Mountain Meadows Massacre Historical Accounts

Mr. Warn says, according to his memorandum:

On the 5th of September, we encamped at Corn Creek. Here I had a conversation with the Indian agent, concerning the poisoning of the ox. He said that six Indians had died; that others were sick and would die. Upon one of them, the poison had worked out all over his breast, and he was dead the next morning, as reported. Afterward, I conversed with an Indian, said to be the war chief Ammon, who spoke good English. I inquired how many of his tribe had died from eating the poisoned animal. He replied not any, but some were sick. He did not attribute the sickness to poison, nor did he give any reason for it. His manner and that of all his people towards us was not only friendly but cordial, and he did not mention the train which had been doomed. Besides the Mormon train, there were camped at this place two or three emigrant trains, amounting to fifteen or eighteen wagons, with whom the Indians were as friendly as with ourselves. From Corn Creek, nothing of importance occurred more than is related by Mr. Powers, until we arrived at Cedar City. Here the four men, spoken of by Mr. Powers, (and among whom I recognized Mr. Dame) arrived at our camp; they wished to get fresh animals, that they might go on that night to the besieged party. This was Friday night, the night on which the slaughter was completed. They rested an hour or two and took refreshments. In the conversation which ensued, one of our party said, ‘Be careful, and don’t get shot, Mr. Haight.’ Mr. H. replied, ‘We shall have no shooting;’ emphasizing the we, and throwing up his head as if he meant to imply that the shooting would be all over before he arrived. They left us in good spirits.

One reason that may be assigned for the massacre of this train is, that it was known to be in possession of considerable valuable property, and this fact excited the cupidity of the Mormons. It was said they had over 600 head of stock, besides mules, etc. They were well supplied with arms and ammunition, an element of gain which enters largely into all Mormon calculations. The train was composed of families who all seemed to be in good circumstances, and as they were moving to California, their outfit indicated that they might be in possession of considerable funds. The men were very free in speaking of the Mormons; their conduct was said to have been reckless, and they would commit little acts of annoyance for the purpose of provoking the Saints. Feeling perfectly safe in their arms and numbers, they seemed to set at defiance all the powers that could be brought against them, and they were not permitted to feel the dangers that surrounded them until they were cut off from all hope of relief.

Mr. Warn states, in speaking of the emigrant who escaped and was killed at the Muddy, that at Painter Creek, some six or seven miles on the other side of the place of massacre, a Mormon told him that one of the little girls who was taken back, and who is about six years old, said that she saw her mother killed by an arrow and that her father had escaped to California. This was before Hatch joined the train. The matter of the escape was talked over by the Mormon captains, and Mathews made the remark, ‘If the man comes into our train, he shall not be received!’

The following statement is made to me by Mr. Henry Mogridge, with the request that I would give it publicity. He is a young man, and was once in high favor with the powers at Salt Lake. He says if called upon, he will make an oath to the truth of his charges. He says:

In November 1853, I resided at Salt Lake and was sent to attend a council. At the council, I was solicited to take a mission to the Green River Indians. I did not consent, because I had just returned from Parowan, and the southern settlements, which I had been appointed to locate. Although not a member of the council, I was permitted to remain and heard the charge given to the missionaries to those Indians by Willard Richards, now dead. First, they were to establish missions, then they would form treaties and alliances with the Indians; the elders, both married and single, must marry, particularly the daughters of chiefs. Such ties as these could not be broken, and the Indians would be under their control forever.

At that time, war against the United States was anticipated, and they professed according to the Book of Mormon, to use the Indians ‘as the Lord’s battle-ax.’ A time would come when they would be of great service to the Saints, from their knowledge of the mountains. They were to teach the doctrines of Mormon, and baptize them into the church-they were also to monopolize all trade with them, and influence them to keep out the Gentiles.

These missionaries did not at that time, go so far as Green River, but remained in the vicinity of Fort Bridger, to watch the movements of the mountaineers, who were gathering there, indignant that Bridger had been driven off. In the following spring, several other missionaries were sent to different parts of the territory. P. P. Pratt was sent to Santa Clara for similar purposes.

I had been an eye-witness to the baptism of scores of Indians at Parowan, and other southern settlements. The doctrines taught, are invariably, that the Americans are enemies to the Mormons and Indians, and they must kill them whenever they can find them.

The Mormons have a school wherein the young men of the church are taught the different Indian dialects. These dialects are reduced to a system and are printed in books. Many of the Mormon elders and missionaries have Indian wives and are raising families of half-breeds.

I have frequently heard Brigham Young declare that he could clean out the United States with the Shoshones and Utahs and that he intended to do it.

At Painter Creek, which is but six or seven miles, on the other side of the scene of slaughter, there is a settlement of some fifteen or twenty families of Mormons. The people there knew of the beginning and end of the slaughter, but not one of them went to the assistance of the train.

Mr. Warn states that, two days before arriving at San Bernardino, a man named Bill Hyde, whom he learned was a noted Danite, and who is badly reported of in this town, joined the train, having come through with the mail. This Hyde reported that he went and saw the bodies lying scattered about upon the ground, most of them stripped naked-only a few of them being partially clothed. Dame and Haight, he said, staid there to bury the dead, but the bodies were so much decayed they could not endure the stench, and after throwing a few into a hole and covering them lightly with sage, the two Presidents departed. Decomposition must have been very rapid, to have produced so offensive results, the morning after the massacre!

Hyde also related to his Mormon brethren, that on arriving at the Santa Clara, where formerly there was a Mormon settlement, and is now occupied by the Chief Jackson, he saw in the hands of that chief, a little book, or journal, the name, “Wm. B. Jones, Caldwell County, Missouri”

He offered to purchase it, but the chief refused to part with it. This is the first intimation we have that will in any manner serve to identify the train. Not a word, nor a sign, except this, has been given, which will rescue from oblivion the name or residence of those hundred and eighteen travelers, and the only monument left of them is their bones whitening upon the desert.