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Witness for the Prosecution at Second Trial of John D. Lee
September 14 to 20, 1876

About This Record

Q: Where do you live?

A: I live at Santa Clara.

Q: How long have you lived there?

A: In the neighborhood of twenty-two years.

Q: Where did you live in '57?

A: I lived at Santa Clara; that was my house.  I lived on the Mountain Meadows. I was stopping on the Mountain Meadows that summer.

Q: Will you state how you came up to Mountain Meadows, and how you were situated there?

A: My family was sick at the time, and I moved my family up on account of the hot weather. I was herding stock at the Meadows and milking cows.

Q: Who was with you?

A: Jake Hamblin and myself were proprietors.

Q: Describe that locality to the court and jury?

A: The location in at the north end of what is termed Meadow Valley.

Q: How long is the Meadow Valley?

       A: Four miles long, and about one mile wide.

          Q: Is it entirely surrounded by mountains and hills?

      A: Yes, sir, it is entirely surrounded, except a gap at this end - the gap at which Hamblin's Ranch was situated, and the gap at the other end leads
              you out on the desert. It has a stream that leads to the Santa Clara stream.

       Q: On the first of September, 1857, you say you were stopping there with your wife, who was out of health?

          A: A few days before she had been confined, and was lying nearly at the point of death;  we were living in a wagon box by the side of Jake
              Hamblin's board shanty.

Q: Did you about that time go down to your place at Santa Clara?

       A: Yes, sir, from Mountain Meadows. I went down a few days previous to this occurrence - this massacre - to see to some business down there -
               about watering the crop there.

          Q: What time did you return?

          A: It is not in my memory, the day of the week.
          Q: With reference to the general massacre?

          A: It was the evening after it had been done in the morning - that is, the first attack.

          Q: I mean with reference to the general massacre of the women and children?

A: That was nearly a week, I think.

Q: You are sure about that, are you?

A: I don't exactly remember, but it was several days.

Q: What do you mean by the first attack, and from whom did you get your information?

A: What information I got was from John D. Lee.

Q: State the particulars?

A: As I said before, I was on my way to where I was staying at the time from my home at Santa Clara. From the ranch to Santa Clara
 settlement was thirty-five miles.

Q: How far below the lower mountain of the Mountain Meadows?

A: About ten miles to where I met John D. Lee. I think he had on a hickory shirt, a straw hat, and homespun pants.

Q: Did you have any conversation?

A: Yes, sir. As I was riding along he hailed me.

Q: Who was with you?

A: I don't know that it is proper for me to state.

Q: Had you up to that time known any thing about the attack on the emigrants?

A: No, sir, I had not.

Q: Did you notice any thing peculiar about John D. Lee at that time?

A: He showed me some bullet holes in his clothing, and may be one or two in his hat.

Q: State the conversation.

A: All the conversation?

Q: You can tell what you recollect.

A: I think he told me that he had made an attack with the Indians, and got repulsed.

Q: When did he say he had made it?

A: I think that morning at daylight, or near daylight.

Q: Do you know whether he told you so or not?

A: I am pretty positive he did.

Q: Did he tell you any thing about any escape that he had had?

A: He said he had run a narrow escape, showing me the holes in his hat and shirt, where he had narrowly escaped being shot.

Q: State all the conversation.

A: He rode along with us up to some eight or ten miles of where his camp was. When I saw him it was getting dusk, and we rode along
 together as far as the camp.

Q: Was he alone when he met you?

A: Yes, sir, as far as I know.

Q: Did he tell you whether any other white man had been with him in the attack?

A: I am not certain. I got the impression from what he told me that there was not.

Q: Did he tell you from whom he got the bullets through his clothes, or not?

A: I took it, of course.

Q: Did he say he got it on that assault on the emigrants?

A: I can't give the exact language.

Q: What was the substance of what he told you about it?

