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´╗┐Title: Conditions in Utah - Speech of Hon. Thomas Kearns of Utah, in the Senate of the United States
Author: Kearns, Thomas
Language: English
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Tuesday, February 28, 1905.



       *       *       *       *       *


The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Chair lays before the Senate the
resolution submitted by the Senator from Idaho [Mr. DUBOIS],
which will be read.

The Secretary read the resolution submitted yesterday by Mr.
DUBOIS, as follows:

     _Resolved_, That the Committee on the Judiciary be, and it is
     hereby, authorized and instructed to prepare and report to the
     Senate within thirty days after the beginning of the next
     session of Congress a joint resolution of the two Houses of
     Congress proposing to the several States amendments to the
     Constitution of the United States which shall provide, in
     substance, for the prohibition and punishment of polygamous
     marriages and plural cohabitation contracted or practiced
     within the United States and in every place subject to the
     jurisdiction of the United States; and which shall, in
     substance, also require all persons taking office under the
     Constitution or laws of the United States, or of any State, to
     take and subscribe an oath that he or she is not, and will not
     be, a member or adherent of any organization whatever the laws,
     rules, or nature of which organization require him or her to
     disregard his or her duty to support and maintain the
     Constitution and laws of the United States and of the several

Mr. KEARNS. Mr. President, I will not permit this occasion to pass
without saying, with brevity and such clearness as I can command, what
it seems to me should be said by a Senator, under these circumstances,
before leaving public life. Something is due to the State which has
honored me; something is due to the record which I have endeavored to
maintain honorably before the world and something, by way of
information, is due to the Senate and the country.

Utah, the newest of the States, to me the best beloved of all the
States, appears to be the only one concerning which there is a serious
conflict with the country. I was not born in Utah, but I have spent all
the years of my manhood there, and I love the Commonwealth and its
people. In what I say there is malice toward none, and I hope to make it
just to all. If the present day does not accept my statements and
appreciate my motives, I can only trust that time will prove more gentle
and that in the future those who care to revert to these remarks will
know that they are animated purely by a hope to bring about a better
understanding between Utah and this great nation.

Utah was admitted to statehood after, and because of, a long series of
pledges exacted from the Mormon leaders, the like of which had never
before been known in American history. Except for those pledges, the
sentiment of the United States would never have assented to Utah's
admission. Except for the belief on the part of Congress and the country
that the extraordinary power which abides in that State would maintain
these pledges, Utah would not have been admitted. There is every reason
to believe that the President who signed the bill would have vetoed it
if he had not been convinced that the pledges made would be kept.


As a citizen of the State and a witness to the events and words which
constitute those pledges, as a Senator of the United States, I give my
word of honor to you that I believed that these pledges consisted of the
following propositions:

First. That the Mormon leaders would live within the laws pertaining to
plural marriage and the continued plural marriage relation, and that
they would enforce this obligation upon all of their followers, under
penalty of disfellowship.

Second. That the leaders of the Mormon Church would no longer exercise
political sway, and that their followers would be free and would
exercise their freedom in politics, in business, and in social affairs.

As a citizen and a Senator I give my word of honor to you that I
believed that these pledges would be kept in the spirit in which
Congress and the country accepted them, and that there would never be
any violation, evasion, denial, or equivocation concerning them.

I appeal to such members of this body as were in either House of
Congress during the years 1890 to 1896, if it was not their belief at
that time that the foregoing were the pledges and that they would be
kept; and I respectfully insist that every Senator here who was a member
of either House at that time would have refused to vote for Utah's
admission unless he had firmly believed as I have stated.

1. Utah, secured her statehood by a solemn compact made by the Mormon
leaders in behalf of themselves and their people.

2. That compact has been broken willfully and frequently.

3. No apostle of the Mormon Church has publicly protested against that

I know the gravity of the utterances that I have just made. I know what
are the probable consequences to myself. But I have pondered long and
earnestly upon the subject and have come to the conclusion that duty to
the innocent people of my State and that obligation to the Senate and
the country require that I shall clearly define my attitude.


This is no quarrel with religion. This is no assault upon any man's
faith. This is rather the reverence toward the inherent right of all men
to believe as they please, which separates religious faith from
irreligious practice. The Mormon people have a system of their own,
somewhat complex, and gathered from the mysticisms of all the ages. It
does not appeal to most men; but in its purely theological domain it is
theirs, and I respect it as their religion and them as its believers.

The trouble arises now, as it has frequently arisen in the past, from
the fact that some of the accidental leaders of the movement since the
first zealot founder have sought to make of this religion not only a
system of morals, sometimes quite original in themselves, but also a
system of social relation, a system of finance, a system of commerce,
and a system of politics.


