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1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre


                                                 (2)   DEPOSITIONS ON BEHALF OF CHARLES & JOEL D. MITCHELL

About This Record  

State of Arkansas                                  


County of Carroll 

Be it witnessed that on this 22nd day of October, A.D. 1860, personally came and appeared before me, the undersigned, John Bunch, an acting Justice of the Peace, duly commissioned and qualified as such within and for said county, William C. Mitchell, of the county of Marion, and State of Arkansas, who after being duly sworn according to law, to testify the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, in regard to the matters in relation to the property of Charles R. Mitchell and Joel D. Mitchell, who it is supposed were murdered at a place known as "Mountain Meadows" and whose property was taken my the murderers. Upon his oath aforesaid deposed as follows; 

I was personally well acquainted with the said Charles and Joel Mitchell.  There were my sons, and I assisted them in making their outfit for the trip in the spring of 1857. They left in company with John T. Baker and many others, and were murdered, as I am informed and believe,  at "Mountain Meadows", in September of the same year.  They were on their way to California, and when they left here they had in their possession and under their control, the following personal property.  They had in cash when they left this county, in April 1857, about the sum of Two hundred and seventy five dollars.  They had thirteen yoke of good work oxen. They had sixty two head of other cattle and when they reached Washington county in this state, they wrote to me that they had bought ten head more and intended getting two more so as to make one hundred head in all.  I have no doubt from all the information I have on this subject, and I fully believe that when they left the state they had with them one hundred head of good saleable cattle.  They had one large ox wagon, log chains, etc. They had their wearing apparel, beds, and bedding, and cooking utensils. They had guns, pistols and Bowie knives.  The property they had with them when they left for California in April 1857 was worth in this market, at the date of their departure, at a fair and reasonable cash valuation as follows, to wit: 

13 yoke of work oxen @ $ 60.00 per yoke
$ 780.00
74 head of other cattle, cows, steers @$12 
$ 888.00
cash on hand when they left here  
$ 275.00
1 large wagon, chains, etc 
$ 120.00
1 horse saddle & bridle   
$ 100.00
Guns, fire arms, knives, etc  
$   50.00
Clothing, beds, and bedding, provisions, cooking utencils, camp equipage, etc., 
$ 300.00

Amounting in all, the property that the said Charles and Joel D. Mitchell left this state with, for California in the year 1857, to the sum of Twenty five hundred and thirteen dollars.  I have made the above estimate at what the said property was worth here, and know all as did know all the property above valued except the ten head of cattle that was bought in Washington County, of which I have no knowledge, only from heresay.  But I believe that the amount above stated is a fair estimate of the value of said property at "Mountain Meadows," where the parties were murdered and robbed.  I have no knowledge and from heresay but am informed and believe that said property was of double the value there to what it was here and from all the information I have been enabled to obtain I believe that said property at Mountain Meadows could have been worth the sum of about five or six thousand dollars.  This last statement is only given as the information of others. So help me God. 

                                       Wm. C. Mitchell

          Sworn to and subscribed to before me this
          22nd day of October 1860. 

                                       John Bunch, J.P.

And at the same time and place came Samuel Mitchell, an other witness known to me, to be of lawful age, who, after being duly sworn in, in relation to the matter in the caption herein mentioned, deposed as follows:

I am a brother to Charles R. and Joel D. Mitchell mentioned in the foregoing deposition of William C. Mitchell.  I was well acquainted with the outfit of the parties, and acquainted with all the property set forth in the foregoing statement made by the said William A. Mitchell, and from my knowledge of the property and its value I believe that the value therein given and estimated, is a fair cash valuation of the property and its value in this market at the date of the departure of said parties for California.  They left this county in company of John T. Baker and many others, all bound for California, and I have no doubt but what they were all murdered at a place known as "Mountain Meadows", so help me God. 

                          Samuel Mitchell 

Sworn to and subscribed on this 22nd day of October 1860 . 

                          John Bunch,   J.P.

State of Arkansas


County of Carroll 


I, Samuel W. Peel, as the clerk of the circuit court and exofficio of the county and state aforesaid, duly commissioned and qualified as such within, and for said county, do hereby testify that John Bunch, whose official signature appears to be annexed, and foregoing depositions of Wm C. Mitchell, and Samuel Mitchell, was at the time said depositions were taken, and now is an acting Justice of the Peace within and for said county, duly commissioned, and qualified as such, and that his official signature thereunto annexed is genuine and in his own proper handwriting, and that fullfaith and credit are due all his official acts as such.  In witness whereof, I Samuel W. Peel, as clerk as aforesaid, have hereunto set my hand as such clerk, and affixed my private seal (The Public seal of said court having been destroyed by fire). Given under my hand this 22 day of October 1860.

S W Peel, Clerk

Source: Territorial Papers of the United States Senate 1789 - 1873, Roll 15, Utah, December 31, 1849 - June 11, 1870. These records were discovered by Paul Buford Fancher during the course of his research for Richard Fancher (1700-1764) of Morris County, New Jersey: Richard Fancher's descendants 1764-1992: Fancher-Fansher-Fanchier-Fanshier, which was published in 1993.


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