Charles W. Wandell
The "Argus" Letters
(Utah newspapers: 1870-71)
from Salt Lake Tribune on-line articles (1870-79)
Vol. VIII. Salt Lake City, Utah, December 29, 1874. No. 63.
SIR: The following open letter was written at the date named, but failed to reach the office of publication; and as it contains the recital of certain facts which should not be lost sight of of by the community, and especially by yourself; and as those facts can never be considered old, stale, or unimportant, so long as Blood Atonement assassins and Mountain Meadows murderers, their aiders, abettors and counselors, go unwhipped of Justice, I again offer a copy for publication. ARGUS.
from Journal of History (1910-11) pp. 455-71, 60-70
Charles Wesley Wandell was born upon the 12th day of April, 1819, at Courtland, Westchester County, New York. We can find nothing of his parentage, early life, or education. Whether or not he had an education, his writings in later life show a persistent and systematic study of some sort.
In the official record of the Quorum of Seventy, we find that he was baptized January 5, 1837, by Hugh Herringshaw, at the age of eighteen years, and ordained to the office of elder in the same year, on the 6th day of April, at a conference held
[Smith, 1910: p. 456]
in New York City. Elder L. R. Foster officiated in the ordination.
That he immediately became actively engaged in spreading the gospel is not to be doubted, as in 1844, but seven years later, he was appointed minister in charge of the State of New York, by the action of a special conference held at Nauvoo, Illinois. Under him were appointed forty-eight other elders for labor in New York, among whom were A. A. Farnham, Daniel Shearer, Samuel P. Bacon, Joseph B. Noble, Horace S. Eldredge, C. H. Wheelock, D. H. Redfield, and Charles Thompson. 
Shortly after the death of the Martyr he returned to Nauvoo and was employed in the office of the historian. It was the work done in this department that disheartened him with conditions there. In his journal  a serious charge was made against the reprehensible methods employed in this department after the death of the Prophet. In commenting upon the history of Joseph Smith, as it was being published in the Deseret News about 1855, he says,
I notice the interpolations because having been employed (myself) in the Historian's office at Nauvoo by Doctor Richards, and employed, too, in 1845, in compiling this very autobiography, I know that after oseph's death his memoir was "doctored" to suit the new order of things, and this, too, by the direct order of Brigham Young to Doctor Richards and systematically by Richards. 
The state of affairs at Nauvoo in time became unbearable, and he quietly withdrew from the work, disgusted with the new order of things, but still retaining the old faith. Wandell went from Nauvoo to Saint Louis, where he successfully engaged
1 Times and Seasons, vol. 5, p. 504. This Charles B. Thompson was subsequently the leader of a faction which gathered at Preparation, Iowa.
2 The manuscript of this journal was lodged in the Historian's Office, and destroyed with other valuable documents in the Herald Office fire of January 5, 1907.
3 Church History, vol. 4, p. 97.
[Smith, 1910: p. 457]
in the local river trade as a steamboat officer. Some few years later he went around Cape Horn to California, and there again met with old-time friends.
In 1846 Samuel Brannon had conducted a colony from New York, setting sail on the good ship Brooklyn and arriving after a long voyage in California where the first "Mormon" colony was founded. Whether or not Charles Wandell was a member of the colony when they started is a matter of conjecture, he rounded the Horn, whether in 1846 or later we are unable to learn; at any rate he became identified with the famous Brannon colony after it was established in California.
About this time (1851) Parley P. Pratt was in California. It was at the time of the great revival and reorganization of the Utah church, and Pratt carried on the good work in California. During this reorganization, it will be remembered that every good Latter Day Saint was expected to be rebaptized. In Pratt's own words, in telling of his success in a letter to Brigham Young, he writes,
We have called together the old members and others, and preached repentance and reformation of life. We have rebaptized many of them, and reorganized the church. 
Wandell was rebaptized  in San Francisco, July 20, 1851, by F. A. Hammond, and the church was reorganized on the day following. Wandell immediately became an efficient and trusted worker in the new church. August 31, 1851, a meeting was held at the home of Barton Morey. Parley P. Pratt, president, Charles W. Wandell, clerk. At this meeting "James Murdock was set apart by the laying on of hands for a mission to South Australia. Charles W. 'Wandell was then reordained
4 Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, page 432.
5 We are indebted for this item, as for many that follow, to Elder George S. Lincoln, historian for Northern California, who has lately done some' careful research among the early records of the Brannon colony.
[Smith, 1910: p. 458]
to the office of apostle, and member of the Quorum of Seventy, and appointed a mission with Elder Murdock." 
We find no record of the date these missionaries sailed from California, but under date of Thursday, October 30, the following item is chronicled in the Church Chronology, published by the Utah church. 
October 30. -- John Murdock and Charles W. Wandell arrived in Sydney, as Latter Day Saint missionaries to Australia, and commenced to preach the Gospel.
And under November
The first meeting by Latter Day Saint Elders in New South Wales,  Australia, was held by Elders John Murdock and Charles W. Wandell at Sydney.
During this mission Charles W. Wandell was successfully kept in ignorance of the true state of affairs in Utah, as is shown by his vigorous appeals against the "misrepresentation" of opponents. He couched his indignation in the following language in a letter to the Sydney Morning Herald, of May 1, 1852, a quotation from which we reprint from the January, 1910, Gospel Standard.
Elder Wandell writes from No. 66 Pitt, Sydney, and says he wishes to reply to an article previously published in the paper "which is calculated to place the Latter Day Saints in a false light before the people and to bring down a torrent of unmerited persecution upon the Saints in this__________
6 Manuscript history of Brannon colony, by Elder George S. Lincoln.
7 Church Chronology, by Andrew Jenson, p. 44.
8 This is a mistake, as William Barrett was sent to Australia by George A. Smith, in 1840 (Bancroft's History of Utah, page 410). Also Times and Seasons, vol. 6, page 980, speaks of "a branch in Australia consisting of nine members organized by Elder Andrew Anderson," who must have been in Australia in 1841, judging from the context of this article.
9 Church Chronology by Andrew Jenson, pp. 44 and 45.
10 Bancroft says that there were thirty-six members in this branch. (Page 410, History of Utah.)
[Smith, 1910: p. 459]
city.... I consider it my duty to reply to the said article and to briefly lay a few facts before your readers.... The church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, like all other religious bodies, is regulated and governed by certain clearly expressed and definitely fixed laws, among which we find the following relating to matrimony." (Quotes from Covenants and Commandments, See. 119, the matter on marriage, one wife" etc.; also Book of Mormon, p. 116, Jacob, Chap. 2, See. 6.) Elder Wandell continues: "I might quote several other passages contained in our sacred records, all of which would show that the Latter Day Saints do not tolerate immoralities of any kind, and especially sexual immoralities: and that no person living in adultery or guilty a f fornication or illegal sexual intercourse of any kind can have place among us. The Latter Day Saints have been constantly reproached from the beginning until now with the grossest kind of abominations. Yet these approaches have been uniformly false; and we have suffered without a cause. On behalf of a reviled and persecuted, yet innocent people. C. W. WANDELL.