I dismiss the religion with my profound respect; if it can comfort them,
I would not, if I could, disturb it. Coming to the social aspect of the
society, it is apparent that the great founder sought first to establish
equality among men, and then to draw from those equal ranks a special
class, who were permitted to practice polygamy and to whom special
privileges were accorded in their association with the consecrated
temples and the administration of mystic ordinances therein. The
polygamous group, or cult as it may be called, soon became the ruling
factor in the organization; and it may be observed that ever since the
founding of the church almost every man of prominence in the community
has belonged to this order. It was so in the time of the martyrs, Joseph
and Hyrum Smith, who were killed at Carthage jail in Illinois, and both
of whom were polygamists, although it was denied at the time. There were
living until recently, and perhaps there are living now, women who
testified that they were married in polygamy to one or the other of
these two men, Joseph having the larger number. It has been so ever
since and is so to-day that nearly every man of the governing class has
been or is a polygamist.

Brigham Young succeeded Joseph Smith, and he set up a kind of kingly
rulership, not unbecoming to a man of his vast empire-building power.
The Mormons have been taught to revere Joseph Smith as a direct prophet
from God. He saw the face of the All Father. He held communion with the
Son. The Holy Ghost was his constant companion. He settled every
question, however trivial, by revelation from Almighty God. But Brigham
was different. While claiming a divine right of leadership, he worked
out his great mission by palpable and material means. I do not know that
he ever pretended to have received a revelation from the time that he
left Nauvoo until he reached the shores of the Dead Sea, nor through all
the thirty years of his leadership there. He seemed to regard his people
as children who had to be led through their serious calamities by
holding out to them the glittering thought of divine guardianship. So
firmly did Brigham establish the social order in Utah that all of the
people were equal, except the governing body. This may be said to
consist of the president and his two counsellors, they three
constituting the first presidency; the twelve apostles; the presiding
bishopric, consisting of three men, the chief bishops of the church but
much lower in rank than the apostles; the seven presidents of seventies,
who are, under the apostles, the subordinate head of the missionary
service of the church; and the presiding patriarch. These altogether
constitute a body of twenty-six men. There are local authorities in the
different stakes of Zion, as they are called, corresponding to counties
in a State, but with these it is not necessary to deal.

Practically all of these men under Brigham Young were polygamists. They
constituted what one of their number once called the "elite class" of
the community. To attain this rank one usually had to show ability, and
attaining the rank he was quite certain to enter into or extend his
already existing plural-marriage relations. These rulers were looked
upon with great reverence. Brigham Young, besides being a prophet of
God, as they believed, had led them through the greatest march of the
ages. His nod became almost superhuman in its significance. His frown
was as terrible to them as the wrath of God. He upheld all the members
of the polygamistic and governing class by his favoritism toward them.
He supremely, and they subordinately, ruled the community as if they
were a king and a house of peers, with no house of commons. Not
elsewhere in the United States, and not in any foreign country where
civilization dwells, has there been such a complete mastery of man over
modern men. The subordinates and the mass would perform the slightest
will of Brigham Young. When he was not present the mass would perform
the will of any of the subordinates speaking in his name. Below this
privileged class stood the common mass. It had its various gradations of
title, but, with the exception of rare instances of personal power,
there was equality in the mass. For instance, as business was a part of
their system, the local religious authority in some remote part might be
the business subordinate of some other man of less ecclesiastical rank,
with the result that this peculiar intermingling kept them all
practically upon one level of social order; and the man who made adobes
under the hot sun of the desert through all the week might still be the
religious superior of the richest man in the local community, and they
met on terms of equality and friendship. Their children might
intermarry, the difference in wealth being countervailed by a difference
in ecclesiastical authority.

It was a strange social system, this, with Brigham Young and his coterie
of advisers, to the number of twenty-six, standing at the head,
self-perpetuating, the chief being able to select constantly to fill the
ranks as they might be depleted by death; and all these ruling over one
solid mass of equal caste who thought that the rulers were animated by
divine revelation, holding the right to govern in all things on earth
and with authority extending into heaven.

So firmly intrenched was their social system that when Brigham Young
passed away his various successors who came in time to his place by
accident of seniority of service found ample opportunity without
difficulty to perpetuate this system and to maintain their social
autocracy. As the matter has appeared so fully before the country, I
will not speak further of the method of succession, but will merely call
to your minds that after Brigham Young came John Taylor, then Wilford
Woodruff, then Lorenzo Snow, then Joseph F. Smith, the present ruler.

Under these several men the social autocracy has had its varying
fortunes, but at the present time it is probably at as high a point as
it ever reached under the original Joseph or under Brigham Young. The
president of the church, Joseph F. Smith, affects a regal state. His
home consists of a series of villas, rather handsome in design, and
surrounded by such ample grounds as to afford sufficient exclusiveness.
In addition to this he has an official residence of historic character
near to the office which he occupies as president. When he travels he is
usually accompanied by a train of friends, who are really servitors.
When he attends social functions he appears like a ruler among his
subjects. And in this respect I am not speaking of Mormon associations
alone, for there are many Gentiles in and out of Utah who seem to take
delight in paying this extraordinary deference.

If I have seemed to speak at length upon this mere social phase it has
not been without a definite purpose. I want you to know how this
religion, claiming to recognize and secure the equality of men,
immediately established and has maintained for the mass of its adherents
that social equality, but has elevated a class of its rulers to regal
authority and splendor. Understanding how the chief among them has the
dignity of a monarch in their social relations, you will better
understand the business and political autocracy which he has been able
to establish.

