The Morrisites vs
    The Morrisites vs. Brigham Young (cont.)

            Joseph Morris

The Salt Lake Tribune July 26, 1891 pg. 3


The inside History of that Dreadful Deed of Barton’s.  How he shot Morris and a Woman. Banks Was Murdered and Disposed
of in the Night – The Number Slain - Deceptive Promises by Brigham – Gen. Connor’s Kindness – The Morrisite Dispensation – Ninth Letter.

EDITOR TRIBUNE:  - In Fulfillment of our promise we now write the facts concerning the surrender of the Morrisite group, the killing of Morris
and Banks and the women, after the surrender, and other events in connection till a large portion of the Morrisite people were found in a destitute
condition by General Connor, and were protected and cared for by him.

It was nearly sundown on Sunday, the 15th.  The battle had continued for three days.  Word was taken to Morris that Burton and his men were
coming to close quarters.  That in proof of this a masked battery was seen moving toward the camp from the west.  An appeal was made to Morris
for instruction; but he had no particular instructions to give.  He expected in a few minutes to die, and for that matter so did they all, but differed as to
 the manner in which death should come to them, some preferring to die fighting.  A promiscuous ___ gathered around Morris for consultation and
 it was at this point that John Parson, one of the five for whom it was said that writs were issued, took the most prominent part – he urged that the
five men give themselves up in a body – that if they would agree with him to do this, he would take out a flag of truce, and use all his efforts in
negotiations that he might make to prevent further bloodshed and save the lives of the people.  The other four agreed to Parson’s proposition and
went immediately to wish their wives good-by and give themselves up according to agreement.  Parson took with him a man by the name of Alonzo
Brown, to carry the white flag and was soon in communications with Judson Stoddard of the (so-called) sheriff’s posse.  Parson surrendered to
Stoddard unconditionally, but with two requests, one was that the lives of the people might be spared, which Stoddard promised he would do all he
could to accomplish, and the other was that he (Parson) being ready to die wished Stoddard to be his executioner then and there, and not carry him
off into the night and let nobody know how he died.  Stoddard did his best with the first request and no doubt shielded Parson also.

In a few minutes Burton and the men in immediate authority with him, on horseback and hundreds of his men on foot, were in the open square of the
groups that we have before described.  Men, women and children armed and unarmed.  Brighamites and Morrisites all mixed up together.  Burton
was agitated, and ordered some of the Morrisite men to give up their arms, which they were not willing by his orders to do.  Parson again became
prominent, for there was yet fear and more fighting would be done.  The people had been in the habit of being called together by a bugle call, so
Parsons had a call sounded and all the people gathered.  He informed them that a surrender had been made, and that they must stack their arms. 
At his request they did so, and the arms were soon stacked and honestly too, for had they not been it is more than probably that more fighting would
have been done.

The Killing of Morris

By this time Morris and Banks and the others were on the ground.  All had surrendered and the Morrisites were entirely without arms waiting orders
from Burton, but Burton, instead of giving order to secure his prisoners and dispose of them as he chose, having unlimited power at his command to
do so spoke to Morris in an angry tone, and asked him if he would surrender to the name of the Lord, and at the same time rode his horse after or
upon Morris as though he would ride him down.  Morris resisted this by seizing the horse bridle setting the horse back somewhat and answering,
“No, never.”  Burton drew his revolver and shot him three or four times before he fell.  A Danish woman named  ___ was shot at the same time and
killed, but whether by accident or design is not known, but another woman named Bowman having in her arms the baby whose mother was killed by
the first cannon shot fired into the congregation, standing close to Burton and Morris said to Burton, “O, you bloodthirsty villain.”  Burton shot her also,
and the babe who fell from her mother’s arms when her mother was killed, again fell with her foster mother and was again unharmed.

At the same time some men of the Sheriff’s posse walked up behind John Banks and placing the muzzle of his gun to John’s neck, shot him.  The
universal opinion as it has come down through the years is that he did  not necessarily die from that wound, but he was dead before he arrived as
a prisoner at Salt Lake City.

At this point in our history the question arises, why were these persons killed after the surrender and when they were entirely helpless, having given
up their arms?  Why did Burton seek to irritate and force Morris into ___ ___ or antagonistic act or speech when he stood entirely helpless – a prisoner
among the other prisoners?  And why did Morris answer as he did, inviting, as it were, Burton to kill him?

