PM details the Parrish murders and asserts that they were influenced by the rhetoric of Church leaders.

Dec 1860
Peter McAuslan

Peter McAuslan, letter to Robert Salmon, transcribed by Polly Aird in Polly Aird, "'You Nasty Apostates, Clear Out': Reasons for Disaffection in the Late 1850s," Journal of Mormon History vol. 30, no. 2 (2004), 192-201

Journal of Mormon History
Beason Parrish, William Parrish, Peter McAuslan
Robert Salmon

But to return to my reasons. The Mormons do intertain doctrins [that] when they are put in force are destructive of the rights of their fellow man. Do I know this? Yes I do. What are they? When the Celestial law is fully put in force there shall no one leave the Mormon church and go over to the enimy. The enimy here alluded to is the world or all who do not believ ein Mormonizm—"all who are not for us are against us" and of course enimies. How do they mean to accomplish this? The Angle of the Lord shall destroy them, or in other words, the dannits shall slay them. The dannits are a well disipled branch of the Preisthood organized with captains over Tens and Fifties to exacute a very prominent part of gods judgments upon the Earth. Who did I here preach these doctrins? John Young, Head Patrerch of the Church, and many other dignatrys of the church. In fact I do not mean to write any thing in this letter but what I do know and can vouch for as being doctrins intertained by the Mormon Church in Salt Lake. I heard the the [sic] Bishop of the 19 Ward declare that if the Celestial Law was put in force, they the people of the Lord would be cutting one another's throats.

We were also taught—that our minds might be prepared for coming events—to beware of Symphthy, as that feeling would destroy a great many in this Curch. How thact to beware of Sampty [sympathy]? Because when that time comes and is at hand you may see the dead Bodys of your Fathers, your Brothers, or your nearest, dearest rela- tives and friends lying upon the Streets, and if you should pass by, say not a word to anybody, nither ask the cause, just conduct yourself as if nothing had happened. All is right, it was down [done] by athority.

But I wish to inform you that it is not so. Those who renounce the faith and who have courage enough to speek what he dose think and know would meet with such a fate faster than a murderer or an adulterer. Do I know of any such cases? Yess I do. Not that I saw the deed commited with my own eyes, but this deed that I am going to relate was commited at the Town of Springville only 6 miles from Spanish Fork where I resided at that time, and the people not being atall prepared to act by the above council, "pass by and not say a word about it," there secret deeds were published upon the house tops. So I got to know as much about it as if I had seen it with mine eyes, a day or so after it was done.

A Father and Two sons had renounced the Faith and disided [decided] on leaving the Territory. A few days before they desided to start, there carrage [carriage] and horses were stolen out of ther stable by night. There was another man, a Dannit, acting in consort with them with the pretended intention of leaving at the same time. When they thought they would be lest [least] suspected, prepared with laraets to captured their own horses as they knew the field that they were in. They had not proceeded far when they came to were [where] other Dannits were lieing in wate [wait]. The work of death commenced. In the struggle the Traitor Dannit fell with the Father and one son. The other son, making his escape unhurt, went straight back to town [where a] public metting [meeting] [was] going on at the time. He enterd the metting and plead[ed] for protection. The Bishop promised him protection upon the condition that he remaind and behaved himself.

I have not the lest doubt but that you have heard of this case. Nither do I doubt but that it has had the approprate coloring to sute [suit] the tastes of honnest and faithful but to[o] credulous Saints at home [i.e., in Scotland] put upon it by some faithfull Elder from Zion. But I have only to say I have given you a simple unvernished statement of the facts as they occurred and would mearly add that they were men of good moral caracter, had commited no crime and were in debt to no body.

This act occurred during the reformation excitement, and it was expected that the Celestial laws were gowing to be put in forse right straite, and as they had allready declaired there independence from the United States, they had full faith that the Lord would fight there Battles and sustain them as an independent Kingdom to the dismay and overtrow of all there enimes, even the Prophet himself declaring that with Ten men of the right stripe he could defie all the armies of the U.S. But the enimies from within were more to be feared, hence the necessity of cleansing the inside of the Platter first.

BHR Staff Commentary

This is a draft of the letter obtained by the author of the JMH article, transcribed by her, but in possession of a relative.

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