George A. Smith's affidavit from 1875. Denies any role in planning the massacre or knowledge of it until after the fact.

Jul 30, 1875
George A. Smith
Scribed Summary

George A. Smith, Affidavit, July 30, 1875, MS 2674, Church History Library

George A. Smith
Philo T. Farnsworth, Silas S. Smith, George A. Smith, Jacob Hamblin, Elisha Hoop

George A. Smith, having been first duly sworn, deposes and says—that he is aged fifty eight years: that he is now, and has been for several months suffering from a severe and dangerous illness of the head and lungs, and that to attend the Court at Beaver, in the present condition of his health would in all probability end his life. Deponent further saith that he had no military command during the year 1857. Not any other official position, except that of one of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. Deponent further saith that he never in the year 1857 at Parowan or elsewhere attended a council where Wm. H. dame Isaac C. Haight or others were present to discuss any measures for attacking, or any manner injuring an emigrant train from Arkansas or any other place, which is alleged to have been destroyed at the Mountain Meadows in September 1857. Deponent further saith that he never heard or knew anything of a train emigrants, which he learned afterwards by rumor was from Arkansas, until he met said emigrant train at Corn Creek on his way north to Salt Lake City, on or about the 25th day of August 1857 at Corn Creek deponent further saith that he encamped with Jacob Hamblin, Philo T. Farnsworth, Silas S. Smith, and Elisha Hoops and there for the first time he learned of the existence of said emigrant train and their intended journey to California. Deponent further saith that having been absent from the Territory for a year previous he returned in the summer of 1857, and went south to visit his family at Parowan & to look after some property he had there, and also visit his friends, and for no other purpose, a<nd> that on leaving Salt Lake City, he had no knowledge whatsoever of the existence of said emigrant train nor did he acquire any until as before stated. Deponent further saith that as an Elder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints he preached several times on his way south and also on his return and tried to impress upon the minds of the people the necessity of great care as to their grain crops as all the crops had been short for several years previous to 1857, and many of the people were reduced to actual want and were suffering for the necessaries of life . . . Deponent further saith that he never heard of or knew of any attack upon said emigrant train until some time after his return to Salt Lake City and that while near Fort Bridger he heard for the first time that the Indians had massacred an emigrant company at Mountain Meadows.

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