Elias Smith issues warrant for Brigham Young's arrest on charge of being accessory after the fact.

May 12, 1859
Government Document
Elias Smith

Arrest Warrant for Brigham Young and Return to appear before probate court on the charge of being an accessory after the fact, issued by Judge Elias Smith, May 12, 1859, Robert T. Burton papers, 1855-1862, MS 17212, Church History Library

Elias Smith
Alfred Cumming, John Cradlebaugh, Elias Smith, Brigham Young, Robert T. Burton, Jacob Forney
Robert T. Burton

Territory of Utah Great Salt Lake City County} S.S. In the Probate Court for said County May A.D. 1859 Hon. Elias Smith Judge To Robert T. Burton Sheriff of said County or his Deputy Greeting:-- Whereas on this 12st day of May A.D. one thousand eight hundred and fifty nine, Brigham Young Sen. Of Great Salt Lake City, in the County of Great Salt Lake, and Territory of Utah, filed in the Clerk’s Office of the Probate Court within and for the County and Territory aforesaid, the following—information, to wait:--“Territory of Utah, Great Salt Lake County, S.S. Personally appeared before me, Elias Smith, Judge of the Probate Court, within and for the County of Great Salt Lake Territory of Utah, Brigham Young senr who being duly sworn according to law, says that on or about the time between <the> nineth and thirtieth days of September A.D. one thousand eight hundred and fifty Seven, a company of Emigrants to the number of one hundred persons, more or less, comprising men women and children, names to deponent unknown, while passing through the Territory aforesaid on their way, as he supposes to California, were as he was informed, attacked by a party of armed men, and by them murdered in the region of Country known as the “Mountain Meadows,” in the County of Washington, and Territory of Utah aforesaid. Deponent further says that in consequence of the disturbed state of affairs in this Territory during the fall and winter subsequent to the aforesaid murder, no court, to the knowledge of deponent was held in the County or Judicial District in which said murder was said to have been committed, and that deponent was, early in the subsequent spring succeeded as Governor by his Excellency Alfred Cumming, and as Superintendent of Indian Affairs by Dr. Jacob Forney. Deponent further says, that on the eighth day of March A.D. one thousand eight hundred and fifty nine, in a charge delivered in Provo City, County of Utah, by the Hon. John Cradlebaugh associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, for Utah Territory, to the Grand Jury for the Second Judicial District of said Territory, and in a speech delivered by said Judge at the discharge of the aforesaid Grand Jury on the (21) twenty first of March A.D. one thousand, eight hundred and fifty nine, he, deponent, was directly charged with interfering with the courts of Justice, and preventing the punishment of offenders, thereby charging him as being accessory after the fact, to the murder aforesaid and other crimes, and that deponent was further charged indirectly, in the charge and speech aforesaid with instigating the committal of the murder aforesaid, thereby charging deponent as being accessory before the fact to the murder aforesaid. Deponent further says, that he was during the whole of the year one thousand, eight hundred and fifty Seven, and subsequently until succeeded in office as aforesaid by his Excellency Alfred Cumming, and Dr. Jacob Forney, a resident of Great Salt Lake County in the Territory of Utah, and there kept his offices, and discharged his duties as Governor and Superintendent of Indian Affairs, and that subsequent to the first of June in said year, he did not leave the county of Great Salt Lake, nor until succeeded in office as aforesaid, as far as deponent at present remembers. “Now therefore, owing to the aforesaid charges, having been made and published to the world, by men in high authority, doubtless thereby acquiring more or less credence, and feeling unwilling to rest under the sigma of such infamous charges and accusations, deponent claims the privilege of a fair and impartial investigation and trial and this rendition of a Just verdict on the Judgment of his peers.” “Bigham Young Sen.” “Sworn and subscribed to before me this Twelfth day of May A.D. 1859 “E. Smith” These are therefore to command you to arrest the said Brigham Young Sen. And him safely keep subject to the order of this court, until an investigation of the matters set forth in the foregoing affidavit may be had in the premises, and the said Brigham Young Sen. Dealt with according to law. Hereof fail not and of this writ make due returns, with your doings Herein endorsed.

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