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Reminiscences Of John D. Lee

Reminiscences Of John D. Lee image
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The Sun Francisco Cali publislies an interostíng interview with Capt. John Morse coneerning the Mountain Meadow massacre. The gentleman reterred to has ftgttréd dttturg many yenrs of an cvcntful lite as a frontiersmau, prospector, trapper mul trader, and was in Utah prior to the Mormon settlement and for mauy years nfter. Afc the time of the massaöare he m liring with eotne batids of ludiiUiï), nut lüore than thirty miles i'iom Moüntais Meadows, and two days afler the trageuyhevisitod thesoene and saw the mangled bodies of the Blaughtered emigrante lying on the grouml as theyhad been left by the destroyiug horde of Monnon fanaties and thcir nllics, the Indiana. Gapt. Morse wsé BB intímate acqu'aiñtanóe of Lee, and this departed u'nt, in a conversation occuring yeurs bef ore tho trial, admitted to Morse his cqmplicity in the atrorities, but, as in hitj eonfession, threw the re Bjxmsibility of the butohery upon the Mormon Cliuroh ruid diïectly ímplicated a an ncoessory before and alter the taot Brigliam Young. Morse disputes l,v's stittt ment ■ tliat Éheré'wëre 500 In diana present, claiming tliat there vrere not more than {100 in tliat wliole BÈotiott of tíie country. The butcheryWaepl&nned by the Mormons and almost entiïely effected by thom, the Indians not killing over half a dozen. He says plunder was the chief incentive to the massacre. At that time the Mormons were exccssively ppor, having nomoneyand searcely anvthing else. They would traaé thoir produce with the Ind'inns even for oldclothes. The train was a very rioh one and excited their cupidity. Morse was with Lee a good deal during his residence in Sonthern Utah, ftíifl the latter unbosomcd himself freely on the subject of the mnssacre, which seemed so dweil on his ïnind that he constantly reverted to it. Concerning the implication of Brigham Young with the massaore, Morse relatos an interview with Lee. " The last time I saw him was in Mahon county. I went to hie ranch, and he reeeived a letter - in fact, I broughtit to him myself - f rom a place calied Kanah, which stated tliat troops were on Lee's track hunting liim Up, and he liad better move on a little further. He showed me the letter and I said ; ' Lee, this is all an infernal lie ; there arfe no troops on your track at all. This is all put . up by those Mormons in St. George ' - where Brigham Young was - ' wliom Brigham has influenoed to get yoti oxit of tli way. Yon takc my atlvice, and go into the Gentile cainp and give yourself up, and mako a clean breast of the whole thing, and you will get along first-rate.' I asked him if Brigham Youug was interested iu the massiicre. He at first Raid no. I eaid I knew better, and he aaid ; 'Of c(juis( there is no use lying to you. As a matter of course, I v:is under orders. Brigham Y'ouug knew everything ; he was with me f rom the time we left Salt Lake, but the intention was to let them pass ] on to Muddy and then cateh them at Muddy. Do you suppose that any of those men - you know more of them - do you suppose they would have entered into this arrangement if they had not believed in the Mormon Ohurch, and tliat this thing emanated from Brigham, their Mormon prophet ? ' " Capt. Morse says no attempt was made to procure his testimony further than thnt he was sent for to attend the first trial, but he did not appear, being down on the Colorado river, near Fort Yuma. Lee was conlidentiid with him on account of their frequent solitary .companionship on prospecting and other exiieditions, and bccause he knew Morse had other sources of infonnation from the Indians. Capt. Morse is now a resident of San Francisco.


Old News
Michigan Argus