In all this social system each apostle has his great part. He is
inseparable from it. He wields now, as does a minister at court, such
part of the power as the monarch may permit him to enjoy, and it is his
hope and expectation that he will outlive those who are his seniors in
rank in order that he may become the ruler.

Therefore, if there be evil in this social relation as I have portrayed
it, every apostle is responsible for a part of that evil. They enjoy the
honors of the social class; they help to exert the tyranny over the
subjugated mass. Those of you who do me the honor to follow my remarks
will realize how close is the relation between the apostles and the
president, and that the apostle is a responsible part of the governing
power. While I may speak of the president of the church segregated from
his associates and as the monarch, it must be understood constantly that
he maintains his power by the support of the apostles, who keep the mass
in order and in subjugation to his will, expressed through them.


Whatever may have been its origin or excuse, the business power of the
president of the church and of the select class which he admits into
business relations with him is now a practical monopoly, or is rapidly
becoming a monopoly, of everything that he touches. I want to call your
attention to the extraordinary list of worldly concerns in which this
spiritual leader holds official position. The situation is more amazing
when you are advised that this man came to his presidency purely by
accident, namely, the death of his seniors in rank; that he had never
known any business ability, and that he comes to the presidency and the
directorship of the various corporations solely because he is president
of the church. He is already reputed to be a wealthy man, and his
statement would seem to indicate that he has large holdings in the
various corporations with which he is associated, although previous to
his accession to the presidency of the church he made a kind of proud
boast among his people of his poverty.

He conducts railways, street-car lines, power and light companies, coal
mines, salt works, sugar factories, shoe factories, mercantile houses,
drug stores, newspapers, magazines, theaters, and almost every
conceivable kind of business, and in all of these, inasmuch as he is the
dominant factor by virtue of his being the prophet of God, he asserts
indisputable sway. It is considered an evidence of deference to him, and
good standing in the church, for his hundreds of thousands of followers
to patronize exclusively the institutions which he controls.

And this fact alone, without any business ability on his part, but with
capable subordinate guidance for his enterprises, insures their success,
and danger and possible ruin for every competitive enterprise.
Independent of these business concerns, he is in receipt of an income
like unto that which a royal family derives from a national treasury.
One-tenth of all the annual earnings of all the Mormons in all the world
flows to him. These funds amount to the sum of $1,000,000 annually, or 5
per cent upon $32,000,000, which is one-quarter of the entire taxable
wealth of the State of Utah. It is the same as if he owned,
individually, in addition to all his visible enterprises, one-quarter of
all the wealth of the State and derived from it 5 per cent of income
without taxation and without discount. The hopelessness of contending in
a business way with this autocrat must be perfectly apparent to your
minds. The original purpose of this vast tithe, as often stated by
speakers for the church, was the maintenance of the poor, the building
of meetinghouses, etc. To-day the tithes are transmuted, in the
localities where they are paid, into cash, and they flow into the
treasury of the head of the church. No account is made, or ever has been
made, of these tithes. The president expends them according to his own
will and pleasure, and with no examination of his accounts, except by
those few men whom he selects for that purpose and whom he rewards for
their zeal and secrecy. Shortly after the settlement of the Mormon
Church property question with the United States the church issued a
series of bonds, amounting approximately to $1,000,000, which were taken
by financial institutions. This was probably to wipe out a debt which
had accumulated during a long period of controversy with the nation. But
since, and including the year 1897, which was about the time of the
issue of the bonds, approximately $9,000,000 have been paid as tithes.
If any of the bonds are still outstanding, it is manifestly because the
president of the church desires for reasons of his own to have an
existing indebtedness.

It will astound you to know that every dollar of United States money
paid to any servant of the Government who is a Mormon is tithed for the
benefit of this monarch. Out of every $1,000 thus paid he gets $100 to
swell his grandeur. This is also true of money paid out of the public
treasury of the State of Utah to Mormon officials. But what is worst of
all, the monarch dips into the sacred public school fund and extracts
from every Mormon teacher one-tenth of his or her earnings and uses it
for his unaccounted purposes; and, by means of these purposes and the
power which they constitute, he defies the laws of his State, the
sentiment of his country, and is waging war of nullification on the
public school system, so dear to the American people. No right-thinking
man will oppose any person as a servant of the nation or the State or as
a teacher in the public schools on account of religious faith. As I have
before remarked, this is no war upon the religion of the Mormons; and I
am only calling attention to the monstrous manner in which this monarch
invades all the provinces of human life and endeavors to secure his
rapacious ends.

In all this there is no thought on my part of opposition to voluntary
gifts by individuals for religious purposes or matters connected
legitimately with religion. My comment and criticism are against the
tyranny which misuses a sacred name to extract from individuals the
moneys which they ought not to spare from family needs, and which they
do not wish to spare; my comment and criticism relate to the power of a
monarch whose tyranny is so effective as that not even the moneys paid
by the Government are considered the property of the Government's
servant until after this monarch shall have seized his arbitrary
tribute, with or without the willing assent of the victim, so that the
monarch may engage the more extensively in commercial affairs, which are
not a part of either religion or charity.

