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



Late advices from Utah confirm previous reports as to the complicity of the Mormons in the horrible massacre of one hundred and twenty-three emigrants perpetrated at Mountain Meadow, two or three years ago. Judge Cradlebaugh instituted a rigid examination into the affair, eliciting testimony which resulted in the issuing of warrants for the arrest of forty men, some of them being high dignitaries of the Mormon Church. Other instances of massacre were also inquired into, and the whole number of Mormons implicated therein and for whom warrants have been issued is nearly one hundred. Of the guilt of these parties, and of the frequent practice, by order of the Mormon Hierarchy, or the most revolting atrocities upon peaceable emigrants, as well as upon those or their own communion who were seeking to escape from the tyranny of Brigham and the Twelve, the testimony was full and irresistible. The attempt to palm off these infernal acts upon the Indians was so entirely unsupported by evidence, except where they had been employed for the purpose by Mormon leaders, that it was entirely abandoned, and bishops and other church dignitaries against whom the evidence pointed, fled incontinently to the fastnesses of the Mountains and other places of concealment to avoid arrest.

Meanwhile the sympathies of Gov. Cumming are known to be on the side of the Mormons, and the administration sustains him in his efforts to prevent the execution of justice upon these mountain desperadoes. They have not been arrested, nor will they be. Our readers have not forgotten the scenes that transpired at Provo when Judge Cradlebaugh endeavored to enforce the execution of the laws, through the aid of the military, against offenders, For that he was condemned by the Administration, and orders were dispatched to Utah forbidding the military to give him further aid in guarding his court and shielding witnesses from the fury of the Mormon priesthood. As soon as these orders reach the Territory, the Mountain Meadow murderers will come out from their hiding places, and openly set Judge Cradlebaugh at defiance; and so long as Gov. Cumming continues to be the supple tool of Brigham Young, both United States Judges and the Federal troops will be powerless against them.

We are not astonished to learn, as we do through private sources, that disgust with the Administration and an unwillingness to be longer placed in contact with so much villainy without the power to suppress or punish it, is the common feeling of both officers and men now stationed in Utah. We are assured that this feeling is universal throughout the army—that it is participated in by all ranks from Gen. Johnson down is the most obscure private in his command. Nor are rumors wanting of a settled determination on the part of the officers of the Utah Army, as well as the judges of the United States Court, to resign their respective commissions in a body and return home. Such a proceeding—though attended with great personal sacrifice in every instance—would undoubtedly be the best thing they could do, and would justly entitle them to the gratitude and respect or every honest man in the country.

It is difficult to divine the motives that actuate the administration in its Utah policy. We can understand why it takes advantage of the condition of things there to make its retainers rich, by corruptly and fraudulently awarding them contracts for army supplies, at rates ten times beyond what others would take the job for. We can also understand why such creatures as Cumming and Hartnett are selected to till the offices of the Territory: but wherein the administration expects to derive advantage from protecting the polygamists, robbers and murderers of that modern Gomorrah from the majesty of violated law is wholly beyond our comprehension. Is it done to establish a precedent by virtue of which the South may hope hereafter to carry slavery into that and the other territories? Or is it the result of judicial blindness, inflicted by a higher power, and which is intended to fill up the cup of this Administration's iniquities until the people shall hurl it and the party which supports it from the high places of the land?