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John Cradlebaugh 
February 22, 1819 February 22, 1872

Judge John Cradlebaugh Letter to President Buchanan

Great Salt Lake City, U. T. June 3, 1859

Hon. James Buchanan, President of the United States -- Sir: I herewith enclose to you a letter addressed to me by P. K. Dotson, Marshal for this Territory. This letter taken in connection with the papers already sent on to Washington, will serve to throw much light upon the condition of affairs in this Territory. In addition, allow me to say I have lately visited the southern settlement of this Territory, particularly the place where 119 emigrants were massacred, at the Mountain Meadows on the 10th of September, 1857. Eighty or more white men were engaged in that affair. Warrants are now in the hands of the Marshal for forty of them. The entire population within 150 miles of the Meadows does not exceed 1,100 -- with not more than 200 of an adult male population. About all of those engaged in committing that crime live within the limits I have stated and are connected with the remainder by Church ties, ("endowment oaths") and as relatives. So much of a church matter was this Mountain Meadow massacre, that much of the property was taken to the Tithing Office, and then sold out. I have made this statement to show you the impossibility of the Marshal serving writs with a civil posse, and also as reflecting on the possibility of administering the laws by jury trial. It may be said in regard to all the murders for which writs have been issued, that the perpetrators are men holding high civil and church offices; and the evidence shows that the crimes were comitted by "order of council".

It is much to be regretted that there is not more coincidence of views and harmony of action between the Judges and the Executive of Utah. Without such concert the laws can neither be effectively nor worthily administered. With such concert, the many atrocious crimes that have been committed could be reached; and although the perpetrators might not be punished, through action of the juries, yet something in the way of establishing the supremacy of the laws for the future might thereby be achieved. The immunity from punishment and criminals have enjoyed, and still enjoy, here, tends to stimulate and multiply offenders.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

John Cradlebaugh   

(Source: Evening Bulletin, Vol. VIII, San Francisco, CA., Friday, June 24, 1859, No. 67)

Marshal P. K. Dotson to Judge John Cradlebaugh

  Great Salt Lake City, U. T., June 3, 1859.    

To Hon. Judge Cradlebaugh -- Sir: I have received from you certain warrants of arrest against many persons in your Judicial District, charged with murder, including one against J. D. Lee, John M. Higbee, a bishop, Hoyte [Haight], his counsellor, and thirty-six others, for the murder of one hundred and nineteen men, women and children, at Mountain Meadows; also one against Porter Rockwell, John A. Wolf, President of Seventies, Jacob Bigler, a bishop, Samuel Pitchforth, President of the Seventies; Foote, Mayor of Nephi, and five others, for the murder of the Atkin brothers, and two others; one against Lewis Bunty, and three others, for stealing six mules, the property of the United States. I also have in my possession warrants against Aaron V. Johnston, a bishop; Snow, of Provo City, a President of the Church, and certain others, for the murder of the Parrishes; also a warrant against bishop Hancock, and others, for the murder of Jones and mother.

I regret to inform you, that it is not in my power to execute any of these processes. I have made repeated efforts, by the aid as well of the military as of a civil posse, to execute the warrants last alluded to, but without success. So great is the number of persons engaged in the commission of these crimes, and such the feeling of the Mormon Church and the community in their favor, that I cannot rely on a civil posse to aid me in arresting them.

               I am, sir, respectfully, your obt. sevt.,
               P.K. Dotson

 (Source: Evening Bulletin, Vol. VIII, San Francisco, CA., Friday, June 24, 1859, No. 67)


Warrants of Arrest were issued for:

Jacob (Isaac) Haight, President of the Cedar City Stake; Bishop John M. Higbee and Bishop John D. Lee; Columbus Freeman, William Slade, John Willis, William Riggs, _____ Ingram, Daniel McFarlan, William Stewart, Ira Allen and son, Thomas Cartwright, 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.


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