Woody Brison wrote:
>In the case under question, the military authorities in
>southern Utah or Deseret tried to consult with Governor Young/
>President Young, who was both the military and prophetic
>leader of the place.
As I've documented dozens of times, Young intended for only the Indians to
attack the train. The Mormons were to hide out of sight, supervise the
Indians, and help divvy up the spoils. But the emigrants fought off the
initial attack and fortified themselves. That forced the "military
authorities" (who were also LDS stake presidents) to send the messenger to
Young for further instructions.
Since that letter was conveniently "lost," we don't know exactly what it said.
But Young's response reflected what had been discussed in the September 1
council in SLC wherein Young met with 12 southern chiefs:
"In regard to the emigrant trains
passing through our settlements, we must not interfere with them until they are
first told to keep away. You must not meddle with them. The Indians we expect
will do as they please but you should try and preserve good feelings with
The eminent late LDS historian Juanita Brooks commented on Young's directive:
"[Young's] answer to Haight is direct: 'In regard to the emigrant trains
passing through our settlements, we must not interfere with them until they are
first told to keep away. You must not meddle with them.'
"Yet, in almost the same breath, he suggests that should the Indians annoy the
emigrants or prey upon them, he would assume no responsibility---but the people
of the south must keep the good will of the natives: 'The Indians we expect
will do as they please but you should try and preserve good feelings with
"This sounds as though he might not condemn an Indian massacre."
("Mountain Meadows Massacre", pp. 64-65.)
>A wagon train was passing thru which
>included some individuals which the military leaders
>understood to be claiming to be some of the murderers of
>Joseph Smith. They were understood to have the stated
>objective of going to California to raise an army and come
>back and wreak mayhem in the area. They had wantonly killed
>a couple of people already.
And all of these allegations have been shown by several historians to have been
invented by the Mormons to "justify" their massacring more than 120 men, women,
Tell us, O Wise Woody: Even if men in the Fancher party had done what you
allege above, what "sins" did all those women and children commit to warrant
atonement by the shedding of their blood at the hands of the Mormon priesthood?
>What should they do with this
>party? Governor Young got the message, and he sent the
>messenger back with orders to leave the wagon train alone.
.....but Young also expected the Indians to "do as they please."
>told the guy to kill horses if necessary but to get that
>order down there in time, but it wasn't physically possible.
The idea that Young told the messenger, James Haslem, to "spare no horseflesh,"
was concocted and related in John D. Lee's trial in the 1870s.
In actuality, the historical evidence shows that Haslem took his sweet time
getting back to Mountain Meadows.
>It seems to me, that rather than any objective evidence, your
>need to self-justify your rejection of the Gospel is the
>obvious reason why you try to implicate Brigham Young in the
Woody, let's see if the following material implicates Brigham Young in the
"This policy of robbing the passing emigrant was clearly a part of the general
war tactics, since, for the time being, all 'Mericats' [Americans] were
"As president of the Southern Indian Mission, [Jacob Hamblin] was responsible
for the conduct of Indian affairs; as military commander of the area, Haight
had sent these men to work with the natives in carrying out the war policies.
With Zion standing against the world, and with the Indians as allies, they were
prepared to prey upon every passing emigrant company as part of the
contribution to the war."
(Juanita Brooks, "Mountain Meadows Massacre," p. 122, 131.)
"Huntington's mission to the Shoshonis exacerbated the violence that had
already set the northern road to California ablaze from City of Rocks to the
Humboldt River. By early September horrific accounts 'of the almost total
destruction of an immigrant train, by the Indians,' filled California's
newspapers. Indians had attacked a small train at Stony Point, a black man
named Scott reported, and killed five men and a child. A woman was 'shot in
several places, scalped, and left for dead.' Remarkably, she had survived, and
her head almost healed.
Emigrants had no doubt as to who was behind these assaults. On reaching
California, overlanders recounted 'many sad evidences of outrage and murder'
that they swore implicated the Saints. For three hundred miles emigrants had
to run 'the gauntlet of Indian attacks and Mormon treachery,' Richeson Abbott
complained. His party was ambushed at City of Rocks, and he was 'satisfied the
attack was led by Mormons, as he had heard them cursing in regular Mormon
slang, and calling out to them to get out of the country, as they had no
business there.' The Saints boasted they would kill them all.
Panicked reports claimed hundreds of emigrants had been killed. For the press
in California, it was 'an undoubted fact that the Mormons were at the head of
most of [the] outrages, and instigated the Indians to commit the murders.'
Louis Fine said white men supposed to be Mormons led an Indian attack on Samuel
Beller and B. Redman of Arkansas near City of Rocks. For the next three
hundred miles they were fired on or attacked almost every day. The emigrants
'all appeared to have more fear of the Mormons than of the Indians.' Their
general feeling was that 'the Mormons led the Indians in their attacks and
Angus McLeod of Arkansas left Salt Lake on September 4 with Louis Fine's train.
