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(Note: Captain James Lynch delivered the children who survived the Mountain Meadows Massacre to Senator William Mitchell at Fort Leavenworth Kansas. Thirty-four years later, in 1893, when Captain Lynch was 73 years old, he married Sarah Elizabeth Dunlap, who was one of the children who survived the Massacre. Sarah was 38 years old at the time of their marriage, and had been blind since the time of the Massacre, due to a gun powder injury that affected her eye sight.)

Utah Territory
Cedar County

                        James Lynch of lawful age being first duly sworn, states on oath:  That he was one of the party who accompanied Dr. Jacob Forney, Superintendent of Indian affairs in an expedition to the Mountain Meadows Santa Clara &c in the months of March & April last, when we received sixteen children, sole survivors of the wholesale massacre perpetrated at the former place in the month of September 1857.  The children when we first saw them, were in a most wretched and deplorable condition; with little or no clothing, covered with filth and dirt.  They presented a sight heart rending and miserable in the extreme.  The scene of the fearful murder still bears evidence of the atrocious crime, charged by the Mormons and their friends to have been perpetrated by Indians but really by mormons disguised as Indians, who in their headlong zeal, bigotry and fanaticism deemed this a favorable opportunity of at once wreaking their vengeance on the hated people of Arkansas, and of making another of these iniquitious “Blood offerings” to God so often recommended by Brigham Young and their other leaders.  For more than two square miles the ground is strewn with the skulls, bones and other remains of the victims.  In places water has washed many of these remains together, forming little mounds, raising monuments as it were to the cruelty of man to his fellow man.  Here and there may be found the remains of an innocent infant beside those of some devoted mother, ruthlessly slain by men worse than demons; their bones lie bleaching in the noon day sun a mute but eloquent appeal to a just but offended God for vengeance.  I have witnessed many harrowing sights on the fields of battle, but never did my heart thrill with such horrible emotions, as when standing on that silent plain contemplating the remains of the innocent victims of Mormon Avarice, fanaticism & cruelty.  Many of these remains are now in possession of Mr. Rogers, a gentleman who accompanied us on the expedition.  Why were no these remains interred if not in a Christian like and proper manner, at least covered from the sight?  But no the hatred of their murderers extended to them after death--there they lay, a prey to the famished wolves that run howling over the desolate plains to the unlooked for feast, food for the croaking ravens that through the tainted air with swift wing wended their way to revel in their banquet of blood.

            I enquired of Jacob Hamblin who is a high Church dignitary, why these remains were not buried at some time subsequent to the murder?  he said that the bodies were so much decomposed that it was impossible to inter them.  No longer let us boast of our citizenship freedom or civilization.  There was one hundred and forty poor harmless Emigrants to California butchered in cold blood, by white men too, with attending circumstances far exceeding anything in cruelty that we have ever heard of or read of being perpetrated by savages.  It is now high time that the actors and perpetrators of this dreadful crime should be brought to condign punishment.  For years the Mormons have possessed an immunity from punishment or a sort of privilege for committing crimes of this nature, but soon it is to be hoped a new state of things must dawn--a retribution must come, vengeance must be had--civilization humanity and christianity call for it, and the American people must have it.  Blood may be shed, difficulties may be encountered, but just as sure as there is a sun at noon-day, retribution will yet overtake the guilty wretches--their aiders, abettors, whether open or hidden under disguise of Government employment.

            John D. Lee, a Mormon President has knowledge of the whereabouts of much of the property taken from these ill fated emigrants, and if I am not misinformed in possession of a large quantity of it.  Why not make him disgorge this illgotten plunder--and disclose the amount escheated to, and sold out by the Mormon Church, as its share of the blood of helpless victims?  When he enters into a league with Hell and covenants with death; he should not be allowed to make feasts and entertain government officials at his table as he did Dr Jacob Forney Superintendent of Indian Affairs, while the rest of his party refused in his hearing and that of Lee, to share the hospitalities of This notorious murderer--This scourge of the desert.  This man Lee does not deny, but admits that he was present at the massacre, but pretends that he was there to prevent blood shed, but positive evidences implicate him as the leader of the murderers too deeply for denial.  The Children point him out as one of them that did the bloody work.  He and other white men had these children, and they never were in the hands of the Indians, but in those that murdered them and Jacob Ham[b]lin and Jacob Forney know it.  The children pointed out to us the dresses and jewelry of their mothers and sisters, that now grace the Angelic forms of these murderer’s women and children--verily it would seem that men and women alike combined in this wholesale slaughter.  This ill fated train consisted of 18 wagons 820 head of cattle household goods to a large amount, besides money estimated at 80 or 90,000 dollars the greater part of which it is believed now make rich the harems of John D. Lee.  Of this train a man whose name is unknown, fortunately escaped at the time of the massacre to Vegas one hundred miles distant from the scene of blood on the California Road.  Here he was followed by five mormons, who through promises of safety &c prevailed upon him to begin his return to Mountain Meadows & contrary to their promises and his just expectations they inhumanly butchered him--laughing at and disregarding his loud and repeated cries for mercy as witnessed and told by Ira Hatch one of the five.  The object in killing this man was to leave no witness competent to give testimony in a Court of Justice, but God whose ways are inscrutable has thought proper, through the instrumentality of the “babes and sucklings” recovered by us to bring to light this most horrible tragedy, and made know its barbarous and inhuman perpetrators.  Already a step has been take by Judge Cradlebough in the right direction, of which we see evidence in the flight of Presidents, Bishops, and Elders, to the mountains, to escape the just penalty of the law for their crimes.  If the vengeance of the Lord is slow ‘tis equally sure.  The Mormons who know better, have reported that the principles and in fact all the actors in this fearful massacre were Indian savages, but subsequent events have thrown sufficient light upon this mystery to fix the foul blot indellibly on the Mormon escutcheon.  Many of the leaders are well known, John D. Lee was the Commander in Chief, President height and Bishop Smith in Cedar City and besides these one hundred actors and accomplises are know to Judge Cradlebough and Dr. Forney.  Some of these implicated are and have been in the confidence and under employment of Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Bishop Hamblin for instance who is employed by Dr. Forney among the Indians down south, who knows all the facts but refuses to disclose them, who falsely reported to Dr. Forney that the children we brought away were recovered by him from persons who had bought them from Indians, and who know that what he reported was false and was so done to cheat the government out of money to again reward the guilty wretches for their inhuman butcheries.  It is pretended that this man is friendly towards the United States Government, yet is a well known fact that he screened some of these murderers about his house, from justice, among whom are an Indian named George and a white man by the name of Tillis, recognized by one of these children--a little girl eight years old, who has been sent off to the States by Dr. Forney, as the man who killed her mother. Hamblin cannot be a Mormon Bishop and a friend of the United States at least where Mormons and Mormonism is concerned.  His creed & oaths forbid it and he could not if he would with safety to himself do it.  Then why not out with him?  Dr. Forney can find another and more trustworthy Agent than he.  Why then keep and patronize the abettor of a crime?  Before I close, my duty to my country calls upon me to state to the public the course of Dr. Forney to engender in the minds of the Mormons feelings of antipathy and opposition to the Judiciary, and the many obligations which he violated and promises which he desregarded this trip.

