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Earliest Accounts of the 17 Children Who Survived
 The 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre
 

 

Information in bold type below is from the Special Report of the Mountain Meadows Massacre by Brevet Major J.H. Carleton, U.S.A, 25 May 1859.

Information in italics below is from the list and information given by Lt. William Kearney of the 10th Army Infantry on 30 May 1859 to the Los Angeles Vineyard Newspaper; the correspondent from the San Francisco Evening Bulletin Newspaper sent the proof-slip of same to the Evening Bulletin to be published. It was published in the San Francisco Evening Bulletin on 6 June 1859, Vol. VIII, No. 51. (Note: The 17 surviving children were never with the Paiute Indians, they were distributed to Mormon homes in the area after the Massacre. The Paiute Indians never received any of the payments that were claimed to have been made to them for the children in this account.)

Also see excerpt of Dr. Forney's letter to the Superintendant's Office in Utah of August 1859, naming the children that he recovered, and the claims for reimbursement (below).

The little children whom we left this John D. Lee distributing at Hamblinís house after that sad night, have at length been gathered together and are now at Indian Farm, 12 miles south of Fillmore City, or at Salt Lake City in the custody for Dr. Forney, United States Indian agent. They are 17 in number. Sixteen of these were seen by Judge Cradlebaugh, Lieutenant Kearney, and others, and gave the following information in relation to their personal identity, etc. The children were varying from 3 to 9 years of age, 10 girls, 6 boys, and were questioned separately.

John Calvin Miller, born 1851, son of Josiah and Matilda (Cameron) Miller.
The first is a boy named Calvin, between 7 and 8; does not remember his surname; says he was by his mother when she was killed, and pulled the arrows from her back until she was dead; says he had two brothers older than himself, named James [see below] and Henry, and three sisters, Nancy, Mary [see below] and Martha.
First -- Boy named Calvin. Does not remember his surname; is between seven and eight years old; was near his mother when she was killed, and says he pulled arrows from her back until she was dead; does not know what became of his father. Calvin had two brothers, older than himself, named Henry and James, and three sisters, named Nancy, Mary and Martha. He was obtained by Mr. Hamlin from E. H. Groves, of Harmony. Groves says that he paid to the Indians for Calvin a horse worth $70. He charges for schooling and maintaining him, $75. John Calvin, the above named boy, assures me that he never lived among the Indians.

Mary Miller, born 1853, daughter of Josiah and Matilda (Cameron) Miller.
The fourth is a girl obtained of John Morris, a Mormon, at Cedar City. She does not recollect anything about herself (see next below).
Fifth -- One girl, supposed to be four years old when obtained by John Morris, of Cedar City, from the Indians. The boy obtained of E. H. Groves says that she is his sister, and that her name is Mary. Morris says that he gave for her three blankets, $18; two hundred pounds of flour, $12; maintaining forty-four weeks, $66.

Joseph Miller, born 3 April 1856, son of Josiah and Matilda (Cameron) Miller.
Fifth. A boy obtained of E. H. Grove, whose older brother, Calvin (above), says that the girl obtained of Morris is named Mary and is his sister. 
Fifth (see Mary Miller above) -- ...The boy obtained of E. H. Groves says....

Georgeann Dunlap, born 1 February 1857 in Johnson County, Arkansas, daughter of Lorenzo Dow and Nancy Jane (Wharton) Dunlap.
The second is a girl who does not remember her name. The others say it is Demurr.
Second -- A girl obtained of Joseph Smith, of Cedar City, supposed to be two years old when bought of the Indians. Can get no information in relation to her parent's name; some of the other children saved from the massacre say her name is Demars. For the purchase of this child of the Indians, two blankets, worth $20; one gun, $20; and one shirt, $2, were said to have been paid; Smith charges for maintaining her $66, making in all $108.

