Fruit of Mormon
Reformation - 1884
The Salt Lake Daily
November 9, 1884
Brigham Young and Mormon Leaders
Mostly Responsible for it.
Penrose's Infamous Attempt to Palliate
that Atrocious Crime.
Brigham Said, "Keep Alive the
Spirit of the Refirmation."
C. W. Penrose, on Sunday last, the 25th of October, again put himself
forward before the public in the Twelfth Bishop's Ward of this city as
a self appointed of the Mormon Church, to apologize for the Mountain
Meadows Massacre, and to palliate, if not approve, that horrible crime;
but all the waters of the Jordan, applied with all the authority of
their unholy priesthood will never, in time nor eternity, was away the
indelible stain from that church. He began by declaring that the report
of the horrid murder had spread throughout the civilized world, and
wherever the elders had gone to preach their gospel, they were
confronted with it, and the church led by Brigham Young was charged
with the crime, especially by ministers of Christian churches. Yes, and
well it may. In fulfillment of Jesus's words that which was done in
secret is declared openly: that which the elders of the Church swore
never to divulge, and the Deseret News, the organ of the murderous
priesthood, would not publish, is told to the whole world, from press,
pulpit and platform. It is an eternal principle and law of nature and
morals, that that which men sow they shall reap; they may cover it over
with dirt and rubbish but the very covering finally strengthens the
growth. That church sowed the wind and it is reaping the whirlwind. It
must be so to the very nature of things, and the more the elders, by
their apologies and explanations, stir the filthy matter, the more the
foul stench arises, and pure, sensitive natures are disgusted.
THE FANATICAL REFORMATION.
Penrose was not in Utah during that period of the Reformation, and
knows not the [spirit] or actions of the Church, yet he attempts to
defend it from the truthful attacks of those who know much better than
[he. But] can we say in charity towards him, that "where ignorance is
bliss; 'tis folly to be wise?" No, for he distorts his vision as he
speaks, and is unable to weigh evidence [correctly] by reason of his
deep-rooted bias and hatred of the truth... That Brigham Young and the
whole Church is morally responsible for the horrid deed, as the result
of their [infamous] preaching during the years previous, no sane mind
can honestly deny, and Penrose's acknowledgment that blood atonement
was preached by the "First Presidency" is indubitable proof. Brigham
lighted the torch and others applied it as a duty. He seemed to be
ignorant of human nature and of the elements he dealt with, and this
massacre, with other murders, were the legitimate consequences.
In Penrose's harangue, giving his version of the deed and its
circumstances, he states that reports were rife that the company
alluded to spoke disrespectfully of Brigham, Joseph Smith, and of the
whole Church: that they robbed hen roosts, flipped off the heads of
chickens while passing through the streets poisoned springs of water
and beef given to the Indians and threatened the Mormons with the
United States Army. But he will not vouch for the correctness of such
accusations. He is not quite hardened enough yet to do so. Then if he
cannot say such reports are true, why does he give them? Why pursue
such a line of argument though, when he acknowledges thay may be false?
MAKE A FALSE IMPRESSION.
to hearers and readers, and such a purpose and such language are really
not unworthy but dishonest; such reports never were obtained or heard
of until after the evil deed was perpetrated. And such reports were
absolutely unreasonable. Was it at all likely that any respectable and
rich company as they were, would be guilty of such folly? Would they
not, in passing through the several settlements where Mormon laws and
officers existed, have been justly arrested and punished? Could they
[have possibly] escaped escaped through all the Territory to the
southern boundary without being detected in such nefarious acts and
arrested and punished in those times? Utterly impossible! Who ever
heard of emigrants who had to travel thousands of miles, day after day,
day after day, having quantities of poison with them for any purpose?
The very question is preposterous, and the accusation carries the lie
on its face. That such a false report was [owed] to Lee and others is
no doubt true, first uttered at the place of plotting the murder. But
the slightest reflection would have shown its absurdity, did men not
wish it to be true. Even Penrose does not certify to its correctness,
yet uses it for a sinister motive. But if these emigrants did speak
disrespectfully of Brigham, old Joe Smith, and the Church, should they
be murdered for it? Were they worthy of such a cruel death by a holy
Penrose palliated the massacre, by stating that those at that hellish
council held in Cedar City, composed of the ruling priesthood and
common elders there, took into consideration the depredations which had
been made by this party of emigrants, and were excited, thinking of the
persecutions they had experienced beforetime, and thus he is himself
guilty of the murder morally. His language conveys that feeling to
every perceptive mind.
