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



The Mountain Meadows Massacre.

There has just been published at Salt Lake City, with the authenticating certificates of Chief Justice McKean and Mr. Justice Strickland, of the Utah Supreme Court, a copy of an affidavit purporting to have been made in Lincoln county, Nevada, a year and a half ago, by one Philip Klingon Smith. He describes himself as at the time of the events a Mormon bishop and an involuntary participant in them, recounting the treacherous massacre of a party of emigrants to California, At Mountain Meadows, by a regiment of Mormon militia whose action (if not originally directed) was subsequently acquiesced in by Brigham Young.

According to Smith's statement the manner of the massacre was cowardly in the extreme. After an unsuccessful skirmish of several days, the Mormons being reinforced, demanded that the emigrants should lay down their arms, with the added assurance that all their lives should be spared. No sooner however had they complied, and the women and children been separated from the men, than the latter were placed in a hollow square of the Mormon militia and shot down in cold blood. Such is the story. That it should be denied at Salt Lake, is natural.