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    Mormonism.ca - Story Of

In Utah

A State Of Civil War
After Smith's Death - Rigdon's Last Days
After The War
Attitude Of The Mormons During The Southern Rebellion
Beginning Of Active Hostilities
Blood Atonement
Brigham Young
Brigham Young's Death - His Character
Brigham Young's Despotism
Colonel Kane's Mission
Early Political History
Eastern Visitors To Salt Lake City - Unpunished Murderers
Even More On The History Of Mormonism
Even More On The Religious Puzzle
Facility Of Human Belief
First Announcement Of The Golden Bible
From The Mississippi To The Missouri
From The Rockies To Salt Lake Valley
Fruitless Negotiations With The Jackson County People
Gentile Irruption And Mormon Schism
Gifts Of Tongues And Miracles
Growth Of The Church
History Of Mormonism
How Joseph Smith Became A Money-digger
In Clay Caldwell And Daviess Counties
Introductory Remarks
Last Days At Kirtland
More On Mormonism Social Puzzle
More On The History Of Mormonism
More On The Religious Puzzle
Mormon Treatment Of Federal Officers
Mormonism The Political Puzzle
Nauvoo After The Exodus
Notes On The History Of Mormonism
Organization Of The Church
Preparations For The Long March
Progress Of The Settlement
Public Announcement Of The Doctrine Of Polygamy
Radical Dissensions In The Church - Origin Of The Danites - Tithing
Renewed Trouble For The Mormons - The Burnings
Rivalries Over The Succession
Sidney Rigdon
Smith A Candidate For President Of The United States
Smith's Falling Out With Bennett And Higbee
Smith's First Visits To Missouri Founding The City And The Temple
Smith's Ohio Business Enterprises
Smith's Picture Of Himself As Autocrat
Social Aspects Of Polygamy
Social Conditions In Nauvoo
Some Church-inspired Murders
The Building Up Of The City - Foreign Proselyting
The Camps On The Missouri
The Different Accounts Of The Revelation Of The Bible
The Directions To The Saints About Their Zion
The Evacuation Of Nauvoo - The Last Mormon War
The Everlasting Gospel
The Expulsion From Jackson County The Army Of Zion
The Expulsion Of The Mormons
The Fight Against Polygamy - Statehood
The Final Expulsion From The State
The First Converts At Kirtland
The Following Companies - Last Days On The Missouri
The Foreign Immigration To Utah
The Founding Of Salt Lake City
The Hand-cart Tragedy
The Institution Of Polygamy
The Last Years Of Brigham Young
The Mormon Battalion
The Mormon Bible
The Mormon Purpose
The Mormon War
The Mormonism Of To-day
The Mormons In Politics - Missouri Requisitions For Smith
The Mormons' Beliefs And Doctrines Church Government
The Mountain Meadows Massacre
The Murder Of The Prophet - His Character
The Nauvoo City Government - Temple And Other Buildings
The Peace Commission
The Pioneer Trip Across The Plains
The Political Puzzle
The Political Puzzle Continued
The Reception Of The Mormons
The Reformation
The Religious Puzzle
The Religious Puzzle Notes
The Settlement Of Nauvoo
The Smith Family
The Social And Society Puzzle
The Social Puzzle
The Social Puzzle Notes
The Spaulding Manuscript
The Suppression Of The Expositor
The Territorial Government - Judge Brocchus's Experience
The Witnesses To The Plates
Translation And Publication Of The Bible
Uprising Of The Non-mormons Smith's Arrest
Wild Vagaries Of The Converts