With an income of 5 per cent upon one-quarter of the entire assessed
valuation of the State of Utah to-day, how long will it take this
monarch, with his constantly increasing demands for revenue, to so
absorb the productive power that he shall be receiving an income of 5
per cent upon one-half the property, and then upon all of the property
of the State? This is worse than the farming of taxes under the old
French Kings. Will Congress allow this awful calamity to continue?

The view which the people of the United States entertained on this
subject forty years ago was shown by the act of Congress in 1802, in
which a provision, directed particularly against the Mormon Church,
declared that no church in a Territory of the United States should have
in excess of $50,000 of wealth outside of the property used for purposes
of worship. It is evident that as early as that time the pernicious
effects of a system which used the name of God and the authority of
religion to dominate in commerce and finance were fully recognized.

This immense tithing fund is gathered directly from Mormons, but the
burden falls in some degree upon Gentiles also. Gentiles are in business
and suffer by competition with tithe-supported business enterprises.
Gentiles are large employers of Mormon labor; and as that labor must pay
one-tenth of its earnings to support competitive concerns, the Gentile
employer must pay, indirectly at least, the tithe which may be utilized
to compete with, and even ruin, him in business.

And in return it should be noted that Mormon institutions do not employ
Gentiles except in rare cases of necessity. The reason is obvious:
Gentiles do not take as kindly to the tithing system as do the Mormons.

The Mormon citizen of Utah has additional disadvantages. After paying
one-tenth of all his earnings as a tithe offering, he is called upon to
erect and maintain the meetinghouses and other edifices of the church;
he is called upon to donate to the poor fund in his ward, through his
local bishop; he is called upon to sustain the Women's Relief Society,
whose purpose is to care for the poor and to minister to the sick; he is
called upon to pay his share of the expense for the 2,500 missionaries
of the church who are constantly kept in the field without drawing
upon, the general funds of the church. When all this is done, it is
found that, in defiance of the old and deserved boast of the
predecessors of the present president, there are some Mormons in the
poorhouses of Utah, and these are sustained by the public taxes derived
from the Gentiles and Mormons alike.

Broadly speaking, the Gentiles compose 35 per cent of the population and
pay one-half of the taxes of Utah. In the long run they carry their
share of all these great charges.

The almost unbearable community burden which is thus inflicted must be
visible to your minds without argument from me.

Let it be sufficient on this point for me to say that all the property
of Utah is made to contribute to the grandeur of the president of the
church, and that at his instance any industry, any institution, within
the State, could be destroyed except the mining and smelting industry.
Even this industry his personal and church organ has attacked with a
threat of extermination by the courts, or by additional legislation, if
the smelters do not meet the view expressed by the church organ.

Mr. President, I ask to have read at this point an editorial from the
Deseret Evening News of October 31, 1904, which I send to the desk.

The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Secretary will read as requested.

The Secretary read as follows:


[Organ of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.]

     SALT LAKE CITY, _October 31, 1904_.


     The people of Salt Lake City are waking up to the realization
     of the trouble of which our cousins out in the country are
     complaining. The sulphurous fumes which have been tasted by
     many folks here, particularly late at night, are not only those
     of a partisan nature emanating from the smokestacks of the
     slanderers and maligners, but are treats bestowed upon our
     citizens by the smelters, and are samples of the goods, or
     rather evils, which farmers and horticulturists have been
     burdened with so long. Complaints have come to us from some of
     the best people of the city, of different faiths and parties,
     that the air has been laden with sulphurous fumes that can net
     only be felt in the throat, but tasted in the mouth, and they
     rest upon the city at night, appearing like a thin fog.

     The fact is this smelter smoke will have to go; there is no
     mistake about that. If the smelters can not consume it, they
     will have to close up. This fair county must not be devastated
     and this city must not be rendered unhealthful by any such a
     nuisance as that which has been borne with now for a long time.
     The evasive policy that has been pursued, the tantalizing
     treatment toward the farmers who have vainly sought for
     redress, the destruction that has come upon vegetation and upon
     live stock, and now the choking fumes that reach this city all
     demand some practical remedy in place of the shilly-shally of
     the past.

     The Deseret News has counseled peace, consideration for the
     smelter people in the difficulties that they have to meet,
     favor toward a valuable industry that should be encouraged on
     proper lines, and arbitration instead of litigation. But it
     really seems now as though an aggressive policy will have to be
     pursued, or ruin will come to the agricultural pursuits of Salt
     Lake County, while the city will not escape from the ravages of
     the smelter fiend. If the companies that control those works
     will not or can not dispose of the poisonous metallic fumes
     that pour out of their smokestacks, the fires will have to he
     banked and the nuisance suppressed. We do not believe the
     latter is the necessary alternative. We are of opinion that the
     evil can be disposed of, and we are sure that efforts ought to
     be made to effect it without further delay.

