- CHAPTER 17 -

The History of John Doyle Lee; 1812-1877

 

Researched, compiled & edited by Rodney G. Dalton

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John D. Lee, was the father of Sarah Jane Lee by his first wife, Aggatha Ann Woolsey. Sarah Jane married my great-great grandfather, Charles Wakeman Dalton. Charles W. Dalton had many dealings with John D. Lee across the years they knew each other. The were both involved in the settlement of Utah’s “Dixie”

 

Sources: From the Book- “Our Pioneer Heritage, with other articles from copy written material, edited with additional information and pedigree’s added by Rodney G. Dalton.

Pictures from the internet.

Books about John D. Lee

Go to: http://www.johndlee.net/ for more information about John D. Lee.

John Doyle Lee

 

John D. Lees father was Ralph Lee, his mother was Sarah Elizabeth Doyle, John's the middle name.

The below information was copied from the John D. Lee web site:

My mother was born in Nashville, Tennessee.

This has neither been verified nor disproved. Elizabeth was probably born in Randolph County, Illinois. Elizabeth needed to be old enough to marry Reed by 1805 and have Eliza Virginia in 1806. If Elizabeth were minimally 14 years old when she got married, she would have to be born before 1791.

If she got married as early as 1799, as John D. Lee says, she would definitely be born in Randolph County, Illinois, where her parents lived from the time they were married until 1789.

John D. Lee probably got the information for his mother's birth from Charlotte. Charlotte probably was not born in Illinois, but was probably born where ever the Doyles were living after they left Illinois in 1789 and before they returned in 1796. It could have been Nashville, Tennessee, but no proof has been found of the Doyles living there. 

She was the daughter of John Doyle, Joseph Page's deposition states the relationship between John Doyle and his daughter, Eliza or Betsey. See below.

who for many years held the position of Indian Agent over the roving tribes of Indians in southeastern Illinois.

Records stating that John Doyle was an Indian agent have not been found. They are probably in Federal records.

He served in the war of the Revolution,

John Doyle was a veteran of the Revolutionary War. In Randolph County Probate Book A p. 47, is the following: "Joseph Page personally well knew John Doyle a private in the Illinois Regiment under the Command of Colonel George Rogers Clark during the revolutionary war - that his name is on the printed list of said Regiment - he died in this state about fifteen years ago leaving issue, Charlotte wife of James Conner and Eliza or Betsey whose first husband was named (blank) Reed by whom she had one daughter Eliza, and whose second husband was Ralph Lee by whom she had one child John D. Lee who have survived her."

He was wounded in one of the many battles in which he took part with the Sons of Liberty against the English oppressors.

No record of John Doyle being wounded has been found. If it were a long-lasting, permanent injury, John D. Lee may have personally known and remembered that about his grandfather. 
About
 the year 1796, he was appointed Indian Agent.

In 1796 John Doyle and his family returned to Illinois, and moved to Kaskaskia. John and Chloe may have settled on property left to Chloe by her father, Henry Smith, in his will.

Ralph was born in VA. He was of the family of Lees of Revolutionary fame and was believed to be a relative of Robert E. Lee. He was a carpenter in the city of Baltimore. Sarah Elizabeth was born in Nashville, TN. she was first married in 1799 to Oliver Reed who was murdered by a man named Jones, who also attempted to kill Sarah Elizabeth. John D. has a half sister, Elisa Virginia (this must be Elizabeth) who was severely wounded in this attack. She was just six months old. John D. states that the injuries to his mother affected her the rest of her life. The only full blooded sibling John states having is William Oliver Lee, who died at two years old. Both parents were Catholic. William Morrison and Louise Philips were John D. Lee's Godparents. Ralph began to drink heavily when Sarah E. left him.

The below info. are only excerpts of what John D. Lee says about his father & mother.

My mother was first married in 1799, to Oliver Reed,

No record of Elizabeth and Oliver Reed's marriage has been found. Their marriage was probably closer to 1805. According to the index record of the Immaculate Conception of our Lady Church, Eugenia Reed was baptized on August 10, 1806. Her parents were Henri Oliver [Reed] and Elizabeth Doyle. (add scan) I believe Eugenia was later called Eliza Virginia. In the 1850 Census of Fayette County, Illinois, Eliza Nichols is shown as being born about 1807.

Elizabeth lived with him until he was assassinated by a man named Jones, who entered the house when the family were asleep, and striking Reed with a seat of a loom, knocked his brains out, at the same time severely wounding my half-sister, Eliza Virginia, then six months old. The blow and the screams of the child awakened my mother, who sprang from the bed, and recognizing the assassin, said, "For God's sake, Jones, spare my husband's life!" Jones said, "You know me, G-d--n you! you shall tell no tales." With this, he caught up a sugar trough and struck my mother on the head with it. The blow rendered her senseless. Jones, believing he had completed his work of death, then left the house. My mother soon revived, called upon the neighbors for assistance, and told who had committed the murder. Jones was arrested, convicted and afterwards hung for the crime.

I have not found "original" documents verifying this, but many of the early county histories report the murder of Oliver Reed by Emsley Jones. For this crime, Mr. Jones was the first white man hung in Randolph County. From court records it is apparent this was not the first time Mr. Jones was in trouble with the law.

The injuries received by my mother, from the blow struck by Jones, affected her all the rest of her life.

In the Indiana 1810 census, John Doyle is found in Kaskaskia. His wife is dead. With him are two women who fit the ages of Elizabeth and Charlotte. There are also two young children that fit the ages of Eliza and a male child between the ages of 0 and 5.

R. Lee (probably Ralph) is listed two lines below John Doyle in the same census, showing they were probably fairly close neighbors. Eliza married Ralph on 26 February 1811, not 1808.

Marriage of Ralph Lee and Elizabeth Reed:

They were married by the Justice of the Peace, Philip Fouke. The County Clerk in Randolph County has a copy of the original record. When asked where the original records were she said they were in Springfield.

My mother had two children by my father -- that is William Oliver and myself.

Since Ralph and Elizabeth were married on 26 February 1811, it is highly unlikely that John D. Lee had an older brother whose father was Ralph Lee. The earliest William Oliver could be born legitimately would be in December 1811 and Elizabeth would have to get pregnant immediately to have John D. on the 12th of September, 1812. In addition, no child of Ralph and Elizabeth was baptized near this time.

John D. Lee gives three children for his mother, a girl and two boys. In Kaskaskia church records there are three baptisms for children of Elizabeth or Eliza Doyle, a girl and two boys.

This is after Oliver Reed is dead and before Elizabeth married Ralph. Of note, in the records of baptisms for her other children it states that she had a legitimate or legal marriage. In this record nothing is stated regarding a marriage. This child would be less than 5 in the 1810 census, which fits with the census information.

My brother, William Oliver, died when about two years old.

At the time of my birth my father was considered one of the leading men of that section of country; Ralph associated with some of the prominent men in Kaskaskia. He was a master workman, sober and attentive to business, prompt and punctual to his engagements.

He contracted largely and carried on a heavy business; he erected a magnificent mansion, for that age and country, on his land adjoining the town of Kaskaskia.

Ralph Lee did purchase property that was not Elizabeth's. This land was in Kaskaskia. It was land previously a part of John Edgar's orchard.

This tract of land was the property of my mother when she married my father.

My grandfather Doyle was a wealthy man.

John Doyle owned 1200 acres of land in the Randolph County area which he sold for $200 in August 1800. I believe the land they lived on was land previously claimed by Henry Smith. This land is now in the channel of the Mississippi River.

He [John Doyle] died in 1809 at Kaskaskia, Illinois, and left his whole fortune to my mother and her sister Charlotte, by will.

John Doyle died in October 1809 intestate according to a deposition by James Conner, his son-in-law.

They being his only children, he divided the property equally between them.

Most of the property Elizabeth and Charlotte owned was land they received from their grandfather, Henry Smith. Elizabeth had received some land as a pre-emption right that was in the American Bottom. John D. Lee sold his mother's American Bottom land before he left Illinois.

My father and mother were both Catholics, were raised in that faith;

Interesting that Ralph and Elizabeth didn't get married in the Catholic church but instead, by a Justice of the Peace. Maybe it was because Eliza(beth) had been married before. I'm not sure what the rules about marriage are for Catholics. Apparently Elizabeth and Oliver Reed were not married in the Catholic church and neither were Elizabeth and John Rode. Elizabeth did have all three of her children baptized in the Catholic church within three months of their birth.

We do not know Ralph's religious upbringing.

On Elizabeth's side, her father's family, the Doyles, were Catholic, and her mother's side, the Smiths, were Baptists. In some records, John Doyle is listed as being a prominent Baptist in New Design. I believe that John Doyle was Baptist while his wife was alive, but after she died, went back to being Catholic. Also, the Catholic religion was more prominent in the area since it is an area that was originally settled by the French.

I was christened in that Church. William Morrison and Louise Phillips stood as my representative god-father and god-mother.

John Doyle was baptized in the Catholic church. His god-father was Alexis Buat and his god-mother was Marie-Louise Morrison.

His brother's god father was Benjamin Buat, and there are Buatte decendants still in the area. The pastor during that era was Rev. Donatien Olivier from 1803-1818.

It is from that Church record that I could alone obtain the facts and date that referred to my birth.

It is a good thing John D. Lee knew French. Those records are written in French.

When about one year old, my mother being sick, Could this be from complications from the blow to her head?

I was sent to a French nurse, a negro woman. At this time my sister Eliza was eleven years old, but young as she was she had to care for my mother and do all the work of the household.

This makes Eliza ten years older than John D., when in actuality, if she is Eugenie, she is only six years older.

To add to the misfortune, my father began to drink heavily and was soon very dissipated; drinking and gambling was his daily occupation.

Ralph may have begun his gambling and drinking before he married Elizabeth. There are two pieces of information that might confirm this. The first clue is from an inquest in 1810 and the second is the list of purchases Ralph Lee charged at Morrison's store in Kaskaskia.

The inquest held on the 8th of June 1810 was on a man who probably died of alcohol poisoning. Copied from the original. Bracketed information added by me for clarity.

Mrs. Fouke states: "This evening after the horse race was over, John Fleming with James Lee and some others came in to her house and was drinking when some moments after Lee Brought her Flemings hat and Sometime after he Said, “Lee had laid Fleming down along side the cupboard, he lifted Said Fleming up and took off his Jacket and gave her the hat and Jacket to take care of and until he himself would call for it, Saying to Said Fleming it was a Shame for him to Drink so extravagantly and make such a Beast of himself and told this Deponent that was if Fleming were to go home to night not to let him have his hat for he would Surely Loose it, That this Deponent Verily Believes Said John Fleming came by his Death from hard Drinking and further says she went to see him now and then, when she said Fleming Drew his Breath hard and groaned hard, to which she has subscribed her name.

Deposition of Ralph Lee: The Depositions of Moses Wooden, Ralph Lee and Francis Gardner who on Oath say that this evening, a little after Sun Set almost Dusk, in Coming into the House of Philip Fouke Esquire in Kaskaskia they found the Dead Body of John Fleming (now before them lying) near the cupboard in the entry of Said house and then found he was motionless called for a candle and upon examination found he was Dead -- Say they do not know how he came by Death but Suppose twas Liquor was the Cause of it which they subscribed their names. Ralph Lee signed his name. Moses Wooden and Francis Gardner made marks (Sapp 28-29).

So there is at least a possibility that Ralph Lee attended the horse race with the other participants, and apparently members of the party were imbibing.

The interest and care of his family was no longer a duty with him; his presence was seldom seen to cheer and comfort his lonely, afflicted wife. The house was one mile from town, and we had no neighbors nearer than that.

The neglect and indifference on the part of my father towards my afflicted mother, served to increase her anguish and sorrow, until death came to her relief.

Records in the Circuit Court in Randolph County state that Elizabeth died November 1815. John D. Lee would have been 3 1/2 years old.

My mother's death left us miserable indeed; we were (my sister and I) thrown upon the wide world, helpless, and I might say, without father or mother. My father when free from the effects of intoxicating drink, was a kind-hearted, generous, noble man, but from that time forward he was a slave to drink--seldom sober.

My aunt Charlotte .. was married to a man by the name of James Conner, a Kentuckian by birth. They lived ten miles north of us.

My sister went to live with her aunt, but ... she was taken away from her aunt and bound out to Dr. Fisher, with whose family she lived until she became of age.

I remained with my nurse until I was eight years of age; this would be about the time that John Doyle died. I was taken to my aunt Charlotte's, to be educated. I had been in a family which talked French so long that I had nearly lost all knowledge of my mother tongue. The children at school called me Gumbo, and teased me so much that I became disgusted with the French language and tried to forget it--which has been a disadvantage to me since that time.

I lived in the Conner family eight years. When I was sixteen years old, I concluded to leave my aunt's house.

All I know of my father, after I was eight years of age, is, that he went to Texas in the year 1820, and I have never heard of him since. What his fate was I never knew.

If Ralph went to Texas in 1820, he returned in 1826. He is involved in a court case in Randolph County at that time. Mr. Archambeau owed Ralph money and Ralph won the case. His lawyer was Sidney Breese. John D. Lee would be fourteen at this point in time. It does not look like Ralph looked his son up at that time. Charlotte could have been ornery enough that he didn't dare visit his son.

The phrase, "went to Texas" frequently referred to a person who left town and was never heard from again.

When my mother died, my uncle and aunt Conner took all the property--a large tract of land, several slaves, household and kitchen furniture, and all; and, as I had no guardian, I never received any portion of the property...

The slaves were set free by an act of the Legislature; the land was sold for taxes, and was hardly worth redeeming when I came of age; so I sold my interest in all the land that had belonged to my mother, and made a quit-claim deed to it to Sidney Breeze, a lawyer of Kaskaskia, in consideration of $200. My sister, by the kindness of Dr. Fisher, her guardian, received a much greater price for her interest in the land than I did.

I was born on the point of land lying between and above the mouth of the Okaw or Kaskaskia river and the Mississippi river, in what is known as the Great American Bottom--the particular point I refer to was then called Zeal-no-waw, the Island of Nuts. It was nineteen miles from the point of the bluffs to the mouth of the Okaw river; ten miles wide up at the bluffs and tapering to a point where the rivers united. ... This point of land is one of the finest on the globe; there I spent my early years;...

The course of the Mississippi River has changed since John D. Lee lived there. The Mississippi now uses the old Kaskaskia River channel. Where JDL lived is now on the western side of the Mississippi, part of what is now called Kaskaskia Island. It is only accessible from Missouri. The area where his home was is probably now in the Mississippi channel.

At the time of John Doyle Lee's birth, Kaskaskia, Illinois was the capital city of the Territory of Illinois, the most important town on the Mississippi River and the center of activity for a large area. It was settled in 1803 when a French Jesuit priest gathered a small Indian tribe on the site. It was captured by the English during the Indian Wars of 1763. In 1778 it was taken from the English in a stroke of military genius by the American general, George Rogers Clark. One member of that intrepid little army of Americans was John Doyle, the maternal grandfather of John D. Lee.

Early records of Randolph County, Illinois showed that John Doyle was among the first to claim land in that area by reason of his service in the army. His four-hundred-acre allotment lay on the bluffs opposite the village and below the point where the Kaskaskia River emptied into the Mississippi. Of his wife Elizabeth Smith, we know nothing except that she must have been the daughter of Henry Smith whose will named the two Doyle daughters as his only heirs. Those two girls, Elizabeth and Charlotte Doyle, were the only children of their father, John Doyle.

Elizabeth Doyle, the older, married first Oliver Reed, by whom she had a daughter, Elizabeth Reed, who was usually called Eliza Virginia, and a son, William Oliver Reed, who died early. In 1802 her husband Oliver was brutally murdered by a man named Jones, who was tried and hanged for his crime. Oliver Reed's widow Elizabeth then returned to live nine years in the home of her father, where she remained until her marriage to Ralph Lee on February 26, 1811.

John Doyle Lee was born eighteen months after Elizabeth Reed's marriage to Ralph Lee. Writing of his mother later, Lee said she was always in poor health and an invalid for more than a year before her death. He also said that his father, at first ambitious and thrifty, began drinking later until he became a confirmed alcoholic. The court record of Randolph County showed that Ralph Lee and his wife, Elizabeth Doyle, in May 1815, executed a deed of trust to George Fisher of all property to be held in trust for the children, Elizabeth Reed and John Lee. That gave some proof of John D. Lee's statement, for his mother died in November 1815 within a half year after the deed was executed. Some months later, his father, Ralph Lee, left and was never heard of again in that area.

After the death of the mother, her daughter, Eliza Reed, then about fourteen years old, went to live with the family of her guardian, George Fisher. Little three-year-old John Doyle Lee was taken to the home of his aged grandfather where he was placed in the care of a colored nurse who spoke only French. His grandfather spoke Indian as well as French and English and had often been employed as an interpreter. He had also been a school teacher and was known generally as a man of honor. But he was an older man whose health failed until he died on October 20, 1819. Charlotte Doyle's husband, James Conner, was named administrator of the Doyle estate.

John D., a seven-year-old orphan, was then sent to live with his Aunt Charlotte Conner's family. Years later he wrote with bitterness of the treatment he received in the Conner home and of the difficulty of adjusting to a new language and a family of children. His aunt was a quick-tempered, sharp-tongued woman who did not spare the rod on her own children nor on the extra little boy in the home.

By the time he was sixteen John D. Lee was so thoroughly sick of life there that he left the Conner home to make his own way. He first secured a job carrying the mail on horseback through a long stretch of sparsely settled country. Later he worked on a river boat on the Mississippi. Still later he was employed at a warehouse and store in the northern mining town of Galena. During those years, he built a reputation for industry and trustworthiness.

He left Galena and returned briefly to the home of his Uncle James Conner, then went to visit his half-sister, Eliza, who was married and living near Vandalia. There he met the Woolsey family and soon fell in love with the oldest daughter, Aggatha Ann. They were married on July 24, 1833 and set up their home nearby. Their first child, William Oliver, died before he was two years old. Their second child, Elizabeth Adaline, also died young, soon after the third child, Sarah Jane, was born.

A short time before the death of his second child, Lee had sheltered some Mormon elders and had listened to their message but was not impressed. When his neighbor, Levi Stewart, brought him a copy of the Book of Mormon and told him of a personal meeting with the youthful prophet, Joseph Smith, Lee decided to read the book, finishing it on the night he sat up with the corpse of his little Elizabeth Adaline. As he neared the end and read the words of Moroni in Chapter 10, Verse 4, he received such an impressive manifestation that he knew without a doubt from that moment that he had found the true church. Throughout his life that conviction stayed to strengthen him. Having received a testimony, he then felt that he must gather with the body of the Saints.

Traveling with Levi Stewart and others, the Lee family made their way west across the Mississippi River to central Missouri in the vicinity of the newly-formed city of Far West. They took up land on the prairie and called their settlement Ambrosia. It was at that place that John D. Lee and his wife Aggatha Ann were baptized on June 17, 1838.

With a history of repeated persecutions in Ohio and elsewhere, the Saints were already being threatened again by Missourians near Far West. They had been driven from Jackson County earlier, and being the majority in that new area, they resolved to try to protect themselves and their property. John D., being young and full of vitality, quickly joined in the defense of his people and became a member of the Mormon military organization. During that summer a condition of civil war prevailed in which one excess called forth another until an attack on the town of Far West was threatened. John D. Lee was one who was read to fight to the death in its defense but when word came of the massacre at Haun's Mill, Joseph Smith, the Mormon leader, decided to surrender himself in order to avert another bloody tragedy.

The Church leaders were taken to prison and all the Far West citizens were forced to give up their land, homes, and all their property except their teams and wagons, after signing affidavits to the effect that they would soon leave the state. Thus, six months after he was baptized, John D. Lee and his family were on their way back to safety at Vandalia, Illinois. But his faith in the Church was only made stronger by that persecution; he felt that he must go out as an active missionary for the cause.

His pattern for the next five years was to spend about half his time traveling as a missionary and half at home providing for his family. As a preacher he had remarkable success. Working chiefly among the well-to-do class, he never lacked for friends and protectors. Altogether he converted and baptized more than a hundred persons, most of whom joined in the building up of Nauvoo and later made their way west as pioneers.

Before we start on the history of John D. Lee, it was back in 1996 when I first found I was related to John D. Lee, here is his life story in his own words. Source is

The Life of John D Lee in his own words; "The Life and Confessions of John D. Lee"

(Some editing done by Rodney G. Dalton)

"IN JUSTICE to myself, my numerous family and the public in general I consider it my duty to write a history of my life. I shall content myself with giving facts and let the readers draw their own conclusion there from." JDL

"My grandfather Doyle was a wealthy man He died in 1809 at Kaskaskia Illinois and left his whole fortune to my mother and her sister Charlotte by will. They being his only children he divided the property equally between them."

John Doyle ... for many years held the position of Indian Agent over the roving tribes of Indians in southeastern Illinois He served in the war of the Revolution and was wounded in one of the many battles in which he took part with the Sons of Liberty against the English oppressors About the year 1796 he was appointed Indian Agent and moved to Kaskaskia Illinois."

John Doyle was born about 1788 in Washington County, Virginia and married to Chloe Smith who was the daughter of Henry Smith and Mary Burks. Mary Burks was the daughter of Samuel Burks and Elizabeth. Samuel was the son of Samuel Burks and Mary Davis. Mary Davis was the daughter of Nathaniel Davis and Elizabeth Hughs. Elizabeth was the daughter of Nicketti and an indian trader by the last name of Hughs. Nicketti was the daughter of a Cayuga Chieftain. Her mother was Cleopatra or Cleopatre. Cleopatra's mother was first the wife of Indian chieftain Powhatan, and then when he died, she married his brother, Opechancanough, who became chief in his place. She was also the mother of Pocahontas. Cleopatra then, was either a half sister or possibly a full sister to Pocahontas.

John Doyle and his wife Chloe had two daughters. Their grandfather Henry Smith named these two girls as his only heirs in a will, and it is believed that these two girls, Elizabeth and Charlotte Doyle, were the only children of their father, John Doyle.

Lee's grandfather spoke Indian as well as French and English and had often been employed as an interpreter. He had also been a school teacher and was known generally as a man of honor.

Early records of Randolph County, Illinois showed that John Doyle was among the first to claim land in that area by reason of his service in the army. His four-hundred-acre allotment lay on the bluffs opposite the village and below the point where the Kaskaskia River emptied into the Mississippi. Of his wife Elizabeth Smith, we know nothing except that she must have been the daughter of Henry Smith whose will named the two Doyle daughters as his only heirs. Those two girls, Elizabeth and Charlotte Doyle, were the only children of their father, John Doyle.

          

My mother was first married in 1799 to Oliver Reed and lived with him until he was assassinated by a man named Jones who entered the house when the family were asleep and striking Reed with a seat of a loom knocked his brains out at the same time severely wounding my half sister Eliza Virginia then six months old The blow and the screams of the child awakened my mother who sprang from the bed and recognizing the assassin said For God's sake Jones spare my husband's life Jones said You know me G-dm-you, you shall tell nótales With this he caught up a sugar trough and struck my mother on the head with it The blow rendered her senseless Jones believing he had completed his work of death then left the house My mother soon revived called upon the neighbors for assistance and told who had committed the murder Jones was arrested convicted and afterwards hung for the crime The injuries received by my mother from the blow struck by Jones affected her all the rest of her life.

In 1802 her husband Oliver was brutally murdered by a man named Jones, who was tried and hanged for his crime. Oliver Reed's widow Elizabeth then returned to live nine years in the home of her father, where she remained until her marriage to Ralph Lee.

"My father Ralph Lee was born in the State of Virginia. He was of the family of Lee's of Revolutionary fame and was a relative of General Robert E Lee of the late war. He served his time as an apprentice and learned the carpenter's trade in the city of Baltimore."

"At the time of my birth my father was considered one of the leading men of that section of country he was a master workman sober and attentive to business prompt and punctual to his engagements He contracted largely and carried on a heavy business he erected a magnificent mansion for that age and country on his land adjoining the town of Kaskaskia This tract of land was the property of my mother when she married my father

"I was born on the 6th day of September A.D. 1812 in the town of Kaskaskia Randolph County Illinois. My father Ralph Lee was born in the State of Virginia .... He served his time as an apprentice and learned the carpenter's trade in the city of Baltimore. My mother was born in Nashville, Tennessee.

I was born on the point of land lying between and above the mouth of the Okaw or Kaskaskia river and the Mississippi river in what is known as the Great American Bottom the particular point I refer to was then called Zeal-no-waw, the Island of Nuts. It was nineteen miles from the point of the bluffs to the mouth of the Okaw river ten miles wide up at the bluffs and tapering to a point where the rivers united. Large bands of wild horses, French ponies called punt horses were to be found any day feeding on the evergreen and nutritious grasses and vegetation. Cattle and hogs were also running wild in great numbers, every kind of game large and small could be had with little exertion. The streams were full of fish, the forests contained many varieties of timber, nuts, berries and wild fruits of every description found in the temperate zone could be had in their season. This point of land is one of the finest on the globe, there I spent my early years; there I had pleasures and sorrows...

I was quite a lad before I ever saw I wagon carriage, set of harness or a ring a staple or set of bows to an ox yoke. The first wagon I ever saw was brought into that county by a Yankee peddler his outfit created as great an excitement in the settlement as the first locomotive did in Utah. The people flocked in from every quarter to see the Yankee wagon

Every thing in use in that country was of the most simple and primitive construction. There were no saw mills or grist mills in that region sawed lumber was not in the country. The wagons were two wheeled carts made entirely of wood not a particle of iron about them.

My father and mother were both Catholics; were raised in that faith I was christened in that Church William Morrison and Louise Phillips stood as my representative godfather and godmother. It is from that Church record that I could alone obtain the facts and date that referred to my birth.

At the time of John Doyle Lee's birth Kaskaskia, Illinois was the capital city of the Territory of Illinois, the most important town on the Mississippi River and the center of activity for a large area. It was settled in 1703 when a French Jesuit priest gathered a small Indian tribe on the site. It was captured by the English during the Indian Wars of 1763. In 1778 it was taken from the English in a stroke of military genius by the American general, George Rogers Clark. One member of that intrepid little army of Americans was John Doyle, the maternal grandfather of John D. Lee.

Today Kaskaskia has a population of just 9 people. The Mississippi changed it's course in 1883 and completely wiped out the original settlement. Today Kaskaskia is the only portion of Illinois that is on the west side of the Mississippi.

"When about one year old, my mother being sick, I was sent to a French nurse, a negro woman. I remained with my nurse until I was eight years of age when I was taken to my aunt Charlotte's to be educated I had been in a family which talked French so long that I had nearly lost all knowledge of my mother tongue The children at school called me Gumbo and teased me so much that I became disgusted with the French language and tried to forget it which has been a to me since that time.

At this time my sister Eliza was eleven years old but young as she was she had to care for my mother and do all the work of the household .

To add to the misfortune my father began to drink heavily and was soon very dissipated drinking and gambling was his daily occupation The interest and care of his family was no longer a duty with him his presence was seldom seen to cheer and comfort his lonely afflicted wife The house was one mile from town and we had no neighbors nearer than that The neglect and indifference on the part of my father towards my afflicted mother served to increase her anguish and sorrow until death came to her relief.

" My mother's death left us miserable indeed we were my sister and I thrown upon the wide world helpless and I might say without father or mother. My father when free from the effects of intoxicating drink was a kind hearted generous noble man but from that time forward he was a slave to drink seldom sober."

All I know of my father after I was eight years of age is that he went to Texas in the year 1820 and I have never heard of him since. What his fate was I never knew."

My aunt was more like a savage than a civilized woman In her anger she generally took her revenge upon those around her who were the least to blame. She would strike with anything she could obtain with which to work an injury. I have been knocked down and beaten by her until I was senseless scores of times and I yet carry many scars on my person the result of my harsh usage by her.

I was treated worse than an African slave. I lived in the family eight years and can safely say I got a whipping every day I was there. My life was one of misery and wretchedness and if it had not been for my strong religious convictions I certainly would have committed suicide to have escaped from the miserable condition I was in."

My sister went to live with her aunt (after her mother died) but the treatment she received was so brutal that the citizens complained to the county commissioners and she was taken away from her aunt and bound out to Dr Fisher with whose family she lived until she became of age.

I remained with my nurse until I was eight years of age when I was taken to my aunt Charlotte's to be educated. I had been in a family which talked French so long that I had nearly lost all knowledge of my mother tongue The children at school called me Gumbo and teased me so much that I became disgusted with the French language and tried to forget it which has been a disadvantage to me since that time."

"My aunt Charlotte was a regular spit fire. She was married to a man by the name of James Conner a Kentuckian by birth They lived ten miles north of us. My aunt was rich in her own right. My uncle Conner was poor he drank and gambled and wasted her fortune; she in return gave him thunder and Blixen all the time. The more she scolded the worse he acted until they would fight like cats and dogs.

My experience in childhood made a lasting impression upon me; the horrors of a contentious family have haunted me through life. I then resolved in my mind that I would never subject myself to sorrow and misery as my uncle had done. I would marry for love and not for riches. I also formed the resolution that I would never gamble after I was married and I have kept that resolution since I was a married man."

When Doyle died October 20, 1819. Charlotte Doyle's husband, James Conner, was named administrator of the Doyle estate.

When I was sixteen years old I concluded to leave my aunt's house. I cannot call it home. My friends advised me to do so. I walked one night to Kaskaskia went to Robert Morrison and told him my story. He was a mail contractor. He clothed me comfortably and sent me over the Mississippi river into Missouri to carry the mail from St GeneviŹve to Pinckney on the north side of the Missouri River via Potosi a distance of one hundred and twenty seven miles.

It was a weekly mail. I was to receive seven dollars a month for my services. This was in December 1828. It was a severe winter snow unusually deep and roads bad. I was often until two o clock at night in reaching my stations In the following. Spring I came near losing my life on several occasions when swimming the streams which were then generally over their banks.

At my request I was changed in the Spring of 1829 to the route from Kaskaskia to Vandalia Illinois the then capital of the State; the route went by Covington and Carlisle. This was also a weekly route the distance was about one hundred miles and I had 18 hours in which to make the trip.

"While I was carrying the mail in Missouri I got a letter from my sister informing me of her marriage to Josiah Nichols a nephew of Barker Berry, the sheriff of Fayette county Illinois and inviting me to visit them. Nichols was a wealthy man and lived sixteen miles north of Vandalia.*note I had not met my sister for many years so I concluded to visit her. This was one reason why I wished to be put on the Vandalia route.

One day when I arrived at Vandalia I did not find the post master in the post office. I could not find him so I left the mail at the post office door and rode up to my brother in law's house. I had a pleasant visit there and returned the next morning to carry the mail back to Kaskaskia. The post master not knowing where I was had sent another person with the mail at my expense. It cost me $15.00 a little over my wages for two months. I returned to Kaskaskia where my employer received me kindly and laughed at my mishap I agreed to pay all damages if he would change me to another route for I could not consent to return again to the scene of my failure.

My employer kindly gave me the place as stage driver from Kaskaskia to Shawneelown on the Ohio river. The route ran by Pinkneyville and Gallatin and it was one hundred and twenty miles in length through a thinly settled country.

Note: After J D Lee married he moved to the same vicinity, north of Vandalia. This was the end of the National Road and a very prosperous area. Every emigrant heading West came down this road.

"I drove on that line about one month when I commenced driving stage from Kaskaskia to Belleville In traveling this route I passed by my aunt Charlotte Conner's place. Uncle Conner had then gone to the lead mines at Galena. When my aunt and cousins saw me they all begged me to return and live with them They made great promises of kindness and I was finally persuaded to agree to return and live in the family I soon quit the stage driving business and returned to my aunt's."

           

In 1831 John enlisted with his Uncle James Connor in the local militia, responding to a call from the Illinois Governor to help put down an insurrection by Indians from the Sac and Fox Tribes in the northern part of the state. Following the bloody battle of Bad Axe on the banks of the Mississippi River, in which the bands of Sac and Fox were subdued, John returned home with Uncle James and became serious about the affections of one of the Woolsey girls who lived nearby.

"When I landed on the wharf at St. Louis, I met a negro by the name of Barton, who had formerly been a slave to my mother. He informed me that he was a fireman on the steamboat Warrior, running the Upper Mississippi, between St. Louis, Mo., and Galena, Illinois. I told him I wanted work. He said he could get me a berth on the Warrior as fireman, at $25.00 a month; but he considered the work more than I could endure, as it was a hard, hot boat to fire on. I insisted on making the effort, and was employed . as fireman on the Warrior, at $25.00 per month. I found the work was very hard. The first two or three times that I was on watch, I feared I would be forced to give it up; but my proud spirit bore me up, and I managed to do my work until we reached the lower rapids near Keokuk. At this place the Warrior transferred its freight, in light boats, over the rapids to the Henry Clay, a steamer belonging to the same line.

The Henry Clay then lay at Commerce, now known as Nauvoo. I was detailed with two others to take a skiff with four passengers over the rapids. The passengers were Mrs. Bogges and her mother, and a lady whose name I have forgotten, and Mr. Bogges. The distance to the Henry Clay from where the Warrior lay, was twelve miles. A large portion of the cargo of the Warrior belonged to the firm of Bogges & Co. When we had gone nearly half-way over the rapids my two assistants got drunk and could no longer assist me ; they lay down in the skiff and went to sleep. Night was fast approaching, and there was no chance for sleep or refreshment, until we could reach Commerce or the Henry Clay. The whole labor fell on me, to take that skiff and its load of passengers to the steamer. Mr. Bogges aided me when he could do so, but much of the distance I had to wade in the water and push the skiff as was most convenient. I had on a pair of new calf-skin boots when we started, but they were cut out by the rocks in the river long before we reached the end of the journey.

After a great deal of hardship I succeeded in getting my passengers to the steamer just as it became dark. I was wet, cold, hungry and nearly exhausted. I had strained every nerve to accomplish my task, and save those ladies from a night of suffering in an open skiff on the river. Yet when we boarded the boat I was forgotten; no one paid any attention to me. I sat down by the engine in my wet clothing and soon fell asleep, without bedding or food. I slept from exhaustion until near midnight, when I was seized with fearful cramping, accompanied by a cold and deathlike numbness. I tried to rise up, but could not. Every time I made an effort to rise, the pains increased. I thought my time had come, and that I would perish without aid or assistance.

When all hope had left me, I heard a footstep approaching, and a man came and bent over me and asked if I was ill. I recognized the voice as that of Mr. Bogges. I said I was in the agonies of death, and a stranger without a friend on the boat. He felt my pulse, and hastened away, saying as he left me, "Do not despair, young man, you are not without friends, I will return at once." He soon came to me bringing a lantern and a bottle of cholera medicine, and gave me a large dose of the medicine, then he brought the Captain and others to me. I was soon comfortably placed in bed, and from that time I had every attention paid me, and all the medical care that was necessary. Mr. Bogges sat by me a long time and rubbed my hands and limbs until the cramping gave way."

As the ship was preparing to depart, Mr. Bogges came to me, and talked to me for some time. He said that he considered me an honorable young man, and felt an interest in me like a father should feel for a son; that he admired my grit and courage, and said I had manly principles, which was more than the average, he now offered to employ me, and wished me to go to Galena with him, and act as his clerk that winter; that he was doing business as a provision and grocery man. He asked me then what wages I was getting. I told him $25. "I will give you $50," said he. I said, After settling with the Captain of the Henry Clay, who bid me good bye and good luck, I started for Galena, Illinois, with Mr. Bogges and his family, to take charge of a business then almost new to me.

In the early part of 1832 I received an affectionate letter from my Emily, desiring me to return to her, and settle down before I had acquired a desire for a rambling life. I then had $500 in money and two suits of broad-cloth clothing. I was anxious to see Emily, so I settled up with Bogges & Co., and started for home. Emily was then living at her sister's house in Prairie de Roache ; her brother-in-law, Thos. Blay, kept the tavern there. I boarded with them about two weeks, during which time I played cards with the Frenchmen there, and dealt vanitene, or twenty-one, for them to bet at. I was lucky, but I lived fast, and spent my money freely, and soon found that half of it was gone.

I soon discovered that Emily was dissatisfied with my conduct. I proposed immediate marriage; Emily proposed to wait until the next fall, during which time we were to prepare for housekeeping. Her suggestions were well intended, and she wished to see if I would not reform, for she had serious doubts about the propriety of marrying a gambler. She asked me to quit gambling, and if I had made that promise all would have been well, but I was stubborn and proud and refused to make any promise. I said to her that if she had not confidence enough in me to take me as I was, without requiring me to give such a promise, I would never see her again until I came to ask her to my wedding. This was cruel, and deeply wounded her ; she burst into tears and turned from me. I never saw her again until I went to ask her to attend my wedding.

"I went up into the country and stopped with my cousins ; while there I met the bride of my youth ; she was the daughter of Joseph Woolsey and Abigail his wife ; they had four daughters, all grown. I attended church, went to parties, picnics, etc., with the girls, and fell in love with Agathe Ann, the eldest girl. The old folks were opposed to my marrying their daughter, but after suffering the tortures and overcoming the obstacles usual in such cases, I obtained the consent of the girl's parents, and was married to Agathe Ann Woolsey on the 24th day of July, A.D. 1833. The expenses of the wedding ended all my money, and I was ready to start the world new and fresh. I had about §50 to procure things to keep house on, but it was soon gone ; yet it procured about all we then thought we needed. I commenced housekeeping near my wife's father's, and had good success in all that I undertook. I made money, or rather I obtained considerable property, and was soon comfortably fixed. I followed trading everything, and for everything that was in the country. "

Aggatha Ann's parents, Joseph Woolsey and Abigail Shaffer, moved several times. They continued their migratory life in a generally westward direction until about 1830 when they settled in Randolph County, Illinois as neighbors of the James Conner family. By that time they had a family of twelve children. It was there that John D. Lee met Aggatha Ann.

John and Aggatha stayed at the home of Samuel Hall for some time until they got settled.

John and Aggatha first meet missionaries of the Mormon church.

John soon established himself as a most enterprising young man and a good provider. By the fall of 1835 they had moved to Fayette County near the residence of his sister, Elizabeth, and her husband, Josiah Nichols. It was during that time, while living at a site along Luck Creek in that area, that they first encountered missionaries of the Mormon Church.

The Winter before two elders Durphy and Peter Dustan stayed a few days with Hanford Stewart a cousin of Levi Stewart the bishop of Kanab They preached in the neighborhood but I did not attend or hear them preach My wife and her mother went to hear them and were much pleased with their doctrine.

"I was not a member of any church and considered the religion of the day as merely the opinions of men who preached for hire and worldly gain. I believed in God and in Christ but I did not see any denomination that taught the apostolic doctrine as set forth in the New Testament."

In 1836 my second child Elizabeth Adaline was born After I moved to Luck Creek I was a fortunate man and accumulated property very fast I look back to those days with pleasure. I was blest with everything that an honest heart could wish I had a large house and I gave permission to all sorts of people to come there and preach. Methodists, Baptist’s Campbellites and Mormons all preached there when they desired to do so. In 1837 a man by the name of King from Indiana passed by or came to my place on his way to Missouri to join the Mormons. He had been a New Light or Campbellite preacher. I invited him to stay at my place until the next Spring. I gave him provisions for his family and he consented to and did stay with me some time. Soon after that there was a Methodist meeting at my house. After the Methodist services were through I invited King to speak. He talked about half an hour on the first principles of the gospel as taught by Christ and his apostles denouncing all other doctrines as spurious. This put an end to all other denominations preaching in my house. That was the first sermon I ever heard concerning Mormonism.

In the meantime Levi Stewart, one of my near neighbors became interested in this religion and went to Far West Missouri to investigate the question of Morinonism at head quarters. He joined the Church there and when he returned he brought with him the Book of Mormon and a monthly periodical called the Elder's Journal.

By this time my anxiety was very great and I determined to fathom the question to the bottom. My frequent conversations with Elder King served to carry me on to a conviction at least that the dispensation of the fullness of time would soon usher in upon the world. If such was the case I wished to know it for the salvation of my never dying soul was of far more importance to me than all other earthly considerations I regarded the heavenly boon of eternal life as a treasure of great price I left off my frivolity and commenced to lead a more moral life.

I then began trying to lay up treasure in Heaven in my Father's rich store house and wished to become an heir of righteousness to inherit in common with the faithful children the rich legacy of our Father's Kingdom.

A third child had been born to us a daughter we called her Sarah Jane. During that year our second child Elizabeth Adaline died of scarlet fever The night she lay a corpse I finished reading the Book of Mormon I never closed my eyes in sleep from the time I commenced until I finished the book I read it after asking God to give me knowledge to know if it was genuine and of Divine authority.

I believed the Book of Mormon was true and if so everything but my soul's salvation was a matter of secondary consideration to me I had a small fortune a nice home kind neighbors and numerous friends but nothing could shake the determination I then formed to break up sell out and leave Illinois and go to the Saints at Far West Missouri My friends used every known argument to change my determination but these words came into my mind First seek the righteousness of the kingdom of God then all things necessary will be added unto you and again What would it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul or what could a man give in exchange."

Sarah Jane Lee was born 3 Mar 1838 in Vandalia, Fayette, or Luck Creek near Fayette, Illinois. From her childhood, Sarah Jane had a vivid memory of the occasion when the Prophet Joseph and his brother, Hyrum, were killed, as she lived near the Smiths. When their bodies were brought home from Carthage Jail, she cried bitterly. One day the Prophet's mother took her into a room of the Smith home, which had an unused fireplace with a curtain around it and showed her the Egyptian mummies Joseph had received.

She crossed the plains with her father's company at the age of nine or ten years, walking most of the way with her aged grandmother, Abigail Shaffer, who died on the trail soon after they crossed the Missouri River. The company eventually arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1848.

          

The night after our arrival at Far West there was a meeting to be held there. Stewart said to me, "Let us go up and hear them speak with new tongues and interpret the same and enjoy the gifts of the gospel generally for this is to be a prayer and testimony meeting. My reply was I want no signs I believe the gospel they preach on principle and reason not upon signs its consistency is all I ask All I want are natural logical and reasonable arguments to make up my mind from in this. I did not to the meeting.

We remained at the house of elder Joseph Hunt in Far West several days He was then a strong Mormon and was afterwards first captain in the Mormon Battalion He as an elder in the Church was a preacher of the gospel all of his family were firm in the faith Lee's baptized in Far West, Missouri.

Both John and Aggatha became convinced of the validity of the message the elders bore and the validity of the Book of Mormon which John described as "a star opening the dispensation of the fullness of times."

Traveling with Levi Stewart and others, the Lee family made their way west across the Mississippi River to central Missouri in the vicinity of the newly-formed city of Far West. They took up land on the prairie and called their settlement Ambrosia. It was at that place that John D. Lee and his wife Aggatha Ann were baptized on June 17, 1838.

"After staying in Far West about a week we moved about twenty miles and settled on a stream called Marrowbone at a place called afterwards Ambrosia Sunday June 17 1838 I attended meeting Samuel H Smith a brother of the prophet and elder Daniel Cathcart preached After meeting I and my wife were baptized by elder Cathcart in Ambrosia on Shady Grove creek in Daviess county Missouri I was now a member"

John built a log cabin in Daviess County on Shady Grove Creek in an area known as Ambrosia, which was about twenty miles north of Far West. The new log house, though, served as their home for only a few months, as relationships between the Mormons and the Missourians were so explosive that co-habitation of the two groups was impossible. In a matter of just a few months after their arrival, open conflict broke out among the parties. Mormon forces dug in at Far West and were ready to resist to the end an overwhelming force of two divisions of Missouri Militia when President Joseph Smith received word of the Haun's Mill Massacre. Unable to reconcile such total waste of life to purposes and aims of the Church, he capitulated and was taken prisoner along with his force of eight hundred men.

"My neighbor Stewart and myself each selected a place on the same stream and near where his three brothers Riley Jackson and Urban lived Urban Stewart is now Treasurer of Beaver county Utah On my location there was a splendid spring of pure cold water also a small lake fed by springs This lake was full of fish such as perch bass pickerel mullet and catfish It was surrounded by a grove of heavy timber mostly hickory and oak in nearly all their varieties We could have fish sufficient for use every day in the year if we desired My home on Ambrosia creek reminded me much of the one I had left on Luck creek Illinois but it was on more rolling land and much healthier than the Illinois home had proven to be.

Meetings were held three times a week also prayer and testimony meetings at the latter sacrament was administered"

Lee family forced to leave Missouri by persecutions.

After turning over his weapons to the Missourians, and signing an individual form deeding all his property to the state, John, with the promise that he would move from Missouri by the first of April in 1839, was allowed to return to his family.

"The Mormons were forted or barricaded in the public school houses and kept without any rations being issued to them The grain fields and gardens that belonged to the Mormons were thrown open to the stock and wasted Our cattle and other stock were shot down for sport and left for the wolves and birds of prey to devour We were closely guarded and not allowed to go from our quarters without a guard We were nearly starved for several days until I obtained permission to go out and bring in some of the cattle that the soldiers had killed for sport The weather was cold and the snow deep so the meat was good I also got permission to gather in some vegetables and from that time while we remained prisoners the men had plenty to eat yet often it was of a poor quality

I was recommended to General Wilson by the officer who had ordered his men to blow my brains out as a suitable man for a guide to Adam on Diamond He said that I was as stubborn a a mule bat still there was something about me he respected That he believed that I was honest and certainly no coward General Wilson said Young man do you live at Adam on Diamond I said I cannot say that I do but I did once and I have a wife and child there that I would like to see but as to a home I have none left He said Where did you live before you came here In Illinois I answered You shall soon see your wife and child I will start in the morning with my division for Adam on Diamond You are at liberty to select two of your comrades and go with me as guides to pilot us there Be ready for an early start and report to my Adjutant Thank you sir I will do as you request said I selected two good men I think Levi Stewart was one but I have really forgotten who the other man was In the morning I was on hand in time The day was cold and stormy a hard north wind blowing and the snow falling rapidly It was an open country for thirteen miles with eighteen inches of snow on the ground We kept our horses in the lope until we reached Shady Grove timber thirteen miles from Far West There we camped for the night by the side of Waldo Littlefleld's farm.

