The Mormon Tragedy In Arkansas,
INTERESTING DETAILS OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF ELDER PRATT'S DEATH.
From the St. Louis Republican, May 26. Being in possession of all the particulars in the case of the Mormon Apostle, Elder PARLEY PARKER PRATT, I submit the following facts in addition to what you have already published. The following ar-ticle from the New Orleans Bulletin of December 19, 1856, is, with the exception of a few unimportant items, a correct statement of the case as far as it goes:
AN ILLUSTRATION OF MORMONISM
We became acquainted a few days since with a short history of certain transactions, partly in this city and partly out of it, which affords a very fair illustration of the practical effect of their beautiful system of im-posture which is shedding its lights and shadows upon the tops of the Western mountains. Possibly our readers may be interested in it—especially if they should ever, in the mutations of the future, be thrown within the valley where the Upas sheds its poison and reveals the ghastly carcasses which strew I the ground, they may perhaps be enabled to turn it to practical use. With this object in view, we will briefly state the circumstances to which we allude, suppressing names for the reason that some of those affected, and most, grievously affected, by those circumstances are of our own citizens, and to whom we would tender our profoundest sympathies. A few years since, a gentleman, his wife and three infant children, like thousands of others, left this city for the golden shores of the Pacific, the husband and wife dreaming doubtless that in the land of the shining ore they should soon realize a fortune for themselves and their children. The lady, we may premise, possessed more than an ordinary share of intellect which bad been cultivated in a highly re-spectable degree by the care of fond and doting parents, who little thought of the use to which intellect would, in after years, be devoted, or how that devotion would be repaid. Alas! they can feel "how sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child," or one that brings them only sorrow instead of joy.
The family is settled in San Francisco. Some time afterward the gentleman and his wife, in connection with a brother of the latter, chanced to step in on a Sunday to hear a Mormon missionary from Utah, who was holding forth in San Francisco. They were pre-vented by the bad weather and walking from attend-ing their usual place of worship, and as the house where the Mormon was speaking happened to be in their way, they concluded after leaving home, and from mere curiosity, to go in end hear him. Fatal curiosity! Inauspicious day! What the particular subject of the discourse was which they heard we are not advised. After coming out, the husband and brother expressed themselves very freely upon the merits of what they had heard, and pronounced some of it little, if any, short of blasphemy. To the utter astonishment of both, however, the wife and sister expressed herself highly pleased with it. As a probable solution of such a mystery, we may say, before proceeding further, that it subsequently turned out that she had heard a Mormon mission-ary while a young lady residing in one of the river towns in Mississippi. Polygamy was at that time carefully concealed from the outside Gentiles by the apostles of JO SMITH, and stoutly denied. Probably the young lady was fascinated by the romance which the Mormon may have skillfully woven into the dis-course, and seeds of blasting ruin thus lodged in her mind spring up, fructify, and bear apples of Sodom to turn to ashes in the tasting many days after. Be this as it may, the lady soon became strongly attached to the Mormon faith, and went frequently if not con-stantly to hear its apostle. In a short time he had acquired sufficient influence over her to cause her to resolve to quit her husband—if he would not accompany her—and repair to the grand rendezvous of the Latter Day Saints, as they style themselves, at Salt Lake City.
The determination once taken, nothing could dis-suade her flow her purpose But the children, what was to become of them? The mother was devotedly, passionately attached to them, and she deter-mined to take them with her. The father and brother of course became alarmed To prevent her from go-ing, they knew well would be impossible, but they re-solved to save the children from the yawning gulf which was about opening to receive them; and in pur-suance of this resolution they determined to send them to their grand parents in this city. They were therefore taken when the mother was absent, placed on board a steamer, and safely readied New Orleans, were soon under the loving care and hospitable roof of their grand parents.
Who, however, can baffle or circumvent a deter-mined woman, fanatic though she be, when her feel-ings, her pride and her affection all combine to spur her on to the accomplishment of her object? The very next steamer that sailed brought that mother to this city, chafing like an enraged tigress, whose young have been taken from her! Her patents, who had been made aware of she circumstances, now deter-mined that, should not take her children from them, and that if she was bent upon dooming herself to destruction, she should not drag her innocent babes down into the foul abyss with her.