And he was sincere, too. Little did he think when he framed this manly defense, that he was defending a false faith and a corrupt people. He believed every word that he wrote, and his letters to the Millennial Star during his Australian ministry reveal this fact and also his ignorance of the conditions that obtained in the mountains
In December, 1852, he writes to Elder Richards, and among other things says: 
There is here a constant influx of Australio-Californians, who are sure to be more or less prejudiced against us by California newspaper stories; and those who are professors of religion are the ones who take the utmost pains to influence the people against us. During my absence at Melbourne, many base lies were told of the Saints in Zion, and with so much plausibility, that I was obliged to return and refute them.... Shut up as we are in this far-off land, cut off from all hasty communication with our brethren in Europe or America, it seems as though we were left almost to our own resources, to fight our way along as best we could.... We are making up a sum for the House of the Lord, which we expect to remit to you per Captain Staynor, unless the way opens before he sails, to forward it direct to Zion.
Elder Wandell carried on A very successful mission in Australia. He was always ambitious and zealous in the accomplishment of the highest good possible. He found time, too, to
11 Millennial Star, vol. 15, p. 220.
[Smith, 1910: p. 460]
write several articles for publication in the Millennial Star. One is an interesting account of gold digging in the Australian colonies. There was much excitement at this time, due to the discovery of gold there, and people flocked from all lands to share these prospects. The picture that Wandell paints of the fate of these gold diggers in their search for wealth is not alluring, and he advises all Saints not to be led away by any exciting stories of the fabulous gold fields there. He closes by contrasting the conditions in Zion, as he dreamed them: 
It would be apposite, in this place, to contrast the beauties and glories of Zion.... I recommend you to think for a few moments of any one company of Saints who have left England for Zion. Follow them in your mind across the Atlantic. They have had some little inconveniences to put up with, but they had the satisfaction of knowing that they were in the way of their duty -- they were going to Zion, as the Lord had commanded. On their arrival in Council Bluffs, they take their overland journey, they experience fatigue to be sure, but they are amazingly supported by the consciousness that they are fulfilling the express commands of God -- they are going to Zion. And when they get to the Vallies who is there to meet them? A parcel of voracious hyenas, who stand open mouthed, ready to devour them, as is the case in Australia? No, but the best, the most honorable, virtuous, kind, and hospitable people that live, are there to welcome them to Zion, to the healthiest country that can be found upon the face of the earth. And when they have exchanged greetings of the holiest, as well as the heartiest kind, and begin to look around them for a home they find a country of surpassing loveliness, inviting them to occupy its richest soils, to quaff its health-inspiring fountains, and to breathe its salubrious atmosphere, and not only salubrious, but free! Ah: free did I say? Yes, they are now indeed free! They are no more the slaves to heartless taskmasters in the factories, coalpits, or what not -- no, they are free! O freedom! sacred to the hearts of Israel's noblest sons and fairest daughters, within Zion's consecrated borders. How sweet it is to breath thy balmy air, to tread thy sacred soil, to drink of thy pure streams of living water, to satisfy our hunger with thy choicest dainties, to feel the consciousness that we are no longer the creatures of others, but that we are God's favored freemen.... Excuse these rapturous expressions but what real Saint can think of Zion, and not feel the irresistible impulses of the heart's deepest, holiest longings to be with that people, to whom be is attached by that threefold cord which is not easily broken?__________
12 Millennial Star, vol. 15, p. 294.
[Smith, 1910: p. 461]
wise counsels, and point them to the best farming localities in the country. And the very day that they settle upon these lands, they are richer by far, than if they were to toil in Australia for a long time.... I want to fit out several missions and then leave this field of labor and return to New York and take my family to Zion.
He had never seen the Zion in the mountains, but in fancy he thought of it constantly, and glory and joy of the dream city filled him with a fierce home longing, and his eyes and heart turned always Zionward. It was with a happy heart and the consciousness of finished work that he set sail upon the 6th day of April, 1853, with a small band of Saints bound for America, on the ship Envelope.
When he arrived is not certain, but he did not go immediately to Salt Lake City. In July, upon the 18th day, 1853, at North Beach, San Francisco, we find he baptized Eliza Evans and Catherine Keney.
Upon the 24th of October, 1854, when the San Francisco Branch was re-organized by Parley P. Pratt, C. W. Wandell's name is recorded as a high priest. November 11, 1855, at a meeting of the branch "brother Wandell being present made some remarks, saying that his business connections with the world had led him to exercise a worldly spirit for the past year or a little over, but his determination then was to renew his covenant, to remove to San Bernardino, and from there to Zion, or wherever he 'might be counseled to go. And as he was a member of this branch of the church he desired a letter of commendation if the branch were so disposed. It was motioned that he... receive letter of commendation." The motion being seconded, it was left for discussion,. and some objections were made to giving Brother Wandell a letter. The objections were first, "that he had not conducted himself according to his own confession in a becoming manner to his profession and standing in the church, and second he had had difficulty in some way with Parley P. Pratt." After considerable discussion, it was considered that nothing of a serious
[Smith, 1910: p. 462]
nature could be brought against him by the branch, and he was granted the letter.
Probably at some time in 1857 he started for Salt Lake City, at any rate we find that he was traveling with a small company in that direction. In the biography of Joseph F. Smith, as published in Latter Day Saints Biographical Encyclopedia, we read the following:
With this outfit the two elders [Smith and Partridge] started down the coast to Santa Cruz County, California, where they joined a company of Saints under the captaincy of Charles W. Wandell, with whom they traveled through the country southward as far as the Mojave River, where Joseph F. and others left the company and made a visit to San Bernardino.... Being under no obligations to continue traveling with Charles W. Wandell's company any further, he engaged to drive a team for George Chrisman, etc. 
Wandell, with his company, continued on their way to Utah, and passed through the southern part of the State just after the terrible Mountain Meadow massacre had taken place. This was his introduction into the glories of Zion, the glamour of the city he had sung and dreamed of faded, and in its place stood the brutal reality, a city gross and material, a den of vice and crime. In bated breath the people told of the horrors inflicted upon them by their leaders unless they obeyed counsel, and Wandell thus at last was privileged to breathe the "freedom" of which he had written so often. But he was not one to condemn quickly and he went to work quietly, but determinedly to get at the facts of the Mountain Meadow affair. The result of his investigations was the amassing of a volume of evidence, which has probably never been exceeded since. He was convinced that Brigham Young was implicated, and he was in the possession of well-nigh insurmountable evidence against him.
These facts he embodied in a clear and logical "Series of Open Letters to Brigham Young," openly charging him with implication in the crime. He had never
13 Latter Day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia.
[Smith, 1910: p. 463]
been able to publish this document, and it was with the rest of his papers turned over to the church after his death, and finally placed with other historical documents in the Historian's Office, where with nearly all of the contents of the Herald Office it was destroyed by fire in 1907. The loss is much to be regretted, as it would have proven interesting and valuable.
He was still in Utah as late as 1862, it is said, but from that time on until the year 1873, history leaves a blank, as far as record goes.