He affects to prove that Brigham was neither accessory before nor after
the facts. He tries to analyze the testimony implicating George A.
Smith, to exonerate him, but he falls. What right has any man to order,
counsel or command farmers or tradespeople not to sell their surplus
produce and goods to emigrants or Gentiles? The advice or threat or
desire is in itself
to prevent persons from selling or giving to the hungry or naked is to
be guilty of murder, and in no other part of our broad continent would
such counsel be ordered and carried out. Of what value is George A.
Smith's affidavit that he was innocent? Would he not avail himself of
the provision of the law, not to criminate himself? The testimony of
many is that he, in his tour southward shortly before the massacre,
instructed the people to sell no grain or provisions to the emigrants,
and his acknowledged coupling the coming of the army with the keeping
of the grain for emergencies shows his secret desires. Though George A.
Smith states in his affidavit that he "encamped with Jacob Hamblin,
Philo T. Farnsworth, Silas S. Smith and Elijah Hoops," he never
mentions having journeyed to several settlements with John D. Lee, of
which there is ample proof. Was it merciful in said Smith to counsel
not to sell the emigrants something which they needed, even for their
If Brigham was not accessory before the fact, what does he mean in his
published letter to Col. W. H. Dame dated September 14, 1857 "In case
the United States Government should send outan overpowering force, we
intend to desolate the Territory, and conceal our families, stock and
all our effects in the fastnesses of the mountains, where they will be
safe, while the men waylay our enemies, attack them from ambush,
stampede their animals, take the supply trains, cut off the detachments
and parties sent to the canyons for wood, or on other service. To lay
waste everything that will burn -- houses, fences, fields and grass, so
that they cannot find a particle of anything that will be of use to
them, not even sticks to make a fire to cook their supplies. To waste
away our enemies and to lose none; that will be our mode of warfare.
Thus you will see the necessity of preparing, first, secure places in
the mountains where they cannot find us, or, if they do, where they
cannot approach in force, and then prepare for our families, building
some cabins, caching flour and grain" "Conciliate the Indians and make
them our fast friends." "In regard to letting the people pass and
repass, or travel through the Territory,
THIS APPLIES TO ALL STRANGERS
and suspected persons. Yourself and Brother Isaac C. Haight, in your
districts, are authorized to give such permits. Examine all such
persons before giving them such permits to pass. Keep things perfectly
quiet, and let all things be done peacefully, but with firmness, and
let there be no excitement. Let the people be united in their feelings
and faith, as well as works, and keep alive the spirit of reformation.
And what we said in regard to saving the grain and provisions we say
again. We do not wish to shed a drop of blood if it can be avoided."
(signed) Brigham Young, Daniel H. Wells."
This extract purports to be from Brigham Young's copying book, attested
to by James Jack, Notary Public, August 16, 1876. But what a horrible
letter, and terrible instructions and designs from a professed follower
of Jesus! A part of it is quoted by Penrose, namely: Save life always
if possible, "we do not wish to shed a drop of blood if it can be
avoided," to prove that Brigham was not a man of blood, nor even a
warrior, but a statesman of a high order, who did not delight in
physical conflict nor the shedding of blood." But if there is not
hellish and murderous design in that letter, what is there? They were
to waylay and attack the United States Army in every conceivable manner
that diabolical spirits could suggest: to waste away our enemies and to
lose none (meaning none of our party,) rob them of their provisions,
burn up everything even to kindlings; and in covert expressions, Save
life always if possible, and not shed a drop of blood if it can be
avoided. If it is not bloody is is not murderous? Is it any wonder that
such instructions and purposes given to such men as Dame, Haight,
Higbee, Lee and others as many would see them and read, would incite to
cruelty, murder and rapine? Yet call that man, innocent, no warrior,
hating human bloodsheding, and a statesman of a high order, Great God!
what an apostle of peace and wisdom, and a man of mercy! But, coward as
he was, he did not waste or burn -- he ran away.
