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


The Emigrant Massacre. 

Editor of the San Francisco Herald—

I have just had a conversation with Mr. B., who has read a letter from Orson Hyde, received here the day before yesterday, (Oct. 7th,) from San Bernardino, at which place Hyde recently arrived, with an escort of thirty men, from Salt Lake, and where his letter was written to a fellow Mormon here, Mr. L. He writes, that he left Salt Lake just two days after the unfortunate emigrant train and passed that place, and overtook them in time to save the children remaining alive — fifteen infants only; that the bodies of 118 persons, men, women, and children, were lying upon the ground, a prey to the buzzards, many of whom were of the "back out order," who had joined the California emigrant train for security in traveling. Hyde writes, that he learned from the settlers in the vicinity of the place of the massacre, that the Indians fired upon the camp about two hours before day, killing a large number, and then retreated. The emigrants then formed a corral with their wagons, and at daylight the Indians returned to the attack. That the fight lasted "two days," when the emigrants sent out a little girl about twelve years old with a flag of surrender; that she was killed, and the entire train destroyed, leaving the bodies upon the ground, which Orson Hyde himself counted (118,) he arriving at the spot just in time to gather up the fifteen infants, which he brought to San Bernardino. Hyde is going directly back to Salt Lake, and takes, per Brigham Young's instructions, a large number of Mormons with him. The recipient of this letters thinks the fate of the "back outs" just and merited. My informant don't believe it was the Indians who killed the emigrants.