Upon the third day of March, 1873, a. revelation was given to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Reorganized) through their president, Joseph Smith, the son of the Prophet, which in part read,
Let my servants E. C. Brand, Charles W. Wandell, and Duncan Campbell be appointed as special witnesses of the seventy in their places; and let my servants Joseph Lakeman, Glaud Rodger, John T. Davies, and John S. Patterson be also appointed as witnesses of the seventy before me.
The only peculiar thing about this was that at the time of this revelation no such name as Charles W. Wandell was on the church records, and the man was unknown to the church in the East. Charles Wesley Wandell was in fact not a member of the church at the time this revelation was given, and he presents the anomaly of being the only man ever called to take a place in the church before he was a member. Upon the day following this revelation in the East, and altogether ignorant of its reception, Wandell became a member of the San Francisco Branch, being received on his original baptism, March 4, 1873.
This peculiar circumstance is one of the wonderful things that has inspired latter day Israel.
He was rebaptized July 6, 1873, to satisfy some objections
14 Doctrine and Covenants 117: 8.
[Smith, 1910: p. 464]
made to the original baptism. The rite was performed by Elder Glaud Rodger, and he was confirmed by Elders Glaud Rodger, Hervey Green, and John Roberts. His name was not reported to the church recorder as a member until some three months after he was called.
Alexander H. Smith writes to the Herald, volume 22, page 22, the following:
On my return to San Francisco, having notified Brother Wandell of my instructions,  I met him and did, on the 22d day  of August, 1873, ordain him to the office of an especial witness in the Quorum of Seventies, in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Brother John Roberts, being witness thereto.
Elder Wandell immediately entered the active missionary field and at different times thereafter he wrote letters to the Herald. Below are extracts from some of them showing the extent of his labors. 
15 Moved by Elder E. C. Briggs and George H. Hilliard that Charles W. Wandell be ordained a seventy in the place of Elder William D. Morton. Carried. -- Conference Minutes, Saints' Herald, vol. 20, p. 290.
16 He was also received by vote into the First Quorum of Seventy upon the 12th day of April, 1873. A license was issued to him, September 6, 1873, by J. C. Crabb, president pro tern, and F. Reynolds, secretary, by order of the September conference at Council Bluffs, in 1873, and by order of the First Quorum of Seventy. The date of Wandell's ordination is given on the church record as the 23d of August, 1873, but as both in his letter written to the Herald at the time, and a memorandum made in his private journal, Alexander H. Smith gives the date as the 22d, we think it to be correct.
17 Saints' Herald, vol. 20, 1). 524.
[Smith, 1910: p. 465]
There is much less luke-warmness and division among the Saints than I expected to find.... I leave here to-day for Stockton.
His labors were reported to the fall conference of the Pacific coast, which convened at G. A. R. Hall, in San Francisco, California, October 5, at 10 a. m.
Dear Brethren: At the special conference, held at San Francisco on the 5th to 7th of July last, the undersigned were appointed to labor in the field, as the way might open and the Spirit direct.__________
18 Saints' Herald, vol. 20, p. 551.
[Smith, 1910: p. 466]
in Monterey County. Upon our entrance upon our labors there, the prospect was discouraging; but we persevered in faith, and preached fully thirty discourses; and baptized and confirmed twenty-four persons; blessed eleven children; ordained two priests; one teacher, one deacon, and organized the San Benito Branch of the church.
from JWHA Monograph Series No. 1 (1992) pp. 39-51
... At a conference in San Bernardino early in 1856, Wandell was called to serve under the presidency of George Q. Cannon and labored as a proselyting missionary in northern California until late 1857.... Eventually, when the recall occasioned by the approach of Johnston's Army saw the general sellout in San Bernardino, Wandell was appointed captain of a company of fifty-two traveling to Utah. They left San Bernardino on 2 November 1857... and passed through southern Utah a few months after the Mountain Meadows massacre; Wandell actually spent three days in the home of John D. Lee early in February 1858. [80 Robert Glass Cleland and Juanita Brooks. eds., A Mormon Chronicle: The Diaries of John D. Lee, 1848-1876 vol, 1... 147.]
[Newton, 1992: p. 41]
...Wandell's first venture in Utah Territory was a school in Beaver. At a concert and dance held in Beaver on 18 August 1858, it was reported that 'the school children, under the care of Professor C. W. Wandell, formed a conspicuous part' of the entertainment.... By 1862 Wandell's 'Provo Seminary' was the subject of a news item in the Millennial Star...
Wandell, described on the 1860 census as a farmer, became active in civic affairs. He was elected notary public for Beaver County in January 1859 and was thrice elected to the territorial legislature as the representative for Beaver County (1859, 1860, and 1863). As a legislator, he served on many committees, at least once as chairman pro tem of the Committee on Education.... He also claimed to have been elected U.S. commissioner for Utah on 5 February 1861 and to be
[Newton, 1992: p. 42]
a federal magistrate... a testimonial written by George L. Woods in Salt Lake City as late as 1873 identified him as "Judge' Wandell.... he was appointed one of 162 U.S. commissioners for the Union Pacific Railroad, a joint government and private enterprise venture. Wandell and the other commissioners had the responsibility of watching the government's interests in the project....
The Argus LettersDuring the 1860s Charles Wandell collected an enormous volume of evidence relating to the Mountain Meadows massacre. This was a tragic episode in which members of an emigrant wagon train bound for California were murdered in southern Utah by Mormons and Indians... [a] massacre, in which every adult and every child old enough to give evidence was slain.... the massacre was and remains what Wandell called it, "a foul blot" on the history of Utah and the LDS Church. Wandell began to amass evidence which, he was convinced, showed that Brigham Young had ordered the massacre....
[Newton, 1992: p. 43]
... [Wandell wrote] a series of open letters to the church president published under the pseudonym "Argus" in the Corinne Utah Reporter in July and August 1871...
Wandell's open letters attracted a considerable amount of attention, reaching a wider audience when they were substantially republished in T. B. H. Stenhouse's Rocky Mountain Saints two years later. After a detailed reconstruction of the massacre according to the information he had, Wandell concluded with a forthright indictment of Brigham Young.
No inquest was held over the remains of those slaughtered ones... no arrests were made of the murderers, although they were well and notoriously known, and ... no official notice was taken of the matter... during the remainder of your term as Governor.... As you were at that time the Chief Magistrate of Utah, [the American people] have the right to demand why you took no official steps to inquire into that sanguinary affair which is the shame and damning disgrace of your administration.... It is a foul blot upon the workings of our system of American jurisprudence that the Mountain Meadow Massacre should have been committed nearly sixteen years ago. and to this present writing you, and Lee, and Dame, and Haight, are at large, and come and go unquestioned by the proper authority... As a Mormon, I demand of the proper authorities that this long-neglected affair be investigated, in order that the innocent may no longer suffer that reproach which belongs to Brigham Young and others only. [94 ...Stenhouse,... 1874): 453-455. Italics in original.]