Prudence Angeline Dunlap, born 9 January 1852 in Johnson County, Arkanasas, daughter of Lorenzo Dow and Nancy Jane (Wharton) Dunlap.
The sixth is a girl who says her name is Prudence Angelina. Had two brothers, Jessie (Thomas Jessie) and John, who were killed. Her fatherís name was William (Lorenzo Dow Dunlap), and she had an Uncle Jessie (Jesse Dunlap).
Sixth -- One girl obtained of Sam Jakes, of Cedar City; says her name is Prudence Angelina; had two brothers, John and Jesse, killed by the Indians; father's name was William; had an uncle Jesse. Jakes said he obtained this girl of the Indians by paying two blankets, $14; three shirts, $8; one hundred pounds of flour, $6; schooling said girl eleven weeks, $8.

Emberson Milum Tackett,
born 29 May 1853 in Johnson County, Arkansas, son of Pleasant and Armilda S. (Miller) Tackett.

The third is a boy named Ambrose Mariam Tagit; says he had two brothers older than himself and one younger. His father, mother, and two elder brothers were killed, his younger brother [William Henry, listed below] was brought to Cedar City; says he lived in Johnson County, but does not know what State; says it took one week to go from where he lived with his grandfather and grandmother who are still living in the States.
Third -- A boy obtained of John M. Higby, of Cedar City, named Ambrose Myram Taget. Says that he had two brothers older than himself, and one younger. His father, mother, and two elder brothers were killed by the Indians; his younger brother was brought to Cedar City. Says he lived in Johnson county, but does not remember the State. It took one week to go to grandfather's and grandmother's, who are still living in the State. J. M. Higby said he purchased the boy from the Indians; paid one horse, $75; charges for schooling and maintaining him, forty weeks, $80.

William Henry Tackett,  born 20 January 1856 in Johnson County, Arkansas, son of Pleasant and Armilda S. (Miller) Tackett.
The ninth is a boy whose name is William W. Huff.
Ninth -- One boy obtained of William C. Stewart, of Cedar City; supposed to be three years old when obtained; says his name is Elisha W. Huff. Stewart says he paid for this boy, one gun, $20; one blanket, $10; for board forty-three weeks, $64.50; total, $94.50.

Felix Marion Jones, born 15 December 1855 in Johnson County, Arkansas, son of John Milum and Eloah Angeline (Tackett) Jones.
The eighth is a young boy, too young to remember anything about himself.
Eighth -- One boy (infant) procured from David Williams, of Cedar City, who says that he gave to the Indians in exchange for said infant, one blanket, $10; for nursing and medical attendance, $96; maintenance, $44; total, $150.

Sarah Frances Baker, born 20 November 1854 in Carroll County, Arkansas, daughter of George Washington and Minerva Ann (Beller) Baker.
The seventh is a girl. She says her name is Francis Harris, or Horne, remembers nothing of her family.
Seventh -- One girl obtained of Charles Hopkins, of Cedar City; supposed to be three years old when obtained; says her name is Francis Harris or Horn; can get no information in relation to her family. Hopkins says that he paid to the Indians for this girl, one horse, $75; maintaining eleven months, $88.

Martha Elizabeth Baker, born 7 March 1852 in Carroll County, Arkansas, daughter of George Washington and Minerva Ann (Beller) Baker.
The twelfth is a girl who says her name is Betsy.
Twelfth -- One girl, named Betsy, who was left at Amos Thornton's, Painter Creek. No information obtained.

William Twitty Baker, born 15 November 1856 in Carroll County, Arkansas, son of
George Washington and Minerva Ann (Beller) Baker.
The seventeenth is a boy who was but six weeks old at the time of the massacre. Hamblinís wife brought him to my camp on the 19th instant. The next day they took him on to Salt Lake City to give him up to Dr. Forney. He is a pretty little boy and hardly dreamed he had again slept upon the ground where his parents had been murdered. Seventeenth -- One infant, who was about six weeks old when obtained; was found in Ingraham's, of Pocketville. No information.

