By Juanita Brooks
This vintage biography is now in its fourth USU Press printing. it truly is exceptional in supplying a radical and exact account of John D. Lee's involvement within the tragic 1857 Mountain Meadows bloodbath.
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Extra resources for John Doyle Lee: Zealot, Pioneer Builder, Scapegoat
Tensions began to mount. The election at Gallatin on August 6, 1838, set the match to the powder keg. All the Mormons from the outlying farms had gathered in to cast their votes. Some of them, like Lee, were relatively new and unacquainted in the area. The town itself consisted of only about ten buildings, three of them saloons; the rest, houses. Near the polls lay a pile of oak sticks the outside of which had been cut off for shingles, leaving the hearts about four feet long and seven pounds in weight; a perfect size for use as clubs.
The prisoners were brought back into Far West the next morning, Joseph in the prison wagon, the others under heavy guard. The saints were ordered to surrender their arms, each man adding his to the stack in the center of the public square. Each was brought to the official desk which had been set up, where he was to give his name and his previous place of residence. Then he must sign an affidavit relinquishing all right to any property which he held in the state of Missouri and promising that he would leave the state.
He became acquainted with Father Smith, as everyone called the Prophet's father because he had the same name, visited with him often and listened to his counsel. This greatly strengthened the faith of the new convert. Then he was promoted in the Mormon priesthood; he was ordained a Seventy under the hands of Joseph Young and Levi Hancock, and set apart as one authorized to preach the new gospel. Even more important, he was given a blessing by Patriarch Isaac Morley. These patriarchal blessings could be given only by men especially ordained, and given only to members in good standing.