Although Wandell's records of his investigations perished in the Herald Publishing House fire in 1907 and cannot be checked with later research for accuracy, it can easily be seen that he was in a favorable position to amass such information. He passed near the site of the massacre as he led a company of Saints from San
[Newton, 1992: p. 44]
Bernardino to Utah between November 1857 and January 1858, within weeks of the tragedy. As they passed from town to town, he later alleged, he and George Q. Cannon "both knew from the statements of the bretheren [sic] in Southern Utah that it was Governor Brigham Young's militia that did the job." [95 Charles W. Wandell to William Geddes, Sydney, Australia (21 August 1874), copy in Charles W. Wandell to Joseph Smith III (26 September 18741, Henry A. Stebbins Papers, Reorganized Church Library-Archives.] As president of the Deseret Agricultural and Manufacturing Society for Beaver and Iron counties during 1860, he traveled through the southern settlements promoting the society, even accepting John D. Lee's hospitality in the course of his rounds. [96 Cleland and Brooks, A Mormon Chronicle, 253-254.] Ironically, he Is also recorded as a speaker at a church conference in Parowan in March 1860, on the same program as William H. Dame and Isaac B. Haight, two of the men widely suspected of having been implicated in the massacre. [97 Journal History of the Church (1 March 1860).]
Another possible source of Wandell’s information has now been disproved. Juanita Brooks and Robert G. Cleland noted the connection between Charles W. Wandell and one of his Australian converts, James McKnight, who, they stated, served as clerk to Apostle George A. Smith during his official church investigation of the massacre. [98. Cleland and Brooks, A Mormon Chronicle, 1. 319, 323] Many years later, according to Brooks and Cleland, during McKnight's long service as bishop of Minersville Ward, he was excommunicated for apostasy -- apostasy possibly resulting, they stated, from knowledge of the massacre gained during the investigation. [99. Ibid., 323. Brooks included a similar statement in her John Doyle Lee: Zealot --Pioneer -- Builder—Scapegoat, 245] Brooks and Cleland were mistaken; the James McKnight who acted as clerk for the Mountain Meadows investigation was not the Scottish-born McKnight who... served faithfully as bishop of Minersville...
[Newton, 1992: p. 45]
Cleland and Brooks also state that John D. Lee believed it was the publication of Wandell's 'Argus' letters that led to his own excommunication. [101 Cleland and Brooks. A Mormon Chronicle, 319] However, Lee could not have blamed the "Argus" letters for his excommunication, as, according to his own diary, Lee was excommunicated in October 1870 and the "Argus' letters were not published until the following July and August. It is more likely that by 1870, Wandell, already classed as an apostate, [102 Journal History of the Church (30 January 1870)...] was actively campaigning for legal action in regard to the massacre and this may have helped bring about the church court action. Certainly his "Argus" letters, given worldwide circulation in Stenhouse's book, may have helped bring about Lee's eventual arrest, trials, and execution. If so, Wandell never knew. He died halfway across the world six months before Lee's first trial and a full two years before his execution.
As his Interest in the massacre increased during the 1860s, Charles Wandell grew steadily more disaffected. In his later correspondence with leaders of the Reorganized Church, Wandell told Alexander Smith, "I have not been an advocate of or apologist for Brigham Young's authority since 1860, [103 Charles W. Wandell to Alexander H. Smith, San Juan, California (31 July 1873), Henry A. Stebbins Papers, Reorganized Church Library-Archives.] in a letter to Joseph III, he gave 1864 as the date for his "break" with Brigham Young, after which, Wandell asserted, a "conspiracy" started against him, so he resigned from the LDS Church. In that year Wandell apparently was disfellowshipped for prospecting. [104 Charles W. Wandell to Joseph Smith III (26 September 1874).] ...
[Newton, 1992: p. 46]
... In view of Wandell's antipathy to polygamy and theocracy, his Interest in prospecting, and the publication of his letters in the Corinne Utah Reporter, it might seem logical to find Wandell associated with the Godbeites. However, no trace of any such association has been found beyond Stenhouse's republication of the "Argus" letters in Rocky Mountain Saints....
Wandell removed himself and his family from Utah in July 1866. [111. Charles W. Wandell to Joseph Smith III (26 September 1874).] settling in Pioche, Lincoln County, Nevada, where he remained for the next four-and-a-half years. Here, he alleged, a vicious rumor circulated that he had himself taken part in the Mountain Meadows
[Newton, 1992: p. 47]
massacre, the site of which was less than fifty miles from Pioche. Wandell was certain the rumor was started by Young or his "creatures"... [112. C. W. Wandell to Joseph Smith III (26 September 1874), 3.]
On 1 January 1873 Wandell left his Nevada home, telling Ms wife and family he had a fight to make with Brigham Young. "It was a mission which I had to fulfill, and... I was determined to do it," he recalled later. [113 Charles W. Wandell to Joseph Smith 111, Turlock, California (25 May 1873). Henry A. Stebbins Papers, Reorganized Church Library-Archives.] With the full support of his Wife, [114 Charles W. Wandell to Alexander H. Smith (31 July 1873)] and references from some leading citizens of Pioche, Wandell headed for Salt Lake City on the first leg of what he intended to be a lecture tour of the United States. In Salt Lake City he delivered two public lectures, naming Brigham Young as being responsible for the Mountain Meadow horror." [115 Charles W. Wandell to Joseph Smith III (25 May 1873).] After waiting in vain for a public denial by Young, Wandell left Salt Lake City on 17 February for San Francisco, where he intended to publish a book that would contain the "Argus" letters...
[Newton, 1992: p. 48]
... Wandell attended the San Francisco conference on 4 March 1873 and was invited to join the Reorganization... which he did... He was accepted on his original 1837 baptism
[Newton, 1992: p. 51]
..."I take it you have a field of labor laid out for me," he wrote. [127 Charles W. Wandell to Joseph Smith III, San Francisco (21 April 1873), Henry A. Stebbins Papers, Reorganized Church Library- Archives.] However, he was still hopeful of raising funds to publish his book. "My book deals heavy blows at Brigham, but it considers him as an unprincipled apostate from the system of religion taught by Joseph; and for which said system is not responsible," he told Joseph's son. [128 Charles W. Wandell to Joseph Smith III (15 April 1873).] He sent Joseph III >font color=maroon>the proposed title page: "The Argus letters: A Free and Complete History of the Massacre at the Mountain Meadow. Brigham Young's Treasonable Administration in Utah Reviewed: and His 'Revelation' Commanding Polygamy and Human Sacrifices, and Establishing the Doctrines of the 'One-Man-Power,' and Nullity of Gentile Oaths, Critically Examined and Refuted by C. W. Wandell. Ex-United States Commissioner for Utah."
By the end of May Wandell had given up the idea of publishing without Smith's approval. "There are a number of Utah seceders here.... These parties are frightened at the idea of the book being published here, as it will perhaps create some excitement, which might work them an injury in business," he explained. [129 Charles W. Wandell to Joseph Smith 111, San Francisco (30 May 1870 [sic 1873). Henry A. Stebbins Papers. Reorganized Church Library-Archives.] Joseph III had ordered a copy when Wandell first told him of the proposed publication, but later he worried that Wandell was likely to lose money on the venture.... If Wandell had hoped for official RLDS Church backing -- and perhaps funds -- to publish his book, he was disappointed....