The Story Of The Mormons

A State Of Civil War
After Smith's Death - Rigdon's Last Days
Beginning Of Active Hostilities
Brigham Young
Facility Of Human Belief
First Announcement Of The Golden Bible
From The Mississippi To The Missouri
From The Rockies To Salt Lake Valley
Fruitless Negotiations With The Jackson County People
Gifts Of Tongues And Miracles
Growth Of The Church
How Joseph Smith Became A Money-digger
In Clay Caldwell And Daviess Counties
Last Days At Kirtland
Nauvoo After The Exodus
Organization Of The Church
Preparations For The Long March
Public Announcement Of The Doctrine Of Polygamy
Radical Dissensions In The Church - Origin Of The Danites - Tithing
Renewed Trouble For The Mormons - The Burnings
Rivalries Over The Succession
Sidney Rigdon
Smith A Candidate For President Of The United States
Smith's Falling Out With Bennett And Higbee
Smith's First Visits To Missouri Founding The City And The Temple
Smith's Ohio Business Enterprises
Smith's Picture Of Himself As Autocrat
Social Conditions In Nauvoo
The Building Up Of The City - Foreign Proselyting
The Camps On The Missouri
The Different Accounts Of The Revelation Of The Bible
The Directions To The Saints About Their Zion
The Evacuation Of Nauvoo - The Last Mormon War
The Everlasting Gospel
The Expulsion From Jackson County The Army Of Zion
The Expulsion Of The Mormons
The Final Expulsion From The State
The First Converts At Kirtland
The Institution Of Polygamy
The Mormon Battalion
The Mormon Bible
The Mormons In Politics - Missouri Requisitions For Smith
The Mormons' Beliefs And Doctrines Church Government
The Murder Of The Prophet - His Character
The Nauvoo City Government - Temple And Other Buildings
The Pioneer Trip Across The Plains
The Reception Of The Mormons
The Settlement Of Nauvoo
The Smith Family
The Spaulding Manuscript
The Suppression Of The Expositor
The Witnesses To The Plates
Translation And Publication Of The Bible
Uprising Of The Non-mormons Smith's Arrest
Wild Vagaries Of The Converts



Some Church-inspired Murders








The murders committed during the "Reformation" which attracted
most attention, both because of the parties concerned, the effort
made by a United States judge to convict the guilty, and the
confessions of the latter subsequently obtained, have been known
as the Parrish, or Springville, murders. The facts concerning
them may be stated fairly as follows:--

William R. Parrish was one of the most outspoken champions of the
Twelve when the controversy with Rigdon occurred at Nauvoo after
Smith's death, and he accompanied the fugitives to Salt Lake
Valley. One evening, early in March, 1857, a Bishop named Johnson
(husband of ten wives), with two companions, called at Parrish's
house in Springville, and put to him some of the questions which
the inquisitors of the day were wont to ask--if he prayed,
something about his future plans, etc. It had been rumored that
Parrish's devotion to the church had cooled, and that he was
planning to move with his family--a wife and six children--to
California; and at a meeting in Bishop Johnson's council house a
letter had been read from Brigham Young directing them to
ascertain the intention of certain "suspicious characters in the
neighborhood,"* and if they should make a break and, being
pursued, which he required, he 'would be sorry to hear a
favorable report; but the better way is to lock the stable door
before the horse is stolen.' This letter was over Brigham's
signature."** This letter was the real cause of the Bishop's
visit to Parrish. At a meeting about a week later, A. Durfee and
G. Potter were deputed to find out when the Parrishes proposed to
leave the territory. Accordingly, Durfee got employment with
Parrish, and both of them gave him the idea that they sympathized
with his desire to depart. One morning, about a week later,
Parrish discovered that his horses had been stolen, and efforts
to recover them were fruitless.

* "There had been public preaching in Springville to the effect
that no Apostles would be allowed to leave; if they did, hog-
holes in the fences would be stopped up with them. I heard these
sermons."--Affidavit of Mrs. Parrish; appendix to "Speech of Hon.
John Cradlebaugh".

** Confession of J. M. Stewart, one of the Bishop's counsellors
and precinct magistrate.


Meanwhile, Parrish, unsuspicious of Potter and Durfee,* was
telling them of his continued plans to escape, how constantly his
house was watched, and how difficult it was for him to get out
the few articles required for the trip. Finally, at Parrish's
suggestion, it was arranged that he and Durfee should walk out of
the village in the daytime, as the method best calculated to
allay suspicion.

* Durfee's confession, appendix to Cradlebaugh's speech.


They carried out this plan, and when they got to a stream called
Dry Creek, Parrish asked Durfee to go back to the house and bring
his two sons, Beason and Orrin, to join him. When Durfee returned
to the house, at about sunset, he found Potter there, and Potter
set off at once for the meeting-place, ostensibly to carry some
of the articles needed for the journey.

Potter met Parrish where he was waiting for Durfee's return, and
they walked down a lane to a fence corner, where a Mormon named
William Bird was lying, armed with a gun. Here occurred what
might be called an illustration of "poetic justice." In the
twilight, Bird mistook his victim, and fired, killing Potter. As
Bird rose and stepped forward, Parrish asked if it was he who had
fired the unexpected shot. For a reply Bird drew a knife,
clenched with Parrish, and, as he afterward expressed it, "worked
the best he could in stabbing him." He "worked" so well that, as
afterward described by one of the men concerned in the plot,* the
old man was cut all over, fifteen times in the back, as well as
in the left side, the arms, and the hands. But Bird knew that his
task was not completed, and, as soon as the murder of the elder
Parrish was accomplished, taking his own and Potter's gun, he
again concealed himself in the fence corner, awaiting the
appearance of the Parrish boys. They soon came up in company with
Durfee, and Bird fired at Beason with so good aim that he dropped
dead at once. Turning the weapon on Orrin, the first cap snapped,
but he tried again and put a ball through Orrin's cartridge box.
The lad then ran and found refuge in the house of an uncle.

