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Mojave River Valley Museum


Bitter Springs

The Ambush at Bitter Springs

The Indian Murders

On our first page will be found an account of more murders which have been perpetrated by the Indians on the Mojave, and which has excited in our whole community feeling of horror and just alarm, available winter route to California from Salt Lake, and yet this is rendered dangerous, if not impassable, by the wandering hordes of the Pah-Ute tribes. To render the road safe, a military post should be established at or near the scene of this murder.- There never will be safety or security for life or property, never confidence that the journey can be made unless military protection is afforded, and the Indians are chastised into peaceful habits. It is a great oversight of the Government to permit this line of road to continue the scene of Indian massacres, without even inquiring into the matter, much less hunting up and exterminating the murderers.- Indians are cunning and treacherous; and when instigated, ruthless in the extreme. A murder may be committed, and that is the end of it. They are never called to account for it, and so month after month, they continue their savage customs, without fearing detection or punishment.- how long such a state of things will continue, those in authority alone can determine. With them it rests whether protection shall be afforded to the citizen in traveling over the country, or whether the Territory of Utah shall be given up to the sole and exclusive use and dominion of wandering savages. An appeal for protection has been made to Gen. N. S. Clarke, Commander of this Department, and we await the result with no little anxiety.

The Necessity of Protection

More murders have been committed on the Salt Lake road, as will be seen from the details printed on our first page today. In view of the facts of the case therein set forth, the necessity of a military post being established on this end of the Salt Lake road is apparent. We imperatively demand protection to our citizens in the pursuit of their business, and this cannot be obtained, unless a military post is established on the line of road leading from this section to the Great Salt Lake Valley. We hope the request of our citizens to this effect made to (Gen. Clarke, the efficient and experienced commander of this Department, will receive the careful consideration of that distinguished officer, and that, if it be in his power, he will at once order a detachment of troops to be stationed along the road, where so many murders have lately been perpetrated.

Horrible !

When the escort of Gen. Johnston arrived at the Bitter Springs, they found the body of Mr. Williams, which was recognized by one of the party, in an upright position, naked, the upper part of the body above the ground, left to be devoured by the wild beasts of the plains. The savages who perpetrated the murder, not satisfied with the accomplishment of the bloody deed, returned and disinterred the body, carrying away the clothing, and leaving the remains of poor humanity exposed on the desert. Of course, the body was re-interred A severe castigation should be dealt out to these Indians, and they be compelled to inform on those white men who instigate them to the perpetration of these bloody deeds. No mere Indian hate led to this murder and subsequent revolting exposure-personal and fanatical rage prompted the deed. Theirs is no manner of doubt but that the murder is the result of Mormon counsel and Mormon policy

Mormon Policy

To root out the enemies of the Lord from the land, is well known to be the policy of the Mormon priesthood, a man who gives offense to the church, cannot live there, nor can he leave. There is therefore but one way for it, and he is generally quietly disposed of. But then there are those who cannot be thus treated-who's "taking off" would excite remark and inconvenient inquiry. Such persons are reached by the far-stretching hand of the wily Indian. The fate of the two gentlemen, who have lately been attacked, to which allusion is elsewhere made, as well as those who fell at Mountain Meadows, were sacrificed because they were hostile to Mormonism.

It was well known to all his friends, that Mr. Williams was at feud with Young and his gang ; that time and again his property had been sacrificed by the base tyrant, who lords it over the ignorant rabble at Salt Lake; and that his life would have long since been sacrificed, but the presence of troops forbade the accomplishment of a murder of a man so prominent as Mr. Williams, without eliciting, perhaps, an investigation. We understand, that recently the feud was again renewed-that Young was bearded in his den, and the whole murdering crowd of Danites defied. How foolish the boast, the event illustrates. The murder was perpetrated by Indians, we have no doubt. Yet there are those among the Danites, who can paint, talk, and act Indian as well as any red-skin in the Territory-and the late murders, as at the Mountain Meadows, if not actually perpetrated by such, was directed by them and executed for them. This is the firm conviction of all who have marked the conduct of the Mormons, how invariably a row with the Church is followed by the death of the disputant. The Indians are called the Lord's Avengers, and terribly they execute the behests of the Church. It is we think, full time this organized band of murderers was exterminated, and the Government is justly reprehensible for its neglect of the matter.

From San Bernardino
San Bernardino, March 27, 1860.

Editor Star-On Thursday night, an express arrived here from the Mojave River, with intelligence of the murder of Thomas S. Williams, Esq. a merchant of Great Salt Lake city.

Mr. Jackman is lying at Lane's, on the Mojave in a most critical condition. Dr. A. Ainsworth is in attendance on him.

Gen. Hunt, with his large train of wagons loaded with merchandise for the Utah trade, left here or Monday last. Several more teams are fitting out and will start in a few days. Yours, in haste, CIVIS.


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