have no possible knowledge of the Bishop's affidavit, nor could
the Bishop know of " Argus's " letters. The affidavit was
made in April, 1871, and was secretly preserved in the hands
of a Federal officer : the " Argus Letters " were written in
July and August. It is singularly strange that both writers
should give so harmonious and clear a statement.
u State of Nevada, County of Lincoln, ss. : Personally appeared before
me, Peter B. Miller, Clerk of Court of the Seventh Judicial District 6f the
State of Nevada, Philip Klingon Smith, who being duly sworn, on his
oath, says : My name is Philip Klingon Smith ; I reside in the County of
Lincoln, in the State of Nevada ; I resided at Cedar City, in the County
of Iron, in the Territory of Utah, from A. D. 1852 to A. D. 1859; I was re-
siding at said Cedar City at the time of the massacre at Mountain Meadows,
440 THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
in said Territory of Utah ; I had heard that a company of emigrants was on
its way from Salt Lake City, bound for California ; said company arrived
at said Cedar City, tarried there one day, and passed on for California ;
after said company had left Cedar City, the militia was called out for the
purpose of committing acts of hostility against them ; said call was a reg-
ular military call from the superior officers to the subordinate officers and
privates of the regiment at Cedar City and vicinity, composing a part of
the militia of the Territory of Utah ; I do not recollect the number of the
regiment ; I was at that time the Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-Day Saints at Cedar City ; Isaac C. Haight was President over said
church at Cedar City and the southern settlements in said Territory ; my
* position as Bishop was subordinate to that of said President ; W. H. Dame
was President of said Church at Parowan in said Iron County ; said W.
H. Dame was also colonel of said regiment ; said Isaac C. Haight was
lieutenant-colonel of said regiment, and said John D. Lee, of Harmony, in
said Iron County, was major of said regiment ; said regiment was duly
ordered to muster, armed and equipped as the law directs, and prepared
for field operations ; I had no command nor office in said regiment at the
time, neither did I march with said regiment on the expedition which re-
sulted in said company's being massacred in the Mountain Meadows, in
said County of Iron ; about four days after said company of emigrants
had left Cedar City, that portion of said regiment then mustered at Cedar
City took up its line of march in pursuit of them ; about two days after
said company had left said Cedar City, Lieutenant-Colonel I. C. Haight
expressed, in my presence, a desire that said company might be permitted
to pass on their way in peace ; but afterward he told me that he had
orders from headquarters to kill all of said company of emigrants except
the little children ; I do not know whether said headquarters meant the
Regimental Headquarters at Parowan, or the Headquarters of the Com-
I mander-in-Chief at Salt Lake City ; when the said company had got to
1 Iron Creek, about twenty (20) miles from Cedar City, Captain Joel White
started for Pinto Creek settlement, through which said company would
pass, for the purpose of influencing the people to permit said company to
pass on their way in peace ; I asked and obtained permission of said
"White to go with him and aid him in his endeavours to save life ; when
said White and myself got about three miles from Cedar City we met
Major John D. Lee, who asked us where we were going ; I replied that
we were going to try to prevent the killing of the emigrants; Lee
replied, ' I have something to say about that ; ' Lee was at that time
on his way to Parowan, the Headquarters of Colonel Dame ; said White
and I went to Pinto Creek; remained there one night, and the next
day returned to Cedar City, meeting said company of emigrants at
Iron Creek ; before reaching Cedar City we met one Ira Allen, who told
us ' that the decree had passed, devoting said company to destruction ; '
after the fight had been going on for three or four days, a messen-
ger from Major Lee reached Cedar City, who stated that the fight had
BISHOP SMITH'S AFFIDAVIT. 441
not been altogether successful, upon which .Lieutenant-Colonel iuight
ordered out a reenforcenient ; at this time I was ordered out by Captain
John M. Higbee, who ordered me to muster, * armed and equipped as the
law directs ; ' it was a matter of life or death to me to muster or not, and
I mustered with the reenforcing troops ; it was at this time that Lieuten-
ant-Colonel Haight said to me that it was the orders from headquarters
that all but the little children of said company were to be killed ; said