We will ___ make a little explanation so that the readers of THE TRIBUNE, be they Mormons or Gentiles, may understand the matter better.  As in
the Mountain Meadow tragedy we were told in the first place that the Indians did the work and afterward that John D. Lee directed it, so the Mormon
people now vehemently urge that it was by the authority of Judge Kinney and the power of the Government of the United States that the attack on the
Morrisite camp was made, and that Sheriff Burton was by virtue of his office legally seeking to arrest certain men.  All this is TECHNICALLY TRUE
but to show that he was controlled from what to him was a higher source we here mention for the first time in this sketch that Joseph A. Young, an
adopted son of Brigham Young, was also John D. Lee, director of the Mountain Meadow horror, was messenger between Burton and Brigham during
the three days’ siege forwarding the artillery and bringing daily instructions from his father as to what should be done, and part of those instructions were
that no prisoners should be taken, but that all should die.

When Burton and his men entered the camp the first thing they inquired for was the dead – they supposed that they had killed hundreds and a dispute
likely to end in a  quarrel occurred between some of them and some of the Morrisites – Burton’s men charging the Morrisites with having hid, or buried
their dead.  That they had only killed with the best work they could do, about half a dozen persons was not a good report to take to Brigham, and was
very far from carrying out the original design, and by this time the end of the third day, conditions not existing on the morning of the first day had
super----, so that it was now too late for a general massacre.  These conditions were that the noise of the artillery on Sunday the 15th and the bulletins
arriving every few hours in Salt Lake City had induced ____spectators to go up to the hills overlooking Morris’ camp and in this way, many of these
being Gentiles, there were too many witnesses of what was being done for the men who were leaders to be very well satisfied with the situation. 
Besides this we have been assured by those who are intimately acquainted with ___that Robert Burton is by nature a tender-hearted and good man,
but by degrees during the earlier years of his life had become bound by those secret church oaths that we know so well and understand to do whatever
the Presidency of the church required and ask no questions.

It is possible that Burton had received special instructions [regarding?] Morris, but whether that be so or not, what we have written is sufficient reason
for his agitation and anger.

The reason why Morris may be said to have invited death is easier to tell. None of the Morrisites expected to live long after they were in the hands of
their enemies, the reader can only understand this by carrying his mind back to the situation of those days.  The Mountain Meadow tragedy was yet
very fresh in the minds of the entire Mormon people.  Peculiarly so in the Morrisite mind, engraved there by their own personal experiences and by the
proposition of the old man Watts at the time of Bishop Cook’s trial when he said: “According to our rules we should cut their throats and lay them away
in the brush.”

If the readers of THE TRIBUNE can but partially realize such a state of church society and priesthood government, they will see why Morris invited
DEATH ON THE SPOT rather than be taken prisoner and put to death in secret.  After his death his brother called for his body so that it might receive
a decent burial.  The request was refused, but none of the friends of either Morris or Banks ever knew how the bodies were disposed of.  As old man
said, perhaps the rules of the church required that the bodies would be mutilated and therefore the secret manner of the burial.

A touching incident happened after the killing of Morris.  The two men and two women lay there under the feet of the crowd and the men were ordered
to separate from the women and stand on the other side of the square.  No explanation was given, and the Morrisites could under the circumstances
only think of the pattern of the work done at Mountain Meadows.  When the men began to form a line as required, some of their wives were determined
to go with them so, as they supposed, sure death.  Some of the women, therefore clung to the men and would not be separated.  Some of the more
vicious of Burton ’s men tore the women away from their husbands and dragged them on the ground by the hair of their heads.  Parson appealed to
Burton to interfere and he did so, and finally the men were separated from the women – the women were left under guard in the camp and the men
marched about a mile towards Burton’s headquarters and corralled till morning, and it was not until morning that it dawned upon their minds that they
were to be taken as prisoners to Salt Lake, and not shot where they were.  As the men were marched away the women were left under guard.  The
houses were entered and searched, and any thing of value, watches, jewelry, earrings, were taken, even to the blacksmith’s tools out of the smithy and
propositions were made to some of the younger good-looking women to go with them and under the protection of their guard – that this was the only
avenue to the future left open to them, for they would never see their husbands again.

The account of the march to Salt Lake City we have given in a previous letter, the men were taken before Judge Kinney and gave mutual bonds for
each other to the amount of $1500 each to appear for trial in March of the succeeding year, 1863.