But were Brigham and his Church guilty as
ACCESSORIES AFTER THE FACT
We think that we can prove positively that they were. Penrose states
that The Tribune had called repeatedly for a copy of the letter from
Brigham Young to Isaac C. Haight, in reply to the dispatch received by
James Haslem, and declares that he searched for that letter and found
it in a letter copying book in the President's office and be read it
before that large congregation. It purports to be dated September 16,
1857, giving instructions about the progress of the United States Army,
and closes by advising them to "let the emigrants go in peace; that the
people must protect their own lives, but not to interfer with the
emigrants." Now that must be a cool, intentional falsehood, a willful
and deliberate lie. No such letter ever was written and copied. As soon
as the Church was charged by the outside world with the ordering of the
massacre, diligent search was made through Brigham's copying books in
his office for any letter in reply to the message by Jas. Haslam, and
no letter nor copy was found, from Haight or Lee, or a reply to their
letter, though it was invariably the rule and practice of the office,
not only to copy letters sent, but to preserve and "pigeonhole all
letters and communications received. Brigham Young gave bis deposition,
sworn to on the 30th day of July, A.D. 1876, before Wm. Clayton, Notary
Public, under his seal, which was made part of the proceedings of the
last trial of John D. Lee. The questions asked were constructed and
shaped in such a way as to be easy on Brigham and not "criss-crosses"
as he once said -- by whom they were propounded is not known -- and he
"Thirteenth -- Did you about the 10th of September, 1857, receive a
communication from Isaac C. Haight, or any other person of Cedar City,
concerning a company of emigrants called the Arkansas company?
Answer -- I did receive a communication from Isaac C. Haight or John D. Lee, who was a farmer for the Indians.
Fourteenth -- Have you that communication?
Answer -- I have not. I have made diligent search for it, but cannot find it.
Fifteenth -- Did you answer that communication?
Answer -- I did, to Isaac C. Haight, who was then acting President at Cedar City.
Sixteenth -- Will you state the substance of your letter to him?
Answer -- Yes. It was to let this company of emigrants, and all
companies of emigrants, pass through the country unmolested, and to
allay the angry feelings of the Indians as much as possible.
(Signed) Brigham Young."
It is very evident to a legal mind that the questions in Brigham's
deposition were framed purposely to protect him, and to shield him from
complicity in the transaction. The defendant's counsel had no part on
the questioning, or he would have asked for a copy of that letter
itself to be seen and [inspected] or extracts from it. But Brigham
produced no letter nor copy nor did he say that there was a copy, which
he would only have been too glad to have produced; and it either in
court, or a certified copy of it, would have been conclusive evidence
in his favor. But he did not produce it, could not produce it, for it
was not in existence. He would not have had the Haight letter "searched
for diligently," if the answer was come-at-able. He could recollect it
was received about September 10th, but did not know whether from Haight
ot Lee. He could recollect the substance of that reply nearly eighteen
years afterwards, but did not tell the substance of Haight or Lee's
letter, nor produce the copy of his reply to refresh his memory or give
its date. The date of Haight's letter was also furnished him in the
question, which should not have been if an honest desposition. The
document of itself is of no real value, only so far as it tells against
Penrose's presumption, as coming from Brigham.
BRIGHAM YOUNG KNEW ALL ABOUT IT.
We assert upon evidence that Brigham was informed fully of the facts of
the murder and the persons concerned in the same, by John D. Lee, in
less than one month after the occurrence. He wrote out a list at
Brigham Young's order of fifty-five Mormon elders concerned in the
dreadful massacre, in the presence of a lady of this city who supplied
him with the paper at his request. And to her exclamation, "What,
Brother Lee, you don't mean to say that our people were engaged in that
affair?" He laughed an "eldrich laugh." There were fifty-eight members
of the Mormon Church, which included presidents, bishops, counselors
and elders. As a record for his heroic conduct the knowing Brigham gave
him very shortly after the recital of the deed, a woman for his
sixteenth wife, whom he inveighed from her man to whom she was a
second. We can give the name, with Brigham's welcome plaudit, slapping
him on the shoulder, "Yes, my boy, you deserve another wife." In the
year 1868, ekeven years after the faithful murderous act he was sealed
to another woman in the Endowment House in this city. We have the
witness. He lodged and ate at Lee's houses many times several years
after the occurrence. It is but shameless audacity and falsehood to
deny that he knew Lee and the priesthood in authority were guilty until
1870. Jacob Hamblin told Brigham Young all about it himself a very
short time after the deed was done. A good Mormon in this city, who
knows, says so emphatically, to whom Hamblin told what he said to the
prophet. And Jacob Hamblin said on his oath at Lee's trial that he told
Brigham Young and George A. Smith -- "Well, I did speak of it to
Brigham Young and Geirge A. Smith, pretty soon after it happened. I
told them everything I could," and told them more than he swore to in
court at the trial, or would swear -- he testified that Lee was pretty
zealous in what is called Mormonism. These are conclusive evidence that
Brigham knew it very soon after the occurrence -- less than two months,
and yet kept it a secret for nineteen years, and requested the brethren
SAY NOTHING ABOUT IT.