     It looks as if the courts will have to be appealed to to obtain
     compensation for damages already inflicted. Also that they will
     have to be applied to for injunctions against the continuance
     of the cause of the trouble. We think there is law enough now
     to proceed under. But if that is not the case, then legislation
     must be had to fully cover the ground. Litigation will have to
     come first, legislation afterwards. However that may be,
     temporizing with the evil will not do. Patience has ceased to
     be a virtue in this matter. The conviction is fastening itself
     upon the public mind that no active steps are intended by the
     responsible parties, but simply a policy of delay. They must be
     taught that this will not answer the purpose, and that the
     injured people will not be fooled in that way. The smelter
     smoke must go. And it must not go in the old way.

     The proposition to put the matter in the hands of experts
     chosen by the complainants is not to be seriously considered.
     The onus is upon the smelter men; they are the offenders, and
     they must take the steps necessary to remove the cause of
     complaint, and also reimburse those who have been injured. We
     do not ask anything unreasonable. We join with those of our
     citizens who Intend that this beautiful part of our lovely
     State shall not be laid waste, even if the only cure is the
     suppression of the destroying cause. This may as well be
     understood first as last. Useless practical measures are
     adopted to abate the evil, active proceedings will have to be
     taken and pushed to the utmost to remove entirely the root and
     branch and trunk and body of this tree of destruction. The
     people affected are deeply in earnest, and they certainly mean

Mr. KEARNS. Mr. President, I must not burden you with too many details,
but in order for you to see how complete is the business power of this
man I will cite you to one case. The Great Salt Lake is estimated to
contain 14,000,000,000 tons of salt. Probably salt can be made cheaper
on the shores of this lake than anywhere else in the world. Nearly all
its shore line is adaptable for salt gardens. The president of the
church is interested in a large salt monopoly which has gathered in the
various smaller enterprises. He is president of a railroad which runs
from the salt gardens to Salt Lake City, connecting there with trunk
lines. It costs to manufacture the salt and place it on board the cars
75 cents per ton. He receives for it $5 and $6 per ton. His company and
its subsidiary corporation are probably capitalized at three-quarters of
a million dollars, and upon this large sum he is able to pay dividends
of 8 or 10 per cent.

Not long since two men, who for many years had been tithe payers and
loyal members of the church, undertook to establish a salt garden along
the line of a trunk railway. One of them was a large dealer in salt, and
proposed to extend his trade by making the salt and reaching territory
prohibited to him by the church price of salt; the other was the owner
of the land upon which it was proposed to establish the salt garden.
These men formed a corporation, put in pumping stations and flumes, and
the corporation became indebted to one of the financial institutions
over which the church exercised considerable influence. Then the
president of the church sent for them. There is scarcely an instance on
record where a message of this kind failed of its purpose. These men
went to meet the prophet, seer, and revelator of God, as they supposed,
but he had laid aside his robes of sanctity for the moment and he was a
plain, unadorned, aggressive, if not an able, business man. He first
denounced them for interfering with a business which he had made
peculiarly his own; and, when they protested that they had no intention
to interfere with his trade, but were seeking new markets, he declared
in a voice of thunderous passion that if they did not cease with their
projected enterprise, he would crush them. They escaped from his
presence feeling like courtiers repulsed from the foot of a king's
throne, and then surveyed their enterprise. If they stopped, they would
lose all the money invested and their enterprise would possibly be sold
out to their creditors; if they went on and invested more money, the
president had the power, as he had threatened, to crush them. Not only
could he ruin their enterprise, but he could ostracise them socially and
could make of them marked and shunned men in the community where they
had always been respected.

Is there menace in this system? To me it seems like a great danger to
all the people who are now affected, and therefore of great danger to
the people of the United States, because the power of this monarchy
within the Republic is constantly extending. If it be an evil, every
apostle is in part responsible for this tyrannical course. He helped to
elect the president; he does the president's bidding, and shares in the
advantages of that tyranny.

I did not call the social system a violation of the pledges to the
country, but I do affirm that the business tyranny of Mormon leaders is
an express violation of the covenant made, for they do not leave their
followers free in secular affairs. They tyrannize over them, and their
tyranny spreads even to the Gentiles. In all this I charge that every
apostle is a party to the wrong and to the violation. Although I speak
of the president of the church as the leader, the monarch in fact, every
apostle is one of his ministers, one of his creators, and also one of
his creatures, and possibly his successor; and the whole system depends
upon the manner in which the apostles and the other leaders shall
support the chief leader. As no apostle has ever protested against this
system, but has, by every means in his power, encouraged it, he can not
escape his share of the responsibility for it. It is an evil; they aid
it. It is a violation of the pledge upon which statehood was granted;
they profit by it.


I pass now to the political aspect of this hierarchy, as some call it,
but this monarchy as I choose to term it.

I have previously called your attention to the social and business
powers, monopolies, autocracies, exercised by the leaders. Through these
channels of social and business relations they can spread the knowledge
of their political desires without appearing obtrusively in politics.
When the end of their desire is accomplished, they affect to wash their
hands of all responsibility by denying that they engaged in political
activities. Superficial persons, and those desiring to accept this
argument, are convinced by it. But never, in the palmy days of Brigham
Young, was there a more complete political tyranny than is exercised by
the present president of the Mormon Church and his apostles, who are
merely awaiting the time when by the death of their seniors in rank they
may become president, and select some other man to hold the apostleship
in their place--as they now hold it in behalf of the ruling monarch.

