upon as a nation by our neighbors, independent of all other people on the face of the earth, and in their dealings they have dealt with us as such." He tells them the present connection of Utah with the United States is only nominal, and it is barely permitted by God until things shall be fitted for the universal establishment of Mormon ascendency.
All these things considered, is it to be wondered at that the Mormons are disloyal to this government, and that treason should insolently rear its crest in Utah? The ignorant of the Mormons do not know what treason is. They obey their leaders, and these leaders are alone responsible for their acts. If Brigham Young, his counselors and bishops, and twelve apostles, and his generals had been seized and hung, you would never more have heard of treason in Utah; but while the Mormon captains were at the head of their troops, while the Danites were armed with their butcher knives, and while the prophet hurled anathemas against the president, the government, and the people of the United States, and while the Mormon people were in arms against the people of the United States, came a free pardon to all the traitors, big and little.
Three thousand of the federal troops were sent [in 1858] to Utah, and they have been kept there at a great expense to the government. The government has not
only refrained from punishing, but it has, through the vast amounts expended for the troops, which went into the Mormon coffers, enriched and built up the territory. When the troops went to Utah, the Mormons were naked and almost starving, poor and wrangling; but now they are clothed, and money circulates freely among them. Treason is lucky, and traitors prosper. Not only are they freely pardoned, but they are rewarded with pockets full of gold. When treason is thus dealt with, traitors will be numerous indeed.
An Irrepressible Conflict. -- Attempts to administer the laws of the United States have been made by the three sets of the United States judges. These experiments have all proved to be failures. The concurrent testimony of all the judges is that the Federal constitution and laws can not be successfully administered. There is a complete repugnance and antagonism between our institutions and the Mormon institutions. The church, through its rulers, claims to supervise the spiritual and temporal relations of the people. Whether it be in the place of business, in the jury-box, on the witness stand, on the judge s bench, or in the legislative chair, the Mormon is bound to obey the heads of the church. If the constitution of the United States, or the organic law of the territory conflicts, the constitution is treated as a nullity; if the laws of the United States contravene the ordinances of Utah, the law is disregarded. The will of the prophet is the supreme law in Utah.
Mormon grand and petit juries, on being impanneled, would go through the forms of business, but do nothing, while murder and other felonies abounded. When warrants are issued for the parties accused, they can not be arrested, for the entire church and the whole community united in concealing and protecting the offender. Witnesses are prevented by church orders from appearing before the grand jury, or are forcibly detained. Grand juries refuse to find bills upon testimony the most conclusive, for most of the crimes have been committed by the order of the church; and to expose them would be to expose and punish the church and the functionaries of the church.
The most noted of all the atrocities committed by the Mormons was the "Mountain Meadow Massacre." This event occurred in the autumn of 1857, when about 140 emigrants, inoffensive, peaceful men, women and children, on their way overland from Arkansas to California, were waylaid by the Danite band of Mormons and their Indian allies, and butchered in cold blood. Some of the little children were spared, and afterward recovered from the Mormons; and from their lips these particulars were gathered. A correspondent of Harpers Weekly, for August 13, 1859, presents this narrative, which is substantially true, and otherwise indubitably corroborated:
"A train of Arkansas emigrants, with some few Missourians, said to number forty men, with their families, were on their way to California, through the Territory of Utah, and had reached a series of grassy valleys, by the Mormons called the Mountain Meadows, where they remained several days recruiting their animals. On the night of Sept. 9, not suspecting any danger, as usual they quietly retired to rest, little dreaming of the dreadful fate awaiting and soon to overtake them. On the morning of the 10th, as, with their wives and familes, they stood around their camp-fires passing the congratulations of the morning, they were suddenly fired upon from an ambush, and at the first discharge fifteen of the best men are said to have fallen dead or mortally wounded. To seek the shelter of their corral was but the work of a moment, but there they found but limited protection.
thus making a beginning to the most brutal butchery ever perpetrated upon this continent.
Beside Salt Lake City, the other principal Mormon settlements are Fillmore City, the capital, Brownsville, Provo, Ogden, Manti, and Parovan.
Judge Cradlebaugh's 1863 Booklet
Hon. John Cradlebaugh (1819-1872)