* Affidavit of J. Bartholemew before Judge Cradlebaugh.


The outcome of this crime? The arrest of ORRIN and Durfee as the
murderers by a Mormon officer; a farcical hearing by a coroner's
jury, with a verdict of assassins unknown; distrusted
participants in the crime themselves the object of the Mormon
spies and would-be assassins; the robbery of a neighbor who dared
to condemn the crime; a vain appeal by Mrs. Parrish to Brigham
Young, who told her he "would have stopped it had he known
anything about it," and who, when she persisted in seeking
another interview, had her advised to "drop it," and a failure by
the widow to secure even the stolen horses. "The wife of Mr.
Parrish told me," said Judge Cradlebaugh, when he charged the
jury concerning this case, "that since then at times she had
lived on bread and water, and still there are persons in this
community riding about on those horses."

The effort to have the men concerned in this and similar crimes
convicted, forms a part of the history of Judge Cradlebaugh's
judicial career after the "Mormon War," but it failed. When the
grand jury would not bring in indictments, he issued bench
warrants for the arrest of the accused, and sent the United
States marshal, sustained by a military posse, to serve the
papers. It was thus that the affidavits and confessions cited
were obtained. Then followed a stampede among the residents of
the Springville neighborhood, as the judge explained in his
subsequent speech, in Congress, the church officials and civil
officers being prominent in the flight, and, when their houses
were reached, they were occupied only by many wives and many
children. "I am justified," he told the House of Representatives,
"in charging that the Mormons are guilty, and that the Mormon
church is guilty, of the crimes, of murder and robbery, as taught
in their books of faith."*

* "I say as a fact that there was no escape for any one that the
leaders of the church in southern Utah selected as a victim....
It was a rare thing for a man to escape from the territory with
all his property until after the Pacific Railroad was built
through Utah."--LEE, "Mormonism Unveiled," pp. 275, 287.


Charles Nordhoff, in a Utah letter to the New York Evening Post
in May, 1871, said: "A friend said to me this afternoon, 'I saw a
great change in Salt Lake since I was there three years ago. The
place is free; the people no longer speak in whispers. Three
years ago it was unsafe to speak aloud in Salt Lake City about
Mormonism, and you were warned to be cautious.'"

Another of the murders under this dispensation, which Judge
Cradlebaugh mentioned as "peculiarly and shockingly prominent,"
was that of the Aikin party, in the spring of 1857. This party,
consisting of six men, started east from San Francisco in May,
1857, and, falling in with a Mormon train, joined them for
protection against the Indians. "When they got to a safer
neighborhood, the Californians pushed on ahead. Arriving in
Kayesville, twenty-five miles north of Salt Lake City, they were
at once arrested as federal spies, and their animals (they had an
outfit worth in all, about $25,000) were put into the public
corral. When their Mormon fellow-travellers arrived, they scouted
the idea that the men even knew of an impending "war," and the
party were told that they would be sent out of the territory. But
before they started, a council, held at the call of a Bishop in
Salt Lake City, decided on their death.

Four of the party were attacked in camp by their escort while
asleep; two were killed at once, and two who escaped temporarily
were shot while, as they supposed, being escorted back to Salt
Lake City. The two others were attacked by O. P. Rockwell and
some associates near the city; one was killed outright, and the
other escaped, wounded, and was shot the next day while under the
escort of "Bill" Hickman, and, according to the latter, by
Young's order. *

* Brigham's "Destroying Angel," p. 128.


A story of the escape of one man from the valley, notwithstanding
elaborate plans to prevent his doing so, has been preserved, not
in the testimony of repentant participants in his persecution,
but in his own words.*

* Leavenworth, Kansas, letter to New York Times, published May 1,
1858.


