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


Revolution of Affairs in Mormondom. 

The Mountain Meadow Massacre and Mormon Agency.

Mr. James Lynch, lately Wagon-master in the service of the U.S. Government in Utah Territory—from whom we derived mush interesting information as to the latest state of affairs there, published in our issue of yesterday—has laid before us a statement by himself as to certain circumstances connected with the never-to-be-forgotten Mountain Meadow massacre, and the part which Mormon agency played in that terrible deed, and subsequently thereto. Mr. Lynch made oath to the truth of this statement in Cedar county, U. T., on 27th July last, before Judge Eckels, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Utah. Two persons named in the statement, Thomas Dunn and John Lofink, likewise made oath at the same time, before Judge Eckels, to the facts narrated by Lynch, so far as they were personally aware of them. The sworn statement of these parties had been forwarded to President Buchanan. It reads as follows:.


James Lynch, of lawful age, being first duly sworn, states on oath: That he was one of the party who accompanied Dr. Jacob Forney, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, in an expedition to the Mountain Meadow, Santa Clara, etc., in the months of March and April last, when we recovered seventeen children, sole survivors of the wholesale massacre perpetrated at the former place in the month of September, 1857. The children, when we first saw them, were in a most wretched and deplorable condition—with little or no clothing, covered with filth and dirt. They presented a sight heart-rending and miserable in the extreme.

The scene of the fearful murder still bears evidence of the atrocious crime, charged by the Mormons and their friends to have been perpetrated by Indians, but really by Mormons disguised as Indians, who, in their headlong zeal, bigotry and fanaticism, deemed this a favorable opportunity of at once wreaking their vengeance on the hated people of Arkansas, and of making another of those iniquitious "Blood Offerings" to God, so often recommended by Brigham Young and their other leaders. For more than two square miles, the ground is strewn with the skulls, bones and other remains of the victims. In places the water had washed many of these remains together, forming little mounds—raising monuments, as it were, to the cruelty of man to his fellow-man. Here and there may be found the remains of an innocent infant beside those of some fond, devoted mother, ruthlessly slain by men worse than demons; their bones le bleaching in the noon-day sun, a mute, but eloquent appeal to a just but offended God for vengeance. I have witnessed many harrowing sights on the field of battle, but never did my heart thrill with such horrible emotions as when standing on that silent plain contemplating the remains of the innocent victims of Mormon avarice, fanaticism and cruelty. Many of these remains are now in possession of Mr. Rogers, a gentleman who accompanied us on the expedition. Why were not these remains interred, if not in a Christian-like and proper manner, at least covered from sight? But no! the hatred of their murderers extended to them after death. There they lay, a prey to the famished wolves that run howling over the desolate plains to the unlooked-for feast—good for the croaking ravens that through the tainted air with swift wing wended their way to revel in their banquet of blood.

I inquired of Jacob Hamblin, who is a high Church dignitary, why these remains were not buried some time subsequent to the murder? He said the bodies were so much decomposed that it was impossible to inter them. No longer let us boast of our citizenship, freedom or civilization. Here were one hundred and forty poor, harmless emigrants to California butchered in cold blood, by white men, too, with attending circumstances far exceeding anything in cruelty that we have ever heard or read of being perpetrated by savages. It is now high time that the actors and perpetrators of this dreadful crime should be brought to condign punishment. For years these Mormons have possessed an immunity from punishment, or a sort of privilege for committing crimes of this nature; but soon, it is to be hoped, a new state of things must dawn—a retribution must come, vengeance must be had—civilization, humanity and Christianity call for it, and the American people must have it. Blood may be shed and difficulties may be encountered, but just as sure as there is a sun at noon-day, retribution will yet overtake the guilty wretches, their aiders and abettors, whether open or hidden under disguise of Government employment.

John D. Lee, a Mormon President, has knowledge of the whereabouts of much of the property taken from these ill-fated emigrants, and, if I am not misinformed, in possession of a large quantity of it. Why not make him disgorge this ill-gotten plunder, and disclose the amount escheated to, and sold out by the Mormon Church, as its share of the blood of helpless victims? When he enters into a league with hell and covenant with death, he should not be allowed to make feasts and entertain Government officials at his table, as he did Dr. Jacob Forney, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, while the rest of his party refused in his hearing, and that of Lee, to share the hospitalities of hits notorious murderer, this scourge of the desert. This man Lee does not deny, but admits, that he was present at the massacre, but pretends he was there to prevent bloodshed. But positive evidence implicates him as the leader of the murderers, too deeply for denial. The children point him out as one of them that did the bloody work. He and other white men had these children, and they never were in the hands of the Indians, but in those that murdered them; and Jacob Hemblin and Jacob Forney know it. The children pointed out to us the dresses and jewelry of their mothers and sisters, that now grace the forms of these murderers' women and children. Verily, it would seem that men and women alike combined in this wholesale slaughter.

This ill-fated train consisted of 18 wagons, 280 head of cattle, household goods to a large amount, besides money estimated at $50,000 or $90,000, the greater part of which, it is believed, new makes rich the harems of John D. Lee. Of this train, a man whose name is unknown fortunately escaped at the time of the massacre to Vegas, 100 miles distant from the scene of blood, on the California road. Here he was followed by five Mormons, who, through promises of safety &c., prevailed upon him to begin his return to Mountain Meadows, and, contrary to their promises, and his just expectations, they inhumanely butchered him—laughing at, and disregarding his loud and repeated cries for mercy, as witnesses ant told by Ira Hatch, one of the five. The object in killing his man, was to leave no witness competent to give testimony in a court of justice; but God, whose ways are inscrutable, has thought proper, through the instrumentality of the "babes and sucklings" recovered by us, to bring to light this most horrible tragedy, and make known its barbarous and inhuman perpetrators. Already a step has been taken by Judge Cradlebaugh in the right direction, of which we see the evidence in the flight of presidents, bishops and elders to the mountains, to escape the just penalty of the law for their crimes. If the vengeance of the Lord is slow, it is equally sure. The Mormons have reported that the principals, and in fact all the actors in this fearful massacre, were Indian savages, but subsequent events have thrown sufficient light upon this mystery to fix the foul blot indellibly on the Mormon escutcheon.

