The Hideous Story of Mountain Meadow Detailed by a Participant.
Incredible Developments at the Trial of John D. Lee.
Blood-Curdling Evidence which Brings the Crime Home.
Butchery of the Emigrants Perfectly Planned and Accomplished.
Haight, Dame and Lee, Mormon Lights, Superintend the Massacre.
BEAVER, UTAH, July 23.—At 2 o'clock the first witness called was Robert Keyes. He came to Utah on October 3, 1857, through the Mountain Meadows; saw two piles of bodies of women and children piled promiscuously, about sixty to sev-enty of them; the children were from two months old to twelve years; the smallest were torn by wolves and crows, and some bodies were shot, some had their throats cut, some were stabbed, and all were torn by the wolves except one wom-an, who was lying a little way off, and appeared as if asleep, with a ball-hole in her left side; the bodies appeared to have been dead fifteen days; seven of us saw them, and we also saw a pile of men's bodies further on; didn't go to see them. There was no clothing on the bodies except one sock on a man; none were scalped.
Asatel Bennett was called: At the Meadows in December, 1857; saw bones there, and a horrible sight of skeletons of women and children; saw curls, long tresses of hair and dried blood, and dead children from ten to twelve years old. Some skulls had flesh dried on them. The bodies had been covered up and wolves had evidently dug them up.
Philip Klinger Smith, a defendant, of San Ber-nardini, California, was called, and the prosecu-tion entered a nolle prosequi as to himself. He lived at Cedar City in 1857 from 1852; the Meadows were forty-five miles south of Cedar City, on the California road. He was at the massacre in Sep-tember, 1857; heard of the emigrants coming; people were forbidden to trade with them, and felt bad about it; saw few of them at Cedar; this was on Friday.
and Higbee fined them; they went on; heard ru-mors of trouble on Sunday; it was the custom to have meetings of the President and council, Bishop and council, and high council. I was a Bishop. The matter came up for discussion as to their de-struction. Haight, Higbee, Morrill, Allen, Wil-lis, myself and others were there. Some of the brethren opposed the destruction. I did. Haight jumped up and broke up the meeting. I asked what would be the consequence of such an act; then Haight got mad; Indians were to destroy them on Monday. Higbee, Haight, White and I met and spoke of the same subject again; I op-posed the destruction; Haight relented and told While and I to go ahead and tell the people the emigrants should go through safe. We did so; on the road we met John D. Lee, and told him where and why we were going; he replied: "I have something to say about that matter.” We passed the emigrants at Iron Springs next morning. We passed them again as we came back; they had twenty or thirty wagons, containing
OVER ONE HUNDRED PEOPLE,
old men middle-aged, old women middle-aged, youths and children. Near home we met Ira Allen. He said the emigrants' doom was sealed, and the die was cast for destruction; that Lee's orders were to take men and go out and intercept them, Allen to go on and counteract what we did. I went home. Three days after, Haight sent for me, and said orders came from the camp and didn't get along; he wanted reinforcements; that he had been to Parowen and got further orders from Colonel W. H. Dame to finish the massa-cre, to decoy out and spare only small children who could not tell the tale. I went off and met Allen, our first runner, and others. Higbee came out and said, "You are ordered out armed and equipped." So I went; Hopkins, Higbee, John Willis and Sam Purdy went along. We had two baggage-wagons and got to Hamblin's Ranche in the night, three miles from the emigrants. There we met Lee and others from the general camp, where the largest number of men were. We then found the emigrants, but not all killed. Lee called me out for consultation on one side, he told me the situa-tion. The emigrants
WERE STRONGLY FORTIFIED,
and no chance to get them out, and that Higbee was ordered to decoy them out the best he could. That was agreed to, and the command given to J. D. Lee to carry out the whole plan. They went to the camp, and Lee called all the soldiers in a hollow square and addressed them. They were all white men—about fifty in all. The Indians were in another camp. I saw there Slade and his son, Jim Pearce, and probably Bissons, too. All those were from Cedar. Also saw Bill Stewart, Levin Jacobs, and, I think, Dan McFarlane, too. Slade and I were outraged, but we said: "What can we do; we can't help ourselves." Just then the order to march was given, and we had to go, being put in double file. Higbee had command of part of the men. It was
THE NAUVOO LEGION,
organized from tens up to hundreds. We marched in sight of the emigrants, and either Bateman or Lee went out with a white flag. A man from the emigrants met them. Lee and the man sat down on the grass and had a talk; don't know what they talked about. Lee went with the man into the intrenchments. After some hours they came out, and the emigrants came up with their wounded in wagons ahead. The wounded were those hurt in the three days' previous fight, when the Mormons and Indians could not oust the emigrants. Next came women, and next the men. As the emi-grants came up the men halted, and the women, on foot, as well as the children and wounded, went on ahead with John D. Lee. The soldiers had to be all ready to
SHOOT AT THE WORD.