until a favorable opportunity opened. Thirteen years elapsed before any
action was taken towards excommunicating a few of those concerned in
it. Indeed, John D. Lee was never cut off legally by the Church, and
hence died a member of it. He had no chance for a hearing or even an
appeal, both of which are guaranteed by the laws of the Church to the
accused. But a church that bids defiance to the wholesome laws of the
land, will pay no respect to its own rules.
Where are Haight, Higbee and Stewart? Report has it that Haight and
Higbee are on missions abroad, and Stewart in Arizona, under assumed
names. I. C. Haight's wife said that if the same traitorous treatment
was shown to her husband as to Lee she would produce evidence that if
not exonerating him legally, would implicate some very high in
Brigham said a few weeks after the deed in the old tabernacle before
thousands of people, some of whom are in this city, that the blood of
those emigrants and of the whole people of Arkansas would but atone for
the blood of Apostle P. P. Pratt. He also justified and palliated the
wholesale murder of the men, women and children, in the Seventies Hall
in this city before many witnesses. These cannot be honestly denied.
Everybody that cared anything about the matter believed that John D.
Lee and others of the priesthood were the instigators and
PERPETRATORS OF THE MASSACRE.
It was the common belief throughout the Territory and certainly they
could not believe it and Brigham the prophet be ignorant. Nathaniel V.
Jones told Brigham about it also, but a very few weeks after the act.
He passed through the settlements there on his way to this city, and
such was the murderous sporit of the brethren that he barely escaped
with his own life because he denounced the deed. Threatening them with
Brigham saved his life. Erastus Snow's affidavit and Wilford Woodruff's
present notes of the innocency of Brigham and John W. Young's account
are worthless to any honest mind, they are ex parte.
George Q. Cannon passed through that region of country shortly after
the massacre, and [he heard about it]. He had been editing the Western
Standard in San Francisco, and was glad to return to the Territory, as
such outrages were popping up so rapidly he would not defend them in
his flashy-headed paper. He knew that the brethren did that deed,
although for years after he charged it on the Indians.
Brigham it is well known, used all his influence and the machinery of
the Church to prevent the trial of the participants in the crime. The
guilty parties were always warned of the approach of judge and
officers. As Governor of the Territory then and for some time after,
and as superintendent of Indian affairs, it was his duty to investigate
the whole affair, but he connived with Lee to have it kept secret as to
the brethren, and they cast all the blame on emigrants traveling
through as first maltreating the Indians.
Penrose says that the court then in operation only wanted to implicate
the Church authorities, and hence palliates Brigham's opposition. He
asks "if Brigham Young counselled Isaac C. Haight, why should Haight be
afraid of its being reported to him?" We ask if the Church authorities
were not guilty, why should Brigham or the Church be afraid to be
implicated, or tell Hamblin to say nothing about it until the proper
time came, which the latter swore Brigham said when but a "pretty short
time" after he had told it all minutely to him? But the Mormon Probate
Courts were in full operation at the time and had equal criminal
jurisdiction with the District Courts, yet he did not think the time
came until he found it necessary by outside and harrassing pressure, to
arrange with Attorney Howard to use John D. Lee as
A SCAPEGOAT FOR THE CHURCH.