After camp was struck I went to General Wilson and said General I have come to beg a favor of you I ask you in the name of humanity to let me go on to Adam on Diamond to day I have a wife and helpless babe there I am informed our house has been burned and she is likely out in this storm without a shelter You are half way there the snow is deep and you can follow our trail it had then slackened lip or was snowing but little in the morning there is but one road to the settlement He looked at me for a moment and then said Young man your request shall be granted I admire your resolution.

As we neared home the sun shone out brightly When I got in sight of where my house had been I saw my wife sitting by a log fire in the open air with her babe in her arms Some soldiers had cut a large hickory tree for firewood for her and had built her a shelter with some boards I had dressed to weather board a house so she was in a measure comfortable She had been weeping as she had been informed that I was a prisoner at Far West and would be shot and that she need not look for me for she would never see me again When I rode up she was nearly frantic with delight and as soon as I reached her side she threw herself into my arms and then her self possession gave way and she wept bitterly but she soon recovered herself and gave me an account of her troubles during my absence."

John and Aggatha Ann subsequently experienced the trauma and unbelievable hardships created by Governor Boggs' extermination order, fleeing Missouri along with twelve thousand other brethren and sisters in early 1839. They reached Fayette County, Illinois, and found refuge with Aggatha's sister and her husband, George W. Hickerson.

1839  

John D Lee leave on first mission to Tennessee.

That same year, with faith unshaken, Aggatha supported her husband on his first proselyting mission to Tennessee. He was gone several months. On his first mission he traveled with Levi Stewart into Tennessee where they separated, Stewart to work among his own kinfolk and Lee to proselyte among strangers. Upon their return to their families they joined in the move to Nauvoo where both acquired lots and built homes. Their ways parted again, though all their lives they would remain friends.

Lee's mission to Rutherford County, Tennessee. JD Lee is 29

"DURING the winter of 1841 a letter was sent to the Prophet from the leading men and members of the branch church on Stone River Tennessee and Cripple Creek Rutherford County Tennessee desiring him to send me back to labor in that country as there was a wide field for preaching there. They stated that I had so ingratiated myself among the people that no other man could command the influence and respect to do good that I could among them. This was enough In the latter part of February I took leave of my family and entered upon my mission. To refuse to comply with the call of the Prophet is a bad omen. A man so doing is looked upon with distrust renders himself unpopular and is considered a man not to be depended upon At the time I started the river was blocked with ice. I traveled on foot without purse or scrip like the apostles of old carrying out the motto of the Church the bee of the desert. "Leave the hive empty handed and return laden." In this way I as well as many other elders brought in money thousands of dollars yearly to the Church and I might say many hundreds of thousands as the people among whom I traveled were mostly wealthy and when they first received the love of the truth their hearts as well as their purses were opened and they would pour out their treasures into the lap of the Bishop."

          

Aggatha's family had followed the Lees' move to Nauvoo in 1843, and when not living in some of the Lee homes, they were living nearby. Joseph, the father, had died a few years before the move to Nauvoo. He was the only member of the family who had not joined the LDS Church. It is not known how many Woolsey children remained with their widowed mother, but Rachel Andora and the youngest member of the family, Emoline, were both unmarried. There may have been others living at home but those two were some of the younger children, and possibly the only ones remaining with their mother.

1843, Fall    

Lee appointed to committee to build a Seventies Hall in Nauvoo with Brigham Young as councilor.

"Two committees had previously been appointed to the task but had failed to raise even a dollar for the building. My plan was to build it by shares of the value of five dollars each Hyrum Smith the Patriarch told me that he would give the Patriarchal Blessing to any that labored on the foundation of the building The Seventies numbered about four hundred and ninety men I was to create the material That is I would watch and when I could get a contract to take out lumber from the river as rafts would land at the city I would take common laboring men and the portion of the lumber that we got for our pay we would pile up for the building In this way we got all the lumber needed The brick we made ourselves and boated the wood to burn them and our lime from the island"

"In the month of March 1844 we had the building up on the west side nearly two stories high One day when the wall was built up nine feet high and forty five feet long and was of course green a tornado came that night and blew the wall down breaking columns and joists below doing a damage of several thousand dollars I was inclined to be down in the lip but Brigham Young laughed at me and said it was the best omen in the world it showed that the Devil was mad and knew that the Seventy would receive the blessings of God in that house and as they were special witnesses to the nations of the earth they would make his kingdom quake and tremble that when Noah was building the ark he was mobbed three times but he persevered and finally they said Let the d-d old fool alone and see what he will accomplish Just so with you double your diligence and put her up again If you do not you will lose many a blessing. I went to work again with as m any men as could work to advantage We threw the wall down flat and commenced a new one another brick thicker than the former I borrowed fifty thousand brick and made them and returned them when the weather was fine By the first of May we had the Hall closed in."

1843, December    

Lee chosen as a member of the group of forty special police officers to guard Joseph Smith in Nauvoo. JD Lee is 31

"Through the winter Joseph Smith selected forty men for a city guard from the old tried veterans of the cause I was the seventh man chosen These men were also the life guard of the Prophet and Patriarch and of the twelve Apostles My station as a guard was at the Prophet's mansion during his life and after his death my post was changed to the residence of Brigham Young he being the acknowledged successor of the Prophet."

1844, February 4

Lee marries Nancy Bean, his first Plural wife.

His position as police guard over the Prophet Joseph as well as Brigham Young made it possible for Lee to be taught that principle of plural marriage. Joseph Smith took his first plural wife in Nauvoo, Louisa Beaman, on April 5, 1841; Brigham Young took his, Lucy Decker, on June 15, 1842. John D. Lee, who was working closely with both men, wrote:

"Nancy Bean became a member of my family February 4, 1844. On April 19, Louisa Free, Caroline Williams, Abigail Woolsey and Rachel Woolsey." "My second wife, Nancy Bean was the daughter of wealthy farmers. She saw me on a mission and heard me preach at her father's home. She came to Nauvoo and stayed at my house and grew in favor."

In 1845 Nancy Bean married John D. Lee and later was sealed to him on January 14, 1846. Brigham Young performed the sealing with Heber C. Kimball and Jedediah Morgan Grant as witnesses. On January 15, 1846 Nancy gave birth to their daughter, Eliza Lee, later named Cornelia. Nancy and her three-week-old baby were among the first to be taken across the Mississippi River from Nauvoo when the mobs came. From Juanita Brooks' writings, "Nancy was the first to bear a child under the New Covenant and it was thought she should be out of the city in case of an investigation."

1844, April 19

Lee marries Louisa Free, Caroline Williams, Abigail Woolsey and Rachael Woolsey in Nauvoo, IL.

Louisa FREE was 20 when she married John Lee. Born 9 Aug 1824 in Fayetteville, St. Clair, Illinois, she was the daughter of Absalom Pennington FREE and Elizabeth or Betsy STRAIT. The Free family became members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during the summer of 1835 in Illinois and shortly moved to Far West, Missouri. It is thought they moved back to Fayetteville, IL and that is where it is thought John D Lee met the family in 1842 while on a mission.

Caroline Williams

Sarah Caroline WILLIAMS was 14 when she was sealed to John D Lee. She was living with the Lee family at the time and when Louisa and Rachel were sealed she insisted that she wanted to be sealed also. She born 24 Nov 1830 in Murfreesboro, Rutherford, Tennessee. She was the daughter of Isaac Horton WILLIAMS and Margaret WALKUP. Caroline wrote in her journal, "...joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints when quite young, came to Nauvoo in 43". Whether or not Isaac and Margaret were ever members of the Mormon Church was not known. It is likely they were not, for Caroline traveled from Tennessee to Nauvoo with the William Pace family. The Paces were from the same general area as the Williams family, and like Caroline, they had been converted through the efforts of John D. Lee. Sarah stayed with the Pace family after Nauvoo but during the Winter Quarters period moved to Missouri and later married a man in TN with whom she had a child.. She rejoined Lee in Salt Lake in 1851.

"Louisa was sealed to me Amasa Lyman officiated at the ceremony At the name time Sarah C Williams the girl that I had baptized in Tennessee when but a child at the house of Wm Pace and who came to Nauvoo stood up and claimed a place in my family She is yet with me and is the mother of twelve children She has been a kind wife mother and companion."

Abigail Woolsey was the mother of John D Lee's first wife Aggatha Ann Woolsey. Once the practice of Celestial Marriage become known to her, Aggatha Ann apparently accepted the idea as a revelation from the Lord to the prophet and part of a "celestial law." There was evidence of her acquiescence when just three months after marrying Nancy Bean, Louisa Free and Sarah Caroline Williams, John took as additional wives, Aggatha's sister, Rachel and her mother, Abigail. Mother Woolsey by that time had been widowed for more than five years, her husband Joseph having expired before the family's move to Nauvoo. She became a wife to John D. Lee but only in the sense that he was a provider and protector. She was by that time more than sixty years old; John later wrote that he married her "for her soul's sake." Aggatha, noting the need for her mother to have food, clothing and shelter, may have had that in mind when it was obvious that they must flee Nauvoo to live in the wilderness for an indefinite time. She could have been instrumental in bringing about the sealing. Abigail died on the trip west to Salt Lake City.

Rachael Woolsey

Rachel Andora WOOLSEY was the sister of John's first wife Aggatha. She was 19 when she married John. Born 5 Aug 1825 in Danville, Mercer, Kentucky.

1844, May 18           

Much like details of other mission except a growing antagonism against Mormons which erupts into mob attacks sometimes. Lee tells of debates with members of other church sects on this mission. Returns to Nauvoo in August just as Sidney Rigdon is claiming to be the successor of Joseph Smith as Prophet of the Church. Most of the Twelve Apostles were away on missions at this time. When the Twelve return, Rigdon takes his followers and leaves Nauvoo. Brigham Young takes charge. Lee is asked to complete the Hall of the Seventies, which he does. Lee is appointed recorder for the Seventies. Lee builds home for Heber C. Kimball. He is put on the police force and city watch. He is assigned to guard Brigham Young's home. Mob violence grew and quickly became violent. Plans made to move west. Lee is asked to help finish the Temple and does so.

1844, May 28           

Joseph Smith runs for President, John Lee leaves on a mission to Frankfort, KY

Prophet Joseph Smith decided to run for the office of president of the United States, and with that in mind he sent out many missionaries. John D. Lee was one of a large group who left Nauvoo on May 28, 1844 for that purpose.

"Brigham Young said to me You had better shut up the Seventies Hall and obey perhaps the last call of the Prophet. Things looked rather squally before I left and but little prospect of growing better. I left Nauvoo on the 4th of May 1844 with greater reluctance than I had on any previous mission. It was hard enough to preach the gospel without purse or scrip but it was nothing compared to offering a man with the reputation that Joseph Smith had to the people as a candidate for the highest gift of the nation I would a thousand times rather have been shut up in jail than to have taken the trip but I dared not refuse.

About one hundred of us took the steamer Ospray for St Louis. Our mission was understood by all the passengers on board. I was not long waiting until the subject was brought up. I had made up my mind to banish all fear and overcome timidity. I made the people believe that I felt highly honored to electioneer for a Prophet of God. That it was a privilege that few men enjoyed in these days. I endeavored to make myself agreeable by mixing with the passengers on the steamer. I told them that the Prophet would lead both candidates from the start. There was a large crowd on the boat and an election was proposed. Judges and clerks were appointed and a vote taken. The Prophet received a majority of seventy five out of one hundred and twenty five votes polled. This created a tremendous laugh and we kept it up till we got to St Louis. Here the most of us took the steamer Mermaid. The change of steamers afforded me a new field of labor. Here I met a brother of Gen. Atchinson one of the commanders of the militia that served against the Church at Far West. He became very much interested in me and when we parted at Smithland Ky. he invited me to go home with him and preach in his neighborhood. My destination being Frankfort I could not accept his invitation.

I went to Lexington by way of Georgetown lecturing as I went I finally went to the Capital put up at a hotel and endeavored to hire the State House to speak in but found it engaged My funds were low though my hotel bill was four dollars per day. After three days trial I hired the Court House. The people said that no Mormon had ever been able to get a hearing though several had attempted to do so. When evening came I had to light up the house and ring the bell. Elder S.B. Frost assisted me. Soon the hall was filled with none but juveniles from ten to fifteen years of age. I understood the trick. They supposed I would leave but to their surprise I arose and said I was glad to see them out in such great numbers that I knew they had good parents or they would not be here that if they would take seats and be quiet we would sing them some of our Mormon songs. Elder Frost was a charming singer. We sang two or three songs. Our juvenile hearers seemed paralyzed I then knelt down and prayed. By this time the hall was crowded with men and I begged them not to crowd my little friends out. I then spoke about an hour and a half upon the constitutional rights of American citizens. I spoke of the character of the Southern people that they were noted for their kind and generous treatment of strangers in particular but that I feared from the treatment I had received that I had missed my way in Kentucky. My sires were of Southern birth my father was a relative of the Revolutionary Lee of Virginia my uncle was from Lexington Kentucky that I came a stranger into their midst and I felt confident that the right of speech would be extended to us that we were ministers of the gospel traveling without purse or scrip dependent upon the generosity of the people for food and raiment nor did we preach for hire that if they wished we would remain there and lecture and if it met the approbation of the people they could have the gospel preached to them without money and without price. The first man that spoke up was a saddler he said he was a poor man but we were welcome to his house giving the street and number. About twenty more responded in like manner among them some of the most wealthy men of the. We went home with a rich farmer and continued our labors having more calls than we could fill. We were sent for by a rich planter who lived about twenty miles away.

I was anxious to extend our labors as much as it was advisable. On our way to the planter's we found it difficult to obtain dinner. The orthodox people did not like to associate with Mormons. I finally asked them to direct me to where some infidel or gambler lived. They wanted to know what on earth I wanted of them. I replied To get something to eat that they were too liberal minded to turn a stranger away from their door. That the Saviour ate with publicans and sinners for the very reason that we do for the religious scribes and pharisees would not feed him. They pointed us to the next house where we went and were kindly received and entertained. The gentleman informed us that he belonged to no church but that he had an interest in a church and said we were welcome to preach there. He went and made an appointment for us to preach. We preached there and were received with the greatest kindness. I soon began to baptize and calls came in on every side when the papers brought us the news of the assassination of the Prophet Joseph and his brother Hyrum.

We returned immediately to Frankfort as I expected the Elders there to learn what to do We all retired to Maple Grove on the Kentucky river and kneeled in prayer and asked the Lord to show us whether or not these reports were true. I was the mouth in prayer but received nothing definite in answer to my prayer I told the elders to follow their own impressions and if they wished to do so to return to Nauvoo. Each of them made his way back I went and spent the evening with a Mr. Snow. He claimed to be a cousin of Erastus Snow who was favorable to us. We spent the evening talking over the reported deed The next morning about ten o clock my mind was drawn out in prayer. I felt as though the solemnity of eternity was resting upon me. A heavenly hallowed influence fell upon me and continued to increase until I was electrified from head to foot. I saw a large personage enter the door and stand before me. His apparel was as white as the driven snow and his countenance as bright as the noon day sun. I felt paralyzed and was speechless and motionless. It remained with me but a moment then receded back out of the door. This bright being's influence drew me from my chair and led me south about three hundred yards into a plot of clover and blue grass and stood over a persimmon tree which afforded a pleasant shade. I fell prostrate upon my face upon the grass. While here I saw Joseph the Prophet and Hyrum his brother the Patriarch and their wounds by which they had been assassinated. This personage spoke to me in a soft low voice and said that the Prophet and Patriarch had sealed their testimony with their blood. That our mission was like that of the Apostles and our garments were clear of the blood of the nation. That I should return to Nauvoo and wait until power was granted us from on high. That as the Priesthood fell upon the Apostle Peter so should it rest with the twelve apostles of the Church for the present And thus the vision closed and I gradually returned back to my native element. Rising up I looked at my watch and saw that I had been there au hour and a quarter. Returning to the house my friend Snow asked me if I was ill. I replied in the negative He said I was very pale that he saw my countenance change while I sat in my chair that when I went out of the door it seemed as though every drop of blood had ..."

A month later when word came that Joseph had been killed by a mob at Carthage Jail, Lee could not believe it. Surely, he argued, God would not permit such a thing to happen to his chosen servant. Only after fasting and prayer and a special manifestation could he accept the reality of the prophet's death. Broken in spirit and sick at heart, he started back to Nauvoo. He arrived after the incident wherein the people of the Church voted to sustain Brigham Young as their leader.

1844, June 27         

Joseph and Hyrum Smith murdered at Cartage, IL.

At the death of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum in June 1844, life in Nauvoo took a dramatic turn for all its citizens. What had been at first minor incidents of conflict between Gentiles living in surrounding counties and the Mormons of Hancock County, particularly in Nauvoo, had developed into more violent encounters until finally there emerged a planned agenda of mob violence against the Saints, culminating in the murder of the prophet and his brother. Those vicious assaults continued until leaders of the Church were given a mandate to leave. They finally acquiesced and agreed to abandon Nauvoo on April 1, 1846 under the leadership of the new president, Brigham Young.

1844, July     

Lee moves from Warsaw Street about 1.5 miles East of the Temple to a house Brigham Young purchased him on the flats.

"At that time I lived on Warsaw street about one half of a mile east of the Temple He (Brigham Young) wished me to remove near to him as I was one of the guards that were assigned to guard him. I had quite a comfortable brick house and lot all in fine order on Warsaw street. He told me to let him have my property on Warsaw street and he would buy me a house on the flat nearer to him. I did so and he bought out Samuel D Frost and sent him on a mission to Kentucky where I had been laboring taking his family with him. He had a nice little frame house I moved into it and had it finished on the inside and made quite comfortable. Brigham at that time was living in a little log house but was preparing to build a brick house."

1844, July     

Seventies Hall completed in Nauvoo.

Lee is Wharf Master in Nauvoo

Lee is a Major in the Nauvoo Legion, commanded escort in the 5th infantry.

Lee is Librarian of Masons

Lee is General Clerk and reader for the Seventies and issued the laws.

1844, July 12

Lee's home in Nauvoo located on the NE corner of Hotchkiss and Hyde street.

Link to map

"Having finished the (Seventies) hall I was offered or rather had a mission to build Joseph Young the head President of the Seventies a neat brick dwelling. Calling upon the Seventies to assist me I soon mustered all the help that was necessary and made brick enough to build me a large dwelling house. Including my other buildings it was ninety feet front two and a half stories high with a good cellar. By the middle of July 1845 I had both houses the one for Joseph Young and the one for myself finished ready for painting.

During the Winter of 1844-45 a man by the name of Stanley took up a school, teaching the use of the broad-sword. At the expiration of his term I opened three schools of fifty scholars each in the same exercise. I gave thirteen lessons in each school receiving two dollars from each scholar This made me six hundred dollars. I received twenty five cents for each license that I issued. With these means I purchased paints and oils to finish my dwelling house. I became very popular among the Saints and many of them donated labor and materials for my dwelling house. I had a handsome enclosure with fine orchard, well of water, house finished and grained from top to bottom and everything in the finest order"

1845, December

Lee sealed to Martha Berry, Polly Workman and Delethea Morris These marriages took place either during the month of December 1845, or January, 1846. John D. Lee wrote that he was married to Martha Berry, his eighth wife, during the winter of 1846-1847:

"In the temple, I took three more wives, Martha Berry, Polly Ann Workman, and Delethea Morris, and had all my family sealed to me over the altar."

Polly Ann Workman. She was his seventh wife. Her name appeared in his journals on occasion during the exodus from Nauvoo but little was known of her prior life. She and Nancy Bean were the first in the Lee family to cross the Mississippi in February, 1846, to begin the trek across Iowa to Winter Quarters. When the company was at a place known as Pacific Springs about the middle of June, Polly Ann decided she would go back to Pisgah where many of the Saints had stopped for lack of means to go farther. In John D. Lee's family of forty-eight, which included adopted sons and their families, twenty-eight were forced to remain. Those in the family who continued had four wagons, twenty-four head of cattle, four mules, and three horses. Polly Ann was one of that group of family members.

It was when they arrived at Pacific Springs that Polly Ann left the family to go back to Pisgah. John warned her of the move, reporting the conversation in his journal,

"...I at that time told her the consequences of such measures. Still she persisted in going..." After several months, most of which time she was severely ill, she returned to the Lee family. A couple of months later she experienced more illness, "...very violently attacked of a fever and sickness of the stomach..."

A few days later, on February 10, 1847, John and Polly Ann had a long conversation. There seemed to be serious problems between them, which John viewed as irreconcilable. With this feeling, he had spoken to her brother, who was at Pisgah about sending her to him. John made arrangements with him that he allow her to work in his household, and be paid at the rate of one dollar per week. The next day, despite some additional dialogue between them, John put her on a wagon and sent her back. Polly Ann remained in Iowa and married Mr. Bennett. She never went to Utah.

Martha Elizabeth BERRY was 18 when she married John Lee. Born 22 Nov 1827 in Nashville, Davidson, Tennessee. She was the daughter of Jesse Woods BERRY and Amelia SHANKS. Martha died 17Jun 1885 in Kanosh, Millard, Utah, and was buried Jun 1885 in Panguitch, Garfield, Utah. Martha was named in John D. Lee's journals, while at both Winter Quarters and Summer Quarters, involved in some of the routine work in which all his wives were engaged.

Delethia MORRIS was 33 when she married. Born about 1812. John D. Lee married Delethia Morris as his ninth wife sometime during the winter of 1845-1846. Her name appeared only once in his writings: "In the temple, I took three more wives, Martha Berry, Polly Ann Workman and Delethia Morris." Juanita Brooks wrote that nothing had been found about her except that while Lee was away on his trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico, she was married to Allen Miller, a trader. This information was obtained from Lee's "Confessions,"

"...while we were here, two men came to our camp, named Allen Miller and Mr. Clancy. They were traders to the Potawatomie Indians. Allen Miller had married one of my wives..."

1846, February 1    

Plan and inventory of the Camp of the Saints. Company No. 1 organized February 17, 1846 by John D. Lee. Left Nauvoo about February 1, 1846 and crossed Mississippi River to Iowa. Lee tells of provisions gathered and plans for companies to go west. Lee returns to Nauvoo for his family. Many make trips from Nauvoo and return for supplies, etc. Col. Kane visits Brigham Young. Young tells him that they will settle in Bear River Valley, in the Great Basin, and on Vancouver Island. Friday, August 28, 1846 in Indian Territory.

1846, Feb 12

Lee leaves Nauvoo to begin preparation for migration of the Saints.

Troubles with their neighbors had become so acutely threatening that the Mormon leaders had agreed that the Saints would leave the state of Illinois as soon as "grass grows and water runs. "Late in January of 1846, it became evident that some must cross the river very soon to make preparations for the general migration.

Charles Shumway was first to go over into Iowa on February fourth. Eight days later, John D. Lee crossed with one wagon, two horses and one cow, and with provisions to sustain the family for two months or more. With him were two wives: Polly Workman, his youngest wife, and Nancy Bean, with a six-week-old baby girl in her arms.

President Young and a part of his family joined the group on February fifteenth. Severe winter storms set in, bringing snow, hail, wind, and bitter cold to the area so that the people traveling in wagons across the open prairie suffered greatly from exposure.

1846, Feb 26

John Brigham, was born to Louisa Free and John on February 26, 1846. This was about ten days after abandonment of the city of Nauvoo by President Young when the first contingent of Saints left the city. John had gone to assist the President's caravan of fifteen wagons and fifty family members. He remained with them until reaching Sugar Creek where a camp was set up. Afterwards, on the twenty-seventh, he returned to Nauvoo to make provisions for moving the remainder of his own family. In the meantime John Brigham had been born and was two days old when Lee arrived back in Nauvoo.

1846, March 4

On March fourth, Lee brought the remainder of his family across into Iowa. That time he had four wagons and a number of cattle. The Lee group included Aggatha Ann and her four children; her mother, Abigail; her sister, Rachel; and two other young wives, Martha Berry and Louisa Free with her small son, John Brigham. Driving the teams were one of Polly Workman's brothers and Hyrum Woolsey, as well as Horace Rowan, a recent convert, with his wife.

It took most of the day Tuesday, March third, to get everything over the river but by Wednesday they were ready to set out across Iowa to somewhere west. At the time they did not know where their journey would lead them, perhaps to the Rocky Mountains, or maybe to wait out the winter somewhere in between.

For the next six months the Lee family shared the extreme hardships of the exiles on the prairie, inching westward as the weather permitted, arriving in late August at Winter Quarters. During that time Lee kept a journal of the activities of the leaders and the decisions that were made. His own family was mentioned rarely; in fact, it is not known definitely as to the makeup of his family during that period and the following year. In addition to the seven wives named, there were at least two, Delethia Morris, who left him to marry a trader while he was gone on one of his numerous trips, and Sarah Caroline Williams who lived most of the time with her aunt, Marcia Allen.

1846, Aug 30           

Lee sent to bring back the gold payroll of the Mormon Battalion.

Brigham Young sends John D. Lee and Howard Egan on mission to the Mormon Battalion with the Western Army. Letters and packages to the men in Lee's charge.

To St. Joseph, Missouri and on the Ft. Leavenworth. Here Lee is asked to take U.S. Mail

on the Battalion and Stephen Watts Kearney, at Santa Fe.

Lee gives route and miles traveled each day. Describes country and travel conditions and

others met or passed on the route which follows the old Santa Fe Trail.

They overtake the Battalion men. Col. Allen has died and new officer is very harsh with

men, driving them on.

1846, Oct 5  

Lee reaches the first Spanish settlements. Lee describes the people, herds,

and houses of adobe.

1846, Oct 20

Lee and Egan prepare to return to Winter Quarters with payments for

the men to go to Brigham Young. They start on one thousand mile return trip.

1846, Dec 21            Emoline Woolsey married to John D. Lee.

1847, Feb 7 

Nancy Armstrong and two sisters, Polly and Lavina Young married to John D Lee.

1847, June 1           

Lee begins his trip to Salt Lake City. The trip will take 3 and 1/2 months and he will arrive September 23, 1848. He took with him Aggatha Ann with her children; her mother, Abigail; and her sister, Rachel, both of whom were sealed to Lee, and three other plural wives, Martha Berry, Polly Young and Lavina Young. One wife, Nancy Armstrong, died in Summer Quarters. Nancy Bean and Louisa Free crossed the plains with their parents and remarried in SLC. Sarah Williams who was just 14 when she was sealed had returned to Tennessee and married. She later rejoined John in SLC 1850.

1847, Sept 27           Lee arrives in SLC.

Upon their September arrival in the valley so late in the season, two major problems presented themselves. They had to quickly provide shelter before the winter storms began and find a way to feed the livestock. Before the first snow in November, Lee had finished a cabin and had taken the cattle to the banks of the Big Cottonwood Creek where he found some natural pasture and took up land.

 

The History of John D. Lee

John Doyle Lee was born in Kaskaskia, Illinois, on September 12, 1812. At that time Kaskaskia, the capital city of the Territory of Illinois, was the most important town on the Mississippi River, the center of activity for a large area. Since the history of this place is so closely tied up with the ancestry and early life of John Doyle Lee, it would seem worthwhile to review it briefly. Kaskaskia was settled in 1703, when a French Jesuit Priest gathered a small tribe of Indians on the site. Soon French settlers arrived until within thirty years it was almost French and Negro. It was located in a meadow land, which lay between an out-jutting rock peninsula in the stream and the high bluffs along the banks, a strategic position for river travel, and soon became an important trade center. It was captured by the English during the Indians wars of 1763, then in 1778 was taken from the English by the American General George Roger Clark in a stroke of military genius. One member of that intrepid little army was John Doyle, the maternal grandfather of John Doyle Lee.

Early records of Randolph County show that John Doyle was one of the first to claim land in this area by reason of his service in the army. His 400-acre allotment lay in this area on the bluffs opposite the village and below the point where the Kaskaskia River empties into the Mississippi.

In the "American State Papers, Public Lands," Vol. 2, pp 132-4, is a statement, dated Kaskaskia, Dec. 31, 1809 of claims founded on "Improvements" in the district of Kaskaskia, which were affirmed by the board of commissioners appointed under act of congress to take evidence of all land-claims in the Kaskaskia district, under French, Spanish or United-States grants. The commissioners were Michael Jones and E. Backus and the following appear to be the names of English or American settlers who claim under "Ancient Grants":

Name: John Doyle

"In the same volume, pp. 135-8, is a list of claims "founded on acts of congress granting donations of four hundred acres each to heads of families in the district of Kaskaskia," and which were confirmed by the board. Of these acts of congress, one approved March 3, 1791, gave to each "head of a family" who had cultivated or improved land in Illinois prior to and including the year 1788, the right to four hundred acres of land. Of those claiming under these acts, the following were Americans or English, Irish or Scotch, naturalized Americans:"

Name: John Doyle

Of his wife we know nothing, except that she must have been the daughter of one Henry Smith whose will named the two Doyle daughters as his only heirs. These two girls, Elizabeth and Charlotte, were also the only children of their father. Elizabeth, the older, married Oliver Reed, by whom she had a daughter, Elizabeth, usually called Eliza Virginia, and a son, William Oliver. In 1802 her husband was brutally murdered by a man named Jones, who was apprehended, tried and hanged in what was the second execution in the Territory of Illinois. Elizabeth returned to live in the home of her father, where she remained until her marriage to Ralph Lee on February 26, 1811. Her son, William Oliver, had died before this time.

John Doyle was born eighteen months after this marriage. Writing of his mother, Lee says that she was in poor health all the time and an invalid for more than a year before her death. He also said that his father, at first ambitious and thrifty, took to drinking until he became a confirmed alcoholic. The court record of Randolph Co., records in May 1815 that Ralph Lee and his wife, Elizabeth Doyle, executed a deed of trust for children, Elizabeth Reed and John D. Lee, the deed was made to George Fisher to be held in trust for the children. This gave proof of his statement, for his mother died within six months after the deed was executed, in November 1815. Some time later his father, Ralph Lee, left for Texas or other point’s west and was never heard of again.

After the death of their mother, Eliza, then about fourteen years of age, went to live with the family of her guardian, George Fisher. Little three-year-old John Doyle Lee was taken to the home of his aged grandfather, where he was placed in the care of a colored nurse who spoke French entirely. His grandfather spoke Indian as well as French. He had been a schoolteacher, and was known as a man of honor, but he was now an older man, whose health failed until he died on Oct. 20, 1819. Charlotte's husband, James Conner, was named administrator of the Doyle estate. John D., now seven years old, was taken to live with his Aunt Charlotte's family. Years later he was to write with bitterness of the treatment he received in the Conner home, and of the difficulty of adjusting to a new language and a family of children. His Aunt was a quick-tempered, sharp-tongued woman who did not spare the rod upon her own children nor the little extra boy of the group.

By the time he was sixteen, John D. Lee determined to go on his own. He first secured a job riding the mail through a long stretch of sparsely settled country. Later he worked on a riverboat on the Mississippi, and still later was employed at a warehouse and store in the Northern mining town of Galena. During these years he built up a reputation for industry and trustworthiness. He left the mines and returned briefly to the home of his Uncle Conner, then went to visit his sister, who was now married and living near Vandalia. He met the Woolsey family and soon fell in love with the oldest daughter. It was there that John D. Lee met Aggatha Ann Woolsey. This was during the time he was employed as a postal carrier with routes that had criss-crossed the southern part of the state and continued as far north as the town of Belleville near St. Louis. When his assignment was changed, taking him through the area where his cousins, the Conners, lived, on a route north, he met the Woolsey family who lived nearby.

In 1831 John enlisted with his Uncle James in the local militia, responding to a call from the Illinois Governor to help put down an insurrection by Indians from the Sac and Fox Tribes in the northern part of the state. Following the bloody battle of Bad Axe on the banks of the Mississippi River, in which the bands of Sac and Fox were subdued, John returned home with Uncle James and became serious about the affections of Aggatha Woolsey. He was persistent in his overtures until Aggatha Ann's parents gave there blessing to the marriage. John and Aggatha obtained a license in Kaskaskia on July 20, 1833, and were married three days later. He was twenty-one and she was nineteen.

After they were married they set up their home nearby. Their first child, William Oliver, died before he was two years old; their second child, Elizabeth Adeline, also died young. Their third child was named Sarah Jane.

John soon established himself as a most enterprising young man and a good provider. By the fall of 1834 they had moved to Fayette County near the residence of his sister, Elizabeth, and her husband, Josiah Nichols. It was during that time, while living at a site along Luck Creek in that area, that they first encountered missionaries of the Mormon Church.

John had sheltered the Mormon elders, and listened to their message, but was not impressed. When his neighbor, Levi Stewart, brought him a copy of the Book of Mormon and told him of a personal meeting with the youthful Prophet, John decided to read the book. He finished it the night he sat up with the corpse of his little Elizabeth Adeline. As he neared the end and read the words of Moroni in Chapter 10, Verse 4, he decided to follow the counsel of the writer and ask God concerning the truth of the book. He received a manifestation, which converted him instantly. Now he felt that he must gather with the body of the Saints.

They subsequently sold their property on Luck Creek. Traveling with Levi Stewart and others, the Lee family made their way across the Mississippi River, west to central Missouri in the vicinity of the new-formed city of Far West.. At this place the Lees were baptized on June 17, 1838 after meeting Joseph Smith for the first time.

John built a log cabin in Davies County on Shady Grove Creek in an area known as Ambrosia, which was about twenty miles north of Far West. The new log house, though, served as their home for only a few months, as relationships between the Mormons and the Missourians were so explosive that co-habitation of the two groups was impossible. In a matter of just a few months after their arrival, open conflict broke out among the parties. Mormon forces dug in at Far West and were ready to resist to the end an overwhelming force of two divisions of Missouri Militia when President Joseph Smith received word of the Haun's Mill Massacre. Unable to reconcile such total waste of life to purposes and aims of the Church, he capitulated and was taken prisoner along with his force of eight hundred men.

After turning over his weapons to the Missourians, and signing an individual form deeding all his property to the state, John, with the promise that he would move from Missouri by the first of April in 1839, was allowed to return to his family. On arrival several hours later, he found Aggatha Ann sitting by a log fire in the open air, holding their baby, Sarah Jane. Nearby was the still smoldering remains of their home, nothing more than a pile of rubble. Having been told that John was a prisoner at Far West and would be shot, she was weeping as he rode up. "She was nearly frantic [when she saw me], and as soon as I reached her side she threw herself into my arms and then her self-possession gave way and she wept bitterly."

He set a pattern for the next five years, spending about half his time traveling as a missionary, and half providing for his family. As a preacher he had remarkable success. He worked among the well-to-do class, and never lacked for friends and prospects. Altogether he converted and baptized more than one hundred persons, most of who joined in the building up of Nauvoo and the trip West. He started his first mission with Levi Stewart, traveling with him into Tennessee, where they separated, Stewart to work among his own kinfolk, and John to proselyte among strangers. Upon their return to their families, they again joined in the move to Nauvoo, where both acquired lots and built homes. Now their ways parted again, though all their lives they were friendly.

When the Lees arrived in Nauvoo in the fall of 1843, he decided that he should spend his time working in that city. He had several appointments of importance, one of them being made a member of the group of forty special police officers who were selected in December of that year. He was also appointed secretary of the Seventies Quorum and asked to assist in building a hall for their meetings. In the meantime, the doctrine of plural marriage was being secretly taught and practiced in Nauvoo. His position of guard over the Prophet and also Brigham Young made it possible for Lee to be taught this principle also. Joseph Smith took his first admitted plural wife, Louisa Beamon, on April 5, 1841; Brigham Young took his, Lucy Deeker, on June 15th, 1842. John D. Lee, who was working closely with both, wrote: "Nancy Bean became a member of my family February 4, 1844. April 19, Louisa Free, Caroline Williams, Abigail Woolsey and Rachel Woolsey."

Lee served several brief missions in nearby states and enjoyed success as a preacher, organizer, and healer. He returned to Nauvoo in August 1843 and resumed his duties as a guard at the home of Joseph Smith-a duty he regarded as a privilege. He felt that, "save Jesus Christ," no greater man than the Mormon Prophet had ever lived. When spring came, Lee was called on another mission and went to eastern Kentucky, where he was serving in June 1844 when Joseph and Hyrum Smith were murdered. (Below) He returned in August to face a new and threatening situation from neighbors who did not want Mormons in Illinois. Brigham Young, the de facto leader of the Mormons, had started preparations for a move to the West where the Mormons could practice their religion in peace.

When word came that Joseph had been killed by a mob at Carthage Jail, John could not believe it. Surely, he argued, God would not permit such a thing to happen to his chosen servant. Only after fasting and prayer and a special manifestation could he accept the reality of the death. Broken in spirit and sick at heart, he started back to Nauvoo. He arrived after the incident wherein the people of the church voted for and sustained Brigham Young as their leader. Now John became important indeed in the activities of the Church. Brigham Young appointed him private secretary to keep his records and write his letters, in addition to the responsibility of completing the Seventies' hall and keeping their books. John was such a good manager that he not only finished the hall for the Seventies, but erected a home for himself. By this time trouble with their neighbors had become so acute that the Mormon leaders had agreed to leave the state as soon as "grass grows and water runs." Late in January of 1846, it became evident that some must cross the river and prepare for the general migration. On February 12th, John crossed with one wagon, two horses and one cow, with provisions to sustain the family for two months or more. With him were his wives, Nancy Bean, with her six-week old baby girl in her arms, and Polly Workman, his youngest wife. President Young and a part of his family joined the group on February 15. This was the time when the winter storms set in, snow, hail, wind, and extreme cold so that the people coming in wagons on the prairie suffered greatly from exposure. On March 4th, John crossed the remainder of his family. This time he had four wagons and a number of cattle. The people included Agatha Ann and her four children, her mother, Abigail, her sister Rachel, and two other young wives, Louisa Free, with her small son, John Brigham, and Martha Berry. Driving the outfits were Hyrum Woolsey, one of Polly Workman's brothers, and Horace Rowan, a recent convert, with his wife.

For the next six months the family shared the experiences of the exiles on the prairie, inching westward as the weather permitted, to arrive in late August at Winter Quarters. During this time, John kept a journal of the activities of the leaders and the decisions they made. His own family is mentioned rarely; in fact we do not know definitely as to where all his wives were during this period and the years following. John was sent on several missions of great importance, the first on Feb. 18, 1846. He was given all the money that was collected and ordered to go to St. Francisville, Missouri, to buy up wagon covers and material for the Church migration. In late August 1846 he was sent to Santa Fe to collect what he could of the wages of the Mormon Battalion to help with the general maintenance of the people. This trip lasted nearly three months, as he reported back and turned over the money on November 20. He remained in Winter Quarters with his family just one month when he was to go on another trading and buying expedition. The bishops of twenty-two wards had reported that the foodstuffs of the camp were almost depleted, and the only chance for survival seemed to be to send to the Missouri settlements for more supplies. John was responsible for two four-mule teams. He was gone three weeks through bitter weather and besides what he hauled back himself he secured a load of provisions consisting of salt, dried fruit, molasses, honey, tallow, dry beans and 1200 pounds of pork, which he sent back by gentile traders. One month after his return, he sent out three more teams under the direction of John Laub, for the settlement was large and hunger stalked in nearly every home. This was February 1847.

The talk now was of all moving to the mountains, but it was clear that only a picked company could make the trip the first season. Others must remain and cultivate the land, or work for supplies to last through the second winter, and a surplus to provide them for the trek. John wanted desperately to be one of the band of first pioneers, but President Young told him that he was needed more to stay and raise corn. He, and twenty-seven others, moved out of Winter Quarters about 18 miles to a location they called Summer Quarters, and during the summer of 1847 raised more than 4,000 bushels of corn to aid in the migration of the next year.

In the meantime his family affairs had become complicated. He records his marriage to Emmaline Woolsey, youngest sister of Agatha and Rachel, on December 12, 1846. Then on February 27, 1848, he took three additional wives in one ceremony: Nancy Gibbons Armstrong, and two sisters, Polly and Lavina Young. All were girls whom he had converted. The strains and privations of frontier life, his long absences on trips for the church, and the natural jealousy common to women, resulted in some friction in his household. One wife, Delethia Morris, left him and married another man; Emmaline Woolsey gave aid to one of Lee's enemies, so she deserted; Polly Workman was prone to stir up strife, hence she was sent to live with her brother. Nancy Armstrong fell a victim to the plague. And died at Summer Quarters in August 1847. Nancy Bean and Louise Free, each of who bore him a child, left him and crossed the plains with their parents. Caroline Williams, though she was sealed to him early, remained with her Aunt Marcia Allen and did not join the Lee family until 1850.

Thus it was that when John set out on this trip across the plains with the 1848 company, he had along Agatha Ann with her children, her mother Abigail, and her sister, Rachel, both of whom were sealed to him, and three other plural wives: Martha Barry, Polly Young and Lavina Young. The trip started on June 1st, and lasted until September 23rd, and was characterized by the difficulties which would attend overloaded wagons and underfed teams on heavy roads. There was some sickness also, and one death. Abigail Woolsey was taken violently ill on September 1st, and on September 3rd was buried by the roadside. Upon their arrival in the, Land of the Saints,

The Great Salt Lake Valley, late in the season, two major problems presented themselves; shelter from the winter storms and feed for the stock. John had a cabin finished before the first snow in November, and had taken the cattle to the banks of the Big Cottonwood creek where he found some natural pasture and took up land.

For the next two years, everyone worked diligently to clear and fence land, to raise crops, to build homes, and to accumulate some few comforts. John was a member of the Council of Fifty, which directed the general policies; he attended their meetings regularly and carried out many assignments in the public interest. In December he was called to be one of the company sent to colonize the Iron mission at Parowan, in the extreme southern part of the state. This call was a severe test of his faith and loyalty; just ready to reap some of the fruits of his two years of hard labor, and now he was asked to leave it and start all over again.

Since the journey was to be in mid-winter, he left most of his wives and all of his children at home, and took with him only Polly and Lavina, each of whom would bear him a child in about three months. Although this trip was less than three hundred miles, they were five weeks on the road. During this time the people suffered from cold and exposure and the animals from lack of food. The arrival at the site of the new settlement did not better the situation, for the spring was late that year. Within a few weeks, John had a cabin built and some land cleared, though the late snows made it impossible to plant crops, and the cold froze all the seed potatoes. But spring did finally come, grain and gardens were planted, and the new fort town hummed with activity. In the Lee home, Lavina gave birth to a son, John David, on March 19, 1851, and on April 24, 1851 Polly had a daughter whom they named Elizabeth.

Some John D. Lee stories while in Parowan:

Now in the year 1851, I left Salt Lake to go to Parowan to live, to help strengthen the place against Indians; for they were very doubtful neighbors and committed some trespasses against us which was very hard to bear, such as killing our young calves on the range to eat and were otherwise very saucy and turbulent, especially among the women. One Indian struck John D. Lee's wife over the head and cut a gash some three or four inches long and we like to had war over it; and if it had not been for the old Piede Captain we do not know what trouble we might have had. He truly was a good Indian; he said he would whip the Indian until Brother Lee said it was enough, if that would do. So Brother Lee agreed to that. So the Captain had him tied to a liberty pole [Community flag pole], and took the end of a short lariat and he did his duty to him, too. He made him rise and twist every lick he gave him, but he took it like a soldier, although his back was mangled considerable. The old captain seemed to get tired and would stop to rest, and would say, "How much more?" They would say "More yet," until I thought the atonement was fully made. The last time he stopped he said, "Will that do?" Lee said, "Yes," and the white man and the red man were glad that the difficulty was settled.

 

John D. Lee and the Indians - The Deseret News, September 4, 1852

Parowan, Aug. 7, 1852.

On June 4th, John returned to Salt Lake to attend to his affairs. All summer he remained, caring for his farm, disposing of his property and preparing to move the remainder of his large family. At the October conference his name was read from the pulpit as being in charge of a colony on the Virgin River. As soon as possible they were on their way, arriving in Parowan in early November. The next season, John and a few other families moved south to Ash Creek and built a small enclosure of houses, but in early 1854 they pulled on still further to a large plain east of the present town of Harmony. President Brigham Young and a number of other leaders were present and helped to select the site and lay out the fort, May 20, 1854. By 1857, Fort Harmony was the center of a community of 32 heads of families, some living outside the fort at the present site of the town. Other families from the north had settled at Santa Clara, Washington, Pine Valley, and Pinto. Pine Valley was where John’s daughter, Sarah Jane and her husband, Charles Wakeman Dalton settled.

The reformation within the church had been started the year before, wherein all members were catechized and exhorted to renew the covenants they had made in earlier days in Nauvoo. The fragmentary diary of Rachel Lee gives much detail of this activity.

