Report of John Doyle Lee's first trial from Dennis Fancher. Murder of two girls who survived the massacre and other atrocities mentioned.

Sep 17, 1876
News (traditional)
Dennis Fancher

Dennis Fancher, “Mountain Meadows. The Mormon murderer, John D. Lee, Again on Trial Horrible Disclosures of the Atrocities Committed on the Emigrants—A Weak Prosecution,” The San Francisco Chronicle, September 17, 1876, 8

San Francisco Chronicle
Brigham Young, Dennis Fancher, John Doyle Lee
Reading Public

Mountain Meadows. The Mormon murderer, John D. Lee, Again on Trial Horrible Disclosures of the Atrocities Committed on the Emigrants—A Weak Prosecution {Special Dispatch to the Chronicle} Salt Lake, September 16.-In the Beaver Court this Morning Jacob Hamblin in his testimony stated that John D. Lee told him that an Indian chief who lived at Cedar brought two girls who had been hiding in the brush to him (Lee) and asked what he should do with them-that they were too pretty to kill. Lee replied that he must shoot them: that they were too big. The Indian then shot one and Lee threw the other down and cut her throat. That when Hamblin returned to his ranch he went over the ground and found the bodies of two girls about the ages described (from 13 to 15), lying near together, with their throats cut, as described to him by another of the children who was about 8 years old and was at his house, and who claimed the two bodies as her sisters, and that their name was Dunlap. Hamblin, on being asked by the defense if he had ever told this to any one, replied that he had, and more too: that soon, after the occurrence, when he remember it better than he did now, he had told it to President Young and George A. Smith. That President Young told him that when the right time came and we could get a court of justice to go and tell it, and on being further pressed, said he had not seen the effects of any court of justice from that time to this, but thought now was just the right time to till it. Johnson, on being recalled. Stated that subsequent to the massacre he was sent to protect the next company of emigrants to the Santa Clara; that on his way he stopped at Harmony, where he saw John D. Lee, who proposed to him to get the emigrants into an ambush to destroy them by the Indians, and so get their property; also that he (Johnson) replied: “There has been too much bloodshed by you already. I have been instructed to see them safely through, and I will do so or die with them.” That Lee then abused him, calling him ugly names. That he identified the prisoner at the bar as being John D. Lee. The prosecution rested their case here, to the surprise of all in Court. Lee’s attorney announced that they also rested their case, and would not introduce any witnesses, but give the case to the jury on the evidence already adduced by the prosecution, and asked for a continuance until Monday, the 18th, to give them time to prepare the argument and instructions to the jury. The Court adjourned till Monday at 10 o’clock, and instructed the witnesses to remain, as other cases pertaining to the massacre were to be disposed of. The following documentary evidence has been filed by the prosecution, but was not given to the jury: A letter from John D. Lee to Brigham Young, dated November 20th, 1857, giving a report of the massacre as an Indian affair; a letter from Brigham Young to J. W. Denver, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, dated September 12th, 1857; a letter from the same to the same, January 6th, 1858, the proclamation of Governor Young. September 15th, 1857; affidavits of Brigham Young and George A. Smith, July 30th, 1857, and a letter from Brigham Young to Bishop Dame, September 14th, 1857. From—Dennis Fancher, of N.Y. A distant relative of Captain Alexander Fancher.

BHR Staff Commentary

Report of Lee's first trial from Dennis Fancher, a distant relative of Captain Alexander Fancher. Murder of two girls who survived MMM and other atrocities mentioned.

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