This week in 1877

March 21st, 2015 by admin

To his executioners:
“Center on my heart, boys. Don’t mangle my body.”

— John Doyle Lee, aka John D. Lee, convicted of murder, firing squad, Utah.
Executed March 23, 1877

Lee’s biography begins this chapter, but a few more details: Lee asked a photographer present to send each of his three wives a copy of the photograph taken just prior to his death. Though Lee was excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the ruling was posthumously reversed. Several versions of this speech have been published, each of a different length. His last line has also been reported as “Let them shoot the balls through my heart! Don’t let them mangle my body!”

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