Haight had at that time just returned from headquarters at Parowan,
where a military council had been held ; there had been a like council held
at Parowan previous to that, at which were present Colonel Dame, Lieuten-
ant-Colonel I. C. Haight, and Major John D. Lee ; the result of this first
council was the calling out of said regiment for the purpose already stated ;
the reinforcement aforesaid was marched to the Mountain Meadows, and
there formed a junction with the main body ; Major Lee massed all the
troops at a spring, and made a speech to them, saying that his orders from
headquarters were to kill the entire company except the small children ; I
was not in the ranks at that time, but on the side talking to a man named
Slade, and could not have seen a paper in Major Lee's hands ; said Lee
then sent a flag of truce into the emigrant camp, offering said emigrants
that ' if they lay down their arms, he would protect them ; ' they accord-
ingly laid down their arms, came out from their camp, and delivered them-
selves up to said Lee ; the women and children were then, by the order of
said Lee, separated from the men, and were marched ahead of the men ;
after said emigrants had marched about a half mile toward Cedar City,
the order was given to shoot them down ; at that time said Lee was at
the hea/i of the column ; I was in the rear ; I did not hear Lee give the
order to fire, but heard it from the under officers as it was passed down
the column; the emigrants were then and there shot down, except seven-
teen little children, which I immediately took into my charge ; I do not
know the total number t)f said company, as I did not stop to count the
dead ; I immediately put the little children in baggage-wagons belonging
to the regiment, and took them to Hamlin's ranche, and from there to
Cedar City, and procured them homes among the people ; John Willis
and Samuel Murdy assisted me in taking charge of said children ; on the
evening of the massacre, Colonel W. H. Dame and Lieutenant I. 0. Haight
came to Hamlin's, where I had the said children, and fell into a dispute,
in the course of which said Haight told Colonel Dame that, if he was go-
ing to report of the killing of said emigrants, he should not have ordered
it done ; I do not know when or where said troops were disbanded ; about
two weeks after said massacre occurred, said Major Lee (who was also an
Indian Agent), went to Salt Lake City, and, as I believe, reported said
fight and its results to the commander-in-chief ; I was not present at either
of the before-mentioned councils, nor at any council connected with the
aforesaid military operations, or with said company ; I gave no orders ex-
cept those connected with the saving of the children, and those, after the
massacre had occurred, and said orders were given as bishop and not in a
442 THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
military sense ; at the time of the firing of the first volley I discharged my
piece ; I did not fire afterward, though several subsequent volleys were
fired ; after the first fire was delivered I at once set about saving the chil-
dren ; I commenced to gather up the children before the firing had ceased.
I have made the foregoing statement before the above-entitled court for
the reason that I believe that I would be assassinated should I attempt to
make the same before any court in the Territory of Utah.* After said Lee
returned from Salt Lake City, as aforesaid, said Lee told me that he had
reported fully to the President, meaning the command er-in-chief, the
fight at Mountain Meadows, and the killing of said emigrants. Brigham
Young f was at that time the commander-in-chief of the militia of the Ter-
ritory of Utah ; and further deponent saith not.
(Signed) PHILIP KLINGON SMITH.
" Subscribed and sworn to before me, this 10th day of April, A. D. 1871.
(Signed) P. B. MILLER, County Cleric.
" District Court, Seventh Judicial District, Lincoln County, Nevada.
(Copy of seal.)
" Utah Territory, County of Salt Lake, ss. : T, O. F. Strickland, Associate
Justice of the Supreme Court of Utah Territory, hereby certify that I have
carefully compared the foregoing copy of affidavit with the original of the
same, and that the foregoing copy is a true literal copy of said original,
and that such comparison was made this 4th day of September, 1872.
(Signed) O. F. STRICKLAND."
" Territory of Utah, Salt Lake County, ss. : I, James B. McKean, Chief
Justice of the Supreme Court of said Territory, do certify that I have care-
fully compared the above copy of an afii davit with the original of the
same, and know the same to be in all particulars a true copy thereof.
(Signed) JAMES B. McKEAN, Chief Justice, etc.
" Dated September 5, 1872."
