Progress of the Trial of John D. Lee
BEAVER CITY, ( Utah,) July 31.—The wit-ness Farnsworth resumes for the defense.—Was nine years a Bishop; knew how the Church disciplines its members.
Q.—Would a Bishop in 1857 dare to refuse to commit murder? (Ruled as an incompe-tent question.)
Q.—How does the Church discipline its members for disobedience? (The prosecu-tion alleged that the laws of the Church con-tain the doctrine of blood atonement; that examining into that matter would open the door in rebuttal to establish acts of the Church in the murder of the Parish family, the mur-der of Gunnison, the killing of Robinson, cutting of the throat of the negro Tom, cut-ting of the throat of Potter at Coalville, and the murder of Yates. The court ruled out the question. The written records and the laws of the Church were the best evidence.)
Q.—What was the relative strength of the whites and Indians in Southern Utah in 1857. (Ruled as irrelevant. Duress cannot justify homicide.)
Witness cross-examined.—About a year ago had a conversation with Geo. A. Smith, and he for the first time said he had no knowl-edge of the Arkansas emigrants being in the Territory until the day he and I met them at Corn creek; didn't swear yesterday that Smith told me so at the time we met them. (The reporter's notes were referred to and showed that Smith told him so, but gave no date.) Saw a man with the Indians at the dead ox at Corn creek when we left the emigrants there; saw no buckskins there; have talked with the witness Hoops about that; think the man was an emigrant: can't say how long I saw him; can't say if it was a second. (Counsel asked the court to commit the witness for contempt for trifling.) Can't say how long I looked at them; when I saw him the emi-grant train had not broke camp, and was yet in corral. [Great sensation in court, as the witness Hoops swore it was after the camp had broke, and the Dutch doctor lingered be-hind at the ox as the train moved off; also, that the ox was inside the corral and was not-seen until the camp broke.] Witness drew a diagram showing the position of an ox and the emigrant camp, locating the ox twenty rods from the emigrant camp; witness saw no dead ox in their corral; heard nothing of a Dutch doctor there; heard nothing about cholera there; it was customary among the Indians to avenge a wrong by one white party on the first or any other white party they meet; there were many tribes in the Terri-tory, but all speak the same tongue, with dialects; there were not less than 10,000 Indians in the Territory in 1857; the Terri-tory then was larger than now; among the Mormons the same rule of vengeance does not prevail; no people holds a man to more strict accountability than the Mormons ; no people are more strict in punishing for viola-tion of law; do not believe in shedding blood; do not kill for adultery.
John Hamilton sworn.—In 1857 lived six miles south of Cedar, in Fort Hamilton; heard of the massacre after it; saw Indians come by my place; they had the bloody clothes of women, household goods, saddles, and stock; they shot some of the stock there; I was afraid they were hostile, as they were in war paint: they committed no outrage on me or my neighbors the Indians were peace-able with us as we fed them or gave them work.
John Hamilton, Jr., sworn.— In 1857 lived six miles south of Cedar, in Fort Hamilton ; saw the emigrants at Shirts' creek; they came by there to get a cow that a man in Parowan had traded them for a lame cow; they again traded the Parowan cow to my brother for a steer; there was much excitement in the country then. The court took a recess.
Beaver City, August 2.—In the Lee case this morning the defense offered the deposi-tions of Brigham Young and Geo. A. Smith, which were ruled out for causes heretofore given.
John Macfarlane sworn.—Ira Allen lives in Cache Valley; John Mangrum lives at Parca, near the eastern frontier, Utah; Carl Schurtz lives in Sevier county; Harrison Pearce lives at Pinto. The defense rested, and the prosecution offered nothing in rebuttal. The counsel on each side presented requests for instructions to the jury. The witnesses were all discharged. Those in the case of Bishop Dame were ordered to return next Monday.
The court ordered the jury to be removed from the court room while the discussion on the instructions proceeded. The argument then took place on the request for instruc-tions. Recess.
Smith's deposition sets out his sickness and inability to attend the trial. He had no mili-tary command in 1857; no position but that of one of the 12 Apostles; he never attended a council concerning the destruction of the emigrants; never knew or heard of the emi-grants till he met them at Corn Greek, about August 25, 1857. As he was going back north on his preaching tour in Southern Utah, he counselled the saving of grain, as the crops ad b een short for several years, and many people were in actual want. He advised the people to supply the emigrants food for them-selves, but not to sell, nor for themselves to feed grain to stock; he never heard of the massacre until after his return to Salt Lake. He heard of it first at Fort Bridger, and de-nies that he was accessory to the massacre, or directly or indirectly aided or abetted it; knows nothing of the distribution of the emi-grants' property.
Brigham Young swears he is 75 years old, and he could not, without great risk, now endure the fatigue of a journey to Beaver; was Governor in 1857, and President of the Church in June, 1857. The United States Government stopped the mails for Utah, and sent an army ostensibly to destroy the Latter Day Saints. No United States Judge was here in the latter part of 1857; heard a rumor that the Arkansas emigrants had passed through Salt Lake: never gave an order for them to leave Salt Lake; never heard of their being ordered away; advice was given the citizens not to sell grain to the emigrants for their stock, but to supply food for the emi-grants. The crops had been short for several years, and a prospect of trouble with the United States army then at hand was immi-nent. The citizens were counselled not to feed grain to their own stock; no person was ever punished for supplying food to the emi-grants, so far as he knew; never heard of the attack on the emigrants till after it took place, and then only by floating rumor. Two or three months after the massacre, John D. Lee told him the Indians were hostile and stirred up at the settlers, and had threatened the whites, He gave witness an account of the massacre; told him to stop, as I did not wish to have my feelings harrowed with a recital of the details. Klingen Smith did not call on me with John D. Lee; have no memory of his ever speaking to me about the massacre or the emigrants' property; never gave orders about that property, or ever heard of its disposal except from rumor; did not examine into the matter because another Governor had been appointed, and was en route to the Territory, and because no United States Judges, were here. Soon after Gov-ernor Gumming arrived, I offered to go with, him and Judge Cradlebaugh, of the Southern District, to investigate the matter, and bring the offenders to justice, and to take sufficient aid along to do it. About September 10th 1857, I received a letter from either Haight or Lee, concerning the Arkansas emigrants; can't find it now; I answered it, addressed to Haight, then President at Cedar City. The substance of my letter was to let these emi-grants pass through, and all other emigrants, to let them go through unmolested, and to try to allay the angry feelings of the Indians. The deposition of Young is considered here as very damaging to his own case, show-ing that he had the power to see that the em-igrants did go through unmolested. He re-ceived Height's letter about Sept. 10th, and the massacre occurred Sept. 14th. Mountain Meadows is distant from Salt Lake 313 miles.
The entire afternoon was consumed in set-tling the instructions asked for by the respec-tive parties.
Judge Boreman said he would take until Tuesday to pass on the instructions, and draw his own, when he jury will be charged. Ad-journed.
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