THE KILLING OF A MORMON APOSTLE.
Messrs. EDITORS: I write respectfully to correct a brief notice in your paper of yesterday, wherein it is erroneously stated that “Orson Pratt, the Mormon El-der, was killed on the 14th instant, near Van Buren, Arkansas, by Hector Mann." Having porsonal know-ledge of the parties, and of some of the circumstances that led to the homicide, I submit the following in refer-ence to it:
Mr. Hector H. McLean, with his wife and family, a few years since emigrated from New Orleans to California. Whilst living there, in perfect accord with her husband, Mrs. MeLean was drawn by curiosity to hear Mormon preaching. Becoming interested in what she heard, she formed an acquaintance with PARLEY P. PRATT, one of the Mormon Twelve Apostles, and the President of the "Stake" in California. The result of this was that she became a Mormon and left her husband and three chil dren; not, however, before making endeavors to get pos-session of the children, in order to take them to Utah, where it was her aim to reside.
For the better security of the children their father had sent them back to his parents in New Orleans, whither Mrs. McLean also returned, but, finding all her efforts to get the children of no avail, she at length went alone to Utah, by way of the Mississippi, Missouri, and the usual overland route. As soon as she arrived at Great Salt Lake City she was "sealed" to Parley P. Pratt, becom-ing his ninth wife. She employed her time in keeping a school, the pupils of which consisted chiefly of the chil-dren of Pratt by his numerous "spirituals."
Impelled in part by maternal instincts, but probably more by Mormon policy and the counsels of Pratt, she accompanied him in the fall of last year on his "mis-sion" to the States, repairing to New Orleans once more to strive for the possession of the persons of her offspring. To be able to do this more effectually, she simulated to her husband's family complete conversion from Mor-monism, saying that she had found out all its errors, and hoped to be forgiven for her wanderings. Succeeding thus in lulling all suspicions as to her sincerity, she one day absconded, taking the coveted children with her; and this she did so well that her husband's parents were unable to trace her path of flight. Their only resource was to apprize their son in California of what had hap-pened, who quickly returned and set himself about dis-covering the whereabouts of his errant wife and abduct-ed children. In this he eventually succeeded, and, fol-lowing their trail from New Orleans, by way of Texas, Arkansas, and the Indian territory, he overtook them on their route northward towards Utah, under the per-sonal direction of Pratt. What followed may be learnt from Mr. McLean's own letter, written to some friends in St. Louis, as it appears in the St. Louis Leader:
FORT GIBSON, CHEROKEE NATION, MAY 7, 1857.
DEAR FRIENDS: I have just returned from a sore tramp, on which I succeeded in coming up with Eleanor and the chil-dren, and have taken the children from her by force. I have placed Eleanor in charge of the United States Marshal, and have succeeded also in arresting Pratt, who is now in the guard-house of the fort. The United States Marshal will start with his prisoners for Van Buren to-morrow, and I will, by a different route, in company of Capt. Cahil and lady, leave with the children for the same place. I arrested Pratt and E. J. on a charge of larceny, in stealing the clothing on the children when kidnapped, in value $8 or $10. This is the only way I could reach them in these Territories. When I fail before the United States Commissioner at Van Buren, I mean to have Pratt arrested for having fled from justice from St. Louis, Missouri, and get a requisition from the Gov-ernor of Missouri for him.
In reference to the tragical termination of this affair, I learn from the Van Buren (Arkansas) Intelligencer that Mr. McLean, on arriving at Fort Gibson, and while there, found letters in the post office to his wife from Pratt, some of which were mailed at St. Louis, and others at Flint post office, Cherokee Nation. They stated that McLean was on the look-out for her and the chil-dren, and advising her to be cautious in her movements, and not to let herself be known, unless to a few of the saints and elders. McLean then, upon affidavit made by himself, obtained a writ from the United States Com-missioner at Van Buren for their arrest, and succeeded in getting them arrested by the United States Marshal. They were brought up for trial, and, after an examina-tion before the Commissioner, were discharged. Pratt, as soon as released, mounted his horse and left Van Buren. McLean soon after obtained a horse and started in pursuit, and overtook Pratt about eight miles from the city, and shot him. Pratt died in about two hours after receiving the wound.
You will thus learn that it is not Orson Pratt who is killed, but Parley P Pratt, and that H. H. McLean, and not Hector Mann, was his slayer. Orson Pratt, the brother of Parley, is also an "Apostle." He is the same who sojourned in Washington a few years ago, and pub-lished while here a Mormon paper called "The Seer." He is now in England, of which country he and Parley are natives, engaged in the business of a proselyting "mission." The two Pratts, in point of intellect and education, stood perhaps the first men in the Mormon ranks. Yours, respectfully,
WASHINGTON, MAY 27. MICHAUX.
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