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San Francisco Herald, 21 and 27 October 1857

                                                                                          THE PERILS OF THE PLAINS
                                                                           THE MORMONS AND THE LATE MASSACRE

                                                                                                        21 October 1857

Three emigrant families arrived, yesterday, in Sacramento, by the Carson Valley route. They report, says the Union, many sad evidences of outrage and murder...

Reports brought in by these families tend strongly to corroborate the suspicion already existing against the Mormons as the instigators, if not the perpetrators, of the recent wholesale massacre of immigrants at Santa Clara canon…. Before Mr. Pierce’s family left Salt Lake, vague declarations of a threatening character were made, to the effect that, next year the overland emigrants must look out; and it was intimated that the last trains this year might be destroyed. From the Mormon train which recently left the Carson Valley, and which these families met on the way, similar statements were vaguely communicated, one Mormon woman even going so far as to congratulate an old lady in one of these families on her safe arrival so near her destination, and assuring her that the last trains of this year would not get through, for they were to be cut off. We give these statements as we received them from members of these families, and, admitting their correctness, which we have no reason to doubt, they certainly go far to confirm a terrible suspicion.

                                                                                                       27 October 1857

From the news published in another column, there can be no doubt of the complicity of the Mormons with the Indians, in all the outrages which have of late been committed on the middle plains. There is no longer any safety for the emigrant he is forced on one side to submit to the extortions of the Mormon guides, and on the other, to the exactions of the Indians, [and is] too happy to escape with life. Both have united to fleece, rob and murder all those who fall into their hands. We are very much afraid we have not heard the last of the massacres by the Indians this year. Whatever trains may yet be in the way, will not escape without attacks. It will be seen from the statements published in another column, that there is little doubt that the Mormons had a knowledge beforehand of what the Indians were going to do were in constant communication with them during the time that the hapless emigrant train was battling against the savage foe, by whom they were assaulted that, though fully aware that men, women and children were being cruelly murdered, they neglected to render any assistance, and did not even go so far as to remonstrate, and that they openly rejoiced with the Indians in the successful accomplishment of their bloody work. Indeed, according to the statements of Messrs. Power, Warn and Honea, the Mormons cannot be separated from the Indians in all these terrible outrages. They were the prompters, if not actors in the dreadful scenes which have been enacted on the middle plains. How well they have succeeded in moulding the savages, with whom they dwell, for the accomplishment of whatever objects they may have in view, is sufficiently evidenced by the distinction they now make between Mormons and Americans. They have been taught to believe there are two races of white men in existence Mormons and Indians, and that while the former are their fast friends, the latter are their dreaded and uncompromising foes. It is horrible to contemplate that white men should be engaged in stirring up and goading on blood-thirsty savages to the commission of deeds of atrocity and blood to the massacre of defenseless women and children of their own race at least; but we are afraid it is but too true. The poisoning of a dead ox, for which the Indians asked, is stated as the main cause of the massacre; but that poisoning may have been done by the Mormons. The swaggering course pursued by the emigrants, and which no one will seek to justify, excited a thirst for vengeance in their minds, and this may have been the plan they adopted to gratify it, knowing the fearful vengeance it would bring down on the heads of the emigrants, if the act could be fastened on them. Such a theory is by no means improbable or far-fetched. The spirit by which the Mormons are actuated is no longer a secret; and no act or proceeding of theirs, no matter how fiendish or blood-thirsty, should excite astonishment. The people of Los Angeles, at a meeting recently held, adopted a preamble and resolutions calling on the President of the United States to take measures for the punishment of the authors of the recent wholesale butchery on the plains; and also calling on the Governor of the State to enforce the laws in San Bernardino, pledging themselves to respond to the call of the proper authorities, if necessary in enforcing obedience. Matters wear a menacing aspect!

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