Year of Polygamy

Join Lindsay as she talks about Emma Batchelor Lee French, a favorite wife of John D. Lee of Mountain Meadows Massacre fame.


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Excerpt from Emma Lee:

When the soldiers arrived about noon the next day, the commanding officer didn’t seem surprised to find John absent. The captain just shook his head and asked the three of us who were outside if we knew why the army wanted to arrest our husband. When we didn’t answer, he said, “John D. Lee is a murderer.”

He went on to tell us that John’s Mormon Militia and Indian allies had slaughtered over 120 unarmed men, women and children. He said they had killed almost everyone in a wagon train that was passing through southern Utah on the way to California.

He asked us if we were proud of the way John had participated in the bloodbath at Mountain Meadows, and of the way the head of our household and his cohorts had slaughtered everyone except the tiniest of their children. . . .

That was it. I couldn’t listen to any more of the government man’s hateful lies. I turned and made my way down to the creek as fast as my pregnant belly would allow. When I got there, I bent over and splashed water on my face over and over again. I wanted the water to wash away the memory of what I had just heard. But it didn’t.

My distress turned into dizziness, which made me fall on a jagged rock and bruise my unborn baby. John came back and comforted me after I gave birth to a stillborn son a month later.

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