We pass over the struggles, the watchings that en-sued in this city a little more than one year ago on tee part of the grand parents of these beautiful chil-dren of some ten or twelve summers, to keep the mother from taking them to Utah, and of bar efforts to obtain possession of them for that purpose, Suf-fice it to nay for the time being she failed. How com-pletely her whole soul had become wrapped up in the grass and disgusting deception which had seized up-on her like a giant, the reader can judge when we tell him that rather than relinquish joining the vile horde which contaminate the air of Great Salt Lake by their abominations, she actually tore herself from the children of her heart and went without them
She did not, however, abandon her purpose. Find-ing herself baffled for the time being, she determined to change her tactics, the more certain to secure at a future day that she could not then effect. She want to Salt Lake City via St. Louis, and her parents had the melancholy satisfaction to know that if she was lost to them, her children were at least safe. These, brother and sister, under the bountiful and fostering care which they received, budded like the opening rose beneath the sweet and genial influences of the Southern Spring.
They heard nothing more of her till one day last week, when they were struck almost dumb with amazement by her entrance into the family mansion. We pass over what followed, as the reader can much better imagine than we describe it, She had been to Utah, had been a teacher there, had boarded at Gov, BRIGHAM YOUNG’s—only boarded—had seen much suffering there from famine, and had seen also the er-ror of her ways. Said she had been mad, had now felt the Mormons, and come to live with her pa-rents and childred, and to do what she could to make them happy She asked them to restore to her once more their confidence.
Of course the delight of her parents was boundless. She did not protest, however, to have renounced Mormonism, but wished not to return to Utah, and still insisted that the Mormons were good people, and BRIGHAM and his associates in office true proph ets. If these drawbacks upon the value of her re-pentance created a regret or a lingering suspicion in the minds of her parents, they did not express it, grateful and happy that she had done so much as she had, and made even a quasi confession as to the impropriety of her past conduct, and hoping doubtless that time would accomplish what was lacking in her complete recover from her horrible delusion.
On last Saturday morning she requested permission to tax her children into [--] by five, or at most by six o’clock in the evening. The permission was readily granted, and they have seen neither her nor children since. She has accomplished her purpose; and she is of course on her way back to Utah with her children, to be thrust in to the open throat of the grim visage and horrible monster who sits midway upon the Rocky Mountains, lapping his repulsive jaws and eager to devour new victims as they become entangled in his foul, leprous coils. Her dissimulation was profound, was perfect. So much for Mormonism.
Mrs. McLEAN’S brother arrived in New-Orleans the next morning after her departure, wrote Mr. MCLEAN informing him of her proceedings, and started at once in pursuit of her. Having obtained what he supposed to be good evidence of her having come to St. Louis, he came on here, bringing letters from re-spectable parties, certifying to the high respectability of MCLEAN, and also of the family of Mrs. MCLEAN, all of whom were equally interested with the unfortu-nate father in rescuing the children from the destruct-ion that awaited them.
But her plans of operation were deep laid and well matured in Mormon council, both in Salt Lake City and in St Louis And I speak advisedly when I say it, for I have the best evidence of the fact that the Mormon leaders, then and now in this city, were busily engaged in aiding and abetting those parties their nefarious work. And although the most diligent search was made in every direction, we were unable to ascertain with any degree of certainty the where-about of the woman and children until the 9th of March, when we received information of their being in Houston Texas. Mr. MCLEAN, the father of the children, had arrived in this only a few days previous-ly. PRATT was then here, but on being informed of LCLEAN’S arrival he concealed himself. A warrant was obtained for him, and diligent search made; but, with the aid of his fellow apostles, he succeeded in making his escape;
MCLEAN proceeded at once to Texas, but on his ar-rival there found that they had been gone some three week; but fortunately he obtained a list of fictitious names which she bore, and found a letter from PRATT, of which I herewith furnish you a copy, directed to her as Mrs. LUOY R. PARKER:
ST. LOUIS, Mo., March 3, 1857.
DEAR MADAM: I am well, except colds. I have just re-ceived yours of Feb. 15. Your correspondence with Mrs. Holmes, of New Orleans, has probably betrayed you be-fore this, as the Post-Office will be watched, and your handwriting known. If you and yours are safe when this reaches you, cease corresponding with N.O. Fly instant-ly from your present vicinity, Northward. Cover up your track behind you; do not look back or write back, or know any person back, neither in Houtson nor elsewhere. Take stage or private conveyance, or any way you can get to northward in safety and with speed. I shall direct no more letters to. You at Houston. My next letter will be directed to you at Fort Gibson, on the Arkansas River, Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory. Marvel not if I am at the same place myself before you get there. If not, you can stop there until I come or you hear from me. My name is Mr. P. Parker, or, if it cannot be otherwise, the next name can be added. You need not be a Mor-mon, or bound for Utah, nor need anybody know your business. You will only have to stay in Fort Gibson a week or two, and can hire your board or ear it, as the case may be. Only be reconciled.