When the word "Halt" came to the soldiers, I fired once; don't know if I killed the man or not. All were killed at the first shot. I saw the women afterwards dead, with their throats cut. I saw, as I came up to them, a man kill a young girl. The men were marched in double file first, then thrown in single file, with the soldiers alongside. I heard the emigrants congratulating themselves on their safety from Indians at last. John M. Higbee came and ordered my squad to fire. Lee, like the rest, had fire-arms. No emigrants escaped; saw sol-diers on horses, to take on the wing those who ran; saw a man run; saw Bill Stewart, on horse, go after him and kill him; saw one wounded man peg for life.
HIGBEE CUT HIS THROAT.
The man said, "I would not do this to you, Higbee." He knew him. After I fired, I was told to gather up the little children as I went. I saw a large woman running toward the men, cry-ing "My husband! My husband!" A soldier shot her in the back and she fell dead. As I went on I found the wagons, with the wounded all out on the ground with their throats cut. I went on and found the children and put them in a wagon, and took them to Hamblin's house. I saw no more soldiers; they dispersed at Hamblin's, I think. I had to leave the wagon there. Saw many soldiers from the counties south whom I didn't know. The next day I and McCurdy and Willis took the children to Cedar City, leaving one at Pinto creek. On the road, met a freight train of wagons with men living here in Beaver. I went to old Mrs. Hopkins' and told her I had the children. She rustled round and got places for them. I took one girl baby home. My wife suckled it. Afterwards, I gave it to Birkbeck, he having no children. They were well treated, I believe, and I got good places for them where there were few children.
The question allowing the statements of co-conspirators, as to the disposal of the emigrants' property after the massacre, was here argued for an hour. The court held it admissible on the grounds of the case of the people vs. Trima, California. During the argu-ment Sutherland, for the defence, bitterly said it was an attempt to fix the crime upon some one else,
LEE BEING ONLY A FIGUREHEAD.
Mr. Barkin, for the prosecution, replied that he wanted but the truth, whoever it implicated; that Sutherland feared his real client would be reached. (Decided sensation), it being known Brigham Young was meant.
The witness resumed: After several days Haight sent me to Iron Springs, where wagons, cattle and goods of the emigrants were, to get them and put them in the Tithing House; I was to brand the cattle, too. I found there John W. Rie and Hunter and Allen. I put the goods in the church, tithing offices and cellar, and left the wagons in front of the tithing offices and branded the cattle with the church brand, a cross. Lee was in the cellar with me and saw the goods. Haight and Higbee told me a council had been held and Lee departed to go to the President, Brigham Young, and report all the facts of the massacre. Lee went and I followed to attend to the con-ference on the 6th at Salt Lake City; met Lee at Salt Lake; asked if he had reported to Brigham Young; he said yes, every particular; the same day Lee, Charley Hopkins and I called on Brig-ham Young; he there, in the presence of them, said: "You have charge of that property in the tithing office, turn it over to John D. Lee; what you know of this
SAY NOTHING OF IT;
don't talk of it even among yourselves;" I had to go to the Vegas lead mines while I gave Lee the property; had an auction-and sold off; so Haight and Higbee told me; Haight sold, part of the cattle to Hooper, Utah's Congressional delegate afterwards, for boots and shoes; there were Indians at the massacre; the hills were pretty full of them; they were deputized to kill the women; saw one Indian Myack cut a little boy's throat; heard no effort to restrain the Indians; the Indians were wounded, and three died of their wounds; the Indians came back to Cedar, where they lived; one was called Bill and one Tom, both chiefs; saw some emi-grants' property with the Indians; saw Lee get dresses and jeans from the tithing office, out of the emigrants' plunder. I learned from Allen that Lee was the one to gather up the Indians to attack the emigrants; talked with Lee about it afterward; Lee was the Indian agent at Harmony; the agent traded with the tribes, and issued goods and rations of the government to the Indians.
The court here adjourned till 9 a. m.
After to-day night sessions are to be held. The court warned citizens not to speak to jurors from the street up to the time they were sworn, and declared he would arrest and punish such of-fense. During the time Klingen Smith was testifying and giving the horrible details of the bloodshed, the suspense was terribly painful. Lee's square, hard, low, bronzed face and neck became fairly purple-black, and his wives scarcely breathed, straining forward to catch each syllable. The ex citement in town is intense. I am prepared to state that Klingen Smith's story, in all material details, is the same as Lee's suppressed con-fession as to the massacre. Klingen Smith's repu-tation here is that of a man of truth. He could not be impeached save by facts.
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