By this time also, matters at Salt Lake City had reached a climax in relation to the public officials appointed at Washington, D.C. One after another had returned to report that the Mormons were in a state of rebellion and that they acknowledged no authority except that of Brigham Young. President Buchanan, for political reasons, authorized the sending of an army west to put down this supposed rebellion. Word of this decision reached Salt Lake City on July 24, 1857, as the Saints were celebrating the 10th anniversary of their entrance into the Valley. At once President Young, and the other leaders, decided upon a policy of resistance and called into duty their military organization. Word of the action reached the southern settlement on August 4th. Immediately there was a call to arms, much drilling, and repeated rehearsals of the persecutions of the past.

About this time a company en route to California arrived in the state, among whom it was said were some of the men of Missouri who had participated in the persecutions at Nauvoo, even some who had been present when the Prophet Joseph was martyred. As they moved through the state along the Old Spanish Trail, they met with opposition at every town. People refused to sell them grain or other foodstuffs, having been counseled to store it all against the need during a long war. By the time the company reached Cedar City, the Indians were following them. John D. Lee had been appointed Indian agent some time before, and so was called in also. In a tragic combination of circumstances the entire train, with the exception of eighteen young children, was massacred at the Mountain Meadows. This marked the climax of the Mormon War, the end of the policy of resistance, and the beginning of the move south from Salt Lake Valley. For Lee, it marked a change in the whole course of his life. Although there were at least fifty other white men on the ground as participants, and Lee was not the commanding officer of the militia, he was in charge of Indian affairs in the south. The decision to call the tragedy an Indian massacre, brought Lee's name into the later reports, until as the years passed the general public's attitude grew up that he was first, chiefly responsible, and later that he was almost entirely responsible for the crime. The massacre occurred on September 11, 1857.

After a group of 120 to 150 California-bound men, women, and children, known as the Fancher Party, was attacked by Indians in a four-day siege while they were camped at Mountain Meadows, Lee and William Bateman met with members of the wagon train and arranged for them to be escorted to safety under a flag of truce by the Mormon militia. With no other alternative, the company surrendered their weapons, but as they marched away from their wagons, Mormon militiamen, including Lee, shot and killed the male members of the party while Indians killed the women and older children. Seventeen small children were spared and cared for by Mormon families until they were returned to relatives in Arkansas.

The reasons for the massacre are complex, but center around a wartime hysteria that had built up in Utah with the announcement in July 1857 that a federal army was en route to Utah to put down an alleged Mormon rebellion. Rumors also circulated that members of the Fancher party had stolen from the Mormons, poisoned their reservoirs, and boasted of their role in the assassination of Joseph Smith.

After the massacre, John D. Lee remained an active leader in Mormon affairs in southern Utah. However, by the late 1860s, questions about the massacre became more and more difficult to avoid, and in October 1870 Brigham Young excommunicated Lee from the Mormon Church for his role in the affair. Lee was the only one so punished and would later maintain that he became a scapegoat to take the public pressure off the more responsible Mormon leaders.

In a search for safety from arrest, in 1872 Lee moved to a remote crossing of the Colorado River, where he established Lee's Ferry, a vital link connecting southern Utah with Mormon settlements in northeastern Arizona.

(See the complete story of John D. Lee’s Involvement in the Mountain Meadows Massacre in another history.)

Immediately after the massacre, on September 20th, John started for Salt Lake City, taking with him part of the loot, and going directly to his adopted father, Brigham Young, with a report of the affair. This also helped to identify him with the incident, but the fact that President Young ordered him to be in charge of the cattle and outfits helped to direct the finger of blame upon him in the South. Still, for more than seventeen years, he went into headquarters and took his place in the Council of Fifty. He entertained President Young and most of the visiting authorities in his home in the south and traveled as a member of the parties through the southern settlements. With the outbreak of the Civil War in the East, the Church authorities decided to establish a cotton mission in the extreme Southern part of the state. Since 1856, there had been experiments in its culture at Santa Clara, Washington, and various Church farms along the Virgin River. In the fall of 1861 some 300 families were called to settle St. George, their business to provide the Church with cotton. At this time Polly and Lavina were living at Washington, where later Lee built an impressive rock mansion. At Harmony he was preparing to leave the Fort and move to a site about three miles above the town near the base of the mountain, where he had smaller houses under construction.

 

This winter of 1861 has become known as the year of the floods in Southern Utah. Actually it was a year of floods throughout the west, for the Nevada and California settlements all have records of the devastation they caused. At Santa Clara, the rock fort was washed away, along with the flour mill and molasses mill on the upper Virgin; Philip Klingensmith was completely wiped out of home, barns, cattle, and farm land. At Harmony, Lee tried to move his families from the Fort, which was beginning to disintegrate in the steady downpour. The roof had been blown from one section, but his homes were not ready, and the business of moving in hub-deep mud was slow and heartbreaking. The final tragedy came when a part of the fort wall blew down and killed two of his children as they lay in bed on the evening of Feb. 6, 1862. They were little George A. and Margaret Ann, children of Sarah Caroline. In June 1866, Agatha Ann died at Harmony, after a lingering illness, during which she asked her sister, Rachel, to take charge of her children. Her loss was felt by all, since as the first wife she had much to do with family policies. By this time the family was prospering financially, Lee had holdings at Toquerville and Parowan and his farm at Harmony was large and productive, as were also his orchards and vineyards at Washington.

His family had also grown in numbers. Although Martha Berry had left him in 1858, taking her younger children, Lee had married other wives after his move south. These included Mary Leah Groves, 1851; Mary Ann Williams, 1858; Emma Bachellor, 1858; Teressa Morse, 1859; and Ann Gordge, sometime before 1866. Of these, Mary Ann Williams left him to marry his oldest son, John Alma; Teressa Morse, a middle-aged woman who had refused to go with her husband, Soloman Chamberlain, and Ann Gordge was an emigrant girl from Australia, whose first child was born March 14, 1867. She later left him also, taking her baby with her, and leaving a little girl and boy with the family. Emma Bachellor remained faithful until his death. By this time he was beginning to feel more and more the weight of public disapproval. New settlers in the area had come to look upon him as the one wholly responsible for the tragedy at Mountain Meadows, and though President Young continued to stay at the Lee home and to give him some public recognition, the family all suffered from the stigma of his name. In September 1870, Lee accompanied Brigham Young and a group of explorers to the Colorado River via Kanab. Lee was, in fact, the man who rode ahead to mark out the road, cut down high banks, and select camping places for the night. They laid out the town of Kanab and made Levi Stewart the bishop. When President Young advised the Bishop to set up a portable sawmill in the area to get out lumber for the settlement, he replied that he would be glad to do so provided John D. Lee should be called to run the mill. President Young then suggested that Lee buy a half interest in the mill, sell out his property at Harmony, and move out to the new settlement.

This was another great sacrifice, for the prospective home was in the midst of a desolate area. Lee, however, did not question but proceeded to get the mill set up, and began operations. This was in mid-September. When Lee was forced to start back to the settlements in November, he met a messenger at Pipe Springs with a number of letters, one of which was a notification that he had been excommunicated from the Church but it did not specifically name the cause. The action had been taken on October 8, 1870, immediately after Brigham Young's return to Salt Lake City. Nothing could have been harder to take than this, for Lee had been loyal for so many years that he loved the Church better than life itself and nothing could be more eloquent of his feelings than the entry he made in his diary under date of November 22, 1870.

"My love for the Truth is above all other things and is first with me, and I believe that President Young has suffered this to take place for a wise purpose and not for any malicious intent. My prayer is, May God bless him with light and with the intelligence of Heaven to comprehend the things of God and discriminate between truth and error...."

His excommunication was evidently made public at the Stake Conference held in St. George the following spring, though there is no mention of it in the minutes. This seems strange because other men's names were recorded as being cut off, and unofficial sources tell it. The L.D.S. Church Historian, Assistant A. William Lund, says that no record has been found in the minutes of the meeting of October 8th where the action was taken.

With this formal declaration against him, Lee was now a hunted man. He came immediately to St. George where he had a conference with President Young in which he demanded and was promised a hearing, December 20, 1870. Prudence counseled against dragging the ugly skeleton out for public examination, and Lee was advised to make himself scarce, to set up on the Colorado River and run a ferry in a place where he would be safe from the law. The move out to this area during the winter of 1870–71 was attended by hardship and heavy hearts. His wife, Teressa, moved north to live with a married son by a previous marriage; Ann Gordge later took her baby and went north to seek employment. Lavina and Polly had homes at Skutumpah; Caroline at Panguitch; Rachel at Jacob's Pools; and Emma at Lonely Dell. Lee spent his time among them as he could, even visiting the settlements occasionally. But life here was one continual struggle with the elements, in a land where there was little of either plant or animal life, it was difficult for man to survive. Hardest of all were the long, empty times when for months they would see no human being.

Then in 1872, the church leaders decided to colonize Arizona and ask John to operate a ferry across the Colorado. They sent out "Uncle Tom Smith" to supervise the building. He brought his material and his son to assist, and with John's cooperation the ferryboat was completed and dedicated on January 11, 1873. By the first of February an exploring party reached the river, from that time until June 16th many people crossed on the ferry, both going and returning from Arizona. It was a dry year, so that many of the water holes on the Arizona side of the stream were dry, and most of the people sent to establish colonies were forced to return. Then on June 16, 1873, a great storm blew a large tree into the boat, broke it loose, and carried it away. There could be no more crossing of emigrant trains until another boat was built.

Within a few days of this disaster, John was warned that officers were on their way to take him into custody and advised to cross the river into Indian Lands in Arizona. This he did, and remained in isolation for nine months, until mid-March of 1874. During this period he planted and raised crops, suffered one serious illness as a result of which his wife, Rachel, joined him, having received a message from a little bird. This story of John telling a bird to fly swiftly to his home, written in a fine lyrical verse in his diary, and of Rachel's having a bird appear at her door and act in such a way that she knew she must go to her husband, is one of the priceless traditions of the Lee family. While he was away, his wife, Emma, gave birth to a baby at Lonely Dell, attended only by her 12 year-old son. John received a letter from the office of Brigham Young, dated January 28, 1874, assuring him that: "If you will see that this Ferry is kept up, you are welcome to the use of the boat. You should charge a suitable price for your labor. When we come along with our company we shall expect to pay you liberally for your services." This was the real reason for his returning, the whole tenor of the message was so favorable that John was overjoyed. Referring to President Young he wrote in his diary: "It was only another evidence of the high minded philanthropy that ever characterized the Nobleness of his character."

Now John went back to Lonely Dell and as soon as he could arrange it, started back to the settlements. En route he visited his family at Skutumpah where his two wives, Polly and Lavina, lived. Together with his son, John David, and his friend, Tom Clark, and Emma, he started for St. George. At Pipe Springs he met the outfit taking out materials for the new boat. He left Emma and the wagon at Washington and rode over to St. George horseback, arrived at Brigham Young's home Sunday evening April 5, 1874. Here he was greeted cordially, was invited to stay for supper, introduced to the family and given the full evening for visiting and discussion. The next three days, he traveled with the group from the North, taking leave of them at Kanarraville on April 8th, where he recorded that; "President Young implicitly enjoined it upon me to see after the ferry, and not let the boat get away from me into the hands of our enemies, and not to hire the gentiles to tend it."

Six months later, on November 7, 1874, John was apprehended at Panguitch, Utah by United States Marshal William Stokes, and brought to Fort Cameron at Beaver for trial for his part in the Mountain Meadow Massacre. The trial dragged on, with no witnesses in good standing in the Church appearing, the defense taking the stand that John was not responsible for what happened as he was but one of a group and not the one in command, that it was all a result of the teachings of the Mormon church and the covenants that had been made "to avenge the blood of the Prophets." At the close, the jury was divided, half for acquittal, and half for the death penalty. On August 9, 1875, under heavy guard he started from the Beaver Jail to the United States Penitentiary. Here he was confined for nine months during which time he kept a daily record of what went on. This is a most remarkable document, not only from John's personal experiences but for what it shows of the treatment of criminals in the State. He was able to purchase a limited freedom because he inspired the confidence of the officials, he was helpful and cooperative, and he paid $5.00 a month to the warden. Thus he was allowed to help pick and can fruit in the fall, to milk the cow, feed the horse, and shovel snow during the winter. Best of all, he was allowed to teach a school among the young men in the jail in which he made a table and benches for their use, set copy for them to write, listened to them read, and generally encouraged them to a better life. His wife, Rachel, was allowed to join him in the penitentiary, paying for her way and part of his freedom by cooking and washing for the prisoners. Through all of this, his great desire was for a retrial in which he felt certain that he would secure his freedom.

John was finally released on bail of $15,000 on May 11, 1876, during the next three months he visited all his families, tried to get his affairs in order and reconcile himself to the thought that this might be the end for him. Though his bondsman, William H. Hooper, had indicated that he would be pleased if he escaped, and his sons at the ferry urged him to cross the Colorado and flee to Mexico, he took the stand that he would rather die like a man than live like a dog. Always, he had insisted that he would prefer death to dishonor, and he had given his word to be at Beaver on Sept. 11th. The second trial moved with dispatch. Now other participants took the stand as witnesses, and men in good standing in the church testified as to what they had heard. Now the lawyers were careful to ask only questions concerning John, without incriminating anyone else. Under these conditions, memories were sharpened and answers were prompt so far as the conduct of John was concerned; if the witness forgot all else that transpired he was not condemned. In just a week the all-Mormon jury was unanimous for conviction, some admitted later that they had salved their conscience by the thought that "it was better that one man should perish than a whole nation dwindle in unbelief." Between the time of his conviction and the execution, a petition was circulated in his behalf. This was signed by more than eight hundred citizens of the Beaver and Panguitch areas. John was given the alternative life and freedom, if he would tell all that he knew of what went on that fateful day, or death before a firing squad if he would not. He chose the latter.

Transporting him all the way to the Mountain Meadows for his execution was another attempt to arrange the stage props for his final tragedy, a last effort to break his will. He remained calm; he spoke clearly; he asked only that his executioners center his heart and not mutilate his body. Five simultaneous shots rang out. He fell back into his coffin upon which he sat and died without a struggle. He was buried in the cemetery at Panguitch, where a simple shaft marks his grave. Today his published writings have brought him before the world in his true light as a man of great ability and integrity, and above all, a deep and true loyalty to his Church. Others of his records will no doubt be found in the future years to shed light upon the tragic period which is still clouded, but it is likely that these will only increase the stature of this man who now stands as a lonely, tragic figure; one of the great among the builders of this western empire.

The John D. Lee Family at Lonely Dell:

Following Hamblin's advice, Lee, his wife Emma, and their four young children (a fifth would be born within a month), arrived at the crossing on 21 December 1871. They walked over the roughest stretches, while Lee tried to make enough of a road to keep the wagon from tipping over. Legend holds that when Emma saw the valley at the mouth of the Paria, a sandy floor dotted with desert brush and walled with cliffs as barren as the second day of creation, she exclaimed, "Oh, what a lonely dell!"(She was, after all, a convert, born and raised in the lushness of England.)

The name stuck. From that day forth it unofficially headed all letters and diary entries until 24 July 1872, when Lee wrote proudly that "Maj. Powell adopted my name for the place Lonely Dell & so ordered it to be printed on the U S maps."

While he lived there, Lee kept a daily record of his life at this outpost. He gave us an intimate picture of the problems involved in living where the nearest town, Kanab, was ninety miles away, and the Paria settlement on the plateau above, "40 miles by Indian trail and 100 miles by wagon road."

Lee and his family had arrived at Lonely Dell just before Christmas in 1871. Juanita Brooks describes the Lee family's initial settlement and first Christmas at Lonely Dell through the eyes of Emma Lee.

First, the one wagon was unloaded and the box set off the wheels onto corner stones to keep it out of the sand. This was to be her bedroom and the general storeroom for their most precious items. The rag carpet from the living room back home was spread over the top of the regular wagon cover for extra warmth; a blanket was hung over the front entrance, a braided rug was placed on the floor. The trunk of clothing, the box of baby things, the few books, the little tin box of medicine and mementos all found a place in this bedroom. The children would all sleep in the other wagon.

There was a double advantage in having her place here upon the ground; she could get into and out of it easier, and the running gears of the wagon were then free to be used to haul driftwood logs from the riverbank or willows from the creek.

The kitchen was only a windbreak, with a tarp pulled tightly around three posts and a place for a fire in the open end. One shelf nailed between two of the posts held the supplies for cooking. With only four days before Christmas, Emma must have been busy indeed.

Christmas Eve was a clear quiet night with the stars hanging low, one luminous one in the western sky bright as if it hung over the Manger. Without any of the trappings of Christmas, they observed it, the children joining in the carols and John D. reading the matchless story from Luke almost from memory. The gifts? They would wait until the next morning-rag dolls and a double slate with two slate pencils for the twins, a larger doll that Aunt Rachel had put in for Belle,…a pocketknife for each of the older boys, Billy and Ike, and a toy flute for Jimmie. For John, Emma had knitted a wool muffler of fine gray yarn. For goodies, she had cookies and some hardtack candy from a can hidden in the flour bin and a half-dozen apples from the bottom of the trunk. It pleased her to have been able to keep everything a surprise, even from her husband. Now it was her tam to be surprised, for she had no idea there was a gift for her.

Billy and Ike came carrying it through the brush-a chair made of willows. Arched, curving willows formed the back and arms; smoothed off willows close together made the seat. It was a sturdy chair with a beauty all of its own.

"And here I thought you were chopping willows to make a coop for the hens," she said, kissing each lad in turn.

"We were, but we picked the longest and smoothest for this. Father really made it; we only furnished the willows."

Lee's attention now turned to more permanent means of shelter. Of this he wrote,

Thursday 28 Dec. 1871…Now all my energies was turned to building a couple of houses for Emma was still in suspense. I fixed her as comfortable as I could with carpeting and tent. This evening we encountered a desperate tornado, accompanied with heavy rain &c. Up to Jan. 12, 1872, I finished the two houses, laid the floors with flag Rock & commenced a stone corral.”

After the storm, help arrived when Lee' s wife Rachel arrived with her four boys. Rachel came to help with Emma's confinement. The boys helped with the building. The houses finished, corrals made, a chicken coop of woven willows secure against coyotes, Lee made a short trip to check on the cattle and horses he had left in the valleys along the stream. He returned to find that he had "an increase in my family. Emma B. was delivered of a Daughter on Wed. Jany 17th about 7 o'clock p.m. & named it Frances Dell after the place of our location & her sister Fanny. We Butchered a fine Beef."

In addition to weather problems, John D. Lee suffered from ague and fever, as he describes,

Feb., Thursday, 1st, 1872…My fever & ague Still Stick to me, like Poverty which Stands by, then [when] all Friends forsake & was it not for the amount of labour so urgent to be done, we would be lonesome. For over a Month we have not seen the face of a white Man & not even a word from the inner world…. The weather continues fine for business; no snow, not even to cover the ground, But we have been visited with 2 heavy wind storms or rather a Tomado. One of them was accompanied with a heavy rain. During the gale I lay shaking with ague, while Rachel stood & held the cover down. This Storm reminded Me of fonner Storms as the heaps of Sand indicated, which I considered as a timely warning not to build in this Place. So I selected a location a little further down the valley where the N.W. Winds would not have so faire a sweep…. [A year later in January 1873] The wind blew a Hurricane, unroofed the House & blew some of the lumber 100 yards. Turned cold & froze hard.”

More important always than the ferry business was the task of raising food in this hostile environment. First, last, and all the time was the problem of irrigation water. The Paria, normally a small, quiet stream, drained a wide area, and rain on its far reaches might bring a flash flood that would scoop out the dam and fill the ditches. The following entries reveal an oft-repeated pattern:

June 12, 1872 Now begins the Tug of war. A dam 8 foot deep & 7 rods long to make besides heavy repairs on the ditch, before water can be brought to revive the dyeing crops, vines & trees. However immediately we went to work…. I with my 4 little boys & what assistance Emma could render with a young babe at her Breast, we continued our exertions for 21 days, watering the fruit trees and some vines by hand & by the grace of God we finally conquered & brought out the water & began to revive our dying crop.

Just one month later, on July 20, Lee wrote:

On reaching the Dell I found that a much greater freshet than any of the season had been & swept a portion of my Dam away & f'dled up my eregating ditch some 2 feet deep with muck or clamy mudd. To remove this deposit out of the ditch was more than equeal to making a new ditch…. At the expiration of 10 more days labor we had the water out again.”

Each year it was the same, with such entries as "all hands on the dam," or "our energies were on the dam until we almost despaired of ever getting the water in time to save our trees and vines," being common.

Lee began to plant crops early in the spring of 1872, as reflected in his journal:

Mar. 1st, 1872. Warm fine day. I Ploughed & sowed a Patch of wheat & Luceme & for garden.

Mon. [Sat], Mar. 2nd, 1872. Planted onions, Parsnips, raddish, Lettice, Rhewbarb,

The fruits of their labors of the first year were realized:

Thurs., July 25th, 1872. Our energies were again directed towards My crops, strengthening & supporting our water-works, Ploughing out our corn, vines &c. After a series of hard labour, we are begning to enjoy the fruits of our labour daily as green corn, vegitable Marrow or summer squash, cucumbers, Beets, onions, raddish, & Beans & a few Mellons are in full blast. They were not only a Treat but a great blessing to us in Desert country.23

Extracts from letters written by John R. Young, pioneer of 1847, to his grandson, John A. Young, by whom they were submitted.

In September, 1865, Brigham Young visited St. George where I then lived. Just before he started on the return trip I got a program of the meetings to be held, so I could follow and attend.The one at Cedar City was held at 2 P. M. When I reached Cedar City the meeting was in session. Hitching my horses to the wagon so they could eat I slipped into the meeting and found a seat near the door. At the close of the meeting I passed out and lingered on the outer circle of the crowd. Uncle Brigham came out, paused at the door and looked to the south. Then he glanced hurriedly over the crowd and came direct to me and asked if I had time to take a walk with him. With joy I placed my hand in his. We walked to the street and then turned southward. Just as we came to the last house in Cedar we met John D. Lee. He had a blind bridle in his right hand. He changed it over to the left and reached out his hand to shake with uncle Brigham. But uncle refused to shake hands with him and said, "John, what made you lie to me about the Mountain Meadow Massacre?" Lee looked down to the ground. Uncle upbraided him and told him that he never wanted to see him again. Then he walked from Lee and I knew, if nobody else did, that John D. Lee had lied to Brigham Young about the Mountain Meadow difficulty.”

My brother-in-law, Samuel Knight, gathered the seventeen little helpless children into his wagon and cared for them until provision was made for their protection. George Adair and I were sleeping together near the bridge at Marysvale when Adair was arrested by deputy marshals and taken to Beaver and put in irons and treated cruelly for months trying to bribe him to testify falsely against Brigham Young. For years I was closely associated with Jacob Hamblin, Ira Hatch, and James Pearse who knew all about that unfortunate Mountain Meadow tragedy. Our historian, Orson F. Whitnev's statements about that most regrettable deed are correct. John D. Lee was the most active white agitator in that shameful butchery. He was justly punished. Beyond that the mantle of charity and forgetfulness should be dropped. It was in a day of nervous fearfulness, of a tremulous dread lest the cruel experiences of Missouri and Nauvoo would be visited again upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints.

John D. Lee and the Indians - The Deseret News, September 4, 1852

Parowan, Aug. 7 1852.

Dear Bro. Richards: A few days ago we had a visit from the Toquer Captain (or Black Chief), so called by the South Pah Eed Indians, with about thirty of his warriors. They were from the Santa Clara and Rio Virgin country, and wished to hold a council with me upon the subject of forming a settlement in their country. I was absent from Parowan at the time, which to them was quite a disappointment, but fortunately, though accidentally, I fell in with them on their return near Coal Creek. They met me with the greatest warmth of Indian friendship, they all recognized me on sight, and said that I had been in their country, and promised to settle there. They wished to know if I still intended to comply with my promises, and how soon; I replied, whenever the Big Captain told me to go, perhaps it would be within four moons. They expressed great anxiety to have us settle among them, so they could "manika" (work) for the Mormons, like the Pah Eeds at Parowan.The settlements at Parowan and Cedar City are in a flourishing condition; crops of almost every kind look well. The Iron company have labored under many disadvantages which are common in every new country, which has caused the work to move on slowly, yet the most of the brethren are determined never to cease their exertions until iron is made, and I believe they will accomplish it. The health of the saints is good in general. The spirit that led them to form this colony in the depth of winter, and that, too, under many adverse circumstances, is still here to unite the people together in their exertions to build up the Kingdom of God.

 

The natives in general are peaceable and well disposed, though some few are reckless and have need to be looked after. On Saturday, the 7th inst., one of those characters, a brother to Ow-wan-nop the Chief, came into my house in my absence, and was very saucy. Mrs. Lee bid him leave which he took as an insult, and instead of going out, struck her over her left eye with a piece of plank, leaving the skull bare about four inches. He struck her three blows, he then seized a stick about three inches over, and aimed the fatal blow, when she was rescued by bro. Wm. Barton, who caught the blow with one hand, and struck him two licks with the other hand, almost dislocating his neck; this ended the affray. It is but due to Mrs. Lee to say that she fought like a heroine to the last moment, although her face and clothes were bathed in crimson gore. This transaction caused a doleful sensation throughout the camp for a little season. This morning Ow-wan-nop, the chief, and a Pahvante chief, together with a few of there leading men met in council at my house. President Smith, Br. Steele, Br. Lunt, and myself told them through my boy, who was our interpreter, that we were not mad with all the Indians, but were not pleased with the Indian who had abused our squaws, and if they wanted to be our friends, they must bring and tie him to the liberty pole, and give him forty lashes, well put on, and we would then be satisfied for that and other offences which he had previously committed on other females. We sat in council about two hours, and fully explained our intentions and feelings towards them. They readily promised to comply with our proposition and be friendly. Accordingly, about sundown the two chiefs, with twenty two of their braves, marched the criminal to the spot appointed, armed with their bows and arrows. We told them that if they were our friends, they would leave their weapons at their camps as a token of their sincerity, they were disarmed in a moment, and two men were appointed to convey them without the Fort. The victim was then stripped and tied to the liberty pole, and with a raw hide lasso doubled five times, received thirty-eight lashes, pretty well tucked on. He was whipped by his own brother, the chief, who, while repeating the blows, said, "you would not hear, your ears were stopped up, but now I will open them so that they will always stay open." He then told him that if he attempted to shoot our cattle in retaliation, he would kill him. We told the chief to stop, that we were satisfied.

 

The pipe of friendship was then smoked, though previously a prayer was offered to the

Great Spirit by one of their chiefs, as an evidence of their innocence of the misdemeanor

alleged to one of their tribe. In return for their prompt compliance with our request, the chiefs were presented with a shirt each, and the braves with bread. A greater degree of fidelity in the performance of their promises was never before witnessed among any of the Indian tribes, and they set an example worthy to be followed by many of the more civilized and enlightened whites. With grateful feelings, I subscribe myself your friend and brother in the new and everlasting Covenant.

John D. Lee.

Excerpts From John D. Lee's Farewell Letter to His Family

Morning clear, still and pleasant, since my confinement here, I have reflected much over my sentence, and as the time of execution draws near I feel composed and as calm as a summer morning. I hope to meet my fate with manly courage. I declare my innocence. I have done nothing designedly wrong in that unfortunate and lamentable affair with which I have been implicated. Used my utmost endeavors to save them from their sad fate. I freely would have given worlds, were they at my command, to have averted that evil. I wept and mourned over them before and after, but words will not help them, now it is done. My blood cannot help them, neither can it make that atonement required. Death to me has no terror. It is but a struggle and all is over. I much regret to part with my loved ones here, especially under the odium of disgrace that will follow my name. That I cannot help. I know that I have a reward in Heaven, and my conscience does not accuse me. This to me is a great consolation. I place more value upon it than I would upon my eulogy without merit. If my work is done here upon earth, I ask God in Heaven in the name of his Son Jesus Christ, to receive my spirit, and allow me to meet my loved ones who have gone behind the veil. The bride of my youth and her faithful mother, my devoted friend and companion, N. A., also my dearly beloved children, all of whom I parted with sorrow, but shall meet with joy. I bid you all an affectionate farewell.

Be kind and true to each other. Do not contend about my property. You know my mind concerning it. Live faithful and humble before God that we may meet again in the mansions of bliss that God has prepared for his faithful servants. Remember the last words of your most true and devoted friend on earth, and let them sink deep into your tender aching hearts; many of you I may never see in this world again, but I leave my blessing with you. Farewell.” John D. Lee

John Doyal Lee at the time of his death at Mountain Meadows in 1877 had married 19 wives and had 64 children by them. He was, in spite of his involvement in the worst episode in Mormon history a true pioneer and a leader in the settlement of early Southern Utah.

Lee, John Doyle, 1812–1877

Autobiography:

MORMONISM UNVEILED: OR THE LIFE AND CONFESSIONS OF THE LATE MORMON BISHOP, JOHN D LEE: (WRITTEN BY HIMSELF) EMBRACING A HISTORY OF MORMONISM FROM ITS INCEPTION DOWN TO THE PRESENT TIME, WITH AN EXPOSITION OF THE SECRET HISTORY, SIGNS, SYMBOLS AND CRIMES OF THE MORMON CHURCH. ALSO THE TRUE HISTORY OF THE HORRIBLE BUTCHERY KNOWN AS THE MOUNTAIN MEADOWS MASSACRE.

Life of John D. Lee, 1812–47. Unfinished at time of Lee's execution, 1877. Considered it duty to write history of his life. Acted as his religion and Church leaders ordered him to. Viewed "pure" gospel as taught by Joseph Smith as having been corrupted by Brigham Young.

Born at Kaskaskia, Randolph County, Illinois, 1812. Parents Catholics. Father disappeared, 1820. Death of mother. Lived with contentious relatives. Mail carrier, 1828–29. Served in Black Hawk War, 1831. Worked in store at Galena. Married Agathe Ann Woolsey, 1833. Moved to Fayette County, Illinois, 1834. Heard Mormon sermon, 1837. Read Book of Mormon. Went to Far West, June 1838. Settled at Marrowbone (later Ambrosia). Baptized. Military organization, "the Host of Israel," 1838. Danites organized at same conference. Fight at Gallatin. Other fights with gentiles. Ordained seventy.

To Fayette, County, Illinois, February 1839. Mission with Levi Stewart, 1839. First preaching experience. Trading company with G. W. Hickerson, 1839–40. To Nauvoo, 1840. Dread of religious fanatics. Corporal in militia. Mission, 1841. Agent for Nauvoo Neighbor and collector for temple donations. Another mission to Tennessee, 1841–43. Trouble following baptism of woman without husband's permission. Joined Masons at Nauvoo. Librarian of the order. Nauvoo wharf master. Major in Legion. General clerk and recorder for seventies. Served on committee to build Seventies Hall. Mormon opposition to Joseph's attempts to introduce polygamy. Sealing doctrine introduced. Expositor. John C. Bennett cut off. Campaigned for Joseph Smith in Kentucky, 1844. Angel told him of death of Smiths and that Twelve should head Church.

Mission to build home for Joseph Young, 1844–45. Taught classes in use of broadsword. Murder of Hodges brothers linked to Brigham Young. Nauvoo police disposed of men dangerous to Church. Obligation to avenge blood of prophets. Law of adoption. Author's many plural marriages, 1845–46. Temple ordinances. Second anointing. Head clerk for temple. Second man adopted to Brigham Young. To lowa, 1846. Mentions Council of Fifty, organized winter 1843–44. Trip to Missouri to buy cattle and provisions. Accused of misconduct but acquitted. Sent west to bring back pay of Mormon Battalion, 1846. Store at Winter Quarters. ("I am not blind to my own faults. I have been a proud, vain man, and in my younger days I thought I was perfection.") Remained in East to raise corn while pioneers crossed plains, 1847. At Summer Quarters. Fist fight with Brother Kennedy. Almost cut off from Church by enemies.

Mission to build home for Joseph Young, 1844–45. Taught classes in use of broadsword. Murder of Hodges brothers linked to Brigham Young. Nauvoo police disposed of men dangerous to Church. Obligation to avenge blood of prophets. Law of adoption. Author's many plural marriages, 1845–46. Temple ordinances. Second anointing. Head clerk for temple. Second man adopted to Brigham Young. To lowa, 1846. Mentions Council of Fifty, organized winter 1843–44. Trip to Missouri to buy cattle and provisions. Accused of misconduct but acquitted. Sent west to bring back pay of Mormon Battalion, 1846. Store at Winter Quarters. ("I am not blind to my own faults. I have been a proud, vain man, and in my younger days I thought I was perfection.") Remained in East to raise corn while pioneers crossed plains, 1847. At Summer Quarters. Fist fight with Brother Kennedy. Almost cut off from Church by enemies.

Wrote a brief account of his life up to 1857. Iron County Mission, 1851. Located several Utah settlements. Moved to Harmony, 1852. To Cedar City, 1853. Back to Harmony. President of civil affairs there briefly. Interview with George A. Smith as to safety of emigrant trains passing through southern Utah, 1857. Massacre. Ordered to keep matter complete secret. Dame appeared at Meadows and denied having ordered massacre.

Orders arrived from Salt Lake to let train pass safely. Brigham Young had Lee write letter- placing blame on Indians. Enjoyed favor of Young for years after massacre. Sent to Arizona, 1870. Cut off from Church shortly thereafter. Eleven wives deserted him. Brief account of two trials, 1875, 1876. Accounts of killings of various Mormons and gentiles in 1850s. Recollection of how he first heard of polygamy at Nauvoo. Letter written to family just prior to execution.

Sources:

Account of arrest, trials and execution. Other editions appealed in 1878, 1880, 1881, 1882, and 1891. These contained the same text plus a fifteen-page "Life of Brigham Young." The words "complete life of Brigham Young" were added to title of work after 1878. 1880 edition was reprinted by Modern Microfilm, Salt Lake City, without title page or any of material added by earlier editors.

The first portion of the "Life" and selections from the "Confessions" were published in 1905 as The Mormon Menace, Being the confession of John Doyle Lee, Danite, An Official Assassin of the Mormon Church Under the Late Brigham Young, Introduction by Alfred Henry Lewis (New York: Home Protection Publishing Co., 1905), 368 pp.

Church Ordinance Data:

Source: Ansectry.com LDS Family History Suite 2 – CD disk.

Lee, John Doyle - Baptism Date: June 17, 183 7 Baptism, Date: 1838

Patriarchal Blessing Date: January 15, 1839-Officiator: Isaac Morley-Ordained Seventy,Date: June 19, 1839 Place: Far West, Caldwell, Missouri

Temple Ordinance Data: Lee, John Doyle - Baptism Date: May 9, 1961

Endowment Date: December 10, 1845 or December 11, 1845, Temple: Nauvoo, Hancock, IL,

Sealed to Parents-Date: May 6 1971-Temple: Idaho Falls, Bonneville, ID.

Sealed to Parents-Date: December 10, 1977-Temple: Provo, Utah, UT.

Sealed to Spouse Number 4, Date: January 14 1846, Temple: Nauvoo, Hancock,IL,

Sealed to Spouse Number 6 Date: January 14, 1846, Temple: Nauvoo, Hancock,IL,

Sealed to Spouse Number 13 Date: March 20, 1851 Sealed to Spouse Number 15 Date: March 20, 1857

Places of Residence: Lee, John Doyle - Nauvoo, Hancock, IL, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, UT, 1850

Mountain Meadows, 1857

Washington, UT 1860,1870

Vocations: Lee, John Doyle - Farmer; 1850, 1860, 1870, Mail carrier

Comments:

Lee, John Doyle, John labored in Tennessee.

John was prominent in early Church settlements.

John was appointed to fill a mission to Tennessee, at a conference held in Nauvoo, Illinois, October 7 1841.

John was a branch president.

John was a guard and clerk for Brigham Young. John was a member of the Nauvoo, Illinois Third Ward.

John went on a mission to Kentucky on May 28, 1844.

John's diary was unfinished at the time of his execution, 1877. Considered it duty to write history of his life. Acted as his religion and Church leaders ordered him to. Viewed "pure" gospel as taught by Joseph Smith as having been corrupted by Brigham Young.

John's parents were Catholics. Father disappeared, 1820. Death of mother. Lived with contentious relatives. Served in Black Hawk War, 183 1. Worked in store at Galena.

Moved to Fayette County, Illinois, 1834. Heard Mormon sermon, 1837. Read Book of Mormon.

Went to Far West, June 1838. Settled at Marrowbone (later Ambrosia). Baptized.

Military organization, "the Host of Israle," 1838. Danites organized at same conference.

Fight at Gallatin. Other fights with gentiles. To Fayette County, Illinois, February 1839. Mission with Levi Stewart, 183 9. First preaching experience.

Trading company with G. W. Hickerson, 1839-40. To Nauvoo, 1840. Dread of religious fanatics. Corporal in militia. Mission, 1841.

Agent for Nauvoo Neighbor and collector for temple donations. Another mission to Tennessee, 1841-43.

Trouble following baptism of woman without husband's permission. Joined Masons at Nauvoo. Librarian of the order. Nauvoo wharf master. Major in Legion.

General clerk and recorder for seventies.

Served on committee to build Seventies Hall.

Mormon opposition to Joseph's attempts to introduce polygamy. Sealing doctrine introduced. Expositor. John C. Bennett cut off.

Campaigned for Joseph Smith in Kentucky, 1844. Angel told him of death of Sn@ths and that Twelve should head Church.

Mission to build home for Joseph Young, 1844-45.

Taught classes in use of broadsword.

Murder of Hodges brothers linked to Brigham Young. Nauvoo police disposed of men dangerous to Church.

Obligation to avenge blood of prophets. Law of adoption. Author's many plural marriages, 1845-46.

Temple ordinances. Second anointing. Head clerk for temple. Second man adopted to Brigham Young.

To Iowa, 1846. Mentions Council of Fifty, organized winter 1843-44. Trip to Missouri to buy cattle and provisions. Accused of misconduct but acquitted.

Sent west to bring back pay of Mormon Battalion, 1846.

Store at Winter Quarters. ("I am not blind to my own faults. I have been a proud, vain man, and in my younger days I thought I was perfection.")

Remained in East to raise com while pioneers crossed plains, 1847. At Summer Quarters.

Fist fight with Brother Kennedy.

Almost cut off from Church by enemies.

Confession. Dictated to attorney, William W. Bishop, c. 1876-77. Requested that Bishop publish it after his death. Brief account of life up to 1857.

Iron County Mission, 185 1. Located several Utah settlements. Moved to Harmony, 1852. To Cedar City, 1853. Back to Harmony.

President of civil affairs there briefly.

Interview with George A. Smith as to safety of emigrant trains passing through southern Utah, 1857.

Massacre. Ordered to keep matter complete secret. Daine appeared at Meadows and denied having ordered massacre. Orders arrived from Salt Lake to let train pass safely. Brigham Young had Lee write placing blame on Indians. Enjoyed favor of Young for years after massacre.

Sent to Arizona, 1870. Cut off from Church shortly thereafter. Eleven wives deserted him.

Brief account of two trials, 1875, 1876. Accounts of killings of various Mortnons and gentiles in 1850s.

Recollection of how he first heard of polygamy at Nauvoo.

Letter written to family just prior to execution. Account of arrest, trials and execution. In 1850, John had a household of 14, a real wealth of $5500, and no personal wealth. In 1860, John had a real wealth of $40,000 and a personal wealth of $15,000. In 1870, John had a real wealth of $15,000 and a personal wealth of $300.

The following was copied from the GenForum Message board Internet site:

Posted by: Kris Molen - Date: June 28, 1999.

Re: Ralph Lee/Elizabeth Doyle m.1811in Illinois

I seem to be the only who has Elizabeth listed as Sarah Elizabeth Doyle. Anyone else show Sarah as her first name? I do have a history of John D. Lee, which appears to have been written by him, but typed up by someone at a later time. He states here that the last locale of his father Ralph was in Texas. Ralph was born in VA. He was of the family of Lees of Revolutionary fame and was a relative of Robert E. Lee. He was a carpenter in the city of Baltimore. Sarah Elizabeth was born in Nashville, TN. she was first married in 1799 to Oliver Reed who was murdered by a man named Jones, who also attempted to kill Sarah Elizabeth. John D. has a half sister, Elisa Virginia (this must be Elizabeth) who was severely wounded in this attack. She was just six months old. John D. states that the injuries to his mother affected her the rest of her life. The only full blooded sibling John states having is William Oliver Lee, who died at two years old. If you don't have this story, I will be happy to scan it to you since it is too large to post on this site. Both parents were Catholic. William Morrison and Louise Philips were John D.s Godparents. Ralph began to drink heavily when Sarah E. became ill.”

 

Lee, John Doyle, 1812-77; American religious leader

Doyle was born in the Illinois Territory, His mother died when he was three, and his father was an alcoholic. At seven he went to live with an uncle's family, and stayed with them until he was sixteen. In 1837 he and his wife were converted to the new Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons), and this soon became the driving force, in his life. They moved to a Mormon settlement in Missouri and he was drawn into the Danite Band, the Mormon self-defense militia, as well as being promoted within the church's religious system. From 1939 to 1944 he was a missionary, and then became a guard of the prophet Joseph Smith's home. Smith's martyrdom in 1844 strengthened Lee's commitment. He took another five wives following the 1843 promulgation of the doctrine of plural marriage, and was part of the flight to Winter Quarters and then to Utah. He played a major role in settling the Utah lands and in the process became a prosperous farmer and businessman, with church mining, milling and manufacturing enterprises under his direction. He was a local bishop and US Indian agent to the Paiute people. In 1857 the US government attempted to crush the growing economic and political power of the Mormons in Utah. Lee led a band of Mormon militia who ambushed and massacred 120 non-Mormon immigrants, suspecting them of anti-Mormon hostility - the Mountain Meadows Massacre, although Lee blamed the Paiute tribe. The next 20 years became increasingly difficult, as he lost the support of the church's leaders and his neighbors, and he was exiled and excommunicated by Brigham Young in 1870. Illness and bad weather also contributed to his decline, and in 1874 he was finally arrested for his part in the massacre. His first trial resulted in a hung jury, but he was convicted in the second, and he was executed at Mountain Meadows, still professing his innocence.

Lee was the second of 38 men sealed to Brigham Young in an early Mormon form of adult adoption. In turn, Lee had 18 or 19 such sealed sons, including George Laub (Lee), W.R. Owens (Lee), Miles Anderson (Lee), James Pace (Lee), Allen Weeks (Lee) and William Swap (Lee).

 

The Mountain Meadows massacre; Excerpts from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The Mountain Meadows massacre was a mass slaughter of the Fancher-Baker emigrant wagon train at Mountain Meadows, Utah Territory, by the local Mormon militia on September 11, 1857. It began as an attack, quickly turned into a siege, and eventually culminated in the execution of the unarmed emigrants after their surrender. All of the party except for seventeen children under eight years old—about 120 men, women, and children—were killed. After the massacre, the corpses of the victims were left decomposing for two years on the open plain, their children were distributed to local Mormon families, and many of their possessions auctioned off at the Latter Day Saint Cedar City tithing office.

The Arkansas emigrants were traveling to California shortly before the Utah War started. Mormon leaders had been mustering militia throughout Utah Territory to fight the United States Army, which was sent to Utah to restore US authority in the territory. The emigrants stopped to rest and regroup their approximately 800 head of cattle at Mountain Meadows, a valley within the Iron County Military District of the Nauvoo Legion (the popular designation for the Mormon militia of the Utah Territory).

Initially intending to orchestrate an Indian massacre, local militia leaders including Isaac C. Haight and John D. Lee conspired to lead militiamen disguised as Native Americans along with a contingent of Paiute tribesmen in an attack. The emigrants fought back and a siege ensued. When the Mormons discovered that they had been identified as the attacking force by the emigrants, Col. William H. Dame, head of the Iron County Brigade of the Utah militia, ordered their annihilation. Intending to leave no witnesses of Mormon complicity in the siege and also intending to prevent reprisals that would complicate the Utah War, militiamen induced the emigrants to surrender and give up their weapons. After escorting the emigrants out of their hasty fortification, the militiamen and their tribesmen auxiliaries executed the emigrants. Investigations, interrupted by the U.S. Civil War, resulted in nine indictments in 1874. Only John D. Lee was tried in a court of law, and after two trials, he was convicted. On March 23, 1877 a firing squad executed Lee at the massacre site.

Historians attribute the massacre to a combination of factors including war hysteria fueled by millennialism and strident Mormon teachings by top LDS leaders including Brigham Young. These teachings included doctrines about God's vengeance against those who had killed Mormon prophets, some of whom were from Arkansas. Scholars debate whether the massacre was caused by any direct involvement by Brigham Young, who was never officially charged and denied any wrongdoing. However, the predominant academic position is that Young and other church leaders helped provide the conditions which made the massacre possible.

In early 1857, several groups of emigrants from the northwestern Arkansas region started their trek to California, joining up on the way to form a group known as the Fancher-Baker party. The groups were mostly from Marion, Crawford, Carroll, and Johnson counties in Arkansas, and had assembled into a wagon train at Beller's Stand, south of Harrison, Arkansas to emigrate to southern California. This group was initially referred to as both the Baker train and the Perkins train, but after being joined by other Arkansas trains and making its way west, was soon called the Fancher train (or party) after "Colonel" Alexander Fancher who, having already made the journey to California twice before, had become its main leader.[ By contemporary standards the Fancher party was prosperous, carefully organized, and well-equipped for the journey.[ They were subsequently joined along the way by families and individuals from other states, including Missouri. This group was relatively wealthy, and planned to restock its supplies in Salt Lake City, as did most wagon trains at the time. The party reached Salt Lake City with about 120 members.