Delusive Promises
As soon as the men had returned to camp, and were considering what they should next do, a committee of neighboring bishops went up also with a
letter of condolence and sympathy from Brigham.  We may here incidentally say that the chief of that committee was so deficient in a common school
education that when the people were assembled to hear the letter read he was unable to read it.  Parson read it for him, and the same was true of
Lot Smith when he went up with the writs of attachment for property in relation to the fines which we have mentioned.  Parson read his writ for him. 
Such were the kind of men that Brigham employed, but all times not any of them went to the camp they were treated with marked courtesy and
respect - - all that has been said to the contrary is untrue.  The Morrisites had no idea of resisting no officer of the law by force.  When the congregation
was assembled to bear the notice read, there Burton sent in by the cowboy,  and his chief aids could see from the hills perfectly well what people were
doing, that there were no signs whatever that the Morrisites intended any resistance.  Burton had an abundance of men to have marched down and
surrounded that meeting and taken them all prisoners, it could have been done in ten minutes.  The fact of firing a cannon into that congregation could
only give the impression to the Morrisites that extermination and not arrest was the thing intended.  Brigham stated in his letter that he had heard that
there was a body of people at Weber who had met with a great misfortune – that he sympathized with them and had sent some of the bishops to offer
them work and help and take them from the scene of their recent disaster.  The Morrisites accepted the proffered kindness and small parties accompanied
the bishops to the neighboring wards, only to discover that this was a move to scatter them and make it easier to further distress them.  In a few days
other orders were issued forbidding any person from renting a dwelling of any kind, or giving employment to a Morrisite.  This process soon brought the
Morrisites to the increasingly destitute condition in which General Connor found them when he entered the territory in the fall of the same year.  He
took them under his protection and gave them employment – sent a large number as we have related to the western part of Nevada , and a large party
he colonized at Soda Springs , Idaho .  About [eighty?] of the Morrisites appeared for trial in Judge Kinney’s court in March of 1863.


Seven men were sentenced to terms of imprisonment varying from two to six years.  A petition was circulated for their pardon and Governor Harding,
the then acting Governor of the Territory, pardoned them and they were liberated.  Their names were Peter C. Klenyard, John E. Jones, Abraham Taylor,
George Lee, Christian Nelson, Jons Christenseon and John Nielson.

There were in all of the Morrisites killed eleven persons, seven during the siege and four as we have stated after the surrender.  The girl who had her
chin shot off had it patched up by some skillful surgeon – became a wife to a Mr. Niels Anderson at Soda Springs , Idaho , and is mother of a fine family
of boys and girls.

The baby of Joseph March that we have mentioned as having fallen twice to the ground unharmed, once from the arms of its mother, and afterwards from
the arms of Mrs. Bowman, who had adopted it, lives and married as well.  We saw her and her father Joseph March at Reese Rive in 1864 and again
at the same place about ten years later as we passed through that country.  Bishop Cook, Parson, Eardly and many others of the Morrisites settled in
Carson Valley, and for several years we enjoyed their society and acquaintance in that section of country, and both from them and from their enemies
we have learned the particulars that we have here given, and can vouch to the readers of THE TRIBUNE for their truth.  And besides this, General
Connor is yet with us and we are satisfied that he will be ever willing to relate what he knows concerning the Morrisites.

We have also had the strongest assurance from those who went that but very few of them went up against Morris camp willingly; of course there are
a few exceptions, but the great bulk of the men who went only went on account of the church covenants which required to OBEY THE PRIESTHOOD
no matter what they are required to do, and ask no questions.  Judge Kinney himself apologized to the Morrisites for what had happened, and he was
himself deceived – that he had no idea of sending any such expedition to arrest those men.

It is well enough to say that this happened long ago, but the readers of THE TRIBUNE will do well to remember that the church priesthood has not
changed its nature, or its principles – those who think so will find themselves miserably mistaken.  If they were sincere there are a few simple things
that they might easily do, which indeed their professions of honesty demand that they should do.  There is not a number of the church that does not
perfectly know that Joseph Smith of Lamoni is the head of the church – this is a proposition that cannot be disputed.  Invite him to take his place,
and what ___ ___ ___  would be taken toward reconciling all parties now in conflict.  To refuse to do this shows that the church is nothing but a
political machine and lest there is no truth or sincerity in it not even refusing to do this let the politics of the world be honestly and completely divorced
from the church.  The Mormon Church or any other church  perverted into a political machine cannot live on American soil, and no book tells this more
fully and completely than the Book of Mormon.


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