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


Public Meeting. 

A mass meeting of the citizens of Los Angeles, convened at the Pavillion, on the Plaza, October 12th, 1857, to investigate the facts in the recent massacre, on the Salt Lake road, of more than one hundred Americans.

The meeting was organized by the election of Mr. George N. Whitman, chairman, and Mr. W. H. Peterson, secretary.

The object of the meeting was stated by Mr. Charles Chapman.

Mr. W. A. Wallace read the statements of Messrs. Powers, of Arkansas, and Warn, of Genessee, N.Y., which will be found elsewhere.

The meeting was then addressed, in a eloquent manner, by Dr. Andrews, Messrs. Sparks, Margrudge, Chapman, and others.

Upon the motion of Mr. Sparks, a committee of five, consisting of Messrs. Q. S. Sparks, W. A. Wallace, Dr. Andrews, Ezra Drown, and W. W. Twist, was appointed to draft resolutions expressive of the sense of the meeting, and to report at an adjeurned meeting:

Meeting adjourned to 13th inst., at 8 o'clock P.M. October 13, 1857.

Meeting met pursuant to adjournment. Committee reported the following preamble and resolutions, which were unanimously adopted:—

WHEREAS, After a careful examination into all the circumstances connected with the late horrible massacre in Utah Territory, we firmly believe the atrocious act was perpetrated by the Mormons, and their allies the Indians; and

WHEREAS, We perceive the rapidly gathering cloud of troubles caused by a long, undisturbed, systemized course of thefts, robberies, and murders, promoted and sanctioned by their leader, and head prophet, Brigham Young, together with the Elders and followers of the Mormon Church, upon American citizens, who necessity has compelled to pass through their Territory. Aware of their bitter hostility to our republican government, and all its Institutions; their rejection, insult, oppression, and in some cases murder, of the Federal officers, sent by the President to enforce the laws of the United States; believing that the late massacre in cold blood of one hundred and eighteen persons, included in which number, were sixty women and children, is but the commencement of a series of such fiendish atrocities that the many emigrant trains, now on their way from the Western States to California, are liable to meet the same fate; that unless speedy measures are taken by the Government of the United States, the tide of emigration by this route will be entirely stopped.

Therefore, be it resolved, That we respectfully petition the President of the United States, to exert the authority vested in him by the Constitution; that prompt measures may be taken for the punishment of the authors of the recent appalling and wholesale butchery of innocent men, women and children.

Resolved, That as there are at the present time, a large community of Mormons residing in the adjoining county of San Bernardino, many of whom are living in open violation of one the most important and scared laws of our State.

Be it Resolved, That we hereby respectfully request the Chief Executive of this State, to enforce its laws upon the people.

Resolved, That we hold ourselves ready at all times to respond to the call of the proper authority, to assist, if necessary, in enforcing obedience to the laws.

Upon motions, ordered that the proceedings be printed in the Los Angeles Star and El Clamor Publico.

Meeting adjourned sine die.

GEORGE N. WHITMAN, Chairman. Wm. H. PETERSON, Secretary