Murdered at Mountain Meadows: How One of the Emigrants
Left the Party Before the Massacre and is Now a San
The confession of
John D. Lee, who lately suffered the death penalty at
Beaver, Utah, for his participation in the memorable,
Mountain Meadows massacre, excited a profound interest.
The statements made by the aged culprit, as his end
inevitably grew near, differed materially from a previous
confession which he tendered at the time of his first
trial, in 1865 (sic:1875), in which he attempted to screen
Brigham Young and other high functionaries of the Mormon
Church from complicity in the terrible crime, in the
evident expectation that they in turn would remain true to
him to the end and effect his final liberation. Now that
tardy justice has overtaken one of the leading
participants in the massacre after an interval of twenty
years, a brief account of one of the most atrocious crimes
recorded in the history of the civilized world will be
perused with interest, particularly by a large proportion
of readers to whom are not familiar…
The horrible incidents
leading families of the party were the Bakers of Arkansas,
consisting of the elder
with his wife and family and two married sons with
families; the Hough (Huff)
family from Arkansas; and the Reeds from Missouri,
comprising Reed senior and his family, and his son and
family; Mr. Duck and his party, including Officer Jacoby,
joined the train from Ohio. The Reeds and the Bakers were
the principal owners of the stock, and they also had in
their possession a considerable amount of specie,
designing (to make) large investments in land in the
southern part of this State. There were also a half dozen
other families, whose names are not now remembered by Mr.
Jacoby. A large number of hired men accompanied the train
as "bull-whackers" and stockherders, and the party
Between thirty and forty children
A group from Ohio
led by W. B. Duck met the Baker train on the trail to Fort
Bridger. P. K. Jacoby, Duck’s brother-in-law, recalled
that the Bakers and the Huffs were the leading families in
the train. At Fort Bridger, Jacoby said a small party
under W. B. Duck withdrew 100 head of stock and set off
down Bear River for California.
The company was
composed of antagonistic elements, which months of weary
journeying and common peril did not seem to allay.
that arguments over "the validity of the Fugitive Slave
Act" divided the "respectable minority" of northerners
from their southern comrades.
As the company
approached Fort Bridger, Peter Huff, one of the leaders
from Arkansas, was bitten on the hand by a tarantula or
some other venomous creature as he slept.
Mr. Jacoby estimates that the
Arkansas train was reduced to about 100 after reaching
Fort Bridger, while accounts of the massacre have placed
the number killed at from 130 to 150.