MOUNTAIN MEADOW MASSACREE.
CONFESSION OF JOHN D. LEE.
BEAVER, July 20.—The California associated press reporter is enabled by W. W. Bishop, attorney for John D. Lee, to give the following details of the confession of Lee, which sets out the character of the whole, which is very lengthy. Mr. Bishop said that when he got to Beaver he found the exciement against Lee great. People believed he should be sacri-ficed to appease the moloch of the hour. He believed he could not get a fair trial in Utah, and consented that his client should turn State's evidence and get immunity from his acts. The prosecution agreed to en-ter a nolle prosequi as to the first in-dictment absolutely, Lee to take his chances as to future indictments. Af-ter a long consultation with associate counsel, he agreed to it; also, if the confession proved satisfactory, they would dismiss all kinds of indict-ments against Lee. After Lee made his confession, the prosecution found i did not implicate high church au-thorities, also in brief au'hority in Iron military district, so they refused to accept the statement, believing, Bishop presumed, they could, by try-ing Lee, procure testimony reaching nearer the apostolic center. So they disregarded their agreement and place Lee on trial. Lee's statement opens as follows:
It now becomes a painful though imperative duty to chronicle circum-stances that led to the unfortunate affair, known as the "Mountain Mead-ows Massacre," in Utah Territory, which has been s rouded in mystery for 15 years, causing much comment, excitement and vindictive feeling throughout the land. The entire blame rests upon the Mormon people in Utah. Now, in justice to human-ity, I feel it my duty to show up the facts as they exist, according to the best of my ability, though I may im-plicate myself by so doing I have no vindictive feeling wha ever against any man or class of individuals. What I do is done from a sense of duty to myself, to my God and to the people at large, so that the truth may come to light and the blame rest where it properly belongs. I have been arrested on the charge of being engaged in the crime committed at the time and place referred to. I have been in close confinement over eight months, since my arrest. I was in irons three months of the time dur-ing my confinement. For the last 17 years, in fact since the commission of the crime, I have given the sub-ject much thought and reflection. I have made an effort to bear my con-finement with fortitude and resigna-tion, well knowing that most of those engaged in the unfortunate affair were led on by religious influences commonly called fanaticism, and nothing but their devotion to God and their duty to Him, as taught them by their religion and their church leaders, would ever have in-duced them to have committed the outrageous and unnatural acts.
Believing that all who participated in the lamentable transaction, or most of them, were acting under or-ders, that they considered it their reli ious duty to obey, I have suffered a l kinds of ill treatment as well as imprisonment rather than expose these men, knowing the circumstan-ces as I do, and believing in the sincerity of their motives, as I always have done; but I have a duty to per-form. I have since I was arrested become convinced that it was not the policy of the government or the wish of the court to punish these men, but rather to protect them and let the blame rest on their leaders, where it justly and lawfully belongs. After much thought and meditation I have come to the conclusion that I can noi longer remain silent on this subject; but so far as I can, must bring to light the circumstances connected with it, and remove the cloud of myster that has so long obscured the transaction and served to agitate the public mind. Believing it to be my duty as a man, duty to myself, to my family, to my God and to humanity, to cast aside the shackles so long holding my conscience in silence, and in pursuance of disinterested advice of my attorneys, I now submit the facts as far as I know them, stating nothing from malice or purpose of revenge, holding back nothing that I can state of my own knowledge, willing that the world may know all that was done and why the acts were committed. I submit the following as exact and unvarying statements of facts and circumstances connected with the crime known as the Moun-tain Meadows Massacre. The facts are as follows.
At this point, the pages of the confession relating to the massacre were refused to the reporters for the present, but the charcter of them is permitted to be stated as follows: He gives at great length an alleged per-fect and concise statement of acts and facts connected with the massa-cre, giving the names of persons, dates and places. He claims to fully expose all classes of men, and every man connected with the outrage. He starts out with his first knowledge of the emigrant train, following though their unfortunate experiences and conflicts, up to the termination of their sad career. He describes all that was done by the murderers after the commission of the crime, and the action of all concerned with it; also, the action of Brigham Young and the high priesthood, the acts of those in authority, the disposition of the children saved, and the particulars of their delivery to Dr. Forney, agent of the government, who removed them to Missouri. In fact, the statement of Lee fully explains who for, for what reason, and how the tragedy was accomplished, stating the justifi-cation relied upon by participants for the commision of that fearful crime. The details fix the crime upon Isac C. Haight and John M. Higby, com-manding officers, the former stand-ing on an eminence and giving the signal agreed upon for the slaughter, after the immigrants had been decoyed out of their stronghold by a flag of truce. The wounded had first been hauled out and were dispatched. There were thirty white men and a large number of Indians. The details of the killing of the men, women and children surpass in horror all that has ever been written concerning the massacre, and more terrible, atro-cious and bloody than the most vivid imagination could conjecture. St. Bartholomew's-day and the utmost barbarity of humanity absolutely pale before the sickening tale.
In conclusion, Leo writes as fol-lows: A few days after the massacre, I was instructed by Maj. Isaac C. Haight, next in command to W. H. Dame, in Iron military district, to carry a report of what had been done to the President, Brigham Young, at Salt Lake City. He directed me to give him my report and stand up with manly courage, and I shouldered as much blame as possible, he saying to me if I did, I should receive celes-tial reward. This however, is my nature, never to bind burdens on others that I am not willing to bear myself. I then went to Salt Lake City and reported to Brigham Young the exact facts connected with the tranaction, shouldering a greater share of the responsibility than justly belonged to me. In justice to Brig-ham Young, I must say that when he heard my story he wept like a child, walked the floor and wrung his hands in bitter anguish, and said: "This is a most unfortunate affair, the most unwaranted event that has ever hap-pened to the Mormon people. This transaction will bring sorrow and trouble upon us in Uutah. I would to God that it had never happened." After hearing this I returned home with a drooping heart, and reported the result of my mission to those in authority over me.
Lee says 17 children were saved and were delivered to Dr. Forney, who promised to send them to friends in Missouria and Nebraska. He says the massacre was the result of mintory orders, Utah then being under material law by order of Brig-ham Young, Johnson's army being expected from the west by the way of California. The Mormon people were in a state of excitement, and acted as desperation dictated. At-torney Bishop alleges Lee offered to give the prosecution the names of several of the murderers who could be found, as he believes.
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