Penrose quotes from the Doctrine and Covenants to prove that the
Mormons do not believe in committing murder. What other church in the
wide world has an article in their creed against murder? Who would
think of charging a religious body with being guilty of or encouraging
or palliating murder in any way, if that body was not suspect of such
secret dreadful acts? But what boots it for Penrose to read from the
Doctrine and Covenants that they do not believe in shedding blood or
murder? Did he not two Sundays previous read from Brigham's and Jeddy's
discourse that some men, apostates and the like, would yet be blood
atoned when the proper time arrived? Did not Apostle John Taylor in
France read from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants to prove that the
immaculate Church did not believe in or practice polygamy when he
himself had TEN wives then living, and had had thirteen in his brief
time? It is sheer hypocrisy and hollow deceit to read either from the
Doctrine and Covenants, Book of Mormon or Bible to prove their
sincerity, practices or belief. It is too thin, Brother Penrose. The
books are had recourse to only that your vile and deceitful purposes
may be subserved. You can say and prove from the Bible that adulterers
should be killed, but you teach, solemnize and practice marriage with a
man to a woman and her mother, although a few verses further on in the
same chapter the Word says that the three should be burned.
OUT UPON SUCH DECEPTION!
He says that the blame, the guilt of the massacre should not be laid at
the door of the church because certain of the perpetrators were
Mormons. But there were upwards of fifty persons engaged in it who held
the priesthood, and each elder has as much authority add power as an
apostle. Several persons, witnesses for the Church, swore that there
were at least forty men of the Church there, and that it was dangerous,
as we know to refuse to obey the orders given. Isaac C. Haight, W. H.
Dame, John M. Higbee, and P. Klingensmith were the authorized
representatives of the whole Church, and to question that, or disobey
them, was damnation and blood atoning. That is absolutely true, so that
the whole Church, as a church, is guilty, whether individual members
are or not. With petty quibbling he says that "the officers of the
Church are not the Church; so that If Brigham Young had ordered the
massacre, which he did not, it was not the work of the Church, but his
indivudual transgression. The Church never endorsed the horrid crime
and never forgave it." Now he knows that Brigham was the Church, that
the First Presidency are the Church, and disobedience to them entails
death here and damnation hereafter. Brigham was the head and brains,
and all the body mustmove. The whole Church is responsible for what the
officers do. The Church overlooked the horrid crime for thirteen years,
and numbers of the guilty are still In it, and will remain in it until
death, if not disturbed by by the U. S. officers and the courts.
PENROSE'S CLOSING VILENESS.
The reckless denier says that "Lee was taken to the Mountain Meadows,
and there shot on the 23d day of March, 1878, for dramatic effect
Bishop's book (the truthful confession of Lee) is a dramatic one, and
this was intended as a dramatic end to It, to extend its sales, the
profits to be given to Messrs. Howard, Bishop and Nelson." Now, if the
shooting at the Meadows was for dramatic effect, it was done justly and
truly, nevertheless. It did not neutralize nor lessen the justice of
the long-delayed judgment. So, if the book of Lee's confession, and his
continuous obedience to a villainous priesthood was published for
dramatic effect, It is none the less true and unanswerable, none the
less a proof of perfidious "prophets" and a vile, Godless system of
religion, keeping thousands in mental and moral slavery. But such
contemptible slurs and sneering attempts at belittling from such a
depraved source as Penrose and his Church, cannot affect the honor,
honesty, integrity, truthfulness, and humane purposes of the Hon. Wm.
H. Bishop, a man vastly superior to the detracting Penrose In
Intellect, education, ability and goodness.
Penrose's vileness is only equal to his falsehood. His charges that
those gentlemen, Mr. Bishop and Mr. Wm. Nelson, were to share in the
profits of the sale of the book, which prompted them to publish it, is
not only base and untrue, but is thrown back into his face
contemptuously and is only in keeping with the manly denials of his
discourse and his scheming Church. Mr. Nelson had nothing to do with
the manuscript but to deliver it to Mr. Bishop. The latter only
performed a duty to his client and to the world and the book carries
with it evidence that It is truthful and reliable -- a tremendous
testimony against Mormonism.
Note: The above "Vindex" essay was reprinted in the Tribune's 1886
booklet, A Few Choice Examples of Mormon Practices and Sermons. The
writer was perhaps James T. Cobb of Salt Lake City.
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