At the time of the Fanchers' arrival, the Utah Territory was organized as an ostensible theocratic democracy under the lead of Brigham Young, who had established colonies along the California Trail and Old Spanish Trail. The Fanchers chose to take the southern Old Spanish Trail, which passed through southern Utah. In August 1857, Mormon apostle George A. Smith, of Parowan, set out on a tour of southern Utah, instructing Mormons to stockpile grain. While on his return trip to Salt Lake City, Smith camped near the Fancher party on the 25th at Corn Creek, (near present-day Kanosh, Utah) 70 miles north of Parowan. They had traveled the 165 south from Salt Lake City and Jacob Hamblin suggested that the Fanchers stop and rest their cattle at Mountain Meadows which was adjacent to his homestead. Brevet Major Carleton's report records Jacob Hamblin's account that the train was alleged to have poisoned a spring near Corn Creek (near present-day Kanosh, Utah) that killed 18 head of cattle and resulted in the deaths of two or three people (including the son of Mr. Robinson) who ate the dead cattle. Most witnesses said that the Fanchers were in general a peaceful party whose members behaved well along the trail. Among Smith's party were a number of Paiute Indian chiefs from the Mountain Meadows area.

The Fancher party left Corn Creek and continued the 125 miles to Mountain Meadow, passing Parowan and Cedar City, southern Utah communities led respectively by Stake Presidents William H. Dame and Isaac C. Haight. Haight and Dame were, in addition, the senior regional military leaders of the Mormon militia. As the Fancher party approached, several meetings were held in Cedar City and nearby Parowan by local LDS ("Latter-Day Saints") leaders pondering how to implement Young's declaration of martial law. They decided, over the objections of some present, to "eliminate" the Fancher wagon train. Those who objected were placated with the promise of sending a rider, James Haslam, to Salt Lake City with a message to Brigham Young asking for confirmation of their decision.

The somewhat dispirited Fancher party found water and fresh grazing for its livestock after reaching grassy, mountain-ringed Mountain Meadows, a widely known stopover on the old Spanish Trail, in early September. They anticipated several days of rest and recuperation there before the next 40 miles would take them out of Utah. But, on September 7 the party was attacked by a group of Native American Paiutes and Mormon militiamen dressed as Native Americans.[ The Fancher party defended itself by encircling and lowering their wagons, wheels chained together, along with digging shallow trenches and throwing dirt both below and into the wagons, which made a strong barrier. Seven emigrants were killed during the opening attack and were buried somewhere within the wagon encirclement. Sixteen more were wounded. Nearly 12 hours after the attack was initiated, Haslam was sent to Salt Lake City to inform Brigham Young. The attack continued for five days, during which the besieged families had little or no access to fresh water or game food and their ammunition was depleted. Meanwhile, organization among the local Mormon leadership reportedly broke down.

On Friday, September 11, 1857, two Mormon militiamen approached the Fancher party wagons with a white flag and were soon followed by Indian agent and militia officer John D. Lee. Lee told the battle-weary emigrants that he had negotiated a truce with the Paiutes, whereby they could be escorted safely the 36 miles back to Cedar City under Mormon protection in exchange for turning all of their livestock and supplies over to the Native Americans. Accepting this, the emigrants were led out of their fortification. When a signal was given, the Mormon militiamen turned and executed the male members of the Fancher party standing by their side. According to Mormon sources, the militia let a group of Paiute Indians execute the women and children. The bodies of the dead were gathered and looted for valuables, and were then left in shallow graves or on the open ground. Members of the Mormon militia were sworn to secrecy. A plan was set to blame the massacre on the Indians. The militia did not kill 18 small children who were deemed too young to relate the story. These children were taken by local Mormon families. Seventeen of the children were later reclaimed by the U.S. Army and returned to relatives, while one (a girl) was not returned and lived out her life among the Mormons.

Leonard J. Arrington, an author, academic and the founder of the Mormon History Association and a devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, reports that Brigham Young received the rider at his office on the same day. When he learned what was contemplated by the members of the Mormon Church in Parowan and Cedar City, he sent back a letter that the Fancher party be allowed to pass through the territory unmolested. Young's letter supposedly arrived two days too late, on September 13, 1857.

Some of the property of the dead was reportedly taken by the Native Americans involved, while large amounts of cattle and personal property was taken by the Mormons in Southern Utah. John D. Lee took charge of the livestock and other property that had been collected at the Mormon settlement at Pinto. Some of the cattle was taken to Salt Lake City and traded for boots. Some reportedly remained in the hands of John D. Lee. The remaining personal property of the Fancher party was taken to the tithing house at Cedar City and auctioned off to local Mormons. Brigham Young, appalled at what had taken place, initially ordered an investigation into the massacre but in the end it must be acknowledged that through his own unwillingness to work with Federal authorities contributed both directly and indirectly to the blunder of justice, and was part of the reason two trials were necessary.

An early investigation was conducted by Brigham Young, who interviewed John D. Lee on September 29, 1857. In 1858, Young sent a report to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs stating that the massacre was the work of Native Americans. The Utah War delayed any investigation by the U.S. federal government until 1859, when Jacob Forney, and U.S. Army Brevet Major James Henry Carleton conducted investigations. In Carleton's investigation, at Mountain Meadows he found women's hair tangled in sage brush and the bones of children still in their mothers' arms. Carleton later said it was "a sight which can never be forgotten." After gathering up the skulls and bones of those who had died, Carleton's troops buried them and erected a cairn.

Carleton interviewed a few local Mormon settlers and Paiute Indian chiefs, and concluded that there was Mormon involvement in the massacre. He issued a report in May 1859, addressed to the U.S. Assistant Adjutant-General, setting forth his findings. Jacob Forney, Superintendent of Indian Affairs for Utah, also conducted an investigation that included visiting the region in the summer of 1859 and retrieved many of the surviving children of massacre victims who had been housed with Mormon families, and gathered them in preparation of transporting them to their relatives in Arkansas. Forney concluded that the Paiutes did not act alone and the massacre would not have occurred without the white settlers, while Carleton's report to the U.S. Congress called the mass killings a "heinous crime", blaming both local and senior church leaders for the massacre.

A federal judge brought into the territory after the Utah War, Judge John Cradlebaugh, in March 1859 convened a grand jury in Provo, Utah concerning the massacre, but the jury declined any indictments. Nevertheless, Cradlebaugh conducted a tour of the Mountain Meadows area with a military escort. Cradlebaugh attempted to arrest John D. Lee, Isaac Haight, and John Higbee, but these men fled before they could be found. Cradlebaugh publicly charged Brigham Young as an instigator to the massacre and therefore an "accessory before the fact."Possibly as a protective measure against the mistrusted federal court system, Mormon territorial probate court judge Elias Smith arrested Young under a territorial warrant, perhaps hoping to divert any trial of Young into a friendly Mormon territorial court. When no federal charges ensued, Young was apparently released.

Further investigations, cut short by the American Civil War in 1861, again proceeded in 1871 when prosecutors obtained the affidavit of militia member Phillip Klingensmith. Klingensmith had been a bishop and blacksmith from Cedar City; by the 1870s, however, he had left the church and moved to Nevada.

During the 1870s Lee, Dame, Philip Klingensmith and two others (Ellott Willden and George Adair, Jr.) were indicted and arrested while warrants were obtained to pursue the arrests of four others (Haight, Higbee, William C. Stewart and Samuel Jukes) who had successfully gone into hiding. Klingensmith escaped prosecution by agreeing to testify.

Brigham Young removed some participants including Haight and Lee from the LDS church in 1870. The U.S. posted bounties of $500 each for the capture of Haight, Higbee and Stewart while prosecutors chose not to pursue their cases against Dame, Willden and Adair.

Lee's first trial began on July 23, 1875 in Beaver, Utah before a jury of eight Mormons and four non-Mormons. This trial led to a hung jury on August 5, 1875. Lee's second trial began September 13, 1876, before an all-Mormon jury. The prosecution called Daniel Wells, Laban Morrill, Joel White, Samuel Knight, Samuel McMurdy, Nephi Johnson, and Jacob Hamblin. Lee also stipulated, against advice of counsel, that the prosecution be allowed to re-use the depositions of Young and Smith from the previous trial. Lee called no witnesses in his defense. This time, Lee was convicted.

At his sentencing, as required by Utah Territory statute, he was given the option of being hung, shot, or beheaded, and he chose to be shot. In 1877, before being executed by firing squad at Mountain Meadows (a fate Young believed just, but not a sufficient blood atonement, given the enormity of the crime, to get him into the celestial kingdom). Lee himself professed that he was a scapegoat for others involved.

 

The Capture of JOHN D. LEE 1874-1875

This article is written in the style of an historical novel. The details are based on U.S. Deputy Marshal William Stokes’ description of events leading to the arrest of JDL, appearing in chapter XX of the book Mormonism Unveiled. (An extended version was published in the March 1992 issue of the Cactus Flat Lee Quarterly). Panguitch is the place where John D. Lee was taken into custody by Marshal Stokes in the year 1874. Those attending the reunion will have the opportunity of visiting the general area where this occurred.. Camp Cameron, where he was subsequently held prisoner, is located adjacent to the town of Beaver. Lee was tried twice, both times in Beaver (1875-1876) for his participation in the Mountain Meadows massacre.

This story begins in the United States District Court at Beaver City, Utah Territory with The Honorable Jacob S. Boreman presiding

SPECULATIONS OF THE U. S. MARSHAL

Marshal Stokes, assistant U.S. Marshal for the territory of Utah, escorted his prisoner to the table occupied by the attorneys for the defense and saw that he was properly seated. He then found a chair nearby for himself and sat down. Casually crossing his legs, he settled in comfortably and let his gaze range impassively around the crowded hall.

Every citizen of Beaver must be here today he thought, and some from settlements as far away as Washington County, a hundred miles south. Those unable to make their way into the hot crowded courtroom, he noted, were gathered in the doorway and down the stairs into the sun-baked yard surrounding the two story building where the trial was being held.

This was Wednesday, July 23, 1875, the opening day of the trial of John D. Lee, charged as accessory in the murder of 120 men, women and children at Mountain Meadows, Utah more than 18 years before. Managing to capture him had, surprisingly enough, proved easier than bringing him to trial. The trial had been delayed several times because the U. S. District Attorney was unable to gather information enough to prosecute. More than nine months had elapsed since his capture; Judge Boreman would be compelled to discharge him if he could not be brought before the bar soon.

Marshall Stokes recalled the day that he brought the prisoner into Beaver City from his capture at Panguitch; it was the 10th of November of the previous year. The citizens of Beaver had been astonished at the news of his arrest. It seemed the entire population was aroused as word spread among them. Feelings of disbelief and incredulity brought on by this unlikely turn of events continued for the first few weeks of his confinement, with everyone speculating about his fate. But then things had settled down and Lee proved to be a model prisoner.

THE ASSIGNMENT

When Stokes had received the indictment and order to apprehend John D. Lee, his superior, General George R. Maxwell, U.S. Marshal for the Utah District, told him that he would probably have to ride down to the Colorado River to find him. Stokes had responded that he didn’t look forward to such an eventuality, but if it proved necessary he assured Maxwell, he would make the 200 mile journey. Before parting, Marshall Maxwell expressed doubts that Lee could ever be brought in alive. It took Stokes a month and a half to make the arrest and bring the prisoner back to Beaver, alive and well.

THE SEARCH

Stokes set out alone in this assignment from Beaver, where he lived, going south. He was headed for the Colorado River. While passing through Parowan he learned that Lee was not at the Colorado at all, but had lately been seen here in the settlements over at Harmony. With this information, he continued on toward Cedar City, developing a plan of apprehension and capture of the fugitive. If Lee was still in the area he would get him.

As he traveled southward toward Harmony, via Cedar City and Fort Hamilton, he met Thomas Winn, whom apparently he knew and who had assisted Stokes in other law enforcement assignments. When he told Winn of the indictment and orders to capture John D. Lee, Winn told Stokes in no uncertain terms, that such a task was impractical for it had been reported that Lee was heavily armed and traveling with several of his sons. It was madness to think that he alone or even the two of them could apprehend and arrest Lee under such circumstances. Disregarding such talk, Stokes put Winn on the federal payroll and swore him in as a deputy. He then instructed him to head for Iron City, form up a posse of six or eight men and meet him at Harmony. Stokes continued on toward Fort Hamilton.

Here he discovered that Lee, with a seven day lead, had started back to Arizona by way of Toquerville. He immediately turned around, to retrace his steps north, found Winn and canceled his order organizing a posse. On a hunch he told him to take Frank Fish, who lived nearby, and go over to the Sevier River to see if Lee had gone on to Panguitch. He knew that some of Lee’s family had a place in the little mountain town where he would likely visit them before heading back to the river, And there too, he would be able to pick up additional supplies. He made arrangements to meet Winn and Fish in two days at Parowan.

He started for the rendezvous early Saturday morning. Several hours later, he found Winn and Fish as they came riding out of Little Creek Canyon above Parowan. Winn, with no prefatory remarks, immediately reported the spine-tingling message, “Your man is there”, meaning that Lee was at Panguitch.

Now he would have to move fast. Winn reported that Lee had already laid in his supplies and was preparing to depart for the ferry. Stokes immediately ordered Fish back to Panguitch instructing him to keep Lee under surveillance until a posse he would lead, would arrive the next morning. The plan was simple, they would meet Fish at Panguitch; he would guide them to their quarry; the arrest would be made and they would be on their way out of town before anyone could take any retaliatory action. This might be easier than he expected, thought Stokes. After sending Fish on his way, the marshal had gotten busy and hired more deputies; Thomas LeFever, Samuel G. Rodgers and David Evans. Counting Winn, Fish and himself, there would be six of them.

Later, riding in the darkness of night up the trail toward Panguitch, the posse halted three miles outside town. The plan was to wait there until sunup when Fish was to come into camp and notify them of the whereabouts of Mr. Lee. At that point they would ride into town and make the arrest. While they thus lingered, the early morning temperature dipped below the freezing mark. As tired as they must have been, It was impossible to get any rest on the frozen ground. They had no bedrolls with them and it was miserably cold standing immobile in the frigid mountain air. Stokes refused to allow a fire for fear that Lee would be alerted and skip out ahead of them. All they could do was remain there, off the road in a clump of box elder trees, occasionally stamping their feet and flailing their arms in an attempt to generate a little heat in their icy limbs.

Finally, unable to endure the cold longer, Stokes decided they should go in ahead of schedule. They would try to catch the citizenry off guard by riding into town with as much spirit and boldness as they could muster, thereby gaining time to meet with Fish, discover the fugitive’s whereabouts and make the arrest. Hopefully Fish would be there to lead the way. It would be unthinkable that any of the Mormons would voluntarily came forward with a report of Lee’s location.

It took an hour to reach the outskirts of Panguitch. They found a place from which they had a good view of town and commenced watching for Fish. The deep shadows of early morning had by this time given way to the silvery rim of the morning sun as it slowly poked upward over the eastern hills, revealing a few whisps of pinkish tinged high cirrus clouds in an otherwise pleasant but cold wintery day. Shortly, faint sounds of the awakening community could be heard as its inhabitants performed early morning chores. An isolated muffled voice carried by the thin mountain air drifted occasionally to their ears and the faint aroma of pungent-burning pine logs to their near frozen olfactory senses, as smoke wafted almost vertically from chimneys into the cold clear calm of the morning.

But their man was nowhere to be seen. They themselves would be discovered, Stokes realized, if they didn’t soon make their move. “Get on in there Evans,” he finally ordered David Evans “and see if you can find Fish and bring him back here.” As Evans departed, one of the remaining men murmured, “Maybe Fish has been captured and blood atoned”, an expression describing the ritual by which Mormons were accused of putting away their enemies. “Fish will be alright” Stokes replied evenly, trying to make his voice sound positive and to mask his own feelings of apprehension.

At length, when Evans did not return, they could wait no longer. Stokes ordered them to mount up; complaining as they did so, they could now feel the stiffness in their bodies from a night of freezing immobility and lack of rest. One of them swore softly as he settled into the saddle. Another with grumbling stomach longed for the pungent bite of a steaming cup of hot black coffee.

THE CAPTURE

They entered the town with as much bravado as they could muster and finally located the whereabouts of Mr. Lee. He had secluded himself in a shed behind his daughter’s house, where, after a tense encounter, he was eventually apprehended. In the course of conversing with them Lee realized the marshal and his men hadn’t eaten for more than twelve hours. He excused himself for being so thoughtless, and typical of his character, he graciously provided breakfast for all six of them. Stokes writes that during its preparation he sent one of his men to purchase some liquid libation. Wine was procured; from which the marshal says he took a pitcher into the house to Lee’s family. They all took a drink and even toasted the event with words by one of the Lee daughters: “Here is hoping that father will get away from you, and that if he does, you will not catch him til’ hell freezes over.”

During breakfast, Lee told Stokes he thought he could get a fair trial and assured him that neither he nor his family would make any trouble during the trip back to Beaver. “And”, Stokes reported, “the old gentleman was as good as his word; even rented his wagon to me so that I could transport him back to Beaver.” His wife Rachel who had traveled with him on his trip from the ferry, prepared some food to take along, and some blankets so they would be relatively comfortable during the journey. Since then thought Stokes, he’s been a model prisoner; has never tried to escape…even assisted the guards to carry out their instructions from the officers.”

While thus deliberating on Lee’s capture, Stokes’ was brought abruptly to the present as the U.S. District Attorney, William C. Carey, carrying a bulging calfskin valise, entered the courtroom, with his assistant lawyer Robert W. Baskin

trailing behind. The prisoner would finally receive his day in court.

PHYSICAL APPEARANCE OF THE PRISONER

A week after his arrest, a description of the famous prisoner appeared in the Salt Lake Herald:

His general appearance is that of a good natured agreeable old gentleman. He said he was sad today, yet when cheered up by a pleasant remark, his eyes shown with a laughing twinkle and his mouth evidenced an amiable smile. His teeth are full and perfect, above and below; he talks with ease and smoothness; his voice is mild and even musical; and he is an amiable conversationalist, nothing of the stern, fierce, selfish and cruel look about him that I expected. But, on the contrary, he seems like a good natured, kind-hearted, easy going, pleasant spoken old Pennsylvania farmer.

Lee was captured in Panguitch November 7, 1874.

John D. Lee’s first trial commenced July 23, 1875.

Panguitch, Utah information:

In March 1864 fifty-four pioneer families led by Jens Neilson arrived the area from Parowan and other settlements. They came over much the same route followed later by Highway 20. A fort was built on the present school square. Cabins were built around the perimeter, pens and corrals were included for cattle, horses, and sheep. Land was soon cleared and irrigation ditches and canals were surveyed and dug. However, crops planted the first year failed to mature; the settlers gathered and ate frozen wheat.

During the first winter, supplies ran out. Seven men were sent to Parowan for grain. They drove teams as far as the base of the mountain, then proceeded on foot. The snow was deep, and the men sank and could not walk. One man accidentally dropped his quilt on the ground and found that it supported him. All seven men formed a line, laying their quilts on the snow and then walking across the quilts. This procedure was repeated all the way across the mountain, and the trek became known as the quilt walk. Parowan pioneers came to meet the men, who were fed, sheltered, and given grain. The men and food were taken as close to Panguitch as possible, but the grain still had to be carried across the mountain to the waiting teams. A happy welcome greeted the successful adventurers.

On 10 April 1865 three men were killed by Indians in Sanpete County—hostilities which started the Black Hawk War. The Panguitch community was advised to leave, and the town was abandoned in May 1866. Residents left their homes and crops and sought safety in Parowan and other communities.

In 1870 Brigham Young made a trip through the Panguitch valley and decided it was time to resettle.

Lee’s Diary Sept 3, 1870, “From Red Creek to Panquitch on the Severe, dis.38 ms., was almost a Meadow of Rich luxurant feed for Summer Range. The altitude being too Great for winter. At the distance of 27 ms. I nooned. MaJ. Powel Joined Me (so also did J. Hamblin & others) in Eating a Pare of Baked chickings. Prest. & Party drove to Panquich for the Night, where a large setlement had been abandoned & broken up on account of the Indians. “

Lee’s Diary July, 1871, “...Bob Smith bought of him a Botle of Red Jacket Bitters, then rode to panequich Lake. Reached about 2 hours after dark. No Person lived here, but some Indians were encamped at a distance. I raised a whoop & soon some 1/2 Doz. or more were on the ground. When they heard My Name (Yawgawts) which means a Man of tender passions, More Sympathy than anger, esay to weep. Although it was in July the water froze in streams & around the edge of the Lake. I told them that we were cold & hungry & Go & get some fire wood & a Pan to cook them in. In less than 15 Minets our request was granted with a good fire, wood a Plenty & about a Dozen fine Trout, Saying that I often fed them when they were hungry; now they were glad to have it in their Power to do Me a kindness. ...More gratitude I seldom found even amoung the Saints; for Many of them that has Eat & been Made comfortable at my table when I have chancd to fall their way, but few of them ever think that I need refreshments, but walk away to their Houses & leve Me in the streets, to seek shelter elsewhere. We soon were enJoying our delicious Mountain Trout which we fried in Bacon Greese.

Lee’s Diary July 12, 1871, “By day light Some 20 Native were on the ground with Strings of Trout to trade. Having some Notions to exchange, by 10 A.M. we had as Many Trout as we could pack on our 3 horses, cleaned & dressed in order, & a gallon of Fish Eggs to supply My intended Fish Pond at My Ranch in Skutumpah & some 1/2 gallon More & Nothing to put them in save the Bottele of Red Jacket bitters & what to do with them was the question. We all three took a drink arround, the balance I divided amoung the Natives for cleaning our Fish.”

Brigham Young called George W. Sevy, a resident of Harmony, to gather a company and resettle Panguitch.

The following notice appeared in the Deseret News in early 1871: “All those who wish to go with me to resettle Panquitch Valley, will meet me at Red Creek on the 4th day of March, 1871 and we will go over the mountain in company to settle that country.”

The company arrived 18 or 19 March, found no snow on the ground, the dwellings and clearings unmolested, and even the crops of earlier settlers still standing.

The settlers first moved into the fort. Progress later brought a gristmill, sawmills, a shingle mill, post office, tannery, shoe shop, lime and brick kilns, a hotel, and a co-op store. The meetinghouse built in the fort continued to be used as a school and for church services. An early organization of the United Order was formed; however, it lasted only about two years and was dissolved.

Lee’s Diary Aug 30, 1872, “...Reached Panquich setlement about 4 P.M. Was greeted by Many of My children, relations & friends. Put up with My Son Jno. Alma, who Met Me with open arms of embrace & wept like a child. The Evening we passed off agreeably.”

Lee’s Diary Sept 21, 1872, “Drove to Panquich & concluded to lay over till Jno. R. would come up with Mules. Drove 19 Miles up to the Fish Lake parly to visit with two of My Daughters & Family, M. H. Darrow & Wm. Prince, & partly to catch some fish in the lake. ...Had quite a visit; caught some 300 trout.

John D Lee wrote the only eyewitness account of the massacre at Mountain Meadows. Yet his account is most often left out or relegated to a minor section in any reporting of the event. Here then is his own account of the event.

In the confession of Lee left to be published after his death, Lee gives the following description of his efforts to save the emigrants:

"After the first attack on the train had started the emigrants hoisted the white flag in the midst of their corral. Friday afternoon four wagons drove up with armed men. When they saw the white flag in the corral they raised one also, but drove where we were and took refreshments, after which a council meeting was called by President Bishop and other church officers and members of the high council, societies, high priests, etc. Major John M. Higbee presided as chairman. Several of the dignitaries bowed in prayer and invoked the aid of the Holy Spirit to prepare their minds and guide them to do right and carry out the councils of their leader Higbee. President I. C. Haight had been to Parowan to confer with Colonel Dame and their counsel and orders were that this emigrant camp must be used up.

I replied, "Men, women and children?" "All," said he, "except such as are too young to tell tales and if the Indians cannot do it without help we must help them."

I commenced pleading for the company and I said though some of them have behaved badly they have been pretty well chastised. My policy would be to draw off the Indians, let them have a portion of the loose cattle and withdraw with them under a promise that they would not molest the company and more; that the company would then have teams enough left to take them to California. I told them that this course could not bring them into trouble.

Higbee said, "The white men have interposed and the emigrants know it, and there lies the danger in letting them go."

Ira Allen, a high counselor, and Robert Wiley and others spoke, reproving me sharply for trying to dictate to the priesthood; that it would set at naught all authority; that he would not give the life of one of our brethren for a thousand such persons. "If we let them go," he continued, "they will raise hell in California, and the result will be that our wives and children will have to be butchered, and ourselves, too, and they are no better to die than ours, as he has always been considered one of the staunchest in the church. Now he is the first to shirk from duty."

I said: "Brethern, the Lord must harden my heart before I can do such a thing." Allen said: "It is not wicked to obey counsel." At this juncture I withdrew, walked off some fifty paces and prostrating myself on the ground, wept in bitter anguish of my soul and asked the Lord to avert that evil.

While in that situation, Councellor C. Hopkins, a near fiend of mine, came to me and said: "Brother Lee, come, get up and don't draw off from the priesthood. You ought not to do so. You are only endangering your own life by standing out. You can't help it. It this is wrong the blame won't rest on you."

I said, "Charley, this is the worst move our people ever made. I feel it." He said, "Come, go back and let them have their way." I went back, weeping like a child, and tried to be silent, and was until Higbee said the emigrants must be decoyed out through pretended friendship. I could no longer hold my peace, and said, Joseph Smith said that god hated a traitor and so do I. Before I would be a traitor I would rather take ten men and go to that camp and tell them they must die, and to defend themselves, and give them a show for their lives. That would be more honorable than to betray them like Judas.

Here I got another reproof and I was ordered to hold my peace, it having been agreed upon to decoy them out under a flag of truce. Higbee called me out to go and inform them of the conditions and if accepted, Dan McFarland, brother to John McFarland, a lawyer who acted as aid de campe would bring back word and then tow wagons would be sent for the firearms, children, clothing, etc.

I obeyed and the terms proposed were accepted, but not without distrust. I had as little to say as possible. In fact my tongue refused to perform it's office. I sat down on the ground in the corral near where some men were engaged in paying the last respects to some person who had just died of a wound. A large fleshy old lady come to me twice and talked while I sat there. She related their troubles and said that seven of their number were killed and forty-seven were wounded in the first attack, and that several had died since. When all was ready Samuel McMurdy, counselor to Bishop P. K. smith and Klingen Smith drove out on the lead. His wagon had seventeen children, clothing and arms. Samuel Knight drove the other team with five wounded men and one boy about fifteen years old. I walked behind in the front wagon to direct the course and to shun being in the heat of the slaughter, but this I kept to myself.

When we got turned fairly to the east I motioned to Mc Murdy to steer north across the valley. I at the same time told the women who were next to the wagon to follow the road up to the troops, which they did. Instead of saying to McMurdy not to drive so fast as he swore on my trial, I said to the contrary, to drive on, as my aim was to get out of sight before the firing commenced, which we did. We were about half a mile ahead of the company when we heard the first firing. We had driven over a ridge of rolling ground and down on the low flat. The firing was simultaneous along the whole line.

The moment the firing commenced, McMurdy halted and tied his lines across the rod of the wagon box, stepped down, cooly with a double-barreled shot gun, walked back to knight's wagon which contained the wounded men, and was about twenty feet in the rear. As he raised his piece he said, "Lord, my God, receive their spirits, for it is for the kingdom of heaven's sake that we do this." He fired and killed tow men. Samuel Knight had a muzzle-loading rifle and he shot and killed the three men, and then struck the wounded boy on the head, who fell dead.

In the meantime, I drew a fives hooter from my belt, which accidentally went off, cutting across McMurdy's buckskin pants in front. McMurdy said: "Brother Lee, you are excited. Take things cool. You were near killing me. Look where the ball cut."

At this moment I heard the scream of a child. I looked up and saw and Indian have a little boy by the hair of the head dragging him out of the hid end of the wagon with a knife in his hand getting ready to cut his throat. I sprang for the Indian with my revolver in one hand and shouted, "Arick ooman cot too scoet." (stop you fool) The child was terror stricken, his chin was bleeding. I supposed it was the cut of a knife and afterwards learned that it was done on he wagon box as the Indian yanked the boy down by the hair of the head.

I had no sooner rescued this child than another Indian seized a little girl by the hair. I rescued her. As soon as I could speak, I told the Indians they must not hurt the children, that I would die before they should be hurt, that we would buy the children of them. Before this time the Indians had rushed up around the wagon in quest of blood and dispatched the two runaway wounded men.

In justice to my statement I would say that if my shooter had not prematurely exploded I would have had a hand in dispatching the five wounded men. I had lost control of myself and scarce knew what I was about. I saw and Indian pursue a little girl, who was fleeing. He caught her about 100 feet from the wagon and plunged his knife through her. I said to McMurdy that he had better drive the children to Hamblin's ranch and give them some nourishment.?

JOHN D. LEE was executed on Mountain Meadows, Washington County, Utah Territory, at the scene of the massacre, on the 28d day of March, 1877.
 
 
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Last Words:

As to the reasons which prompted him to act as he did during his life time, we have nothing to say. Judging from his Life and Confessions, and our personal acquaintance with him, we believe him to have been an honest man, but so blinded by religious fanaticism and faith in his corrupt Church leaders, that his moral vision was perverted, and he committed crimes under the orders of his superiors, believing that he was doing right and working for the glory of God. It appears from his writings that he was used by Joe Smith, Brigham Young and other Mormon leaders, from the time that he became a member of the Church, as a tool to perform their dirty work, and when he was worn out and could no longer be of any service to them, they sacrificed him with as little compunction of conscience as a carpenter would throwaway an old worn out saw or chisel.

The only wonder is that Lee, who was an intelligent man, would allow himself to be so often and so grossly deceived, and still repose confidence in his leaders. The answer to this is, that he had the utmost faith - a fanatical faith - in the truth of the Mormon religion, and believed that no other doctrine would enable him to attain immortality and future happiness. In addition to this, he had married a number of wives, who had borne him children, for all of whom he seems to have entertained a warm, fatherly affection; and if he had left the Mormon Church the law would have compelled him to give up all his wives except the first one, and his children would have been branded as bastards. His life, too, would have been in danger from his former associates, as he says himself, and they would either have "blood atoned" him or reported his crimes to the civil authorities and secured his conviction.

All these reasons kept him in the Church, and while there he felt that it was his duty, to himself, his family, and his God, to obey his rulers and those who were in authority over him.

The rulers of the Mormon Church teach their deluded followers that they are inspired men; that they act by direct authority from God, and that disobedience to their orders is rebellion against God. They also teach that those who carry out their orders in the commission of murders and other crimes, are only instruments to perform the will of God, and are not responsible for the sins which they commit in obeying the orders of their inspired rulers.

It is hard to believe that people. of any intelligence whatever, could be so shamefully deceived, but when men and women are thoroughly imbued with religious fanaticism, they are capable of believing or doing almost anything, provided it is sanctioned by a "thus sayeth the Lord" from the lips of some "holy" man or prophet, pretending to have his authority from revelation. Christianity itself furnished too many sickening examples of this kind a few centuries ago.

Thus John D. Lee was led on, step by step, from one crime to another, until his leaders had made all the use of him they could, and then they sacrificed him to a felon's death, in order to save themselves and cover up the sins of the Church.

On Wednesday preceding the day fixed upon for the execution, the guard having Lee in charge started from Beaver City, where Lee had been imprisoned, for Mountain Meadows, where it had been decided to carry the sentence into execution.

The party consisted of United States Marshal, William Nelson, a military guard, the prisoner, District Attorney Howard, a few newspaper correspondents, and about twenty private citizens.

The authorities had received information that an attempt to rescue Lee would be made by his sons and a body of his personal friends, and precautions were taken to prevent the success of any such attempt. The place of execution was kept a profound secret, except with the Marshal and a few trusted friends, and a strong guard was procured. Lee either knew nothing about the intended attempt at rescue, or else he placed no confidence in it, for he uttered no word or expression to indicate that he had any hope. He was cheerful and resigned to his fate, and seemed to have but little dread of death

The party reached Mountain Meadows about ten o'clock Friday morning, and after the camp had been arranged, Lee pointed out the various places of interest connected with the massacre, and recapitulated the horrors of that event.

A more dreary scene than the present appearance of Mountain Meadows cannot be imagined. The curse of God seems to have fallen upon it, and scorched and withered the luxuriant grass and herbage that covered the ground twenty years ago. The Meadows have been trans formed from a fertile valley into an arid and barren plain, and the superstitious Mormons assert that the ghosts of the murdered emigrants meet nightly at the scene of their slaughter and re-enact in pantomime the horrors of their massacre.

The ground is cut up into deep gullies, and the surface to covered with sage brush and scrub oak. Meadows Spring, where the emigrants were encamped when they were first attacked, is situated at the lower part of the plain. At the time of the massacre this spring was on a level with the surrounding country, but it has since been washed out until it forms a terrible gulch some twenty feet in depth and eight or ten rods wide.

About thirteen years ago, Lieutenant Price and a party of soldiers collected all the bones of the murdered emigrants that could be found on the field, and erected a monument of loose stones over them, on the banks of this ravine. The monument is about three feet high, oblong in shape, and some twenty feet in length. Many of the stones of which it was composed have fallen into the ravine, and the monument is in keeping with its surroundings - dreary, desolate and decaying. The curse rests upon the whole landscape. The Marshal's party removed some of the loose stones down to the level of the earth, but no trace of bones or human remains could be found. Decay and desolation mark everything. The accompanying illustration, engraved from a photograph taken a few minutes before Lee's execution, gives a correct view of the present appearance of the Meadows.

To this dreary spot, the scene of one of the most revolting crimes that ever disgraced humanity, John D. Lee had been conveyed to bid farewell to life and be suddenly hurled into the unknown realities of eternity. His sentence, doubtless, was just, but if so, what ought to be the fate of the men who counseled and commanded him to do what he did? Among the number Brigham Young stands head and foremost, by reason of his position, and if the curse which rests upon the scene of the butchery does not follow him with the horrors of the damned fate is unjust. He proved himself a traitor to his faithful friend and slave, as well as a murderer at heart, and as sure as there is a God in Heaven just so sure will be the curse of that crime come home to him. If the law should fail to reach him with its retributions. the ghost of John D. Lee will haunt his lecherous pillow and scorch his sleepless brain with visions of everlasting woe.

As the party came to a halt at the scene of the massacre, sentinels were posted on the surrounding hills, to prevent a surprise, and preparations for the execution were at once begun.

The wagons were placed in a line near the monument, and over the wheels of one of them army blankets were drawn, to serve as a screen or ambush for the firing party. The purpose of this concealment was to prevent the men composing the firing party from being seen by anyone, there being a reasonable fear that some of Lee's relatives or friends might wreak vengeance upon his executioners. The rough pine boards for the coffin were next unloaded from a wagon, and the carpenters began to nail them together. Meanwhile Lee sat some distance away, with Marshal Nelson, and quietly observed the operations going on around him. The civilians, and those specially invited as witnesses, were allowed to come within the military enclosure, but all others were required to station themselves at a considerable distance to the east of the ravine.

At 10:35, all the arrangements having been completed, Marshal Nelson began to read the order of the court, and at its conclusion he turned to Lee and said:

"Mr. Lee, if you have anything to say before the order of the court is carried into effect, you can now do so."

Lee replied:

"I wish to speak to that man," pointing to the photographer (James Fennemore), who was adjusting his camera near by, preparatory to taking the group of which Lee was the central figure. "Come over here," said Lee, beckoning with his hand.

"In a second, Mr. Lee," replied Mr. Fennemore, but it was more than a minute before he could comply with the request. Lee, observing that the artist was occupied with his camera, said:

I want to ask a favor of you; I want you to furnish my three wives each a copy," meaning the photograph about to be taken. "Send them to Rachel A., Sarah c., and Emma B."

Hon. Sumner Howard, who was standing by the side of the instrument, responded for the artist, whose head at the moment was covered by the hood as he was adjusting the camera: "He says he will do it, Mr. Lee."

Lee then repeated the names of his three wives carefully, saying to the artist, who had just approached him,

"Please forward them - you will do this?"

Mr. Fennemore responded affirmatively, at the same time shaking Lee by the hand.

Lee then seemed to pose himself involuntarily, and the picture was taken.

He then arose from his coffin, where he had been seated, and, looking calmly around at the soldiers and spectators, said, in an even and unexcited tone of voice:

LAST WORDS OF JOHN D. LEE

"I have but little to say this morning. Of course I feel that I am upon the brink of eternity; and the solemnities of eternity should rest upon my mind at the present. I have made out - or have endeavored to do so - a manuscript, abridging the history of my life. This is to be published. In it I have given my views and feelings with regard to all these things.

"I feel resigned to my fate. I feel as calm as a summer morn, and I have done nothing intentionally wrong. My conscience is clear before God and man. I am ready to meet my Redeemer and those that have gone before me, behind the veil.

"I am not an infidel. I have not denied God and his mercies.

"I am a strong believer in these things. Most I regret is parting with my family; many of them are unprotected and will be left fatherless." (Here he rested two or three seconds.) "When I speak of these things they touch a tender chord within me." (Here his voice faltered perceptibly.) "I declare my innocence of ever doing anything designedly wrong in all this affair. I used my utmost endeavors to save these people.

"I would have given worlds, were they at my command, if I could have averted that calamity, but I could not do it. It went on.

"It seems I have to be made a victim - a victim must be had, and I am the victim. I am sacrificed to satisfy the feelings - the vindictive feelings, or in other words, am used to gratify parties.

"I am ready to die. I trust in God. I have no fear. Death has no terror. "Not a particle of mercy have I asked of the court, the world, or officials to spare my life.

"I do not fear death, I shall never go to a worse place than I am now.

"I have said it to my family, and I will say it today, that the Government of the United States sacrifices their best friend. That is say­ing a great deal, but it is true - it is so.

"I am a true believer in the gospel of Jesus Christ, I do not believe everything that is now being taught and practiced by Brigham Young. I do not care who hears it. It is my last word - it is so. I believe he is leading the people astray, downward to destruction. But I believe in the gospel that was taught in its purity by Joseph Smith, in former days. I have my reasons for it.

"I studied to make this man's [Brigham Young] will my pleasure for thirty years. See, now, what I have come to this day!

"I have been sacrificed in a cowardly, dastardly manner." (Lee enunciated this sentence with marked emphasis.)

"I cannot help it. It is my last word - it is so.

"Evidence has been brought against me which is as false as the hinges of hell, and this evidence was wanted to sacrifice me. Sacrifice a man that has waited upon them, that has wandered and endured with them in the days of adversity, true from the beginning of the Church! And I am now singled out and am sacrificed in this manner! What confidence can I have in such a man! I have none, and I don't think my Father in heaven has any.

"Still, there are thousands of people in this Church that are honorable and good hearted friends, and some of whom are near to my heart. There is a kind of living, magnetic influence which has come over the people, and I cannot compare it to anything else than the reptile that enamors his prey, till it captivates it, paralyzes it, and it rushes into the jaws of death. I cannot compare it to anything else. It is so, I know it, I am satisfied of it.

"I regret leaving my family; they are near and dear to me. These are things which touch my sympathy, even when I think of those poor orphaned children.

"I declare I did nothing designedly wrong in this unfortunate affair. I did everything in my power to save that people, but I am the one that must suffer.

"Having said this I feel resigned. I ask the Lord, my God, if my labors are done, to receive my spirit."

Lee ceased speaking at 10:50, A.M. He was then informed that his hour had come and he must prepare for execution. He quietly and coolly looked at the small group of spectators. He was still very calm and resigned.

Rev. George Stokes, a Methodist minister who had accompanied Lee as his spiritual adviser, then knelt on the ground and delivered a short prayer. The minister was deeply affected by the solemnity of the occasion, and was very earnest in his supplications. The prisoner listened attentively. At the conclusion of the prayer, Lee exchanged a few words with Mr. Howard and Marshal Nelson, saying to the latter:

"I ask one favor of the guards - spare my limbs and centre my heart."

He then shook hands with those around him, removed his overcoat and comforter, presenting the latter to Mr. Howard, and giving his hat to Marshal Nelson.

The Marshal then bound a handkerchief over the prisoner's eyes, but at his request his hands were allowed to remain free.

The doomed man then straightened himself up facing the firing party, as he sat on his coffin, clasped his hands over his head and exclaimed:

"Let them shoot the balls through my heart! Don't let them mangle my body!"

The Marshal assured him that the aim would be true, and then stepped back. As he did so, he gave the orders to the guards:

"READY! AIM! FIRE!"

The five men selected as executioners promptly obeyed. They raised their rifles to their shoulders, took deliberate aim at the blindfolded man sitting upright on his coffin, about twenty feet in front of them, and as the fatal word "fire" rang out clear and strong on the morning air, a sharp report was heard, and Lee fell back on his coffin, dead and motionless. There was not a cry nor a moan nor a tremor of the body.

There was a convulsive twitching of the fingers of the left hand, which had fallen down by the side of the coffin, and the spirit of John D. Lee had crossed over the dark river and was standing before the judge of the quick and the dead.

His soul had solved the awful mystery, and the CURSE that hovers over Mountain Meadows had marked "ONE" upon its list of retribution.

THE END

On April 20, 1961 John D. Lee was reinstated into the LDS Church, and less than a month later ordinances for him were performed in the Salt Lake Temple so that all of his former blessings were restored.

Some Descendants of JOHN DOYLE LEE;

Compiled by Lorraine (Richardson) Manderscheid

John married (1) Aggatha Ann WOOLSEY 23 Jul 1833 in Kantlink, Randolph, Illinois. She was born 18 Jan 1814 in Danville, Boyle, Kentucky. She was the daughter of Joseph WOOLSEY and Abigail SHAFFER. Aggatha died 4 Jun 1866 in New Harmony, Washington, Utah, and was buried 5 Jun 1866 in New Harmony, Washington, Utah.

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After arriving in Kentucky in 1805, Aggatha Ann's parents, Joseph Woolsey and Abigail Shaffer, moved several times. They continued their migratory life in a generally westward direction until about 1830 when they settled in Randolph County, Illinois as neighbors of the James Conner family. By that time they had a family of twelve children.

It was there that John D. Lee met Aggatha Ann. At the time he was employed as a postal carrier with routes that had criss-crossed the southern part of the state and continued as far north as the town of Belleville near St. Louis. When his assignment was changed, taking him through the area where his cousins, the Conners, lived, on a route north, he met the Woolsey family who lived nearby.

In 1831 John enlisted with his Uncle James in the local militia, responding to a call from the Illinois Governor to help put down an insurrection by Indians from the Sac and Fox Tribes in the northern part of the state. Following the bloody battle of Bad Axe on the banks of the Mississippi River, in which the bands of Sac and Fox were subdued, John returned home with Uncle James and became serious about the affections of one of the Woolsey girls who lived nearby.

He was persistent in his overtures until Aggatha Ann's parents gave their blessing to the marriage. John and Aggatha obtained a license in Kaskaskia on July 20, 1833, and were married three days later. He was twenty-one and she was nineteen.

John soon established himself as a most enterprising young man and a good provider. By the fall of 1834 they had moved to Fayette County near the residence of his sister, Elizabeth, and her husband, Josiah Nichols. It was during that time, while living at a site along Luck Creek in that area, that they first encountered missionaries of the Mormon Church. Both became convinced of the validity of the message the elders bore and the validity of the Book of Mormon which John described as "a star opening the dispensation of the fullness of times." They subsequently sold their property on Luck Creek and moved to the headquarters of the church near Far West, Missouri. There they were baptized on June 17, 1838.

John built a log cabin in Daviess County on Shady Grove Creek in an area known as Ambrosia, which was about twenty miles north of Far West. The new log house, though, served as their home for only a few months, as relationships between the Mormons and the Missourians were so explosive that co-habitation of the two groups was impossible. In a matter of just a few months after their arrival, open conflict broke out among the parties. Mormon forces dug in at Far West and were ready to resist to the end an overwhelming force of two divisions of Missouri Militia when President Joseph Smith received word of the Haun's Mill Massacre. Unable to reconcile such total waste of life to purposes and aims of the Church, he capitulated and was taken prisoner along with his force of eight hundred men.

After turning over his weapons to the Missourians, and signing an individual form deeding all his property to the state, John, with the promise that he would move from Missouri by the first of April in 1839, was allowed to return to his family. On arrival several hours later, he found Aggatha Ann sitting by a log fire in the open air, holding their baby, Sarah Jane. Nearby was the still smoldering remains of their home, nothing more than a pile of rubble. Having been told that John was a prisoner at Far West and would be shot, she was weeping as he rode up. "She was nearly frantic [when she saw me], and as soon as I reached her side she threw herself into my arms and then her self-possession gave way and she wept bitterly."

John and Aggatha Ann subsequently experienced the trauma and unbelievable hardships created by Governor Boggs' extermination order, fleeing Missouri along with twelve thousand other brethren and sisters in early 1839. They reached Fayette County, Illinois, and found refuge with Aggatha's sister and her husband, George W. Hickerson.

That same year, with faith unshaken, Aggatha supported her husband on his first proselyting mission to Tennessee. He was gone several months and on his return they began preparations to move to the new center of the church at Nauvoo, Illinois.

During the next five years they lived in three different houses in the city of Nauvoo. The last, from his descriptions of it, seemed to have been a huge dwelling of mansion-like proportions. During those years Aggatha was deprived of the presence of her husband for months on end while he was away fulfilling his missionary responsibilities. He established a pattern of conducting those assignments by leaving in the winter months, then returning to Nauvoo for a few months to spend time upgrading his property and providing for the family, then off again as a missionary.