A: I collected from what he said that he had attacked the camp of these emigrants with the Indians, and that in making the attack he received
the shots from the camp, that the bullets had come near to him, one through his shirt and another through his hat.

Q: Did he say anything about having a narrow escape?

A: I think he did.

Q: What camp did he refer to?

A: The camp of the Mountain Meadows emigrants.

Q: You say he came back part of the way to the Mountain Meadows?

A: I don't know but what he went clear across the Meadows, I am not positive. I know he rode back with me. He rode back to where the camp
    was, at least, but whether he stopped there or not I will not be positive.

Q: Did you see him go towards the Indian camp afterwards?

A: I didn't know where the Indian camp was. It was in the night. He came to me about dusk. It was eight or nine o'clock when we got to
     where the camp was located. I went right over to my home.

Q: State whether you noticed anything peculiar about Mr. Lee's person, aside from his dress.

A: No, nothing more than what I have stated.

Q: State whether he had any paint on him.

A. I didn't notice any. It was between sundown and daylight. It was nearly dusk when I first saw him. We hadn't talked but a few minutes,
    when it was dark.

Q: How long a time passed until the general massacre?

A: Some five or six days.

Q: Did you remain there with your wife during all that time?

A: Yes, sir, with the exception of being out after my stock once or twice.

Q: Had you anything to do with Lee, or see him after that time?

A: He was over at Hamblin's ranch a few times.

Q: What was he there for?

A: I don't know.

Q: Did he come alone?

A: He was there with other men, but how he came I don't know.

Q: Did he at any time come to you to get your teams?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: What day was that with reference to the massacre of the men, women and children?

A: It was the day it was done.

Q: What time?

A: I think it was a little before 12 o'clock, the middle of the day.

Q: Who came with him?

A: I think it was Klingensmith.

Q: Where were you, and what were you doing?

A: I was at home waiting upon my sick wife, who was there in the wagon, and doing chores necessary to be done about home.

Q: State the conversation that took place between you and Lee, or you and Klingensmith, in the presence of Lee, about what they came for?

A: They told me they came to get my team and wagon to go over and haul away the sick and wounded from the train, and take them back
    to the settlements where they could care for them, as wagons were scarce. I didn't consent st first, I told them that I didn't want to go,
    that my family needed my presence at home. They insisted that I should go and said that duty called me to go. I said if the team went
    I should go myself with it. My team was a young team and had just been broke a few days, and the horses were fractious.

Q: From that point what was done?

A: Well, I went over. I hitched up my team and went over. Went with a common lumber wagon and box on it.

Q: Did you leave your wife there?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: Where did you go?

A: I went right on to the Mountain Meadows, right on to the south end of the Mountain Meadows, or near there. I drove up to a camp of
    Indians and men camped somewhere to the left of the road, probably half a mile, may be not so far, at a little spring to the left of
    the road, and waited there a little while. I stopped some four or five rods from this camp and stood by my team until I was told
    to drive down towards the camp.

Q: Who told you?

A: It is not in my memory.

Q: Did you drive down towards the camp?

A: I did.

Q: What camp?

A: The emigrant camp.

Q: Did any other conveyance go down at the same time?

A: Yes, sir, anoth­er wagon, I went behind it.

Q: Did you see Lee there?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: Tell what he did from the first time you saw him that morning on that particular piece of ground?

A: I don't know what he did all the time. While I was waiting at the camp I don't know that I saw him while I was there.

Q: How far was that from the emigrants?

A: I think nearly half a mile.

Q: Did you see anybody go to that emigrant camp?

A: No, sir. I saw a man carrying a white flag.

Q: Who was that man?

A: I could not tell.

Q: Was anybody with him?

A: Yes, sir, I think John D. Lee was with him, or near him, and walked down to the camp.

Q: What occurred there?

A: They walked with this white flag near the camp, and another man met them with a white rag on a stick. He came from the emigrant
    camp, and they met some distance from the camp, and held a consultation for a few minutes, and then we were told to drive along,
    or motioned to.

