Samuel Beach Axtell Newspaper Articles

These three articles made it all the way back east to the New York Times.

From the New York Times, March 9, 1875, page 7 (only the first part relates to the Gov.):




Salt Lake City, Utah, March 8. -- There have been published in this city for the last thirty days incessant attacks upon Gov. Axtell, the newly- appointed Governor, who has been in the Territory about that length of time. Charges have also been telegraphed to the press in regard to him, which, he asserts, are false in every particular. It is not believed that there is any dissatisfaction among the public with regard to his course.

On Thursday, March 4, Attorney George E. Whitney had a disagreement with Judge McKean during the session of the court, and, after its adjournment, as the Judge was leaving the room, he said: "If you mean to say what I said was false, you lie." To-day an order was read in the court to the effect that George E. Whitney pay a fine of $100; that he is forbidden to practice his profession in this court until, in open court, at such time as shall suit the convenience of the court, he shall personally, in writing, make an unequivocal and acceptable apology for contempt of court; that, in default of such payment and apology within one month, he be disbarred.

There was another escape of prisoners from the Territorial Penitentiary last night. The parties were John Goodman, indicted for assault with intent to kill; George Lewis, for gambling; Charles Williamson and John Smith, for stealing from a dead man; and Charles Buckley, for assault with intent to kill; F. E. Ricks, indicted for murder and polygamy; W. H. Davis, for connection with the Mountain Meadow massacre, and Shafer, under sentence of death for murder, refused to leave.


From the New York Times, September 29, 1877, page 1:


The President and the Secretary of the Interior have decided to dismiss the charges against Gov. Axtell, of New-Mexico, as vague and unsupported by proof. The Secretary, in the presence of the President and others, this morning expressed his intention of putting this decision on record as the result of a careful investigation made under his supervision by Assistant Attorney-General Marble. The charges, it is declared, were preferred by irresponsible persons who do not sustain them under oath. On the other hand, Gov. Axtell denied the charges promptly under oath and furnished official documents fully refuting them. In addition to this, an unqualified indorsement of his administration has been forwarded to the department from the best citizens of all parts of New-Mexico.

From the New York Times, December 26, 1877, p. ?:



From the Santa Fe New-Mexican, Dec. 17

The funeral of John Mellon and John Moore, the poor and unfortunate men who were so cruelly and causelessly murdered at the north terminus of La Joya Valley, in Rio Arriba County, on Tuesday, the 4th inst., took place as per announcement from Harlow's Hotel, in this city, on last Saturday afternoon, the bodies being deposited in the Masonic Cemetery with becoming ceremony, in the presence of a large number of sympathizing spectators. As the authorities of Rio Arriba County had made no provision for the burial of the murdered men, except naked as they were found in a shallow hole in the sand on the banks of the Rio Grande, in the vicinity of where they were killed, this fact was communicated to Gov. Axtell, who, with other of our citizens, contributed about $50 to be appropriated toward a decent burial. A vehicle was sent to the place of massacre; the corpses were brought to this city on Saturday morning, placed in neat caskets, and given Christian burial. In the course of Gov. Axtell's very plain and forcible remarks at the graves of the deceased he took occasion to say:

"It has been thought best not to have any religious ceremony performed over these graves. We come together not as religionists, but simply as men to perform an act of natural piety to the poor bodies of these murdered youths. I have been requested to briefly express the sentiments we all entertain as to the treatment the bodies of these murdered men have received at the hands of the community in which they fell. This bloody deed was not done in an uninhabited or savage country, but in the midst of a populous community, in the vicinity of villages and near to churches, where religious dogmas have been taught for the past 200 years. We observe, first, that although the bodies were seen lying by the side of the public highway by both men and women belonging in that neighborhood, and although it was within a few miles of the county seat of Rio Arriba County, no investigation was instituted by the civil authorities into the facts of the case, and no attempt made, either by the citizens or authorities of that county, to discover the persons guilty of this dreadful crime. Again, there is no possibility that these young could have given any offense to this people. They were traveling along the highway; they lay down on the ground by the side of the road to sleep, having but one blanket between them. They were very poor and entirely unarmed, and did not speak the language of the country. Their appearance cound neither excite ________[illegible] nor hatred, but, last and worst of all, when their dead bodies were found lying on the highway, covered with blood from ghastly wounds, they were not given decent burial, but were rolled together in a hole and covered with sand some two feet only in depth--not even a rude box to cover their poor faces. The first rains would have washed them bare and the coyotes would have eaten them. You did not ever hear that this was so, but you surmised it from what you know of New-Mexico. You subscribed money and sent out men a journey of some 40 miles, and have brought their bodies here and have placed them in these decent coffins, over these open graves, and within the walls of this cemetery. These men were strangers to you, but they were born of woman, and were related to you by the common ties of humanity. You felt that if these bodies were allowed to fester in the upper air they would corrupt the sources of both moral and physical life. You come here and by your presence enter a manly protest against the brutality with which their bodies have been treated. In the name of the mothers who bore them, and of the fathers who will look long and vainly for the return of their sons, I thank you for what you have done and for your presence here."

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