ANOTHER STARTLING TRAGEDY.
Elder Pratt, the Mormon, Killed—Seduction of a Wife in California—She Deserts her Husband, and Steals away her Children, and is Sealed as the Ninth Concubine to her Debaucher.
The Van Buren (Ark.) Intelligencer of the 15th contains the following account of one of the most re-markable instances of desertion, infatuation and crime, terminating in the death of the party most guilty, that we have ever met with:
It is with regret that we have to chronicle the ho-micide, committed in our vicinity on Wednesday last, by Mr. Hector H. McLean, late Of San Francisco, California, upon the person of a Mormon preacher.—More than all do we deplore the melancholy affair that led to its commission. The deceased, whose name is Parley Parker Pratt, was a man of note among the Mormons, and judging from his diary and his let-ter to Mrs. McLean, he was a man of more than ordi-nary intelligence and ability. He had been a preach-er and missionary of the Mormons at San Francisco, California, where he made the acquaintance of Mrs. McLean, whom he induced to embrace the Mormon faith.
She was at that time living with her husband, Hec-tor H. McLean. They were happy and prosperous until she made the acquaintance of Pratt and em-braced the Mormon faith. She is the mother of three children by McLean—two boys and a girl—and seems to be an intelligent and interesting lady; con-verses fluently, and with more grace and ease than most ladies. About two years ago, and soon after she became a convert to Mormonism, she made an attempt to abduct two of her children to Utah, but was detected and prevented by her brother, who was then in California, and residing with his brother-in-law, Mr. McLean. She soon after, however, found means to elope with said Pratt to Salt Lake, where it is said that she became his ninth wife.
After the elopement of Mrs. McLean, her parents, who reside near New Orleans, wrote to Mr. McLean, in California, to send the children to them. He did so. Several months after this Mr. McLean received news that his wife had been to her father, in New Orleans, and eloped with the two youngest children. He immediately left San Francisco for New Orleans, and on arriving at the house of his father-in-law, he learned from them that Mrs. McLean had been there, and after an ineffectual effort to convert her father and mother to Mormonism, she pretended to abandon it herself, and so far obtained the confidence of her parents as to induce them to entrust her in the city of New Orleans, with the children; but they soon found she had betrayed their confidence and eloped with the children.
They then wrote to McLean in San Francisco, who, upon the receipt of their letter, went to New Or-leans, and learning from them the above facts in rela-tion to the affair, immediately started in pursuit of his children. He went to New York and then to St. Louis. While in St. Louis he learned that the wo-man and children were in Houston, Texas. On his arrival in Houston, he found that his wife had left some time before his arrival, to join a large party of Mormons en route for Utah. He then returned to New Orleans, and from there went to Fort Gibson, in the Cherokee nation, with the expectation of intercept-ing his wife and children at that point.
On arriving at Port Gibson, and while there, he 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. We are unable to give the contents of these letters with particularity, but they contained the fact that McLean was on the look out for her and the children, and that they were betrayed by the apostates and gentiles and advising her to be cautious in her movements, and not let her-self be known only to a few of the saints and elders. McLean then, upon affidavit made by himself, ob-tained a writ from the United States Commissioner at this place for their arrest, and succeeded in getting them arrested by the United States Marshal. They were brought to this place for trial, and after an ex-animation before the commissioner, were discharged.
Pratt, as soon as released, mounted his horse and left the city. 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. This is a plain narrative of the facts as we heard them from the most reliable resources, which we give to our readers without comment, as we feel that we are unable to do so with justice to all parties. But deep-ly do we sympathise with McLean in the unfortunate condition in which Mormon villainy and fanaticism has placed him.
To furnish some idea of the sentiments which pre-vailed in the vicinity where the tragedy occurred, we subjoin the following from the Fort Smith Herald, on 16th of May:—
ONE MORMON LESS!—NINE MORE WIDOWS!!—ALAS FOR THE MORMON PROPHET!!!—IF THOU HAST POWER TO RAISE THE DEAD, PARLEY, RAISE THYSELF!!!!
We learn that on examination of P. P. Pratt, be-fore the United States Commissioner, he was dis-charged, and that while on his way to the hills to make good his escape from an enraged community and an abused and highly aggravated husband, he was shot and is now dead. It is well. We are pleased to see that such men—not men, demons—pursuing such a course cannot, with impunity, come into our midst, in Arkansas, and advocate their un-holy, diabolical doctrine, and go away unpunished.
We know, but care not, that we will be censured by some for rejoicing over the untimely death of a human being who has been launched, unprepared, into the presence of his God; but we hold it to be much better that this Mormon elder should be thus launched than that he should be spared to cause the ruin of hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of his fel-low beings, by leading them astray and getting them under the clutches of Mormonism, there to practice crime in its every shape—there to forget and even abandon and disrespect the God that made them, and by whom they live and move—there to worship and do homage to a demon in human form, and to obey his dictates, even to the killing of a brother—we say it is of vastly more importance that the lives of all such men as Pratt should at once be put an end to, than that he should be permitted to be instru-mental in damning thousands of others with him.
We do not wish to be understood as advocating the open, wilful and deliberate violation of laws, in shooting and taking away life; but there are cases where crime is known to have been committed—where licentious, open, wanton and brutal practices pursued—where men deserve punishment, and when the law is too lame and cannot reach them, and where the aggrieved party can have no redress or satisfac-tion by law; and the case before us is one of that kind; and a very aggravated one, too.
In addition to the foregoing, we have been placed in possession of some of the letters from Elder Pratt to his victim, after she had returned from Salt Lake, in order to get the children from the custody of her parents in New Orleans. She had succeeded in so doing, and had fled to Texas. The letter is ad-dressed "Mrs. Lucy R. Parker, by P. Parker Pratt, from near Fort Gibson, Cherokee nation:"
Dear Eleanor—McLean is in St. Louis; he has of-fered a reward for your discovery or your children, or me. The apostates have betrayed me and you.—I had to get away on foot, and leave all to save my-self. If you come to fort Gibson, you can hire a messenger and send him to Riley Perryman's mill on the Arkansas river, twenty five from Fort Gibson, and let him inquire for Washington N. Cook, Mor-mon missionary, and when he has found him he will soon tell where elder—Pratt—Parker is. Do not let your children or any friend know that I am in this region, or anywhere else on the earth; except it is an elder from Texas who is in your confidence, and even him under the strictest charge of keep you it.
If you send a messenger to Perryman's mill for Elder Cook in order to find me, send a note addressed to Washington N. Cook. Every body knows the place. He may live a few miles distant, but the folks at Riley Perryman's mill know where he is. And if they can be made sensible that it requires immediate action, some of them can go and find him. Your messenger can leave the note at Riley Perryman's, or with Elder George Burgess there, and return; but you must state in the note where you can be found, and Elder Cook will probably call on you before he can have time to see me, as I may be some days' journey away, for I don't much expect you at Fort Gibson, as I don't believe you received my last letter, mailed at St. Louis, March 4, and addressed, as usual, to the usual place. Elder Cook knows all, and you can trust him with all necessary information. When I know that you and the children are safe, and your circumstances, I will know what to do.
Be sure not to let the Texas company know any-thing, for all the frontiers are watched, and some of them may betray you there. I must hide you, or pass you some other way.
Pray much. Be still and wise. I have made use of some of the late alterations in the alphabet. I am well, And your own
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