Responsible Parties

September 7-11, 1857

The following list of participants has been gleaned from writings of Anna Jean Backus, R.N. Baskin, Will Bagley, Juanita Brooks, Sally Denton, John D. Lee, J.R. Dunn, William Wise, William Secrest, Captain James Lynch and others. It continues to be validated by cross-referencing between recognized historians.

Most historians agree that 50-60 Mormons were involved in the actual killing of the wagon train members. In his confessions, John D. Lee stated that there were 54 men directly involved in the massacre. The list of 52 participants in Lee’s confessions must be given priority over others who wrote about it later on. Other testimony and research helps to validate Lee’s list but much of the later research was corrupted by many years of lying, folklore, and misinformation.

Arrest warrant – those individuals listed in Marshall Stokes arrest warrant
Backus _ names gleaned from Anna Jean Backus’ book “Mountain Meadows Witness.”
Bagley- names gleaned from Will Bagley’s book ‘Blood of the Prophets.”
Baskin – names gleaned from R.N. Baskin’s “Reminiscences of Early Utah.”
Brooks – names gleaned from Juanita Brooks book “Mountain Meadows Massacre.”
Denton – names gleaned from Sally Denton’s book “American Massacre.”
Dunn – names gleaned from J.R. Dunn’s book “Massacres of the Mountains.”
Gibbs – names from Josiah Gibb’s book “Mountain Meadows Massacre.”
Lee – names identified by John D. lee in his confessions “Mormonism Unvailed.”
Lynch – name from testimony of Captain James Lynch regarding Rebecca Dunlap’s observations.
Secrest – outlaw Charles Wilkins identified by William Secrest in “True West.”
Wise – names gleaned from William Wise’s book “Massacre at Mountain Meadows.”

1. Adair, George Jr. (Bagley) (Lee) (Arrest warrant)
2. Allen, Ira (Lee) (Wise) (Backus)
3. Arthur, Benjamin (Lee) (Wise) (Dunn) (Denton)
4. Bateman, William (Bagley) (Lee) (Gibbs) (Wise) (Backus) (Dunn) (Denton)
5. Cartwright, Thomas (Lee)
6. Clark, John W. (Bagley) (Lee)
7. Clews, Joseph (Lee)
8. Curtis, E. (Lee)
9. Durfey, Jabez (Lee)
10. Edwards, William (Bagley) (Lee)
11. Freeman, Columbus (Lee)
12. Hamblin, Oscar (Bagley) (Lee)
13. Hatch, Ira (Bagley) (Wise) (Dunn)
14. Hawley, George (Bagley) (Lee)
15. Hawley, William (Bagley) (Lee) (refused to take part in shooting; he was tied to a wagon wheel during massacre by officers of Mormon Militia)
16. Harrison, Richard (Lee) (Wise)
17. Higbee, John (Bagley) (Lee) (Arrest warrant) (Gibbs) (Wise) (Backus) (Dunn) (Denton)
18. Hopkins, Charles (Bagley) (Lee) (Baskin) (Wise)
19. Humphreys, John (Lee)
20. Hunter, George (Lee) (Backus)
21. Jacobs, Irvin (Lee)
22. Jacobs, John (Lee)
23. Johnson, Nephi (Bagley) (Lee) (Wise) (Denton)
24. Jukes, Samuel (Lee) (Arrest warrant)
25. Klingensmith, Philip (Bagley) (Lee) (Arrest warrant) (Gibbs) (Baskin) (Wise) (Backus) (Denton)
26. Knight, Samuel (Bagley) (Lee) (Gibbs) (Backus) (Dunn) (Denton)
27. Leavitt, Dudley (Bagley) (Lee)
28. Lee, John D. (Bagley) (Lee) (Arrest warrant) (Baskin) (Wise) (Backus) (Dunn) (Denton)
29. Loveridge, A. (Lee)
30. Matthews, James (Bagley) (Lee)
31. Magnum, John (Lee)
32. McFarland, Daniel (Bagley) (Lee) (Gibbs) (Wise) (Denton)
33. McFarland, John (Bagley) (Lee)
34. McMurdy, Samuel (Bagley) (Lee) (Wise) (Backus) (Dunn) (Denton)
35. Pearce, Harrison (Bagley) (Lee)
36. Pearce, James (Bagley) (Lee)
37. Pollock, Samuel (Bagley) (Lee)
38. Shirts, Carl (Bagley) (Lee) (Wise) (Backus)
39. Slade, William Sr. (Bagley) (Lee) (Backus)
40. Slade, William Jr. (Lee)
41. Smith, Joseph (Lee)
42. Spencer, George (Bagley) (Dunn) (young schoolteacher whose conscience so bothered him that he wasted away and died from guilt over his involvement)
43. Stewart, William (Bagley) (Lee) (Gibbs) (Wise) (Dunn) (Denton)
44. Stratton, Anthony (Lee)
45. Tate, _______. (Lee)
46. Tullis, David (Bagley)(Lynch)
47. Ure, John (Bagley) (Lee) (Backus)
48. Weston, John (Lee)
49. White, Joel (Bagley) (Lee) (Baskin) (Wise) (Dunn) (Denton)
50. White, Samuel (Brooks) (Lee)
51. Wilden, Alexander (Lee) (Arrest warrant)
52. Wiley, Robert (Lee) (Wise)
53. Willis, John (Bagley) (Backus)
54. Young, William (Bagley) (Lee)

Planners, Schemers, Shakers, and Masterminds of Mountain Meadows Massacre:

When assessing blame for the massacre, one must never forget the schemers and planners who lacked the guts to do their own dirty work but eager to set forth plans for others. Those were:

Brigham Young (Governor, Prophet & much, much more) (Bagley) (Denton)

George A. Smith (second in command to Brigham, Apostle, instigated violence in Southern Utah,) (Bagley) (Wise) (Backus) (Denton)

William Dame (gave “decoy and exterminate” order) (Bagley) (Gibbs) (Baskin) (Wise) (Dunn) (Denton)

Isaac Haight (local firebrand who instigated massacre.) (Bagley) (Denton)
(Arrest warrant) (Lee) (Gibbs) (Baskin) (Wise) (Backus) (Dunn)

Jacob Hamblin ( set up wagon train to camp at massacre site; falsely charged
Government for getting children from Indians) (Lee) (Wise) (Backus)
Other names associated with responsibility for massacre:

Cook, Richard (Brooks)- there is not a clear reading on this man.

Knight, ______ (Lee) Lee shows a second Knight in his list but unclear about involvement.

Wells, Daniel – commander of Nauvoo Legion; Wells was heavily involved in the cover-up; controlled first Lee trial.

Wilkins, Charles (Secrest) – an outlaw who was captured in California. True West Magazine writer William Secrest listed him as a participant in massacre.

Wood, George B. (Bagley) – leader in militia; killed a Cedar City schoolteacher who showed too much interest in massacre; was sent to prison; was excommunicated at same time as Lee and Haight. It is not clear that he was at the actual massacre or whether he was excommunicated for murdering the woman or participating in massacre.

NOTE: This list was synthesized from claims made by recognized sources by Dr. Burr Fancher.