In this statement I merely call your attention to what a perfect system
of ecclesiastical government is maintained by these presidents and
apostles; and I do not need to more than indicate to you what a
wonderous aid their ecclesiastical government can be, and is, in
accomplishing their political purposes.

Parties are nothing to these leaders, except as parties may be used by
them. So long as there is Republican administration and Congress, they
will lead their followers to support Republican tickets; but if, by any
chance, the Democratic party should control this Government, with a
prospect of continuance in power, you would see a gradual veering around
under the direction of the Mormon leaders. When Republicans are in power
the Republican leaders of the Mormon people are in evidence and the
Democratic leaders are in retirement. If the Democracy were in power,
the Republican leaders of the Mormon people would go into retirement and
Democrats would appear in their places. No man can be elected to either
House of Congress against their wish. I will not trespass upon your
patience long enough to recite the innumerable circumstances that prove
this assertion, but will merely refer to enough instances to illustrate
the method. In 1897, at the session of the legislature which was to
elect a Senator, and which was composed of sixty Democrats and three
Republicans, Moses Thacher was the favored candidate of the Democracy in
the State. He had been an apostle of the Mormon Church, but had been
deposed because he was out of harmony with the leaders. The Hon. Jos. L.
Rawlins was a rival candidate, but not strongly so at first. He was
encouraged by the church leaders in every way; and finally, when his
strength had been advanced sufficiently to need but one vote, a Mormon
Republican was promptly moved over into the Democratic column and he was
elected by the joint assembly. I do not charge that Hon. Joseph L.
Rawlins, who occupied a seat with distinguished honor in this great body
for six years, had any improper bargain with the church, or any
knowledge of the secret methods by which his election was being
compassed; but he was elected under the direction of the leaders of the
church because they desired to defeat and further humiliate a deposed

I will not ignore my own case. During nearly three years I have waited
this great hour of justice in which I could answer the malignant
falsehood and abuse which has been heaped upon a man who is dead and can
not answer, and upon myself, a living man willing to wait the time for
answer. Lorenzo Snow, a very aged man, was president of the church when
I was elected to the Senate. He had reached that advanced time of life,
being over eighty, when men abide largely in the thoughts of their
youth. He was my friend in that distant way which sometimes exists
without close acquaintanceship, our friendship (if I may term it such)
having arisen from the events attendant upon Utah's struggle for
statehood. For some reason he did not oppose my election to the Senate.
Every other candidate for the place had sought his favor; it came to me
without price or solicitation on my part. The friends and mouthpieces of
some of the present leaders have been base enough to charge that I
bought the Senatorship from Lorenzo Snow, president of their own church.
Here and now I denounce the calumny against that old man, whose unsought
and unbought favor came to me in that contest. That I ever paid him one
dollar of money, or asked him to influence legislators of his faith, is
as cruel a falsehood as ever came from human lips. So far as I am
concerned he held his power with clean hands, and I would protect the
memory of this dead man against all the abuse and misrepresentation
which might be heaped upon him by those who were his adherents during
life, but who now attack his fame in order that they may pay the greater
deference to the present king.

You must know that in that day we were but five years old as a State.
Our political conditions were and had been greatly unsettled. The
purpose of the church to rule in politics had not yet been made so
manifest and determined. Lorenzo Snow held his office for a brief
time--about two years. What he did in that office pertaining to my
election I here and now distinctly assume as my burden, for no man shall
with impunity use his hatred of me to defame Lorenzo Snow and dishonor
his memory to his living and loving descendants.

As for myself, I am willing to take the Senate and the country into my
confidence, and make a part of the eternal records of the Senate, for
such of my friends as may care to read, the vindication of my course to
my posterity. I had an ambition, and not an improper one, to sit in the
Senate of the United States. My competitors had longer experience in
polities and may have understood more of the peculiar situation in the
State. They sought what is known as church influence. I sought to obtain
this place by purely political means. I was elected. After all their
trickery my opponents were defeated, and to some extent by the very
means which they had basely invoked. I have served with you four years,
and have sought in a modest way to make a creditable record here. I have
learned something of the grandeur and dignity of the Senate, something
of its ideals, which I could not know before coming here. I say to you,
my fellow Senators, that this place of power is infinitely more
magnificent than I dreamed when I first thought of occupying a seat
here. But were it thrice as great as I now know it to be, and were I
back in that old time of struggle in Utah, when I was seeking for this
honor, I would not permit the volunteered friendship of President Snow
to bestow upon me, even as an innocent recipient, one atom of the church
monarch's favor. My ideals have grown with my term of service in this
body, and I believe that the man who would render here the highest
service to his country must be careful to attain to this place by the
purest civic path that mortal feet can tread.

