155 years ago today - Jan 11, 1864

[Wilford Woodruff]
... I Called at the Court House and had another interview with Jason Luce who is sentenced to die tomorrow. He still feels sure that He will not die. He thinks that he has the testimony of the spirit of the Lord that He will live & not die. He said that he was innocent of many things that the people thought he was guilty off. He said that he had never killed any person or had any hand in the death of any person except Rhodes & Bunting & said that he Could not fell that he was guilty of murder in the death of Either of them. He had killed them in self defence. He said Wm. Hickman had advised him to do many things that made his flesh Crawl but he had not followed Hickmans advise in these things. He told the Jailors (which I did not Hear) that Hickman once asked him to go & knock an old man in the Head for no other purpose ownly to obtain an old mare that was not worth more than $30. And He feels that Wm. Hickman has betrayed him and done him much injury & he looks upon Hickman as a vary bad man. He said he would like to see me tomorrow. He thought to day was the time appointed for his Execution untill I told him it was tomorrow. ...

I Called upon Governor Reed & asked him if he would Commute Jason Luce sentence to the Penetentiary for life as Hickman had held out this promise to Lute. Soon Hickman & Wilford Luce Came in for their answer & Mr Reed told them He Could do nothing in the premises that He Considered that He would be Commiting Crime to Change the sentence of Luce unless he had better ground than any thing He had seen.

So when I arived at the prision in the Evening I told Jason Luce there was no chance for him to live & I wished him to prepare to die. He then spent more than an hour giving us an account of what He had done & what he knew. He said in the Case of Drown & Arnold that Hickman was responsible for their death. He killed them with the help of one or two others. He said Wm. A Hickman robed Carpenter's store took the goods in his waggon & carried them to Huntingtons & from Huntingtons to his house over Jordon & then told Furguson if he would kill Carpenter He would Clear him that He Should not lie in Jail one day. Furguson killed Carpenter & was Hung for it & Hickman made him believe that he would be liberated up to the last minute. Luce said that Hickman Murdered [ ] for no other purpose ownly to obtain his gold watch & money & thinks he has the watch yet.

He said that Hickman was at the head of a Band of thieves. They have stolen as high as 100 Head of Cattle at a time from Camp Floyd & gone out onto the prairie & divided them & taken them to different parts of the Territory. Lute also said that Hickman had many men around him that Had to be fed & that men under him would go onto the range & drive up a Beef & kill & Eat it & sell the Hides or make them into Larretts or throw them away as the Case might be without any regard to whom might be the owners. Luce said that Hickman had been his ruin and the ruin of others and in all these things He had Carried his point by declairing that President Brigham Young had given him Council to do all these things (which is a Cursed lie). Luce made many other remarks which was reported by G. D. Watt.

[Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

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