John D. Lee's final testimony gives the council's reasoning for ordering the massacre.

News (traditional)
John D. Lee

"Lee's Last Confession," San Francisco Daily Bulletin Supplement, March 24, 1877, rep. Mountain Meadows Massacre, Collected Legal Documents: Volume 2: Selected Trial Records and Aftermath, ed. Richard E. Turley Jr. (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press), 802–803

San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin
Isaac Higbee, William C. Stewart, Joel W. White, William H. Dame, William Aden, John D. Lee, Isaac C. Haight
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Higbee said that President J. C. Haight had been to Parowan to confer with Colonel Dame, and their counsel and orders were that "This emigrant camp must be used up." I replied, "Men, women, and children?" "All," said he, "except such as are too young to tell tales; and if the Indians cannot do it without help, we must help them." I commenced pleading for the company, and said, "Though some of them have behaved badly, they have been pretty well chastised." . . . Higbee said, "White men have interposed and the emigrants know it, and there lies the danger in letting them go." I said, "What white man interfered?" He replied that in the attack on Tuesday night two men broke out of the corral and started for Cedar City on horseback; that they were met at Richey's Spring by Stewart, Joel White and another man, whose name has passed from me, Stewart asked the two men their names when they met them at the spring, and being told in reply by one of the men that his name was Aden, and the other man was the Dutchman from the emigrants' company, Stewart shoved a pistol to Aden's breast and killed him, saying, "Take that, d—n you." The other man, the Dutchman, wheeled to leave as Joel White fired and wounded him. I asked him how he knew the wounded Dutchman got back to the emigrants' camp.

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