Copyright © 2002 by University of Oklahoma Press
2. "Wandell's Lecture," Salt Lake Tribune, 31 January 1873, 3/3.
3. Wandell to Joseph Smith III, 26 September 1874, Typescript, Community of Christ Archives, 2.
[Bagley, 2002: p. 269]
Argus painted a dramatic picture of the condition of the Fancher train as it passed through Utah. He claimed Eleanor Pratt identified one or more members of the party in Salt Lake and charged they had been present at Parley Pratt's murder. Even while camped in the city, the company was weary and footsore and "their work cattle nearly 'used up' by the labors of the long and toilsome journey." Brigham Young ordered the emigrants "to leave their camp at the Jordan with almost empty wagons," and by the time they reached Mountain Meadows their supplies were nearly exhausted. Argus blamed the hostility the outsiders encountered on the territorial governor, whose duty it was to protect them. Far from being protected, the Arkansans "were ordered to break up their camp and move on; and it is said that written instructions were sent on before them, directing the people in the settlements to have nothing to do with them." The emigrants would not have faced certain death by starvation as Argus claimed, but at Mountain Meadows they had only forty days' rations for the seventy-day journey to San Bernardino. 
The Reporter's letters directly challenged Brigham Young. Wandell had been disfellowshipped from the LDS church in 1864 for prospecting. When he moved to Nevada in July 1866, Young's "creatures" circulated reports at Pioche that Wandell was a veteran of Mountain Meadows, and they later charged that he wrote the Argus articles to exonerate himself. Although he realized the Mormons would never forgive him, Wandell hoped his friends would "not suffer Brigham Young to altogether overwhelm [him] with calumnies and to destroy [him] simply because he thinks he can."  In addition to writing articles, Wandell gave a series of lectures, including a January 1873 speech to some three hundred people in Salt Lake. Faithful Mormons in the audience could not believe Brigham Young was responsible for the massacre. But Wandell did and continued to challenge Young to answer his charges in public. His letters contained a strange mix of truth and fiction, and some of his stories appear to be based on intentional falsehoods fed to him by Mormon authorities. Even western newspapermen found that Wandell's bitterness often led to "exaggerations not exactly truthful, and thr[e]w suspicion on [his] reliability." 
While flawed and sometimes suspect, Wandell's research was often surprisingly accurate, even though many Americans simply could not believe the bizarre story and disturbing details of the massacre. Yet Wandell's relentless pursuit of the truth eventually produced the first confession by a participant, and the interrogation he conducted as Argus put before the public a host of questions Brigham Young would never answer.
AS SUDDENLY AS A WELL-DRILLED REGIMENT: THE NEW STORYAs public attention again focused on Mountain Meadows, the subject hounded the LDS church, from its general authorities to its rank-and-file missionaries. In the public mind Mormon Participation in mass murder was a stubborn fact. The tales added credibility to anti-Mormon claims that the church engaged in the systematic
4. Stenhouse, The Rocky Mountain Saints, 431-34; and Stenhouse, Tell It All, 326.
5. Wandell to Joseph Smith III, 26 September 1874, Typescript, Community of Christ Archives, 2.
6. "Wandell's Lecture," Salt Lake Tribune, 31 January 1873, 3/3; Carson State Register, 12 February 1871, 2/4, referencing an 11 February 1871 issue of the Utah Reporter that is no longer available.
[Bagley, 2002: p. 270]
assassination of its enemies. As one Montanan asked, if the Saints "would murder people by the hundred and more, might we not very reasonably believe they would murder a single individual?" 
It is impossible to determine exactly what drove the LDS church to change its policy, but as the 1860s drew to a close there was no doubt church leaders faced mounting pressure to account for the murders at Mountain Meadows. Territorial delegate William Hooper allegedly swore to several senators that no Mormon had anything to do with the massacre, and he employed journalists to write the Latter-day Saint version of the story. Journalist J. H. Beadle, sometime editor of the Corrine Reporter, wrote that in about 1865 the Saints grudgingly began to admit that "a few reprobate whites were engaged -- men of no standing in the community."  As late as November 1869, Brigham Young, Jr., publicly defended the story that the massacre was simply an Indian affair. He retold the poison story and added new details to the evil emigrant tales for a Philadelphia newspaper. "That is the history of the 'Mountain Meadow Massacre,... Brigham Young, Jr., insisted, "for which we have always received the blame." 
An entertainer named Sinclair commented on Mountain Meadows at the Salt Lake Theatre in November 1869. Nothing in her lecture offended the audience, the Deseret News commented, but simple justice demanded the facts be stated correctly. News editor and Apostle George Q. Cannon repeated the old story that the Arkansas company was hostile to the Indians and poisoned an ox at Corn Creek and probably poisoned the spring. Ten Paiutes died, and the survivors rallied their neighbors to attack the emigrants at Cane Spring. Cannon had known the truth for more than a decade, but he claimed the citizens from Cedar City heard rumors of a battle but arrived too late to help. Brigham Young later offered to use every effort "to sift the matter to the uttermost, and discover the guilty ones," but the story justified keeping troops in Utah. Cannon claimed Young and the people had always "been ready to give every aid in their power to have this occurrence rigidly examined." 
Cannon's December 1869 article was the last official LDS attempt to deny Mormon involvement in the massacre. Such crude dismissals failed to persuade even the LDS people, for most of them had long known the truth. Convert John MacNeil warned his parents in Scotland early in i874 not to believe stories in the church newspaper, for "there has been & is Lies told in the Millennial Star." He complained, "We was told in the Millennial Star that the Mountain Meadow Massacre was Committed by Indians but It is known by Everybody here to have been done by Mormons'" Brigham Young called it "a heartless butchery but harbors the very Men that did it and there is One if Not More of them Bishops'"  Pressure from outside Utah probably had little effect on Mormon leaders, but questions from loyal church members and the probing revelations of internal dissenters like the Godbeites convinced Brigham Young the official he could stand no longer.
7. Joseph C. Walker, History of the Mormons in the Early Days of Utah, 58.
8. Beadle, Western Wilds, 503, 514.
9. "A Second Interview with Brigham Young, Jr.," Philadelphia Morning Post, 1 November 1869, 1/4.
10. "Mountain Meadow Massacre," Deseret Weekly News, 1 December 1869, 3/1-3. Brooks, Mountain Meadows Massacre, 213, identified Cannon as the article's author, but the text is derived from a George A. Smith letter. As noted, Cannon had learned in 1858 that Mormons "did the job." See Newton, Hero or Traitor, 44, 81n95.
11. Buchanan, A Good Time Coming, 181.
[Bagley, 2002: p. 271]
The Salt Lake Tribune later noted the policy change. "For twelve years their voice was one of indignant denial that any Mormons were engaged in the affair. [After a few hesitating admissions, in 1871] the whole Mormon people changed front as suddenly as a well-drilled regiment," the paper noted caustically. LDS newspapers had furiously denounced the Tribune for accusing Mormons, but the denunciations were now aimed at Haight, Higbee, and Lee. "The defense they then had for all the Mormons they now reserve for Brigham Young and the heads of the Church," the Tribune noted. "If they were so badly mistaken in the former case, is it not just possible that they are mistaken as to Brigham's innocence?" 
