"Horrible Massacre of Emigrants!!" The Mountain Meadows Massacre in Public Discourse

[p. 23]


We give below an extract from the Lee trial, showing briefly and conclusively that the authorities of the Church a Jests Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the "Mormon" people, were innocent of any complicity whatever, in the terrible tragedy enacted at Mountain Meadows, that on the contrary President Brigham Young sought by every means in his power save the unfortunate emigrants.

Remarks made by Mr. Sumner Howard, Ex-Chief Justice of Arizona, and United States Prosecuting Attorney at the second trial of John D. Lee:

"He proposed to prove that John D. Lee, without any authority from any council or officer, but in direct opposition to the feelings and wishes of the officers of the Mormon Church, had gone to the Mountain Meadows, where the  
[p. 24]

Indians were then encamped, accompanied only by a little Indian boy, and had assumed command of the Indians, whom be had induced, by promises of great booty, to attack these emigrants. All these charges against John D. Lee, he (District Attorney Howard) proposed to prove the jury by competent testimony, beyond any reasonable doubt, or beyond any doubt, and thought to appeal to the jury would be required to induce them to give a verdict in accordance with the evidence.

"James Haslam, of Wellsville, Cache County, was sworn. He lived in Cedar City in 1857; was ordered by Haight to take a message to President Young will all speed; knew the contents of the message; left Cedar City September 7, 1857, between 5 and 6 p. m., and arrived at Salt Lake on Thursday at 11 a. m.; started back at 3 p. m., and reached Cedar about 11 a. m. Sunday morning, September 13th; deliverd the answer from President Young to Haight, who said it was too late. Witness testified that when leaving Salt Lake to return, President Young said to him: 'Go with all speed, spare no horseflesh. The emigrants must not be meddled with, if it takes all Iron County to prevent it. They must go free and unmolested.' Witness knew the contents of the answer. He got back with the message the Sunday after the massacre and reported to Haight, who said, 'It is too late.'"

At the second trial the evidence was plain and direct as to Lee's complicity in the massacre; he was convicted by "Mormon" testimony, and a verdict of "guilty" was brought against him by a "Mormon" jury.

At the close of the second trial U. S. District Attorney Sumner Howard, in his opening address, repeated again that he had come for the purpose of trying John D. Lee, because, the evidence led and pointed to him as the main instigator and leader, and he given the jury unanswerable documentary evidence, proving that the authorities of the Mormon Church knew nothing of the butchery until after it was committed, and that Lee, in his letter to President Young a few weeks later, had knowingly misrepresented the actual facts relative to the massacre; seeking to keep him still in the dark and in ignorance. He had received all the assistance any United States official could ask on earth in any case. Nothing had been kept back, and he was determined to clear the calendar of every indictment against any and every actual guilty participator in the massacre.