Q: Did any other man besides this man and John D. Lee go?

A: Not any distance. I don't remember that they did.

      Q: Who held that consultation?

          A: I was not acquainted with them, and was some distance from them, but I think it was John D. Lee, the man that carried the flag,
              and one or two who came from the emigrant camp.

Q: Who motioned for you to go along after the consultation?

A: I can't tell, but the whole fraternity up there moved along with the wagons.

Q: When you got down to the camp what occurred?

A: My wagon was loaded with some guns, some bedding, and a few individuals.

Q: Who superintended that loading up?

A: John D. Lee.

Q: What guns were loaded into your wagons?

A: The guns from the emigrant camp

Q: When the emigrants came out afterwards, were they armed or not?

A: They were not; not that I saw.

Q: What did they load into your wagon?

A: Guns, bedding, and some clothing of different kinds, and several persons got in. I think three or four got in

Q: What were those persons?

A: As near as I can recollect, there were two men, one woman, and, I think, some children.

Q: State whether those men were wounded then, sick men, or what?

A: I think they were wounded, but I stood holding my team.

Q: State whether it was quite necessary for you to give all your attention to your team?

A: I considered it so.

Q: Then what occurred?

A: After they were loaded in we were told to drive on towards home.

Q: By whom?

A: I can't recollect.

Q: Did you drive along?

A: We did.

Q: Do you know what was put into the other wagon?

A: Mostly people.

Q: Were both those wagons loaded from the emigrant camp?

A: Yes, sir. I started towards my home, north across the Meadows, lengthwise of the Meadows. It led to the north.

Q: After you started, how close did the other wagon follow?

A: I followed it; it went ahead.

Q: What followed you?

A: The men, women and children; coming along after we drove out a little ways.

Q: Did you understand, from what you saw there, that the emigrants vacated that camp and followed you?

A: I did, sir.

Q: As you passed along, did you go with them, or did you go faster?

A: We traveled a little faster.

Q: How far in advance of them did you get?

A: I think we got, may be, a quarter of a mile. It might not have been that far, but quite a little distance.

Q: What order did those emigrants march in, whether single file, two abreast, or how?

A: I could not give any testimony on that. I did not look back to see.

Q: Who accompanied you with your wagon, who came along?

A: I remember John D. Lee being along with the wagons.

Q: Ahead of the emigrants?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: Did anything occur after you had got up to the point designated as, perhaps, a quarter of a mile ahead of those emigrants?

A: The first thing that I heard had occurred. I heard a gun fired.

Q: Where was that gun?

A: I don't know the locality exactly. It was behind me.

Q: Was it near you, or down where the emigrants were?

A: It was below.

Q: How far behind you?

A: I should judge nearly a quarter of a mile, the first gun I heard.

Q: What occurred then?

A: I looked around and saw the Indians rising up from behind the brush, and went to butchering these emigrants.

Q: Did you see anything of them?

A: I didn't see anything of the emigrants.

Q: Did you see any of those emigrants in your wagon interfered with?

A: No, sir; not after I heard the first sound of the gun. I leaped from my wagon to see to my team.

Q: Did you see John D. Lee do anything to any of those emigrants?

A: I saw John D. Lee raise something in the act of striking a person - I think it was a woman. I saw that person fall, but my attention
    was attracted at the same time to my team jumping and lunging.

Q: What became of that woman?

A: I could not say.

Q: Will you state to the jury the manner of that striking?

A: Well, as near as I can recollect it, it was done as though he had a club or gun in his hands, but which of the two I cannot tell.
    She was falling when I first saw her. When I turned my eyes away she was falling.

Q: You know he struck that woman?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: Either with a gun or with a club?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: Your team, you say, became very fractious. Is that all you saw John Lee do?

A: That is all I could be positive about.