The following map throws much additional light upon the
statements of both " Argus " and Bishop Smith. The latter
states that while he and Captain Joel White were travelling
* Since this affidavit was made, great changes have taken place through the in-
flux of Gentiles, and Bishop Smith now expresses his readiness to " return to Utah
and give testimony in person."
f The Mormons, who seek to exonerate Brigham Young from all complicity with
the murderers of the emigrants, relate that, when Lee offered to pay him a tithing
of the ill-gotten gear, he refused it, and threw it from him. Be the latter part of
the statement true or false, the acknowledgment of the former shows that Brigham
Young had the opportunity of knowing who were the guilty parties, even if he him-
self did not direct them, and could have brought them to justice. But there is no
necessity to argue from any disciple's admissions, for it is a fact, of which there is
evidence, that John D. Lee did make a report of the Mountain Meadows Massacre to
Governor Brigham Young, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, etc., and that report
THE PLAN OF THE MASSACRE.
southward from Cedar City to Pinto Creek, they met Lee
three miles south of Cedar, who had something to say about
" trying to prevent the killing of the emigrants." The subject
of attacking them had evidently been spoken of among the
Mormons ; but as yet, not by authority, at least so far as White
and Smith knew, or they would not have undertaken the jour-
ney to Pinto Creek to dissuade the people from " killing the
" emigrants." Lee was then en route to headquarters at Paro-
wan. On the return of the Bishop and Captain White from
Pinto Creek, the next evening, before they reached Cedar City,
EOAD FEOM FILLMOEE
Cov & Cn o-^?
^ifreMuddr ^f^ v
-^p** Hamlivs j>Ranc
he says, " We met Ira Allen, who told us that ' the decree had
" ' passed devoting said company to destruction.' ' In a letter
dated August 10, 1871,"" Argus," without any knowledge of
Bishop Smith's affidavit, incidentally accounts for the informa-
tion in the possession of Allen, and says :
" Had the original order to assault the emigrants in Santa Clara Canon
been carried out, not one of them would have been living in fifteen min-
utes after the head teams had been shot down. They would have been
was written in the house of the aposlle Ezra T. Benson, in Salt Lake City, within tico
hundred yards of the official residence of the Governor and Prophet of the Lord !
444 THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
covered by the rifles of your troops from every possible direction. But
ample provision was made to cut off any that might escape. For this pur-
pose a party, headed ty one Allen, was sent to watch the road between the train
and the Muddy, and Ira Hatch and a fellow-missionary (!) were sent to the
crossing of the Muddy. These good brethren were instructed to shoot
down any who should chance to escape the attack of Lee. On the night
of the second day of the battle, two men, on horseback, left the emigrants'
camp, and started cautiously toward California. They had, probably,
been sent. As they were passing Allen's ambush, one of them was shot
the other got away. Word was dispatched to Parowan, and armed parties
were immediately sent out to hunt down and kill him. They did not find
him he had returned to camp, and was recognized after the massacre."
It is further stated by this writer, that
"... a man named Boyle was sent on a mission to the Mojave Crossing
well armed and with a key [mail-sack key], to prevent any suspicious
mail-matter from reaching San Bernardino, and to kill off any one who by
any possibility might have escaped and got along that far. These par-
ticulars are given to show how thoroughly planned and cold-blooded
was everything connected with the war of extermination made upon the
Arkansas emigrants," ....
and to further show that some other mind than that of John
D. Lee had concocted the plan of the massacre.
It was with the knowledge of these facts that Judge
Cradlebaugh delivered that extraordinary charge to the Grand
Jury at Provo.* The Judge had with a Federal escort visited
the scene of the massacre within eighteen months of the per-
petration of the deed, and had seen the bones of that Arkansas
company bleaching on the Meadows.f With the actors all
* Ante, p. 404.
f While Judge Cradlebaugh was in Cedar City, on his return from the Meadows,
a number of persons made affidavit against the leading Mormons there who had
taken prominent part in the massacre, and several of the actors in it came to him
by riight and expressed their readiness to testify to the facts whenever they had
the assurance of protection. On the information obtained from these parties the
Judge issued warrants for the arrest of the following persons :
" Isaac C. Haicfht, President of the Cedar City Stake ; Bishop John M. Higbee
and Bishop John JD. Lee ; Columbus Freeman, William Slade, John Willis, William
Biggs,. Ingram, Daniel McFarlan, William Stewart, Ira Allen and son, Thomas
Cai-twright, E. Welean, William Halley, Jabez Nomlen, John Mangum, James Price,
John W. Adair, Tyler, Joseph Smith, Samuel Pollock, John McFarlan, Nephi
Johnson, Thornton, Joel White, Harrison, Charles Hopkins, Joseph Elang,
Samuel Lewis, Sims Matheney, James Mangum, Harrison Pierce, Samuel Adair, F.