Aggatha's family had followed the Lees' move to Nauvoo in 1840, and when not living in some of the Lee homes, they were living nearby. Joseph, the father, had died a few years before the move to Nauvoo. He was the only member of the family who had not joined the LDS Church. It is not known how many Woolsey children remained with their widowed mother, but Rachel Andora and the youngest member of the family, Emoline, were both unmarried. There may have been others living at home but those two were some of the younger children, and possibly the only ones remaining with their mother.

During that five-year period, although John was away from home much of the time as described, Aggatha Ann had the company of the Woolsey family. Rachel, and probably Emoline, were found in the Lee home as much, if not more than at their own residence. In fact John noted in his journals that Rachel lived with them five years prior to the time in 1846 when she became one of his plural wives. Aggatha thus had plenty of help during her husband's absences, enough to take care of the children and all household chores.

At the death of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum in June 1844, life in Nauvoo took a dramatic turn for all its citizens. What had been at first minor incidents of conflict between Gentiles living in surrounding counties and the Mormons of Hancock County, particularly in Nauvoo, had developed into more violent encounters until finally there emerged a planned agenda of mob violence against the Saints, culminating in the murder of the prophet and his brother. Those vicious assaults continued until leaders of the Church were given a mandate to leave. They finally acquiesced and agreed to abandon Nauvoo on April 1, 1846 under the leadership of the new president, Brigham Young.

It was during those difficult times that the Lee family entered a new order or practice in the Church, sometimes known as plural marriage. It was said to have been inaugurated in 1841 with the sealing of Louisa Beaman to Joseph Smith, with few in the Church aware at the time of this development.

In fact, there were four significant Church doctrines introduced by the prophet that year. With the concept of plurality of wives, another ordinance was introduced known as baptism for the dead. A third was a preparatory ordinance which came to be known as the full endowment, a rite to be performed in the temple. A fourth had to do with sealings of children to parents. Before the body of the Church departed Nauvoo, thousands of baptisms, endowments, sealings and a number of plural marriages were performed in the temple.

Thus, in the short span of less than two years, ten wives were added to the Lee family group. One could imagine few functions that could have added more confusion and disruption to the Church as well as to individual families within the Church, than the introduction of such a peculiar and controversial concept as that of plural marriage. The complexity of the lives of those who took plural wives was compounded tremendously by the immediate challenges they were facing because of mobs currently threatening the destruction of the city. The requirements of getting together an outfit, including wagon and team, for the removal of only one wife and a couple of children was challenge enough under such circumstances, but John D. Lee had to provide means for removal of ten wives and six children.

He was sealed to his second wife on February 5, 1845, and to the others that same year, with the tenth wife added in the fall of 1845. What was Aggatha Ann's immediate reaction? One could only speculate because Aggatha herself never wrote anything about it, nor did John make any comment of how he explained it to her. Brigham Young's response probably mirrored that of many of the brethren when they were informed of the doctrine and called to participate:

"Some of my brethren know what my feelings were at the time Joseph revealed the doctrine; I was not desirous of shrinking from any duty, nor of failing in the least to do as I was commanded, but it was the first time in my life that I had desired the grave."

Once it become known to her, Aggatha Ann apparently accepted the idea as a revelation from the Lord to the prophet and part of a "celestial law." There was evidence of her acquiescence when just three months after marrying Nancy Bean, Louisa Free and Sarah Caroline Williams, John took as additional wives, Aggatha's sister, Rachel and her mother, Abigail. Mother Woolsey by that time had been widowed for more than five years, her husband Joseph having expired before the family's move to Nauvoo. She became a wife to John D. Lee but only in the sense that he was a provider and protector. She was by that time more than sixty years old; John later wrote that he married her "for her soul's sake." Aggatha, noting the need for her mother to have food, clothing and shelter, may have had that in mind when it was obvious that they must flee Nauvoo to live in the wilderness for an indefinite time. She could have been instrumental in bringing about the sealing.

A few months after the marriage to his tenth wife, Nancy Ann Vance, John and the family began the departure from Illinois on much the same terms that they had earlier fled Missouri. Two of John's wives accompanied him in that initial departure of February 12, 1846. President Young crossed the river three days later on February fifteenth. Aggatha Ann and seven others were left behind to continue preparing for the move.

There was much suffering that winter throughout the camps of the Saints. By December they were strung out for three hundred miles across the Territory of Iowa from the Mississippi River to the Missouri where they had established their Winter Quarters. Aggatha Ann lived through the biting cold and deprivation of those months to follow her husband in the spring of 1847 to a site some fifteen miles north of Winter Quarters. The assignment was to establish what became known as Brigham's Farm or as Lee wrote in his journals, Summer Quarters. Aggatha was mentioned from time to time in her husband's writings, with others in the family who helped prepare the ground to plant and later to harvest.

In the spring of 1848 the Lees crossed the plains to the Salt Lake Valley. Like almost everyone else Aggatha Ann walked most of the way. The Lee family had several wagons in the train, but of necessity most of the travel was on foot. That was especially so when, midway through the journey, the oxen began wearing down under the strain of too much weight to pull and insufficient feed to support such effort. Most of the family arrived in the Valley in tattered clothing and used-up strength. Aggatha had experienced the loss of her mother about three weeks before the end of the trip. Abigail died and was buried as they crossed the gently sloping plains of the Great Divide. The grave was near the site known as South Pass where the emigrant trail left the Sweetwater River and continued on to Pacific Springs and Fort Bridger. The site of the grave has been recently discovered.

During the following two years the Lees remained in Great Salt Lake City as it was then called. Despite the allusion in its name denoting size and splendor, Salt Lake City, in 1848, was nothing more than a dusty frontier settlement of a few hundred hungry souls living in makeshift shelters. Almost ten years later it had changed significantly but one immigrant still saw it as something less than an appealing urban community. Lately from the British Isles, when she caught her first view of the city she made the cryptic observation, "If this is the city, what must the country be like? I will not live here." But thousands who followed did stay and for the most part they came to love the place as much as the home of their faded memories which they had left behind.

Soon after arrival, John D. Lee and his family, including Aggatha Ann, had built log cabin shelters in the city near the old fort and also on their thirty-acre farm at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon.

During the next two years they were successful in improving the shelters, clearing the land, and building their flocks and herds. By 1850 John had almost completed a large frame house in town on one of the town squares, and was adding certain amenities at both the farm and city properties which would provide a more comfortable way of life for all the family, when he was asked by President Young to be part of a mission to southern Utah. After hearing what the president wished him to do, he replied, with some dismay and anxiety, that he would give $2,000 towards the missionary cause if he could be excused. But Brother Brigham persisted, John relented, and as usual, he followed the direction of counsel from the president.

While living in Salt Lake City Aggatha Ann gave birth to two children, a boy, John Willard, and a girl, Louisa Evaline. Two months after the birth of the girl, John was on his way south with George A. Smith and company to find iron ore and to pioneer the area for new settlements.

The Lee family remained in southern Utah for the next twenty years. Their first place of residence was at Parowan, then on to the site that eventually became Cedar City, then to Fort Harmony. In the 1860's, Lee had property in several different areas of southern Utah, had married by that time, nineteen wives, and fathered sixty-four children, eleven of whom were born to Aggatha Ann, his first wife.

One day in May of 1866 John was in the field with several members of the family planting corn, when about noon, word came from the house that Aggatha was in much pain and asked that John come to her. When he arrived, she was in so much pain that she thought she was on her death bed and asked John to forgive her of any past wrongs she may have committed in the heat of the moment. He assured her that he held no hard feelings toward her and that she was not yet going to die. That evening she felt better and said that if John would give her a blessing, she believed she would rest easier. Her health varied the next few days between feeling very feeble and improving. It soon became apparent that she was critically ill and failing rapidly. John remained with her Wednesday through the night, giving her several blessings. He said that her agony became so acute that at one point he prayed for a full half hour before she gained relief. He added, "I wept bitterly."

The following morning she continued to have severe pains in her shoulders, and "...her life is now despaired of." Her children were called to her bedside and taking the hand of each of them in turn, she told them of her love for them and bade each farewell. After that, she said to her sister, Rachel, "Will you be a mother to my little children?" Rachel fell on her neck weeping and kissed her, saying, "By the help of the Lord, I will be a mother to them." Each of the children came to her again and kissed her. Then the wives that were present did the same, and she said to them. "I love you all."

Through that night, she requested that John pray that she "might go to rest." In the middle of the night, he anointed her with oil and dedicated her to the Lord. She fell into a coma from which she made occasional recoveries but on Sunday, June 3, 1866, with her family gathered around, she breathed her last. John said she had suffered exceedingly but she died serenely with a peaceful countenance. The thought that he chiseled on her headstone was "The companion of my youth has gone to rest, she was a mother and a wife." Her grave is in a small, enclosed burial spot on property in New Harmony. Close by are the graves of Sarah Caroline's children who were killed in the terrible storm of 1862.

She married John Doyle LEE 23 Jul 1833 in Kantlink, Randolph, Illinois.

They had 11 children:

William Oliver LEE, born 3 Jul 1834 in near Kaskaskia, Randolph, Illinois, died in infancy 5 Sep 1835 in Vandalia, Fayette, Illinois, and was buried in Kaskaskia, Randolph, Illinois.

Elizabeth Adeline LEE, born 8 Apr 1836 in Luck Creek, Fayette, Illinois, died in childhood 16 Apr 1838 in Vandalia, Fayette, Illinois, and was buried in Vandalia, Fayette, Illinois.

John Alma LEE, born 25 Aug 1840, died 11 Sep 1881.

Mary Adeline LEE, born 24 Aug 1842, died 26 Dec 1925.

Joseph Hyrum LEE, born 12 Jul 1844, died 25 Apr 1932.

Heber John LEE, born 15 Aug 1846 in near Omaha, Douglas, Nebraska, died in infancy 1847 in Summer Quarters, Douglas, Nebraska.

John Willard LEE, born 11 Oct 1849, died 7 Oct 1923.

Louisa Evaline LEE, born 16 Oct 1850, died 4 Sep 1932.

Samuel Gulley LEE, born 26 May 1853, died 5 Mar 1896.

Ezra Taft LEE, born 14 May 1857, died 19 Sep 1925.

Sarah Jane LEE was born 3 Mar 1838 in Vandalia, Fayette, or Luck Creek near Fayette, Illinois. Sarah died 27 Mar 1915 in Panguitch, Garfield, Utah, and was buried 29 Mar 1915 in Panguitch, Garfield, Utah.

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From her childhood, Sarah Jane had a vivid memory of the occasion when the Prophet Joseph and his brother, Hyrum, were killed, as she lived near the Smiths. When their bodies were brought home from Carthage Jail, she cried bitterly. One day the Prophet's mother took her into a room of the Smith home, which had an unused fireplace with a curtain around it and showed her the Egyptian mummies Joseph had received.

She crossed the plains with her father's company at the age of nine or ten years, walking most of the way with her aged grandmother, Abigail Shaffer, who died on the trail soon after they crossed the Missouri River. The company eventually arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1848. She lived around with her folks, as circumstances would permit, until she was fifteen years old, and then was persuaded to marry a polygamist, as the third wife of Charles Dalton. The ceremony was performed by George A. Smith. She had three children before she was twenty. She was in love with a young man when she married Dalton, so was not very happy with him. Dalton married three other women after he married Sarah Jane, one of whom was Lucinda Lee.

Sarah Jane wanted her children to attend school. In order to pay for their tuition, she cleaned Lucinda's home, as well as doing the washing, ironing, and other various jobs for her. Sarah Jane always had to work very hard to educate and support her growing family since her husband provided very poorly for them.

After many years of marriage to Dalton, and bearing almost every privation, she decided to leave him and make a go of it on her own. A bishop's trial was held and she was granted a divorce. He was present at the proceedings and gave his consent for the separation. He gave her a small one-room house, which she sold for $150.00, and applied the money on a $600.00 home. She found a job at Minersville, Utah as proprietress of a hotel and finished making the payments on the home. Dalton gave her boys a small piece of land, a team of horses, and a few cows, which they turned over to the United Order, and came out of it with nothing. This experience embittered them to the extent that they did very little for or in the church thereafter. They worked very hard, however, to help their mother until they married and made homes for themselves.

When her ninth child was about seven years old, she met and married George McCook Underwood, who had come to Beaver when the army was stationed at Fort Cameron, just outside the town. He was a blacksmith and worked for the soldiers at the fort. On June 29, 1869 she had her tenth child, whom she named Lucy. She still had to work hard helping to provide for her family. After George left the service of the army, they moved to Marysvale, Utah, to work in the mines, which were booming at that time. She divorced him while living there, because of his heavy drinking, and moved to Beaver. Underwood went to Panguitch and put up a blacksmith shop, the only one in the vicinity for many years. He was an expert in this line, and could have made money but he continued drinking. Not many years before his death, he quit drinking and threw away his tobacco, tea, and coffee.

Sarah Jane spent several summers on the Prince Ranch at Panguitch Lake, making butter and cheese, which she sold for tax money and provisions. Later she re-married Underwood and lived with him until his death. Her worldly possessions were limited. They lived in a small frame house first, and then in a two-room house across the street from the church. The third home they bought was a small house one block west of the church where they lived until both had passed away.

She married (1) Charles Wakeman DALTON 30 Dec 1852 or 3 Oct 1868 in Parowan, Iron, Utah or Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah. He was born 10 Jul 1826 in Wysox, Bradford, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Simon Cooker DALTON and Anna Wakeman. Charles died 18 Jun 1883 in Beaver, Beaver, Utah.

They had 9 children:

Heber Joseph DALTON, born 12 Sep 1853, died 27 Dec 1930.

William DALTON, born 7 Mar 1855 in Fort Harmony, Washington, Utah, died in Idaho.

As a young man, William traveled extensively for twenty years covering most of the United States and then went to South Africa. He bought a good farm in Idaho near his sister Ella Richardson, where he had a good furnished house.

In his youth he had a sweetheart but would not marry until he had sufficient means to provide for a wife as he wanted to do. She waited for eight years and then married another man.

Henrietta DALTON, born 13 Jan 1857.

John Doyle (Doil) DALTON, born 9 Apr 1859, died 3 Jan 1940.

Agatha Ann DALTON, born 5 Apr 1861, died 13 Oct 1900.

Mary Rosebell DALTON, born 10 Sep 1863 in Centerville, Davis, Utah, died in infancy 1865.

Sarah Vilate DALTON, born 10 Aug 1866, died 29 Jan 1928.

Sada LuElla DALTON, born 29 Jan 1869.

Thadeus Walter DALTON, born 1 May 1871, died 17 Nov 1951.

 

The following stories are from the diaries of John D. Lee showing his many dealings with his son-in-law, Charles W Dalton:

Sunday, June 1st 1867 -

"Was camped out at Chicken Creek, met Charles W. Dalton with a drove of beef cattle en route to the city (S.L.C.) The bridge had been washed out by high water hence the crossing was muddy. In crossing, Dalton’s wagon upset in the creek & wet all their bedding, clothing and supplies. Also $130 in green backs."

Wednesday, June 4th 1867 -

"Left a mare with Julia Dalton (Charles 1st wife) at Fillmore by request of Charles W. Dalton."

Sunday, June 8th 1867 - Beaver Utah.

"This morning I eat breakfast with Betsey Dalton (Charles 2nd wife) and I promised to dine with Sarah and her family. The dinner was tasty. Sarah presented me with a photograph of herself and Charles. Also one of Betsy, all of which I put in my album."

Wednesday, Oct. 16th 1867 -

"At Beaver City I left my son Samuel P. Lee to stay with his sister Sarah Jane to go to school. We spent the day with Charles W. Dalton and family."

Tuesday, Nov. 28th 1867 -

"The roads were almost impassable on account of the mud an it was still raining at Chickin Creek. We met Charles W. Dalton, my son-in- law, of the firm of Dalton & Clayton on their way to the city (S.L.C.) with a drove of cattle of several hundred head.

They had their barrage wagon upset in the creek and everything had got soaked. They encamped to dry things out."

Wednesday, Dec. 4th 1867 -

"We reached Beaver and stayed over night with my daughter Sarah Jane. We were kindly received by her husband Charles and family."

Tuesday, Jan. 30th 1868 -

"At 3 o-clock PM we arrived in Beaver at Charles Dalton’s place and delivered up the pork he had ordered. We took dinner with Julia & Betsey Dalton and had breakfast with them the next morning. Also dinned with my daughter Sarah on Weds."

Sunday, June 1st 1873 -

"This morning we held a public meeting. After the meeting we responded to the River’s edge, where Elder James Grover baptized Heber Dalton, the son of Charles W. Dalton & my daughter Sarah Jane.

John married (2) Nancy BEAN 4 Feb 1844 in Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois. She was born 14 Dec 1826 in West Troy, Lincoln, Missouri. She was the daughter of James BEAN and Elizabeth LEWIS. Nancy died 3 Mar 1903 in Parowan, Iron, Utah, and was buried 5 Mar 1903 in Parowan, Iron, Utah.

Writings by Nancy Bean herself are not now extant, if in fact they ever existed. Her fascinating biography must therefore be told by those who knew her. The authors of her story include her brother, husband, son, daughter, and grandchildren. Her early journey began in Lincoln County, Missouri and crossed America to the Great Salt Lake Valley, Provo and Parowan. She was a pioneer in every sense of the word.

From her brother George Washington Bean, we read: "My parents were married July 27, 1824, in Lincoln County, Missouri. Their eldest daughter, Nancy, was born there. Our intelligent mother kept bad words washed from our tongues. 'A soft answer turneth away wrath,' she would say. My parents were strictly religious, father a Methodist and mother a Presbyterian. Alexander Williams, a Missouri exile became our fast friend and we invited him to our house. Elder Williams obtained the privilege of preaching in our school house. The result was that in May 1841 Elder Williams baptized my father, mother, and my sister, Nancy, into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

About this time the mob spirit prevailed and a new gathering place had been established at a place called Commerce (Nauvoo). The members of the Church were advised to gather there as fast as possible and assist in the building of the temple which the Prophet Joseph had already commenced. Father and I did some work on the Nauvoo Temple. Besides this we attended the conferences and celebrations on public days and were counted on by our teachers as being very apt to learn.

About this time my oldest sister Nancy, aged sixteen, was persuaded to marry Thomas J. Williams, a school teacher that boarded at our home. He seemed to resent her baptism and scoffed at her religious fervor and refused to go to Nauvoo with the Saints. A separation resulted and he was given custody of their little Elizabeth who was taken to Warsaw, Illinois."

From John D. Lee's diaries, we read: "My second wife, Nancy Bean was the daughter of wealthy farmers. She saw me on a mission and heard me preach at her father's home. She came to Nauvoo and stayed at my house and grew in favor."

In 1845 Nancy Bean married John D. Lee and later was sealed to him on January 14, 1846. Brigham Young performed the sealing with Heber C. Kimball and Jedediah Morgan Grant as witnesses. On January 15, 1846 Nancy gave birth to their daughter, Eliza Lee, later named Cornelia. Nancy and her three-week-old baby were among the first to be taken across the Mississippi River from Nauvoo when the mobs came. From Juanita Brooks' writings, "Nancy was the first to bear a child under the New Covenant and it was thought she should be out of the city in case of an investigation."

For a while Nancy alternated living with Lee and her parents in Winter Quarters.

Continuing from the autobiography of her brother, George Washington Bean, he tells of the sickness and deaths in the Bean family. "Nancy, the eldest, was the only one well enough to wait on them. We had parts of three families in our cabin including Nancy and babe." Williams' autobiography tells of ten families being under one captain. Nancy and babe were named as part of the Bean family under command of Captain Daniel Miller.

From John D. Lee's journals: "Tension was mounting, especially with Nancy Bean." He mentioned her often as helping to plant and weed the garden, going berrying with the group, visiting Winter Quarters, or getting turnip seeds, as though she were cooperating to the fullest in all activities. She even helped to haul brick from the old fort.

Continuing from John D. Lee: "July 19, 1847, Her father preferred to take Nancy and child, board them and take them on next spring for what help and company she could be to her mother."

As George Washington Bean reported, Nancy and her little Eliza (later named Cornelia) came west with her parents and arrived in the Valley on September 4, 1848. She had obtained a writing of releasement from John D. Lee.

From a biographical sketch of Nancy Bean Lee Decker and her daughter, Cornelia Lee Decker Mortensen, by W. King Driggs, we learn: In August of 1933 W. King Driggs took his mother-in-law, Cornelia (Nancy's daughter) on a picnic to one of the Utah canyons. He made her comfortable by a creek and told her to tell him everything she could remember of her life and that of her mother, Nancy, so he could write it down. King loved his mother-in-law deeply.

From these notes dictated by Cornelia, we were able to continue the story of Nancy Bean and her tiny daughter. The Bean family settled in Pioneer Square or the old fort in Great Salt Lake City. A little later they moved to Mill Creek just south of the city. It was here Nancy met Zachariah Bruyn Decker upon his return from the Mormon Battalion expedition to California and married him. They build a one-room adobe cabin in Salt Lake City where they lived for about a year. They then moved back to Mill Creek and soon after, Zachariah Decker was called by Brigham Young to help colonize Iron County in southern Utah. He left his wife and Cornelia together with a newly-born son at Provo with the Beans while he went to Iron County in 1850 and helped to found the city of Parowan. The following spring he sent a man with a team back to Provo to bring his family. The family was reunited in the new settlement there in the spring of 1851. Zachariah B. Decker was a farmer and constable of Parowan. Nancy Bean bore him eleven children.

The following excerpts are from Cornelia's letter to her granddaughter, Maxine Driggs Thomas, recalling memories of her mother, Nancy: "Most of my girl companions were barefooted in the summer, but mother (Nancy Bean Decker) always kept shoes that she made herself for me to wear to dress up in. She would buy the skins of deer from the Indians for a little bread or flour. She would baste three of those together, put a frame inside of them and stretch them in the shape of an Indian teepee, dig a small pit and stretch them over the pit, put coals, bark and leaves in the pit to make a strong smoke but no blaze, for that would burn the skins. When they were colored by the smoke to a rich brown she would take the longest part of the skins and made trousers for father and the boys. From the skin around the neck of the deer she made low shoes for us. She would fashion the tops of the shoes. Father would cut soles from a pair of Machives he had brought from California when he came from his trip with the Mormon Battalion. Mother would turn the tops and sew them or turn them back and I would have a nice pair of shoes to wear with my best flannel dress. As I grew older my mother taught me to spin and weave and because I could do such work, I had better clothes than my girl friends."

Arlington Peter Mortensen, Nancy's grandson who knew her when he was a child in Parowan, recalls: "My grandfather, Zachariah Bruyn Decker, was born June 22, 1817 in Shawaugunk, Ulster County, New York. He spent some time washing gold at Sutter's Mill, California after his discharge from the Mormon Battalion. He returned to Salt Lake where he and Nancy Bean were married October 4, 1849. My mother Cornelia was now old enough to realize what was going on. Cornelia left us a vivid picture of the grasshopper war, of the missions of black crickets that came from every direction. In 1849 James Bean was called to take his family and go as one of the original pioneers in the settlement of Utah County, now Provo, followed a few weeks later by Zachariah and Nancy Decker and their small family. The first camp of the company was on the bank of the Provo River and just east of the present Lake View Road leading to the Geneva Steel Mills."

Nancy Bean's son, Zachariah Decker, Jr. recalls several incidents regarding his mother's activities. When he was eight years old he drove a team to Salt Lake City with his mother, Nancy, and others. One night they camped at Sevier Bridge, the same place where (two months before) the Indians had killed three men. Nancy was awakened in the night by the horses coming to camp on the run, hobbled and snorting furiously. The commotion awakened the whole camp. They were all out and soon on their way before the sun arose. When the arrived in Salt Lake, the grown-ups went to conference and the boys took a load of sorghum cane to have it made up into molasses.

From the History of Iron County Mission and Parowan, we read: "Nancy Bean Decker was one of the pillars of strength in the pioneer colony, Parowan, where her skill as a tailor helped many a man to be the proud owner of a homespun suit of clothes. She was an expert weaver, making many beautiful coverlids (bed spreads) in intricate designs. She made many fine serviceable straw hats for the men folks that were really appreciated in the days when there were no clothing stores to turn to. She was a beautiful sewer and always willing to impart of her knowledge and skills to others. She was an excellent cook and very resourceful in every way. Even in the lean years when the grasshoppers took most of the crops, she managed to feed her large family so they never went hungry.

"She was not only a wonderful mother, but she was a ministering angel in many homes where her services were greatly appreciated, and many there were who called her blessed."

Nancy married (2) John Doyle LEE 4 Feb 1844 in Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois.

They had 1 child:

Cornelia "Eliza Lee" DECKER, born 15 Jan 1846, died 26 Dec 1937.

John married (3) Louisa FREE 19 Apr 1844 in Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois. She was born 9 Aug 1824 in Fayetteville, St. Clair, Illinois. She was the daughter of Absalom Pennington FREE and Elizabeth or Betsy STRAIT. Louisa died 18 Jun 1886 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah.

The Free family became members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during the summer of 1835 when Mormon missionaries came through the area. Prior to that, Louisa's parents were often at odds with one another, disrupting family tranquility through controversy over their respective religious beliefs. Absalom was a strict Methodist, and Betsy, a member of the Baptist Church. "Their religion was always a bone of contention," wrote Emmeline B. Wells, until they both embraced the LDS faith.

Louisa's childhood was sometimes difficult. Absalom was a strict disciplinarian, which in a sense, was an asset in his farm work. Through exacting principles of economy and undeviating demand for production of the land by all the family, he became a well-to-do farmer. In those achievements, some of the family members felt that his requirements were overly strict, that he was too zealous in his demands on them.

Louisa, the eldest daughter, was described years later by Emmeline as a beautiful girl. A dainty, refined young lady, she had lovely hazel eyes and comely brown hair. Emmeline also described some of the arduous tasks demanded of Louisa. Along with other chores, "no matter how cold, dark, and stormy the weather, she was forced to get up at four o'clock every morning to complete milking several cows."

Shortly after joining the Church the Free family moved to Missouri to be with the body of the Saints. Whether or not Absalom had sold his farm near Fayetteville is unknown. He likely did not, for when John D. Lee was on a missionary assignment to the southern Illinois area in 1842, that was were he found them.

In Missouri, Absalom was one of the band of Mormons in 1838 defending the city of Far West. At its capitulation to the Missouri militia, the Free family lost their property, everything they owned. During the early months of 1839 they made the trek back to Fayetteville, Illinois where they lived for the next few years. They eventually moved to Nauvoo where in April 1844 Louisa became John D. Lee's third plural wife. They were sealed in the Nauvoo Temple on January 20, 1846.

A son, John Brigham, was born to Louisa and John on February 26, 1846. This was about ten days after abandonment of the city of Nauvoo by President Young when the first contingent of Saints left the city. John had gone to assist the President's caravan of fifteen wagons and fifty family members. He remained with them until reaching Sugar Creek where a camp was set up. Afterwards, on the twenty-seventh, he returned to Nauvoo to make provisions for moving the remainder of his own family. In the meantime John Brigham had been born and was two days old when Lee arrived back in Nauvoo.

Within a few days John had everything ready to move in his four wagons. It took most of the day Tuesday, March third, to get everything over the river but by Wednesday they were ready to set out across Iowa to somewhere west. At the time they did not know where their journey would lead them, perhaps to the Rocky Mountains, or maybe to wait out the winter somewhere in between.

After finally stopping at the Missouri River near the eventual site of Winter Quarters, some difficulty arose in the family which then consisted of eight wives. Perhaps it was nothing more than an exchange of harsh words but Lee felt it necessary that he move two of them over to the camp of his friend, William Pace. Subsequently, when he left to fulfill his mission to Santa Fe, some of the wives moved back with their parents. Louisa was one of them. The others had tents in which to live.

Later, when John received the assignment to grow corn at Summer Quarters, Louisa accompanied the Lee family and assisted in every way to make the project a success. Sometime during the early months of 1848 she moved back with her parents who were also living at Summer Quarters. Her relationship with John had obviously deteriorated and it appeared that Louisa's mother Betsy was in part responsible. The final breach came on March 22, 1848 when Lee called at the Free home. There were some words of remorse regarding their relationship but it was evident that the situation was irrecoverable. As John departed Louisa accompanied him to the gate and asked that he come often to at least visit their little son, John Brigham, even though affections for one another were gone.

She did not return to the Lee family but crossed the plains with he parents. Years later, Lee wrote that "she lived with me about one year after the babe was born...[though] our friendship [afterwards] was never broken." It was not until May 12, 1849 after arriving in the Salt Lake Valley that a divorce was formally written up and "the union was dissolved in good feelings and the consent of both parties."

Louisa subsequently married Daniel H. Wells. John Brigham remained with his mother and the Wells family until his early death at the age of ten years and five months.

After the death of Louisa at age sixty-two on June 18, 1886, Emmeline B. Wells wrote:

"Louisa was well known throughout Utah as a most unselfish dispenser of charity and an ever ready friend and helper of the sick and needy.... Her hospitality was proverbial and unbounded, but as wife and mother she shone brighter, more gentle, more tender, noble and devoted. As a friend to the needy and friendless and nurse to the sick, her sympathy and generosity were ever enlisted. She never spared herself trouble or inconvenience when she thought duty or affection called her to act."

At the 1925 annual reunion of the Wells family, she was thus remembered:

"Aunt Louisa, of blessed memory to the older members of the family, would have reached her centennial had she lived until the 9th of last August. It is 38 years since she died. She was mother to the whole family, husband, wives and children, in sickness, in health, in joys and sorrows. She made possible in the beginning, the good fellowship to which our family success is due."

She married (1) John Doyle LEE 19Apr 1844 in Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois.

They had 1 child:

Heber John LEE, born 26 Feb 1846 in Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois, died in childhood 1858 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah.

John married (4) Sarah Caroline WILLIAMS 19 Apr 1844 in Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois. She was born 24 Nov 1830 in Murfreesboro, Rutherford, Tennessee. She was the daughter of Isaac Horton WILLIAMS and Margaret WALKUP. Sarah died 16 Feb 1908 in Torrey, Wayne, Utah, and was buried 19 Feb 1908 in Torrey, Wayne, Utah.

Sarah Caroline Williams was the fourth plural wife of John D. Lee. In a journal begun when she was about fifty years old she used phonetic spelling throughout with very few punctuation marks. She began by stating that she was "the daughter of Isice and Margaret Walkup Williams." The peculiar spelling of her father's name, I-s-i-c-e, was undoubtedly her own phonetic way of sounding out what appears to be the name Isaac.

The 1840 census verified the presence of the Williams families in Rutherford County at that time. One of the "Heads of Household," in fact, was an Isaac, and probably Caroline's father. The record, however, did not list names of family members, so it would be difficult to verify that supposition. Isaac appeared again in the 1850 census, but the name of his wife did not appear. This is a probable indication that she died sometime before 1850, perhaps even before 1840. This could be the reason for Caroline's later leaving home at an early age.

There were two families listed in those census years bearing Caroline's family's maternal surname, Walkup. That was such an unusual name that those people must have been close relatives, if not immediate family members of her mother, Margaret Walkup.

Caroline continued, "...joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints when quite young, came to Nauvoo in 43" . Whether or not Isaac and Margaret were ever members of the Mormon Church was not known. It is likely they were not, for Caroline traveled from Tennessee to Nauvoo with the William Pace family. The Paces were from the same general area as the Williams family, and like Caroline, they had been converted through the efforts of John D. Lee.

In Nauvoo she lived with the Lee family. John wrote that Caroline was "adopted" into his family on April 19, 1844. By that he meant that she was sealed to him as a plural wife.

Less than a year later, the Mormons abandoned the city of Nauvoo. She was among the Lee family members who crossed the river on March 4, 1846. Her journal contained an entry to that effect: "...left Nauvoo with the first company of Saints in 406 [46]. Before leaving Nauvoo i was sealed to John D. Lee."

Just eleven days after Lee returned from his mission to Santa Fe, Caroline went back to the settlements in Missouri with her Aunt Marcia Allen. John's journal entry of the account was found under the date, December 2, 1846: "...About 3 pm Sister Marcia Allen and Caroline Lee started for English Grove in...Missouri." Although he said Sister Allen promised to be like a mother to her and see that she had a good home, "it was not however, without feelings of sorrow."

There was a finality in Lee's words which leads one to suspect that Caroline's move was meant to be permanent, or at least for an extended period of time, for he had assumed without question that he would be leaving for the Salt Lake Valley in a few months with the first pioneer company of 1847. Those included would be hand-picked by President Young, and of necessity, numbers in the first group would be limited. Caroline would likely not have been selected. She could not be left alone at Winter Quarters with no close family member to help her, since she was only fifteen years old.

Subsequently Lee, much to his disappointment, was assigned to stay at Summer Quarters and grow corn. During that time he received word occasionally of Caroline's welfare and life with Aunt Marcia in the settlements. Just two months following her departure, he received information from Missouri by a teamster that "Caroline was doing well." A month later he received a letter from Sister Allen that Caroline was well.

Shortly after the Lee family took their 1848 departure for the Salt Lake Valley, Caroline, it is believed, went back to Tennessee and there met and married a man by the name of James Thompson. They later had a child on April 26, 1849 while living in Cannon County, Tennessee.

In her life story Caroline nowhere mentioned those years. She only said "...Have passed throu meny triles. In 1851 came to Salt Lake." She rejoined the Lee family as John D. Lee's wife and moved south with the rest of the family to Parowan in 1852. John D. Lee grew very fond of the boy, James Thompson, and often referred to him in his journals as his step-son.

Caroline's first child by John D. Lee, Harvey Parley Lee, was born October 1, 1852 at Parowan. He was the first of eleven born to them over the next twenty years. She had her last child while living at Kanab, Utah at the age of forty-two. Two of her children, George Albert and Margaret Ann, died at Fort Harmony when the walls collapsed during the storms of 1862.

Caroline was often mentioned in Lee's journals during the 1860's, accompanying him on visits to various settlements in southern Utah. When the Lees moved to Skutumpah, she and her family were there.

In 1871 because of confiscatory action taken by the federal government against individuals practicing polygamy, church authorities sent advice to such members throughout the territory to deed all property over to their wives and John did that.

"Thurs., Nov. 15th 1871. Finished making out my deeds, distributing my property among 5 of my wives and children. Namely, Rachel Andora Woolsey, Polly & Lovina Young, Sarah Caroline Williams & Emma Batchelor & acknowledged them before Justice McConnell."

When the family moved to the Colorado River, Caroline remained in Kanab where she bore her last child. She later moved into the home in Panguitch deeded to her by John where she was living when he was captured by federal marshals. When he was imprisoned, she was faithful in corresponding and continued to write and encourage him until his execution in 1877.

Four years after his death, Caroline, fifty-one years old, married William Young, a member of the LDS Church. The following year they moved to the Gila Valley in Arizona. She had commenced keeping records in a daily journal while living in Utah. She continued after moving to Arizona.:

"I was with the sick a greate deele of my time. it seems to be my mission here on earth. My labor commenced in Arizona in 1882 as a midwife...and don much of the same labor in Utah before I left thear, but have lost my record."

She followed that explanation with sixty pages of names and dates of those whom she attended in her work. These services were performed in the Pima-Central-Thatcher areas of Graham County. "Elizabeth R., daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Cluff, bornd March 16th at seven o'clock in the morning at Central, 1885...James W., son of Washington and Lena Jolley was born Feb. 7, 1887 at nine o'clock at knight at Thatcher."

Following the death of her husband in 1890, she moved back to Panguitch: "i went to Panguitch and tuck up my labors among the sick women and other duties in keeping house for my youngest son." She later lived a few years with some of her children in La Plata, New Mexico, then went back to Panguitch.

"August 27, 1902...Ate breakfast with my daughter and the brethren [visiting general authorities of the church during Stake Conference]. President Roberson tuck me back to Sister Joness and came back for Brother J. Golden Kimbal. Sister Jones lingered along until about seven o'clock and through the mercy of the Lord and the assistance of Sister Williams and myself she was delivered of a son. I staid the rest of the night. the 29th came home this morning, milked, feed my chickens then went back...helped to fix her bed, then came home to attend to my work."

In the last years of her life, she continued in much the same manner. "In the year 1907 in my 77th year I put Bishop Stewarts wife to bed on the 6 of April with a lovely daughter."

The last entry in her journal was made "25 Dec 1907 put Seth Jacobs wife to bed with a fine son."

Caroline passed away about that time. Manetta Prince Henrie gave her death as February 16, 1907, the date carved on her tombstone in Torrey, Utah. Since Caroline was still writing on December 25, 1907, that was apparently incorrect. It is likely that she died on February 16, 1908.

Though she had no formal education, Sarah Caroline Williams lived a remarkably productive life, raising twelve children almost single-handedly and giving of herself to others over many years. Hundreds of those whom she served remembered her kind ministrations. Whatever the date of her departure from this life, she must have made the transition with the conviction that she had done her best, lived an exemplary life, and was ready to meet whatever lay beyond the veil.

Sarah married (2) John Doyle LEE 19Apr 1844 in Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois.

They had 11 children:

Harvey Parley LEE, born 1 Oct 1852, died 4 Feb 1927.

George Albert LEE, born 1856 in Old Fort Harmony, Washington, Utah, died in childhood 6 Feb 1862 in Fort Harmony, Washington, Utah.

Margaret Ann LEE, born 3 Jan 1857 in Old Fort Harmony, Washington, Utah, died in childhood 6 Feb 1862 in Fort Harmony, Washington, Utah.

Rachel Olive LEE, born 26 Nov 1858, died 16 May 1924.

Sarah Ann "Sadie" LEE, born 6 Nov 1860, died 21 Dec 1920.

Charles William LEE, born 11 Aug 1862, died 8 May 1941.

Mary Elizabeth LEE, born 15 May 1864, died 15 Jul 1941.

Robert Edmund LEE, Sr., born 2 Jan 1866, died 23 May 1928.

John married (5) Abigail SHAFFER 19 Apr 1844 in Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois. She was born 13 Sep 1785/1786 in Maryland. Abigail died 3 Sep 1848 in Wyoming, and was buried 3 Sep 1848 in Wyoming.

Abigail Woolsey was the mother of three of John D. Lee's wives. She was married first to Joseph Woolsey when living in Pulaski County, Kentucky in the early 1800's. Following the birth of their first child, Thomas, in 1805 they had other children including Aggatha Ann, Rachel and Emoline. The eldest of these three, Aggatha Ann, married John D. Lee in 1833. Five years later the couple joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Eventually most of the Woolsey family became members and moved to Nauvoo, Illinois. Joseph, the father, however, never joined the Church and died some time before the move to the city. Abigail and those of her children who were still living at home, found a place to live near John and Aggatha Ann whose residence was located at the corner of Warsaw and Kimball Streets in Nauvoo.

Shortly after the introduction of plural marriage in the Church, Lee took his first additional wife on February 5, 1845. He was sealed to others shortly thereafter so that by the end of the year, there were ten wives in his family, one of whom was the widow, Abigail Woolsey, his fifth wife. John married her about the time it became apparent that the Saints must abandon the city. The marriage could have come about at the suggestion of his wife, Aggatha Ann. The basis for such a marriage to an older woman (Abigail was by then sixty years old) would have been, as John later described, that he married "...old Mrs. Woolsey...for her soul's sake, for salvation in the eternal world." Perhaps the daughter foresaw the need for economic assistance as well as the practicality of a place for her mother in the wagon and around the campfire when the families left Nauvoo. The official ceremony solemnizing the marriage took place on May 3, 1845. On the same day, he married another daughter, Rachel Andora Woolsey. Abigail was considered wife number five and Rachel, number six. Four more would be added to the family before the end of the year.

Bound for the Salt Lake Valley, the Lee family departed Winter Quarters in Nebraska, on May 26, 1848. It was a difficult journey for the older woman Abigail, so difficult that she died en route. She was by then sixty-two years old, one of many in the company who became ill from time to time during the journey.

Some three months after leaving Winter Quarters John wrote in his journal that Abigail was "...attacked of a fever." Other members of the family, including himself, were also ill. They all eventually seem to have recovered. Then, during a wet rainy day on September first, when about three quarters of the way through the journey, Abigail was again stricken:

"...About 10, Abigal Lee was violently attacked with the Mountain Fever."

By this time, the company had left the Platte River Trail behind and were traveling along the Sweetwater River, in a southwesterly direction, approaching the broad, gently rising expanse of the Great Divide. The next day Abigail continued ill and slipped into a coma from which she did not recover. She passed away on Sunday, September 3, 1848. Lee described the area in which she was buried, being in the vicinity of the last crossing of the Sweetwater River. She was placed in a coffin which Lee made from a wagon box and was buried. Her name and date of death were incised on a large flat stone and placed upright over the grave. The exact burial site has since been located.

Monday morning a last farewell was said at the graveside, and at about ten o'clock, the members of the pioneer company turned to the southwest, continuing toward their next anticipated camping stop, Pacific Springs. They traveled on the same course for more than two weeks before reaching the Salt Lake Valley. The journey for Abigail, however, was over, ending in that barren high plains wilderness country, some seven thousand feet above sea level in what is now the state of Wyoming.

Abigail married (2) John Doyle LEE 19 Apr 1844 in Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois.

John married (6) Rachel Andora WOOLSEY 3 May 1845 in Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois. She was born 5 Aug 1825 in Danville, Mercer, Kentucky. She was the daughter of Joseph WOOLSEY and Abigail SHAFFER. Rachel died 7 Jul 1912 in Lebanon, Graham, Arizona, and was buried Jul 1912 in Lebanon, Graham, Arizona.

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When John D. Lee first met the Joseph Woolsey family they lived near his cousins, the Conners, about fifteen miles north of Kaskaskia, Illinois. John subsequently married the eldest daughter, Aggatha Ann. Twelve years later, he married Aggatha's widowed mother, Abigail, and two more of her daughters, Rachel and Emoline.

The Woolsey families were some of the early settlers in America. Their progenitor, Reverend Benjamin Woolsey, who arrived in 1623, remained in the New England area where he eventually died and was buried and where his descendants grew and flourished for the next one hundred fifty years.

In 1770 a descendant, Thomas Woolsey, moved south to Washington County, Virginia. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, his son Richard and wife, Nancy Plumstead, emigrated through the Cumberland Gap into what was to become the state of Kentucky. Rachel Woolsey's father, Joseph, was one of the children in that family.

When Rachel Andora was born to Joseph Woolsey and Abigail Shaffer Woolsey, the family was living in Mercer County, Kentucky. A few years following her birth, Joseph took the family farther west, so that by 1828 or 1830, their residence was in Randolph County, Illinois. It was here that Rachel's sister, Aggatha Ann, met and married John D. Lee in 1833.

The following year 1834, Thomas, the eldest child in the family became the first to join the Mormon Church. Eventually most of his brothers and sisters and their mother, Abigail, followed. Joseph, the father, however, could not bring himself to make such a commitment. By the time the Woolseys moved to Nauvoo, he had died.

John D. Lee wrote that the Woolsey family came to Nauvoo in 1840 and settled near the Lee home. From that time on, the Woolseys and the Lees generally lived near one another and enjoyed close communal relations.

Lee was absent from home much of the time during that period, fulfilling church missionary assignments. Rachel spent much of her time with her sister, Aggatha Ann, in the Lee home assisting Aggatha with household chores and Lee's growing family. Soon she was as much at home in the Lee residence as she was in the Woolsey home with her own family.

In keeping with the newly accepted principle in the LDS church, of plurality of wives, on May 3, 1845 John D. Lee and Rachel Woolsey were married. On the same day, he married Rachel's aging, widowed mother, Abigail, bringing the latter into the family for "her eternal welfare," as Lee put it.

Thus when the Lees departed Nauvoo in 1846, there were three Woolsey wives in the family. By the end of the year, a fourth was added as his eleventh wife. This was Rachel's younger sister, Emoline.

The Lees, along with most citizens of Nauvoo, left Illinois in February 1846. Their destination was uncertain at the time, but they had a vague notion that, according to prophecy, it was somewhere west in the "tops of the Rocky Mountains." It was to be more than two years, however, before they completed the journey. In the interim, following a wet and laborious trek across Iowa, the winter of 1846 was spent at Winter Quarters, Nebraska. Then for the Lee family, it was a move fifteen miles north to Summer Quarters to grow corn to aid in the general migration of the Saints, when they trudged across the plains toward their "land of Zion."

The Lee family departed Summer Quarters in Nebraska on May 26, 1848. John had been appointed captain of a company of fifty wagons. It was quickly recognized by the emigrants that the next few months would be an intense challenge to their survival.

None of Rachel's ancestry, as far back as the first Woolsey to arrive in America in 1623, had undertaken a walk such as she would take as a Mormon pioneer in 1848. It stretched more than one thousand miles across high desert plains and mountain passes. Attended with unimaginable fatigue and endless numbers of pestilences and maladies to plague her life and those of her companions, they were about four months on the trail. Before its end, it exacted the lives of some of her closest friends and members of the wagon company, including that of her own mother. Except for Abigail, the rest of the family fortunately did survive to arrive safely in the valley of the Great Salt Lake in September 1848.

During a brief two years in the new settlement, then known as Great Salt Lake City, Rachel helped put in crops and build cabins. With others, she killed crickets contending for the fruits of the settlers' labors, nurtured a little flock of hens, helped harvest vegetables, corn, and buckwheat, and gave birth to two children. By that time she was one of six wives in the Lee family; eight others had either left him or had died. Among the six wives who remained, they had ten children.