I have said enough to indicate that for my own part I never
countenanced, nor knowingly condoned, the intrusion of the church
monarchy into secular affairs. And I have said enough to those who know
me to prove for all time that, so far as I am concerned, my election
here was as honorable as that of any man who sits in this chamber; and
yet I have said enough that all men may know that rather than have a
dead man's memory defamed on my account, I will make his cause my own
and will fight for the honor which he is not on earth to defend. This
will not suit the friends and mouthpieces of the present rulers, but I
have no desire to satisfy or conciliate them; and in leaving this part
of the question, I avenge President Snow sufficiently by saying that
these men did not dare to offend his desire nor dispute his will while
he was living, and only grew brave when they could cry: "Lorenzo, the
king, is dead! Long live Joseph, the king!"

As a Senator I have sought to fulfill my duty to the people of this
country. I am about to retire from this place of dignity. No man can
retain this seat from Utah and retain his self-respect after he
discovers the methods by which his election is procured and the objects
which the church monarchy intends to achieve. Some of my critics will
say that I relinquished that which I could not hold. I will not pause to
discuss that point further than to say that if I had chosen to adopt the
policy with the present monarch of the church, which his friends and
mouthpieces say I did adopt with the king who is dead, it might have
been possible to retain this place of honor with dishonor.

Every apostle is a part of this terrible power, which can make and
unmake at its mysterious will and pleasure. Early in 1902 warning had
been publicly uttered in the State against the continued manifestation
of church power in politics. The period of unsettled conditions during
which I was elected had ended and we had opportunity to see the manner
in which the church monarch was resuming his forbidden sway; and we had
occasion to know the indignant feelings entertained by the people of the
United States when they contemplated the flagrant breaking of the pledge
given to the country to secure the admission of Utah. I myself, after
conference with distinguished men at Washington, journeyed to Utah and
presented a solemn protest and warning to the leaders of the church
against the dangerous exercise of their political power. I did it to
repay a debt which I owed to Utah, and not for any selfish reason. I
knew that from the day I uttered that warning the leaders of the Mormon
Church would hate and pursue me for the purpose of wreaking their
vengeance. But as the consequences of their misconduct, their pledge
breaking would fall upon all of the people of the State, upon the
innocent more severely than upon the guilty, I felt that I must assert
my love and gratitude to the State, even though my warning should lead
to my own destruction by these autocrats. If there had been one desire
in my heart to effect a conjunction with this church monarchy, if I had
been willing to retain office as its gift, I would not have taken this
step, for I knew its consequences. I began in that hour my effort to
restore to the people of Utah the safety and the political freedom which
are their right, and I shall continue it while I live until the fight is

The disdain with which that message was received was final proof of the
contempt in which that church monarchy holds the Senate and the people
of the United States, and of the disregard in which the church monarchy
holds the pledges which it made in order to obtain the power of

They do not need to utter explicit instructions in order to assert their
demand. The methods of conveying information of their desire are
numerous and sufficiently effective, as is proved by results. To show
how completely all ordinary political conditions, as they obtain
elsewhere in the United States, are without account in Utah, I have but
to cite you to the fact that after the recent election, which gave 57
members out of 63 on joint ballot to the Republican party, and when the
question of my successor became a matter of great anxiety to numerous
aspirants for this place, the discussion was not concerning the fitness
of candidates, nor the political popularity of the various gentlemen who
composed that waiting list, nor the pledges of the legislators, but was
limited to the question as to who could stand best with the church
monarchy; as to whom it would like to use in this position; as to who
would make for the extension of its ambitions and power in the United


And now I come to a subject concerning which the people of the United
States are greatly aroused. It is known that there have been plural
marriages among the Mormon people, by sanction of high authorities in
this church monarchy, since the solemn promise was made to the country
that plural marriages should end. It is well known that the plural
marriage relations have been continued defiantly, according to the will
and pleasure of those who had formerly violated the law, and for whose
obedience to law the church monarchy pledged the faith and honor of its
leaders and followers alike in order to obtain statehood. The pledge was
made repeatedly, as stated in an earlier part of these remarks, that all
of the Mormon people would come within the law. They have not done so.
The church monarch is known to be living in defiance of the laws of God
and man, and in defiance of the covenant made with the country, upon
which amnesty by the President, and statehood by the President and the
Congress, were granted.

I charge that every apostle is in large part responsible for this
condition, so deplorable in its effects upon the people of Utah and so
antagonistic to the institutions of this country. Every apostle is
directed by the law-breaking church monarch. Every apostle teaches by
example and precept to the Mormon people that this church monarch is a
prophet of God, to offend or criticise whom is a sin in the sight of the
Almighty. Every apostle helps to appoint to office and sustain the seven
presidents of seventies, who are below them in dignity, and they are
directly responsible for them and their method of life.

It is quite evident that the church monarchy is endeavoring to
reestablish the rule of a polygamous class over the mass of the Mormon
people. Of the apostles not practicing polygamy there is at most only
three or four men constituting the quorum of which this could be
truthfully said. Special reasons may exist in some particular case why a
man in this class has not entered into such relation.


