J. H. Beadle Beadle records an account of massacre shared with him by Lee. Exempts Brigham from ordering it and blames the emigrants for inciting a lot of anger against them.

John Doyle Lee
Scribed Verbatim

John D. Lee, as quoted in J.H. Beadle, Western Wilds, and the Men Who Redeem Them. An Authentic Narrative (Cincinnati: Jones Brothers & Company, 1880), 303, 305-307

Jones Brothers & Company
J. H. Beadle, Hyrum Smith, Brigham Young, Joseph Smith, Jr., Jacob Forney, John Doyle Lee
Reading Public

Now sir, I'll give you the account exactly as it stood, though for years I've rested under the most infamous charges ever cooked up on a man. I've had to move from point to point, and lost my property, when I might have cleared it up any time by just saying who was who. I could have proved that I was not in it, but not without bringing in other men to criminate them. But I wouldn't do it. They had trusted in me, and their motives were good at the start, bad as the thing turned out. But about the emigrants. They was the worst set that ever crossed the plains and they made it so as to get here just when we was at war. Old Buchanan had sent his army to destroy us, and we had made up our minds that they should not find any spoil. We had been making preparations for two years, drying wheat and caching it in the mountains; and inded, when worst come to worst, to burn and destroy every thing, and take it to the mountains and fight it out guerilla style. And I tell you this people was all hot and enthusiastic, and just at that time those emigrants came. Now they acted more like devils than men; and just to give you an idea what a hard set they was: when Dr. Forney gathered up the children two years after--fifteen, I believe, they was--and sent word back to their relatives, they send word that they didn't want 'em, and would't have anything to do with 'em. And that old Dr. Forney treated the children like dogs, hammerin' 'em around with his big cane. The company had quarrelled and separated east of the mountains, but it was the biggest half that come first. They come south of Salt Lake City, just as all the men was going out to the war, and lots of women and children lonely. Their conduct was scandalous. They swore and boasted openly that they helped shoot the guts out of Joe Smith and Hyrum Smith, at Carthage, and that Buchanan's whole army was coming right behind them, and would kill ever G-d d-n Mormon in Utah, and make the women and children slaves, and . . . They had two bulls, which they called one 'Heber' and the other 'Brigham,' and whipped 'em thro' every town, yelling and singing, blackguarding and blaspheming oaths that would have made your hair stand on end. . . . It is told around for a fact that I could tell great confessions, and bring in Brigham Young and the Heads of the Church. But if I was to make forty confessions, I could not bring in Brigham Young. His counsel was: "Spare them, but all means." But I am made to bear the blame . . . Bad as that thing was, I will not be the means of bringing troubles on my people; for, you know yourself, that this people is a misrepresented and cried down community. Yes, a people scattered and peeled, whose blood was shed in great streams in Missouri, only for worshiping God as he was revealed to them; and if at least they did rise up and she d lood of their enemies, I won't consent to give 'em up.

BHR Staff Commentary

Based on a conversation July 3, 1872.

Citations in Mormonr Qnas
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