New York Times summarizes Wells Spicer's defense: it was due to the emigrants behaviour and the Indians were to blame and any LDS who helped did so out of fear of death.

Jul 30, 1875
Personal Journal / Diary
New York Times

"The Mountain Meadow Massacre. Opening for the Defense—Their Theory of the Crime," New York Times, July 30, 1875, 1

New York Times
Philip Klingensmith, New York Times, John M. Higbee, William Botement, Wells Spicer, Isaac C. Haight
Reading Public

BEAVER, Utah, July 29.—In the Mountain Meadow massacre trial, Mr. Spicer occupied all the morning in addressing the jury for the defense. He stated the theory of the defense to be that the emigrants, by their own misconduct at Corn Creek, soenraged the Indians that they sent runners ahead, gathering help from other tribes, till at the Meadows they numbered 400 or 500; that the whites did sell supplies to the emigrants and treated them well; that Lee held no military or church office, but was simply a farmer to the Indians; that on the grounds he tried to protect the emigrants, and wept when the massacre was proposed; that not Lee, but William Botement, went with the flag of truce, and Lee went to the corral and stayed there two hours, believing the treaty was bona fide ; that while in the emigrant's corral, Haight, Higbee, and Klingen Smith were plotting to kill them; that what the whites did was through fear of death at the hands of the Indians, who threatened that if they did not help to kill the emigrants they would kill them. At the conclusion of Mr. Spicer's address, Samuel Pollock was called and sworn: Ezra Curtis, Lieu-tenant of the Militia, called him out from Cedar City to go to the Meadows; was told to save the emigrants and bury the dead; took guns and spades; lay in camp in sight of the emigrants; saw no one but Indians who were shooting from various points; next morning Lee arrived and more men and more Indians; the flag of truce went out and the emigrants' messenger met it; saw the emigrants come out soon ahead of these men and walk with the Militia; hoard the report of guns, but could not then see them; when I did sue them I saw the Indians rushing in.

BHR Staff Commentary

New York Times summarizes Spicer's defense, viz., it was due to the emigrants behaviour and the Indians were to blame and any LDS who helped did so out of fear of death

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