He was attacked fifty miles from town by ten or twelve men mounted on newly
shod horses. McLeod believed they were white men or Mormons. His party was
assaulted again near City of Rocks, where forty or fifty Indians killed Oliver
Bailey and drove off some seventy head of cattle. At Salt Lake, a man named
Pierce heard 'vague declarations of a threatening character' that 'next year
the overland emigrants must look out'; and it was intimated that the last
trains this year might be destroyed.'
A woman with the eastbound Mormon wagons evacuating Carson Valley warned, 'The
last trains of this year would not get through, for they were to be cut off.' "
("Blood of the Prophets," Will Bagley, p. 93.)
of the Dukes train, S. B. Honea, stated 'that he passed through Great Salt Lake
City on August 17, that he saw everywhere preparations for war, that the
company were harassed by Indians all the way, that in southern Utah they hired
Mormon guides and interpreters to the sum of $1,810, and then were robbed on
the Muddy [River] of 375 head of cattle.' [George B.] Davis described the
Indians who stole the cattle as having among them some with light, fine hair
and blue eyes, and light streaks where they had not used sufficient paint. He
gave the number of cattle taken as 326 head.....On October 17, the first
members of the Duke train of emigrants arrived half-starved at San Bernardino
with the Mormon theft of their cattle to add to the tale of the massacre."
(Brooks, pp. 125, 126, 146.)
"It was from the lips of Charley Fancher, soon after his arrival from the
vicinity of the tragedy, that I heard the first story of the massacre. In his
childish way he said that "some of the Indians, after the slaughter, went to
the little creek, and that after washing their faces they were white men."
(Josiah Gibbs, "The Mountain Meadows Massacre.")
The tactic of using "Lamanites" as "the battle-ax of the Lord" to assist
Mormons in robbing non-Mormons and exacting "vengeance" upon apostates or
church opponents is found in the writings and sermons of Mormons themselves.
The minutes of the Southern Indian Mission for May 14, 1854, records:
"Bro. Lewis reviewed the principles of the previous speakers, all good and for
good. All the scenes Bro. Lott has recounted I shared in, my brother Benjamin
was killed in Missouri, and I am alive to avenge his blood when the Lord will.
The second time I heard a Mormon preach, he declared holding up a Book of
Mormon that this was a record of the red men, and of God's dealings with their
fathers, and we should one day carry this work to the Indians, and we are now
living among them, and to teach them of this work. We must treat them like
children, by degrees, to quit their savage customs. Shall we have no
opportunities? We shall. No conquest without a struggle, no victory without a
fight. Be diligent, faithful and patient, and the Lord will reward you when
you have been proved. Ephraim is the battle-axe of the Lord. May we not have
been sent to learn how to use this axe, with skill?"
On February 20, 1854, Cedar City Stake Patriarch Elisha Groves spoke the
following words in a patriarchal blessing to Mormon militia colonel William
"Thou shalt be called to act at the head of a portion of thy brethren and of
the Lamanites in the redemption of Zion and the avenging of the blood of the
prophets upon them that dwell on the earth. The angel of vengeance will be
with thee, shall nerve and strengthen thee."
And 3.5 years later, on September 7, 1857, William Dame was doing exactly what
his patriarchal blessing foretold: Dame was the military leader in charge at
the Mountain Meadows Massacre, wherein he led his fellow Mormons and
"Lamanites" in exacting "vengeance" upon some 100 American citizens whom the
Mormons asserted were among the murderers of "prophets" Joseph and Hyrum Smith
and Parley P. Pratt.
"Brigham Young had unleashed the battle-ax of the Lord against emigrants
passing through Utah, Bishop Elias Hicks Blackburn explained to his
congregation that afternoon. He quoted Brother Brigham: 'the enemy is in our
hands if we will do right.' Near Box Elder twenty-five Shosonis had stampeded
six hundred cattle and horses, leaving an emigrant company on foot. ['Brigham
Young has] held the Indians back for 10 years past but shall do it no longer!'
the bishop thundered. 'As soon as this word went out they have commenced upon
our enemies!' "
(Utah Stake minutes, 30 August 1857, quoted in "Blood of the Prophets," pp.
On September 12, 1857---the day after the MMM---Brigham Young wrote to his
agent in Philadelphia, Jeter Clinton:
"The check rein has broken, and cousin Lemuel is out at large, in fact he has
already been collecting some of his annuities. Day after day I am visited by
their chiefs to know if they may strike while the iron is hot.....the war cry
will resound from the Rio Colorado to the head waters of the Missouri---from
the Black Hills to the Sierra Nevada---travel will be stopped across the
continent---the deserts of Utah become a battle ground for freedom. It is
peace and [Mormons'] rights---or the knife and tomahawk---let Uncle Sam
choose." (Brigham Young Collection, LDS Archives, 839-40.)
