About This Record
In the Second Judicial District Court
The People, etc.
John D. Lee, Wm. H. Dame, } Indictment for Murder
Isaac C. Haight, et al. September 16th, 1875
Questions to be propounded
to Brigham Young on his examination as a witness in the case of John D. Lee
and others, on trial at Beaver City, this 30th day of July, 1875, and the
answers of Brigham Young to the interrogatives here to appended, were
reduced to writing, and were given after the said Brigham Young had been
duly sworn to testify the truth in the above entitled cause, and are as
First -- State your age,
and the present condition of your health, and whether in its condition you
could travel to attend in person, at Beaver, the court now sitting there?
Answer -- To the first
interrogatory, he saith:
I am in my seventy-fifth
year. It would be a great risk, both to my health and life, for me to travel
to Beaver at this present time. I am, and have been for some time, an
Second -- What office,
either ecclesiastical, civil, or military, did you hold in the year 1857?
Answer -- I was Governor
of the Territory, and ex-officio Superintendent of Indian Affairs, the
President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, during the
Third -- State the
condition of affairs between the Territory of Utah and the Federal
Government, in the Summer and Fall of 1857.
Answer -- In May or June,
1857, the United States mails for Utah were stopped by the Government, and
all communication by mail was cut off, an army of the United States was
enroute for Utah, with the ostensible design of destroying the Latter-day
Saints, according to the reports that reached us from the East.
Fourth -- Were there any
United States Judges here during the Summer and Fall of 1857?
Answer -- To the best of
my recollection there was no United States Judge here in the latter part of
Fifth -- State what you
know about trains of emigrants passing through the Territory to the West,
and particularly about a company from Arkansas, en route for California,
passing through this city in the Summer or Fall of 1857?
Answer-- As usual,
emigrants' trains were passing through our Territory for the west. I heard
it rumored that a company from Arkansas, en route to California, had passed
through the city.
Sixth -- Was this Arkansas
company of emigrants ordered away from Salt Lake City by yourself or any one
in authority under you?
Answer -- No, not that I
know of. I never heard of any such thing, and certainly no such order was
given by the acting Governor.
Seventh -- Was any counsel
or instructions given by any person to the citizens of Utah not to sell
grain or trade with the emigrant trains passing through Utah at that time?
If so, what were those instructions and counsel?
Answer -- Yes, counsel and
advice were given to the citizens not to sell grain to the emigrants to feed
their stock, but to let them have sufficient for themselves if they were
out. The simple reason for this was that for several years our crops had
been short, and the prospect was at that time that we might have trouble
with the United States army, then enroute for this place, and we wanted to
preserve the grain for food. The citizens of the Territory were counseled
not to feed grain to their own stock. No person was ever punished or called
in question for furnishing supplies to the emigrants, within my knowledge.
Eighth -- When did you
first hear of the attack and destruction of this Arkansas company at
Mountain Meadows, in September 1857?
Answer -- I did not learn
anything of the attack or destruction of the Arkansas company until some
time after it occurred -- then only by floating rumor.
Ninth -- Did John D. Lee
report to you at any time after this massacre what had been done at that
massacre, and if so, what did you reply to him in reference thereto?
Answer -- Within some two
or three months after the massacre he called at my office and had much to
say with regard to the Indians, their being stirred up to anger and
threatening the settlements of the whites, and then commenced giving an
account of the massacre. I told him to stop, as from what I had already
heard by rumor, I did not wish my feelings harrowed up with a recital of
Tenth -- Did Philip
Klingensmith call at your office with John D. Lee at the time Lee made his
report, and did you at that time order Smith to turn over the stock to Lee,
and then order them not to talk about the massacre?
Answer -- No. He did not
call with John D. Lee, and I have no recollection of his ever speaking to me
nor I to him concerning the massacre or anything pertaining to the property.
Eleventh -- Did you ever
give any directions concerning the property taken from the emigrants at the
Mountain Meadows Massacre, or know anything of its disposition?
Answer -- No, I never gave
any directions concerning the property taken from the emigrants at the
Mountain Meadows Massacre, nor did I know anything of that property, or its
disposal, and I do not to this day, except from public rumor.
Twelfth -- Why did you
not, as Governor, institute proceedings forthwith to investigate that
massacre, and bring the guilty authors thereof to justice?
Answer -- Because another
Governor had been appointed by the President of the United States, and was
then on the way to take my place, and I did not know how soon he might
arrive, and because the United States Judges were not in the Territory. Soon
after Governor Cummings arrived, I asked him to take Judge Cradlebaugh, who
belonged to the Southern District, with him, and I would accompany them with
sufficient aid to investigate the matter and bring the offenders to justice.
Thirteenth -- Did you,
about the 10th of September, 1857, receive a communication from Isaac C.
Haight, or any other person of Cedar City, concerning a company of emigrants
called the Arkansas company?
Answer -- I did receive a
communication from Isaac C. Haight or John D. Lee, who was a farmer for the
Fourteenth -- Have you
Answer -- I have not. I
have made diligent search for it, but cannot find it.
Fifteenth -- Did you
answer that communication?
Answer -- I did, to Isaac
C. Haight, who was then acting President at Cedar City.
Sixteenth -- Will you
state the substance of your letter to him?
Answer -- Yes. It was to
let this company of emigrants, and all companies of emigrants, pass through
the country unmolested, and to allay the angry feelings of the Indians as
much as possible.
Subscribed and sworn to
before me on this 30th day of July, A.D. 1875
[L. S.] WM. CLAYTON, notary Public