Briefly reviewing the matters which I have offered here, and the logical
deductions therefrom, I maintain the following propositions:

We set aside the religion of the Mormon people as sacred from assault.

Outside of religion the Mormons as a community are ruled by a special
privileged class, constituting what I call the church monarchy.

This monarchy pledged the country that there would be no more violations
of law and no more defiance of the sentiment of the United States
regarding polygamy and the plural marriage relation.

This monarchy pledged the United States that it would refrain from
controlling its subjects in secular affairs.

Every member of this monarchy is responsible for the system of
government and for the acts of the monarchy, since (as shown in the
cases of the deposed apostle, Moses Thatcher, and others) the man who is
not in accord with the system is dropped from the ruling class.

This monarchy sets up a regal social order within this Republic.

This monarchy monopolizes the business of one commonwealth and is
rapidly reaching into others.

This monarchy takes practically all the surplus product of the toil of
its subjects for its own purpose, and makes no account to anyone on
earth of its immense secret fund.

This monarchy rules all politics in Utah, and is rapidly extending its
dominion into other States and Territories.

This monarchy permits its favorites to enter into polygamy and to
maintain polygamous relations, and it protects them from prosecution by
its political power.

Lately no effort has been made to punish any of these people by the
local law. On the contrary, the ruling monarch has continued to grow in
power, wealth, and importance. He sits upon innumerable boards of
directors, among others that of the Union Pacific Railway, where he
joins upon terms of fraternity with the great financial and
transportation magnates of the United States, who hold him in their
councils because his power to benefit or to injure their possessions
must be taken into account.

I charge that no apostle has ever protested publicly against the
continuation of this sovereign authority over the Mormon kingdom.

Within a few months past the last apostle elected to the quorum was a
polygamist--Charles W. Penrose--and his law-breaking career is well
known. Previous to 1889 Penrose was living publicly with three wives.
Under false pretenses to President Cleveland he obtained amnesty for his
past offenses. He represented that he had but two wives, and that he
married his second wife in 1862, while it was generally known that he
took a third wife just prior to 1888. He promised to obey the law in the
future, and to urge others to do so; yet after that amnesty, obtained by
concealing his third marriage from President Cleveland, he continued
living with his three wives. His action in this matter has been
notorious. He has publicly defended this kind of lawbreaking on the
false pretense that there was a tacit understanding with the American
Congress and people, when Utah was admitted, that these polygamists
might continue to live as they had been living.

And it was this traitor to his country's laws, this unrepentant knave
and cheat of the nation's mercy, this defamer of Congress and the
people, that was elected to the apostleship to help govern the church,
and through the church the State.

Is it not demonstrated that Utah is an abnormal State? Our problem is
vast and complex. I have endeavored to simplify it so that the Senate
and the country may readily grasp the questions at issue.


Will this great body, will the Government of the United States, go on
unheedingly while this church monarchy multiplies its purposes and
multiplies its power? Has the nation so little regard for its own
dignity and the safety of its institutions and its people that it will
permit a church monarch like Joseph F. Smith to defy the laws of the
country, and to override the law and to overrule the administrators of
the law in his own State of Utah?

What shall the Americans of that Commonwealth do if the people of the
United States do not heed their cry?

The vast majority of the Mormon people are law-abiding, industrious,
sober, and thrifty. They make good citizens in every respect except as
they are dominated by this monarchy, which speaks to them in the name of
God and governs them in the spirit of Mammon. Any remedy for existing
evils which would injure the mass of the Mormon people would be most
deplorable. I believe that they would loosen the chains which they wear
if it were possible. I think that many of them pay blood-money tithes
simply to avoid social ostracism and business destruction. I believe
that many of them do the political will of the church monarch because
they are led to believe that the safety of the church monarchy is
necessary in order that the mass may preserve the right to worship God
according to the dictates of their conscience. The church monopoly, by
its various agencies, is usually able to uprear the injured and innocent
mass of the Mormon people as a barrier to protect the members of that
monarchy from public vengeance.

It is the duty of this great body--the Senate of the United States--to
serve notice on this church monarch and his apostles that they must live
within the law; that the nation is supreme; that the institutions of
this country must prevail throughout the land; and that the compact
upon which statehood was granted must be preserved inviolate.

May heaven grant that this may be effective and that the church monarchy
in Utah may be taught that it must relinquish its grasp.

I would not, for my life, that injury should come to the innocent mass
of the people of Utah; I would not that any right of theirs should be
lost, but that the right of all should be preserved to all.

If the Senate will apply this remedy and the alien monarchy still proves
defiant, it will be for others than myself to suggest a course of action
consistent with the dignity of the country.

In the meantime we of Utah who have no sympathy with the now clearly
defined purpose of this church monopoly will wage our battle for
individual freedom; to lift the State to a proud position in the
sisterhood, to preserve the compact which was made with the country,
believing that behind the brave citizens in Utah who are warring against
this alien monarchy stands the sentiment and power of eighty-two
millions of our fellow-citizens.

[Transcriber's Note: The following typographical errors were corrected:
tryanny to tyranny, autocracts to autocrats, monorchy to monarchy.]

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