C. McDulange, Wm. Bateman, Ezra Curtis, and Alexander Loveridge." The names
in italics are specially mentioned in the reports both by Bishop Smith and " Argus."
While the Judge was so occupied, the captain commanding the Federal troops
GOVERNOR GUMMING REPROACHES BRIGHAM. , 445
around him, and the people horrified at the enormity of the
crime, he would have held his court at Cedar City, and could
have brought to light the truly guilty authors of that atrocious
deed, but for the interference of Governor Camming, whose
confiding nature trusted in the promises of his predecessor to
make a full investigation of the matter u without the presence
" of the troops." On that promise Governor Gumming relied,,
and on his representation to the Government at Washington
that the United States troops were unnecessary to sustain the
Federal Judges, the Government immediately ordered General
Johnston to furnish no troops except on the requisition of the
" Argus," from personal conversation with the Governor,
affirms that he felt keenly his failure to investigate those mur-
ders, and relates that before he left the Territory he visited
Brigham Young and upbraided him with " having purposely
" lied to and deceived him." . Such was no doubt the feeling
of the Governor expressed to " Argus " whether he ever said
so to Brigham or not for he used about the same language to
other persons. The opportunity and duty of bringing the guilty
to justice were those peculiarly belonging to the governorship
of Alfred Gumming : the crime had been committed after he
was appointed to Utah, and he was the fitting person to have
made the investigation. But the diplomacy that brought him
into collision with the military commander at Fort Bridger
tied him hand and fooi, and he afterwards could only move as
Brigham moved him.* The strength of his right arm was gone
when he broke with General Johnston, and his left leaned on
a bruised reed that was destined to fail him ; and no man saw
this more clearly than Gumming did himself.
that had escorted his Honour to the Mountain Meadows informed him that he " had
received orders for his entire command to return to Camp Floyd ; the General hav-
ing received orders from Washington that the military should not be used in pro-
tecting the courts, or in acting as a posse to aid the marshal in making arrests."
* A day or two before the Governor left the Territory, the Author, in familiar
conversation with him about the then near future, asked : " How will Wootton [the
" Secretary in his absence became Acting Governor] get along ? " " Get along ? "
replied he ; " well enough, if he will do nothing. There is nothing to do. Alfred
" Gumming is Governor of the Territory, but Brigham Young is Governor of tJie people.
" By , I am not fool enough to think otherwise. Let Wootton learn that, and he
" will get along, and the sooner he knows that the better. This is a curious place ! "
446 THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
There was no " public opinion " in Utah at that time, nor
for years after could any expression of condemnation be heard ;
but among those who could utter free words within their own
circle of friends, the Mountain Meadows Massacre has been
branded with a condemnation as burning as was ever expressed
by the Gentiles. The dominant theory among the intelligent
MormoDs was that Brigham Young had not himself ordered
the massacre, but that he feared its investigation, as the men
who did the deed were his brethren in the faith, and were in
official relations with him, and that the massacre being brought
before a court it would doubtless lead to the execution of men
who might plead that it was the teachings of the Tabernacle
that had rendered them capable of the perpetration of such a
terrible crime. Further, an investigation would have revealed
the despotism of a system, that constrained m^n to imbrue
their hands in the blood of unoffending, innocent men, women,
and helpless children, in order, only to save themselves from
the charge of disobedience and the fatal consequences of re-
bellion at such a moment.
Believing, with many others in Utah, that it was possible
that Lee and his confederates had been tempted by the wealth
of the passing emigrants, and had availed themselves of the
excitement of the people to attack the train, the Author ad-
dressed the following communication to the Prophet, in hopes
that he would avail himself of this opportunity, however in-
significant it might be in his estimation, of putting himself
right with at least a portion of the public :
" ASTOB HOUSE, NEW YOBK, July 10, 1871.
