John Doyle discusses Mountain Meadows Massacre with Frederick S. Dellenbaugh (1872).

Jul 11, 1872
Frederick S. Dellenbaugh
Scribed Paraphrase

Frederick S. Dellenbaugh, Letter, July 11, 1872, Buffalo Express. Transcription taken from Juanita Brooks, The Mountain Meadows Massacre (2d ed.; University of Oklahoma Press, 1991), 190-91 n. 1

Buffalo Express
Frederick S. Dellenbaugh, John Doyle Lee

[Lee] “had one house at Lonely Dell and one at Jacob’s Pools, 30 miles towards Kanab. At each place he has one Dell and one at Jacob’s Pools, 30 miles towards Kanab. At each place he has one of his wives . . . Although John D. Lee has the reputation of a notorious villain, yet I saw nothing dangerous about him, and in fact, he treated us handsomely . . . Lee spoke of the various accusations and publications which were in circulation against him; the persecutors driving him from place to place, and causing him to abandon home after home, until at last he had brought up in Lonely Dell . . .[Lee is quoted as saying] ‘I will not be taken; as I would then be obliged to betray men who did the act through their great zeal in serving our church, and thought they were doing right’ [Dallenbaugh continues] The party of emigrants who met with the disaster swore and cursed through the streets of the settlements, saying, ‘Where’s your d-d Mormon biship,” etc., and it was with the greatest difficulty with the authorities of Spanish Fork withheld the people form killing them there; but they went on and arrived at Cedar City, cursing and swearing the same way which so roused the citizens that they held a council, and of this council Mr. Lee was a member. Meanwhile, the emigrants poisoned the water of several springs, causing the death of two or three Indians. This enraged the other Indians, so that they began to attack the train. The council proceeded. Most of the councilors were in favor of putting the emigrants out of the road, by setting on the Indians, but, said Mr. Lee, ‘I told them that instead of resulting in good it would result just as it has done, and had I at that time known the President’s feelings upon the subject I should have opposed it even more strongly than I did. However, I think they would have escaped unharmed could we have drawn the Indians off, but for the fact that two or three of them, I forget which mounted their horses and attempted to escape one night; these were met by three of the opposite party one of them killed and the two others driven back. Then the council resolved upon the plan they carried out, I wept like a child and would not consent to have anything to do with it, but pleased for the women and children’s lives. The Indians, although I offered to pay them for every life saved, would not promise to spare an but the children and they called me Nah-gaats (cry-baby), a name by which I am known all through Utah tribe to the present day . . . ‘ The messenger rode from Beaver to Salt Lake in three days and a half. When Brigham Young heard the news he said: ‘For God’s stake top it; take fresh horses and return immediately and do all in your power to prevent them from carrying out their mistaken ideas.’ But by the time the messenger returned the deed had been done. This is the story as Mr. Lee told it—a horrible affair, at the very best. Although Mr. Lee has been cut off from the Mormon Church, he says he is still a staunch Mormon. He believes that if a man has been guilty of nothing which would separate him from the Church he cannot be cut off.”

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