July 28, 1875 deposition of George A. Smith



Territory of Utah Beaver County S.S.

In the Second Judicial District Court of the Territory of Utah

The People &c. vs. John D. Lee, W. H. Dame Isaac I. Haight, et al Indictment for murder, Sep 16th 1854

Salt Lake County S. S.

George A. Smith having been first duly sworn deposes and says: that he is aged fifty eight years, that he is now and has been for several months suffering from a severe and dangerous illness of the head and lungs, and that to attend the Court at Beaver in the present condition of his health would in all probability end his life.

Deponent further saith that he had no military command during the year 1854 nor any other official position, except that of one of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Deponent further said that he never

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in the year 1854 at Parowan or elsewhere, attended a council where Wm. H. Dame, Isaac C. Haight or others were present to discuss any measures for attacking or in any manner injuring an emigrant train from Arkansas, or any other place, which is alleged to have been destroyed at the Mountain Meadows in September 1854.

Deponent further saith that he never heard or knew anything of a train of emigrants, which he learned afterwards by rumor was from Arkansas, untill he met said emigrant train at Corn Creek on his way north to Salt Lake City, on or about the 25th day of August 1854.

Deponent further saith that at Corn Creek he encamped with Jacob Hamblin, Philo T. Farnsworth, Silas S. Smith, and Elisha Hoops and there for the first time he learned of the existence of said emigrant train and their intended journey journey to California.

Deponent further saith that having been absent from the Territory for a year previous, he returned in the summer of 1854 and went South to visit his family at Parowan and to look after some property he had there and also visit his friends, and for no

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other purpose; and that on leaving Salt Lake City he had no knowledge whatsoever of the existence of said emigrant train nor did he acquire any until as before stated.

Deponent further saith that as an Elder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints he preached several times on his way south and also on his return, and tried to impress upon the minds of the people the necessity of great care as to their grain crops as all the crops had been short for several years previous to 1854 and many of the people were reduced to actual want, and were suffering for the necessaries of life.

Deponent further saith that he advised the people to furnish all emigrant companies passing through the Territory with what they might actually need for breadstuffs for the support of themselves and families while passing through the Territory, and also advised the people not to feed their grain to their own stock nor sell it to the emigrants for that purpose.

Deponent further saith that he never heard of, or knew of any attack upon said emmigrant train until some time

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after his return to Salt Lake City, and that while near Fort Bridger he heard for the first time that the Indianshad massacred an emigrant company at Mountain Meadows.

Deponent futher saith that he never at any time either before or after that massacre was accessory thereto; that he never directly or indirectly aided, abetted or assisted in its perpretation or had any knowledge thereof except by hearsay; that he never knew anything of the distribution of the property taken there, except by hearsay as aforesaid.

Deponent further saith that all charges and statements as pertaining to him contrary to the foregoing are false and untrue.

Geo. A. Smith

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 30th day of July A.D. 1875

William Clayton Notary Public

No. 31


In 2nd Dist Court, Utah Territory

The People Etc. vs. John D. Lee Impleaded with others


Filed August 2nd 1875 James R. Wilkins Clerk

Last edit 8 months ago by Utah State Archives
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