" President Brigham Young
" SIR : Being engaged in preparing a work for publication that will
notice prominent incidents in Utah history, and desirous of doing no in-
justice by misstatement, I think it proper to ask information such as, in
the quality of Governor of Utah and Superintendent of Indian Affairs,
ycfu probably possessed at the date referred to, and may not think it im-
proper to impart now.
"What Indians committed what is generally termed the Mountain
Meadows Massacre ? What number of Indians were engaged in it ? Were
any of them ever punished ; if so, how, and by whose order ? Did any
person by the Governor's order take charge of the property of the emi-
grants ? What became of it ?
" It is generally understood that you sent an express to the leading
KEMORSE OF THE GUILTY. 447
white men in that neighbourhood to allow the emigrants to pass along
unmolested. I should be pleased to publish such an order if you would
furnish a copy. I have heard of the recent excommunication from the
Church of John D. Lee, Isaac C. Haight, and others, for being participa-
tors in that horrible crime. If this is correct, I should be gratified with
this and such other information on this point as you might feel disposed
to furnish me. I shall of course make use of the intelligence which I may
receive in the 'book in a manner to place your statements fairly before the
public, recommending at the same time that the guilty be brought to
justice. Very respectfully, etc. T. B. H. STENHOUSE."
To this letter no reply was vouchsafed.
Whatever differences of opinion may exist between former
members of the Church and the Prophet, no proper-minded
person among them desires to see any wrong imputed to Brig-
ham Young of which he is innocent ; and of the responsibility
of this massacre, above all other things, his bitterest enemy
should be pleased to see him exonerated.
The apostles who have spoken and written upon this pain-
ful subject, have endeavoured to fasten the guilt solely upon
the Indians, but this was a grave error, as well as being directly
and palpably false.
There is implanted in the human breast an instinctive
horror of the act of murder, and a large number of the Mor-
mons who took part in the massacre were too good men to rest
in peace after the commission of a dreadful deed that was
forced upon them. It has unmistakably withered and blasted
their happiness, and some of them have suffered agonizing tor-
tures of conscience, equal to those of Shakespeare's Thane of
Cawdor. Two of them are said to have lost their reason en-
tirely, and others have gone to early graves with a full realiza-
tion of the terrible crime upon their souls. To expect silence
among the living while such a deed was consuming them was
a great folly, and the exposure in detail now coming to light is
what every sensible man might have expected some time or
In his speech to Congress, already referred to, Judge Cradle-
baugh thus relates what he had personally and officially ascer-
tained of the massacre :
"During our stay there [Santa Clara] I was visited by the Indian
448 THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
chiefs of that section, who gave ine their version of the massacre. They
admitted that a portion of their men were engaged in the massacre, but
were not there when the attack commenced. One of them told me, in
the presence of the others, that after the attack had been made a white
man came to their camp with a piece of paper, which he said Brigham
Young had sent, that directed them to go and help to whip the emigrants.
A portion of the band went but did not assist in the fight. He gave as a
reason that the emigrants had long guns, and were good shots. He said
that his brother [this chief's name was Jackson] was shot while running
across the Meadow, at a distance of two hundred yards from the corral
where the emigrants were. He said the Mormons were all painted. He
said the Indians got a part of the clothing ; and gave the names of John
D. Lee, President Haight, and Bishop Higbee, as the big captains. It
might be proper here to remark, that the Indians in the southern part of
the Territory of Utah are not numerous, and are a very low, cowardly,
beastly set, very few of them being armed with guns. They are not for-
midable. I believe all in the southern part of the Territory would, under
no circumstances, carry on a fight against ten white men.
" From our camp on the Santa Clara we again went back to the Moun-
tain Meadows, camping near where the massacre had occurred. The
Meadow is about five miles in length and one in width, running to quite
a narrow point at the southwest end. It is the divide between the waters
that flow into the Great Basin and those emptying into the Colorado
river. A very large spring rises in the south end of the narrow part. It
was on the north side of this spring that the emigrants camped. The
bank rises from the spring eight or ten feet, then extends off to the north