            I left Camp Floyd in March last in charge of 39 men, emigrating to Arizona, about the 27th of that month we came up with Dr. Forney at Beaver City who there informed me that he was en-route to the scene of the Mountain Meadows massacre and Santa Clara, to procure evidence in relation thereto, and to secure the surviving children.  He informed me that all his men had left him being Mormons and who before leaving had informed him, Forney, that if he went down South, the people down there would make an ewnuch of him, and asked us for aid & assistance.  I cheerfully placed the whole party at his command telling him that he had started upon an errand of mercy, and it was strange that he should have employed mormons--the very confederates of these monsters, who has so wantonly murdered unoffending Emigrants, to ferret out the guilty parties.

            He was left without a man and we found him guarding his mules & wagons.  He requested two of the men of my party (Thomas Dunn & John Lofink) to return to Great Salt Lake City with him, promising to give them employment during the following summer and the winter.  They consented to abandon their trip to Arizona upon these terms and returned with the Doctor, and I am sorry to say he violated his plighted faith, and his solemn contract on reaching the City, by immediately discharging them without cause and hiring mormons to take their place, as I am informed has been his custom since he came into the Valley.  I was with Dr. Forney from the time I joined him until he returned to the City of Salt Lake, having voluntarily abandoned my expedition to Arizona to aid his humane enterprise and during the trip I repeatedly heard him tell the Mormons “That they need not fear Judge Cradlebough (whose disclosures & energy had created some alarm) that he (Forney) would have him removed from office; that the Mormons (Murderers and all) were all included in the Presidents proclamation and pardon, and would not be tried or punished for any offence whatever committed prior to the issuing of the pardon--That Judge Cradlebough was not a fit man for office” in fact abusing and slandering the Judge in unmeasured terms--no language being too low or filthy to apply to him.  I could arrive at no other conclusion from his conduct than that the Doctor desired to influence the minds of the Mormons against the judiciary, and that he cared more to create a prejudice against Judge Cradleboughs course in attempting to bring these murderers to light, than he did to elicit the truth relative to the murders, and that he was only following out his instructions from the General Government in going after the children, while he was availing himself of this journey to make a pilgrimage to the south settlements to abuse & traduce Judge Cradlebough and arouse a feeling of resistance to his authority among the guilty murderers.

            It is to be regretted that the Doctor has manifested so hostile a feeling to his associate Federal Officer and that the course of the Judges especially that of Judge Cradlebough has to be citicised by such a man as Jacob Forney--a more veritable old granny than whom, in my opinion never held an official position in this country, and in this opinion I am borne out by the concurrent opinions of nearly all the Gentile population in Utah who know him, as well as by many of the Mormon people.  I now reside in Cedar County U.T.

                                                                                                            Signed:  James Lynch 

            James Lynch being duly sworn states on oath that all the material facts stated by him in the foregoing affidavit, so far as he states the same as of his own knowledge are true and so far as he states the same as from information derived from others as also the conclusions drawn from the same he believes to be true and further saith not.

                                                                                                  Signed:  James Lynch

Sworn and subscribed to

                                                                                    July 27th 1859.  (Signed)  D.R. Eckels

                                                                                                Chief Justice of Sup. Court.

            The undermentioned state on oath that the foregoing affidavit had been carefully read to them that they are the identical persons named in it as having been employed by Dr. Jacob Forney to return with him to Salt Lake City--that they went from Beaver City with said Forney South and back again and that we fully concur in the statements made by James Lynch Esqr. in the foregoing affidavit, as to what we saw and heard on the trip and the conduct of Dr. Forney Superintendent of Indian Affairs and further say not.

                                                                                                (Signed)  Thomas Dunn

                                                                                                (Signed)  John Lofink

Subscribed & sworn to before me

            July 27th 1859.

                                                                                                Signed.  D.R. Eckels

                                                                                                Chief Justice of Sup. Court


Source: Letters From Nevada Indian Agents 1859, Compiled by the publisher of The Nevada Observer in 1980-1981. Original in the collection of Letters Received by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Utah Superintendency, National Archives microfilm.

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