Lee's destiny, though, lay to the south. In 1851 he was asked by President Young to accompany George A. Smith, of the Quorum of Twelve, in colonizing new territories. Basic to that assignment was a search for iron ore, traces of which had been discovered two hundred miles south of Salt Lake City. If sufficient quantities could be found and extracted, it would free the Saints of costly imports from the eastern states.

The assignment commenced in December 1851. John D. Lee never moved back to Salt Lake City, spending the following two and a half decades pioneering on the fringes of civilization in southern Utah. Those years included some of the family's finest of times, interspersed with some which were unbelievably difficult.

Lee helped establish the settlement of Parowan and by 1852 had all his family removed from his properties in Salt Lake. They remained in the newly established town for a short period, then moved to Cedar City and the building of that community. By 1853 their home was nineteen miles south of Cedar City where they were busily engaged in building another settlement to be known as Fort Harmony.

Rachel's first child had been born in December 1848 a few months after their arrival in Salt Lake. That child was Elizabeth Abigail who died at age five. Nancy Emily was her second child, born on January 22, 1850. Both of those children were born at a place known as Big Cottonwood, about eight miles southeast of Salt Lake City, where John's farms were located. She gave birth to six more over the next fourteen years, all in southern Utah. With the exception of Helen Rachel (Nellie), all were born at Harmony in Washington County.

Rachel, a remarkable woman, was as well-suited as any female could be for the frontier life that she lived. She learned to ride a horse or drive a team of oxen as well as most men. She could carry on with usual homemaking duties under the harshest of circumstances. When on the trail, she had learned how to use the resources at hand, setting up a camp, cooking over an open fire and seeing to the needs of her family. She had the ability to size up a situation at a glance, make a decision and follow through. In the home, she was organized and neat. Her son, John Amasa, said that "...she was so orderly that he could get up in the dark of night and find anything, because everything was always in its place." Although she had received little formal education, she could write intelligently, and her penmanship, though rather cramped, was easily read. A good example of that was found in the records of the Harmony Branch of the church during the years 1856 to 1860 where she kept minutes of the meetings, including the regular Sunday church meetings, and, interestingly enough, the minutes of the priesthood meetings.

Those were busy years for Rachel and her growing family and for all the families of John D. Lee, for they were colonizing a new area, clearing land, constructing homes and building herds of cattle and flocks of sheep. They were, for the most part, good years and the family prospered.

When John's difficulties from the tragic affair in 1857 commenced, beginning with his excommunication from the church in 1870 and his apprehension by federal authorities in 1874, the life of each member of the family was affected. It was during that period that Rachel, along with Emma Batchelor, his nineteenth wife, became known for her devotion and loyalty to her husband. The Young sisters, wives thirteen and fourteen, and Sarah Caroline Williams, wife four, also proved faithful to him to the end.

After John's death, Rachel moved with her family, most of whom by this time were married with their own families, to the little settlement in northern Arizona that became known as Lees Valley. The name did not continue very long though, for the Lees, for whom the valley was named, remained only one year. The mountain community today is a popular summer resort called Greer. Rachel spent the winter of 1880 in that valley, then moved to the nearby settlement of Eagar, remaining there until 1883.

One of her sons, John Amasa, was married that year and immediately set out, with his bride, for the settlements in the Gila Valley. Most of his brothers and their families made the move with him, along with his mother. Rachel spent the next twenty-nine years in and around Safford, Arizona, surrounded by her numerous family of children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Some of the grandchildren who knew her during that period, recalled her as being quick and alert, even into her old age.

Rachel Woolsey was a true pioneering woman. She became adept at improvisation, providing for her family by making do with resources at hand.

Her greatest challenges, though, lay not in the physical aspects of her pioneering experience. Intertwined with her life during those years was her relationship and that of her husband's to the institution that they both considered to be "the Kingdom of God upon the earth." This dedication provided motivation to do their best with what they had. It sustained them, when in later years their faithfulness to their Mormon concepts and beliefs was threatened by what they considered a gross miscarriage of justice. They suffered the disloyalty of most of their former friends and severance from the community of the Saints. They lived a harsh, lonely existence at Lee’s Ferry. Those years were, for them, some of the most agonizing and tragic of any experienced by early Mormon pioneers settling the west.

Rachel passed away in 1912, thirty-five years after the death of her husband. She was in her eighty-seventh year. Her last resting place is a little rock-strewn cemetery located at the base of the Graham Mountain, about seven miles west of Safford, Arizona.

She married John Doyle LEE 3 May 1845 in Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois.

They had 8 children:

Elizabeth Abigail "Margaret" LEE, born 3Feb 1848 in Summer Quarters (later Douglas Co. Nebraska), died in childhood 5Jul 1852 in Parowan, Utah.

Nancy Emily LEE, born 22Jan 1850, died 27Feb 1931.

Helen or Hellen Rachel "Nellie" LEE, born 29Jul 1852, died 5Jul 1943.

Amorah LEE, born 29Mar 1856, died 21Jul 1945.

Ralph Doyle "Pap" LEE, born 12Feb 1858, died 20 or 22 Jul 1918.

John Amasa LEE, born 9Mar 1860, died 29Apr 1939.

William Franklin LEE, born 5Aug 1863, died 12Jun 1946.

Joseph Willard "Brig" LEE, born 9Aug 1868, died 30Oct 1916.

John married (7) Polly Ann WORKMAN 1845 in Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois.

Polly Ann Workman and John D. Lee were married either during the month of December 1845, or January, 1846. She was his seventh wife. Her name appeared in his journals on occasion during the exodus from Nauvoo but little was known of her prior life. She and Nancy Bean were the first in the Lee family to cross the Mississippi in February, 1846, to begin the trek across Iowa to Winter Quarters. When the company was at a place known as Pacific Springs about the middle of June, Polly Ann decided she would go back to Pisgah where many of the Saints had stopped for lack of means to go farther. In John D. Lee's family of forty-eight, which included adopted sons and their families, twenty-eight were forced to remain. Those in the family who continued had four wagons, twenty-four head of cattle, four mules, and three horses. Polly Ann was one of that group of family members.

It was when they arrived at Pacific Springs that Polly Ann left the family to go back to Pisgah. John warned her of the move, reporting the conversation in his journal, "...I at that time told her the consequences of such measures. Still she persisted in going..." After several months, most of which time she was severely ill, she returned to the Lee family. A couple of months later she experienced more illness, "...very violently attacked of a fever and sickness of the stomach..."

A few days later, on February 10, 1847, John and Polly Ann had a long conversation. There seemed to be serious problems between them, which John viewed as irreconcilable. With this feeling, he had spoken to her brother, who was at Pisgah about sending her to him. John made arrangements with him that he allow her to work in his household, and be paid at the rate of one dollar per week. The next day, despite some additional dialogue between them, John put her on a wagon and sent her back.

Polly Ann remained in Iowa and married Mr. Bennett. She never went to Utah.

She married John Doyle LEE 1845 in Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois.

John married (8) Martha Elizabeth BERRY 1845 in Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois. She was born 22 Nov 1827 in Nashville, Davidson, Tennessee. She was the daughter of Jesse Woods BERRY and Amelia SHANKS. Martha died 17 Jun 1885 in Kanosh, Millard, Utah, and was buried Jun 1885 in Panguitch, Garfield, Utah.

John D. Lee wrote that he was married to Martha Berry, his eighth wife, during the winter of 1846-1847: "In the temple, I took three more wives, Martha Berry, Polly Ann Workman, and Delethea Morris, and had all my family sealed to me over the altar."

Martha was named in John D. Lee's journals, while at both Winter Quarters and Summer Quarters, involved in some of the routine work in which all his wives were engaged.

John D. Lee and Martha had five children. Their first, a little girl, was born in 1850 after the family reached Utah and settled in Big Cottonwood. The other four children were born in southern Utah.

Martha left Lee in 1857 or 1858. She married Dennis Dorrity, a Mormon, by whom she had six children. She died at Kanosh, Utah, in 1885, at the age of sixty-one.

She married (1) John Doyle LEE 1845 in Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois.

They had 5 children:

Harriet Josephine LEE, born 16 Feb 1850, died 23Oct 1922.

William Orson LEE, born 23 May 1852 in Parowan, Iron, Utah.

Armelia LEE, born 1854 in Fort Harmony, Iron, Utah, died in infancy 1854.

Thurza Jane LEE, born 25 Oct 1855/1856, died 16 Jul 1894.

Henrietta LEE, born 1858 in Utah, died in childhood 1860

John married (9) Delethia MORRIS 1845/1846 in Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois. She was born about 1812.

John D. Lee married Delethia Morris as his ninth wife sometime during the winter of 1845-1846. Her name appeared only once in his writings: "In the temple, I took three more wives, Martha Berry, Polly Ann Workman and Delethia Morris." Juanita Brooks wrote that nothing had been found about her except that while Lee was away on his trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico, she was married to Allen Miller, a trader. This information was obtained from Lee's "Confessions,"

"...while we were here, two men came to our camp, named Allen Miller and Mr. Clancy. They were traders to the Potawatomie Indians. Allen Miller had married one of my wives..."

Delethia Morris had no children by John D. Lee.

She married (1) John Doyle LEE 1845/1846 in Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois.

John married (10) Nancy Ann VANCE 1845/1846 in Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois. She was born 29 Sep 1824 in Morgan, Illinois. She was the daughter of John VANCE and Sarah Lavinia Gant PERKINS. Nancy died 30 Oct 1851.

In the fall of 1845, John D. Lee married Nancy Ann Vance as his tenth wife. Lee had baptized several families of Youngs in Tennessee during his missionary days there, including David Adolphous, with his wife and three of his children. Lee had married two of the girls, Lavina and Polly. David's wife, whose name was Elizabeth Vance, was probably a sister to Lewis Vance and an aunt to Nancy Ann.

A nephew, who could have been a cousin of Nancy Ann Vance, whose name was Adolphia, also joined the Church with his wife, Rhoda, and several children. Both David Adolphous and Adolphia and their families gathered with the Saints at Nauvoo in 1842. Both families departed the city with the body of the Church in 1846, making their way across Iowa to Winter Quarters.

While at Winter Quarters, Adolphia learned that his father was critically ill, and not expected to live. Leaving his wife and family with Lee, he immediately started back to Tennessee.

Several months later, John Harmon Young, Adolphia's brother, arrived at Summer Quarters with a message from Adolphia. He was to tell Lee that Adolphia, himself, was seriously ill and would be unable to return in time to travel to the Valley with the company that season. He asked that Lee see that his family was sent back to Tennessee, and when he recovered sufficiently, he would put together his outfit and take his family on to the Valley.

Mr. Harmon, who was not a member of the Church, also had a letter for Nancy Ann Vance from her father. It contained $5.00, with which, if she so desired, she could return home, home meaning back to Tennessee. She decided to return, probably making the trip back with Mr. Harmon. Little was known about Nancy during that time, but it was apparent that she later made her way back west, possibly with Adolphia and his family when they went west in 1852. She, however, never returned to John D. Lee, but married a Mormon, William Shin Wardsworth. She had borne a child Hannah by John D. Lee at Winter Quarters in 1846. Hannah later adopted the Wardsworth name and married Mr. Harris.

She married (1) John Doyle LEE 1845/1846 in Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois.

They had 1 child:

8833.Fi.Hannah Lee WARDSWORTH, born 1846 in Winter Quarters, Douglas, Nebraska. She married ________ HARRIS.

John married (11) Emoline Vaughn WOOLSEY 21 Dec 1846 in Winter Quarters, Douglas, Nebraska. She was born 4 Jan 1830 in Danville, Boyle, Kentucky. She was the daughter of Joseph WOOLSEY and Abigail SHAFFER.

John D. Lee married Emoline as his eleventh wife. She was the younger sister of his wives, Aggatha Ann and Rachel Andora. During the summer of 1847, she left the Lee home at Summer Quarters and went back with Charles Kennedy on a visit to Mt. Pisgah. Lee had objected to her leaving, and when she returned, refused to accept her back into his family, an action which he later regretted. She did not cross the plains to Utah but eventually remarried, probably to Charles Kennedy, and remained in the Midwest.

She married (1) John Doyle LEE 21 Dec 1846 in Winter Quarters, Douglas, Nebraska.

John married (12) Nancy GIBBONS 27 Feb 1847 in Winter Quarters, Douglas, Nebraska. She was born 7 Jan 1799 in Knoxville, Knox, Tennessee. Nancy died Aug 1847 in Summer Quarters, Nebraska.

Nancy Armstrong was John D. Lee's twelfth plural wife. Thirteen years older than Lee, she was sealed to him at Winter Quarters on February 27, 1847, the same day Polly and Lavina Young were sealed to him.

Nancy had been married previously to a wealthy merchant by the name of Armstrong. When John D. Lee was in Overton County, Tennessee serving a mission, he received protection from a threatening, unruly mob by Mr. Armstrong, who invited him to stay at his home. Thus John met Nancy Armstrong and her sister, Sarah Gibbons, who was a single woman. Sarah had been staying with her sister and brother-in-law.

Mr. Armstrong, John said, "was not a believer in any religion," but Lee held him in high esteem, because he saw Mr. Armstrong as a "high minded, honorable man."

On subsequent visits to the area, John usually visited with and sometimes stayed at the Armstrong's home.

Eventually, both Nancy and Sarah gained testimonies of the restored gospel. Nancy requested baptism, but Lee advised against it and refused to baptize her until such time as her husband would consent to it.

In the meantime, Abraham O. Smoot received a call to the Tennessee mission, met Nancy Armstrong and her sister, and baptized them both. Elder Smoot's wife had accompanied him on his mission, and it was she, John said, who invited Sarah, after baptism, to move to Nauvoo. She later became a plural wife of A. O. Smoot.

A few months after Sarah's move to Nauvoo, Nancy convinced her husband to allow her to visit her sister. While there, became acquainted with Rachel Woolsey, who was by this time, one of John's plural wives. Apparently Brother Smoot was not interested in having Nancy in his family and she did not intend to go back to Tennessee to her husband. She related all this to Rachel who informed John.

By this time, February 1847, the Saints had removed from Nauvoo and were at Winter Quarters. On Saturday evening, February 13, Nancy visited Lee at his home. She told him of her situation, saying that with the Saints all preparing to leave for the Valley, she was about to be left at Winter Quarters with no assistance. After discussing the matter, she asked John if she could not be included in his camp when he moved out. He, in part, consented by telling her that she was not without friends.

Ten days later, Nancy again visited Lee. Very candid with him, she said she had not a friend in the whole camp to whom she could turn for help. She chided John for his virtual disregard for her welfare, adding that he was one of the first elders to bring the gospel to her, and that she could not understand why he was always so cool, never coming forward to give her any advice, encouragement, etc. John assured her that he had the highest regard for her, but since her sister Sarah was married to Smoot and that since Brother Smoot had brought her from Tennessee, he was under the impression she would become a member of that family.

Her reply was that she traveled with the Smoots only out of necessity because she was not acquainted with any other family. She then asked Lee outright if he would not "take charge of her."

"Do you wish to be connected with me in marriage according to the seal of the covenant?" he asked her.

She replied, "I do, and I am willing to fare as you do in all things in adversity."

His reply was, "Your request shall be granted."

The next day, February 27, 1847, Nancy Armstrong was sealed along with two other women, to John D. Lee. His diary records the following:

"Winter Quarters, Omaha Nebraska, Sat., Feb. 27, 1847. At 30 m. to 7, evening, Pres. B. Young and lady came into John D. Lee's to attend to the following ordinances (SS) [sealing to spouse]:

"Nancy Gibbons, born Jany 7th, 1799, Noxville, Nox County, state of Tennessee.

"Mary Vance Young, born Nov. 10th 1817, Jackson Co., Tennessee.

"Lovina Young, born Sept. 25th, 1820, Jackson Co., Tennessee.

"John Doyle Lee, born Sept. 6th, 1812, Town of Kaskaskia, Randolph County, State of Ills."

Following the ordinance, John said they all sat down to a sumptuous supper, after which President Young and his lady "amused the party by singing some sacred and sentimental hymns adapted for the occasion."

When the Lees moved to Summer Quarters later that year, Nancy, surprisingly, remained with the Smoots. In fact, it appeared that she had remained with them during this whole time since her sealing to Lee had been performed. She eventually joined the Lee family and took her place at Summer Quarters as one of his wives.

John later wrote of her, "...My whole family respected her. She was forty-eight years of age when she was sealed to me, and she was a true wife until her death..." Nancy died that August at Summer Quarters, the victim of the same ailment that took many others in the group, probably cholera.

Nancy married (2) John Doyle LEE 27 Feb 1847 in Winter Quarters, Douglas, Nebraska.

John married (13) Mary Vance "Polly" YOUNG 27 Feb 1847 in Winter Quarters, Douglas, Nebraska. She was born 10 Nov 1817 in Jackson County, Tennessee. She was the daughter of David YOUNG and Elizabeth VANCE. Mary died 7Apr 1893 in Nutrioso, Apache, Arizona, and was buried in Nutrioso, Apache, Arizona.

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Mary Vance Young, hereafter identified as Polly, was the sixth child of David Adolphous Young and Elizabeth Vance. In early 1800, David and Elizabeth arrived in Tennessee, where they had their first child in 1807. Over the next eighteen years, they had seven more; the last, David Isom, was born in 1825. The parents and three of their children joined the Mormon Church in 1842, baptized by John D. Lee, who was a missionary in Tennessee at the time. The children who became members with their parents were the three youngest, Polly, Lavina, and David. The others were all probably married with children of their own or single, making their own livelihood.

David, the father was an elderly man of seventy years, when he was baptized. It must have been difficult for him at that late time in his life to pack up his things along with the family and leave the home in which they had lived for thirty-five or more years to move to Nauvoo. There were others in the Young family, David's nephews, who were baptized and moved to Nauvoo at about the same time. Little is known about the lives of the Youngs during the few years in Nauvoo.

By mid-1845 relations between the Mormons and gentiles in western Illinois were so strained that it was painfully clear that Nauvoo must be abandoned. Like most of those in the city, the Youngs began getting outfits together for their departure and the move west. "Our efforts," wrote John D. Lee, "centered on two objectives, namely, our contemplated move west and the completion of the temple."

That winter Lee spent most of his time in the nearly finished temple. There, he said, he did a little of everything, including assisting in "fitting up the rooms, sometimes acting as doorkeeper, seeing that all things were in readiness and kept straight in the preparation time." When the doors were opened to the membership John was set apart as the temple recorder, "...to keep the record of the saints." He and his wife, Aggatha Ann, were in the second company to receive their endowments. In the next few months John took great personal pride in welcoming many old friends and converts from Tennessee to the temple including the Youngs, Paces, Vances, Berrys and others during those first few weeks of its operation.

Polly went through the Nauvoo Temple with her parents on February 3, 1846.

Ten months later the Youngs left Nauvoo, crossed the plains of Iowa and were trying to survive while encamped on the Missouri River. Four hundred cabins were hurriedly erected by the suffering Saints, and on the late autumn morning when Lee arrived back from a special mission to Santa Fe, New Mexico, he discovered almost everyone in need of food and supplies. His own families had inadequate shelter with the situation becoming more serious as each day passed. It was almost December and in that country, where the wind blew without barrier for hundreds of miles in any direction, the bitter cold could be harsh and unsparing for those not properly prepared. Lee wasted no time securing building materials, hauling logs for walls, setting them in place, and making shingles by splitting them himself.

In the meantime he discovered that his old friends from Tennessee, David Young and family, were immobilized by illness. He quickly gave assistance by getting food and supplies for their immediate needs, then gave the son, David Isom, money with which to lay in enough food to see the family through the winter. Both David, the father, and Elizabeth had been sick and in need of attention. He was by that time seventy-three years of age, and she was in her mid-sixties. Neither of them fully regained their health from that series of illnesses.

Two months later they witnessed the marriage of their daughters, Polly and Lavina and another Tennessee convert, Nancy Gibbons. These three ladies were married to John D. Lee on February 27, 1847 in a single ceremony performed by President Brigham Young at Lee's home at Winter Quarters. Lee noted the occasion in his journal that, "Nancy Gibbons, Mary Vance and Lavina Young were sealed to John D. Lee for time and all eternity in presence of Brigham Young and David Young." Following that unusual ceremony, the party all sat down to a sumptuous supper. Later that evening President Young and his wife entertained the group by singing several songs Lee described as "both sentimental and sacred."

A few days later the Lee family moved eighteen miles north to a place which eventually became known as Summer Quarters. Here was a plot of one hundred acres of fine river bottom land on which a few dozen families, designated by Brigham Young, developed a farm. Lee was named superintendent under the direction of Isaac Morley who was given responsibility for the operation of all church affairs here, while Brigham Young and his pioneer company blazed the way west to the Salt Lake Valley. The ground was measured under Morley's direction and acreage allotted to four different groups. David Young's family was included in one group, so that when Polly and Lavina, settled down as members of the Lee family, their parents, with their brother, David Isom, were included.

By July log cabins for shelter had been completed and crops had been planted; some garden vegetables had been put in and were maturing, but most of the land had been planted in corn.

About that time devastation struck the company. Lee wrote of "a disease not known to our people" that decimated the group. Most of the Summer Quarterspeople contracted the disease with symptoms similar to cholera. Some of them died from the effects; David Isom was one of the early victims. His parents, too, succumbed, leaving only Polly and Lavina to carry on.

While some of Lee's wives could harness and drive a team of horses or even ride well themselves and perform other work on the farm usually left to men, Polly and Lavina were both more inclined toward tasks inside the home. Although they worked in the fields with the others as the situation required, they preferred baking and cooking and such occupations as embroidering and making clothing.

The first winter of their arrival in Salt Lake, 1848, was difficult but after the Winter Quarters experience, they were prepared for the rigors of that new environment. Rigorous it was. Food became so scarce before the harvest of 1849 that it was held in a common store and only through sharing did everyone survive.

The Lees were residents of Salt Lake City for only a short time. In 1851 John D. was called to assist in development of settlements to the south. Initially the effort was known as the Iron Mission. Eventually the country became the permanent home of the families of John D. Lee and they lived there for the next twenty years.

Polly and Lavina were set up in a newly established community known as Washington. It was there that Lee was to build his finest home in the west, a large rock house that he referred to as his mansion. The sisters and their families lived there from 1858 until about 1870. That was the longest period of time either of the sister wives lived in one locale other than their ancestral home in Tennessee.

John D. Lee was excommunicated from the church in 1870 for his part in the tragedy at Mountain Meadows. In that disassociation, he supposedly lost all former family ties, including an eternal marriage with his wives. It was general church policy at that time that after excommunication of a male member, his wife or wives were free to consider themselves divorced, if they so desired and could then marry someone else.

After Lee's death in 1877, the Young sisters remained together. They each had three children who had married siblings of the John W. Clark family. That marriage bonding of the two families made ties between them very close. Neither Polly nor Lavina ever remarried. In 1879, though, they visited the St. George Temple with intent of assuring themselves a place in a family in the eternal worlds. They were there sealed to their cousin, Adolphia Young.

Adolphia had been an early convert, baptized in Tennessee in the early 1840's, by John D. Lee. He, however, had died while enroute across the plains in about 1852. Some years before his death, he had been sealed according to the Mormon law of adoption, as a son to his missionary benefactor, John D. Lee.

During the winter of 1879, Polly, Lavina and their families moved into an area of the upper Little Colorado River in Arizona. A high mountain valley, it was given the name of Lee Valley at first because there were so many Lee progeny settled there. Everyone seemed to be of the Lee or Clark families. Additionally, there was at least one other wife of John D. Lee and her family living there, Rachel Woolsey.

The next spring it was generally agreed that Lee Valley was no place to spend a winter and the families moved out as soon as weather permitted. Polly and Lavina and their families moved to Nutrioso during the summer of 1880. William Flake, a land agent for the church, had secured large parcels of land in both places and made them available to Mormon colonists at fair prices with easy payment plans. About that time, Evaline Brown Clark, the mother of the Clark boys, arrived from Utah along with more members of the Clark family.

During the first year in Nutrioso, the Clarks and Lees, along with a few other families, harvested a bumper crop of seventeen hundred bushels of wheat and barley. Most of the surplus was used to assist the Mormon Colony at Joseph City where a dam on the Little Colorado River had washed out and the crops had failed. The populace was facing starvation.

During the year 1883, the government established a post office at Nutrioso, then considered the most promising settlement in Apache County. Lavina's son-in-law, John Wesley Clark (husband of Ellen Lee), became the postmaster.

That same year, Lavina contracted an illness from which she never recovered. She died on July 4, 1884 and was buried two miles east of town in the Nutrioso cemetery. A few years later, many of the Lees and Clarks moved back to Utah. By that time they had built up large herds of cattle that they drove back with them.

Polly, however, remained in Nutrioso until her death in 1893 at seventy-five years old. The two sisters who had stayed together their entire lives, even sharing the same husband, remained next to each other in death. Their individual headstones marking their graves in the remote Nutrioso cemetery were made from the same piece of granite.

She married John Doyle LEE 27 Feb 1847 in Winter Quarters, Douglas, Nebraska.

They had 3 children:

Elizabeth LEE, born 24Apr 1851, died 17Jun 1912.

James Young LEE, born 12Jul 1852, died 9Feb 1939.

John Doyle LEE, born 21Feb 1859 in Harmony, Washington, Utah.

John married (14) Lavina YOUNG 27 Feb 1847 in Winter Quarters, Douglas, Nebraska. She was born 25 Sep 1820 in Putman, Jackson, Tennessee. She was the daughter of David YOUNG and Elizabeth VANCE. Lavina died 4 Jul 1883 in Nutrioso, Apache, Arizona, and was buried Jul 1883 in Nutrioso, Apache, Arizona.

Both families, the Youngs and the Vances, were some of the earliest settlers of middle Tennessee, having arrived there at about the time the territory achieved statehood. David and Elizabeth probably lived on the same land for forty years. During that time they had eight children. The first was born about 1807 and the last in 1825. Lavina with the second youngest in the family.

David and Elizabeth and their three youngest children, Mary, who became known as Polly, Lavina and David Isom, became members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1842. Other Young and Vance families living in the area were baptized at the same time.

In 1845, the year they joined the Church, David, Elizabeth and those three children moved to the center stake of the Mormon kingdom of God on earth, the City of Joseph, as Nauvoo was sometimes called. Little is known about the family after their move and while they lived in Nauvoo, but it was certain that they kept in close communication with their missionary patron, John D. Lee, who had baptized them.

When the Saints were driven from Nauvoo, the Youngs were among them. Traveling across the territory of Iowa in the middle of the winter of 1845-1846, they experienced the ordeals of ice, snow, rain, and mud with everyone else. Following the trail marked by President Young, they passed through such places as Sugar Creek, Farmington, Keosaqua, and Garden Grove. While bogged down at the Pleasant Grove encampment, they would have heard President Young summarize the situation of the Saints and give them a glimpse of what he saw in the future.

"...Some have started with us that have turned away...and perhaps more will yet go. Yet I hope better things for you. We have set out to find a land and a resting place where we can serve the Lord in peace. We will leave some here because they cannot go further at present, but can stay here for a season and recruit and by and by pick up andcome on while we go a little further, lengthen out the cords & gather all the saints together in the place where we will build up the House of the Lord in the mountains....Inasmuch as we are united, we will prosper and I know that if this people will be united and hearken to council, that the Lord will give them every desire of their hearts..."

It took three months to travel the distance from the Mississippi to what became known as Winter Quarters on the Missouri River. By November, the family had been at the Missouri for several weeks and in serious trouble. The entire family was sick and they had no shelter or provisions. David, the father, was elderly, seventy-four years old, and unable to do much even when fit and well. Elizabeth was sixty-three years of age. The children would have borne the burden of the physical requirements of the trip across Iowa, particularly twenty-one year old David Isom. They had made it thus far but they found themselves facing what appeared to be insurmountable obstacles having to do with their very survival.

About that time, John D. Lee returned from a three month special mission assigned him by President Young. He found his own family in much the same condition as the Youngs and immediately took charge, building shelters and procuring food and supplies. In the meantime, he discovered the plight of the Young family. Without hesitation, he rendered assistance, took care of their immediate needs, then gave David Isom money to lay in supplies for the approaching winter.

A few months later the elderly couple witnessed the marriage of their daughters, Polly and Lavina, and another Tennessee convert, Nancy Gibbons Armstrong. Those three ladies were married to John D. Lee in a single ceremony on February 27, 1847. The marriage was performed by President Brigham Young at Lee's Winter Quarters home. Lee made note of the event in his journal:

"Nancy Gibbons Armstrong, Nancy Vance Young and Lavina Young were sealed to John D. Lee for time and all eternity in presence of Brigham Young and David Young." Following that unusual ceremony, the party all sat down to a "sumptuous supper." Afterwards, President Young and his wife entertained the group by singing several songs which Lee described as "...both sentimental and sacred."

A month later President Young left Winter Quarters with a pioneer company to blaze the trail to their new home in the west. John D. Lee and his family moved from Winter Quarters north about fifteen miles to establish a farm on which they were to grow corn for the general migration of the Saints, anticipated the following year. Lavina, the fourteenth wife of John D. Lee, went with the family to the new farm, which was given the name Brigham's Farm or Summer Quarters.

As the land was being tilled in preparation for planting, Lavina's parents, young brother and others in the settlement contracted a strange disease with which no one seemed familiar. The illness proved to be a very virulent, debilitating ailment. There was little anyone could do beyond treating them with homemade elixirs and herbal potions and administering priesthood blessings. Sometimes the sickness progressed so quickly that it was over before the victim could receive any attention. David Isom was the first in the settlement to pass away. He was buried on a nearby hill in a new graveyard given the name of Fairfield Cemetery. Others followed, including both parents of the Young family, David and Elizabeth, all of whom shared a place in Fairfield Cemetery as their last resting spot. The disease finally ran its course and survivors were left to fulfill their farming mission at Summer Quarters.

One could imagine the feelings of both Lavina and her sister; the new family which they had joined suddenly became their only family, the center of their lives. They had to rely wholly on their husband, John D. Lee, and his extensive group of adopted sons, daughters, and plural wives for companionship and support when confronted with the awesome challenge of crossing the great plains to the Rocky Mountains.

After a year at Summer Quarters the Saints were ready to move on to the Salt Lake Valley which Brother Brigham and his company designated as the new gathering place for the Saints. They left the Missouri River encampment on May 26, 1848. Lee described in his detailed journal entries the journey along the Platte River, through the high plains country of Nebraska and Wyoming and across the Great Divide, down into the Salt Lake Valley. He rarely mentioned any individual members of the family in his journals.

The strenuous, unvarying routine of the trail, though, must have soon become a test, particularly for the women, not only of their physical endurance, but also of mind and will. The continual dust created by the lumbering draft animals and the churning of wagon wheels was suffocating at times, and a constant source of discomfort and complaint.

The Platte River road was smooth, flat and easy at times, but too often it turned into sand hills and sand valleys, while the heat was unbearably oppressive. One of the most formidable challenges came in small packages, namely the mosquitoes. Most of the diaries of those using the Platte River Trail, or the Oregon-California Trail, as it came to be known, mentioned the profusion of gnats and mosquitoes. It seemed a never ending contest with the irksome little creatures to avoid their voracious appetites.

One of the most frequent sources of complaint, perhaps for Lavina and other female pioneers, was the necessity of cooking food over open fires. Fuel had to be gathered daily, and as soon as camp was set up at the end of the day and a fire started, the women began preparing the evening meal. The requirement of working so near the open fire caused long skirts to become scorched and riddled with holes. When the bake oven, or dutch oven as we know it today, was used, as it was for almost every cooked meal, the lid had to be removed often to check the food. The fronts of dresses were scorched and toes of shoes burned along with a blistered face.

Another chore to be done, though not as frequently as cooking, was washing clothes. It was no simple task in that era, under the best of circumstances. It took on gargantuan proportions when traveling across the plains. Not only was water scarce, what was found was usually so laced with mineral salts that it was almost ineffectual as a cleaning agent. The lye soap carried with them was not much help either.

Lavina experienced those arduous homemaking chores and vexing duties, all of which had to be performed regardless of time or place. Because of the nature and extent of the one-thousand-mile, three-month-long hike across the plains, everyone's clothing became dirtier faster and everyone, with increased need for energy, hungered more intensely. So it was with every household chore. What was a simple task in the environs of a home, became a veritable monster of a job while on the trail.

The family reached the embryonic city of Salt Lake the last week in September, and immediately set about preparing shelters. The winter of 1848-1849 was difficult for them but that was nothing new. They had experienced far worse than that and were prepared to carry on. Through sharing, encouraged by Brigham Young, everyone in the settlement was able to endure the harsh winter months.

Lavina, with some of the others, moved to a place John had constructed, with the help of his wives, at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon, and began building up their assets of cattle, sheep and the land itself.

The year 1852 was a pivotal one for the John D. Lee family. He was called to fulfill a mission to southern Utah. Departure with two of his wives, Lavina and Polly, began a twenty-seven year sojourn in the land to the south.

Lavina's first child was born while the town of Parowan was being organized. Named after his father and his mother's father, he was given the name of John David. Her second child was born a year later in the same community. Their third, Sabina, was born in Cedar City. Each of those children, on arriving at adulthood, married siblings of the John Wesley Clark family.

Eventually Lavina and her sister and their children moved to Washington, Utah, where John had purchased land in 1858 with the intent of experimenting with the cultivation of cotton. They lived there for the next twelve years, raising their families in one of the finest homes that John D. Lee had ever built. It was a large rock house which he called his "mansion."

At the urging of Brigham Young in 1871, John sold his properties at New Harmony and elsewhere and moved to an area north of Kanab, known as Upper Kanab. Lee referred to the place in his diaries as Skutumpah, an Indian name. Shortly after the move, and before the families of Lavina and Polly had arrived at the new place, John learned that he had been excommunicated from the Church, but for what reason, he could not immediately discern. Some of his wives left him at that time. Those remaining included the Young sisters. They arrived a few months later at the Skutumpah location.

Lee stayed there, operating a sawmill for no more than a year, at which time he moved south into the Territory of Arizona. President Young had given him the responsibility for setting up a ferry at the Colorado River crossing.

Lavina and Polly remained at the Skutumpah location. Many of the Clark family members moved into the area until, at one time, it was given the name Clarksville. Following Lee's death they moved briefly to St. George, then into Arizona several miles from Springerville, almost on the eastern border, at a place they called Lees Valley. Able to endure only one freezing cold winter there, they moved the following spring about twenty miles to the southwest to the little settlement of Nutrioso.

It was there that Lavina remained for the balance of her life. With her children and grandchildren, her sister, Polly, and the family nearby, she seemed to have lived a very satisfactory life. Her daughter Ellen's husband, John Wesley Clark, Jr., became the first postmaster of Nutrioso.

Lavina lived for only a few more years. She took ill one day and was unable to recover. She passed away at the age of sixty-three. Her grave is in the Nutrioso town cemetery a few miles north, off Highway 666, going toward Springerville.

In the year 1888 many of the Lees and Clarks moved back to Utah. By that time they had built up considerable herds of cattle which they drove back with them. Polly did not leave, however, and seemed to have continued a happy life in the little mountain settlement. Her death came in 1893 at the age of seventy-five. The remains of the two sisters, Polly and Lavina, who had been together all their lives, were not separated at death. They were buried next to one another in the little Nutrioso Cemetery, a few miles east of the town.

 

She married John Doyle LEE  27 Feb 1847 in Winter Quarters, Douglas, Nebraska.

They had 3 children:

John David LEE, born 19 Mar 1851, died 22 May 1922.

Ellen S. LEE, born 11 Nov 1852, died 12 Jun 1924.

Melvina LEE, born 18 Jun 1855 or 1856, died 8 or 9 Feb 1920.

John married (15) Mary Leah GROVES on 2 Dec 1852 in Cedar City, Iron, Utah. She was born 30 Oct 1836 in Far West, Caldwell, Missouri. She was the daughter of Elisha Hurd GROVES and Lucy SIMMONS. Mary died 12Jul 1912 in Virgin, Washington, Utah, and was buried 14 Jul 1912 in Virgin, Washington, Utah.

Mary Leah Groves was the eldest of six children in the family of Elisha Hurd Groves and Lucy Simmons. She must have been married to John D. Lee at an early age, for her name appeared in some of the emigrant records as Mary Leah G. Lee. However, the Genealogical Patron Notification Office of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had records proving Mary Leah was sealed to Lee on December 2, 1852. When couples at that time were sealed outside the Endowment House, they were instructed to return and do it over. So there was another sealing date of March 10, 1857. It was concluded, therefore, that she became his wife in the 1852 marriage. From 1854 to 1867 the couple had seven children, all born in southern Utah.

Mary Leah's father was called to be part of the Iron Mission of 1850 led by George A. Smith. His family did not accompany him on his initial trip south but joined him later, probably the following year. During that period, a company led by John D. Lee explored the region south of Cedar City, and, after building a fort on Ash Creek, soon moved to the permanent site that became Fort Harmony. Elisha Groves was one of fifteen men, heads of families, involved in that settlement. Fort Harmony became the Groves' home for the next ten years.

It was about the time of the settlement of Harmony that Mary Leah became John D. Lee's fifteenth wife. By 1855 although their quarters in the fort had not been completed, everyone seemed pretty well settled in. The rooms were finished as occasion permitted. Everyone knew that crops at that time were more important than finished walls. Mary Leah's rooms were not plastered until three years later, but the exposed adobes forming the walls were more the norm in those frontier times than a smoothly plastered, neatly finished interior. According to an unwritten but well-defined pecking order, the older wives' quarters would be finished first.

While living within the confines of the fort, Mary Leah undoubtedly spent as much time at her parents' residence as she did her own. It would have been reasonable that she help her partially crippled mother with as many household chores to keep the place comfortable and clean, at least until her younger brothers and sisters still at home were more capable.

She participated in the Lee household as did other wives, often accompanying her husband on trips north to Cedar City and Parowan, or south to the family property in Washington. In 1854, there was an Indian uprising and the settlers prudently withdrew to Fort Cedar until things settled down. It was during that temporary move that she had her first child. Erastus Franklin was born at Cedar City on March 1, 1854.

By 1860 Lee had properties in several directions, both to the north and to the south of the fort. He also had a large parcel five miles to the west at the base of Pine Mountain where he was building a large house. Many of the settlers were living outside the walls of the fort by that year and many were destined to move away from the area following devastating winter storms during the winter of 1860-61. After having been completed only seven years, the adobe walls of the fort literally melted away under the relentless lashing of wind, rain, and snow that the area suffered that winter.

The Groves, Elisha and Lucy, moved away to Kanarraville. Because of the devastation left in the wake of the storms, Lee was battling to keep his large family provided with food and shelter. Due to the sheer numbers of people in the family, it was necessary to keep the teams and men constantly working just to keep up with fuel needs for the fires. Six people were required daily to do household chores. John noted in his diary, "I have 60 persons who depend on me for their daily sustenance." Under those circumstances it was not surprising that during that crisis, Mary Leah took her family to Kanarraville to stay with her parents.

It was not known how long the Groves remained at Kanarraville. Mary Leah was with them much of the time. In fact her fifth child, Elisha Squire, was born at Kanarraville on July 20, 1862. Her sixth, Mary Serepta, was born back at Harmony on July 23, 1865. Soon after, the Groves moved to Toquerville, where John and Mary Leah took the newborn for a visit with her grandparents. The entry in John's journal regarding that visit was interesting as it revealed much about his and Mary Leah's relationship at that time. His perception was that she had been "raised a pett," and that her going to Toquerville was not just another short-term visit. She wanted so much to be in her parents' home, he wrote, that he finally agreed to her repeated appeals and talked to Elisha and Lucy about such a possibility. Lucy seemed overjoyed that her daughter might be living with them, saying it would add ten years to her life.

Both Elisha and Lucy were getting on in years; he was seventy years old and probably in poor health. Lucy was sixty and at a disadvantage because of her crippled leg. Mary Leah, with the children helping, would have been most welcome. Mary Leah was happy to be with her parents to give them the help they needed. John cautioned the Groves, however, that he was doing that only at Mary Leah's insistence and made it clear that she remained his wife. He would continue to provide food and other necessities for his family there.

In subsequent visits, John wrote that Mary Leah became very cool towards him as though angry about something. Unfortunately, we do not know the full story, particularly her version, but from that time on, personal relations between the two declined, going from bad to worse.

In 1867, Elisha died of old age and was buried in the Toquerville cemetery. After his burial, John visited the family, noting in his journal, that Mary Leah was "in the dark and under a heavy trial." That statement was in reference to her attitude toward him, rather than grief for the passing of her father.

Stake President Snow, at St. George, became aware of the serious rift between the two and asked Bishop Willis of Toquerville Ward to try to help them resolve their differences. After meeting with them, the Bishop advised Mary Leah to return with her children to her husband. She pointed out, though, that she could not go back to Harmony, leaving her mother alone, and that she refused to do so as long as she needed help. Mary's last child was born in October 1868, however.

We could not blame Mary Leah for that decision. If she left at that time, the crippled mother would be alone and would have to rely almost completely on the benevolence of her neighbors and members of the Toquerville Ward for her daily needs.

On the other hand, John felt strongly about Mary Leah and wanted to keep her in the family. He went back to Harmony and started construction on a "dwelling house...designed for Mary Leah...provided she feels disposed to occupy it...." At another time during a visit to Toquerville, he told her about the house, assuring her that he could care for her needs. Finally, in an effort to force the issue, he told her that if she insisted on staying in Toquerville, he would consider it an intolerable situation and would no longer support her.

Mary Leah's response indicated that she was firm in her mind as to the direction she would or would not go. The real reason might very well have been her disenchantment with the concept of plurality of wives, that she had had enough and was purposely creating a situation that would afford excuse for an exit. This, however, is an assumption of our part.

Later in his journal, John expressed little hope of Mary's returning, particularly while her mother remained alive. Mary Leah's name appeared nowhere in his journal thereafter. It was not known whether he ever saw her but he made no record of such a meeting.

Lee wrote of his excommunication from the church the following year. According to church procedure at that time, Mary Leah was free to choose whether or not the marital arrangement with him would continue. She chose to be divorced and shortly afterward married Daniel Matthews.

Mary Leah remained in the Toquerville area until her mother died on July 20, 1884. She herself lived another thirty years, raising her seven children as well as three more by her second husband. She passed away at the age of seventy-six and was buried in the Virgin Cemetery not far from Toquerville.

She married (1) John Doyle LEE on 2 Dec 1852 in Cedar City, Iron, Utah.

They had 7 children:

Erastus Franklin LEE, born 1Mar 1854, died 4Nov 1914.

Mariam Leah LEE, born 13Apr 1856, died 9Jan 1942.

Lucy Olive LEE, born 15Apr 1858, died 30Jan 1922.

John Hurd LEE, born 27Mar 1860, died 18Sep 1938.

Elisha Squire LEE, born 20Jul 1862, died 15Mar 1937.

Mary Sarepta LEE, born 23Jul 1865, died 23Nov 1897.

Jacob LEE, born 28Oct 1868, died 1Feb 1947.

John married (16) Mary Ann WILLIAMS 1856. She was born 11 Sep 1844 in Springfield, Sangamon, Illinois. She was the daughter of John WILLIAMS and Marcy LUCAS. Mary died 8 Feb 1882 in Panguitch, Garfield, Utah, and was buried in Panguitch, Garfield, Utah.

Mary Ann's parents must have joined the Mormon Church prior to the abandonment of the City of Nauvoo and gone west with the body of the church taking her with them. She would have been only a few years old. There seem to be no genealogical ties between Mary Ann and another of Lee's wives of the same surname, Sarah Caroline Williams.

Mary Ann was first mentioned in Lee's diaries April 4, 1858, where she was named as one of two wives who accompanied him on a trip to Cedar City. This was rather peculiar, however, for at that date, she would have been only thirteen years of age, if she was in fact, born on the date given above. The 1860 census had her born two years earlier, in 1842. Her age was listed as eighteen years, so that if the 1842 year was used as her birth, in the 1858 entry, she would have been sixteen.

In the book attributed to him, "Mormonism Unveiled," Lee stated that Mary Ann was sealed to him as his sixteenth wife in 1856. At that date, if we accepted the 1844 birth date, she would have been only twelve years old. If we accepted the date according to the 1860 census information, she would have been fourteen.

Lee made several errors in listing the names and vital statistics of his wives in the book and could very well have been mistaken on the 1856 sealing date for Mary Ann Williams. If one accepted the earliest mentioned birth date, giving her as many years as possible, she would still have been a very young woman when she was first named as one of Lee's wives.

Her name appeared quite often in Lee's diaries after the first entry of April fourth. She was found accompanying him and usually a couple of other members of the family to such settlements as Cedar City on some trading and business affair. Another time they went to Washington where John went to plant the year's cotton crop. They also went to Fort Clara later when he spoke in a church meeting. On the way home from a trip to Washington, his wife, Emma Batchelor, John Alma, his eldest son, and Mary Ann, stopped by the way to pick a half bushel of berries.

During this period the US Army had been sent to Utah and was threatening to engage the Mormons in the so-called "Mormon War." It was a time of excitement and great change for the Mormon communities not only in the north but in southern Utah as well. The Indians were particularly active around Cedar City, Harmony, and Washington. John must have dealt with some of them every few days.