Mormons sometimes used the term "cousin Lemuel" for the "Lamanites", whom they
taught were their "cousins" in the "house of Israel." That term also appeared
in the minutes of meetings of the Cedar City stake on September 13, 1857:
"At ten o'clock a.m. meeting opened by singing. Patriarch Elisha H. Groves
spoke upon the principles of the gospel, and of the Lamanites being the
battle-axe of the Lord, and of our faithfulness to the gospel. 2 p.m. meeting
opened by singing, prayer by I. C. Haight. Haight spoke upon the spirit of the
times, and of cousin Lemuel being fired up with the spirit of their fathers.
Singing, benediction by P. K. Smith." [Philip Klingensmith.]
Patriarch Elisha Groves was the same man I quoted above, who "blessed" Parowan
Stake President William Dame in 1854 to lead Mormons allied with Indians in
avenging the "blood of the prophets."
I. C. Haight was the Cedar City Stake President who gave orders in the MMM.
Bishop Philip Klingensmith also participated in the MMM.
The church meeting recorded above took place two days after those pious
gentlemen, in cahoots with Indians, helped to murder 120+ American citizens at
Mountain Meadows. Note how those men spoke approvingly of "cousin Lemuel's"
assistance in recent events, just as Brigham Young had written of "cousin
Lemuel" being "out at large.....collecting some of his annuities," in a letter
written the day before that church meeting in Cedar City.
"Continue the conciliatory policy towards the Indians.....for they must learn
that they have got to help us or the United States will kill us both."
(Brigham Young letter to southern Utah Indian mission president Jacob Hamblin,
August 4, 1857---five weeks before the initial attack on the Fancher train.)
"If the government dare to force the issue, I shall not hold the Indians by the
wrist any longer. If the issue comes, you may tell the government to stop all
emigration across the continent, for the Indians will kill all who attempt it."
(Brigham Young letter to U. S. Army Captain Stewart van Vliet, September 7,
1857---the very day of the initial attack on the Fancher train.)
"Recently I was given access to an electrostatic copy of the daily journal of
Brigham Young. Under date of September 1, 1857, the entry reads: 'Kanosh the
Pavaunt chief with several of his band visited me gave me some council and
presents. A spirit seems to be takeing possession of the Indians to assist
Israel. I can hardly restrain them from exterminating the Americans.'
"This seems very significant. The 'Journal History of the Church' under this
same date tells of the visit of Jacob Hamblin and twelve Indian chiefs from the
south. President Young talked with them all, but it seems that Kanosh was
given private audience. He was the chief who had killed Captain John W.
Gunnison and several of his men as they were camped on the Sevier River on
October 28, 1853. Whether or not Kanosh and his band were at the Mountain
Meadows we do not know, but we can now be certain that the Mormon war strategy
was to use the natives as 'the battle-ax of the Lord,' as some of the early
missionaries had stated." ("Mountain Meadows Massacre," Juanita Brooks,
"Hamblin and some twelve Indian chiefs on September first met with Brigham
Young and his most trusted interpreter, 49-year-old Dimick Huntington, at Great
Salt Lake. Taking part in this pow-wow were Kanosh, the Mormon chief of the
Pahvants; Ammon, half-brother of Walker; Tutsegabit, head chief of the
Piedes;Youngwuds, another Piede chieftain, and other leaders of desert bands
along the Santa Clara and Virgin Rivers. Little was known of what they talked
about until recently when it came to light that Huntington (apparently speaking
for Young) told the chiefs that he 'gave them all the cattle that had gone to
Cal[ifornia by] the south rout[e].' The gift 'made them open their eyes,' he
said. But 'you have told us not to steal,' the Indians replied. 'So I have,'
Huntington said, but now they have come to fight us & you for when they kill us
they will kill you.' The chiefs knew what cattle he was giving them. They
belonged to the Baker-Fancher train." ("Forgotten Kingdom: The Mormon
Theocracy in the American West," David Bigler, 1998, pp. 167-168.)
Four years after the MMM, Brigham Young visited southern Utah and spoke to
local Mormons there, many of whom had helped to massacre the Fancher party:
[Young said that] "the company that
was used up at the Mountain Meadows were the Fathers, Mothers, Bros., sisters
& connections of those that murdered the Prophets; they merited their fate, &
only thing that ever troubled him was the lives of the women & children, but
that under the circumstances this could not be avoided." (John D. Lee diary,
May 30, 1861.)
Woody, do you see anything in the above material that implicates Brigham Young
in the MMM?
(I hope that readers noted that Woody did not cite a single historical quote in
his entire reply here. Every word he wrote was his own opinion.)
>I would think, if you're going to reject the Gospel,
>thus incurring some serious questions about your case on
>Judgement Day, it would be wiser to have someone like him on
>your side rather than repel his sympathies.
Are you talking about Brigham Young here? 'Cuz I would hate to think that a
lying, scheming, murderer like him would be in a position to "judge" me or you,