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



The Memphis Bulletin of December 3d publishes a new version of the recent massacre of emigrants by Indians in Utah, which, if correct, shows that the accounts of that tragedy heretofore received were much exaggerated. The Bulletin's authority is a letter by a citizen of New Madrid from a relative who was in the company alleged to have been massacred. According to this the train was attacked by a very large body of Indians, but the latter were repulsed with the loss of only a few lives. The Journal of Commerce remarks:

"These statements wear an air of probability, and are rather confirmed than disproved by the reports already published. The two men (Messrs. Power and Warn) whose statements have been received as a corroboration of the massacre obtained their information, not by personal observation, but form the Mormons through whom they passed, who seemed anxious to impress upon them the belief that the entire company had perished. There is very little to substantiate the truth of this outrage exception these reports. These men travelled the entire route in the rear of the train, but saw no dead bodies, and but few evidences of any act of outrage. They met a company of Indians and white men, with a wagon, coming from the scene of slaughter. These were driving 'several head of the emigrant's cattle,' and many of them had shawls and bundles of women's clothes tied to their saddles. If this was all the plunder obtained it was but a small quantity to take from one hundred and eighteen persons, and showed that the attack could not have been very successful. Moreover, Mr. Warn says in his report, that when he was at Cedar City an express arrived from the Indians stating that one of their warriors had run up and looked into their corral, (their barricade,) and he supposed that 'only five or six of the emigrants were killed yet.' The whole truth in the matter seems to be that one of those attacks so often made upon wagon trains was exaggerated by the Mormons into a wholesale slaughter to subserve their own purpose.