He recorded a letter in his journal from Brigham Young, dated March 24, 1858, in which President Young told him of the development of the war and the needs of the church in the north, namely, for wagons and teams to move families south in the contemplated exodus of the entire population from Salt Lake City.

"...You can begin to send teams here for families, etc., as soon as the weather or roads are sufficient settled..." He also informed John that the headquarters of the Church would shortly be moved to Parowan.

At that time of developing events, the action thus taken was based on the expected movement of Johnston's forces, who were camped at Fort Bridger, awaiting orders from their commander. The course that was decided upon by the military leaders touched the lives of all those living in the little Mormon settlements up and down the territory. President Young relied heavily upon his tried and trusted co-members of the Kingdom to cooperate in establishing a method for providing supplies and provisions for those in need who were expected to bear the brunt of the invasion. John was made responsible for heading up the drive for provisions from Washington County.

Several weeks later, as word was received of arrival of a new Governor for Utah, and when the war seemed to be winding down, Bishop Davies saw a need for renewal of commitment in the Harmony Ward. He asked John D. Lee and Richard Woolsey to contact every member of the ward "house by house," and "stir up the saints" to rededicate themselves to living the principles of the gospel. In response, John D. wrote that "...in obedience to council I called to my aid, Bro. Richard Woolsey & commenced with my family first. All felt humble & desired to do right, with the exception of Mary Ann who was then under a heavy trial." Lee did not elaborate on Mary Ann's "heavy trial," but it might be assumed that it had to do with their marital relationship, although it appears the relationship was a father-daughter rather than a husband-wife affair.

That was not the first indication of Mary Ann's discontent. Both he and she had appealed to President Young for counsel in separate letters. He replied to John on February 1, 1857:

"There are three letters from you and your wife, Mary, & I perceive there is something wrong. I perceive also that if time & the spirit of the Lord do not mend the breach, my counsel would be unavailing or its results temporary. Your Bishop & Pres. Haight may direct you in this matter if you feel to ask and abide their counsel."

Whether or not an appeal was made to the bishop or stake president, John did not reveal. The whole business, though, was finally discussed between the two of them and a settlement resolved. In the second week of January 1859, John said, "I told her that If i could not make her happy that she should have her liberty, and if there was any other man that she could be more happy with, to say so & I would use my endeavors to have her seald to that man."

She replied that, "...she could love me and respect me as a father but not as a husband." That seemed to be the crux of the problem. John was now almost fifty years old; she was, at most, nineteen years old. He was, in her eyes, far more of a father-figure than a husband and she could not bring herself to accept him as such.

When she told him of the dilemma and that she dearly loved his oldest son, John Alma, he must have been startled, not having any idea that this was the issue, either the father-figure concept or the competitive position of John Alma, whom, she said, "she loved more than any other man that she ever saw." Having committed to giving her liberty if there were someone she would name with whom she thought she could be happier, he paused only momentarily, then answered simply that "...her request would be granted..."

Shortly thereafter John arranged for a large party in his "family hall," inviting "all the inhabitants of Harmony" and he himself performed the marriage ceremony between the two. There followed a sumptuous supper, and he added, "...all participated in the rich festival."

John Alma and Mary Ann Williams Lee seemed very satisfied in their new relationship. They lived happily together after their unique marriage for the next twenty years, raising a family of seven children. Mary Ann had a good influence on John Alma, especially a few times when feelings between father and son were strained. She brought her influence to bear at those times, motivating him to mend any differences that might exist between him and his father.

John Alma preceded her in death at the early age of forty-one on September 11, 1881. She died just five months later at approximately the same age.

She married (1) John Doyle LEE 1856.

John married (17) Emma Louise BATCHELOR on 7 Jan 1858 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah. She was born 21 Apr 1836 in Uckfield, Sussex, England. She was the daughter of Henry BATCHELOR and Elizabeth. Emma died 16 Nov 1897 in Winslow, Navajo, Arizona, and was buried 18 Nov 1897 in Winslow, Navajo, Arizona.

Emma Batchelor was the fourth child of Henry and Elizabeth Batchelor. Both parents had been born in or near the village of Uckfield, Sussex County, England, and their ancestors were from the same area. The 1841 and 1851 British censuses showed four children in the Batchelor family, but there were probably more as there was evidence that some of them were not at home when the enumerator called.

She was christened while an infant in The Church of the Holy Cross which had served as a house of worship for the people of Uckfield since its construction in 1299 A.D. There were a number of headstones in the adjacent cemetery bearing the Batchelor name. One, a huge stone rising about five feet above ground, was in memory of William Batchelor, who for nearly fifty years was the parish clerk. Either a brother or a cousin to Emma's father, Henry, he died in 1856.

Emma became a member of the LDS Church at sixteen when she was baptized on Saturday, June 1, 1850. She was living in the resort town of Brighton at the time, probably working as a domestic servant. Her sister, Francis, who was eleven years older, joined the church at the same time. They both became members of the Brighton Branch of the Kent Missionary Conference.

In November 1851, Emma moved back to Uckfield where her membership record was transferred to the Uckfield Branch. When the branch was disorganized four years later in September 1855, there were twenty-one members listed. Emma was the only person on the list with the surname of Batchelor, an indication that her father nor any of the children still at home were members.

In 1855 she decided to emigrate to America. The Church provided assistance for persons who had no means to embark on such a journey through an organization known as the Perpetual Emigration Fund (PEF). Emma applied for such assistance at the Liverpool Mission office and began gathering food, clothing and other provisions to make the move.

About eight months later, preparations were complete and she was notified to be in Liverpool in the third week in May. The ship "Horizon" was scheduled to depart the Bramley Moore Dock in Liverpool on May 22, 1856; destination, Boston Harbor, Massachusetts, USA. Emma was one among eight hundred fifty-six passengers, almost three-fourths of whom were patrons of the Perpetual Emigration Fund. Part of the agreement was that the emigrating party would, upon arrival in the Valley, repay the fund with what usually amounted to one year of service in the home or on the farm of the settler with whom they stayed. Elder Edward Martin, who had recently completed a three year mission in Great Britain, was named president of the company.

The ship departed the docks in a timely manner on the appointed day, a Friday. At about noon the huge ropes which bound her were cast off and she began to dip and sway as a little pilot boat nudged her out into the River Mersey, her bow pointed toward the Irish Sea.

That was a solemn moment for the emigrants. It was a certainty for most of them, including Emma, that that would be their last view of their homeland. "Farewell to Thee, England." One of those aboard had written a few poetic verses for the occasion, expressing the feelings of the departing emigrants as they stood at the rail watching the Liverpool shoreline fade into the distance.

Farewell to thee, England, bright home of my sires,

Thou pride of the free man and boast of the brave.

I have loved thee and never till being expires,

Can I learn to forget thee, thou star of the wave.

There followed ten verses describing that somewhat melancholy hour of departure and expression of hope for the future. Those feelings were probably shared by all those aboard, and while the coastline receded, they spontaneously joined in singing the old English air, "My Native Land I Love Thee."

After departure, President Martin and his counselors lost no time in organizing the large assemblage into nine wards with a "President" over each.

The crossing to Boston Harbor took thirty-four days as the "Horizon" proved to be an excellent sailing ship. Although during much of the voyage, head winds predominated, the ship pushed continually westward against the head winds by tacking to port and starboard as required. It was considered to be a good crossing.

The railway cars waiting the company to take them on to Iowa City, Iowa, proved to be little more than box cars with seats built up inside. No one complained for they were the means of moving rapidly to their next destination It took about four days to span the distance to the end of the railway. The gathering place was on the plains a few miles beyond Iowa City. While there Emma renewed her friendship with a former acquaintance, Elizabeth Summers, who was with the James G. Willie company; they had arrived in America three weeks ahead of the "Horizon" on the ship "Thornton."

The trek from that point on was to be by handcart, but the handcarts being constructed in Iowa were not ready when they arrived. They were almost a month behind schedule.

Had Emma known beforehand the terrible hardships of the journey ahead, she would probably have remained where she was until the next season. But when Elizabeth suggested she switch to the Willie Company so they could make the trip together, Emma readily agreed. She became a member of the Willie Handcart Company, the third to set out from Iowa City that year just ahead of the Martin Company with which she had crossed the Atlantic.

That proved only a temporary change, however, for under circumstances of her own choosing, Emma decided after a few weeks of travel, to return to the Martin Handcart Company and stopped at Fort Laramie to await their arrival. The fort was located along the Platte River about two-thirds of the way to Salt Lake City. The Martin group arrived seven days later at the Fort. The company remained overnight and were on their way early the next morning, and of course, Emma was with them.

The season for leaving was becoming very late but with luck they would make it through before the winter storms would close the roads and mountain passes ahead. By the second week in October they were still hundreds of miles from Salt Lake. They had not yet crossed the steepest ranges or the highest passes and everyone was growing trail weary. When Captain Martin ordered a reduction in both the daily flour ration and the weight of baggage per person on the carts, it meant for some of them, discarding extra blankets and clothing.

In the two days following, they were confronted with the first severe storm of the season, hail, sleet, and snow accompanied by a frigid north wind. The mistake in throwing away both blankets and clothing was immediately recognized. That night as the damp ground froze solid, more than a few of them wondered about the immediate future and hoped that that was just a single change in the weather to be followed by the return of warmer days.

During the next week the cold became so intense that scores of men, women, and children in the company suffered its effects and became too weak to continue the journey. It is amazing that despite the cold weather and the continued storms, so many survived. Approximately four hundred fifty of the six hundred who started the journey lived to reach the valley. Emma Batchelor was among the survivors. She later attributed her ability to endure under such stringent conditions to the care she took, especially in crossing streams and rivers. She always removed her shoes and stockings, placing them on the handcart, then hitched up her skirt and pulled the cart through. On the other side, she took time to dry her feet thoroughly, followed with a brisk massage with her wool shawl. Then she put on dry stockings and shoes. After overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds, the company arrived in the Salt Lake Valley the first week in December.

The immigrants were quickly taken into the homes of the settlers and made as comfortable as possible. Many had frozen fingers, toes, and feet. All of them suffered malnutrition.

Emma, of course, had no relatives in Salt Lake, so she was taken into the home of Brother and Sister James Kippen. As soon as she recovered her normal good health, she became an employee in the Kippen household. She described her position later as no more than a personal servant to Sister Kippen, an experience that was not positive. She felt she was not treated well by them and soon became disgusted with the arrangement.

After the required year of working to satisfy the PE Fund agreement she left to seek employment elsewhere. It was about that time that she met John D. Lee, who was in Salt Lake from southern Utah, representing Washington County in the state legislature. Becoming acquainted with Emma in the home of James Henry Rollins in Salt Lake, they were mutually attracted to one another and were married with President Brigham Young's approbation and took place in the president's own sealing room on January 7, 1858.

At adjournment of the legislature on the twenty-second, and after taking care of some last minute business, they headed south toward Harmony. During the trip, she sat at John's side genuinely interested in his bartering activities for various commodities along the way.

Emma lived at Fort Harmony and New Harmony for the next twelve years. Those were happy, productive times in her life. She shared in assignments and responsibilities in Lee's large household, and he eventually built her a modest home of her own on his property at New Harmony. She bore five of her seven children while living there.

When her husband was executed for his participation in the Mountain Meadows Massacre, she was living at the ferry on the Colorado River. John had transferred the deed to the property into her name several years before his death and thus the place became hers when he died. She operated the ferry for the following two years, then sold out and moved deeper into Arizona. She later married a former acquaintance, Frank French, who was many years her senior. They seemed to get along well even though he was gone on gold prospecting ventures much of the time.

Emma Batchelor was intelligent, self-reliant, and determined in achieving her goals. A biography printed years ago following her death described how the people of Winslow, Arizona where she lived for many years, knew and appreciated her for her considerable healing powers:

"She could take out a bullet, sew up a knife wound, fend off Indians and exist on nothing but hope. It was as if life had decided she didn't need any favors..."

On the morning of November 11, 1897, at the age of sixty-two, Emma passed away. She arose one morning, prepared breakfast for her husband and began getting ready to start rounds as a medical practitioner. She complained of being unusually tired and suddenly fell to the floor. Her death was instantaneous.

Her funeral was the biggest event the town of Winslow had experienced up to that time. Townspeople, ranchers, railroad men and native Americans, all recipients of her healing ministrations, gathered from miles around. Out of respect to Emma's unusual dedication to her work with the railroad, the company issued a special order for the day. All trains passing through Winslow were to halt for a few minutes, then proceed at a slow pace. Neither while entering the yard limits nor while leaving were whistles to be blown or bells sounded.

The three-foot-high limestone marker that was placed over her grave has in the last hundred years so eroded that information carved on it is barely discernible, although the name Dr. French, by which she became known in her medical practice, can still be readily deciphered.

Like that old faded marker the memory of Emma Batchelor to the people of Winslow has faded. To members of the Lee family, however, she will ever be remembered as the beloved English-born wife of their ancestor, who by sheer faith and indomitable courage, left her home in England, crossed the United States under life-threatening hardships, to arrive at her Zion destination where she met and married our ancestor. She dearly loved her husband and accompanied him faithfully to some of the "loneliest Dells" on the face of the earth.

Emma married (2) John Doyle LEE 7 Jan 1858 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah.

They had 8 children:

John Henry LEE, born 30 Jun 1859 in Fort Harmony, Washington, Utah, died in infancy 7 Jul 1859 in Fort Harmony, Washington, Utah, and was buried 10 Jul 1859 in Fort Harmony, Washington, Utah.

William James LEE, born 16 Dec 1860, died 20 Nov 1920.

Isaac "Ike" LEE, born 29 Nov 1863, died 9 Nov 1892.

Rachel Emma LEE, born 22 Jul 1866 in New Harmony, Washington, Utah. She married Frank CLIFF.

Ana Eliza LEE, born 22 Jul 1866 in New Harmony, Washington, Utah. She married Barney HALEY.

Frances Dell "Dellie" LEE, born 17 Jan 1872 in Lonely Dell, Coconino, Arizona. She married David BLAIR.

________ LEE, born 15 Nov 1873 in Lonely Dell, Coconino, Arizona.

Victoria Elizabeth LEE, born 25Oct 1875 in Lonely Dell, Coconino, Arizona. She married ________ McDONNELL.

John married (18) Terressa MORSE 18 Mar 1859 in Fort Harmony, Washington, Utah. She was born 20 Oct 1813 in Clifford, Luzerne, Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of William Amos MORSE and Hannah FINN. Terressa died 20 Mar 1862 in Sevier County, Utah, and was buried 23 Mar 1862 in Sevier, Sevier, Utah.

John D. Lee's diary states: "In 1859 I was sealed to my eighteenth wife, Teressa Morse. I was sealed to her by order of Brigham Young. Amasa Lyman officiated at the ceremony."

Terressa Morse was born in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, located in the eastern section of the state but she said that she was raised in Ohio. While living there in 1843 she joined the LDS Church, and subsequently moved to Nauvoo. She and her husband, Mr. Briggs, departed Nauvoo with the general exodus of the church in 1846 and remained at Winter Quarters in Nebraska until 1848, when they crossed the plains to Utah. They had two sons, Robert and Charley.

Sometime in the interim between Nauvoo and the Salt Lake Valley, Briggs disappeared. Whether he died or otherwise left Terressa for some reason, is not known. By 1849, however, she was married to Solomon Chamberlain, a man twenty-five years her senior. They lived in Salt Lake from 1849 to 1851, where they experienced problems which all the early pioneers faced, particularly those challenges having to do with inadequate food and shelter.

In an interview during John D. Lee's incarceration at Beaver, Utah, she was questioned by a news reporter, from the Sacramento Union, on August 3, 1875 about her life and the early settlements in Utah, including the well-known story of Mormon crickets and the devouring seagulls. "...just then came great flocks of pure white gulls and ate the crickets up...," she told him, as she herself had witnessed it.

The reporter asked, "...You don't believe that?"

"...I don't? ...Didn't they come? ...Didn't I see them settle down in flocks in my own dooryard and gobble up the crickets? Oh yes, they came day after day and saved us in truth..."

Terressa's only child by Chamberlain was a girl, Louisa, born about 1849.

The Lee family was called to the Iron Mission, and went south in 1852. They were with George A. Smith's company of nineteen wagons, which included John D. Lee and his wives, Lavina and Polly Young. They arrived at Parowan on November 4, 1852.

The first entry in Lee's diaries to include Terressa Morse in his household was six years after their arrival in Southern Utah. The Lees were living at Old Fort Harmony. In his entry of February 26, 1858, John told of a trip to Cedar City, about fifteen miles north of Harmony. Included in the traveling party with him were Emma Batchelor, one of his wives, John Davis, bishop of Harmony, H. Barney and E. Morris, Davis's counselors, and Sister Chamberlain.

What was Terressa Chamberlain doing there as part of that group? It was evident from subsequent entries that she was not simply visiting but for some unknown reason was living in the Lee household, but not as one of his wives. A month later, on March 24, Lee noted in his journal that he "...started for Washington," with one of his wives, "Polly V. Lee and Tearesa Morse, Alma & Lem, etc...."

Seven months after that entry, John observed that there was so much emigrant traffic on the California Road which ran past Harmony that he decided to provide accommodations for those travelers. In mid-November, he made a sign designating his "mansion" as the sign of the Eagle, "Entertainment by J. D. Lee," placed "in frount of my mansion level with the second floor." Then he told how on November 25, "...some of my family working all nite with travelers (76 California teamsters.)" Terressa was named as one of those in the kitchen crew. Revenues from that one night amounted to $120.00.

Finally, a year after her name first appeared in his journal as "Sister Chamberlain," she was sealed to Lee. On March 18, 1859, he wrote, "...Amasa Lyman...spent the day and night at my house with his wife....After supper he seald to me Terressa Morse..." Following that date, Lee spoke of Terressa as his wife.

How was that to be interpreted, and what about her former husband, Solomon Chamberlain? At her marriage to Lee, Terressa was forty-six years old, past child-bearing age. Chamberlain had not died, nor did it seem there were any moral entanglements in his or Terressa's life. It appeared that their problem was simply day-to-day relations with one another. The difficulty was obviously taken to Brigham Young. He probably told them to separate for a time and try to work things out. In the meantime, he would provide a place for her to stay and she could make up her mind what she wanted to do.

What about her ten-year-old child, Louisa? Typically, President Young would have said that it did not matter with which parent the child remained, because neither had any intention of leaving the Church. This same question had arisen in John D. Lee's life when he separated from Louisa Free. President Young's counsel to him, when Lee questioned him about their boy, as above, was that it did not matter. Had Chamberlain been cut off from the Church or was not in good standing for any reason, the child would not have been left in his care. On the other hand, had Terressa left the Church or been excommunicated, she would never have been taken into Lee's home. The Chamberlain child, Louisa, for whatever reason, remained with her father.

After a year of living in the Lee household, she made the choice to become one of John's wives. There was no mention of divorce between Terressa and Solomon Chamberlain, but upon direct consent of Brigham Young, a divorce was not required. That explained John's statement that he married Terressa "by order of Brigham Young," and like his marriage many years before to Abigail Woolsey, it was for her "souls sake."

Interestingly enough, one and a half years after Terressa's marriage to Lee, and about three years after she had left Chamberlain, Solomon Chamberlain, an old man of seventy-two years, came to John and asked that Terressa return to him. After some conversation in which John, seeming to become quite vexed at the way in which the proposal was made, told Chamberlain that if Terressa wanted to go back to him, that he would not object. Yet he said he did not want her to leave unless she wanted to go. She chose to stay as a member of the Lee household.

Following John D. Lee's excommunication from the Church, and his move to Upper Kanab, Skutumpah, in 1872 Terressa Morse left the Lee family. She really had no options, since Lee, in distributing his property among his wives, left nothing to Terressa because she had no children by him. She went north to Provo, where her son, Robert, lived, and stayed with him until she married again.

During the interview by the news reporter mentioned above, she gave her name as Mrs. Phelps; at the time, she was sixty-two years old. She described how she lived in the Lee homes at Harmony and Washington.

"...I labored in his different residences, in all parts of his family. I baked bread for his family for three years at Fort Harmony. I loved Lee. I love him still. He has been misrepresented; he has been made a dog of, he has been forced into this trouble...it hurts me to see a man who is naturally kind-hearted as any living human being...who's been made a cat's paw of."

The reporter then asked, "Why don't he tell all about it?"

"Why, you don't know the man! I've heard him say he'd suffer death and be cut in pieces rather than turn traitor."

After that we have no more information about Terressa. It is not known where she lived, nor when she passed away.

Terressa married John Doyle LEE 18 Mar 1859 in Fort Harmony, Washington, Utah.

John married (19) Ann GORDGE on 10 Jun 1865 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah. She was born 30 May 1849 in Adelaide, Australia, Australia. She was the daughter of Samuel GORDGE and Merab HANCOCK.

Shortly after Merab Hancock and Samuel Gordge were married, they moved from their home in the British Isles to Australia. Their first child, Ann, was born there in 1849. When she was two years old, a tragic incident occurred which took the life of her father by drowning on December 25, 1850. Merab was pregnant at the time and gave birth five months later, May 17, 1851, to her second child, David.

By 1855 Widow Merab Gordge had made her way to the United States and settled in the gold fields of northern California. Here she met and married John Phillips. The couple, with Merab's two children, eventually moved to Beaver, Utah. It was there in 1866, that Ann, their daughter, met and married John D. Lee.

John D. and Ann Gordge in the following five years had three children, Samuel James, Emma Merab, and Albert Doyle. One year before Albert Doyle was born, September 1870, John, by direction of President Brigham Young, sold his property in Harmony where all three children had been born and moved to a wilderness area south of the rim of the Great Basin in Kane County, known as Upper Kanab, sometimes referred to by its Indian name, Skutumpah. There he established a sawmill and commenced preparing lumber for use in building the newly established settlement of Kanab. The settlement was thirty-five miles southwest of the sawmill location.

His initial arrival at Skutumpah was October 17, 1870, bringing with him from New Harmony one of his wives, Rachel Andora and her three children. Three other wives with their families for the time being, remained at the Harmony property. They were Emma Batchelor, Sarah Caroline Williams, and Ann Gordge. Two more wives, Polly and Lavina Young, were in residence at the property in Washington, about forty miles south of Harmony.

Lee's plan, we assume, was to eventually move them all to the sawmill at Skutumpah, when he could provide housing for them there.

In mid-November the mill broke down, requiring a trip to the settlements to have a part replaced. He specifically went to Cedar City where there was access to an iron foundry. On the way John received a letter, much to his dismay, telling him that he had been excommunicated from the Church. By the first week of the new year, he was experiencing problems with some of those living in Harmony, who by then knew of his severance from the church, and because of the action, looked upon their former neighbor in a different light. Certain people in the community who owed John money felt that his disassociation absolved them from their obligation while others with a penchant for booty seemed to believe that his property was now free for the taking and his wives, who had remained in Harmony and Washington, bore the brunt of these twisted attitudes and actions by some of their neighbors.

On January 6, 1871, John, having secured the replacement part for the sawmill, visited his families and began the trip back to Skutumpah, taking with him Sarah Caroline Williams and children. Emma Batchelor and her children joined the family on April twentieth. Accompanying her were the two children of Ann Gordge, Samuel James and Emma Merab.

Shortly after Emma joined them, he heard unsubstantiated reports that Ann Gordge, who should have arrived at Skutumpah with Emma, had abandoned him and her two older children, while goods and supplies that he had left in Harmony, with the intent of retrieving later, had been ravaged. All this was "...through the influence of wicked and evil designing persons..." Pilfered property included most of the wheat from his granary, a couple of barrels of molasses stolen, seed potatoes gone, turkeys, geese, chickens and beef cattle all butchered or plundered, "besides many other articles taken including the cook stove."

John was led to believe that Ann took part in all the looting, that she had sold much of it herself and fled north.

There was more to the story, however, not known to Lee at the time. Ann's granddaughter, Edith Morris Robinson, gave the following version, as told to her by her mother, Emma Merab:

"When the Lee family moved to Skutumpah, my grandmother, Ann Gordge, was the last of the wives to leave Harmony. Through an unfortunate incident, she decided that rather than go to Skutumpah, she would go north and find her brother, David, and stay with him. The incident was this: In the course of loading her wagon with things she would be taking to Skutumpah, she had to retrieve some items from a cellar. As she was carrying some boxes up the narrow steps, she suddenly slipped and fell. Mother, Emma Merab, said that she was a large woman and unable to get up. She was so embarrassed that she would not call out for help. She soon heard the wagon, carrying Emma and some of the children, leave. Samuel James and Emma Merab were with this group. Three month old Albert Doyle remained with Ann.

"Some of the older boys had been left to drive Ann's team and wagon. They soon discovered her in the stairwell, but when she asked for help to get up, they thought her predicament very funny and rather than render immediate assistance, they began ridiculing and making fun of her."

Along with this demeaning incident and the fact that she was probably getting tired of frontier life, she decided she would go north to Beaver to stay with her brother, David, for the time being. She did so, remaining there a few months. She then made her way farther north where she found work in the copper mines cooking for the miners.

Years of separation from the family went by. Almost twenty years after Lee's death in 1894, she married Frank Kennedy, and thereafter signed her name Ann T. Kennedy.

Of Ann's two eldest children, Samuel James, grew up in Emma Lee's home, Merab in Rachel's home. Samuel James, known as Jim, married Effie Savage on February 13, 1894, and lived for a time in Burley, Idaho. Merab married George L. Morris on February 3, 1884. Albert Doyle also married and lived in Tintic, Utah.

In the early 1900's, the children found their mother near Oakley, Idaho, and Samuel James moved there. Merab Emma was living in San Jose, Arizona with a family of her own. In 1904, she with two of her children, Edith and Amasy Lee, went to Salt Lake City for a memorable reunion with her mother and brothers.

The date of Ann Gordge's death is not known. She was still living in 1915, when Merab Emma received a postcard from her. The postcard eventually fell into the possession of her granddaughter, Edith Robinson. It was still in her possession in 1982.

She married (1) John Doyle LEE 10 Jun 1865 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah.

They had 3 children:

Samuel James LEE, born 14 Mar 1867, died 17 Dec 1937.

Emma Merab LEE, born 14 Oct 1868, died 21 Nov 1945.

Albert Doyle LEE, born 15 Nov 1871, died 7 May 1921.

Some photos of John D. Lees wives copied from www.johndlee.net.

 

John Lee's Letter to Brigham Young Concerning Massacre

WRITTEN AT HIS DICTATION AND DELIVERED TO WILLIAM W. BISHOP, ATTORNEY FOR LEE, WITH A REQUEST THAT THE SAME BE PUBLISHED.

As a duty to myself, my family, and mankind at large, I propose to give a full and true statement of all that I know and all that I did in that unfortunate affair, which has cursed my existence, and made me a wanderer from place to place for the last nineteen years, and which is known to the world as the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

I have no vindictive feeling against any one; no enemies to punish by this statement; and no friends to shield by keeping back, or longer keeping secret, any of the facts connected with the Massacre.

I believe that I must tell all that I do know, and tell everything just as the same transpired. I shall tell the truth and permit the public to judge who is most to blame for the crime that I am accused of committing. I did not act alone; I had many to assist me at the Mountain Meadows. I believe that most of those who were connected with the Massacre, and took part in the lamentable transaction that has blackened the character of all who were aiders or abettors in the same, were acting under the impression that they were performing a religious duty. I know all were acting under the orders and by the command of their Church leaders; and I firmly believe that the most of those who took part in the proceedings, considered it a religious duty to unquestioningly obey the orders which they had received. That they acted from a sense of duty to the Mormon Church, I never doubted. Believing that those with me acted from a sense of religious duty on that occasion, I have faithfully kept the secret of their guilt, and remained silent and true to the oath of secrecy which we took on the bloody field, for many long and bitter years. I have never betrayed those who acted with me and participated in the crime for which I am convicted, and for which I am to suffer death.

My attorneys, especially Wells Spicer and Wm. W. Bishop, have long tried, but tried in vain, to induce me to tell all I knew of the massacre and the causes which led to it. I have heretofore refused to tell the tale. Until the last few days I had in tended to die, if die I must, without giving one word to the public concerning those who joined willingly, or unwillingly, in the work of destruction at Mountain Meadows.

To hesitate longer, or to die in silence, would be unjust and cowardly. I will not keep the secret any longer as my own, but will tell all I know.

At the earnest request of a few remaining friends, and by the advice of Mr. Bishop, my counsel, who has defended me thus far with all his ability, notwithstanding my want of money with which to pay even his expenses while attending to my case, I have concluded to write facts as I know them to exist.

I cannot go before the Judge of the quick and the dead with out first revealing all that I know, as to what was done, who ordered me to do what I did do, and the motives that led to the commission of that unnatural and bloody deed.

The immediate orders for the killing of the emigrants came from those in authority at Cedar City. At the time of the massacre, I and those with me, acted by virtue of positive orders from Isaac C. Haight and his associates at Cedar City. Before I started on my mission to the Mountain Meadows, I was told by Isaac C. Haight that his orders to me were the result of full consultatation with Colonel William H. Dame and all in authority. It is a new thing to me, if the massacre was not decided on by the head men of the Church, and it is a new thing for Mormons to condemn those who committed the deed.

Being forced to speak from memory alone, without the aid of my memorandum books, and not having time to correct the statements that I make, I will necessarily give many things out of their regular order. The superiority that I claim for my statement is this:


ALL THAT I DO SAY IS TRUE AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH.

 

I will begin my statement by saying, I was born on the 6th day of September, A. D. 1812, in the town of Kaskaskia, Randolph County, State of Illinois. I am therefore in the sixty-fifth year of my age.

I joined the Mormon Church at Far West, Mo., about thirty-nine years ago. To be with that Church and people I left my home on Luck Creek, Fayette County, Illinois, and went and joined the Mormons in Missouri, before the troubles at Gallatin, Far West and other points, between the Missourians and Mormons. I shared the fate of my brother Mormons, in being mistreated, arrested, robbed and driven from Missouri in a destitute condition, by a wild and fanatical mob. But of all this I shall speak in my life, which I shall write for publication if I have time to do so.

I took an active part with the leading men at Nauvoo in building up that city. I induced many Saints to move to Nauvoo, for the sake of their souls. I traveled and preached the Mormon doctrine in many States. I was an honored man in the Church, and stood high with the Priesthood, until the last few years. I am now cut off from the Church for obeying the orders of my superiors, and doing so without asking questions--for doing as my religion and my religious teachers had taught me to do. I am now used by the Mormon Church as a scape-goat to carry the sins of that people. My life is to be taken, so that my death may stop further enquiry into the acts of the members who are still in good standing in the Church. Will my death satisfy the nation for all the crimes committed by Mormons, at the command of the Priesthood, who have used and now have deserted me? Time will tell. I believe in a just God, and I know the day will come when others must answer for their acts, as I have had to do.

I first became acquainted with Brigham Young when I went to Far West, Mo., to join the Church, in 1837. I got very intimately acquainted with all the great leaders of the Church. I was adopted by Brigham Young as one of his sons, and for many years I confess I looked upon him as an inspired and holy man. While in Nauvoo I took an active part in all that was done for the Church or the city. I had charge of the building of the "Seventy Hall;" I was 7th Policeman. My duty as a policeman was to guard the residence and person of Joseph Smith, the Prophet. After the death of Joseph and Hyrum I was ordered to perform the same duty for Brigham Young. When Joseph Smith was a candidate for the Presidency of the United States I went to Kentucky as the chairman of the Board of Elders, or head of the delegation, to secure the vote of that State for him. When I returned to Nauvoo again I was General Clerk and Recorder for the Quorum of the Seventy. I was also head or Chief Clerk for the Church, and as such took an active part in organizing the Priesthood into the order of Seventy after the death of Joseph Smith.

 

After the destruction of Nauvoo, when the Mormons were driven from the State of Illinois, I again shared the fate of my brethren, and partook of the hardships and trials that befell them from that day up to the settlement of Salt Lake City, in the then wilderness of the nation. I presented Brigham Young with seventeen ox teams, fully equipped, when he started with the people from Winter Quarters to cross the plains to the new resting place of the Saints. He accepted them and said, "God bless you, John." But I never received a cent for them--I never wanted pay for them, for in giving property to Brigham Young I thought I was loaning it to the Lord.

After reaching Salt Lake City I stayed there but a short time, when I went to live at Cottonwood, where the mines were afterwards discovered by General Connor and his men during the late war.

I was just getting fixed to live there, when I was ordered to go out into the interior and aid in forming new settlements, and opening up the country. I then had no wish or desire, save that to know and be able to do the will of the Lord's anointed, Brigham Young, and until within the last few years I have never had a wish for anything else except to do his pleasure, since I became his adopted son. I believed it my duty to obey those in authority. I then believed that Brigham Young spoke by direction of the God of Heaven. I would have suffered death rather than have disobeyed any command of his. I had this feeling until he betrayed and deserted me. At the command of Brigham Young, I took one hundred and twenty-one men, went in a southern direction from Salt Lake City, and laid out and built up Parowan. George A. Smith was the leader and chief man in authority in that settlement. I acted under him as historian and clerk of the Iron County Mission, until January, 1851. I went with Brigham Young, and acted as a committee man, and located Provo, St. George, Fillmore, Parowan and other towns, and managed the location of many of the settlements in Southern Utah.

In 1852, I moved to Harmony, and built up that settlement. I remained there until the Indians declared war against the whites and drove the settlers into Cedar City and Parowan, for protection, in the year 1853.

I removed my then numerous family to Cedar City, where I was appointed a Captain of the militia, and commander of Cedar City Military Post.
I had commanded at Cedar City about one year, when I was ordered to return to Harmony, and build the Harmony Fort. This order, like all other orders, came from Brigham Young. When I returned to Harmony and commenced building the fort there, the orders were given by Brigham Young for the reorganization of the military at Cedar City. The old men were requested to resign their offices, and let younger men be appointed in their place. I resigned my office of Captain, but Isaac C. Haight and John M. Higbee refused to resign, and continued to hold on as Majors in the Iron Militia.

After returning to Harmony, I was President of the civil and local affairs, and Rufus Allen was President of that Stake of Zion, or head of the Church affairs.

I soon resigned my position as President of civil affairs, and became a private citizen, and was in no office for some time. In fact, I never held any position after that, except the office of Probate Judge of the County (which office I held before and after the massacre), and member of the Territorial Legislature, and Delegate to the Constitutional Convention which met and adopted a constitution for the State of Deseret, after the massacre.

I will here state that Brigham Young honored me in many ways after the affair at Mountain Meadows was fully reported to him by me, as I will more fully state hereafter in the course of what I have to relate concerning that unfortunate transaction.

Klingensmith, at my first trial, and White, at my last trial, swore falsely when they say that they met me near Cedar City, the Sunday before the massacre. They did not meet me as they have sworn, nor did they meet me at all on that occasion or on any similar occasion. I never had the conversations with them that they testify about. They are both perjurers, and bore false testimony against me.

There has never been a witness on the stand against me 'that has testified to the whole truth. Some have told part truth, while others lied clear through, but all of the witnesses who were at the massacre have tried to throw all the blame on me, and to protect the other men who took part in it.About the 7th of September, 1857, I went to Cedar City from my home at Harmony, by order of President Haight. I did not know what he wanted of me, but he had ordered me to visit him and I obeyed. If I remember correctly, it was on Sunday evening that I went there. When I got to Cedar City, I met Isaac C. Haight on the public square of the town. Haight was then President of that Stake of Zion, and the highest man in the Mormon priesthood in that country, and next to Wm. H. Dame in all of Southern Utah, and as Lieutenant Colonel he was second to Dame in the command of the Iron Military District. The word and command of Isaac C. Haight were the law in Cedar City, at that time, and to disobey his orders was certain death; be they right or wrong, no Saint was permitted to question them, their duty was obedience or death.
When I met Haight, I asked him what he wanted with me. He said he wanted to have a long talk with me on private and particular business. We took some blankets and went over to the old Iron Works, and lay there that night, so that we could talk in private and in safety. After we got to the Iron Works, Haight told me all about the train of emigrants. He said (and I then believed every word that be spoke, for I believed it was an impossible thing for one so high in the Priesthood as he was, to be guilty of falsehood) that the emigrants were a rough and abusive set of men. That they had, while traveling through Utah, been very abusive to all the Mormons they met. That they had insulted, outraged, and ravished many of the Mormon women. That the abuses heaped upon the people by the emigrants during their trip from Provo to Cedar City, had been constant and shameful; that they had burned fences and destroyed growing crops; that at many points on the road they had poisoned the water, so that all people and stock that drank of the water became sick, and many had died from the effects of poison. That these vile Gentiles publicly proclaimed that they had the very pistol with which the Prophet, Joseph Smith, was murdered, and had threatened to kill Brigham Young and all of the Apostles. That when in Cedar City they said they would have friends in Utah who would hang Brigham Young by the neck until he was dead, before snow fell again in the Territory.. They also said that Johnston was coming, with his army, from the East, and they were going to return from California with soldiers, as soon as possible, and would then desolate the land, and kill every d--d Mormon man, woman and child that they could find in Utah. That they violated the ordinances of the town of Cedar, and had, by armed force, resisted the officers who tried to arrest them for violating the law. That after leaving Cedar City the emigrants camped by the company, or cooperative field, just below Cedar City, and burned a large portion of the fencing, leaving the crops open to the large herds of stock in the surrounding country. Also that they had given poisoned meat to the Corn Creek tribe of Indians, which had killed several of them, and their Chief, Konosh, was on the trail of the emigrants, and would soon attack them. All of these things, and much more of a like kind, Haight told me as we lay in the dark at the old Iron Works. I believed all that he said, and, thinking that he had full right to do all that he wanted to do, I was easily induced to follow his instructions.

Haight said that unless something was done to prevent it, the emigrants would carry out their threats and rob every one of the outlying settlements in the South, and that the whole Mormon people were liable to be butchered by the troops that the emigrants would bring back with them from California. I was then told that the Council had held a meeting that day, to consider the matter, and that it was decided by the authorities to arm the Indians, give them provisions and ammunition, and send them after the emigrants, and have the Indians give them a brush, and if they killed part or all of them, so much the better.

I said, "Brother Haight, who is your authority for acting in this way?" He replied, "It is the will of all in authority. The emigrants have no pass from any one to go through the country, and they are liable to be killed as common enemies, for the country is at war now. No man has a right to go through this country without a written pass."

We lay there and talked much of the night, and during that time Haight gave me very full instructions what to do, and how to proceed in the whole affair. He said he had consulted with Colonel Dame, and every one agreed to let the Indians use up the whole train if they could. Haight then said: "I expect you to carry out your orders."

I knew I had to obey or die. I had no wish to disobey, for I then thought that my superiors in the Church were the mouth pieces of Heaven, and that it was an act of godliness for me to obey any and all orders given by them to me, without my asking any questions.

My orders were to go home to Harmony, and see Carl Shirts, my son-in-law, an Indian interpreter, and send him to the Indians in the South, to notify them that the Mormons and Indians were at war with the "Mericats" (as the Indians called all whites that were not Mormons) and bring all the Southern Indians up and have them join with those from the North, so that their force would be sufficient to make a successful attack on the emigrants.

It was agreed that Haight would send Nephi Johnson, another Indian interpreter, to stir up all the other Indians that he could find, in order to have a large enough force of Indians to give the emigrants a good hush. He said, "These are the orders that have been agreed upon by the Council, and it is in accordance with the feelings of the entire people."
I asked him if it would not have been better to first send to Brigham Young for instructions, and find out what he thought about the matter.

"No," said Haight, "that is unnecessary, we are acting by orders. Some of the Indians are now on the war-path, and all of them must be sent out; all must go, so as to make the thing a success.

It was then intended that the Indians should kill the emigrants, and make it an Indian massacre, and not have any whites interfere with them. No whites were to be known in the matter, it was to be all done by the Indians, so that it could be laid to them, if any questions were ever asked about it. I said to Haight:

"You know what the Indians are. They will kill all the party, women and children, as well as the men, and you know we are sworn not to shed innocent blood."
"Oh h--l!" said he, "there will not be one drop of innocent blood shed, if every one of the d--d pack are killed, for they are the worse lot of out-laws and ruffians that I ever saw in my life."

We agreed upon the whole thing, how each one should act, and then left the iron works, and went to Haight's house and, got breakfast.

After breakfast I got ready to start, and Haight said to me:

"Go, Brother Lee, and see that the instructions of those in authority are obeyed, and as you are dutiful in this, so shall your reward be in the kingdom of God, for God will bless those who willingly obey counsel, and make all things fit for the people in these last days."

I left Cedar City for my home at Harmony, to carry out the instructions that I had received from my superior.

I then believed that he acted by the direct order and command of William H. Dame, and others even higher in authority than Colonel Dame. One reason for thinking so was from a talk I had only a few days before, with Apostle George A. Smith, and he had just then seen Haight, and talked with him, and I knew that George A. Smith never talked of things that Brigham Young had not talked over with him before-hand. Then the Mormons were at war with the United States, and the orders to the Mormons had been all the time to kill and waste away our enemies, but lose none of our people. These emigrants were from the section of country most hostile to our people, and I believed then as I do now, that it was the will of every true Mormon in Utah, at that time, that the enemies of the Church should be killed as fast as possible, and that as this lot of people had men amongst them that were supposed to have helped kill the Prophets in the Carthage jail, the killing of all of them would be keeping our oaths and avenging the blood of the Prophets.

In justice to myself I will give the facts of my talk with George A. Smith.

In the latter part of the month of August, 1857, about ten days before the company of Captain Fancher, who met their doom at Mountain Meadows, arrived at that place, General George A. Smith called on me at one of my homes at Washington City, Washington County, Utah Territory, and wished me to take him round by Fort Clara, via Pinto Settlements, to Hamilton Fort, or Cedar City. He said, "I have been sent down here by the old Boss, Brigham Young, to instruct the brethren of the different settlements not to sell any of their grain to our enemies. And to tell them not, to feed it to their animals, for it will all be needed by ourselves. I am also to instruct the brethren to prepare for a big fight, for the enemy is coming in large force to attempt our destruction. But Johnston's army will not be allowed to approach our settlements from the east. God is on our side and will fight our battles for us, and deliver our enemies into our hands. Brigham Young has received revelations from God, giving him the right and the power to call down the curse of God on all our enemies who attempt to invade our Territory. Our greatest danger lies in the people of California--a class of reckless miners who are strangers to God and his righteousness. They are likely to come upon us from the south and destroy the small settlements. But we will try and outwit them before we suffer much damage. The people of the United States who oppose our Church and people are a mob, from the President down, and as such it is impossible for their armies to prevail against the Saints who have gathered here in the mountains."

He continued this kind of talk for some hours to me and my friends who were with me.
General George A. Smith held high rank as a military leader. He was one of the twelve apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and as such he was considered by me to be an inspired man. His orders were to me sacred commands, which I considered it my duty to obey, without question or hesitation.

I took my horses and carriage and drove with him to either Hamilton Fort or Cedar City, visiting the settlements with him, as he had requested. I did not go to hear him preach at any of our stopping places, nor did I pay attention to what he said to the leaders in the settlements.
The day we left Fort Clara, which was then the headquarters of the Indian missionaries under the presidency of Jacob Hamblin, we stopped to noon at the Clara River. While there the Indians gathered around us in large numbers, and were quite saucy and impudent. Their chiefs asked me where I was going and who I had with me. I told them that he was a big captain.
"Is he, a Mericat Captain?"
"No," I said, "he is a Mormon."

The Indians then wanted to know more. They wanted to have a talk.

The General told me to tell the Indians that the Mormons were their friends, and that the Americans were their enemies, and the enemies of the Mormons, too; that he wanted the Indians to remain the fast friends of the Mormons, for the Mormons were all friends to the Indians; that the Americans had a large army just east of the mountains, and intended to come over the mountains into Utah and kill all of the Mormons and Indians in Utah Territory; that the Indians must get ready and keep ready for war against all of the Americans, and keep friendly with the Mormons and obey what the Mormons told them to do--that this was the will of the Great Spirit; that if the Indians were true to the Mormons and would help them against their enemies, then the Mormons would always keep them from want and sickness and give them guns and ammunition to hunt and kill game with, and would also help the Indians against their enemies when they went into war.

This talk pleased the Indians, and they agreed to all that I asked them to do.
I saw that my friend Smith was a little nervous and fearful of the Indians, notwithstanding their promises of friendship. To relieve him of his anxiety I hitched up and started on our way, as soon as I could do so without rousing the suspicions of the Indians.

We had ridden along about a mile or so when General Smith said, "Those are savage looking fellows. I think they would make it lively for an emigrant train if one should come this way."

I said I thought they would attack any train that would come in their way. Then the General was in a deep study for some time, when he said,"Suppose an emigrant train should come along through this southern country, making threats against our people and bragging of the part they took in helping kill our Prophets, what do you think the brethren would do with them? Would they be permitted to go their way, or would the brethren pitch into them and give them a good drubbing?" I reflected a few moments, and then said, "You know the brethren are now under the influence of the late reformation, and are still red-hot for the gospel. The brethren believe the government wishes to destroy them. I really believe that any train of emigrants that may come through here will be attacked, and. probably all destroyed. I am sure they would be wiped out if they had been making threats again our people. Unless emigrants have a pass from Brigham Young, or some one in authority, they will certainly never get safely through this country."
My reply pleased him very much, and he laughed heartily, and then said, "Do you really believe the brethren would make it lively for such a train?"