Q: What was he doing besides that?

A: I could not be positive what he was doing all the time.

Q: State whether all of those people were killed there and then?

A: They were; those in the wagon were all killed.

Q: Was it in your wagon or the one behind you that John D. Lee struck that woman?

A: It was in the one ahead of me.

Q: Was that woman killed?

A: I think she was. They were all killed.

Q: How many cattle had this emigrant train?

A: I don't know, sir.  Should judge three or four hundred head.

Q: Do you know who drove these cattle away from that ground?

A: No, sir; I do not.

Q: Do you know whose men drove them off?

A: No, sir; only by report - by rumor.

Q: Did you see Lee drive any of them?

A: No, sir; I did not.

Q: Did you hear him say anything about it?

A: I did not.

Q: Did Lee remain there until all in the wagons were killed?

A: I think he did.

Q: Where did you go then?

A: I drove immediately home.

Q: Which way did Lee go?

A: I don't know - he was on the ground when I left.

Q: Do you know the names of any of those parties who were killed there?

A: No, sir; I do not.

Cross examined –

Q: How many people were present around the wagons when you say you saw Lee strike the woman?

A: I don't know how many.

Q: Were there any others there except Lee and yourself?

A: I have an impression that there were, but I don't know who they were. I have always had an idea that there were one or two more men.

Q: Don't you know, as a matter of fact, that there were?

A: Yes, sir; there was another man that drove the other wagon, but how many more I don't know.

Q: You don't know the names of the men?

A: Not that I recollect of.

Q: Were any Indians around there?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: Any around the wagons?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: Did you see them take any part in the killing?

A: Yes, sir; they took some part in the killing. There were not more than one or two men there, John D. Lee and the men that drove the wagon.

Q: How many Indians?

A: I can't tell.

Q: Isn't it a matter of fact that about that time you wanted to got away from there, and to see as little as possible?

A: I paid just as little attention as I possibly could.

Q: Didn't you make an effort to see as little of it as you could?

A: I did, sir.

Q: That explains why you did not see all of it?

A: Yes, sir, I took all the pains I could to see as little as I could.

      Q: Did not the Indians raise a yell, and make a rush for the wagon before you jumped out?

      A: Yes, sir, or about that time.

Q: Were they not surrounding the wagons at the time you saw Lee strike?

          A: Yes, sir.

Q: There were Indians all around and close to you at the time?

A: Yes, sir, there were Indians a round; quite a number all round there.

Q: Did they rush toward the people in the wagons with hostile intentions?

A: Yes, sir, with apparently hostile intentions.

Q: You saw them kill a number of people - didn't they kill that woman?

A: It was my impression that John D. Lee killed her.

Q: Do you know?

A: Yes, sir, I do.

Q: Did you see him do anything else except the strike?

A: No, sir.

Q: That much you did see?

A: Yes, sir, I did.

Q: Who was that man with you at the Meadows, the first time you saw John D. Lee, the night after the first attack?

A: I decline to tell.

Redirect -

Q:  State where those cattle of the emigrants were at the time of the massacre.

A:  They were north a little; up this way.

Q: How soon after that were they driven away?

A: I think next day.

Q: Do you know whose men drove them away?

A: I do not.

Q: Were the emigrants' wagons destroyed there on the ground, or were they taken away?

A: I don't know. They passed along.

Q: Was the field cleared of the emigrant property?

A: Yes, sir, cattle and everything.

Q: Were any wagons burned or destroyed?

A: No, sir, not that I know of.

Q: How long did you stay there after that?

A: Nearly a month.


Jacob Hamblin Testimony ] Confession of John D. Lee ] Nephi Johnson Testimony ] Philip Klingensmith Testimony ] P. Klingensmith Affidavit ] [ Samuel Knight Testimony ] Laban Morrill Testimony ] Brigham Young Deposition ] HOME ] Testimonies ] HOME ] Family_Pages ]

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