If Brother GRINNELL or Brother MOODY, the Elders in Texas, wish to assist you, let it be in money or in ready and speedy conveyance, or in a boy or carriage, or some means or another to get you to Fort Gibson, Arkansas River.
My carriage will await you there if the Lord will. As to your clothing from New-Orleans, I have not the most distant idea your father will send you one rag. But if he should, it is a mere chance if BOARDMAN ever hers from it; there may be fifty BOARDMANS in the city. It is a pity you did not give some certain address, such, for instance, as Brother E SNOW, BOX No. 333. It will not do, however, for you to write (back) to your father, because the post-mark will put him on the Texas track. You can, however, write to your father, and request him to forward them to E. SNOW, basement of the church, corner of Fourth-street and Washington avenue, St. Louis, Mo. Date said letter to St. Louis, Mo., and indorse it to E. SNOW, and he can mail it here to the old gentleman. You can indorse in a separate note to Brother SNOW his address, and a request to forward to him, or in case your father has forwarded then to some house in St. Louis, Mo., contain-ing an order and directions to get them.
Brother SNOW can then forward them to you this sea-son. Do not make any effort to get your clothing unless you think there is some reason to hope they would be sent, because it will be giving them too much of a clue to your relationship, &c., &c.
I think I shall not start from here for Fort Gibson till I hear from you, say the 1st of April.
Mrs. SAYERS is well. She has sent the $100. I paid it to Mr. E.
My money prospects are as usual. Debt yet due in St. Louis, $131. DICK and BETSEY are well and have min-istered well.
Latest news from home, Dec. 4, Our folks all well AGATHA sends her love to you. All the family united and full of the spirit of the “reformation.” Nothing else thought of in Utah. All the trains in: much suffering among the H. Carts.
Prest. J. M. GRANT died very suddenly on the last day of November lat. It is a heavy blow to all. But he is gone to rest and is called to a wider and more useful field of labor.
Now cheer up, trust in God, seek his spirit, and may he bless and preserve you, and yours, henceforth and for ever; and may you be delivered from the hand of the enemy and gathered home, is my earnest prayer and blessing in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. Z.
Should Providence order it so that you came up the Mississippi, avoid landing in St. Louis; land in some neighboring town, and write to E. SNOW or to me.
The foregoing letter, together with other informa-tion received at Houston, afforded MCLEAN a clue to the whereabouts of the whole party. He started at once for Fort Bigson, when, on presenting his letters, he met with the warmest reception from the United States officers and soldiers, and from the entire com-munity, and every possible assistance was rendered him until he met the Mormon party and recaptured his children. There being no law in that country by which the arch fiend could be brought to justice, MC-LEAN had only the alternative left him of being ex-posed to his tormentings the remainder of his life, or of administering justice to him in a summary way. He chose the latter course and shot down the dis-tinguished polygamist, and departed with his children to place them in security, when he will come out before the world to receive whatever the conse-quences of his act may be. Whether his actions can be justified upon Christian principles or not I do not undertake to say, but if a case can be imagined in which the taking of human life is justifiable, this in my opinion is one. Imagine an artful polygamist stealthily insinuation himself into the affections of the wife of an honorable and highminded gentleman, influencing her to despise and abandon her own hus-band and friends, and smuggle off his goods to the Mormon Church, and when their nefarious plans for running off his innocent and beautiful children were discovered, and the heart broken father compelled to part with them for their safety, the villain takes his wife and the mother of his babes to his own licentious em-bracees, thus breaking up and destroying the happi-ness of a family forever-(as he had done in no less than four instance before_--bringing sorrow upon the gray hairs of parental affection. And not even content to stop there, but must come over the mountains, and by stealth rob the injured husband and father of his last remaining jewels of affection—to doom them to a life on infamy and prostitution! And tell me, where is the husband and father with the heart and spirit of a man, who would longer forbear and suffer such a fiend to live!
The public and the press of the country in which MCLEAN put and end to the tormenter of his life, unan-imously sustained him in the act. A correspondent, writing from the scene of action says: “No jail could have held him in Arkansas, had he been arrested”
I have other instances of Mormon outrages equally revolting, which have been perpetrated here in St. Louis, and in other places, which I will give you in another article. C.G. WARD, City Missionary.
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