All of the plunder from the Massacre filled the tithing room of Bishop Philip Klingensmith's Cedar City Ward.
In his testimoney regarding the massacre Philip Klingensmith says he was about as mile in back of the wagons and was was out of sight of them, so he knew nothing of the actions of John D. Lee. When the order was given to "Do you duty" it is his story that he discharged his weapon once killing one emmigrant man and commenced to supervise the gathering up of the little children.
At the time of the massacre, Philip Klingensmith was the Bishop of the Cedar City Ward, but was released from this office on July 31,1859 almost two years later. He remained a faithful member of the church more than ten years longer. About 1870 he moved into Nevada, and by April, 1871, had become estranged and was considered an Apostate.
Bishop Philip Klingensmith was a Mormon Shooter and Clubber and was a private in one of the Iron County Militia platoons in Cedar City.
Philip Klingensmith, Bishop of Cedar City
WHITE FLAG: America's First 9/11
byWAYNE ATILIO CAPURRO
The author is a descendent of Bishop Philip Klingensmith, or P.K., the man whose conscience stirred a confession to his role in the atrocity. P.K. is portrayed as conflicted, but not strong enough to refuse orders. “I expect I'll be answering for what I've done every minute of every day for the rest of my life.”
Klingensmith - He is Supposed to Have Been Murdered by Mormons. Salt Lake City Daily Tribune , 4 August 1881,
News has reached Pioche, says the Record , that bishop Philip Klingensmith, at one time a man of high standing and great influence in the Mormon Church, and the exposer of the Mountain Meadows massacre, and the names of the men who participated in the bloody deed, is dead. His body was found in a prospect hole, in the State of Sonora, Mexico, and a letter from there, which was received in the vicinity of Pioche, states that the mystery surrounding the body indicates that Klingensmith had been murdered.
Klingensmith died just as he expected, for on his return from Beaver in 1876, after testifying in the trial of John D. Lee, we met Klingensmith in town, in a sort of secluded spot, and during the conversation Klingensmith remarked: ”I know that the Church will kill me, sooner or later, and I am as confident of that fact as I am that I am sitting on this rock. It is only a question of time; but I am going to live as long as I can.”…
A Far-Fetched Assumption Deseret Evening News , 16 August 1881
We have refrained from noticing the report of the death of the confessed villain and murderer Klingensmith, and the absurd comments made by the press as to Mormon responsibility for his sudden taking off. But the reports concerning the affair are so wide spread that we take the opportunity of referring to them that it may not be stated truthfully that we dare not say anything about it.
Klingensmith, it will be remembered was an apostate who figured in the trial of John D. Lee, and by his own confession was as bad as the man whose life paid the forfeit for his terrible crime, after being convicted by a Mormon jury, Klingensmith's testimony was utterly unreliable, because he told so many different stories, made so many false pretenses and was evidently so bad a man that his oath was not worth anymore than his reckless, unsworn word.
It is now claimed that he is dead and that in some unexplained manner the Mormons killed him. As a specimen paragraph we take this from the Philadelphia News.
“There is no reasonable doubt that the Mormon authorities inspired the murder. Of course, this will not be proven, and even the murderers will with difficulty be caught and convicted. And yet all are morally sure as to the real responsibility. This evil of Mormonism, murdrous [sic] and corrupt as it is, must be dealt with. It is a fearful reproach to the country. It violates our laws. Its polygamy is a crime. Yet it artfully extends its political influence, and grows unchecked. Sooner or later rigid measures must be taken. It must be rooted out. Its crimes afford an ample reason for direct and repressive laws. The sooner they are enacted, the better. In the meantime such laws as we have are being rigidly enforced. They are sufficient, if vigorously pressed, to stop the growth, and seriously cripple the influence of the Mormon church.”
Is not this a splendid sample of newspaper reasoning and consistency? Klingensmith, it is said, was found dead in Sonora, Mexico. It is not clearly established that the body found was that of Klingensmith. He was such an arrant liar that he may have started the story himself. But supposing he is dead and was killed, where is the connection between his decease in Mexico and the Mormons in Utah? There is none, except in the vivid imagination of some anti-Mormon, who has started the absurd hypothesis, and it is seized at once by shallow writers ready to pitch into the Mormons, on the shortest notice. There is about as much connection between Utah and Sonora as there is between Philadelphia and Peru. And then the Mormons are not a killing people. If they were given to deeds of blood, as falsely reported, there are infamous scoundrels right close to home who would be made to bite the dust. The fact that they are unhung is proof that the Mormons are entirely undeserving of the reputation for violence so lavishly manufactured for them.
Without any reason for saying so, without a single item of evidence for the assertion, the Philadelphia News states the Mormon authorities inspired the murder, and then goes on to argue on the ground of its unsupported supposition, that Mormonism must be rooted out. Because it is supposed that a man has been killed by some Mormon or Mormons therefore the Mormon Church must be crippled and direct and repressive laws must be enacted and vigorously pressed so that the system may be dealt with. Logic with a vengeance! Conclusion most profound. Really it appears that the statement made recently by a distinguished American that half the people he meets are insane has some truth in it, and it is very evident that among the lunatic half are those editors who make an attempt to air their hallucinations on the subject of Mormonism.
A Far-fetched Assumption, Salt Lake City Deseret News , 16 August 1881. Anna Jean Backus transcription.