Christopher Carson Fancher, born 1853-1854 in Arkansas, son of Alexander and Elizabeth (Ingram) Fancher.
The tenth is a boy whose name is Charles Fancher.
Tenth -- One boy found at John D. Lee's, of Harmony; says his name is Charles Francher, and is supposed to be six or seven years old. Lee says that he paid for this boy, one horse, valued at $60; maintaining and schooling, forty-one weeks, $85; total, $145.

Tryphenia D. Fancher, born 10 November 1855 in Arkansas, daughter of Alexander and Elizabeth (Ingram) Fancher.
I have no note of the sixteenth.
Thirteenth -- One infant child left at Berkbeck's, of Cedar City.

Nancy Sophronia Huff, born 1853 in Benton County, Arkansas, daughter of Peter and Saleta Ann (Brown) Huff.
The eleventh is a girl who says her name is Sophronia Huff.
Eleventh -- One girl found at John Wells'(Willis), Tokerville (Toquerville); says her name is Sophronia Huff. Wells (Willis) says that he went to the Mountain Meadows, and gave a gun and twp blankets, $40, for her; he charges for maintaining her forty-three weeks, at $1.50 per week, $64.50.

Rebecca Dunlap, born 4 June 1851 in Johnson County, Arkansas; Louisa Dunlap, born 10 November 1853; Sarah Dunlap, born 13 August 1856 in Marion County, Arkansas; daughters of Jesse and Mary (Wharton) Dunlap.
The thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth are three sisters named Rebecca, Louisa and Sara Dunlap. These three sisters were the children obtained of Jacob Hamblin.
Fourteenth, Fifteenth and Sixteenth -- Three sisters, who have remained at Jacob Hamlin's since the massacre; their names are Rebecca, Louisa and Sarah Dunlap.

In connection with the oldest children, they told me that none of them have ever lived with the Indians, and also that at the massacre there were about thirty or forty white persons present. They also told me that they were in the corral fighting, some said four and others six days, and that part of the time they had no water. They also told me that John D. Lee, Charles Shirts, Josiah Tate and David Tullis came in two wagons and got their fathers to go with them, and that they saw them when the Indians were killing them.

                                                                 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SUPERINTENDENT'S OFFICE, UTAH, Great Salt Lake City, August, 1859 (Excerpt)
... The seventeen little children, all that I can learn of, were taken after the massacre to Mr. Hamblin's house by John D. Lee, David Tulis, and others, in a wagon, either the same evening or the following morning. The children were sold out to different persons in Cedar City, Harmony, and Painter Creek. Bills are now in my possession from different individuals, asking payment from the government. I cannot condescend to become the medium of even transmitting such claims to the department.

Below is a list of the children recovered by me and brought to this city, fifteen of whom are now en route to Arkansas, and two detained to give evidence:

John Calvin Sorel
(John Calvin Miller); Lewis and Mary Sorel (Joseph and Mary Miller); Ambrose Miram, and William Taggit (Emberson Milum Tackett and William Henry Tackett); Frances Horn (Sarah Frances Baker); Angeline, Annie, and Sophronia or Mary Huff (Prudence Angeline Dunlap, Georgianna Dunlap, and Nancy Sophronia Huff); Ephraim W. Huff (William Henry Tackett); Charles and Annie Francher (Christopher Carson Fancher and Tryphenia D. Fancher); Betsey and Jane Baker (Martha Elizabeth Baker and ? Should be Felix Marion Jones*); Rebecca, Louisa, and Sarah Dunlap (accurate); William (Welch) Baker (William Twitty Baker). *

I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. FORNEY, Supt. Indian Affairs Utah Territory

* There are 17 children listed. Felix Marion Jones does not appear on this list at all, instead a Jane Baker is listed.

ALSO SEE:

The fate of the child survivors. Chapter 10 in Massacres of the Mountains, by J.P. Dunn, Jr. 1886

  © January 29, 2008 Mountain Meadows Association. All rights reserved.


 


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