THE ONLY MAN WHO WOULD STAND IN THE GAP: THE SCAPEGOATErastus Snow, southern Utah's senior church official, had long been forced to deal with the consequences of Mountain Meadows. In 1870 he reported the massacre had created a new crisis, but the cause of this crisis is not known. A Snow family tradition told that when the apostle gave him the bad news, Brigham Young said, "Oh God! Now it will start again." 
As Brigham Young realized he could no longer defend Lee, he began to cut his ties to his adopted son. During one of Young's I870 trips to southern Utah, he apparently convened a summit meeting to discuss what to do about the massacre problem. Thomas Judd witnessed a meeting in I870 with Haight, Dame, Nephi Johnson, George A. Smith, Daniel Wells, Jacob Hamblin, Brigham Young, and John D. Lee. Judd did not recall what took place, except "the whole matter was heard in toto."  Mormon chronicler Josiah Rogerson reported that Young called Haight, Lee, and Dame to St. George "for a full hearing and investigation of the whole matter and to find out who was the person that led and brought about the fearful tragedy." Rogerson claimed Lee "was heard in his own behalf to the fullest extent, and was then and there found to be the one most guilty" There is, however, no documentary evidence to indicate that such a church trial ever took place. Rogerson was soft on specific details, dating the hearing to both 1868 and 1870, and he represented the vague memories of his informants as fact. 
At this time a mysterious rumor claimed that an 1857 letter containing Brigham Young's orders for the massacre had surfaced. The tale appears connected to the church's renewed attention to Lee. Charles Wandell charged that Lee could produce written proof that he had simply executed orders at Mountain Meadows, acting as a subordinate officer under Young's command. Argus claimed Lee was heard to say in January 1871 that Young "offered him $5,000 for that fatal order."  Other anti-Mormon sources said Young offered Lee $4,000 for the letter, while the faithful insisted it was a forgery created by Lee to blackmail the Mormon president. 
The story told in Lee's journals is certainly incomplete. According to the journals, Lee met Brigham Young at Beaver in February 1870 and sat with him during church
12. Salt Lake Tribune, 27 July 1875, cited in Dwyer, The Gentile Comes to Utah, 100-1.
13. Morgan to Brooks, 7 September 1942, Box 1, Folder 1, Brooks Papers, Marriott Library.
14. Rogerson to J. H. Smith, 22 May 1911, Mountain Meadows File, Folder 21, LDS Archives.
15. Rogerson, "The Guilt of John D. Lee," Mountain Meadows File, LDS Archives, 9.
16. Argus, "Lee and the Mountain Meadow Massacre," Carson State Register, 12 February 1871, 2/4, quoting from an 11 February 1871 issue of the Utah Reporter.
17. The "forged letter" story is told in several variations in the Caroline Party Woolley Collection. Southern Utah University.
[Bagley, 2002: p. 272]
services. The prophet privately advised Lee to sell his Utah holdings and move south. With his farms and families prospering, Lee failed to heed the advice. Young returned south in September, and Lee joined his entourage as a commissioner to locate a road to the Colorado River with explorer John Wesley Powell, Dimick Huntington, and William Dame. If a hearing was held to assign blame for the massacre, it probably took place at about this time, but Lee wrote nothing about it in his diary. While the party camped on the Kanab River, Young gave Lee "some kind Fatherly council." He advised Lee to move his family across the Colorado, where he could "Enjoy Peace the balance of [his] days." Young repeated his advice that Lee move south. Lee said, "By the help of the Lord I will try & Make a Move in that direction." A guard interrupted the conversation at that moment, and Lee was sent with messages to Kanab....
Wilford Woodruff's journal confirms that Lee was excommunicated on October 8, 1870. The twelve apostles unanimously "Cut off Isaac Haight, John D. Lee & [George] Wood for Commtting a great Sin & they were not to have the Privilege of Returning again to the Church again in this life."...
[Bagley, 2002: p. 273]
... A curious tale apparently was crafted to help Lee disappear. In February 1871 Argus announced, "John D. Lee is dead!" The story claimed Lee's body had been found at Grapevine Springs. Argus denounced the murder as another vile assassination of a man of rare courage by Brigham Young, adding more evidence of his complicity at Mountain Meadows.  This odd story suggests that Charles Wandell, whose articles were a mix of fact, folklore, and propaganda, was occasionally a conduit for misinformation from well-placed Mormons.
28. Argus, "Lee and the Mountain Meadow Massacre," Carson State Register, 12 February, 1871, 2/4, quoting from an 11 February 1871 issue of the Utah Reporter.
[Bagley, 2002: p. 275]
ACTS OF HOSTILITY: KLINGENSMITH CONFESSESThe gaunt figure of "Philip Klingon Smith" appeared before the clerk of the Seventh judicial District Court of the State of Nevada on April 10, 1871. He swore out an account of the massacre at Mountain Meadows in which a participant finally described what had happened to the Fancher party in 1857 with reasonable honesty.
Of all the officials involved in the affair, only Klingensmith had voluntarily left the LDS church. A horse kicked him and fractured his skull in 1858, and the next year George A. Smith released him as bishop. He began wandering the remote settlements, helping to establish Toquerville and Adventure, living in Pocketville and Rockville, and hiding in the mountains with Lee. Klingensmith Joined Jacob Hamblin's 1863 expedition to open a wagon road to the Little Colorado and gather the Hopi Indians under what Brigham Young called "the wings of Israel's Eagles." He answered a call to settle the desolate country of the Muddy River, but by 1870 Klingensmith had abandoned Mormonism and settled near Bullionville, Nevada. 
The Salt Lake Tribune later claimed Klingensmith exposed "the butchery at Mountain Meadows more for self-protection than anything else." He allegedly quarreled with his son, "Bud" who pointed him out to the people of Hiko, Nevada, during winter 1867 -- Wandell, serving as a local judge, warned him that his son had implicated him and helped to hurry him out of town. Klingensmith said he had told his story to Wandell but no one else before making his statement. For years he carried an 1871 letter from US. Attorney George Caesar Bates offering him a presidential pardon if he would testify against his fellow murderers.  ...
29. Backus, Mountain Meadows Witness, 177, 181, 188-89, 191, 196-97, 203, 214, 220
30. "Klingensmith... Murdered by Mormons," Salt Lake Tribune, 4 August 1881, 2/3; "Remarks on the Lee Trial," Salt Lake Tribune, 29 July 1875, 4/3; Brooks and Cleland, eds., Mormon Chronicle, 1:319n17.