Frederick Loba was a prosperous resident of Lausanne,
Switzerland, where for some years he had been introducing a new
principle in gas manufacture, when, in 1853, some friends called
his attention to the Mormons' professions and promises. Loba was
induced to believe that all mankind who did not gather in Great
Salt Lake Valley would be given over to destruction, and that,
not only would his soul be saved by moving there, but that his
business opportunities would be greatly advanced. Accordingly he
gave up the direction of the gas works at Lausanne, and reached
St. Louis in December, 1853, with about $8000 worth of property.
There he was made temporary president of a Mormon church, and
there he got his first bad impression of the Mormon brotherhood.
On the way to Utah his wife died of cholera, leaving six
children, from six to twelve years old. Welcomed as all men with
property were, he was made Professor of Chemistry in the
University, and soon learned many of the church secrets. "These,"
to quote his own words, "opened my eyes at once, and I saw at a
glance the terrible position in which I was placed. I now found
myself in the midst of a wicked and degraded people, shut up in
the midst of the mountains, with a large family, and deprived of
all resources with which to extricate myself. The conviction had
been forced upon my mind that Brigham himself was at the bottom
of all the clandestine assassinations, plundering of trains, and
robbing of mails." The manner, too, in which polygamy was
practised aroused his intense disgust.

He married as his second wife an English woman, and his family
relations were pleasant; but the church officers were distrustful
of him. He was again and again urged to marry more wives, being
assured that with less than three he could not rise to a high
place in the church. "This neglect on my part," he explained,
"and certain remarks that I made with respect to Brigham's
friends, determined the prophet to order my private execution, as
I am able to prove by honest and competent witnesses." Loba
adopted every precaution for his own safety, night and day. Then
came the news of the Parrish murders, and there was so much alarm
among the people that there was talk of the departure of a great
many of the dissatisfied. To check this, when the plain threats
made in the Tabernacle did not avail, Young had a band of four
hundred organized under the name of "Wolf Hunters" (borrowed from
their old Hancock County neighbors), whose duty it was to see
that "the wolves" did not stray abroad.

Loba now communicated his fears to his wife, and found that she
also realized the danger of their position, and was ready to
advise the risk of flight. The plan, as finally decided on, was
that they two should start alone on April l, leaving the children
in care of the wife's mother and brother, the latter a recent
comer not yet initiated in the church mysteries.

At ten o'clock on the appointed night Loba and his wife--the
latter dressed in men's clothes--stole out of their house. Their
outfit consisted of one blanket, twelve pounds of crackers, a
little tea and sugar, a double-barrelled gun, a sword, and a
compass. They were without horses, and their route compelled them
to travel the main road for twenty-five miles before they reached
the mountains, amid which they hoped to baffle pursuit. They were
fortunate enough to gain the mountains without detention. There
they laid their course, not with a view to taking the easiest or
most direct route, but one so far up the mountain sides that
pursuit by horsemen would be impossible. This entailed great
suffering. The nights were so cold that sometimes they feared to
sleep. Add to this the necessity of wading through creeks in ice-
cold water, and it is easy to understand that Loba had difficulty
to prevent his companion from yielding to despair.

Their objective point was Greene River (170 miles from Salt Lake
City by road, but probably almost 300 by the route taken), where
they expected to find Indians on whose mercy they would throw
themselves. Two days before that river was reached they ate the
last of their food, and they kept from freezing at night by
getting some sage wood from underneath the snow, and using Loba's
pocket journal for kindling. Mrs. Loba had to be carried the
whole of the last six miles, but this effort brought them to a
camp of Snake Indians, among whom were some Canadian traders, and
there they received a kindly welcome. News of their escape
reached Salt Lake City, and Surveyor General Burr sent them the
necessary supplies and a guide to conduct them to Fort Laramie,
where, a month later, all the rest of the family joined them, in
good health, but entirely destitute.

They then learned that, as soon as their flight was discovered,
the church authorities sent out horsemen in every direction to
intercept them, but their route over the mountains proved their
preservation*

* Referring to the frequent Mormon declarations that there were
fewer deeds of violence in Utah than in other pioneer settlements
of equal population, the Salt Lake Tribune of January 25, 1876,
said: "It is estimated that no less than 600 murders have been
committed by the Mormons, in nearly every case at the instigation
of their priestly leaders, during the occupation of the
territory. Giving a mean average of 50,000 persons professing
that faith in Utah, we have a murder committed every year to
every 2500 of population. The same ratio of crime extended to the
population of the United States would give 16,000 murders every
year."


The Messenger, the organ of the Reorganized Church in Salt Lake
City, said in November, 1875: "While laying the waste pipes in
front of the residence of Brigham Young recently the skeleton of
a man--a white man--was dug up. A similar discovery was made last
winter in digging a cellar in this city. What can have been the
necessity of these secret burials, without coffins, in such
places?"





Next: Blood Atonement

Previous: The Reformation



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