I said, "Yes, sir, I know they will, unless they are protected by a pass, and I wish to inform you that unless you want every train captured that comes through here, you must inform Governor Young that if he wants emigrants to pass, without being molested, he must send orders to that effect to Colonel Wm. H. Dame or Major Isaac C. Haight, so that they can give passes to the emigrants, for their passes will insure safety, but nothing else will, except the positive orders of Governor Young, as the people are all bitter against the Gentiles, and full of religious zeal, and anxious to avenge the blood of the Prophets."

The only reply he made was to the effect that on his way down from Salt Lake City he had had a long talk with Major Haight on the same subject, and that Haight had assured him, and given him to understand, that emigrants who came along without a pass from Governor Young could not escape from the Territory.

We then rode along in silence for some distance, when he again turned to me and said,
"Brother Lee, I am satisfied that the brethren are under the full influence of the reformation, and I believe they will do just as you say they will with the wicked emigrants that come through the country making threats and abusing our people."

I repeated my views to him, but at much greater length, giving my reasons in full for thinking that Governor Young should give orders to protect all the emigrants that he did not wish destroyed. I went into a full statement of the wrongs of our people, and told him that the people were under the blaze of the reformation, full of wild fire and fanaticism, and that to shed the blood of those who would dare to speak against the Mormon Church or its leaders, they would consider doing thewill of God, and that the people would do it as willingly and cheerfully as they would any other duty. That the apostle Paul, when he started forth to persecute the followers of Christ, was not any more sincere than every Mormon was then, who lived in Southern Utah.

My words served to cheer up the General very much; he was greatly delighted, and said,
"I am glad to hear so good an account of our people. God will bless them for all that they do to build up His Kingdom in the last days."

 

General Smith did not say one word to me or intimate to me, that he wished any emigrants to pass in safety through the Territory. But he led me to believe then, as I believe now, that he did want, and expected every emigrant to be killed that undertook to pass through the Territory while we were at war with the Government. I thought it was his mission to prepare the people for the bloody work.

I have always believed, since that day, that General George A. Smith was then visiting Southern Utah to prepare the people for the work of exterminating Captain Fancher's train of emigrants, and I now believe that he was sent for that purpose by the direct command of Brigham Young.

I have been told by Joseph Wood, Thomas T. Willis, and many others, that they heard George A. Smith preach at Cedar City during that trip, and that he told the people of Cedar City that the emigrant's were coming, and he told them that they must not sell that company any grain or provisions of any kind, for they were a mob of villains and outlaws, and the enemies of God and the Mormon people.

Sidney Littlefield, of Panguitch, has told me that he was knowing to the fact of Colonel Wm. H. Dame sending orders from Parowan to Maj. Haight, at Cedar City, to exterminate the Francher outfit, and to kill every emigrant without fail. Littlefield then lived at Parowan, and Dame was the Presiding Bishop. Dame still has all the wives he wants, and is a great friend of Brigham Young.

The knowledge of how George A. Smith felt toward the emigrants, and his telling me that he had a long talk with Haight on the subject, made me certain that it was the wish of the Church authorities that Francher and his train should be wiped out, and knowing all this, I did not doubt then, and I do not doubt it now, either, that Haight was acting by full authority from the Church leaders, and that the orders he gave to me were just the orders that he had been directed to give, when he ordered me to raise the Indians and have them attack the emigrants.

I acted through the whole matter in a way that I considered it my religious duty to act, and if what I did was a crime, it was a crime of the Mormon Church, and not a crime for which I feel individually responsible.

I must here state that Klingensmith was not in Cedar City that Sunday night. Haight said he had sent Klingensmith and others over towards Pinto, and around there, to stir up the Indians and force them to attack the emigrants.

On my way from Cedar City to my home at Harmony, I came up with a large band of Indians under Moquetas and Big Bill, two Cedar City Chiefs; they were in their war paint, and fully equipped for battle. They halted when I came up and said they had had a big talk with Haight, Higby and Klingensmith, and had got orders from them to follow up the emigrants and kill them all, and take their property as the spoil of their enemies.

These Indians wanted me to go with them and command their forces. I told them that I could not go with them that evening, that I had orders from Haight, the big Captain, to send other Indians on the war-path to help them kill the emigrants, and that I must attend to that first; that I wanted them to go on near where the emigrants were and camp until the other Indians joined them; that I would meet them the next day and lead them.

This satisfied them, but they wanted me to send my little Indian boy, Clem, with them. After some time I consented to let Clem go with them, and I returned home.

When I got home I told Carl Shirts what the orders were that Haight had sent to him. Carl was naturally cowardly and was not willing to go, but I told him the orders must be obeyed. He then started off that night, or early next morning, to stir up the Indians of the South, and lead them against the emigrants. The emigrants were then camped at Mountain Meadows.

The Indians did not obey my instructions. They met, several hundred strong, at the Meadows, and attacked the emigrants Tuesday morning, just before daylight, and at the first fire, as I afterwards learned, they killed seven and wounded sixteen of the emigrants. The latter fought bravely, and repulsed the Indians, killing some of them and breaking the knees of two war chiefs, who afterwards died.

The news of the battle was carried all over the country by Indian runners, and the excitement was great in all the small settlements. I was notified of what had taken place, early Tuesday morning, by an Indian who came to my house and gave me a full account of all that had been done. The Indian said it was the wish of all the Indians that I should lead them, and that I must go back with him to the camp.

I started at once, and by taking the Indian trail over the mountain, I reached the camp in about twelve miles from Harmony. To go round by the wagon road it would have been between forty and fifty miles.

When I reached the camp I found the Indians in a frenzy of excitement. They threatened to kill me unless I agreed to lead them against the emigrants, and help them kill them. They also said they had been told that they could kill the emigrants without danger to themselves, but they had lost some of their braves, and others were wounded, and unless they could kill all the "Mericats," as they called them, they would declare war against the Mormons and kill every one in the settlements.

I did as well as I could under the circumstances. I was the only white man there, with a wild and excited band of several hundred Indians. I tried to persuade them that all would be well, that I was their friend and would see that they bad their revenge, if I found out that they were entitled to revenge.

My talk only served to increase their excitement, and being afraid that they would kill me if I undertook to leave them, and I would not lead them against the emigrants, so I told them that I would go south and meet their friends, and hurry them up to help them. I intended to put a stop to the carnage if I had the power, for I believed that the emigrants had been sufficiently punished for what they had done, and I felt then, and always have felt that such wholesale murdering was wrong.

At first the Indians would not consent for me to leave them, but they finally said I might go and meet their friends.

I then got on my horse and left the Meadows, and went south.

I had gone about sixteen miles, when I met Carl Shirts with about one hundred Indians, and a number of Mormons from the southern settlements. They were going to the scene of the conflict. How they learned of the emigrants being at the Meadows I never knew, but they did know it, and were there fully armed, and determined to obey orders.

Amongst those that I remember to have met there, were Samuel Knight, Oscar Hamblin, William Young, Carl Shirts, Harrison Pearce, James Pearce, John W. Clark, William Slade, Sr., James Matthews, Dudley Leavitt, William Hawley, (now a resident of Fillmore, Utah Territory,) William Slade, Jr., and two others whose names I have forgotten. I think they were George W. Adair and John Hawley. I know they were at the Meadows at the time of the massacre, and I think I met them that night south of the Meadows, with Samuel Knight and the others.

The whites camped there that night with me, but most of the Indians rushed on to their friends at the camp on the Meadows.

I reported to the whites all that had taken place at the Meadows, but none of them were surprised in the least. They all seemed to know that the attack was to be made, and all about it. I spent one of the most miserable nights there that I ever passed in my life. I spent much of the night in tears and at prayer. I wrestled with God for wisdom to guide me. I asked for some sign, some evidence that would satisfy me that my mission was of Heaven, but I got no satisfaction from my God.

In the morning we all agreed to go on together to Mountain Meadows, and camp there, and then send a messenger to Haight, giving him full instructions of what had been done, and to ask him for further instructions. We knew that the original plan was for the Indians to do all the work, and the whites to do nothing, only to stay back and plan for them, and encourage them to do the work. Now we knew the Indians could not do the work, and we were in a sad fix.

I did not then know that a messenger had been sent to Brigham Young for instructions. Haight had not mentioned it to me. I now think that James Haslem was sent to Brigham Young, as a sharp play on the part of the authorities to protect themselves, if trouble ever grew out of the matter.

We went to the Meadows and camped at the springs, about half a mile from the emigrant camp. There was a larger number of Indians there then, fully three hundred, and I think as many as four hundred of them. The two Chiefs who were shot in the knee were in a bad fix. The Indians had killed a number of the emigrants' horses, and about sixty or seventy head of cattle were lying dead on the Meadows, which the Indians bad killed for spite and revenge.

Our company killed a small beef for dinner, and after eating a hearty meal of it we held a council and decided to send a messenger to Haight. I said to the messenger, who was either Edwards or Adair, (I cannot now remember which it was), "Tell Haight, for my sake, for the people's sake, for God's sake, send me help to protect and save these emigrants, and pacify the Indians."

The messenger started for Cedar City, from our camp on the Meadows, about 2 o'clock P. M.

We all staid [sic] on the field, and I tried to quiet and pacify the Indians, by telling them that I had sent to Haight, the Big Captain, for orders, and when he sent his order I would know what to do. This appeared to satisfy the Indians, for said they, "The Big Captain will send you word to kill all the Mericats."

Along toward evening the Indians again attacked the emigrants. This was Wednesday. I heard the report of their guns, and the screams of the women and children in the corral.

This was more than I could stand. So I ran with William Young and John Mangum, to where the Indians were, to stop the fight. While on the way to them they fired a volley, and three balls from their guns cut my clothing. One ball went through my hat and cut my hair on the side of my head. One ball went through my shirt and leaded my shoulder, the other cut my pants across my bowels. I thought this was rather warm work, but I kept on until I reached the place where the Indians were in force. When I got to them, I told them the Great Spirit would be mad at them if they killed the women and children. I talked to them some time, and cried with sorrow when I saw that I could not pacify the savages.

When the Indians saw me in tears, they called me "Yaw Guts," which in the Indian language means "cry baby," and to this day they call me by that name, and consider me a coward.

Oscar Hamblin was a fine interpreter, and he came to my aid and helped me to induce the Indians to stop the attack. By his help we got the Indians to agree to be quiet until word was returned from Haight. (I do not know now but what the messenger started for Cedar City, after this night attack, but I was so worried and perplexed at that time, and so much has happened to distract my thoughts since then, that my mind is not clear on that subject.)

On Thursday, about noon, several men came to us from Cedar City. I cannot remember the order in which all of the people came to the Meadows, but I do recollect that at this time and in this company Joel White, William C. Stewart, Benjamin Arthur, Alexander Wilden, Charles Hopkins and ---- Tate, came to us at the camp at the Springs. These men said but little, but every man seemed to know just what he was there for. As our messenger had gone for further orders, we moved our camp about, four hundred yards further up the valley on to a hill, where we made camp as long as we staid [sic] there. I soon learned that the whites were as wicked at heart as the Indians, for every little while during that day I saw white men. taking aim and shooting at the emigrants' wagons. They said they were doing it to keep in practice and to help pass off the time.

I remember one man that was shooting, that rather amused me, for he was shooting at a mark over a quarter of a mile off, and his gun would not carry a ball two hundred yards. That man was Alexander Wilden. He took pains to fix up a seat under the shade of a tree, where he continued to load and shoot until he got tired. Many of the others acted just as wild and foolish as Wilden did.
The wagons were corralled after the Indians had made the first attack. On the second day after our arrival the emigrants drew their wagons near each other and chained the wheels one to the other. While they were doing this there was no shooting going on. Their camp was about one hundred yards above and north of the spring. They generally got their water from the spring at night.

Thursday morning I saw two men start from the corral with buckets, and run to the spring and fill their buckets with water, and go back again. The bullets flew around them thick and fast, but they got into their corral in safety.

The Indians had agreed to keep quiet until orders returned from Haight, but they did not keep their word. They made a determined attack on the train on Thursday morning about daylight. At this attack the Clara Indians had one brave killed and three wounded. This so enraged that band that they left for home that day and drove off quite a number of cattle with them. During the day I said to John Mangum, "I will cross over the valley and go up on the other side, on the hills to the west of the corral, and take a look at the situation."

I did go. As I was crossing the valley I was seen by the emigrants, and as soon as they saw that I was a white man they ran up a white flag in the middle of their corral, or camp. They 'then sent two little boys from the camp to talk to me, but I could not talk to them at that time, for I did not know what orders Haight would send back to me, and until I did know his orders I did not know how to act. I hid, to keep away from the children. They came to the place where they had last seen me and hunted all around for me, but being unable to find me, they turned and went back to the camp in safety.

While the boys were looking for me several Indians came to me and asked for ammunition with which to kill them. I told them they must not hurt the children--that if they did I would kill the first one that made the attempt to injure them. By this act I was able to save the boys.

It is all false that has been told about little girls being dressed in white and sent out to me. There never was anything of the kind done.

I staid [sic] on the west side of the valley for about two hours, looking down into the emigrant camp, and feeling all the torture of mind that it is possible for a man to suffer who feels merciful, and yet knows, as I then knew, what was in store for that unfortunate company if the Indians were successful in their bloody designs.

While I was standing on the hill looking down into the corral, I saw two men leave the corral and go outside to cut some wood; the Indians and whites kept up a steady fire on them all the time, but they paid no attention to danger, and kept right along at their work until they had it done, and then they went back into camp. The men all acted so bravely that it was impossible to keep from respecting them.

After staying there and looking down into the camp until I was nearly dead from grief, I returned to the company at camp. I was worn out with trouble and grief; I was nearly wild waiting for word from the authorities at Cedar City. I prayed for word to come that would enable me to save that band of suffering people, but no such word came. It never was to come.

On Thursday evening, John M. Higbee, Major of the Iron Militia, and Philip K. Smith, as he is called generally, but whose name is Klingensmith, Bishop of Cedar City, came to our camp with two or three wagons, and a number of men all well armed. I can remember the following as a portion of the men who came to take part in the work of death which was so soon to follow, viz.: John M. Higbee, Major and commander of the Iron Militia, and also first counselor to Isaac C. Haight; Philip Klingensmith, Bishop of Cedar City; Ira Allen, of the High Council; Robert Wiley, of the High Council; Richard Harrison, of Pinto, also a member of the High Council; Samuel McMurdy, one of the Counselors of Klingensmith; Charles Hopkins, of the City Council of Cedar City; Samuel Pollock; Daniel McFarland, a son-in-law of Isaac C. Haight, and acting as Adjutant under Major Higbee; John Ure, of the City Council; George Hunter, of the City Council; and I honestly believe that John McFarland, now an attorney-at-law at St. George, Utah, was there--I am not positive that he was, but my best impression is that he was there: Samuel Jukes; Nephi Johnson, with a number of Indians under his command; Irvin Jacobs; John Jacobs; E. Curtis, a Captain of Ten; Thomas Cartwright of the City Council and High Council; William Bateman, who afterwards carried the flag of truce to the emigrant camp; Anthony Stratton; A. Loveridge; Joseph Clews; Jabez Durfey; Columbus Freeman, and some others whose names I cannot remember. I know that our total force was fifty-four whites and over three hundred Indians.

As soon as these persons gathered around the camp, I demanded of Major Higbee what orders he had brought. I then stated fully all that had happened at the Meadows, so that every person might understand the situation.

Major Higbee reported as follows: "It is the orders of the President, that all the emigrants must be put out of the way. President Haight has counseled with Colonel Dame, or has had orders from him to put all of the emigrants out of the way; none who are old enough to talk are to be spared."

He then went on and said substantially that the emigrants had come through the country as our enemies, and as the enemies of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. That they had no pass from any one in authority to permit them to leave the Territory. That none but friends were permitted to leave the Territory, and that as these were our sworn enemies, they must be killed. That they were nothing but a portion of Johnston's army. That if they were allowed to go on to California, they would raise the war cloud in the West, and bring certain destruction upon all the settlements in Utah. That the only safety for the people was in the utter destruction of the whole rascally lot.

I then told them that God would have to change my heart before I could consent to such a wicked thing as the wholesale killing of that people. I attempted to reason with Higbee and the brethren. I told them how strongly the emigrants were fortified, and how wicked it was to kill the women and children. I was ordered to be silent. Higbee said I was resisting authority.

He then said, "Brother Lee is afraid of shedding innocent blood. Why, brethren, there is not a drop of innocent blood in that entire camp of Gentile outlaws; they are set of cut-throats, robbers and assassins; they are a part of the people who drove the Saints from Missouri, and who aided to shed the blood of our Prophets, Joseph and Hyrum, and it is our orders from all in authority, to get the emigrants from their stronghold, and help the Indians kill them."

I then said that Joseph Smith had told us never to betray any one. That we could not get the emigrants out of their corral unless we used treachery, and I was opposed to that.
I was interrupted by Higbee, Klingensmith and Hopkins, who said it was the orders of President Isaac C. Haight to us, and that Haight had his orders from Colonel Dame and the authorities at Parowan, and that all in authority were of one mind, and that they had been sent by the Council at Cedar City to the Meadows to counsel and direct the way and manner that the company of emigrants should be disposed of.

The men then in council, I must here state, now knelt down in a prayer circle and prayed, invoking the Spirit of God to direct them how to act in the matter.

After prayer, Major Higbee said, "Here are the orders," and handed me a paper from Haight. It was in substance that it was the orders of Haight to decoy the emigrants from their position, and kill all of them that could talk. This order was in writing. Higbee handed it to me and I read it, and dropped it on the ground, saying, "I cannot do this."

The substance of the orders were that the emigrants should be decoyed from their strong-hold, and all exterminated, so that no one would be left to tell the tale, and then the authorities could say it was done by the Indians.

The words decoy and exterminate were used in that message or order, and these orders came to us as the orders from the Council at Cedar City, and as the orders of our military superior, that we were bound to obey. The order was signed by Haight, as commander of the troops at Cedar City.

Haight told me the next day after the massacre, while on the Meadows, that he got his orders from Colonel Dame.

I then left the Council, and went away to myself, and bowed myself in prayer before God, and asked Him to overrule the decision of that Council. I shed many bitter tears, and my tortured soul was wrung nearly from the body by my great suffering. I will here say, calling upon Heaven, angels, and the spirits of just men to witness what I say, that if I could then have had a thousand worlds to command, I would have given them freely to save that company from death.

While in bitter anguish, lamenting the sad condition of myself and others, Charles Hopkins, a man that I had great confidence in, came to me from the Council, and tried to comfort me by saying that he believed it was all right, for the brethren in the Priesthood were all united in the thing, and it would not be well for me to oppose them.

I told him the Lord must change my heart before I could ever do such an act willingly. I will further state that there was a reign of terror in Utah, at that time, and many a man had been put out of the way, on short notice, for disobedience, and I had made some narrow escapes.

 

At the earnest solicitation of Brother Hopkins, I returned with him to the Council. When I got back, the Council again prayed for aid. The Council was called The City Counselors, the Church or High Counselors; and all in authority, together with the private citizens, then formed a circle, and kneeling down, so that elbows would touch each other, several of the brethren prayed for Divine instructions.


After prayer, Major Higbee said, "I have the evidence of God's I said, "My God! this is more than I can do. I must and do refuse to take part in this matter."

Higbee then said to me, "Brother Lee, I am ordered by President Haight to inform you that you shall receive a crown of Celestial glory for your faithfulness, and your eternal joy shall be complete." I was much shaken by this offer, for I had full faith in the power of the Priesthood to bestow such rewards and blessings, but I was anxious to save the people. I then proposed that we give the Indians all of the stock of the emigrants, except sufficient to haul their wagons, and let them go. To this proposition all the leading men objected. No man there raised his voice or hand to favor the saving of life, except myself.

The meeting was then addressed by some one in authority, I do not remember who it was. He spoke in about this language: "Brethren, we have been sent here to perform a duty. It is a duty that we owe to God, and to our Church and people. The orders of those in authority are that all the emigrants must die. Our leaders speak with inspired tongues, and their orders come from the God of Heaven. We have no right to question what they have commanded us to do; it is our duty to obey. If we wished to act as some of our weak-kneed brethren desire us to do, it would be impossible; the thing has gone too far to allow us to stop now. The emigrants know that we have aided the Indians, and if we let them go they will bring certain destruction upon us. It is a fact that on Wednesday night, two of the emigrants got out of camp and started back to Cedar City for assistance to withstand the Indian attacks; they had reached Richards' Springs when they met William C. Stewart, Joel White and Benjamin Arthur, three of our brethren from Cedar City. The men stated their business to the brethren, and as their horses were drinking at the Spring, Brother Stewart, feeling unusually full of zeal for the glory of God and the upbuilding of the Kingdom of God on earth, shot and killed one of the emigrants, a young man by the name of Aden. When Aden fell from his horse, Joel White shot and wounded the other Gentile; but he unfortunately got away, and returned to his camp and reported that the Mormons were helping the Indians in all that they were doing against the emigrants. Now the emigrants will report these facts in California if we let them go. We must kill them all, and our orders are to get them out by treachery if no other thing can be done to get them into our power."

Many of the brethren spoke in the same way, all arguing that the orders must be carried out.

I was then told the plan of action had been agreed upon, and it was this: The emigrants were to be decoyed from their strong-hold under a promise of protection. Brother William Bateman was to carry a flag of truce and demand a parley, and then I was to go and arrange the terms of the surrender. I was to demand that all the children who were so young they could not talk should be put into a wagon, and the wounded were also to be put into a wagon. Then all the arms and ammunition of the emigrants should be put into a wagon, and I was to agree that the Mormons would protect the emigrants from the Indians and conduct them to Cedar City in safety, where they should be protected until an opportunity came for sending them to California.

It was agreed that when I had made the full agreement and treaty, as the brethren called it, the wagons should start for Hamblin's Ranch with the arms, the wounded and the children. The women were to march on foot and follow the wagons in single file; the men were to follow behind the women, they also to march in single file. Major John M. Higbee was to stand with his militia company about two hundred yards from the camp, and stand in double file, open order, with about twenty feet space between the files, so that the wagons could pass between them. The drivers were to keep right along, and not stop at the troops. The women were not to stop there, but to follow the wagons. The troops were to halt the men for a few minutes, until the women were some distance ahead, out into the cedars, where the Indians were hid in ambush. Then the march was to be resumed, the troops to form in single file, each soldier to walk by an emigrant, and on the right-hand side of his man, and the soldier was to carry his gun on his left arm, ready for instant use. The march was to continue until the wagons had passed beyond the ambush of the Indians, and until the women were right in the midst of the Indians. Higbee was then to give the orders and words, "Do Your Duty." At this the troops were to shoot down the men; the Indians were to kill all of the women and larger children, and the drivers of the wagons and I were to kill the wounded and sick men that were in the wagons. Two men were to be placed on horses nearby, to overtake and kill any of the emigrants that might escape from the first assault. The Indians were to kill the women and large children, so that it would be certain that no Mormon would be guilty of shedding innocent blood--if it should happen that there was any innocent blood in the company that were to die. Our leading men said that there was no innocent blood in the whole company.

The Council broke up a little after daylight on Friday morning. All the horses, except two for the men to ride to overtake those who might escape, and one for Dan McFarland to ride as Adjutant, so that he could carry orders from one part of the field to another, were turned out on the range. Then breakfast was eaten, and the brethren prepared for the work in hand.

I was now satisfied that it was the wish of all of the Mormon priesthood to have the thing done. One reason for thinking so was that it was in keeping with the teachings of the leaders, and as Utah was then at war with the United States we believed all the Gentiles were to be killed as a war measure, and that the Mormons, as God's chosen people, were to hold and inhabit the earth and rule and govern the globe. Another, and one of my strongest reasons for believing that the leaders wished the thing done, was on account of the talk that I had with George A. Smith, which I have given in full in this statement. I was satisfied that Smith had passed the emigrants while on his way from Salt Lake City, and I then knew this was the train that he meant when he spoke of a train that would make threats and ill-treat our people, etc.

The people were in the full blaze of the reformation and anxious to do some act that would add to their reputation as zealous Churchmen.

I therefore, taking all things into consideration, and believing, as I then did, that my superiors were inspired men, who could not go wrong in any matter relating to the Church or the duty of its members, concluded to be obedient to the wishes of those in authority. I took up my cross and prepared to do my duty.

Soon after breakfast Major Higbee ordered the two Indian interpreters, Carl Shirts and Nephi Johnson, to inform the Indians of the plan of operations, and to place the Indians in ambush, so that they could not be seen by the emigrants until the work of death should commence.

This was done in order to make the emigrants believe that we had sent the Indians away, and that we were acting honestly and in good faith, when we agreed to protect them from the savages.

The orders were obeyed, and in five minutes not an Indian could be seen on the. whole Meadows. They secreted themselves and lay still as logs of wood, until the order was given for them to rush out and kill the women.

Major Higbee then called all the people to order, and directed me to explain the whole plan to them. I did so, explaining just how every person was expected to act during the whole performance.

Major Higbee then gave the order for his men to advance. They marched to the spot agreed upon, and halted there. William Bateman was then selected to carry a flag of truce to the emigrants and demand their surrender, and I was ordered to go and make the treaty after some one had replied to our flag of truce. (The emigrants had kept a white flag flying in their camp ever since they saw me cross the valley.)

Bateman took a white flag and started for the emigrant camp. When he got about half way to the corral, he was met by one of the emigrants, that I afterwards learned was named Hamilton. They talked some time, but I never knew what was said between them.
Brother Bateman returned to the command and said that the emigrants would accept our terms, and surrender as we required them to do.

I was then ordered by Major Higbee to go to the corral and negotiate the treaty, and superintend the whole matter. I was again ordered to be certain and get all the arms and ammunition into the wagons. Also to put the children and the sick and wounded in the wagons, as had been agreed upon in council. Then Major Higbee said to me: "Brother Lee, we expect you to faithfully carry out all the instructions that have been given you by our council."

Samuel McMurdy and Samuel Knight were then ordered to drive their teams and follow me to the corral to haul off the children, arms, etc.

The troops formed in two lines, as had been agreed upon, and were standing in that way with arms at rest, when I left them.

I walked ahead of the wagons up to the corral. When I reached there I met Mr. Hamilton on the outside of the camp.

He loosened the chains from some of their wagons, and moved one wagon out of the way, so that our teams could drive inside of the corral and into their camp. It was then noon, or a little after.

I found that the emigrants were strongly fortified; their wagons were chained to each other in a circle. In the centre was a rifle-pit, large enough to contain the entire company. This had served to shield them from the constant fire of their enemy, which had been poured into them from both sides of the valley, from a rocky range that served as a breastwork for their assailants. The valley at this point was not more than five hundred yards wide, and the emigrants had their camp near the center of the valley. On the east and west there was a low range of rugged, rocky mountains, affording a splendid place for the protection of the Indians and Mormons, and leaving them in comparative safety while they fired upon the emigrants. The valley at this place runs nearly due north and south.

When I entered the corral, I found the emigrants engaged in burying two men of note among them, who had died but a short time before from the effect of wounds received by them from the Indians at the time of the first attack on Tuesday morning. They wrapped the bodies up in buffalo robes, and buried them in a grave inside the corral. I was then told by some of the men that seven men were killed and seventeen others were wounded at the first attack made by the Indians, and that three of the wounded men had since died, making ten of their number killed during the siege.

As I entered the fortifications, men, women and children gathered around me in wild consternation. Some felt that the time of their happy deliverance had come, while others, though in deep distress, and all in tears, looked upon me with doubt, distrust and terror. My feelings at this time may be imagined (but I doubt the power of man being equal to even imagine how wretched I felt.) No language can describe my feelings. My position was painful, trying and awful; my brain seemed to be on fire; my nerves were for a moment unstrung; humanity was overpowered, as I thought of the cruel, unmanly part that I was acting. Tears of bitter anguish fell in streams from my eyes; my tongue refused its office; my faculties were dormant, stupefied and deadened by grief. I wished that the earth would open and swallow me where I stood. God knows my suffering was great. I cannot describe my feelings. I knew that I was acting a cruel part and doing a damnable deed. Yet my faith in the godliness of my leaders was such that it forced me to think that I was not sufficiently spiritual to act the important part I was commanded to perform. My hesitation was only momentary. Then feeling that duty compelled obedience to orders, I laid aside my weakness and my humanity, and became an instrument in the hands of my superiors and my leaders. I delivered my message and told the people that they must put their arms in the wagon, so as not to arouse the animosity of the Indians. I ordered the children and wounded, some clothing and the arms, to be put into the wagons. Their guns were mostly Kentucky rifles of the muzzle-loading style. Their ammunition was about all gone--I do not think there were twenty loads left in their whole camp. If the emigrants had had a good supply of ammunition they never would have surrendered, and I do not think we could have captured them without great loss, for they were brave men and very resolute and determined.

Just as the wagons were loaded, Dan McFarland came riding into the corral and said that Major Higbee had ordered great haste to be made, for he was afraid that the Indians would return and renew the attack before he could get the emigrants to a place of safety.
I hurried up the people and started the wagons off towards Cedar City. As we went out of the corral I ordered the wagons to turn to the left, so as to leave the troops to the right of us. Dan McFarland rode before the women and led them right up to the troops, where they still stood in open order as I left them. The women and larger children were walking ahead, as directed, and the men following them. The foremost man was about fifty yards behind the hindmost woman.

The women and children were hurried right on by the troops. When the men came up they cheered the soldiers as if they believed that they were acting honestly. Higbee then gave the orders for his men to form in single file and take their places as ordered before, that is, at the right of the emigrants.

I saw this much, but about this time our wagons passed out of sight of the troops, over the hill. I had disobeyed orders in part by turning off as I did, for I was anxious to be out of sight of the bloody deed that I knew was to follow. I knew that I had much to do yet that was of a cruel and unnatural character. It was my duty, with the two drivers, to kill the sick and wounded who were in the wagons, and to do so when we heard the guns of the troops fire. I was walking between the wagons; the horses were going in a fast walk, and we were fully half a mile from Major Higbee and his men, when we heard the firing. As we heard the guns, I ordered a halt and we proceeded to do our part.
I here pause in the recital of this horrid story of man's inhumanity, and ask myself the question, Is it honest in me, and can I clear my conscience before my God, if I screen myself while I accuse others? No, never! Heaven forbid that I should put a burden upon others' shoulders, that I am unwilling to bear my just portion of. I am not a traitor to my people, nor to my former friends and comrades who were with me on that dark day when the work of death was carried on in God's name, by a lot of deluded and religious fanatics. It is my duty to tell facts as they exist, and I will do so.

I have said that all of the small children were put into the wagons; that was wrong, for one little child, about six months old, was carried in its father's arms, and it was killed by the same bullet that entered its father's breast; it was shot through the head. I was told by Haight afterwards, that the child was killed by accident, but I cannot say whether that is a fact or not. I saw it lying dead when I returned to the place of slaughter.

When we had got out of sight, as I said before, and just as we were coming into the main road, I heard a volley of guns at the place where I knew the troops and emigrants were. Our teams were then going at a fast walk. I first heard one gun, then a volley at once followed.

McMurdy and Knight stopped their teams at once, for they were ordered by Higbee, the same as I was, to help kill all the sick and wounded who were in the wagons, and to do it as soon as they heard the guns of the troops. McMurdy was in front; his wagon was mostly loaded with the arms and small children. McMurdy and Knight got out of their wagons; each one had a rifle. McMurdy went up to Knight's wagon, where the sick and wounded were, and raising his rifle to his shoulder, said: "0 Lord, my God, receive their spirits, it is for thy Kingdom that I do this." He then shot a man who was lying with his head on another man's breast; the ball killed both men.

I also went up to the wagon, intending to do my part of the killing. I drew my pistol and cocked it, but somehow it went off prematurely, and I shot McMurdy across the thigh, my Pistol ball cutting his buck-skin pants. McMurdy turned to me and said: "Brother Lee, keep cool, you are excited; you came very near killing me. Keep cool, there is no reason for being excited."

Knight then shot a man with his rifle; he shot the man in the head. Knight also brained a boy that was about fourteen years old. The boy came running up to our wagons, and Knight struck him on the head with the butt end of his gun, and crushed his skull. By this time many Indians reached our wagons, and all of the sick and wounded were killed almost instantly. I saw an Indian from Cedar City, called Joe, run up to the wagon and catch a man by the hair, and raise his head up and look into his face; the man shut his eyes, and Joe shot him in the head. The Indians then examined all of the wounded in the wagons, and all of the bodies, to see if any were alive, and all that showed signs of life were at once shot through the head. I did not kill any one there, but it was an accident that kept me from it, for I fully intended to do my part of the killing, but by the time I got over the excitement of coming so near killing McMurdy, the whole of the killing of the wounded was done. There is no truth in the statement of Nephi Johnson, where he says I cut a man's throat.

Just after the wounded were all killed I saw a girl, some ten or eleven years old, running towards us, from the direction where the troops had attacked the main body of emigrants; she was covered with blood. An Indian shot her before she got within sixty yards of us. That was the last person that I saw killed on that occasion.

About this time an Indian rushed to the front wagon, and grabbed a little boy, and was going to kill him. The lad got away from the Indian and ran to me, and caught me by the knees; and begged me to save him, and not let the Indian kill him. The Indian had hurt the little fellow's chin on the wagon bed, when he first caught hold of him. I told the Indian to let the boy alone. I took the child up in my arms, and put him back in the wagon, and saved his life. This little boy said his name was Charley Fancher, and that his father was Captain of the train. He was a bright boy. I afterwards adopted him, and gave him to Caroline. She kept him until Dr. Forney took all the children East. I believe that William Sloan, alias Idaho Bill, is the same boy.

After all the parties were dead, I ordered Knight to drive out on one side, and throw out the dead bodies. He did so, and threw them out of his wagon at a place about one hundred yards from the road, and then came back to where I was standing. I then ordered Knight and McMurdy to take the children that were saved alive, (sixteen was the number, some say seventeen, I say sixteen,) and drive on to Hamblin's ranch. They did as I ordered them to do. Before the wagons started, Nephi Johnson came up in company with the Indians that were under his command, and Carl Shirts I think came up too, but I know that I then considered that Carl Shirts was a coward, and I afterwards made him suffer for being a coward. Several white men came up too, but I cannot tell their names, as I have forgotten who they were.

Knight lied when he said I went to the ranch and ordered him to go to the field with his team. I never knew anything of his team, or heard of it, until he came with a load of armed men in his wagon, on the evening of Thursday. If any one ordered him to go to the Meadows, it was Higbee. Every witness that claims that he went to the Meadows without knowing what he was going to do, has lied, for they all knew, as well as Haight or any one else did, and they all voted, every man of them, in the Council, on Friday morning, a little before daylight, to kill all the emigrants.

 

After the wagons, with the children, had started for Hamblin's ranch, I turned and walked back to where the brethren were. Nephi Johnson lies when he says he was on horse-back, and met me, or that I gave him orders to go to guard the wagons. He is a perjured wretch, and has sworn to every thing he could to injure me. God knows what I did do was bad enough, but he has lied to suit the leaders of the Church, who want me out of the way.

While going back, to the brethren, I passed the bodies of several women. In one place I saw six or seven bodies near each other; they were stripped perfectly naked, and all of their clothing was torn from their bodies by the Indians.

I walked along the line where the emigrants had been killed, and saw many bodies lying dead and naked on the field, near by where the women lay. I saw ten children; they had been killed close to each other; they were from ten to sixteen years of age. The bodies of the women and children were scattered along the ground for quite a distance before I came to where the men were killed.

I do not know how many were killed, but I thought then that there were some fifteen women, about ten children, and about forty men killed, but the statement of others that I have since talked with about the massacre, makes me think there were fully one hundred and ten killed that day on the Mountain Meadows, and the ten who had died in the corral, and young Aden killed by Stewart at Richards' Springs, would make the total number one hundred and twenty-one.

When I reached the place where the dead men lay, I was told how the orders had been obeyed. Major Higbee said, "The boys have acted admirably, they took good aim, and all of the d--d Gentiles but two or three fell at the first fire."

He said that three or four got away some distance, but the men on horses soon overtook them and cut their throats. Higbee said the Indians did their part of the work well, that it did not take over a minute to finish up when they got fairly started. I found that the first orders had been carried out to the letter.

Three of the emigrants did get away, but the Indians were put on their trail and they overtook and killed them before they reached the settlements in California. But it would take more time than I have to spare to give the details of their chase and capture. I may do so in my writings hereafter, but not now.

I found Major Higbee, Klingensmith. and most of the brethren standing near by where the largest number of the dead men lay. When I went up to the brethren, Major Higbee said, "We must now examine the bodies for valuables."

I said I did not wish to do any such work.

Higbee then said, "Well, you hold my hat and I will examine the bodies, and put what valuables I get into the hat."

The bodies were all searched by Higbee, Klingensmith and Wm. C. Stewart. I did hold the hat a while, but I soon got so sick that I had to give it to some other person, as I was unable to stand for a few minutes. The search resulted in getting a little money and a few watches, but there was not much money. Higbee and Klingensmith kept the property, I suppose, for I never knew what became of it, unless they did keep it. I think they kept it all.

After the dead were searched, as I have just said, the brethren were called up, and Higbee and Klingensmith, as well as myself, made speeches, and ordered the people to keep the matter ,a secret from the entire world. Not to tell their wives, or their most intimate friends, and we pledged ourselves to keep everything relating to the affair a secret during life. We also took the most binding oaths to stand by each other, and to always insist that the massacre was committed by Indians alone. This was the advice of Brigham Young too, as I will show hereafter.

The men were mostly ordered to camp there on the field for that night, but Higbee and Klingensmith went with me to Hamblin's ranch, where we got something to eat, and staid [sic] there all night. I was nearly dead for rest and sleep; in fact I had rested but little since the Saturday night before. I took my saddle-blanket and spread it on the ground soon after I had eaten my supper, and lay down on the saddle-blanket, using my saddle for a pillow, and slept soundly until next morning.

I was awakened in the morning by loud talking between Isaac C. Haight and William H. Dame. They were very much excited, and quarreling with each other. I got up at once, but was unable to hear what they were quarreling about, for they cooled down as soon as they saw that others were paying attention to them.

I soon learned that Col. Dame, Judge Lewis of Parowan, and Isaac C. Haight, with several others, had arrived at the Hamblin ranch in the night, but I do not know what time they got there.

After breakfast we all went back in a body to the Meadows, to bury the dead and take care of the property that was left there.

When we reached the Meadows we all rode up to that part of the field where the women were lying dead. The bodies of men, women and children had been stripped entirely naked, making the scene one of the most loathsome and ghastly that can be imagined.
Knowing that Dame and Haight had quarreled at Hamblin's that morning, I wanted to know how they would act in sight of the dead, who lay there as the result of their orders. I was greatly interested to know what Dame had to say, so I kept close to them, without appearing to be watching them.

Colonel Dame was silent for some time. He looked all over the field, and was quite pale, and looked uneasy and frightened. I thought then that he was just finding out the difference between giving and executing orders for wholesale killing. He spoke to Haight, and said: "I must report this matter to the authorities.” "How will you report it?" said Haight.

Dame said, "I will report it just as it is." "Yes, I suppose so, and implicate yourself with the rest?" said Haight. "No," said Dame. "I will not implicate myself for I had nothing to do with it.. Haight then said, "That will not do, for you know a d--d sight better. You ordered it done. Nothing has been done except by your orders, and it is too late in the day for you to order things done and then go back on it, and go back on the men who have carried out your orders. You cannot sow pig on me, and I will be d--d if I will stand it. You are as much to blame as any one, and you know that we have done nothing except what you ordered done. I know that I have obeyed orders, and by G-d I will not be lied on."

Colonel Dame was much excited. He choked up, and would have gone away, but he knew Haight was a man of determination, and would not stand any foolishness.
As soon as Colonel Dame could collect himself, he said: "I did not think there were so many of them, or I would not have had anything to do with it." I thought it was now time for me to chip in, so I said: "Brethren, what is the trouble between you? It will not do for our chief men to disagree."

Haight stepped up to my side, a little in front of me, and facing Colonel Dame. He was very mad, and said: "The trouble is just this: Colonel Dame counseled and ordered me to do this thing, and now he wants to back out, and go back on me, and by G-d, he shall not do it. He shall not lay it all on me. He cannot do it. He must not try to do it. I will blow him to h--l before he shall lay it all on me. He has got to stand up to what he did, like a little man. He knows he ordered it, done, and I dare him to deny it."

Colonel Dame was perfectly cowed. He did not offer to deny it again, but said: "Isaac, I did not know there were so many of them." "That makes no difference," said Haight, "you ordered me to do it, and you have got to stand up for your orders."

I thought it was now time to stop the fuss, for many of the young brethren were coming around. So I said: "Brethren, this is no place to talk over such a matter. You will agree when you get where you can be quiet, and talk it over."

Haight said, "There is no more to say, for he knows he ordered it done, and he has got to stand by it."

That ended the trouble between them, and I never heard of Colonel Dame denying the giving of the orders any more, until after the Church authorities concluded to offer me up for the sins of the Church.

We then went along the field, and passed by where the brethren were at work covering up the bodies. They piled the dead bodies up in heaps, in little gullies, and threw dirt over them. The bodies were only lightly covered, for the ground was hard, and the brethren did not have sufficient tools to dig with. I suppose it is true that the first rain washed the bodies all out again, but I never went back to examine whether it did or not.

We then went along the field to where the corral and camp had been, to where the wagons were standing. We found that the Indians had carried off all of the wagon covers, and the clothing, and the provisions, and had emptied the feathers out of the feather-beds, and carried off all the ticks.

 

After the dead were covered up or buried (but it was not much of a burial,) the brethren were called together, and a council was held at the emigrant camp. All the leading men made speeches; Colonel Dame, President Haight. Klingensmith, John M. Higbee, Hopkins and myself. The speeches were first--Thanks to God for delivering our enemies into our hands; next, thanking the brethren for their zeal in God's cause; and then the necessity of always saying the Indians did it alone, and that the Mormons had nothing to do with it. The most of the speeches, however, were in the shape of exhortations and commands to keep the whole matter secret from every one but Brigham Young. It was voted unanimously that any man who should divulge the secret, or tell who was present, or do anything that would lead to a discovery of the truth, should suffer death.

The brethren then all took a most solemn oath, binding themselves under the most dreadful and awful penalties, to keep the whole matter secret from every human being, as long as they should live. No man was to know the facts. The brethren were sworn not to talk of it among themselves, and each one swore to help kill all who proved to be traitors to the Church or people in this matter.

It was then agreed that Brigham Young should be informed of the whole matter, by some one to be selected by the Church Council, after the brethren had returned home.


 It was also voted to turn all the property over to Klingensmith, as Bishop of the Church at Cedar City, and he was to take care of the property for the benefit of the Church, until Brigham Young was notified, and should give further orders what to do with it.

 

Misc. Photo's of John D. Lee

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John D. Lee house in Nauvoo

 

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Lee's home in Washington, Utah

Mountain Meadows

Site of the Mountain Meadows Massacre in Southern Utah

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Crossing Area Of Lees Ferry

Lees Ferry site from the air

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The soldiers who shot John D. Lee

 

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John D. Lee gravestone in the Panguitch, Utah cemetery

 

John D. Lee Marker by photopetros.

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Lonely Dell Ranch - Lee's Ferry Arizona  by Al_HikesAZ.

This is one of the buildings preserved on the Lonely Dell Ranch historic park at Lee's Ferry Arizona. The early Mormon pioneer - John Doyle Lee and his wives lived in this area. One wife is said to have remarked - when first seeing this site - that this was such a "Lonely Dell" and the name stuck. The site is comprised of several buildings, an orchard a cemetery and restored irrigation projects.

The Lonely Dell Ranch and Lees Ferry Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is managed by the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

Lee's Ferry provided the crossing of the Colorado River until 1929 when the original Navajo Bridge was built. Many Mormon settlers in Arizona made the trip to the LDS Temple in St. George Utah to solemnize their marriage and this route became known as "The Honeymoon Trail"

 

Lonely Dell Ranch

This was home to the families who operated Lees Ferry. In the 1870's and 1880's, this area was so isolated that anyone working at the crossing needed to be self-sufficient, growing food for themselves and their animals. It was hard labor and a difficult challenge, but over the years Lonely Dell Ranch supported many families. The Lees, Johnsons, Emmets, and others made a good life here.

Jacob Hamblin, a Mormon explorer, noted the good land at the mouth of the Paria River in 1858, on the first of his many trips through the area. In 1871, when it was decided to place the Arizona road and ferry here, he dug the first irrigation ditch where he thought a farm should be placed and named the area "Lonely Dell".

On December 25,1871, John D. Lee and his wife Emma arrived to start the ferry operation for the Mormon Church. Wife Rachel arrived a few days later. Emma looked at this patch of barren desert that was to be her new home and apparently agreed with Hamblin. She kept the name "Lonely Dell Ranch" Emma Batchelder Lee became the driving force behind the ferry and ranch, as John D. himself was often absent.

http://www.chezmj.org/images/travel/arizona07/q-leesferry/Dlonelydell/atitle.jpg

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Lees Rock Fort

Lee's Fort ruins

http://www.sonsofutahpioneers.info/hs/images/x06-leeferry-113-800.jpg

Ferry across Colorado River

Pioneer's crossing at Lees Ferry

 

THE END

 

 

 

 

 

Give it up you knaves!

 

 

Researched, complied, formatted, indexed, wrote, copied, copy-written,

and filed in the mind of Rodney G. Dalton in the comfort of his easy chair in

Farr West, Utah in the United States of America in the

Twenty First-Century A.D.

Rodney G. Dalton

 

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