The "Argus" Letters
Links to Related Sources
History of Lincoln County, Nevada (1881)
It was in the winter of 1863-64, when the Indians were cold and hungry, that an Indian went to Wm. Hamlin, at Meadow Valley, and offered to show him mines for a consideration. In this way the famous Panaca Ledge was found. Hamlin, although he had worked in placer diggings years before, knew nothing about silver ores, so he went to Salt Lake City with his specimens and showed them to Governor Reed. They were examined and approved by General Connor and others, and then expeditions were fitted out and sent to the Meadow Valley mines. The first, headed by J. M. Vandermark and Stephen Sherwood, reached the mines in April, 1864, and after making some locations proceeded to form " Meadow Valley Mining District." Up to this time Brigham Young had resisted all attempts to prospect in Utah for the precious metals, and generally with success. This time, however, he and the Mormons were taken by surprise, and in order to get the balance of power in the district they suddenly turned miners, and Erastus Snow, the Mormon High Priest of southern Utah, came from St. George, accompanied by a host of "saints," and proceeded immediately upon their arrival to locate the country. As Sherwood, who was the Recorder of the District, had returned to Salt Lake, taking with him the records, Snow formed a new mining district, and the second expedition, under C. W. Wandell, having arrived, they united with each other in locating mines and making laws for the new district....
p. 478: "District Attorneys"
William H. Clipperton, appointed May 27, 1867; Chas. S. Colton, elected Nov. 3, 1868, did not qualify; C. W. Wandell, January 16, 1869; G. S. Sawyer, elected November 8, 1870,
p. 479: "County Surveyors"
Charles Schenk, appointed April 22, 1867; S. R. Nichols, elected November 3, 1868, did not qualify; C. W. Wandell, appointed April 5, 1869... a claim surveyed February 7, 1872, by CW Wandell, deputy surveyor of Lincoln County, State of Nevada...
The Life and Times of Joseph Fish, Mormon Pioneer (1970)
...Charles W. Wandell became one of the most conspicuous for a time. He came to the front at once. He went to the Legislature, and was very prominent at all church and political affairs, but soon apostatized and turned to be a bitter enemy of the Saints. Men that try to climb so fast soon fall...
The Inter Ocean, (Chicago, IL) Thursday, June 17, 1875
Vol. IV. No. 73
People and Things
A San Francisco paper says the "Josephite" branch of the Mormon Church announce the recent death of Elder Charles Wesley Wandell, at Sydney, New South Wales. This Elder was extensively known some years ago on the Pacific coast, both as a missionary and writer in the interest of Brigham Young's Mormonism. Wandell appears to have been a conscientious disciple, for when he saw the bones of the victims of the Mountain Meadows massacre bleaching on the prairie, his heart sickened against Brigham Young, and he gradually traveled away from him into what is conventionally termed "apostacy." He was a man of good education and plucky as a writer. After he left Brigham's church he addressed to him twenty "open letters," which were published in the Corrine (Utah) Reporter, reviewing the Prophet's life, and charging home upon him the responsibility of that dreadful crime -- the massacre of over 120 Gentile emigrants. The Saints in Southern Utah made Wandell's residence among them very uncomfortable, and he went over the boundary line into southern Nevada, where he was well and favorably known. It was through his labors that Bishop Klingnon Smith was induced to make the confession of his part in the Mountain Meadows massacre, which subsequently led to the apprehension of John D. Lee and Bishop Dame, and to the indictment of about twenty leading Mormons. Wandell claimed to be in possession of evidence to convict Brigham Young and his two councilors of ordering that massacre, and only awaited an opportunity before a court to produce that evidence. Whether he has left that evidence in such shape as to be of service in the trial of Lee next month is unknown. He was to have been called upon in the trial, but he is now beyond the reach of earthly tribunals, and Brigham, Smith, and Wells will no doubt rejoice in his departure.
New York Herald May 17, 1877
Letter from William H. Wandell, Greenpoint, New York
The Eastern friends and relatives of Judge C. W. Wandell, of Utah, are apprehensive that he has been "taken off" by Brigham Young's satellites, the Danites, in revenge for a scathing lecture on the Mountain Meadows Massacre, delivered by him at Salt Lake City, in the Liberal Institute, on the evening of January 30, 1873, a full account of which appeared in the columns of the Herald on the 10th of the following month. During the delivery of the lecture, Brigham Young and the leaders of the Mormon Church were directly charged by Judge Wandell with being the real instigators of the massacre. This was indeed bearding the lion in his den. An old lady who had spent a score of years among the Mormons and knew Brigham well, after reading the Herald's account of the lecture, turned to the writer of the article and remarked that that of itself was enough to seal the fate of a dozen such men as Judge Wandell was.
DISAPPEARANCE OF THE JUDGE.Since that time but few letters have been received from him, the last being dated San Francisco, November 6 of the same year, just as he was about to leave that city for some point not designated, being addressed to a sisrer in Brooklyn, E. D. Whether his family were with him is not known. It was afterward, through Mormon sources learned that he went to Sidney, Australia, where it is said, he died in May, 1875. The Sidney Register, however has been thoroughly searched by Mr. J. H. Williams, the United States Consul, at the solictation of his (the Judge's) relatives, without finding his name. Neither was it entered on the Consul's books of the arrivals of American citizens, who always report at his office. Indeed, not the slightest clew has been found that he ever went there at all.
VICTIMS TO MORMON WRATH.Since the publication of John D. Lee's confessions, Judge Wandell's friends and kindred have come to the conclusion that he and his friends have fallen victims to the wrath of the Mormon despot, being followed (if they ever left San Francisco alive) by Brigham's human bloodhounds and hunted to death.
Judge Wandell was an old resident of both Nevada and Utah, and had for a number of years held numerous positions of trust both under the Territorial and General Governments. He had been engaged for several years in ferreting out the real authors of the massacre, with a view to bring them to justice, notwithstanding the warning of friends and the scowling of Brigham himself. He was also the author of the famous "Open Letters," signed "Argus," addressed to Brigham Young, in which he solemnly charged him with the whole responsibility of the slaughter of the emigrants. These letters were inserted in Stenhouse's "Rocky Mountain Saints," published a year or two ago. No wonder, then, that Brigham wanted him out of the way.
The Inter Ocean, (Chicago, IL) Thursday, June 4, 1881
A Mormon Crime.
Interview with Jerome P. Cross,
a Deputy Marshal when John D. Lee
... In his North American Review article, George Q. Cannon reiterates a broad denial, which Mormon leaders have frequently felt it necessary to make, of the complicity of Mormon leaders in the famous Mountain Meadow massacre...
says Mr. Cross... I was at that time, in 1875, a deputy United States marshal under George R. Maxwell, and I remember some things that became known to me while discharging my duties as Deputy Marshal... on the first [Lee] trial... These witnesses were Mormons, and, as I said, mone of them could be found. I searched the country over, not only the Territory of Utah, but in Arizona... On the second trial, however, all of this was changed, and we had no trouble in finding the same witnesses...