Many of the leaders are well known. John D. Lee was the Commander-in-Chief; President Height and Bishop Smith in Cedar City, and, besides these, one hundred actors and accomplices, are known to Judge Cradlebaugh and Dr. Forney. Some of those implicated are and have been in the confidence and under the employment of the Superintendent of Indian Affairs—Bishop Hamblin, for instance, who is employed by Dr. Forney among the Indians down South, who knows all the facts, but refuses to disclose them. Hamblin falsely reported to Dr. Forney that the children we brought away were recovered by him from persons who had bought them from Indians, and who knew what he reported was false, and it was so done to cheat the Government out of money to again reward the guilty wretches for their inhuman butcheries. It is pretended that this man is friendly towards the United States Government, yet it is a well known fact that he screened some of these murderers about his house from justice, among whom are an Indian named George and a white man named Fillis, recognized by one of these children—a little girl eight years old, who has been sent off to the States by Dr. Forney—as the man who killed her mother. Hamblin cannot be a Mormon Bishop and a friend of the United States, at least where Mormons or Mormonism is concerned. His creed and oaths forbid it, and he could not if he would, with safety to himself, do it. They why not out with him? Dr. Forney can find another and more trustworthy agent than he. Why, then, keep and patronize the abettor of crime?

Before I close, my duty to my country calls upon me to state to the public the course of Dr. Forney to engender in the minds of the Mormons feelings of antipathy and opposition to the Judiciary, and the many obligations which he violated, and promises which he disregarded, during this trip.

I left Camp Floyd in March last, in charge of 39 men emigrating to Arizona. About the 27th of that month, we came up with Dr. Forney at Beaver City, who there informed me that he was en route to the scene of the Mountain Meadow massacre and Santa Clara, to procure evidence in relation thereto, and to secure the surviving children. He informed me that all his men had left him, being Mormons, and who, before leaving, had informed him (Forney) that if he went down south, the people down there would make a eunuch of him; and he asked us for aid and assistance. I cheerfully placed the whole party at his command, telling him that he had started upon an errand of mercy, and it was strange that he should have employed Mormons—the very confederates of these monsters who had so wantonly murdered unoffending emigrants—to ferret out the guilty parties. He was left without a man, and we found him guarding his mules and wagons. He requested two of the men of my party (Thomas Dunn and John Lofink) to return to Great Salt Lake city with him, promising to give them employment during the following summer and the winter. They consented to abandon their trip to Arizona upon these terms, and returned with the Doctor; and, I am sorry to say, he violated his plighted faith and his solemn contract on reaching the city, by immediately discharging them without cause and hiring Mormons to take their place, as I am informed has been his custom since he came into the Valley.

I was with Dr. Forney from the time I joined him until he returned to the city of Salt Lake, having voluntarily abandoned my expedition to Arizona to aid his humane enterprise, and during the trip I repeatedly heard him tell the Mormons "that they need not fear Judge Cradlebaugh (whose disclosures and energy had created some alarm;) that he (Forney) would have him removed from office; that the Mormons (murderers and all) were all included in the President's proclamation and pardon, and would not be tried or punished for any offence whatever committed prior to the issuing of the pardon; that Judge Cradlebaugh was not a fit man for office"—in fact, abusing and slandering the Judge in unmeasured terms—no language being too low for filthy to apply to him. I could arrive at no other conclusion, from his conduct, than that the Doctor desired to influence the minds of the Mormons against the Judiciary, and that he cared more to create a prejudice against Judge Cradlebaugh's course in attempting to bring these murders to light, than he did to elicit the truth relative to the murders; and that he was only following out his instructions from the general Government in going after the children, while he was availing himself of this journey to make a pilgrimage to the south settlements to abuse and traduce Judge Cradlebaugh, and arouse a feeling of resistance to his authority among the guilty murderers.

It is to be regretted that the Doctor has manifested so hostile a feeling to his associate Federal officers, and that he course of the Judges, especially that of Judge Cradlebaugh, has to be criticized by such a man as Jacob Forney—a more veritable old granny than whom, in my opinion, never held an official position in this country; and in this opinion I am home out by the concurrent opinions of nearly all the Gentile population in Utah who know him, as well as by many of the Mormon people.

I now reside in Cedar county, U. T. JAMES LYNCH

James Lynch, being duly sworn, states on oath that all the material fact stated by him the foregoing affidavit, so far as he states the same of his own knowledge are true, and so far as he states the same as from information derived from others; as, also the conclusions drawn from the same he believes to be true, and further saith not.

JAMES LYNCH Sworn and subscribed to July 27th, 1859.

D. H. ECKELS, Chief Justice Supreme Court. The undersigned state on oath that the foregoing affidavit has been carefully read to them: that they are the identical person named in it as having been employed by Dr. Jacob Forney to return with him to Salt Lake City; that they went from Beaver City with said Forney south and back again; and that we fully concur in the statements made by James Lynch in the foregoing affidavit, as to what we saw and heard on the trip, and the conduct of Dr. Forney, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, and further say not. THOMAS DUNN JOHN LOFINK Subscribed and sworn to before me July 27th, 1859, D. R. ECKELS, Chief Justice of Supreme Court.