SALEM DAILY RECORD.
SALEM, WEDNESDAY, DEC. 2, 1874.
The Massacre at Mountain Meadows.
A correspondent of the New York Herald gives the following tragic recital of a crime n ever exceeded atrocity, but like many others of lesser magnitude that have been committed by the Mormons. One of the carriages taken from this murdered train was for many years used by Brigham Young himself, at Salt Lake City. Many of the facts herein recited were told to us, when visiting Salt Lake City, by the Governor and Chief Jus-tice of the territory. Many similar, but lesser atrocities were then known, but they were not well enough proved, and the time had not arrived for bringing the hell-hounds to justice.
Mr. Rogers, being appointed Indian Agent was instructed, during the sum-mer of 1868, to proceed to the scene of the massacre and rescue the surviv-ing children. He took a company of cavalry and left Camp Floyd for Cedar City, near the scene of the massacre. On arriving on the ground he found the bones of 130 human beings, men, women, and children, in gathering up the re-mains for burial he discovered that a large number of the murdered persons had been shot through the head the ball entering the back part of the head and coming out at the front. The wolves and coyotes had eaten the flesh from the bones. A two-bushel basket of women's hair that was strewn around among the sage brush was gathered up by Mr. Ro-gers. It might be here stated that Mountain Meadow is situated 12 miles from Cedar City, and the same distance from a temple of the Latter-Day Saints.
It appears that in 1849, upon the ex-citement created by the gold discoveries in California, several pioneers of Arkan-sas went to California in search of the precious metal. They were very success-ful. In the fall of 1856, with their large accumulated gains, they returned to Ar-kansas for the purpose of taking their families and some of their relatives to settle in the new El Dorado, in which they had been so fortunate. They pur-chased a large amount of blooded stock, and fitted out a train of about forty wa-gons. They numbered about 146, men, women, and children. They were known to be a very wealthy train. In the spring of 1857, as we have stated, they started across the Plains. * * * *
Passing down through the settlements of the Latter-Day Saints, unmolested, they encamped at what is known as Mountain Meadow, a little Barrow val-ey dividing the hills and mountains on each side, with a plentiful supply of grass and water—a beautiful place to camp. Little did these emigrants think that this beautiful spot would in a short time be their sepulchre, the scene of a sanguinary massacre—the worst massa-cre that we have any record of in the history of the bloody deeds of the sava-ges upon the early defenseless American settlements. The horrid story of the In-dian murders in Wyoming Valley, which Campbell so eloquently depicts, affords no parallel to the butchery of these emigrants at Mountain Meadow. While encamped in this lovely spot they were attacked from behind the adjoining hills by, as they supposed, Indians. Several of their number were wounded. The pioneers, however, being used to In-dian warfare and well skilled with the handling of the old Kentucky rifle, were able to keep their assailants at a long range. Their wagons were drawn into a circle, forming a sort of fortification. The wheels were sunken down to their axeltrees. Earth works were thrown up on the outside of the wagons, mak-ing a temporary out somewhat formida-ble defense. A ditch was dug from this fortification to a spring near at hand to enable the emigrants to reach water un-der cover. For five long days they were able to sustain themselves here without any further loss in wounded or killed. Their stock had been captured and driven off early in the attack. On the sixth day, early in the morning, they discov-ered a large body of men coming up the road from toward Cedar City. No firing had been done that morning, and no supposed Indians in sight. A white flag was hoisted by the white men approach-ing them, and these doomed emigrants, believing the new-comers to be friends, dressed a beautiful young girl in white and placed her outside of the fortification in token of friendship. The presumed friends at once approached. They were Mormons,—Later-Day Saints,—and headed by John D. Lee, the man just ar-rested for criminal participation in the massacre that followed.
A parley ensued. Lee told the emi-grants that there were very large num-bers of Indians in the hills; but if they (the emigrants) would lay down their arms they would protect them and take them back to the Mormon settlements, they then being 300 miles southwest of Salt Lake City and near the Nevada line. After a long parley, the emigrants con-sented to the proposition of Lee. It may be here remarked that these emigrants had with them about $150,000 in gold, which they had procured by their previ-ous ventures in California. Lee told them that if they took their arms with them the Indians were in such great numbers that they would massacre them Plunder, said the Mormon chief, was all the Indians were after. The pioneers than laid down their arms, taking with them such of their valuables as they could conveniently carry, and consented to accompany the Mormons back to Ce-dar City—twelve miles. The emigrants marched out of their fortifications in the direction of the above named place. The Mormons headed by Lee, fell directly in their rear. At this time not an Indian was in sight, and 200 yards from the wag-ons of the emigrants was inaugurated this terrible deed. Lee and his party commenced firing upon the emigrants, shooting several of the most prominent men through the head on the first fire. The emigrants being entirely unarmed, the slaughter was an easy task. After all the men and most of the women had been killed, a young lady of eighteen summers sprang forward, and, clasping her hands, fell upon her knees in front of Lee, begging him to spare her life. She then rose and clasped him around the neck, declaring to him that she had a lover in California to whom she owed her life; that she was engaged to marry him on her arrival there. Lee, after hearing her piteous story, took her aside, ravished her, and then with his knife cut her throat, leaving her body on the spot to be eaten by the wolves. Sixteen innocent children were saved from, the general massacre- Two of the number were seven years old, the balance be-tween one and five years of age.
After Mr. Rogers, the Indian Agent, had buried the bones of the emigrants that had been left to bleach within 12 miles of the Mormon Temple, he return-ed to Cedar City, and found the children in the hands of the Mormons, Lee hav-ing two of the number. Mr. Rogers gathered the children together, refusing to pay the ransom demanded for their release by the Mormons. After he had the children in his camp, near the Mor-mon settlement at Cedar City, two of them, then about 18 years of age, told Mr. Rogers that Lee and the white men murdered their parents. Of course Mr. Rogers was astounded at this, the first information he had received of the real authors of the diabolical massacre. He pursued his investigations among, the children, and their testimony was cor-roborative of the intelligence he had previously obtained. It should be here stated that two Mormont came to the tent of Mr. Rogers at midnight, about this time, and told him that their hearts- were pressed with grief. If he (the Agent) would spare their lives, they would give him, a true history of the aw-ful massacre. Rogers told them to pro-ceed, and open their hearts. These two Mormons told him they were summoned by John D. Lee, the then commander of the Nauvoo Legion at Cedar City, to ap-pear in Indian, costume, painted, with longhair, fully to represent the native savage, prepared to go to Mountain Mea-dow. The Mormons attacked the train of emigrants in the disguise of Indians. Lae, finding that the emigrants were too, strongly fortified, after five days siege retired back and dressed in citizens' clothes, and, as we have above described, deceived the emigrants into a surrender of their arms. This statement was made in full to Mr. Rogers by the two Mor-mons we have referred to, thus corrobo-rating fully the statements made, by the rescued children. Furthermore, they stated that the blooded stock and wagons, of the emigrants were taken back to Ce-dar City to the Mormon tithing establishment, and there sold at public auc-tion for the benefit of the Mormon. Church.
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