One of the most important witnesses for the prosecution, and one whom we had been utterly unable to get, Philip Klingensmith, was a Mormon bishop at Cedar City at the time of the massacre. Klingensmith left the country soon after the massacre and was hid away, and it is reported that he suffered great remorse for the crime which he had helped to commit, and that at the same time he had made a full confession of his connection and that of other Mormon leaders with the massacre, and had made an effort to give this to the public, but that it had been suppressed by the Mormon leaders. When we were getting ready for the second trial we were put on the track of Klingensmith and told where we could find him. I started for him, traveling seventy miles by railroad, then 200 by stage into Arizona, and then secured horses and a buggy and followed him until I found him in San Bernardino... He finally concluded to go with me, and our journey home to Utah was in many respects a remarkable one, and was an experience which I hope never to pass through again. He was tormented until nearly crazy; ot would seem at some times by fear of violence which he said would be visited upon him by Mormons if he returned to give evidence in this case.... Klingensmith... in his delirium, told the story of the massacre, and protested his sorrow for carrying out the part which he did at the orders of George A. Smith, and many times repeated the statement that George A. Smith had these orders direct from Brigham Young, and gave them to Klingensmith and other Danites in the name of Brigham Young. I finally got Klingensmith to court, which had been kept waiting twelve days for my return... [further details on Sumner Howard -- a missing John D. Lee confession -- Mormon bribery, etc.]
The Steelville Mirror, (Steelville, MO) March ?, 1879
A Strange Experience.
Survivor of the Mountain Meadow Massacre.
There resides at Oak Hill in this county, a man by the name of Wm. Garrett, who has a remarkable history as one of the few survivors of the terrible Mountain Meadow Massacre, in Sept., 1857.... [description of Garrett's survival of a massacre, life with the Indians, etc. -- perhaps a survivor of some other massacre of that period, and not of the MMM]
Corinne Daily Reporter, Oct. 19, 1871
The Corinne Reporter has a contributor who signs himself "Argus," who for some months has occasionally discussed the Mormon question with a candor unusual, and a vim and force more effective than often displayed by either party on this exciting topic. This apostate Mormon, for such he evidently is, has given Brigham Young's dynasty some of the most telling blows it has ever received. -- Carson Register.
This ablest of all writers on Utah will shortly publish in book form, a history of Mormonism, which will be, in fact, the only genuine narrative on that subject.
Corinne Daily Reporter, Sept. 14, 1872
... New York, Sept. 14. -- The fact that the Mountain Meadow Massacre was Mormon work, is fully confessed in an affidavit of Philip Klingen Smith, now of Lincoln county, Nevada. Smith says [he], at the time a Mormon bishop, at Cedar City, Utah, was forced to muster with a militia regiment, perpetrating the crime, that the assailed party, after four days fight, were induced to lay down their arms under promise of protection, after which all were shot down by the Mormon militia, except seventeen young children who were taken in charge by Smith and saved. The affidavit gives particulars and carries conviction to its truth.
Note: The first national news of the 1871 Klingensmith affidavit came in the form of a short Associated Press release, dated "Salt Lake City, September 4th," which merely said: "New and exciting testimony has been obtained with regard to the memorable Mountain Meadow massacre. The documents will be sent to the Department of Justice at Washington..." Other AP telegraphic bulletins from Salt Lake City followed, including one dated Sept. 13th, which reported: "An affidavit by one of the least guilty among the participants in the affair, showing conclusively that the terrible Mountain Meadow massacre was the act of the Mormon authorities, has been made here... the deponent is Phillip Smith, who was at the time of the massacre the Mormon Bishop of Cedar City..." Both the New York Times and the New York Herald published the entire Klingensmith affidavit in their issues of Sept. 14th, but a rival paper, the New York Tribune appears to have scooped them by printing the text on Sept. 11th. Strangely enough, although the news report originated in Salt Lake City, the Tribune there did not run Klingensmith's statement until Sept. 23rd.
Salt Lake Daily Herald Sept. 14, 1872
... [James W.] Simonton, chief of the associated press bureau in New York, sends a telegram west over his own signature, charging the Mormon people with the Mountain Meadow massacre, on the alleged confession of one Smith, now in Lincoln county, Nevada. This Smith, by Simonton's showing, is either a murderer or a perjured scoundrel, and in either case is amenable to the laws. He should be promptly arrested and brought to Utah on a requisition from Governor Woods to Governor Bradley, and if his statements could be substantiated by any credible testimony the guilty should be punished. But, the attempt made to charge the crime upon the Mormons, as a people, is an infamy only less in magnitude than the massacre itself. It has suited the malevolent policy of a few bitter anti-Mormons to refuse to avail themselves of every opportunity to fully investigate this matter, and continue to make general charges, which it seems they have at last got a second Bill Hickman to make affidavit to....
Corinne Daily Reporter, Sept. 27, 1872
...A correspondent of the Pioche Record endorses Philip K. Smith being formerly bishop of the Mormon Church, and says he is ready to return to Utah and give testimony in person relative to the Mountain Meadow atrocity.
Corinne Daily Reporter, Jan. 16, 1873
"ARGUS" LECTURING -- The celebrated writer on Utah history is announced to lecrure in this city to-morrow evening. See the advertisement pf "Argus" on Mountain Meadow, and be prepared to listen to a narrative such as finds no equal in the annals of cruelty and woe.
Colonel C. W. Wandell, of Pioche, Nevada, arrived here to-day from the West.
LECTURE ON THE MOUNTAIN MEADOW MASSACRE BY "ARGUS"...
Part I. In the Fall of 1857, the lecturer left San Francisco for Salt Lake, via the Mountain Meadows -- Startling rumors of the massacre -- the armed sentinel at the Cajon Canyon -- Excitement at Fort [Tojon] and at San Berbardino -- The desert road -- The ruins of the emigrants fort -- The fatal waters -- The scene of the massacre -- The skulls and hair -- The vow.
Part II. The arrival of the emigrants in Utaj -- They are ordered to break camp and leave -- Their pitiable condition -- Hostilities neagative and positive -- The mission of the Governor's Aid-de-camp -- The council of war -- The Militia called out -- the siege -- The treacherous flag of truce -- The emigrants surrender -- The massacre -- The apostrophe -- O! ye slaughtered ones!
Part III. The closing atrocities of the massacre -- The emigrant children -- The spoils -- Meeting of Governor Young and the chief demon of the massacre -- Who was responsible? -- The present whereabouts of the Murderers -- Incidents -- Conclusion.
Corinne Daily Reporter, Jan. 17, 1873
Judge Wandell's lecture on Sunday evening, on the massacre at the Mountain Meadows, was worthy of a larger attendance than it received. It abounded in pathetic passages, and was a succinct and authentic account of that terrible wholesale slaughter of innocent men, women and children. The Judge goes hence to Corinne, Utah, this evening. His genial manners and earnest conservation have attracted many, who have acquired the pleasure of his acquaintance, and wish him a prosperous journey and better success.
We clip the above notice from the "Sentinel," of Eureka, and have no hesitancy in coinciding with it, having known Judge Wandell for several years, and as a writer and a lecturer we take pleasure in recommending him to our citizens and hope to see them turn out and give him a rousing house this evening at half past seven o'clock in the Opera House.
Corinne Daily Reporter, Jan. 18, 1873
ED. REPORTER -- Permit me through the columns of your paper, to assure the Salt Lake "Herald" man, that in my lecture last night in Corinne, I did "touch the meat question" -- the most slaughtered at the Mountain Meadows by the butchers of Brigham Young, the governor of Utah. C. W. Wandell.
Judge Wandell's very interesting lecture upon the subject of the Mountain Meadows Massacre will be repeated to-night at the Opera House. It commences at eight o'clock and is free to all.